your body like a searchlight
Summary: It’s a long and lonely journey for a woman who longs for things she won’t allow herself to have.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Codes: Janeway/Johnson, Janeway/Chakotay, Janeway/Kashyk, Janeway/Seven, Janeway/Sullivan, Janeway/Jaffen
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Star Trek universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
5. Michael Sullivan
Just take this longing from my tongue, all the useless things my hands have done
Did you have intimate relations?
That’s none of your business. Let’s just say it was a memorable three days.
Memorable, yes. Michael Sullivan takes her on picnics, flirts with her, pays her compliments. He makes her feel like she’s a woman, not just pips and a uniform. That, in itself, is a novelty she hasn’t enjoyed for over five years.
And yes, she kissed him. She let him ease her down on that blanket in a field of waving grasses, let him slide his hand under her skirts and press his lips to her décolletage. She let him slip his fingers inside her drawers and stroke her to a gasping, trembling climax.
But fuck him? No.
As soon as her breathing slowed, she’d pushed his hand away and deactivated his program.
She tells the Doctor that Michael had fallen asleep and begun to snore, and she’d been about to change his parameters, but the truth of it is this: in the face of the Doctor’s professional counsel and Chakotay’s smug advice and Tom Paris’ fawning concern, she can’t even bring herself to use her walking, talking, holographic vibrator as she’s designed him.
More, she can’t bear the idea of letting him hold her through the afterglow. Because her orgasm might be real, but he is not.
Kathryn curls up in her customary spot on the couch beneath her viewport. She’s wearing a stretched old tank top and track pants she’s had since the academy; the tank is tight across her breasts and there’s a coffee stain on her thigh, but it doesn’t matter. These are her comfort clothes, soft and well-worn, and at this moment she needs something familiar to ground her. She needs something real.
She’s tired of dressing up, of playing a part, whether it’s Captain Janeway or Katie O’Clare. And it’s not as if she’s expecting an audience –
The door chimes, and Kathryn utters a disbelieving, frustrated sigh. “Enter.”
Chakotay steps into her quarters with his head bent to a padd, an affectation that doesn’t fool her for a minute.
“What is it, Commander?” she demands, her tone as uninviting as her body language.
“Status report on the hull fracture repairs. B’Elanna estimates three days until we’re back to full structural integrity. That neutronic wavefront really packed a punch.”
Kathryn takes the padd ungraciously, skims it and tosses it onto the coffee table.
Chakotay remains standing at ease in front of her. He’s too smart to fully relax, and smart enough to school his expression.
“If there’s nothing else,” she growls, “you’re dismissed, Commander.”
“Actually,” and apparently he’s not smart enough to take a damn hint, “there is.”
Kathryn crosses one leg over the other, folds her hands on her knee and stares at him.
Chakotay lowers himself to sit beside her. He’s watching her, and the latent heat in his eyes makes her avert her own.
“Are you all right, Kathryn?”
“I’m sorry about Fair Haven.”
It’s not a question, but he narrows his eyes and answers her anyway.
“Yes, I am. It was important to you.” Chakotay pauses. “He’s important to you.”
Her skin itches. “He’s a hologram.”
I never let that stand in my way.
“It’s not real,” she mutters. “He isn’t real.”
She feels his fingers on the back of her hand and her breath catches.
“I’m real,” he says.
Kathryn can’t help the widening of her eyes as his meaning sinks in.
Can I? she wonders, studying him. Can we?
He’s still hunched forward on the edge of the couch, the tips of his fingers resting lightly on her hand and barely-veiled heat in his eyes. And she’s tempted – so tempted – even sways forward a fraction as her gaze drops to his mouth, so close…
She looks up again, and there’s the briefest flicker of something else in his eyes, and everything in her recoils.
“Get out,” she grates. “I don’t need your pity, Chakotay.”
“Kathryn, that’s not –”
He nods, withdraws his hand from hers, and makes for the door, where he pauses.
“I don’t pity you, Kathryn,” he says without turning. “But if that’s really what you think, maybe you’re better off with your hologram.”
Then he’s gone, and she turns her face to the stars, biting her lip and telling herself the tears in her eyes are from anger, not humiliation.
Maybe I just needed to be sure that he’d love me back.