The party was in full swing when he arrived from the bridge.
He watched the crew laughing and talking. The reason for the party escaped him; Neelix had come up with a good enough reason to convince the Captain.
Laughing he watched as Harry sent the volleyball back at Tom and past him. The shocked look on the helmsman’s face was priceless. Harry had grown so much in the past six years, maturing from the nervous young Ensign who had tripped over himself to impress the Captain. He was now a confidant young man that could give as good as he got from Tom Paris. Tom Paris had matured also from the reckless young man that had joined the Maquis to a respectable Starfleet Officer.
Turning he saw B’Elanna trying to explain to Seven the game and not succeeding. These two women were complete opposites. The half Klingon woman that had left the Academy and went on to fight with the Maquis was now a very fine Starfleet Officer. Seven was still stiff and cool but she did try as she was now listening to B’Elanna’s instructions. The two women had met head on, on many occasions but his young friend was trying for him to help the woman adjust.
Neelix was scurrying around making sure everyone had food and drinks. The small Talaxian stopped at the Captain to offer her a fruit punch but she declined saying she would get a drink soon. She was kneeling to talk to Naomi the Captain’s Assistant had a huge grin on her face. Naomi adored the Captain and any time she had with Kathryn she cherished.
The little girl’s face was split in a smile as she listened raptly to the Captain’s story. Kathryn’s face was relaxed with a big grin on her face. The Captain finished the story causing both of them to burst into laughter.
Watching the crew, he realized that they had become a family over the years. The family had expanded and now Voyager had more then Naomi running about.
A small body moved up behind the Captain throwing arms around her neck. Kathryn laughed as she looked over her shoulder at the little girl that was hugging her.
‘Hello little one,’ the Captain said as she pulled the tiny child around and into her embrace.
Tickling the child, squeals were heard around the room. Not wanting Naomi to feel left out she reached up and tickled her sides.
‘Naomi,’ called Sam. ‘Come here please.’
Between giggles the young girl told the Captain she had to go. ‘Thank you, I’ll see you tomorrow,’ the little blond haired girl said.
‘Yes, tomorrow after breakfast,’ the Captain confirmed.
He smiled as he watched the young girl run over to her mother to tell her that tomorrow she would be assisting the Captain on the bridge.
Turning back he watched as the Captain hugged the little girl that she still held in her arms. The child had long dark hair that was pulled back into a ponytail.
He heard the child ask, ‘Can I help too?’
The Captain noticed him watching them. She whispered something to the child causing the little girl to become excited. Placing the child on the floor she encouraged her in his direction.
He watched the little sprite rush toward him, kneeling down he welcomed her into his arms.
‘Can I?’ She demanded.
‘Can you what little one?’ He asked as he stood back up.
‘Help you tomorrow,’ she said in her three-year old excitement.
‘Well,’ he started to tease.
‘Please Daddy,’ she begged looking up at him with those big blue eyes.
From the first moment he held her and she grasped his finger he had been unable to deny her anything and today was no different.
‘Okay Lily,’ he conceded as the little girl squealed her delight. Wrapping her little arms around his neck she gave him a big kiss.
‘Thank you Daddy,’ she said, as she hugged him tight.
Looking across the room he watched Kathryn, relaxed and happy for the first time in a while. Moving over to Megan Delaney, she took a bundle from her and turned toward him. Walking toward him, she stopped in front of him, ‘Commander.’
‘Captain,’ he countered.
‘Daddy said I can,’ the little girl said very proudly. ‘Down Daddy,’ Lily demanded and Chakotay obeyed.
‘Mommy,’ she called, as she stood there. ‘Going to play with Naomi.’
‘Okay,’ her mother said, as she shifted the bundle. The little girl ran off barely waiting for an answer.
‘How are things upstairs,’ she asked, as she looked down at the sleeping face.
‘Fine,’ he said quietly, as he reached over to run a finger down the baby’s face. ‘You look like you are having a good time.’
‘Yes, I am, but it’s better now,’ she said, as she looked up at his confused face. ‘You’re here.’
‘How are feeling?’ Chakotay asked, as he took the baby.
‘Great, the Doctor is happy with my progress,’ she assured her husband.
‘I still don’t want you to overdue it,’ he said seriously.
‘I won’t I promise,’ Kathryn promised. ‘The Doctor said I could have a two hour shift starting tomorrow but I told him I would like to wait a little longer.’
Chakotay froze as he looked down at his wife, ‘Who are you and what have you done with Kathryn Janeway?’
Slapping him, she gave her best death glare. ‘Very funny, I just want to spend more time with the children. We had a rough few months and I just want to take my time. Or are you tired of being Captain and what to go back to the cushy First Officer job.’
Laughing he slipped his arms around her. ‘No Kathryn, I’m glad you want to take your time after what you have been through. You take as long as you need. And I will have you know that the First Officer’s job is not cushy. My Captain can be a hand full,’ he laughed again as he held on tight so she couldn’t hit him.
‘Maybe I should come back and put you in your place,’ the small woman threatened.
‘No your fine where you are,’ the big man said, as he kissed the top of her head. ‘Take your time Kathryn it’s been a tough year.’
‘Yes it has but we made it through it,’ she said, quietly as she placed a hand on her son’s chest.
‘Yes,’ he agreed as he thought back over the past months.
They had saved the drones connected to Unimatrix One or as many as they could but at what cost. He remembered walking into Sickbay and seeing her for the first time as a Borg. His wife with pieces of Borg hardware attached to her. Taking a deep breath he gathered his thoughts before she saw him and saw the look of horror.
Moving to stand beside her, he watched as her head turned in his direction. The blue eyes that he loved so, they were still the blue that haunted his dreams while she was gone but the rest was not his Kathryn.
‘Hi,’ she said sleepily.
‘Hi,’ he replied. ‘You’ve changed your hair again.’
‘Yes what do you think,’ Kathryn countered, as a smile broke across her face but he could see the uncertainty.
‘Beautiful as ever,’ Chakotay answered.
‘How can you look at me,’ she asked as she turned from him.
Turning her face back to him, ‘Because you’re my beautiful Kathryn in here,’ he explained as he touched her chest over her heart. ‘This all can be fixed and then you will see what I see.’
‘The ship and crew,’ she asked.
‘A little beaten up but we’ve been worse off,’ he reported, as he sat down beside her. ‘Don’t worry about the ship just work on getting better.’
‘She’s fine Kathryn just wondering where her mommy is,’ he told her, as he stroked her arm. ‘I’ll bring her to see you in a few days, for now sleep.’
‘Okay,’ she said as she drifted off.
The away team was released from Sickbay after a four-day stay. With further recuperation needed they were sent to their quarters. Two weeks after her return, Kathryn was having a bad day. He had returned from his shift to find an upset Kathryn. She had a nap in the afternoon and woke from a nightmare. He crawled into their bed to hold her but before he knew it they were making love.
Finally after some set backs and partial shifts Kathryn had returned to full duty. But a few days later she started to show signs of being ill. He had insisted that she see the Doctor and had gone to Sickbay with her. The two were stunned to learn the Kathryn was pregnant.
The Doctor had explained that the Borg’s nanoprobes had cancelled out the birth control booster. The only problem was that her assimilation had been hard on a body that was already worn down by pressure and lack of care.
‘Captain, the baby is fine but I will want you to reduce your shifts in the next months if not sooner and you will have to step down earlier then you did with Lily. For now we will keep a close eye on you and see how things progress,’ the Doctor had finished.
The reducing of her shift did come earlier as well as the stepping down but it didn’t help as she went into early labour that the Doctor couldn’t stop. Liam came into their life ten weeks early.
Even with his early arrival he thrived and grew in leaps and bounds but his mother was slow in recovering.
Smiling down at her, he had to agree that after the birth of their son two months ago she looked happy and healthy once again.
‘Aunt Kathryn,’ came the quite interruption.
‘Can Lil come and spend the night? Mommy said it’s okay with her as long as you are fine with it,’ she asked hopefully.
Looking at Chakotay, Kathryn received a nod. ‘Fine but the two of you behave, we don’t want you ending up in the brig,’ she teased, as she gave the little girl a hug then her daughter.
Giggling the two girls ran off to join Sam at the exit to the Holo Suite.
‘I’m not sure if we are doing Samantha a favour or not,’ Chakotay said, as he looked down at his wife.
‘No but I think she’s doing us one,’ Kathryn said, as she looked up at him with a smoldering look. ‘Tom and B’Elanna want to take the baby so they can practice so that leaves us…’ Kathryn trailed off watching his face register what she was suggesting.
‘Really,’ her husband answered; as he bent down to give her a quick kiss. ‘B’Elanna,’ he bellowed causing the young woman to run over as quickly as her large pregnant mass would allow. ‘Here’s our son, I want him back the way you got him and do not call unless it’s a medical emergency.’
With that he grabbed his wife’s arm clearing a path for the doors that opened knowing he did not want to be slowed down for anything. Kathryn’s laughter was heard disappearing down the hallway causing the observers in the room to smile. Yes they were one big happy family.