Written by: T'Kalara


Summer 1998 8th-9th grades

Author's note: As before, Paramount owns the characters, the ship, etc., but the story is of my creation.

Trust Part II

Actually, the three couples met once again for a meal. Long trestle tables were set out, and a sumptuous meal followed. Roast meats followed fresh fruit and breads. Exotic pastries and other desserts came later. About halfway through, Kathryn had asked for Annika to pass the salt. Light glinted off something that had not been on her finger before. Well, that explained why the young woman was so happy.

Putting down the salt, Kathryn reached over and caught her hand. Indeed. It was white gold studded with gems. "Annika, when did this happen?"

Harry answered before she could, "I proposed earlier, and we were wondering if you would marry us, Captain?"

Kathryn and Chakotay exchanged smiles with Tom and his wife. "Of course, Harry. I'd be delighted. Congratulations, Annika."

"Thank you, Captain"

Tom thumped his buddy on the shoulder. "Harry, congrats. You've found yourself quite a lady." At that, B'Elanna gave him a playful pinch, and he turned. "Though, I could never love anyone but you."

"Well, Annika. Seems you're going to find this is the ultimate test of humanity," this from B'Elanna. "And I'm sure you'll pass with flying colors. As for you, Helmboy," addressing her husband, "you owe me a kiss for that remark." At which point, He took her breath away just as she had expected.

The two at the head of the table smiled like parents seeing their children grow. And in a sense, they had. Chakotay finished the last of his dessert, checked that Kathryn had as well, and, "How about some music?" He raised his voice so those of the crew assembled there could hear him, "It's going to be distinctly un-Renaissance, if you don't mind." The roar of approval convinced him they wouldn't. He signaled for someone to clear the tables.

Dancing continued for two hours on end, and as the last slow song began, he once again drew his Kathryn out into the area surrounded by the tables, where numerous other couples had drifted. "Milady Catherine, please join me."

"I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy

I'll be your hope, I'll be your love

Be everything that you need

I'll love you more with every breath

Truly, madly, deeply

I will be strong, I will be faithful

'Cause I'm counting on

A new beginning

A reason for living

A deeper meaning

I want to stand with you on a mountain

I want to bathe with you in the sea

I want to lay like this forever

Until the sky falls down on me

And when the stars are shining brightly in the velvet sky

I'll make a wish to send it to heaven

Then make you want to cry

The tears of joy for all the pleasure and the certainty

That we're surrounding by the comfort and protection of

The highest powers

In lonely hours

The tears devour you

I want to stand with you on a mountain

I want to bathe with you in the sea

I want to lay like this forever

Until the sky falls down on me

Oh can you see it baby?

You don't have to close your eyes

'Cause it's standing right here before you

All that you need will surely come

I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy

I'll be your hope, I'll be your love

Be everything that you need

I'll love you more with every breath

Truly, madly, deeply

I want to stand with you on a mountain

I want to bathe with you in the sea

I want to lay like this forever

Until the sky falls down on me."

Looking over his shoulder, Chakotay's arms around her waist, Kathryn felt more content than she had in a long time. She saw Tom and B'Elanna, each with their eyes closed, holding each other close. Harry and Annika were also the same way, though somewhat farther apart. As the last notes trailed off, Kathryn opened her eyes, which she had closed about halfway through.

Even as silence began, no one stirred or spoke for several seconds. All at once, like a switch flicked, people began to break apart. Though she did not wish to, Kathryn gave the order, "Computer, end program, and save." The outdoor setting disappeared, coalescing back into yellow-gridded black walls. "All right, people. I think everyone knows when their shift starts."

Good-natured groans greeted her statement as the crew was left standing in their splendid costumes, incongruous against the dull background. Kathryn sighed and looked to Chakotay. They should do things like this more often.

* * * *

Two weeks later, B'Elanna reprised her role from Kathryn's wedding as maid of honor for Annika. For one of the first times, she saw apprehension in her sapphire eyes. Well, good luck to both her and Harry. They really were deeply in love. She sighed silently to herself, shaking her head. Harry had grown from a naïve young man to one with more confidence, enough to propose to his paramour.

Annika looked at herself in the mirror as B'Elanna fastened the back of her gown. The snowy formfitting bodice was sleeveless, lace bands over her upper arms. Her skirt flowed gracefully past her hips to puddle on the floor, though the heels were not as uncomfortable as they might have been because she was used to them. The silk felt smooth and cool, in contrast to the blood pounding past her ears.

B'Elanna carefully let down Annika's hair from its usual bun and ran a brush through it. She carefully picked up the voluminous net veil, and slid the silk flower-sewn band into her hair. A strand of tiny pearls was clasped at her throat, and a final straightening of her hem finished everything.

It took very little time for the half-Klingon to step into the coral gown she was to wear, and Annika quickly zipped the back. She clipped a flowered barrette into her brown hair and grimaced as heels were put on. "Annika, no need to worry. Harry's one great guy, and you're going to have some great times together." B'Elanna put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and smiled into the mirror.

* * * *

"Harry, relax! Finish buttoning your shirt." Tom Paris remembered his own wedding and how he was nervously sweating. Harry muttered something under his breath, buttoned his crisp white shirt, and slipped on his jacket. He surveyed himself in the mirror, suddenly composed.

"The rings, Tom?"

"I've got 'em, buddy."

He ran a hand through his dark hair and passed a hand over almond-shaped brown eyes. Mother, Father, I wish you could be here was the one thought that crossed his mind.

Tom carefully tugged on the cuffs of his own shirt and tucked a white carnation into Harry's top buttonhole. The slap on the shoulder he gave with slightly more force than necessary, breaking the groom out of his reverie. "Tom, I can just barely believe it. I mean, I'm getting married today, and I only feel numb…"

"Well, that means you're so nervous, you lost feeling. Don't worry," he assured the younger man, "I felt the same way before my wedding."

* * * *

Sam Wildman and Naomi came from Hydroponics with the bouquet; Tom assumed his place as best man. The young couple were almost delirious with joy, and Harry was opening his mouth to say "I do" when the ship rocked with weapons fire. Kathryn slapped the commbadge she had under her ruffled collar, "Janeway to Bridge. Rollins, what's going on?"

"Rollins here. Hirogen fighters closing fast! Oh my gods, intruder alert! They're beaming aboard; Captain, please hurry! They've shot Ayala, he's bleeding-"

The assembled party stood in shock, then burst into action as five columns of light sparkled I their midst. Chakotay quickly disarmed the nearest soldier, and was locked in a life-or-death battle. Other's reacted swiftly, engaged in hand to hand combat or evading weapons fire. Kathryn felt one of the energy pulses graze her side, smelled burning material, and slipped down to the deck. She saw a Hirogen standing over her, but refused to show fear, and watched defiantly as he detached a knife.

In a blur of white, Annika had hiked up the hem of her gown and struck the alien full in his armored midsection with her left shoulder and Borg-enhanced arm. The soldier was stunned for a moment, and this proved to be his undoing. Annika efficiently knocked him unconscious with a solid punch to his face. The others were quickly subdued, and Annika reached down to help Kathryn to her feet.

Around her, Sam Wildman knelt over Naomi who had a large bruise across her face, and Harry had a deep cut running over his chest. B'Elanna wiped blood from her lip as a she gave the Hirogen she stood over a final shake with her foot to assure her he was down, then turned and Sank down beside Tom. At her side, Chakotay scowled, rotating his wrist slightly. A tear had almost separated his sleeve, but thankfully, the only injury he had sustained was a sprained wrist. Others, like Tom Paris who had a fractured leg, would need full medical treatment.

Exiting the holodeck, prone Hirogen lay on the deck, crewmembers mostly back on their feet or helping injured companions to Sickbay. Kathryn waved Annika away as Harry's legs buckled; she was there to catch him, and take her husband-to-be for medical care. The other woman saw the anger in her eyes, and was glad she wasn't the Hirogen who had inflicted injury on Harry. Well her tired mind shot at her this was one wedding not to be forgotten…don't worry, you can reschedule it…

* * * *

The two commanding officers stepped out of the turbolift onto the Bridge, and walked into chaos. Rollins knelt over Lieutenant Ayala, a vicious bruise on the young Bajoran man's temple. The front of his uniform was scorched and darkened with crimson stains. Kathryn's voice caught in her throat as she spoke, but was relieved when Ayala pushed himself up on his elbows. "Rollins; how bad?"

"Well, Captain. No casualties. I'm getting Ayala to Sickbay, luckily for him, his console absorbed most of the blast."

Rollins was indeed right. The nav console had a groove melted into the surface, but a console could be repaired. All around, people were shakily doing a damage assessment. Chakotay's rich voice was quiet, "Main power is still online. It looks like the Hirogens broke off their attack and turned back towards the center of their space." This allayed many of her worries, but there was still one foremost in her mind that he had not mentioned. "Kat, don't be worried about Annika and Harry. We can reschedule the wedding."

"Oh, well. My Warrior, I do believe that her dress can be recycled. All of our clothes."

* * * *

A week later, Annika and Harry stood once again before Kathryn. The bride's eyes were bright with hope, and Tom stood at his buddy's side, smiling mischievously. B'Elanna tugged slightly at the flimsy white scarf tied around her neck, hiding a still-unhealed bruise. Defying fear and memories of the last time they were here, the couple held fast to all of their dreams.

At last, Kathryn spoke the words that would bind them together for life and beyond. And it was done. Of course, as the groom kissed the bride, Tom reached into his pocket pulled the string of an ancient champagne party-popper. To everyone's surprise, neither reacted at the noise or shower of confetti. As they broke apart, the crowd began to cheer wildly. A most unlikely couple having found true love in each other. Before the eyes of all, a tear trickled from Kathryn's eye, as yet another of her 'children' had grown up a little more.

* * * *

The towering white cake had no trace of leola root in it; B'Elanna had conspired with Tom to lock the supply cabinet with magnetic seals. All evening and into the night at the reception, Annika had on her face a much less-rare smile. They slipped off early, going back to that same river he had pushed her into not too long ago.

Earlier, Annika had thrown the bouquet straight at Sue Nicoletti, and her husband aimed the garter at Joe Carey. They both shared a delighted laugh at the results; Sue and Joe ran off in opposite directions. However, The newlyweds detoured widely around the clearing where the two faced each other in the pearly moonlight.

Wellthought Annika to herself I have truly found happiness. She saw her thoughts echoed in the eyes of her husband, felt the joy and contentment radiating from him, and reflecting back. And she figured that everything was perfect, and nothing could shatter her bubble. For the moment, she was right.

* * * *

A month later... Annika woke up sick to her stomach. She bolted upright and ran to the bathroom, hearing Harry stir and sit up. "Nika," his worried voice cut through, "What's wrong?"

"I do not know. Perhaps I should see the Doctor."

"I think you're right," he muttered as her helped her to her feet. "Come on. Get dressed, and I'll take you to Sickbay," he added, reaching ionto the closet, and handing her a jumpsuit. Harry walked back into the bedroom and hurriedly slipped on a uniform. Annika never got sick, unless...No, don't think of that until the Doctor confirms it.

Five minutes later, the young woman sat on a biobed, and heard the Doctor pronounce, "Congratulations, Annika, Mr. Kim. You're going to be parents!" Neither, however, expected Annika to faint...

* * * *

She was floating in quiet, dark space. But something in her told her to come into the light. A nagging, incessant voice called to her..."Nika? Nika? Wake up, my love!" Annika slowly opened her eyes, and found herself prone on a biobed. All at once, memories of what the DOctor had said came flooding back.

"I do apologize, Harry. Parents...parents...I like the sound of that. Doctor," she now addressed the hologram running his tricorder over her abdomen, "when will we know if the child is male or female?"

"Well, a few hundred years ago, you would have to wait a while longer. However, I can tell you your daughter is healthy and developing perfectly. No trace of the Borg anywhere." He eyed her warily as he said this, and was not surprised at her response.

"A daughter, no trace of the Borg...Good."

"NOw, Mr. Kim, I'll leave you to take your wife back to your quarters, where she can get some rest."

* * * *

Tom was lounging on the couch in their quarters, watching B'Elanna play with Zya. "Be', love, I wonder what Harry and Annika are up to..."

She turned, an indulgent and humorously pained smile on her face. "Watch it, helmboy. If Starfleet and his wife are having a candlelit dinner or something, it's none of your business-" She was cut off as the doorchime sounded. "Enter," she called out.

Needless to say, B'Elanna threw a wry grin at Tom over her shoulder. "Evening, Starfleet. What's up? You look like your wife just told you she was pregnant," she joked. Noting his grin get wider, she prodded, "Wait, Harry, are you two going to have a baby?"

The young Asian man confirmed this, "Mmhmm. A daughter, totally human.

"Well, old buddy. Have you ever known a woman with morning sickness? Be glad she's human, not Klingon," he avoided B'Elanna's less-than-playful kick, "Be' gave me several bruises. Anyway, who's telling the Captain?'

* * * *

Kathryn stood before the viewport, arms folded, contemplating just how peaceful things had been lately. That usually meant something big was going to happen, and soon. She turned as her door signal sounded, acknowledging it.

"Annika, what can I do for you?" She noted the way Annika had her arms wrapped protectively in front of her, almost as if she were-

"Captain, I'm not exactly sure how to tell you this...Harry and I are going to have a baby!"

"A baby..." she murmured, almost to herself, then, "I guess more congratulations are in order, then. Do you know if it is a boy or a girl?"

"A daughter, Captain. Fully human. I suppose words can't fully encompass this new emotion I am feeling..." she searched her memory a moment for the right word, then, "It must be pride mixed with joy. In a very good sense, I hope." Kathryn smiled. This young woman was feeling the same way all mothers had since the dawn of time. Well, it was going to be a longeight months.

* * * *

Eight months later, Annika lay on their bed, totally exhausted and absently rubbing her midsection. With the baby's growth, she had had to switch from jumpsuits to pants and a tunic, and by now, her back was sore, and she was constantly tired. She thought of how caring Harry had been so far, and smiled faintly. It was good to know he cared. His voice cut through her reflections, "A name, Nika, we still need to think of a name."

"Yes, I know. Something perfect. What about Kyria? In ancient Vulcan, that means 'intellectually gifted.'"

"And Kyra translates to 'beautiful' from the Heran race." Harry was immediately at her side as a flicker of pain caused her face to contort in reaction. it passed, and she waved him away, sucking in air. "Nothing, love. Just the baby kicking. Kyria," she sounded out the syllables, "Yes, I like this name. What about a middle name?"

Harry looked thoughtful as he sat on the edge of the bed, careful not to jostle Annika. "Well, I don't have one, so I never thought much about it. But I guess little Kyria is going to get one. How about Marie? It's a human name, from a place called France." He smiled suddenly as her brow creased in thought. Sometimes she seemed like a sophisticated, worldly-wise woman, but other times she was as naive as little Naomi Wildman.

"Kyria Marie Kim. Yes...I think that should do quite well. When do you think we shoould-ahhh!" Her reply was cut off as the dull pain in her back sharpened into an actual contraction. "Harry, get me to Sickbay! I'm, oh...I'm going into labor! Don't just sit there!" SHe reached over, grabbed his uniform front and pulled on his commbadge. He immediately snapped back into reality.

"Kim to Sickbay. Emergency transport for two!"

* * * *

"Nika, it's going to be okay! I'm right here; just push, good, now breathe..." Harry held Annika's hand tightly while the Doctor moved around her carefully, giving her instructions efficiently.

"Very good, Annika. I have it's head-" With one final scream that trailed off into a painful groan, the Doctor held the girl in his arms. He wrapped her in a towel and gave her to Annika.

"Isn't she beautiful. Harry?" Their daughter had golden skin and light brown eyes that weren't quite as almond-shaped as her father's. The few traces of hair she had were a deep shade of brown, her small nose and high cheekbones well developed. "Kyria Marie Kim."

At that moment, Kathryn, Chakotay, Tom, and B'Elanna all rushed in. It was rare that all four were off-duty at the same time, but now was a very good time for that to be. B'Elanna got to Harry's side first, just as his wife gently laid their daughter in his arms. "Well, Starfleet, I see there's another member of the crew." She smiled down at the girl, "And she's most definitely going to have her father's eyes."

Tom stepped on Harry's other side, "Right, old buddy. Now we can all help each other babysit," he said with a wry grin.

"Annika, what's her name?" Kathryn and her husband moved over beside the young woman on the biobed.

B'Elanna and Tom looked up expectantly as she spoke. "Her name is Kyria, Kyria Marie Kim. Would you like to hold her, Captain?" Annika reached over, and transferred Kyria from the arms of her father to those of Kathryn.

* * * *

*"Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden

Trust Part III>

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