By mistyfur
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Chapter One

Chakotay's POV

It was a question that races through everyone’s mind, from the greenest of Ensigns to the senior staff.

After all these years of being at her side, how could I leave her and betray her trust? How could I cast her from me to survive in the treachery of the Delta quadrant without me at her side to ease her burdens?

Did I no longer l love her? Did her constant rebukes of my affection push me to let go of all my dreams and hopes of a future? Or, was it our most recent conflict that had finally snapped the bond that kept us together?

I couldn’t give you just one reason. We have been drifting away from each other for so long that I no longer know what single moment caused me to back away from her, locking my feelings away, never to be spoken of again.

My spirit cries out for her, needing the peace that only she can bring me but I know that she will never allow my soul to anchor hers in her darkest of days. There was a time when she would have accepted my comfort but no longer.

Each denial cuts deeply, shredding me to pieces until only a frayed tether remains between whom I had become and who I once was.

Her warmth had brought me home but her slow metamorphous into the uncompromising captain, was destroying us all. We could only watch as the vivacious glow faded from her vibrant blue eyes, leaving behind a dull shine. No longer were smiles gracing her face, instead a frown was her constant companion. She denied us all, refusing the bond of family to come between her and her duties to us, no matter the lengths we went to gather her back into the fold.

Her stubbornness was eroding away her essence and leaving behind a cold being whose only obsession was to keep a promise given to us at the start of our journey.

Did she not realize that she was smothering us all? We could care less about reaching home, if we lost her in the process.

Did she not know that we were home?

There was no other place that I would rather be than by her side, but I could no longer stand by and watch her destroy herself. I could no longer bear to look into her eyes and watch her spirit die, helpless to save her.

Everyone asks me why Seven and not Kathryn, whom I’ve loved since the moment I saw her.

I can only answer with one word…


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