They Shoot Devorian’s, Don’t
Kathryn Janeway waddled down the corridor of her ship. No one battered an eyelid anymore, much to her relief. She turned the corner and entered the turbo-lift; she was due on the Bridge and was running late. It was becoming habit, but she found it difficult to get out of bed these days. The Doctor was growing increasingly concerned. She shrugged off his apprehension, but knew she should be more careful in her condition.
The lift doors opened and omitted her to the Bridge. Chakotay looked at her and lowered his head as she hobbled over to her seat and sat down. Her back was already aching and the shift hadn’t even started. She glanced down to where her feet would be and lifted her ankles, they felt swollen, but she couldn’t see them.
She folded her hands over her enlarged stomach and felt the baby move. She smiled.
Chakotay watched her out of the corner of his eye. He still found it disturbing to see her heavily pregnant, but Kathryn had given up caring; right about the time she lost control of her flatulence system. If he thought he felt uncomfortable, he should try being seven months pregnant!
She sighed, this was not the way she had imagined it. Being alone, no partner in sight – separated from her family, stranded in the Delta Quadrant, hardly the ideal setting to have a child.
Not for the first time she was angry with herself. She should have checked the databases – asked Kashyk. How did she know that kissing a Devorian was tantamount to sexual intercourse? Talk about odds. She would pick the one alien species in the Delta Quadrant to play tonsil hockey with that could fertilize her in under five seconds!
Seven arrived for her shift; she took up her position behind the captain and smiled at the radiant glow on Janeway’s face. Pregnancy certainly was agreeing with the captain, even if she did complain periodically about the inconvenience of expecting. Seven put it down to nervousness. The ex-drone had also noticed a change in the crew’s attitude towards Janeway, as if she were less capable whilst carrying a child. Seven didn’t understand it. She had asked the Doctor but he had avoided her questions.
Janeway stared at the view screen; it was just another day at the office. She knew she had to call a staff briefing at some point today and she was dreading having to get out of her chair. She hated asking Chakotay to help her up, but she couldn’t do it on her own anymore. At first it had been funny, trying to get her mass out of the chair without incident, but now he seemed embarrassed when she asked. Fortunately, Seven had taken to watching out for her and usually came to her aid.
In fact, Kathryn was beginning to depend more and more on the ex-drone. Seven seemed to be one of the few crewmembers who could look her in the eye without either blushing or backing away in something similar to revulsion.
Neelix arrived on the Bridge, carrying a tray with synthesized coffee. The Doctor had insisted that she not drink her usual brand and so Neelix had worked around the clock to come up with a new-improved synthesized version just for her. She smiled at the Talaxian as he began the first of many daily trips. Kathryn happily took the cup and sipped it. He gently moved her forward, fluffing the pillow that was now a fixture of her seat.
"And how are we this morning?" he asked cheerily.
"Good," Janeway replied.
"Much sleep last night?" the moral officer enquired.
Janeway shook her head. "This kid thinks it’s trying out for the Velocity Championships."
The baby was a he. She hadn’t gotten used to that. She was having a son. She kept referring to him as ‘kid’; it made it less real somehow.
"He certainly seems to take after his mother!" Neelix answered softly, smiling as he took back the coffee cup and headed for the stairs, "See you at ten." And he was gone.
Chakotay was looking at her again, Janeway met his glance and briefly, recognition flickered in his eyes. He leaned forward, as if to say something, then took her hand and squeezed it gently.
* * * * * *
The staff conference was about to begin, Kathryn shifted uncomfortably in her seat, her feet were aching and she really needed to elevate them. She looked about, there was nowhere to –
"Captain." Seven’s calm voice interrupted her thoughts, the ex-drone stood, pushing her chair towards the captain, indicating for her to put her feet up.
Kathryn shook her head, but had no time to refuse as the ex-Borg bent down and scooped her feet, lifting them carefully and placing them on the seat.
Kathryn immediately felt more comfortable; she looked up and smiled warmly at her astrometric’s officer. She wondered if Seven really knew how much she appreciated these little acts of kindness.
The blonde gazed down at Janeway; pleased she had made her smile. She missed the careless way Kathryn used to smile that confident, half-cocked grin of hers.
* * * * * *
Seven set about her duties. The captain had been getting later and later for her shifts, the Doctor and Chakotay were even discussing alieving her of duty entirely since she wouldn’t take the initiative herself. Seven had wanted to pound both of them with her fists. She understood they were doing what was best for the crew, but she was more concerned with what was best for Janeway.
* * * * * *
She lay on the sofa in her quarters, the Doctor had confined her, claiming she was exerting herself too much and it wasn’t good for the baby. She had cursed him in Klingon and then agreed.
She was bored, tired and felt extremely heavy and bloated. What she really wanted was some companionship, but that had also been forbidden by the EMH, something about over-exciting herself. Kathryn almost laughed, as if she were in any condition to get over-excited about anything.
She had just convinced herself that this baby would never actually arrive, that she would be carrying it around for all eternity when the door chimed, she raised herself into a sitting position, "Come," she called, eager for any form of interaction.
Seven entered the dimly lit quarters, carrying a tray with a pot of synthesised coffee and a cup.
Janeway was surprised to see her astrometric’s officer, "What happened to Neelix?" Kathryn asked, suddenly anxious for the Talaxian’s welfare.
"He is fine – just busy – he asked me to bring you your beverage," explained the ex-drone.
Kathryn relaxed and leaned back against the pillows.
Seven moved towards the captain and placed the tray on the table beside her. Janeway eagerly picked up the coffee cup. Seven stood over her, watching intently.
Janeway gazed up expectantly at the blonde.
"Is there anything else I can do for you, Captain?" she offered, tilting her head in her usual inquisitive manner.
Kathryn thought for a moment. "Yes… I would very much like for you to stay awhile… talk to me Seven."
The ex-drone gave what looked like a faint smile and sat in the nearest chair. " am pleased to see you looking rested," stated the Borg.
"I don’t feel it. I feel agitated," Kathryn confessed.
"You are not used to inactivity. I believe you are suffering from ‘Cabin Fever’," Seven clarified.
Janeway half-smiled. "I suppose that’s an accurate description."
"Your immobility is probably adding to your feeling of confinement, it must be a strange process to have your body constantly adapting for the baby."
Kathryn froze at the mention of the baby. It was his fault that she could barely move, his fault she looked and felt like a beached tic-narg’anna whale, his fault… She sighed. He wasn’t to blame. In fact, it was pointless assigning blame; it had happened, she had to accept it and move on. She remembered her mother’s wise words, ‘Kathy, if you can’t change it – make something positive out of it.’ Kathryn smiled sadly; she missed her mother.
Seven felt uncomfortable, realising she had said something to upset the captain, she attempted to repair the damage by saying, "I like the changes."
Janeway turned to her friend in surprise.
"You ‘glow’," the blonde stated, "…You always did, but more so now that you are pregnant."
Janeway gazed with astonishment into piercing blue eyes, "I had a ‘glow’ before?"
They sat in silence for a moment. Then Janeway turned to her friend, asking, "Do you think I’m crazy for having this child?"
Seven started at this question. "No. I think you are brave." There was a hint of awe in her tone that touched Kathryn.
"I had such an idyllic childhood," Janeway said softly, her eyes somewhere in the past. "Apart from the odd traumatic family ‘camping trip’ I was a happy child. I’m scared… scared that this child… that my son will grow up not knowing the innocence and freedom of childhood."
"Naomi Wildmen has spent everyday of her life on Voyager, she is none the worse for it," Seven pointed out.
Kathryn’s brow furrowed, "Isn’t she? I’m not sure. It’s a lonely existence for the crew, I can’t imagine how isolating it must be for a child." She sipped her drink, "I’m scared, Seven. Scared I’ll be a disappointment to him."
Seven frowned. "You could never disappoint him."
Kathryn was about to reply when her leg involuntarily twinged, pain shot up her calf and tore through her thigh; she stiffened at the abrupt attack.
Seven immediately rose from her seat ready to help when she suddenly realised she didn’t know what to do. "Captain?!"
Kathryn shook her head. "Its just cramp," she replied through taut lips.
"Insufficient," Seven replied, hating to see her captain in pain.
Seven moved beside Kathryn. In one graceful movement she lifted the captain’s feet onto her lap and slipped her hands under Kathryn’s robe and along her calves, pressing firmly against her skin. She moved her hands up to the backs of Janeway’s knees and then brought them down again, she felt Kathryn’s muscles loosen slightly at her touch and repeated the action. She saw the pain slowly ebb away as she continued the massage.
Kathryn let out a low groan at the pain relief, and it was nice to have someone actually touch her. She’d felt as if she’d had the phage the last week or two; no one had come near her.
Seven slowly lowered the captain’s legs, removing her hands and resting them beside her, she suddenly felt ashamed of herself; she enjoyed seeing the captain this way – it gave her a sense of intimacy that she had never known. She wanted it to stay; to have Kathryn to herself, to be her sole companion and confidant.
Janeway gazed at the ex-Borg, sensing the change in Seven’s demeanour. She didn’t know when they had become so intimate, but she indulged in the closeness.
"I need to lie down," the captain stated; being a beached tic-narg’anna whale was exhausting!
Seven nodded, then reached out and took Janeway’s hands in hers, gently pulling the heavily pregnant woman to her feet. They started to move towards the Captain’s bedroom; Kathryn slumped slightly. Without thinking, Seven scooped Janeway up in her arms. Kathryn was too tired to argue, she allowed herself to be carried to her bed.
The blonde towered over the mattress. She felt Kathryn’s lapse arms around her neck and relished the physical contact. She drew back the covers with one hand and gently laid Kathryn down, crouching beside the bed to tuck-in the sleepy captain.
Janeway smiled appreciatively. "Thank you, Seven."
There was something in the way the ex-drone was looking at her, something in the way she felt at that moment that caused Kathryn to say in a voice she barely recognised. "Stay."
Seven nodded. She stood and turned to get a chair, intending to sit by the captain until she fell asleep. Kathryn captured Seven’s hand to prevent her from moving away. The ex-drone turned her penetrating gaze on the beautiful woman lying before her.
"I meant… stay with me," Kathryn said as she pulled back the covers, inviting Seven into her bed.
Seven held her captain’s gaze and without hesitation she removed her boots and climbed into bed beside Kathryn.
They lay facing each other, studying each other. Seven reached out her hand and stroked a loose strand of hair behind Kathryn’s ear; Janeway savoured the touch and closed her eyes. Seven watched her in fascination and knew that she wanted this always.
Kathryn soon fell into slumber, a protective arm wrapped itself around her expanded waist, she felt the warmth of Seven nestled close to her and smiled unconsciously. A feeling of well being settled over her, and she knew there it would stay while Seven was close by.