by Suz

It's a sappy song story!

Disclaimer - "Bother," said Pooh as he was assimilated by the Para-Borg.


Going through the motions
Ending up, nowhere at all
Can't see the sun on my wall
Going through emotions
Ending up, on a frozen morning
With a heart not even broken


I know. I know he's been with other women. On a ship this size there isn't much you can keep secret. There was never any written agreement between us, never anything that prohibited him or me from seeing others. A ridiculous idea surely; it would have meant that we were involved with each other.

That's not the problem.

I want to know why it doesn't bother me more.

I see him with another woman, touching her, and I feel...what? Perhaps a slight spark of jealousy - he *is* my best friend, after all - but nothing stronger. I try to be happy when he is, but there's nothing else. No sudden realisation of what I'm missing out on as if I almost expect one. Or 'coming to my senses' as I happen to know some of the crew call it.

And then a moment of realisation *does* occur. I'm not in love with him. It's almost a greater shock than coming to the conclusion that I am in love with him would be.

I always assumed there would be something. No relationship, or at least not a more romantic one than the one we share at the moment. But a hidden desire, a lingering touch. A wry grin. They used to appear all the time. Was that what made me think I could love him? Or was it just the idea? A unnattainable love, unrequited. Isn't that already more romantic than any relationship I've ever been in?

Maybe I was in it just for the romance.

After we were rescued from the 'incident' on the planet, I deliberately pulled away from him, spouting excuses about needing to concentrate on my job. But really...did I know that denying him would be more romantic? The way he would look at me with such intensity...was I worried I would lose that if we became involved? And didn't I know that it would be romantic if I still cared for him even after he moved on? Yet more unrequited emotions, if not quite love.

No, God no. That can't be. That's not the person I am. Isolated from everyone, including the one person who tried harder than the rest to try and make me relax, to spend time with me, to be the one friend who wouldn't turn away. God, did I turn away from him?


Seems I've been running

All my life, all my life

Seems I've been running

All my life, all my life, all my life

Like watercolours in the rain


"I don't like the person I've become."

He doesn't disagree. I don't expect him to, but still there's that part of my ego that likes to be comforted, that likes to be told that there's nothing wrong with me the way I am.

He just continues to look up at me from his chair in his quarters.

"I want your help," I continue, but that sounds too demanding. I can't say 'need'. I don't need anyone to live. Not even me; the me who loves her mothers brownies, the me who used to look after sick animals, the me who would run in the rain without caring.

"What do you expect me to do?" he asks, not moving.

Sitting in the chair just to the left of his, I lean towards him. "I don't know Chakotay. But I know I'd appreciate your assistance."

A chuckle emerges. "Well for a start you could stop talking like Seven."

A soft smile. A soft word. "Deal."

I stay calmly in place as he leans forward and one-by-one removes the pips from my collar. As he pulls away he looks down at them before closing his fist around them and throwing them on the table in front of us. They clatter loudly and I watch as one of them skids off the edge of the glass and falls to the floor.

I almost make a move for it, then realise how closely he's watching me. A test. My body tenses briefly as I force myself not to move before lounging back in the chair deliberately. I'm pleased that he's amused by me. I don't think he's been genuinely amused by me in a long time.

"See?" he says. "Now we're just Kathryn and Chakotay."

"Strangers in the night," I joke, but he doesn't smile, doesn't laugh. From his expression I know he's thinking how true those words are. We don't really know each other anymore.

We sit in silence for a few moments and I hate it. I've never been at a loss for words with him before.

He speaks. "What are you thinking?"

I study him. The darkness of his eyes, the shape of his face, the shade of his hair. "I miss you."

Shocked by the softly spoken words - as shocked as I am that I said them - he leans closer and places his hand on top of mine. "It has been a while."

Looking down at our hands so I don't have to look at him, a private grin appears on my mouth and I find it utterly ridiculous that my eyes are beginning to water. I try not to struggle for breath, I don't want him to hear me.

"Don't," he whispers, and although he leaves my head where it is, he moves his thumbs up to rub slowly over my eyelids.

I exhale shakily. "I don't know if I'm me anymore."

"A crisis of personality?"

Still facing down, I reach up to touch his hands as they cover my face. "A crisis of Kathryn."

"Kathryn has always existed. She manages to get a word or two out occasionally you know."

I stop his hands from moving with my own. "I thought she died a long time ago."

His hands would have stopped then by themselves if I hadn't already stopped them. "No. Never dead. Merely misplaced."

"You mean I lost myself? Sounds apt enough," I murmur, opening my sticky eyes now to study the skin of his hands.

"I missed you too, you know. You're pretty easy to get attached to."

Finally I look up at him, eyes full of bravado. "I can say the same about you. An extremely good looking, friendly, funny first officer. What more could a captain want?"

He looks at me seriously.



I'll find the falling star
I'll fall in love with the eyes of a dreamer
And a dream worth believing
Seems I've been running
All my life, all my life
Seems I've been running
All my life, all my life, all my life
Like watercolours in the rain


Song words property of Per Gessle

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