Disclaimer: Not mine, but I'll trade for my Wrath of Khan poster *Grin*!
"Hey Dad.", by Starlite1.
"You killed her, you bastard!" The girl snarled from the door of his office.
"Excuse me?" Chakotay demanded incredulously.
Her hauntingly familiar blue eyes bored into his, refusing to back down as she approached the desk, "Unless you're deaf as well as stupid, you heard me."
"And you are?" He retorted furiously, "After all, most of the people who accuse me of murder at least have the courtesy to give me their names and the name of my supposed victim."
Instead of replying, she marched forward, thumping a battered old protocol manual onto the desk, followed by a dusty journal. She finished by slamming a medical report into the stunned man's hand. With a toss of her curly black hair, she turned to the door, "I've done what she asked of me, which is more than can be said for you. The next time I see you you'll be going into a hole, and I'll be laughing. I hope I don't have to wait too long."
"Pregnant?" Kathryn whispered.
The Doctor nodded solemnly, "But your body would not have been able to carry it now due to the Vidiian cure. The second I saw it, I transported it into stasis until you're able to gestate to full term."
"Male or female?" She asked, staring at the tiny capsule in front of her in shock.
"A girl, Captain." He replied, "It shouldn't take more than a few weeks for the drug to work out of your system."
Kathryn shook her head reluctantly, "When we get home, not before. If I don't make it, I'll need you to take her and find someone to have her."
"Are you sure?" He asked.
"Yes. My precious Shannon deserves a family." She stated firmly, reaching out to the frosted glass before her, the hazy flashes of a night which had resulted in the tiny miracle caught between the breath of a second before her.
"Computer, can you trace the name of the individual who was just here?" Chakotay demanded.
"Shannon Janeway was the last individual to enter this office." The computer obligingly responded.
He felt the breath escape his lungs, "Is there more information available on her?"
"Affirmative. Shannon Janeway born May 18th 2379, graduated from Xavier Colony Central school class of 2391, cadet assigned to remote Xavier Starfleet training base working on Transwarp project. Living relatives: Katie Donahue, cousin."
"Her mother?" He weakly asked, his stomach filling with dread as he awaited the machine's answer.
"Ret. Admiral Kathryn Janeway, deceased." It supplied.
He felt as though he'd been punched in the stomach, "What the hell happened to her..."
Suddenly, the weight of the folder shoved into his arms by his former Captain's daughter seemed to double. Hesitantly, he opened it, to see an old fashioned printed doctor's report. A static holoimage of a heart, twisted by a tumour assaulted him, with the blood red words 'Terminal.' Scrawled across the bottom of the page. It was almost merely a formality to check the name neatly typed on the top; "Kathryn Elizabeth Janeway..." He murmured, tracing the image.
"You've been in here quite a bit..." The Doctor noted quietly, careful not to disturb the Captain's longing vigil over the child she had yet to bear.
She shrugged, "Memories of a happier time, Doctor. And I suppose...wishing for some sort of hope for the future..."
"You really are a bastard." Shannon Janeway snarled, shrugging off the guards escorting her into the interrogation room. She shoved the tangle of black hair back from her face.
"According to your file, you're not even fifteen." He noted, pulling out the folder, "Makes me wonder why you aren't in with social services."
She leant forward, fire in her eyes, "And you'd know that If you had a brain cell that could actually read that my Mom and I made sure I was emancipated before she died."
"How long ago was that?" He retorted, barely managing to rein in his on annoyance with the girl.
"None of your fucking business." She responded.
"Considering I don't know when she died, it seems redundant that I killed her, as you so...politely accused me of earlier."
Shannon chuckled disbelievingly, "You really have no clue. My God, I'm glad she kept me away from you." She paused, leaning back in her uncomfortable chair, "My nan had this old book in her house, a Bible. The main guy was betrayed three times by one of his best friends. They ended up knocking three nails into him to kill him by crucifixion. Not a pleasant way to go."
"Where are you going with this, Kid?" he demanded quietly.
"Three nails." She dragged across the protocol book, "One," the diary, "Two," and the file, "Three."
"Are you going to elaborate or are you just wasting our time?" He snapped impatiently.
The protocol book was slammed open to a page worn almost tissue thin, "Starfleet protocol; Section 237, subsection 3A. A senior officer is not permitted to approach, engage or encourage personal fraternization with a lower ranked crew member. Subsection 3B. This rule is applicable insofar as the conduct is not instigated by the Senior Officer. In cases where fraternization is instigated by a junior officer, due discretion is advised by both parties, subject to the judgement of Starfleet Command in regards to the effect upon the chain of command."
"So you're-" He began, stunned.
"Dear diary!" She snarled over the top of him, "Shannon was reimplanted today, so far so good. Five months and I'll be a proper mother. After all that's happened with our return, I will never be able to consider Seven the daughter she once was to me.
I can't believe how much my beautiful Shannon grew in these few weeks before she was returned to me. I got to see her before the doctor proceeded, and I thank God she doesn't look a thing like her father. I've waited far too long for both of them to have it tainted by his shadow. He's heading off with Seven in a week on a deep space mission, and I'll be glad to have both of them from my sight."
Chakotay blanched as the words sliced through him.
Relentlessly she grabbed the medical report, "The tumour which has taken over the patient's heart is beyond the capabilities of our small colony to deal with. I strongly question her adamant refusal to return to Sector 001, and hold out little hope of her recovery even if she does...Cause of death, pulmonary tearing caused by malignant tumour across the left ventricle."
"Shannon?" Came the furious interruption from the door from B'Elanna, "Are you all right, sweetheart?"
Shannon snorted, "What do you think? This idiot's pulled me in here for his own indulgence, and is threatening social services on me. As if I haven't had enough of them over the past twelve months!"
B'Elanna offered a hand to her, pulling her into her embrace, "I'm here to take you home. Got your bag?"
"Yeah." Shannon agreed, calmly holding out her hand to the guard who reluctantly handed the battered old duffel over. She glanced to the items on the desk, "I think you should keep them. So you have a chance to realise what you've done."
"B'Elanna?" Chakotay demanded uncertainly.
The woman levelled a blood chilling glare on him, "If you contact any of us again, we will make sure you never see more than the four walls of a prison again."
Shannon's joyous laugh filled the air as she finally got her hovercraft off the ground, "Look, Mama!"
"Well done, my darling." Kathryn applauded.
Suddenly, the small toy floundered, careening into the ground. A tender hug managed to hold off the temper tantrum, and the four year old was soon once again fiddling contentedly with the craft's innards.
"Kathryn?" Came a voice from the gate. The pair looked up to see the dark man standing by the gate.
"Stay here." She ordered her daughter, moving to block her former best friend's view of her child.
Chakotay shifted uneasily at her actions, "Kathryn? What's going on?"
"None of your concern. Why are you here?" She demanded abruptly, holding the gate fast to protect the only child she had left.
"I came to see my best friend." He replied hotly.
"You have no friends here." She stated coldly, "Funny what five years will do."
Tired from the years of loneliness exacerbated by Seven's final abandonment upon arriving at the edge of the galaxy, he simply nodded and walked away.
Kathryn turned, reaching for her comm. to call her family lawyer.
The rain trickling down the windowsill reflected the tears streaming down his face. Call after call to former colleagues had been met with either cold indifference or open hostility, with many refusing to answer in the first place. The weight of a quarter of a century filled with regrets relentlessly assaulted his soul as he once again flipped over the pages she'd written on New Earth, of a night spent closer than he'd ever been to another being that he'd believed too good to be true. A handful of dates that never went past a kiss on a shuttle during a screwed up escape flight to the far edges of the galaxy.
There had to be a way to make it right.
"I'm just surprised you never head out, Katie." Phoebe complained.
Kathryn shook her head, "You know I gave my heart away a long time aga."
"Yeah, and where did it get you?" Phoebe retorted, "I've got some awesome single friends who'd love you. At least give them a go."
"Phoebe," Kathryn sighed, "I can't."
"Cancer?" Shannon demanded weakly, slumping down into the uncomfortable chair in the dingy examination room.
"I'm afraid so." Dr. Walters stated sadly, "Malignant Leukaemia. Your only hope at this stage would be a transplant."
"From who?" She probed, filling with dread at what had to be the option.
Catching the snag in her voice, he cautiously answered, "Your father."
"No." She shouted, unable to stop herself.
"But-" Walters began.
"I'm not having anything to do with that bastard. I'd rather die before seeing him alive again." Shannon stubbornly growled.
"I hate to tell you just how likely that is."
Phoebe was dead. Gretchen was gone.
And Cousin Katie was headed off to the Marine corps.
"There's nothing left here, baby." Kathryn sadly noted, leading her daughter across the skybridge to the waiting shuttle.
"Where we going?" Shannon asked.
A gleam that had been missing for years returned to Kathryn's eyes, "Second star to the right, and straight on to morning."
"I have a proposition." Chakotay announced as he sat beside the girl, amazed she'd even agreed to meet him in the leafy San Francisco park.
"I don't want to hear it." Shannon bluntly refused, toying with the beanie she was knitting in preparation for the next round of treatment.
"I'd give everything to save your mother. And you." He responded, chuckling at her sharp look, "The doctor was kind enough to confirm your paternity."
She huffed, slumping further down on the ancient wooden bench,"I don't need saving. Especially not by you."
"As much as you may hate me, I'm still your father." He countered, "I may not be your Dad, but the Spirits screwed us all over with that one."
With a snort, she turned to face him fully, "Do you think I give a shit about your guilty longings?"
"No." He sighed, "But I do think you give a shit about your mother. And no matter what either of you two believed, I never stopped loving her with everything I am."
"So why her adopted daughter?" she snapped, slamming the beanie down, "Of all the people to 'sow your wild oats' with, why her?"
"Seven was so much like your mother, and she needed the emotional contact. By the time she came to me, Kathryn had already decided she hated me. We'd stopped spending time together, were barely speaking..." He recalled, feeling his heart ache at the memories that once again attempted to assault him.
"So you were just being spiteful." Shannon concluded with a shake of her head, "Figures."
"I was trying to keep Seven going on the path she'd set her on!" He defended, "A single kiss and I've been damned to hell. I'd always worried about just how much helping her would hurt us. Turns out I was right to be worried..."
"Well duh."Shannon stated, softening slightly at the hurt in his voice.
Chakotay snorted, "After years of getting stonewalled, I tried to find myself some kind of happiness. I think I was entitled to it, and not an existence of nothing, which would've been what I'd've got had I not done something."
"Did you find it?"
"No."He answered shortly, "How could I without her? Seven years of hell before it. Unfortunately for all of us, the fifteen since have been worse."
Shannon paused, absorbing everything he'd said. For a few minutes they sat in silence, the picturesque day completely wasted on the pair. Without warning, she blurted, "And you want me to fix it?"
"You're the child prodigy." He responded, taking her in with the tiniest ember of hope in his eye.
"You want to be my Dad?" She double checked, using the probing glare she'd inherited from her mother on him.
"More than anything." He vehemently agreed, undeterred.
With a sigh she huffed, "Fine."
"Mom," the twelve year old Shannon asked, "What happened to my Dad?"
Kathryn winced, "He gave up on me."
Shannon crawled into her mother's lap, glad she had inherited the Janeway small frame, "I won't, Mom. Never ever."
Six months of research, crunching calculations and blatant thievery left them at a temporal wormhole's greedy maw. From the tiny cockpit, the still slightly reluctant allies took in the swirling blue maelstrom.
"You ready?" Chakotay asked, glancing at his sickly daughter.
Shannon ran a shaky hand over her bald head, "You bet."
"The last thing I want is for someone to have the power over you they had over me, my darling." Kathryn explained, signing off on the emancipation forms.
"Why can't we get you some help? If we-" Shannon desperately plotted
Kathryn laughed bitterly, "No-one can fix a broken heart but the person who shattered it in the first place."
Chakotay's quarters were dark and unwelcoming when he returned from sickbay. After the tumultuous seventy-two hours since Tuvok's call, coupled with the strange, hyper-realistic dream three nights before, all he wanted was to sleep. Spirits knows Kathryn probably didn't want anything to do with him.
"You sure about that?" Came the hauntingly familiar voice from across the room.
He spun, to find his couch occupied by what could only be an older version of himself, and a bald girl, "Who are you?"
"Your older self. Trust me, she wants everything to do with you." The older Chakotay stated, "And if you so much as think she's given up on you, I'll sic the kid on you."
"I take it you're here to stop some sort of calamity?" He shakily surmised, eyes glancing over to the girl.
She chuckled bitterly, her hand going over her hairless head, "More than that. We're here to stop you and her becoming a calamity."
"And you are?" he asked.
"Shannon." She stated, "I'm your daughter."
Maybe in some way this trip would make everything right...
"Kathryn..." Chakotay called softly, entering the ready room.
She smiled shakily, glancing up from the image on the screen, "Yes, Chakotay?"
"I wanted to speak to you about something personal..." He began, tugging his ear as the words from the duo from the future echoing ominously in his ears... For a long time I wasn't yours...Here for my Mom...to save all of us...
"If this is about you wanting to start a relationship with someone on board, I assure you you'll have my blessing." She dismissed, even as he saw her heart breaking in her eyes...Dead from a broken heart...
He inhaled, "As a matter of fact...Yes."
For a moment, she appeared devastated, before her mask reappeared, and she questioned, "Might I know who the lucky woman is?"
"As a matter of fact...I haven't told her yet." He admitted, "You see, she's the most amazing woman I've ever met, and for a long time I thought I didn't stand a chance with her..."
"What changed your mind?" She asked
So she won't hold me to the insipid code...He thought, pulling out the ancient rule book that would've destroyed his future, "This."
Her eyes widened, disbelieving, and then she was swept into his arms and a kiss that finally brought their night together back in crystal, perfect, wonderful clarity.
And then proceeded to make it look tame.
Shannon Selena Janeway, daughter of Chakotay had been born exactly nine and a half months after her conception, and three weeks before her parents' wedding. Her mom often joked about how she and her dad had had their honeymoon first, and then got the boring formalities done later.
After all, for them it was just a formality.
Her father would then come up behind her mother, drape his arms around her, and whisper his favourite part of their vows into her ear before she would reach up and snare him into a passionate kiss no less fiery than the first time over a decade earlier. Shannon remembered thinking how silly it was to think that her mom and dad could ever be two separate people. Especially, as far as she could tell, they shared one heart.
Five years after she'd proudly walked down the ramp of the triumphantly returned Voyager, swinging between her completely dove-eyed parents, she pushed the gate to their backyard open. she grinned at the sight of her mom and dad kissing each other senseless, as her brother and sisters tried to get their hovercraft working perfectly. It slowly rose from the gravel beneath it, paused, before slumping back to the ground. The terrible triplets (whom had been 'Welcome back to Earth' babies) turned beseechingly towards their parents, who immediately were in between them, guiding them towards finding the best way to balance the miniature vehicle. Within minutes, it was whizzing round the yard, followed by the stampeding trio.
Chakotay stood, and happened to glance over to the fence. Seeing his eldest, miracle daughter standing there before him, he let out a joyous cry, spanned the yard, and within seconds had swung her effortlessly into his arms. The pair laughed, hugging each other tightly as Shannon buried her face into his shoulder, mumbling happily