Summary: Five times Chakotay distracts Seven with kisses and one time he doesn’t.
Characters: Seven, Chakotay, Paris, Torres, EMH
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Prompted by @leisylaura in the tumblr meme send me a ship + a number and I'll write you a kiss. She asked for Chakotay/Seven + 17: a kiss to distract.
“So are they or aren’t they?"
“How the hell should I know, Tom?”
“You’re supposed to be his best friend.”
There was a muffled scoff.
“Well, he can hardly confide in Janeway about it, B’Elanna.”
Sometimes the superior acuity of Borg hearing was a curse. Seven of Nine shifted from one foot to the other and stared at a point on the far wall, deliberately keeping her expression blank as the couple in the corner of the holodeck continued their not-quite-whispered conversation.
“You and your fixation with those two pairing off. It’s been seven years, Tom.” A pause, then: “Besides, the way I hear it, she’s busy enjoying her own little diversion.”
This time the scoff was masculine in quality. “The captain and Ayala? You’ve been reading too many Klingon bodice-rippers.”
“Whatever you say, flyboy,” came the singsong reply as the pair moved as one toward the holographic bar. “Anyway, if you’re so interested, why don’t you go ask Chakotay yourself? I’m sure he’d only break a couple dozen of your …”
The warm, low-pitched voice at Seven’s side startled her and – thankfully – obscured the last part of B’Elanna’s sentence. She turned to find her date offering her a bright blue, fruit-scented beverage.
His eyes were quizzical. “Everything okay?”
She shrugged awkwardly. “I did not expect to be the topic of so many idle conversations.”
Seven inclined her head toward the still-bickering couple at the bar. “Lieutenants Paris and Torres are not the only ones speculating on the nature of our affiliation.”
“I’m afraid you’re right,” he admitted, settling one hip easily against the wall beside her. “Does it bother you?”
Seven considered the question carefully as she sipped the not-unpleasant cocktail. “It … should not. I’ve been the object of less friendly interest in the past. Yet this feels … more intrusive.”
“Gossip often is.”
“They do not have the right to speculate on my private affairs.”
A quick grin was his response. “As I recall, a few years ago you collected thirty thousand gigaquads of observational data on the private affairs of Lieutenants Paris and Torres.”
She flushed. “That was for instructive purposes. This is … frivolous.”
“I suppose I can’t argue with you there,” he answered calmly. “But it isn’t malicious, Seven. These people care about you. About both of us.”
“It’s none of their business whether we are dating or not,” she muttered stubbornly.
Across the pool table, the Delaney sisters were whispering and shooting glances in their direction. Seven glared at them.
“Does it really matter if they know?”
She frowned into her drink and didn’t answer.
“You know what I think?” he murmured after a pause, straightening to face her.
Deliberately, Chakotay relieved her of her drink and placed it on a table, then reached for her hand. She tried to draw back – it was the first time he had touched her in public – but he held on firmly and slid his other arm around her waist.
“Let them talk,” he said, and bent to kiss her softly.
“Chakotay to Seven of Nine.”
She tapped her combadge absently. “Go ahead, Commander.”
His voice curled through the comm system, warm as honey. “Keeping things professional again?”
The undertone of his laughter stilled her busy hands on the astrometrics console. “I -,” she made the effort to match his casually intimate tone, “I am on duty, Chakotay.”
“If I’m right – and since I approve the duty rosters, I’m pretty sure I am – your duty shift ended two hours ago. Right now, you’re supposed to be joining me for a picnic in holodeck two.”
Immediately, Seven stopped working and straightened. “I – I’m sorry, today has been particularly busy. I must have lost track of time.”
“You?” His grin was audible, but he refrained from teasing her further. “Well, lucky for you my chrono works just fine, and it’s telling me we’re already ten minutes into our holodeck time. How quickly can you wrap up whatever you’re working on?”
Her eyes strayed to the brilliant colours swirling on the astrometrics screen. “Long-range sensors have detected a high concentration of neutrino readings, originating from a class four nebula approximately sixty light years along our present course.”
“Sixty light years, huh?” His tone was dry. “I guess there’s no time to waste.”
“Perhaps we could take a raincheck?” she asked hopefully, her fingers inching toward the controls. If she transferred additional power to the lateral sensor array she could increase the scanning resolution by a few microns…
“I have strawberries,” he cajoled. “They may be replicated, but they taste like the real thing. But don’t just take my word for it…”
Seven turned in surprise as the doors to astrometrics slid open and Chakotay strode in, tapping his combadge to close the channel and halting in front of her, grinning.
“Taste for yourself,” he invited, presenting her with a basket of admittedly rosy, juicy-looking strawberries.
“Captain Janeway ordered me to analyse the sensor readings.” Seven tried to remain solemn, but a smile flirted with the corners of her lips. “There is a strong possibility the nebula could contain a number of wormholes.”
“And it’s what, eight weeks away at warp six?” he countered. “I doubt the captain meant for you to skip sleep and recreation for the next two months so you could analyse neutrino emissions.”
“Perhaps not,” she replied, turning back to the input panel, “but she did request my preliminary report be delivered to her by the beginning of Alpha shift. I’m afraid I have no time for recreation.”
Chakotay moved in close behind her, resting a hand just to the right of hers on the console keys. “Let me worry about the captain.”
“Using our personal association to avoid my duties is hardly professional,” she smirked, fingers working the panel.
His voice turned light and playful as he leaned in close to her ear. “Do I have to make it an order?”
She shivered, hands faltering on the controls.
“Because I will,” he murmured, dipping his head just enough to let his lips graze the nape of her neck, “if I think it’s necessary.”
He pressed feather-light kisses from her ear to the collar of her suit and Seven stopped all motion, focused on analysing the pleasurable sensations his warm, soft mouth was eliciting.
“I don’t think…” she lost her train of thought, tried again: “You are trying to distract me.”
“Is it working?” he rumbled as his fingertips turned her chin toward him and he kissed along the line of her jaw.
“I suppose,” she sighed as she turned toward him and let her head tip to one side to allow him greater access, “there really is no rush to –”
The rest of her words were swallowed in the heat of his mouth on hers.
She lay flushed and quivering, her breath coming in irregular bursts as he raised his head from between her spread legs and grinned at her.
“You taste so good,” he murmured, nuzzling at her inner thigh.
Seven had to swallow twice before she could speak. “You are quite proficient at this activity.”
Chakotay laughed and moved up beside her on the bed, propping his head on his hand as his fingers drifted over the metal tracery decorating her ribcage. “Glad to be of service.”
She couldn’t begrudge him the touch of smugness she read in his smile; after all, he had just patiently worked her up to the most intensely gratifying orgasm she’d experienced since their relationship had moved past chaste kisses and hand-holding.
And yet … she wasn’t quite satisfied. Or rather, she suspected that he wasn’t. For weeks he had directed their sexual activities, introducing her to the various techniques he could employ with hands and mouth, always focusing on her pleasure, her gratification, and taking none for himself.
“What is it?” Chakotay asked, his gaze as warm as his hands.
She gathered her courage. “I would like to experience more, if you’re willing.”
He raised a quizzical eyebrow, and she rolled to face him, her hand on his chest. Not knowing how to broach the topic subtly, she let her hand slide down over his abdomen and encircle the hard shaft below. Chakotay sucked in a breath.
“Are you sure?”
She nodded, “Very sure,” and lay back, guiding him on top of her, pulling him closer against her than he’d ever allowed her to before. She widened her legs and wriggled to fit him snugly between them.
He swelled against her and let out a groan that made her toes curl. “Seven…”
“There’s no rush,” he reminded her gently.
“Yes, there is,” she countered. She reached down to take him in hand and tilted her hips so that he slid just inside her. “We’ve both waited long enough.”
She rolled her hips, enjoying his answering growl and the involuntary thrust of his hips. But as he continued the motion she gasped in unexpected pain.
“I’m sorry, we should stop –”
“No,” she tightened her thighs, holding him within her. “Don’t stop.”
He searched her eyes and, clearly reading her assent, leaned down to nip lightly at her collarbone. “Okay,” he murmured, his breath sending shivers across her skin.
As he pushed steadily, slowly inside her, his lips found hers, swallowing her involuntary whimpers until the stretch and sting transformed into pleasure.
Chakotay was sprawled across the sofa when she entered their shared quarters, a well-thumbed book in his hand. The faint scent of Vulcan spiced tea tinged the air, and coloured sand speckled the carpet. He had clearly been making the most of his day off.
“Hey,” he smiled, looking up at her. “How did it go?”
Seven tried to return his smile and failed. “The transmission was interrupted. Lieutenant Barclay did advise us that a stray dark matter comet was interfering with the signal from the MIDAS array.”
Chakotay placed the book face-down on the arm of the couch and sat up. “Did you get a chance to speak with your aunt at all?”
Unexpectedly, her throat tightened and moisture sprang to her eyes. Seven turned hastily and busied herself with straightening the already immaculate knick-knacks on top of the bureau.
“Seven?” He rose and came over to her, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
She should have known she couldn’t hide her distress from him. Turning, she kept her gaze level with his chest; one look in his eyes and she knew she would lose her composure.
“I did speak with her,” she answered. “I inquired after her health. If you recall, her last communication indicated she had been unwell.”
His hands rested on her shoulders. “And now?”
“My aunt has been diagnosed with Clarke’s Syndrome.”
“I’m so sorry,” he said softly
“It is in the early stages,” Seven said dully. “But the disease is degenerative and incurable. She will increasingly suffer from hallucinations, periods of dementia and severe joint pain.”
Chakotay wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair.
She returned the embrace, though between his firm hold and her swelling tears she was finding it difficult to breathe.
“She is my only living blood relative,” she managed in a strangled voice. “And now I will never meet her in person. It’s unlikely we will return to Earth before she dies.”
He pulled back enough to cup her face in his hands, his thumbs gently wiping away the moisture beneath her eyes.
“Irene may be your blood,” he told her. “But you have plenty of family right here on Voyager. And we’re not going anywhere.”
He kissed her then, his touch tender and soothing, and by the time their lips parted, hers had curved into a gentle smile.
They fit together perfectly: he tall and broad, she slight and delicate; his warm brown skin against the pale satin of hers. And the way they moved – smooth, graceful, natural – they appeared as attuned to one another as longtime dancing partners.
She watched them and found that her stomach was twisting, her hands shaking. She experienced an irrational urge to march over and break them apart, to push the woman out of her way and stake her rightful claim to her mate.
Forcing herself to analyse her emotional and physical reactions, Seven was honest enough to conclude that she was jealous.
An illogical emotion, she reminded herself sharply, and undeserved.
When the dance came to an end and Chakotay returned to her, however, she could not bring herself to return the kiss he pressed to her cheek, and she shrugged off the arm he wound around her waist.
“What is it?” he asked her, frowning.
“Nothing,” she said flatly, “I’m fine.”
Chakotay’s eyebrows drew together as he studied her. “Let’s take a walk,” he suggested, his tone making it clear that refusal was not an option.
She inclined her head with reluctance, and he tucked her hand into his elbow and led her out of the banquet hall and into the garden. When they were out of sight of their crewmates – and their hosts – he let his hand drop and faced her.
“Want to tell me what’s going on?”
Seven pressed her lips together, but just as he was about to repeat his question the words burst from her like a torrent from a crumbled dam.
“I’ve ignored the rumours for years,” she said harshly. “All the people who warned me off, and the hostility when they first realised you and I were a couple. But it’s all true, isn’t it? What do they say – there’s no smoke without fire?”
“What the hell are you talking about?” he asked, but she could see in his eyes that he knew, and she wasn’t going to let him play innocent.
“I’m talking about you and Captain Janeway,” she grated out. “And don’t tell me there’s nothing between you, because I won’t believe you.”
For a moment he was silent. Then, “All right,” he said. “I won’t tell you that.”
She folded her arms and clenched her jaw to hide the sharp hurt his words inflicted.
Chakotay sighed and stepped back, running a hand through his hair. “There are years of history between us, Seven,” he said. “We’re closer than most captains and first officers ever become because of our circumstances. She’s my best friend. And yes, I once hoped it would be more, but that was years ago and she never felt the same way. So I got over it.”
“Did you?” she asked bitterly. “You appeared to still feel something more than friendship for her when you were dancing. And I don’t believe that feeling was one-sided.”
“You’re mistaken,” he said earnestly. “Kathryn flirts: it’s in her nature, and it’s difficult not to respond to that. But it means nothing. Not to her, and not to me.”
She stared at him, suspicious.
“It’s the truth,” he insisted, cautiously taking hold of her hands.
When she didn’t pull away he moved in closer, encouraged.
“Besides,” Chakotay said, lowering his voice as she tilted her face up to his, “I married you. And I love you.”
As his mouth descended toward hers, Seven just had time to reflect that jealousy really was a pointless and illogical emotion before his kiss rendered everything else irrelevant.
He held her with exquisite tenderness, his beloved face creased with anguish as tears fell from his eyes.
“Help her,” he begged, and though his gaze was fixed on hers, she knew he wasn’t addressing her. “Please, Doc, tell me she’s going to be all right.”
The Doctor, she knew, would have no reassurances for him.
She tried to smile. “Don’t leave me,” she rasped, each word a torment. “Don’t want to die … alone.”
“You’re not alone.” His voice was tight with fear. “And you’re not going to die. Doctor!”
“I’m sorry, Commander,” the EMH said quietly, closing his tricorder. “The damage to her spinal column is too severe. There’s nothing I can do.”
“What about her nanoprobes? Can’t you synthesise more, repair the damage –”
“I’m afraid it’s too late.” The Doctor rested his hand on Chakotay’s shoulder. “You should be with your wife now. I’ll be in my office.”
Trembling, Chakotay brushed a blood-soaked hank of hair from her forehead. “Why did you disobey orders?” he asked bleakly. “You knew the bridge was unstable. Why didn’t you get back to safety?”
Because Crewman Henley was in danger, Seven thought but couldn’t find the breath to say. I had to rescue her.
But he knew the answer already, so she only looked at him, drinking in the familiar lines of his features.
A scorching stab of agony ripped through her and she convulsed, crying out. Chakotay supported her as she writhed and moaned and finally lay still, exhausted.
“Don’t you die on me, Seven,” he pleaded. His hand found hers, clasped it gently where it lay limp on her chest.
“Sorry,” she breathed. “Have to … disobey orders again.”
He made a choked sound.
“Forgive me?” She tried to command her fingers to squeeze his but they wouldn’t respond. “Can’t hold on.”
“Okay,” he said through trembling lips. “It’s okay. You have nothing to be sorry for. I’ve got you.”
“Hurts,” she whispered. She arched as fire tore along her spine again, and Chakotay shifted his hold on her.
“What can I do?” he asked her helplessly.
Panting to keep the pain at bay, she tried to focus on him. “Distract … me,” she managed. “Make me feel alive.” While I still am, she added silently.
In desperation he bent to kiss her, his mouth touching hers so lightly she barely felt it at all. Seven parted her lips, wanting to mingle his breath with the last of her own. I love you, she sent him, wishing she had the strength to say it aloud.
He answered her by deepening the kiss until it grew ardent and fierce, and with the last of her fading will she clung to him, filling her senses with this most vital expression of human existence, as though she could beat back the encroaching darkness.
But in the end, even the kiss of life could not divert death from its inexorable advance.