Disclaimer: I don’t own them.
Secret of the Serendipity
Second place in Yacht contest
Today had finally been a quiet day. No major crisis, repairs were going well and thankfully, they seemed to have left their latest enemy behind. It was days like this he worried about Kathryn. The Captain was always on, always at her best in a crisis. Chakotay never remembered a time when the Captain hadn’t been able to make a tough call, in a split second, if it became necessary. The woman had a good understanding of the capabilities of both her ship and her crew and although constantly presenting herself as a scientist, she had a sharp military mind, which enabled her to out wit the most devious of enemies. At times like that, Chakotay was concerned for the captain’s safety but never for Kathryn’s well being. Tonight was different; tonight things were working back to what passed for normal. The adrenaline had stopped pumping; the let down would have Kathryn thinking of all the sacrifices she had made over the years to lead this crew. On a night like this, she would lament the loss of a personal life, grieve for the forbidden relationship, the unborn children and stare into her own empty future.
Chakotay did his best to assure her that a future was waiting for her, that it always would be, but in truth, not all of it could wait. He would always be there standing beside her; he had tried many times to move past Kathryn and failed. Chakotay had come to realize that Kathryn Janeway was the heart and soul of his existence; without her, he had no life. Their children, however, would not wait indefinitely. It still felt odd that he thought of these unknown, unborn souls as ‘their’ children. Not so long ago, he wouldn’t have dared to think of them that way. In fact, for many years, he never even considered that Kathryn wanted to be a mother. It had surprised him that he had been wrong about her wanting children and absolutely shocked him to know that she wanted those children to be his.
As Chakotay approached Kathryn’s door, he took a deep breath, put on his best smile and hoped he could lift her spirits even just a little. He rang the chime, waited and rang again.
“Computer, locate Captain Janeway.”
“CAPTAIN JANEWAY IS ON SUB-DECK NINE”
Chakotay proceeded to his own quarters. It was a worse night than he thought. Kathryn was on sub-deck nine, the computer’s designation for the Serendipity, the captain’s yacht.
Originally, the yacht didn’t have a name. The first captain, of a new vessel, was usually given the privilege of naming the yacht but Voyager’s maiden voyage was an important mission that couldn’t wait for the official dedication ceremonies so the naming was to have taken place when they returned. Voyager never returned from that mission and so the yacht was never officially christened.
After the displacement wave the priority was to repair Voyager, so many of the systems on the yacht were cannibalized in that effort. Voyager’s captain’s yacht had never taken to space; except for its original test pilot, no one had ever flown it. The Captain had shown it to him once in the early years, but dismissed it as unimportant, just another part of the tour.
It wasn’t until they returned from their stay on New Earth, that he began to see that the yacht held more importance than Kathryn had ever let on. Several times when he asked the computer for her location it replied with the designation sub-deck nine, she never mentioned it to him and he never asked. Always in the database it was listed solely as the captain’s yacht, until one day it came up ‘the Serendipity’. Not wanting to invade her privacy, for she obviously had told no one, he didn’t ask Kathryn about it. Curiosity, however, won out in the end and he queried the computer about the name change. The computer simply stated that on stardate 49693.24 Captain Kathryn Janeway, of the starship Voyager, had christened the captain’s yacht the ‘Serendipity’; that was just two weeks after their return from New Earth.
It was another four years before Kathryn took him there again. They were strolling the corridors as they often did after dinner; nothing unusual had happened. When they stepped into the lift to change decks when she surprised him by ordering the lift to deck nine. She smiled at him but offered no explanation as she took his hand and led him down the corridor that would end at the entrance to sub-deck nine and the captain’s yacht. She keyed in her code, the force field dropped, the hatch opened and she ushered him in.
“I’ve made some changes since you were here last.” Kathryn followed him inside. “She is still not space worthy but she is more comfortable.”
The flight deck was unchanged but the crew quarters had been transformed. The small bunks that had lined the bulkhead were gone. Replaced by what appeared to be a large mattress and dozens of large pillows. There was no actual furniture, just lots of soft and comfortable places curl up. The room was light in color, gone was the drab steel gray of the original bulkheads; the lighting was soft with one brighter lamp affixed to the far wall which obviously was designed for reading. There was a replicator and a small flat surface, which served as both desk and table; conspicuously absent was any sign of a workstation or computer console.
“The decorating isn’t much.” She sat on the mattress and offered him the seat next to her. “You know, I never have many rations to spare.” She laughed “But it’s comfortable and no one has ever bothered me here.”
“The force field might have something to do with that.” He chuckled as he got comfortable beside her.
“True.” She laughed falling back against the pillows. “No one has ever sought me out here, not even you. Not that I’m not grateful for an occasional escape, but I have often wondered why.”
“Ask the computer to locate you.” He smiled at her quizzical look. “Go ahead, ask”
“Computer, locate Captain Janeway.”
“CAPTAIN JANEWAY IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE. PLEASE ROUTE ALL INQUIRIES TO COMMANDER CHAKOTAY.”
“What is that?” She sat up laughing as he blushed.
“Computer locate, Captain Janeway.” Chakotay watched her face as he waited for the reply.
“CAPTAIN JANEWAY IS ON SUB-DECK NINE”
“It only responds to you?!”
“Yes, I programmed it to give the other message to everyone, but me, when you were located here.”
“Well, I’ll be damned and all these years I thought this was such a secret.”
“It is, to everyone but me.” He watched closely for any signs of anger. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“Oh, Chakotay, I’m not angry. How very sweet of you to do that for me.” She touched his cheek. “It’s just part of why I love you.” She blushed and dropped her hand turning away. “I guess this is a night for sharing secrets.”
“You secrets will always be safe with me.” He picked up her hand and kissed it. “It’s no secret that I love you, Kathryn, but it is nice to share it with you anyway.” She smiled at him sadly and he cupped her face in his hands. “I know we can’t share more than this now, but someday we will and I can wait for that day.”
Chakotay had visited the Serendipity a few times since then, but never without a direct invitation. It still remained Kathryn’s place and he knew that she needed that space. It also remained a place for sharing secrets. It was there she had told him of her desire for a family and there she had expressed her fears the night before she was assimilated. They had cried in each other’s arms there, after Teero’s mutiny made clear how fragile their lives really were.
The day B’Elanna tried to have the doctor alter her baby’s DNA, they had spent time in the yacht. They listened to music and sipped wine as they tried to understand B’Elanna’s fears. Kathryn confessed that her greatest fear was that, when they reached Earth, she would be too old to bear his children. Chakotay had told her that night that while he understood and respected her decision, he still secretly hoped she would change her mind and allow their relationship to move forward long before they reached Earth.
When they went there together, the yacht was a place to share secrets with no fear of recrimination. They could divulge their deepest fears and strongest desires to each other. There would be no anger, no judgment, just calm acceptance and the warmth of a trusted friendship. When she went there alone, especially on a night like this, he worried about her.
Chakotay showered and changed; he was hoping Kathryn would come back to her quarters if he gave her a little time but she hadn’t. The Computer still gave her location as sub-deck nine. Chakotay wasn’t sure what to do. He wanted to go to her, but she hadn’t invited him and it was an unspoken rule that he didn’t go there without invitation.
Kathryn hadn’t invited him to the yacht since her return from Quarra. It had only been a few weeks and they had talked about it, but conversations in her quarters were never quite as free. He understood the circumstances, although he had to admit he was still jealous of Jaffen.
Uncomfortable sitting alone in his quarters, Chakotay decided on a tour of the ship. He walked the corridors stopping to speak to various crewmembers he came into contact with. He made a stop at Sandrine’s, shared a drink with Tom and B’Elanna, played a game of pool and headed home. It had been over three hours so once he was alone in the lift, he queried the computer again. Kathryn was still on the Serendipity.
“Deck nine.” He was worried about her and he decided to make sure she was all right. He wouldn’t stay, he told himself; he just needed to see she was OK.
He hesitated only a minute once he reached the deck, and then started down the corridor that led to the yacht. He marched up to the force field, prepared to key in his over ride and stopped. He stared at the keyboard. Chakotay, turned away and started toward the lift.
Behind him, a short buzz alerted Chakotay that the force field had dropped. He turned to see the hatch open, expecting to see Kathryn, but no one was there. He stared at the empty doorway.
“Janeway to Chakotay”
“Chakotay here, Kathryn.”
“Are you going to stand out there all night?”
“I wasn’t sure I was welcome, tonight.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel that way. Please come in.”
Chakotay found Kathryn reclining on her pillows two glasses of wine on the table next to her.
“Expecting someone?” He made himself comfortable.
“You were in Sandrine’s earlier when I asked, so I had the computer alert me when you left and tell me where you were headed. I was waiting for you, but you walked away.” She handed him his glass and sipped her own wine.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“I appreciate that, Chakotay, but I don’t want you to feel like an intrusion.” She placed the glass back on the table. “You are always welcome, Chakotay, whether I’m here or any where else.”
“This has always been your place, I don’t want you to feel you have to share it with me.”
“I want to share it with you, Chakotay.” She took his glass placing it next to hers. “I want to share everything with you.” She leaned closer placing a gentle kiss on his lips. “I’ve spent a lot of hours in this yacht over the years, far too many of them alone. Whether I was here to feel sorry for myself, just relax and read a book, or to blame myself for what ever our latest problems were, each trip had one common factor. Each one ended with the absolute knowledge that all of my problems would be infinitely easier to deal with, if only I could share them with you. I’ve come a long way over the years and I think it has finally brought me to where you have always patiently waited.”
“I’ve been worried since..”
“Yes, that concerns me. You were so happy with him, maybe it was wrong to bring you back here—selfish.”
“This is where I belong;Voyager is my responsibility and my home.” She gently pushed him back against the pillows and snuggled close to him. “I know it hurt you to see that relationship, I ‘m sorry.”
“It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t ask to be kidnapped and brainwashed.”
“No, and that Kathryn knew nothing about this life. She didn’t remember me, but I remember her. Her life on Quarra was short but very happy. She enjoyed her work, she had friends and she was in love. She wasn’t afraid to openly express that love and it didn’t interfere with her responsibilities. She had no trouble acting when it became necessary. I want to keep that part of her alive.”
“You want to go back and get Jaffen?” He teased.
“No, Jaffen belongs to that other Kathryn. I want to share my life with the man who belongs to me; the man who already owns me heart and soul.”
“You already do, Kathryn.”
“Yes, here where no one else can see.” She pulled back and raised herself up so that she could see his face. “Voyager really is our home. There is no better place to start that family we talked about.” She watched his serious expression; she knew he wanted this – had waited for it, but she thought he would look a little happier. “What do you think?”
“I think our visit to Quarra was serendipitous.” He chuckled. “We both owe a lot to that Kathryn and Jaffen.”
Chakotay pulled her closer, lightly brushing his warm lips to hers. He smiled against her mouth as she pressed herself to him, her lips parting his, tongue exploring, tangling with his. Yes, this was his Kathryn ready to take charge even now, but he had other ideas. He rolled them over, pinning her beneath him. He had waited almost seven years; it was his turn to lead.
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