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Teens & Up

Title: Dancing With Shadows
Author: Ky (venom69)
Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Rating: Teens & Up
Summary: Dance, twirl, dance, twirl.
Character/Pairing: Janeway/Chakotay
Spoilers: None… the shows ended!
Warnings: None, really.
Prompt Number for fic101: 6 - Crazy
Author’s Notes: Song belongs to Roxette.
Disclaimer: Usual guff. Not mine, promise to put them back where I found them.
Date: 27/12/06


Hold on tight,
You know she's a little bit dangerous.
She's got what it takes to make ends meet
The eyes of a lover that hit like heat.
You know she's a little bit dangerous.


She spends four days chained to a wall.

There's water up to her ankles. It's so cold that her feet are numb. Her arms ache from holding the rest of her body upright. Thoughts take too much effort.

She doesn't remember if they fed her.

They gave her water, through a tube in her wrist that feeds directly to her veins, but there's something in it.

At night - she knows its night for no light shines through the tiny hole in the roof that she has as her link to the outside world - the shadows move and dance around her.

Music plays and demons entice her into their sweet embrace. They twirl with her for hours, until night and day don’t have any meaning.

Dance, twirl, dance, twirl.

Spinning her, singing to her, silencing her screams of terror.

She is crazy, now. She wasn't always.


She is missing four days.

They scan for her, send search parties to her last known locations. They question - interrogate - the less than friendly characters that were linked with her disappearance.

One moment there, the next... just, not.

There is no signs of her, no signs of a struggle at the marketplace she'd been in.

When they show people a holoimage of her and ask, "Have you seen this woman?" the people shrug.

Some comment on her hair - not a common colour here, apparently - and a few of the men even smirk, but it is merely the smirk of attraction, not the smirk of the knowing. There is nothing.

Government officials placate them, offer them meaningless platitudes and re-iterate how sorry the planet is for their loss.

"You have replacement, no?" They ask.

He steps forward. "That would be me. And that is unacceptable."

"You can do the job?"

"Not like she can."

He vows to find her.


They hold her four days.

In silence, they watch as she struggles.

At first, she attempts to make her escape. She pulls at the shackles and chains that bind her, looking for a weak link. Eventually, she hurts her arms by doing that and they watch as determination gives way to defeat.

They try to feed her on the first night, but she refuses to eat.

Instead they give her liquid through a tube, directly into her hand. It keeps her body hydrated; they know that her kind needs that.

She does not sleep, but the shadows take her to blackness for short periods of time.

"This one is strong," They whisper to each other. "She has survived the longest."

Fascination clouds all of them as they watch the stranger dance.

She sees things not of their world and they wonder if this is a trick that can be learned.

They hide in the darkness.

Watching, waiting, learning.


She doesn't remember her name now.

A name that was given to her at birth and has been with her for almost four decades. A name that she has heard spoken in anger, love, greeting. Her name has been a caress and a curse. Oh, she knows full well that she had one.

She just doesn't know what it is.

The shadows dance with her constantly now, they don't let her rest and they don't let her forget the steps.

Her body moves with them, because of them, for them.

There are dead weights attached to her legs now, she thinks that they used to be feet. She's not really sure of that anymore, either.

She used to have arms once, too.

They have long since been forgotten. She knows that her water goes into her body somehow, but she only feels it when it starts at her shoulders and pulses through her.

The shadows scream at her.


Has she failed them?

No, she has not stopped moving. She obeys, for there is nothing else that she needs to do anymore.

She is crazy. Maybe she always was.


On the fourth day, she appears.

It happens in a rush.

Her bio signature was not there and then it was, blinking strongly on the several displays that they had showing.

Harry had cried out triumphantly, a joyous shout of "I've got her!" Followed by utter silence as everyone waited for conformation. "She's in Transporter room two." He had sighed, slumping back onto his stool.

Chakotay had been in a Turbolift before he could even think about it.

By the time he'd reached the transporter rooms, the halls were buzzing with the news. She was back, they were all OK now and everything would be fine.

He'd stormed in and the first thing that he'd noticed was the stunned look on Ensign Bor's face as she'd stood, mouth open, staring at the heap on the transporter pad.

She was barely recognizable.

Her uniform was gone, replaced by light cloth that covered her torso, from neck to knees.

Her arms were blue, her feet almost black.

Chakotay had stopped breathing for several long seconds. It was only the doctor's entrance that had spurred him into action.



Two voices called to her but she did not stir.


On the fourth day, they loose her.

For four days they monitored her, watched her movements and her interactions with the people that only she could see. They tried to learn her secret. They wanted to dance with the people that she saw. They wanted to be in her world, with her.

They monitored her so carefully, so accurately, but they still do not know anything of her world. They know only that she dances.

She is gone and they cry for the loss.

"She was the best," One says.

"There will be others." Another replies.

The others agree. "There always is."


She smiles, the innocence of a child swirling through her veins. "Dance with me!" She cries, twirling.

The shadows are not there, but she knows the steps.

She has disappointed them. She is unsure how, she is unsure why, but she knows that she stopped moving for a long time.

They do not like that, they want to watch her move, they want to dance with her.

Her body twists and turns as she tries to please them, tries to win their favor again.

There was a man, once, a lot older than she. She would hide beneath his legs and wait for him to be ready for her. And she would try to please him. She used to call him 'Daddy' but that doesn’t matter anymore. She does not need him.

Not while she has the others to dance with.

She cries to them, cries to the night, cries to the blackness. She begs for their forgiveness. She did not mean to stop; she does not know how she stopped or how she started again.

Dance, dance, dance, they whisper.

She smiles.

She is still crazy, she is still with them.


On the seventh day she wakes from her medically induced slumber.

Three days, the Doctor gave her.

When they get her back, he spends hours examining her and, eventually, he forces her body into unconsciousness, feeds her through a tube, keeps her hydrated and repairs the damage to her extremities.

On the seventh day he tells Chakotay that it is time to wake her.

"Her body is as healed as it's going to get without movement," He says. "And we wont know if there's any mental damage until she's awake."

They do not know what was done to her; there are no marks on her body beyond the damage to her feet - extreme hypothermia - and arms - prolonged limitation of blood flow. Scans show a chemical in her body, unknown to them. Her wrists show where she was chained but there are no other blemishes that tell her story.

Only she can do that now.

Her eyes open, darting around the room, but they do not focus on anything and Chakotay sees no spark of recognition in their depths.

She is kept in the medical bay, behind a containment field, privacy screen up.

They tell the crew who stop by that she is resting, she needs to regain her strength and her body needs to heal.

When they ask how she is, The Doctor says that she will make a quick medical recovery.

Chakotay smiles at them, reassures them and says, "Our Captain is too strong and stubborn to be out of action long. You'll see her soon."

He lies to them and wonders if he fools himself, too.


She cannot dance anymore.

The steps have been forgotten.

Days have gone by, she knows that.

The shadows told her before they went.

They did not say goodbye, though. They were there one moment and simply gone the next.

She mourns her loss silently. Water leaks from her eyes and her breath heaves when the others are not near her.

The others watch her now, but they are not the shadows that she knows.

People, voices, movement comes and goes, but two remain constant in her world of confusion.

One comes to her regularly; he touches her, moves parts of her around that she didn't recall owning. He speaks to her, his voice low. He says things like "You're doing very well, Captain." and, "Excellent progress, Captain." but she knows that he can't possibly be speaking to her. Even if she remembered the name that she may have once held, she knows that it was not 'Captain.'

Another sits across from her. He has been there for longer than she knows. Perhaps he watched her when she stopped moving. Perhaps he judged her for her failure.

That is where he sleeps too - though he does not lay as she does - and she wonders if he dances with the shadows as well.

Do they keep him here for the same reason that they keep her? Is he her new dance partner?

Is she still crazy? She almost hopes so.


The Doctor finally admits that he's worried.

"She's been back for over a week and she's still completely unresponsive."

"Catatonic?" Chakotay asks, heart pounding.

"No, I don't think so." The Doctor frowns. He does not understand why he cannot help her. He is programmed to know how to help people and when one of the people he cares about the most needs him, he finds himself with little insight to her condition. "Sometimes her eyes seem to follow me as I examine her, but she doesn't appear to know who she is or where she is. She doesn't respond when I speak with her and she makes no indication that she is aware of me performing physiotherapy on her extremities, but whenever she hears your voice, her heart rate increases. I've only just noticed the pattern on the monitor."

"Should I speak with her?"

"I think we should try it, yes."

"Can you lower the containment field permanently?"

The Doctor nods. "She's not contagious, I'm not certain that she ever was. I just don't know what's happening in her mind. Something inside of her brain was altered, but unless she communicates with us, I still don't know the extent of the damage."

Chakotay waits until a glimmer appears in front of him, signaling the lowering of the force field, before he crosses the threshold of the medical bay.

He's spent the previous week sitting in a chair by the bay, watching her sleep. Tuvok has the Bridge. He couldn't run the Ship right now even if he tried.

Daily reports and troubled crewmembers come to him at all hours and the only time he is not in his vigil position is when he is in the bathroom. Neelix brings him meals, B'Elanna brings him PADD's of work and he spends his time watching her.

The Doctor stopped demanding that he leave after only two days.


Another is beside her now, she feels him.

Does he want to dance? She hasn't danced in so long that she's not sure if she remembers how.

The shadows would be angry if they came back.

She forces her mind to focus on his face. "They don't want to dance with me anymore." She admits sadly. It hurts, forcing the words to leave her throat.

He is confused, she can see it. “Who?”


“Who are they?”

“You know them. You dance with them too. That’s why you’re held.”

“I’m not being held anywhere.”

“Am I?”


He doesn’t understand their conversation. He doesn’t understand a lot of things.

Chakotay knows that she was held. He knows that when they tried to keep her body hydrated, there was something in the water that had hallucinogenic properties to humans and, as a result, she spent almost a week dancing with shadows.

He doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t understand her repeated muttering of the word ‘failure.’

The Doctor says that she is making progress. He says that every day brings her one day closer to being back to her old self again. The hallucinogenic is completely out of her system now and the only reason for her lingering confusion is her own mind’s desire not to let go of the other world.

Chakotay has three conversations with her in as many hours.

He understand, perhaps, half of what they say.

But he sits by her bed, holds her hand, whispers softly to her when she thrashes on the bed and whines for a dancing partner. He brushes her hair back, reminds her of the crew and their friendship.

He tells her that he loves her and figures she wont remember anyway.


She was crazy then.

Or was she sane then and crazy now?

Kathryn – she remembers her name now – isn’t sure.

Chakotay tells her that she was captured in a marketplace and held for four days. He tells her that there was something in the water that they gave her. He tells her that she didn’t seem to know much of anything when she got back. He tells her that she wanted to dance.

That she remembers.

The dancing.

She isn’t sure why, but dancing was important. It was what the shadows wanted and what kept the watchers interesting in her continued living.

It was important.

Kathryn steps onto the bridge.

Harry announces it and soft smiles float her way. They are glad she is back, glad that she is with them after a month.

A month of nothingness, dancing, nothingness, sickbay, her Quarters and now… this.

Was she crazy then?

She moves to her chair and sits, ordering a status report.

Or is she crazy now?


They watch the new one.

He has only been with them for a day but his struggle continues, longer than most. Not as long as the woman with hair of fire.

"I miss her." One admits.

"As do we all." Another agrees

The others announce their intentions in unison, "We must find her again."