Love is Blind

A shuttle accident leaves Chakotay with no sight and stranded with Kathryn until help comes. Maybe now they can finally say those words left unsaid.

By Emiliana Keladry

Setting: Implied during season six.

Pairings: Chakotay/Kathryn, Tom/B'Elanna

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, they belong to those Star Trek guys that never put Chakotay and Kathryn together like they should have.

Kathryn Janeway put her feet up on the console, flipping to the next chapter of her book. She sighed, letting her hair fall onto her hand resting by her ear. Three days relaxing on the Delta Flyer while scanning a nebula with unique properties was quite calming. Commander Chakotay and Captain Janeway had been ordered to take the three days to enjoy themselves after a stressful two weeks that had left them with short tempers with each other and the crew. Tuvok had ordered them to take some shore leave before the crew had a grumpy mutiny and forced them to relax. They hadn't even been allowed to wear their uniforms, just casual clothing. It had only been eight hours since they left Voyager and Kathryn already felt at ease. She adjusted her dress to cover more of her legs and fixed one of her wool socks that had moved. The rear door opened and Chakotay appeared with two glasses of champagne.

"Could you use some refreshments?" he teased, taking a seat next to her.

"Of course, thank you."

"How's the book?"

She sighed, closing it slightly but keeping her hand between the pages. "It's not exactly as good as I thought it would be."

"Well, what are you reading?" Chakotay asked, reaching for the book. She quickly pulled it away from him.

"It's a Klingon romance novel, Women Warriors at the River of Blood. B'Elanna recommended. She said that it would be quite interesting and an exploration into her culture. I'm pretty sure that she was pulling my leg."

"You haven't learned anything?"

"Well, it seems that Klingon women are extremely… physical in their romantic relationships. I've probably learned too much."

Chakotay laughed, taking a look at the shuttle's systems. "Maybe Tom should read that."

"B'Elanna told me that Tom also recommended it to me. I personally don't want to know what some of my crew do in their spare time."

He chucked, keeping his eyes on the console as she opened her book again, quickly skimming a scene with a dagger. It was almost uncomfortable to read with Chakotay in the same room as her. She glanced up at him in his casual clothing, noting that he looked nice today. He turned around and Kathryn quickly looked away.

"Well, if you're hungry I've prepared some lunch for us in our make-shift mess hall and sleeping quarters. I replicated a tasty meal. It seems that this replicator is much better than the one in your quarters," he teased.

"I'm ready. All this romance is making me hungry," Kathryn laughed.

She set down her book, plopping her feet onto the deck plating. Chakotay put out an arm, which she gratefully accepted, and he escorted her to the 'mess hall'. She gasped as the door opened. The small area was decorated with candles and a table covered with a silky white cloth. The smell of grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and rolls filled her nose. Everything looked wonderful and delicious! He pulled out her chair, letting her sit and dropping her napkin in her lap. He sat down across from her with a smile on his face.

"Do you like it?"

"It all looks so wonderful. This is what you were doing while I was suffering through that horrible book," Kathryn answered, grinning at him.

"I had to do something to keep myself occupied. There wasn't room for me to build a bathtub back here. I also doubt that Tom would appreciate that change to the Delta Flyer."

She laughed again, taking a bite of her food. "I agree. Tom wouldn't like that. But a bath does sound nice."

"I'll make that my next project. I'll have to assemble it piece by piece, so it might take a while."

They continued to eat, enjoying the soft music that Chakotay has picked.

"This is delicious by the way. Maybe I should think of replacing my glorified toaster with this replicator. It seems to like you well enough."

"Well, maybe I'll let you make desert and we'll see if it likes you."

"Wonderful plan," she said, raising her glass in a toast.

The two ate dinner, laughing and having a wonderful time. Chakotay was telling Kathryn a story about his father where he got in trouble for accidentally walking into a female restroom while visiting a boardwalk restaurant. She laughed. They were having such a wonderful time. After they finished eating, Chakotay offered to clean up.

"Nope, that's not fair. You cooked, I can clean up."

"At least let me help you," he teased.

Together they began to recycle the leftovers and the plates. Suddenly, the shuttle rocked slightly. An alarm went off in the Delta Flyer. They quickly abandoned their cleaning and rushed to the front of the shuttle. Chakotay sat down at tactical, checking the systems to find out what was causing the alarm.

"The inertial dampers are losing power somehow," Chakotay reported. "I'll see what I can do."

"It's the nebula," Kathryn muttered after a moment. "There's a strange phenomenon coming from the 'unique' qualities that Tuvok sent us to investigate. It's causing a power drain somehow."

"I think I've stabilized the problem," Chakotay announced, turning around. "Should we continue our dinner? I thought that you'd like to try making some dessert with your new replicator friend."

Kathryn stood up and allowed him to lead the way. "I'm ready for a challenge."

Suddenly, an explosion rocked the shuttle! The captain lost her balance, but Chakotay quickly caught her and steadied her as another explosion occurred somewhere else. She looked up into his eyes for a moment, thanking him as he smiled. Before they could say anything, the shuttle began to speed up and they were almost knocked over again. Chakotay rushed to the pilot's seat and sat down, trying to get control of the flyer. There was a flash of light and Kathryn ducked flying sparks as she took her place at tactical, attempting to figure out what the hell was going on with the shuttle.

"Main power is going offline!" Chakotay shouted as more alarms filled the room and the garbled voice of the computer listed off the shuttle's systems that were failing.

"There's a planet," Kathryn announced, looking at the scans of the area. "We could do an emergency landing!"

"That's the best plan I've heard, hold on this ride is gonna get bumpy."

Chakotay quickly began the descent into the planet's upper atmosphere. Kathryn monitored what systems she could, scanning for a safe place to set down. The surface of the planet was covered in dense craters and rocks, looking more like Earth's moon than a safe place to land while having shuttle malfunctions. They had no choice. Another alarm went off and Kathryn quickly realized that they were coming in too fast and steep.

"Chakotay!" she shouted.

"Move to the back of the shuttle," he ordered.

There was a strange whining noise and his console exploded. Kathryn watched in horror as he was thrown back away from the console, and landed on the ground with burn marks on his face and tan shirt, accented against the lighter color. The shuttle was spinning out of control. She ran up to her friend and locked her arms under his, pulling him back to the rear of the shuttle. Blood ran down his face as she tried to access what was happening. Kathryn rerouted as much power as she could to the controls and tried to pull the shuttle up. She couldn't slow them down enough, but managed to pull it up slightly. Jumping up from her chair, she put her body over Chakotay as the shuttle crashed onto the surface of the planet.

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