Kathryn couldn’t believe how happy she had been over the past 6 months. Ever since Q had snapped his fingers and sent her and Chakotay back to New Earth to discover their love for each other, she had felt so fulfilled. They had spent many nights in each others’ arms and found comfort and refuge when the pressure of command had been too much for either to bear alone. She found Chakotay not only to be a wonderful First Officer, but a true friend; and, now her lover. She hated to admit how thankful she was to Q for starting this wonderful chain of events. Of course, at this point in time, Kathryn had no idea exactly how much Q was doing in his quest to show proper appreciation to his Kathy. She would, however, soon find out!
Chapter 1: The "Bug"
Another day had started in the Delta Quadrant; and, all was well. The Alpha shift was on duty which consisted of the senior officers. Chakotay was manning the bridge, with Tom at the Conn, Harry at Ops, Tuvok at Tactical, and B’Elanna at the Engineering station. Captain Janeway had already situated herself in the ready room with a steaming cup of coffee; and, prepared to begin reviewing the daily reports.
Outside, the Bridge crew watched the stars streak by with little interest. Chakotay was about to order a series of diagnostics to make sure everything was running with optimal efficiency during the down time when the entire bridge crew heard a retching noise coming from the ready room.
“Tuvok, you have the bridge!” The crew heard Chakotay command as he moved toward the doors faster than an Olympic runner in the 100 yard dash.
As he entered the Ready Room, he saw Kathryn leaning over the lavatory just off of her ready room. “Are you alright?” The concern in his face was very evident. He grabbed a washcloth, wet it with cold water and begin wiping her forehead with it. He then settled down beside her kneeling form. He placed his arms around her and, as soon as he was sure she was finished, pulled her into the comfort of his arms.
A very pale Kathryn smiled weakly at him and said, “I do believe this is a breach of protocol, Commander!”
“So court martial me and throw me in the brig after I’ve made sure you are alright!” He threw back at her without a moment’s hesitation tossing in, for good measure, one is his devastating smiles.
He helped her to her feet. “I’m fine Chakotay, really. It must have been something I ate.”
“You haven’t eaten yet this morning. As I recall, we were…umm…occupied and did not have time to eat.”
“Well, then there must be some type of virus going around. I’ll be alright.”
“Promise me you’ll go see the doctor?”
“As soon as I’ve finished these reports.” She lied.
He left the ready room, knowing full well that she would not go see the doctor.
Kathryn spent the rest of the shift in her ready room reviewing the reports. As the shift ended, Chakotay went in to see her. “Can I see you tonight?”
“Sure. I just have to go over some reports with B’Elanna about some engineering problems. As soon as I’ve finished, I’ll call you and we’ll have a bite to eat.” She assured him.
“Are you going to see the Doctor?”
“Chakotay, please. I know you are concerned; but, I am fine. It’s a bug and it will pass. Now please I need to finish these reports.”
Chakotay was not at all happy with her response; but, realizing it was futile to argue with her over this, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and left with the words, “Call me!”
Time 1900 hours
Chakotay had agreed to meet Tom at Sandrine’s to play some pool in the hoped that time would pass quickly until Kathryn was finished with her meeting. He figured Tom would be a good companion as he was waiting for the meeting to adjourn as well so he could be with B’Elanna.
“Chakotay that’s the second easy shot you’ve missed in the last 10 minutes. Something on your mind?” Tom asked his pool partner.
“I’m fine, Tom just a little distracted. Guess you’re not too sad to hear that as your rations account will probably benefit positively from this tonight!” Chakotay responded with a smile.
“Nice try, Chakotay. Although I will enjoy divesting you of some of your weekly rations, my guess is that your thoughts are drifting to a certain Captain and the noises that so unpleasantly drifted from her ready room this morning.” Tom knew he was playing with fire; but, that had never stopped him before.
Not realizing what he was saying, Chakotay had that far away look and replied, “She looked so pale, Tom. I’m worried.”
“Hey, Chakotay she will be alright.” Tom crossed the room and patted Chakotay on the back in the manner that men do when they are trying to show some affection and concern for each other, but not quite sure how. “She’s strong. She just may need some additional coercion to go see the Doc about this.”
Tom stepped away and put the winning ball in the pocket. “Why don’t you call her? You can see if she’s about done; and, then you can ‘convince’ her to go see Doc.”
“That’s not a bad idea, Tom. Since I’m not accomplishing anything here, I just might do that.” Chakotay replied back with a smile (only the second one Tome had seen since they started playing).
“Chakotay to Janeway”
“Captain, Tom is winning enough rations from me that I’ll have to eat Neelix’s cooking for the next several light years. I was hoping you were about done with your meeting so we could have dinner.” Chakotay offered in his most charming voice.
“We’re almost finished here, Chakotay. Give me 15 minutes. I’ll be happy to treat you to some replicated dinner…since you may be unable to provide one for yourself.” Chakotay’s grin broke through like that of a school boy who had just received an affirmative to his request for a date.
Tom stood by silently watching the myriad of emotions that were dancing across Chakotay’s face. If he didn’t know better…well, this would be n interesting thing to keep his eye on maybe even earn some extra rations for himself in the betting pool.
“Well, Chakotay, it looks like I’m not going to be able to take you for any more rations. Mind if I walk with you towards the Captain’s quarters? I’d like to treat B’Elanna to something special from the replicators tonight.”
Punching him in the shoulder, Chakotay shot back at him, “You mean I will be treating B’Elanna tonight since it’s probably my rations you’ll be using!”
Tom flashed his boyish grin in Chakotay’s direction, shrugged his shoulders and simply said, “Whatever.”
The two men left the holodeck smiling.
Meanwhile, in the Captain’s quarters, the story was evolving a little differently:
B’Elanna had arrived on time, as usual. She was always eager to discuss her ideas regarding engineering with the Captain. She knew the Captain was a capable engineer so she would understand what B’Elanna was referring to; but, she also knew the Captain trusted her and had the utmost faith in her abilities. This was a luxury that B’Elanna had not been afforded by many of her former senior officers (with the exception, maybe, of Chakotay during their involvement together with the Maquis).
Upon her arrival, she noticed that the Captain did not look well. Instead of being dressed in her usual Starfleet uniform (which B’Elanna had thought secretly that perhaps the Captain slept in her uniform as much as she seemed to love it), she was in a set of flannel pajamas.
Janeway noticed B’Elanna’s appraisal of her wardrobe choice. “Please excuse the way I’m dressed. It appears that I have contracted some sort of virus. I have soiled several of my uniforms today during various…umm…what should I call them - visits to the bathroom? I opted to save my remaining clean ones and go for the comfort of my old pjays. I sincerely hope you are not offended.”
“Not at all, Captain just a bit surprised.”
“Please. Let’s get down to work. I’m sure you’ll want to meet Tom later this evening.” Janeway smiled at the young woman as she lit up at the mention of his name. She thought she might have even caught a slight blush emanating from her face.
As B’Elanna began her dissertation on the current status of engineering, she couldn’t help but notice that the Captain seemed distracted. Her normally pale face appeared even whiter. She could have sworn she saw her hands trembling slightly as well.
“Captain, have you eaten today?” B’Elanna asked with concern in her voice.
“I’m afraid that anything I might have attempted to eat was given a round trip ticket.” She smiled weakly at her attempt at humor; but, currently felt anything but comical.
B’Elanna was just about to suggest a visit to the Doc when she heard the bree-ep of Janeway’s comm badge signaling she was about to be called.
“Chakotay to Janeway”
“Captain, Tom is winning enough rations from me that I’ll have to eat Neelix’s cooking for the next several light years. I was hoping you were about done with your meeting so we could have dinner.” Janeway smiled at the disembodied voice she heard; it was a weak smile; but, it lit up her face, nonetheless. B’Elanna couldn’t help but notice.
She mustered up all of her strength so she would sound strong for him. “We’re almost finished here, Chakotay. Give me 15 minutes. I’ll be happy to treat you to some replicated dinner…since you may be unable to provide one for yourself.” She could almost imagine the look on Chakotay’s face; and, despite her current physical condition, she felt excited that he would soon be on his way for their ‘date’.
Janeway turned to B’Elanna, “Why don’t we try and finish this up in the morning. As you can see, I’m really not dressed appropriately for Tom and Chakotay’s visit. You’re welcome to wait here for Tom.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
As the two stood and began to walk out of the office towards the living area of Janeway’s quarters, B’Elanna noticed that Janeway hesitated slightly. The rest unfolded before her in slow motion: She saw each of Janeway’s hands go to respectively to her forehead and her stomach. She saw her sway and fall unceremoniously to the floor. Time resumed its normal perspective; and, in a heartbeat, B’Elanna realized her Captain had fainted.
Rushing to her side, she called out to the air, “Torres to Sickbay. Emergency beamout for two!” In a shimmer of blue light, Kathryn and B’Elanna’s form disappeared to re-emerge only a second later in sickbay.
Right after the beamout, Chakotay chimed for entrance to her quarters. No response.
He tried again no response. He looked at Tom. There was concern growing on both of their faces at that moment.
Tom chimed in, “Computer - locate Captain Janeway and Lt. Torres.”
The non-emotional voice of the computer responded. “Captain Janeway and Lt. Torres are in sickbay.”
Both men took off in a run.
Chapter 2: The Charming Prince
They reached sickbay in record time to find B’Elanna standing beside the Captain. She had her hand resting uneasily on the Captain’s still hand. She had never been very good with this kind of thing. She had always blamed her Klingon heritage; but, truth be told, she found non-sexual contact especially with another woman very unsettling. It was as if she was opening herself to feel and allow friendship and caring to invade the walls she had built up over the years to protect herself from being hurt and disappointed. Nonetheless, her Captain had been there for her when times were difficult; and, she knew how important touch was to Kathryn…so she would be there for her in return.
She was startled as Chakotay practically knocked her down in his attempt to get close to the Captain. B’Elanna moved back to stand beside Tom. What they saw developing in front of their very eyes left them both speechless. This, for Tom and B’Elanna, was a rare event!
Chakotay gently caressed Kathryn’s face with his hands. It was almost reverent the way he touched her. His hands drifted down to her neck, shoulder, and arm to finally claim the hand that B’Elanna had been holding only a few seconds before. He had forgotten all about protocol and the other nonsense Kathryn continually reminded him about. All that existed in his world right now was the woman laying there with her eyes closed, looking as pale as death itself. He kissed the hand that he had captured; and then held it near his mouth as he began to murmur words of encouragement softly to her.
The Doctor had already completed his preliminary scans of the Captain. He knew exactly what was “wrong” with her; he just wasn’t sure how he was going to tell both of them. Additionally, he wasn’t sure how he was going to explain to them how it happened (the obvious reasons aside!) He decided that the direct approach had always worked, somewhat, in the past for him; so he decided to use it now.
He walked over to the biobed and cleared his throat to bring the Commander out of his reverie. At the same time, he placed a hypospray to the Captain’s neck to bring her back to the world of the conscious. He had already started providing her with some nutrition supplements; but, he knew that it would be a few more doses before her color began to return.
When he had both of their attention, he began.
“Captain, Commander I have something I would like to show you that, I believe, will shed some light onto the Captain’s condition.”
Chakotay looked frightened. “Please, Doctor, let’s see it.”
The Doctor pushed a few buttons and a screen arose out of the biobed and covered Kathryn’s midsection. He pushed a few more buttons and then directed their attention to the monitor.
Everyone was silent as the reality of the situation sank in. Since no one said anything, the Doctor assumed that they did not understand. So he explained, “Captain Janeway you are going to be a mother in approximately 6 months.”
Chakotay hit the floor with a thud.
Upon hearing Chakotay hit the floor, Kathryn turned on the bed to make sure he was ok. The sight that greeted her caused her to break out in a large smile and then into a fit of giggles. Chakotay was lying, however unceremoniously, on the floor with a huge grin covering his face. She looked back up to the Doctor; and, once she contained her giggles, said, “I certainly hope he handles the birth a little better.”
The Doctor raised one eyebrow and replied back, “Let’s certainly hope so. Shall I wake our charming prince?”
Having settled back onto the biobed, Kathryn replied, “Yes. Thank you, Doctor.” Once the Doctor had successfully brought Chakotay back to the world of the living, he remembered that Tom and B’Elanna had been witness to this whole exchange. He decided it was time to excuse them (and hope the Captain and Commander were not too angry at him for sharing this with other’s in the room). He figured they would need some time alone as well.
He glanced at the Captain and Commander, amazed at what he saw before him. Chakotay was once again at Kathryn’s side. He was holding her hand and had this look of pure admiration on his face. Kathryn’s face still registered some shock; but, had a look of motherly love and concern radiating from her face as she asked Chakotay if he was alright. It will be interesting, he thought, to see what transpires next between this increasingly complex couple.
“Mr. Paris, Lt. Torres, I believe it is time for you two to make a hasty exit. I need to speak with the Captain and Commander in private…which is what I should have been doing all along.” The Doctor instructed firmly in his no-nonsense voice.
They both surveyed the Doctor and then the Captain and Commander’s faces and knew that this was no time for argument. They turned stating they would check back on both later. As they began to walk towards the doors to sickbay, Tom leaned toward B’Elanna and was just about to whisper, “Wait ‘til the crew hears about this!” He was interrupted by a commanding voice.
“Mr. Paris.” He stopped in mid-sentence and turned.
“I trust that you will keep this matter in the strictest of confidence until I tell you otherwise. Is that understood?” Janeway’s tone of voice though still weak left no room for misunderstanding.
Tom reluctantly agreed, “Yes, ma’am.”
B’Elanna smiled up at him realizing that keeping this a secret for more than one minute could possibly kill the young pilot. She also knew, as did the Captain, that he would honor her trust and not tell a soul until she gave him permission to do so.
Locking arms and smiling at each other with the secret they now possessed, Tom and B’Elanna left sickbay.
Once they were alone, the Doctor waited for the inquisition to begin.
Janeway propped herself up, with Chakotay’s help, and then looked directly at the Doctor when she spoke, “Aside from the obvious explanation, Doctor, how in the hell did this happen? We both have been very regular in taking our fertility suppressors. I don’t understand.”
“I assure you, Captain, that I will do everything in my power to determine what error caused this incident.”
Smiling, Kathryn responded, “It’s not an incident, Doctor…it’s a baby.” She stopped for a second and looked lovingly at Chakotay. Taking his hand, she continued, “Our baby.”
Chakotay thought his heart would swell from pride. He had been waiting with bated breath for her decision on what to do. He could only hope that this meant…he had to find out. “Does this mean you are agreeing to keep it?”
“Oh, Chakotay…how could I, in good conscious, seek any other alternative?” At that moment, all protocol forgotten, he embraced her. They tightened their embrace as if they were the life forces needed to sustain each other.
Finally, the Doctor could stand no more of this public display of affection. He cleared his throat and spoke, “Excuse me. I stand corrected the child will no longer be referred to as an…incident. However, as the physician in charge of suppressing the fertility of other crew members, I feel it necessary to conduct an investigation. If I may proceed?”
Smiling up at him as she broke from Chakotay’s embrace, “Of course, Doctor.”
Just as the Doctor was beginning to scan Kathryn and Chakotay, a bright light appeared; and, with it, Q.
All three together replied, “Q!”
“Well, I see I’ve not been forgotten since my last visit. Nice to see you again, Kathy; and, I guess you too Chuckles.” Q began in that irritating, condescending tone of his.
Chakotay started toward him; but was quickly thwarted when he felt Kathryn’s hand on his arm.
“It’s alright, Chakotay. What do you want, Q?”
“Well, I thought I’d save the Doc here a little stress. I’m responsible for Kathy’s impregnation.”
“What the…” Chakotay started toward him again. Even Kathryn began to panic as she digested what she thought he was trying to say.
Q quickly snapped his fingers and caused everyone to freeze. “Now, that’s better. If you all would chill…no pun intended…I will be happy to explain. First, Kathy, it is not my child you are pregnant with. Chuckles here is responsible for that. Although for the life of me, I still can’t understand why you would choose him over me, but…Oh sorry, I digress. I am responsible, of course, for providing the catalyst that brought the two of you together; and, to continue my appreciation for your help with the Continuum, I reversed the effects of your suppression boosters. In other words, Kathy, those boosters were so ineffective that you’re lucky you didn’t get pregnant until now especially with the way you two have gone at it!” Having completed his explanation, he snapped his fingers to allow them to resume normal activity again.
The Doctor was the first to recover, “Well, at least that explains that. I trust, Q that you have not ‘tampered’ with any other medical supplies in sickbay?”
“No, Doc, I haven’t. Kathy and Chuckles here are the only ones that need that kind of help. Although, I must admit, that it might be fun to play around with that engineer and pilot some now there’s an interesting pair.”
“Q!” Janeway and Chakotay shouted in unison.
“Alright, alright. All I can say is…I got you this far, Chuckles you are in for a wild ride for the next six months or so.” And, with that, he snapped his fingers and was gone as quickly as he arrived.
The Doctor was the next to speak, “Captain, I’m prepared to release you with some conditions.”
“Why did I know you were going to say that?” Kathryn replied sarcastically.
“Captain, I trust that since your body now provides a home for your and the Commander’s child, that you will exhibit a little more concern for your welfare than you have in the past. I expect you here on a monthly basis for a checkup. As the gestation period nears the end, the visits must be more frequent. Is that understood?” The Doctor’s voice, this time, left no room for misunderstanding.
Chakotay didn’t even give Kathryn an opportunity to respond, “You don’t have to worry, Doctor, I’ll be personally responsible for both her and the child’s welfare.”
Kathryn opened her mouth, as if to protest, but then shut it again quickly. She did, however, shoot the Commander that ‘this conversation isn’t over yet’ look before she jumped off the biobed. “I’ll see you in four weeks then Doctor, as agreed.”
The Captain and Commander strode out of sickbay on their way to her quarters for what they both knew would be a very interesting conversation.