Disclaimer - Okay, Paramount own most of them...but Stephen is MINE!
Sequel to 'A Twisted Ankle, The XO, His Captain And Her Lover', which can be found here.
For Andra, who asked for the sequel and the pairing.
Had she been the type to cackle, she would have done so when she threw him against the wall.
This was so absolutely right.
Since the break-up with James she'd allowed herself to wallow in self-pity and self-denial. James hadn't simply left her for someone better looking. He obviously hadn't appreciated every facet of her personality, of the woman she was and what she could bring to their relationship. It was his loss.
She knew, of course, that the words rang absolutely hollow in her ears and the ears of anyone else she spoke them to. But they were, after all, the same words millions of people had been using to comfort themselves for hundreds of years.
All it took, really, was her involvement with this extremely attractive (and vaguely familiar, although she couldn't quite place it) younger man. A complete stranger, whose name she didn't need to know and with whom she hadn't shared her name. All it took, really, was to be appreciated by him for her to realise that she didn't need to care one bit what James thought of her. He was out of her life, and she was glad of that.
They'd met just five minutes from where she lived. She'd dropped the books she was carrying and he gallantly picked them up and offered to carry them for her. She enjoyed the way his smile transformed the size of his face. He had made some comment about how wonderful he thought it was that she was reading from actual books and not PADDs. Then he'd dropped the books as she silently but quickly pulled him closer and kissed him.
There she had been, kissing a complete stranger, books around her ankles, in front of people she knew only by sight.
This was not something she did frequently. Never, in fact. But there was something about this one...
So, she had brought him home, after knowing him for all of five minutes. They made the journey between kisses and dropping books and enough groping for either of them to be arrested for indecent exposure.
Fortunately, they made it all the way there without encountering anyone who had the legal ability to arrest them, entering the apartment as they avoided the neighbour who was trying to tell them something, while her normally sharp mind had forgotten what her authorisation code was.
"What's the problem?" He whispered behind her, his breath on her neck.
She closed her eyes. "I...can't seem to remember my code."
He swore softly, then seemed to think of something. She heard several thumps as he dropped the books he was holding and she felt a huge grin forming on her own face, even as she stared at the grey doors. Dropping the few books she was holding, she swivelled and reached up to meet the lips that she knew were descending towards her, still ignoring the neighbour who had given up trying to tell her anything and was simply enjoying the show.
Clearly, the man had been holding back, because the previous kisses had absolutely nothing on this one. His hands seemed somehow to be on her neck, face, waist and hair, all at once.
When it was over they released each other, and she thumped back against the doors, eyes wide. He looked as shocked as she felt.
Still looking at him, not turning away, she reached behind her and fumbled for the small access PADD next to the door. When she found it, without even thinking, she entered the access code. The doors hissed open and - still holding his gaze - she took two steps back into the apartment.
Breathing heavily, he at least had enough clarity of thought to ask what they should do with the books.
"Leave them," She ordered, and not giving a damn about any possible damage or any possible fines, she grabbed the top of his shirt and pulled him through the doorway.
And here they were. Now. Him pushed against the wall - quite happy to be there - as they kissed again.
When that one ended with her hands under his shirt and her hair in a complete state of disarray, she lead him towards the bedroom.
Once there, they stumbled into the room, pulling clothes from each other.
She had to wait until her top was all the way off her head - which took longer than normal because it got caught in her hair and his hands - until she saw just who had made the noise. Then she gasped herself, and yelled her sisters name.
There in the bed - quite clearly coitus interruptus - were Kathryn and Chakotay, looking dumb struck. Determined not to let the revelation of...well, several things...spoil the mood, Phoebe grabbed the hand that was resting on her breast over her bra, and led the man who was no longer a complete stranger out of the room.
"Don't mind us!" She told them. "Go back to what you were doing; we'll sort this out later." And then they were outside the room, the closing doors cutting out the sight of Kathryn and Chakotay barely under the bed clothes and obviously not wearing any clothes at all.
Turning, they faced each other. Releasing his hand, she pointed towards herself. "Kathryn's sister."
Nodding in understanding, he copied her movements to himself. "Chakotay's cousin."
She nodded with him, then held out her hand. "Nice to meet you...Stephen."
He shook her hand, accepting the bizarreness of the situation. "You too, Phoebe."
The handshake ended and they stood, studying each other, absorbing this new information.
Two seconds later they were kissing again.
Some time later, a post coitus Kathryn and Chakotay lay in bed together, trying to get some rest while trying to ignore the repetitive noise that was echoing through the room.
After the tenth time she heard the noise Kathryn cracked, sitting up in bed. "Will you please go and see what that is?"
Chakotay didn't move, keeping his eyes closed. "You know very well what it is, Kathryn. Obviously the walls in this apartment weren't built to block out noise."
"Ah, but I don't *know* what it is. I can suspect, certainly - which in fact I do - but I don't know."
Giving in to this particular woman had always come a little too easily to Chakotay. Resigning himself to a rather embarrassing fate - although how his fate could be anything else when it came to Kathryn Janeway was something of mystery - Chakotay sighed. "So you just want me to look." It was a statement.
"Yes," She agreed, smiling at the man who had finally opened his eyes. "For all we know, it could be something completely different, in which case you could probably stop the noise."
"Why don't you look?"
Kathryn recoiled from him slightly. "That could be my sister out there! As glad as I am that she has a sex life, I don't want to see that sex life in great detail."
Not having the energy to argue anymore, he pulled himself lethargically from the bed. "Fine, okay..."
"Thanks," She smiled warmly.
Finding new energy, he pulled on his pants and crept towards the doorway. He waited until his presence was detected and the doors slid open, but he didn't step out. Instead, he peered carefully around the doorway. His eyebrows rose.
By now Kathryn had stood from the bed, and had a blanket tucked under her arms, covering her chest. "Well?" She hissed. "What is it?"
Looking for a few more moments, he then glanced back at her. "We're right," He whispered.
Chakotay searched for the right words. "Stephen and Phoebe are...enjoying themselves immensely against the wall."
"I knew it!" She spat. "They've been at it for ages!"
He nodded sagely. "Quite remarkable, really."
A determined glint of challenge entered her eyes.
"Someone's at the door," Chakotay stated obviously.
"Well answer it," She retorted, tucking the blanket tighter around her body.
Depriving himself of the view, Chakotay found his shirt, threw it on, and stepped out of the bedroom. He glanced at Phoebe and Stephen, trying to ignore the noises he was hearing. This was not a moment where he could afford to...enjoy the view too much.
He quickly came to the conclusion that they had no interest in seeing who was at the door - he doubted they had even heard it and seemed utterly unaware of him. Fortunately the door was in the opposite direction and around the corner from the spot Phoebe and Stephen had chosen.
A hastily dressed Chakotay answered the beeping, and frowned when he saw who was at the door - as he recalled, the woman standing there lived next door. "Can I help you?" He asked kindly, acting as if his cousin and Kathryn's sister weren't humping in the hallway.
The woman smiled. "Actually, I just wanted a quick word with Phoebe. I tried to tell her earlier that there were already two of you in there, but she was...well," She rose both eyebrows "...she was *far* more interested in other matters. However, as you're answering the door I assume she must already know, and really my visit here was ultimately unnecessary. I apologise for interrupting."
Not quite sure why, he smiled. "No need to worry," Chakotay assured her as a particularly loud moan echoed along the hallway "and...thank you for thinking of our privacy."
She waved him off. "Oh, don't be silly. We all have to help each other occasionally, don't we?" Before he could comment, she continued. "Well, I'm off. Bye!"
Frowning, Chakotay nodded. "Goodbye."
Beginning to swivel away, she hesitated. Looking at his dishevelled appearance, she studied him with appraising eyes. Leaning forward a little, she lowered her voice. "If you...ever need a fifth person, I'm just a door beep away." And with that completed, she turned away, hips swinging in what he presumed was supposed to be an enticing manner.
In the doorway Chakotay watched her go, frowning even more, feeling as if he should be scratching his head. Then he looked down and wondered why there were a pile of books around his feet.
"Who was it?"
Chakotay turned and stepped back into the apartment at the whispered words. Kathryn had ventured out of the bedroom, and was now peeking around the corner from the corridor, the blanket still wrapped around her.
"Neighbour," He answered.
Kathryn frowned. "What did she want?"
"Nothing important," He told her, walking forwards. "But I think she thinks we're having an orgy in here."
Opening her mouth to make a smart retort, Kathryn paused when they heard another loud moan. "Are they still at it?" She demanded, not turning to look.
He shrugged and repeated his words from earlier. "Quite remarkable, really."
The look of challenge flared in Kathryn's eyes once more. "That's nothing," She purred, running a finger along his chest, over his shirt. "I've always been the best at everything, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let my sister outdo me."
With one hand still holding up the blanket, she grabbed him with the other and pulled him towards the bedroom. He hesitated, bracing his hands on either side of the doorway.
"You do realise that by turning it into a competition, we probably won't enjoy this?"
She touched him somewhere that made him groan. His arms fell away from the doorway and wrapped around her as they stumbled further into the room and eventually fell onto the bed.
"Okay," He murmured against her lips. "We probably will enjoy this. But I'd like to remind you ahead of time that this was your idea."
Pulling away from him for a moment, she absently caressed his arm as she studied him and thought over his words. He could well have had a point. She probably should have been considering their situation; that she was here, with Chakotay, and just outside was her former lover having sex with her sister. It probably should have made her give serious consideration to just what all of them were doing.
However, Kathryn Janeway had gone without what she wanted for so long, that she was absolutely entitled to have sex with Chakotay as often as she liked.
The decision made, she grabbed the side of his head.
"Shut up, Chakotay."
He didn't shut up exactly, but that wasn't the point.
Sighing happily, Phoebe snuggled next to the warm body that was resting against hers as they hugged on the sofa, trying not to fall off. They were lying facing each other, naked, covered with the blanket she'd appropriated from the bedroom as they made their way here. Fortunately, her sister and Chakotay had been asleep and didn't notice the theft.
At least that was the story she was sticking with.
She'd missed this. Missed simply having someone to rest with, someone to hold, someone to hold her. Their legs were entwined and her head was resting on one of his arms. He'd probably lost all circulation in that arm but didn't say a thing. His eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply. He could have been asleep, although she knew he wasn't.
Stifling a yawn, she studied his face. He looked like a Stephen, she supposed. She didn't know a great many Stephen's, but she was glad to have met this one. Very glad.
Moving slightly she pressed a kiss to his chest and lifted her eyes to see his reaction. He smiled broadly with his eyes closed and kissed the top of her head gently before returning to his stillness.
Phoebe sighed, feeling her stomach turn to a big pile of mush. A wonderful description - unscientific, uncategorised. Kathryn probably would have hated it.
Phoebe grinned evilly.
The thought of her sister caused her to study to Stephen's face again. Chakotay's cousin...the similarities were definitely there, and at least she knew who he had reminded her of when they first met. And as she remembered it - although her memory was admittedly a little fuzzy due to having something better to do - Kathryn had said Stephen's name when they'd stumbled in on her and Chakotay earlier.
How did they know each other? They could have met through Chakotay, although neither of them had ever mentioned him. Although...she had only known Chakotay for a week. Mom hadn't even met him yet, and was eager to - which was the universes biggest understatement. Kathryn had finally had the time to keep him to herself for a while, and was planning on taking him home this weekend.
Jutting out her chin a little, she spoke. "Stephen?" The word still felt unfamiliar on her lips.
Smiling, he slowly opened his eyes. "Yes?" He asked with more than a little affection.
She wondered, briefly, how he could regard her so well with so little knowledge of her other than the physical. "How do you know my sister?"
The smile stayed in place, but there was a stiffening of his body. It was subtle, but it was there. She frowned.
Stephen met her gaze, not hiding. "Do you remember...a month or two ago...when Annik-Kathryn," He corrected with a grin and a slight shake of his head at Phoebe's frown "...twisted her ankle?"
She nodded. "Of course." She remembered it quite vividly. The day she'd learned about Kathryn's ankle was the same day she'd learned about Kathryn and Chakotay. Of course, she'd never heard the full story of what had caused the injury. Something told her she was about to.
He continued. "That was me. I did that."
The implication set in almost immediately and she stiffened.
Stephen spoke, quickly. "It's not quite what you think. I didn't give her the twisted ankle when we were...doing anything. Although we did later. Do something." He emphasised, studying her closely. "The ankle thing was just an accident. That was how we met. Of course," Stephen chuckled, "that was also the same day she ended up with Chakotay."
Phoebe absorbed the words carefully. "That's...interesting." Which was putting it mildly. Truth was, she wasn't entirely sure what she felt, or how she should feel. She had no real claim on this man, even if he had sex with her sister.
She winced at her own thoughts. It was that phrase. The man she had just had sex with, just a little while ago, 'had sex with her sister'. The very idea was inherently wrong. It didn't matter that this was the first time she had met him.
"To say the least," Stephen quipped, still staring at her carefully. And perhaps a little...fearfully? "I had no idea who you were when we met. You did look familiar, but-"
"-you couldn't quite place it," She finished, closing her eyes. "Believe me, I understand." Her thoughts still turning events over in mind with rapid frequency, she absently ran a hand over his chest. "So...let me get this right. On the same day that Kathryn met you for the first time, twisted her ankle, had...sex with you...she discovered Chakotay was your cousin, dumped you, and had sex with him."
"Basically." He screwed up his face. "And thanks for the delightful phrasing."
She ignored his remark, shaking her head in disbelief. "That's fast work, even for Kathryn." When he snorted, she looked at him. "What?"
He was grinning now. "That's nothing compared to you! At least I knew her for a few hours before...I knew you for...what? Five minutes?"
Glaring at him, Phoebe prodded his chest with a finger. "I could say that she's nothing compared to you."
"You could," He conceded "Except you're forgetting that you kissed me. I was merely being a gentleman, offering to carry the books of a damsel in distress."
He continued as if she hadn't spoken. "I was the victim in all this; the unsuspecting hero. The kind person who was just trying to do his part for the betterment of society-"
Despite her attempts at maintaining a smile, Phoebe started laughing. "Alright. Enough already. You win."
That seemed to surprise him. "Really? Well, who would have thought it?"
"Certainly not-" She stopped when they heard the hiss of doors opening. A quick glance towards the hallway confirmed it as Kathryn and Chakotay appeared, walking slowly.
"Hey," They all greeted.
Kathryn and Chakotay were dressed, although a more appropriate term would probably be 'covered'. They had their clothes on, but there were zippers that hadn't been zipped and hooks that hadn't been hooked.
Noticing the difficulty Kathryn was having walking, Phoebe frowned. "Kathryn, are you okay? I thought your ankle healed."
Her sister glared at her, then at the man who was standing behind her. "It had." That was all she said.
Chakotay smiled with no remorse. "It was your idea."
"Oh, shut up." She retorted with fondness, then turned to look at the couple lying on the sofa. "Have you...do you know..?"
"Yes," Phoebe answered, knowing exactly what she was referring to. "He told me."
Relieved, Kathryn smiled and leant back against Chakotay who wrapped his arms around her. "And?"
Phoebe met Stephen's gaze once more. "It's interesting."
Chakotay smiled. "That's putting it mildly."
Reassured that everything was going to be fine, Kathryn spoke. "Well then...I suggest that we organise some coffee and then...just relax. And talk."
"Sounds good to me," Stephen answered.
"Me too." Phoebe agreed.
"Good," Kathryn smiled, then looked over her shoulder. "Chakotay, you know where the replicator is."
Shaking his head, he gave her a squeeze before moving his hands and turning towards the kitchen. "No respect, I get no respect..."
"No, but you get sex."
He paused in the hallway, his back towards her. Eventually he said "It's worth it," and continued his journey into the kitchen.
Smiling, Kathryn turned back to her sister and Stephen.
Phoebe rose her eyebrows. "Don't you think they make a cute couple, Stephen?"
Kathryn rolled her eyes. "Oh, shut up."
In the bathroom, Gretchen Janeway briefly considered telling her daughters and their lovers that she was in the apartment.
Then she decided against it.
After all, it would spoil all her fun.
Shuffling over to the chair opposite the sofa Phoebe and Stephen were still lying on, Kathryn tried not to put any weight on her newly re-injured ankle. Maybe sending Chakotay into the kitchen to get coffee hadn't been such a good idea. He definitely came in useful when easing her pain. Then again...Chakotay...coffee...coffee...Chakotay...
A difficult choice.
She winced as she took another step.
Now, a coffee Chakotay, that was a good idea. A Chakotay Coffee Concubine was an even better idea.
"Hmm?" She replied to her sisters question as she awkwardly lowered herself into the chair.
"You have a ridiculously goofy grin on your face."
Pausing her bend to the chair, she tried to smile 'ungoofily'. "Oh." Then she continued until she was sitting down, and sighed in relief as the pressure was taken off her ankle.
Smirking, Phoebe glanced at Stephen. "I bet I know who she was thinking about."
"I'd have to agree with you, Phoebe. I guess it's the real thing."
Kathryn snorted, then smiled as Chakotay walked back in the room with the drinks. "Here comes the real thing now," She murmured, rewarded when the other couple chuckled.
Not hearing, Chakotay proceeded carefully into the room until he reached the coffee table. Quickly lowering the four cups - two held by their handles in each hand - to the table, he then began to hand a cup to each person.
Phoebe and Stephen carefully adjusted themselves on the sofa without revealing anything, until they were sitting up with the blanket covering them both from chest to calf.
Pulling the last spare chair over towards Kathryn, he then picked up a cup and handed it to her. With a grateful breathy "Thank you..." she lifted the cup to her nose and inhaled the scent as she closed her eyes. Sighing, she took a slow sip of the bitter but much-loved substance.
Phoebe smirked. Stephen merely watched in awe, unaccustomed to the sight.
A grinning Chakotay left his own cup on the table, sat on his chair, then lifted Kathryn's injured leg and rested it on the both of his.
The only indication she gave that she was aware of the movement was the slight lowering of her cup and the propping open of a single eyelid. "May I ask what you're doing?"
"Merely making sure that the woman I love hasn't been too badly injured by her own choice of sexual-"
"Okay, thank you. You may continue," Kathryn drawled, leaning back further into the chair and getting more comfortable.
Nodding to himself, Chakotay carefully inspected the injury from every angle, occasionally pushing gently and stopping as soon as she hissed at him. "Doesn't seem too bad..."
"Only when you touch it." She growled, although somehow managed to do so fondly.
"Ah. I take it then you don't want any more massages?"
Oh, the man was evil. "I didn't say that..."
Stephen chuckled. "The ultimate method of persuasion. Passed on from generation to generation..."
Phoebe regarded him sceptically, both hands wrapped around her cup. "You're not serious."
"Absolutely. You think we'd get anywhere with women without it?"
"Have you looked at yourself lately? You're gorgeous. Both are you are!"
As Stephen and Chakotay both tried and failed to look modest, Kathryn opened both eyes. "Why Phoebe, I hadn't realised you'd noticed how gorgeous my personal masuer is. Oh, oh wait a minute," She paused, evilly. "I think I remember now. When you first saw him you said something along the lines of "who's that God with the tattoo?" Isn't that right?"
"Kathryn!" Getting absolutely no sympathy from her sister and flushing bright red, she then glared at Stephen who was laughing hysterically. "Stephen!"
Gasping for breath, he spoke. "I'm...sorry, it's just...well it's damn funny!" After a few moments he calmed himself, still chuckling occasionally, then stared at what he could see of her chest.
"What are you doing?"
Leaning a little closer, he murmured "It's just interesting seeing how far down that blush goes."
Shaking her head, she felt a smile pushing at her lips. "Grow up, Stephen."
Merely smiling, he sat straight once more. He watched as Chakotay massaged Kathryn's leg. "So whose apartment is this?"
Chakotay smiled. Kathryn smiled. Phoebe frowned. "Mine."
"So, why are they here...?"
"That's an extremely good question."
Chakotay suddenly found Kathryn's leg fascinating, although it wasn't all that unusual.
Deliberately keeping her eyes closed this time, Kathryn frowned. "Well...Phoebe told me on the vidcomm this morning that she'd be out all day, getting books from the library and then spending hours at the coffee shop - she always spends one day a week doing that. And...Chakotay and I happened to be in the area and were feeling..."
"In the mood?" Stephen asked, trying to make her squirm.
"Yes," Kathryn responded. "Yes, that's probably the best description. As we were nearby and Phoebe foolishly made the mistake of giving me her access code a long time ago...we decided it was better to come here than to get arrested for indecent exposure."
"Ah," Stephen said, understanding. "You too, huh?"
"I think we have far too much in common," Phoebe agreed.
"Excuse me," Chakotay said then, gently lifting Kathryn's leg.
"Where are you going?" She moaned, eyes opening.
"Nature calls," He winked at her, then moved his chair and rested her leg on the edge of it so it was still elevated.
Entering the hallway, he approached the door of what he assumed was the bathroom. When it didn't open immediately he pressed the button requesting entry and the doors hissed open.
It was not what he was expecting to see. He blinked, and it was still there. He turned around, turned back, and it was still there. "Phoebe..."
"Yes?" She called back.
How was he supposed to say this? Just say it. Get it over with. Get it out.
"There appears to be a woman sitting on your toilet."
Phoebe blinked repeatedly as her mind processed Chakotay's words. Concerned, Stephen took her cup away from her.
After a few moments the blinking stopped and she spoke. "What?!" She absently noticed that her sister looked as perplexed as she did.
Chakotay yelled back, "I said, "there appears to be a woman sitting on your toilet," okay?"
Not wanting to move unless she had to and somehow convincing herself that Chakotay had to be wrong (mainly because she wasn't ready to contemplate just how long a 'woman' had been in there) she spoke again. "So...can you clarify something for me, Chakotay?"
"How the hell do you want me to clarify the fact that she's on your toilet?"
"Is she *using* the toilet?"
"No," He shouted, sounding quite relieved. "Trust me, if she were using the toilet I wouldn't still be looking at her."
Phoebe nodded slowly as Stephen leant forward and placed both their cups on the coffee table. "So she's aware of your presence?"
Kathryn hobbled out of the chair and placed her own cup on the table. Phoebe and Stephen stood from the sofa carefully, trying to use the blanket to keep both of them covered as they waddled towards the hallway.
Chakotay responded with "I don't think there's any way she could ignore the prominent man standing in the bathroom doorway, nor the rather loud conversation between him and an unseen female companion."
Kathryn arrived next to him then, still trying not to step on her injured ankle. Looking towards the toilet, she gasped. "Oh my GOD..."
"What, what?" Phoebe demanded, coming to a sudden halt as she managed to get enough of her head around the doorway to have a look. Stephen thudded into her. "Oh my GOD!" She echoed.
The woman on the toilet simply smiled, and lowered her hands from her ears. "Oh good. Have you finished?"
"Phoebe," She responded calmly.
Kathryn stormed into the bathroom, or rather she would have if her ankle hadn't been injured. Arriving in front of her mother after a few hobbled steps, she started ranting. "Mom! Why didn't you tell us you were in here!?"
Gretchen's face screwed up, incredulous. "You seriously wanted me to interrupt what you were up to out there? Because, trust me, seeing your mother when you're in the middle of-"
"I really don't think we need to hear anything else," Phoebe insisted, stampeding into the room. Luckily enough Stephen had enough presence of mind to go with her or he would have been completely exposed.
Feeling a little lonely, Chakotay snuck in and stood next to Kathryn.
Gretchen looked at them all, still perched on the lowered toilet seat. "All I'm saying is that it would have put a real dampener on the mood."
Chakotay agreed, not all that embarrassed. "You can't argue with that; she has a good point."
Whirling towards him, Kathryn pointed a finger close to his face. "Shut up," She said, before whirling back to her mother. "You were here the entire time? You were...listening?"
"No, no," Gretchen waved them off, laughing. "That's what these were for," She continued, waving her hands about. "I did...listen occasionally, just for a second to see if you were still...well...but not really, no."
"Oh God," Kathryn muttered.
"Hmm..." Chakotay said.
"What are you doing?" Kathryn demanded.
Leaning a little closer, he murmured "It's just interesting seeing how far down that blush goes."
Stephen laughed and grinned at his cousin.
Kathryn and Phoebe glared at them.
"Well then," Gretchen began, causing everyone to look at her as she studied Chakotay. "I take it you're Kathryn's paramour?"
He nodded. "I like to think so." He held out his hand which she shook briefly. "I'm Chakotay."
"I see, Cha-ko-tay...and what makes you think you're worthy of my daughter?"
Gretchen glared at her, and Chakotay finally discovered what side of the family 'The Look' was inherited from.
"Hush now, Kathryn. Let the man answer."
Chakotay smiled. "The same thing that makes her worthy of me." He ignored Kathryn's "Hey..." and Gretchen's expression at how presumptuous he was being.
"Really?" Gretchen asked archly and Chakotay discovered where Kathryn got another of her habits from. "And what's that?"
"The fact that we're in love with each other."
Gretchen's eyes twinkled in evil delight. "Good answer."
"Hmpf," Kathryn murmured. "I suppose, but I still don't like that 'the same thing that makes her worthy of me' comment."
He turned to face her. "Kathryn...if I wasn't here...there'd be no one to give you a massage. No one to bring you coffee in bed. No one to tease you mercilessly about the pet names you have for your breasts-"
"-and no one to write stupid poetry about the colour of your eyes."
Her embarrassment vanished in an instant. "You've written poetry about me?"
Now he looked slightly embarrassed, realising what he had just admitted in front of everyone. "Have done for years."
She grinned, delighted, holding his hand. "Can I read them?"
"I might let you..." He began, smiling like an idiot.
"Alright then; I'll keep you." She retorted straight-faced.
They dragged their attention away from each other when they heard a huge sigh coming from the other side of the toilet.
"Oh, sorry," Phoebe grinned. "It's just...well it is vomit-inducing, but it's really sweet!"
Now that her other daughter had her attention, Gretchen faced that direction. "So...the naked man sharing a blanket with my equally naked other daughter would be..."
"Oh!" He exclaimed, leaning around one side of Phoebe and extending a hand towards Gretchen trying not to display anything. "I'm Stephen."
"Charmed," Gretchen replied, quickly releasing his hand so he could cover himself up properly. "Phoebe hasn't mentioned you before."
"Er...no, she wouldn't have," Stephen informed her as Phoebe turned red. "I'm a new addition."
The mother nodded sagely. "How new?"
"About two hours new."
"And yet you seem to know these two..." She continued, pointing towards Kathryn and Chakotay.
Stephen nodded as Phoebe hid behind her hair. "I'm Chakotay's cousin."
Gretchen slapped her hands down on her thighs. "Really? Well that explains everything! I can see the similarities actually, now that you've told me...didn't you think it might cause a few familial problems when you became involved with her?"
"Actually," Stephen chuckled. "I had no idea she was Kathryn's sister. It was just a...coincidence."
Gretchen laughed. "What are the odds of that happening?"
Kathryn smiled sweetly at her mother. "Surprisingly low. Ow!" She yelled when Chakotay pinched her side.
"What do you mean 'surprisingly low'?" Gretchen asked.
"Nothing," They all responded, deciding there was one piece of information that Gretchen Janeway didn't need to know.
"Mom," Phoebe said loudly, "Let's get you to a more comfortable chair and then you can tell me what the heck you're doing in my apartment..."
"Okay," Her mother relented "But does the naked man under the blanket come with us too?"
"He currently doesn't have much choice, but he will get dressed in a minute."
"Ah, well." Gretchen retorted, resigned, as she was helped up from the toilet. "That's a shame, but I suppose he would have been a little worried about a woman my age ogling his body."
Stephen wisely said nothing.
"So, Mrs Janeway-"
"Gretchen. I hate 'Mrs Janeway'. Makes me sound like a teacher with a pole up her-"
"-Gretchen," Chakotay accommodated easily, noticing Kathryn's frantic eye-pleading that he prevent her mother from careering down that path. "What are you doing in the area?"
The elder Janeway was sitting on the chair Kathryn had previously been occupying, and Kathryn herself was now perched on the edge of a sofa cushion. Stephen and Phoebe had retreated to the bedroom to get dressed after finding their clothing around, behind and - somehow - under the sofa.
Chakotay was sitting next to Kathryn, smiling easily.
Clearing her throat, Gretchen began. "Nothing particularly important. I was a few doors down visiting my friend Albert - he's the one with the ingrown toenail who refuses to get it fixed - remember him Kathryn?" It was clear from her expression that Kathryn remembered him all too well. Gretchen sniffed and continued. "Anyway, Albert keeps a fascinating collection of twentieth Century pornography and he just got a wonderful new addition to his collection called 'Big Boys In-is that coffee?"
Utterly enthralled (and slightly disturbed) by the topic of conversation, it took Chakotay a few moments to realise what she had said, and to also acknowledge the fact that Kathryn Janeway had - once again - turned bright right.
In that instant, he loved her mother.
Anyone who could embarrass Kathryn deserved nothing less.
Spotting the exact cup of coffee she was referring to, he nodded.
She practically licked her lips. "Can you pass it here please?"
It wasn't so much a request as it was an order, but he pleasantly stood and picked up the cup - Kathryn's, as it turned out - and handed it to her. As Gretchen thanked him profusely, he matched Kathryn's glare with one of his own that said 'you can always replicate another one'.
After salivating over her coffee for several moments, Gretchen looked at them again and continued her story. "Well, after that eye-raising experience I decided to pay my daughter a visit. Hoping, incidentally, to get some more dirt on you." She smiled. "I got more than I ever hoped for, although most of the dirt seems to be on Kathryn." Her eyes slid towards her eldest daughter. "Come on, spill it."
Kathryn frowned, completely baffled. "Spill what?"
Gretchen grinned. "Cain and Abel? Lewis and Clarke? Adam and Eve? Kirk and Spock?"
Realising what she was referring to, Kathryn simultaneously frowned and glared and tried not to look at her breasts. Noticing the movement of Chakotay's mouth, she quickly covered it with her hand. "Not. A. Word." She stressed.
When he nodded his mute reply she reluctantly removed her hand. He was more handy when he couldn't say anything.
"If you keep that up he'll think you're no fun." Her mother warned.
"I know for a fact that she is," Chakotay retorted, then realised that may have been a little more detail than she was prepared to deal with. Then, of course, he realised he who was dealing with.
Gretchen Janeway merely found it pleasing. "Just as well, considering how you're likely to be treated over the course of this relationship."
Kathryn and Chakotay both frowned at her, waiting for an explanation.
Shifting in her chair, Gretchen continued smiling. "Kathryn hold out your hand, palm up." Watching her daughter, Gretchen rolled her eyes. "No, towards him." Waiting for that movement to end, she then spoke again. "Okay Chakotay, please place your hand up top of hers, palm down." Nodding, she paused for a few moments after they had joined hands and looked at her before ending with: "I give you my blessing." Then, will an evil grin, "Enjoy this moment, Chakotay. This is the last time you'll ever have the upper hand in this relationship."
He couldn't have prevented the laughter that burst from him even if he wanted to, and it was made even more delightful by the fact that Kathryn was laughing too. She'd never done enough of that.
After he calmed he gave Kathryn's hand a squeeze. "This is it, huh? The last time."
She met his gaze squarely. "This is absolutely the last time you get to be on top," She clarified.
"Enough with the innuendo already," Gretchen told them, sipping at the remnants of her coffee. "Even I can only take so much." Finishing the drink, she held the cup in both hands and rested it against her stomach. "What is taking them so long?"
His gaze sliding towards the direction of the hallway and the bedroom, Chakotay stood. "I'll go and see." Parting with Kathryn reluctantly, he at least kissed the back of her hand before retreating.
Resting her chin on the palm of the hand he had just kissed, Kathryn watched him walk until he disappeared into the hallway and she heard the sound of the bedroom doors hissing open and close. Sighing, smiling, she turned back to her mother. Noticing her expression, she frowned. "What?"
"Nothing," Gretchen shrugged.
There remained an uneasy tension in the room as Gretchen's eyes continued to appraise her daughter with a silent question.
Finally, all of ten seconds later, the great Kathryn Janeway - once dubbed Arachnia, Queen of The Spider People - cracked under her mother's gaze. She sighed.
"Mickey and Minnie," She croaked, and Gretchen laughed hysterically.
It occurred to Chakotay only as he stepped through the doorway to the bedroom that he probably should have checked that it was okay for him to enter. Knowing what had happened earlier and in particular the sense of competitiveness he knew that all the Janeway's shared - or at least the three he had encountered - Phoebe and Stephen could have been up to anything.
As it was, they weren't up to anything, but in less than two seconds Chakotay saw more of Phoebe than he ever wanted to.
Immediately whirling away he yelled "Sorry!" and began an embarrassed dive for the door.
"It's okay," Phoebe assured him, and Chakotay paused just by the door. Apparently deciding to just blurt it out, she did. "I seem to have lost my underwear."
That was when they heard the hysterical laughter coming from outside the door. A now hastily covered Phoebe, a smirking Stephen and a completely confused Chakotay all turned to look at each other. Gretchen wouldn't be listening in...
"Nah," They said together, rejecting the ridiculous idea. It wasn't so much the thought that she would do it, just a matter of timing and exactly how she'd go about listening in. Besides, he was sure Kathryn wouldn't let Gretchen do anything like that.
Mind you, she was partial to the occasional practical joke herself...
The incident of the 'herbs' she put in his drink that made him 'spring' to life sprang to mind. That had been a particularly exhausting afternoon. And evening. And morning.
He'd have to ask her where she'd procured those.
Returning his thoughts to the current situation, he smiled. "I see. Figuratively and actually."
Almost glaring but smiling too much, Phoebe nodded towards her lover. "Stephen was just about to go and look outside before anyone found my...well...anything." She finished, smiling too much.
Chakotay held up a hand. "Don't worry. Stay here Stephen. I'll deal with this." Nodding, Chief Inspector Chakotay left the room, intent on the case of the missing underwear.
In the silence of the room, Phoebe and Stephen both frowned towards the direction of the door.
Phoebe spoke. "Was he like this as a child?"
Stephen shrugged. "I don't know. I wasn't born yet."
Stepping into the living room Chakotay surveyed the scene before him. Kathryn was still on the sofa, looking slightly more embarrassed than when he had departed. Gretchen remained on her seat, grinning and muttering to herself occasionally.
Seeing nothing amiss, he began searching.
Admiring the view as he bent over the back of the sofa, Kathryn absently asked "What are you doing?"
"Looking for something," He replied, bending further until Kathryn had forgotten what question she had even asked.
"Looking for what?" Gretchen continued for her, having only marginally better control than her daughter.
"Phoebe's lost something."
"Ah," She nodded, slowly, as if in understanding, but her gaze never left Chakotay's rear.
Giving up on that area Chakotay stood to his full height, his deductive skills completely missing the way their gazes zoomed away from him suspiciously.
Next he decided to search under the coffee table. Lowering himself to the floor, he then perched on all fours before bracing his weight on his arms and moving himself until he was low enough to peek under the table.
"So," Gretchen asked loudly. "Minnie..."
Noticing the use of the name, Chakotay chuckled and half-expected to be kicked in the shin for it. He was quite surprised when he wasn't.
"Hmm?" Kathryn asked, sounding decidedly distracted.
"...and Mickey..." Gretchen continued. "Does Chakotay here have a nickname?"
His head hit the edge of the coffee table. Swearing, he then pulled away carefully and swivelled as best he could on all fours to confront Kathryn before she could say anything. When he noticed the dreamy expression on her face, the evidence clicked into place. "You were staring at my butt."
In an instant the stupid smile on her face vanished and she sat straighter. "Don't be ridiculous."
Chuckling, he crawled the few feet towards her and rested his chin on her knees. Looking up at her he grinned mischeiviously. "May I remind you, Kathryn, that we're no longer aboard Voyager? You don't have to stay in the routine of pretending you're not looking when it's blatantly obvious that you are."
It took a while for the implication of his words to set in, but when they did she smiled endearingly and rubbed the top of his head. "In that case, I was looking. In fact, I was staring openly at your wonderful behind."
Delighted, his smile grew bigger. "Glad to hear it. And you..." He continued, looking over his shoulder at Gretchen who quickly averted her gaze, tried to look innocent and failed miserably "...should be ashamed of yourself."
Giving up the pretence completely, she shrugged. "I don't see why. By the way, Chakotay..." Holding her empty coffee cup in one hand, she dug underneath her top with the other and pulled out something that had obviously been hastily stuffed under the waistband of her trousers. Smiling grandly, she held it up by one finger. "Is this what Phoebe was looking for?"
Laughing, Chakotay nodded.
Gaping, Kathryn gasped. "Leather?"
"Do you think I could go out in public like this?"
Stephen regarded her seriously - the curious expression, the way her teeth would nibble at her lower lip when she considered something, the sheet draped and tucked around her body. "I understand that the toga look is back in this year. I'm sure no one will notice."
Utterly unconvinced - which was really the plan - she chuckled. "Sure. Like I'm going to buy that one." Still covered in the sheet, she sat on the edge of the bed. "Can I ask you a question?"
Shrugging, he sat down and leant towards her. "Of course."
"Do you have a surname?"
It wasn't quite what he was expecting - or hoping - to hear. "Yes."
Seeming to have something confirmed, she nodded vigorously. "Right, and you're Chakotay's cousin and you have a surname, so why doesn't he have one?"
Oh, but this was delightful. "He does."
Sitting straight, Phoebe stared at him. "He does? Well what is it?"
The doors interrupted by hissing open to reveal Kathryn, leaning against the doorway, dangling Phoebe's underwear from her hand. "I believe this belongs to you..."
Jumping up, Phoebe reached out to snatch the item from her sister.
"I don't think so," Kathryn told her, deftly dodging her sisters attempts and stepping into the room. The door closed, she nodded a greeting to Stephen who nodded back, and then she turned to face her sister. "Leather? Phoebe, that's so tacky."
"You're just jealous."
"Why would I be jealous?" Kathryn retorted, incredulously. "This thing has got to be painful."
Strutting towards her sister, Phoebe reached for the underwear and this time took it easily. "What's the matter, Kathryn? Didn't you know that pleasure and pain go hand in hand?"
"What is it?" He asked, after having the 'pleasure' of studying her confused expression for a whole ten seconds. Gretchen was too busy finishing off another cup of coffee.
Slowly, as if dreaming, Kathryn sat next to him on the sofa.
He thought she had forgotten his question when she finally spoke. "I think my sister is a masochist."
Chakotay shrugged. "Runs in the family."
That certainly got her attention. Her head whipped round, her eyes narrowed, and her glare was ready to flick onto 'kill' at a moments notice. "What are you implying?"
He was almost used to it, but he would have been lying if he said it didn't send a chill down his spine. He continued, nonetheless. "Come on, Kathryn. All you did on that ship was cause yourself pain. I honestly believe it was the only way you could find any pleasure at all. Guilt...horror...terrifying responsibility...they can be wonderful if applied correctly."
She continued to stare at him, although her glare abated. "I didn't..." She began half-heartedly. "I didn't know you thought that way."
"Not always, but I've had to do my own adapting to circumstance Kathryn. Sometimes the only way to find any comfort at all was to embrace your darker side, for lack of a better term."
"I haven't seen yours," She pointed out.
"No," He grinned, shaking his head. "I found something else on Voyager."
"And what was that?" Kathryn asked, knowing all too well.
"Oh," He shrugged carelessly as if it were a matter of no importance "Just a woman who can drive me mad, make me cry, break my heart, lighten my day and generally make me smile just by being in her presence."
"Oh," She answered, voice barely audible. "I think I know her," She continued, voice getting stronger with every word. "Kathryn Janeway. Can never control her hair. Has relationship issues with caffeine. Likes monkeys."
"That's the one," Gretchen agreed, and they both swivelled their heads towards her, having long forgotten that she was there. "But you forgot to mention her inability to easily admit what she's feeling." Seeing Chakotay's mouth open, she then held up a placating hand. "Sorry, poor choice of words. She freely admits her feelings when she's annoyed or believes she is right, but almost never in a romantic situation."
Phoebe and Stephen appeared, for the first time since Kathryn and Chakotay had seen them fully dressed. Immediately sensing the mood of the room, Stephen nodded towards the exit. "Um, maybe I should go..."
"I'll go with you!" Phoebe exclaimed, grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the door.
"Wait, wait for me," Gretchen instructed, then after a brief struggle with the chair, her legs and the coffee cup, she was up and moving. Thumping the cup on the table, she grinned at Chakotay. "Wonderful to meet you. And I hope you can explain that monkey thing to me some day..." Turning quickly, she winked at Phoebe and Stephen. "Let's go!" She announced, leading the way out of the apartment, pausing only when the doors had opened and she stared at the floor. "What the hell are all these books doing here?!"
In the silence after they were gone, Kathryn held out her hand. "Kathryn Janeway. Can never control her hair. Has relationship issues with caffeine. Likes monkeys."
He took it. "Chakotay Paprika. Hasn't been dyeing his hair for a long time. Has relationship issues with a woman who has relationship issues with caffeine. Hates monkeys."
She rose an eyebrow, a smirk crawling up one side of her mouth.
"Screech," was all she said.
Possibly a sequel sometime in the future...
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Suz's Voyager Fanfic