Destiny: Painful Sight

By Kate O'Riley

Disclaimer: Paramount owns them, but they were stupid enough to let Braga have something to do with them. So I'm borrowing them, to let them have a quick bit of happiness before being thrown back into oblivion.at least until another fan fic writer brings them back out. Which won't be long, since the thing every serious J/Cer loves most, of course, is fan fic!

Codes: J/C.is there anything else? Spoilers: "Unimatrix Zero" Series: This is part of the Destiny series, the other Chakotay story being "Invisible Man", the other Janeway stories being "True Irony" and the companion to this, "Blessed Sight". I'm also working on more "Destiny" stories. If you want to keep an eye out for them, they're the ones with "Destiny: (title)". They'll also mention a companion piece. To fully comprehend each story.read both.

Other: Please excuse me if the details aren't entirely correct, it's been a while since I saw "Unimatrix Zero". E-mail me any corrections, and I'll be happy to make them.

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Personal log, supplemental I'd never been so grateful for that transporter than I was earlier. When we got Kathryn, B'Elanna, and Tuvok back. I hadn't realized I could run so fast. I almost knocked over an ensign. But that run seemed to last forever. I couldn't help but worry. Would she be all right? Would she have been turned into a cold, heartless creature, like Seven?

No, I told myself. Seven had been raised in the Collective. Kathryn, my Kathryn, could never become like that. She had always been so caring, so compassionate, so full of life and love for it.

Still, as I ran, matched almost step by step by Tom, I couldn't help but feel that fear. What had the Borg done to her? Had they cut off one of those graceful arms? Had they taken one of her beautiful blue eyes? Had they taken.Kathryn?

I burst through the door, and the sight that met my eyes was so typically Kathryn. She was standing by the Sickbay replicator, ordering coffee. If it hadn't been for that, I couldn't have recognized her, with her body covered in Borg implants.

"Kathryn!" I cried. I could have hugged her, have swept her off her feet, never letting her go, but she held her hand up.

"No, Chakotay. Don't come any closer. I can still hear them. They've broken Tuvok. I don't want them to break me too. I don't want to hurt you." Her eyes were full of sorrow. She gave me a weak smile. "Besides, I can't control these things," she said, holding up her hand. Assimilation tubules were popping in and out, in and out. "Don't want to accidentally assimilate you."

So I stayed back, although it hurt me. I tried to shift my focus to B'Elanna. Tom and B'Elanna were awkwardly hugging each other, despite the risk factor. I noticed Kathryn watching them, a wistful look on her face. She glanced back at me, and her expression almost broke my heart. I started to step towards her again, but she picked up her coffee and headed for a biobed. I followed, and sat on the one next to her. "What happened, Kathryn?" I asked softly. She gave a shudder. "I'd rather not talk about it right now, if you don't mind, Chakotay." In her eyes I saw. We didn't need words. I saw the terrible pain she'd gone through, mixed with the determination to get the job done. I saw her courage. I saw her hope. I saw her relief. I saw something else in there, something that I've seen before, the occasional flick that sustains me. It was love. She attempted another smile. "How's Voyager?" she asked, her tone as bright as she could make it. So we discussed the ship for a while, then moved on to other, impersonal things.

There's one good thing about having a hologram as a doctor; he's fast. Within six hours, all three had had their implants removed and were lying on biobeds, resting. I stayed in sickbay the entire time.

I helped Tom with Kathryn, putting her medical gown on myself. I'm sure she would be embarrassed to know that, but I wasn't going to let Tom. Besides, I used a towel to cover her as much as possible. But most of her skin was so fragile, newly regenerated. The Doctor had replaced her hair, and it laid in a tangled mess. She was still so pale. I wanted to hold her, to never let her go.

I stayed there for hours more, but it didn't seem like it. I waited to see her wake up. Finally, she did. Those beautiful blue eyes, eyes I thought I might never see again, opened and looked at me. Her lips came up into a smile.

"Chakotay."

I could do nothing but smile back myself. "Kathryn." I whispered hoarsely. I couldn't say anything more. But she knew.

My Kathryn was back. End log.