Author's note: Response to my own 'tell someone off' challenge. Hand holding provided, as always, by Rocky. Takes place during season 7.
Disclaimer: You know the drill. Not mine.
The mess hall was completely empty at 0500 hours, much to my relief, as I ordered some toast and coffee at the replicator. After a sleepless night, I needed time to myself to rationalize what I had done before my duty shift began.
With the state of turmoil in my stomach, I figured toast was the safest bet. I took my tray and sat by the windows, staring out at the starscape flying by. Seven years in the Delta Quadrant and I still hadn't gotten tired of this view. I ate slowly and deliberately, and ignored the few officers who started to drift in.
"Is this seat taken?"
My hand shook as I looked up at Kathryn. She offered me a tight lipped smile.
"No," I said finally. "Have a seat."
"You've been here a while," she said, indicating my plate, which was now empty save for a few crumbs.
"Couldn't sleep," I said. Which was as close to the actual truth as I could get without having my ass handed to me on a platter for any number of violations in the Starfleet book of regulations. There are *rules* against this sort of thing, I thought miserably.
"Neither could I." She took a deep breath. "I was thinking about what you said yesterday morning--"
I held up my hand. "Captain--"
"No, let me finish. I know you were against the alliance with the Rokklizts because they're demanding too much--"
"Dilithium is too high a price to pay for safe passage, Captain."
"We need the Rokklizts if we're going to get through this part of space. We need their maps and their supplies. We'll find another source of dilithium."
I stared down into what remained of my coffee. "I understand."
"Don't think I didn't spend the night ruminating," Kathryn said. She took a deep breath. "But I've decided that this course of action is in the best interests of the crew, even if it makes things harder later on." I heard the mess hall doors open and I jerked to attention as Seven of Nine walked in and headed towards the replicator. She did not look at me and I felt my stomach clench and unclench.
Kathryn eyed me sharply. "Chakotay?" She covered my hand lightly with hers. "Are you all right? I can tell you're still upset with me.
I pulled my gaze reluctantly away from Seven and turned back to the Captain. "Not everything is about you," I told her evenly. She opened her mouth and then closed it. I rose from my seat, picking up my tray. "I will see you on the Bridge."
~ the end
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