Disclaimer - Paramount own them.
I have another story I'm working on, but I can't seem to finish it. So here's this.
Kathryn peered around with interest as she stepped into the holodeck and the doors closed noisily behind her. She knew that he knew it would only be one of several people who would intrude on his private time; her, B'Elanna, or Tom if he was feeling particularly reckless.
When she saw him he was sitting down with his legs crossed, working on something. The programme they were in was very simple; it just appeared to be a particularly green section of an Earth-like planet, although it was a section of land she didn't personally recognise.
She knew the instant that he knew it was her. As her footsteps became louder he didn't turn around, his back only tightening for a moment before he relaxed again and she knew - just knew - that he was smiling.
She loved that.
Loved that he knew her so well that he could identify her by the sound of her footsteps alone. It probably should have bothered her.
"You know Kathryn, holodeck time is usually meant for those who reserve it."
Carefully bending, she sat down beside him. "Well, the privacy lock wasn't on so I figured you wouldn't mind."
He couldn't argue that.
Smiling, she looked at what he was doing. "I didn't know you were a painter..."
"I'm not much of one," He said, half-grinning to himself. "But when I saw you doing it the other day I started thinking it was something I'd never really attempted. Sand painting is one thing, but this..."
"...is completely different." Kathryn concluded. "I understand. I hadn't been much of a painter until a few months ago. My sister was always the artist in the family. May I...?" She asked, indicating the surface he was working on.
"I take it you're not painting anything specific?" She asked hopefully.
"My painting isn't that bad, Kathryn..." He growled deliberately.
She chuckled. "I didn't think so. Okay, my own personal advice if you're just getting started..." Ordering several paint pots from the computer, she waited until they materialised. "Forget about brushes." Lowering her right hand she dipped it into the blue paint and drew her fingers over the canvas. "Go on," She encouraged, looking towards him as his eyes twinkled. "Use your hands. It's very liberating."
Pursing his lips about something, he apparently didn't disbelieve her for a second as he quickly plunged his hand into the red paint pot and slapped it noisily against the canvas. Pulling his dripping hand away, he studied the hand print proudly. "I feel like a four year old. Which is good," He quickly assured her.
Shaking her head, she continued. "Keep going. You can't stop with one slap of paint."
Sometime later their hands, their sleeves, and a considerable portion of the canvas, were covered in paint.
Pausing for a moment he studied their work. "It looks...absolutely awful."
She held up a stained hand. "But you had fun!"
"True," He agreed, then looked at her.
"What?" Kathryn asked as she became rather uncomfortable with his scrutiny.
"I...I suppose these just feels like a role reversal of sorts. You're the one showing me how to express myself."
Kathryn absolutely knew that he didn't mean the words to hurt; he was simply stating a fact. Turning back towards the canvas, she lifted her right hand and began brushing it over their work. "It's a Captains perogative to do what she wants-"
His slippery hand covered hers on the canvas. "I'm sorry, Kathryn. I didn't mean to..."
Staring at their hands, she felt something inside her clench. "Hit a little too close to home I guess."
He was scrutinising her again. She was deliberately not looking at him, but out of the corner of her eye she could tell that he was staring. Did he have any idea how disconcerting that was? Did-
"Hey," He said softly.
She turned her head towards him. "Yes?"
Removing his hand from hers, he pointed towards her left cheek. "You have a little something, right there."
Relieved, she smiled. "Oh. Where exactly? I can get a cloth to wipe it off."
"Right..." He moved the hand forward and with a finger drew a line on her face. "...there."
She gaped at him. "Chakotay!"
He tutted at himself. "No, I'm sorry, it was right there." And he promptly drew a line of paint across her forehead.
"Right Mister," She muttered. Plunging her whole hand into the pot of red paint she proceeded to rub the hand all over his face. "That'll teach you to mess with Janeway."
Softly spitting to the right, he blinked vigorously. "So it's Janeway or no way?"
"Absolutely," She agreed.
He plunged his hand into the pot of blue paint.
"Don't you *dare*," She hissed.
Neelix smiled at the sight before him. On the ground of the Commander's holoprogramme, the Captain and Commander were snoring. They were fully dressed which was something of a disappointment, and they seemed to be covered in an amazing amount of paint, but they were sleeping in each others arms which was unbelievably *sweet*.
Deciding that his own holodeck use could wait he began to turn away, wondering who he could trust with the information when the idea struck.
Making a slight adjustment to the computer at considerable expense to his own rations, he giggled as he left the holodeck. When they woke, left the holodeck, and the paint *didn't* vanish...she'd have a heck of a time trying to explain where that bright blue and very prominent hand print on her butt came from.
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