Seven was on the rebound from Axum in "Human Error".
I prefer to listen to the actress's comments on the C/7 anomaly.
and specifically, this passage...
The next episode that we shot after that (Natural Law), Seven and Chakotay were stranded on some planet together. We specifically asked the producers – Robert and I – “Now, are we going to play this? Is this going to go somewhere? Because, obviously, we’d need to carry something over from…’ And they said, ‘No, no, no, no! Absolutely not. Don’t play any of that. Nothing’s going to happen.’
Take away message from this... don't trust the producers.
Well somewhere along the way they changed their minds and it seems less natural because of it. IMHO, I don't find it completely unnatural given that there are plenty of people that can't stand each other at first that become great couples.
It's clear they were warming up to each other. He was encouraging her to look at things from his point of view and she was evolving because of that. So there's that, but the part that is off to me when I look at it objectively is that there was no ah-ha moment on Chakotay's end. We never see him actually come to a point where he develops feelings for her. We see it from her in the holodeck. She was exploring. But there was never that moment, like when Paris and Belana were floating in space. And it could have been done easily. A scene where she's injured and he realizes he's more concerned for her than he expected. The way the doc fixes these people up, that would have been easy to do. The lack of this type of moment from Chakotay does give it a contrived feel that I choose to omit from my brain.
I don't know. Sometimes the writers really pushed the whole suspension of disbelief factor a bit too far. Maybe they figured since it's scifi the audience will go along with ANYTHING, which implies that the really don't understand their audience all that much.