Disclaimer: Bla, bla, bla. It is my story and I certainly won’t make any money from it!
I had someone in mind when I started this story, but I can’t say who it is. You never know who might have access to my stories! However, events in this story are not based on this inspiring person. I will say this: I am not trying to make any sensitive political statements with this story. I am a proud citizen of a country where the battle for women to be able to make their own choices has been fought and won.
“Well, Captain. What do you expect me to say? I have always assumed that your training included Human Biology, or am I mistaken?”
“Not at all, Doctor. But please, I don’t have much time for your lectures today. What is it? I know you’re going to tell me to cut down on coffee, eat more and sleep more. So, what is your verdict? Two days off? Sorry, can’t do.”
“Captain, if I may? Yes, you are quite correct in your assessment, but this time I will actually have a reason. Captain, you are pregnant. Congratulations on keeping Voyager populated.”
“What? I am what?”
“Pregnant, Captain. I was under the impression there is nothing wrong with your hearing?”
“No, I heard you. Pregnant. How?”
“Are you sure you’re up to date on Human Biology?”
“I know how. What I mean is how?”
“Are you saying this was not planned?”
“Of course not! I’m the Captain, I don’t get pregnant. This is a starship, not a planet; Voyager is no environment for a child.”
“I see. You are aware of the options?”
“Doctor, all I want to know is how this was possible.”
“Anticipating your question, Captain, I found that, even after repeated warnings from me, you never came in for your booster-renewal eight weeks ago. Now, I know normally both parties have to be booster free in order to conceive, but it has been known to happen with only one booster free party. Captain, once again you have shown the Medical Profession that exceptions prove the rule.”
“You’re saying this is a freak exception?”
“No, never. Let’s just say it’s highly unusual. When will you inform the father of your decision?”
“Whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.”
“Terminate? Never, Doctor. I may not know how to handle this, but I’ll find a way.”
“Very good, Captain. Then may I suggest having the baby’s father help you find a way.”
“I will. Don’t worry, even stubborn Captains know when something is good for them.”
“Computer, play music selection Janeway-eight.”
She sat down on the couch in her Ready Room. The bridge officers had seen her exit the turbolift and almost run to the Ready Room. Luckily, Chakotay was down in Engineering or he would have followed her.
She went over to the replicator. “Coffee, black.” Looking at the beverage, she remembered Sam’s reaction when the Doctor had told her not to drink coffee during her pregnancy. “One fruit juice, large in a chilled glass.” She could always erect a stasis field around the mug, it would serve as a reminder. A reminder of what? After all, she could have coffee again in give or take … The Doctor had not told her when the baby was due. He must have assumed she’d terminate the pregnancy.
Sitting down at her desk, she placed the two drinks in front of her. Taking a tentative sip of the juice while looking at the coffee turned out to be a bad idea. She almost spit out the juice just as her door chimed.
He walked in and waited for the doors to close before speaking. “Kathryn, are you alright?”
She looked up into the worried eyes of her First Officer.
“Yes, according to the Doctor I will be.”
He saw her drink the juice. When he reached out to the coffee, she snatched it away. “Don’t. It’s a keepsake.”
“He finally convinced you not to drink so much coffee?”
“Not really. I convinced myself.”
“You heard me. Now, what brings you here?”
“I thought you wanted B’Elanna’s report.”
She smiled when he handed her the Padd. There was no reason for him to bring it himself. Any junior officer could have, but she was flattered he had used the excuse to come to her Ready Room.
“How very thoughtful of you, Commander. Did Tom tell you I ran in here?”
His face broke out in a fully dimpled smile and he sat down in one of the chairs opposite her. “Actually, it was Harry who was alerted by Tuvok.”
“Tuvok? My Tuvok who prides himself in the fact that he isn’t obsessed by these emotions we non-Vulcans display.”
“The same. So?”
She should’ve know someone who alert Chakotay. Ever since the crew had realized their status as a couple 4 months ago - after they had managed to keep it a secret for almost 3 months -, the crew had taken it upon themselves to make sure neither party could hide behind a self-proclaimed wall again. Whereas she thought this was highly inappropriate behavior for a Starfleet crew, Harry and Tuvok’s reaction did show her they cared.
Walking away from her desk, she sat down on the step to the raised platform. Chakotay got up and crouched in front of her. “Kathryn?”
“I went to see the Doctor this morning.”
“I already guessed that much. What did he say?”
“Apart from his usual lecture, he actually had the nerve to question my Starfleet training.”
“But that’s not all he had to say.”
“No. Remember the messaged he kept sending me a couple of weeks ago?”
“The ones where he requested you visit Sickbay immediately?”
“Yes, those. Well, I never went.”
“And it seems that once again, and I quote, ‘I have shown the Medical Profession exceptions prove the rule.’ Chakotay, I am pregnant.”
He momentarily lost his balance, but he was able to stay put by grabbing Kathryn’s hands.
Kathryn’s face was a mask, as was Chakotay’s.
Neither wanted to assume they both wanted the same thing.
“How … how long?”
“I don’t know, the Doctor never told me.”
“What do you want to do now?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
“Permission to kiss my Captain.”
Relieved the tense moment was over, Kathryn smiled hesitantly. “Permission granted, Commander.”
“Captain, Commander, how can I help you?”
“Tom, where’s the Doctor?”
“He’s on the Holodeck, practicing for his upcoming performance. Anything I can do?”
“No, thank you, Tom. Tell him to contact me when he returns.”
“Will do, Captain.”
Tom hit his commbadge as soon as Kathryn and Chakotay had left Sickbay.
“Paris to Torres.”
“Torres here. What is it, Tom?”
“No, I’m in Engineering.”
“Meet me in my quarters after your shift. Something’s up.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re quite the romantic, Helmboy?”
“They tell me all the time. You will be there, won’t you? I’ll even throw in dinner.”
“How can I possibly refuse an invitation like that. I’ll be there. Torres out.”
“What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”
“Hello to you too, B’Elanna.
“I’m sorry, Tom, but right before I left, Seven came up to me and demanded I assist her with something. That woman never stops.”
“Relax, B’Ela. Here, sit down.”
He told her what happened in Sickbay.
“Tom, why would something be ‘up’? You’re reading too much into this.”
“I am? And what if I told you that the Doctor sported the biggest smile when I told him they’d come by.”
“Still, that doesn’t mean a thing. He was probably happy the Captain came down to Sickbay in the first place. We all know he’s been trying to get her to come for weeks. He probably had Chakotay help him convince her.”
“Aha, that’s what I thought. But as soon as he had contacted the Captain … I still regret not being able to hear anything-,”
“Tom! That’s eavesdropping!”
“Just to satisfy my curiosity. Let me finish. As soon as he had spoken to the Captain, he started humming.”
“And? He’s been driving us crazy with his Talent Night aria.”
“Yes, his Verdi aria. B’Ela, he was humming Brahms' lullaby!”
“Brahms, but you know: lullaby - as in a song usually sung to a baby.”
“O. I see.”
“Tom, promise me you won’t tell anyone?”
“But, B’Ela …”
“I know you, Thomas Eugene Paris. You’re going to turn this into a betting pool. Don’t!”
“Jeez, relax will you. I was going to do no such thing.”
“No. I’m not stupid. The Captain would kill me if I do and I don’t even want to think what Chakotay would do to me.”
“Good. If it is true we’ll find out soon enough.”
“It is kinda cool, don’t you think?”
“Chakotay, I’m telling you Tom Paris can smell these things. He knows something’s up.”
They were sitting in Kathryn’s bathtub, and Chakotay was washing her hair.
“He doesn’t know a thing. We came down to Sickbay looking for the Doctor. There’s nothing unusual in that.”
“There isn’t, but Tom’s no fool. He was probably listening in on the Doctor when he told us the due-date. And I could swear hearing the Doctor hum when he closed the commlink.”
“Kathryn, don’t worry. Try to relax. It won’t do you or the baby any good if you’re this stressed. The Doctor was probably practicing his aria.”
“Stressed? You think I’m stressed now? Wait until you see me try to combine motherhood with captaining Voyager. Besides, he’s singing one of Verdi’s arias, not Brahms' lullaby.”
“Brahms. Chakotay, I can’t do this.”
“What? Taking a bath with me?”
“No, you big oaf. You know, being a mother. I’m the Captain. Captains don’t do motherhood.”
“They don’t? Strange, I’ve always seen the Captain as a ship’s ‘mother’. This is no different. How do you know you can’t, anyway?”
“I don’t know. When we were young, Phoebe was always the one playing house when I was doing scientific experiments.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
Kathryn turned around so she was facing him.
“I don’t know. I guess we see what happens along the way. Chakotay, I do want this baby.”
“I know you do, Kathryn. And I’ll be there for you. We’ll just take one step at the time.”
(approx. 7½ months later)
“She’s gorgeous, Kathryn.”
“She is. Thank you, Tom.”
“You think you’re able to announce your daughter’s arrival to the crew?”
“I’ll let Chakotay do the honors. I hope he realizes I didn’t mean to hit him.”
“Don’t worry. The Doc gave him a hypo, he should be okay in a few minutes. Call me if you need anything.”
She looked at the tiny infant in her arms. She was perfect. Her and Chakotay’s. Ironically he didn’t know he had a daughter. She had hit him with one of the Doctor’s trays during one of the last contractions. Kathryn Janeway and giving birth didn’t mix well.
“Kathryn? Ouch, what happened? Why does my head hurt? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Chakotay. I’m sorry.”
He was still reclined on one of the other biobeds. “Sorry? What for?”
“I hit you and you fell on the floor. The Doctor told me you have a slight concussion.”
“That explains the headache.” He got up from the bed and walked over to her. “Kathryn?”
“I’d like you to meet your daughter, Chakotay.” She handed him the bundle. Looking at his face, she saw emotions she’d never seen in him before. They probably reflected what she had felt when the Doctor handed her her daughter earlier.
He sat down on Kathryn’s bed, carefully checking their daughter.
“I can assure you she’s perfect. Ten fingers and ten toes.”
The little girl opened her eyes to regard her father. Brown eyes looked up at him. She let out a yawn and closed her eyes again.
“She has her daddy’s eyes.”
“But those are your fingers.”
“Just imagine, in about 5 weeks we can see if she inherited your killer dimples.”
“Yes. You do know your dimples were my undoing?”
“My dimples? I always thought it was my unwavering devotion?”
“That too, but once you unleashed those dimples I knew I was doomed.”
“Doomed. Interesting choice of words, Kathryn.”
She smiled as Chakotay looked from his daughter to her mother. “I love you, Kath.”
“And I love you, Papa Bear.”
Just as he leaned over to kiss his wife, his commbadge chirped.
“Tuvok to Chakotay.”
“Better answer that, acting Captain.”
“Yes, ma’am. Go ahead, Tuvok.”
“Commander, it has been brought to my attention by a certain crewmember that you intend to make an announcement regarding the arrival of an addition to our crew. A shipwide channel has been opened for your convenience.”
“Thank you, Tuvok. Chakotay to all hands. Kathryn and I are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Rosa Kelsfire Janeway.”
note: I just thought ‘music selection Janeway-eight’ would sound more mysterious than Bach - Brandenburg Concerto n°6 (in B flat major BWV 1051).