DISCLAIMER: Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount Pictures. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SET: During 'Killing Game'.

By sleepy_jaffa


Perfection. She was nothing short of perfection.

Her voice as she sang. Oh, how Katrine was captivated. She had her suspicions, of course she did, that she worked for the Nazis. All the more reason to keep close tabs on her, though. To keep a watching, lingering eye on Mademoiselle de Neuf was hardly a punishing task.

Laughing at a hypocritical joke from a Nazi soldier, pushing her least favourite wine towards him, pretending it to be her best, Katrine smiled brightly as the Mademoiselle sang her beautiful song. She was hardly surprised that the rest of her patrons kept their attentions fixed fully on her voluptuous form as she sang. Who could possibly tear their eyes away?

She had a strange feeling though, every time she looked at her. Almost like Deja vu .It was impossible to explain, and harder to understand, but she felt that somewhere, somehow she knew her. And not just in a professional manner, but a deeply personal one, too. Sometimes, she'd find herself staring, staring as if Mademoiselle de Neuf was her property, and hers only to stare at. Some of the stares from her patrons sent a strange jolt of jealousy through her. As if they had no right to be eyeing her like that. As if she was spoken for. By Katrine. Sometimes, she could even close her eyes and picture the two of them together, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do.

"…and that's why I firmly believe that the resistance is nothing to worry about." The German droned on, and whilst Katrine knew she should stick around to try to milk more information from him, she simply couldn't. All did not seem well with Mademoiselle de Neuf, and whilst she'd need to keep up a professional, perhaps even harsh demeanour with her in public, she was concerned.

"I apologise Commandant, but my singer sees to have cut her show short. Please, do excuse me for a moment." She smiled politely and rose up from her seat. She turned back towards him though as she stood, the smile – albeit fake – still plastered across her face.

"Do enjoy the wine. I shall return soon enough with another bottle." At least the Germans seemed to enjoy that pathetic excuse for wine. Saved Katrine having to push it at the customers she valued most.

She stalked over towards Mademoiselle de Neuf, holding up a dismissive hand towards her barman friend before he could utter a word. She knew it'd be a complaint of some sort. It always was where she was concerned. Whilst she could understand his fears – they were all at grave risk with what they were doing with the resistance – she truly believed they were unnecessary.

"Is there a problem?" She asked quietly, mentally chastising herself for the tone of her voice. It sounded harsh, irritated and that wasn't how she wanted to sound at all.

"I can no longer continue." She simply replied, before bumping past Katrine to make her exit. Her tone though gave away the hurt that she felt, from Katrine's tone. She made her way to a room in the back, a wine cellar of sorts that wasn't quite a wine cellar, to catch her breath and regain her composure.

Katrine stalked after her, a look of utter confusion on her face. Well, whilst she was used to the shortness that Mademoiselle de Neuf often spoke with, that was hardly enough. The boss in her run out the winner, as she rested her hands on her hips in a challenging post.

"Can't continue? I have 100 people in there waiting for you to sing. The commandant is liquoring up, and whilst I'm in here with you, I'm missing out on what confessions he wishes to make to my patient ear." Katrine fixed her with her strongest gaze, her concern still bubbling under the surface, ready to explode should there be a real problem.

"The lies we live." Was the simple reply she received, as Mademoiselle de Neuf advanced towards her. "We are losing this war. And I am losing my war." She added with a shake of her head. "Whilst you sit with the commandant, he wishes to 'liquor up'; in the hopes you'll see past his German supremacy issues and find him as attractive as Brigitte finds her German. I can sit and view that no longer."

Katrine barely had a chance to process her words, before she found herself reaching out to hold onto her arm, making sure she couldn't leave. Was she being wishful in her thinking? Was she, dare she hope it, jealous?

"I have no interest in the commandant, and whilst he may perhaps want to sample the tastes of France, he shall not be sampling them from me." Katrine assured her. "The war is far from over. France will not stand back and allow the Germans to take out land, our freedom. It's people like us that can save this country. We live a lie, so we can live in freedom."

"There is no freedom in denying our feelings."

Katrine had experienced a lot in her life. She'd heard many things she'd never wanted to, heard many things that had shocked her to her core, but never had she heard anything that made her heart both rise and fall, all in one swift movement. She surely had to be misreading her. But, 'feelings' seemed so open, so forward. Perhaps she wasn't alone in her attraction. Perhaps it was mutual, and Mademoiselle de Neuf had seen right through her. However, as much as she wanted her, cared for her, they had to stay objective in their fight against the Germans. Personal relationships would only cloud her already impaired judgement when it came to her, and her decisions regarding her position in the movement. And above all, France had to come first. Then her heart. Her people meant more to her, than her own feelings.

"It's a restriction to freedom that is necessary for now." Katrine replied softly. That hurt, more than she cared to admit, but it was the truth. When the war was over, their own personal war could be over, also.

"I'm a leader that needs to lead her people to freedom. Then, I can follow my heart." Katrine added, her tone betraying the regret she felt at having to do that. She took a step towards Mademoiselle de Neuf, closing the distance between them, to press a daring, lingering kiss to her cheek.

"Then we can deny ourselves no longer."

The End

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