A Federation Base in Federation Territory
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

A last scene with Kashyk. This turned out a hell of a lot more J/C than I intended. In response to august's challenge.

Disclaimer - Paramount own them, I guess.


"You should be happy. You did what you set out to do. You got them home. You should be happy."

"Doing what I set out to do doesn't always make me happy."

He smirked. "Are you only just discovering that?"

"No. I've known that, always. It's just...harder to face here, I suppose."

Kashyk moved to stand next to her, sharing her view of the docking port Voyager was moving elegantly into.


Although, this docking port wasn't her home. He knew that. Neither was the planet it was orbiting. A Federation base in Federation territory...it was good enough. It would suffice.

Kathryn stated the obvious. "I should be on the bridge."

"Because it's expected?"

"Because it's my ship. My crew. Because this is the moment I've been working towards for eight years."

"But you're not happy."

She finally looked at him. "No."

"And why not?"

Shrugging, she shook her head. "I honestly don't know. The end of an era, perhaps? Things will never be the same."

"Will you miss things the way they were?"

Smiling, she leered towards him. "Some things." Sighing, she resumed her view of the space station, the inside of which slowly glided by. "And how will I explain you?"

"You've taken in stowaways before."

"But none with such 'interesting' backgrounds. I think it will probably be a good idea if you never go to Betazoid, by the way."

Chuckling, he moved a step closer. "I think it will probably be a good idea if I never encounter any telepaths. I should think none of them would appreciate my past."

"Ah," She sighed dramatically. "But that's what this ship is about, isn't it? Forgetting about the past. Bringing enemies together. Making them work together. Even making friends, relationships."

Speaking of which..."Do you worry about what will happen to him?"

"Always." Her response was automatic. "Since the first day he promised to work for...with me. God only knows what they're going to do. I can just imagine them letting everyone go but making an example out of him. And you know what the frustrating thing is?"


"He wouldn't even argue. He'd accept it. He'd be the willing martyr."

"Just as well he has you, then."

She turned to look at him, just as the ship thunked softly into position. "Why's that?"

"Because you're the least accepting person I've ever met."

Shaking her head, she turned away and stepped down to the lower level of her ready room. After a few steps, she paused and then faced him. "I doubt I'll see you much if at all while all this is going on, but...in a years time - presuming it's settled in a year, although with them it's so hard to tell..."

"You *are* on first name terms with those Admirals." Kashyk reminded her.

She smiled. "A years time. An Earth years time. To the day. This space station. Just by docking bay eight. 1700 hours."

He nodded, grinning. "I'll be there."

"And," Kathryn added, "If you have a partner by then, bring them along. It will be an interesting conversation." After he nodded she simply turned and walked out onto the bridge.

He remained in the ready room, studying the docking bay, and a few people smiling at him through viewports. He almost waved at them. "Bring yours as well," He said quietly, then smiled as he turned and walked towards the doorway.


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