Hello there... welcome to "What Temporal Prime Directive?"

Legal Disclaimer: Paramount owns these characters, I'm just letting them out to stretch their legs.
Personal Disclaimer: This story should probably, technically, be listed in the crossover section of the website. But I was hesitant because this is really, at the core, a simple J/C story and the crossover-ing is just the backdrop. This being said, (SPOILER ALERT) if you are truly not a fan of The Original Series, then I am afraid my tale is not for you. :(

This is, also, at points, (slightly) parodical. In a healthy way, don't worry!

PROLOGUE

New Earth
2372

"I don't know if I can... define parameters. But I can tell you a story, an ancient legend among my people. It's about an angry warrior who lived his life in conflict with the rest of his tribe. A man who couldn't find peace, even with the help of his spirit guide. For years he struggled with his discontent, but the only satisfaction he ever got came when he was in battle. This made him a hero among his tribe, but the warrior still longed for peace within himself.

"One day, he and his war party were captured by a neighboring tribe led by a woman warrior. She called on him to join her because her tribe was too small and weak to defend itself from all its enemies. The woman warrior was brave, and beautiful. And very wise. The angry warrior swore to himself that he would stay by her side, doing whatever he could to make her burden lighter. From that point on, her needs would come first. And in that way, the warrior began to know the true meaning of peace."

That was nearly a month ago; about two months into their exile on the planet they named New Earth. It was a beautiful planet, but in the months preceding the Angry Warrior story, Kathryn had seldom paid its beauty any attention.

Then, with one little made-up ancient legend, Chakotay changed everything.

It felt like a lifetime had passed since that night; they were different now. Their lives were different. And it only took three days.

On the first night, she had emerged from her room, in her pajamas, and had sat down to define parameters. The attraction between them was indisputable and it had, perhaps, always been present. Maybe even from the very moment he popped up for the first time on the viewscreen, while he was on the Val Jean. But maybe not that far back; Kathryn couldn't pin-point when it began, but it yet it was always there. Being stranded alone on the planet only amplified it, fueled it, strengthened it – but it certainly didn't create it.

He had let her know that he had no desire to define parameters. Then he told her a story. About an angry warrior who came to know peace. The words of that story would be burned into her memory for eternity; they changed the way she saw him and, somehow, they changed the way she saw herself.

Kathryn was unable, then, to do more than intertwine her fingers with his. It was a simple gesture, but the depth of the intimacy they felt that night wouldn't, couldn't, be something they ever moved past. The feeling had overwhelmed her and brought tears to her eyes. They sat there together, both silently relishing in the moment of their new beginning.

Kathryn and Chakotay both knew that that night was the starting point of a journey that would know no limits.

After some time she had risen to go to bed, but stopped first to lay a kiss on top of Chakotay's head. She had deliberately chosen the most un-romantic of places to lay a kiss, but the aroma of his hair filled her nostrils and long dormant butterflies awakened inside of her. Kathryn had to force herself to move away from him.

Before she left, Chakotay informed her that he was never going to wash his hair again, to which Kathryn had responded with a smile that, in that case, that kiss would be his last.

On the second night, after a day of dreaming up and making plans for their home, Kathryn had quietly pushed the covers off of her, slid out of bed, and tip-toed across the common area to his room. She climbed into his bed, where she discovered her body fit perfectly next to his. They explored the curvatures of each others' faces, but nothing more.

In the morning, they realized that neither had ever slept better. Chakotay asked her to never spend the night away from him again. She responded by requesting him to combine the beds – a project on which he worked tirelessly for the entire day.

On the third night, Kathryn let her hands wander freely, tenderly investigating his body, enjoying the heat of the desire rising inside of her. When she let her hand slip under the fabric of his pajamas, he inhaled sharply and, to her surprise, removed her hand. Chakotay pressed his lips to the hand, and then to her forehead, and even with the layers of cotton between them, she could feel his desire reaching out for her. He whispered that they didn't need to do this; that he would wait. He would give her as much time as she needed to adjust to these new… parameters.

She smiled and rolled on top of him, kissing his forehead, his nose, his cheeks, his neck, and then his lips. Two years was foreplay enough, Kathryn told him in a shaky voice. The body under her trembled as they slowly removed clothing, both in awe at every newly revealed area of skin. Their joining was slow, tender, and selfless. It was an experience that neither had experienced before; it felt like the first time. And in many ways, it was.

Afterwards, their eyes welled with tears and they clung to each other as if holding onto a life-raft, both silently vowing to never let this newfound love go.

That was nearly a month ago.

"I love you," Chakotay said abruptly, simply, splashing his hand into the water.

Kathryn laid her head back against his shoulder and grinned. "Oh, really?"

"Really."

"Well, I love you too. Clearly; I'm allowing you in my bathtub."

"I made the bathtub."

"Irrelevant. You gave it to me." They both laughed and Chakotay pulled her closer to him. He had built the tub for one, and getting the two of them to fit was quite a task. Their legs awkwardly pretzel-ed around each other, and Kathryn eventually just let hers hang over the edge. But it was worth it.

"Can you believe we wasted two years up there, keeping our distance?"

"We did what we had to do," she replied, rolling to face him. Water splashed out of the bathtub. "But never again. Now we'll never be apart again."

"You don't care that we're not in space?"

Kathryn thought about it. "I won't lie to you. I miss space; I miss exploring nebulae and making first contact. But if I could have that life back, I wouldn't take it if it meant giving you up. So… no. I guess I don't care that we're not in space."

He kissed her forehead. "Promise me you won't leave me?"

"Where would I go?" she laughed. "Live with the monkey?"

"Just promise."

"I promise," she smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck, her lips finding his. "I promise."