CONJUGAL RULES

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything, including this particular version of Kathryn, but I doubt they want this story. Which is lucky, as it's mine.

Rated PG-13 Lots of innuendo. No sex, dammit.

I actually wrote something lighthearted and happy! For Brianna, who demanded happy fic, and threatened dire consequences if I wrote another weird and morbid story. That this story also has no redeeming value whatsoever is probably another plus point. Thanks to Brianna and Mary S. for the wonderful betas, and Jinny R. for the equally wonderful non-beta.

Today she would tell him.

Today, Kathryn would tell Chakotay that she loved him, and Starfleet, protocol, and the captain who normally governed Kathryn, could go to hell. Seven years of celibacy --well, mostly celibacy -- were more than enough. It was a practical decision, one she had thought through logically and from many different angles. As it was, the crew openly encouraged them so it was sure to boost morale. It would consolidate and strengthen the command team, as well as tacitly encouraging others to form relationships and enjoy their lives to the fullest. And it was a personal decision too, since she loved the man, and surely Starfleet couldn't expect her to throw away her personal life completely. Well, they probably would expect it, if she were honest, but tough; she wouldn't have to face them for another thirty or so years. And some regular sex wouldn't go amiss either, that always improved her mood.

She lay in bed for long minutes after the computer's wake up call, planning how she would tell him. Nothing syrupy, no roses and candlelight, merely a straightforward declaration of the fact in the ready room, to which he would doubtless respond with awe, wonder, and disbelief. Maybe she should alert the Doctor - Chakotay wasn't getting any younger and a medical emergency was a distinct possibility. She would probably have to convince Chakotay that he wasn't dreaming and she wasn't possessed - a kiss should do that. Then they could make a dinner date for later, and she would call B'Elanna to draw up some plans for shared quarters. And then they could go to bed. On second thoughts, maybe B'Elanna could wait until morning.

The existing sheets had coffee stains on them and she didn't know how fastidious a partner he was, so she recycled them. She considered briefly as to whether she should replicate a slinky nightgown, but it seemed like a waste of rations - she didn't plan on wearing it for long and she needed the rations for coffee. As an afterthought, she threw Mark's photo in the drawer face down, and moved Chakotay's photo further forward, in front of the one of her dog.

Kathryn was pleased to find a quiet table in the messhall. There needed to be ground rules for this relationship, and she could draft them over a cup of coffee. Thumbing the PADD on, she input a heading, and then the first rule.

1. Replicator rations are to be pooled.

As she used far more rations than he, that rule should ensure her coffee supply. Taking a long draught of coffee, she quickly added two more rules.

2. Shared quarters will continue to be known as the captain's quarters.

3. In the event of the dissolution of this relationship, both parties will leave with the assets they brought into the relationship. Property jointly acquired during the term of the relationship will be divided 60/40, Janeway/Chakotay.

She wished she had a copy of the agreement Mark had made her sign. Mark the fastidious had compiled a list of rules for their relationship that had contained over two hundred items. Chakotay was more easy-going, and the fact that she outranked him would make over half of Mark's rules unnecessary, so Kathryn was sure she could keep their own list down to a minimum fifty rules or so.

27. Contraceptive boosters are to remain current at all times, unless there is written consent from both parties.

She'd rather own a dog herself, but she felt she owed it to him to at least make a nod in that direction.

Kathryn continued to input rules as her coffee cooled on the table beside her. Division of space in her quarters, removal of body hairs from the shower--luckily he wasn't a hairy person--ah, most important, an agreement to exclude Starfleet compensation and back pay from rule three. Briefly, she wondered about stipulating a minimum and a maximum number of times per week for sex--which was something Mark had insisted upon--but after a brief deliberation she omitted it. That clause of Mark's had always annoyed her. And sometimes it had been damned inconvenient finding the time for the specified minimum of three.

Her comm badge chirped, startling her out of her absorption as Tuvok's measured tones came through clearly. "Senior staff, report to the bridge." The blare of the red alert klaxon sounded, but she was already on her feet, heading out of the messhall at a fast trot.

Behind her, on the table, the PADD of rules lay forgotten in a puddle of cold, spilled coffee.

***

Naomi emerged from the galley, where she had been helping Neelix serve breakfast. The red alert had proved to be nothing, just another blip in Voyager's day, but the stampede of senior staff to the bridge had left a trail of destruction in its wake. Naomi sighed, and put her hands on her hips in an unconscious imitation of the captain. Much as she loved Neelix, serving in the messhall wasn't a suitable duty for a captain's assistant. But her mom had insisted, shooing her out of their quarters at 0600. Really, thought Naomi, her mom could be so dense at times. Everyone on Voyager knew that Joe Carey crept in at 0601, leaving just in time to make the 0800 start of his shift. When she'd asked B'Elanna what they were doing, and why didn't they want her around, B'Elanna's face had turned an interesting shade of purple. "They're probably playing a sort of game of twister," she had replied, "and they might get embarrassed if you see them falling over."

Naomi thought that it must be a very funny game, as even the thought of it was making B'Elanna laugh, but she continued to go off and help Neelix in the messhall three mornings a week.

This morning, the chaos was worse than usual. Naomi gathered the bowls and cups, taking them back to the gallery for Neelix. There was a PADD on the table where the captain had been sitting. Now this was better - a real assistant's job! Naomi carefully wiped the PADD, and put it in the pocket of her smock. She would return it to the captain later.

She was still helping Neelix when Tom and Harry returned to the messhall to resume their interrupted breakfast. Naomi carefully carried over a cup of green tea for Harry and a coffee for Tom. As she reached over to place the tea in front of Harry, the PADD fell out of her pocket, onto the floor.

Tom bent down to pick it up. "You need to be more careful with classified information, Assistant Wildman," he joked. "You don't want Flotter's secret assignations revealed."

Naomi pinkened. "Give it back," she said, making a grab for it. "It's the captain's."

Harry grinned. "Captain Flotter?"

Naomi's death glare proved she was a worthy captain's assistant. "Captain Janeway," she said witheringly. "Give it here, I'll prove it." She activated the PADD, and taking a deep breath, started to read. "Terms of Agreement For A Conjugal Relationship Between Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay." Her eyes widened. "What does 'conjugal' mean?"

"It means playing twister," said Harry absently, then spluttered tea over the table like a plasma leak. "Did she just say what I thought she said, Tom?"

There was a moment of silence as the lads digested Naomi's words.

Tom leaned back in his chair. "Very funny," he said. "You really had us believing you for a moment there. You can close your mouth, Harry. She's joking."

Harry's mouth snapped shut with an audible click. "Of course," he said, taking a huge bite of his pastry. "I didn't believe you for a moment, Naomi."

A small foot stamped the deck plating so hard that several crewmen at the next table turned to stare in amazement. "I am NOT making it up," she said. Turning her attention back to the PADD, she continued reading. "1. Replicator rations are to be pooled. 2. Shared quarters will continue to be known as the captain's quarters. 3. In the event of the diss... diss-o-loot-ion of this relationship, both parties will leave with the assets they brought into the relationship..."

Harry choked on his pastry, and crumbs sprayed over the table like a wide-dispersal stun beam.

By the time she got to the rule regarding contraceptive implants, the thirty or so crewmen in the messhall were gathered around Naomi, as frozen and disbelieving as a group of Vulcans on Risa. When she read the final rule -- number sixty-two -- there was a moment of complete silence not dissimilar to the silence that always greeted Janeway's announcements that auto destruct had been initiated. Then a babble of voices rose in disbelief.

"The Doc should relieve her of duty on the grounds of insanity..."

"She should stick to holograms if she expects this sort of thing..."

"That rule about acceptable sexual practices... My jaw fell down so far I nearly choked on my pips!"

"What about the subparagraph on that rule regarding holograms! Maybe Michael hasn't been deactivated after all!"

Naomi looked around in bewilderment. "I thought you'd all be pleased," she said. "Everyone wants them to get together."

Tom turned and lifted her onto the table. "We do," he said. "We all do. But this list... She's gonna scare the man away, not entice him in. Although," he looked pensive, "rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C has some merit..."

"I didn't understand that one," said Naomi.

"I'm not sure I did either," muttered Harry, brushing pastry crumbs from his uniform jacket.

"I'll explain later," Tom whispered to Harry. "You might like it. Celes certainly will, if you approach it in the right way. But now," he raised his voice to include the assembled crewmen. "We have to do something about this. Would anyone here start a relationship with the person they loved if they had been handed a list like this?"

A chorus of 'no' and 'not likely' swelled in response.

"So," Naomi cut back to the crux of the matter. "What do we do? If I give the PADD back to her, she'll give it to Commander Chakotay. And he'll go off and find another blonde woman or something, and then they'll still be apart and the captain will be madder than hell again. The last time he found a blonde woman, my mom dyed her hair brown to avoid the captain's nasty looks."

"You're not supposed to say 'hell', Naomi." Tom reprimanded her absently. "But you're right. Hell, we can't let her give him this!"

"We could rewrite it," said Naomi. "And the captain is real busy so she'll never look at it again, and then she'll give it to Commander Chakotay and he'll agree, 'cos he'll like what we've written."

Harry groaned and dropped his head to the table, into the puddle of green tea. "Exactly how many people can fit into the brig?" he muttered into the crumbs.

"Depends if they're alive or dead," replied Tom cheerfully. "That's a great idea, Naomi. Let's get started.

Naomi enthusiastically activated the PADD. "I'll input."

"Is that a good idea?" Harry looked like auto destruct was preferable to this. "You're, uh... not the most accurate, Naomi."

Beady eyes looked daggers at Harry from under the small Katarian horns. "I found it. It's my PADD. And it's my idea." Her bottom lip quivered like Neelix's leola root custard.

Tom kicked his friend under the table. "It's not such a bad idea, Harry," he whispered. "If Janeway does read it before she gives it to Chakotay, then it'll be obvious Naomi wrote it. Not any of us," he added meaningfully.

Naomi arranged herself cross-legged on the table. "How do we change rule one?" she asked.

"Replicator rations to remain separate, except for a pool to be used for mutual pleasure?" Crewman Amon yelled from the back.

"Great stuff, Marty." Tom gave the grinning crewman the thumbs up. "I can't wait until we get to the hologram rules!"

"Number two, shared quarters will be know as 'The Captain's Boudoir'?" suggested Celes timidly.

Harry flushed, his ears turning pink. "I thought we agreed we'd never tell anyone about that particular game?" he whispered loudly to her.

"'The Command Team's Boudoir'?" amended Neelix. "She was being very possessive before; what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine also."

Naomi laboriously entered the amendment.

***

Kathryn's door chimed, and she called for entry. "Naomi." She smiled across at her assistant. "What can I do for you?"

"I brought this for you, Captain." Naomi pulled out a PADD from her pocket. "You left it in the messhall this morning when the red alert sounded."

For a moment, Kathryn's mind was blank before she remembered. Oh yes, the relationship rules that she planned on presenting to Chakotay later that day. The red alert had driven it completely out of her mind. Lucky the child had found it before anyone else had. "Thank you," she said, then as Naomi continued to hover, "You are dismissed, Captain's Assistant."

"Thank you, Ma'am." Naomi headed to the door with alacrity.

Kathryn left the PADD on the desk and returned to her reports. She would summon Chakotay later, just before shift change. That way, if he was as overwhelmed as she envisaged, she could lock the ready room door and give him a convincing demonstration of her sincerity.

***

She called Chakotay to the ready room a couple of hours later. He hovered in the doorway, report in hand, seemingly assessing her mood. Temptingly, she patted the seat next to her.

"Sit down here, Chakotay. You look a bit tired."

He sat down next to her, looking faintly alarmed when she moved closer than normal. "Are you all right?" he asked.

"Never better. I have something for you."

"Will I like it?"

For a brief moment, she regretted the absence of candlelight and rose petals. This seemed a bit clinical somehow. But, it wouldn't take long, and then they could move on.

"I hope so. I've been thinking," she said carefully. "And I think it's time that I tell you something. Something important."

"Oh?" He still looked wary.

Anyone would think she was about to hit the auto destruct, she thought in irritation. She laid a hand on his thigh, letting her fingers curl around to caress the inner surface. When she stole a glance at his face she was pleased to see she had been correct in her assessment. Awe and wonder flitted over his countenance, followed swiftly by disbelief.

He covered her hand with his own and swallowed convulsively. "Kathryn?" His thumb dared to stroke the back of her fingers.

Raising a hand to his cheek, she smiled as he turned his head to catch her fingers with his lips. Oh my, he certainly caught on quickly.

"I love you." There, finally the words were spoken. She waited, with fluttering heart, for his reaction.

What had happened to the disbelief and nervous stammering she had expected? Chakotay turned, with fluid swiftness, and pushed her back on the couch. His fingers entwined in her hair, holding her immobile.

"Finally," he said. "Finally."

And he kissed her, and for once the liquid turnover of her belly wasn't due to Neelix's cooking.

***

Later, much later, she pushed him away, rearranging her uniform with unsteady fingers. Her body felt branded where he had touched her; she could still feel the glow from his slow, heated hands as they meandered leisurely across her pleasure points. The hard part was done, the words said, and returned. Now, all she had to do was get his thumbprint on the list of rules and they could start wrangling good naturedly over who got to keep their underwear in the top drawer. For a moment, in the light of recent experience, she considered adding Mark's rule specifying a minimum number of times a week for sex--maybe she could up it to five--but, reason reasserted itself. Five times a week would be difficult to fit in when they were on opposing shifts.

Crossing the room, she located the PADD on her desk where Naomi had dropped it.

"Here," she said. "These are the governing terms of our conjugal agreement. Read them over, and unless there's anything you want to negotiate, once you've agreed we can start tonight."

Her crushed and swollen lips, and the tender points of her breasts made her hope that he would simply agree. Then they could go to her quarters, and ... Her mind shut down; nothing in her previous experience had compared to Chakotay's thorough loving.

She studied him as he read the PADD. For a brief moment, his lips twitched, as if he was about to laugh.

"Do you have a problem with something?" she enquired. "I drafted this myself, over coffee this morning. Most of it is standard, and straightforward."

"No," he said, his tones surprisingly strangled. "Not so far. Just let me finish."

She wandered away from the couch to let him finish in his own time. She could see his reflection in the viewport; his shoulders were shaking as if he were crying. Poor man; he was probably overwhelmed - she had rather rushed him on this.

A couple of minutes later he came over to stand next to her. "Here you go, Kathryn," he said. "I have no problem with any of this, I've added my thumbprint, it just needs yours to make this a legally binding document."

She pressed her thumb to the PADD. That was a lot easier than she had expected.

Chakotay wrapped his hands around her shoulders, drawing her close against his chest and dropping a kiss on her forehead. "And now, my Kathryn, let's go home. I can't wait to see how you intend on carrying out rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C."

(((FIN)))

Feedback? Please. Shayenne

There is now a sequel to this story. Read Rule Fifty-Eight, Subparagraph C here. Also rated PG-13

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