Trick of the Light
Summary: “I can understand the appeal, even if I am the villain in it,” he went on. “But you know what they say… everyone loves a bad boy.”
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: I was peer-pressured into adding a second chapter to this story. Written to the following dialogue prompts: "Did you enjoy yourself last night?" and "You stand there and accuse me, but where were you at the time?"
A Worst Case Scenario episode tag.
“Did you enjoy yourself last night in the holodeck?”
Her stride faltered and she shot a quick sideways glance at him. “I beg your pardon, Commander?”
Chakotay did his best to keep his expression free of guile. “The governess program, was it? Or did you go for a sail?”
He had to give her credit; Captain Janeway recovered quickly. “You realise, of course, that private holodeck time is just that, Commander – private?”
“My apologies, Captain.” Chakotay followed her into the turbolift and took up position at her left shoulder.
She was standing ramrod-straight, and the devil inside prompted him to lean in close and lower his voice to a murmur.
“You know, if you ever get bored with your usual programs, I might know of a new one that’s considerably more … stimulating.”
She stiffened even further.
“At least, plenty of the crew seem to think so. Thirty-three of them, to be exact.”
The captain’s shoulders hunched, and Chakotay leaned around to see her biting her lip. He grinned. Anyone would think she had a guilty conscience.
“I can understand the appeal, even if I am the villain in it,” he went on. “But you know what they say… everyone loves a bad boy.”
She turned to face him full-on, arms folded, glare in place. “All right, Commander. Since you’re so well-informed about this new holonovel, I’m sure you’re well aware that I’ve accessed it too.”
Chakotay tried to contain his smirk.
“I was curious,” she defended. “And I’m still curious. I want to know who wrote that thing, and I want to know now.”
“Don’t ask me,” he raised his hands, “I’m as much in the dark as you are.”
To his surprise, before she turned away he caught the faintest flicker of a smile at the edge of her mouth.
The moment the turbolift doors opened she strode out onto the bridge, ordering the senior staff to the briefing room, where to Chakotay’s delight she insisted that Tuvok, unmasked as the mystery holonovel author, continue the story.
“Harmless fun,” she’d called it.
Harmless fun! Chakotay shook his head. If he’d known she was going to feel that way, he might have had the nerve to ‘fess up…
He still couldn’t quite believe it had happened, or that he’d had the nerve to go through with it.
Getting caught with his pants down – literally – in the midst of a holo-mutiny hadn’t been his plan when he’d activated the program. In the beginning he’d played out the scenario as it was programmed, but playing the ingénue to his doppelganger’s instigator had gotten old pretty quickly. So he’d switched places with the Maquis version of himself. That had been a hell of a lot more entertaining.
At least, until the holographic Seska had put the moves on him.
He should have known she had an ulterior motive when she demanded to see him in conference – in the captain’s quarters, because it was the only place she believed wouldn’t be bugged. Chakotay had gone along with it. If he was honest with himself, he’d been curious about Kathryn’s bedroom and figured this was the only chance he’d ever have to get a look at it.
Even if it was only a holographic version.
Apparently, the holo-version of himself had already made himself at home – the picture of Kathryn with her dog and fiancé lay face down on the nightstand, her books were piled up on the recliner chair, and a pair of boots he recognised as his own were scattered across the floor. Seska had watched him in annoyance as Chakotay opened the closet, hoping to find some of the captain’s clothes in there, but the only clothing in there belonged to someone a good deal taller and broader.
He’d shut the closet and sat on the edge of the bed, asking Seska what she wanted to see him about. He probably shouldn’t have been so surprised when, instead of answering, she grabbed his wrists and shoved him back on the bed, laying her body out on top of his, but she’d had his shirt ripped open and his pants yanked down before he managed to yell, “Computer, deactivate Seska hologram!”
She’d completely ruined the clothes he was wearing. Disgusted, Chakotay stripped off and headed for the closet to find replacements. And that was when he’d heard the door to the captain’s quarters slide open.
All logic flew out of his head. He was about to be caught buck-naked in the captain’s bedroom! Completely forgetting he was in a holoprogram, he’d scrambled for the bed, barely pulling up the sheet before the intruder entered. With his arm over his eyes he couldn’t tell who it was. He was concentrating on calming his breathing when he heard her speak.
“Computer, freeze program!”
As it turned out, Seska wasn’t finished with them yet. Chakotay watched in admiration as Kathryn worked feverishly to outwit the holo-Seska, managing to save Tom and Tuvok in the nick of time, not to mention the ship.
Sitting beside her on the bridge now – she every inch the captain, cool and composed – he couldn’t resist needling her, just a little bit.
“So, now that the bugs have been ironed out, are you planning on trying out the program again, Captain?”
She shot him a quelling look. “I think I’ve had enough of holo-surprises for now.”
“Oh? That’s a shame.” Chakotay let his fingers slide over the console they shared, watching her surreptitiously. “Seems to me we could all use a little escapism now and then. You know, play out a few scenarios we’d secretly love to try.” He flashed her his best dimpled grin. “I’ll bet there’s more Maquis in you than you’d care to admit… Ensign.”
Her eyes narrowed dangerously. “Commander, would you join me in my ready room, please?”
“Aye, Captain,” he said smoothly.
She nodded to Rollins to take the bridge as he followed her into the ready room, where she immediately rounded on him, hands on hips.
“It was you,” she accused furiously. “Don’t try to deny it.”
Chakotay adopted an at-ease posture and a poker-face.
“I should have known,” she bit out, starting to pace. “Commander, this is a very serious breach of Starfleet protocol. I could have you thrown in the brig for this!” She stopped directly in front of him, chin thrust out. “Well? Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
"You stand there and accuse me of breaching protocol,” he replied calmly, “but where were you at the time, Captain? As I recall, you weren’t exactly pushing me away."
“So, how would you like to handle this? Shall I ask Tuvok to step in here and write us both up? Me for making sexual advances to a superior officer – which, incidentally, is not a breach of protocol unless those advances are considered harassment – and you for inappropriate use of a holographic representation of a crewmember?” He leaned in, lowering his voice. “Be sure to ask for the third brig along. I hear it has the best view of the guard’s station.”
Her shoulders sagged. “Are you blackmailing me, Commander?”
“Not at all.” Chakotay allowed a smile to escape. “I have no intention of pressing charges against you, Captain.”
He took her elbow and she let him guide her to the couch on the upper level.
“Kathryn,” he sat forward, taking her hands in his, “we kissed. Granted, you didn’t know it was me at the time, but I don’t think you can deny you’re attracted to me any longer.”
“That has nothing to do with –”
“We kissed,” he interrupted her firmly, “and guess what? The ship’s still flying, the warp core hasn’t breached, and we’re still doing our duty just like we always have. Nothing has to change out there,” he waved in the direction of the bridge, “just because we’re a little closer in our off-duty hours.”
Kathryn arched an eyebrow at him. “Just how close are you suggesting we get?”
“That’s entirely up to you,” he replied, “but if I might make a suggestion?”
“Go ahead,” she said warily.
“Why don’t we cross each barrier as we come to it?” He raised one hand to cup her face. “We could start by spending some time together.”
She leaned slightly into his palm, a smirk flirting with the corners of her lips. “I have heard there’s a new holoprogram we could try.”
Chakotay widened his eyes at her. “Sounds like a bit of harmless fun to me.”
“Well, that depends on whether you’re willing to play the bad boy… Captain.”
His thumb stroked over her cheekbone and he smiled as her eyes drifted closed. “Are you saying you like me in leather?”
Kathryn gave him a lazy smile under half-lidded eyes. “In leather. Or in less.”
His delighted chuckle was cut off by the press of her lips on his.