Disclaimer: Voyager belongs to Paramount, but at least some of this story is the product of my own twisted imagination.

Summary: Harry falls in love, but it's Chakotay that gets the girl. This is just something that worked its way into my mind after seeing 'The Disease', and therefore may contain slight spoilers.

***** denotes a change of storyteller.  The first and last sections are told from Kathryn's POV.

Torrent of Emotion

By LauraJo, June 2000
E-mail: laura@laurajo.net

"You've got 30 seconds before I have Tuvok *drag* you to Sickbay!"

It was at this point that I lost all reason. Harry Kim, the proverbial 'good son', had finally gotten me really, really mad. I was out for blood. Unfortunately, when I get like that, when I'm *that* mad, I tend not to think about what I'm saying. And this time, it was me that reaped the consequences. Not Harry, but me.

*****

"You've got 30 seconds before I have Tuvok *drag* you to Sickbay!"

Harry's reply was passionate, heartfelt. The meek Harry Kim of ages passed was nowhere to be seen as this new, 'no-one-crosses-me-or-my-love' Harry Kim took over. "Captain, I am *not* sick! I didn't disobey your orders because I'm under some alien influence. I disobeyed your orders because Tal and I are in *love*, and it's not *right* for you to keep us apart!"

"Listen to yourself! You don't sound anything like the Harry Kim I know." Kathryn had noticed the difference, and at this moment in time it was not a difference she cared for very much.

"Good!" Harry was shouting, Kathryn was listening. She didn't have much choice. "I have served on this ship for five years and said, 'yes, ma'am' to every one of your orders! But *not* this time!"

"You're willing to risk your rank--your *career*--over this?"

Harry paused as if to gather his thoughts before speaking again. Later, he would wonder where exactly his brain was at that moment. "Have you ever been in love, Captain?"

"Your point?"

Blissfully oblivious to the havoc he was about to let loose, Ensign Kim let loose himself. "Did your skin ever flush when you were near another person? Did your stomach ever feel like someone... *hollowed* it out with a knife when you were apart? Did your throat ever swell when you realized it was over?"

The shit hit the fan. At warp speed.

"You think I don't know what it's like to love? To love, and then to lose someone? I've been through that more times than you know, you do not have the monopoly on that feeling. I know what it feels like to not be with the person you love - physically, emotionally, it hurts. I know that. First Justin dies as I'm standing there helpless to do anything about it, then when I finally allow myself to love again I'm torn away from Mark, my *second* fiancÚ, by some dying entity that thinks a lottery is the best way to find itself a... a... I don't even know what it was looking for anymore. And then, in some cruel twist of fate that *someone* obviously thought was funny I fall in love again, against my better judgement, with the one man that I really do believe I could be happy with for the rest of my life. It just so happens that he's also the one man I can't be with, so I have to live with seeing him everyday, speaking to him, working with him... Have you ever tried to get over someone that you can never separate yourself from?  Trying not to let him feel what you feel in every touch, see it in every glance, hear it as you..."

By now Harry's anger had drained from him and he was standing open mouthed, gaping at the woman before him, who never usually talked to anyone about her innermost feelings and was now spouting them at him at a rate far faster than he knew how to cope with. He did feel however that he should interrupt her before she shed any more of her deepest secrets.

"Umm...Captain?"

"What!"

"Don't you think you should be telling someone else about all this? Chakotay, perhaps?"

The death glare Harry received at this suggestion only served to remove whatever fight he'd had left in him, so he was left to take whatever more his Captain was going to throw at him without any form of defence whatsoever.

"Chakotay? Tell Chakotay?! Have you been listening to a single word I've said? Chakotay is the one person I can never say this to, because I know that it would change everything. The moment he hears me tell him I love him it all ends. Our relationship would never be the same again. I could never send him off on an away mission knowing that I could be sending my lover to his death. I'd work our shifts and our jobs around us having more time to spend together. I'd lose my edge, that final scrap of detachment that lets me do my job the way I'm supposed to do it. And the ship would suffer. I can't do it, I won't. And even if I could, what am I supposed to say? 'Janeway to Chakotay, I'm sorry I never told you this, I mean I've only had the last five years to do it, but I love you'?!"

At this point Kathryn paused long enough to see the look that was both horror and shock fall over Harry's face.

Harry just stood there, unable to find the words to say even if he could get his tongue to respond to the messages his brain was sending.

Outside of the ready room doors, a deadly silence had descended over the bridge.

And no-one wanted to be the one to tell Captain Kathryn Janeway that she had just opened a comm channel to her First Officer and told him exactly how she felt in front of the whole bridge crew.

*****

So what was the fallout from all this? Well, Chakotay and I finally had 'the talk', which went pretty much as might have been expected. We were married on a beautiful M Class planet a month ago, and our first child is due in eight months time. Seems our wedding night was a productive one.

And Harry Kim? It took me a while to realise it, I expect the same was true for him, but he got what he wanted - he never made it to sickbay.

THE END

On to the sequel! - Action and Reaction

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