DISCLAIMER # 1: Many of the characters used in this story have been borrowed from the existing Trek universe. I mean them no harm and promise to return them intact (more or less) as soon as I am done. No gain, monetary or otherwise, is expected from their use.
DISCLAIMER # 2: All original characters and storylines contained herein belong to me. (Like anyone else would claim them!) This story may be archived by those so inclined as long as permission is obtained before hand, and the story remains entirely intact.
DISCLAIMER # 3: This story depicts a romantic relationship between two consenting females. Some scenes may be graphic, but lovingly so. If you are under the age of 18, either stop reading this now or find a good place to hide it! I don't want to hear from your mother! If this sort of thing is illegal where you live, try looking on the bright side. At least stupidity isn't contagious.
WHO TO BLAME: The idea for this story came to me while watching the movie Imagine Me & You. It sparked my imagination and made me do some research on the net. If you have not seen it, I recommend it wholeheartedly.
This is my first attempt to write a story that doesn't turn into a 150 page epic. It's something I haven't ever been able to do before so bear with me, I am going to have to condense some things and assume that the reader already knows a lot about Star Trek: Voyager. Of course, why would you be reading this if you didn't? Thanks to Andrea, Shaun and Ky, my beta readers for laughing with me instead of at me. And thanks to all the wonderful bards out there who continue to expand the Trek universe, even though the original journeys have come to an end. To all that makes us Unique!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Rose By Any Other Name
By Patricia L. Givens
There is a flower that bees prefer,
And butterflies desire;
To gain the purple democrat
The humming-birds aspire.
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the U.S.S. Voyager strode quickly through the corridors of her ship, heading for the bridge. As she passed her crewmen, she nodded and smiled, receiving their respectful greetings with grace.
It had been six long years since Voyager had been transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretakers array and while she and her crew had managed to shave the seventy year journey down quite a bit, they were still several decades from getting home, a fact that weighed heavily on her heart and mind. She had stranded them here to ensure the safety of the Ocampa people and while she knew she had done the right thing, it still didn't make the journey any easier.
They had experienced a few bright spots along the way. They had found a communications array that had allowed them to send and receive messages from Earth, making the trip seem a bit more bearable. Even if one particular message she had received from her fiancé had caused her quite a bit of anguish.
He had given up, moved on with his life. She couldn't blame him. For nearly five years Starfleet had been operating under the assumption that they were all dead. She wished Mark well with his new wife, but wondered where she would find solace of her own. Even if there weren't specific protocols that forbade her from becoming involved with a member of her crew, there was still the question that lingered in the back of her mind.
Who would want to be involved with the Captain?
Most of her people treated her with affection and respect, but nothing more. Her feelings towards Chakotay, while pleasant in their infancy, had quickly turned towards friendship, albeit a close one.
The only truly intimate relationship she had was with Seven of Nine, her former Borg Astrometrics officer. She had severed her from the collective during a short truce she had arranged with them to combat Species 8472. She found the young woman intriguing and more than a little attractive, but she knew Seven merely looked to her for guidance and friendship, no matter how close they had become.
"No, Katie," She sighed to herself. "Apparently this is a journey you are meant to make alone."
Reaching the bridge, she smiled at her First Officer as he stood and offered her the Captain's chair.
Chakotay returned the smile. "All systems are operating at peak efficiency and we are maintaining a course for the Alpha Quadrant."
"Thank you, Commander. You still have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room."
She replicated herself a cup of coffee and sat down. That was when she noticed it.
Sitting on her desk was a flower. A lovely yellow daffodil, its stem wrapped around a twig of thick leafed foliage.
Smiling in confusion, she picked it up and breathed in its scent.
"Janeway to Chakotay."
"Was there anyone in my ready room this morning?"
"Not that I'm aware of, Captain. Is there something wrong?"
"No. Everything's fine. Thank you. Janeway out."
Holding the flower gently, she replicated a vase with water and positioned it on her desk where she could see it throughout the day. Settling into her chair, she started going over personnel reports.
The next morning she made her usual rounds before once again heading for the bridge. As there was nothing unusual to report, she retired to her ready room where, once again, she found a flower laying on her desk. This one was a pink camellia. Adding it to the vase, she found herself drawn to it throughout the day, wondering who was taking the time to leave her such a lovely surprise.
This continued for a week. Every morning she would find a different flower. A red rose, a white violet, a red tulip, an orchid, a gardenia, and then, finally, a stargazer lily.
She had to replicate a larger vase to hold them all and their scent lingered in the air, making her heart ache in a way she barely remembered.
Finally, she could not control her curiosity any longer. Calling her First Officer into her ready room she looked at him expectantly.
"You wanted to see me, Captain?" Chakotay noticed the flowers on the desk and smiled. "Those are beautiful. Is Neelix growing new strains in the hydroponics bay?"
Janeway eyed him keenly. "Are you saying this isn't your doing?"
"Me?" He shook his head. "No, they're not from me." He started to laugh softly. "You have a secret admirer, Kathryn."
"Don't be absurd." She waived her hand as though to clear that thought from the air between them. "I'm sure someone is just trying to brighten my day."
"Really?" He touched the petals of a rose gently. "Do you know anything about flowers?"
"What's to know? They look pretty and they smell nice."
Chakotay laughed. "So I assume that you are unaware that each flower has a different meaning. I thought you would have known that considering how much time you spent with Bootheby at the Academy."
"I must be a little rusty. Why don't you tell me what they mean?"
"Well," He pointed at each flower. "That's a daffodil, it means unrequited love, the greenery it's wrapped in is acacia leaves, they symbolize concealed love. The red rose well I think you know what that one means. The tulip means 'Believe me', the white violet is a request to take a chance, the orchid symbolizes love, beauty and refinement, the gardenia a secret love."
Janeway was astonished. "You can't be serious!"
"I'm just telling you what they signify, Kathryn. Flowers can convey a lot of things that someone may be reluctant to put into words."
She stared down at the vase. "What about the lily?"
Her First Officer smiled broadly. "The lily means 'I dare you to love me'. It seems someone is aware that you like a challenge."
"I don't understand. Who would do something like this? And who would be able to get the flowers in here without anyone noticing?"
"I have no idea. But it's not as if your ready room is off limits when you aren't in it. Why don't you check the sensor logs and see who's been visiting during the gamma shift?"
"Nervous?" He winked at her. "Afraid you might find out who it is?"
The Captain straightened and accessed the padd on her desk. After a few moments she paled visibly.
"Are you all right?" He started to reach for the padd but she put her hand on it, turning it away from him. "I take it that it was someone unexpected."
She swallowed, trying to moisten her suddenly dry throat. "That would be an understatement. Thank you for your help. I'll take it from here."
"Aye, Captain." He winked at her before he turned to go. "Good luck."
Janeway sat at her desk, a look of wonder on her face as she studied the bouquet for nearly an hour. Finally, she grabbed the vase and left, ignoring Chakotay's knowing smile and her bridge crews questioning glances as she headed for the turbolift.
She felt her heart thud painfully in her chest as she neared her destination. Taking a deep breath, she keyed the door and walked into Astrometrics.
Seven of Nine stood at her console. She did not turn when the Captain entered but her hands stopped moving and her back straightened noticeably. "Captain," She said coolly. "Is there something you require?"
Janeway walked around her and placed the vase between them. For a moment, she could swear she saw a light blush creep into those alabaster cheeks.
"Seven," She said gently. "Can you explain this?"
The Borg looked down at the blooms. "They are flowers, Captain."
"I know they're flowers, Seven. And I know you're the one who has been leaving them in my ready room. What I want to know is why."
"I would think that would be apparent, Captain." The younger woman replied softly. "Do you like them?"
"Yes, I do. I think they're beautiful." She placed her hand on Seven's arm. "Are you aware of what they mean?"
"Of course. I researched each species quite thoroughly."
"And why did you leave them for me?" Janeway held her breath, not sure how she would react to whatever her Astrometrics officer might say.
Seven turned to face her and the Captain could see the love and adoration in her eyes, wondering how she had managed to miss it up till now. "Because I did not know any other way to show you how I feel. I considered addressing the situation with you directly, but the risk of seeing disappointment in your eyes was one I could not bear. I chose to send you the blossoms instead, knowing you would be able to discern who they came from. That way, if you did not return my affection, you could simply not respond."
"I see." She swallowed. "What kind of response were you hoping for?"
The young woman reached out and gently cupped her chin, using her fingertips to draw the Captain lips to hers in an achingly tender kiss. She felt the older woman's fingers at the back of her neck as the kiss deepened. When they parted, she wrapped her arms around her love and held her close, feeling Kathryn melt into the embrace.
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