Jade's Poem

In my dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

Written together with KateF

Disclaimer: Voyager belongs to Paramount.... not to us... well... somebody should have told us...

Authors' Note: This story is for Jade. She wrote this wonderful poem and allowed us to use it. We are forever gratefull, hon.

* ~ * ~ *

In my dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

"Wake up, honey. It's Christmas."

An indistinguishable grunt was all he got. "I have coffee. It's your favorite blend; Celestial Double Roasted."

Slowly but surely the lump in the bed began to show movement. Where a minute ago he could only see a tuft of hair, he was now greeted by a sleepy and grouchy looking face.

"What are you doing?"

"Waking you up, sleepy head. I thought you wanted to be ready before our guests arrive."

A puzzled look replaced the previous one, in turn only to be replaced by a silly crooked grin. "I forgot. I told you we should start our cooking early." Relieved to see her smiling, he handed her the coffee.

"Drink this, take a bath, and then join me downstairs when you're ready, okay?"

"You're an angel. Are you sure you don't want to join me?"

"No, I'm not sure. I do know, however, we will have 20 hungry people on our doorstep in little over 4 hours, and we still have to prepare the food."

She sighed and reluctantly let him leave.

* ~ * ~ *

In my Dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

"Kathryn? Kathryn? Wake up, love."

"Hmmm?"

"You fell asleep in the tub. Didn't you want to help me?"

She was wide-awake suddenly.

"I am sorry, Chakotay. I am so sorry. I don't know why I am so sleepy nowadays. I never was like this on Voyager."

"Your body is busy reclaiming all the sleep you refused to give it while you were on Voyager."

"Maybe." She grinned.

He bent down his head to kiss her.

* ~ * ~ *

In my Dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

"I love you."

She turned her head. He was watching her. She loved catching him when he did that. It sent shivers through her body.

She was desperately trying to cut the salad, not her fingers.

"You love me even though I can't even make a decent salad? I told you I couldn't cook."

He approached her and took her bleeding finger in his hands. He raised it to his lips and gently kissed it, cooling it with his breath.

"It's only a scratch. It will heal."

"I know, Kathryn."

He continued to caress it.

* ~ * ~ *

In my Dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

In my Reality: Quick, furtive glances, Fast, friendly touches, Nonexistent kisses.

"Captain, will you do the honors?"

"Of course, Mr. Neelix." She went over to the podium, where most of her Senior Officers were already waiting for her. Walking the few steps up, she caught his stare. His expression was unreadable, but she pretended not to be upset by it.

"Welcome all to our Annual Voyager Christmas Party! Tom and Neelix have certainly outdone themselves this year." The approval of the crew was loud enough to make her stop speaking.

"Another year in the Delta Quadrant, another year closer to Earth. We have come a long way ever since the Caretaker sent us here. But we have not only literally traveled great distances, we also have grown as people. Yesterday I received some great news: Alicia and Tim asked me to officiate at their wedding." A roaring applause filled the room.

"They will let us know what the date is, but for now we can rejoice in the fact that Voyager has become our home. She will continue to be our home for as long as it takes us to get to the Alpha Quadrant."

Tom carefully nudged his Captain, earning him a well-deserved death glare.

"In the memo I received from Tom, he told me to keep this speech short. I will, don't worry, Lieutenant. My friends and colleagues, from the bottom of my heart I wish you a merry Christmas. Let the party begin!"

* ~ * ~ *

In my Reality: Quick, furtive glances, Fast, friendly touches, Nonexistent kisses.

Tom had been courteous enough to make sure Kathryn wasn't left out of the party. He had asked her to dance a couple of times, whenever B'Elanna wanted to make sure someone would be dancing with Chakotay, too. He had asked Kathryn why she didn't dance with Chakotay, but she had not replied. Instead she'd watched Chakotay as he was dancing with Alicia Mahler, the lucky bride to be.

As the party was nearing to an end, Chakotay seemed to have finally made up his mind, and asked Kathryn to dance. Hesitantly she followed him out to the dance floor.

He took her in his arms, but the distance between them was bordering on ridiculous. With more than an arms length between them, Chakotay gave his Captain a clear signal. They were friends: not the best friends they had been, just friends. And he certainly was not expecting anything more from her.

Tom's mistletoe was hanging all around them, but no one dared to point it out.

* ~ * ~ *

In my Reality: Quick, furtive glances, Fast, friendly touches, Nonexistent kisses.

The End

[Nah.. we couldn't!]

In my Dreams: Long, lingering glances, Soft, gentle touches, Delicious, passionate kisses.

In my Reality: Quick, furtive glances, Fast, friendly touches, Nonexistent kisses.

In my Life: More loving glances, More caring touches, More than abundant kisses.

She still remembered that Christmas. The horrible one. The one before they got home. It had broken her heart. It had shattered all her hopes, all her dreams. It had brought reality. The cruel, heart-breaking reality; he didn't love her anymore. Maybe he had never loved her.

Life aboard had been horrible afterwards. They spoke, occasionally. They touched, occasionally.

Then, they got home and nothing changed.

Not until that one Christmas.

"Kathryn, you're being ridiculous."

"Pardon me?"

"We are acting ridiculous."

"What makes you say that?"

He looked into her eyes. She thought they shone with love, but that couldn't be.

"Damn, Kathryn, we have been acting ridiculous ever since last Christmas. Remember? We used to be best friends. We used to be even more, at least in my dreams. Now it's been like this for a year. We have been ignoring each other and I can't stand it anymore. Kathryn, I love you. I always have. I don't want to have the things we had destroyed forever. I want my dreams to come true. My biggest dream to be precise. I want you to say 'I love you'. I want you to say 'I do.'"

"Why now?"

"Kathryn?"

"I thought you didn't love me anymore. I gave up all hope last Christmas. I was devastated. I spent so many nights crying. And now you're telling me it was just some kind of misunderstanding? Chakotay, I thought I had lost my love forever. I love you. I love you so much."

"And?"

"And what?"

"And what about the 'I do.' part?"

"Chakotay? Do you mean what I think you mean?"

"Yes."

* ~ * ~ *

In my Life: More loving glances, More caring touches, More than abundant kisses.

Standing next to him in the kitchen, she wondered what she had done to deserve this. He had made her cut the salad. She hated cutting anything. Her fingers were always in great danger when she tried.

"Ouch!"

Kathryn pulled her hand back to inspect the damage the knife had done. As Chakotay approached her, she cradled her hand close to her body, shielding it from him.

"Kathryn, please, let me see."

Reluctantly she showed him her hand. "Don't worry, it's just a small cut. I've had them before."

He raised her bleeding finger to his lips and gently kissed it, cooling it with his breath.

"It's only a scratch. It will heal."

"I know, Kathryn."

He continued to caress it.

She closed her eyes while Chakotay took care of the cut. What did she do to deserve this after all this time? A few years ago, she would have woken up in the morning crying each time because of that dream; the one that had been so much like what was happening right now.

Chakotay touched her cheek, "Are you sure you are okay? You looked as if you were light-years away."

He took the knife away from her, as she almost cut herself a second time.

"Kathryn, I'll make you a deal. You can make breakfast tomorrow, but I will finish dinner tonight."

Reluctantly she left the kitchen, reverting back to what she usually did when Chakotay kicked her out of their kitchen, setting the table.

As she set down the last dish, he heard the music Kathryn had put on: the theme Harry and Tim Jones had composed especially for their wedding.

They had been married exactly 6 months ago, and tonight they would celebrate the anniversary with their friends and family.

"May I have this dance, my lady?"

She turned around to find Chakotay waiting for her.

"I would be delighted, sir."

He looked strikingly handsome: all dressed up in a tuxedo with a cummerbund and bow tie that matched her dress. Swaying to the music, they never heard the door chime.

* ~ * ~ *

In my Life: More loving glances, More caring touches, More than abundant kisses.

"They just look so adorable, I don't want to interrupt them." B'Elanna sighed as she saw her friends dance closely together.

Tom put his arms around her waist, something that was becoming increasingly difficult because of her advanced pregnancy.

"Remember our last Christmas on Voyager? If you had told me back then this is how I would spend this one, I would never have believed you."

"I know what you mean. You know, Owen once gave me advice on how to get them together. After he had given me 30 ways, he gave up, finally understanding that we had tried almost everything."

Slowly the house filled with people, but Kathryn and Chakotay were still oblivious to their surroundings.

B'Elanna had opened an access panel and was tweaking some relays, as Harry and Tim were tuning their instruments. They figured they might as well take over from the recording because they could end the piece, whereas the tape would play continuously.

The music came to an end and Chakotay pulled away from Kathryn. She looked so absolutely radiant that he found himself falling in love with her all over again.

They had lived together for the past year and had discovered it was nothing like they imagined it to be; it was a thousand times better.

As they noticed their audience, Kathryn dropped her head on Chakotay's shoulder. "I can't believe we didn't hear them come in," she whispered, faking her embarrassment to give them a few more moments together.

When she looked into his face again, Chakotay was smiling at her and he kissed her nose.

"Well, you did tell them to make themselves right at home. I guess they've taken it quite literally. All ready for our party?"

"All ready. Happy Anniversary, my Warrior."

"Happy Anniversary, my Captain."

Just then Tom lifted Naomi up to help her put a beautiful angel on the decorated tree, "And Merry Christmas to all!"

Fin

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