Series: Star Trek: Voyager
This story is dedicated to my very first online friend, Carolyn Carey. I hope her hubby does not mind me taking her into the future and onto Voyager. I think this would qualify for a "lower decks" story. I have also taken liberties with crew quarter assignment. Hey, it is my story, and it is important to my plot.
I know that Paramount owns Voyager and most of its crew, but I am only going to use them to have a little fun. I will return them unharmed and will not charge them for the privilege.
Carolyn indulged in a long leisurely stretch. She was off duty for the next two rotations. It was 0900 hours. Sleeping in was one of her favorite luxuries, and it did not cost any replicator rations. Before she was married, she was rarely able to sleep in because of her roommates. Three others shared the quarters and they were not always on the same schedule. They had learned to use earplugs and face masks. The quiet of the quarters she shared with her husband enabled her to rest deeply and wake up refreshed.
She turned onto her side and looked at her husband's side of the bed, now vacant. He had reported for his duty shift at 0700 hours. Reaching out to touch the pillow, still sporting the indentation from his head, she smiled. She sighed with anticipation as she remembered she would see him at dinner. She planned a special meal with an announcement with dessert.
She laughed at the thought of his reaction to her news. Yesterday after she had worked the beta shift, she went to sickbay. The doctor confirmed what she had already suspected. She was pregnant, six weeks to be exact. To say she was happy was an understatement. Despite the fact that she was as modern as any 24th century woman could be and as content with her training and post in stellarcartography as possible, she had always wanted to have children. She was sure her husband felt the same way, but it was not until after three years after their marriage that she had gotten pregnant.
She gently patted her tummy, imagining the infant could feel the caress. Carolyn remembered the day she began to fall in love with her spouse. Babies played part in it. She was off duty with no special plans. She had not visited the holodeck in quite a while. Holodeck one was reserved and being used by Tom Paris and B' Elanna Torres. Holodeck two was running a subprogram of one she had used before, and because it was set for general admission with a few other crewmembers already inside, she entered. The scene was set in 21st century London's, Hyde Park. As she walked through the beautiful grounds, she saw a woman with twin babies in a double pram. She watched as a man in Starfleet uniform bend over the children and began to chat with them. The two little ones grinned and cooed at him. Even though Carolyn knew that the mother and babies were only holo-characters, she was impressed by the man's manner with them.
She continued to observe him after the mother went on her way with her babies. He sat on a bench with his hands behind his head. His eyes were closed, his face lifted toward the sun, and his mouth wore a wide grin. Suddenly he seemed to be aware someone was watching him. He dropped his hands and turned his head. He caught her eye before she could turn away.
"Hello, Ensign," he said with the grin still on his face. "It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"
Carolyn blushed and said, "It is. I hope I'm not intruding. The program was not reserved."
"You're not intruding. In fact, I deliberately made it open because I was hoping for some real human company. Of course, I wasn't expecting them." He winked at her and nodded toward the other side of the park.
Carolyn looked and then blinked. Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay were strolling together among the roses and they were holding hands. Her mouth formed an O and she looked back at him.
"They didn't see me." He stood and offered his arm. "Would you care to join me for a walk in Hyde Park - in the other direction?"
"I would love to," she said as she took his arm and fell into step beside him as they walked away from the direction of their command team.
The hours passed quickly, and they walked the many acres on grounds. One of places they visited was "the speaker's corner". They stopped to listen to the speeches.
Carolyn asked, "What is this?"
"The grassroots democracy at work," he smiled as one speaker shouted at a passerby. "I remember being in the park when I was a cadet. A Vulcan was standing over there trying to debate logically with a Klingon standing over here. The Vulcan almost lost his logic when the Klingon challenged him to a fight. The crowd kept them from coming to blows. Back in the 21st century, anyone who had something to say could say it here."
Finally they ended up in a small café just outside the park on the river. They sipped tea, ate scones, and talked. Carolyn could never remember spending so much time with anyone and still wanting to spend more.
The next time she saw him was two weeks later in the mess hall. She had just finished her shift and was exhausted. She had spent the day in astrometrics working with Seven on some new star charts. She usually got along with Seven but not that day. The technology of the astrometrics lab made charting the stars easier. However, Seven had been convinced that Carolyn needed to be watched and monitored the whole time. Carolyn had nearly blown up at the eighth and final inspection of her work that day. It was only the fact that her shift was nearly over that kept her from telling Seven off. She found a table and sat facing the portal. Nibbling at her food, she stared at the stars that flew passed.
"May I join you?" She heard the smile in his tone, "Or is this a private viewing?"
"Please do," She motioned to the seat in front of her.
He deposited his tray on the table and took the empty chair. After taking a few bites of his meal and waiting for Carolyn to say something, he spoke, "You had a rough time today, didn't you?"
His statement startled her. "How did you know?"
"I quote, 'Ensign Carey was unusually sensitive to my input today.'" He did an uncanny imitation of Seven's speaking style.
Carolyn chuckled for the first time that day, and said, "Thank you. I needed to laugh."
She opened her mouth to ask him when he had talked to Seven, but he answered her unasked question. "The captain asked me to see how the new charts were coming. You must have just left. Seven was actually concerned about you. I told her she should let you do your job; a job you did very well before she came aboard."
"What did she say?"
"She said that she found no fault with your work and would try to let you do your job the next time you worked together."
"Thank you for speaking up for me. I really should have said something to her myself, but I didn't trust myself to stay in control today." She began to really eat because she found she had her appetite back.
"Seven can make a Vulcan crazy sometime, but she is trying to 'adapt.'"
Carolyn nodded thoughtfully as she chewed her food. The two of them sat in comfortable silence for several minutes.
He was the first speak, "Carolyn, do you like to 'salsa' dance?"
She looked at him to see if his question was serious, when she saw that it was, she shrugged. "I have no idea."
"Well, I discovered a small club in another subprogram of the London program. It is Latino, and it features 'salsa' dancing. I thought that if you didn't have plans, we could try it out."
"Do you know how to dance 'salsa'?" She asked with a smile.
"No, but the holo-waiters will teach us."
"Okay, I'd love to."
The Latino club was indeed small and very lively. Fast paced music came from a small band on a corner stage. The dance floor was not crowded, just a few holo-dancers. He told her that he reserved the holo-deck for the evening.
A dark-haired waiter met them. "Buenos noches, Senor and Senorita. Do you wish to have a table?"
Her escort said, "Si, mi amigo."
"This way." The waiter gave them both a bright smile. He took them to a tiny table near the dance floor. After he had seated them, the Latino asked, "Would you like something to drink?"
"Bring us each a Pina Colada." He ordered for them both.
"And what is a Pina Colada?" Carolyn asked.
"Wait and see. You'll like it, I sure."
She found that she did like the drink he had ordered. She sipped her drink and watched the dancers, trying to understand the steps. As she finished, she felt ready to try the dance.
He, however, had been watching her. So that when she looked up at him, he smiled and said, "Shall we?"
She gave him her hand and walked with him to the floor. After a few minor stubbed toes and bumped elbows, they were able to do a reasonable imitation of the dance. Since they both were in good shape, they kept dancing through a series of songs.
Finally Carolyn said, "I need to sit down. I'm not used to these shoes."
Chuckling, he led her back to their table. After they were seated, he asked, "Would you like something to eat?"
"I'm just thirsty." She told him. "I'd like another Pina Ccaa... What was it called?"
"Pina Colada." He flagged down the waiter and ordered two more drinks.
When they arrived, Carolyn said, "I hope these are holographic."
"I wouldn't want you to get a hangover on our first date, now would I? I wouldn't be an officer or a gentleman if I did." He smiled as he lifted his glass to touch hers.
They talked for hours, forgetting the dancing and time until there was a small beep for computer followed by the monotone voice of the computer. "Your holodeck time will be up in five minutes."
"I can't believe we've been here for nearly four hours." He looked at his chronometer. "We think we'd better go." He offered her his arm.
She smiled as she took his arm, "I had a wonderful time. Thank you for asking me."
"The pleasure is all mine." He said as he patted her hand as it rested on his arm.
They began to take meals together when their schedules allowed. They spent most of that time learning more about each other. They found that they both loved animals. He laughed when he found out about the two dogs, the cat, two lovebirds, rabbit and terrapin she had had when she lived at home.
"You had more critters than some zoos have." He teased.
"And I suppose your menagerie didn't qualify for zoo status?" Carolyn teased back.
"Okay, I guess three dogs, two cats, four birds, and two hedgehogs plus the occasional reptile would put my home in that category, too."
"I miss my zoo," she sighed, remembering especially her two small Yorkshire terriers, Nudgy and Tiffy.
"When I get to missing my pets, I just visit my holo-program." He told her in an understanding voice.
"You have to let me come with you sometime. I never thought to create a program with my animals in it." She shook her head. "You're full of surprises."
He chuckled as he finished off his coffee. "Do you want to try Neelix's latest dessert creation? They're always surprising and sometimes even good."
"If you're game, I'll share." She reached for her cup, "and I'd love some more coffee while you're up." She smiled too sweetly.
"Always an angle, eh, Ensign?" He pretended to be slightly miffed.
The dessert proved to be sugary and not much else. Carolyn ate only a few bites, washing them down with her coffee. Her companion, however, seemed to have an educated sweet tooth and was actually pleased that she didn't want much.
They chatted for a while longer until Neelix came up to ask if they wanted more to drink. It was then they realized that the mess hall was empty except for them. They hurriedly cleared the eating implements from the table and left.
"Are you in a hurry to get back to your quarters?" he asked her as they approached the turbolift.
"How about we check the holo-decks to see what might be running at general admission?"
After agreeing to meet when they had changed into more casual attire, they each went to their own quarters. Carolyn chose a soft green cotton dress with short billowy sleeves. She figured that no matter what was running on the holo-deck she would be comfortable in it. One of her roommates, Tessa plied her with questions about where she was going and with whom, but Carolyn only smiled. The news would be around the ship soon enough. She wasn't going to give Tessa firsthand information to spread.
Carolyn arrived at the holo-deck controls first. The one program running general admission was Sandrine's. She stood at the entrance, waiting for him to get there. Several of the crew greeted her as they entered the establishment. Another of her roommates asked her to join her and was surprised when Carolyn said no.
*I'll never hear the end of this.* she thought ruefully.
"Sorry, I took so long," his voice startled her as he had come up to her unnoticed. "I couldn't find my shoes." He was dressed in a light brown shirt and dark brown slacks. His shoes matched his slacks. "You look great, Ensign Carey. Maybe we shouldn't go in."
"Why not?" She didn't see the teasing look in his eye.
"I wouldn't want to lose my date to the wolves in there." He grinned as he reached for her hand.
"I was thinking the same about my date and the she-wolves in there. My roommate being one of them." She smiled back at him as she felt a thrill when he took her hand. *Strange,* she thought, *that's never happened with anyone else.*
"Well, since there are no other general programs running, let's face the beasts together." He tugged at her hand, walking toward the door.
Inside the light was dim as usual. Carolyn could feel the eyes of the other patrons upon them as they found a small table in the back. As he held her chair for her they both noticed the couple at the next table. He couldn't resist another wink at the co-incidence and sat down beside her. They both returned the nod of greeting to Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay. Sandrine herself arrived to take their order and they ordered only wine. They both felt confident that Sandrine would be hovering around this dark corner as long as the captain and commander remained in her bar.
The setting made Carolyn feel out of place. Between her natural shyness and their close proximity to the Captain and First Officer, she couldn't seem to find anything to say. And he was seemed content to merely sit and look at her, making her even more uncomfortable. She surveyed the room and saw that her roommate was coming toward them.
"Lets dance," she said impulsively. "I don't want to talk to Janice right now."
He grinned as he arose from his chair. "Sure, I'd love to."
The small band was playing softly and the dance floor was full. Upon reaching the dance floor, he took her in his arms. They had danced before, but never a slow romantic dance like this one. At first Carolyn danced stiffly. However, her partner was able to put her at ease. As they continued to dance, he pulled her closer.
"If the Commander can hold the Captain like this, who are we to argue?" He smiled.
Carolyn couldn't think of any argument and she finally relaxed and enjoyed just being with him.
"Any wolves to be seen?" he whispered near her ear.
His breath against her skin sent shivers of pleasures down her back. She replied rather breathlessly, "Not that I can see, but I haven't been looking too closely."
"Neither have I," he drew her even closer. "My eyes and thoughts have been occupied with you. You do wonders for this dress." She felt his lips graze her temple before he put his cheek next to hers.
Carolyn's senses seemed to heighten as they continued to dance. The touch of his hands at the small of her back caused heat to radiate through her body. It was all she could do not to turn her face to his for a kiss. The thought of a kiss from him made her face to flush. She never would know what might have happened if Janice had not shown up.
"May I have this dance?" Janice said seductively after tapping Carolyn's shoulder.
At first the two were confused at the interruption. He was the first to comprehend Janice's request. "Sorry, my dance card is full. But I think Parsons over there isn't busy."
Carolyn nearly choked at the look on her roommate's face. She was not used to being turned down. Janice was a notorious flirt, but not many men seemed to want to say no to her. And she had been reprimanded for a flirtation with a high-ranking alien official on their last stop at a planet.
Janice was speechless as she turned and walked away.
"I hope I wasn't rude," he spoke softly. "I just didn't want to dance with anyone but you."
It was all Carolyn could do to whisper, "Me neither."
They continued to dance through several more sets of songs. One male crewmember and another female tried to cut in but met with the same resistance. Carolyn found out much later that Janice had put them up to it. Janice was miffed at his refusal to dance and wanted to at least disturb them.
Slowly the other members of the crew began to leave Sandrine's. Finally they were the only non holo-beings in the place. Carolyn noticed that Janice had left. She sighed with relief.
"What is it?" He lifted his head to look at her.
"Janice has gone." She looked around the room. "Actually, it looks like we're the only ones left."
"Good," he said as he stopped them in the middle of the small dance floor. He touched her chin and lifted it. He looked deeply into her eyes before he lowered his mouth to hers. Carolyn moaned softly against his lips and pressed closer as exquisite yearning filled her. Only the need for oxygen broke the kiss. He held her to him for several seconds before he spoke huskily, "I think we'd better go." He slipped her hand through his arm and began to walk to door without waiting for her response. They walked in silence all of the way to her quarters.
When they reached her door, he simply said, "Good night," kissed her lightly, and walked back down the corridor toward the turbolift.
Carolyn stood staring open-mouthed down the empty hallway. She felt as if the inertial dampers had just gone off-line. She was dizzy and adrenaline coursed through her veins. Her heart raced with desire; her lips felt bereft. She was very close to tears as confusion washed over her. She couldn't go inside right now. Janice was surely there talking with Tessa and Leah. She simply could not face them. She decided to go to the mess hall. *Maybe a little tea will calm me down,* she thought.
The lights were dim as they always were at that time of the night, but she could hear Neelix puttering in the kitchen. *Doesn't he ever sleep?* she wondered absently.
"Nice to see you again this evening, Ensign Carey," Neelix's cheery voice greeted her. "What can I get for you?"
"Some hot chamomile tea, please."
"Certainly," he said as he poured her a cup. "It's a popular drink tonight." He nodded toward a lone figure sitting at the other end of the room. It was he.
She took the steaming cup from Neelix while trying to decide what to do. He had obviously wanted to leave her quickly and be alone. She should just go back to her quarters and face her roommates. She didn't want him to think she was following him, so she turned to leave.
"Carolyn." She heard him call out to her, and she looked back.
A tentative smile crossed his face as he motioned for her to join him. Carolyn was battling with uncertainty when he stood and came toward her.
"Please come, Carolyn," he pled softly when he reached her. "I owe you an explanation."
Both curiosity and not wanting to face her roommates just yet pushed her to follow him back to the table.
After they were seated, without speaking, he picked up his cup and sipped the hot liquid. Carolyn drank her tea as well while she waited.
He finally set down his cup and spoke, "I am so sorry that I left so abruptly. I'm at a loss for words right now. That kiss, it ... I, ah," he raked his hand through his hair. "It was more than I expected. The whole night was more than I expected."
He looked into her eyes, as if trying to read her response. The confused jumble of his words overwhelmed Carolyn. She could have said the same thing to him. For the first time since he had walked away from her door, she smiled.
"My sentiments exactly." Her voice was low.
He exhaled in relief, "You mean you felt it, too? I thought it was just me." He reached over the table and squeezed her hand. "I had to leave because I thought I would make a fool of myself if I stayed."
"I didn't know what to think," she swallowed against the tears that threatened as she remembered how she felt just minutes before. "I couldn't figure out what I did wrong."
"I'm so sorry," he lifted her hand and kissed it. "Sometimes I'm too impulsive. I was trying not to be when I left."
Carolyn felt her cheeks flush and dropped her gaze to her cup, but she didn't take her hand back. With her other hand she toyed with the cup handle. She could feel his thumb making soft circles on the back of her hand. The caress began to make her pulse quicken again. When he suddenly stopped, she looked at him. The look on his face was intense with desire.
"Carolyn," he said in an almost hoarse voice, "I'm going to be impulsive again. But I mean what I am about to say." He paused for several seconds before he began again. "I love you."
Carolyn was struck dumb. She merely stared at him, trying to believe her ears. Finally she spoke in a tiny voice, "Did you say you love me?"
"Yes, but I don't expect you to feel the same right now." He let go of her hand, and straightened up in the chair. "I can wait for you to find out if you feel the same way."
This time she reached for his hand before she said, "You just surprised me, but I know how I feel about you."
The look of mixed hope and dread on his face made her smile. "I love you, too."
He leapt to his feet and pulled her up to him. "If I wouldn't scare Neelix to death, I would shout for joy. Oh, Carolyn, I was sure I had spoken too soon." He looked like he was going to say something else but kissed her instead.
That night when she returned to her quarters, she merely smiled at her roommates when they tried to question her. She quickly undressed and got into bed. After she had put in her earplugs and put on her sleep mask, she laid in her bed, reviewing the night in her mind. *He loves me! How wonderful!* It was a long time before she fall asleep.
It did not take long for the whole ship to know about them. Over the next weeks, Lt. Tom Paris would wink at Carolyn when he saw her and took every opportunity to tease them both. Janice was more aloof with her since that night, but Tessa and Leah were glad she was happy.
Their shifts were not the same for several days after. They were only able to send notes to each other's personal terminals. Carolyn decided to plan a special outing for them. She had found a 21st century activity that she loved to participate in. It was called "roller blading." After being nearly run over by two holo teens on in-line skates, she, on further investigation of the sport, discovered to her delight that it was good exercise and fun too. She had been running the Hyde Park program at the time.
She usually ran that part of the program at least once a week now, so that she would have a place to skate. She wanted to show him the park and to teach him to skate. Also there was one advantage to blading on the holodeck; the safety protocols kept her from breaking any bones.
Finally after several days of preparation, she was ready to take him there. Carolyn knew that they were due to be off duty at the time the next day. She arranged for Neelix to make a picnic lunch for them.
Inside Holodeck 2, Hyde Park sported a beautiful late-spring day. Carolyn ushered him to in the park set aside for skating. All types of holo-characters skated by - children, teens, and even adults. He was a bit bewildered by the whole scene.
Carolyn led him to a bench where she had deposited their lunch and skates.
"First we have to put these on," she told him as she sat down and removed her boots.
He watched as she fastened the skates and followed suit. When they stood up, Carolyn was the only one who could keep her balance at first. He fell on every few feet for the first few minutes but began to get the hang of the sport after a while. They skated for over an hour, stopping only for water. They even joined a roller hockey match. Carolyn watched his skating skill improve rapidly. After the hockey they decided to make their way back to their lunch.
They ate their lunch while sitting on the bench. Over sandwiches and fruit, Carolyn explained how she had learned to roller blade. He was surprised that he had not discovered the ancient sport that was most likely the ancestor of hoverblading. They sat and talked for a while before skating for another hour.
Carolyn finally skated back to the bench that held their belongings. She dropped down and picked up a towel to wipe her brow. "I'll be sore tomorrow. Holodeck safety protocols don't help keep that from happening."
Laughing he sat next to her. "I was hoping you would want to quit. I was ready to drop 30 minutes ago." When Carolyn reached down to unfasten her skates, he dropped to his knees in front of her and took over the task. After removing her skates, he began to rub her feet. He looked up at her and said, "Thank you for the day. I enjoyed this very much."
Carolyn leaned forward and kissed him quickly.
He helped her with her boots and after a moment of quiet, he spoke in a serious voice, "I think I might as well take advantage of my position." He reached for her hand. "Will you marry me?"
Carolyn smiled but asked her own question, "Are you sure that you're not being impulsive again?"
"If I had been impulsive, I would have asked you weeks ago. I love you, Carolyn. Please marry me."
Carolyn took his hands and pulled him up as she stood to her feet. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she whispered huskily, "Of course, I'll marry you." She sealed her answer with a kiss.
Carolyn checked the time for the fourth time in an hour. Her husband was due in 10 minutes. The table was set, the candles ready to be lit, the sparkling cider was chilling, and the final touches for the meal were done. She quickly checked her appearance in the mirror. She was almost as nervous as she was when they had to go to the captain to ask permission to marry and to ask her to perform the ceremony. They made an appointment and arrived on the bridge at the set time. It seemed to Carolyn that the whole bridge crew stared at them. Tom Paris made a comment to Ensign Kim about how he thought he could smell orange blossoms in the air and how he wondered if Neelix had rice in his supplies. Commander Tuvok seemed to take a long-suffering sigh as he caught Lt. Paris' eye and shook his head slightly.
The couple crossed to the ready room as the doors opened. Captain Janeway bid them to enter and invited them to sit down.
He can right to the point. "Captain, Carolyn and I would like to be married."
The captain did not seem surprised. In fact Carolyn was sure that her commanding officer had known why they made the appointment. Janeway leaned against her desk as she spoke, "Married, eh? If we were on a regular mission, I would have to ask you to wait until we reached a starbase. However we aren't on a regular mission. I have known that eventually people would begin to pair off. You two aren't the only ones who have expressed interest in getting married." She paused for a moment, gazing out the portal with a wistful look on her face. Carolyn wondered if the captain was thinking about Commander Chakotay. Almost as quickly as the look came, it vanished. Janeway appeared to shake herself and she, then, continued, "Making a marriage work on a starship will not be easy. There is not much privacy and breathing room. It will take hard work. Both of your records show that you are good at problem solving and hard workers." She smiled. "I would be honored to perform the ceremony."
Since her figure still did not give any outward sign of her pregnancy, she decided to wear his favorite of her dresses. It was the same one she wore the night they first kissed. The soft green of the fabric matched the green jade in her unique wedding ring. It was gold Irish wedding cross. The design was taken from a ring the two of them found in a small shop in the London holo-program. She wasn't sure how he managed to save up the needed replicator rations, but it was a perfect match to the holographic version and she loved it.
She jumped at the sound of the door swishing open. She recovered quickly and ran to him and threw her arms around his neck. Her husband fervently returned her greeting.
After a particularly passionate kiss, he pulled away slightly keeping his arms around her. "You look beautiful." He began to kiss her neck.
She sighed as he continued to nuzzle her throat, but she pushed away from him. "Dinner will get cold."
"Let it!" He tried to take her back into his arms.
"Not this dinner!" She laughed as she evaded his grasp. "I have a very special meal planned."
He sighed in an exaggerated manner, "Alright, I will eat if you promise not to run from me later."
Carolyn laughed out right as she brought everything to the table.
There was pot roast and mashed potatoes, baby carrots and peas, cloverleaf rolls and jam. The sight of all of his favorite foods made his mouth water. He helped her with the last of the items before helping her be seated.
Throughout the meal he shared his day. He mentioned seeing the captain and Commander Chakotay walking ahead of him as he headed to their quarters. "I'm sure that they didn't know I was behind them because of how they were interacting with each other. Although the captain was one to touch people, the touch she gave Chakotay was more than the normal way she has of touching. She had reached up to touch his cheek and leaned close enough to kiss him. The only thing that stopped her was the opening of a door.
"The other day I noticed when they came out of the turbolift that the commander's hand fell away from the captain." Carolyn added her bit of gossip. "I wasn't sure if they were holding hands or if his hand had been on her back."
"Ever since the day we saw them in the Hyde Park simulation, I have been seeing them 'together' more often. I hope that Captain Janeway will eventually realize that they can be the command team and a couple as well."
Carolyn hoped so as well, but she said, "In all fairness, the captain is trying hard to follow Starfleet protocols out here."
He reached over to touch her hand and said with a smile on his face, "That may be but I still think that just as she said to us, 'However, we aren't on a regular mission.' I hope she figures that the same applies for herself."
A little later after Carolyn brought dessert to the table - cherry pie alamode. He looked perplexed. "Okay, what have I missed? I know that our anniversary was over a month ago. Your birthday is two months away and mine is four. When are you going to tell me what this is all about?"
Carolyn grinned, enjoying the suspense. "Let me get our drinks." She went to get the sparkling cider, poured two glasses, and handed one to her husband. "To our future," she toasted.
There was a look of surprise on his face when he discovered the cider was not alcoholic. Carolyn giggled at the unspoken question and answered, "Don't you know that a pregnant woman should avoid alcohol?"
She watched as comprehension dawned on him, his facial expression going from one of confusion to understanding to outright joy. He jumped up, came to her, and wrapped her in his arms. "We're having a baby? You're pregnant?" She nodded smiling from ear to ear. "How long have you known?"
"Well I have suspected for about two weeks, but found out for sure yesterday." She dipped her head for a moment. "So you are happy?" She was still a bit concerned.
"Happy?" He kissed the top of her head. "No I don't think happy describes how I feel." He wrapped his arms tighter around her. "Overjoyed, delighted, ecstatic, elated, and thrilled start to explain how I feel." He lifted her chin and kissed her with gentle passion. "I love you, Carolyn."
The holodeck London program was running again as it did often these days. Carolyn and her husband brought their infant son as many days as they could. They wanted him to know more than just bulkheads and portals. Carolyn had just finished feeding the three-month-old, putting him back into the pram when her husband nudged her with his elbow. She looked to see Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay heading their direction, hand in hand. They both smiled to acknowledge the small family in front of them.
The captain leaned over the baby and cooed at him. The baby graced her with a wide toothless grin. "This little guy has sure grown quickly. And what a charmer! I hope he will have many playmates."
Chakotay smiled at what she said. He wrapped his arm around her waist. "There should be more weddings first."
"I think you are right, Commander."
Carolyn looked at her husband as if to say, "I wonder if they're saying what I think they are."
He shrugged in response. The commander saw the exchange between husband and wife and laughingly said, "For now that is privileged information. Enjoy your day in Hyde Park." They left a speechless married couple behind as they walked toward the rose gardens.