“Well you could always declare them as Jaari!” Sini suggested.
Mika and Paka looked at their daughter. Declaring them as Jaari would be an option, but it would have to be the last resort. Besides a declaration of Jaari was an outdated ritual dating back to the early days of the colony.
The family members of the two in question would have to be heard at a village meeting where they would present the necessary information needed for a Jaari. Then the village’s Spiritual Leader would go on a joint Vision Quest with the unwilling partners, testing if they were indeed Destined Equals. The only way for the Jaari to be valid, was if the three of them would only encounter the couples spirit guides, preferably seeing the two animals work together on something.
~ * ~ * ~
Last night Mika had gone upstairs to check on Kathryn, but because she didn’t hear anything, Mika had not gone inside, afraid to disturb Kathryn if she was sleeping.
Even though it was still very early in the morning, Sini and her parents were ready for breakfast. Neither of them had slept very well and they were now sitting in the main room, anxiously waiting for Kathryn to come down stairs.
“Sini, declaring a Jaari is very drastic. I don’t think either Chakotay or Kathryn would appreciate it very much. Besides, Kathryn hasn’t even been introduced to her Spirit Guide.”
“I thought Chakotay was going to help her?”
Mike looked at her daughter, “And when was he supposed to have done that? Honey, you’re forgetting she’s only been here for day.”
An insistent beeping noise disturbed the uncomfortable silence in the room. Kolopak went over to a corner and activated the small viewscreen, which had produced the sound.
“Incoming message for Kolopak of Trebus and family.”
Gretchen and Phoebe Janeway’s faces appeared on the screen. It was a pre-recorded message thanking Kolopak and Mika for taking care of Kathryn. They also told them they were on their way to Trebus and would not be able to reach Kathryn before their arrival. It seems Phoebe had won a prize for one of her art projects and with the money had bought a trip to see her sister.
~ * ~ * ~
When the message was finished, Paka turned around and grinned widely at Sini and Mika. “You know I am a man of science, who doesn’t believe in unexplainable phenomena, but I think I have just witnessed one. Mika, do you think this house is ready for more Janeway women?”
They burst out in laughter and consequently didn’t hear the kitchen door opening. Two figures quietly walked in, making their way to the large pot of coffee on the counter. Sini was the first to notice them and she signaled her parents. Both stopped laughing and looked in the direction their daughter was looking. She got up slowly and silently walked up to the two in the kitchen.
“Chakotay, Kathryn, how nice of you to join us for breakfast.”
They swiftly turned around to see three grinning faces staring at them.
“Ama, Father, sorry for sneaking in like this.”
“It’s all my fault,” Kathryn continued, “I told Chakotay I needed my coffee fix and he didn’t want to let me go over here alone.”
Mika was stunned, “You mean to say you weren’t here last night? But we never heard you leave.”
Sensing Kathryn’s discomfort at having to admit she sneaked out of the house, Chakotay put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer. “Can you honestly blame her for leaving? After the stunt you two pulled? Ama, Father, I am disappointed with your behavior.” His serious face was enough to make Kathryn want to burst out in giggles, so she hid her face in his shoulder pretending to be emotionally upset.
They had planned their little scene this morning.
Mika and Paka were too shocked to say anything, but Sini was up and ready to verbally battle her brother.
“You know, Chakotay, we could just declare you Jaari at the village meeting this afternoon.” She struck out her chin and looked at him defiantly.
Chakotay couldn’t help but laugh at the scene before him. Having Kathryn suppress her laughter in his shoulder didn’t help him either. He would never forget the looks on their faces as Kathryn raised her head and joined him in his laughter.
Knowing they’d been had, Kolopak Mika and Sini relaxed visibly.
“Sorry for scaring you like that, but we had to do something.” Kathryn send out a mini-death glare to her soon-to-be family. “Just promise us you won’t do something like this again.” Grinning up at Chakotay she continued, “or we won’t invite you to our bonding ceremony.”