Star Trek Voyager, it's universe and characters, are the property of Paramount Studios. I am making no profit from this story. The story itself is mine, along with the character Alexandra Chakotay, and a race called the Ree'na.
It's been so long since I came up with the idea for this story that I have forgotten when I originally came up with it. The Star Trek Voyager story you are about to read, has been the product of a year's work. I began working on it in November of 1998. I originally wanted to write about a person that is from the late twentieth-century that ends up on Voyager, but I decided against it. I really didn't have all the details worked out in my mind so I decided to go with my other idea. Which is the story you are about to read.
The story "Gallery Of Souls" is a story that I had a lot of fun working on, and was saddened when it was finally completed. The original draft was only thirty pages, but when I went back to read it, I found some things in the flow of the story that didn't make sense. I would stop and say. "What the hell? Why is Chakotay acting like this? That was very sudden." So I went back and cleaned it up, deleted entire scenes and replaced them with others, which expanded the story to 60 pages. Then reading it the second time around I found myself saying. "I really should add more to this character." There was nothing wrong with the story as it stood, but I felt it was important that you, the reader, form a bond with the character's and really understand why they reacted the way they did when presented with certain situations. So the story grew from sixty pages to over a hundred pages. My short story slowly turned into a novelette.
I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. When you are finished reading it, and if you would like to let me know what you think. You can e-mail me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
I would like to thank the following people for their support, hard work, and idea's. Gordon Turner, for helping me proof read the story and coming up with idea's when I was having the worst case of writers block! And who tells me that I should become a professional writer. (Even though I don't think I'm that good). Your a real Sweetie Pie!
My mother, for reading the story and always giving me her honest opinion. Thanks Mom!
Candy Chrisope, my sister who told me not to tell her what my story was about because she wanted to read it first! I love ya Candy!
Mike Morrissey, when I was writing short stories for Babylon 5, gave me his opinion and idea's on what I should do next, and is now helping me with Voyager. Your the best Mike!
My husband Toby, for allowing me to read him a scene after I completed it, so I could get an idea of how it sounded to someone else. Thanks Honey!
This story is rated NC-17 for adult situations and sexual violence.
Gallery Of Souls Heather Henley
Captain Kathryn Janeway picked up the data padd Seven had left on her desk. Normally she would look at it right away, but for some reason she felt reluctant. She had a bad feeling about it, the feeling that the information within would shake the very core of her being. Turning it on she began to scroll through it. It was about the transmission they had received two days ago while passing a unstable worm hole. Seven had left instructions for playing the transmission. Tossing the padd back onto her desk she leaned forward and turned the monitor toward her. "Computer find file 25741 and began playback."
The face of a young woman with red hair appeared. She was moving between stations, stepping over bodies. One of them was Chakotay and the other, Tom Paris. "This is Ensign Alexandra Chakotay of the Federation Starship Voyager!" Static. "We are under attack! I repeat-" Static. "Under attack! We require im-" Static. "Assistance! Shields are down and life support-" Static. "Failing! Weapons, and Warp offline! We-" Static. "Multiple breeches on decks six throu-" Static. Alarms begin to sound. Quickly, she ran over to tactical and began tapping commands into the console. The computer's voice is heard. "Alien vessels will be firing in-" Static. "Seconds." Frantically she doubled her efforts to no avail. "Here they come." She said calmly looking up at the view screen. Sweat and streaks of dirt covered her features as she stood knowing that this would be the last moment of her life. Seconds later there was a bright flash of light, and the sound of her scream before the transmission ended.
Janeway sat stunned for a few moments before sinking back into her chair. Tapping her badge she said, "Commander Chakotay, report to my ready room."
Hearing the waver in her voice he replied. "On my way."
Moments later, Chakotay was sitting next to her on the sofa. He was concerned by the way she had sounded over the com. She had not spoken a word since they sat down, which was more than ten minutes ago. Finally, he broke the silence. "Kathryn what's wrong?" She only looked at him saying nothing. "You called me down here for some reason. How am I supposed to know what's going on if you don't tell me?"
She nodded her head slowly knowing he was right. There was no point in keeping it to herself any longer. "Chakotay I..."
"Yes?" He said encouragingly.
"I just viewed the transmission Seven deciphered. I saw something that I thought you may find interesting." She said. "Come on Kathryn! What kind of lame excuse is that? Hell it wasn't just interesting! It bothered you a lot more than you thought it would. In fact, it scared the hell out of you! Not just that Voyager was destroyed, but that you saw Chakotay dead. That is what really bothered you! Admit it Kathryn. You care about him, and not just as a friend. You are in love with him! That's what scares you more than anything, that you could love anyone after Mark. You didn't think you had it in you! It just crept up on you."
"Kathryn?" He said touching her shoulder.
With a slight jump she turned to him. "What?"
"You were really lost in thought. Apparently that transmission gave you a lot to think about." He said smiling trying to lighten the mood.
Nodding she said, "It has."
"You want to tell me what it was about or do I have to guess?" He asked laughing softly.
She felt as if she were about to be sick to her stomach. "Go to my desk and recall file 25741, it will explain everything." Slowly he got up and walked over to her desk and sat down. She sat looking out the window while he watched the message. All though she could sense it, she didn't want to see the look on his face just yet. She wanted to pull herself together first before she was ready to discuss it, or at least try to. Hearing the transmission end she could hear him lean back in her chair not saying a word. Perhaps he was just as stunned by what he saw as she was.
"That was . . . interesting to say the least." He said.
She still couldn't look him in the eye for fear that she would fall apart. "I can't let this get to me. I have to maintain control." She thought calmly.
"I think I understand why you're so upset." He stated. She stiffened for a moment. "You don't know who attacked Voyager. I don't know if this is a warning of things to come, but I can tell you that if it is, I'm glad to know I had a daughter."
All this time she had been worried about Chakotay dying, but the thought of the young woman never crossed her mind. Why hadn't it until now? "I wondered the same thing about her." She lied. "Until I saw her, the thought of you having a family never occurred to me." That much was true.
"You didn't think I would be a bachelor forever. I've always wanted children. I just haven't met the right woman yet." He said grinning. That hurt. If he had said that an hour ago she would have thought nothing of it, but now. . .things had changed. "Do you want to talk about this?" He asked moving back over to sit by her.
"No. I need some time to think about it, but I do appreciate the offer. I'll talk to you in the morning." She said giving him a weak smile. "Besides, it's late and I'm rather tired. Goodnight Chakotay." Quickly she stood up and hurried out the door before he could say another word.
Slipping her nightgown on she walked over to the bed, pulled the sheets down, and climbed inside. Sleep did not come quickly. All she could think about was Chakotay laying on the floor, burns covering his face and body. His lifeless eyes staring at some far off place just beyond the sight of normal humans. Her thoughts also drifted to the red haired woman who called herself Alexandra Chakotay. "Who was she? If she really is his daughter, who is her mother?" These thoughts would run through her mind until she finally surrendered to sleep.
Kathryn's eyes flew open. Something didn't feel right. As she began to recover from her disorientation she realized what it was. A hand out of the corner of her eye. Turning her head she noticed as well as felt, the arm stretched across her. Surprised by her findings, she leapt out of bed. "Kathryn? Kathryn what is it?" She didn't answer, the words stuck in her throat. In the darkness, she saw the figure turn on the lamp next to the bed.
After the room was lit enough to see, she recognized the person that belonged to the voice. It was Chakotay. Finally, she managed to speak. "What are you doing here?"
Now he looked confused. "What are you talking about? I live here."
Sudden anger welled up inside her. Deadly serious she said, "I don't know what kind of game your playing here Commander, but I what you to get out."
He looked more confused with every sentence she spoke. "I don't understand you. I've lived here since the day we married. If this is some-"
Bright light flashed, blinding her vision. Opening her eyes she felt an intense wave of pleasure. She could see it was Chakotay who lay on top of her. Dropping his face into her neck, she could feel his hot breath conjuring up sensations she hadn't felt in years.
Closing her eyes, she concentrated on his thrusts. Feeling the beginnings of an orgasm, she thrust her hips upward to meet him. Putting both hands flat on the bed, she began to push herself up. Chakotay could feel her begin to tighten. Quickly, he switched positions, pulling her along with him until he was sitting on his legs. He pushed her legs further apart so she could sit on top. With both arms linked under hers she would be free to use her hands, he placed both of his on her upper back, pulling her closer. Whispering in her ear he said. "Come for me Kathryn." She moaned at his words.
Clutching his back, she could feel her orgasm reaching it's climax. When she came, her finger nails clawed into his back. "OH! GOD!" She screamed, tossing her head back as intense pleasure overcame her. Suddenly he squeezed her back hard as he came inside her. "KATHRYN!" He cried into her neck. He began to thrust into her violently, throwing her into another orgasm, much stronger than the first. "I can't take it Chakotay! I-" It was so intense she became speechless, her mind shut down all thought. Her body began to quiver uncontrollably at the intensity of it.
Holding her tighter he could feel her tremors becoming more violent. After what seemed an eternity, her orgasm faded leaving her limp in his arms. Weakened by his own orgasm he laid her down gently. Getting off his legs he lay down beside her and put his arms around her. "I love you." He whispered into her ear, then kissed her temple. Soon another flash of light blinded her vision. She didn't know when or where it would take her.
At exactly zero-seven hundred, Chakotay stood in front of Kathryn's door. Every morning for the last four years he would meet her in her quarters for coffee. It also gave them a chance to discuss the crew or just catch up on reports. Putting his finger on the button, he rang the chime. Usually he would receive a quick response from her, but not today. Instinctively he tapped his badge. "Chakotay to Janeway." No answer. "Computer, locate Captain Janeway."
"Captain Janeway is in her quarters."
"That can't be right." He thought. "Are you positive that she is in her quarters?" He asked the computer.
He tapped his badge again. "Chakotay to Tuvok. Report to Captain Janeway's quarters, and bring the Doctor with you."
Several moments later the lock on her door was deactivated. Tuvok, Chakotay, and the Doctor stepped inside. Bringing up the lights they began to search. In the bedroom Tuvok announced. "I have found the Captain." Both Chakotay and the Doctor entered.
Kathryn lay on the bed motionless. Her face flushed a light shade of red, as she lay facing Tuvok. Her shoulder length hair, damp with sweat, stuck to her face and pillow. Her chest rose and fell heavily as if she had just been running for several minutes.
The Doctor opened his medical tricorder and began scanning. "She's unconscious. Hmm, that's strange."
"What is it?" Chakotay asked concerned.
"Her Celebril Cortex is being stimulated."
"In english Doctor." Chakotay said becoming frustrated.
"It's the location of the brain that controls her higher brain functions, including thought, and motor functions. Someone or something is tapping into it. If we don't find a way to stop it soon she could be permantly brain damaged, or worse."
"In what term do you mean worse Doctor?" Tuvok asked.
Closing the tricorder he replied solemnly. "She could lose her mind." Opening the medical kit he pulled out a neural inhibiter and placed it on her neck. Once he adjusted the setting he scanned her again. Looking satisfied he nodded and said. "I have protected her higher brain function's, but this is only a temporary solution."
"Understood Doctor." Chakotay said. "Looks like we have work to do."
Kathryn lay asleep in her favorite chair as Chakotay entered their quarters. He noticed a book laying open on her pregnant stomach. She was due in a little over two months. Shaking his head he walked quietly toward her, and knelt down in front of her. She was sound asleep. During the last four months he had worried over her condition. She was not a young woman in her twenties, who could be pregnant and put up with the physical demands of her position as captain of a starship. The Doctor relieved her from active duty four months ago explaining that if she didn't start taking it easy she could lose the baby. With that revelation, she had no choice but to do as the Doctor said.
Shaking her knee gently he spoke softly. "Wake up Kathryn."
Startled, she jumped and looked down at him. At first it felt wrong for him to be here, then it seemed as though her brain had entered a thick fog taking away any doubts she may have had about his presence. "You scared the hell out of me!" She said rubbing her eyes.
"I'm sorry." He said laughing, then asked. "What are you doing asleep out here?"
"I was reading, and I guess I drifted off."
"Why didn't you get up and go to bed?"
"If I knew I was going to fall asleep I would have." She was slumped down uncomfortably in the chair. Picking up the book she handed it to Chakotay who placed it on the table behind him. Placing her hands on either arm of the chair she tried to push herself up, and failed. He laughed, amused by her attempt and stood up. Taking both her hands, he pulled her up. Once she was on her feet she looked at him coldly, then brushed past him heading for the bedroom. Reaching out he clasped her hand, but before he could turn her around, she jerked her hand from his grasp and kept walking. He stood stunned for a moment, confused by her sudden anger. Then he headed into the bedroom after her.
Walking through the door, he saw her take off her robe and toss it onto the chair in the corner. "Why are you mad at me?" She walked toward the bed saying nothing. Moving toward her he grabbed her by the shoulders making her look at him. "What did I do?"
Deadly serious, she replied. "I sat there in pain, and you laughed at me."
Bewildered he asked. "If I knew you were in pain do you honestly think I would have laughed at you?"
Realizing she was overreacting she placed a hand on his chest and shook her head. "I'm sorry honey, I'm just a little on edge. I didn't mean to take it out on you. I've been having back spasms off and on all day, and on top of that the bab-" Stopping she closed her eyes taking in a sharp breath. Pressing her hand against his chest, she placed the other on her stomach.
"Kathryn what's wrong?" He looked as if he were about to have a heart attack.
She patted his chest as if she couldn't take the pain any longer. When it began to subside she said. "It's all right. Your son was just pushing up on my rib cage. He's been doing quite a bit of that today." She smiled trying to reassure him that she was fine.
Feeling his heart begin to slow, he laughed. "Let's get you into bed."
After helping her into bed, he took off his pips and com badge and laid them on the nightstand. Opening the closet, he pulled open the bottom drawer. Taking out a fresh t-shirt and boxers he changed into them. Picking up his clothes he went into the bathroom and tossed them in the hamper. Exiting, he saw Kathryn laying with her back to him. Using one hand, she awkwardly rubbed her lower back. Laying down next to her, he playfully slapped her hand away. "Can you sit up?" Nodding, she pushed herself up and sat on the edge of the bed.
Moving, he put one leg on either side of her and scooted up. Then using both hands he started to gently rub her lower back. Tilting her head back, she closed her eyes enjoying the sensation. Paying special attention to every knotted muscle, he worked his way up her back. Reaching her shoulders she tilted her head to the side. Speaking softly she said. "Your going to put me to sleep if you keep this up." Without a word he began to rub the back of her neck. She moaned with pleasure, then reached up and patted his hand. "I think you should stop before I fall off the bed." He laughed, then kissed the back of her neck. Wrapping his arms around her waist he rubbed her stomach as he rested his chin on her shoulder. Her hands slid down to rest on his forearms. She tiled her head resting it on his, and closed her eyes. After a few moments had passed he whispered. "I love you."
"I love you too honey, but if you don't stop rubbing my stomach I'll be forced to hurt you." She said jokingly, her voice thick with sleep.
"Yes Ma'am." He replied laughing softly, and stopped. "Now that your relaxed, perhaps you should get back to sleep."
She nodded. When she began to lean back she gripped his arms hard. "You put him to sleep, and now I can't move my legs!" She said painfully through gritted teeth. He tried not to laugh as she gingerly began stomping her legs on the floor. She could feel every nerve in her legs coming back to life, and bit down on her lip to keep from crying out. No longer able to hold back, he burst out laughing. "Oh I am going to make you pay Chakotay." She threatened as laughter began to filter into her voice.
Reaching down he rubbed her thighs briskly. She heard herself laughing, even though her legs felt like someone was poking them with needles. Finally the sensation passed. Standing up she turned, and placed both hands on the back of her hips. Arching her back, she stretched. Watching, he couldn't help but think how beautiful she looked. When she turned back around she saw him grinning at her. "What?" She asked.
"Nothing, I was just thinking how beautiful you looked just now."
Giving him one of her famous lop sided grins, she slapped at his leg. "Move over."
Laughing, he pushed himself over onto his side of the bed. Sitting down she turned and swung her legs up onto the bed. Laying down on her back she closed her eyes. There were so many pillows behind her she was almost sitting up. He lay on his side using his elbow to prop his head up to look at her. Feeling his eyes on her she sighed. Eyes closed she said. "Stop staring at me."
He grinned. "I can't help it."
Opening one eye she saw the silly grin on his face and laughed. "What's so funny?" He asked.
"You! You act as though you've never seen a pregnant woman before."
"Oh I've seen them, I've just never been married to one of them." Sitting up, he reached over her and put his hand down on the mattress beside her. Leaning down, he kissed her passionately. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pulled him closer, deepening the kiss.
Abruptly, she pushed him back gasping, gripping his arms hard. "What is it?" He asked sitting up.
"Apparently someone wants us to break it up." Her eyes motioned to her stomach. Laughing he leaned down and put his lips to her stomach and said. "Ian, this is your father speaking. I want you to go to sleep because your mother and I are about to have sex." Kathryn slapped his back hard. He sat up laughing holding his hands up to block his face as she kept smacking him. "I can't believe you said that!" She said sounding shocked, giving him one last smack on the arm.
"Well it seemed like the right thing to say under the circumstances." He said, still laughing. Turning to look back at her, he could see that she was trying to fight back laughter. Giving her a set of puppy dog eyes, she burst out laughing and gave him another smack on the arm. "You are the most infuriating man I've ever met!"
"I know but you love me." He replied smiling.
Her laughter stopped. Taking his hand she placed it on her stomach. "There, did you feel that?"
His face lit up. "He kicked." Laying down, he placed his ear to her stomach. As he lay there listening, she rubbed his back in large circles. Lifting her other hand, she stroked his hair. When he felt the baby kick close to his ear he laughed. She smiled, watching him enjoy the moment. They lay there in silence as he listened. Ten minutes had passed and the baby stopped moving. "I think he's worn himself out." He said softly. No response. "Kathryn?" Sitting up, he felt her hands slide off his back and head. Looking, he noticed that she was sound asleep. Chuckling to himself, he took the blanket and covered them up before turning out the light. She rolled onto her side away from him, pulling her arm out from under the blanket she laid it on top of the covers, and drew the blanket up to her chest. Rolling on his side he scooted up to her and draped a protective arm around her waist, and closed his eyes.
"CHAKOTAY!" Ripped from sleep, he sat up bewildered. "CHAKOTAY!" Kathryn screamed again. Jumping up he noticed that the light in the bathroom was on. Rushing toward the door, he opened it. The light blinded him, making him raise a hand to shield his eyes. Blinking, he noticed Kathryn sitting on the floor leaning forward slightly. She was holding something red between her legs. At first he couldn't tell what it was, but when his eyes adjusted to the light, all the color drained from his face. Her arms, legs, nightgown, and face were covered in blood. She was crying hysterically, screaming his name over and over as she held the blood soaked towel between her legs.
Kneeling down he took her by the shoulders. "I'm right here Kathryn!" He shouted to get her attention. As she looked up at him, he noticed that her face had grown dangerously pale, she had lost a lot of blood.
"I CAN'T MAKE IT STOP!" She screamed in panic.
"Calm down I'm going to contact the Doctor." He said standing up.
With one blood soaked hand she reached out and grabbed his shirt. "I DON'T WANT TO LOSE THIS BABY!"
"Hold on Kathryn!" He was starting to feel himself begin to panic and pushed it aside. He had to stay calm for her sake. Pulling her hand away he ran back into the bed room and picked up his com badge and pressed it. He began speaking as he ran back into the bathroom. "Chakotay to the Doctor!" He shouted trying to be heard over Kathryn's screams.
"What's going on there Commander? Who's screaming?" He demanded.
"CHAKOTAY!" She screamed.
"Stand by for transport." The Doctor said.
"Wait a minute! We can't transport her while she's like this! It will kill the baby!"
"If I don't get her to sick bay right now you'll lose them both! Now make up your mind Commander!" The Doctor ordered.
He stood there frozen looking at her. She was on the verge of passing out from blood loss. "Chakotay!" Her scream was getting weaker. It was a decision he didn't want to make, but he knew he wasn't going to lose her. He had to take the chance. "Do it."
Seconds later they materialized on the floor of sickbay. The Doctor rushed over to Kathryn who was close to passing out. She was swaying side to side, desperately trying to stay upright. "Help me!" The Doctor ordered. Snapping out of his shock he rushed over and helped him put her on the grav bed. As the Doctor pushed her toward the isolation room, she reached out and grabbed Chakotay's shirt with the little strength she had left. "I'm dying Chakotay." She said fighting to keep her eyes open.
He took her face in both hands, and turned it toward him. "Listen to me." He said firmly. "Your not going to die. I won't allow it. You hear me Kathryn? I won't allow it." Releasing his shirt, she closed her eyes. "Kathryn! Kathryn!" He shouted holding her face in his hands. "Doctor!"
"Help me get her on the bed!" The Doctor demanded. Once on the bio bed he scanned her. "She's not dead just unconscious, but she will be if I don't stop the bleeding." Setting down his medical tricorder he tapped his com badge as he rushed over to the blood storage locker. "Doctor to Paris!"
Groggy, Tom said. "Yea Doc?"
"Report to sickbay. There's a medical emergency."
Hearing the urgency in the Doctor's voice Tom replied. "I'll be right there."
Taking out a blood pack he rushed back over to the bio bed. Chakotay stood holding Kathryn's hand. As long as he was out of the way, the Doctor didn't care where he stood. Pulling out a rod that was attached to the bed he locked it into place and hung the blood on the rack. Opening the drawer behind him, he pulled out a long tube and hooked it up to the bag. Reaching down, he turned Kathryn's arm. The Doctor held up the tube for a quick inspection before placing it onto the crook of her arm. Chakotay noticed that the end he held up looked like a small suction cup. Blood from the bag came down the tube and into her arm.
Touching a panel on the bed two black panels came up and closed around her. Tapping one of the panels he said. "I can't stop the bleeding with the baby still inside her. I have to get the baby out."
Tom Paris rushed into sickbay. "Doc! What's going on?" He asked running up to the bio bed. Reaching them, he saw Chakotay standing next to the bed, his shirt stained with blood. Taking a step closer he saw the Captain was covered in blood. "Oh my god." He whispered.
"Mr. Paris prepare for surgery." Tom rushed over and grabbed a medical smock and quickly put it on. Quickly he ran his hands under the sanitizing lamp and put on some gloves. "Commander I'm afraid your going to have to leave for the time being." The Doctor said hurriedly.
Chakotay nodded and moved away taking a seat in the Doctor's office. Putting his face in his hands he broke down in tears. In his mind he prayed to the spirts of his ancestors that Kathryn and the baby would be all right.
It was quiet in sick bay. Captain Janeway lay on a bio bed unconscious. Neelix sat in a chair next to her, a solemn expression replacing his once cheerful features. The Doctor sat at his desk going over the readings he had taken, desperately trying to find a solution.
"I don't know if you can hear me, but I hope by some miracle you can. The Doctor has been working around the clock trying to find a way to stop what's happening to you." Neelix could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. Taking a moment, he sat trying to keep them from coming before speaking again. "Seven and Tuvok are working hard trying to find out who's doing this to you-" He stopped, his efforts to prevent the tears were not enough. "Please come back to us Captain. We all need you to give us hope. If your gone, who will do that?" He sat silently looking down at his hands. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her fingers twitch. He looked up hoping to see her eyes open. Then an alarm began to sound. Kathryn began to jerk violently, arms, legs, torso, were jerking uncontrollably. Neelix threw himself over her grabbing her arms so she wouldn't hurt herself. "Doctor!"
Coming from around the glass office he began to say. "What is it Mr. Neelix?" Until he saw him trying to pin the Captain's body to the table with is own. She was thrashing around so violently that he was nearly bucked off. Running over, he grabbed a hypospray and with expert skill, delivered the spray in one shot. Going to the other side where Neelix stood, he began to readjust the implant on her neck. After several seconds the thrashing stopped. "What happened?" Neelix asked in wonder. "I don't know, but I hope Seven and Tuvok are closer to an answer than I am."
"Wake up Commander." Seeing the Doctor standing over him, he was hit with the cruel realization that what he had just gone though was no dream. He felt stiff from sitting in the chair asleep for the last few hours. "Is Kathryn all right?"
The Doctor smiled "Yes, I've managed to stop the bleeding. She's going to be fine."
"What about the baby? Is the baby all right?" The Doctor looked hesitant, not wanting to answer his question. "Well? Is the baby all right?" He demanded sitting up.
He shook his head. "I'm sorry Commander. I did everything I could."
Chakotay's eyes brimmed with tears. "Does Kathryn know?"
"No, I thought it best if you told her."
"Is she awake?"
"Yes, she's been asking for you."
Chakotay nodded standing up. "Thank you Doctor." He said placing a hand on his shoulder as he passed.
Approaching her bed, Kathryn reached her arms out to him. Leaning down he hugged her, and kissed her forehead. Sitting down beside her on the bed he took her hand in his. "The Doctor says your going to be just fine." He said forcing a smile.
"How about the baby?" He held her gaze for what seemed an eternity. She could see he was trying to fight back tears. Kathryn placed a shaky hand over her mouth as tears quickly filled her eyes. "Oh no. Please no." She pleaded softly.
Leaning forward he gathered her in his arms, and pressed her tightly against him. He spoke softly against her ear. "We can have more children. In a few months, when your better, we can try again." She took huge heart shuttering breaths as she cried into his chest. "Shh." He said rocking her back and forth.
"I'm sorry I lost the baby. I'll understand if you want to leave." She cried against his chest.
Pulling away he placed both his hands on her cheeks and turned her face toward him. "Listen to me, I didn't marry you for children. I married you because I love you, don't you ever forget that. Even if we could never have another child I would still love you. Your stuck with me, so I don't ever want to hear you talk like that again." She nodded through her tears. Stroking her cheeks with his thumbs he said. "How could you think for one moment that I would leave you? How could you even imagine it?"
"I feel as though I've failed you. I know how much you wanted this baby."
She sounded so fragile, so vulnerable. "Look Kathryn, I had to make a choice between you or the baby, and I chose you. I can't live without you, don't you understand that? If we can have another baby then I would be thrilled, but if we can't, then I will still love you. The first time I saw you, I knew from that moment, you were the one I had been waiting for my whole life." Gathering her in his arms again he hugged her tightly. "I love you Kathryn, always." Closing her eyes she wept until there was nothing left. He felt as though he had failed her, that he hadn't made his feelings clear. He held her tightly against him, whispering over and over how much he loved her. Drilling it into her head, so she would never again, even in the smallest measurement, doubt how much he loved her.
Commander Chakotay entered Astrometrics heading straight for Seven. "What have you got?"
Tapping the controls Seven brought up a map. "Scanning the ship, we discovered after eliminating several possibilities, that there is an unknown frequency permeating the ship. Upon further analyses we discovered it was a resonance frequency."
"Why didn't our sensors detect it?" Chakotay asked.
"It was cleverly masked. We would not have detected it unless we were looking for it." Tuvok replied.
"The next obvious question is, where is it coming from?" Chakotay stated.
"The source is the worm hole we discovered, containing the transmission I deciphered two days ago." Seven answered.
"If we increase our speed isn't it likely we'll move out of range?" Chakotay asked.
"The signal permeates sub-space, we cannot avoid it. Our only option is to return to the source and disable it directly." Seven replied.
"Then let's get back to it. If we can stop this, it will have to be there."
For the last three weeks, life had been extremely kind to Kathryn Janeway. They had recently entered a region of space that was claimed by an advanced civilization that called themselves the Koth'la. They offered to help them with supplies, as well as take a look at some of their damaged systems. B'Elanna was reluctant at first, but once they showed her that they were indeed sincere in their desire to help she couldn't have been more cooperative.
Until recently, the warp core had been running at sixty-three percent which caused them to cut power to all non-vital systems, including replicators. After some minor adjustments to the warp core, and a ample supply of dilithium crystals that the Koth'la provided, B'Elanna estimates that they should be back to peak efficiency in a week.
The crew had been enjoying some R & R over the last three weeks. She wasn't looking forward to having to say goodbye to the Koth'la. Friendly faces were hard to come by these days, but she still had a week to put her feet up before setting a course back to the alpha quadrant. While almost everyone was taking shore leave she had a lot of work to catch up on. Now that she was caught up for the moment, she and Chakotay could finally spend some time together.
She couldn't remember the last time they had done anything together that didn't involve work, the crew, or the ship. Despite the fact that they saw each other everyday, she missed him. It had been so long since they just held each other, or had time to talk about anything besides Voyager. There were times when they had decided to have dinner in their quarters, but the conversation lately had turned to work. Department reports, oxygen consumption, maintenance, the list went on and on. There were times when she was so physically exhausted that she nodded off during dinner or just skipped dinner completely. She knew how lonely Chakotay must have been, but he never complained.
Reaching their quarters she carefully shifted the small stack of data padd's she was carrying to her other hand, and pushed in the security code. When the door opened, she looked up to see a dimly lit room. "Chakotay?" She asked calling out into the room. No response. Moving further into the room she noticed that Chakotay had set up the dining room table. Placing the data padd's on the coffee table she walked over to the table. It was beautifully set with silver eating utensils, porcelain china, and crystal wine glasses. Next to the table in a silver bucket was a bottle of champagne. There were two white candles that sat in antique silver holders. The light from the candles were the only source of illumination.
As she studied the table, Kathryn felt a pair of arms slip easily around her waist and squeeze her gently in a hug. "Happy Anniversary." Chakotay said kissing the back of her neck. Her eyes grew wide. Chakotay laughed softly. "I can tell by the sudden silence you forgot."
She turned to face him. "I didn't forget, I thought it was next week."
"I'll believe you, this time." He joked. Then he leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips.
It had been so long since they had given each other more than just a quick kiss that she felt herself melting in his arms. Chakotay had tried to end the kiss until Kathryn wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer, deeping the kiss. She found herself craving this man, wanting him to put his hands on her. She moaned into his mouth. Chakotay responded by pulling her away gently. She looked up at him gasping. Chakotay put both arms around her, and hugged her. As her breathing started to slow she could smell his scent, and it was intoxicating.
"I've missed you." She said slipping her arms around his waist.
He responded by kissing the top of her head. "Are you hungry?"
She could tell he was trying to avoid any sexual contact, as he had for the last six months. Sighing, she lifted her head to look into his eyes and replied. "Famished."
"How does brisket, roasted potatoes, and baby peas sound?"
"Wonderful. What's for desert?" She asked feeling the pains of hunger for the first time in hours. "How long had it been since I ate last?" She thought. "I had some soup last night before going to bed, but that was over twenty hours ago. Has it really been that long?"
Chakotay smiled and replied. "Your favorite. Coffee ice cream." Turning her around he gently swatted her butt. "Go change out of your uniform and I'll have dinner on the table when you get out." She laughed and turned to look behind her. Chakotay started moving toward her playfully with his hand raised as if he were about to swat her again. Kathryn screamed with laugher and ran into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. She could hear his laughter fade through the door as he turned back toward the table.
Opening the closet, she picked out a beige silk pant suit. Taking off her uniform she laid it on the chair in the corner of the room and put on the suit. The fabric felt cool and soft as the material caressed her skin. It felt good compared to the durable fabric of her uniform. Walking into the bathroom she turned on the light and moved in front of the mirror. Picking up her hair brush she ran it though her hair getting out the tangles before placing it back on the counter. Checking herself in the mirror one last time she turned off the lights and headed back into the living room.
Chakotay stood with his back to her. He was using the cork screw to open the bottle of champagne. Quietly she approached him and placed her hands on his shoulders and stood up on her tip toes to see how it was coming. "Problem?" She asked.
Pulling the cork out there was a distinct pop before he placed the bottle back into the bucket. Turning around he slipped both arms around her waist and said. "Not anymore. Have I ever told you how stunning you look in that outfit?"
"Yes, but I don't mind you telling me again."
He smiled and cupped her face with his hand. She leaned into his hand and turned her face enough to kiss the palm. He smiled and removed his hand before letting her go. He moved over and pulled out her chair for her.
"Thank you." She said sitting down. Looking down at the plate her mouth began to water. Everything looked and smelled so good.
Chakotay moved over to the other side of the table and took the bottle out of the bucket and poured them each a glass. After handing her a glass he said. "I would like to propose a toast." Kathryn held up her glass and he did the same. "It's been a wonderful two years, and I hope we'll have many more to celebrate." Clinking their glasses they both took a sip. Taking him by the arm she pulled him down and whispered. "I love you."
Whispering back he replied. "I know." Gently she kissed him. Standing upright, he moved over to his seat and sat down. "Are you ready to eat?" He asked.
"More than ready." She replied longingly which made Chakotay laugh softly. "Why don't you move down here and keep me company."
"All right." Picking up his plate and silverware he moved over to her. Kathryn moved dishes around making room for him. Setting his plate and silverware down he went back to fetch his chair and glass. Moving back over to his plate he sat down. Kathryn was holding his fork in her hand. "How do you expect me to eat if you have my fork?" He asked.
Kathryn smiled and brought the piece of meat up to his lips. He smiled then opened his mouth and took the meat from the fork. "This is good." Kathryn was about to cut her a piece of the meat when Chakotay took the fork and knife from her. "My turn." He cut a bite size piece of brisket and brought it up to her lips. She took it from the fork and closed her eyes and moaned. It was so juicy and tender, and she chewed slowly to relish every second of it. "Good?" He asked.
Opening her eyes she said. "Wonderful is more like it." He smiled at her.
They fed each other this way for nearly half an hour. Each bite they took was more sensual than the last. At one point Kathryn put the fork to his lips and when he had taken the bite of potato into his mouth, she pulled the fork away slowly. Picking up her glass of champagne she took a long sip, then offered it to Chakotay who did the same. Setting the glass back on the table she picked up his hand and began kissing his fingertips. After a few moments, she finally took his index finger completely into her mouth and sucked it slowly. Chakotay moaned with pleasure feeling her tongue swabbing his finger in wickedly erotic ways. After a few moments she withdrew his finger from her mouth and moved to sit in his lap. She leaned in and kissed him hard, but she could feel his hesitance.
Pulling back she asked. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know how to say it." He replied tentatively. "It's been a fantastic evening so far, and I don't want to ruin it by making you unhappy." He turned his face away.
Using her fingers she turned his face back to look at her. Looking into his eyes she replied. "How could I be happy if your not? Now what's wrong."
He sighed and said. "Do you remember me asking you four months ago if you wanted to try for another baby?" She nodded as her face took on a pained expression. The memory of her miscarriage crept into her thoughts. Quickly she shut it out before it could depress her. "You said that you weren't ready. I understand and accept that, so I think we should stop now before things go too far."
"Are you saying you don't want me?" She asked looking into his eyes. Maybe it was the champagne, but right now nothing was making sense. All she knew was that she wanted him, and he was unsure.
He looked directly into her eyes as if he were trying to make sure she would comprehend every word he was about to say. "I want you to stop and really think about what I'm going to say carefully. All right?" She nodded. "I don't know about you, but I haven't taken my shots in almost a year and a half. There wasn't any need after you got pregnant. Then there were the three months you were in recovery, and after that you just didn't seem interested in sex anymore. So I didn't bother to start taking them again, I didn't see the point. Don't misunderstand me, I want you. Sometimes it's all I can do to just keep myself from grabbing you and ripping your clothes off, but I want you to really think about this."
She sat thinking over what he said, and despite the fact they had both been drinking, her mind was starting to become clear. Finally she said. "I haven't been taking my shots either." She fell silent for a moment, considering her next words carefully. "I've missed you Chakotay, and I can't keep suppressing my urges just because I'm afraid of getting pregnant again. It's not fair to you or me. If I do get pregnant, we'll deal with it together, just as we've always done." Stroking his cheek with her finger tips she whispered. "Please Chakotay, I need you."
He looked apprehensive. She thought he was going to pull away until he reached up and ran his fingers though her hair before leaning in and kissing her passionately. She could feel his need for her just by his kiss. She ran one hand though his hair, as the other stroked the nape of his neck. He slid one hand down her back and the other just underneath her legs. Standing up, he kicked the chair out of his way and carried her into the bedroom. "Computer, lights dim." He managed after breaking lip contact momentarily, then resumed kissing her again.
She held his face with one hand while she continued to stoke the back of his neck with the other. She could feel the heat coming off him, and it was making her dizzy. He sat her down on the bed and laid on top of her. Moving away from her mouth, he kissed the hollow of her throat. She gasped and gripped his hair in both hands. He worked his way down her neck and up again, kissing her jawline around to just below her left ear. It was one of her erogenous zones and he knew it. She gasped and bucked underneath him. There wasn't much she could do since he had each of her wrists pinned to the bed just above her head. "This isn't fair!" She cried out frustrated. He pulled back to look at her. She was breathing heavily, and her face was flushed. Staring into his eyes she pleaded softly. "I want to touch you."
He grinned and released her wrists. Pushing herself up to a sitting position, Chakotay moved off her and stood up next to the bed. Kathryn got on her hands and knees and crawled across the bed toward him. Seeing her crawling toward him, she reminded him of a cat on the prowl. Her eyes, and the sensual smile on her lips told him exactly what she had on her mind. Chakotay was wearing a blue silk shirt and black loose fitting pants. Reaching him, Kathryn put her hands on his chest. Letting her hands slide down his torso, she leaned in and started biting off the buttons of his shirt.
Pulling his shirt apart she licked down from the hollow of his neck to the rim of his pants. When she started nibbling at his crotch through his pants he grabbed her head in both hands, moaning his approval and leaned his head back. Slowly she unbuttoned and unzipped his pants letting them fall around his ankles. She could see how hard he was through his boxers. Moving up again, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body firmly against his. When his eyes met hers he roughly pushed her back onto the bed and stepped out of his pants. Laying on top of her he kicked his shoes off before pushing up her shirt and licking his way up to her breasts. Kathryn arched her back wanting more. Reaching around her with one hand, he lifted her off the bed just enough to slip her shirt off. He took her by the wrists again and pinned them over her head as he began kissing and licking the spot just below her left ear. Kathryn arched her back, pushing up against him gasping. She tried to lift her arms but he held them down tight. She could also feel his erection against the inside of her thigh and tried to shift her torso so she could feel him rubbing against her crotch.
Letting go of her wrists he moved down her body licking and kissing a trail to the rim of her pants and pulled them off, tossing them to the floor. Spreading her legs apart he moved between them. She wondered what he was going to do since she was still wearing her panties. When he started blowing hot air though them she realized exactly what he had in mind. Moaning she grabbed his head and thrust her hips forward. As she kept trying to pull him closer he kept moving away, but not far enough that she couldn't feel his hot breath against her crotch. Frustrated she screamed. "WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO ME?!" He sat up and looked at her. Her chest rose and fell heavily, and her face was flushed. He could see the frustration as it played across her face.
Then he realized what she meant. He was punishing her for the neglect he felt. "It wasn't as if she was doing it on purpose Chakotay!" His mind screamed at him. "She had a miscarriage! Wouldn't you be reluctant to have sex knowing that it could happen again?" She stared at him silently, waiting for an answer. "I can't do this." He backed away from her, and off the bed.
Propping herself up on her elbows she looked at him. She was stunned by his response. "You can't do what?" She asked out of breath.
"I thought this was what I wanted, but I've got the wrong attitude." He said picking up his pants and slipping them back on.
Kathryn set up confused. "Not more than five minutes ago this was something we both wanted. Now your telling me you've got the wrong attitude?"
"That's right." He said looking down as he zipped up his pants then turned and headed for the closet to get another shirt.
Kathryn reached out and grabbed his arm. When he looked down at her coldly, almost angry, she let go of him. Suddenly she felt an overwhelming sense of rejection that made her want to cry. Chakotay opened the closet and took out another dress shirt. As he began slipping into it she asked. "Can you at least tell me why you had this sudden change of heart?"
Turning back around to face her he sighed and replied. "Up until just a few minutes ago, you had no interest in sex. I suddenly realized that I was more angry about the way you've treated me over the last seven months than I thought."
"I'm sorry I haven't been there when you needed me, and you have every right to be angry."
"Angry isn't quite the right word. Hurt is more like it. What you went through was devastating for both of us, but instead of letting us grieve together you shut me out completely. There were times I wondered if I was still your husband. Granted we would sleep in the same bed, share the same quarters, but I felt more like a stranger."
Kathryn looked down as she folded her hands in her lap. "I never meant to shut you out. I was so enveloped in my own grief that I never stopped to consider how it was affecting you." She stopped for a moment as tears stung at her eyes, threatening to spill over. "But I never stopped loving you. Not for a moment."
"I never doubted that." He sighed and sat next to her on the bed. Taking her hand she looked up at him as he continued. "I know you weren't doing it on purpose. If you had, I would have left." She nodded. Rubbing her hand with his thumb he said. "It's just going to take some time for me to come to terms with this."
She stared down at their hands and replied. "I wish there were some way I could take back the pain I've caused you, but I can't."
They fell silent, each of them engrossed in their own thoughts. Finally he spoke. "You can start by never shutting me out again. From now on, if I'm going to be a part of this marriage, there will be no secrets between us."
"I promise." She replied, staring into his eyes. Tentatively she raised her hand and placed it on his cheek, and was relieved that he didn't shy away from her touch. He gave her a half-hearted smile and placed his hand over the hand she had on his cheek. Giving it a gentle squeeze, he gently pulled her hand away and stood up.
"I'm going to go take a walk. I'll be back later." Kathryn only nodded as he turned and left the bedroom. Then heard him leave their quarters completely.
Once he was gone she finally broke down crying after holding it in for so long. Gripping the sheets she slammed her fist on the mattress. She was angry and hurt, but most of all she felt rejected. When the tears started to slow she checked the time. It was zero-one hundred. He had been gone for almost an hour. Getting up she went into the bathroom and took off her bra and panties. Stepping into the sonic shower she leaned against the wall until the cycle was complete. Stepping out she went back into the bedroom and took out a pair of panties and her nightgown. Putting them on, she grabbed her robe on the way out of the bedroom and slipped it on.
Heading toward the table she cleared it and put the dishes back into the replicator. Picking up the data padd's from the coffee table she went back into the bedroom and laid down on the bed. Turning on the light she began to read until she felt extremely drowsy. Checking the time again she noticed it was zero-two-thirty-hours. He had been gone for two and a half hours. Laying the padd's on her night stand she turned out the light and went to sleep.
Two months had passed since the night of their anniversary. She and Chakotay had gone to bed about four hours ago. Awaking in the middle of the night, she checked the time. It was just after zero-three-hundred. Unable to fall back to sleep she got up and went into the living room. Taking a seat on the sofa she stared out the window thinking about everything that had happened over the last two months. At first Chakotay spent a lot of time away from her, taking long walks, working late, anything to keep from coming home. When he did come home, he usually did so after she had gone to bed, to avoid having to speak with her. She would wake up in the middle of the night, much like tonight, and sit next to the window in their living room thinking about how large the chasm was between them.
Lately she was so uncomfortable that she would make it a point of being out of their quarters and ready for work at zero-six-hundred, since that was when he usually got up to get ready himself. She didn't want to take the chance of speaking with him. Recently his attitude toward her began to change. During the last week or so he began coming home earlier, they would eat dinner together and he would actually talk to her. When they went to bed at night, he began to snuggle up to her again, and she would fall asleep to the sound of his breathing. Things were beginning to fall back into place, but he never mentioned or indicated that he wanted sex.
She wondered if they ever would again, and that thought depressed her. She wanted him desperately, and when he began snuggling up to her at night again, it took all her willpower to keep from rolling him over on his back and ripping off his clothes. So when it would become too much for her to take she would come into the living room instead of going to the bathroom to satisfy herself. Besides, it wouldn't have been right considering how long Chakotay had gone without. "Come on Kathryn, do you honestly think that he didn't take care of himself during that time? The man has his needs, and you didn't fulfill them." She thought.
She knew. A few months ago she awoke to the sound of him moaning. Rolling over, she noticed that the bathroom door was closed and the light was on. Rolling back over she tried to block him out. Then when she heard him cry out her name, she took the covers and pulled them over her head. Hearing him cry out her name in the mist of his orgasm, she felt herself becoming aroused and quickly suppressed it. If she acted on it, she knew what the consequences could be. Pregnancy.
The crew knew there was something going on between them, and they both had been irritable. He being upset about how he had been treated, and she because she needed sexual release. They had been quite a pair lately. Kathryn was so deep in thought that she didn't notice Chakotay standing in the doorway of their bedroom watching her.
Kathryn jumped, startled she turned in the direction of the voice. Seeing Chakotay she relaxed a bit. "No."
Chakotay crossed the room and sat next to her on the sofa. "I've noticed that for the last week you've been up earlier than usual. Something wrong?"
Looking into his eyes she replied. "Nothing I want to talk about."
Reaching out he took her hand. "I thought we weren't going to keep secrets from each other."
She gave a troubled sigh. "I don't know how to discuss it without upsetting you."
Chakotay studied her face carefully, then her body language. He noticed how she tried to keep herself covered when he was in the room. "I think I already know."
"You do?" She asked with a hint of confusion.
"I'd be a fool not to. Ever since our anniversary, and perhaps before, you've needed release. I know you haven't taken care of yourself."
"How do you know that?" She asked, almost defensive.
"If you had, you wouldn't be so agitated. You've been snapping at everyone but me it seems. Harry came up to me in the mess hall and asked if he did something to upset you. I told him that you were just going though a rough period and it would pass. He seemed satisfied with that."
Kathryn used her free hand and placed it over her eyes and sighed. "I'll have to make it a point to apologize to Harry."
Chakotay took the hand covering her eyes and pulled it away gently. Using two fingers he placed them under her chin and turned her face toward him. "I'm sorry I've put you through this, but I couldn't help how I felt. I've forgiven you, and I'm ready to continue our life together."
Her hormones were erratic, and his touch was making her feverish. Pulling away she stood up. "I think I'll try and get some sleep before I have to be on duty." As she headed toward the bedroom she felt Chakotay's hands grip her waist, making her stop. "Was there something else you wanted to talk about?" She asked trying to keep her voice even. Chakotay responded by moving closer behind her. Wrapping one arm around her waist, he used the other to pull the hair away from the back of her neck. Kathryn's heart started beating rapidly, her breath quickening. Slowly he began kissing the back of her neck. She closed her eyes for a second and melted into him. Then she turned around in his grasp facing him.
"I don't want you to do this because I need it." She said.
"I'm not." He paused trying to figure out what he would say next. Finally he spoke. "Do you know why I got up?" She shook her head. "I reached out for you and you weren't there. I realized that if I didn't let this go I could be spending the rest of my life without you, and that prospect terrified me." He looked into her eyes waiting to see what her reaction would be. Suddenly she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him hard. He responded by putting both hands on her bottom and lifted her up. Kathryn wrapped her legs around his waist as he carried her into the bedroom.
Once inside, he tried to let her down gently on the bed, but she held him tight, pulling him down with her. As their combined weight hit the bed, they bounced up and Kathryn laughed with her arms wrapped around his neck. Chakotay silenced her with a kiss then opened his mouth and let his tongue slide across her lips. She opened her mouth wider, allowing him access. They explored each others mouths, taking their time. It had been months since they had been this close, and she didn't want it to end. Even though her body screamed for release, her arousal had been building for months, and she wasn't sure if she wouldn't immediately have an orgasm if he began touching her more sensitive areas.
Breaking the kiss he slid down and kissed her throat, her jaw line, then under her left ear. She gasped and brought both her hands up to his shoulders and pushed him away. He looked at her confused. "I thought you liked it when I kissed you there?"
"I do, but I'm too close to the edge right now."
He smiled knowing exactly what she meant. "Are you trying to tell me you want me now?" He teased.
"Yes!" She nearly screamed.
He laughed and sat up, taking her with him. Quickly he slid the nightgown up over her head and pulled it off. She in turn, grabbed his t-shirt and lifted it over his head. He pulled off his boxers and tossed them on the floor, Kathryn did the same with her panties. Taking her in his arms again he kissed her, while his hands stroked her bare back. She in turn, stroked his back and neck as their kiss deepened, and he laid her back gently. Using his knee's he nudged her legs apart. Sensing what he was doing she spread her legs wider in anticipation. She needed this, and she needed him. Reaching between them he guided himself into her and she gasped. Her head fell back as she arched her back and wrapped her legs around his waist.
As he began to move slowly within her she could already feel the beginnings of a powerful orgasm. When he began to quicken the pace she asked him to slow down. She wanted this to last as long as possible. Obeying her wishes he slowed the pace and kissed her neck. Her arms were linked under his, and she gripped his back moaning in ecstasy. It had been so long since she felt him inside her, she wanted it to go on forever.
When she started to grip his back hard he whispered into her ear. "Let go Kathryn. I know you want release, so stop fighting it. I promise we can make love as many times as you want. Just let go." Pulling back enough to see her face, he saw that her eyes were closed and her head was tossed back against the pillow. She looked as if she were in pain, but he knew better. She was still fighting it. Refusing to let go. "Why do you always have to be so stubborn." He thought. "Your going to let go whether you want to or not." Immediately he began to quicken his pace until he was slamming into her.
She grabbed his back hard, her fingernails digging into his flesh. "Don't." She gasped.
"I'm not going to stop until you let go." His breathing was starting to become ragged. He was close to the edge, but he wasn't about to let go until she did. He could be just as stubborn as she could. Watching her face, he looked for the signs that would tell him she was about to crash over the edge. When her eyes opened wide and she let out a low sharp animalistic grunt, he knew she was about to come any second. He knew her body too well. Then he felt what he expected to follow. Her vaginal muscles began to contact, almost squeezing him out completely. He kept thrusting in and out of her as fast as he could. She dug her fingernails deep into his back and pulled down, drawing blood. He didn't let that stop him.
It was the most intense orgasm she had ever experienced. She could hear herself screaming as he kept slamming into her. She had heard of other women experiencing multiple orgasms of this magnitude but never in her life had she experienced one until this moment. After one orgasm racked her body and began to dissipate, another would take it's place. Each orgasm she felt was more intense than the one that proceeded it. "CHAKOTAY!" She tried to cry out, but as another orgasm wracked her body she was rendered speechless. The only sound she could manage to make was a loud grunt.
No longer able to fight back his own orgasm, he thrust himself into her as deeply as he could. "KATHRYN!" He cried out, as his thrusts became more desperate. When she felt him pulsing inside her, the orgasms became unbearable to the point of becoming painful, and she mercifully blacked out.
As she started to regain consciousness, she could hear a voice. It sounded as if someone were calling to her from down a long tunnel.
"Kathryn wake up?" Slowly she opened her eyes and saw Chakotay leaning over her. Her face was cupped in his hands. "Are you all right?"
She nodded. "What happened?"
"You passed out. The last thing I remember is hearing you cry out, then the next you were completely limp. I thought you might have had a heart attack. You scared the hell out of me." Kathryn tried to sit up, but Chakotay pushed her gently back down. "Hey, take it easy. Give yourself a moment."
She nodded and rested her arm above her head on the pillow. "How long have I been out?"
"Almost an hour."
"An hour?!" Shocked she tried to sit up again.
Chakotay pushed her back down. "Why do you always have to be so stubborn? I told you to lay back."
"I'm sorry." She said smiling up at him.
"Your forgiven." He replied smiling and stroked her cheek with his hand. "That must have been one powerful orgasm. I don't think I've ever heard you scream that much."
She looked a little embarrassed. "It was. I didn't think it was ever going to end."
"Well you ripped up my back pretty good."
"Oh honey. Did you want me to take care of it?" She felt bad about hurting him.
"No need. While you were out I called Doctor Van Goh."
"You mean he knows?"
"Kathryn I thought something was wrong with you. I had him come and take a look at you. When he said you'd be fine, I had him take a look at my back. He asked if you were trying to claw me to death." He laughed, and Kathryn's face turned red in embarrassment. "Don't worry. You know the Doc as well as I do. He's not going to say a word to anyone."
"That's not what I'm worried about. I just don't think I could look him in the eyes again knowing that he knows."
Leaning down next to her he kissed her gently and said. "I wouldn't worry about it." For the first time she noticed that they were both dressed, and was thankful that Chakotay had thought to dress her before calling the Doctor. She was about to open her mouth to speak when Chakotay covered her mouth with his, kissing her passionately.
They made love once more before going on duty, and where both late for their shifts. When they finally entered the bridge, Tom immediately noticed how different the Captain and Commander were acting. There was a glow to them, and Tom began to laugh as she turned back around in his chair.
"What's so funny Tom?" Harry asked.
Tom turned toward him and replied. "I'll tell you later."
Harry nodded and looked back down at his console. Kathryn felt a tinge of embarrassment, but didn't show it. Chakotay smiled at her and laughed. "Something funny Commander?" She asked with authority.
Chakotay tried to keep a straight face as he replied. "No Ma'am."
"Good." Then she turned back to look at the view screen. He smiled at her for a few seconds before shaking his head and turning his attention to the console between them. For the first time in months he felt that things were going to get a whole lot better.
Kathryn Janeway stepped out of the turbo lift toward sickbay. She had been feeling nauseous the last week and finally decided to find out why. At first she thought she might have been sick, but she hadn't been running a fever. During the last week she had kept her nausea a secret from Chakotay, she didn't want to give him the impression that she may in fact be pregnant again. It had been almost a year since she had lost their baby, and even today it was a painful subject.
Walking into sickbay she approached the Doctor as he sat behind his desk going over his daily reports. "Captain!" He said standing up to greet her, obviously surprised by her visit. "Usually I have to force you to come to sickbay when you need treatment, and when your well you come to visit. Boggles the mind." He said jokingly. "So what can I do for you Captain?"
"Actually I've been feeling nauseous." She said trying not to think about it.
"I see." He replied ushering her over to a bio bed. "How long have you been feeling ill?"
"Almost a week." She replied sitting down.
Picking up his medical tricorder he began scanning. "Hmm. I think I've found the cause of your nausea."
"It's not anything serious I hope."
"That all depends on your point of view. From my scan your a month pregnant, give or take a few days, but I would have to perform another series of scans to be positive. Congratulations Captain." He said smiling. Looking as though she were on the verge of passing out he steadied her with one hand. "Are you all right?"
Shocked she replied. "I'm fine, just a little surprised is all."
"By your reaction, I can tell you're not happy about the news."
"It's not that Doctor, it's just . . ." Her words trailed off.
"Ahh, I think I understand. Let me assure you Captain, the only reason you miscarried was due to the constant mental and physical stress you were under during those months. Even a woman in her twenties would have miscarried under those conditions."
Putting a hand on his shoulder she said. "Thank you Doctor, but if you don't mind I would rather not discuss it." He nodded. "Can you give me something for the nausea?"
"Yes Captain." Preparing the hypospray, she tilted her head. Placing it to her neck he injected the contents. "That dose will last three days."
"Thank you." She said stepping down from the bed. Looking at the Doctor, she could tell he seemed saddened and disappointed by her reaction. Sighing she said. "I appreciate what you were trying to do. Believe it or not I am happy by the news, but I'm sure you can understand my reluctance to express it."
"Considering what you've been though I understand. I wish I could promise you that it won't happen again, but I can't. I can only hope you realize that you did nothing wrong. It wasn't your fault, sometimes things happen that we have no control over. If it would make you feel better, I will monitor you closely during the next eight months. If there is any problem we will catch it early before it can get out of hand." She nodded and gave him a smile letting him know that she did indeed feel a little better. He smiled back. Turning she left sickbay.
Kathryn, Chakotay, Neelix, and a small group of the crew, were standing on an uninhabited M class planet. They were gathering food stuffs. Scanning Neelix said. "I think I've found something Captain. There's a small grove of trees ten meters from here which appear to be producing fruit of some type."
"Take the team Mr. Neelix. Let me know the moment you determine whether the fruit is safe to eat."
"Yes Captain." Leading the group toward the tree line, she watched until they disappeared from view.
Taking a seat on a fallen tree trunk she looked down at the ground. Chakotay sat down next to her. It had been three days since the Doctor had informed her that she was pregnant, but she couldn't bring herself to tell Chakotay.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
"What?" She asked, giving him a confused look.
"Your being awfully quiet. In fact, you've been pretty quiet for the last three days. Is something wrong?"
She really didn't want to get into this right now. "No, I was just thinking."
Smiling he replied. "Come on Kathryn, you seem to forget that I know you. You can't be married to someone without being able to tell these things. Now what's bothering you?"
Leaning her head back, she took a deep breath and gazed up at the sky. "I-" She cut herself off and pursed her lips together in thought. He picked up her hand, and held it between both of his. Looking back at him she stared into his eyes. She could tell he was concerned. "I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't been feeling well for the last couple of weeks."
"I've noticed. I remember waking up sometime last week to the sound of you retching while you were in the bathroom." Giving him a surprised look, she realized that she hadn't been as discrete as she thought. "Have you payed a visit to sickbay?" He asked. She nodded. "What did the Doctor say?"
Time seemed to suddenly slow down, she dreaded what she was about to say next. "He said I was pregnant."
Chakotay looked stunned for a split second before his expression changed to joy. "That's wonderful. How far along are you?"
"About a month." She replied plainly.
Hearing the tone of her voice he replied. "When most women find out their pregnant. It has been my experience that they usually appear to be happy about it."
"I'm sorry if I don't fit into that category." She replied looking back up at the sky.
"I know what this is about." He said seriously. "This is about Ian. You lost him, and now your worried that you'll lose this one."
Looking at him, deadly serious she replied. "Don't you dare bring that up."
Letting go of her hand he said. "Excuse me if I can't feel terribly sorry for you. We have been given some wonderful news, and you act as though you were told you had the phage."
"You don't understand." She said looking away.
"How could I not understand, you've only been depressed over it for almost a year." He said harshly. She stared at him, deeply hurt by what he said. Taking her hand again he said. "I'm sorry Kathryn, I didn't mean to hurt you, but you've been agonizing over this for too long." He said caressing her cheek with the back of his hand. "I want you to make me a promise Kathryn."
"What kind of promise?" She asked leaning against him.
"That you'll try not to worry so much about this baby. Try to enjoy the fact that we're finally going to have one." Jokingly he added. "If that doesn't work, then think of all the back rubs you're going to get because of it." He said laughing.
She felt herself really laugh, which was something she hadn't done in ages. "I promise I'll do my best not to worry about it Chakotay."
Hugging her tightly against him he kissed the top of her head. "That's all I ask."
"Any progress?" Chakotay asked.
Sitting behind his desk the Doctor replied with a heavy sigh. "None. All though Seven and Tuvok have discovered the source, I am no closer to a solution."
"Keep at it. Hopefully by tomorrow when we reach the worm hole we'll be able to find a way to stop it."
"I hope so. I don't know how much longer I can suppress the damage it's causing. I just hope we can find a way to stop it before it's too late." He looked down at the pile of data padd's on his desk.
"So do I." He said softly. "If you find anything let me know."
"Yes Commander." Nodding, he stepped back into sickbay. Taking a quick look at Kathryn, he let out a heavy sigh and left.
A nine month pregnant Kathryn Janeway, sat behind the desk in her ready room studying the information on her desktop monitor. Seven was standing in the middle of the room holding a data padd studying it carefully. During the last few months she had been taking it easy, and was relieved to hear from the Doctor that she and the baby were doing fine. He had asked her if she wanted to know the sex of the baby, but she had refused. She felt that by not knowing she wouldn't get as attached if she lost this baby as well. She felt so strongly about it, that she wouldn't discuss baby names with Chakotay, telling him that whatever name he decided on was fine with her. He seemed saddened by her decision, but didn't push the subject.
When Seven looked up, she saw the Captain had one elbow on the table and was using her hand to prop up her chin. She was falling asleep. "Captain?"
Her eyes snapped open. "What is it Seven?"
"You were falling asleep."
"I was not. I was only resting my eyes for a moment." She said rubbing one eye with the palm of her hand.
"I suggest you discontinue this activity and return to your quarters. We can resume once you have rested."
Nodding, she laughed softly and said. "All right Seven we can pick this up in the morning." Rolling the chair back against the wall she pushed herself up to her feet.
"Do you wish me to escort you to your quarters?"
"No thanks, I'll be fine." She said turning off the monitor. Taking a step away she felt an intense pain erupt in her stomach and placed a hand on the desk.
"Captain are you all right?" Seven asked moving toward her.
"Actually I think I will take you up on your offer, but I would like to choose a different destination."
"Where did you wish to go?"
"Sickbay, I think I'm going into labor."
Tapping her com badge Seven said. "Seven Of Nine to the Doctor."
"What can I do for you Seven?"
"The Captain believes she is in labor. How do you wish me to proceed?"
"Get her here as quickly as you can. I'll inform the Commander."
"Understood." When she had finished her conversation with the Doctor she noticed that the Captain was gripping the side of the desk so hard her knuckles had turned white. "Stay here for a moment. I will return shortly." Kathryn nodded as she continued to grip the desk. Stepping out onto the bridge she saw Harry Kim sitting in the Captain's chair. It was his watch. "Ensign Kim, I require your assistance."
Hearing the urgency in her voice he asked. "What's wrong Seven?"
"The Captain believes she is going into labor. I need your assistance in helping me get her to sickbay."
"Ensign Rollins, you have the bridge." Almost at a run he headed into the ready room behind Seven. When he entered, he saw the Captain moving slowly from around the desk toward the door holding her stomach. Quickly each took an arm and put it around their neck. They walked slowly out of the ready room, crossed the bridge, and entered the turbo lift. Once inside Harry said. "Deck 5." The lift began to move. Suddenly Kathryn cried out and bent over, Seven and Harry had to pull back to keep her, and themselves from falling forward. Water flooded down her legs soaking her pants. At first, Harry didn't know what was happening until he looked down and noticed the small puddle of water under their feet. "Oh no." He said softly. Kathryn felt embarrassed by his reaction.
Sensing her embarrassment he said. "It's all right Captain. I'll clean it up, don't worry about it." He smiled trying to make her feel better. She only nodded. Finally the doors opened and they walked out. Since she could only take small steps, the short walk was taking longer. Crewmen backed up toward the walls as they passed trying to stay out of the way. Some had offered assistance, but were rejected politely.
As they approached sickbay, Chakotay spotted them and broke out into a run. "I'll take over Harry, thanks."
"No problem." He said trading places with him.
When the doors opened the Doctor pointed toward a isolation room. "Put her down there." Once they got her on the bed the Doctor approached with a medical tricorder and began scanning. "Mr. Paris."
"Prep the Captain for delivery." Turning toward Seven he said. "If you wish to help, you can assist Mr. Paris."
"Yes Doctor." Moving over to Tom they both began putting on medical smocks and going through sanitation procedures before putting on their gloves.
The Doctor put a hand on Kathryn's arm as he closed the tricorder. "The baby hasn't turned yet, but we still have plenty of time. If it doesn't I will have to turn the baby manually. Do you understand?" She nodded gripping Chakotay's hand. "Good. Commander, if your going to stay, I'll have to ask that you go though sanitation procedures and put on a medical smock."
He nodded, as the Doctor walked away. Lifting her hand he kissed the palm. "I'll be right back all right?" She only nodded and released his hand. As he walked away she felt frightened. She couldn't help but wonder if this baby would be still born, and if that happened she didn't know if she could take it.
In sickbay the Doctor walked over to check on her progress. It had been sixteen hours and she had dilated to a nine. During the sixteen hours, he had taken insults, had medical instruments thrown at him, as well as physical attacks. If he were not a hologram he would have a lot of bruises to show for it, perhaps some broken ribs. Kathryn was asleep, with help from the Doctor. Chakotay slept in a chair next to her bed. Not long after the Doctor left she began to wake up. Groggy she said. "Chakotay?" He didn't answer. Her vision, still a little blurry, she felt herself begin to panic when he didn't respond right away. "Chakotay?" Hearing his name finally, his eyes snapped open. He could see her hand out stretched searching for his.
"I'm here." He said leaning forward to take her hand. She felt herself relax a bit. "How are you feeling?" He asked.
"You really don't want me to answer that question." She smiled wearily.
"I guess whatever the Doctor gave you worked. You at least slept some." He squeezed her hand gently.
"Is it too late to change my mind?" She asked knowing what the answer would be."
"I'm afraid not." He laughed.
"Now I understand what my mother went through. She was in labor with me for thirty-one hours."
"Well that answers that."
"What?" She asked confused.
"That you were as stubborn then as you are now." He laughed as she tried to pull her hand away with no success.
"I'll remember that." She threatened playfully.
They sat in silence for a few moments. Suddenly she gripped his hand hard, feeling another contraction. "Doctor!" She shouted getting his attention.
Stepping away from the computer terminal he walked over calmly. Lifting the sheet he took a quick look. Looking up at her he said. "Your doing fine, only a little while longer."
Within the next hour she had dilated to a ten. The contractions were so close together she didn't think it was ever going to end. Chakotay stood next to her holding her hand, his other hand was on her back helping her sit up. Tom stood next to the Doctor in order to hand him the instruments he needed. Seven stood on the other side of the bed keeping an eye on the fetal monitor as well as the Captain's vital signs. The Doctor had told her moments ago that the baby had turned, and needless to say she was relieved, at least something was going right she had thought. Finally she heard the Doctor say the word she longed to hear. "Push." Waiting until she felt the contraction as instructed, she leaned forward with Chakotay's help and pushed.
Breathing hard, she leaned back taking a short rest before another contraction announced itself. When that happened she reached out and grabbed Seven's arm as she sat up. Seven looked stunned to say the least. Lucky for her, Kathryn grabbed the arm containing the Borg plating. She looked to Chakotay who nodded. Turning, she placed a hand on Kathryn's back, and slid her arm down so she could take her hand.
"Your doing wonderful Captain. Now on the next contraction I want you to push as hard as you can." The Doctor instructed.
"What do you think I'm-" She cried out leaning back into Chakotay and Seven's arms.
"Push Captain!" The Doctor demanded.
Leaning forward again, she pushed so hard her face had turned red. "Your doing great honey." Chakotay said.
"GET IT OUT!" Kathryn screamed.
"Just a couple of good pushes and it will be." The Doctor replied firmly.
Gathering all her strength she pushed again. This time she could feel the baby slide out a little. After taking a short rest she pushed again, over and over until she felt the baby slide all the way out. Sweat dripped down her face as she lay back exhausted, breathing heavily.
Before showing them the baby he said. "You have a girl."
"A girl." Chakotay said barely above a whisper.
She laughed, relieved by the announcement. Then she sensed that something was wrong and looked up at the Doctor. The baby wasn't crying. Fear and panic rose quickly. "Why isn't she crying?! Why isn't my baby crying?!"
Tom handed the Doctor an instrument. Kathryn couldn't see what he was doing since the blanket stretched across her legs blocked her view. The Doctor said nothing. Kathryn tried to sit up, but was too weak. "WHY ISN'T SHE CRYING?!" She screamed, demanding an answer.
Chakotay, wrapped his arms around her pulling her close to him. "She's going to be all right Kathryn." He said, trying to keep the fear out of his own voice.
"Not again! PLEASE NOT AGAIN!" She screamed as tears streamed down her cheeks. Chakotay rocked her slowly back and forth. Seven stood holding her hand shocked by the outburst. "Your daughter will survive Captain." She said awkwardly.
When a cry erupted from the baby, Kathryn leaned her head back laughing, relieved by the sound. "She's all right." Chakotay said into her ear.
"Would you like to cut the cord dad?" The Doctor said offering him the laser scalpel. Kissing her temple he let her go. Kathryn looked up at Seven and squeezed her hand gently. "As I said Captain, your daughter will survive." Kathryn smiled at her. Moving toward the Doctor, he took the scalpel and cut the cord. Then the Doctor handed Paris the baby.
"She's going to break a lot of hearts Chakotay." Tom teased taking her over to be cleaned.
"You just make sure your not one of them." He joked. Tom grinned back at him and laughed.
"If you will excuse us for a moment, we need to finish up." Chakotay went back to Kathryn's side. Seven and Chakotay helped her sit up as they finished with the more messy part of the birthing process.
"She will be sore for a few days. Make sure she gets plenty of rest."
"I will, and thanks." He said shaking his hand. Then Seven and the Doctor left them alone. Taking her hand as he sat down next to her on the bed he asked. "How do you feel?"
"Like I could sleep for a few weeks." She said trying to keep her eyes open.
The Doctor came back into the room and asked. "Have you decided on a name?"
She looked to Chakotay who replied. "Alexandra." The Doctor nodded and left the room.
Several moments later Tom came in holding a white bundle, Seven just behind him. "I believe this belongs to you." He joked. Chakotay took the baby carefully out of his arms and sat back down on the bed. He laughed joyfully as he looked down at the bundle. Kathryn tried to sit up to look, but found out quickly that she didn't have the strength. Looking down at her he asked. "Are you ready to see your daughter?" She nodded. After Tom and Seven helped her sit up, Chakotay placed the baby in her arms.
Seeing the baby for the first time she wept. "I did this?" She thought. Chakotay put a hand on her shoulder and said. "You did good."
Lifting one shaky hand, she pulled the blanket away from the baby's face. "Hello Alexandra." She whispered. Tom smiled and left. Seven began checking the monitor making sure that the Captain's vital signs were steady. Looking up at Seven she asked. "Would you like you hold her?"
Seven looked frightened by the concept. "I am not certain if that would be wise. I do not want to damage the child."
"As long as you don't squeeze her too hard or drop her you'll be fine." Chakotay said encouragingly.
Looking back down at Kathryn she nodded. Carefully she picked her up. Looking down at the sleeping child she stared at her with amazement. Never before had she held a baby in her arms, and for the first time she felt an overwhelming sense of protectiveness for this child.
Tom popped his head inside the room and almost forgot what he was going to say when he saw Seven holding the baby. Then finding his voice again he said. "Chakotay, you have some people outside who want to congratulate you and the Captain."
"All right Tom I'll be right there." Leaning down he whispered. "I love you."
"And I love you." She whispered back. Then he kissed her gently on the lips. Sitting back up he squeezed her hand. "I'll be right back."
"Take your time. I'm not going anywhere." She said smiling weakly. Grinning he left the room.
Carefully, Seven placed the baby back into Kathryn's arms. "She is a beautiful child Captain."
"Thank you Seven. I'm quite proud of her."
"As you should be. I will leave the two of you alone. I will return shortly." Turning she left.
Turning her head she placed her lips against the baby's forehead and began speaking softly. "I've never been a mother before, and I know you've never been a daughter before. I don't know what kind of mother I'll make, but I can tell you that I will always love you." Kissing her forehead the baby stirred. "To tell the truth, I don't know if I will get this crew home, or if you will see Earth, but I can only hope that one day you will share my desire to reach it." Making her voice a whisper she continued. "I'll let you in on a secret. I'm afraid all the time."
At that moment Chakotay stepped in. "I have some people outside that would like to see you." Without warning she began crying softly against the baby's forehead. Moving over to her, he placed a hand on her arm. "What's wrong honey?"
"Nothing's wrong. In fact this is one of the happiest days of my life."
"Mine too." He said squeezing her arm gently. All though she was happy, she couldn't help but be a little sad that this child, along with her crew, may never see Earth. With that thought another blinding light filled her eyes, and in the matter of a second, she had gone somewhere else.
Seven year old Alexandra grasped her mothers hand tightly as they stood in front of the doors to the holodeck. Sensing her daughters hesitation Kathryn asked. "Are you all right sweetheart?" Alexandra only nodded. Kathryn knelt down and took her by the shoulders turning her gently toward her. Looking into her eyes, Kathryn could see the fear behind them. "What's wrong? I thought you wanted to come with me to Maestro Da Vinci's workshop."
Not wanting to look into her eyes she stared at the floor. In a tiny voice she said. "What if he doesn't like me?"
Kathryn knew how shy Alexandra was, and her heart sank knowing the reason. All the years of being the captain of a starship, and the responsibility that comes with it, was putting a strain on their relationship. Lifting her chin with one finger she replied softly. "Look at me." Slowly Alexandra's eyes met hers. "He is going to love you just as much as I do. I promise." Alexandra nodded again still looking unconvinced. Giving her a hug she stood up, took a deep breath, and activated the doors. Alexandra squeezed her hand tightly as they stepped through the door. Kathryn squeezed her hand back in reassurance and smiled down at her.
Leonardo Da Vinci was sitting on a stool with his back turned to them, he was drawing. Hearing the sound of footsteps approaching, he lifted his head and turned. A smile spread on his face as he stood up and opened his arms. "Ahh Caterina! How good it is to see you." Kathryn squeezed Alexandra's hand gently and let go. Stepping forward she wrapped her arms around him in a hug. Hugging her tightly he kissed both her cheeks before letting her go. "Who do we have here?" He asked looking down at the young child. Suddenly Alexandra felt very uncomfortable under his scrutinizing gaze and looked down at her hands.
Placing a hand on his shoulder Kathryn replied proudly. "Maestro Da Vinci, I would like you to meet my daughter Alexandra."
A smile spread across his features once again as he cried out. "Que Bella! So this is the beautiful young lady I have heard so much about." He said kneeling down. Alexandra blushed but did not look up. Kathryn's heart sank. Over the last seven years, she had spent two to three hours a day with her. There were many times when she was working late, that she didn't see her for days.
On the days when she came home late, Kathryn would quietly enter Alexandra's room to watch her sleep for a little while. Every time she sat watching her she felt her heart ache. She was missing almost every aspect of her daughter's life, and she didn't want that, but she also had a responsibility to her crew. "Alexandra and I are going to make a sculpture." Kathryn said smiling.
"Can you sculpt Alexandra?" Da Vinci asked.
Looking down at her hands she replied in a tiny voice. "No."
Reaching out his hand he lifted her chin with a thick finger. "A lovely young lady such as yourself should never hide her face. It would be a crime if such beauty were hidden away, and sadly, there is not enough beauty in the world." Alexandra looked up and smiled at him. "Ahh much better." He said. Throwing her arms around his neck she hugged him and gave him a peck on the cheek. Laughing he lifted her up and held her in his arms. Kathryn looked at her daughter with affection. She had come out of her shell, and she had Leonardo Da Vinci to thank for it. "I must take my leave of you. I have some deliveries to make." Looking at Alexandra he said. "If you are here upon my return, perhaps I could teach you how to draw. Would you like that?" Alexandra nodded. Smiling he put her down. Picking up several packages and rolled up papers he left.
Kathryn reached out her hand and said. "Are you ready to get started?" Alexandra smiled and took her hand. Leading her over to a table that had a pound of unworked clay and several sculpting tools, Kathryn helped her up into a chair before sitting down next to her. "What shall we make?"
Alexandra looked pensive as she gave the question careful consideration. Kathryn waited patiently, she had made plans to spend the whole day with her. Finally after several moments she said. "I want to make a sculpture of you."
"Me?" Kathryn asked surprised.
"So I can see you everyday." Kathryn felt moved and saddened by her explanation. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. Seeing her mother on the verge of tears Alexandra climbed onto her lap and brushed her cheek with one hand. "Don't cry mommy. I don't like it when your sad."
"I know." Kathryn replied fighting back tears.
"Did I make you sad?"
Smiling, Kathryn took Alexandra's face in both hands. "No sweetheart, you could never make me sad. You have brought me nothing but joy since the first time I laid eyes on you." Smiling back, she gave her mother a peck on the lips and a big hug. Alexandra sat in her lap, her arms wrapped around her mother's waist. Kathryn cradled Alexandra in one arm as she stroked her hair with the other. They sat there for almost an hour holding each other, soaking up the affection they had missed. "What happened to my big brother?" Alexandra asked, breaking the silence. Kathryn sat stunned for a few seconds before saying anything. "Who told you about your brother?"
"Daddy told me. Are you mad?" She asked.
"Honey I'm not mad. I just thought it would be a long time before we had this talk." She replied cradling her in both arms. "What exactly did your daddy tell you?"
"Daddy said that I had an older brother who died before he was born. What did he mean by that?"
Kathryn took a deep breath before answering. She desperately tried to keep her voice from cracking as she began to speak. "It means that your brother died while I was still pregnant with him." After taking a deep breath she continued. "Late one night I started bleeding and I couldn't stop. I was transported to sickbay, but it was too late. He was already dead."
Alexandra could feel something wet hit the side of her cheek. Reaching up with one hand she touched her face and looked, it was water. Pulling away from Kathryn, Alexandra reached up and wiped the tears from her mothers cheeks. "I'm sorry mommy."
Kathryn lifted her eyes and looked into Alexandra's. Reaching up, she brushed the hair away from her face. "It's all right sweetheart. I know you were just curious." She took another deep breath before continuing. "When I lost your brother, I didn't want to have another baby. Then later when I discovered I was pregnant with you, I was stunned then frightened. Would I lose you as well? I didn't even want to know if I was going to have a boy or a girl. Your father wanted me to help him pick out baby names, but I couldn't. I didn't want to get attached-" She stopped, breaking down into tears. Alexandra was trying to be strong for her mother. She had no idea how bad it had been for her, and was sorry she had asked. She wrapped her arms around her mother and put a hand on the back of her head letting her know that she could cry on her shoulder. Kathryn cried harder into her daughter's shoulder, holding her tightly.
Alexandra was trying to console her mother, speaking softly she said. "It's ok mommy. I'm here, and I promise I won't let anything bad happen to you." Kathryn smiled and pulled her away gently. Holding her by both arms she said. "I want you to know that I have never once regretted having you in my life. I can't imagine my life without you in it. I know that I haven't spent as much time with you as I would have liked, but I hope that you realize it has nothing to do with you. I love you sweetheart."
Alexandra pulled her mother close and hugged her tightly. "I know mommy. I love you too." Silence ensued them. Breaking the silence Alexandra asked. "Can we make my sculpture now?"
Laughing Kathryn took Alex's face in both hands and said. "Oh course we can." Alexandra laughed as she climbed off her lap and back into the chair.
They worked on the bust of Kathryn for the next four hours. During those hours they laughed, told stories, and enjoyed each others company. After the bust was completely finished, they took it with them back to their quarters and put it in Alexandra's room across from her bed. Alexandra said she wanted it there so when she woke up it would be the first thing she saw. Sitting on the edge of her bed staring at the bust, Kathryn asked. "Are you ready for some lunch?"
"What should we have?" Alexandra asked.
"I'll leave that up to you. This is your day." Kathryn replied stroking Alexandra's hair.
"Can we have the stew that Nanna used to make for you?"
"Yes we can, but lets get cleaned up first all right?"
Alexandra nodded excitedly. Jumping off the bed she headed for the bathroom then stopped. Running back to Kathryn she threw herself into her arms. Wrapping her arms around her neck she said. "This has been the best day of my life. I love you mommy."
Squeezing her tightly she replied. "I'm glad sweetheart, and I love you too." Letting her go she watched Alexandra run into the bathroom and close the door. Smiling, she stood up and headed into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. Taking off her com badge she laid it next to her pips on the nightstand and stripped off the clay encrusted clothes. Carrying them with her into the bathroom she placed them in the hamper. Stepping into the sonic shower she leaned against the wall and said. "Activate sonic shower." Closing her eyes she could feel the clay and dirt being vibrated off her body. Once the cycle was complete she stepped out and went back into the bedroom. Opening the closet she picked out another outfit and took out a pair of panties, bra and socks from the bottom drawer. Closing the drawer and closet she dressed and headed back into the living room.
Moving over to the replicator she said. "Two bowls of welsh stew." When they materialized she placed them on the table and called out. "Alex are you ready to eat!?"
"Yes, I'll be right out!" She called back.
Taking a seat at the table she heard the door open and turned around. Alexandra walked out of the bedroom and hurried toward the table and sat down. "I'm starving!" She said picking up her spoon and dug in. Kathryn laughed softly and picked up her spoon and began to eat. After ten minutes the door opened and Chakotay stepped inside to the sounds of laughter. Both of them looked up. "Well how's my two favorite women?"
"Daddy!" Alexandra screamed with delight and jumped down from her chair running toward him. Scooping her up, he swung her high into the air. When she came down she wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a hug and a kiss. He returned the kiss and hug and set her back down. She ran back to the table and resumed eating. Walking over to Kathryn he gave her a kiss and asked. "So what are you ladies having?"
"Welsh stew." Alexandra replied talking another bite into her mouth.
"Would you like some?" Kathryn asked.
"Love some." He replied. As Kathryn began to stand up he placed a hand on top of hers and said. "You sit and eat I'll get it."
"All right." She said picking up the spoon.
After replicating himself a bowl he joined them at the table and began to eat.
"What are you doing home daddy? I thought you were at work?"
Swallowing the stew he replied. "I am at work, but I wanted to join the two of you for lunch."
"So you can't come with me and mommy to the holodeck after we get done eating?"
"Sorry sweetheart, but I have to get back to the bridge after lunch." Alexandra looked disappointed. "Tell you what. This weekend, why don't the three of us go the holodeck for a picnic. We can spend the day together."
"Can we mommy?" Alexandra asked hopefully.
Thinking for a moment she replied. "I think I can manage to find the time." Alexandra's face lit up with joy. Taking her spoon she resumed eating.
After lunch was finished, and the dishes placed back into the replicator, Chakotay gave them both a kiss before heading back up to the bridge. Kathryn and Alexandra spent some of the day in the holodeck. They went swimming, laid out in the sun, and took a walk along the beach as Alexandra stopped every now and then to inspect a sea shell or crab she had found. Later that day, Kathryn took her in a shuttle to show her a nebula Voyager had come within range of.
When they finally reached their quarters that evening, they cleaned up and had dinner. Chakotay wasn't due back home for at least another hour. Alexandra came out of the bedroom with her nightgown on and sat down next to Kathryn on the sofa and wrapped her arms around her waist. Kathryn lifted her arm and placed is around her daughter and gave her a hug. Leaving her arm around Alexandra she opened the book she was holding and began to read aloud to her. The book was called "Little Women" It had been her favorite when she was a girl, and she hoped that Alexandra would enjoy it as much as she did. As she began to read, Alexandra would sometimes stop her and ask questions about something she had just read that she didn't understand. Patiently, Kathryn would answer her questions, and was glad to see that Alexandra was indeed enjoying the story.
Almost thirty minutes later, Kathryn felt her daughter shift in her arms. Marking her place, she laid the book on the sofa next to her and brushed the hair away from Alexandra's face. She was sound asleep. Kissing the top of her head she wrapped her other arm around her, holding her as she slept.
Kathryn felt someone shaking her shoulder gently. "Wake up Kathryn." Chakotay whispered.
"What is it?" She asked groggy. She felt Alexandra in her arms. Looking down at her she noticed that she was still asleep.
"I think we should get her to bed." Chakotay whispered. She nodded. Carefully, Kathryn untangled herself from Alexandra. Chakotay picked her up and carried her to the bedroom with Kathryn right behind him. Once inside, Kathryn pulled down the covers. After laying her down on the bed, Chakotay took the blanket and covered her up and gave her a kiss on the forehead before moving back over to the door. Walking softly to where Chakotay had stood she leaned down and brushed the hair away from Alexandra's face and kissed her temple. "Goodnight sweetheart." She whispered before walking out of the bedroom. Chakotay took one last look at her before closing the door.
In the living room he saw Kathryn picking up the book on the sofa and place in on the coffee table. Walking up behind her he wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed the back of her neck. She patted his hands. "So, did the two of you have fun today?"
"Yes we did."
"Good." He said giving her a hug before releasing her and heading into the bedroom.
Turning off the lights she walked into the bedroom and closed the door. Turning around she saw Chakotay sitting on the edge of the bed taking his shoes off. Moving over she stood next to him and crossed her arms. "Alexandra asked me about her brother today. She said that you told her. How could you do that without discussing it with me first?" She said trying to keep her voice calm.
Picking up his shoes he stood up and put them next to his nightstand. "I did try to discuss it with you Kathryn, but every time I brought up the subject you said you didn't want to talk about it. So I made the decision on my own. I felt that she was old enough to understand it." He replied sitting back down on the bed. He looked up at her seeing the anger in her eyes.
"Because of this, you put me in a difficult position. I broke down in front of her Chakotay. You know just as well as I do how fragile she is right now, and I was lucky that she took it as well as she did."
"I'm sorry about what happened, but if I had waited until you were ready she may have heard about it from someone else. The last thing I wanted was for her to come to either of us angry that we didn't tell her. You didn't give me much choice Kathryn. She's seven years old. Where you going to wait until she was what? Fifteen, twenty, before you told her?" He asked, his voice rising in anger.
"I don't know, but you didn't have the right to put me in that position." She replied just as angry.
He stood up facing her. "You put yourself in that position. If you had been willing to discuss it with me then we could have done this together, but because you didn't, you put me in a difficult position." Lowering his voice he placed his hands on her shoulders and said. "I have tried to be understanding and supportive of your feelings, but enough is enough Kathryn. It was a terrible thing that happened, but he's been dead for nine years. It's time to let him go and move on. I've done it, now you have to do the same."
She looked up at him stunned and angered by his words. "How dare you." She said coldly. Lifting her arms between them, she pulled them apart and knocked his hands off her shoulders. "He was my son! I carried him in my body for seven months! I felt him moving inside me! It was me who lost him, not you! When he died I wanted to die with him!"
Grabbing her arms hard he pulled her to him. Their faces inches from each other he shouted. "Damn you Kathryn! He was my son too! Just because I didn't carry him in my body doesn't mean that I didn't feel the loss as much as you did! When he died I wanted to die with him, but I knew that wouldn't bring him back!"
"STOP IT!" Alexandra screamed. Both of them felt their anger disappear as Chakotay let Kathryn go and they turned toward her. Alexandra was crying. "I wish I had never been born! If I wasn't, you wouldn't be fighting!"
Kathryn rushed over and knelt down in front of her. Tears stinging her own eyes, she took Alexandra by the arms and said. "Honey don't say that. It's not true."
"Yes it is. If I was never born you wouldn't be fighting over that fact that daddy told me about my brother." She said growing more upset with each word. Toward the end of her sentence she was crying so hard that she was starting to hyperventilate.
"Calm down sweetheart and breathe." Kathryn said as intense fear overcame her.
"I- love- you- mommy- and- I'm- sorry- that- you- can't- love- me- too-" She said hyperventilating.
Kathryn burst into tears. "I love you with all my heart, but you have to calm down and breathe." Alexandra was so upset that she began gasping for air. Her eyes started to roll back into her head. Panicked she began shaking her. "BREATHE ALEX! COME ON BREATHE!"
Chakotay pulled them apart and laid Alexandra on the floor, she had stopped breathing. Pinching her nose he breathed into her mouth. Then laid his head on her chest. He couldn't hear her breathing. Kathryn sat on the floor across from him crying hysterically.
"Come on Alex breathe!" He said pinching her nose again and breathing into her mouth. Finally she started coughing and opened her eyes.
Kathryn grabbed her and pulled her into her lap rocking her back and forth. "Don't you ever do that to me again! Do you hear me!?" She said terrified as Alexandra nodded against her chest and coughed. "I love you so much Alex it's like a physical pain. I don't want you to ever think that I don't love you. Your father and I are going to fight from time to time, but it doesn't mean that we don't love you or each other." Looking up at Chakotay she said. "Sometimes adults argue even when they know the other person is right." Smiling through the tears in his eyes, he wrapped his arms around the both of them, hugging them tightly.
When Alexandra's coughing stopped she sat up in Kathryn's lap and hugged her. "I love you mommy."
"And I love you. Very much." She replied kissing her on the temple. Holding her in her arms she tried to stand up but couldn't. Chakotay took her by the arm and hand and pulled her to her feet. Carrying her over to the bed she sat down at the foot. Chakotay sat down next to them and placed an arm around Kathryn's waist.
"Can I sleep with you tonight?" Alexandra asked.
"Of course you can." Chakotay replied smiling as he reached out and brushed the hair out of her eyes. Smiling she looked up at Kathryn who nodded her consent. Sitting up she climbed off her lap and onto the bed, pulling down the covers she climbed inside. Kathryn and Chakotay stood up. "We'll be right back all right?" Chakotay said. Alexandra nodded.
Grabbing her nightgown, Kathryn headed into the bathroom. Chakotay opened the closet and opened the bottom drawer taking out a pair of boxers and a t-shirt. Closing the drawer and the closet he took off his com badge and pips and laid them on the night stand. Opening the bathroom door he saw Kathryn had already changed into her nightgown and was now standing in front of the mirror brushing her hair. Closing the door he unzipped his jacket and took it off. Laying her brush down she placed both hands on the counter and looked down into the sink. "You were right." She said softly.
"Right about what?" He asked taking off his shirt and tossing it into the hamper.
Taking a deep breath she answered. "That I should let the death of our son go and move on. I don't know why I can't let go." She said tracing the curve of the brush with her fingernail.
Putting on his shirt he moved behind her and laid his hands on her shoulders, giving them a gentle squeeze. "I think I do." He said looking at her reflection in the mirror. "You thought that since he was inside you, that he would be protected. When you lost him, you began to doubt yourself. If you couldn't protect the child you were carrying then how could you protect this crew?"
She looked up, staring at his refection with amazement. "How could you know that?"
Turning her around to face him he answered. "Because I thought the same thing. I wondered, how could I protect this crew if I couldn't protect you or our son. Then I realized that I had no control over it, and that it wasn't your fault or mine. Your body was protecting itself. We did everything we could to save him, and I know that. If I didn't let him go it would have eaten me up inside. I would have blamed and resented you for his death, and I didn't want to do that because I love you too much."
Reaching up with one hand she placed it on his chest. "I'm amazed that you've stayed with me, considering what I've put you through."
Raising his hand he laid it on top of hers. "I stayed because I couldn't live the rest of my life without you. I love you Kathryn." Smiling he gathered her in his arms and kissed her. Wrapping her arms around his neck she pulled him closer deeping the kiss. When he pulled away they stared into each others eyes for a moment.
"I love you Chakotay. I know I don't say it often enough, but I do."
"I know." Giving her another kiss on the lips he let her go. "I'll be out in a minute."
"All right." Kathryn replied as she left the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
Looking at Alexandra she could tell that she was about to drift off to sleep at any moment. Moving around the bed she turned out her light and lifted the covers and climbed inside. Alexandra scooted closer to her. Wrapping her arms around her, she laid her head on her shoulder and closed her eyes. Kathryn wrapped her arms around her and gave her a gentle squeeze and a kiss on the forehead before closing her eyes. Moments later, Chakotay walked out of the bathroom and smiled down at them. Turning out his light he lifted the covers and climbed inside. Rolling on his side he draped his arm over the both of them and closed his eyes with the knowledge that everything was going to be all right.
Friday afternoon Kathryn, Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry, and Tom all sat on the bridge. It had been a quiet day and they were enjoying it. Turned around in his chair Tom said. "You couldn't be more wrong Harry. Wil Turner did not hit the home run that won the one-hundredth world series. It was Charlie Scott."
"You just don't know when your wrong do you Tom?" Everyone laughed. "Charlie Scott retired the year before the one-hundredth world series. It was Wil Turner who hit the home run into the stands."
Tom began to protest when Tuvok interrupted. "Ensign Kim is correct. Wil Turner did hit the home run."
"I didn't know you followed baseball Tuvok?" Tom asked amazed by the discovery.
"I have on occasion taken an interest in Human sports. Baseball was one of them."
Tom nodded and turned around in his chair. Chakotay turned in his chair and leaned toward Kathryn who was still laughing along with Harry. "Are you ready for the picnic tomorrow?" He asked.
Looking at him she allowed the laughter to fade. Smiling she replied. "I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice for the three of us to spend some time together."
"I know what you mean. When I got up this morning, Alex was bubbling with excitement. She already had her bag packed for the outing." They laughed.
Suddenly the ship rocked violently almost knocking everyone off their feet. "What the hell was that?" Kathryn demanded.
"I'm detecting five ships on an approach vector." Harry answered.
"Red alert. Raise shields and open a channel."
"Channel open." Harry replied.
Looking at the view screen she saw a humanoid, but could not tell what sex the creature was. It had gray skin with large luminous black eyes. It possessed a small nose and a slit for a mouth. Looking at the alien she was instantly reminded of the reports that had been made during the late twentieth-century about these aliens who were said to abduct humans. She had considered it to be nonsense since there was no proof that this race had ever existed, but now she was beginning to believe otherwise. "I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. Why did you attack us?"
The alien turned and looked at her with it's large black eyes and replied. "You have technology that we need. We plan to take it."
"I'm sure we can come to some sort of arrangement. Tell me what it is you need and I will see what we can do to help."
"We need your ship and it's crew. You and your crew will bring a high price at the auction. We can sell them as breeders or slaves, and dismantle your ship for parts."
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that." She replied deadly serious.
"We will take your ship. You have no choice." The alien replied ending the transmission.
Kathryn sat back in her chair and said. "If they want a fight then I'm prepared to give it to them. This is the Captain to all hands, battle stations. Tuvok, load torpedo bays one through four and prepare to fire on my order."
"Aye Captain." Tuvok replied as he focused his attention back on his console.
"Evasive maneuvers Mr. Paris."
"Aye Captain." Tom answered as his fingers danced over the controls.
Another bone shuttering jolt rocked the ship. "Shields down to eight-six percent." Tuvok announced.
"Return fire." Kathryn ordered.
"Firing phasors. Direct hit to the lead vessels engines. The ship has been disabled. The other ships are continuing pursuit."
"Open a channel to the disabled ship." Kathryn ordered.
"Channel open." Harry replied.
The alien appeared on the screen. "I suggest you tell your ships to break off their attack or we will destroy your ship."
"No, I will not."
"Your choice. Tuvok, fire the torpedo's."
As she stared at the alien he suddenly shimmered out of view. Standing up she asked Harry. "Where did he go?"
"I don't know." He answered working the controls frantically.
The ship before them exploded as the torpedo's hit. Everyone on the bridge raised a hand to shield their eyes. When her vision returned, she saw the alien standing next to Harry holding a weapon. Pulling her phaser, she headed toward them. Tuvok did the same.
"Put down your weapon or I will kill him." The alien hissed.
"Do it." She said lowering her weapon. Tuvok stared at her for a moment before lowering his.
"How did you transport through our shields?" She asked.
"We have our ways. Now surrender your vessel."
"Not a chance. I don't negotiate with terrorists."
"Your mistake Captain." He fired hitting Harry in the chest. He fell forward over his controls motionless.
Raising her weapon again she fired and hit the alien. He fell to the floor motionless. Putting her phaser back in her holster she headed over to Harry. Feeling his neck for a pulse she was relieved to find one. "He's alive." She said smiling down at Chakotay. As she began moving back around the station she felt someone grab her ankle. She fell forward hitting her head on the railing. "KATHRYN!" Chakotay screamed as he ran around the rail toward her. She was holding her head with one hand as she kicked back at the alien with her foot. The alien grabbed her foot and pulled her toward him. Tuvok was pointing his phaser at the alien but was unable to get a clear shot. The Captain was now in a sitting position struggling against him. Chakotay pulled out his phaser and aimed. "Let her go."
"I will not. I am taking your Captain as payment for our loss. She will make an excellent breeder."
The thought of Kathryn being used for breeding children for slave labor enraged him. "I SAID LET HER GO!" Tuvok was still trying to take aim as Chakotay spoke. The alien reached up and touched something on his arm, a mini transporter. Kathryn and the alien began to fade out. Tuvok fired and hit the aliens arm deactivating the transporter. It screamed out in pain and released it's grip around Kathryn's neck. She pushed herself up to her feet and began moving toward Chakotay holding her head as the pain intensified. Suddenly she arched her back and fell forward. He rushed up and caught her before she hit the ground. Looking behind her he saw that the alien had his weapon pointed at her back, he had shot her. Tuvok fired, hitting the alien in the chest. It streaked once more and fell still. Tuvok approached the figure cautiously and kicked the weapon out of it's hands. Opening his tricorder he scanned. "The alien is dead." Tuvok announced.
Laying her down on the floor he cradled her head in his lap. Tuvok moved next to them and began scanning. "Your going to be all right you hear me?" Chakotay said.
"Don't try to talk. Save your strength."
"The Captain has sustained internal injuries. We must get her to sickbay." Tuvok said.
Gripping his shoulder, Kathryn tried to pull herself up. Chakotay slid his arm down her back and lifted her up. "Get this crew home." She said coughing up blood. Her blood sprayed all over the front of her uniform and his.
"Don't you die on me Kathryn!" He demanded, tears stinging his eyes.
"I love you Chakotay." She said weakly trying to keep her eyes open.
"Don't you do that. Don't you say your goodbye's. Your going to live you hear me?" He said taking her face in his hand.
"Tell Alex that I love her, and-" She stopped. Her eyes opened wide as she desperately clung to life. She began gasping for air. "It's getting dark! Hold me Chakotay!" Everyone could hear the terror in her voice. "DON'T- LET- ME- GO!" She cried out between gasps, gripping Chakotay's shoulder as hard as she could. Then she took in one final breath of air, and arched her back as the last breath escaped her lips. It was over. Her head fell back limp, her eyes open. Her hand fell from his shoulder and onto her lap.
"KATHRYN!" He screamed. Pulling her to him, he cried into her neck. Her hand slid from her lap and fell to the floor. Tuvok closed his tricorder not saying a word. Chakotay rocked her back and forth in his arms as he kept saying her name over and over.
Another jolt rocked the ship. Tuvok stood up and headed for his console. "Commander, the vessels are still in pursuit."
Sitting up he lifted her head and reached up to close her eyes. Stroking her cheek with his fingers he whispered "I'll never let you go Kathryn." Leaning in he kissed her on the lips. Talking one last look at her face, he laid her down gently on the floor. Standing up he headed for the command chair and sat down in a blind rage. "I want those ships out of my sky!" Chakotay demanded.
"Aye Commander." Tuvok replied as he began firing on the ships. Tom was working hard to keep Voyager from being hit. By the time the battle was over, they had used up almost all their torpedo's and burned out their phaser banks before the last ship was destroyed. Later he vaguely remembered the vessels trying to break off their attack, but he just kept coming. He wasn't going to let them leave alive. They had taken away the woman he loved more than life itself, and he was going to kill them all no matter the cost.
In the mess hall, the crew was gathered for the funeral. As Chakotay stood holding Alexandra in his arms, he listened to the crew get up one by one and share the experiences they had with Captain Janeway. Tom Paris stood in the center of the room looking as if he were on the verge of tears. He was the last one to speak. "I remember when I first met Captain Janeway. I was working on a hover craft when she approached me at the prison colony. She told me that she had worked with my father aboard the Albatoni as a junior science officer. I didn't really care if she worked with my father or not, but it did give her a basis to start off the conversation.
"Eventually she told me that she wanted me to be an observer on a mission to the badlands. Since I had been involved with the Maquis it would be in my best interest to go with her. It would cut down on the time I had to serve. I agreed, and when we became stranded in the delta quadrant, it was Captain Janeway who gave me the chance to prove myself whether I wanted to or not." Soft laughter erupted from the crew.
"She forced me to become a better person, and believed in me when no one else did. I'll always be grateful to her for that." His voice began to choke on the last sentence and he stopped, dropping his head into his hand, he walked back into the crowd. B'Elanna put an arm around him for comfort as they sat down.
Chakotay put Alexandra down and walked into the middle of the room. He looked out at the sea of faces he had seen over the last fourteen years, they had been though a lot together. "Let us all honor the Captain one last time." He said trying to keep his voice even.
Everyone stood up. When the whistle was blown, everyone faced the glass watching as the tube containing the body of Captain Kathryn Janeway was shot out into space. "From the stars we came. To the stars we return. From now until the end of time. We therefore commit this body to the deep." Tuvok said evenly.
Alexandra, who had not cried or even spoken a word after Chakotay had told her that Kathryn had died earlier that day, ran toward the glass and beat at it with her fists. "MOMMY! COME BACK! MOMMY!" She screamed. B'Elanna, who had been keeping herself together during the funeral burst out into tears. Tom put an arm around her shoulder and she buried her face in his chest crying. Their ten year old son Stephen ran up and put his arms around them both. B'Elanna knelt down and wrapped him in her arms hugging him tightly to her.
Chakotay walked toward Alexandra and knelt down behind her. Wrapping his arms around her he began to whisper into her ear. "I'm sorry sweetheart. I wish I could bring mommy back to you but I can't. I want her back with us as much as you do, but we have to let her go." Turning her toward him he reached out and took both her hands. Speaking softly he continued. "She will always be with us Alex." Reaching up, he laid his hand over her heart. "In here." Then he reached up and put a finger in the middle of her forehead. "And in here. As long as we keep her memory alive she will never grow old, and she will never die as long as we do that. Understand?"
She nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck and cried into his shoulder with huge heart wrenching sobs. "It's just not the same." She said through her tears.
Stoking her head he tried to keep the tears out of his own eyes. "I know sweetheart, but we have to be satisfied with that." After letting her cry for a few more minutes, he pulled her away. Looking into her eyes he said. "Mommy wouldn't want us to be sad. So let's try to remember the good times we had with her all right?" Alexandra nodded her head slowly and wrapped her arms around his neck again. He stood up holding her with one hand under her bottom and the other on her back rubbing it in large circles. Her legs were wrapped around his waist and her face was buried in his neck. "The Captain would want us to remember the good times. Neelix has made some food, and I suggest we all stay and talk about the good times we had with Captain Janeway." He clapped Harry on the back as he passed and took a seat at one of the tables. After a bit, Alexandra took her face out of his neck. Turning around in his lap, she joined in the conversation. She began telling Harry, the Doctor, Seven, and Neelix about the trip she and Kathryn had taken to the holodeck. How they had made a sculpture of Kathryn and walked on the beach. Then finally telling them how Kathryn had taken her out in a shuttle to see the nebula Voyager had passed a few days ago. Alexandra's face began to brighten as she told them how Kathryn had let her fly the shuttle for a little while. By the time she had finished her story she was smiling.
Everyone, including Chakotay, felt their spirts being to rise a bit. Each of them began to tell stories about Kathryn before Alexandra was born, and she sat listening intently. Sometimes she would interrupt to ask a question about something they had said that she didn't understand, and they would answer her questions patiently.
Five hours later after everyone had left. Chakotay carried a sleeping Alexandra back to their quarters. She had her arms wrapped around his neck, and her head rested on his shoulder. He was supporting her bottom with one hand, while the other rested on her back. Reaching their quarters he lifted the hand off her back and punched in his code. The door slid open and he stepped inside. "Computer, lights low." The room lit up with dim light, but that was all he needed to see. Moving toward Alexandra's room he opened the door. Shaking her gently with one hand he said softly. "Wake up sweetheart." After a few seconds she lifted her head and rubbed at her eyes. "It's time for bed." She nodded sleepily as he set her down on the bed. Walking over to her closet he took out her nightgown. Turning around she had already stripped off her shirt and pants.
Walking back over to her, she raised up her arms as he slipped the nightgown over her head. Pulling down the covers Alexandra climbed inside. Chakotay pulled the covers up to her chin and gave her a kiss in the temple. "Goodnight sweetheart." He said noticing that she had already fallen back to sleep. Stroking her hair, he realized how much she looked like Kathryn. Walking away quietly he closed the door and headed for his bedroom after turning out the lights.
Opening the door he walked in the dark over to his side of the bed and turned on his lamp. The room lit up. Looking down at the bed he saw Kathryn's nightgown laying at the foot. Sitting down he picked up the nightgown and brought it up to his face and inhaled. He could still smell her scent in the soft fabric. He broke down crying as he buried his face into the nightgown. "I don't want to believe your gone." He said, his voice muffled by the fabric. "How can I go on without you? How can I raise Alexandra without you? I don't know if I can." Laying down on the bed he cried until there was nothing left. This would be the first night in ten years that he had slept without her. Holding the nightgown, he rolled onto her side of the bed and laid his head on her pillow. He lay there inhaling her scent until he fell asleep.
Kathryn moaned as her eyes slowly opened. After her vision cleared, she could see the Doctor standing over her. "What am I doing in sickbay?" She croaked, her throat dry. She tried speaking again but all she could manage was a croak.
"Don't try to talk." The Doctor said as he began another series of scans.
With her throat dry she wouldn't attempt to speak again even if the Doctor had not suggested it. Finishing his scan, the Doctor helped her sit up and handed her a glass of water. When she was finished she asked. "What am I doing here?" Looking around she didn't see Chakotay or Alexandra. "Where is Chakotay?"
"He is on the bridge. You-"
"And Alexandra, where is she?"
The Doctor looked confused. "The woman in the transmission? She was never here."
"Of course she is. She's my daughter."
"Do you know where you are?"
Annoyed she said. "Yes, I am on Voyager in sickbay."
"What year is it?"
"I don't have time to play these games." She said trying to sit up and immediately laid back down. Her limbs cramped from days of non use.
"I would not try getting up again until your muscles get a chance to warm up. Now, what year is it?"
In the mist of her pain she blurted out. "2386."
That was just ten years from now. "I'm afraid you are going to be in for a shock, but the year is 2376."
"It's the truth Captain. You have been unconscious for three days. During that time someone or something has been in direct connection with your mind. When Seven and Tuvok discovered the source, we headed back to the worm hole where the transmission was found."
"What in the hell is going on here?" She asked herself aloud as she took her time sitting up.
"Computer, deactivate emergency medical holographic program!" Hopping off the bio-bed, she gripped the sides of the bed and gritted her teeth as another reminder of her unworked limbs sent pillars of fire through her. After it subsided she told the computer to seal the door. Taking her time, she stood up carefully working her limbs until the stiffness was gone.
Seven stood in Astrometrics while Tuvok and Chakotay coordinated the plan from the bridge. If all went well, the tachyon burst they were about to emit, would close the worm hole and break the link with the captain. "Seven are you ready?" Chakotay asked.
"You may proceed."
"I am ready Commander."
"Doctor?" Silence. "Doctor respond." Silence. "B'Elanna is the Doctor offline?"
"Yes, someone has deactivated him." Chakotay looked to Tuvok who nodded and left the bridge.
Looking around sickbay she began to look for something that could be used as a weapon. She really didn't want to hurt anyone, but if it came down to it she would. Opening one of the drawers in the Doctor's desk she came across a phaser. At first she wondered why it was here, then she remembered telling the Doctor to put it here just incase. He protested of course saying that he was a Doctor not a warden, but he knew that no matter how much he protested, the phaser would remain.
Examining the weapon she saw that it was on stun, which is what she wanted. Suddenly she looked up hearing someone's voice just outside the door. It wouldn't be long before the door would be opened. "Computer, begin pre-ignition sequence for the Delta Flyer. Prepare to perform a site to site transport on my command." A few seconds went by before the computer replied. "Pre-ignition sequence complete. Standing by for transport."
Before Kathryn could give the order the door opened. Phaser stretched out in front of him, Tuvok entered carefully. "Damn you Tuvok. Why couldn't it have been someone else?" She thought. Saying anything now would give away her location. If she were discovered, the time she would need to clear Voyager and reach the worm hole would be lost. "Go away Tuvok, I don't want to hurt you." She thought leaning against the wall. Listening, she could hear the sound of his tricorder. In a matter of seconds she would be discovered. If she were going to do anything it had to be now.
Moving, she began to ease her way around the wall trying to get a line of sight. Reaching the end of the wall she stopped. Who knows where he could be. At some point she was going to have to take a look. Holding her breath for a moment she listened carefully trying to pin point his location. She could hear the sounds of the tricorder beeping. He had to be just on the other side. Letting her breath out slowly she prepared to move. "It's now or never." Quickly she stepped forward then turned, diving out into the open doing a roll and coming out in a crouch. Her phaser aimed at Tuvok.
Seeing the quick movement he swung his weapon over to aim at the figure. Realizing who it was he hesitated. "Captain, put down your weapon I will not harm you."
"I'm afraid I can't do that."
"I do not wish to harm you, but if you do not put down your weapon I will be forced to fire."
"Forgive me old friend." Pushing the button she fired, hitting him in the chest. Dropping his phaser he fell to the ground. "Energize." Seconds later she materialized still crouched inside the Delta Flyer. Standing up she moved to sit in the pilot seat. "Computer, open shuttle bay doors." When they were open enough for her to fit the shuttle through she eased the craft away from the ship.
"Commander, I have just detected an unauthorized shuttle launch."
"What!? Who's inside?"
"It's the Captain, and she's taken the Delta Flyer."
"Open a channel and lock onto the shuttle with a tractor beam." Harry nodded. "Captain what are you doing?"
"Leave me alone Commander. I have to prevent Voyager's destruction." She said tapping onto her controls. "This isn't like you Kathryn, come back to the ship and I promise I'll do whatever it takes to help you." He pleaded. "Do you have it?" He asked Harry.
Shaking his head, Harry tapped frantically at his controls. "She is remodulating her shields, I can't get a lock. We've lost the transmission."
"Ger her back! I need to talk to her!"
"It's too late Commander." Harry said sadly. "She's gone."
Banging his fist hard on the railing he shouted. "Damn you Kathryn!" Looking over at Harry he ordered. "Find her! I don't care what you have to do! What law you have to break! Just find her is that understood!?" He was filled with rage. Harry shook his head letting him know he understood. Turning quickly he left the bridge. Tapping his badge he said. "Seven!"
"Yes Commander." She answered.
"I want you to assist Harry in his search for the captain. She entered the worm hole. I want to see results."
As the doors to the turbo lift opened he stepped into the corridor almost running Neelix over. "Commander I was just coming to see you I-"
Chakotay interrupted raising a fending hand. "I don't have the time to hear what you have to say right now." He kept walking. Neelix almost had to run to keep up with him.
"Is something wrong?" He asked concerned.
"What do you think!?" He snapped.
"By your reaction I would have to say yes. It there something I can do?" Chakotay suddenly stopped in his tracks causing Neelix to almost bump into him. "Leave me alone Neelix! I am not in the mood to be cheered up! Go back to the mess hall!"
At first, Neelix was hurt by his remarks, then he became angry. It wasn't often but today Chakotay pushed all the right buttons. "I realize your upset, but picking on me won't help!" He paused for a moment trying to let himself cool down, but the longer he stood there the angrier he became. "Just forget I asked! I'm sorry I was concerned!"
Chakotay suddenly felt like the biggest jerk. "I'm sorry Neelix. I know you were just trying to help." Shrugging his shoulders he continued. "I may as well tell you. The Captain has taken the Delta Flyer and entered the worm hole."
Neelix's eyes grew wide. "Do you have any idea why?"
Shaking his head he replied. "She said she was going to stop Voyager's destruction. I don't know anymore than that."
"I can't imagine what gave the Captain that idea, but I have a feeling that is not the only reason for your anger."
Chakotay looked confused. " I don't understand what you mean."
"It's pretty obvious to all of us. Your in love with her."
"That's ridiculous! She is my commanding officer!"
"Commander you can deny it all you like, but a lot of us know differently. If you didn't, you wouldn't be this upset."
Finding his anger returning he said. "Thank you for the concern, but if it's all the same to you I would rather not discuss what you think I feel for the Captain." Turning back around he headed for Astrometrics.
Entering, he saw Seven hard at work. "Have you found anything useful?"
"Not at this time. Once I have found anything of relevance I will contact you ." She answered never stopping from her work.
Remembering Tuvok he tapped his badge. "Chakotay to Tuvok." No response. "Tuvok respond."
"If you wish to speak to Lieutenant Commander Tuvok. I suggest you report to sick bay." She said.
Turning his attention back to Seven he added. "Contact me that moment you find anything."
The Doctor turned his attention to the door briefly as it swished open and Chakotaystepped inside. "What happened?" Chakotay asked immediately as he approached The Doctor.
Keeping his attention on Tuvok he answered. "He has been shot by a phasor at close range. Lucky for him he was stunned. "Do you know for certain who attacked him?"
Loading the hypospray he replied. "Not for certain, but I have a very good idea who did."
"The Captain." He wished it were not true.
"That would be my first guess." He said in an even tone. Taking the loaded hypospray he placed it to Tuvok's neck and pushed the button. Tuvok's eyes opened slowly.
"How do you feel?" Chakotay asked.
"I have felt better."
"I know you are probably not up to answering any questions, but did you see who shot you?" Chakotay asked hoping that he could not confirm who he knew it was.
"I know you think that you are invincible, but I will have to insist that you lay back down." The Doctor stated putting a hand on his chest pressing down gently. Tuvok complied.
"It was the Captain." Tuvok answered.
"She has taken the Delta Flyer and entered the worm hole. Seven is working on a way to retrieve her. If you are feeling up to it later you can assist her."
"If you will excuse us Commander." The Doctor interjected. "But I have a few more tests to perform before I release Mr. Tuvok."
"Of course. We will discuss this in further detail later." When Tuvok nodded, Chakotay turned and left.
On the other side of the worm hole Kathryn was picking up a distress signal. It was from Voyager. Activating the message the face of a young woman with red hair appeared. She was moving between stations stepping over bodies. One of them was Chakotay and the other, Tom Paris. "This is Ensign Alexandra Chakotay of the Federation Starship Voyager! We are under attack! I repeat, we are under attack! We require immediate assistance! Shields are down and life support is failing! Weapons, and Warp offline! We have multiple breeches on decks six through ten!" Alarms began to sound. Quickly, she ran over to tactical and began tapping commands into the panel. The computers voice sounded. "Alien vessels will be in firing in ten seconds." Frantically she doubled her efforts to no avail. "Here they come." She said calmly looking at the view screen. Sweat and streaks of dirt covered her features as she stood watching. Seconds later there was a bright flash of light, and the sound of her scream before the transmission ended.
Somehow the transmission seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn't remember when she had seen it. Looking back down at her control panel she began to plot a course. Another screen popped up grabbing her attention. Studying it, she realized that she was heading for a temporal rift. By the time she attempted to change course the rift passed though the shuttle. The console in front of her exploded throwing her out of her chair and onto the floor. Opening her eyes she saw a large panel directly above her fall from the ceiling. She rolled to the right and under a fallen beam. If it wasn't for the beam she would have been crushed under the weight. The beam gave a bit but held. She could hear the sound of panels exploding around her as she drifted into unconsciousness.
"Captain I'm detecting a vessel." Harry announced.
"Status?" Chakotay asked.
"It's drifting in space, I'm getting minimal energy signatures."
"One, but barely."
"On screen." The ship was still too far away to see it clearly. "Magnify." When the vessel came into view everyone was stunned. "Do you see what I see Mr. Kim?"
"It's the Delta Flyer, but that's impossible. It was destroyed over five years ago." Whatever happened to the shuttle damaged it pretty bad, but I think it can be repaired."
"Lock onto it with a tractor beam and tow it into shuttle bay one. Tell Doctor Van Goh he has a patient Tuvok your with me."
Doctor Van Goh, Tom Paris, Naomi Wildman, Tuvok, and Chakotay stood in shuttle bay one waiting for the computer to finish landing the craft. Tuvok took out his tricorder and began scanning the inside of the ship. "It's safe, we can go in." Grabbing the grav bed Naomi and Tom followed Tuvok as he opened the door.
The inside looked worse than the outside, remnants of exploded consoles lay scattered over everything. Sparks at random intervals came from the panels, walls, and ceiling. Scanning, The Doctor pointed at a large panel. "Under there."
Chakotay who was standing behind them stepped forward. "I'll help Tuvok. I want the three of you to be ready just incase we can't hold it up long." Everyone nodded. Bending his knee's he took a good hold of the fallen panel. Giving Tuvok a simple nod letting him know he was ready, they lifted. Quickly Tom and Naomi pulled the person out. Naomi gasped at the site of who they had rescued. "I don't believe it!" Tom exclaimed. Chakotay almost dropped the heavy panel wanting to take a look.
"Is the person clear?" He asked. The Doctor said yes. Both of them dropped the panel and turned to look, it was Kathryn Janeway.
"All right let's get her to sick bay." The Doctor said. Lifting her up carefully Tom and Naomi placed her on the grav bed. Taking one end Naomi began to push her out of the shuttle and toward sick bay.
The whole time Doctor Van Goh, Naomi, and Tom worked to stabilize Kathryn, he stared at her in disbelief. After all these years she had returned. He knew that this woman was not the Kathryn he married. She had been dead for ten years, but all the same he was saddened by her presence. "What would Alexandra say? What would she think? How would she react? She hasn't seen her mother since she was seven." The sound of Doctor Van Goh's voice tore him away from his thoughts. "Her condition is stable. I can wake her if you are ready to talk with her."
"I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Taking the hypospray Doctor Van Goh placed it to her neck and pushed the button. "I want to talk to her alone."
"If you need anything you know where to find me."
"Thank you Doctor." He said as Doctor Van Goh walked away.
Her eyes fluttered open trying to adjust to the light. Finally a face came into view. "Chakotay?" She asked weakly.
"How do you feel?"
"As if a great many heavy objects had fallen on me." As she laughed, her head throbbed. Reaching up she rubbed her forehead.
He laughed softly. "Do you remember what happened?"
She vaguely remembered being in the Delta Flyer, but no matter how much she tried to remember why she had been in the shuttle, it kept slipping away from her. "No."
"Your very lucky to be alive."
"Right now I'm not so sure." She said continuing to rub her forehead as she closed her eyes. The light seemed to be making it worse.
"Your head hurting you?" She nodded. "I'll have Doctor Van Goh give you something for the pain."
"Who's Doctor Van Goh?" She asked.
"That would be me." The Doctor said coming toward her with a hypospray.
"I'll explain later." Chakotay interrupted. She nodded, and allowed him to give her the shot. Both of them remained silent not knowing what to say. The silence becoming awkward he said. "I have some things I need to attend to. I'll check in on you later." She nodded relieved by the release of tension. Before leaving he stopped to talk to The Doctor. "Doc I want you to run a cellular scan, and any other kind of test you think you may need. I want to know if the woman in there is really Kathryn."
"Let me know the moment you find anything."
Turning around he left without giving her another look.
Chakotay sat alone in the dark. The only light he could see filtered in through the windows. It was night time by Voyager's clock so the external lights were on casting shadows throughout the room. He was not usually a drinking man but tonight he needed a drink. A bottle of whiskey sat on the table in front of him. He leaned forward pouring himself another shot. Bringing the glass up to his lips he downed the hot liquid. "How am I going to tell Alex?" He said aloud to himself. "If she is really her mother or not, this is going to be a blow to her." Pouring himself another shot he sat back trying not to think about it.
Chakotay awoke to the sound of the door chime and Doctor Van Goh's voice. "Captain Chakotay please respond!"
Groggy he answered. "Enter."
The door opened, and he stepped in. "I have been trying to reach you over the com-" he stopped, noticing that the lights were out. "Captain? Do you normally sit in the dark?" He moved over toward the chair so he could see him clearly. "This place smells like a holo-brothel!" He said fanning the air in front of his face.
Chakotay was not in the mood for Doctor Van Goh's sarcastic remarks. "What do you want Doctor?"
"I have the results of the test you wanted on Captain Janeway."
It was strange hearing someone refer to Kathryn as the Captain after all these years. "What did you find?" He was afraid to ask.
"She is Kathryn Janeway." Chakotay felt a sense of relief. "I have run every possible test I can think of to be absolutely positive. She is at least ten to fifteen years younger."
"How can that be? Does she know about Alex?" Anxiety replaced his earlier relief.
"I haven't asked her about it, I think it would be better if you talked to her."
"What time is it?"
"It's zero-three hundred."
"I didn't realize it was so late. Is she awake?"
"When has she ever been asleep at zero-three hundred?"
A smile spread across his lips as he remembered their all night love making sessions. "I'll go see her." He stood up.
"Don't you think you should clean up a bit first? Perhaps shower and shave?"
Touching his face he felt stubble. "Your right."
"Before you talk to her I'll give you a shot to counteract the alcohol." He smiled clapping him on the back. Chakotay grabbed his head as the pain of his hangover grew worse.
Standing in front of the door he found himself frozen. She looked the same as he remembered. Seeing her yesterday reconfirmed just how beautiful she is. "What would I say to her?" He worried. "Well you'll never find out if you don't go in!" He scolded himself, but he still remained frozen. "What are you afraid of Chakotay?" His eyes grew wide when he realized what was really bothering him. It was the thought that she would find him unappealing, that she wouldn't love him the way he loved her. "Damn it Kathryn! Why did you have to walk back into my life?! Why couldn't you have stayed dead!" Instantly he was sorry. He didn't want her dead, but so much time had passed. He had a daughter to think about. "Stop it Chakotay! Just go in and find out!" Taking a deep breath he exhaled slowly then activated the door. Stepping in he saw that she had been moved. "Doctor?"
"Yes Captain?" He said appearing from his office.
"Where is she?"
"I had her moved to quarters. I didn't want to take the chance of anyone seeing her before you had a chance to talk to Alexandra."
The anger he had been building vanished. "Thank you Doctor. I appreciate everything you've done, even if I haven't showed it."
"You have been under a great deal of stress. I would be concerned if you were not acting as you have, but before you go let me give you that shot. You will want a clear head before talking to her."
He nodded. "How is she?"
"She is going to be sore for a few days, but she will be fine." Taking the hypospray he gave him a shot.
"Does she know how much has changed?"
"I haven't discussed it with her."
"Has she asked about me?" He asked sitting down.
"Yes, she wondered why, no demanded why you haven't came to see her." A smile crossed Chakotay's lips. "I know that look. That was the same look you had when you and the Captain were together. The look that says, I smell love in the air." He said with a grand gesture of his hand, and Chakotay laughed. "Stay here for a few minutes until the shot has taken effect." He nodded as sat thinking about what he would say.
Two security personal stood on either side of the door that lead to Kathryn's quarters. When he approached they both stood at attention. "At ease." They stepped aside allowing Chakotay to pass. "Dismissed." Turning, they headed down the corridor toward the turbo lift. Once they had entered the lift he sounded the chime. "Come in." Kathryn said.
It felt like an eternity before the door opened. Entering, he saw her sitting in a chair with a book in hand. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you." He said softly.
"I couldn't sleep, so I decided to read awhile." She said holding up the book before laying it back in her lap.
His hands were sweating and his head was spinning. He wanted more than anything to hold her, to kiss her mouth, to caress her body, but he knew that if he got that close he might never let go.
"Why don't you have a seat." She said putting the book down on the table. He sat down. "I think I'll have a cup of coffee. Would you like anything?" She asked heading toward the replicator.
"Water." His mouth felt like cotton.
Coming back from the replicator she handed him the glass. As he took the glass his fingers brushed hers. His hand started shaking, forcing him to sit the glass down. "I can't do this, I have to go."
"You can't do what?" She asked confused.
"I don't think your ready to hear it, and right now I don't think I'm ready to say it." He stood up heading for the door. She stepped in front of him, blocking his way out. "Get out of my way Kathryn." He said trying to remain calm.
"Not until you tell me what's wrong. Talk to me Chakotay." He could tell that she was concerned, but if he stayed, he may do something he would regret. He turned his head trying not to look at her. "Now I know there's something wrong." Reaching out she placed a hand on his chest.
"Please Kathryn, don't make me do this." He said turning his head back to look at her.
"What's going on here Chakotay? I have limited access the computer and replicator, and I have been confined to quarters. Am I a prisoner? Please tell me what's going on." She asked, looking at him desperate for an answer.
Looking into her eyes he was finding it hard to maintain control. He felt like an animal in a cage. He looked at the curve of her lips, the smoothness of her cheeks, and finally back into her eyes. Before he could stop himself he reached out with his right hand and placed it around her waist pulling her to him, with the other, he placed it on the back of her head. Pulling her close, he kissed her hard. She fought him, placing both hands on his chest, she tried to push him away. Then as the kiss deepened she felt herself let go. Wrapping her arms around him she took one hand and ran her fingers across the nape of his neck before pulling him closer. Letting his hand slip down from her hair he placed it on her back and deepened the kiss. Abruptly he pushed her away realizing what he had done.
She stood there for a moment as if she were in a trance then when she realized the full impact of what had happened she raised one hand and slapped him hard across the face. "What in the hell did you think you were doing?!" Not only was she angry by what had happened, but she was embarrassed by her behavior.
"I told you to let me go! I didn't want this to happen, but you-" he stopped himself, he could feel the anger suddenly erupt. He was angry at what he had done. Angry that he didn't stop himself before things went too far. Moving away from her, he reached out and flipped the coffee table over. The glass top, along with their drinks shattered against the wall. Her book damaged, pages were ripped due to the force of his blow and fluttered to the ground. She stepped back terrified that she might be next. She had never been afraid of Chakotay until now.
"I love you Kathryn! I've always loved you! When you died a part of me died along with you! How do you explain to a seven year old that mommy's never coming back!" He demanded dropping to his knee's, pounding the floor with his fist. "Damn you Kathryn!" With both hands on the floor he stopped, crying tears of loss and rage. Finally he had been able to say all the things that had been building since her death.
Slowly she approached, tears sliding down her cheeks. In the last five years she had known him, she had never once seen him break down like this. It was in that moment she realized how much she loved him. Gently she reached down and stroked his head.
"Don't touch me!" He snapped standing up. "I don't want your pity!"
Forcefully, she grabbed his face in both hands. "Listen to me!" She shouted getting his attention. He looked at her, his face still wet with tears. "I'm sorry about what happened to you, and I can't change it. I know I was the one who wanted our relationship to say professional, but I know now that I was wrong. I don't remember why I came here, but all I know now is that I love you." He began to weep again. Pulling him close, she wrapped her arms around him, he did the same as he buried his face in her shoulder. "Your a good man Chakotay, and I am thankful everyday that you are apart of my life." He hugged her tightly.
Pulling away she wiped the tears away from his eyes. "Am I to understand that you have a daughter?" She asked.
"We have a daughter." He corrected.
"How old is she?"
"She just turned seventeen last week."
"What is her name?"
"Does she know about me?"
"When do you think your going to tell her?"
"The sooner I tell her the better, so I'll tell her later today after I've gotten some sleep." Looking at her, he didn't want to rush anything. If he was able to have her back in his life again he didn't want to mess it up by making her feel uncomfortable. "Goodnight Kathryn." Taking her hand he placed a gentle kiss.
"Goodnight Chakotay." She smiled. Without another word he left.
Kathryn lay awake thinking about everything that had happened within the last couple of days. It seemed as if she had been living her life in fast forward, not having time to truly comprehend the situation or ask questions. Then there were moments when everything slowed down allowing her a brief instant of clarity. Such as the way Chakotay had kissed her. At first she was shocked and angered by his breech of protocol. Besides, she was the one who insisted they remain friends, but once she let her guard down she realized how much she had wished for it. That was the moment she remembered why she had come. The pieces of her fragmented memory began to fall into place.
For the first time she could finally piece together the flashes of events she had experienced, and realized that those memories where not her's. Her miscarriage, Alexandra's birth, her death, making love to Chakotay, but she knew there was something she was forgetting, what was it? It was something important. After laying there for another hour, sleep had finally overridden her conscious desire to discover what it was.
Chakotay's eyes popped open, and before he could dismiss it as the computer waking him, he realized that it was the door chime. Tossing the covers aside he swung his legs over and stood up. "I'm coming!" He shouted, but it did not stop the person who frantically pushed the chime. Slipping on his robe he tied it as he headed for the door. "This had better be good!" He thought irritated. "Enter."
When the door opened Alexandra stepped inside. Looking around she spotted him and headed straight for him. Before he had a chance to speak she raised her fist and punched him in the nose. "You son of a bitch!" She screamed as he stumbled back holding his injured nose. His eyes watering, he could barely see her shape in the dark. He could feel the blood gushing from his nostrils.
"What the hell is wrong with you!?"
"You! That's what's wrong! Why didn't you tell me?!"
"Tell you what?"
"I saw her! I know you found my mother! At least someone that looks like her!"
"How did you-"
"It doesn't matter! The important thing is that I know! How long were you going to wait to tell me?! Never!?"
"I was going to tell you this afternoon."
"Why didn't you tell me the moment you found her?! I'm a big girl I could have handled it!"
"But I couldn't." He said barely above a whisper.
"What did you say?!" She asked taking a step forward.
"I said I couldn't!"
"Because I didn't know how to tell you." He said trying to regain his composure. The last thing he wanted was to lose control, he had been doing too much of that lately.
"Why don't you just try telling me the truth for once!"
"When have I ever lied to you?"
"Do you really want me to get into that right now?! Because it could take all night!"
He could feel his defenses beginning to rise. He was becoming angry despite his best efforts to keep a cool head. If he remained in this situation much longer he would strike out and say or do something he would regret. Trying to think of what to say he looked at her. She stood quietly waiting for him to speak. "What do you want me to say?"
Exasperated she threw her hands up and turned around. "I want you to tell me why? Why you didn't tell me the moment you found her?" Her voice was softer now.
"I didn't tell you right way because I wanted to be sure."
"It's her." He sat down on the couch.
"How long have you known?"
"Since last night. I told Doctor Van Goh to notify me the moment he knew for sure."
Turning around she took a seat next to him and picked up his hand. "I guess I can't be too mad. I know you want to protect me, but if you haven't noticed I'm not a little girl anymore."
"I know your not, but I didn't wait to tell you because I thought you couldn't handle it. I waited because I couldn't. How do I tell you that your mother is alive after you saw her dead ten years ago?"
"I don't know." She answered softly. Realizing for the first time how hard this has been on him she said. "I want to apologize. I was so angry that I never stopped to think how all this affected you. After all, she was your wife and your friend. I am so sorry Daddy I just didn't think."
"I know you were upset and I understand why, but if you ever hit me again I'll put youacross my knee. Now with that said. Will you get me a wet towel?"
"Sure." She laughed softly giving him a peck on the cheek. Standing up she went into the bathroom. Pulling a hand towel from the rack she wet it in the sink.
"You have one hell of a punch." He said as she came out of the bathroom.
Handing him the towel she replied. "If you ever need someone to watch your back I'm there."
"I'll remember that." Touching the towel to this nose he winced at how painfully swollen it had become within the last few minutes.
"Computer, bring lights up to full in five second incriminates." As the lights came up she looked at his face. She could see how swollen his nose was. It was starting to turn purple. "I think your nose is broken."
As he carefully wiped around his nose he said. "I think your right."
"Are you feeling dizzy?"
Tapping her badge she said. "This is Ensign Chakotay to Doctor Van Goh."
"How can I help you Ensign?"
"Report to the Captain's quarters. His nose is broken."
"On my way."
Taking a seat across from him she asked. "How do you feel?"
"Well my nose hurts."
"I meant having mom back in your life."
"You mean our life."
"I stand corrected."
He looked thoughtful as he sat back on the couch. "I have been trying to come to terms with that ever since she arrived. I'm glad to have her back, but there is a part of me that wishes she would have remained dead. I know that sounds stupid."
"No it doesn't. For the last ten years I have been raised without her. I have to admit that I have wondered what it would have been like to have her in my life, but I knew it would never happen. At least until I saw her on the grav bed. My heart stopped as I stood looking at her, it wasn't until I saw you step out of the shuttle bay that I had regained my senses."
"I never saw you. I had prayed that you would be ignorant of her presence until I was ready to tell you. That I might have had time to come to terms with it, and perhaps find the right words to say to you." He said quietly, his voice just above a whisper. Alex had to lean in to hear what he said.
"This hasn't been an easy two days."
He nodded in agreement. "She knows about you."
"What did she say?"
"She didn't say anything. I'm sure she is just as uncertain as I was about how you would take the news. I guess we'll never know."
She nodded her head. "I probably would have reacted the same."
"Probably." He agreed laying the blood stained towel on the coffee table. "When did you want to see her?" Opening her mouth to answer, the door chime sounded. Startled, they both jumped before regaining their senses. Clearing his throat he said. "Enter."
Quickly surveying the situation Doctor Van Goh stepped in. "Did I interrupt another father daughter moment?" He asked using his often ill-timed sense of humor.
"Not at all Doctor." Alex answered. "I was just about to leave." Standing up she said. "I'll have to think about it." Turning toward the door she left.
"I can see by your injury she knows about the Captain."
"You could say that."
His nose still sore, Chakotay rang the chime. When the door opened he stepped inside. Kathryn was sitting in the same chair he saw her in earlier today, a cup of coffee in her hand. "Did you sleep well?" He asked taking a seat on the edge of the sofa.
"Fairly, I half expected that at any moment I would be called to the bridge."
He laughed. "Old habits die hard."
"You could say that." She laughed as she sat her coffee cup on the table. "Did you talk to Alexandra?"
"You could say that."
"Are you mocking me?"
"No, what I mean is that I was talked at. She already knew you were here."
"She saw you on the way out of the shuttle bay."
"I take that it didn't go well."
"Not at first. She broke my nose."
"Is her temper always that short?"
"Sometimes, I guess she got it from her mother." He teased.
Frowning she shifted her position. "Not funny. How does she feel about it?"
"As well as can be expected, she's grown up to become a very strong woman like her mother." This time he was sincere. "She said she had to think about meeting you."
"I understand, I would probably feel the same in her situation." Chakotay nodded. Silence fell between them before she spoke again. "After you left last night I began to remember things."
He looked at her curiously. "What kind of things?"
"Some of them I don't want to discuss, but I began to remember being pregnant with Alexandra. I know that sounds strange, and I don't know why. I can remember her birth vividly. I remember our marriage, and my death. I know this is a lot for you to take at one time, but I felt that you should know. As I laid there I kept thinking I was forgetting something important. Something that would explain why I came here."
"You began to remember me and Alex, so I'm certain that whatever it is will come to you in time. Besides your not going anywhere." He smiled, picking up her hand he gave it a gentle squeeze.
"Your right, but I just can't shake the feeling that something very bad is about to happen."
"We'll see. So do you want to get out of here? Perhaps join me for dinner?"
Smiling she replied. "Sounds wonderful. I'll meet you in the mess hall."
"I was thinking more of the holodeck. We could have a quiet dinner just the two of us. It will give us a chance to get to know each other again."
"I don't have anything to wear."
"I'll have Neelix bring you some clothes."
"I'll meet you, say around twenty-one hundred?"
"I'm looking forward to it."
Chakotay sat at a table waiting for Kathryn. He had chosen the holo program Tom had created many years ago, Sandrine's. It was a quaint little restaurant with low lighting. A piano sat in the middle of the room. This had been the first time since Kathryn's death he had activated this program. Hearing the door open he looked up, his mouth dropping open at the site of Kathryn walking down the stairs. She was wearing a long black evening dress with a slit down the right side that showed off her legs. The neck line was cut low enough to show her cleavage. The straps of the dress were about an inch wide. It was opened backed, stopping just above her buttock. It was form fitting, flattering her petite frame. Her hair was pulled into a french twist.
She looked apprehensive of how she would look in such a dress. Walking over to meet him she said. "I found this dress in the box of clothes Neelix brought, I hope it looks all right."
Chakotay forced himself to speak. "You look beautiful." His face felt flushed. He hoped she didn't notice. "Shall we sit?" He gestured toward the table. She nodded. Walking around he pulled out her chair. It wasn't until she sat down that he noticed how far up the slit went. The upper part of her thigh was exposed, the nude colored pantyhose accented her firm legs. She was so damned beautiful he found it hard to concentrate. At this moment he wanted to gather her in his arms and kiss her, but he didn't want to rush her. If things worked out between them, he would have all the time in the universe.
Taking his seat across from her he said. "I took the liberty of replicating some champagne. I thought you might like to celebrate your first night out of hiding."
"That would be lovely."
Taking the bottle out of the bucket he took the cork screw and opened it. Aiming at the bucket, suds erupted out of the top. Carefully he poured the champagne into the glasses then sat the bottle back in the bucket. Handing her a glass he said. "I would like to propose a toast." They raised their glasses. "To friendship."
"To friendship." She smiled. Clinking the glasses together they both took a sip. They sat silently for a few moments unsure of what to say. "Am I making you uncomfortable?" He asked.
"Not at all. Everything just seems so formal. I can remember when we used to sit in my quarters, drink coffee and talk about our day. What was happening with the crew."
"You mean gossip." He laughed obviously teasing her on her choice of words.
Looking proud she replied. "I prefer my choice of words thank you."
"Of course." He said trying not to laugh. After all he remembered her temper.
"It wasn't that funny."
"I know." He tried to stop laughing, but the harder he tried the harder he laughed. A smile spread across her lips, and she could feel laughter bubbling up. She suppressed it as long as she could. Hearing Chakotay's laughter did not help this process. She began to laugh. It was the first time she had laughed in ages, and it felt good just to have a reason to laugh, even if it was for no reason at all. Finally the laughter died down and they found themselves a little more at ease. The tension had been broken. "Would you like to dance?"
"I'm afraid I'm a little out of practice."
"Your not the only one. Tell you what, I won't say anything if you don't." Standing up he stretched out his hand. The thought of them dancing, stepping on each others toes brought a smile to her lips. Standing up she took his hand, and he lead her to the dance floor. A slow song was being played on the piano. Putting an arm around her waist he took her left hand in the other, while she rested a hand on his shoulder. He didn't want to hold her too close for fear of making her feel uncomfortable.
Female begins singing a Billy Holiday song.
In my solitude You haunt me With memories Of days gone by
In my solitude You taunt me With memories That never die
I sit in my chair Filled with despair There's no one could be so sad With gloom everywhere I sit and I stare I know that I'll soon go mad
In my solitude I'm prayin' Dear lord above Send back my love
I sit in my chair I'm filled with despair There's no one could be so sad With gloom everywhere I sit and I stare I know that I'll soon go mad
In my solitude I'm prayin' Dear lord above Send me back my love
They were much closer now, she was resting her head on his chest, while he laid his head on top of hers. When they heard the door open, they pulled away from each other looking as if they had just been caught doing something they shouldn't have. Neelix walked down the stairs carrying a large tray of food. Taking a good look at them he asked. "Did I come at a bad time?"
"We were just dancing." Chakotay responded heading toward the table.
"I thought you might like to start out with a salad, then I have steak with a baked potato."
"Sounds great." Chakotay said trying to sound interested.
"I'll be back later with dessert." Enjoy your meal.
"Thank you Neelix." Kathryn said trying not to make her smile seemed forced.
"You are most welcome." He said smiling, before he turned and left.
"I'm sorry but I really think I should go." Kathryn said still looking embarrassed.
"Was it something I did?"
"No, I'm just a little tired. I think I'll turn in."
"I understand." He said trying not to look disappointed.
"Thank you for a lovely evening." She said extending her hand.
Grasping her hand gently he asked. "Would you like me to walk you back to your quarters?"
"No thank you. You stay and enjoy the meal. I'll talk with you tomorrow." Taking one last look at each other she left.
"You really messed that up Chakotay. What were you thinking?" The truth was, he was thinking how much he wanted to kiss her. How much he wished that nothing had changed between them. The last thing he thought he would be doing at his age was dating.
Kathryn walked down the corridor to the turbo lift. Stepping inside she said. "Deck 8." When the doors closed she felt a sense of relief. There was something odd about the whole situation, despite the obvious reasons. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that she wanted to know how Alexandra felt about the situation. On one hand she wasn't ready to speak with her, and anxious on the other. She was curious to see what she looked like, and she couldn't bring herself to access a picture of her. Did she look more like her father? Did she act more like him? When the door opened she stepped out, she was alone. Heading down the corridor, when she reached her quarters, she punched in the code and entered. "Computer, lights." The lights came up as the door closed behind her. Looking down at the table she saw her cup of cold coffee. Picking up the cup she placed it back into the replicator. Walking into the bathroom she looked at herself in the mirror. Reaching up to take her hair down the door chime rang. "It's probably Chakotay." She thought heading toward the door. "Come in."
When the door opened, she saw a young woman with red hair wearing a Starfleet uniform. On her collar was the rank of Ensign. Feeling as though she had emerged from a thick fog it came to her. This was what she had forgotten, the reason why she had came, the transmission.
"May I come in?"
Ripped from her revelation she replied. "Yes."
Entering the room Alexandra felt a lump rise in her throat. "I don't know if you know who I am. I'm Chakotay's daughter Alexandra. I thought we should talk."
"Of course." She gestured toward the couch. Nodding she walked over and sat down. "Would you like anything?"
"I'm fine." Unsure of what Alex would say she took a seat in the chair across from her. "This isn't easy for me. It's not everyday that someone you love comes back from the dead."
"I understand. I too have had my share of shocks in the past two days."
"When I saw you on that grav bed a couple of days ago I felt my heart stop. I had taken for granted that you would never come back into my life. It's ironic how things turn out." Kathryn nodded in agreement. Then after a few moments of unbearable silence Alex blurted out. "I wasn't planning on coming to see you. I wasn't sure if I could handle it, but as I laid in my bed I couldn't stop thinking about you. If you still looked the same. Finally I realized that I had to see you for myself, to satisfy my own curiosity."
"What do you think now?"
"The truth is. I don't know."
"As long as we're being honest. I wasn't sure if meeting you was a good idea."
She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "I didn't know how it would affect you, me, your father. It's not an easy thing to come to terms with."
"I can agree with that. I don't know if my father told you this, but earlier today I broke his nose. When I saw him, all I could think about was how angry I was that he didn't tell me you were here."
"You felt as if he didn't trust you."
She had to be told about the transmission. If she wanted to start off on the right foot with her she would have to tell the truth. "I have something very important to tell you." Her mouth went dry. "When I saw you standing at my door just now, I remembered why I came here."
Alexandra studied her features carefully, but was afraid of what she might see in her eyes. Slowly her eyes reached Kathryn's. "What do you remember?" She asked trying to keep the fear out of her voice.
"I know that what I'm about to tell you may sound strange, but I want you to listen to me very carefully all right?" Alex nodded leaning in, trying to anticipate what she would say. "About ten years ago Voyager received a transmission. It was a distress call, which you will give sometime in the near future. Voyager was under attack by unknown vessels which destroyed the ship." Alex sat stunned by the trove of information that had been presented. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. All I can say is this day just keeps getting better and better." She stood up feeling the need to move. "Dad is not going to like this at all. There is no question that he has to be told, but I sure don't want to be the one to tell him."
"I think I see where this is going. Am I correct in assuming that you want me to tell him?"
"I would prefer it."
"What makes you think he will take the news any better from me?"
"You used to be the Captain, and his wife." She smiled.
Laughing she replied. "I see your point."
"Well?" She asked.
Trying not to smile she said. "All right. I'll tell him tonight. I'm sure he's still awake, but I have one request."
"What is it?"
"You stay here while I tell him."
Sticking out her hand she said. "Done." Kathryn took her hand giving it a firm shake.
By the time Chakotay had arrived, Kathryn had changed out of her evening dress, and her hair taken down and brushed. As he entered her quarters he was surprised to see Alex sitting on the sofa staring back at him. "I see you made up your mind." She nodded. "I assume I've been called here for a reason."
"Yes." Kathryn answered gesturing for him to sit on the sofa. After he was seated she began to speak. "Do you remember when I told you earlier today that I felt as if I were forgetting something important?"
"I remember." He became leery of what she might say next.
"About ten years ago Voyager received a transmission. It was a distress call sent by Alexandra Chakotay. I don't know when this is supposed to happen, but I know that we have to do something to stop it. After I left my Voyager and entered the wormhole, I remember receiving the same distress call just before entering a temporal rift. The message should still be in the computers data bank. I just hope it hasn't been damaged."
Chakotay stood up. "If what you say is true. Perhaps Annika can find out."
"Annika?" Kathryn asked surprised.
"Several years ago Seven decided to use her given name." Chakotay replied. "Your death affected her deeply. She knew how much you wanted her to use her given name, so several months later she began using the name Annika Hanson in memory of you." Kathryn smiled feeling very honored by Seven's decision. It was going to take time to get used to Seven's new designation. "Whatever action we are going to take can wait until tomorrow. I think we should all get some sleep."
Alexandra nodded in agreement. "I've had enough excitement for one day." Still uncomfortable by the situation she nodded at Kathryn. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Kathryn responded equally uncomfortable.
The next morning Kathryn and Chakotay entered Astrometrics. Alexandra and Annika were busy working on the transmission. "Report." Chakotay ordered. Kathryn found it difficult not taking over. She had been the captain of this ship for five years. It had become instinct. She had to keep reminding herself that this was Chakotay's command.
Annika looked at Kathryn for a long moment before speaking. "We have determined that the transmission will be sent in approximately twelve hours."
"That doesn't give us much time." Kathryn said with a bit of doom in her voice. "Do we know what species inhabit this region?"
"There are several species that inhabit this region of space. However, it will be difficult to know which of them will attack Voyager since we are given no indication in the transmission." Annika said matter of factly. "However, I do have a likely candidate." She began tapping the controls. When the view screen came up they all saw a silicon based life form. This species seemed to have no specific form other than what looked like a large purple blob. "Species 3764. This race possess slip stream technology, bio organic technology. Highly intelligent, the Borg attempted to assimilate this species over thirty years ago. They were resistant. After the failed attempt, the Borg were unable to locate them again. This is their last know quadrants."
"Are they prone to violence?" Chakotay asked.
"Unknown, but they did destroy eleven Borg cubes with only one vessel. They possess temporal weaponry."
"Temporal weapons? How do you mount a defense against a weapon like that? One shot would go straight through the shields." Chakotay said.
"No wonder the ship was destroyed." Alexandra whispered amazed.
Kathryn stood staring at the screen. This race seemed familiar. Then she remembered. "The Caretaker."
"Kathryn?" Chakotay looked at her questionably.
"This species looks very close to the caretaker that brought Voyager to the Delta quadrant. Then later we met the caretakers companion Suspira. If she contacted them they would know about Voyager, even consider us a threat."
"Annika, did the Borg collect any information on this species physiology?" Chakotay asked.
"During our encounter we attained sufficient knowledge of their genetic structure."
"Alexandra I want you to take the information we have on the caretakers physiology and compare it with Annika's. If they are one in the same we need to find some way of defending ourselves. With any luck we might just get through this." Turning he left with Kathryn right behind him.
When they were in the corridor Kathryn said. "Your not really planning an armed conflict?"
"No, but if we have to I want to be prepared. I haven't come this far just to turn around."
"Do you hear yourself?"
Stopping he turned to face her. "I've asked you that question before remember?"
She looked at him realizing that the tables were turned. She had indeed remembered their conversations. Now it was different since she was not the one who could make the final decision. All she could think about was Voyager's destruction playing over and over in her head. "I just want you to think about this before you make any decision."
"I know you want to protect us, but I've been Captain for ten years now. Voyager and her crew are alive and well. Have a little faith, I'll do everything in my power to prevent our destruction."
Laying a hand on his chest she replied. "I know you will."
"I have to report to the bridge. I'll tell you what they find." She nodded. Turning, he headed down the corridor and entered the turbo lift. She watched until the door closed, leaving her alone.
Static. "This is Coman-" Static" - tay. We have-" Static. "-tected that the wor-" Static. "will close in less than-" Static. "-days. If you can he-" Static. "-out now."
"The message repeats." Tuvok added dryly.
Chakotay looked stunned by the message. It wasn't just hearing the sound of his own voice, but the feeling of dread the voice brought with it. Standing up he headed toward his ready room. "Tuvok you have the bridge."
Once he stepped inside the doors of his personal sanctuary he felt like crying. Walking over to look out the window he stood thinking about what he was going to do. "Do I tell Kathryn? How can I not tell her." He thought miserably. "I just found you again and now I have to let you go? NO! I won't! Not after what it did to me and Alex. A piece of me died that day, and I can't go though it again." Letting out a deep breath he turned and sat on the sofa with his face in his hands. "If I don't tell her I could lose her. She will find out from someone. I can't keep a secret as big as this on such a small ship." He shook his head. "I just wanted a little happiness, that's all I ever wanted. Every time I seem to come within grasp of it, it slips away. I don't want to be alone again with no one to share my sadness, my joy, or my life. I want Kathryn!" Leaning back, he rested his head on the soft back.
The ship rocked with enough force that if he had been standing he would have been knocked off his feet. Standing up he rushed toward the door before another blast could sweep him off his feet and send him hurtling toward the unknown. Reaching the door it opened with a swish.
"Report!" He demanded. Looking around the bridge he could see smoke coming from some of the panels filling the bridge. He could see a young female- Ensign Kennedy he thought her name was -laying on the floor either unconscious or dead.
"Shields are down to eighty-one percent." Tuvok announced.
"Who is it Harry? Who's attacking us?" He asked sitting down in his chair hard.
"It's the Ree'na Captain." Harry answered as the console behind him exploded sending sparks showering across his back. He leapt to the side then moved back to his console.
"The Ree'na? I thought we lost them six months ago?"
"So did I." Tom Paris said in agreement.
"Evasive maneuvers Tom."
"Evasive maneuvers Aye." Tom replied, his fingers dancing over the console.
"B'Elanna how's the warp drive?" Chakotay asked hurriedly.
"I can give you warp two, that's the best I can do for now." She said sounding frazzled.
"Tom, take us to warp two. Engage."
The sound of the alarms and the explosion of panels made if hard for anyone to hear anybody, much less clearly.
The ship shuttered as the warp drive came online rocking everyone where they stood just by the sear force of it.
"The structural integrity field has been damaged." Harry said.
After a few bone shuttering jolts the ship began moving away from the Ree'na.
Everything that had happened in Chakotay's life up to this point had finally caught up with him. The miscarriage of his son, Kathryn's death, learning to live without her, the sudden arrival of Kathryn coming back into his life, the information that Voyager may be destroyed, the transmission from Chakotay, and now this attack by the Ree'na. The fragile thread that separated sanity from insanity finally snapped. The Chakotay he had once been was gone. He sat in his chair laughing to himself, but everyone was too busy to notice.
Kathryn sat in her chair reading. Usually it relaxed her but with so much on her mind she kept reading the same sentence over and over. Finally, she tossed the book onto the coffee table and lay back in her chair. She couldn't stop thinking about what Chakotay had said about fighting the caretaker's- if it was the caretaker's. She could still see the look of what? Anger? Fear? Regret? She couldn't tell. All in all it had disturbed her. The last thing she wanted was to see Voyager destroyed and her crew- his crew she reminded herself -killed.
Suddenly the ship rocked violently almost tossing her out of her chair. Gripping the arms of the chair she thought. "What the hell? Are we under attack?" Hitting her com badge she said. "Janeway to Chakotay what's going on up there?" No answer. "The communications system must be down." Pushing herself out of her chair she got down on her hands and knee's and began crawling toward the door. She wasn't going to get herself hurt by trying to walk. Reaching the door she stood up and exited her quarters. Crew members ran down the corridor with bold urgency. Taking a step out she headed toward the turbo lift finding herself being tossed from one wall to another, at one point she hit the wall so hard the wind was knocked out of her.
Finally making it inside the turbo lift she said. "Bridge." Obeying her command the lift began to move. By the time she stepped out onto the bridge the jolts had ceased. She had to fight the urge to demand a report. At first no one noticed she was on the bridge, everyone was too busy with what they were doing. Looking down she could see a young female Ensign laying on the floor. Two crewman were helping her up. Kathryn felt a sigh of relief that the young woman wasn't dead or seriously hurt. Finally Chakotay said, "Mr. Kim are they pursuing?" He sounded as if he were on the verge of laughter.
Tapping his controls Harry replied, "Yes Captain."
"Scan the area, is there anything we can use to shield Voyager from their sensors?"
Tuvok answered, "There is a class Y planet four light years from this location."
"Good, head for the planet, at least that will buy us some time." He said turning toward his ready room. "Dispatch damage control teams Mr. Tuvok. You have the bridge."
Kathryn stood there looking around at everyone. Taking a step forward she turned to look at Harry. Seeing someone moving into his line of vision he looked up startled as if he were seeing a ghost. "How are you Harry?" She asked smiling.
Feeling as though he could move again he said, "Just fine Ma'am."
Everyone on the bridge turned to look at who Harry was talking to. Tom smiled. Tuvok raised an eyebrow. "It's good to see you Tuvok."
"What happened? I assume by Chakotay's orders we were under attack."
"You are correct." Tuvok answered.
"Who attacked us?" The old Kathryn Janeway was returning.
Harry and Tom looked at Tuvok not sure if they should answer her questions or not. Finally Tuvok spoke. "I am unable to answer your question. You will have to speak with Captain Chakotay."
Looking disappointed she realized he was only following protocol. "Understood." Then quickly she turned and headed toward the ready room before anyone could stop her. Surprisingly no one tried.
As the door opened she saw Chakotay sitting behind his desk studying something on the desktop monitor. Looking up, his eyes widened slightly when he saw her entering the room. "What are you doing here? I thought you were in your quarters?"
"I was wondering who attacked us?"
"The Ree'na, we met them six months ago."
"Why did they attack?" She looked at him in that familiar way that said, I can read your thoughts Chakotay. Don't think about withholding anything from me. He stared back at her intently. "Need I remind you that you are no longer the Captain of this vessel?"
She looked at him as if he were alien to her. "Where was this anger coming from?" She thought feeling anger welling up inside her. This ship was her home too and she felt responsible for the crew as much as he did. "No you needn't remind me. I don't know what's come over you, but the Chakotay I know would never talk to me this way." She said trying to keep the anger out of her voice.
"Well I hate to break this to you Kathryn, but believe it or not I can run this ship without you." He said sounding bitter.
"I'm not judging you. I just want to help." This time she managed to keep the anger from filtering in. She was more confused by his response than anything else.
"Noted." He said harshly. "Now if you'll excuse me I have a ship to run. Dismissed." He looked back down at the monitor.
She looked stunned by his answer, and enraged by his dismissal. "If that's the way you want to play this fine! I may not be the Captain of this ship, but I'll be damned if I'm going to allow you to dismiss me like I was some lowly ensign fresh out of the academy!"
Standing up he looked at her seeing the fire in her eyes, but he was just as angry. "Did you not hear me just now?! I said dismissed!"
Before she could control herself she reached out and slapped him hard across the face. Holding his jaw he looked at her coldly, moving slowly around the desk, he moved toward her. When he was standing face to face with her he reached out and grabbed her by both shoulders shaking her hard. "Are you crazy! Don't you ever hit me again! Do you understand me! DO YOU!"
Frightened by his fit of rage she replied, "Yes."
Pushing her back she hit the wall, her head bouncing off the hard metal making her almost blackout as she fell to the floor. Dazed she looked up at Chakotay his face filled with rage. He stared at her coldly. Then suddenly his face softened, as if he just now realized what he had done. "Kathryn I'm so sorry." He said bending down to help her up. She pulled away from him, terror in her eyes.
"I don't know what came over me. I never meant to hurt you." He pleaded reaching for her again.
Turning her face to the side she pushed herself as close to the wall as she could. Her voice choked with tears she said. "Please!" She shouted out in terror, then her voice became softer, almost a whisper. "Leave me alone."
Now he felt just as scared as she did. "I've lost her forever. She'll never trust me again." He thought. "Kathryn I'm sorry. I don't know how many times you want me to say it, but I'm sorry!" He pleaded. "The last thing I ever wanted to do was to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you! I was angry and I know that's no excuse, but if I could take it back I would. I love you Kathryn. I've always loved you. When we were on New Earth I realized that I loved you. You drove me crazy with desire wanting you. I wanted to tell you but couldn't. I wanted to touch you but couldn't. I wanted to kiss your lips but couldn't. You didn't want me that way. You wanted to stay friends, and I had to accept that. Then when you told me that you loved me those many years ago I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a dream, and if it was, I prayed that it would never end. I never wanted to let you go.
"How can undo what I have done? I don't know if I can, or if you would allow me to try." Her face was still turned away from him. Tears streaked down her cheeks. He reached out timidly, waiting to see if she would pull away again. She flinched afraid of what he might do. He felt his heart drop. Slowly he touched her face with the back side of his hand caressing her cheek as he wiped the tears away. She squeezed her eyes shut, a tear slid down her cheek. He carefully brushed it away. "Please don't be afraid of me Kathryn." He whispered. "I could barely stand losing you once. I don't want to lose you again." He could feel the tears welling up in his own eyes at the thought of losing her again. "Please don't leave me Kathryn. I don't know if I could take it."
She didn't know what to say, all she knew right now was that she wanted out of this room, and she would say or do almost anything to make it happen. "I know Chakotay." When he looked up at her his eyes seemed empty. She could feel terror ripping through her again. "Chakotay, I would like to go back to my quarters and get some rest, I'm rather tired." He looked at her for a long moment studying her face. Finally he smiled, "Of course, but I think you should pay a visit to sick bay first. You hit your head pretty hard." Standing up he offered his hand, timidly she took it, and he helped her to her feet. "I'll see you later." She said leaving quickly. "You can count on it." He thought.
When Kathryn's eyes opened, she was staring at the ceiling of her bedroom. Moving to a sitting position she sat trying to get her bearings before standing up. Suddenly she heard the door open. Standing up in her make shift pajamas, she walked into the living area surprised to see Chakotay walking into her quarters without ringing the door chime. Chakotay smiled upon seeing her. "I see your up. I was just coming in to wake you." He said.
At first she was angry that he just barged into her quarters, but the same empty look in his eyes forced her to stay calm. "How long have I been asleep?"
"Almost three hours." He said dropping a data padd on the coffee table.
"Three hours?" She thought.
"Have a seat I'll get you some coffee?" Not wanting to upset him she sat down on the sofa. "Coffee black." He ordered. Seconds later a cup materialized. Walking over he handed her the cup, then sat down. She sipped at the coffee. Chakotay noticed that her hands were shaking. "Something wrong?" He asked, sounding concerned.
"No." They were both silent for a moment. All though she was staring down at her coffee cup, she could see him looking at her out of the corner of her eye. "Was there something you wanted to talk to me about? Or did you just come by to wake me?" She asked calmly as she set the coffee down on the table. Inside she was terrified, doing her best not to show it.
"Actually yes. I wanted to talk to you about us."
"What about us?"
"Don't play coy with me Kathryn." He said smiling. "When did you want to move back into our quarters?"
She was stunned. "What?"
"I know we've just had a fight and all, but I don't think it would be good for Alexandra to see us separated."
She looked at him confused and frightened. Her heart started beating faster, and the one thing she wanted to do right now was run. "He's lost his mind. My god he thinks we are married." She thought terrified. For now she felt it was in her best interest to play along. "I don't know."
"Well we're going to have to figure it out. Alex is very impressionable right now, and to give her the impression that we are going to split up would only upset her." She didn't know what to say, she sat there quietly trying to think of how she was going to get out of this. The last thing she wanted to do was go with him. "Well Kathryn?"
"Could you give me some time to think about it?"
Without warning he stood up and stormed toward the door, then he turned back toward her. "What is there to think about?!" He shouted. She jumped, startled by his sudden change.
"Look I know I was wrong, so why can't you just let it go?! I don't want to have to explain to Alex that we're having a fight and you need some time to think! You know exactly what she'll think, she'll think your going to leave her!"
"I'm not leaving anybody Chakotay." She said trying to keep the terror out of her voice.
"Then come home!"
This was getting stranger and stranger by the minute, and she didn't know what to do. Her mind raced for a solution, and finally it came to her. When she got up, she was so surprised to see Chakotay that she forgot to put on her com badge. If she could get to the bed room, then she could contact Tuvok. Standing up she said, "Let me get dressed, and I promise we will talk about this when I come out." When she passed him he grabbed her arm hard enough to leave a bruise. Grabbing his hand she tried to loosen his grip. Pain shot through her arm almost making her fall to her knees, if he held her this way for much longer she probably would. "Your hurting me." She said weakly, the pain was intense.
"Your not walking away that easy." He said sounding calm again. The tone of his voice sent familiar chills down her spine. She knew that he had lost his mind, and this time she might not be as lucky as she was in the ready room. Jerking her off her feet, he pulled her up close enough that his breath was in her face. "Every time a conversation is not going your way you always walk out, but not this time. We're going to finish this conversation right here, right now." Dragging her over to the sofa by her arm he pushed her down ruffly. Getting down on his knees, he moved between her legs almost pinning her to the sofa without touching her. Her arm throbbed from the pain, but she dare not rub it. She knew that if she moved he might hurt her again, and this time he might not be so gentle.
Leaning in, he was almost face to face with her. "Now you are going to sit there and this time I want you to listen. Do you understand?" She nodded. "Good, I'm glad to see we have an understanding." He leaned back. "I'm not trying to scare you, and I'm not trying to hurt you, I want you to know that, but enough is enough. It's time to come home. I'm miserable without you Kathryn." He reached up to rub the spot he grabbed her. She bit her lip so she wouldn't flinch, her arm hurt like hell. The last thing she wanted to do was make him angry. "I know this hurts." Lifting up the short sleeve he took a look. A bruise was starting to form. Suddenly his expression changed again, this time to sorrow and regret. "I'm sorry Kathryn. I know I keep saying that but it's true." He leaned in and kissed her arm like a parent would kiss their child's wound. Tears rose quickly in her eyes, she tossed her head back biting her lip hard as if by shear will she could make them stop. He looked back up at her with a questioning look. "What's wrong? Does it hurt that bad?" She knew she had to lie, so she nodded her head. "I didn't realize I had hurt you that much." Standing up he sat down next to her. Putting an arm around her he pulled her toward him so she could lay her head on his shoulder.
As he held her she cried, not because of the pain, but because she was terrified. This was a Chakotay she had never seen before, and hoped that if she made it back to her own Voyager she never would see again. This Chakotay was unpredictable from one moment to the next. If she ever got out of this room she was going to find a way to get off of this ship.
"There, there, let it all out." He said, softly stroking her hair. "I don't like to see you this way." Changing the subject he asked, "Do you remember when Alex was born?" He laughed a good hearty laugh. "I can remember the way you cried out in pain, and how you squeezed my hand so hard I thought you were going to cut off the circulation to my fingers." His voice started to sound far away, and her terror began to heighten. "I can remember looking down at you between contractions. You looked so tired and weak and pale that I thought you were going to die. I just wanted to hold you in my arms, like now, and tell you that everything would be all right. That it would be all over soon.
"I can remember the first time I held Alex in my arms. She was so tiny, so fragile, I was afraid I might break her. Then I saw your face. You were so weak you could barely keep your eyes open. Then when I placed her in your arms, you smiled up at me and my heart melted. At that moment, I thought you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and realized how lucky I was to have you in my life." He became silent for a moment breathing softly. "I still feel that way. Every time I look at you, I realize how lucky one man can be. I promise everything will be better once we get you back home." He hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
The impulse of wanting to break free and run was growing stronger by the second. "He's out of his mind! He's completely lost all sense of reality!" Pushing her back up against the sofa, he carefully studied her face. Tears were drying on her cheeks. Reaching up he caressed her face gently with his fingertips. "You are just as beautiful today as the day we met." He whispered. "I love you Kathryn, always." She felt paralyzed by fear. "What was he going to do next?" She wondered.
Leaning in closer still, he placed his cheek upon hers and began to whisper into her ear. "I want you Kathryn." Taking her hand, he pinned it to the sofa. Her other hand was pinned between them. As he pulled her tightly against him, she couldn't even wiggle her fingers. He began kissing her neck slowly. Finally finding her voice she croaked, "Stop Chakotay." Instead of stopping he continued. His kisses trailed back up onto her jaw line then to her ear lobe. In a louder voice she said. "Please stop Chakotay."
He stopped. She breathed a sigh of relief thinking that he might have regained his sense of reality. He leaned back letting her go and stood up. Looking up at him she said. "I think it might be best if we just took some tim-" Reaching down he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her up tossing her over his shoulder. Panic flooded through her and she began to kick. Taking her fingernails she reached up under his shirt and dug her nails into his back pulling upward. Using her teeth she clamped down on the fabric and flesh underneath and bit down hard. He gripped her thighs tightly, digging his own fingernails into her legs drawing blood. She screamed digging her fingernails in deeper, not only was she drawing blood, but his flesh was under her fingernails. His foot kicked the coffee table knocking over the padd, book, and coffee cup. Her kicking had knocked off his com badge and sent it sliding under the sofa. "Stop it Kathryn!" He demanded. "He's going to rape me! He's going to RAPE ME!" She thought in a panic. "HELP ME!" She screamed out hoping someone would hear her.
"Computer. Seal doors. No entrance without my authorization." He snapped.
"Doors sealed." The computer replied.
Without warning she was pulled down and thrown onto the bed. "Please don't do this. It isn't right." She said trying to reason with him as she sat up. Reaching down he backhanded her hard across the face. The force of the blow turned her on her side. Pushing her hair back she looked up at him. He stood over her unbuckling his pants. Her basic animal instincts took over. Rearing her leg back she kicked him in the chest. He stumbled back hitting the door frame. Quickly she swung her legs over the side and stood up into a fighting stance. The left side of her face was beginning to swell. She didn't have much room to maneuver but she had no choice but to do the best with what she had. Regaining his footing he headed toward her.
Taking his fist he reached out to punch her face. Bringing up her arm she blocked his punch and reached out with her fist landing a hard punch to his jaw. His head snapped back then came down upright. Reaching out his hand he grabbing her wrist and twisted. She cried out. Lifting her foot she aimed for his crotch but instead she hit his kneecap. His leg collapsed, still holding her wrist he dragged her down with him. She could feel the tendons in her arm being pulled to the breaking point. Intense pain shot through her. She gritted her teeth instead of crying out. On her back she raised up her knee and hit him in the side of his head, making his head bounce off the mattress doing no further damage.
"Stop fighting me Kathryn!" Raising her knee, she hit the side of his head again. He let go of her wrist and grabbed the side of his head. Pushing herself away she stood up and started to run, hoping to get some distance between them. Stepping over his leg he reached out and grabbed her ankle. She fell forward, her head hit the floor hard dazing her for a few seconds. He pulled her back with one hand as he moved into a sitting position. Taking his elbow he brought it down hard behind her kneecap. She screamed out as her knee twisted from the force. She was lucky, her kneecap was not broken, but the ligaments had been damaged. She didn't know that if she was able to get out of this position, would she be able to stand, but she didn't have much of a choice. Raising her good leg she reared back clipping his jaw with the heel of her foot. He cried out releasing her leg.
Pulling herself across the floor she used her good leg to help her stand up. Once she was up she put pressure down on the injured leg to start running again. Pain shot through her leg to her hip, but it did not go out from under her. Gritting her teeth, she limped quickly into the living area. She looked around frantically for something to use as a weapon. The only way she was going to stop him was to knock him out. There wasn't much she could use. Seeing the glass table on it's side, the glass cover lay on the floor unbroken, but the small stand that held it up was made of metal. Limping over she reached down and almost lost her balance, but managed to grab the stand before she could topple over. Turning around, she saw a glimpse of something behind her. It was Chakotay. Twisting around she held the stand with one hand and swung. At the same time, Chakotay swung what he was holding. She felt pain ripple across her back as the object hit, making her fall forward.
Hitting the ground, she still managed to hang on to the stand. Rolling over she swung again causing him to jump back, barely missing him by inches. "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!" She screamed at him pushing herself back with her good leg, as she held the stand tightly in her hand. "I can't do that." He said in a calm voice. "We belong together. Nothing is going to keep us apart. Your mine."
"I belong to no one! Stay away from me! I swear I'll kill you if you don't stay back!" Never in her life had she felt such hatred for another human being. This was a man she had called a friend, who despite her best efforts fell in love with. Now she felt nothing but hatred and contempt for, she was prepared to kill him.
"You wouldn't kill me Kathryn. You love me. We had a child together. How do you think she would feel if you killed me? She would hate you for the rest of her life."
"That's a chance I'm willing to take! Alex is not our child Chakotay! Her mother is dead! Don't you understand?!"
His face twisted in anger. "No! You are her mother! You are my wife!" In a blind rage he threw himself at her. Rearing back she swung the stand hitting the side of his head and shoulder. The force of his landing made her lose her grip on the stand, it flew out of her hand landing a few feet away. Blood sprayed from his wound splattering her face and shoulder. He cried out in rage more that pain and raised up his fist and punched her face. The force of the blow caused her to bit her tongue drawing blood. Her head snapped to the side spewing blood from her mouth across her cheek and land on the carpet. He seemed more aroused than ever. Using both hands he ripped open her shirt.
Her damaged leg was pinned beneath him. Her other foot was pinned under him while her leg was bent out to the side. Her right arm felt weak, the tendons were screaming out in pain. As she tried lifting her arm, pain shot through her making her to cry out. She couldn't lift it. Instead, she raised her good arm and dug a finger into his eye. He cried out grabbing her wrist and held it away from him. His eye looked bloody. "BITCH!" Lifting his other hand he punched her face again. She thought her jaw might break, but it didn't. She screamed out. Using his knees, he forced her legs apart. Pinning her hand to the floor he reached down with the other and began pulling his pants down. Raising her good leg she used the heel of her foot to kick the back of his buttock and thigh with enough force that it would leave a good size bruise. This angered him further. At this point it didn't seem to matter. She thought she would rather die than let him rape her.
Grabbing a hand full of hair he started banging her head against the floor. She saw stars followed by seconds of darkness as her eyes kept going in and out of focus. Bending her wrist she dug her nails into his hand. She could feel blood coming from the wounds, but this didn't make him stop. It was as if he didn't seem to notice. She thought she might vomit. Her stomach seized up from the pain coursing threw her body. Finally he stopped and let go of her hair. Reaching down he yanked the tie that held her pants up out. Her waist burned from the heat. Involuntary, her body pushed upward. He stood up still hanging on to her wrist and dragged her away from the sofa a few feet. The carpet rubbed against her back making it hot. She was having a hard time trying to keep her eyes in focus, all her mind wanted to do was sleep off the concussion.
Roughly he grabbed her injured arm and jerked it up. She screamed out in pain. It felt as if it were being ripped out of her socket. Using the tie, he tied her wrists together, palms facing each other. Then he threw her hands down hard against the floor making them go numb for a few seconds. Desperately she tried to keep her eyes open. Moving down to her legs he grabbed hold of the cuffs of her pants and pulled them off. Her legs hit the ground, and her injured knee shot pain up through her hip making her cry out. "Now be a good girl Kathryn and I won't hurt you anymore." He said calmly. To her it sounded as if he were talking against the wind, the words barely registering in her brain.
"Please don't do this to me." She croaked, her throat raw.
He smiled down at her. "Relax, I know you'll enjoy it."
Lifting her leg she kicked out at him blindly. He was so out of focus that she wasn't sure if she would hit him or not. He reached out and grabbed her ankle holding her leg in the air. "I don't want to hurt you anymore, so stop fighting me. I don't want to knock you unconscious. I want you to enjoy this. I want to express my love for you." Tears of anguish burst from her eyes. There was nothing more she could do to stop him. He had her where he wanted. "I hate you!"
"No you don't. I know you better than that." He got down on his knees butting her foot up against his shoulder holding her ankle tightly. Taking his other hand he reached down and ripped off her panties. Raising his hand he stroked the inside of her thigh with is fingertips. She squeezed her eyes shut trying to block him out. His fingers circled a bruise on the inside of her thigh. He shook his head. "Why did you make me hurt you Kathryn." He said sadly. Moving up to her he let his hands slide down her calf to her thigh. Positioning himself on top of her he gripped her thigh with one hand keeping her leg draped over his shoulder. Taking his other hand he guided himself into her finding resistance. Forcing his way inside she cried out, "NO!" It was a cry that sounded the dying of her spirit.
In Stellar Cartography Annika and Alex worked. Early on they had concluded that race 3764 and the caretakers were two entirely different races. They were no closer to solving the puzzle of who was going to be Voyagers destruction. The recent attack by the Ree'na gave them an indication that they were perhaps the cause of Voyager's demise.
Studying the transmission inch by inch, Annika noticed something odd about Chakotay. The burns on his face were consistent with an explosion, but the burn on his chest was not. "Computer, magnify."
Alexandra looked up from her console. "What is it Annika? Did you find something?" She asked moving next to her.
"I am not certain." As the computer kept magnifying the image of Chakotay's chest it started to become clear. "There, do you see the burn mark on the Captain's chest?"
Studying the mark for a few seconds it finally came to her what Annika was trying to point out. "That looks like a burn mark from a phaser." She said astonished.
"Who would have shot the Captain?" Alex wondered aloud.
"I do not know."
Tapping her com badge she said, "Chakotay to the Captain." There was no response. "Computer, locate Captain Chakotay."
"Captain Chakotay is on deck 8, section 10."
"That's Kathryn's quarters." She thought. "Keep working Annika. I'm going to find the Captain." Turning she left.
Chakotay, Harry, Tom, Tuvok, Seven, B'Elanna, and Neelix sat in the briefing room. He looked worried, just as everyone else looked worried. "Harry, has the transmission we sent been received?"
"We sent it through a an unstable worm hole. Whether she received it or not could be anyone's guess."
"Even if she did receive our transmission Commander, she may still be unable to return to the worm hole before it collapses." Tuvok pointed out.
"I enhanced the deflector array to boost the signal, but I have to agree with Harry and Tuvok, as much as I would like to see the Captain back I don't know if it is a possibility." B'Elanna said.
"The forces surrounding the worm hole are becoming more erratic, making it unpredictable. I suggest we try another approach." Seven said.
"What do you suggest?" Chakotay asked.
"We could in theory, modify a shuttle to pass through the worm hole."
"That may be true Seven, but even if we did modify a shuttle that could survive the trip, we would still have the problem of the worm hole collapsing before the rescue team made it back." Tom replied.
"As the Captain has said, sometimes you have to take risks." Seven countered.
"Risks yes, but-"
"All right." Chakotay interrupted. "Arguing about it won't solve anything. Seven, how long would it take to modify the shuttle?"
"Approximately three hours."
"Then I suggest you get to it. Take B'Elanna and Tuvok with you, and anyone else you need. I want this done quickly. I don't have any intention of just sitting around waiting any longer. We've done too much of that all ready. Dismissed."
Chakotay leaned back in his chair letting out a breath, as everyone stood up and left, except for Neelix. Standing in front of the door Neelix turned and said. "We'll find her Commander, don't you worry. I'm sure everything will turn out all right."
Inside he wasn't so sure. "Thanks Neelix, I admire your optimism."
"Your quite welcome Commander." He said before turning and exiting the room.
Chakotay turned his chair so he could look out the window. "I know your out there Kathryn, and we'll find you." He thought.
Alex stepped off the turbo lift and walked down the corridor toward Kathryn's quarters. When she reached the door it swished open. Taking a look inside she was overwhelmed by the flood of images that danced before her eyes. The first thing she saw was the coffee table turned over, the glass unbroken lay on the ground. A coffee cup lay on it's side, it's contents staining the carpet. A book laid upside down nearby, and a data padd inches away from it. Stepping inside she saw a figure laying on the floor, it was Kathryn. Splatters of blood scattered around her on the carpet. She was laying face up, her hands tied above her head, but worse than that she was naked from the waist down. Scratch marks and bruises covered her legs and arms. Stunned by the mosaic of images, she stared at her in disbelief. Shaking it off, her feet began to move and knelt down beside her.
She looked horrible. Her face was swollen, bruised, and covered in blood. Her knee was swelling along with her hands, which were turning purple. Quickly she reached up and untied her hands. When Alex touched the arm that had a large bruise on the bicep, Kathryn's eyes shot open, her body arched up as she cried out in pain. Tears immediately formed in her eyes and spilled across her temples into her hair. "Who attacked you?" Alex asked trying to keep her from thrashing around. Tapping her com badge she said, "Ensign Chakotay to Doc-" When Kathryn heard the name Chakotay she began to swing blindly at Alex. "What's happening?" Doctor Van Goh asked concerned. Alex did her best to defend herself from Kathryn as she swung hitting her in the jaw, making her head snap to the side. Applying force she grabbed Kathryn's wrists and held them away from her as best she could. She fought like a caged animal.
"We have a medical emergency. Captain Janeway has been attacked. Get down here now. Bring a tranquilizer, I have a feeling we're going to need it." She didn't want to pin down her hands, but it looked as if she might have to. "It's me Alex!" She said loud enough so she would be heard. "Your safe now! Nobody's going to hurt you!" She said pulling her up so she was eye to eye with Kathryn. Suddenly she stopped struggling, finally making the connection in her mind. "Alex?" She said horsily. "Yes it's me. Who attacked you?"
Looking at her, Kathryn's eyes formed fresh tears which spilled across her cheeks. Alex let go of her hands and wrapped her arms around her, and pulled her gently to her chest. She felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow for what she must have just gone through. Kathryn raised up her hand and grasped Alex's arm, sobbing hysterically. "Shh It's all right now." She said softy. As she started to stoke her hair she felt a large knot on the back of her head. "My god." She whispered. "Who did this to you?" No words came from her lips, only the sounds of grief and anguish.
Shortly Doctor Van Goh materialized in the room holding a medical kit. He took one look at them and asked, "Who attacked her?" As he moved toward them.
"I don't know, she wouldn't say." Alex replied. Going into the bedroom, Doctor Van Goh pulled the sheet from the bed and brought it over to Alex, which she draped around Kathryn. "Captain, who attacked you?" He asked kneeling down. No response. Opening the med kit he pulled out a hypospray. When he reached up to give her the shot, she coiled back against Alex. "Please don't hurt me." She whispered hoarsely sounding like a child who was about to be punished. "No one's going to hurt you Captain. I'm just going to give you a shot to ease the pain." Slowly he reached up and injected the hypo into her neck. Taking out his medical tricorder he started scanning. "Torn tendons in her right arm, a mild concussion, torn ligaments around the kneecap, and-" He stopped.
"What is it Doctor?" Alex asked concerned.
"The tissue along the vaginal wall has been torn. I'm also finding traces of semen."
"Who's is it?" Tapping his tricorder again he was shocked by his findings. "Well Doctor?"
Closing the tricorder he said in disbelief. "It belongs to your father."
"What?" She responded in shock. "Are you sure?" He nodded. Anger boiled inside her, then quickly turned to rage. Calmly she said, "Take care of her Doctor and contact Annika, have her ready the Delta Flyer."
"What are you going to do Ensign?"
"I'm going to have a chat with my father. I want her off this ship. It's the only place she'll be safe. Have Annika program the coordinates for the worm hole into the Delta Flyer's navigational computer. With any luck, it will take her back home."
"You don't know that for certain."
"It's a chance I'm willing to take. She doesn't belong here Doctor. This is not her time. She has to go back. I lost her once, and I'm willing to lose her again. Perhaps she'll come to terms with what's happened, and realize that our Chakotay is not the same Chakotay from her time line."
"I suppose there is always hope." The Doctor said.
"Hope is all I have left." Hugging her she said. "I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm glad I had the chance to see you again. I'm going to miss you." Gently she kissed her cheek. Releasing her, she stood up quickly and headed for the door before the tears rose in her eyes.
Entering her quarters she headed straight into her bedroom. Opening the drawer to the night stand she pulled out a phaser. Turning back around she noticed the bust of her mother. She had kept it across from her bed, as she had done since she was a child. Walking toward it, she reached out with her fingers and lightly touched the face. She remembered the day she and her mother had made this. It was one of the happiest days of her life.
When her mother broke down crying, after she had asked about her brother. She had made her a promise that she would always protect her. Alexandra felt tears stinging her eyes at the memory. Raising the phaser, she changed the setting to kill. Holding it to her side she exited her quarters. Walking down the corridor she headed for the turbo lift. "Computer, locate Captain Chakotay."
"Captain Chakotay is on the bridge."
Entering the turbo lift she said. "Bridge."
"Either he just left before I arrived to Kathryn's quarters, or he replaced his com badge." She thought, but it didn't matter. She was going to kill him. Her father or not, she could not tolerate the fact that he, or any other man would rape a woman. The doors opened and she was on the bridge. Moving the phaser to her right hand she kept it hidden behind her leg. The only person who might see it would be Harry. Walking onto the bridge she could see the back of Chakotay's head.
"How much time do we have before the Ree'na find us?" Chakotay asked.
"Ten minutes at best." Tuvok answered.
No one questioned her presence, after all she was the daughter of the captain. Stepping down the short steps she moved around the rail until she had a clear view of him. He looked fine, except that his left eye seemed a little red. "Alex, did you find anything?" Chakotay asked.
"Yes I did." She said fighting back her anger.
"Is something wrong?" He asked concerned.
"Yes, there is."
"Well what is it?" He said sounding rushed.
"I just want to know one thing from you. Why?"
"What are you talking about?" He asked sounding confused.
"Why did you rape Captain Janeway?" She said finally.
"That is a very serious charge Ensign." Tuvok said. "Do you have any evidence to support your accusation?"
"Doctor Van Goh has it." She replied to Tuvok. "Why did you do it?"
"You have to believe me Alex. I would never hurt your mother."
"I used to look up to you. I wanted you to be proud of me, but now I can never trust you again." She looked like she might start crying. "Not only did you beat her, but you raped her. When Doctor Van Goh told me that he found traces of your semen I didn't want to believe it, but I couldn't deny the evidence. I'm a scientist, facts are what I live by, and as much as I didn't want it to be true it was." She spoke calmly never rasing her voice. "I've made arrangements to have her back on the Delta Flyer. She's leaving this ship, and with any luck she'll make it back to her own Voyager." Chakotay looked as if he were ready to explode with rage. "I just hope that one day she will be able to put what happened here behind her, and perhaps someday, be able to forgive you for what you did."
Enraged by what she said he bolted for her, intent on killing her for what she had done. Raising her phaser she aimed and fired, hitting him in the chest. He collapsed onto the floor. Leaning down Tuvok reached for his neck checking for a pulse, there was none. "He's dead." At this point she didn't know what to feel. A part of her felt saddened by his death, after all he was her father, and the other felt that justice had been served. Standing up Tuvok drew his phaser, pointing it at Alex. " Ensign, you will drop your weapon and accompany me to the brig." Feeling dead inside, she dropped the phaser. Tuvok headed toward her as he kept the phaser aimed at her. Suddenly the ship rocked from a blast, almost knocking everyone off their feet.
"Report." Tuvok said lowering his phaser, and taking a seat in the captain's chair.
"It's the Ree'na, they've found us."
"Take tactical Ensign Chakotay."
"Aye Sir." She replied moving over to the station.
"How many ships?"
"Three, and their approaching fast."
"Shields. Open a channel."
"This is Commander Tuvok of the Federation Starship Voyager. Cease your attack or we will be forced to fire."
"On screen." When the view screen came up they saw three ships in a V pattern. "Target the lead ships weapons array and fire." Tuvok ordered.
Tapping the console Alex fired. "No affect."
"Lieutenant Paris, evasive maneuver gamma."
"Aye Sir." Paris fingers danced over the controls.
The shipped rocked as Doctor Van Goh treated Kathryn. She was in shock. The moment Alex left she was still, she didn't move, nor did she seem to blink. "Doctor, the Delta Flyer is ready for launch. I suggest you bring the Captain to shuttle bay two." Annika stated.
"Can't you just transport us there?"
"The transporters are offline. I am sorry, but we don't have much time."
"Understood." He replied. Shortly after Alexandra left he had found some clothes and dressed her, but was unable to treat the majority of her injuries without the use of a dermal regenerator or surgical equipment. "Captain, I have treated your wounds the best I can without taking you to sick bay, besides we don't have time. You will need medical assistance when you reach your ship. I know that you are still in pain but you must help me. We have to get you to the shuttle bay."
For the first time she seemed to notice his presence since Alex left. "Doctor?" She stared at him bewildered.
"Yes Captain, it's me. Stand up I need to get you to the shuttle bay."
"Where are we going?" She said allowing herself to be stood up.
"Your going home Captain. Back to your Voyager." He explained helping her walk.
"My Voyager?" She seemed confused.
"Yes. I know your in shock, but try to focus on my voice."
"Doc-" She cried out as white hot pain shot through her leg nearly making her pass out. Doctor Van Goh caught her and lifted her up with both hands, carrying her to the shuttle bay. Kathryn said nothing, only draped her arms around his neck allowing herself to be carried.
The console exploded next to Alex nearly knocking her to the floor. "Shields down to forty-three percent." She announced.
"Lieutenant Torres, do we have warp?" Tuvok asked.
"Yes Commander." She stated.
"Warp six Lieutenant Paris, Engage."
"Aye Commander." The entire ship seemed to shutter. Everyone was thrown around as the ship finally jumped to warp.
"The Structural Integrity field is still damaged." Harry reported.
"Dispatch repair teams Lieutenant Kim. Any sign of pursuit Ensign Chakotay?"
"Yes Commander, the lead vessel is catching up with us. At this rate, they will intercept us in two minutes."
The doors to the shuttle bay opened. Annika stepped outside the shuttle to see who was coming. What she saw was Captain Janeway being carried by Doctor Van Goh. The closer they got the more she could see of her. The captain looked like she had just been in a fight. "Is the Captain-" She started to ask before she was cut off.
"No she's going to be all right. Help me get her into the shuttle." Letting her down gently, Annika draped Kathryn's arm across her shoulder. Kathryn cried out in pain. Annika jumped. "The tendons in her arm have been torn." He said. Annika nodded her head trying to be as careful as she could. Putting an arm around her waist, she lifted taking some of the pressure off her arm.
Entering the shuttle they strapped her into the chair. "Captain." Annika said. Kathryn only blinked. "Captain." She said louder. Kathryn turned her head to look at her. "Doctor, what happened?" Annika asked.
"She was attacked." He said simply not wanting to go into detail. Sensing his reluctance to explain further she nodded. "Is the shuttle ready for launch?"
"Yes, but since we are at warp it would not be wise to launch the shuttle until we have slowed to impulse."
"I don't know if we have that much time. Can it be done in warp?"
"If attempted by an experienced pilot."
"Well at the moment the captain is in a state of shock, and even if she weren't, I don't think she has the skill." Tapping his badge he said, "Doctor Van Goh to Ensign Chakotay. We're ready, but we can't launch until we drop out of warp."
Tuvok looked at Alexandra. "Who is attempting to leave the ship Ensign?"
"Captain Janeway. I thought it best if she headed back for the worm hole. Perhaps she will be able to enter before it collapses."
"A wise precaution, but before making a decision of that nature it should be discussed with a commanding officer." Tuvok stated.
"We will drop out of warp long enough for Captain Janeway to launch."
"Doctor, begin launch sequence, we're dropping out of warp."
"Understood." He said turning to Annika. "Begin pre-launch sequence."
After inputting the commands she tapped her com badge. "Annika to Tuvok. The shuttle is set to launch in thirty seconds."
"Understood." Tuvok replied.
Both Doctor Van Goh and Annika stepped out of the Delta Flyer and behind the force field. The computer began counting down. "T-minus thirty seconds for launch, twenty-nine, twenty-eight," The door to the Delta Flyer closed. "Eighteen, seventeen, sixteen,"
"Prepare to slow to impulse."
"Eleven, ten, nine, eight,"
"Slow to impulse."
The shuttle bay doors opened. "Four, three, two, one."
The Delta Flyer lifted out of the shuttle bay and exited the ship. "Captain Janeway has cleared Voyager." Annika informed Tuvok.
"Warp six Lieutenant Paris, engage."
The ship lurched forward again into warp leaving the Delta Flyer behind.
It had been almost four hours since the Delta Flyer left Voyager and headed for the worm hole. Kathryn sat at the helm starting off into space. Her brain was still trying to come to terms with what happened. She didn't cry, she wasn't angry, she was still in shock. Looking at the console in front of her she didn't react when the console beeped, informing her that another vessel was approaching. Everything seemed so still, as if she were in a dream. "This is Tom Paris to Captain Janeway." She sat looking out the window. "Captain Janeway respond." Finally she recognized the voice. "Tom Paris?" She questioned, barely above a whisper. "Yes Captain, slow to impulse so we can beam Seven aboard."
"Do I know Seven?" She thought, her mind jumbled.
"She's not dropping from warp." Harry said.
"She may be unable to slow the vessel." Seven stated.
"If we could get close enough to match her course and speed, we may be able to transport Seven onto the Delta Flyer." Harry suggested.
"Sounds like just as good of an idea as any." Tom replied. Increasing their speed it took several minutes before they were able to match the Delta Flyer position. "All right Harry, you can transport Seven over at any time."
"Transport in progress."
When Seven had fully materialized she did not see the captain. Heading toward the helm, she could see a silhouette sitting perfectly still. Moving closer she saw that it was indeed the captain. "Captain-" She cut herself short when she saw the condition she was in. The side of her face, that Seven could see, was swollen and bruised. There also appeared to be traces of blood on her cheek, neck, and shoulder. Her left knee was swollen, but she couldn't tell anymore than that. "You have been damaged." Seven stated, Kathryn said nothing, she only stared out the window. Tapping the control panel she hailed the shuttle. "This is Seven to Ensign Paris."
"The Captain has been injured, and requires medical assistance."
"How badly is she hurt?" Tom asked.
"From a visual diagnosis, she has swelling around her face, arm, and knee. She has discoloration of the skin on her face and arm. She also appears to be in a catatonic state. How do you wish me to proceed?"
"She's catatonic?" Tom said more to himself than to Seven.
"I would assume so since she has not responded to any verbal stimuli."
"Do her injuries appear to be life threatening?"
"Then let's just get back to Voyager so The Doctor can take a look at her."
"Understood." Taking a seat she transferred the helm controls to her station and took them off auto-pilot, and set a course toward the worm hole.
As Seven sat in front of the console making course corrections, scanning the area for anything that might damage the craft, or block their path, she felt uneasy. For the last six hours Captain Janeway had not moved from her seat, nor made any indication that she might. What bothered her the most was that she did not speak, only stared out the window. If she did not periodically blink she would have thought her dead.
As time passed she found herself becoming more and more uncomfortable, almost fearful of the captain's state. She was not an expert on human interaction. The more she had studied the interpersonal relationships between humans, the more confusing it had become. "Humans are a very unpredictable species, they lack cohesion, unity, greatness, but they are capable of so much if they could focus their minds." She thought. She respected Tuvok, his thoughts were dictated in logic, not emotion. Yet she also respected the captain because of her emotion.
Three years ago she had been severed from the collective, her identity stripped away from her. If she were not Borg, who was she? She couldn't remember being anything else. She found the silence of her own thoughts difficult to bare, but it was Captain Janeway who had stayed by her, guided her, taught her what it was to be human, despite her own resistance. Now the captain sat less than two feet away from her, and after all that she has learned about humanity, she did not know how to help her.
"Doctor?" Kathryn whispered so softly Seven almost didn't hear it.
"The Doctor is aboard Voyager. We will reach the worm hole in approximately one hour, fifty-seven minutes." She could hear the her crying softly. "Are you in pain Captain?" She did not respond. Seven stood up and moved toward the aft. There were several medical kits stacked on top of each other. Picking up one she opened it and pulled out a hypospray, then filled it with a mild tranquilizer, and headed back to the captain. She was still in the same position as when she left her.
Reaching her hand out hesitantly she touched her shoulder. Kathryn turned her head slowly to look at her. "Are you in pain Captain?" Seven asked again. Kathryn looked at her bewildered as if she didn't understand what she had asked. "Do you recognize me Captain? I am Seven Of Nine." Kathryn's eyes narrowed in puzzlement.
"Seven Of Nine." She repeated slurring her words.
Seven noticed that her mouth was swollen, no doubt attributed to her injury. "Yes Captain." She waited for her to respond. When no response came she said, "Please tilt your head so I may administer the tranquilizer." Kathryn obeyed without objection. Giving her the shot she then returned the hypospray back to the medical kit. Taking her seat again she sat in uncomfortable silence. Kathryn did not speak again.
Voyager was racing against time, they had to find someway to lose the Ree'na before they destroyed Voyager. The had managed to get shields back up to thirty-six percent. Even if they had full shields it wouldn't be enough. They had three ships following them. "How many torpedo's do we have left Ensign Chakotay?" Tuvok asked.
"Load aft torpedo bays one through four." Tuvok ordered. "Fire a full spread at the lead vessel, perhaps it will cause a cascade effect. The other ships may not have enough time to pull away before they impact with the vessel."
"Torpedo's bays loaded Commander." Alex replied.
The first two torpedo's hit the lead vessel taking out their shields. The third hit the port side causing the vessel to shift toward their other vessel. The fourth hit the engines, causing a warp core breech. They collided with the other ship. A burst of light, defying the darkness of space, lit the sky as the two ships exploded.
"Two of the vessels have been destroyed, one is still in pursuit." Harry said.
"The vessel has fired three torpedo's." Alex announced.
"Evasive maneuvers. Lieutenant Paris."
All though in warp. Paris tried to move the ship far enough over before the torpedo's could hit. The first one flew past them. The second hit, taking out their shields. The third hit the starboard nacelle.
"We've just dropped out of warp!" Tom reported. "I've just lost per pulsion! We're moving on inertia only!"
Voyager sailed through space. The ship fired again hitting the engine. "Torres to Commander Tuvok! The engine has been hit! The core is about to breech! I can't stop it!"
"Eject the core Lieutenant."
"Yes Sir. Torres out."
"Richards, Carey, your going to help me dump the core! Everyone else get out!" Moving over to the controls the three worked at a hurried pace.
"Warning, core breech in thirty seconds." The computer announced.
"DAMN IT!" Torres screamed in frustration. Tapping her badge she said. "We can't eject the core! The release clamps are fused!" In the back ground the computer could be heard.
"Understood Lieutenant." Tuvok said calmly. Turning on the intercom he said. "This is Commander Tuvok to all personal, head to the escape pods."
"Warning, twenty seconds until core breech."
Tuvok sat back down in his chair. He knew that he would not make it in time to the escape pods. Tom, Alex, and Harry looked at each other. No one made a move to leave. They knew as well as Tuvok, they wouldn't make it in time.
"It's been a pleasure serving with you." Tom said trying to keep the fear out of his voice.
"Indeed." Tuvok said.
"I guess you don't have to worry about making good on your bet Tom." Harry said smiling, all though everyone could tell he was just as scared. Tom smiled back at him.
"Warning, ten seconds until core breech. Nine. Eight. Seven."
"I don't know if there is a god." Alex thought.
"But if you do exist."
"Let my mother get home."
Voyager exploded from the inside out, blinding the darkness. Pieces of the ship flew in every direction. The Ree'na were caught in the explosion tearing their ship apart. The few life pods that had managed to launch before the explosion were sucked back into the blast destroying them. Then it was still. Voyager was gone. Except for a few pieces of debris, no one would know that they had ever existed, except in memory.
After they had managed to survive going back through the temporal rift. They were relieved to find the wormhole still open. The ride through was bumpy but they took no further damage. When they were on the other side, Voyager sat motionless in space waiting for their return. Seven hailed them. "Seven Of Nine to the Commander, we need a medical team to meet us in shuttle bay one. The Captain has been injured."
"How badly is she hurt?" Chakotay asked. Kathryn hands gripped the console. Seven looked at her curiously. "She appears to have been attacked. From a visual diagnosis I would say that she will recover from her injuries."
"I am uncertain. She has not spoken of her encounter."
"We'll continue this discussion once your aboard Voyager. Chakotay out." Once her conversation with Chakotay was finished, Kathryn released the console and seemed to relax. Which made Seven all the more curious as to what had happened to her.
Chakotay, Tuvok, and The Doctor stood in shuttle bay one watching the shuttles dock. When the doors closed and the bay decompressed, they deactivated the force field. Tom and Harry were the first to exit the shuttle and walked over to the small group. Seven and Kathryn had not yet opened the Delta Flyer's escape hatch. The Doctor moved toward the craft waiting for them to exit. Behind him he pulled a grav bed.
"How's the Captain?" Chakotay asked Tom.
"I don't know. I haven't seen her yet, but if what I heard in Seven's voice is any indication. Then I'm not sure I want to see her."
Chakotay nodded, then looked up as he heard the Delta Flyer's ramp begin to open. Tuvok and Tom had moved ahead of him to help The Doctor, leaving him and Harry behind. As he was rounding the corner of the ship he could hear The Doctor's voice. "On three. One, two, three." Looking, he saw that Tom and The Doctor were lifting her onto the grav bed. Tuvok was blocking his line of vision so he couldn't really tell how bad she looked. "Make way everyone." The Doctor said as they activated the bed and began bringing her out. He stepped back out of the way.
Tuvok stood to one side of the grav bed leaning in as if he were trying to hear something she was saying. Tom stood behind her holding the grav bed steady. The Doctor stood on the opposite side of Tuvok using this opportunity to take a few scans. Harry stood next to Chakotay watching, unsure of what he should do. Seven was closing the Delta Flyer's hatch. When Tuvok straightened, Tom began to push the grav bed again.
Finally getting a good look at her he stood stunned and horrified by what he saw. The left side of her face was swollen, a black and purple bruise covered her cheek, jaw, and neck. Splatters of blood covered her cheek, neck, and shoulder. The upper part of her left arm was swollen and bruised, looking closer he could see the outline of fingers. Both wrists looked as if they had been rubbed raw.
When she was closer, he could see she was looking at the ceiling, then her eyes rolled over to The Doctor, then to Harry. When her eyes met his they widened in recognition. She rolled to the right and grabbed Tuvok's phaser pulling it out of his holster, and aimed it at Chakotay changing the setting just before she fired. Harry pushed Chakotay out of the way as Tuvok's arm came from below and knocked her arms up, making the shot hit the ceiling instead of her original target. Tom grabbed her shoulders and tried to pull her down. The Doctor grasped the wrist holding the phaser, as Tuvok wrenched the phaser out of her hand and stepped back. Kathryn screamed, with her throat hoarse she made incomprehensible sounds. Seeing that the situation was now under control Seven went over to help up Harry and Chakotay. Her scream seemed to send a chill down everyone's spine.
"Hold her down Mr. Paris." The Doctor said opening his medical kit. Kathryn was thrashing around so much Tom was having trouble holding her. "Seven I could use some help here!" Tom shouted. Seven moved quickly over to where Tuvok once stood and took a firm grip on her arm. Seeing The Doctor take out a hypospray Seven said. "I gave the Captain a tranquilizer less than two hours ago. I do not think it would be wise to give her another."
Looking at Seven he said, "Normally I would agree with you, but right now I don't see any other alternative besides strapping her down, in which case she could do more harm to herself." Seven nodded letting him know that she understood. Taking the hypospray he used one hand to hold her head, then with the other, he gave her the shot. Within a few seconds Kathryn was still. "How much did you give her?" Tom asked. "Enough that she won't be awake for several hours. From what little of the readings I was able to get she's going to need surgery."
Tuvok moved over to Chakotay. "You were very lucky Commander." He said showing him the phaser. "It was set to kill."
"Why?" He asked confused.
"I do not know. When her injuries have been treated I will speak with her, and attempt to find out what caused her to attack you."
Chakotay nodded. "Let me know as soon as you find out anything. I'll be on the bridge."
"Aye Commander." Tuvok said putting the phaser back in it's holster.
Entering sick bay, Tuvok saw The Doctor leaning back in his chair behind the desk with a disturbed look on his face. Curious, Tuvok headed toward the small office. When he entered, The Doctor did not seem to notice, he continued to stare at the data padd in his hand. Finally Tuvok spoke, "Doctor." The Doctor lifted his head slowly, as if his head weighed a hundred pounds. "How can I help you Mr. Tuvok?" He said, his voice reflecting his expression.
"I have come to speak with the Captain." The Doctor gestured for him to sit, which Tuvok did without question. Lifting an eyebrow he asked. "Is there something you wish to tell me?"
The Doctor let out a long sigh before speaking. "Not particularity, but I suppose I must." Tuvok reminded silent while The Doctor seemed to the thinking of how to put his thoughts into words. "While I was examining the Captain I found something that I wish I hadn't."
"What did you find?"
"While the Captain was on the other Voyager, she and Commander Chakotay had . . . sexual relations."
"While it is none of our business whether the Captain is having sexual relations. I don't see what would be disturbing about her having a intimate relationship with the Commander."
"I found tears along the vaginal wall, along with the Commander's semen. The damage was very extensive, she was bleeding internally. The bleeding itself would not have killed her, but if she had not been treated upon her return to Voyager, I would have had to perform a hysterectomy."
"Are you accusing the Commander of rape Doctor?"
"Not our Commander Mr. Tuvok, but the Commander of the other Voyager."
"That would explain the Captain's attempt to kill Commander Chakotay."
"I thought you should know before speaking with her." The Doctor said solemnly.
"Of course. Is the Captain awake?"
The Doctor nodded. Tuvok stood up and began walking toward the captain's bio bed, but was stopped by The Doctor's voice. Turning to face him, he saw that The Doctor had turned his chair away from him. As he began to speak, his voice sounded strained. "An hour ago I was sitting here at my desk looking over some reports, when I heard the Captain cry out. It was the most terrifying, soul shattering, mournful sound I had ever heard . . . I never contemplated that any living being, much less the Captain, could make such a sound. It was as if her soul, her spirit, were crying out it's last breath of existence. I think her spirit is dying Commander, and I hope, that for as long as I am active, I never hear anything like that again." He fell silent.
Tuvok stood a moment longer thinking about what he had said before heading over to the captain. As he approached, he noticed that she was laying on her side staring at the wall. "Captain can you hear me?" No response. He had spent an hour preparing for a mind meld with her if it was necessary, and judging by her state he felt it was appropriate. Using three fingers he touched her forehead, temple, and cheek. "Your mind to my mind, your thoughts to my thoughts."
Entering her mind, he found himself standing in the middle of a corridor. Taking a moment he recognized it as the guest quarters. Suddenly a scream pierced through the silence. "HELP ME!" It was Kathryn's voice. The scream had come from the door to his left. Running, he moved in front of the door. Tapping the key pad he entered a code. The door would not open. "Computer, security override Commander Tuvok theta 2619."
"Doors cannot be opened without voice authorization." The computer stated.
Taking out his phaser he aimed at the control panel and fired disabling the lock. Opening the panel he took out a magnetic disk and placed it on the door and began to slide the door open as her heard the captain screamed again. Finally he was able to get the door open enough for him to squeeze through. Looking, he saw the captain limping out of the bedroom gritting her teeth. Stopping, she started looking around.
On the floor he noticed that the coffee table had been turned over, it's metal stand laying nearby. A book, data padd, and a coffee cup littered the floor. He tried to step forward finding that he couldn't move.
Watching, he saw her lean down to pick up the stand almost falling over. Looking up, he saw a much older Chakotay come out of the bedroom holding what looked to be a broken leg from the nightstand. He watched as he came up behind her. "Captain!" Tuvok shouted. Twisting around she held the stand with one hand and swung. At the same time Chakotay had swung what he was holding. Tuvok watched as she fell forward, but surprising to him, still managed to keep a grip on the metal stand.
Rolling over she swung again, Chakotay jumped back. She missed him by inches. "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!" She screamed. She was pushing herself back still holding the stand tightly in her hand. Tuvok noticed that her leg was hurt. "I can't do that." He said in a calm voice. "We belong together. Nothing is going to keep us apart. Your mine."
"I belong to no one! Stay away from me! I swear I'll kill you if you don't stay back!"
"You wouldn't kill me Kathryn. You love me. We had a child together. How do you think she would feel if you killed me? She would hate you for the rest of her life."
"That's a chance I'm willing to take! Alex is not our child Chakotay! Her mother is dead! Don't you understand?!"
"No! You are her mother! You are my wife!" The next thing he saw, Chakotay had threw himself on top of her. Rearing back she swung the stand hitting the side of his head and shoulder. He watched helplessly as the stand flew out of her hand. Blood sprayed from his wound splattering her face and shoulder. He cried out and raised his fist punching her face. Her head snapped to the side spewing blood from her mouth across her cheek and the carpet. Using both hands he ripped open her shirt.
All though Tuvok was a Vulcan and had been trained to suppress emotion, he felt anger being to boil inside him. Not only was she the captain, but she was his friend. He could see one leg was pinned beneath him. Her foot was pinned under him as her leg was bent out to the side. She lifted her arm and cried out in pain. Raising her other arm she dug a finger into his eye. He cried out grabbing her wrist, pulling it away he held it. "BITCH!"
He watched as he punched her face again. She screamed out. Using his knees, he forced her legs apart. Pinning her hand to the floor, he saw Chakotay reach down and pull down his pants. She raised her leg and used the heel of her foot to kick the back of his buttock and thigh.
Grabbing a hand full of hair he banged her head against the floor. Bending her wrist she dug her nails into his hand drawing blood, but he did not stop. Finally, he let go of her hair and reached down yanking the tie that held her pants up out. Her body pushed upward. He stood up still hanging on to her wrist and dragged her away from the sofa a few feet. Tuvok could see that she was having a hard time keeping her eyes open.
Roughly he grabbed her injured arm and jerked it up. She screamed out in pain. He tied her wrists together, palms facing each other. Then he threw her hands down hard against the floor. Moving around her, he grabbed hold of the cuffs of her pants and pulled them off. Her legs hit the ground, making her cry out again. "Now be a good girl Kathryn and I won't hurt you anymore."
"Please don't do this to me." She pleaded.
"Relax, I know you'll enjoy it." He said pleasantly.
Lifting her leg she kicked out at him. He reached out and grabbed her ankle holding her leg in the air. "I don't want to hurt you anymore Kathryn, so stop fighting me. I don't want to knock you unconscious. I want you to enjoy this. I want to express my love for you."
"I hate you!"
"No you don't. I know you better than that." He got down on his knees, butting her foot up against his shoulder holding her ankle tightly. Taking his other hand he reached down and ripped off her panties. Raising his hand he stroked the inside of her thigh with is fingertips. She squeezed her eyes shut. His fingers circled a bruise on the inside of her thigh. He shook his head. "Why did you make me hurt you Kathryn." Moving up to her his hands slid down her calf to her thigh. Positioning himself on top of her he gripped her thigh with one hand keeping her leg draped over his shoulder. Taking his other hand he guided himself into her finding resistance. Forcing his way inside she cried out, "NO!" Tuvok screamed out in rage with her, echoing her anguish.
When he looked back Chakotay was gone. Kathryn lay on the floor dressed in the clothes she arrived in. Her hands were not tied, but she still had the injuries. Tuvok could feel himself move again. Rushing over, he knelt down beside her and lifted her up. Her arms hung limp. Her head fell back, her eyes open. She appeared as if she were dead. Tuvok knew that this was an expression of how she felt inside. Bowing his head he cried.
Chakotay sat in the captain's chair on the bridge as they resumed their course for the alpha quadrant. Almost three hours ago, The Doctor had informed him that Kathryn would make a full recovery, but there was something in his voice that told Chakotay he was holding something back. An hour after going to sick bay Tuvok informed him that he would be going to his quarters to meditate before speaking with him. He could tell that his voice sounded different, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
The bridge was unusually silent. Harry stood at his station staring out at the view screen, and Tom seemed to be doing the same. Ensign Myers was at tactical looking down at his console. Even when they had heard that the captain would recover everyone was still silent. Tom and Harry had seen the captain's reaction toward Chakotay, and heard Tuvok inform him of the phaser's setting. It had disturbed them.
"Why would she want to kill me?" He thought. "Better yet, who would want to hurt her?" He couldn't wrap his brain around it. The more he thought about it, the more he was confused by it. He wanted to get up and go to sick bay, but he knew that if he did, she would attack him again. His presence had terrified her, and he didn't want to upset her again, she had been through enough already.
"Tuvok to Commander Chakotay."
Hearing Tuvok's voice made him lose his train of thought. Everyone on the bridge stopped what they were doing to listen. "Chakotay here."
"I am ready to speak with you about the captain."
"I'll be in the briefing room."
"Understood Commander. Tuvok out."
Chakotay leapt up out of his chair when Tuvok entered. "Perhaps we should sit Commander." Tuvok said taking a seat at the table. "I don't like the sound of this." He thought sitting down. "If a Vulcan asks you to sit before telling you something, you know the news has to be bad." Shifting in his seat he asked, "What did you find?"
Tuvok looked as if he were considering how to answer his question. He remained silent for several seconds before speaking. "I performed a mind meld with Captain Janeway, and while I was in her mind, I discovered the cause of her cationic state."
Chakotay stared at him intently, waiting for him to share his discovery. "While she was aboard the other Voyager she was sexually assaulted by your counterpart." Chakotay stared at him in disbelief. "Are you saying that she was raped by the other Chakotay?" He said slowly making sure he stated his question correctly. "That is correct Commander."
Chakotay stood up and turned to look out the window. "That's why she tried to kill me." He thought aloud.
"So it would seem Commander." Tuvok agreed.
"I would never hurt Kathryn, never." He said turning to face him.
"How can you be positive?"
"Because I-" He almost blurted it out, but stopped himself at the last moment.
"Because you what Commander?" He asked looking at him curiously.
"I promised her that I wouldn't say it until she was ready to hear it."
"Are you saying that you love her?"
He was speechless, he couldn't bring himself to say it knowing what had happened. Instead he nodded. Tuvok remained silent, waiting for him to speak. Finally he slammed his fist hard on the table top. "She's never going to trust me again Tuvok! You know that don't you!" He sat down in the chair hard.
"I do not know if the Captain will be able to trust you in light of what has happened, but she will learn to live with it in time." He stated.
"If you don't mind Tuvok, I would like to be alone."
"Of course Commander." Standing up he turned toward the door and stopped, then turned back around. "While I was in her mind. I experienced anger for the first time in years, it was an odd sensation." Chakotay nodded solemnly. "I did discover that the Chakotay who attacked the Captain was not you."
"How do you know?" He asked wanting to believe him.
"The time she traveled to was seventeen years into the future. In that time line, Voyager had just reached the area of space that we are now crossing. It would not be logical to assume that Voyager had traveled back to this region of space if they were returning to the alpha quadrant."
"Thank you Tuvok." He said giving him a relieved smile. Tuvok nodded and left the briefing room.
Walking into sick bay, Chakotay saw The Doctor working at his desk. Moving toward the desk The Doctor looked up with a surprised expression, then stood up to meet him half way. "I didn't expect to see you Commander." He said quietly.
"How is she Doctor?" He asked in a hushed tone.
He face took on a pained expression. "Not well. After Lieutenant Commander Tuvok performed the mind meld she became violent, much the same way she did in the shuttle bay. I finally managed to get her calmed down."
"You didn't give her a tranquilizer?" He asked.
"No, she's had too many within the last few hours." Chakotay looked relieved. "I had to hold her down until she wore herself out."
"Do you think that was wise?"
"It was either that or let her destroy half the equipment in sick bay."
He nodded. "Has she said anything?"
The Doctor looked as if he didn't want to answer his question. "In a manor of speaking. She's still reliving that moment. To tell you the truth Commander, I've taken about as much as this hologram can take. I don't know how much longer this is going to go on. If she would just say something, anything, to let me know that she understood what was going on around her." He was becoming emotional. Chakotay put a hand on his shoulder as if to say that he understood what he was going though, and that he didn't need to say anymore.
"Do you think she could be moved to her quarters? Perhaps being around her own things might bring her out of it."
"I don't think it would be wise to leave her alone. What if she comes out of it and decided to hurt herself?"
"She wouldn't be alone Doctor. I'll make sure someone is with her at all times, besides you need a break."
"Under those circumstances I would be willing to allow it."
"Just let me know when you are ready to move her."
Tapping his com badge he said. "This is Commander Chakotay to all senior staff. Report to the briefing room in ten minutes."
In the briefing room Seven, Tom, Harry, Neelix, Tuvok, and B'Elanna looked at Chakotay waiting for him to speak. "Since Lieutenant Commander Tuvok has explained to you what happened to the Captain, I need to tell you how we are going to proceed. The Doctor and I feel it would be best for the Captain to return to her quarters, which means that someone will have to be with her at all times. I don't want the rest of the crew to know what's going on, so we are going to have to keep this to ourselves. It's obvious to them that something is wrong and there is nothing I can do about that, but I don't want this to escalate. I know what I'm asking from you is difficult under the circumstances, and I understand if anyone here declines. I don't want to force any of you to do this. I'm going to give you all sometime to think about it."
"I for one don't have to think about it." B'Elanna spoke out. "The Captain has done a lot for me, and I for one am not going to abandon her when she needs help. I'm in." She said looking around the table. Chakotay smiled at her. "You always did come through B'Elanna." He thought.
"Do you think it would be wise to have men around her Commander?" Neelix asked. "Knowing what she's been thought I don't know if it would be a good idea."
Nodding Chakotay had to agree. "I know Neelix, but we certainly can't have just B'Elanna or Seven, if she decided to help, keep watch over her. That would be too much for anybody."
"As much as the Captain and I have had a tendency to disagree, she has been of great assistance to me in my struggle to understand what it is to be human. I will help Commander." She stated matter-of-factly.
"I'm sure the Captain would appreciate it." He said sincerely. "Is there anyone else?"
"I will." Tom said.
"Well if Tom can do it, so can I." Harry said.
"I will help in any way I can Commander." Neelix spoke up.
"Tuvok?" Chakotay said waiting for an answer.
He seemed to be in deep thought. Everyone looked at him. Looking up he said, "The Captain is my friend Commander. I will assist in her recovery."
"Who wants to take the first watch?"
B'Elanna was about to speak out when Seven interjected. "I will."
"Fine, B'Elanna you can take the second. It will give you some time to make some shifts in your crews schedule." B'Elanna nodded. "I will contact the rest of you with your watch assignments. If there is nothing else. Dismissed." Everyone stood up and filed out. Seven stayed as if she were waiting for something. "Is there something you wish to say Seven?" Chakotay asked.
She looked uneasy. "I am finding it difficult to accept what has happened to the Captain."
"We all are Seven."
"I assume that you are finding it difficult than most, considering the circumstances."
"You could say that."
"You feel very. . . deeply for the Captain."
He shook his head. "If Seven knows then everybody knows. There is no sense in denying it." He thought. "Yes Seven I do, but I want you to understand that I would never force myself on her. I care for her too much to do that."
She looked at him for a long moment. It was as if she were studying his mind. "I believe you Commander. You do not seem to be the type of individual that would hurt anyone, unless forced into a position to do so."
"Thank you Seven. I appreciate that."
Taking a deep breath she said. "When would you like me to report to the Captain's quarters?"
"In a few hours. During that time I want you to regenerate. I will contact you when we're ready."
"Yes Commander." Turning she left.
Sliding back into his chair he thought. "If you make it through this Kathryn. I will leave this ship."
When Seven arrived to Captain Janeway's quarters. It was The Doctor who greeted her. "Come in Seven, Commander Chakotay informed me that you would be assigned to the first watch." He said as she stepped inside.
"Where is the Captain?" She asked crisply, all though inside she felt uneasy.
"She is asleep in her bed for now." He sounded almost astonished at the thought of her sleeping, instead of laying cationic or screaming in terror. "Have a seat Seven, I need to talk to you regarding what you may expect from the Captain." Reluctantly she took a seat next to him on the sofa. "I don't want to alarm you, but I want you to be prepared." His voice took on a grim tone. "Lately, when the Captain has awaken from sleep, she has cried out. It's a natural response considering what she has been through. I want you to be prepared in case that happens. If it does, you may have to restrain her until she calms down. Under no circumstances should you administer a tranquilizer. Do you understand?"
"Yes Doctor." She began to experience apprehension, and was not entirely sure if she would be able to control her emotions if the situation escalated.
"I know this will be difficult for you, and at any time you feel as though you can't handle the situation, I want you to contact me. I know you have had very little experience with emotion and I promise you that this will not be easy. Are you sure you can handle it?" He stared at her intently, studying her expression.
A part of her wanted to say no, but the captain had been there for her when she thought she would fall apart after being severed from the collective. She would not abandon her when she needed help. "Yes Doctor."
He stared at her a bit longer before standing up. "All right, I'll take your word for it. You can contact me or Commander Chakotay if you need anything."
"Thank you Doctor."
Nodding he left. She sat on the sofa unsure of what she should do next. Standing up she walked over to the bedroom to check on the captain. She was asleep in her bed as The Doctor had said. Moving back into the room she walked over to the captain's work station and sat down. Activating the console she decided to do some work until the captain awoke.
A scream of pure terror pierced through the silence catching Seven off guard. She was so engrossed in what she was doing, that she was startled by the unexpected sound. Standing up she rushed toward the captain's bedroom. In the doorway she could see her sitting up screaming, "STAY AWAY FROM ME!"
"Captain!" Seven shouted trying to get her attention. She showed no acknowledgment that she heard Seven at all. Moving into the room she walked up to the side she was on and put a hand on her arm. "You are safe Captain, no one is going to hurt you." Kathryn stared at Seven, then pushed herself away from her clutching the blanket, holding it as if it were a shield. She was no longer crying out, she only stared at Seven in terror filled silence.
Seven had studied the treatment of rape victims dating back to the twentieth century, but once here, she didn't know how to proceed. She sat down on the edge of the bed so the captain would not feel threatened. She had read that when a victim of a violent crime was showing signs of fear or intimidation it was best to move to a position that would make them feel more comfortable. She didn't want to appear to be looming over her. They were now on the same eye level.
"It's all right Captain. I'm not going to hurt you." She said calmly. Kathryn stared at her wild-eyed, she looked like a caged animal. "Do you know who I am Captain? I am Seven Of Nine." Kathryn said nothing, only stared at her with those wild-eyes. "Do you know where you are?" No response. She thought it best to take this one step at a time. "You are in your quarter's aboard Voyager, in the delta quadrant." Seven studied her face as she spoke. The captain seemed to relax a little. "I know you have been through a terrible ordeal, and I wish I could be more understanding of your feelings, but I am unfamiliar with such emotions. I am unsure of how to handle this situation. In a situation such as this, I would have asked for your advice on the subject." She said speaking softly.
"I remember when I was severed from the collective. I thought I would no longer be able to function alone." She looked down at her hands which were oddly folded in her lap. It was something she had never done. "I never told you how grateful I am for your assistance. You could have chosen to abandon me, but instead you taught me what it was to be an individual. I never considered the possibility that one day you would need help rediscovering your humanity. My knowledge is not sufficient for this task, but I will not abandon you in your time of need. You are my friend Captain, and now I think I understand what friendship is." Seven felt a hand touch her shoulder and she froze. Slowly she looked up to see the captain staring at her concerned, tears in her eyes. Seven was amazed to feel the sting of tears in her own eyes. It was a sensation that frightened her, she could not remember what it was like to cry, she was too young.
"Seven?" Kathryn said hoarsely.
"Yes Captain." She answered, her voice cracking.
For the first time in days Kathryn's mind cleared. The image that had occupied her thoughts had begun to melt away. All though it was still there, it no longer demanded her full attention. Right now she felt as if Seven needed her. Moving closer to her she wrapped her arms around Seven cautiously. At first Seven didn't know what to do, but she realized that in a strange way it was comforting to feel the contact of another person holding her. Lifting her arms slowly she mimicked the captain's actions and wrapped her arms around her. With their heads on each other's shoulders she could hear the captain crying softly, Seven felt an out pouring of emotion, and realized that for the first time how close she came to losing the first person who cared for her. Tears welled up in her eyes and slid down her cheeks, the fear of this new sensation had vanished, she felt as safe as a child in their mother's arms.
It would be several weeks before Kathryn Janeway would be allowed to remain unattended. Since the awaking from her cationic state, there were times she would burst into tears unexpectedly. Then there were times she would find herself feeling uncontrollable rage. She had her good days and bad days, and with Tuvok's help, she was beginning to regain control over her emotions. She knew in her mind that Commander Chakotay was not the same man who had raped her, but there was still this overwhelming sense of panic at the thought of seeing him again. One part of her felt hatred toward him, and the other part felt a deep sense of loss. Could she ever look him in the eyes again without feeling terror? She didn't know.
During her weeks of treatment she was able to do some of the things she loved. She would read, go to the holodeck, eat in the mess hall with the crew. It felt good being out of her quarters, she felt as though she were reemerging into the realm of the living. She was thankful that she hadn't spotted Chakotay among the sea of friendly faces. He was avoiding her, and for that she was thankful. She didn't know when she would be able to sleep again without waking from a nightmare, but she knew that it would take time, she couldn't expect to become completely whole again in a matter of weeks. She knew that one day she would have to face Chakotay again, and she hoped that she would be ready when the time came.
In her quarters she sat reading one her favorite books "The New Life" It had given her strength during this trying time. She shivered as she felt a burst of cold air encase her body. Standing, she went into the bedroom. Opening a cabinet she pulled out a wool blanket and took it with her back into the living room. Wrapping herself in the warm folds of fabric she sat back down in her chair and picked up her book. Opening the book she found her place and began to resume her reading. After only reading a paragraph she found that she had lost interest for the moment, and marked her place before closing the book and placing it on the coffee table. She felt like having a cup of coffee. Standing up, she unwrapped herself from the blanket and left it on the chair, then exited her quarters.
It was still fairly early, and she saw many of the crew roaming the corridors on her way to the mess hall. She smiled and nodded to them as she passed. Entering the mess hall it was still flourishing with people laughing and talking over their evening meals. "Captain!" Turning she saw Neelix's smiling face. He was standing behind the counter in the kitchen, which had once been the captain's private dining room. She walked over to him. "Is there something I can get you Captain? I have a lovely vegetable soup, care to try some?" He asked handing a bowl of steaming soup to a waiting crewman.
"No thanks Mr. Neelix." She said smiling, all though the soup did smell wonderful she had her heart set on coffee. "Is there any coffee?"
"For you Captain there is always coffee. Have a seat and I'll bring it out to you."
Nodding she turned to find a seat. Scanning the room she saw B'Elanna and Tom sitting at a table eating dinner. Before she could look away, Tom looked up from his soup and raised his hand, motioning for her to join them. Walking over she stood beside the table. "Would you like to join us Captain?" Tom asked.
"I don't want to impose." She said.
"Don't be silly, have a seat." Tom retorted.
Kathryn looked to B'Elanna who smiled as she slid over to make room. Sitting down Tom said, "It's pretty crowded in here tonight."
"It usually is when Neelix makes something editable." B'Elanna said laughing.
"Have you tried the soup Captain? It's delicious." Tom asked taking a spoonful into his mouth.
"No I haven't, but it does smell wonderful." She replied.
Neelix appeared with a steaming cup of coffee. "Here you are Captain." He said placing the cup on the table. "Is there anything else I can get for you?"
"Yes actually. I've heard a lot of praise on your vegetable soup. I think I may just have a bowl if it's not too much trouble."
"No trouble at all." He said smiling, and excitedly headed back into the kitchen.
"So Captain, are you enjoying your free time?" Tom asked blowing on his poised spoon before taking the spoon into his mouth.
"To an extent, but I'm starting to get a little stir crazy. I've spent so much time off that I'm ready to get back to work." She replied taking a sip of her coffee.
"Speaking of work, I need to get back to engineering." B'Elanna said standing up. "It was good seeing you Captain. I'll be seeing you later Ensign." She teased Tom, a smile playing at her lips. "I'll be sure to bring the pain sticks." He retorted smiling. Kathryn laughed. B'Elanna gave him a dirty look, then smiled knowingly before leaving. Tom looked a little nervous watching her go.
"Problem Mr. Paris?" Kathryn asked smiling, before taking another sip of her coffee.
"Only when B'Elanna is concerned." He said amused.
"Here you are Captain, a bowl of vegetable soup." Neelix interrupted, placing the bowl in front of her. It smelled wonderful, and she found that she couldn't wait to try it. "If you need anything else, you know where to find me." He said smiling, waiting for her to try some.
"Thank you." Picking up her spoon, Tom and Neelix watched as she scooped up some of the vegetables and broth and brought it up to her lips. She blew gently over the spoon before placing it into her mouth. It was delicious. "I believe you have out done yourself this time Mr. Neelix." She said patting him on the arm.
"I have more if you would like another helping later." It was obvious he was pleased with himself.
"I may just do that." She smiled dipping her spoon into the soup again. Turning around he left.
"Have you ever seen someone so pleased with himself?" Tom asked jokingly.
"Once." She stated. "Who was that?" He asked curiously.
"A certain Ensign I know named Tom Paris." She said laughing.
He tried to look hurt but his smile betrayed him. "Thanks Captain." When Tom looked up his face became serious.
Concerned Kathryn asked. "What's wrong Mr. Paris?"
"Nothing." He said focusing all his attention on the bowl in front of him.
Turning to look, she saw Commander Chakotay enter the mess hall looking down at a data padd. She dropped the spoon in her hand, there was a clatter when it hit the floor, but not loud enough to disturb anyone, there was too much noise. She froze not knowing what to do, her blood felt as if it were about to burst from her veins. Her heart began beating quickly. "Captain?" Tom asked reaching across the table to tap her on the shoulder. She jumped back around in her seat to face him, almost knocking her coffee cup to the floor. "Are you all right?" He asked concerned.
I'm fine, just surprised is all." She said picking up her coffee cup. Without thinking, she took a big swig, burning her mouth. She stood up with a yelp, dropping the cup onto the floor. Hot coffee splashed her legs, staining her pants, but caused no further damage. Everyone became silent and looked over to the captain. She could feel everyone's eyes on her. Chakotay looked up from his padd and nearly had a heart attack. He wasn't expecting to see her here. Neelix rushed out of the kitchen with a damp rag. "Are you all right Captain?" "I'm fine Neelix." She said taking the towel from him, and began wiping her hands and mouth. Taking this distraction as a blessing, Chakotay turned and exited the mess hall quickly. "I'm sorry I've made such a mess. I'll help you clean it up." She could feel hot tears brimming her eyes, as she bent down to pick up the broken pieces of the shattered coffee mug.
Neelix grasped her arm gently. "No need Captain. Why don't you go back to your quarters and rest." He suggested. She nodded. "Mr. Paris, would you be kind enough to escort the Captain back to her quarters?"
"Sure Neelix." He said standing up. He couldn't help but feel embarrassed for her. He was one of the few people on the ship who really knew what happened. Putting an arm around her he escorted her out of the mess hall.
Once they were outside she burst into tears, and raised both hands covering her face. Tom kept a firm grip on her shoulders as he led her toward the turbo lift. "It's all right Captain. I understand." Until recently, he had never seen the captain so vulnerable, he felt angry that this happened.
By the time they reached her quarters she seemed to be feeling a little better. Kathryn punched in her key code, and the door opened. "Are you going to be all right?" Tom could see that her eyes were swollen from crying. She nodded. "Thank you Mr. Paris." He smiled at her and turned. She touched his arm, he turned to look at her. "If it's not too much to ask. Would you mind staying for a few minutes? I really don't want to be alone." He could tell that she was terrified at the prospect of being by herself. "Sure." She gave him a relieved smile and went inside, with him just behind her.
Crossing over to the chair she picked up the wool blanket. "Have a seat." She said taking the blanket into the bedroom. Tom moved over to the sofa and sat down. Reemerging from the bedroom she headed for the chair and sat down. Rubbing his hands on his thighs briskly, he wiped off the perspiration. "I don't think I have ever been in your quarters before." He said scanning the room. "My quarters are a little more than half this size." He said trying to lighten the mood.
"Well there are some privileges to being the Captain." She said smiling again.
An uneasy silence fell between them. Tom didn't know what to say. That wasn't entirely true, he wanted to ask her why Chakotay had attacked her, but he couldn't bring himself to ask. "Well!" He blurted out breaking the silence. "What did you want to talk about?"
She thought silently for a moment then asked. "How is the crew?" She really wanted to ask about Chakotay but couldn't bring herself to.
"Their fine Captain. They miss you."
"I miss them to."
Silence ensued them again. This time it lasted much longer. Finally Tom gathered the courage to ask what he couldn't. "Captain, if you don't want to answer the question I'm about to ask I understand."
She looked at him curiously. "What did you want to ask me?"
He leaned forward, resting both elbow's on his knee's. "Tuvok told the senior staff that you had been . . . attacked and, none of the crew knows exactly what happened." He said trying to assure her. "I was wondering why the Commander attacked you? I'm only asking because I care about you Captain, and quite frankly it's been diving me crazy."
She stared at him for a long minute, then took a deep breath. "There is no simple way to answer that question." She sat thinking of how she should answer. "In that reality Mr. Paris, the Commander and I were married, and more than that we had a child together." Tom listened intently, and seemed a little taken back by her honesty. "The Kathryn Janeway from that time line had died ten years ago. When I arrived out of nowhere I'm sure you can imagine the Commander's reaction." Tom nodded, and could tell that she was on the verge of another break down.
"You don't have to say anymore, I can tell that this is upsetting you"
Her voice cracked when she spoke. "It's all right, I need to talk about this." Tom nodded showing her that he understood, then gave her his undivided attention. "The first time we talked, I could tell that the situation was putting a great strain on him. He wanted to leave, but I wouldn't let him until he told me what was wrong." Tom noticed that her eyes had taken on a distant look, as if she no longer noticed that he was in the room with her. "That was when he kissed me. At first I resisted, but somewhere in the middle of it, I felt myself let go. I realized at that moment how much I had longed for him to kiss me, to hold me in his arms, and that was the moment I finally admitted to myself that I loved him." Tom stared at her, amazed at what she had just said. He knew, as well as everyone on board, how the two felt about each other. He just thought he would never see the day when she would admit it. "I know he was confused by the situation. He knew that I was not the same woman he had married. That he would have to start over if there was ever going to be anything between-" She stopped herself short.
"Captain?" Tom said feeling himself begin to panic. "Please don't go cationic on me. I don't know if I could handle it." He thought.
"I told him I loved him." She said softly.
"What?" He asked not hearing what she had just said.
Turning her head she looked at him, deadly serious. "I told him I loved him. I should never had said that."
"You had no idea what he was thinking. You can't blame yourself for what happened." He said holding her gaze.
She nodded. "Your right, but I can't help but wonder if that was the moment he started losing his mind."
"I don't follow you." He replied, confused by her statement.
"I remember how he sounded on the bridge. He was trying to keep from laughing. That should have been my first clue that something was wrong. Instead I followed him into the ready room. When I saw him sitting in the chair behind the desk he looked like the same Chakotay I had always known. We had just been attacked and I wanted to know what happened, but when I asked him he seemed cold. I told him that I only wanted to help, and he dismissed me. I lost my temper. We argued and I slapped him, which is something I am ashamed to admit. I can remember how different he looked when he walked around the desk toward me. It seemed as if the Chakotay I knew was gone, and someone else had taken his place. He grabbed my shoulders shaking me, then threw me back against the wall. I saw stars for a few seconds when my head hit the bulkhead behind me. Never in my life did I think I would ever be afraid of him, but at that moment I was terrified of him.
"He told me how much he loved me, how it made him feel when I rejected him on New Earth. How happy he felt when I admitted my feelings for him. I just wanted to get out. Finally he let me go. I was so terrified that he would kill me the next time we met, that I knew I had to leave the ship." She looked down at her hands as she continued. "I should have left right away, but I felt dizzy after hitting my head. I went to sick bay before going back to my quarters to rest. I had just awoke when Chakotay walked unexpectedly into my quarters. I was so stunned I didn't know how to react. He we cheerful when he spoke to me, attending to my every need. It was such a contrast from our last conversation.
"He told me to sit down while he got me some coffee. I didn't want to upset him so I did as told. When he sat down next to me, he began to speak. He asked me to come home. I didn't know what he meant at first. Then he continued by saying that Alex missed me, and it wouldn't be a good idea for her to see us fighting. I knew he had lost his mind at that point, so I played along. I left my com badge on the night stand, and I thought that if I could get to it I could contact Tuvok, but I never got that chance. I-" She broke down into tears.
Tom moved and knelt down in front of her. Taking her hand, she looked at him. "It's not your fault. You couldn't have known what he was planning. Your human just like the rest of us, and sometimes we don't see all the pieces fall together when we think we should. You did the best you could." He squeezed her hand gently and smiled. "The Chakotay that hurt you is not the same man you spent the last five years with. I know it's not easy to see his face and not associate it with the man that hurt you. I know the Commander is just as angry about what happened to you as the rest of us, but it hurts him more to know that it is his face that terrifies you. Over the last few weeks he has put himself into isolation to keep from running into you. He doesn't want to hurt you, and he is hurting himself in the process."
He stopped, looking as though he were wrestling with his thoughts, then finally he continued. "I'm going to tell you something that I haven't told anyone." She stared at him intently. "Two days ago, while I was delivering a report to him in the ready room, I caught him crying. I stood there for several seconds, and before I was able to leave, he turned away from the window wiping his eyes. I know he was embarrassed at having been caught in a private moment. He looked up at me speechless, I felt so sorry for him. I promised him that I wouldn't speak of it to anyone, and I had no intention to until I heard what you said. I know you may not want to hear this, but he loves you Captain. When you enter the room he comes alive." He smiled placing a hand on his chest. "I know I'm lucky to have someone who cares as deeply for me as I do for them. All he wants is to be with you, and I know he would love and protect you until his last breath if you would let him." He sighed, at this point he wasn't sure if what he said was getting through. "What I'm trying to say Captain, is don't let this come between the two of you, even if you want to just stay friends. I know he would be satisfied with that."
She was stunned to silence. What Tom had said moved her, she had no idea how deeply Chakotay's feelings ran. Tom let her sit there a moment, allowing her to take his words in. "Thank you Tom." She said smiling weakly.
"My pleasure Captain."
"I'm not in uniform, call me Kathryn." Her mood had lifted a bit.
"All right Kathryn." He replied smiling before standing up. "I've still got a few things I need to finish before meeting B'Elanna."
"Don't forget the pain sticks Ensign." She replied jokingly.
"Yes Ma'am." He said laughing, giving her a half-hearted salute. Becoming serious again he said. "If you need anything, don't be afraid to contact me."
"I'll keep it in mind."
Turning he left, leaving her alone to her thoughts. She sat back in the chair and placed an arm over her eyes. She began to imagine Chakotay crying in the ready room, crying over her. Since the incident she had shut him out of her life, and now she was considering on how she could let him back in. She knew consciously that this was not the same man who had raped her, but it was difficult making that distinction. She would have to make a conscious effort at reminding herself that this Chakotay was her friend, and that he wouldn't hurt her. For her sake, as well as his, she would have to try.
Two months later, Chakotay sat in his quarters working, data padd's were scattered around his desk as he studied the information on his monitor. He was trying to determine what route they should take once they passed though this region of space, but more than that, he was looking for habitual planets. He knew that The Doctor would release Kathryn to active duty soon, and when that happened, he wanted to be gone.
Leaning back in his chair he rubbed his eyes, he had been staring at the monitor for hours, going over the data that scrolled across the screen. Standing up, he moved over to the replicator. "Tea, hot." Within seconds a cup materialized, picking it up, he crossed back over to his chair and sat down taking a sip. He hadn't told anyone that he was planning to leave the ship. He knew what the crews reaction would be, they would try and talk him out of it.
His thoughts drifted back to his encounter with Tom Paris. He was embarrassed that he had been caught crying, then angry at the intrusion to such a private moment. Tom had said that he understood how he felt. How could he have? He had never been in a situation like this, and if he had, he wasn't telling. Then his thoughts drifted to Kathryn, as they have been over the last few months. He thought of his encounter with her in the mess hall. When she dropped her coffee cup. He could still remember the look of terror in her eyes. Breaking the link, he rushed out of the mess hall and back to his quarters.
He could remember how angry he felt, throwing things in a fit of rage. After he had calmed down he had spent the next two weeks repairing the damage, using up all his free time to do it. Now he was catching up on his primary mission, finding a habitual planet. He had used up his replicator rations getting supplies for the departure. Every day he had checked in with The Doctor, as well as Tuvok, on Kathryn's progress. Their reports were encouraging, she would recover, and he felt a sense of relief that one day she would be able to resume a normal life.
He was jarred from his thoughts, it was the door chime. "Enter." He said placing his cup on the table. When he looked back up, he saw Kathryn standing outside his door. He froze, his mind racing. "What was she doing here? Has she come to kill me? If she has, I would let her." He thought staring at her.
"May I come in?" She asked trying to keep her voice calm. "What were you thinking Kathryn? You can't go through with this!" She thought as she consciously tried to suppress the overwhelming urge to run.
Finally he found his voice. "Of course." He said standing up, trying to keep a smile on his face.
Stepping inside, she let the door close behind her. "That's it Kathryn! You've just closed off your escape route! What if he tries to hurt you? What will you do then?" She thought, trying desperately to keep the smile on her face. "I thought we could talk, that is if your not too busy." She said, trying to sound pleasant.
"No, I was just going over some reports. I could use a break, please have a seat." He said gesturing toward the sofa. "If she was going to kill me she would have done it all ready. What are you doing here Kathryn?"
She looked at the sofa and hesitated, then she pushed the fear aside and sat down. "I know how awkward this must be for you, considering all that's happened."
When she approached the sofa he saw the brief look of terror flash across her face. "That was really stupid Chakotay! What the hell where you thinking?" Taking a seat in the chair he replied. "True, I wasn't expecting to see you. I'm stunned to say the least." He laughed nervously. "Would you like anything? I was just having a cup of tea myself."
Her mouth felt like cotton. "Tea would be lovely."
Standing up he moved over to the replicator. "Tea, hot." After it materialized he picked up the cup. As he passed by his desk he picked up his. "Here you are." Holding the cup out to her she reached up and took it, trying to push the thought of him dumping the tea into her lap before he attacked her. "Come on Kathryn, you've been paranoid long enough. Relax, if he was going to hurt you he would have done it already. Besides, he seems to be just as scared as you are." Carefully she held the cup up to her lips and took a sip. "Thank you." She said smiling genuinely.
"Your welcome." He replied smiling back, he could feel himself begin to relax. "You said you wanted to talk?"
"Yes I did." She answered looking down at the cup in her hands.
"You don't have to do this. I can tell that your still afraid of me, and I understand why. I don't want you do to anything your not ready to do." He looked at her intently, trying to let her know that he was giving her a way out if she wanted it.
She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'd be lying if I said that your presence didn't terrify me, but I also know that you would never hurt me Chakotay. I'm sorry that it had to be your face, perhaps if it were a stranger. . ." She couldn't finish the sentence, tears had started to brim in her eyes, and she focused her attention on the cup in her lap. The last thing she wanted to do was cry now, so she took in long slow deep breaths. He could tell she was on the verge of tears, and he wanted to comfort her, but he knew that would be a bad idea. Instead, he remained silent letting her take all the time she wanted to pull herself together. With her head down he couldn't see her face. He was startled when she took in a sharp intake of breath, and placed her hand over her mouth.
Setting down his cup he stood up heading for the bedroom. Opening the drawer to his nightstand he took out a handkerchief. Moving back into the room he could see her sitting on the sofa crying softly. Heading toward her he stopped a good two feet from her. "Here." He said softly holding out the white handkerchief. Looking up at him she reached out a shaky hand and took it gingerly from his fingers. "Thank you." She said wiping her eyes.
Moving away, he sat back down in the chair across from her. After a few minutes she calmed down and placed her cup of tea on the coffee table. "I'm sorry Chakotay, the last thing I wanted was to come here and start crying. I thought I was ready to handle this, I guess I was mistaken." She said twisting the handkerchief her hands.
"There's no need to apologize Kathryn. It took a lot of courage for you to come here. If the roles were reversed, I don't know if I would have the guts to do it. Your a strong woman, I know your going to be all right." He gave her a sincere smile, and she found herself smiling back. For the first time since she arrived, she felt a herself begin to relax. This was the Chakotay she had come to know and love.
"I want you to know that I don't hate you, and I don't bare any hostilities toward you. I thought it was important you know that." She let the handkerchief lay still in her lap.
"I appreciate that, but I know it will take a long time for you to come to terms with what happened. It will be a long time before you can trust me again." He said setting down his cup of tea on the coffee table.
She could see that he was saddened by his words. "I do trust you Chakotay. . .sometimes it's difficult to make the distinction in my mind." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I don't want to lose the friendship we have, it's very important to me." She said hoping he would feel the same.
"I cherish our friendship Kathryn, but as your friend I can't stand hurting you like this. I wish there were some way I could undo what happened, but I can't. I feel so helpless, so useless." He put his face in his hands, desperately trying to push his frustration and anger aside.
"Your not useless. I couldn't run this ship without you. No matter what I've been through, you have always been there to lend support, or just to listen. You have been my rock Chakotay, I couldn't get along without you." He lifted his head to look at her. She stared into his eyes, he could tell that she meant every word. He felt as if he might break down crying. "Excuse me." Standing up he headed into the bathroom and closed the door.
When he didn't return within a few minutes she stood up. Looking around the room she noticed his cluttered work station. Moving over she picked up a data padd, her eyes scanned over it before laying it down, she did this with every padd on his desk until she saw a padd that listed supplies. Curious, she scanned down the padd reading intently until she realized that this was not a list of needed supplies, or supplies in storage. It appeared to be a list of survival supplies. "What is he doing with a list of survival supplies? Was he planning to leave-" She stopped her thought short as she heard the bathroom door open. Holding the padd in her hand she turned to face Chakotay when he reemerged into the room. He stopped when he saw the look on her face, then his eyes dropped down to the data padd in her hand.
"Please tell me I'm wrong, but by this list, I get the distinct impression that your planning to leave this ship." She searched his face for an answer.
"Yes I am." He said plainly.
"Why?" She stared at him not wanting to believe the reason she knew to be true.
"Because I can't stay here knowing that for the rest of this trip- however long that might be -that I caused you pain. I have to make things right, and leaving this ship is the best way to do that."
"Oh Chakotay." She whispered laying the data padd back on the desk. "Don't you know that if you left how awful it would make me feel? How could I be content knowing that you left because of me?" A hushed silence fell between them. "I suppose there is no way I can change your mind?" He shook his head. "When were you planning to leave?"
"I'll stay until you're ready to take command of the ship."
She nodded slowly. "I guess there's nothing left to talk about."
"I guess not." He looked into her eyes and could see the pain behind them. Laying the handkerchief on his desk she headed toward the door. "Kathryn." She turned to look at him. "I'm not doing this to hurt you. In time, I hope you'll come to realize that." She stared straight into his eyes, and he felt a chill run down his back. Without a word, she turned around and walked out of his quarters.
Kathryn Janeway stood in front of the mirror pinning the last pip to her collar. It had been eleven months since she had worn her uniform, and if felt good to be going back to work. There were still times when she would awake from a nightmare screaming, or feel an overwhelming sense of panic, but over time they became more infrequent until eventually, they would vanish all together.
Chakotay would leave shortly after she assumed command. She had considered telling the crew that he was leaving, but she knew it wasn't up to her. The crew would know soon enough. Over the last four months she had talked with Chakotay, tried to change his mind, but he was set on leaving. When they did talk, it wasn't always on the subject of his departure. She wanted to remember him with a sense of joy, not grief. Taking one last look in the mirror she turned out the lights and headed for the bridge.
When the doors to the turbo lift opened she stepped out. It felt like years had passed since she stepped foot on the bridge. "Good morning." She said walking toward her chair.
"It's good to have you back Captain." Harry said smiling.
"Thank you Mr. Kim, it's good to be back." Chakotay stood up relinquishing her chair without a word, and sat down in his own. Kathryn sat down and looked at Chakotay who was busying himself with the console that sat between them. Her heart sank. This was more than likely the last time they would see each other, and he wouldn't look at her.
"Commander, I would like to speak to you in my ready room." She said standing up.
Looking up at her he said, "Yes Captain." Logging out of the console he stood up and followed her into the ready room.
"Commander Tuvok you have the bridge."
Once inside she took a seat on the sofa, and gestured for him to do the same. He sat beside her without a word. "Do you remember the last time we were in this room?" She asked.
He nodded. "You had me look at the transmission Seven deciphered. Just before everything went to hell." There was no bitterness to his voice, he sounded as if he were merely stating facts.
Silence ensued them, as it had during many of their recent conversations. She decided she wasn't going to beat around the per verbal bush this time, she would get straight to the point. "I don't want you to go."
He lifted his head, and stared into her eyes. "We have been through this."
She nodded, "I know, but you haven't given me a satisfactory answer."
"I've explained my reasons for leaving." He was beginning to sound frustrated.
"You told me you were leaving because you didn't want to hurt me. I understand that, but apparently how I feel now doesn't matter to you."
He stood up. "It does matter to me Kathryn."
"Then why are you still leaving?" She stood and moved in front of him. "Just give me one good reason why I should let you walk out that door."
He knew she was a stubborn woman, not to mention frustrating. Turning, he sat back down on the sofa. "I wish I could give you an answer, but I can't. Just trust me to know that what I'm doing is the best for both of us."
"How can you say that? You just expect me to let you leave this ship, quite possibility forever, without knowing why? You want me to trust your judgement with no questions asked? Well I can't do that Chakotay. I deserve to know why this has become so important to you, despite my feelings to the contrary. I have told you time and again how hurt I would be if you left, and you act as if that means nothing to you."
He felt as if he might burst from the inside out. She was pushing him into a corner, and the last thing he wanted to do was push back, but she was leaving him little choice in the matter. He understood how she felt perfectly. He would have reacted the same way if she told him she were leaving. "How do I tell her that I'm leaving because I love her? That after what's happened I know she could never return those feelings. If I leave now I may be able to get over her in time, but as long as I stay here that will never happen." He thought.
Looking up at her she stared at him patiently, her face a mask of confusion and grief. He stood up staring at her intently. "I'm not going to have this conversation with you. I've said everything I'm going to say on the subject." Then he quickly began to walk past her. Reaching out her hand she grasped his arm, stopping him. Turning his head, he saw that her face was twisted in a mask of anguish and grief. Frightened, he turned his body toward hers, and grasped her by both shoulders. "What's wrong?" He asked, quickly reaching panic.
Kathryn felt as if her heart were breaking. She hadn't felt this way since she found out Mark had married someone else, pushing her out of his life. Her knee's buckled and she would have collapsed to the floor if it wasn't for Chakotay holding her up. Helping her over to the sofa they sat down. Leaning on his chest she sobbed uncontrollably. Chakotay was stunned by the sudden eruption. Cautiously he wrapped his arms around her and laid his head on top of hers, and began to make soothing sounds in an attempt to quiet her.
She was beyond solace, and kept crying onto his chest. She knew that she loved him, but the full impact of how much didn't hit her until this moment. Despite everything that had happened, she realized that she couldn't live without him. She released the loss she felt with every shuttering breath, until there was nothing left. She sat up holding her nose with the back of her hand. Chakotay stood up and retrieved a box of tissue from the desk and handed it to her. Taking the box she pulled out several tissues and blew her nose.
"Are you all right?" He asked softly.
She shook her head. "No I'm not."
"Then what's wrong?" He asked, sounding a little taken back by her admission.
She took several deep breaths before answering. "When the impact of your leaving finally hit me, I realized for the first time how much I loved you. The thought of living without you was too much to bare." She placed a hand over her heart. "I could feel my heart breaking, and it was a feeling I never wanted to feel again. After I lost Mark, I swore I would never let myself fall in love again." She looked up at him slowly, unsure of what the look on his face might be.
He looked shocked at first, then when he saw her expression change to terror, he picked up her hand and smiled. "I didn't mean to scare you, I was just surprised by your honesty." He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. Looking down at their held hands he continued. "Never in my life, did I think I would ever hear you say those words. I've loved you for a long time Kathryn, and I have waited, hoping that one day you would say those words to me. Now that you have, I'm not sure what to say."
Using her fingers, she lifted his chin and smiled. "Then don't say anything." She whispered.
Cautiously he lifted his hand and caressed her cheek gently with his fingertips. He was relieved when she didn't pull away, instead she covered his hand with hers. Closing her eyes she pressed his hand to her cheek and smiled. Releasing the hand in his lap, he reached up and stroked her hair. It was soft to his touch. She reached up and touched the side of his face, he kissed her palm. This exploration continued for several minutes, until Kathryn leaned in and kissed him softly, wrapping her arms around him.
Cautiously, he folded his arms around her, and pulled her closer. She responded by pressing her body against his, deeping the kiss. He had waited five years to hold her like this, and he silently thanked the spirits for allowing his fantasy to blossom into reality. Finally, the kiss was broken. She placed her head on his chest holding him close. He hugged her tightly to him and kissed the top of her head before leaning back, enjoying the sensation of her in his arms.
"Still thinking of leaving Chakotay?" She asked.
A deep throated laugh escaped from his lips. "I'm not going anywhere, unless it's with you."
"Good answer, now I think we should get back to the bridge." She stood up holding his hand.
"They can wait a few minutes." He said giving her a sly smile, and tugged gently on her hand.
Taking a seat on his lap she wrapped her arms around his neck. In a sultry voice she said. "Well, being the Captain does his it's advantages."
He leaned back pretending to be shocked. "Captain, you wouldn't be trying to seduce me would you?"
She laughed softly. "Shut up and kiss me Commander, that's an order."
"Yes Ma'am." Folding his arms around her, he pulled her closer, and preceded to obey her order to the letter.
One Year Later. . .
Chakotay stood next to Tom Paris, they were both in their dress uniforms. Harry Kim, as well as several other crewman played music while the crew laughed and talked, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Everyone stopped what they were doing when the music changed to the wedding song and looked toward the door. The Doctor emerged with Kathryn on his arm, both were wearing dress uniforms.
"Say good bye to bachelor hood Chakotay, you'll never see those days again." Tom teased.
"Don't let your wife hear you say that." He replied smiling, never taking his eyes off Kathryn.
When they approached, The Doctor took Kathryn's hand and placed it in Chakotay's, after Kathryn handed B'Elanna her bouquet. "The offer for a tranquilizer still stands Commander." The Doctor joked, giving him a satisfied grin. Everyone within ear shot laughed at the joke. Chakotay raised his fist playfully. Kathryn laughed as she placed a hand on his fist. "Down boy." She said gently, pushing down on his hand. Chakotay looked at her and smiled.
When Tuvok stepped forward all laugher died down. "We are gathered here in the presence of friends and family, to join this couple in marriage. The Captain and the Commander have prepared their own vows."
They turned toward each other holding hands. "If someone where to have told me seven years ago, that we would be getting married I'd have punched them in the nose." The room erupted with laughter. "You are one of the most frustrating, stubborn, and not to mention aggravating woman I've ever met, and I wouldn't trade you for anything. You've given me life, and when I'm with you, I feel as if I've been born again. I love you Kathryn, now, always, and forever." The crew gave out hushed sighs of admiration. Tom handed Chakotay the ring. Taking the ring he placed it on Kathryn's finger while saying. "Let this ring be a symbol of our eternal love."
She looked up at him, a smile spread on her lips. "When we first met, I thought I might have had to shove you out an airlock before the first week ended." The crew laughed knowing she was getting even with him. "After I lost Mark, I swore I would never fall in love again, but time has a way changing people. You have always been there for me Chakotay, even when I thought I didn't need anyone. Until you walked into my life, I never dreamed that I would ever feel alive again. I love you Chakotay, now, always, and forever." B'Elanna handed Kathryn the ring. Taking the ring she placed it on Chakotay's finger while saying. "Let this ring be a symbol of our eternal love."
He looked down at her thinking that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and how lucky he was to have her. Tuvok began to speak. "With the power vested in me, by the Captain of this vessel, and by the United Federation Of Planets. I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride Commander."
Taking her in his arms he swooped her down across his body and kissed her passionately, while her right leg hung in the air keeping her balanced. The crew laughed and applauded at Chakotay's grand display. Tom shouted out. "Save it for the honeymoon you two!" Which caused the laughter to swell. When he lifted her up, her face was flushed a light shade of red. Chakotay laughed and gathered her in his arms hugging her. "This is the happiest day of my life, I love you Kathryn." He whispered in her ear.
"I love you too Chakotay. Thank you for making me feel alive." She whispered back.
"Any time." He said squeezing her tightly before letting go.
B'Elanna handed her the bouquet which she took and tossed over her shoulder. The crew laughed with delight and clapped. Turning around, she saw Naomi Wildman holding the bouquet with a astonished look. Kathryn laughed as she moved toward her and knelt down, giving her hug. Naomi wrapped her arms around her still holding on to the bouquet. "I can't believe I caught it." She whispered into Kathryn's ear.
"I want you to promise me that you won't get married until your older." She said smiling.
Naomi replied in a semi-serious tone. "Yes Captain."
Standing up, she saw Chakotay standing behind her. The band started to play. Taking her hand, they headed for the door with a quick step as the crew tossed rice over their heads.
Two years later, Kathryn and Chakotay would be blessed with a daughter, who they named Alexandra. It was during that same year Voyager and her crew would return to the Alpha quadrant, and into the loving arms of their friends and families. But that as they say, is another story.
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