Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Star Trek Voyager. The rights to those characters and to the show belong to the creators of the show and Paramount.
"We're the same race."
"We're more than that."
Kathryn heard the words from so long ago ring her ears as she watched Chakotay happily mingling among the crew so close to her, yet so very far away . Most of the crew had gathered at Tom’s “Hasta La Vista, Delta Quadrant” luau and she know there was no way she could excuse herself from the party this early without taking some serious ribbing from her Voyager family. Especially Tom, still on a high from the birth of his daughter as they entered the Alpha Quadrant--and right now, she didn’t think she could take any such teasing no matter how kindly meant.
So she just stayed where she was and stared, watched him say goodbye to their crew and knew that after all they’d been through and how much they had meant to each other, too much had happened to make possible anything but a quiet goodbye between them too.
Not for the first time, she cursed her inability to tell Chakotay the rest of what she’d been thinking that night on the faraway Quarran balcony all those months ago.
“We’re of the same heart.” she should have rejoined, “I don’t know anything about you, but I know you are a part of me.”
But she had kept silent, allowing him to steer the conversation. She knew she still could have… no… should have told him told him how she felt once she regained her memories, especially after he had gently asked her if she wished he hadn’t come for her
Instead, she had retreated even further inside the walls of protocol that she had built for herself and become the woman Chakotay would have only a simple goodbye for.
A tear slid down her cheek and, for once in seven years, she let it run its course as she realized how truly easy it was to shatter a dream.
Chakotay woke at Kathryn's whimper and turned over to see his beloved tossing restlessly beneath the covers, tears pouring down her cheeks. Kathryn never cried and his heart broke to see her in such pain.
“Kathryn, sweetheart, wake up. It’s all right, love. You’re safe; open your eyes now.”
“Chakotay?” he heard her croak.
“Yes Kathryn, I’m here.” It was what he always said.
In the next instant, she was in his arms, sobbing and shaking, holding him as though she was afraid he would disappear.
“The same dream?” he prodded gently, knowing she needed to talk.
He felt, rather than saw, her nod against her chest and then held her as the flow of tears increased.
A half hour later, she had cried herself out and was able to listen to him as he assured her that she had indeed told him that she loved him every day since she had returned from Quarra. And that even if she hadn’t, he would never have given up on her. When she finally seemed to believe the truth of his words, he rolled her onto her side and tucked her close--as though by doing so, he could prove to her that while dreams could end, a love as strong as theirs would endure forever.
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