Disclaimers: This is Gene Roddenberry's universe…I just play in it. Hopefully you already knew that.

Notes: The writing of this story is finished so no worries about reading an unfinished work; however, the editing and betaing are still ongoing so it will be posted in parts. It's finishing up somewhere around 70,000 words, so be prepared to settle in for a bit. There's actually a video trailer for this story over at my channel on youtube...check it out if you want to get a better idea of what this story will be about. You can search for it by title ~ Star Trek Voyager A Dangerous Woman :)

Finally, Huge HUGE Thank You to QuantumSilver who is a top notch beta and friend and tirelessly encouraged me on and is now plodding through a second and sometimes third time to fix my mistakes. (which you can tell by this sentence alone is a time consuming process) QS, You rock!

To the reader ~ I hope you enjoy!

A Dangerous Woman by Cheshire

"She's a dangerous woman."

That statement, made in a dank, backlit cellar of a bar had probably been uttered hundreds if not thousands of times. But this time, the recipient of the news was not daunted by the prospect. If anything, he was encouraged.

"Trust me." Chakotay leaned back, putting some distance between himself and the informant's stale breath. "I'm aware of her…abilities."

"No, man, no. Y-you don't understand." The informant leaned across the table, clearly nervous to even be discussing the woman in question. "She's killed more people than the Myropian virus."

Chakotay moved his drink away from the man's fidgety grasp. Having never heard of the Myropian virus, he was unimpressed with the comparison. "And has that killed a lot of people?"

The man actually paled, swallowed convulsively, and slumped back into his side of the booth. "Only wiped out an entire planet," he muttered sullenly. "No survivors."

Chakotay could easily see the haunted look in the man's eyes, and he had to admit the comparison did not sit well with him. But he had a role to play and he hardened his expression. "That's exactly the kind of contract I need carried out. So, if you want to get the other half of your payment, I suggest you arrange the meeting for me."

The man looked nervous again and his eyes quickly scanned the occupants of the bar, causing Chakotay to wonder if the woman in question was actually in the room with them at that very moment. But the man nodded quickly. "Tomorrow. Same time. She'll be here. You sit here in the booth. Don't approach her, man," he added quickly. "Even if you spot her, if you think you see her…don't go up to her. If she's willing to take the job, she'll come to you." His eyes flicked around the room again before putting his hand on the table. "Now, give me the crystals."

Chakotay reached into his pocket and withdrew a small vial of the powder blue crystals the man so desperately wanted. He dropped the vial into the outstretched hand but then clamped his hand over the man's wrist, pinning it to the table, not allowing him to withdraw. "Those crystals cost me a lot of latinum. Don't make me come looking for you."

The informant had actually flinched back as if he could escape without his hand. "I won't. I won't. She'll be here. You'll see."

"She better be." Chakotay released his hold and watched the vial quickly disappear into the fold of the man's clothes. Picking up his glass, he slammed back the last of his drink and then stood to leave. "Don't disappoint me."

For the first time since he'd slid into the booth, the man actually appeared cocky. "I work for her. Not you." The arrogance faded as quickly as it had appeared. "You don't scare me."

"But she does?" Chakotay countered.

The man snickered and shook out one of the crystals into his palm, apparently unable to wait any longer. "If you have any degree of self preservation, she'll scare you too."

Chakotay watched for a second as the crystal was quickly ground into powder on the surface of the table but turned away when the man leaned forward to inhale it. Making his way toward the exit, he noticed that at least three tables had emptied of occupants in the short while he'd been in the booth. He wondered if any of them had been her or if she was watching him even now. The door leading outside slid open at his approach and, with a last glance around the bar, Chakotay felt a small tendril of fear coil in his gut.

Because the truth was, that in some respects, Kathryn Janeway had always scared him.

Chapter 2

"Well?" B'Elanna demanded impatiently before Chakotay could even close the hatch of their junkyard runabout. "Did you find her? Was she there?"

He gave her an exasperated look even though he understood her impatience. "No, I didn't see her, but," he hesitated, "she might have been there."

Her eyes narrowed. "What does that even mean?"

"I met her contact," he admitted, "and I'm supposedly going to actually meet her tomorrow."

"So you didn't see her?"


"But you think she may have seen you?"

He nodded warily.

B'Elanna folded her arms across her chest. "If she saw that it was you, why wouldn't she have come forward? Why wouldn't she have talked to you?"

"I don't know." He ran his hands through his hair. "Maybe she's being watched. Maybe she couldn't."

"Or maybe this woman isn't Kathryn either."

When he didn't meet her eyes, that was as good as an admission of guilt. He wasn't sure.

"Damn it, Chakotay!" She threw her hands in the air and stalked towards the front of the runabout. "We've been out here for three months this time. We're running out of supplies, we're running out of credits, out of materials to keep this bucket of bolts running, and I haven't seen my husband or my child in all that time." She turned back around to face him. "We can't keep doing this."

"I know," he tried but had to step out of her way as she barreled back down the short deck of the ship.

"We can't keep chasing phantoms, Chakotay!"

"I know!"

She paused to gauge his sincerity. "Do you? Do you really?"

He held her eye. "Yes. I do."

B'Elanna softened. "I love her as much as you do…and I want to find her, but if this isn't her..."

"We'll go back to Earth."

"Well…okay then," she nodded. "Okay, if this isn't her then we'll go home, and we'll start looking for new leads." She disappeared into the cockpit.

"New leads," Chakotay repeated but he knew there wouldn't be any. It had taken them months to get this one. And it had been and still was…slim.

B'Elanna's head poked back out of the front cabin. "Do you really think it could be her this time?"

Her voice was almost a whisper, and Chakotay didn't want to answer her truthfully so he just shrugged. He had a gut feeling that it was indeed Kathryn they had finally found, but given the woman's deadly reputation he almost hoped…that it wasn't.

At the designated time the next day, Chakotay stepped once again inside the dingy, hole-in-the-wall bar. There seemed to be the same occupants as yesterday, and he briefly entertained the notion that they had never left. But at least one occupant was different. A lone hooded figure sat at the far end of the bar, concealed partially in the shadows. Chakotay couldn't be one hundred percent sure but he would almost swear that figure was the person he was here to meet. He was decidedly less sure if it was Kathryn or not.

He moved further into the bar, casting his gaze around but walking past the booth he had been instructed to sit in. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the figure at the bar hesitate slightly in lifting their drink. Whoever it was, he or she had been surprised when he'd moved past the booth. Chakotay circled the bar completely until he was able to slide onto the stool next to the figure that he could now easily discern as feminine despite the long trench coat that concealed much of what she was wearing.

He made sure not to stare, but he managed to catch a glimpse of very dark red hair escaping from the side of the hood she wore. It wasn't Kathryn's normal shade, but as he took his seat, a single glance down told him that if this was indeed Kathryn, she had not given up on wearing heels to appear taller than she actually was. Her solid black knee high boots were faded and worn in spots, but they also sported a thick heel that was at least three inches.

Chakotay signaled the bartender to bring him a drink and watched as the one hand she had resting on the bar tightened around the glass she was drinking from. A fingerless glove covered the majority of her hand, but her nails still looked properly shaped with a clear polish on them. He snorted into his drink at the sight; Kathryn had always been furtively vain about her nails. Her head turned slightly in his direction at his reaction, but she said nothing.

Setting his glass back down, he noticed that due to a strategically placed mirror behind the bar, she had a perfect view of the booth he was supposed to be sitting in. Glancing sidelong at her, he gestured to the mirror and indicated the booth. "If you're waiting for someone to take a seat over there, you might be sitting here for a long time."

"If you're Chakotay," a husky unmistakable voice clipped out, "you're a pretty arrogant bastard."

Chakotay forced himself not to react to the sound of her voice. It had been two and a half years since he'd heard it, and it took every control he had not to jump to his feet and sweep her into his arms. Instead, he took a bracing sip of the drink to give himself a minute before he had to speak. He wanted desperately to see her face, but considering he was pretty sure her hidden left hand was already poised over a weapon and the fact that she was acting as though she didn't know him, he remained facing the bar.

With a million questions racing through his mind, he thought it best to continue the charade until he was sure she wasn't being watched. "I've found over the years that when dealing with someone of your reputation, a little arrogance never hurts."

"I don't suffer fools lightly, and I've found over the years that arrogance is fueled by idiocy."

This time when she spoke, she had turned her head toward him, and from the corner of his eye he could just see the tip of her nose and chin. Slowly he faced her, his pulse racing as he laid eyes on Kathryn Janeway for the first time in over two years. The sight of her took his breath away.

Her skin was ivory white and her hair was redder than he'd ever seen it, as though both of her natural hues had been taken to extremes. Her lips were painted a deep crimson and her eyes were darkly lined, making the crystal blue appear colder than he'd ever seen them. A puckered scar ran along her jaw line on the right side, and another fainter line spanned half way around her neck.

He blinked and before he could stop himself, he whispered her name. "Kathryn."

Something dangerous flashed in her eyes but disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Her head cocked slightly to the side. "You've been looking for me?"

Chakotay had wanted to kick himself for slipping up and calling her by her real name instead of the contact name he'd been given, but she didn't seem all that concerned. In answer to her question, he nodded. "Every day since you disappeared."

Her fingers played idly with her glass. "We can't talk out in the open like this."

"I have a ship in the hangar. It's only half a kilometer away."

"No." She shook her head. "I have an arrangement with the bar staff here." She motioned with her head to what looked like a dark ceiling-to-floor curtain. "Pay for the drinks and then follow me."

Chakotay nodded, watching her stand and cross the room. She paused at the curtain, looking back over her shoulder at him. He threw some credits on the bar and saw her disappear behind the curtain when he stood. Trying not to break into a sprint, he crossed the bar and ducked behind the curtain as well, surprised to find himself in a dimly lit hallway. Kathryn stood at a doorway a couple of meters away and motioned for him to follow her.

As soon as he reached the door, she pulled him inside, quickly closing it behind him and slamming him up against it. For a moment he was stunned and alarmed by the jarring motion, but then her warm body pressing into him, her hands running through his hair, and her mouth crushing against his brought him to an entirely different realization.

And for a brief moment, he knew they shouldn't do this. He had no idea what she'd been through while she'd been missing. No idea what kind of trauma she had obviously endured if the scars on her face and neck were any indication. This was definitely not the time or the place for this sort of reunion, but her single moan of frustration at his inattention had him acting otherwise. In an instant, he had his arms wrapped around her small frame, holding her tight against him as his mouth slanted over hers.

She moved to the side slightly so that she was straddling his thigh, and her hands never stilled as they slid from his hair and down his chest, pulling his shirt free from his pants. Shifting her weight to her outside leg, she snaked one hand underneath his shirt and around his back while the other began to play with the clasp of his trousers. "There's something I need to tell you," she panted into his ear.

"What is it?" he groaned, trying to wrench his mind back to what she was saying even as her hand stroked over him through the front of his pants.

Her hands stilled and he heard a faint click. Pulling his head back to look into her face, he felt cold metal press against the bare skin of his back just as she hissed, "I don't play well with 'fleet anymore."

Chakotay heard the hiss of a hypospray a scant second before her knee slammed upwards into his groin. She stepped deftly backwards, allowing him to double over in agonizing pain, collapsing ungracefully to the floor. But more than just pain was washing over him as he watched two of her tuck the hypospray back up her sleeve.

"Kathr…what did…shoo…" His words slurred together and his head dropped heavily to the floor.

She lowered herself until she was crouching near his head. Her eyes raked over him with nothing but pure malice. "The only people in the universe that know my name is Kathryn are 'fleet. You should have never come after me again." She grabbed a handful of hair and pulled his head up so he was forced to look at her. "You tell your bosses that if I so much as smell 'fleet anywhere near me again, I'll kill them all." She released him, letting his head drop painfully back to the floorboards. "And since they're the ones that trained me, they know I'm capable."

Chakotay felt her delicate hands rifling through his pockets and the pain in his heart was worse than the physical pain that was pulsing through his body. He was completely powerless to stop her. He couldn't even speak, explain, to try and talk some sense into her. Her feather-light touch was gliding over the lines of his tattoo, and he strained his eyes to the side to at least try and catch a glimpse of her.

"It's a damn shame you're 'fleet," she whispered in his ear as she held up the comm. badge she'd found in his pocket. "I think you and I could have really had some fun together."

She patted his face and stood. He watched helplessly as she dropped the comm. badge to the floor and used the heel of her boot to crush it. "So long, Chakotay."

The last thing he heard was the whine of a disruptor and then energy blasted into him, knocking him completely unconscious.

Chapter 3


He'd never felt so good in all of his life. Voyager and all of the people on her were safe. Earth was visible right outside the viewports. And most importantly…Kathryn was in his arms. Chakotay felt as though he could stand like this forever and never tire of it. The scent of her hair filled his every breath. The feel of her small frame melted against him. Her fingers intertwined with his, reminiscent of that night so long ago when they'd thought Earth was an impossible dream. He'd lived this moment thousands of times in fantasies for seven years, and now the world of his dreams had become real.

"We're home, Chakotay," she said, her voice quiet and almost reverent. "We did it."

Chakotay stroked her hair, feeling blissfully happy that she didn't pull away from him. That she allowed him to touch her more familiarly than anytime they'd been in the Delta Quadrant. "You did it, Kathryn. You got us home."

"Is this the one you're looking for?" a harsh, guttural voice asked.

Chakotay's head snapped up, looking around the ready room, and he felt Kathryn lean away from him. Concern marred her features as she looked up at him. "What is it, Chakotay?"

"You didn't hear that?" he asked.

"Yeah, that's him."

B'Elanna's voice. But he didn't see her. He and Kathryn were alone in the ready room. B'Elanna was down in sickbay. She and Tom had just had a baby. She wasn't anywhere near the bridge. Chakotay looked down to see if Kathryn had heard the engineer's voice but...she was gone.

"Kathryn?" He spun on his heel, trying to see if she'd simply slipped behind him. But the ready room was empty. He was alone.

There was a loud clanking of metal and he bolted upright to a sitting position. "Kathryn!"

B'Elanna and a large alien guard stood at the opening of a dingy cell. The guard grunted, "I thought you said your name was Bels."

"It is," B'Elanna muttered disgustedly, watching as Chakotay sat on the prison cot still staring wildly at his surroundings.

"You deserve better than this piece of garbage," the guard gave his opinion. "We found him spaced out of his head two days ago behind one of the less reputable bordellos."

"B'Elanna?" Chakotay asked, blinking rapidly to try and keep her in focus.

"If you want," the guard offered, "we can keep him here a little while longer."

The half-Klingon engineer seemed to be actually considering the offer, and Chakotay's head was finally clearing enough that, given the look on her face, he almost wished she would leave him. But after what seemed to be a very long silent count, B'Elanna shook her head. "No, I think I better take him with me. He's a PetaQ, but he's my PetaQ."

The guard grumbled and shook his head. "You could do better." He shuffled forward and unlocked the cuff on Chakotay's ankle that had anchored him to the cot. Pulling him roughly to his feet, the guard shoved Chakotay towards B'Elanna. "Get out, you lowlife, before the lady changes her mind."

B'Elanna glared at him for a moment before turning on her heel and stalking away. With a look back over his shoulder at the guard, Chakotay quickly followed her.

Pain shot through his head as they stepped outside the prison and into the glare of the planet's two blazing suns. He had to squint to see, and keeping up with B'Elanna was proving to be more difficult than it should have been. She was already several meters ahead of him and was showing no signs of stopping to wait for him.

"B'Elanna, will you at least slow down?"

She did more than slow down; she stopped. Froze in her tracks. Chakotay felt like hell, but he instinctively straightened as she slowly turned to face him. Her hands were balled into fists at her sides and Chakotay began scanning the clutter of the street for something to use to defend himself.

"Do you have any idea what I have been through the past two days?" B'Elanna ground out as she advanced on him.

Chakotay stiffened, determined not to back away from her approach. "No, I–"

"They told me you were dead!"

She hurled the statement at him with such ferocity that several people on the street began to move away from them. No one on this planet had any intention of getting involved with an obviously volatile situation. But as her statement sunk in, Chakotay understood. B'Elanna had been worried…scared.

"They laughed at me, Chakotay," she hissed. "They told me I was wasting my time. That I would never find you alive. Do you have any idea–?"

Her eyes were blazing, but he could see the unshed tears there as well. "I'm sorry, B'Elanna."

Her nostrils flared angrily and for a second he saw a glimmer of teeth as her upper lip pulled back in a snarl. She pulled herself back, her breathing heavier than normal as she fought to control her anger. After several moments, she managed a jerk of her head. "It's fine. Let's just…go home."

Chakotay glanced warily down the street in the opposite direction. "I can't yet."

"What?" she snapped out.

"I need to go back to the bar I was at. I need to find out what happened–"

"What happened!" she repeated incredulously. "I'll tell you what happened. You were drugged, robbed, and phasered. You were thrown into the alley and left for dead. That's what happened! And you want to go back there?"

"I have to," he tried. "That's the only place where I can find out–"

"No! No, we are not doing this. We are going to go back to the ship, and we are going to get the hell out of this system."

"I'm going back," he stated flatly, knowing he'd never convince her with mere words when she was in this kind of a mood. He began walking back the way they'd come in the direction of the bar.

"Chakotay? Chakotay!" She caught up to him easily. "Will you just stop and think about this?"

He pushed past her. With a growl, she moved quickly and got in front of him, stopping him. Recognizing the stubborn set to his jaw, she held up her hands and tried a different approach. "Listen to me. Just for a minute. I want to find Kathryn as much as you do, but going back in this bar and getting yourself killed isn't going to help anybody." He opened his mouth to argue and she talked over him. "We'll keep trying. We'll go home and find another lead. We'll find her, Chakotay."

"I already did find her, B'Elanna," he snapped. "She's the one who phasered me."

B'Elanna stared at him for a moment and then blinked. "What?"

Chakotay blew out a frustrated sigh. "The contact I was supposed to meet. It was her. It was Kathryn."

"Then why did she…what?"

He understood her confusion and gave her a quick version of meeting Kathryn at the bar. "I don't know, B'Elanna. It was like she knew who she was but…she wasn't herself."

"But you're sure it was her?"

He frowned at her. "It was her."

"I'm just asking…I mean you were drugged."

"She's the one who drugged me," he admitted.

"Oh." She paused, trying to put together this new idea. "And was she the one who…"

"Robbed me," Chakotay completed the thought for her, looking down the street, unable to hold her eye as she decided whether or not she believed him. It had been hard enough for him to believe – and he'd been there.

"Well," B'Elanna said, drawing his attention back to her, "sounds like it was a hell of a reunion. I'm sorry I missed it." She watched him manage a small grin for her effort and couldn't help the small flame of hope she felt reignited in herself. "So, how did she look?"

The grin disappeared as he thought of the informant's warning and how true it had been. "Dangerous."

When the door of the bar slid open, all of the patrons looked up to scrutinize the newcomers. In a place like this, it was necessary for survival to determine as quickly as possible whether or not it was friend or foe walking in the door. At the sight of the Terran and the female, most of the patrons snickered and returned to their drinks.

"I suppose the welcome could be worse," B'Elanna muttered, keeping an eye on the few customers that were still watching them. Chakotay silently agreed with her and headed for the bar, intending to talk to the bartender.

The alien behind the bar could have been related to the guard at the prison he was so large, and upon seeing Chakotay, his large shoulders began to shake with laughter. "You are one dumb Terran to be showing your face in here again."

Straddling one of the bar stools, Chakotay asked, "Why is that?"

The bartender snickered. "We wouldn't even be having this conversation if I hadn't told Mersei to stop leaving dead bodies in the office."

B'Elanna was keeping her back to the bartender, trusting Chakotay to watch it for her, while she kept an eye on everyone else. Two people had already made a discreet exit while most were pretending to not listen intently to the words being exchanged at the bar. At least one patron had flinched at the name "Mersei" but another sitting in the corner off to her right had actually leaned forward in apparent interest.

"Mersei is exactly the reason I'm back," Chakotay said, letting a cocky edge fill his tone. "I'm looking for her."

The bartender's eyes flicked over to the corner before sneering at Chakotay. "Why don't you just get out of here, Starfleet, before someone else kicks your ass?"

There was a scraping of chairs against the floor as several patrons got to their feet, and B'Elanna nudged Chakotay in the ribs to let him know it was about to get ugly. He glanced up to the mirror above the bar and saw that at least three aliens had taken more than a passing interest in their conversation while several others were scurrying for the door. He kept his focus on the bartender but felt B'Elanna move her hand to the small of her back where he knew she kept her d'k tahg sheathed.

"Why don't you just tell me where I can find Mersei before my friend here has to kill any of your customers?"

The bartender snorted. "You think this small one can protect you?"

Chakotay lunged forward and grabbed the bartender by the front of his shirt, hauling him almost halfway back across the bar that separated them before slamming his head down onto the hard wood. Quickly pulling the phaser B'Elanna had given him earlier from the waistband of his pants, he dug the business end of it into the bartender's fat face as he snarled, "I don't need protection from the likes of you." He glanced up to the mirror again and saw B'Elanna easily holding her own against the single still-standing fighter. "Now, call off your guard dogs, and maybe we'll leave your establishment in one piece."

"It's not his establishment," the patron that was still seated calmly in the corner booth drawled. He leaned forward into the light, revealing himself to be human. "And unless I miss my guess, you aren't Starfleet."

"We aren't," Chakotay answered the implied question while keeping his hold tight on the bartender. "Is this your place?"

The man gave him a wry grin. "It is."

"Then call him off," Chakotay said, indicating with a jerk of his head the fighter that was still trying to circle B'Elanna, "and let's talk."

The man's crystal blue eyes watched B'Elanna for a moment. "She seems to be holding her own." He looked back over at Chakotay. "However, it is difficult to find someone in this part of space that can make a decent Risan Sunrise, so I'd like to keep my bartender intact."

"You know the price," Chakotay reminded him.

"You drive a hard bargain," the owner replied. "Now I'm doubly surprised Mersei let you live."

"You know her?"

"Of course I know her. I'm her brother."


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