by Suz email@example.com
Disclaimer - the characters belong to Paramount. Well the Trek ones, anyway.
Written under the assumption that Voyager makes it home shortly after the fifth season. And let's forget what a cow Janeway became...
Christina asked for some mindless sap. Here it is.
The owner of the name whirled her head around so quickly that her hair whipped into the face of the person sitting next to her. Vaguely remembering to apologise she quickly turned back to the person who had uttered her name. Surely it couldn't be. The odds of bumping into him here of all places were just too high...
It was him.
He was sitting in the seat directly behind hers, leaning forward and smiling at her. "How are you?"
She was still staring at him, part-surprised, part-terrified, and part telling herself that he looked much better than she'd allowed herself to remember. And - perhaps worst of all - that damn dimple was there. "Fine thanks," she responded, forcing away everything except for the glib responses that she hoped would at least get her through this one conversation without blurting out anything embarrassing. "You?"
Chakotay shrugged, still smiling a little. "Well enough. Haven't been sleeping very well lately, but other than that..."
There was no way in ten kinds of hell that she was going anywhere near that obvious avenue of conversation. "Been keeping busy?"
"Very," he answered and she thought that his smile may have become even larger - or was she getting paranoid?
The train pulled into the next station and Kathryn quickly faced forward again, trying to calculate the statistical probability that Chakotay would have to get off at this stop. He didn't appear to be moving. But the woman next to her was.
Standing up, the passenger smiled at Chakotay. "I'm getting off here. Please, take this seat next to your friend."
"Thank you," he grinned and took her up on the offer.
Was the woman naturally sadistic? Was she honestly just trying to be nice? Or was she getting her revenge for the hair-flicking incident? Kathryn watched her as she stepped off the train and went...nowhere. She was staying on the platform! She had deliberately moved just so Chakotay could sit next to her...
As the train pulled away Kathryn glared at her through the window. The woman merely raised a hand and waved.
"You're glaring at the window," Chakotay told her.
Recovering as quickly as she could and pretending to have no idea what he was talking about, Kathryn faced him again and smiled. "Don't be silly. I was merely concentrating on a woman outside. I thought I recognised her."
"Oh, I see," he responded, nodding thoughtfully. "You mean the woman I slipped fifty credits to so she'd move and I'd be able to sit next to you?"
His face was utterly serious. Her eyes went wide. "You didn't..."
The mask cracked. That dimple re-emerged. "Of course I didn't. I know she was only getting revenge on you for flicking your hair into her face by stranding you with me. That way you'd have no excuse to avoid looking at me." A smile was still apparent, but the words struck a little too close to home for him to pull off a convincing look of indifference.
Sighing, she rubbed a face over her hand. "I'm sorry Chakotay, really. It's just...I didn't expect to see you here. It's a strange place to meet."
"So for that reason you're feeling uncomfortable around me?"
She always felt uncomfortable around him. At least for the last four years. But she wasn't about to tell him that. "No...I...I've seen so little of you since we got home. I don't know who you are anymore."
He frowned heavily, as if believing that to be impossible. "I'm Chakotay. I've always been Chakotay."
Kathryn shook her head. "That's just a name..."
"No," he insisted. "No. Chakotay is who I am."
A man sitting in front of them leant around the edge of his chair and cleared his throat. "Sorry to disagree with you Ma'am, but he's right. My mother taught me a long time ago that what you call someone is much more than a name."
Kathryn and Chakotay stared at him, before realising that an inordinate number of people in the carriage were listening into their conversation.
"Do you mind?" Kathryn asked, unable to decide if she should be embarrassed or annoyed.
"Not at all," the woman from the other side of the carriage said. "Please, continue. We won't say a thing, will we Stu?"
The man sitting next to her - probably her husband - nodded his agreement eagerly. "Like Gladys said, silent as...well, something very quiet obviously."
Rolling her eyes, Kathryn folded her arms over her chest. "I refuse to continue this conversation in front of an audience."
Gladys tutted. "Well, there she goes..."
The blonde continued talking to her husband, ignoring Kathryn's question. "You see the way she folded her arms over her chest? Classic defence mechanism. She's uncomfortable with anyone knowing how she feels - especially about him...I'm sorry, what was your name again?"
"Chakotay," he supplied helpfully, looking a little too damned pleased for Kathryn's liking.
"Ah, thanks," Gladys said and faced her husband again. "She's uncomfortable with anyone knowing how she feels - especially about Chakotay - so she tries to cover it up by keeping him and everyone else at a distance. What is your name, anyway dear?" Gladys asked, finally looking at her.
Carefully uncrossing her arms in defiance of Gladys' description of her, Kathryn began to answer even though she didn't quite know why. "Kathryn Janeway."
The man sitting in front of them nearly choked and quickly turned around once more. "Wait a minute! You mean you're *Captain* Kathryn Janeway of...Voyager? Yes, Voyager. You're *that* Kathryn Janeway?"
Realising what she may have let slip, Kathryn opened her mouth.
"Voyager?" Gladys interrupted, looking confused. "Why does that sound familiar?"
The man in front of them laughed. "The ship that was lost in the Delta Quadrant, remember? I'm Bob by the way."
"Nice to meet you Bob, I-wait a minute! *That* Kathryn Janeway?! Honey, did you hear that?"
Stu rolled his eyes. "Of course I heard. You're shouting in my damn ear."
Slapping his arm, Gladys leant across him to get a better look at them. "Does this mean you were the leader of the Maquis ship?"
"And you teamed up with Kathryn to work together in hopes of finding a way home?" Bob finished, not noticing the way Kathryn winced at the use of her name.
"That's right," Chakotay informed them, still grinning.
Kathryn wanted to hit something. Preferably something that had a tattoo.
A loud collection of gasps echoed through the carriage. Kathryn didn't want to know how many people were listening.
"And now you two - who were previously enemies - are in love?" Gladys asked, though it was more of a statement than anything else. "That's so sweet!"
A loud collection of 'awws' echoed through the carriage.
"It is very...sweet," Bob concluded, obviously not as much of a romantic soul as Gladys, but still thinking it was pretty nice.
Kathryn held up a hand. "Just a second! Neither of us said anything about being in love!"
Gladys opened her mouth to retort that it was obvious, but Chakotay beat her to it.
"Then I will. I love you."
The train picked that moment to pull into the next station. Nobody moved.
"This is my stop," he told her softly. "Would you...like to get a drink or something?"
Kathryn's mouth remained opened, unable to say anything. This couldn't be happening. She refused to believe this was happening.
Chakotay stood, touching the side of her face. "I understand."
And he walked towards the exit.
A sound emerged from her throat, but it wasn't an objection or capitulation. It was a sound of utter confusion.
He stepped off the train.
The doors closed.
The entire population of the carriage glared at her.
"Are you out of your mind?!" Someone yelled, and it might have been Gladys but Kathryn really didn't know.
Mouth still hanging open, eyes still a little too moist...she looked out the window to see him looking in at her. The train started moving away. There was something...something she was supposed to be doing...
"He has awfully nice dimples, you know. Sure, he could stand to loose a few pounds but those dimples...and that voice...why can't you sound like that Stu?"
"Oh thank God, she's come to her senses. Now you listen to me Ms Janeway. If you get off at the next stop there will be a train back to that station in about one minute-"
Reaching the doors, Kathryn pressed a button. The train screeched to a halt.
"-or you could just press the emergency button. That would work."
Entering in an override code Kathryn forced the doors open and began climbing down next to the track. When she had reached the floor and turned around Chakotay was there, waiting.
They stared at each other.
The crowd of people in the train stared at them.
Kathryn spoke. "You realise of course that at the moment I'm emotionally distraught, and as such am not responsible for my actions."
Chakotay nodded. "I understand completely."
She kissed him.
The crowd went wild.
Kathryn Janeway was accused by the Federation Transport Authority of unwarranted use of the emergency button.
Her defence: temporary insanity, caused by the realisation of long denied feelings.
Gladys, Stu and Bob were interviewed by the press for their stories.
Gladys became a chat show host.
Lorrie Jenkinson, the owner of fifty extra credits, replicated her son a new bike.
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Suz's Voyager Fanfic