Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters and the series. I just try to read between the lines.
Written: December 9, 1999
Author's Notes: This story is in response to a challenge to write a Christmas story involving Janeway and Kashyk. This is what I came up with. It's not a happy one, but I hope the ending makes up for that. So, without further ado...
A Random Act of Kindness
"What's this?" asked Kashyk, waving a piece of paper in front of Kathryn's face.
Kathryn sat calmly on the floor, her back against the wall, staring at him. "A calendar. I've kept it since I got here," she said pointedly.
Kashyk muttered under his breath. He had no idea why he was so lenient with her. After Voyager had been seized, her crew was auctioned off as slaves and the Imperium had "given" her captain to him as a reward.
That was two seasons ago, half of which she spent constantly asking about her crew and being generally uncooperative...at least until... He tried to push the thought out of his head. He felt her looking at him. He hated the way she looked at him now, with disdain and distrust. Not that he blamed her - he just didn't like it.
Her stubbornness finally got to him shortly after she arrived. He remembered the fire in her eyes, challenging him. And suddenly he had had enough.
Kashyk stared at the calendar in his hand, but in his mind he saw only the look in her eyes when he had roughly thrown her on the bed and held her down as he ripped her dress. But then he had frozen. This female could say so much without opening her mouth. He paused and stared down at her. He was perfectly within his rights. He knew that. But something made him roll off of her.
Shaking his head slightly, he focused again on the calendar, noticing a highlighted section. He thrust the calendar toward her, pointing to the highlighted section. "What's this?" he demanded.
Kathryn pulled her legs toward her and hugged them as she looked at the paper, then at Kashyk. "Christmas," she said giving as little explanation as possible.
Kashyk rolled his eyes in frustration. "What. Is. That?"
Kathryn paused before she spoke. "A holiday on Earth. It's essentially a time of good will. One of the traditions is to exchange gifts or to do something nice for someone else." She refused to look at him.
"So, how many days until this 'holiday,' according to your calendar?"
"Five days. Two and a half, according to yours."
"Mm. I see." Kashyk slowly crumpled the paper in his hand. "Well, you have no need for this here," he said as he dropped the wad of paper in her lap.
He saw the hurt flash briefly in her eyes before she looked down at the paper. He closed his eyes to steel himself against the effect she had on him. "It's time for bed. You will sleep with me."
Kathryn held her chin in a defiant manner as she stood, stripped, and climbed under the covers. A few moments later, Kashyk climbed in the bed, wearing only trousers.
Kathryn lay on her back, staring at the ceiling, her arms resting outside the covers. Kashyk turned on his side, his back to here. He'd not been able to force himself on her since that first attempt. But that kiss forever played in his mind. He remembered her passion and strength. Traits he knew she still possessed but rarely allowed him to see. So when there were moments that she allowed his touch, he showed tenderness and affection... and even, perhaps, love. But words were never spoken. An unspoken rule between them. But when it was over, it was over. Sex was used as a release for both of them. After that they retreated back to their routine.
He felt her shift in the bed. "Tomorrow, I will be gone all day." He said. "I will leave enough credits for you to shop for food. Magna will accompany you."
"Fine," Kathryn replied quietly.
It was a long time before Kashyk fell asleep.
Kashyk awoke to find Kathryn snuggled against him in her sleep. Her warmth comforted him. It also aroused his deprived desire, causing him to shrug her off angrily. "Wake up," he ordered as she swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up. He looked back at her, as she blinked the sleep out of her eyes. "Get dressed. Magna will be here soon."
The rest of the day was uneventful. Kashyk left for duty and Kathryn spent the morning shopping with Magna and the afternoon cleaning and preparing the evening meal.
Kashyk arrived home later than usual. He stood in the doorway, staring at her, with an odd expression on his face.
Kathryn looked at him and sighed, expecting the worst. "What's wrong now?" she asked.
"I brought company for dinner," he said.
Kathryn walked toward to door to greet his guests, when Kashyk stepped out of the doorway to allows his guests to enter.
Kathryn froze in her tracks, unable to believe her eyes. "Tom?" she whispered.
It was indeed Tom Paris who stood before her. A little thin, but it was Tom. His face broke out in a smile as he slowly walked toward her and pulled her into a hug. She closed her eyes as she felt his arms pull her close. After a moment, she opened her to look at Kashyk, but instead found Chakotay's tired eyes watching the reunion. "Chakotay?" Kathryn looked from him to Kashyk and back again, in total disbelief. She slipped from Tom's arms and into Chakotay's. He too was quite thin.
After a few minutes, the initial shock wore off and she turned her attention to Kashyk, who was standing in front of the now closed door. "You have one hour," he said. "Make the most of your time."
Kathryn walked away from her friends and approached Kashyk, her eyes full of questions. "Why?" she whispered. Kashyk looked down at her with rare unveiled compassion. "Merry Christmas, Kathryn."
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