H&C: 04) The Well of Hurt

Chapter 22: Long and Winding Road

It had taken two months, but Andrew finally completed his level seven medical training and officially replaced Tom Paris as the back-up medic for the Doctor. Alan had been able to reduce Commander Chakotay's workload to the point that the Commander only had to stay after his scheduled shift once a month to do the crew evaluations.

All the children but Janine tested at a college level and it was determined that rather than have them spend their days in college level classes, they would be given duties to aid in their socialization. William and Robert worked in the mess hall clearing tables and refilling drinks. Icheb and Jimmy were assigned to interview a different crewmember each week to feature on 'A Briefing with Neelix'. Trey continued to work in Engineering and after some initial awkwardness, began to fit in with the 'lower deck' contingent. Janine enjoyed being in classes with Naomi and excelled at her studies.

Andrew and Alan were spending a night at home relaxing on the couch, and planning their upcoming two days off when a vortex appeared in their living room.

"Andy, why did you do that?" Alan asked curiously

"I didn't... that's not one of mine." Andrew said with worry.

"I can't see through it... should I go through?" Alan asked carefully.

"Don't you dare." Andrew said in a menacing tone and pushed his power into the vortex to bring the entry closer.

"It's long... this is going to be tough." Andrew said with effort and gave a push to make the entry and exit come together.

Suddenly the swirling mist cleared and before them was standing Dawn, cut and bleeding.

"Dawn? Oh Gods Dawn, you're bleeding! What happened." Andrew said in panic.

"Andrew... thank the Goddess... it was the last thing I could think of to try... I'm an interdimensional key and Scott is identical to Alan so I had to try." Dawn said through tears of joy.

Andrew thought about what she was saying and said, "The Hellmouth Gate?"

"Something like that. I know it's dangerous, but with Alan's blood, I was sure we could find you." Dawn said, continuing to cry.

"Icheb, I need you to come here." Andrew called out, keeping his power focused.

Icheb ran into the room at his Father's desperate tone.

"Father, what are you doing?" he asked, looking at the bleeding girl through the vortex.

"This is my world, that is your Aunt Dawn. I need for you to call Chakotay and tell him that there is a vortex that leads to my world in our cabin, and hurry." Andrew said quickly.

"Andrew, jump through." Dawn called.

"Dawn, I can't. I won't leave without my kids." Andrew said plainly.

"Well get them together, when my blood stops flowing, the gate closes." Dawn said with worry.

"I'm going as quick as I can... Trey, William, Robert, Jimmy, Janine!" Andrew called.

The children all ran out at their father's desperate tone and stood waiting.

"Let's do this Borg style, by the numbers. Three, Four, Five begin disassembling the alcoves. Six, start packing everyone's belongings, go from room to room and pack whatever you think we need. Throw everything on the bed and wrap it in the blanket. Seven, get on the comm and start calling the family, Dave, B'Elana, Seven... call everyone to help." Andrew said desperately.

"I'll help Six." Alan said.

"No love, the portal is focused on you. If you move, it moves and I can't keep it stable if you're moving around." Andrew said with effort.

"Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Paris are on their way." Icheb said as he ran back into the room.

"Good, go help the others disassemble the alcoves.

"What can I do?" Alan asked helplessly.

"Call the Captain and ask for her permission to leave the crew." Andrew said and noticed Scott standing beside Dawn.

"Scott, it's so good to see you. How are you?" Andrew asked with joy.

"One hundred percent better now that I know you two are okay." Scott said honestly.

"Oh Gods, I can't believe it." Andrew said as tears of relief fell down his face.

"Crewman Alan Summers to the Captain." Alan said into his comm badge.

"Go ahead Crewman Summers, I trust that this is important." Janeway said in a threatening tone.

"A portal just opened in our cabin that leads back to our home. I just wanted to ask your permission to leave the crew and Voyager." Alan said with emotion creeping into his voice.

"I'm on my way." Janeway said and the comm went dead.

* * * * *

"What the hell is going on? Janine called and said you're leaving?" Winger said as he entered the room at a run.

"Yeah Dave, this portal leads to our home... we're going home." Andrew said through his tears.

"Right. What do you need me to do?" Winger asked with purpose.

"Help Jimmy get our personal stuff from all the rooms." Andrew said quickly.

"I'm on it... Jimmy! Where are you squirt?" Winger called out.

"Janine said you require our assistance." Seven said as she and B'Elana ran into the room.

"Yes, this portal leads back to our home. Will you help the kids disassemble the alcoves... and we need to know how to adapt them to one hundred ten volt alternating current." Andrew said with excitement.

"I'll get the power converters, you get the alcoves." B'Elana said decisively and gave Seven a quick kiss before leaving the room.

"Icheb said you found a way home." Chakotay said as he entered the room, followed by Tom.

"Actually it found us. Chakotay, Tom, I'd like for you to meet my sister Dawn and my brother Scott." Alan said proudly.

"I'm here too." came a distant voice and Alex ran into view.

"And my brother Alex." Alan said with a joyful smile.

"Father, the first alcove is disassembled." Trey called from his bedroom.

"Move on to the next one and someone will haul it out." Andrew called.

"We can get that." Chakotay said and ran into Trey's bedroom.

"Alan, where do you want this?" Winger asked, carrying a blanket full of possessions.

"Through the portal... Dawn is there anyone there who can haul the things we pass through to you?" Alan said.

"Alex, get help." Dawn commanded.

Alex got a vacant look in his eyes and a moment later he said, "The X-men will be right here to help."

"Good." Alan said and saw Winger standing with the blanket.

"Pass that to Alex." Alan said quickly to Winger.

Winger passed the blanket and ran to the next bedroom to help Jimmy and Janine.

"Gentlemen, I have to say that this is a bit of a surprise." Janeway said as she walked into the room.

"For us too Captain. My sister Dawn found a way to open a vortex and get us home." Alan said with pride.

"A pleasure to meet you. Your brother has been a great asset to the ship." Janeway said honestly.

"I'm glad he behaved himself for you... he's not known for that." Dawn said with a look of mischief.

"Oh Dawnie, no one's teased me like that in months. God I've missed you." Alan said fondly.

"Gentlemen, permission to leave the ship and crew of Voyager is granted. May you find peace and happiness wherever you go." Janeway said seriously.

The X-men could be seen entering the room and looking through the portal.

"Come on guys, lets get this stuff moving." Andrew said with effort.

"Uh, yeah... I only got so much blood here." Dawn said from her side.

X-men and Voyager crew began a fireman's bucket brigade of sorts passing pieces of alcoves down the line and through the portal and out of view. Even Captain Janeway was in the line handing alcove components and Summers family possessions through the portal.

"I've got your power converters." B'Elana said as she ran into the room with her arms filled with electronics.

"Thanks B'Elana, hand them to someone in line and they'll be passed on to our world." Alan said with a smile.

"Gentlemen, I'm sorry to hear that you will be leaving us... I made this for you just in case." the Doctor said and handed Alan a small device.

"It's a mini-cryo unit." Andrew said in confusion.

"Open it." the Doctor said with anticipation.

When the device opened, it revealed a circular object, the size of a quarter, but fatter.

"Is this?" Alan began in wonder.

"Your daughter, Mr. Summers. I remembered what you said about your lives moving quickly and thought it prudent to have her waiting until needed..." the Doctor said smugly.

"Thank you Doctor. There aren't words enough to thank you for everything you've done." Alan said with true thanks.

"Just doing my job... and Andrew, this is for you." the Doctor said, holding a MedKit.

"Thanks Doctor. Would you hand it to someone in line over there. I'm trying to prop up this portal." Andrew said with effort.

"Of course." The Doctor said and got into the line to help pass things through the portal.

"The rooms are done." Winger said, and walked up to Alan.

"Are you sure you got the kids artwork off the wall in my room?" Andrew asked with intensity.

"Yeah. Don't worry if you don't find it right away. I packed it inside a bunch of clothes and stuff so it wouldn't get banged up." Winger said quickly.

"Thanks Dave." Alan said tenderly.

"The alcoves are done." Icheb called out from a bedroom.

"Okay guys. I need for everyone to go to their own room and make sure one last time that everything was packed. Dave, will you check our room one more time?" Alan asked quickly.

"The children will be able to reassemble the alcoves. Trey has the necessary tools." Seven said efficiently as she walked to Alan and Andrew.

"Thank you Seven, I wish I could be here to see your baby. I know you're going to be an incredible mother." Alan said tenderly.

"Thank you. Were it not for your example, I believe I would not have discovered my maternal instinct for quite some time... if ever. Our daughter will be named Alana LeaAndrea Torres, in honor of you both." Seven said shyly.

"Thank you for that honor Seven." Andrew whispered sincerely.

"You may call me Ahnika." she said tenderly and went to join B'Elana in line.

"Guys, I'm running out here." Dawn called from the portal.

"Me too." Andrew said in a whisper.

Alan looked at Andrew in worry and said, "That's it. Everyone who's going, line up in front of the portal. We're leaving now."

Children came running from all the rooms and lined up in their original order.

"X-men, I'd like to introduce my family." Alan called and led Icheb to the portal.

"My oldest son, Icheb LeeAndrew Malachi Summers." Alan said with pride and patted Icheb's back as he walked into the portal.

"My son Trey O'Seofon Summers." and placed a hand on his back as he walked by.

"My son William Alan Spike Summers."

"My son Robert David Summers."

"My son James Tiberius Olson Summers." Alan said and ruffled Jimmy's hair as he went by.

"And my daughter Janine Cinderella Summers." Alan finally said and whispered to Janine, "Go to Icheb."

"Come on Andy, let's go home." Alan said quietly and held out his hand to Andrew.

Then in a louder voice he said, "And my husband, LeeAndrew Malachi Summers."

Hand in hand they walked into the vortex and it closed behind them.