Warning: the following story contains male/male contents.

 Disclaimer: Chakotay and Paris belong to Paramount Pictures. This story is not written for profit.

 Author: Ki.

 Pairing: C/P.

 Categories: angst, POV, character death. (yes, again...)

 Series: none. (echoes the series "Visions of Angels")

 Summary: an answer to Joanne Collin's "Kiss Me" challenge. This story consists of POVs (Chakotay). From the start (First Level) to the last (Fifth Level), it describes how he feels. (Thanks Britta for pointing it out to me! :) )

 Rating: PG-13.

 Title: "The Kiss: Different Levels of Intimacy".


 First Level: Tentative Steps

 "Kiss me."

 You spoke to me softly, your tone one of caution. You reminded me of a frightened kitten I had rescued when I was a boy. I remembered placing a plate of warm milk onto the dusty ground. The little kitten, a ball of scruffy grey fur, was shivering with fear. But it was showing signs of starvation: its tiny ribs could be seen stretched under the skin. The milk was right in front of its nose. Fearful at first, it began to inch forward with a few tiny paw-steps at a time... until it reached the plate.

 "Kiss me."

 You repeated, your eyes pools of dark disappointment.

 With a smile on my lips, I leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on your cheek. I could feel you breathing in sharply. Then, I could feel your hands snaking around my waist, pulling me towards you. You buried your face in my chest, your breath warm against my skin.

 "Chakotay..." You sighed.

 I smiled and stroked your hair...


Second Level: Passionately Intermediate

 "Kiss me."

 Your eyes shone with mischief as you danced away from my grasp. What are you doing, tiger? Teasing me?

 You cleared away the dishes and poured some red wine for yourself. With a sly smile on your lips, you lifted the glass and licked the rim with your tongue.

 "Kiss me," you whispered and I couldn't take it any longer. I removed the wine-glass from your hand, pushed away the remnants of dinner and grabbed your lapels. Your eyes glimmered once; you seemed scared for a second. Then, the impulsiveness returned and you responded eagerly. With tongue. 

I growled softly and we headed for the bedroom together, arms linked around each other, our lips bruised by kissing. 


Third Level: Soulfully Advanced

 You didn't say "Kiss me" as you always had. But I knew that smile on your face. I had grown so used to your ways that I could understand a single gesture, decipher an unspoken nuance. To me, you were an open book where I could easily turn the pages and mark you for future reference.

 The smile deepened as you sat close to me, your arm brushing mine in an electric whisper. I shuddered when your fingers touched the inside of my thigh. Caressed with a flourish... and I was left aching for more of your touch.

 I could only respond by gathering you into my arms and kissing your delicious lips. You were so beautiful, with your head leaning against the crook of my arm. The light from the ceiling turned your blonde highlights to silver.


Fourth Level: Til Death Do Us Part

 "Kiss me."

 Your voice was so soft that I had to lean forward to catch every word. My cheeks were tickled by the coolness of breath as you tried to draw in more air. I reached out and touched your face.

 "Shh, don't talk..." I said, feeling the wailing begin in my head. The wailing was my soul crying out in despair.

 "Kiss me," you insisted, attempting to sit up. But the damned virus tightened its demonic hold on you and you sank back onto the bed, your face pale with exhaustion.

 Your friends were all here. They stood, silent, unable to help. Only to watch you waste away... bit by bit. Inch by inch. I beckoned the Doctor and he appeared right beside me. He too was reduced to silence, his usual sarcastic chatter muted.

 "I am sorry," he said and lowered his head. "I am sorry." He had said it twice! "I am sorry." Could apologies really help at all?

 You coughed suddenly and a trail of blood-darkened spittle trickled down the corner of your white mouth. I rushed forward and wipe the spittle away. I could see the agony in your eyes, the terrible anguish swirling within you. You were struggling with the demon...and you are losing the fight. Fight, damn it! Fight it as you had done so many times. Fight...

 "Kiss me," you said with a sliver of resolution in your voice. "Kiss me now, so that I can remember you forever..."

 Crying, I obeyed. My lips tasted metallic blood. But I obeyed.


Fifth Level: The Kiss on Your Porcelain Skin

 I watch the rest of the crowd dwindle away.

 Then, slowly, tiredly, I sink to my knees and hold the porcelain urn close to my chest.

 With a sigh, I kiss the cold porcelain skin tenderly.