Secret Santa 2015

Thank you to the MOTFS Ria and Sira.

A huge Thank you to Ayame and TB Grace for the beta.

I do not own the characters, Paramount owns everything. All mistakes are mine.

In Trouble Again

Five years ago Voyager made its historic and heroic return from the Delta Quadrant bursting though the Borg sphere. Kathryn Janeway fought hard with the Admiralty for pardons for all ex-Maquis and the five surviving crew members from the U.S.S. Equinox. She fought for six months until she was given the ultimatum. She could have no contact with her crew members, including Miral Paris and Naomi Wildman. It broke her heart to do so, but she didn't have a choice. It was either her life or that of her crew, and those Admirals who plotted this knew for a fact which she would choose. The life of each and every member of her former crew, what really made her mind up for her was when Admiral Brian Steele, arrived at her door one night after spending all day at Starfleet Headquarters, arguing with the admirals.

She was surprised when she opened the door to find him standing there, but the real shock was that an associate of his held little Miral. Kathryn moved to take the infant, but Brian stepped in between them.

"I wouldn't if I were you," he calmly said.

"And why is that?" Kathryn countered.

"Because if you try to take the child again before I say that you can, then Andrew here," he indicated before continuing. "will simply cut the child in half." He snapped his fingers, signaling that Andrew should show his knife.

Noticing the knife, Kathryn replied in her low, you've just made me angry voice, "I don't know who the hell you think you are, but threatening the life of an innocent child will get you nothing."

"Oh, that is where you are wrong. You will do everything I tell you to do, and when that com-terminal goes off, you will tell the parents that I found her and brought her to you, knowing who she was. And then you will tell them that you wish not to see or talk to them again. And when they ask you why, you will tell them that you need your privacy, and that they must respect your wishes," he instructed.

He waited a moment, before adding, "Oh and one more thing. You're going to be my wife. You see, I want something that you have. Notoriety. It will help in my plans for the future.

Kathryn eyed him for a few moments. They both knew what choice she would make, Kathryn however, still on Delta Quadrant red alert, submitted to him, while looking for a way out for both her crew and herself.

Answering the com terminal, she saw Tom, B'Elanna, Owen and his wife, who all looked distressed. They told her that Miral was missing and that Starfleet security was searching for her. Kathryn did exactly as she was told, and Tom and B'Elanna were coming over to retrieve the child when she closed the terminal.

Kathryn ran to take Miral from the other man, Brian sent him away, if she so much as hinted to Tom and B'Elanna that something was wrong, then all three would die.

She should have been an actress, Tom and B'Elanna left with questions, but respected her wishes and told her they would convey them to the rest of the crew. Two months later, she became Mrs. Brian Steele. He told her exactly how to act and what was needed from the marriage. The only good thing was that they had separate bedrooms. Only Brian's friends were allowed in the house; Kathryn's family were also cut off shortly after their marriage, once she decided that it was too hard to keep lying to her family. Her married life was far from what it should have been; her hope of having kids, died the night that Miral was kidnapped.

Brian liked to show her off. At every Starfleet function, she was his arm candy. She wasn't even allowed to talk to Owen Paris, for fear that she would tell him what was going on. Brian's hold over her was that every crew member's life was in danger. If she left him, then people would die.

So Kathryn did what she was told, and lived in fear that she would lose her crew one by one. Brian was not able to control her mind, though, so Kathryn watched and waited. For five years, she waited for an opportunity, none presented itself. So her routine was the same. Today she was Brian's arm candy for the Annual Starfleet Christmas Party.

Holo-cameras flashed in her eyes, on the way from the limo to the hall. She was wearing a simple dark blue, floor length, spaghetti strap dress, with a scoop neckline. She had every male eye on her when she entered the hall. Owen Paris was in the corner talking to Admiral Nechayev. Neither of them gave her a second glance, which was not surprising, since she had told him to leave her alone. So; she stood next to Brian, with her Captain's fake smile plastered on her face.

About half way through the evening, she felt a tap on her shoulder. When she turned around to see who it was, she could not contain her pleasure at seeing the now, Captain Chakotay.

"Chakotay!" she exclaimed, and threw her arms around his neck and gave him a hug.

"Kathryn, it's good to see you," he said returning her hug. "How have you been?" he asked, when she pulled back.

"I'm fine, how are you doing?" she asked as terror crossed her features for a moment before the Captain's mask fell into place.

"Fine, I'm the captain of the U.S.S. Buffalo, I have a fine crew, although it took me months not to call them our old crew name's." He chuckled, "say, this is a party isn't it? How about a dance Kathryn?"

Kathryn quickly glanced at Brian and he gave a slight nod of head. No one but Kathryn and Chakotay knew about it. The whole time they were on the dance floor, Brian's eyes never left Kathryn, or her dance partner.

On the dance floor, away from Brian, Chakotay asked her, "What's going on, Kathryn? I know you too well, even after all this time. Something isn't right with you."

"Just drop it Chakotay, please," she whispered.

"I can't, Kathryn, I still care about what happened to you, so does the rest of the Voyager crew, just let us in and help," Chakotay said softly.

"Chakotay, I'm asking that you trust me like you did when we allied ourselves with the Borg, or with Junior." Kathryn said." Just one more time, please."

"Alright, Kathryn, I'll drop it. At least tell me what you've been doing since you took a leave of absence after your promotion.," Chakotay asked, frustrated that she wouldn't tell him anything.

"I really haven't been doing anything special, just taking some time for myself." Kathryn stated.

What made you decide to take a leave?," he asked, knowing that she was hiding something.

"I was struggling to adjust to life back on Earth and right now I have no desire to return to space or Starfleet." Kathryn said, knowing full well that Chakotay wasn't going to believe a word she said right now.

The song ended, Kathryn said good-bye to Chakotay and returned to Brian's side. She knew that he had watched her the whole time she danced with Chakotay and her hatred for him couldn't run any deeper.

Chakotay left the party that evening determined to do something, but the only question was what. He had for the past year, questioned his spirit guide about what was happening to Kathryn and how to fix it. His spirit guide only looked at him and said, "Look into yourself for the answer." On several occasions, his spirit guide was accompanied by a coyote, the prankster.

As he walked home, he thought about the conversation he had with Kathryn. Trusting her had never been an issue between them. Even when she had made the alliance with the Borg, he had still trusted her. Granted he did not agree with her, but he did trust her. With Junior, it had been the same story, he still trusted her. Wait a minute, Junior?! As he stopped in his tracks for a moment, it struck him. That's it, that's the answer, he would as Junior for help. He quickly walked home, his stride quickened.

Inside Chakotay's apartment, he called for Junior, and in a flash of light he appeared.

"Q, I need your help. Kathryn is in trouble." Chakotay stated, concern for Kathryn written all over his face.

"I'm sorry Chakotay but I can't interfere like this. The Continuum is very specific in their orders on my
interference with Captain Janeway's time line. As much as I would like to pay her back for all that she has done for me, I just can't do what you're asking. However, I will leave you with this thought. She hasn't lost her edge, she herself is searching for the same thing you are. And when everything is said and done, everything is as it should be." He snapped his fingers and disappeared in a flash of light.

Chakotay sat down in defeat. He hadn't expect to be turned down by Q, but then again, he was not like his father. He couldn't help but be proud of how Junior had turned out. All the headaches he had caused on Voyager, and then how he became responsible for his own actions. It seemed as though, Kathryn has a magic touch with people, first Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, the Doctor and Seven, and now Q Junior.

As Chakotay got ready for bed, he was thought about how to get to Kathryn. He was almost asleep when he thought of the Doctor and his mobile emitter. B'Elanna could program him to look like some one else, but first they had get a medical scan of said person. He would have to talk to Tom and B'Elanna in the morning.

It didn't take much to convince Tom and B'Elanna to help, but it took a a bit more to convince Tom's Dad. Once the Doctor heard about the Captain, he was all for it too. It took them a week to decide who to get the medical scan of. The next problem was how. In the end, Tom volunteered to start a fight, which would hopefully end with the other guy needing medical treatment. If all worked well, the Doctor would just happen to be walking by at the right time.

It only took a couple of hours for B'Elanna to program the Doctor's emitter, once the scan was downloaded into the device. They waited until Brian was at headquarters, before the Doctor, disguised as one of Brian's personal bodyguards, who was to be watching Kathryn, knocked out the guard with a Vulcan neck pinch. When he walked up to the door and knocked, Kathryn answered it.

"Can I help you, Jonas?" Kathryn angrily asked. He had interrupted her reading a Klingon Romance book, and it was just getting to the good part.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but Brian had asked me to retrieve a PADD that he had left here this morning, may I come in and get it?" Jonas asked, noticing the bruises on her arms, since she was wearing a tank top.

"Fine, but be quick about it," she said as she stepped back to let him enter. As he walked past her she noticed a small metal object sticking out of the sleeve of his shirt. "So, did Brian happen to say where he left this PADD? Or are you just going to search the house?"

"He didn't say where it was, but if you wouldn't mind, I'll start looking in the kitchen," Jonas said.

"Well, you've been here enough, you know where the kitchen is," she replied coolly.

Swallowing hard, he replied, "Right." If he hadn't been a hologram, he'd be starting to sweat with nervousness. He knew that she knew that something wasn't right. She had her guard up and it was going to be hard to get past it. He starts walking through the house, hoping the kitchen wouldn't be hard to find, without compromising his cover. He had to hurry. The thought of Brian finding him here was something he did not want to consider. He had already seen the bruises, so he did not want to put her life into any more danger than it was already in.

He found the kitchen and just when he was about to breathe a sigh of relief, Kathryn put a kitchen knife to his throat. "I know that you're not Jonas, so who are you?" she hissed, "Don't even think about lying to me," she added as she pressed the knife a bit harder into his neck.

"Captain, it's me, the EMH," he said , starting to panic.

"Think again," she snapped.

"No, really, it is the EMH. I'll prove it to you," he said quickly. He tapped a couple of buttons on his emitter, and he changed into Voyager's EMH.

Kathryn gasped, dropping the knife and stepping back bringing her hands up, to cover her mouth.

"No," she whispered in disbelief. "You can't be."

"I'm sorry about the disguise, but I need to talk to you." he said, stepping toward her, and taking her hand. "I bring a message from Chakotay. He's knows that you're not telling him everything. And when I tell him about the abuse, he's going to need to be sedated."

"You can't," Kathryn said quickly, realizing what he was talking about. "This falls under the Doctor/Patient confidentiality clause."

"Captain," the Doctor started.

"No, don't, the crew was to respect my wishes and leave me alone. Why can't Chakotay accept that?"

"Because you never could lie to him, and he's got that sixth sense of his to know when you're in trouble. You asked him to trust you, now he's asking you to trust him. He's working on a plan. It's not quite ready yet, but be ready."

"I can't. Please, Doctor. Tell everyone that I can't." she said as a tear fell down her face.

The Doctor hugged her, asking "Why Captain?"

Kathryn broke down, clinging onto the Doctor for dear life.

"Talk to me please," he whispered into her ear.

After several minutes, Kathryn was able to speak again, with tears still falling. "Because he'll kill the crew. I don't know how, but he will do it. He came to me five years ago, and threatened Miral. He had some-how kidnapped her and brought her to me, just to get my cooperation. Don't tell them why, but don't let them do anything. Please, I can't endanger the crew," Kathryn begged.

"Alright, I will do what I can, you have my word. Now, tell me how you got these bruises," the Doctor said.

Kathryn took a deep breath. She knew that he wouldn't leave until he had his answer. "When Chakotay surprised me at the Christmas party the other week, Brian was unhappy, that I hugged and danced with him. So he had his friends, beat me up, they've gotten good about not leaving visible marks where it can't be covered up. Brian has ears everywhere. Now, please you have to get out of here before Brian comes home or one of his friends tell him that Jonas came in when he wasn't here," Kathryn said, desperate to get rid of the Doctor.

"Alright I'll go, but remember Chakotay is going to get you out of here. I'll come back when he's ready to let you know when." The doctor said as he changed his appearance back to Jonas, and walked out the door.

Kathryn took a deep breath to help calm herself down. As she closed the door behind the Doctor, she couldn't help but grin at the thought of being with her crew again. Over the past five years she had wondered how each one was doing. Even though she had told the Doctor not to tell Chakotay, she knew, that he was going to tell Chakotay anyways. He always was the biggest gossip on the ship, she thought as she chuckled to herself.

Chakotay did his homework on Brian Steele. Up until the war with the Dominion he had been one of the best and brightest of Starfleet. Then he was captured. From there, things about him got muddy. Its seemed that, being a prisoner of war had changed him, and not for the better. He was angrier and everyone had to walk on egg shells, afraid of him.

It took two more weeks for Chakotay to find the smoking gun that would be the end of Brian Steele. The kidnapping of Miral Paris. Chakotay had the good sense not to tell Tom and B'Elanna just yet. Chakotay wanted him alive to pay for what he had done, not dead-at least not yet. The Doctor had discreetly told him about what happened with Miral and Kathryn, so he had asked Seven to find anything she could on Brian's whereabouts the night Miral was taken.

Chakotay had Seven run a bug sweep and to put up a dampening field around his house. He asked that Admiral Nechayev meet him there. He downloaded two copies of everything into a PADD, and had given one to Seven, and hid the other in a secret place.

When Admiral Nechayev arrived, Chakotay was outside waiting for her. He informed her of the dampening field, told her that he had disturbing information on one of the Admirals, and he wanted to be sure that they could talk in a secure location, since he had a feeling that headquarters was bugged.

It was three hours later when the Admiral left. She looked at the information very closely, and had asked several questions about how he found this information, and why he was looking into a Star Fleet Admiral to begin with. She left Chakotay with a promise to begin her own investigation starting with a bug sweep of all the admiral offices to be conducted by her own staff. Chakotay also told her of his plan for the crew and for Kathryn. The Admiral had asked that he hold off on implementing his plan until she had a few answers for herself.

Two days later, late at night, Chakotay's com-terminal beeped. He groggily stumbled to answer it, and seeing Admiral's Nechayev's face, suddenly found himself wide awake.

"Admiral Nechayev, What can I do for you?," he asked, sleep still heavy in his voice.

"I'm sorry to bother you at this late hour, Captain, but I needed to tell you to execute your plan; as soon as possible. I'm afraid that my staff had one of Brian Steele's people on it and he knows that I'm on to him. He doesn't know that you or the crew had anything to do with it yet, but I don't want to take a chance. I've already called Owen, he's having his son and daughter in-law tell the others as we speak. Now go, get Kathryn and stay safe until I or Owen contact you. Nechayev out," she said as she cut the link.

Chakotay sat back in the chair for a moment. Having to go now complicated things with Kathryn. The Doctor had told her that he would be back but there wasn't time to wait. If Brian is as abusive as Kathryn said then he couldn't risk it, but how could he get her out? It wasn't like he could call her and tell her to meet him.

Kathryn was suddenly awoken by a flash of light in her room. Q Junior appeared in her room and snapped his fingers, Kathryn opened her mouth to talk and found that she couldn't. She leveled at Junior her best death glare as he cautiously handed her a PADD that Chakotay had written to her.

She stared at him for several more moments before taking the PADD from him and reading it.

Dear Kathryn, I'm sorry that I couldn't give you more time or a better delivery boy, but I had no choice. My plan is in place and Admiral Nechayev, has started an investigation on Brian Steele. She just called me to tell me that Brian has someone on her staff and we have to act fast. Don't worry, our old crew and Admiral Paris and your mom and sister and her family are in a safe hiding place.

Now please, pack your clothes and anything else you want or simply point out to Junior what you want and he will transport everything to your safe hiding place, far from Brian's reach. Trust me once again Kathryn.

Chakotay

Kathryn couldn't believe what she was reading, Chakotay was out of his mind, Brian had people all over Earth and space. It didn't matter where Chakotay and the crew went to hide, they all were still in danger, and the fact that an investigation had been started on Brian; made everything worse. She shook her head no; and mouthed, "I can't."

Junior, who had known that she wouldn't go for it, grabbed her arm and snapped his fingers. Kathryn found herself high above San Francisco. She took a moment to take in the view, knowing that Q wasn't going to let anything happen to her.

"We can talk now, Aunt Kathy." Q stated quietly.

"Q, you know as well as I do that if I were to leave Brian, he would kill my crew. It doesn't matter how far they go, he will find them." she said turning to face him.

"Actually Aunt Kathy, I kind of gave Chakotay the idea for where to hide the crew. But as for you, he came up with your hiding place all on his own." He beamed.

"I'm not leaving him Q; I can't, for the safety of everyone. Now take me back and tell Chakotay to leave me alone," she said softly.

"I can't do that. You have thought of everyone else for five years, now someone else is taking matters into his own hands and thinking of you for a change." Q replied.

"Chakotay doesn't know what will happen if I go; I can't have any more of the crew's blood on my hands," she sighed heavily.

"And you don't know what will happen if you leave. Shouldn't the crew get a say in how they live their lives and who they have as friends? You've missed out on so much already, don't miss out on any more." Q said taking her hands and giving them a squeeze.

"You're right, they should get a say in how they live their lives, but I have been doing this so that they have lives to live," she said, fighting back tears.

"Don't you deserve to live life as you want to? Don't you deserve to be happy? Because I can tell that you're not. I've watched you ever since I left Voyager, I've seen you at happy times, like when you made it home," Q said as he started leading Kathryn through the night sky.

She knew that he was baiting her, trying to make her say that she wasn't happy and that she would be if she just went with him, but she also knew that he was right. She wasn't happy now, and she longed for a life that was better than this.

"How did that kid I knew on Voyager, become so wise?," she asked him.

"I had an excellent teacher and role model," he declared. "She showed me that with great power comes with great responsibility. And that some one some where was going to be held accountable for my actions. She also happens to be my god-mother. And she can keep trying to change the subject, but it won't work," he chuckled.

Kathryn had to chuckle with him, "Alright, I see your point Q, but I still can't risk anyone's life but my own. Now please, take me back," she asked as she stopped their movement.

"Then what if I were to tell you that Chakotay told me to bring you against your will? He said that it was for your own good." Q challenged.

"You wouldn't dare," she snapped.

"I will do it if you don't see reason. Please Aunt Kathy, trust Chakotay one more time. He's thought of everything, I swear," he pleaded, hoping that she would agree to go with him.

"If I do go with you, where would I be going?," she asked, knowing that in the end that she would go with him, no matter the destination.

"I can't tell you that, Chakotay made me promise not to tell you. But I promise that you'll be safe," he said smiling, knowing that she was leaving with him.

Letting out a heavy sigh, Kathryn said, "Alright , take my back and I'll get my stuff together."

With in a few minutes, Kathryn had all of her stuff together. Most of which was still in storage, and she wasn't about to get it out while still married to Brian. She found a PADD and quickly wrote something down on it.

"I need to go make one stop before we leave," she said, nodding to Q.

Q snapped his fingers and Kathryn was standing outside Admiral Nechayev's house. The Admiral answered the door, surprised to find Kathryn standing there.

"Admiral Janeway? This is a surprise." Looking behind her, she noticed a young man in a Starfleet uniform with no rank, and added. "And you must be Q." Turning her attention back to Kathryn, she asked, "What can I do for you Admiral?."

"I've written up a quick power of attorney for Owen Paris. As soon as it is possible, I would like to divorce Brian."

Looking at the PADD that Kathryn handed her, Admiral Nechayev looked over the paper work. "I don't see why I can't pull a couple of strings and push this right through." Looking up at Q, she said, "If I have problems, can I call you to bring her back for a while?"

"That shouldn't be a problem Admiral. As long as she's with me, no harm will come to her." Q replied.

"Very well, I will get this done by the end of the week. Can't use you during the trial Kathryn, but I would love to have you in the court room. But only if you think you can handle seeing him again." Admiral Nechayev stated smiling, "Now go, get out of here and stay safe." she said before turning to go back into her house.

Kathryn turned and walked back out to the street. She noticed that the sun was starting to rise, It's a new day, the long night is over at last, she thought. Looking at Q she smiled, "Let's do it." she ordered.

Q snapped his fingers and Kathryn gasped as she recognized where she was, Q just let her walk around running her fingers over things that had left behind. After a few minutes, Q cleared his throat. He waited for her to turn around, before saying, "Chakotay is here too, he said he found a cave close by so the house is yours. You can use the com-badge to contact him. He also left you a note both of which are on the table. I will see you soon, Aunt Kathy." He gave her a hug good-bye. Pulling back he smiled and snapped his fingers and vanished in a flash of light.

Kathryn found the note and com-badge on the table. She attached the com-badge to her tunic, and turned on the PADD.

Kathryn, Q supplied a few extra things so we don't have to rough it this time around, but somethings have remained the same. Although, your bathtub is back in its place outside. There is a small computer and we can use the com-badges, just in case there is unexpected trouble.

The cave I found is just behind the house, so know that I'm close by. I still have to eat in the house, but other than that it is all yours. And don't worry about the virus, Q promised to put anything that can harm us to sleep for the duration of our stay here.

I know you well enough Kathryn, to know that you're going to want and need some time alone. So take all the time you need, we are on Kathryn's time.

Chakotay

Kathryn smiled, Chakotay was so sweet, he did know her well. She didn't want to talk to him right now, but she could use a bath. Grinning she put her stuff away, and went outside to take a nice long bath. She had refused to take a bath while living with Brian; she didn't trust him or the people that worked for him so she always had her guard up. As she eased herself down into the water, she realized she had forgotten how good it felt.

Up the hillside at the mouth of the cave; stood Chakotay, silently watching in case she needed his help for something. He knew that Kathryn didn't see him as he watched her leave the shelter to get a bath, since it was night time. He didn't want to disturb her or make her put up her defenses. He knew that since she had had them up for five years; and that it was time to take them down. But he wanted to give her time to take some down for herself without his help.

Kathryn woke up in a foul mood. Going out to the kitchen, she found that Chakotay had left her breakfast in a stasis unit, he has been doing since her arrival back on New Earth. She didn't feel like eating and taking a bath was no help, neither was taking a walk. She felt like a caged animal. She still had her guard up even here. She remembered the last time that they were here together, and she wanted to find that peace again.

Kathryn walked out of the house, if it could be called that. It was little more than the shelter that they left here from their first visit. She looked around, Chakotay's note said that he had found a cave but didn't say where it was, other than near by, and that angered her even more. Not seeing anything that resembled a cave within her sight from the door to the house, she stalked back into the house, and slammed the door closed.

Chakotay watched her from the mouth of his cave. He knew that she was angry and that it was time. He was not looking forward to it, but it was time to help her whether she wanted it or not. So he put away his carving tools and grabbed his medicine bundle and walked out into the woods. If he was going to take the brunt of her anger he needed to be calm in order to help her.

Chakotay didn't know how long he sat there in the woods but when he came out of the vision quest, he could tell by the ache in his knees that had been at least an hour. He did feel more ready to talk to Kathryn now than he had been. Putting his medicine bundle away, he headed for the house. Just as he was about to knock on the door, Kathryn opened it and ran right into him. He grabbed her to keep them both from falling over.

Kathryn had surprise written all over her face. She didn't expect to see Chakotay, let alone run right into him. "Chakotay! What the hell? What do you think you're doing here?" Kathryn spat angrily.

"Well, I did come to see if you wanted to talk." Chakotay said as Kathryn regained her footing and her released her.

"Talk? You think I want to talk? Let me tell you something, I don't want to talk to you.. I want to go home and see my mother and sister, I want to see the crew. That's what I want." Kathryn said, standing in the door way.

"I know you do, but you can't right now. I want to see them too. But we just have to wait for Admiral Nechayev's investigation and eventually trial. The whole crew knew and agreed that they would wait it out on Voyager with the shields up, while you and I went somewhere else."

"Why did you bring me back here?, I don't talk about this place for a reason, and now I have to relive it thanks to you," she confessed as she turned and walked back into the shelter.

Her confession stunned him a moment. Following her, he said, "I'm sorry Kathryn, I thought that you were happy here, I thought that it would make you happy," he said softly, standing by the table in the main room.

"Happy? You thought that I was happy, being stranded here with no hope of seeing my family again? With no hope of knowing if the crew would ever make it back to the Alpha Quadrant? How dare you make assumptions about what I consider happiness. What right do you have to interfere with my life?," she said, spinning around glaring at him.

Chakotay had to fight the anger that welled up inside, "She's angry at Brian not at me, this is just her way of letting go of the anger, he thought. "I'll tell you who I know I am, I was once your best friend- you know, the one that you could talk to at all hours of the night. The one who swore to you that I would do what-ever I could to make your burdens lighter. The one that has this need to protect you," he stated.

"I don't need your protection. Not then, and certainly not now. I think it would be best if you left," she said, walking into her bedroom.

Chakotay followed her into the bedroom. He'd had enough of the walls that she was trying to build. Grabbing her and turning her around forcefully, he said, "Kathryn, I'm not done yet. You need to think, use that beautiful mind of yours for something other than building walls. I've told you once before that you're not alone, and that still goes. Nothing has changed. And don't give me this shit about not needing protection. Just look at Brian, you're in hiding because of him. Your crew are hiding because of him, your protection of the crew won't work anymore. The crew is taking care of you for a change, take a good look at yourself in the mirror Kathryn. You've lost your fight, you know what I'm talking about, the one that beat the Kazon, Hirogen and the Borg. The Borg, Kathryn you beat them, you, no one else. Now you're lost and I'm trying to help you find yourself again, but it won't work until you let it." Chakotay said before he strode out the door of her room. Kathryn had to flinch when she heard the door slam shut.

Kathryn sat down on the bed, thinking about what Chakotay had said for a few minutes. Walking into the bathroom, she looked in the mirror. She didn't even recognize herself anymore. While she was with Brian, she had refused to look in the mirror unless she was getting ready for a social function. Walking out of the bathroom, she left the shelter and walked down to the river. It had been her favorite place when she was here before. Sitting down beneath a big tree, she stared straight ahead of her, not seeing anything but deep in thought.

Chakotay noticed that her dinner from the night before had not been touched. "Kathryn?" he called out, hoping that she was in her room. When he received no reply, he looked in. The bed had not been slept in. Starting to get worried, he went outside and looked all around the shelter. Finding nothing, he tried the com-badges. "Chakotay to Kathryn." Again, there no reply. "Chakotay to Janeway, respond damn it," he ordered. Still getting nothing, Chakotay began a systematic search for her. About noon, he came to the river and saw her sitting up against a tree. "Kathryn," he called, when she didn't move or respond he rushed forward, and skidded to a stop on his knees.

Kathryn was startled when Chakotay came running up to her. "Chakotay, What's wrong?" She asked as he was knelt in front of her.

"Are you okay?" He asked her as he looked her over closely.

"I'm fine. What's wrong?" She asked again.

"You weren't answering the com-badge and when I called you just now you didn't even move. I thought I lost you." He said as he pulled her into a hug.

Hugging him back, she said, "I've just been thinking. I guess I've been here all night. I'm sorry for worrying you."

"It's all right, just don't do it again," he said as he released her. "I know that you need to eat something, come on," he said, standing up and holding out his hand.

Taking his hand, Kathryn got up. Her bones objected to moving after being still for so long. But they eventually started moving and they walked into the shelter hand in hand.