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.
Summary: After a discussion with B'Elanna about flirting, Seven confronts Janeway on her flirting habits. She then decides to try a little flirting of her own.
Seven of Nine, former Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One, was not a happy drone. The replicators were going to be offline for several hours and it was time for her nutritional supplement. That meant she would have to attempt consuming some of Neelix's cooking which she considered to be unpalatable and truth be known, not fit for human consumption.
Neelix was Talaxian, a race native to the Delta quadrant. Seven found him to be friendly, if a little irritable at times due to his propensity for idle chatter.
Seven took a deep breath as she approached the mess hall doors she disliked socializing at the best of times and hoped to find a quiet spot to consume her meal, unfortunately that did not look possible today. The mess hall was full to bursting with crewmembers that had just finished the Alpha shift, which was the busiest shift of the three aboard the star ship Voyager. Seven considered Voyager's shift rotation. Voyager had three shift rotations; alpha, beta and gamma, all named after the known quadrants of space. We are in the delta quadrant therefore Voyager should have a fourth shift. Seven stored that thought away for later discussion with her Captain.
Seven took another deep breath to ready herself for the task at hand; the successful completion of nutritional intake and began her mantra; I will not fail. As she approached Neelix at the food counter, he spotted her and positively beamed.
"Seven how nice to see you, what can I get you today?"
"I require nutrition. I cannot ingest my supplement due to the replicators being offline."
"Of course" Neelix replied and set about showing Seven what he had to offer today. Two of the dishes appeared to still be alive, whilst another was a deep blue colour, this was not looking.
As Neelix watched Seven falter he quickly suggested a dessert as he knew Seven was partial to sweet foods and as per the doctors instructions the desserts had been enhanced with minerals and vitamins in order to be more nutritious to the crew.
Seven let out a small sigh of relief and said "Acceptable."
One part of her task complete Seven turned from the counter dessert in hand and briefly pondered where to sit. There were no free tables, which meant sharing. As Seven was just about to leaving the mess hall, Ensign Kim shouted to her and invited her to join him and lieutenants Torres and Paris. Seven and B'Elanna Torres were not exactly friendly to say the least, their clashes were legendary throughout the ship. However Seven did secretly enjoy watching her and Tom Paris interact, as they were currently in a relationship. Whilst there were other crew members on Voyager who were also in relationships, Torres and Paris were by far the most demonstrative and vocal in all aspects of their interaction, from public displays of affection and arguments, to sexual relations. Seven once famously quoted in the mess hall "there is no-one on deck 9 section 11 who is not aware when you are copulating." Which provoked B'Elanna into threatening to break Seven's nose. Since Seven had been confronted by B'Elanna and subsequently told off by Captain Janeway to stop taking notes on the crew, she had instead reverted to a covert operation, and now had many more gigaquads of information than the initial 30,000 she was caught with.
On that premise alone Seven accepted Harry Kim's offer. The young Ensign himself had a well-known crush on Seven, which she had handled with her usual aplomb, direct and to the point. She had asked him outright if he wished to copulate with her and told him to remove his clothing, at which point he started to stammer and promptly left. Seven considered it an efficient course of action at the time, but had come to realize in the time since that humans required a more gentle approach when it came to their feelings. Seven still found sexuality to be the most complex.
Deep down Seven wished to experience love. Since she had made the decision to embrace her humanity, she had come to the conclusion that having a successful relationship would be a good measure of her proficiency in this task. Seven's first attempt at dating had turned out to be a complete failure, which was unacceptable to her. Failing any task went against everything in her nature. She had ceased her dating lessons with the doctor who had little more experience than Seven. Being an emergency medical hologram he had no interest in dating. However as he gradually achieved sentience that situation had changed, with the help of a few additional subroutines. Seven however, remained focused on achieving this, but had taken to researching love further in her free time.
Captain Janeway was climbing the walls of her ready room. She had a headache the size of the delta quadrant itself, which in Janeway's opinion appeared to be never ending. Since the replicators were offline she had gone without coffee for several hours. The crew during the alpha shift had known to avoid her since Janeway without coffee was a more dangerous scenario than a Hirogen hunting party. In fact if it were permitted Chakotay, her burly first officer, would have deemed it drastic enough to call a red alert.
Janeway could not handle this situation any longer, in fact she was desperate enough to attempt Neelix's coffee substitute even though it had the consistency of treacle and a kick that could jump her to warp.
So with a look on her face that would cause members of her crew to jump aside as she passed, Captain Janeway headed to the mess hall.
Seven was quietly consuming her dessert, which she found to be surprisingly palatable. B'Elanna and Tom were providing her with more data and Harry was doing his best to include Seven in the conversation. Tom and B'Elanna had started teasing Harry by hamming up there relationship with innuendo and flirting a plenty which was causing Harry embarrassment to the point where he asked them outright to stop flirting at the dinner table.
This immediately piqued Seven's interest. She had never paid much attention to flirting before and turned to Harry and stated "explain."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, although she was accustomed to Seven's forthright manner it always managed to irritate her, in fact she found Seven to be rude and had no problem telling her. However the one thing B'Elanna knew but would never tell a soul was that she secretly envied Seven. Although B'Elanna was considered pretty and had an athletic body. She herself had never been happy with her own body image. Being a human/Klingon hybrid had caused her many problems both internally and externally.
She was teased often as a child about her forehead and never felt she truly belonged with either humans or Klingons. Then there was the war being raged inside her own mind. She felt like there were two completely different personalities battling for dominance. Her Klingon personality hating her human weaknesses and her human personality blaming the Klingon side for her constant rage.
Seven was strikingly beautiful, but had no concept of that beauty; she deemed it to be irrelevant. She was an ice queen in B'Elanna's opinion and on top of that she was one of the closest people on the ship to Captain Janeway. This was something that B'Elanna found a little hard to deal with. She knew that Janeway liked taking on these types of projects that involved helping out members of her crew that needed some extra guidance. B'Elanna herself had benefited from this, but with Seven it was more than a project and B'Elanna could not figure out exactly why that bothered her so much.
Harry started to attempt to explain flirting to Seven.
"Well Seven flirting is when someone is ahh ... emm ... well, you see Tom and B'Elanna were just flirting with each other. It's ahh... what they were doing."
Seven looked at him and stated "They were behaving frivolously towards each other, in an amorous way."
"Yes, that's right, Seven." Harry wondered why she had asked in the first place since she explained it far better than he did.
Seven looked at him and stated. "So you flirt with people whom you are attracted to."
Tom decided to assist Harry; he had squirmed enough for one day. "Seven, people do flirt when they are attracted to one another, but sometimes flirting can be harmless fun. Sometimes people flirt a little with one another even though they are not going to take it any further."
"How are you supposed to know the difference?" Seven was really hooked now. "Can you give me an example of harmless flirting?"
Her three crenations seated at the table all looked at each other, willing the others to take up the reins.
At that point the mess hall doors opened to allow Captain Janeway to enter and she strode purposefully towards Neelix who was standing at the counter serving meals to other crewmembers.
B'Elanna had a brainwave at that point and said to Seven "You know Seven, Captain Janeway flirts harmlessly, with most of her crew."
"Captain Janeway is a flirt?" This had Seven pondering certain things and she started to observe the Captain's interaction with Neelix, as B'Elanna continued to explain why she thought Janeway was a good example of harmless flirting.
"Neelix," The captain greeted with her usual charm." I require some of that special brew you make which resembles coffee."
"Captain, I can do better than that, I have anticipated that in a crisis such as this you may have to go without your favourite beverage and had replicated some coffee beans and kept them in storage just in case."
The captain didn't know whether to kiss him for his forward thinking or kill him for holding out on her all day. In the end she opted for a charismatic Janeway smile and squeezed his shoulder as she leaned in close to him and whispered "Thank you Neelix, what would I do without you?"
Deep down she still considered strangling him for holding out on her, but she was starting to anticipate her coffee now and feeling a little more benevolent. Neelix meanwhile blushed furiously and told the captain to take a seat and he would have her coffee ready in a moment.
As Janeway scanned the room she saw Seven, B'Elanna, Tom and Harry and headed towards them. On the way to their table she politely greeted other members of her crew, touching some on the shoulder as she passed.
Janeway greeted them all at the table and took a seat that Harry had offered as he politely said his goodbyes. As Neelix approached the table with Janeway's coffee, Seven continued to covertly watch the captain for any further of signs of the harmless flirting B'Elanna had just described.
As Janeway thanked Neelix for her coffee, she inhaled the aroma and took her first sip of the hot bitter brew; she sighed contentedly and actually appeared to slouch a little further in her chair.
"So Seven what brings you to the mess hall?" The captain asked in a smoky voice.
"Captain, I required my nutritional supplement, however since the replicators are offline I came here to see if Mr. Neelix could meet my needs."
"I see Seven, and did you get what you came for?"
As Janeway said this Seven noted that her right eyebrow rose suggestively and she heard B'Elanna snicker. She wondered now if the captain was "flirting."
"Yes Captain. Mr. Neelix was able to provide me with a dessert which was adequate".
"Good Seven. I wouldn't like to think that your needs were not being met." Janeway was enjoying her coffee so much that she had not considered that the last statement came out in a husky purr.
Seven could not decide if the captain was flirting, but by the stifled looks of amusement on the faces of Tom and B'Elanna something was definitely going on. So as was her style Seven took matters into her own hands.
"Captain, are you flirting with me?"
This was too much for Janeway she was startled and shocked and her coffee sprayed out of her mouth and nose and she managed to choke on what was left of the gulp she had been attempting to swallow.
B'Elanna sensed it was time to make a quick exit and she and Tom swiftly said their goodbyes.
Janeway looked at Seven askance. "Seven why would you think I was flirting with you?"
"Oh, not just me, Captain. It has come to my attention that you flirt with many members of your crew."
"Seven this discussion is terminated."
Janeway swiftly left the mess hall and headed for her quarters, coffee forgotten. She had a lot to think about. Whilst Seven sat staring at Janeway's retreating figure wondering what she had said wrong this time and pondering how to get the coffee stains out of her bio suit.
This was too much for Janeway, she didn't know who Seven had been talking to or what she had been reading, but this was taking it too far. She was mortified at the thought that Seven perceived that she was flirting with her in public or worse that members of her crew thought she was flirting with them. This was terrible.
"Oh my God. Surely I do not flirt with my crew!"
Janeway was sitting in her customary position on her long sofa, gazing out at the stars as the ship travelled at warp. She contemplated what Seven could be talking about.
She knew she was a tactile individual; she often touched members of her crew; a comforting pat on the shoulder, a reassuring squeeze of an arm. Hell, she thought, it's not as if I'm pinching their butts. All the same there are one or two that I wouldn't mind pinching.
Kathryn Janeway knew she had a felt growing attraction towards Seven for some time now. Since she had severed Seven from the Borg collective, Seven had constantly been in Janeway's thoughts. Kathryn never ceased to be amazed by Seven and the progress she had made in terms of regaining her humanity after being a Borg drone for 18 years. Seven already held a special place in her heart, but Kathryn knew that her feelings toward Seven were definitely changing. Besides being an extremely intelligent individual, Kathryn was also aware that Seven was a compassionate young woman despite her outward demeanour. You only had to look at her relationship with the ships youngest crewmember, Naomi Wildman to see it. Naomi was the only child aboard Voyager and was a five-year old human/Katarian hybrid. Seven and Naomi shared a special relationship which both enjoyed enormously.
Kathryn also found Seven physically attractive, as did most of the crew. More than once she had found herself gazing appreciatively at Seven's very curvaceous body. Which wasn't hard to do given the form fitting bio suits the doctor had designed for her. She recalled that at the time she had pulled him aside to inquire why the suits were so revealing and the doctor had assured her it was necessary as they helped to regenerate her skin. She knew the doctor had tinkered with his subroutines and sometimes she wondered what exactly he had added.
Janeway spent the rest of the night with her thoughts heavily trained on what Seven had said and intermittently groaning as she considered this new dilemma. If she wasn't spending her time trying to avoid losing her ship to the many malevolent species of the delta quadrant, she realized that she was usually contemplating something Seven had said to her. She silently considered how it was that Seven had a way of causing pure havoc with just one sentence, why was that? With that thought, she headed to bed, for what was sure to be a restless night.
Seven stood in cargo bay two having donned a clean bio suit. She knew she had somehow upset Captain Janeway and this was a situation that she never enjoyed being in. They had clashed many times in the past, particularly when Seven had first been severed from the collective. However that was over two years ago and a lot had changed since then, they had become good friends often enjoying each other's company when they were off duty.
Seven thought about this as she used her eidetic memory to recall all the times that the captain's behaviour could be construed as flirting. By the time Seven had finished several hours later, she felt that she had a need to discuss this further with Captain Janeway, but decided now just might not be a good time, given Janeway's reaction earlier. Seven was a patient individual, at least more so than the captain was, perhaps she would wait for the captain to bring up the matter again.
Captain Janeway appeared for duty the following morning and as she approached Commander Chakotay she barked "report". Chakotay informed her that all systems were operating at peak efficiency and yesterday's replicator problem had been corrected. Chakotay had noted her stomp onto the bridge and assumed it was the lack off caffeine which would soon be rectified, so nothing to worry about.
Janeway turned over the conn to him and headed for her ready room. When she got inside she let out a deep sigh and slumped into her chair behind the desk. She was still troubled deeply about yesterday's conversation with Seven. She spent the rest of her day in there attempting to work, however it was proving to be futile. She could not concentrate long enough to get much work done and silently prayed for a distraction.
The ready room door chirped to let Kathryn know someone was requesting entrance.
"Come" she said distractedly as she peered out at the stars passing by at warp speed.
Chakotay entered and sat in the chair opposite her.
"Commander what can I do for you?"
"Captain, I wondered if you would like to join me for some dinner in the mess hall?"
"Is alpha shift finished already?"
He chuckled, "Yes Kathryn, about forty-five minutes ago."
She looked at him pondering his request briefly, but declined saying that she had reports to finish. She really didn't feel like mingling with her crew, especially as she gave serious consideration to the potential of being accused of sexual harassment.
"Kathryn, is everything alright?"
"Yes Chakotay. Why do you ask?" she replied while attempting to prove all was well.
"It's just that you have spent all day in here and let's be honest we, don't have that much pressing at the moment and you seemed a million miles away just a moment ago. Is there something on your mind Kathryn?"
Kathryn Janeway decided to bite the bullet and get right to the point. She took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eye. "Chakotay, do you think that I flirt with the crew?"
It took everything Chakotay had including biting the inside of his mouth to keep from laughing. Then he looked at her and realized she was not joking.
"Kathryn, you're serious."
"Yes" she managed weekly. "I was in the mess hall yesterday and Seven asked me outright if I was flirting with her, and then proceeded to tell me that it's not just her. She said that I flirt with many members of my crew." she finished the sentence with outrage in her voice, and what appeared to be a little despair.
This was too much for Chakotay and this time he did laugh....hard. In fact he had tears in his eyes. When he could control himself again he cleared his throat a little and said, "I apologize for laughing Kathryn. You know you are a very tactile person."
"Chakotay are you saying that Seven is correct, that my command style could be construed as flirting?" She screeched.
"No Kathryn, of course not. You are very compassionate. You care deeply about your crew. We are in a unique situation, alone out here in the delta quadrant. Because of this you have gotten to know your crew better than any Captain normally would. We are all closer than a crew would be back in the alpha quadrant. Kathryn, I think you have to discuss this with Seven, find out exactly what she is talking about. You know Seven better than anyone; she has probably just misconstrued what flirting really is."
"Thank you Chakotay, I'm sure you are correct, I better talk to her about it." And with that they both headed for the mess hall.
Captain Janeway and Seven met the following afternoon for their weekly game of velocity. The game took on its usual pattern, they both fought hard for every point. Seven had superior strength and endurance, but Janeway had years of experience and her intuition, which Seven still believed to be a myth, on her side. After Seven wiggled her eyebrows suggestively for the third time that afternoon, which had also included what could be considered a sexual innuendo if it had come from anyone other than Seven. Janeway decided she had seen enough.
"Seven, what are you doing?"
"Captain, playing velocity. I was tracking the trajectory of the disc and attempting to calculate its ..."
"Seven, I am aware that we are playing velocity. What I meant was what are you doing with your...your eyebrows?"
"I am flirting with you, Captain."
"Computer freeze program. Seven we need to talk."
"Indeed" was all Seven managed in return.
"Seven two days ago you accused me of flirting with you, then you stated that I flirted with most of the crew. Would you care to explain to me exactly what you meant by that?"
"Of course, Captain."
Seven then proceeded to describe her conversation with Lieutenants Torres and Paris and Ensign Kim. Which for some reason immediately filled Janeway with a feeling of dread.
".....so Captain, when I asked what the difference was between attraction based flirting and harmless flirting, B'Elanna Torres used you as an example."
Janeway just knew there was something more to Seven's sudden accusation in the mess hall, this new information certainly explained a lot. More to the point Seven deemed whatever went on between them to be harmless, although Janeway was not going to allude to it being flirting.
Just wait till I get my hands on B'Elanna Torres, she thought to herself.
"Seven, I understand to a point what B'Elanna was saying to you, however I don't think it could be called flirting with the crew."
"I agree Captain, since my discussion with Lieutenant Torres I have given this matter a lot of consideration and researched it thoroughly. You are tactile with your crew but do not flirt with them."
"Thank you Seven" Janeway stated and was beginning to feel a sense of relief when Seven dropped another bombshell.
"However Captain, I believe we have both flirted with each other many times and would term that flirting to be attraction based flirting. Do you concur?"
Janeway just stared at Seven. She was absolutely dumbfounded and all she could manage was a shocked "What! When?"
Seven stood and calmly began to recite the evidence the captain was asking for from her eidetic memory.
"Stardate 51978.2, we flirted in the holodeck whilst playing velocity shortly after returning to Voyager from Arturis' ship. Stardate 52619.2 after you rescued me from the Borg queen, we flirted in cargo bay two before I began regenerating. Stardate 52647.2 we flirted in your ready room prior to you leaving for the Kadi home world. Stardate 52861.2 we flirted just before returning from the time ship Relativity. Stardate 52...."
"Alright Seven, that's enough". Dear God, Janeway thought, have we really been flirting all this time have I been too obtuse to see it? With a sigh of sheer exasperation she said, "Seven, is there a point to all of this?"
"Yes Captain, I believe that we are both attracted to each other and thus should embark upon a mutually exclusive romantic relationship, which should involve any future flirting to remain strictly between us. Unless of course it is harmless flirting."
Janeway could not believe what she was hearing Well I just had to ask didn't I, she thought rather dazedly. What the hell am I going to do with her? Well I'm certainly not short of options given what she has just said. How does she manage to do this to me?
Janeway looked at Seven for a moment trying to think of what to say, she found that she could not turn Seven down and at the same time could not discuss what Seven had just suggested. So Kathryn did the only thing she could and bought some time.
"Seven I really need some time to think about this. I'll see you later."
With that Captain Janeway promptly left the holodeck and headed for the sanctuary of her quarters on deck three, whilst seriously considering never leaving them again.
Seven headed back to her cargo bay on deck eight to regenerate and if anyone looked closely enough they would see the slightest upturn of her lips, but she would never admit to it, after all smiling is irrelevant.
Captain Janeway sat in her quarters and could not believe the latest turn of events. She seriously thought she was finally starting to lose it. No matter how much she knew that having a relationship with Seven in theory would go against Starfleet protocol, she could not deny that she was more than interested. The thought of being romantically involved with Seven definitely appealed to her. She had never had a female partner before, but she also knew she had never met anyone quite like Seven before, either male or female.
What Kathryn Janeway had the most trouble with was accepting that Seven knew what she wanted. After all she had no experience when it came to romance, this could just be like a first crush for Seven and everyone outgrows a crush, don't they? On the other hand whatever Seven chose to do, she always did it with such intensity and commitment. Kathryn was very confused, everything seemed so conflicting. On the one hand she was drawn to the thought of being with Seven, but on the other Kathryn Janeway deep down was truly afraid that if anything started between her and Seven, she wouldn't be able to stop. The one thing Kathryn feared above all else was not being in control. She knew without a shadow of a doubt that in a relationship with Seven they would be equals, because Seven would not let it be anything less.
Captain Janeway strode out of the turbo lift and onto the bridge to begin her duty shift. As she approached her chair next to Commander Chakotay's, Commander Tuvok glanced at her and noted for the second day in a row that the
captain did not look well rested.
Tuvok as a Vulcan had no desire for gossip; however as chief of security he made it his business to know everything that went on where the ship was concerned and a troubled captain was not good for the ship. As Tuvok had been doing his security rounds two nights ago, Neelix had told him that something had occurred between Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine. Neelix, unlike Tuvok, loved to gossip and was a constant source of information for the commander, although most of it was benign he did on occasion provide something useful. Neelix had further informed him that after speaking with Lieutenant Torres, he had found out that Seven had asked Captain Janeway if she was flirting with her.
Knowing the two women as he did, Tuvok knew this situation was going to make or break their friendship. Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine were both headstrong and stubborn. Either of them rarely gave an inch, but the one thing they had together was a bond that no one else on the ship could fully understand. Tuvok had witnessed first hand the many facets of this bond which had Seven doing things she would not ordinarily do, unless the captain made a specific request. And Captain Janeway had faced down the Borg Queen to get Seven back, after she rejoined the collective to save the ship. Tuvok had decided to keep a close eye on the situation, in fact he would have found it intriguing, but that would not be very logical for a Vulcan.
Meanwhile Janeway sat in her command chair; she had been fidgeting for the last two hours and was aware of Chakotay glancing at her surreptitiously from time to time.
This is getting ridiculous, she thought to herself. She was aware of all the bridge staff occasionally looking at her and given this crew's need for gossip she had a fair guess as to who was the latest topic.
She decided she had to do something, she was a woman of action, and all of this sitting around was getting her nowhere. Janeway knew what she had to do so she turned the conn over to Chakotay who crinkled his tattoo in surprise as she told him she would be in Astrometrics. As the turbo lift doors closed and she stated deck six, she was sure she heard sniggering.
As Janeway walked into Astrometrics, Seven was busy at her console and without looking round she greeted the captain. This didn't surprise Janeway, as she was also aware of seven's presence on the bridge without looking behind her. As she approached, Seven turned to give the captain her full attention. She stood to her full height of almost six feet with her hands clasped behind her back. Seven`s blue eyes firmly held Kathryn's gaze.
Janeway swallowed hard, why was this never easy in practice she thought? Kathryn gently cleared her throat and said "Seven we need to talk, would you join me for dinner this evening in my quarters?"
"That would be acceptable, Captain."
"Good, I'll see you at 1900 hours then."
They both stood a little longer staring at each other, then Janeway smiled shyly and ducked her head to leave, as she walked towards the door she heard Seven call her and Kathryn turned to look at her.
"Captain...I look forward to seeing you later."
Janeway gave one of her most enigmatic smiles and headed back to the bridge.
After Captain Janeway left astrometrics, Seven had a lot to do. She had waited patiently for the captain to speak with her and had secretly hoped she would invite her to dinner in her quarters. As far as Seven was concerned, this coupled with the captain's light demeanour was a good sign. Taking into account all the variables, things were definitely moving in Seven's favour. But now she needed some advice and promptly headed for sick bay.
"Seven, what brings you to sick bay?"
"Doctor, I require your assistance in selecting a suitable outfit for dinner".
That certainly piqued the doctor's interest. He had assisted Seven in dating before but it had turned out to be a disaster, and Seven had informed him that there were no suitable mates for her aboard Voyager. This had dealt a severe blow to the doctor as he was in love with Seven, but realized that she would not return his feelings.
"Seven, are you going on a date?"
"No, but I have been invited to dinner in order to discuss a possible relationship and I want to make a good impression."
Well that was just too much for the Doctor; he was practically falling over himself to get details. He was obviously out of the loop at the moment since he had heard absolutely nothing. A trip to the mess hall was definitely in order. Well might as well attempt to get it from the horse's mouth. "So Seven, who is the lucky fellow?"
"She," Seven stated "is the captain and if all goes well this evening, I will be the lucky woman".
Well the doctor thought; no wonder her date was a disaster. I never stood a chance. If it doesn't work out with the captain I wonder if I can get Lieutenant Torres to alter my matrix? Hmmm....perhaps a few feminine curves. I wonder what hairstyle Seven liked best of the captain's. Oh God, I hope it's not that bun of steel.......
"Doctor! Will you assist me or not?"
"What....yes, yes of course, Seven. I'll do my best."
Janeway stood pacing in her quarters it was 18.59 and she knew Seven would be right on time. She had taken a bath earlier to help her relax and spent the time after that fretting over what she should wear and wondering what Seven
might like to eat. However in the last fifteen minutes her anticipation of this evening had given way to nerves. Kathryn had begun second-guessing herself. As the chime to her quarters sounded, she came to an abrupt stop and bit off the curse that was about to be uttered.
As Kathryn opened the door to her quarters to allow Seven to enter, she suddenly found she was rooted to the spot slack jawed.
Oh my God, she thought, she is absolutely beautiful. Seven stood at the entrance to Kathryn's quarters looking like a goddess. She had on a full-length, form-fitting dress that shimmered in a silver or metallic blue depending on where the light caught it. Seven's golden locks cascaded freely around her shoulders and created a halo effect around her Nordic features. Kathryn thought she was truly a vision of loveliness.
Seven stood outside the entrance to the captain's quarters. She noted that several of her automated systems had increased. Respiration and heart rate had increased by 12%. While her adrenal glands were secreting an abnormal amount of adrenaline in direct proportion to her activity rate. Seven recognized this as a response to stress and briefly recalled Canon's theory of fight or flight. "Borg do not flee, I will adapt." Seven repeated to herself as she depressed the pad to gain admittance to the captain's quarters.
As the door slid open to reveal the captain standing on the other side, Seven was pleased to see that the woman had also changed her attire for this evening. Seven thought the captain looked beautiful. Her hair shone in the lighting that spilled into her quarters from the corridor, highlighting the many shades of auburn and red that made up her wash and go bob. Captain Janeway wore a simple black sleeveless, knee length dress. Her jewellery consisted of a pair of pearl earrings with a matching set of pearls around her neck. She is perfection, thought Seven.
These two women had spent many hours in each other's company. But they had never before experienced this level of awareness of the others presence. By recognizing their mutual attraction for one another they had suddenly become nervous and hesitant. Everything had changed and there would be no going back.
Kathryn and Seven enjoyed a light meal and when it was finished they had made their way over to the sofa. They sat in silence for a few minutes until Kathryn could not stand it any longer. They both knew the reason for this dinner but so far neither of them had brought the matter up.
"Seven. I invited you here tonight, because you have stated that we should start a relationship. What I need to know is how can you be sure that a relationship is what you want? I mean, you have no experience with romance."
"You are correct, Captain. I have no experience. I have found this aspect of humanity to be most frustrating. Human emotions are complex, particularly those pertaining to love and romance. I have attempted to understand them by using a logical approach, which has primarily consisted of thoroughly researching all the data available on this subject and observing members of the crew who are involved intimately. I now believe it is time for me to feel these emotions."
"Seven, I do not want to be part of your research. I am concerned that what you are experiencing could be nothing more than a crush. If that is the case, then it would be a disaster for us to be anything other than friends. Either one or both of us could get hurt or above all else I do not want to lose your friendship."
"Captain, I cannot properly express what exactly it is I feel for you. I do know that it is not a crush. I have already felt an attraction to you for more than a year. I was not able to recognize that it was attraction until very recently. What I feel is neither temporary nor infatuation. It is however, growing in intensity the more we interact.
My body also reacts to your presence. The first time I experienced this I consulted the doctor as I thought that my nanoprobes were malfunctioning. When he could find nothing wrong I researched this phenomenon further and came to realize that you were causing this malfunction."
Kathryn slid a little closer to Seven, till they were almost touching. She had been moved by Seven's words and felt the need to be honest in return. She looked deeply into Seven's piercing blue eyes and gently laid a hand on her shoulder as her voice took on a low husky quality.
"Seven, I can't deny that I am attracted to you. You are a very unique, intelligent individual. The progress you have made since being severed from the collective has been nothing short of amazing. I will admit that things have not gone the way I had imagined they would. You once said to me that I tried to mould you to become more like me. I was short sighted in thinking that way. What is most important is that you become who you want to be, Seven, and I very much like who you are."
As Kathryn finished talking they leaned closer together and kissed tentatively. The kiss was brief but soft. Kathryn was taking care not to overwhelm Seven, while Seven was happy to follow Kathryn's lead. They spent the best part of the next hour kissing softly, while gently caressing one another, till it was time for Seven to return to her cargo bay to regenerate. They parted with promises of spending more time alone and getting to know each other better.
Janeway excited the turbo lift on deck one and asked for a report as she headed to her command chair.
Tuvok eyed her as she breezed past him while offering a greeting. He noticed there was a spring in her step and she looked more relaxed than she had in days. Tuvok immediately knew that the situation between the captain and Seven of Nine was on a more positive footing.
Later in her ready room Captain Janeway awaited the arrival of lieutenant Torres. Seven had told Janeway exactly what B'Elanna had said in the mess hall a few days ago. As she sat in her chair behind her desk she pondered how she was going to deal with lieutenant Torres.
"B'Elanna, how are you?"
"Ah...fine thanks Captain."
"And how are things in engineering?"
"Well, Captain the warp engines are currently running at 98.7%, however we are working on them at the moment, with a view to achieving peak efficiency. Other than that it's a case of maintaining all other systems at present."
"That's good news, Lieutenant; however there is another matter that requires immediate attention and I wondered if you could assist me with that"?
"Of course, Captain, whatever I can do."
"B'Elanna you remember a few days ago in the mess hall when Seven asked me if I was flirting with her?"
B'Elanna was beginning to feel a sense of foreboding about this question, but attempted to go for nonchalance, "Ah yes Captain, I recall that incident."
"I'm curious lieutenant. Where do you think Seven would get an idea like that?"
OH SHIT!....B'Elanna knew where this was headed; she knew Janeway was slowly reeling her in and she also knew there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. "Ah Captain, I may have said something to Seven which may have caused her to get the wrong idea."
"I see, and just what may you have said to Seven?"
"Captain I may have described you as.....ah...touchy, feely."
Janeway pinned B'Elanna with her most deadly look. B'Elanna swallowed nervously and fidgeted a bit. As Janeway spoke her voice had dropped to its lowest register.
"Lieutenant Torres, touchy, feely does not even begin to describe my command style. Apparently I have done more groping than my prehensile plant. I have chemistry with everything on this ship from a Bolian to a bulkhead, and that was not the only inanimate object mentioned. Oh...and we haven't even begun to talk about my walk. What was it? Oh yes...apparently I walk like I am about to f......"
B'Elanna had to stop the Captain from going any further.
"CAPTAIN, I ...uh ... apologise. I was totally out of line."
"Lieutenant Torres, you are a senior officer on board this ship and I expect better from you. You know very well Seven is a very literal individual and given the fact that you and her do not see eye to eye, I suspect you were leading her on. B'Elanna, I know you have a rather, shall we say unique way with words, but this is not the first time that your mouth has gotten you into trouble. In future lieutenant choose your words more carefully and please refrain from making comments about the way I communicate with my crew. Otherwise I will not be so lenient next time. Dismissed."
B'Elanna headed back to engineering with mixed emotions. She was cursing Seven under her breath. While she was also aware that she just gotten off lightly with the captain. According to the latest ship gossip the captain and Seven had dinner last night and it may have been a date. B'Elanna considered all this and groaned internally. "Kahless, I think I just might have inadvertently played matchmaker for the captain and the Borg princess. Might be some juicy gossip in it though. Yeah, I think a little information gathering could be in order. It'll certainly make a change from Seven spying on me and Tom."
Four weeks had passed since the captain and Seven had first kissed. They had spent a lot of time together both in the captain's quarters and often on the holodeck. The rumours were that they definitely were having a relationship, but as yet there had been no absolute proof. B'Elanna had seen them together often in the mess hall and occasionally shooting pool in Sandrine's. They definitely looked much closer than before, but she could not be sure of what exactly was going on. Seven had said nothing further to the doctor despite repeated attempts by him to get information from her. No one could ask the captain, except perhaps Chakotay and if he knew anything he certainly wasn't saying.
B'Elanna was headed to Chakotay's quarters on deck three and as she turned the corner the door to the captain's quarters opened and Seven appeared. Before Seven turned to see B'Elanna, the captain's arm appeared suddenly and snaked around Seven's waist pulling her into a passionate embrace. B'Elanna sprinted back into the turbo lift and headed for deck nine. She couldn't wait to tell Tom the news.
Two nights later the ship's computer had a very busy night. It was asked for the location of Seven and captain Janeway on 310 separate occasions, between 0100 and 0600 hours and each time it gave the same response.
"Seven of Nine is in the captain's quarters."
"Captain Janeway is in the captain's quarters."