| Title: Looks Aren't Everything
Author: Cait N.
Pairing: J/V, J/C
Beta: and Mariel
Archive: Just ask me first.
Feedback: please! caitn @ mindspring . com
Author's Note: Written for the first round of the CaFF. Sak was
nice <snort> enough to draw Vorik for me.
Summary: Just as Chakotay has decided it's time to tell his
Captain exactly how he feels about her, he catches her in a very
Disclaimer: TPTB were too busy staring at Jeri Ryan's to do anything meaningful with the show, so I borrowed their
characters for a bit. Unfortunately Paramount still owns
everything but this story.
* * *
"Looks Aren't Everything"
by Cait N.
Copyright March-July 2002
Chakotay whistled as he put the finishing touches on dinner. A
late night repast in his quarters was going to be the perfect
ending to what he hoped would be a perfect evening.
He left his room and headed down the corridor, a wildcat on the
prowl for its mate. He smiled at the fanciful image; he was
acting like a lovesick fool, which, in fact, he was. Well, the
fool part definitely. It'd taken him over five years to realize
that he was in love with his captain, and no matter how many
times he encountered the icy, cold-shouldering, protocol-
spouting side of her, his love wasn't going to fade away. Every
time he butted up against her stubborn nature, every time he saw
the fiery indignation or fierce determination in her eyes, it
only made him want her more. Now, he was finally going to do
something about it.
His fingers sought the small leather pouch in his left trouser
pocket. It had taken him countless hours to fashion the piece of
jewellery (nothing replicated for his Kathryn!) and he was
filled with nervousness over how it would be received.
He reached Kathryn's quarters, but before he could ring the
chime the door opened. Wearing a puzzled frown, he stepped
forward calling out, "Captain?" The doors started to slide shut
on him, and he jumped back quickly to avoid being crushed. He
stood in confusion as the doors opened and closed, opened and
closed, completely at random.
Chakotay tapped his combadge. "Chakotay to Engineering."
The commander was taken a bit by surprise; according to his
shift logs, her shift should have ended four hours ago. "There
seems to be a problem with the doors to the Captain's quarters."
[Tell me something I don't know,] she replied testily. [There's
a malfunction with the gel packs controlling the doors on decks
three, six and eight. We're working on the problem now.]
"Why don't you take the doors offline until you get the problem
[If we do that, then the doors will stay either permanently
open or permanently closed.]
"Permanently open, then, we don't want to have to pull
engineering or security crews to continually open doors for
[Then I'll field all the complaints about privacy to you,] she
replied, a hint of laughter in her voice.
"I'm off-duty; Tuvok can handle the complaints."
[We'll have the problem fixed as soon as possible. Torres out.]
Chakotay tapped his combadge to close the link. Kathryn's door
was now wide open. During the exchange with the chief engineer,
there had been no sign of the captain. Chakotay stepped slowly
inside her quarters.
"Kathryn?" His query was met with silence. The cabin was dim
and empty. Chakotay walked around a little, trying to think of
where she could be. He was about to ask the computer for her
location when a padd on the corner of her desk caught his eye.
He walked closer so he could make out the words on the display.
*I'll meet you in Holodeck 2 at twenty-one-hundred*
Chakotay frowned, wondering whom she could be meeting in the
holodeck, especially considering the lateness of the hour.
He quickly made up his mind, and strode out of her quarters,
headed for the nearest turbolift. If he just happened to be on
that deck . .. and just happened to be walking by . . . and with
the gel pack malfunctions, if the holodeck doors just happened
to be stuck open. . . .
The lift deposited him on deck six. He started down the
corridor, his feet moving slower and slower as he approached his
destination. He didn't slow down enough to draw attention to
himself, but it was slow enough that he wouldn't go flying past
The doors loomed ahead on his left. He casually stuck his hands
in his trouser pockets and walked slowly by. His head turned to
the left, looking through the stuck-open doors into the
holodeck. . . .
His feet froze, his eyes unable for a second to
comprehend what he was seeing. There was Kathryn . . . his
captain . . . his love . . . kissing Vorik. Not a chaste kiss on
the cheek, as one might give a close friend or a valued
crewmember; the kiss was on the lips and showed every sign of
going on indefinitely.
He must have made a noise, though afterward he couldn't
remember doing anything other than standing and staring.
The couple broke apart, both turning to look in Chakotay's
direction. "Chakotay?" Janeway said, approaching him.
Chakotay turned on his heel and walked back to the turbolift,
not looking back, even when he heard her footsteps running to
catch up with him.
"Chakotay!" she called out, but he kept on walking.
"Commander!" came next. There was no mistaking her "I'm in
command and not going to let you forget it" voice. He stopped,
not even bothering to turn around to face her. If she wanted to
talk to him, let *her* go the extra yard.
She stalked around him, her hands on her hips. "What is your
"You don't know?" he asked incredulously. He had a hard time
believing she was that dense.
"No, I don't," her smile was tight and not very friendly, "so
why don't you enlighten me?"
"I really don't think this is the place--"
"Your quarters then, now." Janeway turned and gestured to the
turbolift down the corridor.
His face an unreadable mask, he walked with her to the
He remained silent throughout the ride in the turbolift, and
she did the same. 'How could she pick him over me?' he thought.
Being honest with himself, he admitted that he and Vorik were
about equal in the looks department; there were some that found
the Vulcan's pointed ears a turn on, and he'd been told on more
than one occasion that his tattoo was erotic. They were of the
same height, though he was a bit broader through the shoulders.
Chakotay sighed inwardly as they exited the turbolift and turned
towards his quarters. He knew exactly what the attraction was --
Vorik was intelligent, hardworking, dedicated to his work as
well as the ideals of Starfleet -- all the same qualities that
Chakotay admired in the captain. To Chakotay's way of thinking,
it was only logical that she chose someone who exhibited the
same qualities that she did; however, it did nothing to lessen
the sharp ache that filled his heart.
The door to Chakotay's quarters was closed when they got there,
but opened up when he approached. He walked through hesitantly,
half expecting them to close on him before he got all the way
through. To his surprise, they were functioning perfectly;
B'Elanna must have worked her crew like ants to get the repairs
done. "Computer, lights," he ordered.
Janeway followed him through the door, stopping when she caught
sight of the now cold dinner for two on the table. "Am I
interrupting something?" she asked.
"It doesn't matter now," he answered taking a defensive
position on the other side of the room.
Fire flashed in her eyes. "Okay, Commander, just come right out
and say it -- what is your problem?"
"I went by your quarters to see if you wanted to join me in a
late night dinner." He folded his arms across his chest. "I saw
the padd on the corner of your desk."
"The padd?" she asked in momentary confusion, then realization
dawned on her face and she continued, "Oh, the padd about being
in the holodeck tonight."
"Yes, that one."
"And so you went to find me and saw me kissing Vorik."
"Yes," he said through tight lips.
"I still don't see your problem."
He sighed, resigned to the fact that her synapses weren't
working right and he'd have to literally spell it out for her.
"You . . . and Vorik. . . ." He let the sentence trail off so
she could infer what she wanted.
Realization dawned again. "What? You think that Vorik and I are
"Don't tell me you aren't," Chakotay said, trying to keep the
hurt from his voice. "I saw you kissing with my own eyes."
"Of course we were kissing, we were rehearsing a scene for play."
"A play?" he parroted.
"Yes, Neelix has been bugging Samantha for months to help him
stage a play. She said she's very unorganized, so she asked
Tuvok for help. He suggested Tysanius's 'Scientist, Officer,
Ambassador, Statesman'. It's based on the life of Ambassador
Spock; Vorik is playing his father, Sarek, and I'm playing the
part of his mother, Amanda."
"But that kiss!" He gestured with his hands. "Vulcans don't
kiss like that!"
"Not in public, maybe, but that doesn't mean they don't in
private." Janeway put her hands on her hips and tilted her head
to one side. "The script calls for one kiss between 'Sarek' and
'Amanda'. Vorik expressed concern that he wouldn't be able to. .
. perform. . . the kiss in front of an audience. I offered to
help him practice the scene. End of story."
Chakotay snorted. "That was some performance I saw."
Her eyes darkened. "Just what are you so upset about, anyway?
That you thought I was involved with Vorik, or that I was
involved with someone period?"
It was Chakotay's turn to look uncomfortable. Now that the
moment was upon him, he found himself reluctant to put his heart
on his sleeve. She'd explained the kiss and he believed her; she
had always been brutally honest with him.
"Chakotay?" she asked in a quieter voice. She walked up to him
and put her hand lightly on his sleeve.
He reached into his pocket and took out the soft leather
drawstring pouch. "I made this for you. I really came by your
quarters earlier to give it to you." He placed the pouch in her
Janeway looked into his eyes for what seemed to him for like
forever, then ducked her head and slowly opened the leather ties
on the pouch. She upturned it into her palm, and gasped, as the
silver caught the light.
It was a necklace, the links tiny and slightly uneven,
attesting to the fact that it was handmade. On the end dangled a
small triangle to which three silver charms were attached.
"The coffee cup is because I hope that your 'cup always runneth
over'," Chakotay started to explain in a low voice. "The bathtub
is to remind you of our time on New Earth, and to remind you
that I'll always be here to pamper you when you've had a
stressful day. And the handcuffs are because I never want to let
you go," he finished. He held his breath, waiting for her
Janeway held the necklace out to him, looking into his eyes
again. "Please?" she asked.
Chakotay let out the breath he'd been holding and smiled. He
took the necklace and unfastened it while Kathryn turned and
presented her back to him. He gently placed the necklace around
her neck and fastened it back. Unable to resist, he dipped his
head to nuzzle the curve of her neck and breathe in the fresh,
flowery scent of her hair. He'd dreamed about doing that again,
ever since they'd returned from New Earth.
"Does this mean what I think it means?" Her voice was low and
laced with desire.
"I tried, Kathryn, I honestly tried, but I can't do it," he
admitted. "I can't just pretend this attraction doesn't exist. I
can't do it, and to hell with protocol and Starfleet regs." He
turned her around to face him, his eyes caressing her face.
"We're out here, light years from home. I don't think there's
anyone on this ship who wouldn't understand."
"I. . ." She hesitated, and he steeled himself for her
rejection. He would not cry in front of her, he wouldn't! "I
think we should take things slow, actually go on a couple of
dates and spend more time together, off duty."
Chakotay felt his knees threaten to buckle. "Does this -"
"Yes," Janeway answered, cutting him off. Her soft fingertips
caressed his lips. "I think we should start seeing each other
He smiled, closing the short distance between them, intent on
doing for real what Vorik had been acting at earlier. "Kathryn,
my love," he whispered as his lips touched hers, "you've made me
the happiest in the Delta Quadrant."
"Because I said 'yes'?"
"Because Tom owes me twenty credits now for winning the pool,"
he answered, laughing.
"You ass!" Janeway said, pushing ineffectually against his chest.
"I'm only kidding," Chakotay said, pulling her closer and
nibbling at the corner of her lips.
"Um-hmm," she said, kissing him back. "Just remember I deserve
half of those credits."
"I can't fool you for a minute, can I?" His lips traveled down
the smooth expanse of her neck.
"Chakotay, I know you by heart." Her words trailed off on a
moan as his mouth caressed the hollow of her throat.
"Oh really?" he teased. "So what am I thinking right now?"
"That you want to kiss me again." Janeway pulled his head back
up for another kiss.
"Yes, ma'am." Chakotay was only too happy to comply.