Breaking Tradition
by Suz

Disclaimer - Paramount: a sexual position popularised by the Parachute Regiment.

I'm not sure Janeway would do this. I'm not sure Chakotay would do this. I'm not sure I like either of them in this. I wrote it anyway.


"Will you marry me?"

His fork clanked down onto the plate noisily, the only sound of response that she received for over a minute. As the noise echoed away into the darkness of her quarters he pulled a trick that she knew so utterly well - he schooled his features, betraying no emotion.


Kathryn took a breath, knowing something like this had been coming. After everything they had been through she knew better than to expect him to jump into the air, pull her into his arms, and thank his Gods that they were going to be together, forever. This Universe was a little more painful than that one.

"There's that thing between us..."

"Thing?" Chakotay asked, tipping his head to one side and furrowing his brow deliberately.

"Yes, that *thing*," Kathryn emphasised, wondering why she was putting up with this.

"I believe that it's called 'love' Kathryn," He pointed out, still showing no expression other than a slight disinterest.

God, when had he become so good at that? It was almost painful to watch, and wasn't something she ever remembered him doing before.

Was that because of her?

Or was that just arrogant?

"Yes," She agreed hastily "And quite often two people who are in love with each other get married."

"Not always," He concluded, seeming to enjoy rubbing her the wrong way. "People in love don't always get married. People in love don't always like each other."

"Are you talking about us or is that just an example?" She shot back, glaring. Shouldn't this have been so much easier?

He shrugged, finally producing a grin. "You can bring whatever conclusions you want to that statement, Kathryn. It's the way your mind works that produced that thought, not mine. Besides, you're changing the subject: why do you think we should get married?"

Rolling her eyes she fought the urge to snap at him. "We're compatible. We have wonderful chemistry."


Gritting her teeth, she spat it out. "Because I *want* to. Child of the twenty fourth century or not, there are still some things I believe in, some things that I believe two people in love should do. Yes, we've only been dating a month but we've known each other for eight years. I couldn't possibly know you any better than I do right now."

Apparently considering her question, he lowered his eyes for a brief moment. "Kathryn..."


Raising his eyelids again he looked directly at her. "I do believe it's tradition that when someone is proposing, they're supposed to be down on one knee."

He had to be joking. He absolutely had to be joking.

"I'm not," He assured her, even though she had said nothing. "It's what I'd do."

"But you're not the one proposing!"

He leant towards her. "Only because I thought you'd run for the nearest airlock if I ever mentioned the possibility! And how does it make it any different that you're the one doing the proposing?"

Her mouth opened and closed. "It just is."

"So this has nothing to do with the fact that it's tradition for a 'man' to get down on one knee? Because if it is, you should know better than anyone that we've broken tradition on this ship more than a thousand times over."

God the man was so stubborn!

"No," Kathryn forced out, telling herself that she had to do this. She had already asked once; she wasn't about to stop now.

Swallowing your pride was so much easier to do when no one was there to witness it.

Standing from her chair she moved towards him and, next to the table, carefully lowered herself until she was resting her weight on her left knee. Reaching out she grabbed his hand as he turned fully towards her and she looked up at his face.

Again, he was wearing no expression.

"Chakotay," She said almost calmly, rubbing his hand. "Will you marry me?"

He said nothing. But still holding onto her hand, he knelt down next to her and wrapped the other one around her, burying his face into her neck.

No answer? There was still no answer?

His lips pressed hotly against her neck, and the whisper of her name brushed against her skin.

Ah. There it was.

Tugging him away she yanked her hand out of his and grabbed onto either side of his face, staring into his eyes.

They were alive. Thank God, they were alive.

"I had to be sure," He whispered harshly, eyes glittering. "Had to be sure you really meant it. There's been so much done..."

"I understand," She said thickly, trying to talk around what felt like a baseball residing in her throat. "But don't you ever do that to me again," She ordered affectionately.

Chuckling, he matched her pose, grabbing either side of her face. "I'd be no good to you if I did that."

Shaking her head gently, she lowered her right hand until it rested on his shoulder. "Just as well you're a Maquis rebel I suppose."

He chuckled again but said nothing, content to explore her face with his hands as their dinner slowly went cold.


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