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Summary: Chakotay gets involved with this menacing little game...what does he choose? Believe it or not, I got the idea for this story from an episode of South Park!!!

 

Truth Or Dare

"OK, Tom. It's your turn. Truth or dare!" B'Elanna Torres blurted, teetering forward on the edge of her chair. Tom Paris immediately averted his eyes away from her, undecided on which action to take. He had already witnessed the cut-throat questions she had unleashed on some of the others when taking "Truth". Yet he had also seen what damage could be done on one of B'Elanna's dares. He sighed.

"Dare."

B'Elanna's lips curled into a devious little smile. Tom instantly knew that he would regret this later.

Chakotay entered the mess hall in search of some lunch. Not that he was really looking forward to what Neelix had prepared, but he knew that he needed to eat something before returning to his long afternoon shift on the bridge. He noticed that most of the senior staff was huddled in the corner, a small audience surrounding them. Curious, Chakotay immediately returned the tray he had lifted from the stack and walked over in their direction.

As he approached, a large gasp arose from the group. Then Chakotay saw the reason for their reaction. Tom's face was noticeably green as he continued to ingest one of the most famous...and one of the most disgusting...creations that Neelix had invented, affectionately known as "Talaxian Surprise". Chakotay felt his own stomach turn as he thought of how few crewmen were able to stomach this concoction...and knowing that Tom was not among them.

"What in the world are you doing?" he finally asked once he was able to get near the table.

Tom glanced up at Chakotay and swallowed another bite. B'Elanna and Harry were doing their best to hide their laughter, but someone from behind began to snicker loudly, and the entire group started to laugh uncontrollably. Now Chakotay was even more confused.

"I'm sorry, Chakotay," B'Elanna began, finally regaining some of her composure. "We were just playing a little game of 'Truth Or Dare' and..."

"No, let me guess," he cut in. "Tom took a dare." The giggles started again as B'Elanna nodded her head. "Tsk, tsk, Tom. You should NEVER take the dare, especially with a Klingon. She once made me eat something that was *moving*!"

Harry snorted. "You should hear some of the stuff she was asking when we took the *truth*! It was getting pretty embarrassing!"

"Want to join in, Chakotay?" B'Elanna asked innocently, batting her eyelashes.

"I don't know..." he started, only to be met with much opposition from the crowd that had gathered. He began to chuckle. It was good to see the crew engaged in some recreational activities...and getting along with each other, for that matter. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad.

"Oh, alright. But only for a few minutes. Some of us *do* have work to do," he responded, cutting his eyes in B'Elanna's direction.

"Great! You can go next," Harry said, resting his arms on the table in front of him. "Truth Or Dare".

Chakotay took one more look at Tom's face, wondering how much longer he would be able to last without having to report to Sickbay.

"Truth."

Harry, B'Elanna and a few others huddled together and began whispering, attempting to determine just what information they wanted to retrieve from their commanding officer.

"I know what we could ask," B'Elanna whispered behind her hand to prevent Chakotay from hearing.

Harry's raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Are you serious? Would that be appropriate?" he murmured, noticing a few people in agreement with him.

Chakotay was worried. He could only imagine what questions were racing through B'Elanna's mind. Perhaps he should have taken the risk of having to eat something disgusting. Finally the group reached an agreement, and they all turned their gazes back towards Chakotay. He braced himself as B'Elanna cleared her throat.

"Do you have any romantic feelings towards a higher ranking member of this crew?"

Chakotay groaned. He had stepped right into this one. Of course, there would have been no other member of the crew that he would possibly be interested in other than Captain Kathryn Janeway. And B'Elanna knew it. She had been trying to get him to admit it for years, but he confessed that it was nothing more than admiration and deep respect. Damn it. Now she had him backed into a corner. Of course, he could always lie, but that wasn't the point of the game. Besides, B'Elanna always knew when he was lying. And he would suffer dearly for it. Tom interrupted his thoughts.

"Jeez, B'Elanna! Why didn't you just go ahead ask Chakotay if he's in love with..."

"Captain Janeway!" Harry yelped, leaping up from his seat at attention. A few others followed his action and immediately dispersed. Tom covered his mouth and bolted for the doors, his Talaxian Surprise feast getting the best of him. B'Elanna's eyes were wide with terror and Chakotay could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as Kathryn's voice cut through the suddenly silent mess hall.

"At ease, Ensign. What's going on here?" Kathryn asked, moving to stand next to Chakotay, her left eyebrow raised in curiosity. She rested a hand on his shoulder, and he could feel every remaining eye on them. B'Elanna finally spoke up.

"We...we were...just playing a harmless little game to pass the time. But I really do need to go and work on...on..." she began stammering, trying to find an easy exit.

"Systems diagnostics!" Harry blurted, remembering his original assignment from earlier that morning. "We needed to finish up those diagnostics!"

"Yes! Good thinking...I mean...let's go!" B'Elanna finally stated, and she grabbed Harry's arm as she headed for the door, Leaving Chakotay all alone with his Captain.

Kathryn watched curiously as the crowd which was once gathered around Chakotay all retreated to the corners of the mess hall, and in some cases, exited the room altogether.

"Did I interrupt something, Commander?" she finally asked, taking an empty seat across from him. Chakotay could feel the blush in his cheeks, remembering how close he was to admitting to the crew his real feelings for the person now sitting directly in front of him.

"It was nothing, just a game."

"Oh?" she asked, seemingly intrigued. Chakotay offered her a smile. Should he tell her what was really going on? Shaking the thought, he forced himself to look into her eyes. Her sparkling cool blue eyes. She was smiling back at him. Now Chakotay was worried that maybe Kathryn had heard too much of the conversation. "What kind of game?"

"Oh, you know B'Elanna. Any kind of game in which she can inflict pain on her fellow crew members."

"Is that why Tom had that sickly look on his face as he raced out of here?"

Chakotay laughed. "That would be it exactly. He took a dare from a Klingon."

"You were playing 'Truth Or Dare'?" she asked, resting her chin on her hand. Chakotay was very surprised. Did Kathryn actually know of this game?

"As a matter of fact, we were. Have you played very often?"

"I remember playing if a few times when my sister and I were kids. I always made her play so I could force her to do chores around the house that I didn't want to do myself. Typical sibling torture. But I no idea that my crew played it so often."

He grinned. "Neither did I. I had just joined in when you walked up."

"Well?" Kathryn inquired, slightly cocking her head to one side.

"Well, what?"

"What is your answer? It was your turn, wasn't it?"

Chakotay felt the blush returning. She *did* know. He had to get out of this one, and fast. "What makes you think that?" he asked, resting his arms on the table.

"Didn't I hear Tom say something about..."

"Oh, that...well, it was...unimportant," Chakotay quickly jumped in, cutting her sentence short. "It was just a simple yes or no question. I wasn't about to take on a dare after I witnessed Tom's punishment." Maybe that would suffice. He certainly did not want to repeat the question for her.

Kathryn squinted her eyes. "You're not getting out it that easily. Besides, we're both on break. No need to stop a perfectly *harmless* game." Another smile danced onto her lips. "So what did they ask you?"

Chakotay found himself unable to turn his eyes away from her. There was the prospect that maybe...just maybe, Kathryn knew what the question was, and that she really wanted to know what his answer would be. He took a deep breath.

"They just wanted to know if I had romantic feelings towards a member of this crew."

"Actually, Commander, that's not totally correct," Neelix intervened as he was setting Kathryn a fresh cup of coffee down on the table. "I believe what they asked was if you had romantic feelings for a *higher ranking* member of the crew."

Chakotay shot an evil glare up at the ship's morale officer and lowly growled. "Thanks so much for...clearing that up."

"You're welcome," Neelix replied, unaffected by Chakotay's obvious discomfort. "Besides, you wouldn't want to be caught lying to the Captain, now would you?" He began to chuckle as he meandered off to another table.

Chakotay looked back towards Kathryn, who was trying her best not to laugh out loud. She was doing a terrible job of it. To that end, he felt relieved. At least she seemed to be taking everything in jest. "Now that wasn't so difficult, was it?" she snorted in spite of herself.

He slowly shook his head, grinning. Chakotay couldn't figure out just what Kathryn was up to, but he fully intended to find out.

"OK. Then let's pick up from there," she continued, resting both arms on the table. "*Do* you have romantic feelings for a higher ranking member of this crew?"

He could feel his heart racing, but he attempted to keep his composure. Never blinking, Chakotay replied quietly. "Yes."

Kathryn felt her breath catch in her throat, shocked that he would actually answer the question. Shocked...and absolutely thrilled. It had been many years since New Earth, when Chakotay had revealed that he felt something for her. She had been sure that with the passing of time, those feelings had melted away. As Kathryn continued to gaze into his deep brown eyes, she realized that those feelings were still stirring. And not only within Chakotay.

"It's your turn," she finally said, resting back in her seat.

Chakotay cleared his throat. Kathryn's reaction to his reply had taken him completely by surprise. She had been speechless. She also appeared to be...happy. Maybe he had been wrong to assume that Kathryn cared nothing for him. And now, he had the perfect tool for finding out.

"Truth or Dare."

Kathryn contemplated the question for a moment before responding. "Truth."

"What's the matter? Are you scared?" he teased.

"I resent that, Commander! I'm not afraid...just cautious. Besides, I can't help but remember poor Tom."

"Agreed," Chakotay responded, resting his chin in his hand. He needed to ask the perfect question. What was it he really wanted to find out, aside from the obvious? And once more, how could he be subtle about it?

The hell with subtlety.

"Do you often think of what could have been on New Earth?" No sense dancing around the issue. Chakotay wanted to know...and he quickly found out with her response.

"Everyday."

He felt that his heart would burst with joy. Kathryn *did* still care for him. Perhaps more than he realized. She continued the game, not wanting to elaborate.

"Truth or Dare."

Chakotay wanted desperately to pick up the pace, but it was a pace that she needed to set. Besides, it had been Kathryn's idea to keep playing. "Truth."

"Now who's scared?", she responded, a cool edge to her voice. "Okay...tell me what you *really* thought of me when you first set foot on my ship."

He was taken aback by the question. He was worried where such a response could lead their good friendship. A friendship that he never wanted to lose.

"Are you sure you want to hear this?"

"Definitely. I won't take offense. I've always valued your opinion."

Chakotay let out another deep breath. "Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you." He locked his eyes with hers and unleashed his feelings.

"I thought you were a selfish bitch who cared about nothing but her precious Starfleet rules and regulations. A captain who didn't give a damn about what her crew thought or felt. A person who was deceitful, manipulative and spiteful..." he trailed off, noticing the disbelief on Kathryn's face. She had reached up to cover her mouth, but Chakotay wasn't finished yet. He began to smile.

"And I saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my entire life. Your cool blue eyes, dazzling auburn hair, smooth skin. A brave, daring and extremely bright individual. I knew from that moment on, that I was going to have a real problem keeping myself from *not* falling in love with you."

Kathryn was fighting back her tears now. So many thoughts were racing through her mind that she didn't even hear Chakotay continue the game.

"Kathryn, are you alright?"

She finally nodded her head, swallowing to attempt to regain her composure. She knew that it was time to move forward. Shakily, Kathryn replied, "Dare."

A little stunned, but nevertheless pleased, Chakotay closed his eyes. It was now or never. "Say that you love me too, Kathryn. Say that you love me with all your heart. But only say it if you really mean it."

Kathryn didn't hold back any longer as the tears trickled down her cheeks. "I do, Chakotay. More than you could ever know. I love you with all my heart."

Chakotay grinned a huge dimpled grin. He was becoming more and more pleased that B'Elanna had talked him into joining this little game. Now it was time to get really serious, and before Kathryn could ask the question, he replied. "Dare."

Kathryn didn't hesitate. "Kiss me."

He was stunned once again. "Here? In front of the crew?" Chakotay couldn't believe his ears...not that he really minded.

"Yes. I dare you to kiss me right here. Right now," she demanded, reaching up to swipe away another stray tear.

Without hesitation, Chakotay reached across the table and delicately took her hand. Stretching her arm out, he gently pushed back her sleeve, barely brushing his fingers across her skin. He lifted her hand and began to plant light kisses along the pulse point of her wrist. He could hear Kathryn drawing in a quick breath.

Unable to resist temptation, Chakotay flicked his tongue against her wrist. Kathryn shuddered at the sensation. He continued his assault, slowly moving his kisses into her palm and all the way to her fingertips. When he finished, Chakotay caught her gaze again and smiled.

The desire was burning so brightly in Kathryn's eyes that he thought she might leap across the table. Just the thought...and a few detailed mental images...sent his mind reeling. In a very low and sultry voice, broken by her heavy breathing, Kathryn finally commented. "That's not *quite* what I had in mind."

"You said to kiss you. You didn't say *where* to kiss you."

"Is it too late to modify my request?"

"Yep. It's my turn now. Truth or Dare."

"Dare."

"I want *you* to kiss *me*, Kathryn."

"No specifics?" she questioned, cocking her head to the side.

"Only that you can be as creative as you want," he answered, lifting his eyebrows.

Kathryn slowly stood up and sauntered around the table. Resting her hands on his shoulders, she nestled herself onto his lap. She reached up and began to tease her fingers through his hair. Chakotay released a low groan of pleasure as her caresses trailed down to his neck.

She began to place feather light kisses across his forehead, slowly moving down the side of his face, and eventually stopping at the corner of his mouth. Chakotay turned his head, trying to draw her into a deep kiss, but Kathryn pulled back before he could do so.

"This was *my* dare, remember? I control where this kiss will lead," she teased, starting to kiss him down around his chin and slowly beginning to move along his jaw.

"Please, Kathryn," he pleaded, wrapping his arms tightly around her waist to prevent her getting up.

"No way, mister. You had your chance," she whispered into his ear before she sat back up. "Now it's my turn. Truth or Dare."

"Dare."

A devilish grin curled onto her lips.

B'Elanna was growing more frustrated at the onslaught of whispering emanating through Engineering. She had finally had enough of it, and confronted the nearest target.

"What the hell is everyone talking about?" she roared at Ensign Mendel, who was manning the workstation next to hers.

"You haven't heard? Someone said they saw Commander Chakotay kissing the Captain in the mess hall and that it was getting quite intense. Like there wasn't anyone else there. I think they were playing Truth or Dare. Can you imagine? Our commanding officers fooling around like that in front of the crew?"

Ensign Mendel was talking to thin air. She noticed B'Elanna sprinting for the exit. "I guess she wanted to see this for herself," she laughed, returning to her work.

On her way down the corridor, B'Elanna ran into Tom, who appeared to be feeling much better.

"From that look on your face, I assume you heard what I heard."

"Damn right. I can't believe they kept playing. I mean...the *Captain*! What happened to..."

She was cut off by muffled laughter. As Tom and B'Elanna rounded the next corner, they saw Kathryn and Chakotay locked in a deep kiss, leaning against the wall and their hands all over each other. Tom and B'Elanna stopped dead in their tracks, their mouths gaped open.

Kathryn opened her eyes and noticing the audience, broke the kiss, gently pushing Chakotay back. She took his hand and began to pull him along behind her, passing right by her senior officers. Chakotay was sporting one of the biggest grins either of them had ever seen.

"As you were," Kathryn stated before bursting into a fit of giggles. She pressed the entry key to her quarters and walked inside. Before Chakotay followed her inside, he glanced back at Tom and B'Elanna.

"What can I say? I took a dare!" he said, as Kathryn reached out to grasp the front of his uniform. She tugged him into her quarters, leaving two stunned crew members alone in the corridor.

"I...I...I..." B'Elanna stuttered, not able to speak in complete sentences.

Tom smiled broadly. "C'mon, B'Elanna. We're about to become incredibly rich with rations."

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