Continued from page 3
Seven had a small hypospray tucked into
the palm of her closed fist when she transported over to the Borg
The Queen watched the former drone of
tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix zero-one, materialize inside her chambers.
"No matter how hard you try,
you cannot escape where you belong."
Borg Queen remarked.
"I will never belong with you,"
Seven refuted acidly. “I am only here to save Voyager.”
"I realize it is
your flawed humanity making you do these things."
"That is your opinion."
The Queen sighed. "Did
you tell them of my plans for humanity?"
This played right into Seven's plan. She
needed to buy time, so Voyager could get away.
"Can you not read my thoughts?"
"You are trying to block
Queen stated. "I've
noticed for the past few minutes your attempt to hide your thoughts, but
they will come if I probe deep enough."
"Then do so."
The Queen shrugged. "I
don’t have to. I already know you did." She circled slowly
around Seven like a Black widow studying her prey. "I
also know as well as you that they will try to stop me, but the question
is when and how because now that I have you they certainly won't use the
pathogen. You and I both know that."
"You are correct… they will
not use it," Seven stated bravely. "but I will."
The Queen's eyes went wide as she probed
harshly into Seven's recent thoughts causing a sharp pain to cascade
through the blonde's mind. Within seconds, Seven’s suicidal plan
became common knowledge. The Queen glared at Seven's enclosed mesh hand,
the one she knew held the deadly pathogen.
"Open your hand!"
The Queen advanced on Seven, this time
intending to do her bodily harm. This was the final betrayal. Seven of
Nine, formerly her favorite drone and groomed successor to her very
throne, was tainted black with the foul smell of humanity and all its
misguided illusions of individuality. The young naïve woman would never
be useful to her or the Collective again, the Queen finally realized.
Yet this proclamation of failure to bring her favorite drone back into
the fold enraged her all the more.
"Destroy Voyager at
all costs. If any vessel becomes infected with the pathogen, cut all
external links to the hive mind and initiate self-destruct.
"You've traded your
life for her, but you have failed. You will die as well as your precious
"No!" Seven backed up.
"Humanity must survive, Kathryn must survive!" The blonde was
adamant. Despite everything that happened, Seven still loved her.
Lunging forward, the Queen reached out
grabbing for the hand that contained the deadly pathogen, managing to
seize both of Seven's wrists.
“Release me!” The blonde demanded.
"All I have to do is inject this modified
hypospray into my hand and the infected nanoprobes will kill
every drone connected to me and you!" Seven threatened.
Disgusted, the Queen tossed her easily to
the ground. Seven managed to hold onto the hypospray as she landed on
her back. Taking a quick glance to her left, she opened her palm, to
check if it had been broken. It was not, but she knew her time was
short. She would have to release it and soon... yet would that be enough
to save Voyager… and her Captain?
"The emotion you
feel for Captain Janeway has blinded you! You are in love with a
fallacy! See with your senses, not your heart."
Lifting herself up with her hands, Seven
shook her head in denial. "I will not listen to your
"Look at the facts… They
are revealed in your eidetic mind."
Queen slowly inched forward as she spoke. Her words, although truthful,
were meant to distract.
"Was her skin soft to the
touch as you caressed her?" She inched
Crawling backwards on the cold metallic
floor, Seven attempted to distance herself from the cold hearted woman.
"Was her unique
scent in your nostrils as you made love to her?”
"I will not listen to you!!"
"Did she moan her
appreciation?!" The Queen was
"Be Silent!!" Seven commanded
backing into a wall.
The Borg leader was not surprised at the
audacity of her former pupil. She expected it from Seven of Nine, but it
was all irrelevant. She made her choice and sealed her fate. The Queen
would NOT tolerate another betrayal.
"You've betrayed me for
nothing." The Queen spat. "You
made love to a hologram in her likeness!! Your Captain does not love
"No!" Seven was aghast.
"You are lying!!"
The Queen asserted. "I
have access to your memories and unlike you, I can see them
"Yes and you will die with
that knowledge." Trapped, the Queen
reached for her.
Captain Kathryn Janeway appeared mere
seconds after Seven disappeared, a bit dazed but clearly cognizant as to
what was going on. While held captive, she had heard the entire
conversation, especially the horrible agreement that sent her heart into
"Get her back?!" She commanded
teeth clenched. The EMH appeared at her side scanning her for injuries.
"She's gone Kathryn. She traded her
life for ours… willingly." Chakotay replied quietly waiting for
the barrage to come. Of the entire crew, only he knew what Seven truly
meant to her.
"I won't accept that!" She
glared at him, her face torn between anger and pain.
"It was her idea." He explained
"Captain," Harry interjected.
"The Borg cubes are charging weapons."
"Warp Nine!" Chakotay ordered.
"Belay that command!" Janeway
countermanded. "I can't believe you would even suggest leaving
after what I told you before I left." She growled at her First
Chakotay leaned in. "Your judgment
is being impaired by your feelings." He clarified under his breath.
"We're being surrounded… two…
correction five… no, ten vessels and rising." Harry warned.
"We're running out of time!"
Chakotay pressured her to act on Voyager's behalf. "We have to
Janeway ignored him. "Can you get a
"No, not with the shields up."
"Tuvok fire a volley of photon
torpedoes at the lead vessel."
As he did so, two Borg vessels drifted
quickly into position to block the attack on the Queen's vessel.
"They're returning firing!"
"Evasive maneuvers Tom. Brace for
impact!" Janeway shouted.
"Aye Captain," Tom replied
unenthused. As good a pilot as he was even he couldn't avoid so many
vessels for long.
Three successive hits, sent everyone
except Tom to the deck. Conduits broke free from the ceiling to spray
sparks around them. Tuvok gave a list of damaged systems, which the
Captain half heartedly heard. She was too busy staring at the viewscreen
and the vessel she knew Seven was on.
"Get repair crews on it."
Chakotay ordered. He stormed right up to the Captain blocking her view.
"Kathryn, we have to go now! If more than one of those Borg vessels
decides to put us in a tractor beam, we have no hope of escape. We can't
defeat two dozen Borg cubes. We won't survive!!"
She stared at him, her eyes clouded by
He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook
her. "We can't save her and you know it! Would she condone you
sacrificing yourself, or Naomi Wildman to her fate?! You're going to let
her die for nothing!?"
"Chakotay… " Janeway
stammered. "I love her… " It hurt like the fires of hell.
"I know," he agreed quietly
understanding her turmoil. "but we have to go."
With emptiness in her eyes, Captain
Janeway turned to Tuvok and nodded morosely. "Get us out of
"Captain!" Harry announced
frantically. "There's a Borg sphere coming up fast from our
"A Borg Sphere?" She
questioned. "Where did it come from?"
"Based on the trajectory, it would
appear to have come from the Beta quadrant." Tuvok informed them.
When the sphere surprisingly hailed
Voyager instead of attacking them, Chakotay and Janeway exchanged
befuddled glances while Harry put it on the forward viewscreen.
A familiar alien's face came up on the
screen. "Do you have Annika?!" Axum asked bluntly.
"No, she's on the Queen's
cube." Janeway told him. "Can you--?"
"We WILL retrieve her, stand bye." He
Kathryn's shoulders slumped in relief.
Despite being utterly exhausted, a small glimmer of hope passed through
her, as she sat down in her chair and prayed.
A deep scowl formed on Seven's brow as
the Queen yanked her roughly to her feet. Moving quickly with a primal
scream, the blonde jabbed the hypospray into the flesh of the Queen's
chest just above the cybernetic attachment.
Gasping, the Queen's eyes went wide with
Moving quickly, Seven brought her mesh
covered hand up and commanded her tubules to puncture the Queen's neck.
As Seven's nanoprobes fought to invade
the Borg Queen, the pathogen was steadily infecting them both.
The Queen's jumbled thoughts started
coming full force to the blonde, along with the entire chorus of the
Collective. A migraine of unparalleled strength punctured her skull, but
the torment was necessary to achieve her goal. Regardless of the agony,
Seven kept reiterating the same commands over and over.
"Stand down the attack on Voyager.
Maintain the neural link. Do not close off from the hive mind. Initiate
"What are you doing?!"
The Borg leader spat as it dawned on her exactly what Seven was trying
"Cease the link! Do not
communicate with my vessel!" The
Borg Queen shouted in her mind, but it was too late. The Borg vessels
had assumed that the command came for their Queen and in that moment of
connectivity, they became infected with the Pathogen.
The Queen shouted. Enraged, she smacked Seven across the face, sending
her flying through the air. The separation was so fast, her tubules
broke off, not having the time to retract properly.
Seven landed with a loud thud against a
nearby Borg alcove. The side panels gouged into her back as she slammed
against it causing damage to her spinal column before she slid to the
"You were our future! You
were one of us! How could you do this?!"
Even at the end, the Borg Queen had trouble understanding Seven's
reluctance. Who could
refuse perfection once it has been tasted!
"I am Annika Hansen. Human! You took
me as a child and made me into one of you against my will! Captain
Janeway rescued me and taught me how to care… how to love. Even if she
cannot love me the way I love her, she has allowed me to see true
perfection… if only for a moment."
"You have destroyed us
all!" She tried to advance on Seven to
finish her, but her mechanical legs literally fell off her body,
disconnecting at the joints.
Dazed and injured, the blonde tried to
sit up. She choked on some blood congealing in her chest from a
punctured lung. "No… Kathryn WILL live!"
From ground level, the Queen's silver
eyes bore with hatred into Seven of Nine as her body and her ship
disintegrated around them.
My love for you still
This I have done for you
The final battle I have
So you could live another
"Scan that cube for Annika's
bio-pattern!" Axum ordered Croix from the designated battle bridge;
a chamber that resembled the Queen's in functionality if not design.
"And isolate their shield frequency."
"I am working on it." He
replied hastily. Croix normally worked on weapons not sensors and
frequencies, but qualified crewmen were in short supply, so he had no
"If we can match that, we can beam
her out right through their defenses." Korok explained.
"I'm detecting one human life sign,
with Borg components, but… " Croix stated. "her life signs
are fluctuating oddly."
"Can you get a lock?" Axum
"No, I'm still trying to match the
frequency." Croix complained.
"Three Borg vessels are about to
engage us!" D'ruk, a Nausicaan, informed them. He was in charge of
controlling the complicated navigational system. "They're
"Evasive maneuvers!" Axum
turned to Croix. "Hurry!" He pressured.
"I've got the frequency!"
Croix tapped the transporter controls,
but nothing happened. "I can't get a lock! Her signal is
destabilizing!" He grouched. "We have to get closer!"
"Move in, full impulse." Axum
"That's too fast." Korok
"We'll get her as we go by."
Axum re-assured the Klingon.
The sphere rocked taking a few sporadic
blasts as it edged within a kilometer of the Queen's ship.
"I've got a clear signature!"
Croix exclaimed. "Energizing… "
"Something's wrong with that
cube." Korok stared at the Queen's vessel through the viewer as
pieces of debris fell off the ship.
Croix scanned the Borg cube, immediately
after Seven's body formed on the metal deck. "That cube is
destabilizing and it’s not the only one. They’re all going to
"Raising shields!" Korok
furiously punched keys. "Get us out of here." He demanded to
D'ruk, who spun the vessel around sending it into high warp.
Axum hurried to Annika noticing she was
conscious, but in obvious pain, with the way she was writhing around.
"Call Voyager! Request their EMH immediately." Axum demanded,
in shock at the extent of her injuries.
Croix nodded, sending the message
immediately. "I've notified them of the situation, but they cannot
beam the hologram over while our shields are up!" He announced.
"Kathryn… " Seven cried out
as her mesh hand started to spasm uncontrollably.
"She's not here Annika. It's me Axum."
He gripped her human hand and brought it to his chest for comfort.
She turned clouded eyes on him and
realizing who it was, tried to pull away, but with no strength couldn't.
"You betrayed me… " Seven
whispered vehemently with what little strength she had. "You gave
me to her."
"NO!" Axum shook his head
rejecting the idea. "I would never do such a thing. I only agreed
to find you. I never intended to give you to her. Please… you must
"That changes… nothing… I do not…
love you." Seven struggled to speak. She could feel her insides
changing for the worse. Components were slowly shutting down.
"I… I know, but--"
"Where… is Kathryn?"
"On Voyager, we can't--"
"I wish… to see her… before…
" Seven shivered at the prospect of not seeing Janeway one last
"We're trying to get you help…"
Tears formed in his eyes. "Hold on."
Sudden explosions shook the sphere. There
were a series of shock waves engulfing the two retreating ships as some
of the infected cubes imploded. Korok went over to relieve Croix at
sensors sending him to the weapons post.
Axum held himself close to Seven as the
ripples passed over his ship. He swiveled his head around to face the
Klingon General. "Where's Voyager Korok?" His asked urgently.
He glanced at the sensors. "Right
behind us. They are trying to escape the blasts as we are."
"Can we drop shields?"
"We are NOT at a safe
distance." Korok advised.
"How long?" He asked with panic
in his voice.
"A few minutes at best."
"She doesn't have a few
"I am powerless to do more!"
The General grumbled, not taking Axum's outburst personally because the
General knew what was at stake.
Axum withdrew into himself. Seconds
passed as he thought of how to get Seven medical treatment. Then it hit
him. "Send Voyager our shield frequency! The Emergency medical
hologram can beam through it with minimal risk, just like we did
Korok proceeded to send the message. He
waited a few seconds for Voyager to make the adaptations and then Korok
initiated transport. "Energizing."
Both Captain Janeway and the EMH
coalesced on their bridge.
When dark worried eyes saw the condition
of her beloved, Kathryn's heart screamed out in protest. The veins of
Seven's neck were grey with a sickly green tint creeping its way into
her lovely features. Her face was pale and blotchy instead of the normal
"Captain Janeway, I did not--"
Ignoring him, the Captain went swiftly to
"--know you were coming." Axum
"Doctor?" Janeway implored.
Voyager's doctor moved to Axum's side and
the young alien backed away, to give the physician space. Immediately
the EMH scanned his former colleague and friend. "Her life signs
are destabilizing. We won't be able to beam her back to Voyager. We're
going to need a shuttlecraft."
"What's wrong with her?"
Janeway asked the Doctor frantically. "Is it the pathogen?"
"Yes, but something else isn't
right. I'm detecting nanoprobes that are not her own. They're trying to
assimilate her… just as her own nanoprobes are resisting.
Unfortunately both are failing… breaking down under the neurolytic
With great effort, Seven met his eyes and
spoke. "Tried to… assimilate… Queen… after I… infected her…
Janeway gasped, losing what little facial
coloring she had remaining.
Shocked at the declaration, the EMH moved
quickly. He opened his medical kit, grabbed the hypospray containing the
anti-dote and pressed it into her neck.
"How long will it take to work
Doctor?" Janeway asked, a deep crease etched onto her brow.
"I wish I knew."
She glared at him aghast.
"I've never tested it before."
He explained, while fumbling around in his medical kit looking for more
hyposprays. "I've never had reason to." He justified hastily
as he held up a hypo to check its contents.
"What's that?" Janeway asked
tersely. She thought he already injected Seven with the counteragent.
"I brought these along just in
case." He injected it into Seven's neck. "Although, I didn't
expect this complication, it should buy us some more time."
"What is it?" She inquired
"Icheb's nanoprobes." He
grabbed another and continued to inoculate Seven. He had five lined up.
"I have no idea if Icheb's nanoprobes will be able to fight off the
Queen's nanoprobes, but at least, it will give her a clean set of
nanoprobes to control her vital functions for a short while
Janeway felt sick. "How much…
"Kathryn… " Came the hoarse
voice from Seven. Her throbbing fingers twitched, a faint indication
that she wanted Janeway to hold her mesh hand.
"I'm here Seven." The Captain
slid the meshed appendage gently onto her own closing the fingers of her
hand over it.
"I am," Seven choked out,
Hearing the guilt laden voice, Janeway
put the palm of her right hand over Seven's moist, clammy forehead.
"Shhh… it's ok." She stroked the damp blonde hair back out
of Seven's eyes. "Whatever it is, we can talk about it later…
after you're feeling better."
Seven blinked, holding back tears. She
did not believe that she had a later. "I... I was…
mistaken." Her voice came out gruff, yet soft in content.
"Mistaken about what?" Brow
furrowed in sorrow, Janeway concentrated on Seven's fading voice.
"I blamed… you for…" Seven
trailed off fighting to stay conscious. "what happened… I was…
"Seven, please… not now."
Although Kathryn's interest was peaked, this wasn't the proper time. Her
only concern was getting Seven medical attention as soon as possible.
"I must… "
Janeway put a hand on her left shoulder.
"Conserve your strength."
"… tell you." Seven shivered.
"There will be plenty of
"I… l… lo-- argghh," A
torrent of pain shot through her causing her to exhale and subsequently
pass out cold before she could finish.
"Seven!" Janeway laid anguished
gray eyes on the EMH in supplication. "Doctor?!"
"I can only do so much here Captain.
If I'm going to have any chance to save her we have to get her back to
Voyager." The EMH stated helplessly. "We need a shuttle
Immediately, she addressed Axum.
"What's our distance from the transwarp hub?"
He looked to Korok to answer. "We're
passing just over a light year now."
"Any more Borg cubes
"None that I can detect." Korok
"That will have to be good
enough." Janeway tapped her COM badge. "Janeway to Chakotay."
"Drop out of warp and send a shuttle
over here ASAP!"
She heard commands given sharply and
decisively before closing the channel. She knew they would arrive as
fast as they could. Still, Janeway despised waiting. She was never good
at it… and she cursed the fates to have to endure it now… especially
with the dying woman before her.
Kathryn stroked Seven's forehead.
"You just hold on," she whispered.
Less than three minutes later, a
shuttlecraft arrived from Voyager to take its Captain, the EMH and one
very ill former crewman home.
Seven opened her eyes and stood slightly
disoriented for several seconds before instinctively stepping out of her
alcove. I am… alive?
Turning to her right, the confused former
Borg spotted her lone visitor stepping away from the alcove controls.
"How are you feeling?"
Seven quickly assessed how she felt
physically. "I… appear to be functioning within normal
"Good," Janeway remarked
seriously. "because we need to talk."
"I Agree." Seven acceded. Ever
since that moment she had thought her death was imminent, she had wanted
another opportunity to correct a grievous error, but her injuries
prevented her from properly articulating herself.
"I must apologize for my recent
behavior. It was grossly inappropriate and disrespectful. "The way
I left… the way I treated you… was inexcusable." Seven
entreated. "I realize now that it was not your fault… I should
have been stronger… I should have shown more self-control and
discipline… I should have realized the truth."
Janeway put her hand up. "Seven, I
know what you've been going through lately isn't easy, relationships
never are, but--"
"This is not in regards to Chakotay
or Axum… this has to do with us."
"Us?" Startled, Janeway's
turbulent grey eyes met hers.
"Yes," Seven was beyond
nervous, but she kept going. " …you must understand why this
happened. I was blinded by what was before me. I did not mean to
overstep any established boundaries or protocols… but once it started,
I was helpless to stop. I wanted to be with… " nervous pause.
"you because I thought it was truly you."
"What are you talking about?"
Seven swallowed. "The holodeck
incident. You are aware of it… are you not? You mentioned it on the
Borg sphere so I assumed--"
"Oh," came the reply. "I
see." Janeway cleared her throat. "I wondered why you didn't
stop that hologram."
It was now or never. "It is…
because… I have these feelings… " Seven began to explain.
A thin auburn eyebrow rose questioningly.
"I am in love with you,
Kathryn." The blonde stated her case eloquently.
"You mean you fell in love with a
hologram created in my image. It wasn't me, Seven." Janeway
"NO!" Seven stated decisively.
"I love YOU!"
"It could never be me."
As soon as the words reached her ears, a
hole formed in the blonde's heart. In light of the rejection, Seven
actually stuttered her response. "Y-you... f-feel… nothing for
"You know I can't love you."
The husky voice said decisively. Janeway's countenance took on a severe
"Why?" Seven inquired hollowly.
"I am a Starfleet Captain and you
"No." Janeway's face stiffened.
"It's worse than that."
Confusion spread through Seven's facial
features. "I do not--"
"You were in line to become the next
Borg Queen," the older woman clarified.
"That is why you cannot love
me?!" Seven asked appalled, the pain of rejection permeating
through each pore of her body.
Kathryn sighed. "That really is
irrelevant now, isn't it?"
“Irrelevant?!” Seven noted the irony.
"Not to me… It is not my fault. What the Queen planned for me was
beyond my control!" She proclaimed.
"I know. You were a child when you
were assimilated… I don’t blame you for that. It was… unfortunate,
"Was that kiss on the Borg cube
irrelevant as well?!" Seven asked defensively letting her anger
mask the anguish.
"It was a mistake. Call it…
curiosity. I was flattered. Like you were… with my hologram."
Seven could not believe her enhanced
hearing. "You are lying!"
"Seven, don't make this any harder
than it needs to be."
"Why not?!" She jutted her chin
out. "Life is always difficult for me."
"Seven, you WILL adapt." The
finality of Kathryn's tone reverberated throughout the blonde's muddled
mind as the lovely image of Kathryn turned and walked away.
"Please," Seven petitioned.
"Do not leave."
The Captain kept walking.
"Have I lost your friendship as
well?" Seven choked out. She was losing her lifeline.
The small form stopped and tilted her
head. "I can't guarantee you anything Seven."
“Why are you forsaking me?” The
shadows of torment unraveled within.
“As you were,” the redhead
disappeared out of the Cargo Bay leaving the young woman in an emotional
turmoil of pure chaos.
Seven had lost her most cherished
Day Twenty Four, Morning:
"What's wrong?" Janeway asked
at seeing the doctor's puzzled face.
"She appears healthy… it's just
that… her vitals are somewhat high for regeneration." The EMH
stood on the dais with his medical tricorder hovering above Seven as he
By the blonde's appearance, Janeway knew
the young woman was severely troubled, if not distraught, which was
definitely not like the usual regenerative cycle at all and it concerned
the Captain… a lot.
A deep furrow etched its way into the
Seven’s brow, along with a few small beads of perspiration. Parting
her lips to exhale, Seven let out a choked gasp, causing a severe spike
“Ah,” Turning to his superior
officer, the EMH informed her of his findings. "I believe she is
having a nightmare."
"Wake her," the Captain
It’s not dangerous,” The EMH
insisted. “If we wait, she'll awaken naturally in a few more
Janeway couldn’t stand to see Seven in
any discomfort. "Doctor," she warned. "wake her…
"Very well," the Doctor obeyed
after a long drawn out sigh. He went over to the right side of the
alcove and started the cycle’s termination sequence.
While in recovery, the blonde had
remained unconscious in sickbay for an entire five days before she was
stable enough to regenerate on her own and even now after two days of
regenerating, the Doctor with Tom’s assistance kept close tabs on her
Kathryn had never been more grateful for
the Doctor’s skill than now. It had been a difficult time for Janeway
as they had almost lost Seven. Nanoprobes were malfunctioning everywhere
inside Seven's damaged body, causing a cascade effect that started
shutting down all of her critical systems; brain, heart, lungs, kidneys,
liver… If not for a direct transfusion from Icheb, Seven would not
As a result, Janeway was in sickbay more
often than she was on duty, having taken her well earned time off to see
to Seven's care for a change.
"Is she alright?" Axum's voice
called from behind.
"Yes," Janeway responded evenly
keeping her gaze and concentration upon the blonde's facial expressions.
Unfortunately, her time at Seven's side
also involved spending time with Axum and it was particularly difficult
at times to keep a straight face. Janeway had to listen to him tell her
stories of how they spent their time in Unimatrix zero. As a Starfleet
Officer and a diplomat of the Federation of Planets, she had no choice
but to be accommodating when the jealous woman in her wanted to throw
him out the nearest airlock. Yet, it did make her realize just how much
the young man cared for her charge. In that respect, she really
couldn't blame him. Beyond being just beautiful, Seven was unique and
from Kathryn's point of view, a very special person, once you saw the
gentle and vulnerable soul underneath.
Still, it was hard to watch him hold her
hand affectionately, all the while acting like it meant nothing. Only
late in the evening, after Axum left to go back to his ship, would she
finally let her guard down and allow herself to touch Seven's hands.
In all honesty, she did not want him here
today either, but he had pleaded to be present when they woke Seven up.
So in good conscious, Janeway allowed it, her only reasons for not
letting him were grounded more in jealousy and fear than any adherence
to protocol. Especially since Janeway knew why he was still here a week
later; he was only waiting for Seven’s recovery so he could take her
As the silent party in competition for
Seven's heart, Kathryn had no reason to expect the young woman to stay
onboard Voyager once she was physically healed, but this time Janeway
would speak with the blonde, in private, to see if she could change her
mind. The other conclusion was too painful to even consider.
Unfortunately, with the anxious boyfriend nearby, the Captain had to
maintain a professional distance and wait.
The computer beeped as the EMH finished
keying the ending sequence.
As her mind gradually regained
consciousness for the first time in almost a week, Seven knew she had
visitors. Normally she was aware of visitors even while regenerating,
but her mind was so occupied that she did not even notice their presence
prior to awakening. It was a startling transition to go from a full REM
state to a fully conscious state especially with how distraught Seven
had been mere seconds ago.
As she assessed her physical condition,
Seven knew her physical recovery had been successful. It was her
emotional recovery that, if her dreams were any indication, could prove
to be a real, living nightmare, literally.
As her clear blue eyes landed on Janeway,
painstakingly, Seven instinctively knew that the Queen's words were
accurate. Everything that happened between them was a lie. What Seven,
saw, smelled, felt, and experienced, what she thought was the most
wonderful enlightening day she ever had… had been all a falsehood.
Stepping off the dais, Seven greeted her
visitors. "Captain, Doctor…” Amazingly, even after her
declaration of not being in love with him, he was present. “Axum."
The EMH was immediately in her face with
his medical tricorder, scanning her a second time. Janeway moved to
Seven's right observing the Doctor with growing interest as Axum watched
impatiently from behind.
"How are you feeling Seven?"
Janeway asked softly.
"I am feeling acceptable
Captain." She avoided looking directly into the Captain’s eyes,
which the redhead noticed.
"Well," the EMH informed
everyone present. "The extended regeneration cycle seems to have
done you good. You're back to full health Seven. You can return to duty
whenever you like…" He hesitated. "If you’re staying
onboard Voyager… that is."
Seven tilted her head, "Thank you
Doctor," grateful that she didn’t remember the painful time spent
As the blonde was about to address
Janeway, Axum interrupted. "Captain?" He had to speak
to Annika alone before Janeway did. "May I have a word with
Seven, alone?" He inquired softly, with expectant eyes.
Damn! "Yes, of
course," She nodded. "Doctor?"
Seven wanted to protest, to speak up and
ask her to stay… needing clarification of so many things, but after
the devastating results of her dream, she couldn't articulate her
feelings into words just yet, and she did not want to explain with Axum
present, so she let both the EMH and Captain Janeway exit the Cargo Bay
leaving her all alone with him.
The young woman linked her arms around
her back waiting for the other occupant of the room to speak. When the
young man didn't say anything for several seconds, Seven became antsy.
"I have to start my duty shift
soon." She headed for her terminal. "I am behind on my
He followed her to the station. "I
waited for you."
"What for?" She asked bluntly
while going through the database looking for something to work on.
Axum carefully put his hand over her
human one. "You know why. You shouldn't have to ask."
Seven pulled back from the touch.
"And you know that is not possible. Not now."
Axum recoiled at the rejection. Nothing
he did seemed to convey how much he cared. "I love you." He
tried the direct approach. "That's why I didn't leave."
Not believing his words, Seven swiftly
broke eye contact, shut down her terminal and went to leave. "I
have work to do."
Axum grabbed her arm to delay her
departure. "Does this mean you have changed your mind?” He asked
his face pale. It was becoming quite obvious she didn’t plan on
leaving a second time.
"I cannot go with you." She
His grip tightened. "I need you,
"And I need her," Seven
declared with brutal honesty.
His arm slid off hers as his only thread
of hope dissipated. "She won't reciprocate. She is not in love with
you." He grumbled.
In her anger, Seven’s icy glare was
sharp, but she could not deny the possible validity of his words... And
it was a possibility the young woman had to live with. The kiss on
the Borg cube could have been only curiosity, or maybe she had found out
about the hologram. Janeway could have been testing me… But Seven
had no way of knowing for sure and the pointless conjecture would only
serve to upset her.
Axum waited for a strong protest, but
continued when none came. "She's doesn't know what it's like to be
Borg. She could never understand you like I do… could never love you
like I am willing to!" His voice rose an entire octave.
"Then so be it!" Seven stated
through teeth clenched.
"How can you be satisfied with
that?!" He retorted.
Seven fathomed that it wasn't about
satisfaction, physical or otherwise, as much as it was out of a
spiritual necessity. In a metaphysical sense, Janeway was the air she
needed to breath, although she couldn't explain scientifically why.
"I love her." A single tear fell down her left cheek. "At
this point, all I require is her presence… her friendship."
"Friendship?" He repeated in
disbelief. "And what of our friendship?"
Without realizing it, he opened a can of
worms causing tears to turn to rage. "You betrayed my friendship!
You only sought me out so you could barter me to the Borg Queen!"
Seven cast big, dark eyes on him. "She informed me of everything! I
should despise you for what you have done!"
"NO! That's not what happened."
He stepped towards her with Seven quickly stepping back. "Please
… you have to believe me. I… I never intended. I had to tell her
something. She would've assimilated all of us!"
"Don't you see, it doesn't matter
anymore. The Borg Queen is dead. We can have that life now, if you'll
just take a chance!"
She kept her countenance severe, her gaze
"How could you have forgotten what
we had together?!"
"It was not… " Seven’s
throat suddenly went dry. “real.” It reminded her of recent events.
"It was real to me!! In here!"
He pointed to his head. "And here," He patted his chest.
"That's all that matters."
Seven lifted her chin and stood firmly
grounded, her posture unrelenting. "I am not in love with you any
more Axum. Therefore I will not be leaving with you this time. Go, join
your people. They need you."
His face went cold. “Is there nothing I
can do or say to--”
“No,” Seven cut him off.
Hearing this, Axum dipped his head in
defeat. "As you wish," he stated quietly leaving her in
After exhaling in relief, the blonde
started to head for Astrometrics when Janeway suddenly re-entered the
Cargo Bay, forcing Seven to compose herself quickly.
Having waited outside Cargo Bay Two,
Kathryn witnessed Axum’s despondent departure, mumbling incoherently
under his breath as he went by her in the corridor, presumably on his
way back to his ship. Even so, Janeway had to check on Seven.
"Is everything all right?"
The young woman truly pondered that.
"No," she answered truthfully. "Everything is not."
Janeway did a double take.
"I did not get the opportunity to
apologize for my behavior towards you from before I left Voyager… and
the guilt weighs heavily on my conscious."
Not wanting to see her friend so
flustered, Janeway tried to alleviate Seven's guilt, despite those very
actions causing her severe heartache. "Actually you did--"
"But I did not finish." Seven
interrupted needing to articulate her culpability. In a shaky voice, she
began apologizing. "My behavior was inexcusable. What happened was
entirely my fault and I take full responsibility for my actions. I only
hope it does not affect--"
“Seven!” With her free hand, Janeway
reached out and touched the young woman's shoulder to calm her down.
"I accept your apology."
"You are not… angry?"
Janeway ruminated. "I was more hurt
than angry Seven. I couldn't figure out why you left so suddenly.”
They made eye contact, searching each
"I truly did not want to leave, but
after being mislead by what happened on the holodeck, I felt I had no
"Yes, I was informed… albeit late,
about what happened so I know it wasn't your fault."
Seven was curious who had told her; Tom
or B’Elanna, but ultimately it wasn’t as important as having Janeway’s
understanding about the situation. She was certain the Captain would
have been highly upset, but perhaps in her haste, Seven had been
mistaken. "It does not bother you that I copulated with a hologram
in your likeness?" She asked bluntly.
"Well, I admit it does bother me,
but its not the end of the-- " Janeway stopped suddenly only to
stare in astonishment at the younger woman.
"What?! What did you say? Did you
"Yes," Seven blinked.
"Y-You had sex with THAT
hologram??!!" Kathryn had put up with Chakotay revealing his month
long courtship right when she wanted to claim that honor; had to put up
with Axum stealing the beautiful woman from both of them, only now to
find out her woman had slept with a hologram of herself!! It was
"I was under the impression you were
aware of that fact." Seven inquired shyly.
"I thought… kissing… not
Mr. Paris conveniently left out that bit of
information! She fumed.
But why didn't Seven stop it before anything happened? Certainly her
acute senses could see through such a trick…
Heartrending disappointment filled her.
Seven did it… deliberately. Was it an
experiment in intimacy? What about the kiss on the cube that I had
instigated? Hadn’t Seven participated before she got beamed out? Or
was that mere curiosity and nothing more? That could explain why Seven
is so nervous.
Outrage built quickly inside Janeway. "I'm
going to strangle him," she mumbled thinking ill of her
pilot. After I deal with her!
Seven swallowed deeply; the deep lines
etched into her Captain’s forehead were not a good sign. "You
mentioned the holodeck incident while we we're on the Borg cube… So I
assumed you knew the full extent of what happened." Seven's nerves
were on edge.
"You assumed wrong!" Janeway
spoke rather harshly as she faced Seven. "How come you didn't know
it wasn't me Seven? Didn't your Borg enhanced senses tell you
otherwise?" Kathryn challenged. In exasperation her hand found its
way onto a hip.
The young inexperienced woman did not
know how to explain; she hadn’t been particularly paying attention to
her enhanced senses, certainly not as much as other more interesting
"I am sorry Captain. I should not have done
that." Seven felt miserably conflicted. But
I wanted too!!
Janeway was crushed. So it was an
experiment. All hope drowned into a cold dark abyss.
"So how was it, practicing on my
hologram in preparation for being with Axum?" She commented out of
Floored with the sudden accusation, Seven
could not think of a response.
"I must admit… I expected more
from you than this Seven."
The young woman felt like a spear had
punctured her heart. The former Borg drone did not appreciate such an
accusation from her Captain and friend.
"What's the matter, you didn't think
you could handle the real thing?" Wanting a fight, Janeway dared to
make eye contact with her accused pupil. It was preferable than sulking.
She had enough of that for a lifetime.
Seven was not as naïve as the
individuals on Voyager thought. She knew of her Captain's affair with
the Irish hologram and Seven had been through way too much aggravation
to simply walk away without a response. She would always serve Janeway
to the best of her abilities, but she would not take this caliber of an
insult from her. Not like this. If she wasn't worthy of a hologram then
neither was Kathryn!
"You take your sexual needs to a
sub-par hologram, made in the image of an Irish man; who in charge of an
establishment that sells intoxicants no less, yet you see fit to accuse
me! I say you cannot handle the real thing, Captain! Michael Sullivan is
insufficient and not worthy of you!"
Janeway gaped at her protégé. If only
her mind wasn't so muddled, she might have seen the hidden sentiment,
the pedestal that Seven had unintentionally elevated her on rather than
the verbal attack on her honor.
"I don't have to justify my
relationships to you!"
"You also copulated with the alien
Jaffen, did you not?!" Seven shouted forcefully.
Janeway's color deepened. "At least
I have feelings for him!" Kathryn shouted back. "What do you
"My feelings are none of your
"I'm surprised you feel anything at
all!!" Kathryn countered.
Seven suddenly appeared pale as if
stricken by an ailment and her eyes darted to the door as the tears
slowly piled up. Seven was at her ropes end and her future path,
although bleak and lonely, was clearly defined.
"I understand perfectly--"
Seven never got to finish the sentence as a sharp and sudden blast sent
the Captain off her feet and forward right into Seven's arms resulting
in both women falling to the floor unable to keep their footing.
Thankfully, Seven's heavier more robust body cushioned Janeway's fall.
Chakotay's voice boomed through her COM badge. "Bridge
to the Captain! We're under attack!"
Slapping her COM badge, she responded
hastily. "Who is it!?"
"Another Borg cube!"
He stated incredulously.
"I have no idea! It came out of
"Shields up, return fire! I'm on my
Seven stiffened underneath Janeway, her
mind racing. "If a cube received the Queen's command to disengage
from the link before I infected it, it is possible it avoided
contamination from the pathogen."
"It's been almost over a week since
we destroyed their hub! Why would it come after us now?"
"The Borg would utilize that time to
make extensive repairs, but they would not concede defeat. Especially,
not now when they need new drones desperately… and they know we are
heading for the Alpha Quadrant. They have our trajectory."
Finally realizing she was fully on top of
her love interest, the Captain blushed severely as she extricated
herself, pretending to dust off her uniform. "Um… yes… that's a
distinct possibility… Thank you."
Flustered while staring into Seven's
intense blue eyes, Janeway pointed a finger towards the door. "I
have to get to the bridge.”
"Yes, Captain." Seven looked on with
keen interest at Janeway's sudden nervousness. Perhaps
it is you, who cannot handle me.
"We'll discuss the rest of this
later." Janeway verbalized in a serious tone before rushing out the
Seven sighed. What
would be the point? You obviously do not--.
Another loud explosion caused her to stumble to
her hands and knees. A hissing noise could be heard before the computer
spoke up. "Warning! Hull breach has
occurred on Deck 8, section 10 through section 15. Emergency seals have
Seven breathed in relief, but it was
“Warning, emergency seals have failed.
Aft shielding is failing on Deck 8. Hull breach is imminent…
decompression in 10… 9...”
"Decompression? Deck 8? It
didn't take long before Seven realized the horrible implications. Her
heart knew fear like no other time. "CAPTAIN!!"
Seven tied desperately to pry open the
Cargo Bay doors, but they wouldn't budge. The Emergency systems had
already locked her in for her own protection.
"Captain!! Seven dug her metal
fingers into the door despite the pain. Growling in frustration, all she
could do was claw frantically at the tightly sealed double doors.
Kathryn knew a hull breach was imminent
when part of the floor opened up underneath her. As soon as she heard
the blast, Janeway knew she was in trouble, but she didn't have time to
think let alone react.
A visual of Seven of Nine cascaded
through her regretful mind for she figured her death was imminent. Yet
even as she expected to be sucked out into the vastness of space to
freeze and suffocate almost simultaneously to a painful death, she saw
the familiar energy barrier holding steadfast…
"Warning! Hull breach has occurred
on Deck 8, section 10 through section 15. Emergency seals have been
Whew! She breathed a
sigh of relief.
Warning, emergency seals have failed. Aft
shielding is failing on Deck 8. Hull breach is imminent… decompression
in 10… 9...”
DAMN!? Janeway moved
quickly. Jumping to the side of the fissure, her mind worked quickly. I'm
on deck 8… just came from Cargo bay 2, going towards the bridge,
therefore… there's an emergency airlock… where?
8… 7… 6…
Where?! Spotting a
junction ahead, she probed her memory. At
the end of the next corridor?
5… 4… 3…
YES! There's an
airlock!! Janeway made a mad dash for it as Voyager took more hits
slowing her forward progress.
With sweat beading up on her forehead,
Janeway rushed into the airlock chamber and slammed the controls to the
hatch. She thought she had made it before the shields finally gave out,
yet the mechanism responsible for closing the door took a few extra
tenths of a second causing some of her precious oxygen to expel before
an airtight seal was established.
Unfortunately, the effect was immediate.
Shivering, Kathryn hugged herself, suddenly feeling cold and breathless,
wondering how much oxygen has been sucked
out before the door latched shut.
Obviously, there was no way Janeway could
get to the Bridge now, but she still had to inform her First Officer of
the situation. Reaching for her communicator, Janeway found… nothing.
Damn it all!! She
must have lost it in the scuffle to get to her refuge. Tapping the
communications console, she received another unwelcome update.
"Communications for Deck 8 are
Disgusted, there was nothing she could do
now but try and conserve her strength. Finding it stuffy to breath,
Janeway sat down and willed herself to breath shallow. Conservation of
the precious remaining oxygen was vital.
Her last thought was of Seven, praying
she was still safe and sound in Cargo Bay two.
Axum, knew something was very wrong when
the Turbo lift heading for Transporter Room One came to a sudden halt.
"Computer, what is happening?!"
After the computer informed him of the
situation, Axum commanded the Turbo lift to return to deck 8, despite
the computer's warning that that action was not advisable.
Once the lift arrived at the proper
destination, the door refused to open despite how much he struggled to
"There is no breathable atmosphere
on Deck 8, Section 10 through Section 15. Please stand by."
While Axum fought with the door seal, it seemed
like an eternity had passed by before the computer spoke again. "Emergency
force fields have been re-initialized."
Once the locking mechanism released, the
door slid open easily.
Running down the corridor, he noticed a
hole in the floor leading to the vastness of space. Heart skipping in
his chest, he stopped to survey the damage, looking through the force
field, hoping beyond belief Seven wasn't out there.
Then he heard a noise, almost
imperceptible if not for his Borg enhanced hearing. Fearing it was
Annika, who could be injured, he rushed to the source of the sound.
Rounding a corner that headed down a side hallway, he heard it again
more pronounced. Whop!! Whap! The sound appeared to come from the
end of a hallway. Was that an airlock? The glass on the door was
steamed up, but he could make out the imprint of a human fist.
If only someone could hear her! Janeway
shouted in her mind as she pounded on the hatch door with the last of
her energy reserves. Air was rapidly running out and although she knew
Chakotay and Tuvok would mount a search and rescue, Kathryn feared she
would die of oxygen deprivation before they arrived.
As Janeway struggled for her next breath
of air, she glimpsed movement on the other side of the fogged up window.
The young alien put his face to the glass
to find out the true identity of its occupant. "Janeway?" It
was none other than Voyager's Captain. She was trapped inside the outer
airlock and by her disheveled appearance Axum surmised she wasn't doing
On the verge of seeing black spots before
her eyes, Janeway still recognized him. "Axum… " She could
hardly articulate words let alone sounds, never the less hope filled
her. His presence meant that the deck had been re-pressurized with air.
Thus, she tried to open the hatch electronically, but when it didn’t
work, she assumed full power had not been restored. Now only Axum could
let her out, as the manual lever was on his side only; a fail safe to
prevent accidents from taking out the entire deck.
Wiping the condensation off the glass to
get a better view, she mouthed the words, "Open… hatch…"
She indicated while barely able to hold herself up.
It was at this point that all rational
thought left him. All Axum had to do was unlatch the handle on his left
to open the door to the now safe corridor full of breathable air… Such
a simple action would allow fresh oxygen into enter into Kathryn’s
Yet he hesitated.
Janeway looked into his eyes, puzzled at
the delay. "Open… door!" She worded empathically pointing at
the handle, thinking he didn't understand.
"She is in love with you…"
"What?" She articulated with
her lips, trying to form sounds. "What did you say?"
Exasperated, Janeway feared he was trying to tell her there was
something wrong with the controls and he couldn’t open the door.
"You heard me! She's in love with
you!!" He shouted. This time the choice words reverberated through
the glass, hitting her oxygen deprived brain like fireworks.
Janeway's eyes widened in total
disbelief, but her starved brain could not fathom it.
What the hell was he trying to convey?! That Seven
was somehow in love with me?! That made no
sense. After all, Seven chose to go with him; chose to leave her
Captain, friend and mentor; chose to leave the silent wishful
lover behind to go create a better life with the handsome young alien.
Briefly, Kathryn wondered if maybe they had had a bad fight, something
irreconcilable that had happened between the two lovers and he needed
someone to blame for their break up… or maybe Seven had used her and
Voyager as an excuse because she wanted to come back and he assumed the
rest. Kathryn had no clue.
"Do you even love her?!" He
demanded to her stunned silence. "Like I do?!"
It only took the time for the second
question to register in her practically numb brain, for Janeway to mouth
"I do," she croaked. "Now
open the damn door… "
"No," he stated his eyes
intense. "Not until you renounce it. Give me your word. You will
never tell her!!"
Momentarily dazed by her own declining
condition, Janeway couldn’t believe what he was asking her to do. His
behavior was… inexplicable and irrational and something inside Captain
Kathryn Janeway snapped. Despite being Captain of the USS Voyager, in
charge of almost 150 lives, responsible for getting them home and
deprived of life sustaining oxygen, she would not sacrifice her right to
love the former drone from afar. Not for anyone or anything.
"I can't… I'll always love
her," Janeway spoke assured through deep gasps while watching his
Axum shouted. "That is
Then that's just too damn bad!!
"You must encourage her to come with
Like hell I will!
"Seven is… my friend. I won't…
push her away… " And you've had all the time you're gonna get
to steal her heart away from me while on my ship!! She thought
"You must encourage her to leave…
explain that it is best for her! I know she loves me. I just need more
time to make her see that."
Struggling, Janeway drew in more air.
"I won't… abandon her… just because… you're afraid of… her
"No! You must!"
Janeway attempted to shout back at him,
knowing she wasted precious oxygen to do it. "If she asks… I will
NOT…. lie to her."
His eyes narrowed.
So, she thought… was
he going to let her die over this or what?!
Time was rapidly running out as Kathryn
could feel consciousness ebbing from her.
Finally the door to the wretched Cargo
Bay opened with one determined former Borg bolting out in search of her
Captain. A rapid discussion with a worried Commander Chakotay revealed
to Seven that Janeway had never arrived to the bridge and worse, her COM
badge wasn’t registering her life signs anywhere on Voyager.
Frowning, Seven avidly kept searching the
exact route she knew Janeway would have taken to get to the bridge.
Unfortunately, halfway down the corridor of deck 8, she halted upon a
hole in the floor plating that was being re-enforced by the internal
Fearing the worst, Seven quickly scanned
the immediate area of space with her eye implant, her heart skipping a
few precious beats upon seeing the glint of a familiar metallic object.
Mentally, she commanded her Borg eye to constrict to give her the
ability to see farther.
The object was unmistakably a COM
Seven's throat constricted as her heart
seized up, palpitating in her chest hard enough to cause pain as her
mind filled with terror. The blonde turned bone white. "NO!!"
Seven suspected the absolute worst… and found it decimated her
functionality. Frantically, she got down on her hands and knees, to
search with her enhanced vision, desperately hoping she would not find a
"Computer!" It was a question
she had to ask. "Is there any inert biological matter within a
thousand meters of Voyager?" She asked bleakly. Seven knew Janeway
would not be alive if she was out there. In the unforgiving depths of
space, death was almost instantaneous.
She remembered how she felt when ‘One’
died, only this hurt ten fold. Seven now understood the true emotional
impact associated with death. No wonder humans reacted so illogically.
It made perfect sense and although it was a normal biological process
that everyone eventually went through… the loss of a loved one, was
"Unable to comply. Aft sensors are
Seven groaned pounding the floor with her
mesh hand, refusing to give up, to give in to the possibility, the
probability. Feeling as if her soul was being ripped apart, she stood up
forcing herself to continue until she had irrefutable proof that the
The faintest sound of a voice came across
her sensitive ears and Seven's head shot up facing the direction it came
from. Swiftly, with renewed vigor, she followed the sounds that oddly
lead to a dead end corridor. Seven then rounded the corner and froze,
stunned. Axum? She tilted her head speculating on why he was
"That is unacceptable!! You must
encourage her to come with me!"
"Seven is… my friend."
Janeway squeaked out. "I won't… push her away."
"You must encourage her to leave…
explain that it is best for her! I know she loves me. I just need more
time to make her see that."
Drifting to her inner ear drum, Seven heard the
unmistakable sound of her Captain’s faint voice. The
Captain was alive!?
"I won't… abandon her… just
because… you're afraid of… her finding out."
The joy of having her most valuable
friend alive pierced her heart, but as overjoyed as Seven was, something
about the Captain's tone did not sound optimal. Now paying closer
attention to the content of the discussion, Seven perked her ears.
"No! You must!"
"If she asks… I will NOT…. lie
Seven’s eyes widened. Axum was shouting, the
Captain's voice was severely strained and she was in an airlock!! Is
he is attempting to terminate her!?!?
Sprinting the distance, the blonde made
haste to save her Captain. The instant she arrived, Seven pushed Axum
aside, out of her way and slammed her hand into the manual controls,
forcing the computer to pump life sustaining oxygen into the airlock.
Turning towards her former boyfriend,
Seven eyed him dangerously analyzing furiously if he would physically
try to stop her from saving her Captain. As the blonde unlatched the
door, she fathomed that could very well be a fatal mistake on his part.
Aghast to see Annika, so suddenly, Axum
stumbled backwards both from shock and momentum, quickly appearing
embarrassed at his actions upon being caught.
Seven saw him with new eyes, glaring at
him defensively as she assisted her Captain. "Leave my presence
before I am inclined to damage you." She growled.
"I'm all right Seven." Janeway
replied gathering her breath.
"I… " Desperation led him to
this. He honestly had no excuse.
"Leave!" Seven moved
threateningly towards him.
"Seven!" Janeway put an arm
across the younger woman's collar bone to forestall any possible
violence. "I'm sure it was just a… lapse in judgment." She
turned hard eyes on Axum. "However, I believe your welcome here has
Looking between the two women he knew it
was over. "I'm sorry Annika." He said quickly before departing
Kathryn didn't take any chances.
Utilizing Seven's COM badge she contacted Tuvok and had him arrange for
an escort to make sure Axum left the ship… peacefully.
"Thank you, Seven. I don't know what
I would have done… If you hadn't shown up."
"You are welcome," Seven
breathed a sigh of relief. The normally calm woman's nerves were on edge
and it would take awhile for her to calm down.
"I need to get to the bridge.”
Janeway gripped Seven's forearm to steady herself. “If I can make
it." Her lip curled in a slight smirk.
"You should go to sickbay."
Seven suggested seeing her weakened state.
"I'm fine Seven." Janeway
Seven did not wish to argue the point, so
she decided to escort the Captain to the Bridge. "Then I will
Not wanting another disagreement, Janeway
acquiesced, proceeding slowly to the turbo lift.
Kathryn cleared her throat. "Listen
about what I said earlier… It um… I um… " She tried to
apologize, but the movement of the turbo lift acerbated her already
precarious condition. Light headed and sick to her stomach, Kathryn’s
vision blurred and her surroundings started swirling about.
"Captain?" The blonde
"Oh no…" Janeway reached for
her pounding head as blackness filled her vision. “Computer! Halt
Seven cast big, worried eyes on her
"Seven… " Janeway met her
eyes squarely before passing out.
Although, startled at Janeway's sudden
turn for the worse, the blonde easily caught the smaller woman in her
"Computer! Emergency transport to
"Transporters are offline."
"Computer!” Deck 5, Sickbay!"
Seven shifted Janeway's weight scooping
her up into her arms. Once the doors parted, she walked briskly with her
human cargo to sickbay. Seven felt an inexplicable kinship at being able
to carry her Captain this way. Despite the fact that her friend was not
well, it felt like a privilege.
Picking up the pace, Seven shouted for
the EMH immediately upon entering the medical bay, only to find him busy
with other patients.
"The Captain has lost
consciousness." Seven informed him immediately.
"Yes, I can see that," he
grabbed a medical tricorder. "Do you know what happened to
"I am not entirely certain."
Seven put her carefully down on a nearby biobed. "but she was in an
"An airlock?!" The Doctor
exclaimed, shocked. "What in God's name for?!"
"To avoid the inevitable hull
breech, I imagine." Seven explained curtly. "I was not there
when it occurred Doctor."
"Oh," he replied. Running the
medical tricorder over his Commanding Officer, the EMH found the culprit
of her problem easily. "Ah, yes." He frowned reading the
scans. "I see the problem."
Seven misinterpreted his facial
expression. "Will she live?" She asked tense.
"Of course." He replied
confidently. "Thankfully, she was exposed to the elements of space
only for a brief period of time, but it's nothing I can't rectify
"Space?" Seven repeated shaken.
"Yes, the frost bite damage is
minute... but the oxygen deprivation is a tad bit more... serious, but
it's nothing that time and medication won't heal. She might be light
headed for a few days until her equilibrium recovers."
“Equilibrium?” Seven seemed rattled.
"Yes." He replied while
searching for the proper medication.
“You… are sure? If you require any of
"That won't be necessary." He
injected medication into Janeway's neck.
Seven still felt uneasy. "Never the
less, I will be available should you require--"
The EMH scrutinized her odd behavior.
"Since when have you started doubting my medical abilities?"
He asked curiously.
Seven appeared a trifle embarrassed.
"I do not doubt you Doctor."
He appeared to study her. "Good,
because I promise you, the Captain will be fine."
"Thank you, Doctor."
The EMH continued to observe her as the
blonde exited sickbay.
Day Twenty-Seven, Morning:
Three days later, feeling almost back to
her normal self and bored to tears, Janeway went back to work. However,
after entering the Ready Room and seeing the stack of PADD’s left for
her, a somewhat irked Captain summoned her First Officer for a quick
He entered the room with a bounce in his
step and stood before her with a smile on his jovial face. "You
wanted to see me Captain?"
She pointed to a dozen PADD’s lingering
on her desk. "Were you ever going to finish these?"
"Sorry, we didn't bother to do
reports in the Maquis.” His eyes twinkled unapologetically.
“That’s your excuse?”
“Well, I had to give you something to
look forward to when you came back.” He remarked smugly.
Janeway shrugged, mumbling something
incoherent under her breath.
“I’m sorry?” Chakotay inquired
amused. “Is there something else?”
Taking a brief moment to compose her
growing irritation helped her to remember what else she wanted to ask
him. “Actually, I have been wondering, how did you manage to defeat
that last Borg ship?"
"You didn't read my report
"No, I haven't had a chance to read
your report," she responded curtly.
"Oh?” He started shuffling through
PADD’s. “Well, I'm sure it's in one of these."
"I would prefer you just tell me
instead." Janeway almost growled at him.
"That's what you get for leaving
Voyager." He teased. “So I suggest you don’t do it again!”
That made her smirk. "Point taken
Commander, now if you would please?"
He grinned from ear to ear. "I
didn't defeat them, really."
Janeway looked at him skeptical.
"We returned fire, but none of it
was very effective."
"So how then?"
"I opened up a COM link and told
them to go ahead an assimilate us." He told her with a straight
Janeway eyes bulged. "You told them
Chakotay couldn't resist a chuckle.
"It took almost a minute before it finally came to me, then I told
them, 'Go ahead and assimilate us for all the good it will do you,
because we're infected with a neurolytic pathogen that will destroy
Janeway couldn’t believe the answer had been so
simple, but it made perfect sense. Why
assimilate what would destroy you?
“Their own fear defeated them really,”
"I'm impressed. That was very
"Less than 3 seconds later, they
high tailed it out of here."
Silence permutated the room for several
seconds before the Captain spoke, her tone significantly changing in
cadence and mood.
“Thank you Commander, that's all I
wanted to know.” It was delivered as a subtle dismissal, but Chakotay
hadn't had a chance to see if Kathryn was truly doing all right in her
recovery and by studying her appearance, the dark circles under her eyes
despite three days rest, he sensed she was hiding something important,
something that disturbed her greatly and he thought he knew why.
Now he had to get her talking, only then
did he have a chance to get her to open up with what he thought had her
so… mentally occupied.
"So, how have you been feeling
"Oh I'm fine." She grabbed a
PADD and tried to concentrate on its contents.
"How's Seven?" That got a
subtle reaction out of her, but she still didn't look away from her PADD.
"I haven't seen her for a couple of
days, but she was doing fine when I last saw her." She delivered a
cool, somewhat detached answer.
"Did you tell her?" He dove
into her personal affairs on purpose.
Sighing, Janeway careful put down her
PADD and looked at him. "Tell her what?"
Chakotay looked back at her
incredulously. "Are we back to this?"
"Back to what?" She played
"Back to being just Captain?"
"I am the Captain!" Her brow
Chakotay would not relent. "Yes, but
you’re also the woman who was willing to leave her ship, leave her
command behind to travel into the heart of enemy territory filled with
an armada of ships just to bring back one woman, simply because you
Giving in to the truth, Kathryn pinched
the bridge of her nose. "No, I haven’t."
"So what's stopping you?"
"I overreacted and started an
What’s so different about that? Chakotay
fought to restrain a growing chuckle and shook his head. Don’t
they always argue?
“Ok,” he acknowledged. “So have
your feelings changed?"
A severe furrow developed on her brow.
“No, I still love her, but that’s not the problem.”
“Then what is the problem?” He asked
"I’ve been avoiding her until I
know what to say." Kathryn admitted somberly.
Chakotay could only sigh. This was going
to take awhile, so he pulled out a chair and sat down. “Talk to me
Kathryn. Tell me what’s going on?”
Against her better judgment, Kathryn gave
him an abridged version of what happened on deck 8 during the attack.
"So you see, she's probably still
angry with me anyways." Janeway remarked quietly. “And she hasn't
tried to contact me in over three days.”
Chakotay looked on sympathetically and
with a little guilt. The truth was that during Kathryn's first night of
recovery, Seven apparently restless with herself had come to his
quarters to speak with him and knowing how badly he treated her when she
had broken up with him, Chakotay was unexpectedly surprised.
At first, she had profusely apologized to
him insisting that she did not mean to damage him, that she would not
have done so, if she had had more experience with dating, that if she
had never been assimilated, she would have known better.
That took over 15 minutes alone.
Then after a nervous pause, amazingly to
Chakotay, the blonde came clean about how she felt for Kathryn, proving
just how wrong he was about the former Borg, about what she could feel
and what she could become. Now he knew better.
It was actually heartwarming. He had
never seen this side of the blonde before and had to acknowledge that it
was the Captain who brought this passion out of the stoic woman.
It had always been Janeway.
Thus, after explaining what had happened,
Seven asked him for his opinion on what she should do and since the
young woman had mentioned about a disagreement, Chakotay advised her to
give Janeway some time to heal and cool off.
Although, Seven was adamant in wanting to
visit the Captain while in recovery, she acceded to his advice. Up to
that point, Chakotay had never seen the young woman so selfless in what
needed to be done compared with what she wanted to do. So, he knew
exactly why Seven was avoiding Janeway.
It had been his idea.
Janeway shook her head in frustration.
"So many things have happened… and I just don’t know what to
He wondered why Kathryn couldn't just
tell the young woman what she felt and go from there. Why couldn't she,
especially someone as confident and successful as Janeway?!
"Just go to her and tell her what
"Maybe I shouldn't throw my
emotional baggage on her right now." Janeway said unsure. "I
don't want to pressure her. What if she feels obligated because I'm the
Chakotay's eyes lit up, like she had lost
a marble. "Do you know of anyone who could pressure Seven into
doing something she really didn't want to do?" Chakotay crossed his
arms. "You’re just making up excuses, one right after the other,
because you’re afraid."
"I am NOT!" She protested
"Then stop playing games and go talk
After rubbing the tension hiding behind
her eyes, Janeway peered at him closely. This was an argument she wasn’t
going to win and deep down, she didn’t want to. "You seem awfully
self-assured today. What has you in such in jolly mood?"
Chakotay smiled widely. "I'm just
glad to have my friend and Captain back."
"Is that all?"
"No, I've decided to date this cute
young Ensign on Deck 9 from the beta shift." As he laughed all the
way to the exit, Janeway rolled her eyes.
Inside of me there is a
Burning my soul’s true
Touching me like the sun,
Because I cannot deny
That you are the one!
Day Twenty-Seven, Evening:
Janeway just finished gulping a glass of
cold water when the chime to her quarters rang.
"Computer, who's outside my
quarters?" She fidgeted, waiting for the answer.
"Seven of Nine."
The redhead let out a nervous breath and
ordered the computer to let her in.
Seven linked her shaky hands behind her
back and entered the Captain's domicile. Peering around, she quickly
found her mentor near the replicator. "Captain," Seven greeted
nervously. Initially, she was intrigued when Janeway contacted her
requesting her presence at 20:00, yet the prospect of another heated
argument, made her apprehensive and the conflict of emotions was most
"Hello Seven." Janeway greeted,
her tone excessively polite. "Would you care for something to
"I do not require liquids at this
Well I certainly do. Janeway
replicated herself another glass of water; this time with ice.
"Would you care for something to
"No, I do not require nutrition at
this time," A pause. "but thank you… for offering."
Janeway fully agreed. She was so wound
up, she couldn't eat a thing either.
"How have you been… feeling
Captain? Have you fully recovered?” Seven asked awkwardly, truly
wanting to know.
"Oh, I'm fine." Janeway walked
passed the blonde to take a seat on her sofa. "I just needed a
couple of days of rest to recover."
"I am relieved to hear that."
Seven was extremely disappointed when Chakotay suggested she give the
Captain some time to recover before seeing her.
"You can sit down if you like."
"No… thank you." Seven's eyes
drifted around the room. "I prefer to stand."
"As you wish," Janeway was
being exceptionally accommodating, Seven noted. But is this the calm
before the storm? Risking a glance in the Captain’s direction
revealed her looking sternly into her glass as if in deep contemplation,
only the silence made Seven even more anxious regarding what was to
"What did you wish to speak to me
about?" The blonde asked, almost sounding impatient.
The question put Captain Janeway on the spot
sooner than she wanted to be, but she had contacted Seven requesting her
presence without any explanation whatsoever. So, taking in a breath of
freshly recycled air, Janeway began. "With all that’s happened
recently, I just wanted to say that I am glad to have you back onboard
Voyager… and I wanted to make sure you were doing all right." That’s
a good start.
"Thank you Captain." Seven
answered grateful to be back among friends, people she could trust with
her life, if not her heart.
Their eyes met briefly and Janeway
surmised from Seven's mannerisms that the young woman was extremely
uncomfortable. No, I am glad to be back speech? Janeway took a
large drink of her ice water, relishing the cool sensation it made going
down her throat, too bad it couldn’t quench the regret she felt.
Well here goes nothing.
"Was that your first time, Seven?
With my hologram?"
Seven's face turned ten shades redder.
"I should have realized that you
were probably just curious… about sex... that is."
Lifting her ocular implant, Seven made
her disdain known from being asked such a personal question. "Is
there a point to this Captain?"
"You're angry with me," Janeway
stated, "and you have every reason to be."
"Yes," Seven responded in a
controlled tone. "but I am not as disappointed in you as you
apparently are with me." The young woman lifted her chin up.
"So if that is the only reason you requested my presence Captain, I
will be going now." Seven made her way for the door not bothering
to wait for permission to leave.
I'm such an idiot! Kathryn
swiftly put her glass down onto the nearby table, spilling a good
portion of the contents out.
“Wait!” Rushing to outpace Seven, the
Captain inserted her small compact form between the blonde and the door
effectively blocking her in. "I'm not finished!"
With vexation quietly smoldering within,
Seven halted her progress. Does the Captain like to argue with me?! The
blonde could not figure out the purpose of this particular action, thus
forcing her to believe Janeway was becoming mentally imbalanced. "I
do not wish to argue with you any further!"
“Just hear me out,” The redhead
stated calmly, not waiting for a response to the contrary. "I know
I owe you an apology," Janeway continued. "I said some things
I shouldn't have… and I’m sorry."
Seven was not sure she believed Janeway's
sincerity. "But you did," she objected. "You sought to
intentional hurt me because you falsely assumed that is what I
did to you by copulating with the hologram," Seven exhaled.
"And although I take full responsibility for my actions, you fail
to realize that I was seduced. I was a victim in these
"I know Seven. It was an unfortunate
accident that you shouldn't have gone through and I'm sorry I didn't
handle it properly." The redhead reiterated.
Although not intended maliciously, the
statement stung the former Borg. One of the best experiences of my
life with a holographic version of the woman I believe I am in love with
and she explains casually that it was an ‘unfortunate accident’. Feeling
wounded, Seven desperately held back the emotion that wanted to break
loose. "Very well, now if you will excuse me."
Janeway could tell Seven didn't believe in her
apology, the ex-drone's distress was so obvious. "Listen… Please…
I said some harsh words that I didn't mean. I was--" Jealous.
"Apology accepted." Seven
interjected smoothly, moving to bypass Janeway only to be stopped by an
arm across her path.
“I’m still not finished.”
“I need to regenerate.”
“A few more minutes won’t hurt you.”
“There is nothing more to say.”
“but there is! I haven’t finished
apologizing!” Kathryn insisted.
“Yes, you have apologized and I have
accepted it!” Seven countered.
“but that’s the problem, Seven. I don’t
believe you have, not really.”
“Please Captain,” Seven seemed quite
desperate in her effort to vacate Janeway’s quarters and Kathryn wasn’t
going to make her stay if she didn’t want to, but…
"All right, I'll let you go,"
Janeway promised, but she did not move. "After you answer one
The blonde was already discontent and
looking forward to getting this over with. "And what would that one
question be Captain?"
“Something has come to my attention and
I need to know the truth.”
“And?” Impatience saturated her tone.
"I want to know… I need to know…
Are you in love with me?"
The words hit like a phaser blast and
Seven shivered with the possible repercussions. She did not want to tell
a falsehood, but she also did NOT want to face more humiliation
in the form of a rejection. I must evade a conclusive answer. With
her nose flared and eyes wide Seven answered. "The question is
Kathryn moved in, their faces only a mere
six inches apart. “Irrelevant?!” The contempt really irked Janeway.
"Yes," Seven asserted,
utilizing a healthy dose of animosity, she attempted to conceal the
answer her heart wanted to give.
“How can you say that after all we’ve
been through? Love is everything. Humans have nothing without it.” The
redhead stared profusely. "All I want is a straight answer and I am
not letting you leave until you give me one?" Janeway imposed.
Seven stood her ground. "Why even
ask Captain, when it is quite obvious you are in love with Jaffen."
Thunderstruck, Kathryn looked into the
harsh gaze of the blonde woman, shaking her head. "I am not in love
"There is no point in lying to me
Captain!" Seven fumed. “I have enhanced hearing and I heard you
“That day in your quarters when I came
to visit, you held his hands and then…” Seven couldn’t finish.
“I remember,” Kathryn winced as that
day came back to her. "and I’m not lying. I do care for him
Seven, but sometimes humans say and do things they don’t mean…
especially when they’re in a lot of… pain. I was in a lot of
distress and I thought he could help.” She rubbed her hands together.
“It was an accident that shouldn't have happened."
Another untimely accident? “You
expect me to believe it was an accident?”
Kathryn didn’t appreciate Seven’s
disbelief, not regarding that.
“Yes, just like
you chose to have sex with my hologram in preparation for being with
Axum!” Janeway accused her intentionally being spiteful.
“I never had sex with Axum!"
Seven divulged heatedly.
Uh oh… Janeway
felt like a jack ass times two. "You didn't?" Her voice became
“I did not.” Seven held her chin up
Kathryn quickly ruminated on the facts available. Ok,
so Seven didn’t sleep with Axum and she didn’t sleep with Chakotay. Kathryn
stroked her chin, pondering. A young,
beautiful, sexy, lean blonde with intelligence, in the prime of her life…
had two boyfriends and didn’t sleep with either of them?! So why the
Another attempt to escape by Seven,
brought the Captain out of her thoughts. “Oh no you don’t! You still
didn’t answer my question.” Janeway stared intensely at her
protégé. "Are you in love with me Seven…” Janeway's heart
raced. “or not?"
The blonde's respiration spiked in
distress, but she refused to answer the question directly. Not willing
to put her heart on the line in the form of a confession, Seven erupted.
“I refuse to discuss this matter with you. Allow me to leave!”
For Janeway, disappointment became an
understatement. “You don’t have to shout,” the, defeated voice
acceded. “I heard you.” Loud and clear. In good conscious,
Kathryn could not pressure the young woman any longer. Stepping aside,
she wordlessly granted Seven the right to leave with a dip of her auburn
The blonde was momentarily surprised by
Janeway’s sudden withdrawal, but would not waste the opportunity to
flee such an emotionally charged situation.
Brow furrowed in deep contemplation, Kathryn’s
mind churned. Was Axum completely wrong
about Seven’s feelings towards me or is she just not ready to divulge
them? How will I ever know which?! What if… what if she’s just
afraid that I don’t reciprocate?!”
A small deceptively strong hand snugly
grabbed Seven’s forearm and the taller woman turned to peer down
caustically at the restraining appendage then back up to her superior
Storm grey eyes met defensive blue eyes,
both unflinching. “Know this Seven,” Janeway stated with utter
devotion despite the fear that crawled into her heart. “regardless of
who you choose to love, or who you will eventually marry, I WILL love
you for the rest of my natural life.”
Blinking in disbelief, Seven could only
stare dumbfounded at her Captain. The declaration was so totally
unexpected, that the blonde became uncharacteristically tongue tied.
Feeling as if her soul were laid bare for
Seven to see all her insecurities, Kathryn looked away. “And that will
remain true, even if you cannot reciprocate.” With her heart throbbing
mercilessly fast in her chest and her eyes filling with moisture,
Janeway moved away and spotting her glass, finished what was left of the
melted ice water to relieve her suddenly parched throat.
Still in shock, Seven could not believe
her ears, could not fathom what had been said by her Captain… and
could not deny the effect it had on her. The strong willed redhead never
revealed such strong internal emotions to her before, but that did not
necessarily make it true. But it was possible that Seven had
misinterpreted Janeway’s sentiment towards the alien, Jaffen. Is it
so implausible for me to believe that Kathryn could feel something more
than just friendship for me? Even romantic love? Hope started
brewing in her heart as Seven refused to believe that Janeway would have
said such a thing unless she meant it. The words were poignant, stated
with heartfelt sincerity… held an edge of longing and a sad yearning,
almost an emptiness.
Seven understood those things. Glaring
with eyes full of unshed tears, Seven’s heart leapt inside her
ribcage. The young woman had to see where this could go.
The blonde quietly came up from behind
the redhead. "I find I no longer wish to leave." She remarked
The voice was so close, Janeway flinched.
“Oh?” Her voice trembled, and she gently put down her empty glass.
“Are you… sure?”
"Yes, can we discuss this… love
you feel for me further?" Seven asked shyly.
Janeway moved to sit down on the sofa and
took the time to get comfortable all the while attempting to shake how
strung out she was. “Well,” she padded the area next to her, an
indication for the blonde to join her. “We have all evening… unless
you absolutely have to regenerate.”
Day Twenty Eight, Morning:
"Computer, where is the location of
Lieutenant Tom Paris?"
"Tom Paris is currently in
After the computer responded, the tall
blonde entered a turbo lift and headed for deck 10. Entering
Engineering, she scanned the area for who she was looking for. Finding
the individual not present she decided to take the lift to the upper
deck. As the lift ascended to the second level, she overheard a
"I'm busy Tom, maybe later."
The voice belonged to Lt. Torres.
"Oh come on, I have an awesome
program I want to try with you. It's like Risa. You'll like it."
"It's only 08:00 Tom. My shift just
started. I can't right now!"
He just looked at her with puppy dog
As the lift brought Seven to the top, she
heard a muffled sound before she saw visually what was transpiring.
Leaning over Lt. Torres, Tom was kissing her as she leaned back on the
B'Elanna cleared her throat. "We
have company." She whispered straightening her uniform.
"Lt. Paris." Seven called out.
Tom turned to see who had called out his
name and swallowed nervously after he saw who it was.
"I wish to speak with you in
"Um, I'm kind of busy right now, Sev."
He looked to B'Elanna for support but she just smirked at him.
"You can copulate with your wife
later. I request and audience… now."
"Seven," Torres warned her.
"I don't apprec--"
She turned accusing eyes on her.
"Were you aware of what truly happened between myself and the
holographic representation of Captain Janeway?"
"Oh Kayless," B'Elanna's second
heart was firmly logged in her throat. "Did you speak with the
Captain about... that?"
"Seven that was a terrible mistake,
you see, we hit an anomaly." Tom hurried to explain. "And
there was this malfunction on the hologrid. It wasn't anybody's fault
directly, just one of those odd things that happen in space."
Seven unlinked her hands behind her back.
"The Captain has given me permission to assimilate you." She
stated with dead seriousness.
"Uh don’t you think you're
overreacting? The Captain would never… " He trailed off, backing
up under her icy gaze. Torres crossed her arms, knowing Seven would do
no such thing.
Seven edged towards him her face tense,
her posture, slightly aggressive. "Come here."
Tom tensed backing up. "It wasn't my
fault, I swear!"
"Seven, that's enough." Torres
jumped in the middle. "You'll have to assimilate me first. I asked
for his help so it's partially my fault." Torres really didn't
think Seven would do it, but…
Seven sighed. "I do not blame you
B'Elanna. In fact, I appreciated your efforts to help me, despite your
husband's ineptitude at safe holodeck programming guidelines."
"You see!" Tom waved his hands
in full agreement. "An honest mistake!" He chuckled nervously.
"And no more holodeck quickies." He paled. "No pun
intended. I'll take my time and program them properly. I'll be good from
now on, I promise."
Looking past Torres, Seven held Tom's
eyes giving him his sentence. "Per the Captain's instructions, you
are hereby relieved of all your holodeck privileges for one month."
"Aw no." Tom looked stricken.
"Yes," Seven asserted.
"You should be glad the Captain asked me to deal with you in
whatever way I saw fit. Her suggestions of punishment were… more
Later that morning:
“Captain you wanted to see me?” Seven
inquired after stepping foot into the Ready Room.
“How did it go with Tom?”
“I believe you would have been pleased.
The thought of assimilation displeased him.”
Kathryn shrugged. “You didn’t?!”
Seven nodded indicating that she did.
“You know, I was very angry when I said
“I am aware of that.”
Janeway snickered. My Borg is getting
a wicked sense of humor. “So what sentence did you give him?”
“Thirty day without the usage of the
Outraged, Janeway abruptly stood up. “That’s
“I thought more would be cruel and
unusually punishment.” Seven explained calmly.
Janeway started mumbling. “I would’ve
thrown in the brig, hung him up by his bootstraps and--”
“I could not do that Kathryn,” Seven
interrupted gently. “The time I was… restricted for a month in the
Cargo Bay, completely alone gives me a unique perspective of what it
means to be isolated. I know my sentence was fair and I regret my
actions even to this day... yet it was still difficult to bare.”
Seeing her mate in discomfort, Janeway
went to her side. Although reinforcement of Starfleet protocol was
necessary, she didn’t realize the true impact the extended isolation
had on the former drone and she regretted the decision, especially since
she hadn’t been unbiased.
“I’m sorry.” Janeway touched her
“Do not be. I violated your trust. I
“That’s not entirely true.” Kathryn
shook her head with guilt. “I was very angry.”
“It was more than that. I took your
disobeying my orders rather personal and it wasn’t just about
Starfleet protocol Seven.” Taking both of Seven’s hands in hers she
continued. “I started to fall for you back then… and well… your
words… in the Cargo bay…” Kathryn met the blonde’s eyes. “they
Seven’s face went white. “But that
was three years, six months, twenty two days--”
“Please Seven, I know how long ago it
was,” she pleaded.
“Why did you not say anything sooner?”
Janeway looked at her crassly. “Do you
honestly think you could have reciprocated?”
Hastily, Seven went to respond, then
stopped and after thinking more clearly, shook her head back and forth.
“You are correct, I would not have been able to. Emotions were still
irrelevant to me. I am sorry I did not realize what I felt for you
“Oh Seven. You can’t rush true love.”
Janeway became lost in thought as she traced the outline of Seven’s
face with her forefinger causing both women to become aroused under the
The Captain is being quite affectionate,
Seven mused, while watching the redhead’s facial expressions.
“No… I suppose not.” Seven murmured
wishing Kathryn would break down and make love to her some time soon
before she imploded. The blonde would never have fathomed how difficult
it would be to resist the desire and longing once she found that special
“Did you say something darling?”
“You know, I was thinking. I could take
the rest of the afternoon off. I rarely take vacation time. We could…
do something… fun. I don’t know maybe spend some time on the
Seven’s lowered brow suggested that
wasn’t a viable option. “Your quarters would be preferable.”
“Yes, but there’s nothing to do in my
quarters,” Janeway turned slightly away, but truthfully she wanted to
avoid being that alone with the young woman.
“You are incorrect, there is plenty to
do in your quarters. For instance, we have excellent philosophical
“Yes, but that’s about it.” Janeway
quietly answered, thinking about the previous evening. They had talked
for hours without even so much as a kiss, and it hadn’t been easy to
resist those natural urges or explain to Seven why they should wait. She
avidly recalled the short conversation, when Seven whole heartedly
“I have forgiven you and you have
forgiven me, correct?”
“Well yes, but--”
“Then why wait.”
Flustered, Kathryn answered. “because I
don’t want to rush you into something you might regret.”
The young woman brooded at the
suggestion. “I assure you I will not.”
Hoping her stubbornness didn’t put a
damper on their blooming relationship, Janeway applied her command tone.
“I’m not ready Seven. I’m just too strung out right now.”
Seven appeared to understand Kathryn’s
need and relented. “Then I will capitulate… until you are ready.”
Kathryn kept telling herself it was for
the best, that going slow was for Seven’s benefit and not hers.
Emotions were high over everything that had happened and Janeway didn’t
think it was a good idea to become intimate for quite awhile.
“I disagree,” Seven, stated bringing
the redhead back to the present.
“In the future, the very near future, I
fully believe we will have superb love making sessions,” She smiled
mischievously. “in your bed.”
Kathryn couldn’t have turned more red
faced if she tried, now realizing that the former Borg was determined to
have her Captain sooner rather than later.
“Uh… um…” Janeway really couldn’t
think of anything else to do but sex now.
Seven reveled in her newfound ability to
make Janeway blush. “When you decide what it is you wish to do, hail
me Kathryn.” She strolled out, leaving a flabbergasted Captain in her
Since when did Seven become so… damn
confident… so bold?
Later that night…
The pale starlight shined through the
windows above the double bed to reveal two occupants snuggled within
each other’s arms. Starfleet issue sheets were crumpled at the bottom
of the bed as the two forms laid together ready to begin the dance of
Kathryn trembled in delight as Seven
hovered over her, obviously more than ready to consummate their union
into a physical one.
If she wants to make love, who am I to
deny her that? She made it very clear she didn’t want… correction,
didn’t need to wait, so why punish her… or myself any longer.
“I’m glad you came.” Besides,
I held out rather long any ways… almost 26 hours.
“I would not miss it for all the
knowledge in the Collective.”
So poetic… “Did
you know you have the heart of a poet?”
“That was not my intent, although I
have researched the topic.”
Kathryn giggled. So
Casting her eyes upon Kathryn’s lips
caused the young woman to shiver in anticipation. “Do you… need to
converse some more Kathryn, or may I love you now?” Seven asked
politely, but with an edge of impatience.
“You may,” Janeway answered huskily.
In a highly ethereal state, Kathryn
watched in slow motion as the blonde head descended towards her until
she felt a wonderful softness graze her outer lips. Closing her eyes,
the redhead surrendered, letting the younger woman set the pace of their
With delicate precision, Seven sampled
Kathryn’s lips with sweet caresses, before needing more. Deepening the
kiss, Seven pressed her body lovingly against her auburn lover.
Despite how difficult the holographic encounter
had been after she found out the shocking truth, the experience now gave
Seven the confidence to love Kathryn effectively… and she so needed to
show Kathryn how much she really cared; with every touch, every motion. I
must be able to please this woman! Nothing less is acceptable!
Seven slid a hand down along side
Kathryn's left leg and moving to the inside, gently coaxed them apart.
Sensing her intentions, Janeway rotated her legs outward, giving full
access to her partner for she never thought this moment of intimacy with
the love of her life would ever truly come to pass.
Feeling around the opening, Seven teased
the moist area, but only for an agonizing minute. Entering her lover in
a gentle stroke, she clamped onto Kathryn’s mouth with full lips to
instigate an impassioned kiss while rotating her fingers inside.
As the wonderful motion began to take
over all of Janeway’s senses, she sucked in a tentative breath letting
her hands roam freely across Seven’s arms and shoulders.
While gaining speed on every upstroke of
her hand, Seven snaked her tongue out, with Kathryn opening to receive
the succulent offer, drawing the moist tongue into her mouth.
As her auburn hairs were tickled with
every stroke of Seven's palm, Janeway squirmed. Sliding her arms down
Seven’s backside, Kathryn engulfed the twin cheeks with both hands.
Clutching at Seven’s buttocks, she attempted to bring their bodies’
passionate gyrations even closer.
Kathryn’s hot folds fluttered,
tightening around Seven's fingers, her channel convulsing, her face
flushing in retaliation to the pleasure provided.
Then the redhead grunted as the moment
was upon her, gripping the Borg’s shoulders tightly. "Oh
Annikaaaa!!" Kathryn roared out her ecstasy, leaving red
indentations on her lover’s fair flesh, as she tried to hold onto to
Watching Kathryn closely, Seven draped
her body lightly against the redhead’s fathoming just how much she
needed this union, this closeness with her more than anything ever since
the redhead somehow, unfathomably captured her heart and soul.
After the quaking was over, Seven prodded
her lover quietly. “Kathryn, was it… acceptable?”
Kathryn looked at her with satisfied
eyes. “That was incredible Seven. How did you learn--” Realizing her
error, she stopped, looking almost aghast that she had even begun to
ask. “Never mind it’s not important.”
“You are thinking about my experiences
with the hologram.” Seven estimated correctly.
“Forget I said anything.” Kathryn
tried to change the topic. “Besides it your turn.” She grinned from
ear to ear, ready to please the blonde thoroughly.
“No,” Seven stated firmly.
“You don’t want me to make love to
you?” Janeway asked astounded.
“I do, but not until I correct this
jealousy you are feeling.”
“Seven,” Janeway’s rebuked. “I’m
A metal cased finger touched her lip
silencing her effectively. “No hologram could duplicate this. Being
with you is a privilege and a gift… Please believe me when I say you
are not replaceable.”
Kathryn’s heart melted.
“Please understand Kathryn, I was
ignorant before the experience taught me how to love you the way I
wanted to be able to.”
Janeway gave Seven a compassionate kiss.
“And you loved me quite well… so can I have my turn now?”
“Please,” Seven dipped her head, “I
do not think I can bare this level of arousal much longer.”
“Oh you won’t have to my darling.”
After flipping Seven onto her back,
Kathryn started with slow tender kisses that soon led to a passionate
embrace of tongues. Nibbling the ear lobes next, she sampled all the
delicate skin along the neckline, taking the time to properly claim the
woman with a small mark, causing Seven’s breathing to hitch for a
“I’ll take care of you.”
Sitting back on her hindquarters, Kathryn
straddled Seven, just below her hot loins. Utilizing tender touches and
smooth finger-tips, she stroked all over the full breasts, then latching
onto a hard nipple that ached to be touched, the older woman breast fed
like never before.
“Just be patient… and enjoy.”
Gasping in response, Seven bent her legs
and without conscious thought opened herself up to her auburn queen.
Aware of Seven’s readiness, Janeway slid down in-between Seven's
wetness. Reaching down to caress the slick folds, Kathryn slowly
penetrated her golden lover, stretching the silk-like walls of her
vagina, filling the woman she loved with slow, deep thrusts.
“Let it come, baby. Don’t hold back.”
Awashed in stirring sensations, it didn’t
take long for Seven to feel the build up of exquisite pressure, both
from the actual penetration along the sensitive walls of her vagina and
the masterful thumb that rubbed over her clitoris ever time the talented
fingers pressed inward. In response to the sweet rhythmic sensations,
Seven’s hands instinctually tore at the bed sheets.
Kathryn’s breasts brushed against
Seven's every time she pressed into the movement. “Oh god, you feel so
The action of the blonde’s hip muscles
increased dramatically, gyrating and swaying fervently until… "Ohhh,"
the blonde cried out as the moment came upon her. "Oh… Omega…"
She exclaimed, marveling at how such a diminutive body could pack such a
punch into her physically.
Janeway took that precious moment to
watch her golden angel spasm through her release. "You are so
beautiful," Janeway murmured, placing a multitude of small kisses
on her flushed face. "God I love you."
The words only made it harder to control
the onslaught of emotion and Seven did not want to appear weak in front
of her lover, but she could not stop the cascade of tears that escaped
her eyes. The combination of making love with what she felt for Kathryn
was apparently unstoppable, yet it wasn’t sadness, the blonde was
experiencing, no it was… could only be described as… happiness.
Seven was content and… felt at peace, with herself and her humanity.
“Did I…. hurt you?” Kathryn asked
“Please don’t cry." She pleaded.
“I cannot help it,” Seven replied
Kathryn felt Seven’s whole body
tremble, but she knew the orgasm had passed. "There's nothing to be
afraid of." She whispered. “I won’t hurt you… Please believe
"I know," Seven stated thickly.
Kathryn traced her lover's face with
delicate fingers. "I have loved you for so long…” She moved a
stray piece of blonde hair off of Seven's damp forehead.
“I am beginning to realize that. Even
so…, it was so much more… more than I expected… more than I ever
Hearing Seven’s reaction caused tears
to build up in Kathryn’s eyes. “For me too, Annika.”
“You are my Omega, Kathryn.”
Kathryn swallowed through falling tears
because she knew exactly what that meant coming from Seven of Nine.
Pulling the blonde into a tighter embrace, Janeway hugged the larger
woman, feeling her body relax, the tension drift away into nothingness.
Time passed without a care as each woman took comfort in their
Engrossed in her partner’s unique
scent, Seven closed her eyes. “Kathryn?"
“Hmm,” Janeway murmured against her
Taking in a deep breath the young woman
spoke in a hushed whisper. "I want a future with you Kathryn
Pulling back to look into Seven’s eyes,
Janeway searched for any hidden meaning in her lover’s bright face.
“Y..You… want a future… with me?”
“I wish to be yours alone. Is that not
possible?” Seven held her breath.
Was Seven asking for my hand in marriage?! Suddenly,
Kathryn felt small and momentarily displaced. “Are you… asking me to
marry you Seven?!”
Seven’s heart pounded in her throat as
she ruminated on it. That was not what I meant, but should I inform
her of that?! I do love her… more than I ever thought I could love
someone, but do I know how to be a wife? For a brief moment, Seven
Kathryn watched the mental wheels
Continuing to ruminate on the idea, Seven
considered the positive aspects of a union. However, if Kathryn is
agreeable, she will be considered spoken for and no one else would be
able to lay claim to her love, except for me. The last thought
pleased Seven immensely. In a sense, we
will become one.
“Annika?” Janeway called out trying
to get the blonde’s attention.
For her… I will learn and adapt… “Do
you accept?” The young woman couldn’t help beam a wide smile.
The older woman hesitated and it wasn’t
because she didn’t want to. On the contrary, Kathryn couldn’t
imagine anything better than marrying Seven and being given the
privilege to call the young, beautiful woman her wife…
Only it was too soon. They had just started a
romantic relationship… just shared their first night together. There
were so many other intangible things to consider that they had no
control over and like all new relationships, especially between two head
strong women, they needed time to grow. But
how am I going to say all this without hurting her feelings?!
The prolonged silence from the redhead
dampened Seven’s initial joy at the prospect of becoming Janeway’s
wife and truthfully she had not intended to put her lover on the spot so
soon. It just seemed like the logical course of action to secure Janeway
for herself, but perhaps she was being selfish in rushing Kathryn to
After all, Janeway was committed to
marriage twice before yet due to unusual circumstances both ceremonies
never occurred… Perhaps she is fearful of a similar outcome… that
something will happen to me or her.
However, what if Kathryn is hesitating
because she doesn’t want to marry again ever?! It is possible she is
content with her single status and simply wants to love me that way.
Seven sighed. But I ‘want’ to
marry her. I ‘want’ HER in my personal collective. The blonde
thought, not sure she could bare hearing ‘no’, regardless of how
valid the reasons were. Not wanting to risk what she had only recently
achieved with the redhead, the former Borg quickly decided to withdraw
the question. “Kathryn, I withdraw the question.”
Janeway looked up startled. “What?”
“You do not have to answer. I have
withdrawn the question.”
“Why?” Kathryn stared.
Did Seven change her mind just like that?!
“Please, forget I asked.”
Unnerved, Kathryn frowned deeply. “Seven
you can’t withdraw a question once you’ve asked it… especially one
so complex and personal.”
“Please Kathryn, if you do not…
cannot… I understand.” Seven stated while trying hard to keep the
disappointment from coloring her tone.
"Oh but I want to Seven,"
Janeway answered swiftly. “Please don’t doubt that. More than
anything, I want to, but we have to take things a bit slower.”
Seven blinked at the unexpected response,
feeling cautious but hopeful. “Please clarify?”
Kathryn started off by gently rubbing the
palm of her hands over Seven’s arms and shoulders to reassure her
young love. “I love you Annika Hansen and as far as I’m concerned I
doubt anything could change that, but I have to be realistic. Just a few
weeks ago you didn’t understand the concept of love and now--”
“You doubt that I love you?” Seven
asked, her tone firm.
“Absolutely not,” Janeway cupped her
lovely face. “I believe you do and tonight went a long way to proving
that, but we’re both going to need time to adjust and not only to
ourselves but to the crew’s reaction of ‘us’ as well.”
Seven disagreed. “I do not care what
the crew thinks of our union.”
Janeway softened her voice even as she
pressed her point. “I know, but as Captain I have to. I need to keep
their respect in order to command this ship effectively. They won’t
follow my orders otherwise, so it’s only fair to give them time to
accept what I feel for you, even if they don’t like it…”
Seven listened attentively, letting
Kathryn’s viewpoint sink in. “As I am quite familiar with Star Fleet
rules and regulation, I believe I understand your concerns.”
Janeway breathed a sigh of relief. “Good,
because you need to if we’re going to be living together.”
Seven’s eyes brightened. “It pleases
me that you would consider cohabitating with me.”
Truthfully, Janeway was a loner and
despite how much she loved Seven, living with someone was not something
she was used even with her past fiancés. And Kathryn didn’t want to
rush into anything that could end up damaging what she now had with the
younger woman. She wasn’t the easiest person to live with even on her
good days, so in Seven’s infancy, she needed to do it right the first
time so she didn’t end up with her heart shattered in a million
“I’d like to try,” Kathryn
admitted, trying to hide her fear. “but it is something I’ve had
difficulty with in the past, so when we decide to do it, you’ll have
to be patient with me.”
“Cohabitation makes me nervous as well
because I have never done it, so I will be patient if you will.” Seven
told her honestly.
Kathryn gave her lover a wide lopsided
grin, happy that Seven comprehended all the unusual dynamics of their
"However,” Seven added in a
serious tone. “just because we have decided to wait does not mean that
I intend to share you with anyone or anything. I simply
Raising her head, Kathryn looked upon her
lover disheartened. “I am the Captain, Seven I don’t know--”
" …other than your obvious duties
as Captain of Voyager of course." She smirked, teasing.
Relief flooded Janeway and shrugging she
teased right back. "Do you honestly think you can follow my orders…
"I did not say I would not question
your orders." Seven stated mockingly serious.
A pout became visible on Kathryn’s
features as she reflected on how difficult it would be having her lover…
her future wife question her orders so openly… or worse disobeying
Mercifully, Seven bowed her head acquiescing as
she leaned in for a kiss. “As my Captain I will yield to your
authority." As long as you do not
endanger yourself foolishly…
The redhead exhaled relieved, offering a
muffled, “thank you,” as their lips met together in a loving, gentle
When they parted, Seven returned a rare,
but full smile. "But please remember… here in these quarters that
we will eventually share…” Seven paused watching Kathryn process the
request with a sharply raised eyebrow. “we are equals.”
Cupping Seven's chin, Kathryn stroked
along the bottom inquisitively. “Is that an order?”
“You must comply.” Seven demanded,
eagerly molding her lips to Kathryn's.
“I can live with that,” came the
Seven took the lead fully intending to
start another round of love making just so she could see that moment of
bliss pass over her future fiancé’s face again.
Deep in the dark,
We surrender our hearts
Letting go of the pain
With so much to gain
Our passion survives