Correcting An Error
Kathryn Janeway moved along the path in the forest on the holodeck. She had chosen this program because it was one of Chakotay’s favorites. She was almost at the clearing when the scene changed to a beach that she had visited a few times.
Looking about she noticed a figure sitting on the beach a short distance away and headed toward him.
‘Chakotay I still have some time left would you mine not changing my program in the middle of my time slot,’ she said as he slowly turned toward her.
‘Kathryn?’ He said and she could see the look of confusion on his face.
‘Yes and I would like to know why you have intruded on my time,’ she demanded of him.
‘This can’t be,’ he said as he rose from his spot.
‘What can’t be?’ The Captain asked confused.
‘You’re dead,’ he whispered as he reached out to touch her face but dropped his hand when he noticed something. ‘What have you done to your hair?’
‘What are you talking about?’ The small woman asked confused and becoming a little afraid of the answers.
‘Three months ago you were killed,’ he said just as a voice came out of the air.
‘Tuvok to the Captain,’ came her Security Chief’s voice.
‘Yes Tuvok,’ answered Chakotay.
‘We have detected an energy spike around your location is everything all right,’ came his question.
‘Yes and no,’ came the answer. ‘Can you lock on to me and the second bio signal near me and beam us to Sickbay. Please meet me there,’ came the request.
Rematerializing in the main area of Sickbay Chakotay looked around quickly to make sure that there was no one there to witness the person with him.
‘Computer location of the EMH,’ he called as he moved her to a bed indicating that she should get up.
‘The EMH is in the Mess hall,’ came the reply.
‘Chakotay to the Doctor,’ he called out.
‘The Doctor here Captain,’ said the hologram. ‘What can I do for you?’
‘Please come to Sickbay,’ he ordered as he turned to the door to see Tuvok walk in. ‘Tuvok we have a mystery,’ he said as Kathryn turned to look at her old friend.
‘Captain Janeway,’ he said with his usual Vulcan calm.
‘Tuvok,’ she said but he could hear the confusion and pain in her voice.
The doors opened once again and the Doctor came in at a fast pace.
‘Captain is everything okay?’ He asked as he moved into the room. ‘Has Kol hurt himself,’ he started but stopped when he saw the woman on the bed. ‘Captain Janeway?’
‘Doctor can you check her over,’ the Captain instructed as he moved to stand by Tuvok.
‘What happened?’ The former Security Chief asked.
‘I was taking a break on the holodeck when she appeared. From what she said she was running a program then it changed and I was there.’ The big man said and Tuvok could hear the pain in his voice.
The Doctor helped Kathryn sit up as Chakotay and Tuvok moved back over.
‘Captain this is Captain Kathryn Janeway from another timeline. Health wise you could be better but she is fine this Kathryn Janeway is older then ours by a year and a half. It’s good to see you again Captain,’ the hologram said as he put away his equipment.
‘Thank you Doctor,’ Kathryn said quietly.
‘What do you mean health wise she could be better?’ Chakotay questioned as he moved closer to the woman with concern on his face.
‘She is exhausted as well as in need of a good diet, the Captain could use a good ten or fifteen pounds in weight.’ The Doctor explained as he moved away.
‘Why are you in this state?’ Chakotay asked astounded that his other self would allow her to be like this.
‘My life is my work,’ was her sad answer.
‘Tuvok call a senior staff meeting in two hours and for now Kathryn’s appearance stays between the three of us,’ he instructed. ‘Beam us to the guest quarters and I will be at the meeting to discuss what happens next.’
Tuvok moved to the console and beamed the couple away.
Reappearing in the guest quarters Kathryn stood there looking about. Chakotay went to the replicator and requested drinks. Moving to the couch he sat down and indicated that she should join him.
‘Here,’ he said as he handed her a cup. ‘I’m sure Kathryn Janeway in any timeline loves her coffee.’
Kathryn smiled for the first time as she took the offered gift.
‘So all you have is your work,’ he asked as she looked down into the cup and nodded her head. ‘I can’t believe that I allowed this to happen to you.’
‘I pushed him away once to often and he moved on,’ Kathryn said as tears slipped down her face.
‘I can’t imagine moving on no matter how many times you pushed me away,’ he said.
‘Well you had a better offer,’ Kathryn said as she looked away.
‘Who,’ he asked as he sat his coffee down.
‘Seven,’ was her quite answer.
‘Seven!’ Chakotay said astounded as he reached out to turn her head back to him.
‘I pushed once to often and he moved on,’ Kathryn said as a tear slipped down her face.
He brushed her tears away. ‘I can’t imagine a life without you in it, he was a fool not to wait.’
‘I don’t blame him,’ Kathryn said as she looked at him with tear filled eyes.
‘He just wasn’t determined enough,’ Chakotay said firmly.
‘How did you win her over?’ Kathryn asked curious.
‘I told her a story about an angry warrior and how he found peace with a woman warrior but more importantly he had found the meaning of love.’ Kathryn took in a deep breath at the memories of the tale that her Chakotay had told her but his version had stopped short of telling his true feelings. ‘I told her I couldn’t live without her and I wanted a life with her.’
‘I wish he had been as brave as you,’ Kathryn sobbed.
Pulling her into his arms he held her, rocking her as he whispered to her gently.
‘The Doctor is right you definitely need some weight. He didn’t look after you did he?’
‘No he had other interests,’ she said as she looked away to hide the pain but this Chakotay knew the hurt that his betrayal would cause his Kathryn and therefore understood how it would hurt the Kathryn before him.
‘I guess it’s time for the meeting,’ as he rose.
Chakotay entered the conference room where his staff was waiting for him for this impromptu meeting.
‘I’ll explain what has happened and then tell you what I need.’ Chakotay started as he looked around the table. ‘I was on the holodeck earlier when something happened,’ he started to explain.
‘A person appeared in the program I was running and no it wasn’t a computer glitch the person was from another timeline. This person could cause some unease by her appearance so I want to leave it among us for now,’ he said as he nodded to Tuvok the Vulcan turned to the control panel beaming one form into the room.
A gasp was heard around the room as Kathryn materialized. Harry Kim’s head snapped around and Chakotay watched a wide range of emotions float across the young man’s face. He would have to have a few words with the ops officer later he thought as he turned back to Kathryn. Chakotay watched her as she looked at the various faces around the table and stopped for a moment when she saw Seven.
Quickly rising Chakotay walked over to the frozen woman and led her to an empty chair.
‘I know everyone is shocked by Captain Janeway’s appearance, I would like to make this as easy on everyone as possible. I’m sure Kathryn would like to get back to her life so if we could put our heads together,’ Chakotay said as he tried not to look at Kathryn.
His staff moved out to work on the problem while Chakotay turned to look at her.
‘How are you doing?’ He asked quietly as he watched her try to relax.
‘Fine,’ she answered stiffly.
‘Kathryn I’m sorry I would have asked Seven not to be here if I had thought that it would have bothered you.’ He told her honestly as he leaned forward.
‘It’s okay,’ Kathryn told him as she tried to hide her tears. ‘If they can’t find a way to return me to my life maybe it would be best to drop me off somewhere.’
‘No I’ll not abandon you,’ Chakotay told her as he grasped her hand. ‘I’m not him; I couldn’t just walk away from you. We will find the best answer for you, the one that will make you the happiest.’
All she was able to do was nod.
He had her beamed to the guest quarters and went to see her after his shift.
‘Can I ask you a question?’ She asked as they sat once again on the couch drinking coffee.
‘Sure,’ he said as he looked at her.
‘How did she die?’ Kathryn asked as she looked up at him.
‘A shuttle crash three months ago, Harry and Kathryn were returning from a mission. Harry was the pilot when the systems malfunctioned and they crashed on a planet. Kathryn was severely injured and by the time we arrived it was to late to save her. Harry was devastated and hasn’t gotten over it,’ Chakotay said quietly.
Over the next couple of days he came to visit her as the senior staff continued their investigation.
They were gathered in the conference room to hear the results of their findings
‘Captain we have gone over the holodeck grid inch by inch,’ Harry was explaining.
‘What we found was that a tear happened between our universe and the universe that Captain Janeway is from. When the Captain passed through it, it sealed and after looking over all the possibilities we have found we can create the tear but we can not guarantee that she will end up in the same place.’ Seven explained as she activated the screen to show a reenactment of the solution.
‘What do you calculate the success at?’ Chakotay asked the group.
‘Sixty per cent Captain,’ Tuvok answered. ‘We can not confirm if the tear will reappear on her Voyager or empty space, there is also a chance that it will not be her universe.’
‘Thank you people,’ and with that they were dismissed.
He went to the quarters that were assigned to Kathryn and explained what the senior staff had found.
‘Kathryn,’ he said as he moved to kneel in front of her.
‘Maybe I should take the chance, it would be easier on you not having a constant reminder,’ the woman before him said not to convincingly.
‘You’re not a reminder,’ he said as he wiped a tear from her cheek. ‘I’m afraid I have to go will you be all right?’
Nodding her head he rose and moved to the door to leave. The door opened when he turned back to her.
‘How about I stop for breakfast tomorrow and we can decide what,’ he started when a voice stopped him.
‘Daddy,’ came a small male voice.
Chakotay turned to have arms wrap around his legs.
‘Kol why aren’t you in the daycare center?’ His father asked as he bent done.
‘I wanted to see you,’ his young son said. ‘Who are you talking to?’ He asked as he scooted around his father to look in the room.
Kathryn sat frozen on the couch as the young child moved into the room. Kol scanned the room until he found her sitting on the couch.
‘Mommy,’ he shrieked as he ran to her.
Jumping up onto the couch he wrapped his arms around her. ‘I knew you wouldn’t leave us,’ he cried as he held her.
Kathryn looked up at Chakotay pleading for him to help her understand what was happening.
‘Kol,’ Chakotay tried.
‘Daddy she’s home,’ his young son said as he looked up at his father. ‘Let’s go see Em.’
Jumping down he pulled on Kathryn’s hand to follow him. She rose from the couch looking at Chakotay for help.
He was at a loss as to what to do and just followed the two down the hall.
Taking a lift Kol requested the deck and once the doors opened he dragged Kathryn down the hall past Sickbay. The doors opened to the lab but it wasn’t a lab it had been converted into a nursery.
Running over to a crib Kol climbed up the side to look in. ‘Em, Mommy is home she’s home,’ he cried.
The two crewmembers that were on duty froze as they saw Kathryn move slowly to the bed.
Chakotay went and spoke to them and once done he moved to a console and spoke to Tuvok.
Chakotay walked over to the crib to stand beside Kathryn.
‘Its okay Mommy you can pick her up Em has missed you too,’ Kol said as he watched Emily squirming in her bed for attention.
Kathryn reached into the crib and gently lifted the baby up.
‘Hi little one,’ she whispered as the child calmed in her arms.
The little girl looked up at Kathryn with blue-gray eyes. Looking at Kol Kathryn saw a familiar pair of dark orbs staring up at her. Turning she looked at Chakotay her eyes asking a question.
‘Kol was born after New Earth and Emily four months ago.’ Chakotay explained as he gently stroked Emily’s cheek. ‘This is how I have been able to keep going after I lost her.’
‘Let’s go home Daddy,’ Kol said as he jumped from foot to foot.
The couple walked along numbly as the little boy skipped along. Chakotay keyed in the access code for the Captain’s quarters. Kol ran in as the couple moved into the living room but this was definitely not Kathryn’s.
Toys were about the living room with Chakotay’s sand paintings and drawings that she remembered doing herself adorning the walls.
Chakotay stepped over and took the baby and placed her in a baby seat.
‘Mommy come look at my drawings,’ Kol called.
‘Why don’t you sit down while I get something together for us to eat,’ Chakotay suggested.
Nodding her head she sat on the couch and watched the activity.
‘Mommy this is the drawing I made when Daddy, Em and I went to the holodeck to walk on the beach. He said it was your favorite program,’ the little boy beamed as he showed her the picture.
‘Okay you two the food is ready,’ Chakotay called as he pulled Emily’s chair over to the table.
Kol did most of the talking and once done he jumped down to continue playing.
Chakotay cleaned up while Kathryn talked to the baby.
‘Kol time for your bath,’ Chakotay called.
‘Can Em and I have one together?’ The little boy asked as he looked up at his father.
‘Sure,’ Chakotay said and his son ran off in the direction of his father’s bedroom. ‘Can you help,’ he asked Kathryn and she nodded yes to his request.
Chakotay filled the tub while Kol laughed and splashed as the water level rose. Kathryn lowered the baby into the water and her feet kicked causing Chakotay to be splashed. Peals of laughter came from Kol and Kathryn as they watched him dry his face.
‘Now that’s enough of that young lady,’ Chakotay admonished his daughter as he tickled her belly causing her feet to kick and splash the water again.
‘If you don’t want to get wet I would advise not tickling her,’ Kathryn stated the obvious.
‘Oh really,’ Chakotay said as he got an evil look.
‘You wouldn’t,’ Kathryn said as she tried to figure a way to hide.
‘Yes,’ he answered as he sent water in her direction.
Laughing and splashing went on for a few minutes till everyone was wet.
Pulling the children out the adults quickly dried them off and dressed them for bed. Kol ran out of the bathroom and returned a few minutes later.
‘Here Mommy you need to get dry too,’ the little boy said as he handed Kathryn a blue gown. ‘This is Daddy’s favorite.’
Kathryn looked at the little boy then up at Chakotay.
‘Go ahead you need to get dry,’ the man before her said.
Chakotay took the children to the living room to get them settled while Kathryn changed in the bathroom.
Existing the bathroom she moved through to the living room where Chakotay was feeding the baby while he told Kol a story. She saw him freeze for a moment as he looked at her but then his son broke him from his thoughts.
‘Doesn’t Mommy look pretty Daddy?’ The little boy asked innocently.
‘Yes she does,’ Chakotay answered as he swallowed the lump in his throat.
‘Can you tuck me in,’ Kol asked as Kathryn moved to the couch.
‘Sure,’ was her answer and as she passed Chakotay she leaned down. ‘I’ll change as soon as I’m done with him.’
Taking Kol into what use to be Chakotay’s bedroom she put him into bed and kissed him good night. Returning to the living room she saw Chakotay entering his bedroom with the baby.
Kathryn walked over to watch him place the little girl in a crib located a short distance from the queen-sized bed.
‘Sweet dreams my little angel,’ he said quietly as he turned back he saw Kathryn standing in the doorway.
‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude I was just wondering if I could use the replicator to make something for myself to sleep in.’ Kathryn asked as she stood there nervously.
‘It’s okay you can use what you’re wearing,’ Chakotay said as he walked past her.
‘No Chakotay I saw your reaction when Kol gave it to me, let me just make something else.’ She tried to say as she followed him into the living room.
Turning he looked at her standing there in his wife’s gown, looking so sad. ‘Kathryn it’s all right, Kol had a very good idea, her clothes are just hanging there you might as well use them. I promise it won’t bother me,’ he told her as he smiled at her.
‘Would you like something to drink?’ He asked as he turned to the replicator.
‘May I have a coffee?’ She asked as she sat down on the couch.
Coming over he sat down and handed a cup that she quickly realized was not the asked for coffee.
‘It’s a little late at night to be drinking that stuff,’ he said as he watched her sip the drink.
‘Did you mother her too?’ She asked then regretted the question.
‘Yes and she would have given me the same look but after a while she thanked me,’ he answered with a smile.
‘Don’t hold your breath,’ she threw back at him.
A little voice cried out as they were talking and they quickly moved to Kol’s room.
‘Mommy don’t leave,’ he cried in his sleep.
Kathryn moved to the child and quickly gathered him into her arms. ‘Shh little one it’s okay,’ she soothed till he woke.
‘Mommy can you stay here with me?’ He asked sleepily.
Kathryn looked up at Chakotay and received a nod of the head.
‘Of course,’ she answered as she stretched out beside him.
Kol snuggled into her side and was asleep once again. Kathryn joined him a few minutes later. Chakotay covered them and after watching them for a few minutes longer turned and went to bed.
The next morning Kathryn woke to laughter. Rising from Kol’s bed she walked out to the living room to find Chakotay on the floor with the Kol and Emily playing.
‘Good morning,’ Chakotay called as she stood watching them.
‘Good morning,’ she answered.
‘We were just going to have breakfast,’ the big man said as he rose.
They sat at the table once again to eat and after the meal Chakotay cleaned the table while Kathryn held Emily. The baby turned her head to Kathryn’s breast looking for food.
‘Sorry little one you won’t find anything there,’ she said sadly as she reached for the bottle that Chakotay had left on the table.
The baby fussed turning her head from the bottle back to Kathryn’s breast. Chakotay finally had to take the baby and noticed the tears in Kathryn’s eyes.
He fed the baby then he called Samantha to take the children to the daycare center. Once the children were gone Chakotay sat down at the table with Kathryn.
‘I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about them,’ he started. ‘But you seemed so upset that Kathryn and I had a relationship I just didn’t know how to tell you that we had had children. Our marriage was the one thing I did right in my life,’ he started when her head snapped up. ‘Sorry we were married after New Earth.’
‘Well we have a problem now since Kol has seen me,’ Kathryn said quietly.
‘Okay first do you want to return to your timeline?’ He asked as he looked at her bowed head.
‘I should and I no it sounds terrible of me but there is nothing there for me,’ she whispered as she looked up at him. ‘Maybe you can drop me off somewhere and have the Doctor remove Kol’s memories of me.’
‘I told you once before that I will not abandon you,’ he said as he walked around the table. ‘If you want you can stay on board and if you want you can be apart of this family. Kol has accepted you no questions asked.’
‘The crew will accept you,’ he told her honestly.
‘What about you?’ She asked. ‘I’ll be a constant reminder of her.’
‘No you won’t I promise,’ he answered as he watched her. His heart had already gone out to her and the loneliness and pain she had been enduring for a life.
Rising from the table she moved over to the viewport to look out at the passing stars.
‘How will we handle the living arrangements?’ Kathryn asked as she continued to watch the stars.
‘You can have the bedroom and I will sleep on the couch,’ Chakotay said as he moved over to her.
‘That’s not fair to you,’ Kathryn said as she turned to him.
‘I haven’t slept in it much,’ he told her.
‘Okay,’ she finally said.
They moved into a routine of Kathryn spending the day with the children while Chakotay was on the bridge. A decision hadn’t been made yet as to what she would do on the ship. The Doctor wouldn’t approve her for duty in her present condition so she had free time.
A week later Kathryn was in the Ready Room talking to Chakotay about things she could do when they were interrupted by a call.
‘The Doctor to the Captain.’
‘Chakotay here Doctor what can I do for you,’ he asked as he sat on the couch going over some padds with Kathryn.
‘Could you please come to Sickbay right away and if Kathryn is with you she should come,’ he said before he broke the connection.
They arrived in Sickbay to utter chaos every bed was occupied by a child.
‘What’s happened Doctor?’ Chakotay called.
‘We seem to have a bit of an outbreak, the children have come down with a unidentified virus that is flu like but I haven’t been able to come up with a cure yet.’ The Doctor explained as he stepped up to Kol’s bed.
‘They all have high fevers, sore muscles and vomiting, which is common symptoms of the flu but it’s not the flu and it’s not responding to the medications I have tried it has only made the patients more uncomfortable. What I would suggest is the parents take the children to their quarters. The patients will be more comfortable and if there are any serious problems I can be there upon request. Plenty of fluids and cool baths will help them get better while I work on the cause and hopefully a cure.’
Chakotay contacted Tuvok to let him know what was happening and that he would have to do some rescheduling for the crew. Moving over to Kol’s bed he could hear Kathryn quietly talking to him.
‘I know it hurts sweetheart, Daddy and I will take you and Emily home and make you comfortable.’ Kathryn said quietly to the little boy as she brushed his tears away. Turning to Chakotay he could see a tear slide down her cheek, reaching out he gently brushed it away.
‘That’s right Kol, Mommy and I will look after you and Em,’ Chakotay told his son as he bent down to pick him up.
Kathryn picked up the baby, gently humming to her in an attempt to calm her. Other parents came and took their patients home as the Doctor got to work.
The next few days were filled with cool baths and lots of fluids for the children. Chakotay ended up having to do some extra shifts on the bridge a few times after some of the adults came down with the illness.
Kathryn tried her best to look after both children and on the whole she did fine till Emily refused a bottle. She tried everything knowing the baby needed to keep fluids in but the child refused just when she was at her wits end the Doctor was at the door. He wanted to check on his two patients and quickly took in the scene.
Kol was on the mend but the baby was losing weight and becoming dehydrated.
‘Doctor I’m glad you’re here I don’t know what to do,’ the distraught woman explained.
Scanning the baby he explained that Kathryn had to get liquids into her, an exasperated Captain Janeway snapped at him.
‘I have been trying Doctor but she will not accept a bottle from me,’ the exhausted woman explained.
‘Kathryn may I make a suggestion,’ the Doctor asked as he took in the woman before him.
Chakotay stumbled back into his quarters after a double shift on the bridge. He thought of a shower first and then he would see how the children were doing, Kathryn must be exhausted after looking after the two of them by herself. Walking into his bedroom he stopped dead in his tracks by the sight before him. Lying in the bed was Kathryn and beside her was Kol who was sound asleep. The sight that bowled him over was his baby daughter latched onto Kathryn’s breast.
‘Hi,’ she called quietly.
‘Hi,’ he said as he sat on the bed.
‘I hope you don’t mind but the Doctor was here earlier and he was worried about Emily’s weight loss. I explained that she wouldn’t take a bottle from me and he suggested giving me an injection that would allow me to breastfeed her.’ Kathryn told him as she looked up with eyes that pleaded with him to understand.
‘Of course I don’t mind,’ he told her as he stroked his daughter’s cheek. ‘She looks like she’s at home.’
‘It took a bit but we finally adjusted to this,’ Kathryn smiled down as Emily lost contact with her breast.
‘How about I put her to bed for you?’ He offered as he slipped the baby out of her arms.
Kathryn had a moment of panic with the loss of contact with the child and the warmth and security that she represented.
Turning back to the bed Chakotay scooped up his son and before he could move from the bed Kathryn sat forward and kissed his head.
‘Sleep well my little one,’ she said quietly and then realized what she had said and looked up at Chakotay expecting to see disapproval. Kathryn found Chakotay looking not at her face but lower down and realized she hadn’t tucked herself away after feeding the baby. Quickly she closed her top and Chakotay turned from the room.
Returning Chakotay looked at Kathryn a little embarrassed and mumbled that he was going to have a shower.
While he showered Kathryn made them something for dinner. Chakotay came out rubbing the excess water from his hair with a towel draped around his shoulders.
‘What’s this?’ Chakotay asked.
‘I thought you might be hungry,’ Kathryn said with a tired smile.
‘You should be resting while the children are sleeping not waiting on me,’ he replied with his own exhaustion showing.
‘It’s not much but you need to eat,’ she said apologetically as she sat at the table.
They ate quietly, after a tea on the couch Chakotay yawned, and Kathryn insisted that he take the bed. After a minor discussion he accepted and bid her a goodnight.
The baby woke Kathryn during the night and she quickly entered the room so Chakotay wouldn’t be disturbed. Feeding Emily she changed her and then returned her to her bed. Kathryn noticed Chakotay’s restlessness and moved to check on him. Reaching out she touched his forehead to find he was running a fever. Moving to the other room she called the Doctor to tell him about her newest patient.
‘I’m not surprised, it seems that all the children and adults that visited the planet that we stopped at three weeks ago have come down with the virus. Just do for the Captain as you were doing for the children and he should be fine in a few days.’
And with that the connection was broken.
Kathryn woke the next morning to Chakotay with a raging fever. She tried to break his high temperature with cold cloths but she realized that a cool bath would work the best. Stripping off his t-shirt, she went and filled the tub then called for a transport.
Gently pouring water over his shoulders and down his chest she spoke to him quietly.
‘Your going to be okay Chakotay, I’ll get you through this just like we did the children.’
He came to the surface a bit and was able to get out of the tub with Kathryn’s help. Grabbing a towel she rubbed him down and helped him into a pair of pajamas.
For the next few days she looked after the three people that meant everything to her. The third night of Chakotay’s illness she was returning Emily to her bed when Chakotay became restless in his sleep. Moving over to him, she tried to quiet him but to no avail. Stretching out beside him she held him as she said soothing words.
Chakotay woke the next morning warm and a little damp. Opening his eyes he found himself wrapped in Kathryn’s arms. She looked very tired; he wondered how long he had been sick. Slipping out of her arms he checked the baby and found she was just starting to wake so he picked her up and moved to the living room. Kol just existed his bedroom when he saw his father.
‘Daddy you’re better,’ his son shouted.
‘Shh, Mommy is sleeping,’ Chakotay said as knelt in front of his son. ‘And yes I feel better, I just don’t smell that great I could use a bath.’
‘Why don’t the three of us have a bath,’ Kol suggested as he jumped up and down.
‘Okay but let’s be quite when we go through the bedroom.’ Chakotay said as he stood up.
‘I promise,’ Kol whispered and quietly crept through the bedroom to the bathroom.
Kathryn woke to laughter and wasn’t sure what was going on at first. She realized that Chakotay wasn’t in bed and must have the children in the tub.
Entering the bathroom she stopped dead in her tracks, she expected to find Chakotay bathing them not in the tub having a bath with them.
‘Mommy, we are getting clean,’ Kol explained
‘I see,’ she said as she stared at Chakotay or more precisely his chest.
Chakotay could see the hunger in her eyes for a moment but then it was quickly masked.
‘How about I take the baby so you two can finish up?’ Kathryn offered as she tried to look anywhere but at Chakotay.
Passing her the baby as a way of an answer Kathryn quickly existed the bathroom.
Kol came running out with nothing but a smile on, laughing as his father came in pursuit.
‘Come back here you little devil,’ Chakotay called as he chased down his son.
Kol laughed at Chakotay from his hiding spot behind Kathryn.
‘Problem handling the crew Captain,’ Kathryn asked jokingly.
‘Not at all, I just have a naturalist for a crewmen,’ Chakotay replied as he lunged at and caught Kol. ‘Got you my little monster, let’s get dressed so we can eat.’
They returned from Kol’s room and sat at the table to see what Kathryn had prepared for them.
‘How are you feeling?’ Kathryn asked as she passed Chakotay some scrambled eggs and toast.
‘Better but I am becoming tired,’ Chakotay said and Kathryn could hear the exhaustion in his voice.
‘Why don’t you head back to bed for awhile and I’ll keep the children quite,’ Kathryn offered as Kol ran to get some toys to play with.
‘Are you sure?’ Chakotay asked tiredly.
‘Yes, go you need to rest,’ Kathryn insisted and Chakotay accepted and started to rise from the table.
‘Daddy,’ Kol called.
‘Yes,’ Chakotay asked as he looked at his son’s questioning face.
‘Why don’t you kiss Mommy anymore?’ The little boy asked not understanding the situation these two people found themselves in.
‘I guess because I have been sick, I didn’t want Mommy to be ill like us,’ Chakotay tried but his son wouldn’t go for it.
Chakotay leaned in and gave Kathryn a kiss on the cheek
‘No Daddy a kiss like you always give her,’ Kol admonished.
Looking to Kathryn she nodded her head so he moved back to her side and captured her lips in a gentle kiss. Her lips felt just like his Kathryn’s and he forgot himself just enjoying the kiss. He pulled back and the look gracing Kathryn’s face was one of bliss but then it changed to a look of loss. She realized in that kiss what she had missed out on with her Chakotay and regretted her decision even more.
Chakotay returned to the bridge after a couple more days of rest. The children returned to the daycare center so Kathryn could have some free time. Chakotay insisted that she take a few days to rest after her long hours of taking care of them.
‘Powell to the Captain,’ came the call as Harry was discussing the latest holo program that Tom and he had created.
‘Chakotay here,’ he answered as he chuckled at Harry’s description of the characters in the program. ‘What can I do for you Lieutenant?’
‘I was wondering when Kathryn is picking up the children because Emily is due for her feeding,’ Sara asked.
‘She should have been there an hour ago have you tried calling her,’ he asked as he turned to Tuvok.
‘Yes and she’s not answering,’ came the concerned answer.
‘Kathryn is in the Science Lab,’ Tuvok informed him.
‘No she isn’t actually Neelix checked that when the computer told us she was there. He found her commbadge on the floor,’ Sara explained.
‘I’ll check our quarters,’ Chakotay said as he started to rise from his chair. ‘Lieutenant can you watch the children a little longer?’
‘Sure Captain,’ she answered.
Moving quickly to the lift he called out his destination even before the doors closed. The doors just opened when he ran down the corridor toward the Captain’s quarters. Entering he looked about for Kathryn in the living room but she wasn’t there so he went into the bedroom.
He was still unsuccessful so he went to the bathroom and discovered her crumpled on the floor. Turning her over he saw she was unconscious he touched her cheek to he find it on fire.
‘Chakotay to the Doctor,’ he called.
‘The Doctor here,’ came the answer.
‘I need you here in my quarters,’ he started.
‘Let me guess Kathryn is ill,’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ Chakotay’s voice asking the question.
‘It seems the adults that looked after the patients have become ill themselves. Make her comfortable and I will stop by shortly, the Doctor out.’ And with that the connection was broken.
Picking her up he carried her into the bedroom.
‘The Captain to Tuvok,’ he called as he laid her down gently.
‘Tuvok here,’ came the serious voice of the Vulcan.
‘Kathryn is ill,’ he said as he pulled off her boots. ‘It seems the caregivers have become ill themselves. Can you see that duty shifts are covered but more importantly make sure that those who are ill have someone to look after them and their children if need be. You will have the bridge and ask Powell to drop the children here for me.’
‘Very well Captain, Tuvok out.’
Quickly he stripped her pants and socks along with her jacket and turtleneck. Turning he found a nightgown and quickly stripped her tank and bra off replacing it with the nightclothes.
Sitting down beside her he tucked the covers under her chin as he heard a soft moan.
‘It’s going to be okay sweetheart,’ he said as he gently brushed her hair back. ‘I’ll take good care of you.’
He heard Emily crying as Sara brought the children into the living room.
‘Thanks Sara,’ Chakotay said as he took his distraught daughter.
‘Sorry she didn’t want the bottle,’ the young woman apologized as she dropped the diaper bag on the chair.
‘That’s okay,’ Chakotay said as he rubbed his daughter’s back and hummed a soothing tune. ‘We’ll get her settled and happy again won’t we Kol.’
‘Where’s Mommy?’ Came the little boy’s concerned question as he looked about and didn’t see the woman in question.
‘Mommy is sick like we were so now we have to look after her,’ Chakotay said. ‘Thanks again Sara,’ he said as the young woman left.
‘Can I see her?’ Kol asked and Chakotay knew that he was afraid that Kathryn had disappeared again. He had asked the Doctor if the children could contract the virus but the Doctor reassured him that they would be fine.
Slipping into the room Kol walked over to the bed. Crawling up beside the sleeping woman he kissed her on the cheek.
‘Daddy and I will take care of you,’ he whispered and Chakotay smiled at the little boy’s promise.
‘Okay why don’t we feed your sister then see to us,’ his father said.
‘Yeah,’ Kol said as he bent and kissed Kathryn once again. Jumping done off the bed he ran past Chakotay into the other room.
Chakotay looked down at the sleeping figure for a moment then followed his son.
The next few days were occupied with keeping Kathryn comfortable as possible. Chakotay gave her a couple of cool baths when her fever was high and it helped to lower it to at least a more tolerable level. Kol helped to wipe Kathryn’s face, neck and arms with a cool cloth.
Chakotay had smiled at his request.
Kol had come in from playing in the main room to find Chakotay gently running a washcloth over the sleeping form.
‘Daddy why are you doing that?’ The little boy asked as he crawled up on the bed.
‘Mommy’s very hot and this helps to cool her a bit,’ his father explained.
Chakotay had gone to see to Emily’s demand and when he returned he found Kol gently wiping Kathryn’s face and talking quietly to her.
‘It’s okay Mommy,’ he said as he ran the cloth over her forehead. ‘Daddy and I are going to get you better.’
The Doctor and Chakotay were concerned that Kathryn was slow in recovering but they considered her run down state when she appeared on their ship. The two with Kol’s help just tried to keep fluids in her while the Doctor kept pumping vitamins.
Kathryn woke slowly a little unsure of where she was or what time it was. Scanning the room it looked normal so it must have been all a dream but it felt so real. Rising a little shakily she felt weak and thirsty so she stumbled toward the living room for a drink.
She stopped in the doorway to steady herself but the figure on the couch was the other reason her progress was halted.
‘B’Elanna,’ she asked questioningly.
‘Kathryn,’ the young woman said as she jumped up. ‘You shouldn’t be up Chakotay will have my head.’
‘I,’ Kathryn started a little shakily.
‘What?’ B’Elanna asked as she moved to the older woman.
Kathryn started to sway as B’Elanna reached out to steady her.
‘Wanted a drink,’ she whispered.
‘Come on I’ll help you back to bed and then I’ll get you a drink,’ the young engineer said as she turned Kathryn around slowly.
‘Need the washroom,’ she said as they moved to her bed.
‘Okay,’ B’Elanna said as they made for the new destination.
Leaving Kathryn at the door B’Elanna hurried to get the drink to return as her charge left the bathroom.
Helping her back to the bed she made Kathryn comfortable then handed her the glass of juice.
‘Where are the children?’ Kathryn asked but B’Elanna could hear something in her voice and saw something in her face. ‘Emily is asleep in Kol’s room and Tom took Kol to the holodeck for a while with Naomi and Miral,’ she said as saw Kathryn’s features relax. ‘Kathryn what is it?’
At first she avoided answering and then she finally looked at B’Elanna.
‘I thought it was all a dream,’ Kathryn said sadly. ‘Chakotay and the children, I thought it was all a dream and that I was all alone on my Voyager again.’
‘Well you’re not there,’ B’Elanna said firmly. ‘You’re with us,’ she said as she took the glass and sat it on the side table. ‘Chakotay and the children are here and they need you as much as you need them.’
‘I love being here so much and I love them,’ Kathryn whispered as she lay back down.
‘Good because you’re here to stay,’ B’Elanna told her as she tucked her in.
Leaving the sleeping woman she walked back out to find Chakotay standing near the door to the bedroom.
‘Hi,’ she said surprised.
‘Hi,’ he said quietly. ‘How’s she doing?’
‘A little confused when she woke but she’s fine now,’ his friend explained. ‘How about I go help Tom out and you look after your two ladies?’
Nodding his head he thanked B’Elanna as she left.
Kathryn woke again to find herself surrounded in warmth. Moving her head she found Kol curled up on her right side while on her other side was Chakotay. A smile greeted her when she looked at the big man.
‘Hi,’ he said quietly.
‘Hi,’ she answered.
Brushing her matted hair back he smiled as he explained. ‘Sorry Kol insisted on sleeping here with you. I think he’s afraid you might disappear again on us.’
‘I don’t mind it’s comforting to wake up like this,’ she answered as she looked up at Chakotay.
‘How are you feeling?’ He asked as he raised himself on one elbow.
‘Hungry,’ she said.
And he laughed at her answer. ‘Okay how about we get something for you to eat.’
‘Can I get a shower first,’ she asked with a smile.
‘You bet come on,’ he said as he helped her up.
A running body and a happy shout greeted Kathryn as she came into the main room.
‘Mommy,’ Kol called as he wrapped his arms around her legs.
‘Hi sweetheart,’ Kathryn said as she bent down to receive a hug.
‘You’re better,’ he said as he took in Kathryn’s smiling face.
‘Yes,’ she told him as she gave him a hug and kiss.
‘I helped Daddy to look after you,’ the little boy said proudly.
‘Thank you very much I owe you a hug and a kiss for such a good job,’ Kathryn said as she gave him his reward.
‘Daddy too,’ Kol said as he pointed to his father.
‘Of course Daddy too,’ Kathryn agreed as she moved over to the big man to give him his reward.
Chakotay enfolded her in his arms and realized that she had lost more weight.
‘Our next project Kol is to get Mommy eating so she can gain some weight,’ he told his son who agreed readily.
Over the next two months the little family became a happy unit. Chakotay and Kol succeeded in getting Kathryn to eat more and the sadness that haunted her eyes slowly vanished.
Chakotay sat on the couch in their quarters thinking about the woman who had come into their lives and he was confused. He had feelings for this Kathryn but he felt he was betraying his Kathryn. He was confused by his feelings and didn’t know what to do. A vision quest might help; Kathryn had the children with her on the holodeck so he had some time.
Settling down on the floor he relaxed and started the chant. The quarters faded from view and a forest formed around him. Looking about he wandered down a path and found his father working on a piece of wood.
‘Chakotay, how have you been son?’ His father asked as he looked up as his son stopped beside him.
‘Fine,’ was the answer he received.
Kolopak looked up and waited, he knew his son was troubled and that was why he was here.
‘I have feelings for her and I don’t know how to deal with it,’ Chakotay said with his confusion quite evident.
Kolopak knew about the Kathryn from the other universe and wondered how long it would be before his son fell for her.
‘It seems simple son you care for her and how does she feel about you?’ His father questioned as he laid his tool on the bench.
‘I think she cares for me,’ his son said as he turned to look at the mountains in the distance.
‘Well then what is the problem,’ his father asked.
‘I feel that I am betraying my Kathryn’s memory,’ Chakotay said as he looked back at his father.
‘Do you remember what you said to me when you came to tell me about the woman you fell in love with,’ his father prodded his son.
‘That to love Kathryn Janeway was the greatest moment in my life,’ his son smiled at the memory.
‘Now you have a chance that no man has a chance at and that is to love the same woman but not the same twice in a lifetime. I know you won’t accept my thoughts on the matter but maybe you will accept hers,’ Kolopak indicated and Chakotay turned to find Kathryn standing behind him.
‘Chakotay,’ she called and her face was awash with the love she had for this man.
‘Kathryn,’ he said as he moved to her. Stopping in front of her he reached out a hand to gently touch her face. ‘Oh my love I have missed you so much.’
‘And I have missed being with you,’ she answered him. ‘I hear you have had a visitor.’
And Chakotay turned an accusing look at his father for telling his wife something that could hurt her.
‘Don’t look at your father like that, he knew you would be back to talk about it and that you wouldn’t accept his answers.’ Kathryn said protectively of her father-in-law. ‘So what is she like?’
‘Pretty much like you but there was never a romance between her and her Chakotay. I don’t think anyone has really been close to her in a few years, I mean in a physical sense. She has so much regret and sadness in her, her Chakotay gave up on her and moved on with Seven.’
‘Seven, the Borg!’ Kathryn asked astounded.
‘Yes and even though she has said she was happy for him I know it truly hurt her. The center of her universe was her work and getting her crew home.’ He told his wife sadly.
‘Chakotay I want you to show her how good it could have been for her, show her what I had in the short time we were together. You’re not disrespecting what we had together or my memory because in a way you are still loving me.’
‘Oh Kathryn that is why I love you so much because you have such a giving heart.’ Chakotay said as he wrapped her in his arms. Pulling back slightly he gave her a long and gentle kiss. ‘Thank you love.’
They talked for a while about the children and the ship and then his quarters formed around him again.
Over the next few days he thought about what Kathryn and his father said meanwhile Kathryn was trying to deal with her feelings. B’Elanna stopped by one day to see how she was doing; Kathryn invited her to join her for lunch and B’Elanna accepted.
‘So how’s it going for you?’ B’Elanna asked.
‘Fine I guess,’ Kathryn said a little uncertainly.
‘What’s wrong, are the kids to much or has Chakotay done something?’ The young Klingon woman asked.
‘No the children and Chakotay are fine,’ the older woman said and B’Elanna told her to talk to her that it might help her.
‘Yes it might help but I just don’t know how to explain what I’m feeling.’ The older woman said as she tried to explain to B’Elanna.
‘Do you miss your old life?’ B’Elanna asked positive that she couldn’t miss that after hearing from her what her life consisted of.
‘No it’s just that,’ Kathryn said hesitantly. ‘It’s Chakotay…’
‘Has that big lug upset you,’ B’Elanna asked as she thought about how to talk to him.
‘No it’s just that I have really enjoyed being here with him and,’ Kathryn tried to explain again. ‘I have fallen in love with him.’
‘What’s wrong with that?’ B’Elanna asked confused.
‘He’s another woman’s husband,’ Kathryn stated.
‘Kathryn as much as it hurt our Kathryn died and a little piece of Chakotay died but when you came along I saw him come back to life.’ B’Elanna explained. ‘For Chakotay his heart will always belong to Kathryn Janeway whether it be the one that died or you it doesn’t matter. Talk to him I think you might find that he feels the same,’ B’Elanna encouraged.
Chakotay returned to his quarters after a long day on the bridge to find the table set and Kathryn waiting for him. He stopped in his tracks after the doors closed to stare at the sight before him. Kathryn was simply dressed but she still took his breath away. She had put on weight since she had arrived and had lost that skeletal look.
‘Hi,’ she smiled. ‘How was your day?’
‘Long and boring but it has improved,’ he smiled back at her with the dimples appearing.
‘Why don’t you have a shower and change, dinner should be ready by the time you finish.’ Kathryn suggested as she moved to the replicator.
Chakotay returned a short time later looking more relaxed and comfortable in his pants and shirt. Kathryn looked up as he existed the bedroom and momentarily froze as she looked at him.
‘Would you like a glass of wine?’ She asked as she put the last dish on the table.
‘Yes please,’ he said as he sat. ‘Special occasion?’
‘No, B’Elanna and Tom took the children so I thought we might enjoy a grownup meal.’ She answered as she dished out the food. ‘I hope you don’t mind that I allowed them to take the children without asking.’
‘Kathryn you don’t have to ask, they are yours just as much as they are mine,’ Chakotay told her as he reached across the table to grasp her hand.
They enjoyed the meal mixing small talk with good food. Picking up their wine they moved to the couch to continue enjoying each other’s company. Chakotay was telling Kathryn what happened on the bridge between Tom and Harry, she was laughing so hard tears were streaming down her cheeks. Chakotay reached out to brush the tears away then moved on to stroke her cheek. Looking into her eyes he saw the hunger that he saw when she looked at him in the tub. Moving slowly he captured her mouth giving her a gentle kiss.
Pulling back he looked at her face and the look of total bliss.
‘Chakotay,’ she said in a whisper that told him that she felt the same as he did.
‘Kathryn,’ he replied confirming his feelings.
Moving back he captured her lips again the kiss turning passionate. Picking her up he carried her into the bedroom to show her how much he cared.
‘Daddy can we see them,’ Kol asked.
‘Yes come on,’ Chakotay laughed at the excitement on his son’s face.
Leading Kol and Emily into Sickbay, he walked them up to the main bed. Tom was talking to Kathryn and smiled at Chakotay.
‘Congratulations big guy,’ he said as he slapped Chakotay on the back. Bending down he picked Kol up while Chakotay picked up Emily.
‘Mommy,’ Kol shouted with joy at seeing Kathryn.
‘Hi sweetheart,’ Kathryn said quietly as she moved the bundle in her arms. She pulled the blanket back so the children could get a better look at their brother. ‘Do you want to say hi to your brother?’
Emily leaned forward to see the baby better. ‘Hi baby I’m your sister,’ she smiled. ‘He’s not talking to me.’
The adults chuckled and once Chakotay was able to he hugged his daughter tighter. ‘Not yet baby but he will soon.’
Kathryn watched the three people that had changed her life and then down at the newest addition. She was glad that the powers that be in this universe were on her side because she had everything she should have with them.