Sorry it took me so long, but here it is: part two of the epilogue! Hope you like it.
The House has been my longest story so far, and finishing it was very gratifying. You could say I'm sort of sad to let the story go, but its time has come. Unfortunately I won't be able to call it my never-ending saga anymore!
On their way Kathy couldn't stop talking. She managed to completely dominate Kathryn and Chakotay's attention. Kathy had grabbed hold of the two adults and was now happily swinging back and forth between them. They still hadn't told them where they were going, and Phoebe figured Kathryn wanted to show Chakotay where they had lived. Suddenly, Kathy let go and ran towards a driveway.
"Look, mommy. It's nana's house!"
The group caught up with her, and Kathryn pushed open the gates. As she started making her way up the path, Phoebe stopped her. "Kathryn, you can't just go there!"
"It's not our property anymore. Come on, you've shown Chakotay where we lived. Let's get going, before the owner spots us."
"I think the owner has already seen us, but don't worry, I think I can arrange something. Come on, race you to the door!"
And she took off. Kathy followed her aunt, thinking that she was not at all like the news items had shown her to be. This aunt was great! Even mommy wouldn't just do things like this. Before Phoebe realised it, her daughter was running after Kathryn, and Edward demanded to run around as well. Peter just shrugged, and Chakotay suggested they follow the threesome.
"Phoebe, over these past years I have learned never to underestimate Kathryn's power to charm herself out of a situation. She'll be alright."
"You seem to know her better that I do, Chakotay. Well, what are you waiting for, race you to the door!" He didn't follow her however. Instead he chose to just walk down the path, and when he got to the porch he was greeted by three panting adults and two giggling children. Edward, by now used to his aunt's crazy behaviour, had climbed on Kathryn's lap and was sucking his thumb.
Kathryn looked up at Chakotay, "Hello there, Mr Chakotay, I hope you're not too upset by our race down your rose path just now?"
"Never, Ms Janeway. Would you like to come in for something to drink?"
"Why thank you, kind sir. I'd simply love some coffee."
Phoebe was perplexed. What was going on? "Kath?"
"Oh sorry. Pheebs, want something to drink? Chakotay, why don't we go to the back and sit out on the terrace for a while. I don't think Phoebe could handle the situation inside right now."
"What situation?" And before anyone could react, Phoebe had already stormed inside. She almost tripped over the boxes they hadn't been able to put away. "Kathryn! Inside, now!"
Kathryn smiled apologetically at her companions, "It seems someone is calling me. Will you excuse me for a moment?"
~ * ~ * ~
She smiled at the sight before her. Phoebe was looking around at all the boxes. "Kathryn Marie Janeway, you have some explaining to do."
"I know, Phoebe. I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier, but I didn't know how."
"It's okay, I think. A big surprise still, but it's okay."
While they went over to the sofa, Chakotay and Peter came in, each carrying a child. Kathy demanded to be put down, and ran over to her mother, "It really is nana's house, isn't it?"
"Yes, Kathy, this is nana's house. Or, actually, it was nana's house, it is now Chakotay's house."
The little girl seemed satisfied with the explanation and went off to wander around the house, closely followed by her brother. Her mother, however, was not satisfied, and had got up again only to pace the room. "Kathryn, will you please just tell us what it going on? I mean, our mother is going crazy baking brownies for I don't know how many people, your friends Tom and B'Elanna have already contacted me twice to ask if I knew of a good housewarming present for you, and now I find myself in our childhood home with you pretending to visit your former First Officer who obviously has bought the house."
"Phoebe, just be quiet for a moment, will you? I'll explain, but first I think Chakotay should do what he promised to do."
"And what is that?"
"Making us all some coffee."
Chakotay had already gone into the kitchen and, after hearing Kathryn's statement, came in handing them each their coffee. "I just assumed that you all wanted the stuff. After all," and he looked at Peter, "hanging around those Janeway women seems to alter your taste buds. O, and before you ask, it's blend 1-a, Kathryn. Just plain and simple coffee."
Peter looked relieved when he heard it was just regular coffee, "Chakotay, are you saying that you are also constantly surprised by the blends they have come up with?"
"Yes, I have even gone so far as to keep the replicator in this house, just because of the varieties Kathryn has got me hooked on. Have you ever tried the Portonian Special with cold milk?"
"Well, let's see, Phoebe loves it."
"So does Kathryn. Still, what did you think?"
"I've come to the conclusion, and I'm just assuming you didn't like it either, that we men happen to miss a chromosome in order to like that blend."
They both laughed, but Kathryn and Phoebe looked shocked.
"Chakotay, you told me you liked the Portonian Special! Do you know how many replicator rations I spend on that, just for you!"
"Peter, could you give me a hand with something?"
"Sure, just lead the way."
The two men practically ran towards the study.
"Coward. Can you believe that man, Phoebe?"
"Of course. So, tell me all."
"All? You mean you want to hear about all those years that I wasted?"
"What do you mean?"
"Never mind. Remember our talk about the sale of the house? Well, the next day I decided to pay Mr Rogers a visit. Afterwards, I came over here to say goodbye to the house. As I was standing outside the gate, I felt Chakotay's gaze. It's funny you know, ever since we first met I have been able to feel his presence."
"Yes, I did notice a close connection between you two. Kathryn, what do you think? That I'm stupid? Nearly every conversation we've had so far has featured Chakotay in one way or another, mom can't stop talking about him, and I am now sitting in his house with your stuff clearly being moved in."
"Sorry, Pheebs. Alright, I felt Chakotay behind me, and we started talking. He invited me for a tour of the house, saying that he had bought it recently. I can tell you it definitely surprised me, but I guess I got him right back when I told him it was our home before that. Well, we went in and mom came over for dinner later that evening."
"That's about it, really."
"That's not what mom told me. Before I forget, she wanted me to find out if you have stayed the night."
"She asked what?"
"If you spend the night."
"Pheebs, mom would never ask you that!"
"Okay, so she didn't. I wanted to know."
Kathryn got up and went into the study, followed closely by Phoebe. "Kath, I asked you a question," but Kathryn didn't answer.
~ * ~ * ~
She found Peter and Chakotay, who had put up some shelves, arranging her books. "Hello gentlemen, need a hand?"
"No thanks, Kathryn, we're almost ready here."
"Okay. Chakotay, could I speak to you for a moment?"
They went outside for a moment.
"Peter, what do you think?"
"Well, about Kathryn and Chakotay."
"Phoebe, I don't know your sister. Then again, they do seem very 'together', don't they?"
"That's what mom was hinting at this morning. Do you know she went on and on talking about Chakotay? And his cooking. And the fact that he chased Kath around the house."
"Are you uncomfortable with this?"
"No. I mean, it's been so long since I really had the chance to sit down and talk to Kath, and now I have the feeling that I don't really know my sister anymore, you know. We used to talk about everything, and now she is too afraid or something to tell me about this wonderful man. I don't know, maybe I'm just being paranoid, but still, she could've said something. Now, she's just being secretive."
"But you don't know what happened between them. You said earlier that everything Kathryn told you about Voyager featured Chakotay in one way or another. Then again, she never said they were together, officially. I just think they haven't really started their relationship until maybe a couple of days ago. Now, I don't think you were ready to show me to your family until at least several months after we started seeing each other. Don't you think Kathryn maybe feels the same way?"
"As per usual you are my voice of reason, aren't you?"
"Whatever you say, my darling Phoebe."
"Let's see if we can find Kathy and Edward."
~ * ~ * ~
"She must know by now. I don't see why I should specifically tell her."
Kathryn and Chakotay were sitting in the chairs on the front porch.
"Kathryn, can I ask you a question?"
"Of course, always."
"Are you really sure about this?"
"Yes. Of course. Why do you ask?"
"You seem reluctant to tell your family that we're together. I mean, your mother must have known you would spend the night."
"She actually told me to."
"She did? Right, but you never introduced me to her properly."
"I didn't, did I? Sorry, it's just that this is all so new to me. Us, I mean. Do you know how long I've been trying to gain control over my emotions? Every time I saw you, or thought of you, or heard someone else talk about you, I was ready to just shout I love him. But I couldn't. And now, we're together, and I still think it's a dream and I'm about to wake up and then I'll find myself back in my quarters. Ouch! What did you that for?"
"Just making sure you're not dreaming. I understand, however. But please, Kathryn, talk to me. I think Phoebe won't be upset if we ask them to book into the B&B in town. They can stay some other time."
"What are you talking about? Phoebe is not going anywhere." She took his hand as she got up from the chair. "Let's go."
Chakotay followed her inside, it was his only option, because Kathryn's grip on his hand was very tight.
"Phoebe? Where are you? I feel like I'm 9 years old again and mom just told me to find Phoebe for dinner. "Phoebe?"
"Up here, Kath!" They walked up the stairs and found Phoebe and her family in their old playroom.
"Aunt Kathryn, was mommy really ever this small?" Kathy showed her aunt a picture of Phoebe and her taken many Christmasses ago.
"She was, Kathy. Do you know who the other girl is?"
"Well, Kathy, that's your aunt Kathryn."
The little girl started giggling, then ran out of the room, again followed by Edward, and their father.
"Peter, don't let Kathy fall down the stairs again. Did mom tell you what happened when we moved all her stuff out? Well, Kathy fell down the stairs trying to help Peter carry a heavy box. I haven't stopped teasing him about 'dropping' his daughter. You know ..."
"Phoebe, shut up."
"Excuse me? I won't shut up, just because you ..."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way. Just listen, okay?"