Of Kings and Fortune
Summary: Sometimes, context is best left to the imagination.
Characters: Lorca, Janeway
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager and Discovery universes and their characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Written shortly after the airing of Star Trek: Discovery episode 3 "Context is for Kings", because Helen8462 wanted Janeway/Lorca, and who am I to resist?
The captain’s quarters are nearly silent. Nearly, but for the soft hum of the engines and the sound of their calmed breath. She turns her face into his chest, inhaling the warm scent of him. The warmth of human contact that she’s been so long without.
“I know all about you,” she says, softly.
The dark edge of her words makes him smile; from the moment he met her she has intrigued him. “What do you know?”
“Oh,” she smiles faintly as she pillows her chin on folded arms, “there’s very little in the database, and what’s there is highly classified. But I have clearance.”
“And what does your clearance tell you, Captain?” His fingers drift lightly down her spine and she shivers.
“I know that history is divided on you. Some think you’re a visionary, a king among men. Others think you’re insane.”
“History is all about context, and context is for kings.” He grins at her. “What do you think?”
With one fingertip she traces the hawk-like bridge of his nose, her expressive eyes thoughtful. “I think you’re ambitious and clever and very, very brave. And I think you’re utterly ruthless.”
He reaches up to cup her face, his fingers pressing just a little too hard on her delicate jaw. Her gaze sharpens.
“I think you like that about me,” he says. “And I think you like it because you understand it. You understand me.”
“Oh?” She pulls back a fraction and he tightens his arm around her waist, pressing her body into his. “Why do you think that, Captain?”
“Because you’re exactly the same way.” He leans up to capture her lower lip between his teeth, enjoying her sharp inhale. “You’re ambitious,” his hand flattens low on her back, “and clever,” he holds her to him as he shifts her onto her back, “and very brave,” he tips her head back and bites lightly at her neck.
She tries to stifle a whimper and he laughs.
“And just like me,” he murmurs hotly in her ear, “you are,” he spreads her thighs with his own, “utterly,” he guides himself into position, holding her face between his palms and her gaze with his, “ruthless.”
Her moan as he thrusts into her is as wild and as thrilling as a battle cry.
Sprawled on the bed with his hands linked behind his head, he watches her fasten the unfamiliar uniform.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get what you came for,” he tells her, and he really is sorry.
“It was a vain hope, I suppose.” She shrugs, glancing over her shoulder with that half-smile he knows he’s going to see in his dreams for a long time to come. “At least I got to see it.”
He remembers the pure joy in her eyes as he stepped into the cubicle with her, as the spores scattered light and space around them. He finds it delightful that she, who’s seen far more of the galaxy than he ever will, was still enthralled by alien vistas that should seem commonplace to her by now.
“It’s not the first time it hasn’t worked out, and it probably won’t be the last,” she muses as she attaches the pips to her collar. “I suppose I’m becoming a little desperate.”
He suspects she’s not really talking to him, but he answers her anyway. “Desperation can make for strange fortunes.”
“Yes, it can.” The half-smile blossoms into a grin that makes his heart lurch dangerously, and unexpectedly. “And sometimes fortune can be both strange and wonderful.”
“Speaking of which…” He slides out of bed, padding naked to the outer room, to the bowl on his desk. When he returns to his bedroom, she’s waiting with hands clasped lightly behind her back, chin tilted in inquiry. He holds out his hand, uncurls his fingers. In his palm rests a single fortune cookie.
“Ah.” She quirks an eyebrow at him. “Now this is something the history books agree on.”
For a moment he’s affronted. Everything he’s ever achieved, everything he believes he will achieve, and the rich context of his life’s work will be reduced to nothing more than an amusing footnote. But then the absurdity strikes him – that history will one day recall him as the man whose fortune was made through selling fortunes – and Gabriel Lorca laughs out loud.
She takes the cookie from his open hand. When she cracks it open and reads the message, it’s her turn to laugh.
“What does it say?”
She crumples the slip of paper, tucking it into a hidden pocket. “Let’s just say it’s advice I’d do well to heed.” Stepping forward, she links her arms around his waist, pressing up against him, her face lifted for a last, lazy kiss.
“Come over here,” he murmurs as they separate, and leads her toward the viewport.
The stars are diamonds on black velvet. Somewhere out there are nebulae and undiscovered planets and Klingons. Behind and beside and around them are the vast distances he has yet to travel. And, unimaginably far away, the time and the place where she belongs.
“No matter how deep in space you are, you always feel like you can see home,” he says. “Don’t you think?”
The smile flirting at the corners of her mouth is wry and sad, and dangerously endearing.
“Yes,” says Kathryn Janeway, fitting her fingers into his as they stand side by side. “I feel that way, too.”