For my pondies at JetC40+. See??? I *told* you all I needed was a hint.

All characters belong to Paramount, but *I* actually let them have a life.

"Mercy" by Becca O.

Begging is so humiliating. I suppose I really should have suspected that Chakotay had an evil streak, but I never really thought he'd ever use my own tactics against me.

But I digress. I suppose I should go back to the beginning, shouldn't I?

'Hard-to-get' is a very old game. Actually, it's quite an amusing little time-waster as long as you're not on the receiving end, but therein lies my dilemma. He's such a flirt, and he knows I enjoy the double entendres on the bridge as much as, if not more, than he does. And God knows I'm a physical person. More than one superior officer over the years has reprimanded me for touching my crew, but I never dreamed in a million years that he would be able to give back in like measure what I have meted out over the past four years.

Four years?! It's no wonder we're in the shape we're in. Any sane couple would have bolted for the nearest deserted Jeffries tube after the first week of touchy-feely games.

Not Chakotay and I. Oh, no. We made the colossal competition of it, the quintessential "made you look" game carried out to the extremes. And oh my god, has it been fun!

A part of me wishes it could go on forever, but then there's the other part of me: the Kathryn who needs someone in her life. No, let's be honest. I need someone in my bed. I need someone to hold me when the terrors threaten to overwhelm me. I need someone to make love to me until the stars I see exploding with my passion are a hundred times brighter than the stars outside my window.

I need him.

My need for his presence in my life is a fire I can't put out. I crave his touch. But until earlier this evening, I feared it would never come to pass.

You see, I have played the Captain so long, and he the Commander, that our roles have become nearly insurmountable. I have let it be known on more than one occasion that I am prepared to move on, to abandon the rigid protocols that have kept me from him, but he has been quite content to continue the game.

Damn him, anyway.

He knows what this is doing to me and is enjoying every moment of discomfort he inflicts upon me. The intent, however, is not cruel, but a wicked delight which I savor.

We pass in the corridor, and he reaches out to me, one hand grasping mine in a fleeting touch. Electricity arcs between us.

We dine together and our foreheads almost touch as we converse, yet we are in the Mess Hall and cognizant of those around us.

We are teenagers again, flirting, playing a dangerous game that soon must end.

That end is in sight.

He came to me tonight, with a reasonable question that could not wait for morning, but once inside my door we knew. It was time.

Preliminaries were abandoned. After all, isn't four years of foreplay quite enough? I think so.

I thought so.

My Commander has other ideas.

I lie before him, my body open to his, tense with anticipation. His touch is gentle, too gentle. The time for softness is long past. I need him. Now.

"Not yet" he whispers, and I feel his smile as his lips graze the curve of my neck.

"Chakotay--" I sigh, his fingers brush the sides of my breasts. Close, so close, but never touching quite the right places.

Kisses are scattered in the valley in between and I need his mouth on me. I need him now.

"Soon" he sighs, his tongue tracing the rim of my navel and the invisible line to the thatch of curls at my thighs. My stomach clenches in anticipation and a heated dampness prepares me for him.

Grasping his head in my hands, I urge him onward. This is it! I think and am devastated to find he has moved past me yet again. My hips lift in silent invitation, imploring him to complete the cycle. Strong hands stretch along the length of my body, soothing my tremors, brushing the taut peaks of my breasts.

Shivering, I moan. Oh God, did I? I don't moan, but I just did. Please...please....

"Please!" The word escapes my lips in a whimper.

His teeth nip at my thigh even as his hands grasp my hips.

"Kathryn?" he asks, seeking my belated permission.

Oh, gods, begging is so humiliating. Or is it?

"Chakotay, please. Now."

Permission granted, his glorious hands lift me to his mouth and I see my stars. He makes love to me in ways I've only dared to dream of in the sanctuary of my quarters. Agile fingers join lips to play upon my flesh in a symphony of delight. Tighter and tighter the tension coils in the pit of my belly.

Soon. Oh, gods, soon, please.

My fingers are, I fear, permanently tangled in his hair as I hold him to me.

Swirling his tongue against me, his fingers advance and retreat, simulating the communion we will soon share.

"Yes"... my voice breaks as the tremors begin, and as the tremors begin, he lifts himself above me. Joining his body to mine, he rocks against me and I shatter around him. Steadily he pushes into me, relentlessly seeking his own release. I grasp his bottom and urge him onward, as if I can actually pull him deeper into my soul.

But he is already there. We are one. Crying out my name, he spills himself into my body in a blessing as old as time. A blessing that washes away everything and everyone who has come before.

Mercy. Blessed relief at last. Our bodies begin to cool in the night air, and I can but ask one thing...



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