The Red Heart

Q2 – Q Junior can do what no man, crew or Q has done before!

Slightly based on Q2 – very A/U

Dear Bex, this fic is for you. We hope you enjoy reading it! *hugz* Katie and Nieke

* ~ * ~ *

“Surprise!” A voice exclaimed. Icheb turned round and round trying to discover the source of it. “You gotta try harder, Ichy.”

Icheb raised his head to look at the ceiling. His suspicion proved to be correct. Dangling head to feet right above the former Borg’s head was the source of every trouble he had got into aboard Voyager.

Pushing himself off the ceiling Q made an impressive salto before he landed on his feet facing Icheb.

“Haven’t seen you in decades, fellow. Missed your simple bipedal ramblings, pal.”

“Q,” the young man stated, dryly. “Haven’t seen you for what — a whole day?”

“Now, now, Ichy, what’s up with you? Where’s the great guy I have come to value as my friend?”

“Oh, come on, Q-Ball, thanks to you I landed in sickbay.”

“I beg to differ that wasn’t completely due to my meddling. Nothing would have happened if my dad hadn’t decided to test me.” As he saw Icheb’s expression, he reconsidered. “You’re right, Ichy, I am sorry. I promise to behave this time. So, what’s up?”

“Not much, I am preparing a birthday present for Naomi.”

“The Wildman chick?”

Icheb raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, come on. I visited her in the future. Believe me, you would like her. Just keep an eye on her and, before long, you will see for yourself.”

“Sure, Q-Ball, sure,” the former Borg said not believing a word.

“You will see.”

“What have you been up to?”

“This and that. My dad doesn’t let me out of his sight. It’s getting quite annoying lately. But the Continuum has spoken so he doesn’t have much of a choice but to follow me around.”

“No, please. No. Tell you aren’t implying what I think you are.” Icheb voice was pleading.

Q just shrugged and looked at Icheb apologisingly.

* ~ * ~ *

“And then he just turned up in my quarters,” Kathryn explained.

“He has done that before.”

“In my bathroom.”

“Oh. Why do I have the feeling that isn’t all there is?”

“In my bathtub,” Kathryn added.

Chakotay gulped. “And you were?”

“In my bathtub.”

Chakotay gulped again. “Did he?”

“Do anything to me? See anything he shouldn’t have? No, he was luckily still clad in his Starfleet uniform. And it was a bubblebath.”

“Okay. That is supposed to make me feel better, right?” Chakotay asked hesitantly.

“Not really. Popping up beside me in my bed, the bathtub simply was the next logical thing, wasn’t it?”

“Bed?” Chakotay’s face crumpled.

“You alright?” Kathryn asked, very aware grey wasn’t his usually facial colour.

“I will live,” he managed to say, quickly gulping the last of the Antarian Cider in his glass.

“You should be careful with that,” she grinned at him. “It’s real alcohol in case you forgot.”

“I was actually thinking about going for something stronger. Whisky, maybe?”

“Now Chuckles, you don’t wanna get drunk on Kathy, do you?”

Chakotay’s jump almost catapulted him off the couch upon which he and Kathryn had been relaxing.

“Q!” Kathryn spat. “What is it now? Can’t you just once leave me alone?”

“Now, Kathy, did I ever tell you, that you are angry when you’re beautiful?”

Chakotay looked ready to throttle Q.

“Now, now, Chuck. You don’t have any reason to be jealous. As I recall, you two have never shared bed or bathtub. Face it, she’s mine.”

“Q. Out. Now. Why are you here again, anyway? Didn’t you have enough of us for the next few years, centuries maybe? We surely have had enough of you.”

“Kathy, I am hurt, dear. Your son decided to drop by Icheb once again. You know what the Continuum said. Wherever he goes, I go. So, here I am.” At this he opened his arms and walked up towards her, trying to get a hug.

“Dream on, Q. And he’s my godson. Not. Son. Godson,” Kathryn spat as she ducked out of Q’s way, hovering near Chakotay who stepped in front of her protectively.

“Oh, come on, Kathy, don’t pretend you didn’t want to mate with me. After you saw me and my former mate conceiving him, you wanted me right there and then, regardless of the consequences.”

“Right,” Kathryn began.

“See, Chuckles, she loves me.” With one snap of his finger he and Chakotay had changed places. Q got down onto his knees. “Be mine, Kathy. I will give you anything you want. I will even get one of those fancy tattoos on my forehead.”

“Would it be too much to ask you to leave?”

“Chuckles, come on, she doesn’t want us here. What about a little more of that whiskey you wanted before? Let’s drown ourselves in it. Unrequited love sucks, doesn’t it? We’re in love with the same woman. And she doesn’t want us. That makes us best pals, doesn’t it?”

“Definitely not,” Chakotay growled.

“You’re not in love with her? Great she’s all mine then.”

“I didn’t say that,” Chakotay sighed.

Kathryn looked at him with wide eyes, then shook her head to clear her mind.

“Gentlemen, I think I have to ask the two of you to leave. You actually managed to give me a headache. I am going to bed.”

“I will just get rid of Chuck, here, and be right by your side, my love.”

“Both of you are going, Q. Out. Now.”

She shoved them out of the door, throwing an apologising look at Chakotay.

* ~ * ~ *

“She threw me out of her quarters,” he lamented, staring into a distant nebula. “How could she? I am irresistible. I mean, just look at me. Handsome, omnipotent, perfect gentleman. How can she not want me?”

“Maybe it’s the fact that you’re a pain in the ass sometimes, dad, if you don’t mind me saying. And she doesn’t love you.”

“Ack, don’t say that. You know what?”

“What, dad,” Q asked annoyed.

“I love to tease him. He’s so much fun whenever I tease Kathy.”

“That’s not nice, dad.” Q stated.

“Son, you spend too much time among humans. You really have to do something Q-ish again. What about… uhmm…” Q pretended to think hard.

As his son snapped his finger, the nebula imploded. “Happy now, dad?”

“Sheesh, junior. You are so predictable.”

“Well, what about our plan to have some fun for their good?”

“Their good and having fun? How’s that supposed to work?”

“Let me tell you a story, dad …”

“Son, you’re way too predictable,” Q grunted. “Did you really think I didn’t see the glances you shot at your mommy?”

“Aunt, dad, aunt.”

“Sorry, I keep falling back into old patterns. Did I ever tell you the story of her wanting to be your mother willing to pay any prize?”

“She told me about it, dad.”

“Oh, right. Want my version?”

“Didn’t you just explain it to me?”

“Right. Maybe we should continue plotting against them. Will your itchy friend be willing to help us?”

“As long as we won’t get him into trouble, he will.”

“He most certainly will get into a catastrophe. But we don’t have to tell him that.”

* ~ * ~ *

“Are all members of the Continuum like this, or is it just your father and you? What are you thinking, Q-Ball?”

“Ichy, relax my man, it will be a piece of cake. Just contact lil miss Wildman and we can start. I have already made sure Tom, Dick and Harry …”

“Q! Please, if you’re going to drag us down, please use their correct names. Lieutenant Paris, Lt Commander Torres and Ensign Kim are going to help us too?”

“They are, and I didn’t even had to bribe them.”

“Q-Ball, what did you do to them?”

“Nothing, Ichy, I promise. Now Q is also in on our plan.”

“What is our plan exactly?”

“Right, that’s where Naomi comes in. She will go up to the Captain and ask to speak to her. That’s when she goes on and on about missing her dad, and wishing to be part of a nucleus family. She’ll suggest, that since her mom and Neelix aren’t available, she’d like the Captain and the Commander to take the traditional roles of her parents in her holodeck outing.”

“I must admit it sounds plausible. Then what?”

“Well, that’s where the Terrible Three come in. They will crash the party and take Naomi with them …”

“Locking up the Command Team in the Holodeck. I would have thought you and your dad would have come up with a more ‘surprising’ scenario.”

“Ichy, Ichy, Ichy, just wait and see what we have planned. Dad will wisk them off to this little obscure planet that apparently means a lot to them. After that, they’ll have about 2 weeks their time, which is only 2 hrs our time, to work out whatever they have going between them.”

“Don’t forget to rebuild the bathtub.”

“The what?”

“Seven and Lieutenant Paris were arguing one day about what happened on that planet. They didn’t agree, and Tom said he had the facts on his side. It seems the Commander built the Captain a bathtub, while they were on the planet.”

“Bathtub. Sounds promising. Now let’s go find Naomi. She’s the first key to our plan.”

* ~ * ~ *

“Well, Chuckles, how was your day?”

Chakotay’s look was made to kill mortals. Luckily Q didn’t belong to that category of beings.

“Q, just leave me alone.”

“Did I spoil your date with Kathy yesterday evening? Were you hoping for more than friendly banter? Maybe a kiss, maybe more? Now, aren’t we getting furious, Chuck? That’s as good as a yes. Thanks very much, that’s the answer I wanted to have.” With that Q disappeared, leaving Chakotay to his own thoughts.

“Chakotay to Janeway,” he said, tapping his combadge.

“Janeway here. What is it?”

“I think Q is up to something. You’d better be careful.”

“What did he do now?”

“He questioned me about yesterday evening. Nothing really special. But still, I think he’s up to something.”

“Thank you, I will keep it in mind. Janeway out.”

* ~ * ~ *

“Enter,” Kathryn called out as the chime to her quarters announced a visitor. At least, this time, she could be sure it wasn’t a Q. Q didn’t ring chimes, they just helped themselves.

To her dismay she was faced with Q after all. “Surprise, Kathy. Now, tell me you felt safe that it wouldn’t be me for a moment.”

“Oh, come on, Q. Just leave me alone for once, please?”

With a snap of his finger, Q disappeared.

“Somehow I have the feeling that this was too easy. Way too easy.

She groaned as the chime announced another visitor.

“Enter,” she snapped. “I can’t keep you from doing so anyway.”

“Captain?” A frightened voice could be heard.

“Naomi, is that you?” Kathryn asked.

“Yes, Captain. I promise I won’t bother you. I will just leave again.” Naomi stated, already retreating from the door.

“Nonsense, come on in. I was just afraid that it would be Q again. You know he really can be annoying.”

‘I heard that’, he projected into her mind.

‘Stop that, Q, out of my mind, now,’ she thought, thinking about particularly nasty ways to torture him.

‘I am omnipotent and immortal, you don’t intimidate me.’ Kathryn gave him another image, ‘Okay, okay, you won. I am out, Kathy.’

“Captain?” Naomi asked, irritated. “What do you think about my idea?”

Kathryn gulped. She hadn’t heard a word of what the kid had been saying. And then again, she didn’t have the heart to actually ask her to repeat it. Whatever it was, it couldn’t have been that bad.

“Alright, Naomi. Let’s go for it.”

“What about Commander Chakotay?”

“I’d say, tell him about it,” Kathryn smiled at the child. Maybe that was a way to find out what exactly she had agreed to.

* ~ * ~ *

“Chakotay to Janeway.”

“Janeway here. What is it? Any more visits from Q?” She could picture him wincing.

“No. But a strange visit by one certain young crewmember.”

“Oh yes. What did she want?”

“She had me agree to something.”

“Right. What was it?”

“No idea, really. She told me you agreed and that you said she should inform me. And that I was to meet the two of you at 20:00 this evening in Holodeck One.”

Sneaky girl.”

“What is it all about, Kath?”

“Seriously, Chakotay? I haven’t got a clue.”

“So, what are we going to do?” Chakotay sighed.

“Well, I’d say we’ll go for it and pretend to know what this is all about.”

Kathryn heard him gulping. “If you think so?”

* ~ * ~ *

Kathryn and Chakotay were pacing the corridor in front of Holodeck One. Both of them wondered just what would await them at the other side of those doors. They didn’t have to wait a long time before they slid open to reveal a fairly familiar scenery.

“What is this?” Kathryn wondered as she stepped in there.

Chakotay followed her every move, staring dumbfoundedly at what lay before them. The doors whooshed close behind them. Kathryn walked towards the little shelter they had left behind so many years ago. She picked up the little note that was attached to the outer door.

You now got your very own two weeks off. Enjoy it as long as you can. Chuckles, don’t forget to breathe, this colour looks really unhealthy on your face. Q — now you wouldn’t have guessed that one. No, Chuckles, I am not going to leave you alone. Well, I will for the next few weeks. Enjoy. See Junior? I am nice to humans. Dad, I am almost proud of you.

rnKathryn turned around as she heard a choking sound.

“Chakotay, you know he is right. You should breathe. I am not going to stay here for two weeks on my own, you know? So breathe.”

“I am breathing, I am, Kathryn. This is just a little sudden.”

“It is.”

* ~ * ~ *

Kathryn walked into their shelter, inspecting every room closely. It showed nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it looked exactly as they had left it behind so many years ago. Walking into the little cot that used to be her bedroom she noticed that the divider that had separated hers from Chakotay’s was gone. The two beds had been replaced by a king size double bed. Kathryn groaned.

Chakotay who had followed her stopped dead in his track, his face ashen. “I guess I will be taking the couch… that is two seats put together.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Chakotay. Even if both of us slept in this bed it’d be unlikely we’ll see each other during the night. This is gigantic. We are sleeping in here. The two of us. Don’t you dare say anything else.”

“As you wish, Kathryn,” Chakotay stated.

Kathryn whooshed past him and was out of the door in no time. “I want to know if my bathtub still exists,” she hollered back, as a happy grin spread over her face.

Chakotay shook his head at the sudden transformation of Kathryn Janeway. How could she turn from the gruff Captain back into the happy peaceful Kathryn she had been on New Earth in a matter of minutes? It was unbelievable.

He followed her out to see her bare back. Kathryn was slowly stripping, her bare back facing him. “Kath?” He asked, shocked.

Kathryn turned her head, blushing slightly. “Someone filled the tub. Guess what I am going to have now?”

“I think I know what you are up to.”

“Chakotay,” Kathryn grinned happily. “This is heaven. You, me, New Earth, my bathtub. It’s perfect. Haven’t you dreamed of a moment like this as well?”

“I have,” Chakotay gulped as Kathryn pulled at her trousers to get rid of them as well. “But I think I will go inside again and let you have your peace.”

“Why don’t you join me?

Chakotay stopped dead in his tracks. “K-Kathryn?” He turned around to see the sparkle in her eyes.

“I mean it, Chakotay, join me.”

Chakotay looked dumbfounded. “I.. I don’t think that’s wise.”

“It isn’t. You are right,” Kathryn agreed.

“See you later, Kath,” Chakotay turned around and returned into the shelter, resisting the urge to turn kiss her senseless.

* ~ * ~ *

She was a beautiful woman, had always been, Chakotay thought, who was watching her sitting across the table, as she was trying to do a sand painting. Her hair was still slightly wet, her face flushed from a long soothing bath. Chakotay was quite sure she wore nothing underneath her robe. He tried to ban that thought out of this mind – as far away as possible. Why did she have to tease him? She should know about his feelings by now. Maybe, just maybe it was time for another Angry Warrior Legend. Maybe, just maybe he should face her directly. But how was he to do that?

Chakotay bid his lip considering his options. His forehead was furrowed, his eyes were reduced to two small splits, his nose was wrinkled.

Kathryn watched him closely, enjoying his mimic.

“What are you thinking about, Chakotay?”

“Nothing?”

She tilted her head, slightly, regarding him. “Don’t tease me.”

“Kath, it’s nothing really. Just unimportant stuff.”

“Stop calling me Kath,” Kathryn growled.

“Why?”

“Remember Mark? He used to call me that. And I hated it. And Q calls my Kathy. I hate both, believe me.”

“Okay, Kat,” Chakotay grinned.

“Great. Just great.”

“Any former lover who called you that?”

“Not that I remember.”

“Good,” he grinned and stretched. “I think I am going to bed. I am dead. I intend on catching up on one or two weeks worth of sleep.”

“Sounds great,” Kathryn yawned, peeling herself out of the chair. “Care if I go in there first? I think I should put something on before we share a bed, right?”

Chakotay stared at her, his mind screaming no at him. “As you wish, Kat,” were the words that left his mouth.

Kathryn slid past him and disappeared behind the separator.

* ~ * ~ *

As he walked into the cot Kathryn was already lying in the giant bed. She had pulled the covers up so that one her eyes and hair stuck out. He shook his head at the sight before him, then turned around to slowly undressed.

He had the feeling that Kathryn was watching him, but he couldn’t be sure. He didn’t want to turn around to check up on her, for it would have been awkward regardless of what he would have found. He undressed, quickly, and, clad in only a pair of non-regulation boxers, slipped under the covers opposite of where Kathryn was slowly drifting off.

“Good night, Kat,” he whispered.

“Night, Kotay,” she murmured dozing away.

* ~ * ~ *

Kathryn woke up, feeling something warm underneath her. Opening her eyes all her suspicions proved to be true. She was lying sprawled atop her first officer. His hand pinned her to his chest, deeply nestled into her hair. Their legs were entwined, as were her hand and his other one. Kathryn closed her eyes again, savouring the sensations this position caused. This felt good. Too good, actually. Kathryn turned her head to get an idea where exactly in the bed they were positioned. Who had invaded whose privacy? She looked to her right and saw that it had probably been her. The bed ended not far away from them. She looked to the left. Not much bed was left on this end either. She was quite sure this had been king size at the time she lay down. Somehow the bed had been reduced in size. And she was quite sure she knew who was responsible.

She realised that Chakotay was unusually quiet underneath her. Almost as if he tried to remain still, frozen. Kathryn closed her eyes, tightly. He was awake. He only pretended to be asleep. For how long had he been awake? Kathryn couldn’t tell. This was going to be awkward.

“Chakotay?

He opened one eye. “Kathryn?”

“Seems the bed wasn’t big enough.”

“Seems like it.”

“Seems Q took the liberty of downsizing it a little.”

“Seems like it.”

“You okay, Chakotay?”

“Not really. Otherwise, I have never been better. If only it wasn’t for the lecture you are going to start with in only a few minutes.”

“Lecture, what do you mean, lecture?” Kathryn growled.

Chakotay’s hand snapped back, giving her the freedom to leave. She did, storming out of the room, grabbing her clothes on her way out.

“Great, just great,” Chakotay sighed getting up himself.

* ~ * ~ *

Kathryn was fuming. Lecture? How could he dare to tell her what she was going to do? She knew he had been right, but still… It was not right. He had been wrong. He must have been.

She could hear him approaching from behind. Great. Just great.

“Kathryn, talk to me, please.”

“What was that supposed to mean, Chakotay? I was about to give you a lecture? Why did you say that? Heck, everyone knows that is clearly not a way to address your captain.”

“My captain?” Chakotay spat out. “Now, suddenly we are back to Captain and Commander. Excuse me that the moment we were lying in the bed, barely clothed as we were, I didn’t think of us as Captain and Commander. That was the last thing that would have crossed my mind, believe me. Damn, Kath, that’s ridiculous.

“Don’t call me Kath,” she yelled.

“Okay, CAPTAIN,” he was sure to accentuate her rank. “I am sorry to have ever called you anything else.”

“Damn, Chakotay, that’s not what I was aiming for.”

“That’s Commander for you, Captain,” Chakotay growled.

“Well, Commander, I hope you are happy now.” Kathryn turned to walk off into the woods.

“Stop, Kathryn, don’t you dare walk away now.”

“Tell me one thing that might keep me here?”

“You are free to go. Just answer one question.”

“Alright?” Kathryn asked annoyed.

“Tell me that you didn’t enjoy sleeping like that and waking up like that. Then I will leave you alone forever.”

“Damn right, I didn’t enjoy it.” She yelled.

“Liar,” he growled.

“So? What does that change?”

“Everything,” Chakotay whispered. In a matter of seconds he was by her side, kissing her tenderly

Kathryn’s eyes opened wide as she realised what he was up to, but it was too late. She felt her resolves shattering as his tongue sought the entrance she willingly gave.

* ~ * ~ *

As they broke apart they felt that something was different. There was a distant hum that seemed to be a little too familiar. Kathryn closed her eyes.

“We are back on Voyager, right?”

“Indeed, Captain.” Tuvok’s voice. Kathryn cursed silently.

“Are the others here as well?”

“Please specify ‘others’, Captain.”

“B’Elanna?”

“Here.”

“Tom?”

“Here.”

“Q?”

“Which one,” the two of them answered simultaneously.

“Both. Seven?”

“Here.

“Harry? Doc?”

“Both accounted for,” Tom grinned. “As for the rest: Naomi and Icheb are here as well. We were just questioning them.”

“Right. Dismissed all.” Kathryn groaned. “0900 tomorrow morning. Meeting. My ready room. All of you. Q-”

“Which one,” they chorused.

“Both of you. Don’t you ever downsize any bed of mine again. Ever. And don’t you dare kidnapping me again. Ever.”

“I see,” the older Q stated.

“Now, Chakotay, my quarters, we have a lot to talk about. The rest of you: didn’t I dismiss you earlier?” With that, she rushed out of the door, Chakotay hurrying after her.

* ~ * ~ *

“Dad, I am proud of you,” Q said, as he dived into a nebula.

“Thank you, son.”

“You didn’t handle it perfectly, but still, you got them together.”

“Poor Chuckles.”

“Why is that?”

“He will have to deal with this woman.”

“Might be,” Q chuckled, following his son into the depths of the universe. He suddenly felt the need to squash a moon, or cause a supernova. But he knew his son would prevent that. Being a dad could be annoying at times.

FIN