Seven Minutes in Heaven
Summary: He muttered something that involved the phrases “your tongue” and “plenty sharp enough”, and she stiffened, wishing the impact of her glare wasn’t so lessened by the low lighting.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Prompted by a chat about being stuck in a closet with Chakotay for seven minutes. Set just after the opening scenes of Survival Instinct (just after Equinox).
--- 420 seconds ---
The only light in the storage locker came from the faint red glow of the locking mechanism. The soundproofing was so complete that, as soon as the door was sealed, they couldn’t hear a thing from the corridor outside.
“D’you think they saw us?”
She felt, rather than saw, Chakotay shrug; it was close quarters in here, and she wiggled a little to give him some room. His sharp intake of breath startled her.
“What is it? Did I hurt you?”
“No,” he said tightly. “Just … don’t wriggle like that.”
“Why not?” She half-turned, squinting to see his face, and her hip pressed into his groin. Her eyes widened. “Oh.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Nervous, Kathryn shifted again and caught herself when Chakotay’s hands settled firmly on her hips. “Kathryn, for the love of God, would you keep still?”
She nodded, holding herself rigid. The seconds ticked by in silence.
“Do you suppose they’ve gone yet?” she asked eventually.
--- 360 seconds ---
She felt the soft cotton of Chakotay’s undershirt brush her cheek as he leaned in a little, straining to hear something, anything, through the solid duranium hatch. “I can’t tell. Did you see how many of them there were?”
“There were five or six in the corridor. Who knows how many are on board, though?” She sighed. “If only we had our commbadges.”
“It was your idea to reroute all communications to Tuvok,” he pointed out, somewhat testily.
“I didn’t want any interruptions while I whipped your butt at hoverball. And whose idea was it to hide in here, anyway? The armoury is one door down and it’s a lot more spacious.”
“Did you want to risk them seeing us?” he demanded. “We’re safe in here.”
“Personally I’d feel safer in a room full of weapons.”
He muttered something that involved the phrases “your tongue” and “plenty sharp enough”, and she stiffened, wishing the impact of her glare wasn’t so lessened by the low lighting.
“Do you have something to say to me, Commander?”
--- 300 seconds ---
He sighed. “No. I’m sorry, Captain. I’m just – anxious to get out of here.”
Unexpectedly, a lump rose in her throat. Had she so badly ruined their friendship with her recent irrational – no, be honest Kathryn, insane – behaviour that he couldn’t even stand to be in the same room as her anymore?
The hoverball game had been her tentative attempt to get their friendship back on track. Boy, had that backfired. There were God knew how many aliens running around her ship right now, and all the two of them could do was bicker with each other.
“I’m sorry, too,” she blurted.
To her surprise, he chuckled. “We keep apologising to each other.”
“You have nothing to apologise for, Chakotay.” She turned to face him fully, her hand resting on his chest as she strained to see him in the almost-darkness. “And I’m sure I’m the last person you want to be stuck here with right now.”
“Hey,” he said, his hands tightening on her hips. “Don’t – that’s not it at all. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with you.”
“Then what?” She crinkled up her nose in confusion.
--- 240 seconds ---
He huffed out a short laugh, and she shivered at the warmth of it tickling her hair. “It’s just that…. Well, being here with you, like this… it’s not easy for me. But not in the way you were assuming.”
She felt him shift on his feet and her heartbeat kicked up a little at the brush of his thigh against hers.
“You don’t realise what you do to me, Kathryn.”
Her eyes went wide at the low undercurrent of need in his voice. “I didn’t – I had no idea you still felt that way. Especially after –”
“Always,” he cut her off. “I’ve always felt this way.” He sounded resigned. “I probably always will.”
“Chakotay,” she said softly.
“Don’t worry about it, Captain. It’s my problem, not yours.”
Kathryn felt the warmth of his hands on her hips, not pressing or restraining, just holding, solid and tender and supportive. How like the man himself. She raised her other hand so that it, too, rested over his heart.
Her voice was low. “Why does it have to be a problem?”
--- 180 seconds ---
“Kathryn?” He sounded startled.
Swallowing the fears and the doubts and the remonstrations echoing in her head, she curled her fingers into his shirt. “I think we’ve established, especially recently, that we can’t function as a command team if we turn away from each other,” she tried to explain. “Our recent experiences were a wake-up call for me, Chakotay. It made me realise how important it is that we trust each other unconditionally.”
He lifted one hand to take hers, listening intently.
“And,” she hesitated, her other hand raising to rest against his jaw, “it made me realise just how important you are to me. As my first officer and my best friend, and…”
“And?” he almost whispered.
“And as more,” she said softly, sliding her arms around his neck.
--- 120 seconds ---
The wave of sensation that swept through her as his lips touched hers made her gasp.
In the faint light she pulled back to stare at him, reading the same shock in his eyes that she’d felt, like touching a live plasma relay. And then his arms were around her, hauling her close, and he was kissing her again, not lightly this time but with a need so intense she moaned.
All she wanted to do was to tear off his clothes so she could crawl inside his skin. She yanked up his shirt, spreading her hands over his stomach as he fumbled with the closure of her leggings. Hampered by the close quarters of the storage locker, their hands bumped each other’s in their haste to tug at fabric, their breath coming in gasps and groans. She whimpered impatiently and Chakotay abandoned her clothing in favour of sliding his hands under her thighs to lift her and press her back against the bulkhead.
--- 60 seconds ---
She stumbled, falling back against the hatch, and her hip bumped the locking mechanism. The latch popped open and the pair of them tumbled suddenly out into the corridor – which was, blessedly, empty. Chakotay leapt to his feet and hauled her upright, checking her over for bruises.
“I’m okay,” Kathryn assured him, hastily straightening her clothing. She couldn’t stop grinning, despite how risky their utter lack of control had been.
He put his hands on her shoulders. “No regrets?”
“Not one.” She cupped his cheek. “We should have dinner tonight. To talk.”
“Talk,” he gave her a dirty grin that made her shiver. “Yes.”
“Then, Commander, since the coast appears to be clear,” she stepped back and glanced pointedly along the corridor, “let’s go take back our ship.”
As they fell into step toward the turbolift, he added, “I forgot to ask – why were you so keen to avoid the Markonians that you dragged me into a storage locker, anyway?”
She sent him a mock-outraged glance. “Who do you think gave me that damn plant?”
“Ah.” Chakotay’s dimples appeared as he leaned in close and whispered, “And here I was thinking that plant was my only chance to keep you immobilised long enough to kiss you…”
“Immobilised, huh?” She smirked at him. “Is that a particular fantasy of yours, Commander?”
The devilish gleam in his eye told her she had no idea what was about to hit her.