Pathfinder (episode addition) by D.A. Kent


D.A. Kent


Yes, tonight I saw the trailers for the episode next week. Deanna Troi is on, and the 10 seconds looks so wonderful! (Oh, gods, I wish they'd let me write this episode!)
Anyway, this part is NOT in the trailers, but I have it on good authority that Deanna and Barclay and Admiral Paris contact Voyager and Admiral Paris asks how everyone is holding up and Janeway says something about how she's proud of her crew including his son, Tom Paris. And Admiral Paris says to tell Tom he's proud of him he misses him. Tom is too dumbfounded to speak, and Janeway says "He heard you."
Ohhhhhhh . . . !!!!!! I have no idea what happens after this contact occurs. However, here is what I would have happen next:


After the transmission ends, Janeway gently asks the shocked Tom Paris to take a padd to B'Elanna in Engineering for her. He takes the padd from her automatically and leaves the Bridge, mesmerized. Everyone's still standing around the Bridge trying to believe what just happened.

Janeway is holding onto her "Captain" mode even though her eyes are moist. She glances over at her First Officer who is standing just a few feet away, and their eyes meet briefly. His eyes are moist, too. There is a moment of pride and respect between them. Pride: We did it. And mutual respect for each other.

Then Janeway nods slightly at him, and says in a low voice, "The Bridge is yours, Commander," then she turns and exits into her Ready Room.

After only a moment, her buzzer sounds, but she doesn't answer immediately. (She is trying to take a moment to regain her composure in private.) Chakotay enters the Ready Room anyway, something he would never do in usual circumstances. He needs to see her.

Entering, Chakotay sees Kathryn standing in the middle of the room, with her back to him, and one hand on her hip and the other one up at her forehead. He moves up a bit closer, but remains a few feet behind her.

"Kathryn . . ." he whispers. He needs to know how she is faring.

She turns to him slowly, and he sees that her eyes are even more moist than before. She doesn't try to hide it from him.

"Tell me I didn't dream what just happened," she whispers to him, and he sees a vulnerability in her that he's rarely seen before. And he knows that he is the only person aboard ship who's seen their Captain this way at all. The fact that she isn't hiding her feelings from him now moves him deeply.

Moving up beside her, Chakotay looks into her eyes, knowing that his own eyes are tearing once more.

"You didn't dream it, Kathryn. I was there, too. The entire Bridge crew saw Admiral Paris, and heard you speak with him." Then he smiles at her through the moisture in his eyes, and she smiles back slowly.

"Well then," she says softly, "that being the case, I wouldn't mind a hug from a friend."

Chakotay pulls her to him gently and wraps his arms around her. She moves easily into his chest and allows herself to feel comforted, and comfortable. They both need this.

Chakotay rests his chin on top of her head and closes his eyes, allowing the few stray tears to run down his cheeks. Kathryn closes her eyes and does the same.

After a moment, Kathryn whispers, "Six years. That's a helluva long time, Chakotay."

"Um hmmm," he manages.

"And I'm seeing it all rush before me right now . . . the Caretaker's Array, the Kazon, the Vidiians, the Borg, the Hirogen . . ."

"Shhh . . . Kathryn, put it away for now," he whispers. "Let your mind rest a moment; just feel the magic of what happened only moments ago on the Bridge, what this could mean for . . . all of us."

But as Kathryn listens to his voice, she begins to feel another type of "magic" and gently pulls away from Chakotay's arms. Reluctantly, he allows her to move away, knowing that he has already experienced a rare moment of just holding her in his arms.

"Chakotay," she says softly, and with a sparkle in her eye. "Why don't we celebrate tonight? Just you and me, dinner in my quarters?" He looks into her eyes, knowing there is nothing he'd rather do, no place he'd rather be.

"I'm sure Neelix will be putting together a special celebration in the mess hall . . ." he begins, but Kathryn shakes her head, and interrupts him.

"Fine, then we'll put in an appearance, but I'd rather spend some time . . . some quiet time. With you." She gives him a look that makes his heart skip a beat.

Chakotay smiles at her. He knows she just wants a quiet, reflective evening with her First Officer, and her friend. He is glad to be there for her, and glad they have come so far together.

"Sounds good to me," he says softly. "Tell you what, I'll even replicate the meal if you set the table, light the candles and pour the wine."

"My idea of preparing for dinner," she returns, with a sly smile. "I may even be able to come up with a bottle of real wine."

"I'll just bet you can," he replies. They smile, and stare deeply into each others eyes. Finally, Kathryn pulls her eyes away from his.

"Well, Commander, we should return to the Bridge."

Chakotay nods his agreement, as Kathryn turns to head for the door.

"By the way," he says, suddenly wondering about something that had happened earlier on the Bridge. "What was on that padd you asked Tom to take to B'Elanna in such a hurry?"

Kathryn turns to him and smiles.


"Nothing?" he asks, frowning at her answer.

"Nothing." Then she continues in a soft voice, "I just thought Tom could use a few minutes with B'Elanna."

They lock eyes again and smile, both realizing, not for the first time, just how fortunate they were to have found each other.

And maybe, just maybe . . . they would talk about a few things other than the past at dinner tonight . . .


Feedback, please?