Disclaimer: All to paramount, none to me. Boo hoo!
1700 hours and Kathryn sat waiting. She kept herself busy by staring out her view port, watching the stars streak by. A cup of coffee was cradled between her thighs, forgotten. She knew that he’d be stopping by soon. Tonight, she was finally relenting.
Tonight was ‘the talk’.
“Come in.” She called. Kathryn looked toward the door, which had opened and silhouetted her first officer, her best friend. Her everything.
“You wanted to talk to me, Kathryn?” He asked. Chakotay left the titles on the bridge. They were talking as friends now. Equals.
“Have a seat.” Kathryn waited until he was seated on the couch. “Do you want anything?” She asked cordially.
“No thanks. I’m fine.” I’m a wreck. He thought.
Kathryn sighed, looking again to the outside. “I guess we shouldn’t be tip-toeing around this anymore.”
“I guess not.”
She looked at him, noting the physical aspects of him that she liked so well. The dark hair, deep brown eyes, crooked nose. Much different from any other man she’d ever been with. Mentally, he was one of the wisest, caring, relentless people she knew.
“I’ve been wrong.” She stated plainly.
He let out a breath. She wasn’t aware that he’d been holding it. He was expecting the worst. She thought for a moment. Am I really that callus that I’ve never taken into consideration, his feelings?
“You’re sure you want to admit that?” He asked, humor coloring the tone of his voice.
“No. I hate admitting I’m wrong, that I’m sorry. . .everything.” She looked down to her coffee cup and saw herself looking back up in the reflection.
“No one likes to admit that they’ve made a mistake, Kathryn. It’s human nature.” He said quietly.
“But not my nature.” She pointed out.
“No, I guess not. But I’ve come to realize in the time I’ve known you, that you are one of the most truthful and open people I know. You have so many gifts.” Chakotay said.
“And a lot of faults. I think somewhere, in this mission, I’ve forgotten some of the basic principles of being a person.”
Chakotay looked at her sideways. She snorted, which made him chuckle. He hadn’t known what to expect when she’d contacted him earlier, saying that she really needed to talk to him. “And what are those principles, Kathryn?”
“I need someone to talk to. I need to realize that I can’t do everything for this ship, that there are some things that are just out of my control. I need to be held. I need *more*, all together.” Kathryn said.
“You’ve made a start.” Chakotay said quietly.
“No, we have.” She looked at him and smiled. Very quietly, very slowly, he leaned over and kissed her cheek.
“I know what you’re going to say. So, I’ll say good night and I’ll see you in the morning.” Chakotay said, rising.
“You’re not upset that I want to take this slow?” She asked, following him with her eyes.
“No, Kathryn. I would have been more upset if you had not realized it. But no matter, we have plenty of time and I’m in no hurry.” Chakotay smiled again and left, leaving her to watch his exit.
“Plenty of time.” She echoed, feeling relieved and finally, at peace.