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To Voyage Again

Chapter Text

1700hrs
Rachel’s mind was fixated on the time, trying to decide on the right time to break the news.
Leaving her mother enjoying some light reading, Rachel ducked into her bedroom.
Tucked away in the deepest part of her closest hung two dress uniforms. Rachel pulled the one with the handwritten note pinned to it and placed it on the bed. She then gathered the other one and proceeded to the bathroom to get changed.

Rachel stared at herself in the mirror for a long time. She ran her hands over her 16 week bump, over her uniform trying to remove any creases and through her hair, making sure she was perfect for today. In two hours, Rachel would have the privilege of marrying her parents.

“Rachel? Rachel are you okay? What’s this on the bed?”

Hands shaking, Rachel opened the door, to find her mother leaning down looking at the dress uniform.
“It’s for you.”
“For me? What… I don’t… Rachael, what’s going on? Why are you wearing that?”
“I have to go and met Dad. Naomi will be here at 1900hrs. Everything is explained in that note.”
“I don’t…”
“Mom, please. Just read the note. I love you.” Rachel stepped closer and hugged her Mom, whispering in her ear before kissing her cheek, “I’ll see you later, I love you.”

Brushing her shoulder with her hand as she passed, Rachel departed her quarters.
As she left, she ordered softly, “Computer, play Song." 

The music started and Kathryn stared at the note, barely able to reach down to pick it up. As she got the courage to do so, she put her weight down on the edge of the bed.

“My dearest Kathryn,
I know you hate surprises, but please, just stick this one out, my love. Maybe a story might ease your nerves. Well, an ancient legend to be precise. It's about an angry warrior who lived his life in conflict with the rest of his tribe. A man who couldn't find peace, even with the help of his spirit guide. For years he struggled with his discontent, but the only satisfaction he ever got came when he was in battle. This made him a hero among his tribe, but the warrior still longed for peace within himself.
One day, he and his war party were captured by a neighbouring tribe led by a woman warrior. She called on him to join her because her tribe was too small and weak to defend itself from all its enemies. The woman warrior was brave and beautiful. And very wise. The angry warrior swore to himself that he would stay by her side, doing whatever he could to make her burden lighter. From that point on, her needs would come first. And in that way, the warrior began to know the true meaning of peace. I meant every word of that when I said it to you the first time, and I mean it now. Kathryn, your needs will always come first to me. You have taught me the true meaning of peace. So please, put on the dress uniform, pour yourself a drink, wait for Naomi and I’ll see you at 1900hrs.

Yours forever,
Chakotay”

As she continued through the note, her smile grew wider and tears began to fall. She ran her hands over the words, before bringing it up to her chest.

Kathryn lowered her back down till she was lying on the bed, with the note still held close to her chest.

How did she get so lucky she wondered.

The song continued.

You are, the only exception.
You are, the only exception.
You are, the only exception.
You are, the only exception.

The man she had been told to capture. The man who stood beside her for 7 years. The man who tested her, fought her, consoled her, understood her. The man she finally opened up to. The man she loved. The man who is the father of her child.

That man, she was about to marry.

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, and I'm on my way to believing.

 

The song finished, leaving her slightly empty.
Naomi was due any minute.

Whipping her tears, she dressed and stared into the mirror for a long time. Her auburn hair left flowing over her shoulders.
The door chimed.
As she approached the living room, Kathryn spoke, “come in.”

Naomi’s face beamed with happiness to see Kathryn ready in her dress uniform.
“I’m guessing you were in on this too?”
“Just a little bit. They only let me in on the secret this morning.”

~

Rachel and Chakotay entered the holodeck. Everything was perfect and the guests were seated.
Nervously, they stood at the arch.
“I can’t believe I got Kathryn Janeway to marry me!”
“Well, your not married yet Dad. And for all we know, she might be tied up in a ball crying somewhere.”
“Let’s hope not.”
“You ready?”
“Never been more ready in my whole entire life.”

~

Naomi took Kathryn’s arm and led her into the corridor.
“Are you ready?”
“I think so. I’m just a little shocked though. It’s all happening so fast.”
“He has planned everything. It’s really beautiful. You're going to love it.”

~

Chakotay’s feet twitched as he waited.
“Dad stop. She will be here any moment now.”
“I know, I know.”

~

Naomi and Kathryn reached the holodeck doors.
“Okay, Chakotay told me one thing that you have to do before we enter.”
“Of course he did!. Go on.”
“You have to close your eyes.”
“Close my eyes? Fine.”
Kathryn closed her eyes, and Naomi took her hand.

As she entered, a song played on cue.

Chakotay’s eyes sparkled as he saw her enter.
A tear ran down Rachel’s cheek.

Slowly, Naomi walked her towards Chakotay, holding her shaking hand.

Just before they reached Rachel and Chakotay, Naomi whispered, “open your eyes,” into Kathryn’s ear.

As she did, an audible gasp was heard and she whispered, “New Earth.”

The lyrics to the song began.

Chakotay reached out and took Kathryn’s hand as Naomi stood beside Rachel.
Kathryn took in the surrounding.
“Chakotay, how did you remember it all?”
“I’ll tell you later,” he smiled.
“I love it,” she smiled back.
“You ready?”
“Let’s do this.”

They paused for a moment, listening to the lyrics.

I had all and then most of you
Some and now none of you
Take me back to the night we met
I don't know what I'm supposed to do
Haunted by the ghost of you
Oh, take me back to the night we met

 

They both reflected on everything they lost during their seven years in the Delta Quadrant, their 25 in the Alpha Quadrant, but most importantly what they had gained.
Rachel took a deep breathe and began.

 

When you had not touched me yet
Oh, take me back to the night we met.

 

“I am honoured to be here today to join Voyager’s finest in matrimony.”

“Kathryn, you are the love of my life. I could never imagine a day without you. Ever since I met you 32 years ago, you have kept my heart racing. After all those years, a baby thrown in there too, I can’t believe at the end of today, I will officially be able to call you mine. I love you, I always have, even with your stubbornness” he laughed. “Took me a bit to finally get you here today!”

“Tom, the ring,” the Rachel instructed.

Tom stood from his seat and gave Chakotay Kathryn’s ring.

Chakotay took Kathryn’s hand, “May this ring be the symbol of our eternal love.”
Placing the ring on her finger, he kissed her hand.

“Chakotay, your right. I am stubborn. Sometimes. I’m a better person with you. I’m only too sorry that I didn’t admit that earlier. We have waited too long, been patient for too long. There is no one else I want to share my last years with.”

Chakotay wiped away the tear running down Kathryn’s cheek.

“Namoi.”
Naomi passed Kathryn the ring.
Kathryn took Chakotay’s hand, “May this ring be the symbol of our eternal love.”

“Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Captain Chakotay, With the power vested in me by Starfleet Command and the United Federation of Planets, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

Kathryn wrapped her hands around Chakotay’s neck, with Chakotay placing his over her hips and their lips met to a round of applause.