Cargo Bay 2
By Deltagirl

Part 3
The Reality

B'Elanna Torres was in her quarters, the quarters she shared with her partner, Seven of Nine. She was alone, as she had returned to her cabin for something before the next shift in Engineering. It was early `afternoon', although afternoon in Space had a strange feeling about it, as did any time of the day or night. The crew of a deep space mission always took a while to acclimatise to the fact that although the clock moved, no sun ever did. B'Elanna tapped her combadge: "Computer, locate Captain Janeway."

Captain Janeway is in her Ready Room

The combadge received another tap: "Torres to the Captain."

"Go ahead, Lieutenant."

"Can I speak freely, Captain?" Seated at her desk, Kathryn looked up into the face of Chakotay. Obligingly, he nodded and began turning to leave. His Captain reached out and put a restraining hand on his arm, implying business was not yet complete and he should stay. "If you can say it with Commander Chakotay present, then please do, otherwise I'll report to your location."

"No problem, Captain. It's about dinner tonight, with Seven and me. It's about time you graced us with your presence. Are you free?"

"Oh, I'll have to go get my diary, Lieutenant. You know what a busy person I am." she smiled into Chakotay's eyes as she paused for effect, then said, with a smile in her voice, "I think I can arrange that. What time, B'Elanna?"

"19.00 hours. OK?"

"Perfect. Want me to bring anything? I mean," she smiled towards Chakotay, "the Bolian brandy goes without saying!"

"Took the words right out of my mouth, Captain. See you later. Torres out."

Chakotay looked at her.


"It'll do you good to socialise now and again, Kathryn."

"And our meals don't count?" She titled her head back, cocked it slightly sideways and looked up at her First Officer, questioningly.

"They count, but you're not getting out: they're usually in your quarters."

"Uh huh." She looked down at the pen between her fingers and muttered quietly, "Oh, I can handle this - I can burn a pot-roast anywhere," she drew in a large breath, looked back at her challenger, and threw out her own challenge, "where would you prefer our meals to be, Commander?"

"Your quarters are charming Kathyrn but, now you mention it."

"Who mentioned it?"

"Now that it's up for conversation, what about a small place I used to know on Earth, in North America.?"

"You set it up, I'll be there. Only, not tonight. Tonight I'm very busy. Getting out!" They both laughed and then, being the professionals they were, got right back down to business.

Kathryn felt nervous as she approached Seven and B'Elanna's quarters. She didn't know why. For the hundredth time, she rearranged the collar on her white blouse, doing up the third button once again: `it's a wonder it's not hanging off,' she thought, ruefully, `the damned thing's been done up and undone enough times.' She reached out her hand to the door chime and faltered, finger in position but not pressing it, colouring slightly.

'Now I know why I'm nervous!' she thought with a smile, recalling how the Cargo Bay doors had refused to let her in, when she'd tried to gain admittance some months back - she had been locked out from within, by the occupants, and with good reason. At least, they'd felt that making love, while on duty, was a good reason. That was, until she'd walked in on them! Kathryn studied the Bolian brandy in her left hand, raised a brow and then pressed the chime. Whilst waiting, she undid the button, yet again.

This door was better behaved. It whooshed open and both Seven and B'Elanna came forward to bring the Captain into their room. B'Elanna took the brandy and placed it on the nearby table. "Oh, it's beautiful!" Kathryn said, looking at all the care they had put into the table display, on her behalf.

"You look nice," said B'Elanna approvingly, looking at the dark purple skirt and fresh white top. A thin, very long purple scarf was tucked inside the collar at the back, and left to fall untethered at the front, to way past the thighs. "White suits you."

"I know, but it isn't Starfleet general issue; at least, not yet. I wish it were." Seven took the Captain's arm and propelled her towards a projecting counter, with two chairs on either side. They both sat as B'Elanna swooped around the back of them and headed towards the oven.

"Not using the replicator?" Kathryn was surprised.

"We thought it best not to for this, Captain." B'Elanna reached in, with oven gloves firmly in place, and pulled out a piping hot, glistening pot-roast. Kathryn licked her lips in an embarrassed sort of way, and lowered her eyes to her lap. "We had a visit from Chakotay. He suggested this was your favourite meal, but thought that the replicator had problems producing it!"

Grinning widely, Kathryn looked back towards her hosts. "He's right. On both counts!"

The meal went well. The conversation was easy, relaxed and filled with devilment and laughter. The wine flowed, albeit synthahol (until they had decided it was definitely time for the brandy) and the stomachs filled. Kathryn was surprised to see Seven eat as much as she did.

"Are you ready to move to the settee, Kath?" asked a slightly drunken B'Elanna. "Do you mind if I call you Kath, by the way, while we're off duty?"

"You can, George, but it's not my name. my name is Kath.ryn," the Captain said with a great deal of difficulty, pointing at the space in front of her.

"Point taken," answered B'Elanna. "Well, have a soft seat, Captain Kath.ryn."

Kathryn stood, wavered, sat down again in a hurry, stood again and finally stood around the back of the dining chair, holding on for grim death. "I would love to join you - over there," she removed one hand from the dining chair and waved it in the officers' general direction, which nearly cost her her upright position, "but I can't seem to get my leg," she started laughing, "to follow orders!" She hung on, until rescued by Seven, who's strong arms frog-marched her over to the settee. The two women then sat their Captain down, looking from her to each other, with vague amusement.

Seven sat a little way away from Kathryn, with a polite space between them, and B'Elanna curled up on the floor, resting her left arm on Seven's knees. "I cannot remember when I last had this much fun," slurred Kathryn, recalling the endless laughter and fun-making that had gone on all throughout the lunch. Nobody on the ship had escaped their fun, and Seven and B'Elanna were sworn to secrecy. That, or `walk the plank, out of an airlock!'

Somewhat less affected by the brandy than the others, Seven replied, "I know what you mean, it's been a long time since we laughed like this, in another's company. We should do this more often - Kath.ryn." Seven smiled at the name that had become the standard joke for the evening.

"Noooo." Kathryn paused, nearly forgetting what she was objecting to, "I'm not sure I want to be know as." - the Captain's big mistake, whilst reprimanding Seven and her cohort, was to wave her right arm in their direction. It had been propping her up, to some extent. Without its support.

B'Elanna reached out for the cushion in the split second that the Captain began listing heavily to starboard, and managed to get the cushion onto Seven's knees just as the Captain's head took up residency on it.

"Good save," Seven smiled at B'Elanna. Then, looking down at her superior officer on her lap, she kindly asked, "are you comfortable, Captain?"

"A little too comfortable, I think," Kathryn giggled, and looked right into the eyes of B'Elanna, who reached up gingerly to stroke her Captain's hair, as a soothing gesture.

"You OK?"

"Ask me in the morning. But not too early," came the gruff voice. There followed a not uncomfortable silence. Seven's left forearm was loosely draped over Kathryn's waist, her thumb absently stroking Kathryn's skirband, not realising at all the effect it was beginning to have on the woman in her lap.

"B'Elanna?", asked the Captain, looking drunkenly into the half- Klingon's beautiful eyes.

"Uhm?" B'Elanna stopped stroking the older woman's hair, as she concentrated on her.

"Don't stop," said Kathryn, reaching up with her left hand, to put B'Elanna's hand back where she felt it belonged. It was nice. In doing so, she squeezed Seven's arm tighter to her. On returning her hand from its mission, Kathyn then placed it gently over Seven's who did not move out of the way.

Concentrating on B'Elanna's trusting eyes, Kathryn said, slowly, "When I came in on. you, both of you, in the Cargo Bay, all those months ago, I wanted to. join in." Her voice was dangerously low, and B'Elanna could not recall a time when she had ever seen this much openness on her Captain's face.

"I know. We knew. It's OK, Captain. You didn't. No harm done."

"Oh, but I wanted harm, Lieutenant," Kathryn said, drunkenly, "I wanted a lot of harm, believe me." B'Elanna shot a look up at Seven, who began a slow, lazy smile, and nodded very slightly. So it was that, when Kathryn made a face that left her Chief Engineer in no doubt about what she wanted, B'Elanna moved her head towards Kathryn's and kissed her, very gently. At the same time Seven, clearly aroused by the sight, brought her left hand up to Kathryn's breast and began to stimulate it.

Kathryn was lost. Feelings assailed her body and mind and she was adrift in fantasy and reality combined. Drunkenly, she reached out to B'Elanna, pulling her closer into the kiss, exploring and being explored, amazed by the sensations. Knowing Seven was behind her, touching her, drove her higher until.

Seven made her way to the buttons on Kathryn's blouse. Deftly, she undid three of them, reached in, pulled Kathryn's bra strap down and freed her breast, placing her hand firmly on it. All at once, Kathryn froze. She seemed to remember her station amongst these people, and, sobering rapidly, she grasped Seven's hand, disengaged herself from the sweetest kiss she had ever known, and looked at B'Elanna. "I can't do this. I'm so sorry." With that, she pulled her blouse together, got up, successfully crossed the room to the door, and was gone.

Part 4

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