Paramount/Viacom owns Voyager and all the characters therein. I'd buy them I could afford to, but since I can't, I just borrow them once in a while.
The Captain sat back in her chair and sighed contentedly. She studied the padd Q had handed her only minutes ago. This was definitely a well-appreciated gift, she mused. This information would take another few years off Voyager's journey home, and they could still use all the help they could get.
Absently, she smelled the bunch of roses she still held in her arms, roses from her godchild, and Q's son, Q. Like his father, he did nothing in a small way. Therefore, when he'd snapped his fingers and created a bunch of roses for his Aunt Kathy, he had filled her Ready Room with them as well. Like father, like Q, she thought to herself, and smiled.
The buzzer sounded to her Ready Room door.
"Come," she called out.
Commander Chakotay entered the Captain's Ready Room, and stopped in his tracks, as the doors slid shut behind him. Kathryn thought the look on his face was priceless, as he surveyed the room full of roses.
"Captain . . ."
"Yes, Commander?" she said in a low voice, and the fact that it sounded even a bit sultry did nothing to calm his suddenly accelerated heart rate. Why was it that every time Q decided to hang around, Kathryn seemed different. And he knew that Q had been in this very room just a few minutes ago, even though Kathryn seemed to be the only one here now.
Chakotay knew that nothing had ever happened between Kathryn and Q in a . . . romantic way, but knowing it did nothing to appease his jealousy where Q was concerned. Kathryn was just too accepting of Q, and he thought she was even close to considering him a friend. And this disturbed Chakotay. If Jean-Luc Picard, in all his diplomacy, couldn't handle Q, then the fact that Kathryn could had to be because she was a female. A woman. And someone that Q was obviously attracted to, since he had blatantly propositioned her, asking her flat out to mate with him. Chakotay felt his pulse rate increase again just thinking about it, and forced himself to block these thoughts from his mind. He had no right to be jealous of Q, he reminded himself for the thousandth time.
"A kilo of dilithium for your thoughts," she said from her chair, and Chakotay thought she'd nearly purred. He held his breath for a moment in another attempt to get his jealousy under control.
"Where did all these roses come from?" he asked in his usual soft tone. "Q?"
He knew they were from Q, but he wanted to hear her say it.
"Yes," she said, and smelled the roses with a look of enchantment on her face, and right in front of her First Officer. Chakotay grimaced. "They are a 'thank you' from Q."
"A 'thank you'? For what?" Chakotay asked, glad that his voice sounded controlled and unemotional.
"For everything," she said simply.
"I see." Chakotay looked around him, as Kathryn put the roses she held on the top of her desk and moved to the replicator.
"Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?" she asked sweetly.
"No," he said, and realized that his voice had sounded tense to his own ears. He glanced at Kathryn and saw that she was looking at him with concern. "Yes, all right," he said in a gentler voice, trying to regain his footing with his Captain. "Tea, please."
"Computer, one coffee black, one hot tea, chamomile." She took the beverages the replicator generated, then moved back down to her desk, placing the tea on the opposite side for Chakotay, who sat in front of it.
"Chamomile?" he asked with a hint of a smile.
"You seem to need to relax a bit," she said with a great big smile.
"I suppose I do," he said, and took a deep steadying breath and a sip of his tea. "You do realize that it's becoming a bit cloying in here with all those roses?" he asked.
"Of course I do," she said. "And I fully intend to send them all to the hydroponics bay shortly. "But just in case Q decides to drop back in, I don't want him to think I'd gotten rid of them so quickly."
Chakotay fought the surge of adrenaline that pumped once again through his heart.
"What does it matter what he thinks?" he asked suddenly.
Kathryn knew very well that Chakotay thought Q, the father, had given her the roses, while it was actually his son. She couldn't help but smile. Chakotay was insanely jealous of Q senior, and had been from the start, when they'd first encountered him nearly six years ago. And she couldn't help but play on that fact.
"Well, he may be a Q, but he is still quite sensitive, Chakotay, even though he would never admit it."
"Sensitive? Kathryn, Q is the least sensitive being I've ever known!"
He felt his blood pressure rise again, and he was also beginning to not care if Kathryn knew it.
"Chakotay," said Kathryn, in a soft, low voice, "Something tells me we're not talking about the same Q here."
"What?" He glanced at her and saw the gleam in her eyes. He suddenly understood that she'd baited him. He took a deep calming breath. "You mean . . . ?"
"My godson gave me the roses, Chakotay, not his father." She took a delicate sip of her coffee. "He was grateful for everything I've done for him."
"I see," he said, finally able to calm himself. It helped to know that Kathryn had intentionally baited him. It meant she enjoyed knowing he was still jealous over Q. He forced himself to smile. "I would think that his father would be at least equally as grateful."
"Oh, he was," she said and drank her coffee.
They couldn't possibly act more aloof with each other, he thought.
"Yes." She casually picked up the padd on her desk. "He gave me a gift, too," she said with a lilt in her voice, and handed the padd to Chakotay.
Chakotay perused the padd quickly, then glanced at Kathryn.
"These calculations will take a few extra years off our journey," he said.
"Yes, they will," she said.
"And Q gave this to you as a gift?" he knew he was repeating himself, but he couldn't help it.
"Yes, for all my parental advice," she said, and before he could open his mouth again, she lifted her hand toward him and said, "And no comment from you about that."
Chakotay grinned, and this time it was genuine.
"Well, you might not be a biological parent, but you are more or less one to this crew."
"That's just what Q said." She leaned forward in her chair. "And I wouldn't have thought you and Q would think alike about anything."
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" he grinned. Kathryn was positively glowing.
"Immensely," she agreed. "I've never seen anyone rile you the way Q does, and it's actually flattering."
"I don't like to feel jealousy toward anyone, Kathryn."
"And why you feel it about Q is beyond me, Chakotay," she said, shaking her head and smiling.
Suddenly, Q appeared, sitting on the edge of the Captain's desk.
"Oh, and Kathy, one last thing . . . well, well, well," he said, feigning surprise at seeing Chakotay. "What have we here? Imagine this! The moment I leave, Chuckles is here quick as a flash, trying to win you back!"
"Q . . ." began Kathryn, as Chakotay quickly stood.
"I am not here to try to 'win' anything," said Chakotay, nearly shaking with the rage he was starting to feel.
"Gentlemen, please . . ." said Kathryn, also standing. "Chakotay, please sit down," she said in a calm voice. No one moved for a moment. "Please, Chakotay," she repeated, softly. Although he didn't look directly at her, Chakotay acquiesced. "Thank you." Then she turned to Q. "What do you want, Q?"
"Kathy, I resent your taking that tone with me," said Q, nearly whining. "I merely wanted to thank you again for all that you've done for me, and for Q, but I can see now that you've forgotten me already and are back with what's-his-name here."
"Q, this is ridiculous. I'm not 'back with' anyone - and you and I have never been together."
"Kathy! How can you say that after all we've shared? After all we've been through with Junior? Why, you were very nearly his Mother!"
"I was not very nearly his Mother, Q!"
"But we're friends! Great friends! Perhaps it's true that you and I have never made love, that you've yet to give in to my charming ways, but I'm a dreamer, Kathy, and I still think there's a chance for us to be together yet! That Junior will have a younger Q sibling! That you'll accept my offer to become omnipotent and join me in the Continuum forever!"
Kathryn Janeway was actually struck speechless, which was a rare thing indeed. And her First Officer, who had again jumped to his feet to protest, was also momentarily speechless.
Finally, the Captain found her voice.
"Q, that is totally uncalled for!" Kathryn managed to say.
"You flatter yourself, Q, if you think the Captain would have anything to do with you in that way . . ." said Chakotay.
"Oh! But you think she should want you, Chuckles? Ha! I think not! You've had plenty of time to entice her into your lair, but have you succeeded? Well, have you?"
Q crossed his arms over his chest and stuck his nose into the air.
"That's quite enough, both of you!" Kathryn couldn't believe this was happening. Q was actually pouting, and Chakotay was fuming! What in the hell was going on here? She took a deep breath. "Now. I will not tolerate this . . . this childish behavior from either of you any longer."
"Fine," said Q. "I merely popped in for a quick moment to tell you something that I forgot to mention before. It's not my fault he started this!" he said, nodding toward Chakotay.
Kathryn held her hand out toward Chakotay to silence him before he'd even said anything.
"And what is that?" she asked Q.
"What is what?" he said, still pouting. She sighed.
"What is it that you came back here to tell me?"
"Now I've forgotten," he huffed. "And can you blame me? I was minding my own business, and your First Officer verbally assaulted me!"
"Q, that is not true," said Chakotay under his breath.
"Oh, of course it is, Chuckles," said Q, exasperated.
"Stop this, this instant, both of you!" She took a deep breath, and forced her voice to become calm again. "Now, Q, if you think of what it was you wanted to say, perhaps you could let me know another time, and Chakotay . . ."
"Oh, now I know! Of course! I was going to tell you, Kathy, that when we were bathing together the other day, I noticed you were nearly out of bath oil, that one you like so much, so I took the liberty of supplying you with another bottle. That, too, is just a little gift, from me to you."
Kathryn closed her eyes, knowing the storm was going to hit. And she was right.
"Bathing together? Kathryn, is Q telling the truth?" Chakotay's voice was tight, barely controlled, and the color drained from his face.
"No," she said calmly, and forced herself to open her eyes. "He is trying to mislead you, Chakotay. That is not at all what happened."
She looked at Q threateningly.
"Kathy! Just because he has a crush on you, it doesn't mean you have to protect him from our relationship!"
"We have no relationship, Q!"
"Kathryn, were you and Q . . . bathing together?"
"No. We were not." She turned and looked Chakotay in the eye, and saw him take a deep breath. She knew he trusted her, too, and she wouldn't lie to him. She would never destroy his trust. "I was taking a bath, Chakotay," she said in a soothing voice, all the while looking into his eyes. "And Q appeared."
"In your bathroom?" he asked, his voice barely contained.
"Oh, for goodness sake, Kathy!" Q stood and walked to where Kathryn was staring into Chakotay's eyes. "I appeared in her tub, Chuckles! I was highly upset, very emotional. My son was misbehaving terribly and I had to have Kathy's immediate advice. She's so good at knowing exactly what to do in difficult situations."
He looked at Kathryn, then at Chakotay, but they were still staring only at each other.
"I gave him advice about his son, and he left, Chakotay," she said softly.
"Right. That's exactly what happened, Chuckles," said Q, in a voice that said he was hiding something. "The water was too hot anyway," he whimpered. "I don't know how you can stand it so hot, Kathy. But the bath oil was very nice." He raised his hands and looked at them. "Did wonders for my skin."
"He was fully clothed the entire time," she said evenly, her eyes still on Chakotay.
"Right, I was fully clothed the entire time," said Q, looking from one to the other. "But Kathy was entirely naked," he said to Chakotay. "See? I noticed, Kathy. You think I'm only concerned about myself, that I don't pay attention to others at all? Well, I definitely noticed you were naked. How's that for paying attention to detail, hmmmm?"
"He's trying to upset you, you know," she said to Chakotay.
"And he's doing a good job of it," he said, forcing himself to pull air into his lungs. The very thought of Q in the bathtub with Kathryn was infuriating, whether he was clothed or not. Kathryn had been naked and Q had been in the tub with her!
"We were discussing Q, that's all, Chakotay," she had to keep him calm. "And how to handle his constantly disrupting the Universe," she said.
"And worse, the Continuum!" said Q, helping her.
"Thank you for the bath oil, Q, you can leave now," said Kathryn in a low voice, though she kept her eyes glued to her First Officer's.
"Oh, you're welcome, Kathy. Anytime," he said sarcastically. "I feel truly appreciated."
And he was gone.
Kathryn and Chakotay continued to stare into each other's eyes, but things were different now. The tension and anger and hurt that Chakotay was feeling before had boiled dry, and a new kind of tension had taken their place. There was an intensity between the Captain and her First Officer now that went far beyond anything either of them were prepared to deal with at this moment.
Kathryn couldn't pull her eyes from his; it was as though she were under a spell. But maybe she was. She'd just witnessed Chakotay's entire arsenal of emotions, everything he felt, cross his face and reflect in his eyes - jealousy, anger, hurt, protectiveness, caring, and then a flicker of lust, then complete and undying love. She was breathless just watching his face, his eyes. Chakotay was always so careful to camouflage his real feelings for her, but this time he didn't do that. This time he showed her everything, completely.
Chakotay couldn't help himself. It was too late to stop it now. He knew that everything he was feeling was written on his face, but it didn't matter.
And he couldn't stop himself from showing her that he loved her. If she wanted to reject him yet again, then so be it, but she would know that he loved her. Still. He'd never stopped, he couldn't stop loving her, no matter how hard he'd tried, how angry she could make him, how hard she pushed him away. Nothing mattered. He would love her until the day he died.
And she was feeling things she had never felt before. Oh, she'd been in love with Chakotay for years, had fallen deeply for him long ago, but neither she nor Chakotay had even once allowed their feelings full reign. They always talked around their feelings, not through them, and they took their physical frustrations out in games of tennis, hover ball, or skiing slopes together. They sated their lust by exhausting themselves with other physical activities, but it never helped for long.
Now things were happening between them, feelings were being shared openly, and it frightened the hell out of her. She couldn't stop herself, couldn't pull her eyes away. Chakotay was closing the distance between them, she knew, but she still couldn't move. She could barely breathe, and her heart was racing. Her entire body was tingling, and she couldn't move away. She could only look into his eyes, and at his mouth as it drew nearer.
Chakotay told himself not to do it - not to touch her. He couldn't take that liberty with her. Kathryn would never allow it. No, the Captain would never allow it, he corrected himself absently, as these vague thoughts ran through his mind. But he couldn't stop himself, he needed her, he had to touch her, to hold her in his arms - really hold her - just once. He had to taste her lips, touch her cheek, thrust his hand into her hair, and breathe in her scent. He didn't just want to touch her, he had to. He'd never needed anything so much in his life as he needed to touch Kathryn right now. His heart was beating faster, his breathing was becoming labored, his body was trembling, and his lips were closing in on hers and he couldn't stop himself.
He didn't want to, and he couldn't.
Kathryn slowly lifted her chin and tilted her lips to meet his. She was the Captain, and Chakotay was her subordinate, and she shouldn't be doing this. But there was nothing, and no one, to stop her. It had been a long time in coming, and the need to touch each other, to kiss each other, was now overwhelming for them both. She knew that Chakotay was as powerless to stop this as she was. She watched his lips drawing closer, and felt the power of their attraction more strongly than she'd ever felt anything in her life.
And as his lips finally, gently, touched hers, Kathryn thought vaguely of a tractor beam - the direct and unique concentration of energy focusing on one object, one goal, reeling that object in with complete authority, the subject soon becoming a willing one, allowing itself to be captured with complete abandon. But that was all she thought. Thoughts now became feelings, and as his lips carefully, tenderly sought hers, she moved her hands to touch his face, to know him as intimately as she possibly could.
Chakotay caressed her lips with his own, softly, slowly, but oh, so eagerly. He tasted her sweet, soft lips and felt her warm fragrant breath mingle with his own. He moaned softly in his throat when she touched his face. He loved her hands, strong and firm, yet soft, so soft. He loved the feel of her hands on his face. He belonged solely to Kathryn Janeway, and always had. Before he knew her, he'd been searching for her, and when his search ended seven years ago, he'd begun to wait for her, and now he knew his wait was over.
As Chakotay touched her chin, and then her cheek, she slid easily against him, put her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. They were both moving from tentative to sure, their lips searching, tasting. Chakotay buried his hand in her hair, and held her tightly. He had never been so sure of anything in his life, as he was of his love for this woman.
Kathryn inhaled his scent, the spicy masculine scent that had been such a large part of her life for seven years. It belonged to her First Officer, her right arm, her best friend, and the man who looked out for her even when she didn't want to be looked out for, and when she didn't deserve to be looked out for, as well. It was the scent she longed to be near when she'd been away from it for longer than a few hours, the scent of the man who sat next to her, who worked with her, fought with her and for her, and beside her, and who would always be true. This was the scent of the man she loved more than life itself, the man life was worth living for.
And suddenly, from nowhere and from everywhere, a voice whispered into her ear:
"This is your real gift, Kathy. From me to you. Enjoy the rest of your little trip home, and do encourage Chuckles to be nicer to me. After all, I expect to be godfather to your firstborn."
And then the voice was quiet, and Q was gone.
Kathryn snuggled even closer to the man she loved. As she did, he gently slipped his tongue inside her mouth. She not only allowed him, she encouraged him by flicking her own tongue against his. Intense waves of desire immediately brought moans of pleasure from them both.
One day she'd have to swallow her pride and actually thank Q for taking this matter into his own hands.
And, thankfully, she had lots of time to figure out how to tell Chakotay that Q expected to be godparent to their child.
Oh, yes, she had plenty of time to figure that one out.
And she would need every bit of it.