Naomi Wildman stepped out of Starfleet Headquarters, getting her first feel of Earth. The San Francisco air smelled faintly salty and slightly unpleasent. 'What do you expect, you've spent most of your life on Voyager,' she told herself. Over on a nearby bench, she saw the slim figure of her good friend, Hannah Janeway.
"Hannah, heard anything yet?" Naomi said, sitting down beside the slight figure.
"No. I don't understand why they're bringing up incidents that most of the Quadrant has forgotten. Dad isn't the same person he was all those years ago."
"None of us are. I suppose it's worse for those who were there from the beginning, that had lived here before." Naomi said, looking out into the bay.
Hannah followed the movement of a bird. "You know, when I was a little girl, Mom and Dad took me on the holodeck, trying to prepare me for the day when we came home. I sailed on Lake George, watched the sunset over the Arizona desert, played in the meadows of the Cascades, swam in the Gulf of Mexico. In all that time, I never felt a connection with this place."
"I know what you mean. All of kids of the crew. Neelix, Seven. None of us of this Quadrant," Naomi said.
"Dad has always told me 'home is where ever you happen to be'."
Naomi looked around and saw the figure of Seven of Nine approaching. She motioned the woman over to join them.
"Any news?" Naomi asked, saving Hannah from asking again.
"Your father has been exhonorated. They are now finishing debriefing," Seven said, sitting ram rod straight. Hannah's eyes had filled with tears.
"We don't belong here," Hannah said simply.
"Pardon?" Seven asked.
Naomi sat quietly. She had also felt the same since Voyager's return. Hannah spoke quietly, a trait she'd inherited from her father. "We are enigmas. Everywhere we go, people look at us. This isn't home. Home is Voyager, home is the stars. There are twenty of us who didn't begin their journey and yet we share this jubliation. Home isn't Earth."
"You should rephrase your statement, Hannah. A home amongst the stars is irrelevent."
"No it's not. All of us has qualified for positions on other ships based on the training we received on Voyager. To be frank, it scares me," Naomi said. She had trained under Tom Paris as a pilot.
"You do not share your parents' vision?" Seven asked.
"No. Earth was their dream. Mine is to satisfy this unquenchable wanderlust to see all there is to see," Hannah said, catching a glimpse of two familiar shapes approaching, with equally familiar people following behind. She got up and ran to her parents.<[>"Dad, Seven said you were exhonorated," Hannah said, throwing her arms around her father.
"Yes, your mom fought tooth and nail to keep the lot of us out of detention," Chakotay said, smiling down at his daughter.
"We have another surprise for you," Kathryn said, putting a comforting hand on her daughter's shoulder. Seven and Naomi had by this time joined them. "We are getting the Voyager A to command. They want us to become the lead explortory ship in Starfleet."
"But Mom, you wanted to come home so badly," Hannah said.
"This isn't home anymore, Hannah. Home is where you are, where Chakotay is, where the Voyager family is. Everyone, with the exception of five crewmembers has signed up. Two are retiring. Three are standing in front of me." Kathryn's eyes held the question to the three young women standing in front of her.
"I do know astrometrics better then anyone," Seven said.
"Someone has to keep Tom on his toes, besides B'Elanna," Naomi replied.
Hannah looked at everyone, then finally to her parents. "You took me to the holodeck, instilling the beauty of this place, telling me that it was the home we were heading toward. But I'm an explorer, a scientist, like my parents before me. My place is with them, since they still have a lot of knowledge to impart to me."
Kathryn and Chakotay looked at each other and to their daughter. They pulled into a three way hug, which multiplied as the entire crew came together in front of the plaza, all one hundred and sixty eight crew members. The nucleus held the three that had come the furthest and led the way.
They were all going to the home they knew better then anyone.