Kathryn stepped out onto the balcony of the hotel room of the pensione in Venice. It offered a beautiful view of the rather large central canal of the city that was the historians had to them had been the main waterway. Of all places, they chose Italy for their honeymoon! She smiled, thinking of the argument that they had trying to decide to best place fr them to go for their honeymoon. Starfleet had granted her three weeks of leave after the spring semester at the Academy was finished, but Chakotay didn’t want to wait that long. They had mutually agreed on somewhere on Earth and considering that neither of them had been to Italy, that was another mutual decision. Kathryn sighed remembering the way that they had made up after that argument.
Chakotay heard Kathryn’s sigh from where he stood over their suitcase and turned around. He stopped, his breath catching in his throat from the way she looked, bathed in the sunlight with her hair ablaze with read highlight. Slowly, so as not to disturb her, he made his way out onto the balcony. He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her back against him. Kathryn jumped a little at the feeling of his hands on her waist, then relaxed and leaned into him.
“I’m sorry. Did I disturb something?” he asked softly, nuzzling the side of her neck.
“Yes, but who said that the disturbance was a bad thing?” she asked with a smile.
Chakotay chuckled and buried his face in her hair. She had let it grow since they had been married the year before and it was now almost passed her shoulder blades. He smiled, thinking of how much he had wanted to run his fingers through it while they were on Voyager. The one time that she had let him touch it had been on New Earth. He remembered that night very well. He had picked her hair up off her back and smoothed it a few times before laying it over her shoulder and beginning to kneed her sore muscles.
“Chakotay?” Kathryn asked softly. “Are you there?”
“Yes,” he replied. “I’m so glade you let your hair grow.”
Kathryn turned in his arms and locked her arms around his neck.
“Did you miss it that much?” she asked.
“I missed seeing it flow down your back and shine in the sun,” he told her.
“And now that you can see it all the time?” she asked.
“Just as wonderful as New Earth,” he whispered.
Kathryn smiled and kissed him briefly. She stepped out of his arms and walked back into their room. She walked over to the bed where their suitcases were and unsnapped the locks on hers. Chakotay leaned against the doorframe, watching his wife sort through the clothes that she had packed. In the simple, soft blue dress she wore, she looked almost like and angel. She pulled a white dress from her suitcase and held it up to herself, turning and looking in the full-length mirror hanging on the wall next to the door to the room.
“This should do,” she said, brushing the soft fabric of the dress.
“For what?” Chakotay asked, walking further into the room.
“For going out into the town,” she said, turning around just in time to get a kiss from him.
His kiss was soft and told her of what he had in mind for the night. Kathryn smiled, breaking the kiss as she did. She put a hand in his chest and pushed away from him.
“Later, my love. I want to see the town while there is still day light left,” she said.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, sarcastically, with a smile.
* * * * * * *
Chakotay smiled as he felt Kathryn’s arm link through his in the crowded marketplace. They walked passed shops and stands filled with an undescribable amount of clay pots, jewelry, and flowers that filled the air with a sweet perfume.
“Look!” Kathryn said, pulling his with her toward a shop window.
A few jewelry displays were in the window. One was full of rings of all different colors, shapes and sizes. Another was full of what looked like hair barrettes and the third was covered with cameo broaches. He followed where Kathryn was pointing. Toward the middle of the display, a dark green cameo was nestled in a blue satin cloth. The woman that was etched into it had curly hair cascading down her shoulders with open flowers here and there. A tulip sat just under her chin and tilted to the right. It was framed in gld that was plan, but very elegant.
“That one,” Kathryn told him. “My grandmother used to have one just like it. I haven’t seen it in years. Aunt Martha got it in the will. I always loved that pin. It made me think of another time, another place when life was simple and every woman felt like a goddess.”
Chakotay looked away from the piece of jewelry at his wife who was practically glowing with excitement.
“It’s beautiful,” he said softly.
Kathryn looked up at him and smiled, then looked back at the piece of jewelry.
“Yes, it’s very beautiful,” she said.
Chakotay grasped her hand and started to lead her into the shop/
“Chakotay, what are you doing?” Kathryn asked, stepping into the shop behind him.
“Taking you back in time,” he said, smiling at her over his shoulder.
They entered the shop, the sound of a coco clock ticking and were greeted by a female clerk.
“Hello. May I help you?” the lady asked with a tick Italian accent.
“Yes, thank you. We would like to see one of the broaches that you have in your window,” Chakotay told her.
The woman reached under the counter that she stood behind and grabbed a ring of keys. They jingled as she skimmed through the for the one that opened the window case. She found the one that she was looking for and walked over to the window case, unlocking it.
“Which one would you like to see?” she asked.
“The small, green cameo toward the center,” Kathryn said.
The clerk held up the pair of glasses she had hanging on a chain around her neck to see where the cameo was. She reached into the display case and pulled out a tray lined with blue satin and littered with cameo pendants. She walked over and placed the tray on the glass counter between herself and the couple. Kathryn instantly noticed the one she had been looking at and pointed to it.
“May I?” she asked.
The clerk nodded.
“Of course,” she said.
Kathryn lifted the delicate pendant out of the tray and held it up for them both to be able to see the delicate white etching in the green stone.
“It’s almost exactly like Nana’s,” Kathryn said softly.
Chakotay smiled as Kathryn’s eyes started to glint with tears as she was taken back to being a little girl, sitting on her nana’s lap, looking at her pendant.
“That pendant has quite a history,” the female clerk told them. “It was purchased in London by my husband. The man there told him that his great great grandmother had owned the pendant, passing it down to her daughter, then she passed it to hers, then she to hers before it ended up being his mother’s. His mother had never worn the pendant for fear that it might fade. For thirty years it was kept in the darkness of a drawer, only brought out once a year to be cleaned by a jeweler. The man sold it to my husband with the hopes that it might go to another woman that would pass it along to her daughter and that it would continue the same path that it had originally.”
Kathryn listened intently to every word that the clerk said. She loved the pendant even more now that she had heard it’s story. Nana’s pedant had no story. It had been a present from her grandfather when he was visiting a friend in Florence. She smiled, thinking that one day she could pass this beautiful piece of jewelry on to her daughter.
“How much?” Chakotay asked the clerk.
“200 Euro,” she replied.
Chakotay took the cameo out of Kathryn’s hand and handed it back to the clerk.
“We’ll take it,” he said.
The clerk nodded and wrapped the cameo in a strip of blue satin material, then slipped it into a small, blue satin pouch. She tightened to draw strings and lay it on the glass counter. Chakotay handed her the currency and picked up the pouch.
“Thank you,” he said.
“La fortuna nella vita e l'amore,” the clerk said.
“What does that mean?” Kathryn asked.
“Luck in life and love,” the clerk said, then picked up the tray of cameos, returning it to it’s display in the window of the shop.
Chakotay and Kathryn smiled.
“Thank you,” Kathryn said, then turned and linked her arm through Chakotay’s.
He slid her hand through the loops of the satin pouch’s drawstrings, then ran his finger along her jaw line.
“Now you’re my goddess,” he whispered.
He led her out of the shop and was stopped when she wrapped her arms around him, hugging him tightly.
“Thank you,” she whispered, tears filling her voice.
She released him and stood up on her toes to kiss him before linked her arm through his once again.
“Shall we go, my Aphrodite?” Chakotay asked, smiling down at her.
Kathryn perked an eyebrow.
“I saw myself as more of an Athena,” she said as they waked down the alleyway.
Chakotay nodded in compromise.
“You have the spirit of Athena, but Aphrodite’s charms,” he told her.
Kathryn smiled and squeezed his am affectionately.
“Thank you . . . I think,” she said.
Chakotay chuckled softly. His stomach suddenly grumbled and Kathryn looked up at him sharply. He shrugged and she smiled.
“Come on,” she said, leading him down one of the alleyways. “There is a café in the piazza that Phoebe highly recommended.”
Chakotay looked at her confused.
“In the what?” he asked.
Kathryn laughed softly and tugged on his arm.
Chakotay looked around at the square that the café was located in. After hundreds of years of wear and weathering, this gorgeous city, surrounded by water, was still afloat. The white stone face of the wall that lined the square had been refurbished and glistened in the sun. the gold tipped San Marco’s cathedral was spotless and the murals that were painted on the archways were bursting with color. The big bell tower clanged over the hustle and bustle of the city, telling it’s citizens that it was five in the evening. The colors of the fading sun covered the stone ground of the square in a spectrum of pinks, oranges, and yellows.
Kathryn smiled at Chakotay’s child-like fascination to the splendor of the piazza. She had been the same way the first time she had seen it herself on the holodeck as a child. In person, the beauty was far more lavish. She took a sip of her coffee and turned her attention to the enormous cathedral. Pigeons flew from the steeples and people looked out from the balconies at the scenery. From the looks of the outside, it must have been incredibly beautiful inside.
A soft breeze blew and Kathryn closed her eyes. She took a deep breath, breathing in the scents of roses and gardenias. Her eyes fluttered open and she noticed the source of the perfume. A flower vender stood in the center of the piazza, her baskets full of different colored roses and white gardenias. Kathryn smiled and looked back at Chakotay, suddenly feeling his eyes on her face. He reached across the table and brushed his fingers across her cheek. She leaned her head into his touch, then turned and brushed his fingertips with her lips.
“Are you enjoying yourself?” Chakotay asked.
“Very much,” she replied.
He brought her hand up to his lips and lightly placed a kiss on her palm.
“Let’s go back to the Pensione. I feel like a bath,” Kathryn said, lacing her fingers through his.
Chakotay smiled and stood. He offered her his arm and she took it, them
lay her head against his shoulder.
Kathryn sighed, reveling in the feeling of the warm water of her bath encasing her body. She relaxed against the back of the ceramic tub and looked up to see Chakotay sitting in one of the lounge chairs on their balcony, watching the sun set. She looked around the room that they were staying in. It was small, but not too small for two people to share comfortably. A dresser was against the wall next to the curtained door of their balcony, the bed that they would share was, oddly enough, right next to the tub that she was currently in, and a painting of Venice’s grand canal hung over it.
She closed her eyes and let her head fall back against the tub. ‘Why did we wait so long?’ she asked herself. Seven years of being not being allowed to even think about her feelings for him and when they finally get married, they have to wait another year before going on their honeymoon. She opened her eyes and watched as the sky turned a spectrum of purples and blues. Chakotay’s silhouette filled the doorway and Kathryn smiled. Her eyes followed him as he walked over to her and knelt next to the bathtub. He smiled down at her and rested his chin on the edge of the tub. He brushed a stray lock of her copper-colored hair that had escaped from her bun off her forehead. She reached up and grabbed his hand.
“I love you,” she said softly.
“I love you back,” Chakotay replied.
He leaned over the edge of the tub and placed a whisper light kiss on her lips. She smiled when he pulled away.
“Could you get my robe?” she asked him.
Chakotay smiled and shook his head as he stood. Kathryn watched him walk over to the chair by the door to their room and her breath caught in her throat. He was gorgeous. Even after being married for a year, he could still take her breath away. She watched his back and chest muscled flew as he bent to pick up her robe and had the sudden want to be in his arms. As he turned back to face her, she stood out of the water. Chakotay noticeably stopped for a few seconds, her appearance obviously having an affect on him. ‘I’ve still got it,’ she thought, fighting the urge to smile.
Chakotay slowly walked over to her and held up her robe. She slid her arms into the sleeves and started to tie the silk sash when she was suddenly scooped off her feet. Laughing, she looked at Chakotay and clasped her arms around his neck.
“What are you doing?” she asked through her laughs.
Her laughs quieted as she noticed the look on his face. His eyes suddenly clouded over and she took a sharp breath.
“Chakotay,” she whispered.
Slowly, his lips descended on her and he lowered her onto the bed. Venice
and all of the people in it faded into fireworks and bells that rang through
Chakotay opened his eyes as consciousness took over. He looked over at his sleeping wife and feel in love with her all over again. Her hair was cascading down her bare back and she looked like an angel with her lips slightly parted and the early morning sun shining over her.
“Ah, Venice,” he said softly.
“Gorgeous isn’t it?” Kathryn’s sweet voice said.
He saw the smile on her lips and chuckled. Kathryn opened her blue eyes and propped herself up on her elbow.
“How long have you been awake?” she asked.
“A little while,” he replied.
“Doing what?” she asked.
Chakotay reached forward and tucked her hair behind her ear.
“Watching you sleep,” he said.
Kathryn smiled and kissed him. She sat up and grabbed her robe off the bottom of the bed. Standing, she tied the sash and sat back down on the side of the bed.
“We should have done this sooner,” she said, watching the curtains blow in the soft morning breeze.
“Next time you’ll have to tell Starfleet ‘no’,” Chakotay said, relaxing against the pillows behind him.
Kathryn smiled back at him.
“Easier said than done, my love,” she said.
Chakotay shook his head and sat forward. He scooped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.
“The ever faithful Starfleet officer,” he said before kissing her exposed collarbone.
“Put yourself in my shoes,” she said, leaning her head back and closing her eyes. “ If the Admiralty suddenly promoted you and asked you to head the department of Delta Quadrant studies at the Academy, what would you have done?”
“Told them I had just been married and my spouse required my attention,” he replied.
Kathryn lifted her head and opened her eyes.
“You make it sound like I abandoned you,” she said, pulling away from him and starting to stand.
He pulled her back down onto the bed.
“I didn’t mean that. I missed you is all,” he reassured her.
Kathryn relaxed and leaned back against his chest. She tucked her head under his chin an smiled.
“I just remember . . . happy anniversary,” she said.
She felt Chakotay smile.
“Happy anniversary, Kathryn,” he said softly.
Kathryn’s smile grew.
“I know we said we weren’t getting each other gifts, but I just couldn’t help myself,” she began.
“Kathryn . . .” Chakotay interrupted.
“It’s not what you think!” she protested.
“I’m listening,” he said.
“Well,” she began. “Before we left I had been feeling a little nauseous in the mornings when I would wake up. Just to be sure that I was able to travel, I went to see the Doctor . . . you’re going to be a daddy.”
Silence filled the room as she waited for his reply.
“Chakotay? Say something,” she said, worriedly.
She felt a drop of liquid leak through the cloth of her robe and looked up to see Chakotay’s smiling through his tears. She brushed the tears from his cheeks and lay her head against his chest.
“You couldn’t have given me anything more wonderful, Kathryn,” Chakotay whispered, brushing a kiss into her hair.
Kathryn sighed and closed her eyes.
“Ah, Venice,” she said softly.
She felt Chakotay chuckle low in his chest.
“We’ll have to come back here someday,” he said.
“And bring our little Janeway back with us,” she said softly.
Chakotay closed his eyes and moved his hand over her abdomen. Kathryn covered
his hands with hers and smiled, imagining bringing their child back to
the beautiful city.
Some flowers used to make the contest graphics from