(August 2001)

Disclaimers: The usual yada-yada to Paramount and Star Trek for use of their beloved characters, words, etc. Since I’ve ‘borrowed’ heavily from the JAG episode, Lineline, beaucoup thanks to its writers (and Paramount, too… LOL!) for all the lovely lines they wrote which show us what really can be done with two main characters who “shouldn’t” be allowed to get together…

Summary: Voyager has returned to Earth seven years after her sudden departure. Following the expected unfolding of events introduced in Star Trek: Voyager’s final episode, Endgame, the following is a suggestion for a ‘what happens next’ story.


(It is several weeks after Voyager’s return to the Alpha Quadrant and Earth. Most of the staff and crew have completed their debriefings and they are attempting to settle down into ‘normal’ lives again. Reunions with family and friends have given way to daily routines, as many lives attempt to resume where they had left off… and new life routines begin for others.

Lt. Commander Reginald Barclay, the Alpha Quadrant champion of Voyager’s return efforts, has become a new person himself, gaining a most unusual personality reversal, becoming quite gregarious and extrovertive. Almost as if he has taken over the role of Voyager’s most hearty bon vivant, Neelix, who had remained behind in the Delta Quadrant, Barclay has determined that Voyager’s crew continually be treated with great pomp and circumstance. When he heard of the suddenly-blossoming romance and subsequent pending nuptials of Voyager’s first officer and her most famous adoptee, he would not accept ‘no’ as an answer from them – he was going to throw lavish, no-holds-barred engagement party. With his new-found status with Starfleet, there was no problem with his request for the event. In addition to Voyager’s crew and their guests, many of Starfleet’s ranking officers were invited also.

The scene opens on this lively party, set in a large room in a posh Starfleet recreation facility. Along the outer side of the room, several floor-to-ceiling windows break the wide expanse of the entire wall; they look out onto the full moon shining off the surface of the gentle waters of San Francisco Bay. In the middle of the wall, a pair of French doors lead onto a narrow patio that runs the length of the room.

Food and drink are spread out attractively on several tables around the perimeter of the room, ensconced with vibrant floral arrangements and bright metallic streamers woven into intricate patterns; there is no doubt that this is a festive occasion. A couple hundred people are milling around, their happy, celebrating voices enhanced by free-flowing liquid libation being served – it’s not synthahol this evening, even though the guests of honor themselves do not partake of alcohol. A wide banner, festive and colorful, illustrated with images of glasses of bubbling champagne and the Voyager starship, highlights one end of the room, announcing the evening’s theme and its honorees:

Congratulations, Chakotay and Annika

The honored couple stands together, responding to the guests as they offer their best wishes to them. He is dressed in his favorite off-duty garb of dark fawn trousers, semi-loose jacket of heathered browns and a long belted leather vest over a cream colored shirt. In contrast to his casualness, she is wearing a low-cut halter-top red dress; its bodice hugs and highlights her voluptuous figure and its multi-layered flowing skirt falls to mid-calf from a snug waistline. Strappy high-heeled shoes have replaced her duty boots, making her almost as tall as him. Seven’s new-found smile is modest but seems sincere as she shakes hands with the guests. Chakotay’s face is cheerful, but he appears somewhat weary or distracted – perhaps it’s the crowd.

Suddenly, his eyes focus on a small form on the far side of the room. Dressed in a simple black sleeveless dress, her only adornment is a pair of earrings of entwining circles of tooled silver and gold. Her shoulder length hair is pulled back, allowing the dancing earrings to create glints across the room. She smiles at Reg Barclay and Deanna Troi, with whom she has been talking. She waves a farewell to them and, now alone, she eases towards the door leading out onto the long patio outside. He sees that her face quickly changes in demeanor as she nears the exit – the smile suddenly fades into an expression of sadness and defeat.

He turns to Seven and whispers something into her ear. She nods to him in superficial agreement, as she is concentrating on the conversation with their guests. She doesn’t even seem to notice or acknowledge his departure as he takes his leave, making his way over to the once-more closed patio doors. He nods to people along the way, making brief acknowledgements to them.

He quietly opens the doors, passes through the opening, then closes them in like manner. She has not heard his entrance; she stands with her back to him, her hands braced against the top of a waist-high wall at the edge of the patio. She is gazing out over the shimmering waters, her mind and eyes lost in reverie, seeming to focus on another time and place. He stands at the door momentarily, just looking at her. Silently, he walks over to her. A cool breeze suddenly floats over the area; she shivers and pulls her arms around herself. He takes his jacket off and drapes it across her shoulders. She turns, startled at the action and surprised to see him. She gratefully accepts the jacket from his hands and wraps it more closely around her bare arms.)

JANEWAY: (Turning towards him.) Thank you.

CHAKOTAY: You’re cold.

JANEWAY: A little bit. How did you know I was out here?

CHAKOTAY: I saw you leave.

JANEWAY: Oh. I didn’t think that anyone would notice… with all the people and everything. After all, this is supposed to be… (She stops, shaking her head, knowing that she’s already said more than she meant to.)


JANEWAY: (Laughing nervously.) Nothing. I guess I just never pictured myself to be celebrating your engagement.

CHAKOTAY: Did you expect me to stay single forever?

JANEWAY: I don’t know what I expected. (Looks him straight in the eye.) You’ve been a surprise from the moment we met. Do you remember?

CHAKOTAY: (Eyes holding firm with hers.) Do I remember? The look on your face made the hair on my neck stand on end. Even after that first time… sometimes I’d catch you looking at me… you didn’t like me.

JANEWAY: You didn’t like me!

CHAKOTAY: (Shrugs, with a glint in his eyes.) So we got off to a rocky start. But that was years ago; at least it’s all behind us now. (Leans with his back against the patio wall.)


CHAKOTAY: You don’t think so?

JANEWAY: Yes, I do; but we both know that there have been times when you haven’t trusted me… or my decisions.

CHAKOTAY: I wouldn’t call it a lack of trust; maybe just acting as your conscience for you.

JANEWAY: (Shaking her head in disbelief.) You can be unbelievably arrogant.

CHAKOTAY: (Smiling at her) And you can be incredibly stubborn!


JANEWAY: Why do you always disagree with me?

CHAKOTAY: It isn’t always; (Slight laugh) I disagree with myself sometimes, too.

JANEWAY: (She grins and gives him a tap on the shoulder with her fist.) So that’s what you’re doing when you’re mumbling to yourself? (Pause.) Maybe – from now on – we should agree to disagree and just admit that’s the way we are…

CHAKOTAY: I thought that’s how we’ve been all along – how we survived…

JANEWAY: Survived. I guess that explains it all.

CHAKOTAY: (Pauses and turns; leans forearms on wall and looks out onto the bay) Why did you back away?

JANEWAY: You know that answer. What it’s always been. Complications – after all, we worked together…

CHAKOTAY: (Shaking head.) There might be some deeper issues, some that we should talk about… now.

JANEWAY: (Backing off, both physically and emotionally) I’m not going there, Chakotay; talk like that is best reserved for a marriage…

CHAKOTAY: Or very good friends. I’ve offered to talk it through.

JANEWAY: (Shaking head and putting up a wall) Some things are best left unsaid.

CHAKOTAY: And that always seems to have been your method of operation – running away.

JANEWAY: I’m not running away… then or now; back… then… I just didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship – did you?

CHAKOTAY: Back there… on New Earth? (Pauses) Yes, I’d have been willing to risk it.

JANEWAY: (Flippantly) If you had, you wouldn’t be having an engagement party right now.

CHAKOTAY: (Turning to face her, eyes gripping her) Maybe I would.

JANEWAY: (Refusing to understand what he’s saying) Why didn’t you ever discuss her with me? I thought we had a trust and an understanding.

CHAKOTAY: You wouldn’t… no, couldn’t… be objective.

JANEWAY: Well, I really consider it quite rude…

CHAKOTAY: (Small laugh) Ah, you’re just a poor loser, Kathryn.

(Pause; silence)

JANEWAY: Chakotay, how did we get to this point anyway?

CHAKOTAY: I guess we were just due.

JANEWAY: Are you saying that it was inevitable? (Looking away from him, up into the dark skies, sighing) I always thought that we were like the universe… that we would be there for each other until eternity.

CHAKOTAY: Is that how long we were going to wait?

JANEWAY: Perhaps. (Slight smirk, shaking head)

CHAKOTAY: You’re just this way with me, aren’t you?

JANEWAY: (Laughing) Yes; just with you. (Pause) Chakotay, I don’t know why you had to go to her so fast.

CHAKOTAY: So fast? I waited and gave it a lot of thought… probably more thought than I should have.

JANEWAY: Do you love her?

CHAKOTAY: (Very uncomfortable) That’s not a question you get to ask.

JANEWAY: Well, then… have you asked it of yourself?

CHAKOTAY: (Shakes head, unwillingly to answer either her – or himself) I really ought to go back inside; after all, it is my engagement party.

JANEWAY: I’m sorry; I’ve been keeping you from… everyone.

CHAKOTAY: Never apologize, Kathryn; it’s a sign of weakness – and that’s something that is never… you. (They turn to go inside then pause; he touches her cheek) I just want you to be happy for me.

JANEWAY: I am happy for you.

CHAKOTAY: Really? I’d hate to see you if you disapproved of all of this.

JANEWAY: I don’t disapprove; I’m just asking a question.

CHAKOTAY: Since when did you become my protector?

JANEWAY: (Pause; looks into his eyes) Since the day I rescued you from the Liberty… that day when fate threw our destinies irrefutably together. After all, what counts is intent; and I hate breaking in new first officers every time I turn around. Besides, you have been there for me so many times…

CHAKOTAY: Like the times when you stood so obstinate… and almost got us killed. (Light chuckle) How many times has that been, Kathryn?

JANEWAY: (Lighter tone) Probably not as many times as you’ve managed to mangle a shuttlecraft…

CHAKOTAY: (Smiling) Touché; you got me there.


JANEWAY: You’ve come with me further than anyone else before; you’ve always been a good friend.


JANEWAY: Just what would you call me?

CHAKOTAY: (Laughing) I think it’s been a little bit more than that. After all, I’ve seen you in some pretty dire situations and…

JANEWAY: And we’ve come through them.

CHAKOTAY: But there has always been a secret part of you… buried deep… that you have never let anyone see. Except almost… once… (Pauses, thinking back to New Earth. Looks up, same expression of acceptance on his face as he had then) You know, you were right in putting the distance between us then.

JANEWAY: (Sighing) It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

CHAKOTAY: Sometimes it’s for the best. (Pause) I want us to stay close.

JANEWAY: Your wife might have something to say about that.

CHAKOTAY: Seven is a good woman… she’s good for me. (Pause) I wish you’d like her.

JANEWAY: (Slightly offended) I like her! I’ve liked her from the beginning…

CHAKOTAY: (Nodding with amusement) Oh, right! But there are some times I wonder about the ways you show it…

JANEWAY: Let’s just say that she’s always presented a ‘challenge’; she’s always testing my people skills.

CHAKOTAY: But you always seemed to have more… um… friction with her than you have others.

JANEWAY: Oh, come on! I’ve had problems with everyone – Tom, B’Elanna, Harry … certainly the doctor… even you and Tuvok…

CHAKOTAY: Problems? Let’s just say ‘differences’. (Looks down, pauses; then looks her in the eye) You know, he was right – about everyone being a little bit in love with you…

JANEWAY: Who said that?

CHAKOTAY: Neelix. Right before he left.

JANEWAY: Neelix?

CHAKOTAY: Who better? He saw each of us better than any of us saw ourselves. In fact, he even said to me that because everyone felt this way about you… and that you couldn’t help but sense it… that it clouded your judgment sometimes.

JANEWAY: (Huffily) I… I… just don’t know… (suddenly changing the subject) And what about you? What did he say about your judgment when it came to your relationships with the crew?

CHAKOTAY: He just said that he hoped that I would be happy.

JANEWAY: (Looking off into the distance) Neelix… I wonder what he would say now…

(She turns and looks at him, as if searching for an answer in his face, but the look quickly takes on a strange poignancy.)

CHAKOTAY: When you look at me that way, what do you see?

JANEWAY: I see a wonderful, desirable man.

CHAKOTAY: And when I look at you, I see a beautiful, loving woman who’s so afraid of losing control…

JANEWAY: (Adjusting posture) In my world, if you lose control, you’re dead.

CHAKOTAY: We’re not on Voyager anymore, Kathryn, and you’re not the only one who has to make those decisions. You’re never alone; let go of that lifeline now… before it becomes a noose.

(She looks as if the weight of the world is on top of her.)

CHAKOTAY: (Continuing) You look so sad; wouldn’t you be happier if you just let go?

JANEWAY: (Looks up at him, trying to grasp his thoughts) And you sometimes let go too easily. Anytime a woman shows interest in you, you’re ready…

CHAKOTAY: (Chaffing at the comment) That’s pretty low, Kathryn. When have I…

JANEWAY: (Chortles sarcastically) When haven’t you? Do you really want me to enumerate them? B’Elanna… Seska… Riley… Kellin…

CHAKOTAY: Now wait a minute. You’re going back to my pre-Voyager days. And Riley… really wasn’t anything. Hell; I can’t even remember Kellin – all I have are some handwritten notes that I wonder if they are even true. As for Seven – Kathryn, it was only after I thought that you couldn’t… wouldn’t… and, after all, you saw to it that Seven and I were always placed in precarious situations together…

JANEWAY: (Shaking her head) She knew what she wanted and she went after it.

CHAKOTAY: And she got it. (Pause, then emphatically) At least she made an effort.

JANEWAY: Yes, I guess you’re right there. (Looks back at him) You know what your problem is, Chakotay? You tend to make complex things way too simple…

CHAKOTAY: (Matching her look and glare) And you make simple things complex. (Pause) Kathryn, what is it that you really want?

JANEWAY: (Not taking the bait) I want a lot of things.

CHAKOTAY: (Not letting her off easily) What do you want the most?

JANEWAY: What I want the most… (suddenly realizing that this might be her last chance to say it) is never to lose you.

CHAKOTAY: I promise you – no matter what happens, you won’t lose me.

JANEWAY: Why did you go to her so quickly?

CHAKOTAY: You pushed me away; what was I supposed to do?


CHAKOTAY: For how long?

JANEWAY: For as long as it takes.

CHAKOTAY: And that’s supposed to be an answer? (Pause)

(The doors open behind them. They turn, startled, as Harry appears.)

H ARRY: Just as startled) Oh, hi… ma’am… sir! So this is where you two disappeared to. Admiral Paris sent me to look for you; I think they’re ready for the toasts and everything. (He sees Kathryn with Chakotay’s jacket around her, his arm encircling her. He shivers, rubbing his own arms, as if ‘supporting’ them) Brr! It’s really getting cold out here, isn’t it?

JANEWAY: (Smiling at him) Yes, Harry; it is; we’ll be right in.

H ARRY: Okay. (To Chakotay) I know they’re waiting for you, sir. And, um… Commander, Seven has been looking for you…

CHAKOTAY: (Flustered somewhat) Uh… yes; tell her I’ll be right there.

H ARRY: Yes, sir… ma’am… (He nods to them, but still doesn’t make any indication of leaving without them.)

JANEWAY: (Smiling, but with a firm ‘I’m ordering you’ tone) In just a minute, Harry.

H ARRY: (Finally taking the hint) Right. A couple of minutes. (He finally exits, closing the doors behind him.)

CHAKOTAY: (Turning back to Janeway) Earlier you said you were happy for me…

JANEWAY: And I am. (Pause, then with a tightening voice) I have so much to say to you, but I just can never find the words.


JANEWAY: (Trying to keep the tears at bay) Damn you; why am I the only one crying?

CHAKOTAY: (He wipes a tear from her cheek) Maybe you aren’t.

(She looks up at him, his dark eyes bright with unshed tears.)

JANEWAY: (Pulling herself together) Well, I guess we should go in; they’re probably wondering about us…


(They start to walk towards the door, but she stops suddenly and turns to him.)

JANEWAY: (Softly) Chakotay, you’ll always have someone who loves you…

CHAKOTAY: (With unrestrained emotion) And you have someone who loves you.

(Their eyes lock into a look that takes them beyond any of the words they’ve spoken. He tentatively leans in towards her, hesitant yet expectant. She responds similarly, until they pass over that point of no return. Their eyes close; their lips make contact. At first, the kiss is soft and glancing, but their arms quickly search for each other and they pull each other into a tight, smothering embrace, reaching out over seven years of suppressed emotion. The kiss becomes deep and hungry, symbolizing their long denial of each other. They break, only to catch their breaths and to read the haunting message written in their eyes. The kiss resumes, this time with the passion of knowing that it must last them forever.

Finally they break away, silently admitting to the bridge they have crossed. Still without a spoken word, she removes his jacket from her shoulders and gives it back to him; only their eyes speak. He puts his jacket back on and she straightens her dress, pats her hair in place and wipes smudges of her lipcolor from around both their mouths. He smiles at her and they go back inside, where the party guests seem to have been oblivious to their absence – all except Seven, who immediately comes over to them.)

SEVEN: I trust that you had a pleasant visit? (She reaches for Chakotay’s hand, and pulls him towards herself, away from Janeway.)

CHAKOTAY: (Suddenly realizing where he is and who’s talking) Just catching up on old times, Seven.

SEVEN: (Icily) I see. (To Janeway) You do realize that Admiral Paris has been waiting?

JANEWAY: Yes; Harry just told us. We’re… I’m… sorry for the delay.

(She looks up and sees the Admiral and Barclay signaling for them. They all walk towards the two men who are standing behind a table with a large cake on it. The cake is decorated with images of Voyager and a large Borg cube, and in-between the ships, a pair of hands clasped – one hand dark and large, the other pale with slim fingers that are encircled by the remains of Borg implants. Lettering echoes the banner that spans across the end of the room. )

ADMIRAL PARIS: Ah, here’s the happy couple! (He looks out across the crowd now gathering behind Chakotay and Seven. Taking the tone of a man used to swaying groups, he begins.) It was inevitable that the seven years of Voyager’s journey, with its daily trials of surviving the unknown, would have a strong effect on interpersonal relationships. While some were strained, others were built – my very own family is a testimony to that. (He looks proudly over at Tom and B’Elanna, who blush with the embarrassing recognition.) Sometimes the most unusual relationships come out of friction; so it is with the two people we celebrate today.

(Harry comes up behind Kathryn, and gently urges her forward until she is standing next to Chakotay on her right; Harry is to her left. The crowd is pushing in closer and closer. Admiral Paris continues…)

ADMIRAL PARIS: Chakotay… Annika… tonight, surrounded by all of us, we toast your love that has grown out of the chaos of hardship and conflict. Your coming together brings all of us into yet another brave new world of unexplored frontiers. (His smile beams down on them. Seven has dropped Chakotay’s hand, as she accepts a filled glass offered to her.) I ask all present to raise your glasses and drink to two of the finest of whom Starfleet… and the galaxy… can boast: To Chakotay and Annika!

(The crowd cheers with echoes of his toast. The sounds of clinking glasses sweep over the room, with laughter and shouts accompanying them. No one seems to notice the slight movement of two hands lost in the shadows of the quartet standing in front of Admiral Paris.

As the crowd pushes them into one another, Janeway and Chakotay stand next to each other, their adjacent arms hanging by their sides. In her discomfort, Janeway’s fingers accidentally graze those of Chakotay’s hand. They reach out for each other, their fingers becoming tightly intertwined, allowing a conduit for their electrified emotions. By their sides, Harry and Seven have turned to greet the crowding well-wishers, as Chakotay and Janeway are left alone to look at each other. Their eyes open wide with surprise and shock, silently asking what is happening… and what will come next.)

~*~ FINIS ~*~

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