He thought of Kathryn
by Jinny W
Summary: Chakotay finally meets Kathryn's family.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything Trek, even if they don't know what to do with it.
The funeral was short. At least there was that, Chakotay thought numbly, looking around the room for a corner to retreat into. It was a small affair, mostly friends and family. Over the media channels Starfleet announced they would be holding a public memorial service two weeks later.
They had asked Chakotay to speak, of course.
"You must have know her well", Necheyev said. He stared at her blankly. The remark seemed ridiculous for some reason. He found himself listening to the sound of an old chronometer the Admiral had sitting on one corner of her desk. It made a soothing rhythmic noise. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. His thoughts echoed in time with the beat. You-knew-her-well-you-knew-her-well-you-knew-
Eventually he realised she was actually waiting for a reply.
"Yes", he said.
He thought then of how well he had known her, of how close they had grown over the journey home. He thought of Kathryn coming to see him in his quarters the night before they entered the wormhole. She sat on his couch silently, knowing that he would understand that she was just too overwhelmed to be alone. He thought of Kathryn stepping onto the spacedock, tears in her eyes, turning to him with a triumphant smile. Of the short time they had spent together back on earth, adjusting to their return. How they had both finally admitted what they wanted all along. He thought of Kathryn...
Chakotay felt a soft touch on his shoulder and turned to see a familiar looking woman. Kathryn's sister, a voice somewhere within his mind suggested. Phoebe gestured to the doors.
"Let's get out of here."
He nodded dumbly and took her hand. She led him across the room, weaving through the clusters of mourners, who all watched them with expressions of unbearable sympathy.
Outside, blinking in the bright sunlight, they walked through the old church gardens. Phoebe led them to a wooden bench that nestled beneath an enormous elm tree.
"She would have hated this," she said eventually.
She was silent for a few minutes. Chakotay could sense her watching him quietly.
"I'm Phoebe," she said after a while, offering her hand for him to shake.
She nodded. "I know. I saw pictures of you on the news."
"Did they ask you to speak at their memorial service?"
"Will you?" Phoebe asked softly.
Chakotay shrugged. "I don't know. I don't know what to say."
"Kathryn Janeway was a fine captain," she intoned. "She was dedicated to her crew. She put their needs first, and she got them home."
Chakotay sniffed. "Something like that."
"They make her sound like a machine," she said sourly.
He stared at his hands, then looked up at Phoebe, seeing the traces of her sister in her eyes, in the set of her mouth.
"And that I loved her."
Phoebe turned her head, regarding him silently for a moment.
"I know." She reached over and took his hand again. "She told me about you."
"What about me?"
"Oh, I think pretty much everything." She gave him a small smile then.
"She talked about how she fell in love with you, a long time ago."
Phoebe played with a button on her dress with her free hand as she spoke, her fingers twisting.
"How much she valued your friendship on Voyager. How happy she was that you were finally together. Although she didn't really need to say that part, it was fairly obvious," she added.
Chakotay nodded. "She was going to bring me to meet you, and your mother. And then -". He broke off, swallowing hard.
"Yes." Phoebe squeezed his hand. "Two week after I found her, I lost her for the second time. Because of a stupid accident."
He looked up at that. "I'm sorry. I hadn't thought about that." He shook his head. "Its hard not to be selfish. To remember that I'm not the only one. I'm sorry," he repeated.
"Don't be sorry for missing her so much, Chakotay", Phoebe said softly. "You were her family too."
They sat in silence for half an hour, each lost in thought, each too miserable to speak further. Eventually Phoebe sighed and stood, brushing down her dress. She stretched out a hand to Chakotay and smiled sadly.
"Come on. I'll take you to meet Kathryn's mother."
He took her hand again.
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