WHEN THE BATTLE'S LOST AND WON

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything but I doubt they want this.
Rated PG-13
Pairing: C/Kashyk

Written for Quantum Silver in VAMB's secret ficlet exchange, following on from her most inspiring first line. Title from Macbeth by W. Shakespeare.

 

"She'll never sleep with you."

He watches the other man's face; a movement of the lips that masquerades as a smile. It slides away as swiftly as it arrived, a flicker of emotion that passes, leaving his face as blank and expressionless as the dark side of the moon.

"Who says I want to sleep with her?"

~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~

"It's a trick." Janeway rounds the ready room desk, coffee mug in her grasp and places a hand on her first officer's shoulder. "Inspector Kashyk is trying to gain our trust. I don't believe he's sincere in his intention to defect. He's trying to establish we're carrying telepaths across Devore space - and then he will impound us."

Chakotay nods and watches a few drops spill from the waving mug to splash onto the carpet.

"We must flush him out," Janeway continues, "force him to reveal his hand. I have a plan."

He already knows this plan. He doesn't know every twist and turn, but he's worked with Janeway long enough that he knows how her mind works. And he knows her. He's a quiet study of human nature--it's one thing that made him such a good terrorist, that allows him to wear the facade of perfect first officer so effortlessly.

He can guess her plan easily enough. What he doesn't know is the outcome.

"Kashyk is attracted to me," Janeway continues. "I will use that attraction. Play along. Lull him into dropping his guard." She flashes him a look that clearly says she expects him to object.

He's supposed to rise to his feet, anguish in his expression. No, Kathryn, he's supposed to cry. You don't have to do this. He remains seated and still. He knows she wants this; he can smell her lust, her desire. He senses the uncoiling of tight-held tension in her belly. He knows how that feels, knows the urgent throb, the heaviness of deep, lambent desire.

He rises, takes her hand and kisses her cheek. It burns. Lust is soaking through her skin.

"Be careful, Kathryn," he says.

~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~

Kashyk takes up residence in the guest quarters. There is a guard outside his door. Chakotay watches and waits. He catalogs the comings and goings from the guest quarters; indeed, half the crew knows the captain often leaves in the silent hours after midnight, hair disarranged, jacket slung casually over her shoulder.

Her plan is not working. He can see it in the tiny frown on her brow, in the way she snaps at him when he enquires as to her progress with Kashyk.

~ ^ ~ ^ ~ ^ ~

"Inspector." He nods to the other man as they pass in the messhall.

The room is quiet, the kitchen closed. It's the same silent hour, past midnight, not yet dawn, if ever there is such a thing on a starship. Chakotay crosses to the galley and finds the covered plates of sandwiches Neelix leaves for the crew. He helps himself to a couple, makes tea. When he turns, Kashyk is there, leaning against the counter, watching him with hooded eyes. There's a dark aura around him although that's probably the dim lighting of the galley.

The ship is traveling at warp, en route to the wormhole where the telepaths will make their escape. The stars are wavering ribbons of light. He knows they're beautiful, but he doesn't dwell on their luminescence any more. He takes them for granted, the way that any familiar thing becomes commonplace, but he still moves to a seat beside the viewscreen by habit and concentrates on his food.

Heavy footfalls cross the deck plating to his table. Kashyk sits down uninvited. He has taken no food or drink.

Chakotay realizes this isn't a chance meeting. Kashyk was waiting for him. There's something he wants to say, some new facet to the game he's playing.

"She'll never sleep with you," Kashyk says.

Chakotay shrugs and picks up his sandwich. He looks away from Kashyk, through the viewscreen as if the slide of stars is suddenly the most fascinating thing in the universe. How swiftly they pass.

"Me, however." The inspector reaches and picks up Chakotay's mug, takes a mouthful of the contents.

Chakotay continues to stare out of the viewscreen, but he can see the other man's face out of the corner of his eye, see his heavy swallow, the working of his throat. The mug is placed carefully back on the table.

"She will sleep with me." Kashyk watches him for a reaction. There's a coiled glee to his words, words he thinks will wound, will hurt, will provoke outrage.

Chakotay continues to munch, outwardly placid. He's centered within himself, and the words pass over his head. He concentrates on the sensation of food in his mouth, how it feels to be satisfied.

"What's it like, Commander, knowing that I can take so easily what you have tried for years to obtain?"

Chakotay puts down his sandwich and smiles. "Is that what you think?" He reclaims his mug, sets his lips to the place where Kashyk's have touched and takes a deep draught. The liquid scalds, but he swallows and reaches again for the sandwich.

"It's what I know."

"If it pleases you to think that, then go right ahead."

Kashyk's fingers, encased in the black gloves he always wears, drum lightly on the tabletop. "Shall I take her?" he muses. "Shall I take what is so freely offered?"

"Is that what you want?" Chakotay looks at him full in the face for the first time since Kashyk sat down. "You don't strike me as a man who takes the easy path."

Kashyk smiles, a calculated twist of his thin lips. "You don't know what I want, Commander."

It's Chakotay's turn to smile. "Oh, but I do." He leans forward across the table, close enough that he can taste the other man's breath. "You want to torment, to dominate. You want sexual release and power. And you want Voyager's command codes." He leans back. "You want all of those - not necessarily in that order."

Kashyk's eyes are hooded and he leans back in his chair, mirroring the other man's posture. "And Kathryn Janeway can supply them all. What a joy it will be to take her."

Chakotay laughs, a harsh sound that rattles out of him. "Except for one thing: you don't desire her."

"That's irrelevant. I want what she can give me. You're a good study of people, Commander, I give you that. And maybe you have a point here. What is the challenge in taking something freely offered? I could put fear in her eyes, I could break your captain, but something given willingly is already under my control. Maybe there's a better option."

Chakotay's glance flickers to the side. It's a tiny gesture, so subtle it should go unnoticed. But the other man registers the movement, and this time his smile is genuine and stretches across his face.

"Now that is interesting. I wonder what has discomforted you? Is it the thought that I can break your captain, the woman you love, take her, use her, fuck her, and return her to you broken?" He leans across the table and the black-gloved fingers snap in a circlet of steel around Chakotay's wrist. "Or is it that I've found someone else? Someone who fears me now, someone who doesn't want me, someone who would be unwillingly dominated. Someone else who holds Voyager's command codes."

Kashyk's thumb rubs small circles on Chakotay's inner wrist. A small gesture, outwardly soothing, but the thumb presses hard in the tender spot between the tendons.

"Why, your pulse is racing. I wonder why that could be?"

Chakotay meets Kashyk's eyes. "Maybe I enjoy the mental stimulation of sparring with you."

"Call it what you will. You're lying." Abruptly, he releases Chakotay's wrist and sits back in his chair. "So what is the plan? Does Kathryn believe I'll be so besotted by her wiles that I'll forget about the telepaths you have hidden here?"

Chakotay stares steadily, then picks up his sandwich, taking a bite. He chews slowly, even though his stomach is churning. "Kathryn takes you at face value: you want to defect from the imperium. She's helping you attain that."

"Yes, the little... girl whose plight touched my hardened heart. I believe that's the version I gave your captain." Kashyk grips Chakotay's wrist again, and his fingers scissor with enough pressure that the sandwich falls back to the plate. "However, none of us believe that, do we?"

His fingers tingle as blood pumps in and cannot return. "Then what do you want?"

"You listed my needs already."

"Do you want the telepaths?"

Kashyk shrugs. "They're irrelevant. My capture figures are the highest in the imperium. I can afford to let some slip by... if the rewards are great enough."

Chakotay jerks his wrist, but the black-gloved fingers tighten. "We do not barter with such as you."

"Who said anything about barter? I'll take you, Commander. And if the experience is sufficiently pleasurable, then I may well be too occupied to notice when the telepaths leave the ship."

Chakotay leans forward across the table. "No." He hisses the syllable with menace, with control, with power.

"Yes." A flurry of motion and Kashyk is on his feet, still holding Chakotay's wrist.

Chakotay stands to avoid having his shoulder wrenched. His tolerance for pain is far greater than that, but he doesn't wish to reveal everything just yet.

"It's your choice." Kashyk's eyes are dark with lust and avarice. "You take me to your quarters now and tell your captain you're unavailable for your next duty shift. If you are sufficiently... distracting, there should be ample time for Voyager to reach the wormhole. The real wormhole, the one you think I know nothing about. I would find you a good distraction, Commander. Men are so much more enjoyable than women."

Chakotay's eyes flicker, but his face betrays nothing of his thoughts. "And if I refuse?"

Kashyk steps close, into Chakotay's personal space and his hot breath licks over Chakotay's skin. "Then I take your captain up on her kind offer. However I doubt she will be sufficiently diverting to keep me amused. Women are so fragile." He smiles, the dark smile of the inner secret. "And Prax and his ships are close. So very close."

Chakotay maintains the facade of thought, and allows a flicker of revulsion to show on his face.

"The last female I took did not survive the mating." Kashyk releases Chakotay's wrist and turns away. "Your choice, Commander."

"I accept on one condition."

"You are not in a position to make demands."

"You do not tell Kathryn of our... arrangement."

"I accept. Lead the way, Commander. I hear your quarters are most comfortable."

Without looking back, Chakotay strides toward the corridor, his feet beating a tattoo on the deck plating.

"Such devotion," muses Kashyk. "Such selfless and deep love you must hold for Kathryn to want to save her from me. You almost had me fooled; you were sufficiently convincing when you said you didn't want to sleep with her. You made me doubt my interpretation of human nature."

Ahead of him, Chakotay keeps his eyes fixed firmly in front. Anticipation surges within him, excitement and pride at the mind games he's just won. Lust stirs and he allows it to build, deep and dark, an uncoiling of his elemental nature. It's been so long since he's taken his pleasure in this way. Kashyk will be a worthy adversary, a true inflictor of pain, of brutal dominance. And he will be a magnificent fuck. Best of all, he trusts the other man not to reveal their agreement to Kathryn. His secret, his true nature, will remain hidden, the perfect officer's facade glossy and uncracked.

"I've never lied to you, Kashyk," he says.

(((FIN)))

Quantum Silver has written a wonderful companion piece to this story from Janeway's POV. You'll find her story, "Ere the Rise of Sun" HERE

Feedback? Please. Shayenne

Back to Shayenne's J/C Fiction

© Shayenne, May 2011 Please email me to post/distribute elsewhere.