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They belong to CBS Paramount but I understand them better

Another Time, Another Place
By Crusher

It had been ten months since they had returned to the Alpha quadrant.  Ten months of pain and grieving, ten months since he had lost her.  Ten months since his wife had died in his arms.

They had found a wormhole and used it to get home but it had been unstable and they had had a rough ride through to the other side.  Casualties were high, they had lost fifty of the crew, and another twenty-five were injured.  Everyone had felt the loss of those who had died but the one that hurt the most was the loss of the Captain.  She had promised her crew that she would get them home and had died a short time after entering the Alpha quadrant.

The Doctor had fought to save her but to no avail and so he had informed Voyager’s First Officer that he had done all he could.  Chakotay had moved to her side and had taken her hand as she looked at him and he could see her body slowly giving up the fight.

‘Chakotay … we made it,’ she said with great difficulty.

‘Yes love we made it, you did as promised,’ he agreed trying to hold his tears back.

‘I love you … always have … always will,’ she said with her last breath as she slipped away from him.

No one had to make the announcement as his anguished cries were heard all over the ship as he held her in his arms.  Those cries told of a great loss and the pain that went with it.

Starfleet was considerate in their dealings with the remaining crew of Voyager and kept their meetings as short and quick as possible.  The Maquis were released and thanked for their assistance.  They were offered positions but most of them declined so broken hearted by their return and their losses.  Chakotay was offered a promotion as Captain but declined not able to face being on a starship again and especially in that position.  Kathryn had been his Captain for six years and he couldn’t face being called Captain.

He had spent a couple of months with Kathryn’s mother and sister telling them about their time in the Delta quadrant.  Chakotay told of how they came together as a crew and then how he and Kathryn had come together as husband and wife.  The three of them had cried over their loss and had found some comfort with each other.  Chakotay had next spent a few months seeing each of the crew and making sure that they were getting on with their lives.  Tom had been the hardest to deal with, they had lost B’Elanna and it seemed his reason for living had died with her.  Chakotay finally got through to the grief stricken young man telling him that his daughter needed him and that he had to pull it together for her and B’Elanna’s memory.

Finally Chakotay left deciding to head home to Dorvan V not comfortable on Earth.  He was able to help everyone with his or her pain but was unable to deal with his own.  Starfleet had given him the Delta Flyer to use hoping that maybe he would change his mind and return to Earth and the job they offered.

He moved toward his home planet not really paying attention to the space around him till the alarms went off and by then it was to late.  The Flyer passed through the unusual cloud causing some of the systems to go down.  Chakotay slowly felt himself slipping into unconsciousness when he looked out the window of his craft and saw a sight he had never thought he would see again.  Off the bow of the shuttle was Voyager and his hand reached out as if to touch it before the blackness took him.

Slowly returning to the surface he could hear voices and sounds around him.  Opening his eyes he tried to place the sounds that were so familiar but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

‘Hey Chakotay,’ said a voice to the right of him.

Turning his head he looked at the smiling face of Tom Paris.

‘Hi Tom how did you get here?’  Chakotay asked just as he realized he was in Sickbay aboard Voyager.  Confusion evident on his face he slowly sat up.  ‘Tom what are we doing here?’  He started to ask but stopped when he heard a voice that he thought never to hear again.

‘I understand Doctor that it is Commander Chakotay but,’ he could hear her asking as her voice broke slightly.

Chakotay turned in the direction he heard her and his heart stopped beating for a moment.  Before Tom could stop him Chakotay was off the bed and across the room gathering Kathryn in his arms.

‘I knew it had to be a dream, no a nightmare I knew you wouldn’t leave me,’ he cried as he hugged her to him.  Pulling back he showered kisses all her face ending by capturing her mouth.  Finally breaking the kiss he looked into her tear stained face.

‘You’re not my Chakotay,’ the words fell out of her mouth stopping him in mid movement.

‘What are you talking about Kathryn, don’t say things like that you’re my wife.’  Chakotay said shocked.

Tears spilled down Kathryn’s face as she looked at the ghost of her First Officer.  ‘The Chakotay from this time line died, he left me even though he promised to stay by my side.’

‘No, god this can’t be happening,’ the big man cried out as he looked at the distraught woman before she turned and fled the room.

‘Chakotay come on back to your bed, let the Doc do the rest of his tests,’ Tom coaxed him.

The Doctor finished his scans and then looked at the man lying on the bed.  ‘Commander you are medically fit, it seems that you are from four years in the future but not our time.  There is no reason to keep you here and I have found it easier to release you as soon as possible if your anything like our Commander Chakotay that is.’

‘Come on Chakotay I’ll take you to your quarters,’ Tom said patting the big man on the shoulder to get his attention.

Walking through the halls Chakotay didn’t notice the shocked looks that his appearance created.  Just as they rounded the corner for the senior crews quarters B’Elanna came in the other direction.  She stopped dead in her tracks then ran to him and gave him a big hug.

‘Chakotay, I can’t believe this,’ B’Elanna cried.

‘B’El is it really you,’ Chakotay asked still stunned by the person standing in front of him.  He grabbed her hugging her tightly.

‘Yes it’s really me, who were you expecting,’ B’Elanna laughed as she stepped back to look at him.

‘Nothing,’ he answered not wanting to explain his reaction to her.

‘Here you go Chakotay, your or I mean his, God this is confusing,’ Tom mumbled.

‘It’s okay Tom I’m a little confused myself,’ Chakotay attempted to smile but failed.

‘Nothing has been touched in here since we lost him, the Captain refused to allow that,’ Tom said sadly.

Chakotay entered his code and found that his counterpart used the same sequence.  Moving inside Tom and B’Elanna followed watching as the big man looked around quarters that were familiar but alien.

‘They are almost like my on my Voyager but it has been quite a few years since I used them.’  Chakotay said sadly.

‘We will leave you,’ Tom started to say.

‘No please can you stay for a bit and talk to me,’ Chakotay asked as he sat down on the couch heavily

‘Sure,’ Tom said looking at B’Elanna to confirm that it was okay with her.

‘How about I get you a tea,’ B’Elanna offered Chakotay.

‘Thanks,’ he said looking down at the floor.

Tom sat in the chair and B’Elanna joined her friend on the couch, placing drinks before them all.

‘When did he die,’ Chakotay finally asked breaking the silence.

‘About ten months ago, it was a stupid accident.  We were all pretty devastated by it but the Captain,’ Tom stopped not sure if he should continue.

‘What about the Captain,’ Chakotay prodded?

‘She took it the hardest, she hasn’t been the same since it happened.’  B’Elanna said as she reached for Chakotay’s hand.  ‘None of us have.’

‘What happened to your Kathryn,’ Tom asked gently.

‘We found a wormhole that led to the Alpha quadrant but we didn’t have enough time to check to see how stable it was.  Kathryn ordered us in before it disappeared, it was a rough ride but we made it out.  Unfortunately there was heavy casualties, we lost fifty people and had a further twenty-five injured.’  Chakotay paused telling his tale.

‘I was one of the dead wasn’t I that’s why you were so happy to see me.’  B’Elanna asked in a whisper.

Chakotay nodded his answer.  ‘You and Harry from the senior staff, we grieved for all of our losses, it wasn’t fair to be that close to home and to loose that many.  But our greatest loss the loss that was felt through the whole ship was Kathryn.  She had promised to get us home and died an hour after we arrived in the quadrant.  I held her in my arms when she passed away and at that moment in time I died.’

B’Elanna wrapped her arms around her old friend as the tears slipped down his face.  ‘Oh Chakotay I’m so sorry and now you end up here with the Captain alive.’

‘B’El it’s killing me not to be able to go to her and hold her but to have her alive means everything to me.’  Chakotay said.

‘Give her time Chakotay she needs to accept that you’re alive, I know you’re not from our time line but you are here.’  B’Elanna said gently to him.

The next day the Captain invited Chakotay to her Ready Room.

‘Chakotay I wanted to offer you the position of First Officer if you’re interested?  I’m not sure what you were doing in your time line but I would like it very much if you would consider the offer.’  Kathryn said from behind her desk as she looked down at a data pad.

‘I was the First Officer on Voyager and I would like to take the position.’  Chakotay answered as he watched her continued study of the pad.

‘Very well I will inform Tuvok, I think he would prefer to go back to Security,’ Kathryn looked up and smiled for the first time.  ‘We will be having a senior staff meeting at 0900 please be there, that is all.’

Chakotay nodded and left.  He decided to go to the mess hall before the meeting.  Everyone was happy to see him and he tried his best to explain how he ended up there.

The meeting was uneventful; Kathryn explained that Chakotay would take on the duties of the First Officer.  Sitting beside her and watching her handle the staff was nearly his undoing.  She was four years younger then his Kathryn but she was still Kathryn and all he knew was that he loved her.  He wondered what things had shaped this Kathryn and how the Chakotay of this time had touched her life.  Her hair was long she wore it down, he remembered the day she had cut it and even though he liked her short cut he had missed her long tresses.

The Captain dismissed the staff and they filed out, as Chakotay headed for the door he was stopped by Kathryn as she called to him.

‘Chakotay I was wondering if you would like to have dinner tonight,’ she asked almost shyly.

‘Yes that would be nice,’ he smiled at her.

‘My quarters about 1900 hours,’ Kathryn suggested.

‘That will be fine,’ he answered and turned for the bridge.

Over the next few weeks they spent time together but it seemed as if Kathryn was holding back.  He couldn’t put his finger on it but it was almost as if she was afraid of something.  Before he could figure it out there was an accident and he thought he would die.  Kathryn had insisted on going down to the planet to help with gathering supplies.  He had argued but she was firm about wanting to go down.  Everything had gone fine till the second day; the group had been gathering some plants.  Kathryn had been moving along lost in her thoughts and hadn’t noticed where she was till it was to late.  The cliff gave way and Kathryn plunged forty feet down the hillside.

Chakotay was notified of the accident as the Captain was being beamed to Sickbay.  He turned the bridge over to Tuvok as he hurried off the bridge.  Entering Sickbay he found the Doctor working furiously over the motionless body of their Captain.  It would be another three hours before Chakotay would know how she was and in that time he aged a hundred years.

‘Commander she will be fine I have repaired her broken bones and bruises and amazingly she didn’t have anything truly serious.  She is unconscious at the moment, which is my doing, I have sedated her to give her body a chance to mend, and we know how she won’t allow her body a chance to heal.  I’m going to leave her that way for twenty-four hours.’

‘Thanks Doctor, I’m just going to sit with her for a while,’ Chakotay said to the hologram as he moved past him.  He sat there watching her and thanking whatever God for not taking her away from him.  When she came to Chakotay’s smiling face was the first thing she saw.

‘Hi,’ she whispered.

‘Hi,’ he answered.  ‘Don’t ever scare me like that again,’ he told her then he got up and left the room before she could see his tears.

The Doctor had kept her for a few more hours and then released her.  Kathryn had gone to the bridge to see how things were going on the gathering of supplies.  She had finally retired to her quarters and after puttering around for an hour unable to relax she decided to take a bath.  Kathryn exited her bathroom wrapped in her bathrobe feeling a bit more relaxed.  She was reaching for a nightgown when she heard Chakotay scream her name.  Without thinking about it she bolted from her quarters and made her way to his door putting in her override quickly.  She could hear him calling for her actually he was pleading with her as she crossed his living room.

‘Kathryn please don’t leave me not again, please,’ his pleas broke the quite.  He thrashed about on his bed, his hands reaching for something what she could only imagine.

Sitting down on his bed she gently reached for him as she called to him.  ‘Chakotay wake up, Chakotay.’

His eyes snapped open to see Kathryn bending over him.  Memories of the dream still burned in his mind he pulled her into his arms.

‘God the nightmares won’t leave me, I keep losing you.’  He cried as he pulled her into his arms.  ‘I love you so much,’ he whispered into her hair and then he started to kiss her as he kept repeating that he loved her.  Chakotay captured her mouth as he rolled them placing her below him.  Kathryn tried to resist but her hands were pinned between them not allowing her to push him back.  He continued kissing her as he kept up his mantra.  Pulling back slightly he reached down to untie the belt to her robe once loosened he reached inside cupping her breast.

Kathryn’s struggles ceased at that moment, her body reacting to his touch.  Chakotay didn’t notice the change in her attitude as he continued his exploration of her body and his mantra.  He didn’t notice her hands starting to explore him or her words; he just continued to love her.

Chakotay slowly came to the next morning feeling content and happy for the first time in months.  He felt a warm body pressed against him and opened his eyes to find Kathryn curled up beside him.  He was confused at first; he realized that he was on Voyager.  Looking at Kathryn he saw a peaceful face with a contented smile.

Brushing her hair back he bent and kissed her forehead.  God he loved her, he knew that this wasn’t the Kathryn he had married and loved for three years but in the past few weeks he had fallen in love with her.  She was so much like his Kathryn but she was different even though their experiences were the same this Kathryn had been shaped by the decision not to enter into a relationship with her Chakotay.

Chakotay closed his eyes trying to calm himself when he felt a gentle kiss on his chest.  Opening his eyes he was greeted by the smiling face of Kathryn.

‘Hi,’ she smiled at him.

‘Hi,’ he attempted to answer.  ‘Kathryn I’m so sorry for what I did last night, I had no right to force myself on you.’

Kathryn placed her fingers on his lips to quite him.  ‘Chakotay I know you thought I was her, please don’t worry about it.’

‘No Kathryn that’s just it when I first came here I couldn’t believe my luck that I had found you alive.  Then I was able to separate between the two of you and even though you are very much like her you have your differences.  I fell in love with you over the past few weeks when you had your accident I nearly died.  I couldn’t bear to lose you again.’  Chakotay said with a shaky voice.  ‘Kathryn I had no right to do what I did last night.’

‘Chakotay I’ve been thinking to and that was the reason I wanted to go down to the planet.  I needed time away from this ship and away from you.  You can be very distracting,’ he smiled at her and she laughed.  ‘Especially when you use those dimples but seriously Chakotay I have had regrets in my life things I wish I had done differently.  My biggest regret was not telling him how much I loved him and then he was gone and I died inside.  Then you appeared and I thought I had been given a second chance and I was happy but then I questioned if I was replacing him with you.  I went down to the planet to sort my feelings and realized that I had fallen in love with you for you.  But I was distracted and fell and as I fell I thought I had once again failed to tell you how I felt.’

Placing her small hands on either side of his face she smiled.  ‘I guess you missed last night when I was talking to you.  You kept saying you loved me and I answered you, I told you I loved you to very much with all my heart.’

‘Kathryn oh god are you sure,’ he asked.

‘Yes, I love you and want to love you for whatever time we have.’  She smiled through her tears.

Instead of answering he pulled her to him for a kiss.

‘I don’t want to waste this second chance I have been given,’ Kathryn whispered as he hugged her.   ‘The Gods or spirits have given me this chance and I’m taking it if you want me.’

‘Oh woman I want you, let me show you,’ he started to say when the computer gave him his wake up call.  Chakotay groaned burying his head in her hair.

‘Janeway to Tuvok,’ Kathryn called out.

‘Tuvok here Captain,’ came the voice of Voyager’s Security Chief.

‘Tuvok, Commander Chakotay and I will be working in his quarters today.  You have the bridge please do not disturb us unless it’s absolutely necessary.’  Janeway said as Chakotay tried to hold back the laugh that was trying to escape.

‘Very well Captain, Tuvok out,’ and the connection was severed.

Chakotay burst out laughing.  ‘Kathryn you are amazing how you said that with a straight face is beyond me.’

Kathryn was laughing also as she tried to answer.  ‘If he had been standing in front of me I wouldn’t have been able to keep a straight face.  Now where were we Commander?’

‘Let me show you,’ Chakotay said as he pulled her back into his arms.

Three months had passed on Voyager since the Captain and Commander had become a couple.  Life on Voyager was moving along quietly, the space they were passing through was peaceful.

Chakotay entered their quarters after his shift; he had been on the night shift all week and had missed being with Kathryn.  He found her still in bed when he moved into their bedroom.

‘Kathryn aren’t you going to be late for your shift?’  Chakotay questioned as he watched her smiling at him.

‘I contacted Tuvok and told him that I planned on working in our quarters today.’  She smiled mischievously patting the spot beside her.  ‘Come lay down love you look tired.’

Slipping out of his clothes he climbed into bed.  Pulling him into her arms she asked,  ‘Comfortable?’

‘Yes,’ he answered sleepily.

‘Good how about I tell you a story to help you get to sleep,’ he nodded his answer as she bent and kissed the top of his head.  ‘The Angry Warrior kept his promise to stay by her side and did so for the coming years.  But one day he left her side never to return and the Woman Warrior was devastated.  She had never told him how she felt and now it was to late.  The Woman Warrior traveled on for a while without him and then one day he came back to her as if the spirits knew that these two broken souls could only live if they were reunited.  And so the Woman Warrior finally told the Angry Warrior how she truly felt about him and they loved each other, finding the peace they both sought.’

‘I like that ending better then the way the story originally ended,’ Chakotay said quietly nearly asleep.

‘Oh that’s not the end,’ Kathryn said quietly.

‘You have more to tell,’ Chakotay asked as he pulled back to look at her face.

‘Yes,’ Kathryn said as she stroked his face, his eyes slipping closed again.  ‘One day the Woman Warrior found out that she was going to give the Angry Warrior the best gift.  The Woman Warrior discovered that she was going to have a little warrior and she hoped that her Angry Warrior would be happy.’

She waited for this to sink in as she watched his face, his eyes slowly opened and she could see the question there.  She answered by nodding her head while her face broke into a big smile.

‘A baby,’ he whispered as he pulled her into his arms.

It was a quite day in the Delta quadrant three years later when Harry Kim called out from Ops.

‘Captain sensors are picking up a possible wormhole,’ the young Ensign said excitedly.

‘Possible Ensign,’ the Captain questioned as she moved to the rail in front of Harry’s Ops station.

‘It’s hard to pin down but it does exit in the Alpha quadrant,’ Harry replied.

‘Could we send a probe through to determine if Voyager could make it,’ Chakotay asked with a tone to his voice that told Kathryn he was asking for another reason.

‘No it looks like it’s will collapse shortly,’ Harry answered.

‘Captain, may I suggest we allow this opportunity to pass and look for another chance,’ Tuvok suggested.

The Captain kept her eyes on her First Officer as she considered the options.  ‘Harry I think we will let this chance go and see if we can find another.’

‘Aye Captain,’ Harry obeyed but they all could hear the disappointment in his voice.

Kathryn moved back across the bridge to stand in front of her shaken First Officer.  ‘May I have a moment of your time Commander in my Ready Room.’  He nodded not sure if he could vocalize his answer.  ‘Tuvok you have the bridge.’

The two commanding officers moved across the bridge and into the Captain’s office.  Chakotay stopped once the doors closed and Kathryn had to move back to him and lead him over to the couch.

‘Thank you,’ was the quite answer she heard and nearly missed.

‘That’s how it happened before wasn’t it,’ she asked and he knew she was asking about when his Voyager had taken a short cut and paid the price.

‘Yes almost but you didn’t take the chance,’ he said looking up at her for the first time and she could see the tears ready to drop.

‘I couldn’t leave you again,’ Kathryn said as she stroked his face.  ‘I wouldn’t want you in that pain again.  And I couldn’t leave Kol either or let anything happen to this little one,’ she told him as she placed a hand on her slightly protruding stomach.

‘Thank you,’ Chakotay said again as he pulled her into his arms.  ‘We will find anther way home I promise.’

And they did two months later Voyager found a stable wormhole that brought them two days from Earth.  No injuries had incurred during their trip through the tunnel so all hands were cheering their Captain when she contacted Earth.

The End
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