Disclaimer:   The characters and the first three sentences of this story are 
                      owned by Paramount;  the rest is mine 

Rating:  PG (language only) 

Notes:  This little effort is based on the infamous ‘missing scene’ from 
            “Hunters” which everyone concerned insisted did not exist. 
           Unfortunately, the link for the audio portion, which has been on the 
           ‘net for several years, has disappeared.  If anyone knows of another 
            site which has it, please let me know.  Thanks. 

By Mary S. 

           “So what’ll it be, Chakotay?  Indulge my feelings – hold fast to protocol, what?” 

           “You’ve plenty of time to think about it.” 

K.’s POV 

           Kathryn leaned back on the sofa in her ready room and closed her eyes.  What had she been thinking of!  Kissing her first officer like that!  But she had needed it – that kiss.  Mark’s letter had really thrown her, much more than she would have expected.  She had sat for hours in a daze, wondering about what might have been, if only…. if only they hadn’t been stranded in the Delta Quadrant, if only she hadn’t fallen for Chakotay (that was a big one), if only she wasn’t the captain and could have a relationship like other people. 

           So in a moment of what must have been insanity, she had thrown caution to the winds and kissed him.  He sat there now waiting for her response – and she had no idea what to say or do.  Sometimes she wished he wasn’t quite so easy-going, so willing to let her lead.  She knew he was giving her all the space he thought she needed, but what if she just wanted him to grab her, shake her and kiss her silly.  Caveman Chakotay – no, that didn’t really fit. 

           He was still waiting.  She sighed.  Back to reality.  In the final analysis, she knew they couldn’t abandon protocol or all that their positions required.   And they couldn’t abandon their positions, either.  God!!   She was so fed up with this damn quadrant!  I want him!  I don’t want to do this, be captain, anymore!  But there wasn’t any choice. 


C.’s POV 

           He sat watching her, as he did so often.  Kathryn, what are you thinking, feeling?  Not happy thoughts, if the expression on her face was any indication.  Oh Kathryn, don’t be so hard on yourself!  It was only a kiss, not the end of the universe!  Trust her to over-analyze the simplest action; she would gnaw at this for hours. 

           Chakotay sighed to himself.  Loving her was not easy, would never be easy, but he was sure, if he could just hang in there, the rewards, in the end, would be worth all the sacrifices now.  And besides, he didn’t really have much choice.  Pure and simple, loving her had become part of him.  He sighed again;  this time she heard him. 


           She opened her eyes, gave him a sad little smile and got up. 
           “Come on, Chakotay.  Let’s go find another crisis.  There must be one close by – there always is.  Get my mind off what I can’t have.” 

           He stopped her then. 

           “Kathryn, try to look at the long view.  Maybe right now, we can’t have anything more, but we do have that much.  And someday, we will get home.  And when we do, my girl, then you can have everything you want.” 

           “Including you?” 

           “Especially me.” 

           “Oh Chakotay!  I don’t deserve you; but – I am glad you’re here with me.” 

           And they headed out the door and back to work.