Conspiracy, Sweet Conspiracy
By Gates Hepburn
The admiral raised his eyebrows, he couldn't believe what he just had heard, it almost sounded like someone was pounding on his front door and calling his name.
He listened for a second.
Maybe he was just going crazy.
He listened for another second. This time he heard what was most definitely a bang followed by a muffled "Owen."
If he hadn't fallen asleep on his couch tonight, he'd never have heard it. He got up to check the door only to find Gretchen Janeway standing behind it.
"Gretchen, what are you doing here? Haven't you any idea of the time?"
She quickly forced a PADD she had been holding into his hands as he ushered her inside. "I'm sorry but I had to get this to you, Owen. It HAS to be in the morning's data stream to Voyager."
"I already have your letter to Kathryn," he reassured with a smile.
"This isn't for Kathryn."
Later that same day…
"And one for you, Mr. Tuvok. And one for you," Neelix was bustling about the bridge handing out letters from home to the crew. "Oh, Captain, there's another one here from your mother."
Kathryn looked up from the PADD she already held from her mother and reached out her hand to take the one in question.
"It's not addressed to you, though."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Here you go, Commander." Neelix handed the PADD to Chakotay before bouncing away.
"Why is my mother writing to you?"
"I have no idea, Kathryn. Maybe moral support?" he rubbed his arm after Kathryn hit him with her own PADD. "Not safe here, I'm going to go read this in my office."
Laughing, Chakotay quickly made his escape, leaving Kathryn open mouthed and beyond curious as to just what that letter did contain.
From the safety of his own office Chakotay wondered why on earth Kathryn's mother was writing to him? He sat down at his desk and began to read the letter.
I know we've never spoken, but from all that Kathryn has said about you, I feel as if I do know you, too.
I wanted to thank you for all you have done for her. Knowing that you're there to support her, has made not being there for her myself a little less painful. Knowing she's in safe hands is a balm to my very soul…
The letter continued on thanking him and sharing a little about herself with him, he had to smile at just how alike Gretchen and Kathryn were. Then as he got to the bottom he read:
Kathryn, can be a bit hotheaded some times. Once she gets her mind set on something, it can be hard to dissuade her (I've no idea where she gets that). I've attached something to this letter that I hope can help with those times. It's always worked for me… and I know they're her favorite. Don't you ever tell her I said so!
Thank you again, Chakotay!
Chakotay smiled and let out a small laugh. So Kathryn had told her mother about him and more importantly, she liked him. Maybe there was hope.
He locked the PADD away in his desk for later. He had a feeling he was going to need what was attached to it tonight, and hopefully it would be enough of a distraction that Kathryn wouldn't press him too much on why her mother was writing him.
A few days later…
Owen and Gretchen were sitting at her kitchen table, sharing a plate of homemade cookies and cups of coffee.
"Gretchen, you never did tell me what was so important about that second letter. You made it seem like getting it into that stream was a matter of life or death."
"Oh, but Owen it was."
"Who's life was at stake?"
"Gretchen, you don't have grandchildren."
"Oh I know, Owen." She winked at him before refilling his coffee and continuing, "The grandchildren I'm hoping the caramel brownie recipe I sent to Chakotay buys me."