Lightning crashes… it splits the sky in two… the man watches it entranced… he cannot pull away from it

Author: Sally

Rating: PG

Summary: Caught in a storm

Disclaimer: I will never make money off of this, let's face it! The title of this piece belongs to the group Live, although no lyrics are quoted here.

Note: So there I am, forced on to a battery powered laptop due to a thunderstorm and with Live's Lightning Crashes going through my head. What's a person to do? The answer is this.

Thanks to: Beth, as always

Lightning crashes… it splits the sky in two… the man watches it entranced… he cannot pull away from it.

She runs… arms high in the air… she turns her head and laughs. "Isn't it wonderful?" she cries.

He has no choice but to nod his head in agreement and laugh with her. He has missed this… the ground beneath his feet… the sky's darkening…her laugh. It's been too long.

Too long? Perhaps? Maybe? He doesn't know for sure. What he does know at this very minute is that a severe storm is almost upon them and that she is either not noticing or that she does not care. Both options are possibilities.

He takes long strides to catch up with her. Up close she no longer looks young again, but still he sees her as she has always been to him, beautiful. And even out here, in an old cotton sundress, elegant.

"Kathryn," he pleads with her.

"What, Chakotay? Isn't it wonderful? I missed this so much. I swear you don't get storms like this anywhere else but here."

Here. Indiana. Her home.

"We have to get back."

"Why?"

"It's getting bad."

"No, it's not."

He grasps her arm. "I can smell it, I can sense it. Trust me, Kathryn. When it does hit we should be inside."

She laughs and shrugs him off. "Oh, don't be ridiculous, Chakotay. I know these storms. We're fine."

"Kathryn," he pleads with her. "You've been away for a long time. We've experienced a lot of storms. You might not know the weather here as well as you once did."

"I know them better than you." She turns and walks off, further away from their safe haven.

He can feel it now. It is getting closer. The sky splits again and he can feel the electricity flow through him. His body tingles with it. His head pounds with it. "Kathryn," he yells in desperation.

"What?" Her question coincides with the onslaught of the rain. He catches up with her again, grasps her arm again. This time it is slick with the rain. In seconds her hair has begun to stick close to her head and her face is shiny. The dress is another matter, something he dares not regard for fear he will see that it too has begun to stick close. He gazes at her face. She looks exhilarated.

"Please?"

She smiles at him. "I missed this," she says quietly.

"I know you did," he whispers softly. "You used to tell me, when we were on the ship." He pauses to wipe away a raindrop that has decided to run the length of his nose. "But right now, both of us are soaked through and with no doctor to instantly heal us while condemning us for this great sin."

She smiles. "You're right," she acknowledges. "You're always right. But let me have this moment."

"I have."

The pause in conversation is interrupted by a loud crack followed by a crashing sound. She jumps. He catches her and she grabs a tight hold of him.

"Tree," he mutters.

The smile disappears from her radiant face. "You're right. I submit. Lead the way."

He shakes his head. "I don't lead. You do. I'll follow you as always."

She takes his arm. "But I could never lead without you."

"Then we'll do it together."

"Yes, together." Another loud clap of thunder hastens them on. Together they run back to the sanctity of home. Their home.