DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you recognise this piece, perhaps you have read my other version, which paired Torres and Seven.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
One Last Journey
The walk through the long and empty corridors has drawn me here. Not surprising really, as I spent so many of my waking moments in this very room. It looks larger now, but then it would, wouldn't it? It's empty - devoid of the life, the warmth, the camaraderie and oh so cold.
Kathryn shivered as she pulled the big Aaron jumper up around the base of her chin and snuggled down into it, moving across the Bridge to the viewscreen. She stood looking out at the stars.
It's funny. All those years when I'd wished, practically begged, to be able to look out there and see a star group I recognised, and here they are. But they are vaguely unsatisfying to me now. Why?
I'm home and I'm unhappy. Is it because I had made my home on Voyager? Is it because I lost the chance of ever finding happiness with Mark, of ever having a family, and resigned myself to life aboard this ship? I never thought we'd make it back, no matter what I told the crew. I had to give them hope, but I always thought we'd be here for the rest of our natural lives; some of us, anyway.
Where's all the bustle now? - the importance, the journeying? Where's Harry, and Chakotay ? Tom, you should be here, Tuvok over there. Where are you all now, I wonder? Home, where you should be, where I promised you that you would be.
But where is my home now? It isn't concrete or brick; I've established that much in these past few months. It isn't Mother and Phoebe either, although they're making their long-lost Daughter/Sister feel as welcome as they can. No, I am the problem. And I don't know why.
So, you think you can find answers aboard a ship that's due to be decommissioned in the morning? You fool; why have you come? Just to say goodbye to the old girl? No, that isn't it. And yet, what is?
Oh, for God's sake Kathy, stop this self-pitying wallow in nostalgia, it'll do you no good. Go home. Go back to Earth.
Stop kidding yourself. If you're half the captain they say you are you'll know that Earth isn't home, not yet, and you know it. But it could be, couldn't it?
Something's missing, that much I do know - what it is, I do not. But something...
Daddy, you could always read my heart, you could always tell me what was going on with me. Where are you now?
It's so unfair. These 'engines' could have run forever and yet they're killing 'my' ship in the morning! It's such a damned injustice. I can't stand this.
What the hell is it with you, Torres? The dream happened: you got home; the ship is being decommissioned. Deal with it.
Yeah, right. So why can't I? Why do I feel the need to be here tonight? Why do I feel if they kill 'my' ship tomorrow, something deeply ingrained in me will be gone forever?
Oh, what kind of idiot... Chakotay moved on, Harry moved on, Tom did. So what is this? What's the matter with me?
I feel so empty inside. And it isn't because Tom and I parted Mother and Miral are my life; I love them both so much. And I'm home. So, why can't I breath a huge sigh of relief and just...
There is something, something I can't quite put my finger on, something missing.
God, I love this room. I sweated blood for you, Voyager, and you always came through for me, for all of us. Time and again you beat the odds... we did, together. And most of it happened in this room, pushing you, nudging you a tweak here, a tweak there and another bad situation overcome with pride.
I can't believe you won't be in my world, won't be there any longer.
Why did those words have such a profound effect on me? 'You won't be in my world, won't be there any longer.' There's something there, in those words, as though somewhere within them is the answer as to why I'm here today, here right now.
Yeah, whatever. I could stay here all night what difference? The ship will still be decommissioned in the morning.
So what are you going to do, you idiot? Stand there tomorrow, hands outstretched, telling them they can't break her up? And how long do you think you'd hold out against Starfleet Command and Admiral Nechayev?
You were so beautiful when you were powered up the prettiest warp core in the Universe. What a sight. Oh, don't worry, they'll use you again in another ship: you'll be its heart, but I was your soul. I was always your soul.
This is so hard. Hell, one last tour of the ship, and then home. Wherever that is these days.
I don't know how long I've been sitting here, just staring out at the stars. If I could, I'd put the damned thing in gear and drive her out! Oh, sure. Kirk got away with it all those years ago, but things were different back then - Starfleet was full of renegades trying to fit in with protocol. You they'd clamp in irons, so keep your damned hands off the steering wheel!
But wouldn't it be fun?
Uh huh? And what is it you'd be looking for out there, anyway? What's out there that you can't find right here? Oh, God, if I only knew the answer to that one, I could just go home, go back to Earth and settle into a new life as Admiral Janeway. It's what they want. I guess it's what I wanted too, once, except that I'm no Admiral!
I wonder how long? For the hijacking of a Starship? How long? And why would they even care, if the Starship in question were being decommissioned in the morning? I'd be doing them a favour, wouldn't I? Just taking it off their hands. Save them the bother.
You know you can't stay here all night, don't you?
I was getting around to that.
So, whaddya think? Time to go?
I guess so.
So why is it so hard to do? Something's wrong about this, just walking away like this without... WITHOUT WHAT? Here we go again, with the 'whatever it is' on the tip of my tongue. COME OUT INTO THE LIGHT, WHERE I CAN SEE YOU, damn it.
The Bridge door heralded the arrival of someone and Kathryn jumped, believing herself to be the only person aboard. Turning around she saw the slim form of her ex-chief engineer walking slowly into the room, wearing an expression she didn't quite recognise.
The lieutenant's mouth was slightly ajar as she watched her captain turn around.
The captain was shocked: of all the things she could have thought of, this wasn't it, and yet, 'could it be? Could I have been so blind? YES, IT'S TRUE. Oh God, thank you. Thank you so much.' "I couldn't leave here without saying 'goodbye' either," Kathryn purred, grinning her lop-sided grin. She'd realised, looking at B'Elanna, that she had found what she'd returned to Voyager to look for.
It seemed B'Elanna had made the same discovery in the same moment, as she looked as shocked as the face she gazed at, and just as aware about what was taking place. And then the tears came, first for the captain and then for her love.
Seeing in B'Elanna's face that it would not be a mistake, Kathryn ran to B'Elanna and threw wide her arms, enveloping the happy woman and turning them both around on the deck a few times in a whirl of excitement. "You!" Kathryn said happily, "You, know, I was sitting here thinking. It was driving me mad! I knew there was something I'd left behind something I wasn't complete without. But I never dreamed it would be you, not until now."
"I know. I had to come back too!" B'Elanna exclaimed excitedly. "I was so drawn to be here. It was almost a feeling of coming back to collect something I'd forgotten to take before. But you? I didn't expect that one!" B'Elanna held Kathryn away a little, and looked at her. "Why didn't I realise that I could never be complete without you? All these years, you've always been there and..." The engineer was happily lost for words.
"I've loved you for so long; why didn't I ever let myself in on it!"
Speech deserted them, realising together how unnecessary it had just become, as B'Elanna cupped her ex-captain's face in her hands and looked lovingly from one blue/grey eye to the other and back, and then down at the lips. Inviting lips, lips that needed kissing. Just to check, she looked back up to those eyes, but there was no mistaking the direction this next move would take.
Their kiss was the seal, the archway through which they would walk to the rest of their lives, and Voyager was no longer their centre. They could leave now, realising they had both found the reason why they had journeyed into space, to Voyager, one last time, on this night of all nights.
Kathryn took one final look around a Bridge she had served and loved for so long, and knew it was no longer her centre. "Take me home, darling?" she asked.
"Your place or mine?"
"I'll leave that to you, Lieutenant."
Two people, who had arrived searching, lost and incomplete, left the Bridge of Voyager together. But before they did, Kathryn picked up the 'dedication plaque' she'd unbolted earlier and held it out in front of her. She read:
"U.S.S. VOYAGER: Starfleet Registry NCC-74656. Intrepid Class Starship. Launched Stardate 48038.5. Earth Station McKinley. Sol Sector. United Federation of Planets."
Then she dropped her eyes to the base of the plaque and read the most important words of all...
"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see; saw the Vision of the World, and all the wonder that would be." Alfred Tennyson
Looking up, misty-eyed at her new-found love, she knew that the wonder was all ahead of them both now as she said again, quietly, "Let's go home."
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