Quintessential Friends

By Jade East (jadetrekeast@yahoo.com)
© May 24, 2001
Rating: PG
Series: Star Trek: Voyager

These are not my characters - well some of them are - the others are owned by Paramount. I think the reader will know which is which.

Thanks to Nieke, Clare, and Katie I was tagged. I am not responsible for the result. I was written in.

As the five women walked back toward the building where the men were waiting, Jadie, who was in the back of the line, tried to catch up with Captain Janeway. "Captain, please slow down," she called, a bit out of breath.

Kathryn slowed down so that Jadie could easily reach her side. "What is it, Jadie? And please call me Kathryn. You always used to when I was a cadet."

"Well, Kathryn," Jadie put emphasis on the name. "your dress is so lovely. I was thinking that every wedding needs some flowers. There is a lovely little shop a few blocks down that way. They have a good selection."

Kathryn pondered for a brief moment before she nodded and grabbed Jadie's arm. "Lead the way, Jadie."

Jadie led the little group to a side street and to a small shop in the older building. Inside the shop every one of them stopped and took a deep breath of the fragrance of the fresh flowers.

Cadet Katie was the first to move as she went straight for a display of miniature sunflowers. She gently touched the petals. "We had the large seed kind at home. I just love these," she said to no one in particular.

The other two cadets began to roam the store, each coming upon their favorite flower, Clare happened upon irises and Nieke upon daisies and chatting to the other as they looked.

Kathryn, however, just stood in the middle of the store, breathing in the fragrances. Jadie smiled as she watched the captain's enjoyment of the fragrances. Kathryn opened her eyes and blushed as she noticed Jadie watching her. And at the same time, Kathryn remembered her husband-to-be was waiting. She walked to the counter. "We would like some flowers for a wedding," she told the person behind the counter.

The young man behind the counter pulled out a PADD and began to take the order. "What is your name?"

"Kathryn Janeway."

"What is the wedding date?" he asked, without looking up.

"Today," was her quick answer.

The PADD clattered to the counter as he looked up in surprise. "We can't get wedding flowers together that quickly."

Jadie reached her hand across the counter and patted his hand. "It's okay, young man. We only want a bouquet and a lapel flower."

"No, I want more than that," Kathryn spoke up. "I want a small bouquet for those three, corsage for Jadie here, another corsage, and several lapel flowers. How long will it take?"

The look on the young man's face brightened slightly, "Well if you chose from flowers I have in the shop it will only take a couple of hours."

The two older women smiled as they were led to the big cooler where the flowers were stored. The three cadets saw what was happening and quickly followed them. For the next several minutes the five women and the young clerk, whose name they found out was Henry, debated the pros and cons of different flowers.

Finally after listening to everyone, Kathryn spoke in her best command voice, "I want my bouquet and one boutonniere to be made of those Peace roses. Then you three, pick what you want for yours." she pointed to Kate, Clare, and Nieke. And she turned to Jadie, and asked, "Do you still like violets?" Jadie smiled and said, "I'm surprised you remembered."

"Well, that is part of a Captain's job description," she chuckled and handed a bunch of violets to Henry, "and these reminded me."

"Henry," she commanded, "make those into a corsage."

Suddenly the truth of who he had in his shop dawned on him. "The Captain Kathryn Janeway? Of the Starship Voyager?" he stammered.

Jadie put herself between the captain and Henry. "You never saw her. You understand?" Her voice could have made the Borg turn and run the other way.

"Y-y-yes, m-m-ma'am," poor Henry quavered in his boots, "I see no one."

After giving a few more final instructions, the five-some left the shop. They had walked passed a few stores when Kathryn stopped dead in her tracks and stared in the window.

Jadie not seeing her stop, bumped into Kathryn. "Sorry," she said and then looked in the direction of the captain's gaze. She stared as well. The three cadets bumped into Kathryn and Jadie because they were too busy chatting about the flowers to notice they had stopped..

After she disengaged herself from crowd, Clare shouted, "A coffee shop!" Her love of all things coffee was nearly as well known at the Academy as Janeway's was on Voyager.

But before anyone else could react, Kathryn opened the door and was inside.

Jadie was the first to follow her. "Kathryn, I don't think the doctor would approve of your drinking coffee."

Kathryn placed her hands on her hips and said, "You may be the older of us two, but if you know what's good for you, you will not get in the way of me and my coffee."

Taking the same stance, Jadie looked the captain in the eye and said, "And if you know what's good for you and your baby, you're going to listen to me!"

The two stood nearly nose to nose for several seconds, trying to out "deathglare" the other, until Nieke spoke up, "Uh, Captain and Jadie, why not let's compromise on just one small cup?" She touched each on the arm. "We could all use a refreshment after the hard work with the flowers."

Jadie was the first to break into laughter and Kathryn joined in. Hearing the two older women laugh, the three cadets joined in.

Katie whispered, "Nieke, I can't believe you did that. I was ready to run out the door."

"Nieke is brave," Clare said in a very soft voice.

At the counter Kathryn was trying to make up her mind as to what kind of coffee to have. She browsed the list and came upon odd coffee name. She had seen the usual; Kona, Colombian, Sumatra, even Ferengi and Bajoran, but not this one.

"I will try some of the QbQnotQb."

As soon as she had spoken the name, a bright white light flashed and the shop disappeared. A second later the five women were standing in a good sized room that was festively decorated.

"Surprise, Captain Janeway! Welcome to the Continuum!" Before her stood a cute teenage girl with golden blonde hair. She was wearing a cadet's uniform. She extended her hand and said, "My name is Q, but I would rather be called Q-Bec, if you don't mind since there are so many of us Qs here for the party."

Only then did Kathryn see numerous flashes of light as many Q's appear in the room. And directly in front of her were the three Qs she knew better than the rest, Ms. Q, Q, and Q Jr.

"Captain Janeway, you know, the Q's," Q-Bec smiled at the three but her brightest smile was for Q Jr. "They asked me to plan this surprise party."

The cute Q-Bec guided the guest of honor to a large chair. "Your friends may sit where they like."

"I really need to get to my wedding!" Kathryn protested as she stood in front of the chair.

"Kathy, my dear," Q said in his most condescending tone, "I would think you would understand by now that we are in the Continuum. Time is not an issue. I will have you back to your intended almost as soon as you left. He won't have time to miss you."

"I would like to go there now!" Kathryn scolded at Q.

"You wouldn't want to disappoint the youngsters, including your god child, would you?"

"Yes, Aunt Kathy," Q Jr. put his hand lightly on her arm as he spoke, "I want to celebrate your wedding specially since I will finally have a 'cousin'." He then lowered his voice and said just above a whisper, "My dad wanted to crash the wedding, and this was a compromise I was able to make."

Kathryn looked into Jr.'s eyes and sighed, "All right, I will stay for a while. Ladies, we are guests of the Continuum. Try to enjoy yourselves." She sat down in the chair before and watched warily as the Q brought in the food. The food turned out to be delicious. Clare found herself holding a plate of chocolate covered coffee beans which she savored one by one. Nieke and Katie fought a bit over a plate of custard creams until Q-Bec brought another. Jadie and the captain tried several different delicacies from the abundance on the tables. Q-Bec stayed with the Starfleet ladies, while munching on sponge cake and strawberry jam, all the while smiling shyly at Q Jr. as he talked to the captain.

As they were finishing, Q-Bec made an announcement. "Since the Q do not lose at games we have decided that there will be no games played. We will get right to the gifts."

Kathryn tried to protest, but all the Q shushed her, and began to bring the gifts for her to unwrap. Kathryn was surprised at the gifts. They were useful and practical for the most part, household items, dishes and the like. She was thinking that this would a typical bridal shower when Q stood to his feet to make an announcement.

"As is the custom in the Continuum, when giving a party, the host is the one to give the best gift," Q handed Kathryn an small box, wrapped in white satin with a white satin bow. As she opened the box and looked inside, the room vanished from her sight. She was standing in a clearing and before her was a small garden. She dropped the box and put her hands on her cheeks as they flamed red. It was New Earth just as she had left it.

"Kathy," Q spoke, startling her a bit, "We have modernized the quarters here. We have prepared for your every need. You will spend 2 lovely weeks of honeymooning here, compliments of Q." He was pleased with himself, however Q always looked pleased with himself so it wasn't much of a change. And as a afterthought he added, "Jr. is going to be watching the monkey so that you won't be disturbed."

"Q, Chakotay and I won't have 2 weeks off for a honeymoon."

"Kathy, Kathy," he shook is head as he spoke, "Remember even if you had only an hour, you will still be able to spend the two weeks here. The Continuum, remember?" He snapped his fingers and they were back in the party room.

"Well, our Captain Janeway was duly impressed," Q smiled at the rest of the of the Q. "As a favor to her and the rest of her friends, we will snap them back to their puny existence on Earth. Oh and Kathy," he paused for drama, "Your flowers will be there as well."

"Thank you, Q," Kathryn did not sound completely grateful. She turned to Q-Bec and said, "Thank you for the lovely party. I am glad I got to meet the special friend of my god child."

Q-Bec and Jr. both blushed. However, Q-Bec said, "Thank you Captain," then she leaned in to whisper, "but I have to tell you I was very frightened of meeting you. I mean you are the Captain Janeway who defeated the Borg several times. I shook for earth days when I was asked to plan the party. I am getting better though."

Kathryn hugged the sweet Q and thanked everyone. She turned back to Q-Bec and Q Jr. and spoke just above a whisper, "I would like you both to come to the wedding." The two young Q beamed and accepted the invitation.

Q snapped his fingers and they all were standing in front of the headquarters building and the flower transport was arriving with Henry at the controls. Henry stooped in front of the building and alighted from the vehicle.

"Captain," he said, pleasantly, "Your flowers took less time than I thought they would." Opening the door he showed her the beautiful arrangements.

"Thank you, Henry." She smiled as she picked up the flowers and handed them out to the others. Jr. offered to bring the ones for the men and the corsage for B' Elanna. They all headed in the building. They had almost reached the door when it opened and Chakotay walked out.

"Kathryn, that didn't take very long."

She smiled as she took his arm. "I didn't want to be late," she said as she tugged him through the door. "Let's go get married."