Title: Matriarchal Capacities
Series: VOY Rating: PG-13 (for one word)
Disclaimer: ST: VOY and all related characters owned by Paramount Studios, no copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Voyager is home, Naomi is hiding in jeffries tubes, and the ladies of Voyager have found a not so surprising bond.
The jeffries tube was dark, and warm, and Naomi Wildman wanted it that way. Curling her legs under her dress primly, the half-Ktarian gripped Flotter tightly and squeezed her eyes shut, trying to block out the voices outside.
"They've already cut the power sources, Captain, there's simply no way I can beam her out, even from an outside source, you know they put up the security dampers to prevent looting." Lieutenant Torres voice rose. "Somebody has to go get her."
"That won't work well, B'Elanna, you know it." The Captain interrupted. "All she'll do is go further in, and maybe manage to hurt herself.
"If only Seven were still aboard." Samantha Wildman murmured, tonesburrowing toward outright worry.
"She had no way of anticipating this." The captain countered, tones short. "I dismissed her before the rest of the senior staff."
"Well, Captain, who do you suggest we call? She won't let her captain or her own mother in, Neelix is a quadrant away, and Seven is out of comm range..." Torres trailed off.
"With his bedside manner?"
"You're right." Defeat fell into the gravelly tones.
Naomi sighed, fingers knitting around the toy. Adults. "I want to talk to Harry."
"Harry?" Her mother spoke up, peering in the tube, face framed by the outside light. "Honey, just let me in,
Ensign Kim is busy."
"I want Harry." Inching backward, the little girl frowned.
"Young lady, don't move a single inch more." The captain ordered. "Or you'll never hold a Captain's Assistant position again. Why Mr. Kim?"
"He's not his parent's either."
"What?" The Chief Engineer broke in. "Naomi, that makes very little sense. You're going to have to clarify your position if you expect us to help."
The tiny lips puffed with an exasperated breath. "Harry's from the other Voyager like me. I don't want to meet Greskrendtregk because I'm not his real daughter. Maybe he won't like me. Harry might be scared too."
"Damn." Janeway's tones lowered, but not enough to be inaudible. "Sam, has she ever mentioned the rift before? Given you reason to think she felt unwanted?"
"Of course not!" Her mother's tones rose. "I told her about the duplication because I felt she had the right to know, but I'd never give her any reason whatsoever to believe she wasn't wanted, Captain! I've never treated her differently...just as Ensign Kim has never been treated differently."
"But we are different." The child spoke up, moving slightly forward. "Don't you think somebody outside Voyager might think so? You had to love me. Greskrendtregk doesn't."
"Naomi." Lieutenant Torres knelt at the entrance, shining a light in. "It's perfectly natural to be nervous about meeting your father. You've never seen him. Look at me...I haven't seen my Dad since I was a kid, and I'm scared to death."
"Klingon honor, really."
"Klingons don't get scared."
"Must be my half-humanity showing." The engineer smiled. "We have something in common, don't we?"
"Still want Harry?"
"I guess not." Crawling forward, the half-Ktarian peered out suspiciously. "Are you sure Greskrendtregk will want me?"
"Naomi." Samantha Wildman admonished. "You know better. He's raved about seeing you in our comm conversations. Now come out."
Brows knitting, the Captain's Assistant stared up at the Chief Engineer. "If I come out, will you go with me to meet my Dad?"
"If you'll come with me to meet mine." Holding out a hand, B'Elanna Torres nodded solemnly.
"Well." Kathryn Janeway placed her hands on her hips as the tube door clatter shut. "Now that we've settled that, is this everyone?"
"Voyager is ready to be shut down, we're the last crew aboard, Captain." Harry Kim stepped up from behind, grinning down to the little girl. "Care to walk with Uncle Harry to the shuttle, Naomi? It looks like it's time to talk about our special bond."
"He's right." Samantha nodded, touching her daughter shoulder. "It looks like I can't teach you everything you need to know. Go on."
"Sam?" Watching the pair disappear down the corridor, the Captain came to the young mother's side.
"I'll be fine, Captain." Wildman shook her head, smiling awkwardly. "I just never dreamed...it's not often I let myself think about the other ship and crew or my lost baby...sometimes reminders are just unexpected. I had no idea she felt so strongly about being a duplicate..."
"Well, I suppose I've affected the same attitude regarding Ensign Kim." Patting an arm gently, Janeway fell into step beside the xenobiologist, tones thoughtful. "Sometimes it takes a child to remind us of our weaknesses in the capacity of..."
"Motherhood, Captain?" Torres called from behind.
"In a manner of speaking, I suppose so." The Captain smiled slowly. "Motherhood."