((The events of this story take place in Season 4, after the episode "One" and before the episode "Hope & Fear"))

"Ship's Log, Stardate 51950.7", Kathryn Janeway spoke into the recorder, "Voyager has now cleared the Mutara-class nebula and its subnucleonic radiation and is back on course for the Alpha Quadrant. The ship and crew are both functionally normally."

She begins to make further comments, but then shuts off the recorder and signs. "Problem, Captain?" Commander Chakotay asks. Janeway smiles. "No, just nothing I can really think to add." "Captain, what's wrong?" her first officer insists. Janeway sighs. "In my Ready Room."

As the two Starfleet officers enter, Captain Janeway goes to the replicator and orders a large coffee. "Next to the last ration for me for the week," she explains, taking the piping hot mug, "You want something?" Chakotay shakes his head. "Kathryn," he begins, "Something is bothering you. What is it?"

Janeway sits on the couch, looking out the window at the star-streaks of the warp field. She sighs again. "I don't know. It's hard to put my finger on it." Chakotay takes a seat across from her. "I suppose it's something we were taught back in Command School at the Academy. They called it the 'loneliness of command'." She sipped her drink. "The idea being as a Captain, you had hundreds of lives and a starship depending on your every decision or command. And despite doctors or Ship's Counselors or even a close friend…" She smiled and tipped the mug towards her First Officer. "No one can really understand what it's like, except another starship commander."

Chakotay pondered this for a moment. "And we don't even have a Ship's Counselor." Janeway smiled. "No, the Doctor isn't much of a psychotherapist." "And talking to me doesn't really help, does it?" Janeway smiled again. "It's not that, Chakotay, it's just…" He stood up. "No, I understand. Really. And I think I may have a solution." Kathryn Janeway chuckled. "What? You going to transport a fellow starship commander from the Alpha Quadrant, so we can go out for drinks and talk about the 'burden of command'?"

Chakotay nodded. "Actually, that's pretty close to what I had in mind. Meet me at the Holodeck at 1600 hours." And he strode out of the room, leaving Janeway puzzled.