June: The Visit
It was dark. Very dark. Wait, Kathryn, it's because your eyes are closed. Open them. Ah, better. It's still dark, but there is a little light coming in from the small stars that shine through the viewport. Captain Kathryn Janeway yawned as she woke. The familiar silhouettes of the objects in her quarters comforted her. Not like there was anything there that should put her in such a state that she needed to be comforted, but it was the sudden and inexplicable thought that she was home that put her mind at ease. Perhaps she'd had a nightmare during the night, one which, like most of her dreams, she could not seem to remember. Perhaps it was still with her, disturbing the smooth waters of her mind with the faintest ripples.
Sighing, Kathryn rolled over and looked at the chronometer. 0703 hours. Damn, I'm going to be late! she thought. Then, Ah, well, I'm the captain. I can afford to be late just one day. She closed her eyes, just for a second.
"Commander Chakotay to Captain Janeway," the first officer greeted over the com system.
"Yes, Commander?" she replied, reopening her eyes.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" he asked. Kathryn sighed and glanced over at the chronometer again. 0747 hours.
"DAMN!" she shouted, shooting out of bed. And promptly fell out of it.
"Captain? Are you all right?" He sounded concerned.
She pulled herself off the floor. "Fine, Chakotay."
There was a pause. "Are you going to be much longer?
The delegates from Eobi III are onboard, and they're not very patient."
"How long have they been on board?" Kathryn asked, dashing around her quarters in a mad scramble to get dressed. I forgot about the meeting with the Eobians-where did that darn sock go?
"Since about 0700 hours."
"All right, I'll be there in five minutes. Janeway out." She looked underneath her Starfleet bed, and sure enough, there was her sock. "Ah, I'll get you one day, sock monster," she said, pulling it on. She managed to locate her boots in record time, and, pausing for only a second in front of the mirror to run her fingers through her hair, ran out the door.
Jogging through the corridors, she received strange looks from the crewmembers who were casually strolling through them. Fortunately, it was in the middle of a shift, so there weren't many crewmembers walking the halls, but the ones that were wondered what had happened now that would make their captain jog so swiftly. There was no red, yellow, gray, or even blue alert that she would need to get to the bridge right away for. How odd.
Kathryn reached the conference room in record time. Just outside the doors, she paused to straighten her uniform, then walked confidently in. Chakotay, Tuvok, Neelix, and several Eobians were waiting.
"... sure you could tour around the ship later if you'd like," Chakotay was saying. "Ah, here Captain Janeway is now."
"Sorry I'm late, everyone. I must've forgotten to set my alarm last night."
"We forgive you, Captain," one of the Eboians said.
"Captain, may I introduce to you Dalig Edamg, first Rikk of Eobi III. And these are her second Rikks, Larlrac Rulasu and Hlepps Naabif."
"We are pleased to greet you, Captain Janeway," Dalig replied with a slight nod.
"It's good to meet you as well." Kathryn smiled, then pointed to the chairs. "Shall we sit down?"
Dalig tilted her head to the left. "We shall."
Kathryn glanced at Chakotay, who wiggled his eyebrows at her as they took their seats.
They ended the talks at noon, both sides sufficiently happy with what they would get out of a trade. The Voyager would get the needed deuterium, extra food supplies, and some of the most advanced star maps of the upcoming space. The Eobians would get some cultural artificats, a few spare components, and three of Neelix's recipes for leola root stew. For whatever reasons, they seemed to love anything Neelix made with leola root, while leaving anything not made with the substance undisturbed.
After a taxing morning of negotiations, Kathryn was ready for lunch (anything but leola root, anything). She was helping herself to some lunch in the Mess Hall, when Naomi Wildman bounced up to her.
"Hello, Captain!" she said, assuming what she would consider a Starfleet stance.
"Have you seen Neelix around? I wanted to know if he'd like to go play with Flotter and me," the little girl asked.
Kathryn frowned. "You just missed him. He's taking our Eobian guests on a tour of the ship."
"Oh, that's ok. I'll just go ask Seven to play with me then." Naomi began to fidget. "Am I dismissed?"
"You're dismissed," Kathryn laughed, nodding. Cute kid. I wish I had a child that cute... one day, Kathryn. One day. She didn't tell herself who she imagined the father would be. As she gathered a meal together and walked off to an empty table, she failed to notice one of the second Rikks, Larlrac, just entering. He sighed, hating to intrude upon other people's space, and moved towards the leola root stew.
July: The Secret
Oh god, oh god, oh god. Fight it, Kathryn, fight it. You can do it, you've fought it before. You fought it yesterday and won. Oh god, I thought it had gone away yesterday. But didn't I think that before? Oh, god! Kathryn thought as she lost the battle with her nausea and threw up into the bowl she had waiting. She had been up, fighting the urge to vomit, since 0430 hours. Just like the day before. And the day before that. And the day before that. And the day before that, for nearly a week. But this was the first day she'd lost.
Now she sat, staring at the bowl and wiping her chin of the remains of last night's dinner. Kathryn, you lost, her mind told her over and over again. Enough's enough, just go to Sickbay. The Doctor can give you something for the nausea and the vomiting. You'll feel better. Yes, go to Sickbay.
Kathryn sighed and picked herself off the floor. She glanced around her quarters, the same familiar quarters she'd been living in for the past six years, then dressed herself. She didn't want to go to Sickbay in her nightclothes, even though the vomit stain on them was minscule.
She had to stop several times in the corridors and breathe deeply to stop herself from vomiting again. In the turbolift, she smelled a sweet, cloying odor, like someone had sprayed perfume in it. She almost lost whatever contents her stomach might have had then. Thankfully, the doors opened before she lost control.
The Doctor was apparently active; a loud aria reached her ears before she was even within the first ten meters of the Sickbay doors. Taking one last deep breath, Kathryn stepped inside.
For a few seconds, the Doctor continued singing; his back was turned, preventing him from realizing anyone had entered. Kathryn cleared her throat, not wishing to hear an opera at the moment, and he turned.
"Captain!" he cried, quite surprised (and a little embarrassed).
"Doctor," she greeted.
"What can I do for you this early in the morning?" the Doctor asked, concerned.
Suddenly, Kathryn experienced a wave of dizziness, and she gripped the corner of the biodbed. "I don't feel too good," she replied, unable to say more.
The Doctor nodded, helping her onto the biobed, then went to get the medical tricorder. "Can you state more specific symptons?"
"Um, nausea, dizziness, fatigue."
"Hmm." It was neither a good 'Hmm' nor a bad 'Hmm'. Just a 'Hmm' as he scanned her. "How long have you had these symptons?"
"About a week, maybe more." Kathryn tried sitting up. "Can you give me something to get rid of the nausea?"
"I could. Don't you want to know what's causing it though?"
"I'm sure you'll figure it out. And a way to get rid of it."
The Doctor frowned. "I don't think you'll want to get rid of it once you know what's causing it."
That piqued Kathryn's curiousity. "You already know?"
The Doctor nodded. "You're pregnant."
How blunt. A million things raced through Kathryn's mind. Pregnant? But how? I haven't had much time to have a love life... what's a baby going to do to my figure? Never mind that, what's it going to do to my life? I can't have a baby- I have a ship to get home. Who's the father, I wonder? Then, The Doctor must be wrong. I can't be pregnant. I haven't had sex in years.
She put her hands to her stomach cautiously. "A child?"
"Female, to be exact. Approximately three weeks old."
Three weeks... that's why I haven't noticed my period's missing- as far as I'm concerned it's not. The Doctor's just got to be wrong. I didn't have sex in the last three weeks, let alone the past six years. "Who... who's the father?"
The Doctor's eyebrow shot up, and Kathryn imagined the names he might be calling her silently, if it was even in his programming to call people silent names. Slut, whore, paramour. Don't even know who the father is? He checked the data. "This is odd. There is no other DNA but yours."
"What does that mean, Doctor?" It must mean he's wrong, it must mean he's wrong, she thought. But some part, some small, miniscule part of her, wished that he wasn't.
"It means that I can't tell you who the father is." But shouldn't you know anyway? she heard him silently ask.
"I can't be pregnant. You're wrong- you've got to be. I haven't had sex in years, Doctor!"
More than he wanted to know. But it got the point across. His face softened. "I'll double check the data. Meanwhile, lay off the coffee."
"What?!" Oh, would she delete this smug EMH's program out of the database- if only they didn't need him.
"No coffee for you until I say so. And that's an order, Captain."
"Wow, don't get to hear the mighty Captain Janeway be ordered around much, do we?" Lieutenant Tom Paris called as he entered Sickbay to report for his duty shift.
Kathryn froze, not knowing how much of the conversation he'd heard. Sickbay wasn't exactly soundproof.
"So, why does the captain have to lay off the nectar of the gods?"
Phew! He hadn't heard. But now the Doctor was staring at her, wondering if she was going to tell him. No, she decided. What if the Doctor was wrong? How would she explain it? "Uh, I'm sick, and the Doctor tells me the cure would react terribly with coffee."
"Anything serious? You aren't going to start a plague on board, are you?"
"I think it's safe to say she isn't," the Doctor interjected. Kathryn gave him the Death Glare and left.
Two weeks later, Kathryn paced the length and width of her ready room, unable to keep still. For two weeks, she had been keeping to herself, withdrawing to either her ready room or her quarters. She had noticed the crew were becoming confused (some even stared outright at her), but she ignored their reactions to her withdrawal.
The Doctor had confirmed her pregnancy the day after her initial visit. He had urged her to tell the crew right away- this wasn't going to disappear and it wasn't something she could hide much longer. Still, she couldn't bring herself to do it. How would she explain it to them? She woke up one morning and she was pregnant? Yeah, they'd buy that. She couldn't even tell them who the father was. Cheer up, Kathryn, the Doctor couldn't tell you, either.
Doodoodirp. Someone wanted in. Kathryn took a deep breath and called out, "Come." She already knew who it was, though.
In walked Chakotay. "Hi," he greeted.
She sat down at her desk. "What is it, Commander?"
"Can we talk? Freely, without rank, I mean."
Uh-oh. Talking freely, without rank- that never led anywhere
good. "Sure," Kathryn found herself saying, despite her doubts.
"What's going on with you lately, Kathryn?"
She feigned surprise at his question. "Oh? There's something going on with me lately? I haven't noticed a thing."
Chakotay frowned at her. "You know what I mean, Kathryn. You've been acting like you did back in the Void. Are you regretting your decision to destroy the Array again? Because-"
"No, it isn't that," she interrupted. "I came to terms with that long ago."
"Then what?" he asked. She stared into his warm eyes; he really wanted to know. Of course he did; he cared deeply about her. She wasn't blind- she knew he loved her. Even a dead man would see that. But would he still love her after she told him? Only one way to find out.
Kathryn took a deep breath and prepared herself. "Chakotay, I'm pregnant."
His jaw fell to the fifteenth deck. Then it began moving itself, as if he wanted to say something but couldn't find the words. His eyes, the ones which, only a second ago, had shown her how much he cared, now showed her a different emotion. Shock. Finally, he managed to gasp out what he had been trying to so desperately to say. "Who?"
She shook her head. "I don't know."
She hadn't known he could get more shocked than he had been previously. Apparently he could. What was he thinking now? Was he calling her names in his head, like she imagined teh Doctor had, or was he just thinking that all women were like Seska, cheap and easy and superficial? Just when you think you know someone, she imagined he was thinking.
Kathryn hastened to explain. "You see, I haven't... been intimate with anyone for a long time, and suddenly the symptons just showed up. I went to the Doctor, and he couldn't find any explanation of it. He couldn't find any other DNA besides my own, either, to figure out a paternity."
He took a few seconds to digest this information. "May I be excused?" he asked.
She stared into his eyes again. Such wonderful eyes he had- warm and brown, deep spirals of delicious coffee, and so full of expression and emotion too. His eyes seemed to tell her now that he was hurt, very badly. She hadn't seen this expression in his eyes in a very long time.
Sighing softly, Kathryn nodded. Chakotay bit his lip, then stood and left her alone, in her ready room.
August: The Talks
She was alone, again, in a darkened room. Had anyone been there, she would have said she had a headache, and the darkness relieved it somewhat, but she couldn't lie to herself. She was depressed. With good reason. Ever since she had told Chakotay about the baby that continued to grow within her, he had remained isolated, choosing to stay as far away from her as possible. That was nine days ago. Nine agonizing days.
Doodoodirp. I am not going to answer it. Doodoodirp. I will not answer it. Doodoodirp. Go away! I might be sleeping. Pause. Good, they went away. Not that I sleep much anymore anyway, but they don't know that. She turned to the viewport again and watched the stars whiz by.
Great, now I'm so depressed I'm imagining him there behind me. She ignored the voice she heard.
She turned around. Chakotay stood before her. "Chakotay?" I'm not imagining you, am I?
He nodded. "Yeah. I, uh, I'm sorry I've been avoiding you this past week."
Kathryn turned back to the stars. "Oh? Have you been avoiding me? Whatever for?" She couldn't keep the sarcasticness out of her voice.
He walked to her and put his hand on her shoulder. "I was a little bit angry, and a little bit shocked, I think. I wasn't prepared to hear you say that you were pregnant."
"I still am. What made you come to me now?" she asked, whirling to face him. In doing so, she shrugged his hand off her shoulder.
"I contacted my spirit guide last night. She helped me see that I wasn't being fair and supportive of you. That I was being selfish."
"Selfish?" One trait she never would think that Chakotay possessed.
"Yeah. I guess the fact that you're going to have a child... well, it was a surprise, and it made me get a little jealous."
"Jealous? You'd like to wake up one morning and suddenly find out you're pregnant?" Kathryn asked sarcastically.
Her comment seemed to break the tension a little. He smiled. "Not exactly, but I do want children some day."
"That's what I said, too. I didn't need a child this early on in life."
Chakotay raised his eyebrows, but didn't say a word. He knew exactly how old she was and knew she wasn't getting younger.
"So am I forgiven?" he asked after a few moments.
Kathryn closed her eyes. He's asking me for forgiveness? "Tell me one thing- do you believe me when I say that I don't know how this happened?"
He pursed his lips. "I didn't at first. But when I contacted my spirit guide, I realized that you've never given me any reason to doubt your word. And I also know there hasn't been much opportunity in the past few years. Though it could have been one of those Eobians- you tend to go for the silent types."
It was a joke, but for some reason it made Kathryn uncomfortable. Maybe it was because it forced her to remember the Eobians. Only Dalig had spoken; the males had remained at her side, silent the entire time. It was creepy, to say the least about the experience.
Chakotay noticed her discomfort. "Kathryn? It was a joke."
She took a deep breath to calm her nerves. Get a grip, Kathryn. They're long gone. "I forgive you."
He breathed a sigh of relief. "Congratulations, Kathryn," he said, leaning over. Before she knew it, his lips were touching hers. Then they were gone. He gave her a little smile, then turned and left.
Kathryn watched the door for a few moments in shock, bringing her hands up to her mouth where his lips had just briefly met hers.
Things grew right between them again. About a week after their talk, they took to dining in Kathryn's quarters every night like they used to. Nothing more romantic than they had ever been developed. They had dined together for about 5 nights when Chakotay brought up a very sensitive topic.
"Kathryn," he started, twirling the replicated spaghetti around his fork. "Don't you think it's time to tell the crew?"
Kathryn's own fork, encircled by her own spaghetti, stopped midway from her plate to her mouth. Tell the crew? It's too soon. What will they think? Another voice, the more pessimistic one that she'd been trying to block out most of her life, said, They'll call you names. They'll think you're a slut. Tom once called you "The Mighty Captain Janeway", but you'll just be "The Mighty Slutty Captain Janeway".
Chakotay's voice brought her to reality. "I'm sorry, Chakotay. I can't tell them now. Give me a few more weeks."
"Kathryn, you're already three months along. It's going to start to show in a few weeks."
There must be something I can do to hide it. "I'll wear loose clothing for a while. People will think I'm just getting fatter."
"You? Fat? You usually don't even take the time to eat breakfast or lunch." Chakotay put the fork back on his plate and reached across the table to her. "You can't hide it forever. And the crew will feel like you don't trust them enough to tell them this. They'll be hurt, Kathryn."
She sighed and rolled her head back onto her shoulders like she always did when she grew stressed out. "They won't believe it when I tell them."
"Because even you didn't believe it at first, Chakotay! They just won't believe it."
Sudden realization dawned on him. "You're wondering what they'll think of you after you tell them. Believe me, they'll think less of you if you don't tell them now."
He's right, Kathryn. You should tell them. But I can't. I don't even know how to tell them. "Chakotay, I can't. I just.. I can't."
He hesitated; only a few seconds, but she saw it anyway. There's something he isn't telling you. He's trying to protect you again. "What is it, Chakotay?"
Again, he hesitated. He seemed to be battling within himself about something- maybe about what to tell her. "Kathryn, there's this... rumour... going around the ship. It's about you."
"I see." Now she understood his hesitation. "What's going on with me that I should know about?"
"They've been saying that the Doctor has been running his generational projections again. That he has a file on you. I talked to B'Elanna about the rumour, asking her if she knew anything about it. She said that Tom said he saw a file in Sickbay, with your medical records and a pregnancy map on it."
Kathryn took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "They already know."
"No. According to B'Elanna, most of the crew are either chalking it up to an out of control rumour, or Tom trying to cause a stir. They're not taking it seriously. Though the rest of them don't seem to be adverse to the idea of a pregnant Captain Janeway."
"Oh, Chakotay, what am I supposed to do?" she moaned.
He sighed. "Try talking with them, Kathryn. If you don't, they'll be hurt, you'll feel awful, and I'll feel terrible for knowing all along."
He's right. Tell them, Kathryn. If not for yourself, for them. For Chakotay. This is creating a terrible strain on him ,too. The only one besides the Doctor to know your secret. "Fine, Chakotay. I'll tell them. But can't it wait until morning? We still have dessert to eat," she replied, trying to change the subject. He agreed, but she couldn't help noticing he looked distracted the rest of the meal.
September: The Nightmare
She was on the bridge, in her mighty command chair. She felt powerful again, something she hadn't felt for a long time. She couldn't remember why exactly that was, but it was a good feeling to forget. Next to her was her first officer, smilling at her. It was such a wonderful smile. And his eyes... well, she could drown in his eyes for an eternity and not care a moment. They were the colour of the coffee she loved so much. She loved him much more than what his eyes resembled. But no, it was forbidden by the All-Powerful Starfleet Protocols. Still, they were thirty two light years from home- they could spare a kiss, perhaps. His eyes glowed at her from afar. She leaned closer, in order to catch more light from them. Their heads tilted and their lips had almost met, when-
"Whore!" Harry Kim shouted from the Ops station. "Slut. You'd sleep with any man you come across, wouldn't you? Well, now you're paying the price for it! Tell us, Captain, who is really the baby's father? Chakotay?"
Kathryn reeled back, stunned that sweet, innocent Harry could say something like that. But what surprised her more were the words that came out of Tuvok's mouth. "Captain, it is illogical to be intimate with someone and not use protection. However, if one would do so, a baby would be the logical outcome of such a union."
"You betrayed us, Captain. You were supposed to get us home, and instead you go and sleep with every guy you can find. Is that how it is?" B'Elanna yelled from Ops.
No, I swear it isn't, Kathryn's mind wanted to shout.
"Well, I certainly haven't gotten that far with you, Kathryn. So I'm not the father. That really hurts. Tell me who the other man is, so I can kill him with my bare hands," her beloved Chakotay said, holding up his hands, red with blood, as proof that he would do so.
There is no other man! her mind thought.
Seven pushed her way in front of the angry mob that had by now gathered in front of Kathryn. "Captain, I am supposed to look to you for examples. Since you have 'done it' ,as Lieutenant Paris puts it, with every male on the ship, who would be good for me to experience copulation with for the first time?"
The male portion of the angry mob waved their hands in an effort to get her attention.
"So, who was the best, Captain?" Tom wanted to know.
I haven't had sex with any of them!
"Oh, Captain, I prepared some extra food for you. You need to keep up your strength and eat. You're eating for two now," Neelix called, exiting the turbolift with a platter of various leola root diches in his hands.
Well, some things never change, Kathryn thought as Neelix tried to feed her leola root tart cakes.
"AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!" Kathryn awoke with a scream. Oh, god, it was only a dream, she thought as she looked around the familiar surroundings of her quarters. In fact, it wasn't only a dream, it was a recurring nightmare which had come to her night after night since she'd told the crew her secret. She was beginning to dread going to sleep.
She glanced at the chronometer. 0126. Too early to ask Chakotay if he'd join her for breakfast. Too late to try and go back to bed. Sighing, Kathryn took out a book of old Earth poems and began to read.
"I heard the most interesting thing today in the Mess Hall," Chakotay said at dinner.
"Oh, do tell," Kathryn replied, sitting forward in her seat. It was not an easy thing to do- she was beginning to show, and the bump in her figure seemed to keep hindering her movements.
"Well, it seems that Tom has started another rumour. This time about the captain's baby's gender. Apparently, he told B'Elanna that the baby is going to be a boy."
"Ah, well, the Doctor already told me it was female, but I don't think we should tell the crew that. There needs to be something that surprises everyone around here."
"I agree," Chakotay replied with a smile. "So, knowing the baby's gender must make it easier to pick out a name."
Kathryn shook her head with a smile. "Actually, I hadn't even considered names yet. I'm too busy getting lectures from the Doctor on child care and trying to replicate everything I'd need for her, and trying to turn that room over there into a nursery."
"Add to that the responsibilities of a starship captain, and the strain of not drinking coffee, I'd say you probably have a very big headache right now."
"Mmm. Not only does my head hurt, but it seems like every muscle in my body aches as well. And then the nightmares..." Whoops, she hadn't told him about the nightmares.
"Silly litlte things, but they keep coming back." He was staring at her strangely. "They're nothing, really."
"Hmm." Chakotay stood, and held out a hand to help her up. She accepted it, and soon he was guiding her to the couch. "Sit down and put your back to mine."
She did as she was told and was soon rewarded. His muscular hands began to massage her shoulders, slowly at first to work the knots out of the tense shoulder muscles, then more and more intensely, until pain mixed with pleasure. She didn't mind- she loved it too much to tell him to stop. It reminded her of New Earth. She turned around to tell him what it reminded her of, but remained silent when she caught his gaze. Such an intense gaze. Such an intense man.
His face loomed nearer and nearer, and her head tilted to face him. Then the inevitable happened. Their lips touched. With the passion of it all, Kathryn thought at any moment she might burst into flames. She brought her hand up to his hair and pulled him closer. He was such a good kisser. His hands moved to wrap themselves around her, but he stopped them and pulled away.
Chakotay couldn't meet her gaze. He got up and stepped away quickly, mumbling some excuse and then running out of the room. Stunned, Kathryn watched him go.
October: The Question
Kathryn laid on her couch in the ready room, just wishing that this month would be over. They had come across a very inhabited area of space recently, and though most species seemed to be friendly enough, they were quite demanding. As if that weren't enough, Neelix wanted permission to host a Halloween party at the end of the month, the baby had begun to kick, and her relationship with Chakotay had finallly started to progress. After the passionate kiss that they had shared, she had felt like they were ready to get romantic. Unfortunately, Chakotay thought that maybe now hadn't been the right time to change the nature of their relationship. They had talked about it over dinner, though, and now everything was in agreement. Just the way Kathryn liked it.
She wasn't off duty yet, but she thought she might lie down for a little while. These days, it seemed like her duty shifts would never end. Sure, she could take some time off if she wanted, but she felt that doing so would set a bad example for the crew.
Doodoodirp. Guess you'll never get some relaxation, Kathryn, she told herself. "Come," she called.
Chakotay walked in, and she rolled off the couch. "Yes, Commander?" she asked briskly, a little miffed at being interrupted.
He looked scared. Apparently the Doctor had told him some horror stories about women getting moody when they're pregnant. "Um, I just thought I'd bring you this." He held out a padd.
She glared at him, then snatched the padd out of his hands roughly.
She noticed he shrunk back a few inches. This better be good.
I could be sleeping by now. Glancing down at the padd in her
hands, she sighed and began to read.
Top Ten Ship-Wide Red Alerts
10. Seven of Nine playing Kadis-Kot? Nah, could never happen. Or could it...?
9. Naomi Wildman (ya know, cute kid with horns, only child on the ship) is very happy that she won't be the only child on board for much longer.
8. Her new playmate? A boy.
7. The Doctor says that moodiness in pregnant women is caused by hormones. Guess we should stay clear of the captain for a while...
6. Rumour has it that Tom Paris has been ordered to scrub every single viewport clean with his toothbrush for a month. We know who hasn't followed Red Alert #7.
5. What has warmed the warp core past normal temperature? Perhaps we should ask Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres. Or Tom Paris.
4. When is it Ensign Kim's turn for a promotion? Our sources say, "Soon."
3. Reports from several eye-witnesses state that Tuvok has baked a beautiful, three tiered cake and grown a few more orchids than usual. What could be the occasion?
2. Neelix's seemingly endless supply of leola root has run out (we can only hope)!
1. Chakotay has just one question for the captain...
"Will you marry me?" Kathryn glanced up- rather, down- at Chakotay, who was on his knee on the floor. He held out a tiny, open box. In it was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, Kathryn say something! Don't just stand there gaping at him like an idiot. She opened and closed her mouth a few times, but nothing came out. She had wanted progress in their relationship, yes, but not this fast. No, she hadn't expected for it to move this fast.
"Can I think it over a few days?" Chakotay's jaw dropped. Apparently he had expected her to say yes right away. Idiot, you were supposed to say yes or no. Not "Can I think it over a few days?" like some whiny little weasel who can't make snap decisions.
"Uh, sure," he replied after a few moments.
"Was there anything else, Commander?" Kathryn asked.
Chakotay shook his head. "Uh, no. Nothing else."
"Then you're dismissed." She wouldn't have thought it possible, but Kathryn thought she saw Chakotay's jaw drop even farther.
Kathryn, he loves you. You love him. So what's the problem? Kathryn paced around her ready room. The problem is... he's your first officer, and you're the captain, and how are you supposed to run a ship married to your first officer? Add to that a mysterious baby growing inside of you- the baby chose that moment to kick- and you've got a recipe for disaster.
Of course, you could always just marry him. The crew will be happy. And Tuvok already baked the wedding cake. After reading the Red Alert list, she had gone to Tuvok and asked him about the flowers. It seems that Chakotay asked for Tuvok's advice about the most creative way to ask her to marry him without embarrassing her, and the list was the result. See, you've even got Tuvok's blessing to do this. If it weren't a logical action, he wouldn't have sanctioned it already.
Sighing, Kathryn decided to sleep on it.
November: The Answer
Little whimpers came from Kathryn's quarters- she was having that nightmare again. Not the one she first had, but a new one. In it, she was being chased by some unidentifiable Starfleet officer, who was waving a book of Starfleet Rules and Regulations at her. Before her lay a wide expanse of unknown road; behind her was Starfleet Headquarters. Running with her was Chakotay, until it began to rain and he melted away.
Little did she know she was being very loud and the bulkheads were very thin. How was she to know? She was sleeping. Of course, since she was being so loud, Chakotay, in the next room over, was not. Every whimper she made cracked his pea sized heart in half with a giant sledge hammer. Finally he couldn't take it anymore. He ran over to her quarters and let himself in.
"Kathryn? Kathryn?" he asked worriedly, running into her bedchambers. He shook her shoulders to wake her up. "Kathryn, are you all right?"
Her eyes flickered open as they searched the room for some unknown
demon. They roamed over everything until finally they landed on Chakotay.
When she saw him, she sat up and hugged him. "Oh, Chakotay, promise
me you'll never melt away."
"Melt away? I promise, Kathryn." He was a little confused. Melt?
She pulled back from the embrace and searched his eyes, the coffee swirls. "You promise?" He nodded and she hugged him close again, tears in her eyes. "Yes, Chakotay. The answer's yes."
In the holographic dressing room, Kathryn stared at herself in the mirror and smoothed her dress to perfection- well, as much perfection as she could get with the not so small bulge in her stomach. She was nervous- after being engaged so many times, she had never gotten to walk up that aisle. Now, though, she was finally going to get married. To Chakotay, no less. A year ago, she would have thought the idea a joke, but she'd changed in the past year. He had, too. He was so sweet (not that he hadn't been before, but now it was almost sickening), and he really loved her. Sighing, she looked down at how much she had changed. Now in her sixth month, she was beginning to feel like a blimp.
"Don't worry so much, Kathy, you look fine," B'Elanna said, smoothing her own dress, which was a deep violet colour.
Kathryn smiled at the nickname. Ever since she had told the crew she was pregnant, they had decided that off-duty they weren't going to call her Captain. No ammount of begging and threatening could get them to stop. Some of them had actually come up with pretty cute nicknames for her, including Mommy. That was her favourite.
"Thanks, Lanna." Well, fair was fair. If they were going to nickname her, she was going to nickname them back.
B'Elanna smiled, then went to go get the flowers. Seven of Nine, leading little Naomi Wildman by the hand, walked in. "Captain, your appearance is outstanding."
"Well, thank you, Seven," Kathryn replied with a grin. "But I think Naomi looks even prettier than I do today."
The little girl blushed. "Thank you, Aunt Kathy. But I don't think so. You look really pretty."
"Thank you, Naomi."
Just then Neelix poked his head into the dressing room. "Everyone decent? They're ready to start the service."
"We'll be right there," Kathryn replied. "We just have to wait for B'Elanna to get back with the flowers."
"Here they are!" B'Elanna called, shoving her way past Neelix to hand out the purple orchids. "Now, Naomi, you know what to do with the petals in that basket, right?"
Naomi nodded, then threw some purple petals around to demonstrate.
"Good, let's go." The group headed out of the ready room to take their places. B'Elanna went up with Tom, Seven with Harry, and Naomi came last, throwing petals down the aisle (and accidentally getting some on the guests). Kathryn watched, Tuvok at her arm, at the wonder the holodeck could offer. Since she couldn't very well marry Chakotay and herself together, they had asked Tom to create a holoprogram to do it for them. And he had really outdone himself. He said he had modeled it on a church back in France, called the Sacred Heart.
The organ began to play "Here Comes The Bride"- that was their cue. Guided by Tuvok, who would give her away since her father couldn't, she walked up the aisle slowly, her head held high and her eyes focused only on Chakotay. As for the guests, both real members of the crew and holographic recreations of their families back on Earth, living or dead, their eyes were all on Kathryn and her flowing, white gown.
Kathryn heard from others afterwards that the service had been beautiful, but she couldn't remember it. All she could remember was staring into Chakotay's eyes and drowning herself in coffee.
They laid happily in bed together after an extremely exhausting activity and whispered to each other how much they loved each other. Kathryn couldn't remember a time when she had been happier, and she was sure Chakotay couldn't either. They clung to each other, sighing softly and wondering about things (why did they deserve to be so happy?).
"Kathryn, I've been thinking about that baby of yours."
"Ours, now, Chakotay," she said, smiling at him.
He smiled back. "The child of ours," he corrected himself. "I keep wondering how it got inside you."
"I don't know, Chakotay. But it doesn't matter." She shifted on to her side to face him and propped her head up on her elbow. "I know at first I didn't want this child, but now it's truly a gift. I love her, about as much as I love you."
"You must really love this child," Chakotay replied, kissing her softly. "But still, it'd be nice to know."
"I could tell you," a familiar voice said. A bright flash of light temporarily blinded the occupants of the bed, but when their eyes could focus again, they could see it was their favourite omnipotent being- Q.
"Q- we should have known," Chakotay growled, anger apparent in his voice.
Q shook a finger. "No, no, you shouldn't jump to conclusions. I didn't do it- though I wish I could take credit for it. It's pure genius, and it even got you two together."
"Go away, Q," Kathryn said, suddenly very tired.
"Ah, Kathy, my apologies for not making it for the wedding. I was on vacation with the old ball and chain, in Hawaii in the 21st century, no less." So that would explain the Hawaiian print shirt and shorts. "But I'm so happy for the two of you- now you can know the joys of marriage."
"Weren't you going to explain something to us? If you're not, I suggest you leave."
"Well, if you're going to be like that, I'll just tell you." Q glanced around, then snapped his fingers and a flashlight appeared in his hands. He put it underneath his chin. "It was a dark, spooky night-"
"Q!" Kathryn and Chakotay yelled simultaneously.
"Fine, fine, you're really no fun." He snapped again and the flashlight disappeared. "You had contact with a race called the Eobians six months ago, didn't you? Well, they're the genies of the galaxy, so to speak. The males go around granting people's wishes as a sort of second job. You, Kathy, made a wish for a child as cute as Naomi. So they granted your wish."
"But..." Kathryn vaguely remembered thinking that, then telling herself someday. "I never mentioned it to anyone."
"Doesn't matter. The males of the race are telepathic. It seems one of them heard your wish." He put his hand to his ear. "Sorry to make this visit such a brief one, but I wanted to congratulate you two and now the old witch I have for a wife is calling for me. Bye." He waved, then snapped his fingers and was gone.
December: The Lullaby
"Captain, have you been drinking coffee again? You know you're not supposed to drink it," the Doctor warned. "And you know you're definitely not supposed to be crawling through Jeffries Tubes. You're seven months along!"
Kathyrn sighed. I don't need this right now... "I know, Doctor, but the EPS conduit needed to be fixed and I was the only one without something to do, so I thought I'd fix it."
The Doctor scoffed. "What's the world coming to when starship captains don't have anything to do?"
"Doctor, I promise I will not drink any more coffee, nor crawl through any more Jeffries Tubes, if I can please just go," Kathryn begged.
The Doctor sighed. "I suppose you can go... if you promise."
"I promise. Thank you, Doctor!" Kathryn jumped off the biobed as fast has the bulge would allow her to and tore out of Sickbay.
"You're welcome," the Doctor said after she was gone.
Two weeks later, Kathryn woke suddenly. When she tried to go back to sleep, she found that she couldn't because of a sharp pain in her abdoment. Then she realized it. Oh my god, the baby's coming already. It's not supposed to come- I'm only seven months along!
"Chakotay," she said to her husband. "Chakotay, wake up!"
"Ugh," he said, rubbing his eyes. "Can't it wait until morning, Kathryn?"
"I don't think the baby wants to wait that long, Chakotay! It seems to want out now!"
That woke Chakotay up. "What? Chakotay to the Doctor, we have a medical emergency. Beam Kathryn to Sickbay now."
The world around her phased out, then back in. Her senses subconsciously recognized the new place she was in as Sickbay; that man that was telling her everything was going to be all right was the Doctor. Everything wasn't going to be all right, though. Kathryn wasn't a doctor, but she knew that babies were supposed to wait nine months before coming out to the world. Premature births might mean miscarriage, birth defects, or other unwanted things. I shouldn't have snuck that cup of coffee in last night. The caffeine couldn't have been good for the baby.
Sudden pain blinded her and she felt the Doctor give her a hypospray. Suddenly she was floating on a cloud of bliss, unpainfully aware of everything that was going on. Everything was going to be all right- she knew this now. She'd have her daughter, and she and the baby and Chakotay would be a very happy family, all together.
"Congratulations, Mommy," the Doctor said, using the nickname he loved using so much. "A Christmas baby."
Christmas baby? Oh my god, she's here. My little baby. Opening her eyes, she looked down and saw a tiny pink bundle wrapped in a blanket. The child looked almost like a newborn kitten... suddenly Kathryn knew what she had to name it.
Chakotay appeared at her side, and she glanced up and smiled at him. "I know what to call her now, Chakotay. I'm going to call her Cat. Cat Janeway."
"Sounds like a perfect name," Chakotay replied, smiling.
Together, happy, they made the perfect family. Kathryn smiled down at her newborn child and began to sing the child her very first lullaby.
"Baby's boat's the silver moon
Sailing in the sky,
Sailing o'er the sea of sleep,
While the clouds float by.
Sail, baby, sail,
Out upon that sea,
Only don't forget to sail
Back again to me.
Baby's fishing for a dream,
Fishing near and far,
His line a silver moonbeam is,
His bait a silver star.
Sail, baby, sail
Out upon that sea
Only don't forget to sail
Back again to me.
Back again to me."