Disclaimer: I don’t own Star Trek Voyager or the characters. Wish I did!
Summary: J/C discuss a suggested activity for Voyager’s fifth reunion celebration. Written for VAMB’s Spring Fling drabble/ficlet exchange. Thanks to Dr Liz Thirose for the great first line!
“What do you mean, ‘We could go skinny-dipping’?”
Chakotay turned to look at Kathryn Janeway, who was sprawled on their sofa reading reports. “I was telling you some of the suggestions that were made during the reunion committee meeting, but that was at least five minutes ago. You weren’t listening, were you?”
“I was listening,” she answered, putting down the PADD she’d been studying. “Well, I was sort of listening. We could go skinny-dipping because-?”
“There are enough people coming to the reunion for us to reserve the entire hotel. We’d have the pool to ourselves.”
“And that means that we’d have the privacy we’d need to go skinny-dipping?” She gave him a steady look.
“That was suggested as an optional activity, yes.”
“Tom Paris made that suggestion, didn’t he?”
“He might have.” Chakotay fetched a fresh cup of coffee from the replicator and sat down beside her, handing her the steaming mug. “Couldn’t Harry have suggested it?”
“Harry is too reserved to bring up skinny-dipping.” She sipped the coffee with a sigh and settled against him. “And you, my darling, are too much of a gentleman.”
“I’ve heard it said that a gentleman is just a patient wolf.”
“Exactly—and thank god you were patient with me all those years on Voyager.”
“It’s paid off. These past five years have been worth the wait.”
“Yes, they have been.” She snuggled closer. “I’m thrilled that after so many years, we’re still getting a large turnout for the reunion.”
“That might have something to do with Tom Paris and his ‘ungentlemanly’ party suggestions.”
“He does think up some interesting things to do. However, I’m not so sure that I should go skinny-dipping at my age.”
“You don’t have a thing to be embarrassed about.”
“Even so, seeing me in my birthday suit would probably discourage attendance at future reunions.”
“I don’t think so,” Chakotay replied, putting an arm around her shoulders. “I’m rather fond of your birthday suit.”
“That’s because you get to play with it,” she chuckled as he gave her a chaste kiss on the temple.
They were silent for a while, lost in thought and enjoying a quiet moment together at the end of a busy week.
“Have you ever gone skinny dipping?” Chakotay wondered.
Kathryn sat up and faced him. “The only time I remember skinny-dipping was when I was in high school. Several of us girls had gone to a friend’s house to spend the night and keep her company while she babysat her younger siblings. She had a wonderful pool in the back yard with tiki lights and a wet bar. It was a hot July night, so we decided to skinny dip.”
Chakotay placed a hand over his heart. “I’m shocked, Kathryn. I had no idea you were so impetuous as a girl.”
She laughed and gave him a little shove. “Wait until I tell you the rest of the story. Little did we know that her little brother had found the back door standing open. Although he was only about four years old, he knew how to lock the door and set the alarm. When we tried to get back into the house an hour later, with just a skimpy bath towel to cover our nakedness, the burglar alarm went off.”
“Uh-oh.” Chakotay laughed. “And the security people arrived?”
“Very promptly and with sirens blaring. But first, the spotlights around the back yard came on automatically, flooding us with light and bringing out the neighbors, who wanted to see what the ruckus was about. Of course, Gina’s brother and sister stood inside the back door laughing at us and refusing to let us in until the security people showed up.” She snuggled into his shoulder as she chuckled. “It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my teenaged years.”
“I can imagine.” He gave her a sympathetic hug.
“We almost never lived it down. Her parents hosted a graduation party the next summer and gave all of use matching extra large beach towels with our names embroidered on them.”
He grinned. “So, are you bringing that towel to the skinny-dipping party?”
“No, because I won’t be there.” She finished her coffee and studied the inside of the cup. “Wait a minute. I just had a brilliant idea!”
Chakotay watched as she sprung to her feet and hurried to the desk. A few minutes later, she looked up at him with a big smile on her face. “Mission accomplished.”
When she returned to the sofa he asked, “What did you do over there?”
“I contacted the hotel and reserved the Bridal Suite.” At his confused look, she continued, “It comes with a large in-suite hot tub.”
“Clever! We can skinny-dip at the reunion—in the privacy of our suite!”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
“Good thinking.” Chakotay chuckled. “I’ll have something extra to look forward to this time.”
“Did you swim a lot growing up, Chakotay?”
“We didn’t have a lot of the niceties you did, as you know,” he answered, thinking back to the colony where his tribe had lived. “We had a swimming hole in the river, not a nice chlorinated pool with tiki lights and a wet bar, but we kids often spent the late summer afternoons in the water, cooling off.”
“And did you skinny dip? Or did you have another word for it?”
“We had another word for it.”
“We called it ‘swimming,’ Kathryn. Nobody in my tribe owned a swimsuit.”
“Oh, my!” Kathryn could feel a blush crawling up her neck. “Everybody swam in the nude?”
“Everybody who went swimming did.” The look on her face made him laugh out loud. “It wasn’t at all erotic. We’d seen each other every summer for years. After the initial swim, where we checked out what had transpired over the winter, we just swam.”
She studied his face. “Do you really expect me to believe that?”
Now it was his turn to blush. “I was hoping you would.”
She buried her face in his neck and laughed. “Well, too many winters have passed for me to put myself out there for inspection.”
“I feel the same way.”
“And if Tom and the others decide to take the plunge?” She looked up at him, her eyes twinkling. “Will you join them?”
“I hope to be busy elsewhere.”
“Plan on it, mister.”