"It Was A Dark And Stormy Night"
Pairing : J/C
Setting: Two months post "Endgame", a secluded cottage Kathryn has rented to be near Star Fleet Headquarters for Voyager's staff debriefings
A VAMB secret ficlet challenge. We had to write a short PG piece, starting with a first line already written by our secret ficlet match. Man, keeping things short is HARD! My match/first line was written by fellow-VAMBie Cara-mia.
No matter how frustrating he could be or how pissed off she was at him at the moment, Kathryn couldn't stop the smile from forming on her face.
He was back.
A flash of lightning had just illuminated the garden of the cottage and revealed the identity of the uniformed figure throwing tiny stones up at the bedroom windows, so there was no doubt it was him. But, he'd only been gone for six or seven hours at most ; supposedly on his way to Dorvan to 'find himself' - whatever that meant. So, what was he doing back so soon, and why had he come to her?
Her heart fluttered painfully in her chest as she remembered the inexplicable suddenness of his farewell as soon as the debriefings had ended, but he'd obviously come back for a reason, and there was only one way she was going to find out why.
Quickly pulling a robe on over her pyjamas, she hurried downstairs turning on lights as she went.
The hall lights flickered erratically for a few seconds and then went out completely. With barely enough light to see by, and in her haste to get the front door open, she entered the wrong alpha-numeric keycode several times. Finally, with less haste and more speed, she keyed in the right sequence and the lock disengaged.
The door immediately blew inwards and she had to fight to hold onto it in a real tug-of-war with the gusting wind and driving rain. It was hard to take a breath, let alone shout into the wind, but the bedroom windows were on the far side of the cottage and she didn't know if Chakotay would see that the front door was open from there. She shouted as loudly as she could,
"Chakotay... ? Chakotay, come inside before you catch your death!"
He obviously didn't need telling twice and he soon sprinted into view, calling out, "What took you so long?! I'm soaked to the skin!"
She was too busy struggling to close the door behind him to answer right-away, but a surge of annoyance at his attitude added to her earlier frustration with him gave her the extra push she needed. The nerve of the man! How dare he break her heart and dash her hopes for the second time in as many months, then calmly swan off on some journey of self-discovery, only to turn up hours later - in the middle of the night no less - and complain at being kept waiting?!
"You're lucky I heard anything at all!" she huffed, bristling with indignation as she tapped in the code to re-engage the security lock. "Do you have any idea what time it is?! You're not even supposed to be here. You're supposed to be on your way to Dorvan, not standing outside in a storm throwing stones up at my windows!"
"I know, and I'm sorry if I woke you, but I had to come back," he replied, sounding just a little out of breath. "I got as far as final pre-flight checks on the shuttle before I realised I wasn't going anywhere, not without seeing you one more time. I have to know once and for all, Kathryn...."
Lightning strobed the hallway and a clap of thunder cracked overhead as he turned her around to face him and gathered her into his arms. His clothes, his hair, and his skin were soaking wet, but none of that mattered as his lips covered hers and the heat of his mouth sent a jolt of pleasure coursing through her. His kiss was light and gentle at first, but as she moaned and opened her mouth to his, he crushed her to him and kissed her as she'd never been kissed before.
When their need to breathe overcame their need to keep on kissing one another,they held each other tightly as they whispered apologies and words of love, but it wasn't long before Kathryn realised that Chakotay was shivering.
"You have to get out of these wet clothes," she tutted, tugging at the zip on his uniform jacket.
His hand covered hers and held it. "I will, but I'd like to explain first... I want to tell you why I decided to go to Dorvan as soon as the debriefings were over. I needed to clear my head and sort through my feelings, and I thought Dorvan would be the best place to do that."
"There's plenty of time for explanations," she said, quietly. "I have a few of my own I need to make. But, if it helps, I can probably guess some of what you were thinking and feeling - what with Seven bolting like that, and me flirting with you one minute and holding you at arms length the next. I see that now, and I owe you an apology for it. I wasn't sure how you felt anymore after Seven, and I think I was trying to guage your reactions... but, we'll talk later. Let's just get you out of these wet things and into a hot bath before you catch a chill."
"Alright, if you insist."
She smirked. "Oh, I do. I might even wash your back for you. You can take the plug-end of the bath though... I love you, but I'm not feeling quite that generous."
Taking him by the hand, she lead him through the hall and up the stairs.