Reprise 4/5: The Regret
Written February 2001
Synopsis: An AU fic beginning six months after the Voyager returns to the Alpha Quadrant. Written long before the series finale.
Spoilers: small amounts from a few episodes including ‘Caretaker,’ ‘The Cloud,’ ‘Thirty Days,’ ‘Bliss,’ ‘Drive,’ ‘Legacy,’ and ‘Bride of Chaotica!’ and some details from Jeri Taylor’s novel ‘Mosaic’
Disclaimer: The characters, situations, ships, etc. belong to Paramount and its affiliates. No infringement is intended. Some of the situations and characters are my own.
Paris paced outside of his father’s office. The heads of Starfleet would be returning shortly. They were deciding on Janeway’s fate. He, Kim, and Torres were released due to the evidence from the communicators, but Janeway… It just didn’t seem fair–again! If she hadn’t fired the torpedo at that moment, he wouldn’t be standing in Headquarters now.
Owen Paris turned the corner and saw his son at the door. “Thomas.”
Paris rushed over to him. “What happened? You’ve been in there for three hours!”
“Well, all charges have been dropped against you, Lieutenant Kim, and Ms. Torres.”
“What about Kathryn, Dad?” There was no answer. “Dad!”
The admiral smiled weakly. “She, uh…she’s holding up. She’s at home, packing.”
“At our apartment?”
“Well, now it’s just your apartment.”
A wave of nausea swept over him. “Where is she going? Tell me please.”
“If you hurry, you can ask her yourself.”
Paris was already out the door.
Janeway stepped out of her bedroom. “Tom, what are you doing here?”
He ran over to her, out of breath. “What happened? Why are you packing? Where are you going?”
“I’m going on a mission,” she answered evenly, returning to her room.
He followed. “A mission? For Starfleet?”
She shook her head. “I’m not in Starfleet anymore.”
“They fired you?”
“They didn’t fire me. I resigned.”
He could hear the pain in her voice, and he shuddered. “Against your will?” She didn’t answer, gathering her collection of books and putting them in a bag. “What happened at the hearing?”
“Well, they thanked me for stopping the Intrepid. Then they said they had been reviewing my logs and were ready to reinstate me. ‘However, in light of new information, we ask for your resignation.’ I think it went something like that.”
“B’Elanna would have fired the torpedo. You didn’t have to interfere.”
“I am aware she still has Maquis ties, but she would have been imprisoned. She has a promising future in engineering. I wasn’t about to let her throw that away.”
“But you’ll throw away your own future?”
“It was my duty.” She looked at him for a moment before closing the case and carrying it into the living room.
“So now you’re going to jail?”
“That was the plan, but then Admiral Jodlei decided it would be better if I was sent on a Federation mission. Can’t let all that training go to waste.”
“So…what is the mission?”
She averted her gaze. “I’m part of Colony Team Delta.”
He drew in a sharp breath. “Colony Team Delta?” he repeated, hoping he didn’t hear her correctly.
“Pretty fitting. Send the criminal back to the scene of the crime for rehabilitation and reintegration into society.” She snapped the other shoulder case shut. “So I, along with four-hundred other participants, will develop the first Federation colony in the Delta Quadrant.”
“Did you have a choice between that and jail?”
“What, you think I should have chosen the latter?”
“At least I could visit you if you were in prison!” He sighed. “It’ll take you years to get to the Delta Quadrant.”
“Starfleet has stabilized the wormhole that Voyager went through. Also, the passenger vessel will have a slipstream drive.” She smiled ruefully. “Following Voyager‘s calculations and schematics, of course.” She gathered up her belongings and took one last look at the apartment. “Take good care of yourself, Tom, and Delta.”
Anger, sorrow, love, and pain tore at him. “So that’s it?”
She gazed at him sadly. “I guess so.”
He tried to keep his voice calm and level, but it cracked mercilessly. “I’ll never see you again.”
“I know,” she whispered, turning toward the door.
His throat felt tight. There were so many things he wanted to tell her, and she was about to walk out of his life forever. He put a hand on her shoulder, and she turned back to him. “These past two months have been the best in my life,” he said, eyes stinging with unshed tears. “You are the most wonderful, amazing, perfect woman I have ever met. I wish you didn’t have to go.” He took the case from her and put it on the floor, bringing her into his arms. “I…”
“I know,” she answered, her own voice breaking. She swallowed, tears running from her eyes. “You gave me back my life, Tom.”
“I didn’t give you enough,” he muttered into her hair. “I should have fired that torpedo.”
“Don’t say that.”
“You don’t deserve this. You didn’t deserve any of it. Things should have been different.”
She pulled away to look at him. “Tom, about my boundaries for our relationship–”
“You don’t need to explain.”
“No. You deserve to know the truth.” She touched his cheek softly. “I was terrified. I told you what happened with Chakotay, losing him because of temptation. I couldn’t bear to lose you, too.”
“He was a fool not to see what was right in front of him, Kathryn.” He kissed her forehead. “And you will never lose me.” His lips slowly brushed against hers, like a whisper. She was trembling–or maybe he was. He kissed her again, a bit more firmly. He chanced parting her lips with his tongue and was relieved when she didn’t pull away. She was both warm and cold, shaking and still. He touched her tongue with his, and a chill ran down his spine. He could barely believe what was happening, but he managed to put his hand on the back of her head, bringing her closer.
Janeway opened her eyes, breaking the contact. “I have to go,” she whispered.
Slowly, he released her. “I am going to miss you.”
“Me, too.” She smiled fleetingly, ignoring the tears in her eyes. “Goodbye, Tom.” She turned and walked out, shielding her eyes with her hand.
His knees buckled, and he collapsed onto the sofa, stomach doing somersaults, lips tingling, body shaking. A tear slipped down his cheek. “Goodbye, Kathryn.”
End of Part Four