. . . Enterprise D. . .
. . . The one with Captain Janeway. . .
Q appeared in the middle of the bridge. Everyone seemed to freeze at the white flash like it spelled certain doom upon them. Q had been repeatedly trying to get here, multiple, multiple times. Riker stood up from the captain's chair with a out-right-furious look about his face. Riker had four pips on his collar. But Q didn't pay attention to the pips.
"Where the hell have you been?" Riker asked, with temper in his voice.
"Careful how you ask that question, Number Two," Q said, shaking his index finger back and forth. "Now where is the captain?"
"In her quarters," Riker said. "I swear if you hurt her--"
"You'll do what?" Q asked. "Say my name backwards three times as P? I am not Beetle-juice you know," Q rolled an eye. "Whatever business I have is not going to harm her," He shook his hands defensively. "So relax your beard, Mr Troi, as I am harmless."
Deanna Troi walked onto the bridge.
Riker glared at the entity.
"You've been warned." Riker said.
Q held up his hand to snap his fingers.
"You are acting very odd today, Number Two." Q said, baffled.
Riker narrowed his eyes toward Q.
Q snapped his fingers.
Q appeared at the door of Janeway's quarters. He pressed a button. The doors smoothly opened to reveal a dark quarters that seemed as though nobody was inside. Q looked around, concerned, then he walked in searching for any life. Something about this did not feel right. Q walked until he stopped at the dark black coffee table positioned right in front of the couch. We see behind him the figure of Kathryn Janeway.
"Hello Q." Janeway said, in a low voice.
Q turned in the direction of Janeway.
"Kathy," Q said. "What is so urgent?"
Janeway went into his arm and cried, clenching at his warm uniform.
"I thought I lost you." Janeway said.
"Kathy?" Q asked, in a concerned voice stroking the back of her head as he looked down toward Janeway. "You never lost me."
To Q, Janeway looked young just the way he last left her.
To us, the audience, Janeway is twenty-three plus years older than she was originally. She had gray hair, wrinkles on her face, and she did look damn fine as a older woman. Tears rolled down her cheeks as her eyes were closed. She had struck a deal with a entity long ago to help her crew return to the right timeline they belonged at a cost. It had been a week since their return. The cost? Her youth. This entity wasn't a Q. It was a being similar to Q but referred to itself as 'M'.
Her youth was stolen.
To everyone she was gone for a day.
But to Janeway she was gone for twenty-three years.
"I missed you." Janeway said.
"Ah come on," Q said. "I was gone for two months,Kathy." He snapped his fingers cleaning his uniform of her tears. "Now you are concerning me. Are you that dependent on me?"
"No!" Janeway said.
Q tilted his head.
"Maybe I am wearing the wrong eyes," Q said, followed by straightening his head. "Something is not right."
In a white flash his eyes change color to a bright blue then they returned to their usual shade. He tilted her head up toward him with a grim expression about his face. A face she had missed for twenty-three years. He couldn't undo Janeway's aged appearance. The power of a M had been done on her. He couldn't get around it. It was totally bullet proof.
Q lifted her head up toward him.
Q didn't want to believe a M did this!
Why would they want to do this TO HER?
"Who did this to you?" Q asked.
"I did this." Janeway.
Q grabbed Janeway by the shoulders.
"I know you are lying," Q said. "Tell me the truth!"
"M did this!" Janeway shouted back. Q let go of Janeway's shoulders. "I did it to bring us back! You never showed up when we needed you!"
Q backed off.
"I couldn't get to you,Kathy," Q said. "It was like requesting access into a forbidden timeline. The door wouldn't budge." He paced back and forth. "It is like knocking on the door, giving a password, and then red words appearing on the door reading 'access denied'." He had both hands behind his back. "No matter how hard I tried I could not be there for you. I know your life is basically over, and I should have been there to stop it! To stop you from making the greatest mistake of your life. I can't make you young again. I understand the warning the now Captain Riker gave me. Maybe I should have never popped up in your life in the first place."
"Q, I don't regret meeting you." Janeway said.
"Now, I am the one with the regret!" Q shouted. "Your fate wasn't supposed to be twisted this way!"
"How do I look?" Janeway asked.
Q looked up.
"To me, you never aged a day," Q said. "I see you are in civilian attire . . . Maybe I can prevent myself from--"
Janeway took Q's hand stopping him from turning away to leave her quarters.
"Q," Janeway said. "I have finally come to a decision with your offer."
The offer he made in 2364.
It started out as:
"I have a offer you will not refuse!" Q said, after appearing in a white flash sitting in the first officer's chair by Janeway.
"Uh uh." Janeway said.
"Would you like to be turned into a Q?" Q asked.
"Let me think about this," Janeway said. "I have to consider my options."
Q grinned holding his hand up to snap his fingers.
"I'll be back." Q said, in a Australian accent.
Q vanished letting Riker reappear.
Throughout the day the conversation wasn't much of a conversation.
"Have you decided yet?"
Janeway's face turned red.
"No, Q, OUT OF MY TUB!"
And he kept asking for days onwards.
"Have you decided?" Q asked, sitting on the bed fumbling with his fingers.
Janeway sighed, in her PJ's, reminding herself who she was talking to.
"No, Q." Janeway said.
Q appeared to be disappointed.
"Ah drats." Q said, snapping his fingers.
And then there was that one time he appeared in her ready room on the sofa.
"Have you decided?" Q asked.
"Q, I am not going to make the decision easily if you keep pestering me about it!" Janeway said.
"Ah, so you need time. . ." Q asked. "Well then. . . I'll give you that space."
Q's jaw went slack and there was a genuine look of shock.
"No?" Q guessed.
"Yes." Janeway said.
"I knew you would agree!" Q said, making his hand slip out of Janeway's.
"That is not what I meant." Janeway said.
"Oh?" Q said. "Did you mean: No Q, I have decided not to accept your offer. It's been years since the continuum agreed with me and they all preferred if I asked your friend Picard," He threw his hands up in the air spreading apart then flailed them. "But I said 'no, let's give her a shot. She might be worth it. Bring a gradual but acceptable change to the continuum that would be more of a splash than I ever did in my beginning years!'" He lowered his hands. "Just convincing them that you would make the same difference as Picard was not easy! In fact just convincing them of anything before the civil war was not easy. Nowadays they go ahead with some other Q's decision and they flatly reject my ideas without any of my testimony. They say hearing it is not needed. Something is very wrong with that picture!"
Janeway watched the entity pace back and forth.
"If they can't listen to my ideas then what is the point of being a Q?" Q asked. "What is the point?" Janeway folded her arms. "If you can't go anywhere without permission from the continuum to explore where no man has gone before. . ." There was a glint in Q's eye as he held up his right hand then swayed it to the side like he had shown a whole new world with one arm wrapped around Janeway's shoulder "And elevate other races all at the same time. . . " He lowered his right hand staring blankly at passing stars. "That is the pinnacle of pointillism."
Janeway cleared her throat.
"I did say yes, but you are missing one part." Janeway said.
Q took his arm off around her shoulder then faced Janeway.
"I said 'No'. You said, 'Yes'." Q said. "I am afraid I am not missing anything Kathy."
"You said, "Would you like to be a Q?'. I hesitated, 'Let me think about this. I have to consider my options' Then you said, 'I'll be back'." Janeway said, unfolding her arms and placed them on her hips.
"Why yes, I did say that." Q said.
And that look on Janeway's face read 'And-you-are-back'.
"And you said, 'No?' and I said 'Yes'." Janeway went on.
"What are you trying to say?" Q asked. "Did you and the old Vulcan meet up and talk about me behind my back?"
"I said yes to your question." Janeway said.
"Don't remind me." The entity sulked.
"Q," Janeway said. "I accept."
"Kathy. . . is this some joke you concocted with the Vulcan?" Q asked. "I knew switching bodies with him gave him a dry sense of humor!"
"No, Q," Janeway said. "For thirty years I have thought long and hard about it. The mind meld I shared with Spock showed me only what I needed to see. . . and some that he could not prevent to be seen. I saw his voyages, I saw the asteroid hurling toward Earth, I am fine with you being Bispeciel, I've seen more about you then I care to know. It is the person who counts inside not by the opinions of others. I love you, Q."
"You realize that you are leaving everyone behind, Kathy." Q said in a soft voice.
"Outside of Star Fleet. . . I don't really," Janeway said. "Just friends."
"I am not going to be the one who trains you, my dear captain," Q said, rubbing her chin. "But convincing the continuum to . . . accept you as a Q is going to be difficult. You'll have to explain why you should exist as a Q and a individual, why I shouldn't be punished for not asking for permission and be rejected and not get thrown out of the continuum for it," Q wiped off a tear from his eye turning away. "I can't believe this is really happening. I believed you would never come around."
Janeway took Q's hand and squeezed it.
"Isn't it the same thing you've put me through?" Janeway asked.
Q looked over to Janeway with a smile.
"More harder than me," Q said. "I am going to make you a Q. . ." His smile faded into a serious one. "And you will find yourself overwhelmed by the power at first. After you are a Q, you are Q, you may call yourself the relic that reminds you of who you are as a person but to everyone else you are Q. Q from Earth. Q from the Q continuum to outsiders. To me? You are just Kathryn Janeway, the human who said yes. My mistress who said yes. A lovely one at best. You may chose any form. Anything. Even your appearance as a Q."
"And if I choose to be old?" Janeway asked, raising a eyebrow.
Q had a low laugh.
"You are still young to me, Kathy." Q said, looking down endearingly toward her.
Janeway lowered her eyebrow.
"Well. . ." Janeway said, taking Q's elbow. "Let's go!"
The two vanished in a white flash.