When Altarian Cider, Chronotons and Akoonahs Collide

Usual disclaimers; TPTB don’t know how to do it, but we’ll show them – for free!

Spoilers: A little bit for "Shattered"


by Delta Story

(January 2001)


"Temporal prime directive," she smiled back at him, her words smug and self-satisfied at having caught him at his own game. She drained her glass, purposefully savoring the last drop of the pale gold liquid.

His eyes, dark and dancing, darted towards hers, his thoughts flashing back to an earlier conversation she wouldn’t… couldn’t remember. Once more, Kathryn; once more; always the last word. His laughter was low and secretive.

"There is more, isn’t there?" she asked, suddenly realizing that his thoughts were not of the moment. His good mood faded; he lowered his eyes, evading the question, saying nothing. She sank back into the sofa, a deep sigh answering her own question; each of them suddenly sensed a chasm in the camaraderie of the evening.

"Kathryn, you know I can’t say anything more." He placed his glass on the low table in front of him, leaning forward and clasping his hands across his knees. "Suffice it to say that I had a replay of much of our past… even though it was a future to you." He looked up, his slow smile deepening his dimples. "Don’t worry; nothing changed. I… I couldn’t face you if it had."

His statement sparked her curiosity. She stretched her arms wide across the top of the sofa, a mischievous smile on her face. "Why, Chakotay; why would you say that? Other than bypassing a thousand calamities and disasters, threatening aliens and never-ending journeys, when has there ever been a time that we would want to change our history?"

His eyes and smile took on a slow smolder. "Oh, I can think of a couple of times," he said, nervously swallowing the words and reaching for the empty bottle, trying to change the subject. "Say… do you really want me to go get another bottle? You’ve got to agree that with all that has happened today… or whenever the hell it did happen… that it’s something worth celebrating."

But she would not let go of the topic, now that it had been broached. "You could have changed something, couldn’t you?"

"We can’t go there," he said, clearing his throat, obviously uncomfortable with her prodding. With effort, he tried to put a light spin on the unspoken words. "We can’t go there because… that part of our lives wasn’t even aboard Voyager, so it couldn’t be in any of the space-time continuum splits brought on by the anomaly."

They sat in silence, neither daring to even admit to that time in their lives about which they were thinking. Finally, without speaking specifically, she broke the silence. "Do you ever go there?"

He looked up, smiling. "Often… but only in my dreams."

She shook her head, her voice coming in a nervous twitter. "You and those dreams! I can barely remember if I dreamed, much less what they are about!" She shifted uncomfortably, pulling her legs up underneath her and assuming a rather defensive position.

"Do you think you might… dream about that time?" he asked.


"Do you think that we ever… um… crossed any barriers?"

She hesitated before answering, knowing that her answer might take them across that forbidden line she drew so long ago. She swallowed hard, knowing that her hesitance had given her away already. "Probably," she said softly. Again, she shifted her body, skewing herself and resting her chin on her forearm across the back of the sofa. She looked out of the skylight, avoiding contact with his eyes, drawn into an alternate universe where there was no such thing as Starfleet protocol.

He rose from the chair and came over to the sofa, sitting behind her, daring to speak into her ear… braving one of those barriers. "Would you like to remember any of those dreams?" he finally ventured.

She turned to him, his face convoluted by the knowledge of his trespass and by the naive hope that she might take him up on his offer. "Wha… what do you mean?" Her face reddened with the realization that he guessed what she was thinking. She twisted herself so that she was facing him… so that there was space between them… and his query.

He let out a little sigh of relief; at least she hadn’t thrown him out! All right; let’s see if we can proceed a little more with this, he thought. "Kathryn, do you remember a couple of years ago when we all had those bizarre dreams… created by an alien… and you allowed me to enter into a state of lucid dreaming? I could teach you… how to do this… how to allow yourself to remember vividly what you dream."

She tugged at her tunic and suddenly became very interested in a piece of lint on the back of the sofa. "Oh, I don’t know about that. I seem well-enough adjusted not to need to analyze my dreams."

"You’re not the least bit curious?"

Her face became even more flushed. "Chakotay, I… "

"Tell you what," he continued, jumping up suddenly. "Let’s clean up from dinner, and I’ll go get my akoonah and show you how to do it."

Again, she hesitated. "I really don’t think…"

He had moved over to the eating area, already placing items into the recycler. "I’m not going to force you; I just think you might find it interesting."

She walked over to him, joining him in the chores. "It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything to do with that mysterious contraption of yours; sometimes it scares me…"

"I’ll be right there with you. And I’ll teach you how to wake yourself up, so that you can recall what you dreamed."

Her face took on a look of surprise. "You mean you won’t be staying with me throughout?"

He laughed. "You won’t need that; you’ll know when to wake up."

"But… I’d feel ever so much better if you did stay with me," she said, grabbing his arm in a poignant plea.

He patted her hand paternally. "All right; I’ll stay. Now… let’s finish here."

They finished their domestic chore in record time. Chakotay excused himself and returned shortly with his medicine bundle.


Chakotay reverently opened his bundle on the table by the sofa, where they both sat.

"Do you remember the words?" he asked.

She smiled. "Not really; it’s been a long time…"

"Yes, it has," he smiled back at her. He moved to take her hand, silently asking her permission. She nodded her assent, and he took her hand between his, warmly guiding it to the surface of the akoonah, reciting the age-old mantra as he did so.

"Ah-koo-chee-moya – we are far from the sacred places of our grandfathers, far from the bones of our people. We seek a sleep to remember our dreams of a time long past…"

Their hands rested together on the mystical instrument, their bodies rapidly assuming a somnolent state… neither realizing that his words had called both of them under its spell, taking them together into a state of co-joined dreaming… of a time long ago…

…He stood next to her, having run out in worried response to her cries. She stood beside the bathtub he had built, wrapped in a towel, pointing into the darkness of the woods. "Out there… I heard something!" she said.

A few moments later, they knew they were no longer alone, that they had a "friend" on this desolate planet, one that Kathryn hoped would lead her to a cure for their illness. She looked over her shoulder, seeking his approval of her hopes and saw another message, one that should not have surprised her. His eyes wrapped around her, oblivious to the practical aspect of the situation, focused only on the water glistening off her rosy flesh, naked in their desire of wanting her. Their eyes met, and the message could not be more clear. She froze, afraid that any movement would end in a response that she knew she couldn’t allow to happen. "Chakotay, we can’t…" she began. But her words had been enough… just admitting that she knew what his thoughts… and yes, her thoughts… were. Even if she could find a cure, Voyager was gone; they were going to be here for the rest of their lives. And she could no longer put off what they both knew had been growing ever since that first fateful day in the Delta Quadrant.

She said nothing more, but stood there, her feelings raw and open to him. He lowered her hand from the towel, loosening the knotted fabric that tenuously held it in place. She remained motionless as it fell into a pool of fabric at her feet. She reached over to him and eased him out of his vest… then his shirt. Her hands fumbled somewhat with the belt buckle; he guided her movements, releasing its closure and slipping out his pants. She backed him up and sat him on the edge of the tub, helping him take off his boots.

"Maybe I should wash first," he whispered, slipping a leg over the edge of the tub.

"No," she answered quickly. "No… I can’t wait any longer…" She pulled him out and away, locking him in a slow, embracing dance across the grassy surface of the clearing. Hands roamed and explored, eager to discover new territories; mouths devoured one another, their bodies equally hungry in their long fast of denial.

He backed her up against a partially fallen tree, its upward surface thick with moss, forming a dense cushion under the strained curve of her back. The broad, rounded breadth of the tree trunk urged her legs apart, flailing each to a separate side of the thick column of wood; the limbs could do nothing else but follow its burgeoning path. Her arms grabbed out around its sides, securing her body and balance, spreading her legs further apart. The bow of her back arched against the firm structure, accentuated by the deep panting exploding from her body. She licked her lips in anticipation. The cool moss reached up and embraced her nether lips, its small stalks caressing their warm engorgement. Swollen with her surging blood, engorged with anticipation, the dark red labia framed the sacred orifice, issuing an age-old invitation. Her warm wetness glistened off their surfaces, like the luscious flesh of a ripe pomegranate… juices dripping with sweet succulence.

He dipped two fingers, then three, into her luscious fruit, tenderly scooping the warm interior walls, urging out the delectable juice of the flesh, eager to experience all of her. His motions urged her to raise herself higher… presenting an even more open display for his delight. He pulled his fingers out, replacing them with the broad swirls of his tongue. As his tongue sought deeper depths, his fingers, viscous with her rich wetness, found the hard nub of her desire, straining up and seeking him. He rubbed her slickness onto its rounded surface, anointing her in long, loving strokes. His tongue again followed the path of his fingers, slowly circling her labia, alternating its languishing licks with sudden pulling sucks of her hard clitoris. She knew that she was going to explode shortly and wanted him with her. He sensed her urgency and pulled back, allowing her level to become more controlled. But her relief was only momentary, for as soon as he knew that she was "in control again, he once more assumed his teasing stimulation.

His body revealed its own growing passions. He, too, was straddling the tree, balancing himself on the trunk below her. With each movement he made to pleasure her, the tree’s rivaling textures of its scaly bark and cushioning moss rhythmically rubbed against the delicate sac of his scrotum, his twin balls rolling back and forth over their surfaces, urging them into a heightened state of response, becoming more and more compact and hard and firm. The fleshy pillar of his penis replied to this silent message in its own way, growing rigid and hard like the trunk that supported them, like the tree itself responding to the warmth of the sun, becoming more and more insistent in its own mission.

As he sensed the rise of the imminent inevitable outcome for both of them, he slid up the trunk, simultaneously lifting up her body and quickly impaling her onto his now firm, upright phallus. He left her no time for surprise, so quickly did he accomplish the act, so perfectly inserting himself in her; he slid into her swollen welcoming cunt, seeking complete consummation inside her.

Her eyes slowly flitted open, only long enough for him to see the sight denied both of them for so long – the smoky glaze of her pending sexual climax, hazy and ethereal, their message for him alone. Her eyes rolled back and closed as she succumbed to the guttural moan she had been withholding so long. She leaned back, allowing him deeper entry into her welcoming body. He put his hands in the small of her back, supporting her and allowing him to push further into her. They both began a slow dance of their balanced bodies, back and forth, dipping and twirling, each following the inviting lead of the other, awaiting the crescendo of their act.

The rhythms became more intense, their motions matching the thundering beat until all the notes became one. His hands held her tighter, their bodies continuing the contrapuntal movements; deeper and deeper, harder and faster… it was all a blur to each of them now. She could not hold off any longer; she leaned back, pressing his shaft hard against her most delicate spot, sending her body and spirit into spiraling paroxysms of light and energy. The sudden pressure on his member was the only trigger needed for him to join her in the eternal phantasm of sexual release.

In tandem, their bodies remained frozen for several seconds, as light traveling faster than sound. After several seconds, he took a deep breath, as if he had not breathed for quite a while. He gently laid her back down onto the surface of the tree, slowly pulling out of her as he did so. Her eyes languidly opened, suddenly fraught with a look of fear of loosing him as he did so.

He understood their meaning, and he leaned down and softly kissed her swollen, flushed lips, his eyes and face warm and smiling. "Don’t worry; you’re not going to lose me so easily."

As if to emphasize his words, his relaxing penis twitched with an aftershock of motion, it surface warm and sticky with their mingled fluids. She reached down and encircled the softening phallus with her hand, caressing and calming it, gently massaging the viscous remnants onto the cool skin of his stomach and groin. The organ, still in a heightened state of sensitivity, sent waves of request throughout his body, triggering a rebirth of his manhood. He threw his head back, leonine and savage, crying with pain and pleasure. "No… no… too soon… I can’t… we…"

"I’ll do the work," she whispered, her voice low and soothing. She slid out from under him, deftly exchanging their positions, with his legs falling to either side of the tree trunk, its mossy surface warm and wet from the remains of their lovemaking.

He welcomed the support under his back, sighing in relief. His breath came in small pants; he was getting dizzy. He wanted to slow down long enough to fill his lungs fully with oxygen, allowing his body to recoup and restore itself. "Kathryn," he managed to say between breaths, "don’t you think we should… aghhhhhh!!!!"

His request died on his lips as her mouth engulfed him. Her lips tightly circled just the first inch or so of his phallus, her tongue, strong and dexterous, dancing around its circumference, icy hot in its caresses. What he thought was spent quickly revived, the spongy flesh expanding and engorging, straining against the soft tissues of her mouth. One of her hands surrounded the lower part of the member, matching the movements of her tongue with a fractioned rhythm of its own up and down the slick surface of his shaft.

Her other hand deftly cradled the soft tissue encasing his hardening testicles, ever so slowly closing her fingers tighter and tighter around the precious package.

Involuntary motions took over as he began thrusting his hips up and down on the trunk, his hands reaching back, wrapped around the trunk, anchoring their two bodies but providing him with little flexibility. Her glazed eyes slowly rose to greet his face, contorted in the pleasure pain of the situation; a sheen of minuscule perspiration droplets glowed on his face and body. Her enclosing lips took on a slight slip of a smile, as she reveled in taking him deeper and deeper, her fingers playing their magical music on his sensitive flesh.

He chanced a release of one hand, the pleasure of her mouth becoming almost too much for him.. He reached up and grasped her shoulder. "Kathryn… I can’t… I want… ohhhhh!!!!"

She slowly pulled away, his swollen hot penis slowly sliding from her opening lips. She moved her hand, gently calming it… and him. "What? What do you want?" she purred, her voice low and feline.

"You… inside… I want to be… inside… you…" he moaned.

She slithered out of her position and stood, only to quickly re-position herself straddling him, her short legs spread wide to either side of him. She planted her feet firmly on the

ground and lowered herself the short distance between her still-wet thatch and his erect member, leaving about a finger’s breadth between them. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," he whispered.

She lowered herself a few millimeters more, allowing her nether lips to barely graze his slickened tip. With the same control she always maintained, whatever the situation, she brushed back and forth a few times, long enough for him to feel the readiness of her hot lips against the rhythmical throbbing of his organ. He groaned as she backed away, only to feel her lean into him, her mouth hot on his chest, her lips and teeth seeking his nipples. Gently but firmly she took one between her teeth and tugged ever so slightly… tightly… pulling it up against the tautness of his muscles, rolling it now between her teeth and tongue, flicking its aroused tip with her tongue. He began bucking, his engorged penis now thrashing against her inner thighs, anointing them with the pre-cum that was oozing from him, pleading with her to put an end to this divine torture. Still she tugged and teased him. She reached her hand between her legs and grabbed the beast between them, holding it still while she switched to the other awakened nipple, her bird-like nibbles and nips, arousing bolts of virile energy through his body.

He was losing his balance; he needed both hands to anchor him to the tree, or they would roll off. He was at her mercy, and he desperately hoped that she would complete her task. Again, he pleaded with her, his voice small and helpless. "Kathryn… please…"

The time had come; they both knew it. She stood, positioning herself directly above him, and slowly lowered herself onto his awaiting pleading member. He sighed as her wet, warm chamber welcomed him, wrapping itself around him as she lowered herself more and more, allowing him to seek the end of his journey. Their bodies sought to harmonize their erratic oscillating movements, rearranging their rhythms into synchrony.

Higher and higher they went… faster and faster. Her hands moved from their hold on his shoulders to his waist, and she leaned back, desirous of the full effect of his stimulation, wanting him to trigger that secret place that would give her sweet release. As their center of gravity shifted, he released his hold on the tree underneath him and grabbed her hips, quieting their gyrations so that he could meet her in the completion that was so close. Instinctively, he grasped the trunk with his knees, providing a new foundation for their intertwined bodies, ripe and ready for imminent, impending climax.

The combined states of sexual and physical tension of their bodies anchored their positions, as their motions blurred the silhouette of their bodies against the backdrop of night. In one final fervent thrust, the violent motion ceased, rapidly becoming quieting quivers. With only the sounds of sylvan nocturnal whispers around them, their voices softly sang out each other’s name, a codicil to their consummation.

Suddenly aware of mutual stiffness from their acrobatics on the tilted tree trunk, they gently eased their bodies off, onto the cushioned carpet of grass surrounding them. They stretched and turned, but didn’t want to let go of each other. It had taken them this long to become as one that they could not… would not… relinquish the moment. Like lovers spun together into a cocoon, their arms and legs swirled around each other, further united by the products of their lovemaking. He began to soften inside her, punctuated by an occasional twitter of aftershock; her body responded with a shiver of its own in response to his movements. Their silent smiles spoke all that needed to be said; the time for words would come. Their bodies became more relaxed; they pulled apart, ever so slowly. He leaned down and softly kissed each of her closed eyes… the tip of her nose… and then her smiling lips. She sighed, and snuggled into the curve of his arms, resting on his chest. They fell asleep, satiated by the sweet satisfaction of sexual fulfillment.


Huh? his eyes called out as he jerked awake, his mind still muddled in the murky limbo between sleep and alertness. He felt a weight on his chest; he blinked his eyes, trying to adapt them to the darkness and reality. Remnants of dreams… of memories… told him that the weight he felt was Kathryn. Yes… that was it! They had been summoning their spirits to… no, no! It was only supposed to be her; he hadn’t meant for it to be… them… together!

His body, as well as his eyes, shifted to attention as the mists of the other world cleared, as the sensations he felt registered in his mind. His night vision quickly acclimated, and the surrounding scene became all too clear to him. Yes, Kathryn was asleep against his broad torso; he felt the moist warmth from her steady breathing and the fine silkiness of her hair – he felt them too well, too real.

He called for minimum illumination in the room, while gently shaking her. If what he suspected was true, she was going to have enough of a jolt when she awoke. Spirits… what have you led us into? he thought, continuing his awakening motions. "Kathryn… Kathryn…" he whispered. He wanted to brush back her hair, to touch her; but he decided against it.

She stirred, rolling slightly onto her back and stretching ever so slightly. "Mmmmm," she murmured, lost in the remains of her reverie. Her eyes batted open; through sleep-laden slits, she saw his dark eyes, two glistening black holes drawing her into their unfathomable depths. She raised her arms, pushing away the vision vestiges as well as her disheveled hair, a flush of red flowing up her face as she remembered the dream.

He spoke before she could. "You had a dream… and you remember it."

She tried to stifle the smile but couldn’t. "Yes, I certainly did."

He responded calmly. "I did, too."

It was just then that several realizations hit Kathryn Janeway at the same time. She bolted upright and away from the man seated next to her as the scene came into comprehension.

"Chakotay…" she managed to squeak, her hand reaching out towards his chest… his naked chest.

He took her hands between his, trying to calm her. He nodded soothingly at her. "I know; and I really don’t know what to say…"

In order to confirm her suspicions… to guarantee that her mind and eyes weren’t playing tricks, she called out, "Computer, lights at fifteen percent…"

Her gasp grew in tandem with the summoned illumination. She looked at him… then herself. A mask of horror froze itself into her face. "Chakotay… we’re… we’re… "

"Without clothes… naked. Yes, I know."

"Wha… what happened?" she eeked out, her eyes now scanning the room, as she realized that they weren’t on the sofa anymore but in her bed… a quite tousled bed at that!

He tried to put a humorous spin on the situation. "You tell me your ‘dream’ and I’ll tell you mine."

"Dream," she muttered, shaking her head. "I’m beginning to wonder…"

"If it really was a dream?" he finished. "I am, too." His firm grip on her hands relaxed. "If I let go, will you promise to behave and not get mad?" His smile widened into his characteristic deep dimples, disarming her of whatever vitriol had begun to surface.

His hands moved away, and she laughed as she pulled hers to her side.

There they sat, their legs curled up underneath them, an expanse of an arm’s length separating them. Their eyes gleamed with a mixture of delight, dilemma and discomfiture, their postures trying to regain a modicum of modesty but merely making matters worse. Silently, they took visual inventories of each other; it wasn’t difficult to come to the same conclusion, of knowing what activities brought them to this state.

The time for false modesty was long over. Kathryn slumped down onto the bed, her arm pulled up under her head as it found a place on a pillow, her body languidly stretched out over the rumpled covers. There was neither malice nor malcontent in her voice as she stated the obvious. "Well, I guess there’s not much more to say. It looks like all those carefully guarded protocols have been breached."

He leaned down, brushing away a few flying strands of loose hair. "Does it upset you?" he asked softly but feeling his body tense against an expected outrage of denial from her.

She took his hand in hers and kissed each fingertip. "I thought it would. But it’s quite obvious what my subconscious has wanted all along." As if in affirmation of what she said, she placed his hand over her heart. He smiled at the strong rhythm that matched that of his own. They remained quiet, lost in the communion of their hearts.

"Do you have an explanation for what happened?" she asked, breaking the silence.

"No more than I do for anything else that has happened today." He smiled at her. "You’re the scientist, Kathryn; what do you think happened?"

She was drawing little designs with her fingers over the smooth surface of his chest. "I think that the more we learn, the more we find to question. Alternate universes, parallel lifelines, shadow worlds… who knows?"

"Is this the Kathryn Janeway I’ve known for seven years? Is she finally admitting that maybe there’s something which science can’t explain?" he grinned.

She shook her head. "Now I never said that…"

"No, but you’ve always ‘poo-pooed’ any hint of not having rational or logical answers to each and every situation."

She put a finger across his lips. "I didn’t laugh at your spirit guide, did I?"

"No; but you never made another attempt to contact yours after that one time so long ago."

"True," she said, her eyes sparkling. "But then I discovered that I had you to guide me."

He nibbled on her finger. "When you deign to listen to me…"

She pulled her finger away, and began running a line down his chin, his chest, his stomach. "I listen to you when I feel that it’s necessary; you know that I’ve always valued your input… even when I’ve ignored it." She stopped just below his belly button, looking up at him mischievously. "And what would your advice be to me now… with this particular situation?"



He took her into his arms, resting his chin on the nest of hair on top of her head. "I would say that we accept it as the next step in our relationship. I don’t think we should make a big deal out of it; I truly believe that it’s the logical progression in what we have felt for each other for a long time… yes, ever since New Earth. Whether it was the effects of our dual touch on the akoonah or some weird transformation of the chronotonic bursts on that opened cider, I think that the spirits of the universe were trying to aright things into a natural order of succession."

She sighed, sinking deeper into his embrace. "What about the crew? What do we tell them?"

"Do want my advice as your first officer… or your lover?"

"Both", she answered softly.

He breathed deeply of her scent, rich and ripe with its post-passion intensity. "Nothing."

She pulled away and looked into his confident face. "Nothing?"

"That’s right; nothing. Kathryn, most of them probably think we’re ‘an item’ already, and probably have been for a long time."

She still looked shocked. "How can they think that? Why… we’ve… we’ve been the epitome of decorum!"

He kissed her gently, quieting her sudden uneasiness. "Well… what would you think if, say, Harry and Seven weren’t seen in the mess hall several nights a week, escaping to have dinner together behind the closed doors of either of their quarters? Or if they escorted each other to ‘official functions’, only to leave early, citing ‘duty calls’? Or… if they continually touched each other, while on duty and in front of any of the crew, in touches that seemed just a little too lingering for a platonic pat…"

"Well, I’d certainly begin to…" Her eyes reflected the horror of the realization that he had described their very actions and situation. She sighed, and fell back against the pillows. "That does paint a rather incriminating picture, doesn’t it?" She propped herself on her elbow. "But… surely Tom and B’Elanna… and Tuvok and the Doctor… surely they know that…"

"Do you want to ask them?" he grinned.

"No," she sighed. "Maybe you’re right; maybe we have finally… put things right."

"Kathryn, I don’t want to force you into admitting something that you don’t believe is right… or true."

A peaceful look of contented resignation crept across her face. "No, you’re right… as you frequently are – but I just won’t admit. All right, we’ll let it play out at its own pace and accord. Given our ranks, I doubt that anyone is going to ask us point blank…"

"At least not until the Alpha Quadrant and Starfleet," he grinned, knowing that there might be some consequences then.

"Well, yes; then."

"And I’ll bet you a hundred pieces of gold plated latnium that they won’t think too much of it. After all, at least seven years, for the most part imprisoned within the confines of a starship…"

"Oh, I’m sure there will be a few more items in our logs from our years out here that will overshadow any… um… dalliances between the two senior officers," she chortled.

His laugh, in answer to her statement, was warm and intimate and understanding, just as they felt right now. The troubled tensions that long had sustained the barriers between them had disappeared as quickly and quietly as dew in the desert. They looked at each other, touched each other, seasoned with their shared history over the years. Everything felt familiar yet new; long-practiced touches finding new tactile sensations, awakening slumbering emotions. Fingers traced features only imagined in the past… hands caressed hidden flesh... mouths devoured forbidden fruit.

The air around them hung heavy with sexual kinesis, straining to be released with explosive force. With great effort, he pulled away, his words barely discernable. "Kathryn, I really should leave; it’s been a long day… and I’ve got… we’ve got a lot to try to comprehend."

Every molecule of her body silently cried out as he withdrew; was this how it had been for him all these years? "No, no," she whispered, her voice husky with unfulfilled desire. "Stay the night."

He smiled at her, feeling the heat from her body wrap itself around him and draw him once more into her aura. "If you’re sure…"

She reached out to him, pulling him into her waiting arms. "As sure as I can be about anything anymore. Let’s just consider this as a segment in time which the chronotonic burst split off, and then, when you merged all the segments with your deflector dish trick, it just never got put back into time."

He didn’t need much prompting as he pulled her back into his arms, their more-than-ready bodies already searching for each other. He kissed her, hard and deep, and slowly pulled away from her passion-swollen lips. His eyes twinkled as he answered her. "Who knows? That just might be what has happened… and we are here in an entirely different dimension of the space/time continuum!"

Chakotay watched the rapid succession of expressions on her face, as the possibility that such a scenario could be true registered in her mind. He smiled as he responded. "And I guess you’ll never know."

~*~ FINIS ~*~

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