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Our Lives As A Dance

Our Lives as a Dance
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 6:58 AM

Lee-Marie had set JTM on a leisurely pace to the Ball. It was true that Chakotay was holding the reigns, but it was Lee-Marie's body language that he was listening to. Lee-Marie knew that no matter how much he dismissed it, Chakotay Torres was still in some amount of pain from all the fighting and the racing that had been going on during the previous week. It was the reason why she set JTM at a more leisurely pace. It must be difficult for him to be on horseback. He didn't notice as they were in conversation from the moment that they left the Ranch.

They talked about the modifications to the big barn that had begun, what was the next part of it. About Miss Kathryn's desire to acquire 5 more stallions and the modifications of the stables that would be required in order to house them. Chakotay told of B'Elanna's ideas and Lee-Marie gave her own suggestions. About half way to the dance they fell in a comfortable silence.

The moon was high and full and all around them they heard the sound of the night life of the Neckrid Expanse. It embraced their silence and facilitated their individual thoughts

Lee-Marie felt a shift in the body which was behind her on JTM, it tensed and then as if willed by another force, it slowly began to relax. A small sigh escaped Chakotay's lips.

"Still sore?"

"A little"

"So is it over yet or are you going to have one more chest-butting fight with Janeway sometime next week, for old time's sake?"

Chakotay tensed as she posed this question to him. He had gone to the tool shed after the two fights that he had with Janeway, to work off some of his steam. For some inexplicable reason, Lee-Marie had been working on the additions that they were make on the pantry in the kitchen in the shed when he came in. She had also known about the fights. She was very nonchalant about them, but he knew that she was holding back her tongue on what she really wanted to say to him. She had never been open about what she thought about his behavior with Tom, until now.

"I don't do this because I want to, but because he's going to hurt B'Elanna. She's my little girl, I have to protect her from the likes of him."

Lee-Marie smiled to herself. She had a father once. They could be so pigheaded when it came to their little girls. But for Chakotay, the price that he would pay for that would be too high. She knew it, because she knew B'Elanna.

"What if she doesn't want to be protected? She still maybe your little girl, but she is Tom Janeway's woman. He didn't force her to be, she chose to be."

Chakotay winced. He knew that she was right.

"He didn't have to force her, he just turned on his charm. Women seem to always fall for it. I don't mind my daughter having gentleman callers, it's gentlemen callers the likes of Tom Janeway that I mind. You don't know what he is capable of, what he had done in the past........."

"You mean about the gambling, the debt and the theft of his mama's jewelry?"

"You know?"

"This town seems to relish telling new comers what to expect from certain of its members."

Our Lives as a Dance pt 2
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 7:04 AM

"Then you understand the reason why I feel like I do."

"I understand, but it doesn't mean that I agree with your course of action."

"Why not?"

"Haven't you ever made a mistake Mr. Chakotay? Been through a stretch of bad road? Been a mite bit stubborn when you were growing?"

Chakotay thought back to that ugly time in his life. It's funny how well he could put that in the back of his mind.


That was something that always puzzled him. Lee-Marie had a way of hearing things that weren't being said. Of reading between his lines, and drawing the meaning behind what he was trying to say. They hadn't had an extended personal conversation like this one, but in the little snippets, when he was spoiling for his fights with Janeway, she had made one or two pointed remarks that made him uneasy, like the question that she had just posed to him. But still tonight he felt comfortable in talking to her even though it wasn't a comfortable spot to be in. He couldn't explain it, but somehow or the other, he trusted her, with himself. Something he hadn't done with any woman in a long time.

"You got through it and was a better man for it. Why can't you believe the same about Tom Janeway. The townsfolk may have relished telling me about his past, but they all agree that he had changed significantly. Why don't you believe it? You have better reason to, you live on the same Ranch with him. You see him and work with him every single day."

Chakotay thought for a while and then said, "He's still a mite bit too cocky for me."

Lee-Marie smiled. "Yes he is, but that doesn't mean that he's still a bad apple."

Chakotay digested this for a while and then said. "Maybe, but there still are a lot of other things to consider. B'Elanna is..... different. She isn't like him. Tom Janeway is a pure breed of noble stock....."

"And B'Elanna is a half-breed, daughter of a Ranch hand." Lee-Marie suddenly understood. "You're afraid of him yes, but you're more afraid for them."

Lee-Marie gave her legs a little squeeze and JTM stopped. Chakotay didn't notice, or if he didn't he didn't comment as she turned to face him. He turned his face downwards unable to meet her eyes, feeling exposed and vulnerable.

The warning bells went off in Lee-Marie. She knew she was a his shaky a ground, and she didn't want to hurt him any more than what she saw that he was dealing with at that moment.

Gently, she place her hand on his arm. It took a while, but eventually he looked at her. His eyes were haunted.

"You loved her very much didn't you?" Lee-Marie asked softly.

Our Lives as a Dance pt 3
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 7:05 AM

"B'Etor was so beautiful and so proud, courageous and still very gentle. I feel in love with her after the first time I talked to her and after a month, I knew that I wanted to marry her. She had her fears, about what people would think, about how my family would react to the marriage, about how my family would react to the marriage. But in the end I persuaded her that our love would be enough."

"But she was right wasn't she? She paid a high price and so did you."

He nodded. "Her family disowned her, threw her out of her own tribe. My family refused to even attend the wedding. Sometimes when strangers came into town, they would look at us funny, some would sneer and one even made a rude suggestion. Took care of him real good. Never came back to town again."

He continued.

"When B'Elanna was born, I told B'Etor to teach her the ways of the Klingon Indians. B'Elanna didn't want to learn. By the time she was of age, she was already attending school and the other children made a lot of fun of her because of her strange markings. All she ever wanted to do was fit in, so she refused to learn the ways of the Klingons. Then her mama died."

Chakotay paused and looked away from Lee-Marie. When he continued speaking, his voice was so low that she had to strain to hear him.

"I swore at her burial that I would protect B'Elanna, I would make sure that she would be kept safe, that she wouldn't be hurt because of who she was. I have always been able to protect her until now."

"It is not your place to protect her now Mr. Chakotay. Tom Janeway is her choice."

"What if it's the wrong one, what if I'm right?"

"It is still not your place. It is her choice, it is her consequence. In making her choice, B'Elanna has accepted all consequences that come along with it. She is in love with Tom Janeway. No amount of fighting between you and he will change that. And in the end you will lose her."

Lee-Marie stopped and let the silence embrace them. After a few minutes she asked

"In the end, was your love enough ?"

Although they had not spoken for a while, Chakotay remembered having told her that. He turned to face Lee-Marie and answered without hesitation

"Yes it was."

"So will their's."

He looked down and away from her then, and she saw a tear escape his eye. Gently she reached up and wiped it away. Her action startled him. No one had ever wiped his tears away. He had never shown them. He had never shown anyone his weakness until now. He looked up swiftly and found understanding in her eyes. She left her hand on his face for a while longer. She let him determine when it was time to go.

"We should get going."

Lee-Marie nodded and turned. He touched the reigns and JTM began moving again. She leaned back into his chest and he held her tightly. She listened to his heart hammering first and then gradually return to normal as they made their way to the dance.