by Delta Story

August 2005


"Thanks for coming, Mom... Phoebe... Keefe..." Kathryn continued with the farewell hugs as her family, including her 'new' brother-in-law of the past four years, left.

"Sweetie, we wouldn't have missed this for the world," Gretchen Janeway smiled. As she reached out and patted her older daughters, cheek, her eyes filled with tears. "And I know your father is so very proud of you - another admiral in the family!"

The older woman's emotion quickly transferred to her daughter - Kathryn's face tightened at the mention of her father as she hugged her mother more tightly. "He is, Mom. I felt him there with us today."

The two women looked at each other in silence, their eyes saying all the words that were necessary. Phoebe finally broke their reverie and gently took her mother's arm and pulled her away. "It's getting late, Mom; come on, let Kathryn have a little time to herself now." She glanced over at her sister. "But we're on for brunch tomorrow, aren't we?"

Kathryn nodded. "You bet - Zoltan's at ten o'clock... wouldn't miss it for the world! It's been ages since I've tasted their salmon and mushroom soufflé."

Phoebe gave a quick glance at the man who stood next to her sister then flashed a wink and a nod to Kathryn. "Of course, you're invited, too, Captain Chakotay."

"Thanks; I'd be delighted to join you. Oh - and, please...you can drop the rank, Phoebe," he grinned back at her. "Besides, it doesn't sound quite right yet."

"Oh, I think you'll adjust quickly enough," she laughed, as Keefe now pulled her further into the hall.

Kathryn and Chakotay watched in silence as the trio exited into the turbolift. When the doors slid closed, he turned to her with a sigh. "Well, it has been a long day, Kathryn; I think I'd better be on my way, too."

She turned, closing the door as she did so. "Not quite yet. We really haven't had any time to ourselves for almost three days. Please stay - for just a little while." She took his hand and ushered him over to the sofa up against the outer wall of the apartment, the long window behind it not unlike the one in her ready room on Voyager.

He didn't put up too much of a resistance; it was good to have a moment of peace after the demands of the day. Even though it had been a time of ceremony and celebration, he longed for a bit of solitude and reflection. "All right - but just a little while," he smiled back at her.

"Would you care for something to drink?" she asked, walking over to the small bar. "I don't have much, but..."

"Have any Altarian cider?" he asked, his dimples at full tilt.

"Would you believe I do?" she laughed back, her voice resonant and husky. "Any well-meaning admiral always has that beverage on hand."

He walked over to the bar and found two glasses while she searched the contents of the small refrigerator. "And, of course, being the excellent flag officer you now are, you know how to meet the needs of your command."

She stood up, the tall bottle recognizable in her hand. "Always."

Chakotay took the bottle from her and opened it with the ease of one experienced in the job. "It was quite a day, wasn't it? Although we knew that these promotions were coming, I never dreamed that Starfleet would turn into a huge production - giving out all the promotions in one fell swoop! But really - yours should have been by itself..."

She put her hand on top of his as he worked on the tight stopper. "No, it was just as it should have been - we all worked together to bring Voyager home and the honors today were meant to be shared. We were a team then and we're a team now."

"Even though we're all going to be going our separate ways," he said, pulling out the stubborn cork.

"Even more so now," she answered, holding out one of the glasses for him. "This is a group that will remain bonded long after thoughts of Voyager have passed. Did you see the expression Harry's parents' faces? Not just a promotion, but a double one at that - Lieutenant Harry Kim... no 'j.g.' for him!"

Chakotay began filling the second glass. "And three generations of Paris's there - with both Tom and B'Elanna now lieutenant commanders... then there's Tuvok, a full commander..."

"And you a captain... again," she smiled, holding her glass to him in a toast.

"And you an admiral," he reciprocated. "Not that we didn't know that was going to happen." His glass 'pinged' as it touched hers. "Here's to the entire class..."

"Those present and departed," she whispered. He saw the tears she held back, obviously thinking of the posthumous promotion of Joe Carey, who came so close to making it back to the Alpha quadrant.

"To everyone," he answered, as they each sipped. "Ummmm! Good stuff - where did you find it?" he asked, relishing the full body of the beverage.

"Nuh, uh! I'm not letting you in on my secrets - admiral's privilege!" she chuckled, walking back to the sofa.

"Still pulling rank on me, even after all these years, Kathryn?" he laughed, following in her footsteps.

"Would I do that to you?" she grinned back.

"At any and every opportunity," he laughed, taking a seat on the sofa sinking into the plush cushions. "Man, does this ever feel good! Another perk of rank?"

"No, this is all my own doing. I've had enough of Starfleet furniture to last me a lifetime and decided that this is one luxury I deserve." She put her drink down on the low sofa table and stretched. "And I've had enough of this uniform for awhile, too. Do you mind if I get a little bit more comfortable?"

Chakotay sat up, wondering if he had heard her correctly. "You want to do what?" he asked.

"Get out of this uniform... into something that doesn't feel like it's suffocating me."

He shook his head. "Well, this is certainly a new Kathryn Janeway! Sure, go ahead."

She walked into the hall, headed towards her bedroom. "And why don't you at least take off your jacket?"

This time he sat upright, on the edge of the sofa. He looked at his glass - it was almost full; he had barely sipped anything, so it wasn't the effects of the cider 'talking'. What was going on? "Uh... Kathryn..."

Her voice drifted over the distance, muffled by something probably covering her face. "Don't want... ahead... you."

He stood up and unfastened the long, ornate formal Starfleet tunic, sighing as he rid himself of the heavy garment. He started folding it neatly, but suddenly opted to toss it over the chair next to the sofa. Another sigh, this one long and satisfying. Damn, it did feel good to get out of that thing! He started to work off the boots, too, but remembered that he really had to leave shortly. He fell back into the comfort of the sofa, spreading his arms along its low back. A couple of deep breaths and he closed his eyes...

"Am I boring you, Captain?" A smoky voice jostled him out of his almost-slumber; his eyelids fluttered open, his sight hazy from the stupor.

His eyelids suddenly jolted from lethargic laziness to red alert. When Kathryn Janeway said she was going to get comfortable, she meant it! But it certainly wasn't making him feel very comfortable... anything but comfortable was more like it! "Ka... Kathryn..." he finally managed to sputter.

She stood in front of him, her hand in its characteristic position on her hip. "Well, I did say that I was going to get more comfortable," she said. "And after all - this is my apartment; why is there anything so wrong about this?"

Although his legs felt like they were about as firm as jelly, he managed to get up and move a couple steps away from her. Beads of sweat popped up across his forehead and began running down his cheeks; his hands trembled. "But. Kathryn... you're... you're... naked!" He couldn't believe he'd actually said it much less that he could believe what he saw.

She was indeed naked, all but for a pair of low-heeled black satin mules on her feet and a narrow dark red ribbon tied around her neck. And not in bad shape for a woman in her mid-forties! She had put on a few pounds since their return but, to Chakotay, all of them went to the right places. No longer was she that pretense of womanly flesh buried under the layers of a uniform: her breasts, though succumbing a bit to gravity with age, still blossomed into full flowers, full and sweet and inviting. Her body nipped inward into a fairly lithesome waist, then her hips took a convex curve, providing the perfect shelf for her small, delicate hands. A slight rounding of her stomach invited his touch, beckoning him to explore its curvature. Although her body was of slight of stature, her legs gave her the appearance of being much taller - legs that wouldn't stop, legs spread just enough so that he knew how much a woman she was.

"Wha... what are you trying to do?" he sputtered, backing away another step. "Kathryn - do you know what this is doing to me?"

"I should hope so," she purred, catching up with him and wrapping her arms around his neck.

He tried to push her away, but his hand accidentally brushed against her breast. He groaned in horror as she jerked back with a quick breath. "I... I'm sorry," he whispered.

"For what?" she asked, her lips now dangerously close to his.

Again he attempted to pull away, but by reaching for her face, he again managed to make contact with the soft fleshy mounds in his way. Her hands stopped his, and closed them in around her breasts.

That was it - it was all over. His fingers dug into the welcoming softness she offered as her hands wrapped around him, pulling him into her. Their mouths found each other, opening and offering the start of their communion, drinking deeply of each other, savoring that which had been forbidden for so long.

When the need for air broke them apart, he managed his question. "Kathryn, after so long - so many years and all that talk about protocol and everything..."

She smiled as she slowly began to unbutton his dress shirt. "You forget, my dear Chakotay, that Harry wasn't the only one who jumped a rank in promotion today. Remember - the powers that be decided to bypass the rank of rear admiral for me and directly made me a vice admiral. So - I guess that puts me in charge of 'vice' - and I think I've got a lot of vice ahead of me to take care of, don't you think?"

~ the end ~

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