TITLE: What Might Have Been: Threshold
PART: 1 of 1
AUTHOR: ReAnne Moreau
PAIRING: J/P of course :-)
RATING: strong R for bad language and lizard lust
ARCHIVE: any place as long as you leave my name on it. Geordi,this includes Jupiter station.
SUMMARY: This is a sequel to Caretaker and takes place in an alternate universe where Tom and Kathryn became lovers immediately after they met. This one is told from Tom's point of view after the events of Threshold.
Star Trek Voyager, Tom & Kat are all the property of Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended and I'm not making a penny off this. I'm just going back to the
beginning and doing it right this time.
Our secret isn't much of a secret anymore. Now the Doctor knows. Hell, after what he saw in sickbay there wasn't any point lying to him. He wasn't the first, though.
Strange as it sounds, the first person I told that I was Kathryn Janeway's lover was Megan Delaney. It was all Harry's fault really. Harry asked me to fix him up with Jenny and I went along with it. He needed somebody to distract him from thinking about how he'd been framed for murdering that alien scientist, and Jenny Delaney is a major distraction.
Then Megan started to pout because she didn't have a date and Jenny said she wouldn't go out with Harry after all unless I made it a double date with Megan and ... Somehow I ended up with a date with Megan Delaney. Worse, I had to explain to my girlfriend why I had a date with Megan Delaney. How do I get myself into these things?
Kathryn wasn't happy, but she couldn't think of a way out of it that didn't look suspicious or make me look like a jerk. I confess I kind of liked it that she was jealous. So I agreed to go along with the plan and find an excuse to leave early. Problem was, Megan had plans of her own. Somehow we ended up alone in the living room of their quarters. I don't know how Jenny whisked Harry away so fast.
Megan thinks of sex the way most people think of tennis: It's fun and good exercise if you do it regularly. I have to admit that if it hadn't been for Katie I wouldn't have objected in the least. But I kept thinking of the trust in her eyes when she looked at me. And as lovely as Megan was, she couldn't begin to compare to the woman waiting for me back in my quarters. So when Megan started trying to inspect my tonsils I found myself blurting the whole thing out. So much for my smooth touch with the ladies. She nearly busted a lung laughing.
She was a good sport, though. She even agreed to tell people that we had something going on, at least until she found somebody interesting. It seems my reputation followed me from the Maquis; everyone was starting to wonder why I hadn't been on the prowl since we got to the Delta Quadrant. I was getting along a little better with the crew, but telling them I was the captain's lover would have undone a lot of the progress.
At first Kathryn wasn't pleased that I'd told Megan, but she got over it. I almost wish she hadn't. They've become friends and sometimes when I walk into a room they start smirking and change the subject. Just what has Kathryn been telling her about me?
I eventually told Harry our secret, so at least I have somebody to rant to when Kathryn and I hit a rough place. Like when she flirts with Chakotay. She does the same thing with a lot of people. It's
pretty innocent - a combination of her naturally affectionate nature and mischievous sense of humor; it doesn't mean a thing and everybody knows that. Everybody except a certain first officer who follows her around like a lost puppy. I keep telling Kathryn that it's going to be a problem, but she doesn't see it that way; she thinks I'm just imagining things. She wants Chakotay as a friend and, more important, an ally to help unify the two crews. So she spends time with him, takes in interest in his culture. She thinks he just wants to be her friend. Mark my words, the shit's going to hit the fan one of these days.
I always figured our first big fight would be about Chakotay, but it wasn't. It was about a pair of boots. My boots, left in the middle of Katie's bedroom floor. She got out of bed in the dark to go to the bathroom and ended up kissing the carpet. I said something brilliant, like, "You wouldn't have tripped if you'd had your eyes open." Bad idea. We broke up for an entire month.
It had nothing to do with the boots, or with her being a neat freak who always nagged me about putting stuff away. We were both scared half out of our wits by how serious things were getting between us. Then there was my obsession with Chakotay and, to a lesser extent, with Mark. I couldn't help thinking that either one of them deserved her more than I did, and that one day she would realize it. Kathryn's own obsessions intersected mine: Mark and Voyager. She's admitted that it's finished with her ex-fiance, but I know she's not finished feeling guilty for having cheated on him. And for some reason she thinks it's a major sin for a captain to get involved with a member of her crew. I think Dad must have done a number on her about that one. Probably caught her kissing some enlisted guy and went ballistic.
One of the other things we have in common is that neither of us likes to feel out of control. And whatever it was that drew us together seemed to be dragging us in deeper and deeper. I think we broke up partially to prove to ourselves that we could stop this if we wanted to. Well, we could and we did. We were also completely miserable. That's when I broke down and told Harry.
He just stood there staring at me. His mouth was moving, but nothing was coming out. I know he looks up to Kathryn as a mentor, but he acted like I'd just told him I was having an affair with his mother. I like Harry; he's my best friend. But sometimes the ‘naive young Ensign' thing drives me nuts. You'd think he'd been raised in a monastery. He got over it eventually, although he still gets
uncomfortable if I mention anything remotely sexual about our
relationship. He's nothing like Megan; *she* wanted all the gory details.
I've never missed anybody as much as I missed Katie that month we were apart. It was like trying to walk around without one of my legs. I could see it in her face, too, and that was even worse. We managed not to let it show too much on the bridge, but several people asked if we were still friends. That was the one part of our relationship that we could show the public. We enjoyed each other's company and liked to spend time together. People got used to seeing us having lunch in the messhall or shooting pool at Sandrine's. She beat the pants off me the first few games; I'd been getting lazy without a worthy opponent. I didn't mind losing a bit. The crew never knew the real stakes of our games: Whoever won got to be on top. On the pool table.
I guess Megan and Harry finally got tired of the two of us complaining to them, so they lured us to the holodeck and locked us in - it was Sandrine's, of course. We yelled at each other for a while. Then somehow we ended up kissing, which led to wild fucking in the middle of the dance floor, which solved nothing, but felt great. We eventually ended up in my private apartment above the bar. Snuggled up in bed together, we finally talked out our problems. They didn't magically disappear, but at least we agreed to face them together. That was the first time I told Kathryn I loved her.
Things were pretty quiet for awhile. At least as quiet as they can be when you're lost in space, being chased by Kazon, with the occasional Vidian showing up to try to swipe your spleen. Kathryn and I settled back into our routine and even began talking about making our
relationship public. For some reason the woman had decided she loved me and wanted to tell everybody about it. We were going to take the gradual approach, pretend to start dating, let people get used to seeing us as a couple and see what kind of reaction we got. There was no need to let on that we'd gotten naked the day we met.
Then the whole warp 10 thing happened and we nearly lost each other. My memories of the transformation are pretty fragmented. Mostly I remember pain and confusion, but a few images stand out. Kathryn, in Sickbay after everyone had left, on her knees next to the force field, sobbing. Myself running through the ship after I'd escaped. It was pure instinct that led me to her. I could *feel* her presence; it was like a light shining in the dark. Once she was in my arms I felt whole again, despite the fact that my body was falling apart.
I made sure she was unconscious while she changed. There was no need for her to go through the pain and disgusting physical symptoms. She woke up confused, but reassured by my presence.
The change didn't seem to upset her any more than it did me once the whole thing was over, which shows how drastically our minds had been altered. She was delighted with her tail and iridescent scales and I was delighted watching her discover her new body. She was beautiful.
I remember the softness of her scales, warm silk as they glided against mine. I stroked the tip of my tail along her spine and felt her shudder with pleasure. Her whiskers were adorable the way they
curled up at the ends. They tickled as she nuzzled me sweetly. She drew me closer, her tail gently cradling my body as we wrapped
ourselves around each other. Kathryn can express such tenderness with the smallest touch.
She was there inside my mind, or I was inside hers, it didn't matter. Her personality was still essentially the same, still my Kathryn, full of laughter and passion. I could feel her ever-present curiosity. She was eager to explore the changes in our bodies and minds, a little afraid of what we would find. I took the initiative and slowly opened my mind to her, trembling a little for fear of her reaction.
She rooted around joyfully, like a child in an attic full of
treasures. Finally she came to the place I guarded most closely, the image of herself, both as she had been and as she was now. Taking a deep
breath I let her feel everything that was in my heart.
Kathryn's eyes were no longer capable of producing tears, but I could hear them in her thoughts. Impulsively, she opened herself to me, flooding my mind with a blaze of love and tenderness. No two beings have ever loved the way we did that day. We lay there in the sun, joined in body and mind, reveling in the joy of our union.
I have never known anything as erotic as feeling Kathryn's pleasure as I entered her body. If her Human reactions were anything like that intense ... Katie's eyes widened in astonishment when she experienced my sensations for the first time.
"Is *that* what it feels like?" Her voice in my mind was still the deep throaty purr that always thrilled me. "Oh, god, more ... show me *everything* you're feeling."
We clung together for what felt like an eternity, each movement
unbearable ecstasy. I still can't separate the memory of her climax from mine. All I remember is a searing, mind-shattering blaze of heat that left us trembling in its wake. In the aftermath our minds were joined on a deeper level than they had been, an invisible thread that stretched between us.
The next several days were spent lounging in the sunlight, chasing each other through the murky waters of the swamp and learning each other's thoughts. Gradually we were able to pick out individual memories and relive them together. We soothed each other's pain and enjoyed the pleasures. And of course we made love.
The transformation changed the way we thought, although we remained basically the same people. Time had very little meaning. We lived out what seemed to us half a lifetime on that small planet, yet in Human terms it was less than a month. Kathryn and I spent very little time thinking about Voyager, even though it had been the center of our lives before.
We had no need for machines, for the computers and replicators and diagnostic equipment we had known. Using only the power of our minds we could manipulate the environment around us. Complex mathematical calculations were as easy as adding 2 plus 2. We could invent stories and follow every possible plot twist, experiencing them all with greater intensity than any holodeck adventure. We were able to share each other's knowledge and memories without losing our individuality. If there had been an entire civilization of creatures like us the shared 'database' would have been awe-inspiring. I remember having the strange feeling that there was a potential in us for doing even more than we were. The kids certainly thought so.
I suppose with all our enhanced mind-power we could have controlled our fertility, but somehow that little detail slipped our minds. It's not something we were used to worrying about, except for remembering to get our shots once a year. Considering that we had nothing to do except swim, eat and make love, it's no surprise that Kathryn got pregnant.
Now I know how my dad feels. The kids were a big disappointment to both of us. There was no cute baby stage; they were independent almost from the time they were born. Of course, they knew everything that we did, so there was no need to teach them anything. Worst of all, they considered us a couple of primitives.
My theory is that our bodies de-evolved because our brains had advanced to the point where they could perform functions that once required physical strength and dexterity. The resulting bodies were no more than unimportant vessels for our minds.
The kids wanted to take this evolution a step further. They foresaw a day when their descendants would be pure intellect without having to deal with the disgusting needs of a physical form. They couldn't understand why Kathryn and I didn't share their enthusiasm for that future.
As for me, I like having a body. I enjoy the warmth of the sun, a tasty meal, not to mention hot sweaty sex on a regular basis. The kids looked down on us because Katie and I could still take pleasure from the simple activities of corporeal beings. That was pretty much the situation when Voyager found us. They were considering moving to a different location so they wouldn't be tainted by their primitive parents, and we weren't trying to talk them out of it.
We didn't recognize Tuvok and Chakotay when they showed up to take us back to the ship. Chakotay tells me I levitated him straight into the pond before Tuvok stunned me. Maybe I *did* recognize him on some level.
Kathryn and I woke up in Sickbay after the Doctor had been working on us for a while. The process of becoming Human again was almost as disgusting as becoming a lizard. Doc was very apologetic about leaving our offspring behind. According to his scans, their DNA was even farther down the evolutionary path than ours and he didn't think it was possible to change them without risking serious damage. Besides, I heard they put up one hell of fight when Tuvok tried to get near them. They definitely get that from their mother.
We told everybody that we couldn't remember much of what happened on that planet. The truth is in a heavily classified report to Starfleet Command that someone might see in about 70 years when we get home. People seemed pretty embarrassed by the whole situation and tried not to bring the subject up in our presence. That didn't work with Megan and Harry, though. Sometimes our friends can be a real pain.
The first night we were well enough to get out of bed, Kathryn crawled in with me after the Doctor shut himself down for the night. We were in a room off the main Sickbay with the door closed so nobody was likely to wander in. She snuggled against my chest as if she planned to stay there for a while.
"I miss my tail."
I assured her that her backside looked just fine without it. It seemed strange to have to actually speak out loud. Not that I minded the sound of her voice. I could listen to Katie read a technical manual and love it; her voice just does things to me.
We were quiet for a long time, but finally I had to ask her something that had been on my mind. "Do you ever think about having kids?" I admit it's not something I'd ever thought about much before. As
unpleasant as our recent experience had been, it had gotten me thinking.
She looked up at me with those big gray eyes. "Only if they're yours."
I just nodded and held her a little closer. That's when I realized there was no going back. This was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
It's strange, but what happened on the planet helped us both get rid of a lot of insecurities about our relationship. I knew exactly how Katie felt about me because I'd been inside her head and seen for myself that she loved me. Katie seemed more confident about my love for her, too.
We were both wide awake, since there hadn't been much to do all day but nap. Somehow we'd managed to get out of our hospital gowns without even thinking about it and ended up curled up naked under my blanket. We usually slept naked, so it felt perfectly natural. It felt so good to hold Kathryn like this again, I couldn't stop my hands from
caressing her skin. Then she was kissing me and nibbling my neck, and we were lost. Our bodies still ached from the reverse transformation, so we didn't get too wild. It was long and slow and gentle.
Kathryn gave a final groan of satisfaction and collapsed onto my chest, sighing contentedly. I untangled my fingers from her hair and draped it over her shoulders, glad she'd had the Doctor accelerate its
growth. My heart eventually stopped pounding and I felt myself
drifting off to sleep. We promised each other we'd clean up and get dressed in a few minutes.
That's the way the Doctor found us in the morning, spooned up together on my biobed, naked as the day we were born. It took us several minutes to convince him that we weren't having a relapse and that he shouldn't call Security to have us restrained. It's amazing how authoritative Katie can be in nothing but a bed sheet. Of course, we had to come clean about our relationship.
We might as well get things out in the open. This secret isn't much of a secret these days. Harry, Megan and the Doctor all know and Kes keeps giving us these pleased grins whenever she sees us together, so she must have figured it out for herself. The only thing I'm worried about is Chakotay's reaction. That could be trouble.