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Just as she was zipping up her dress, the doorchime rang. “Damn”, she ran down the stairs when it chimed a second time. “Hold your horses! I’m coming!” Slightly out of breath she signaled for the door to open.

“Hello Kathryn.”

He stood in front of her not sure he would pass her scrutinous inspection of his outfit. When he arrived in San Francisco he’d gone straight to a replicator, ordering himself a new tuxedo. He knew he had to hurry if he wanted to pick up Kathryn before they were expected at Tom and B’Elanna’s party.

Kathryn looked simply dazzling in her darkgreen crushed velvet off-shoulder dress. There was something awkward about it though. “Want me to zip you up?”

She grinned, “Please.” Of all the things they could have said to each other, this one actually revealed more than passers-by might have thought. He stepped inside and turned around to fasten the dress. He swirled her around, enjoying the way she looked. When she came to a halt in front of him, she looked him in the eyes.

“Did you mean it?”

“I am here now. And I am not leaving.”

She leaned forward and stood on her tiptoes to press a chaste and shy kiss on his lips. Before he could return the favor, she pulled away from him. “Sorry, can’t ruin my makeup.” Chakotay laughed at that. She was right, if he got a chance now he would certainly ruin her makeup and a lot more.

“It will only take me 5 more minutes or so and then we can leave.”

“Leave? But it’s only 8 o’clock, we’re not expected at the party till 9:30.”

“I know, but I, well, we need to cash in a favor before we go to the party.”

“We do?”

She just smiled and went upstairs again. Chakotay followed her up.

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