The Kings of the Hill own Voyager, her crew and all things Trek.
A prequel to Chakotay's Cat which you really should read first.

by Dakota  


Chakotay sighed as the transport from San Francisco settled to its assigned position at the Taos transport hub. He waited until most of the others on the transport had moved forward to exit before he stood and fished his carryall from the storage area. He followed the rest of the passengers into the terminal but unlike most of them, he did not head for another transport.  Instead, he exited the front of the terminal and eyed the ground cars then glanced at the sky. It was still early, barely an hour since sunrise. He tested the weight of his carryall then decided that he would walk. Mentally running over the route to his destination, he struck off along the sidewalk.

An hour later Chakotay was beginning to think he should have taken one of the cars but it was too late now. He was nearly at his destination. The road he walked along had very little traffic and there were only a few houses in the area. He smiled as he turned into a drive.

Chakotay stopped at the sidewalk leading from the drive to the front porch of the old house. It had been well built but its previous owners had allowed it to fall into disrepair after they stopped using it as a vacation home. The solar panels on the roof were practically new but the roof itself was starting to leak. Chakotay stepped on the porch and keyed in the access for the front door. He tossed the carryall on the floor as he stepped inside.

“Welcome, home, old man.” His voice held a trace of irony. Who would have though he would make Earth his home when they returned to the Alpha Quadrant? He looked around at the few pieces of furniture left behind by the previous owners.  Like the house, it was of good quality but had not been well cared for in recent years. It wasn't luxurious but it was enough – at least until he could fix it up. He had lived in better places and he had lived in much worse. He moved through to the kitchen and checked the water. Unlike the rest of the house, the well had not suffered from the neglect – the water ran fresh and cool once the stale water had cleared the pipes. He used his hand to take the edge off his thirst before splashing water on his face to cool himself.

Turning back to the main room he moved to retrieve his carryall and headed for the bedroom to unpack before starting a list of the repairs the house needed and groceries and supplies he needed.

Three weeks later Chakotay was relaxing on his porch enjoying the evening. He and a local workman had put a new roof on the house and today Chakotay had finished replacing the exterior paneling. A few days earlier, a local contractor has finished redoing the kitchen and bathrooms. He had questioned the necessity for a top of the line replicator if he was also installing other appliances in such a small room but seemed satisfied when Chakotay didn't protest the cost. Earlier in the week, a local horticultural group had come out and worked nutrients into a patch of ground that would soon become the garden. Perhaps tomorrow would be a good day to begin work on that project. Tomato plants, some onion sets, green beans, and carrots would be a good start. He could add to the list later if his early efforts thrived. As the light faded from the sky, he eyed some ominous clouds building on the horizon. It didn't rain much here but the storms when they did come could be violent. He moved inside to clean up after his dinner and get some sleep. He would need to be up early to make the walk to town before the day's heat struck. He knew that Ned at the horticultural center would give him a lift home with his purchases.

Chakotay was awaked several hours later as a storm raged around his house. He could hear the rain pounding on the roof. He shook his head; he had really lost touch with nature if a rainstorm woke him. He punched his pillow and was trying to settle back to sleep when he heard a noise that did not come from the storm. It sounded like something clawing or tapping at his door. He moved to investigate the noise, pulling on a pair of sweats and some shoes in case he had to go outside.

The noise repeated as he neared the door only this time it sounded more like someone knocking. He opened the door to find a soaking wet slip of humanity standing in front of him. The slip looked up at him and his disbelief must have registered on his face.

“Well, may I come in?” The voice was tired and uncertain but very familiar.

“Kathryn?” Chakotay could barely recognize her. Not receiving a response, Kathryn picked up her bag and slid around Chakotay into the main room. Chakotay had recovered enough from his surprise to close the door against the rain. “Of course, Kathryn, make yourself at home.”

“Which way is the shower?”

Chakotay pointed and Kathryn disappeared behind the door. Ten minutes later she was back in the main living area curled on the couch in a tee shirt sipping slowly on a hot cup of coffee. Her hair was still wet but Chakotay could almost hear her purr she seemed so contented.

“You should have let me know you were coming, Kathryn. I'm not really ready for house guests yet.”

“It took me more than two weeks to find out where you went. I wasn't going to waste more time dancing around the rules of etiquette to get an invitation.”

“That's just civilian protocol and you danced around that long enough.”

“Like I said, I wasn't going to waste more time dancing around rules, especially rules I don't like.”

“Well, you certainly seemed to like some of those rules.” When Kathryn didn't respond, Chakotay continued. “What's so important that you had to get here tonight?”

Kathryn took a last sip of her coffee and set the cup on the table. She stood and walked over to a window to watch the rain. Chakotay found himself staring at her as she stood there and had nearly forgotten the question when she finally answered.

“I needed to ask you something. The answer is very important to me and will affect what I tell Starfleet after I finish my leave.”

“What do I know that would affect your career?”

“Probably nothing.” Kathryn turned away from the window and walked over to where Chakotay was sitting on the couch. She reached out to run her nails over his tattoo. “I might be wrong, but I think you once loved me. I need to know if you still do.”

“How does what I feel affect you and Starfleet?” Chakotay wasn't sure what to make of Kathryn's statements but he was sure he wasn't going to answer her questions without a lot more information from her.

“Well, maybe it doesn't. Either way I'm going to be asking for extended leave. If you still love me, it will be to try to make up for the years we've lost. If you don't love me any more, I will be trying to change your mind. Either way, you're stuck with me for a while.”

Kathryn sat gently on Chakotay's lap and lifted her lips to his. Finding no resistance, only gentle acceptance, she ended the kiss and snuggled against his chest before slowly drifting off to sleep. Chakotay held her for nearly an hour before he decided they would both sleep better somewhere other than the old couch.

As Chakotay struggled to his feet, muscles sore from the unfamiliar work of recent weeks, he sighed. He was feeling his years tonight and knew he would be too stiff to move in the morning if he slept anywhere except his bed. Well, if he was stuck with her, she was stuck with him. As he was putting her down on the bed, she stirred.

"Is this your bed?"

"Yes." Chakotay expected Kathryn to protest, but she merely closed her eyes. As he lay down and pulled the blankets over himself, she curled closer to him seeking his warmth and dragged the blankets more securely around herself.

Chakotay smiled and bent to gently kiss her temple. Her breathing sounded almost like a cat purring. As he drifted off to sleep he whispered, “You're just like a cat. You showed up in the middle of the night confident of your welcome and made yourself right at home, and I'm glad you did. Welcome home, Kat.”