[personal profile] pook41
Title: Fulfilling the Prophecy  part 1
Author: Pook
Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Rating: R - for swearing only
Summary: For Audabee's birthday - a Macguffin driven long epic tale about our trusty crew as they return to the AQ

Character/Pairing: Janeway/Chakotay
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Author’s Notes: None.
Prompt Number for fic101:  list 2 - 5 - beautiful
Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.
Date: 13/8/07

~~


~~*~~

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“Captain Kohlar, come in.” Kathryn stepped aside, ushering the Klingon into her quarters.

 

Kohlar stepped into the living room and looking around her opulent quarters, he hid his disdain well. To him, the soft furnishings, carpet, and decorations were an anathema.  He’d lived for twenty years in a room that had only a metal rack as a bed in it and his only luxury had been a table and a chair. And they had only been his for the last five years since he’d become captain of the Kotar.

 

He and his crew had only been on Voyager for a week but this small human female had impressed him. She was far from soft and ran a well-organized and disciplined ship. Although initially surprised by T’Greth’s and Morak’s attempt to take over her ship, she and her crew had quickly regained control, subduing the Klingons and beaming them to the brig or to the planet. T’Greth and Morak’s plan had relied on the Klingons of his time thinking that these Federations were weak and feeble. How wrong they had been.

 

It didn’t matter anymore. Voyager would be leaving in the morning and he would need every one of his crew and all their energies to tame their new home. It would be tough and although they were unlikely to die in combat, it still would be an honourable death and worthy of Klingon warriors. The major focus of his mission was to search for the kuvah'magh and, he had done that for all his life, but now he came to realize it all had been mostly a mistake and a waste of time. Even though he was a Klingon, he was tired, as were most of his crew, and they’d all welcome the respite.

 

Kohlar held out a small barrel and two metal jugs toward her. “Captain, my crew rescued some vintage blood wine before my ship was destroyed. Would you do me the honour and drink it with me?”

 

Kathryn couldn’t refuse although she would definitely regret it in the morning. “I’d be honoured.” Kathryn pointed to the chairs and they sat down.

 

He poured the first round and passed the jug to Kathryn. “Drink! Honoured Warrior!” After saying, in Standard, the traditional first toast when opening a new cask, he was about to drink his but was stopped by his counterpart.

 

She thought for a moment then smiled, remembering the phrase in Klingon. If she pronounced it incorrectly, there could be a fight if she unwittingly insulted him or his mother. Her Klingon wasn’t that good. “Bax suvwi’ xux!” She tapped her mug against his and sculled the wine.

 

Kohlar looked at the woman in amazement. She’d said, in perfect Klingon, the toast that he’d just said in Standard then gulped down the wine without even gagging. His admiration for her grew. Smiling, he poured another round.

 

Kathryn went on to tell the Klingon captain about her six-month tour of duty on the IKS K’Tehr as second officer. She’d barely tolerated gagh and most Klingon foods, but she’d discovered she liked blood wine and, of course, she adored the Klingon coffee, raktajino.

 

They continued to swap stories, mainly about the battles they had fought. After each round and under the increasing effects of the blood wine they exaggerated their stories more and more. Blood wine had the same affect on Kathryn as it did on Klingons. It made her boisterous and very loud.

 

Kathryn regretted telling him about her battles with the Borg. Her shoulders were sure to have bruises on them because with every tale, the impressed Kohlar, had punched her there playfully, very hard. There were a few times she’d thought that he might have even dislocated her shoulder, although she had doubts whether she would even feel any pain thanks to the amount of blood wine that she’d drunk.

 

Kohlar poured yet another round. It would be their last. The keg was now empty. He threw it over his shoulder and laughed as it smashed against the wall, spattering the wall with the last few dregs and sending bits of wooden shrapnel over the carpet. He’d thought that Janeway may have fallen unconscious after the second drink but she had not. She’d kept up with him, round for round. “Are you sure you’re not Klingon, Janeway?”  He laughed.

 

Beyond caring about the mess that they’d made, Kathryn laughed too. “Maybe. Chakotay says sometimes that I have a temper like a Klingon.”

 

Kohlar playfully punched her in the arm again. “The commander … he is your mate?” He’d seen the way the first officer had looked at her and the barely hidden concern they both had for each other when Morak and T’Greth had tried to take over the ship.

 

“Yes. What of it?” Kathryn didn’t like his tone. With the wine talking, she reacted angrily and aggressively like a Klingon.  She pushed away the table and stood up, puffing out her chest. She was ready to defend their relationship and to challenge Kohlar. She had loved Chakotay for nearly six years but she had fought with herself before realizing that she couldn’t live without him in her life.  Although not married in the Klingon sense of the word ‘mate’, they had been together for over four years and she considered herself to be married to him. He was her soul mate, lover, and best friend. She needed him and wanted him. No one was going to question it.

 

Standing up, Kohlar held up his hands in mock surrender. Janeway was very brave or very drunk. Probably both, he thought as he smiled at her. She was about to challenge him. Her fists were clenched and she was wound up like wounded targ that was ready to strike out to defend herself or her cubs. Even though he was twice her size and armed, she wasn’t intimidated at all. He liked this human a great deal and regretted not having more time to speak with her. He swiped at her arm again and let out a raucous belly laugh.

 

Kathryn was in no mood but Kohlar continued to laugh. It was very hard to be angry and hit someone who laughing at her and especially when she could barely stand upright.

 

“Captain, I apologize.” He looked away for a minute remembering K’nad then refocused on Janeway. “My mate, K’nad died last year. I remember the looks you share.” A wave of melancholy washed over Kohlar as he recalled their seventeen years together.

 

Kathryn calmed down, letting it pass. The Klingon wouldn’t want sympathy over his loss so she kept quiet.

 

“You are Klingon,” He smirked when she offered him no platitudes. He then looked at the half empty jugs. It would be their last drink together. “It would be my great honour to present to you a gift.” He pulled out an old dagger from his tunic. He chose not to go into detail about the history of the knife and why he had been ordered to take it as far away from the home world as possible.

 

Although finding the kuvah'magh had been their main mission, he had another one to protect the history of the knife. It was better that she didn’t know its true history or meaning just as his crew hadn’t known. He wanted his crew to survive using their skill, make their own destiny and not rely on blind faith. He still believed in the Sacred Scrolls when they’d foretold the old relic had incredible power but if the scrolls were wrong about the Torres baby then could they be wrong about the taj? It was possible. Maybe the Klingons of this era were ready to know about the knife and return it to Qo’noS. He would leave that to the Order to decide. It had protected them for their entire journey and he hoped that the good fortune that the dagger had provided them over the years would be passed on to Janeway to help Voyager, and the knife, return to the Alpha Quadrant.

 

“This taj.” He deftly spun the dagger in his hand and handed it to her, handle first.

 

Kathryn accepted the dagger with a bow. “Thank you, Captain.” Kathryn looked at the old knife. The handle had a simple design of a serpent that wrapped around it with its head finishing at the ornate hilt. She unsheathed it to find the blade was twin edged and around twenty centimetres long, with traces of dried blood on one side. At the bottom of the blade, it had the Klingon letters ‘QT’ etched into the steel. Kathryn tested the weight of the blade in her hand. Like all Klingon weapons, it was well balanced and well made.

 

“This knife has been in my house for more than eight generations.”

 

Kathryn looked shocked. It was over four hundred years. “I couldn’t …”

 

“Yes you can and you will, Janeway. I’ll never return to Qo’noS and I’m the last of my House. I want you to have it.”

 

She nodded, re-sheathing it and then placing the knife on the bookcase. “Thank you, Kohlar.”

 

He looked at the time. The blood wine was nearly gone and it was late. It was time for him to leave. “Do you remember the Vaj mej?”

 

She thought for a few seconds. It was hard to think straight. “The something of the Warriors?” The details were very foggy. The blood wine was very strong and her time on the Klingon vessel had been over ten years ago.

 

“The parting of the Warriors.” Kohlar unsheathed his ceremonial dagger and used it to slice across his right palm.

 

Like most Klingon rituals involved blood in some form or another. Even though she was very drunk, she remembered the ritual and held out her right palm. She had to, her honour and his was at stake if she refused. Grateful for the numbing affect of the blood wine, she didn’t flinch as the knife cut across her palm and blood flowed freely, pooling in her palm.

 

“Batlh bIHeghjaj.”

 

“GhIj qet jaghmeyjaj.”

 

Kathryn grasped Kohlar’s bleeding hand with her cut one, squeezing it firmly together then they put their still joined hands over their jugs allowing their mixed blood to drip into the blood wine.

 

Kohlar nodded and released his grip.

 

They picked up their jugs and for one last time and sculled the remainder of the wine. They both banged the jugs on the table with a very satisfying crash then yelled together, “Qapla!”

 

“Janeway, I will leave now. Thank you for the evening.”

 

With increasing difficulty, Kathryn walked him to the door. “Thank you for the wine, Kohlar.”

 

The Klingon nodded.

 

The doors swished open.

 

A startled Chakotay jumped back a little. He was about to enter his code when the door opened. He moved out of the way to allow the Klingon to leave and bowed slightly out of respect. “Captain.”

 

“Commander,” Kohlar slurred, nodded back, and then headed to his quarters, hoping that he would make it there before he fell unconscious.

 

Chakotay walked into their quarters and immediately stopped, smelling the earthy odour of blood wine. The whole place smelt like a Klingon tavern he’d once visited on DS9. “Kathryn?” He turned to face her by the doorway.

 

Kathryn hadn’t moved except to use a hand on the bulkhead to stop herself from falling down. Blood flowed down her palm, along her fingers and on to the carpet. She’d held herself together as best she could but now that Kohlar had left, all she wanted to do was to collapse on the floor and go to sleep. Drinking copious amounts of blood wine had that effect on her.

 

Chakotay looked at the stains on the wall and the smashed barrel beside it. The two captains had shared an entire barrel of blood wine. They were completely and utterly mad. That brew was very, very strong, especially the vintage stock. Shaking his head, he wondered how they were even conscious, let alone upright. He could smell the potent alcohol on her breath from over a metre away. 

 

Grabbing her arm, holding her cut hand in the air, he led her to the bathroom. He leant her against the wall. The glazed look in her eyes showed how very drunk she was. She hadn’t said a word. He wasn’t sure she was even capable of coherent speech. He only hoped that she wasn’t trying to stop herself from throwing up. He tapped his combadge. “Chakotay to the Doctor.”

 

“Yes, Commander.”

 

“I need you to make a house call. It’s the captain.”

 

“Anything serious?”

 

“No. A Klingon celebration.”

 

“Another one?”  The Doctor huffed. “I’ll be right there, Commander.” The Doctor had a fair idea what symptoms the captain had. He’d treated many of the crew for alcohol related complaints ever since the Klingons had come on board. Also, there were the mock battles and other assorted Klingon rituals that had resulted in a sharp increase in broken bones, cuts, and abrasions. And then there were the injuries caused by the sexual encounters. He’d have holographic nightmares for long time over those. He was glad that the Klingons would be leaving in the morning and things would return to normal on Voyager whatever that was.

 

“Chakotay out.” He looked at the wound on her hand. It was still oozing blood. He wiped the blood away with a clean flannel and then wrapped it around her hand. He quickly undressed Kathryn, leaving her panties and singlet on. He manoeuvred her over to the toilet.

 

From somewhere in her alcohol befuddled brain, Kathryn could sense that Chakotay was there, helping her.  She could feel his strong hands on her arm, guiding her, helping her undress. It was embarrassing enough that she needed help to stand that she didn’t want to have help to go the toilet. Struggling, Kathryn protested, “I … can do … this.” She managed to pull her panties down but then nearly missed the seat as she sat down. She grunted and waved Chakotay away as she righted herself on the seat.

 

After she’d finished and cleaned her hands, Chakotay watched as she struggled to stand upright. He retied the flannel over the wound but she still left bloody handprints on the sink and wall as she stumbled out of the bathroom toward their bedroom. He had to stifle a laugh as she collapsed face first onto the bed, not moving.

 

Chakotay heard the door ring. “Kathryn…” Trying to rouse her, he shook her arm.

 

She turned her head so she could tell him to leave her alone. “Go …away.”

 

He tried again. “Roll over. The Doctor’s here.”

 

Kathryn snorted, her reply almost completely muffled as her face was buried in the pillow. After a few attempts, she managed to roll onto her back and slide under the covers. She was so tired, she felt like she could sleep for a week. She closed her eyes hoping that she would do just that.

 

Chakotay left to let the Doctor in.

 

Both men entered the bedroom to find Kathryn’s mouth open with a dribble of drool beginning to work its way down her chin and snoring loudly.

 

Amused, the Doctor snuck a quick look at the first officer.

 

“I keep telling her that she snores when she drinks too much.” Chakotay smiled. “And she keeps telling me that she doesn’t. Now someone will believe me.”

 

The Doctor grinned back. “Sorry, Commander. I don’t want my program decompiled so I’m not backing you up.” He injected her with the extra strong alcohol detoxifier along with a long lasting analgesic for the headache she was sure to have in the morning. Next, he waved the dermal regenerator over the cut on her palm. It sealed the wound, leaving only a thin pink line. “All done. The captain will be fine. Make sure she drinks some water in the morning.”

 

“I will. Thank you, Doctor.”

 

“I’ll see myself out. Goodnight, Commander.”

 

“Goodnight, Doctor.”

 

Chakotay quickly finished his nightly routine and climbed into the bed. Kathryn was still snoring loudly so he pushed her onto her side. She grunted something in Klingon. He thought it might’ve been ‘baQa’ – the Klingon equivalent of ‘fuck off’. He chortled to himself. Captain Janeway, who was the very model of a perfectly proper Starfleet captain, was pissed as a newt, swearing like a Klingon and almost unconscious from drinking way too much. It was so unlike her but it was very liberating at the same time.

 

He kissed her cheek and whispered, “I love you.” He wasn’t expecting her to reply in kind as she normally would have done and she didn’t because she started to snore again but thankfully softer than before. Chakotay grinned then rolled over and soon fell asleep as well.

 

~~*~~

 

*beep beep* *beep beep*

 

“The time is 0600. The time is 0600.”

 

“Oh … God.” Kathryn rolled over, still feeling tired but otherwise okay except for her dry throat. Her tongue felt like it had tripled in size. It was parched like her throat. She tried to remember what had happened last night. Most of the details were sketchy. She thought she and Kohlar might have shared a barrel of blood wine but she wasn’t quite sure. She had no idea how she got to bed let alone undressed.

 

Chakotay rolled over to face his love. His arm gently ran over her arm. “How are you feeling?”

 

“Okay, I think. I just need some water.”

 

“We need to get up anyway. The Klingons are leaving at 0700.” Chakotay got up, walked to the replicator, and ordered a glass of water. He smiled as he spotted the remains of the barrel on the other wall.

 

Kathryn was leaning on the doorframe when he returned. “Thank you.” She drank the water and looked at the stained wall where the barrel had smashed. “Did we really drink an entire barrel? I don’t remember much.”

 

“Knowing these Klingons, after the second round it would’ve been tall tales of all the battles you’ve been in.” He teased, “How you single-handedly defeated the Borg, Species 8472 and the Hirogen in glorious hand to hand combat to the death!”

 

“Yeah right.” Kathryn scoffed. “I was almost fully assimilated. I was nearly purged like the rest of the galaxy, and my ship was taken over by a race that hunted me like an animal and shot me with an ancient ballistic weapon. Some glorious tales there.”

 

Chakotay smile faded and he went quiet. He was an idiot. He didn’t need to be reminded of how close he’d come to losing her. “Sorry, Kathryn.”

 

Kathryn closed her eyes and rubbed her face. She was still very tired. “I’m sorry too.” She didn’t want to upset him, reminding him of their past close calls. Those incidents scared her half to death too and were still the stuff of her occasional nightmares. At the time, there had been little time to think about how close they’d all come to being killed. There had been so many close incidents in their nearly seven years in the Delta Quadrant that she was grateful to the someone or something that was looking after them. And another of one of the things she had to thankful for was standing in front of her. She put her hand on his bare chest, covering his heart then kissed him gently. “I love you.”

 

His arms rested on her hips. He looked down at her into her blue eyes that were so full of love. “I know.” He bent down to kiss her then they held each other in silence, their arms wrapping around each other in a tight embrace. They didn’t need to say anything. It just wasn’t necessary.

 

Eventually, they let go. “Chakotay, you have a shower. I need another glass of water.”

 

“Do you want any breakfast?”

 

Her stomach felt all right but then it could be the detoxifier masking the effects of the previous night. “I’ll just have something light. A piece of toast.”

 

“Okay.” Chakotay headed to the bathroom.

 

Kathryn walked passed the bookcase and stopped when she saw the old Klingon dagger. She remembered that Kohlar had given it to her but that was all. Picking it up, she was grateful for the gift but displaying weapons wasn’t her thing so she placed it the cargo box where she kept some of the other gifts she’d received along their journey.

 

After another glass of water, she showered, dressed, and then had breakfast with Chakotay before starting another day in the Delta Quadrant.

 

~~*~~

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Stardate: 54619, one month after the Klingons left Voyager.

 

Qo’noS, KDF Civil Service – Federation Affairs complex.

 

Bekk Toral was about to finish yet another tedious shift as an administration assistant. In his youth, he’d dreamt of doing great and glorious deeds for the Klingon Empire that would inspire many songs and legends, like most Klingons. He laughed cynically. His energy consummation reports on the K’tarian sector were legendary, worthy of Kahless himself. The permanent sneer took on more anger than usual. Sometimes he wished Worf had killed him instead of leaving him in this living version of Gre'thor.

 

The other bekks in his section were either very old warriors or those who had been too badly injured and couldn’t teach at the various KDF schools. They were content to contribute to the Empire in the only way they could but he wasn’t. Nor would he ever be.

 

He had been internally exiled after his own plan to get the Sword of Kahless had failed in the Gamma Quadrant. Worf, son of Mogh had decreed he shouldn’t die yet again. It meant that for the rest of his life he would be sifting through the endless gigaquads of reports that Starfleet and the Federation sent. There’d be no chance for glory for him or what remained of his House.

 

Never.

 

His computer beeped interrupting his wallowing. It was a new report from Starfleet. He looked at the heading. QoH! He thought. They’d send the report to the wrong section. He was about to forward it to the correct bekk but the heading drew his attention.

 

It was from the Starfleet ship, USS Voyager via the MIDAS array. His interest had been piqued because the deep space MIDAS array technology had been something he’d been studying as part of his engineering studies before his life had taken a turn for the worst. Starfleet was keeping in regular contact with the ship that they’d all thought had been lost. He checked the security code on the report. It was only confidential so he was allowed to open it.

 

It was the latest logs from the ship. He scanned through the official logs of ship, ignoring his nemesis, the energy consummation reports. There was no way he’d read those. Toral scanned through the summaries until he suddenly stopped.

 

IKS Kotar.

 

A Klingon ship in the Delta Quadrant!? He was amazed and stunned.

 

He quickly looked up the details on his system.

 

The Klingon ship was a D7 class battle cruiser that was over a hundred years old. It had left Qo’noS in 2264 and now it had been found in the Delta Quadrant. This was a story that he’d like to know more about. He downloaded everything on the Kotar, its crew, and its mission on to his padd. He searched the Voyager’s logs and downloaded their references to the ship as well. At least, reading about the adventures of the hundred-year-old ship would give him a momentary distraction to his pitiful life.

 

Toral forwarded the Voyager’s logs on to the right bekk just as the end of shift horn sounded. He logged out and headed for home, ignoring all the invitations to drink and cavort with his fellow useless warriors. He had more important things do than listen to tales of long forgotten battles that nobody cared about anymore.

 

Once he was alone inside his small room, he began to read everything. It was an amazing tale that started out so heroically only to finish with a whimper and not a bang. The crew of the Kotar had searched for over a hundred years for the kuvah'magh only to abandon the quest after they’d interpreted the Sacred Scrolls incorrectly. How could they think that a half Klingon-Terran girl baby would be accepted as the saviour of the Klingons? PetaQs! He thought.

 

He’d nearly finished reading all the information about the Kotar’s crew when he found a snippet of intriguing information. He sat back recognizing immediately what it meant but disappointment and bitterness rose in him again. His potential saviour was out of his reach. It would be decades before Voyager would return. Too many years. He stalked over to the replicator and ordered an ale. Drowning his sorrows was the only thing left he could do. Oh, how he cursed his aunts and wished that they’d never have found him.

 

~~*~~

 

Stardate: ~54976.4, the end of Endgame

 

“Mister Chakotay, the helm.”


“Aye, Captain.”

 

“Set a course, for home.” Kathryn’s voice cracked with emotion. She stood in the middle of the command deck, frozen to the spot in disbelief. All she could think of was that they’d done it. The near impossible. At the moment, she was acting on autopilot. Everyone was bone numbingly exhausted. For the last three days, all the crew had worked feverously to get Voyager ready for the battle with the Borg and their trip through the transwarp conduit.

 

Chakotay checked the helm. He had to do it twice. Taking a deep breath, he needed to focus on his task. He was in shock like everyone else on the bridge. “Course set. Maximum speed is warp two, Captain.”

 

Shaking her head, she laughed to herself. Finally, she regained some of her higher brain functions. “Belay that, Mr Chakotay.” They’d just battled the Borg, gone through one of their transwarp conduits travelling 30 000 light years and then burst through the middle of an exploding Borg tactical sphere and she was acting like it had barely scratched the paint on the hull. “Mr Tuvok, damage report.”

 

Tuvok had already reviewed the damage reports and had been waiting for the captain to ask him. He understood her reaction. The probability of Voyager ever returning to Federation space had been very low. Their achievement was very much against the odds. “Although we have warp drive, Mr Vorik recommends we halt until the plasma control relays and the hull breaches from deck six though to deck twelve are repaired. Emergency force fields are holding. Shields are at sixteen percent. Ablative armour is non-functional. Aft phaser array and torpedo launchers have been destroyed. Long and short-range sensors, as well as the internal sensors, are not functional. Transporters are offline. Repairs are underway and expected to take at least a week. Sickbay reports two serious and eleven minor injuries.”

“Thank you, Tuvok.” Voyager was badly damaged. There wasn’t a lot functioning but overall it could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, the only fatality had been her future self and she hoped that those injured would recover quickly. It would take longer to repair the damage than normal because of Lt. Torres’ absence but she was confident that they would be able to get to Earth under their power and not have the indignity of requesting a tow. The delay would allow them time to get the rest of the ship repaired and ship-shape before they reached to Earth.

 

Kathryn walked over to the helm and placed a hand on Chakotay’s shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Chakotay, all stop.” Kathryn allowed her hand to linger on his shoulder for a few seconds. Once it was safe to travel, at warp two they’d be home in two weeks.

 

“All stop. Aye, Captain.” As Chakotay repeated the order to stop the ship, he heard the groans of disappointment from the bridge crew. It was a delay in their homecoming. They’d been in the Alpha Quadrant only a matter of minutes and the crew’s patience had all but disappeared. They’d been prepared to spend a lifetime getting home but now they were nearly there they’d all of a sudden become very impatient. He couldn’t blame them. He laughed to himself when he thought it would be a very ignominious ending if they crashed into another ship or a planet because they had no sensors.  

 

Chakotay looked up into her glistening blue grey eyes, verging on tears and her smile infectious as he beamed a smile back as well. He wanted to gather her in her arms, tell her that she did it. She got them home, that he loved her and that her future self’s sacrifice was worth it.

 

Ensign Porter exited the turbolift and walked to the helm station. She was Tom’s helm replacement.

 

Chakotay stood up. “Ensign, all stop, station holding.”

 

“All stop, station holding. Aye, Sir.”

 

Kathryn pointed to her ready room. “Chakotay, we have several reports to write. Mr Tuvok, you have the bridge.”

 

Both officers nodded in acknowledgement.

 

Kathryn entered her sanctuary followed by her first officer. As soon as the doors closed, she turned around and walked into the welcoming arms of her lover. The relief was almost overwhelming. Before her older self came through the temporal rift, she thought their chances of ever seeing Federation space was slim despite their contact with the Starfleet through the MIDAS array. All the crew had made a life and a home on Voyager but her older self eventually convinced her that she could have her cake and eat it too by giving them a way home and to potentially cripple the Borg. 

 

The stress of the last few days had taken its toll. Working almost non-stop to equip the ship with the ablative armour, enhanced weaponry, and increased shielding from the Admiral’s specifications, she’d barely slept. Most of her time had been spent with the engineering working parties installing all the equipment while Chakotay held the fort on the bridge.

 

Chatting to her older self in the shuttle just before the mission had been a bit disconcerting but necessary. The admiral wouldn’t elaborate about anything else, only saying that she’d come back to prevent the loss of so many of their people and to help Tuvok. And that was all. Both knew that it was a suicide mission but the older woman had gone willingly, just as the captain would have if it had been required. They’d needed her to distract the Queen for as long as possible and she’d had, ensuring that Voyager had succeeded.

 

Tears welled in her eyes at the thought of the admiral’s sacrifice.

 

Whispering his love for her, Chakotay wrapped his arms around her hugging her tightly. “You did it.”  

 

“No. We did it. All of us.” Kathryn knew that she wouldn’t have survived the journey without his support or love. Her hands wrapped around the small of his back, squeezing him tighter. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

 

Chakotay kissed her, lingering on her lips and then again, whispered words of love.

 

“Oh…Chakotay. I love you.” Kathryn smiled radiantly. His love filled her heart. He’d stood by her through thick and thin, helping her, arguing with her even, but always by her side, supporting her. Although they hadn’t said anything directly, she’d decided when they got home she’d devote herself to him just as he’d done with her. If that meant resigning from Starfleet and going to Dorvan or Trebus then so be it. She didn’t care as long as it was with him.

 

“I love you more than life itself.” His hands cupped her face, studying her look of love and he smiled. He’d waited nearly six years to ask this particular question. Even though they’d been together for nearly all that time, he’d never would have considering asking it. He couldn’t explain why, he just never considered it until now. They were home. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and he was sure she felt the same. “Kathryn, will you…”

 

“Tuvok to Janeway.”

 

Not for the first time did Chakotay curse Tuvok’s sense of timing. In the beginning of their relationship, the Vulcan had an uncanny knack of interrupting them when they were getting too close. Chakotay had told Kathryn once that Tuvok was hiding his true telepathic skills. Most Vulcans were touch telepaths but Chakotay had suspected that Tuvok of being fully telepathic. It was only after Kathryn had told Tuvok about the depth of their relationship and their love, that those annoying incidences mostly and thankfully, for Chakotay ceased.

 

A little annoyed at the interruption, Janeway stepped back but still held Chakotay’s hand as she tapped her combadge. “Janeway here.”

 

“Captain, Admiral Paris is calling.”

 

“Put him through to my console, Tuvok.” The admiral was one call she couldn’t ignore.

 

“Stand by, Captain.”

 

Still, holding hands, Kathryn and Chakotay walked around her desk then she switched on her computer.

 

“Captain …” Owen couldn’t believe it, struggling to speak. Voyager was home. Tom was home. It was the best Christmas present he’d ever received.

 

“Admiral.” Kathryn knew exactly how her mentor was feeling.

 

“Welcome home.”

 

“Thank you, Sir.”

 

“I won’t keep you. USS Dundas will escort you to Earth. I’ll contact you again when you get closer to sort out the media circus that will be present on your arrival home and what happens after that.”

 

Kathryn groaned. She hated the PR side Starfleet. Joining Starfleet, for her, had not been for self-promotion.

 

Owen read her mind. “I know you don’t like it, Katie, but you’re a hero according to the President and the CinC.” Owen could see her squirm in her chair. Katie would just say that she’d done her job and nothing more. He didn’t like this side of Starfleet either but after the Dominion War, the Federation needed good news and Voyager’s return was just that. Owen changed the subject. “Can you give me a quick sitrep?”

 

“Yes, Sir. We are currently unable to move. Although we have warp drive, it’s currently offline while the plasma relays are being repaired, shields are low, and sensors are non-existent. Overall, Voyager is heavily damaged but we are making repairs and we will make it to Earth under our own power.”

 

“I have no doubt about that.” Owen smiled. “Can I ask a personal favour?”

 

“Of course, Sir.”

 

“Can you patch me through to Tom, please?”

 

“Stand by, I’ll put you through.” Kathryn grinned. Her mentor would get a pleasant surprise knowing he was about to find out he was now a grandfather.

 

After connecting Owen, Kathryn, with a crooked grin and now a twinkle in her eye, turned to face Chakotay and took his hands in hers. “Now, you were going to ask me something before we were rudely interrupted?”

~~

December 2009

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