GAMBLE EVERYTHING FOR LOVE

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Paramount, the order of the words belongs to me.
© Shayenne, Ocotber 2009 Please email me to post/distribute elsewhere.
Rated R

Written for VAMB's Secret Ficlet Exchange. My match, Skyspirit, asked for J/C/Kashyk, with no C/7 or slash. She gave the first line: "Just as I had been willing to risk everything for the Brenari and Voyager, Chakotay had been willing to risk everything for me. At the thought, my dark, faltering heart opened." I hope this comes close to what you wanted. Title is stolen from Aussie singer, Ben Lee.

 

Just as I had been willing to risk everything for the Brenari and Voyager, Chakotay had been willing to risk everything for me. At the thought, my dark, faltering heart opened. I'd believed that side of him had gone, subsumed by the demands of duty and the confines of uniform--both his and mine. Although I knew I could trust him, although he still played the part of the perfect first officer, I'd thought that the spark of attraction that had bound us together in the early years was extinguished.

And I thought it was for the best. Captain and first officer were a stronger team when the ties that bound them were those of friendship and loyalty rather than love and lust. Or so I told myself. So I'd let the possibility of more fade into the empty spaces between our words.

But when we encountered the Brenari. When we took an immense risk and hid them onboard, when the Devore inspection teams started springing their presence on us, sure in the knowledge that we were transporting telepaths, it was then that Chakotay made it very plain that he had not given up on me.

I found Inspector Kashyk... interesting. There was a cunning, a ruthlessness, a manipulation to him that I recognized, as I too hold those qualities, but I like to think I keep them in check. Looking at him was like looking at a fractured image of myself; this was how I could have been. Maybe if I'd joined the Maquis, or found a cause less honorable than Starfleet, this is how I would have been.

I certainly found him attractive. And pitting my mind against his was stimulating. It gave me a keenness for life that had been absent all too often in the grind of the Delta Quadrant.

Kashyk knew we had the Brenari on board, although he couldn't determine where we held them. I sensed that Kashyk enjoyed the hunt and the matching of wits as much as the capture--that was evident in his small games of one-upmanship, in the way he singled me out, in the feral gleam of his smile. And when he "defected" and requested asylum on Voyager, I knew that was merely his next move in our game of strategy.

His game of seduction ran parallel to the hunt. I knew he wanted me, and I knew that, in his mind, when the game was over, when the Brenari were in a penal colony, when I was conquered in his bed, then he'd move on without a second thought.

But I wanted him as well. Starship captains have appetites as much as anyone else, and it had been a long time since mine were saited. I planned on letting him "conquer" me, and I planned on enjoying it. And then, of course, I'd twist things around and deceive the deceiver. The Brenari would be safely delivered through the wormhole, and Voyager and her captain would sail off into the sunset, heart and bulkheads intact.

But things are never that simple. I'd left Chakotay out of this equation and I'd failed to take into account how well he knew me, how effortlessly he could discern the machinations in my head.

He came to my quarters one evening. It was late. I'd just returned from visiting Kashyk in the guest quarters, where we'd fenced our usual advance and retreat, the give and take of information false and true, a game of lies, deceptions and maneuvering.And yes, we'd played the sexual game too, the one of power and flirting, of verbal innuendo and not-so-casual touches and brushes, and of glances held too long. We had yet to kiss, but I knew it wouldn't be long and I wanted to taste him, to let the clash of our bodies echo the clash of our minds.

Chakotay was waiting inside my quarters when I returned. A spurt of annoyance flared; he didn't often override my code, indeed, I could count the instances on one hand, and there'd always been a good reason--until now. He had a bourbon in his hand--from my replicator--and his eyes glittered in the semi-darkness.

"You're playing a dangerous game, Kathryn."

I shrugged. "I can handle it. I can handle him."

Panther-like, he moved closer and I smelled the sweet, sharp scent of the bourbon on his breath.

"Can you? He doesn't want you, you know. Not in the way you want him."

Stung by his assumption, I retorted, "And how would you know what I want?"

A finger traced its way down my cheek, and I hissed in surprise. He hadn't touched me like this since New Earth, and maybe not even then. Not like this, not in coiled anger and yes, sweet, hot tension. But this Chakotay was different from the calm, controlled man who sat by my side every day.

"I know what you think you want, Kathryn. You think you want sex. Fierce, casual, no strings sex. And you think Kashyk is the perfect man for that."

My eyes narrowed. "You're out of line," I spat. "I should put you on report for talking to a superior officer like this."

He smiled, a humorless creasing of his lips that didn't reach his eyes. "But you won't. Because you know I'm right." He turned away from me. "Kashyk will give you what you think you want. But he'll destroy you in the process."

I crossed to him and took the glass from his hand, draining it in one swift gulp. The bourbon burned a pathway down my gullet. I really didn't want to discuss this, so I tried deliberate misdirection. "I doubt that. We've discussed this plan. You know very well how we will feed him the incorrect coordinates for the wormhole."

"The wormhole, yes." He continued to watch me. His hands, now that he no longer had a glass to occupy them, clenched at his side. "But we have never discussed your other plans."

"That is none of your concern. And if that is all, you are dismissed."

"The wellbeing of the captain is always my concern. And I can't let you enter into a liaison such as this. It's too dangerous. Our plan will work without you sweetening the deal."

I stalked closer, jammed my hands on my hips and glared into his face. "Once again, Chakotay, it's not your concern. Whom I fuck is not your business and never will be."

His hands shot out and gripped my shoulders. I could feel his thumbs pressing into my collarbones. "But it is my business, Kathryn. If you want a swift, impersonal fuck you can find it without endangering this ship and this crew."

Chakotay's meddling irritated me, as well as his assumption that he had a say in this. "I suppose you're volunteering?"

I expected him to back down. In truth, he had no other option; if he were to reply that yes, he was, he was risking everything we had: professional, personal and our friendship. I didn't expect him to cross that line.

He smiled, but there was a hardness to it. "Your wish is my command, Ma'am."

Definitely crunch time. I had no time for deliberation, and I knew what I must do. One part of me was sad that he had pushed it so far, as I wasn't sure our friendship could withstand this. Chakotay had crossed that line, and protocol stated that my next move must be to call security and have him escorted to the brig. My hand raised to hit my comm badge, but it was caught in his firm grip.

"Let go of me!"

"No, Kathryn. Not yet. Not until you agree to leave the inspector alone."

"It's none of your-" And his hands grasped my shoulders and he stopped my words with his lips.

His kiss was firm and assured. There was no hesitation, no tentative touches, no reverence. He simply took my mouth with his own, parting my lips, sweeping his tongue inside.

At first I fought him, struggling under his hands, but it was momentary. For the lick of desire traveled from his lips on fiery pathways to my belly, and the slow burn of need started. My hands found his waist, at first to push him away, but as he kept kissing me, as his plunder continued, I found I was gripping the fabric of his uniform, unable to summon the strength to reject him.

When he was sure that my surrender was complete, one hand left my shoulders and wound into my hair, disarranging its neat style. The other traveled down, splaying over my lower back to urge me closer, up and against his body. The evidence of his want was unmistakable; how had I ever thought this man passive or indifferent? Here was the promise of as much fierce, sweet sex as I wanted. And here too, was the love that I thought had evaporated, alive still and strong as ever.

Eventually, of course, he had to release me. His hands slackened, allowing some distance between our bodies. My lips tingled and I missed the feel of him under my hands.

"That," he stated, "is just the beginning."

His complacency should have irked me, but in truth, my anger had melted in the flames.

"You can have it all, Kathryn. Right here."

"The Brenari-" I began.

"Our plan will work without the extra distraction." He smiled down at me, and there was warmth and tenderness in his gaze. "Trust me on that.And we will work too, Kathryn, as lovers and partners in command. You can trust me on that as well."

And I did.

(((FIN)))

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© Shayenne, October 2009. Please email me to post/distribute elsewhere.