The House – epilogue three

Really! I mean it! This is the last part!

Phoebe and Peter stayed in the old guestroom, while Kathy and Edward slept in their mom’s old bedroom. Kathryn and Phoebe had stayed up almost the entire night, talking about life, the universe and everything. And about Peter and Chakotay. When Kathryn had told her about the events of the last couple of years, and how she had felt about Chakotay, Phoebe was even more amazed by her sister’s resilience.

~ * ~ * ~

Someone was pulling her hair. And bouncing up and down on her stomach. She tried to roll over to where Chakotay was sleeping, but she couldn’t move, because apparently that certain someone had brought a friend who was keeping her legs in place. After checking with Chakotay, Kathy and Edward decided to give their aunt an unusual wake-up call.

“Goodmorning, aunt Kathryn.” Kathy cheerfully called out. All they received as an answer was a grunt.

“Aunt Ka’wyn, play?”

“Come on, sis, where is your sense of adventure?” Phoebe joined her children on the bed. “Let’s get up and see if breakfast is ready!”

“You get up way too early. Let me sleep.”

“Here, Phoebe, let me help. Maybe this will wake her up.”

Slowly the smell of coffee permeated the room. Kathryn carefully opened one eye and found herself looking straight at four pairs of eyes.

“She’s awake! Thank you, uncle Chakotay. Come on, aunt Kathryn, let’s play.”

~ * ~ * ~

It took some more gentle persuasion from Chakotay to get Kathryn to leave her bed this early. Phoebe couldn’t help but tell her sister this is what she could expect when she had children of her own. Kathryn tried to ignore the comment, but found she couldn’t. One look at Chakotay gave her all the answers she needed, and she replied that their children simply would have to visit their aunt Phoebe’s regularly then. Of course, Chakotay just lifted her up after hearing this, and he twirled Kathryn around to the delight of the children. Kathy simply thought this new aunt and uncle were great people, and she didn’t fully understand why her mommy had never introduced them to her before.

~ * ~ * ~

Together with Peter and Phoebe they managed to give most of Kathryn’s possessions a fitting place in the house, and after lunch they realised they still had much to plan for the party that evening. Tom and B’Elanna came by round 2 PM carrying more bags and trays than they could handle. His theme was still a surprise to everyone but B’Elanna, but she assured Chakotay he had nothing to worry about. Of course, Tom noticed Kathryn’s things in the house only 5 minutes after arriving and he teased B’Elanna mercilessly about loosing her bet to Kes.

The four crewmembers told Phoebe and Peter all about Kes, and Neelix and the other new crewmembers, until they noticed Kathy crawling away in a corner. When they asked her about it, she told them it was to hide from the Borg who were also coming to the party. It took Kathryn the better part of the afternoon to reassure Kathy that Seven was not Borg anymore. She told the little girl that Seven in fact was probably less Borg than any humans she had ever met.

Around dinnertime most of the crew had arrived. They were pleased to see their commanding officers together. When Tom announced the result of the various bets he’d been keeping over the years, people weren’t surprised to find Kes the winner in most of them. She really knew and understood more than they realised at the time. The party was a huge success, and Gretchen’s brownies were the hit of the evening. Finally Chakotay understood why they were so special. Of course he never really tasted his, because he was too busy looking at Kathryn’s face when she ate hers.

The theme of the party was only obvious after people had visited the specially created room. Tom had come up with a wonderful idea. Together with the Doctor he had managed to make pictures of all the room aboard Voyager, even the Captain’s quarters. He had then commented on them, and while you walked down the makeshift hallway, his voice could be heard telling you about the juicy gossip on the various rooms.

~ * ~ * ~

Only the members of the senior crew and Kathryn’s family were left. They’d already congratulated Tom on his overwhelming success this evening, when B’Elanna came back into the garden again, carrying a large package. It was hers and Tom’s housewarming present for Chakotay and Kathryn.

“Old man, Captain, I hope you won’t be too upset when you find out what Tom and I did. Well, Seven and Harry and the Doctor and Neelix and, yes, even Tuvok helped us. We just wanted to give you something which we thought we would be giving you about three months after we brought you back from that planet. We hope you like it. We had someone else help us make, but you’ll see that when you open it.”

~ * ~ * ~

Chakotay and Kathryn tore open the paper. They were holding a painting of their shelter with the garden, accompanied by a monkey on a bathtub.

“You see, it was clearly not painted by us. I think, Kathryn, you’ll recognise the artist. And well, as for the monkey and the bathtub, let’s just say you weren’t as secretive about it as you wanted to be. I guess you really don’t remember the party Neelix threw two nights after you returned to the ship, because you really were quite talkative, and the monkey and the bathtub were favourite topics with you both. That’s when we decided to work on something that would help you remember the wonderful time you had down there.”

Before B’Elanna knew it, she was already swept up in an enormous bearhug from Chakotay, while Kathryn proceeded to hug and kiss the others. Phoebe just then was able to look at the painting, and almost bowled her mother over when she discovered who the artist exactly was.

~ * ~ * ~

There was a note attached to the painting:

Mia Katerina,
There is strength in unity.
I wish you and your Angry Warrior all the happiness in the world.
Te amo,

Leonardo
Ps: how will I ever finish the portrait of the prince’s worthless son without your inspiration?

FIN – finally!