Disclaimer: The usual – Paramount owns ‘ em, and I let them out for a little
fresh air

Rating:  R,  for language only

Notes:  This is a reaction if you will to Unimatrix Zero, part 2 – not one of my favourite episodes.  I found it hard to believe that Janeway could have been affected so little by such a shattering experience, never mind the neural suppressant.  Her whole demeanour in the last scene indicated that assimilation had been just another away mission. 
There are two stories actually.  This one shows Janeway as she is now, very close to canon.  The sequel shows her as I hope she will be after they come home.  Probably not close to canon at all.


By Mary S.

           Kathryn Janeway strolled down the corridor of deck five.  The doctor had just released her from sickbay with strict instructions to proceed directly to her quarters.  No detours, he had stated, staring at her sternly.  Well, she wouldn’t, really; if the turbolift just happened to be going to the bridge, then she would have to go along for the ride, wouldn’t she.  And once there, she might as well just pop into her ready room, pick up a few reports, have a look around – see if the commander had indeed had the carpets cleaned.

           Truth to tell, she was feeling very pleased with herself.  They had done real damage to the Borg this time.  That bitch of a queen would think twice the next time they met.  And there would be a next time – she was sure of that.  She smiled smugly.  Well, just you try, you damned drone.  Maybe I’ll be able to finish you off, once and for all.

           She reached the lift, ordered it to the bridge and stepped out.  She had known it was gamma shift and therefore most likely Chakotay would be off duty, but she had wondered if he would be here anyway.  Beyond one quick greeting over the comm. link just after beaming back, she had not heard or seen him at all.

           She knew he had been very busy, between covering her duties as well as his, plus fighting the Borg and coordinating repairs.  Nevertheless, he usually managed to find a few minutes to pop in on her right after an away mission.  She had expected him, especially considering the look he had given her the last time she had seen him, as she had left the bridge just before beaming to the cube.  The more she thought about it, the more out of character it seemed.  He always came.  Well, this time, she would just have to go to him. 

           “Computer, locate Commander Chakotay.”

           “Commander Chakotay is in holodeck one.”

           Oh.  He might be meditating, or something.  Perhaps she should leave him alone.  But an inner voice drove her down to the holodeck.   Some instinct, a gut feeling, told her she should go and find him.  The privacy lock was engaged.  She paused, hesitated, then over rode it.  She had to see him.

           The doors opened, then closed behind her.  She stood still, taking in the familiar scene before her.  She hadn’t been here for – how long? – four, closer to five years, but she knew it right away.  She sighed.  I might have known, she thought.  She wondered if she should leave after all.  She had expended considerable effort trying to forget this place, and for the most part, had succeeded.  Apparently, the commander had not.  Damn!

           Despite herself, she walked forward slowly.  Might as well see if he got the bathtub right, she thought, although she knew perfectly well that every detail would have been recreated meticulously.  She heard his voice, a cheerful note in it that she realized had not been there for a long time.  And then she heard another – low-pitched, almost sensual.  Oh no!  What had he done! 

           She picked up her pace and burst into the clearing.  Before her stood Chakotay, dressed as he had been on New Earth, and – herself, in her old blue dress, the one that still hung at the very back of her closet because, despite all her good intentions, she had never been able to throw it out.  Oh yes – he had gotten every detail right, down to the smudge of dirt on her face and the wind blown hair. 

           “Commander!  What is – this!”

           Chakotay stood frozen, too astonished to move.  To have both versions of Kathryn Janeway before him left him speechless.

           “Commander!”  She repeated angrily, as her temper began to rise.  Dammit!  This broke every ethics regulation in the manual!  And he knew it!  “Answer me!”

           He found his voice.  “You don’t have to shout, Kathryn.  You know what it is.”  The holographic Kathryn looked at him, puzzled, and opened her mouth.

           “Computer!” snapped Janeway.  “Delete holographic character.”  And her younger self disappeared.

           Chakotay turned on her.  “Get out!  This is my program!  The privacy lock was engaged!  GET OUT!!”  He was furious, in a way she had never seen in all the years she’d known him.

           “No!  Not until you explain what you’re doing with her.  You had no right to create her – none!”

           She wasn’t going to back down now, although she was actually a bit frightened by the expression on his face.  This wasn’t the Chakotay she knew but a complete stranger – and a very angry one.

           He turned away, trying to control his fury.  Dammit!  Why did she have to come in here!  This was all he had left of the Kathryn of New Earth, the one he had fallen in love with.  God knows, there was nothing left in the real one.  The captain had eliminated almost all trace of the woman he had known for such a brief time.  The Borg had finished the job.  He bit his lip and faced her.  What the hell!  She wanted to know?  He’d tell her.

           “You want to know what this is?  It was the happiest time of my life.  I had it all, everything.  And I lost it.  Because Voyager came back, I lost.  This is all I have left.”

           “I don’t understand, Chakotay.  You’re happy now, aren’t you?  I mean, we defeated the Borg, we’re over halfway home, things are going well.  What do you want?”

           He sighed.  How to explain.  “I want you, Kathryn.”  He saw her stiffen.  “Oh, not the person you are now.  I want the Kathryn I had on New Earth, the one who laughed and played with me, the one who worked beside me, the one I built a bathtub for, the one who needed me.”  He shrugged.  “This is the only way I can have her.”

           “Oh, Chakotay,” she sighed and sat down.  Suddenly, she felt very tired.  “I thought….I thought you had gotten past all that.”

           “Put it aside, yes; gotten past it – never.  I will love you until the day I die.”  He sighed in turn.  “I know you don’t love me.  I’ve accepted that.  But I can’t help wishing, and, once in a while, I come here.”  He looked at her – so sadly, she thought.  “I’m not made of stone.  I can’t stop loving you.  God, I wish I could!”  He walked away from her.

           She sat for another minute, then rose and approached him.  “I’m sorry, Chakotay.  I’m sorry I don’t love you the way you want me to.”  He bowed his head.  “I’ll go now, and leave you alone – with her.”  She turned and walked away, calling for the arch.  He heard the doors open, then close.  He shut his eyes tight, and then relaxed, letting the tears fall.  What did it matter after all.  There was no one here but him.