The scene opens; it’s very chilly, a rather large house sits on a very open field. It’s the house of VOYAGER’S commanding officers. From the neighbors they are sure that the couple is very happy. Inside the house you can tell. The house is full of flowers, photos and the most important love.
“So, what do you think of my Thanksgiving dinner Kathryn, did it remind you of your former Thanksgivings.”
Janeway sighs closes her eyes, then opens them again with a smile.
“Yes, Neelix tried his best to get the food right, he even replicated the turkey do you remember Chakotay?”
Chakotay and Kathryn laugh, he moves closer to her.
“Do I ever, remember once when he wanted to add those special Talaxian spices just to put a little zing, in your first bite. I have never seen so many people gulp down that much wine.”
“The Doctor said that it was the most exciting day so far, 90 cases of indigestion within a matter of an hour.”
“And Seven was very lucky to have you as a mother/mentor all these years it prepared her to help Mezoti through this time. If you ask me I think you did a remarkable job raising Seven.”
Janeway smiles and Chakotay gives her a sweet kiss.
“Let’s go to bed, I’m tired besides tomorrow is “Black Friday” we have to get up early stores open a 0600 hours.”
Chakotay nods as they get up without a second thought Chakotay picks her up, tosses her over his shoulder and carries her up the stairs. She’s laughing the whole way up the stairs.
Two Weeks Later
The day is now December 11th, it’s bitter cold, and it’s going to storm. Janeway is clothed in a beautiful knitted sweater with a winter scene on it a green turtleneck underneath a pair of black slacks and a pair of white socks. Her hair is down flowing past her shoulders, slight curls accent her hair. She’s sitting on a chair. Chakotay is wearing black jeans and a sweater.
A fire is glowing as Chakotay places more logs on.
“I think it’s going to storm tonight, can’t say that I don’t want it, it’s been so long since I’ve seen snow I welcome it.”
Janeway smiles as Chakotay takes a seat next to the love of his life. Janeway and Chakotay cuddle with only the cracking of the fireplace and the glow of the fire very romantic. Chakotay takes Janeway’s chin in his hand and gives her a very long kiss when they are done Janeway is out of breath.
“Wow, that was quite a kiss Chakotay, you should do that more often, it catches my attention.”
Chakotay smiles then looks at the firelight brings Janeway to the floor and grabs a blanket.
“Have you ever seen such beauty?”
Janeway takes the cover from Chakotay and wraps them up.
“Not for a very long time. I remember one time when I was seven it was Christmas Eve and here in Indiana we didn’t have any snow. I was so angry, my father told me to be patient the snow would come.”
Janeway smiles at the memory.
“Did your father live up to his promise to you? Did it finally snow?”
Janeway smiles again and places her head on his shoulder.
“Well, as usual I was the first to get up, Phoebe was only two, I raced into my parents room and jumped on the bed screaming, “It’s Christmas!” with my lisp because I was missing my two front teeth. They got up and my father took me in his arms and opened the blinds and curtains it was snowing I couldn’t believe he was right it was snowing. That was a beautiful sight.”
“So Kathryn, have you ever made love in front of a blazing fire?”
Janeway doesn’t answer all she does is smiles seductively. Chakotay takes his arms and pulls her close to him. This was memorable night.
Later that night Janeway and Chakotay are under the cover he pulled from the back of the chair their clothes set on a pile next to the couple. Janeway had her head resting on his chest her hair draped across his bare chest. Both are clearly pleased about their first time making love in front of a blazing fire but clearly not their last time ever.
“So Kathryn, did you ever make love like that in front of a blazing fire?”
Smiling she runs her fingernails down his chest.
“I’m not sure, but I’m sure that one more time I should be able to tell.”
Chakotay smiles while running his fingers through her hair.
“I think I can arrange for that special request don’t you think?”
“I think so.”
Janeway lets the covers fall as she rolls and gives Chakotay a kiss.
The next day Janeway and Chakotay are in their room. Covers jostled form their night of lovemaking. Janeway is in front of her vanity brushing her hair. Chakotay unlike Janeway is dressed in clothes not his night clothes. Today he was refreshed to do some serious decorating per request of his love. Janeway places her brush down then looks at Chakotay.
“Now honey, while I get dressed I want you to get the decorations down from the attic.”
“Okay but first I want you to see something put this blind fold on. I want it to be a surprise.”
Chakotay hands her a black blindfold. She giggles slightly but plays along with Chakotay’s games. Chakotay takes her arms and leads her down the stairs to the front door. He throws a shawl on Janeway and opens the door. The wind is blowing snow is falling; it’s been snowing pretty much the whole night.
“Chakotay what’s so important that I have to go outside in my nightgown, robe and a shawl?”
“You just wait and see, you will thank me for this just trust me.”
“I have a blindfold across my eyes, you opened the front door in zero below weather and you tell me to trust you. No matter how much I love you, I can tell you are up to something.”
Chakotay laughs and removes the blindfold. Janeway slowly opens her eyes and the view just blows her away the snow is light and some flakes you can even see the shape everyone is different as night and day but Janeway is speechless for the first time since Chakotay had known her.
“Isn’t it beautiful, and every flake is different. It’s like a portrait from a museum right here a painting of our back yard.”
Tears are streaming down her cheeks as she gasps between sobs.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like it?”
Janeway shakes her head
“No it’s exactly the way I remembered it. Daddy was right; I had almost forgotten what it looked like when it snowed. It’s beautiful. Thank you.”
She gives Chakotay a hug.
A small while later Janeway is dressed and eager to go outside to experience what seemed to her, her very first snowfall. Chakotay and her are both bundled up in their winter attire and leave the house, outside there is about 4 ? feet of snow and the snow is still falling. Snowflakes fall on their eyelashes, nose, and cheeks melting with their body heat. Chakotay places his arm around her slender waist and gives her a gentle kiss. When they part Janeway is mystified.
“Kathryn do you know what would really brighten my day?”
“Well, no but I’m sure I could come to a very reasonable assumption, mainly because you are so predictable.”
“You really think I’m that predictable do you. Then put you money where your mouth is.”
“Fine, then you are so mesmerized by the site of the snow, I would guess that you are having flashbacks of your youth on Trebus you can hardly wait to pick up a “gigantic” snowball and attempt to throw it in my face, but you won’t because…”
Janeway picks up a “Gigantic” snow wad and throws it in Chakotay’s face, when she does that she’s laughing so hard she nearly falls to the snow heap behind them. Chakotay just bends over and picks his own “Gigantic” snowball and tosses it right into Janeway's face, who has finished laughing and is now ready for a battle.
Together they both take cover and begin tossing numerous snowballs at each other. Both are laughing hysterically as the other is nailed with snowballs. While tossing Chakotay and Janeway push snow forward attempting to build a fort. Laying down Janeway manages to gather up enough snow from all corners of their yard to have a fort about 3 feet high and 10 feet long. Unbeknownst to her Chakotay was coming along as well as she was. Janeway removes her ear band and places it in visual range for Chakotay to see. While snowflakes and snowballs stop. Making a clear get away she sneaks to right behind him picks up a wad of snow taps Chakotay on the shoulder, surprised at who it could be he turns around and is met with ice cold handful of freezing snow. Janeway laughs hysterically as Chakotay wipes the now dripping snow from his eyes.
“Kathryn Elizabeth Janeway! That better mean you are ready to meet the snow face-to-face, because if your aren’t, you had better get acquainted.”
Janeway begins to back away slowly very frightened on what Chakotay meant exactly by that.
“Honey, I’m sorry, very sorry. I didn’t mean that I…I…I was just…just playing, I promise I won’t do it again.”
Chakotay matches her pace but soon begins to run. He finally gets caught up; he picks her up and tosses her over his shoulder. Soon playfully throwing her down to a fort nearby. She laughs as the snow from gets caught in her hair. Chakotay grabs her ankles and drags her into some untouched snow. He plops down next to her and together they make snow angels. This was truly the most fun he had ever had in the snow for a very long time.
Nearly two weeks later
Chakotay and Janeway are climbing into their attic to gather up several decorations. Chakotay stands as Janeway piles up huge boxes into his arms
“Honey, do we really need all of this stuff? I mean is ALL of it necessary our house is so big to begin with”
Janeway rolls her eyes and places the box she had in her arms down
“All right cry baby, lets go down stairs but I guarantee this will not be enough.”
She laughs lightly and takes a few boxes out of Chakotay’s arms to reveal his face and the smiles she knew he was wearing
“Let’s go so much to do and so little time”
Both laugh as they come down from the attic to decorate the house. Later lights will be added to the house then finally they both will go out and cut down a tree to be passed on annually for the children.
15 minutes later all decorations are out and laying everywhere from the door leading outside stretched throughout the Victorian home. Chakotay knew this would take hours, if not decades!
“Okay honey, now lets work on the outside first, somewhere around here there is a box of outside lights. They are icicles that mean they have strands of lights that run down from the main strand. Do you see them?”
Chakotay shuffles around some opened and unopened boxes finally at the bottom he finds the box of lights. There has to be 20 different types and sets making the number a grand total about 25,000 bulbs. Chakotay grabs the icicle groups out and places them one in each hand. She chooses the clear lights for outside.
“Here you go Chakotay those lights get hung outside around the entire house. Since you got them you hang them outside. While I work on the lights inside the house.”
“All right but just this one time; next Christmas I expect you to assist me in that. Okay now, do you have hooks that can hold up this set of lights?”
Janeway nods and points to another box.
“They are right in front of you face Chakotay. If you would have looked around before you asked me you would be dressed and ready to put the lights up instead of standing there looking pretty. Now hop to it.”
Chakotay just sighs and picks up the box that contains the hooks to hold up the lights. He soon brings the decorations over and throws on his jacket and boots. Without a word he walks outside to get to work. While Janeway pulls out some garland and starts to stretch it out lengthwise. The next thing she had to decide where exactly she was going to pull all of the decorations
Down by the coffee table there are several pieces of tinsel along with a ton of devices very 24th century. Janeway grabs a few and places them on an end table. While she grabs the garland to wrap around the railing guiding the grand staircase. While burgundy bows accent the golden garland it is a perfect combination
When she’s down with that she attaches the bows along with a strand of colorful lights. The railing looks wonderful and very festive, and it is just the beginning by nightfall it would look like a house in a magazine
Moving to the center of the room again Janeway pulls out more garland and begins to place it around the windowpane. Chakotay comes inside just as she begins the very last window downstairs. You could tell that he was very cold
“Come on in honey let me take your jacket and shoes off. I’ll go and make some coffee. She laughs lightly, “Well, not exactly make it, its already made I’ll just go warm it up for you”
Chakotay nods and removes his damp jacket, hat, scarf, and boots steps by the roaring fire as snow lightly falls outside. Janeway comes out of the kitchen with two cups of coffee
“Here you go honey, this should warm you in no time so we can finish decorating the house, I’m not even an eighth of the way done. How is it outside?
“Bitter cold, I know it will defiantly snow tonight, the wind is blowing like crazy. I’ll have to go outside and close the shutters in a few hours. I think the lights will be fine though”
“There’s nothing like a good old fashion blizzard to brighten up the holidays don’t you think Chakotay?”
While they finish their coffee Janeway goes back to the window and begins to hang the garland again. Chakotay assists as she tries to reach the very top of a rather large window. Chakotay grabs a hold of her with some tape and brings her to his shoulders
“Whoa Chakotay! Not so high you know that heights and I do not get along. I only need half the height you are.”
Chakotay giggles as Janeway gasps and closes her eyes. Soon she regains her composure and begins to hang the garland around the top of the windowpane and around the sides. Chakotay just handed her the tape soon they are done and she is lowered off his shoulders.
“Chakotay, next time I decide to put this stuff up stop me because next time I might become sick. You surely wouldn’t want vomit on your shoulders and head, it will be disgusting”
“Yes, it would but I think I can handle it. I’ve seen worse remember when we first met the Vidians? Nothing was worse looking than that species…ICK!”
While still decorating windows, bookshelves, and doorways they begin to speak about their adventure in the Delta Quadrant
“Of all the species in the entire Delta Quadrant they are by far the scariest. Along with the Borg, Kazon, and Hirogens. But I never doubted that we’d become victims permanently except that one time the Kazon captured the entire ship and sent us to live on that hideous planet”
“You were so determined not to let our crew starve and die off. You even made us eat bugs if I recall, you ordered us to eat”
Janeway laughs at the memory but it is however bittersweet memory. Chakotay as well feels that it was bittersweet. They both clearly miss their family. But what Chakotay has planned will make it reality
“Well, we had better finish decorating or it may take us until New Year’s to finish decorating for Christmas. Come on Kathryn we still need to go out into the wilderness to find the perfect tree”
“Okay, just let me get my jacket and things and we can go before the weather strands us out there”
With only a few hours left of daylight the couple leaves on a trek through the deep forest behind their home. A fence lines their property and a different world behind it. However it doesn’t stop hungry animals, so they make sure that the feeder is always full for the squirrels and chipmunks
With Chakotay holding her up they sludge along the 12 inches of snow. Without snow shoes it was extremely difficult. Janeway was breathless and Chakotay was coming to breathlessness as well
“Chakotay I have a feeling we should have worked out more in our velocity games because just about now I am ready to drop. How about you?”
“Oh, I’ve felt worse, but after all this exercise we will need a big meal. Are you going cook…or am I?”
They both laugh lightly and them smile. Chakotay wraps his arm around her and together they battle the soon coming winter blizzard, and hopefully beat the storm home
“We had better get moving the storm will be quite a wallop. I can tell by the sound of the wind, its howling like a wolf in the night”
As the snow begins to blow with the wind, Chakotay and Janeway pull their coats and scarves for warmth and each pull out an extra set of gloves to keep their hands warm along with something to cover their ears
“We had better find some shelter it appears that we just walked into a snow storm come on hurry it’s coming fast”
Janeway nods and soon they find an abandoned cabin that is in great shape and some wood is stacked fresh with firewood
“That looks like a great place to keep us for the night. The wood is good for several days if we don’t get back home. Lets just hope there isn’t anyone living there over the holiday”
“Nah, I don’t think so Kathryn look there are no lights on and the weeds have grown nearly blocking the door. No one has been here for years”
Janeway nods and together they walk to the cabin. Where they will stay while they wait out the storm approaching
A few hours later the cabin is prepared Chakotay has started a great fire with the phaser and Janeway is resting on the couch with Chakotay by her side
“Chakotay, is there a holiday in your heritage that is even remotely similar to our Christmas?”
“Not that I can think of but we did sort of have a holiday you may consider you Christmas but its not that we receive gifts from our loved one. Instead one night a year my tribe would build a bonfire and each member who was old enough would tell a story. We would tell stories all night long and well into the next morning. I remember on of those years our celebration lasted an entire week. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was eight years old, and it was the only time my mother would let me stay up past my bedtime. One of the tribe elders “Coyote Dancer” told the story of our struggles as a tribe in the early 18th century fighting for the land against the white settlers. Our tribe lost hundreds of braves and thousands of women and children. They called it the “Trail of Tears” if I remember correctly. Our tribe eventually expanded but it took years to recover all that was lost in the battles. We obtained space traveling technology in 2086 and came out here.”
“I’m glad your tribe survived, if they hadn’t there would be now Kolpek and absolutely no Chakotay. What would I have done if you weren’t with me through all those difficult times in the Delta Quadrant”
“You would have managed I’m sure, maybe you wouldn’t have fallen in love with space and attended “Starfleet Academy” you would probably have married Mark and have a dozen children”
“Probably, Mark was a great guy and we were so much in love…oh sorry, I seemed to be a bit nostalgic, sorry”
“No, its all right I’d love to hear about your life with Mark, he was a very kind man how could you not fall in love with him?”
“Yes, he was, anyway we were so much in love. I loved him with all my heart and he worshipped the ground I walked on. We were going to be married after I returned from the badlands. After our honeymoon to Risa he was going to come with me until I retired from Starfleet. And the children part…we wanted to start right away even before we were married. When Molly got pregnant I thought it was fate but when I didn’t get pregnant I wanted to try again. But we left for the badlands and the rest is history”
“Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you had become pregnant to Mark?”
“At first I thought about it all the time”
“Mark was a very lucky man to have you in his life. He has great taste I should know I am dating the most beautiful woman in the world”
“I just keep thinking that what if I had gotten pregnant before we left for the badlands or like Samantha found out I was pregnant while we were there. My baby would have been born on Voyager what kind of place would that be to raise a baby?”
“It’s a fine place to raise a baby. Just think it would have 152 people to love it. Naomi would have had someone to play with outside of Neelix and Seven. The galaxy would be its playground. What could a child need that it doesn’t already have? Not to mention all the babysitter you would have.”
“Well, one small setback, but I loved you since the first time I saw you. I would be its father, although not its biological father I would love it just the same”
“That’s really sweet of you Chakotay. But my dreams of being a mother are slim to none. I’m already showing the signs of menopause.”
“Don’t put yourself down, you haven’t gone through the change completely. So it is still possible someday for you to be a mother”
“ I hope you’re right”
“I am, you just wait and see, I am always right!”
“This is a beautiful cabin, I wish that we could invite the senior officers and Samantha here for a classic Christmas in this cabin its large enough, but that’s impossible”
“I can’t remember a time when I was so happy at Christmas since daddy died”
“But your father died years ago didn’t your mother try to make your sister and you to have a good Christmas?”
“Oh yes, she tried but with the absence of daddy, mama never really felt happy with him gone. It was as if she just couldn’t adjust, but she always made sure Phoebe and I happy for Christmas. But something was different with her, she wasn’t as happy as she once was”
“Do you have any stories about your Christmases as a child that was happy? That one was depressing, come on I need a happy story”
“Okay, when I was about six and Phoebe was two our parents took us to the mountains of Switzerland. At first I didn’t want to go because I was afraid Santa Claus wouldn’t be able to find me. I wanted a puppy so badly and my parents convinced me to come along and Santa would find me wherever I would go. So I gave in and to my surprise he brought me a puppy I named it Brambles. I have no idea where I cam up with it so don’t ask. That’s one Christmas I will never forget”
“Now that is more like it. Oh wow I’m really tired, we should probably head off to bed its getting really late”
“Well I hope you’re not to tired I think I need some exercise and I think you could provide me with the proper exercise. Don’t you?”
“I think I could handle some exercise as well it will help us to stay warm”
“You read my mind”
The following morning under tangled covers Janeway and Chakotay are awakened by the sunlight. The storm had passed and they can return to there home after breakfast. He leans over and kisses Janeway on the forehead
“We should really head out towards home before we get caught in another snowstorm. But first lets eat it’s a long way back home”
Chakotay rolls back over and pulls on his boxers while Janeway uses the sheet and soon for clothing, she had no idea where Chakotay had thrown hers. Later after Janeway finds her clothing Chakotay has cooked breakfast and heading home.
Several hours later
Right outside their door Chakotay pulls out a blindfold and places it across Janeway’s eyes. Janeway giggles but plays along with his game
“What could you possibly have in store for me now Chakotay, is this a joke?”
“No, I have a surprise for you just take my and no peeking, I won’t stand for any peeking”
“Yes, Chakotay whatever you say, just don’t let me fall. I will never forgive you if I do, I mean it Chakotay…”
“Yeah right, you always say that and not once have you ever stuck to your promise. Now I don’t think you will suddenly change you mind”
“Hey, I’m a women, I can change my mind, and besides how can I resist those brown eyes”
Chakotay laughs and shakes his head as he takes Janeway by the hands and leads her inside. Once inside completely Chakotay positions her front and center and removes the blindfold and Janeway slowly opens her eyes allowing them to adjust to the light. She reacts with surprise
Janeway looks around the room to her surprise al of the senior officers including the Doctor, Seven, Samantha, Naomi, Neelix and sweet Mezoti
“How did you do this without me knowing. Oh Chakotay, I’m so happy”
Chakotay smiles and Janeway gives him a kiss on the forehead then runs to all of her crewmembers giving each of them a hug and a kiss
“Naomi you’ve grown so much since the last time I saw you, and Mezoti you are still as sweet as always and B’Elanna…”
B’Elanna moves the baby from her shoulder so Janeway can see her
“Oh, B’Elanna, Miral’s beautiful, she has grown so much since she’s been born”
“I wasn’t sure I would have been able to come, Miral had a fever a few days ago. She’s fine now I think she wanted to get better so she could see her godparents”
“Thank you for bringing her. I was beginning to think I would never see any of you again except on important missions. Its so good to see you all again”
The senior officers are dressed in their Sunday best. In a few moments they were going to be exchanging gifts with each other. Chakotay was standing nearby while Janeway visited old friends. He was preparing for something that may change his life forever; in his hand he held a small black box while with the other he continually wipes his face with a handkerchief. He was nervous and Tom knew
“Chakotay, are you all right? You look a little green under the gills. What is bothering you?”
“I am going to purpose to Kathryn tonight and I am just getting warmed up what if she says no to me what will I do?”
“Don’t worry about that, if she says no she has a serious problem she loves you more than anything in the entire world. Come on lets get over there and exchange our gifts”
Chakotay shoved the box in his jacket pocket and moved over into the living room where everyone was. This was going to be a night he hoped would always remain in Janeway’s mind
“Okay people, lets start exchanging gifts tomorrow we can finish, you all may stay here in our home until New Year’s. Since most of us will be returning to Starfleet for another mission or semester, lets dig in”
About another hour or two later the exchanging in finished. Miral is asleep in her crib in the next room. Each in exchanging stories of the past…
Soon the stories run out and everyone is tired. Chakotay clears his throat as he kneels down in front of Janeway. Chakotay pulls out the jewelry box as everyone watches for what they knew what happening…
“It was only last December, I had no Christmas Spirit in my heart. My world lay cold and shattered in the ashes of a dream that fell apart. But now you’re here beside me no greater gift is wrapped beneath my tree. And the arms you wrap around me and the precious gift of love you give to me. Would you do the honor of being my wife for always?”
Janeway is in tears by now but she manages to nod her head and answer…
“Yes, Chakotay, I will marry you for always”
Chakotay lets out a sigh of relief and slides the ring on her finger
“When should we get married Kathryn, just remember I’m not a patient man”
“Next year, Christmas Eve what do you say?”
“I couldn’t think of another day. You all are invited to our wedding next December 24th 2379”
“Better yet! You are all in my wedding!”
"We woulnd't miss if for the world!"
Everyone agrees as the scene fade to darkness…