Disclaimer: Let's see if Chakotay can resist her now! Oh, that's right, Paramount ='s God. 'Nuff said.
Kathryn Janeway sat at her dressing mirror. She scrutinized the image before her with her chin propped up on her hand. 'When did you start looking your age, dear?' She questioned of herself.
"When you cut your hair. Definitely when you cut your hair." Though she hadn't outright regretted it, there were times when she missed the length. She sighed and looked at the contents of beauty regime in front of her. Her hair brush set, a small container containing the clips and pins she used to use on it. A bottle of jasmine perfume and a couple of cosmetics. Items she rarely indulged in, nor felt she should. Just enough to cover the circles under her eyes and give her skin a rosy hue.
"I need a change." She said aloud. Kathryn almost expected the image in the mirror to start arguing with her. Why change? Who did she think she was going to impress? Neelix? He'd tell her she looked beautiful if walked into mess hall covered with Rilaniam Pox. Tuvok, no, he'd merely raise an eyebrow and talk to her in private. Forget Tom, he was too interested in B'Elanna to notice and Harry, Harry she knew was dreaming of being assimilated by Seven. That only left two members of her senior staff that she could possibly impress.
The doctor would probably proceed to haul her kicking and screaming into sickbay for a thorough mental and physical check up. And Chakotay...best not to think along those lines. Kathryn sat in closer to the mirror. Her skin wasn't marred by blemishes (thank the heavens!). Her eyelashes, though full, were short. Her eyes lacked brightness and brilliance of color. Her lips, well, they looked almost to be in a permanent frown.
"That's it. I'm through being Captain Janeway, every second of every day. If I'm going to be stuck out here in the Delta Quadrant, I'm at least going to live each day to the fullest. I don't care what anybody thinks!" With that, she began planning, by writing out a list of "New Janeway Resolutions".And damn the consequences!
The doctor had been working on cell cultures all morning long. He was internally grateful that Paris had the helm today, so he could get things done (barring an attack or massive accident). Ever since Kes left, he had been trying to find new ways to occupy his time. He was surprised when the Captain walked in.
"Good morning, Captain. How may I help you this morning?" He produced a smile, one that Kathryn had begun to regard as genuine.
"I would like to talk to you about something personal." She said.
"Care to step into my office?" Kathryn brushed past him and sat in a chair reserved for visitors. Stepping around the edge of the desk, he sat down and folded his hands on his desk in front of him. "What is this about, Captain?"
"I'm not happy." She stated plainly.
"I can offer you advice on how to build up your mental health. What shall we begin with?"
Kathryn chuckled. "No, I think you misunderstand me, doctor. I mean I'm not happy--physically."
"It's not that I don't like myself doctor. I guess I'm at a point in my life where I need to change. I think something physical may be in order."
The doctor raised an eyebrow at her. "What did you have in mind?"
"Well, first, *these*." She indicated to her chest.
"A little bigger." Kathryn said.
"How much bigger are we talking about?"
"Nothing overly drastic." Kathryn said, sitting up straighter. "Let's say...two cups bigger and see how that goes."
The doctor noted it in the captains files. "I suppose there's more."
"Yes. Next on my list is these." Kathryn pointed to her lips. "I want a little more."
"I see, going for the pouty look."
"No, just tired of looking like I'm always frowning."
The doctor couldn't understand why such an attractive lady would suddenly want a new look. He felt the captain was fine, proportionate. This was a different lady then he usually saw.
"The eyes," Kathryn continued, "a more vibrant blue. Maybe violet or something that has more life to it. And finally, this." And she pulled at her auburn locks.
"What about that?"
"Let me put it this way, doctor. If you can stimulate the growth with Seven, I think you can make mine a little longer and a little...let's try, blonder.
"Okay. When would you like to begin?"
Kathryn smiled mischievously. "There is no time like the present. But not all at once. This is going to be a gradual transformation. Body and soul."
"Then let's begin with the first item on your list." And the doctor led Kathryn to the bio-bed.
Captain Janeway smiled as she went to the bridge. Other then the doctor, no one had seen her in two days. The doctor notified the bridge that the captain was feeling under the weather and she was to be removed from the roster for 48 hours, until she was back on her feet.
Chakotay had hailed her after his shift was over and asked if there was anything she requested or needed. Always thinking of her needs before his. She had told him no, that she was a little uncomfortable and that she would be fine. Nothing to worry about.
There was quite a difference. Her top fit differently, since what was underneath it was more full and rounded. After the swelling had decreased, she was happy with the results. She noticed it in the mirror as she had checked herself out in her full length mirror. As the doors to bridge opened in front of her, she thought "show time."
Her stride was confident as she walked onto the bridge and past Tuvok's station. She noticed his eyebrow rise. 'So, he noticed. One down, six to go.' She thought, incorporating B'Elanna and Sevenís reactions into the ratio.
"Report." She said, stepping down and around to her chair. She sat herself down and crossed her legs. There was no answer. "Report." She repeated, then cast a glance at her first officer, noting his reaction. Just as she suspected. His eyes were riveted on her chest. She cleared her throat and looked at him.
"Commander? Is there a problem?" Caught, Chakotay looked quickly up into her eyes, a flush darkening his cheeks. He hoped she hadn't caught him staring.
"Uhm, no captain. Everything has been fine. The daily reports are in on your desk." His voice not betraying his thoughts. 'What the hell did she do to herself?'
"Well, since there isn't anything pressing at the moment, I'll get started on those reports. Commander, you have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room." Kathryn rose and headed into her ready room.
Tom turned in his seat on the bridge. "Did she change her hairstyle?" Chakotay looked over his shoulder to Tuvok, then back to Tom.
"No, she didn't change her hairstyle." And he let the subject drop.
Kathryn smiled to herself as she situated herself behind her desk. Oh, this was better then she had imagined. Her self image as a whole, had shot up through the ceiling. At the beginning, when the doctor was preparing for her operation, she had a quick second thought. But Kathryn quickly dismissed it.
"Come in." She said, picking up a PADD in front of her. Chakotay stepped into the room.
"Is there something I can do for you, Chakotay." He took the chair across from her and looked everywhere but at her.
"Kathryn, are you feeling all right?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Well, the doctor told us that you'd be off duty for a couple of days, because you were feeling under the weather, then you appear on the bridge, with. . ." He nonchalantly pointed to her chest, trying not to seem obvious. ". . .those."
Kathryn grinned. "So, you did notice."
"Who could help but to notice." He said. "May I ask why?"
Kathryn sighed and got up, with coffee cup in hand and started toward the upper level for a new cup. "I suppose I needed a change, Chakotay. I'm not getting any younger. I don't know, maybe that's not even the reason. I suppose I'll tell you my reasons when I discover them, for myself."
"You'll probably hate me for saying this Kathryn, but you looked fine before."
"Oh, I don't think so."
"Give yourself some credit, Kathryn."
"Look, what I do to myself, and my body, are no concern of yours, okay. I'm the one who has to live with what ever I do or don't do to it. I can't see where what I do with myself became your responsibility."
"Kathryn, " Chakotay began, hoping he wasn't giving too much away. "I've always found you to be the least conceited of any of the females on this ship, including Seven."
"Chakotay, I'd really like to have this discussion with you at a more appropriate time. But right now, I have work to do and would like to get it done by the end of my shift. There's a new holo program I'm dying to try out and a couple of other things I need to do." Taking her new found silence, Chakotay took the hint that the discussion was finished and left her ready room. He had to admit, he liked the new look, but for the life of him, couldn't figure out why Kathryn had taken such a, what he deemed 'drastic' for her, measure.
'I will get to the bottom of this', he thought, taking his seat on the bridge and casting a look at the ready room doors.
Inside her ready room, Kathryn called the doctor to implement the next phase of her transformation. Right after her duty shift ended. Guaranteed not to be as long lasting as the breast augmentation.
Sighing, Kathryn stood to look out her view port. She had lied to Chakotay about not knowing the reasons for this change. Part of it was because she felt something needed to be done, but the other was fear.
Fear of losing him.
Kathryn thought back to his experience with Riley Frasier. The woman, he had brought back to the ship. She noted the attraction and could understand, though she didn't want to. Long blonde hair, bright eyes, tall, built. What man couldn't refuse that? She was sure that half the men on the ship would have been beating down her door if she'd stayed aboard.
Recently, though, she'd been having dreams of another blonde woman. This woman had come aboard her ship, seduced her first officer. Same as Riley; long hair, tall, bright eyes, built. Kathryn had awoke in a cold sweat from that, even though it was a dream, it scared her senseless.
Why? Why should she care what she looked like? Kathryn wasn't vain. Phoebe had been more vain then herself. She cut her hair to avoid the time consuming process it was becoming. She wore minimal make up, just to look presentable. But she hated the competition that seemed to be running rampant on the ship.
Though spoken for, B'Elanna was considered one of the most pretty women on the ship. Kes' beauty had come through in her innocence and wisdom. And then there was Seven. Perfect, alluring. Either the men stayed away from her or ogled her. Where did that leave Kathryn? In her quarters, reading, or on the holodecks, trying out new programs. Why even bother with competition. The Captain was off limits. The captain wasn't good enough for anyone.
Kathryn rolled her eyes at the depressing thoughts, then quickly shuffled them to the back of her mind. No need to dwell on the past. She was determined to change her future.
"You should have seen her, B'Elanna. She was filling out the top of that uniform." Tom said, telling B'Elanna about the event that morning on the bridge. "I couldn't put my finger on it, at first. But when she came out later to check on something, there it was, bigger then Q's ego."
"You're not suppose to be checking out the Captain's bust line, Tom." She said quickly, as she saw Harry approaching them.
"Who could miss it? She had to ask Chakotay for a report two or three times. I think he was hoping for x-ray vision."
"Talking about the Captain's new assets?" Harry said, sliding into the chair beside Tom.
"You noticed, too?"
"Couldn't help but. You take someone who is pretty small to begin with, then accentuate the obvious, draw your own conclusions."
"You know guys, this is really getting bad. I know I'm not on the bridge that often, but don't you boys have anything better to do then estimate the size of the captains bust line?"
Tom rolled his eyes. "Fine, B'Elanna. Next time you see her, ask yourself if she looks different."
"Are you speaking of Captain Janeway?" The non-formal voice of Seven came from behind them. The three had been so wrapped up in their discussion that they had failed to notice the former Borg's appearance.
"You observed her change." Harry stated, more then questioning.
"And?" B'Elanna questioned.
"I find it most. . .intriguing. Captain Janeway must believe her bust size to be inadequate, if she would go so far as to augment the size by approximately two cup sizes."
Tom sputtered his coffee. "How did you know how much she had added?"
"My optic sensor. I note all that is relevant and much of what is not relevant, for future reference."
"Something must be bothering her, if she feels she has to do this." Harry added.
"Not necessarily, Harry. The captain isn't shallow. Maybe she just wanted a change."
"She butchered her hair, B'Elanna. Don't tell me that wasn't change enough."
"Look, Captain Janeway is entitled to do what ever she wants, whenever she wants. We aren't in any position to judge her. If it makes her happy, then so be it. Happy captain makes for smooth sailing."
They proceeded to eat in silence. Each had their own beliefs as to why the captain was changing her appearance.
Kathryn again strode onto the bridge. She smiled at Tuvok, who again raised his eyebrow at the newest addition to the captain.
"Good morning, everyone." She pointedly said. Stepping down and taking her seat, she turned and smiled at Chakotay. His gaze kept going between her breasts and her lips. He thrust a PADD at her without a word.
"Something bothering you, Commander?"
"Not at all, Captain." Chakotay lied.
"Good. Hate to think that there was a problem." And she smiled again.
"This time, it was her lips. They're more full, now." Harry said. He gave a quick look toward the back of the mess hall, where the captain sat, drinking coffee and going over a PADD.
"I wonder what's going on. First her chest, now her lips. What is she going through, a mid-life crisis?" B'Elanna asked, finally getting a look at the new attributes the captain was sporting.
"She's not middle aged, B'Elanna." Tom said. "On the bridge, it's almost as if she's daring anyone to say anything about these sudden changes."
"Yeah, the first one that she looks at is Tuvok, who in his customary Vulcan way, raises an eyebrow. Then she sits down next to Chakotay and it's all he can do to put two intelligent words together." Harry said.
"Wait a minute," Tom said, looking like the light had come on. "This isn't about her, it's about Chakotay. Think about it." Harry and B'Elanna looked lost for a moment. "Remember how dejected and out of it she was when she got that letter about her fiancee and how he had met and married someone else?"
"Yeah, what about it?" B'Elanna asked him.
"All right, the two are attracted to each other, right? She stays faithful to the fiancee back on Earth, hoping to get back to him before the seventy year journey is over, right? The captain gets a letter telling her that he's happy with his new life, hoping that she finds happiness in hers. The captains been out of contention in the game of love and is out of practice, so she begins reinventing herself, to get a certain Commanders attention."
B'Elanna got a look in her eye that she usually only got around her engines. "And she's assuring herself a chance. But. . ."
"If she knew Chakotay in the slightest, she'd know that he finds attractive the way she is."
When Kathryn entered the bridge the next morning, no one noticed anything different, at least not right off. Tom had started betting between himself, Harry, BíElanna and Seven (who declared betting Ďirrelevantí) that sheíd come to the bridge with a bigger butt. But to everyoneís surprise, there wasnít a bold change.
She sauntered down to the command level and sat down easily, crossing her legs. "Report." She asked. Her eyes stared straight ahead as she held her hand out to her left for Chakotayís report. She felt the cool PADD slip into her hands and she brought it in front of her to read.
"Commander, Iím going to be in my ready room. When Lt. Torres reports here with the information on the warp diagnostic, have her bring it to me in my ready room."
"Yes, Captain." Chakotay replied, watching her rise and head toward the doors to her ready room. He was also checking for evident changes, especially after the last two mornings. He was just as curious as the others to know why all of a sudden Kathryn felt the need for all these physical changes.
He leaned back in his chairs and his focus was brought to Paris in front of him. Paris was also looking after the captain as she left the bridge. However, Paris felt Chakotayís gaze on him and quickly turned back to the helm. Harry was glad that Chakotay couldnít see him from his vantage point as he too, watched the captain.
Chakotay gave a quick look to Tuvok, who raised an eyebrow in response to a silent question.
Had Kathryn Janeway flipped out?
Kathryn sat behind her desk. The procedure had been painless and after the redness had left her eyes, she noticed a dynamic change in the color. Her eyeís were now a more vibrant blue, clear and sparkled with enjoyment of life. She knew no one would notice the change right off, but it still was great knowing that someone would notice, sooner or later.
Since her Ďmetamorphosisí, Kathryn had felt a whole lot better. People, she felt, were seeing her as a Ďpersoní. Not just a ĎCaptainí. Sheíd be the captain for the remainder of the trip, or unless something happened and she died. She didnít want her epitaph to read, ĎHere lies Kathryn Janeway, good friend and best damn captain in the fleetí. It was that alone, plus a certain somebody, that made her change her mind about her looks.
She sighed and brought up her terminal and checked her messages. Neelixís menus for the week, weekly report from Seven. She sighed again.
"If I hear her declare something Ďirrelevantí on more time, Iím going make sure she acquaints herself with a thesaurus." Kathryn said aloud to herself.
"Come in." She said. Her chief engineer strode into the room and stood at her desk, her hand loosely clasping a PADD.
"Hereís the report you wanted, Captain." BíElanna handed the PADD to Kathryn who took it and scanned it quickly.
"Thank you, Lt. Looks good." BíElanna studied her for a moment. There was definitely something different about her today. She was surprised Tom hadnít beeped her at her workstation and told her the latest.
"Is there something wrong, BíElanna?" Kathryn asked, breaking BíElanna from her thoughts. She had been so focused on the change, that she hadnít realized that she was staring.
"Uh, no, Captain. Itís justóthereís something different about you today." BíElanna wasnít about to make up some lame excuse about why she was staring. "Itís your eyes, isnít it?"
"Glad somebody noticed. Yes, I had the doctor change the pigment slightly. How does it look?"
"Quite striking, Captain."
Kathryn smiled, knowing that the engineer wasnít pulling any punches or lying to her. "Thank you."
"Youíre welcome. I really needóto get back to engineering." BíElanna said, not quite sure how to get out of the ready room without asking a bunch of questions. She made a half-hearted gesture toward the door.
"Oh, I didnít mean to keep you, Lt. Could you please send Chakotay in before you leave."
"Sure, no problem. Iíll see you at the briefing later, Captain." BíElanna turned quickly and left. Kathryn sat back in her chair and in an uncharacteristic move, put her feet up on her desk. She leaned back and rubbed her temples, trying to evade the oncoming headache that was threatening to move in.
"Come in, Commander."
"How do you always know itís me?" He asked, by way of coming in and sitting down in the chair across from her.
"Well, this time, I knew in advance that you were coming." She still hadnít looked at him, still hadnít opened her eyes or stopped rubbing her temples.
"Something wrong, Kathryn?"
"Headache. I got engrossed in a novel last night and didnít get much sleep."
Chakotay clasped his hands over his chest. "You mean to tell me, that you, Kathryn ĎIíll-do-these-reports-till-it-kills-meí Janeway, actually read a novel? Are you ill?" He meant the last statement as a joke, but became concerned when she didnít chuckle or give him her crooked grin. "You are all right, arenít you?"
Kathryn finally did look at him. He couldnít help the look that spread across his face. She had changed the shade of blue of her eyes, making them more royal blue then the blue/gray that he was accustomed to. It brightened her face dramatically and they sparkled more.
"I see youíve noticed."
"Who could help, but too notice."
"Well, donít you like them?"
Chakotay played all the possible answers in his head to her question. He knew he couldnít lie to her, because she always managed to see right through him. "I do, itís just that I donít understand why all of a sudden, you feel you have to change yourself." He again indicated to her breasts. "First those, then you augment your lips. Now your eyes. Whatís going on, Kathryn?"
"I donít know, Chakotay. All I know is that I needed a change. It may look to only be physical, but mentally, Iím feeling much better. Itís like an entire change of attitude. I canít describe it."
"Kathryn, you were beautiful the way you were. This isnít you. This is superficial. The Kathryn I know wouldnít waste her time worrying about her looks." The look on her face as he said this told him heíd just said the wrong thing.
"It isnít superficial. You think I donít worry about my looks? Iím like any other woman, itís only that Iím the Ďcaptainí and Iím not allowed to feel anything or look like anything. That isnít fair, not at all."
"You wouldnít be doing this if we were in the Alpha quadrant."
"You donít know that, Chakotay. I donít know that. Maybe this is something I wanted for myself. I always have to worry about everyone else. I think itís time to looking after me."
Chakotay got up from his chair and headed toward the door. He didnít even know why sheíd asked him in here. "Look Kathryn, I donít know whatís gotten into you, but believe me, youíre not the only one looking after you. This is so unlike you, to change this much. Iím worried about you."
"Donít be, Chakotay. This girl isnít afraid of the dark or monsters under her bed or the mean old Borg. I know you watch out for me, Chakotay, but I donít need a big brother watching over me. I need. . ." Kathryn broke off her thought, revealing too much.
"Fine, Kathryn. When and if you need to talk, you know where to find me." Her slip hadnít gone unnoticed to him. He simply filed it away to be pondered later. He left her alone with her thoughts.
"All right, what was it today?"
"You were on the bridge, Tom. Donít tell me you didnít notice."
Tom Paris leaned against the wall as BíElanna worked on a diagnostic panel. "What was it? I couldnít tell anything."
BíElanna shoved past Tom to pick up a tool from beside him. "Her eyes. Today it was her eyes."
"Whatíd she do, have them lifted?" Tom asked, crossing his arms across his chest.
"No, she had the pigment changed. Remember how her eyes were a gray/blue before? Now, they are royal or cornflower or something like that. It such a change."
"And this is bad. . ." Tom prodded.
"To be honest, Tom. I liked it. It seemed to brighten her face up so much. It was if her eyes were teaming with life and laughter. Iíve never seen her eyes do that."
"Oh, I donít know. Her eyes always seemed to take on a life of their own when she was wiping the floor with my butt at pool."
"Or when sheís around Chakotay." BíElanna finished.
BíElanna ignored Tom, deep in her own thoughts. Yes, she had been startled, yes, the transformation was intriguing. BíElanna had been secretly applauding the captain during the past few days, noting that it took a tremendous amount of guts to do what she was doing. And a lot of daring. But BíElanna had learned to trust the captain. Her trust was something that had to be earned, and Janeway had done just that.
"I wonder whatís going on." Tom said.
". . .and you find this behavior startling?" Seven finished, moving around Harry in astrometrics.
"Well, yes. The captain is suppose to be the one with a level head. This just doesnít seem like her."
"Perhaps she finds change relevant."
"Change is a good thing as a rule, Seven. But donít you think this is a little extreme?"
Seven turned to look at Harry and cocked her head. "No. Captain Janeway is an individual. She does not need to seek the permission of the crew to make changes to herself."
"Iím not saying that!" Harry protested.
"Then state what you do mean."
Harry began to tell the tale again, hoping that Seven would catch his meaning.
Continue with "Evident Metamorphosis"