Broken Bough

Summary:Collective episode addition. What ever happened to the borg baby? My J/C solution.

Rated PG13

By elem and the ending by Kat Lady

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.

This story had been sitting on my computer for a couple of months. I couldn’t find a fitting end for it. Kat Lady came to the rescue and wrote the ending for me. My thanks for that and her wonderful beta

Kathryn stood at her viewport staring into nothingness. Her eyes slowly focused in on her reflection. It was her face. The one she saw everyday in her bathroom mirror, but somehow it was different. There was a hunger in her look that hadn’t been there before. It reflected the hollowness she felt inside. There was a missing piece of her that she hadn’t realised was absent until tonight, a vacant space that yearned to be filled. It wasn’t a large space, but came in the shape and size of sickbay’s newest resident. She shivered and tried to shake the ache away. It wouldn’t leave. It had settled itself in her midsection and it echoed with want. She knew where she needed to be. Her desire was so strong that it couldn’t be ignored. Without stopping to put on her uniform jacket, she left her quarters, the Siren’s call leading her to sickbay.

She had never considered herself as having a maternal bone in her body. She’d been with Mark for what…. ten years? It hadn’t occurred to her to have children. That was something for the future, the distant, nebulous future. Well, the future had arrived. Explosively. In the shape of a tiny baby girl riddled with metallic implants.

The Doctor had placed her in Kathryn’s arms earlier today. The tiny borg had been whimpering and crying, but once in her arms, the rigid bundle had softened and relaxed, snuggling into her as if she belonged. The baby had made small suckling and mewling noises of contentment. The sounds sang to her heart. The Doctor had commented that ‘she’d just wanted to be held’.

Kathryn had almost become lost in that moment, but she’d had to distance herself. At that point in time she had no idea what the outcome would be regarding the infant’s ‘siblings’. She may well have been forced to destroy them. What sort of legacy was that? She’d pushed her instincts aside, marched out of sickbay and back to her job, resolve foremost in her mind.

The ‘moment’ had occurred much later.

After the crisis was over, she’d returned to sickbay to receive a report from the Doctor regarding the older children. He’d been reversing their assimilation and progressively removing their implants. Looking around sickbay at the new residents, she felt a little like the Pied Piper. Here she was whistling her way through the Delta Quadrant, merrily picking up stray waifs as she went. As she’d said to Harry once, ‘weird was part of the job’. It was just that some days were weirder than others.

As she was leaving sickbay, she’d noticed movement from the pink blanket in the crib. She was drawn to it. What was the harm? Just a quick peek to see how she was fairing. No big deal. Peering into the crib, Kathryn could see that the Doctor had removed the cranial and facial implants. She looked like a normal newborn. Her eyes were open and her arms were flailing, with one fist occasionally making its way to her mouth, to be chewed on enthusiastically.

She gazed down at the baby and then stroked her soft cheek. The cherubic face turned towards Kathryn’s finger, trying to capture it with her mouth. She must have been hungry, the touch triggering the rooting reflex, her little mouth hunting for nourishment. Suddenly one tiny hand shot up and latched on to Kathryn’s finger. It was a mighty grip. Kathryn was spellbound, her gaze riveted to the miniature hand wrapped around her index finger. Gently smiling down at the small face, dark blue eyes suddenly locked on to hers with a piercing stare. It was as if the child was looking into her very soul. The connection was made in a matter of seconds. Kathryn was lost, or rather, the piece of her that was missing, was found. That small hand and those wise eyes took her heart hostage. It completely unnerved her. This bond was a tangible thing, unseen but forged in steel. She’d fallen in love. In that moment she’d made a deep and permanent connection with this little girl and there was nothing to be done about it. Her assimilation was complete.

The moment was having a profound effect on Kathryn. She was having trouble breathing, her chest was tight and her heart was pounding. She felt light headed and the sickbay lights seemed unnaturally bright.

She panicked. She’d never panicked in her life. Crises had been her forte. She was renowned for keeping a cool head in any situation. Well, her cool head had deserted her now. Prising her finger from the baby’s tenacious grasp, she practically ran all the way to her quarters. As the doors closed behind her, she stood in the centre of her room bent over with her hands on her knees, sucking air into her lungs. Her fingers were tingling and blood was pounding behind her eyes. She forced herself to take deep, calming breaths. Eventually she settled enough to get a coffee from the replicator and take her place at the viewport to ponder this astonishing, frightening and wondrous event.

She had no idea how long she’d stood there before the pull had been too great to resist.

She was now standing just inside the doors of sickbay, not quite knowing how to go about this. The Doctor would appear any moment. How was she going to explain this to him? It was ludicrous. She was a forty something year old accomplished woman with an overwhelmingly demanding job and massive responsibilities. How could she even be contemplating this? Motherhood. Her heart beat faster just saying the word to herself. She stood there lost.

The Doctor was standing in the dim lighting at the far end of the bay, checking on one of the children when he saw the Captain enter sickbay. He’d been expecting her. Having witnessed her earlier encounter with the baby borg, he was aware of her intense response and the dilemma this posed for her. He moved further into the shadows to observe her.

Kathryn looked around. There was no sign of the Doctor. He must be elsewhere. She made her way over to the crib and looked in. The baby was fast asleep, her face, soft and angelic in repose, her little rosebud mouth making small sucking motions. She had to touch her. Gently stroking her, she barely touched the soft down on her head and her tiny shell like ear. It was wondrous. The baby jumped in her sleep, throwing her tiny arms behind her. Kathryn jerked her hand back, not wanting to wake her. Looking around she found a chair and dragged it over. She sat and stared at the small pink bundle that now owned her heart. The baby started kicking her legs and thrashing her head, beginning to get fractious. Kathryn couldn’t resist. She reached in and picked her up. Sitting back down holding her close, she pulled the blanket back slightly. She marveled at the perfection of each tiny hand. They were like miniatures of her own, right down to the tiny soft fingernails. Amazing.

She leant down and kissed the downy head, and her senses went into overload. She was completely overwhelmed by the baby’s smell. It was the key that now locked this tiny creature into Kathryn’s heart forever. She held her face close to the baby’s head and inhaled time and time again. It was like a drug and she couldn’t get enough.

The baby started to fuss. Kathryn lifted her up in her arms so her head was resting on her shoulder and started rocking gently, and softly patting the baby’s back. She didn’t notice until she saw the darkening spots on the baby blanket that she was crying, and once she’d started, she couldn’t stop. Her tears kept falling and her body was wracked by soft shudders. The empty place inside her was filled, but it somehow made her feel even more alone. There was an empty space beside her that she had ignored for years. Sitting rocking the baby… her baby…she cried silent lonely tears.

The Doctor was watching all of this from his shadowy hiding place. He nodded his head to himself, knowing he’d been right in his assessment of the situation. He’d noticed how she had been so drawn to the child. He really wasn’t surprised at her reaction. What to do about it was the dilemma. How could he convince her that being a mother to this child was a perfectly reasonable thing to do? It was important for both their sakes, but perhaps he wasn’t the one to do the convincing. He moved around to the far side of sickbay, and adjusting its volume to the lowest setting, he activated his comm. badge. “Sickbay to Commander Chakotay” he whispered.

A sleepy sounding Chakotay answered quietly. “Chakotay here, Doctor.”

“Commander, could you come to sickbay please? There’s a situation that needs your attention.”

“What’s the problem, Doctor? Is there something wrong with the children?”

“No, Commander. It’s the captain. She’s fine, but I think she needs you.”

“The captain? What…? I’m on my way, Doctor.”

“Commander, come in the lab entrance and I’ll fill you in on what’s happened. Doctor out.”

Chakotay threw on some pants and a shirt and was out the door before the Doctor had finished speaking. What on earth was wrong with Kathryn that the Doctor would call him to sickbay in the middle of the night? It had to be serious. He moved faster, worry urging him on.

He bowled through the sickbay lab doors to be met by the Doctor holding his finger to his lips for quiet. He pointed to the main area of sickbay and the lone woman sitting in a chair gently rocking the baby. The Doctor drew him further back into the room so their conversation wouldn’t be heard by the captain.

“What’s going on, Doctor? Is the baby sick?” He was mesmerised by the scene. He could hear her humming to the child as she rocked her. It was a beautiful picture.

“No, Commander, the baby is fine. Thriving, in fact. It’s the captain I’m concerned about. She seems to have formed a bond with the child and is having trouble coming to terms with that. She came in earlier and spent some time with the infant and she was drawn back here again a short time ago. I had intended to interview potential parents from the couples on Voyager to see who was interested in adopting the infant, but I think that may be moot now. The captain has become strongly attached to the infant and the child seems to have developed an affinity for her. I thought you might like to speak to her about it.” Chakotay still couldn’t drag his eyes away from the tableau in front of him. It was like a realisation of a fantasy. He had always imagined Kathryn as the mother of his children, although he rationalised that the likelihood of that was remote. What impact would this have on his plans for their future? He stayed watching for a few more minutes until he’d steeled himself sufficiently to deal with the situation.

Kathryn was still crying quietly, holding the precious bundle close to her, breathing in the heady baby scent. The empty space was looming large at her side, mocking her. Suddenly there was movement. She turned and he was there. She looked up at Chakotay with tear filled eyes. Her heart totally exposed.

He knelt down in front of her. “Kathryn? Are you alright?” He could see the silent sobs shaking her small body. She nodded but didn’t look very sure.

“Come here.” He leant forward and took her and the baby gently in his arms. She held tight to the baby with her left arm and wrapped her right arm around Chakotay’s back and resting her head on his shoulder.

“Oh Chakotay, I don’t know what’s happened to me.” Her voice came out in between hiccups. “This is crazy. She’s taken me over. I’ve never felt like this in my life. It’s like she owns a part of me and the thought of letting her go is breaking my heart.”

He frowned at her, unsure of what she was saying. “Kathryn, why do you have to ‘let her go’? Maybe this was meant to be. Is it so hard for you to believe that you’re meant for each other?” He pulled away a little and looked at the tiny being lying contentedly in Kathryn’s arms.

“Look at her, Kathryn. She’s so happy and content with you. How could this be wrong? You can do this, Kathryn, and if you need help, I’ll always be here. I can take extra bridge shifts and cover for time you need to be with her. We can do this if it’s as important to you as I think it is. We’ll make it work. You’re not alone, Kathryn.”

“Yes, I am. Even if I do decide to consider this insanity, I don’t think I can do it alone. What sort of life would that be for her? An overworked, overwrought and lonely parent? I couldn’t do that to her Chakotay.” Tears slid down her face and landed on the pink blanket. Kathryn swiped at them with her spare hand.

“I could help you with her. After duty shifts and babysitting, I would be only too happy to help. I’m sure there are many of the crew that would be willing to help too. Samantha coped with Naomi. You can too. I’ll be there to help. I promise.”

They were sitting huddled together in the dim lighting of sickbay. Kathryn suddenly was overcome by the sublime reality of the situation. They could be a family. If only she could get him to realise it. Would he be willing to share his life with her and the baby? Could they make this work? She was so sure of her feelings all of a sudden, but so unsure of his. He was here to help her, but was it for her, or just to ensure the smooth running of the ship.

They had never talked about their feelings. Hers were bubbling just below the surface, the emotions of the day leaving her raw and exposed. But what of his? He’d loved her once, but that was so long ago. Had the many disillusionments and disagreements whittled away at his love? She felt sure that they had. How could he love her now? Experiences such as the Borg and the Equinox must have quashed those feelings. How could they not? It was too much to ask of him.

He was smiling down at the little girl and she was holding his little finger in her vice like grip. She was a beautiful child, adorable in fact. He could easily fall in love with her too, just like he was in love with her mother. It seemed such a natural association. He realised he already saw the infant as belonging to Kathryn. Would she be willing to share her and her life with him?

The baby was starting to become frantic looking for food. She was gnawing on her tiny hand and turning her head from side to side. The Doctor stepped into the room.

“Ahh… Captain, Commander. Here to visit our littlest crewman I see. While you have her, Captain, would you mind feeding her? I have to check on the other children. It would be a great help. Here we are.” He handed Kathryn a warmed bottle of formula and a small towel, then took himself to the back of the room where the other children were sleeping. He kept a quiet eye on the proceedings, hoping against hope this would lead to a happy and satisfying conclusion.

Kathryn made herself more comfortable, resting the infant in the crook of her arm and offering her the bottle. She latched on to the teat and began sucking voraciously. Kathryn chuckled. As her stomach filled, the baby’s eyes closed and she was lost in the bliss of a full tummy. She fell into a sated sleep just before the bottle emptied. Throwing the towel over her shoulder, Kathryn lifted her up gingerly and patted her back. The silence of sickbay was shattered by the explosive burp from the delicate little urchin. Both Kathryn and Chakotay chuckled. As she lay sleeping in Kathryn’s arms, Chakotay looked on. It was all too precious and he had to talk to Kathryn. He made a decision in that moment to speak to her, now, before he lost his nerve.

“Kathryn, can we go back to your quarters? I’d like to speak to you and I can’t do that here.” He was looking over her shoulder in the direction of the Doctor.

Kathryn reluctantly placed the pink bundle back in the crib, stroking her cheek and tucking the blanket around her. “Doctor, the Commander and I will leave her in your care. She seems to be settled.”

“Thank you, Captain. You’ve done an excellent job. She should sleep peacefully for a few hours now. Might I suggest you do the same?”

She pursed her lips in irritation, rolling her eyes at Chakotay. “Yes, well, thank you, Doctor. I’ll check with you in the morning for a full report.”

Kathryn grabbed Chakotay’s arm and marched out of sickbay. Once away from the Doctor’s nagging, they walked slowly along the deserted corridors to the turbo lift, then back along deck three to her quarters. “Come in, Chakotay. Make yourself comfortable. I’m going to have a glass of wine. Would you like one?”

He nodded his head. “Yes, thank you. White, if you don’t mind.” He sat down on her couch, nervously waiting.

Bringing over two glasses, she sat down beside him and handed him one. They both took sips. Chakotay placed his glass on the table and took her free hand between his. “Kathryn, I have some things I need to tell you. You may not like hearing them, but will you let me finish before you say anything?”

She frowned but nodded her head. “Go on, Chakotay. Tell me what you have to say.” She placed her glass on the table next to his.

He took a deep breath. This was either going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship or the end of the best friendship he’d ever had. But under the circumstances he felt compelled to say something.

“Kathryn, I love you.” He watched her face. Her eyes went wide and she sucked in a breath. “I have for years. What has happened to you today is a wonderful thing, and I think you should see it as the gift that it is. She’s a beautiful child and you’re perfect for one another. I think that it’s important for both of you to be part of each others lives and I would very much like to be a part of that life too, if you’ll have me. But…” She went to speak, but he held up his hand to stop her, and continued.

“But if you don’t, that’s ok. I’ll still be here to help you with her, taking up the slack, working extra shifts, babysitting etc. I would make a great uncle to your little one.” He smiled at Kathryn. Her lips were quivering and she looked like she was about to cry. ‘Well done, Chakotay,’ he chided himself. That wasn’t quite what he had in mind?

“Chakotay, she doesn’t need an uncle.” Well, he thought, that was that. She would boot him out an airlock now. He was about to get up but she gripped his hands tighter. “She doesn’t need an uncle. What she needs is a father.”

Lifting her hand, she held it to the side of his face and peered lovingly into his eyes. “I love you too, Chakotay, so much that it drives me to distraction sometimes.” She laughed. “Do you really think we can do this?”

“Absolutely! Kathryn, together we can do anything.” He slumped against the back of the couch and let out a long breath. She laughed at him. “You’ve no idea how relieved I am, Kathryn. I honestly thought that I’d be ending my life as a photon torpedo. How long?” He turned his head to her, smiling. “How long have you loved me?”

She leant back beside him. “I don’t know. Forever it seems, but I think I realised it sometime before New Earth. I was so close to giving in when Tuvok turned up. I was devastated, you know. I still can’t look at a Talaxian tomato without wanting to cry.”

He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “They were wonderful days with just the two of us.”

“And the monkey,” Kathryn reminded him.

“Mmmm, yes well, I can’t look at Tuvok without thinking of the monkey. They both have an uncanny knack for interrupting.” They sat in silence for a while with their heads resting on the back of the couch holding hands. Chakotay turned his head towards Kathryn.

“Will you marry me, Kathryn? I know this all seems so rushed, but we should probably do it sometime soon, if we’re going to adopt the little princess.”

“Of course I’ll marry you, my love. There’s no hurry.” She grinned at him. “But I’ll speak to Tuvok in the morning.”

“Good idea.” Silence reigned again for a time. Chakotay wasn’t quite sure what to do. For all intents and purposes they were engaged, but they hadn’t even kissed. They were practically parents and they hadn’t ever slept together. Thinking about it, it was pretty much par for the course for them. They were supposed to be sworn enemies. Her initial orders were to pursue and apprehend him. Well, she’d certainly captured him and he was a willing prisoner. Theirs was an unusual relationship, of that there was no doubt.

It was getting late and they had a big day ahead of them. He decided he should go.

“Kathryn, I should let you get to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.” He stood up and looked down at her.

She was looking at him, thoroughly perplexed. “Where are you going?”

“We need to get some sleep. I thought I’d head back to my quarters and let you get to bed.”

She sat up straight. “I’m going to bed alright, but not without you. Chakotay, I love you. This is for keeps. I don’t want you to go, unless you don’t want to stay.” She was confused. She thought they had figured this out already. They loved each other. Why would he want to leave? “Do you want to go?”

“Spirits, no. I don’t want to go. I just wasn’t sure what you wanted.” He knelt down in front of her and took both her hands. “Perhaps we should start this again. Kathryn Janeway, I love you, I need you and I want you so badly that I’m having trouble breathing.”

“That’s better. Come here.” Grinning, she grabbed the front of his jacket with both hands and dragged him on top of her on the couch. Their mouths met and tongues tangled in a heart stopping kiss. Their bodies ground together and arousal spiraled. Breaking apart they panted in each others faces. Kathryn’s eyes were wide with surprise.

“Oh, my word. Come on. Let’s go. The bedroom. Now.” She hauled him off the couch. She was removing her clothes as they walked. Chakotay was doing the same. By the time they reached the bed, both were down to their underwear. They fell on to the bed in a tangled heap and made love until the early hours of the morning.

“The time is 0600. The time is 0600.”

Chakotay rolled over and groaned. “Computer, reset alarm 24 hours.” He reached across to the other side of the bed to find it empty.

“Kathryn?” She wasn’t in her quarters, but he had a pretty good idea of where she was. “Computer, locate Captain Janeway.”

“Captain Janeway is in sickbay.”

He smiled to himself. The last 24 hours had been life changing and they now had some big decisions to make. Their lives were going to be turned upside down, but he couldn’t wait to get started. He was so glad that Kathryn had decided to follow her heart and be mother to the little girl in sickbay and he was over the moon that she’d finally lowered the barriers and allowed him into her life. He was excited but still a little apprehensive. He wanted to see Kathryn and reassure himself that she felt the same this morning as she did last night. Things look different in the cold light of day, and to be honest, he wouldn’t put it past her to pull back when faced with the stark reality of what she was doing. With a small seed of doubt sitting in his gut, he returned to his quarters, got dressed and headed to sickbay.

Kathryn had woken early, delighted to find the warm body of her lover next to her. The night had been awe inspiring. He was a talented and generous lover and waking up being held in his arms had been wonderful experience, one she was happy to know would be repeated everyday from now on. It almost brought tears to her eyes. She’d told him many times during the night how much she loved him. His eyes had shone with love for her and he’d told and showed her in so many ways. Her heart swelled with the knowledge.

It was early when she woke, and the cord that attached her to the tiny creature in sickbay was tugging at her heart. She got up quietly, showered and dressed, and made her way to deck five. She found the Doctor checking on the older children with the baby tucked in one arm.

“Captain, I’m glad you’re here. Someone has been waiting for you.” He handed Kathryn the fidgeting bundle. She snuggled in and nuzzled at Kathryn’s front. It was a delightful feeling. The baby already seemed to know her. “Here is a bottle for her, Captain.” He handed her the bottle and towel and stood back to watch.

Kathryn sat feeding her daughter, their eyes never leaving each others, one tiny hand gripping one of Kathryn’s fingers that held the bottle. Kathryn had never felt so at peace. This small child had the power to heal all her wounds, new and old, and with Chakotay’s love, she was whole again.

Once the baby had been fed and changed, Kathryn decided to take her to the mess hall and gauge the crew’s reaction to seeing her with the child. Their response would be very telling and perhaps help her to make decisions about the other aspects of parenthood that she was contemplating.

“Doctor, is the baby well enough to come to the mess hall with me for an hour or so?”

“Most certainly, Captain. However, I would like her back here by 10.00. The last of her implants will be due to be removed by then.” He handed her a clean towel, just in case.

As Kathryn walked through the corridors with her tiny charge, several crew members stopped to goo and gaa at the baby. No-one seemed the least bit perturbed about the fact that their captain was carrying around a virtually newborn baby as if it was her own. Mariah Henley and Marla Gilmore were just arriving at the mess hall when she turned the corner. They stopped and admired the little one. “Look, Captain, she has your coloured hair. Isn’t that amazing?” Kathryn hadn’t really noticed that before, but they were right. There was a tinge of red in her hair. Kathryn smiled.

Chakotay reached sickbay and was greeted by a very smug looking EMH. “Good morning, Commander. The captain has been and gone.”

Chakotay raised his eyebrows. “Where did she go?”

“The captain and the baby are having breakfast in the mess hall.”

“Thank you, Doctor. I’ll catch up with them there.” He was about to leave but turned back to the Doctor. “Ahh… Doctor, thank you for calling me last night. You did the right thing.”

The Doctor looked at Chakotay and smiled. “Commander, I hope that you and the captain will be very happy, and I’m sure the crew will be very pleased.”

“I hope you’re right, but that is yet to be seen.” He turned and left sickbay.

He rounded the corner heading for the mess hall as Ayala and Mitchell came towards him. They were both smiling and talking of how sweet the baby was and how happy the captain looked. They both stopped in front of Chakotay.

Ayala shook his hand. “Congratulations, Chakotay, everyone is so happy for you. She’s a beautiful girl.”

Mitchell, always the one with the smart quip, piped up. “And the baby is cute too.”

Chakotay blushed slightly, but shook both their hands. “Thank you. So I take it the word is out?”

“You could say that. The captain has been telling everyone that you’re getting married and adopting the little one. So if that’s the word, then it’s definitely out. Congratulations, Sir.” Mitchell grinned and Ayala slapped him on the back as they headed off to their duty shifts.

Chakotay stood for a moment, absorbing the news. Well, it looked like Kathryn wasn’t reneging on their plans. He was so relieved and blissfully happy. He felt like jumping for joy, but restrained himself. Nothing looked more ridiculous than the second in command leaping about in the corridors. Trying to tone down his smile, he approached the mess hall doors. He could hear the hubbub from inside just before they opened. The noise level suddenly dropped as he walked through the doors. All eyes were on him, but he only had eyes for the woman sitting at the centre of the melee, holding his daughter. As he walked towards them, various members of the crew patted him on the back and offered their congratulations. He nodded his thanks as best he could without taking his eyes from Kathryn. Her happy smile was a reflection of his. Reaching her side, she stood up, kissed him sweetly on the lips and handed him the wriggling bundle. Sitting, he took the baby gently in his arms and looking down, he promptly fell in love. People, recognising the intensity of the moment, moved away to give the new parents some time alone to share with their new baby and each other.

Kathryn sat close to Chakotay with her hand on his shoulder as he held the tiny creature that had changed their lives so profoundly in such a short time.

Chakotay turned and looked into Kathryn’s eyes to see the love he felt reflected there. He looked down at the angelic face of his child and then cast a slow glance around the room. Neelix was bustling, Tom, B’Elanna and Harry were laughing. B’Elanna caught his eye and smiled knowingly. He spotted Samantha and Naomi sitting with the crew from stellar sciences. Naomi was giggling at something Megan Delaney had said. He was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging.

His attention was drawn back to the woman he loved as she began singing softly to the tiny infant. He smiled happily as he listened to words he remembered from his own childhood.

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Kathryn looked up at her future husband. “My mother used to sing that to us. I feel the need to pass on the tradition. Although why anyone would write about a baby falling like that…”

Chakotay nodded slowly. “My mother sang it to us too.” He leaned over and kissed Kathryn lightly on the forehead. “Don’t worry, love. This little one will always have us there to catch her. And I’ll carve the cradle for her myself.”

They fell into a contented silence as they studied their daughter. B’Elanna watched them, Tom beside her. She shook her head and leaned against him. “That’s the most beautiful picture. It reminds me of the Nativity scenes my father used to show me.”

Tom slipped his arm around her waist. “There’s a divine hand in there all right.”

They stood silently and watched the precious scene before them. It was a scene that was destined to be repeated many times over the ensuing years as they continued their journey, the reassuring and comforting presence of the captain and the commander, sitting happily with their little girl, surrounded by their Voyager family, sharing the warmth and laughter with their friends and family.

It was a scene that made them realize they were all already home.

3 thoughts on “Broken Bough

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