Deanna realizes Beverly is happiest meddling and nurturing, and Tasha has never had that, so gets them on Betazed somehow and sets up a romantic picnic.
And they both think it's absurd and are very awkward but then they like, find an injured turtle and decide to heal it.
Beverly is all, "I'm not a vet?" But Tasha is very worried about the turtle and Beverly thinks it's super cute so she agrees to try.
But while she's figuring out what to do, the turtle gets out of the box they put it in and they don't know where it went.
And Tasha is distraught because how do you lose a turtle?! They're so slow there are sayings about it! And it was injured! And now it's going to die and it's all their fault!
Beverly discovers Deanna packed wine and pours Tasha a glass. She calls it a prescription.
And Tasha feels very foolish to be so so upset over an animal, but Beverly understands this has little to do with the turtle.
They get pretty tipsy and unpack the rest of the picnic and have a wonderful afternoon and they swim in the waterfall and come across a whole colony of turtles and decide it's the universe telling them it's okay.
And the next day Deanna asks Beverly "how the date went?" and she's confused and then realizes That was a date! and immediately runs to Tasha's quarters and asks her to dinner and Tasha is even more confused but says "Yes, absolutely."
Beverly sets up a whole candlelight thing and it is Very Clearly A Date and it is still awkward at the beginning but by the end they are making out on the sofa.
And then Wesley walks in and stammers "Uh when did that happen???"
And Beverly says, "well there was this turtle," and they both start laughing and Wesley turns pale and runs away and demands his own quarters the next morning.
If Beverly gets sent back:
Philippa takes her under her wing (after determining she's not a threat) and at first Bev is into the adventure, but as the weeks and months go on and it becomes clear she's stuck, she starts to get depressed. She has a son! And a career! She's caught in an ethical conundrum – she has too much knowledge to practice in the past, but it's wrong not to save lives if she can. And she never got to tell Jean-Luc how she really feels.
So Philippa opens up about her tragic past, which could well include a lost child and/or lover, and they emote together and fall asleep in each other's arms.
And the next morning Beverly throws herself into her new life. And they start having breakfast together. And then dinner, too. And they fall asleep together a few more times. And after one, Philippa wakes up to Beverly watching her with a thoughtful expression and she worries the doctor is going to spiral again, but instead she spontaneously kisses her.
And Philippa is momentarily shocked but then leans into it because finally.
If Philippa is sent forward:
The Enterprise finds her, and they are like W O W, you famously died at the start of the big Klingon war, welcome to the future, hope we don’t have to send you back to die like we did the other one.
And she's amazed at how big and bright the Enterprise is, and how many people there are, and how there is a community of family and non-Starfleet staff. Amazed and pleased, so pleased. And she meets the senior staff and they are all nice, but then Worf comes in and Philippa's eyes go wide and then she breaks down in tears because that means peace happened!
So Beverly does a physical and Deanna does a psych eval, but then she's dragged into endless debriefings and discussions with Picard and an admiral or two from Command.
And that goes on for a few weeks but finally Beverly intervenes to say, "hello, this is a person and she needs time to adjust, and breathe, because it's traumatic to leave your time period and find out everyone you care about thinks you're dead."
So they let Beverly have her, and she and Deanna help her find information about what happened to her friends and family.
And then Beverly takes her to the holodeck and they recreate the Shenzhou and Philippa breaks down and Beverly scoops her up into a tight embrace.
And Beverly opens up about her tragic past and they emote together and Beverly takes her back to her quarters and offers to stay the night if she doesn't want to be alone and they fall asleep in each other's arms.
And then the reverse of the above happens with Philippa throwing herself into her new life and Beverly waking to a wistful Philippa and a spontaneous kiss finally.
Voyager is flung back in time – probably in some ill constructed plot to get home. So the Shenzhou is just casually out patrolling and exploring when POP! Voyager appears, in disarray of course, and it does look vaguely Starfleet but also nothing they've ever seen before. They go to yellow alert and hail.
Captain Phillipa Georgiou of the starship Shenzhou? Kathryn Janeway knows who that is, and what that means. They may be within warping distance of Earth, but their home is still more than seventy years away. So what's she going to do about it?
Option 1: wait for the time cops to show up. Appropriate but boring.
Option 2: beam Georgiou over to Voyager and give her some intel that could save her life and/or ship and/or stop a war. Tempting, but against many rules.
Option 3: limp off to Earth, just to get a glimpse before being dragged away yet again. And/or land the ship and refuse to be dragged away yet again. Probably not a great idea either way.
Option 4: pretend to be captaining a secret prototype, get faux Disco era uniforms, beam over to meet living history while not breaking any temporal prime directives, just, you know, lying a lot. Definitely the most fun option, but probably ill advised.
Option 5: admit to being from the future but refuse to say anything more, still get faux Disco era uniforms (so as to blend in and not give any ideas about Future Fashion) and beam over to meet living history.
This is the one she goes with.
Kathryn beams over with Tuvok (he refuses to let her go without security), Harry (they need some parts to make Voyager fully operational and B’Elanna can't come cuz she's Klingon and in Disco era they're at war), and Tom (he wants to meet his not dead grandmother – Janeway agrees but says he can't use his name so he introduces himself as Tom Torres).
Captain Georgiou walks into the transporter room and it's a toss up which of the four has the biggest heart eyes. Philippa sends Harry to engineering, hands off Tuvok and "Torres" to Michael, and brings Kathryn into her ready room.
Philippa offers Kathryn tea, then changes her mind and switches the offer to coffee, which impresses Janeway. Janeway points out one of Philippa's books, an obscure story she read on the recommendation of Admiral Paris, which impresses Georgiou. Something clicks, the kind of chemistry that doesn't come along that often. They talk and talk and talk, lose track of time in every sense of the phrase, until they are interrupted by the report that the parts are installed, Voyager is operational, and it's time for the away team to leave.
Harry praises the crew of Shenzhou to her captain, Tuvok wishes Michael peace and long life, and the two beam away. Tom tells Captain Georgiou it was incredible to meet her and stands at attention on the transporter pad. Kathryn says she agrees with him and takes her place on the other. Both want to say more, but can't. Both watch Philippa with longing in their eyes as the transporter works its magic and they disappear back to their own ship. Voyager warps away into a nearby space cloud to return to their time (B'Elanna figured it all out while they were on their sojourn).
Tom visits Kathryn's ready room with a request: please tell him everything she learned about Philippa Georgiou, what she said, how she sat, what kind of person she seemed to be.
Kathryn tells him everything – well, almost. She leaves out the part about Philippa making her feel like a giddy school girl and how she fantasized about… well, she left that part out for obvious reasons such as she shouldn't discuss sexual fantasies with her helmsman especially when they involve his grandmother. But she tells him everything else and Tom leaves content.
Kathryn sits on her sofa to stare at the stars. She knows it's unscientific and ridiculous but back in the Delta Quadrant they seem dimmer. More melancholy. She watches them a long time, pondering fantasies and grandmothers and journeys and dreams and stories that never were, but might have been.
Wesley joins the maquis.
Wesley ditches the Traveller to join the maquis and ends up stranded in the Delta Quadrant (and the Traveller leaves him there to teach a lesson) and Wesley Crusher is a member of Janeway’s Ex-Starfleet Gang!
He starts out as Tom's rival, and B’Elanna's and Harry's for that matter, and at some point early in the journey Chakotay has to take him aside and tell him he has to let go of his anger, his ego, his need to please people, his determination to prove himself… he has to let go of all of it or it will destroy him.
And Wesley's like – "I was raised on the Enterprise, okay? I don't know how to do that." And Chakotay says, "well, I can't believe I’m saying this but, you should spend some time with Tom Paris. I think he can help you. And I think you can help him."
So Wes and Tom start hanging out, designing holoprograms together. It takes a bit to get on the same wavelength but once there, they click (and the holoprograms are stellar. Also! Wesley comes up with a mobile emitter for the Doctor in season 1).
And one night, it's late and they're tired, but giddy with the work and don't want to stop, and they start talking about fathers and captains and admirals and expectations and regrets.
Wesley says it always feels like he's drowning. His voice is heavy, he sounds like he's drowning, too.
Tom wants to tell him he understands, but the words get stuck in his throat. Finally he just says, "yeah." And then he kisses him. And it's desperate and hungry and needy and sudden but somehow also soft.
They don't speak again for hours.
Kes is feeling lost and lonely and it manifests as a rage like a supernova that rips the fabric of space-time. Wesley and the Traveller currently exist within the fabric of space-time and notice. The Traveller ignores it – his task is to train and protect Wesley – but Wesley can't. Someone is hurting, and in a very familiar way. Against the Traveller's advice he seeks out the presence and finds Kes.
Now that he's here, Wesley doesn’t quite know what to do, but his Starfleet training kicks in so he introduces himself and asks if she needs help.
Kes doesn't answer, so Wes sits awkwardly beside her and offers to listen, or go if she wants him to go, or… And he shrugs and waits and worries the Traveller was right and he should have left well enough alone.
Kes looks over and holds out a hand, which he takes, still awkwardly, and then they are pulled into each other's memories (like when the two gelflings touch for the first time in The Dark Crystal) and they realize how alike they are.
Both deposited onto a starship in their formative years, and, based on a nebulous concept of their potential, given immense responsibility and authority for someone so young.
Too smart for the kids and too inexperienced for the adults, they didn't fit in and grew up with no real peers, though a lot of mentors, which they internalized as expectations.
Separated from family. Lonely often. Cultivated relationships with machines.
Admired Starfleet … but it wasn’t where they belonged. Did they belong anywhere?
Hated by fans. Blamed for bad writing. Driven off the show. Still bullied and belittled to this day. Never given their due. Deserved, and still deserve, better.
When they break apart they find they can talk easily, as if they are the closest of friends who have known each other for years. As if they are what's always been missing: peers.
Wesley brings her back to Traveller space alpha and tells his teacher he has a new student. The Traveller is not given a choice, but it turns out having two of them makes everything better. He fears the day when they act on their obvious attraction, but that turns out better than expected, too. All the stress and anxiety of their small lives fades as they join together to become something greater than any of them ever imagined.
Beverly literally bursts into tears when she meets Kes, the omnipotent intergalactic healer her son has fallen in love with. She could not be happier.
Kathryn tells Chakotay no one in the universe is good enough for Kes, but it's kinda cute she chose a Tom-Neelix mash up.
Tuvok tells Kes it is a good bonding. She agrees.
Voyager gets home.
Kathryn has succeeded, and she even saved Seven, Chakotay, and Tuvok from their "Endgame" fates. It’s a huge and hugely important victory, but it also means the break up of their family, which is incredibly difficult for Kathryn, especially now that Tuvok is returned to his wife and kids, B'Elanna and Tom have a new baby, and Seven and Chakotay have paired off. Kathryn is home, but Kathryn is lonely.
Janeway is required at endless debriefings about everything that happened in the Delta Quadrant, as well as panels to discuss what to do about their maquis, borg, and holoprogram crew members. Her sister moves in to keep her company through that chore, which is as annoying as it is comforting, but Phoebe is insistent and Kathryn is grateful. This inevitably leads to Janeway confiding in Phoebe all the stuff she can't tell Starfleet. A great deal of that is about Seven and eventually Phoebe straight up tells her “you're in love with her.”
Janeway answers, "no, absolutely not, that's not what this is – I mean, I love her, sure, but I'm not in love with her, that's absurd."
And Phoebe just looks at her, with that exasperated younger sister expression, and Kathryn's eyes go wide because oh no, she’' in love with her.
She doesn't say anything for a very long time. I mean, it's still a questionable relationship: she's still younger, and emotionally even more so, still figuring out humanity and who she wants to be, and still her subordinate, and still dating Chakotay maybe probably, like they were married in the other timeline right? She doesn’t remember but. Still wrong!
Phoebe thinks all of that is silly and if she's learned anything from being trapped in the DQ it should be that waiting doesn’' work out! It takes weeks, months, but eventually that's the line of thought that works on her. Kathryn decides to tell Seven the truth.
Once decided, Janeway is quick to follow through. She asks to speak with Seven alone, and lays it out. She is very clear that she doesn't expect anything in return, maybe doesn't even want anything in return, but she has to be honest and also, Seven should know that she's important, that she's loved. She deserves that more than anyone.
At the very end of her confession she blushes, and it is so Not Janeway Like that she laughs self-consciously and is thus distracted when Seven kisses her forcefully and full on the lips.
(At this point Seven and Chakotay have amicably ended their relationship because they realize it was actually based on their feelings for the captain more than each other. But he was an excellent first romance and she learned a lot.)
Kathryn is shocked for thirty seconds. Then she gets over it and gives in, finally, to the feelings she's been harboring for her ENTIRE CREW for seven + years – harboring and suppressing and like all things ignored that long they explode. And it is beautiful.
All of Voyager celebrates because finally. Harry owes Tom 250 replicator rations.
Archer and Trip were lovers prior to Archer assuming command of Enterprise. They broke it off because Archer was uncomfortable having a sexual relationship with someone under his command. Trip and T'Pol have the relationship we see on screen.
After the death of baby Elizabeth, Trip and T'Pol are grieving, of course their relationship is rocky. And of course they would blame it on incompatibility rather than grief.
But in a right and proper version of the universe, Archer would notice, understand, and interfere. Archer can be nearly as much of a meddler as Janeway (and Trip), he just hides it better (because Archer cares about appearances way too much).
He talks to them separately first.
Tells Trip, "I've known you a long time, seen you with plenty of people, including me. I know you and I know you in love and I wouldn’t have chosen this for you, but here we are. Talk to her. Tell her about the grief, the guilt, the fear, the anger. I know how much you want to shield her from it, but that's not fair to either of you, and if you don't say something you will regret it for the rest of your life."
Tells T'Pol, "No one wants you to be someone you're not. That's not what this is."
And T'Pol says "Everyone wants me to be someone I'm not, except maybe you."
And Archer gets that look he sometimes gets, like he's an immortal burdened with knowledge of a future he can't understand and he's not allowed to change, but asks her to "Just listen," and she agrees.
Trip, well, trips, over his words, but once he starts he can't be stopped (Trip is Actually Terrible at concealing his feelings).
And then, having facilitated their open dialogue, Archer makes to leave but they tell him to stay. And he does, forever.
Data comes to Geordi for relationship advice (Geordi is probably the worst possible person to give relationship advice but Geordi is his bestie, and Data doesn't know any better).
Geordi takes it very seriously, and sets up lessons, while simultaneously going on about how it has to be natural and organic and he should trust his instincts.
They go to the beach, they have a romantic dinner, maybe a boat ride. A potpourri of Geordi Dates, and at each one he tells a story about how he really liked this girl and it didn't work out.
And Data listens, in that Data way, and asks questions, and on their sixth or so outing he observes that dating is fun.
And Geordi's like "not in my experience!" and Data says, "are you not having fun?"
And Geordi shakes his head and answers "of course I am, but we're not dating, we're just pretending to be dating."
And Data cocks his head and says "what's the difference?"
And Geordi feels super awkward and explains "it has to do with feelings and attraction and desire and physical intimacy and all that stuff."
And Data says, "ah, you do not want to date me because I am an android."
And Geordi gets upset because "of course that's not what I meant! Data, you're my best friend! And I love you! And I know you are perfectly capable of proving your affections, which are REAL. I just don't want to date you because, you know."
And Data's like, "...no?"
And Geordi sighs and says "I'm tired, can we talk about this tomorrow?"
And Data agrees, of course.
So Geordi goes to get a drink and a pep talk from Guinan. And she listens and then swats him and he says "Hey!" and she swats him again.
"Geordi," she says, "when was the last good date you went on?" (He always ends up in Ten Forward for a drink and a pep talk from Guinan after his inevitably disappointing dates.)
"That’s not the point," Geordi argues.
Guinan raises an eyebrow. "What is the point?"
Geordi doesn't answer. He thinks about it all night.
In the morning, after the staff meeting, he approaches Data and apologizes.
Data says "there's no need," but Geordi says "I want to make it up to you." He suggests the beach.
Data agrees, but reminds Geordi they already went to the beach.
Geordi says, "yeah, but this time it's a date."
They meet at a conference where they are both presenting. Post-Voyager, post-Nemesis.
Geordi is particularly lonely due to the loss of Data, B'Elanna is having more trouble adjusting to life in the Alpha Quadrant than she wants to admit.
She doesn't know where she fits in. On Earth things are stable and she has time to think, which makes it harder because she hasn't had that in….ever? She's married into Starfleet royalty and has a kid, none of which she ever imagined, and she's overwhelmed. Chakotay is teaching. Tom followed Janeway to the admiralty, works as her aide. B'Elanna works with Harry at HQ – a temporary assignment but one that doesn't seem to have an end date, and he figures out she's spiraling and suggests the conference. Discussing robotics with peers, as opposed to dealing with Starfleet regulations, her new extended family, and a toddler, will be good for her.
Post presentations they end up at a bar, both avoiding the crowd, and start to discuss their work. They disagree about something, and their conversation gets very heated. Eventually B'Elanna’s like, "I came here to relax!" and storms off.
And Geordi runs after her and apologizes and wants to make it up to her, and she's like "it's fine, but I want to be alone."
Geordi says, "I don't." And there's something in the way he says it that makes her pause, and then he says "Data was supposed to be here with me."
And B’Elanna's like UGH I don't want this but Tom, Chakotay, Harry, Janeway, Tuvok…everyone would stay, so she stays.
They get a booth in the back and order food. Geordi doesn't want to talk about Data so they talk about Voyager. B'Elanna opens up to him as she hasn't to anyone since they got back. Sometimes a stranger is easier to talk to. She starts slow, but she's really needed this, and eventually she's admitting – upon threat of dismemberment should he repeat it to anyone – that she hates Earth and misses the Delta Quadrant. Voyager, while lost, was the only place she ever felt she belonged. She has a great life and she should be happy but she's not. She's lonely and angry and resentful and ashamed.
And Geordi doesn't know what to do with this, but he does his best to be supportive. And it is fumbling and awkward and B’Elanna says "Ha ha, you remind me of Harry."
And Geordi looks blank and B'Elanna starts telling him how Harry has been so great, and so has Geordi, and they should be friends, maybe even date that would be cute. She's a little loopy at this point.
And Geordi is all, "Ha ha, thanks I guess? But if I was gonna date anyone on Voyager it would be you!"
And she's like "whoa boundaries, don't make this weird!"
And he says "Sorry!" And they start to laugh in order not to cry but it doesn't work and then they are both simultaneously laughing and crying in a corner booth of some hotel bar surrounded by their peers and they run away and Geordi doesn't know where to go, just that they need to escape, and they end up in his room.
B'Elanna collapses on his bed. Geordi paces in a tizzy. He has a probably drunk, definitely depressed, married, Klingon half-sobbing in his bed? He gets her a drink of water.
B'Elanna sits up to drink it and meets his eyes over the glass and says, "You know if I wanted to ruin my perfect life sleeping with you would be one way to do it."
And Geordi's like …..??? And a tear slips out of her eye and Geordi swallows and says, "I think we should call Harry."
And B'Elanna nods and curls into a ball and Geordi asks the computer to locate Harry Kim and tells him, "um, I'm with Lt. Torres and she kind of had a breakdown..." and Harry's honestly been expecting this and he arrives asap.
And Harry gathers her up and says he's here to help and everything will be fine now, and B'Elanna agrees to go with him.
Harry thanks Geordi and then B'Elanna tells him, "hey I still want to hear about Data, and also I have some ideas about synthetic synapses I want to run by you" and Geordi is amazed that after all that she remembers?
And she hugs him and he whispers, "Boundaries," and she laughs. She goes home and tells Harry the truth, and Tom, and things get better.
She contacts Geordi a few weeks later and they meet for lunch and talk about synthetic synapses and they start to collaborate and become good friends. Eventually Geordi and Harry start dating, and they are godparents to Miral's little brother.
Worf is dropped back in time. The Klingons are nothing like what he knows and the humans consider him an enemy.
Discovery picks him up and he is imprisoned immediately, to be interrogated and then tried or held in Starfleet Gitmo. Lorca is delighted. Then Team Science (Stamets, Michael, and Tilly) figures out he is from the future and it adds a whole extra layer of usefulness to poor Worf. He is trapped.
Michael befriends him. Not on purpose, she really was gathering intel, but the more she learns, the more she realizes they are kindred spirits.
(I noticed right away that Michael has a very similar backstory to Worf. Not only were they raised in different cultures than their own, but he was orphaned when Romulans attacked his colony, she when Klingons attacked hers. I still can't figure if this was intentional, but I really like it. Plus, Worf had to go through an ostracization from the Klingons that mimics Michael’s current ostracization from Starfleet. They are little alike but they have so much in common.)
She starts making noise about the sanctity of the timeline, Worf's rights as a Federation citizen, and the fact that it is Just Wrong to hold him captive and force him to help destroy his ancestors. What if the Klingons wanted you to help kill Zefram Cochran?
But it becomes clear she's not winning the argument so she takes things into her own hands. She convinces Team Science to figure out how to use the spore drive to bend time. And they install a little one in a shuttle.
Michael breaks Worf out of the brig and gets him to the shuttle, she explains how to make it go and tells him to escape. He hesitates because her life is already terrible and doing this puts her even more at risk. They are arguing about it when Tilly pops in to say "OMG they know!!"
Michael says "GO!"
Worf says "Come with me!"
Tilly says "We don’t have time for this!"
And the three of them get into the shuttle and blink away.
But it's an imperfect science and they end up in the wrong time and meanwhile back on Discovery, Lorca's like, what’s better than a ship that can zip around all of space in the blink of an eye? A ship that can zip around all of space AND TIME in the blink of an eye. "Make mine do that too."
And Stamets hates his life. But he does it.
And then Lorca is going to like, go back in time to stop Klingons from even existing or something. So Stamets gets a message to Michael and then it's basically Timeless where Lorca is Garcia Flynn and Michael is Lucy and Worf is Wyatt and Tilly is Malcolm and THAT IS AN A+++++ ARRANGEMENT.
After Spock reconciles with his father, Amanda decides to host a family gathering.
It takes some doing to coordinate everyone's schedules but Amanda has been waiting for YEARS to get her family back and she is tenacious. She tells Spock and Michael to bring their friends, the more the merrier.
Spock brings Kirk, McCoy, and Uhura and his family can't decide which of them he's dating.
Spock SIGHS that he is "not dating anyone, thank you."
But Michael's pretty sure that Uhura at least has a thing for him, and she likes her, and worries about her little bro, so she decides to meddle (it's the Amanda in her).
So Michael spends the weekend trying to nudge Nyota and Spock towards each other but Nyota misinterprets it as interest in her (Spock is just wholly exasperated) and is flattered and a little intimidated but decides to throw caution to the wind and make a move.
Michael is surprised, because that's not what she was thinking at all!, and it gets really awkward, Nyota runs off embarrassed leaving Michael to brood and realize a) she's totally into her and b) she's probably ruined any chance.
Spock finds her, and this is also awkward, because they haven't spoken in a while, but they start talking and suddenly hours pass.
They get around to the subject of Nyota and Michael blushes and Spock raises an eyebrow and Michael explains the whole mess.
Spock tells her the Nyota he knows will not hold it against her, and he thinks it's a good match.
Bolstered Michael asks to speak with Nyota and they go for a desert walk or something and slowly the awkwardness fades and when they return, despite being totally Vulcan about courtship and not even holding hands, everyone notices a difference in their relationship right away.
I'm going to pretend Starfleet has annual conferences that last a week and are held at various different planets and space stations across the galaxy. All bridge officers are expected to attend unless their ship is on patrol, which rotates so no one ship is absent two years in a row.
Various captains have various reactions. Pike's a company man so he goes without complaint. Lorca's ambitious so he goes to be seen. Kirk finds any excuse possible to avoid them but Picard legit enjoys the seminars. DS9 is chosen to host one year because they only ever send Bashir. Janeway gives the keynote at the first conference after Voyager's return. But, back to the topic at hand, Georgiou enjoys them and Cornwell finds them stressful.
There's a big gala for the brass. Captain and up. Katrina's nursing a drink, she doesn't really like crowds or many of her co-workers. She's watching (pre-war) Gabriel being his charming self. And Philippa appears at her side all, "come up with me instead."
Katrina blinks, "what??"
Philippa winks. Says, "I can tell you're as bored as I am and I'm going to save you from terrible decisions. Top of this building is an observatory and we're going."
Katrina can't come up with an appropriate response. So they go.
Philippa babbles about stars and telescopes and her family legacy and "isn't it weird how stars can be seen for years and years after they explode? The science isn't weird, of course, it's just science, but the reality."
Katrina laughs. "Yes, reality is weird."
Eventually they leave the observatory, and end up in Philippa's room for drinks. But they don't get to drinks, kissing starts as soon as the door is closed.
In the morning, Philippa wakes her with room service. Katrina's embarrassed, Philippa tells her to stop apologizing for going after things she wants. Something she's needed to hear.
It's not a romance. Not even a regular thing. But that first time is not the last time.
Philippa dies in an explosion of battle. Sometimes Katrina finds herself looking at the sky, trying to find its light among long dead stars.
It happens in the interlude in between Tom's disgrace and prison.
He's cut off from family, self-destructive and empty, with no sense of purpose, doing whatever odd jobs he has to to get his next drink and maybe fly again.
She's on vacay and Mr. Homm broke his ankle and she needs a replacement valet yesterday.
She's desperate and he's available, he's desperate and she's available.
They take a train together because they both appreciate the past and they start to roleplay a little. They land on 'the Duchess and the young con man who wants to seduce her for her fortune'.
It's so fun it's addictive. They start turning heads. Boundaries are crossed but it's all the game, it's not their fault they’re so good at it. At some point truths start leaking out. He's been unloved too long, and she's been so lonely. Neither can tell where the fantasy ends anymore but then maybe it doesn't matter. They're happy.
Eventually they have to return to reality.
But with Lwaxana Troi in his corner, Tom's life vastly improves. She gets him hired into the Betazoid Space Fleet and he rises rapidly through the ranks. He gets in touch with his sisters and his mother and when he's made captain of the Betazed Ambassador to the Federation's ship, his father invites him home. With Lwaxana’s urging, they mend fences.
Tom never goes to prison, never gets lost in the Delta Quadrant, is an adopted uncle to any little Riker-Trois, and has a beautiful Betazoid wedding of his own (probably to a shipmate).
Tilly approaches him in the mess hall with the intent to befriend him because he's connected to Michael, and once she started watching him she realized he was kind of isolated and maybe lonely.
And he is interested in getting to know her because she's Michael’s roommate, and apparently they are close now, and that's interesting. She is interesting, because she is so open, so different from him. And he is lonely.
And once they started talking they bond over captaining ambitions, and she gives him insights about the crew, and he helps her navigate through the boring parts of starship duty (I expect it's difficult for her to focus on weekly reports).
They start having breakfast together weekly and at first people think what an odd couple, but then it becomes a familiar, comforting sight.
One day, some months into their arrangement, Saru is injured and wakes up in sickbay to Sylvia on one side of his bed, and Michael on the other.
He's surprised, he didn't realize being friendly meant he had friends. Michael gets it, but Tilly rolls her eyes.
Michael catches him up on ship's business, then excuses herself. He thanks Sylvia for coming to see him. She says he's silly to think she wouldn't and kisses his cheek before leaving.
Saru watches her go, realizing Oh, that's what a ‘crush’ feels like.
In the beginning, when they were first assigned to share a room, it took a few weeks to adjust to each other. Gaila is very open and excitable. An extrovert. Secure in her body, her physicality. Nyota is quieter. She's down for a party or going out for a drink with the crew, but just as happy to stay home and read. She's also an overachiever and takes her studies very seriously. But they respect each other and their differences and once they work out a system, it's smooth sailing.
Gaila constantly tries to fix Nyota up with people, trying to tease out her type. Part of it is the puzzle of it all. Part of it is that she wants Uhura to have fun and also wants them to have fun all together. Part of it is that she's a playful people pleaser and she just has a lot of affection for her roommate.
Nyota avoids many of these but sometimes she can't take Gaila's pouting or really does need a break.
One time Gaila thinks she's found someone perfect. He's smart, an engineer, but also a musician! A little too stuffy for her but perfect for her roommate. And then she is super disappointed when they don't immediately fall in love. She actually has a bit of a breakdown about it (the night of cocktails doesn’t help).
"I can't do this anymore Ny! I really thought he was perfect but no! No one is ever good enough for you!"
And Nyota is utterly confused. Why on earth is this so important to her?
And Gaila whimpers, "I just want you to be happy."
And Nyota's like "I'm fine! I'm happy!"
And Gaila starts crying harder because how is she ever going to learn what kind of person Nyota wants.
And Nyota is having a lot of trouble understanding what's going on but eventually realizes that Gaila was trying to date Uhura through other people in order to learn who she'd have to become in order to have a successful lasting REAL relationship with her.
And she's like, "that is completely absurd but also kind of adorable. And I don't want to date Fake Gaila."
And Gaila looks sadder than she's ever seen her. But she gets it.
And Nyota's like, "obviously you do not. I want to date you. Just as you are."
Gaila goes wide-eyed and they are both frozen for a moment. Then Gaila whispers "Really?"
"Really," says Nyota, or she tries to but Gaila's already pounced.
They meet at Starfleet Academy.
Imagine a Philippa as Harry, Gabriel as Ron, Katrina as Hermione scenario. I know, I know, Gabriel should be Draco and I can live with that, in that case I think it would be Philippa!Ginny, Gabriel!Draco, Katrina!Hermione, which I actually love even more, it's perfect. Anyway, before I go too far into an unnecessary Hogwarts AU
that I will now eventually write, they are a Trio™. People have bets on which ones are sleeping together, and which one will leave because of it, but it's all silly gossip because the truth is none of them is looking for a longterm romance, they have their sights on command. That ambition, that drive, and the fact they are all three brilliant and capable of getting there, is WHY they are a trio.
It’s a race, a competition, to command, absolutely. One Katrina wins because Ginny and Draco have charm and talent and ambition but Hermione is the one who convinces the school to let her use time travel to be the best at everything. Hermione is a BOSS and so is Katrina Cornwell, bye. And you know what? Ginny and Draco are not even mad because they like to play it off but they are constantly in awe of her.
Philippa gets second place because Draco has Problems With Authority and also he can be a little lazy when it comes to the homework of command.
Katrina's logs are tomes that include in depth psychological evaluations, and Philippa's have little excursions into side stories that seem to have nothing to do with anything but then it turns out to be an amazing insight, but Gabriel’s are like “stuff happened today, I made the right decision and looked good doing it”. You can tell when he and Kat are working together because his reports are ten pages longer and make sense. And hers sound frustrated.
Gabriel and Katrina fall into bed first, and often. Philippa thinks it's good, they are her secret OTP, but she goes along with their ‘totally casual’ fiction. They all three date other people at various times but all of those relationships are actually totally casual.
One night, Katrina's upset, some date accused her of being cold and distant (like a Vulcan, even) and she's worried she's unlovable.
And Philippa sighs and thinks this is all Gabriel's fault, because Katrina keeps dating the wrong people because she doesn't want to fall in love with anyone else, but he's not the one to fix it because he still has to grow up so oh well, guess it's on me.
And she tells Kat "that is ridiculous because you are the most lovable and also most brilliant and beautiful and stop crying and let me show you how much I love you."
So now Katrina has a thing with both of them.
Gabriel and Philippa are not really attracted to each other, but they both love Kat. Eventually all the lines are blurry.
They fall asleep all together one night and it becomes the norm. Some morning Philippa finds the other two in bed and gets pulled in. It starts being what they do when they are all in the same place.
Just Gabriel and Kat, yes.
Just Philippa and Kat, yes.
Just Gabriel and Philippa, there was that one time, and it was good but it was weird and they don't do it again.
Gabriel and Kat and Philippa, yes.
They are still a Trio™ and there is still gossip and they still don't care.
[AU where Ash Tyler is the human he appears to be.]
Gabriel and Ash escape from the Klingons and fall into a shared trauma induced relationship.
Katrina cautions Gabriel against it. "Lt. Tyler was held captive by the Klingons for seventh months, tortured, and sexually assaulted. He needs counseling. Also, so do you. And on top of that you rescued him and are now his commanding officer."
Gabriel shrugs. "It's not against the rules."
"No, but Ash needs time and space to heal, not complicated relationships. I'm your friend and I'm not going to tell you what to do, but this is a bad idea.”
Insert Lorca's #unimpressed face. He does what he wants. Katrina sighs and decides to stay on board to make sure Ash, Gabriel, and Michael get counseling.
Ash integrates into the crew pretty well, so upon observation she tells Gabriel, “But your instincts were good pairing him with Burnham.” They are also both traumatized, but they are more like equals, and Lorca (and in this scenario, Cornwell) can keep an eye on it. Plus Tilly is great for both of them.
Flash forward a few years and everyone is healthy and stable, or at least more so. Gabriel and Ash are still a thing. Gabriel and Katrina are still a thing. (Michael and Tilly are now a thing.)
Ash deserves better. Kat deserves better, too, of course, but she set better aside years ago.
They team up to love their human disaster boyfriend and realize they can have a nice, friendly, healthy, stable, cuddly, "let's go fishing" type of relationship.
A "let's share this burden because this is exhausting but he is actually worth it" type deal leading to "he forgot your birthday but I didn't" and then Lorca's like "you guys should fuck, can I watch?" and much eye rolling.
But then then it's in their mind and an innocuous brush up against each other becomes charged and suddenly they are escaping to quarters and Lorca's all “I told you so, now make room for me.”
Wesley and Jaxa had a relationship at the academy. After the Kolvoord Starburst incident, it's too painful and they go their separate ways. Jaxa ends up on the Enterprise and then lost to a secret mission. Missing, presumed dead. Starfleet, and specifically the Enterprise and Picard, give up on her. This contributes to the disillusionment that leads to Wesley's choice to resign.
Wes leaves Starfleet to hang out with the Traveler and through deep meditation on his broken heart realizes he can't move on because Jaxa'a presence remains. He can sense her in the space time continuum. Traveler tells him to let it go Yoda style, but Wesley completely ignores him Skywalker style. He delves deeper and discovers where she is.
Traveler is like, "fine, tell Starfleet."
Wes rolls his eyes because Starfleet is why she's in this mess but contacts Picard.
Picard believes Wesley, but he has to bring the intel to Command and Command says "Hmmm, too dangerous for one lost ensign we've already decided is dead."
Wesley tells Picard he's never going to listen to him preach about Starfleet ever again and plots his own rescue because he is actually all powerful. Picard is concerned and secretly proud.
Wesley jets over to Cardassian space and plucks his girlfriend out of prison and then they both go to the Delta Quadrant to pick up Nick Locarno (in this timeline Tom Paris is Nick Locarno).
But they don't rescue Voyager because the Traveler shows up and is like, "Wesley, you are destroying the timeline, please stop."
And Wes is like, "I kinda want to destroy everything but you said please so, fine."
Insert Janeway #unimpressed face.
Traveler returns to his higher plane of existence and makes plans to steal Wesley's kid as a baby so he can mold her from birth (Yoda style) because this ‘waiting for him to make his own decision about it’ was a disaster.
Wes, Jaxa, and Nick return to the Alpha Quardant, find Jean, and become space pirates.
Chapter 19: Jean-Luc Picard x Beverly Crusher x Will Riker x Deanna Troi
Chapter by Pixie (magnetgirl)
Jean-Luc has a vineyard, with an estate. It's the perfect location for a space family get together, on a holiday, and they indulge in an overabundance of wine.
Conversation turns dirty and Riker has surprising first hand knowledge of Beverly's sexual practices, inadvertently referencing that time his body had sex with her. Things grow uncomfortable and in an attempt to waylay it, Riker points out if he has sex with Picard, he has a trifecta.
Picard is like, "wait, what?" but Beverly jumps in with "maybe, but all I have to do is have sex with Deanna first and I beat you!"
So at this point Will and Beverly are poised to leap into an ill-advised challenge because they are both competitive and both very physical beings. Deanna is mostly bemused but also a wee bit taken aback and poor Jean-Luc is still trying to catch up on what exactly this is all about.
They are all very drunk at this point – they don't drink real wine that often – and they are also of an age and place in their communal relationship where they are more comfortable jumping in than holding back.
Deanna says, "maybe we don't have to prove anything, maybe we can just have fun."
Will, Deanna, and Beverly turn to Jean-Luc, because he's the de facto Adult, and most likely to be squeamish. But he surprises them all by falling right into the pile up.
The next morning, late morning, around 11, they wake all entangled and woozy and cuddly and worried.
Deanna has a headache for days because not only is she as hungover as the rest of them, she senses all of their complicated feelings.
Will is worried he crossed too many lines.
Beverly is Beverly and second guessing everything ever.
Jean-Luc says, "let's go to the lake" (there is a small one on his property). He gathers some juice and wine and cheese and bread and fruit into a hamper and heads off. The other three are like … okay…? And they follow.
It's a beautiful day. Just the right temperature for a sunny picnic by the lake. They chat about nothing in particular. There are a few awkward moments, some heavy pauses, Will and Beverly are jumpy and Deanna still has such a headache.
It’s mid afternoon, the sun is shining and Jean-Luc starts telling a story about growing up here, about his teen friendships and romances and swimming with his friends. The others listen, his voice lulling them. It's idyllic. He stands, says he's going to try the water. And he strips down to nothing and saunters off into the lake. The others look at each other and then one by one follow suit.
Eventually they talk about it. Establish some ground rules. Discuss their feelings, desires, and needs. Beverly and Jean-Luc retire to the vineyard, Deanna and Will to Betazed, but they travel back and forth, and live out their days a functional foursome.
Jean-Luc was friends with Jack first, along with Walter Keel, who introduces Jack to Beverly.
First we get "I'm a grown man but who's this girl stealing my boi" feels.
Then we get "I hate how adorable they are I am feeling a lot of feelings mainly jealousy and I don't even know which one I’m more jealous of" feels.
At some point Jean-Luc definitely has "why didn't Walter introduce her to me" thoughts that he feels terribly about because Jack is so happy.
As for Beverly, she's intimidated at first, Jean-Luc is so reserved and intense. She wonders how they are even best friends. But she comes to respect him, and then care for him, as Jean-Luc and not just Jack's (weird) friend.
If she ever had doubts about the wedding she'd seek him out. And he'd support into going through with it.
There are feelings. They both suppress them for Jack's sake. They prioritize Jack because he's the best of them. He's a bright shining star they are lucky to orbit. And then he dies and everything falls apart. They want to cling to each other but it feels disrespectful. They both pull back and get stuck there. For years. All this is basically canon.
There are plenty of moments where things might change.
Jean-Luc and Jack have a relationship prior to Beverly's introduction. This intensifies the jealousy, but then Jean-Luc falls in love with Beverly, too.
He and Jack get into an argument over nothing, Jack accuses him of being jealous of Beverly, of hating Beverly, and Jean-Luc yells "you have no idea what you're talking about!"
And Jack's eyes go wide because he realizes Jean-Luc loves her. And he's so hurt that Jean-Luc cares for her, and cares for her more than he cares for him.
And Jean-Luc loses it because "how can you not understand that I am in love with both of you and you get to be together but I am completely alone????"
They stop shouting and stare at each other and then Jack apologizes and suggests "maybe Beverly is into that?"
And Jean-Luc is like,"....are you into that?"
And Jack is, totally, and Jean-Luc is curious despite himself but thinks asking her is a terrible idea, but Jack ignores him. And she's into it.
Or, Jean-Luc has been in unrequited love with Jack prior to Beverly's introduction.
This intensifies the jealousy and the resentment and he spends a lot of time hating her. But Jack loves her, and she makes him happy, and Jean-Luc wants him to be happy so he tries to get along with her. And it turns out she's pretty great.
And one night, they are all talking and Beverly accidentally (maybe) lets it slip that she knows that Jean-Luc has a crush on Jack and Jack is like "ha ha ha, that's absurd" but Jean-Luc is glaring at Beverly with a burning rage and then he stomps off and Jack is like "what?"
And Beverly says she'll fix it and runs after Jean-Luc. And she apologizes but says "you shouldn't hide your feelings and I'm not a monster I really loves Jack and I think he loves me too."
And Jean-Luc is like "Of course he loves you, you are annoyingly loveable" and she's like "Thanks?"
And he's like "look, I honestly want you both to be happy but sometimes it's hard because I'm all alone."
And she tells him "you'll only be alone if you keep pushing us away," and returns to Jack.
Things are awkward for a few, but eventually they find a rhythm and one night Beverly invites him to stay past dinner and drinks and not on the couch and Jean-Luc looks at Jack and Jack looks at Jean-Luc and then they both look at Beverly and Beverly takes their hands and tugs.
(In either of these scenarios, Jack's death and their subsequent separation followed by years of dancing around each other is even more tragic. He's not just a ghost standing between them, he's their missing piece.)
Or, Beverly is on the Stargazer with Jack and Jean-Luc and they are the absolute best command team in the Fleet and no one dies and when Jean-Luc is offered Enterprise Jack and Beverly follow him there instead of accepting a separate command because they want to start a family and the Enterprise-D exists for that. They have their own suite of quarters and coparent little Wesley Stargazer (three last names is too many). Since no one dies Wesley gets a little sister, too, Keely Stargazer.
Narcissa Malfoy (#myqueen) lies straight out to the powerful legilimens, and also psychotic leader who has been torturing them for a year+, Lord Voldemort, effectively allying herself with Harry, because she dgaf about anything or anyone other than her child.
Unfortunately, her sister notices, and tells Voldemort because she is his most faithful/delusional follower and also she doesn't ever think things through.
Voldemort Avada Kedavras Narcissa and Harry both right then and there and declares victory.
So now they live in the land of doom and gloom where Voldemort reigns supreme and all the heroes are dead or enslaved.
Hermione is given to Lucius – it's more a punishment than a gift, she's a mudblood so she has no value. Voldemort can't just oust Lucius or Draco, he needs purebloods to make his master race, and they still have some friends, but they are no longer in the inner circle. Draco is married off to Ginny Weasley and forced to live in the burrow and Lucius is "awarded" Hermione.
For the first 3-6 months, other than making certain she can't escape, he ignores her. Treats her as a house elf. She fights as hard as she can, refusing to work, refusing to eat, pushing all the wards to their limits, but he doesn't care and it gets her nowhere.
Hermione decides it's time for new tactics. She starts exploring the manor and not just looking for exits. She finds all manner of dark arts devices and a library full of restricted spells and stories. She starts to plot her revenge.
And slowly Lucius starts to notice her. Talk to her. He realizes she's quite intelligent and at this point he's desperate for human interaction.
They start to find common ground. She's going dark and he's ready to retreat to the light. The more they share, the closer they become. He admires her unbroken spirit despite everything, she's touched by the depth of his feelings for his late wife and son. Eventually they realize they care about each other.
But Hermione is still set on overthrowing Voldemort and Lucius has always fought to survive and advance, not to win, and not for any higher ideal.
She wants his help, wants him to join her, to make Voldemort pay for what he did to Narcissa, to Draco, to Lucius himself.
"What do you have left to lose?" she demands.
"You!" he shouts.
Hermione is shocked into silence. Lucius retreats.
In the evening she approaches him. Says "I'm going to move forward with my plan with or without you. You'll have to turn me in, or kill me, to stop me. You might lose me in the fight, but if you don't join me, you've already lost me."
He agrees and they share a passionate embrace.
Using the Malfoy network of shady underground people (which in the Voldemort Wins Verse are the good guys), they amass a mini army. Since Voldemort is Actually Terrible to Actually Everyone, it gains support even within his ranks.
The third Wizarding War takes place, Voldemort is defeated, and, because Lucius is cockroach levels of good at surviving, he and Hermione live through it. Also Draco and Ginny, because their subsequent holidays would be hilariously awkward.
At first it's just good friends being physical. Boarding school boys playing around.
Then, as school and life become increasingly fraught, they cling to each other as something comfortable and normal and safe. This leads to feelings beyond close friendship.
Probably Seamus realizes first, and keeps it to himself because Dean's in a relationship.
But Dean's not happy in his relationship and some late nights of brooding about it end in them messing around anyway. In the morning they don't speak of it, though Seamus wants to. This continues even through his break-up.
Then everything blows up AGAIN and they are separated when Dean is unable to return to school.
Dean is focused on survival. Seamus is a mess.
Thus, when they are reunited, Seamus immediately grabs him and kisses him, whoever is watching and whatever else might be going (like a battle). Dean is caught off guard and a bit reticent. But they don't have time for that, they have a dark wizard to defeat. Both throw themselves into the fight.
As the dust settles, Seamus approaches Dean and quietly and awkwardly apologizes. Dean shakes his head and pulls him into his arms. He doesn't let go for days.
Voldemort is defeated but Harry also dies.
The survivors set up a system of reparations. The Malfoys fortune is confiscated by the state and awarded to the Weasleys as the closest relatives who are not blacklisted, imprisoned, or generally evil. Ron and Hermione move into the manor. Lucius is in prison, Draco and Narcissa are on the streets. Hermione takes pity on them and allows them to stay, as servants. Draco refuses and gets a flat in town, but rent is high and work is difficult to come by for a former Death Eater from a disgraced family. Narcissa swallows her pride and stays on with Hermione in order to provide for her son.
Narcissa is excellent at entertaining, dressing up for events, and dressing down the servants, passable at accounting, writes long a bit sappy letters, speaks at least three languages, and has read every witch romance novel in existence but she does not have what one may think of as ‘marketable skills’.
She’s a disaster in the kitchen, fainted when presented with a dust pan, cannot begin to follow the simplest of instructions when sent shopping ("Yes, I realize this is three times the cost but that's what you want when planning a dinner party, how else can you lord it over your guest’s head?").
Hermione finds it extremely frustrating and honestly insufferable. But as annoying as Narcissa is, she's trying. She shows up every day, rolling her eyes, turning up her nose, making snide comments under her breath, but she takes pride in her work and she presses forward even when she clearly and desperately wants to give up.
Eventually, Hermione puts her in charge of answering her mail.
She gets A LOT, most of it a version of fanmail that is really meant for Harry, or the the myth of Harry that cropped up upon his death. Many people ask for money, for help, for information. Sometimes the requests are reasonable, measured, but as often they are demanding, accusing. Hermione struggles to find a balanced response, but Narcissa knows how to read between the lines, to determine who is playing and who is telling the truth. And her biting wit is well employed dealing with those who fall into the first category. With some couching, she becomes just as good at using her well developed ability to flatter and comfort on the others.
They develop a system, start meeting biweekly to go over the notables. Hermione is impressed by Narcissa's drive and imagination – two things she never would have guessed the woman would possess. She asks how she learned to read people, Narcissa slowly opens up about her upbringing and the indecencies she suffered under Voldemort. Hermione is impressed, even finds herself admiring her.
As the months go on, Hermione becomes increasingly frustrated with the Ministry, the school, her peers, and especially her husband. The fight against the Dark Lord united them, and if Harry or Dumbledore or Sirius or Remus or even Snape had lived that unity might have remained. But without a charismatic steady hand to guide them, everything is a squabble.
They should listen to Hermione, but of course they don't. Narcissa realizes she has an opportunity and starts grooming Hermione to seize control. At first it's just more of that uncanny ability to flatter and cajole, but eventually she convinces Hermione to take her on as a tutor, stylist, manager, life coach. With Narcissa's added guidance, Hermione's people skills improve tenfold and she becomes a force to be reckoned with. Everyone wants an audience with Hermione Granger – not as Harry’s friend, not as a compassionate know it all who fell into a fortune, not even as the brightest witch of her age. As a power player all on her own.
And Hermione likes it.
Narcissa gets herself promoted to Hermione's chief aide. They go everywhere together, Hermione spends more time with Narcissa than anyone, including Ron. And she realizes she likes that, too. Narcissa is smart and funny and she looks at Hermione's body as something to admire, not possess.
One evening, in a suite at one of the most prestigious magical hotels in Paris, she invites Narcissa into her bath. And then her bed. Things progress rapidly after that.
Hermione is the youngest Minister of Magic ever elected, and the most popular. Ron is her trophy husband and Narcissa her closest confidante, advisor, and lover. They want for nothing. When Lucius is eventually released from prison, he willingly becomes their toy.
Kathryn and B’Elanna get together on Voyager.
It's a relationship with both passion and compassion, their personalities are well-suited (they can spend hours just talking the minutiae of science and consider it a perfect date), but it is fraught due to Kathryn's issues with her position on the ship and she eventually breaks it off.
Kathryn and Beverly get together when Voyager returns to the Alpha Quadrant and both live in San Francisco post-Nemesis (it's really the perfect place for these two to fall in love).
Couple years in, B'Elanna (single in this scenario) ends up assigned to a special engineering project at Starfleet Command and arranges to stay with Kathryn and Beverly, who live in an adorable house together by this point, for the first few weeks.
Beverly teases out that they had a relationship on Voyager - they are both shy about it - and that it ended for circumstantial reasons, not any falling out. B'Elanna is embarrassed by the whole thing – Kath and Bev are clearly very happy together – and Kathryn is feeling guilty because she doesn't want either of these women to question her feelings for them.
But Beverly is like, "No. I spent some thirty years of my life in a love triangle with my dead husband because we were both too guilty about our feelings to act on them and I absolutely refuse to go down this path again." She makes them talk about their feelings (threatens to get Deanna to help if they don't, though it's only a threat, she would never), all their feelings, and desires. Tells them this is a get out of jail free situation, she's not going to hold anything said against either. Opens a bottle of Picard's best vintage – Jean-Luc gave her a case for her birthday when he inherited the vineyard – and pours three glasses "if it helps".
B'Elanna is super uncomfortable so Kathryn starts. Explains how happy she is, now, with Beverly in their cozy home and life, and how sad she is to see B'Elanna lonely again, and how it brings up all this stuff from their past and how she didn't want that to end and what might have been.
And then B'Elanna is crying because she's just not used to mattering to someone. And Beverly's like OH MY GOD you poor child and holds her while she cries and Kathryn is feeling super awkward and drinks all their wine.
In the morning, while Kathryn's sleeping it off, B’Elanna and Beverly have a long conversation about how incredible she is and how literally everyone in the universe is in love with her and B'Elanna says Bev is so lucky, and she wants to be jealous (and is a little) but she's so happy that Kathryn is so happy and also Beverly seems like an amazing person too and golly thanks for being so kind and welcoming, oh no I'm going to cry again.
And Beverly tells her to stop selling herself so short, "you are also incredible by the way."
B'Elanna is quiet but she takes it to heart.
Things progress really slowly, and involve many more talks between the twos and the three before anything physical happens. But eventually B'Elanna is no longer a longterm visitor sleeping in the guest room, eventually she's home.
Post-Nemesis, they are both based at Starfleet Command and feeling a bit lonely after their adventures.
Prior to San Francisco, they knew of each other, but they didn't know each other. But they are women of a certain age and demeanor, newly returned to Earth, and run in similar circles - they start seeing each other at briefings, parties, on coffee runs, in the park, turns out they live in the same fleet housing complex. They start out friendly but quickly become friends.
Beverly needs a new exercise partner, and a new breakfast partner — and Kathryn would do neither on her own. She suggests it "as a doctor" and Kathryn can't say no to that as easily as she could to "a friend" so she accepts on a trial basis. And it clicks.
Then after a couple months, Kathryn suggests mixing things up. Beverly's surprised — Jean-Luc always preferred routine and she and Deanna were too busy to experiment— but intrigued, especially as there are no ship-related limits here.
They find drop in classes, everything from Vulcan yoga to ballroom dancing. They cycle around the city. They go on a tour of cafés to find the Best Coffee and Croissant around. They try new recipes from home and away — mostly replicated but every now and again Beverly makes them cook, to varying degrees of success. They also request recipes and advice from friends and neighbors and gather so much info on both home recipes and Command adjacent coffee shops Tom Paris suggests they publish a book. They laugh. And then they start collaborating on it.
Eventually they are spending all their free time together. They can talk about anything. Everything. They stay over each other's apartments now and again. They keep up with old friends and lovers, they flirt with new relationships but they're not really looking. Once in a while they bring a date to a function but they are more likely to show up together.
A year or so in, Deanna's in town, staying with Beverly and they spend the day with Kathryn. When she goes home, Deanna and Beverly curl up on her couch to chat and Deanna points out how happy Beverly seems. Beverly answers she is. She feels at home.
A few weeks later, Deanna's returned to her ship, Beverly and Kathryn are on an adventure, walking somewhere outside, maybe by the water. They're sharing the quiet and Beverly's thoughts drift to what Deanna said and she looks over at Kathryn and suddenly everything falls into place.
"It's you," she says, with wonder. Kathryn looks over, questioning. Beverly closes the gap between them. "I'm happy because of you," she tells her.
Kathryn still doesn't know what's going on, but Beverly takes her hand and a big breath and explains, "For half my life…since Jack died I've been afraid to settle. Afraid to be still. To be … rooted."
Kathryn nods. She understands.
"I've had a good life, many good relationships, but… I feel home with you."
Kathryn holds her breath. Home is such a big word to her.
"I want to stay."
Kathryn kisses her. "I want you to stay."
Their relationship doesn't change, only grows. It happens overnight and it takes another year. They move from two apartments near Command to a cute little house, with a tree and a small garden, near the water, with room for dogs.
And their book is a hit.
I can't imagine Janeway commanding a space station, so let's put Jadzia on Voyager. The entire crew would love her? She would be equally comfortable playing Captain Proton with Tom and Harry, geeking out over science with B'Elanna and Janeway, discussing philosophy and culture with Tuvok and Chakotay. Her 300 year old perspective would be incredibly helpful to both Kes and Seven. She'd even get along with Neelix.
Now, Janeway being Janeway, she'd still avoid a relationship with someone under her command. But Jadzia wouldn't buy it. She'd encourage Kathryn to act on her chemistry with Chakotay or Tom or B'Elanna or "anyone, Kathryn, you don't deserve to be alone."
And Janeway would argue "that's not the point, it's not about what I do or do not deserve, it's about preserving the command structure."
And Jadzia would roll her eyes and tell her "that's rubbish and you know it."
They'd have versions of this conversation on and off for years. Meanwhile, they'd become the best of friends – Jadzia would be more of a peer to Janeway than B'Elanna, Kes, or Seven are because even though she's younger, Dax is centuries older and it balances.
Years into their voyage home, Janeway is increasingly lonely and at first pulls away from Jadzia as much as she does everyone – but Jadzia doesn't play that and she is perfectly willing to call her on it. Kathryn admits her loneliness and Jadzia points out all of the rules she's imposed on herself can be ignored and erased.
Kathryn doesn't believe her and Jadzia's like "literally every single person on this ship would be more than happy to have a relationship with you, as casual or secret or committed or open as you require or desire."
And Janeway scoffs that she doesn't speak for literally every single person on this ship.
And Jadzia says "okay, you're right, but I speak for me and the offer stands."
And Kathryn's like "….what?"
And Jadzia just looks at her.
It's casual and secret at first. Even Tuvok doesn't know for months. But eventually the crew sense a change. When it becomes obvious everyone knows, they stop hiding.
And nothing happens. Nothing explodes, the crew don't instantly lose respect for their captain, Janeway remains perfectly capable of commanding – she's never really separated her personal relationships with the crew from her professional relationship to them anyway.
Tuvok does advocate against sending them on away missions alone together but he'd been doing that for years because with no one to temper their impulsivity and joie de vivre, they might accidentally explode the universe.
I think once this not-actually-as-awkward-as-Kathryn-feared moment passed, Jadzia could also suggest polyamory. Possibly by the time Voyager gets home it's a ship wide commune of free love.
I also think, in a universe where the Federation is more blatantly like the First Order, Kathryn and Jadzia would make amazing space pirate resistance fighters.
Everything in canon happens except Dukat steps in front of Ziyal and he dies instead of her, then she kills Damar.
She is cleared of any wrongdoing as it was self-defense and during war – but she can’t reconcile her actions or the rage that accompanied them and has a breakdown. She cuts herself off from her friends and becomes a Dark version of herself, a Dukat version of herself so to speak. Kira refuses to leave her alone so she leaves the station.
Meanwhile, Ezri Tigan is serving on the USS Destiny when the Trill they are transporting takes a turn for the worse and she is asked to undergo joining. Ezri refuses, the Trill High Council (Idk) try to get an injunction to force her so she steals a shuttlecraft and goes on the run.
Ziyal and Ezri meet on a planet in the outskirts of Federation space, where outcasts go to get odd jobs. They both show up to apply for a position that turns out to be transporting pleasure slaves and decide to team up to free them instead. They develop a rapport and decide to stick together.
They stay on the planet (or a nearby outpost because they probably had to leave the first after the escape went down) for about eighteen months, saving up to buy a small ship (they trade in Ezri's stolen shuttle). Although they clicked almost immediately and their working relationship is very good, it takes a long while for them to open up personally. Both are carrying around huge amounts of guilt and shame.
One night, while at a particularly seedy bar, a fight breaks out, Ezri is threatened, Ziyal shoots the man and then falls apart, flashing back to the encounter with Damar. Ezri gets her back to their living quarters and uses her buried counselor skills to get her to talk about everything that happened to her.
After that, they slowly but surely become closer and one evening, after a job goes especially well and they are very close to their ship goal, they fall into bed together. It’s as if something was missing and now found.
Eventually, Ezri convinces Ziyal to reach out to Kira, to mend fences, and they come to DS9. Ezri is arrested but Ziyal and Kira convince Jadzia to take on her defense and she is eventually exonerated.
Ezri and Ziyal move onto the station, though they still work as moral vigilantes somewhat outside the confines of Starfleet and the Federation.
Kira Nerys falls through a time portal and is rescued by the Shenzhou.
Philippa finds a young, angry, fighter desperate to get back to her war. She promises to figure it out – and she means it. It's a puzzle and she loves puzzles. But the girl is also a puzzle and while Philippa understands the fight is what's keeping Nerys alive (she's had her own battles, she’s seen her own fires), she wants to show her the beauty beyond it. Nerys is unimpressed. But Philippa is stubborn.
For the first week, Nerys is kept in quarters, separate from the crew, while Philippa, her science officer and chief engineer try to work the problem. Philippa takes the time to get to know her guest, and to acclimate her to the time period.
Nerys doesn't trust Starfleet. They're liars and collaborators. Paternalistic idealogues. She spits the accusations, annoyed that Philippa remains unruffled. She doesn't argue, or defend her precious Federation. She … listens. Nerys is confused. Philippa is patient.
After that first week, Nerys is released from "quarantine", introduced as a refugee. She's curious, despite herself, and starts to pay attention. She's never been so far away from home, not even counting the time lapse. She decides to learn as much as she can, which is exactly what Philippa hoped for. She leaves the puzzle of how to get Nerys back to her crew, and makes getting Nerys ready her personal project.
Nerys spends about six weeks on the Shenzhou, apprenticed to her captain. She studies tactics and navigation but also art and music and literature. And she shyly falls in love. When they are ready to send her back, Philippa gives her a key and tells her it’s her path back, whenever she needs it. Nerys returns to Bajor, to the war, and the journey fades quickly into something like a dream.
Years later, after the wars, after the Emissary, after heartbreak and hope, Nerys finds the key, forgotten in the bottom of a drawer. She doesn't expect it to work. She's not entirely certain what she remembers really happened. But she goes down to Bajor, to the cave she got lost in all those years ago, and she lets the key guide her.
Nerys returns to Philippa older, more grounded, more alive. She has many stories to tell now, about so many more things than war. (Philippa is mentoring another young woman with emotional issues and they don't know war is coming for them, too.) Nerys admits she’d convinced herself her first trip was a dream…even after her subsequent universe hopping and experiences with the wormhole and temporal anomalies, she believed it was a fantasy she used to make those years less painful. Philippa takes it as a compliment.
Nerys comes to her at night, with another admission. She knows she can’t stay, knows this will be their ending just as much as their beginning. Nerys never gets to keep anyone very long. But after all these years, she wants what time they get.
Nyota and Janice are best friends. Very touchy-feely. Share clothes. Know each other's secrets. Support each other. Tease each other. Janice knows Nyota has a thing for Spock and encourages her. Nyota knows Janice has a thing for Kirk and thinks it is a terrible idea. They are very close, fall asleep in each other’s arms sometimes, but are not specifically romantic toward each other.
Enter Christine. She's a bit more reserved, warm, but reserved. Has some relationship baggage. But she gels with them. Her thing for Spock turns out to be way more serious than Nyota's and borderline unhealthy and they all slowly come to the conclusion that they should not date anyone on the Enterprise actually.
Instead they have a succession of girls nights where they talk about all the people on the ship they are not dating. It becomes a game – who are the WORST options, and who are the BEST. Janice, because she's efficient, devises a rating system. Nyota finds it absolutely hilarious, but Christine has concerns about appropriateness. The others try to convince her it's all in fun and totally meaningless but she's all, how would you feel?? So they decide to do it for each other.
They all score high, obviously. But more than that, it starts a conversation about their strengths and weaknesses in relationships, and it becomes clear they not only know each other really well, they see those weaknesses as quirks more than flaws. They help each other, they don’t judge each other. They come to see they are in a relationship, which they knew, of course, but now there’s this context. Relationship context. Dating relationship context. And it colors things.
Things are strange for a couple. Not bad. But strange. A simple touch takes on new significance. They're more tentative in some ways, bolder in others. Janice is extra flirty. Nyota giggles at everything. Christine can't stop blushing.
They decide to talk about it. They talk about everything – this shouldn't be any different. During the discussion Janice continues to flirt, Nyota continues to giggle, and Christine continues to blush. But i'’s a good conversation. They learn that they all have considered a "something more" relationship with one or both of the other two. They talk, in depth, about how it would work. It's almost too much talking, really. But this is important.
Their relationship doesn't change that much. It's deeper in some ways, larger, maybe. But what matters is they know each other, they look out for each other, they love each other, they enjoy each other, they make each other happy, and all that was already true. Just now it also includes sex.
They are good friends from childhood. They are both close to Seven, and the three form an unconventional family unit. As they grow up the boundaries and feelings shift. They go through an awkward teen "I considered you my sibling but now I am kind of attracted to you" phase that eventually settles into best friends who choose not to act on any attraction because it's too much to lose.
Voyager arrives at random DQ planet number 217. Naomi in on the away team, she is particularly good at negotiations, and she meets a young man. They are assigned to work together on whatever it is they are doing there, and over the course of the 2-3 weeks of the project, they enter into a whirlwind romance.
Naomi thinks she's in love. It's exciting, a little bit dangerous, a little bit tragic. She's overwhelmed. When it's time to go, she doesn’t want to say goodbye. Can't they stay longer? Can't he come with them? All the adults say no, as compassionately as possible. Naomi shouts they don't understand and she sobs for a week. She won't talk to anyone. Not her mother, not the captain, not counselor Chakotay, not even Seven. But she lets Icheb hold her.
The underlying attraction grows. They each have a few more short term relationships. Naomi tries to keep it casual because serious hurts too much. Icheb tries to fall in love with someone other than Naomi (thinking that's what she wants) but fails. This goes on for a while.
Then something happens. Maybe one or the other is injured. Maybe Naomi has another traumatic relationship. Maybe they are trapped in a life-threatening situation. Maybe Tom finally convinces Icheb to lay it all out for her. Maybe Sam convinces Naomi to stop running away from what's right in front of her. Maybe Icheb goes missing on a planet and when he's found days later and Naomi beams him up, her eyes meet his and they are full of all the love he ever wanted to see there.
And they decide to take a chance.
Naomi enlists Neelix and Tom to set up her two moms, who both find it adorable, and they create an elaborate plot involving the holodeck and a romantic dinner + getaway.
Seven is confused and Sam is bemused. As the evening goes on, Sam has to explain what's happening to Seven, who had never considered Sam as a romantic partner – her algorithm did not consider them notably compatible. Sam blushes because, uh, well, she has considered it. Seven goes very quiet at this admission and Sam starts to panic. She excuses herself and runs away. Neelix, Tom, and especially Naomi are disappointed.
But a week or so later, Seven approaches Sam – who had been avoiding her – and invites her back to the holodeck. Sam is reluctant, but Seven is insistent. She doesn't want them to be awkward. She convinces Sam by pointing out that it is in Naomi's best interests for them to get along and put this behind them.
But what Sam finds on the holodeck is neither Naomi/Neelix/Tom's set up nor any kind of simple, fun, platonic adventure. It's a date, set up by Seven, with help from Chakotay. Samantha is blown away. Seven explains she re-did her algorithm, adding new variables, and Sam scored higher. Sam wants to know what the new variables were. Seven explains they were based on her preferences and affections and skewed to raise Sam's score. Sam thinks that's the most romantic thing she's ever heard.
They meet on the ten year anniversary of Voyager getting lost in the Delta Quadrant. Starfleet hosts an event, part tribute, part memorial.
(For the purposes of this AU I will say Voyager has been in intermittent contact with the Alpha Quadrant, so they know what happened, and that the Maquis are part of the crew now, but they are not able to communicate routinely, and they are still about 50 years away at warp 9.)
The event attempts to honor everyone on Voyager but there is definitely a Starfleet bias, info about the Maquis crew members is lacking substance and out of date. Meanwhile a great deal of attention is given to Janeway's connections to the Admiralty and Starfleet in general instead of celebrating her on her own merits.
Sekaya and Phoebe bond over a mutual distrust of and anger at Starfleet and the Federation. They get drunk and are possibly even escorted out, which only makes them more angry (but also laugh) and they go to another bar to get more drunk and toast their lost siblings. And then they go home together.
In the morning, Sekaya is vaguely mortified. Phoebe convinces her to follow along on her daily routine to try and get over it. They go to an open air farmers market, walk the dogs, visit the beach, take a trolley ride, and end up back at Phoebe's, cooking dinner together.
Sekaya talks about her brother's cooking and Phoebe laughs about her sister's attempts. They wonder what they are doing tonight. Wonder what they'd think of what Sekaya and Phoebe are doing. Sekaya asks wait, what are we doing? Phoebe kisses her.
It's not a normal courtship. They are separated a lot. Sekaya goes through bouts of depression, Phoebe sometimes disappears for up to a week or two. Neither is ready to commit to anything for a long while. It all parallels Kathryn and Chakotay. But they slowly become the constant in each other's lives and eventually settle down.
When Voyager returns, let's say 30 years into their courtships, both couples are surprised at the other, but then, upon reflection, it means the universe is realigned.
It's been five years in the Delta Quadrant and home feels farther and farther away. Joe misses his wife, Sam misses her husband, but they've moved through the stages of grief to acceptance – separation is their reality.
Samantha has Naomi, who as an infant and toddler took all her off-duty time and energy, but she grew rapidly into a precocious near-tween and has an entire ship-ful of people looking out for her. Samantha finds herself with enough alone time to realize she's lonely.
Joe imagines his sons growing up without him. Sometimes he hopes they have a father figure to show them the way, other times he is resentful of the very idea. He distracts himself with the job and building his ship models. He's friendly with his shipmates, but keeps to himself most of the time. He doesn't want to lose anyone else.
One morning, Naomi and her mother, and Joe are all getting breakfast in the mess hall. Naomi takes three helpings of Neelix's porridge and Sam says she must be going through another growth spurt, makes some off hand quip about using all their rations on clothes because she grows out of them before she's worn them twice. Joe, in line behind them, chuckles and tells them about the time his son grew out of his little league uniform before the season started. Naomi asks what little league is and Joe joins them for breakfast so he can tell her in great detail.
Naomi decides Voyager needs a team and recruits Joe – the expert – to help her. Joe and Samantha both find this adorable and endearing, as does Neelix, who thinks it's the best idea ever and once he gets Tom involved it's all over. 80% of crew end up somehow participating in DQ baseball. But Joe coaches Naomi personally.
Slowly but surely Joe becomes a fixture in Sam and Naomi's life. About two or three months into the baseball project Sam invites Joe to dinner with just her (he's had many meals with them together). He's tentative, but he realizes he already cares too much about them both, so what does he really have to lose.
Their first date is awkward. They forget how to talk to each other without Naomi, neither has been on a date in a while, they both worry if it's wrong to pursue it when they are technically still married. When it's time to get Naomi from Neelix they are relieved. They don't kiss good night because they are both scared to make the first move.
They're not alone again for a few days and they mostly fall back into the routine they had. But when they do find themselves alone again, the awkwardness returns. Samantha claims responsibility for it – she asked him out – and apologizes, suggests they go back to how it was and forget the date happened. Joe asks if that's what she wants. Sam hesitates. Joe smiles and they kiss.
Two years later Naomi gets a little brother. She is sad to learn, as a full human, she'll have to wait at least six years for him to be big enough to play little league.
It starts as a physical thing, probably after an emergency. He's with her during some attack – the Kazon or the Vidiians or whatever – and it goes on for hours and they are cut off from the rest of the crew so Janeway is super frustrated and leading blind and kind of in that manic Janeway Destroy mood she gets into and Ayala just follows her lead and does what she needs him to.
When they get out of it all they are both gross and exhausted and starving and Janeway says something like "Great job lieutenant" and squeezes his arm and he shyly says Thank you" (he's not used to positive reinforcement and he has a crush on her like everyone) and offers to walk her to her cabin. And she's touched, and also very tired so her guard is down, and agrees.
They don't talk about anything important on the way, small talk – when does your next shift start, I want to sleep for days, I hope Neelix has something good for breakfast, etc. When they get there she thanks him and he says "Anytime" and they linger. And Janeway is so tired and they nearly died today, again, and he's looking at her with heart eyes and gods she wants to jump him.
"I need a shower" she says, because someone has to say something, they can't stand there staring at each other, someone could appear at any moment. He laughs, because this moment is pretty ridiculous and as I've mentioned, they are so tired, they're giddy. And he nods "Me too" and she murmurs she has some rations saved up for a water shower and leans back and her doors swish open and they don't make any decisions they just disappear into her quarters.
They stumble around in the dark, pulling off clothes as they head towards the shower, not saying a word, not really looking at each other. The water is hot, it soothes. She scrubs his body, exploring as she goes, then offers him the soap (scented, he loves her smell, lavender and coffee and the silver musk of a starship). Ayala is amazed how small is, she's so 'larger than life', but he can pick her up with little effort and she lets him, invites it, it's been too long. They don't even get to the bed.
Janeway makes it very clear that they are not in a relationship, they cannot be in a relationship, and if he wants this to continue he has to agree to tell no one and understand that nothing has changed. He does, so he does.
And it goes on for years. They are very good at hiding it. Janeway flirts with everyone so any time she flirts with Ayala it's seen as totally benign and normal. Everyone on the ship is at least a little bit in love with Janeway so anytime Ayala is watching her with open emotions is also seen as totally benign and normal. Everyone knows there is something between her and Chakotay and assumes he'd be her first call if she decided to break her no fraternization rules. Which everyone assumes she wouldn't.
What makes it work is that Ayala has a lot of baggage – he left his sons to join the Maquis, to do what he thought was necessary to take a stand and build a better world for them, and he ended up lost in the DQ, unable to complete that mission, and afraid he'll never see them again. He's not looking for the kind of stability a Chakotay wants in a relationship with Janeway, nor does he feel indebted to her the way a Paris or a Seven does. He's attracted to her, and he wants to protect her. He doesn't take it personally when she goes weeks without seeking him out. He gives her what she needs when she needs it and he feels great that he can do that for her, and doesn't want more. He can't handle more. An outside observer (and Kathryn herself, in one of her moods) might think he's being used but he's happy, so what right do they have to judge it?
I can see this going on through the entire series, and is never quite a romance, though it's not purely physical – they do things like chat over coffee, too. They are a particular kind of friends, and none of it would have happened without Voyager's special circumstances, but they are what each other needs to get through it.
Prime Lorca and Mirror Michael are presumed dead and on the run in the Mirror Universe.
Surrounded by enemies, Lorca has to rely on Michael to survive. Meanwhile, Michael is cut off from her Lorca and his army (and like our Kat, she probably assumes her Gabriel is dead), as well as from Emperor Philippa, and all she has left as leverage is an imposter Lorca. She intends to sell him to whoever can put her in the highest position of power. So she finds a deep hole to hide in, sets herself up as a kind of dark lady pirate queen, advertises her goods (through many intermediaries of course, but she definitely includes the Emperor, Mirror Katrina, whoever of Mirror Lorca's followers escaped imprisonment, Mirror Sarek, and the rebels) and waits for the offers to roll in.
Being so deep undercover is hella boring, though, and all she has for company is the imposter (for the first six weeks at least she refuses to use his name). First she plays with him, taunts him, threatens to torture him, but as they go on she starts to have actual conversations with him. And Gabriel, by this point desperate for any human interaction, as well as desperate for any chance to get home, tells her everything, anything – not Federation secrets (does he even have any?), but personal details of his life.
He talks about his time at the Academy and in Starfleet, how it felt the first time he stepped onto a bridge as captain of the ship, the first time his actions resulted in someone's death, talking to their surviving family.
He talks about his childhood, his friends, his first crush, first date, first sexual encounter, his mother's funeral, his best friend’s wedding.
He talks about his dreams, his goals, his fears, all the things he wanted to do, all the things he would do if he got home. All the things he would say.
And the way he talks, the way he tells it, Michael starts to see this other world.
Where people cooperate in order to build a better community, not just promote their own agenda.
Where relationships don't inevitably end in bloodshed.
Where power isn't gained through assassination or betrayal.
Where love is stronger than paranoia.
Where she wouldn't have to hide underground and sell a good man to regain the power she lost when she trusted a bad one.
Michael is lonely and angry and tired and she's lost everything and in that moment she concludes she's the imposter, he's living the life they should have.
She chooses to help him get home – if he agrees to take her with him. He does, because he wants to go home, and because Prime Lorca is compassionate, a Starfleet boy scout, and he believes in her.
Thus, Mirror Michael betrays her universe of betrayers and escapes to the Prime Universe where Lorca helps her seek asylum and mentors her in the ways of being a better person. He loops in Katrina who decides it's only fair to let Prime Michael in on this and then she says they should reunite her with Emperor Philippa. And then Gabriel, Kat, Michael, Mirror Michael, and Emperor Philippa (plus Tilly, Sarek, and Ash if they can get him back) form a really strange family/squad that lives vaguely happily ever after.
One night, after the events of "Learning Curve", Dalby comes to Sandrine's.
It's late, there are only a few people still there, which Dalby prefers, he doesn't want to mingle.
(He's doing better on the ship – he's actually sort of almost kind of friendly like? with Tuvok – but he's still slow to open up and carrying around a lot of anger.)
When he sees that Captain Janeway is one of the few, well, he almost turns and leaves. But… she's smiling. She's grinning. She might even be …giggling!
She's also tiny.
In his head – he barely ever actually sees her – she's tall, commanding, strident, Starfleet to her core. And he doesn't like Starfleet. But across the pool table… she's little and she's giggling and her hair has escaped it's elaborate bun and she's kind of amazing at pool.
And also just kind of amazing.
And he's struck and stuck, staring. And she glances over and waves.
Tuvok's told her about him. About his progress. She tells him, and he mutters thanks, and she hands him a cue and orders a drink and they start playing. And drinking. And talking. Tell me about yourself. And there's something in the way she says it, he has to answer.
An hour goes by. They're the only ones left. His throat is sore from telling his story, his eyes are wet, her hand is soft and warm on his arm and he wants to throw it off and he wants to pull her close and neither of those options seem at all appropriate. The whole evening is entirely inappropriate, actually, and he's half convinced he’s made it up or maybe this is some weird Vulcan/Starfleet test? He thanks her for the game and the – for listening – and excuses himself. And runs.
Over the next week or so, he sees the Captain everywhere. The Mess Hall, Engineering, Sickbay. Wherever he goes, there she is. And she's watching him. He thinks he's being ridiculous, of course she's not watching him. But it feels like she's watching him. With eyes that can see through him.
They end up in Sandrine's again. Late at night, mostly alone, wait it out until they are. They don't say anything important until everyone else has left. And then they don't say anything at all.
The relationship – if you can call it that – is short lived. Dalby wasn't made for casual and clandestine. He cares too much too soon. And unlike most of the crew he has the wherewithal to tell her so.
She understands completely, promises none of this will affect his standing on the ship or their professional relationship in any way. They agree to move on and never tell anyone anything that happened, awkwardly shake hands. She laughs a little, and her hair is down again. He doesn't let go of her hand.
Before the Delta Quadrant, he tells her, before Voyager, before Tuvok…before her…he was half-dead. As a maquis he lived only to hurt and destroy, to take. He did whatever he had to do to survive in order to hurt and to destroy and to take more. Even on Voyager, it was just about surviving to the next battle, the next chance to fight back. It didn’t even matter who he was fighting. That was the worst part. That it had stopped mattering. He didn’t have anything to live for, just to kill for.
She woke him up. She gave him a reason to give. Thank you, he tells her, thank you.
And she pulls him into a tight embrace and he kisses her behind the ear, runs a hand through her hair, and lets her go.
He walks out of the holodeck.
I assume Chakotay/Ayala happened pre-canon on the Val Jean and it was mainly physical and self-destructive. Maquis Chakotay was ‘angry’, Maquis life was dark and terrible, Maquis relationships were adrenaline-and/or-desperation-driven.
I believe Chakotay broke off all his casually physical relationships with the Maquis by the time they joined Voyager. Then while ‘in Starfleet’ he makes a point to adhere to Janeway’s relationship rules because he wants to impress her and he is waiting for her to break them with him. I think that’s true at least through “Resolutions”.
If, especially post “Resolutions, he discovered Janeway and Ayala had the relationship I outline here – well, at first he would be hurt and angry, but then he might see possibilities.
Chakotay confronts her, expresses his hurt and anger, asks how she could have a relationship with Ayala – of all people! – and not even have the decency to tell him.
She explains Ayala, of all people, understands what she wants and needs in this relationship. That Chakotay, of all people, would never agree to, or more importantly be happy with, the kind of relationship they have.
He argues that’s not fair, he wasn’t even given the chance. She points out he’s in her quarters upset about it right now and that’s WHY. Emotions are very high, they both say things they regret (but honestly, probably have to be said), everything is a mess, Chakotay eventually stomps out and Janeway goes to Ayala in tears.
Ayala tries to convince Janeway to give Chakotay a chance. Maybe he can be casual, he’s done it before. Or maybe she doesn’t really want casual. Janeway is skeptical and hesitant, but she hates how upset Chakotay is, and now feels as if she is using Ayala, and Chakotay, probably, and is feeling super low in general. She agrees to talk to Chakotay.
This is more of a conversation than a confrontation. Janeway admits that she knows Chakotay wants a “real” relationship with her, and fears she does, too. What she has with Ayala is easier.
Chakotay says he gets that! And honestly, he is happy she has it, she deserves to have whatever she needs. But he is hurt he can’t give it to her, and he is hurt by the secrecy.
She understands that, too. She apologizes, he forgives her. She asks what happens now? He asks what does she want to happen? She can’t answer.
He very slowly draws close, places his hands on her shoulders, then her face. He leans in, still slow, glances at her eyes, she takes a breath, he brushes her lips with his. Her fingers snake up around his neck and she pulls him in for a deeper kiss.
Several hours later they look at each other and are like, well, that was entirely not casual in any way. There are now two options: ‘it never happened’, or ‘I guess this is happening now’. Chakotay say he’ll do whatever she wants but it DID happen, and it was incredible, and frankly they deserve to move forward. Janeway says they can try, but no one can know yet. Chakotay agrees.
Ayala approaches Janeway sometime later and she can’t not tell him. He smiles. He’s happy for them. But there is a wistfulness in his eyes. Janeway starts to feel guilty again/still. She brings it up to Chakotay, tells him Ayala was the one who sent her to talk to him, and he’s kept her together before, too. He deserves better. Chakotay agrees, after all, he was a good friend and lover to him, too.
Janeway’s like wait, what? Chakotay assumed she knew, assumed Ayala talked.
Is Ayala really the type to talk? He shakes his head, good point. She thought he was with Seska? Yeah, but, you met Seska? And it was a terrible time, all they all had was each other so they … all had each other. Janeway’s eyes go super wide. ….Did you ‘have’ B’Elanna?? Or Tom?? No, don’t answer that. They are both quiet for a while.
Janeway decides this is all way too awkward for her taste and suggests inviting Ayala to dinner, to hash it all out. Chakotay is not sold, but goes along with her.
Ayala arrives, hackles up because this is weird. He blurts out that he would never gossip about them or whatever they are afraid of, and he’s totally fine, great even! with their relationship, really. Janeway and Chakotay are like, no, no, no, we want to thank you. We want you to know how important you have been to both of us. He peers behind them, there is a candlelit dinner for three. He sits, still wary, but.
It’s awkward, everybody is self-conscious, but slowly they arrive at a rapport. Ayala leaves in good spirits. They decide to invite him again. And then again. It’s nice to be with someone who knows their secret, who they can be open with. He’s their coconspirator with the crew, jumping in to protect their relationship a couple times. Janeway resumes being flirty with him, and he plays along. Then one night he’s had a long day, maybe he drinks a little too much, he ends up staying over. As he sleeps Janeway and Chakotay look at him and at each other… have you ever considered? No, but now I am.
Their next dinner is back to awkward. Ayala thinks it’s because he crossed a line but they tentatively explain it’s because they would like to invite him to join them. Ayala is like Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. yes?
I think in the end it wouldn’t work and someone, most likely Ayala, maybe Chakotay, would get hurt. But for a short time it would be lovely. And whatever happens, none of the three would let any of the others self-destruct. So that’s a kind of happy ending anyway.
Post-Boot Camp Tuvok assigns each of his students to a Starfleet peer mentor. Dalby is assigned to Harry.
He thinks this is ridiculous. Harry is a kid (it’s a 10 year age difference but also Dalby has lived a life that feels longer than his 30ish years and Harry can seem younger than he is) and the most “Starfleet” of the Starfleets. Meanwhile, Harry is intimidated. But Tuvok has his reasons, which he’s not about to share with either, and they are stuck with each other.
For the first couple, Harry puts in an effort to be friendly and supportive by pulling up a chair in the mess, asking Dalby about his day, and providing an evaluation and lots of suggestions on how to improve. That’s how Harry defines “mentoring”. To Dalby this comes across as forced and judgemental and he becomes increasingly irritated. Eventually he blows up and storms out and Harry worries he’s not only completely failed his assignment, he’s undone any good Tuvok did. He goes to B’Elanna for advice and she tells him not to take it personally, Dalby has always been bristly. She wonders aloud why Tuvok thought they’d be a good match.
So Harry tries to figure it out. What does Tuvok think of him? Well, he thinks he’s overeager and naive but how would that help? Dalby doesn’t respect him any more than Tuvok does. But maybe that’s unfair. If Tuvok didn’t respect him, why would he give him this assignment? Maybe Tuvok realizes Dalby needs something that Tuvok can’t provide. Something emotional, even illogical.
He approaches Dalby in the mess the next morning. Dalby sighs – bristles – and says he’s too tired to do this today, to go over all his rookie mistakes and deep faults of character.
Harry asks for forgiveness, tells him he never meant to make him feel less than. Dalby says fine now go away please.
Harry says okay, but can they start over tomorrow? Clean slate. No expectations. Dalby frowns. But nods.
Dalby is damaged goods, he assumes he’s beyond repair, just going through the motions. He cares about his friends, even cares about the mission now that he feels more a part of the community. But he still doesn’t care about himself. And Harry won’t accept that, no more than he does in Tom or B’Elanna.
Slowly but surely Harry gets him talking. Slowly but surely they start to bond. They meet once a week to catch up, then every few days. At some point it starts to seem strange when they don’t meet.
They move from the mess to the holodeck to quarters. Harry realizes he’s got a crush, maybe even falling in love. With Dalby?? B’Elanna asks incredulously. Yes, he answers, with that Harry Kim wide-eyed assurance. Well, okay then, B’Elanna says, with her own wide-eyed acceptance. Go get him, tiger.
It takes a while for Harry to make a move. When he finally does, finally lets his feelings show, finally presses his lips to Ken’s, it’s sudden, awkward, a little reckless. Ken is shocked. He starts to laugh.
Harry backs away, embarrassed, crushed, starts to make excuses to leave in between saying I’m sorry! over and over.
Where are you going? Ken asks. We’re in your quarters.
Harry blinks, mutters I’m sorry again. Ken grins, grabs his hands, pulls him close. Harry is confused. Wakes up the next morning, Ken in his bed, still confused but also contented.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Vulcans can be excellent matchmakers.
Chapter 39: Gabriel Lorca x Katrina Cornwell
Chapter by Pixie (magnetgirl)
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
All we know of Prime Gabriel Lorca is that he was “measured, reasoned,” and Katrina’s friend.
They meet at the Academy. Katrina is Medical Track, majoring in Psychology, but takes a lot of extra electives required for eventual Command Training because she has always been ambitious. Gabriel is Security or Tactical, majoring in Interplanetary Affairs.
Neither is looking for a relationship – they have goals, plans. They’re focused on themselves. But the attraction is instantaneous. They have chemistry. They spark. They click. They become friendly, fool around, and become friends. Neither can tell you in what order. It doesn’t matter.
They are part of a tight knit group of friends. The overachievers. Gabriel gives them all nicknames. He can’t stand being called ‘Gabe’ but Kat’s convinced him he can’t in fairness argue it; still she never uses it herself.
Kat is at the top of the class academically and helps Gabriel get through the classes that bore him. Gabriel helps her with combat, marksmanship, which she hates and doesn’t particularly want to be good at, but recognizes as important.
Kat also has a List of extracurriculars, many of which Gabriel will tag along on. Outreach, debate, sports. They are on an elite team together. They always share a room when they travel.
They are both popular, never have trouble finding a date. But it’s not serious. Their inner circle is all flirty and physical with each other, Katrina and Gabriel most of all. They all pair up at some point and they are playful with moresomes.
Gabriel makes Kat feel safe. She seeks him out in times of stress and anxiety. He provides comfort, hot cocoa or something stronger, listens to her babble, holds her in a tight embrace, takes her to bed, reads to her. Whatever she needs. Sometimes she worries she’s using him, but he assures her she’s not. He wants to be that person for her.
Kat is Gabriel’s north star. He follows her, worships her, sets his life by her. He would pursue a more stable and defined relationship if he didn’t think she’d run away (and he’s right, she would). But he’s okay with the way things are. They’re happy, they have fun, they’re together if apart. He loves her, he knows she loves him. It doesn’t need to be anything else right now. They have all the time in the world.
Gabriel is a romantic and an optimist. Katrina is an idealist and a pragmatist.
After the Academy, the group are all split up across the galaxy. But they stay close. They see each other, sometimes serve together in twos or threes, get together for leave. They are all still competitive, still stars on a trajectory to the top. They all achieve some level of greatness. They all encounter some level of tragedy.
They have relationships outside the group, some serious, even Gabriel, even Katrina. There is some jealousy on all sides. Also some hurt. But Gabriel ignores it and Katrina suppresses it. And they’ll defend each other to outsiders, explain away their long relationship. To anyone who asks they are always friends. Good friends, close friends, friends from way back, but just friends.
They both want the best for each other.
When they are together, and free, the years fall away. They know each other in and out.
(She knew. She knew and she didn’t trust it, and she hates herself for it.)
Katrina could strangle Mirror Lorca with her bare hands and enjoy it. She’s – mostly – relieved he’s already dead. She imagines her Gabriel berating her for not knowing the difference, but deep down knows her Gabriel never would. He still keeps her safe, even from herself.
Wherever Gabriel is, she is still his north star, and she will lead him home, to her. And when she gets him back, she will never let go again.
I initially wrote this before the end of S2 and I decided not to update the final sentences to reflect canon because I'm still upset about canon and these are meant to be alternate tales anyway.
Tom is one of the first to reach out to Seven, to try and help her integrate, belong. He uses humor, he invites her to join his holo-adventures, he makes an effort to befriend her.
Tom was always personable, outgoing – he created spaces for people to relax and have fun, he looked out for his friends – but S4 Tom has fewer expectations for reward than S1 Tom does. He’s grown and it can be traced to his relationships with Kathryn “adopt everyone” Janeway and Harry “this man is my friend” Kim (as well as Kes and B’Elanna). Tom reaches out to Seven because Seven needs a friend, not because Tom does.
And Tom is the perfect person to draw out Seven’s playful side, which would help reintegrate her child self.
Imagine B’Elanna and Tom break up after “Scientific Method”.
Smarting, because for sure she broke up with him, and lonely, Tom puts even more effort into befriending Seven. She and B’Elanna don’t get along so it feels safe. And she’s not stuck in the middle the way Harry would be. He’s attracted to her but doesn’t act on it because it would wholly irresponsible to use her to get over B’Elanna and she definitely would not understand something casual – he believes he would be taking advantage of her if they had any kind of relationship beyond friendship so he decides to suppress his attraction entirely. But they become close and help each other through some of the more dramatic events (“Retrospect”, “One”, “Drone”, “Infinite Regress”, “Thirty Days”).
When it comes time for Seven to explore dating and sexuality, Tom takes it on instead of the Doctor. But like the Doctor, through the process he realizes he’s fallen in love with her. Their interactions continue, Tom doing everything he can not to make things awkward, Seven mostly oblivious, but starting to explore the idea of attraction.
In the final season, they enter into a relationship much the way she does with Chakotay in canon only it makes sense because they have been moving towards it for four years and have been friends, not rivals.
They could be at the Academy together.
Academy peers, not quite friends – she’s super focused on her science, he’s got all sorts of things going on, but they know and respect each other. Maybe shared a drink or a dance or two, and an attraction but they never pursued anything. Kiss on the cheek at graduation. Exchange news now and again. She attends his wedding, he's on the list for hers.
They haven't seen each other in years when her ship docks at his station. They have a mandated meeting – he’s giving her intel about the badlands, the Maquis, the conflict. She expresses her sympathy over the loss of his wife, he congratulates her on her engagement. They end up having dinner.
It’s nice, a break from the stresses of the looming war. They talk about Jake, were they ever that young? Start reminiscing about the Academy and those moments of 'almost' they shared –
"Did you ever think about…?"
They both did, and they both do. But the timing is never right.
Days later she disappears, and when she returns, he's married - and gone.
Scenario one, Kashyk is always on the side of good and the reveal doesn’t happen because he is truly attempting to help the refugees. Kashyk and Janeway succeed in their deception on the Devore, go through the wormhole or whatever, Kashyk defects to the Federation and takes up residence on Voyager, where he and Kathryn pursue a romance. This scenario sets up some potentially interesting dynamics between Kashyk and Chakotay as rivals, Kashyk and Tuvok the telepathic security chief, Kashyk and Neelix since Kashyk’s use on the ship would be similar to Neelix’s in the earlier seasons, and he and Kathryn would have to navigate their relationship around her duty and his angst, etc. But overall it’s not the most creative set up.
Scenario two, everything that happens in “Counterpoint” happens but Kashyk shows up alone in a shuttle a second time claiming to have ‘actually changed’ now.
Janeway does not believe him, he begs her to listen, explains he’s not only disgraced and lost all authority, he’s branded a traitor by his people and an enemy by the refugees. Janeway is unimpressed, tells him he IS an enemy to the refugees and also to Voyager so bye.
He says he has nowhere else to go, he’ll be killed. Most of the crew is like, eh, not our problem, but someone – Neelix? I mean, it would be Kes if she were still around (why wasn’t Kes listed among the telepathic crew? Suder was and he died before she left) so I guess Neelix or Tuvok (but he might play the Prime Directive card here), anyway, someone – says not saving him is the same as killing him and we are better than that. Janeway SIGHs (possibly Janeway is the someone and she can’t tell if her Starfleet Principles™ or her attraction is driving it and she is v angsty about it all), brings Kashyk on board and throws him in the brig.
He stays there at least two weeks while the senior staff argue about what to do with him. At this point they’d have to go back into Devore space to take him back and that would mean risking the ship and their telepaths all over again as well as going in the wrong direction and for what? Eventually they decide to drop him on the next appropriate planet they arrive at and be done with it (Tuvok brings up the Prime Directive here, too, but he is outvoted). Janeway heads to the brig to tell Kashyk what’s what.
Kashyk obviously hates this plan and tries to change her mind. He pitches the alternative that he (again, like Neelix in the beginning) knows about this region of space and he can help her. He provides a few examples, she starts to waver, and, again, can’t tell why. She doesn’t trust herself so she asks Tuvok to vet his sincerity and/or usefulness to the ship.
Tuvok and Kashyk have a long, twisty, conversation. Kashyk is culturally opposed to and frightened of Tuvok’s telepathy. But he’s also desperate. Ultimately Tuvok advises he remain on the ship, confined to quarters until he’s completed some kind of rehabilitation, but it’s not right to let him off on a random planet (his reasoning is Kashyk’s survival would be questionable, it’s unfair to the random population, and Janeway would blame herself).
Thus Kashyk is moved to quarters and starts meeting with Tuvok twice a week for training in sensitivity and Starfleet protocol. He is given access to parts of the database so he can read up on Federation history, philosophy, sociology, and art. He listens to music incessantly. He becomes obsessed with old Earth movies, anything starring Katherine Hepburn. He starts some kind of crafting hobby. Tuvok is his main, basically only, companion, and slowly Kashyk’s starts to question and eventually reject his telepathy bias. He becomes deeply depressed. Agonizes over all the crimes he’s committed. Mourns his society, his convictions. And he’s lonely and scared.
Janeway meets with him once a month, and anytime something comes up he might be able to comment on. Chakotay tells her to let Tuvok do it, but she insists it has to be her. About six months in they’ve already moved past where he’d be most helpful, and it’s clear to her he’s both depressed and repentant. She starts to visit him more frequently just to talk. Maybe watch one of those movies. They slowly fall back into the tentative friendship they’d shared, and the attraction, though they both suppress it, because it hurts too much. This continues for another six months.
Eventually Tuvok and Janeway petition for Kashyk to be released into the crew. There is push back, but ultimately Starfleet believes in rehabilitation and he gets a conditional release and a position in Security (though he does not receive weapons access unless directly supervised by Tuvok and then only in emergency situations). Janeway and Tuvok make an effort to be seen with him in the mess hall so as to integrate him into the crew. Neelix joins in, then Tom, and slowly the crew start to welcome him into their space. He publicly apologizes to the telepaths, and then to the crew in general. He’s good at his job and by now an expert on Earth and with some time and space he becomes part of Voyager’s crew of misfits and miscreants.
It takes two years for Kashyk and Kathryn to reunite, but they are rewarded for their patience and hard work with a relationship of equals built on acknowledgement of individual and cultural wrongdoing, redemption and forgiveness, and honesty. Which is a far cry from the deception and desperation their earlier relationship was based on. They are both better for it.
Young L’Rell and Young Dennas were friends. They traded secrets. L’Rell was quieter, shier, bookish, thoughtful but could be impulsive, whip smart and has a knack for reading people. Dennas was more outgoing, poised, flirtatious, people assume she’s airheaded but she’s not, everyone falls a little bit in love with her despite themselves. L’Rell always had a scheme cooked up, Dennas had people falling over themselves to do things for her. They were the Blair and Serena of Klingons.
And they both get caught up in the war. L’Rell is a true believer in T’Kuvma’s plan to unite the houses. Dennas is not opposed, but she sides with power. She’s willing to listen to T’Kuvma, she helps Kol capture a Federation representative, she positions herself wherever she needs to to survive and advance during the war, and when L’Rell takes command, she seizes the moment. Uses their prior relationship to get an audience and pitches herself as L’Rell’s closest ally.
At first it’s an uneasy relationship. Friendly, but wary. There’s history, there’s power play, there’s intrigue – I’m sure assassination attempts abound and for a while L’Rell thinks Dennas could be setting her up, and meanwhile Dennas thinks L’Rell is secretly working for the Federation (I mean, her closest companion is a human even if he does speak Klingon like a native). But slowly, they start to trust each other, and some of their earlier camaraderie returns.
One night, after a battle, high on victory, they celebrate together. Dennas is aggressive, L’Rell shy but receptive. She’s secretly had a crush on Dennas since they were teens. It means more to her than to Dennas and she thinks that’s how it’s always going to be. She drowns her sorrows in blood wine.
Dennas starts to woo L’Rell. L’Rell assumes it’s a scheme, a play for power and plays along, makes her work for it, expects to have to banish her, tries to enjoy it while she can. This goes on for a long while, each using the other because they think the other is using her. It’s a big complicated mess, many hurt feelings that must be hidden, each has other relationships for show but none of them are ever satisfying. L’Rell’s position is precarious, Dennas is asked to join up with other houses to overthrow her. Many promises are made. But underneath all of it is a simple truth.
They actually love each other.
In a happy story they would figure this out and live out their days together turning the Klingon Empire into a matriarchy. But Klingon stories are so often violent and tragic so probably one or the other is tricked into betrayal and only learns the truth of their love at the moment of her death.
The Lorca we’ve met (Mirror) is like a Riker who would accept the Q powers regardless of what his friends thought of it and that is a very intriguing concept. Mirror Lorca with Q powers would be a scary, scary situation. But I can also see it backfiring on him in some kind of Jafar-in-Aladdin kind of way.
As a couple… Would they hit it off? Yes. But only at the most superficial of levels because they are both hugely selfish and emotionally stunted.
So, Q intercepts the Buran some 100 years before the Enterprise-D. He finds a stressed out crew in the midst of a war with Klingons and they Do Not Have Time for Q’s “teach me about humanity” shenanigans. Lorca, the Mirror pretending to be Prime, says it straight out.
Q’s like, I definitely don’t care about your silly little war, and blinks them somewhere outside the boundaries of Federation and Klingon space and Lorca’s like, hmmm, tell me more.
So now we have Q, all dressed up in Disco-era captain’s garb, and Mirror Lorca, still kinda new to his con, wining and dining each other in order to get what they want. It goes well, they are, in fact, a good match. Lorca wants universal domination and Q, let’s be honest here, wants to be dominated. Both are playing a game, thinking they need to make it not so easy, but nonetheless it escalates quickly.
Meanwhile, Lorca’s crew is like wtf? First he was a somewhat too angry man in search of Klingons to kill and now he’s perfectly content to hang out in the middle of nowhere flirting with the self described superior being who kidnapped us from a war (and is a walking talking microaggression on the best day)?? Time to nominate someone to be the Second Mutineer in Starfleet history.
Q offers Lorca Q powers, with the caveat that he can’t disrupt time or history or any established civilizations, etc etc, Q Prime Directive, and Lorca’s like what is even the point but fine, whatever.
But just as they’re about to move forward, Lorca’s XO (I don’t know who she is, but she is AWESOME) marches into his ready room and demands Q send them back home. Q quips he likes her, she has spunk. Lorca rolls his eyes and orders her out. She refuses, says she’s prepared to relieve him of duty. Lorca, impatient to get back to receiving superpowers, tells Q to kill her. XO calls for security. Q tells Lorca he’s not really the murdering type. Lorca is disgusted that someone who can kill with the snap of his fingers won’t. Everyone starts shouting at everyone.
Suddenly everything freezes, another Q appears, telling Q he’s early, humanity isn’t ready, why is he always like this? "Because all you Qs are so boring", answers Q, but he agrees to come back tomorrow (in human terms 100 years on). Other Q sends the ship back to its battle and erases the memory of the crew.
Lorca wakes up from a dream of traveling across the galaxy in the blink of an eye and a manipulative romance followed by a revolt and starts plotting in earnest.