"I love you with so much of my heart that none of it is left to protest with."
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
* * *
As Janeway entered, she asked him pleasantly, "what's that you're up to? You look so serious."
Chakotay answered, enthusiastically, "I had collected some plant samples earlier from what looked like an ivy plant wrapped around what appeared to be a bamboo shoot. It seems these two plants were ... mating."
"Mating, Chakota?" she asked with a bemused smile.
"The 'ivy' plant was the male of this species. It looks like that once they find a female, they wrap around it and embed themselves into the stem of the female with the help of a special foam. Permanently, it seems like."
He looked up from the data and at his captain. "Actually, it reminds me of a story among my people ..."
"Plants that mate for life," she interrupted;
adding whimsically. "Now, there's a romantic thought."
"Had any other romantic thoughts, lately," asked Chakotay, as he got up and walked towards her.
"Being marooned here, like this, almost seems like a romantic fantasy program on the holodeck ... VOYAGER!
Damn, Chakotay. That ship and its crew are anchored to everything else that's come across my mind, since we've been here. I know it's not coming back, I guess I just can't make myself believe it." She suddenly looked at him as though she were surprised, by something, then said, "Oh, I'm sorry, Chakotay. Look at me. I'm preaching to the choir, I know. And it's not helping either of us. I'll stop ..."
"I'm not inclined to censure you, Captain," he said in a light tone, without smiling.
"You can always tell me anything you want. I still consider myself a good listener."
He walked over to Janeway who had remained standing, "One with other talents, as well."
"Like analyzing foaming plant samples," she noted with a soft smile.
"That," he said, as he leaned down towards her. "And this ..."
Kathryn felt tense.
"If you're not ready ..." he offered, with a soft voice and a smile that did not show in his eyes.
"No, it's not that, Chakotay. It's just that I ..."
She struggled to find ... Or to say the words.
Chakotay gently touched her hair, "what is it, Kathryn? What's the matter?"
With her voice soft and quivering, she finally admitted, "... I don't want to disappoint you."
* * *
"It is said that the present is pregnant with the future"
* * *
Though he'd never shot a bow in his life, before, he found himself considering making one, now. Having barely seen one up close for such a long while, he was uncertain the exact shape it was supposed to be in. It wasn't just a branch pulled taught on both ends with some type of chord. There was a specific design to it. If only he could remember.
"Chakotay ..." Kathryn began and then stopped herself, before she said anymore.
The way she said his name suggested there might be a problem.
"Yes?" he asked. He tried to imagine what her concern might be.
"I've conceived," she answered, flatly.
"... Of an idea? For what? Don't tell me: a bow. Just what I was thinking about!"
Chakotay looked at her for a moment, in stunned disbelief. "What," he asked. "'Pregnant.' Are you sure?"
"I'm pregnant, Chakotay," she repeated, emphatically. "How could we let this happen," she asked. "And don't look so surprised, you've wanted to get me pregnant, for some time. Don't bother denying it."
She looked at him accusingly and said, "You did this to me on purpose! I know you, Chakotay."
"You do, Kathryn, but I never had this planned," sounding distracted as he spoke. "You're in shock, having just found out about this - so am I."
He looked outside, as if trying to locate something. "In nine months, at least" he said in a lighter tone, "we'll have met our first local."
"Is that supposed to be funny? What the hell are we going to do? This is no place to have a child. Raise a child ..."
"We're not going to worry about any of that right now," Chakotay said, as he held her arms and leaned over to kiss her.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Really, I didn't mean that, what I said before about you planning this. I'm just surprised - and angry at myself, I suppose." Then she held him tight against her, needing to feel his Manly reassurance and said quietly, just above a whisper,
"Chakotay ... I'm frightened."