by Camilla Sandman and Kathryn Murphy
Author`s Note and Disclaimer (Cam): Gee, Paramount owns Voyager, I bet none of you knew that. The idea is mine however, with a little help from Kadith in planning it.. But I couldn`t have done it without my wonderful co-writer, AQUIEL!! Any words for your fans, Aqui?
Author`s Note and Disclaimer (Aquiel):Um, my fans? I do believe you meant 'Our Fans'! I'll keep this short and sweet, because I know you want to get on with the story, but I would just like to give my thanks to Cam, for giving me the opportunity to help with this story. It's a wonderful idea, and I can only hope that I lived up to her expectations. Thanks:)
I know the sky is always blue, but the dark clouds blocking it from my view are too dark. They are the darkness of my soul. Allowing no glimpse of sun... No light, no hope. The night has come to claim me. I am alone. All alone in the night. What I had.. is gone. You are gone. Once, you stood by my side, showing me how blue the sky is.. But I never really saw it. Until now, when it is too late. I would give my life for just a few more seconds with you. A few seconds to tell you.. You were the best part of my life.
I stand on the bridge and give orders like nothing has changed.. but Ihave. I look to your chair, but it is empty now. They know. They look at me, nothing but sorrow and pity in their eyes. But they cannot bring you back. I need you. How did I ever live without you? It feels as if my life started when you entered it.. and now it is over.You gave me all.. and I gave you death in return. It is my fault, and so I pay the prize. The dark clouds have blocked the sunlight, and nothing can live without sunlight.
And so I die, piece for piece, until I will become nothing but a shadow of myself, a distant memory of what once was. For the memories is all I have now. All I will ever have.
Our first kiss. In my ready room, as we had laughed about Tom and B`Elanna, you suddenly looked at me so intensly it made me blush. And you leaned forward just long enough to let our lips meet for a second. And then you pulled back, and we never talked about again. But in lonely nights, the feeling of that kiss lingered in me and grew into a longing that would cause many sleepless nights.
Our only night together. The one time I let the fever in my blood that is you take control of my body. The night we had lost Tuvok. You comforted me. We had a few hours living a dream. You were wonerful. I never told you. And we never spoke of it again.
Your scream a few weeks later just as we lost contact with your shuttle. At that moment I knew you were gone. I had pushed it. We had found a wormhole.Home was within our grasp. I insisted we sent someone to check it out.You went. I died on the shuttle with you.
The Doctor calls me, and I look up from my thoughts, realizing I am in Sickbay, and that he`s running tests.
It doesn`t matter. I know what is wrong with me.
"... and congratulations, Captain."
He says something, but I cannot hear what he says, cannot understand it.
"You are going to be a mother."
"Chakotay jr," I say.
For days after it happened, I wouldn't give up on you. I couldn't give up. So instead, I threw myself into my work, trying to undo the impossible. Your death.
What happened? I ask myself that question every single day. Every glance at your chair, every look at your door. Every move in my bed. You haunt me. My decision haunts me. I killed you.
When we found the wormhole, I was so excited, everyone was; even you. We were going home. I remember the night we found it. I was in my quarters, sitting under the stars, looking out into space. I wanted to tell you. I thought it was time. Who knew what little time we had.
I had visions of us, back on Earth, together. We had a home, a beautiful place in Indiana, close to my family. I had a garden; one we made together. You would come home from work everyday, and pull me into your arms, and kiss me so softly, love me so much. Then you would go to our child; our daughter. You always wanted a daughter. You would pick up that little girl, and swing her around, as she squealed in delight. We were happy. We were a family. But it was a vision, a dream. Dreams are nothing more then heartbreak.
My work became my life. Nothing else mattered, everything else reminded me of you. I stopped going to the hollodeck, because it only brought back memories. They were good ones, happy memories. Of you and me, with our friends. You used to tease me about beating Tom at pool.
"Give him a chance Kathryn!" you'd say, flashing me that smile.
That smile, that face, those eyes. I used to take such pleasure, every time you smiled at me. Your eyes would draw me in, and never let go. But I let go. You were the missing link that held my life together, and without you, I will fall apart.
Yes, those were good memories, but I don't deserve to be happy, after what I did to you. The crew tries to be understanding, giving me words of reassurance, trying to be my friend. But I won't let them. Guilt, that is what I know now. That is what I will always know. I haven't forgiven myself for killing you, and until I do, no one else is allowed to either.
I'm going to have a child. Your child. Our child. There is a baby growing inside me now, one that we made together. That night, you told me that you loved me, but I pretended not to hear. I didn't want to hear. I wasn't ready for you to say that, because when you did, I would have to tell you how I really felt. How much you meant to me. That I could never live without you.
I'm sitting in my quarters now, under the stars. Alone.
No, not alone, I have this baby with me. I should be happy, relieved that I have a piece of you here, with me always. But I'm not. It's only a constant reminder that you aren't here to share this with me. To help me through this.
There you go again Kathryn, thinking only of yourself.
No, I don't deserve this child, because we made it, under a lie. I lied to you that night, the night we made love. When you told me that you loved me, I turned away. You asked if I loved you. I turned away. I lied to you. I love you so much.
I know that I can never live without you, but you will never know how I feel. And it's all my fault. No, I definately don't deserve this act of love growing inside me. How will it feel to know that its mother killed its daddy?
Death, your death. You're gone. It rolls off my tongue so easily, it hurts. It's just another sentence in the English language, but to me, it's the end of the beginning.
We never had a chance.
And now, I see things clear, as if they were made of glass. All life is transitory, a dream. WE all come together in the same placein the end. A place there is no darnkess.
Wait for me there, Chakotay. Wait for me. I have no right to ask so, yet I do, but the only answer I get is the sound of my own desperate heartbeats.
The time between two heartbeats feel infinite. Like time has frozen between two decitions. Life.. or death. If the next heartbeat comes, I life. If not..
As I lay awake, I wonder if I can stop the heartbeats with my will. Kill eternity. So easy.. and yet so hard. I live for two now. But how can I live for your blood when I can`t even live for myself?
I have gazen into the abyss. And so the abyss gazed into me. It knows my secrets. It lives inside me. Dark, deep, cold. From it blows a wind of ice that slowly freezes me. I am frozen, shivering even under the warm blankets. And the abyss will consume me. Every heartbeat can be my last. Each heartbeat can take me into the abyss. And if I fall, I will never stand again.
And yet I fight. For our baby. For your memory. And because I have always been too stubborn.
But with every heartbeat comes memories. Flashes. Pictures. Smells. Sounds. Feelings.
The feeling of your skin against mine. The fire from old rituals made anew by sweet love once again, as it always have been and always will be. The feeling of profound sadness as you left. I wanted to call you back, to say.. something. I gave you a smile, and you left.
The feeling of death like a knife stabbed in my heart as your scream echoed in my head,
It is a burden, a burden pulling me closer to the abyss. I wish to forget. So I take the bottle and pour the drink.
As I sit in my quarters, alone, tired, and ultimately afraid, I stare at the glass. It's so easy to become lost in the reflection of the liquid. I can jump in, and not have to think, about life, about you. Until I need more.
And more is what let me down, more is what destroyed. More killed me.
That first drink. Looking back, I realize that it was that night, when I grabbed the bottle; that was the night that I lost myself.
Oh Gods Chakotay, if you only knew what I did. Not only did I lose you, but I killed your hope.
It hurt me so much; not the physical pain, that was a welcome relief from the despair, but the emotional pain. The pain that edged its way in to my soul, and gripped at my heart. It was losing you all over again.
I'm so sorry
I didn't even realize that it was hurting. Whether I didn't know, or just didn't care, but it was my fault.
I woke up in the middle of the night, in so much pain, I couldn't even breath. I thought I was dying, and for a moment, I was relieved.
But I didn't die; just another part of my soul was lost instead. I was covered in blood, my blood, and our baby.
For a long time I just sat there, staring at the innocent life, as it drained out of me, and on to the sheets. I moved my arm, covered in blood, to my eyes. I looked at my hand, as if I could see the baby, as it fought to survive; fought to have the right to an existence. But I took that right away, and I lost. So I sat, and watched.
I didn't cry. When I finally contacted the Doctor, he examined me, as I lay on the biobed, staring ahead. He told me that there was nothing I or he could have done to prevent it. But I knew differently.
If only I hadn't picked up that bottle. If only I hadn't worked so hard. If only I hadn't gotten pregnant in the first place. If only...
I didn't think that I would feel pain, or anything, and for a while I didn't. I just went on. It wasn't hard to pretend like nothing had happened, most didn't even realize I was pregnant. For that, I am grateful.
No, I felt no pain at first, but then one day, all my walls came crashing down. I was in the shower, funny it happened there. The water caressed my face, as my tears fell, and mingled down the drain.
I cried for you that day. I cried because I had been so selfish; I didn't love our child when I had the chance, and now it was too late. It was always going to be too late.
The day I lost our child, was the day my hope died. I will never carry a child again Chakotay. Never. And because I didn't protect that one chance I was given; the one chance that you gave me, I will never feel a life growing inside me. I will never feel that first kick, or hear that first cry.
That I will never feel whole again.
Pain. Stabbing at me, forcing me back from.. somewhere. I try to move, but I feel so heavy.. So heavy. Tired. I want to sleep. Sleep in her arms, sleep forever. I am tired, so tired..
"Don`t sleep, Chakotay."
Kathryn? I can hear her. Not in my mind, but in my soul. Begging me to wake, to open my eyes, look at her. But I am so tired, my eyes feels so heavy..
"Don`t sleep, baby, don`t sleep.."
You Kathryn, calling me back. Urging me to fight. And so I fight, forcing my eyes open. Only to look at you.
But I can see only smoke and blood. I am in the shuttle, covered in debris, in smoke. Bleeding, hurt badly. But alive. Still alive. You are fading away, like a dream as you`re about to wake.
"Wait for me Kathryn, I`m coming," I try to call out, but it`s only a hoarse whisper. You`re gone. No. I will come to you. You need me. Even though you cannot admit it, you need me. As I need you.
Trying to move my arm, to reach out, the pain stabs through me, and the world goes black.
I am... somewhere warm, comfortable, safe. I can feel a warm sun in my face, a friendly wind on my body.
"Kathryn?" I call out, and soft laughter answers me.
"Your Kathryn is not here. She must be very special to you."
I fix my gaze on my animal guide.
"You are healed," it says simply, "sleep now."
I wake up alone, cold, on the floor of the shuttle. For a second I fear I am dying, but my heart beats.
It takes a few hours to fix the shuttle, but I can do it. The pain feels distant, like an echo weaking with each repeat.
I`m coming home, Kathryn. I`m coming home.
Weeks. Gods was it that long ago? Weeks, Months ago my life was completely turned around.
The incident. That is what they are calling it now. I think they believe it's easier on me, if they just refer to it as 'The Incident'.
God damn them. It isn't just an incident to be filled away under some heading in a report; it was the death, and loss of a valued crew member.
They still don't talk to me. When I walk into the room, everything stops. It's as if they have a sixth sense on when I will appear. Just once, I would like to hear them. Only once I would like to walk into the mess hall, and have them acknowledge me; not as their Captain, but as their....friend.
I know I pushed them all away in the beginning, but I told myself I didn't need them. But time and again, they all came back, urging me to accept what life had delt me, and to move on.
I told them to leave me the hell alone.
And they did.
I didn't think about you today. That's never happened to me before.
It scared me.
I was sitting on the bridge, staring out at the stars, but I was thinking about...home. It would almost be October back on Earth; the leaves would just be beginning to change color, the Academy would be accepting the eager faces of their newest recruits.
I wish I was back home.
In a way, I wish I had never accepted the command of Voyager; or the mission into the Badlands.
Do you know how much simpler things would have been?
We would still be home, you would still be alive, and I wouldn't have the constant weight of guilt resting over my heart.
I don't know how much more of this I can take.
I see it!
Gods, what a beautiful sight. She's staring out at me; guiding me like a beacon in the dark.
Guiding me home.
I didn't think I would ever feel this way about seeing Voyager. But, I've been gone for so long now, what I wouldn't give to just sink back into my seat, and close me eyes.
Forever is such a long time. How can one define a period of time in which the most important things in life are missing? It's impossible.
I'm flying this little ship like never before; moving and turning in space, trying to get there as quickly as possible. Dodging stars and debris, and all the while, keeping one eye on the biggest star in space, making sure that she doesn't leave me again.
Gods, it feel as though hours are moving with the passing of each minute. I want... I need to see her. She is the only thing that has been keeping me alive these past few weeks.
My beautiful angel, keeping watch over me, on the longest nights, out there by myself.
When the pain was too much to bear, I would close my eyes, see her smiling face, and feel her warm hands, as they touched my arms.
And when nightmares started claiming my dreams, she was there, to wipe away my tears, and just hold me.
There is so much I need to tell her.
For years, we danced around, neither of us taking the time to think things through. We made one mistake after another.
There are so many people in this Universe who can only dream of finding their one true friend, their soul mate.
I've found mine, and I'll be damned if I let her get away from me again.
Everything is going to be alright now.
Far, far away I can hear the combadge beep. It doesn`t matter. Nothing does anymore. I`m drifting.. Drifting further and further away, my head under water. How strange a feeling.. breathing water. Everything is so clear here. So soothing. Waves rocking me back and forth, singing a strange lullaby. A strange lullaby it is, for it is my own.
Through a sea of bottles I locate the combadge, pushing it lightly.
Even my voice is far away. My spirit has left the empty shelter that is my body. I cannot say I blame it. Soon, soon it will be over. I`ll make it be over. Sleep, sleep, in the sea.
"Captian.. Commander Chakotay.. he`s back."
For a second, something in me awakens, something long dead. My heart. It beats still, like a clock, not skipping a beat. My hearts beat.. I am alive..
For a second, I can feel joy.. but also pain, pain beyond withstanding, stabbing at me. I killed his baby. The pain.. is too much.. Better to be dead, to not feel.
For a second, I can see the paths ahead of me.. One leading into the light, to the living.. and one leading deeper into water.
I love him. My heart has always known. But it doesn`t really matter. I am dead already. Long dead. It is too late. I am drifting, drowning in a sea of bottles, drowning by own choise. Sometimes the price of living is too much.. Too high..
He is too late to save me.
I am.. breathing the water of death.
I am back. I am on Voyager. Home. At last. Yet.. something is missing. She isn`t here, among the welcome home party. Not here to greet me with the smile I have cheated death to see again. Not here to whisper in my ear the words I have lived to hear.
Have I come so far, and yet nowhere at all?
To think I have even missed the Doctor`s nasal, upstick voice.
I answer him with a smile, now I am home for real.
"I think you should know.. there`s a problem with the Captain."
Strange how fast the world can come crashing down at your feet. How fast joy turns to sorrow, certaincy to fear.
What has brought me back may be lost forever. I can see it in their faces. No words need to be spoken. She is lost. All this, just to get here too late? Have I cheated death only to die a slower, more painfull death, the death of my soul?
No. No. I will not let this happen. She has guided me back to life. I will do the same for her.
"I could do nothing to save the baby, and I am afraid she took it badly. You may..."
The background sound finally starts making sense again, slowly penetrating my denial.
Baby? Her baby? My... Baby?
I shake my head invlounteerily. It can`t be true. All this only to be.. too late?
I can feel him entering my room. Not hear him, or see him, but feel him. Feel his eyes looking at me. They burn at my skin like lasers. I don`t have to see them to know the look in them, the fear, hurt..
"I`m sorry." It`s only a whisper, a hoarse whisper, but he hears it.. or feels it.
"I`m sorry too. That I wasn't here. Kathryn.. I love you."
"I love you too..." I`m not sure if I say that either, but he acts as if I have, holding me tight, rocking me back and forth.
I close my eyes, drifting away. My hero, coming back to save me. Oh, how I love him at this moment.. Love him with a part of me that is dying, that I am killing.
I am sorry, love. I cannot live for you.
It is a strange lullaby indeed, and now comes to claim me.
I don't know how long I sat there, holding her in my arms.
Time just didn't seem to matter.
As she rested her head against my chest, I stroked her beautiful auburn hair; something I had longed to do for months now.
I can't even begin to describe the feelings that were passing through me that night, as we sat, wrapped around each other in her quarters. For so long, the feeling of her in my arms, of her breath against my skin, kept me alive; gave me the strength to keep going.
And now here she was, in my arms now and forever.
This fragile woman in my arms is not the Kathryn, my Kathryn I left behind. She is holding on to me so tight, I can feel her fingernails digging through the fabric of my shirt.
She has been through so much these past few weeks, and it hurts me to no end to know that I'm the cause of her pain. If there was anything in this Universe that I could do to make it all better, Gods know I'd try.
I can't believe how much she reminds me of a child at this moment; so small, fragile, and full of so much pain.
I have to wonder what happened while I was gone; what happened to take the light out of her beautiful blue eyes.
My hands move unconsciously to her stomach, the place that once held our precious child. It breaks my heart that she had to go through that alone.
It makes me angry to know that I wasn't here to protect her.
But for now, I'll just hold her, as her tears soak through my shirt, and my tears fall to her hair. I gently pick up her small shaking body and move to her bed. And as I place her down, I climb in behind her, wrapping my arms around her small waist, and whisper softy in her ear.
"I love you"
This is only the beginning of the long journey ahead.
He slept in my bed last night.
I don't remember how we got there, but I know he was with me; I could feel him holding me. As I woke up this morning, I turned to face him, only to find the other side of my bed empty; he left me.
I rolled over, wrapping the warm blanket around me, and buried my face in his pillow. Feeling the warmth of him on my face, inhaling his sent, I just needed to know he had been there; that I hadn't been dreaming.
That he was real.
Pushing back the covers, I pulled my feet to the floor, and slowly made my way to the bathroom. As the doors closed behind me, I stared at my reflection in the mirror.
The woman I saw looking back scared me.
I hastily threw on my bathrobe, tying it loosely in front, and turned back to the doors leading to my bedroom. As I emerged from the entrance, he was there, with coffee in hand.
And desire in his eyes.
The way he looked at me sent chills up my spine. For months we had been separated, with only that one night together, to fuel our dreams. Now he wanted the real thing.
But I couldn't give it to him.
I wanted him, as much as he wanted me, but I couldn't just close my eyes and forget everything that had happened, everything I had done.
I could feel his eyes, as they traced the contours of my body, hidden only by the slight material of my bathrobe. The way he licked his lips, as he looked into my eyes. Asking permission.
I wish I could give him.
I try to tell myself that the way he's looking at me isn't affecting my decision, that the reason my heart is beating so fast is because I'm scared. That much is true.
I want so much to be able to give myself to him, body and soul, but the latter just isn't there to give.
At least not now.
When she stepped out of the bathroom, with that robe hugging her slim form, I nearly lost it. She is so beautiful. Even after all that's happened, she can still send my mind reeling out of control.
I told myself that I would give her time; time to come to terms with everything that's happened; my mind says one thing, while my body does another.
She looks so innocent, standing before me, nothing like the strong woman I left behind all those weeks ago.
She has hurt so much. I want to make her feel again.
As I move closer, I tell myself that I will be slow and gentle, unlike our first time together; this time means much more to me.
Today is a day for healing.
I moved my hand to caress her face, and she leaned in to me, before kissing the palm of my hand. I brought my head down to hers, and placed a gentle kiss on her trembling lips, before searching her eyes.
I wanted to know this was alright, that I wasn't going to hurt her. I wanted to make her happy.
As she pulled my mouth back to hers, I brought my hands up to clasp at her shoulders, pressing her small body closer to mine.
As I eased her to me, my mouth found its way to that sensitive spot behind her ear. And as I placed tormenting kisses below her earlobe, I whispered softly. "Let me make love to you Kathryn."
And as she sighed in response, I picked her up in my arms, and moved to the bed.
I wasn't going to let him touch me. I promised myself that I wouldn't let him kiss me.
So much for promises.
I've missed him so much, his touch, his smell, the sound of his voice in my ear. For a moment, the look of love in his eye is enough to make me forget the hell I've put him through.
And it's not over yet.
The man who so much wants to make love to me, doesn't know I killed his child. He doesn't know the heartache I feel, but more importantly, he doesn't know what a coward I am.
I've put him through so much, but I can't bring myself to tell him no. He wants to be with me, and I won't deny him that.
So I push my pain aside, and pull his lips to mine, pretending, at least for the moment, that everything is alright.
But inside, what's left of my heart is breaking, because I know, things are never going to be alright.
This is the beginning.
A new beginning. All around me, it is as if the universe is holding its breath, waiting. Waiting while she was sleeping here in my arms, sleeping away all that which has been done wrong. It`s time to make it right.
The universe has given me a gift.
My second chance. My chance to make it right, do again what I did wrong. This time I will do it right. My father once told me: "All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments .. of revelation."
This had the feeling of both. A transition into something better, where we stop running from each other. I ran as much as she did, believing her protocol-speech, believing it because I was just as afraid as her.
I have had my revelation. Nothing can conquer love. Not even death. From revelation comes transition.
She stirs in my arms. This beautiful, strong woman whom I have loved my entire life. Whom I have search for without knowing it, without seeing it. I found her, here at last. The search has ended.
Then I look in her eyes.
My father also told me: "Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope. The death of dreams. There is no greater darkness than the darkness of the soul that has lost its way."
I look in her eyes and hear his words echoing in my mind. I see only darkness there.
She is dead to me.
This was never the beginning. This is the end.
This is the end. I know it even before I open my eyes. Last night I gave him my body, all I have left to give.
A wonderful, loving night where our bodies were one. And I feel.. nothing. Only numbness. My body is tired. Time to sleep.
So I open my eyes one last time, to look at him, remember a time when it was all I wanted.
He must have been waiting for me to open my eyes, for his gaze meets me at once, filled with a joy almost heartbreaking to see. If I could feel... He thinks it`s the beginning, a new beginning. How can I tell him it`s the end, and last night was only a parting gift? How can I kill myself knowing he will be left with all the guilt and pain, and die like I have?
No. I will not let it happen. Not to him. I have one more gift to give, after all.
My soul is dead, but my body lives on, dying so slowly it will seem like living. And one day you will no longer want it, and then, then the last part of me will die, forgotten and alone.
My last gift to you, my love, beyond words, my lost love.
She smiles at me. But there is no joy in it, no soul. The dying smile of the dead. What I look at is only an empty shell.
I cry, and this time she holds me, stroking me slowly, saying nothing. Like this I can tell myself I am wrong, that she still lives, but as soon as I see her eyes...
Darkness. And I know now what my father meant. Never have I seen such a darkness. So all-consuming, all-demanding. A darkness of the soul that has lost its way.
"Never surrender to the darkness."
It`s only a whisper, but I hear it as clearly as if it were shouted, and I know it`s my father speaking to me from that part of him I carry with me as his son. I know he is right, but can I fight something I myself have caused?
"Forgive me," I whisper in her ear, over and over. It`s all I can ask of her. All I have the right to ask for.
"No, forgive me." For a second I meet her eyes, and it`s her, body and soul united for only a second. But it's enough. She is still not dead, my Kathryn, the one I came back for.
"I saw my own death, and accepted it. I only held on to one thing, the image of you. You brought me back. Could I love that much.. and not forgive?"
At my words, she falls toward me, crying without sound, but it`s she who cries, not the empty shell.
If her soul has lost its way, I can guide it back. Maybe it`s not too late after all.
It`s a long way back. But we just might make it
How the time passes when one is in love. I know it sounds unrealistic, but to me, it's as true as the night is dark. When one has gazed in to the very soul of death, and saw it reflected in his lover's eyes, he learns to appreciate the time spent together.
I said 'In love' but to me, it's much more then that. I've come so very close to losing the most precious thing in my life, and even the strength of my love paled in comparison to the pain she was enduring. All those nights ago, when she finally opened up to me, I could only catch a glimpse of the pain that had been tearing her up inside.
For a moment, an instant in time, I starred down at the very face of despair. And if I ever come close to what I saw that night, it will be too soon.
No one should have to go through what she, what we've been through these past months. We have been tested in ways I couldn't even imagine. But, today, as I look back, I realize that it has only served to make us stronger in the end.
I have found peace, in her, in the miracle she now carries, and in our life together.
Looking out at the stars, passing into the vast unknown, I realize just how much we have in common. If someone had told me 6 months ago that I would ever feel again, I think I would have laughed in their face...if not cried.
Life is about time, and with time comes change. And change is not always easy to obey. But why must I think of it as 'obeying the inevitable'? Why can I think of it as moving on, embracing the future. I don't think I can answer that question right now.
Maybe I never will.
I was never one to believe in miracles; one could say it was unorthodox, but if you were to walk up to me on this very day, and ask "Kathryn Janeway, do you believe in miracles?", I would look you in the eye, smile, and nod.
My life, our love, and the child I carry are living proof, that miracles do happen.
You just have to believe.
Things are not always going to be easy; I can never go back to the way I was. Life as I know it today, is so much more difficult then it was a year ago, but I think, just maybe, with the support of my friends, and Chakotay's love to protect me, it will get easier.
I can only take things one day at a time, I don't know what tomorrow will bring, and you know what? I don't think I want to know either.
There was a period in my life, not long ago, when the very shadow of darkness descended onto my soul, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make my way through. I was punishing myself, for things that happened, things that were beyond my control, and the guilt that I had accumulated over the years, was slowly destroying my will to live.
My will to fight.
But as my love held me in his arms, the clouds covering my soul slowly began to clear, and over the horizon, my sunlight began to shine through.
Not long ago, I started defining myself with what I was not. I wasn't a mother.. I wasn't brave enough to live with the man I loved.. I wasn't even a good Captain. Now, finally, I can define myself by what I am, instead of what I`m not..
So just what am I?
Everything else - is negotiable."
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