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Let Him Know - Part 2

Chakotay rushed from his quarters, late for dinner. He had wanted to change clothes, something more comfortable than the starched uniform. He had wanted to replicate a single red rose for Kathryn. There were so many things he had wanted to do to make tonight special. But none of those things happened.

Just after his shift ended, Harry had approached him to discuss a problem. It had never been his policy to turn away a crew member in need. So he listened. And listened. Harry talked on and on, and Chakotay felt himself growing more and more distressed. Finally, Harry asked for Chakotayís opinion of the situation he had described, and an embarrassed First Officer had to admit that he had not heard all that was said. Harry apologized, understanding that the Commander had a prior engagement, and left his office. By that time, Chakotay was already late, and did not have time to worry about rescheduling with Harry for the next morning.

Kathryn rushed around to get the dinner on the table. There were so many other things she had wanted to do before Chakotay arrived. She had picked the perfect dress for this evening. It was the one Chakotay loved so much. Maybe if he were just a few more minutes late...

Breep. So much for that idea, Kathryn thought as her door chimed. Well, her uniform would just have to do. Maybe he wonít even notice. Right. If only the Doctor hadnít cornered her after her shift had ended.

Chakotay entered Kathrynís quarters, hoping that she wouldnít notice his uniform. When he saw her, he suppressed a groan. Black and red. There were no romantic intentions for this evening. Just dinner. Good thing you didnít have time to change, he thought.

Kathryn looked up as Chakotay entered the room. She almost cringed when she saw that he had not changed from his uniform. Maybe he really doesnít have any more interest in you, she thought, as she showed him his seat at the table.

Dinner went very well. They discussed shipís business. Their usual dinner conversation. Just before dessert, Kathryn decided that she would be more comfortable telling Chakotay her feelings if they were not at the table. Suddenly, she felt extremely nervous.

"Would you like to have some dessert on the sofa?" was what she managed to say, and when she saw the look on his face, she immediately blushed. Only when Chakotay began snickering did she feel better. Poor choice of words, she told herself.

Chakotay almost couldnít believe what Kathryn had said. He realized that it was a mistake, and could not help laughing. The embarrassment on her face spoke volumes.

"Thatís not what I meant...I...what I wanted to say..." she stuttered, when Chakotay interrupted.

"I know what you meant. That would be great." He walked around to pick up the two plates of strawberry cheesecake and joined her on the sofa.

When they had finished dessert, Kathryn felt that the time was right to tell him. She had relaxed somewhat, and so had Chakotay. She felt more comfortable with him tonight than she had in several months. And she wanted him to know why.

"Chakotay, thereís something Iíve been wanting to talk to you about all day. It concerns a very personal matter."

"Iím listening."

Kathryn looked at his face. So handsome and so sincere. She began the speech she had rehearsed in her mind all day.

"I know that things between us have been a little tense lately. If I have seemed distant, then I must apologize. Itís just that I have had so much to sort through, but I think that I have finally come to a realization...something that Iíve known all along."

Chakotay stared into her eyes. God, how she had missed that. She could see once again all the feelings he had for her. Now she was ready to return those feelings.

"Chakotay, I..."

Breep. "Bridge to Janeway," Harryís voice called out. Damn, she thought as she tapped her badge to respond.

"Yes, Ensign?"

"A Sunari vessel is hailing us. They wish to speak to ĎOur Leaderí."

She sighed. She was never going to get her chance to tell him. "On my way," she replied, tapping her badge again. She looked back over at Chakotay. He was still gazing intensely at her.

"Iím sorry. Maybe we can finish this conversation later?"

"Well, I have an early shift tomorrow. Perhaps over breakfast?"

She smiled half-heartedly. This evening had not ended as planned. But she had waited this long. A few more hours wouldnít hurt. "Breakfast would be fine. Iíll see you at 0630."

[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ]
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