Kindling

Summary: “A soldier and a philosopher ... your intelligence file doesn’t do you justice.”

 

It’s obvious that Kathryn Janeway finds the philosopher intriguing, but in private it’s the soldier she really wants to get to know.

 

Characters: Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok

Codes: Janeway/Chakotay

 

Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.

Warning: Graphic depictions of violence, and not a nice Janeway or a gentle Chakotay.

Notes: Happy birthday to LittleObsessions, because when I sketched out my idea for this fic she said, “Write that one.”

Rated M

I. Veloz Prime
 

>STARFLEET INTELLIGENCE CLASSIFICATION: Top Secret
>STARDATE: 48218.1
>ACCESS RESTRICTION: Command-level officers, clearance level 9 and above
>SUBJECT: Chakotay

>STATE NAME, RANK AND SERIAL NUMBER_

 

“Captain Kathryn Janeway, Starfleet service number five-delta-chi-four-seven.”

 

>STATE CLEARANCE LEVEL AND AUTHORISATION CODE_

“Janeway one-one-five-three-red. Clearance level ten.”

 

>VOICEPRINT AND AUTHORISATION ACCEPTED. RETRIEVING DATA_

>This briefing was prepared by Cmdr Xiao Ling, Starfleet Intelligence, from information supplied by Lt Tuvok, currently assigned to covert operations on the Maquis raider
Val Jean. This vessel is under command of the former Federation citizen Chakotay, who held the Starfleet rank of lieutenant commander and taught advanced tactical training at Starfleet Academy’s San Francisco campus prior to his resignation on stardate 47167. By all accounts, Chakotay was considered a capable officer. Prior to his tenure at the academy he served as executive officer on the USS Gettysburg, where his former commanding officer, Capt Madolyn Gordon, stated in his personnel reviews that she expected him to rise quickly to the rank of captain.

 

She allows her eyes to blur and her fingertips to drift away from the monitor controls as she contemplates this opening paragraph. Not for the first time, she wonders if Chakotay had been a disappointment to Captain Gordon. Had she hand-picked him for her successor in command of the Gettysburg? Had she been upset that he left the ship to teach at the academy? That he left Starfleet altogether?

Knowing Chakotay as she does now – knowing that he and Maddy Gordon had been close, but had stood uncomfortably on opposite sides of the argument for peace with Cardassia – Kathryn wonders, too, whether the relationship between the Gettysburg’s captain and her first officer had been even closer than Chakotay was willing to divulge.

It matters little now, except that she also cannot help wondering if that closeness has impacted on her own relationship with the man she has captured.

Captured, in more ways than one.

 

>Lt Tuvok has filed mission reports irregularly since his successful infiltration of the Val Jean. Although Tuvok has included detailed observations on other members of the Val Jean crew, the majority of reports have been focused, as ordered, on Chakotay’s tactical routines and selected targets. This briefing will detail the most notable of the Val Jean’s missions to date and offer recommendations for Starfleet vessels involved in future tactical engagements against Chakotay.

 

Tactical engagements, Kathryn thinks with a wry smile. If that isn’t the perfect description of her interactions with her first officer.

 

>It should be noted that Lt Tuvok has been granted broad-ranging discretion in, and is preliminarily pardoned for, any actions he undertakes or has undertaken as a covert member of Chakotay’s cell. His primary mission is to observe Chakotay and gain insight into his strategic and military capabilities as they pertain to Maquis tactical movements against our Cardassian allies.

 

Allies.

This is the point at which Kathryn’s lip never fails to curl and her finger to stab at the controls. This is when she feels the old sour anger rising in her gut like impotent bile, when she allows herself a moment to tiptoe on the edge. A moment to decide whether she should pull back or let it inhabit her.

She never pulls back.

This is always how it begins.

Commander Xiao’s elegant features are frozen on the monitor display, expressionless as a Vulcan’s. Kathryn’s fingers caress the controls and she comes to life.

 

>On stardate 47705.2, Chakotay led a raid on the former Cardassian colony of Veloz Prime, located in the Demilitarised Zone in what Lt Tuvok reports is a strategically vital position to Cardassian trade routes. Chakotay took a landing party of seven, including Lt Tuvok, to the surface armed with thoron particle grenades and hand-held phase-pulse weapons, and attacked the principal settlement. Lt Tuvok estimates that Cardassian casualties reached upward of 75. Two Maquis were also killed.

>Veloz Prime was listed by Cardassian authorities as hosting only civilians, which would classify this attack as a war atrocity. However, Lt Tuvok reports that the settlement on Veloz Prime was in fact an armed military base, and that no civilians lost their lives in the raid.

>Tuvok was successful in covertly recording surveillance of the mission. That video record is attached.

>STATE SECURITY CODE TO ACCESS VISUAL SURVEILLANCE RECORD_

 

“Janeway green-beta-eight-three-one.”

 

>ACCESSING_

 

The image is grainy and distorted at first, then jerky, because Tuvok is running. It’s silent and near dark, except for the savage flash of someone’s eyes – Tabor’s, she thinks, though it really doesn’t matter – and the heavy, muffled breathing of his companions. They are well trained, Chakotay’s Maquis. They don’t need light to work. They don’t even need words.

Dark shapes of buildings loom in her, Tuvok’s, vision, and he stops, hunkering down in the shadows. To his right, Chakotay appears. He turns toward the camera. His face is stone and his eyes black with hate.

“Pause recording.”

She shoves back her chair, goes to the credenza by the door and splashes two fingers of Vulcan brandy into a thick-cut glass. She tips it all down her throat, right there, facing the wall without seeing it, one hand pressed to the small of her back as if bracing herself.

Then she strips off her jacket, boots and pants. She leaves her turtleneck on; she wants to feel her pips burning against her throat. An extra little frisson to add to her excitement and shame.

Kathryn returns to her desk and settles in her chair. Chakotay’s eyes scald her from the screen, as cold and remote as polar ice. She stares directly at his image as she spreads her legs and slides her hand into her underwear.

“Resume playback.”

On screen, Chakotay raises a hand and makes some kind of complex gesture. It must mean something to Tuvok, because Chakotay jerks his head, and as one the raiding party melts into the shadows. Tuvok ducks low in the lee of a wall, following Chakotay as he moves, silent and inexorable as death, toward the square of light that is the structure’s main door.

From inside, Kathryn can hear the murmurs of conversation, punctuated by an occasional burst of laughter. The voices are Cardassian. They are jovial, complacent; utterly unaware that this will be the last drink, the last laugh, the last night.

Kathryn’s fingers slip through wetness, just enough to coat them, to ease the friction to a glide. She’s not here for the slow build-up of arousal; she doesn’t need it. She has everything she needs.

She has watched this video more times than she can count, but the next thing that happens is always a shock.

White light sears the darkness and the silence rends apart in a conflagration so enormous it stings her eyes, makes her gasp. The building groans, teeters, and collapses in on itself, as inevitable as a tsunami and almost as destructive. Chunks of basalt and twisted spears of metal pelt through the air, and Tuvok covers his head, blotting out the camera’s vision.

There is a stunned span of silence. Then Tuvok rises to a crouch – she can see a phase pistol held out before him – and looks toward the yawning cavern that was once the entrance to the Cardassian base.

A man staggers out of the hole and falls to his knees. He has only one arm, and in the crimson-and-yellow light from the fires the plasma grenade left behind, she can see that most of his chest has been torn away as well.

Her fingers rub faster.

Another soldier appears, framed by broken stone and fire, and then a pair, one with an arm slung over his comrade’s shoulders. They’re groaning, bleeding, so badly wounded she predicts they have mere minutes to live. Tuvok raises his weapon.

No. Chakotay’s hand is on his arm. They don’t deserve mercy. And don’t waste good ammunition on dead men.

The next Cardassian to appear is conscious enough to sense his enemies’ presence. He fumbles at his hip for his weapon, or perhaps his communications device. Chakotay strides forward. The flick of his wrist as he cold-cocks the injured soldier with the butt of his phaser rifle – whipping the man’s head back, sending him crashing to the ground – is balletic.

Kathryn’s breathing is irregular now, little moans hitching in the back of her throat. She forces her eyes not to close, to stay focused on the screen.

Soldiers begin to pour out of the mangled structure now. Most of them are dazed and dying, but some are ready to fight. Tuvok dispatches a few with his phaser, some in hand-to-hand combat. Two of the other Maquis join the fight; Ayala and a woman Kathryn doesn’t recognise. The battlefield is churned mud and blood-drenched. She can almost feel it, slippery under her boots; can almost smell the hot animal stench of death.

It’s almost time. She leans back a little further in her chair, braces one foot on the edge of her desk. The strands that have come loose from her ponytail cling damply to her face. Her free hand comes up to pinch and tug at her nipple through her turtleneck.

There’s a sudden surge of Cardassians on screen. Two charge directly toward Tuvok, and although he shoots one, the other manages to reach him. A heavy blow from his fist makes even the Vulcan stagger. He drops to his knees.

And then Chakotay is there, wading between the Cardassian and his fallen crewmate. His hair is soaked and tufted with blood, his skin streaked dark with it. Kathryn moans aloud. When he shoots the enemy point-blank she plunges her fingers inside herself as far as they can go.

Another soldier rushes him and Chakotay turns, the camera catching him full face. Eyes feral, mouth in a silent snarl. He is unrecognisable. Terrifying.

The Cardassian leaps at him. Kathryn grinds against her own frantic fingers. Steel glints in Chakotay’s hand.

She times her orgasm to Chakotay’s blood-drenched, triumphant roar as he slashes the knife so fiercely across the Cardassian’s throat that the man is dead before his body hits the ground.

© 2021 by Mia Cooper