‘“Easy,” Chakotay said as he watched the museum laborers unload the precious cargo from his shuttle. He could just see it in his mind; returning to Earth after 6 months with the biggest archeological discovery in nearly a century only to have the most important part smash into a million pieces just steps from the museum entrance. That would be his typical luck.
Chakotay had been having a real run of bad luck when he’d made his find. He been so completely stunned when he’d found the ancient carvings that he still had trouble believing it. After his breakup with Seven, then his inability to reach Kathryn before shipping out for his dig only one week after Voyager’s welcome home party he had turned quickly into a bitter, angry man.
Then half of his crew had dropped out before the dig even really gotten underway, while the other half had done so rapidly over the span of the first two weeks. In retrospect he couldn’t really blame them. He had behaved like a tyrant. He’d been cruel and unkind to them. He was having trouble getting over the break up. Not so much because Seven had decided to end it, and did so during the actual welcome home party. No, it was really more about the fact that he’d blown his chance at a life with Kathryn when he’d involved himself with the former Borg.
And it hadn’t taken him long to realize that he’d blown it for no good reason. It had been an error in judgment to think that he and Seven of Nine could ever have a real relationship and he shouldn’t have been surprised when she’d dumped him in favor of the Doctor.
Chakotay cringed when he thought of the last ditch attempt at holding on to Seven by sleeping with her after the party. What a mistake that had been. But he’d been drunker than he’d ever been in his entire life and he knew that his decision making skills had abandoned him for the night.
He also knew why his attempts to reach Kathryn had fallen on deaf ears. She must have heard about his break up and probably thought that he was trying to start something with her now that they were home and he was free. He’d managed to screw up his entire life in one fell swoop.
And so, alone on the planet of Darsos IV, he’d turned his anger and bitterness into a fuel to feed the fire of his productivity. He realized he could do this alone. After all he’d been working on this theory all by himself, even before Voyager.
During his Maquis days, Chakotay had come across some illegal artifacts during a supply run to a little planet not too far from the Badlands. The artifacts had reminded him of some he’d seen back on Dorvan. The tribe’s Chief and the Shaman had both had them prominently displayed in their homes and offices. Even his father had owned one that only made its way out of the cabinet on special occasions. Chakotay was later to learn that these trinkets were considered gifts from the sky people. Once he’d heard that he hadn’t given them another moment’s thought, until he returned to his home world after the Cardassians had murdered his people.
In the ruins of what used to be his village, Chakotay found remnants of the small statues and carvings. He’d even discovered some that had remained intact. Sadly his father’s piece had not been among them. He’d only been immediately able to find half of the figure and had never been able to find the rest. Before leaving to return to Starfleet and tender his resignation, he’d gathered as many of the bits and pieces as he could find and taken them with him.
Later, Chakotay had purchased all the artifacts that he happened upon during his supply run. The peddler had told him that they’d been brought back very recently from another planet which was not so far away, by some traders. The peddler did not know which planet and hadn’t known the men who’d sold them to him. Further investigation in the market places of Luminan had revealed nothing, and Chakotay vowed he’d return one day.
Then his Maquis lifestyle became busier and more dangerous. And eventually it had landed him on Voyager.
From time to time when things were quiet in the Delta Quadrant, he would continue to research the object of his quest. However with quiet times few and far between on Voyager, it was about 5 years into their journey that he’d discovered a fatal flaw in some calculations on the Starfleet database.
Early on, a group of traders had found the artifacts on a planet. And he’d searched enough to know that this is where his illegally obtained pieces had come from.
In the records, he found that these traders had been convicted of looting and in order to cut their sentences had been forced to reveal the location of the planet from which they stole their booty. A common enough practice for the Federation. It was also a common occurrence for this information to be uploaded to the Starfleet databank where any officer could find it.
Searchers had come and gone and no one had ever found any more artifacts, even though in their statements, the men had said that there had been a wealth of items left behind.
From what they’d been told there was no doubt that this was a major archeological discovery in the making. It became a Federation priority – we must find this site! Search though they might, the all powerful Starfleet had never been able to find a single trinket. And the exact area had remained a mystery.
That was until Chakotay had discovered that the tactician who gathered the information, did the calculations and had drawn up the star-chart should never have passed high school math. No wonder the actual site had never been discovered. The error in the formula had caused every searcher for a decade to look on a small planet nine light years in the wrong direction.
Chakotay checked and rechecked his work until he was sure that he hadn’t been the one to make the error. Then when he was certain he was correct, he had laughed himself silly. He celebrated with a drink and toasted to Starfleet’s arrogant policy of not rechecking its data once it had been uploaded to the database.
He had longed to share this information with Kathryn. Had in fact given her the opening by requesting her permission to be included on the Starfleet news service updates that came in the monthly transmissions. Without even looking up from her work, she had approved the request. Even gave him access to the ones that had come in the previous months, but never bothered to ask him about it. They had grown apart and despite the fact that he still loved Kathryn dearly, he had eventually began a relationship with Seven of Nine. Sought comfort in her arms and in the warmth she gave his bed. But after their arrival home and her sudden epiphany that she in fact loved the doctor, Chakotay found himself odd man out once again.
Once he’d made it to Darsos IV he found it relatively effortless to throw himself into his work. In turn this had sped up the arduous task of finding the site. He avoided sleeping until he could not longer move out of exhaustion. Many times just falling asleep in a heap while working. He realized early on that If he rested it would give him time to think about Kathryn.
When he’d dug out and entered the first cave, Chakotay was instantly glad he was the only one there. Was glad that he alone could now prove that the Sky Spirits had existed in the Alpha Quadrant thousands of years ago. That his people and those in the Delta Quadrant had all descended from the same tribe.
Even though he already knew that from his experience in the Delta Quadrant, he was proud that he could be the one to prove it to the universe. That his people, who had been regarded as backward and primitive, even by himself, had in fact been the first to travel between the Alpha and Delta quadrants.
Now he felt he could rest at night. He felt that he had redeemed himself and could now go to Kathryn and ask for her forgiveness and love.
Chakotay had insisted on bringing each and every piece he’d discovered, and there had been hundreds, to Starfleet headquarters himself, and had only just arrived with the last slab of carvings. This one depicted the Chamoozee in various sizes. It was a very important piece as it tied the people and data he’d found in the Delta Quadrant to this side of the universe.
Tonight was the private party to unveil the exhibit and tomorrow it would open to the public. He had instantly emerged as a major force in the archeological world. And there was great interest in the showing. Everyone invited had sent in their RSVP indicating they would attend the gala. This was encouraging to Chakotay as he’d invited Kathryn to be his guest. But he hadn’t had a lot of time to think about that and in truth wouldn’t allow himself the time. He needed to focus on one hurdle at a time today. It was very important that the private showing and party go well. He needed to have something to offer Kathryn when he turned his attention to winning back her heart.
“Chakotay!” the museum curator called out. And then for the rest of the day his attention was taken up by the exhibit and all its details.
It wasn’t until he was showered and dressed and standing in the great rotunda of the museum fiddling with his cuff links that he allowed himself to think about Kathryn Janeway. He was nervous about seeing her but looking forward to it at the same time. His mind led him to places he knew it was better not to go. What would she be wearing? Would she have anything on underneath? What would she smell like? Taste like? And would he find out tonight?
In truth he was more anxious about seeing Kathryn than he was about unveiling his discovery.
Just as the museum’s event coordinator came over to lead him to his place in the reception line, he saw her. A vision in emerald green headed his way. She smiled at him and he knew he’d been had.
“Chakotay!” she said throwing herself into his arms.
The next morning Chakotay woke up to accolades and a huge headache. The abundance of champagne he’d drunk last night was not the only reason his head was pounding. There were many other reasons. However they could all be tied up into one pretty package called Kathryn Janeway.
From what little he’d been able to put together, B’Elanna had been the one to RSVP to his invitation. She hadn’t even realized that it hadn’t come directly from him, but rather had been forwarded by the original invitee. Kathryn had evidently read his note then turned around and had it duplicated and addressed to B’ella. A Starfleet courier had hand delivered it and then taken her response right back to the museum.
The name B’Elanna Torres- Paris had been on everything from her name tag to her place card, to the gift assortment bag that had been given to all the guests in attendance that night. Someone had to have set that up. Someone with the power to change the name of his guest without him even knowing it.
Someone like a newly minted admiral? he wondered.
While he’d hoped to be waking up with Kathryn this morning, the only thing he’d awoken to was a bad assed headache. And don’t forget the empty bed. Oh and add a side of shitty mood to that, thank you very much.
Why had she felt the need to deceive him? What had he done to deserve that? He was getting incredibly pissed now which wasn’t helping his headache one bit.
Thankfully he had already scheduled an appointment with the EMH for his yearly physical. He knew he could get something for his headache there.
He chastised himself for drinking the night before. He had promised himself that he would never drink again after what happened the last time. But damn that Kathryn. She’d thrown him off his game, so he figured why the hell not? Not like he could make the same mistake, right?
And now he was going to see the doctor face to face for the first time since he’d slept with Seven after the welcome home gala. Just before she’d gone off with the hologram. The doctor had been happy to hear from him, and had gone so far as to schedule the appointment himself. However Chakotay knew this could still be awkward.
He managed to get himself dressed and over to Starfleet medical with minutes to spare.
Once seated in the waiting room, he began to think about Kathryn again. He was still angry. Not that he had been unhappy to see B’Elanna by any means. He had just really wanted to have Kathryn there by his side on his big night. And that she wouldn’t attend, but rather would make such an effort to fool him in to thinking she was coming… Well that was just not like Kathryn Janeway at all.
Before he had too much time to wonder any further, a voice interrupted his thoughts.
Chakotay looked up to find both Delaney twins rushing towards him. He barely had a chance to stand up before they were on him. He noted the burgeoning bellies of both sisters before hugging them both affectionately.
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “Look at you. You both work really fast.” He smiled at them. “Congratulations.”
The girls giggled. “It’s not just us.” Megan said. “Sue Nicholetti, is pregnant too.”
“And Naomi is going to have a baby brother too.” Jenny added.
“Hey now,” He said with a grin. “That’s something to celebrate.”
“And so is your exhibit from what we saw on the news services this morning!” said Jenny. “Congratulations yourself.”
Megan added her congratulations as well. Then the three made idle chit chat about the crew and all the latest gossip until he was called into the doctor’s office. They all agreed to catch up soon.
Chakotay approached the open door and then turned suddenly. “Have either of you seen Ayala?”
The sisters exchanged knowing glances. “Oh yes,” Jenny said as she patted her bulging belly.
Surprised he asked, Mike’s the father?”
The twins giggled again, then said in unison, “Yes.” Then they turned on their heels and left the outer office with saucy waves, leaving a stunned Chakotay in their wake.
The nurse gave him a knowing wink and then ushered him into an examining room. As he waited, Chakotay thought about his old friend Mike Ayala. He didn’t know why he was so surprised given Mike’s predilection for identical twins. He was bound to get caught at some point.
“Well if it isn’t Voyager’s latest celebrity!” The Doctor’s booming voice cut into his musings.
“Doctor.” He stood and they shook hands. However the EMH wasn’t having any of it. He pulled Chakotay into a bear hug and thumped him heartily on the back.
Pulling back the hologram said, “Well you certainly look good! Evidently being famous agrees with you.”
Chakotay pulled on an earlobe. “I’m not so famous,” he said humbly.
“Well the news services beg to differ I’m afraid. They couldn’t say enough about you this morning.” Chakotay tried to wave him off, but he continued.
“Seven tells me that the Federations is even considering taking another look into the massacre of your people by the Cardassians.
Chakotay snorted. He hadn’t heard this yet. “Sure, now that my people are in the news they’re taking it under consideration. When we were nobodies who were begging for their help it was easier to sweep us under their rug.”
The doctor nodded. “That’s just about what Seven said you would say on the matter.”
Chakotay regarded the doctor. No time like the present, he figured. “How is Seven?”
The EMH positively beamed. “She’s well. Very well. She asked me to give you her regards.”
Well this was music to his ears. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so awkward after all. The doctor went on as he scanned his patient.
“We’re planning on attending the exhibit as soon as we can. I must say we are really looking forward to it.
“Please let me know when you’d like to go. I’ll have them put you on the list as my guests.”
The doctor was touched. He too had thought that this meeting might be uncomfortable. He was pleased that it was not. “Well, Thank you.”
Chakotay went on. “I’ll tell you what. If you like, I could arrange to meet you there and give you the private tour.”
Again the hologram beamed. “I know Seven would like that very much.
Part of the cloud over Chakotay’s head lifted. “I’d like that very much too.” The men smiled at each other.
The examination continued. “I’m sure you’ve already arranged several of these private tours by now.” the doctor said.
Chakotay shook his head. “Not really. Just to B’Elanna and Tom. I only got back last night in time for the opening. I haven’t had time to see anyone yet.”
“Perhaps you could arrange for a Voyager night at the exhibit and everyone could come at the same time so you’d only have to do this once.”
Chakotay liked the idea immediately. If he were truthful he would admit that he felt it was the perfect way to get to see Kathryn. How could she avoid a crew get together? She’d have to show up. It was brilliant. Of course he did really like the idea of sharing his accomplishments with his Voyager family. It was an excellent suggestion.
“I think that’s a fine idea doctor. I’ll see what I can arrange and get back to you.”
“Great! Any reason is a good reason for a Voyager family party, right?
Chakotay nodded. “Speaking of the Voyager family. I just saw the Delaneys in the waiting room. I understand Ayala is about to become a father two more times.
“Make that three Commander. Our little triad is about to go from a threesome to a six-some. Megan is having twins.
Chakotay laughed. “Mike’s always had a thing for identical twins.”
“Well he’ll soon be father to a set of identical girls. From now on he’ll have to be on the lookout for himself.” The two men shared a laugh.
“He should be good and scared if they’re anything like he was in him Maquis days.” He shook his head. Seems that part of the Voyager family is growing exponentially.
“Not just that part of the family, “ the doctor said.
“Yes I understand that Sue and Samantha are both expecting as well.”
The doctor nodded. “Among others.”
Chakotay was interested. “There are more? That’s great. Who are they?”
“The list is too long to recite I’m afraid,” the doctor said as he readied a hypospray. There’s a flock of them.”
“Welcome home babies,” Chakotay muttered. As an anthropology major he’d heard of this sort of phenomenon. As a man he was sad not to be a part of it.
Administering the analgesic for the headache, the doctor said, “I’m afraid it’s not that simple. It seems that the contraceptive boosters we used in the Delta Quadrant don’t quite work the same in the Alpha Quadrant. Or at all actually.”
“What?” Chakotay asked in disbelief.
“They just don’t work here. In fact there is a magnitude of evidence to indicate a reciprocal effect in the Alpha Quadrant. This is to say they strengthen the chances of fertilization.
Chakotay merely blinked at the hologram.
“The boosters worked in the Delta Quadrant so effectively that we assumed they would function here. In reality we actually didn’t consider them at all. We were all so thrilled to be home and it wasn’t a consideration. Until it was too late that is. And the night of the welcome home party… well that’s the night the majority of these babies were conceived.”
Chakotay remembered the stop on a small planet early on in the journey. A discussion of how to provide the crew with 70 years of contraceptives had turned heated. There simply was no way to know if there would be enough power along the way to replicate them and couldn’t the power be used for better reasons? There had to be a solution that could keep Voyager from becoming overpopulated.
It was determined that there a substitute had to be located. All of the Starfleet crew had been given a fresh booster before coming aboard. So had Tom Paris. However the Maquis were a different story. Each was administered a dose in their first days as Voyager crew members so they would have time to find this precious commodity.
Much later, when they had happened upon the scientifically and medically advanced planet, they had no problem in obtaining thousands of doses They had also been given the ingredients to make more if necessary. These plants had been cared for by Kes in the hydroponics bay until they flourished.
“Seems we brought back another important find in the Delta Quadrant. A potential cure for infertility. the doctor said”
Yes it was amazing news, but the former XO of Voyager, was focused more on something else the doctor had just mentioned. “There must be a list,” he said surprising himself with the calm in his voice.
“Of our pregnancies? Of course. And as one of the commanding officers I’m allowed to share it with you. The doctor took a PADD out of the drawer and downloaded the list from his program right onto it.
“Spirits!” Chakotay breathed as he scanned the list. “There must be dozens of them.”
“42 to be exact,” the doctor remarked.
Chakotay’s head snapped up. “There were 78 women aboard Voyager. Do you mean to tell me that more than half of them are pregnant?
The doctor nodded. “And that’s just the female crew. I have 27 confirmed pregnancies among male crewmembers with civilian partners. I’ve just finished my investigation on them.” The doctor scrolled down to the list of the men. “See here?”
But Chakotay wasn’t interested. Was the doctor avoiding the subject on purpose? “Wha… what about Seven,” he asked thickly. The inside of his mouth felt like he’d just swallowed a cup of hot glue.
“Well I do possess some amazing abilities, however impregnating a human female is not one of them.” The doctor’s joke was lost on Chakotay.
“I’m not talking about you and Seven. I’m talking about *me* and Seven.”
The doctor looked confused. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, but the contraceptives stopped working in the Alpha Quadrant…” He cut off because Chakotay looked like the textbook example of panic. “You and Seven never had sexual contact in this quadrant.” He spoke as if he were talking to a special child.
Chakotay’s mind was flying around the room. Had she failed to tell the doctor of their *goodbye* after the gala? He didn’t think so. The doctor had to know that he’d screwed Seven that night. He had to know. Especially given the way he’d been stuck to Seven’s side all night.
“But Seven and I were together after the party. You know that. You left a hypospray for me in our room! You had to know she was there. Seven would have told you.”
The doctor’s holographic eyes narrowed. “That’s impossible,” he said sharply. “I mean, I did leave the hypo in your room, but I Seven was not there Commander. She was with me all night.”
But Chakotay was unwavering. He’d been the one with Seven of Nine that night. “That can’t be. I went back to our room but I couldn’t open the door. Seven opened the door for me. She must have been coming back to get her things. When she saw me, she helped me into the room. She helped me down on the couch… took care of me… we had sex that night.”
The doctor was listening with interest. He knew that Seven had not been with Chakotay. In fact neither of them had even spent the night in that hotel. It had been their first time together that night. Actually their first three times. Yet the story he was hearing did not sound like a drunken hallucination to him. So he let the man continue.
“She took me to bed. She kissed me. She made love to me.”
“Listen to me Chakotay. I can assure you that it was not Seven you were with that night. It was our first time together and I’m sure I’d remember you being there.
Now Chakotay looked horrified. “Did I dream it?”
“No,” the doctor said. “I don’t think you did. What you’re describing doesn’t sound like a drunken delusion. It’s too vague. It’s too sketchy. Oddly enough a drunken hallucination is vivid and more detailed. I think you got hammered and had sex with someone you thought was Seven.” He gave it some time to sink in before continuing.
“Did anything odd happen? Anything that would lead you to believe it was a dream and not reality?”
Chakotay thought about it. “Yes!” he exclaimed, immediately wishing he had not.
A red stain spread rapidly over Chakotay’s face. He quickly looked away.
“Come on now Commander. I’m a doctor, not a pervert. You can tell me.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“*Kathryn*, he repeated forcefully. I thought at one point that I was making love to Kathryn. I knew it was Seven, but I was thinking of Kathryn the entire time.”
“Well,” the doctor went on. “ That does happen in dreams, people turn into other people all the time. However it also happens to people who are drunk and having sex with the wrong woman. And we do have to consider the fact that you were out of your mind drunk at the time.
Chakotay nodded wearily.
“I still think this was a real encounter. We could have another Voyager pregnancy on our hands.”
Chakotay blanched and began to look and feel ill.
“Now, the woman would have to be a crewmember for that to happen. In my findings there were no Alpha Quadrant females who were impregnated by Voyager men if they themselves were on boosters.”
“And what if they weren’t.” The doctor gave him a not so reassuring look. “Let’s not go there for now.”
The men retired to the doctor’s private office so they could go over things in more comfortable surroundings and so Chakotay could have some lunch. The doctor figured that he needed all of his strength about now.
While Chakotay ate, the EMH brought him up to speed. He revealed that Seven was barren thanks to the Borg and so her being pregnant was never really an issue. He also told Chakotay that out of 78 women on Voyager there were a number who had to be removed from the equations. B’Elanna could be removed because she’d just given birth. Take away the handful of women who were beyond child bearing years, and Naomi who of course was too young. There were also some others who like Seven could not conceive.
That left 59 women. 44 of whom the doctor was currently treating. The remaining women were simply unreachable.
“We could have more pregnancies out there, but I haven’t been able to confirm that yet,” the doctor had said. “I just can’t get in contact with these 15 women.”
“This is incredible.” Chakotay shook his head as he looked over the doctor’s data for the paper he was writing on the Voyager baby boom.
“Yes it is. You’ll see there that couples who formed on Voyager had virtually zero chance to avoid conception. But, it’s among the crew who were reunited with the partners they left behind that we’ve had the strangest results. Some of these partners were on contraceptives, yet still became pregnant. Some didn’t. However in each case of Voyagers reunited with Alpha Quadrant mates, only the women from Voyager became pregnant. No babies were conceived by Voyager males and non Voyager females who were on boosters.”
So my best case scenario is that I had sex with someone I picked up that night who had her boosters up to date? Or she could have been without her boosters and just not ovulating.”
“I suppose so. If that’s the way you want to look at it.”
“Worst case scenario, would be a crewmember. Unless she wasn’t ovulating at the time.”
The doctor shook his head in vigorously. “I’m afraid you can’t count on that. There’s evidence that when we hit this quadrant’s atmosphere the female crew all began the ovulation process.”
“Spirits,” Chakotay said miserably.
“Now, if you look you’ll see that among the women I’m treating there are no unidentified fathers. And since we have no way of tracing a civilian with whom you might have shared your big night, we have to look at the 15 women who are unaccounted for. All the others women on Voyager are either pregnant or can’t get pregnant.”
“Do you have a list of those 15 women?” Chakotay asked.
“Of course. However rather than tracking them to who knows where, I think that our time would be better spent if you went over what you remember from that evening. Perhaps talking about it will jog something loose.”
Chakotay thought for a moment. “Okay. Well, after the party I went back to my room. It took me a while because I couldn’t remember the floor number. Once I finally recognized the lobby area of our floor, I went to my room but I couldn’t open the door.
“So how did you get inside?” the doctor questioned.
“Seven opened the door for me. Only now you’re telling me that it wasn’t Seven, so someone opened the door.”
“From the inside or the outside?” asked the doctor.
“Outside,” Chakotay mumbled around a bite of his food. The doctor waited for him to finish so he could explain further. “I bumped into her in the hallway and almost fell over. Like I said before, I thought she was coming up for her stuff. Anyway, she caught me and then opened the door and helped me inside. Once I got to the couch, I passed out.”
“Hmmm…” the doctor remarked. “This *is* odd. It wasn’t Seven yet she had a card key to your room.” Chakotay hadn’t thought about that.
“Could it be that I just thought it was Seven because the woman had a key to my room?”
The doctor shrugged. “It’s possible. It’s also possible that it wasn’t even your room. Do you recall anything about what went on in the hallway?”
Chakotay shook his head.
“Keep talking. The details will come back to you if you talk about it. Something will jump out at you. Now what happened after you came to?”
“I remember her putting a cold compress on my head. She said something about getting me into bed. I said something to her, but I can’t remember…” he trailed off. I do remember her that she helped me into the bedroom and got me undressed. In fact she was still working on it when I passed out again.”
“I’m not surprised you kept passing out,” the doctor said. “What does surprise me is that you kept waking up.”
Chakotay made a face as he remembered how out of control he’d been. Apparently he’d been more out of control than he originally thought.
“When I woke up again, she was sitting in a chair by the bed. She came over to me and we made love.”
“Any details come to mind?” the doctor asked.
“Honestly?” he asked the doctor. “Of course,” came the reply.
It was the best sex I’ve ever had. Or dreamt I’ve had.” Chakotay groaned. “Odd that I can remember *that* but I still keep seeing Seven.”
The doctor got up and walked over to Chakotay. “I believe that’s because you’ve thought it was Seven all along. So your mind keeps putting her there. Now that you know it wasn’t her, we’re bound to figure out who it was if we keep digging.”
Chakotay squinted in concentration. “She was so warm and soft. And willing. Not at first, I mean. At first she resisted, but really in the end I didn’t have to do much to convince her to get into my bed.”
Taking a seat on the couch next to Chakotay, the doctor asked, “And what did you do to encourage her?”
“I kept saying: I love you Kathryn, I love you.” Chakotay’s eyes flew open at this little detail. The doctor was wide eyed as well.
“An interesting tidbit. But please continue. What happened the next morning? Even with the amount of alcohol you consumed, there’s no way you could still have been drunk the next morning. How did you avoid seeing the... this woman?
“When I got up the next morning she was in the bathroom. I could hear the water in the shower running.”
“Another reason that it couldn’t have been Seven. Her circuitry would fail if she took a water shower.”
More information Chakotay hadn’t known. He’d just assumed that Seven preferred the sonic shower.
“Well I was absolutely mortified thinking that I had thrown myself at Seven after she’d broken off our relationship. I thought she’d only taken pity on me and I couldn’t face that. I got dressed and wrote a note saying that she had been right. That we could never really have a romantic relationship, that it would never have worked between us and that I was sorry to have hurt her. Then I got the hell out of there. It wasn’t until I realized that I had left my stuff in the suite that I went back.”
The doctor nodded. “And what did you find when you got back to the room? Did the door open?”
Chakotay nodded his affirmation. “I didn’t have any trouble getting into the room that morning. And when I went in it was empty, except for my things of course. No note, no Seven, nothing.”
The doctor sat in contemplation of all that he’d just heard. He’d come to his own conclusion a short time ago, but he’d wanted to hear the rest of the story. Perhaps, he thought, I should put some distance between us before rendering this particular opinion.
He got up and as he walked back to his desk said, “Commander. You mentioned earlier that you fantasized about making love to the captain all night.”
The blush was back in his cheeks. “Yes, that’s right.”
“Not only thought about it, but thought at one point that you actually were making love with her.”
Again Chakotay agreed.
“Well…” Sitting back down at his desk the doctor continued carefully. “My opinion is that if you’d put two and two together you would already have your answer.”
Chakotay looked at the doctor like he had two heads. The hologram had obviously gone nuts! “But we already know it’s not the captain.”
The EMH leaned forward and asked, “And how do we know that?”
“Because you didn’t mention her…” Chakotay sputtered. “You never said anything about her and you’d know if she were pregnant!”
The doctor shook his head. “No. You’re assuming that I’ve seen her, but I haven’t. No one has for a few months now. She got promoted to admiral which is the last time any of us saw her. After the party at her mother’s home she took her leave and disappeared. That’s the reason I haven’t mentioned her. And if you recall her name was not on the list of pregnant crew.”
“I’m sorry, but at the time I was sprinting through the list I was trying to make sure I hadn’t knocked up your girlfriend. I didn’t really pay too much attention to the actual names.”
“Kathryn Janeway’s name appears on the list of the 15 women I haven’t located.”
Now it was Chakotay’s turn to shake his head. “No it can’t be. Just couldn’t be. I’d know if it had been Kathryn.”
“Wait a minute,” the doctor said sarcastically. You were so drunk that up until an hour ago you thought that you’d had sex with a woman who didn’t even spend the night in the hotel. But suddenly you’re certain that it can’t be Kathryn Janeway? That makes no sense.”
“I’m certain that it wasn’t Kathryn!” he said louder than he needed to.
The doctor snorted. “You don’t know who it was, but you do know who it wasn’t? Listen to yourself. That’s ridiculous.”
The room was silent. Finally the doctor said, “I have a gut feeling we’ve just solved your mystery.”
“How can you have a gut feeling when you don’t even have a gut?” Chakotay asked unpleasantly.
“Now now, Commander. Don’t shoot the messenger. This is the obvious conclusion to your story.”
“And what brings you to this ‘obvious’ conclusion, might I ask?”
“Open your eyes! You say that this woman had a card key to your room. Captain Janeway’s room was right next to the one you were supposed to share with Seven.”
Chakotay hadn’t known that bit of information either. He’d made a point to avoid her all night. She’d been surrounded by throngs of adorning men and he’d been resentful and green-eyed. “I didn’t know that Doc.”
“So this strange woman, walks up and finds you staggering in front of her door. Trying to open her door in fact. How many people do you know who would be willing to bring some drooling drunk into their hotel suite?”
“Hey! Enough with the insults,” Chakotay yelled at the doctor.
Now the doctor was up and pacing. “Someone who knows you, that’s who. Someone who cares enough about you to not leave you out in the hallway making a fool of yourself. Although the way I remember it you’d already had quite a while to do so since the Captain left around two hours after you did.”
Chakotay didn’t want to hear any more. But the doctor had suddenly turned into Sherlock Holmes and he went on and on…
“She takes you into her room and let’s you pass out. Then when you come to she takes you into the bedroom. Why? Because she knows you. I mean, you’re a good looking man, you can have your pick of the women, but you were not exactly attractive that night.”
Chakotay wondered if the hologram was trying to get even for with him for his relationship with Seven.
“Some stranger would leave you on the couch. Actually some stranger would have called security on you while you were still stumbling around in the hallway.”
The doctor was starting to make some sense, but Chakotay didn’t want to admit it to himself.
“ None of this proves it was Kathryn. And I still don’t think it *was* Kathryn. I would have known.”
”Chakotay,” the doctor bellowed. “The proof came right out of your mouth, just minutes ago. You just don’t want to see it.”
Now he was starting to get irate. “What proof is that?” he shouted back.
“You told me that the woman resisted your advances until you said ‘I love you Kathryn’, then she gave in. She made love with you only *after* you used her name. What women in the galaxy do you know who would give in *after* hearing a man declare that they love *Kathryn*?”
Chakotay stood up then shook his head. “No.”
“Only a woman named Kathryn, that’s who! And how many of those do you know?”
“No,” Chakotay repeated. It was his only defense.
“You know I’m right. You just don’t want to believe it because if you admit that it’s true you have to admit that you’ve really…”
“Fucked up,” Chakotay interrupted.
Hours later Chakotay was standing in the living room of the Janeway family home waiting for Gretchen Janeway to come downstairs and speak to him. He’d been let in by a glaring man who he could only assume was Stan, the boyfriend Kathryn had told him about. She had not been terribly happy to hear her mother was seeing someone. And now in turn, that someone was not so happy to see him.
This only further served to prove that the doctor was right. No one in the Janeway home would be happy to see him. Even the dog was giving him the stink eye.
He’d let the doctor talk him into coming here rather than going to look for Kathryn himself. Since he had no idea on Earth where she might be, the doctor reasoned that if he just told Mrs. Janeway the absolute truth, she could be willing to contact Kathryn.
Chakotay had only taken this course once the doctor assured him that there was zero chance Kathryn was not pregnant. He had ticked off the reasons for his former XO one by one.
No, Kathryn Janeway was not beyond her child bearing years, even though Chakotay himself already knew that.
Yes, as of her last physical which, like Chakotay’s, had been six months before Voyager arrived home, their captain, a healthy, vibrant *woman* was capable of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy.
No, the Borg had not had time to assimilate her reproductive organs. If they had, would B’Elanna have been able to have Miral?
Finally the doctor had downloaded the Janeway family address from his program onto a PADD and told Chakotay that he knew he was stalling and to get lost.
And now here he was, like the lamb before the slaughter.
“Well well well. Look what the cat dragged in would you?” Gretchen Janeway was walking down the stairs toward him. His balls immediately crawled up inside his body for protection.
“Mrs. Janeway,” he greeted her respectfully. “I realize that you were not expecting me and that I may well be the last person you want to see right now…”
“So then what the hell are you doing here?” Hands on hips. Janeway glare. He knew he was in for it. Deservedly so.
“I came to talk to you about Kathryn.”
“Oh is that so?” she asked. “And what could you possibly have to tell me about my daughter that I don’t already know?” She stared him down.
It was time for the complete honesty that the doctor had spoken of.
“That I suspect in a drunken stupor I made love with her and got her pregnant. And because I’ve never been so drunk in my life and because I’m an asshole, I didn’t realize that it was more than a fantasy until this afternoon.”
Gretchen and Stan looked at each other, then looked back at Chakotay.
“Although I suspect you already know all of that. But what you don’t know is that I love your daughter and it kills me to know that I’ve hurt her. What’s more if she’ll let me I’ll spend the rest of my life making this up to her.”
Mrs. Janeway stood speechless. She sized Chakotay up and finally said, “let’s go out to the backyard and have a talk. Stanley would you mind bringing us some lemonade?”
Hours later, Chakotay was walking along the path Gretchen had instructed him to follow. He had no idea where he was. Mrs. Janeway had beamed him to where she said he’d find Kathryn.
She wouldn’t confirm that Kathryn was pregnant. But neither would she deny it. Mostly she just let him talk without saying much. Although she did confess that she and Owen Paris had been the ones to set B’Elanna up as his date at his opening. Kathryn had known nothing about the invitation or the switch. That’s how mad Gretchen had been.
However, by the time he finished his story, Chakotay had won an ally. She took him to transporter pad in the study. Before stepping onto it, he once again asked about the possibility of Kathryn being pregnant. Gretchen had only told him, “Go on now and see what you find. Then she’d given him the directions from the beam-in site and sent on his way. Just before she initiated the transport, she offered him two pieces of advice.
“Don’t you let her see you coming Chakotay. Don’t give her a chance to get away. And make sure you ask her about Douglas.”
Before he had a chance to inquire, he was caught up in the transporter beam and taken away.
Now as he approached a cabin wondered how he was going to accomplish Mrs. Janeway’s warning. Given that he had no idea where Kathryn might be it could be very difficult to find her before she saw him. However it turned out that he needn’t have worried, because as he drew closer to the small cottage, he could see her lying on a blanket with her back to him. Her arm was tucked under her head and she appeared to be sleeping.
Great! he thought. No way for her to escape. Walking quietly up to her, he stopped just behind her. Holding his breath he peered. He was greeted by the site of a tiny Collie puppy snuggled between Kathryn’s chest and her considerable belly.
If not for the puppy his gasp would have gone unnoticed. Kathryn was sleeping soundly, but once the little guy woke up and saw Chakotay and began to squirm and yelp.
“What’s the matter small fry?” she asked in a voice still gruff and warm from sleep. Then she noticed him standing there.
“What the hell are you doing here? Nothing warm about her voice now. It was pure frost.
“Funny that’s the first thing your mother said to me when I saw her this afternoon.” He offered a hand to Kathryn who was scrambling to get off the ground. She slapped it away.
“My mother actually spoke to you?” She asked as she planted her hands on what was left of her hips. Somehow her adorably swollen belly detracted from the intensity of her defiant stare.
“Not only talked to me, but she transported me here to see you.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I don’t believe you.”
“Suit yourself, but she did. She seemed to think that you and I had some things to chat about. And since it looks like you have something that belongs to me, I’d say she was right.”
“Nothing here belongs to *you*,” she said spitefully. “You made that clear months ago, so let’s just get that straight from the start shall we?”
The puppy was going crazy now. Barking and running back and forth, wanting to protect his owner, but he was too small to do so.
“I made a mistake that night. A huge mistake.”
“Hush up Sparky!” she said to the puppy, her patience at an end. She snapped her fingers and the pup quieted immediately then sat obediently at her feet.
“It’s too late to change that now Chakotay.” She began to walk to wards the bungalow away from him, but he stepped in front of her.
“Please Kathryn, hear me out.”
“No!” And get the hell away from me.” She took two more steps before turning around and saying, “I want to know how you found me.”
He sighed. “I told you I found out from your mother.”
“And I told you I don’t believe you. My mother would never talk to you let alone send you here to see me.”
He threw his arms up and opened his hands wide. “Honest. I threw myself on her mercy and she found my explanation so understandable that she insisted on transporting me straight here to you.”
Folding her arms across her chest she snorted in disgust. “You really expect me to believe that?
“She though that you needed to hear what I have to say,” His answer was met with silence. He sighed. “Go inside and call her. Find out for yourself if you don’t believe me.”
She began toward the cabin and he began to follow her. “You stay here.”
Neither Chakotay nor Sparky knew for sure which one of them she was talking to, so neither of them moved.
She stormed inside and went directly to the transmission unit. When her mother’s face appeared on the screen Kathryn went off.
“Did you or did you not send Chakotay here this afternoon?”
Gretchen rolled her eyes. She’d been expecting this. “I did.”
“And would you be so kind as to specify why?”
“Because that young man has something to say that you need to hear.”
Kathryn exhaled in disgust and exasperation. “I want him gone. *Now*!”
Gretchen had already had this conversation in her head several times since Chakotay’s departure. And she’d been ready for this.
“Don’t you take that tone with me Miss Captain. I’m still your mother and on *my* ship you take *my* orders, you got that? Now he’s going exactly *nowhere*, do you hear me? And you’re going to pay attention to every word that Chakotay has to say.”
“Don’t you but mother me. After everything that’s gone on, do you really think I’d send him there if I didn’t think it would help matters?”
Her mother had her there. “No mom. I don’t.”
Now Gretchen’s tone was much kinder. “Just listen with an open mind, okay? I did and I don’t think he’s asking too much of you at this point.
Kathryn nodded. “Okay. He’s outside. I’ll go out and see what he has to say.”
Mrs. Janeway smiled. “That’s terrific sweetie. Just remember that he’s going to be your guest for a while so be polite. And don’t forget to take your sweater with you.
With that Gretchen Janeway disconnected the link. Kathryn looked down at her belly. “Your grandmother is killing me baby. Just killing me.”
Back outside man and beast had become fast friends which immediately pissed Kathryn off. The puppy was fetching a stick that Chakotay kept throwing. Every time Sparky chased it he’d trip over his big feet and Chakotay would laugh the laugh that she’d lived for on Voyager.
She wanted to rip his larynx out.
“How was mom?” he asked flippantly.
“You came here to say something, so say it.”
He became serious immediately. “Let’s sit down, this is going to take a while.”
When Chakotay finished his account of what had happened that night Kathryn had calmed down considerably. The story had taken a while as he included the story of his dig and its success along with the exhibition and her absence at the opening.
“I hope you can forgive me Kathryn. I wanted her to be you. I was just so drunk, that even though I knew it was you, I didn’t know it. I was too drunk to know it was you, I thought you were a fantasy. I can imagine how insulting that it sounds to you… Please, can you forgive me?”
Oddly enough she wasn’t insulted. She’d known him a long time now and despite all the ups and downs in their relationship, she’d always known how he felt about her and he’d always been a gentleman with her. Now that she knew that he hadn’t meant to hurt her, it changed everything.
“I can forgive you Chakotay and I do. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all gotten drunk, behaved badly then had it come back to bite us on the butt.”
He exhaled and thanked the spirits that she understood and forgave. “Thank you. Although this is not exactly your average mistake come back to haunt, you know?
She nodded, “Yeah I know. This time there’s a baby involved.”
Chakotay then explained about Voyager’s baby boom and how their baby was actually
“I think the doctor should come out and explain everything to you. I’d also like him to check you over.”
“Chakotay I have a perfectly fine doctor here and I’m completely satisfied with the care I’m receiving.”
He wanted to tread lightly given that she’d only just accepted him back in her life. “I know and I’m not trying to interfere with that. I just think given the circumstances it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to check you over.”
She nodded. “You’re right. I suppose it would be the sensible thing to do.”
“That’s my girl,” he murmured. She glared at him. “Your girl?
He smiled. “Yeah.” He squeezed her hand. “My girl.
She took her hand away quickly. “I don’t think so.” She got up and walked away from him.
He followed in hot pursuit. “I thought I was forgiven.”
She turned to face him head on. “Forgiveness is one thing, but being ‘your girl’ is quite another. I don’t want to be your girl Chakotay. I don’t even want you in my life.”
“I’m already there Kathryn,” he said indicating her stomach.
“We’ll work something out. Now that you know about her and want to be part of her life, we can work something out.”
He was getting angry. “I’m going to be a part of this baby’s life. I won’t settle for less than being a husband to you and a father to our baby.
“Well you can forget that. There’s no way I’m going to marry you. And as for being a father, you can visit as often as you like. When she’s old enough you can have her for longer periods.”
“You can forget *that*," he yelled at her.
“Do me a favor will you Chakotay? You come back to the house with me so we can have your pal Gretchen transport you out of here. This argument is finished.”
Without another word she turned on her heel and stormed back to the cottage. Once inside she immediately contacted her mother.
This time she looked annoyed when she appeared on the viewscreen. “What is it now Kathryn?”
“Chakotay needs help getting out of here. We’ve already said all there is to be said and now he needs to leave.”
Gretchen frowned. “I already told you he wasn’t going anywhere. I’m not transporting him out and you know damned well that there isn’t another transporter for miles.”
Kathryn looked over her shoulder at him. Turning back to her mother she said, “then you might want to beam him over a flashlight because it’s going to be dark soon and he’s going to have trouble finding his way there.”
“Kathryn Janeway! You will not send that man packing in the dark, do you understand me?”
She looked over at him again. “Why not? He looks like he can handle a moonlight hike to me. Looks like it might even be good for him.”
Chakotay had had enough insults for one day. “Sure Kathryn. I’ll just be on my way. Although you might be kind enough to tell me where I am and in what direction I can find the public transporter.”
Kathryn opened her mouth to retort, but her mother cut her off. “You’re at Lake George, But you’re not going anywhere. You two calm down and have something to eat, it’s time for Kathryn and the baby to get some food into them. There’s a replicator in the kitchen. If I know my daughter there’s no food in that place, so you fix something for them will you?”
“On top of that all this stress isn’t good for that baby, is it Kathryn?”
Defeated she answered, “No it isn’t.”
“Good that’s settled. Over dinner you talk about something else. Nothing to do with what happened, or the baby. Some other topic. You got that Chakotay?”
“Yes Ma’am,” was all he said. But he got the hint. Douglas. Ask her about Douglas. Whoever that was.
“Goodnight.” Gretchen said firmly and she terminated the link.
From that point on, Chakotay refused to argue with Kathryn, no matter what she had to say. He simply ignored it. He’d ask a civil question, such as ‘what do you want for dinner,’ then get a snide answer like ‘your absence.” They ended up with spaghetti.
And although she was still pissed off about his presence, she finally calmed down.
“Kathryn,” he began. She looked up at him questioningly. “Who is Douglas?”
She recoiled as if she’d been hit. “Ah I see my mother filled you in on what I’ve been up to since we last met.”
He took a sip of his iced tea. “No, no. She didn’t fill me in. She just told me I should ask you about him. She didn’t tell me who he is or why I should ask.” He watched her intently. “I gather he’s not a happy memory.”
She shrugged. “In truth he’s not such a bad memory. In fact he’s a very decent man.”
“So why did Gretchen make a point of telling me to ask about him?”
“Oh Chakotay who the hell knows what my mother is thinking these days? I think she lost her mind.”
He chuckled. “Then why don’t you tell me about him and let me figure it out?”
Kathryn pushed her plate aside. She’d eaten most of it, so he didn’t say anything.
“I met Douglas at our welcome home Gala. He was a guest of the Federation.”
“Ah one of the throngs vying for your attention that evening.” She looked at him.
“It was nice to have men look at me like a woman for a change.” He vowed to let her finish her story without interrupting again. He wanted to tell her that in the seven years on Voyager he’d never looked at her any other way.
“Well we talked for a while and really hit it off. He was and is still a very good man. Anyway I knew that I had to get on with my life after I got your note the morning after… the party. He called me at the office about a week later. And we dated for around three months.”
“Seriously?” he couldn’t help himself. He had to know.
“Yes. Very seriously. I thought I could be happy with Doug.”
“So what happened,” he asked confused.
“I told him that I was pregnant and that was the end of that. You see Douglas didn’t want children. Had never wanted them. Years ago he’d had himself sterilized. So here I was, at the beginning of a relationship announcing to my lover that we were expecting a baby.”
Chakotay let out a whoosh of air. “Oh Spirits. And he knew it wasn’t his.”
Kathryn nodded sadly. “Mmm hmm. That made one of us. Needless to say he didn’t take it well.”
“I can imagine.”
“It got very ugly. It was after the party my mother gave in honor of my promotion. We were staying at her house that night and I thought it was the perfect time to tell him. He wanted to know if I had been sleeping with someone all along or if I was just trying to pass off the baby as his. He told me about his surgery and then asked me what my game was.”
“Oh Sweetheart I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t call me that,” she snapped at him. He took that one sharply in the chest.
“At any rate, I explained to him about what happened between the two of us the night I met him. And that I hadn’t been to the doctor yet. Once I explained that to him he cooled off. He said he understood and apologized for saying those horrible things to me. But he left after that I haven’t seen him since.”
They looked at each other for a time before she continued. “So there you have it. And I have no idea why my mother thought you needed to know that.”
But he did. Things were starting to make sense to him now. She could forgive him for his mistake even understand that he hadn’t wanted to hurt her. She realized with her head that the note he’d written hadn’t been meant for her, but her heart wasn’t interested in it happening again. Especially after Mr. Douglas whatever-the-hell.
Taking his silence for agreement she got up and started to gather the dishes. He stopped her saying that he would clear the table.
“Thank you. I’m suddenly very tired and I’m going to sleep.” She indicated the sofa. “I’m afraid that the couch is the only place for you to sleep tonight. I’ll get you some sheets and blankets.”
Again he told her he’d take care of it. Once she’d shown him where to find what he needed, she went into the bedroom and closed the doors behind her.
He stood there looking at the door she’d just gone behind. He pinched the bridge of his nose and said, “shit.”
The next morning when Kathryn woke up to voices in the living room. She dressed quickly and went to investigate the source. Sitting at the dining table were Chakotay and Voyager’s EMH.
“Well there’s the mother-to-be now,” exclaimed the doctor. He got up and gave Kathryn a big hug. “Hello doctor!” She was genuinely happy to see him, but irritated to find that Chakotay had gotten him out here without even telling her.
“You do work fast, don’t you Mr. Chakotay?”
The guilty party handed her a mug of hot coffee to her then refilled his own.
“Thank you,” she said eyeing him suspiciously. After seven years of telling her to cut down on the stuff he was suddenly handing it to her.
“The doctor said you could have some,” he offered.
“Uh huh…” What the hell was he up to now?
The doctor decided to change the subject. “I understand the Commander has filled you in somewhat on the crew developments I’ve been researching. I brought all of my research with me and thought that you might like to go over it before your examination.”
The scientist in her won out over her suspicious nature. “Definitely.” He handed her the PADD then winked at Chakotay.
“You’ll see that your baby, yours and the Commander’s that is, makes confirmed pregnancy number 72.” He was so pleased with himself because he’d been right. There’d be no living with him now.
Kathryn scrolled the list intently. Occasionally she would point out a name she found of particular interest. “Harry Kim and his Libby are having a baby,” she said softly. “I’m so happy for them.”
“As am I,” the doctor added. “But I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you that Libby’s husband wasn’t so thrilled when he found out.”
Kathryn’s eyes immediately flew to Chakotay. Had he told the EMH about her similar experience with Doug? He met her eyes and shook his head slightly, telling her that he hadn’t broken her confidence. She immediately felt bad. Really, didn’t she know him better than that anyway?
“I think we can all imagine that,” Chakotay said quietly. There were nods all around.
“Apparently she had gone off her boosters in order to try for a baby with her new husband. Only Harry’s super-swimmers got their first. Theirs isn’t the only mess this has caused, but for the most part everyone’s happy about their situation.”
“It’s amazing,” breathed Kathryn. She patted her belly unconsciously as she continued down the list. Smiling, she said “I see Mr. Ayala’s been a busy boy.”
She handed the PADD back to the doctor. Surprisingly her only comment was to the baby nestled within her.
“Well little one. I knew you were a miracle. I just didn’t know how big a miracle you’d turn out to be.”
The moment was so tender that both Chakotay and the doctor felt they were intruding.
“Speaking of that little miracle there, what do you say we check him or her out.”
“Her,” Kathryn said adamantly. The doctor shook his head.
“I haven’t confirmed that yet.”
Defiantly, Kathryn said, “I don’t need you to confirm it. I have a perfectly good doctor who says, *she’s* fine.”
Smugly the doctor replied. “I’m sure while a fine physician, this doctor of yours is not the scientific marvel I am.”
Kathryn rolled her eyes at Chakotay. His mouth twitched but he said nothing.
As the EMH examined mother and baby he brought up the subject of the private viewing of Chakotay’s exhibition. Chakotay filled him in on the conversation he’d had with the museum’s curator earlier that morning.
“The museum is fully booked for the exhibit so they’ve decided to extend the hours into the evening. Since they’ve already made this commitment, the first time they have available for us is six weeks away.”
“That’s great news! Both that they can’t accommodate your request right away because of the masses wanting to see your work, and that they can accommodate us before these babies start being born. It’s going to be busy there for a while.”
Chakotay caught Kathryn gazing at him with something akin to pride. But once she became aware that he’d noticed her, she quickly looked away. She’d never commented on his accomplishment the night before, so he assumed she had no idea of the magnitude of the accomplishment.
The examination concluded. “Well Admiral. All in all I’d say that you’re both doing well, but I have some things to say that you’re probably not going to like.”
“If you’re going to tell me she’s not a girl, I don’t want to hear it. I prefer to wait until she’s born before I know for sure.”
He had suspected as much. “No, that’s not what I have to say. And so I’ll leave out any mention of gender in my overview.”
She nodded “And another thing. Just call me Kathryn would you? My other doctor does.”
He bowed in her direction. “Very well. As your doctor of record for the last seven years, here’s what I recommend. I want to be able to see you weekly at this point. There’s nothing wrong, but I want to keep it that way. Given the virus that you and the Commander… uh Chakotay suffered in our second year in the Delta Quadrant, I want to be doubly sure that you both stay fine.”
She nodded as she processed the information. “Given the news that our Voyager get together will be six weeks from now, I am recommending that you stay out here no longer than that.”
“I haven’t agreed to attend,” she cut in taking Chakotay aback.
“Well whether you attend or not, I’m not comfortable with you being out here any longer than that. And I’m not comfortable with you being here alone at all. If you can’t get someone to stay with you during that time, I’m going to have to insist that you return with me today.”
She moved her eyes distrustfully between them. So that’s what they’d been up to.
“Fine I’ll get my mother to come out and stay with me. And since Casanova over there has no other way of getting home, I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d take him with you when you go.”
Oddly the two men didn’t seem at all phased by this request. “Certainly. I’m always happy to give a friend a hand,” the doctor said non-chalantly.
He began to pack up his gear. “Kathryn,” he said with equal non-chalance. “I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d contact your mother so she can get here before we go.”
“Fair enough,” she said as she walked over to the telecom unit.
Her mother’s face appeared on the screen. “Hello, you’ve reached the Gretchen Janeway. I’ll be out of town for the next several days. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as Stanley and I are settled into our hotel.”
Inside Kathryn was fuming. Et tu mother? Et tu? She thought miserably.
That night Chakotay invited himself into her bed. He’d slipped in while she was asleep. Ever the faithful watch dog, Sparky had awakened her.
When she asked him yet again what the hell he thought he was doing, he told her the truth. If he was going to be here until her mother got back, he couldn’t possibly sleep on the couch. It was way too small and the floor had been way too cold.
In a huff she got up announcing that she’d sleep on the sofa until he departed. But he was insistent and unbending. They’d share the bed and he’d behave like a perfect gentleman.
It had been like sleeping next to an iceberg.
Over a week had gone by. Early on, Gretchen had contacted them to say that she was in Spain having the time of her life. The only details she’d given were that she’d won an all expenses paid trip which had to be taken immediately and that she’d be home well before the baby would arrive. Even though her message said she’d be gone a couple of days, in reality the entire trip, which would also take them to Paris and Rome, would last six weeks.
Kathryn hadn’t spoken to Chakotay since.
Then after the doctor’s third visit, Chakotay suggested they go out for a sail and picnic on the lake. The hologram’s visit had evidently left Kathryn in a good mood as she agreed immediately. Once out on the water, it seemed like old times. Memories of the time they spent on the holographic Lake George came back to them individually.
Chakotay was remembering how good it felt to hold her in his arms. And Kathryn, she was drawn back to how much she had wanted him to kiss her that night. To make love to her and help her forget the alien who had tried to end her life.
She was starting to get uncomfortable. He looked awfully good in his shorts and tank, his skin glowing in the sun. His muscles rippling as he worked the sails. Her hormones were working overtime. The ache between her thighs became more than a distraction. It became excruciating. By the time he suggested they go below and have their lunch, she was ready to agree with anything.
In the small cabin of the sailboat, the tension was so thick it could be phasered in half. They were too close together, too aware of each other.
He smelled masculine after his efforts up top. Not sweaty. Just manly. She felt herself ooze with want of him.
As for Chakotay, well he could smell her arousal. He’d slept next to her night after night and despite her coldness, he’d yearned for her.
When they came together in a crushing embrace neither of them were thinking clearly anymore. All they knew was they needed to connect in the most basic way.
After removing their clothes and lowering her to the bunk. He began to lap eagerly at her pussy. He found it wet and swollen and she was too ready. She came immediately, shrieking his name, but it wasn’t enough. She needed more, so he continued to eat her until she came again and again, helplessly crying out for him all over each time.
Finally when he was ready to enter her, he asked, “Kathryn?” Seeking her permission even though he’d just brought her to climax three times and his face was drenched in her juices.
“Please.” It was a moan, a plea and a prayer all at once.
He pulled her up onto his lap and filled her. They held each other tightly as they rocked back and forth. And when they came, they came together. Each swallowing the other’s cries since their mouths were fused together.
They collapsed in a heap upon the bunk. Sweat covering their bodies, making them shiver as they cooled down.
Chakotay spooned up behind Kathryn. As she lay panting on the mattress, he could feel their baby kicking out against the ruckus that had awkened her.
As she lay quietly he massaged her breasts, kissed her shoulders and back and implored his Spirits to let her love him once again.
Later Kathryn had awakened alone. She dressed an went up on deck to find him waiting for her. Their picnic spread out on the deck waiting for her.
She didn’t feel awkward at all and she greeted him as such. He was grateful for that.
“How long have you been awake?” she enquired.
“Not long. Actually just long enough to dress, get us on course towards home and set out the food. You have great timing.” He smiled at her .
“I’m starving,” she said. “It’s way passed this little girl’s lunchtime.”
“Kathryn, how do you know it’s going to be a girl?”
“I just do,” she said picking up a piece of cheese and devouring it.
He knew it too because the doctor had told him on the sly, but he was curious about how she herself was so sure.
They ate in silence until Chakotay could no longer stand it. “Do you want to talk about what happened below?”
She avoided looking at him. “No.”
“Don’t you think we should?”
Exasperated he tired again. “Don’t you have anything you want to say?”
She shrugged. “It was… nice.” She helped herself to some more salad.
“Nice?” he roared. And she cracked up. He joined her.
They continued to eat in companionable silence. Once finished they basked in the sun.
Chakotay broached the subject again. “About what happened earlier…”
She opened her eyes and looked at him. “You’re not going to let it go, are you?”
He shook his head. “I can’t let it go. We made love. And this time we both knew what was going on. We both wanted it to happen.”
She couldn’t deny that. “Yes.”
“Kathryn please. We just proved that we love each other. We’re having a baby. I’d like for us to marry before she’s born.”
“Married?” she asked in dismay. “Chakotay we made love. And yes it was fabulous and mind blowing, but I’m not going to marry you.”
He was getting very angry. “Two people who are in love and having a baby should be married. We should provide a stable environment for our child from the start.”
“First of all, I never said I love you, you’re just assuming that. And secondly when did you get so provincial that the only solution you could come up with for our situation, is that we have to get married for the baby’s sake?”
He stood up and then rounded on her. “Don’t you give me this crap about not loving me. I know you do. And maybe my beliefs are old fashioned and out dated, but our kid deserves to be happy.”
Kathryn tried to get to her feet. This time she allowed Chakotay to help her. “We had sex. That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want you in my life, she said coldly. As for our child. She will be happy, but her parents won’t be married.”
He tried to come closer, but she turned her back on him. “Please take me back to the cabin. I’ve had enough for one day.”
Much later Kathryn had gone to bed without another word exchanged between the two of them. At dinner time Chakotay had replicated a plate for her, but simply placed it on the counter without comment. She ignored it. After that he’d grabbed his medicine bundle and gone outside to meditate.
She’d been alone for hours when she turned in for the night.
Kathryn didn’t know how long she’d been asleep when she felt him join her in bed. She lay still with her back to him and waited for him to settle himself.
“Tell me something would you,” he asked quietly as he lay down on his back.
“Okay,” she answered.
“Tell me what happened the night of the party. I still can’t really remember and I want to know.” At her silence he said, “Start when you found me in the hallway.”
“I’d had enough of the party and decided to go up to my room,” she began without turning to face him. “You’d left quite some time ago and I was actually wondering if I should look in on you. You were just next door and all, but I was aware that you were avoiding me all night.”
“You’re right,” he confirmed quietly. “I was. You looked incredible that night and all those men were hanging all over you. Including Douglas I guess.”
She didn’t want to talk about Doug.
“I didn’t have to wonder how you were for long,” she continued. “I came up to my room and you were sort of hanging onto the door while simultaneously lying in a heap in front of it.”
“You looked at me and asked me what I was doing all alone when I could have any man at the party. I’d never seen you like that in all the years I’d known you and it worried me. I tried to help you up, but you could barely stand.”
That much he remembered. And now hearing her say it, he was starting to see her face instead of Seven’s.
She went on unprompted. “Once I opened the door and helped you into my suite. You made it as far as the couch before you passed out. You were like a lead weight, but thankfully you fell right onto the sofa. I loosened your tie and then went into the bedroom to change. About twenty minutes later, I heard you starting to stir, so I wet a washcloth and laid it on your head. That’s when you came fully to. I asked you why you were so drunk and what was going on with you, but you were incoherent at that point, so I decided to get you into bed and let you sleep it off the rest of the night.”
“This is why I rarely drink.” he said sarcastically. “It turns me into a gigantic chick magnet and I can’t handle it.”
She swallowed hard before she continued. She’d wanted to point out that despite his less than attractive condition, she’d still wanted him more than anything.
“In any case, I was able to get you into the bed and you passed out again as I was undressing you. You were overheated and sweaty so I sponged you off. And stroked your hair until you were quite.”
“Then what happened,” he whispered.
“I watched you sleep for a while. I remember you were snoring loud enough to wake the dead. I thought that even though I’d lost you, there was something positive about it; at least I’d never have to deal with that snoring,” she said sadly.
If I hadn’t felt like an asshole before I sure feel like one now, he thought to himself.
Kathryn went on. “I sat down in the armchair and read a book that I’d brought with me. After a while , you woke up again. This time you were pretty agitated so I went to you and tried to calm you. You kept trying to kiss me, but I wouldn’t let you. I knew that you were out of it and that if we were ever going to have a first time, this didn’t need to be it. I mean I wasn’t even sure that you really knew it was me. But then…” she broke off and began to softly cry.
He rolled over and spooned himself behind her. She was getting to the hard part and he wanted help her through it. “Go on,” he urged.
“You kept saying ‘I love you’. Over and over you said that you loved me. You were so romantic and I didn’t want that. All I wanted was for you to just shut up and fuck me.” She began to weep openly now. “I thought I could handle a quick fuck because I thought that’s all we could ever have. But then you kept saying my name, so I thought that you knew it was me. You were so gentle and so considerate. So I gave in and let you love me.”
He tightened himself around her and began to murmur “I’m sorry into her ear.”
“We made love and it was so good. Then you fell asleep and began to snore again. I remember thinking that perhaps the snoring wasn’t so bad after all. And then I fell asleep in your arms.”
He squeezed her gently then covered her belly with his large hand.
“In the morning I woke up and you were still sleeping, so I got up to use the bathroom and take a bath. But then I thought about it and a bath seemed like it would take too long. I wanted to get back out to you and watch you sleep so I took a shower instead. And you know the rest, she said.”
“You read my note,” he continued for her. “The one that was meant to tell Seven that she’d been right about our relationship not working.”
She nodded. “And so a week later, when Douglas called… I was so hurt, but I knew that we’d never be together and I had to go on.”
“Oh Kathryn,” he breathed. “I’m so sorry. So sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know that,” she whispered. “And I understand. Men never mean to hurt me or leave me, but somehow they always do.”
“I want to make up for that. I want to spend my life making up for it.”
“Please stop. I can’t do this anymore. So please, if you want to stay, don’t bring up getting married again.”
Then she slept.
Another couple of weeks had passed and Chakotay had not brought up the subject again. The doctor came and went each week as did a transmission from Gretchen. Other than that they were alone. He showered his attentions upon her and she let him.
One morning after breakfast they had taken a walk with little Sparky. They’d talked about nothing in particular until he’d confessed to her that the one thing he could remember in detail about their first night together, was that it had been the best sex he’d ever had. She’d blushed at first, but then propositioned him to see if they could make it better.
He’d laid right down on the grass where they’d stood and let her ride him until they were both worn out.
Once he’d stopped pressuring her about marriage, Kathryn had turned into quite the sex kitten. She blamed this on her pregnant libido and raging hormones. Poor Sparky who at first thought that Chakotay had been doing something to hurt Kathryn, finally got used to the shrieking and squealing and learned to ignore it.
The two of them got along famously as long as he’d stuck to his word. However one night when Gretchen had called to see what was going on, she inadvertently started the biggest argument of all.
“So when are you going to break down and marry this man Kathryn,” her mother demanded.
“I’m not, so stop insisting on bringing it up would you?” She was livid.
Gretchen’s big mistake had been ignoring Kathryn’s answer and asking Chakotay the same question. But it had been his response that set off the time bomb ticking inside of Kathryn.
“Don’t worry Mrs. Janeway. I’m working on her.”
Her daughter’s displeasure now known, Gretchen ended the transmission leaving the two-some to tangle in private.
“Is that what you’re doing? Working on me? Is that what all the attention and pampering is supposed to do? Wear me down? How many times do I have to tell you…”
Finally Chakotay’s patience went on the fritz.
“I know I know. You don’t have to say it again. You don’t want to marry me. You never want to marry me. You’ll fuck me senseless, but you won’t marry me. Matrimony would mean that you’d have to give up control of this relationship and you can’t have that. You’re such a control freak that you can’t allow this to get out from under your thumb. Marriage would make us equals but you don’t want that because it would mean handing over some of the power over our lives to me. And spirits know that I can’t be trusted after what I did the night we conceived that baby.”
She stared at him, aghast.
“Don’t worry Kathryn. I said I wouldn’t bring it up again and I won’t. Ever. If you ever decide that you’re interested in a mature relationship with me, you’re going to have to do the asking.”
With that he stormed out of the bungalow and didn’t come back until after she’d gone to bed.
In the week that followed, Chakotay barely spoke to Kathryn. He wasn’t rude, nor did he ignore her. He just couldn’t bring himself to engage her in superfluous conversation. He still took care of her, still came to her bed every night and they still had hot and wild sex, but they didn’t get on as easily as they had previously. He had to distance himself from her in order to protect himself. He knew that next week when they went back to their normal lives that she wouldn’t want him around. She’d be just another guest at the exhibit party for Voyager’s crew and he’d be just a part time father to their baby. He was crazy to be part of their lives, but she was determined to keep him out.
Chakotay became determined to pack as many experiences as he could, into the week they had left. At night he spooned up against Kathryn and held his hand protectively over her belly. He could feel the baby move and wondered how she could sleep through something that felt like a world of wonders to him.
During the day he was even more attentive than he’d been in all of the previous weeks put together. He was single- minded in his attempts to put her at ease.
One morning a couple of days before they were to leave Chakotay decided to join Kathryn in the shower. He was excited about something that had occurred to him during the night.
Naked with a giant smile on his face, he opened the shower door to see Kathryn allowing the hot water to run down over her body. She was surprised to see him. Even though they’d been on more than intimate terms, they’d not shared a shower until now.
“Hi there,” she said enticingly. “Care to join me?” His grin widened.
“Can I wash the baby?” he asked a bundle of enthusiasm.
Kathryn’s legs went weak and he caught her up before they let go.
“What’s wrong?” he asked anxiously.
There were tears in her eyes as she plead with him. “Don’t *do* this to me, Chakotay. Please Don’t do this. I can’t get involved again because losing you would hurt too much. I couldn’t take it.”
He climbed into the shower stall behind her and put his arms around her.
“I love you Kathryn and I have no intention of ever leaving you.” She shuddered under his hands and he knew that she was thinking that this was not his decision alone.
“When the day comes and I’m forced to leave this realm, I’ll go kicking and screaming because I’ll never leave you willingly. And if you leave this existence before me I’ll welcome death, because it will take me back to you.”
Kathryn began to struggle against him. He only held her tighter. “And don’t try to tell me that you don’t want me, because I know you love me. I know it.”
She slackened against him. “Why can’t we just be happy? We’re already in love, it’s too late to be afraid of losing each other because we’re already one person. Our hearts are carved with each others names. So are our souls.”
He held her and rocked her as she began to accept that.
“I promise you Kathryn, that I’ll let you think about this without nagging you, as long as you promise me that you’ll really consider it.”
He turned her to face him. She looked at him tentatively then nodded. “Okay. I promise,” she whispered to him.
He gathered her up in his arms and hugged her. “Thank you sweetheart,” he said without fear that she’d bolt.
She didn’t and they continued held each other under the spray of the water.
“Kathryn,” he said finally. She pulled away and looked at him. “Yes?”
“Can I wash the baby now?” She smiled and handed him the soap. “Yes you can.” Then she took his hand and placed it gently on her belly.
The father to be made slow soapy circles as he talked to his baby girl. She watched adoringly.
“I do love you. You know that don’t you?” she asked him.
“I do, but I must admit that I’ve been dying to hear you say it.”
Later in bed as Chakotay held her, he asked Kathryn what she wanted to do with the few days they had left before going home.
“I just want to do this,” she said as she snuggled against him.
He smiled against her neck. “Come on, there’s more to life than this.”
“There is?” she shot back.
He kissed her lips passionately.
In the end she changed her mind and gave him a list of things she wanted to do.
First things first. She’d decided that she wanted a moonlight sail and picnic on the real Lake George. He was happy to oblige. He packed up a sinful meal, lots of blankets and Sparky, then off they went.
When they got underway he asked her what the remainder of her list was.
“We really need to find a name for the baby,” she said simply. Chakotay was surprised that she hadn’t already chosen the name herself.
She confessed that early on she had chosen a name, but that now that he was part of the baby’s life she wanted him to be involved in the choice. He was immensely pleased by her confession
As they sailed around the lake, they debated names. They still hadn’t come to an agreement by the time she took his hand and led him into the boat’s cabin.
On the doctor’s final visit to the bungalow, he’d told them that penetrative sex out of the question until after the baby was born so Kathryn and Chakotay lay together using their hands and mouths to bring each other to climax multiple times.
“Can we stay here for the night?” she asked as the motion of the boat lulled her.
“I don’t see why not,” he answered. They’d locked up the cabin before they’d gone out. “Let me just put down some paper for Sparky.”
After he’d taken care of the puppy’s needs and found the little guy a comfortable place to sleep, Chakotay threw the anchor so they wouldn’t drift during the night. He was freezing so he ran back to the bed and scrambled under the covers.
“Ugh,” she cried out as her feet were suddenly tangled with two blocks of ice. “Your feet are cold.”
“I know. I’m trying to warm them up,” he said. They tried to drift off, but Sparky had other plans. He made the jump from the floor to the bed then clamored his way up between them.
“Hey, that was his first time jumping onto the bed by himself,” she muttered.
“Great,” he offered by way of response.
“Do you swear that you’ll never leave me? Unless you die, which of course I understand wouldn’t be your choice, but it would still piss me off.”
How could he ever win against logic like that, he wondered. “Yes, I swear it.”
“And do you promise that you’ll never cheat on me? No matter what I look like when I’m older and you’re still devastatingly handsome?”
“You’re always going to be beautiful to me. And yes, I promise that I’ll never cheat on you.”
“And do you solemnly swear that you’ll go back to making love to me the way we did before the doctor put a stop to it?”
He knew he had her. He smiled. “Yes.”
“And never stop?” she continued.
“Well I’m going to have to stop sometime. I’m going to need to eat, and I’ll have to sleep…”
“You know what I mean. “Do you promise that we’ll always make love like that?”
“I would but your first question is directly affected by the answer to your third question.”
She raised herself up on one elbow. She giggled because Sparky was snoring, then asked, “and how’s that?”
He grabbed her and tackled her back to the bed. The puppy yelped, not enjoying being awakened at all.
“Because you’re killing me! You never stop.”
“Well can I help it if your baby is causing my hormones to go wild, not to mention that gorgeous cock of yours?
Chakotay laughed. “No I guess you can’t help yourself.. Especially where my gorgeous cock is concerned.”
She stared up at him dreamily.
“So okay now that I’ve answered all these questions, will you marry me now?”
She pretended to think about it. “Okay. I guess I will.”
One week later at the Starfleet museum, cocktail hour was being enjoyed by Voyager’s crew and their families. The doctor had indeed been right when he’d about the ‘flock’ of pregnant women. The crowd was dotted with expectant bellies as far as the eye could see.
But that was not the most popular topic of discussion around the room. Everyone was wondering aloud about when their host would show.
When he finally entered a round of applause went up in the room. People, well mostly Tom Paris were yelling “Speech! Speech!”
“Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’m late. Thank you for coming. It’s great to be with you all again and I’m thrilled to be able to share my discoveries with my Voyager family. What you’re all going to see around this museum tonight means a lot to me and my people. But that is not my latest discovery. I’ve spent the last six weeks trying to unearth something even more special to me.
When a very pregnant Kathryn Janeway waddled up from behind him the room went deathly quiet. Chakotay wrapped his arm around her.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my wife,” he placed his hand on her stomach. “And our daughter.”
The room went wild.
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