Disclaimer: The characters in the following story belong to Paramount. This story is not written for profit and no copyright infringement is intended. This story is based on a loving relationship involving two women.

Pairing: J/7
Rating:
NC-17

Summary: Voyager is back on earth and Seven is in a relationship with Chakotay. Janeway is dating a starfleet heartthrob, who is doing his best just to try and keep up with her. The crew get together for Seven's surprise birthday with disasterous consequences...or are they? This story was written as part of a Janeway7 "Fire & Ice" Challenge.


The Borg, the Commander, His Captain & Her Lover

 

Wendy

 

Voyager has been back on earth for seven months……………

Seven of Nine sat at the dinner table. She and Commander Chakotay were the guests of Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres. The evening had been a fairly pleasant one, but Seven still struggled in these social settings. There had been a lot of small talk and general catching up going on. She had found out that Tom and B'Elanna were both going back into space on a sovereign class ship enabling them to take their young daughter Miral with them. Chakotay had spoken at length of his delight at getting back to nature. He had no immediate desire to go back into space and was at this moment considering an offer he had received from Starfleet academy. The thought of teaching anthropological studies appealed to him greatly. Since returning to earth Seven had initially assisted Starfleet extensively due to her Borg background. During this time she had felt useful, needed. But since it had ended she and Chakotay had travelled earth visiting friends and relatives of his. Seven had also met her relatives, but had found it to be a difficult encounter due to her unresolved issues with her parents. Finding out about them had been unsettling.

"So do you think you will accept the teaching post?" B'Elanna asked Chakotay.

"I just might." He answered with that mischievous smirk on his face. "I was thinking it might be time to set down some more permanent roots." With this he shot an affectionate glance at Seven. Tom and B'Elanna smiled knowingly at each other.

Seven felt that she was missing something. She still lacked the interpersonal skills to pick up on all the little nuances of human interaction. She saw the shared knowing looks between Tom and B'Elanna. She remained mystified as to what they meant. Chakotay gently put his big hand over hers as he saw the puzzled look cross over her features. Seven gave a gentle sigh as he smiled encouragingly at her.

Tom Paris chose that moment to include her into the conversation. "So Seven what do you intend to do if Chakotay accepts this post?"

She hesitated a little, shifting uncomfortably in her chair. The truth of the matter was that Seven had not really been making decisions about her own future or anything else for that matter since arriving on earth. She had followed Chakotay's wishes, rarely expressing any of her own.

She paused before answering his question.

"I am unsure; I find the prospect of living in San Francisco appealing. Beyond that I have not decided."

"You want to live in San Francisco?" Chakotay asked her clearly surprised. "I had been thinking that we could live somewhere quiet, away from the main city, a ranch or farm perhaps."

Seven looked disappointed with this information, she could only manage a quiet "perhaps" in return. She wasn't sure exactly why she felt so downhearted with this knowledge. She would have to consider it later. Right now all she could think about was getting out of the house and finding some solitude. She wanted to just spend time on her own. Somewhere she could feel less stifled.

Once again Tom attempted to keep the conversation flowing.

"Hey did you hear that Harry has met someone? Her name is Alice; she is a lieutenant aboard the starship Interlude."

"Really, I hope he has more success with this woman than his past experiences. Harry doesn't seem to have the best of luck in that field." Chakotay said good-naturedly. They all had a brief chuckle at Harry's expense, apart from Seven, who instead offered support for Harry.

'I wish Mister Kim every success in his new relationship. He deserves to find some happiness. I am sure he will be an acceptable partner for this individual."

"Here, here." Tom saluted with his near empty wine glass. "We couldn't all be lucky enough to find the person of our dreams on such a small ship." He smiled lovingly at his spouse, who met his look with equal intensity. They had both matured a tremendous amount since the beginning of their relationship, almost five years ago. It was at that point B'Elanna chose to offer the latest gossip she had heard, straight from the grapevine. She had been desperate to share, as it was decidedly juicy. "It would appear that Harry is not the only member of Voyagers crew who has decided to improve their love life." That caught everyone’s attention. Seven resisted the urge to roll her eyes. B'Elanna's penchant for gossip had been legendary on the ship.

"Well come on, give B'Elanna. You can’t keep us all guessing." Tom implored, desperate to find out whom she was talking about. B'Elanna leaned forward on the table drawing everyone to her and indicating this was big news indeed. "I heard our Captain has been running around with one of the most eligible bachelors in Starfleet." She sat back feeling very pleased with herself. Chakotay’s eyebrows climbed a little higher up his forehead, his tattoo crinkling in the process. Seven seemed to be frowning at this news, while Tom gawked at her and blurted "who?"

"Jack Lawson." She delivered knowing the impact it would have on Tom.

His eyes widened in surprise, as he spluttered, "No way. The love em’ and leave em’ Jack Lawson?’

"The very one. I heard it’s been going on for about three months. They can’t keep their hands of each other."

"I can’t believe it, our good captain?" Tom declared with open astonishment. "I hope she knows what she’s doing. That guy's reputation is legendary. He has left a trail of broken hearts throughout the Alpha quadrant."

"So I’ve heard. With his good looks and irresistible charm he doesn’t have a problem attracting the ladies. It seems he set out to woo our good captain." B'Elanna replied. "They are being nicknamed Starfleet’s golden couple. Since Janeway was considered the number one date since Voyagers return from the Delta Quadrant and he is considered the ultimate catch around Starfleet. Still I think it’s great for the captain, she has a lot of catching up to do after all those years we spent away."

"Well if his reputation is anything to go by, she’s in good hands on that front. I just hope she isn’t head over heels or it could all end in tears." Tom blurted before realizing that might not be entirely appropriate.

"Explain." Seven demanded. "Is this individual unsuitable for Captain Janeway?"

"I’m sure the captain knows what she’s doing Seven." Chakotay replied, trying to placate her obvious concern at this news. He was feeling a little disconcerted himself at the thought of Kathryn Janeway being embroiled in a passionate love affair with an attractive younger man.

Tom felt it was time to offer a distraction while he silently berated himself, wondering when he would learn to keep his big mouth shut. "I’m going to check on Miral, would you like to tag along Seven?"

Seven looked momentarily startled by the invitation. But found the prospect of seeing the infant again to be acceptable. She nodded her assent to Tom and followed him from the room.

B'Elanna, left alone with Chakotay took the opportunity to grill him a little. "So Chakotay, what gives?" She asked narrowing her eyes to assess him further.

Chakotay for his part was unable to tease, as was his normal manner. "Well I’ve decided to ask Seven to marry me. Since we are having a surprise birthday party for her tomorrow. I thought I would keep with the theme and spring one more that evening."

B'Elanna had never been a fan of the Borg drone, but lately after spending more time with her she had begun to learn a little more about her. So if Chakotay was ready to marry her, then she decided to be happy for her long time friend. "That’s good news Chakotay, Kahless knows it’s about time you settled down before becoming an old man."

He chuckled a little at that. "Less of the old if you don’t mind. And B'Elanna, not a word from you about this to anyone." He said in a slightly warning tone.

B'Elanna looked momentarily wounded then had the good grace to concede that she would have been likely to share the news with someone. "My lips are sealed Chakotay. I swear I won’t say a word. On my honour."

That was good enough for Chakotay. He knew her well enough to know that her word was her bond.


As Tom and Seven looked in on Miral, he took the opportunity to chat a little to her. He had always had a soft spot for Seven. Ever since she was first severed from the collective he had been one of the first crewmembers to approach Seven offering nothing more than a friendly ear should she require someone to talk to.

"You thinking of having kids of your own Seven?"

She kept her eyes on the little bundled she was gazing most fondly upon. There was the slightest hint of a smile on Seven’s lips. "I believe I want children of my own. I am not certain that I am ready for that undertaking at this point in time. Chakotay has spoken of children often."

"Well he’s not getting any younger after all; he probably wants to enjoy them as fully as he can. While he still feels young enough."

"Indeed." Seven looked a little puzzled. She had not considered this possibility. Age was not a concept that Seven paid much attention to.

When Seven and Tom returned to join the others it was getting late and Chakotay decided it was time to turn in for the evening. They all wished each other goodnight and retired to their respective rooms.

Seven was glad the evening was finally at an end. She was grateful that Tom and B'Elanna had welcomed her and Chakotay into their home, feeling that it was a most generous offer. Unfortunately she found it difficult to socialize in the form of intimate setting they had found themselves in this night. Her discomfort was more apparent. There had been nowhere to hide.

As they reached the quiet of their room, Chakotay pulled her into a hug. It felt safe and warm, however tonight she took less comfort from it than she usually did. She thought perhaps it had been the mention of children by Tom and Chakotay wanting them soon. Or maybe it had been the news B'Elanna had shared about her Captain. She took a moment to consider that further. Seven had certainly missed Captain Janeway being around. It was something she had taken for granted prior to Voyager's return. Deep down she also knew that was why she had earlier said she wanted to live in San Francisco, she wished to be near Kathryn Janeway again.

Chakotay sought out Seven’s lips for a kiss, which had become very familiar to them both. She returned it tentatively, knowing where this would lead. As his hands began to move over her back both at once caressing and seeking out the fastening of her dress, she suddenly broke of the kiss and leaned her forehead against his. Breathing heavily he began to remove her dress by slipping it off her left shoulder. Seven had never stopped any of their encounters leading into lovemaking but knew she did not want to make love right now.

"Chakotay?"

"Mmm, yes" he mumbled as he kissed along her collarbone.

"I…. I do not wish to proceed." Seven whispered faintly.

Chakotay stepped back to look at her questioningly. "Is everything alright?"

"I am uncertain. I… that is to say this evening has left me feeling confused about certain things I had not considered before."

"What kind of things Seven?" He asked while he motioned for her to sit on the bed.

Seven took a deep faltering breath as she considered how to explain her feelings. "Chakotay you want children, correct."

His brow furrowed as he replied, "Yes, I do. Don’t you? I thought we already discussed this."

"Yes we have discussed the possibility of having children; however before this evening I had not considered that you may want to have children soon."

He seemed genuinely perplexed by this.

"Well I have to admit I was thinking of children being a part of my life sooner rather than later. I assumed you wanted the same." He looked at her thoughtfully. "Seven we can take some time to think this over and discuss it further. You know that these social situations always unsettle you a little. Why don’t we sleep on it, I’m sure it will seem better in the morning."

"Perhaps." Seven allowed but somehow she very much doubted his sentiment. There was so much more she wanted to say, she felt like she was going to burst if she could not express it. "However, I would like us to live in San Francisco."

"Seven, you would grow to hate it. Also when we have children they will benefit from the countryside and being closer to nature. We won’t be that far away, just a short transport from the city. I thought that perhaps over the next few days we could look at some potential places. Once you see them you will understand the benefits. The space they will afford ourselves and our offspring."

She felt a deep inward sigh and her shoulders slumped a little in resignation. Why was this so difficult she wondered, what Chakotay was proposing wasn’t so awful. In fact it made sense if they were to procreate. But Seven could not ignore that she felt trapped, like she had lost control somewhere and it happened so gradually she never even noticed it slipping away. With so much to look forward to in the future, why did she feel so miserable? It was at times like this that she felt the absence of her Captain most keenly. She had always been the one person Seven could open up to. She had a way of sensing when Seven was troubled and would do her utmost to assist her in any way she could. As Seven finished getting ready for bed, she considered using her portable regenerator instead of joining Chakotay, but knew he would suspect she just did not want to be with him. So with that she joined him in the double bed.

As Tom and B'Elanna snuggled together in the afterglow of their lovemaking, they heard the sound of Miral crying in the other room. The sensors picked up every sound she made. B'Elanna groaned. "It’s your turn flyboy."

"It can’t be. I checked on her earlier." Tom complained.

"Please. I’ll make it worth your while." She batted her lashes at him.

"Well since you put it like that, yeah it’s my turn."

When Tom came back into the room B'Elanna glanced at him with a mischievous look on her face.

"Do you think Chakotay and Seven are…. you know?" She asked moving her head in the general direction of their room.

"Hell I don’t know, I find it kind of hard to imagine them together like that."

"Hmm, I know what you mean." B'Elanna replied thoughtfully.

"So what gossip did you get when I was gone with Seven?"

"I can’t tell you, I’m sworn to secrecy."

"Oh my god, he’s going to propose isn’t he?"

"Tom I promised Chakotay I would keep my mouth shut." She stated imploring him not to say anything more.

"I understand B’Elanna; I just hope Chakotay knows what he’s doing. I mean I like Seven just fine, but I’m not sure she is ready for what Chakotay wants.

"There was a bit of an odd vibe at times tonight I suppose, but it’s hard to tell with Seven. She did seem less like herself though. I mean I would be the last person to complain about her being less arrogant, but I sort of miss it in an odd way. She seemed to be lacking something of her old self."

Tom snuggled closer to B'Elanna as he absently muttered, "you could be right." His mind was now on other areas of interest, as he set about attempting to persuade B'Elanna to make good on her earlier promise.


Captain Janeway awoke some time in the early morning. She was feeling amorous and she reached over for her athletic bed mate who was sound asleep. Jack Lawson was a very handsome blonde tanned man in his mid thirties. He was approximately 6 ft. 3" with lovely blue eyes. He spoke with a very attractive soft southern accent. He had impeccable manners and on top of all that he was extremely attentive in bed. Which Janeway considered was his best attribute, since at this point in her life she had no interest in a serious relationship. Although Commander Lawson could be everything she was looking for, he was not perfection. Having witnessed that once, in the form of her former astrometrics officer she was finding it hard to settle for anything less. She knew that the couple were the envy of many Starfleet officers. She also had to admit to herself that when Jack Lawson had first shown an interest in her she had accepted purely for the hell of it. After seven years without a lover she had a lot of catching up to do. The person she would rather be catching up with was seeing someone else and to all intents it was a serious relationship. She would never attempt to break up Seven and Chakotay.

Jack Lawson stirred as he felt the form of his current lover slide over him. Being a bit of a ladies man he had a reputation as a good lover. He certainly had never received any complaints. But Kathryn Janeway was a tour de force. He had never met a woman with such a voracious sexual appetite. Quite simply he thought the woman was insatiable. Then again he could not blame her considering she had been single for the last seven years. He had believed that it would wear off but three months later she was as demanding as the first week. He literally could not keep pace with this woman, and as he felt her hand begin to caress him, his groan was not so much one of arousal as resignation, because whatever Kathryn Janeway wanted she invariably got and Jack would do his best to ensure that.


As Jack Lawson made to leave Kathryn’s apartment she reminded him of his obligation that evening.

"What time will I see you later?"

He looked at her blankly.

"Jack, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten it’s Seven’s birthday party this evening. You promised to accompany me."

"Ah. How could I forget? Tell me Kathryn, a Borg drone, a camp hologram, Maquis. Was there anyone you didn’t bring back from the delta quadrant?"

Janeway pursed her lips as she pondered that. "The doctor is not camp, he’s sentient and Seven is no longer a drone. All the Maquis were pardoned."

He looked at her questioningly.

"Alright, the doctor is camp, but I can assure you he’s heterosexual …… I’ve seen that man’s fantasies."

His questioning look changed to one of keen interest.

She held up a hand forestalling any questions. "Trust me. You do not want to know. So, meet me here at 19.00?"

"Of course. I’ll be prompt and presentable. I can’t wait to hear all the stories your crew tell about you."

She looked at him indignantly. "They wouldn’t dare."

With that they kissed lingeringly. Her eyes narrowed as she watched him leave, wondering why he was moving so gingerly, or perhaps it was just her imagination. She shrugged her shoulders and set about the rest of her day.


As Seven and Chakotay entered the restaurant where they would be having a quiet meal together, Seven could not help notice how dark the interior seemed. Just as she was about to question this, the lights suddenly came up and there was a loud shout of surprise. Seven was quite startled and turned to Chakotay.

"Happy birthday love. I arranged this sometime ago, I thought you might appreciate seeing some of your old friends again."

"Indeed." Was all she could manage as she felt her senses suddenly overloaded with the sheer volume of noise, as a chorus of happy birthday rang out Naomi ran up to Seven and grabbed her mesh-covered hand as she pulled her towards the cake to blow out her candles.

"Seven, you have to make a wish then blow them out. Don’t tell anyone what you wish for or it won’t come true." Naomi told her enthusiastically.

As Seven stood beside her cake she quickly scanned the room but could see no sign of the person she was looking for. She felt another tug at her arm.

"Come on Seven, your cake's going to melt. Blow out your candles."

Seven bent her head towards the cake and with one strong breath blew out all the candles. Everyone clapped and cheered, leaving Seven feeling a little uncomfortable under all the attention. At that point the Captain entered with Commander Lawson and there was a sudden lull in the conversation as the guests were confronted with the proof of the rumours they had been hearing. Seven looked to see what was going on and stood frozen as she gaped at the captain.

"Look Seven" Naomi said. "It’s the Captain, she missed you blowing out your candles we should do it again."

Samantha Wildman, Naomi’s mother tried to intervene on Seven’s behalf.

"Naomi, I’m sure the captain won’t mind having missed it."

"No, Naomi is correct. I shall do it again. Will you assist me this time Naomi?"

"You bet Seven. This is so great."

They got everyone’s attention again after they were able to remove their eyes from Captain Janeway and Commander Lawson.

B'Elanna who had observed all of this closely certainly thought that was a first. They had even set the party up to cause Seven a minimum of discomfort. Getting the initial surprise and the blowing out the candles both over in one go.

As Kathryn Janeway entered the restaurant she was aware that they were a few minutes late. She had hoped Seven would be too. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be and she silently cursed herself for dragging Jack over to the sofa instead of getting ready for the party. Still she had felt it would be easier to see Seven and Chakotay together if she were with someone herself and a little stress relief beforehand was a good thing.

When Janeway realized that Naomi and Seven were relighting the candles just because she missed it she was a touch embarrassed, but tried to carry it off gracefully.

"Thank you both." She took a moment to look at Seven; she thought Seven looked positively glowing. Life with Chakotay must be agreeing with her she thought. "Happy birthday Seven, you look wonderful." With that Kathryn leaned forward and brushed her lips across Seven’s cheek. She handed Seven a small neatly wrapped parcel and turned to Chakotay. "It’s good to see you Chakotay."

"And you Kathryn, it’s been a while."

"Yes it has. Let me introduce you both to Commander Jack Lawson. Jack this is Seven of Nine and Commander Chakotay."

"Nice to meet you both" Jack said politely. "I’ve heard so much about you."

As Chakotay shook his hand Jack could have sworn the man was deliberately trying to crush it. Then when he shook Seven’s he needed no more convincing. After the ordeal was over he flexed his right hand to ensure it was still functioning.

"So I hear you both have been travelling a lot these past few months." Janeway demurred, was she imagining the tension in the air, it felt so thick.

Chakotay broke his appraisal of Commander Lawson in order to answer the Captain. Seven however had no such intention as she continued to bore holes into the man.

"Ah, yes that’s correct Kathryn. I thought it would be a good idea to help Seven get to know as much about earth and the Alpha quadrant as she could."

"How are you liking it so far Seven?"

"It is unremarkable, but pleasant." Seven turned to face Janeway as she finished speaking.

"Well that could be considered high praise coming from you." Janeway said offering Seven a wry grin.

"Indeed Captain."

Chakotay put his arm around Seven as he spoke, "Now that we have finished travelling, we are looking for someplace more permanent."

"That’s wonderful news. Any idea where?" Janeway had not missed the sudden tension that appeared on Seven’s normally reserved features.

"Not yet. We plan to start looking as soon as possible. I was hoping for a farmhouse or a ranch. Somewhere we can raise children and be close to nature."

Janeway could only find herself forcing a smile and nodding. What had happened to Seven? She was standing there allowing Chakotay to make all her choices. This wasn’t the young woman she had known so well only a few months ago. She needed to talk to her on her own. Find out if everything was all right.

Janeway made her excuses, as more well-wishers approached Seven. She was relived to get a break from the tension of the situation.

"What the hell was that?"

"Excuse me?"

"Kathryn I have met parents before and not had to undergo that kind of scrutiny. Did you and Chakotay have a thing in the delta quadrant?"

"No we most certainly did not. There was a time when he wanted to but that was years ago. We have all moved on since then."

"Maybe not everyone. He still looked interested to me."

"Are you jealous?" She asked playfully. Then more seriously added. Honestly Jack, he is happy with Seven, they were talking about a family for god’s sake."

"And what exactly is the deal with Seven. When she shook my hand she tried to crush it. Then she stared at me for much longer than is considered polite. Actually she glared."

Janeway fixed him with a look of mild exasperation. "You have to understand that sometimes Seven is a little unaware of her own strength. Also she has never been one to observe any sort of protocol, Starfleet or otherwise. She follows only what she chooses to."

"Come on, I’m starving. Lets get something to eat." With that she led him over to the buffet table. She wanted to steer him away from any conversation involving Chakotay and Seven. But even she had noticed that there was some undercurrent there.

The evening progressed fairly smoothly for the next couple of hours. The Captain and Commander Lawson had exchanged polite conversation with many of the former members of Voyager's crew who had managed to make the party. It was a good turnout and Janeway was pleased at that. She met Samantha Wildman’s husband and Harry’s new girlfriend Alice who seemed so right for him. Which made a pleasant change she thought. The poor guy deserved a break.

After the cake had been served the mood turned to one of dancing and more wine. As Janeway and Commander Lawson were dancing, Chakotay politely cut in.

"May I?" He asked as he put on his most charming smile.

"Of course Commander." He pecked Kathryn on the cheek as he left the dance floor.

As Chakotay led them in a waltz around the dance floor he couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. "I must say I’m surprised Kathryn."

"Oh, about what?"

"He is not the type I expected you to go for. Are you sure you know what you’re getting into? I have heard some rumours about him."

Kathryn Janeway carefully kept a reign on her temper. "I don’t see what business it is of yours Chakotay."

"I’m just concerned for you, that’s all. I don’t want to see you hurt Kathryn."

Or happy she thought silently. "Chakotay I know exactly what I am getting into. I’m old enough to make my own decisions. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve even commanded a starship or two. Look ….. I don’t know what you want me to say. I can’t claim to have found the love of my life, but I’m happy enough with Jack. It feels right for now. Tomorrow, well who knows? The Captain is having great sex with a man ten years younger than her. Is that so shocking?"

"No Kathryn, it’s not. I’m sorry I brought it up." He paused. "Sometimes it’s just hard to accept these things."

"I know Chakotay, more than you could imagine." She answered wistfully. With that the dance was over.


After Chakotay had cut in on him, Jack had made his way over to the bar. He was aware of the continued scrutiny he was receiving, from many of the people in the place. Normally that kind of thing didn’t bother him. But it did with Kathryn Janeway. She had gotten to him in the short time they had been together in a way that no other woman had. The trouble was he could not be sure the feeling was mutual. Just as he thought his night could not get any worse Seven appeared at his shoulder.

"Hello again Seven." She really was a beautiful woman he thought to himself, cold as ice, but beautiful none-the-less.

"Commander Lawson. State your intentions towards Captain Janeway?"

Lawson was dumbfounded, but remembered what Kathryn had told him earlier. "I’m sorry Seven; I can’t answer your question."

Seven raised her chin and clasped her hands behind her back. The Commander thought it was quite intimidating.

"Do you intend to love her and leave her, as you have done many times in the past?"

"Ah. You’re talking about my reputation? Gossip travels faster than warp speed they say."

"An incorrect analogy, but acceptable. Particularly where the crew of Voyager is concerned. So what are your intentions?" She prodded.

Commander Lawson pondered that for a moment. It was clear that Seven preferred the direct approach. So it seemed the only way to respond.

"I care a great deal about Kathryn. I have no intention of leaving her anytime soon." He looked at her intently. "What about you?"

"I don’t understand the question."

"How much do you care for her?"

Seven had not expected this. She stared blankly at Commander Lawson, feeling as if all the wind had been knocked out of her. She answered him falteringly, finding it suddenly a little difficult to breathe. "I … I cannot say. She means so much to me." With that Seven turned on her heel and strode briskly towards the facilities.

B'Elanna Torres had been observing as much around her as she could. She didn’t think she had ever enjoyed an evening full of so much gossip and nonverbal communication. It was everywhere she looked. She was currently trying to keep track of two conversations, one on the dance floor and one at the bar. The next thing she saw was Seven stride past her looking upset and heading straight for the bathroom. So B'Elanna did the only thing she could and went after her.

When she arrived inside, she just caught a glimpse of Seven entering the end cubicle, so she flew after her and caught up before Seven could close the door.

"B'Elanna Torres. Your presence here is not required." Seven said flatly.

B'Elanna stared down at Seven in disbelief as she observed her sitting on the stall looking decidedly dejected.

"Seven what’s going on? Did that p’taq say something to you?"

She looked up at B'Elanna slightly startled by the outburst. She was more used to hearing B'Elanna's temper directed at her as opposed to being used on her behalf.

"Do you think he loves her?" Seven asked, her voice thick with emotion. There were tears in her eyes as she looked pleadingly at B'Elanna.

B'Elanna took a few seconds to work out who Seven was talking about.

"Seven, ultimately what does it really matter? Janeway can take care of herself. You know that better than anyone. You were there when she stood in the damn chamber with the Borg queen."

"I have missed her so much B'Elanna, it hurts. I only function fully when I am in her presence.

"Oh Kahless Seven." B'Elanna could only stare at her, not wanting to believe what her instincts were telling her. But as Seven raised her eyes to meet B'Elanna's the answer was written on her face.

"You’re in love with her." It was a statement, not a question. For once in her life she wished she had minded her own business.

"I believe that would be the correct term for what I feel." Seven had fallen back on her Borg like demeanour, which wasn’t a good sign.

"What a mess. Oh shit Seven what are we going to do? What about Chakotay?" That brought B'Elanna's head up sharply as another realization dawned on her.


Kathryn and Chakotay finished dancing and turned to look for their prospective partners just in time to see Seven flee from Jack Lawson. Chakotay was about to go after her until he saw where she went. Then he noticed B'Elanna hot on her heels. He observed Kathryn approach Lawson, exchange a few words then Lawson headed towards the foyer. Chakotay began to wonder what the hell was going on and decided he would find out from Lawson. Then all hell broke lose as they began fighting in the foyer. Tom, Harry, Tuvok and the Doctor quickly assisted to stop the fight. Then the doctor treated the minor injuries. Kathryn Janeway had a decision to make and she did not hesitate. She headed straight towards where she had last seen Seven go.

As Janeway entered the bathroom, B'Elanna quickly exited shooting her a look but not saying a word.

"Seven!"

"I am here Captain."

Janeway followed the voice and found her sitting in the stall looking very forlorn. She knelt down in front of her. Forcing Seven to look at her.

Janeway spoke using her most compassionate tone. "Seven what’s going on here? This isn’t like you. Let me help."

"Captain, I am in love with someone, it is not Chakotay. I don’t know what to do." Seven’s face contorted with pain as she said this.

Janeway was very taken aback by this information. She blinked rapidly to regain her composure.

"Are you seeing him? Romantically I mean."

"No. She is already romantically involved with someone else."

"Oh god Seven, I’m so sorry."

"As am I Captain."

She took Seven’s hands in her own.

"What do you intend to do now?"

"I do not know. I cannot return to Tom and B'Elanna's under the current circumstances."

Janeway thought that made absolute sense considering who was there. "Seven why don’t you come stay at my apartment. At least until this blows over a bit; I’ll let Chakotay know where you will be. You obviously both will need some space right now. Wait here I’ll come get you in a few minutes."

Janeway left the bathroom in full Command mode. As she looked around she noticed that some semblance of order had been restored. She was no longer interested in what had started the fight. Her only concern was for Seven.

She marched over to where Chakotay was sitting and informed him of what was happening. He sat in his chair looking a little stunned as Tom wrapped a comforting arm around his shoulder. B'Elanna stared at Janeway. She was absolutely startled by the sheer callousness of her former Captain.

"Ah Captain, can I have a word with you?" She asked through gritted teeth.

Janeway gave B'Elanna a force ten glare, but B'Elanna didn’t flinch under this one.

"If you must lieutenant, but make it quick." She replied in clipped tones.

They moved out to the foyer, B'Elanna had never been so angry with Janeway.

"With all due respect Captain, what the hell are you doing? It’s one thing for you and Seven to quietly leave, after all it’s not really anyone’s fault, but surely you could be a bit more sensitive."

"Well what would you suggest, she can’t exactly go back to yours can she?" Janeway said astonished by her former engineer’s audacity.

"You could have been a bit more discrete."

"What the hell are you talking about? I’m not the one who left her in tears in the bathroom."

"I had to stop Chakotay from proposing to her tonight. Instead I found him fighting with your boyfriend, who, by the way, was the one who brought the whole thing out in the open in the first place."

"What! How did he know about you and Seven?"

Just when B'Elanna thought everything that could have gone wrong already had, it still managed to get worse.

She took a few calming breaths.

"Wait a minute Captain." She held her hands over her face as she prepared to try and explain this. "Seven hasn’t told you, has she?"

Janeway’s voice reached its lowest register. "Told me what exactly?"

B'Elanna gentled her tone as she spoke "Captain I’m not the one Seven is in love with."

B'Elanna watched as Janeway just stared at her as if she had never seen her before. Then she almost winced at the look on the Captains face as comprehension dawned. Janeway turned and without saying a word she was gone.

As the partygoers watched the retreating forms of their former Captain and astrometrics officer, there was a strange sense of familiarity that washed over many of the former crew. Despite all that had passed that evening, some things just seemed so right.


As Janeway and Seven finally entered the sanctity of the Captains apartment, they breathed a collective sigh of relief. Janeway paused in the centre of her sitting room, taking a moment to gather her thoughts.

Seven observed her closely, noting that the Captain was pinching the bridge of her nose, most likely in an attempt to prevent a tension headache. The only words the Captain had spoken since returning to the bathroom to collect her had been "Seven, you're with me." Finally the Captain made eye contact with her.

"Seven, I need to know if the person you said you are in love with is me?"

Seven hesitated before she answered.

"Yes it is you Captain." Seven answered in a small voice. "I realize that you are with Commander Lawson and cannot return my feelings. However I find that I cannot function without you in my life. I have missed you. Perhaps we could remain friends." Seven added trying to sound hopeful.

Janeway was relieved and a little disconcerted with this news. She took a moment to prepare her words before continuing.

I’m sure we can Seven. However, first there is something I need to tell you." Janeway swallowed hard against the lump that suddenly appeared in her throat. She cleared it before she continued in a strained voice. "The thing is Seven; I am also in love…… with you."

Seven looked at Janeway with wide eyes. "You are?"

Janeway blinked back tears. "Yes…. I have been for quite some time." She paused taking another deep breath. "I would like for us to spend some time together and see how things develop. She held up a finger to emphasize her point. These are different circumstances from those on Voyager. I need you to be sure of your feelings Seven. A lot has happened since we came back."

Seven thought this was the best information she had ever received.


The Captain and Seven spent a lot of time in each other’s company during the following few days. They discussed why Kathryn had not told Seven about her feelings before they returned to earth. The Captain explained that while the ship was stranded she just could not bring herself to admit to her feelings or entertain the thought of having a relationship while Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant. They also discussed why Seven had pursued a relationship with Chakotay. Seven had felt the need to experience intimacy. Chakotay had not been a bad choice, but with hindsight he was not the correct choice. It had taken Seven a long time to work that out. Kathryn also had to explain to Seven her reasons behind her relationship with Jack Lawson. Her explanation for pursuing a relationship purely on the grounds of having an active sex life without the emotional ramifications had been interesting to say the least. They were getting along well sharing many philosophical discussions, which stretched into the early mornings. What they were both finding most difficult was initiating any physical intimacy.

Kathryn Janeway lay awake in her bed. She was feeling restless. Sleep had been in short supply lately, due to staying up late with Seven and then being kept awake half the night with decidedly wicked thoughts about what they could be doing if either of them would just take the initiative. She lay her head back down on the pillow sighing deeply as she linked her hands together and rested them on her stomach. I could just walk through there she mused. I could just turn up in her room and I’m sure it would be fine. Suddenly she sat up, got out of bed and grabbed her robe.

Seven lay awake in the guest room. She was desperate to be with Kathryn, she didn’t feel like she could wait any longer. When they had hugged briefly before retiring Seven had just wanted to kiss Kathryn forcefully with a passion she had never felt before. She heard footsteps approach her door and held her breath. Time seemed to move so slowly. The Captain seemed to have been standing on the other side of the door for a long time, when in fact it was less than a minute. Then suddenly she was gone. Seven let out a long slow breath she did not realize she had been holding. She had felt so tense as she had anticipated Kathryn entering the room. Now she felt a great sense of disappointment. She groaned internally, desperate for the contact, which she was certain had been so close.

Kathryn Janeway returned to her bedroom. She stood in the doorway as she stretched her arms out to brace herself against the frame. She bent her head back and muttered to herself. "I’m such a coward." She closed her eyes inhaling deeply through her nose, in an attempt to relax. Then her eyes flew open as she felt the hands on her shoulders. The caress was gentle not demanding anything. She turned her head to the side and saw the silhouette of Seven. She could feel her warm breath drift across her cheek.

"Kathryn."

Janeway turned around to face Seven in one fluid motion while simultaneously placing her left hand on the back of Seven’s head. She pulled Seven towards her seeking out her mouth as they kissed deeply for the first time. She heard a groan escape from Seven while she herself let out a gasp at the contact. Before Kathryn knew what was happening she felt Seven’s hands begin to snake inside her robe. At once she could feel the different texture of her hands as they stroked over her back. One fleshy and warm, while the other coarse and a little cooler. It was a strangely intoxicating sensation, to finally feel the mesh of Seven’s left hand on her bare flesh.

Seven felt Kathryn guiding her towards the bed and she went willingly. Desperate to feel the length of their naked bodies press together. As robes were hastily discarded, they fell rather indelicately onto the mattress, in a mass of heaving flesh and joined tongues. Neither of them spoke any words that were coherent as they sought out the other's warm skin. Tasting, sucking as they moved over each other in ever increasing rhythm as legs parted to accommodate a thigh, a hand or a mouth. As Kathryn felt Seven’s tongue move over her clitoris while two fingers were buried deep within her stroking that spot that few had taken the time to find, she climaxed gloriously long and loud. Screaming her delight to anyone who would care to listen. She continued to stroke Seven’s blonde hair as she lay between her legs offering a few gentle licks and kisses before moving slowly back up to kiss Kathryn deeply. When Kathryn recovered her senses she rolled Seven so they lay side by side. She pulled Seven’s left leg onto her hip and stroked her until she climaxed. Kathryn thought she had never seen such a wonderful image, as she witnessed Seven’s rapture. It was something both pure and primal that brought tears to her eyes.

They continued to make love through the night. Kathryn could not get enough of Seven’s body. She had the most wonderful full breasts which she continually paid attention to, they were so responsive to her touch and the feel of their nipples rubbing together and prodding deliciously against each other was a sensation she had been totally unprepared for, having never made love with a woman before.

Seven lay in quiet contemplation after Kathryn had fallen asleep. She had never felt this happy. Being with Kathryn had been an amazing experience. Everything about her was wonderful Seven thought. The way she tasted, her touch, the way she cried out at the point of release. Seven doubted she would ever tire of hearing that. No matter how loudly Kathryn chose to express herself. Seven filed away all these memories before seeking rest herself.


Six months later……………

As Captain Janeway strolled through the grounds of Starfleet H.Q. she was in a good mood. It was Friday she had finished for the day and was looking forward to her weekend. As she glanced up she saw a familiar figure walking towards her. She felt a sudden jolt of nervousness sweep over her as she greeted him with a warm smile.

"Chakotay."

He looked a little reserved as he replied. "Kathryn."

"You’re back in uniform." She said as she gestured for them to sit on a nearby bench."

"Yes. I finally accepted a teaching post at the academy. Anthropology."

Kathryn nodded "Congratulations, that’s good news." There was an awkward pause, as they both seemed unsure of what to say next. "Listen Chakotay I’m sorry for the way things turned out. I never meant for anyone to get hurt." She held his gaze attempting to convey her sincerity.

"I know Kathryn. The truth is it’s not really anyone’s fault. Seven didn’t really know what she wanted. You were willing to give up what you wanted. I don’t blame either of you." He said in a gentle voice.

"That’s very gracious Chakotay. I know it must have been hard on you."

"I got over it."

She guessed that was all he wished to say on the topic.

"So what have you been doing with yourself?"

"Taking some time to myself." He offered her a grin. "Jack and I have become friends, we came to an understanding."

"Really?" She asked in mock disbelief. Then more seriously "How is he doing?"

"Oh, he bounced back ok; it wasn’t long before someone new took your place."

"Why doesn’t that surprise me?"

"Actually Kathryn he did have some problems….. Seems it took him a while to recover from exhaustion." He looked at Kathryn mischievously. "Apparently it was brought on by an insatiable Starfleet Captain."

Her eyes widened in disbelief. "Oh dear god." She said in horror.

"Don’t worry, your secret's safe. It’s not the sort of thing he wants made public…...not good for the reputation apparently.

They both shared a laugh. Then Kathryn glanced down the path and Chakotay saw her smile fondly. He followed her eyes and found himself looking at Seven of Nine.

"You better not keep her waiting Kathryn." He said softly.

"No, I better not. We’re catching a transport to spend the weekend with my mother and sister."

They both stood to say their farewells.

"Well it was nice to see you."

"Likewise Chakotay." She made to leave when he stopped her.

"Kathryn. Tell Seven……..tell her I was asking for her."

She gave him one of her trademark smiles. "Thank you Chakotay. I will." She straightened her shoulders. "Well Commander, I’ll be seeing you around then."

"You can count on it Captain."

Chakotay watched as the two women walked towards the transport centre. He felt a wave of familiarity wash over him. Sometimes he thought it did seem the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Particularly where Kathryn and Seven were concerned. Some things were just meant to be.

 

END


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