By Traci Benton

(Janeway is sitting cross-legged on the couch in the ready room, reading the newest report from Tuvok, looking very tired and generally ill, there is a chime from the door and she sighs)
J: Come in
(Chakotay enters and stands in front of her, she doesn't look up)
C: It's 0400 hours
J: I am aware of the time thank you commander, is that all?
C: You should get some sleep
J: I will
C: I mean now
J: I'm busy
C: The doctor will find out
J: (she looks up at him) not if you don't tell him
C: You look awful
J:(she goes back to reading the report) what is it you wanted?
C: I wanted and want you to get some sleep; you haven't slept in what is it 3 days?
J: (sighs) something like that
(Chakotay sits down next to Janeway and looks at what she is reading)
C: I can do that for you…please get some sleep
J: No, its alright I can do it
C: (sighs) Kathryn- I'm worried about you
J: (she looks genuinely confused and kind of out of it) Why?
C: (tries to take the report off of her but she moves it away) please get some sleep
J: I'm not tired, please Chakotay don't go on at me
C: I will go on and on at you until you get some sleep
J: Please don't…(she goes back to the report)
(Chakotay sits looking at her concerned)
J: Chakotay?
C: Yes?
J: Why are you still here?
C: (sighs) Go to sleep, I don't want to set the doctor on you but I will, and you know I will
J: Go ahead, I don't care; I'll just deactivate him…(she thinks) I don't mean that
C: Good
(Janeway closes her eyes and rubs her neck sighing)
C: You need to sleep
J: I know
C: (he gets up and holds out his hand for her to take, she doesn't, just looks at her report)
J: hmm?
C: (he sighs and sits back down touching her arm lightly) What's wrong?
J: Nothings wrong
C: Something is wrong, you have been avoiding me for days
J: No I haven't, I've been busy
C: (sighs) right
J: (She looks up at him) I'm sorry Chakotay
C: For what?
(She looks at him for a few seconds; a painful look on her face then turns back to the Pad)
C: Kathryn…(he puts a hand on her neck lightly) please…tell me what's wrong
J: (She sighs and leans against his shoulder still reading the report) Nothings wrong
C: Tell me-please…I want to help (he puts his arm around her shoulder, closes his eyes and kisses her hair lightly)
J: (looks away from her report wondering what to do) Chakotay…
C: Yes?
J: … Nothing
C: (brushing her hair with his fingertips) please tell me what's wrong
J: (sighs) nothing's wrong
C: Yes you keep telling me that, but something
is wrong
J: (places the PADD on her lap and turns slightly to look at Chakotay giving him a weak smile) I'm fine (she looks far from fine and he strokes her face with the back of his hand)
J: (she looks into his eyes) Chakotay…(her voice trails off and she looks away)
C: What is it? (He brushes her face with his hand again and she looks back at him)
J: I…(she bursts out…) Chakotay-I love you
C: (he looks shocked for a second and she goes to get up)
J: I'm sorry I…
C: (he holds her arm keeping her from moving away from him, she looks at him near to tears, he brushes a stray lock of hair behind her ear and smiles slightly) I love you too Kathryn
J: (the tears break free silently and he brushes them away gently) You do?
C: (he kisses her slightly on the lips and whispers) I've always loved you Kathryn
(She takes Chakotay's hand in hers and strokes it lovingly)
C: I love you (he kisses her on the lips and pulls away smiling as fresh tears fall down Janeway's face) what's wrong?
J: (laughs gently) Nothing now, everything's perfect
C: Except you are shattered
J: (she lays against Chakotay and he places his arms around her) Hmm I am actually now you mention it (they both laugh gently and Chakotay resumes stroking her hair)
(They stay like this for a few minutes in silence)
C: (whispers) Kathryn…Kathryn are you asleep? (No answer)
(He kisses her head gently and takes her hand in his, smiling to himself he leans back and sighs happily)