De Honesta Voluptate
by Suz

Disclaimer - Sure, Paramount can own the names.

For Mary. Payment as due.


His flesh against hers.

His hands rubbing with alternating firmness and softness over her skin.

His voice - God, his voice - whispering. Her name, frequently.

Kathryn groaned.

Then she sighed.

Then she groaned again.

*How* was it possible that the man could do so many good things with his hands? Snuffing the thought of 'too much experience' out of her mind before it even started, she returned her attention to his hands.


She groaned again.

It was definitely something that had ultimately been worth waiting for. At the time - she knew - she had some extremely reasonable and justified reasons for not becoming involved with him.

But since she had, Kathryn had decided that it had been a form of madness. Obviously. A particularly nasty madness, because she had actually convinced herself that staying away from him brought her pleasure.

It brought her pain; that often went hand-in-hand with pleasure, so perhaps that theory was correct to some degree. Some small degree.

Then again, he was in the middle of using those...hands...on alternating parts of her anatomy. Her judgement could well have been clouded.

No. No, it couldn't have been. She knew he wasn't perfect. She knew there were some things she had to set straight, but didn't that make for a more satisfying relationship? His having faults for her to fix in her own way?

Absolutely. Definitely.

Oh, but he had no trouble with his hands. No trouble at all.

It had been his hands originally that had caused all the trouble - caused them to be where they were now, with the odd eight hours here and there to actually get some work done.

Kathryn wasn't entirely sure why her resolve had melted; although even she had to admit that a much more fitting metaphor was that her resolve had splintered into millions of pieces and rapidly dissolved.

They had been in her quarters. Not so unusual. They had been enjoying one of their weekly dinners. Not so unusual. They had retired to the sofa, discussing ships business. Not in the least bit unusual.

There had been candlelight, faint music in the air...even that wasn't so unusual.

Their words had become few and muted with the lateness of the hour, the taste of synthehol on their tongues...

She remembered trying to tell him that she really should go to bed.

She remembered that he agreed it was a very good idea.

She remembered teasing him that she meant to go to bed alone.

She remembered him being 'shocked' at the implication.

They had stood unsteadily, chuckling a little. He walked her to the doorway of her bedroom and bid her a goodnight. She returned the gratitude, and she recalled him smiling.

But as he turned to he turned to go...

He touched her.

And it was ridiculous. Utterly, completely and absolutely ridiculous. He had touched her many times. Probably dozens of times, and it had not happened. She had not felt the compelling need to suddenly *do* something.

It could well have been the lateness of the hour. It could well have been the taste of synthehol on their tongues...

It could have been, but probably wasn't.

In any case, they came much, much closer to kissing than she had ever anticipated - although she honestly couldn't say 'imagined'.

They didn't. They came damn close, but she pulled away. They stood apart. He didn't leave.

Shaking off the effects of the synthehol she quite logically listed all the reasons they couldn't get involved. She was surprised when - on occasion - he agreed with her. Told her she had a valid point and she was quite correct. She wasn't surprised - but was quite secretly pleased - when he didn't agree with her at all, and would argue his point quite vehemently.

Eventually, after a good hour of discussion, they came to the conclusion that now wasn't the right time, if ever. They started an amicable parting; he actually thanked for finally wanting to discuss it and knowing exactly where they stood, and they both looked a little regretful.

Yet this was for the best. She knew that and he knew that. It would probably make things a little more bittersweet, but better that than the never knowing.

Yes. Yes, she really was rather proud of herself. It had been logical, reasonable, understandable, rational, and not dominated by rampant emotions. She reached out to touch his hand reassuringly one last time, smiling. After all this time, she could sleep with a clear conscience. She wouldn't be worrying about him worrying about her. She wouldn't have to help him - without him realising it, of course - find the happiness he deserved with someone else.

He would find it with someone else himself. It was all very simple.

Well done, Kathryn.

And then she had touched him. And then he had touched her.

She would not realise - then - how much she had screwed up. Would not realise until sometime later just how much she had miscalculated the situation. Had not anticipated the reaction.

All she was aware of was his eyes conveying an expression of "Oh, shit", then his lips then his hands then his skin and the emotions that finally were running rampant.

She hadn't run rampant for a long time.

She had found herself enjoying it.

Which was why she was there, now, days later, groaning and sighing and grinning like an idiot as his hands moved all over her body.

Kathryn Janeway was - in almost all descriptions - in heaven.

They would talk about it, eventually. They would probably argue. She would growl and he would respond in his passionate but annoyingly soft voice. He would tell her that she was the one who kissed him, and she wouldn't be capable of arguing that because she honestly couldn't remember. It had just...happened.

He probably wouldn't be very flattered by that comment.

She smiled.

None of that mattered. That was later. Right now, later was very bad. All she wanted to do was to stay there, enjoy him, and enjoy herself.

It was an absolute pleasure being in his company. Lying naked, on his bed. Smelling the scent of the oil he was rubbing into her skin. Feeling the softness of the covers beneath her. Hearing his wonderfully hypnotic voice, occasionally, murmuring something she could never quite decipher but she knew from the tone that it was an endearment.


Later could wait.

She was enjoying herself.


'De Honesta Voluptate' translates as: 'Concerning Honest Pleasure and Well-Being'.

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