That morning during the staff meeting and his subsequent shift on the bridge, Commander Chakotay was serenity personified but the outward look of tranquility was just that, a look; A façade that hid the turmoil that was his inner being.
Had it been five years already? Sometimes, it seemed like it had happened just yesterday and at other times, it felt like it had always happened, but independent of how he felt, this day was always a reminder of what he had lost.
The day went quickly and he got through it by burying himself in his routine. If anyone noticed that the Commander was more remote than usual, nothing was said to him.
Thus, with his heart heavy, Chakotay found a dark corner of Sandrines and steadily drank himself to something closely resembling a stupor. It would have helped if the drinks were not synthenol and he could get drunk quicker but alas, that was not to be.
Studying the bottom of his glass intensely, he hardly noticed when someone took the seat opposite him and so was quite surprised to hear his lover’s deep voice.
“I grieve with thee, T’hy’la.”
Looking up at him, the only thing he could think of to say was, “You know.”
“Yes,” he was told. He really shouldn’t have been surprised that the other being had figured out what was happening. He wasn’t deliberately keeping a secret or trying to hide it from Tuvok but it was something that he had carried on his own for so long that it had become rather difficult to share.
That of course didn’t stop the man opposite him. Looking at him somewhat unseeingly, Chakotay felt rather than saw Tuvok raise two fingers and place them at his temple just above his tattoo and he could then sense his lover query and then enter his mind in order to somehow share his grief. Even as he let his grief flow, he could feel the love and tenderness that was returned from the being before him and he couldn’t help but pass along, underlining his grief, his own love and thankfulness that he wasn’t alone this year.
After all, it was on this day, five years ago that Kolopak of Dorvan V died.