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They say that even adults must play. It is the part of our spirits that wants to run free for at least a little while, to forget our troubles. We all need that play time to be children again for a while. It is even more rejuvenating to the spirit when you share this play time with another. It's the mischievious part of us that makes us drop ice down someone's shirt or poke some one in the sides to tickle them. The part of us that makes us laugh and smile when we see children at play. That part of us that longs for that carefree feeling again. This is the part of us that makes us want to run through the grass barefoot and chase butterflies through a field. So this story is dedicated to the child in all of us, we all know it's there and everyone has to let that part of themselves show every now and then to help us keep our sanity. Of course this is a Voyager story, so our favorite Captain and Commander get to have some much deserved play time.

Always read the fine print!

Disclaimer: All the characters herein, except for the other monkey and any others I decide to throw in, belong to Paramount and Viacom. NO infringement on their ownership is intended. This is a work of fanfic. As such you may distribute it electronically, but please keep my name and the disclaimers on it, also if you want to archive it or include it on one of your pages please ask me first. Thanks a bunch!

Enjoy "Play Time". (for lack of a better title, besides, this title seems so appropriate for the subject) Feedback is welcome! :) Ms.Vixen@juno.com

Note: This story takes place during "Resolutions", sort of. In my version they don't get rescued as quickly as on the show. They have to learn a little more before they get back to the ship. :)

Kathryn looked at her First Officer. She thought about that for a moment, technically he wasn't her First Officer anymore. For that matter she wasn't his Captain anymore either. They hadn't held those titles for the past four months. Ever since they left Voyager they had called each other by their names. They had become very comfortable with each other. Not that they hadn't been on the ship, but on the ship they hadn't had to be in such close proximity almost all the time. They were learning about each other's habits and even more about their senses of humor. For instance, she knew that mushrooms were one of his favorite foods and he also liked to go outside late at night to simply sit and watch the stars and the nature around them. She watched him do this a few times. Kathryn also liked to go out at night and simply look at nature and the stars, but she always managed not to do it at the same time he did. Something seemed so personal about and intimate about it. They both respected that and didn't intrude on each other. She knew that he had also watched her a few times. The sound of him turning toward her broke her out of her thoughts. She looked up to see that he was staring at her.

"Something wrong, Kathryn?" he asked.

She smiled at him. She always appreciated how much he cared about her. She liked it. "I was just thinking." she said still smiling.

He looked relieved that she wasn't upset about something or still homesick. "What about?"

She blushed and quickly tried to think of something to say when he smiled at her. " Nothing in particular", she finally said.

"Oh, I see", he said with a huge grin on his face.

She turned around to pick up the dishes from dinner. She felt like she had to look away from him or she might say or do something that she would want to smack herself for later. She realized that she had been feeling that way a lot since his "Angry Warrior" legend a few nights before.

"Well, once we're done with the dishes I'm going to go for a walk", he said matter of factly.

She simply nodded.

They put the rest of the dishes into the recycler. Chakotay walked outside and headed off into the woods. Kathryn decided to do a little reading while he was gone. She tried to read "Moby Dick", but decided that she wasn't in the mood for that kind of story. She put away the PADD with he book on it and started to go outside. She stopped in the open doorway. Chakotay had returned from his walk and was standing just outside, looking up at the stars. She wasn't sure if should join him outside or not. Something about the look on his face as he stood silhouetted in the moonlight looking at the stars made her decide that she wouldn't really be intruding. She quietly walked outside and stood next to him and looked at the stars. "You miss them too." she said still looking at the stars.

"Yes", he continued to look at the stars. "I never said that I didn't. I just accepted having to stay here easier."

they stood there for several minutes still staring at the stars. Kathryn broke the tranquil silence.

"You know, I would have gone stir crazy by now if you weren't here."

Chakotay looked over at her. She was still looking at the stars as she continued.

"The truth is, you're the only reason I've accepted this situation now." She looked over at him and met his eyes.

"I wouldn't have been able to stand it here alone", Chakotay said with a slightly husky tone.

They just stared into each other's eyes. They were already standing very close and they slowly leaned closer to each other. their faces were mere inches from each other. A sudden noise in the trees startled them. They both jumped and looked at a nearby tree to see, the now familiar, monkey sitting on a branch staring at them. They both laughed. Kathryn looked over at Chakotay again only glancing at his face, avoiding his eyes.

"I'll be in the house", she said and quickly headed toward the door. She was just about to walk inside when she heard him say something, apparently to the monkey.

"You, my little friend, have lousy timing."

She couldn't help but laugh at that.

"Kathryn, come here. Quick." he said in a slightly hushed voice.

She turned and went back out to stand by him again. "What is it?"

"Look." He pointed toward the monkey.

She followed his gaze. The monkey was still sitting on the branch, but now he wasn't alone. There was another slightly smaller monkey next to it.

"See the little female?" he asked quietly.

"She's cute. They seem very friendly", she said as the monkeys wrapped their arms around each other.

"I think your little friend is trying to introduce his girlfriend to us", Chakotay said in a whisper.

She looked at him.

"Nice work. She seems very sweet". he said to the monkey. "I think you'll have cute kids."

The monkeys took off into the trees together.

"Looks like they're off on their honeymoon", she said with a smile.

"Yeah, I have a feeling it's going to be a little noisy around here tonight", he said with a grin.

"Chakotay!" she was surprised by his comment. She was used to his sense of humor for that most part, but usually the only comments he made that had sexual connotations were very vague. This is one was pretty blatant.

"Sorry. I couldn't resist. the look on your face was priceless."

"Oh really." She put her hands on her hips. "And what about the look on your face?"

"When?" He looked very puzzled.

"Now." She pulled a small twig off a branch behind her and gently swatted him on the behind with it. She was right, the look on his face was priceless. He was definitely not expecting that. She dropped the twig and quickly ran into the house. Chakotay stood there for a moment slightly stunned. She was being arnry. This wasn't exactly the way she usually acted. She did act occasionally mischievious, they both did, and playful in a rather neutral way. Usually something that couldn't be construed as more than a friendly playfulness, but this was more of a sexually gauged playfulness. Especially considering what they were talking about just before that. He picked the twig up off the ground and looked at it for a moment. He grinned broadly as a mischievious idea formed in his mind. Kathryn was hiding in her alcove when Chakotay came into the house. She peeked around the partition and saw him set the stick she had used down on her work table. Then she quickly ducked back into the alcove as he turned around. She heard him leave the house. Kathryn decided to venture out into the main part of the house. Kathryn looked around but didn't see any sign of Chakotay hiding near the door. She picked up the stick off of the table and looked it over. She decided to go back outside. When she walked out the door a very familiar voice spoke up.

"The culprit returns to the scene of the crime. And with the weapon even."

She turned around to get a handful of leaves thrown at her.

"Now wait a minute. I'm the one with the stick here", she said teasingly.

"So."

"My weapon is bigger than yours", she said grinning.

He suddenly got a huge grin on his face, and she realized the alternate meaning that could be taken out of that comment.

"I was talking about the stick", she corrected, holding the stick up for emphasis.

He started chuckling.

She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "This conversation has degenerated to a childish level", she said but she couldn't help giggling a little.

"I'm sorry." He was still chuckling, but he was making a valiant attempt.

Kathryn tossed the stick at him missing him intentionally. "Here. I think this stick has caused enough trouble."

"I think you're right."

She noticed the mischievious sparkle in his eyes. She started backing away as she spoke. "What are you up to?"

He held out his hands and gave her his best innocent look, but his grin betrayed him. "Me?"

She started backing up a little faster. "Yes, you, Chakotay. I know that look. You're planning something."

"I'm not planning." He reached for something on his makeshift work bench.

She realized she hadn't noticed the glass of ice water sitting there, which he was now reaching for.

He swirled the ice water around in the glass as he stepped continually closer to her. "As I said, I'm not planning something. I'm improvising." He rushed toward her with the glass.

Kathryn quickly ducked behind a tree. With the tree in front of her she couldn't quite keep as close an eye on Chakotay as she wanted to. She leaned around one side of the tree and saw him immediately head toward her. They ended up chasing each other from one side of the tree around to the other.

"Chakotay! Don't you dare!"

Chakotay lunged for her with the glass. She let out a squeal as she dodged the water by only a few inches, but she didn't miss the piece of ice that he dropped down the back of her dress.

"Oh! You're going to pay for that!" she mock threatened; both of them still laughing.

"What are you going to do, make one of Neelix's recipes?"

"You should be so lucky!"

"Let me see." He tapped his forehead as if he were trying to think hard. "I have the rest of the ice and you have...nothing. Hmm. I wonder whose going to win this little stand off."

"I will." she said defiantly. The huge grin on her face was a big tip off that she was having alot of fun and that she was up to something.

Chakotay decided to try the ice again. He lunged toward her with a piece of ice already in hand. However, she was expecting it he quickly realized as she grabbed the hand with the ice cube and grabbed the wrist of the other arm which was holding the glass.

"I'm not going to let you drop more ice down this dress without a fight." her laughter was music to his ears. He could tell that she was truly happy.

He was quickly rousted out of his musings when a nut of some sort hit him in the head. He looked at Kathryn and she looked as puzzled as he did. She was still holding onto him so he knew she didn't throw it. They heard a squak from a nearby tree and realized it was the monkey again.

"No fair. You're getting outside help." The monkey launched another nut at him. "It would appear that he is trying to protect you."

"Let's make sure he understands that it's just a game."

"Good idea. Those nuts are a little hard." They grinned at each other.

She let go of Chakotay's arms and turned to look at the monkey. "I thought you were off on your honeymoon. You know, for a monkey, you have an impeccable sense of timing."

The monkey just stared at her. "It's ok. He wasn't trying to hurt me. You can go back to your girlfriend now." the monkey looked at he for a second then scampered back into the woods.

"He actually listened to me."

"You sound surprised."

"A little. I guess you didn't seem very threatening at the moment."

"Thanks. I think." He grinned when he received the laugh he was expecting from her. By the way, you're safe now. I put the glass of ice down."

"Thank you, but..."

"What?"

She gave him a full smile. "Nobody said you were safe."

He didn't have enough warning to dodge her, as close as she was. She gently poked him in the sides and received an answer to a question she hadn't actually asked as he started laughing.

"I knew it! You're ticklish!" she yelled triumphantly as she continued her assault.

"No fair!" he managed between laughs. "That's cheating! I didn't try to tickle you!" By now he was laughing so hard he was on his knees, but Kathryn didn't let that stop her. She stayed as close to him as she could to keep tickling him. In the process, however, she ended up directly in front of him. In an attempt to escape the tickle barrage, Chakotay swung his arm around her waist and fell backward taking her with him.

Kathryn was not expecting to be pulled down on top of him. She let go of him when they hit the ground giving him the opportunity he was looking for. He quickly flipped over pinning her beneath him. They were both still laughing so hard their sides hurt. He pinned her arms above her head. "Now who said you could tickle me?" He grinned at her for a moment. "Perhaps I should return the favor. I wonder...are you ticklish." The look on her face was answer enough to that question.

"That was payback for the ice." She tried to get up but he was still pinning her to the ground. "Are you going to let me get up any time soon?" she said with a hint of laughter still in her voice.

She looked up at him when he didn't answer her. Their eyes met and the grins faded from both of their faces as they continued to stare into each other's eyes. They just stayed there staring into each other's eyes for several moments. Chakotay was the one who eventually broke the silence. "I think I should go back in the house."

She could hear the reluctance in his voice and the unasked question. "I guess so." Her reply sounded as reluctant as his and the question in it was as obvious as his.

Neither of them moved from that spot. They both wanted to stay right where they were and they were each waiting for the other to say they didn't want to stay there. Chakotay leaned closer to her as they continued to stare at each other, searching each other's eyes and finding an answering emotion to their own. She didn't try to move away from him. Their lips met in the softest, most loving, and tender kiss either of them had ever experienced. It was very gentle and innocent but also filled with a promise of fiery passion should they choose to unleash it. This was their first kiss, after all.

Their lips seperated and he drew back slightly. They looked into each other's eyes. They both looked a little surprised. This wasn't something they had planned on doing. They stayed there for a moment, neither one saying anything.