DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns anything relating to Star Trek. I am merely borrowing some of the characters to have a little harmless fun. Please don't come after me. I don't like litigating unless I'm getting paid for it.
DEDICATION: To Lara Z., Beachbum, Monk, and Lara Z. (she read it twice!) for taking the time to read and provide constructive feedback. The story is that much better thanks to them. Thanks to the Janeway/Seven Faction for challenging new writers to throw their hats into the ring (Now that I finished, can I have mine back, now? I need it for hockey games, hot Arizonan afternoons, and boring lectures. Thanks!). They provided the first scene for the writers, but the rest of the story is all mine.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Few Things to Learn
"Captain's log, stardate 52619.2. We got another twenty thousand light years out of the transwarp coil before it gave out. I figure we're another fifteen years closer to home."
Janeway sauntered into cargo bay two smiling when she saw Seven of Nine tapping steadily away at the controls of her console. "I see you've picked up some bad habits," she observed walking up next to the younger woman and leaning into her personal space.
The smile never left her face as Kathryn rested her hands on the console and looked up at Seven through lowered lashes. "The doctor told you to regenerate for at least two days. You're violating a direct medical command."
"I will comply when my work is completed." The younger woman's fingers never stopped moving on the console controls.
Janeway brought an elbow up onto the console and rested her chin on her palm as she looked down at the display. "Borg tactical data?"
"During my time at Unimatrix One I acquired a vast amount of knowledge. It may prove useful in our future encounters with the Borg." She glanced up at the captain and then back down at her console. "I am downloading it into Voyager's database."
A troubled expression came over the former drone's face and she looked back up at the captain. For a moment she hesitated as though weighing her words. When she did speak, her voice was soft and unsure. "The Borg believed I was unique. That I understood humanity. They were obviously mistaken."
Seven raised her optical implant, and it was clear she thought the answer should be obvious. "I betrayed the crew of Voyager, threatened you with assimilation. I did not expect you to return for me."
The soft smile returned to Kathryn's face, but her voice was just as gentle as before. "Looks like you've still got a few things to learn."
Seven nodded once in acceptance of that statement.
"Time to regenerate," the captain pointed out.
Seven's response was immediate. "When I am finished."
Amused, Kathryn's smile grew and she answered, "No now."
Seven's smile, although small, was huge for her and lit her features. She quirked her eyebrow and responded in a soft tone which bordered on flirtatious, "Yes, Captain."
For a moment the younger woman continued to stare at Janeway before she turned and stepped up on the dais in front of the regeneration alcove. She pivoted, backed into the alcove contacts and looked down briefly as the captain walked over to the control interface. The captain entered the parameters of the regeneration cycle with easy familiarity, and a second later Seven's eyes snapped closed.
Kathryn looked up at the younger woman knowing the smile on her face revealed too much, her feelings clear for anyone to see. "Sweet dreams," she said softly.
Stepping away from the alcove, the captain headed toward the bay doors. Halfway across the room she said, "Computer, lights one eighth." The cargo bay darkened instantly, and Kathryn stopped then turned back toward the unconscious woman. In the safety of the shadows Kathryn was finally able to say what she had wanted to all along. "Welcome home, my love."
Cerulean blue eyes opened and watched her every move, but in the darkness Janeway didn't notice. She turned and left the cargo bay headed back to the bridge, secure in the belief all was right in the universe and the woman she loved was safely back where she belonged. The blue eyes closed again, this time above a smile as the regeneration cycle resumed.
Nothing could dampen Janeway's mood. They had shaved fifteen years off their journey after venturing into the lion's den and stealing a transwarp coil. As a bonus, they now had Borg tactical data which would enable them to protect themselves from further Borg attacks. She had no doubt they would clash with the Collective again; the Borg were dangerous adversaries. Janeway knew not to become too confident with their victories. After all, the Borg Queen was crafty enough to get to Seven without them knowing. In spite of such deviousness, Seven was back safely.
Seven. Janeway shook her head in chagrin. She'd been willing to give herself up for the good of the ship. For you. "I wish I knew that for sure," Janeway murmured as she continued gazing through the ready room viewport. Drinking her coffee slowly, she acknowledged she may not have the assurances she needed to confirm Seven held any romantic feelings for her, but Janeway was not blind. Something palpable thrummed between them. She'd seen the emotions roiling behind Seven's eyes when the former drone told her to go. Janeway had felt their bond even during their parting glance as she left Seven behind on the Borg ship.
She had to return for Seven, no matter what.
The looks they shared once she retrieved her wayward crewmember warmed Janeway to the core. Our thoughts are one, Seven had stated when she'd given Janeway the information she needed to break the dampening field around the Queen's chamber. And later, Janeway remembered with a grin, she flirted with me. But now Janeway had some decisions to make. They had crossed a lineSeven by sacrificing herself, and Janeway by not letting her go.
It was painfully clear to her she could not, would not, allow Seven to leave her againnot without a fight. It was simply not an option. Janeway needed her more than she had allowed herself to admit. When faced with the unacceptable possibility of living without Seven, of never seeing her again, never interacting, never feeling what she felt every time she was with her, Janeway bristled. I won't let her go, she thought staunchly, unconsciously squaring her shoulders. Although the possibility of confessing her feelings to the beautiful woman caused her to tremble with emotion, she would. Janeway laughed at her anxiety. Days ago I faced down the Borg Queen, and today I seek to woo the princess. The petite captain shook her head in bemusement.
Janeway wondered whether she was merely possessive, perhaps indulging in a Pygmalion/Galatea dichotomy, before dismissing those self-deprecating thoughts. No, what she felt was very real, very right, and very pure. She may have mentored Seven as the ex-Borg regained her humanity, but the playing field had long-since changed. I need to talk to her.
Turning to answer the door with a simple, "Come," the captain smiled as Seven entered. Standing still as Seven approached, Janeway drank her in with thirsty eyes. Seven stopped mere inches away, a slight smile gracing her lips and silently returned the intoxicating gaze. Janeway noticed with satisfaction as she held their connection that Seven's eyes had dilated.
The captain sipped from her cup, breaking the heated look. Seven took a deep breath and held up a data padd. "Captain, here is the report on the technical data I downloaded. I have stored all pertinent information in the main computer for analysis." As Janeway took the padd and reviewed the information, Seven stood at attention: watching, waiting. The Astrometrics officer took this opportunity to study Janeway, attempting to gauge whether now was a good time to broach a much more important subject: spending off-duty time together.
Janeway looked up, aware of the intense scrutiny and not acting as if she were in any hurry to have Seven leave. "Thoughts?"
Seven understood Janeway was referring to the data, not to her personal, very unprofessional contemplations. "We are in a part of space that, according to the data, is devoid of Borg presence. However, it is possible that since they are aware we possess this data, the Borg may make course adjustments."
"Even if that occurs, do you believe this data will help us?" As she inquired, Janeway walked over to the replicator to refresh her coffee. "Anything?" Janeway asked, nodding toward the replicator.
"No thank you, Captain." Seven watched as Janeway made her way toward the sitting area and then joined her. Instead of sitting in a chair, Seven opted to sit next to Janeway, so close her knees bumped her captain's as she turned toward her. "Much of the data outlines the Borg's ordinary traveling routes, their command structure, hubs, and ship configurations. In addition, it gives us valuable information on the ships' weapon power and defensive systems. With that knowledge, we can better enable ourselves to counter any Borg ships that seek to damage us." As Seven explained, she reveled in the heat emanating from her leader, feeling secure and comfortable next to Janeway. This is where I belong.
"That's good news, at least," Janeway muttered.
Seven took inventory of Janeway's reaction to her close proximity with great interest. Boldly, Seven slid her eyes up and down her captain's lithe form, noticing how Janeway's pulse quickened. The flustered captain placed her cup onto the table in front of them and sat back. In response Seven turned and also sat back so that their legs touched from knee to hip, as did their arms and shoulders. Seven felt a tenuous connection which made her focus on her feelings and wonder at the captain's own as each moment passed.
"Have dinner with me?" Janeway requested in a near-whisper, breaking the silence.
Seven expelled a breath, surprised and pleased by Janeway's invitation since that was exactly what she wanted. "That is agreeable."
Without further ado, Seven rose and turned to offer a hand to Janeway. The captain grasped the hand firmly as her gaze captured Seven's eyes. Slowly, Seven pulled Janeway toward her. Toe to toe, hand in hand, they communicated. Janeway placed her other hand on Seven's shoulder, continuing to stare into Seven's eyes. Seven felt extremely vulnerable, yet welcomed the intimate exchange. Janeway broke the searing look and walked toward the door still holding Seven's hand. "19:00 hours?"
Seven nodded. Just before reaching the threshold and engaging the sensors, Janeway raised their joined hands to her lips and kissed Seven's palm before releasing her. "Until tonight."
Janeway sat at her dining room table sipping a glass of wine as she listened to Seven talk. As fascinating as the subject matter was, the speaker intrigued her much more. Her libido had been getting the better of her since Seven, wearing a simple powder blue dress which cinched at the waist and fell gracefully just above the knees, entered her cabin. Now that she had Seven here, her body was demanding its due. She'd faced down the Queen, now it was time for her reward. Knowing Seven desired her, too, made Janeway eager to end the conversation and move on to a different mode of communication.
"Kathryn?" Seven said, regaining Janeway's attention. "Is there something else you wish to discuss?"
Weighing her options, Janeway finally spoke. "Yes, actually, there is." Rising she indicated for Seven to follow her as she moved to the couch. As they sat down, she was reminded of the last time they sat on a couch and where it had led. Was it only this afternoon? It was a lifetime ago. She had deliberated since Seven left her ready room on whether to confess her feelings for the lovely lady tonight or to slowly reveal them as they began to date. And Janeway definitely had every intention of dating Seven. She didn't become a captain by making the same mistakes over and over. She would not shy away from these feelings any longer. Yet, even though she accepted these feelings, she was unsure whether Seven was ready for them.
But first things first. "Why didn't you come to me when the Queen contacted you?"
Seven took her time forming a response. She had noticed the captain seemed a bit preoccupied tonight. If it weren't for the warm reception she had received upon arrival Seven might think Janeway was not in the mood for company. After allowing admittance Janeway had made a point of complimenting Seven's chosen attire, commenting on how the dress color matched her eyes. Seven barely registered the compliment, though, since she was focused on how attractive the captain looked dressed in a black ribbed turtleneck and black slacks. Silently, Seven noted that Janeway's eyes, such a deep blue when she arrived, had turned to slate, reflecting her distress.
Although Seven recognized she had hurt the captain by keeping quiet, she was convinced that she had acted appropriately. "I believed that if I had revealed the Queen's contact with me, you would have aborted the mission. I know how important it is for you to return to Earth. I felt the ship would be better served by giving myself to the Queen "
"But, Seven," Janeway broke in, "why didn't you trust me to make that decision?" The captain appeared genuinely upset by the notion that Seven didn't believe she could have acted in the best interests of the ship with the information. However, Seven had acted to save Janeway from that decision by making it her own.
"Wouldn't you have acted in the same way if the roles had been reversed? Haven't you sacrificed yourself for this ship and its crew? Why was I wrong to exercise my desire to protect you?" asked Seven stubbornly.
Forcing out a short breath, Janeway shot up, pacing in front of Seven. "I'm the captain. I am supposed to know everything that occurs on this ship so that I can act in the best interest of everyone I command. If my crew chooses not to share all the information they have at their disposal, it affects my decisions." Janeway stopped in front of Seven. "Don't you understand? You are right that I never would have allowed you to turn yourself over for that transwarp coil. You're too important to me. I need you. And," she raised a hand which caused Seven to hold her response. "You are too important to this ship. We all need you."
"I am merely one person, not worthy of the energy you expended to rescue me from the Borg yet again," Seven argued. Trying to help Janeway understand her perspective, Seven continued in a softer voice, "Although I did not want to leave you, I felt it was the best way to secure your safe passage. I would do it again."
"No!" Janeway responded in agitation, advancing toward Seven. "Promise me, Seven. Promise me that you'll come to me if something like this occurs again. I know that you won't break your word. If you say it, I'll believe you." Standing in front of Seven, the captain entreated her.
"I promise," Seven agreed hesitantly. Janeway sighed and rejoined Seven on the couch.
"Seven, you scared me when you stayed on that sphere. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get you back. The thought of completing this journey without you " Kathryn was at a loss to explain her fear of a life without Seven, so real it overshadowed everything else. She tasted the fear, bright and strong. Kathryn shuddered as the feelings stirred within her again, spurring her to finish her confession.
Leaning toward Seven earnestly, she continued. "You are a part of my life, a part I don't want to lose. Do you understand?" Knowing it was time, Kathryn slid her hand up the side of Seven's neck, resting it on the nape. Tightening her grip gently, Kathryn closed the gap between them.
Kathryn didn't want to play games. She had nearly lost Seven, and she needed to make it crystal clear she wanted Seven with her always. With that in mind Kathryn poured all her feelings into this first kiss. Deliberately, she brushed their lips together, inhaling as she moved slowly, allowing Seven time to decide whether she wanted this type of intimacy. Not feeling any rejection, Kathryn intensified the kiss by opening her lips a bit and breathing out. Seven mimicked her actions and soon they were exchanging air into each other's mouths, causing Janeway's body to weaken with arousal.
Deepening the kiss further, Kathryn felt Seven lick the underside of her lip, ripping a moan from her soul. Kathryn opened her mouth wider, tacitly granting access for Seven to explore. And explore Seven did, learning every nook and cranny of Kathryn's mouth in a way no one had for far too long. Seven's taste, her scent, her feel, her soundall lured Kathryn, enticing her. She slowly withdrew from the kiss, pulling Seven into a fierce hug.
Eyes darkened with passion, Kathryn kissed Seven's neck, creating a path back to Seven's luscious lips. Capturing them again, the captain drank in Seven's understanding, her assent, her love. She felt it. Seven loved her. As if to confirm that revelation, Seven moaned low and long, shooting tendrils of desire through Kathryn's veins. Losing herself in the kiss, Kathryn felt their heartbeats synchronize as their tongues entwined, igniting a blaze deep within Kathryn's loins. Seven's strong arms pulled her forward. As Kathryn allowed her weight to cover Seven's voluptuous frame, she raised her hands to cup Seven's face. "I love you," she whispered into Seven's mouth then renewed her adoring assault. Kissing below Seven's ear, she whispered, "Don't ever leave me again, Seven. I don't think I could bear it."
"I won't," Seven agreed, placing her hands on slender hips to pull her more firmly against her body. Both groaned at the solid contact of their bodies intertwining. Seven had thought of little else but tasting Kathryn's lips since she'd seen her earlier that day. Seven had nearly given up the chance to ever be in her captain's arms like this. Her captain. Seven felt waves of emotion roll over herdesire, gratitude, love. This woman is my life, Seven thought in a daze.
Now she understood that sacrificing herself to the Borg Queen would have hurt her captain much more than passing on a transwarp coil. She hadn't allowed herself to think about this type of union, unable to believe Kathryn could harbor any romantic feelings for her. She hadn't realized until she had told the captain to go or be assimilated. When she had seen the raw emotion in Kathryn's eyes, that's when she realized her error, her foolishness. But now she had another chance. She did not intend to miss it.
"I am yours, Kathryn. I will always stay with you. Always." Seven declared these words with such sincerity that tears clouded her eyes.
Looking up into Kathryn's face, Seven saw how much her words affected the auburn-haired beauty. Seven watched Kathryn rise and extend a hand to her, appreciating how the action echoed when she offered a hand to Kathryn in the ready room. Once in the bedroom, Seven quivered as Kathryn began to undress her, pausing to kiss her clavicle, her ribs, her stomach, her thighs. Seven's body hummed like a taut bow as she memorized the exquisite sensation of Kathryn's hands sliding over her body. Eye to eye, Seven sought to convey to Kathryn her love and devotion. She disrobed Kathryn with infinite gentleness. Lying down on the bed they fit their bodies together, taking time to familiarize themselves with what made the other sigh, groan, moan, and tremble. Seven nearly melted when Kathryn kissed her sweetly on the lips and said, "I'm glad you're here," as she smiled into Seven's eyes. Seven began to lose her bearings as Kathryn gently glided the back of one hand down a strong jaw and planted little kisses on the other side of Seven's face. Seven's breathing deepened as the captain lowered hand and mouth to taste neck and torso.
As the captain moved deliberate hands over the outer curves of her body and slid supple lips across her collarbone, Seven concluded that Kathryn was intent on covering every inch of her body. She drowned in sensation. Kathryn kissed and gently nipped the underside of Seven's breast, grinning seductively as she gasped. Kathryn seemed content not to hurry their encounter. With every motion Seven felt as though her beloved was pledging her reverence, devotion, and utter abandon, stoking Seven's passion. Taking Seven's nipple into her mouth Kathryn moistened it, sucking gently as Seven rocked and mewled. Raising her head, Kathryn licked the hard tip, grazing it with her teeth and pulling up with her lips.
Again and again, as Kathryn's busy hands caressed her body, Seven reveled in the emotions that washed over her, emotions she could not have imagined. As Kathryn switched to the other breast to lavish the same attention on it, Seven was galvanized toward release with promises she received from Kathryn in a throaty whisper. After countless moments of sweet torture Kathryn slid down Seven's body. Nimble hands encased her hips as Seven felt her lover kiss her belly button, causing stomach muscles to spasm in reaction. Seven undulated, her body wracked with passion as she softly murmured, "Kathryn Kathryn Kathryn," like a prayerful chant.
Kathryn centered herself between Seven's parted legs. "Seven, darling, you are so wonderful. I love the way you say my name. I can't get enough of you." Kathryn delivered these words and others like them in a ceaseless flow as she made love to Seven. She lifted Seven's legs onto her shoulders with sure hands, breathing in the aromatic proof of arousal. Mouth watering, Kathryn trailed her tongue up one inner thigh, across the enticing junction, and down the other thigh. Seven's reactions were driving her to distraction. So innocent, Kathryn marveled.
Unable to restrain herself any longer, she quickly settled into the feast: licking, nipping, grazing, and sucking at Seven's womanhood. Keeping to the labia and vagina, she felt Seven's orgasm building as her tongue dove into those most private areas. With care, she inserted a finger into the narrow channel, allowing Seven to adapt before beginning to move in and out, building speed as her lover began thrusting up to meet her strokes. In tandem with her hand she began loving the bundle of nerves, caressing the area strongly with her tongue, sucking, and gently biting down when she felt Seven's body begin to quake. Watching Seven climax, Kathryn knew she would forever have etched on her mind her lover's complete delivery into her care. Adding another finger Kathryn continued to pump into Seven as she smoothed her tongue on the clitoris, allowing Seven to catch her breath. Once Seven took up the pace Kathryn set with her fingers, the captain once more loved hersending her to another soul-shaking climax. Slowing her fingers and tongue, Kathryn contented herself by tasting that area a final time before making her way up Seven's midriff, noticing as she did that her young lover lay satiated, watching with half-closed eyes.
Wrapped in loving arms a moment later, Kathryn melted her small form against Seven and sought out her love's precious lips with her own. As their kisses intensified, Seven crooned, "Let me love you." Passionate arms held her tightly. "I love you. Please let me show you. I will not leave you again." Kathryn heard these pleas as she felt lips skate down her sensitive neck and stop at her pulse point. Kathryn moaned her consent, cuing Seven to launch a double assault of sucking her breast ravenously while ardently exploring her heated body with urgent hands.
"Yes, Seven. You feel so good. Love me yes like that." So rambled the incoherent, much aroused captain. She was on fire, and every touch invited her toward sweet oblivion. She welcomed it. These feelings were so intense, so foreign to what she had experienced with past lovers, she felt drugged by their effects.
As Kathryn felt Seven's hands wander over her, exploring her body as if instinctively knowing every secret compartment to open, she felt her body spiraling into an abyss of pleasure. When Seven's fingers entered her, delving deeply, Kathryn gripped her lover's shoulders, staring deeply into bright eyes, glazed with passion. "Just like that. Don't stop. Oh." Kathryn moved intently over Seven, her body straining for that elusive, yet very close pinnacle, that feeling of completion she could only ever feel with Seven, by Seven. As her reality was blown apart, she screamed her lover's name. Tears streamed down her face as she rode toward a second orgasm of cataclysmic proportions. How will I survive this, she wondered wildly.
But survive, she did.
Waking, Kathryn stretched languidly, unraveling the kinks she felt from sleeping curled up in front of Seven who even now held her in a loose embrace. She knew last night would be the first of many loving encounters. For the rest of our lives, if she wants. As she sighed in contentment she felt Seven's hand gently cup her breast as a kiss found its way under her ear. "Good morning, love," Kathryn purred. Tilting her head, she met Seven's lips with a smoldering kiss. Turning in her lover's arms, she weaved her fingers through Seven's golden locks as she continued the kiss. "Take a shower with me?" Kathryn asked softly once the kiss ended. Not waiting for an answer, the captain exited the bed to prepare for the day.
Janeway strolled into the staff meeting with cup in hand, looking around the room and acknowledging each person's presence. When her eyes latched onto her Astrometrics officer, they warmed perceptibly. B'Elanna caught Tom's eyes and raised her eyebrows in question. Tom shrugged. Unbeknownst to the love struck couple, who telegraphed a wealth of information through that one tender look, the rest were piecing together their change in relationship rather quickly. Just after Janeway adjourned the meeting, B'Elanna spoke up. "Captain, permission to speak freely."
Curious, Janeway granted it.
"A bunch of us are going to Sandrine's tonight to play pool. Would you like to join us? I'm sure Flyboy, here, would love another chance to beat you." Torn, Janeway narrowed her eyes as she contemplated B'Elanna's unexpected invitation, sensing it to be an entirely different challenge than vocalized. The chance to trounce Tom was always welcome, but so was spending time with Seven. Not missing B'Elanna's amused expression, Janeway hesitated.
Seven, witnessing her lover's dilemma, stepped in. "I have not attempted this game. May I join you?" Janeway's face lit up with a delighted smile. B'Elanna smirked.
"Sure, Seven, if it will get the captain there. Besides, the more the merrier. See you at 18:00 hours?" At their nods, Torres and Paris beat a hasty retreat.
Janeway looked at Seven thoughtfully. "Thank you, love. That was very sweet of you."
"Captain," Seven began.
"Kathryn, when we are alone or off duty, please," Janeway corrected.
"Kathryn," Seven began again. "It is important that you find time to relax. I do not want to take you away from such opportunities." The captain cupped Seven's cheek.
"I relax when I'm with you, Seven," the redhead replied in a husky voice. Dropping her hand, she began to gather the padds stacked in front of her chair. "But you are right in a sense. I do need to spend time with the others, and I want them to get used to having you with us." Seeing Seven's eyebrow cock in response, Janeway grinned. "What? You didn't think I was going to hide you away as my secret lover did you?"
Sensing Seven's uncertainty by her briefly diverted gaze, the captain straightened up and faced the other woman. "I have no intention of hiding our relationship." Janeway reassured earnestly. "The prospect of nearly losing you made me reexamine my priorities. I promised myself that I wouldn't waste any more time. I want everyone to know that you own my heart." Leaning in, Janeway finished with a teasing lilt, "Besides, I think everyone's figured it out already."
The Astrometrics officer stared at her love dumbfounded. It was clear to Janeway that Seven had not considered the captain would allow others to know about their relationship. "I am surprised, Kathryn," Seven said.
The soft smile returned to Kathryn's face, but her voice was just as gentle as before. "Looks like you've still got a few things to learn."
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