Title: Every Word I Said Author: Jemima Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Series: VOY Part: NEW 1/1 Rating: PG Codes: C/7 Summary: A very belated C/7 episode addition to "Endgame," last in a series of five C/7 episode additions. Disclaimer: When Gene Roddenberry comes to me and complains, I'll stop. Date: December, 2002
In the midst of the festivities, the former Maquis clumped together - not out of wariness, for all had clearly been forgiven long before Voyager's return.
"Cheer up, old man," Tom said. His father had gushed over Miral for a decorous amount of time, but then duty had called the new grandpa away. Tom and B'Elanna were left with the knot of Maquis whose family members, if living, would have to wait weeks for reunions here or back in the former demilitarized zone. "It took two of her," Tom said, "but she finally got us home."
Chakotay looked a little sadly around the green parade grounds of Starfleet Academy, unsure whether he had gained or lost by this sudden return to the Alpha Quadrant. "Things have changed, Tom," he said. What little home he'd had was now mothballed in a spacedock, and Seven of Nine was not among the lonely Maquis. Irene Hansen had taken charge of both Seven and Icheb, placing them firmly in the larger, happier Terran portion of the crowd.
Chakotay spotted Janeway, up on a grandstand giving yet another interview to the eager press corps. She was the center of attention, a commanding presence even in a crowd of thousands. He thought she met his eye and smiled, but perhaps it was a more generic gesture, accompanying warm words about her loyal crew.
B'Elanna saw the non-interaction and distracted Chakotay by offering him an irresistable armful of Miral. "Tom," she said, "why don't you bring Icheb over here? He hasn't met our little parasite yet."
Along with Icheb, Tom retrieved Seven, Irene, and refreshements. B'Elanna made all the necessary introductions as Chakotay passed Miral over to Icheb.
There was no privacy in the crowd that day, but all other eyes were on Miral as Seven turned to Chakotay. "My aunt has offered to become Icheb's legal guardian."
"I'm sure he's old enough to be emancipated," Chakotay replied.
"She claims he ought to 'get out more'. She intends to ensure that he socializes properly while at the Academy."
"I assume she has similar plans for you."
She nodded. "Our situation has changed."
"We no longer have dangerous occupations," he said.
Most of Voyager's crew had friends or family on Earth. Starfleet lent the unclaimed crewmembers a few houses in the restored North Beach neighborhood usually reserved for visiting diplomats. Somehow Irene managed to get herself assigned to one with Seven, Icheb, and Chakotay.
Seven accepted the fait accompli. Chakotay's own suspicions about the matter were confirmed when Tom stopped by to visit. The wind whistled in the doorway as Chakotay let him into the empty house.
"How do you like the digs, old man?" Tom asked, making himself comfortable on a Victorian period reproduction of a daybed.
Chakotay was never quite sure what Tom was saying when he sank into dialect. "If you mean the house, it's lovely. I never made it out this way when I was a cadet. Seven and Irene are out for the morning." He handed Tom a synthehol drink - something green and vile that had come with the decor. "I haven't seen the Captain around."
Tom sipped his mock-absinthe. "The brass are keeping her close at hand. She's a PR bonanza, our Captain."
Chakotay didn't ask; he just stared.
Tom soon buckled. "I confess. My father left the console on in his office and I...rearranged a few things."
"The Captain won't be pleased when she finds out."
"I still know how to cover my tracks," Tom boasted. "I just came out here to tell you that B'Elanna and I are taking a position at Utopia Planitia."
"Congratulations," Chakotay said, and meant it. "That was a quick decision."
"It was the chance of a lifetime - two posts open at once in the design department. You know B'Elanna was always full of ideas on how Voyager *should* have been put together."
"I'm sure all Starfleet's new designs will be adequately cheese-proofed."
Tom grinned. "Speaking of job offers..."
"You know about ours." Chakotay was tempted to ask whether Tom had arranged all of these once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities during his encounter with Admiral Paris' console. He resisted the urge.
"I've heard rumors," Tom said, "just rumors."
Chakotay relayed the news simply. "Seven and I were offered positions with the Federation Council on Exobiology."
"That's her parents' old outfit, isn't it?"
"Yes. They're interested in the Borg's knowledge of other species, and in my anthropological research in the Delta Quadrant." His excitement began to show through. "Seven has more data buried in her secondary memory than she's ever tried to access. Translating it from Borg terms to human ones will be an exciting challenge for her, and reconstructing entire civilizations out of fragmentary Borg data--"
"--is an archaeologist's dream job," Tom completed his thought. "That's great. I suppose that means you'll be staying on Earth for a while."
"Yes. We all need some time on solid ground."
Seven sat alone on the porch, gazing unseeing at the landscape below. She knew that this part of Earth was considered unusually beautiful, but she had not formulated an opinion on the matter. The wind blowing through her hair was a sensation of which she had not yet tired, so she closed her eyes to appreciate it more fully. Eventually, she heard the porch door slide open.
She could tell who it was by his polite silence. Without opening her eyes, she said, "Captain Janeway stopped by today. She invited us to dinner."
Chakotay placed one hand on her shoulder, but did not reply.
She opened her eyes. "I believe that had you been here, she would have invited only you." Seven's tone held no recriminations. Fact was fact.
He looked down the hillside, seeing a beauty there she could not, or would not, see. "Things have changed, Seven."
"So she hopes," Seven said, shaking off his hand as she stood up by the porch railing. "The Captain is accustomed to having her own way."
He joined her at the rail. "So are you."
She examined the scene more carefully, trying to see the order of the Omega particle in the style of the reconstructed buildings and the chance glints of sunlight off the ocean. What if she could never see what he saw out there? Maybe he wanted someone more...human.
"Do you still love her?" she asked.
"Does it matter?"
She turned to him. His eyes were dark but his tone was teasing, and she knew she had won this war she'd never meant to fight with her mentor and friend, Kathryn Janeway. Seven of Nine had struck no blows, she'd cherished no fragile human hopes - she'd even fled the battlefield once or twice, yet here she stood, the victor.
This place was beautiful after all, she decided.