Series: Star Trek: Voyager
The epilogue to "Marriage is Irrelevant."
See "Marriage is Irrelevant" for the disclaimer.
When Voyager came within communication range of Starfleet, Captain Janeway sent an inquiry about the fate of her Maquis crewmembers along with her logs. The Federation Judiciary was at work on the case for some time, deposing the crew remotely and gathering evidence from the sulking Cardassians, gloating Bajorans and few surviving Maquis of the Alpha Quadrant. When Voyager was seven months from Federation space, Admiral Paris sent the Captain a personal communique informing her of their decision.
She called Chakotay to her ready room to tell him the news. "A year in New Zealand, with reinstatement in Starfleet at your current rank afterwards, if you wish. Full pardons for the rest of the Maquis crew, and instatement for B'Elanna at her current rank if she desires. The others may petition for entry into Starfleet; Admiral Paris said they would have a good chance, though he didn't seem to think they'd be interested."
Chakotay was silent, so she continued, "Voyager will be docked at Utopia Planitia for several months for a full refit. Afterwards, they want me to go out on the scientific expedition for which she was originally intended."
He grinned in that wry way he had. "It's kind of the Admiral to give me six months to cut and run."
"Will you visit me in prison?"
"I'm not going to let them throw you in a penal colony."
"I don't mind. I expected worse."
"I'm not going back out on Voyager without you. Tuvok can have her."
She didn't want to argue with him - she had her own plans and he wasn't going to approve of them, not that that ever stopped her. She changed the subject to one that was sure to distract him. "I think it's time we had that little Maquis we've been talking about."
The months passed all too quickly for the jubilant crew. They stopped at a few anomalies, but nothing would eat them, open fire or in any way harsh on their mellow, as Tom put it. Chakotay had informed the crew of the pardons and reinstatements, but at the Captain's request he'd omitted mention of his prison term.
The Captain glowed - with pride in her accomplishment, the crew assumed, and gained weight - on account of the end of replicator rationing, they speculated.
Three months from home, Admiral Paris came to meet them. Janeway was impressed - he must have set out almost as soon as the judgement was handed down. He'd brought civilians: T'Pel of Vulcan, Samantha Wildman's husband and a few others. The reunions were private, and Admiral Paris postponed seeing his son until after he debriefed the Captain.
In her ready room, he started with small talk. "I expected you to look a little more grizzled after reading your logs. It must have been a rough trip."
"I would never have made it back without the help of the crew, especially my First Officer." She wanted to make him squirm as much as possible before she laid down her trump card.
"Was Commander Chakotay upset by the Judiciary's decision?"
"No, but I was."
"Is that a request for clemency?" he asked. He'd come here largely because of this problem, though the Judiciary had left him little discretionary power.
"No," she drawled, "he wants to serve his time, and return to Starfleet afterwards."
The words themselves seemed reassuring, but the Admiral was still nervous. He changed the subject. "You're the heroes of the quadrant." She glared at him; he had to retreat farther. "What will you do while Voyager is in drydock?"
"I will need a year's leave of absence. Tuvok can handle Voyager in the meantime. He's done it before." The Admiral missed the deeper significance of these words, though he'd read her logs, and thus the story of New Earth, many times on the long trip out to meet her. At least he understood that she was asking for a promotion for Tuvok, and that much was in his power to give. He relaxed somewhat, answering lightly that he wouldn't have thought she could stay away from Voyager for so long.
"You leave me no choice," she said, in an alarming tone of voice which he figured had kept her half-criminal crew in line for seven years. This debriefing was not going well for him, nor was he looking forward to the next three months in deep space with the angry redhead who ate Borg for breakfast.
He tried again to lighten things up. "What will you do Earthside for an entire year?"
"I'll be spending the year in New Zealand." She smiled. Half the Delta Quadrant had learned to fear that particular expression, but the Admiral had yet to learn. It would only take him a few more minutes.
"You're not going to make a scene, are you? You were never the sort for civil disobedience, Kathryn." He pictured the crew of Voyager chaining themselves to the gates of the New Zealand penal colony, and frowned.
Her voice grew husky. "I don't think you quite understand me, Admiral. I will be staying with Commander Chakotay." Set and match.
"You can't do that, not unless you..." The Admiral choked on the word.
"I already have." She smiled that smile again.
"There was nothing in your logs, or Tuvok's - not even in th--" The Admiral caught himself in time, or so he hoped.
"In the what?" Icicles were forming rapidly on her voice. Even the bridge crew outside felt a sudden chill in the recycled air.
"In the Commander's logs, but I suppose that's obvious," he bluffed smoothly.
Her expression clouded over; she knew what he had been about to say, but she forced herself to remain calm. The thought of Starfleet picking over the internal sensor logs to see who slept in her bed infuriated her.
Chakotay had been particularly insistent about the internal sensors, though he claimed not to know who'd 'adjusted' them so fortuitously. It had taken her a week to notice, and then she was the one who insisted they had nothing to hide. She'd wanted to tell the crew, but he warned her Starfleet might try to use them against each other. He said it was his responsibility to protect the crew, herself especially, and in this case that meant providing 'plausible deniability'.
"Tuvok doesn't know," she denied. "We were on shore leave. It's perfectly binding under Federation law." The Admiral looked doubtful. She smiled her most superficial smile. "I'll show you the pictures sometime, Owen."
She was good, too good. There was no way he could have seen this one coming. But he wouldn't admit defeat quite yet. "You'll be running the penal colony in six months."
"Maybe I'll scrape together my next crew."
Admiral Paris went straight from Janeway's ready room to the mess hall, where his son was waiting for him. It wasn't a mealtime, so the room was almost empty. He wondered absently why Tom had chosen such an impersonal spot - but then perhaps it wasn't impersonal to him.
Tom hugged his father and said a few of the things he'd been dreaming of saying for the past seven years. They spoke about his mother, his future, B'Elanna, and some of his wilder experiences in the Delta Quadrant. Still, a part of Tom eyed his father with a professional dispassion he'd been unable to shake since his experiences on Ymn. "What's wrong, Dad?" he finally asked.
"It's the Judiciary decision. I'm afraid your Captain isn't taking it as well as I'd hoped she would."
Tom was nonplussed. "What about the decision? I thought all the Maquis were pardoned."
"Didn't she tell you?"
"Tell us what?"
This was bad, very bad. The Admiral realized she still had something up her sleeve, that she had been saving his face by not telling the crew about a decision she believed wouldn't stand. He looked at his estranged son, the closest thing to an ally he had on this suddenly hostile ship, and confided in him. "The Judiciary decided to reinstate Commander Chakotay ... after a year in New Zealand. The other Maquis were fully pardoned."
If the look on Tom's face was anything to judge by, he thought, he should call for an emergency beam-out right now. "What else?" his son demanded.
The boy was even quicker than he remembered. "The rest appears to be confidential," the Admiral answered him.
"Ah, she told you."
"I was there. In fact, I took the wedding pictures." Tom smiled at the memory, but the Admiral remained silent. "You shouldn't have crossed her, Dad. Only he can do that, and he never wins, either."
After a few minutes of thought, Tom spoke again, "Let me guess. She threatened to go to New Zealand with him - conjugal rights and all that." The Admiral nodded. Tom whistled in disbelief. "Dad, you're in it up to your pips. It'll be the public relations debacle of the century when you toss the heroic returning captain of Voyager, her husband, and their baby into a penal settlement."
"Baby?" the Admiral choked out. No wonder she'd glowed even as she'd glared at him.
"Did I mention I'm a medic now? She can refuse to see the Doctor, but she can't hide the signs from me."
The Admiral sighed. She was going to win, after all.
"So tell me how you became a medic, son."