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J/C hug

"A Simple Goodnight"
by GillyH

Disclaimer: Paramount own them, but Braga & Co. couldn't let them do even this much. Shame. Voyager might have had more depth and lasting resonance if they'd at least tried. Methinks they protest too much :(


"Goodnight, Kathryn."

"Goodnight, Chakotay."

"Sleep well."

"Yes... you, too."

Brief eye contact, awkward smiles as we hover by the door and I dither between what's acceptable and what's natural.

How many years have we been doing this I wonder... is it five? More like six. In that time I've come to love this woman more than life itself ; she's my Captain, she's my best friend and yes, I'd sell my soul to rock her to sleep at night and wake-up with her each morning. We've been through so much together, always been there for one another, but here we are after all these years, still behaving like two ensigns on their second date.

Some sixth sense warns me that I've stood here smiling like an idiot for too long. Time's up. I can either turn away, allow my forward momentum to activate the door sensor and carry me out into the corridor, or I can show her how two friends who truly mean as much to each other as we do, should say 'goodnight'.

Her eyes widen in surprise and I feel some resistance as I pull her into my arms, but she allows it. For a moment she's rigid ; holding her body taut and shy of mine so that we're only touching at shoulder level, but slowly, as she realises what this is - or more likely, what this isn't - I feel her relax into me and the gap between us disappears. She slides her arms up around my neck, her breasts press against my chest, her hips brush mine and last, but not least, her head rests on my right shoulder.

She exhales a long, ragged breath amd I find myself doing the same thing. Is this what people mean by quiet elation? You bet. But it's so much more. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's a natural, easy contentment... like feeling safe, warm and peaceful all at once ; the way dry socks and hot chocolate feel on stormy days when wind, rain, and hail batter the windows. Like home.

"Goodnight, Kathryn."

"Goodnight, Chakotay."

"Sleep well."

"You, too."

Letting her go is harder than I ever imagined, but to continue holding her would subtly change what just happened and I couldn't bear that. So, after one last smile, I turn away, allow my forward momentum to activate the door sensor and carry me out into the corridor.


The End