“Uhm,” he looked down and Kathryn saw a blush slowly creep on his face, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”
She smiled, “You weren’t interrupting anything.”
He smiled back, the first time she’d seen him smile since she arrived. “Well, I’ll leave you to it then.” He gave her one cheeky grin before he left and closed the door. She fell back down on the bed again.
It was a good thing he hadn’t smiled at her when he picked her up from the transporter. She’d have fled back to the ship immediately: men shouldn’t be allowed to look that handsome, especially not when smiling at poor innocent women!
And his last remark – she wasn’t sure she wanted to know what he had been thinking about.
… then again, maybe she did want to know.
She didn’t want to know. Really she didn’t.
She let out a sigh she didn’t know she’d been holding and closed her eyes, trying to imagine what Justin had looked like on their wedding day.
Not having heard him knock, she veered up looking straight into Chakotay’s face who apparently let himself back in. Grabbing her head, she let herself back down again, “What can I do for you, Chakotay?” She closed her eyes, trying to get her breathing under control again
He’s doing this on purpose, he must be! What is he, telepathic? Did he know I couldn’t get a clear picture of Justin, and only saw his grinning face?
I need to get out of here, the Enterprise should still be close by, and I could probably catch a transport and be back on board within a week.
Why is it that only 2½ hrs after meeting this man – a man who: a) wasn’t there; b) was silent; and c) was making rude comments, mostly about Starfleet – why is it that he makes me want to spend all my time with him?
He carefully touched the hand she had flung over her eyes, “Kathryn, are you okay? I’m sorry for surprising you again.”
Slowly she opened her eyes, looking into a pair of concerned dark orbs, “I’m okay, really I am. Just contemplating my life, and whether or not I’m where I should be at this stage of it. You know, just your basic metaphysical psychological babble.” She grinned at him, wondering what made her speak to him this easily.
This time it was his laugh that pleasantly surprised her. “I think I know what you’re referring to. Except I usually contact my spirit guide and she helps me put things into perspective, either that or she demands a belly rub from me.”
Her puzzled look made him laugh even more, “You told my father you read up on the customs of our tribe, yet you don’t know about a spirit guide?” He sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Spirit guides? I think the Elders were more concerned with supplying me with their logs and opinions about your father than anything else.”
“Yes, Father does have a unique way of looking at things.” His smile disappeared and was replaced by a frown, while he gazed at nothing in particular.
“And you don’t agree with him?” Kathryn made herself comfortable and sat propped up against the headboard with her legs stretched out in front of her. Chakotay mirrored her position, leaning against the other end.
“No, I don’t agree with him,” and he gave her a sad smile, “there was a time when I did though. When I was about 14 I was even studying for the Starfleet Entry Exams.”
“You would have liked it there. The Academy is a great place to meet people and to learn about thing you’d never even thought about.”
“Probably only for those who belong there. I just wish that my father had spend as much time teaching me about our people as he had about the histories of other ancient and lost people.”
He seemed lost in thought, and Kathryn didn’t want to grill him more.
What would make a man give up all he has ever believed in, only to renounce those beliefs?
“I can remember my dad rewarding me when I had learned a new times table. He would take me to my favorite spot: the cornfields behind our house.” The memory made her smile and it grew even bigger when she remembered some of the more mature things she had done in those fields.
“Cornfields? You mean, you didn’t grow up in a big and crowded city?”
This time it was his surprised face that made her laugh. “No, why? Think that all people of Earth live in the city? I’m from Indiana a large state on the continent of America. I guess you could say my parents were traditionalists. We lived in a small town, and our house was adjacent to a farm and another property of Traditionalists.”
“What was it like growing up there?”
They stayed up most of the night, telling each other about their childhood and about growing up in a sometimes too loving family.
~ * ~ * ~
“I wonder what is keeping him? Kotay is never late for breakfast. Do you think I should check on him?”
“Mika! Chakotay is a grown man; he doesn’t need to be woken up by his mother anymore. Besides I think he’s not even here, he probably went back to his lodge, where he should be, mind you.”
“You’re right, of course. Still it’s not like him to sneak out like that.”
“I’m more worried about Kathryn. I always thought Starfleet Officers never slept late. Do you think we should check on her?”
Mika just grinned at her husband, “Paka, she’s a grown woman! She can make her own decisions.”
Only then did he notice the tray she was preparing. When Mika saw him look at it, she shrugged, “I’m just going to bring her some coffee and toast. And explain her how to fill the bathtub upstairs.”
“Of course, dear.”
He followed her up the stairs, under guise of opening the door for her. After knocking three times, he looked at his wife as if to say ‘What now?’ She motioned him to open the door.
Mika went in first and was nearly knocked over by Paka who bumped into her from behind.
“What? Why aren’t you?”
“Shhhh,” she interrupted him. He moved away from her and looked into the room curiously.
He grinned at his wife, “Do you still not believe the powers at work on this bed?” he whispered.