Chapter Two: Terms and Conditions
"I think you might be right Tom," B'Elanna started as soon as the doors to his quarters opened.
She earned a puzzled look from the man, "I might be right about what?" he asked, trying to figure out exactly what she was telling him.
"About the command team," she stated sitting down on his couch. She waited until he sat down next to her, his look said everything. "I've been watching them this last month, and know what I think you may have been right about them dating. They've been spending an awful lot of time together." She added.
He smiled at her, "I love the faith you have in me B'E but I think that you might have been right. I haven't seen them act like a couple since then. I think I was letting my hopes get the best of me again." He sent her a sideways smile; he thought that she was just trying to make him feel better.
B'Elanna was in shock, he was admitting that he was wrong, but she knew better. "Tom, what are you talking about, a month ago you were so sure, and I really do believe you now, it just took some time for me to see it. You can't tell me you haven't noticed that they are spending more time together then normal can you?" she questioned.
Tom looked at her in disbelief and tried to figure out why she'd suddenly changed her mind about the whole thing, maybe she'd talked to Chakotay, the two of them were close. "Alright so I have noticed that bit, but they sure haven't acted like a couple anywhere else."
"I bet they're just trying to enjoy being together without the entire ship gossiping about it, you and I tired that at first." She stated eyeing him, it was kind of fun knowing a lot more then she was telling him.
Tom thought on this, "they're doing a really good job if they are." He smiled, and looked up at her, "okay, I'm glad you finally believed me, now how about we go and get something to eat?" he questioned, he still wasn't convinced that she really wasn't just feeding him a line to make him feel better.
"Sounds good to me," she held out her hands to allow him to help her up.
Kathryn took her hands and grabbed a hold of the Doctor's arms gently moving him back away from her. She looked at him and smiled a slight sideways smile, "Thank you Doctor, I guess I needed that."
He nodded, "It looked like you did."
She looked down and back up, "sorry, I didn't mean to, you know." She wasn't able to quite say it. "I think my hormones are getting the better of me." She wiped her eyes with the back of her right hand. She hadn't expected to find herself crying in the embrace of the Doctor.
"No apology necessary on the account of biology." He grinned.
She looked back up to him and laughed slightly, "thanks," she then became serious, "Dr. that was probably the worst headache I've ever had, what caused it?"
"Well, during pregnancy the blood vessels dilate and swell some to allow for grater blood flow to the fetus, I suspect that your proneness to migraines and other forms of headaches has made you more sensitive to this change in your body. I also think that the amount of coffee you consume may partly be to blame, the caffeine in coffee can make the symptoms worse." He looked at her trying to judge her reaction to what he had to say.
She fixed him with a look, she understood what he was saying, but she was none too happy with it. Especially the part about the coffee, she knew what was coming next. "I see," she stated not looking him in the eyes.
"Captain, it may be best until we can figure out for sure the cause of the problem, if you cut back your coffee intake, or at least switch to decaffeinated coffee." He waited for a response. The headache she still had was starting to worsen, though that could have just been her imagination, her jaw was tight, that was one of the only things that seemed to keep her going most days, and now she was being told she couldn't have it. She bit her lip unable to formulate something to say to him about it. "I understand that it's not something you'd like to give up, but it really is for you and the baby's health." He stated looking her over.
She nodded, "I know," she sounded more like a disappointed child than anything else. "Is there anything else that I should avoid?" she asked hoping that there wasn't.
"Well aside from the obvious, Alcohol, you should probably try to avoid some of the more radical choices our resident Talixian creates, I would suggest aside from some of the vegetables in the airponics bay that you should stick to replicated food best you can. I will increase your weekly rations to make sure that you have enough to sustain you and the baby. I already said to cut the caffeine that means more than just coffee anything with caffeine in it. Strenuous exercise so velocity is out, that's way to dangerous for you to play while pregnant, I know about some of the injuries that you and other crewmembers have acquired during the game. I do however want you to stay active, so a moderate exercise routine is very much suggested." He paused and looked at her. She was nodding but he wasn't entirely sure she was actually still listening to him.
When she didn't verbalize a response he continued. "You should if you have to have the commander handle cleaning up after Debbie, and make sure if you wash your hands after handling Chakotay's cat." He stated. She looked up and smiled for a moment at the thought of the pet he'd gotten while they were in orbit of Terra. It was a beautiful white cat with crystal blue eyes. He'd named him Misae. The Doctor was pleased that she actually had been listening. "Those are the things that you should avoid, now there are some things that I want you to do, eat three square meals a day, I will provide you with a vitamin supplement, and I want you to get at least six hours of sleep every night, I would prefer if you would get eight to ten, but I know that that is probably asking too much."
He got a glare at the last part but her face softened; he was just trying to make sure she and the baby were safe. "I understand Doctor." She was already becoming tired again, and wondered if it were because she was pregnant or because she'd been listening to the Doctor for the last thirty minutes. She couldn't help herself and yawned.
Noting that she appeared to be sleepy once more he decided that he'd let her rest, "I'll provide you with a complete list in the morning, it's still late; I'll release you first thing. I would suggest taking this time to rest."
She nodded and lay back down, "Thank you Doctor" she said just before he disappeared into his office. She looked up at the ceiling in sickbay and wondered just what she'd gotten herself into. Did Chakotay already know about the pregnancy? Did he want it? How was she going to handle being the captain and being pregnant at the same time? What if something were to happen to her? And most of all, how the hell was she going to deal with life on Voyager without coffee!
In the ready room Kathryn sat at her desk, she lifted up a cup of warm black liquid. She sipped it and scrunched her nose, it was decaffeinated coffee and though it wasn't supposed to have a flavor difference she could still tell. She sighed and placed it back down on the desk. Her head still hurt some, but it was very much manageable, it was the same level as she usually had when dealing with a stressful situation. She looked up and called out "Enter" when her chime rang. She smiled broadly when she saw who it was. "B'Elanna"
The younger woman walked cautiously into the ready room. "Good morning Captain, how are you feeling?" she broached as she made her way towards her desk.
Kathryn motioned for her to sit down in front of her, "I'm doing better, thank you."
She took the seat across for Kathryn, "I went to see you this morning, but the Doctor told me he'd released you." She stated, it was then that Kathryn spotted that she was holding something. Noticing her gaze she smiled and placed the item on her desk. "It's for you."
Kathryn's eyebrows furrowed and as she lifted the oddly shaped package, it'd been wrapped up in a nice silver white paper, with a single bow tied around it. "Really? What is it?" she asked, slowly removing the ribbon from the package, and then carefully peeled away the paper. "Oh B'Elanna" she grinned as she looked up at the woman.
"It's a stuffed Targ, my grandmother gave my mother one for me when she found out that she was pregnant. It's my way of congratulating you." She laughed slightly, "not exactly the cutest stuffed animal in the world, but."
Kathryn laughed, "thank you I love it, and I'm sure it'll love it too." She stated looking down at her abdomen. Part of her couldn't believe that she'd been so stupid, it had been such a long time that she'd even required an injection that well, it had slipped her mind completely, but what was done was done.
"So, I was wondering if you'd like to have lunch with me later in the mess hall?" B'Elanna asked. She hoped that she'd say yes.
She smiled, to the young woman. "As long as I eat replicated food, the Doctor has given me one hell of a list of things that I need to avoid and do." She'd raised her eyebrows as she looked at her. B'Elanna then noticed that she'd lifted a data padd up and held it out to her.
The half Klingon took it from her and read over it, she looked back up at Kathryn pity in her eyes, "wow, harsh." She simply stated.
"You're telling me." She laughed, "I don't know how I'm going to survive this, how does anyone survive this?" she asked.
"I'm not sure but woman have been doing it for millennia, perhaps you should talk with Ensign Wildman, after all she's the only woman on Voyager we have that has had a child." She placed her hand on top of hers.
"Maybe, but I think I want to wait on telling anyone else, at least for a little while, after all there is still a chance that well…" her words drifted off, and B'Elanna had caught the meaning, it was still early and it was common knowledge that the first thirteen weeks were the most critical. There were still ten weeks to go. "I'm thinking of making an announcement after we're past the critical stage." She smiled at the woman.
B'Elanna looked and nodded, "I think that's a wonderful idea. Though, you may not be able to keep it a secret that long." She laughed, "Remember the rumor mill runs faster than warp ten on this ship."
"I know but I can try." Kathryn laughed again, she looked up when the chime rang again, she sent a questioning look to B'Elanna and called for the person to enter, she had moved the packaging under the desk and onto her lap, just in case. Both women smiled greatly when Chakotay entered the room.
"I'm sorry I'm interrupting." He said, and was about to leave.
"No, no come in" Kathryn stated, she placed the stuff in her lap back on her desk, which earned a questioning look from him.
"I brought her a little gift for the baby." She stated. She'd stood, "and actually I need to be getting back to engineering, I've been gone longer then I intended." She gave Chakotay a smile, and then looked back to Kathryn, "Lunch 1230?" she stated and left after receiving a nod.
Chakotay moved closer to her, "how are you holding up?" he asked, they hadn't really had much more than a few moments together since they'd both found out.
"I'm not sure to be honest." She said truthfully, she made her way to her couch and sat down, she looked up to him a silent gesture that he should follow her. He sat down and she nuzzled into him. She had carried the little Targ toy with her.
He wrapped his arms around her, "what do you mean?" he asked.
"I just have a really bad feeling about this whole thing," she looked down at the toy, "I can't explain it, part of me wonders how we could have both been so careless, I'm the captain, and I'm the first one to find herself pregnant, how is that going to look?" she searched his eyes she needed some of his wisdom and strength.
"Well, it's going to look like you're human." He looked down at her and sadness filled his face, "you're not thinking about?"
A look of horror crossed her face, "Oh no, of course not, how could you think that." She'd backed away out of his embrace and was staring at him; she couldn't believe that he'd even suggest that.
"Sorry, just, the way you were talking, you sounded as if you thought it was a mistake. Also it's not exactly the best time, place, or circumstance to start a family. He was trying to reassure her, but he wasn't quite getting across what he meant, it was coming out far differently then he'd intended." He was a little surprised when she pulled away from him; she now was about a foot away on the couch.
"You don't want it." She said in a very sad tone. She was starting to feel the burn and sting behind her eyes, and the tightness in her throat that were the tail tell signs that she was about to cry. She didn't want to cry, not now, not in front of him, not since he… she stopped as she felt his hand under her chin.
He lifted her eyes to his, "Kathryn, I didn't say that, of course I want the baby. I was just trying to help you voice your concerns." He stated looking deeply into her shimmering eyes.
She wrapped her arms around him, "I'm just so unsure, I've never been pregnant before, and we're so far away from the federation and the alpha quadrant. What if…" she stopped, she was terrified by everything she facing something she'd never thought she'd have to face. She surrendered to the warmth of him as he wrapped his arms around her and held her close to him. "I know this isn't the right time, place, or circumstance, but it's here, and I know we didn't plan it, but… I could never kill my child," she stopped and looked up towards his face, "our child." She corrected.
He smiled and placed a kiss atop her head. "I'm glad to hear you say that, for a moment there I thought…"
"I know" she moved out of his embrace to change her positioning some, she then leaned it to him. "I also know that I'm not going to be facing this alone, and I'm glad that it's your baby." She moved her face closer to his, and they kissed a long deep slow kiss showing how much the other loved each other, once they broke apart she looked up at him. "I think we should be getting back to our bridge, before the crew starts to talk." She winked at him.
"I think that's a good idea." He stood up and then helped her up. He made his way out the door first and she paused only long enough to place the little stuffed animal that B'Elanna had given her down on the coffee table. She paused before exiting the ready room and placed her hand on her stomach, some how she'd make things work out.