WARNING: This story (Part 5 of a series) contains fairly graphic sex between Janeway/Torres/Seven. If this idea upsets you, please do not read. Part 5 was never intended to be written: soooo many of you requested that I extend the series to include this. So, for you, here it is!

Cargo Bay 2
By Deltagirl

Part 5
The Future

Kathryn awoke with a start. She lay there, in the darkness of her quarters, rubbing her forehead almost viciously, as though if she rubbed hard enough it would rub the dreams away. She was angry with herself or, more correctly, with her unconscious self and its needs. Getting up, she dragged her white `ship's-coat' on and made her way to the replicator and, although it went against the grain to drink her favourite brew in the middle of the night, she ordered coffee. Taking it, she sat down on the couch and resumed rubbing her head.

`Oh, Kathy,' she reprimanded, ` for goodness sakes, let it go, won't you?'

Two of her dearest friends, Seven and B'Elanna, her Astrometrics Officer and her Chief Engineer, had happily offered to draw her (their Captain) into their sexual relationship. It had been offered in the spirit of friendship, to help the Captain with her obvious pent-up sexual needs, and she had declined. Since then she had been assailed with doubts about her decision. Could it work? Would she lose their respect? But she was drawn, very drawn.

Kathryn had never run away from anything in her life, until now. On this matter, avoidance was the best policy, she considered, and it was one she had carried out pretty well until now, but her reserve was crumbling.

Originally she had felt that it would be impossible to be open and loving with the two women one minute and yet be in control of them (and the ship) the next. B'Elanna and Seven had practically argued that love, not intimacy, was her problem, considering that if she found herself loving someone it would divide her allegiances and upset her single-minded determination towards her ship and duties. Those had been her original thoughts but. today? It was safe to that she was becoming more confused by the week.

Looking across the Conference Room table at the two women daily, she'd wondered what the stresses might be to the two women's relationship, to add another into the mix. Would it threaten what they had between them if she said yes? Would they be OK? That mattered so much to her. It was her dearest wish that they remain happy, with each other and with their moral code.

And yet, there was no way of escaping the fact that, since their proposition, she had replayed their three-way drunken scene in her mind over and over, wondering how it may have turned out, had she stayed. Then the dreams had started, probably brought on by the fact that she would never fully allow her daytime imagination to play out the three of them to any sexual conclusion, and so her subconscious mind was doing it for her. Kathryn knew that the resultant sexual frustration that was building up inside her was certainly no good for either the `Captain' part of her persona, or the `woman with needs' within.

She leaned back on the couch and closed her eyes, sighing. The dreams were coming often enough to disconcert her, and to interrupt her conscious thought in the daylight hours. She sipped her coffee, welcoming that it had burnt her lip; it gave her something else to think about.

"Computer: Bruch, Violin Concerto No.1, Op. 26." She smiled to herself. One day she would programme the computer with numbers for her favourite pieces. The plaintive strings lapped around her mind, gentle and melodic, working their magic on her taut muscles. She listened for a few minutes and then sighed, as it became clear that this was not the answer to the problem.

`Oh, so we have a problem, do we?' her inner self questioned, as the music became more urgent, in tandem with her thoughts. Not wanting to face it, her body went limp. Strangely, the music complied with that also, as it entered a quiet passage. `Yes, we have a problem!' She was smiling now, as the music started on the passage that would lead to a crescendo. `Choreographed thoughts', she smiled, "Computer, end music."

The Captain of the Starship Voyager; the Captain her crew all looked up to; the Captain who was awake and drinking coffee in the middle of the night returned to her bed, coffee cup beside her, and propped herself up on her pillows.

`No more!' she begged her mind, `let me get some sleep, please!' After two further sips of coffee and a snuggle into the pillows, she found herself back in the quarters shared by Seven and B'Elanna once again. They held out their arms to her, welcoming her, holding her - this time, however, the exhausted subconscious let go and allowed the dream to progress, for the sake of sleep.

"Bad night?" Her First Officer was looking at her, having noticed her rubbing her forehead with her hand for the fifth time in the same 30 minutes.

"That depends how you look at it," she answered, cryptically.

"How do you mean?"

Kathryn realised she had let her answer out without thinking. Caught, she looked at Chakotay, who was expecting clarification. "A repeating dream, Chakotay. A pleasant one, but it won't go away."

"My people say that dreams that won't go away are messages from deep within us, urging us to listen to our needs, face our feelings. that kind of thing."

Kathryn reddened slightly, turning away and pausing while she considered his words. With difficulty, considering the expression she must (by now) be wearing on her face, she turned to her First Officer again. "So you're saying these dreams won't subside until I face the issues they are bringing to me? And what if you can't do anything about it? What then?"

"Can't, or won't?"

"Can't," she answered sadly.

"Controlling the mind, re-schooling the thoughts - meditation techniques. I'd be happy to show you, Captain."

"It may come to that, Commander. Thank you." She took a deep breath in and said, decisively, "Right now, I have a ship to run."

"I would like to think we could get this on-line in the next week or so." Kathryn studied her Chief Engineer, "Put your best people on it, Lieutenant, and work with Seven. I want to increase those long- range sensors."

"Will do, Captain." Kathryn hesitated just long enough to alert B'Elanna. "Is there something else?"

"Nothing at all," she smiled ruefully at her Engineer. "I'm sorry, I was light years away. I'm a little tired. not sleeping too well." Kathryn's hand went instinctively to her right shoulder where the most knots had collected, and she rubbed the area.

"I've got just the thing for stress."

"Now, Lieutenant!" Kathryn warned, her face a picture of cheekiness.

Smiling, B'Elanna held up both hands, palms forwards: "Dinner, is all," she said. "Dinner, without Brandy. Brandy is banned. Just food, and good company. We can still be friends, can't we?"

Kathryn placed a hand on B'Elanna's arm. "I'm sorry, just a little jumpy. Dinner would be fine, thank you, but not in your quarters - on the holodeck? Talk to Seven and we'll set it up." Kathryn smiled at last, "And I don't know what you think you're doing, standing around here chatting, Lieutenant, when you've got work to do!"

"I'm on it, Captain," smiled B'Elanna, as her Captain left Engineering.

"This might work, Icheb." Kathryn studied the Padd she had been handed in Astrometrics, and then looked at the teenage ex-Borg admiringly. "You've done so much for us since you've been on Voyager. You seem to have a natural aptitude."

"When I read something for the first time, it's like I am being reminded of it, and having been reminded, I know where to go from there." The young man looked suddenly embarrassed. "Do you know what I mean, Captain?"

Kathryn recalled her ease at picking up anything based on science. "Oh, I do. I think they call it `a flair'. Take these figures down to Engineering and ask Lieutenant Torres to incorporate them. If it does work, this should take days off her current work." The Captain patted Icheb's shoulder and smiled warmly at him. "Well done."

At that moment, the door to Astrometrics whooshed open and Seven of Nine entered. "Captain," Seven acknowledged, dipping her head almost imperceptibly.

Kathryn looked from Seven to Icheb and nodded once. Icheb returned the nod and took his cue to leave.

Seven walked around the Captain, to her console. "Are you well, Captain?" she asked, looking back at Kathryn and smiling.

"Stressed. Not sleeping. But well - thank you. Your partner thinks my shoulders need one of her good meals." At Seven's increased amusement, Kathryn quickly added, "With no Brandy!"

"B'Elanna is fairly astute in these matters. I am sure she is correct."

"I can't fight both of you," Kathryn laughed. "As I told B'Elanna, not in the quarters - on the holodeck. You two set it up and I'll be there."

"Wow," exclaimed the Chief Engineer as her guest swept onto the Holodeck. "You're looking lovely." B'Elanna cast an eye up and down the woman who had joined her and Seven for the evening: white trousers, a black plain round-necked top with a white shirt, open, over the top of it. Kathryn's hair was down and somewhat free of the confines of Captaincy - all the clever fixing and placing had given way to an easy-flow style, feminine and casual. "That really suits you."

"Thank you B'Elanna. I suppose you already know how much wearing leather suits you?" counteracted the Captain, casting a look of her own over the Engineer.

"I've told her, Kathryn," called Seven from a nearby table that had been set ready for their meal.

Kathryn looked over at Seven and walked towards her. "And you, young lady - you look pretty good yourself," commented Kathryn on the stunning red dress with the low cut neck - a long white chiffon scarf had been coiled around the neck and left to hang.

"Thank you. B'Elanna is correct," said Seven, "you look very unlike a Starship Captain this evening. "Quite beautiful."

"If you're going to keep this up, I'm leaving! You know I can't take compliments," argued Kathryn, taking a seat.

"Perhaps that's because you haven't had that much practice." The Engineer looked pretty pleased with her analysis, at least until she realised how much it hit home with the woman to whom it was directed. "I'm sorry," she said, quietly. Then, to save the mood she added brightly, "Well, madam, would you care to see a menu, or just trust and put up with what comes?"

"B'Elanna has prepared something for you," Seven half-whispered in her Captain's ear, "so I suggest you choose the latter."

Pretending she hadn't heard Seven's stage-whisper (which both she and B'Elanna obviously had heard) Kathryn answered, "Oh, you should choose the meal, don't you think? As long as it isn't still moving, I can take most things!"

They all laughed at the sleight on Klingon delicacies and the three of them settled down to an easy-going evening filled with talk, laughter and friendship; each person feeling easy with the other two.

At one point during the meal, Kathryn and B'Elanna had tears streaming down their faces over a joke involving a fictional reaction from Tuvok to an equally fictional situation. Seven looked from one to the other, studying humanity: was this what she was striving to become? She didn't even understand what it was they were laughing about. "Please tell me what you both find so funny?"

Kathryn and B'Elanna both looked at Seven's open and uncomprehending face and went off into further gales of uncontrollable giggles until they hurt. The more they laughed, the more the blonde stared with her deadpan expression. The more Seven stared, the more the other two laughed. Finally, Kathryn struggled to say, "Seven, sometimes things don't have to make sense to be funny. And one person's humour isn't another's." She wiped away the wetness from her face and looked at Seven, trying again, "There's funny, Seven, and then there's ridiculous."

This revelation had B'Elanna exploding into giggles all over again, dragging the Captain along with her, and leaving a very confused student of humanity looking on.

The successful meal had long-since been appreciated and finished, and the evening was going well; all three were able to relax fully together, chatting and listening to the music that had been playing throughout. Holographic characters were dancing and it wasn't long before Seven asked, "Would you care to dance, Kathryn?" Seven was on her feet stretching out her hand.

`What the hell's wrong with you. God! It's only a dance. Say yes!' Kathryn reprimanded herself as she smiled nervously at Seven and heard herself reply, "Really, I make a better spectator. You two go." The truth was, with all the courage and character she had in the role of Captain, she was still shy of a simple situation like dancing, but she didn't want the other two to know that, and considered she may pluck up the courage later to take a twirl with one of them.

After a few protests, B'Elanna had risen and accompanied Seven to the dance floor where Kathryn watched them; their two selves moulded together with the ease of recognition, moving as one, swaying and exploring each other's bodies with long lazy sweeping movement of their hands. Gently and equally lazily, they allowed their lips to graze together in an almost-kiss, pulling back due to the Captain's presence: it was not their intention to make her feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. B'Elanna rested her head against Seven's neck and nuzzled her partner, eyes closing, allowing Seven to lead her.

Watching them, ripples of interest began coursing through Kathryn's body from her waist to the tips of her toes; as one ripple passed, another would begin, and she knew her reactions were now way past Yellow Alert. It was time to go - time to leave them to something more private. She left her seat and began walking slowly towards the two of them.

B'Elanna happened to open her eyes at the moment the Captain approached and, smiling lazily, she put her arm out to draw Kathryn into their embrace but, with the arm still around her, the Captain resisted. "I'm a little tired. I'm going to go now, and leave you two to this lovely place alone." Pouting slightly, Seven reached out her arm and the two women drew Kathryn into their dance, slow and sexy as it had become.

"Dance with us first, Kathryn?" requested B'Elanna, "and then we'll let you go."

Sighing, she agreed to simply dance; "OK, which one of you wants to dance with me?"

"Both of us," smiled Seven, lowering her head to rest it against Kathryn's head, feeling the woman taking time to resign herself and relax into the dance.

B'Elanna's hand was slowly moving up and down her Captain's upper back as the three bodies swayed together in perfect time to the music. "You had a good time tonight?" enquired a smiling B'Elanna as she drew back slightly to look into Kathryn's eyes.

"Mmmm, I have, thank you ladies."

"How's the shoulders?"

"See for yourself," offered Kathryn, who immediately regretted the suggestion. Smiling, B'Elanna reached one hand up to Kathryn's shoulder and began a one-handed massage. As soon as the pressure was established Kathryn felt little bolts of electricity marching through her and she shivered, closing her eyes. B'Elanna looked at Seven, unsure if she should just go with her feelings, or behave herself. At Seven's slight nod, she moved her mouth to the side of Kathryn's face and kissed her cheek very gently.

Kathryn heard herself moan, a moan that escaped from deep within her, and it startled her, together with the feeling that was being generated by her close proximity to these two women. She broke the contact, although remaining close as she told them, "I've got to go. I had a wonderful evening," she cupped her hands around their cheeks and looked from one to the other of them, "thanks to you two." She quickly kissed each woman on the cheek.

Yearning for more and yet totally unable to risk the stability of their love by doing so, Kathryn moved away, only to be stopped by B'Elanna's strong grip. "Don't I get a better goodnight kiss than that?" enquired the dark haired woman, who had wanted to kiss her Captain all evening and had been fighting doing so.

"I will not let her get out of hand, Captain," twinkled Seven as she smiled from one face to the other.

"I suppose it couldn't hurt," Kathryn murmured in a resigned voice as she turned to B'Elanna. "OK." Kathryn didn't expect the surge of electricity that occurred when their two mouths met and explored each other. The last time she had kissed this woman she had been drunk and the sensations, although wonderful, had been very different.

A point was fast approaching where she knew her control would become as lost as the strength in her knees, and she forced herself to break the kiss and just rest her forehead against the Lieutenant's, giving them both time to calm down.

"Do I get one too?" smiled Seven.

"Oh Seven," said the Captain, almost on an out-breath and, before she could stop herself, she had pulled away from B'Elanna and angled her head up towards the blonde. Their kiss was different, almost polite, as though Seven could sense the tide threatening to break Kathryn's resolve and didn't wish to aid the woman in losing her control. It was Kathryn herself who moved more urgently against Seven's mouth and explored its inner regions for a short time before yet again stopping herself and breaking the contact.

"You two stay, OK? Enjoy each other. I'm going to leave now." To their mild protestations, Kathryn continued, "Really, it's for the best. Goodnight." As she walked away she wondered if her legs would carry out her brain's order, or whether her heart would override that command and turn her back. She kept walking, looking back briefly to wave - her two friends, still dancing together, waved back.

A Captain with all sorts of thoughts in her head ordered the computer to locate the exit arch, and then she left.

"Torres to Janeway."

"Go ahead, B'Elanna."

"Permission to speak freely Captain?"

"It's OK, I'm alone."

"In your Ready Room?"

"Uh huh. And if you're asking me again, the answer's still no."

"But it's been 10 weeks; you can't avoid us forever."

"I can have a damned good try."

"C'mon. Seven and I miss you. Meet with us, please. How hard can it be?"

"With you two around?"

"Oh, so what is it? This is it? Never again?"

"Look B'Elanna, I can't say never, but I am saying no, for now."

"And when does `now' end?"

"Look, if you'd found yourself in an awkward situation, would you want to put yourself in it again?"

"Or maybe you do want to put yourself in it again, Kathryn, and that's why you're saying no."

"'Bye B'Elanna." Kathryn terminated the link between herself and the Lieutenant, pushed her chair away from her desk and sat back into it, putting her feet up onto its edge. She then wrapped her arms around her bent knees. "Oh, B'Elanna," she whispered, dropping her chin down onto her knees and closing her eyes.

Some weeks back Kathryn had decided that perhaps she should find someone of her own and just let go to it. That way she wouldn't damage Seven's and B'Elanna's relationship if things deteriorated between the three of them. Her inner argument about dividing her time between her feelings and her job was losing credence as she felt her job was already being compromised by her feelings.

So far, the only candidate had been pushed to the back of her mind, but (after just speaking with B'Elanna) today might be the day to move forward. "Janeway to Chakotay. Report to my Ready Room, Commander."

"On my way."

Kathryn studied his face as he stood before her, awaiting her orders or prepared to give her counsel. They were kind eyes, she thought, not exciting like B'Elanna's but kind. His face was pleasant, not beautiful like Seven's, but OK. And he wanted her. She came straight to the point "Chakotay - how do you feel about me?"

Startled and taken aback, Chakotay shuffled a little and then asked, "As a Captain or as a woman?"

"As a woman. How do you feel about me?"

"I think you're self-assured, powerful, attractive, desirable." he smiled, suddenly embarrassed.

"Do you desire me, Commander?" she asked quietly and deliberately.

"And I always considered you such an intelligent woman! Can you honestly tell me you missed the signals I sent out to you on all frequencies?" His smile faded, as he became suddenly serious. "Yes, I desire you."

Kathryn looked down for two reasons, one blonde and one brunette, and somehow found the next step harder than she'd anticipated. She raised her eyes to his and then tilted her head back and, from somewhere inside her need she said, "I'll be blunt - I don't love you, Chakotay, but do you think it could work between us? I mean, with the Command structure as it is, and the ship taking my attention nearly every waking moment?"

Chakotay's face held new hope as he realised that, for whatever reason, Kathryn was seriously considering a relationship between them that he had given up on years ago. There was only one problem, as he saw it: "Why would you want anything to work between us if you don't love me?"

"It's complicated. Can we leave it at `sexual frustration needing an outlet', huh? " She looked into his embarrassed eyes and continued, "I'm concerned about your feelings, Chakotay: do you really think you can handle my not loving you?"

"What do you think?" he asked, keeping his voice steady.

"Well then Commander, we may well both regret this, but I'm prepared to give it a try, if you are."

He took his cue from her, "OK then. Are you free tonight?"

Kathryn felt she had put her case clearly enough, and that he wasn't under any illusions. She smiled a half-smile at a man she used to find alluring, once. It wouldn't be too difficult, she thought, to use his anatomy to work off her feelings. "What time?"

He smiled. "Around 19.00 hours? Your place?"

She nodded her agreement. "Until then..."

Receiving no further dialogue from his Captain, he asked, "Was there anything else?"

"No Commander, return to the Bridge. I'll see you later." Kathryn watched her First Officer leave and then sat back in her chair with an incredulous expression on her face. `What the hell did you just do?' she asked herself, `wasn't your life complicated enough avoiding two people? What? If this doesn't work out, you're going to have to avoid three? Oh Kathy! And they gave you a Starship?'

Chakotay looked over at the woman lying next to him and watched her sleeping. He was mystified - she'd seemed driven last night, making love to him with urgency and vigour. Frankly, it had surprised him; he'd expected. well, what had he expected? This was all new ground to the two of them, and he should proceed one step at a time, he knew. Well, OK, last night had seemed a little unreal, but here she was beside him, she seemed real enough now.

Chakotay reached over and brushed a lock of hair from his Captain's (and now his lover's) eye and smiled as she stirred. Gently, very gently, he traced a pathway with his index finger, from the middle of her forehead, down the centre of her nose to her lips. With her eyes still closed, Kathryn moved her face more towards his finger, becoming aroused by the gentle touch. He leaned forward to kiss her but before he did he pushed his finger gently between her slightly open lips; Kathryn moaned and wrapped her lips around it, chasing its length with her tongue. Aroused, he leaned closer, withdrawing his finger to kiss her.

"Oh, B'Elanna," sighed Kathryn before his lips touched hers. Suddenly her eyes flew open and she stared at the male in her bed, all at once grasping the situation. "Oh God, Commander. I'm so sorry!"

Chakotay pulled back, shocked, and lay down on his back beside her, looking at the ceiling, as she said with feeling, "Shit."

"I didn't think you swore?" he said coldly.

"You don't think this warrants it?"

"You want to tell me what that was all about?"

Kathryn stared at the ceiling beside him for a while and then turned, propping herself up on one elbow, looking down on him. "You deserve that much," she agreed, "but you're not going to like it."

"I'm listening."

"Is there any point in asking you again?" enquired B'Elanna, learning from past experience that it was hopeless but somehow too stupid to quit.

"If you're asking just me, no," replied her Captain mysteriously. Seven walked over to join B'Elanna - the three women now alone in the Conference Room, the other members of the daily meeting having left. "But if you're saying I can bring someone else along, then yes."

B'Elanna levelled her expressive brown eyes at the blue/grey ones before her, a puzzled look spreading across her face, tinged with extreme curiosity. "What are you up to?"

"Can I bring someone, or not?"

"Are you planning safety in numbers, Captain?" enquired Seven, "a chaperone, perhaps."

"Yes or no?"

"OK," agreed B'Elanna looking at Seven, who nodded her agreement.

"What are you doing with him?!" hissed B'Elanna when Seven and Chakotay finally moved out of earshot.

"That's not very polite you know, Lieutenant," retorted Kathryn with a smug smile, "after all, weren't you the one who not so tactfully suggested I should `get laid' to ease the frustrations? Well, I'm getting laid!"

B'Elanna winced, "But not with him!"

"And why not?" replied the Captain, enjoying the whispered mock- yelling that only the two of them could come up with. "At least he's mine and I don't have to worry about." she was going to say `falling in love with him', but she stopped herself, realising that she wasn't ready for her volatile friend to know that this wasn't a love match. She busied herself putting the plates from the nearby counter into the replicator.

"Don't have to worry about what?" questioned B'Elanna to Kathryn's back, suspiciously. "What are you up to?" She tried to work it out in her quick brain but she couldn't quite get it. "Are you really `with' him, or is this just a sham to make us believe you don't need us?"

"Well, I'm sleeping with him, if that's what you mean."

B'Elanna's eyes opened wide, a thousand questions queuing up to be released. "He any good?" she asked wickedly, before she could stop herself.

"Oh, you're bad!" Kathryn turned around to face B'Elanna again and found herself closer than she'd anticipated, an olive retrieved from a plate half way through her open mouth. The moment proved too irresistible. B'Elanna looked at Kathryn's open mouth and at the olive being slowly delivered into it. Kathryn saw B'Elanna's face and, without caution, played up to her expression of lust. She held the olive between her teeth, lips drawn back, and moved a fraction closer to the Engineer, leaning her head towards those dark eyes with their enlarged pupils looking back at her.

B'Elanna took her cue, although quickly looking round first, to check the others were still out of sight. She moved her lips to her Captain's, accepting the olive as Kathryn slowly fed it to her. They remained a hair's breadth away, lips almost touching, as B'Elanna ate the olive and then brushed her lips over Kathryn's, catching the older woman's top lip between her lip and tongue. Slowly B'Elanna pulled backward on the Captain's lip to release it, noting that her Captain was putting up no great fight towards stopping her.

B'Elanna pulled back to see the blue/grey eyes, trying to read their intent - the look of passion she found in them had her coming forward to kiss the woman again, fully this time, causing Kathryn to let out a gentle sound, which excited the half-Klingon beyond measure. At this point, the Captain was having a hard time distinguishing between reality and her dream world (where this type of occurrence was commonplace).

Abruply the moment was broken by a sound and the two women broke apart and pulled back. It was obvious the others were coming back from the bedroom, where Seven had been showing Chakotay the latest pictures of her and B'Elanna, taken by Neelix in the Mess Hall one recent quiet day.

Whirling around to face the table once more, Kathryn picked up another olive she had set aside, and had time to turn around more naturally, feeding herself the olive as though that was all she had been doing all along. Seven, however, noticed her lover's face and shot her a knowing smile, unseen by Chakotay who stood beside her.

Kathryn took control, "Shall we eat desert now?" She looked at B'Elanna, who nearly gagged, trying not to react to the obvious suggestion. The rest of the evening passed without incident and the two guests were waved away at the door at the end of the night, with polite smiles all round, except for the brief suggestive look between the Captain and her Chief Engineer, which was noted by Seven.

The door had hardly shut before B'Elanna grabbed Seven's upper arms in her hands and gave her a triumphant smile. "HA! I told you she wants us! She fed me an olive with her mouth, and then we kissed."

"Why do you think I engineered that time alone? It was easy to see right through Kathryn's subterfuge. The Commander is simply a `smokescreen'."

"More like a release value," B'Elanna corrected. "She's sleeping with him. But if he's so damned good at providing for her needs, why kiss me?"

Seven raised her decorative eyebrow, a movement that always set B'Elanna's senses aflame, as she said smugly, "Really, Lieutenant. You look quite bright, but it's all illusion really, isn't it?"

"OK Professor, enlighten me."

"I should have thought it was perfectly obvious." Seven became mildly concerned that the half-Klingon was about to resort to violence and continued quickly, "Kathryn probably feels safer to flirt a little with us, now that she has her `excuse' not to go further. It provides her with a safety net."

"Hmmm. Well if that's the case, I wonder what her next move will be?"

"I would think more of the same, bringing the Commander as her safety cushion," Seven offered.

"You're saying she can get as `hot' as she likes, flirting with us, and then work it off with him in bed!" B'Elanna thought that perhaps she could see what was happening now, but not why Kathryn couldn't simply have been with them in the first place, without the need for Chakotay. If she'd told them that she would find it hard to be their lover one minute and their Captain the next, then what difference was there with Chakotay? She voiced her thoughts to Seven.

"How did she appear to you, when she fed you the olive and then you kissed?" asked Seven, looking for clarification of what she already suspected.

"I suppose it surprised me at the time - there was a look of passion in her eyes that I've not seen before. The last time we kissed, it was more a look of longing. Hey, you don't think.?"

"I do. I think she's allowed herself to go beyond just sex in her mind and she's."

"Getting into feelings? Like, loving feelings?" B'Elanna stared at Seven as the revelation hit home. "Yes, I saw feeling in her eyes. Oh, God, Seven, this changes everything." The Lieutenant moved past Seven and sat on the couch, staring at the floor and considering the new twist to this little threesome-that-wasn't. "I wouldn't have made the offer for her to join us had I realised she had feelings like that. I love you, it wouldn't be right if."

"Are you attracted to the Captain, B'Elanna?" asked Seven, joining her on the couch. "Please, I require honesty and I will not judge you or hold it against you."

"Sweetheart, I can't lie to you, you'd know if I did! Yes. I'm attracted to Kathryn, but."

"Could you love Kathryn?"

"What kind of a dumb ass question is that?" B'Elanna was suddenly getting very Klingon about the turn this conversation was taking, going as it was from gentle musing to great revelation. "I love you, you know that!"

"Your feelings for me are not in question. Could you love Kathryn?"

B'Elanna turned to Seven, expecting to see her bracing herself for some bad news. Instead, the blonde was smiling warmly at her, encouraging her to answer truthfully. "OK, but don't get mad. Yes, I could love her. If I wasn't involved with you, I could certainly consider a relationship with her. But I love you," she underlined.

"I know, my warrior, and I love you too."

Seven leaned close and for a while B'Elanna forgot the conversation that had passed between them as they kissed feverishly, ending up lying on the couch, peeling off each other's clothing. It wasn't something the Engineer truly wanted to think about right now but Kathryn floated back into her mind and, disengaging from Seven's passionate kisses, she drew back and looked into the pale blue orbs. "Could you love her?"

"Oh yes," answered Seven brightly as she resumed kissing her lover.

"Well, do you think it worked?"

"Only if they believe my heart lies with you, and not just my body," Kathryn answered the Commander wryly, as they walked to the turbo lift.

"I could certainly see the chemistry between the three of you. I understood your dilemma more, watching you all together, although truly I can't see why you couldn't have just submitted to the relationship with them in the first place." As Kathryn seemed poised to explain again what she had told him this morning, he raised a hand in the air. "I know, I know - uneven number; potential for disaster; could ruin their love for each other; one of them could fall in love with you; you may fall for them."

"Oh, it's too late to avoid that one!"


"Why do I always shoot my mouth off before my brain is engaged?" She looked at the surprised Commander, stopping with him in the corridor, and then moved him on by linking arms and walking him to the turbolift. She whispered, "I already love them, Chakotay. OK?" Given the order, the turbolift began its motion.

"Them? Both of them? You didn't tell me this part earlier."

"Well, I'm sorry. I didn't know how much you could take. It seemed enough to tell you of their offer to include me in their sex life as a friend; something, by the way, it wasn't easy to admit to you. I didn't know if you could take the fact that I've fallen for them as well!"

"Computer, halt turbolift."


"Look, let's get one thing straight. I would love it if you loved me, but you don't. I knew you didn't last night but I wanted to be with you Kathryn. I thought it would hurt me, but it hasn't so far; so it doesn't hurt me any more to find out that you love another, or two others, as it happens," he finished with a smile.

"You know," replied his Captain with a crooked grin, "you're being really nice about all this. If the situation had been reversed, I think hurt might have been top of my list."

"Let's see if I can make you understand: you love Seven and B'Elanna, but you're happy for the two of them to be together. Why?"

"Because I want, for them, whatever makes them happy!"

"So why should I be any different? I love you, Kathryn - have done for years now and I would do anything to see you happy. If loving them and working out your sexual tensions with me because you don't want to ruin what they have together works for you, well then, I'm OK with that."

Kathryn looked down, unable to make eye contact with Chakotay after what he had just said to her. Gently he took hold of her chin in his hand, angling her face towards him. He kissed her softly, sensing her by now familiar inner battle: should she kiss back with all the passion within her and release it, or should she remember this is not a person she loves and modify her approach.

"Kathryn, if you're going to use me to work it off," he said reading her mind, "then do it." He smiled at her as she looked at him in a lost sort of way for a second before grasping his face in her hands and kissing him with all the passion she possessed.

`It doesn't matter to me whose name you call out in your mind, just be this open with me always' he thought silently.

It had been decided by the Captain from the outset that no one was to know about the private `arrangement' between her and Chakotay, a point that saddened the First Officer somewhat. As he watched her now, deciding who would be in the landing party to beam to the planet below to collect supplies, he realised he would never truly know this woman. To love her, to possess her in bed - neither of these would introduce him to who she was inside.

"Bridge to Neelix."

"A bright good morning to you, Captain," answered the Talaxian happily.

"Join the landing party, would you? They're expected at 11.00 hours, oh and don't forget your list this time. You know you came back without half the required supplies before." Kathryn smiled over at her First Officer who simply studied her, without returning the smile.

"I have it, Captain. Neelix out."

`Captain on the Bridge, and all's well,' thought Chakotay, still looking at the woman who had now turned her attention to the panel on the side of her chair. What he was thinking wasn't easy for him to think. What he was thinking, if it worked successfully, would lose him what he had with Kathryn. But then, what did he have, if she didn't love him?

Two months ago, when Kathryn started sleeping with him, it had been the most wonderful thing for him, and some part of him had harboured the idea that he could make her love him too, in time. That was until he learned, very early on, that she was in love with Seven and B'Elanna. So he had given up on the idea of her loving him in return and settled into being her. her what? It was his uncertainty how to answer that question that was beginning to hurt him - that had finally decided him upon his proposed course of action.

`I think it's about time we arranged another little meal with our two friends,' he thought silently.

"It's nothing to worry about. It happens every now and again, a recurrence of a fever I contracted during my childhood. I know the routine and I promise you it will have passed by morning."

"Then you're sure it's not my food?" B'Elanna said cynically, grinning at Chakotay.

"Nothing to do with it, I assure you. Really, the best thing I can do right now is sleep. I'll be better in no time."

Kathryn moved closer to Chakotay and put a supporting arm around his waist, drawing him to his feet. "Come on then, let's get you back to your quarters."

"Really, Kathryn, I know from experience I will be alright. There's no need for you to accompany me. Look," he pulled away from her and looked at the table, "you're only half way through your meal, there's no need for you to miss it too. You stay. I'll be fine, I just need to rest, really."

"I'm coming with you," Kathryn insisted, moving towards him again. To B'Elanna she explained, "I'll come right back, after I've settled him in."

"Will you?" Both Kathryn and B'Elanna, and for that matter Seven, knew that she would not return once she had left, for fear of losing herself to the two of them.

The Captain opened her mouth to reply and Chakotay stopped her: "Site to site transport, Commander Chakotay's quarter's," he informed the computer and managed to push the Captain firmly to one side as the sparkles claimed him. She would swear he was smiling as he disappeared.

`Nothing here you can't handle, Kathy,' she told herself as she returned to the table with her two hosts, to finish the meal. All three sat in silence for a moment before they began to discuss the reason why Chakotay had just departed. Had it happened to him before? Had he ever told anyone about it? Certainly, Kathryn had never been informed before this evening of Chakotay's so-called recurrent fever, and she smelled a rat - a very large, Native American rat.

Gradually the conversation found its usual level for the three of them, which included a lot of raucous laughter and nonsense, bringing about an informal atmosphere of the kind they had never managed to achieve with the First Officer in the room. Finally, they had eaten everything and sat back in their chairs, no one sure how to proceed from here.

"You want to go early, or you want to relax with us?" B'Elanna studied Kathryn's eyes as she continued, "We won't bite - unless requested to, of course!" The Klingon's eyes twinkled with her last words - watching as they had an interesting effect of `reverse psychology' on the Captain.

"Then I'll stay," she said, looking from one to the other of her hosts. "Let's clear these away first and then I need to talk to you both." Helped by Seven, she gathered the items on the table together and deposited them in the recycler.

B'Elanna replicated two drinks for herself and Seven and then turned to the Captain, who was busy taking off her boots. The Engineer leaned a little against the wall as she observed her Superior for a moment and then, half-afraid to ask, said, "Want one?" Gaining an affirmative, the brunette turned her attentions back to the replicator, with a slight tingle through her spine about where the evening could be heading.

Meanwhile Kathryn put her back to one end of the couch, her legs down its length, knees bent slightly, and relaxed. Seven smiled at the Captain as she sat the opposite end with her feet on the floor, taking Kathryn's feet and putting them against her left leg, stroking the ankles in small slow circles. Joining them, B'Elanna handed them their drinks and settled on the floor beside her Captain, facing towards Seven.

"Thank you." Smiling, Kathryn took the glass and studied the contents for a while before looking lazily down at Seven, who met her gaze and said nothing. Kathryn fought to control the feelings sweeping through her from Seven's attention to her ankles as she looked into the pale blue eyes. She then turned her head to look at B'Elanna, who also returned her gaze in silence, simply observing her.

"I'm glad you stayed," said B'Elanna finally, never taking her eyes from Kathryn's for a moment. She gave no smile, no hint of suggestion - the words were said quietly and with a seriousness that was touching.

"It crossed my mind to run, Lieutenant."

"You can still run, if you wish." Seven halted her movements as she said the words.

"I know. It's an option I'm still considering." Kathryn smiled and then rubbed her forehead a few times, closing her eyes as she paused, looking for the right words. "Look," she said, "there's something I have to tell you both that changes things between us.something that."

B'Elanna's voice was serious and quiet as she interrupted: "Wouldn't it be funny if we were planning to say the same thing to you?"

The Captain looked into the dark eyes again, "But you don't know what I have to say yet; it makes it impossible for me to continue seeing."

"Not if we love you too." The reply was sudden, surprising only one person in the room. B'Elanna watched as her Captain's brain took the information in slowly, hardly believing what had just been said. "Although we could have a problem here: please, clarify for me - do you love both of us, or just one?"

The woman who was usually so in control found it hard to look at either of her hosts. She lowered her eyes, placing her right hand over them and whispered "Both," feeling B'Elanna's left hand grip hers. She held on tightly.

B'Elanna smiled at Seven and then got up, moving to the side of the couch, with the backs of Kathryn's shoulders facing her. She pushed her hands into the sides of the taut neck in front of her, and then massaged the shoulders, gently at first but with a progressively seductive nature as she looked down at Seven, who had begun the circles on the ankles again, watching her Captain's reaction.

Kathryn sighed. "Oh, are we mad? Can this happen, or even should it?"

"You want it to?" asked B'Elanna quietly.

"More than you know." Looking at Seven, Kathryn moved to the edge of the couch, shunting down a little and patted the warm space beside her, raising her right arm towards the blonde. "Honey, come here. Let me hold you."

Sliding in easily on her left side and settling her head on Kathryn's right breast, the tall blonde drew her knees up, feeling Kathryn legs stretch upwards to rest back over Seven's once again, in a comfortable entwined position. As Kathryn lowered her right arm to enfold Seven, the blonde stretched out her free arm and called, "Lanna?"

B'Elanna took up residence on the floor again, facing Kathryn this time, and curled up with her head on Kathryn's stomach as both Seven's and the Captain's arms enfolded her. All three were silent for a moment, enjoying the safety, the love and the security of their huddle.

"When did you two stop being just my friends and start loving me?" asked Kathryn, resting her cheek against Seven's head.

B'Elanna snuggled deeper into the Captain's body. "When you kissed me on the holodeck I knew," she said. "Seven?"

Eyes closed, Seven replied, "As I have already told B'Elanna, I have known I possessed the potential to love you for some time, but had dismissed the possibility as you were apparently unapproachable."

Tears were appearing in the Captain's eyes as she nuzzled further into Seven's head. "I really had no idea, you know," she said, "that day I called you into my Ready Room; I truly thought of you as just good friends, nothing more. It was the holodeck," she kissed the blonde hair, "that told me there was more going on here. When I kissed you both."

"I know," said B'Elanna, turning her head to look into the Captain's blue/grey eyes, eyes that had always fascinated her. "Did you get them too, tingles all the way down to your toes?"

"I certainly did. Surprised the hell out of me!"

"You ran out on us, lady. You gonna to do it again? Run out on us?"

Before Kathryn could reply, Seven lifted her head and drew her lips up level to the Captain's, smiling into her eyes. "Not until I've kissed you, then you may leave!"

"And when she's kissed you," B'Elanna suggested with full knowing, "You won't ever want to leave! Trust me."

Kathryn gave a lop-sided grin and said in a low voice, "I guess you'd better kiss me then, hadn't you." The grin faded to be replaced with a look of anticipation and need as Seven drew her right hand up to the redhead's cheek and moved closer, teasing her with light brushes of full lips, parted slightly, against hers. Kathryn moved her head up to capture the illusive lips as Seven pulled back, teasing again, and looked into her Captain's eyes. What she saw there surprised her and she began a kiss, slow to start, which gathered pace and passion for both of them as it continued.

Her head still lying on Kathryn's stomach, B'Elanna's eyes grew darker with desire as she watched them both. She stretched her right hand up to Kathryn's breast, gently scratching it as it grew hard beneath her, and then began a more definite massage and manipulation, fascinated by her new lover's reactions. Suddenly she knew she needed to see more of these reactions as she sat up and reached her left hand to the button at Kathryn's waist and laid bare the area she had just been lying upon.

Purposefully, B'Elanna took a firm hold of the clothing with both hands and pulled, uncovering the area she wanted to gain access to. Her movements and their intention had the Captain clutching Seven's head and moaning into their amazingly varied and urgent kiss, telling B'Elanna that this woman would not be about to object to whatever move she may come up with next.

Lowering her face to Kathryn's naval, she kissed the skin gently, shifting position slightly to brush her fingers over the mound of hair awaiting her, then she angled her head to look at her two lovers again. Still locked in the kiss, Seven had moved her right hand to Kathryn's breast and found her movements unhindered by the clothing. Smiling at the two of them, B'Elanna let her fingers dip just inside, almost immediately noting Kathryn pushing against them, setting up a rhythm which she matched.

Sensing her new lover's overwhelming sensations and her need for release, she found the entrance to the next stage of Kathryn's joy. Entering, Kathryn's thrusts became more urgent as first one, then two, then three fingers were applied - B'Elanna enjoying every moment of the woman's reactions, which were clearly heightened by the newness of their situation.

`I'm coming," screamed Kathryn silently in her own mind, "Oh God, I'm coming. No turning back now!" She became frantic in her kiss with Seven (which was turning into a marathon) and with the stimulation at her breast, and finally pushed hard against B'Elanna's fingers for the last time, arching her back for some moments and then falling limp and unmoving, except for the occasional shudder.

After a few minutes, B'Elanna withdrew and took up her original position, with her head lying on Kathryn's stomach, occasionally turning her lips down to kiss the skin. Seven also reverted to her previous position, with her head on Kathryn's breast as the Captain, once again, drew her arms around the pair of them and held on.

"Oh God," Kathryn sighed after nearly three minutes of silence - the three snuggled together stroking each other occasionally, recovering from their various exertions.

"You're still here then," teased B'Elanna looking up at the redhead. "I thought you were supposed to have run by now!"

"I'm glad I didn't." Kathryn said, "although I wonder how wise this is."

"You have regrets?" asked Seven, suddenly concerned that her new lover was not happy about what had just occurred between the three of them.

"None, my darling," assured Kathryn, holding both women closer for a moment.

B'Elanna looked up. "You OK?"

"Mmm. I'm just thinking how long it's been since I last felt this safe. And I'm not sure I've ever felt this loved." She fell silent for a moment before she continued, "But, I'm concerned about the two of you and your relationship. Are you sure this is OK? The three of us? Do you have any regrets?"

"My only regret is that it didn't happen sooner," smiled Seven. At those words, something in Kathryn completely let go. Any remaining doubts about the sensibility of this relationship left her, as B'Elanna and Seven reached their heads towards each other and came together in a lazy kiss.

Kathryn smiled as she watched them and, when they'd parted, she played her mouth into a half-smile and said seductively, "Well, OK then; as long as I'm staying, I've got some catching up to do! That was the first course, ladies. Anyone for desert?" She pushed her way through the two women and headed for the bedroom, discarding clothes as she went.

"She's insatiable!" B'Elanna said as she looked at Seven in mock amazement. "She'll kill us both."

"Not unless you get in here," called a voice from the bedroom.

"She has a point. I think perhaps we should join our Captain," Seven reasoned, taking B'Elanna's hand and helping her off the couch. "I believe she wants to de-brief us on our current situation."

"You bet your life she does!" called the voice. "Get in here, now!" The two remaining officers disrobed each other and then approached the bedroom door, looking in to see the Captain sitting cross-legged on the middle of the bed. "D'you take the scenic route?"

"I've never seen that expression on your face before. I love it!" commented B'Elanna as she leaned against the doorframe, looking at Kathryn with interest. Seven brushed past her and sat on the bed.

"You've never seen me sat naked and cross-legged on your bed before, either, having just had `the first course'! I think I'm allowed an expression or two!"

Seven moved around to the back of the Captain, wrapping her long legs around her, and began kissing her neck as Kathryn leant sideways to allow her better access. As B'Elanna matched the redhead's cheeky grin with one all of her own she said, "You did say you were ready for desert?"

"Oh yes."

B'Elanna approached the bed purposefully and knelt on it. Leaning towards Kathryn, she pulled her lower legs out of the sitting position, helped by her willing victim, and positioned them, knees still bent, to allow her to kneel between them. At the same time, Seven moved back, drawing Kathryn out of the sitting position and down level with the bed, stroking her hair and then leaning forward to include her breasts.

Kathryn looked into B'Elanna's dark and beautiful eyes, guessing from the position of the woman, what to expect next. Controlling the waves of anticipation that were spreading through her she asked, "Me again, Lieutenant? Don't you think someone else should have a turn?"

"I wanted to taste you out there, but I couldn't reach. You mind?"

Kathryn didn't dare try words - she shook her head slowly, pupils widening as she felt a mass of tingles in response to B'Elanna's fingertips moving over the insides of her thighs. B'Elanna traced both hands down Kathryn's legs, following the bend of each knee and down to the ankles. Here," she said to Seven as she held the ankles loosely and pushed them upwards, helped by Kathryn, towards the waiting blonde.

Kathryn gasped as Seven leaned forwards and linked her bent arms behind the offered knees, pulling them back gently to expose the Captain fully to B'Elanna.

"Ooh, I see you've been expecting me," B'Elanna whispered, returning Kathryn's intense stare as she lowered her head. Kathryn watched the long tongue stretch from B'Elanna's mouth, moving lower with intent until, on contact, the target exhaled quickly and threw her head back, looking up at Seven with longing. Still gently holding her legs, Seven lowered her face to Kathryn's and initiated a slow upside down kiss.

B'Elanna, meanwhile flicked her tongue gently over the erect hardness several times and then moved down to the origin of the wetness, pushing in as far as she could - the Captain's reactions going straight to her centre. She then began repeated long, slow movements connecting the two areas before gently sucking the hard bundle of nerves in between her lips, loving it and pulling at it (spurred on by the sounds reaching her ears) before returning to the longer strokes of before.

But B'Elanna wasn't willing to let her Captain arrive as quickly this time. Sitting up to look at her and licking her lips seductively, she asked with a smile, "How're you doing?"

Understanding B'Elanna's need to slow things down, Kathryn replied (as Seven let her go) "Starfleet never covered it, but I think I'm coping quite well, don't you?" Her smile was slowly replaced by a blue/grey look of desire. She looked deep into B'Elanna's eyes. "Darling, kiss me? I want to taste what you just did."

Smiling, and frankly still getting used to this side of her Captain, B'Elanna moved round to the right and found Kathryn's mouth, using small movements to begin with, allowing her offering to be savoured.

"Mmm, salty."

"Like you, lady." The words seemed to inflame Kathryn as she closed in on B'Elanna's mouth once again with intent, pulling the Engineer close to her, their kiss urgent and deep.

Seven had been watching the two of them, surprised at the intensity of the feelings sweeping through her. She moved from the Captain's head, aligning her body to lay on the opposite side to B'Elanna. She reached her right hand across to the others and put her fingertips to the sides of their joined mouths, watching as both of them greedily licked and sucked at her fingers before Seven withdrew and they continued as before.

Seven then kissed her way down Kathryn's neck and stroked her right breast several times, squeezing the tip gently and feeling Kathryn arch into her as she lowered her mouth to take over from her fingers. Her right hand caressed the naked stomach and then her fingertips, walking lower, performing a little dance around the bikini-line, where she knew it would be sensitive.

"Darling, yes," Kathryn cried, becoming animalistic in her kiss with B'Elanna, the Klingon responding easily from the wildness within her, happily losing control and feeling that all barriers of newness were finally down between them.

Seven smiled as she moved further down Kathryn's body, leaning over to take two pillows in passing. As B'Elanna took hold of Kathryn's left breast in her mouth and began greedily attending to it, Seven pulled her Captain's lower torso upwards, securing the pillows beneath her buttocks. She then pushed the legs apart and dipped her fingers into the wetness that was threatening to overflow onto the bed, Kathryn watching her.

"Oh God, Seven, take me, please. I'm so ready!" cried a woman in happy distress. Keeping the eye contact with Seven, Kathryn growled, "Now, darling, please," her voice coming in ragged gasps. Seven shivered with the feeling that the eye contact with the redhead was giving her as she gently, and without further preamble, slipped a finger inside Kathryn, as far as her long digit would reach. She watched the subtle changes on her Captain's face as she started moving the finger back and forth, Kathryn's head pushing back into the bed a little, her chin raising - but still, maintaining the eye contact with Seven, showing her every feeling, every sensation she had.

As Seven's original finger was eventually joined by two others and her mouth found the erect area above, Kathryn cried out, but willingly controlled herself to prolong the `agony'. She touched B'Elanna's head at her breast, "B'Elanna, darling I need to be inside you."

"Oh, you'll get no arguments from me on that," replied the brunette grinning with lips wet from her actions. She moved, kneeling beside Kathryn, her legs splayed as she felt her Captain's fingers move along her, releasing feelings of extreme intensity.

"This way, just a bit," urged Kathryn. "That's it," she said as she pushed her fingers gently up inside B'Elanna, who moved up and down onto them, looking at Kathryn as she did so, meeting the smouldering eyes of a woman very near release.

"Seven? You joining us?" called the Klingon, still staring into Kathryn's eyes.

"I wouldn't miss it," Seven replied, pulling her head back and pushing her wetness onto Kathryn's thigh, trapping a finger between the two. All three matched their rhythms and thrust together against their various stimulations.

"Oh God, hurry up you two," cried Kathryn, bringing one finger inside B'Elanna back a little to find the spot that would ensure her release. "Seven?"

Nearly driven over by watching B'Elanna's body move up and down on Kathryn's fingers, Seven located the same spot inside the Captain. "Now!" cried the blonde, and the three women, almost together, released their sounds and fluids of love, still shuddering occasionally long after the event had ceased.

They lay for a long while, curled up like three kittens on a hearthrug. B'Elanna recovered first and lifted her head, smiling down at Seven, who smiled in return. She then propped herself up on one arm to look at her new lover. "Hi."

"Hello, sweetheart", replied Kathryn, and B'Elanna thought she had never seen a look so lovely, not even from Seven; a look that was wide open, completely submissive and trusting, with a hint of a smile. She looked to Seven, who was also studying her new love's face with an equal interest.

Seven moved back to her previous place, to the left of Kathryn. She reached out to the older woman's face and pushed a lock of hair away from her eyes, tracing her finger lazily around the woman's cheeks and resting it on her mouth. "You are amazing, Kathryn. I don't know what I expected of you but." Without finishing the sentence, Seven drew back her finger, placing it inside her own mouth. She licked it with her tongue, watched intently by the others, and used the now-wet finger to trace a line around Kathryn's lips. She was delighted when Kathryn reached up and took hold of it, drawing it into her mouth. "What?" she said between licks, "and you two aren't amazing, I suppose?"

"Seven's right. You're not how I expected you'd be. I guess I expected something a little more."

"What? Starchy? Prudish?"

"Yeah, I guess," replied B'Elanna with a shy smile, watching Kathryn lick Seven's fingers. "Can I play?" she asked. Kathryn answered her need and reached a finger into the Klingon's mouth, slowly and sexily moving it in and out. B'Elanna in turn reached a finger out to Seven, who took it greedily, already very aroused by looking at the other two.

The three of them played for quite a while, each watching the other make slow and seductive movements. Long-since recovered from their last session and moving into being re-aroused fast, Kathryn said, "Cheese and Biscuits, anyone?" with her lop-sided grin.

"There, I told you she was insatiable! Didn't I tell you?" B'Elanna `reasoned' with Seven, smiling.

But Seven didn't answer her - she was gazing down at Kathryn, giving her a strange look. The older woman knew instinctively what was being asked of her and looked deeply into Seven's eyes. "Come on, Seven; let's make this a night of firsts. What's keeping you?"

Smiling, B'Elanna moved around to Kathryn's head as Seven mounted Kathryn's shoulders carefully and inched up to her neck, stroking the woman's hair as she looked down at her and asked, "Are you sure?"

"Never more so. C'm'ere."

B'Elanna watched, fascinated, as Seven moved into position over Kathryn's mouth, allowing Kathryn's hands on her buttocks to regulate her movements. An easy rhythm was set up between them. Leaning forward, the Klingon shared a searing kiss with her first lover before moving around to sit behind Seven. Taking her weight on her knees to save Kathryn distress, B'Elanna cupped both of her hands around Seven's ample breasts, moving expertly over them and, as Seven moaned loudly, B'Elanna said, "Turn your head, sweetheart." She licked Seven's ear, occasionally dipping into its canal, whilst matching her body's movements to Seven's.

The sound made its way from the depth of the happily tormented woman and broke free, as a long and protracted wail, as Seven quickened her movements against Kathryn's tongue all at once and then froze, before slumping back against B'Elanna, who held her tightly.

Kathryn delighted in gently blowing at Seven's prone area (causing the woman to shudder all over again) before saying with complete honesty, "I had no idea you'd taste that good!"

"It's the nanoprobes. Does something to her insides - cleans her up," explained B'Elanna as she and Seven climbed off the `newly initiated', B'Elanna drawing Kathryn's head up onto her lap as the three of them curled up again.

"I thought `desert' was going to be another two-on-one," commented B'Elanna, breaking the easy silence between the three tired but happy women.

"I know, darling, but you see - I've had too many occasions over the past years when I've arrived alone. I wanted to come with someone. needed to. Understand?"

Her listeners were silent, neither feeling the need to comment. "Have you been OK with. all this?" asked the dark eyed Klingon, stroking the hair of the woman in her lap.

"Well, there is one thing that bothers me."

"Uh huh?"

"I didn't get around to tasting you, my darling," said Kathryn, squeezing B'Elanna's hand. "But I had a friend once who used to say, about life in general, `Don't try and do it all at once - leave something, and then you'll have a reason to go back'. I think I'll practice her philosophy, considering the lateness of the hour, and let you two adorable creatures get to bed."


Kathryn inclined her head just once, to the left, and smiled. She then swung her legs over the edge of the bed, getting up with ease and going into the living quarters to retrieve her clothing, which was strewn in various places throughout the room. She dressed slowly and then returned to the bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking from one face to the other.

"I have no idea where this is going," she told them, "or how long it may last. All I know is that I'm happy with where we are right now. But I want you both to think carefully. If at any time you become uncomfortable with this, or feel that it may be damaging the two of you, you tell me. OK? You won't hurt me by telling me. You'll only hurt me if you let it destroy what you have. I simply can't allow that to happen."

Nodding, Seven captured Kathryn's face for a last kiss, gentle and reassuring.

B'Elanna did the same, pulling back to look into her lover's eyes, "'Night. I love you," she said, kissing Kathryn's nose with a smile. "Now, get out of here and get some sleep!"

Kathryn came to slowly, taking a moment to turn her head to the bedside table and look at the clock. Her face frowned. Her brain frowned. `No, that can't be right', she thought, wondering why the clock would lie to her after such a good rapport.

Before it dawned on the Captain of the Starship Voyager that her clock wasn't lying to her, and that she was in fact late, she realised that the night had been free from the dreams that had `plagued' her for so long. She had actually slept through without the need of a nocturnal coffee session!

Taking a few minutes, she reviewed the previous evening. `Oh, Kathy - wise or foolish?' she asked herself, remembering less the sex she had been a part of, and more the feeling that had gone into it. Such love - and not once, but twice. `It's the Irish in you, Katy, you're blessed,' she reminded herself as she began the task of getting ready for the day, already looking forward to seeing the two of them again.

"It's not like you to be late, Kathryn," smiled Chakotay as his Superior Officer took her seat beside him on the Bridge.

"You're lucky it's only eighteen minutes!" Kathryn looked around to see if anyone was within earshot before she continued in a very quiet voice. "You knew fully what you were doing last night, didn't you? Oh, don't both denying it, I knew you'd engineered it when you left." As though sharing a secret she continued, "It was the grin. It gave you away."

"But you stayed?"

Kathryn didn't dare to continue this conversation on the Bridge. "Ready Room, now!" she ordered. Turning around to face him almost as soon as the door closed on them, Kathryn continued, "I only stayed to tell them it couldn't go anywhere, now that I'd realised I had feelings for them both."

"Well, that must have worked a charm! What time did you get in this morning?"

"I nearly didn't. It was late."

Chakotay's smile froze on his face but he quickly recovered himself. "I see. I can imagine this means we're over?" He looked at her, not really wanting the answer but knowing what it would be. Her face was telling him already.

Putting a comforting and loving hand on his shoulder, she looked sadly into his eyes. "Yes, we're over. I told you at the outset that I didn't love you, Chakotay. Nothing could have happened between us without you knowing that." She dropped her arm and moved over to the window, looking out with her back to him as he looked over at her. "I would have continued as we were, you know, until I learned that Seven and B'Elanna loved me too. I hadn't dared to hope that might happen."

"So, how does it progress from here? Have you thought about that? I mean, where will you live? Will you acknowledge the relationship to the crew?" he stopped talking as his Captain turned and raised a hand in the air, closing her eyes for a moment before looking at him.

"I don't know the answers, and it isn't up to just me, now, is it? I'm sure we'll take it one step at a time. At this precise moment, all I know is that I'm happy, Chakotay. Maybe for the first time since all this (she swept her arm towards the stars) mess happened, I'm actually happy. Now, dammit, wise or foolish, I'm not willing to let go of that. Not yet. Not ever, if I can help it."

The First Officer walked closer to the woman he loved, brushing her hair so gently with his hand and looking all over her face before he settled his gaze on her blue/grey eyes. "Then be careful, Kathryn, and be happy - for me."

She looked wistfully into his face. "You really do love me, don't you?" As he lowered his eyes, to keep her from their full hurt, she drew him close to her. "I'm so sorry." She hugged him tightly, only just now beginning to realise the hurt she'd caused. "I thought it would be enough to warn you that I didn't love you. I didn't think."

Pulling back, he looked at her, "It was worth it, Kathryn. I've no regrets."

"Dear friend."

"And now I want you to know that, despite appearances, I am happy for you, truly. I know now that I was wrong to think I could make you love me too." As soon as he'd said it, he regretted it, but it was too late.

Kathryn shrugged, acknowledging the hopes he'd held in the past. "Perhaps I could have done, once," she replied, stroking the side of his face.

"One last kiss?" She nodded and he drew her into the softest, most gentle kiss he had ever given her: a kiss of farewell; a kiss of loss; a kiss of gratitude, but most of all a kiss of love."

She rested her forehead against his cheek afterwards, whispering his name twice as he held her close. "You really are the dearest man. I hope you find your dream."

`Oh, but I did, Kathryn,' he said silently. `I did.'

The Lieutenant had thought that seeing her Captain again would be difficult. She had almost dreaded it, regardless of how she felt about the woman. Seven had assured her that all would be well, that there would be nothing to worry about. She should have listened to her.

"And the modifications have really helped?" questioned Kathryn, referring to Icheb's calculations.

"Helped?" counteracted B'Elanna, her eyes shining, "they've practically shaved days off the work. I would say, thanks to Icheb's input, increasing the long-range sensors is now a certainty and not just a hope."

"To be honest, replied Kathryn, I think Icheb has excelled himself. He's gone way beyond my expectations."

"Yeah. A regular little Seven." The two women laughed easily, both somehow knowing what Seven had known earlier - that it was going to be OK. This was really going to work.

"See you later," Kathryn said as she turned to leave Engineering.

"Oh, I might find the time."

The End

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