My bear, my Bamse, always an inspiration. I’m of the opinion that every little girl or boy should have at least one stuffed animal when they’re young. Of course, teddybears are the favorite!

Disclaimer: All mine!

For the one who only speaks to me.

* ~ * ~ *

It was a strange feeling, Mr. Bear concluded. He had hear the rumors on the shelves below him, but he never assumed they could be true.

Until yesterday that is. The walking doll had picked him up and just as he thought she was going to dust him off again, he saw the other woman behind the counter. She looked friendly enough. Not one to deliberately listen in on a conversation, he couldn’t help but overhear the walking doll.

“O, he’s perfect! I can assure you she’ll love him.”

“I think so too.”

Before he knew it, he was put down on something smooth and cold. Then, complete darkness. He realized the woman had ‘bought’ him. Finally! All these months he had waited to be bought. Sitting on the shelve between all the other was not how he was meant to spend his life.

An unfamiliar tingle went through his stuffing. It was quite unsettling, but before he knew it, it was gone again.

“Welcome back, Captain.”

“Thank you, Ensign.”

“Captain, did you find what you were looking for?”

“I did. She’s going to love him. Now, remember, tomorrow at 1400 in the Messhall.”

“Don’t worry, Captain, we’ll all be there.”

It had been some time since he’d last been held this long. His sense of direction had left him the moment the darkness enveloped him. However, he was not afraid. The woman’s hold on him was quite reassuring.

“Is she asleep?”

“Finally. It only took about three and a half stories this time.”

Kathryn smiled as she looked at the sleeping form of their daughter.

“Only three and a half? She’s improving. I can remember having to revert back to a story book last year.”

“What can I say? She’s a Janeway; history has taught me Janeway-women are never satisfied.”

His arms encircled her from behind as he kissed the top of her head. “Did you manage to find what you were looking for?”

“I did and he’s perfect. What do you mean, Janeway-women are never satisfied?”

“Follow me and I’ll show you.”

~ * ~ * ~

“Mommy, daddy, wake up!”

The little girl bounced up and down on her parents' bed: the movement was guaranteed to wake them up.

Kathryn rolled over, trying to bury herself into Chakotay’s arms, but their daughter was already sandwiched between them.

“Wake up! It’s my birthday!”

Slowly Chakotay opened his eyes. “Miss Rosa, you get op too early, you know that?”

“Silly daddy. You told me last night I could wake you and mommy up when I was awake. Remember?”

“Chakotay? Tell me you didn’t promise that?”

Rose regarded her parents who were slowly returning to the land of the living. They were usually like this in the morning. She was used to it by now. Seven had explained to her that her mom and dad didn’t fully use their regeneration time allotted. When Rose told her mommy, she had started to laugh.

“Goodmorning, Rosebud.” Kathryn took her daughter in her arms and gave her a hug and a kiss. “Happy birthday.”

She was sitting on her mommy’s stomach when her daddy gave her a big sloppy kiss. “Happy birthday, Goldenbird.”

Trying to get the gift from under their bed, Kathryn rolled over to put Rose on her dad’s lap. She gave her the present.

“Rosebud, there’s a story that goes with your gift.”

Rose smiled. Her mommy and daddy were always telling her stories, she liked that.

“For my fourth birthday, my mommy and daddy gave me the same gift we are giving you now. And my daddy told me the same story I’m telling you now, just as his parents' had told him. This is a special gift. It will probably take you a while before you find out how special, but don’t worry about that. Now, as you will grow older you may not always want to tell us everything but you can tell your present. You see, he is so special that you are the only one who can speak with him. There is one rule however. As soon as you look into his eyes, you have to give him a name. Okay.”

“Okay, mommy.”

She opened the present.

Mr. Bear had to adjust his eyes. The sudden onslaught of light confused him. Soon his vision began to clear. He looked into a pair of brown eyes.

Rose regarded the bear. “Hello, I am Rose.”

Rose, he thought. All of a sudden it clicked. According to the legends passed down from father to son, this little girl was finally going to give him what he had been promised at birth.

“I think I will call you Bamse.”

A name! She had given him his name. Bamse. Yes, that suited him perfectly.

note: this is not the story of how I met my teddybear. We have known each other since my first birthday when my godparents gave him to me. It wasn’t until my fourth birthday (incidentally, also three days after my sister was born) that I realized the importance of my bear. Up to that time I had just referred to him as Bear or Mr. Bear, but I figured that on our combined birthdays (his third - my fourth; I need to keep my seniority over him) I should give him his name: Bamse.

(pronounced with the ‘a’ as in father and the ‘e’ is silent or unstressed (extra info for the linguistic readers of my stories))