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The ship fired it's reverse thrusters and came to a stop along side the asteroid.
The Independence slowly made it's way to the ship and was received in the hanger bay by Bey and Kel.
"Anything we need to know?" Gerry asked cautiously as he got out of the shuttle and walked to stand before Bey.
"Only that the non-essential parts of the ship have been shut down to conserve energy. The hanger bay, engineering, the bridge and the main hallways are the only parts of the ship that currently have an atmosphere." Bey said seriously.
Gerry looked down for a second and said, "I've said some pretty bad things about you the past few weeks. I'm glad I was wrong."
"I gave you good reason. If your team will clear the hanger bay, I need to get to the station and face the music." Bey said quietly.
"Good luck... and thanks for bringing us a ship." Gerry said shyly.
"I'm sure that if you thought of it first, you would have done the same thing." Bey said with a smile.
Gerry looked at Bey consideringly and said, "I might have. Go on. We're just going to explore."
Bey nodded and motioned for Kel to walk with him to the shuttle.
As soon as the team were safely out of the room, Bey initiated the automated sequence to depressurize the hanger bay and opened the outer door again.
* * * * *
Once the shuttle bay was repressurized, Bey and Kel hesitantly exited the shuttle to find Paris and Janeway waiting on them.
"Paris..." Bey said in a frightened voice.
"Bey, I need to speak with you for a minute." Janeway said firmly.
Bey reluctantly looked away from Paris to Janeway and nodded.
Janeway motioned for him to follow and led Bey to the other side of the room.
Kel looked at Paris with an appraising eye, then quietly said, "He really loves you a lot."
Paris looked at the boy with question, then responded, "I love him too."
"Good. Bey is the best person that I've ever known and if you are the one who can make him happy, then I want him to be with you." The boy said firmly.
Paris looked at Kel curiously, then glanced at Bey talking to Janeway on the other side of the room.
"But if you can't forgive him or help him to forgive himself, then I will have him for my mate and dedicate the rest of my life to bringing him happiness." Kel said firmly.
Paris looked back at the young teenager with surprise.
"You love him?" Paris asked hesitantly.
Kel considered the question before answering, "Yes."
"Does he love you?" Paris asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.
"I believe he does, but not as he loves you. He will always love you first and best. However, if you cannot work past your difficulties, I will do my best to provide whatever comfort I can for him and he may eventually come to love me in a romantic way." Kel said in thought.
"He's lucky to have someone so devoted to him." Paris said distantly as he glanced at Bey again.
"He is deserving of my devotion, and yours... are you deserving of his?" Kel asked in a challenging voice.
Paris thought about the question as he watched Janeway and Bey carefully.
"He endangered your relationship for one reason." Kel said, not ready to let it lie.
Paris glanced at Kel with question.
"To provide you and the rest of his family a way home. He felt it was worth the risk to his life and his future happiness with you to give all of you this gift." Kel said firmly.
"If we do work it out between us... what will you do?" Paris asked quietly.
"Rejoice because someone who I admire and respect has found true happiness." Kel said with certainty.
Paris nodded, then looked back to Janeway and Bey.
* * * * *
"Have you decided my punishment?" Bey asked quietly as he stood before Janeway.
"Yes. Stand there and be quiet for a minute while I tell you what's been going on since you left." Janeway said firmly.
Bey looked at her in surprise but didn't say a word.
"Paris never stopped believing in you for even a minute since you left. Other people on the station talked about it being part of your Cardassian nature to betray us and other such nonsense, but Paris consistently defended your name." Janeway said firmly.
Bey nodded hesitantly, not quite understanding why she was telling him this.
"He loves you. He trusts you. He never stopped believing in you. He's scared to death that you've stopped loving him and fallen for that boy." Janeway said and glanced at Kel talking with Paris.
"His name is Kel." Bey said absently, then realized that he was supposed to remain silent.
"Fine. He feels threatened by Kel. You need to spell it out for him in no uncertain terms what you feel for him so he can move on... with or without you." Janeway said firmly.
Bey nodded in thought.
"That's all I've got to say." Janeway said seriously.
"That's it? That's my punishment?" Bey asked hesitantly.
"Oh, no that's just my advice to you." Janeway said with a smile, then tapped her communicator.
"Computer: Begin recording official log." Janeway said seriously.
After the three second delay, she said, "The following is testimony and my ruling in the case against Bey."
Then she looked him in the eyes and asked, "Are you going to steal anymore shuttles or duck out in the middle of the night again?"
"No. I won't. I promise." Bey said immediately.
"Well, the crimes you've committed are stealing a shuttle... which you brought back. You abandoned your post... but you came back of your own free will. You assaulted the person of Carey... but I think the Kazon ship covers that one pretty well. So my judgment in regards to your punishment is as follows: you are to be confined to your cabin for a period of three months..." Janeway said seriously.
Bey looked at her and nodded with resignation.
"That sentence will be suspended in favor of probation for a term of one year. If you violate our rules or break the promise you just made to me, then your three month sentence will be reinstated in addition to whatever punishment is appropriate for the new infraction. Do you understand my ruling?" Janeway asked forcefully.
"Yes. Thank you Janeway." Bey said with surprise.
"Computer: End recording." Janeway said, then looked at Bey consideringly.
Bey looked back at her, trying to understand what she was looking at.
"I really hope you two can work this out. The damage done to your relationship with Paris is more punishment than anything I could do to you." Janeway said in a softer voice.
"Thank you for your advice Janeway... I hope I don't screw this up." Bey said and looked at Paris and Kel again.
"Even if you do. Don't give up. Trust him and the love you share. I do." Janeway said gently, then motioned for Bey to accompany her back to Paris and Kel.
* * * * *
"So what do we do now? A formal hearing?" Paris asked as Janeway and Bey approached.
"No. We've already had the trial, deliberations, verdict and sentencing. This leader thing is a lot faster than going through the JAG office." Janeway said with a smile.
"What was the result?" Paris asked Bey quietly.
"A year probation with a suspended sentence." Bey said seriously.
"What does that mean?" Kel asked curiously, worried for Bey.
"It just means that if I get into any trouble in the next year, then I'll be confined to my quarters for three months." Bey said gently.
Kel hugged Bey with happiness and said, "The Kazons would have flogged you in the town square and left you hanging in the sun to die."
"They still might if they ever find out what I did." Bey said as he returned the hug.
"Thanks to the stealthy way you arrived, I doubt that the Kazons will get the chance. And after we've outfitted the ship with Federation and Maquis technology, there won't be a Kazon ship who can keep up with us." Janeway said with a smile.
Kel hugged Bey tightly again with happiness and said, "I like your people."
"So do I." Bey said with a gentle smile at Janeway and Paris.
* * * * *
"Well, dinner will be in about thirty minutes. Would you three like to freshen up and I'll see you there?" Janeway asked casually.
"Um, yeah. Sounds good." Paris said as he glanced at Bey and Kel.
Janeway nodded and walked away.
"Would you like for me to leave you alone so you can talk?" Kel asked as he followed the silent pair through the hallways of the station.
"Actually, if Paris doesn't mind, I'd like for you to be there for the first part of our talk." Bey said with a cautious look at Paris.
"That's fine." Paris said in a distracted voice.
As Bey walked to the door of the cabin he had shared with Paris, he stopped at the feeling of a hand on his arm, "There's something that I need to tell you, but I'm not sure how..."
Panic shown in Bey's eyes as he stopped and turned to look at Paris.
"Some things happened while you were gone..." Paris began to say, but couldn't think of the right way to phrase it.
Kel went to Bey's side and hugged him tightly, offering support.
Bey absently put an arm around Kel's shoulders as he continued to watch Paris.
"You remember that I told you about that girl I... um..."
"Fucked?" Bey said abruptly.
"Yeah. That." Paris said hesitantly.
Bey nodded for Paris to continue.
"She got pregnant." Paris said in a mumble.
"Is she in there?" Bey asked, and glanced at the cabin door.
"No. No. I was telling the truth, it was a one time thing and it will never happen again. The only thing is... she didn't want to keep the baby..." Paris trailed off in a pained voice.
"And?" Bey said, then looked down at Kel who was holding him tightly.
"She wanted to abort the fetus. I talked to her and she agreed to let me have it on the condition that I removed her genetic material." Paris said quickly.
"And?" Bey said again and gave Kel a gentle hug.
"And I replaced her genetic material with yours." Paris said in a rush.
Silence fell over the hallway for a long moment as Bey digested the statement.
"So what's in the cabin that you're afraid to show me?" Bey asked cautiously.
"Our daughter." Paris said in a small voice, bracing himself for an explosion.
"Our daughter." Bey said in an emotionless voice.
"Yes. Genetically she is half you and half me." Paris said cautiously.
Bey nodded in thought.
"Do you want to see her?" Paris asked carefully.
"Not yet. I've been thinking about something for a couple days, but I didn't know how I was going to bring it up." Bey said in thought.
"What's that?" Paris asked cautiously.
"Well, I thought that if we could work everything out between us..." Bey trailed off.
"And if you and Kel would agree to it..." Bey trailed off again.
Paris looked at Bey with question and concern about what his suggestion was going to be.
"That we could adopt Kel and make him our son." Bey finally said and looked up to see Paris' reaction.
"Really?" Kel asked as he pulled back from Bey's chest.
Bey looked down at Kel and nodded.
Paris looked at Bey and Kel, then glanced at the cabin door before saying, "We'd better work things out, because it looks like we have a family who needs us."
Bey smiled with relief and moved forward to pull Paris into a hug.
A moment later Paris noticed that Kel was standing a few feet away, watching them.
"Come on Kel, you're part of this too." Paris said and held out an arm to invite Kel into the hug.
"Really?" Kel asked hesitantly, moving a fraction of an inch closer.
"Kel, Bey loves me enough to want to give me a son. I love him enough to want to give him a daughter. We're going to be fine and we both want you as our son. What do you say? Could you stand to have two fathers that are just a few years older than you?" Paris asked with a smile.
Kel looked at the pair and timidly said, "I think I'm still less than a year old. Ocampans age differently than most other humanoids."
Bey and Paris looked at each other for an instant, then Paris said, "I guess since you really couldn't consider us 'born' until the maturation chambers opened, Bey and I are technically a month old. We're just going by physical development."
Kel looked at Bey with question and received a nod in return.
Kel giggled and said, "Then maybe I should adopt you. I'm older than both of you."
Paris and Bey laughed at the statement, then Paris finally said, "However you want to do it 'Old Man', just as long as we end up as a family."
Finally, the last of Kel's reservations gave way and he hurried into the offered hug.
* * * * *
"This is our little angel." Paris said as he pointed out the fetus in the tank.
"That little thing is your daughter?" Kel asked cautiously from a few feet away.
"That's right. She'll be ready to be born in about three weeks." Paris said happily.
"Have you thought of a name for her?" Bey asked as he looked lovingly into the tank.
"No. I've had quite a few suggestions but... so far I haven't heard any that I really like." Paris said and noticed Kel watching from a distance.
"Come over here Kel and look at your sister." Paris said warmly.
"My sister?" Kel said with astonishment as he stepped closer to the tank to get a good look at her.
"Angel, I'd like for you to meet your brother Kel." Paris said softly to the tank.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Angel." Kel said formally.
Bey and Paris looked at each other and shared a smile.
"I guess that's settled." Paris finally said and gently draped one arm across Kel's shoulders. Bey did the same from Kel's other side as the family watched their youngest member floating in the tank.
* * * * *
"Would you like for me to give you time alone now?" Kel asked hesitantly.
"I don't think I have anything to say that I can't say in front of you Kel... what about you?" Paris asked as he glanced at Bey.
Bey considered for a moment and said, "No. It's fine with me if you stay."
Kel looked at the two older boys cautiously, then nodded.
"Bey, I think I understand why you left and I love you for it. If there's anything you need to talk about, I'll be happy to discuss it with you, but as far as I'm concerned. I loved you yesterday, I love you today and I'll love you tomorrow." Paris said simply.
Bey smiled at the words and said, "In the past few days I'd worked out about a hundred different things I wanted to say to you to convince you to take me back... I guess that was a lot of worry for nothing. I never stopped loving you for an instant. I regret that I had to hurt you to help us all, but... as long as you're willing to forgive me, I'm willing to forgive myself."
"Anything you want to add Kel?" Paris asked as he pulled Bey into a hug.
"Only that I am grateful to be accepted into your family." Kel said and joined the hug.
"It's just about time for dinner. Let's get down there before all the good stuff is taken." Paris said with a smile.
Bey smiled as he moved to Kel's other side.
Paris and Bey each had one arm around Kel's shoulders as they started walking toward the door.
When they reached it Bey took a step back as Paris stepped forward so they could get their little formation out into the hallway without breaking it up.
* * * * *
Bey, Kel and Paris walked into the mess hall with laughter as they once again tried to navigate a doorway without letting go of each other.
"I thought Janeway said it was dinner time?" Bey asked cautiously.
"SURPRISE!!!" chorused as people stood from behind tables and started pouring out of the kitchen.
Kel clutched tightly to Paris and Bey at his sides.
Paris leaned down and whispered, "It's an Earth tradition to surprise someone with a celebration. This is for Bey."
Kel glanced around the room, then looked up at Paris with a happy smile.
"Vorik and Chell have been working for hours to make something special to commemorate this occasion." Janeway announced, then turned her attention to the kitchen doorway.
Chell walked out of the kitchen carrying a three layer cake with creamy white icing.
Bey, Kel and Paris were still holding on to each other and walked as one to look at the cake.
'Thank You Bey' was written in blue icing across the top of the cake.
Bey had tears in his eyes and hugged Kel tightly to his side. Then on impulse, he leaned over and gave Paris a quick kiss.
"Does this mean you two worked everything out?" Janeway asked with a smile.
"Yes. Everything is fine." Bey said with a grand smile.
"In fact, I can only think of two things that could make it better." Paris said happily.
Bey and Kel looked at Paris with question.
"How is that?" Janeway asked cautiously.
"If here in front of everyone, Bey would consent to be my husband and Kel would consent to be our son." Paris said as he looked at them in turn.
"Yes." Bey whispered immediately.
Kel nodded enthusiastically.
"Janeway. Since we don't have a book of laws or ceremonies to follow, could you just declare us a family right now? I want Angel and Kel to have their parents right away and besides, we've already got a wedding cake." Paris said with a smile.
Janeway raised her hands to indicate silence, then tapped her communicator and said, "Computer: Begin recording official log."
After the requisite three second delay, she continued, "This is the matter of the marriage of Bey and Paris Chakotay and the related matter of Kel's adoption to the aforementioned Bey and Paris Chakotay."
"Paris Chakotay, do you take Bey to be your husband?" She asked in a reverent tone.
"I do." Paris said as he took hold of Bey's hand and squeezed it.
"Bey, do you take Paris Chakotay to be your husband?" She asked as she turned her gaze on him.
"I do." Bey said joyfully.
"Kel, do you wish to be the child of Bey and Paris Chakotay?" Janeway asked with a gentle smile at Kel.
"Yes, I do." Kel said with excitement.
"Bey and Paris Chakotay, do you wish for Kel to be your child?" Janeway asked as her smile grew.
"We do." Paris and Bey chorused in unison.
"Then by the power vested in me by... well, by all of you. I pronounce that Bey and Paris Chakotay are married, and that Kel is their child. I further decree that henceforth their official names will be Bey Chakotay, Paris Chakotay and Kel Chakotay." Janeway said happily.
Bey, Paris and Kel pulled each other into a tight three-way hug.
"Computer: Stop recording." Janeway said more quietly and watched.
Suddenly Kel pulled out of the hug and asked, "What about Angel? Don't we have to do something to make her part of the family?"
Paris and Bey pulled him back into the hug as Paris said, "No son. In about three weeks she will have matured enough to be declared 'born' and at that time she will officially be given her name, 'Angel Chakotay' and be recognized as your sister."
Before any of the three knew what had happened, everyone in the mess hall seemed to descend on them to offer hugs of congratulations.
"Do we get to stay on the ship tonight?" Kel asked hopefully as he watched his parents carefully transferring the maturation tank to a cart.
"Yes, that's why we're bringing Angel over today." Bey said quietly as he checked to make sure that the tank was operating properly.
"What was that thing that Aunt Janeway said to you about me? You said we could talk about it later... is it later enough?" Kel asked hopefully.
Bey gave Paris an amused smile and received a nod and smile in reply.
"I tell you what Old Man. When we get Angel settled in our cabin, we'll sit down and talk to you about it. Okay?" Bey asked with a smile.
"Okay. Come on. Can I pull the cart?" Kel asked with excitement.
"You can help me pull the cart while your father walks along side. But we have to move slowly. We don't want to slosh your sister." Bey said as he moved to the front of the cart.
Kel nodded firmly and took his spot beside Bey.
"Let's go guys. Nice and slow." Paris said as he watched the tank carefully.
* * * * *
"Wow. This is really nice, but where's the bed?" Kel asked as they entered the room.
"While you've been helping your Aunt Janeway and Uncle Carey in engineering, we've been working on making the crew cabins a little more comfortable. Our bedroom is right through that door." Paris said and pointed, then turned his attention back to the tank.
Kel rushed to the door and opened it quickly.
"You see that empty spot just inside the door. That's for Angel's tank." Bey said as he guided the cart carefully across the room and toward the bedroom door.
"We've got a really big bed." Kel said happily and jumped on the bed to 'test it out'.
Bey and Paris shared a look. Paris motioned for Bey to 'go ahead' as he squatted down beside the tank to check on their daughter.
"Kel, come with me." Bey said in a serious voice.
Kel looked at Bey curiously, sensing that something was wrong.
"We've enjoyed having you in our cabin on the station..." Bey began to say.
"I'm not going to live with you?" Kel asked in panic.
"Shhh. It's not that. Come here." Bey said more quietly and opened his arms to Kel.
Kel hurried into Bey's arms and hugged him tightly.
Bey cautiously moved them out of the bedroom and into the living room.
"You see those two doors over there? One is your bedroom and the other is Angel's." Bey said as he held onto Kel tightly.
"But... I like sleeping with you." Kel said in a small voice.
"I like you sleeping with us too. But Paris is my husband and sometimes we need to be alone together." Bey said quietly.
Kel suddenly understood what he meant and said, "I seen all that sex an stuff before. I even done that stuff... a lot."
"I know. But that was wrong. Now that you're our son, you don't ever have to see or do that stuff again unless you want to." Bey said as he coaxed Kel to his bedroom.
"But... I don't want to be alone. You can do sex stuff to me if you don't make me be alone." Kel said desperately.
Bey leaned down and kissed Kel on the top of the head and said, "Paris and I will NEVER do sex stuff with you. That's something we will only ever do with each other. But if you're feeling alone, all you have to do is ask us if you can come in and wait for us to say it's okay. Then you can come in and spend time with us and even sleep with us if you want to."
Kel nodded hesitantly.
"But if you want to be alone for a little while, this is your room." Bey said and pressed the door release.
The door slid open to reveal a nice little bedroom, very much like one of the rooms back on the station.
"This is MY room?" Kel asked cautiously.
"That's right. You can keep your clothes and things in here and no one will come in here without your permission." Bey said gently.
Kel released his grip on Bey and ventured into the room to explore it.
"But if I start to feel alone I can come in your room?" Kel asked cautiously.
"As long as you ask first." Bey said quietly.
Kel looked at Bey speculatively.
Bey stepped back and the door closed.
Kel felt a moment of panic, then heard Bey's voice come over the speaker.
'Kel, can I come in?' Bey asked gently.
"Yes." Kel called into the air.
The door slid open and Bey walked in again.
"That's all there is to it. This is part of being a family. We're going to give you all the love you could possibly want, but we also want for you to be able to be independent sometimes and not have to be in our company every minute of the day." Bey said carefully.
"You don't want me around?" Kel asked with a stricken look.
"Of course we want you around. That's why you're our son. But we also want what's best for you... just give it a try. If you're really not ready to be alone, we'll work it out... just give us some time for the two of us every now and then. We are married after all." Bey finished with a grin.
"Okay Dad. I'm sorry I was so whiney. I just felt like you were trying to get rid of me." Kel said in a small voice.
"Never. Hey, if we wanted to get rid of you, why would we have built you your own room?" Bey asked frankly.
"Yeah." Kel said quietly, then hurried to Bey for a hug.
"I'm ready for some help." Paris said from the opposite side of the room.
"Come on Old Man. We need for you to keep the tubes from getting tangled and mashed when we move your sister's tank." Bey said as he shifted Kel to walk beside him.
Kel put an arm around Bey's waist and smiled at the feeling of being included and needed to help his sister.
* * * * *
"The braces are fully in place. Even if we go on one of your 'bumpy' rides like Kel described, Angel's tank isn't going to move." Paris said with accomplishment.
"The primary power is connected and the back-up power is on standby." Bey said as he moved from his position at the side of the tank.
"I guess we're ready for that talk now. What do you think Kel? Do you still want to know what Aunt Janeway was talking to us about this morning?" Paris asked with a knowing smile.
"Yeah." Kel answered immediately.
Paris led his husband and son into the living room, then took a seat on the couch.
Bey snuggled into his right side as Kel snuggled into his left.
"The station had a ton of information on Ocampan physiology. Your Aunt Janeway did some research and found a way to slow down your natural life-cycle." Paris said in thought.
"What does that mean?" Kel asked cautiously.
"She thinks she can slow down your aging so you'll live as long as we do." Bey paraphrased.
"She can do that?" Kel asked curiously.
"Probably. what she's talking about doing is something that is pretty illegal back in the Alpha quadrant." Paris said in thought.
"Why?" Kel asked in confusion.
"To manipulate genetics to correct a disorder is one thing. But to splice genetics to alter the natural state of a being is considered to be wrong." Paris tried to explain.
"Why?" Kel asked again.
"Are you sure you're not *two* years old?" Paris asked with a chuckle.
Kel turned to look at Paris with question.
"Sorry, Human children go through a phase at about two years old when all they seem to do is ask 'why?'. To answer your question, do you think it would be wrong if someone changed you to have wings like a bird or the tail of a monkey?" Paris asked carefully.
Kel laughed at the mental image that the question caused to form in his mind.
"You could argue that all those things are improvements, so why not make those changes?" Paris continued.
"Because then I wouldn't be like a person anymore. I'd be like a thing, something you made in a lab." Kel said, becoming more serious.
"That's why people think it's wrong. And that's the decision we have to make. If we change your natural lifespan to match ours, are we correcting an error or are we making you into something you weren't intended to be?" Bey said frankly.
Kel thought about the question for a minute, then said, "If the Ocampa didn't throw me out, then I'd still be one of them and I could live with them and die with them. But they did throw me out and now I'm part of your family. So if you can fix me so I'm like you, then you're just making me more a part of your family."
Bey and Paris shared a smile before Paris quietly said, "That's some very adult reasoning son. We'll tell Aunt Janeway that you want to go through with the treatment."
"Do I still get to have the wings and the tail?" Kel asked with a teasing smile.
"I think that might be pushing it." Bey said as he tried to contain his laughter.
"We are gathered here today to formally dedicate our ship before her maiden voyage." Janeway said dramatically.
"All of you have been very helpful in suggesting names for our ship, although the petition was a bit much." Janeway said and arched an eyebrow at Nicoletti.
"I still think we should call it 'The Gilligan'." Nicoletti said firmly.
"In the interest of fairness, I left the decision to Bey who brought us... the basic structure of the ship that is now before us." Janeway said and gestured to Bey to stand before the group.
Bey carefully transferred his infant daughter into the arms of his husband then moved to Janeway's side.
"Well, it was a tough decision and I ended up having to ask my husband and son for help. When it came time for the final choice, only one name stood out above all the others. Fellow crewmembers, I give you, "The Amalgam'." Bey said and pressed the button to activate the main view screen.
There was some polite clapping as people looked to each other with confusion.
Kim stepped forward and said, "An amalgam is a unique creation that is formed from the incorporation of two or more dissimilar component parts. The ship herself is an amalgam of the various parts salvaged from the ship graveyard. Further, we, her crew are each a hybrid, or amalgam."
A murmur went through the gathering, but one voice could be heard above all the others.
"I still prefer 'The Gilligan'."
Author's Note: This concludes the tale of the awakening and liberation of the hybrid crew of the 'Son of Voyager'. Do not despair! There is still more story to tell! Watch for the further adventures of Paris, Bey and the gang as they set off on the quest to join up with their biological donors in 'The Son of Voyager - Part 2: The Return'. -MultiMapper