Disclaimer: Thank God Paramount never did this to our beloved characters. I, however, had no such sense. Please forgive me.
Author's Note: Rocky didn't like the fact that I had nothing in my writing queue so she challenged me to write this. So, her fault. Many thanks to Rocky and Jerie for finding the strength to beta this one.
The news spread quickly through Voyager's grapevine: after nine months of waiting - some crewmembers insisted that it really had been nine years - the Captain was finally in labor.
"For sure this time?" Tom Paris asked as he jogged down the corridors of Voyager, Harry Kim on his heels.
"Samantha Wildman says she saw the Captain and the Commander entering Sickbay. The Captain was not happy," Harry said. Tom came to a stop in front of Sickbay.
"You know what this means," Tom said, "if the Captain is in labor-"
"It means she's going to have a baby," Harry said. He grinned. "Some medic *you* are."
"Don't forget our deal, Harry," Tom said. He'd known for months now that he'd be on call when the Captain went into labor and truth be told, the last thing Tom wanted to do was deliver a baby. Especially the Captain's. What if he dropped it?
Harry merely shrugged, a mischievous grin crossing his face. "I'll see. But Tuvok has the Bridge and you know how he is..."
"Talk him into it."
"No promises, Tom." Harry nodded towards the Sickbay doors. "I think you have a baby to deliver?"
Tom glared at his friend and entered Sickbay, dreading the task in front of him. Janeway's pregnancy had been difficult from day one. The Captain had been ill nearly every day with morning sickness; for some reason, her nausea lasted throughout the nine months. In addition, she had taken to fainting at regular intervals, thus necessitating constant medical care; Janeway, being stubborn, had refused the Doctor's prescription of bed rest as her stomach grew progressively larger. So large in fact, that B'Elanna had considered fitting the Captain with antigrav units to help with the weight of her stomach. At one point, B'Elanna had even suggested reengineering Voyager's corridors to make it easier for Janeway to pass through. She'd never dared to broach the subject with the Captain herself though, as there was the slight matter of Janeway's temper; unable to drink coffee for nine months had put her on edge, causing her to rage one minute and grow despondent the next. It was hard to read her mood and most of the crewmembers wondered - behind closed doors, of course - whether Janeway had a mental imbalance. Of course, no one had the courage to ask; quite frequently, Janeway could be found on the Bridge, seated in her chair, knitting baby clothes with very sharp and pointed needles.
"Ah, Mr. Paris," the Doctor said gaily as Tom walked towards him.
"I'm not too late, am I?" Tom asked.
"Not at all," the Doctor said. He nodded towards the Captain, who was dressed in a blue surgical gown. Her legs were propped up in stirrups, and despite the gray blanket covering her knees and thighs, not much was left to the imagination. Tom turned away; this was his *captain*, after all, and some things were better left unseen. Commander Chakotay was standing next to her, holding her hand, as he leaned down to mutter in her ear.
"Ah-koo-chee-moya..." Chakotay chanted, his fingers gently caressing Janeway's cheek.
"Commander, this is no time to be tickling the Captain!" the Doctor exclaimed. Chakotay looked properly abashed as he straightened up. Janeway groaned.
"It looks like she's doing very well," Tom observed, for the lack of anything better to say. What *did* one say when one was in Sickbay, trying desperately not to stare at one's half-naked Captain? The Doctor nodded as he held up a hypospray.
"Extraordinarily well, but this is Kathryn Janeway. I wouldn't expect any less," the Doctor said. "Come along, Mr. Paris, and make yourself useful."
"Actually, I've never delivered a baby before." At the Doctor's surprised look, Tom hastened to add, "Sure, I've participated in the act of making babies more times than I could possibly count, but I don't think I ever stuck around to deliver them." He paused. *Were* there little Tom Parises running around the Alpha Quadrant? He shivered.
"This is a good time to learn. You never know when you'll have to deliver a baby of your own." The Doctor smiled as he pressed the hypospray against Janeway's neck. Tom gulped. "It's a fine skill to have, Mr. Paris."
"How long will it be?" Chakotay asked anxiously. He pressed his hand against Janeway's forehead. "I'm afraid she's losing strength." At his comment, Janeway snarled and Tom was sure, if Chakotay's hand had been anywhere near Janeway's mouth, she certainly would have chomped it off at the wrist.
Janeway's eyes rolled back into her head. "This is *your* fault," she hissed at Chakotay. "I am a starship captain, dammit, not a breeding machine."
"I never said you were, Kathryn, my lov- OUCH!" Chakotay yanked his hand free of Janeway's. Tom quickly circled to the First Officer's side.
"Looks like you've got a fracture here and here... and here," Tom said as he scanned Chakotay's injured hand. He glanced admiringly at Janeway; her face was coated with a thin sheen of perspiration and she was grunting heavily. "You look, um, beautiful?" The comment earned him a glare from Chakotay.
"*Ensign*! *My* hand!" Chakotay yelled. Tom nodded; he knew better than to disobey orders. The last time he had, he'd ended up with thirty days in the brig and Janeway had ended up pregnant. As Tom scurried to get the osteogenerator, he remembered *his* first night out of the brig. Of course, he and B'Elanna had celebrated - for many, many hours - and then she'd mentioned that Janeway had been overwhelmed with guilt over her treatment of Tom.
"She's been spending a lot of time with Chakotay," B'Elanna had said as she'd run her fingers down Tom's chest. Tom barely heard her; how could he when her fingers were on a downward path? "In fact, I heard from Jenny Delaney that Janeway has been spending the night in Chakotay's quarters..."
"Hmmm..." Tom had replied as he'd leaned over to kiss B'Elanna.
"You think that they're finally-"
He'd squelched any further discussion on the subject of the Captain's relationship with her first officer, but six weeks later, Janeway, while snacking on a plate of pickled leola root, had made an announcement at the regular morning staff meeting. She and Chakotay would be getting married on the holodeck without further ado. Naomi Wildman would be the flower girl, Tuvok would be best man and B'Elanna and Seven both would serve as maid-of-honors. B'Elanna grimaced at the news, positive that something pink, ruffled and fluffy would be in her future. But before she could protest, Janeway had continued with her announcement. The Doctor, having demonstrated his talents as a man of the cloth in Fair Haven, would conduct the ceremony, while Neelix had been chosen as the caterer. Finally, Harry would provide the musical entertainment.
"And you, Mr. Paris," Janeway had told the chief helmsmen, "will design the program."
Tom had outdone himself with the holodeck program, creating a lovely rose garden next to an ocean; in the background, against the crash of waves, birds sang sweetly. Janeway had worn a beautiful white wedding gown decorated with seed pearls and diamonds. The train was six meters long - an inefficient use of material, according to Seven - and the strapless bodice was decorated with authentic Belgian lace. A sparkling diamond tiara, set atop of Janeway's flowing chestnut-red hair, completed the outfit. She'd never looked more beautiful.
In a hushed voice, B'Elanna had mentioned to Tom that Janeway had used up ten years' worth of replicator rations, along with Commander Chakotay's, to design the wedding gown; from now on, the Captain and the First Officer would have to eat in the mess hall with everyone else.
It had been a beautiful ceremony and everyone cried when Janeway and Chakotay swore their undying love to each other. They also cried when Chakotay and Janeway kissed. They cried when the Doctor proclaimed them man and wife. Yes, they had all cried. Even Tom. Especially when B'Elanna had caught the bouquet of white roses and baby's breath - after she'd elbowed Seven in the gut and knocked one of the Delaneys flat on her back. She'd glanced at Tom, moving towards him feline-like. Tom Paris had started to feel just a little bit nervous.
And then had come the announcement. Tuvok had just made the toast to the newlyweds, when Janeway rose and a silence fell over the assembled.
"We have some good news," Janeway had said, glancing down at her new husband, her eyes misting over. "We are pregnant! And we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our happiness and our love than with those of you who are closer to us than our own family and who have spent so much time and energy in matchmaking. We are forever in your debt. Thank you!"
The crew had stared, slack-jawed as Chakotay stood next to Janeway, his hand caressing her abdomen. B'Elanna had leaned over to whisper into Tom's ear, "I told you so!" Tom hadn't been able to answer; he'd been mesmerized by the scene of the First Officer leading Janeway out onto the dance floor, lip-synching an old Terran song. If Tom's memory served him right, the male singer was someone called Paul Anka.
Janeway screamed, breaking into Tom's thoughts. He jumped; he'd had *no* idea that the Captain had such strong and reverberating lungs. Must be standard issue with the Starfleet death glare, Tom thought.
"Doctor!" Janeway gasped, as Tom hurried back to heal Chakotay's fractured fingers.
"You're doing just fine, Captain, just fine," the Doctor said reassuringly. "Life signs are perfect. It looks like you're going to have three healthy and strong babies."
Tom blinked. "Three?"
"Three?" Chakotay asked.
The Doctor nodded. "Surprise! Captain, you're having triplets!"
Janeway struggled, trying to sit up. "What?" her voice was dangerously calm.
"Kathryn, my dear, my love, my beloved," Chakotay began. "There was once an ancient warrior couple, blessed with triplets as an expression of their deep, undying-"
"Oh shut up," Janeway snapped, "this is all your fault and you're never touching me again. Not even with that three-meter pole of yours."
Tom blinked. A three-meter pole? He tried not to look at Chakotay, but he had to admit a bit of curiosity. Without thinking, he blurted out, "Three-meter pole? That's pretty impressive, Commander. Um, I would have never guessed-"
Chakotay glared at Tom. "She's talking about my javelin, you idiot."
Tom arched an eyebrow, but said nothing. He'd gotten into enough trouble for one day.
"AGH!" Janeway screamed. She grabbed the Doctor by his uniform, yanking him dangerously close to her.
"Doctor," Janeway said briskly, "why is it only *now* you're telling me about triplets? You never said anything about triplets before. You *could* have said something. Or at least given me a reason for the 75 kilos I put on."
"I wanted to surprise you," the Doctor said. He glanced at the fetal monitor. "But don't worry, Doctor, all three babies are doing well."
Janeway leaned back on the biobed, groaning. "Triplets... at my age?"
"Yes," the Doctor said. "But don't worry, you're perfectly healthy and at your age, you can have dozens more children if you'd like."
Chakotay blanched. "Dozens?"
The Doctor nodded. "Yes, indeed. The Captain's fertility is at its highest peak at the moment." The Doctor checked some readings on the monitor and patted Janeway's hand reassuringly. "In fact, I've done some research and I've discovered that there are several species which regularly experience multiple births. In fact, for the Kon'Aia, triplets are the norm and as such, the females of the species have three breasts and a lucky few have four or five."
Tom's head jerked up. "Three-breasted women? Are they here? In the Delta Quadrant?"
Even Chakotay seemed mildly interested. "Are they blond?"
"I knew I should have had him fixed," Janeway said under her breath as she glared at her husband.
"Well, at least you get it all over once," Tom said helpfully. "Unless you plan to have another dozen children." Janeway glared at him, but then her face contorted.
"Ahhhhhh!" she yelled. Chakotay shouted as well and Tom, with a sigh, retrieved the osteogenerator. It was going to be, he realized, a very, very long afternoon. He retreated to a corner, osteogenerator in hand.
"Can you give us - her - something for the pain?" Chakotay asked the Doctor.
"I'll tell you something about pain - ahhhhhhhh!" Janeway cried.
"Breathe, darling, my brave and beautiful female warrior, breathe!" Chakotay urged.
"No, you breathe, you idiot, you sorry excuse of a first officer!" Janeway screamed back. The Doctor glanced at Tom. Tom lifted his arms in a helpless gesture; he was only a medic, what was he supposed to do?
"Doctor?" Chakotay asked plaintively. "How about a fetal transport?"
"I thought you said you wanted to this naturally," the Doctor said.
"Naturally? Ha!" Janeway bellowed. She grabbed at Chakotay's arm, but the man adroitly stepped to the side. "Do you know what this feels like? It feels like someone is pushing a bowling ball through my nose!"
"Now, sweetie pie," Chakotay said, "anthropological studies show that women have given birth naturally for over 350 million years-"
"You want to talk natural, in some species the female *kills and eats* the male right after mating! And now I understand why!" Janeway grabbed Chakotay's jacket, pulling him closer to her. "Why is that the one and only time you show any animation at all, I end up pregnant with *triplets*?"
Tom nodded. The Captain *did* have a point. Who knew Chakotay had had it in him?
"I want something for the pain NOW!" Janeway yelled. "That's an order!"
The Doctor briefly consulted his tricorder. "I already gave you something for the pain, Captain. And you're about 20 centimeters dilated at this point. Babies should be coming out any time."
"Maybe," Tom said in a low voice to the Doctor, "we ought to consider fetal transport?"
"Why, Mr. Paris, that's the easy way out! And since when does our Captain Janeway take the easy way out about anything?"
"You heard what she said. She's in pain." Tom looked over at Chakotay, who was cradling his arm against his chest. Dear God, had she broken his hand *again*? "She's having triplets and she *is* the Captain."
The Doctor considered. Janeway looked pale, her hair flopping over her forehead - unusual, as her hair rarely moved, not even in the heat of battle.
"Think about it, Doc," Tom said. "What if something happens to the ship while the Captain is in labor? This could go on for hours!"
At that moment, the red klaxons went off. Tom grinned. Good old Harry, coming through for him...
"Chakotay to Tuvok. What's going on?"
"We've encountered twenty Viidian ships," Harry's voice radiated serenity over the comlink.
"Twenty?" Tom made a beeline for the door. "You're going to need Voyager's best pilot-"
"Stop right there, Ensign," the Doctor said.
And then Tuvok's voice, scratchy over the comlink, was heard asking, "What is the meaning of this klaxon, Ensign Kim?"
Tom paused in dismay. Oh that Vulcan and his complete inability to go along with a plot...
"Some tactical officer you are Tuvok," Harry continued, "If you can't identify a red alert when you see one..."
"Ensign, my sensors do not indicate-"
"What's going on over there?" Janeway bellowed. "Tuvok? AGGGHHHHH!"
"We've got the situation under control, Captain, but unfortunately, Commander Tuvok has just sustained a blow to head and will need a medic to evaluate his injuries," Harry said smoothly. "Don't worry about me, Captain. I can handle the Viidians. Good luck with your delivery."
"I'll be right there, Harry," Tom said. He glanced over his shoulder at the Doctor. "Sorry, Doc."
"No," Janeway said fiercely. "You stay here, Ensign. That's an order."
"Captain, you heard Harry-"
"No," Janeway said. "I need you here. You're the best medic on this ship."
"With all due respect, Captain, I must disagree." The Doctor looked vaguely insulted.
"Indeed," Harry's voice came over the comlink once again and Tom could almost hear the grin in his friend's voice. "Your presence is not required on the Bridge. We will manage without you. I will keep you informed. Kim out."
"Doctor, given the circumstances, I really think we should consider a fetal transport," Tom urged, mentally making a note to *kill* his best friend later on. Or at the very least, find a way to rob Harry Kim of *his* replicator rations for the next thirty years.
Janeway screamed then, not only interrupting Tom's plans of revenge but also overpowering the incessant wailing of the klaxons; somewhere, a glass shattered. The Doctor nodded.
"You're right," he said. "In the interests of Voyager's security, fetal transport it is."
While the Doctor set up the procedure, Tom quickly healed Chakotay's hand.
"With all due respect, sir," Tom said in a low voice, "you may want to consider standing at least a meter away from the Captain."
Chakotay flexed his fingers. "I think that's good advice, Ensign."
"You-" Janeway pointed her finger at Chakotay - "are never, ever touching me again."
Chakotay glanced at his hand once again. "Yes, ma'am."
"Now, Captain, just relax, and we'll have these babies out of you in just a few minutes."
"How long?" Janeway demanded.
The Doctor glanced at his equipment. "Eh, about ten minutes, you'll be a proud mother."
"You've got six minutes. I've been carrying around three babies for nine months and I can't take it any more. I want them out. OUT! Longer then six minutes, I'll have B'Elanna decompile your program. Are we clear?" Janeway glared. Tom wilted and scurried to stand next to Chakotay.
"Isn't she beautiful when she's angry?" Chakotay asked lovingly, his voice barely audible over the klaxons.
"Yes?" Tom asked, uncertain what the answer ought to be.
"I love her so much," Chakotay said happily. "And these babies will complete our love as nothing else possibly could."
"Mr. Paris! Prepare the incubators," the Doctor commanded. Tom nodded, relieved to be doing something other than chatting with Commander Chakotay; under the best of circumstances, Chakotay was a poor conversationalist and in this particular situation, he'd gone from being dull to well, sappy dull. Tom bustled about, pulling out the three incubators. Luckily, Janeway wasn't having quadruplets; Voyager's Sickbay could only handle three babies at a time. Tom had barely finished the first incubator when a baby materialized in it. It was a girl and she was pink, smiling, her blue eyes wide open and her legs kicking as she let out a hearty bellow. Obviously, Tom mused, she got her lungs from Captain Janeway.
"Oh, oh." Janeway's eyes teared up. "Is it okay?"
"It's a beautiful baby girl," Tom announced. He set up the second incubator and then ran to the supply closet to grab a pink blanket. He had barely returned, when the second baby - another girl - made its appearance. Tom quickly swaddled the first one, handed her to Chakotay and then ran back to the supply closet to get another pink blanket. The third baby was born as Tom finished wrapping up the second baby girl. The third was also a girl, but this one had a tattoo on her forehead.
"They are all perfect," the Doctor announced. He held up a tricorder. "Thirty toes, thirty fingers. And one tattoo." Tom looked at the babies and had to admit that they were cute. One had red curly hair and green eyes, another one had black hair with blue eyes, and finally, the one with the tattoo, had brown eyes, dimples and chestnut brown hair.
"Oh they're beautiful," Janeway whispered as she held two of the babies in her arms. Immediately, she began to breastfeed them, requiring absolutely no instruction at all; the Doctor looked disappointed as he'd been obviously looking forward to this particular event in the Captain's life. "Oh Chakotay, I love you so much. This is the best day of my life. I'm finally complete. I'm married to the man I love and I have three beautiful, beautiful babies." The Captain burst into tears as the Doctor handed the third baby girl to Chakotay.
At that moment, Harry's voice came over the comlink.
"Harry to Chakotay."
"Go ahead, Harry."
"The Viidians have been defeated," Harry announced. Chakotay blinked.
"All twenty of them?" Chakotay asked, incredulously.
"Yes, Commander, all twenty. I came up with an innovative new way of destroying the Viidian ships without firing a single torpedo. I don't think we'll be seeing *them* again. However, I can't make that same promise about the Borg. Voyager can now stand down from red alert."
"Thank you, Mr. Kim," Chakotay said. "This is good news indeed. We'll celebrate later on."
"I look forward to it, Commander, and may I suggest a promotion?" Harry asked hopefully.
"We'll talk about it later," Chakotay said sharply.
Meanwhile, Janeway seemed completely oblivious to the conversation which had just transpired; she was still crying, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"What will you name them?" Tom asked as he grabbed a box of tissues for Janeway.
"Good question." Janeway glanced at Chakotay with reddened eyes. "Oh Chakotay, aren't they beautiful? I'm so happy. And this one, she looks just like you. We'll call her Taya."
"Kathryn, I love you so much," Chakotay whispered. He leaned down and gently caressed one baby's head. "This one we'll name after you. We can call her Katie."
"And this little one?" The Doctor asked. He puffed out his chest slightly. "After all, I *did* deliver the babies..."
Janeway and Chakotay looked at each other.
"I was thinking, perhaps," Janeway said slowly, "a combination of our names... Chaka."
"Chaka?" Tom squeaked.
Chakotay gazed adoringly into his wife's eyes. "Yes, that's perfect. Chaka Kathryn Harriet Neelixa."
Tom was taken aback. "Huh?"
Janeway, still looking adoringly at Chakotay, said, "That's an awfully long name for such a tiny baby. We'll have to come up with a nickname - like Chaka K.H.A.N Janeway Chakotay. Yes! Chaka Khan. Perfect!"
The Doctor was mortified. "You'd name the baby after Neelix? I'm the one who *delivered* three healthy babies-"
Janeway glared at him. "But you didn't *tell* me I was having triplets. That was a vital piece of information, don't you think?"
"And Neelix did keep the Captain well-supplied with pickled leola root," Chakotay said quickly. "You know how much Kathryn *needed* pickled leola root..."
"And Harry? What did Harry do?" the Doctor demanded, his tone revealing how deeply insulted he felt.
Chakotay and Janeway looked at each other in amazement. Janeway shook her head in disbelief.
"Isn't it obvious? He just saved us from the Viidians," she said. Tom groaned. When he got his hands on Harry...
"So, tell us about the babies," B'Elanna said. She leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table. They were in the mess hall and everyone was talking about the Captain's triplets. "When can we see them?"
"Tomorrow," Tom said. He glanced at Harry. "You're certainly the man of the hour. First you saved the ship from an alleged Viidian threat and now they've named one of the babies after you. And I have no doubt, there's probably a promotion in store for you as well. Not bad for a little bit of subterfuge, even if it meant stabbing a friend in the back." Tom laid emphasis on the last part of his sentence, but Harry seemed oblivious.
"They named one of the babies after me?" Harry looked genuinely surprised, not to mention pleased. At that moment, Neelix came by with some pickled leola root.
"Here you go, Ensign Kim," Neelix said, placing the plate in front of Harry. "The ban has officially been lifted now that the Captain no longer requires ten pounds of leola root a day. You are once again free to indulge in this tasty dish and I know how much you've missed it eating it. And after your heroic efforts on the Bridge today, you certainly deserve a treat. Enjoy!"
"Um, thanks," Harry said, blanching at the foul-smelling stuff. He poked at the dish with his fork before pushing the plate away. He got up from his chair. "I'll see you on the Bridge. I just remembered, I've got something to do..."
B'Elanna glanced at the pickled leola root congealing on Harry's abandoned plate. "If I ever get pregnant, I hope I never get a craving for that stuff."
Tom gulped. B'Elanna pregnant? He considered the possibility for a moment - they hadn't exactly been careful in three years they'd been together - and then shook his head. Nah, the odds of Klingon-human conception, without medical intervention, were extremely high. Still, would it really be so bad to have a little piece of him, a little piece of her, all wrapped up in one little bundle? He imagined a baby with her ridges, his eyes. And now that he knew *how* to deliver a baby... And then he remembered the sound of shattering glass, Chakotay's hurt hand and decided that perhaps some things were best put off for far, far away in the future. At any rate, it wouldn't hurt to *practice*.
"So," Tom said huskily, leaning forward, "got anything planned for tonight?"
B'Elanna only smiled at him. As they left the mess hall, he was sure he heard her purr.
~ the end or... do you want more?
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Lyrics to Paul Anka's "You're Having My Baby"