Chapter 5: Something
A/N: Hello again. I'm so sorry for taking so long to update. I know I left you guys on a cliffhanger. Life has been crazy lately. I have been trying to sell my home and move about 1.5k miles away. I initially planned Chapters 4 and 5 to be one but thought it was better as 2 chapters. The title 'something' is named after the song 'Something by The Beatles'. It is also in reference to the connection and feelings that J/C are feeling. Hope you all enjoy it! Please leave a comment and leave kudos if you are enjoying the story so far.
"Computer, intruder alert", She sternly called.
The Computer did not respond and activate a red alert like it was programmed to. Tuvok and security did not enter the ready room. The room stayed silent. All that could be heard was the steady hum of the ship at impulse.
"There is no need to feel fearful Captain, you might feel more at ease if I introduce myself. My name is Kolopak I am Chakotay's father", He reached out a friendly hand for her to shake.
Kathryn's mind was sent into a spin. She believed that the man did look like Chakotay's father, but was he who he said he was?
"Forgive me if I don't immediately trust you", She paused and decided to not shake his hand and instead thought of how she could determine his true identity, "Maybe I could if you could answer this correctly. What are the three grounding items in Chakotay's medicine bundle?".
Kolopak nodded to himself, understanding the woman's distrust, "I am represented in his medicine bundle as a smooth river stone with a CHAH-mooz-ee symbol engraved on it. His mother is also in the bundle. She is represented as a Raven's wing. I can only assume Chakotay chose it because of his mother's hair. He doesn't have a third yet but I think he may be close to choosing one."
The question about the medicine bundle was answered correctly. She looked into the older man's eyes for traces of deception and found none. She was seeing the same warm kind eyes of her first officer staring back at her.
"He looks just like you, you know. You both have the same eyes", Kathryn said as she started to pace the deck thinking about how this could be possible.
"I know you might find this frightening, but I promise I haven't risen from the dead. You are also not dead. You are spirit walking."
"I'm dreaming…", Kathryn said as she stopped pacing. The realization washed over her features.
She looked to Kolopak's shoulder and saw her animal guide, the gecko, resting peacefully on his right shoulder. She slowly began to relax.
"I know you are looking for my son and I wanted to aid you with that. '' Kolopak stated with sincerity as he moved to sit at the ready room couch.
"Well, I'm open to any ideas you may have. We found debris at his last known location. It suggests he got into a fight with the Kazon but, we are unsure if he was captured or had to retreat elsewhere." She walked to the coffee table to retrieve a PADD.
"I find it interesting that you don't think he is dead" Kolopak questioned, "All the data suggests that he is most likely dead".
"Is he?", Kathryn asked seriously; feeling vulnerable once more.
She sank down onto the opposite side of the couch preparing to hear the worst. She began to fidget with her hands; anticipation growing with the pause of silence.
Kolopak sighed looking into the distant and unfamiliar stars of the delta quadrant, "He is alive. I feel it. I know it".
Kathryn took an internal scan of herself; her emotions. She somehow knew Chakotay was alive just like Kolopak felt it. How was this possible?
Kolopak stood from his seat and walked to Kathryn with an open hand, "You look troubled, my dear. Let me take you to him".
"You can do that?" Kathryn inquired.
"Take my hand and I'll show you." Kolopak offered.
Janeway stood, accepting the man's hand. She was unsure why she readily trusted him. It felt similar to when she met her soon-to-be first officer; she immediately knew she could trust him. Hand in hand they both started to walk through the door to leave the ready room. As it opened she did not see the bridge but a wall of bright light.
"Before we go", Kolopak began to speak, looking down at the captain, "I'd be best if you didn't tell Chakotay about our meeting right away."
Kathryn raised an eyebrow in confusion, "Why not?"
Kathryn never got her answer as the light from what would be the bridge engulfed them both.
The loud flash was followed by the feeling of a rush of air nearly pushing Janeway off her feet. She gripped the hand of the older man tighter. The tighter grip allowed her to feel how weathered his hands were; callused by hard work. The bright white light faded, and with it Kolopak's hand. Kathryn turned her head to where he was and saw that he was gone.
She took in her surroundings. It appeared to be a large sized cave. The rocks surrounding her were red in hew and must have been made of some sort of clay-like sediment. The warmth in the cave became noticeable. She looked down to see a pile of rocks that were heated up to provide warmth. That was a part of Starfleet survival training.
As she looked closer at the rocks, She noticed they were laid out symmetrically. Exactly like it was taught at the academy. Janeway turned and her eyes met with her first officer's unconscious body on the floor of the cave.
"Chakotay!" She called out in a joyous squeak.
With no response, she hurried over to him, dropping to her knees. She looked him over to see if he was alive. A sigh of relief escaped her when she saw the steady rise and fall of his side. Chakotay seemed to be asleep. She put a hand to her chest, steading her heart.
She wasn't sure if she could but she tried anyway. With her long and delicate fingers she caressed the side of his face. The warmth from his skin and the slight stubble growing on his chin were felt. "Chakotay," she called him. "Can you hear me?".
He stirred slightly with a small half smile on his lips. He leaned into her soft touch before he turned over on his back. Janeway was shocked that she was able to touch him.
'Was this a highly realistic and vivid dream or real?', Kathryn questioned as she felt comfort at the rise and fall of his chest.
She silently wished for the latter. That way she would know where to find him. Kathryn suddenly became aware of movement on the other side of the cave. She stood, taking a protective stance over the unconscious commander's body. A stray thought came momentarily to the surface and Kathryn wondered if she could do anything to protect him from what might be sharing this cave with him.
A Kazon teen comes into sight. His eyes showed a dangerous similarity to a hunter; ready to kill its prey. She watched as he circled the command team. He tilted his head to look for the tricorder that is emitting a locator signal. With silent movements he closed the tricorder and set it back on the rock before Kathryn could get a look at the location. She looked down to the Kazon's other hand and realized he had a weapon in his hand. Her stomach began to churn. Reaching for Chakotay's hand on his chest, she tried to wake him.
"Chakotay you need to wake up", Kathryn begged. "Chakotay!"
"Please Chakotay you're in danger", Kathryn pleaded, her eyes watering with tears. Kathryn couldn't have felt more helpless than she felt at that moment.
Janeway's eyes snap open and then suddenly all the knowledge of where Chakotay is comes to her. She felt another presence in the room and heard a whisper, 'You know where he is. Go to him'.
She moves back to her desk and looks at the latest sensor data. It all came together as she recognized the system they were headed towards.
"Janeway to the bridge".
"Tuvok here captain".
"Alter course to the second planet in the system we are approaching. Run detailed scans of the moon orbiting the planet", She commanded.
"I also want you to call a senior staff meeting in about one hour".
"Aye captain, Tuvok out".
The connection was terminated and she looked back to her desktop console. With curiosity, she looked back at the internal sensor records and searched for anything abnormal when she was asleep on the couch and found nothing. This had to be her subconscious working as she slept. Yet she couldn't explain why it was Chakotay's father, of all people who was featured in her dream. She made a mental note to get looked over by the EMH after they found Chakotay.
The crew filed in for the emergency staff meeting the captain called. When the ship entered the system, they came across another set of shuttle debris that the EMH had analyzed for remains.
"I finished analyzing the shuttle debris, and I found no evidence of human remains.", The EMH reported, "I did find some personal items of the Commanders on the shuttle".
"Then it's possible Chakotay wasn't killed in the explosion." Janeway mused aloud.
"That is correct." The EMH responded plainly.
"That's the first good news I've heard all day. Thank you, Doctor. As for the personal items, please set them aside and the Commander or I will collect them" Janeway smiled.
"My pleasure. I will place the items in storage"
The connection to sickbay ended and she continued with the meeting, "All right, then. If Commander Chakotay wasn't in the shuttle, where is he?"
"From the dispersal pattern of the debris, we've been able to extrapolate Chakotay's course prior to the explosion. It appears he was heading for an M-class moon in this system. The same moon you suggested we change course to captain." Tuvok reported, confused by his captain's unshared knowledge of the search for the commander.
"We also found a residual energy displacement within the debris field that isn't consistent with the explosion itself." Harry added with a knowing smile.
"You think he may have transported to that moon?" Janeway guided the conversation.
"We tried to scan the surface, but there was intense radiothermic interference." Tuvok reported.
"Radiothermic?" Janeway voiced back in confusion.
"It appears to be coming from subterranean energy sources, several carefully concealed weapons systems, phaser banks, force fields, proton dischargers." B'elanna added.
"Kazon." Kes straightened her posture and continued to speak, "When they captured me, I saw how they concealed their weaponry."
"Then this moon is some kind of Kazon fortification?"
"Or it may simply be a training site." Kes added.
Was her dream prophetic? She saw a Kazon in a cave of some sort with Chakotay. Is that cave in her dream under the surface of some boobytrapped moon? There was no way Chakotay could get through all of that alone. Maybe he and the Kazon were working together. Yet, it contradicted her dream. She stopped her rapid succession of thoughts flooding her mind. 'Wait. Why am I suddenly trusting my dreams? They are dreams', she scolded herself, 'Starfleet captains make decisions based on fact not dreams'.
"For the Kazon, live ammunition is a very effective teaching tool," Neelix added to Kes's earlier statement, bringing the captain's attention back to the meeting.
"In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I choose to believe Chakotay made it to that moon.", Janeway voiced aloud, "Mister Kim, see if you can determine the most probable location he would have beamed to. An underground cave maybe? Lieutenant, you and I will lead the away team." She then turned to the end of the conference table, "Neelix, Kes, you're our two Kazon experts. Kes, you'll come with Tuvok and me. Neelix, you said you wanted more to do? Well, now's your chance. I want you on the bridge with Mister Paris in case we run into any Kazon ships."
"Don't worry, Captain. You can count on me to keep those nefarious Kazon at bay." Neelix stood at attention with his usual joyful confidence.
"Dismissed", Janeway commanded; Neelix's dedication brought a smile to her face.
The bright sun on the almost desert-like moon shone in the away teams face as they walked around ordinances placed in the mountain. Like how scent hangs in the air Kathryn instinctively knew that Chakotay had been there. Instead of questioning it she ushered her team forward.
"Chakotay to Away team."
"Good to hear your voice, Commander." Janeway said with genuine relief.
"Captain, proceed with caution. I've been taken prisoner by a young Kazon. He's threatening to kill me."
Janeway paused, putting up an arm to halt the team. The warmth of overwhelming joy was replaced by the coldness of fear. She looked to her chief of security, Tuvok and he nodded in response reaching for his phaser that was holstered at his side. Automatically, the away team followed his lead.
Janeway pleaded internally, 'Please don't let this play out like it did in her dream'.
Tuvok continued forward; Janeway and the rest of the away team followed closely. They came upon a path that led to a mouth of the cave. Tuvok commands the team to ready phasers. Janeway nods in agreement and continues forward. Hoping to something higher that Chakotay wasn't dead.
As they entered the cave Janeway looked up. This was the cave in her dream. Her stomach sank. As she heard a voice in the distance.
"That's what I've been hoping for, Razik. But you taught me well. I know what you're going to say. You've said it so many times before. In battle, there are no second chances."
The away team enters and they quickly try to assess the scene before them. Kathryn's eyes drifted to her friend. As if feeling her gaze upon him, Chakotay turned his eyes from the Kazon teen to his captain. He took in the look she was giving him. Her ocean eyes were filled with moisture. The concern plainly presented to only him. He could always observe her moods through her iron captain's mask. He slowly blinked an apology to her for what he was going to allow to happen to him. It suddenly dawned on Janeway he was going to let the Kazon shoot him. Why would he do that?
The Kazon shook his head as he looked down at Chakotay, "You are not my enemy, but he is." Kar quickly turned and shot Razik.
Janeway sighed in relief that this conflict came to a conclusion. She motioned for Tuvok to lower his phaser. The away team followed their actions.
The teen stepped toward the group of Kazons "My name is Jal Karden, Kazon-Ogla. You are First Maje now, Haliz. My life is yours. Kill me if you wish, or let me live and I will follow you into battle whenever you command."
"Jal Karden, Kazon-Ogla", Haliz the new Kazon First Maje, repeated the name.
"Kazon-Ogla." The group chanted.
Jal Karden lowered his weapon and faced Chakotay as he slowly stood, "The Federation does not belong here. If we meet again, I will not hesitate to kill you."
"I understand." Chakotay responded in an unwilling goodbye.
"Janeway to Voyager. Five to beam up."
As the tingle of the transporter left his body Chakotay stepped off the transporter pad, the away team following. Making a quick nod of thanks to the transporter chief on duty he exited the room. Janeway followed behind and stopped the commander from continuing down the corridor.
"Commander," She called.
"I recommend you get evaluated by the doctor before returning to your duties"
Chakotay stopped and turned to his captain, "Yes ma'am"
"I will accompany you, Tuvok please take over the command of the bridge, I will be up there to relieve you shortly".
Tuvok nodded in silent agreement as he walked down the corridor in the opposite direction.
The command team walked in silence. Stealing a glance at Chakotay, Janeway had a chance to relax. Chakotay and the crew were safe. Kathryn sharply inhaled which caused Chakotay to look down at her. What a wonder this woman was. As soon as his eyes met hers there was an unexplainable attachment between the two but, he just couldn't make heads or tails of it. They were under the unspoken understanding that they would do just about anything for eachother. This brought a smirk to his face. He never thought he would reach such intimate trust between them. Even Tuvok hadn't fully relaxed in his presence, and Chakotay understood that. Chakotay averted his eyes as his captain spoke.
"Glad to have you back Commander", She admitted in her command tone.
"Likewise Captain", Chakotay said, gaze drifting down to her.
There it was again. Every time his eyes met hers nothing else mattered. The world around them melted away and it was just the two of them. Her being encompassed the two of them in a blanket of warmth and security. Janeway broke their prolonged shared eye contact and looked down at her boots smiling. A slight flush formed at her cheeks. Chakotay gave her an inquisitive look.
She shook her head slightly, "It's nothing really. I just thought I was rubbing off on you too much".
"How do you mean Captain?" He asked, taken aback by the phrasing of the statement; many sexually charged comebacks to the statement coming to mind.
"The look you gave me in the cave while the Kazon had a phaser to your chest, I knew you were going to do something drastic."
"Drastic?" He urged the conversation forward, smiling knowing she was referring to her tendency to make rash decisions that endangered her life.
"Drastic as in having the Doctor prepare for a code white'', She stopped walking and looked up from her boots sternly with a cocked eyebrow, "I had the coms open to the bridge. You would let him kill you or think he killed you. Why?"
He put a hand on the back of his friend's shoulder, "That was the plan. But let me explain-"
He lowered his hand as they continued to sickbay.
The Captain and Commander entered sickbay together. Before activating the EMH, Janeway folded her arms behind her back, quickly glancing around sickbay. She ended her observation of the room in Chakotay's gaze.
"In the future Commander", She paused, unsure of her words, "try not to get yourself killed…you're a valued member of this crew", She mock scolded him, cocking an eyebrow.
"I'll do my best", He looked down at her knowing the meaning behind her words.
He genuinely scared her this time. She must have thought he was injured, or worse, dead. That's when he knew she was starting to grow more and more fond of him like he was for her.
"There's one more thing. When we examined the remains of the shuttle we found pieces of your medicine bundle", She uncrossed her arms biting the inside of her lip with anxiety.
"You did?", Chakotay responded in surprise.
"I was not able to see what was salvaged and I asked the Doctor to not dispose of it. I wanted to keep it in storage for you. He told me it is in medical storage 001."
Janeway walked past The Doctor's office to the work station; Chakotay walked a step behind her.. With a delicate finger she touched the corner of the smooth surface of the storage door and it unlocked and opened with a hiss.
The Captain and Commander both looked down to examine the remains of the medicine bundle. The Captain from curiosity, and the Commander from the pain of possibly losing the last remaining pieces of his heritage. The drawer slowly opened to reveal a small square of singed animal skin that used to wrap and protect its contents. Next to it was the river stone and a raven feather unscathed. The Akoona was missing. Chakotay sighed in relief, touching a hand to his chest. Kathryn put a hand on his shoulder in support.
"Thank you, not only for finding me but for salvaging my medicine bundle", Chakotay looked to the comforting hand on his shoulder trying to hide the intense emotions that were building up.
"I know how much and how irreplaceable your medicine bundle is…" She trailed off as they both stood in silence together.
She ran a soothing thumb over his shoulder. Sitting in amicable silence together. Processing the stress of the day in each other's company. Kathryn let out an audible sigh and caught Chakotay's attention, their eyes taking in each other both happy to be alive and in each other's presence. They had survived another day in the Delta Quadrant. Chakotay held her in his gaze. He blinked a slow blink of thanks and adoration. Kathryn was taken aback by what she saw in his eyes and removed her hand from his shoulder and turned to the doctors office.
"Computer, activate the Emergency Medical Hologram", She commanded.
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency" the EMH called.
"No medical emergency Doctor, we both need an away mission exam."
"Not a problem, I can examine you both at biobed 2" The EMH nodded and walked to the biobed, picking up a tricorder and scanning Chakotay.
"Commander you are in good health", He moved to scan his brain and looked closer at the tricorder, pondering, "Your Hippocampus seems to be very active".
"Is that abnormal Doctor?" Janeway questioned with concern.
"Well…yes", He answered, "Have you gone on a vision quest recently Commander?"
"Yes Doctor, I was performing a ceremony for my father not too long ago. I used my Akoona."
"Well that explains it, the Akoona can cause the hippocampus to be stimulated to produce the visions associated with the spirit walk." The doc explained, "You are free to return to your duties tomorrow Commander but you should rest in your quarters. I see that you are slightly dehydrated and sleep deprived". The doctor looked to the captain for her approval for the time off. She silently nodded in agreement.
"Get some rest Chakotay, I'll see you on the bridge at 0600", Janeway said tenderly.
Chakotay nodded and exited the sickbay.
Almost immediately the Doctor raised his tricorder and scanned the Captain.
"Doctor, since we are alone I want you to scan for something specific. I have been having odd dreams recently ever since using the Akoona and spirit walking with Chakotay's guidance."
"Hmmm", the Doctor thought to himself, scanning the Captain's brain like he did with Chakotay.
"Well your brain seems to be currently unaffected but your prefrontal cortex is active which could be associated with stress. I have a hypospray I could offer to help you with any anxiety related stress and a sleep aid for your dreams."
"No thank you Doctor, they are just dreams I guess. I don't need the anti-anxiety medication. I just had a rough day. I promise to rest in my quarters after my shift."
"Be sure you do, Captain. I hate to have to order you to take off a few days".
"That won't be necessary Doctor, Tuvok and the rest of the away team should be in soon for their exams", She said as she swiftly left the sickbay.
Janeway walked down the corridors of the ship; processing recent events. She nodded as crew members passed. The ship was looking to be at top efficiency but something was missing. Or rather someone. She sighed not knowing what was amiss. As she turned the corridor to enter the shuttle bay, Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Tuvok exited and her eyes sparkled in joy. Chakotay's eyes urgently searched for her's and the world seemed to fade away. He had reached his safe harbor once more. This woman would be his ultimate weakness.
She smiled at him as relief washed over her face. Lieutenant Tuvok excused himself and continued down the corridor.
"I'm so happy your back, safe", She spoke tenderly as her usually icy command walls began to melt away.
"I was never in any danger Captain", He assured as he took a step closer; dimples on full display.
"Still", She said sheepishly glancing around the corridor, taking another step closer to him, "I always worry about your safety" she said in her low husky voice, looking down at her hands and back up to him showing her vulnerability.
Chakotay sighed, this woman was intoxicating. Just her close proximity sent his mind spinning. The fact that she admitted she was worried about him just made it all the more intense.
"Nothing is going to stop me from coming back to yo- the ship", He moved closer, they were now inches apart. He was doing his best to not overstep boundaries until she made the first move. His eyes betrayed him as they burned his desire for her.
Kathryn's gaze trailed up and paused at his lips and then met his eyes. She smiled at his comment, knowing that he was sincere with his statement. Not allowing herself the time to second guess her actions, she threw her arms around him into a hug. She rested her head on his shoulder letting out a sigh of relief. Shock washed over Chakotay, was this real? He pushed aside the doubt in his mind and just enjoyed the feel of her small form pressed against his. He ran soothing circles along her back. His cheek nuzzling against the back of her soft auburn hair. The delicate floral smell of her shampoo was brought to his senses as she moved. They stayed that way for a while just enjoying the closeness.
"So…You missed me." He stated matter of factly into her hair.
To better read his emotions she reluctantly pulled away her hand resting on his broad and muscular chest and looked up to him, "I did".
He was taken back by her honesty and forwardness. All he wanted was to pull her in and close that final gap between them. He made a mental compromise and allowed himself to caress her cheek. Gods! He'd give anything to pull her in and close the distance but it was too soon. She was vulnerable and he couldn't take advantage. Kathryn softened at his touch and leaned into it as her cheeks flushed.
Kathryn woke in her bed, the memories of the dream still fresh in her mind. She put both hands to her cheeks, the flush from the dream still present. Pulling the covers over her face, she turned over in bed; groaning in embarrassment. Why must her mind torture her in such a way? With that embarrassment quickly came guilt. She felt like she was betraying Mark. They could get back any day. A wormhole or spatial anomaly. He was waiting for her to return to him. And what was she doing? Having inappropriate dreams about her Commander. He wasn't just a Starfleet commander, he was a maquis, a rebel she was sent to capture. Why was she so drawn to him?
Her mind answered her own thoughts, 'Because he understands you like no other'. She then at that moment wished for her mind to stop racing and jumped out of bed.
Chakotay awoke in his quarters. By a growing need between his legs. He groaned in annoyance. Why must this woman drive him absolutely mad? He looked at the chronometer and the time read 0400. There was almost no point in going back to sleep, he was due on the bridge by 0600. Chakotay rose from bed, the need seasing. He made his way to his dresser and asked the computer for holodeck availability.
"Holodeck 2 is available from 0400 to 0800 hours. Would you like to reserve a time slot?"
"Yes, reserve Holodeck 2 from 0400 to 0500."
"Reservation made. Your time for holodeck 2 has begun, you have one hour remaining".
Chakotay took out some jogging attire and got dressed. Hopefully working out would keep his mind off his desires.
Janeway tossed and turned in bed and decided to go to the Holodeck to play some velocity. She asked the Computer to reserve the next available holodeck time. When she arrived at the holodeck, Chakotay exited. Sweat dripped down to his sharply cut jaw. He lifted his towel to wipe the drop away. Showing off the bare muscular arm that was usually hidden under his uniform.
"Captain", Chakotay states in surprise.
"What a coincidence to see you here Commander, you couldn't sleep either?" Janeway stated politely trying to get a hold of herself.
"Yes, thought since sleep was no longer an option I'd get a run in." He said wiping more sweat from his brow.
She gazes at his muscular arms once more glazed in sweat and bites her lip in response.
"Well I'm going to do a round of velocity. I'll see you on the bridge Commander", She said, attempting to sound casual but coming off as breathy.
He nodded in confirmation and walked to the turbolift, unaware of the effect he had on Janeway.
Janeway scolded herself as she walked into the holodeck. She was awful. Mark was probably heartbroken over her being lost. Meanwhile she was making googly eyes at her Chakotay…Commander.
'God! Why can't I string together a coherent thought!?' She thought, frustrated with herself.
Why could Chakotay have the ability to reduce her to a puddle? It's the sort of thing she was worried about because he had such a hold on her sometimes. He knew how to handle her almost like he could read her mind.
A/N: Thank you all for your support though your kind comments. I hope to post my next chapter soon. Thank you all again for reading and supporting me. Happy Friday! ( Or saturday for some) 😊