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The lights were still on when she returned to their quarters, as she knew they would be. With a weary sigh she removed her outer jacket and sat the sofa. Maestro, happy to have her home, made quick work of settling on her lap and purred in satisfaction when she began to stroke his gray fur.

Beverly emerged from their bedroom, wrapped in a light pink robe, and smiled in greeting. Stifling a yawn she tucked a few strands of her tousled hair behind her ears.

"Go back to bed," Kathryn admonished. "You’ve been working too hard lately. You need your rest."

Beverly laughed at this; Kathryn of all people had no right to scold anyone for over-working or not getting enough sleep. She sat beside her and placed a finger over her lips, gently stifling the remainder of Kathryn’s complaint.

“How did it go?"

Kathryn let her head drop onto Beverly's shoulder before answering. "It was wonderful to see him again. But he's not the one."

Beverly’s fingers began to run through the other woman's hair. "What happened?"

"He’s marrying Seven, and they want to start a family of their own. One way or another."

Beverly let her hand drop on to Kathryn’s shoulder and pulled her closer. “That’s wonderful news. Hopefully we can make it to the wedding, duty permitting.”

Kathryn sat up straight and looked her in the eye, wondering if Beverley was deliberately trying to change the subject. "We decided at the outset that there were only two men we would initially consider.”

"Jean-Luc." Beverly took a deep breath. "I'm beginning to have second thoughts about that. Can you imagine how stubborn a child with the combined genes of Kathryn Janeway and Jean-Luc Picard may prove to be?"

"Not to mention intelligent, charming, good looking..."

"You make a good point."

Maestro moved onto Beverly's lap and settled there. She stroked him as Kathryn began getting ready for bed.

When she heard the shower switch off she settled Maestro on the sofa and waited for Kathryn under the bed covers, her pillow still warm, and knew that this was the way it was meant to be.