Disclaimer: Star Trek Voyager belongs to Paramount, the writers, and whoever else can legally claim it. I am writing for fun and not profit.
AN: There are really only so many good episodes to make even better by use of fanfic, and it's hard to write anything about them that hasn't already been done. But I've tried my hardest. I've seen plenty of fics on the aftermath of Workforce, but have yet to find one showing the idea my muse gave me. I know the Doctor said that it wouldn't take the rest of the crew as long to get their memories back as it did B'Elanna, but I started to think about what that process could look like. And how remembering certain things before others could lead to some very mistaken impressions. J/C all the way! Please let me know what you think!
Parts of You
By Lady Callista
"A part of you has grown in me. And so you see, it's you and me
Together forever and never apart, Maybe in distance, but never in heart."
Chapter One: Drawing the Wrong Conclusion (Or the Right One, Sort-Of)
"How long will it take until everyone is back to normal?" Chakotay asked the Doctor quietly, looking out through the clear walls of the office into the rest of Sickbay.
"The process will be faster than with Lieutenant Torres, thanks to several modifications in the procedure that I managed to discover." Back in his normal blue uniform, the EMH was imputing data into one of the wall panels. "However, it will still take around 6 hours for their memories to fully resurface, and external stimulus will still be needed."
"External stimulus?" Having not been aboard ship during B'Elanna's recuperation, and not having had time yet to read the reports, Chakotay was confused.
"It's the reason everyone is still sedated, Commander." The Doctor replied. "Although the few with the captain were calm, having come to believe your story, the rest of the crew believes they have been kidnapped. I flooded the cargo bays they were transported to with anesthetizine gas a few moments after I saw all the panic and confusion the trip had caused."
"That has what to do with external stimulus?" Chakotay snapped, then immediately took a deep breath. The stress of the past several days had definitely taken its toll on him, and that was with keeping the part that had bothered him the most locked in the deepest corner of his heart. "Sorry, it's been a long week."
"The process is much the same as treating an amnesia patient." The Doctor's glare faded at the look of exhaustion on Chakotay's face. "In addition to the medication, the person must be familiarized with their life again. Shown around their quarters, told who is in pictures, exposed to the scents of their favorite foods, and so forth. The medication will not work alone, the brain must be stimulated to begin using those neural pathways again. As there are only four of you currently able to help, I will wake only four patients."
"Three, Doctor." Chakotay interrupted. "One of us has to stay on the bridge."
"Well, I had assumed we could reactivate the ECM, and…"
"Afraid not, not with most of the crew still sedated. I'll need you to be monitoring them constantly." Chakotay interrupted him again.
"Very well, then, three to start. That will still allow us to acclimate everyone within 42 hours, which is an acceptable time to keep them sedated. I assume you will take the bridge, so which officers would like to be awakened first?"
"Harry's going to take the bridge. We're staying in orbit around Quarra at least until enough of the crew is back to normal to have the ship fully staffed. Maybe longer if the authorities want us to, they said they still had some things to talk to us about." Chakotay said at once. "In the meantime, I'll be more useful helping the captain acclimate."
"You do know her better than anyone."
"Also wake Paris, and Seven." Chakotay decided after a moment's thought. "Paris cause B'Elanna won't work with anyone before him, and Seven because if we do run into any problems she's the most versatile person we have."
"I thought we'd start with your quarters." Chakotay said softly as the doors swished open automatically upon reading her biosignature.
"I… I live here?" Kathryn, wearing the soft pants and tank top he had retrieved from her quarters, hesitated in the doorframe.
"Kathryn, please." She said softly as she took a few steps into the room. "You didn't seem to have difficulty calling me that on the planet. And something about your voice…"
"What is it?" Chakotay asked softly as he stepped in behind her enough for the door to close. She had trailed off with a blush, and he found himself fascinated by the color spreading over her cheeks. He had very rarely seen her wearing that expression. "What about my voice?"
"Something about hearing you say my name just feels right." She admitted in a voice so soft her barely heard her.
Chakotay couldn't help the smile that flashed unto his face, although his eyes widened as she tentatively reached up and ran her index finger over the dimple on his cheek.
"That look, right there." She whispered. "You seem so familiar to me, and it's that look I remember most."
He drew back with a shaky breath, trying to remember the various instructions the Doctor had given him. He was supposed to avoid revealing anything outright because just telling her the facts wouldn't help her recovery. Instead, he was supposed to wait for her to notice things, and help her fill in the blanks. But he wasn't sure he could deal with filling in her memories of their unique friendship.
Although he had known he would probably have to, he tried to delay the moment by gesturing around her quarters. "Does anything else seem familiar?"
A considering look on her face, she studied him for another second before turning to look around the room. Kathryn wandered over to the main table, running her fingers along the back of one chair. "I remember sitting here. Laughing with… with someone."
Chakotay's mind flashed back to the countless dinners they had shared, and wondered if she was remembering a time when they were laughing over a joke, or whether it had been over another of her failed attempts at replicating dinner. Or if she was just remembering her general mood when at the table, as the doctor had said she might.
Which was why he had chosen to start with her quarters, rather than somewhere like the bridge or her ready room. It was selfish maybe, but he wanted to keep Kathryn with him a bit longer before the captain's mask began to eclipse her. It had unfortunately not occurred to him that he was the only person who spent much time with her here.
She had wandered to the couch by the time he forced his thoughts aside, and sat for a moment, twisting to look out at the stars moving by. "It feels odd somehow to see them moving like this, but if feels right. We don't live our entire lives on ships, do we?"
"No, most humans don't." Chakotay moved towards her, but couldn't bring himself to sit beside her. "You were born on Earth, and lived there until you graduated from Starfleet Academy and were assigned to a starship."
"I remember Earth, they never made me forget it. I don't really remember Starfleet, but I remember my first ship. Not this ship." She didn't sound certain. "I remember others. But they're like distant echoes compared to how I feel about this one. And I still remember the transport ship that brought me from Earth to find work on Quarra. That's even more of an echo, maybe more a shadow. It's like it happened to someone else, but somehow I still remember it. But this ship, this Voyager, is stronger in my mind than almost anything. Is that just because it's in my more recent memories?"
"That's possible." Chakotay offered neutrally. It certainly was one possible explanation, the other one he could think of he didn't share. It could be because of how powerful her experiences on Voyager had been, but he didn't want her to start pestering him with questions about everything. His job was to see what she remembered, and coax her along at her own pace. Not hit her with a barrage of information she had no hope of digesting.
And he was loath to hurt her, to see her shoulders droop once again under the weights and stresses she had been under since he had known her. He wondered, not for the first time, what she would have been like without the burden of having to always be the captain of a ship decades from home.
His eyes drifted to stare out at the stars, and he remembered laying in the front yard of their home on New Earth, and how comfortable they had been just laying beside each other, making up more and more ridiculous stories about constellations. He wondered if the woman she had been there, or the woman she had been down on Quarra, were more like who she had been in the Alpha Quadrant. Realistically, it almost had to be the former, as this Kathryn didn't have her memories of being a Starfleet officer, which meant that so many of the things that had shaped who she was were missing, but…
"Where are you right now?"
Chakotay startled out of his thoughts at the soft question, accompanied by the light touch of her hand on his. He actually turned his hand over to hold her own without thinking about it, then noticed what he had done and quickly pulled away. "Just, uh, just thinking sorry."
"You looked like you were a thousand light years away." She said softly. "At first you were thinking about something happy, but then you got sad."
"I'm sorry." He repeated as he finally sat beside her on the couch. "It's just… strange for me. Some parts of you are so much like the Kathryn I know, but so much is different."
"The Doctor said that our basic personalities are intact, but are altered in specific ways because of the lack of memories of experiences that shaped them."
And that sounded just like her, Chakotay thought with a grin, the scientific reasoning. "You said Voyager is stronger in your mind than almost anything. The Doctor said that's the key to getting your memories back faster. Maybe if we go to other parts of the ship, or if you start thinking about the other things that are just as strong…" He trailed off as he remembered what she had said earlier about remembering him.
"You said you're my First Officer. But I don't remember you in a uniform, or helping me run the ship." She reached out to touch him again, and this time he didn't pull away but let her take his hand. "I remember sitting here like this, talking. And I remember laughing with you, eating dinner, and…"
Chakotay leaned forward, clasping her hand more tightly as she suddenly winced, then shook her head as if to clear it. "What's wrong?"
"I remember a storm." Her voice was a whisper, and he heard apprehension tinged with fear. "I remember stumbling, wind whipping around me, something like lighting but not crashing around me, and how I was a little less afraid when I heard you calling my name."
His mind crashed back to New Earth again. Of all the things for her to remember… Thankfully, her eyes were closed as she tried to piece the memory together, and she didn't see the conflicting emotions flying across his face as he remembered.
"I've always been afraid of storms. When I was little, I was really close when lightning struck a tree, and…" She trailed off, something telling her he already knew. She tried to piece together more of the memory, letting out a frustrated growl when it refused to come. "I don't remember where we were or why… but I remember being under a table, and still hearing the storm crashing, and things falling all around us. And…"
She opened her eyes then, unable to complete the sentence. The next image that had sprung into her mind had been of him holding her, and how she had known that as long as he was there with her things would somehow be okay. That thought somehow had a domino affect, and suddenly memories were popping up left and right.
She remembered his hands caressing her hair briefly before massaging her shoulders. In the next flash he was laying on a bed in Sickbay, and she had both hands resting warmly on his naked chest. An image came next where they were both in uniform, seated and leaning towards each other, hands clasped over some sort of table between then. Her emotions of determination accompanied the memory, and concern and worry for her practically burned in his eyes.
On the heels of that memory came a flash that didn't make sense to her. She was, somehow, watching him perform CPR on her, screaming her name and begging her not to die on him. He sounded almost more like a panicked lover than a…
Chakotay had held his silence even after she stopped speaking, realizing by the concentration on her face and the varied emotions flickering across it that she was remembering things. Hoping that her memories of the storm, and of fear, hadn't triggered a stream of other Delta Quadrant horrors, he tensed as she suddenly sprang up and started pacing the room.
"Kathryn?" He asked hesitantly.
She froze for an instant as his soft voice caused more disjointed memories to well up, then resumed pacing. "Just… just give me a minute." She did manage to say as her mind whirled.
She heard an echo of the Doctor's voice telling her that he wanted her to remember things on her own, and that the things she felt most strongly about would likely be remembered first. So far that was two things; the ship she was on, and the man who currently sat with a concerned expression as he watched her pace.
It made sense that she would be friends with the other people on her ship, and obviously she and her second in command would have to have a good working relationship. But her memories, and the emotions that went with them, suggested that he was far more than just a friend or co-worker.
She remembered how when she had reached out to him the first time he had taken her hand casually but then dropped it, as if it was a common gesture but one that was not appropriate when she didn't remember him. She remembered how somehow, even the first time she had seen him and didn't remember anything at all about him, she hadn't really been afraid of him. She had trusted him. And despite the fact that the others on this ship called her Captain, he used her name as if it was second nature.
Something about his face when he had first seen her with Jaffen stuck in her mind… and suddenly it all came together. He was more than her First Officer, he was at the very least her significant other, and for all she knew he could have been her husband. The flashes of love in his eyes had been prevalent in her memories, and she suddenly stopped pacing and turned to stare at him, a look of horror freezing on her face.
He rose and took a step towards her, then checked himself with obvious effort. He asked in a strained voice, "What's wrong?"
Three thoughts were spinning through her mind. He loved her. She loved him. And although she could blame her lack of memories, she had cheated on him.
For an instant she considered flight, but she didn't want to run blindly around a ship she didn't know. And she could see the concern and love in his eyes, and remember how safe she had felt in his arms. Two large, rapid steps brought her to him, and the next thing she knew she was crying into his chest as his arms slowly wrapped around her.
Chakotay had no idea what she had remembered or what was going through her mind. But when a friend needed a shoulder to cry on, the why wasn't really important. And when the woman you loved was clinging to you and sobbing her heart out, the only thing you could do was hold her.
The only words he could make out were 'I'm sorry,' being repeated over and over. He wished he had the slightest clue what she was apologizing for.