In His Eyes
Chakotay receives the news that the child is not his son and must deal with his pent emotions. Added scene to "Basics, Part 2."
By Emiliana Keladry
Setting: At the end of "Basics, Part 2", the first episode of Season 3
Pairings: Slight Chakotay/Kathryn
Disclaimer: Voyager doesn't belong to me, and I make no money from this.
Author's note: "Basics" is one of my favorite episodes of the series, getting to see the crew working together on an alien planet and Tom saving the day with the help of Suder and the Doctor. It's a great episode, but I felt like the ending of the second part needed just a little bit more Chakotay, with him finding out the truth about the child and getting a little friendship/comfort.
Chakotay listened intently to the Doctor, but he wasn't hearing him anymore. Seska's child was not his; the infant's father was Kazon not human. It was the best news that he had heard all day, but at the same time he couldn't help but feel a range of emotions surging through him. He stared at the body of the woman he once cared for. Seska had used him and taken advantage of his devotion to the crew and to himself. That child… his father's words rang in his ears that it was his duty to protect his child, even if he didn't want him to be born. But now that duty was broken. The baby was in the hands of the Kazon and it wasn't his child. Relief lifted his shoulders slightly, but grief pressed down on him. Tuvok finished his Vulcan prayer for Suder and exited sickbay. Chakotay fixed Seska's hair gently and pulled the blanket over her head.
"I'm sorry," the Doctor murmured, coming up behind him.
Chakotay ignored him. "I'll be on the Bridge, Doctor."
The Doctor attempted to speak to him again, but he quickly left the room. Kathryn would want to get away from the planet as soon as possible and headed back towards home. Chakotay arrived at the Bridge with Tuvok as Kathryn emerged from her ready room. He took his place in his chair.
"Mister Kim, is this ship capable of sustained flight?" Kathryn asked coming towards Chakotay.
"All propulsion and navigational systems are functioning within normal parameters, Captain," Harry answered, sounding quite happy to be back at his post.
"Good. Take us away from our new home and set a course for the old one, Mr. Paris. Warp eight."
"Heading four one, mark seven seven. Destination, Alpha Quadrant," Tom announced.
"Engage," Kathryn commanded, sitting down next to Chakotay and giving him a smile.
He weakly returned her smile and then focused on the view screen as Voyager broke orbit and went to warp. Chakotay let out a sigh of relief and dropped his face into his hands, rubbing his forehead as he felt a headache coming on. He immediately knew that Kathryn was observing him. She reached her hand across the space between them, touching his shoulder.
"Are you alright Chakotay?" Kathryn inquired in a hushed voice so only he could hear her.
"I'm fine. If you don't need me, I'd like permission to go to my quarters."
"Permission granted. Chakotay… if you need someone to talk to."
"Understood," Chakotay muttered.
He prepared to stand up and locked eyes with Kathryn as he did. The pain in his eyes was unshielded for a moment. His dark eyes glittered in the light, not concealing his emotions as they burst to the surface. Kathryn couldn't look away from him as frowned, the creases causing his eyes to deepen in color. He was suffering from everything that had happened in the past few days. Everything was there in his eyes, revealing the depth of his heart. Chakotay looked away and headed for the turbo lift without another word. Kathryn sat still for a moment, unsure of what to do. Looking in his eyes had let her see the sorrow that he felt.
"You have the Bridge, Tuvok," Kathryn commanded, standing up and heading to the turbo lift.
She didn't have to say where she was going, but Tuvok nodded. He knew. Kathryn soon found herself in front of Chakotay's quarters, not sure if she should go in. The door suddenly opened and Chakotay was standing before her with his hand on the button. He smiled weakly, admitting her. Even Chakotay knew that she couldn't stay away when something was bothering him.
"Would you like some coffee?" he asked.
"That sounds wonderful," Kathryn thanked, taking a seat on Chakotay's couch beneath the windows.
The man brought her a mug from the replicator and sat down next to her, almost close enough to be touching, but remaining his distance. Kathryn thanked him quietly, observing him. His shoulders were tense and he was looking at the things around his quarters that were strewn everywhere. Someone had obviously gone through his quarters, looking for something or just to discover what he had. She knew it was best to let Chakotay talk and not prod him.
"The Doctor informed me that the baby wasn't mine. He was part Kazon, no matter Seska's intention of impregnating herself with my DNA. It appears that she was already pregnant at that time, so it didn't take. I'm not a father," he whispered.
"That's great news," Kathryn returned, taking a sip of her coffee.
Chakotay got up and walked across his quarters and back, purposefully taking deep breaths. He picked up a padd and tossed it across the room in frustration, causing it to shatter against the bulkhead. Running his fingers through his hair, he turned to face Kathryn again.
"I don't feel relieved! Maybe a part of me wanted that child to be mine, so I could raise him properly. But he's not! And I don't know why that makes me so angry."
"You have a right to be angry."
"I spent months worrying that Seska was pregnant with my child and what would happen… but then we were stuck on New Earth together and being together almost made me forget. We had a different life there, where I didn't worry about having a son that I couldn't love."
"And all this trouble that we got into was my fault! I wanted to pursue the child, knowing that Seska would try to trap us, but I hoped she wouldn't. It's my fault that the crew was stranded on the planet. If we hadn't landed on that planet, Hogan wouldn't be dead and Suder wouldn't have had to give his life to save us. I caused their deaths!" he yelled.
"Chakotay, I encouraged you to find the baby and told you that we would help you. I am just as much to blame. My mistakes could have caused Hogan and Suder's deaths. It's not because of you."
Chakotay paused for a moment before he spoke softly. "I feel so guilty."
"Seska would have found another way to trap us and take control of Voyager. She wouldn't give up until we were punished. If it wasn't this, it would be another way and more of us could have died."
He shrugged his shoulders, avoiding eye contact with his best friend. Chakotay didn't reply and walked over towards the viewport again, crossing his arms across his chest as he calmed down slightly. Kathryn set her mug down and went to stand beside him, gently putting a hand on his shoulder.
"You are not to blame."
"Thank you," he muttered, putting his hand on top of hers.
"You don't have to deal with this alone. I've made my own fair share of mistakes, that's how we got to the Delta Quadrant." Chakotay looked over at her. "And there's nothing wrong with wanting to have children someday. I've often wondered the same thing, not that it's possible out here."
"Nothing is impossible, you've taught me that Kathryn," Chakotay laughed softly.
He pulled her into a tight embrace, folding her against his chest and giving a light squeeze. Chakotay was simply content to let go of his emotions in her arms. She rubbed his back with one hand, breathing in his unique smell of aftershave and clean laundry. Kathryn held him as his shoulders shook with emotion until it was all out and he relaxed in her arms.
"I know something else that will cheer you up," she whispered.
"What?" Chakotay asked, pulling back slightly so he could see her face.
"I overhead one of the crew talking by the fire last night about counting. Apparently members of the crew count each time I put my hand on your shoulder or touch your arm. I assume the number is quite high."
Chakotay released her from his embrace and laughed. "We probably should set them straight on that."
"Or we could have a little fun with this new knowledge," Kathryn teased, taking his hand. "Let's get back to work."
Chakotay nodded and walked to the door of his quarters with her, unable to stop smiling. He paused before opening the door, causing Kathryn to give him a strange look.
"Would you like to have dinner tonight?" he asked. "I'll cook, so we don't have to fight with your replicator tonight."
Kathryn laughed in response. "That sounds like a great idea. But you better clean up first. You can't invite your captain to your quarters and have it look so untidy. It might give more rumors for the crew if I left and someone saw the clutter in here. They might assume we made that mess."
"They don't need ideas for rumors."
"Good point. Let's head to the bridge. We have a lot of work to finish before we can relax."
She started to pull him towards the door, but he didn't move. Kathryn turned to look at him, giving his hand a tug.
"Thank you, Kathryn."
"You're welcome, Chakotay. That's what friends are for."
Together, they headed to the Bridge to see how many times they could accidentally bump arms or hands and let the counting game continue.
Thanks for reading! Please review!