Turning around she snuggled deeper into the comfortable warmth surrounding her. As she moved, the arm draped around her waist pulled her closer. A soft sound brought her back to the land of the living. Thinking she was lying next to Justin she willed herself back to sleep only to suddenly realize it couldn’t be him, because he was dead. She didn’t want to wake the man beside her, so she remained still. He must have sensed a difference in her, because he moved away and rolled over on his back. The sudden loss of warmth made her shiver, but when she opened her eyes she noticed the sunlight coming through the curtains. The rays seemed to beam their way into the room and came to rest on the sleeping figure beside her.
She slowly and carefully untangled herself from the quilt, which had somehow wrapped around them. Getting up she noticed how relaxed her body was. She clearly hadn’t slept this well in ages. Turning around she looked at her companion. Even in his sleep he looked handsome, yet there was something different about him. His face lacked the frown he seemed to wear when he was awake, and now his features showed peacefulness that made him almost vulnerable.
She quietly moved around the room, unpacking the things from her luggage and she went into the bathroom to take a shower and get dressed.
~ * ~ * ~
As he rolled over he could see the grey timberwolf beckoning him. She was running away from him but at a speed where he could easily catch up. He didn’t mind jogging behind her, because he was not running alone. There was someone moving with him, in complete tandem to his body. It had been a while since he last was able to contact his spirit guide, and now that he saw her again, he felt his mind and body loosing much of the stress he had experienced lately.
For days he had been trying to contact her, but every time he thought she was close by, a small movement at his feet broke his concentration. And as he tried to figure out what is was that made him look away, he would loose the connection with the other world and find himself sitting on the floor surrounded by the items from his medicine bundle his hand tightly gripping the akoonah.
As he saw the wolf running ahead of him and his companion, he decided not to question the experience. Suddenly the wolf stopped dead in her tracks; he caught up with her and when he stood still, the other person bumped into him. A small hand on his shoulder made him look around, but when he turned there was no one there. The wolf came up to him and nuzzled her nose into his hand. Even though he was alone again, he could still feel the touch on his shoulder and strangely enough it gave him a very peaceful feeling. He crouched down to be at the wolf’s level and he was about to ask her what had happened when his eye caught sight of a small lizard resting on a rock warmed by the sun. By now he could feel the warmth surrounding him and it made him think back of his previous attempts to contact his guide. Whenever her tried to get in touch with her his environment had been cold. He would always see the rays of the sun, but they were missing their natural warmth. Moving his head to the sun, he closed his eyes and reveled in their comforting support.
~ * ~ * ~
When he opened his eyes again, he had to squint to keep the sun from blinding him. Slowly the sensations came back to him and he realized he had returned from his visit to the dream world. He was lying in a bed under the quilt his mother had made when pregnant with him. He sat up and looked around: something was missing. As soon as he became aware of the feeling, he noticed the opened and unpacked boxes of luggage in the room and he heard someone move around in the bathroom.
The memories of the previous night flooded back to him and he remembered staying up till late talking to his father’s new science partner. He smiled when he thought of what they had discussed. Kathryn hadn’t turned out to be the kind of Starfleet person he had expected to meet. Talking to her had been a revelation for him, and he found a new respect for people who dedicated their lives to the sciences. He even began to understand his father’s passion for it, something he hadn’t been able to do in far too many years. He had also been caught in the web of the movements of her body when she was talking. When she spoke she would use her whole body to explain a point. Enraptured by the expressions of her face, he had found himself opening up to her in a way he hadn’t thought possible.
When he had first seen her flat out on the bed, he knew he was sold. She just looked too much at home amongst the soft covers. The only reason why he came into the room was to tell her she would be sharing the bathroom with him, but all logical thought disappeared from his brain upon seeing her. Back in his room he replayed his extremely short conversation with her. He really had acted as a young schoolboy, and he was determined to rectify that when he entered her room a second time. Instead of talking he gazed at her while she was lost in thought, one arm carelessly draped over her head.
How they had moved from their earlier hostility to spending a night in this bed he didn’t know, but he was far from unhappy about it. Something about this woman, or actually everything about this woman, made him want to get to know her completely. His sudden revelation shocked him, but as soon as he had admitted his attraction for Kathryn to himself he felt the feelings of peace flow back into his heart.
~ * ~ * ~
He got up and was straightening the bed, when the door to the bathroom opened. He looked up and his eyes immediately met those of Kathryn. She smiled sheepishly at him and moved back into the room, dumping her things carelessly on the bed. He grinned back at her.
“Hi” They simultaneously said, causing them to laugh softly.
“Good morning, did you sleep well?”
She walked over to the window and, hiding her growing blush, she opened the curtains. The full light of the sun painted the room as soft yellow, and Kathryn was caught by the beautiful vista outside. Temporarily forgetting he was in the room with her, she opened the window and looked out over the vast space before her.
Chakotay was glad she didn’t look his way, because now he could look at her unashamedly. The sun lit up her hair and made it glow like coppery fire. The amazed look on her face made her even more beautiful than he thought possible.
“Chakotay, you have to see this. It’s like … I simply cannot describe it. It’s amazing.” She turned towards him and the look on his face made her hold her breath. No one had ever looked at her this way and the expression on his face was priceless. It was a picture she immediately locked away in a safe place of her heart.
“Yes, I know, it’s beautiful.”