Disclaimer: Voyager belongs to Paramount, not me.
This is the final chapter of "Love is Blind". Enjoy!
Kathryn took a sip of her coffee and finished straightening her dress for Neelix's party. He had made it mandatory that no one could wear uniforms. She was wearing a knee length dress in a golden color with a black sweater that covered part of her shoulders. B'Elanna had helped pick it out since Neelix wanted the party to be formal and if Kathryn had her way she would have worn her dress uniform. She finished pinning up the curls in her hair, looking at her reflection in the mirror. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach, but there was no reason. After taking one last glance, Kathryn exited her quarters and went to fetch Chakotay since he was still having a little trouble seeing and she didn't want him tripping on the way to the party and injuring himself again.
"Come on in," Chakotay called when she pressed the door chime.
The door slid open and Kathryn slowly walked inside. There was no one in the main room and soft music was playing in the background.
"I'll be right there; I'm just having trouble with my tie. Of course Neelix would have a black tie event when I can't see what I'm doing properly," he mumbled from his bedroom.
Kathryn laughed softly, taking a seat on his sofa. "If you need any help, just let me know."
She waited patiently until Chakotay emerged a moment later with a black tie handing loose around his neck. He was dressed in black dress slacks, and a blue silk button down shirt. He was extremely handsome. Kathryn smiled and stood up.
"You look amazing," he commented, grinning.
"Thank you. You look very nice yourself," she laughed.
"Thanks. Can you help me with this tie? I keep thinking that I have it and then it just falls off. I was never really good at this."
Kathryn stepped up to him, gently taking the soft material in her hands. Chakotay's face was so near to hers and she thought that he would kiss her again. He was quiet as she tied his tie for him and adjusted it to look nice.
"How did you learn to do this?" he murmured.
"My dad always had trouble with his own tie and my mom wasn't good at it. I had a friend at school teach me how to do it and then I practiced on my dad whenever he needed it," Kathryn whispered as her hands went still.
"You'll have to teach me sometime."
She shut her eyes as Chakotay leaned in closer, but didn't kiss her yet.
"We should get to the mess hall before Neelix comes to find us," he sighed, leaning back and dropping his hands from her arms.
"You teased me," Kathryn laughed, swatting his arm lightly.
"Of course. Shall we?"
Chakotay offered his arm to Kathryn and she quickly slipped her arm in his with a smile on her face. He leaned over and softly kissed her cheek. They walked quietly to the mess hall together, passing a few crewmembers that complimented their appearance. The mess hall was decorated in beautiful colors with lace streamers and delicious smelling food. Tom and B'Elanna spotted them enter and came over to see them. Kathryn smiled at the way Tom was lovingly holding his wife close to his side. Tom stopped a few feet from them and held up three fingers.
"How many fingers am I holding up?" he asked Chakotay with a mischievous grin on his face.
"Three," Chakotay chuckled.
"What do you call a blind rabbit sitting on your face?" Tom asked.
Those in hearing range groaned at the idea of Tom making blind jokes all night long and comments about if Chakotay could see numbers on his fingers.
"I don't know. What?" B'Elanna responded, deciding to humor her husband even if he embarrassed himself.
"An unsightly facial hare!"
They all laughed softly at Tom's enthusiasm for such a terrible joke. Chakotay let it slide and laughed alone with them. This was to be a night of fun, not frustration.
"My vision is improving," Chakotay stated, giving his friend a firm smile.
"That's true. You do have the second loveliest woman in this room on your arm," Tom chuckled.
Kathryn smiled at Chakotay as he returned her glance. The Doctor came over at that moment with Seven on his arm and inquired about the commander's health. Mr. Paris quickly told another blind joke about a rabbi and skydiving. The two mingled with the crew and informed Neelix of how nice the mess hall looked. After a while, Kathryn and Chakotay sat down on a couch to eat some of the luscious smelling food as they observed the crew. Harry was talking with Tom and B'Elanna, laughing over one of the bad jokes. Tuvok was listening to Neelix tell a story about parties on Talax. Samantha Wildman was wiping food off of Naomi's face as she secretly passed her roll to Ensign Tanner under the table.
"They all look so happy and content," Kathryn muttered, finishing her buttered roll.
"It has been six years together," Chakotay pointed out.
"You're right," she sighed. "We've become quite a family over the years."
Chakotay took her hand, squeezing it in reassurance. "Nothing can break us apart."
She smiled over at him, fully aware that they were probably being observed by the crew as he held her hand and whispered to her. It was doubtful that they hadn't realized how they acted around each other. The crew had almost certainly noticed it before Kathryn did. Chakotay took her plate and returned with a glass of champagne after almost bumping into a chair twice.
"Are you sure that this won't be bad luck if we drink some of this? The last time we had champagne we crashed on a planet and were stuck together for a long time," Kathryn joked, standing up and accepting the glass flute.
"I'll alert the Doctor if we need him," Chakotay laughed.
Seven decided to appear at that moment and ask them a few questions about their away mission and Q's intervention, drawing their interest away from the romantic atmosphere between them. The Doctor interrupted her before she could get too deep into something she was researching.
The evening continued on and several of the crew dismissed themselves as it got late since they had to work the early shift. Soon, only a handful was remaining and some had started cleaning up. Chakotay pulled Kathryn over to the side.
"Are you tired yet?" he inquired.
"Not really," she answered.
"Good. The evening isn't over yet because we haven't had dessert." He put out his arm for her to take. "I have a surprise for you."
Chakotay guided her around the room and they bid everyone good-night. Kathryn smiled, very curious about what Chakotay had planned for the rest of the evening. The Doctor gave him one last nod and the two walked slowly to the holodeck. Chakotay kept his hand on top of hers as they walked, making her smile. They arrived at the holodeck and Chakotay loaded the program, not letting her see.
"I'm not sure if I like surprises," Kathryn teased.
"You'll like this surprise. I promise. Now, close your eyes," he ordered softly.
Kathryn closed her eyes, hearing the doors open. Chakotay took her hand, guiding her inside the room. She could hear the sound of waves crashing upon the shore and feel the cool breeze hitting her skin. Keeping her eyes tight, she let Chakotay take her farther onto the beach. The feel of sand beneath her shoes was wonderful and Kathryn was tempted to stop and take them off. Chakotay paused and moved her to face one direction.
"You can open your eyes now," he whispered.
Kathryn opened her eyes and gasped at the beautiful sight. It was sunset and the sky was covered with little pink clouds accented by the oranges and reds. To her left was a gazebo covered in draping Christmas lights that glittered on the water. It was amazing.
"Chakotay… I love it."
"You haven't seen all of it yet. Come with me."
They both slipped their shoes off and ran towards the water, leaving them at the edge of the gazebo to keep the water from them. Chakotay reached the water's edge first, but stopped to roll up his pants and Kathryn went past him, splashing water up. It was cold against her bare feet. Chakotay came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned over to kiss her. She smiled, letting him love her. They walked down the beach for a long time, talking about anything and everything. Chakotay kept his arm around her waist, pulling her nearer to his side. It was the most romantic night she could remember. Finally, Chakotay guided her into the lit gazebo and she saw a small table with an old fashioned music player and a plate. On the plate was two beautiful pieces of angel food cake. He sat her down in the chair and put a bite of cake on the fork, gently putting it into her mouth. Kathryn hummed at the delicious taste.
"Do you like it?"
"It's delicious," Kathryn complimented.
"I had to ask Neelix for special permission to use his kitchen to make it, but he was very helpful since I kept missing the bowl."
She laughed, watching him take a bite and getting cake on his cheek somehow. Kathryn brushed away the crumbs, her fingers lingering on his face.
"This has been the best night of my life," she whispered.
"I agree. But I'm still not done yet."
He stood up and pressed start on the music player. A beautiful song poured from the speakers, classical piano perfect for dancing. Chakotay pulled her close, putting one hand on her back and holding her hand in the other. He spun her around the dance floor, twirling and laughing at the smile on her face. Kathryn's dress wrapped around her legs, tickling her skin. The dance continued until the song ended and a slower song began. Chakotay held her tightly, putting his cheek against hers.
"Chakotay… I promise to make this work, no matter what," Kathryn whispered in his ear.
"I know," he murmured. "I love you Kathryn."
"I love you too, Chakotay."
He kissed her, giving her all of his love as a promise to never leave her.
Thank you all for your kind reviews for this story! I loved writing it and reading what you thought of it. I'm considering making a short epilogue with Tom and Harry's response to the evening, but I might just leave it at this romantic end. :) Anyway, thank you and please review!