Summary: Captains have needs, just like everybody else. Even Vulcans agree. And this captain is lucky enough to have a very attentive, very capable first officer.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the Star Trek franchise, but what the characters do in the privacy of their own quarters, ready rooms or holodecks is their own business.
Notes: Set late in Season 3. This story is about sex. Lots and lots of sex. Some of the sex may not be your cup of tea, so please heed the warning.
Warning: Kinky stuff within. If you don’t like reading about consenting adults getting up to no good, you should probably read something else.
Chapter Four: Control
Day 9, 1900 hours, Holodeck Two
The minutes tick by – 1910, 1915 – and she starts to pace.
It’s only been four days since she last had him inside her, two since he’d given her that sex toy and talked her into orgasm. Not a long time, by any means; nothing really, compared to how long she’s gone without sex prior to starting this … arrangement, as she chooses to think of it.
She shouldn’t be so desperate to be with him again.
And it’s not as though they’ve had the opportunity to meet, in any case. A power drain in the port nacelle had forced Voyager to limp along at impulse for half a day, and no sooner was the problem repaired than four crewmen were injured when the graviton stabilisers failed on Deck Seven. B’Elanna had been so stressed out that she’d torn strips off a crewman simply because he misheard one of her orders and realigned the wrong optical assembly in Jeffries tube 57. Kathryn had sent her off duty for twenty-four hours, ordering her to find something entertaining to do and stay away from Engineering.
It took a pointed suggestion from Tuvok to make her reluctantly clock off her own duty shift and follow the same order.
But she’s already feeling guilty over cashing in the privileges of rank and bumping the Delaney twins from their holodeck booking tonight, and if that was all for nothing… Kathryn swivels to complete another circuit of the room.
She’s too proud to contact him over the comm. But as she watches the clock – 1920, 1925 – and realises a quarter of their allocated time has already been wasted, she stomps over to the bottle of champagne she’d been saving for this night together and downs a couple of glasses in quick succession.
1930; still no Chakotay. Kathryn slumps onto a love-seat and stares through the holographic window, chin pillowed in her hands.
Am I addicted to him? she wonders fretfully. Is this exactly the situation I’ve been trying to avoid?
He rushes through the holodeck doors at 1955, face taut with tension and fatigue. “Kathryn,” he sighs. “I’m so sorry. Ensign Gallagher and Crewman Anderson finally came to blows over Crewman Grimes. I’ve been mopping up blood and hurt feelings for the past hour.”
He drops onto the ottoman at her feet and scrubs his face with his hands, and it’s only when he realises that she hasn’t answered him that he looks at her properly.
She’s facing away from him, still staring out of the window, and he takes rapid note of the tense lines of her shoulders, the clenched jaw, the half-empty champagne bottle beside her.
“Hey,” he says quietly, warily, “are you all right?”
She rouses herself, offers him a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. “Fine. How are Gallagher and Anderson?”
“Patched up and embarrassed, just as they should be. Kathryn, what’s –”
“I should check on them,” she cuts him off, uncurling from the love-seat.
“Kathryn.” He catches her arm. “It’s under control. Are you going to tell me what’s going on?”
“I think we should call it a night, Chakotay.”
She twitches her elbow away. It’s subtle and she softens it with a pat on his shoulder, but he’s not fooled.
“Hey.” He grasps her wrist, gently. “Talk to me. And don’t tell me you’re fine.”
The flare in her eyes as she faces him almost makes him take a backward step. “I am fine. I’m just not in the mood.”
His other hand lifts to her face, thumb brushing over her lips, and the involuntary catch of her breath makes a liar of her. Chakotay doesn’t miss it; his lips quirk. “I could help you with that.”
She takes a half-step back and his hand drops. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Chakotay studies her. “You’re not just talking about tonight, are you?”
She presses her lips together.
“I see.” He watches her, gaze wandering over her face, and she forces herself not to react until he nods. “All right, Kathryn. Good night.”
And he’s walking away.
“So that’s it?”
The sound of her own voice – waspish with an edge of hurt – shocks her. Chakotay stops, not turning around.
“You’re just walking away?” she finds herself saying. “No arguments, no pretty stories?”
“What do you want from me, Kathryn?” He faces her, frustration hunching his shoulders. “This is your play, not mine. If this is what you need –”
“You don’t have any idea what I need!”
Her voice – sharp, impassioned – rings out, and they stare at each other.
And then he’s right there, towering over her, and his hands are on her arms – not hurting, just holding – and she can’t move an inch.
Doesn’t want to.
She tells herself not to look at his mouth, but she finds her gaze straying there, and her tongue darts out to moisten her own lips. And it’s not as if he could miss it.
“I think you’ll find,” he cracks out, “that I do,” and his mouth is on hers.
Not kissing, she thinks, suddenly delirious. Taking. Devouring.
She moans, and he growls, and then he’s hauling her into his arms, one hand spread low on her back, one cradling her head, sucking and licking and nipping at her lips, her jaw, her throat. She doesn’t know if she wants to melt or shove him away or throw him to the ground and have her way with him. Her hands curl into his hair, nails scratching his scalp, and he walks her backwards, stumbling, until her back slams against a wall and he’s gripping her ass in both hands, lifting her off her toes and grinding into her.
“This what you need?” he growls into her collarbone and she moans and pushes her hips into his.
“Take it off,” she gasps, shoving at his uniform, and he lowers her feet to the floor and rips off the jacket, separates from her for a moment to yank the turtleneck over his head. She takes advantage of her sudden freedom to tug off her own T-shirt and shimmy out of her skirt. Then his arms are around her again, hands stroking bare skin, and she shudders and presses herself as close to him as she can get. He latches his mouth over her nipple. She jerks against him, what he’s doing with his tongue and his teeth sending hot spears of pleasure directly to her clit, which she’s rubbing shamelessly against his thigh as his hand drifts over her hip, hooking under her panties, dragging them down –
And then he stops.
She blinks at him, breathing hard.
“Are you done playing?” he demands. “Because I can walk out, right now, if that’s what you want.”
Kathryn pauses for half a second. Then she reaches up and grabs a handful of his hair, dragging his face back down to hers. “Don’t you dare,” she hisses, and bites his lower lip, slipping her tongue into his mouth.
He reacts by hissing and shoving himself hard against her and she feels the solid length of his erection against her belly and wonders if he really could have walked away, as he’d said. Then he’s yanking off her panties and fumbling with the opening to his pants, and she winds her legs around his hips as he thrusts inside her, and she stops wondering about anything other than how hard and how many times he’s going to make her come.
She’s still panting and shaking when he finally lowers her legs to the floor. She rests her forehead against his throat and tries to get her breath back.
“That what you needed, Kathryn?” he asks, and there’s still an edge to his voice, some kind of emotion she doesn’t want to define.
She nods, feeling him shiver as her lips drag across his skin.
“Want more?” his fingers play, feather-light, across the underside of her breast.
She wraps her arms around his back and sinks her teeth into his collarbone as if saying the words is too much of an admission. His cock, softened and sticky, twitches against her belly.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
Kathryn’s hands are bound, stretched above her head and tied to – something, she doesn’t know what, other than that it’s sturdy enough to bear her weight. She’s naked, kneeling, thighs apart. All she knows of the room she’s in is that it’s silent aside from the soft footfalls of the man who comes directly up behind her. The cool brush of silk tickles her eyelids as he ties on the blindfold.
She inhales, and begins to quiver.
“Nervous, Kathryn?” his voice is low, his lips brushing her ear.
He laughs, softly. “Liar. I can see you trembling.”
“What are you going to do to me?”
“Well, that depends on you.”
His answer comes from a different direction – he’s standing in front of her now – and her chin jerks; she hadn’t heard him move. “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” she hears the quiet swish of fabric as he moves closer, stroking one finger down the line of her jaw, “it depends on how well you follow instructions.”
“Such as?” Her voice did not just shake.
“Open your mouth.”
It’s not as though it shocks her – on the contrary, she’s reassured by it. This – this is something she expects, and something she does well. She opens her mouth, craning forward, and is rewarded by the push of his cock past her lips. He tastes of her. He’s not quite hard, but as she runs her tongue down the underside and pulls back to swirl it around the head, he stiffens rapidly. His hands tangle in her hair as she teases him.
“Suck,” he orders, and she doesn’t pause, just sinks down onto him, her throat opening to take him all in. She longs to touch him; she tries to put her hands on him but her bonds hold them firm and she whimpers. The vibrations curl around his cock. Chakotay tightens his hands in her hair and she sucks harder, deeper, more. He thrusts into her mouth, gently at first, but as she hums around him and arches her neck to take him further into her throat, his hips move more jerkily, hands twisting in her hair –
“Stop,” he says hoarsely, pulling back from her, and she almost whines at the loss of contact.
She feels him reach upward, releasing her bonds from whatever he’s tied them to.
“Hands on the floor.”
With her wrists still tied together it’s not easy to balance. She leans on her elbows, feels the arch in her back.
“Perfect,” he murmurs, circling behind her, one hand on the globe of her ass, thumb rubbing between the cheeks. “Do you know where we are, Kathryn?”
She stills, listening, taking in the holographic scents. Sawdust and whiskey and old wood.
“Sandrine’s,” she realises, then, “Chakotay, this is a public program. And we must be close to the end of my holodeck time –”
“Relax.” He strokes her backside in a manner that’s more arousing than soothing. “This is my own copy, and it’s security-locked. And I have the holodeck until 2300. We won’t be interrupted.”
“Oh…” she shivers as his fingers dip and circle.
“Have you ever been with a woman?”
Her jaw drops. “What?”
He doesn’t answer, just gives her time.
“I –” she swallows hard. “I kissed my roommate at the Academy a couple of times. Drunken nights out.”
“On Latavan…” she shudders as his fingers slide into her, “when Savia took me to the pools, she, oh don’t stop, she touched me. And –”
“And?” his fingers withdraw and she whimpers, pushing her hips back.
“There was another woman touching me as well. But they stopped.”
“I asked them to.”
His palm cups her lightly. “Because you didn’t want it?”
“Oh, I wanted it,” she hisses through her teeth as he circles her clit with his forefinger, “but I didn’t think I was allowed to have it.”
“You’re allowed to have it now, Kathryn. If that’s what you want.”
She stills. “What do you mean?”
Fingertips circle her left nipple and she gasps. Then a mouth closes over her other breast.
“Chakotay,” she groans.
“Do you want it?”
His voice comes not from under her but behind her, and her eyes snap open behind the blindfold. “What -?”
The mouth that had been teasing her breast latches onto her neck and she feels the swish of long hair against her skin.
“Do you want her, Kathryn?”
“God –” her head drops forward. “Yes. But –”
“I want you, too.”
“Oh, you have me,” she feels him lean in and lick a meandering line from her tailbone halfway up the length of her spine, “but I want to watch you with her first.”
She’s trembling with the effort of not dissolving into the hands and mouths on her body.
“Are you up for that, Kathryn?”
“Yes,” she gasps.
She cants sideways, almost falling over in her haste to obey. The hands and mouths slide away and she whimpers at the loss of contact. Her bound hands are stretched above her head, back arching against the cool wood floor. She feels gentle hands on her thighs, easing them apart. She spreads them willingly.
“Please,” falls from her lips, and then there’s a hot mouth on her belly, hands on her inner thighs. Small, slender hands, with slim fingers that dip and trace and tease. Lips press lightly to her hipbone.
“What do you want?” asks a soft feminine voice.
“Anything,” Kathryn hears herself saying. “Everything.”
The fingers slide gently inside her, the lips suck lightly at her swollen clit, and she groans.
“Okay?” the soft-voiced hologram asks. Her tongue flicks out and Kathryn twitches.
“Demanding,” the woman says silkily, and applies her tongue and fingers more diligently to their task.
Kathryn gasps and arches and moans as the tongue laps at her and the fingers curl inside her, and when the unseen woman brings her over the edge she says “yes” and “God” and “Chakotay”. She’s still writhing under the hologram’s touch when Chakotay leans in and speaks next to her ear.
“Do you want to taste her?”
She nods, and Chakotay releases her hands, and then the woman is sliding up her body and she feels warm thighs on either side of her blindfolded face and she lifts her head, straining to lick into the wet fragrant cunt above her as her hands settle onto the woman’s hips. She tastes musky and strong and she melts on her tongue, and Kathryn, whose previous experiences with holosex have been hit-and-miss in terms of realism, wonders if this is how Savia would have tasted.
She licks, experimentally, and the woman shivers above her, emboldening her to press her tongue into all that liquid heat and coax forward more moans and sighs, and she doesn’t even care that they’re programmed. It feels real, and if the firm clasp of Chakotay’s hand on her waist is any indication, it looks real, and right now that’s good enough for her.
The woman shakes and groans and Kathryn licks salty-sweet moisture from her pussy and feels the hologram relax, and Chakotay’s voice is roughened when he says, “Computer, delete character.” The soft thighs brushing Kathryn’s face vanish and she sighs, her hand seeking blindly for him.
He leans in, speaking low in her ear. “Enjoy that?”
She nods, licking her lips clean of the woman’s flavour.
Chakotay trails a finger from the hollow of her throat, along the centre of her sternum to her navel, and she holds her breath, but he stops there. “Want more?” he suggests, having noted the upward tilt of her hips.
“I want you.”
The finger slides down further, dragging through her soaked pubic hair, circling her clit and making her shudder. It pauses at her entrance.
“Where do you want me, Kathryn?” The finger dips. “Here?” Lower. “Or here?”
“Fuck. God. Anywhere.”
“Such a dirty mouth,” she hears him grin, and then he’s urging her onto her hands and knees again and moving behind her. He slides partway into her slit and pauses, hands on her hips. “This what you want?”
“Yes.” She bites her lip. “Please.”
His hands move up to cup her breasts, nipples caught between fingers and thumbs as he slides a little further into her. “Do you remember when I asked you why you like to wear a corset? If it was partly because you enjoy restriction in your breathing?”
She can barely concentrate on what he’s saying, but she nods.
One hand slides up further, circling her throat as he thrusts shallowly into her. “You remember I told you there are other ways to achieve that?”
“Yes,” she swallows.
His hand closes more firmly around her throat as he pushes into her fully and she gasps, back arching. “Are you willing to give it a try?”
“Okay,” he says, moving his other hand down to her clit, stroking gently as he slowly tightens the fingers around her neck. “If you want to stop, reach back and tap my hip. Understand?”
“Okay,” she gasps, and raises her chin to press her throat more firmly into his hand.
“Then hold on,” he murmurs, and his fingers close around her throat, compressing her airway as he starts to fuck her, slow and deep. She groans, breath rasping, lungs tightening, her hips moving to meet his thrusts. The coil begins to tighten low in her belly as he strokes her clit and pushes inside her and clamps his hand harder around her throat. A singing starts in her ears, her head grows light, he pinches her clitoris just as he changes his angle and hits that perfect spot inside her, and her entire body jerks and convulses as she climaxes so hard that stars burst behind her eyes.
Chakotay loosens his hand and she sucks in a rush of air, hearing her own breath pounding in her lungs. Her body goes limp.
“Okay?” he murmurs, still thrusting gently, slowly as she comes back to herself.
“That –” she has to swallow, “that was …” she can’t even finish.
“Intense?” She can hear the smile in his voice. He curls an arm around her waist, pulling her upright against his chest as he moves shallowly inside her, still lightly stroking her nub. Kathryn shivers, her head dropping back on his shoulder.
“How did you know?”
“I’ve been on the receiving end before.”
“Oh.” She tilts her hips a little, allowing him a deeper angle. “A woman?” she asks, idly interested.
“Oh…” Kathryn stills, unsure why the thought of Chakotay being taken by a man causes another rush of liquid from inside her.
“You like that idea, huh?”
Of course he noticed. She nods, lips parted.
“Interesting,” he murmurs, nuzzling her ear. “But it’s only fair that I ask if you’d like to watch me with a man, since I just watched you with a woman. And thank you, by the way, for that visual.” He pushes deeper into her, the hand around her waist moving upward to tease her nipple. “So would you, Kathryn?”
“What?” The things his fingers and mouth and cock are doing to her are making it difficult to follow the simplest conversation.
“Would you like to watch me with a man?” he pinches her nipple. “Or do you prefer being watched?”
“Either.” She licks her lips. “Both.”
He nips at her throat then soothes it with his tongue, wringing a moan from her.
“You remember I said this is my own copy of this program?”
“I’ve made a few changes.”
She feels his fingers at the knot behind her head, the whisper of silk as her blindfold comes off. She blinks, looks around.
She’s held hard against his chest, naked, spread, and nipples tight, in the centre of the room. And all around her are men. Men in roughspun cloaks and leather, men in tailored suits, men in Starfleet uniforms. Men, watching her with lust in their eyes.
She swallows hard. “Please tell me those are all holograms.”
He pauses. “What if they aren’t?”
“Chakotay –” she stares harder at the men, particularly the ones in uniform. Was that Tom Paris’ blond head over there, and Ayala’s broad-shouldered frame? Was that O’Donnell, and Andrews, and Chapman? She gulps.
Chakotay curls his fingers around her breast and thrusts harder into her. “What if there are members of your crew watching you right now, Kathryn? Watching their captain like this – displayed for them, naked, with my cock inside you?”
She can’t help the moan that escapes her or the grinding of her hips against him.
“Don’t worry,” he whispers. “As much as I enjoy the fantasy of our crew watching me fuck you, I’d never do that to you. But it’s fun to pretend, isn’t it?”
She looks closer and realises the man she thought was Paris bears only a passing resemblance to him, and the one who looks like Ayala isn’t as tall. Despite herself, she giggles in relief.
And, perhaps, the tiniest flicker of disappointment.
“Look at them,” Chakotay goes on. “Look at how many men are staring at your body right now, Kathryn.”
The disappointment melts away as she obeys him, a shiver racing through her.
“Do you want them to touch you?”
She locks eyes with the hologram who resembles Ayala, and swallows hard. “Yes.”
“You heard the lady.”
The hologram steps forward, reaching out to stroke her breasts, and Kathryn moans. Then there’s another man’s hand on her hip, slipping downward to circle her clit with a finger, and another stepping forward and unfastening his pants. She parts her lips, then hesitates.
“What do you want, Kathryn?” Chakotay’s lips are against her ear. “Do you want his cock in your mouth? Do you want them to fuck you?”
“Yes,” she gasps, “but first I want to watch them fuck you.”
She sees the holograms’ attention move to the man behind her, inside her; feels Chakotay nip the curve of her neck. The Ayala lookalike takes his hand from her breast and rests it on Chakotay’s shoulder.
“Is that what you want?” she thinks to ask.
There’s a deeper tone in his voice. “Yes.”
She tips forward, feeling him pull out from her, turning to recline on her elbows as the Ayala hologram kneels beside him. He reaches for Chakotay, weaving a hand into his hair, and Kathryn’s breath catches as they kiss.
“Undress him,” she suggests, and Chakotay reaches for the other man’s jacket. By the time the hologram is bare to the waist, they’re kissing in earnest, tongues sliding, teeth grazing lips, male hands clutching hard at taut biceps. She bites her lip, unable to tear her widened eyes from the sight.
When the hologram shoves his pants down over his hips she can’t help herself. She reaches out to touch him, touch them both. Chakotay hisses softly as her fingers encircle him, and she leans forward to take him in her mouth.
“If you do that, I won’t last long,” he mutters, and she pulls away enough to murmur back, “Then he’d better get started.”
“Computer, one bottle of lubricant,” Chakotay orders.
The bottle appears on the floor beside Kathryn and she takes the opportunity to smooth the gel over the hologram’s penis. She flicks her gaze to Chakotay. “Turn around.”
She takes a moment to admire his ass before coating her fingers in the lubricant. “I haven’t done this before,” she admits.
“Just go slow,” he tells her, “but don’t be afraid.”
She trails a finger from his tailbone downward, presses gently at his anus and feels him shiver. The hologram moves in close and rests a hand on Chakotay’s hip.
Kathryn works a fingertip inside him. “Okay?”
“Yes.” His voice is rough and she feels him press backward slightly, so she pushes in further, gradually, until gooseflesh prickles his skin and he lets out a shuddering sigh.
He nods, so she adds a second finger, and then a third, sliding them slowly, easily, in and out of him until he tells her thickly, “Ready.”
She shuffles back, allowing the hologram to move in close, and watches as the glistening cock pushes smoothly in and further in, and Chakotay groans, the muscles bunching in his shoulders.
“Is it good?” she whispers, remembering how it felt to have Chakotay buried inside her like that.
The hologram pulls out and pushes back in, and Chakotay growls, and as they begin to move together faster, harder, Kathryn’s hands drift over her own body, palming her nipples, plucking at her clitoris. She can hear the slap of flesh on flesh and the men’s harsh breathing, see the reddened marks on Chakotay’s hips where the hologram holds him, the sheen of sweat on his skin. The pace quickens and she hears Chakotay moan, and then the hologram grunts and shudders and slumps over his back.
“God,” she says raggedly, on the verge of climax herself.
Chakotay shucks the other man away and rises on his knees, and her eyes widen.
“You didn’t come.”
“I wanted to wait for you.”
She stares at him. “Tell me what you want me to do for you.”
“I want to fuck you like he just fucked me.” He reaches for her, pulls her against his body. “And I want them –” he tilts his head at the other, waiting, men, “– to fuck you, too.”
Kathryn’s eyes glaze over. “You choose them, then,” she manages to choke out. “Which ones you want to fuck me.”
The shiver that passes through him at her words almost sends her over the edge. He yanks her around, turning her back to his chest, an arm held hard around her waist. “You,” he orders the Paris lookalike, “and you,” to the one that vaguely resembles Ashmore.
They step forward, stripping off their uniforms, and Chakotay urges her onto all fours, reaching for the bottle of lubricant. “I chose them,” he murmurs against her ear as his fingers slide into her ass, “so you choose where you want them.”
Her head feels so light, her skin so hot that she can barely breathe. As she feels the thick press of his cock inside her, she looks up at the blond man. “You first,” she gasps.
Chakotay eases them backward, holding her close as the hologram kneels between their legs. She watches as he pumps a hand around his cock once, twice, then positions himself at her pussy. “Now?” he asks.
“Now,” she all but groans, and he pushes inside her and she whines and digs her nails into his back at the feeling. She’s never been so full, so helpless, so mindlessly focused on her physical being. Chakotay moves his hips under her as the Paris hologram grinds his, and she almost convulses from the stimulation.
“You,” she gasps at the dark-skinned hologram standing by them, “in my mouth. Now.”
He lowers himself, knees beside her head, and she opens her mouth to take him in.
“Fuck, Kathryn,” Chakotay mutters hoarsely, watching as she swallows the thick dark cock, “you’ve got me hanging by a thread here…”
She mumbles something incomprehensible around the penis in her mouth and the hologram jerks, thrusting into her throat.
“Easy,” Chakotay warns him, but Kathryn reaches up to grab the hologram’s hips, holding him in place, and grinds her pelvis onto the two cocks inside her. She’s shuddering, on the verge, and Chakotay senses it, because the next thing she feels is his hand pushing between her body and the blond man’s to stroke her clit, and it only takes two and a half seconds of that for her to convulse, legs jerking, back arching, bringing Chakotay over the edge with her and the two other men immediately following.
The Ashmore hologram pulls out of her throat, leaving a trail of holographic semen over her mouth and chin. The Paris lookalike sits back on his heels and she feels his seed trickle out of her. And then Chakotay helps her off him, gently, and she slumps to the floor, limp and panting.
“Computer, deactivate holographic characters,” he says hoarsely, and then he’s turning her, gathering her into his arms. He lays his cheek against the top of her head and she lets herself curl bonelessly into his chest, listening to his heart beat and feeling the security of his arms holding her close.
He feels safe. He feels right.
An emotion she refuses to name wells up inside her and she resolutely shoves it away. But it makes her shift nervously in his arms, and sensing her discomfort, he eases up on his hold. Kathryn uncurls her arms and legs and Chakotay gets to his feet, holding a hand out to help her up.
He keeps hold of her hand as she stands. “Okay?” he asks softly, his other palm coming up to cup her cheek.
She feels suddenly more naked, more exposed, than she had in a roomful of men with three of them buried inside her. “Of course,” she says, maybe a little too brightly. She squeezes his hand and lets go, stepping away to gather her clothing. “Computer, end program,” she calls, and Sandrine’s flickers into nothingness, leaving her standing on a hologrid with her naked first officer, clutching a bundle of clothes in her arms.
“Kathryn,” he says, watching her, “we still have half an hour left.”
“Oh.” She laughs, and it sounds nervous even to her. “I don’t think I could manage another round.”
Chakotay snags his uniform pants from the floor and pulls them on, eyes still on her as she shoves her feet into her skirt and yanks the T-shirt over her head.
“That’s not what I was suggesting,” he says. “Computer, activate program Chakotay Gamma 12.”
A beachside café materialises; small wooden tables, a cool breeze, cheerful servers of a variety of species. It could be anywhere – California, southern France, Risa. Chakotay gestures to a table. “Sit with me?”
“I have work to do –”
Reluctantly, she takes the seat he offers. A waitress appears with a carafe of water and Kathryn pours a glass, drinking it gratefully.
Chakotay watches her, elbows resting on the table.
“So what were you suggesting?” she asks.
“I wanted to talk to you. Give you the chance to tell me why you were having second thoughts when I showed up tonight.”
Her fingers tighten on the glass. “Oh. That.”
“I was angry with you,” she squirms. “For being late. And I realise how ridiculous that was, because you were doing your duty. And it made me wonder –” she stops.
“It made you wonder what?”
Kathryn selects her words carefully. “It made me wonder if this wasn’t such a good idea. Us. Having this kind of relationsh- uh, arrangement.”
She taps her nails on the glass, avoiding his eye.
Chakotay reaches over and stills her with a hand on her wrist. “Talk to me, Kathryn. Why would this be a bad idea?”
“Because of the impact on us. Professionally,” she hastens to add.
“Professionally,” he repeats, inflectionless.
“Yes. I mean, I can’t go getting angry with you for doing your job. It’s … unprofessional.”
“And leading this crew is – has to be – more important than anything else. I need to be clear-minded and focused, Chakotay.”
“And you think our arrangement is interfering with that?”
“Yes. No.” She bites her lip, then stops when she realises how unprofessional it makes her look, and straightens in her seat. Annoyance makes her snappish. “Look, I approached you about this because Tuvok advised me that an outlet for my, uh, sexual needs might help my focus, not hinder it. And I’m not so sure that’s actually the case.”
“Is this really about our professional relationship, or our personal one?”
He asks it so mildly that she almost misses the significance.
“I can’t afford to be distracted by this,” she bites. “I can’t be sitting on the bridge or in my ready room supposedly working and daydreaming about what’s under your uniform like some sex-crazed cadet –” She stops as a grin blossoms across his face. “What?” she demands.
“Welcome to my life, Kathryn,” he chuckles. “Or at least, the way it’s been since I first set foot on this ship.”
She folds her arms and glares.
“I asked you this before, but I’ll ask it again,” he goes on. “Has my attraction to you caused any problems – past or present – in the successful running of this ship? Have I failed in my duty in any way attributable to my feeli-” he catches himself, “my desire for you?”
She watches his eyes slide away and then return, his shoulders squaring, and knows he’s about to move onto a question she’s not particularly going to like.
“And before we consummated this – arrangement,” he continues carefully, “did your attraction to me ever stop you from putting this ship and crew first?”
Her mouth drops open. “A little full of ourselves, aren’t we, Commander?”
Chakotay gives her an even look. “Are you really going to try and tell me you never thought about this – us, together – before Tuvok gave you his approval?”
Kathryn presses her lips together. “No,” she spits finally. “And no. It didn’t stop me from doing my job.”
“Then why would it do so now?”
“Because it was different before!” she bursts out. “I didn’t know what you’d be like. I didn’t know how you’d make me fe-”
She stands abruptly, almost knocking the chair over in her haste.
“I have to go. Computer, arch.”
~That command is unrecognised.~
She clenches her fists at her sides. “Computer, give me the goddamned exit!”
~Unable to comply.~
“Chakotay, if this is your idea of a joke, you’d better release the command lockouts. Right. Now.”
He stands slowly, frowning. “I didn’t do this, Kathryn. Computer, exit.”
A pair of grey doors appears, and then disappears.
“Computer,” Chakotay says slowly, “run a diagnostic on Holodeck Two. Identify any faults with the voice command processors or imaging sensors.”
Kathryn activates her commbadge. “Janeway to the bridge.”
~Tuvok here, Captain.~
“Tuvok, I’m in Holodeck Two. There seems to be a problem with the holodeck controls. I can’t access the exit.”
~Understood. I’ll notify Engineering and send a security team to release you. Tuvok out.~
Kathryn slumps against the wall, glaring at nothing. “Wonderful.”
~Diagnostic complete,~ chirps the computer. ~Voice command processors and imaging sensors are working correctly.~
“Janeway to Engineering,” she snaps into her commbadge.
~Torres here.~ B’Elanna doesn’t bother hiding the frustration in her voice. ~Captain, there’s some kind of problem with the power relays to both holodecks. I’ve got a team on it but I can’t identify the cause yet.~
“Keep me posted, B’Elanna. Janeway out.”
“Well,” Chakotay says easily, “looks like we have time to talk some more.”
Kathryn stomps through the doors to her quarters and heads straight for her replicator. “Coffee. Black,” she snarls at it, and, cowed, it immediately presents her with her favoured order, exactly as she likes it. She’s barely taken her first sip when her door chimes.
“Not now,” she mutters, then closes her eyes to tamp down her anger. “Come.”
“Captain,” Tuvok says as he steps into the room, “I have Lieutenant Torres’ report on the holodeck malfunction –”
He stops, and she watches his nostrils flare and realises to her horror that he’s picking up the scent of sex. She grabs her bathrobe from the chair she’d left it on that morning, belting it tightly. “Thanks. You can put it on the table.”
Tuvok obeys, then straightens, folding his hands behind his back. “Are you all right, Captain?”
“You appear agitated.”
“I just spent half an hour locked in the damned holodeck and I have a lot of work to catch up on, so if that’s all, Lieutenant…?”
Instead of following her rather heavy-handed hint, Tuvok takes a measured step closer. “If I might have a moment of your time, Captain?”
She rubs her forehead briefly. “All right, Tuvok. What can I do for you?”
“It appears you have decided to embark on a sexual relationship with Commander Chakotay,” he answers, and she almost chokes on her coffee.
“Nothing like Vulcan directness,” she mutters, and waves him to a chair. “You might as well sit down. I have a feeling I’m going to need to.”
Tuvok settles in the chair and regards her impassively as she sits on the couch.
“I suppose I should ask how you figured it out. Apart from –” she gestures vaguely at her unshowered body and tries not to blush.
One Vulcan eyebrow twitches. “The security records show that you have logged a number of hours in the holodeck over the past several evenings. That in itself is unusual, but hardly cause for further investigation. However, I have also noted that your coffee consumption has decreased and that, aside from this evening, you appear less tense.”
“Not exactly damning evidence. Perhaps I’ve just found a good yoga program.”
“True. I have, however, also observed that the commander shares your general air of relaxation. One might almost describe his general disposition as that of the cat that ate the cream.”
A giggle bursts out of her before Kathryn can smother it. “Got the cream, Tuvok. Or ate the canary. And still – not a smoking gun.”
“Smoking gun?” Tuvok’s eyebrows rise further.
“Never mind. I’m sure you didn’t come here for a lesson in Standard idioms.”
“Indeed. I could list all the remaining evidence which supports my supposition – the frequency with which your commbadge signal and bio-signs have registered in close proximity to the commander’s, for example – but suffice it to say that I am confident in my conclusions.”
Kathryn’s smile disappears. “You’ve been spying on us?”
Tuvok looks affronted.
“All right. Of course you haven’t. But if this information is readily available in the security logs…”
“The trace logs have always been restricted to my eyes only, and I have traditionally reviewed them as a matter of course. Should your relationship with the commander come to the attention of crew members other than myself, it will not be through these logs.”
“I see.” Kathryn chews the corner of her lip. “So what is it you want to ask me?”
“I want to offer my counsel, should you need it.”
“Your counsel?” An image of Tuvok, dressed in pyjamas, eating ice cream and sitting cross-legged on her dorm bunk at the Academy, almost causes Kathryn to burst out laughing. “Somehow I never pictured you gossiping about boys or giving me a shoulder to cry on, Tuvok.”
Tuvok ignores her and sails smoothly on. “As I mentioned, becoming sexually active over the past few days seems to have had a positive effect on your demeanour. However, this evening you appear ill at ease. May I enquire as to why?”
“I’m concerned by these random malfunctions,” she offers evasively.
“As am I. However, I have known you for a long time, Captain, and your behavioural patterns and thought processes are familiar to me. I would venture to suggest that there is something else on your mind.”
“Are you calling me predictable, Tuvok?”
“No, Captain. I am calling you my friend, and offering you the benefit of my friendship in return.”
Kathryn takes a long swallow of her coffee to hide the sharp prickling of tears at the back of her throat. “It’s … not easy to talk about.”
“If I may?”
She nods warily, and Tuvok leans forward, elbows on knees and fingers steepled.
“During our previous discussion about your need for physical companionship, you referred to a potential relationship with Commander Chakotay not as an understanding intended to provide mutually beneficial sexual contact but as a love affair. You expressed concerns about your ability to command Voyager should you develop an emotional attachment to the commander. Am I to understand that this is still your concern?”
She tightens her mouth. “One of them.”
“And have you developed an emotional attachment?”
“No,” she snaps immediately.
Tuvok’s eyebrow raises. Again. Suddenly furious, she sweeps to her feet.
“Thank you, Lieutenant, for the recap of our earlier discussion on this topic, but from now on, this subject is closed.” She waves at the door. “Good night.”
“I am sorry if I’ve offended you, Captain.” Tuvok gets to his feet. “Good night.”
Sighing, Kathryn grabs the PADD Tuvok left for her and slumps back onto the couch, immersing herself in B’Elanna’s report and steadfastly not thinking about anything Tuvok or Chakotay have had to say to her tonight.