Safe With Me
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Paramount (all actions within are the result of my own fantasies and I take full responsibility for them.)
Hugs to Elorie. Thank you hon. Without you I would have already put my keyboard away. You are my guardian angel.
The mist surrounded Kathryn, reducing her world to a grey box of eerie stillness. Disembodied voices floated around her in snatches. She took a few steps forward looking for the source of those voices. A large wrought iron gate slinked into view, towering ominously over her. Kathryn stepped nervously through the opening. Vague shapes moved through the darkness around her.
"Hello. Is anyone there?"
No answer, save for the same unknown voices in the distance. She took a few steps forward pausing when the fog around her increased. The swirls dipped around her almost daring her to continue. Three more steps and the fog was almost thick enough to touch. A trickle of apprehension slid down her back. The voices increased in volume to her right. Two steps and the apprehension gave way to an uncomfortable beginning of fear.
Something wasn’t right. Where was her crew, her ship? Where was Chakotay? She looked back towards the gate only to find herself wrapped in a cocoon of smoky vapor. Figures moved around her. Voices drew her.
"My name is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. Please respond." Her voice held a tiny quiver of her rising panic. One more step towards the voices. Then another. And another until she found herself running towards the voices.
The fog now swirled and darted dangerously around her. Her panic upgraded to full blown as she ducked under a darker stream of the swirling mist that looked suspiciously like an arm. She hit her comm badge.
"Janeway to Voyager."
"Janeway to Chakotay."
"Janeway to anyone on Voyager."
Kathryn’s fear became a living thing snapping at her heels, urging her faster and faster until she felt her chest would explode. She glanced over her shoulder to see creatures fading in and out of the inky threads that followed her. She turned forward and ran for her sanity and her life.
She could feel hot breath on her neck. The voices were loud enough to make out some of the conversations.
"It became my home…"
"I found what I was…"
"Captain Janeway went to…"
Suddenly Kathryn was blinded. She stood for a moment blinking to clear her vision.
She stood in a sunny field surrounded by her crew. She turned horridly expecting the dark shadows to be right behind her, but the area was clear. She could even see the gate in the distance.
Confusion set in as she turned towards her crew. No one noticed her sudden appearance. The crew members were all talking about their lives on Voyager, apparently to no one.
"Crewman, what is going on?"
The young officer did not even acknowledge her presence. She repeated this with four other crewmen, of different ranks. The fifth member that she stepped in front of began to flicker, prompting the captain to inspect the ground. Disguised as a rock was a holographic emitter.
"What the hell is going on here?"
Standing from her discovery, she noted a raised platform in the center of the field that had not been there before. She started towards it, carefully weaving in and out of the holographic crew. On the platform was a building bearing a picture of Voyager engraved on its doors. A plaque beside the door bore a message:
Lost for years in the Delta Quadrant, the crew of Voyager held true to the directives and beliefs of the Federation. Within this hall are the personal logs and memories of the senior staff, all save the Captain who was never found. This memorial is in honor of those who died in a pursuit of home. While their mission was not completed, their lives and deaths have brought honor and allies to the Federation. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Kathryn’s fingers traced over the words ‘mission never completed’ for a moment before refocusing above it.
"All save the Captain who was never found? OK what in the hell?!? I am right here."
"Actually, Captain you are not."
Kathryn whipped around to find her first officer standing directly behind her. The holograms and building had disappeared.
"Chakotay, what is going on here?"
"Your doubt and fears are holding you back Kathryn."
"What do you mean?"
"You are so afraid of being hurt that you have shut everyone out. You have a chance for happiness on Voyager. Friends. Family. Love. And you are afraid of it."
"No!" Kathryn defended herself. "I am not afraid."
A slight smile flitted over Chakotay’s face.
"Okay. Your sense of guilt and responsibility are making you blind to the possibilities."
"And just what would those possibilities be?"
"Love, Kathryn!" Chakotay gripped her shoulders, shaking her. "Right in front of you! I tried. I really did. I stayed by your side. I did everything I could to combine our crews. I settled for the crumbs of affection that you threw me. Hell Kathryn, why do you think I ate your cooking every week?"
"I…I…I…I didn’t know."
"That’s bullshit, Kathryn. You knew. Your fear of what if stopped you from returning it! You would not take the chance. You were too afraid. You gave you love to a hologram rather than acknowledge how you felt about me!"
Tears filled Kathryn’s eyes as Chakotay’s rage filled the air. His fingers were tight on her shoulders, almost painfully so. His words began to sink in and she tried to respond only to be shaken harder as he continued.
"A hologram! Kathryn I have loved you since the first time you squared off against me on your bridge. I thought maybe after New Earth you would let me in but no. You were so afraid you slammed the door on what could have been. Then you almost died in that shuttle crash. You seemed open to the possibility, but no! Once again you shut me out! And then there was Micheal. A fucking hologram! Your fear of being hurt drove you to the arms of an artificial man!
Chakotay released her shoulders so suddenly she almost fell.
"I love you Kathryn! I always have! I always will! Your heart is safe with me. There is not need to fear being hurt. You are safe with me!
As the last word fell from his lips Chakotay captured her mouth in a breath stealing kiss that lasted for an eternity before ending as abruptly as it started. Chakotay ran his fingers down her face murmuring ‘safe with me’ repeatedly. His touch lightened until it was gone completely. Kathryn opened her eyes to find herself standing alone in the empty field.
"Chakotay?" Where are you? Come back! Please don’t leave me." Kathryn fell to her knees, tears streaming down her face, knowledge blooming in her heart. "Chakotay, I love you!"
Chakotay sat straight up in his bed. He did not know what had awakened him. The dream of Kathryn still lingered. He could still smell the grass of the field and feel her lips pressed against his. His angry accusations still rang in his ears, coupled with her stammered denials. Thinking of his Captain provoked an undeniable need to see her.
Giving in to the impulse, Chakotay quickly made his way down the corridor to her door. As he neared it he could hear Kathryn crying out. He quickly punched in his override code and ran into her bedroom.
"Please don’t leave me. Chakotay I love you!"
The admission from the bed caused Chakotay to freeze just inside the door. The sight of fresh tears streaming down her face caused panic to rise in his chest along with a feeling of protectiveness.
He knelt on her bed and gently drew her into his arms.
"Shhh. Kathryn it’s okay. You are safe."
Kathryn’s eyes fluttered open. The sensation of comforting arms and warm lips pressed to her temple drove the despair that followed her from the dream away. She heard the whispered ‘you are safe’ and lifted her head. A rush of joy spiraled through her as her gaze locked with Chakotay’s. She whispered his name and threw her arms around him. After a moments hesitation she felt his arms tighten around her. Kathryn clung to his shoulder, considering what she had heard in her dream.
Well, I have never been afraid of taking risks.
Slowly, Kathryn lifted her face and pressed her lips to his. Chakotay remained nonresponsive long enough for embarrassment to set in.
Suddenly she found herself locked against his body. The kiss deepened, and then softened. They drew away from each other reluctantly.
"Kathryn?" he made her name a question. She put a finger against his lips silencing him.
"I dreamed of you. The crew and ship had been lost and you said my fear caused it. You are right. I have pushed you away because I am afraid. I love you. There I said it. I am facing my fear but I will understand if you don’t…"
Chakotay silenced her with a kiss.
"Kathryn. Sweet, beautiful Kathryn. Why couldn’t you see it. I have loved you for so long." He paused to place another gentle kiss to her lips. "You know I dreamed of you too. We were in a field and I was so angry."
"You kept shaking me." Kathryn replied, eyes wide.
"Yes. How did you know? Did we have the same dream?"
"I don’t know but I am glad we did."
Before they could say anything else the door chimed and opened on its own. As the door slid shut again Chakotay moved across the main room. He returned to the bedroom carrying a package.
"What is it Chakotay?"
"I don’t know. The card says ‘My gift to you. Proof that fear can be overcome.’ There is no name."
As he read the card, Kathryn lifted the lid. Nestled in the box was a cloth square. Pulling it from the box, she opened it to find herself and Chakotay on the fabric. Their faces were turned towards each other, their desire bared to the world. Surrounding their images were golden threads that spelled the words ‘safe with me’ over and over, creating a solid circle around the couple. Tears filled her eyes as she looked up at Chakotay. He leaned down and kissed her forehead.
"Always, safe with me."
The duo watched as the commander placed his lips to the captain’s head.
"Aren’t you going to tell them it was you?"
"No. I think they will do just fine without knowing that I orchestrated their revelations. Besides I owe Kathy for everything she has done for me."
Q turned to his son and put an arm over his young shoulders. The young man shook his head and snapped his fingers, disappearing. Q returned his attention to the couple on the ship.
"Good luck Kathy." He then snapped his fingers and disappeared, leaving behind for the first time, hope.
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