Shared

by Suz suzvoy@yahoo.com

Disclaimer - characters belong to Paramount...but that doesn't prevent me from doing what I want to them.

This is my response to the JetC15 challenge...take a romantic scene from a movie but give it a J/C twist. The film I got this idea from is a RB film , 'Night Of The Comet'. This ultimately doesn't really end up resembling the scene in question...the set up is completely different but some of the quotes are the same. Incidentally, I owned this film for 8 years before I realised RB was in it!!

Oh, and this is definitely AU but I suppose it *could* be fit into canon...

Rated R, just in case.

*

I go where I always go when I need to think. When I'm concerned, when my heart is torn, when I don't know what the hell I'm doing...I go home.

Mom isn't the least bit surprised to see me. She knows that something has been weighing heavily on me. The stress of the last few months has been evident for weeks now, even though we haven't been seeing each other physically face to face. She can see it in my eyes even through a subspace message.

Who could have known being in love could cause so much pain?

I'm sure he does. He always seems to know everything.

I throw the few things I took with me into my old room, only taking the time to unpack the pictures. Mom, dad, Phoebe and her husband (who make the most adorable couple)...and one of us. It's not an intimate picture of course. We don't have any which display anything other than friendship - they would obviously give the true nature of our relationship away if someone should see them. But I treasure it all the same. It's a picture of us at Admiral Owen's last Birthday party, where we met. We're both in our dress uniform finery - nothing frivalrous at the Admirals party.

How strange that it was only four months ago. How quickly it all happened. I've never been a woman to give into impulses, especially at the beginning of a relationship, but with him it was...kismet. Soul mates. Attraction. Pheromones. Love. Whatever it was it was instant and utterly compelling.

I couldn't stay away, and neither could he.

Our first time was on the first night we met, at the Admirals party. I'm not a woman who does that either, yet somehow I found myself against the counter in the Admirals kitchen, convinced that someone was going to walk in. Through it all he stared at me. Maintained eye contact for as long as he could, his gaze so intense, so deep, that I couldn't look away even when my stomach clenched and the sensations passed through my body to my toes. In fact the only time I could find the strength was when I bit his neck to stop from screaming out. I still don't know how he managed not to yell in surprise.

We seemed to bypass the whole dating stage completely. It was like we'd known each other for years. We knew things about each other that no one did or ever would.

I leave the house and blink up into the glaring sun. My hand instinctively raises to shade my eyes, but I'm already looking elsewhere and start to move toward the greenest section of grass I can find. Once there, I lay down, glad for the comfort of my dress. The day isn't quite hot, but it's definitely warm.

My eyes close and I try to relax. I have to think some more about what I'm going to do. Why does this have to be so confusing?

The wind picks up slightly, blowing my hair over my face. I open my eyes, my vision obscurred by the strands of hair. I half close my eyes again, looking at the image the sun light creates as it passes through. I see browns, oranges, even a sparkling green...strange the way light can make so many colours become apparent that aren't really there.

Then came the message. The news of the attack on his home planet. He went of course; I understood and didn't try to stop him. I haven't seen him since. Pieces of rumours have filtered through. Suggestions that he's joined the Maquis or even been killed. I refuse to believe the latter, and although I don't want to believe the former, I consider it a possibility.

My eyelids flutter closed again, my eyes sore from looking up at the bright sky. What I need is some rest. It's been over two months since I had a good nights sleep. A Captain doesn't usually get one anyway, but especially with Chakotay missing...

I sense movement to my right, and as I bolt up to a sitting position, I see a lizard scurrying away. "Wait!" I cry out, my arm outstretched, as if the small animal could understand and communicate with me.

Awareness kicks in. I crane my neck around to see him walking towards me from the house. He's dressed in casual clothes; browns, creams and reds. A new addition is apparent on his forehead, the skin still raw from the tattoo. I'm not in the least bit surprised that he hasn't used a regenerator.

He reaches me and we stare at each other, his face cast in shadow. A short time later he falls to his knees and his shoulders slump, his absolute exhaustion evident. I reach out carefully with one hand to confirm that he's there, that he's real. As I make contact with his left cheek he gasps, then reaches up his hand to grasp my wrist. Turning my hand slightly, he places a kiss into my palm.

I shiver.

We stay that way, frozen, for a long time. There's so much we want to say, so much we want to do. Finally I find the words, the only words I can manage to whisper at that moment:

"I like your tattoo."

We move together in the next moment, arms surrounding, knees locking together, trying frantically to be as close to each as we can. He nuzzles his face into my neck, and sobs. God, what did he see? What have these few months away done to him? I thought I had suffered by his absence, but it was insignificant when I realised the pain he had been through.

I want desperately to cry but do my best to hide the reaction from him.

"Don't do that Kath," he whispers huskily against my neck, knowing me too well "you always do that."

I let go. The salty tears for once flow freely down my cheeks, and I swear this will be the only time that I will allow myself to be this weak. I could feel his own tears on my dress, my skin, and watched as my own soaked his top.

I'm not exactly sure what we're crying for. Pain, love, absolution, separation...I know he will be leaving again, that he has come to say goodbye until revenge is fulfilled. I know without a single doubt that he has joined the Maquis. And I was still Starfleet. I was the enemy. But we loved each other.

"Don't go," I plead in my fear. I hate myself for that. My weakness. Hadn't I always been self sufficient? Hadn't I always been emotionally strong?

He turns his head slightly and inhales the scent of my hair before placing a kiss on my neck. "I wish I could Kathryn. I wish for so much..." his voice is contemplative, with just a hint of awe. He pulls back away from my embrace, picks up my left hand in his right and places the left on top of it. "I have to go. But I'll be back." He truly believes that but can see that I'm not convinced. It's not that I doubt his love, just the chance of his survival. "What will you give me if I come back?" he asks, smiling for the first time since he arrived.

I blink, my eyes still teary, as an answer forms in my mind. "Engineering..."

"Engineering?"

"The science lab, sickbay, environmental control...seven decks."

"Kathryn?"

I wanted to laugh at the wonderful expression on his face. "I've been given command of a new ship Chakotay. The Voyager. When you come back I'll give you half of it."

"That's wonderful!" he exclaims, and just for a second his pain recedes. His whole visit made that one instant worth it. I did that. Me. But I couldn't have done it without him. Despite the fact that we're now on opposite sides, he's still thrilled for me.

"I'm going to miss you terribly," I admit, my hand still held within both of his. "these last two months were awful without you...but I'll be waiting."

"I couldn't ask you to-"

I place my free hand over his mouth. "I know you couldn't Chakotay, which is why I'm volunteering. I love you." My hand moves around to his neck and pulls his head to me for a kiss. It's been over sixty days since we kissed. That's far too long.

We make love slowly, but I keep my dress on. It adds to the intimacy somehow. Again, we maintain eye contact and it's almost like our first time again. The only difference is the shroud of pain that hovers around us.

He cries my name as he comes, his arms wrapping around my waist, his head on my chest. My hands come up to hold him there as I rock him back and forth, comforting.

As I hold him there I hope that the day will never come where I see his name on a padd, informing me of Maquis losses, but I know eventually that day will arrive.

Unless something happens first. Something unexpected...

For the first time in my life I pray. Kathryn Janeway, scientific soul, never one to take the spiritual choice...prays for a miracle.

~FINIS