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5: Reflections


Chakotay reflected on the strange dream that he had on his way to the bridge. 'I can't believe that I dreamt that I was involved with the Captain', he thought. 'I'm going to have to be careful, it seems lately that she can read me with one glance. He made his way into the ready room as soon as he entered the bridge. The captain had called for him and he was curious to find out why.

"Chakotay, you are not going to believe what long range sensors have picked up!". She was correct, he didn't believe it. They were going to be within range of a star going supernova within the next thirty hours. In the history of Starfleet, they would be the third of their vessels to witness the phenomena.

There were a lot of preparations to be made and Chakotay threw himself into them. He made it a point to visit the respective departments and go over the procedures that he wanted in place the personnel who would be on duty. He spent some time in engineering, science and Astrometics going over the calibrations and testing of various pieces of equipment to ensure that no malfunction was going to occur in the middle of the phenomena. In short, he avoided the bridge and the Captain for the rest of his ship. He used the computer to transfer all reports to the Captain in her ready room, were she spent her entire shift making sure that the bridge was ready to investigate the supernova.

When his shift was over, he went to the holodeck to try out the new holo-resort program that Neelix, Harry and Tom had designed. There he spent a couple hours on talking with various crewmembers. and played a round of Volleyball. By the time he was walking back to his quarters it was 0100 hrs and he was exhausted. As he stood in the turbolift waiting for his deck, he was thinking of what he had been doing. He was avoiding the Captain.

He had no choice. He wasn't even going to begin to think of the implications of propositioning the Captain. Not only to their working relationship, but also to their friendship, their connection. Back in his quarters, he grabbed a PADD with the latest up date on the information that the Beta-Shift had gathered and went to work. He fell asleep in his lounger at 0230 hrs.

Chakotay arose before his wake up call at 0530 am. He dressed quickly and headed to the bridge. He was grateful that he did not have a repeat of the dream. When he arrived, he was surprised to see the Captain there.

"How long have you been on the bridge?"

She looked at him sheepishly, "Oh, since 2100 hrs last night."

He grinned at her. No reaction, so far so good. "Ordinarily I would send you straight to bed, but today is too big a day for that, let's get to work"

The supernova was awesome, that was the only word for it. When it was over and the respective bridge visitors went back to their workstations, Kathryn wanted to get started right away on analyzing the data that they had just collected. This time, he put his foot down and ordered her to bed. She didn't complain.

She wasn't gone for more than 10 min when she hailed the bridge.

"Janeway to Bridge"

"Chakotay here captain, I thought you were going to get some sleep."

"I've just had a visit from Q. He's gone now, but I want to be notified if he re-appears again or something odd starts happening."

"Acknowledged. What did he want?"

"Let's just say he had a personal request to make."

Chakotay's blood ran cold and he could feel his heart hammering against his chest.


"I'm not sure what he's really up to but I have a feeling he'll be back. Janeway out."

With that she closed the link. Chakotay sat down with the PADD in hand and began a set of logical arguments to calm himself down. He was angry and jealous and most of all amazed at what he felt.

'All she said was that he had a personal request, you don't know if he wanted to run off Kathryn. Why are you acting like this? Even if he did want to run off with her, what business is that of yours Kathryn is a close friend, not your lover, nor your wife. Besides you know Kathryn, there's Mark and she'd never leave her ship. Calm down!!!' Slowly he began to do just that.

He had a troubled night, but again no repeat of the dream that had invaded his sleep two nights ago. He couldn't get what Kathryn said out of his mind. Just what was it that Q wanted? He knew he would have no peace until he asked.

At 0700 hrs, he handed the Captain the reports that he and Ensign Kim had prepared before the end of his last shift. She didn't look as if she had a better night than he did.

"Anything else?"

"Have you heard anything more from Q?"

She hadn't. Chakotay wasn't going to let it go

"I was wondering just what you meant when you said that he had a personal request"

There was a little silence before Kathryn answered, "He wants to mate with me"

There was no way to hide his reaction, it was all on his face for a moment. He pushed his hands on the desk as if to channel his anger to the floor. Chakotay recovered in time to realize that Kathryn was still speaking. His brain had processed the fact that she thought that Q had a hidden agenda that had nothing to do with mating with her.

"Maybe" He said carefully.

He was surprised when Kathryn put her hand on his arm and said softly,


"I know that I don't have any right to feel this way but this bugs the hell out of me." It felt good to tell her about it. He hadn't forgotten why they were good friends.

Q interrupted them. Unfortunately her accurately described Chakotay's feelings. He was relieved when the Kathryn told him there was no one else and her answer was still no. As he followed her out of the Ready Room, his mind could help but wonder about her having no one else. Had she given up on Mark?

The next couple of days, with Q's sudden appearances and the events that ensued, keep Chakotay's mind off his feelings somewhat. He was gratified that there was indeed an ulterior motive for Q wanting to mate with Kathryn and that he had finally settled down and mated with his own kind.

However, at the end of it all, Q's charge came back to haunt him. He had been jealous and it did not help that for the two days prior, he was having dreams in which he was her lover. Thankfully, he was on beta-shift this week so he had little interaction with Kathryn. Chakotay did not want the Captain to notice his jealous behavior. He hadn't contacted his spirit guide for more than a week, but he felt drawn to doing so. He needed to think.

He headed to the Holodeck from engineering. He decided to run a program for a little while. He had just spoken to B'Elanna about a problem that she was having with the shield generators after their little excursion in the Continuum. She promised to have a report to him on the simulation that they had suggested within the hour. He had run into Lt. Kingston while he was leaving Engineering and spent another 45mins addressing her analysis of some of the data that they had collected during the first supernova. Somehow, his duties were crowding him and since they weren't in Red Alert, he figured he escape for a while.

He selected the program that he wanted and entered the holodeck. Immediately some sense of quiet came to him. He lost himself in Nature's paintbrush that was surrounding him. It was a beautiful sunset. He'd always loved the way the sun turned orange and rays of light scattered off the ocean. The warmth of the air caressed him as he made himself comfortable on one of the rocks on the cliff overlooking the beach. He observed the waves breaking on the shore and his mind began to wonder.

"Excuse me Commander?"

"Yes Tom, what can I do for you?" Chakotay sighed.

"I'm sorry to interrupt. B'Elanna said that you wanted these as soon as possible. I thought that you'd be on the bridge or in your office. Since it was on my way, I told her that I would deliver them to you."


Tom hesitated for a minute and Chakotay gave him a questioning look. Paris wasn't usually the type of person to think before he spoke.

"May I join you?"

Chakotay gestured to a rock next to him. 'Well there goes my quiet time' he thought. Tom sat down and Chakotay turned his attention back to the sunset. Whenever Tom was ready to speak he would listen. His mind wandered.

Kathryn. What had happened? Where did that dream come from? And why did it precipitate this chain of events? Did he somehow or the other *sense* what Q was going to want of Kathryn?. He began to look at the time that he spent together with her, on duty and off.

As the Captain and Commander, they worked well together. The crew was certainly one now, there were no divisions. After leaving Kazon and Vidian space, they seemed to be encountering more friendly races. They were no longer under the constant threat of attack. They did a lot more of scientific study than warfare and that was always one area where they were always in agreement of how to proceed.

As Kathryn and Chakotay, their friendship had been cemented and was now blossoming. They were getting closer and closer. They had laid vulnerable parts of themselves bare for the other to see, trusting that it would not be crushed. They supported each other through all the demands that this quadrant and command had placed on them, without undermining or compromising the position of each other. And they were a lot more physically demonstrative and affectionate with each other.

Chakotay suddenly had a feeling that some one had slapped him upside the head with a piece of bulkhead.

Of course he was beginning to be romantically attracted to her again. They were sharing their mind hearts and souls. They were soulmates. He wanted to possess all of her, and if he did, he knew that there would be no turning back. Just like in his dream.

Chakotay shifted thoughts. He knew that she had made no motion for getting romantically involved with him. His mind came back to what she had told Q in her ready room. There was no one else. If she had moved on from Mark and there was no one else, then she obviously wasn't interested, so then he had to let it go. The one thing he was sure of throughout everything, was that he wanted their friendship to deepen. He wasn't sure how far they could have before both would have to confront the development of the romantic feelings between them. But he would embark on that journey with her. He knew that he was free to develop a relationship with anyone else. So would she. If his reaction to Q was any indication of what he was capable of , he prayed that he would be over Kathryn before she got involved with anyone else.

"The things I'd do for friendship" He muttered aloud in wonder.

"Funny Commander, I was just thinking the same thing." Chakotay jumped slightly. He had forgotten that Tom was there.

Tom was getting up and he did the same. The sun had set and the stars in the sky was the only light available to guide them out of the holodeck.

"What was the name of that program?" Tom asked. Chakotay told him.

"Do you mind if I use it sometime?"

"No, help yourself"

The doors open and spit them into the corridor. Tom turned to Chakotay and said very quietly.

"Thanks Chakotay, I needed that."

Without thinking, Chakotay responded,

"Anytime Tom." The younger man nodded and walked down the corridor.

Chakotay watched him go. He knew something important had just happened between he and the Lt., but he had no idea what. Sighing he made his way back to the office with B'Elanna's analysis in hand.


Kathryn woke up with a feeling of warmth spreading through her body. She lay on the bed for a minute still in a half dream and half-awake state enjoying it.

'It's been too damn long' she thought.

The computer broke the spell

"0600hrs, 0600hrs, 0600 hrs..."

Kathryn jumped up with a start.

"Computer, end wake up call"

She couldn't believed that she had dreamed that she was in love with Chakotay. If he ever found out in anything she did around him, she would be so embarrassed. That was the problem with trying to hide something from your best friend. Speaking of the devil, she realized that she starting the day with breakfast....with Chakotay.

'Well in that case', she thought 'I'd better get moving'

She hurried to get ready.

As she was about to enter the Messhall, Chakotay joined her. As was his custom, he put his hand on her shoulder blade to signal his greeting.

"Good morning Kathryn, sleep well?"

She turned and drank in the sight of him, and said nothing.

"Are you all right Kathryn?"

"Yes, you just startled me that's all, yes I slept well last night thank you. And you?"

"Yes I had a good night, thanks"

When they entered the Messhall, they say Kes, Tom, B'Elanna and Harry having breakfast together. She saw the solution to her problem for breakfast.

"Let's join them, Chakotay, it's been a long time since we've all have had a meal together."


They collected their breakfast and came up to the table.

Kes spoke first, "Captain, Commander, please join us,"

"Thank you Kes"

"Harry was just telling us of the latest practical joke that he played on Tom." B'Elanna said as Chakotay sat next to her and Kathryn sat across from him.

They had a pleasant breakfast. During the whole conversation, Kathryn couldn't help but look at Chakotay and once or twice when he caught her look and stared back, she began to have a reaction again. Her heart hammered in her chest and her knees felt weak. She engaged herself in a conversation with B'Elanna, but her eyes kept drifting back to Chakotay. Finally, she figured that she'd had enough of it.

"Excuse me, I have to return to my quarters before going on the bridge."

The group took their cue from her and began gathering their trays. They all filed out passed Chakotay and Kathryn. He looked at her and said softly,

"I'll see you on the bridge". He made eye contact and after a little while and left to go to the bridge.

She felt the reaction occur within her again and gave a long sigh. It was going to be one of those days.

By the time, three hours had passed on the bridge, Kathryn was ready to start screaming. No matter how many logical arguments she attempted, no matter how many times she tried to avoid his looks, it made no difference. She was still reacting to being in close proximity to him. She had caught herself once or twice meaning to touch him briefly and realizing that her hands had stayed on his body too long. She was not concentrating on what she was supposed to be doing.

She excused herself and went to her Ready Room and put all of her energies into the report she was supposed to be reading. Slowly her thoughts left Chakotay. But not for long. The door chime sounded.

"Come in"

Chakotay entered, she reacted physically and emotionally.

"Yes Commander what can I do for you?" she snapped.

Chakotay took her terse reply to signal that she had been interrupted her train of thought. He was used to that tone of voice in that situation, so he ignored it and got down to the reason for his visit.

"Captain, I think that I should take a shuttle with a crewmember and do a little scouting. There must be a shorter way through the Necrid expanse and we may be able to see things with a shuttle sensors that we can't see with Voyager's sensors because of all the interference."

She looked up at him. "That sounds like an excellent idea, Commander. I do think thought that we may want to upgrade the shuttle's Navigation to compensate...." They got to work and soon Kathryn was too involved with planning the mission, than with his presence. They planned the rendezvous point for the shuttle for two days. They figured that it would gave Chakotay and Ensign Kaplan enough time to do all the scouting they would need.

'And it also gives me time away from his presence, and in the state that I am in, that is a huge bonus' she thought as she watched him leave the ready room.

As soon as Chakotay left at 1200hrs, she noticed that her thoughts were less on him and she was returning to normal. Normal being obsessing over the ship and crew instead of her first officer's body. By the time she returned to her quarters after dinner, she was exhausted, doing what she normally did in a day and part of what Chakotay did in a day. She hardly gave a thought to the night before or the morning's occurrences. She'd been on duty for 12 hrs and when she finally retired, she was almost asleep before her head hit the pillow.

Kathryn awoke with a low groan. She jumped suddenly off the bed as if it were on fire. She stood at the foot of it trying to get her breadth and her bearings. She tried to calm down. She had dreamt of Chakotay again, of being involved with him.

"Computer what is the time?"


Great, now she was late for duty. She was surprised that Tuvok hadn't called her to the bridge. She dressed quickly and hailed the bridge.

"Tuvok here Captain, are you feeling rested now?"

So that's why he didn't call her, he thought that she need rest after the long shift that she pulled yesterday. He must have had the computer confirm her position and condition.

"Yes Tuvok, however there is something I need to take care of before I get to the bridge. I will be there as soon as I can. Janeway out."

Kathryn thought about her dreams and wondered, if there was something else at work. She remembered B'Elanna's experience and decided to take extra precautions. She was comb the ship and the space around her because she had a weird dream involving Chakotay. But still, 'Weird was part of the job' as she had told Ensign Kim a year ago. She couldn't over look the possibility that something else was going on. It was the fact that it started at the same place that it had ended the previous night that unnerved her. It made it seem artificial somehow.

On the bridge, she ordered every conceivable scan done. Nothing had shown up. Kathryn still did not discount the possibility that it was probably something in space causing her to react the way the was. This was because their sensors still functioned in a limited way in the Necrid Expanse. So she ordered the scans run every two hours. It was still a quiet day on the bridge, so she busied herself with her duties. Nothing of interest was revealed by the scans. At the end of her shift, she ordered the sophisticated scans discontinued and they continued with the routine ones.

During her off duty time, she decided to prevent herself from having the dreams again by being exhausted by the time she was ready to go to bed. She did this by playing two games of velocity before dinner, having dinner in the messhall with Dalby, Henley, Golwatt and Ayala and getting into an interesting discussion about which period of music was Betazed's most beautiful. In her quarters she called up the reports which she had neglected to read because she had been busy analyzing the scans. Her eyes closed before she hit the pillow.

Kathryn awoke with Chakotay's name on her lips. When she realized that she had another dream despite of all she had done to prevent it, she threw the pillow which she slept on across the bedroom. It knocked over a vase.

'Great', she thought, 'Now I'm going to have to clean that up'.

She decided not to tell the doctor about it because of the fact that the dream was a non sequitur. And since Chakotay was scheduled to be in the shuttlecraft for one more day, the stimulus was not there. She felt she could handle it.

'It's just a cycle' she told herself firmly as if telling herself that would make all the feelings and happens of the past two days go away.

They did go away, but not because of anything she did, but because of something that Voyager encountered out in space.

A deactivated Borg Cube.

She had known that the day when they would encounter and possibly engage the Borg from the time they had left the Sikari. Now that day was one step closer. Her whole being focused on the tasks that were at hand.

Kathryn had been reacting to all the events that happened, from the time they encountered the disabled cube to the time that the New Co-Operative forced their will on Chakotay. She was the Captain, and they were in a serious situation. Her whole being was involved in ensuring the safety of her crew. Still when they got Chakotay, back and left the area of the planet with the New Co-Operative. Something pricket at her mind. Something about her behavior was bothering her.

The next 'normal day' after they departed the planet, she asked Chakotay to join her for breakfast, he declined saying that he had a lot of reports to catch up on. As she watching him go, the needling got worst.

'Maybe it's just the fact that I was on duty for 40 hrs in the past two days is catching up with me', she mused as she headed to the bridge. She was still behind a corner when she overheard two crewmen talking.

"I think she's jealous"

Kathryn stopped suddenly. She felt her heart rate accelerated and a growing rage inside her. 'How dare they judge! What did they know about the relationship that she and Chakotay had. What it was becoming. And now this *ex-drone* show up and..........'

"Well you've always known that Carol was the jealous type, that's why I keep telling you......"

"Good Morning Captain, are you alright?" Rell and Hargrove hailed her.

She suddenly became aware of how she must look to them. Her face was like a thundercloud, her hands made fists in front of her body. She looked ready to strike, no wonder they thought something was wrong with her. She relaxed her body.

"Yes, I am. Thank you for asking." She moved passed them quickly and entered an empty turbolift. She leaned against the wall for a minute composing herself. Slowly she tapped her commbadge.

"Janeway to Chakotay"

"Yes Captain."

"Please report to the bridge and take my position while I tend to something."

"Of course, Chakotay out."

The feelings were threatening to spin out of control. He didn't ask if something was wrong. She knew it was because he was still preoccupied by the things that occurred a day ago. And apparently, so was she.

Kathryn entered the holodeck and the gentle breeze off Lake George greeted her. As she made her way to the lakefront, she finally felt as if she was getting some control over her emotions. She wondered how this program could do this, considering the last time she had activated this particular scenario, she was with Chakotay.

It came to her as she made her way to the spot where they had talked after her "death/alien presence" experience. She sat down, lost in thought. It was here where she had shared her experience with him. The last time they were close as Kathryn and Chakotay. It was in this setting that they were last intimate as friends.

Kathryn had watched Chakotay and Riley talk and interact. She recognized the signs of him being intimate with some one else. When he admitted what the effects of the link had been, her suspicions were confirmed. He had been one with Riley in a way that he had never been with her. 'Like I had been in my dreams', she thought wistfully. This realization disturbed her so Kathryn shifted her thoughts.

She was jealous now, and she had been when he was with Riley. Kathryn recalled her actions in the briefing room when she was alone with Chakotay. 'I was prowling around him like a lioness marking trying to understand another woman's sent on my territory.' She gave a short laugh at that image. It was accurate, but funny.

It was a natural progression though. They had been drawing closer to each other. Not a day passed where they did not share something, some part of themselves with each other, professionally and personally. Within the last year, it seemed that they had put their natural discord aside and now operated in harmony. They seemed to be of one heart and of one mind. The only thing left, the only barrier that was left to cross was for them to become one body.

'Like he did with Riley'. And that was her bone of contention. She was the one who was here all the time, who did this Borg Bimbo think she was!!!

'Who do you think you are?' The thought flashed through her head. She was right. She didn't own Chakotay, he was perfectly free to be with whom ever he wanted to be with. If she had wanted that kind of relationship with him, she should have made that clear while she had a chance.

But she didn't. She wrestled with her thoughts

'Why? Was it because of Mark?

No, I put the notion of him waiting for me away from my mind. In another six months, if we don't make it home, Voyager would be declared lost. If I had been the one waiting in the alpha quadrant, I would have begun to move on, just as I am sure he has done.

Were you afraid that it would change the command structure if you did?

No, if it hadn't changed during the times that we were growing closer together then it wouldn't now. Both of us have been careful in not compromising and circumventing the other's position. I wouldn't expect that care and respect to change because we are intimately involved with each other. However we would have a problem if we couldn't keep our hands off each other.

How is this different from what happens now?


Were you afraid of what the crew might think?

Yes and no. I think that some will have problems with it, and it make take sometime for some to get used to the idea, but I am the captain and that is one thing that will never change. It doesn't matter if they approve or disapprove. I command their loyalty, and I know them, they will give it to me.

Were you afraid that if you had to send him on a suicide mission that you couldn't do it?

If I can do it now, then I can do it then. If something happens to him now, I know that I would be devastated. Three years ago I didn't even know his name, now I can't imagine a day without him. I can't see how much worst it would be get if we were to get involved. And you know I wouldn't hesitate to give the order. And you know him, he wouldn't let me.

Then what is it?

I guess I always thought that we had time. I never thought that I would care that there would be someone else.

So now what Kathryn?

Our friendship is something that is one of the most important things in my life, so....'

That statement struck her.

It was as complicated or as simple as that.

She just had to choose.

She did.

Suddenly Tom Paris stepped in the Holodeck. He stopped short when he saw the captain sitting near a lake instead of a shuttlecraft.

"Oh, I'm sorry Captain, I'm scheduled for holodeck flight simulations, and I usually have the computer automatically start it as I enter at this time."

"It's OK Tom, I was just about to leave"

Her Comm badge chirped, "Chakotay to Janeway"

"Janeway here" A smile formed on her face. Her last thought before being interrupted by Tom had determined what was the most important thing to her. With that she was able to let go of most of her anger. She knew that her envy would fade in a couple of days.

"Captain, long range sensors have picked up a system of populated planets. We seem to be reaching the end of the Necrid Expanse"

Tom was doing a little jig of joy, he had been bored out of his mind at the helm for a month.

Kathryn forgot that her com line was open and burst out laughing.

"Captain did I say something funny"

"No Commander, I was just witnessing Lt. Paris performing what your people would consider a "Thank God we're out of the Necrid Expanse" jig

"Not likely. Tell Lt. 'Twinkle Toes' that his simulations and dancing will have to wait. He is needed at the Helm."

"I'm dancing down that way now Commander, I'll teach you it as soon as I get to the bridge."

"We're on our way Commander. Janeway out."

Kathryn had to stifle another laugh. She joined Paris on his way back to Bridge. Whatever happened she would trust in their friendship. No one or nothing would come between them as friends. All things would happen from there.

As she walked towards the bridge, she had no way of knowing, that six months later, one, but two people would almost pull their friendship apart.

Each other.

Coda 1: Inner Fire or Part 6: A Formidable Woman