RATED NC 17
It had been eight months since the Captain and her First Officer had taken their first shore leave together and life on Voyager was never the same again. No big changes were visible at first and only a few people knew for sure that their relationship had changed. Harry and Tuvok were the first to know, but the entire senior staff knew before the command team returned from shore leave and they breathed a collective sigh of relief. On the surface, at least on duty, nothing had changed. The Captain was still in complete control of her ship and still had the absolute support of her first officer and the respect of her crew. Some people always assumed they were a couple, from the beginning and so for them there was no change. Others began to slowly notice differences. The Captain and the Commander usually attended ship functions together, but now when they walked together he might put his arm around her shoulder. They were sometimes spotted walking he ship holding hands or standing a little closer than usual when the lift door opened. Although Chakotay still maintained his own quarters, in reality he hadn't spent the night there in many months. Those who noticed this accepted it, others weren't interested enough to find out. The Command team as a couple was a widely accepted concept on Voyager and to Kathryn's surprise there were no ill effects at all.
One of the first things to become evident was the Captain's change in attitude. Along with her changing relationship with Commander Chakotay, she set out to make some changes in her relationships with the crew. She wanted to be less distant from most of the crew and dared to hope she could actually form some friendships -especially within the senior staff. In fact the senior staff and a few other crewmembers were fast becoming a tight circle of friends. One of the big changes came when the Captain became comfortable enough with some of these relationships to request that they address her as Kathryn in off duty hours. The atmosphere was changing and the Captain was becoming less isolated and consequently less stressed.
The Captain and Commander were often seen in the company of other senior staffers, but most often they spent leisure time with Lieutenants Torres and Paris. Chakotay and Tom had worked out their differences a long time ago and Kathryn and B'Elanna were fast becoming the best of friends. Sam Wildman was counted among their friends, although not a member of the senior staff and Naomi had taken to calling them Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Chakotay ---off duty of course.
It had been an unremarkable shift; in fact it had been a pretty boring two weeks. For a change they were not in desperate need of anything. Sure they always looked for opportunities to replenish supplies and took advantage of every one they found---but at the moment they were just a little better than OK in all departments. Food supplies--between what they had stored and what they were now growing themselves--were in good shape, B'Elanna had the ship running almost as well as the day she left DS9 and they hadn't run into a hostile race or any sort of anomaly in well over two weeks. All this good fortune left them with extra time on their hands and Nelix could fill just so much of it, mostly they were on their own for entertainment.
The holodeck was a busy place these days, so most people opted for group activities which allowed more people to enjoy the facilities. Sandrine's ran night and day and there was almost always another pool tournament or card game going and the music and dancing were constant. Most of the senior staff dropped by every night for at least one drink and usually some pool. There were however some tournaments set up in which previous winners were not allowed to participate so that new players had a chance to advance a little. What that meant was that the Captain, Tom Paris and Chakotay were not allowed to play. They were more than willing to let others have a turn and usually chose more physical activities instead. The guys preferred hovel ball as a work out, while the ladies chose velocity more often. Harry had designed a program which allowed a hovel match and velocity match to be conducted in the same holosuite, concurrently and still had room for an area set up for refreshments. This is where this newly formed group of friends spent much of the last two weeks. The men played teams Tom and Nelix against Chakotay and Harry and found themselves surprisingly well matched. Kathryn, B'Elanna, Seven and Samantha played each other either in a rotation or occasionally, like tonight, the winner just kept taking on opponents until she lost. Seven and Kathryn had started the evening's activities and Kathryn won. She proceeded to beat B'Elanna, Sam, Seven again and was now about to begin her fifth straight match. They were taking a much needed break and Naomi had fixed everyone a drink, which she called a cocktail, but in reality was just a mixture of fruit juices and a little food coloring to make it a dark bluish green.
"When can I learn to play Velocity?" Naomi asked no one in particular, as she handed Kathryn her drink.
"Maybe, if it's OK with your mother, I'll teach you--soon." Kathryn was wiping the sweat off her face and neck and pulling at the tee shirt which now stuck to her body.
"Mom is it OK---can we--Huh?" Naomi pulled at Sam. "PLEEESE"
"Well you couldn't have a better teacher---that's for sure." She looked from Kathryn to Naomi. "OK---BUT no begging--remember Aunt Kathryn is the Captain; she doesn't always have time to play."
"OK Mom thanks." She turned immediately to Kathryn. "When can we do it---soon?"
"Oh boy look what I started---Yes, if everything stays quiet---How about tomorrow after your lessons, say 1430?" Kathryn was asking Sam as well as Naomi.
"It's a date---that's if it's quiet." Naomi smiled broadly and Sam nodded her consent.
"OK, now that that's settled--Let's go." B'Elanna waved her phaser at Kathryn. "You have to lose sometime, might as well be now."
"Don't bet on it." Kathryn countered as she took her position. "Computer start game."
Kathryn won this game and had no trouble besting Sam in the next, she was in the middle of her seventh straight game when the guys, taking a break, stopped to watch. Naomi gave them each a drink and excitedly told them her news.
"Well, you will have the best teacher, Aunt Kathryn just about owns this game." Nelix assured her and the others nodded in agreement.
"You're a lucky girl, Naomi---She won't teach me any of her tricks." Chakotay said, handing her back the glass and turning back just in time to see Kathryn run back into the wall and go flying across the floor, dropping her phaser. He started toward her, but stopped when she rolled, grabbed her weapon and fired, winning both the point and the game. He watched as Kathryn and Seven walked over to the group. "You OK?" He touched Kathryn's arm.
"I'm fine." She managed to answer between deep gulps for air.
"How many games have you played?" It sounded like a casual question, but his stern look told her differently.
"That was seven, She won every game so far!" Naomi proudly answered for her and Kathryn cringed a little.
"Seven! You played seven straight games?!" His sudden anger surprised everyone.
"Yes." She replied coldly taking a drink form Naomi.
"Don't you think that's enough?" His voice was quieter, but his eyes blazed.
"It's early yet..." She sat down on a stool and leveled a death glare at him, then laughed to lighten the mood. "Chakotay, relax---so how did your games go?"
"I am relaxed---that was a nasty fall you took." Not letting her change the subject.
"I'm fine, did Naomi tell you she wants to learn to play?"
"Yes,---I'll be very happy to have you play with her, it shouldn't be as strenuous." He smiled at her now, placing a hand on her arm. "I worry about you."
"Yes, I know---I'm fine." Smiling back "I need to finish this round--or lose." She gave him a pat and a reassuring look. "B'Elanna, ready?"
B'Elanna looked at Tom and they both looked at Chakotay, who tried to keep his look passive. "Yeah---sure, when ever you are." B'Elanna hesitantly answered, unsure of what they had just witnessed.
"Just B'Elanna and Sam and we can go---OK?" Kathryn stood and looked at Chakotay.
"Kathryn--sorry to disappoint you, but Naomi and I have to get going." Sam motioned Naomi to get ready. "You'll have to kill me another time---maybe Naomi will teach me when you're done with her and I'll get to win one of these days." Sam laughed and saying her good-byes she gathered up Naomi and called for an exit.
"OK, good night--Naomi tomorrow 1430.Ē Kathryn called after them, than turned to Chakotay. "Just one more game." And she joined B'Elanna on the floor. "Computer begin game."
"Another game?" Tom watched as Chakotay scrutinized the girls game. "Hey, big guy---another game?"
"No--I think we'll just turn in--she-err--I need some rest after that last one. Guess I'm getting a little old." He laughed and shrugged trying to make light of it. His eyes never left Kathryn.
"Yeah, me too." Nelix prepared to leave. "I think I'll call it a night."
"Sure one more--prepare to lose Paris." He patted Chakotay's shoulder as he passed. "See you in the morning"
Nelix said his good byes, Tom and Harry started another match leaving Chakotay and Seven to watch the Velocity game. Seven observed him as he silently watched the game..
"Commander, is there a problem?"
"Huh? Err, no---no problem."
"Why then are you staring at the Captain?"
"Staring? Oh well--I like to." Chakotay smiled and chuckled, Seven wasn't having it.
"While it is true---this is somehow different---You seem concerned--Is something wrong with the Captain?"
"No--nothing's wrong..." He stopped when the computer announced Kathryn as the winner again and she and B'Elanna walked over. He handed Kathryn a towel. "Finished?"
"Yes---I guess I'll call it a night." She was winded, but not entirely happy about leaving. "Guess I'll see you ladies tomorrow---maybe you should have another game---get in a little practice." She teased them and B'Elanna threw her towel at her.
"Sooner or later age will play to my advantage." Seven chimed in, earning her a glare from Kathryn and a growl from B'Elanna.
"I'm gone---that's enough from you." She laughed as she tossed both towels at Seven. "Good night ladies."
Chakotay and Kathryn left the holodeck and walked silently to their quarters. Once inside Kathryn went straight to the shower. They had still not spoken when Chakotay came out of the bathroom after his shower, to find her standing at the view port just staring at the passing stars. He came up behind her and put his arms around her waist. She leaned back into him.
"Mad at me?" He was feeling a little guilty.
"No, not mad---a little frustrated." She sighed letting her head fall back onto his chest.
"I'm sorry---I worry about you."
"I know, but trust me--I won't do it if I feel I can't---or shouldn't" She took a deep breath. "This was only a game---what if we're under attack? --I still have a job to do--a responsibility."
"I know---and that's part of it--you didn't have to do this---and I'll still worry, but I promise not to interfere--unless it's something really crazy---OK?" He kissed the top of her head.
"I talked to the doctor before I played---he said I could do anything I did before--as long as I didn't push too hard and I felt good---I'm not going to take any unnecessary chances."
"Truce." She turned in his arms, facing him she wrapped her arms around his neck and gently passed her lips over his. "Want to make it up to me?" There was a glint in her eyes. "Or would that be too strenuous?"
"I believe you could use a certain amount of exercise."
"Oh I see---when it's to your advantage, I need the exercise."" She shook her head at him and they both laughed their way into the bedroom.
Letting his robe slip to the floor he reached for the hem of her nightgown, lifting and removing it in one motion. He dropped to his knees placing light kisses on the slight round of her belly, before standing and taking her into his arms. Her arms went around his neck, one hand sliding into his hair as their lips met and their tongues caressed each other. Suddenly the lights flashed and their embrace was assaulted by the blare of the Klaxons.
"Red alert---all senior officers to the bridge."
"Janeway to bridge." They both scrambled to get into uniform.
"Captain, A ship has been detected on an intercept course--weapons powered." The lieutenant on duty answered anticipating her question.
"Time to intercept."
"On my way." She glanced at Chakotay, their eyes locked just long enough to make sure they understood each other. "Let's go."
"Report." The Captain commanded before she was even past the doors of the lift.
"Captain, the ship is within two minutes of intercept--weapons powered." Tuvok now in place at tactical reported.
"Hail them, Mr. Kim---shields up."
"We're getting a response, Captain." Harry answered not having had time to even take his seat.
"On Screen." The Captain stood at the railing before her seat, the Commander at her side. "I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. We are on a peaceful mission and mean you no harm--please stand down your weapons." She spoke to the silent blue /green humanoid alien on the screen.
"Captain, I am Captain Mutu." He made a slight bow of his head. "I did not mean to alarm you---we patrol this space---our weapons are always at ready."
"I see, is this your space than--Captain?"
"Yes, Captain---this space belongs to my people. We are the Allite and our home world is not far from here. May I ask what your mission is?"
"We are a peaceful people, we come from the other side of the galaxy and are simply trying to return to our own world."
"How do you come to be here?"
"It is a long story, but we were dragged here against our will and now must make the long journey home."
"I would be anxious to hear this story, Captain--would you consider visiting my ship to discuss this?"
"Certainly, I will arrange transport for myself and my first officer whenever our visit would be convenient for you." She waited as Captain Mutu seemed to confer with someone out of the picture.
"I apologize Captain, I must have awaken you---I'm told it is your sleep cycle---Please take your rest, we can meet in your morning say ten of your hours from now?"
"That would be most agreeable, we will meet at 0800 hours our time. You can accommodate landing of our shuttle?"
"Yes Captain--I look forward to our talk.--good night." The view screen went dark.
"Lieutenant you have the bridge." She nodded to the young lieutenant who had summoned them. "All senior officers to the briefing room.Ē She left the bridge followed by the senior staff.
Captain Janeway stood with her back to the Officers as she looked out into space. No one spoke as they took their seats around the table.
"Well, what do you make of this Captain Mutu, Tuvok?" She spoke without turning around.
"Captain, He seemed agreeable and accommodating ---a little too accommodating for some one who always travels with weapons powered."
"He was well aquatinted with our time for someone who never met us before. He could scan and know it was out rest time by ship activity but to define time in 'your hours' would imply not only a difference in time units but a familiarity with our time units. I don't trust him."
"Yes, gentleman---I was thinking the same things." She turned to face the room. "B'Elanna, Harry boost the long range sensors--I want to know where this home world is--why haven't we detected it before now? Find out if they're alone, I want a report on anything that moves out there. Tuvok scan that ship until you memorize all their information, I want to know their weaknesses and their strengths. Nelix, Seven have either of you ever come in contact with the Allite?"
"The collective has never come in contact with this species, Captain."
"OK, so we're on our own here--nothing new for us." She looked around the room. "Let's get on it---I don't want to go in there blind----Let me know if anything develops, otherwise we'll meet back here at 0600, dismissed--Mr. Tuvok, Commander, may I speak with you?" She waited for the rest of the staff to file out. "I don't like this--something stinks."
"I agree--but what?" Chakotay really wanted to tell her to stay on Voyager, but he knew he couldn't---at least he could go with her.
"There is insufficient information to base a judgment on, but Captain, I believe it would be a mistake to send both senior officers over to their ship."
"You may have a point there, Tuvok." She considered his suggestion.
"I'll go--Tuvok can go with me." Chakotay volunteered.
"They are expecting me, Chakotay--it would make them suspicious if I didn't go." She knew he would try that--which was why she thought to bring him along in the first place. but now she realized that would be a mistake. "I'll consider it, Tuvok. For now work on those scans---I'll be in my quarters if you need me, they expect me to appear rested--I have to at least try to sleep a few hours.
"Aye Captain,---I will have the staff contact me first--if there is anything significant I will call you."
"Thank you." She smiled as she watched him leave the room. "Very slick that Vulcan."
"Notice they should contact HIM-- he never even considered that you would not return to my quarters with me."
"And to think I never used to like him." He stood and took her hand. "Come on you're supposed to sleep remember."
"OK." She took his hand and together they exited the briefing room and crossed the bridge to the lift.
Kathryn changed out of her uniform and climbed into bed, but with her mind whirling she wouldn't be sleeping any time soon. Chakotay laid down behind her, drawing her to him he kissed the top of her head and waited for the inevitable questions.
"What do you suppose they want?" She snuggled back against him.
"I don't know---we don't have any data on them or their ship--I'm anxious to find this 'home world'"
"Humm, me too." She was quiet for a minute. "He's right you know."
"I know---but I still want to go with you."
"I know and you know I'll have to take Tuvok."
"Yes---you should get some sleep."
"Here, lie on your stomach, maybe this will help." He raised himself up on his knees and began massaging her shoulders, her neck and back. He could feel her muscles relax. "Better?"
"Mmm, feels great." Her voice was already drowsy.
He continued until her even breathing told him she was asleep, then he settled back down beside her and tried to rest. He knew he would want to be wide-awake and totally alert while she was on the other ship. Eventually, he drifted off and even though it was hours it seemed like only minutes when the computer gave her wake up call.
"CAPTIAN THE TIME IS 0500 HOURS---CAPTAIN THE TIME IS 0500 HOURS."
"Time to get up---meeting in one hour." She rolled over coming face to face with her groggy first officer.
"Watch how you phrase that!" He gave her a lustful smile pulling her closed enough to understand his meaning.
"No time for that!" She laughed wickedly, giving him a quick kiss and slipping out of his arms.
The Command team were showered, dressed and in the briefing room with fifteen minutes to spare. They had requested Nelix send up Coffee for the meeting and sat enjoying their first cup as they waited. Kathryn waited for the entire senior staff to take coffee and be seated before starting the meeting.
"Good morning, since I was not disturbed, I assume you have no significant new findings for me. Mr. Tuvok---what can you tell me about their ship?"
"Captain, although the ship is heavily armed in terms of quantity of weapons, the power of those weapons poses no immediate threat to Voyager. It appears they are no match for us in strength, speed or agility, the only area I found where they possess any type of advantage in shield strength. Their shields appear to be quite strong and durable, but designed to deflect large physical objects far more efficiently the energy assaults. We had no problem scanning through the shields."
"Are their weapons energy or of the projectile type?"
"That is what I found interesting about it ---their own weapons appear to be energy based and yet they carry heavy protection against projectiles---it is a puzzle."
"How many crew do they carry?"
"We have detected only twelve life signs, the ship must be heavily automated."
"Mr. Kim, have we found a home world?"
"No captain, not a single planet or system as far as we can scan, No other ships---nothing. Just us and them."
"Lieutenant Torres, The range increase on long range sensors?"
"Yes Captain, we diverted all possible power to the sensors for out scans and conducted several sweeps using a deflector pulse, we just about doubled our range at some points---there is nothing out there."
"OK. so we have twelve crew members, traveling in a ship which we can easily both out maneuver and overpower. They are alone and in spite of their strength, their shields most likely won't protect them from our weapons any more effectively than it did out scans." She scanned the nodding heads around the table. "Than is it reasonable to assume we could also transport through those shields?"
"Yes, I find nothing in their shields to deflect our transporters." B'Elanna answered and Tuvok's nod confirmed. "Are you planning to transport, Captain?"
"No, they didn't seem to expect us to and I'm not inclined to reveal this technology if it's not necessary. We'll use the shuttle, but have the transporter as back up if we need it." She looked around at her staff, stopping to note Chakotay's more relaxed position. "We still don't know what they want from us, but I don't believe Captain Mutu and his crew are a threat to us. Does any one have anything to add?" She surveyed the room, no one spoke up. "Mr. Tuvok, you will accompany me to the Alliten ship at 0800. Commander you will have the bridge, Mr. Kim you are to continue to sweep the area for ships. Lieutenant Torres you will be on the bridge and maintain a lock on Mr. Tuvok and myself at all times. Let's see what he wants and get back as quickly as possible." The room filled with 'Aye Captains'. "I have a date with the Captain's Assistant at 1430, Letís see if we can keep it---dismissed."
At 0745 all officers were in position and the shuttle left Voyager for the short trip to the Alliten Vessel with Captain Janeway at the helm. The docking coordinates were sent by Captain Mutu and the shuttle effortlessly glide into their shuttle bay. They disembarked and were greeted by Captain Mutu and two officers.
"Captain Janeway, thank you for coming." He extended his hand in greeting, when she extended hers in response he touched knuckles to knuckles. "Nice landing."
"Thank you, Captain. May I present my Chief of Security Lieutenant Commander Tuvok." She watched them exchange the same greeting. He made no move to introduce his people.
"Shall we?" He gestured for them to follow one of the others toward the doors.
As they walked through the corridors, they quietly observed the deteriorating interior of the ship. They passed few crewmen, but had anticipated this. They were escorted across the bridge and into a room not unlike her own ready room. The environment within this room was much different from the rest of the ship, in here it was bright and warm, there were comfortable seats and refreshments had been provided.
"Please be seated Captain, Lieutenant Commander." He gestured toward two comfortable chairs. As they sat he brought refreshments, handing each a tall yellow drink. "It is quite tasty, navala is what we call it---native to our home world." They both smiled and accepted the drink-holding it. "Please, feel free to test it---it is safe I assure you." He smiled at the Captain and she gave Tuvok a nod.
"Captain, you said native to your home world--just where is that?" The Captain asked as Tuvok ran his tricorder past the beverage as well as the other refreshments and nodded.
"Yes, you would have tried to locate it by now. It will not show up on your scans." He sat next to her. "It was just fifty seven kilometers from here."
"Was?" The Captain took a sip of the drink.
"Yes, it was our home world for many generations, but these last fifty years the planet core had become unstable--five years ago our world was ripped apart by large internal explosion, for years this area of space was covered in dangerous debris, only this past few months has it dissipated to safe levels."
"And your people?" The Captain searched his face for signs of nervousness or deceit, she found none.
"Most of my people were evacuated to another system, three hundred light years form here. Several ships patrolled this area warning ships of the debris and aiding any that might be damaged.---we were one such vessel."
"The other ships?'
"One by one as the danger lessened they moved on to our new home, we are the last. Unfortunately, we are alone and hence vulnerable to attack." He smiled at her. "Not all visitors to this region come in peace. We fought many battles and you have seen the destruction to our ship and I assume you know we have very few crew left---we lost many --we were originally one hundred seventeen. Our warp engines are inoperable, we have little power left, food is minimal and soon our life support will fail." He looked away. trying to regain his composure. "I'm sorry Captain, but my crew, what's left of them is in danger."
"I understand Captain and we will do what we can to help you."
"I know." He took a deep breath, composed again he placed his hand on hers. "We watched you for days before approaching--our scanning capabilities are quiet extensive. Forgive me Captain, but when my people first told me your great ship was led by a woman---I was skeptical of your willingness to help us. In my experience those women who have power are often hardened by it. I have found that drawing the strength to command such a vessel often precludes all else and they cease to be woman or even real people. We know you are a powerful, yet peaceful people and when you appeared on my viewer, I realized you not only possessed the strength of command but the strength and compassion necessary to nurture the life within you. Your crew are indeed lucky to have a Captain capable of caring for them as well as leading them." He stopped when he saw the shock on her face and a slight drop in Mr.Tuvok's jaw. "Have I spoken out of turn or am I merely wrong in the belief that you carry a new life within you?" His face revealed the fear that he had offended his potential benefactor.
"You are not wrong in that assessment, however my crew are as yet unaware of this." She was regaining her composure.
"I am sorry, I should not have been so bold as to speak out on it."
"It is quite alright, it's not a secret that can be kept much longer and Mr. Tuvok is not only my Chief of Security but my very dear friend, no harm has been done." She was able to smile again.
"Still please accept my apology." She smiled and nodded her acceptance. "You haven't told me how you come to be so far from your own home."
The Captain explained the Caretaker and how she and her ship came to be stranded in the delta quadrant. She shared some of their experiences and some of the difficulties they encountered. She didn't bother to go in to the original mission in any detail, not discussing the mixing of Maquis and Starfleet crews. Mutu knew the region and would be able to help them replenish their supplies once his own ship was travel worthy, his new home world could supply many minerals and ores they needed. The Captain and Mr.Tuvok prepared to return to Voyager and prepare teams to assist in the repairs of the Alliten ship.
"Captain, I will contact you as soon as I have had time to discuss your needs with my senior staff and we will formulate a repair schedule from there."
"I look forward to it Captain Janeway,." Mutu touched knuckle with her and Tuvok. "I will escort you to your shuttle-use caution--the ship is damaged and the way can be tricky."
Inside the shuttle she prepared the launch sequence, as she and Tuvok took their places for the short return flight. Neither of them spoke, even after they were clear of the Alliten ship. She realized Tuvok would never broach the subject so it was up to her.
"Tuvok, I'm sorry you found out that way--I wanted to tell you myself."
"Captain, no apology is necessary---Your personal live is not my concern." His expression was not noticeable different than any other time--not noticeable to anyone except Kathryn.
"Tuvok, You are my friend and this is not how I wanted you to find out." She turned away from him and looked straight ahead. "I had hoped you would be happy for me---this is something I truly want --we both do."
"Now, I should apologize I am pleased for you, as your friend as well as your officer- I am concerned with your well being and happiness and I did not meant to convey otherwise. This will be difficult, but I am sure you have already considered that."
"Yes--we have, but my life is passing me by out here--I can't stop living while I wait to get home."
"I understand and congratulate you--a child is a source of great joy and wonderment." He hesitated and gave her a look that she knew signaled humor on his part. "I assume I may congratulate the Commander also."
"Yes--and thank you Tuvok." She could barely get the words out laughing at his expression.
They proceeded to the bridge immediately upon landing the shuttle. As they exited the turbo lift the Captain began issuing orders.
"Mr. Tuvok, you have the bridge--Please call a senior staff meeting in half an hour. Commander may I speak to you in my ready room?" She didn't look at anyone, just proceeded to her ready room. Commander Chakotay followed her.
"Kathryn?" He waited just long enough for the doors to close. "How did it go?"
"Fine--We'll discuss it--first." She sat on the couch and motioned for him to join her.
"No--just a warning--Tuvok may be congratulating you."
"You told him?"
"No--it seems our alien friend has some kind of powers and when he looked at me he knew and let it slip--I almost died!" She rolled her eyes. "Guess we can't keep it secret much longer."
"Guess not--glad you said something--I would have been surprised too!" He took the opportunity to rest his hand on her slightly rounded stomach. "So tell me about this Mutu."
The Captain briefed her first officer on the
contact with Captain Mutu. Together they proceeded to the briefing
room to meet with the senior staff and explain the situation to them.
After much evaluation and discussion it was decided that they would offer
accommodations to the other crew while repairs were conducted. They
would lock a tractor beam on the Alliten ship and travel toward their new
home world as they worked. B'Elanna and Harry were going to take
a team of engineers onto the other ship to evaluate it. Tuvok was
to arrange a section of the ship to house the crew and Captain Mutu would
stay in the VIP suite. Nelix was to prepare a special dinner for
their company at which the senior staff was to be present. Captain
Janeway was to contact Captain Mutu and arrange a meeting to discuss this plan and receive his input on the arrangement and to see if any of his crew were able to assist in the repairs. The meeting was dismissed and the command team retired to the ready room to speak with Captain Mutu.
"Ensign, hail the Alliten ship and put it through to my ready room." She ordered as she crossed the bridge, entering the ready room and settling behind her desk, the Commander across from her.
"Captain, Captain Mutu."
"Thank you, Ensign." The Captain appeared on her view screen. "Captain, I have spoken with my staff and we believe we can be of assistance to you. May I invite you to enjoy our hospitality for this discussion?"
"Certainly, Captain." He hesitated. "I'm afraid Captain, I have no shuttles in working order. Could I prevail upon you for transportation?"
"Transportation will not be a problem. Will you be bringing anyone with you?"
"No, I'm afraid I lost my most trusted advisors and must carry the burdens of my command alone. When would you like to meet?"
"The sooner we get started the sooner your ship is repaired and you can go home---whenever you are ready--just let me know."
"I'm quite as ready as I'm ever going to be--just tell me when transport will arrive."
"Well Captain--I have a unique method of travel for you---I assure you it is quite safe--if you are ready?"
"Yes." He looked a little puzzled.
"Good, stand-by. Ensign, lock on Captain Mutu and bring him to my ready room." She smiled at the bewildered Captain. "Energize." Captain Mutu materialized in her ready room. "Welcome to Voyager, Captain."
"That is amazing technology, Captain." He looked around himself in disbelief. "Why did you not use it earlier?"
"We were unsure as to whether to revel it to you---not everyone comes in peace." He smiled at her use of his words. "And although it is generally safe--just now I prefer not to scatter my atoms across space."
"Yes, Captain I quite understand." He looked around. "If this is any indication, you have a lovely ship here."
"We are very proud of her. May I introduce you to my first officer, Commander Chakotay."
They extended the traditional greeting and her eyed the Commander knowingly. Captain Janeway presented their plan and he was more than happy to accept. He was however concerned with how to repay their generosity. They assured him any assistance her could give then after the repairs would be appreciated, but they were glad to aid a fellow traveler. Captain Mutu was to return to his ship with the engineering team and prepare his crew for transport.
"I will accompany you to engineering and leave you in the capable hands of our Chief Engineer Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres." She rose signaling the end of their meeting. "I have a prior engagement with the Captainís Assistant, when you return and are settled, Commander Chakotay will give you a tour of the ship." She turned to the Commander. "Be sure to bring the Captain to holodeck two, I think he would enjoy meeting Assistant Wildman." Chakotay nodded and smiled at the idea, as she led the Captain to engineering.
Later, when the engineering team finished their preliminary evaluations and the other crew had been settled in their temporary quarters, Commander Chakotay brought Captain Mutu to the holodeck. He explained Naomi's unique position on Voyager, being it's only natural born citizen--so far, and the Captain was intrigued. He enjoyed children and was very glad to hear the entire crew of Voyager felt the same. Naomi was well loved and well cared for. Kathryn and Naomi had been hard at work for almost two hours and Naomi was already very good at the easiest level of the game. They were finishing up a game and Chakotay and Mutu watched as they finished. Chakotay prepared juice for the ladies and watched in amusement as Naomi bested Kathryn for another point. In the end Kathryn won, ever the competitor she would never throw a game.
"Well, gentlemen glad you could stop by." Kathryn took her juice wiping the sweat form her face. "He worries about me." She rolled her eyes. "Captain Mutu, I would like you to meet Captain's Assistant Naomi Wildman."
"Assistant Wildman, it is a pleasure." He extended his hand and Naomi gave him the traditional knuckle greeting.
"The pleasure is mine, Captain and please we are off duty-call me Naomi."
"Well Naomi, you appear to be very good at this, have you played long?"
"Thank you sir, but no--Aunt Kathryn just taught me today."
"She learns very quickly thought--she is quite good." Kathryn was obviously proud of her young student.
"Have you beaten her yet, Naomi?"
"No Uncle Chakotay, but I will."
"Think she'll let you win?" He chuckled at the shocked look on both their faces.
"Never! Aunt Kathryn says 'always play to win' and I expect her to also," She drew herself up to her full three and a half feet. "When I win --I want to earn it."
They all laughed. Naomi and Kathryn went on to play one more game and Chakotay and Mutu continued on their tour of the ship. They would meet again at dinner, to which Mutu had asked if Naomi could be invited, he liked children and sorely missed his own. Samantha and Naomi were added to the list.
Dinner was a great success. Mutuís crew, or what remained of it, mixed well with the senior staff and Nelix had truly out done himself in the cooking department as well as his role as ambassador. Much of Captain Mutuís time was taken up by conversation with Naomi until Samantha excused them both so that Naomi could go to bed. Captain Mutu had in his short time with Naomi become Uncle Mutu and was quite relaxed and happy by the time he returned to sit by Captain Janeway.
"Captain, You have a delightful ship and crew."
"Thank you, but please call me Kathryn--as Naomi said were off duty now." She smiled and indicated her should take the seat next to her, recently vacated by Chakotay.
"Thank you, Kathryn and please call me Mutu--like your Commander I have only one name--it is also a tradition among my people." He took the seat. "Where has the Commander gone? I would like to compare our traditions a bit."
"He is just chatting with B'Elanna, he'll be back. Are your crew satisfied with their quarters? I hope everyone is comfortable."
"Very, your ship is quite luxurious after the sparse accommodations we endured recently. I must thank you again for all your hospitality."
"No, need---we are glad we could help. There have been times we have depended on the kindness of strangers, it feels good to be able to give back."
"Yes it does and if we can do anything at all--please let us know." He shifted a bit uncomfortable in his seat. Kathryn--perhaps I shouldn't ask..."
"What is it--have we forgotten something?"
"No not at all--I was just wondering--but it is a personal matter and maybe I should just let it be."
"You already know more about me personally than most of my crew." She laughed and patted his hand. What's your question.?"
"If you are sure?" She nodded her answer. "You and the Commander---you have never -joined--officially--what do you call it?"
"Married? No, we have a spiritual joining -but nothing official."
"Is there a problem?---would your positions forbid it?"
"Well, yes and no--Our problem is that I am the Captain---Our Federation would not like it, but it is not forbidden--It is that I, as Captain, am the only one allowed to perform such a ceremony and I can't perform my own." She gave a short laugh. "Our situation is unique in many ways."
"I see---Kathryn, would you marry him--if it were possible?" She might have been offended by these questions, but for the open concern she saw on the face of her newest friend. "And he you?"
"Yes." She looked across the room at Chakotay and he could see his answer in her face. "There is no doubt this commitment we have made is for life."
"Your federation-they respect and honor other peoples traditions and laws -do they not?"
"Most definitely, It is one of our most important directives."
"Then maybe I can do something for you after all." He smiled and took her hand. "Kathryn, I am Captain of my ship and I have similar powers--I could marry you-----if you choose."
"Oh gods---that's true and the federation would consider it legal--as long as it would be legal to your people." Her face reflected her shock--but she was happily shocked. "I'll speak to Chakotay, thank you."
"It would be my pleasure, Kathryn." He smiled at the love in her face as she once more turned to look at Chakotay. "And now, my friend, I believe I will avail myself of the wonderful accommodations you have arranged for me---it has been a long, eventful day and tomorrow we have much work to do. I will say good night."
"I am tired as well--I'll walk you to your quarters--it's on my way." As they stood, he offered her his arm and she took it. "Let me just let Chakotay know."
After informing Chakotay she was leaving they said good night to their crews and left together for the short trip to the VIP suite. She dropped Mutu off at his rooms and continued to her own quarters. She knew Chakotay would not be far behind her. She called for half light and changed into her night gown, lighting several candles and ordering two cups of tea, before settling on the couch to wait. She wasn't waiting long, she heard the door swish as he entered.
"Hi---I made you a cup of tea." She patted the couch next to her. "Come sit down."
"Pretty sure I would be right up---is that what B'Elanna calls henpecked?" He sat down and accepted the tea.
"Closer to what Tom says is whipped--I think---I don't even have to nag you."
"Thought you were going to bed---why the detour?"
"I want to ask you something." She took the cup, placing it on the table, she took both his hands in hers and looked deeply into his eyes.
"This must be serious----is something wrong?"
"No nothing wrong." She smiled that special smile she reserved only for him. "Chakotay, will you marry me?" She watched as all his emotions and questions crossed his face. "Chakotay?"
"Yes." His eyes bore into hers.
"Yes?--'Yes' as in what do I want or 'yes' as in you'll marry me?" She continued to enjoy his confusion.
"Yes, I'll marry you---in a second--but how?" He was smiling now, knowing if she asked--she must have the answer.
"Mutu--Mutu is Captain of his own ship--He offered to marry us and the federation will recognize his authority under Alliten law."
"Let's go." He jumped off the couch and grabbed her hand, she yanked him back down, both laughing.
"Can we wait a day or two? ---I would like to plan something---maybe change out of my nightgown..."
"That long?" He frowned at her. "Well if you must ---I can help with the night gown." He slid the straps off her shoulders, leaning down to follow the path of the slipping material with a trail of kisses.
She rested her head on the back of the couch, allowing him full access to her breasts, now exposed by the nightgown which pooled around her waist. He sat up, looking at her for just a moment before joining their lips and running his fingers over her breasts. She moaned into his mouth at the sweet sensations caused by his feather light touch. He kissed along her jaw, nibbled her ear, working his way to the tender spot just behind her ear he knew she loved. His hands continued touching, teasing-fingers lightly tracing the curve of her breast, running down her side and across her stomach. He stroked her breast, tracing light circles with his fingers, gently cupping the increased fullness of them. She arched her back, offering herself to him--shuddering as his breath crossed her nipple. His hands moved down her sides, his tongue traced the outline of her nipple, she groaned as his teeth grazed her and his lips closed around the dimpled hardness of her nipple.
Suddenly he pulled back from her, sliding his arms under her and lifting her as he raised himself off the couch. She wrapped her arms around his neck, reaching into his hair and bringing his lips down to meet hers. Working her way across, she nibbled his ear, nuzzling into his neck as he carried her to the other room and gently placed her on the bed. He stood up and began to open his shirt and she sat up to work the fasteners on his pants. Dropping off onto her knees she slid slacks and boxers off in one movement and he stepped out of his shoes and clothes together. She ran her hands over his hips and down his well muscled legs, bring them up his thighs, one hand guiding him to her waiting mouth. She looked up at him as her tongue swirled, lapping the first drops of fluid, smiling at the taste of him, watching his face as she ran her tongue down the length of him. Tonguing, sucking, nibbling and gently grazing, her mouth working him into a frenzy, his fingers entwined in her hair, finally she took him fully into her mouth. When she encased him in the velvet suction of her mouth, a deep groan escaped as his knees buckled and he fell back on the bed, slipping from her grasp.
Grabbing her as she stood up, he pulled her down on top of him -kissing her fiercely as he rolled her onto her back. He knelt between her legs and turned the attention of his mouth to her breast as his nails slightly scraped her inner thighs. His fingers ran up her thighs, over her hips and stomach, she gasped, arching her hips as his feather light touch crossed over her mound, barely touching her. His teeth closed around her nipple as he slipped his fingers into her slick folds firmly massaging her tight bundle of nerves, causing her to twist and writhe beneath him. His thumb kept up a swirling motion as he slid two fingers into her, causing a sharp intake of breath, He sat back on his knees, swiftly replacing his fingers with his throbbing member, lifting her hips as he entered her- his fingers still manipulating through her moist and swollen lips. She bucked up against him, gasping as she clutched the sheets beside her, squirming under his exquisite torture. He watched her face contort as he slowly enter her, withdrawing almost fully and then plunging again and again, all the while his fingers kept up their rhythm. She frantically grabbed for him, trying unsuccessfully with hands and legs to draw him closer, deeper. He leaned away from her, watching her, slowing-stilling-holding her just on the edge. Her body begged for release and still he held her off, teasing, taunting, allowing her just so close before pulling back. She thrashed, clutching, moaning, grinding her hips toward him, pleading and when he could take no more he allowed her to slip over. She screamed her release as her inner muscles convulsed around him sending him over with her, a deep cry emanated from his throat as her grabbed her hips making a final thrust and gave himself up to her. He collapsed against her and she held him as they struggled to regain their breath.
"Chakotay" She nudged him, trying to move out from under him. "I love you, but I can't breath." She shoved at him harder.
"Sorry." He rolled to his side, taking her with him. "Guess I better learn to be more careful."
"Don't worry soon you won't have a choice---and maybe I'll be big enough to crush you."
"Gods--Kathryn you would have to double your weight to even weight as much--never mind--that wouldn't do it--gods that would be big!" He was laughing as her tried to picture how she would look in a few short months. "I can't imagine---I can't picture what you'll look like."
"Soon enough you won't have to --I already feel big as a house--even though you can't see anything." She sat up putting the pillow across her stomach and covering it with a sheet. "Gods--this is awful." She was laughing with him. "You better not laugh, Mister!"
"I'm not laughing at you--but with you. Remember that." He ducked her swing. "Kathryn, you are beautiful and you will just get more beautiful every day." He pulled her down and kissed her.
"Nice cover---see you remember that!" She moved the pillow and snuggled down in his arms. "What as I going to wear---that uniform is not going to work."
"We'll figure something out---Sam made due." He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her head. "When are we getting married?"
"Just as soon as we can--I think we can keep the ceremony small, but the crew will expect the party to be large."
"You're right, we can use the excuse of having to be on the Alliten ship for the ceremony---but we'll never get away without a party and with this crew it will be big."
"Tomorrow I'll speak to Nelix after we set things up with Mutu. Senior staff at the ceremony?"
"And Sam and Naomi."
"Of course." It was barely a whisper as she nodded off to sleep.
They met Mutu and spoke to him over breakfast. The ceremony would be in his ready room, which was just about the only part of the ship in any shape to use and he was sending crew to make sure it was prepared. That taken care of they were off to the morning briefing to inform the senior staff and that was followed by a ship wide announcement. The wedding would be the next afternoon and Nelix was preparing the reception to immediately afterward on the holodeck. The 'news' was a surprise to no one and went over very well with the crew. A very happy command team retired that evening, planning a wedding, a lifetime and soon another surprise for their crew.
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