The Q and I

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters except for Ensign Kat Doec, Marissa Blake and T'eyla Minh.  They were fabricated by myself and a friend of mine.  Everything else belongs to Paramount and all that jazz.

(Janeway wakes up, finding herself in a bed curled up in a man's arms...)

Janeway: What the--? Where--? How--? (then she gets a good look at her strange bedfellow) Q?!?! (had she known more about the situation, doubtless she would have been happier to see him)

Q: Shh (puts a finger over her lips) There there, Kathy. You're safe now.

Janeway: Safe? What are you doing here? What's going on?

Q: Its all right, trust me. Don't worry about a thing. Oh, here (snaps, they're dressed) is that better? (she still looks completely confused, she tries to get up but he grabs her arm and stops her, forcing her to stay) Now don't go getting all excited. I'm here, everything is fine, just let me explain. You were kidnapped by the Continuum and were about to be sold off on the black market. Fortunately I saved you. You might not like this but....the only way I'd have any claim to your life is....if I....(cough)married you(cough) Lovely morning, isn't it?

Janeway: Married? Married??? Q, not meaning to sound ungrateful--

Q: (acting wounded) Oh, I see, I get it. I save you from total public humiliation and degradation and this is the thanks I get. You'd think that you'd rather entrust yourself into my care than be dragged away by a complete stranger to have who-knows-what be done to you. To tell you the truth, I'm hurt.

Janeway: (sighs) thank you for rescuing me and everything, but...married? Is this for real? (looks at the floor, sees two sets of Q wedding robes, picks one up between her thumb and forefinger as though it were something vile)

Q: Would it be so terrible? (she groans) Yes, its real. We're stuck with each other for life, and might I add that its going to be a very long life on your part as well. You see, one side effect of...mating...(Janeway groans again, puts her hands over her face) is that part of me has rubbed off onto you. Congratulations Kathy, you're part Q.

Janeway: (sarcastic) Oh, joy. Just what I always wanted.

Q: Regardless of your sentiment, we're a package deal. Are you going to be all right?

Janeway: Honestly enough I feel rather ill. No offense but this is insane...Imagine, me ending up as your wife (sigh)

Q: (eases her back so she's laying down again) You probably need to rest, you'll feel better soon (he kisses her hand)

Janeway: (a bit touched by his concern) Could we possibly go back to Voyager? I--(there's a flash of light and they're in her quarters) Oh, thank you. (looks a bit uncomfortable, pats his shoulder platonically, he has none of it. He takes her hand

again and kisses all the way up to her neck, temporarily "disabling" her in order to do so, when he kisses her lips she hits him hard, and shoves him away)

Q2: (appears in the room, laughs at his father getting pushed around by his favorite "aunt") Nice going "Casanova". I was wondering when you two lovebirds would come back. What kept you?

Janeway: Don't ask, believe me you don't want to know!

Q: Now I hope you've been behaving yourself, Junior. I'd hate to have you making trouble for these people. We might just have to send you back to the petri dish...

Q2: What?! Oh, yeah, sure. Just fine, everything is smooth sailing. (off screen someone screams "Q!!!") Uhh...I better go. Bye Dad, Aunt Kathy (snaps himself outta there but quick)

Janeway: (sighs, almost forgets the awkward situation for the moment) Keeps things from getting too boring around here anyway. (she turns around, running straight into him, turns around in the other direction and he's there again, and so forth) Will you stop doing that?!?!

Q: (pretends to think) Hmm, no. Its far too much fun. (pats her cheek and flashes away, she stalks off to the mess hall to try and convince herself that she's been dreaming)

(Next scene, Ensign Doec is tinkering around in the Holodecks, tweaking her new program. Lieutenant Paris is assisting her)

Paris: That's it...that should do it. Is this your first one?

Doec: Uh huh, thanks for giving me a hand.

Paris: No problem. Computer, initiate Holodeck Program Doec-1 (it shimmers to life, revealing an underground beatnik hangout. Their clothes change to match the setting) Nice. Earth, surprising.

Doec: My parents died when I was 11 years old, I was adopted by human parents and lived on Earth with them till I was old enough to join the Academy. They don't

even know I'm Joined yet. It happened not too long before I came here. They're gonna flip!

Paris: Wow. Okay, I've always wanted to know this: what's it like?

Doec: (thinks about it a while) I wish I could describe it, its just...something else. I wish I'd had the proper training beforehand. His former host gave me a crash course on the subject before the transfer, he knew he didn't have much time left. I couldn't just sit back and let Doec die, knowing I could be a host but it does get weird sometimes.

Paris: Weird how?

Doec: Well, you promise not to tell anyone? (he nods) Okay, not even T'eyla knows this yet, but when I first got here I actually had quite a crush on the Captain! (mutters) The horny old goat lives on. [for those unfamiliar with my fics, I write myself in as Ensign Doec. She is a Trill]

Paris: Man, that is unusual, but it does kind of make sense. I take it you're "better" now?

Doec: Yeah, pretty much. (looks around, enjoying the scenery, fade out)

(Meanwhile on the Bridge, everyone notices immediately that the Captain looks rather flustered to say the least. She takes her seat, Chakotay takes this time to get to the bottom of things)

Chakotay: You look like something's bothering you. Is everything all right?

Janeway: (a bit cynical) Oh, just great. I woke up an hour ago to find out I'm married to Q. How's your morning been?

Chakotay: Fine. (her sentence registers) Hold on, did you just say--

Janeway: I did. Not only that but it seems we've...consummated, (Chakotay is horror-stricken) the immediate byproduct of which is that apparently now I'm part Q too.

Chakotay:, I'm not sure what to say.

Janeway: (long bleak sigh) And I don't even love him. (Chakotay takes her hand, she smiles at him) He...assured me it was the only way he could have rescued me without making any trouble. (knows how easy of a target this situation makes her) I'd thank you not to pursue the subject any further, do I make myself clear? (he nods) Good. But let me tell you this, if he thinks I'm going to "play house" with him, he is sorely mistaken (Chakotay looks amused, looking at her so you can tell he wants to kiss her)

Chakotay: (decides to see how far he can push it until she gets mad, might as well have a little fun with it. I mean, how often does this happen??) Really? And you make such a cute couple too.

Janeway: (looks at him, trying to be stern but failing) Shush!

Chakotay: My god! (dramatic pause) What do you think your kids would look like??

Janeway: (if this wasn't so funny she'd kill him) I said its closed! (gives him that "You're crazy" look. Finally seeing some humor in it.) I just hope that I can manage to force out a convincing act in case They decide to peek in on us.

Chakotay: Well, good luck. (he pats her hand and they do starship stuff. Beeping, blinking, flashing, yada-yada-yada, you know the drill)

(later on in the Mess Hall, Ensign Doec is talking to Harry Kim)

Doec: So would you like to see my new Holodeck program? Even Seven of Nine thought it was a scream.

Kim: Did she actually say "It was a scream"?

Doec: Not in so many words...I could see it in her eyes though!

Kim: (laughs) All right, so what is it anyway?

Doec: A surprise. Trust me, you'll like it. Unless you have a problem with a slightly more "colorful" crowd.

Kim: I don't think I want to know.

Doec: They're harmless, you'll love it. (she tows Harry off to the Holodeck, Seven of Nine enters and approaches Janeway's table)

Seven: Captain, is this seat taken?

Janeway: (looks up) Oh, no its not. Please, sit down. (Seven sits across from her) Now how have you been?

Seven: Very well, thank you. The Doctor has just been telling me about a female ritual known as "girl talk"... I was wondering if you would care to join a few of us tonight. Kat Doec has been wanting to try out her Holoprogram on a group and we just thought....

Janeway: I'd love to, thank you Seven. Um, what sort of program is it? I've heard that Tom Paris has been assisting her...(thoughts wander to her past as "Arachnia, Queen of the Spider-people")

Seven: (apparently a mind-reader) I saw it in its preliminary stages. Don't worry, it isn't one of Mr. Paris' usual creations. I expect you will find it most tranquil.

Janeway: I wouldn't miss it.

(that night Captain Janeway, B'Elanna Torres, Seven of Nine, T'eyla Minh and Kat Doec met up in Kat's beatnik hangout. Holodeck characters receive them with beatnik hospitality. They socialize, noticing that they're now dressed to the setting. Drinks are served and they're all mingling around, amused at their strange attire. Soon the subject changes to Captain's recent change in marital status)

Torres: Q?? You're married to Q???? (not even bothering to conceal her amusement)

Doec: Permission to speak freely, Captain?! (all lit up like Christmas came early)

Janeway: Denied! (looks severe. Kat shrugs and whispers something to Minh, both giggle shrilly. Minh whispers to B'Elanna who smirks and covers her mouth. B'Elanna whispers to Seven whose eyes go wide and she cups her hand over one side of her face to hide her reaction) Maybe I should have rephrased that...(she sips her drink, looks stunned and manages to swallow) What is this???

Beatnik #1: Its our groovy java, baby. Ya dig it?

Janeway: (not understanding a word he just said) I'm Universal Translator must not be working.

Beatnik #2: Your what? (takes her comm. badge off her, examines it) Whoa, far out man. Totally wild. (hands its back)

T'eyla: Maybe you should come visit my program, ma'am. I'll get you fixed up with some translator thingies.

Janeway: (sighs, then, seeing that Kat speaks their language quite fluently) Ensign?

Doec: (points to the beatniks and T'eyla in turn.) He says its their secret mixture and he wants to know if you like it. She likes your Universal Translator. Minh's been spending too much time in the monochromatic Holodeck programs.

Janeway: Yes, well...this is (sips again with caution) interesting. What's the "secret ingredient"?

Beatnik #2: Amaretto, and lots of it!

Seven: (looks worried) Synthohol? Oh no...

Minh: What's the matter, Seven?

Seven: I've had...(tallies it up in her head) four of those.

Beatnik #1: Four? Whoa, you better lie down, its gonna get freakish. 

Janeway: We'd better get her to Sickbay.

Torres: I'll take her. (takes Seven's arm, pulling her to her feet) Here we go, easy. (they go off to Sickbay)

Seven: Lieutenant?

Torres: Hmm?

Seven: (lays her head on her shoulder) I love you...

Torres: (?!?!?) Sure Seven, whatever.

Seven: Kiss me.

Torres: Um, no. Let's not.

Seven: I'm not ready to die...

Torres: You're not dying! You're just having a strong reaction to Synthohol, that's it. Now come on. (they get to Sickbay, the Doctor looks concerned for his fiancée [fantasy season!] He runs a tricorder over her)

Doctor: Seven? Can you hear me?

Seven: Yes (groans again)

Doctor: You're a mess (helps her stand, guides her to a biobed) Look at me--no, stay with me, right here...there. (hyposprays her, eases her down) Sweet dreams, Annika (kisses her.)

Seven: (smiles at being addressed by her human name, its become the Doctor's pet name for her) Thank you, Doctor. (She closes her eyes and goes to sleep.)

(next scene, Janeway is just getting back to her quarters. She takes off her jacket and T-shirt, leaving her in her tank-top and slacks. She flops down on her bed. Suddenly Q appears and bangs on a conga drum)

Q (fake Cuban accent): Luuucy, I'm home from da clahhhb!! (slides in beside her)

Janeway: (weakly) Go away, Q. Now is not the time.

Q: Tsk tsk tsk (flashes her into her silky pink nightie and tucks her in) Now what would you do without me? (kisses her head, more like a Bugs Bunny kiss than anything else) Nighty night. (she's long since asleep, a while later she catches a chill and snuggles up next to Q. He looks absolutely stunned, stares at her. Cautiously puts his arms around her. She sighs contentedly. He chuckles to himself, pats her back and kisses her forehead) She won't believe this (she cuddles up to him again, end scene)

(talk about de ja vu...)

Janeway: (gasp!) Q! Get off me! (shoves him away and gets up, brushing herself off acting like a ten-year-old infected with "cooties", puts on her robe and glares up at him, arms folded across her chest waiting for an explanation)

Q: Well you started it! (Janeway looks doubtful, eyebrows raised) You were shivering! (baby-talk)

Janeway: (sigh/snarl) Fine, so I'm a heat-seeking missile. That had nothing to do with you.

Q: (in his teasing tone) Don't try to fight it, Kathy. It was written in the stars (gestures to window where a "KJ+Q" is drawn inside a heart in the stars, he pulls her up against him) We are destined to be together!

Janeway: (frees herself from his grasp, uses her first attempt at Qness and erases his new "constellation") Get out, Q! (flash and there's another Q [Next Gen. fans, its Amanda Rogers, see episode "True Q"])

Amanda [or Q3 if you prefer]: Having a little lovers' quarrel? (Q and Janeway look at each other then back at her. From their expressions you'd think they'd both stood accused of kissing his/her sister/brother and liking it!)

Q: (doesn't miss a beat) Well, you know how those go, right? Not that we can stay mad at each other for very long, of course (kisses Janeway on the forehead, icy look from her indicates he's pushing his luck)

Amanda/Q3: I see. I've just never seen that reaction to a couple waking up together, even having been raised among humans. I'm going to be analyzing your relationship, popping in from time to time, as something of a study regarding the compatibility between a Q and an...(trying to find a word that would not offend, after all she "was" one until a few years ago) inferior being. I expect it will be an interesting experiment.

Q: Listen, she may be an inferior being, but she's my inferior being! (puts his arm around Janeway rather roughly) So you just watch what you say.

Amanda/Q3: Very well. I see whatever problem there was is over so....kiss and make up (Janeway and Q look at each other. Janeway would clearly rather not. In fact that would have to be the understatement of the millennium. Q on the other hand doesn't appear to mind quite as much. From the way he kisses her you'd think they were an ordinary loving married couple. His kiss leaves her breathless and she even involuntarily leans in for more. When they release she actually smiles at him, shields off-line. Satisfied, Amanda leaves them alone)

Janeway: Wow...

Q: Something wrong?

Janeway: The only one who could kiss me like that was Mark. [her ex-fiancé, we'll see more of him shortly!] (half to herself) I used to cuddle up to him in my sleep too. (looks a bit shy) [okay, comparing Q to one of her only other serious relationships, hmmm...What could this possibly mean?]

Q: (trying to snap her out of it) Oh, don't go ditching the "impossible to get" routine, you're so good at it! (gives her shoulder a little shake, putting her rational mind back in commission) Okay? (Janeway nods) Good. Well, I better be off but I will see you (touches the tip of her nose) later. (snaps away)

Janeway: (looks around, has a "why not?" expression on her face, snaps herself into uniform. Sighs, talks to herself) Goddamnit! What's wrong with me? (the door bleeps) Come in?

Chakotay: (enters) Captain...

Janeway: (groans) Don't tell me its 0700 already.

Chakotay: 'Fraid so. Is everything all right?

Janeway: I'll be fine, thank you. Just a weird morning. (Gets up to go to the Bridge with Chakotay)

(meanwhile in the mess hall)

T'eyla: Can you believe about the Captain and Q? I feel so sorry for her!

Doec: I don't know, he seems kinda sweet to me.

T'eyla: Are we thinking of the same Q here? I think you have him confused with some other, sensible Q.

Doec: I'm serious! Coming to his lady's rescue in her time of need. (grins and bats her eyes)

T'eyla: Eww! Sick! (Kat gives her an "explain" look) You don't know them like I do, every time he comes to "visit" we end up nearly getting killed.

Doec: Still, I think its adorable. Harry said one of the times he was here he wanted to have a child with the Captain. Isn't that groovy?

T'eyla: Groovy?

Doec: You you wouldn't know. But think about it, out of everybody in the whole universe he thought of her.

T'eyla: Sounds creepy to me. Like some kind of intergalactic stalker, or something...besides, she and the Commander are engaged! Something that you helped out with, if memory serves.

Doec: That was before I knew about Q.

T'eyla: I hate to disappoint you, but she can't stand him

Doec: Denial.

T'eyla: Denial?? (Determined to win) You know that incident Harry mentioned? I'll tell you what really happened, shall I? (Kat hurls her a "Go right ahead!" look.) Okay, Q came to Voyager. Again. He showed up and propositioned her - the experience of a lifetime, saving the Continuum, the usual omnipotent species chat-up lines - and she quite obviously turned him down. Q just has a stupid crush on her, why do you think he keeps coming back?!

Doec: (making kissy faces) He wuvs her?

T'eyla: (Sigh) If he did, he'd leave her alone. Anyway, Q eventually persuaded another, female Q, to be the mother of the first child of the Continuum. That would be Q Jnr, obviously. (Pause.) Did you know Q already HAS a wife?

Doec: Yes, I did... but she walked out on them. Probably because she knew he was in love with our Captain. I've seen them together, they're perfect for each other! A week's worth of replicator rations says they go together like ramalamalama-kadingity-dingadong.

T'eyla: What??? Have you gone crazy?

Doec: Nevermind. Come on, is it a bet?

T'eyla: You're on! This'll be the easiest bet I've ever won! (They shake on it)

(halfway to the Bridge Q2 [Q's son] appears)

Q2: Please tell me I didn't just see that!

Chakotay: See what?

Q2: Q and her were...were kissing! Ugh! (shudders)

Chakotay: (looks at the captain) Is that so? (smirk)

Janeway: (scowls, snarls) Drop it! (Chakotay puts his hands up and backs off)

Q2: That has got to be the most disgusting thing I've seen in my life! You...and him...and you both liked it too! Gross!

Janeway: He did?

Q2: (shrugs) Yeah. What is it with the two of you anyway?

Janeway: What do you mean?

Q2: I mean make up your minds already! Do you hate him or--

Janeway: Say it and you'll live to regret it. (he shuts up) Don't be absurd! Me and Q? Ridiculous! (she realizes she sounded a lot like Q, recovers) I assure you its only a game. There is zero interest between us.

Q2: Just try and remember that next time you two are--I can't even think about that! I'm going to be sick! (leaves. Janeway looks around, relieved that she's finally alone, leans up against the wall, sighs. Suddenly Q appears right on top of her, she jumps about a foot)

Q: 'Tis I, my pet (reads the semi-pained look on her face and backs away) Feeling all right? (she nods) Come with me, I'm giving you the day off.

Janeway: What?

Q: (waves his hand, bringing everything on the ship to a halt, takes her hand, drags her a few steps from the wall) Come with me.

Janeway: Where?

Q: (flash and she's blindfolded, he holds both of her hands) Trust me.

Janeway: (smiles in spite of herself) I trust you.

Q: (looks at her. something's different. She's so vulnerable yet so secure, he kisses her hand, surprised to see her smile brighten for a second before she manages to hide it again. He flashes them away. we switch to Janeway's POV, blackness for the moment) Now I was thinking, what sort of "marriage" would this be without a proper honeymoon? See where we are, Kathy. I hope you like it. (she takes the blindfold off and we see the sun rise, illuminating Starfleet Headquarters. Her eyes go wide and she nearly faints. Q holds her protectively, keeping her upright. Even after she catches her balance she still holds his arm)

Janeway: Earth...I was starting to wonder if I'd ever set foot here again. (wipes her eyes, looks overjoyed) Thank you, Q. (looks like she doesn't know what she ought to do, lightly kisses his cheek much to their equal surprise [and liking :-) ], she catches herself and tries to look natural)

Q: (puzzled at her emotional reaction) Don't get all mushy on me, its only temporary.

Janeway: I know

Q: Not much to look at, is it?

Janeway: Its perfect.

Q: Well, where to first? ...

(Q flashes them to various places, having changed Janeway's appearance slightly so she wouldn't be recognized and putting them into the appropriate clothing of each place. By the end of the day they'd seen nearly the whole planet, at which point our newlyweds come up with a devilishly delightful idea...)

Janeway: Q?

Q: Yes?

Janeway: Do you think we could perhaps pay "someone" a little "visit"? Believe me, I don't intend to be seen.

Q: What did you have in mind?

Janeway: (mischievous grin, more signature of Q than of her) I just thought we could-- (leans in and whispers in his ear)

Q: Oh? Oh! (laughs) Why Kathy, you little...I like the sounds of that! (kisses her on the lips, the mood of which is more like a high-5 than a real kiss, snaps and they vanish in a flash of light. They reappear in Indiana in the vicinity of her ex-fiancé, Mark [oh dear...])

Janeway: There he is, that's him (pointing)

Q: That one? (also pointing, she nods) Him? You were going to marry him?? Even I'm more suited for you than he is! What did you ever see in that dope?

Janeway: (smirks, sizes Mark up, looks back at Q) He is rather...secondary, isn't he?

Q: (moves behind her, puts his arms around her middle) To say the least. (kisses her neck, his affection taking Janeway by surprise, making her feel all warm and squishy inside [either that or she needs to wear diapers!])

Janeway: It...seemed like a good idea at the time (smiling, looking years younger)

Q: (rubbing his hands together) Well, this is going to be fun...Ladies first, my dear.

Janeway: Me? (feels rather put on the spot, this form of "recreation" is still very new to her) This is more your area of expertise, Q. You start.

Q: Oh no, I insist (gesturing for her to have a go) I'm sure you can think of something. Start small, that might help.

Janeway: Let's see...(snaps and his shoelaces are tied together, not only that but he has two left feet and a "Kick Me Hard" sign on his back, the inevitable ensues...)

Q: Not bad, not bad at all--for a beginner. Why not try this on for size? (thunder cracks, a large black cloud looms overhead and begins pouring only on their unfortunate target)

Janeway: That's kids' stuff. Surely you can do better than that! (becoming more and more Q by the minute and liking it) Now how about this? (does a "wind up, and the pitch!" motion and we see Mark look even more distressed than he already was, although it is not apparent what is causing it)

Q: (leans in, talks softly) I don't get it, what did you do?

Janeway: He'll have "The Song that Never Ends" running through his head for a long time!

Q: Wow. (claps quietly) Very well executed.

Janeway: Thank you. I think we better hit the road before we attract any attention to ourselves. They aren't supposed to know about us, are they?

Q: (thinks " 'Us'?? Is she calling herself a Q? Better make sure.") Us? Us like you and me us?

Janeway: No, silly, I mean us-us (makes a wide gesture, as if including a large number into this association)

Q: Right, us. (looking quite proud of her, holds her hand) Here we go. (flashes them back onto Voyager)

Janeway: (looks around) I had a good time today, thank you.

Q: Yes, that wasn't so bad, was it? (vanishes, Janeway goes off to the Bridge and has a look at her crew. They're still frozen in place. She has a "What do I do now?" look on her face. She thinks it over, reluctant to use her powers without Q but sees no other choice. She snaps them back into commission, looks impressed with herself and takes her seat, getting back into her role as captain for the day)

(later that day the Captain paged Ensigns T'eyla, Doec, and Blake to her ready room)

Janeway: All right, this is how it is. What I'm about to do surprises me just as much as it no doubt will you, too. (sigh, is going to regret this, looks up like Q does when he's hearing the Continuum, makes a small "come here" gesture to nobody they can see, a second later Q2 appears) I believe you've all met Q's son (knows exactly how ridiculous she sounds)...Q. (everyone nods, waves) His father...will be with us for a while, which means he will as well.

T'eyla: With all due respect, Captain, what does this have to do with us?

Janeway: Because...I want you to keep an eye on him.

Q2: Aunt Kathy...I'm not sure you know this so I'm just verifying....(leans in and audibly whispers) They're girls!

Janeway: I'm aware of that, Q.

Q2: But, Aunt Kathy, I'm not sure you understand....they're girls!

Janeway: I'm sure they won't bite you.

Doec: Okay, just so we're all on the same page here. What you're saying is...that you want us to make sure he stays out of trouble? This'll be a first!

Janeway: Just don't dissappoint me. Dismissed. (T'eyla, Doec and Blake all about face and leave. Q2 stays behind.) You too, Q.

Q2: (Looks at her in teenage horror, kinda like "That is SO unfair!") You expect me to hang around with them?

Janeway: Yes, I do. Now, go on. I don't want to have to force you... (He sulks, clearly not going to go anywhere... Meanwhile, as Janeway threatens him...)

(Corridor outside Ready Room - the three 'girls' are nattering, usual girl-chat.)

Doec: Hey, that Q's pretty cute.

T'eyla: Yeah, for a Q... (Doec ignores that one.) I think he's a little young for us.

Doec: So?

Blake: You know, we could have a lot of fun with this, guys.

T'eyla: Explain?

Blake: Well, two ways - one, he's a Q, the universe's most renowned trouble-maker, left under our protective wing to keep him OUT of trouble... possibly the most ironic thing I've heard... Secondly, he's a teenage boy stuck with three 'girls'... (She lets the thought linger, and we see their expressions change to various evil smiles as they contemplate the possibilities.... suddenly, the door slides open and Q2 is hurled out as if being shoved. The "And stay out!" is implied...)

Doec: Well, well, well, if it isn't Q.

T'eyla: Ready to join our merry gang? (They surround him, pinning him against the wall, like lionesses waiting for their prey to faint from terror...)

Q2: Uh... Aunt Kathy says I have to stick with you three... so... uh... I guess... (he panics and ducks under their arms.) Excuse me! (He gets halfway down the corridor before T'eyla manages to catch up, followed by Doec and Blake. Doec and T'eyla put an arm each around his shoulders and Blake follows close behind him. He looks up to the Continuum.) Dad? Help!

Doec: Aww, come on, Q-ball! We're not going to hurt you!

Blake: Yeah, we're just messing with your head.

T'eyla: We do that a lot around here.

Q2: (He relaxes a little.) You three seem... interesting.

T'eyla: You haven't seen the half of it! Stick with us, we'll show you a good time belittled only by the Continuum itself!

Q2: You will? In this place?

Blake: (nods.) Uh-huh... okay, so maybe we can't play pool with solar systems, or swim through nebulas, but we know how to have fun! (He gives them a "Prove it" look.)

Doec: (Proves it:) Okay, listen... I'm an intergalactic hitchhiker who sleeps in the Cargo Bay, and T'eyla's still an Ensign after seven years because she's got a terrible attitude... (and who then drops herself in it by smacking her one.) See?

Q2: (To Blake.) What about you?

Blake: Bad as I wanna be. (Grins. Q looks convinced. He puts an arm around T'eyla and Doec's shoulders, acting like they're old friends...)

Q2: I think I'm going to like hanging out with you... (They walk off down a corridor... uh-oh, trouble awaits Voyager!)

(things continued like this for a while. Days into weeks, weeks into months. Janeway in her ready-room going over a couple of PADDs)

Janeway: (not even looking up) Q, stop staring at me, its starting to creep me out.

Q: (appears) Aww, how did you guess?

Janeway: You're kidding. Its been three months, I've developed a sixth sense when it comes to you (looks up at him smiles) So what were you staring at?

Q: I was just wondering...have you ever--just for a moment, mind you--forgotten why we were married?

Janeway: [Huh?] Um, why do you ask?

Q: You know, there have even been times I've forgotten you were just a human. (she slips up and has a rather offended look, like "Who are you calling human?", realizes that that's what she's supposed to be and comes back to herself for the moment) But you never fail to remind me of the truth, of course.

Janeway: I try. (picks up that he was trying to say something nice, puts her hand over his, momentarily forgetting why they're married, makes the PADDs vanish)

Q: Kathy, I've been noticing that lately you have appeared none too shy about...doing certain things, if you catch my meaning (indicates where the PADDs had been)

Janeway: (looks a tad guilty for a second, recovers herself) Is there something wrong with that? I might as well take advantage of the situation, don't you think?

Q: Yes, but you just never seemed to strike me as the type that would go for things like that. It "diminishes the value of hard work" or something.

Janeway: Getting rid of a couple of PADDs is hardly hard work, Q. Big whoop.

Q: I love it when you talk like a Q, it agrees with you.

Janeway: (looks surprised at the wording of his compliment) You really think so?

Q: Definitely.

Janeway: Well, thank you. (Q leaves, the door bleeps) Come in?

Chakotay: (enters) Um, here are those readings you needed. (hands her another PADD)

Janeway: (takes it) Oh, thanks. (pause) Did you want something else?

Chakotay: Actually, I've been meaning to talk to you.

Janeway: Oh? About what?

Chakotay: (collecting his thoughts) I...know its not my place to question your personal life....

Janeway: But...?

Chakotay: But, I just don't think that spending so much of your time with Q is that good for you. You've changed.

Janeway: "Changed"?

Chakotay: Yes

Janeway: Would you care to...elaborate on this?

Chakotay: (deep breath) For days--weeks actually--I didn't want to say anything, its none of my business, but you've been getting to be careless, arrogant, not like yourself at all. You've been acting more like Q. Going off with him for shouldn't abandon your duties like that.

Janeway: (smiles smugly) I do believe you're jealous (thinks "Now where did I hear that before?")

Chakotay: Listen to yourself! I never would have believed that you could ever be influenced by Q. I thought more of you than that. Seriously, I'm...I'm worried about you.

Janeway: (shield integrity holding, still in her cocky mood) Don't be, I'm fine! Actually, I'm wonderful, there's nothing to worry about. Trust me, okay? (she lays back and spins around in her chair. Chakotay stops it after a few rotations) And if its Q you're worried about, rest assured that he's been nothing but a perfect gentleman. You know, you could do to take a page out of his book every once in a while. (sighs) I was so tense before...I really just needed to lighten up. I was such a--what did Tom say that word was?--a square! (giggles at her use of an obsolete term)

Chakotay: Still...I happened to be quite fond of that "square" And as I recall, she was rather fond of me... (She wonders what he's getting at. There's something he's neglecting to mention.)

Janeway: (Curiously, seeming to be more like her old self a tad.) What are you talking about?

Chakotay: You... don't remember, do you?

Janeway: Remember what?

Chakotay: (Fights with himself on whether or not to tell her, decides to let her remember it for herself, changing the subject) I'm going to have a word with Q.

Janeway: What are you going to do? (He doesn't answer.) He'll never agree to talk to you.

Chakotay: He will if you ask him to. (She senses something in the way he says it that implies this is deathly important, not just to him but to them both. If only she could figure out what he's on about...)

Janeway: All right, I'll ask him. But I'm not promising anything (He nods in gratitude and walks out without being dismissed, leaving the captain to contemplate what he had said)

(meanwhile, in the Mess Hall...)

Neelix: (chasing Q2 around, knocking over chairs) Wait till I get my hands on you! (trips over his own feet and falls)

Doec: Hey! Leave him alone, he didn't do anything!

Neelix: He didn't? (Q2 looks like "I didn't?")

Doec: (sighs, doesn't like doing this but "honor amongst troublemakers" overrules) It was me. I moved everything in the kitchen around backwards and switched the lables around.

Neelix: Well....uh, sorry Q. I guess I jumped to conclusions.

Q2: No problem.

Neelix: (to Doec) Now, I want you to clean up this mess!

Doec: I will. (gives Q2 a look that says "And you're gonna help me!")

Neelix: Good, now get to work. (she does so, he leaves)

Doec: So, what do you think of Q and the Captain? Kinda cute together, hmm?

Q2: Don't ever say that again. Remember, I saw them kissing that one time! (he shudders at the memory)

Doec: They were kissing?? Awww!!! Does this mean you should start calling her "Mom"?

Q2: No! That's not funny, its wrong!

Doec: Well, they are married after all. I think they're perfect for each other.

Q2: For such an unlikely mix, I admit they do seem to click...sometimes. But I'm not going to call Aunt Kathy "Mom", that's would be like saying they're in love or something. She'd make a excellent one though. She's better than my real one. My mother couldn't stand me, said I was too much like my dad was, so she left us.

Doec: I'm sorry. Hey, you've seen Q and the Captain together before I have, this isn't the first time they've been like this, is it?

Q2: Once I was sent here for "rehabilitation"- I made one too many problems in the cosmos- oh no. I don't believe this: you're right! The way they acted you'd have thought they were an old married couple! They're doomed! (to avoid further triumphant "I told you so" looks from his partner in crime, he changes the subject) Aunt Kathy sure has changed over the past few weeks.

Doec: I noticed too. She's really loosened up. Could be thanks to a little Q exposure. (grin)

(several hours later, Janeway is in her Da Vinci Holoprogram, it is apparent she has much on her mind)

Janeway: (inner monologue heard...) What have I been thinking? What have I allowed myself to become? This has to stop....But why should it stop? I mean, even starship captains deserve to have a good time once in a while, what's the harm in that? Q isn't a bad person, I'd trust him with my life. He's my friend, so what's wrong with spending time with him? True, he is reckless, conceited, that how Chakotay has seen me? Have I gotten as bad as that? Don't be silly, Kathy, you're imagining things. Chakotay is just exaggerating, as usual. Did I just call myself "Kathy"? What has he done to me? He's even gotten me calling myself his name for me! Okay, decision time, its one way or the other. I can't just ignore this, something's happening and it will most likely affect my life irreversibly. Go to him or run from him? What am I going to do? I think I love him...(puts her hands over her face, lays on her back) Could he ever feel the same way? And what was Chakotay hinting at earlier? I feel like I should know, like I used to but...there's nothing. (just then Q pops in)

Q: Surprise! (Janeway smiles and waves at him) Nice place...but I can make it better (flash and she's in his lap, she feels her cheeks turn pink)

Janeway: (holds herself back from getting her hopes up, and trying futilely to suppress the warm cozy feeling she's getting from being in his arms, after all it is Q we're talking about here) Oh, I just remembered, Chakotay wants to talk to us, he sounded pretty urgent about it.

Q: Any clue about what it concerns?

Janeway: I'm not sure, he was hinting at something earlier but he wasn't being clear. When I asked for an explanation he changed the subject.

Q: (scoffs) Human.

Janeway: (smirk, their heads about an inch apart) And just what am I? A Ciryllian microbe?

Q: You know I don't mean anything by it. You're far too defensive of your species. Half the time there doesn't seem to be much to defend, you've said so yourself.

Janeway: Touché. (smiles)

Q: Besides, you're more than human, you know that. You're about 50% Q already. (shifting her position slightly, rubs noses with her) So, when do you propose we have this "meeting"?

Janeway: (kisses him lightly) No time like the present. (pause, she assesses their--ahem--posture, looks concerned) Q, look at us.

Q: Oh, right (lets her off, they eye each other, doing a full sensor-sweep of the other for traces of attraction or repulse. He takes her by surprise and kisses her full on the mouth, she makes an alarmed little noise, he pulls her against him roughly and holds her, they only stay like that for a second before they mutually push away, trying to look as though it hadn't happened. They don't make eye-contact for a while but at last break down and look, Janeway wearing an expression of absolute fear, but from her dancing eyes Q can tell that she liked it. Q holds her hand, squeezes gently and kisses her forehead)

Janeway: (pushes him away more forcefully) No, Q. We can't, we shouldn't. What are we doing?? What was that?? ["Whatever it was I want another!", hehe!]

Q: You're right, that wasn't called for. I mean, look at you! You're practically my sister!

Janeway: Right, I can't imagine what came over me.

Q: (doesn't want to let an uncomfortable silence set in, trying to think of the most un-romantic thing to do with her that he can come up with) I, um...don't suppose you would...want to go knock some planets out of orbit? I could, you know, teach you how....its not hard.

Janeway: [what, like a date? ;-) ] I'd love to. [can you imagine what "evil" my mind was tempted to put? hehe] Sounds like fun.

Q: Great, lets go. (they flash away)

(a while later they return to her quarters looking like a couple of kids who've outrun the police after putting a baseball through a window)

Q: I said "put a little more oomph in it" not "blow up the planet"!

Janeway: (catching her breath) I know, I can't believe I did that....(gets a case of the nervous giggles) Its a wonder we weren't caught!

Q: Lucky for you. (looking at her, she's flushed and you can practically see her heart beating, she looks absolutely irresistible. It takes all of his rarely-used self-control to keep his newly kindled feelings in check. She's sprawled out on the bed, smiling at him, he studies her curiously)

Janeway: We'll have to do that again sometime.

Q: We will indeed.

(that night Janeway has trouble sleeping. Her thoughts are occupied by images of Q, things they've done together over the past couple of days. They've been getting along wonderfully, truly enjoying the company they've been so often sharing. He'd been popping in on her frequently and she's even caught herself not minding his seemingly constant attention. At times she's been quite glad to see him. She was beginning to like the person she was when she was with him. She gets a funny feeling whenever they pretend to be a "real" married couple for the Q "marriage detective", as if her presence gave her the license to be affectionate without looking weak. It was, in fact, becoming more of an act to behave "normally". This thought gnawed at her mind, and it frightened her that she could grow so fond of someone she'd described as an "annoying, arrogant, sadistic pest". What was it about him that made her feel this way? Over the course of his three previous visits she'd come to think of him as a friend but never would have imagined that she could fall in love with him. She eventually drifts off to sleep. Later that night Q appears beside her, watching her sleep, her chest rising and falling with each breath she takes. So peaceful, something strangely innocent about her. What was it about this limited, simple, tiny little being that caught his attention? Perhaps there might be a chance that, impossible. Out of the question. A Q and a human? Unheard of. Hours later, Janeway begins showing signs that she's waking up so Q decides he'd better go. He kisses her forehead and vanishes)

Janeway: (waking up slowly) Hmm? Q? Hello? (looks around, still half-asleep) Must have been dreaming. (She gets up and gets dressed, manually) Don't even think about it, no. Like he said, I'm practically his sister. Besides, its Q! I can't let him get to me...

(switch to the Q Continuum, Q is staring off watching Janeway. A handful of other Qs walk past, razzing him about his "pet human" or "girlfriend" He pays no attention to them but zooms in for a close-up view of his partner in this reluctant love affair)

Q: Have you any idea what you're doing to me? Any at all? I sure hope not because if you did then you'd have to be pretty twisted. (he sees her look around as though she has the feeling she's being watched but she doesn't look too disturbed by the idea. She looks like she's trying to figure out what angle he's watching her from. When she thinks she's getting warm she waves at him) At least she doesn't seem to mind. (she mouths saying "Hello?", still not sure whether or not Q is actually watching her. Although he knows she can't see him, he waves back at her image and blows her a kiss. Pauses with a "What am I doing???" look on his face. Snaps and all her furniture is stuck to the ceiling) There, that's better. (smiles to himself, switch back to Janeway's quarters)

Janeway: Q! What in the world are you doing?? Put it back--(yelps as she's up on the ceiling too, she struggles to get down) Let me go! Ugh! Let me down, Q! (screams as she's dropped to the floor but everything else remains where it is. Figures "why even bother?") Just remember to change it back. (goes to walk out the door and runs right into it. On the other side, Chakotay is passing through when he hears a thud and an "Ow!" the doors slide open and Janeway is standing there with her hand over her nose, when she tries to exit again they slide shut again before she can get out. Trapped in her room with no other alternative, she paces around) I swore I'd never do this! (snaps and she's out and almost runs into Chakotay. He catches her)

Chakotay: Marital problems?

Janeway: You might say that. He's just trying to get a reaction out of me. When he gets bored of it he'll stop.

Chakotay: Either that or he'll get creative.

Janeway: First he sticks everything in my room to the ceiling, myself included for a while, then the door, I wonder what's txen--!? (pauses, tries again but everything she says ends up coming out backwards. Chakotay tries to keep a straight face and to decipher her new tongue) Siht si ton ynnuf, Q! (screams, hits the wall, someone on the other side says "Ow!") Tiuq ti! Esaelp? (she looks pleadingly at Chakotay) Eh t'ndluow evael em ekil siht, dluow eh?

Chakotay: Calm down, don't get excited.

Janeway: "T'nod teg deticxe"?? Ev'I tog a nosaer to be excited! (looks relieved as she hears the end of her sentence some out right) Thank goodness. That was bizarre. Why is he doing this to me?

Chakotay: I have a theory on that. I recall a time when I was about nine years old that I had a crush on a girl I knew in school. To get her attention I'd play some harmless little pranks at her expense.

Janeway: Are you suggesting that this is Q's way of saying he likes me? (she's tripped and Chakotay catches her, she struggles to stand and they continue)

Chakotay: You never know

Janeway: I highly doubt it. (they're about to get into the turbolift when they do the doors shut before Janeway can get in. After a little while she gets impatient and snaps herself inside, but she doesn't come alone--)

Q: Good morning (puts his arms around each of their shoulders) And how are we today?

Janeway: (shrugs away, Chakotay follows suit) Don't touch me.

Q: What?

Chakotay: You heard her, Q. Stay away.

Q: I was just having a little fun.

Janeway: If you'd excuse me, Commander. (flashes out, Q follows her to her ready room) Leave me alone! Why can't you just...torment someone else?? (angry, frustrated tears begin welling up, she turns away from him so he wouldn't see, too late)

Q: Kathy, don't do that, don't cry. I wasn't meaning to "torment" you

Janeway: What else would you call all this? One or two things can be...amusing, but bang-bang-bang like that? What am I supposed to think? I thought we were friends. I just thought...that it was different. Apparently I was wrong.

Q: How do you mean?

Janeway: Nothing, nothing, just forget it.

Q: No. What is it?

Janeway: We've just been so good together lately, I...we...(deep breath) I was starting to get the impression that you--(stops) Yesterday on the Holodeck, the way you....I almost thought--(brushes it off) Its nothing, never mind.

Q: You thought what? (no answer) That...I loved you? (this strikes Janeway to the core, her breathing becomes shaky, confirming it)  

Janeway: To some extent, I guess.

Q: That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, to think that I, a Q, could fall for a puny little being like you.

Janeway: (taken slightly aback at his dismissive response, covers seamlessly) Its pretty silly I know. I don't know what I was thinking. What an absurd notion!

Q4 {Q's ex-wife}: (appears) Ha! I knew it! (snaps, they're in a courtroom before a row of Q judges, some of Voyager's crew is there as character witnesses) I told you! Their marriage is nothing but an act! [off with their heads!] (Janeway and Q exchange worried looks)

Q: (whispers to Janeway) If we're discovered, they'll kill us both!

Janeway: (whispers back) What do you suggest we do? I doubt that lying would do much good.

Q: Not only that, its out of the question. When you're under oath, its literally impossible. Kathy.....I'm sorry. (takes her hand, they're going into this together)

Janeway: Its all right. (squeezes his hand)

Q Judge: The case of the Continuum versus Janeway and Q is called to order. (smacks gavel. we hear testimony from several people)

T'eyla: Okay, I admit they have some kind of bizarre friendship, but that doesn't make them a couple. The Captain and Chakotay are supposed to get married soon, this is just weird. (Janeway looks at her like "Whose side are you on??")

Doec: Sure they may not be the most romantic pair in the cosmos, but they obviously care about each other. He hears she's in trouble and the only way she can get out unharmed is to marry her, and he does it without thinking twice. That's what friends do for each other. They're perfect for each other! You can't look at them and not think they're in love.

T'eyla (talking out of turn): Yeah! What she said!

Q2: She doesn't like to admit it, but they get along much more than she puts on. A pair? definitely. A couple? I don't know.

Q4: Love? Puh-leez! All he does is pester her, she can't stand the sight of him! Surely you've noticed how she breathes a sigh of relief as soon as he's out of her way.

Chakotay: Yes, I'd like to think I know her pretty well, and while I'm not sure what this is all about, I can tell you this: 6 years ago these two met as sworn enemies and over the course of his many visits have grown into a very strong and trusting friendship. He's always known he can count on Kathryn when he's been in a pinch, and this was the one time she's needed him. All he did was repay her.

Q Judge: One final question for the defendant. (motions for Janeway to come to the stand, gestures to Q) Do you love this man?

Janeway: (she stands there dumbfounded, afraid to answer because she's almost sure the answer will be no and that would result in her immediate execution) With all my heart. (her eyes go wide and she puts her hand over her mouth like "Did I just say that?" and promptly faints. They are declared not guilty and Q rushes to her side, holds her semi upright in his lap fanning her face. she wakes up and stares at Q, her jaw dropped and then she smiles like an idiot and he kisses her)

Q: So, Kathy. You really love me?

Janeway: (still has the goofball grin on her face, puts her arms around his neck as he picks her up and flashes them back into her readyroom, he lays her down on the sofa thing)Yes, I do. Why did you do all that to me this morning?

Q: I was only playing, I didn't know it would hurt you so badly. You know I'd never do anything that would bring you any harm. I was mainly trying to get you back for what you did to me.

Janeway: What did I--what could I do to you??

Q: Made me care about a mere mortal--a human, no less. In a much more than platonic way.

Janeway: You...? (unable to believe it, let alone say it)

Q: (matter-of-factly, almost accusing) Yes, I love you. Of all the beings in the cosmos I had to fall in love with you.

Janeway: Are you really angry about that?

Q: I was at first. I doubt you were turning cartwheels when it struck you.

Janeway: (smiles, wants to smooth things over) You're right there. Annoying, arrogant, sadistic pest.

Q: Silly, backwards, bipedal primate. (the space between them steadily diminishing, he does her the favor of adding a few inches to her height and they kiss, multiple times. After some cuddling, petting, etc., Janeway forces herself away for a few moments)

Janeway: How can this be? Why do I feel this way? About you of all people?? I'm too old for this sort of thing.

Q: Nonsense, you're as young as the morning.

Janeway: (amused at his comparison) Not many would say that fifty is "as young as the morning", Q.

Q: You've only been alive for fifty years? You're still a child. You know that as my wife your years will be as infinite as mine. You have nothing to worry about.

Janeway: I wouldn't say that. I have plenty to worry about.

Q: (cuddles her, wanting her to forget Chakotay for the moment) Like what?

Janeway: I think that you know, or you wouldn't be trying to distract me. (slight moan as he nearly succeeds, almost tempted to stay with him forever in this moment of total bliss) Stop, please (she pushes him away and walks around the room like she does when she's tense) I really think we need to talk with Chakotay, sort this thing out before it gets any more complicated.

Q: If that's what you really want.

Janeway: I do.

Q: You got it. (snaps and Chakotay is there. Also Janeway and Q's appearances are more appropriate to the situation) So, what do you think should be done about this?

Chakotay: Well, you can start by getting your hand off of Kathryn's leg! Quit groping my fiancée! What's going on here, anyway?

Q: (to Janeway) His "fiancée"? You didn't tell me you were engaged (Janeway shrugs like this is news to her) Sound possible at all?

Janeway: I suppose.... (thinks this over, looks like she's trying to divide 8,973 by 12) Oh yes! Now I remember! Of course...

Chakotay: You remember?

Janeway: Must have slipped my mind (slowly changing gears from Kathy to Kathryn) Chakotay, could I have forgotten? (sits by him, holding hands)

Q: To think I could lose you so quickly, to a mortal. (looks sincerely depressed by the thought, seeing her gaze so fondly upon his rival for her affections)

Janeway: (torn apart by the very people she loves the most, unable to choose sides) This isn't solving anything. How can we make sense of this?

Q2: (appears) Might I be of assistance?

Chakotay: Great, even more of them.

Janeway: No, not "them": "us".

Chakotay: I thought you were only half.

Janeway: Well...(guilty look at Q) We've...recently taken care of the other half.

Chakotay: What...exactly do you mean? That you've--

Q: Don't be ridiculous! I didn't lay a hand on her. Well, maybe a hand, but nothing else.

Chakotay: You expect me to believe that?

Janeway: I do.

Chakotay: Believe that?

Janeway: That, and I expect you to. I'm surprised at you, Chakotay.

Q2: Would you mind if I butted in here?

Janeway: Go on, Q.

Q2: It seems to me that we're dealing with more than just a romantic dispute. Now are we going to discuss this like normal people or is this going to be a free-for-all?

Chakotay: I'm game. No tricks though, Q. Or from you! (looks at Janeway)

Q2: Okay, here's what I think: (to Chakotay) I think that you feel inadequate compared to Q, so you see him as a threat to ensuring your relationship with Kathy. As a result, you try to protect her from him, while what you're really doing is just keeping her away from him so she pays attention to you.

Chakotay: Hardly, I'm not that insecure!

Janeway: He may not be implying that your actions were conscious. It sounds like a very possible assumption to me, Q.

Chakotay: Of course you'd take his side.

Janeway: Chakotay, just grow up! I'm serious, this is getting out of hand. If you're going to be like that then I guess my decision is made. (makes like she's about to snap her fingers, Chakotay puts his hand over her threatening hand)

Chakotay: No! Fine, fine. You win. (pats her hand, easing it into her lap) Just don' anything rash that you might regret later.

Q: See, Kathy, he can be reasonable. He just needs to be properly motivated.

Janeway: And you don't have to be so smug. This is not a question of who's "favorite". If it was that simple I wouldn't be so distressed.

Chakotay: I'm sorry, Kathryn, but I can't begin to understand what you see in Q. If it was someone...someone worthy of you I probably wouldn't mind as much.

Janeway: He's not a monster, despite your perceptions.

Chakotay: I know, I know he wouldn't put you in any danger but...I still don't like it. I mean, its Q! Q! Don't you see that?

Janeway: I know precisely what you mean, trust me. I thought the same thing a few weeks ago. Then I began to see past all that. I wish you could.

Chakotay: He isn't good for you.

Q: I beg your pardon?

Chakotay: You know exactly what I mean. Whisking her away all the time without notice, recreating her in your own image, acting like a couple of children! (smacks the table, making all three Q's jump, Q puts his arm around Janeway, signifying himself as her protector)

Q: All right, just let me tell you this...(grabs Janeway's face in his hand, leans her forward drastically, kind of squishing her cheeks together [can you see him doing that??]) For eight years Kathy's been working her hands to the bone trying to hold this ship together, if anybody needs a chance to act like a child its her! Its good for her, she'd go crazy otherwise! (releases her)

Janeway: While I agree, Q, let me tell you this: (she grabs his face in her hand like he did to her, pulls him about an inch from her own face) Please don't do that again. 'k? (smiles)

Chakotay: (has that "this is a circus!" look on his face) Will you all just settle down? Okay, I see your point, but there are other forms of therapeutic recreation other than causing cosmic anomalies or blowing up planets!

Janeway: Aw, come on, we didn't mean to bl--uh, oops (innocent smile)

Chakotay: (looks like this is giving him a headache) Oh my god you've actually blown up a planet. Which one of you? (Q and Janeway exchange "busted!" looks, reluctantly Janeway raises her hand a little) Oh my god! You??? (she nods, Q motions an explosion with his hands and points to her, then signaling he had nothing to do with it) I get the picture, Q. You don't have to reenact it.

Janeway: (to Q) You gotta admit, it was a pretty impressive sight.

Q: Very impressive. Couldn't have done it better myself (they do a low-5)

Chakotay: Stop encouraging her!

Q2: Okay, so we know why she enjoys being with Q so much, now how about Chakotay?

Janeway: Well, we've been very good friends for a long time, we've been through a lot together and I know I can depend on him when I need him.

Q2: Sounds like she hasn't forgotten about you. (Chakotay looks relieved, Janeway puts her hand over his)

Chakotay: But we're total opposites! I don't get it.

Janeway: Me neither but...(gets up and paces around, engrossed in thought) what matters now is what are we going to do about us all?

Q: I'm not going to simply give her up to you just because you're the jealous type, you know.

Q2: Um, I have an idea that might help. The way I figure it is, since Kathy and Q will have an eternity to be together, and only a limited amount of time with Chakotay...

Janeway: I stay with Chakotay know (doesn't want to say it out loud)

Q: Then I come for her...

Chakotay: And she would just go off with Q forever?

Q2: Sound fair? Q would be able to visit, of course.

Q: I take it she intends to...(looks sick at the thought) marry the mortal?

Janeway: Yes, I mean, I suppose so. If Chakotay still wants to.

Chakotay: Of course I do. I'm...sorry for making this difficult for you. I guess I can handle this whole Q business.

Q: That reminds me. If you intend on living here with your human, you won't be allowed to use your...abilities.

Janeway: I figured. I'm sure I'll miss that a little every now and then. (Chakotay looks relieved that she's forbidden to do any "funny stuff")

Chakotay: Why don't you just strip her of her powers for the time being?

Q: (stand up quickly as if coming to Janeway's rescue, obviously fighting the urge to whisk her away with him, looking at Chakotay like he'd just suggested to hit her over the head with a plasma conduit. taken by surprise, to say the least, at such a proposal, reluctant but still willing to consider the possibility, settles down slightly, trying to maintain diplomacy) I hadn't thought about that. But, I....suppose I could do that, yes. What do you think, Kathy? I wouldn't personally but its your choice.

Janeway: I don't know...all right I guess...(looks hesitant, kind of like "will it hurt?", Chakotay visibly approves of their decision)

Q: Very well, brace yourself. (Chakotay is surprised that she chooses to hold onto Q's arm for support rather than his own. Q clearly doesn't want to do this to her, whispers) I'm sorry (she nods and suddenly jerks back as though being shocked. She gasps, relaxing into Q's arms) You'll feel better in a minute or two. You'll get used to it. How do you feel?

Janeway: Weak, drained...(slight moan, puts her hand over her forehead. he eases her down so she's sitting)

Q: Just rest. I suppose it will be better this way somehow. But not to worry, it isn't permanent (he smiles at her, implying they may be returned sooner than she thinks. He kisses her, sad to see her look so empty) I love you (temporarily unable to speak, Janeway holds onto him with her head on his shoulder, reciprocating. They stay like this for a few minutes until she recovers)

Q2: (breaking the silence) So you two want to get married? (Janeway and Chakotay nod) Want to do it right here right now? (they look at each other like "why not?")

Chakotay: Sure. That would be great.

Q2: Okay, hope you don't want it formal. (motions for them to stand up, they comply)

Janeway: That's fine

Q2: All right then. Kathy, do you?

Janeway: (amused at the level of informality) Yes

Q2: Chakotay, do you?

Chakotay: (looks like "Huh?") Yes.

Q2: Great, you're married, ta-da. You can kiss her if you want. (and he does)

Q: (approaches Chakotay) Just...take care of her. She's one of the special ones.

Chakotay: (not expecting him to be so protective of her) I know, I will.

Q: (hugs Janeway, presses his hand against her back, whispers) Expect a little "gift" to arrive in about nine months. (kisses her cheek, she looks stunned)

Janeway: You mean I'm...(sigh, about to cry) Goodbye, Q

Chakotay: I don't get it, what happened?

Q: You'll find out soon enough. This isn't goodbye, its I'll see you soon, Kathryn.

Janeway: (likes the sounds of that better, manages a small smile) See you soon. (Q and Q2 vanish, Janeway looks a bit lonely, as though she wishes she could have gone with them but knows she belongs here)

Chakotay: (tries to comfort her) I didn't know how much you two meant to each other. (holds her, runs his fingers through her hair, she clings to him) He'll be back. He said so. You know how it is with Q, whenever we think we're finally rid of him you turn around and there he is. (hopes this makes her feel better)

Janeway: You don't like him.

Chakotay: Not particularly but....I....suppose he wasn't the worst influence on you. He's right in that you deserve to have fun once in a while. And I know he'd take care of you, so its not that I don't trust him with you. Its just that you need to keep your head on straight as well. I don't like it when I see you acting like him.

Janeway: I know, I know that Q distracted me...(half to herself) I'll still miss him.

Chakotay: Not too much, I hope. What I mean is...(looks at her, probing for a glimpse of the woman he fell in love with) I...

Janeway: I understand. This is just all so sudden, its left me rather dizzy. (semi-dutifully kisses him)

Chakotay: Get some sleep, things will look better in the morning. (he kisses her, she smiles assuringly) I love you.

Janeway: I love you too. (realizing after she said it that she still does, looks a little relieved)

Chakotay: That's good to hear. Its been a while.

Janeway: I...(unable to find words for all she wants to say) I know.

Chakotay: Good night, Kathryn

(she changes, hearing "Kathryn" echo in her mind. She's so used to hearing Q call her Kathy that her name sounds almost foreign to her. Again we hear her thoughts--)

Janeway: (thought) Is there still a chance we can recover from this "tangent"? I'm starting to wonder if we've grown apart. I hope we haven't, I still care about him will be a difficult transition. Maybe some time away from Q will be good for me. I need to be an adult, but the past few months have been wonderful. I feel so confined, its strange. Everything is so commonplace.....Seven of Nine would say that I will adapt. She'd be right, I can get through this. Its not so bad. Chakotay is not exactly boring. He's solid, kind, warm, and he loves me. I'll just have to take it easy until I get used to being human again. I'm sure it will become second nature to me again in no time. (strokes her belly) I can't believe I'm carrying Q's baby. I can feel it, this is amazing. I wonder what Chakotay will think of it? What will I do if he hates it? I doubt it will be too much of a problem, knowing Chakotay. My god, what will my mother say? (in the starlight we see an amused smile spread across her face as she finally goes to sleep, pondering her next transmission to Earth)

Chakotay: (for the first time we hear what he's thinking, and that's quite a lot at the moment--) Can this ever be the same? How it was before? She looks so sad. Dammit, why did I have to make him turn her into a human again? That wasn't necessary. She would have been tempted to use her powers if they remained intact. But she doesn't look well. She'd gotten too accustomed to being a certain way that going back might be torture. They knew, they both knew what it would be like, I saw the hesitation but I didn't do anything to stop him. I could have said I didn't mind having a Q for a wife. It wouldn't have been that different. But it will be good for her to be a normal person again, she'll soon forget. This whole experience is behind us for now. She'll be happy again, I hope. I hope I can be the one to make her happy. She may be distant for a few days, I'll have to make sure she knows she can still depend on me. Let her know that I'm not the enemy. Please, Kathryn, come back to me. (he too sleeps)

(three or four weeks later, things on Voyager have pretty much returned to normal. They've had their usual scrapes with various alien races. Even when involved with warlike beings Captain Janeway has felt more-or-less secure. The feeling that there was someone looking out for her and her crew. She doesn't let this go to her head, but it helps her stay calm in order to live another day. Only once had she thought that Q may have intervened in order to save her, but she was never totally sure. Nonetheless, she is getting more used to her old routine much to the appreciation of Chakotay. Her figure is becoming slightly more rounded as her half-Q child grows inside her but not enough to be conspicuous.)

(next scene, we see Janeway lying on her stomach getting a back massage. Pan up to see its Q. Janeway is unaware of this, thinks its Chakotay)

Janeway: (moans) That's even better than usual. Oh right there, that's it, thank you...

Q: You're very welcome, Kathy (she sits up)

Janeway: (whisper/hiss) What are you doing here?? (can't help but look glad to see him, looks at him like there's some sort of invisible barrier keeping them apart)

Q: I am allowed to visit you, aren't I?

Janeway: Chakotay will be here any second, if he catches you here he'll think it was my idea!

Q: Doesn't he trust you?

Janeway: Not where you're involved.

Q: And you really want me to leave? (knows she doesn't)

Janeway: (has to be firm with him and herself lest she be tempted) Yes, I do.

Q: Before I go, tell me, what did your human companion say about our baby? (she looks guilty) He doesn't know yet?!

Janeway: I'm going to tell him...eventually

Q: You have to. If you don't, I will.

(Q stays in the room, Janeway goes off to take a shower, Chakotay enters, Q quickly changes himself into Janeway)

Chakotay: Kathryn, its late (yawn) What are you doing still dressed?

Q: Um...just haven't gotten around to it yet?

Chakotay: I see...(starts taking off "Janeway's" jacket)

Q: (backing away) Um, none of that, I....don't feel well.

Chakotay: Sorry to hear that, make sure you see the Doctor in the morning, no putting it off and making yourself worse like usual.

Q: Right.

Chakotay: That's my good girl (kiss!) I'll just go take a shower before bed. You get some rest.

(as soon as Chakotay is out of the area, Q wipes his mouth and spits)

Q: Disgusting! Ugh! (shudders) How can she possibly like that???

(cut to the bathroom, conveniently full of steam, Chakotay and Janeway miss each other by a hair, Janeway goes back out into the bedroom, Q then turns himself into Chakotay)

Janeway: (in her pj's drying her hair off, making one of those towel turban things) Hi. Busy day, huh?

Q: Incredibly (intercepts her, cuddles, kisses, etc.) Shall we turn in?

Janeway: I might, in a little while. (dodges him playfully) You're acting strangely tonight. You're usually not quite so...forward.

Q: Is that a problem? (growls)

Janeway: (moves away, inviting his pursuit) No, just different.

Q: I see, I guess this means so much for (flash and he's her) playing hard to get.

Janeway: (smothered laughter) Q, what in the world--? (too late to be stern, Kathy has resurfaced, just then Chakotay returns...)

J2 (Q): (whispers to Janeway) This is going to be fun!

Chakotay: (rubs eyes, looking at both of them) Kathryn?

J&J2: Yes?

Chakotay: Q?

J&J2: Yes?

Chakotay: Cute, very cute. Ha ha, now get out!

J&J2: (circling him) Who? Me? Or do you mean her?

Janeway: Which one of us do you think is which? Guess!

J2: Pick one! This is great! (surprisingly feminine squeal)

Chakotay: (thinks hard, not easy to do when they can't hold still, makes a random grab) You! I know its you.

J2: You're right, its me. (pause, leans in and whispers) Who am I?

Chakotay: You're...Kathryn.

Janeway: (applauds) Why don't you give your precious Kathy a kiss then?

J2: No! Not again! Once was bad enough!

Chakotay: Q!?

J2: Well duh! (appropriate expression on his/her face, they shuffle again)

(Chakotay tries to get them sorted out, they try a different means of playing their little game)

Janeway: Afraid you'll pick wrong? You wouldn't want to end up kissing Q again, would you?

J2: Does it really matter?

Chakotay: Yes it matters! Get away from me, both of you! I don't know what he does to you Kathryn, but I should have known you couldn't go long without a relapse!

(Janeway looks genuinely hurt, Q turns back into himself and looks ready to defend her, puts his arm protectively around her. she smiles to show she is grateful for the gesture but moves away from him, trying to reach Chakotay)

Janeway: I was only--

Chakotay: Playing?

Janeway: Yes.

Chakotay: What happened to you? Is it beyond all hope to get you back to normal? You've been good at behaving most of the time but then he drops in and, I don't know. I just want you back, Kathryn. I love you.

Janeway: Do you?

Chakotay: Yes, of course I do

Janeway: No you don't, not anymore. Not all of me anyway. You liked me how I used to be, and I try to be like that most of the time, I think I do anyway. (sighs) You just hate all Q's and that's exactly why I didn't tell you about---(stops short)

Chakotay: About...?

Janeway: I'm...pregnant.

Chakotay: Really? That's--

Janeway: She's Q's. She'll be half.

Chakotay: (long pause) I see

Janeway: I didn't want you to hate my baby, that's why I didn't want to tell you...You didn't even like me when I was a Q and you still can't stand it when I act remotely... Qish. What's preventing me from thinking you'd hate her too?

Chakotay: That's not true, I could never, ever hate you. You know that. (pause)You said its a girl?

Janeway: I'm pretty sure

Chakotay: I'm sure she'll be as beautiful as her mother.

Janeway: (sigh) With her father's eyes.

Chakotay: (trying to convince himself and her at the same time) It doesn't matter

Janeway: No, what matters is that she'll look about 16 by the age of 4 and refer to us as "the mortals" in front of her friends

Chakotay: Kathryn...

Janeway: Its true! There's no denying it. Just forget the whole thing! (sensing she wants to make a fast exit, Q spirits her away to a quiet corner of the cosmos to calm down)

Q: Well, now that its just us, you can start by telling me exactly how many times you were dropped on your head as a child! What were you thinking?? "Good at behaving yourself"? "Relapses"? "What's happened to you?"? And you still have the nerve to say that you love her?

Chakotay: Excuse me for wanting my wife to behave in a way that is acceptable among humans! I don't like you and I can't stand to see Kathryn acting like you. You're like some kind of out-of-control imaginary friend! When the two of you get together its chaos!

Q: You're just mad because you're not the only man who can make her happy anymore. Look, I'm not trying to sabotage your relationship. If you want to know how to get her back, I'm more than willing to tell you.

Chakotay: (curiosity gets the better of him) How?

Q: I thought you'd never ask. When she starts "acting up" as you say, just lay off. Three words: I don't mind. Be happy for her, that's all she wants. She likes you. Her brain's still partially wired for Qness and when a Q likes someone they "play" with them. You've seen how we interact and you've even admitted to doing the same kind of thing yourself. It means the same thing as when humans give their love interests flowers, as strange as it may seem. Kathy wants to play with you. Let her, its a huge complement coming from her. Love her, accept her for what she is, play with her. It would mean so much to her. Trust me, it will grow on you.

Chakotay: Why are you telling me this?

Q: I love her. And I know how much you mean to her. I don't want her heart to be broken by someone who matters to her..

Chakotay: You really care about her, don't you?

Q: Of course, its been bothering me so much seeing you treat her like you have been. Always trying to hold her down, pushing her away, smothering her flame. There have been times I've been tempted to take her away with me, because I know I could take care of her and you have yet to prove that you can.

Chakotay: I think she can take care of herself, Q.

Q: In the rudimentary sense, maybe. could never begin to comprehend. Its far beyond your level of understanding.

Chakotay: So where have you sent her? Is she all right?

Q: She's fine, trust me. So, are we done here? Good. You haven't seen the last of me. (snaps and he vanishes. A second later Janeway appears)

Chakotay: You're back, where were you?

Janeway: (looking around her, appearing almost alarmingly peaceful) Wow...

Chakotay: Kathryn?

Janeway: Hmm? Yes?

Chakotay: Where were you?

Janeway: That was incredible...I just... was. Everywhere, part of That was just what I needed. (realizes this is not normal, worried that Chakotay may not "approve", shields go up noticeably)

Chakotay: Its okay. I'm sorry for being such a fool. I just didn't get understand what was what. I think I do now, I'll try to be more open to your....uniqueness. You're special, I seemed to have let that go unnoticed. I'm sorry.

Janeway: (slowly lowering her shields, allowing him to beam in) Forgiven (cautious smile)

Chakotay: What have I done to you? Maybe Q is a better match for you.

Janeway: No, not yet. I...I want you (trying to sound coherent, temporary oneness with the universe does that to a person) I'm sorry for going overboard with Q, I didn't mean to--

Chakotay: (puts his hand over her mouth) I understand, its nothing to be sorry for. You were just being you. I'm glad you have someone you can have a good time with, I just wish I could do that for you too.

Janeway: Want to come with us next time? (he nods like "Why not? Try everything once") I didn't know, I thought you wanted nothing to do with him, us, I don't know. (Chakotay hears Q's voice in his head and receives a strange sensation "Let me help") I guess what I'm trying to say is er'uoy syawla emoclew ot--(looks stunned, eyes go wide, they smile at each other, Q's little push wears off) to come along. Chakotay how...did you....? (looks around, he looks with her, their eyes meet again and she kisses him) I love you too.

(three years later, Janeway is on the Bridge doing captain stuff. Everything looks pretty much the same as usual except maybe Janeway would probably have some grey streaks. Her comm. badge bleeps and a shrill scream is heard over it)

Angelique [her daughter]: (VO) Mommy! Help! (sobbing)

Janeway: (jumps into action, nobody messes with her kid and lives!) Hold on, I'm coming! Tuvok, you have the Bridge (she barely finishes her sentence before the turbolift doors close, she gets to her quarters and orders the lights on.) I'm here, baby. Mommy's here. Where are...oh my god (we see a young girl, physically 14 or 15 years old on the floor in the fetal position, Q is beside her trying to calm her down)

Janeway: What's happening to her? Why?

Q: Her Q half is beginning to assert itself, its perfectly normal (Angelique is clearly scared to death) Its all right, you're going to be fine.

Janeway: How much more will much older is she going to get? (also kneeling beside her, patting her gently)

Q: I think she's stopped for now, but I think we all have some explaining to do after she calms down

Janeway: I had almost hoped--

Q: That you wouldn't have to? You know that would never have worked. (changing the subject, touches her face) Its good to see you again, Kathy. You haven't changed at all.

Janeway: (his touch soothing her, reassured, smiles) Liar. Its good to see you too, I've missed you. (they kiss)

Angelique: (looks up at them, recovering) Who's he? You were kissing

Janeway: (blushes) He's....a very good friend of mine, he can help you.

Angelique: (this works for her) Okay, goodnight (lays her head in Janeway's lap and rests, she's 3 and its time for her nap anyway)

Q: She's beautiful (stroking his daughter's head)

Janeway: My parents always told me how fast children grow up, I just didn't think it would be this fast (smiles) So what do we tell her, everything? Do you think she could handle having everything she knows about herself to be true being proven wrong? Who her father is, what she is, what's left for her to hold onto?

Q: Settle down. She can handle it, if she's anything like her mother I have no doubt that she can handle anything

Janeway: (sigh, sympathetically gazing at the child in her lap) She's only a baby.

Q: Like you (she smiles and swats him lightly and they gaze at each other, drinking in their forbidden affection)

Chakotay: (comes running in) I'm here, Kathryn. Where's....(stops short and stares) Is that--? (Janeway looks up at him nods) Oh she all right? (to Q, noticing their close proximity) Why are you here?

Q: To help you two explain yourselves to our daughter. She has no idea what's going on and she's scared. Why don't you stay with her while her mother and I have a little chat in private? (flashes him and Janeway away to the Continuum) All right, I've given this a lot of thought over the past five minutes and I seem to be left with no choice. He won't like this at all but its got to be done if you're going to be able to manage Angelique the way she is now. Just relax. (he holds her hand and she closes her eyes. The expression on her face is absolutely blissful, whatever it was that had fleeted from her 3 and 3/4 years ago now fills her to the brim once more, she opens her eyes and he smiles at her) Welcome back, Kathy

Janeway: (breathing deeply, realizing what just happened) Thank you, its great to be back

(meanwhile back in Janeway and Chakotay's little love-nest...)

Angelique: (waking up again) Where did Mommy go?

Chakotay: I really don't know, she should be back soon.

Angelique: (a teenager with a 3-year-old temper, oh dear) No! I want Mommy now! (flash and she disappears)

Chakotay: She'll be back in a min...ute (Elvis has left the building!)...oh great.

(she reappears in the Continuum about 15 feet away from her parents, she over hears them talking clearly enough to know that they're talking about her. Chakotay's name comes up a couple of times and she knows who that is because unlike most parents, Janeway let her know her parents' first names at a young age)

Angelique: (looking around, Janeway and Q look at her in surprise)

Q: You're in the Q Continuum. You...came here by yourself?

Angelique: I don't know. Did I do that?

Janeway: So it would seem. How did you get here?

Angelique: I don't know, I just said I wanted to be with you and poof! I was here. (Janeway and Q exchange adoring glances, to Q) Mommy said you can tell my why I'm so big, and probably how I got here.

Q: There's a very simple explanation. You're a Q.

Angelique: What's that?

Q: Well, I'm a Q. In fact that's what most everyone calls me. And your mother is a Q, and pretty much everyone here is a Q.

Angelique: But what is a Q? Like a person?

Janeway: Yes, a very special person. Because you're a Q you'll never get old, you'll never die...

Angelique: Never have to do my homework?

Q: No, even Q's have to do their homework. watch (snaps and Angelique is wearing a Starfleet uniform with rank of captain)

Janeway: Q! (snaps and she's back to normal) Not that. We're not going to rub it in.

Angelique: (looks back and forth at their snapping as though it were a tennis game. recognizing the power they have at their command and how little they think of it) So why am I so much bigger?

Q: You're just growing at the natural rate for a Q. They reach maturity very suddenly. You'll stay like that for, oh about a hundred years or so.

Angelique: A hundred years???

Q: Your mind will catch up to your body and then some very shortly. You're already mentally at least 9.

Angelique: (groans) I want to go back to bed. Today is too weird.

Janeway: (squats on the ground, Angelique curls up in her lap, she cuddles her) Its going to be all right. This is probably rather frightening at first but you'll get to see there's nothing to be scared of. Your father and I have had a blast together "breaking me in", haven't we, Q?

Angelique: My father? Q? What are you talking about?

Janeway: (instantly regrets her slip-up) Oh hell.

Q: (sigh) Its true. (puts on a Darth Vader mask) I am your father! (Angelique laughs) Join me!

Angelique: (gets up, squeals, flash and they each have a plastic lightsaber) I'll never join the Dark side! (they tap them together, Janeway watches)

Q: (abandons form, shrugs, takes off the mask) Okay, you wanna have some fun with Chakotay instead?

Angelique: Like what?

Q: Tell her some of our games, Kathy.

Janeway: (looks almost embarrassed) No!

Angelique: Please Mommy?

Q: Yeah Mommy, please? (pouts, Angelique does the same)

Janeway: Well...all right.

Q and Angelique: Yay!

Janeway: Once before you were born, Q came into my room and turned himself into me.

Q: (turns into Janeway) Like this. (turns back)

Janeway: Then when Chakotay came back we mixed him up completely!

Angelique: So if Q's my father, who's Chakotay?

Janeway: Well, that's a long story. You see, up until a little before you were born, I was a human. And Chakotay and I were engaged to be married and I hadn't even heard from Q for months. Then one morning....(she goes on to tell the whole story, when she's done...)

Angelique: Whoa. Crazy.

Janeway: I'll say, but truth is far stranger than fiction.

Angelique: Are there any other kids like me?

Q: I happen to know of one. You'll meet him soon.

Angelique: Okay. Can we go home now?

Q: Kathy, you may do the honors. (she snaps and they're all back in her quarters)

Janeway: God that felt good! (looking very pleased with herself)

Chakotay: Kathryn...that again? Just when I thought things would be normal around here.

Janeway: I did the human thing for three years, this is what it will take to manage our daughter. Trust me

Chakotay: You're not all going to run wild on me again, are you?

Janeway: A little disorder is to be expected when raising a child, especially if she's a Q.

Chakotay: You've told her? How did she take it?

Q: Quite well, I believe.

Chakotay: She is not going to be a Q.

Angelique: Yes I am, that's what Mommy said. How come Q can call you Kathy and you say that if anyone else calls you that you'd run them through with Miral's bat'leth?

Janeway: Never mind that right now, that's just how it is.

Chakotay: You may be one, but you're not going to run around acting the part!

Janeway: (taking her aside) Daddy doesn't like the Q. Its been a sensitive subject for a while now. Just don't do anything that would upset him.

Angelique: Doesn't he like me anymore?

Janeway: I didn't say that.

Angelique: Does he still like you?

Chakotay: Of course, both of you. Nothing can change that. So're....a Q again?

Janeway: Yes, I am. And so is our daughter. (unable to hold herself down, starts gushing) You wouldn't believe how proud we are, and you should be too, Angelique just snapped herself into the Continuum all by herself, isn't that wonderful? She'll be as good as Q in no time! There's no end to what she'll be capable of after some training.... (stops in mid-gush) What?

Chakotay: (looking at her funny) You look...nice. (runs his fingers through her now solid brown hair, she looks at least fifteen years younger from the reinstatement of her Qness) Your eternal youth is kicking in, I see.

Janeway: I didn't ask for it. (curious now what she looks like, looks in a mirror) Oh god, look at me--I'm a girl! Barely old enough to be an ensign, much less the one running the show! (laughs, examining her youthful figure from head to toe, trying to reel in Chakotay unsuccessfully)

Chakotay: Are you proud that Angelique is a Q?

Janeway: Chakotay...(sigh) you knew it would happen. I thought you were over it.

Chakotay: I know, I'm trying, you know I am. big a part of her life is Q going to be? (Janeway looks over and sees Q training her, doing little parlor tricks for beginners, Chakotay watches too, they look back at each other)

Janeway: It will be hard to keep them apart.

Chakotay: So she knows that Q is...

Janeway: Yes, but she also knows that you're her father, too.

Chakotay: I see. Well, they're going to start wondering if we're taking the day off or something. Q, you make sure Angelique gets to her lessons on time. (they both go out. Q hangs around keeping her company for a while before returning to the Continuum. A while later Tom Paris comes by to get Angelique who is in the other room)

Paris: Angelique? You hiding? Time to get going to class.

Angelique: I...don't think I want to. (trying to throw her voice up a few octaves to sound normal)

Paris: Come on, Miral will be there, I know how you two get along.

Angelique: Maybe later

Paris: Like they say in temporal mechanics, there's no time like the present. Let's go.

Angelique: I don't want anyone to see me like this. Its too weird.

Paris: Come on out, I'm not waiting around all day. Your mother has given me full permission to use force if necessary. Hey, tell ya what, if you come out nicely I'll show you some pictures of your mother in one of my holodeck programs.

Angelique: Really?

Paris: Mm-hmm. So come on out. (he sees her hand grip the doorway, she slowly emerges, he stares) Wow, how did that....? (tries a more pleasant approach, forces a heavy british accent) Eww, yuck! What happened to you?! You're even uglier! You're all older! I'm sorry but I'm going to have to be sick all over. (this manages a smile out of her) Seriously though, what happened?

Angelique: (drops her voice down to where it ought to be) Apparently I'm a Q. Half anyway. Don't tell anyone. Just say....just say I'm in temporal flux or something.

Paris: (how does a three-year-old know what temporal flux is? it took her a month to teach her "cookie"!) Sure, that sounds good and convincing.

Angelique: Do I still have to go?

Paris: I don't see why you wouldn't, just because of a little growth spurt. It'll be fine, trust me.

Angelique: So, how about some of those pictures?

(after her lessons are over, she goes to the mess hall, naturally everyone stares at the "new girl" and someone even whistles. She tries her best to creep through without making a scene. Minh and Kat are sitting at a table together, they recognize Angelique and take pity at her making such a spectacle of herself. Minh gets an idea...)

T'eyla: Hey! Hey!! I never really wanted to be in Starfleet at all! (everyone turns and stares, wonders what she's on about. Kat follows her lead)

Doec: Right! I really wanted to be.....

Both together: A lumberjack! (everyone laughs, taken in by the ship's entertainers, Angelique slips by unnoticed which is just what she wanted. Later, Janeway pages them to her ready room)

Janeway: I'd just like to thank you both for what you did for my daughter today. I'm not going to ask...where exactly you learned your routines, but you did save her some dignity, we're both grateful

Doec: It wasn't any trouble. It was our pleasure, Captain. [suck-up!]

T'eyla: I guess we figured if they were going to stare at something, we'd give them something to stare at.

Janeway: Then in that case I'd say it was a success.

The End