Disclaimer: The characters belong to Paramount, though I doubt they are very appreciative of my attempt to create karaoke singers out of them!
Karaoke Night At Sandrine's - Part 2
5 years earlier on New Earth...
Kathryn had taken to spending much more time in her garden...partially as a deterrent from the fact that she could no longer continue her research for a cure to the insect bite. To keep her mind off of the fact that she was doomed to remain here in the Delta Quadrant...on this deserted planet. Just her and Chakotay.
Chakotay. That was the other reason she was trying to keep busy. To avoid Chakotay. He had told her an "ancient legend" just a few nights ago, pouring out his innermost feelings for her. How could she have not seen that one coming? She had seen the way he had been looking at her for the past several weeks... while she was researching, across the dinner table, in the bathtub. Maybe he had thought she wouldn't notice...or perhaps it was that she didn't want to notice it.
Regardless, she finally confronted him with her speculations, hoping to be able to define some parameters to make their lives together a little less tense. What she discovered was that the one man she was destined to spend the rest of her life with was falling in love with her.
Kathryn laughed. When she thought about it, it sounded almost...right. And she certainly wasn't immune to the effects. The looks were flattering. Her heart had almost stopped the other night when Chakotay took her hair into his hands and hesitated before moving it aside so that he could massage her knotted shoulders. Caressing it gently. And the soft touch of his fingers against her shoulders...she could feel all the caring and the love there.
Something shook Kathryn from her thoughts, and she looked towards the house. It sounded like singing...and that voice sounded extremely familiar. She got up and walked towards the door. Carefully opening it, she slipped inside. It was definitely singing...and it was coming from Chakotay.
Show me the meaning of being lonely
Is this a feeling I need to walk with
Tell me why I can't be there where you are
There's something missing in my heart
He was seated at the table, working on more of his sand paintings. Oblivious to the fact that he was being watched. Kathryn moved quietly back towards the door, not wanting to disturb him. But she couldn't help but notice how nice of a voice that he had.
There's nowhere to run
I have no place to go
Surrender my heart, body and soul ---
Kathryn stumbled onto the edge of a small table by the door, sending the items atop it tumbling to the floor.
"Kathryn?" Chakotay asked, rising from his seat. She fumbled around, trying to lift the scattered items from the floor...silently cursing herself for having been caught eavesdropping.
"I'm sorry...I didn't mean to intrude."
Chakotay smiled. "That's ok...I thought it might have been our little primate friend." He took his seat again, and went back to work, motioning for her to join him. "I thought you had left."
Kathryn stepped back into the room and sat down across the table from him. "I did go for a walk earlier. Just now, I was working in the garden when I heard something in here." She could feel the blush rising in her cheeks. "I never realized that you could sing so well."
Chakotay's eyes widened at her remark. He glanced in her direction, then hastily averted his eyes back to his painting. "I...don't do it very often. I was feeling uninspired this morning, so I started shuffling through the song database Tom left with us. Mostly 20th-Century music. Found a few good songs. I guess the lyrics just sort of stuck in my head."
"Any other lyrics lurking around in there?" Kathryn asked boldly. Chakotay was stunned by this question, not only by the request for more of his singing from the woman he loved, but by the invitation in her voice. At first, he didn't know how to respond...or what song to respond with. Suddenly the perfect song popped into his head. He knew it was risky...but it was a risk that he felt was worth taking.
Chakotay reached across the table and took one of Kathryn's hands. He enveloped it with his own as he began to sing.
Open your heart to me
And say what is on your mind
I know that we have been through so much
But I still need you in my life
And I need you tonight
I need you right now
I know deep within my heart
It doesn't matter if it's wrong or right.....
Kathryn gazed intensely into his rich brown eyes, hanging on every word he was saying. At this point, it no longer mattered if this was a song he had heard or not...these words were coming directly from his heart. She knew that as well as he did. As he finished the song, Kathryn placed her other hand over his, rubbing his fingers lightly.
Chakotay continued to stare into her eyes, not wanting to break contact. He raised their joined hands and gently kissed her fingers. She smiled back at him, tears glistening in her eyes. Suddenly, she loosened her grip and rose from the table. Chakotay was ready to apologize to her for any wrong he had done. But she walked around the table and stood in front of him. He rose in front of her, maintaining eye contact.
They stood staring at each other for a few more moments. Kathryn rested her hands on his chest, feeling his pounding heart. Feeling all the love inside. Chakotay brought his hands up and rested then on her arms, softly stroking them. A single tear slipped from her eye, tracing its way down her face. Chakotay reached up to brush it aside, and his touch lingered there against her cheek.
Kathryn's breath caught as he leaned down, moving his face closer to hers. Her entire body tingled when his lips finally touched hers...soft and sweet.
"Voyager to Captain Janeway...please respond..." came the static voice from the nearby comm badges. Kathryn immediately moved out of Chakotay's arms, refusing to look back up at him. She picked up the comm badge, replying to Tuvok.
Thirty hours was all they had left. Kathryn looked around the room at all the items that would need to be packed up before Voyager's return. But none of that mattered. She glanced towards Chakotay, who was watching her quietly. Not sure what to say...if anything needed to be said.
"I...I'll go collect my personal things," she finally stated, her voice choked with emotion. Kathryn couldn't help but think of what had almost happened here. What they had almost done. She moved quickly into her room, and broke into tears as she knelt down beside her bed.
Chakotay could hear her sobs from the other room, but he knew there was nothing he could do. Tomorrow, they would return to Voyager. A Captain and her First Officer. Nothing more. He retreated to his own room, tears fresh on his cheeks as he thought of his lost chance at true love.