my first fanfic in English,

English is not my native language

thanks to twobluebearies

The summer was hot. I found that a few returned to Trebus which meant that the promise of aid got weaker, that it never came. Soon after the Romulan war arose under the Shizon domain, the Federation was depending on the Klingon Empire, which hated the Romulans even more than the Federation. They were on our side, but they knew of the weaknesses the Federation had.

When we came back, it was already ten years since Kathryn's death. All remaining Voyager crew was greeted and celebrated, the Marquis and the former Equinox were acquitted under the condition that they serve the fleet. There weren't enough officers and experienced people was exactly what the fleet needed. A few were even promoted to fill in the empty spaces.

I'm an Admiral now, but the really important decisions are made by the Klingon High Council. They don't order, they only "advise". It would be funny if it weren't really tragic. I went to the village which was next to the largest permanent river in the hemisphere. It was one of the few places were grass grew and where agriculture was possible.

I bought supply and put it in a large backpack. I felt that I am no longer young when my bones and muscles protested while I was climbing the mountain.

I followed a trail which led to a clean water source next to a sacred cave. I had been given six months of sick leave by my psychiatrist. Sometimes it is an advantage to have an inactive crazy gene.

A man took my out of my dreaming. "The weather is changing, how long do you want to stay in the cave?" I stopped and said:" The time it takes." The old man smiled and went into the opposite direction.

I kept up the fine dust entering my nose, which was getting jammed, but I avoided breathing through my mouth. It would certainly do much more harm to my throat.

I entered the cave, dismounted my stuff and had a little snack. I laid down after I finished. Tomorrow would start a routine of prayer, fasting and meditation. 'I will have my peace back or I will die trying.', I thought and closed my eyes. I decided that there was nothing for me outside the cave.

I felt lighter. I looked at my hands and there were no more wrinkles. I wore the uniform which I had worn years before and neither my legs nor my back ached anymore. There was a dissipating mist. Suddenly I saw the girl. She was about six or seven years old and wore blue sandals and a matching blue dress. She played with a little red dog which was strangely familiar to me. They run through the shadows on a clearing. I stood there and watched in amazement. Her reddish brown and braided hair glimmered like fire when the sun shone on it.

I found it. I ran towards her and called her by name. She looked up and I saw the fear in her eyes.

The dog placed himself in front of her and growled. Meanwhile the girl started to run. I followed her, running aside the dog. The clearing became a forest, and the forest got denser and denser. I followed her, breaking branches with my arms, until the sound of the forest and its humidity disappeared and I felt the slight humming of the engines.

I was at home, or at least the only place where I've felt at home. I was in Kathryn's quarter. She was there, but she looked through me like I was a ghost. She picked up a box which had been under her bed. She carefully took out a handkerchief. It was familiar to me and I knew that she used it to wrap various small objects. She unwrapped the cloth and reverently touched every little object. I recognized almost all of them. There was a rating bar that I lost, a necklace, a dry rose, a photo of Molly, a miniature Voyager, a Christmas ornament, a drawing Noemi had made for her as a child which portrayed both of them, an antique broche I didn't recognize and my wedding ring that was never used of which I thought she had recycled.

She sat up and to my surprise she began to meditate. In the middle of meditation she began to sob. She turned towards me and I saw her red eyes and her face full of tears.

"I'm an idiot, he never loved me. I was always just one more conquest and he was afraid of having a serious relationship. Why this marriage? I was never worth the risk!", she screamed into the dark.

She took all the objects that were attached to me, ripped Naomi's drawing, put her emotions and memories about me to it, and recycled everything.

The girl appeared again. I followed her through a door and found myself in a burial service space.

The Captain sat alone at the foot of the still open coffin.

"Glad you came timely, we can now close the coffin.", she said to me.

I have a look and there is Kathryn, lifeless and cold as ice. In a way she looks wonderful with her open hair and the dress I always loved.

"By the way Commander, I would like to thank you. She made me only weaker and you did a good job at getting rid of her.

A chorus of disembodied voices suddenly whispered sickening:

"Never again, never again. Kathryn is dead. Long live the Captain!"

I ran away, I couldn't stand this torture. Everything changed and I saw a figure at a glance. Then I saw a silver-haired man with blue eyes in an admiral's uniform. The girl ran into his arms and he embraced her. She apparently felt safe in her father's arms. "What do you want, my golden bird? Haven't you done enough?", he asked her.

She is my peace. I would die for her.

Die for someone is easy, it's difficult to life with someone.

The girl said something to her father and he let her go. She grabbed for something between the grasses. She came to me and beckoned my over. I crouched getting to the level of her blue eyes. She handed me a plant, a four-leaf clover.

"To give you luck!" She smiled and everything lit up. She came closer with the curious look of a child. She held a hand on my tattoo and laughed, gave a kiss on my forehead and ran back to her father.

My heart was lighter. Now I could die in peace. A sweet darkness came over me like a hug.

The peace was only temporary. The noise of the ward brought me back to the pain, the memories, the fear, the damn guilt. I don't want to go back. I'm finally alone and I don't want to open my eyes.

"Doctor, he's waking up." I was struggling so she pushed me down, her hands laying on my wrists. She tried to calm me. "Keep calm, Chakotay. It's me, your Kathryn.

"My Kathryn."

I encouraged myself and opened my eyes. There was a smiling, so radiant like a star. I didn't see something else.

"Kathryn, how…?"

"I went straight to your quarters after I left the sick bay. I found you passed out, it seems like you dropped and hit your head."

"The Fhrytons?" "Defeated."

I jumped from the bed. The doctor came running towards me, shouting something that I totally ignored. I began to spin Kathryn and laughed and to sang. I thanked the gods for being here. Kathryn first tried to stop me, but the she gave up and joined the celebration.

"Doctor, I think he hit his head harder than I thought.", the Captain shouted still in my arms, with a happy tone in her voice.

The Doctor nodded helpless and went out to give us privacy.

"It was a dream, it was a nightmare, but now you are here with me and I'll never leave you."

I saw the confusion on her face. It had been a very real dream. I could even divert the Voyager of all the dangers found in my dream. I even still knew where the wormhole was which brought us home.

It was just a dream.

Kathryn looked at me and laughed at my confusion. She kissed me and said, still laughing: "I didn't know you were a fan of Irish traditions."

"Why? I don't understand."

"When I found you passed out, you hold fast onto a four-leaf clover as if it depended your life."