It had become a weekly thing ever since Tom came up with the program. After each movie, a list was sent out with selections to vote on for the next movie. All votes had to be submitted two days prior to Tom, who would then spend his time making sure the data file actually worked and everything was set up. Like everything else he and Neelix came up with on the ship it boosted morale each time. It also permitted for a little more freedom when it came to spending time with the crew.
While the Captain never really disapproved of off duty hours displays, as look as they were discreet and proper, she was still aware the crew often present a different front to her. In the theatre, in the dark, they could sit closer, whisper, flirt, tease, kiss, and pretend she wasn't aware because it was to dark to see. Not that rumors didn't get to her when she couldn't see but at least this way they could see her more as just another person rather then Captain. It wasn't like Sandrine's or any of the other holoprograms where she could go and be present but still have to keep that air of command about her.
No, here she was freer. Tuvok always accompanied her. Tom would come with B'Elanna, Harry tagging along and often Chakotay with them. Chakotay tended to try to jump around from group to group. Making sure each of the crew got a chance to tease and joke around with the first officer. She would spend the time before hand with various members of the crew and even after, when Tuvok had to leave right away. During, she was always next to Tuvok. They had a routine, one built upon years of friendship and, admittedly, since the weekly movie night began most of the crew was seeing a different light to Tuvok.
They got to see him point out various moments in the movie, softly so as not to disturb others, to her. See her face light up at the realization. Watch them whisper as they watched the movie and discussed various things. More often then not it was HIM pointing out to her that Ensign so and so was currently leaning up against Crewmen so and so, even where they worked. It was a part of her week that always put an extra bounce in her step from morning to … well, the next afternoon .
Today was no different. She'd been walking on air since she woke up. And the movie, as she understood it was considered a classic romance. Something called "Casablanca", not that she really minded. It would be fun watching Tuvok trying to sit through a romance movie with a bunch of humans. As she entered the holodeck, running late due to having to hurry up and change into civilian attire, she was surprised to find that Tuvok was missing. Frowning, she looked around the corridor and back into the theatre her crew was rapidly finding seats in. Biting her lip she took a step back, she never liked to go to the ships activities alone. Often finding herself stuck in that awkward "do I ask or wait to be ask" moment of joining groups.
"Not thinking of leaving are you," Chakotay's warm voice surprised her and she nearly tripped over her own feet. Spinning around she let out a slight gasp of surprise. He wore a simple button up white blouse and dark slacks. One hand behind his back looking every bit like the gentleman waiting for his date. While she was just wearing a simple dark green top and jeans. Looking over her shoulder at the entrance she gave one of her half smiles.
"Tuvok isn't here so I figured I'd just have a nice night in. Read a book." Looking back at him she smiled, looked him up and down, and raised a brow. "Just who are you meeting up with?"
"You." Kathryn's head jerked up at that startled from her second scanning of his attire, more like fifth but whose counting. Chakotay's dimples slowly emerged as she watched her eyes widen. "A certain Vulcan we both know just somehow managed to end up on duty at this point. He knew how much you enjoy these evenings and suggested someone might see to it that you have an escort."
"I … Tuvok set …" Chuckling she lowered her chin slightly. "I have a feeling that if I were to look at the votes he also rigged this particular movie."
"So, Captain, may I escort you?"
"Depends," Feeling suddenly uncertain about the evening she raised her eyes to his briefly before looking over his shoulder. "Who is it you are planning to escort tonight?"
"Well," Chakotay stepped closer, gently reaching to cup her chin and redirect her eyes. "I'd like to escort Kathryn, the woman who brought me peace. But I won't ask you to do -"
"Kathryn. Kathryn says yes."
"Third person now?" Chuckling he released her chin. "Well Chakotay would like to ask Kathryn if he may officially escort her into the holodeck."
"Kathryn would be delighted," She laughed the momentarily flash of tension derived from his touch settling. Laughed more as he moved the hand behind him out from to offer his arm, revealing in the process a single peace rose. "Chakotay."
No one even looked twice as their Captain walked in twirling a flower in her grasp and on the arm of their First Officer. They didn't question that they sat, lifting the arm rest between them, far closer then was necessary. Didn't question as Chakotay placed the popcorn offered up by Tom between his legs while wrapping an arm around their Captain's shoulder. Nor when she lightly shoved at him half way through the movie. Or the popcorn that got tossed. They didn't do a thing until they all watched as Chakotay guided her out, a hand upon her lower back, the moment the movie finished. Everyone smiled as they watched their Captain step closer.
Kathryn enjoyed herself and couldn't stop smiling. They hadn't done anything different. Not from their usual. The teasing and banter coming natural as always. It was easier for her to tell herself it was just another movie with a friend, a different friend then usual but a friend. As the stepped off the turbo lift to head to her quarters, Chakotay, ever the gentleman, insisting on walking her home. Reaching the door she turned sideways, looking up at the man beside her. His smile was gone, his eyes seemed burden. Reaching over she lightly touched his arm.
"Chakotay, what is it?"
"I …" His eyes roamed her face and she felt a blush rising as he stepped closer. His hand rose to cup the side of her face, gently pulling her upwards and towards him. As he did so he lowered his face to hers and she, despite the warning, felt her eyes widen in shock as his lips lightly touched hers. Just a brief second, a brief touch of the lips barely felt but clearly given. He pulled back just a little. "I've been wanting to kiss you for years, Kathryn. Tonight it was all I can think about. I -"
"Sh," She whispered lightly placing the tips of her fingers over his lips. Stopping the apology. "I … I wanted it too." She could feel his lips curving beneath her fingers. Gasped as he took her wrist and moved to kiss her palm. Her mind screamed to tell him to stop but her body wouldn't obey. She curved towards him as his lips moved to the pulse point of her wrist. Her eyes began to open as she felt his lips pull away, his hands move to her face, but they were shut seconds later as lips meet. As she was pushed backwards into the edge of her doorway. Arms wrapping around him she grinned as she felt him shiver the moment the rose petals touched his neck. "Ticklish?"
"Do it," He warned against her lips, moving his to her jaw line. "And I will find every ticklish spot of yours on the bridge tomorrow."
"You wouldn't dare," She laughed as his lips returned to hers. The conversation ceased as they explored the other. His hands finding a grip upon her hips as they kissed until they both pulled back. Biting her lip she looked sideways at the door then to him. He moved a finger to her lips, silencing her before she can begin.
"Your First Officer, your friend, and the man who has wanted nothing more then to pick you up in his arms, tell you he loves you, and demonstrate exactly how much." He watched her face tinge pink at that. "Dinner, Kathryn. Just you and me, on the holodeck. The rest will be a surprise."
"Do I even get to know what I should wear?"
"Leave that to me." She raised a brow and he chuckled. "Trust me?"
"Always." She pushed up to lightly kiss his lips again before he released her. He watched as she keyed in the code to her door. She was already inside when she realized she hadn't answered. Turning, she moved back to the door and leaned out the opening hatch, watching the figure retreating. "1800?"
"2000." Chakotay turned at the corner of the hall, looking towards her with a smile. "I'll pick you up."
"It's a date."