Tous les Visages de l’Amour

Disclaimer: Paramount and Viacom own all. Aznavour and Kretzmer own the song. Luckily, I still own the story.

Rating: PG-13 (just to be safe)

What can I say? I saw the movie ‘Nottinghill’, heard the song sung by Elvis Costello, and wondered why they hadn’t used the original, better version sung by Charles Aznavour!

July 17, 2000 : thanks to Pam Idema for locating this story :-) {{hugz}}

She

May be the face I can’t forget

A trace of pleasure or regret

May be my treasure or the price I have to pay

He woke up with a start. Another nightmare! This one wasn’t that different from the dreams that had been plaguing his sleep for the past 2 weeks. The setting changed every night, but the subject was still the same. The Doctor had called on him after the first night. Apparently he was monitoring him for his yearly physical. Promising the Doc to talk to someone, he had let him off the hook again. Now, after two weeks of sleepless nights, the Doctor was ready to relieve him off duty.The Doctor wasn’t the only one who had noticed his fatigue. B’Elanna and Tuvok both had asked him if anything was wrong. He didn’t tell him that he was having nightmares, just that he was going through a bout of insomnia. Kathryn noticed as well, but she didn’t ask him about it. There were many things she didn’t ask him about. If only she would.

~ * ~ * ~

She may be the song that summer sings

May be the chill that autumn brings

May be a hundred different things

Within the measure of a day

“Commander, could I see you in my Ready Room, please?”He followed her inside, and remained standing in front of her desk.

“Chakotay, please sit down. There is something I’d like to discuss with you. As you know, Neelix has been badgering me about planning a party to celebrate our 6th anniversary in the Delta Quadrant. Even though I’ m still not sure whether it is a good idea to celebrate our ordeal, I can also see why the crew would want a reason to party.”

He smiled at her. He came in thinking she was going to ask him about the tired look on his face, but she just wanted to discuss a party!

“Something funny, Commander?”

“No, Captain, I just realized something. Please continue.”

“Why thank you, Chakotay. Neelix’s party, right, where was I? Now, as he was explaining to me the preparations for this, an idea came to me. What if we do a ‘Captain’s Ball’?”

“A what?”

“You know, a party where the Captain, in this case me, sends out personal invitations for the Ball.”

“Oh.”

“Chakotay, don’t be too enthusiastic, would you!”

“No, Captain, I think it’s a great idea. A good chance for the crew to get to know you.”

“I thought so to. Now, all we need to do now is prepare the party.”

“We, Kathryn?”

“Yes, I mean, you were after all a Captain as well, so I thought that you’d like to be my partner in crime for this.”

~ * ~ * ~

He still didn’t know how he had ended up in his quarters. Of course he had agreed to be Kathryn’s partner, if only for the duration of the party-preparations. He couldn’t believe his luck: for the next 3 weeks Kathryn and he would be working closely together – closer that they had in the past year –, and she would be his partner for the party!

“Janeway to Chakotay.”

“Yes, Captain?”

“It seems you forgot to tell me something. My Ready Room, now!”

~ * ~ * ~

She

May be the beauty or the beast

May be the famine or the feast

May turn each day into a heaven or a hell

He was going to kill that man! No, strike that. He was going to destroy that damn hologram. How dare he?Kathryn found out about the Doc’s findings on Chakotay’s sleepless nights. She had told him in no uncertain terms that he was to talk to someone about this, or else resign from his duties until he had found a solution.

So for the next couple of hours, he found himself locked up in the Holodeck, talking to a program of a Starfleet counselor. He tried to explain to the counselor what he was feeling and how he thought it could be solved, but the man only recited regulations and protocol on fraternization between Starfleet Officers. So much for that idea.

He realized he needed help.

“Chakotay to Torres.”

“Hi there, big guy. What’s up? I heard the Captain put you on obligatory leave?”

“Yeah, she did. Look, B’Ela, I need someone to talk to, and I thought that you might be available.”

“Sure, I’m free right now.”

“I know, remember who put the rosters together?”

“Want to come to my place, or should I come to your quarters?”

“Could you meet me in Holodeck Two in five minutes?”

“I’ll be there. See ya in five.”

~ * ~ * ~

She may be the mirror of my dreams

A smile reflected in a stream

She may not be what she may seem

Inside her shell

“Torres to Janeway.””Go ahead, B’Elanna.”

“Captain, can I speak to you in private?”

“Of course, Lieutenant. I’m in my quarters now. Janeway out.”

B’Elanna was not sure if she should talk to the Captain. The images Chakotay had shown her were extremely disturbing, and when he had told her about his nightmares, she actually found herself crying with him, and for him. Her friend seemed to find himself stuck between a hard place and a rock. On the one hand, he relished his friendship with the Captain and he would never want to give it up, but on the other hand, he was also deeply in love with her. He thought that he could not reconcile the one with the other.

Now all she could do was to tell the Captain that whatever was troubling Chakotay could be solved.

But— How do you tell your Captain that she’s the answer to her First Officer’s sleepless nights?

~ * ~ * ~

“Come in.”

“Sorry to disturb you, Captain. I thought you’d like to know that I’ve spoken to Chakotay.”

“Thanks, B’Elanna. Want something to drink?”

“A raktajino please.”

They sat down on the couch.

“So, how did it go?”

“Well, I don’t know. Eh, Captain, Chakotay doesn’t know I’m here. If he knew he would probably kill me, or at least, refuse to be my friend any longer.”

“Then why are you here?”

“Honestly?”

“B’Elanna, please.”

“I don’t know. I mean, I’m not going to tell you what Chakotay told me, but I think you should know that somehow his sleepless nights aren’t just a case of insomnia.”

“What is it then?”

“He has been having nightmares for the past two weeks.”

“What? Why didn’t he tell me?”

“I think because of the nature of them.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, they’re very disturbing.”

“Isn’t that the reason they’re called ‘nightmare,’ B’Elanna?”

“Yes, no, it’s different. He simply couldn’t talk to you, or at least that’s what he tells me.”

“B’Elanna, what are you getting at?”

“Captain—”

“Kathryn.”

“What?”

“You might as well call me Kathryn. Chakotay’s been trying to get me to interact with the crew on a more personal level for years. This is personal, very personal it seems, so Kathryn is more appropriate.”

“Kathryn, right, it might take some time before I’m used to that. Now, as I told you, I can’t tell you what his dreams were about. But I think that you should go to him, and just ask him about it.”

“You mean, ask him what the dreams are about?”

“Yes, just one simple question.”

“I can’t.”

Kathryn got up from the couch and moved towards the window. “I can’t, B’Elanna. I want to, but I can’t.”

“Why not, Kathryn?” She moved to stand beside the Captain. “It’s not like you’re asking him to tell you what he feels for— oh never mind.”

She turned away, when a hand on her arm stopped her. “B’Elanna. Please. Don’t go.” Kathryn’s eyes were showing the unshed tears she had kept inside her for all these years. “I can’t ask him, because it will be my undoing.”

“What do you mean?” She led the older woman back to the couch and ordered a glass of water for her. “Surely, you can ask him about his nightmares. Why would that be you undoing?”

“Because he will find out how I feel about him.”

“And?”

“Well, I don’t know if I want him to know.”

“Why? Are they such terrible feelings?”

“They are feelings a Captain is not supposed to have for her First Officer.”

“Aha, the Starfleet Fraternization Policy Regarding Personal Relations between Senior Officers, in the Alpha Quadrant.”

“Yes.”

“Bull.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s bull. Kathryn, hello wake up! We’re not in the Alpha Quadrant anymore!”

“I know.”

“So?”

“Oh, I don’t know anymore!”

“Do you love him?”

“Yes.”

“Does he love you?”

“I think so.”

“Problem solved.”

“But what about the command structure?”

“Nothing. I don’t know if you have noticed, but for a while now, that sorry excuse of a boyfriend of mine has been keeping ‘polls’. And if I’m not mistaken, the ‘situation’ between you and that devilishly handsome First Officer of yours has been a hot topic of discussion. Now, and this is first hand knowledge, nobody agrees on the how and when between the two of you, but we all agree that it would be a good thing for you to become more involved that you are right now.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, positive. Not to mention the fact that I have some rations waiting to be collected.”

“Paris to Torres.”

“Hello, Helmboy, what can I do for you?”

“Can I come over?”

“Well, no. Why don’t I meet you somewhere?”

“Okay, see you in the Mess hall. Paris out.”

“Now, Kathryn, I’m always ready to talk to you, but I think that we have done enough talking. It’s time for you to do some thinking. Don’t worry about Chakotay, he should be okay for now. And I have made him promise me to talk to you should his nightmares return, okay?”

Kathryn kept silent, but nodded her head.

~ * ~ * ~

She who always seems so happy in a crowd

Whose eyes can be so private and so proud

No one’s allowed to see them when they cry

Two weeks had gone by.Chakotay was back on the duty the day after he talked to B’Elanna. The nightmares had stopped.

Kathryn and he had been spending more and more time together to organize the party. They had decided to go for a real Ball: ladies in long gowns and men in a tux. So far, everybody had responded enthusiastically and the only complaints had come from Tom when he found out he had lost so many rations to B’Elanna.

Nothing had changed between Kathryn and Chakotay on a more personal level. They were still great friends. Chakotay had noticed that Kathryn was planning something, but he never considered it would be something for him.

One night, they had been talking about their fathers, when a call came in from Tom asking if they wanted to join them at Sandrine’s. They continued their conversation. Chakotay brought over some more drinks, when he found Kathryn crying silently. Carefully he moved her outside the Holodeck without anyone noticing them. He walked her back to her quarters.

~ * ~ * ~

The Ball was a success.Everyone looked stunning. Chakotay and Kathryn were the perfect hosts. Chakotay was wearing a tux, with some items in the same color as Kathryn’s dress. Where he looked fairly unnoticeable—well, not according to Kathryn who couldn’t keep her eyes off him all evening—Kathryn looked simply amazing. She had replicated a long, burgundy red off-shoulder dress, with a slit along her left leg. Her hair fell around her face in loose tendrils. She wore no real jewelry, except for a small choker, made of a thin gold necklace with a tiny yellow rose. Most of the crewmen were in shock when the Command Team made their entrance. They had never seen their Captain look so, well, feminine. Whereas Kathryn could not keep her eyes off of Chakotay, he was trying very hard, and failing miserably, not to look at his Captain.

When he had picked her up earlier, he was stunned and momentarily lost for words. She looked simply too beautiful. He handed her the little gift he had replicated for her, thinking that he would get away with it tonight. Kathryn was very emotional when she opened the package and saw the choker. Masking her feelings behind her command mask, she was able to thank Chakotay without actually throwing herself into his arms. He noticed that she liked the present, but saw the mask in place before he could even blink an eye. Still, he was happy that she accepted the gift, and he put it around her neck.

B’Elanna had been waiting to talk to Kathryn alone, but Chakotay was constantly standing next to her. Luckily, Tom saved her. He was dancing with Naomi Wildman, when the little girl mentioned that she would really rather dance with Commander Chakotay. Pretending to be insulted, Tom escorted her over to Chakotay and explained the situation. As soon as Chakotay was dancing with Naomi, B’Elanna raced over to the Captain.

“Well?” she was slightly out of breath, “Have you told him yet?”

“No, I haven’t. We’ve been too busy planning this to even have one conversation that didn’t mention the Ball.”

“Liar.

“Excuse me?”

“You’re a liar, Kathryn. What about the other night at Sandrine’s? All of a sudden you two were gone, and before that I overheard you talking about something that sure wasn’t the Ball.”

“Okay, so we have talked about other things. Still, the situation wasn’t right.”

“It never will be.”

“It won’t?”

The panicky look in Kathryn’s eyes was enough to make B’Elanna laugh out loud. “Sorry, but you should have seen the look in your eyes, priceless. The fearless Captain Kathryn Janeway looking like a dear caught in the headlights: not knowing whether to run away or stay and be shot!”

“This is not funny, Lieutenant.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“I know, I’m sorry. It’s just that I don’t know how to tell him.”

“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that. I mean, Tom and I only acknowledged our feelings when we were floating in space while running out of oxygen. I can’t recommend it!”

“This is so frustrating!”

“What is?” Chakotay had walked up to the two women and had heard Kathryn’s remark.

“Oh nothing, Chakotay.”

“Yeah, you know, nothing, big guy.” B’Elanna hugged Kathryn, whispering, “You look great. Now, go for the gold.” in her ear, and she walked away.

“Well, do you think we can claim another success yet?”

“What? Eh, yes, I guess we can. People seem to amuse themselves.”

“Kathryn? Are you alright? You seem distracted.”

“I’m fine.”

“Right, you would still say you were fine if a Rigellian Tiger was chewing on your leg. Out with it. What is bothering you?”

“Nothing.”

“You’re not going to tell me, are you?”

“Not yet, patience, Commander. Patience.” She walked away from him with a definite sway to her hips.

~ * ~ * ~

She may be the love that cannot hope to last

May come to me from shadows of the past

That I’ll remember till the day I die

The next weeks were hectic. For three days in a row, a small ship with an impressive arms capacity followed them. The Rotrings had seemed friendly enough at first, but after Kathryn refused to hand over the ship to them, they had maintained the same course as Voyager, targeting them at random.Nobody slept much during those days, and in the weeks following, they were still repairing the damage. Kathryn was either holed up in her Ready Room or down in Engineering giving B’Elanna and her crew a hand. Chakotay found himself looking over the tactical reports and spent most of his time in consult with Tuvok. They had never been this battle weary.

During the past weeks, whenever she got the chance, B’Elanna didn’t stop reminding the Captain of her plan. Well, plan— she just wanted Kathryn to realize that Chakotay was not going to wait forever. After re-reading her logs concerning Seska, Riley and Kellin, Kathryn was more determined than ever to tell Chakotay that she loved him.

One night, after another day of numerous reports on the various reparations, Kathryn was in the Mess hall alone. She never finished her dinner, because Seven wanted to show her something, so she decided to make her own snack. When she had almost finished preparing a sandwich, the doors opened to let Chakotay in.

She was shocked when she saw how pale he looked, almost like death warmed over. He didn’t see her until she was practically waving her hands in front of his face.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice you. I hope I haven’t disturbed you.”

“You haven’t, Chakotay. Can I get you anything?”

“No, yes, some coffee please.”

“One coffee coming up.”

“Thanks.”

They sat down at one of the tables.

“So, what is your reason for being up this late?”

“Nothing really, just couldn’t sleep.”

“Hmm, well, you’ll be pleased to know that I am eating dinner.”

“Why should I be pleased?”

“Aren’t you always telling me to eat three meals a day? This happens to be meal number three.”

“Kathryn, what I meant is that you should eat them during daytime, not at four in the morning.”

“I know that, just checking to see if you were still alert enough.”

“Alert enough. With all the coffee I have been consuming? If I’m not careful I might turn into a Captain Janeway.”

“Yikes, that would be horrible. I’ll warn her that you are the copycat.”

“You know her?”

“Yes. She friendly enough, a bit stiff sometimes, but other than that harmless.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

“Good. If you hadn’t I would have ordered you. So, you simply can’t sleep?”

“Yes. I’ve tried, but it seems that my mind doesn’t agree. It’s not that I’m not tired, but there’s too many thoughts running around in my head.”

Kathryn had finished her sandwich and cleaned her plate away. On the way back she replicated two mugs with warm aniseed milk. “Here, drink this. You shouldn’t be drinking more coffee if you can’t sleep.”

He grinned at her, “Isn’t this the proverbial pot calling the kettle?”

“No, this is simply a friend who is trying to help you sleep better. It’s part of my mother’s recipe.”

“Oh, the infamous Gretchen Janeway. What’s the rest of the recipe like?” He smelled the drink. It reminded him of his mother’s cure-all, aniseed tea.

“The rest? Follow me.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

They entered her quarters. Chakotay was hesitant. It was after all the middle of the night, and he didn’t want to assume anything. Kathryn went over to the couch and sat down at one end. “I won’t bite. Come here.” Chakotay went over, and sat down at the other end. “Eh, Kathryn, you do realize that it is the middle of the night?”

“What? Afraid, Chakotay?”

“No, not really, I think, but I just wanted to know what the deal is.”

“The deal is getting you to sleep. Now move over and please relax.” She maneuvered him so that his head was in her lap. “Now, just close your eyes and clear your head.” She could feel him protest. “I could make that an order, Commander.” She proceeded to slowly stroke his temples, and his hair. Before she even had a chance to trace his tattoo, Chakotay was already asleep. “It works every time!”

~ * ~ * ~

She may be the reason I survive

The why and wherefore I’m alive

The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years

Me I’ll take her laughter and her tears

And make them all my souvenirs

He didn’t feel his arm. Somehow the circulation had been blocked. He pulled his arm back and moved around a bit.”Ouch, what did you that for?”

Chakotay was fully awake. Kathryn?

“Why did you throw me off the couch? That’s the last time I make you an offer like that, mister! The next time, no matter how asleep you are, we move to the bed.” She got up and went into her bathroom.

Couch? Next time? Bed? Kathryn?

Groggily he sat up rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He could feel his arm again. What was going on? The last thing he remembered was Kathryn getting him to lay down with his head in her lap. That and the smell of aniseed.

“Good morning, Chakotay. Sleep well?” She stood in the doorway looking at his confused expression.

As she walked over to the replicator to get some coffee, Chakotay stood up from the couch. “Kathryn?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you.”

“You’re right. You were on me. Well, at least you finally fell asleep. I mean, that was your problem, right?”

“Why yes. Still, I guess I’m a bit confused.”

“I can see that. Your expression was priceless. Care for some coffee?”

“No thanks, I think I had enough of the stuff to last me a lifetime.”

“Okay, suit yourself. I’m going to take a shower, because Tuvok will expect me in 30 minutes to go over the new specs for the shields with him and B’Elanna. I cleared your schedule for this morning and moved your appointments to this afternoon. Oh, and breakfast is on me. It seems B’Elanna decided to share her replicator fortune with me.”

He was still too stunned to say anything and stood rooted in the same position for at least 5 minutes. When he heard the shower running, he tried valiantly to remove images of Kathryn in the shower from his mind. He didn’t succeed.

He had already left when she came into the living area.

~ * ~ * ~

For the rest of the morning he tried to contact his spirit guide, but he couldn’t reach her. When he walked into the Mess hall for lunch, Kathryn was already sitting at their table and she waved him over.

“You simply have to try the stew, it’s delicious.”

“The stew?”

“Yes. By the way, you’ll be pleased to know that this is meal number 2, I ‘m right on track.”

Neelix came over with a plate for him, and he was surprised to find the stew very edible. Kathryn talked to him continuously, and he only gave short replies. Puzzled by his behavior, she asked him if anything was wrong.

“No, it’s nothing.”

“I guess I had that coming, didn’t I. You’re using my line, mister, it will not work. Now I really know that something is the matter.”

“It’s not that important, really. Just let me be.”

“No, I won’t. That’s what I have been doing for these last couple of years.” He noticed how her voice increased and saw people looking their way.

“Kathryn, people are looking at us.”

“What? Oh. Well, that’s their business. I simply want to know what is wrong.”

“Really, nothing is wrong. It’s just that I’m confused. Nothing to worry about, I’ll work it out.”

“Like the last time.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, your nightmares. The Doctor and B’Elanna told me you were having them because something was bothering you. So, give.”

“Not here.”

“Why not?”

“Kathryn, you know why.”

“I don’t think I do. You see, I’ve been thinking and I think that it is time I exchange my best friend for something else.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

“Of course I heard, I’m not deaf. What do you mean ‘exchange’?”

“Well, I thought that I would exchange my best friend for someone who in the long run will be more beneficial for my well being.”

She almost laughed at his expression, but realized that would not be wise. From the corner of her eye, she could see B’Elanna giving her a thumbs up.

Kathryn had spent most of the morning in counsel with B’Elanna over her relationship with Chakotay. She had told her what happened this morning, and B’Elanna had advised to actually spell it out for Chakotay. After all, he was surely not expecting this from Kathryn.

“So, who do you have in mind for this exchange. I mean, I’d like to think that I’m your best friend even though we have hit some rough spots. Do you mind telling me?”

“No, not at all. If I didn’t tell you, the whole exchange would fail.”

“What do you mean?”

“Okay, Chakotay, I am only going to say this once. You are no longer sufficient as a best friend. You’ve done your best, but I need someone else.”

He was shocked. She was dumping him. Momentarily he was too stunned to listen to her, and looked around. The Mess hall was loaded, and Kathryn didn’t seem to notice. He could see B’Elanna pointing at him, and she tried to tell him something with her eyes, but he didn’t understand. Slowly he returned to the conversation he was having with Kathryn.

“Hello, Chakotay, are you even listening?”

“What? Oh, sorry, I was distracted.”

“Right, I assume by B’Elanna.”

“How did you know?”

“Trust me, I’m beginning to understand her more now that we’ve become friends, and I know she is sitting there behind me, pointing out something.”

She moved in her seat, only to look over her right shoulder straight at B’Elanna. “Lieutenant, I think your lunch break is over. That goes for all of you.”

Within moments the Mess hall was empty, except for Neelix in the Galley, and Kathryn and Chakotay at their table. They could hear Neelix rattle his pots and pans, but paid no attention to him.

“Chakotay, what I am trying to say, is that the reason I no longer want you as my best friend, or at least, no longer want you solely as my best friend, is because I want you as so much more.” She was having difficulty saying the right things, and inwardly cursed herself for being such a clutz when it came to emotions. Chakotay saw her struggle and took both her hands in his. He was not going to help her verbally, this was something she needed to do on her own.

“This is so frustrating. Please say something, Chakotay? Don’t just sit there looking gorgeous.”

He smiled. “Kathryn, I would love to be so much more to you, but we both know that you’re going to have to spell it out.”

“I know, I know. I never thought it would be this difficult.”

“Kathryn, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Close your eyes.” She closed her eyes, and breathed in deep. “Now, don’t think, just feel.” He got up and leaned over the table. Kathryn’s face was titled upwards, and he moved closer to give her a light kiss. When he sat down again, she still had her eyes closed, but her face showed the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.

As she opened her eyes, he couldn’t help but smile back.

“I love you, Chakotay.”

“And I love you, Kathryn.”

~ * ~ * ~

For where she goes I’ve got to beThe meaning of my life is

She

He rolled over careful not wake the person beside him. As his focus became clearer, he saw his daughter standing next to his part of the bed.”Daddy, can I have my presents now?”

“Not yet, sweetheart. It’s still very early, why don’t you go back to bed and sleep some more.”

“But I can’t sleep, daddy. I’ve tried, I really have, but Bear can’t sleep and he’s keeping me awake.”

“Okay, come here. With Mr. Bear. Now close your eyes and just relax.”

Lizzy was cuddled in between him and Kathryn making herself comfortable. Kathryn didn’t seem to notice the intrusion. As he turned on his right side, he tenderly stroked his daughter brow and temples.

She was already asleep.

“It does work every time.”

FIN