A First Time For Everything
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - Paramount shall own them, we shall give them personality.

So what happens after that first kiss anyway?


"God," she muttered softly, grasping tightly onto his arms.


"I was hoping I wouldn't feel anything." He said nothing, and as she realised something it was all she could do to stop the ironic laughter from escaping. She answered his unspoken question. "I think...yes, that's definitely the only occasion I've kissed someone for the first time and didn't want to enjoy it."

Shaking his head, he lowered it and held her so tightly that she thought her heart was going to burst out of her chest.

He tried to sigh but it came out as a sob. "I wish..."

Her eyes closed tightly. "I know." So did she.

"Then why don't..?"

"You know."

His hold loosened. "No. No I don't know. I know the multitude of reasons you've been repeating like a litany over the last four years...but give me something else, Kathryn. Give me a reason I can believe in." His expression clearly indicated that she wouldn't get a moments peace until she did.

"That's all I have."

"How many times have I heard some version of that since I've known you? That's all you have because that's all you allow yourself to have."

Breaking their beautiful contact, she pulled back. "And you expect me to change. You really expect me to change just because The Great Chakotay has spoken? He has decreed that thou shall not-and stop that damn smirking."

Chakotay didn't do as she told him. "Now The Great Kathryn is demanding. Well figure this one out: you can't give me an order. Not about this. On the bridge, in engineering, on an away mission...I'll follow your orders. But this is *me*. Chakotay. I'm not the Commander at this moment. I don't want to be."

"Why not? He's always served me well."

"Yes, yes he has. He's the Chakotay who has done everything you've asked of him. But he's off-duty at the moment and he's not going to back down. That's why I never see you after your shift ends anymore, isn't it?"

"Don't be-"

"-ridiculous? I should be the one saying that to you."

"You really think this is going to work?" She countered. "You start laying on the attitude and you think I'm going to fall into your arms."

"Dammit Kathryn, I don't *want* you to fall into my arms. Don't you get it?" Frustrated, he ran his hand through his hair. "That's not who you are; that's not who I want you to be. It would be...empty."

"A pyrrich victory?"

"A relationship is only satisfying when both of you are of sound mind."

"Are you saying-"

"-nothing. I'm saying nothing, Kathryn. What the hell does it matter anymore?" Turning away from her he flopped down on the sofa, throwing one arm over the top of his head and the other resting across his stomach.

Shocked by his sudden change of attitude, she didn't know quite what to say. It was fine when they had been arguing; exchanging shots was something she had always been good at, something she even enjoyed. But the simple expression of frustration and defeat was something she didn't know how to handle and didn't expect from him.

She should leave. The man had the ability to make her veins pulse with fury and he could be so God-damned arrogant...but...

"It's too late." She told him.

"I know that," he responded angrily.

"No. No it's too late because I've already fallen into your arms. Or hadn't you noticed that *I* initiated the kiss, *I* moved into your arms?"

"One kiss doesn't mean that you've fallen-"

"That's exactly why I can't. That's my reason."

He shook his head. She'd given him no reason at all. "Just go, Kathryn...I'm sure we'll have this conversation again in a years time. Maybe then..."

"Maybe then."

She left, and a part of him left with her.


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