by Delta Story

September 2006

Inspiration for this story comes from one of Camryn's fantastic fiddles -- you will find it at the conclusion of the story. ;-)


Today has been a day like so many others, the dayshift filled with little problems that nagged and ate away at our strength and time and patience: Seven had once more usurped energy supplies from engineering to astrometrics without consulting B'Elanna and our chief engineer was on the rampage again; Jarvis and Lang had accidentally cut off the EPS to deck eleven when they were doing routine maintenance in Jeffries tube twenty-seven; there was a grease fire in the kitchen and the EMH was griping about Tom's being late for his sickbay shift again - just another day aboard Voyager.

The dayshift flowed into the evening hours and I stumbled out of my ready room, my eyes almost closed, lost in nightmares of loose ends that still remained from the previous twelve hours. My feet moved in a well-worn pathway to the turbolift, as if being directed by some unknown remote device. You likewise exited from the briefing room, your mind disconnected from your physical state and your movements removed from your thoughts. It wasn't until we bumped into each other approaching the turbolift that we even recognized or realized the presence of the other.

The bump wasn't hard, but I must have groaned when your elbow ran into my shoulder. You fell off balance momentarily and staggered, falling forward. I grabbed your hands to steady you. "Long day, Commander?" I asked.

"Might ask the same of you," you smiled back, quickly righting yourself and taking a step backwards, slipping outside of the intrusion of my personal space.

The doors of the turbolift opened and you stepped aside for me to enter then stood next to me, your sagging body suddenly attempting to erect itself into at least a parade rest position. Neither of us spoke for a moment, waiting for the other to issue a command to the lift. "Where to?" I finally ventured. "Want to see what's left of tonight's gourmet treats in the mess hall?"

You sank back against the wall of the turbolift and ran your fingers through your hair and sighed wearily. "I don't think I'm up to that tonight. I've got a few rations left so I was thinking of calling up some spinach lasagna, a glass of red wine and going to bed early."

"Isn't that a rather heavy meal to eat right before bed?" I ask you before instructing the lift to take us to deck three.

"Not if you haven't had anything to eat for twelve hours," you smile back at me. "Care to join me?"

"Have enough rations for some salad?" I ask.

"I'm sure we could work something out," you grin as the doors whoosh open.

"Deal," I grin back, trying to keep up with your long footsteps. Where have you found that sudden burst of energy? And why did I agree to have dinner with you? A long soak in my tub followed by some soup is all I really need - well, and maybe a brownie or two; after all, it's been a long day.

We arrive at the door to your quarters and you begin to key in your entry code. Suddenly you turn. "Want to go to your quarters first and change... or something?" you ask.

I shake my head wearily and sigh. "If I do that, I might not want to leave again. Better collapse in your quarters and stay there."

Your laughter envelops me before I realize what I've said. "Kathryn?" you gulp, your eyes opening wide.

"You know what I mean," I say with a snort, thumping your arm with my fist.

The doors open and you lead the way inside. I see your eyes making a wide sweep of the premises, wondering if all is straightened enough for unexpected company. Some padds are scattered on your desk, and there is a used coffee mug on the low table by your sofa. "It's fine, Chakotay; my quarters are probably in more disarray than yours."

You sigh in relief but your body continues to twist and pace with nervous energy. You grab a pillow from the sofa and punch it into shape before placing it against the back of the sofa. "Uh... have a seat. Can I get you anything to drink?"

I gratefully sink onto the sofa. "Some water would be fine, thanks." You walk over to your replicator and request two glasses of water. I turn on the sofa, resting my arm across its arm, my chin finding a place on my arm. "Did you ever manage to get things straightened out between B'Elanna and Seven?" I ask.

You hand me one of the glasses and climb over my sprawling legs to sit down next to me. You take a long sip from your glass before answering, shaking your head as you begin your response. "Yes, but why is it that it's always the same thing with those two? Why is it always such a power struggle?"

I try to stifle a smirk but it's useless. "It's sort of like sibling rivalry," I say. "Reminds me of many times when Phoebe and I would get into the same arguments, much to my parents consternation. And sometimes I think we did it subconsciously, just to get their attention."

"So are you saying that you and I need to pay more attention to our 'children'?" you grin.

"Oh, I think they get plenty of attention," I respond, sitting up and letting my head fall back onto the back of the sofa. "But perhaps not the right kind. And, truth be told, I probably do dote a bit too much on Seven at times."

"Well, sometimes you have to let kids work things out among themselves. I think that next time we should just let them go - let them have it out with each other."

"Chakotay!" I shout, sitting up and glaring at you. "You can't mean that! Don't you remember what B'Elanna did to poor Joe Carey?"

"And Seven would let her have it right back," you say. "Seven wouldn't have to let rank and protocol stand in her way. How could you demote her for anything?"

I shake my head; it's a lost cause with those two. A sudden rumble comes from your direction and your face reddens. "Chakotay, I think your stomach is telling us that it's time for something to eat," I grin.

"Right you are," you answer. "Either that or it's churning in reaction to all of today's escapades."

I get up and reach for your hands helping you hoist yourself off the sofa. "Tell you what - you get some food and I'll set the table," I continue as you lumber to your feet.

"Excellent allocation of duties," you answer, walking across the room to the replicator. "Do you want just salad or some lasagna, too?" you ask as you begin to initiate the food requests.

"Salad is fine," I answer as I reach into your console for some glasses and silverware. "Although I might ask for a couple of bites of your lasagna..."

"Uh, oh; I know you - it will start with a couple of bites and then you'll end up eating half my meal!" you laugh. "Two small salads and two servings of lasagna coming up!"

As you wait for the meals to materialize, I spy a bottle of wine on your bookcase. "I see you have some bottled wine. Do you want to use that or should we replicate some?"

"Let's have some of that," you nod towards the bottle with your head. "Neelix gave it to me after his last trade mission. I opened it a couple of nights ago; it's actually quite good, reminiscent of a nice Terran pinot noir."

I pull out a couple of wine goblets from your console and place them on the table and go over to the bookcase for the wine. I don't hear you as you move from the replicator with the salads and place them on the table; you turn to go back to the replicator just as I get arrive at the table, holding the corked bottle by its neck.

We run into each other; your body invades my space again, much as it had by the turbolift on the bridge earlier. But this time you don't move. Your hands reach out and encircle my waist, your fingers finding the dip in the small of my back; they gently urge me forward until I can feel the firmness of your chest against mine. Your mouth is slightly open, forming almost a heart with the deep dip in your upper lip. You don't speak, but I can hear unspoken words flowing from your warm breath as it spreads across my face. Your hands continue to urge me forward and my body tenses as it senses the reactions from yours. Somehow I manage to place the wine bottle on the table, feeling the need to free both my hands. Your eyes draw me in as much as your hands urge me, asking questions that I dare not answer.

But it is your lips - your silent lips - that say the most: full and ripe with desire; moist and glistening with their invitation-they offer to satisfy a hunger that no food ever could. And how I want them: to taste them, to savor their sweetness, to devour them to my heart's content. So tempting; so very tempting...

I move closer to you, feeling the heat that emanates from every part of you, our heartbeats becoming less syncopated and more as one. I am weak; I should back away. I am tired; I should just turn and leave. But you are here - willing and wanting, as hungry as I. And there are those lips... those marvelous lips.

Once - maybe just this once. Certainly one little taste of your lips won't...

~ the end ~

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