Bring On The Rain
By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: This is the sixth story in the Song Series. Please read the previous chapters first. Endgame never happened in this world. Bring On The Rain written by Billy Montana and Helen Darling. Performed by Jodi Messina with beautiful harmonies by Tim McGraw.
Another day has almost come and
Can’t imagine what else could go wrong
“Bridge to Captain Janeway.”
“Janeway here.” Kathryn yawned. Her head was pillowed comfortably on Chakotay’s chest.
“Captain, there’s been an accident.”
“How bad?” She rolled out of bed and scrambled for her uniform.
“No one’s been hurt.” Harry assured her. “But cargo bay 1 has been flooded with wastewater.”
“Wastewater?” She looked at Chakotay. “How exactly did that happen?”
“One of the holding tanks burst. B'Elanna’s trying to find the cause now.”
“What about the supplies in the bay?”
“I’m not sure, Captain. We’re still sorting out the damage.”
“Call the senior staff to the briefing room in fifteen minutes – I want a full report ready by then.”
Chakotay was stepping out of the sonic shower as she went into the bathroom. He grabbed her around the waist and gave her a hot kiss before letting her go. Grinning at her, he went into the bedroom.
He was so comfortable with his body, being naked didn’t bother him at all. Kathryn closed the shower door and turned the shower on. She was too shy to lay around with no clothes on. Repressed is what he’d said last night. Nonsense! It just wasn’t professional to read reports while you were naked.
Stepping out of the shower, she found Chakotay was already dressed. “That’s not fair, you don’t have as many clothes to put on.”
“You don’t have to wear underwear if you don’t want.” The smile was fully loaded with dimples. “I don’t mind.”
“Get out! Get to the bridge, I’ll be right there!” Laughing and pushing him toward the door, Kathryn picked up the clean panties he’d laid out on the bed for her.
“Guess I’ll just have to be happy thinking about you in zebra striped panties.” He ducked out the door before she could respond.
“Cad.” Pulling on her uniform over the striped bra and panties, Kathryn smiled at the wicked feeling.
Sometimes I’d like to hide away
somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war
“Tank 22 beta burst and we lost 50,000 gallons of water.” B’Elanna tapped the display. “Tank 23 beta took some damage and is leaking at the rate of thirty five gallons per hour.”
“We’ve managed to salvage about two thirds of the plants and the fresh food supplies.” Harry sighed. “Kes started some of those plants from seeds.”
Kathryn felt a pang of sympathetic sorrow. There was very little left of Kes on Voyager. “How did this happen?”
“It looks like the piping going into the tank was damaged at some point, from an attack by the Hirogen or the Kazon – take your pick.” B'Elanna settled into her seat at the table. “It was weakened and eventually gave way. We’re lucky it was clean water and not waste water like we first thought.”
“Was anything else damaged or lost, B'Elanna?” Kathryn asked.
“Some of the hydroponics equipment, but we can replace that.”
“This isn’t the first time this has happened.” Chakotay pointed out. “We lost an entire rack of plants six months ago when an antigrav lift collided with it. We need to move airponics.”
“Your roses take some damage, Commander?” Tom smirked.
“They’re waterlogged, but they’re fine. That’s not the point, Lieutenant.” He speared Tom with a sharp gaze. “The point is that our food supplies need to be relocated to a safer area. We’ve been lucky so far in being able to resupply and scrounge from the planets we’ve passed. But what happens if our luck runs out?”
The room was quiet. No on wanted to think of living on emergency rations or slowly starving to death.
“Do you have something in mind?” Kathryn asked Chakotay.
“It’s something I’ve thought of from time to time. I’ve even drawn some preliminary sketches. Actually it was Kes – “ He smiled at the memory of the gentle Ocampan girl. “Who said something to me about the long trip from airponics to the messhall."
Rising from his seat, Chakotay pulled up a schematic of Deck 5. “My drawings are on paper, but I can give you a rough idea.”
Kathryn hid a smile. Chakotay might claim to be a 24th century Indian, but he did a surprising amount of work with pencil and paper.
“The VIP quarters on this deck aren’t being used. If we open the bulkheads between them, we can create an area larger than the current airponics bay.”
“Chakotay, the bulkheads are there for a reason.” B'Elanna looked at the schematic. “If there’s a hull breach – “
“You can install emergency doors between the sections.” He countered. “That would insure we don’t lose everything if there was a breach.”
“Hmm… I could put doors…” B'Elanna chewed on her lip. “It would allow us to control the temperature as well. Different plants like different environments and it’s been a pain in the – a pain to get the equipment set up correctly.”
“Plus, this area is farther inside the ship so it’ll be better protected.” Chakotay sat back down. “I’d like to make it more accessible to the crew as well.”
“Do you think that’s wise?” Kathryn turned in her chair to face him. “Not everyone has a green thumb.”
“Not the food crops, no. I had something else in mind.” He seemed hesitant now that he had brought the subject up.
“What is it?” She asked gently. Chakotay’s creative side wasn’t something most of the crew was aware of. His rose bushes they considered an eccentricity. They’d be quite surprised at the clutter of sand paintings, woodcarvings, and other crafts scattered around his quarters.
“I thought we could set up an arboretum. With landscaping and maybe some holoemitters, we could make a comfortable place for the crew to walk through or just sit and relax.” The high cheekbones flushed a ruddy bronze. “Personally, I miss real plants and flowers. The holodeck just isn’t the same.”
“I think it’s a wonderful idea.” Kathryn patted his leg under the table. “The crew needs to be able to relax and get away from metal bulkheads from time to time. While we’re expanding, Tom has submitted a proposal for adding on another holodeck or two. After – “ She held up her hand as Tom started to speak. “After, you do a little more research, Tom. I’m not convinced we can build holodecks. Holosuites maybe. You remember what happened with the Hirogen?”
“I’ll get started on it right away, Captain.” Tom was fairly bouncing in his seat.
“In the meantime, Harry, find us a friendly planet to harvest new seedlings and replenish our water supply.”
“Right away, Captain.” Harry grinned at her. He’d started searching the minute he’d heard about the damage to the plants. Hopefully, the computer would have a list of possible planets by the time the meeting was over.
“Well then, there’s just enough time to grab a quick breakfast before our shift starts.” Kathryn swiveled her chair around and stood. “Dismissed.”
Chakotay waited next to her as the others left the briefing room. “Patting my leg during a meeting? Why, Captain, I’m shocked.”
“As if anything could shock you!” She laughed. Sliding an arm around his neck, she pulled him down for a kiss. “Besides, it’s a Captain’s privilege to fondle her First Officer.”
“Hmm… and what privileges do First Officers get?”
“Just the one, but it’s nice.” She rose up on her toes to mold herself to his body. “You get to buy the Captain coffee.”
‘Cos tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
“The good news, Captain, is there’s no Leola root.”
“And the bad news?” Kathryn heard Chakotay smother a chuckle at B'Elanna’s comment about the planet they were orbiting.
“There’s a bacteria in the water that we’ll have to filter out.” B'Elanna handed her a PADD. “We’ll have to build a filtration system.”
“The transporters won’t filter it out?” At the Engineer’s shake of the head, Kathryn looked over the plans on the PADD. “How long will it take?”
“Twelve, maybe eighteen hours to build this and then at least twenty four hours to filter all the water we need.”
“Get started on it.”
“Captain, I really need to get on the relay diagnostic and replacement on Deck 8.”
“Put someone else on it, B'Elanna.” Kathryn shook her head. “We need to get our supplies and get out of here.”
“We have to make up some time from our layover in the Tiktean and Slymarian shipyards.” Chakotay added. “We needed the repairs and torpedoes, but we lost six months.”
“I’ll get a team on it.” B'Elanna got to her feet. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about the time.”
“Understood, B'Elanna.” Kathryn watched as the other woman left the ready room.
“It’s because she’s already home.”
“What?” She turned to Chakotay.
“She didn’t think about the time we would lose on our way home. This is home.”
“Are you saying she doesn’t want to go back to the Alpha Quadrant?”
“Maybe.” He shrugged. “What’s there? Her mother is dead and her father abandoned her as a child. Her husband and child – her family is right here.”
“Is that how you feel?”
“I miss my sister, but now that we can talk occasionally and write, I’m fine.”
“Don’t you want to see her?” Kathryn sat down on the sofa next to him. “Don’t you miss her?”
“Of course I do. But – “ How could he explain that he’d distanced himself from his family many years ago? “When I left to join Starfleet, I wrote my mother and sister once a month – very dutifully. I went home two or maybe three times the entire time I was with Starfleet.”
“So this isn’t any different?”
“Not really.” He shrugged.
“I’m not much better.” She sighed. “Let’s look at this anomaly and this cloud and hey! Let’s go over here!”
“We do our share of sightseeing.” He agreed with a laugh. “But we’ve also shaved forty years off our journey in the process.”
“In the beginning, we were in such a hurry.” Rubbing at her temples, Kathryn sighed again. “When did we give up?”
“We haven’t given up. We just realized that it’s going to take a long time.” Chakotay pulled her into his arms. “In thirty years, we’ll be in the Alpha Quadrant, but for now our lives are here.”
“So what you’re saying is that we shouldn’t trade the present for a future that may never happen?” She grinned crookedly up at him. “Someone should write that down for me.”
Laughing, he kissed the top of her head. “It’ll happen, beloved. It’s just a long way off.”
“Speaking of off – our duty shift is over.” Getting up, she pulled him to his feet. “Buy me some dinner, Commander?”
“Anything to keep you from cooking.” He danced out of reach as she swatted at him.
It’s almost like the hard times
A couple drops and they all start coming down
“Watch that indicator!”
“There’s a spike!”
“Where the hell is it coming from?” Sue Nicoletti jumped back as sparks blew out of the panel she had just opened. “Damn!”
“Get back!” Vorik’s voice came over her combadge. The normally calm Vulcan sounded agitated. “I’m reading a surge across the board!”
Sue was knocked to the floor by the explosion. There was a series of pops reminding her of the old fashioned fireworks her father had set off one time. Panel covers blew off the bulkheads and the overhead lights flashed several times before going out. In the darkness, she could hear cursing from the other members of the engineering team.
As she started to get up, the ship lurched drunkenly and the red alert klaxons sounded. Rolling with the pitch of the deck, Sue was startled to find herself floating. “Oh, geez! Not the gravity!”
Lying back in her bathtub, Kathryn was indulging in her new favorite pastime. Chakotay’s strong fingers massaged her scalp as he washed her hair.
“Like that, do you?” He chuckled at her sigh of contentment.
“Very much.” She ran a soapy hand over his leg. “I may keep you after all.”
“I don’t know… maybe I should shop around…”
“I don’t know how the Captain drowned, Tuvok – “ He dunked her under the water.
Spluttering, Kathryn sat up and wiped soap off her face. “You! I’ll get you for that!”
Holding her slippery body against his, Chakotay laughed as she tried to dunk him. Catching her mouth with his, he kissed her. “Yuck! You taste like soap!”
“And whose fault is – “ A loud popping sound interrupted her. “What the hell was that?”
The lights flickered and went out, plunging the bathroom into darkness. “That can’t be good.” Chakotay muttered.
“Janeway to the – “ She yelped as the ship lurched and threw her against the side of the tub. Her head bounced painfully off the tiled wall.
Chakotay clamped a hand on her arm as they began lifting up out of the water. Or rather, with the water. “Chakotay to the bridge! Report!”
There was no response. Cursing, he felt blindly in the dark for a handhold of some kind. “Kathryn?” She was limp and still in his arms. “Kathryn, answer me!”
There were several moments of heart stopping silence before she answered. “My head…” She lifted a hand to her temple. “Hit my head…”
“Hang on to
“Okay.” Kathryn closed her eyes again. It was pitch black in the bathroom anyway, and it made her head hurt a little less if she didn’t have to hold her heavy eyelids open.
“Damn!” The door didn’t slide open when Chakotay found it. “Hang on to the sink, I’ll try to force the door open.”
Clinging to the sink, she wedged her legs under it and listened to Chakotay grunting as he strained to force the door open. Finally, he sighed and came back to her. “I can’t get enough leverage.”
“They’ll get us out.” She jumped as a bubble of water burst as it hit her face. “Good lord, there’s going to be water everywhere!” Another bubble of water splashed against her.
“Kathryn, they’re going to find us naked and trapped in the bathroom. That worries me more than water on the floor.” With my luck, Tom Paris will be standing there when the lights come back on.
Even in the dark, she could tell he was smiling. “Guess that’ll let the cat out of the bag.”
“And me without a bet – whoa!” Chakotay crashed to the floor as the gravity was restored. The door slid open and he half fell through it. Water splashed down, drenching him and the bedroom carpet.
“Are you okay?” Kathryn squinted to see him in the dim emergency lighting.
Wiping water off his face, he stood up. “Fine. Never better.”
“Bridge to Captain Janeway.”
“Janeway here.” She stood up and swayed dizzily. “What’s going on?”
“The power relays on Deck 8 blew out.” Harry told her. “We lost power ship wide. Engineering has it under control now.”
“I’m still sitting in the dark, Harry.” She pulled a towel off the rack and wiped her face. “I wouldn’t call that under control.”
“Yes, ma’am. Environmental is still offline as well.”
“Still not fitting my definition of under control.” Frowning at the blood on the towel, she dabbed at her forehead again. “Get B'Elanna back up here and get it taken care of.”
“Sorry, Captain.” Harry sounded stressed. “Transporters are offline as well.”
She closed her eyes and counted slowly to ten. “I’ll be on the bridge in five minutes. I expect a better report.”
“Yes, Captain. Bridge out.”
“When did our definition of under control become ‘gravity is working’?” She asked Chakotay.
“Second day in the Delta Quadrant?”
“Why does trouble come in bunches?” His joke wasn’t funny but she chuckled anyway. “It never rains but it pours, my mother would say.”
“I’m thirsty anyway.”
“What?” Turning, she saw Chakotay lounging in the doorway, toweling his hair dry.
“When my mother would complain about the rain, my father would say he was thirsty anyway.”
Kathryn arched an auburn eyebrow. “Bet she loved that.”
“Well... he never said it in arm’s reach.” He laughed. Catching sight of the blood on the towel she was using, he went to her and tipped her face up. There was a cut across her left temple.
“It can wait.” She kissed him. “Let’s get to the bridge and see what is working around here.”
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
And I might hang my head
I might be barely breathin’
But I’m not dead
’Cos tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
“Harry, you better have an estimate on repairs.” Kathryn huffed as she crawled out of the Jefferies tube that opened onto the bridge. “Climbing three decks isn’t my idea of fun.”
“Sorry, Captain.” Harry pushed his hair back from his face. A bruise was purpling over his right cheekbone. “We’re still on emergency power. Engineering says they’ll have main power back online in about six hours.”
“Six hours?” She shook her head, forgetting until too late the wound on her temple. Pain lanced through her head. “I want a full damage report.”
“I’m updating it now, Captain.” Harry told her. “You’ll be able to access it in just a moment.”
Settling into her chair, she found Chakotay had already pulled up the report on the console between their seats. “At least we have shields.”
“B'Elanna was setting up a redundancy system after Quarra, I don’t think she’s had a chance to test it yet.” He answered.
“I’d say this is a successful test.” She frowned as Tom knelt in front of her with his medkit. “I’m fine, Tom.”
“I can see that.” He ran the medical tricorder over her. “Laceration, concussion – you’re great.”
Beside her, Chakotay chuckled. “Luckily she has a hard head.”
“I’ve noticed that.” Tom’s baby blue eyes glimmered with amusement as he healed the cut. “I think that’s a requirement for being a captain.”
“It is.” She tipped her head to one side as he pressed a hypospray to her neck. “So we can deal with days like this.”
“And it’s not over yet. We haven’t heard B'Elanna screaming yet.” He put his medkit back together and walked over to Harry. “Through playing martyr yet? Even the Captain has her boo-boo all healed.”
“Harry?” Kathryn turned to look at him. He sighed and let Tom scan him. “I’m the only martyr around here, thank you.”
“We have shields and thrusters.” Chakotay told her as he scanned the report. “Environmental is functioning on emergency reserves.”
Kathryn waited fro a moment before she realized that was the extent of the good news. “Can we communicate with the away team?”
“Communications are offline – “
“They’ve just been restored, sir!” Harry reported, cutting Chakotay off.
“Harry, let the away team know what’s going on.” Kathryn ordered. “And tell engineering I want those transporters online. I want B'Elanna up here ASAP.”
“What else can go wro – “ The red alert klaxon interrupted her.
“Captain, two ships have dropped out of warp.” Tuvok’s voice was crisp and calm. “They are hailing us.”
“On screen.” Kathryn stood up. “I’m Captain Janeway of – “
“You are in our space!”
“We stopped merely to – “
“Leave or die!” The alien glowered at her.
Kathryn bit her tongue to keep calm. “We will be leaving as soon as – “ The screen snapped off. “I had to ask, didn’t I?”
The ship rocked and shook, nearly throwing her to the deck. “Captain, they are firing – shields are holding.”
“I can see that, Tuvok.” She glanced at Chakotay. “Weapons?” He shot her an ‘are you kidding me?’ look as he shook his head.
“Harry, tell the away team to be prepared.” Kathryn dropped into her seat as another blast slammed into Voyager. “Engineering, tell me you have the weapons online.”
“Impulse engines will be back online in two minutes, Captain.” Sue looked over her board. “Vorik estimates weapons online in twenty minutes.”
“We don’t have twenty minutes.” The ship shook violently. “Tom, be ready to take us out of orbit the second the engines are online.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He bit back the question about the away team. About his wife. Captain Janeway wouldn’t abandon them. His console lit up and he slid Voyager out of orbit.
I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep
As they headed away from the planet, one of the alien ships moved to pursue. The other curved down into the planet’s atmosphere.
“Damn! They must have detected the away team!” Chakotay punched at the console between the command chairs. “Transporters still offline. Chakotay to away team.”
“B'Elanna, one of the ships is heading your way.”
“We’ll dig in until you get back.”
“Be careful. Voyager out.”
The alien ship chased them around the two moons that orbited the planet. Tom skillfully ducked and dodged to keep away from the incoming weapons fire.
“Captain! Phaser banks 1 and 2 are back online!” Harry called out.
“Ahead of schedule.” Kathryn grinned. “Fire at will.” She grabbed the arms of her chair as the crippled systems strained to keep up with the wild turn Tom threw Voyager into.
After two direct hits, the alien ship peeled away and headed out of the system.
“Mr. Paris, take us back to the planet.” Kathryn looked over her shoulder at Harry. “How long until we have transporters?”
“Lieutenant Nicoletti is estimating ten minutes.”
“We may have to use the shuttlecraft.” Chakotay told her. “Unless you want to take Voyager down?”
“We may have to, I don’t want to lose the away team because we couldn’t get to them quickly enough.” She saw Tom stiffen. “And we’re not going to lose them.”
‘Cos tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
Arriving back at the planet, they met the second ship as it broke orbit.
“Fire at will.” Have they murdered the away team? Kathryn clutched the arms of her chair again as Tom sent Voyager in a head on collision course with the other ship. Phaser fire ripped across the space between them.
“I’m reading life signs on the surface, Captain.” Harry said excitedly. “The away team is accounted for. There are fifty alien life signs as well.”
“Tuvok, assemble a security team.” Kathryn nodded to Chakotay and he stood up and headed for the turbolift.
Tom curved Voyager to follow the other vessel as it ran away from their phaser fire. A final shot and the smaller ship exploded.
“Let’s get our people and get out of here.” Kathryn rubbed at her forehead. “I’ve had enough excitement for one day.”
Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
“Full power has been restored, B'Elanna has the warp engines online, and the water tanks are all full of pure water. And not a drop is leaking out.”
“Good.” Kathryn sighed as Chakotay’s fingers dug into her knotted shoulder muscles.
“There’s no sign of our attackers.” He smiled as she sighed again and stretched. “And Chell is making meatloaf for dinner.”
“Meatloaf? And what are you supposed to eat?”
“He’s making a veggie version for us non meat eaters.”
“Let me guess?” She laughed. “Leola root?”
“Leola root.” He kissed her cheek. “I was thinking of eating in tonight, anyway.”
“Sounds good.” She tipped her head back to look at him. Love shone in the black velvet eyes. As tired as she was, Kathryn was happy. Today had been a test as far as she was concerned and they had passed with flying colors.
“What are you thinking?”
“That as reports go, this was the best one I’ve had yet.” She smiled. “And that I’m happy.”
“I love you.” Dipping his head down, Chakotay kissed her softly and gently. He knew she was happier. Her headaches had decreased in frequency and intensity and Kathryn no longer wandered the corridors at night, unable to sleep.
“I love you, too.” She leaned back against him, snuggling into his warmth.
The porch swing rocked slowly as they watched the gentle
rain fall across
No I’m not gonna let it get me
I’m not gonna cry
So bring on the rain
Chapter 7 The River