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The Aftermath

The Aftermath
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 7:39 AM

Lee-Marie had worked until it was absolutely impossible for her to do so any longer. It was three hours after sundown and everyone else had either retired for the night or gone into town. Lee-Marie believed that she was the only one left at the Ranch. B'Elanna, Tom, Kathryn and the Marshal had gone into town that night to see the new play being performed at the Opera House. She and Chakotay had tickets to go also, but after she and Kathryn had ordered him out of the front room and had their discussion, she had gone out of her way to avoid him. He seemed to know this, and had avoided her too. Lee had purposely avoided leaving the work shed until an hour after the show started just to make sure that she would be tricked into going. She had no energy left to 'fix her face' and smile through an evening after a day like this.

All she wanted to do was draw a bath and fall asleep in the arms of........

She couldn't even do that anymore. She sighed and fought the tears which were threatening to escape her eyes again. She didn't know if Chakotay had gone to the play anyway. She told herself that she didn't care. But deep down inside, she knew that she did.

She made her way to the House from the barn. Once she light a candle in her room, a voice called out.


Lee-Marie whipped around and say Chakotay standing in the middle of her room, all dressed up. She put her hand to her chest and exclaimed.

"You scared me Mr. Chakotay. What are you doing here?" She looked a little more closely at him

"You're all dressed up, you should have gone to the play with the others"

*Thank God you didn't* She thought.

*Right, woman!!!. I would have never heard the end of it if I had done that.* He thought. He knew her much better than to try that particular stunt.

"I decided to wait here and see if you changed your mind about going. When I realized that you weren't going to come, I decided not to go, and wait here for you. We have to talk about this."

Lee sat herself on the bed and said neutrally

"All right"

Chakotay made no move to get closer to her even though, with every fiber of his being he wanted to. When she and Miss Kathryn had ordered him out of the front room, he was p!$$ed. The two of them had treated him like a little boy, and he was a man d@mn it!. He had marched out to the Barn to give Lee a piece of his mind. She didn't see him as she was so intent at cleaning Boston-Rick's stall, but he saw her from a secluded spot. When she stopped to take a breather , he saw the look of pain that crossed her face and saw one or two tears escape her eyes before she hurriedly brushed them away. He stood in shock for a minute. He had never seen Miss Lee-Marie cry in the entire time that he had known her. He left the barn silently, without saying a word to her.

The Aftermath pt 2
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 7:41 AM

That image haunted him for the rest of the afternoon and he made and effort to give Lee some space. It also gave him some time to think. He had forgotten about the tickets until Miss Kathryn had asked him if he and Lee were going to the play. He was amazed that she could ask that after the fight that the two of them had that afternoon. Apparently, Miss Kathryn had won, because she was in better spirits than Lee-Marie, although she did look a bit peaked. He told Miss Kathryn that he would see them there if Lee decided to go. He knew that it would not be wise to go see the play without her although he had been looking forward to seeing it all week.

So he had gotten dressed and waited for Lee-Marie in her room. He waited for an hour before he realized that she didn't intend to go to the play with him. He decided to wait for her to come in, instead of going out to meet her.

Looking at her now, he saw the way her face was set. It wasn't as harsh as it had been the time when she entered the front room, but still, it revealed nothing. That was something else which told him about the impact of what had happened that afternoon had on Lee. Whatever Lee-Marie felt around him, it was written plainly on her face. Joy, frustration, anger, amusement; everything was right there. Now there was nothing. He took a deep breath and began.

"Lee, when Mark Janeway died, Miss Kathryn took it very hard. She was all alone and she had the added burden of keeping this ranch going after his death. It was their dream, something that they built together with their own two hands and both of them wanted it to be a legacy to their children. It has been difficult for her doing it all by her self. A lot of people think that nothing scares her, that she's as tough as rawhide. But that's not true. I swore on his grave, that I would stand by her side and do whatever I could to make her burden lighter. From that moment onwards her needs would come first. This afternoon, she was in need. She was wondering whether or not just to close the Ranch instead of trying to save it. I was there, as I swore I would be. She needed me then as support and I was glad to be there for her."

The Aftermath pt3
Leonie — 5 Oct 1998, 7:42 AM

Chakotay paused and looked at Lee. The tears were falling freely on her face now. She got up and took a step towards him and then stopped as if she had done something without thinking.

"What if she needs you for something other than friendship." Lee asked softly.

"She doesn't need me in that way Lee." Chakotay said earnestly. "Mark has been dead for four years and both of us have had other "companions" during that time. We are just friends that's all"

Lies, Lies, lies sweet little lies, in the manner that you want to hear them. And what makes it worse is that he believes them. Her head was screaming out that message

It has to be his decision. She remembered the words that she had spoken to Kathryn that very afternoon. She said nothing for the moment.

"Lee, I love you don't you believe me." This time he crossed the space between them and put his hand on her shoulders. She looked up at his face as she chased the thoughts from her head and listened to her heart instead.

Was this it, was this his decision?

"I Love you too and I do believe you." He aided her in answering her thoughts by kissing her fiercely and leading her to bed.


"Who was Mr. Tuvix?" Lee-Marie was half asleep in Chakotay's arms when he asked that question.

"A gold prospector who brought up the land on the Mountains of Venus two years ago. He was reportedly responsible for the death of Dr. Fitzgerald and he kidnapped Marshal and Deputy Neelix when they went to investigate him for it. He was killed in the rescue of the Marshal and Deputy Neelix. I've heard that there's another man who brought up the property. He's expected in town anyday now" Lee tried to change the subject.

Chakotay caught on and asked pointedly

"What did Mr Tuvix have to do with Miss Kathryn?"

"Miss Kathryn knew him, and there are rumors, but I don't think I want to repeat them. I was just so upset with what I saw, I was willing to say anything."

As he held her tighter in his arms, Lee-Marie thought to herself.

*I've kept my end of the Bargain, Kathryn and I see, so have you.*

She did wonder how long both of them would be able to continue to do just that.