By Elorie Alton
Disclaimer: All Voyager characters are the property of Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chakotay laid the wooden panels on his worktable, enjoying the gentle breeze that rustled through the trees on this pleasant morning. He rolled back his sleeves and picking up a small hand scraper he began to run it over the wood one final time before he started sanding it in preparation for the final finish. He hummed quietly, enjoying the morning sun and the firm feel of the wood under the tool. He smiled thinking that all things considered, being stranded on this planet with Kathryn was one of the better things that had happened in his life.
He wasn’t so engrossed in his project that he didn’t hear Kathryn come out of the shelter closing the door behind her. He continued working as he waited for her to join him.
Kathryn paused watching the muscles in Chakotay’s back ripple as he worked under the trees. She quickly dismissed the warmth that flashed through her. In one way she envied his acceptance of their predicament, but it also made her slightly angry. She picked up her tool kit and walked out the door closing it.
"I'm going to check the insect traps in beta four. What are you up to now?"
He looked up from his task, slowing the motion of the scraper over the satiny wood. "Making headboards."
"Headboards?" she leaned over peering around his shoulder.
"I've noticed you sometimes sit up in your bed to read. Figured you might as well have a comfortable backrest," he said turning around to face her.
"That's very thoughtful of you, Chakotay. You've done so many things to make our lives easier here. The cooking, for example. I hate to cook," she sat down on a low branch near his worktable.
He put the scraper down and joined her. Putting his foot up on the limb he leaned closer watching for the familiar flash of anxiety in her eyes.
"But what I do makes you uncomfortable, doesn't it? Every time I do something that adds a personal touch to the shelter, you resist it."
"Sometimes it feels as though you've given up, that you're focused on making a home here instead of finding a cure that will let us leave," she looked up trying to read the expression in his eyes.
"I can't sacrifice the present waiting for a future that may never happen. The reality of this situation is that we may never leave here. So, yes, I'm trying to make a home, something that's more than a plain, grey box."
"Someday I may have to let go," she squirmed a little under his intense gaze. "But not today, okay? I’m just not ready to give into the hard luck that brought us here."
"My Aunt Marilyn used to tell the story of a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everyone would tell him how lucky he was to have such a fine horse, but he would only answer with one word. Maybe.
"When the stallion ran off, the people told him that he was unlucky and his
reply was ‘maybe’. These same people told him he was very lucky when the
stallion returned the next day leading a string of fine ponies and again he said
"Later the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies breaking his leg
and the people said it was unlucky. The warrior said ‘Maybe’
"The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior's son was left behind, and so was spared.
"Kathryn, we cannot know if our fortune is good or bad and believe me I think there is nothing wrong with trying to find a way for us to leave here, it’s just I don’t like to see it consume you. Your single-mindedness can get in the way of your life. There are many things here to enjoy and I want you to enjoy them too. Remember what I told you, even the eagle knows when to rest. Right now I think you need to slow down a little because you are pinning your future on impossible hope."
"Impossible hope? Then you don’t believe we will find a way out of here."
"No," he sighed. "Impossible Hope can either sustain, or destroy you. It’s a fine line we all walk, and the trick of keeping your balance is taking care onto what you fasten your impossible hope. Kathryn, all too often ‘Impossible Hope’ depends on circumstances that are out of our hands. I am trying to tell you, don’t give up your dream, but don’t forget to live while you are pursuing it."
The expression in her eyes seemed to turn inward for a moment then she stood picking up her case, "I've tried a new glucose bait in the traps. I have a feeling this might be the day I make a breakthrough."
Chakotay wanted to reach out to her but he knew the time wasn’t right. He watched her disappear into the woods, then with a sigh picked up the sanding block and started to work on the headboards hoping she would think about what he had said.
Kathryn checked insect traps for almost two hours before she decided to rest. She had managed all morning not to think about her conversation with Chakotay. She wanted to be angry with him for giving up, but she couldn’t. When she thought about it she knew he had been very supportive.
It was funny but the whole time she was talking to Chakotay she could hear her mother in the back of her mind saying, "Kathryn don’t go putting all your eggs in one basket!"
She sat on the grass and let the sun warm her, and while she rested she opened her case to get the bottle of water she had put inside it last night.
"Oh, Chakotay," she sighed, taking the hot liquid container from the case. "You made coffee for me."
She opened the thermal container and sipped the hot liquid as she leaned back against a tree trunk.
The phrase "Impossible Hope" ran through her mind repeatedly and she began to think about the conversation with Chakotay. She soon realized that she wasn’t so much angry with him as she was frustrated with the entire situation. She kept trying to think about how much she needed to get back to Voyager, how much responsibility she had. Now stranded, she felt very guilty.
This was the reason captains were not supposed to lead away teams. Again her anger rose up but this time she was squarely angry with herself. If she hadn’t insisted on joining the team she would still be on Voyager heading for home.
Her breath caught, she would be heading home and Chakotay would be here, alone. In fact they would both be alone for a very long time. She forced a sob back finally realizing what Chakotay was talking about. Being stranded on this planet with him wasn’t the worse thing that could have happened.
She finished her coffee, packed up the case she carried and started down hill to another of her traps when she heard a branch snap in front of her.
The words were barely out of her mouth when she saw the small primate that had disturbed her bath the other night. She knelt down reaching out to him.
"Hello again. Well, you certainly cover a lot of territory. Or are you following me? Do you understand me?"
Shaking his small hands, he chattered at her while she reached up to empty her insect trap.
"There. Know what that is? That little insect just might be what gets me out of your backyard. What do you think of that, huh?"
Gesturing wildly, he rocked back and forth on his feet. The volume of his jabbering dialogue increased as if to get her attention.
"What is it?" Kathryn looked around and she realized that everything was shadowed as if night was falling.
"What's happened to the sky?" she questioned, looking up to see thick clouds rolling across the sky and heard the rumble of thunder in the distance.
Again the little primate prattled, dancing wildly as if to get her attention again.
"If you're suggesting I should get out of here, I agree." She clutched her case to her body and turned toward home. The storm caught her as a sudden gust of wind pushed at her, so strong it almost pressed her to the ground.
It felt that she struggled forever through swaying trees as the thunder boomed closer to her. The skirt of her dress blew away from her and back acting like a sail and then wrapping around her legs making movement almost impossible. She could see larger and larger twigs and branches snapping away from the trees to blow across her path, and she began to fear that she would never get home, that she would never get to Chakotay.
Again her breath caught, as she pictured him beneath one of those large branches, injured or even worse.
The wind increased, blowing so hard that she couldn’t walk directly into it, and making it very difficult to keep on course for the cabin. All through the journey her only thought was getting home and getting to Chakotay. Just as a massive gust pushed her down to the ground, she felt strong hands pulling at her.
"Kathryn! Kathryn. Are you hurt?"
"No. I couldn't keep my balance and carry the case."
"Give it to me." He insisted, helping her to her feet and taking the case from her.
"What's happening?" she asked hanging onto him with both hands.
"It seems to be some kind of plasma storm. Our tricorders don't recognize it, but it sure packs a wallop!"
Together they struggled against the storm in a journey that seemed to have no end. Three times they almost lost their footing as great gusts of wind pushed them down, and lighting danced around them hitting the taller trees, burning the tops and showering them with smoldering twigs. When they reached the cabin they had to force their way inside and the storm continued to rage around them.
It increased its fury, pounding the shelter with loose branches and shaking it with winds. The wind roared and the air pressure pressed against their eardrums. It forced them under the worktable in the living area where they clung to each other listening to the crashing sounds outside and watching even their equipment inside the shelter crash to the floor, and finally the lights dimmed as the power generator failed plunging them into twilight.
At first Chakotay simply held Kathryn in a protective embrace, half covering her, curling his body around her smaller one offering comfort. He gently stroked her arms each time she moaned or stiffened as crashing sounds echoed through the shelter, and felt her despair at knowing important equipment was being damaged.
When the power failure extinguished the lights he turned her, feeling her tears of desolation seep into the front of his shirt. He pulled her closer speaking soft comforting words directly into her ear so she could hear him above the tempest that roared around them.
At times she couldn’t understand the words he spoke to her through the din of the storm, but the intent was clear. The dark velvet sound of his voice soothed her, just as his body protected her, and she felt cherished.
The words seem to seep into her soul, and she began to realize just how important this man had become to her. It no longer mattered just how much the storm outside raged, as long as she was in Chakotay’s warm embrace anything was possible. She had every thing she needed to survive under the table.
The lightning flashed around the shelter giving a momentary reprieve from the dimness of the storm. Kathryn looked up just in time for the light to surround them, bright enough for her to see Chakotay’s heart in his eyes. That look of complete love was enough to melt the last barriers and she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling herself up to fit her mouth to his.
For one fleeting moment Chakotay hesitated, giving her a chance to pull away from him and when she didn’t he gathered her up to his chest and returned the kiss. There were no more murmured words just a voracious feeding of the hunger each had felt for the other.
They nibbled with teeth and explored with tongues, powerful kisses that stripped everything down to the simple elements of male and female. Although Kathryn had initiated the kiss, Chakotay took it, intensifying the contact, seizing her mouth. And that was what it was, a taking that gave such pleasure. Kathryn burned with it, an inferno fueled by nothing but his mouth and tongue.
Slowly she became aware of a rock-hard presence growing against her stomach, and her body responded with a tightening need that flashed with the lightning outside from her hips to her nipples. She pulled back fighting with the closures of his trousers until the fabric gave away and she slipped her hand inside gripping his length, drawing a deep raw sound from him.
He rolled bearing down on her then away pulling at her clothing and in a few seconds had her stripped naked.
"Spirits you are beautiful," he managed to gasp, but his words were lost in the sounds of the storm. He kicked his pants and boots away as he drew his shirt over his head.
He drew her back to him, kissing her face, rocking against her. She caressed his neck and chest, her own body tense with need. She could feel the moisture gather between her thighs and gave into the moment allowing the need to build until the storm outside was only an echo of the frenzy of passion inside.
She locked her arms around him, tugging at his body until he moved above her and pushed her knees apart. He settled down over her, his penis nudging against her soft folds and took her mouth again with his, as he stroked his hand across her breast in a burning touch.
The passion and heat between them was immediately unbearable and Kathryn shifted trying to take him inside. Her frantic movement almost shattered Chakotay’s tenuous control.
"Oh love please hurry, god I need you," she whimpered putting her hands on his sides, he rose up on one arm guiding his penis to her and then pushed deep inside. The room grew bright, as lightening streaked down outside, and again she could see the passion in Chakotay’s dark eyes.
They froze in place staring at each other, Kathryn couldn’t move and yet the powerful feeling of him inside of her build a clawing need as intense as the fury of the storm outside. Instinctually she knew that her need couldn’t be contained, and looking into Chakotay’s eyes she saw his control break, shatter as he grabbed at her, pulling out and back in with a long deep stroke that took him all the way to the hilt.
He held himself up on his hands, arched over her, driving himself deep within her body. He strained toward climax, the tendons and veins in his neck standing out in the effort, as Kathryn matched his moves, wrenching her hips upward and into each of his driving thrusts.
Kathryn’s whole body clenched around him, and the world receded as her climax swelled in waves of blinding pleasure, she had no sense of self, of the storm, of anything except Chakotay over her and the pleasure that spread from her belly down the backs of her legs.
Her release hugged his shaft driving him toward his own climax. He thrust hard into her demanding his release and extending hers, until finally with a raw sound he drove deep and let the fire inside take him until trembling he slowly collapsed on top of her.
The world began to return and they realized that the storm had passed and quietness had returned. Chakotay rolled off Kathryn, he wanted to take her into his arms again but wasn’t sure if she would accept his embrace.
She turned towards him, "Chakotay, I think we need to talk about this."
"All right," his voice calm in contrast to the turmoil inside of him, and he offered a silent prayer that she wouldn’t pull back from this.
"Do we need to define some parameters about us?"
He was relieved at her question, and pulled her into his arms, pleased that she allowed him to hold her.
"I'm not sure 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."
She took his hand, weaving his fingers with hers, tears glistening in her eyes. "Is that really an ancient legend?"
"No, but that made it easier to say."
"I love you too Chakotay, I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between our arrival in the Delta Quadrant, and now, you have become very important to me. I am thankful every day that I am here with you. You are the answer to my Impossible Hope."
"It’s not finding a way back to the Alpha Quadrant, any more Kathryn? I thought you needed to be home."
"Yes I do, but I realized today that home is with you, Love. It doesn’t matter where we are, only that we are together. Yes I would like to get back to Earth, but fate has taken our return out of my hands. I love you, my angry warrior."
"As I do you," and he caught her mouth with his.
"What do you think?" Chakotay asked
"A boat!" Kathryn smiled.
"You said you wanted to explore the river. I think I could build this."
"We could go on a camping trip."
"I'm not sure we could fit the bathtub in the boat."
"Well, that's all right. I'll have the river."
As strange noises filled static interrupted them, and it was a moment before they realized they were hearing Tuvok’s voice.
"Captain Janeway, do you read me?"
"Do you hear that?" she asked.
"Yes." And Chakotay picked up the com-badges from a shelf and sat one down in front of Kathryn.
"Captain Janeway, do you read me? This is Tuvok calling Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay. Please respond."
She hesitated a moment and then activated it with her touch. "This is Janeway".
"Captain, it's good to hear your voice. We have news."
"What is it?"
"We have medicine which we believe will effectively treat your condition. We plan to be in orbit within thirty hours. Tuvok out"
She looked up at her love, "Impossible hope? You told me once that I wouldn’t be able to force it."
"Yes," he slipped his arm around her shoulders, "so often our impossible hope is dependent on others, happiness is always best when shared."
"Do you think we will be able to continue on Voyager? Because I don’t think I can give you up now."
"I think so. You are my brave woman warrior, you can be Captain on the Bridge of Voyager and off duty you can be Kathryn of my heart."
She smiled and taking his hand they began to plan for their return to Voyager.
I would like to credit the Warrior and Stallion story to "Northern Exposure" and that wonderful Kes like character – Marilyn Whirlwind, this is how it was originally told. It sounded so Chakotay like.
The Warrior and the Stallion
As told by Marilyn Whirlwind
Episode 5.14, "Bolt from the Blue"
My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion.
Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse.
Maybe, he said.
One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky.
Maybe, he said.
The next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies.
The people said it was very lucky.
Maybe, the warrior said.
Later, the warrior's son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg.
The people said it was unlucky.
Maybe, the warrior said.
The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed.
But, because of his broken leg, the warrior's son was left behind, and so was spared.
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