"Best Woman Wins"

VOY: Janeway/Chakotay, Chakotay/7 of 9; Rated PG; A Country Song Title Challenge story

The fight took place in the mess hall. Later, people would say Janeway started it, but it really started the moment Seven came aboard.

"You lied," Kathryn said, spitting the words into Chakotay's face.

"About what?" He'd been eating lunch and talking with Seven when the captain had launched her verbal assault.

"You told me you were just friends, there was nothing more between you." If looks could have killed, he would have been nothing more than a scorch mark on the deck plating. "I come in here and find you," she almost choked on the next words, "kissing her?"

"There was something on her cheek. I was brushing it off," he answered defensively.

"And what? Your lips just slipped onto hers?" Her voice was rising. "I've had it with you." She didn't seem to care that they were in the most public place on the ship, when a good number of the crew was eating lunch.

"Fed up with me?" He stood up. "I was all ready to commit on New Earth. You're the one who pushed me away!" "Excuse me if I was still in love with Mark. I didn't appreciate you pawing all over me."

"Pawing you?!" The tattoo on his face darkened. "You're delusional, you know that?"

"You can keep him, honey," she said, ignoring Chakotay and talking to Seven. "You can put up with the macho man act and ineffectual posturing. I want nothing more to do with it or him."

"Kathryn, wait, you know it's you I love --"

"Her?" Seven was standing now, looking at Chakotay like he was something she'd scraped off the bottom of her shoe. "Not two minutes ago you were whispering those same words into my ear. Right before you kissed me."

"But, that's..." Chakotay looked between the two, realizing the position he was in. He wished Kes were there right now, or even Q. Anyone who could rewind the last five minutes.

Everyone in the mess hall had stopped eating, talking, playing cards. Neelix stood behind the counter, his pot of leola root soup forgotten. This was the best thing that had happened in the whole time he'd been aboard. Other than when he'd caught Harry and B'Elanna having sex on the table in the captain's ready room.**

"You want him?" Kathryn asked, again ignoring her first officer. "You can have him. I can do so much better." She smiled and winked at Crewman Chell.

"I don't want him," Seven protested. "Not if he tells you he loves you only five minutes after professing his undying love to me."

Chakotay looked between the two, wondering how his day could get any worse.

From the corner of the mess hall, a blond-headed figure stood up. Tom raised his hand. "I'll take him." THE END

Copyright July 2006 by Cait N.

**That's a story for another day.

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