Shared Fate

Abbey Carter, VOY
Archive: Sure.
Summary: Kashyk thinks about Janeway.

Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse?

Bruce Springsteen, The River

I have won. I know I have won.

When I left her bridge, her expression was that of a conqueror standing among graves. On my ship later, Prax busied himself with reading revised protocols.

On Devore I drink, I kiss my lover; yet I cannot lose the taste of her bitter coffee, the firm press of her lips. I have not lost her.

Rationality says that we will not meet again. Still, there is one scenario that I imagine, now as the Kolyan Kolyar dance past my window. I always watch the lights since seeing them with her. I watch the lights and see the way it will be.

I am lost in space, lost testing new propulsion. Because of the Borg and an odd twist of fate I board her ship and smirk as she covers her lust with a thin sheen of hatred. The nearest outpost is a few days away, and she will take the survivors of the attack that far. But I can't lose her. Even now I haven't.

I remember her quarters. I inspected them personally. I saw ancient literature, stacks of ship's business. In the back of a drawer, there was the picture of a man holding a domesticated animal. Next to the image, a ring in a box. Then, I briefly imagined her in the pink nightgown, advancing towards me. But I know her better now.

It will be night. When I arrive at the door, she will let me into her dark quarters. Our hips jut against unseen tables, boots crush spilled dried flowers. Kathryn backs away, away, away against the bulkhead until she grips my back, keeling to the rhythm of my fingers.

I conjure the pressure of her arms, her thighs. In darkness, she maintains the illusion that she has relaxed control. She doesn't want to be dominant in bed, but her pale alien skin, flickering in the Kolyan Kolyar, controls me, dominates me more surely than any rope or chain. The paradox of gaining power through submission is one she understands well.

She chuckles softly at my questing hands, light burns her white, virgin sheets. A hymn produced by her ship's engines. That same motion and rhyme here; around my room, inside her far flung vessel and the image of her hands stroking to the sound of my breath.

A clenched cry as I impale her. She comes to tenderness, to the absence of pressure. The pain of gentleness. She comforts me in the darkness, her eyes cast through space, through my skin, my ridges. I kiss the palm of her hand and do not draw away.

This room is full of her absence. I turn away from the window and consider the fine tune of her engines, the polarization axis of Voyager's windows. Tomorrow, I set out to apprehend telepaths. The idea thrills me. Doubtless she remembers. Our fate remains shared. She has not forgotten.That is victory; knowing that the memory of our dance weaves inverse harmonies and paradox through space and time, that she stands at her viewport, chin tilted up, face blank and searching for bands of cruel light in empty space. I will never lose.