Section I: About the Author
Very little is known about the mysterious Spiletta42. The pen name seems to be derived from a combination of factors.
Spiletta was an eighteenth century racehorse, specifically a granddaughter of the legendary Godolphin Arabian. Owned by the Duke of Cumberland, Spiletta foaled a colt during the solar eclipse on April 1, 1764 that was to become a champion of unprecedented domination on British racetracks.
The number forty-two is probably a reference to the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, although it may have another meaning.
Forty-two was Fox Mulder's apartment number on the X-Files, and was also the supposedly haunted section of deck twelve in the Voyager episode The Haunting of Deck Twelve.
Then there is the possibility that the number is a reference to an episode. The TOS episode The Trouble With Tribbles, the TNG episode Q Who, the DS9 episode The Wire, and the VGR episode Basics I all bore the number forty-two.
Regardless of the meaning behind the name, it is clear that Spiletta42 is a trekkie, and probably a sci-fi fan as well. Clearly a J/Cer, Spiletta42 also supports the P/T and D/7 relationships.
All of her (we're guessing her) writing ignores the episode Fair Haven, as well as Thirty Days, so Tom Paris is always a lieutenant, regardless of timeframe, and the captain's lips have never touched those of a certain holographic bartender.
Section II: Introduction
Filling the Void is an in depth exploration of the J/C relationship. To fully appreciate the brilliance of the piece, one must be familiar with Star Trek, and with Voyager in particular.
J is Captain Kathryn Janeway, and C is her loyal first officer, Commander Chakotay. That they share a deep friendship is undisputed, and most fans agree that the relationship has romantic potential. Reams of fanfiction have been written on the subject, but none so magnificent as Filling the Void.
Section III: The Characters
Captain Kathryn Janeway:
Our brave, beautiful, and very wise captain, to paraphrase the first officer, adored by all. Her heroism has saved lives, even entire planets, countless times. She is an accomplished scientist and a decisive leader. She is also a guilt ridden, coffee-addicted insomniac who throws protocol to the wind for the good of the crew, but clings to it stubbornly in order to deny herself happiness. She is in love with her first officer, but feels she must keep her feelings hidden. Against all logic, she blames herself for anything and everything, especially Voyager's current situation.
The daughter of a Starfleet Admiral (Edward Janeway) and a traditionalist mother (Gretchen), Kathryn grew up in a farming community in Indiana. She followed a science track and played tennis while at Starfleet Academy, and served her first mission as a junior science officer under Admiral Owen Paris on the Al-Batani. She and the Admiral were captured by Cardassians during that mission, and she was a witness to exactly how they treated prisoners.
Also on that mission, she met Lieutenant Justin Tighe, who became her fiance after Admiral Paris intervened and told the obviously blind and deaf Kathryn Janeway that the poor man had feelings for her.
After a shuttlecraft accident killed both Admiral Edward Janeway and Justin, Kathryn hid in her bedroom for a couple of months before her younger sister, Phoebe, dumped ice water on her, thus ending her depression. She returned to Starfleet, and switched her career track to command.
After avoiding relationships for a while, Kathryn finally gave in to the advances of Mark Johnson, who had pursued her since the two were teenagers. She left her dog, Molly, in his care when she left for a three week mission in the Badlands as captain of the USS Voyager. Her ship was searching for a missing Maquis vessel when it was pulled across the galaxy by an entity known as the Caretaker.
Formerly the captain of a Maquis vessel, Chakotay is now the first officer on Voyager. He is deeply in love with Captain Kathryn Janeway. Ever patient, he has accepted the fact that she will not acknowledge or return his affection until Voyager returns to the Alpha Quadrant.
The member of a Central American tribe, Chakotay was raised on Trebus, a planet in what was to become the Cardassian Demilitarized Zone. His father Kolopak called him a contrary because he resented the old fashioned ways of his tribe.
Chakotay attended Starfleet Academy and had reached the rank of Commander before his entire family was killed by Cardassians in the destruction of the colony on Trebus. He then left Starfleet to join the Maquis, a group of Federation citizens fighting the Cardassians in direct violation of the fragile so-called peace treaty. He was recruited to the cause by Sveta, his ex-lover and also a former member of Starfleet.
While fleeing from a Cardassian warship, Chakotay's ship was pulled across the galaxy by the Caretaker. Technically, he is a wanted criminal in the eyes of Starfleet, at least as far as anyone on Voyager knows, but when the Maquis crew joined Voyager following the events on Ocampa he became Captain Janeway's first officer. The original first officer (Cavit) was among those killed when the ship was tossed across the galaxy.
Lieutenant Tom Paris:
Tom Paris is serving as the helm officer and chief medic aboard Voyager. He was temporarily released from a Federation prison in New Zealand to help Voyager locate the missing Maquis vessel in the Badlands. Technically, he had lost his Starfleet commission, but Captain Janeway declared him a Lieutenant and made him a member of her senior staff after the death of the original helm officer.
The son of Admiral Owen Paris, Tom was an outstanding student at Starfleet Academy despite the fact that he took nothing seriously. He was the only survivor of an accident which took the lives of three other students, including his girlfriend and his two best friends. He lied about the circumstances of the accident, and as a result lost his Starfleet commission when he later suffered a mental breakdown and confessed his guilt in the matter.
He was pursuing a successful career as an alcoholic pool hustler when he was recruited by Chakotay to pilot a Maquis vessel. He was arrested by the Federation after only a few weeks with the rebels, and sent to New Zealand. At the time, Chakotay thought Paris had betrayed him, but he later learned that Tom had sacrificed his freedom to lead a Starfleet vessel away from Chakotay's damaged ship.
The wisecracking Tom Paris is the only person, aside from Chakotay, who is brave enough to flirt with the captain. He has lusted after Kes, ogled Seven of Nine, and briefly pursued Megan Delaney, but has long been in love with B'Elanna Torres, who has finally consented to return his feelings. Tom has shown himself to be a trusted and valuable member of the Voyager crew. He is fourth in the chain of command.
Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres:
Voyager's chief engineer, half-Klingon B'Elanna Torres is a brilliant engineer with a violent temper. She grew up on Kessik IV, a Federation colony where her Klingon mother was the only non human resident. Her father, a member of Starfleet allegedly involved in special ops, left or disappeared when she was young.
B'Elanna attended Starfleet Academy, but dropped out before graduation. She therefore never received a Starfleet commission, but Captain Janeway made her a Lieutenant and named her chief engineer anyhow. (The original engineering chief, of course, is dead.)
B'Elanna was a prisoner of the Cardassians when she was rescued by Chakotay and recruited into the Maquis. She was on his ship when it was pulled into the Delta Quadrant not long thereafter. She was taken prisoner by the Caretaker and found herself on Ocampa in the company of Harry Kim. During their shared ordeal, she took to calling him 'Starfleet' and still does on occasion.
As chief engineer, B'Elanna has served impressively. She credits Captain Janeway with giving her a second chance, and is in love with Tom Paris. She previously had feelings for Chakotay, but let them drop when she realized his infatuation with the captain.
After the death of the entire medical staff aboard Voyager, the Emergency Medical Hologram was made Chief Medical Officer. His program has evolved, and no one on board questions that he is sentient.
He likes to sing opera and pursue other non medical activities, such as holophotography, and has strong feelings for Seven of Nine.
Ensign Harry Kim:
The only member of Janeway's original senior staff to survive the trip from the Badlands to the Delta Quadrant, Harry Kim is the operations officer. He was fresh out of Starfleet Academy at the beginning of the mission. Once he had convinced himself that he was over the fiance he left on Earth, Harry developed the bad habit of falling in love with every female alien to come aboard. At any given time, he is probably just getting over one such encounter, and therefore is usually not involved in any shipboard romances.
An only child, he was raised on Earth by artistic parents, and considered a career in music before setting his sights on a Starfleet career.
His best friend is Tom Paris, and he is also very close to B'Elanna Torres. He is very fond of the captain, although she gets annoyed when he plays human shield for her.
Lieutenant Commander Tuvok:
The Vulcan is third in command of Voyager. He was serving as navigator aboard Chakotay's Maquis ship when it was pulled into the Delta Quadrant, but was actually working for Starfleet intelligence at the time. Reunited with Captain Janeway, under whom he had served in the past, he was reinstated as security chief.
He has a wife and five children on Vulcan, and while we don't know how old he is, we do know that he served under Captain Sulu on the Excelsior before returning to Vulcan to study the Kolinahr. As a Vulcan and a married man, he is excused from participating in any complex love triangles.
A Talaxian and a native of the Delta Quadrant, Neelix originally signed on as a cook. He later appointed himself morale officer, and no one seemed to complain. In his previous career, he did salvage work and ferried water back and forth between warring Kazon sects. His entire family was killed by a weapon of mass destruction.
He was previously romantically involved with Kes, the Ocampan medic, before she transformed herself into a being of pure energy and left the ship.
Seven of Nine:
Assimilated by the Borg as a child, Anika Hansen was the daughter of two Federation scientists who were studying the Collective. There was apparently a temporal anomaly involved, because the Hansens were doing this research at least ten years before the Borg were even discovered.
Regardless, Seven of Nine was a member of the Collective for nearly twenty years, and therefore thinks very much like the Borg. She likes to be efficient, sees many activities, such as eating and sleeping, as a waste of time, and is just finally starting to rediscover her humanity. She has romantic feelings for the holographic Doctor.
Instead of sleeping, she regenerates in a Borg alcove in the cargo bay. She needs to do this for approximately three hours every day or two.
Lieutenant Joe Carey:
Joe Carey has a wife and kids back in the Alpha Quadrant, and is second in command in engineering. Little is usually seen of poor Carey, unless the writers need someone to abuse. He has had his nose broken by B'Elanna Torres, was framed as a traitor by Seska, and is routinely injured in explosions just for dramatic effect. In the Dark Matter trilogy, he had all of the flesh burned off of both hands just so we could see B'Elanna lose her lunch.
Ensign Samantha Wildman:
Sam seems to be the highest ranking science officer on board, yet is not technically a member of the senior staff. Her husband, a Katarian, is on Deep Space Nine, and she was pregnant when Voyager arrived in the Delta Quadrant. She is now raising her daughter alone, with some help from Neelix.
Third in command in engineering, Vorik is more tolerant of human behavior than many Vulcans. He briefly maintained romantic feelings for Lieutenant Torres, who nearly killed him as a result, and therefore has a rare insight into human emotions.
The youngest person on board Voyager, Naomi is a half-Katarian. She was born in the Delta Quadrant, and has close friendships with Neelix, Seven of Nine, and the Doctor.
Ensign Lyssa Campbell:
The rarely heard from transporter officer sometimes puts in a few hours as a medic in sickbay. Why, we don't know, because we have been told that she has had no medical training beyond basic Starfleet first aid.
When Harry Kim leads an away team, he often selects Campbell as a member because they work well together. There has never been any implication that they are more than friends, but they frequently eat together in the messhall.
Crewman Megan Delaney:
Assigned to stellar cartography, Megan is said to be the wild twin. Harry Kim seems to be afraid of her.
Crewman Jenny Delaney:
Also assigned to stellar cartography, Jenny is the quieter of the two Delaney sisters. She is a notoriously bad pool player.
One of the replacement bridge officers, often seen at the conn or the tactical station.
Crewman Tal Celes:
A young Bajoran woman whose primary duty seems to be carrying messages between astrometrics and engineering that could probably be better transmitted through the comm system. She is notorious for being inept at mathematics, and feels, probably correctly, that she was only admitted into Starfleet academy because she is Bajoran.
For some inexplicable reason, she works directly under the tactless perfectionist Seven of Nine, which seems a little cruel.
Crewman Noah Lessing:
One of the few surviving members of the Equinox crew, Noah Lessing was among those to blame for the murder of a number of alien beings. Janeway nearly killed him in a rare show of ruthlessness, but Chakotay stepped in, saved his life, and then beat the hell out of him himself. Not the finest hour for the command team, to be sure, but if Lessing can forgive them, then so can we.
Crewman Marla Gilmore:
The former chief engineer of the Equinox. She can safely be voted "most likely to face court martial" upon return to the Alpha Quadrant.
A Bolian former Maquis assigned to security, also sometimes seen in engineering. No one has any idea how he attained the rank of lieutenant. It seems to be a continuity error.
A Bajorin former Maquis assigned to engineering, he clashed with Tuvok over his right to wear an earring.
Ensign Mariah Henley:
A human former Maquis assigned to the conn, she had a wise grandfather who taught history in upstate New York.
Crewman Billy Telfer:
A hypochondriac from engineering with feelings for Tal Celes.
Crewman Mortimer Haren:
The agoraphobic physicist who rarely leaves deck fifteen.
We know nothing about him, really, except that he is romantically involved with Noah Mannick.
We know nothing about him, either, except that he is romantically involved with Brad Harrison.
One of the crewmembers held hostage by the Subu, known for her memory.
Usually in command of the gamma shift; misses his sons.
Sometimes in command of the gamma shift.
Sometimes in command of the beta shift.
Crewman Lon Suder:
Deceased former Maquis from Betazed with mental disorders.
Dr. Telek R'Mor:
Deceased Romulan scientist who aided Voyager in the past, and was aided by them in return. Interestingly, he had been dead for many years before ever meeting the crew. They communicated through a time displaced wormhole.
Dr. Tarleya R'Mor:
Daughter of the late Dr. Telek R'Mor.
Admiral Owen Paris:
Mentor to Captain Janeway and father to Tom Paris.
Counselor Deanna Troi.
Ship's counselor aboard the USS Enterprise.
Commander Will Riker:
First officer of the USS Enterprise; involved with Troi.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
In command aboard the USS Enterprise.
Science officer/Conn officer aboard the USS Enterprise.
Dr. Beverly Crusher:
Chief medical officer aboard the USS Enterprise.
Son of Beverly Crusher, inaccurately rumored to be the love child of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Lieutenant Commander Neela Daren:
Former astrometrics chief on USS Enterprise; once involved with Jean-Luc Picard.
Lieutenant Commander Worf:
Former security chief on USS Enterprise; once involved with Counselor Troi.
Relays a communication near the end of the story; all we need to know about her is that she wears her hair long, which is rare among Romulans.
Janeway's second fiance; gave her up for dead and married Carla, his assistant. (Why does a philosopher need an assistant?)
Harry Kim's fiance who is waiting in San Francisco.
The most recent alien chick to fall for Harry Kim; she was from a shadow universe and could not survive long in ours.
A Cardassian double agent who seduced Chakotay and was a member of his Maquis crew while disguised as a Bajorin. She later allied with the Kazon and attempted to steal Voyager. She stole Chakotay's DNA in an attempt to impregnate herself, but the baby turned out to be half Kazon.
Chakotay's girlfriend while at Starfleet Academy and a member of the Maquis.
Ocampan woman who served as a medic and was romantically involved with Neelix before she left Voyager as a being of pure energy.
Klingon prophet mentioned by B'Elanna for no good reason.
Captain James T. Kirk:
The third captain of the USS Enterprise 1701. Ensign Campbell mentions him as one of her heroes. It is Kirk's security code that is used to access Janeway's quarters in chapter fifteen.
The longtime first officer onboard the USS Enterprise. Ensign Campbell mentions him as one of her heroes.
Captain Christopher Pike:
Second captain of the USS Enterprise 1701. Ensign Campbell mentions him as one of her heroes.
Omnipotent prankster mentioned by Janeway.
Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People:
Character played by Captain Janeway in Tom's Captain Proton holodeck program.
Special Agent Fox Mulder:
Character played by Chakotay in a holodeck program.
Special Agent Dana Scully:
Character played by Janeway in a holodeck program.
Character played by the Doctor in a holodeck program.
Character played by Neelix in a holodeck program.
Character played by Harry Kim in a holodeck program.
Character played by Tom Paris in a holodeck program.
Character played by Seven of Nine in a holodeck program.
Jhan of Asduff:
Character in Neelix's ghost story.
Character in Dickens novel mentioned by Tom Paris.
Character in Dickens novel mentioned by Tom Paris.
Character in Dickens novel mentioned by Tom Paris.
Commander Chakotay's dead father who appears in a dream.
Admiral Edward Janeway:
Captain Janeway's dead father who appears in a dream.
Lieutenant Justin Tighe:
Captain Janeway's dead fiance who appears in a dream.
Ensign Yvonne Harper:
Injured USS Billings crewmember who appears in a dream.
Janeway's "spirit guide" who appears in a hallucination.
Chakotay's "spirit guide" who appears in a hallucination.
Mentioned as having appeared in a previous dream.
Memory manipulating alien girl who had an affair with Chakotay; she is mentioned by Chakotay's dead father in a dream.
Former Borg drone who used a cortical implant to control Chakotay; she is mentioned by Chakotay's dead father in a dream.
Section IV: Plot Summary.
The plot of Void is rather straightforward. Tom Paris, sensing an opportunity, leads the crew in a delightful attempt to trick the captain and first officer into taking their relationship to the next level.
His scheming gets more and more elaborate each day, until we finally discover just how far he will go to bring happiness to his stubborn commanding officers.
Tom's matchmaking attempts have the entertaining side effect of bringing a few other shipboard romances into bloom, and also provide a distraction from the dull region of space the crew is traveling.
In the meantime, Janeway finds herself plagued by nightmares and insomnia, not an entirely unusual occurrence. We see evidence of this in a number of episodes and in canon novels, most notably Mosaic by Jeri Taylor and Cloak and Dagger by Christie Golden. What is unique to Void is how Janeway deals with the situation.
In something of a personal breakthrough, perhaps aided already by Tom's meddling, she turns to Chakotay for help. He gives her perhaps more assistance than she had in mind, but she accepts it.
Section V: Analysis
We begin with a flash forward to Day Nineteen in the scheming. We find a strong crew in a state of defeat, until Tom Paris makes a bold move. Although we do not know what is beyond the ready room doors, we still sense that in opening them Tom is taking a risk. That Tuvok doesn't stop him is proof that the crew is desperate, and that Tom has put himself into a leadership role in the situation.
Tension is now established, as is Tom's dominant position within the piece. It may be about Janeway and Chakotay, but in many ways Void is truly Tom's story.
Day One involves two meetings. There is the official senior staff meeting, which establishes the story's immediate situation, and the discussion in the mess hall, which sets the plot in motion.
In the staff meeting, an omniscient viewpoint narrows down to focus on Janeway, and we are immediately shown the close relationship between the captain and first officer. "Last time" is a reference to episode #95. As for the interior monologue referring to Chakotay as her life support, this happened previously in the novel Cloak and Dagger by Christie Golden.
We are held at a distance in the mess hall scene, which is primarily dialogue, and we learn what those closest to Janeway and Chakotay know about their relationship.
Tom's use of the expression "redefine some parameters" is a reference to episode #41, although Tom himself could not possibly realize the full significance of those words.
Janeway had suggested that they "define some parameters" prior to hearing Chakotay's angry warrior legend on New Earth. This was a pivotal event in the relationship, as the story was a thinly veiled admission of Chakotay's feelings for Janeway. New Earth references are found throughout J/C fanfiction, and Void is no exception.
Day Two begins the scheming. After the first in a series of obligatory leola root jokes, Tom enlists aid from a majority of the crew and uses his infamous fascination with twentieth century culture to make his first attempt. He requests that internal sensors not be used to spy on the captain, which would be an invasion of privacy.
We get a closer look at how the command team behaves normally. They flirt lightly on the bridge and then eat dinner together. We see evidence of their mutual attraction as the third person viewpoint focuses on each in turn.
(Janeway was dressed as Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People, in episode #107.)
Tom Paris has created a twentieth century movie theater in the holodeck. A few clues show us that the movie in question is Independence Day.
We are introduced to the relationship between Seven of Nine and the Doctor, as well as the one between Tal Celes and Billy Telfer. Slash fans are thrown a bone, so to speak, when we learn about Brad Harrison and Noah Mannick, and we also see the deep love between Megan Delaney and anything in pants. (Or out of them, one might say.)
During the course of this scene, the viewpoint shifts back and forth between Janeway and Chakotay, and if we are alert we notice an interesting device. When Janeway is the viewpoint character, she is referred to as Janeway, but Chakotay always sees her as Kathryn. This continues throughout the novel.
Tom's plan seems to be working perfectly already as he supplies Chakotay with an excuse to put his arm around the captain, and the first officer rapidly employs it. We learn some backstory as well, with a reference to episodes #50 and #51.
Chakotay's fascination with Janeway's hands, shown in this scene, is mentioned, in canon, in several novels including Cloak and Dagger.
Day Three opens with another one of Tom's secret meetings, and we hear some wild suggestions, primarily involving the transporters. The Doctor manages to squeeze in a McCoyism with "I'm a doctor, not a stalker."
The next scene, told in summary, serves as a source of insider internet humor, with an entertaining stab at songfics. We also learn Ensign Henley's first name. (Mariah.)
Everything nearly goes awry when Tuvok discovers that the doors to astrometrics are sealed, and the crew scrambles to cover up the real reason.
After the shift, we see both Janeway and Chakotay trying to select off duty clothing. Those who have seen the show may be amused by this, as the two share equally bad tastes in clothes and should not be allowed to dress themselves. (If we see them well dressed, it usually means that Tom dressed them, as in episodes #50 and #51.)
Then, on to the dance in the shuttlebay. There's a sneaky reference to the TOS audio novel Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda N. McIntyre which serves as insider humor to the truly obsessed trekkie, and then the scheming is on.
Plan A fails immediately. Neelix trots out with some grub puffs, and we see that the captain is not only brave but also rather protective of her first officer as she defends him against having to sample the so-called treats.
Another McCoyism, and Plan C fails as well. So does Plan D, although it gives us a glimpse into the friendship between Chakotay and B'Elanna, as well as the relationship between Tom and the captain.
Success at last comes when Naomi Wildman takes her turn, and the captain and Chakotay are tricked into one another's arms. They dance, but flee from one another when temptation rears its head.
The line about cold sonic showers raises an important issue. Can a sonic shower be cold and if so how?
Day Four opens with yet another one of Tom's meetings. Harry jokes about Nimembeh, an instructor at Starfleet Academy, and the day's plan is outlined.
On the bridge, Janeway catches herself daydreaming inappropriately, and blames Tom's humming. She kicks him off the bridge and takes the helm herself.
In astrometrics, the Doctor and Seven of Nine realize that they are more than friends, leaving sickbay unattended so that Janeway can nab a stimulant and treat her own exhaustion, which stems from her current bout of insomnia.
Over dinner, the captain shares what she correctly believes is news. She accidentally caught a glimpse of Seven and the Doctor enhancing their relationship.
Chakotay, however, believes this has been going on for a few days, at least, since B'Elanna told him about the couple the night before. He doesn't realize she was lying to cover up Tom's schemes.
After some delightful Paris-Torres bickering, the talent night begins. That these are routine events aboard Voyager was established in episode #58.
Megan Delaney again proves herself the wild twin, dancing seductively to "Big Spender" and inspiring some flirting between Janeway and Chakotay. Since Vulcans have better hearing than humans, they are overheard by Vorik.
Tension is now clearly building between Janeway and Chakotay as they sit through the performance of the song they danced to the previous evening, followed by a romantic duet between the Doctor and Seven of Nine. One small barrier is crossed as Janeway pecks Chakotay on the cheek when they say good night at her door.
Day Five opens with, yup, a meeting in the holodeck. Noah Lessing makes his first appearance in the piece, and it's a significant one. He states that the captain is uncomfortable around him, and those who saw episode #121 know why. She almost killed him. Yet he has obviously forgiven her, and even credits her with saving his life. He is willing to make quite a big sacrifice for her happiness.
The captain spends the day fighting exhaustion, although we do not yet know the specific cause of her insomnia.
Chakotay returns to his quarters to discover the computer playing Big Spender. He briefly entertains the notion that Kathryn is fulfilling his wish from the night before, although he knows better, then scolds himself for the thought. Notice how Janeway is referred to in this passage. First, Chakotay's mind calls her Kathryn; then she becomes "his captain" as he scolds himself for wanting her.
The pool tournament, in which Janeway easily beats Tom, is little more than light humor, but we do see Chakotay's admiration and protective instincts in the scene.
We finally learn the nature of Janeway's current sleeping problem when she awakes from a nightmare. Those who have read Jeri Taylor's Mosaic will recognize the subject matter, which is not unique. What is unique is the fact that Janeway turns to Chakotay at this point, instead of continuing to suffer alone.
It is a rarely vulnerable Janeway that we see now. We see her struggle for self control as she refuses to let herself cry, and Chakotay's struggle to help her without crossing the line, which would cause her to shut him out entirely. He is unsure exactly where that line is at the moment, and so are we. So is Janeway, in all probability.
An issue which has been hanging over the couple for months is brought up and settled. Janeway finally apologizes properly for her behavior towards Chakotay during the fiasco with the Equinox, and we see how much guilt she carries for her treatment of Noah Lessing. (Who, as we already know, doesn't really blame her.)
The scene has an intimacy to it which provides the sappiness promised by the author, and for the second time we hear the word 'someday' in interior monologue.
Day Six opens with Tuvok's discovery of the empty mess hall. The morning meeting is apparently running long, but we don't get to see it.
Tuvok begins to investigate the mystery, and we are sure that the jig is up, especially when he shares his information with the captain.
The crew gets wind of his suspicions, and scrambles a bit to learn more, but since the captain has ordered Tuvok to leave them alone, unaware of the truth, the game continues.
It is the second movie within a week, and we gain insight into exactly how much Janeway and Chakotay know about each other's feelings. It's about as subtle as a red alert klaxon, but it's also full of backstory, including Chakotay's relationships with Seska and Sveta.
The captain's bad dreams haven't ended, and she sneaks into Chakotay's quarters to sleep on his couch. The plan almost works, except this time when she wakes up crying Chakotay is right there to witness her tears. He has never seen her cry before.
More small barriers fall between them, and they end up sleeping side by side, although quite chastely with a barrier of blankets between them. He wakes her from the beginning of a nightmare, and she finally gets some sleep as she realizes that he really can protect her from them.
Day Seven opens with another meeting. There is some humor and a reference to episode #72, but the most significant part of the scene is Ensign Lyssa Campbell's mention of the alleged bathtub in cargo bay one.
This is no ordinary bathtub. It's the one from New Earth, and the fact that it is sitting empty in the cargo bay is symbolic of something much more important. The empty bathtub is the void mentioned in the title, and it represents the void in Janeway's lonely heart.
The captain wakes up in Chakotay's bed in a panic, thinking for a moment that she finally lost control and broke protocol. Even after she remembers the truth, she feels tremendously guilty for her lack of professionalism.
When she reaches the bridge, she still hasn't shaken her guilt, and she goes out of her way to avoid looking at Chakotay. What she doesn't realize is how much time she usually spends watching him. She also doesn't realize that Harry Kim is well aware of her habit.
Harry notices the difference, stops Tom from humming, and causes a minor panic to spread through the bridge crew.
We know that no one can possibly know where the captain spent the night; Tom forbade the use of internal sensors to track her whereabouts.
Over dinner, Janeway and Chakotay have an in depth discussion about her guilt surrounding the fact that Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant. This serves to acknowledge several continuity issues, such as the question of why species 8472 never offered to help Voyager return home through fluidic space.
The evening activity is gambling, which gives the captain and first officer an excuse to flirt, and sends the Doctor and Seven back to the cargo bay to consummate their relationship. The Doctor is therefore unavailable later, when Chakotay finally convinces Janeway to seek out his assistance with her insomnia. The two repeat their previous solution.
Day Eight opens with the expected meeting, and the expected insider humor. We are reminded of episode #18, in which Samantha Wildman learned of her pregnancy.
Chakotay wakes up exhausted, while Janeway is happily well rested. On the bridge, Tom contemplates the meaning of the alleged bathtub in cargo bay one, and sets about teasing Chakotay in a roundabout way.
The captain goes to sickbay and attempts to talk the Doctor into a dream suppressant, but fails, thus planting a seed in the Doctor's mind.
After dinner, the captain uses Chakotay's akoonah to go on a vision quest, but the results are ambiguous at best. (That Janeway's spirit guide is a salamander was established in episode #6.) She returns to her quarters and promptly has a nightmare about a shuttlecrash. She again sneaks into Chakotay's quarters, and quite shockingly crawls into his bed.
In Sandrine's, B'Elanna expresses jealousy over Tom's new hobby, and the two settle things by heading back to her quarters.
Chakotay, in the meantime, has a most entertaining dream about the Jefferies tubes.
Day Nine includes a lovely view of Chakotay's bare chest, which Janeway enjoys greatly. (While we might wish to believe that he sleeps in the nude, it was established in episode #134 that he does not.) The pair then breakfasts with Tuvok and wonders why the mess hall is completely deserted.
Harry spends some time realizing that he still has feelings for Libby, and after an entertaining scene in the ready room, Chakotay sets out to investigate the crew's recent behavior.
Dinner, cooked most shockingly by Janeway, includes the repetition of a line from episode #101. ("I'll notify sickbay.")
Tom's plan for the evening seems to be nothing more than an attempt to freeze everyone half to death in the holodeck as they tell stories around a campfire.
B'Elanna is annoyed because keeping the holodeck cold is a waste of resources; environmental controls are battling the heat from the warp core in order to achieve it. (Whenever environmental controls are offline, the ship gets unbearably hot, thus allowing the crew to run around in tank tops.)
Neelix tells a ghost story featuring an eerie green light, reminiscent of both the green light at the end of the dock in The Great Gatsby and the creepy green glow inside a Borg cube.
This sparks a discussion of literature that meanders its way around to A Tale of Two Cities and sparks a comment from Chakotay that brings tears to Janeway's eyes.
Later, as they drink tea in his quarters, she struggles with her desire to kiss him, and retreats to her own quarters. After another nightmare, she decides to just sit up and read all night.
Chakotay, however, catches her. He then has another most entertaining dream.
Day Ten opens with Tom's second thoughts about the whole situation. He saw Janeway's tears on the holodeck, and he feels guilty for tormenting Chakotay, who is obviously well aware of his own feelings.
At the morning meeting, it is learned that Janeway is in Chakotay's quarters, but everyone decides the couple is probably just having breakfast together.
Later, on the bridge, the topic turns to the question of the lady and the tiger. Chakotay and Tom share similar views on the subject, and they both show themselves to be sappy romantics. Janeway and B'Elanna, however, are by contrast more practical.
The evening's movie is Tron, and both Janeway and Chakotay pass out from the boredom, setting themselves up for Tom's bold trick. He manipulates the holodeck program and leaves them asleep in each other's arms.
Day Eleven begins with the near decapitation of Tom Paris, but the captain decides instead to forgive him. He therefore sends her a gift, via transporter, during dinner. It's a blue evening gown, and we get the impression that there isn't much of it.
Vorik intercepts Chakotay on his way back to his quarters, and presents him with some clothing, compliments of Tom. We are now assured that the command team, having been dressed by Tom, will not look like fashion victims at the evening's activity.
The pair barely manage to pull their eyes off of each other and find the holodeck. A happy Tom Paris, in the meantime, is admiring the way the female crew members look in evening attire.
When the captain enters in the blue dress, Tom is as blown away as Chakotay.
The dance marathon ensues, and easy banter crosses the line. Janeway's self control slips, and she nearly kisses him. Chakotay, however, manages to overcome his own longing and he prevents the kiss.
Later, the word someday is finally spoken aloud, sealing their promise for the future.
In the meantime, Seven and the Doctor are enjoying themselves far too much on the dance floor, and B'Elanna is driving poor Tom out of his mind. Harry Kim and Lyssa Campbell are the only ones left spying on the captain, and Lyssa overhears and correctly interprets their words.
Day Twelve finds Chakotay racing to sickbay for a dream suppressant after his fourth consecutive dream about the captain.
The Doctor, remembering the captain's similar request days earlier, offers some advice instead. "If you're having erotic dreams about one another then my advice is to act on them...Why don't you just tell the captain of your feelings for her?"
A startled Chakotay swears the Doctor to secrecy and heads for the bridge.
At the morning meeting, B'Elanna comes to the correct realization that it is the Maquis situation that is causing the captain to hold back her feelings.
The captain seems for a moment to have conquered her guilt regarding Chakotay, then catches herself envying Samantha Wildman, decides she's being irrational, and bolts into the ready room as wracked with guilt as ever.
B'Elanna has been spending the morning discussing the captain's situation with the former Maquis, and nearly gets caught talking to Garan when the captain appears unexpectedly in engineering.
Chakotay, worried about Janeway's moodiness, sets off to bring her lunch. He finds her in a Jefferies tube and carefully calls her by rank, fearing that she is upset about the boundaries they crossed the night before, and is shocked when she flirts with him. ("I've heard some interesting gossip about what goes on in these Jefferies tubes.")
After talking around the issue for a while, they finally come to terms (somewhat) with the current status of their relationship, linking hands as they did on New Earth. It is the closest either of them has come to acknowledging the very existence of that planet in years.
Tom, in the meantime, has been left with the bridge, and he's bored. Conversation turns to the command team, and Tom breaks his own rule to ask the computer about their whereabouts.
That night, B'Elanna asks Janeway and Chakotay to her quarters, hoping for the opportunity to discuss the Maquis situation. Tom creates an elaborate, and possibly unnecessary, plan to prevent Janeway from dragging Tuvok along. The unfortunate Harry Kim is forced to play kal-toh with the Vulcan, whom he has yet to defeat at the difficult game of logic.
Back in her quarters, B'Elanna slips and makes a comment referring to Janeway and Chakotay as a couple. (You're lucky. Yours doesn't get so absorbed in television that he forgets you're even in the room.) The intended discussion never occurs.
Afterwards, Janeway reflects on B'Elanna's words. (No, you're the lucky one, B'Elanna. You don't have to wait thirty years to tells yours how very much you love him.)
Janeway has another nightmare, this time focusing on Starfleet. Voyager is home, and Starfleet is finding a way to punish everyone on board in some fashion. It is every fear that the captain has, magnified to unrealistic proportions. In the dream, she is so utterly defeated that she loses control and cries in front of Admiral Paris and the review board.
Chakotay, in the meantime, sneaks into Janeway's quarters to see if she is sleeping. He recognizes that she is having a nightmare, wakes her, and is startled when she falls apart in his arms. They discuss the dream, and Chakotay realizes that she is punishing herself for loving him, but he can't very well share his realization.
Day Thirteen almost spells the end of the scheming when Tuvok interrupts the morning meeting. Thanks to a timely warning from Seven, however, the crew manages to pretend that they have gathered in Sandrine's for a morning game of pool.
They convince Tuvok to play, and Harry gets even for his defeat the night before. Once the Vulcan leaves, the group goes back to discussing the captain's personal life.
Tom tells the others that B'Elanna slipped up the night before, and in her frustration with her own error, she snaps a holographic pool cue in half.
Janeway and Chakotay arrive on the bridge to discover that the entire alpha shift bridge crew is late, including Tuvok. Janeway heads to the holodeck to find some answers.
Once she has sent the crew on its way, she deactivates Sandrine's and opens the previous program. It baffles her. When she discusses it with Chakotay, she asks "Why do we even have a holographic simulation of the briefing room?"
"I don't think you really want the answer to that," he answers.
Chakotay and Tuvok both spend the day trying to solve some mysteries. B'Elanna has an especially bad day as a result. First, she tries to avoid Tuvok by crawling into a Jefferies tube, where she cuts her hand in a careless accident. Then she beams herself into sickbay, only to run into Chakotay, who drags her to lunch.
The Doctor calls down to Engineering with news of B'Elanna's predicament, and Vorik suggests ejecting the warp core as a distraction.
The ship drops out of warp, and Carey's voice over the comm system temporarily frightens both Tom and the captain. They share a common fear; both know that if B'Elanna is killed in an engineering accident, it will be Joe Carey who delivers the news. We saw this in one of Janeway's dreams.
Harry sees that whatever happened in engineering is no accident, and proves that he is unwilling to let the present scheming put the ship at risk by deciding to bring it to the captain's attention, as duty requires. Fortunately, Ensign Campbell appears and silently stops him. Now confident that there is no intruder, or other danger to the ship, he remains quiet.
Janeway and Chakotay are finally starting to really worry about the recent errors in engineering, and other erratic behavior displayed by the crew.
They discuss it over dinner, and prove that they really have noticed almost every anomaly over the past two weeks. Most significantly, they admit their own impulsive behavior, therefore proving that however uncomfortable it might make them, they will always choose the action which is best for the ship over the action which is best for their relationship.
When the pair arrives on the holodeck for the evening's entertainment, they find Tom's detailed portrayal of the Mos Eisley cantina. Some insider humor is provided, as Tom explains how twentieth century sci-fi was criticized for its all too human aliens. (The twentieth century sci-fi in question, of course, was Star Trek).
The captain and Chakotay end up seated with Harry Kim and Lyssa Campbell, and they are joined by B'Elanna. When Harry and Chakotay wander off to fetch drinks, Campbell is left to keep Janeway and B'Elanna from discussing the wrong topics. (The mention of time displaced Romulans is a reference to the Dark Matters trilogy by Christie Golden.)
The drinks, supposedly synthehol based, seem to quickly remove all of the captain's inhibitions. No longer bothering to fight her attraction to Chakotay, she not only flirts with him, but allows her hand to creep onto his thigh.
B'Elanna, suspecting that Tom has gone too far, has Naomi secretly fetch a tricorder, and discovers that while not alcoholic, the drinks are far stronger than is really safe. She confronts Tom, while Chakotay, realizing what is probably happening, escorts his inebriated captain to sickbay.
Day Fourteen opens with the conspirators gathering on deck fifteen. Harry Kim and Lyssa Campbell come to the sudden realization that they cannot have a relationship because he is her immediate superior officer. They are both overjoyed at this; they aren't really involved, but if they go to the captain and ask permission to date, they can argue against the need to follow protocol under the circumstances. Perhaps Janeway will reevaluate her own situation.
Tom learns that his drink tampering went further than he anticipated, and he goes to apologize to the captain.
Janeway, in the meantime, is mortified by her behavior, and is sneaking down the corridor to her own quarters, dressed in the rumpled uniform in which she slept, when Tom catches her.
At an immediate disadvantage, she doesn't decapitate him, but instead reassigns him to engineering for the day.
Vorik discovers that the replicator malfunction was not a direct result of Tom's alterations, while Harry and Lyssa work on the arguments they wish to present to the captain.
But when they meet with her, she doesn't give them the opportunity to discuss any of those arguments. She simply grants them the exception, refusing to let protocol stand in the way of their happiness. They don't get to use any of their best lines.
The evening's entertainment consists of tennis, which is primarily an excuse to let Chakotay and Tom enjoy the sight of Janeway in a short skirt. Chakotay is quite distracted by the sight, and realizes how dangerous it could be if he were this distracted on the bridge. Then again, a female officer wouldn't be wearing a short skirt on the bridge. "Not in this century." This is a deliberate reference to the TOS uniforms of the twenty third century.
When the command team returns to Chakotay's quarters, Janeway changes into a "long sleeved, high necked, shapeless gray flannel number" that might as well be short red silk, because Chakotay can't keep his eyes off of her. His mind wanders to the forbidden subject of New Earth.
After Chakotay insists on rubbing her sore feet, Janeway returns the favor, working a knot out of his shoulder. Both are more effected by the physical contact than they'd like to admit, and must struggle to return their attention to safer subjects.
They read some Dickens. (Whether it's A Tale of Two Cities is unknown.)
Chakotay is bothered by yet another erotic dream, and decides to go on a vision quest. (That his spirit guide is a snake was established in Pathways by Jeri Taylor; the wolf visits him in several Christie Golden novels.)
He is confronted by his deceased father, Kolopak, and the two have a spirited discussion regarding his relationship with Kathryn.
Both Riley (episode #59) and Kellin (episode #90) are mentioned, but Chakotay claims nothing but anger towards Riley and doesn't even remember Kellin. (Yet his subconscious must, because else he couldn't hallucinate a reference to her, could he?)
Janeway finds him sitting on the floor, and he invites her to join him. He asks if she's happy, and they manage a fairly deep conversation about their relationship without really saying anything at all. They fall asleep together, on the living room floor.
Day Fifteen opens with another TOS reference (tribbles in a bin of quadrotriticale) as the conspirators pack themselves into Harry's quarters and discuss the events that transpired on Subu. (These events occur in Pathways by Jeri Taylor.)
They decide to celebrate a fake Thanksgiving-like holiday in order to tell the captain how grateful they all are to be on Voyager. Hopefully, the former Maquis can manage to convince her that they don't mind risking time in a Federation rehabilitation colony. Hopefully, she'll decide that she won't let their fate control her life.
In the meantime, Janeway and Chakotay wake up together and head for breakfast.
Lyssa Campbell and Tom Paris are working together in sickbay, and are bickering about some of Tom's more risque ideas, such as trapping clothing in the pattern buffer.
When the subject turns to just how stubborn the commanding officers really are, Tom defends the captain fiercely once again. He thinks that she'd give in, if Chakotay would just push a little bit. He doesn't think she could reject him outright.
The two are nearly overheard by the captain, who is in sickbay to ask if any crewmembers have complained about nightmares lately.
The Doctor tells her that only one other crewmember has mentioned a dream related problem, and that was an unnamed individual who was having erotic dreams. He doesn't say that it was Chakotay, and the captain doesn't guess.
That evening, she and Chakotay sit and listen as each member of the crew stands and speaks. Everyone is grateful to be on Voyager, even, it seems, Mortimer Haren. The captain is surprised and touched by the outpouring, but doesn't catch the hidden Maquis message. She does resolve some of her guilt about having feelings for members of her crew.
Chakotay speaks as well, at Neelix's request, and takes the time to make everyone laugh while the captain composes herself before taking her turn.
Day Sixteen opens with the decision to send the captain flowers, using the transporter, in the hopes that she'll think Chakotay sent them.
The captain, still worried that some alien influence is at work on board her ship, takes the science station for the day and ends up thinking about Justin, her first fiance.
Chakotay notices her pensive attitude, but waits until dinner to ask her about it.
When Janeway returns to her quarters, she sees the rose on her pillow, and knows that while it is a peace rose, it is certainly not from Chakotay. Suddenly suspecting Q, she pages Tuvok with a "security concern."
Janeway's call to Tuvok is overheard by Tom and the others in the mess hall. The group is frantic, realizing that they'll no doubt be caught shortly. Lyssa actually sent the flower, and admits to having used Kirk's security code in the logs. Her explanation involves the Kobayashi Maru.
The command team relaxes on Lake George, which is a reference to episode #58, and then goes to join the crew at Sandrine's.
Tom suggests a pool tournament, and challenges Chakotay to a game. In a flash of inspiration, he decides they should make things interesting. The winner gets a kiss from the captain. She calls Tom a Neanderthal, but agrees.
At first, Tom's goal is to make the first officer as jealous as possible. What he doesn't count on is the captain's over the top flirting, which distracts him terribly. He loses badly.
The captain makes good on the bet, kissing Chakotay. Both are afraid that their relationship is now seriously off balance, and end up on his couch, each pretending to read as they try to maintain normalcy.
Day Seventeen is a day of intense worry for everyone aboard. Janeway and Chakotay are each fretting about the kiss the night before. Neither can think about much else.
Janeway remembers the uncomfortable distance between them after New Earth, desperately fearing that it will return.
Tuvok is investigating the mystery of the rose, which he blames on Tom Paris.
Everyone else is worried that the game will be up before the captain and first officer find happiness.
Tom and Tuvok have their confrontation in the mess hall, and Tuvok agrees not to tell the captain. Yet. He disappears to meditate.
Tom heads to the cargo bay, intending to study the alleged bathtub. He wants to beam it to the bridge, but Naomi, B'Elanna, and Lyssa talk him out of the silly plan. None of them bother to ask what he means with his "Golgafrincham B Ark" comment, which is a reference to The Restaurant At the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams.
There is some discussion of the Tal Celes-Billy Telfer relationship. Celes asks Neelix if he thinks the entire crew will eventually pair off.
Janeway and Chakotay meet for dinner, and Chakotay is shocked when she appears in the white suit from Los Angeles. (Episode #50). They head for the holodeck, where Tom has an elaborate program waiting for them.
The scenario is a clever spoof of X-Files, complete with the Lone Gunman staff. Janeway is playing Scully, while Chakotay is supposed to be Mulder. Tom doesn't really give them a chance to get into character, however, before arranging to have them locked in the trunk of a car.
As they struggle in the confined space, handcuffed together no less, Janeway and Chakotay finally lose control and kiss each other. Once they escape from the scenario, Janeway flees, and Chakotay knows that now she'll avoid him.
Day Eighteen proves that Chakotay is right to worry. Janeway puts everything together, and realizes what the crew has been doing. She tells Chakotay that their friendship is over and sequesters herself in her ready room.
Chakotay beats the hell out of Tom Paris, asks Tuvok to look out for the captain, and locks himself in his quarters.
The crew gathers in sickbay, desperate to find a way to fix everything, and Tuvok appears to share the news that he has spoken to both Chakotay and the captain. He has told them both that they would be wise to move forward in their relationship, but neither chose to take his advice.
Day Nineteen is the day originally hinted at on page one. Tom and the captain have a heated argument in her ready room, and Tom realizes exactly how far he really will have to go if he wants her to be happy.
The crew meets, and a risky plan is hatched. It involves experimental Borg technology and favors begged from the Romulans, but Tuvok approves the plan.
Day Twenty finds the crew sending a message buoy through an unstable transwarp conduit into Romulan space. Harry and B'Elanna are nearly killed in the attempt, causing Tom significant anguish. Fortunately, they survive.
Day Twenty One looks a little brighter. The Romulans agree to help, and a message is sent to Starfleet. Admiral Paris is shocked to be contacted by the Romulan Empress, but he reads B'Elanna's message and does as she has asked.
Aboard the USS Enterprise, Commander Riker and Captain Picard are somewhat surprised to find themselves at maximum warp, on route for the Romulan Neutral Zone. Only Deanna Troi knows exactly why, and Riker for one is extremely unhappy. He seems to harbor some resentment towards Janeway, and if you really pay attention you'll realize that while he isn't her biggest fan, and is quick to be suspicious of her involvement with the Romulans, it is actually Barclay whom he resents. Barclay has been monopolizing the Midas Array on Janeway's behalf, and he has also been monopolizing Deanna's attention of late.
Janeway, still pouting in her ready room, writes Chakotay an emotional letter, then throws it in the recycler.
Day Twenty Two dawns with the crew learning that the Enterprise is on the way. Everyone scrambles to find evidence that they are not making a mistake. Troi's relationship with Riker is discussed, as is Troi's relationship with Worf. Megan Delaney tells Tom Paris about Neela Daren, who had an affair with Picard some years before. Seven shares the Borg's knowledge of Picard's relationship with Beverly Crusher, and Tom is told that no, Wesley is most assuredly not Picard's son. (Contrary to the comments made by Will Wheaton on NBC's Weakest Link).
Day Twenty Three shows Janeway trying to pull herself together and return to duty, but she decides to do just a little more research first. She is trying to find a loophole in the rules pertaining to relationships between officers.
Day Twenty Four is the big day. The Enterprise meets up with the Talvath. B'Elanna dares enter the ready room and argue with the captain, asking her to come down to astrometrics. When the captain refuses, Torres has Campbell transport her there.
After a long discussion with Deanna Troi, Janeway finally realizes that she can afford a personal life, and rushes off to share her decision with Chakotay.
The two friends have an emotional reunion, and Janeway tells him they don't have to wait any longer. She kisses him, but they are interrupted.
There's the typical argument as Janeway tries to leave the ship for a suicide mission, and Chakotay stops her and goes himself.
We finally see the captain in action, with the obligatory battle scene, and Chakotay by some miracle returns to the ship unscathed.
After a meeting with the senior staff, there isn't much left to do. Except to have hot sex for thirty pages or so. (And fill the bathtub, of course.)
In the meantime, Tal Celes and Billy Telfer finally admit their feelings for one another, and all is at last right in the Delta Quadrant.
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