Disclaimer: Paramount owns all of this and I'm just playing in their universe for a little while.

I got the idea for this story after reading Uninvited Admirals in Strange New Worlds IV. This story is set post Endgame. I took a few liberties with Endgame. In my version Seven told Chakotay enough about what the Admiral said that he knew he was married to Seven and that she died. I also must give thanks to my Beta reader Kira47. She's really good at what she does. Please read and review even if it is just to flame.
Captain Kathryn Janeway stepped out of her ready room onto the bridge with a lightness of spirit that she hadn't felt in seven long years. Her crew was finally back in the Alpha quadrant and they would soon be entering Earth orbit. She simply stood for a moment and looked at her senior staff, although there were a few absences. However, she was too happy for Tom and B'Elanna to be truly saddened by their absence.

Chakotay noticed her standing there after a few moments. "Captain, we'll be entering Earth orbit in fifteen minutes. All systems are reporting at maximum efficiency and Tom and B'Elanna are on their way to the bridge for Miral Paris to meet her godmother."

She acknowledged him with a nod, then turned to Ops. "Mr. Kim, please open a channel. I would like to address the crew."

"Aye Captain," said Harry as Tom, B'Elanna, and Miral stepped out of the turbolift.

"Captain," said B'Elanna, "I would like to present your newest crewman, Miral Paris."

"Oh, B'Elanna she's gorgeous! May I hold her for a moment?"

"Of course, Captain," said B'Elanna. Harry took the momentary pause in conversation to tell the Captain that the channel was open.

She thanked him and then addressed the crew. "As you have all heard by now, we are in the Alpha quadrant and will shortly be in Earth orbit. I wanted to thank you for being the most outstanding crew that it has ever been my pleasure to serve with. We also have a new crewman aboard, Miral Paris. I'm sure you're all anxious to see your families and loved ones, so you can all begin preparations to disembark. Janeway out."

With these remarks she quietly and pointedly turned the bridge over to Tuvok and handed young Miral back to her mother before she motioned for the Commander to follow her into her ready room. She moved across the room and stood in front of her couch staring out the window. He looked closely at the reflection in the window as he drew nearer and was shocked to see that the Captain was crying.

"Kathryn, are you all right?" Chakotay whispered.

"I'm sorry Chakotay. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm so happy, but I can't seem to stop crying."

"It's okay, Kathryn. I think it's just the stress and pent-up emotion of the last seven years that are finally being released."

They sat on the couch for a long time, staring at the stars that hadn't been seen in what felt like lifetimes. Finally the Captain spoke up with a total non-sequitor.

"I pity her, you know."


"The Admiral. She had so much, yet she once told me that she envied me."

"Envied you? Why?"

"Because I still have my best friend. You see...in her time you were dead, Chakotay. And she said that you had never been the same since..." She looked up sharply, catching her slip in time.

"It's okay. I know about Seven."

"What? How?"

"Seven repeated enough of what the Admiral told her that I was able to figure out she died in the other timeline. I didn't know you knew."

"Yes. I had a long talk with myself. She made me promise to never let my best friend slip away. So, in that spirit...would you and Seven like to accompany me to my mother's for a while? She would be delighted to meet you both."

"I don't know, Kathryn. Seven might not..."

She interrupted him. "Seven agreed to go to Indiana with me a long time ago. Please, Chakotay, I want my mother to meet my excellent first officer who saved his captain's life many times."

He smiled affectionately. "Fine, Kathryn, as long as Seven agrees we'll come." And with that they continued to sit and chat as only two old friends can.

* * *

The next morning the Captain walked onto the bridge and received the report from the officer in charge as the watch changed and the senior staff came on duty. The entire senior staff including Tom and B'Elanna took their places.

"Mr. Paris, eta to Earth orbit?"

"Fifteen minutes and counting, ma'am."

"Incoming message, Captain," said Ensign Kim.

"On screen, Ensign."

The face of Admiral Paris appeared on the view screen. He cheerfully greeted the Captain, then continued, "Captain, Starfleet Command felt that you and your crew should not be bombarded with the press at first, so your return has been kept secret. To keep this away from the press you will be landing on the Academy grounds instead of the Parade grounds."

"I appreciate your consideration, Admiral."

"The families of your crew have not been notified. We have already made travel arrangements for your crew, though."

"Thank you, Admiral."

"See you when you disembark. Paris out."

* * *

Many, many hours later Kathryn Janeway stood at the transporter console setting it for an automatic beam out. She worked at this as the last of her crew, her senior staff, were waiting to be beamed off the ship.

She walked slowly to the platform, glancing around at her staff and finally stepped up onto the platform and gave the command to energize. They appeared in front of Admiral Paris and snapped to attention.

"At ease," he said. "Captain, the rest of your crew is already being transported to their homes. They will be brought back in about a month for debriefings."

Harry was the first to speak. "My parents have an apartment in the city, and if it's all right I would rather just walk there, sir."

"Very well Ensign," replied Admiral Paris. And, with that hugs were exchanged and he departed. The rest of the senior staff departed as well, and soon only Admiral Paris, Chakotay, Seven, and the Captain were left standing there.

Chakotay turned to Kathryn. "Seven and I will stay in Starfleet quarters for a day or two to let you and your family catch up, then we'll come out to Indiana. Okay?"

"Thank you, Chakotay. I'll see you two in a few days then."

By the time this was all decided, it was late at night. Admiral Paris led her to a transporter platform. When they got there he looked at her and softly said, "Thank you for bringing Tom back. I missed him very much."

"Admiral, I am honored to have served with Tom, and B'Elanna is a wonderful person and the best engineer that it has ever been my pleasure to serve with. Just remember that Tom has changed a lot since you last saw him."

"Thank you for what you have done for them both. Oh, and by the way Kathryn -- I called your mother tonight and told her to expect company, but not that it was you."

"Then I guess she's in for a bit of a surprise."

"Good luck...and welcome home, Kathryn."