Captain Kathryn Janeway tossed her long gray-streaked
chestnut braid over her shoulder, rolled her stiff shoulders and
stood up.
     "Okay, Keshia.  You take the con for awhile."
     "Aye, aye, Aunt Kathryn."  Janeway smiled.  Somehow, the
children never could get the hang of ranks, and Keshia Torres-Kim
was special.  She'd inherited the beauty and brilliance of both
her parents - the delicate ridges on her forehead just enhanced
her warm dark eyes and golden skin.  
     "If we get an answer, tell me immediately."
     "I will, Auntie."  Janeway's skirt swished as she walked to
the turbo-lift.  When did uniforms become silly, she wondered.
     "Deck five."
     Chakotay was in the nursery again.  He looked up from his
task and smiled. 
     "Hello, Kathryn.  I'm just changing my grandson."
     "Last I looked, he was *my* grandson."  She picked the baby
up, kissed him and sat down in the rocking chair to cuddle him.
     "How's Nana's little angel, huh?  Who's a beautiful boy?" 
Dignity?  Who needed dignity?  There was a baby to play with.
     "They're all my grandchildren, and they are all going to
call me grandpa...where ever they end up.  And so will their
brothers and sisters."
     "Do you ever regret that none are actually yours?"
     The soft light glinted off the golden ring on Chakotay's
right hand as he picked up a baby girl with cafe' au lait skin
and pointed ears.  The ring's twin was orbiting a lovely planet
70 years away.  He shook his head.
     "No.  I think...I would still have been the children's Uncle
no matter what."  It was true.  The children (some were in their
twenties now, but they were still the children) called the other
adults Aunt This and Uncle That, but Chakotay was simply Uncle to
all of them.  And he loved that role.             
     "You and Tom never wanted children?"
     "We didn't have time to find out.  I was surprised when you
and Jack decided to have children."
     She remembered that.  It was twenty-five years ago, right
after Harry and B'Elanna lost their first baby.  She was
surprised herself.  The two of them had gone through so much -
the hormones and the painstaking engineering and B'Elanna's
difficult pregnancy.  She'd actually run engineering from a chair
the last two months.  And then...the baby was stillborn.  And all
they could talk about was trying again.  They had Kesia on their
third try. And Janeway had a human husband who very much wanted
to raise a child.  She smiled at that thought.  
     Jack Pellon was quiet and gentle and she loved him more than
she'd ever loved Mark at home.  Her son Tommy was nothing like
his namesake.  He'd inherited his father's chocalate skin and
black hair and both their loves of science.  He was in the botany
lab now with his wife Irene, the daughter of Jenny Delaney and
Ensign Batehart.  Raymond in her arms was their second child. 
But Chakotay was surprised.  He seemed to have had an image of
Janeway as the warrior woman, not the mother.
     "Didn't think I had it in me, did you?"
     "I'm glad you did.  You make a lovely grandmother, Kathryn."
     "Do you ever think that maybe we could have made a
     "We have.  We've been best friends for thirty years." 
Janeway smiled.  They rocked the babies in silence for awhile. 
Then T'Palna began to fuss.  Chakotay checked her diaper, and
when that proved dry, replicated her some Vulcan mother's milk of
the proper temperature.  Yes, Tuvok and Vorik's daughter was
     "Anyway, there was Tom.  So long as he was around, I
couldn't love anyone else.  And when he died, I kn