An Unexpected Happiness
By Kadi
Rated NC-17


Disclaimer: Well technically they belong to Paramount…


Author's Note: What can I say… I'm a sick, sick puppy! Actually this fic and its counterpart "An Unexpected Happiness" were inspired by "Total Eclipse of the Heart" written by Sheri, which can be found by clicking on this link: Thanks to her, I've got a new obsession! Its a great story and she does a wonderful job telling it, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Warning: This story contains explicit sex between Janeway and a male member of her crew, other than Chakotay. In a nutshell... Ayala. Welcome to my first J/Ayala fic! But this is ending number 1.. go here for ending 2:



Kathryn jumped when a hand touched her shoulder, then she blushed guiltily, "Lieutenant, I'm sorry, I guess I just lost track of the time."

Ayala flashed her a crooked grin, "It's alright Captain, I hadn't expected anyone to be here this late." He looked around the holodeck, "Sandrine's eh?" He lifted a brow and righted a chair, "Must have been some party." He gestured around to the upturned tables and a couple of broken chairs.

Kathryn blushed again then sighed, "I suppose my temper did get the best of me."

His brows rose into his hairline and he nodded slowly, "I'd say so." Then he smiled at her, "Can I ask why?"

Kathryn leaned back against the bar and crossed her arms over her chest, her eyes narrowing at him. Here was an officer she'd had limited contact with in the past 7 years. A man who was quite good looking, and if she admitted it to herself kind of reminded her of.... well she wasn't going to go there lest she get angry again. Instead she shook her head and chuckled softly, "Lets just say it was either the holodeck or the crew."

"Well Captain," Ayala chuckled, "I for one am glad you chose the holodeck." He strode over to the pool table and picked up a cue, which had been snapped in half, "Well when they said you were as stubborn as a Klingon they weren't all that far off were they?"

Kathryn's head fell back and she laughed, really laughed for the first time in a long time. "Just don't tell Tom."

Ayala placed a hand over his heart, "You have my word Captain." Then his head tilted to the side and he studied her for a moment, the pale face and the red eyes, "I don't mean to pry Captain, and I'm most likely out of line, but this doesn't have anything to do with tonight does it? Chakotay showing up with a certain blonde Borg on his arm?"

She stiffened immediately and her smile fell, "You're right Lieutenant, you are out of line." She moved away from the bar and made to leave, but he caught her arm.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you." He turned away from her and sighed, "I knew Chakotay for a lot of years. He's changed... before I thought it was for the good. Lately, he just seems to have... settled." He looked back to her, "That's not fair, to either of you."

Kathryn crossed her arms again, studying him. What was with this man, who had barely said a word to her in the years that she had been his Captain. "I appreciate your concern Lieutenant. But I will be fine. The Commander's personal life is just that... personal. It is hardly any of our business."  She studied him a little closer, and realized that she had once thought him very young, but could now see the lines around his eyes, the hardening of his eyes. And wondered if she had put them there, by stranding him here, so far away from his sons. She walked toward him, and then past him to lean against the pool table, "Michael isn't it? Most of the crew simply refers to you as Ayala, but your first name is Michael right?"

"Yes, it is." He let his eyes wonder over her for a moment, taking in the short red dress she had worn to the party earlier. The way it hugged her hips, tightened across her breasts. And yet it was very modest, very conservative, and she looked incredibly beautiful in it. "Kathryn isn't it?" He smiled at her, mischief lighting up his eyes, "I mean, most of the crew just refers to you as Captain, but your first name, it's Kathryn isn't it?"

Her chest shook as she laughed again, a deep belly laugh that filled her heart and reached her eyes. "Touché Lieutenant."

"So tell me Captain," he retrieved a bottle of wine and two glasses from the bar, "Have you ever had a drink with a Junior Officer?"

She took the glass he offered her and allowed him to fill it, "Tell me Lieutenant, have you ever played pool with a Captain?"

He watched her drain the glass and poured another for her, then set the bottle aside. "Well, there is a first time for everything isn't there."

Kathryn regarded him for a moment, then a wicked gleam entered her eyes, "I suppose there is." She set her glass aside and moved around the side of the pool table to retrieve the remaining, undamaged cue. "Rack em."

Ayala lifted a brow, "Yes ma'am." When he had, he stepped back and watched her lean over the side of the pool table, the material of her dress stretching nicely across her hips. Before she could make her play, he bent over her, under the guise of reaching for his glass of wine. "My apologies Captain," his breath was hot against the back of her neck. He smiled when she gasped, her first shot going wide and only barely hitting the racked balls in the center of the table.

She angled a look over her shoulder at him and leaned back slowly, "You'll pay for that."

"In good time I hope." He took the cue from her and pushed past her to take his shot, handing her his half full wine glass as he did. Noticing as she leaned against the table next to him that she drank from it rather than retrieving her own. As he leaned forward to make the shot he noticed her dipping a finger into the liquid, then bringing it to her lips and licking it clean. Needless to say, his shot went wide as well. "Oh you're good."

Her eyes sparkled with mischief, a crooked grin spreading across her face, "You've no idea I'm sure."

He took the glass from her and stepped back so she could have a shot at the balls on the table. This time when she leaned forward, he leaned into her, his hips pressing into her buttocks. "Tell me Captain, what game are we playing here exactly," his free hand trailed down her side to her hip, "Because I don't believe it's pool."

Kathryn leaned back and dropped the cue onto the table, meeting his gaze over her shoulder. "What do you think it is?"

He turned her slowly, and set the glass on the edge of the table, both his hands going to her hips. "I think we both know what this is." His eyes drifted to her lips, "I used to quite jealous of Chakotay, when I thought he had you." He pressed her into the table; "I've wanted to do this for quite some time." His hands left her hips to bury themselves in her hair.

"What--" Her words were cut off when his mouth descended on her, his lips pressing to hers gently at first, his tongue tracing along her lips, tasting the wine on them. Then he pushed his tongue into her mouth and they both groaned. He kept one hand in her hair and the other trailed down the side of her body, brushing her breast, and then going around her waist to pull her tightly against him. Her hands were pressed against his chest, sliding upward to his shoulders, and then her arms were around his neck, holding onto him tightly. Ayala slid his tongue along her teeth, the top of her mouth, then finally their tongues met and dueled eliciting another groan from both of them. Then he released her mouth and trailed a series of kisses down the side of her neck, his tongue smoothing along its softness, his teeth nipping gently at her. "Oh god," she moaned when his tongue found the sensitive spot behind her ear. She curled the fingers of one hand into his shoulder while her other hand slid into his hair. Her back arched over the side of the pool table as his mouth slid down over her collarbone. Ayala's hands were sliding up her sides and when they cupped her breasts she ground her hips into him, groaning as his hardened member pressed against her.

His teeth and tongue teased her through the material of her dress, while his thumbs coaxed her nipples into hardened nubs. He molded the soft moans against his palms, then let his hands slide down her sides, moving down her thighs, to slip under the hem of her dress. She moaned at the feel of his hands against her bare thighs. When they began to slide up her soft skin she arched into him again, her hands going to the edge of the pool table as he lifted the hem of her dress. One hand slid up her inner thigh, cupping her as his mouth once again took hers in a fierce kiss. She arched into it, grinding her hips into his palm, her arousal soaking through her lace panties. He caught the hem of her dress then, and leaned away from her long enough to tug it up and over her head, then dropped it onto the pool table behind her. The sight before him made him groan with need. Never would he have imagined the body his Captain kept concealed beneath her uniform. His eyes darkened and he leaned forward again, a knee going between her thighs to press against her aroused center as his hands once again cupped her breasts, his thumbs teasing them through the lace of her bra. The bra itself didn't last long under his impatient hands, and ended up torn on the floor beneath their feet. Ayala admired the view before him for only a moment before bending his head and taking one of the soft mounds into his mouth.

Kathryn buried both hands in his hair, holding his head in place as his tongue and teeth teased her, sending jolts of desire shooting through her body. She rocked against his thigh, riding him, her arousal soaking through her panties and wetting his trousers. The friction sent sparks shooting into her belly, and she moaned deeply at the assault on her senses. Then without warning she was lifted and placed on the surface of the pool table, her legs widening to allow the man before her to stand between them. It was then that she allowed her desire-clouded eyes to wander over them. "You're over dressed Lieutenant."

"Guess you'll just have to rectify that won't you Captain." His head bent and he nipped at her nipple, causing her to cry out in delight.

"I guess so," her hands reached for the front of his uniform and she tugged until the jacket was torn open. She pushed it off his shoulders and reached for the hem of his turtleneck. He helped her pull it over his head, and stood before her, bare to his waist. Her eyes darkened immediately at the sight of his finely muscled chest. She let out a purely feminine purr of delight, "That'll do nicely." Her nails trailed down his chest, grazing over his nipples, down his finely toned stomach until the rested at the waistband of his trousers. Her hands slid the zipper down agonizingly slow, then trailed inward to cup his aroused flesh. She purred again as her other hand pushed his trousers and boxers past his hips, her other hand slowly stroking the length of him.

Ayala's eyes darkened and he caught her hands and pressed them into the table behind her. He leaned forward and captured her mouth again, briefly, his hands went to her shoulders then and he pressed her backward, until she was lying on the pool table. Her back arched as his mouth once again enveloped her breast, suckling gently while his tongue teased her. One hand molded against her other breast, while his other hand trailed down her body, over her thighs then against the damp lace of her panties. His fingers pressed against her, drawing circles against the damp material, causing her to arch into him, moaning in frustration and desire. Then he moved away from her for a moment, only long enough to kick off his boots and free his legs from his pants and boxers. When he returned to her his mouth went to her belly, lapping at her naval, teasing it with his tongue as his thumbs hooked into the waistband of her panties and began to pull them down her hips. She arched upward, lifting her hips as he tugged the lace down her body, eventually removing it. As he did, his nose nuzzled against her damp curls, pulling another deep moan from within her body. He tasted her only briefly, his tongue caressing her damp folds, swirling around her swollen clit. But his need to be buried within her was more urgent than his need to lap at her juices.

She was trembling beneath him as he took her hips in his hands and positioned himself at her opening. He entered her slowly, their eyes meeting as he sank into her centimeter by precious centimeter, filling her completely. He groaned at her tightness, and fought the need to close his eyes. He stopped only when he was completely embedded within her, his flesh pulsing within her welcoming walls. They stayed like that for a moment, and then she sat up, both of them groaning at the friction, and wrapped her arms around his neck. He began to thrust then, his hands going to her hips as he moved, slowly, deeply at first, and then much quicker, his thrusts growing harder. She cried out with each one, her body rocking against him, their mouths meeting again to press firmly together, tongues dueling in an imitation of their lower bodies.

When he felt his release approaching he wrapped both arms around her and held her tightly to him as he began grind their hips together. She moaned into his mouth, the ache in her lower body growing with each deep thrust, building and spiraling through her lower body. Kathryn wrapped her legs around his waist, holding him tightly to her as they moved together. She felt her release, hovering just out of reach, and began to buck against him, her body tightening as she strained toward it. And then the first wave crashed over her. She screamed with the force of it, their kiss was broken and she buried her face in his neck as he continued to thrust into her contracting body. Then she felt him stiffen against him, and the warmth of his release filling her.

They held tightly to each other for several minutes, chests heaving, and bodies trembling long after their release. Ayala's hands smoothed over her back as her head rested against his shoulder, her arms still around his neck. When he felt her shiver against him he reached for her dress and pulled away long enough to help her pull it over her head. Then he helped her to her feet and held her against him for several moments before bending to retrieve his own clothing while she righted hers. He sat in a nearby chair to tug his boots on, and felt her hand on his shoulder as he did so. When he looked up he expected to see guilt and regret in her eyes, but only found a smile. She was standing behind him, both hands resting against his shoulders.  She bent over him, kissing him deeply before rising again. "We'll have to..." her eyes flashed with desire and mischief, "play pool again some time. But I must be going. I have an early shift. And so do you Lieutenant." She leaned forward then and whispered something in his ear that sounded suspiciously like an override code. He grinned as she turned to move toward the door, a definite sway to her hips.

He chuckled, "Yes Ma'am."

"Michael..." She paused just before the door and looked at him from over her shoulder, "Don't call me ma'am... Kathryn will suffice."

He winked at her, "You should be going to bed Kathryn." He waited ten minutes after the doors slid closed behind her, then grabbed his uniform jacket, pulled it on and moved quickly through the corridors. The corners of his mouth twitched slightly as he paused outside her door and keyed in the code. When they slid open before him he shook his head and slipped inside, a broad grin on his face. When he found her she was reclining, naked on the bed. "You minx."

Her brow arched, "Is that a complaint."

"Hell no." He tugged his uniform off and climbed into the bed beside her, his arms going around her waist and pulled her against him, her back to his chest. "Sleep woman," he groaned when she wiggled against him, "I'll not have you terrorizing this crew from lack of sleep."

"Is that an order?"

"Is that a complaint?"

"Hell no."

"Alright then."

They were both silent for several more moments. "Ayala..."


"Your not a replacement for him."

"I know."

"I don't know where this is going."

"Neither do I... sleep."



"Yes?" She looked back at him.

"Nothing, I just wanted to say it." He brushed a kiss across her bare shoulder and pulled her more firmly against him.

She smiled and settled in, allowing for at least this one night to be held as a woman.


Several weeks passed as a relationship grew between the Lieutenant and his Captain. Neither would have called it a romance, or love, it simply was what it was. It was kept as discreet as possible on both sides, the override code she'd given him being used often. Most times he let himself into her cabin while she was sleeping and crawled into bed with her, an action that was greatly welcomed. Mornings brought lovemaking, and evenings spent together were filled with laughter.

Each had a sense of humor never before witnessed by the other, it was a welcome breath of fresh air. This... thing they had was easy between them. There was an unspoken agreement that they had no strings attached, and that while on duty she was still his Captain. Yet off duty he had quite the dominant personality, and it was a welcome change to her days. Days she spent as a captain, nights as just a woman.

However as the weeks passed their guard was lowered. There was an air about the ship, jovial and uplifting, likes of which had not been seen in a very long time. And it was without discussion or resistance on either part that they migrated to Sandrine's one night, to join the rest of the crew.

As Kathryn sauntered toward the pool table, a glass of wine in her hand she lifted a brow, eyes shining. "Too bad there's an audience," she said in a low tone and took the offered cue from him.

"I believe as Tuvok would say, indeed." He took her wine glass and sipped from it, an action they'd grown accustomed to. However, he'd done that with her coffee only once, the punishment dire and not to be revisited anytime soon. As she leaned over the table he let his eyes travel over her, heat stirring within him. She'd forgone the uniform this evening as was her custom now, and had dressed in snug fitting pair of jeans and a sweater that was slipping off one shoulder. He growled softly and leaned toward her, whispering something into her ear.

She blushed bright red and glared at him, "Not in front of the crew I won't."

Ayala laughed, "Coward."

Her brow rose, "We'll see about that... later."

He chuckled again as she took her wine glass from him and took a sip, when he took it back he glanced up, to catch more than a few pairs of eyes on them. "Oops, they're watching us."

"Let them," she sighed with contentment and made her shot, then moved around the table in front of him and leaned forward again. "I can just imagine what they're saying."

"I'm sure." He bit his lip as her buttocks brushed against him, "Vixen."

"Is that a complaint?"

"Hell no." He swirled around the contents of the wine glass and took another sip from it. "Ah oh," he leaned forward, "I do believe a certain Commander is throwing us what can only be described as a very dark scowl."

She glanced up in Chakotay's general direction then threw a sultry look Ayala's way, "He had his chance, he blew it."

Ayala snickered, then on a whim leaned forward and whispered in her ear, "Now pretend I just said something so incredibly funny you can't stand it." At the same time he let his hand trail daringly over her hip.

Kathryn missed her next shot, snickered, then laughed heartily, the sound filling the bar. "Oh you're bad," she drawled loud enough for the tables nearby to have heard and stepped back, taking her almost empty wine glass from him and offering the cue.

He leaned forward to take his shot, jumping slightly when he felt a hand brush across his rear as she moved past him to the bar to refill her drink. "Wench," he called out after her.

She angled a look over her shoulder at him, she was a few meters away by now, crewmembers staring at the two of them, "Is that a complaint?"

"Hell no."

"Good." She chuckled all the way to the bar, ignoring the shocked glances she was getting from members of her crew.

Ayala shook his head and took his shot again, missing it, he leaned back to wait for her to return. His eyes settling on her then moving out over those that had been observing them. He noticed shocked glances from most, a few knowing grins from the others, and a scowl from a particularly pissy looking First Officer. At that he sighed and looked back in time to see Kathryn approaching him, her glass refilled, and a bottle in hand. She winked at him as she handed him the glass and set the bottle on the edge of the table, then went willingly when he crooked an arm around her waist and pulled her toward him, holding her for only a moment while he whispered in her ear just what he'd do to her if they were alone. She blushed, laughed, and slapped at his hand, then wiggled away from him.

That was when her eyes met Chakotay's, she held his gaze for several moments, her smile falling at the anger and hurt she witnessed crossing his face. After several tense moments she turned away, her good mood melting away as she took the pool cue from her lover.

Ayala noticed the change immediately and rested a hand on her shoulder, "Want to get out of here?"

"No," she smiled up at him, "he has no reason to be angry, he's moved on, why shouldn't I?" But tears were beginning to sting her eyes.

"Come on," he took the pool cue and tossed it onto the table, "We're leaving."

"No." She reached up and cupped his cheek, "I appreciate you trying to help, but this was something that had to happen eventually. He'll get over it. And if he doesn't, that's his problem not ours." She reached for the bottle of wine, "However, pool has lost its appeal." She sauntered away, then shot a look over her shoulder, "Coming?"

"Why not." He shook his head as he followed her, and sent a warning look Chakotay's way. She led him to a table being shared by several members of the senior staff. Well, she was definitely feeling bold this evening.

"Mind if we join you?" She asked of Tom, Harry, B'Elanna and the Doctor.

The four exchanged glances, mostly shocked, but nodded and motioned for the two of them to sit. Ayala pulled over two seats, and held one out for her, then sat beside her, his arm going easily around his shoulders. He grinned when she leaned into him. Then chuckled softly at the stunned expressions on the others' faces.

Kathryn rolled her eyes, "Oh come on, we're all adults here. Well, most of us are," she snickered, "The jury is still out on Tom."

"Hey!" The helmsman recovered quickly and scowled at his snickering wife and best friend. "Cute Captain, very cute."

She glanced at Ayala, "I thought so. What did you think?"

"Very cute."


"Oh yeah..." His voice took on a husky quality, "I just love it when you--"

"Alright, alright!" B'Elanna shook her head, and laughed, "Enough already, its deep enough in here as it is." She studied her Captain closely, smiling at the way her eyes shined, laughter and happiness filling them. It was a welcome sight, even if it was a bit... strange to see her with a member of the crew. Well, a member of the crew other than Chakotay that was.

Kathryn looked away from her lover then and caught the Lieutenant's gaze on her. Her brow lifted slightly, and B'Elanna smiled at her, nodding her head only slightly in approval. At that Kathryn grinned broadly and leaned further back into her new lover, her hand snaking up to intertwine with his where it rested against her shoulder. An unspoken message passed between the two women, they definitely be speaking about this later.

"So Captain," Tom took a drink, "how's it going?"

Kathryn rolled her eyes again, "Good Tom, and how are you?"

"Good, good."

The table fell into an uncomfortable silence until finally it was B'Elanna that rolled her eyes, "I'm surrounded by idiots," she glanced at her Captain, "recent arrivals excluded of course."

Ayala and Kathryn chuckled, "Of course."

At that moment Chakotay and Seven walked by, their arms around each other. As one Harry and the Doctor groaned, their heads hitting the table at the exact same moment. Then they looked at each other, "What does she seen in him?" They groaned in unison.

"Well for one," B'Elanna grinned, "He's tall, dark..."

"Good looking," Kathryn finished for her.

Ayala's brow shot up, "Good looking?"

"Oh yes," she purred, "very good looking."

"Sexy," B'Elanna added.

"Sexy?" Tom squeaked. "You think he's sexy?"

"Very sexy," Kathryn drawled.

"You think?" Ayala let go of her hand and twirled a lock of hair around his finger.

"Oh yes," she grinned lazily.

"I guess I'll just have to change your mind about that won't I?"

"Mmm... You can try."

He grinned at her and waggled his brows, "Indeed." At that she snickered.

Tom however was still staring at his wife, "Sexy!?"

B'Elanna rolled her eyes, "Oh yes he just makes me want to jump his bones."


Shaking her head she reached up and slapped her husband upside the back of his head. "I'm married, not dead you dolt!"

Tom rubbed the back of his head but pouted at her, "I can't believe you think he's sexy."

"Awww," she leaned forward to kiss his cheek, "Not as sexy as you though."

"Really?" He stuck his lower lip out at her. B'Elanna in turn leaned closer and whispered several things in his ear that had Tom blushing. "Well," he stood quickly and grabbed his wife's hand, pulling her up with him. "We'll see you all tomorrow, Captain, Ayala, good night!"

Harry just groaned again, the Doctor rolled his holographic eyes and went back to being miserable while the other two laughed as a chuckling, purring Torres was tugged away.

Later that evening Kathryn lay in bed, head propped on her hand, watching the man sleeping next to her, and wondering what about him could change her so completely? He was bringing out a side of her that she had kept buried for many years, and she'd never even seen it coming. He was teaching her to live again, after so many years of simply existing. Yet she couldn't decipher what it was precisely that she felt for him, and how she could allow herself to be swept along so easily. She had denied Chakotay for years and yet... here she was, with this man, and she was... she blinked almost stunned, she was happy. Perhaps it had taken losing one, to open her up for gaining another.

"Enjoying the view," sparkling eyes smiled up at her.

"Mmm," she smiled softly, "Yeah actually."

"Better than the one you had earlier this evening?"

"I'm not sure yet," she stretched against him, "The jury is still out on that."

"Oh really?" He moved quickly, rolling her onto her back and positioning himself over her. "Is that so?"

"Oh yes..." she purred as his hands ran down her body, then moaned as his lips moved over her neck. "Well maybe not."

"Maybe?" He moved down her body, "Sure about that?"

"Mmmm not really."

"We'll see about that."

As he began to work his magic over her body she decided to quit analyzing her feelings and just let them be.



The following day found Ayala cataloguing the inventory in weapons locker 2-alpha, located on deck 4. He didn't mind the duty; in fact as the officer in charge directly beneath Voyager's Chief Tactical officer he welcomed the quiet change. There were any number of officers on the tactical and security teams that could have been assigned the duty, and probably should have been, but Ayala saw no point in doing so
when it would take him half the time, and when he actually enjoyed it. With that in mind, he opened yet another weapons container and made a note on his padd of the 12 type 2 phaser rifles it contained. Then he closed it, hefted it aside, and opened the next.

"Lieutenant," Commander Chakotay entered the weapons locker and waited for the doors to close behind him. "How is the inventory coming along?"

Ayala lifted a brow, "It's coming." He hefted another weapons case aside then faced the first officer. "Okay Chakotay, don't bother with the small talk, we both know you suck at it." He crossed his arms, "Lets get right down to it, because we both know you don't give a damn about the weapons inventory. This is about Kathryn isn't it?"

Chakotay's jaw clenched, "I am concerned for the Captain yes, and her seemingly recent involvement with a member of her crew."

He shook his head sadly, "More importantly a member of her crew that is not you?"

"You're out of line Lieutenant."

"No Chakotay, it is you who is out of line. Besides which you dropped the rank the moment you confronted me about a personal issue. Cut the shit and just get to the point, you're jealous aren't you?" Ayala leaned easily back against a stack of weapons cases.

"That is none of your business Ayala. I just want to know what the hell you're thinking of. She's the Captain--"

"She's also a woman," he interrupted, his eyes darkening in anger, "which is something this crew has managed to forget. And so did she for that matter." Then he sighed, "Oh come on Chakotay, you moved on, so did she, what's the real problem here?"

"You mean other than the Captain of this ship parading around in front of her crew like a sex crazed teenager? She's throwing herself all over a member of her crew, flaunting a relationship with a junior officer openly, and if she doesn't give a damn about how it looks to this crew at least one of you should. I'm here to warn you Ayala, put an end to it, now."

"Back off Chakotay." Ayala took a step forward, "She's happy, and quite frankly so am I. Are you really so petty as to take that from her? And speaking of this crew, I've heard nothing but laughter and well wishes from everyone I've come into contact with. Most of which are just happy to see HER happy." His jaw twitched visibly as he tried to control his rising anger, "You're problem isn't that she's in a relationship, its that she's not in it with you. Admit that to yourself and get over it Chakotay."

Chakotay took a step forward, his voice dangerously low, "My problem is that you've got the captain acting like a slut. Stay away from her, or I'll be forced to put you on report."

"For what? Making her happy?"

"I won't warn you again Ayala, back off."

"Or what Chakotay?" He stepped forward, nose flaring, "You'll do what exactly?"

Chakotay took another step forward but was stopped from doing or saying anything else as a voice behind him growled out, "That is enough."

Chakotay turned to see Kathryn standing behind him, her eyes blazing with barely controlled rage. Again his jaw twitched and his fists clenched. "Captain, business or pleasure this afternoon?"

Ayala moved to swing at him but she them, "Enough!" She glared at Chakotay, more than a little hurt shining in her eyes, "You're out of line Commander. What I do and where I go on this ship is none of your business."

"Yes Ma'am!" He managed to bite out, holding back any other retorts he might have made before he finally turned on his heel to march out of the room.

When he'd left, she turned toward Ayala, a brow arched, "Care to tell me what that was all about?"

He sighed, "Unfortunately I think you heard the worst part of it." He fought back the urge to pull her into his embrace and leaned back against the weapons cases again. "I'm sorry about that, he just managed to push all the right buttons."

Ayala moved to swing at him but she them, "Enough!" She glared at Chakotay, more than a little hurt shining in her eyes, "You're out of line Commander. What I do and where I go on this ship is none of your business. Is that Clear."

"Yes Ma'am." He managed to bite out, holding back any other retorts he might have made before he finally turned on his heel to march out of the room.

When he'd left, she turned toward Ayala, a brow arched, "Care to tell me what that was all about?"

He sighed, "Unfortunately I think you heard the worst part of it." He fought back the urge to pull her into his embrace and leaned back against the weapons cases again. "I'm sorry about that, he just managed to push all the right buttons."

Kathryn sighed and lifted a hand to head, "It's alright, I appreciate you defending me, but I don't want you fighting over me." She met his gaze, "I mean that, I won't have it. From either of you."

He nodded once in complete understanding, "You have my word on it."

"Good." She smiled slightly, "I actually only stopped by on my way from Engineering to see if you wanted to go to lunch with me. It was on the way, otherwise I wouldn--"

"Kathryn," He stepped forward and placed a finger to her lips, "lets get one thing straight right now, you don't have to defend yourself to me. I know where you stand as far as this ship and its crew go. They come first. I understand that and I respect that, and quite frankly I would expect no less."

Her lips curved upward into a smile while her eyes shined with emotion, "Thank you." She straightened and inhaled deeply, "Now about lunch?"

He gestured around the locker, "I'm afraid I can't. I want to get this finished before the end of my shift, otherwise I won't be able to meet a certain very beautiful woman for dinner as promised."

Kathryn grinned crookedly, "Oh well in that case, get back to work, that's an order!"

He snapped to attention and gave her a mock salute, "Aye, aye Captain!"

On pure impulse Kathryn stepped forward and pressed a light kiss to his cheek, "I'll see you tonight."

"Well if you insist."

Kathryn paused on her way to the door and looked back at him, "Is that a complaint?"

Ayala winked at her, "Hell no."

She laughed, "Good!" and let the doors slide closed behind her. When they had, she sighed warily. Damn him anyway... She headed toward the turbolift and ordered it to the bridge, completely bypassing the mess hall. When the doors to the lift slid open she marched out, not even acknowledging her first officer with a glance as she strode angrily toward her ready room. "Commander, Ready Room, now." She strode right into the office, right over to the replicator, all without waiting for his response and ordered a very strong coffee. She was just taking her first sip when he strolled through the doors. Kathryn lowered the cup and walked over to her desk where she set it aside. "You've got 5 seconds to start explaining your behavior." She sat easily in her chair and waited, her eyes burning with anger.

Chakotay met her glare with his own, "I think I made myself perfectly clear in the Weapons Locker. You're making a fool of yourself Captain. It's unbecoming an officer and against protocol." He spat the last word, his disgust in it evident.

"Why is that Chakotay?" She lifted her coffee cup again, "Because I found happiness with someone? Even though he is a member of my crew or as was pointed out earlier, because I found someone other than you?" She stood slowly, venom in her voice, "You were perfectly happy to toss said protocols aside when it suited your purpose, but now that I've done it you can't stand it." She slammed the coffee mug down on the desk with a resounding echo. "I will not apologize for my actions, I will not apologize for being happy, and I will damned sure not apologize for who I've chosen to share my life with. No I did not plan this, I did not expect this, and I never would have imagined it even in my wildest fantasies." A pang shot through her heart, of course Chakotay had always been in her fantasies, well at one time he had been. "I am sorry that you cannot expect that. But that is the way it is, and that is the way that it is going to be. I don't know how long this relationship is going to last or even if it is a relationship, but I know I damned well am not going to sacrifice my own happiness because you're so fucking jealous you can't stand it. I don't expect you to accept it, but I do expect you to respect it. As I have done for you, many times in the past." Her eyes blazed, "It takes two people to make a relationship Chakotay and we both screwed up. Get over it." When Chakotay opened his mouth to reply she pointed at the door, "Get out. I've heard more than enough from you today. When you can express yourself as an officer, a friend, and a gentleman I'll listen but until then I don't even want to look at you."

Chakotay considered several things that he would have liked to say to her at that moment, but sighed instead and bowed his head in shame. He nodded silently and turned to go, pausing only briefly before the door. "If he hurts you I'll kill him."

When the Ready Room doors slid closed behind him Kathryn sank back into her chair, tears pooling in her eyes, "You're the one hurting me, he's the one making it better..."



Sometime close to midnight Ayala crept quietly through his Captain's darkened quarters. He had only just finished with the weapons inventory thanks to an attack that had come close to the end of his shift. Needless to say, they had needed to cancel their dinner date. Once he'd finished helping with repairs, Ayala had gone back to deck 4 to complete his work. Now as he quietly pulled his uniform off and carefully sank into the bed next to his lover he smile spread across his face. She looked peaceful, her skin glowing in the light coming from the viewport above her bed. He eased his body next to hers, his arm sliding gently around her waist and chuckled inwardly. She was without a doubt completely nude. She stirred a bit and scooted closer to him, a small sigh leaving her lips as he settled in beside her. Ayala took a moment to simply gaze at her, then leaned forward and brushed a light kiss across her bare shoulder, while at the same time drinking in her scent. Only then did he rest his head against the pillow, his mind pondering a stray thought… He was very close to falling in love with her.


He fell asleep with that in his head, and woke up sometime later with a groan. His hips thrust upward of their own accord while his eyes parted to seek out the owner of the very insistent mouth and hands moving over his body. Kathryn was bent over him, her hair hiding her face as she kissed her way down his body toward the aroused member her hand was currently stroking. At his groan she had glanced up, a wicked gleam in her eyes, a smile curving upward at her lips. "Well good morning." She lifted her leg over his body so that she was straddling him and leaned forward to capture his lips in a hungry kiss. She pulled away several moments later, "I missed you last night."


He grinned, "Well my Captain is a very strict task master, I couldn't leave until every phaser had been accounted for."


She clucked her tongue at him and leaned forward to nibble at his lower lip, "Aww poor baby, I suppose you'll have to do something with that evil task master won't you?" She shifted then and arched over him, sliding her already damp folds along his length.


Ayala groaned and slipped his arms around her waist and then without warning flipped her onto her back and rolled on top of her. "And what would you suggest I do?" He bent his head and nipped at a nipple, then smoothed against the pebbled nub with his tongue.


She moaned and arched off the bed, thrusting her breasts toward his face, "I think I'll just leave that up to your very capable imagination."


"Really?" He suckled a nipple into his mouth and teased it with his teeth and tongue, while at the same time his fingers slid down her body and pressed between her dampened folds. When she gasped as he slid two fingers deeply within her, he lifted his head and grinned at her, "Was that what you had in mind."


She arched against his hand and moaned in response, her hands sliding around his body to rest against his buttocks, pulling him toward her. "Don't tease me this morning."


Ayala positioned himself at her entrance, "Is that a complaint?" His heart did a somersault in his chest at the need and longing shining in her eyes. And was that affection he saw as well in their blue depths?


Kathryn lifted her hips against him, moaning deeply as the head of his member brushed against her opening, "Hell no."


"Good," he sank into her in one thrust, filling her completely, their joint cries of pleasure filling the room. He buried his hands in her hair and kissed her deeply as he began to thrust, slowly at first, and then with more urgency.


Kathryn met each thrust, her nails leaving indentations in his skin where she held tightly to him. Eventually she broke their kiss as her head fell back, her cries filling the room as her climax approached, hovering just out of reach as he began to thrust more urgently into her aching body. When the first wave of pleasure finally washed over her she buried her face in his neck, and wound her arms tightly around his neck. Ayala groaned as walls contracted around him, triggering his own release. He placed a series of kisses across her face as he began to slowly relax against her, then eventually he rolled to one side and pulled her with him.


She stretched luxuriously against him, and slipped an arm around his waist as she cuddled closer, a very satisfied grin spreading across her face. Ayala smoothed his hands along her spine, and glanced at the chronometer beside the bed. Still two hours remained before her alarm would go off. A small smile tugged at his lips as she drifted back to sleep in his arms. He was indeed very close to falling in love with her.


 The next several days passed relatively uneventfully for Voyager as it entered a much quieter sector of space. So quiet in fact it was believed they would be able to set down on an uninhabited planet for much needed maintenance, but the jury was still out on that decision. Kathryn's thoughts on the matter were interrupted though as her lover slipped into a seat across from her.


"Hey," he reached for her coffee mug and sipped from it, ignoring the dangerous glare she shot him.


"Just because we're in the mess hall doesn't mean I won't get you for that later Mister." She snatched the mug back from him and moved it out of his reach.


"Ah, but you're more than welcome to try love, succeeding on the other hand is something we'll have to discuss away from prying eyes."


Kathryn stared at him, her jaw dropping open, not quite believing what her ears had heard. She blinked several times, "What did you just say?"


Ayala was taken aback for several moments, and then stiffened as he realized what had slipped out of his mouth. He sighed finally, realizing that his mind had finally accepted what his heart had been telling him. "Yeah, so," a bold grin spread across his face, while his eyes twinkled mischievously, "What'cha going to do about it?"


Slowly the shock wore off and she leaned forward, a soft smile curving her lips, "Well I might just ask you to say it again, away from prying eyes."


His eyes narrowed and darkened with desire, "Maybe I will."


"Maybe you should," she lifted her coffee mug and drank for it, then stood. "I have to get back to the bridge, I have an afternoon staff meeting."


He nodded, "I'll have to cancel dinner this evening. I'm pulling Delta shift the rest of the week. I traded with Peterson, apparently he's been seeing Crewman Celes."


Kathryn gawked at him, "Tal Celes? The shy one? Barely says a word to anyone except for Billy Telfer? How did he pull THAT off?"


Ayala stood, laughing, "I don't ask questions, I just do the favors as they're asked of me. They've not spent much time together in the last month as they're on opposite shifts, so I'm going to let him owe me one."


She let him walk her as far as the turbolift, and muttered as she realized she'd have to sleep alone for the first time in weeks, "A very big one in fact."


He grinned as she entered the turbolift, "Well I'll just tell Peterson that his Captain says he owes me big time the next time I need a shift trade so that I can spend all night pleasing her."


"You're so bad." She shook her head and laughed.


"Is that a Complaint?"


"Hell no!"


The doors slid closed between them then, and Ayala turned to go in the opposite direction. "Good," he said to the empty corridor.


Three nights later when Ayala fell into bed completely exhausted he wondered if he was just a sucker for romance, friends in need, or both. But then he considered the fact that his mind was just too tired to think about it so he stopped and concentrated on sleep instead. He had only just drifted off when a figure slipped into the bed beside him.


"Hey," the voice was unmistakable.


Ayala opened one eye, "Hey yourself, aren't you due for Alpha shift in," he lifted his head, grunting at the effort and glanced at his bed side chronometer, "10 minutes?"


"Yeah," she laid down beside him and slipped an arm around his waist, "I realized waking up this morning that I couldn't stand going another day without seeing you."


"Hmm," he was close to drifting off again, and pressed her against his side, his hand drawing lazy circles in her uniform jacket. "I miss you too Kathryn."


She lay next to him for a few more minutes, then finally propped herself up on her elbow, "Hey…" she waited for him to open his eyes again, "Remember when I said you might have to tell me again, away from prying eyes."




"Tell me again."


He lifted a hand to cup her cheek, "I love you."


She smiled and turned her face into his hand to kiss the palm. "That's just what I needed." She leaned forward then and kissed him deeply before rising from the bed. "Only 3 more days."


Ayala realized his eyes had drifted closed again, and when he opened them she was gone. He smiled slightly and shook his head, then rolled over onto his side, frowning when his cheek rubbed against something smooth and cool. He lifted it, grinning again at the contents of it. "I love you too. --K" Ayala shook his head, set it on the table beside his bed, and drifted off to sleep. 




On the last day of separation from her lover, Kathryn was sitting in her Ready Room flipping through reports as quickly as possible, all the while knowing that time was slipping by as slowly as possible. Ayala would be waiting for her in her cabin when she got off duty, as he had worked the night before, he had this evening off and would be returning to Alpha shift the following day. Kathryn was practically twitching with anticipation. The realization earlier in the week of just exactly how she felt for him had taken her by complete surprise. It had been completely unexpected, unplanned, and not even in her wildest imaginings would she have seen herself falling in love with a member of her crew. A member of her crew other than Chakotay that was. But here she was, and she had. And she hadn't been this happy, or this fidgety to get off shift since… She drew herself up, since Mark had proposed to her seven years ago. A smile touched her face in remembrance and she sighed. Then she straightened in her seat, admonished herself for getting carried away on duty, and went back to flipping through the boring, senseless, endless pile of reports.


It was half way through her next report that the chime to her door sounded. Happily, she tossed the report aside and sat back in her seat, her eyes flickering to the replicator and the coffee it promised, "Come." When Chakotay walked through the door carrying yet another report she cringed visibly. As his brow went up she sighed, "Sorry, they just don't seem to stop coming in."


"Well," he sat in front of her desk and handed over the padd, "it is that time of the month again."


She cringed again, "Crew evaluations… everyone wants to look good in front of the command team." She lifted the padd and read who it was from, a groan leaving her lips. "I've got six reports on this desk, all of them at least ten pages long, and all of them from Seven." She tossed the padd aside, "Isn't there something you could do? That’s almost cruel and unusual punishment you know."


Chakotay snickered, "I'll have a talk with her."


"Good!" Kathryn stood and moved over to the replicator, ordering that coffee she wanted so badly. "Can I get you anything?"


"No thanks." He waited until she'd had her first sip and was sinking back into her seat. "I wanted to apologize."

She peered at him over the rim of her mug, "Oh?"


"For my behavior, I was out of line. And," he smiled hesitantly, "I was jealous."


Kathryn lowered the mug, "Apology accepted." She stared at the surface of her desk for a moment. "You had every right to be upset."

"No," he shook his head, "I didn't. We were never involved Kathryn, we had no claims on each other. I let my feelings for you cloud my better judgment."


"You're not the only guilty party Chakotay." She met his gaze, "I should have expected that you would move on. I didn't, for that I apologize."


He smiled, "Accepted." Then he leaned back in his chair, "So, how is Ayala these days."


Kathryn's brow shot up, "Fine. How is Seven these days?"




They stared at each other for several seconds, then started laughing. "You're terrible Chakotay."


"Well I'm not alone." He leaned forward slightly, "Seriously, how are things? I meant what I said… If he hurts you I'll--"


She held up a hand, "I know, I appreciate that. But things are actually working out, surprising as it might be." She sighed then, "Oh Chakotay I never expected this to happen. But…" A smile spread across her face, one that reached her eyes, "I'm really, repulsively, against my better judgment happy."


Chakotay laughed, "You look it. And it suits you." When she blushed he chuckled, "Three years ago everything about Seven repulsed me; her attitude and the fact that she had been Borg. And now," he paused, "I'm intrigued by her. Every day is a surprise."

Kathryn leaned across her desk and held out her hand, "I'm glad Chakotay. I really am."


He took the offered hand and squeezed it. "I'm happy for you Kathryn. I might not have fully accepted it yet. But as long as you're happy, I'm happy for you." He stood, "Well I'll let you get back to work, I can tell you're practically wiggling in your seat already."

"Well I could have snuck off duty a tad bit early if I didn't have to read 60 pages of reports from your girlfriend." She gave him a mock glare.


"Yeah yeah yeah," he rolled his eyes, "Just think how much better your boyfriend will appreciate you for having to wait a little while longer."


"Oh get out of here you mongrel!" She was still shaking her head as the doors slid closed behind him. Then she sighed again, a sense of peace flowing over her that managed to make the next two hours much more bearable.


When Kathryn walked into her cabin two hours later, it was to find her lover reclining on her sofa with his feet propped up on the coffee table. She stopped just inside the door, a smile spreading across her face, "Are you comfortable?"


He let his eyes roam over her body appreciatively, "Very." He stood slowly and walked toward her. "How was your day?"


"Excruciating," she moved toward him, going willingly into his arms when they slipped around her waist. "I didn't think it was ever going to end."

"Aww, guess I'll just have to do something about that later won't I?"

"Mmm," she buried her face in the curve of his neck and drank in the scent of him, "I guess you will." She slid her arms around his neck, "Damn you for making me miss you."

Laughter rumbled in his chest, "Well if it makes you feel any better I missed you too."


"Good." She moaned softly when his hands slid up her waist to brush against her breasts, while his lips brushed against her neck. "You keep doing that and we'll never make it to the bed." A week without him had her fingers itching to rip his uniform off.


Ayala pulled back and peered down at her, "Is that a complaint?"


"Hell no."


"Good," it was the last thing he said before sweeping her up and carrying her into the bedroom.


The End…