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Deep Space Nine
The airlocks opened up and the crew of the Defiant, plus with the addition of Neelix, Joe Carey, the Doctor, and Seven of Nine, walked onto the promenade of the station in a triumphant tone knowing they had just rescued a long lost starship that for a time was presumed destroyed by own known means.
Coming from another airlock was the crew of the Voyager. Captain Janeway was in front, followed by her crew. Although it would have seemed appropriate to have fanfare on the station to greet the long lost crew, most did not know what was going on although several people were eying the old Starfleet uniforms that were adorned on the Voyager crew.
The Doctor, Neelix, Seven, and Carey made their way over to join their fellow crewmembers.
"I can't believe you all managed to escape," Janeway had a surprised tone in her voice.
Seven spoke up. "It was Lieutenant Carey's idea to use your personal shuttle to get to the station and come back and rescue you all."
"And it worked too!" Neelix started to giggle in delight.
Janeway smiled at her moral officer. "Well I'm glad it worked too, for our sake!"
Captain Sisko walked over to greet Janeway for the first time in four years before she left the station to try to apprehend Chakotay and fellow Maquis crew. "Captain, nice to see you again." He extended his hand to shake Janeway's.
Janeway acknowledged and shook his hand. "Likewise Captain, likewise. I never thought I would be over in the Alpha Quadrant again in this short amount of time. I'm just glad my crew and I made it in one piece after all these years that we've been in the Delta Quadrant, facing the unknown."
The Voyager crew started to walk around, looking at the various shops and other aliens, all of them the familiar that they had seen before. Romulans, Klingons, Bajorans, Ferengi, Bolians, all species they knew. Of course some of the Voyager officers were a little surprised to see Klingons and Romulans on the station together since both species seemed to be mortal enemies of each other. But with the Dominion war going on, the crewmembers thought they had pretty much put their differences aside since they needed each other to win the war. It was very similar with both the Maquis and Starfleet crews to come together in order to survive and return home.
"I forgot how big this place is," Harry said as he was looking around the station right next to Paris and Torres.
Quark, the bartender for DS9 was cleaning a glass when he saw the Voyager crew walk on the promenade. But what stood out the most were two officers he met four years ago. He put down the glass and walked over to Paris and Kim. "Ah ha! There you are."
Kim, Paris, and other crewmembers heard the Ferengi speak and saw him approaching the two officers.
"I remember you two," Quark could not have forgotten their faces after what those two did to him several years ago.
Paris and Kim looked at each other and gave an "uh oh" as they saw the Quark make his way over to them. Torres just watched to see what was going to happen.
"You were the one I tried to sell some crystals too, weren't you? Quark was looking at the Asian officer.
"Uh yeah," was all Kim could muster out.
Quark gazed his eyes over at Paris. "And you're the one that messed up the deal I was trying to pull on him."
Paris nearly rolled his eyes. "That was four years ago. How can you even remember who we are and what you were trying to sell to us anyway?"
Quark smiled at the man. "I have the memory of a Tarkalean hawk. So, can I still offer you those crystals?"
Sisko decided to intervene. "Quark, stop harassing these two and move along before I get Odo to arrest you!"
"On what charge!" Quark couldn't even fathom why Sisko was making such an outrageous claim, though everyone always did that to Quark.
"For loitering on the promenade," Sisko explained.
"Loitering!" Quark nearly bit his tongue. "But I….." Quark decided to quit while the going was good and walked back to his bar.
Paris looked back at Sisko. "Thank you sir. That would have gotten ugly."
Sisko nodded. "Anytime." He turned his attention to Janeway. "First you're welcomed by the Dominion and then Quark. Sorry it had to start out this way with your first time back home."
Janeway padded Sisko's right shoulder. "We've been through worse!"
Three days later
It had been several days since the Voyager crew got back home. All the family members and friends had been notified of the Voyager crew returning home, and there was talk about going on all with fireworks, a ticker tape parade somewhere though there wasn't a particular city that was in mind for the parade yet, music from several orchestras and children's choirs from Vulcan, Andoria, Denobula, and a few other planets. Even the Romulans wanted to showcase one of their choirs on Earth for the return of the Voyager crew and the Romulans don't even care that much for the Federation or Earth in particular. However, there were still a few matters to attend to before the celebration could officially begin.
A large room filled Starfleet officers, ambassadors, civilians, and special guests from visiting Federation worlds and worlds allied with the Federation with their war against the Dominion. The walls were trimmed with white and the banner of the Federation was on the back wall along with the Starfleet insignia right next to it.
There were two sections for people to sit. One side and the Voyager crew along with some family members. The Voyager crew, including Janeway, Tuvok, and Kim were now wearing the standard uniforms with the gray shoulders and color undershirts for their respective department. On the other side were other Federation officers of various species, along with ambassadors from other worlds and even some Klingons in attendance. Also several Federation news service reporters were on hand with holocameras that were going to record the events of what was about to transpire.
A Tiburon male Starfleet officer with a rank of lieutenant junior grade wearing a gold uniform saw someone approaching from the side. "All rise."
A female Mazarite wearing a blue dress and blue earrings came walking on stage in front of the large crowd. She had brown hair, was about five feet and seven inches, and was in her fifties. This woman was the president of the Federation, President Felza B'jun. She walked up to a podium and looked out at the audience. "Please be seated." The audience obliged. "Bring out the accused."
Everyone looked to one side of the room. Chakotay, Torres, and the rest of the Maquis came walking out along with Paris. All of them were now in civilian clothing. Chakotay stood in the middle with Tom and B'Elanna by his side. The rest of the Maquis crew were behind them.
The President began to speak. "Mr. Chakotay, you and your crew were a part of the Maquis that were renegades of the Federation were you not?"
Chakotay sighed, looked at B'Elanna, and looked back at the President. "Yes Madam President."
"Captain Janeway's primary mission was to apprehend you and your crew along with rescuing her security chief and take you into custody," the President addressed Chakotay and his crew. "However, circumstances changed when you all were swept away to the other side of the galaxy. You put aside your differences and your crew melded with Janeway's crew and become one crew. Do you have any objections to this claim?"
"No ma'am," is the only thing Chakotay could say at this point.
The President continued. "Captain Janeway's reports have described you as a loyal and capable first officer, with a passion to get the crew home, and to follow the motto of Starfleet. You were very vocal about trying to put some of your fellow Maquis into high positions so their talents could shine such as Miss Torres here as chief engineer." The President touched a pad on the podium. "Your ability to get things done and easy going manner to let all crewmembers share their opinion on something is a trait Captain Janeway admired about you, that even though you were the Voyager's executive officer you still made sure everyone could speak their thoughts including the former Maquis."
The woman then turned to Tom Paris. "Mr. Paris, you were sent to help Captain Janeway by being an observer for the mission, correct?"
"Yes ma'am," Paris responded.
"Your captain's reports have also described you as an outstanding officer who has not only been a capable helmsman but also a good medic. Your doctor has also said the same thing of you and says you have capable skills if you ever decided to become something in the medical field," the President was going through the report filed from both Janeway and the Doctor.
Paris was surprised the Doctor of all people would give him a satisfactory rating. Most of the time the doc seemed like he only tolerated Paris up to a point with the usual quick jibes at each other. But Tom was happy nonetheless that the Doctor did think of him as a good medic.
The President put down the pad and looked at the accused. "Your actions in the last four years has positioned you with tremendous respect by your captain and peers. You dedication to follow orders and duty as awarded you respect with your shipmates. You are all true examples of Starfleet officers that show strength, desire, will, determination, and wiliness to go above and beyond the call of duty. When problems arose, you found solutions. When your captain needed you the most, you were by her side. These things are the true definition of a good Starfleet officer. Because of your exemplary service, you are all dropped of all charges."
The noise from the crowd started to get loud as everyone started to talk. The Maquis and Tom Paris looked at each other and smiled.
The President raised her hand for the audience in attendance to be silent. "It is within this court that you all are also Starfleet officers with the same rank as you had before if you wish do continue your career in Starfleet. I know you all would like some time to get reacquainted with your loved ones, family and friends. You have at your own discretion to be on leave." The President joyous tone faded and reality set back in as she looked at everyone. "Know this, the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans are at a costly battle with the Cardassians and the Dominion. Another ship such as the Voyager, one that has survived difficulties and overcome impossible odds would be a great addition to the allied fleet. But take your time."
The President looked at the former Maquis and Janeway and her crew. "It has been difficult journey that you all have faced, but everyone is happy you all returned. Welcome home. Court is now adjourned."
Sometime later in the evening, the Voyager crew gathered in a large dinning room that overlooked Golden Gate Bridge. The crew were dressed in dinner jackets and dresses, very formal. There was an orchestra, several special guests such as ambassadors and admirals, as well as the Federation news service on hand taking pictures and asking various Voyager crewmembers about being home, if they're going to stay in Starfleet, what it was like being on the other side of the galaxy, etc.
Tom Paris was chatting with his parents while holding a drink. His father was wearing his admiral's uniform on while his mother was wearing a green dress. Both parents were in their late fifties.
Owen Paris looked at his son with admiration and smiled. "Son, I am so proud of you and what you accomplished. I know it wasn't easy."
For the first time in his life, Tom's father was giving him praise. But then again he probably thought he would never see his son again. "Thanks dad. It really means a lot. It hasn't been an easy path, but it's been a good one."
"Chief helm officer of the Starship Voyager," Tom's Mom said with enthusiasm. "That's got a good ring to it Tom."
Tom couldn't help but blush. "Don't forget, I'm also lieutenant junior grade too." But before his parents could say anything Tom spotted B'Elanna and wanted her to come over to him. He looked at her. "Mom, dad, this is Lieutenant junior grade B'Elanna Torres, chief engineer and also my girlfriend. B'Elanna, these are my parents Owen and Helen Paris."
B'Elanna was nervous meeting Tom's folks. She held at her hand as it began to shake due to her being nervous. "Nice to meet you Mrs. Paris." She looked at Tom's father and extended her hand. "Sir."
"We can dispense with the formal protocol B'Elanna," Tom's mother said. "Call me Helen."
"And call me Owen," the man smiled at Torres.
This was a lot for Torres to take in. She smiled. "Thanks. Tom here is a great guy and really redeemed himself. He's one of the best people I've ever met and has made me a better person when being around him. You guys did a great job in raising him."
Owen and Helen were touched with B'Elanna's kind words. But before they could return the compliment, she saw a man whom she hadn't seen in a very long time. "May you all excuse me, there's someone I need to speak too."
"Of course," Owen acknowledged. As soon as B'Elanna walked away, Owen looked at his son with a somewhat serious smile. "So Tom, how close are you and B'Elanna anyway?"
Helen hit her husband. "Owen, you have got to be kidding me!"
"What!" Owen cried out. "I was just curious!"
But before Tom could say something, he saw Harry walking over to him. "Here's another person I want you guys to meet." Harry finally joined his friend and looked at him and his parents. "Mom, dad, I want you to meet my good friend Ensign Harry Kim, chief operations officer. Harry, my father Owen and my mother Helen."
"Sir, ma'am," Harry greeted both parents. "Tom's a great guy. We've been through a lot together and I like to say he has been one of the best friends I have ever had, although he has tried to set me up with one too many dates in the past."
"Oh come on Harry!" Tom cried out.
Helen and Owen laughed.
Elsewhere B'Elanna was talking to an older gentleman in his early fifties. "I can't believe you're here."
The man didn't really know what to say. It had been years since he had last seen her, but her face was still the same. It had never aged a day. "I wanted to see you."
B'Elanna's temper was elevated somewhat. "How did you know I was here? I haven't talked to you in years and all of a sudden I see you on my first night back on Earth?"
"B'Elanna, this is hard for me too!" The man had a sharp tone in his voice. But he tried to control himself.
"How did you find me anyway?" She was curious how the man knew she was at the party tonight, of all places.
"I had spoken to your mother sometime ago. Actually she talked to me," the man replied. "She was worried about you, said you joined the Maquis."
"Mom thought it was a dumb idea for me to get involved with them, just like how she thought it was a bad idea that I should go to Starfleet Academy," B'Elanna rebutted back.
"B'Elanna, your mother was just looking out for your best interest. If I were around, I would have helped guide you to a better life than to join the Maquis. But that was wishful thinking on my part. I regret not being a part of your life when you needed me, especially when you were older," the man said.
"Too bad you ran out on me and mom," B'Elanna fought back. She was fighting back the pain she had kept inside her all of these years from him not being there when she needed him the most.
"I don't want to fight with you B'Elanna!" The man said in a sharp tone. "I came here to see you, my daughter. I knew this was a bad idea." He looked away from her and looked down. "Maybe, maybe…Maybe I shouldn't have come."
He started to move away from her a little but B'Elanna spoke up. "Dad wait." B'Elanna's father looked at her daughter. "Despite carrying some anger towards you, I'm glad you're here. It's nice to see you."
"You too sweetie," B'Elanna's father replied with a sympathetic smile. B'Elanna walked over to her father and gave him a hug. Perhaps this was the first step in trying to heal those old wounds of hers that kept on giving her pain.
"So, dad," B'Elanna began to speak. "How did you know I was here."
"I have a few friends in Starfleet who just happened to get a hold of the records from that ship you were on when you all made contacts several months back," the man said. "Once I heard the Voyager was back, I decided to come here to see you. Your mother would have come, but it's such a long journey from the Klingon homeworld to Earth."
B'Elanna gave a sly smile at her father. "I did speak with mom a few days ago when I got back. She's on here way over here via shuttlecraft to see me."
That caused B'Elanna's father to grow stiff. He hadn't seen his ex wife in a good number of years, but spoke to her on occasion when she was having problems with their daughter. The conversations between the two parents were less than ideal though. "Your mother is coming here? Well, I um, guess I'll let you two catch up then."
B'Elanna could see the resistance in her father's face when she mentioned her mother. "Dad, I want you to be with me to. I want to catch up with you, tonight." She smiled at her father.
"And I would love to catch up with you too," he looked at his daughter. A new dawn seemed to arise and a new relationship, or a rather old relationship that had gone away, was blossoming.
B'Elanna wrapped her left arm around her father's right arm. "Come on, I want you to meet Tom."
"Tom?" The man was puzzled. "Who's he?"
"My boyfriend," Torres smiled at her father. One thing her father feared were guys always trying to hit on her for one thing, sex. Of course, all fathers had that fear.
"Boyfriend!" He looked at her daughter. "Is he a good guy?"
"The best," she replied back.
His daughter wasn't known for dating too many guys, especially when he always looked out for her when she was in high school. He was cautious and weary of other boys, as most fathers usually are, but once he observed that B'Elanna never seemed to date men or even women, he was a little more relaxed. Still, seeing her always single did worry him to a point since she seemed to isolate herself from other people, including people in high school who tried to reach out to her for friendship.
He smiled at her. "I'm glad sweetie. You deserve to have a good man in your life." They started to walk. "Come, tell me more about what's been going on with you while we go find this Tom fellow."
Chakotay had walked over to see Janeway. After seeing her talk to a man he assumed was her former fiancé and meeting his wife, Chakotay observed Kathryn seemed to be depressed. He decided to talk to her. "Captain, mind if I join you?"
Janeway, who was nursing a drink, looked at the man and smiled. "Sure."
There was a pause between the two officers. Chakotay decided to break the ice. "So, I see you talked to what I assume to be Mark and his wife?"
Kathryn acknowledged and nodded. "They seem quite happy together." She paused for a moment. "She's very attractive. Mark always knew how to attract gorgeous women."
"Giving yourself a compliment," Chakotay smiled, "that's a first for you." They started to chuckle together before Kathryn's smile faded.
"The problem is, I look at her and see what could have been with Mark and me if we weren't stranded in the Delta Quadrant," she said.
"Kathryn, you must not say these things. They do not do you any good," Chakotay looked at the woman who was a close friend to him. He didn't like to see her look like this with this depressed state of mind. "You were like this three years ago when we started to receive letters from home and you got a letter from Mark."
Kathryn still seemed to frown at not being with Mark. No matter what, she couldn't get over it. "I'm sorry Chakotay, it's just seeing him with someone else…"
Chakotay touched Kathryn's chin and pushed it to look at him. "Don't. We've all had losses while we're gone. We can't dwell on things that could have been." He placed his hand off of her chin. "Look at me, I lost a lot of good friends from the Dominion war. The Cardassians and the Jem'Hadar nearly killed all the people I knew to be close to me. I would like to have them back, to see them and tell them where I've been all these years. I'm sure quite a few of them must have been wondering where I was at. But I can't. They're gone. The only thing I can do at this point is to move on. They'll still be a part of me, but I have to move on, just like how you have to move on with your life."
Janeway smiled at the man. She padded him on his left shoulder and nudged it a little. "You're right as always." She sipped a little bit of her drink. Somehow talking to Chakotay always helped her see clarity when she would have been distraught. That's always a marking of a good first officer.
"So," Chakotay began, "What about your dog? You going to get her back?"
Kathryn shook her head. "Mark and I discussed this and said it would be best for the dog to stay with him since he's been taking care of her for four years. I don't know if the dog would even recognize me at this point."
"You going to see her anyway?" Chakotay asked.
Janeway nodded. "Mark told me to come by sometime this week to see Mollie and told him I would love too. He always said she's pregnant again and is due to have another litter of puppies within a month and told me I could have one."
"That's great to hear," Chakotay responded. His attention was interrupted when he saw B'Elanna with an older man walking. "Would you take a look at that."
Kathryn looked at Chakotay and then at what he was looking at. "You talking about B'Elanna and the older man?" Chakotay replied with a 'yep'. Kathryn was now curious. "Who is that man anyway?"
"That's B'Elanna's father," Chakotay was still looking at them as they passed by people. "They haven't spoken in years. I guess he decided to come see her. Good for him."
Janeway had heard that B'Elanna and her father was on less than ideal terms and knew she hadn't spoken to her father in quite some time. As she looked at her and her father, she couldn't help feel happy for her. Hopefully B'Elanna had found some peace with her father.
Neelix was making his way around the room and talking to various people. He had met Lieutenant Ayala and his family as well as Lieutenant Carey's family for the first time. He was happy to see his crewmates reunited with their families for the first time in over four years. That gave Neelix great joy, though it also showed him that perhaps he would want to have a family sometime in the not so distant future. He did think about Kes after seeing the families of the Starfleet officers and if they would have had a child or possibly children together. But of course Kes was in another state. Neelix hoped wherever she was that Kes was safe. Maybe she would come and see him sometime. Maybe she would come to visit Earth. Maybe she had already seen Earth before.
As Neelix made his way, he spotted Tuvok and his family. He decided to walk over and meet them since he had heard a great deal about Tuvok's family, though most of it was from Neelix asking the Vulcan about his background.
Tuvok was mid conversation with his family when the Talaxian walked up to him. Tuvok finished his sentence, looked at Neelix, and nodded at him. "Everyone, I would like you to meet someone who has helped me for these past four years, though his presence can be a bit daunting at times. This is Neelix, a Talaxian Voyager picked up at the beginning of our voyage when we were swept to the other side of the galaxy."
Neelix smiled at Tuvok's wife, his three sons, his daughter, and grandchild. "Hello, it's wonderful to meet you all finally. Mr. Tuvok has told me all about you all."
Tuvok began to speak. "Neelix, I want you to meet my wife T'Pel, my three sons, my daughter, and my granddaughter."
Tuvok's daughter in law looked at the Talaxian. "Mr. Neelix, would you like to hold my daughter?"
"I would love to," Neelix was all bubbly with warmth and joy. He grabbed the child and held her. "I've always wanted a child of my own. This reminds me of the times I held Naomi when she was this age."
"Mr. Neelix is the godfather of Naomi, a role in which Neelix has performed admirably," Tuvok was speaking the truth that Neelix was an excellent godfather and knew he would probably be a good father if he ever became one.
Though Neelix never did get too much praise if any from Tuvok, he was delighted that Tuvok was shelling those out to him.
"So what do you do on the Voyager Mr. Neelix?" T'Pel asked the man.
Neelix took a quick second to gather his thoughts spoke. "Well I'm the ship's cook, ambassador, and moral officer."
"Moral officer?" One of Tuvok's sons asked.
"Yeah, it's like an unofficial counselor for the ship," Neelix replied. "Basically I help people with their problems, and believe me we had a lot of people who needed some help. Why there was one time where I had to help Tuvok here when we joined together for a time when we also crossed with a plant and…."
"Thank you Mr. Neelix," Tuvok had to stop the Talaxian from rambling on with such things, especially with the event where they were merged and became the Tuvix person.
"Merged together?" T'Pel looked curiously at her husband. He simply shook his head at her to drop the subject, something in which Tuvok would probably say something later on.
Harry Kim had finally found his parents and began to speak to them. "No mom, I'm sure I'll get promoted to lieutenant junior grade at some point."
"But Harry, you've done so much from the letters you gave us," Harry's mother said.
Harry was tired of having the same conversation with them, especially with his mother who wants to go up to Captain Janeway and demand that she promote him. However, that was going to work, or would it?
"Son you look good," Harry's father said as he smiled and padded his son's shoulder. "And I see you gained a little weight while you were stuck on the other side too."
Harry was embarrassed that his father even mentioned that. Even though he hasn't seen his parents in four years, they still seem to embarrass him.
"So what have you guys been doing all these years?" Harry decided to change the subject.
"Besides wondering if you were still alive or not and grieving for the loss of you, well…." his father trailed off with his thought.
"Hey, I'm here now, your own son, your only son," Harry responded. "Don't say that stuff around me. I didn't know if I would ever see you guys again." From all the skirmishes that he had been through, it was plausible that Harry might not ever see his family again, especially since he was on the other side of the galaxy. However, he and the rest of the crew had to remain hopeful they would get home someday. When they finally made contact with the Alpha Quadrant thanks to sending the Doctor using Hirogen technology and then receiving letters from home, Harry and the rest of the crew became even more optimistic they would see their loved ones again.
"I'm sorry son," Harry's dad didn't mean to use those words in context. "Your mother and I started a garden a few years ago."
"But I thought you didn't like growing your own food?" Harry questioned his parents.
"We didn't, but when we first picked our vegetables and ate them, we fell in love," Harry's mother said.
"Ah, I see it was love at first sight," Harry had to throw in a low brow joke."
"I guess," Harry's father said. He then saw a lady in the background who seemed like she wanted to talk to Harry. That lady was none other than Libby, Harry's girlfriend that he had left behind when he got swept away to the Delta Quadrant. "Speaking of loves at first sight, there's someone who wants to speak to you," Harry's father replied as he pointed Harry to the young lady's general direction.
Harry looked at Libby for the first time in years. Yes he did see her in an alternate reality where he had stayed behind and was not a part of the Voyager crew. But he didn't consider that the real Libby. Libby was the same woman who didn't seem to age. She still had her brown hair, though it was a bit shorter than what Harry remembered before. She also had that killer smile that Harry enjoyed and the fair skin that was pleasant.
"We'll talk to you later Harry," Harry's mother smiled as she placed her hand on his arm. Both parents walked off to leave their son with the woman who Harry had fallen in love with years ago.
Libby at first was silent, staring at the young man, well not as young as she had remembered him before. She let out a smile. "Hi Harry."
"Hey Libby," Harry smiled. He reached over and grabbed her hands. They were as warm and inviting as he had remembered.
Libby began to speak. "I…I….I thought you were dead. I never thought I would see you again."
"I never thought I would see you again either," Harry was still holding onto Libby's hands. "All those nights when I went to bed, I thought about you."
Libby's eyes started to swell up a little. Harry could tell he said something that provoked an emotional response of sadness. They both looked at each other for a few moments, each other gazing in each other's eyes, and enjoying each other's company for the first time in years. Harry didn't want to lose this moment. He still didn't know if this could be real or not for he had dreamt this picture a thousand times before. He felt Libby let go of his gaze.
Libby started to cry. "Harry, I'm so sorry."
Harry looked at her at a loss, puzzled at her expression. "For what?"
"Harry, I know we were supposed to be together, but after I learned that you died, I had to move on with my life," Libby was still crying. "I never thought I would see you again. I wanted to believe you were still out there, somewhere, but I had to move on.
"What are you trying to tell me Libby?"
Libby was still crying. She looked at Harry and then turned around and looked at a man and a baby. They approached Libby. It was all too perfectly clear to Harry that the man was Libby's husband and the baby was hers. A piece of the love between Harry and Libby seemed to vanish as Harry looked at the two. The connection they had seemed to vanish in that moment when he realized what was going on.
"I'm so sorry Harry," Libby said. She decided to introduce the two to him. "This is my husband Kurt and my daughter Kimberly."
Kurt was a strapping man around thirty years of age. Around six feet tall, well built, brown hair, brown eyes, some one that Harry knew could catch Libby's eye. Harry shook Kurt's hand. "Nice to meet you."
Kurt nodded. "Libby here has told me about you, even before you returned. She said you're a good man and that she was very grateful to have known a caring person."
Harry didn't want to acknowledge the man because he still felt Libby was supposed to be his, but he knew this Libby, not the one he had known before he was stranded, was now gone. "Thank you. You seem like a good man for her. Just be sure to take good care of her. She's something special."
"I will," Kurt replied. He gave the baby to Libby and decided to walk over to one of the buffet tables and leave them alone.
Libby looked at Harry. "Harry, I'm sorry."
Harry smiled and shook his head at her apology. "Don't be sorry Libby. You said so yourself, I was gone and there was no way of knowing I was still alive. You had to move on."
Libby was somewhat glad Harry understood, though it still didn't make the situation better. "So, did you ever find someone while you were away?"
Harry shook his head. "No. There wasn't anyone on the Voyager that I was interested in." He looked at Libby's daughter and then back at Libby. "She's got your eyes and smile. Take care of yourself Libby." Harry smiled and walked away. He noticed Libby was still crying. The sadness he saw in her eyes was the very same sadness he was feeling but it was being kept inside. His one true love was now lost forever even though he was in the same room with her. Maybe Libby, the one true love was gone forever, but there was always Libby the friend. Maybe…
The Doctor noticed Seven of Nine was trying to hide herself in the background and walked over to her. "Seven?"
The ex Borg didn't seem to enjoy herself. "This experience is awkward for me. I do not like social gatherings."
The Doctor chuckled. "I would imagine so, being assimilated for such a long time and not developing the ever important social skills one gains in his or her years. I can imagine this must be very difficult for you."
"In deed it is," Seven retorted.
The Doctor was trying to find a way to connect with the young woman. "Seven, you've been away for part of your life. A part of you was taken by the Borg when you were assimilated at a young age and now you're back at your home again. Embrace that Seven. Look at everyone around you. They've been gone away for all these years, cut off from their friends and loved ones, and look at them now. They're all enjoying each other's company."
Seven frowned. "But I wasn't cut off from anyone. I do not know anyone here other than the crew."
Seven and the Doctor turned their attention to an older woman, wearing a brown shirt and brown pants, approaching the two.
Seven stared at the woman who addressed her by her human name. "Do I know you?"
The older woman smiled. "When you were younger you did. I'm Irene Hansen, your aunt."
Seven just stood there, frozen, not being able to move or even say anything for the first time. The Doctor simply whispered in her ear to go talk to the woman. The Doctor decided it would be to leave and for the two to get acquainted with each other.
As the Doctor walked away from Seven, he was approached by an older man. "So you're the Mark One that is still practicing medicine on that starship."
The Doctor turned around and stood face to face with himself, well a person that had the same face as him. It was his creator, Doctor Lewis Zimmerman, the real one. The man himself was wearing a Starfleet uniform with a gold shirt. His hair was about like the Doctor's though a few gray hairs was creeping through.
"It's good to know that some of my work is still put to good use," Zimmerman responded.
"Doctor Zimmerman," the Doctor smiled and started to shake his hand, "I'm honored to finally meet you sir."
Zimmerman looked at the holographic doctor for a moment. "How is it that you're here and not confined to your prison?"
The Doctor was trying to figure out what prison was. "Oh, you mean the Voyager sickbay?" The Doc wasn't for sure if Zimmerman was joking or serious. His facial expression was mute. "I have this, a mobile emitter from the twenty-ninth century I picked up last year."
Zimmerman examined the device on the uniform of the Doctor's left arm. "I see. How did you acquire such a device?"
"Well it's a long story, but suffice to say, I got it while I was in San Francisco in nineteen-ninety-six," the Doctor responded.
"Nineteen-ninety-six?" Zimmerman's left eyebrow raised up just a bit.
"It's a long story, one I would gladly share with you," the Doctor seemed like he was making some headway with his creator despite hearing how difficult he could be with people.
"I look forward to hearing it," Zimmerman said. "You seem to have had quite an adventure on Voyager. Tell me more."
And with that, the Doctor began to tell Doctor Zimmerman about different stories, adventures, and meeting new life forms. It was something Zimmerman didn't think the EMH would have done if he hadn't been stranded on the other side of the galaxy.
A little while had past as everyone talked to their family members and reconnected with their friends and other loved ones and meeting new people in the process. After a while Janeway thought it would be a could time to wrap things up with a speech she had been preparing for the last day or so when she found out she and the rest of the crew were going to be thrown a party.
She walked to the center of the room, held a spoon next to her glass, and tapped it. "Attention, attention everyone."
The crew and their respective families and friends stopped what they were doing to give Captain Janeway their undivided attention.
"It's been four years since any of us were back home. At first we were swept away from anything remotely resembling home or any of the native species we've encountered. With my order to destroy the Caretaker's array, we were very much alone in the Delta Quadrant. Here on one side was my crew, and on the other side was Chakotay's crew. Combining the two crews together seemed the logical choice, but I have to tell you all it was a bold move, one in which I did not know if it would last or not," Janeway was talking.
The crew looked around each other. Some smiled while others kept their composure. This was the first time they have heard what their captain thought when combining the Maquis and Starfleet crews together.
Janeway continued. "At first it was a little rough. There were some people who didn't want to convey to the rules and regulations of Starfleet. I could sympathize with your attitude as I would have done the same thing. However, as the months pass, the crews combined and worked together. From the greetings I got when I saw you all on the bridge or in the corridors, to the messages Neelix brought to my attention from your concerns on various obstacles we faced, I knew you all were the finest crew I've ever been associated with."
Some of the crew by now had some tears coming out. This speech Janeway was giving was very emotional and very moving. Captain Janeway seemed to be getting watery eyes too.
Janeway smiled as she looked around the room. "We were tested as a crew, no doubt. From Seska and Michael Jonas, to the Kazon takeover, it was a battle for all of us. When we regained the Voyager back from the hands of the Kazon, I knew our crew would get through anything no matter how hard, no matter how difficult. Even after our battle with the Borg and Species 8472, to the Hirogen takeover where we were forced to participate in their hunts in the holodecks, we somehow got through those things. I now we're here, together on Earth. It was a difficult beginning for everyone, and the journey proved to be very dangerous and very bumpy, but we got through it as a crew and more importantly as a family."
Janeway raised her glass to her crew and continued. "You all are much more than just a crew. You all know that by now. You all are part of my family, each of you. We all are. We've done something no one else could ever do. Out of the difficulties and the obstacles we faced, we came out strong and our bond grew tighter as a crew and as a family. We lost some people along the journey, and one departed for a new existence, but we stayed together. To each of you, to my family, I salute you to the journey we've been through together."
Everyone saluted to not just the Captain, but to each other. There were nods and 'here here's' from the crew. What Janeway said echoed what they all felt along the way the past four years, they were a family despite the differences.
After a few moments of letting the crew celebrate what she meant, Janeway continued. "Now we have other matters to attend to. We have an ongoing war with the Dominion. Despite that Starfleet would like for us to get back and join the fight, they have assured me that we can take as much time as we can in readjusting back to being home. There's no time table on relaxing, spending time with friends or family. You all can have all the time you want. And despite the fact I don't want to admit this, some of you might not come back to Voyager. That's alright. You might just want to spend time with your family knowing that if you got sent back to the trenches, you might never see your loved ones again. I couldn't blame you for that. No matter what you do with your lives, no matter if you come back to the Voyager, I do thank each and every one of you and wish you all the best."
Janeway raised her glass again and walked away. The crew saluted again. Each of them knew it was going to be a while before they got back to the ship. They had their families and friends to visit now. And knowing that some might not come back to Starfleet or to the Voyager, they were all family, and that's something they shall always remember.