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Summary: Kathryn and Chakotay remember the past.


This Christmas Eve - Part 6
Christmas Memories

Year: 2405

Kathryn stood in silence, gazing at the tree before her. Dazzled by its beauty. Entranced by the glowing lights. Lost in her own meandering thoughts.

Chakotay walked up behind her, giving her a slight start as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

"What are you thinking about?" he asked, resting his chin on her shoulder.

"You," she replied, leaning back against him. "You and all the Christmases we've spent together. Can you believe it's been 30 years?"

He smirked. "Time flies when you're having fun!"

Kathryn grinned. They certainly had had their fun over the years. And though there had been many rough spots, somehow, she and Chakotay had managed to get through them all unscathed.

They quietly stood together for several minutes, enjoying the peace and quiet. This was, as Chakotay had once put it, the calm before the storm. Christmas was always a tremendously busy day for them, and this one would be no different. In fact, they had predicted that this one would be the most hectic ever.

"What time did Kol say he would be by tomorrow?" Kathryn finally asked.

"Around 1000. He's going to his girlfriend's house first."

"Which one? He has so many girlfriends," she said jokingly, moving so that she could wrap her arm around her husband's waist. Chakotay began to chuckle.

"Can I help it if he inherited my dashing good looks?"

"I think it must be the tattoo," she stated, reaching up to trace her fingers over his own tattoo.

"So *that's* why you married me!" He bent down to brush a kiss against her lips. Kathryn smiled up at him, then rested her head against his chest. "I'm glad he's going to be here," Chakotay continued. "Especially since Lanna is home for the holidays. He hasn't seen his little sister in over a year."

"He probably won't even recognize her. I almost didn't when we met her at the Academy this afternoon. Can you believe how much she's changed?"

"She's starting to look a lot like you...and even acts a little like you."

"How so?"

"Did you see the way she was standing there at the shuttle terminal, with her hands on her hips? Your typical Janeway command stance," he laughed, stepping towards the tree.

"Typical? I don't recall ever standing like that!" she retorted. Chakotay stared back at her, still snickering. Kathryn noticed that she indeed was standing as such, hands planted firmly on her hips. She immediately dropped them to her side while Chakotay laughed even harder.

"Stop laughing at me! I'm an old woman, for goodness sake!" she kidded, turning to go into the kitchen.

"Old?!? Kathryn, I would hardly consider you old!"

"I'm a grandmother...I think that qualifies me to be old!" she called out. Kathryn returned to the living room, coffee mug in hand. She stood by the couch, watching Chakotay and wondering why he was shuffling around the room so much, as if he was searching for something.

He stopped to look back at her and gave her that beautiful grin of his. "Well, I have to say're the most beautiful grandmother this side of the universe!"

"Flirt!" she replied, finally taking a seat. After a few minutes, he came over to where she was sitting, a suspicious look on his face. "What *are* you up to?"

"I...I was...just making sure that we had all the gifts out for Eddie and Shannon. You did say that Emily would be here with them tomorrow, didn't you?"

"Yes, I did say that. But does 'Papa Chak' even have a clue as to what he's giving his grandchildren...since I don't recall him helping me wrap them?"

Chakotay grinned sheepishly, as he knelt down beside the couch. "I never could fool you, could I?" Reaching underneath the edge of the couch, he pulled out a small shiny package. "If you weren't so damn nosy, I wouldn't have to hide these things," he said, handing her the gift. "Merry Christmas, my lovely Granny Kate!"

Kathryn smirked at his remark. "Gee, I wonder what this could be?" she said as she ripped at the paper.

"I've seen you with the tricorder, attempting to figure out what all your gifts are. Don't try to deny it!"

"I don't know what you're talking..." Kathryn started to say as she pulled the crystal angel from the box. The detail was incredible, and it was slightly larger than any of the other ornaments she had received. "Chakotay, this is the most exquisite ornament you've ever given me. What did I do to deserve this?"

He seated himself next to her on the couch. "This represents what you are to me. If I hadn't met you, who knows where I would be today? I certainly wouldn't be the person I've become, and I owe that to you. You have always been there for me, through thick and thin. Watching over me...guiding me...taking care of me. And for that, I am eternally grateful. You are now and will forever guardian angel."

Kathryn gazed back at him, tears brimming in her eyes. Without a word, she leaned over to kiss him. He pulled her into a hug, burying his nose in her hair.

"I love you, Chakotay. I always have, and I always will."

"I love you too, Kathryn," Chakotay said, lifting her chin to meet her gaze. "And now, if the world's most beautiful grandmother is willing, her angry warrior would like to show her just how much she means to him..." he whispered seductively.

Kathryn bit her bottom lip, extremely tempted. "You don't know how much I would love that...demonstration...but this grandmother needs to be preparing some things for tomorrow's feast. In case you've forgotten, you decided to invite half of the crew from Voyager here for a party tomorrow night...and they all accepted! Now you really don't expect them to come here and find nothing to eat, do you?"

Chakotay leaned down and slowly began to nibble at her left ear lobe. Kathryn gasped at the sensation, finding it harder and harder to resist.

"The angry warrior promises to help her out tomorrow..." he teased, moving his kisses down to her neck.

"He'd better," she purred, lifting his lips to hers for one more kiss. Chakotay finally stood up and took her hands, pulling her up. He began to lead her from the living room, but she stopped momentarily, turning to look at the tree.

A tree filled with crystal ornaments, sparkling in the dimmed light. A tree overflowing with thousands of Christmas memories. A tree blazing with multi-colored lights. Kathryn began to smile as she left the room in her husband's arms.

This would be yet another Christmas that she would never forget.

[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 ]
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