No Mere Fantasy

By Consy and Jade East (
Rating: PG
Series: Star Trek: Voyager

We don't own Voyager or the characters. Paramount and Viacom do. We just happen to know how to things should have gone on Voyager. We aren't making any money on this story.

Challenge fic: This story came about after a challenge issued by Niekster (NiekeWing) a very long time ago. Fortunately she forgot all about this challenge and left it alone. Recently the challenge was met when Jade and myself (Consy) chose to finish the story, I had started so long ago when the challenge was first given.
The challenge was pressed upon me after I kept singing, "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley, (find the words to the chorus after the story) Specifically I kept singing the line "Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy" and well, from that came this fic.

Spoilers for Unimatrix Zero. This is slightly AU and definitely J/C.

Kathryn turned from her portable computer for a moment and glanced over to B'Elanna. While the two had been Borg, they had shared their utmost personal thoughts, and now, Kathryn felt a need to be her friend and to make up for lost time.

"How are you, B'Elanna?" Kathryn asked her.

"It feels good to be me again," B'Elanna answered, creatively avoiding the real answer.

"Yes, it sure does. The doctor may have removed all the Borg parts but it is going to take a few days to get back to the routine, isn't it?"

"Yes, it will take a few days although you look settled in," B'Elanna said softly regarding the data padds and computer Kathryn had before her on a rolling table.

"Making sure that I am not behind when we return to duty, B'Elanna," she said with a soft smile.

B'Elanna looked around sickbay to making sure no one else was in listening range and leaned towards the Captain. "Captain, I feel like I've known you for years," she whispered.

"Yes, I agree that is precisely how it feels."

The two were silent for a few moments, "Kathryn, I realize you probably know already, but I feel I have to speak the words out loud if only to remind myself that it is really happening. Tom asked me to marry him the night before we left and I agreed."

"Congratulations, B'Elanna!" Kathryn smiled brightly. "I'm happy for you and Tom," Kathryn answered softly even though she had known.

"Kathryn, can I be very bold and tell you something?"

"B'Elanna, you have always been very bold," Kathryn said with a chuckle. B'Elanna smiled in agreement and said, "Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy." With that said, B'Elanna turned onto her other side and settled down to go back to sleep.

Kathryn raised a brow at B'Elanna's comment, uncertain what her reaction should be. After a few minutes, she noticed that B'Elanna was asleep. Kathryn's attention returned to her computer console. Seconds later the doors to sickbay opened to admit Seven.

"General Koruk finished his repairs. He's also been contacted by other Borg vessels in the region - also under the control of former drones." Seven who had arrived at the Captain's side handed her a data padd that contained the information.

Kathryn tried to move a little and let out a low moan of pain. She noticed the look on Seven's face and said, " The Doctor removed my spinal clamps, but it's going to be a while before I am playing hoverball again." Kathryn quickly regained her composure and took the padd from Seven's hand. She scanned its contents quickly, then looked up at Seven and said, "If ever I imply it's been easy on you these last few years, remind me about today."

"Noted," Seven said with a slight nod.

Kathryn let out a low sigh, her eyes returning to the data padd for a minute than back to Seven. "Well Unimatrix Zero may be gone, but it looks like the resistance is alive and kicking." Kathryn shook her head slightly and then continued, "With any luck the collective may never be the same."

"Kurok said he would try to maintain contact - keep us informed."

"Have you heard from your friend?" Kathryn asked, changing the subject completely.

"No, but I don't expect too. Axum's vessel is in a remote section of the Beta Quadrant."

Kathryn's answer was a short nod.

"Captain if I ever imply, that he was nothing more than a friend remind me about today," Seven said.

Kathryn let a small smile graze her lips. "Noted," she repeated Seven's earlier reply. Seven nodded and returned to duty after having been dismissed by the Captain.

It was a few reports later when the doors opened again. Kathryn's heart began to beat faster as she noticed Chakotay approaching her with his hands behind his back.

Chakotay approached her biobed slowly, and a smile grew on his face when he saw her smile at him. "I could have sworn I heard the doctor tell you to take it easy for a few days," he said his eyes wandering to her computer and the data padd in her hands.

"Taking it easy usually makes me feel worse. "

"You shouldn't push yourself. You've been through a lot."

"Why does this conversation sound familiar?" she asked with a grin, and was delighted when once more from behind his back, he produced a pinkish-white peace rose which he handed to her.

She let the data padd fall and took the rose in her hands. She looked up at Chakotay, the words that B'Elanna had murmured to her ringing loudly in her ears. "Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy."

She dipped her head burying her nose in the rose to hide her confusion. Now B'Elanna knew how much she cared for Chakotay and how much she thought of him in fantasy. The thought that someone knew her so well made her slightly uncomfortable. At least, B'Elanna was good about it and hadn't commented more on it than necessary.

Chakotay noticed that Kathryn was quieter than usual, and he wondered if the silence had to do with her recent Borg experience. "How are you really doing?" he asked softly.

She smiled a little at him. "Would you believe me, if I told you that I really wasn't sure?" Her eyes flashed at him as her thumb and forefinger twirled the rose.

He smiled fondly at her and said, "I always believe you, Kathryn, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear it."

"I think it will take a few more days before I fully regain my humanity," she said gently. The dreaded line was still running through her mind.

Chakotay reached for one of her hands and took it in his larger ones. "I can't think of anyone with a greater humanity even when you were within the collective."

She smiled, allowing the affectionate exchange. Her hand lay unmoving in his, and she glanced down at their joint hands. A tear crept out of the corner of her eye.

Noticing the tear, Chakotay squeezed her hand. "Are you in pain? I can activate the doctor."

She squeezed his hand back. "I'm alright, just-" after a pause, "emotional." And after a few moments, she whispered, "My defenses go down when you're around."

"I like that thought," he whispered. "And don't worry, I won't take advantage of the situation." He was quiet for a moment. "But I would hope that you won't raise them again when you are feeling better." Almost as if changing the subject, he said, "You have no idea how I missed you and worried about you while you were with the Borg."

She was silenced by his thoughtful words and threw caution out the portal as she decided to voice her thoughts, "Chakotay, I can't fight my feelings any longer - yet I'm still afraid to let them flow. We started out as friends and then that grew stronger. I've been telling myself I could hold on forever, that there was a reason for my fear. You make me feel so secure when we are together, and you give my life direction. You make everything so clear." She lifted her emotional eyes to his, locking her gaze. "Truth is I love you, Chakotay," she whispered.

"Oh Kathryn!" his voice was choked with emotion. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. "I have loved you for so long." He took the rose from her other hand, set it aside, moved the table, and pulled her gently into his arms as he placed his mouth over hers.

The kiss was a very calm one, their mouths met delicately in a sweet fashion. It was soft, only slightly explorative, but the kiss contained the promise of much more. Time seemed to have frozen as the slow kiss continued. The exchange, however brief, released much love.

Kathryn could feel the pulse of his heart under her hand as he kissed her, and it seemed to beat faster when his hand found its way to her cheek, caressing it, making it all the more romantic.

Kathryn reached up to wrap her arms around his neck, as she began to deepen the kiss, all of the dampened down emotions leapt into full flame. Lips clung together in a non-hurried pace, sweetness turning into passion, as the two held each other. He was attentive to the soft moans she made in the back of her mouth, and opened his mouth, carefully sliding his tongue towards her own, engaging hers in a dance. Finally the need to breathe broke their first kiss. Kathryn leaned forward and rested her head on his shoulder.

"Wow," she said breathlessly, holding him weakly.

He sighed contentedly and held her close, enjoying the comfort of having her in his arms. His hand gently caressed her hair while the other gently rubbed her back. "I agree, wow, says it." Chakotay pulled back slightly and lifted her face up with his finger under her chin. "I love you, Kathryn, my life. My heart is overflowing with joy. If I had known this would happen after you came back I would have left a note to thank the Borg."

Kathryn giggled a little and smiled widely at him. "You might want to thank B'Elanna too. She provided sound advice on the subject." She snuck a quick kiss.

"Well I will have to hear about that good advice, but first I have a question that only you can answer." He kissed her forehead and then he kissed down her cheek as he spoke.

"Is that so?" She said enjoying his kisses, her head falling back slightly.

"mm hmm," was the mumbled answer he gave as he kissed her neck. He then lifted his head and looked straight into her eyes and spoke, "Kathryn Janeway, will you marry me as soon as you are able?"

Kathryn's eyes filled with tears, and she opened her mouth to speak and shut it, her voice caught in her throat. She nodded in answer as her arms wound tightly about him.

He tightened his arms around her and rested his chin on her soft hair. His eyes glistened with happiness as he noticed B'Elanna try to hide a smile as she lay on the other biobed.

Kathryn smiled as she burrowed into him and breathed deeply of his spicy, masculine scent. She knew already that reality was better than any fantasy she had ever dreamed. She closed her eyes, and relaxed in his protective embrace. Before long Kathryn fell into a much-needed sleep, having been unable to sleep since her return.

Chakotay, noticing Kathryn's body relax, slowly put her down on the biobed. He tried to free himself from her grasp but was unable to. In the end he settled with her on the medical bed.

Chakotay watched Kathryn, listening to her rhythmic breathing and enjoyed the wonderful peace that came with it. He smiled, while kissing her on the forehead. His head filled with thoughts of his beloved as he, too, slipped into the realm of sleep.

On the other biobed, B'Elanna raised up for a moment to look at the sleeping pair. She whispered, "Good for you. There will be no mere fantasies for you two now." She put her head back on the pillow and fell asleep herself.


The chorus:
Don't close your eyes let it be me
Don't pretend it's him in some fantasy
Darling just once let yesterday go
You'll find more love than you've ever known
Just hold me tight when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes