Voyager limped away from the scene of the battle. The only casualty had been Geron, so far. One of her favorite members of Chakotayís former crew. Before the battle, long range scans had picked up an abandoned space station orbiting a class D moon.
As Janeway toured Sickbay, her thoughts went back to Constitution. A ship long ago thought destroyed. One that by Voyagerís standards, was an obsolete antique. Obviously, Seska had imparted some knowledge into the minuscule minds of the Kazon. They had added to the technology of a hundred years before and improved it.
Kathryn Janeway let a small smile of satisfaction ghost her lips. She had known something that Cullah had overlooked. Her gamble, had paid off.
She left sickbay and continued slowly down the corridor. A moment later, she heard the unmistakable sound of someone running after her. A moment later, Chakotay was walking in step with her.
"Weíre just about to the station." He said. He quickly gave her a rundown of repairs. "But itís going to be slow going. Cullah got in some very strategic hits."
They entered the lift. "Deck five." Kathryn ordered. From his side, Chakotay could see the remnants of battle in her face, around her eyes. She hadnít even had the cut on her forehead checked.
"Computer, halt lift." Chakotay said. As the lift came to a halt, he turned and put his hands on her shoulders to turn her toward him. Kathryn offered little resistance. "You should have had this checked out." He said quietly. As he had a few days before, he ran his finger down her cheek.
"I didnít have time." Kathryn whispered, finally looking into his concerned eyes.
"You have plenty of time." Chakotay said quietly, running the finger across her lips and up her other cheek. She closed her eyes at the sensations. A moment later, she felt his mouth against hers and she knew then and there, that she was tired of fighting. Of fighting everything.
She never knew how they got to her quarters, or how they made it into her bed. All she was aware of was the intensity of the feelings sheíd been harboring for far too long. It was a culmination of everything that had been positive and negative in her life. For a brief moment, she knew and fully realized that she wasnít alone.
When she awoke a short time later, her hand found the empty spot that he had been in a short time before. Kathryn sat up, slightly confused. A one night stand? Surely not. Nothing had been said between them since his comment about plenty of time. A moment later, he came back into her bedroom, and handed her a cup of coffee.
"You needed to sleep." He offered, sitting on the bed beside her, himself drinking a cup of coffee. Chakotay was back in uniform. "Bridge called just a few minutes ago. They said we were just about to the station."
Kathryn didnít say anything for a moment. She was increasingly aware of how vulnerable she felt at this moment. Covered only by a sheet, unable to look him in the eye. He put a finger under her chin and lifted it so he could look in her eyes.
"No regrets?" He asked.
"No." She said, then smiled at him. "Lead the away team. Take Harry and Seven with you."
Chakotay rose from the bed. "Kathryn?" She heard the unanswered question in the tone of voice.
"Iím okay. Now go. We donít have much time." With that, he left her bedroom. Putting the coffee cup on the table beside her bed, she flopped back down.
Her hand carelessly caressed the empty spot beside her. A lone tear slid down her cheek.
Alone whispered through the room.