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A Moment in Time

By Crusher


He stood, looking at a scene that he thought never to see again or at least not as a free man.


Commander Chakotay of the starship Voyager was standing on the grounds of Starfleet, taking in the scenery.  He looked over the manicured grounds and the bay off in the distant.  He wanted to stand here forever, taking in the view but he had to find out what time period he was in.


He had been on a combination hunting expedition for information as well as taking in the religious order on Pal-qad.


Returning to the meeting point with Voyager, he had been thinking about his trip.  The people of the planet, he had visited did not believe in any markings on the body.  The Doctor had done his magic and hidden Chakotay’s tattoo.  The other alteration to his appearance was his hair; they believed people with dark hair were evil.  His hair color was now a sandy brown and his normally dark eyes were gray.  Not that he was a vain man but he would be glad to have the Doctor do his magic to change him back.


The computer notified him of a disturbance in space, there was a rip of sorts just ahead of him.  He plotted a course around it but the pull of the anomaly was too much dragging him in.


He came out, where he didn’t know at first, except that all his systems were down and he was heading for the surface quickly.  The shuttle was hard to handle but he had enough control at least to keep it level to land.  He was lucky enough to find a clearing that he could hide the shuttle in until he knew more about his surroundings.


The landing was rough but the small vessel was still in one piece and so was he.  He was beginning to think maybe everyone was right, he shouldn’t be allowed to pilot any of the shuttles.


The systems were down, most of the equipment was destroyed, he would have to see what he could scrounge parts wise.  The computer was able to tell him he was on Earth near San Francisco before it died. 


Making sure the shuttle was hidden from passerby, he hiked into the city to see if he could scout out some parts. 


Standing near the gardens, he looked over the bay lost in thought when a voice interrupted his thoughts.


‘Do you need help sir?’  The voice behind him asked, he knew it couldn’t be her but it sounded like her.


Slowly, he turned, to be greeted by the one person he never thought to see here.


‘No, I’m just enjoying the view,’ he said cautiously, still stunned by the sight in front of him. 


‘Has it been a while since you have seen the bay?’  The young woman asked, as she moved up beside him, to look at the vista before them.


‘Yes, I have been in deep space for the past four years,’ Chakotay said, giving a truthful answer after all, you couldn’t get deeper then the Delta quadrant.


‘Sorry, I should introduce myself,’ the young woman said, as she held out her hand.  ‘Ensign Kathryn Janeway.’


‘Nice to meet you, Ensign,’ Chakotay said, as he tried to think of a cover name.  ‘Commander Tay, at your service,’ he said, as he smiled giving her the full dimpled smile.  ‘Have an accident?’  He asked, as he took in the cane.


‘Yes, I get to enjoy three weeks of physical therapy at Medical,’ Kathryn said, with a grimace. 


‘I guess I should let you go, so you can get to your appointment,’ Voyager’s First Officer said, hoping she would leave, as he did not want to damage the timeline.


‘I’ve finished and was heading for a treat,’ she said, as she gave him a crooked smile.  ‘Would you like to join me, I was going for coffee.’


Chakotay chuckled, as he thought that Kathryn Janeway, at anytime in her life seem to live for her coffee.


‘Sure that would be nice,’ he said, knowing he should distance himself quickly but couldn’t.  He was curious about this Kathryn, before command and the delta quadrant.  She didn’t seem as confident, as the woman who stood on her bridge and barred his way to throttling Tom Paris.


‘What is the name of your ship and what mission are you on?’ a curious ensign asked.


‘Sorry, I can’t divulge any of that information, it’s top secret I’m afraid,’ he told her, knowing this would stop any further questions.


Kathryn Janeway, above all was a Starfleet child and when told something couldn’t be talked about, she knew not to ask further.  He could see her natural curiosity was dying to ask the questions, he smiled as she fidgeted.


Her injury, did not allow for her natural brisk pace but she tried her best not to hold him back.


‘How did you hurt your leg?’  He asked, not remembering his Kathryn having such an injury, at least not for a few years.


Kathryn blushed, a deep red, before she answered making Chakotay very interested in how it happened.


‘My dog,’ she said, as she looked down at the ground.  ‘She tripped me, sending me down a flight of stairs and breaking my leg in three places, which is the cause of the therapy.’


‘How’s the dog?’  He asked laughing at her glare.


‘She is fine, if not a little apologetic,’ Kathryn said with a sniff.


Walking into her favorite coffee shop, she smiled at the waitress, asking for an extra cup for her guest.


He ended up spending longer with Kathryn then he planned, he would have to go back to the shuttle without any equipment.


The next day, he slipped into headquarters, looking for the computer room.  He was hoping to find parts for the shuttle’s computer so he could repair his systems.  He would, just have to avoid Kathryn, Chakotay had enjoyed his time with her but he knew it would be dangerous to see her again.


Chakotay quietly moved about the labs, carrying a data padd hoping to blend in.  He had found some of his parts, existing the building when a voice behind him stopped him in his tracks.


‘We meet again, Commander,’ called Kathryn from a side hall.


Turning, he smiled as he shifted his pack.


‘Good afternoon, Ensign,’ he smiled, as he looked at her beautiful face.  She was wearing her hair down and it was longer then she wore it now.


‘If, you’re not busy, would you like to join me for coffee again?’  Kathryn asked giving him the crooked smile he loved.


She had enjoyed talking to this mysterious man and wanted to talk to him some more.


Chakotay battled with his conscious but looking into those blue eyes he was lost.


‘I would love to,’ he finally gave into his desire to be with her.


He knew he shouldn’t be spending time with her but this Kathryn was not constrained by protocol or parameters and he was enjoying seeing her like this.


Over the next few days, he would spend the morning working on the shuttle and then meet her in the afternoon, after her therapy for coffee.  He convinced her, that food with the coffee would be a good thing.  She asked if he was always a mother hen and he told her, he had a friend he always had to remind to eat.


‘Do you love her?’  She asked, causing him to choke on his coffee.  ‘I’m sorry if that was to personal,’ she said, as she patted his back.


‘No, you just surprised me,’ he said, as he stopped coughing.  ‘What makes you think it’s a woman and why do you think I might love her?’


‘I have a feeling, you wouldn’t be that concerned about a man and the look on your face when you mentioned your friend.’  She said, as she smiled at him.


‘She is my Captain, I care about her very much but we don’t have the type of relationship you think.  Maybe, once upon a time, we might have but not now,’ he said sadly but truthfully.


‘I think she is lucky to have someone who cares about her, so much,’ the younger Kathryn said, as she reached over to touch his arm.


‘We look after each other,’ he said, as the electric shock of her touch went through him.


She left her hand a little longer then she should. before she pulled it back.  Noticing the time, she grabbed her cane and started to rise.


‘I’m sorry, I have to leave,’ Kathryn said, as she grabbed her bag.  ‘I have to go home this evening; my mom is having a party for my dad.  Would you like to come?’  She asked, hoping he would agree to accompany her. 


‘Sorry, I have a lot of work to do,’ Chakotay said, trying to let her down easy while his mind was screaming yes to her request.


‘I’m sorry, I guess I have been monopolizing your time,’ she said, as she looked down at the floor.


‘Hey, I have enjoyed spending time with you,’ he told her, as he lifted her chin.   ‘How about we have a picnic tomorrow?’  Chakotay suggested wanting her to smile again.


‘I’d like that, how about we meet outside Medical about 1200 hours tomorrow?’  Kathryn suggested, as a smile broke across her face.


Nodding, he agreed and was surprised when she stood on her toes and kissed him on the cheek.  Smiling at him one last time, Kathryn left the café for home.


The next day found Chakotay waiting outside of the medical facility for Kathryn.  He had been able to get the replicator up and supplied himself with a change of clothes and some credits.  He had worked late into the night, repairing the shuttle.  Thirty percent of the systems were up but he still had some major areas to get operational if he wanted to find the disruption and hopefully reenter it back to his time.


Kathryn exited the building a little late, looking none to happy.  She was hobbling a little more than normal, telling him she was in pain.


Running up to her, he put an arm around her waist.


‘Kathryn, are you okay?’  He asked, with concern showing in his face.


‘Yes,’ she said, through gritted teeth.  ‘The session, was just a little tougher today.’


‘Maybe, we should cancel the picnic for today,’ he suggested and saw the tears near the edge.


‘No, please,’ she pleaded.  ‘Spending the afternoon with you, was the only thing that got me through the session.’


‘Okay, but if I see that you’re getting tired, I’ll take you home.’  He warned her, as she linked her arm through his.    


He found a quiet spot in Golden Gate Park where he lay out a blanket.  Helping Kathryn down onto the blanket, he sat beside her.


Taking a few deep breaths, she smiled up at him through her pain.


‘Bad,’ he asked, as he brushed her hair back.


‘It’s getting better,’ she told him, as she leaned into his hand.


Brushing his thumb along her cheek, he asked if she wanted something to drink.


‘I have coffee if you like,’ he asked, with a grin.


‘Definitely,’ she said, with a smile breaking through the pain.


They ate and talked, till Chakotay noticed her getting tired.  He thought that he should take her home but she didn’t want the day to end.  He suggested that she lay down while he went over some information.  Agreeing Kathryn rested her head in his lap and drifted off to sleep.  Chakotay read over the information that he had downloaded from the computer about the tear in space.


The readings he had, didn’t say anything about it closing any time soon.  He was glad about this because it was slow going getting his ship space worthy again.  He looked down at the sleeping woman and smiled at her peaceful face.  Brushing her hair from her face, he hoped, his Kathryn looked this peaceful when she slept.


‘How are you feeling?’  He asked, as she stretched upon awakening.


‘Much better thank you, I’m sorry I fell asleep on you,’ she said, as she blushed.


‘Not a problem,’ Chakotay told her, as he gave her his dimpled smile.  ‘I enjoyed watching you sleep.’


Packing up the basket, they left the spot in the park and wandered about for a little.  Chakotay finally insisted that Kathryn go home and rest.  He escorted her to the apartment her family kept for her father when he was tied up on projects.


Inviting him in, Kathryn busied herself getting them drinks.


‘Would you like to stay for dinner Tay?’  Kathryn asked, as she passed him a tea.


‘I’m afraid, I have work to do,’ he told her and saw her disappointment.  ‘How about tomorrow night?  I’ll work all day then I can spend the evening with you.’


‘I’d like that,’ she told him, as she led him to the door.  Leaning up, she kissed him on the cheek and said goodnight.


Chakotay worked on the shuttle long into the night and was successful in getting a little more to a working state.


Arriving at 1900 hours, as Kathryn had suggested, he was left breathless when she opened the door.  Her hair was swept up in a tight French twist with a few pieces lose about her face.  She wore a dress of royal blue that fit her in all the right places.


‘Come in Tay, you’re right on time,’ she said, with her crooked smile.


‘Thank you,’ he stuttered out.  ‘You look, absolutely beautiful.’


‘Thank you,’ she said, with a shy smile.


They laughed and talked over the meal, moving over to the couch to enjoy their coffee and cake.  Kathryn moved to take the dishes out of their way when on her way back, she lost her balance, ending up being caught in Chakotay’s strong arms.


‘Are you okay?’  He asked, as he continued to hold her.


Nodding, she smiled up at him, staring into his eyes.


‘Are you going to kiss me?’  She asked and before he could stop himself, he was bending down, to do just that.


Chakotay woke the next morning with Kathryn in his arms.  What had he done, he had taken the directive on the timeline and trampled it.  He lay there with his eyes closed when he felt gentle kisses on his chest.


‘Good morning,’ she whispered, as he opened his eyes.  The moment he saw her beautiful smile, he was lost and said good morning to her, not with words but actions.


His mornings and some afternoons were spent working on the shuttle; his evenings and nights were spent with Kathryn.


Two weeks after their first night together, he finished the repairs on the shuttle.  He finally was able to get a full scan but still could not lock down the timeline.  He contaminated a timeline whether it was his or another and all he could think was he loved this woman.  How could he leave her but then how could he not return to his Kathryn?


He sat for hours, working through this dilemma until he had the answer.  He went to her that night and after dinner, they made love all night.  Kathryn woke to an empty bed and a note on the pillow, where his head should be resting.


With trembling fingers, she opened the pages and started to read his words.


My dearest Kathryn,


I’m sorry to leave like this but I have to return to my ship.  I wish, things could be different because I truly never want to leave you.  The past few weeks, have meant the world to me and I have enjoyed, ever moment with you.  Always remember, that I love you and we will meet again, because you are my soul mate.  Distance and time, cannot separate us, for we are meant to be together.


Yours, now and always



As Kathryn finished reading the letter, tears were pouring down her face.


Chakotay’s shuttle broke into space.  Trying to keep out of the Earth’s sensors, he plotted a course for the disruption in space.  He could see the tear, just ahead but scans showed that it was closing.  He had to hurry before it sealed forever.


He picked up a ship on his sensors, closing in on his position.  Chakotay realized had to push the engines to get through before he was caught.


Ignoring, the hails of the ship trying to intercept him, he avoided the shot they fired at him.


He passed through, just seconds ahead of the breach sealing.


The systems, he had just repaired were smoking and exploding around him as he put out a distress call out to Voyager.  He hoped, they received it and were able to reach him before the ship breached.  The console beside him exploded and his last thought was of Kathryn both of them.   


The overhead lights were just a little to bright so he squeezed his lids tight to shut it out.


‘It’s okay Commander, I have reduced the lights,’ came the Doctor’s voice.


Opening his eyes cautiously, he turned to find the Doctor looking down at him and beside him was the Captain.


‘Hi,’ he smiled up at her.  ‘The shuttles condition is not my fault.’


Laughing, she placed her hand on his shoulder.  ‘I know, B’Elanna checked the computer records after I told her she couldn’t ban you flying without some evidence.’


‘Thank you,’ he laughed, as he tried to sit up.


‘No, you don’t Commander,’ the Doctor said, as he pushed the big man down.  ‘I want to run a few tests and then you can leave.’


‘Be good, Commander,’ Kathryn said, with a smile but there was nothing else showing recognition wise.  It must have been another timeline that he had ended up in.


She turned to leave when he called out to her.  ‘Kathryn,’ he started but stopped, realizing that it would only hurt her to mention, where he had been and with whom.  ‘Nothing,’ he waved her off.


A while later, he entered his quarter’s, glad to be away from the Doctor.  Allowing the doors to close, he leaned against them.  Chakotay wondered, how the Kathryn of the past was doing.  He so wanted to be with her but duty brought him back here.  Finally deciding to move, he walked toward his bedroom when he saw an envelope on his dining table.  It was addressed to him but he didn’t recognize the handwriting.


Opening the envelope, he pulled sheets out and began to read.


My dearest Kathryn and he stopped at the words that would be for her a long time ago and for him just yesterday.


‘Tay,’ came the quiet voice.


Looking up he froze, as he looked at her standing in the doorway of his bedroom. 


‘I read that letter a hundred times,’ Kathryn confessed to him, as he looked down and noticed the tear stains on the sheet.  ‘I wanted to believe, that we were soul mates and would meet again.  I started to see you in every man, hoping that I had found you but of course I never did and then I was sent to find a Maquis Captain.  The first time you spoke to me, I had a flashback and I thought maybe I had found my soul mate but the face was wrong, even though the voice sounded right.  I started to give up hope of ever finding you,’ she sobbed, as the tears slipped down her face.


‘Kat, if I could have, I would have stayed.  I didn’t want to leave but others would be affected by my actions,’ he explained, as he moved closer.


‘I know that now but at the time, I just wanted to find you,’ Kathryn confessed, as she reached her hand to touch his face.  ‘God, how I’ve missed you.’


‘I’ve missed you too, even though for me it hasn’t been that long.  I can’t imagine, what you have gone through in the past years.’  He said, as he placed his hand over hers.


‘It hurt terribly and never left me but it became a little less over the years.’  Kathryn explained, as she moved closer to him.  ‘When I walked into Sickbay before your mission and I saw you, I just about lost it.  You don’t know, how hard it was not run to you but then I realized that I couldn’t.’  She whispered to him.


‘I know sweetheart, it nearly killed me to leave you but I had made a promise to my Captain so I had to return.’  He told her, as he pulled her into his embrace.  ‘I just hoped that you were the same Kathryn, that I had loved and been loved by.’


‘So, what do we do now?’  Kathryn asked, as she looked up at him.


‘I have some ideas, do you want to hear,’ he smiled, wickedly at her.


‘No,’ she smiled, just as wickedly.  ‘Why don’t you show me,’ she said huskily as she walked backward toward his bedroom.


The End 

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