Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager. I do not. I just borrow and play with the lovely characters, and don’t make a dime from posting these stories. No copyright infringement intended.
Rating: NC-17 for same gender physical manifestation of love.
Pairing: STV Janeway/Seven
A Star Trek Janeway/Seven Story by Gun Brooke
“I thought I’d wear a tuxedo. Not a dress.” Chakotay grinned. “This was what the general consensus among Neelix’s party committee.”
“Trust Neelix to encourage elaborate ideas. What about the drainage on ship’s resources? Replicating such clothes will be expensive.” Janeway tried to remember how many replicator credits she had saved up. Perhaps not having enough to replicate a dress would make it possible to escape this hoopla?
“I have to give it to Neelix. He figured out how everyone who wants to attend can replicate proper attire without tapping into ship’s resources too much.” Chakotay smiled broadly. “We’re going to pass that vast traders’ space station in two days. Neelix suggested that instead of going on actual shore leave, we’d put in extra hours giving Voyager an overhaul while we’re there.”
“And this will help with the costumes…I mean clothes, how?” Janeway asked weakly.
“We barter with any seamstress or tailor we can find on the station, offer any personal belonging we feel we can part with, to obtain ball gowns and tuxedos that old-fashioned way.”
“That means staying several days at the station.”
“Voyager will be in the shape of her life,” Chakotay pointed out.
“There is that.” Actually, it wasn’t a bad idea. Janeway made a few quick calculations on the dropped data PADD. “All right. Have all the department heads calculate what they need done and we’ll figure out what we can afford. Just me sure everybody knows that they need to barter for their own clothes at the station. No exceptions.”
“Yes, Captain. I’ll let the crew know. According to Neelix, he expects the majority, at least eighty percent, of the crew attending. He has commissioned Tom Paris and the Doctor to write a holodeck program for a castle in the clouds, or something like that.”
“Clouds, huh?” Janeway shook her head and gave a lopsided smile. “I expect to hear from the heads before 1800 hours.”
Janeway continued working on the data PADD and only half an hour later, she found her thoughts straying between thoughts of what was best for Voyager, to what on earth she should wear at the ball.
“I do not dance, Samantha Wildman.” Seven of Nine didn’t take her eyes off the Borg console next to her alcove.
“You do too, Seven. You danced with Lt. Chapman and later the Doctor about a year ago.”
Seven came close to snorting at the mere idea. “That was hardly a memorable moment. Lt. Chapman’s clavicle was fractured. The Doctor…indulged me, to spare my feelings.”
“And now you can redeem yourself and show everybody,” Naomi maintained. “And before you ask, yes, I know what redeem means.”
“Very well. Still, I do not engage in frivolous activities and I expect to be busy with ship repairs and to chart new star systems beyond the expanse we are approaching.”
“But…” Naomi’s eyes grew wide, and shiny, as if she was holding back tears. “But I’m going to wear a long dress for the first time. It’s my first ball. I want you to be there.” Naomi swallowed hard, her disappointment was evident.
“I can still inspect your dress and watch you prepare.”
“That’s not the same thing. Neelix have all the seating arrangement ready. You, mom and I have seats at the captain’s table!”
“The captain’s table?” Seven stopped in mid-motion. “What does that mean?”
“It’s a great honor. The senior staff and a few among the junior officers, such as mom, will all have dinner in a large garden setting by the Mediterranean. Tom Paris and the Doctor have outdone themselves with the holodeck programming, according to Neelix.”
“I thought this was going to be a sort of dance party.”
“Ah, but it’s so much more. It’s more formal, and the women’s dresses will be fantastic. The best thing is that they’ll be hand made at the space station, and we get to keep them. We don’t have to recycle them, Neelix said. I want a purple or a blue dress. With tons of sparkling stones. Or perhaps rays of fiber optic thread.” Naomi glowed. “You have to join in all the fun, Seven. I won’t be the same without you.”
“As I said, it is not something I partake in. I do not see the point.” Seven knew she was disappointing Naomi, but her inadequacy with dancing was only part of the problem. She was completely out of her element, and did not see the usefulness of participating in a social gathering that served no other purpose than catering to people’s vanity. She loathed feeling out of place. Seven thought she had experienced enough of that on Voyager. The only thing was that she hated disappointing her little friend Naomi even more. “I will accompany you when you go shopping for your dress.”
“Oh, Seven, do you promise?” Naomi eyes sparkled. “Really, really promise?”
“I’ll let you know when it’s time. Now I have stuff to do. See you, Seven!”
Seven was a bit taken aback by Naomi’s quick departure and wondered about that special look in her eyes. She supposed it was the thought of the dress, no, the ball gown, and the upcoming festivities that brought such exuberance on. What else could it be?
“Enter.” Janeway looked up from her computer screen, about to let her impatience shine through at whoever disturbed her—again. The sight of young Naomi Wildman, who was literally bouncing toward the captain’s desk, made her forget any irritation. “Hello. What can I do for you, Naomi?”
“Permission to speak freely as your assistant, Captain.”
“Naturally.” Janeway fought to keep a wide smile off her face. Naomi took her assignments as the first and only captain’s assistant in the history of Star Fleet very seriously.
“We have to make Seven understand what’s in her own best interest, Captain.”
“What? We do?” Janeway pushed the computer aside and grabbed her coffee mug.
“Yes. She thinks she needs to forfeit any fun and work instead.”
“That’s up to her, isn’t it?” A small voice in Janeway’s head suggested that Seven would probably be happier doing a shift in astrometrics or engineering.
“Yes. And no. Captain, Seven is still learning what it is to be human. She doesn’t know how to relax and have fun. She doesn’t know what she’s missing!” Naomi’s eyes filled with tears. “I spoke to Neelix and he agrees. Lt. Paris overheard us and he said she needs to learn to let her hair hang down.”
“He did?” Janeway clung to her mug, and if it hadn’t been for Tom being so devoted to B’Elanna— She interrupted her thoughts instantly. “Anyway, let’s say you’re on to something, how do you suggest we go about things?” We? Janeway hoped Naomi wouldn’t notice the slip.
“Yes, Captain. Here. I write a proposal.” Naomi handed over a small PADD. “First of all, we need to appeal to her sense of duty. Since you are the person Seven wants to please the most—Captain, are you all right?”
“F-fine.” Janeway wheezed and coughed as she tried to rid herself of the coffee that had gone down her wind pipe. “Proceed.”
“Oh. Yes. Your opinion matters a lot to Seven, and if you make it clear to her that you expect her to participate, and be dressed accordingly, I’ll help her choose the correct attire.”
“So you mean I should order her to attend? I can’t do that. If she doesn’t want to, I can’t force her. The ball is not mandatory.”
“Of course it isn’t.” Naomi managed to sound both patient and exasperated. “For the rest of the crew, it is pure joy and a fun, happy event. For Seven, who hasn’t learned that having fun is, well, fun, and actually good for you, this is not the same.”
Janeway sighed and ran a finger slowly around the rim of her mug. “You’re right.” Janeway was shocked at the fact that it would take the reasoning of a very young K’tarian child to point out her own cowardice. “So, according to this,” Janeway wiggled Naomi’s PADD, Seven has agreed to join you and your mother when you go shopping for dresses. I need to talk to her before then, so she can do the same.”
“Yes!” Relieved, Naomi rounded the desk and threw her arms around Janeway’s neck. As if she suddenly caught herself, she let go and stepped back, looking flustered. “I mean, yes, Captain.”
“Very well, Assistant, I’ll do my share and you make sure she buys something nice, all right?”
“Aye-aye, Captain.” Naomi was clearly about to rush out of the ready room, but remained in place, looking jittery.
“Thank you, Captain. Bye!”
Janeway sat immobilized for several minutes, pondering on what she’d gotten herself into. It was hardly surprising that Seven would turn down the idea of going to a ball, as she was not prone to partake in “frivolous” activities. Seven didn’t mind sports activities, since they served to keep you in good shape. Nor did she balk at the idea of accompanying Naomi when the child enjoyed the fairytale programs on the holodeck. This was just another way to help babysitting the child. So how would Janeway put a spin on Seven attending the ball? She rubbed her forehead and then sipped her coffee. She had only a day or so to figure it out.
“Good morning, everybody.” Captain Janeway sat down at the far end of the conference table. She laced her fingers together and studied her senior crewmembers keenly.
Seven sat down and as always, there was that last minute rigidity in her joints, as if her body was still insisting, after almost four years onboard Voyager, that “the Borg do not sit.”
“I hope you all had a good night’s sleep, and that you’re ready to start preparing for our shoreleave and ball. To start with the venue, how’s the holodeck program coming along Tom? Doctor?” Janeway leaned her chin on her hands, looking firmly at Tom Paris and the CMO, Voyager’s perpetual holographic emergency medical hologram.
“I know you’ll be pleased,” the Doctor enthused. “Mr. Paris is a true artist, and I’m not bad either, if I may say so myself.”
“You may. So what’s it like?”
“Eh, Captain,” Neelix interjected, “I’ve asked these gentlemen to not give away any details.”
“Really?” Janeway blinked. “It’s a secret?”
“A nothing-short-of-a-miracle-kinda-secret.” Tom Paris said, sounding slightly nervous.
“I guess I can live with that. Now, don’t forget that we have to get to the tailor and seamstress at the space station as soon as we dock. They are apparently quite fast, but we want everybody to have their clothes sewn up in time.”
“I saw more than a few crewmembers hunched over fashion designs last night,” B’Elanna Torres, the chief engineer said with a crooked grin. “I wonder if they can make a tradional Klingon ball gown for pregnant women?” She patted her extended stomach.
“I’m sure they can.” Janeway let her eyes travel from one senior officer to the next. “It’s important that all the department heads are present at the ball. We will make sure everybody will see some of the festivities during it, even the crewmembers who have their duty shifts to attend to.” Janeway’s eyes drifted to meet Seven’s. “I won’t make it an order, of course, but I don’t want any of you to bow out. We need to set an example and reinforce the feeling of us as heads of this vast Voyager family before we go further into the expanse behind the space station.” Janeway paused before she continued with routine ship’s business.
Seven’s mind whirled. Was she imagining things, or was Janeway’s words about not bowing out and Voyager family directed at her in particular?
As the meeting closed, Janeway turned to Seven as she was about to exit. “Stay a bit, won’t you, Seven? I need to ask your advise.”
“Advise, Captain?” Seven clasped her hands behind her back. This was unexpected.
“Yes, I suppose I could ask B’Elanna, or even Samantha Wildman, but something tells me that you’re the right choice.”
What was going on? Why would Seven be the ‘right choice’ and in which capacity? Seven forced her features to remain relaxed.
“Yes. This ball. It’s a great idea, but I imagine the crew expects something extraordinary of their captain, both when it comes to my attire, and my date.
“Date?” Seven’s lips felt rigid.
“Yes, a captain can’t show up at a formal function unescorted. Whether the captain is male or female, they arrive with someone at their side.”
“I see. The logical choice would be Commander Chakotay,” Seven said, curling her toes inside her boots.
“I know, but I don’t feel that is correct in this case. Chakotay and I are best friends, but he has his heart set on going with someone else.”
“Ah.” Oddly enough it seemed easier to breath, Seven thought. “I am not an expert at choosing attire. You should consult the Doctor. He is quite well versed when it comes to fashion.”
“Oh, it’s not from a fashion point of view,” Janeway said, and walked up to Seven, standing well within her personal space. “I’m debating whether to wear a tuxedo, or a ball gown. Either is correct, but both have special connotations.”
“Elaborate.” Seven swallowed hard at Janeway’s close proximity. The ceiling light cast gold highlights in the captain’s auburn hair, and the way the captain looked up at Seven, her eyes the softest of blue, created strange fluttering sensations in her midsection.
“A tuxedo is quite formal and male, and it reinforces the image of me as the stern leader, forceful and resourceful. A ball gown gives me a softer, more female look, which reminds the crew that I’m indeed a woman, which would emphasize my nurturing, caring side.”
“This is ridiculous.” Seven shook her head, wincing at Janeway’s initial surprise, which quickly turned to a scowl.
“No matter how you dress, tuxedo, or ball gown, your crew knows you are a resourceful, strong, yet compassionate and nurturing leader. No garment will take away from, or add, to that. It is a ridiculous notion.”
Janeway seemed to consider this, and Seven knew she had done it again. No doubt Janeway was going to make it clear that the mandatory presence among senior crewmembers did not apply to her.
“You’re right.” Janeway startled Seven by smiling broadly. “I knew I was asking the right person.”
“You are not offended?” Seven unclasped her hands a little.
“Not in the least.” Janeway beamed. “And I think you answered my first question too.”
“I did? Which question?” Seven was not easily confused, but now she had lost her trail of thought.
“Who I’m going with. Ridiculous or not, I do want a date for the ball. Have you got a date yet, Seven?”
“No. I wasn’t going to—“
“Oh, perfect. So it’s the two of us. I’m so relieved. I really wanted to go with someone I know I can have a good time with.”
“B-but, I cannot attend. I cannot be your ‘date’.” Seven’s throat constricted and she had to clear it twice.
“Why ever not?” Janeway’s eyes dulled into an even grey.
“Because—because I cannot dance!”
Janeway stood motionless for a few moments. “I see only one solution. Meet me in my quarters at 2000 hours, and I will teach you.”
Seven wanted to object, but the thought of having the captain to herself for however long, tapped into some of her most secret fantasies.
“See you then. Dismissed.” Janeway’s change in demeanor, switching back into captain-mode, together with the last word, gave Seven the much needed reprieve.
Seven hurried out into the corridor. She tapped her comm badge. “Seven to Samantha Wildman.”
“Wildman here. Go on.”
“Ensign, please extend your time allotted at the seamstress on the space station. I will need a ball gown after all.”
Just as she changed into civilian attire; a soft, three quarter sleeve button-down shirt and tan slacks, Janeway’s door chime alerted her.
“Coming.” Janeway strode across her living room area, smoothing her hair down. She pressed the sensor to open her door. Outside, Seven of Nine stood in her usual pose, ramrod straight and with her hands behind her back. Still she was barely recognizable. Seven’s blonde hair was down in soft waves around her shoulders, and she was wearing a maroon dress that sparkled softly. The skirt flowed around her knees, and the sleeves barely covered her shoulders. “You look beautiful, Seven,” Janeway managed.
“I was uncertain what to wear as this is neither a date nor an assignment. It is not comparable to a game of velocity.”
“It certainly isn’t. Come in.” Janeway found herself smiling broadly. “I haven’t had time to eat yet. Join me for a snack, or perhaps some soup?”
“Are you cooking?” Seven raised her eyebrow.
“I’ll be programming.” Janeway winked. “You feeling brave?”
“I will try the soup.” Seven motioned toward the replicator. “May I assist you?”
“Why not? You can perhaps see if this unit needs calibrating as I punch in the commands.” Janeway stood in front of the replicator, choosing the codes for a simple asparagus soup. Seven joined her, and as their shoulders brushed together, Janeway found herself holding her breath. Her skin tingled, and small goose bumps rose all over her arms.
“Ah, I see what the problem is. Two of the storage components holding pattern buffers have fused. I can easily fix this.”
“You’re not here to work overtime as a maintenance crewman, Seven.” Janeway moved two hot bowls to their dining table. “Here. Try this. Not even my replicator and I can screw that up.”
“Very well. I will remind your to file a report to the head of maintenance.”
“Thank you,” Janeway replied drily.
They sat down to eat, and Janeway furtively stole glances at Seven, reveling at the sight of her natural beauty. She had always found Seven’s beautiful, oddly enough, even before the Doctor had restored her human appearance. Perhaps it was because Janeway found it impossible to separate Seven’s strong persona from her physiognomy?
“So,” Janeway said, feeling ridiculous at how nervous she was. “Soup was not too bad. You feel like braving the dance floor?”
“Dance floor? We are in your quarters.” Seven put her spoon down, looking around her with mild confusion.”
“When we move the armchair and the coffee table out of the way, we’ll have enough space to practice. That will be our dance floor.”
“Very well.” Seven rose abruptly and cleared the dishes. She placed them in the replicator and they vanished into the recycling buffer. She turned around, visibly taking a deep breath. “Teach me.”
Seven watched how Janeway had moved the furniture aside, indeed creating enough space.
“Computer. Music. Janeway selection Gamma-Zero-Zero-One.”
Soft music began to play. Seven listened intently, but her focus was distracted by the vision of the captain approaching her with her arms extended toward Seven.
“Here. Place this hand on my shoulder, and use the other one to hold my hand.” Janeway maneuvered Seven’s arms and hands into place. “There.”
“I am familiar with the opening pose of dancing.”
“Yes, I remember you did dance some with Lt. Chapman and the Doctor. I just figured we’d start from scratch since I know you perceived that attempt as utter failure.”
“Why do you assume that?” Seven stalled, knowing full well Janeway was right.
“Because you’ve never attempted it after that.” Janeway pulled Seven closer, smiling up at her. “Between us, I think we can achieve, if not perfection, then at least something that will make you comfortable enough to dance with your crewmates.”
“I see.” Seven wondered at the sensation of tremors around her knees. As soon as Janeway’s body was closer to Seven’s, this alien manifestation occurred, and Seven simply had no frame of reference to decipher the symptoms.
“This is a dance called a foxtrot. You take two steps after each other and then one in the opposite direction. I will lead.”
“That is logical.” Seven forced herself to not grip Janeway’s hand to hard. When the captain gently nudged her to start moving, Seven found it was infinitely easier to follow Janeway than Lt. Chapman or the even the Doctor. Janeway pulled her closer.
“You’re doing great, Seven. I think you’re a natural, deep down.” She hummed and turned them around, her right hand stroking lightly Seven’s back.
Seven could not stop the tremors travelling down her spine. She tried directing stabilizing nanoprobes, but to no avail.
“Are you all right?” Janeway asked and leaned back to look up at Seven. “You’re shivering.
“I am functioning at acceptable levels. I am merely not used to such close proximity.”
“To me.” Janeway blinked.
“To anyone. Especially to you, Captain.”
“We’ve been close before. Playing velocity, for instant.”
“That is different. You are caressing my back. It is affecting my system.” Seven drew a deep breath.
“Is it unpleasant?” Janeway whispered.
Seven considered this. “Not at all.”
“So…is it pleasant?” Janeway looked startled at her own words.
“Yes. Very pleasant. I am not used to being fondled or caressed. I cannot remember it ever happening like this.”
“What about your young man in Unimatrix Zero? The one you had feelings for in that cyber reality when you were Borg?”
“Yes, he did kiss me. It was nice. As I said, not like this.”
“I didn’t ask you here to take advantage of you,” Janeway said, looking up at Seven with dark blue eyes. “I never knew we’d react this way while dancing.”
“What do you mean, ‘we’?”
“Can’t you feel it?” Janeway murmured throatily. “I’m trembling too.”
Naomi skipped ahead of Samantha Wildman and Seven as they made their way along the busy promenade. The Ose’l’do space station was the last trading post before the great expanse that covered no less than twenty-two sectors. It would take Voyager about eight months to cross the expanse, unless they ran into trouble. Going around, through more populated areas, would add another three years to their voyage, something Captain Janeway was not prepared to do. Seven agreed with the senior staff’s decision, but also knew that it would take a toll on Voyager to be completely cut off.
“Here it is, Mom! Seven look!” Naomi waved at them to hurry. She was standing in front of a display window where a screen showed one impressive set of garments after another. “Oh, pink…” Naomi looked dreamily at the screen. “Or blue…”
“Pink would suit you very well,” Seven said.
“I agree.” Samantha winked at Seven. “Let’s go inside. I think they’re waiting for us.”
Seven was slightly dismayed to see twelve men and women flock around them, four for each customer. They measure, chatted, pinched and prodded, until she was ready to verbally and physically assault them.
“What color have you decided on, Seven?” Naomi called out from behind her army-of-tailors.
“I have yet to decide.” Seven glared at the woman measuring her chest as she directed the measuring device to her breasts.
“I think you should have the blue. I’m going for pink, and Mom is wearing a green dress. Blue would look so wonderful on you.”
Blue. Seven tried to envision something in blue, maybe in a similar nuance as one of her first biosuits?
“I recommend this design for your body type, Madame.” Another woman said, this one older, and, fortunately, a lot calmer in her approach. She pushed a data PADD across her desk to Seven. An image of a blue dress, completely different than Seven had thought, with her limited knowledge of ball gowns, filled the screen. This dress was stunning, and seemed to embody Seven’s persona. Deceptively austere, but with surprises and interesting design details that caught your eyes.
“I like this one.” Seven felt a strange burning sensation beneath her eyelids. Moisture gathered, but she refused to let any tears fall. It was ridiculous to allow a mere garment to illicit such an exaggerated response.
“Very well. I will have it ready for you tomorrow. Some parts will be replicated, other parts will be hand sewn. Pay on delivery.”
Naomi skipped over to Seven, holding the data PADD with her dress. “Seven, do you like this one?”
It was a very pretty, age appropriate dress. Long and flowing, with short sleeves, it looked just right. “Very lovely, Naomi. I think you will be the prettiest girl at the ball.”
“And Mom’s. Here.” Naomi showed another PADD with Samantha Wildman’s green dress.
“I think the staff must be sensitives or telepaths, since they seems to understand so well what suits us, and what we are looking for.” Samantha Wildman smiled, but Seven got the feeling she was only half-joking.
“I agree. It is uncanny.” Seven left the studio with Naomi and her mother.
“Oh, Mom, can we go to the coffee shop we saw before? They had something looking like ice cream.”
“Why not?” Samantha Wildman shook her head with a tender smile directed toward her daughter. “Care to join us, Seven?”
“I would not mind a cup of herbal tea after this experience.”
“They were almost a bit intrusive, weren’t they?”
The coffee house was busy, but Naomi spotted a table in the far corner, which she promptly claimed. A man boasting an impressive exoskeleton took their order, and moved lithely between the tables to fetch their beverages.
“Are you looking forward to the ball, Seven?” Samantha asked. “I have to admit, I was surprised that you ended up getting a dress.”
“I understood that it was mandatory by the senior staff to participate.” Seven shrugged. “And when Captain Janeway alleviated my initial misgivings…”
“Captain Janeway? What did she do?” Samantha thanked the waiter and sipped her tea.
“I spent yesterday evening in her quarters.”
Samantha coughed and put a napkin over her mouth. “What?” she wheezed.
“She taught me the basic steps of foxtrot, waltz, tango, gelno’a, and meyho.”
“That’s fantastic!” Naomi beamed. “You’re a quick study, the Doctor says, so I’m sure you mastered them.”
“I did not.” Seven could not keep the annoyance out of her voice. “I did not ‘master’ the tango. I found it too theatrical and quite ridiculous.”
“Oh, but it’s such a romantic dance.” Samantha seemed to have recuperated from her coughing fit. “It depicts passion.”
“That is what the captain said.” Seven felt her cheeks warm.
“You’re blushing, Seven,” Naomi pointed out helpfully. “Mom? What?”
“It is not polite to draw attention to such things,” Samantha murmured. Still, she looked as curious as her child. “You all right, Seven?”
“I am function—I am ‘fine’.”
“So the captain was trying to teach you about passion?” Naomi asked. “Ow. Mom!” She rubbed her leg.
“That was rude. I’m starting to think that allowing you to have ice cream might’ve been a mistake.” Samantha now looked angry. “Apologize to Seven.”
“I’m sorry, Seven.” Naomi’s eyes grew wide. “I didn’t know that was rude. Honest.”
“Neither did I,” Seven confessed, “which makes me wonder if your mother will now kick me under table.”
Samantha stared at Seven for several moments only to start laughing, tossing her head back. “Oh, Gods, Seven. That’s hilarious.”
“It is?” It had not been Seven’s intention, but seeing Samantha go from anger to laughter in seconds, and Naomi’s eye regain their merry glitter, was good enough. They resumed having their tea and ice cream during friendly banter. As they rose to leave, Seven couldn’t help but wonder if it was passion that had caused both her and the captain to tremble?
Janeway stood by the view port in her ready room. She had opted to get ready there, rather than in her quarters, for reasons not quite clear even to herself. On the bridge, Ensign Harry Kim had the first duty shift with a skeleton crew. He would be relieved in three hours and join his shipmates at the ball.
“Computer. Locate Seven of Nine,” Janeway said quietly.
“Seven of Nine is in Samantha Wildman’s quarters.”
That made sense. They had gone to the tailor together, naturally, Samantha had offered to help Seven get ready. Janeway hesitated briefly.
“Janeway to Seven of Nine.”
“Seven here, Captain. Go ahead.”
“Would you join me in my ready room before the ball begins? I mean, if you have the time?” Janeway groaned inwardly at how out-of-breath she sounded.
“Very well. On my way, Captain. Seven out.”
Janeway sat down, only to stand up right away. She felt too jittery, too nervous, to sit. She had stood in the sonic shower far too long, trying to use the insistent humming noise to drown out the voice that kept telling her she was wrong—about everything. In the end, it didn’t matter. Whether or not she was on an unstoppable emotional train wreck waiting to happen, or on her way to complete bliss, she had to follow through.
The door chime made her flinch. Janeway turned around, facing the door as she straightened her clothes.
The door opened and a woman stepped inside. A stranger, Janeway thought at first. Then she saw the optical implant above the woman’s left eye. So, no stranger. Of course, no stranger.
“Gods, Seven. You’re stunningly beautiful.” Janeway looked greedily at Seven. She was dressed in a silvery blue long dress, narrow, and made from a fabric unlike any Janeway had ever seen. It caressed every curve of Seven’s gorgeous body, but only hinted at every curve enough for Janeway to want to touch her, to find out what was underneath. The neckline plunged all the way down to Seven’s sternum, and only willpower seemed to hold the fabric in place over Seven’s full breasts. “Your dress is fantastic.”
“So is yours,” Seven whispered.
Seven had no idea that Janeway would also be wearing a dress. For some reason, she had assumed that the captain would wear her gala uniform, or similar, which suited her so well. Janeway was indeed wearing command red, but it was a ball gown, a flowing, very flattering dress that rendered the captain a regal, and if possible, even more commanding look.
The bodice hugged Janeway’s chest, pressing her breasts up, creating a fullness that Seven surmised she normally hid. The pale, slightly freckled skin made Seven’s joints malfunction, a sudden weakness surprised her and she tightened her muscles so she would not topple over.
The skirt flowed from Janeway’s hips out in a silky wave that moved around her with a seductive sound as the captain walked up to Seven.
“I think we need to establish a not protocol for tonight,” Janeway said, and stopped well within Seven’s personal space. “I think you must call me Kathryn.”
“What do you mean, why?”
“Why should we overstep the boundaries of command tonight? Because this is a festive occasion?”
“No, not just because of that. Granted, this is a special occasion, but also because I wish to be your escort to the ball, and I can’t very well have my date call me ‘Captain’ all night.”
“Your date, Cap—Kathryn?” Seven licked her lips.
“Yes. If you want to? I mean, if you had promised Naomi—“
“No. I am free to be your date.” Seven didn’t care that she spoke so eagerly, so without pride. “I would be honored.”
“Then let’s go. We can’t be late.”
Seven followed Kathryn out the door, across the bridge, where a wide eyed Harry Kim stared at them with his mouth half open. “Captain? Seven. You both look amazing.”
“Thank you, Ensign. I’ll save you a dance if you keep my ship intact.”
“Aye, ma’am.” Harry Kim grinned broadly. “Have fun until I get there.”
The turbo lift took them to deck six, and the silence was filled with enough unspoken words that it ought to crackle from static electricity. Seven kept her eyes forward as they walked to the door leading into holodeck one. Tom Paris and the Doctor had used the holo emitters from both holodecks to create their ballroom setting, and as Seven and Kathryn stepped inside, Seven could see why all the power was required.
A long walkway led away from the door, from the stark environment of Voyager, toward pale pink and blue clouds. Made from crystal, it was as if they walked on air, surrounded by birds, butterflies, and some fairytale winged creatures that circled around them, giggling and humming.
“Stunning,” Kathryn whispered and took Seven’s hand. “Absolutely stunning.”
Seven looked over at Kathryn. “Yes, she said. I concur.”
They walked, hand in hand, and soon caught up with other crewmembers, among them Samantha and Naomi. The little girl looked like a fairytale creature as well, and she beamed at Kathryn and Seven.
“I was right, wasn’t I, Mom?” Naomi tugged at her mother’s hand. “I was.”
“Yes, you were. I’m going to hear about it for weeks, but truth remains, you were right.”
“What’s that?” Kathryn asked, smiling down at Naomi? “A bet going on, there, Assistant Wildman?”
“No, nothing like that, Captain.” Naomi suddenly looked serious. “I was right when I said Seven would look wonderful in a ball gown and that she deserves to go to the ball and not just work and work all the time. I was also right when I told my Mom that I thought the only reason Seven would come to the ball, was if you would be there. And now you’re taking her, and you look so…so beautiful. Both of you.”
“Hush, sweetie,” Samantha said, as Naomi wiped an errant teardrop.
“Thank you, Naomi, for being so right.” Kathryn leaned down and kissed Naomi’s forehead. “Do you feel like I do? Aren’t you just dying to see the castle over there?” She pointed at the outline of a castle among the clouds further down the crystal pathway.
“Yes!” Naomi tugged at her mother again. “I am. Let’s go!”
Seven had felt something inside her soften and nearly melt when Kathryn showed such tender affection toward Naomi. Seven loved the little girl, who had accepted Seven long before most crewmembers.
“Yes, let’s go, Seven.” Kathryn took her hand again, squeezing it. “I’m dying to see it, and I’m even more eager to dance with you, Seven.”
“I look forward to it as well.” She was, but Seven also felt a lump of nervousness in her midsection. She had practiced the steps, all alone in cargo bay two, and she was fairly sure she knew what to do, but she hadn’t been wearing this type of dress. What if she tripped? Or stepped on Kathryn’s dress?“You will be fine.” Kathryn raised their joined hands to her lips, brushing a kiss across the knuckles of Seven’s human hand just as they entered the castle.
Janeway moved among her crewmembers, accepting compliments for her appearance, and being asked to dance at every turn. Enjoying Tom’s and the Doctor’s stunning ballroom, made of black and silver marble, with light blue ceiling. She did her rounds, happily and out of duty in equal measures, all the time keeping a watchful eye what Seven was up to.
Seven was constantly in someone’s arms, dancing, both male and female crewmembers. Right now, she was dancing with Naomi Wildman, and the young girl looked adorable in her first long dress.
“She’s doing fine, Captain.” Samantha moved up next to Janeway, champagne glass in hand.
“That pink dress is so cute.” Janeway smiled.
“Oh. I meant Seven, Captain.” Samantha sipped her champagne. “I can tell that you’re a bit worried. I think Seven’s the absolute bell of the ball.”
“Seven looks amazing.”
“And I understand that her new skills when it comes to dancing, is because of your expert tutoring.”
“Ah, that. It didn’t take Seven long to get the hang of the basics.” Janeway wondered why Samantha’s smile made her cringe.
The music changed and Seven returned Naomi to her mother.
“This is the passion dance that Seven thinks is so hard,” Naomi said. “You know, the tango?”
“The passion dance?” Janeway looked from Seven to Samantha, the latter who was now studying her glass closely.
“Why don’t we leave the captain and Seven to figure out how this dance is best carried out, Naomi?” Samantha took her daughter by the hand. “Let’s go over to the large table over there. Neelix has arranged more treats there than you have ever seen.”
Janeway barely registered that Naomi and her mother left, she only saw Seven, and how Seven very faintly trembled. “What’s wrong?” Janeway asked. “It’s just a dance. A tango.”
“It is as Naomi said. A dance of passion. You do not believe that I can harbor passion, and neither do I. I am…lacking, in that regard.” Seven’s eyes, normally so light and icy blue, were now dark, nearly black.
“You have passion. And you have a lot of it.”
“I do not.”
“I can prove it. What’s more, if you trust me, I can prove it twice.”
This seemed to peak Seven’s interest enough for her to regain some color and for the brighter blue to return to her eyes. “Prove it, Kathryn?”
“Absolutely.” Janeway stepped even closer. “Do you trust me, Seven?” she asked quietly.
“Absolutely,” Seven echoed.
“Then, first, I ask you to dance the tango with me.”
“You know the steps. You trust me.”
“Very well.” Seven took a deep breath as she accepted.
“Then, let’s do this.” Janeway held Seven’s hand and led her to the dance floor. She aligned their bodies and waited for the music to reach a certain point. “Here we go.” Janeway led Seven around the dance floor, in sweeping, long steps. Whipping their heads around in the fashion the dance stipulated, they soon commanded the dance floor. Janeway felt her hair loosen as the hair pins let go. She moved them along the blurry row of familiar faces, and all she really could see clearly was the passion on Seven’s face and in her eyes. When the music ended, Janeway was startled back to reality by thunderous applause from the crew. Seven blushed faintly.
“Why are they clapping?” Seven murmured.
“Because you’re a passionate, beautiful, woman, who danced a terrific tango.” Janeway smiled. “And now, I am quiet eager to move on to part two of my demonstration. I just need to know something.”
“Do you want to join me in my quarters after we say goodnight to everybody, Seven?”
Seven seemed to consider the question carefully. “For a ‘night cap’?”
Janeway laughed. “Yes. For a night cap.”
“Yes?” Happiness mixed with a belated onset of nerves made Janeway moisten her lips. “Excellent. Let’s make the rounds, then.”
Seven stood in Kathryn’s living room area, looking around as if she had not really paid attention to it before. Perhaps it was because Kathryn stood by the replicator dressed in a ball gown, and as Kathryn, not Janeway?
“Sure you don’t want some coffee?” Kathryn turned around before programming the replicator.
“I feel dehydrated, so water is the logical choice.”
“I guess. Water it is.” Kathryn returned with two tall glasses of water with ice cubes.
“I did not request ice.”
“It makes the water taste better.” Kathryn sipped hers and caught an ice cube between her teeth, smiling. “I always loved ice cubes.”
Seven drank several large gulps of water as her mouth dried even more so at the sight of a smiling Kathryn Janeway playing with an ice cube.
“Oh, you really were thirsty.” Her eyes sparkling much like the ice, Kathryn placed her glass on the dining table, took Seven’s and repeated the maneuver. “I feel sort of thirst too. Which brings me to my next promise.”
“First I need to ask you a couple of questions.” Kathryn took Seven’s hands and pulled her over to the couch. “And for this we need to sit, Borg or not.”
“Very well.” Seven sat down, secretly grateful as her legs had begun to tremble again.
“Do I make your uncomfortable?” Kathryn looked serious now, the sparkle still there, though muted.
“Do you wish to leave?”
“Are you aware of how you make me feel?”
“You mean right now?” Seven frowned.
“Yes. No. I mean, always.”
Kathryn raised a hand that were not entirely stable and ran her thumb along Seven’s lower lip. “You are my heart, Seven.”
Seven’s own heart seemed to stall; it actually stopped in her chest for more than two seconds before speeding madly. Was she malfunctioning? Had Kathryn just professed to having personal, deeply personal feelings for her?
“Say something.” Kathryn blinked repeatedly, and then tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks.
“I have upset you.” Seven did what she would do with Naomi if she was upset. She lifted Kathryn up on her lap. “Do not cry. You caught me unprepared, that is all.”
“I had hoped—“ Kathryn pressed her face into Seven’s neck. “I had hoped, dreamed, really, that you’d feel something similar.”
“I do not have your vocabulary to express myself when it comes to emotional things.” Seven had never felt more imperfect, but knew this was about reassuring Kathryn. “I can only say that I have wanted to…to be ‘your heart’ for quite some time.”
Kathryn sat so still, Seven was starting to really become concerned.
“Yeah?” Kathryn breathed the word against Seven’s skin.
“You are. You have been for a long time.”
“Why have you not told me before?” Seven tried to understand this curious turn of events.
“Because neither of us was ready.” Kathryn sat up, holding her hands loosely around Seven’s neck.
Seven in turn wrapped her arms around Kathryn’s waist. “You are probably correct. Had you approached me earlier, I would not have made for a good partner. Not an equal partner.”
“You see. You do understand.” Kathryn wiped at her cheeks. “And now for my promise, I just have one more question. May I kiss you?”
Kathryn cupped Seven’s cheeks and tilted her head, mimicking the movement, but in the opposite angle. Slowly she brushed her lips over Seven’s, several times, before she pressed their mouths together.
Seven whimpered, and the passion Kathryn had assured her she possessed filled every cell in her body. She held Kathryn closer, and it was she who parted Kathryn’s lips, she who deepened the kiss. When she felt Kathryn’s tongue return the caress, the intimacy was yet another piece of the puzzle in how this woman made her feel.
Seven slid her lips along Kathryn’s jawline and down her neck. “We should remove these dresses before we ruin them,” she murmured.
“I agree,” Kathryn said. “I have enough space for both of them in my closet, in the bedroom. “Come with me.”
Seven allowed Kathryn to regain control and pull her along to the bedroom. There, Kathryn unbuttoned Seven’s dress in the back and pulled it off her shoulders, kissing the naked skin she revealed as she did so. Seven’s breathing became deeper and faster, which should’ve slowed her pulse, but didn’t.
“Don’t hyperventilate, darling, it will only make your dizzy.” Kathryn pushed the dress down Seven’s legs and helped her step out of it. She hung it neatly in the closet.
“Please, unbutton me?” Kathryn turned her back to Seven.
Seven eagerly complied, wanting to hold Kathryn again, this time without so much fabric between them. She unhooked the tiny clasps and caught the dress before it hit the floor. Kathryn stepped to the side and received the dress to hang next to Seven’s. She turned to face Seven, and Seven in turn could not stop staring at the half naked woman in front of her.
“Seven?” There was a faint tremor in Kathryn’s voice.
“What is wrong?” Seven frowned.
“You…I’m…I guess I’m a bit self-conscious. Nobody has seen me like this, as a lover, for a long, long time.”
“You are still experienced compared to me. You have proven to me that I am able to experience passion, but I am a novice when it comes to sexuality.”
“I am too, Seven.” Kathryn held Seven by the shoulders and guided her to the bed. “Computer, increase heat with two degrees.”
“You are not. You have had lovers. You were engaged to Mark Johnson before.” Seven sat down.
“What I mean is, I haven’t had a female lover. I know my own body, but that’s it.”
Seven considered this. “So, we will learn together?” This thought was oddly enticing.
“We will. Scoot up.” Nudging her gently, Kathryn slid down next to Seven on the bed. “I just want to hold you for now. You warm enough? I don’t want you to get cold. I usually have the temperature set to eighteen Celsius in here.”
“I am quite warm, thank you.” In fact, Seven felt as if parts of her were molten because of Kathryn’s close proximity. “May I kiss you again?”
“You don’t have to ask.” Kathryn tipped her head back, offering her lips.
Seven hungrily kissed Kathryn, parting her lips. This was such a surprising sensation, this intimate caress, this exploration of the part of another human being that they used to communicate, feed themselves, and taste.
“I like tasting you,” Seven said.
“By all means.” Kathryn placed both hands above her head on the pillow, pulling one leg up and out, thus exposing herself to Seven in one trusting motion.
Seven kissed a hot trail down Kathryn’s body, in between her breasts, across the wine colored nipples, down toward her belly button. “You are beautiful, unmarred.” Hindered by Kathryn’s lace underwear, she looked up. “I feel it prudent if I ask to remove this last piece of garment. May I?”
Kathryn gasped and colored faintly. “Yes. Please.”
Seven pushed the thin piece of garment down Kathryn’s legs and pulled it off. This seemed to create a certain restlessness in Kathryn’s legs, where they had laid so trustingly open before. Seven wondered if Kathryn really wanted to expose herself like before, but felt too shy now when she was entirely naked.
“I think we should be on equal terms.” Seven stood abruptly and pushed her underwear off as well. She remained stationary by the bed, sensing that Kathryn wanted to look at her unhindered. “I apologize for not coming to your bed unmarred. The Borg left traces even if the Doctor did his best to remove them.”
“Never apologize. Not your fault, what was done to you as a child. And besides, and this is the truth, you are so beautiful it makes my heart ache.” Kathryn cleared her throat and pulled Seven toward her again. "Lie down and let me take care of you for a little bit. You’re not the only one that wants to explore.”
Seven complied, wanting to show as much faith and trust as Kathryn. She placed her hands above her head, breathless at how exposed and vulnerable this made her feel. Her breasts jutted out, and her midsection pulled in, emphasizing her curvaceous figure.
“How can someone so slender be so strong and voluptuous?” Kathryn murmured. “These are amazing.” She cupped Seven’s breasts. “God’s, Seven. I have to make you mine. I want you so much.” She spoke feverishly as she settled between Seven’s legs. “I need to feel that you belong with me.” Kathryn lowered her head and took Seven’s right nipple in her mouth.
“Ah!” Seven arched her back, unprepared for the jolt of pleasure that pierced through her system at Kathryn’s caress. The heat from Kathryn’s mouth seemed to increase exponentially with each caress of her tongue. When Kathryn carefully nibbled her with her teeth, Seven whimpered; a completely new sound from her vocal chords.
Moving over to the other breasts and then down Seven’s stomach, Kathryn kissed every part of her scarred skin. It honestly did not feel as if Kathryn was repelled by her…her ‘Borgness’. Seven suddenly felt Kathryn’s lips against her sex, which was completely unexpected.
“Oh!” Seven willingly spread her legs further, to accommodate Kathryn. Her hot tongue was now parting Seven’s folds and then it found a bundle of nerve endings so sensitive, Seven couldn’t remain still.
“Am I hurting you?” Kathryn held on to Seven’s hips and placed gentle kisses where her tongue just caressed.
“Good.” Kathryn purred against Seven’s folds, the reverberating sound initiating small waves inside.
Janeway tightened her grip of Seven’s hips, as her new lover began to climax. Pleasantly surprised at how responsive Seven turned out to be, Janeway felt her own sex burn, and her own nipples actually hurt from lack of attention. She was not about to let go of Seven just yet. She knew there were more where those tiny tremors originated from.
“I’m going to touch you more, Seven. Promise me you’ll stop me if it hurts, or if it is unpleasant in any way.” Janeway gazed up at Seven who nodded weakly. “Good.” Carefully, Janeway kept licking and kissing Seven’s soft tissues. Stealthily, she moved one hand up and spread the wetness around. Locating Seven’s entrance, Janeway tenderly penetrated her lover, mindful to go slowly.
“Kathryn!” Seven arched and small flutters grew in intensity, almost sucking Janeway’s middle finger further inside. Slowly, Janeway began a massaging, in-and-out, motion. Seven gasped and moaned, grabbing for the bed sheet, clinging to it. Suddenly she went rigid for several moments, then the real convulsions hit as the orgasm tore through her.
Sliding up along Seven’s body, her finger still lodged between Seven’s legs, Janeway held her tight, soothing her. “I have you, darling. I have you.”
“Kathryn…oh…” Bewildered, hazy blue eyes looked up at Janeway. “I never knew…”
“Neither did I.” So aroused now, she had to press her sex against Seven’s hip bone; Janeway knew Seven would soon be able to tell how much she trembled.
“I wish to reciprocate.”
“I’m glad you do, but just relax for now.” Janeway knew she had to calm down, or she might end up startling Seven. She took two deep breaths. When Seven suddenly rolled her over on her back, Janeway knew she had once again underestimated Seven.
“You are aching for my touch,” Seven said, her eyes narrow as she scrutinized Janeway.
“I sure am.” There was no point denying it, Janeway thought. Seven’s keen senses would pick up on her tremors and her scent instantly. “Please, Seven. You don’t have to be gentle. I…I need you. Please, take me.” Unabashed, Janeway parted her legs and pushed Seven’s hand down between them. “Please.”
“You do not need to beg. I want to please you. Always.” Seven did not hesitate, but pushed two fingers inside Janeway. Janeway in turn cried out and arched.
“Yes!” She bucked against Seven’s fingers that filled her, drove her crazy. As Seven was leaning over her, Janeway found a taut, pink nipple just at the level of her lips. Latching on, she held it with both hands, sucking it hard as Seven let her fingers plunge in and out.
So turned on, the fire was about to consume her, Janeway knew she couldn’t wait very much longer. Pleasure, bordering on pain, shot from her sex, through her abdomen. Arching, she bucked at Seven’s long fingers that didn’t stop their perfect dance inside her until Janeway was spent.
Shaking, Janeway wrapped her arms around Seven’s neck and kissed her. Seven hugged her close as they sank into the soft pillows on Janeway’s bed.
“I love you, Seven. I love you so much.” Janeway knew it needed clarifying so Seven would know without a doubt how she felt.
“I love you also,” Seven said, matter-of-fact, but with so much emotion in her voice, the depth of her feelings was self-evident.
“Then stay here tonight?” Janeway stroked Seven’s back in long, languid movements.
“Besides, you have to.”
“I do.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yes.” Janeway still answered. “You don’t have a change of clothes handy. In fact, you are gloriously naked.”
“As, I might add, are you.” Seven smiled.
“And you are, of course, perfectly right.” Janeway laughed and nuzzled Seven’s neck. “I think being naked together is a very good idea.”
Janeway curled up and felt Seven settle in behind her, and realized that this was yet another dream she had blocked for quite some time.
Loving Seven would no doubt prove a fantastic adventure, as well as a journey of self-exploration. Janeway intended to enjoy every second of it.