Disclaimer - Gawd, I've typed this enough times already. Ahem. All characters belong to Paramount.
This follows on from 'A Word' and 'A Part Of Her'.
Their relationship hasn't been the same since our encounter with the Borg. I'm not sure if anyone else on the crew has noticed except for me and B'Elanna. Certainly those who don't work with them often wouldn't notice, but I'm not sure about the rest of the bridge crew. I'll have to ask Harry, see what he thinks.
They're just as efficient as they used to be, their disagreement hasn't affected the way they run the ship. It's played havoc with their emotions though. She looks like she hasn't had a good nights sleep in weeks, and he's not looking much better. They've always been too hard on themselves, taking on responsibility that wasn't always theirs. I know a lot of it is their responsibility, but they both push themselves too hard. B'Elanna often comments on how different they are, and she's partly right. But they also have a lot in common. Both fiercely protective of those they love, both incredibly stubborn, and both take on more work than they have to.
He's tried to take some of the strain off of her, it's something that's been visible since the beginning. But she's even more stubborn than he is. She can never make things easy for herself. It bothers me. God, imagine what Tuvok would think if he could hear my thoughts. He'd be in for a surprise.
Actually…he'd probably agree.
I don't think he calls her by name now either. I know that in private he used to call her Kathryn, and sometimes on the bridge you could almost hear the slip. He'd go to say her name, then recover barely in time and remember to call her Captain.
That doesn't happen now, and I think that bothers her. Has he stopped thinking of her as Kathryn now, and simply as 'The Captain'? I don't think that's possible, not for Chakotay. He's just being damn careful now. He's been betrayed by too many people (including me) and I think he's still shocked at her actions.
Unfortunately, they're both professionals and they aren't letting it interfere with their work. It would almost be worth seeing a huge argument between them. I wouldn't even mind Tuvok being acting Captain for a while. I'd willingly eat Neelix's leola root stew for a month if they would just resolve what's happened between them.
I suggested to B'Elanna that we trap them somewhere together so they'd have no choice but to talk. She talked me out of it, as usual. She wants them to work things out as much as I do, but she just thinks they need time.
We have enough of that out here. 60 years of it. But what if it takes them that long to overcome their stubbornness? Chakotay might before then…but the Captain? I'm not sure. She's dedicated to getting us home, but she doesn't seem to realise that we are home now. We've been on Voyager for over three years now, it's a part of who we are. Earth is just a place we used to come from. And not all of us came from there anyway. What about the Vulcans, Bajorans or Bolians on board? What about the former Maquis crew members who have never been to Earth - those who lived on Earth colonies?
It's been difficult, and I know some still haven't fully accepted our situation. But we've adjusted. We're coping with being stuck out here. Sure, it gets lonely at times, and that's why we've developed relationships. I'm concerned that the Captain is going to be the loneliest person on the ship if she keeps Chakotay at a distance. Hmm. She probably already is the loneliest person on board.
I remember that about a month after our journey into the Delta Quadrant Harry suggested we invite her to join us for breakfast. I couldn't believe he'd even thought it. The Captain of a starship eating with a lowly Ensign and Lieutenant? Not very likely.
B'Elanna had been right. I was a pig.
I know differently now. She's just like the rest of us. And occasionally she does join us for a meal, but only when it's a special occasion. Most of the time she has dinner by herself in her quarters or in her ready room. If it was the latter, Chakotay usually joined her. He hasn't done that since their disagreement either.
The atmosphere on the bridge hasn't exactly been cheery lately. They barely look at each other, never mind smile. She's far less tolerant of my little jokes than she used to be, although I know sometimes I get a bit out of hand.
Maybe I'm just being affected by this because I want them to be happy. B'Elanna and I are finally starting to work things out, and I know how happy they could be. It's a good thing no one can read my thoughts. My reputation on Voyager would be ruined. Thomas Eugene Paris - The Romantic. Who would have thought?