Silence engulfs the bridge.
“We did it.” Janeway’s voice breaks as she looks up at the view screen.
“We’re being hailed” Harry barely calls from his station.
“On screen.” Admiral Paris and Barclay appear on the view screen.
“Sorry to surprise you. Next time we'll call ahead.”
“It's good to be here.”
“How did you…” Janeway interrupts Paris, “It'll all be in my report, sir.”
“I look forward to it.” The transmission ends.
Under her breath, Janeway whispers, “Thanks for your help, Admiral Janeway.”
After seven years, the reality of actually being back in the Alpha Quadrant hit Janeway hard. The shock she felt, in succeeding in getting her crew home, took her by surprise.
“Sickbay to the bridge”. The faint cries of a newborn and smiles fill the bridge.
“Doctor to Lieutenant Paris. There's someone here who'd like to say hello”.
Trying to conceal her emotions, Janeway smiles down at Lieutenant Paris, “you'd better get down there, Tom.”
“Yes, ma'am.” Harry is on the edge of tears as he watches Tom enter the turbolift. Even Tuvok is moved.
Standing next to Seven of Nine, Chakotay senses his Captain’s internal emotional battle. The arrival of Admiral Janeway on Voyager made Chakotay realise that he must be honest with his feelings with his Captain. Just the night before over dinner, the Admiral confronted her former First Officer about his relationship with Seven. He had told her that he was happy but deep down knew that it would not work back in the Alpha Quadrant as he knew that Seven would need friends not a lover as she adapts to being back on Earth. The Admiral was shocked with this confession as in her timeline Chakotay and Seven went on to marry, but Chakotay had fallen in love all over again with Janeway’s determination to get her crew home and save the people she loves.
Seven was taken back by Chakotay’s true feelings but admittedly, she had sensed a change in Chakotay since the arrival of Admiral Janeway and she knew how important Captain Janeway is to him. Chakotay was disappointed in himself for his relationship with Janeway had become estranged as of lately. He was frustrated with the fact that she fell in love so quickly with Jaffen while kidnapped on Quarra. He had always felt that deep down she did have feelings for him, but that romance revealed what he believed to be her true feelings and ultimately, he felt, gave him permission to start a relationship of his own.
With her Helmsman on his way to sickbay, Janeway turned to Chakotay, “Mister Chakotay, the helm”
She hadn’t called him that in years.
She watched him take position. She turned, and taking her Captain’s seat, for the final time said, “Set a course, for home”.
She ran her hands down the sides of her Captain chair. Her mind flashed back to the first time she sat in it, all their battles, the Borg, species 8472, everything. The chair had moulded to her over the last 7 years. They had become one. She could feel herself on the verge of tears as her memories flashed before her.
In a swift movement, she stood and informed the bridge that was making her way to sickbay to visit their newest crew member. ‘Crew member’ she thought. This baby wasn’t their newest crew member, she was, in reality, the newest addition to their family. This crew wasn’t just her crew, it was her family and Janeway was scared. She was scared because she knew once they departed, she would be alone, again.
The doors opened to sickbay. A simile spread across Janeway’s face with the sight of the new happy parents with their daughter, and the Doctor actually giving them space!
“Tom, B’Elanna, She’s beautiful!”. Tom’s face was glowing as he rocked his newborn.
“Thank you, Captain. Do… do you want to hold her?”
She thought Tom would never ask! For some reason, she didn’t feel like the stoic Captain that she should be in that moment.
She smiled and her eyes glistened as Tom placed his bundle of joy in his Captain’s arms. She was lighter than Janeway thought she would be. A tear slowly ran down her right cheek. At 46, holding this gorgeous baby, she released a want she had never felt so strongly before.
Tom and B’Elanna were shocked by Janeway’s emotions and coos over their baby.
Sensing a change is her behaviour, Janeway smiled and placed the baby in B’Elanna’s arms and made her way back to the bridge.
With a spring in her step, she left the turbolift and stepped onto the bridge, “Report”.
“Nothing to report Captain. Smooth sailing ahead” Chakotay replied.
“How’s the baby” Harry questioned.
“Wonderful” Janeway smiled. Chakotay was still picking up her change in emotions.
“I’ll be in my ready room.”
As the doors shut behind her, she breathed in a sense of relief looking out her ready room window.
But this sense of relief was entwined with uncertainties.
The familiar smell engulfed the room as she made herself comfortable on the couch, taking in the view.
The door chime rang.