Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Chakotay has one of those days.
Paramount owns Voyager and its characters. I'm just taking them out for some fun.
"Commander Chakotay! Don't tell me you fell asleep at your desk again," Captain Janeway teased.
He jumped to his feet. The sudden movement irritated his body, which demanded an involuntary moan before he could stop it. When he rubbed his face, the stubble rasped against his palm. "I don't remember falling aslee..." A yawn stole the end of the word.
"I came down to your office when you didn't join me for breakfast as promised. You have fifteen minutes to shave and change uniforms. I'll meet you in the mess hall."
Chakotay rolled his shoulders, removing the kinks, and hurried to his quarters. His mind was still clouded by sleep, but something else seemed out of place. But try as he might he couldn't figure out what it was. Maybe waking up on the wrong side of his desk was the cause of his unease. By the time he made himself presentable, he decided to ignore the nagging feeling.
Just under fifteen minutes later, Chakotay rushed through the mess hall door. His pulse quickened as he caught a glimpse of Kathryn laughing at something Neelix said as he poured her a cup of coffee. *I have it bad. After all these years, she still has power over me.*
Kathryn smiled at him as he approached the table. "Now you look respectable, Commander." She winked over her cup. "Go get your food. I'm tired of waiting."
Neelix had Chakotay's food for him ready before he even reached the counter. Time was he wouldn't trust the small Talaxian to choose items for his meals, but now he merely took the proffered tray.
Chakotay joined her at the small table. "Thanks for being patient with me this morning."
"No problem." Kathryn patted his arm and grinned. "You have been working extra hard. I know that. You were almost finished with the new crew assignments last night, so I'm sure that I won't see a repeat of your non-regulation sleeping arrangements."
"To tell you the truth, Captain, I can't remember if I finished. I can hardly recall what I was working on."
Concern etched her face. "That doesn't sound good. Maybe you should check in with the doctor or take some time off."
"No, Captain," Chakotay protested. "I'm fine. Just a little disoriented. I will check my computer when I get back to my office." Stifling another yawn, he grinned. "Maybe I need a little sleep, but I can wait to rest until tonight."
"It's up to you, Chakotay."
Back in his office, Chakotay had no idea what he'd been working on, and that couldn't be a good sign. He picked up the PADD and read the most recent file. It contained the names of the crew in neat rows, alongside duty reassignments. The Captain had told him he'd been at this for days, but he didn't remember performing the task.
The awkward feeling grew. Chakotay replicated a cup of black coffee and sat down. How could he figure out what was wrong? It seemed that no one else felt out of it like he did.
He took a big gulp of the hot liquid, and he grimaced at the bitter taste. At least he wouldn't be falling asleep anytime soon. Staring off into space, Chakotay pondered the morning so far, and other than not recalling the task he had obviously worked on, his memory for most things was fine.
Chakotay drained his cup and impatiently pushed away from his desk. PADD in one hand, he slapped his comm badge. "Chakotay to Captain Janeway."
"Captain, I think I've finished the assignment. Shall I bring it to you before I return to the bridge?"
"Yes, I would like to see it immediately."
"Aye, Captain. I'll be right there."
By the time he reached the captain's ready room, she had placed two cups, one of tea and one of coffee, on the table in her sitting area.
"Please sit down, Chakotay." She took the PADD from him as he sat next to her.
Kathryn sipped her coffee as she read through the report. She smiled at Chakotay with approval. "Excellent! This is even better than I expected."
Laying her hand on his arm, she lowered her voice. "I think I owe you dinner. You missed too many meals doing this for me. I'll expect you at 1900 hours. Bring a bottle of wine."
Her sultry tone caused him to inhale sharply, his breath catching.
Before Chakotay found his voice, the captain stood and returned to her normal professional demeanor. "Okay, let's begin implementing your recommendations, shall we?"
After lunch, the commander went to engineering to speak with B'Elanna about his crew proposal. Chakotay found her dressing down a hapless ensign. He took comfort watching her responding with her usual half-Klingon short temper. Even the crewmember in question didn't seem too upset although she gave the chief engineer the respect she was due.
B'Elanna noticed Chakotay's arrival and broke off her lecture, dismissing the young woman to her duties. "Hey, Commander!" She noticed the PADD he held. "You have the orders? Good, I've been waiting to see what you came up with."
They settled down in her tiny office to discuss the ship business. Although B'Elanna argued a few times about some of his appointments, she didn't insist that he change anything. Chakotay suspected that she had to save face by disagreeing to some extent.
When they finished working, B'Elanna replicated raktajinos for them both and began to reminisce about their Maquis days together.
Chakotay sat back to enjoy her tales since she had a unique perspective on what happened back then. However, when she began to relay an incident involving Ensign T'Lek, himself and a small targ, he couldn't recollect any part of it.
The uneasy feeling plaguing him since the morning came back full force. Maybe he was just too tired, or maybe there was something wrong with him. Worry about his genetic disposition to dementia surfaced. Had something to activate that gene like had occurred in chaotic space? Would he begin to lose control again?
"Is something wrong, Chakotay?" B'Elanna looked concerned.
Sighing, Chakotay shook his head. "No, I don't think so. I just didn't sleep well last night."
"Well, Old Man." B'Elanna grinned and emphasized the word, old.' "You aren't getting younger."
Chakotay laughed. He enjoyed his friend's affectionate ribbing. "Being so ancient, I can only stand so much of a good time." He stood up to leave. "Thanks for the drink, and for the story, but I have to get back to work."
As the day went on, Chakotay experienced several similar episodes. He decided to visit the doctor after all.
The doctor was his usual cheerful self. "Commander, what brings you to my humble sickbay?"
"I'm having trouble with part of my memory. I remember most things, but there have been several times today when I have no memory, or mine is a completely different one from someone else." Chakotay glanced away, reluctant to voice his real concern.
"Are you concerned that something is going on comparable to what happened in chaotic space?"
"Well, let me examine you before you worry too much." The doctor began scanning him with his tricorder. A short time later, he said, "You are as healthy as the proverbial horse. You could use a good night's sleep, but I don't find anything of concern."
He let out the breath he had been holding. "Thank you, Doctor. I will definitely rest tonight." As he left sickbay, he checked the time. Chakotay had twenty minutes before dinner with the captain. With the good news from that doctor fresh in his mind, the evening held even more excitement for him. He made his way back to his quarters to get ready and to replicate his liquid contribution to the meal.
How he loved the sound of her voice. And tonight it seemed even more pleasant to him than normal.
The sight that met him as he walked through the door did nothing to quell his good mood. Normally, Kathryn would simply remove her uniform jacket to serve dinner, but not this evening. She wore a soft, blue dress that just skimmed her ankles.
Kathryn welcomed him with a warm hug before she took the wine from him. "Thank you, Chakotay. This is one of my favorites." She turned to smile back at him as she found two glasses and a corkscrew. "Of course, that isn't a surprise to you. At times, I think you know my tastes better than I do."
In a few minutes, she had poured the wine and handed a glass to Chakotay. "Unless you're really hungry, I thought we could just sit and relax for a while."
Taking his drink, he followed Kathryn to the sitting area. He started to take the chair he usually sat in when she patted the sofa beside her. For a few minutes, they just sipped the wine and chatted. Kathryn did most of the talking, but neither of them minded.
Chakotay watched her acting so animated and cheerful. He reveled in the moment, not wanting it to end. He had loved her for so long without any real encouragement that a hug and place on the couch next to her seemed like a gift from heaven.
But even in the midst of the joyful moment, he still felt that something was amiss. This wasn't how Kathryn acted with him. Yes, she was friendly and at ease, but he couldn't recall that she ever hugged him before or invited him to sit next to her. Could it be that she was signaling that she had changed her mind about protocols? Or was he imagining that things had changed.
Aware that Kathryn was silent and looking at him, Chakotay smiled at her reassuringly.
Kathryn reached for the glass in his hand and put both of theirs on the table. Sliding closer, she moved her hand up his arm to his neck. Her hand urged his head down toward her.
Had the time really come? Would he finally get the chance hold Kathryn the way he had always wanted? Chakotay wrapped his arms around her to pull her close when something caught his eye. Across the room, superimposed on a mirror, he saw the image of a full moon.
Suddenly it all made sense. He had been dreaming. Nothing during the whole day, including this wonderful moment, was real. Chakotay had experienced this kind of thing before while he slept, just never so realistic or vivid. The realization seemed to paralyze him with disappointment. He shut his eyes against the pain.
"Chakotay, what's wrong?"
He could hear the worry in her voice, but he reminded himself that it wasn't real either. Neither were the soft kisses he felt against his cheeks. Chakotay slumped back against the sofa, completely disheartened.
"Chakotay, wake up." The caresses were stronger and more insistent. "It's 0700 hours and you promised to make me breakfast this morning."
Opening his eyes wide, he looked around him. Chakotay found himself in his own bedroom on his own bed. Kathryn was leaning on his chest; her lips inches from his.
"Oh, you finally open your eyes." She closed the tiny distance and kissed him.
Reality flooded back as Chakotay wrapped Kathryn in his arms, and returned her kiss. He was filled with desire and relief. What he had dreamed hadn't been correct, but not for the reasons he'd feared.
As Chakotay caressed Kathryn, he rejoiced in the knowledge that by the evening the two of them would be married. The dream had actually been a nightmare. Protocols and regulations had been conquered months ago, and today at 1300 hours, Tuvok would perform the ceremony that would bind them to each other.
Sitting up, Chakotay gently shifted Kathryn out of his arms. "Let me up, woman! I have food to replicate."
Kathryn playfully punched his arm before she got up. "I'll go get myself some coffee while you get dressed."
"Get me some, too, while you're at it." On his feet, Chakotay reached out to pull her back into his arms. "I haven't told you how much I love you yet today." He kissed her slowly and thoroughly before letting her go again just as she began to respond. "That'll have to hold you until tonight."
"We'll see about that." Her face shined bright with promise.