Liminal State
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Summary: They’ve escaped the Terran Empire, but this is not the universe, or the Devore warship, they call home … and in this version of the multiverse, Kathryn is forced to confront the warped reflections of people she once called her family. Allied with her jailer and former enemy, Kashyk, against the mirror images of her loved ones, staying alive becomes a dangerous game in which her body is her most valuable bargaining chip.

Written for the @voyagermirrormarch fic event.

 

Characters: Janeway, Kashyk, Mirror Chakotay, Mirror Janeway, Mirror Kashyk, Mirror Tuvok, Mirror Ayala, Mirror Paris, Mirror Seska, Mirror Torres, Mirror Kim, Mirror EMH, Original Characters

Codes: Janeway/Kashyk, Janeway/Mirror Janeway, Mirror Janeway/Kashyk, Mirror Janeway/Mirror Paris, Janeway/Mirror Janeway/Mirror Chakotay, Janeway/Mirror Torres, Janeway/Mirror Paris/Mirror Ayala, Janeway/Mirror Kashyk, Janeway/Mirror Tuvok, Mirror Janeway/Mirror Chakotay, Mirror Paris/Mirror Seska, Janeway/Mirror Chakotay, Janeway/Chakotay

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

Warning: Violence, rape/non-con and dubious consent.

Rated E

Chapter Three

Kathryn stands staring at the double of Tom Paris, who has stationed himself at the door, arms folded.

“You and Seska?” she says finally.

“Yeah,” he returns. “So what?”

She bites her lip. “Is there a B’Elanna Torres in this universe?”

“Yeah.” Paris’ eyes widen as her implication sinks in. “Are you telling me that wherever you’re from, I’m fucking that Klingon psychopath?”

“I wouldn’t have put it that way,” she says icily. “But yes, the Tom Paris I know is in a relationship with B’Elanna Torres. And the Seska I know –” she breaks off. “Never mind. It’s irrelevant.”

“It’s insane.” Paris walks toward her, cautiously, as though he’s a little afraid of her. “How did you get here?”

“By accident,” she hedges, and wonders anxiously if the limina is still in Kashyk’s pocket, or if he lost possession of it during the course of his encounter with Janeway the previous night. “And as soon as I can, I’ll be leaving.”

“We’ll see about that,” comes a husky voice from behind her.

Kathryn turns. Janeway is resting a hip against the frame of her bedroom door, a satin robe belted loosely around her waist. She smiles at Kathryn.

It isn’t a warm smile.

“What do you mean?” Kathryn asks warily. “I’d have thought you’d be eager to be rid of us.”

Janeway strolls toward her, shucking the robe; Kathryn watches as Kash bends to snag it from the floor, hanging it in her closet as though picking up after her is second nature to him.

“I told you I’m not done with your lover,” Janeway replies, breezing past Kathryn to sit naked at the breakfast table, pouring herself a coffee. “And I haven’t decided what to do with you yet, either.”

She sits back in the chair, crossing her legs sinuously and smirking as both Paris and Kash automatically follow the movement. Kathryn keeps her gaze resolutely above neck level.

“Where is Kashyk?” she asks evenly.

“You’ll see him soon.” Janeway waves a hand, relishing her first sip of coffee. “Kash. Clothes.”

Kash moves to the bureau, selects several neatly-folded items of clothing and brings them to the table, placing them on the chair beside Janeway. She drains her coffee cup, then, standing, wriggles into a lacy black scrap of underwear, smooths black leather pants up the length of her legs, pulls on dangerously spike-heeled boots and shrugs into a tight leather jacket with a high collar. She leaves the jacket unzipped.

“You can use my bathroom to freshen up,” she addresses Kathryn. “Kash will find you something to wear.”

She saunters over to Tom Paris. One hand on her hip, the other curling into his belt, she studies his face as he glances involuntarily down at her bared breasts.

“Look what you’re missing out on,” she mocks him. She reaches for his hand, brings it up to cup her breast, encouraging his fingers and thumb to rub the soft skin. “Isn’t that nicer than scales?”

Captain,” Kathryn can’t help objecting, though Paris seems to be in no hurry to remove his hand.

Janeway is unwinding her fingers from his belt now, walking them downward, curling them around the evident bulge in the front of Paris’ leather trousers. With his other hand he flips open the top button on her pants, sliding the zipper down and pushing his hand inside. Janeway widens her stance. Kathryn tries not to watch as her lips part, her eyes half-close, her hips curve supplely against the movements of Paris’ fingers.

It’s only when a low, husky moan issues from Janeway’s throat that Kathryn can’t keep quiet any longer.

“How can you be like this?” she bursts out. “You reign by threat and intimidation, and you coerce and manipulate your people with sex. Do you honestly believe anyone under your command respects you?”

Janeway’s eyes open. Tom Paris utters a pained, breathless squeak, and Kathryn realises Janeway’s fingers have tightened around his balls.

“They respect this,” Janeway growls at her. “And don’t tell me you’ve never used sex to get what you want.”

Kathryn opens her mouth, thinks of Kashyk, and closes it.

“That’s what I thought.” Janeway releases her grip, pulls Paris’ hand from her underwear and stalks over to Kathryn. “You just cost me an orgasm,” she informs her. “I’ve maimed people for less.”

“I believe you,” says Kathryn without expression.

“Fortunately for you, I’m not quite ready to scar that face just yet.” Janeway pats her cheek. “Get dressed. It’s going to be a busy day.”

 

=/=


Kathryn stands still, shoulders back and gaze fixed directly ahead, as Janeway prowls in a circle around her, eyes lingering on Kathryn’s every leather-clad curve. Finally, she comes to a halt face to face with Kathryn, a smile ghosting her red lips.

“I distinctly remember ordering Chakotay to heal your injuries,” she murmurs, and brings one long-fingered hand up to delicately circle Kathryn’s still-bruised throat, “but I’m glad he didn’t finish the job, now. This looks good on you. You look,” she pauses, considering, “used.”

“You would know,” Kathryn says through clenched teeth.

“Ooh.” Janeway laughs, letting her hand fall.

“Why no uniforms?” Kathryn demands suddenly. “Why didn’t you force the Maquis to wear Starfleet colours?”

“This is the Delta quadrant,” Janeway shrugs. “I’ve found that some Starfleet protocols have had to be … compromised.”

Kathryn huffs an incredulous laugh.

“Besides,” Janeway ignores her, “your Kashyk is right – I do look great in leather.”

She reaches for Kathryn’s hands, entwining their fingers and aligning their bodies. Kathryn tilts her chin aside to evade the brush of her double’s scarlet, parted lips, but can’t avoid the soft press of Janeway’s thigh between hers, or the way the other woman guides their linked hands up between them, curling Kathryn’s hands onto Janeway’s naked breasts.

And she can’t help giving into her own impulse: cupping her palms around warm, firm flesh, allowing the tips of her fingers to pattern lightly across the other woman’s nipples, feeling them swell and harden.

Janeway’s breath puffs softly in Kathryn’s ear. “That feels good,” she husks, writhing a little so that her thigh presses into the seam between Kathryn’s legs and makes her shudder.

She releases her grip on Kathryn’s fingers, one hand quickly unfastening Kathryn’s short jacket, the other sliding inside the back of her pants and moulding their hips closer.

“I could make you come so hard you see the Alpha quadrant stars,” Janeway breathes, her teeth closing lightly around Kathryn’s earlobe, her fingers pinching and tweaking Kathryn’s nipple. “But you owe me first.”

The haze clears instantly from behind Kathryn’s eyes, and she shoves back from the other woman, yanking the zipper up on her jacket.

“Neither of us will ever see the Alpha quadrant again,” she bites harshly. “And I owe you nothing.”

“We’ll see,” is all Janeway says in reply.

Without bothering to fasten her own jacket, she orders Paris – still watching avidly from the door – to the bridge, jerks her head at Kash to follow them, and strides into the corridor.

 

=/=


Kathryn tries with difficulty to subdue her accelerated heart rate, but it’s difficult. Each not-quite-familiar crewman she passes in these not-quite-familiar halls stops to stare at her with a mixture of fascination, lust and terror, and it’s so jarring, so different to the warm camaraderie and respect she’d grown used to after five years on her own Voyager, that she feels a hair’s-breadth from a panic attack.

And her ratcheting, rocketing sexual arousal isn’t helping her at all.

Her nipples chafe against the inside of her tight leather jacket and each step rubs the inner seam of her pants against her over-sensitised clitoris. Janeway strides beside her, one hand tucked lightly under Kathryn’s short jacket, resting on the small of her back; her hair smells sweet, and whenever she turns to talk to Kathryn, her breath tickles Kathryn’s neck and makes her lick her lips.

She tries to tell herself it’s ridiculous, not to mention horrifically narcissistic, to be so turned on by her own mirror image, but self-recrimination isn’t helping. She can’t seem to tune out Janeway’s constant low, needling drawl or the light movements of her fingertips on Kathryn’s naked back.

And any hope she might have held of a reprieve is dashed when they reach their destination.

There are two armed guards posted outside the guest quarters on deck six. Janeway gestures for Kash to precede them inside; the doors snick shut behind them, and Kathryn stops short to survey the room and its occupants.

It’s the same room she allocated to Kashyk when he pretended to defect from the Imperium, showing up in his shuttle and pleading with her, so earnestly, for asylum. Except that now, instead of playing the soft-hearted former Inspector in humble homespun cloth, he’s stretched out across the couch, one leather-clad leg crossed elegantly over the other, a coffee cup in one gloved hand and a self-satisfied smirk on his face.

Standing by the bulkhead, still as a statue, glowering at Kashyk, is Chakotay.

“Captain,” Kashyk greets them, rising to take her hand and press a kiss to the back of it. “And Kathryn,” he adds, repeating the gesture.

He ignores his own double, who moves to stand quietly beside Chakotay. Kathryn notices that Kash is watching Kashyk with interest – it’s the first time he’s seen his own mirror image, she remembers – but Chakotay’s dark gaze is now trained on her.

Not the captain. Her.

“Please, sit down,” Kashyk is inviting them, as though he’s their gracious host and not Janeway’s captive. “Commander, perhaps you’d be so kind as to fetch Kathryn some coffee. We have a similar beverage on Devore, but it’s not quite the same, and I’m sure she’s missed it.”

Chakotay doesn’t move, doesn’t take his eyes from Kathryn.

Without missing a beat, Kashyk tugs on Kathryn’s hand as he retakes his seat on the couch, pulling her down onto his spread knees. She stiffens, but his gloved hands encircle her bare waist: a warning.

“Get us some coffee,” Janeway orders Chakotay, and rests her leather-clad behind on the edge of the low table in front of the couch. Legs apart, elbows on her knees, she leans in until she’s close enough for Kathryn to identify each faint freckle across her nose.

“What are we doing here?” Kathryn demands, injecting challenge into her voice to hide the churning apprehension in her stomach.

A coffee appears in Janeway’s outstretched hand and she sips from it slowly before she replies. “You’re here because I have questions. If you answer them to my satisfaction, I promise you’ll be rewarded.”

“And if I don’t?”

Janeway smiles. “I suggest you do.”

 

=/=


“How did you get here?”

If Janeway has to ask, Kathryn assumes, Kashyk hasn’t told her. Or she hasn’t asked him. From the way Kashyk’s fingers tighten on her ribs, it could be either.

“In the past,” Janeway says, leaning back a little, “visitors from your dimension have arrived through various means. Transporter malfunctions, fissures in the mycelial network, a plasma burst inside a wormhole…” She pauses, noting Kathryn’s quickly-masked shock. “Didn’t know about that one, hm? Well, maybe we’ll both learn something new today.”

“I have nothing to say to you.”

Janeway sighs theatrically. “Why must you persist in being so obstructive? We could be of use to each other. I could help you … you could help me…”

“Why would I help you,” Kathryn asks, “when I don’t trust you?”

“I’m hurt,” Janeway pouts. It curls into a slow smile as she leans in close again and taps playfully at the zipper tab on Kathryn’s jacket. “Fortunately, I enjoy a small amount of pain.”

She grips the tab and begins to pull it slowly downward. Kathryn’s hand flies up to grasp her wrist, and Janeway laughs.

“Are you modest?” she taunts. “Whatever for? You have nothing to hide,” and she leans back again, resting on her elbows, her own jacket falling completely open.

Kash’s eyes, Kathryn notes, are riveted to Janeway’s upturned breasts. If she could turn in Kashyk’s hold, she’s certain she would find him staring as well. Chakotay, though, is glaring furiously at the floor. She can see a muscle leaping tensely in his jaw, his shoulders set.

It’s his anger that ignites her own.

Wrenching away from Kashyk, she jolts to her feet. “We are not the same,” she hisses. “So go ahead. Use your body, use fear and threats and pain to intimidate your crew. It bears no reflection on me. I will never be like you.”

The smile is gone from Janeway’s face now. She sits up, pushing her hair from her face as she glares up at Kathryn.

“We’ll see,” she says.

 

=/=


Janeway says, “Hold her,” and Chakotay moves silently behind Kathryn, taking her arms. She struggles, but she may as well try to move a bulkhead. Even grinding the heel of her boot into his instep barely raises a wince.

She might have had better luck, she reflects, if his boots weren’t reinforced.

“Are you done?” Janeway mocks, hands on her hips.

Kathryn puffs hair out of her eyes and glares at her.

“You know, you’re sexy when you’re dishevelled,” Janeway decides, and without warning she backhands Kathryn across the face.

Kathryn gasps, more from shock than pain. She turns her chin back toward Janeway only to meet the other woman’s fist, square in her mouth.

That one hurt. But she controls her groan, straightening up, glaring steel-eyed and malevolent through fallen locks of hair. Blood trickles from a cut on her lip and she touches her tongue to it.

“Don’t,” Janeway growls, and moves in immediately, fingers harsh on Kathryn’s chin as she leans in to lick the blood away.

Kathryn grits her teeth and endures, her mouth tightly closed as Janeway’s lips move over hers. The other woman’s thumb presses the centre of her bottom lip, trying to pry her mouth open, but Kathryn turns her head away, feeling the bruises form from Janeway’s grip.

“Don’t you kiss on the first date?” Janeway drawls, and laughs without waiting for Kathryn’s answer.

She tangles her fingers in Kathryn’s hair, dragging her face to front and centre, and nips at Kathryn’s lower lip, soothing her wince with her tongue, her mouth moving lightly, softly, until Kathryn’s teeth unclench and her lips part fractionally … just enough to allow access to the tip of Janeway’s tongue.

“That’s better,” Janeway whispers against Kathryn’s lips.

Sucking in a breath, Kathryn jerks away, pushing back as far as she can, pressing into Chakotay as though he’s not her warden but her protector.

“Captain,” rumbles Chakotay, his chest against her back so that she feels as much as hears him, and it jolts her out of the torpor she’d been sinking into.

The flash she sees in the depths of Janeway’s eyes as she glares up at Chakotay frightens Kathryn more than anything she’s seen, anything she’s experienced in this wrong, dead-end, perverted universe.

“What?” Janeway grinds out.

Chakotay falls silent and the captain narrows her eyes at him. Then she looks down at his hands, wrapped without force around Kathryn’s upper arms; at Kathryn herself, not cowering against his bulk but standing before it, as if he has her back.

“Oh,” she says in a tone of wonder. She presses her fingers to her lips, her gaze switching between them. “I suppose,” she continues, “some things are constant across universes.”

“What are you talking about?” Kathryn frowns.

Janeway ignores her, addressing Chakotay. “Are you looking for a second chance, Commander?”

He doesn’t answer, and Janeway’s smile broadens as she returns her attention to Kathryn.

“Tell me about your first officer.”

 

=/=


“Captain,” Kashyk objects, “surely the oaf is as irrelevant there as he is here.”

“Shut up,” Janeway answers without raising her voice, without sparing him a glance. “I asked you a question, Kathryn.”

As relieved as she’d be if Kashyk’s interruption derailed this line of interrogation, Kathryn can’t help wondering what motivates him. If it’s plain jealousy, it’s criminally short-sighted. Because as painful as it is to talk about her former first officer, at least it means she’s not telling Janeway anything she can use to wreak havoc in this universe or Kathryn’s own.

Janeway raises her eyebrows.

“What do you want to know?” Kathryn asks evenly. “I haven’t seen Commander Chakotay in over two years.”

“How sad for you,” Janeway murmurs. “Well, if you’re very good to me, maybe I’ll let you have this one.”

Kathryn feels Chakotay’s hands tighten on her arms, and can picture exactly the flash of outrage in his dark eyes.

“Yes,” says Janeway. “The more I think about it, the more I like that idea. Chakotay, take off her jacket.”

Kathryn goes still.

“Captain.” Chakotay’s voice is even lower than before, and there’s gravel in it.

“Do it,” Janeway says, equally softly, “or you know what will happen.”

For a moment he doesn’t move. Then she feels him shift behind her, one hand sliding down her arm to clasp her wrists together, the other moving around to take hold of her zipper.

“I’m sorry,” she thinks she hears him whisper as her jacket peels open, exposing her. He’s careful not to contact her skin as he eases the leather back from her shoulders, dragging it down her arms until it bunches at her restrained wrists.

Kathryn feels the warm wash of his breath against her naked back, and starts to tremble.

“Now her pants,” says Janeway.

The hand that isn’t holding her wrists comes around and flicks open the top button on Kathryn’s fly, then the second and third. Her pants gape open, and Chakotay lets his hand drop to the side.

She thinks she can feel him breathing a little faster.

Janeway steps forward, takes hold of Kathryn’s pants and tugs them halfway down her thighs.

The breath catches in Kathryn’s throat. She can’t look anywhere but directly ahead, but in her peripheral vision she sees Kash shift his feet, senses Kashyk rise from the couch to find a better vantage point.

“So,” Janeway’s tone is light, “are you ready to tell me how you travelled to my universe?”

Slowly, Kathryn shakes her head.

“Spread your legs.”

“I don’t –”

Janeway kicks harshly at the inside of Kathryn’s ankle and she stumbles, her wrists caught hard in Chakotay’s reflexive grip. When she rights herself, Janeway plants a knee between her thighs and grasps a handful of hair at Kathryn’s nape, yanking her head back.

“Keep them spread,” she advises, and scrapes her teeth over Kathryn’s jugular before standing back. “Was it a transport device?”

Kathryn looks at her in silence.

“Where is it?” Janeway’s eyes glitter. “You couldn’t have had it on you – I’d have found it. Have you hidden it somewhere?”

“If I had,” Kathryn replies, “I’d rather die than let you find it.”

“Oh, I’m sure we can come up with a fate you’d consider worse than death,” Janeway smiles at her. She looks at Chakotay. “Touch her.”

“I’d rather touch you,” Chakotay says.

“That’s sweet of you to say,” Janeway’s tone is poisonous, “but we both know it’s a lie.”

She strides over to the bulkhead and activates a com panel.

“Janeway to the bridge.”

Yes, Captain,” replies Tuvok.

“Round up three of the female Maquis and take them to the transporter room. Prepare to send them over to Maj Culluh with my compliments.”

Yes, Captain.”

Janeway turns to lock eyes with Chakotay above Kathryn’s head.

“Don’t do this,” he grinds out.

“Tuvok,” she calls. “Wait.”

Captain?

Janeway leans a hip against the wall and studies Chakotay, apparently waiting for a sign he doesn’t give, because she sighs. “Carry on, Tuvok. Oh, and leave B’Elanna Torres alone – she’s too damn good at her job to waste on those Kazon animals.”

I will await your signal,” returns Tuvok.

“Good. Janeway out.”

She ambles back to Kathryn and Chakotay, smiling, stroking one long-fingered hand down the curve of Kathryn’s waist.

“Well, Chakotay,” she croons, resting her hand on Kathryn’s hip, “what’s it to be? Make her come, or lose three of your crew to Kazon hospitality?”

 

=/=


“Don’t do this,” Kathryn says quietly. “Please.”

“You’re giving me no choice,” answers Janeway. “But you have one, and so does he.”

“You can’t be serious.”

Janeway doesn’t bother to look at her, simply cups Kathryn’s breast as she raises her eyebrows at Chakotay. “If she can’t make the call, Commander, it’s up to you.”

She rubs her thumb across Kathryn’s nipple for emphasis and smiles at the resultant shudder.

“She’s so soft, Chakotay,” Janeway says, her voice low and inviting. “I know you want to touch her.”

Janeway reaches for Chakotay’s hand, loose at his side, and places it low on Kathryn’s abdomen. Kathryn can feel him holding his breath, can feel him deliberately keeping his fingers motionless. She swallows against a dry throat, finding her double’s catlike gaze.

“Can you feel that, Chakotay?” Janeway murmurs. Her eyes never leave Kathryn’s as she slips her fingers between Chakotay’s, the pressure of her hand guiding his down, down, further down.

Behind her back, Kathryn curls her fingernails into her own palms to stop herself gasping for breath. She reaches for words to make this stop, but she can’t seem to find them.

“I know you want this,” croons Janeway, and Kathryn isn’t sure which of them she’s talking to, but she can’t find the lie in the words either, not with the way Chakotay’s fingers are patterning lightly across her skin and the way her hips are tilting to invite them. Not with the way she’s leaning back into his chest, or the thundering of his heart against her shoulder blades, or his harsh, shuddering inhale.

Janeway steps back from them, letting her hand drop away. “Choose,” she orders.

Calloused fingers slide into the slickness between her thighs, and Kathryn moans, legs buckling beneath her, her whole body crumpling into Chakotay’s ardently stroking hand.