By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: After returning to the Alpha Quadrant, Kathryn and Chakotay find themselves quarantined on Voyager so Starfleet Medical can be absolutely certain the New Earth virus is dormant. Of course they finally gave in to those feelings we knew they had for each other and became lovers. This is 2 months into the quarantine…
“Hey, sleepy.” Chakotay brushed Kathryn’s hair back out of her face. She was slumped over on the sofa and the book she’d been reading had fallen to the floor.
“Guess I’m getting lazy.” She yawned and stretched. “That’s the second day in a row I’ve had an afternoon nap.”
“Three, but who’s counting.” He handed her a cup of coffee.
“That’s because you’re not letting me get any sleep at night.” Kathryn took a drink of the hot brew. It tasted slightly bitter.
“Most women would be happy to have a man who can’t keep his hands off of her.”
“I’m not complaining! Sometimes, though, when I wake up and you’re already – “ She clapped her hand over her mouth as her stomach lurched.
“I thought you liked that.” He watched her jump up and hurry into the other room. “Kathryn?”
She was hunched over the toilet heaving helplessly. He pulled her hair back from her face and slid his other arm under her to hold her up. Getting a washcloth wet, he bathed her face and helped her to the bedroom.
“What the hell was in that coffee?” Clutching her stomach, she curled into a ball on the bed.
“Just coffee.” Laying the wet cloth over her eyes, Chakotay left to get the cup in question. After digging a tricorder out of her desk, he scanned it. Nothing. Just plain coffee.
“It tasted bitter.” She moaned when he sat down on the bed next to her.
“Maybe it was lunch.” He’d fixed crepes with asparagus and hollandaise sauce. “We have been over indulging lately.”
“It’s not like we haven’t been burning it off.” She patted his leg. “I’ll be okay in a little bit.”
Lying down next to her, he curled around her body until she fell asleep.
When she woke, the tantalizing aroma coming from the other room made her stomach growl. Getting up from the bed, Kathryn went into the main room to find Chakotay setting the table.
“I made you something light.” He kissed her.
“I’m starving.” Her stomach growled again.
Laughing, he pulled a chair out for her and uncovered her plate. He watched as she dug into the chicken and rice dish as if she hadn’t eaten in days. Whatever it was that made her sick had evidently left her system.
After dinner they settled on the sofa to go over some of the offers they’d received. They’d long since stopped counting the number of book offers and exclusive interview requests they’d gotten. The majority were only interested in how much sex the crew had while they were in the Delta Quadrant.
“Here’s an offer from the Daystrom institute.” Kathryn tapped a PADD. “Cataloging the Delta Quadrant phenomena.”
“That sounds good.”
“What have you gotten that sounds interesting?” She took the PADD he was reading from his hand. “They want you to teach at the Academy again? That’s wonderful!”
Chakotay shrugged. “They’re saying I can teach Tactics again or a class on the Delta Quadrant aliens and technology we encountered.”
“You don’t seem very happy with that. A chance to design the course you teach? Doesn’t that sound like something you’d like to do?”
“Kathryn, what I do depends on what you do.”
“Chakotay, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Sometimes I think I want another ship, but only if you’re my first officer.” She smiled at him. Instead of the expected returning smile, she watched his face go blank. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I can’t be your first officer again. I can’t ever go back to that.” He didn’t try to hide the bitterness he still felt.
“If Starfleet won’t let us share quarters, I won’t take a command.” She stroked his tattoo with her fingertips. “We’re a package deal now.”
“I love you.” Capturing her hand, he kissed her palm. “Whatever you want to do, we’ll do.”
“We’ll do something that makes us both happy and that’s an order, Mister.” Kathryn picked up her coffee cup off the table.
“Aye-aye, Captain! Oh, I mean Admiral.”
“Don’t remind me. And I haven’t accepted that offer yet, anyway.” The smell from the coffee made her stomach roll over. “Oh God!” She bolted up off the sofa and ran for the bathroom. She barely made it over the toilet before her dinner came back up.
Holding her hair back, Chakotay felt his own stomach twist in protest. The chicken casserole she’d had wasn’t nearly as attractive coming up. Rubbing her back, he tried helplessly to soothe her as she continued to retch even after her stomach was empty.
The heaves finally stopped and she slumped to the floor. Her stomach ached and her throat was raw. The cool cloth Chakotay wiped across her face was the most wonderful thing she’d ever felt in her life. “The coffee…”
“There’s nothing wrong with the coffee.” The black velvet eyes were frightened. “There’s something wrong with you.”
Chakotay shook his head and blinked several times. The readout stubbornly refused to change. “Kathryn – I – I – “
“It’s not the virus is it?” Kathryn got down off the bio bed. “They can’t be right about this! It’s been five years!” Her jaw dropped as she read the scan’s analysis.
“How can I – “ She looked up at him. “I didn’t update my booster.”
“Any particular reason why not?” He was secretly overjoyed, but how would she feel about a baby? “Kathryn?” When she didn’t answer he turned. She was gone. There was his answer. A sigh made him look down. Kathryn sat on the floor at his feet. Kneeling down, he tipped her head up. “Kathryn?”
“I didn’t think I’d need it. You were with Seven. Then we were home.” She blinked and tears ran down her cheeks. “Then I forgot.”
“Don’t cry.” He wiped the tears away. “Please don’t cry.”
“What do I do now?” She rose slowly to her feet. “What do I do with a baby?”
“What do we do with a baby?” He corrected. “We are having a baby.”
“We can’t have a baby on a starship.”
“Some parents do. The Galaxy class ships – “
“No.” She shook her head. “It’s too dangerous, even in the Alpha Quadrant.”
Chakotay stood, heart pounding painfully, was she considering terminating the baby?
“We have to have a house planet side.” Kathryn looked up into his eyes. He looked frightened. Did he not want the baby? No… it couldn’t be, he loved children.
Dropping to his knees again, he wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her flat stomach. “I love you, Kathryn, and I love our baby.”
“We love you, too.” Her fingers tangled in the raven hair holding him close to her. “Daddy.”
“This is so not fair.”
“Tea is good for you.”
“I hate tea!” Kathryn glared at Chakotay. Unfortunately, he seemed to have built up a resistance and didn’t so much as flinch.
The baby had accomplished what no one else could. Kathryn Janeway was no longer drinking several cups of coffee everyday. She was no longer drinking any coffee. The smell of it turned her stomach and a single taste had her hanging onto the toilet for support.
“I hate tea.” She repeated.
“I know.” Chakotay patted her knee before going back to sorting PADDS into piles.
“What’s your system?”
“Offers worth considering, offers possibly worth considering, offers not really worth considering, and offers we’d never consider.”
“I notice that last pile is the biggest.” She picked up a PADD from that one. “Oh my! Did you see how much latinum they’re offering?”
“For a tell all holonovel about our torrid love affair in the Delta Quadrant. You know, the one we didn’t have.”
“For this much latinum, we should make one up.” She joked.
“You’d only spend it on coffee.” He laughed as she tossed it back on the pile. “Not now – “
“Spacedock to Voyager.”
“Voyager, Chakotay, here.”
“There’s an incoming transmission for you, sir. Aylian.”
“Put her through.” Chakotay moved to the desk. “Aylian.” He greeted his sister.
“Chakotay, how goes it with you today?”
“It goes well, sister, and with you?”
“Another day of talking.” She smiled. “The Federation loves to talk. Unfortunately, that’s all they want to do.”
“I thought Trebus was being given full Federation membership.”
“We are. But they’re dragging their feet about helping us rebuild.”
After the Dominion War, the people who had relocated and the survivors of the Cardassian attacks had petitioned the Federation for the return of their planet. They had been granted that request but had been battling since then for other concessions.
“We need the terraformers here before winter on the Southern Side.”
“I thought they’d agreed to that already.” Chakotay frowned. The Cardassians had ripped huge scars into the Southern Side continents looking for minerals. He sometimes wondered if it was his peoples’ lot in life to live on land full of shiny metals that other people wanted. “The terraforming has to be done before it’s inhabitable. If it’s not done before winter, nothing will grow next spring.”
“They want us to pay for it.” Aylian’s dark eyes flashed with anger.
“Pay for it?” There was no way they had the resources to pay for the terraforming on the scale that needed to be done. Colony worlds generally had backing from rich investors to afford such operations. Trebus had funds from humanitarian efforts and Earth’s World Tribal Council, but not nearly enough. “Aren’t the Cardassians paying reparations?”
“The Federation is more interested in helping them recover from the war.” She leaned forward. “We need you, Chakotay. Come home.”
“Aylian, even if I wanted to come home, I’m quarantined for another four months.” He ran his hand over his face. “I honestly don’t see how I could help, anyway.”
“You know these people and their ways. Come home and help us.”
“I’ll visit, but I may teach again – “
“You’re staying with her.” Her voice was accusing. “You’re turning your back on your people again. For a woman.”
Kathryn watched the pain paint Chakotay’s face as he argued with his sister. She already had the feeling from earlier conversations that Aylian didn’t like her. A word she overheard seemed to give her combadges translator trouble. It gave her three separate meanings: other, white, and not of the people. Anyway she took it, Chakotay’s sister didn’t think much of her.
“No! Aylian, this is my decision!” Chakotay rose from the desk as he terminated the call. Angrily he paced over to the viewport.
“Chakotay, if they need you, you should go.”
“Kathryn, how can I go back and sit on the Council? I turned my back on my people and their ways when I was a boy.”
“Since I’ve known you, you’ve embraced your heritage.” She slid her arms around his waist. “You were young, forgive yourself.”
“I spent my entire adult life trying to pretend I came from somewhere else. Ridiculing everything I’d been taught.”
“And now you’re embarrassed to go back?”
“No! I’m – I’m – “ He floundered.
“Didn’t you tell me your father said you’d be between both worlds?”
He sighed. “Yes, and belong to neither. He was right.”
“Maybe.” Kathryn ran her fingertips over the dark lines that arched gracefully over his eye. “Maybe he was wrong and you belong to both. Maybe your destiny is to bridge the gap between them.”
“What about us?”
“What about us?” She shrugged. “I can live on Trebus just as easily as I can on Earth.”
“You don’t understand. My mother didn’t have a replicator or a comm terminal.”
“What was your sister using? Two cans and a string?” She snorted. “Is there a rule that says a house can’t have a replicator? Or was your father as contrary as you are?”
“No. It’s just that they’re trying to return to the old ways.” As he said the words, Chakotay knew that wasn’t completely true. He’d grown up in a house not a skin-covered lodge and he’d had PADDS and other 24th century items.
“I was happy on New Earth.” She reminded him.
“So was I.” He rested his forehead against hers.
“Let me tell you what I have to have and you tell me if it’s unreasonable.” Kathryn gave him a quick kiss. “A replicator – otherwise you do all the cooking.”
I do all the cooking anyway. “Okay.”
“And I have to have the equipment to do my research, and a way to get the reports to the Daystrom Institute.” A decision she’d made two seconds ago. “And a bathtub. And a dog. I’m not picky about what kind as long as it’s good with kids.”
“How big of a bathtub?”
“Big enough for two.” She rubbed her belly. “Or three.”
Chakotay’s sister was a lot friendlier when she found out he was coming home. Aylian had been more than happy to send the reports on the damage to Trebus and what was needed to rebuild.
“Top of the list is the terraforming.” Chakotay sighed as he ran down the list. “A lot of the native species are gone and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“The others were Earth species?” Kathryn asked. “We can reintroduce them.”
“It’ll take awhile, but with in-vitro and clones – that’ll speed the process up. For a price.” He tossed the PADD down. “It always comes down to that.”
“There’s no reason the Cardassian government shouldn’t foot the bill for some of this. The Federation is loaning them credits to rebuild their own planet – part of that should go to Trebus instead.”
“They still have millions of tons of the minerals they stole from us.” He pointed out. “Those are worth quite a bit, and we can’t put it back in the ground.”
“So we get a hold of it and sell it.” Kathryn chewed on her lip. “We may be able to get some funding by bringing this to the public’s attention. You said there’s perks to being a celebrity – let’s see if one of them is raising money.”
“We could always take that Ferengi’s offer to write a book on our sex life.”
“Not before we do a little more research, Dr. Chakotay.” The PADD she was holding was tossed onto the table so she could slide her fingers into his hair.
“I’m in total agreement Dr. Janeway.” He murmured against her lips.
“I thought Paris was coming out here to help.”
“He’s supposed to be.” Kathryn held the string taut as Chakotay marked out another line on the ground. This was turning out to be harder work than she thought it would be. She’d envisioned Chakotay tying string to stakes and making a big rectangle. Instead, he was measuring precisely where every wall of their house would be.
“I should have asked Ayala to help me.”
“He and Sue are on their honeymoon!” Sue Nicoletti had arrived on Trebus two days earlier and after arguing with Ayala over who was the most stubborn and pigheaded, had married him. They had headed off into the countryside to find a site for their own home.
Many of Voyager’s former crew had chosen to move to Trebus. The Maquis had no real family but each other. Their Starfleet crewmates had also felt the strong pull that had bonded them together for the past seven years and were reluctant to lose their ‘family’. Most had seen enough of space travel to last several lifetimes and were happily settling into the community. Tom was jokingly calling it ‘Voyagerville’, at least she hoped he was joking.
“Harry – “ Chakotay interrupted her musings.
“Is glued to Seven’s side.”
Harry and Seven’s move to the planet had been a complete surprise, but then their marriage hadn’t exactly been something anyone had seen coming either. After Chakotay had convinced the Tribal Council that they couldn’t afford to ignore outside threats ever again, the Federation had built a small orbital spaceport and Lieutenant Kim was assigned there as the official liaison to Trebus. He and Seven were busy working on a planetary defense system that would protect the inhabitants without compromising the beauty and nature of the planet itself.
“Are you okay?” Chakotay noticed Kathryn was wobbly as she handed him the roll of string.
“I just need a rest.” Pulling off the floppy hat that was protecting her fair skin from the sun, she wiped the sweat off her forehead.
Guiding her over to the small stand of shade trees, he helped her lower herself to the ground. Sitting down, he rubbed his hand over her swollen belly. “Let’s wait for Tom, you’re too far along to be working so hard.”
“Chauvinist pig.” She kissed him lovingly. Lying back, she was awed once more by the changes since the first time she’d landed on Trebus’ surface. The land had been ripped and gouged open with huge piles of dirt and gravel everywhere. The air and water had been fouled with pollutants from the mining machinery. The terraformers had transformed the area back to a gently rolling grassland under a clear blue sky.
“We’ll be able to watch the sunset over the lake.” Chakotay settled back against a tree trunk and pulled her against him. His hands rested over their kicking child. “And see the stars from our bedroom window.”
They heard a rushing of air and looked up to see the Delta Flyer descending through the atmosphere. “Why did Owen give him that damn thing?”
“Because it’s Tom’s toy.” Kathryn struggled to get to her feet again. Admiral Paris had commandeered the Flyer for his own use. That his giving it to his son had drawn howls of protest from the Starfleet Corp of Engineers didn’t bother him at all. “Rank has its privileges, Chakotay.”
“He just destroyed hours of work!” He helped steady her as she stood up.
“Wow!” Tom stepped out of the open hatchway. “You weren’t kidding, B'Elanna, this is beautiful!”
“I’ve got a spot picked out on the other side of the lake.” B'Elanna pointed across the small blue lake.
“Which means I should just nod and say ‘yes honey’, right?”
“Something like that, flyboy. Chakotay’s going to kill you, you know.”
“What for? I’ve been here five seconds – how could I have done anything wrong?”
“You set the Flyer down in his house.” She pointed out the series of blue strings around them, some of which were under the landing gear.
“Paris!” Chakotay had come out of the small stand of shade trees. He looked anything but happy.
“If you’ll excuse me, sweetheart.” Tom ducked back inside and locked the hatch.
B'Elanna walked over to Kathryn and gave her a hug as the Flyer moved and resettled daintily a short distance away.
“Sorry, Chief.” Tom said as he jogged over to them. “I didn’t see it.”
“That’s all right, you can help put them back up.” The other man grinned as he tossed a stake to him.
Putting the markers back up proved harder than Tom expected. Chakotay demanded precise measurements and Kathryn kept changing her mind on where she wanted things. When the two of them were finally happy, he collapsed by the campfire B'Elanna had built.
“You stink.” She shoved him with her foot.
“Have mercy, I’m tired and sun burnt.” He moaned.
“Uh, uh, go jump in the lake.”
“I may regret living here.” Getting up, he trudged to the edge of the lake. Chakotay was sitting chest deep in the water with Kathryn washing the day’s grime off his shoulders. “Where’s the soap?”
“There isn’t any.” Kathryn held up a dripping handful of sand. “Scoop up some sand from the bottom. Just be careful not to scrape your skin off.”
He waited until she turned away to strip his clothes off. “My wife tells me to jump in the lake and now I have to wash off with sand.” He plopped down in the water. “Yikes! In cold water!”
“Shut up, Paris.”
They decided to spend the night at the site. B'Elanna checked in with Aylian to let her know they wouldn’t be picking Miral up until the next day.
“Your sister’s incredible, Chakotay.” B'Elanna said. “A one-quarter Klingon baby isn’t the easiest kid to babysit.”
“She’s your sister, too, B'Elanna>”
“Yeah.” She still couldn’t believe that she’d been accepted so completely by Chakotay’s people. He’d announced that she was his sister and that was all it took for them to accept her.
“Guess that makes me your brother.”
“No, Paris, it makes you my sister’s husband.” Chakotay grinned at him. “That means I get to ask questions like how are you going to provide for my sister?”
“I’ve sold my Captain Proton holoprogram.” He laughed at their surprise. “They’re a hit.”
“Captain Proton?” Kathryn shook her head.
“Savior of the universe.” Tom nodded. “Oh, yeah, Kathryn, I kinda need your signature on some stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“Well, it seems they really like Queen Arachnia.”
“Oh, Good Lord!” Her face in holodecks everywhere? Not without a percentage of the profits. “Lets talk numbers.”
A sharp pain woke her. Gasping for breath, Kathryn held her hand over her swollen belly. Waiting, she felt nothing unusual. Maybe it was just a twinge. Rolling over on the air mattress, she snuggled up to Chakotay once more. His arms went around her, pulling her close in his sleep. Just as she drifted off another pain stabbed her.
“What was that?” Chakotay felt the muscles ripple across her belly. “That wasn’t a kick.”
“I think I’m in labor.” She sat up slowly. “I think – “ There was a sudden gush of water between her legs. “I think I just wet my pants.”
“Tom!” Chakotay yelled across the dying fire. “Kathryn’s water broke!”
“Any contractions?” His voice was groggy.
“A couple I think.” She sucked in her breath at another painful ripple of her belly.
“That would be a ‘yes’.” Tom crawled over to her. “How far apart?”
“About a minute, maybe less.”
Tom paled. “Let’s get you in the Flyer.”
Chakotay carried her to the Flyer and laid her on the bio bed. “Get us to the hospital!” Tom headed to the cockpit.
“I need to push!”
“No, you don’t!” Tom did a u-turn. Looking over at the readings he sighed. “Chakotay, you’ll have to get us there. B'Elanna help me get her pants off.” He turned to find them both staring at him. “Now.” They jumped to follow his orders.
After stripping her of her wet pants and panties, they helped her back on the bio bed. Tom shook his head. “Sorry, Kathryn, but I’ve got to look.”
Chakotay was finishing the launch sequence when heard Kathryn’s shriek of pain. He bolted out of the pilot’s seat and into the aft compartment. Kathryn was clutching B'Elanna’s hand and Tom was doing something between her legs. “What the hell are you doing to her?”
“Relax, Big Guy, I’m checking her dilation.” He cleaned his hands on a sterile wipe. “She must have been in labor while she was sleeping – we’re ready to go.”
Chakotay felt a touch of fear. His child could not be born in a shuttle! “We need to get to the hospital!”
Prying her hand loose, B'Elanna ran for the cockpit.
“Chakotay, get behind her and help her sit up.” Tom ordered. “Kathryn, when you need to push – hold your breath and push down hard.”
B'Elanna was touching the Flyer down next to the hospital when she heard the baby cry. As soon as the craft settled, she shut the engines down and ran to the back.
Tom was wrapping a squalling infant in a pink blanket. “Meet the Delta Flyer Kid.” He handed the baby into Kathryn’s eager hands.
“Chakotay, she’s beautiful.” Tears ran down her cheeks as she stroked the light brown cheek. He nodded, unable to speak.
“What’s her name?” B'Elanna reached out to touch the dark hair.
“Traditionally, the uncle gets to name the baby.” Tom smiled at them. “I’ve been doing a little studying, Chief.”
“You’re not naming my daughter ‘the Delta Flyer Kid’.” Kathryn glared at him.
“That can be her nickname can’t it?” He took a small fist in his hand and smiled into the brown eyes. “Uncle Tom will teach you how to fly as soon as you’re big enough.”
“Do we really want him to live next door?” Chakotay winced as Kathryn elbowed him.
“I’ve got a couple names in mind. We’ll have to wait a few days to see what type of personality she has.”
“You have been studying.” Chakotay felt a grudging respect. Tom was taking this with the seriousness it deserved. “Its an important duty to name a child.”
“Yeah, well…” He flushed at the unexpected praise. “We better get her inside.”
“Chakotay,” Kathryn put her free arm around his neck. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Can I have coffee now?”