I'm pacing my in my new office not believing the words I'm hearing. Never before, in all my years as a Starfleet officer have I had a request like this. "Chakotay, you are going to have to explain this from the beginning; I am quite confused," I say.
"Well, Kathryn, it's like this. You know that Seven and I have been dating," he began.
I try not to show any disappointment as I answer, "Yes."
"Well, I've been taking it slowly. I don't want to rush her on this ;it's her first relationship after all. And to tell the truth, I'm not sure how serious I want it to get," he said.
"Get to the point, Chakotay," I was sounding more than a little irate. I didn't need to hear a word by word account here.
"Okay, sorry. About a month ago, things got a little serious. I knew I didn't want to take that ... final step with her, at least not yet. But it did get a little heated none the less. She had her hand around my neck and we were... kissing," he looked a little embarrassed telling me this tale of his. "Seven was obviously getting turned on a bit."
I interrupted him, "Chakotay, I don't want to hear the details of what you did that night, please."
"Kathryn, to understand this you have to, I'm sorry," he said. "To put it plainly I decided on a little petting," he laughed at the word and then continued. "It didn't take much to... give her release. But as soon as I did I felt a blinding pain; I know I screamed and looked up at Seven. She looked horrified Kathryn, absolutely horrified."
I'm quite interested now; I sit a little closer to him, putting my hand on his knee, "What happened?"
"She punctured me with her assimilation tubules. Thank the spirits no nano probes came out, but it still hurt. Seven apologized over and over. I guess I don't have to tell you that completely ruined the mood," he said.
I'm trying hard not to laugh, but boy would I have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that one. "So, continue."
"I feel horrible saying it, but I just couldn't bring myself to get close to her again. I know it was an accident, but the idea of being with her again made me very jumpy. We broke it off shortly after that and are doing our best to remain friends," he said.
"Thatís good. I think it would be worse if you avoided her, she still needs all the friends she can get." I was trying to be supportive.
"Now for the bottom line. She came to see me yesterday. It seems Seven is pregnant, and not to happy about it," he said as he looked me squarely in the eye.
"Did I miss something here? I thought you said that the two of you neverÖ" .
"The tubules, it seemed they had a nice abundance of my DNA on them when she retracted them back into her arm. And I donít think I have to explain to you the details of modern science to you. Just a little DNA, if put in the right place can create a little one," he said with a surprisingly sarcastic tone.
"But you have to put it there., Oh I'm not even going to ask. I suppose with the implants and all I could see how it could happen," I say. "So now what Chakotay?" All I can think about is a conversation I had with my sister when we were little where she asked me if one could get pregnant by kissing a boy. Again I have to work hard at surpressing my laughter.
"Now, Seven's body is slowly rejecting the fetus. She is perfectly fine with that; she doesn't want to be a mother. But for me, I don't know. I'm so torn here. I remember how I reacted when I first thought that Seska's baby was mine. I was horrified at the thought, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was just a baby. I don't want this baby to die." For the first time in a long time it looked as if Chakotay was going to cry.
I reach over and pull him into a hug, "I know, Chakotay, but sometimes there aren't choices in the matter."
"There is one choice," he said, pulling away from me. "The doctor said if a surrogate mother could be found the baby would stand a chance to live. Seven even gave me permission to try to find one, as long as once the baby has been removed, she doesn't have to be brought back into the picture."
It suddenly dawns on me just what he is asking. "You want me to be the surrogate?"
He suddenly rises from the couch, "I'm sorry, this was so stupid. I should have never even thought it."
"Chakotay, wait," I say before I even realize it. "How long do I have to decide?"
He turns back to me, looking a bit hopeful. "the doctor says the longer we wait, the less likely the baby will survive."
I feel a headache coming on, a big one, "Can you give me some time to think about this? At least a day?"
"Of course, maybe I should go now so you can think," he says.
"Yes, I'll get back to you tomorrow. Right now I think I need to go home and take a nice warm bath."
He says goodbye leaving me alone once again. "Kathryn, how do you manage to get yourself into situations like this?" I ask myself but thankfully I don't answer.
I arrive the next day at the hospital. I think I've made up my mind but I have a couple questions, mainly about the affect of carrying a former drone's baby? I'm sorry but I've had enough nano probes floating around in my system and now that they are gone, I don't want any more.
The doctor reassures me that the baby surprisingly has no nano probes, which, he believe is the main reason Seven's body is rejecting the fetus. The placenta is doing its job protecting the fetus from any invading force and that includes those feisty little buggers.
We discuss a few more of my questions and once my mind seems to be settled I get up to leave. I know the doctor is confused but I need to talk to Chakotay first before anyone else.
I don't have to look far, he's waiting outside of the office. "Can we go somewhere private?" I ask.
He nods and directs me out of the building. He leads me over to a bench within the gardens; no one is there. I sit and immediately begin to speak., "We have a few things to work out here, Chakotay. First of all, I will do it." He interrupts me with a hug, which I gladly return. I push him away I want to get all of this out, "I'm not really sure how this should go, so please hear me out. I am about to carry a baby for almost nine months and I'm not sure I could deal with handing that baby over and walking away when I'm done. Then again, I'm not sure I will want anything to do with this baby when it's all over."
"We'll work this out as we go along," he says.
"I know. I just wanted it clear that I think I might want to be a part of this child's life," I say.
I watch him struggle with his response. We had always tiptoed around this subject until we dropped it all together. Now here is something that will bring it up all over again. His smile reassures me. "I don't know where this will take us, but I know that having you in my life would be wonderful, in any capacity."
I smile at him and thought, 'nicely said Chakotay, completely around the subject of us. But thatís ok, I'm not sure I want to bring it up at the present moment anyway. "Well then. Now that is said, I think I need to get back to the doctor. Two days of hormone injections and he thinks I should be ready."
"Do you mind if I come?" he asks.
I laugh, "It's just a hypospray, Chakotay, I'll be fine."
"Dinner tonight?" he asks.
"No, actually, the doctor said I may have some unusual side affects from the hormones. Nothing major, maybe some nausea or headaches, but I don't think I will be pleasant company." How do I tell him that I also just want to be alone, to give myself some time to come to terms with this decision I have made.
"All right, how about we meet back here in two days?" he responds.
I think he got the hint. We say our good byes and I watch him walk away. I head in a different direction. Before I get that hypo I think I need to have a talk with Seven. I need to be sure how she feels about this before I continue.
I sink down into my oversized tub, grateful for the warmth it brings. My body aches a little and my head hurts a lot. Between the talk with Seven and the extra hormones I'm not surprised at my body's reaction.
Seven was emotionless as she discussed the entire issue, talking about the baby as if it were just problem of humanity she had to overcome. The only bit of emotion I saw was when she briefly spoke of the "conception" and even there she was only sorry that she had injured Chakotay.
She was confused at Chakotay's attachment to this child, "it is not a baby yet" were her words. I was about to get into a debate with her on the subject when I decided it was a moot point. I simply said I wanted to know her feelings about what I was about to do.
She simply stated that once the transfer took place it was no longer her child and that what the commander and I chose to do was not anything she would be interested in.
I shake my head; she is so eager to learn and yet seems so unwilling in some areas. It makes me wonder what she and Chakotay's relationship was really like. Maybe someday I will ask him' maybe I will find out if there really is a different side to her.
The day arrives and I find myself nervous. The doctor has me lie on a biobed and orders me to remain completely still while he prepares for the transport. I look over at Seven lying on the adjacent biobed; she nods at me then looks away. I can't help but wonder if this is going to help or harm her and begin to once again have doubts. One look at Chakotay's smiling face and my doubts fly away.
I watch him attempt to comfort Seven who quickly tells him that she is fine and to let the doctor work. I can tell he's a bit uncomfortable, not knowing how he should act around her. Does he feel the same way I feel, as if we are betraying her in some way? I remind myself that the child would not survive if we didn't do this, and that she has consented on more than one occasion.
The doctor is finally ready and within moments I feel a slight pressure in my abdomen. At first it doesnít hurt but as the whir of the transporter dies down I can't help but cry out.
Chakotay is by my side right away, so is the doctor scanning me. "The pain should subside momentarily. You need to remain still as the fetus settles into your womb. Remember, you will not be able to get up for the next 24 hours. After that your movement must be limited for 2 days."
"How long will I have to stay in the hospital?"
"If all goes well, no more than two days," he tells me.
I sigh to myself; it will be a long two days.
I have to laugh at myself; I remember when I thought those two days on the hospital were never going to end. Now as I waddle around my house with what can only be described as a watermelon shoved under my shirt I wonder how much longer I will have to endure this.
I can answer it quickly, two more months. 'How in the world am I going to survive two more months of this?' I ask myself as the pain in my back increases. I'm always uncomfortable; I cannot go more than thirty feet from a bathroom and my feet are swollen. Should I go on with the list?
But as the child in my belly rolls around, and my hand moves to soothe it back into slumber, I know I wouldn't change a thing. I knew this would happen; I knew I would fall in love. I haven't even laid eyes on her, yet I know I love her unconditionally.
Yes, itís a girl. The doctor gave me the option of finding out on the only visit that Chakotay couldn't attend due to a meeting and I couldn't resist. Chakotay doesn't know yet, and I know he doesn't want to. Thatís ok, I can keep a secret.
Sometimes I keep them too well, like that secret about how I feel about Chakotay. I kept my feelings so buried that I almost forgot them myself. I had no choice on Voyager, but when I got home, that was a different story. It hurt to watch Chakotay walk away with Seven, but I had made my own bed. I had to lie in it.
Then when he came to me with this request, I couldn't help but wonder what this child would do to those feelings.
No, I did not do this to get closer to Chakotay; I did this for him.
I hear him come in the door, breaking my train of thought. He is living here now, maybe temporarily, maybe not. It hasn't been discussed yet, but I know it will have to be soon. I don't want to give the baby up, and yet it's his.
Oh, this is so confusing. I'm not really sure what the hell I'm going to do. I guess putting off this discussion any longer will only cause more confusion; it's time to bring it up.
"How was your day?" I ask. He's has been teaching anthropology at the local college and loving every minute of it.
"Not bad. How are you feeling today? Back still hurt?"
"Of course," I say with a laugh. "Don't worry, Chakotay, I will survive this."
"If you want a backrub, I'm available," he says.
I'm about to respond when I hear the computer chime that I have received a message. I instruct the computer to play the message as I approach the desk, and nearly fall over as I hear the news. There was a shuttle crash, Seven was one of the passengers, all hands lost. A full report will be available at a later date.
I know I'm shaking and I feel the tears as the fall down my cheeks, then I feel the strong arms surround me as I'm lead over to the couch. We hold each other and we both cry, for a woman who was lost so early in her life. She never quite reached the goal she set out to achieve, still never quite grasping hold of her humanity. She never quite understood what it means to love. I wonder if she ever really would have, or if she did and just didn't know how to show it.
Chakotay and I have spoken several times about his brief relationship with Seven, about how she would struggle with basic emotions, and yet would honestly try to show them. He had said that some of her reactions almost seemed rehearsed, like she practiced it before, but she still put forth the effort to show her his true emotions. He felt that he always seemed to fall flat, as he spouted words of love to her, like they weren't quite meant for her.
I know he felt as if he had failed her then; I wonder what he is feeling now? I hope he doesn't feel guilt, for he cannot be blamed in her death. But knowing Chakotay, he will and it will be up to me to steer him back.
I pull his head out of the crook of my neck and make him look at me. My heart nearly breaks at the sight, eyes puffy and red from crying. I do what seems natural to me and lean in close to kiss him lightly. He responds, and it sends shivers down my spine. I know now that this is the start, the first acknowledgement that this relationship is about to take a turn for the better. I feel a little guilty as the thoughts of Seven's death quickly leave my mind but the guilt slowly dissipates as the passions rise, one feeling after another.
I'm barely aware of him lifting me, and despite my added weight, he easily carries me to my bedroom. He gently lays me on the bed and leans over to me to kiss me once again. I know I want this; it suddenly feels so right, but I feel self conscious due to my enlarged belly. I know I shouldn't, he's seen it plenty of times, yet never in a state of complete undress.
As if he is aware of what I am thinking he says, "I want to see all of you, Kathryn."
I stand to face him and watch him slowly remove his clothing. It's like an erotic dance watching each piece fall to the floor; he is trying to put me at ease, beating me to that naked state. As he slowly inches the boxer shorts down to the floor all doubt in my mind takes a quick exit.
I turn around and ask him to unzip the dress I am wearing and feel a chill run up my spine as his fingers graze my back as the zipper goes down. I then turn back to him and move the straps of the maternity dress down my shoulders then let go. The dress does just as it should -- it falls to the floor. I then slowly remove the bra and expose my enlarged breasts. I smile as he slowly reaches out to caress one of them, then I gasp, they are much more sensitive then they used to be. I'm quite surprise as I discover that I really don't like the sensation as much as I used to, it must have something to do with the pregnancy.
Once again he reads my thoughts and removes his hand. I finish the show, stripping of my panties, and hear him gasp as I stand up straight.
"You are beautiful," he whispers as he once again meets my lips. He lowers me back onto the bed and lies beside me. His hands begin to wander all over my body, just barely gracing my breasts but lingering on my belly. He leans in close and whispers words that touch my heart, "Go to sleep little one, your mother and I are about to make love."
"Oh, Chakotay," I cry.
"Shh, love," is all he says before continuing his exploration. Soon his hands make their way to my tingling bundle of nerves. That too seems to be overly sensitive but this is a sensation I do not mind. My head is swimming as he slowly circles his fingers, just as I feel I am about to explode he stops. I am about to protest when I notice him leave my side and move between my legs. I'm not sure how to react, this is something that I have experienced rarely. Mark did it once, but said he didn't like the taste and the time before was Justin; that was so long ago, I'm not sure if I remember it.
I decide to lie back and enjoy, and enjoy I do. Soon I am bucking into his mouth, desperate for that release I was so near before. It doesn't take long before I see stars as I explode. Chakotay is relentless, still lapping at my center, sending aftershocks through me. My god, if he doesn't stop I just may pass out. I reach my hand to his head and try to pull him up, "too much," I manage to gasp out.
He smiles up at me and moves up my body. That smile of his tells me he isn't quite through with me and I think I'm ok with that. I feel his member nudging at my entrance so I spread my legs a little more and feel it slowly slip inside. It's an exquisite feeling, one I almost forgot, being filled up. I know I'm tight, but it's not quite painful. Just a deep pressure, one I thoroughly enjoy.
I think there is a part of me that could just stay like this, never parting from this man, forever joined. But he is impatient and slowly begins to move; I join him, meeting him thrust for thrust.
I know this won't last long, I can feel the spiral of another oncoming orgasm. Chakotay's movements are less coordinated, slightly jerky as he's trying to keep up the rhythm with his oncoming climax distracting him. I open my eyes and watch him, I want to see his face the moment it happens; a particular fantasy of mine.
I hear a sound, almost like a whimper and wonder for a second where it is coming from, until I realize it's coming from me. My voice joins with his and soon we are both howling as our climaxes come together.
We are both sticky and sweaty and I can feel our juices running out of me; I reach down, suddenly desperate to taste; salty and sour, but delicious much the same. He collapses next to me and I turn to snuggle against him. I think I've waited forever to know what it was like to sleep next to him, tonight I will know. Itís a comfort that I now know I will cherish for the rest of my life. This union completed us, made us whole, made us a family.
I look over at Chakotay lying next to me, half asleep, yet smiling. He must realize it, too, A joining of souls, that's what this is. What is the betaziod word for it? Imzadi, thatís it. He is my Imzadi. There is no doubt about it any more.
I quietly try to reach into the small bassinet and remove my daughter from it without waking Chakotay. The poor dear has finally fallen asleep after surviving the exhausting labor. I know I need to sleep too, but Annesa is hungry so she comes first.
I watch as my daughter latches onto my breast and greedily eats, her eyes already drifting shut. I'm finding it hard to take my eyes off of her, she is the picture of beauty, with her shiny black hair, slightly tan skin and those beautiful dark eyes. I can tell those eyes will be blue and find myself thinking just like mine. I did not create this child but I did love and nurture her, and I will think of myself as her mother, her only mother.
Chakotay and I talked about it, and decided it would be cruel to tell a child that her conception was an accident and a freak accident at that. Maybe it's wrong not telling her who her biological mother really was, but then again to tell her that would be to tell her of rejection and a deep sadness. Our daughter will know only love, a strong love between her mother and father -- Chakotay and me. It's all she will need growing up in this world.
Oh she will learn of a woman named Seven, a good friend of her mother and father, and the tale of how she came to Earth. But there will be nothing more to that story, nothing else is needed, except maybe to say that before Seven's death, the drone did something that brought the two of us together, something extraordinary that we will never forget.
It's because of Seven that two people found love and happiness,
and also because of her that baby now makes three.