"Well isn't this charming

"Well isn't this charming?", Kathryn asked rhetorically and rolled her eyes, while Chakotay closed the door behind them.

"Looks pretty…"

"Sterile? Stark?" Kathryn suggested.

"A little, perhaps", Chakotay said and smiled.

"Well, I guess this will have to do", Kathryn stated and took off her jacket. "I am so exhausted that I am heading straight to bed."

"No cup of coffee first?" he asked.

"No thanks. I have to be up bright and early, remember? But help yourself; there must be a replicator here somewhere."

Chakotay looked around, trying to piece together the design of the apartment. Once he saw the room that appeared to be kitchen, he headed towards it and found a replicator on the wall.

"You know, after gotten used to Phoebe's coffee, the replicated one tastes quit shoddy", Kathryn told from the bedroom.

"I have to agree", Chakotay said while the cup was materializing in front of him. "But I've never could have imagined that you would turn down an opportunity to have a cup, no matter where it comes from."

Kathryn laughed. "Well, things change I guess."

Chakotay took the cup from the replicator and started walking towards the bedroom. When he stepped in, he noticed that Kathryn had already taken of her uniform and slipped into white satin dressing gown.

"Well isn't that a feast for the eye", he said then and admired the sight under her brows.

Kathryn smiled. She enjoyed the attention. It made her feel beautiful. And Chakotay was the only one she was willing to impress; whose thoughts actually counted. She looked back to him, raised her eyebrow in the most suggestive way, until heading to the bathroom. Chakotay dropped the cup on the night table and following her. When he reached her in front of the big basin and mirror, he put his hand on her hips and his face into her hair.

"I missed you", he whispered. "Kathryn."

A tingling sensation filled Kathryn's body and she leaned back until her cheek was against his. Being in his arms made her feel like she was finally home and all the emotions she had ignored and denied emerged quickly, but gently. She had wanted this to happen a long time and now that she finally had the possibility to experience it, it almost overwhelmed her.

"You said you had to tell me something", he reminded as he looked at her via mirror.

"That's true", Kathryn whispered. She felt worn out and Chakotay's embrace tempted her to fall asleep.

"Well what is it?"

"Hmm…"

"Don't even try to fall asleep", he teased and kissed her on the neck. "It has to be something important, since you wouldn't tell me on the way here."

"It is", Kathryn said. "It's something that has really made me wonder about lot of things today."

"Something about the negotiations?"

"Not exactly, but it certainly tested my ability to concentrate during the negotiations."

"Sounds pretty serious."

"It is, in a way. It's something that I just found out, something that Dr. Crusher said."

"Don't you tell me that you are ill", Chakotay said then, almost as he had been startled.

"I am not ill", Kathryn told calmly.

"Then what is it?" Chakotay asked and placed his cheek against hers again.

"I like Dr. Crusher, you know?" she said then. "She is very intelligent and agreeable person. I think we could even become friends."

"Sounds good."

"I think we are alike in some ways", Kathryn pondered. "Even though, there are obviously some differences, too. At least this is the impression I have got after one day."

"You changed the subject, Kathryn", Chakotay suddenly informed.

"I have?", Kathryn asked, trying to sound innocent, but failing miserably.

"Yes, so enough of the doctor already."

"All right…"

"So what is it?"

"Well…", Kathryn started, but without knowing how to continue.

"I'm waiting."

"Well, you know", Kathryn sighed. "The thing is…"

"Mmm?"

"…that there is something you should know."

"That part is pretty much clear already, Kathryn."

"Okay", Kathryn said more briskly and stared the ceiling.

"What is it?" Chakotay asked again and laughed. "You are a little nervous, aren't you?"

"No", Kathryn tried to insist.

"I think you are. So what ever it is, just tell me."

"All right; the thing is", Kathryn started again. "That before you so grandiosely claim to stick around the good old Kathryn, you should be aware of all the… aspects and features that come with the territory."

"I think I know my Kathryn", Chakotay whispered and kissed her temple gently. "And I am sticking around."

"Yeah… well that is where you are wrong."

"I don't think so."

"I know so. Are you even listening anymore?" Kathryn asked and smiled.

"More or less", Chakotay murmured and continued placing his little kisses on Kathryn's face.

"You are being impossible to talk to", Kathryn said then and smirked.

"I am?"

"Most definitely."

"Well, you should be aware that at the moment my abilities to listen are decreasing at warp speed", he whispered. "So spit it out before I lift you up and take you to bed."

"Fine", Kathryn agreed. "So here it comes."

"Hmm—mm?"

Kathryn sighed. She was surprised to her own incapability to tell about her pregnancy. Now that the time had arrived to share the news, she was almost desperately trying to make up excuses to postpone telling to the next morning. While she was collecting her thoughts, she had to wonder the reason behind her sudden inability to talk to him. Perhaps she was concerned about his reaction. She wasn't exactly sure if Chakotay had ever even considered having a child. But now that she was pregnant, and he was with her, she had begun to like the prospect of having a child with him. Naturally she was still confused, and perhaps the fundamental reality behind her current situation hadn't revealed itself to her yet, but nevertheless she felt like her pregnancy was a natural extension to her love towards him.

But at the same time the temptation to reveal her secret later got stronger. Perhaps she shouldn't tell him right away. Maybe it would be better to tell him next morning, after a good night's sleep.

"Maybe we should continue this tomorrow, when we are both more awake", she suggested then.

"Are you sure?", Chakotay asked then. "I just got curious to hear it."

"Okay, fine", Kathryn replied.

"I'm waiting."

Kathryn sighed. It wasn't like her to be uncertain, but she definitely was in a situation that made her feel uncertainty. She still had a hard time to even realize it, even though she knew it was true. She was with a child; their child. But what would he think about it? What would be the best way to break the news?

"Fine", she finally said and gave the final thought how to organize her words. "I am going to tell you story, an ancient legend among my people."

Few seconds passed by in silence while Chakotay looked at her reflection on the mirror with disbelief.

"WHAT?!" Chakotay finally asked until burst into laughter.

"Hey!" Kathryn exclaimed.

"An ancient legend among YOUR people?" Chakotay managed to ask. "Who are exactly your people?"

"The pioneer people", Kathryn explained with fake snootiness. "I have my own people too, you know."

Chakotay started to laugh even harder. "Are you mocking the storytelling traditions of MY people?"

"No", Kathryn pointed out. "But I am proud of my heritage and who's to say that my people don't have legend or two in their sleeves?" Besides I have learnt that some things are easier to say by wrapping a nice little legend around the subject."

"Really?"

"Yes. And especially if the story is as real as Earth being flat."

"I thought you liked the legend I told you", Chakotay said trying to contain his laughter.

"I did, it was very nice, thank you very much, but now it is time that another legend is told."

"Okay, go ahead", Chakotay encouraged.

"All right, so this is a legend among my people. It is about…"

Chakotay chuckled and Kathryn had to hold back her laughter.

"Yes?" he asked then.

"It is about a woman pioneer who had to travel across the prairie…", she started, but without being able to finish once her laughter got a hold on her.

"A woman who travelled across the prairie, and?" Chakotay asked.

"Yes, and her journey was long; it took seven years to reach her final destination."

"That must have been one big prairie…"

"It was", Kathryn stated.

"Poor woman."

"Yes, but she was determined. And brave and wise", Kathryn added with a smirk.

"Naturally. And once she reached her final destination?"

"She…", Kathryn sighed and pondered how to continue. "She…"

"Yes?"

"She realized that the world looked like a different place."

"Why? What was wrong with the destination?"

"Oh nothing, but she had… learnt that she was in a situation where she started to see the world around her in totally different way.""

"So the journey had a deep impact on her in emotional level and she felt like a new person, someone she wasn't quite familiar with?"

"I'm afraid this legend is not quite that deep."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Because the thing was that this woman pioneer… she… umm… she had to adjust to the thought of being… well; she found out that she had gotten knocked up", she finally said.

"What?"

"Yeah…"

"The woman pioneer was pregnant?" Chakotay asked smiling.

"Very much so."

"Right…"

"Because before she settled down after this long journey across the prairie, she had a brief encounter with… an angry warrior of one kind."

"What…?" Chakotay asked, now more seriously.

"And once knowing that she was with a child… she had to think twice what would happen next, since she had her hands full with other things, too. Not to mention that the angry warrior was nowhere to be seen… and she wasn't expecting him to appear in sight anytime soon."

Chakotay's facial expression turned blank. He stared Kathryn's face in the mirror, but without saying a word.

"I know", Kathryn said then. "I didn't really expect to get pregnant at this point either. But I have to trust Dr. Crusher's word. I am seven weeks pregnant."

"Oh wow…", Chakotay managed finally say. "This is certainly… unexpected."

"I know. I had a hard time understanding this as well."

"But… how can this be?"

"I don't know. I didn't expect this at all and once Beverly told me I almost felt like some unprepared teenager caught with her pants down. And I mean it literally."

Chakotay chuckled.

"But obviously, against all odds and my own assumptions, there was at least one Janeway power egg left and once it encountered a bunch of certain super seeds, the "magic" happened…"

"I don't believe this..", Chakotay said then. "I mean I do believe it, if you say it's true, but…"

"I know", Kathryn added. "And before you came, I had already started to consider terminating this… thing."

"No…" Chakotay said then. "I mean, if that is what you want, then…"

"I don't know… but it seemed very plausible option earlier, since I thought you have started to build your life with… someone else."

"Wow…"

"Your face is losing its natural color, Chakotay", Kathryn said then.

"What?"

"You are getting pale."

"I am not, Kathryn."

"Yes you are. I am definitely detecting a color-loss. If I wouldn't know you better, I would say that you are… panicking."

"I am not panicking", Chakotay insisted.

"Really?"

"Really."

"Are you sure?"

"I am sure. There is no reason for me to panic."

"There is not?"

"No."

"So what do you think, then?"

"To be honest… I don't know what to think yet."

"I know. I have difficulties to comprehend this as well."

"I certainly didn't expect to become dad."

"And I had pretty much given up from the prospect of becoming a mom."

"Well", Chakotay started. "Looks like many unprecedented results can be reached, when we team up."

Kathryn chuckled and took Chakotay's hand in her own.

"So you are not sending me to get this thing "taken care of" when I manage to get over the negotiations?"

"No…", Chakotay whispered. "No Kathryn. I may not be prepared for this, and I certainly don't know how I either think or feel about this, but at the same time the thought of terminating this feels just wrong."

"I'm glad to hear that, even though I am not certain either about my thoughts and feelings."

"So I guess we just have to be confused together."

"Yeah; let's do that."

"So", Chakotay said and turned Kathryn around to face him. "I guess I have to admit that there isn't such a state in this universe like "Chakotay having Kathryn totally and profoundly to himself."

"Oh… we have approximately seven months left", Kathryn whispered and smiled.

"And I suggest we start by going in to that bed", Chakotay said and nodded towards the bedroom.

"Sounds like a good plan."

"It most certainly is", Chakotay said.

"Promises, promises…", Kathryn teased.

Chakotay took Kathryn's hand and they walked out of the bathroom. Kathryn smiled. She felt relieved and happy. And she didn't feel quite as tired as she had felt few moments ago.