A/N: Written for Ariella's book club challenge idea: "Pick one character and have them call out J/C on their feelings/attraction for one another" as well as Caesar's Palace prompts "violence" (Darkness Challenge) and "static" (Panem Challenge). I decided to pick a less likely suspect as my choice of crewmember ;) Set sometime late in the series.

Big thanks to angrywarrior69 and Danae for beta help!

Dedicated to Ariella since this is her challenge (happy bday!) and GraceLockheart for reasons ;)


The door to Sandrine's banging open distracted Ken from his shot and he swore under his breath as his shot scratched the bed of the table. He rolled his eyes at the familiar stomping steps that meant it could only be one person.

"Way to make me scratch my shot," he flung over his shoulder.

Chakotay came into his line of view, yanking a cue out of the rack with some force and ignoring the muttered complaint from one of the holographic pool sharks. Ken rolled his eyes again. He knew the exact source of Chakotay's anger—and she had red hair and four pips. I swear you two need to get your shit together already.

"Excuse me?"

Realizing he'd spoken aloud, Ken shrugged inwardly. "Better than the rest of us having to walk around on eggshells til you two kiss and make up. You obviously love her and I know the feeling's mutual. So why don't you and her get it together already?"

"What's between the captain and myself is none of your business, Crewman."

Unfazed, Ken met the angry eyes boring into him from across the pool table and leaned down to take his interrupted shot. "I'm making it my business." The sharp crack of the cue ball hitting the pyramid punctuated his words. "And you wanna know why I'm making it my business? Because this has gone on for seven years."

"There are protocols—"

"Come off it with the Starfleet rule book crap," Ken snorted. "None of that matters out here." When silence was the only response, he sighed. "Look, boss. You know how I was after Miana was murdered. How I used violence to drown out the static in my head. You did the same. Hell, we all did for whatever reasons we might have had."

"Those days are over."

"You're right, they are. And you're wasting time." He didn't look towards the door when its soft thump echoed through the room, but Chakotay did; the sudden tension in his posture told Ken who it was.

Time to get out of here. Setting the cue down on the table, Ken shot his former boss a last stare as he turned to leave. "Look, either do it or don't. But I still think you're a damned idiot if you're not going to seize it with both hands."