Third (and last) in the trilogy of stories inspired by slwatson’s Slice of Life challenge. Janeway looks to complete her menu. Should probably be read after the first two stories, Having Her Cake and Eating It Too, but hey, you know, whatever. This story, and the others are G-PG (and no one dies! That’s three in a row!).
Thanks, as always, must go to Elem for the mighty beta. She’s the best.
Gretchen Janeway was worried.
It wasn’t like her oldest daughter to be late and not to have let her know that she was okay.
The six weeks since Voyager’s return had been wonderful. Kathryn had survived and brought her crew home. Edward would’ve been so proud of her. They were all very proud of her, not to mention delighted to have her safe and well.
It was only a few days after she’d been home that her mother had detected in Kathryn an aura of, if not exactly sadness, then disappointment or an emotion very much like it. At first, Gretchen thought it had been regret and self-blame over lost crew that was a inevitable consequence of command, and these were certainly a factor, but there was something else as well.
When Kathryn had embraced learning to cook with such enthusiasm, it hadn’t surprised her mother that she wasn’t satisfied with merely being able make a simple meal. No, Kathryn always needed to excel. In an astoundingly short amount of time, her daughter had progressed to an amazing level of proficiency with a small selection of dishes.
But Kathryn, though engrossed in her new hobby, still seemed unsettled. It wasn’t only that she’d been back for such a short time that had made Gretchen Janeway uncomfortable about her moving to her own house (there were other issues at play), and although Kathryn was only an hour late, Gretchen was concerned enough to make a high priority communication.
It took a couple of minutes for her daughter to answer the vid call.
Gretchen was a little surprised. Kathryn was usually an early riser and, as it was already after eleven in the morning, she should have been awake.
The image that appeared shocked her and a stab of fear lanced through her. Not only was her daughter still in a dressing gown, but her hair was mussed and her eyes bleary. The last time Kathryn had looked this way, at this hour of the morning, was during that dreadful time, fifteen years ago after the crash of the Terra Nova.
“Kathryn, are you all right, darling?”
“Yes, mom, I’m fine.” Janeway’s voice was raspy and her eyes still weren’t fully open.
The thought occurred to Gretchen that perhaps things hadn’t gone so well with her luncheon yesterday. “How was everything with Chakotay?”
“Sensational.” Janeway’s eyes opened wide and she seemed to collect herself, “Lunch went very well, Mom. Chakotay stayed for dinner and we talked and…talked.”
Relief flooded through Gretchen’s system.
“Oh, that’s lovely. What did he think of your skills?”
“No complaints…oh, you mean…the pie was a great success.” Kathryn smiled a genuine smile, “Another triumph for Grandma’s recipe.”
“Wonderful, darling.” Gretchen hesitated, trying not to sound as if she were nagging, “I was a little worried; you’re usually so punctual.”
“Sorry, mom, er…” Kathryn’s eyes were now wide open, “something, um, came up this morning.”
There was a little hitch in her daughter’s voice. If Gretchen didn’t know better, she’d…realization hit.
“Kathryn, did you just squeak?”
“Um, sorry, I was distracted.” Kathryn was obviously trying not to look at something outside the range of Gretchen’s view screen.
“Well, I’ll expect you both in an hour. Lunch is at one thirty. Tell Chakotay to get your butt into gear.”
Gretchen winked at her daughter and signed off before her Kathryn had time to notice that she was grinning like the proverbial cat that got the cream.
“Phoebe,” Gretchen called out to the other room, “put another setting at the table. Kathryn’s having Chakotay for lunch.”