Disclaimer: Stormwriter and I, by the writing of this story, do not intend any copyright infringement upon Paramount/Viacom's babies (AKA Star Trek etc...) However this is our idea....so come knocking on our door Paramount if you want to borrow it. Also special attention was paid to Hester's interpretation of what j/c means.
Authors' Note: Stormwriter and I were left all alone one night on IRC. You get two writers together, with a damn good idea, and no supervision [But a very nice minor who wanted to watch], this is what happens. And with all the codes it still remains PG-13. We hope this new twist will liven your day.
Neelix walked into Lieutenant Lacouix's quarters. He looked around. She had bid him enter, but she wasn't present in the main room. Her planters of miniature roses and herbs anointed one wall, next to the portals out into space.
Neelix sauntered over and inhaled the fragrance of unknown herbs mixed with the sweet scent of Marie's roses. She was known for the tiny genetically engineered flowers. She was the ship's botanist, but she also had a hobby which Neelix was quite familiar with.
A soft sound startled Neelix and he turned around to gaze into the redhead's eyes. They said she was unique for a human. Flame red curly hair crowned her head. Darker skin that of the Captain, and brown eyes, while different than other humans, made her quiet beautiful. Others said the combination was quite different, but in the end didn't really matter to Marie.
"Yes Neelix, what can I do for you?" Marie said in the calm voice that was her trademark. Even under extreme pressure, her voice was said to remain calm.
"I am planning a party of sorts in Holodeck Two next week. People come costumed," His cheerful voice echoed thru her quarters. "I was wondering if you would tell some fortunes, for the sake of atmosphere."
Marie padded over to her chair by the window. "Why not get a hologram to do it?"
Neelix grasped his hands together, and smiled at her. "I was hoping for some authenticity. After the Hirogen, I think we all need to unwind and have a bit of fun." He walked over and sat across from her. "Say you will do it."
Marie sighed and rubbed her temples. "It is powerful magic I call upon, Neelix. Not some parlor trick. I could see things better left unseen."
Neelix looked crestfallen, but he was not one to give up readily. "Come on, Marie, it's just a few fortunes. And I'm sure you'll only see good. Besides, everyone knows that stuff isn't real."
Marie looked up at him sharply. "You don't know that, Neelix. This has been in my family for centuries. It is not fun and games. The magick is very real." She sighed, looking at the hopefulness in his eyes. Finally Marie spoke, "I will agree, on one condition. You make sure to let everyone know that I am very serious about this, that it's no game to me."
Neelix clapped his hands together, the loud crack filled the serenity of the room. "Good, then I will get cracking on the other preparations." He stood and walked towards the door, then stopped. "Oh, Marie I forgot something. Wear something fancy, but appropriate. Maybe I should bring a costume by?"
"No Neelix." Marie held up her hands. She stood and smiled, "I have something perfect for it..."
Marie stood inside the little tent Neelix had replicated to her specifications. She had moved the items within herself, needing as much authenticity as possible. There was her small table -- centuries old -- handed down to each successive woman in her family with the gift. On it, she spread out the old purple silk cloth, smoothing out the wrinkles. Then she set out her various items of fortune telling, as Neelix had put it: her runes, crystal ball, scrying mirror, and finally her worn deck of tarot cards, also wrapped in the purple silk. Next, she set out the candles that would light the tent, very blatantly putting 4 larger pillar candles in the four quarters. Even in space, she could get her bearings for the correct sequencing of the quarters.
Marie looked at the smaller table behind the main one. On it were the brazier, ready to be lit, and the sandalwood incense she preferred for readings like this. And then, she found the box containing her various bottles of dried herbs, crystals, and talismans. These she set out around the tent, both for "atmosphere" for her customers, and for her own sense of well being.
Marie looked around her. She was satisfied by the tent's interior, and began to quickly pull on the robe she'd chosen for this. As the familiar fabric slid over her naked body, she could already detect the telltales signs of clairvoyance coming on. She had one of the strongest cases of the gift in her family for quite some time--or so her old grandmother had told her on so many occasions.
Marie sat down, and fingered her Tarot cards. She took a deep breath and began to clear her mind of everything. She needed her head clear for this. She didn't notice the first person to stick her head into the tent. It was Lt. Torres, someone she had little association with. "Are you available, Lieutenant Lacouix?" Belanna whispered, unsure as whether to disturb the redheaded woman.
Marie looked up, smiling. "Yes, I'm available. Have the festivities begun already?" At B'Elanna's hesitant nod, she smiled. "You've never done this before, have you?"
B'Elanna stood by the door as if she was about ready to rush out of the tent, never to return. "No, I haven't. Klingons believe that your fortune is what you make of it." Her fingers played with the tight bodice and full colorful skirt of the dress reminiscent of European gypsies.
Marie's smile broadened. "May I ask why you are here then? Could it be that Tom coerced you?" Then before B'Elanna could reply, it came to her. "You're here because you are curious, and confused about something. Am I correct?"
The temperamental Klingon was almost shy as she tentatively approached Marie. Marie indicated that she should sit. B'Elanna quietly replied, "Yes I am curious about something." She grasped the hem of her skirt and twisted it unconsciously. Her eyes glanced nervously at the door to the tent.
Marie stretched out a hand to touch the Klingon's arm. "There is nothing to fear, B'Elanna. I will do what I can to help with your curiosity." A flash of insight. She pulled back to pick up her deck of cards. "As I don't know you all that well, I am going to do a very ancient spread that will allow me to learn more about you, as well as show you that I do not make this up."
Marie fingered the cards, noted that B'Elanna's eyes once again darted toward the front flap of the tent. "Would you like him to join you?" she asked gently. "I can do this reading either way."
B'Elanna nodded curtly. She shifted in her seat. "No, go ahead and read them without him here. He won't be satisfied until I get them done, but with him out there..." Her voice trailed, as she looked back into Marie's eyes. B'Elanna implored her to understand the situation. The faster she could get out of there, the happier she would be. She had to make this decision on her own, without Tom's help. She had to know it was for herself, and herself alone.
Marie smiled and began to shuffle the deck as she spoke. "As I said, this is an ancient spread, and requires your assistance. Please take this deck and separate it into three separate piles, then choose one and point at it." She waited as B'Elanna did so, then took the pile in question and reversed its orientation and placed it between the other two piles, then handed the deck to the other woman. "Good. Now, please shuffle the deck three times."
B'Elanna did this with ease. Once B'Elanna had finished and handed the cards back, Marie began to lay out the cards, six of them, in a star pattern. "This is the personal star spread. It tells me all about you." She looked at the cards before her and smiled. So far so good. A rather mild reading, but combined with her flash of insight, it would hopefully answer the young woman's questions. "Now this first card is what is on your mind right now. I've drawn the 3 of Wands, which says optimism and new beginnings are uppermost in your thoughts. These next two, the Empress and the Lovers, represent what you are doing right now." She suppressed a grin as she said, "According to these cards, you are working on a commitment with Tom, feelings of contentment, perhaps pursuing a family?"
B'Elanna just sat there, a shocked look on her face. Her hand reached down to her protectively caress her stomach. She looked up into Marie's face, unable to respond. Marie's warm brown eyes smiled back at B'Elanna. The gift was rarely wrong. Then she returned to her reading. "The next two cards, down here, represent your past, what you've come from. Here we have the ace of Cups reversed and the 9 of Swords." She frowned, staring at the cards, then lifted her eyes to gaze at B'Elanna for a moment. "According to these cards, you don't come from a happy background. There was much anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and disappointment." The muscles surrounding B'Elanna's eyes tightened in pain, as memories of her childhood surfaced. It took her a moment to reign them in.
Marie waited then continued. "Finally, we come to the sixth card, the 9 of Pentacles, which tells of your spirit, your inner self. There is much security and achievement within you, B'Elanna." She smiled. "You have traversed a hard path, relying only on yourself and come out a winner, despite the adversities." She paused, then looked up at B'Elanna. "Does this make any sense? Was I close?"
B'Elanna nodded, fear apparent in her eyes. "It's so close, it's frightening." She paused, trying to decide whether or not to continue. "Tom asked me to marry him tonight." She straightened her body. "I haven't given him my answer yet. It just seems so fast."
Marie's smile grew. "If you want to know something, B'Elanna, when I touched your arm, I got a flash of insight. I saw you two together, Tom's arms wrapped around you as you cradled your tiny child close." She stretched a hand to B'Elanna again. "The spirits are pleased with you two. If I were you, I'd feel the luckiest woman in the universe to have such a man love me as Tom loves you."
B'Elanna nodded at this. Indecision that was so apparent when she walked in, was replaced with a serene calmness. She stood up, smoothing her skirt. "I know my answer now. Thank you, Marie." She used the lieutenant's first name, a sign of great respect.
"It was my pleasure, B'Elanna. And feel free to seek out the spirits' counsel through me any time you may need it." She didn't normally extend that offer, but it seemed the right thing to do with this particular young woman. She watched B'Elanna leave, then began to pick up the cards, shuffling them thrice before setting them aside to wait for her next visitor.
Tuvok stumbled into the tent not more than a few seconds after B'Elanna had left. Marie looked up and almost chuckled. A cheery-eyed Ensign Kim was right behind him. "Now Tuvok, you promised that you would do this favor for me. Fortunetellers are an ancient earth custom." Kim grinned as he watched the Vulcan's discomfort.
"I fail to see the logic of getting one's fortune told, Ensign Kim." Tuvok replied dryly.
"Oh come on, Tuvok. Lighten up. Even your Vulcan self needs to relax. Besides, you gave me your word." Harry winked at Marie. She had often worked with him, when they were collecting botanical samples for hydroponics.
"Yes, Ensign. I gave you my word, you were interrupting our game with your chatter." Kim chuckled at the Vulcan's distaste.
Kim had known that it was the only way to get the promise out of him. Kim pulled the chair back, and gently pushed the uncomfortable Vulcan into the seat, then placed his hands on the man's shoulders. Tuvok didn't see the logic in Kim's actions as he was much stronger than the Ensign.
Marie suppressed a chuckle and gazed at Tuvok. "What sort of reading would you like, Commander?"
Before Tuvok could reply, Harry piped in, "Read his palm."
Marie laughed as she reached for his palm. "Well, it's definitely a given that you'll have a long lifeline." She gazed at the lines on his palm. It was true, there was a long lifeline. She traced the line with a delicate finger. "See, Harry? He does have a long lifeline."
Tuvok stared at Marie without blinking. "This is a fact, Lieutenant, due my species' lifespan, not some ambiguous illogical future." He turned to Ensign Kim, "The perfect fortune lays in fact. Therefore she can not be wrong."
Marie smiled and continued, knew this reading was more for Harry than for Tuvok, so she used it as a lesson for the young ensign. "And here's his heart line. He's got very deep feelings for....two people. I can assume one is his wife. The other....I'm not sure who it is."
Harry looked at Tuvok. "Tuvok, you sly old dog you. Holding out on us?"
"I don't know that this is romantic love, or simply a deep respectful admiration of someone, but it's there." She paused as an image of the captain flickered in her mind's eye. Wisely, she said nothing about it. "This lines shows how, despite his Vulcan ways, Commander Tuvok can be very passionate about many aspects of his life." Marie raised her eyebrows in surprise. " I know he is very dedicated to his work and to the relationships he has cultivated aboard this ship." And now a vision of Kes appeared for the briefest of seconds. "And here, this means that he has a very deeply rooted creative side which should be cultivated." Marie released his hand and looked up at the two men. "Very nice reading, Commander." She glanced at Harry. "Care to take a chance on a reading?"
Harry looked at his palm, unsure that he wanted to see his own future. He shivered and looked at Tuvok. While the Vulcan didn't give any regard to Marie's rambling, Harry did. He looked back into Marie's eyes. The calmness about her, lured him in. "Sure, why not." Tuvok stood and Harry sat in his place. "It would be nice to know if I ever got home, or if I should start looking..." His voice trailed not wanting Tuvok or Marie to know his intimate thoughts.
Marie smiled at Harry and picked up the tarot cards again. She shuffled them, had him cut and shuffle them. Then she held the deck in her outstretched palm. "Pick out one card, Harry. And flip it over sideways, without looking at it." She looked at the card and smiled. The ace of Cups. And then, without thought, she reached over to grasp the hand that had picked the card, staring into Harry's eyes for an intense few seconds. He tried to smile confidently, even feeling a bit uncomfortable.
Marie let go of his hand before he could say anything. "You've picked the ace of Cups. This card signifies growth, emotions, and love." An impish smile tugged at the corners of her lips. That brief contact with him had shown her exactly who that love concerned. How could she tell the handsome young ensign that he was sitting across the table from the woman he would be romantically involved with? "As far as getting home, I'd venture to say that you are already home, that Voyager has become home to all of us. As for growth, look at how much you've already changed since you came aboard Voyager."
"What about the love?" a confused Harry asked, the image of Libby filling his head.
As if sensing what Harry was thinking about, Marie smiled sympathetically. "You must deal with Libby on your own terms, and in your own time. I do know that there is a young woman here on Voyager that you will be very happy with."
Harry shook his head in confusion. "So you are saying that the woman I will be romantically involved with isn't Libby?" Even though he had given up hope to be with her again. Marie's comment caused the last bit of him connected to Libby to break away. Harry ached inside, but he stood looking at Marie. She knew something she wasn't saying.
"Yes, Harry, that's what I'm saying." She paused. Part of her wanted to tell him the whole truth, but she knew better. "Everyone has had to give up a loved one from the Alpha Quadrant. That doesn't mean we can't find someone to love out here, or we love those in the Alpha Quadrant even less." Again she paused, choosing her next words carefully. "Harry, what I have seen has told me that Libby was not the soulmate you need to complete you." She blushed ever so slightly as she said, "The young woman here on the ship IS that soul mate, the other half to your whole."
Visibly shaken, Harry walked out the door. It would take awhile for it to sink in. Marie sighed, but they had 70 years. The shock would wear off. Shaken, she watched him go. It was the first time she had seen her own future clearly.
Tuvok glanced at her before leaving. "Intriguing, Lieutenant, if I was a scientist I would want to continue this for further study." As Tuvok followed Harry, she knew that this would be the closest thing to a compliment that the Vulcan would ever give her.
Marie stepped out of her tent to get something cool to drink, blinking at the brightness after the solace of her dimly lit tent. She saw Tom and B'Elanna talking quietly near one of the refreshment tables. She moved that way when B'Elanna smiled at her, motioning her over. "Hello, B'Elanna, Tom."Marie greeted them. Tom's grin lit up his face. Marie grinned back at him. She didn't need to be psychic to know that B'Elanna had told him.
B'Elanna flashed her ring finger to Marie, a large sparkling rock caught her eye. "I said yes."
Marie picked up B'Elanna's hand, shimmering in the light. An image of a baby hit her hard. B'Elanna's future was even clearer now that she had chosen a path. "A baby, and soon." Marie whispered to B'Elanna.
Tom caught her muttering. Shock apparent on his face. He turned to B'Elanna. Trying to hide her embarrassment B'Elanna muttered, "I forgot my booster last month."
Tom pulled her away from Marie gently. "We have to get you to the doctor right now." He pulled B'Elanna towards the door of the holodeck.
Marie shook her head, smiling as she watched the young couple leaving. Grabbing the water and a small plate of fruit, she began to make her way back to her tent again. She saw Harry sitting in a corner, deep in thought, staring directly at her. She wanted to go to him, explain all that she'd seen. However it was not her place to do so. He had to come to that realization himself.
Glancing over at Chakotay talking with the Captain and a few others, she smiled. There was something there. She could sense it from the Captain, but she couldn't tell which man it was coming from. A deep sense of longing and love washed over her. Two hearts were singing in concert. Shrugging, Marie stepped back into the tent and quietly ate. There she sat waiting for her next customer.
Chakotay popped his head in. "I hear that you're telling fortunes, Marie. You know I wouldn't miss getting mine done." He chuckled huskily. "If Tuvok comes out of here a bit shaken, then you must be doing really good this evening." He held out his hand, assuming that Marie would read it.
Marie smiled up at him and shook her head. "No palm reading for you, Commander. You know I never read your palm. It's the deck for you." She handed him the deck of cards. "You know what to do. Or at least you should by now." She loved this banter with Chakotay. His beliefs were the closest to hers, and that had brought about a very close friendship between them. She watched as he expertly shuffled and cut the deck. Then he spread out the cards in the personal star. She didn't even have to spread the deck for him, he knew it by rote. Marie suspected Chakotay could probably read cards nearly as well as she. "So, Chakotay," she said with a smirk, "what do YOU see here?"
Chakotay winked at Marie. "I would never dare to presume on your area of expertise," he chuckled. He had begun getting his cards read on a regular basis when he had first come to Voyager. Their deep friendship had started as a means to bridge the gap between Maquis and Starfleet. "But if I hazard a guess, I would think that this card," He fingered the lovers. "That this card means that I am to soon become involved with someone."
A low chuckle escaped Marie's lips. "You are getting very perceptive with the cards, Chakotay." She glanced over the spread again. "Yes, you will become very involved with the woman who will prove to very probably be your true emotional equal. But this may cause some concern among the crew. Nothing major, but a minor concern." She drew in a breath. "I see a fork in your path, Chakotay, a situation where someone very important to you will need you, but you will have to choose whether to help this person or not. Your decision will have great impact on your relationship." She paused then, looking up at him in confusion. It passed and she shook her head, beginning to pick up the cards. "I'm sorry, Chakotay, I can't see anything more."
Chakotay reached out to touch Marie's hand. "Mon amie." He'd resorted to her native french. "It's okay. That's the strongest reading you have given me in a long time." He hung on expecting her to catch a glimpse of something, anything that would make the fortune easier to understand.
Marie smiled her thanks, biting her lip. And then a flash of a torrid kiss cut by a terrified scream. She jerked back from his touch, clearly unnerved by the vision.
Concern in his eyes, Chakotay whispered, "What is it Marie?" He resisted the temptation to reach out and grab her hand again.
"Nothing," Marie murmured, unconsciously sliding her chair backwards, away from him. "I'm fine. It was nothing." She took a deep breath, expelling the fear and the image as best she could. "I'm fine, Chakotay," she repeated finally looking at him.
Chakotay stood, glancing back at Marie. "Are you sure Marie?" His eyes clenched in concern.
"I'm sure, Chakotay. It was -- It was just a phantom image, probably some spillover from earlier readings." She couldn't believe she wasn't telling him the truth, but this was odd. She didn't know why, but she couldn't place any of the people in the vision. That bothered her greatly. "I'll be fine, honest."
"If you're sure." Chakotay's smile was warm. He watched her nod, turned and left the tent.
Marie sat down and waited. She closed her eyes, and took a deep filling breath. She felt each molecule of air as it passed down her throat as it expanded her lungs. She couldn't shake it. A darkness settled over her soul. She shook it off as merely the conflicting images of everyone she had read tonight. Everything had been good, all her readings had been good. She had to remind herself of it. Nothing bad was going to happen tonight.
And then Marie watched as Kathryn Janeway, her captain, walked through the door. "Is this where we get our fortune told?" Kathryn had a warm smile.
Marie, shocked at Kathryn's presence, simply nodded that she should sit down. "Is there anything in particular you'd like to know, Captain? Or would you prefer a general reading?"
Kathryn leaned forward, and Marie could smell the synthehol on her breath. The captain wasn't drunk, just warm and open to possibilities. "Oh, do whatever you would normally do. Perhaps something like Chakotay had done. He came out of here with a huge grin on his face."
Marie studied her captain, then turned to the various items on her table. Usually one thing or another would scream for her attention to be used. But nothing did for the captain. She thought for a moment, then decided on her method. She stretched out her hands. "Let me take your hands, Captain. I'm going to do a slightly different reading for you." Kathryn smiled as she held out her hands. She wasn't uncomfortable touching her crew, and did so frequently. Marie held the woman's hands lightly in her own. "Just relax, Captain. Don't say anything at first, let me gather my impressions. Then I'll ask you if you have any questions, and we can go from there."
Marie felt Kathryn relax across from her. Taking deep slow breaths, she closed her eyes and focused on Kathryn Janeway. Bits and pieces of information and images filtered into her brain, a surprisingly large amount came to Marie. "Okay, Captain," she said slowly. Her eyes closed, still concentrating. "Do you have any questions you'd like me to try to answer? Anything at all?"
Kathryn leaned forward, "Yes, the first one that comes to my mind is whether or not we will make it back to earth?" It was obviously the first question she would want to know, as it was the focus of her life at this point.
"I see Voyager returning to the Alpha Quadrant, but as far as any details, I see nothing. Just that Voyager will return home." An image popped into her head; Chakotay very close to a woman, very obviously attracted to her. She smiled. "Any other questions?"
Curiosity piqued Kathryn asked, "So will Chakotay play an important role in my personal life?" She phrased her words carefully, not wanting to reveal her innermost desires.
"Chakotay will always be an important part of your life, that much is certain. You and he are connected on a level that defies description." In her mind, Chakotay moved closer to the woman, obviously about to kiss her. His arms pulled her closer, wrapping about her slim waist. "There is another man who has an equally undescribable relationship with you. I cannot see a face, but he is someone you trust your life with." Marie shifted slightly, placing just a bit more pressure on Kathryn's hands. She tried to pull at the new image creeping into her mind. She fought the faint distant image, as it was difficult to keep hold on. "You are at a crossroads, Captain. Someone very close to you will betray you. And that betrayal will forever change your relationship." Chakotay leaned in for the kiss. Marie could see in her mind's eye that it was not the captain he kissed, but another woman by the name of Sam Wildman. "But someone else will be there to pick up the pieces. That relationship also will change forevermore."
Marie paused, the phantom image starting to come into glaring clarity. The Captain, fear etched on her face, backed away. She shook her head back and forth. Obviously trapped and afraid. Marie faltered a bit at the juxtaposition of the two images. "You will need to keep your wits about you, Captain. Strange things may happen when you least expect them, and you could find yourself in danger. Find ways to surround yourself with those you are closest to, for they will protect you."
A very uncertain Kathryn leaned back. Unsure of what to think. "What do you mean, Marie? Who am I to trust?" Kathryn's voice contained a pleading note. Her Irish roots screamed. Down deep, beyond her scientific mind, she believed in the power of the fae.
Marie opened her eyes to stare at Kathryn, to try to rid herself of the images she saw. "Anyone you hold close to you. I would venture to suggest Chakotay, Tuvok, your senior staff. The people you hold closest and dearest to you onboard Voyager are the ones you should surround yourself with." She released the woman's hands. That dulled the visions a bit. "I know you have Irish blood in you, Captain. You must know the power of the fae. They have spoken to you through me, and they urge you to seek out those closest to you." She sighed. "You are in danger. I know not when or what, but danger follows you at your every step."
Kathryn, concern written on her face, squeezed Marie's hand. "I always have danger hunting me down like a hound on the scent of a fox. Can you tell if it's more dangerous than normal?" Her scientific mind gone, and her roots talking to her strongly.
At the tactile contact, the images swelled within her again. "This is a far more personal danger than ever before," Marie suddenly blurted. She wanted desperately to jerk her hand away, but couldn't. The voice screaming in her head again, like in the vision from Chakotay. Only this time she recognized the voice. It was Kathryn Janeway. "Captain, this is serious. Please, even if you don't believe what I believe, PLEASE take every precaution to safeguard yourself from harm."
Stunned Kathryn only nodded, and stood up. She would give the matter some serious thought. Perhaps talk it over with Chakotay, as he was the one she most trusted on the ship. Marie had told them that they would be together in the end. It had to be the man she was describing. Kathryn had held out, deep within herself, that someday they would be togther. She had to find him. Chakotay was more spiritual than she. Warmth washed through her as she left. Both she and Marie needed some time to clear their minds. Chakotay would know. What to do.
Even with the loss of tactile and visual contact with the Captain, the images still surged within Marie's mind. She saw as if she were the captain. She looked about, trying to find Chakotay. Suddenly raw red anger and pain welled up within her. Before her stood the man she'd been searching for, the man she cared deeply for. Only he wasn't alone. He didn't even acknowledge her presence as he wrapped his hands around the slim waist of Sam Wildman.
Chakotay pulled her close for a passionate kiss. Marie wanted to scream; she didn't want these images, nor did she know why they were still coming. Then the image shifted so dramatically it almost knocked Marie off her feet. She was in a darkened corner of the room, looking at Sam, who was smiling and talking, though she heard no words. And then her hand reached up to caress Sam's cheek. She recognized Chakotay's hand. Marie could see the emotions so clearly written in Sam's eyes. The woman was in love with Chakotay. And realization came to her in a blinding flash. Gone was the pain of her far-off husband.
Kathryn was not the woman in Chakotay's vision, Sam Wildman was. And again, a shift in perspective. Kathryn's eyes searching, blinking. It was obvious Kathryn Janeway did not want to believe what she was seeing.
Marie realized that this was that fork in the paths of both people. Yet she sensed further pain and betrayal. She shifted perspective yet again. This time from eyes she did not recognize. They watched intently as Kathryn's face drained of color as she watched Chakotay and Sam passionately kiss. They saw as Kathryn's heart broke, shattering into millions of tiny shards never to be made whole again. Finally watched as Kathryn turned and ran out of the holodeck.
Marie felt a hand on her shoulder. The tight squeeze brought her out of her trance. As she was being pulled out she felt something, as if she was the person she looked out through. Jealousy and pain so extreme washed thru her,ough knocking her to her knees. "Marie," the arms wrapped around her in concern.
A small child's voice echoed the call. "Marie, mon amie. Are you alright?" Marie's eyes fluttered open, and met a child's blue. It took her a second to realize she was looking directly into little Naomi Wildman's eyes.
The arms that held Marie so firmly in their grip pulled her back into a strong muscular chest. A soft, normally friendly, now very concerned voice filled her head. The words brushed her ear, and sent shivers down her spine. "Are you okay Marie?" Harry held her, as the shaking subsided. She took a second to try to calm the racing of her heart.
"I'm -- I'm okay. I just haven't eaten much, and sometimes my visions take a lot out of me." Not exactly a lie. Then Marie noticed the nervous look in little Naomi's eyes. "Well, Miss Naomi, have you come to have your future read?"
"Yes Marie." Naomi paused hesitant to ask. "I need to know something very, very important." As Marie was on the floor, at her level, she leaned to whisper into Marie's ear. "I need to know if Chakotay will become my new daddy?"
Marie looked into her wide blue eyes, could already tell the answer without any of her normal means of clairvoyance. Her vision told her all she needed to know. She moved into a more comfortable position, motioned for the girl to sit in her lap. It was more for Marie's own comfort than the child's. "Naomi, what do you think?" She looked up as Harry moved behind her, pulled her back to lean against him. This seemed so natural that she gave no thought to it. "You have a bit of the sight, Naomi," Marie continued smiling. "Did you know that?"
"What sight? Oh, you mean seeing Chakotay and Mommy kissing in the corner." Naomi giggled. "I was on Uncle Harry's shoulders, you can see very good up there."
Marie felt Harry chuckle behind her, a nervous sound. So he'd seen it too. Had everyone? Marie turned her attention to the little girl. "Naomi, I want you to do something for me." As she spoke, vision flashed in Marie's mind. She saw the captain stalking toward her quarters, blinded by tears of anger, humiliation, and betrayal. "I want you to close your eyes and open up your mind. Think about your mommy and Chakotay. Concentrate very hard, as hard as you ever have. You tell me what your mind and your heart tell you about your mommy and Chakotay."
The little girl closed her eyes tightly. Naomi's whole face contorted with the effort. Then she whispered quietly, "I see Momma and Chakotay dressed fancy, standing in front of Captain Janeway." Her eyes flew open, excitement in her eyes. "Momma was dressed in a white gown, and Chakotay was all fancy too. I had a pretty dress on." Naomi got up off of Marie's lap. "It looked like the party we attended awhile ago, when Ensign Springer got married." She didn't need to ask Marie what it meant.
Marie swallowed hard. "You see, you answered your own question, Naomi. But you can't tell anyone yet, okay?" Naomi nodded solemnly to this. "This is a secret till your mommy and Chakotay say it's okay to tell. Just you, me, and Harry will know for now." She didn't get a chance to finish. An image of Kathryn being grabbed just inside her quarters, slammed into the bulkhead filled her brain. Marie gasped, stiffening against Harry.
"Marie?" Naomi asked, scared.
"Naomi, go get a bowl of that fruit salad for Marie," Harry said quickly. "She's not feeling well. It'll help her feel better." He watched her leave, then turned to the woman next to him. "Marie? What is it? What do you see?"
What did she see? Kathryn struggling to break free, the synthehol fogging her judgement. Marie realized it wasn't synthehol, but real alcohol. There was also something else. Marie struggled to grasp it. The alcohol wouldn't have clouded her vision as badly.
"Chakotay, must get Chakotay." Marie cried softly as she clawed at Harry. She had to get to Chakotay. He would help. "Chakotay," She cried again and again. Harry lifted her up to her feet. She grabbed his hand, and drug him to where she knew Chakotay would be.
Harry's hand screamed in pain, as Marie's grip was fierce. "Marie, watch the hand," he told her, but she was too far gone to hear his voice. She was bent on reaching the first officer.
They reached the couple in the corner, sitting as closely together as possible without breaching protocols. It still didn't keep them from occasionally sneaking a kiss. "Chakotay!" Marie cried, collapsing against Harry, winded and wound up. "Chakotay, I need your help. The captain's vision..."
"Is her vision, Marie. Right now, I'm working on further fulfilling mine," came the reply. Chakotay wasn't even looking at her, had eyes only for the woman next to him.
"No, Chakotay, you don't understand. She's in trouble. You need to help her. This is your..."
"Not now, Marie. Kathryn's just fine. She's probably gone for the night already anyway."
Anger filled Marie at his callous attitude. She reached for Chakotay's chin, jerked it toward her. "This is your crossroads, Chakotay, the fork in your path. Kathryn needs your help. What are you going to do?"
Chakotay sighed. "If Kathryn needs me, she'll let me know. Now until then, please leave us alone."
Harry led Marie away, practically dragged her back toward her tent. She slumped against him, actually feeling the physical blows from Kathryn's unknown assailant. It came upon her, Tuvok. "Tuvok! The captain is in trouble! You have to help." Marie was at the point of begging the Vulcan.
Tuvok raised his eyebrow in reply. He had just decided to leave, when Lieutenant Lacouix had caught him. The Captain had otherwise left, and Ensign Kim was occupied. "Why would the captain be in trouble?" Marie could almost felt a flash of fear from him. Vulcan's didn't have emotion, but she knew it was just how far buried it was.
"Damn it Tuvok, do you have to ask?" Harry swore at him. "Even if her visions aren't correct, wouldn't be logical just to check it out?" Harry stood by Marie, holding her up as her strength was gone.
"Oh gods, he's hurting her," Marie murmured, shaking in Harry's arms. Her eyes clouded over as the visions became stronger.
"I will check in on her, as I was just leaving. You're right Ensign, it would be a good preventive. It would also show you how illogical it is to believe in fortunes."
"Just go, please." Marie begged her commanding officer. In her visions, she felt the blows. Tuvok put down his drink and walked out of the holo-deck. Marie jumped at the touch of a small hand on her arm. She looked down to see Naomi holding the half-eaten plate of fruit.
"Here Marie, for you. I had a couple pieces."
Harry smiled at Naomi. "Why don't you put that in the tent? I'll help Marie in and then we can all share what's left, okay?" He didn't want to leave the woman alone, not until he knew she'd be okay.
Meanwhile, Tuvok made his way quickly to Janeway's quarters. He did not believe in fortunes or fortunetelling, but Lacouix had hit on some very real issues of his. These were ones no one else knew of. His feelings for the Captain only surfaced in the deepest of his meditations. Tuvok quickly overrode the security codes for the captain's door. Stepping in, he saw her against the wall crying out with each blow she received. Tuvok reached for the man, spun him around. "Ensign McNeal, you will stop this action."
"Fuck you," the young man snarled and pulled away to return to what he'd been doing.
It was then that Tuvok could see Kathryn's ripped clothes, the ensign's opened pants. Anger swelled within him and he reached once more for McNeal, slamming the man into the wall with a loud crack. "You will stop this action immediately, Ensign." Each word punctuated by slamming the man's head against the wall, anger very apparent in the stoic Vulcan's eyes. Upon hearing Kathryn's ragged cries of pain, Tuvok released the man and moved to her side. Scooping her up in his arms, he began toward Sickbay. In the process he alerted security, and sent a detail to her quarters to detain McNeal.
Marie visibly relaxed as she watched the Captain receive medical attention in her mind's eye. Her vision of the two were fading, the crossroads had been chosen. Now if only Kathryn would open her heart to the man that truly loved her. Before her vision faded out completely, she glimpsed Tuvok fingering his unconscious Captain's hand. She now knew whose eyes she had been seeing through -- Tuvok's stoic eyes.
Marie was still seated on the floor of the holodeck as the fair went on around her. She look at Chakotay across the room. She heard a far off beep, and knew that he was getting the communication that the Captain was in sickbay. She saw the shock and guilt wash over Chakotay's face. He stood, and kissed Sam carefully on the cheek. He whispered something in her ear, then left her with a soft smile on her face. Then he exited, heading for sickbay.
Marie's image of him continued as he stopped outside of sickbay, tears in his eyes. She knew that he finally understood what he had really happened. He wiped them away, steeled himself, and walked into where he knew Kathryn would be. Chakotay stopped in his track, pain in his heart replacing the joy that he had felt minutes before with Sam. There stood Tuvok, by his Captain's side. Marie watched as Tuvok informed Chakotay what had happened, dropping the fingers that he had so carefully held. Ease fell over him, after he knew that she would be okay. However, the guilt might never go away completely. He felt as if he failed her in some way.
1 week later.
Kathryn called Tuvok into her office. While her body had healed, her mind had not. She had gone thru much in her life, but Marie's warning of this one shook her to her core. Somehow Lieutenant Lacouix knew. "Tuvok, I had a lingering question I need cleared up before I can close this business with McNeal," Kathryn replied, her face buried in the PADD. Something wasn't right. McNeal had died of his head injury.
"Yes, Captain, what can I explain?" Tuvok's monotone voice softly filled the silence of her ready room. He had dealt privately with his guilt over his lack of control over his emotions in that instance. In his mind he knew that he had used more violence than what was necessary in dealing with the drunk ensign.
Kathryn glanced up into Tuvok's warm brown eyes. The pain of Chakotay's betrayal, no longer fresh, had dulled into a fierce ache. "There is one thing I don't get, Commander. McNeal died from an extreme blow to his head, but he was humaniod and very drunk."
"Yes, Captain? That is correct." Tuvok carefully replied.
Obviously Kathryn had not been clear enough. "Tuvok, you are a Vulcan, you could have easily restrained a drunken man without killing him." Kathryn stood and walked around her desk to face him.
Tuvok stood there at attention, no emotion on his face. Inside he couldn't figure out the next logical move. Did he tell her, or did he omit the truth? If he said something, how much should he say?
"Tuvok," Kathryn questioned, sat on the edge of her desk. It was something she did, when she was less formal, when she was his friend.
"You are correct, Captain. I did use stronger force than necessary." It would be the only admittance that she would ever hear, the only admittance to him losing control over his emotions. He raised his eyebrow.
Suddenly Kathryn understood everything, everything that Marie's fortune had been trying to tell her. She took a step forward into his space. They were friends so this was normal, but this time something was different. The charged air sapped oxygen from Tuvok's lungs. Kathryn looked deeply into Tuvok's eyes for what seemed an eternity. She was searching for something, but she didn't know what. Almost unconsciously her hand reached up to caress his face. Tuvok's eyes closed. Kathryn was his only weakness. His head turned to the side unconsciously and he kissed the sensitive palm of her hand.
The end for a moment....comments questions???
BTW...J/C doesn't always mean they end up together...just stuff about the relationship.