Drab-let (Guess it, pick next): “Put It Behind Us”
From/for @supernovacoffee who requested 367 words. First person to correctly identify the episode right to pick the next one.
“You’ve been quiet this morning Commander, something on your mind?”
The rest of the senior staff have left the conference room, but he waits patiently.
His eyes lose their focus on his own hands. “Actually, yes,” he says honestly. “You scared me yesterday,”
She rises and moves to lean next to his chair.
“I thought this matter was behind us Chakotay.”
“Just because I stepped aside doesn’t mean it’s behind us.”
“I wasn’t going to let her die if I could help it, surely you understand.”
‘I do and I don’t. I would also risk my life to save Kes,” he shakes his head. “I should have been the one to do it.”
“That wasn’t allowed.”
“Then I shouldn’t have let you do it,” he says more harshly than he intended. “Above everything it’s my obligation to keep you safe.”
“It’s your obligation to follow my orders,” she corrects. “And keeping me safe isn’t always possible.”
“True. But this time it was. I should have pulled you away.”
“She would have died,” she stresses.
“The lives of the many and the lives of the few, Kathryn. I’m glad things worked out. But I’m telling you, we both made the wrong call.”
“My call didn’t endanger the lives of the many,” she argues, hands in the air.
“Yes. It did. Your life is the lives of the many. This crew needs you.”
“Are you saying that if something happens to me, you wouldn’t get everyone home? Because I don’t believe that.”
“No. I’m fully prepared to take over command. But Kathryn…” he says, placing his hand over hers, “I shouldn’t have to. Not like this. Not because of a bad decision. You got lucky in that shrine and everyone knows it.”
“Luck had no bearing. And if this is because of your personal feelings toward me…”
“Personal feelings made you cross a line,” he says abruptly. Then he draws his own. “I won’t let you do it again.”
She yanks her hand from underneath his. “Is that a threat, Commander?”
“It’s a plea.”
She steadies her breath.
He expected nothing less as he moves to leave.
“And next time,” she adds before he’s gone. “You will address me as Captain and ask permission before speaking freely.”
A/N: This was a difficult one for me. As much as I wanted a sappy-sweet, ‘I’m so glad you’re okay’ I realized that her decision (and his) would have bothered Chakotay immensely on several levels. It’s one of the first times we see her trying to be a martyr. I think he’d be very concerned….