A New Day

Disclaimer: Voyager belongs to Paramount. But sometimes when pets are treated badly by their owners then they have to be taken away, I don't see how this is much different.

Authors note: This first chapter is set on Voyager back in the delta quadrant, however, the story eventually moves to the alpha quadrant, and continues from some time after End Game. The two books after End Game have been ignored because they don't develop the JC idea, which is a shame, as it would have been nice for Paramount to ammend some of its mistakes.

Thanks to Kathryn Janeway (who may remane herself Queenie) for the title suggestion.

Obviously this is mainly a JC, but it does also feature some PT moments, and briefly mentions D7, but not into too much detail. Fans of Seven probably won't enjoy this too much. Mwahahahahaaa.

Enjoy.

/

Chapter one: The end of the beginning

Chakotay was sitting in the mess hall, eating breakfast, when he was ambushed by B'Elanna and Tom. He looked up and exchanged 'good mornings' with them as they sat down opposite him, with thier own trays. "Any particular reason you've decided to join me this morning?" he asked as they settled down.

"Do we need a reason to visit our favourite Commander at breakfast?" Tom said as he shoved something undescribable into his mouth.

Chakotay smiled slightly, "no, it's just you both have that... look that you get when you're up to something."

B'Elanna shrugged, "not up to something, we're just concerned about a member of this crew, and we wanted to talk to you about them."

"Oh right," Chakotay put on his serious command face, "who?"

"The Captain," Tom answered.

"The Captain?" he sounded suprised, although, come to think about it, he wasn't.

"Yes," B'Elanna went on, "she's been acting differently lately."

"Different how?" Chakotay had noticed something also, but wanted to know what they had noticed.

"I don't know," the half Klingon frowned, "I can't quite put my finger on it."

"Like the other day," Tom cut in, "when I thought I'd be clever and I raced those Guegon pilots through the nebula in the delta flyer, but ended up losing the left wing when we were caught in a plasma storm, the Captain just shrugged."

"I thought Tom was going to go back to ensign for sure," B'Elanna came in with her two pence worth.

"She just asked me how long repairs would take, and hardly flinched when I said two weeks," Tom continued, "I thought she was going to at least shout at me, or say how disappointed she was with me. But nothing, she just told me I'd better get started on the repairs."

"And remember in the last briefing, I forgot the Captain was there at all, until you turned and asked for her opinion. I swear she had no idea what you were on about, she just said, 'what ever you think is best Commander'." B'Elanna shuddered, "it's not like the Captain to leave the ship's business to what ever her first officer thinks is best."

Chakotay looked a little annoyed, "it sounds like you don't think the Captain trusts me on ship matters," he folded his arms.

"That's not what I meant Chakotay, and you know it! Usually she'll at least hear out your opinion, before she goes with it."

"True," Chakotay rubbed his chin thoughtfully; he too had thought it odd at the time.

"Don't even get me started on the atmosphere on the bridge at the moment," Tom started.

"Then don't," he was cut off by his superior officer who stood up from the table, his breakfast only half eaten. "My shift's about to start, I'll think about what the two of you have just said."

"Have you and the Captain had an argument?" B'lanna asked the obvious question.

He looked sharply at his old friend, "no," he said firmly, "I'll see you both later."

Before either of them could say anything else, the Commander was heading out of the mess hall. "They've fallen out about something," Tom returned to his breakfast, not quite sure what was worse, Telaxian or Bolian cuisine.

/

The Captain sat in her reading room with a stack of reports on the coffee table in front of her, but she wasn't reading any of them. Her mug of coffee sat forgotten and cold on the table, as she stared out of the port hole to her side, and watched as the blur of lights passed by her. Without buzzing to gain permission for entry, Chakotay entered through her ready room doors. She didn't even turn around to face him.

"What's this about?" he folded his arms, and looked over at her with grave concern.

She looked slowly across at him. Her hair was perfect, her makeup- perfect, her uniform- creasless but her face pained, and he didn't know why. She let out a sigh, the first sign that she was actually breathing and finally met his eyes, "if you could change one thing in your life, one thing from your past, what would it be?"

Chakotay frowned and crossed his arms, but thought for a moment, "I don't think I'd change anything," she looked suprised, "otherwise I wouldn't be here, in your ready room right now. Everything has happened for a reason, and I'm happy with what it has lead to." He smiled sweetly, "why do you ask?"

She looked away from him, and returned her gaze to the window. "No reason."

He let his arms drop to his sides, and went over to her, to sit beside her, she didn't seem to notice that he had moved at all. "What would you change?"

Kathryn seemed a little shocked when she realised that Chakotay had moved to sit beside her, but quickly recovered and looked over at him. "Lots of things," she replied, "too many things."

"Let me guess," Chakotay said with a soft smile, relaxing back a little, and resting his arm on the sofa, "destroying the array would have been one of those things you would have changed?"

She thought for a moment, "no, if I went back and did my life over again, I wouldn't have taken Voyager."

The answer suprised him, "a different ship?"

She shook her head, "I would have stayed a science officer, paid less attention to my career, and more attention to my life."

Finally Chakotay felt like he was getting somewhere. "Started a familly?"

He thought she would retreat at that point, tell him she had work to do, and ask to be left alone. But she nodded. "Probably."

"It's not too late now you know?" he said sincerly.

She looked at him, unconvinced, "on a starship, as the Captain, thousands of light years from our home?" she came close to laughing, but the humour never even made it to her lips, "no," she shook her head, "I gave up on all that when I destroyed the array." Finally a smile did make its way to her lips, but it wasn't her radient smile, it was ironic and almost fake, "I think Mark knew that a familly was out of the question the moment I was promoted to Captain."

"You both wanted a familly?" Chakotay asked softly.

Kathryn shrugged, "he said he was happy either way. And I think he would have been, for a while."

There was a moments silence between them, before Chakotay broke it, "dinner tonight?"

"I'm not in the mood," she gave her excuse.

"My place, I'll cook," he shot her his best smile.

She grinned, although it didn't quite make it to her eyes, but nodded, "19:00?"

"We'll talk about this later, okay?" he rested a hand on her shoulder as he stood.

She shook her head, "no, let's talk about something different; I need a distraction."

/

He tried his best to keep her distracted, he even made her laugh a few times, but her grim expression always returned. The odd silence and eerie calm always returned and washed over her. He brought out her desert, strawberry cheese cake, and sliced apple for himself. He handed the plate to her, and sat down beside her on the sofa.

After several moments, he noticed that she hadn't touched her desert, and looked up at her, confused. "Don't you like it?" he asked worriedly.

She looked up at him, suprised, almost as if she had forgotten that he was there at all. "No, it's just," her voice sounded throatier than usual, as if she was struggling to speak. She put down the plate on the coffee table, "I'm just not hungry, sorry," she appologised.

"Coffee?" he asked.

She nodded absently, so he stood up and went over to the replicater. He returned with two mugs, but something about her made him put them down on the table instead of handing her one. Her breathing was a little ragged, and she was looking down at the floor, he sat down beside her again, and reached out to lift her chin up. He saw her eyes glisten with unshed tears, and as their eyes met and locked, a lone tear escaped and ran down the side of her face.

It was the first time he had seen the Captain cry. Sure, he'd seen her come close to shedding a tear here and there, but to actually watch them fall down her face was something new. Not a good thing, he didn't enjoy seeing her cry, but it was the first time that she'd let him see her let her self go in such a way, and so he decided it wasn't a bad thing either.

He had wanted to take her into his arms, to kiss the top of her head and whisper soothing words, but he knew that that was crossing the barrier, and so placed a hand on her upper arm, and gently caressed it. In the end it was Kathryn that closed the gap between them, that leant forward, wrapping her arms around his waist, as she rested her head on his shoulder. He responded carefully, taking his arms around her body, and gently drawing circles on her back.

She didn't cry hard, but enough to make him worried. She quickly calmed down, and just leant against him, leaving him to wonder what was wrong.

Chakotay was lost so deeply in thought that he hardly noticed it at first. Kathryn had shifted a little in his arms, one of her hands had come up from around his waist and was rested lightly, almost teasingly on his shoulder. He almost thought he had imagined it, then she did it again; placed a soft kiss on his neck, and then on his shoulder, that felt warm and welcome, even through his uniform. She returned her attention to his neck, his collar bone, his jaw line, placing small kisses, that although barely touched his skin, sent shivers down his spine.

The hand that was still on his waist started to move, it followed the edge of his trousers, then slipped under the back of his shirt. Skin to skin. Then her hand on his shoulder moved to his neck, then cupped the side of his face, turned his head slightly, and suddenly they were making eye contact. She met his eyes, and watched them as she placed a kiss torturingly close to his lips. She smiled at his suprise, and ran a finger along his lower lip.

Pulling together all the strength that he had, he reached up and grapped her hand, pulling it down from his face. He was about to remove her other hand, but her lips were on his before he had time. He felt himself respond to her touch, he tried not to, he knew he shouldn't, but knew he would. He thought about stopping her, but he never got passed the thought, in truth, he didn't want to stop her.

All his self control went as he felt her hand idly make its way up his inner thigh. In one swift movement he'd pulled her onto his lap, and moved his hands to unzip the top of her uniform. She let him, busy with starting to remove his uniform. Somehow they removed their jackets without parting theirs lips, and he felt suddenly abandoned when Kathryn pulled away from him and climbed off his legs. He was worried for a moment that she'd changed her mind, but the moment didn't last long, she stood in front of him, her eyes still locked with his.

Slowly, and teasingly she kicked off her boots, as he did his, their eyes never parting. It was almost a strip tease, she pulled her shirt over her head, the StarFleet grey vest the only thing left covering her bra. He smiled as she started to pull it up, her skin beneath it just starting to show, before she let it drop. He frowned, but she just leant her head to one side, "want to lend me a hand?" she asked in a seductive voice, that he found he was unable to refuse.

He stood and wrapped his arms loosely around her waist, kissing her softly and passionately on the lips. Then he helped her out with the rest of her clothing.

/

"Last night," Chakotay stood by the door of the Captain's ready room, "what was it about?"

"Which part?" she asked coyly, although sounding disinterested, and not even bothering to look up from the report she was reading.

He felt hurt; he had given her everything he was that night, and she had climbed out of his bed, dressed, and left his quarters, leaving him to wake alone, without a goodbye or a word of explanation, for anything.

"The part where you cried, where you kissed me, then when we..." he trailed off, he wasn't sure it was the same experience for her that it had been for him, but he decided to continue when he saw her put down her padd, cross her arms, and look blankly and fiercly across at him. "And then when we made love," he finished.

Her lips parted to say something, then she seemed to change her mind and closed them. It was unlike Kathryn to be lost for words, but it was also unlike her to cry his name in his bed.

She stood from where she sat and made her way over to her favourite port hole. It always seemed to help her to clear her mind, and figure out exactly what she wanted to say. "I," she took in a deep breath, "I recieved some bad news earlier this week, from Earth. For the first time in a while I was reminded what I was missing out on, being here on Voyager."

She smiled to herself, "sometimes I can fool myself, that it's better here; I don't have to listen to StarFleet Admirals tell me what to do. I'm closer to my crew than most Captains can say they are. And I know if I hadn't have destroyed that array, all my Maquis crew would be in jail, that Tom and B'Elanna wouldn't be happilly married and expecting a baby, that I wouldn't have you as my best friend."

Kathryn stopped, her hands behind her back like a perfect StarFleet officer, and she turned around to face him. "Yesterday that wasn't enough for me, the day before it wasn't either, or the day before that. If I'm honest with you, and if I'm honest with myself, I was starting to think that I was the only one not any better off for my decision. I realised the reason why that was, is because I'm the Captain, I'm the only one that's not allowed to move on; to be happy."

"You really believe that?" Chakotay was still stood near to the door, but neither seemed to feel the distance between them.

"Last night I wasn't the Captain, I was the woman that you wanted me to be, and for a time I could forget about everything I was missing out on here, because for that moment, you were all I needed."

"What are you trying to say?" he sounded worried, but almost expected it.

She started to close the gap between them, part of her thinking that it would be easier that way; less painful. "I can only give you a night here and there and a divided friendship; divided because this ship and crew must always come before it. That would be enough for me. But I know it wouldn't be enough for you."

"Anything more than friendship that you have to offer me would be more than enough," he protested.

Kathryn placed a hand on his chest and met his eyes. "Sex isn't more than friendship, if anything it lessens it, unless it is part of a committed and loving relationship, and I can't give you that." She let out a sigh, "we're better off as friends, than two people who sleep together to escape reality."

"So you want to forget that last night ever happened?" He reached out and cupped her cheek with his hand.

She shook her head and covered his hand with her own, "no, I just don't want it to undermine our friendship."

Chakotay let out a long breath, for some reason he didn't feel as hurt as when he had entered her ready room, but it still pained him to hear what she was saying. "Do you think if we weren't on Voyager it would be different?" he had to know.

She smiled up at him, "everyday," she replied.

"Easier maybe?"

"Nope, but better."

She pulled him down to her for one final kiss, that melted on his lips, and accepting that it couldn't be any other way, he left her ready room, prepared to move on with their friendship.

End of chapter one.