DISCLAIMER: Star Trek: Voyager and all its characters are the property of Paramount. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Em, you rock! What else is there to say?
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Sign
By Major Roon


I will wait for the sign.

I told myself that about a year ago. And today I saw it; the sign.

To fall in love is easy. One day you meet someone and suddenly you have butterflies turning your insides upside down. Sometimes you see someone, you don't know them but sometimes the small smile they're wearing is making your breath hitch. On rare occasions you get infatuated by a holo-character or the star of a book or just some famous person. It can happen in all kinds of ways…

I fell in love with a Borg, an ex-Borg drone to be more precise. Her name is Seven of Nine or just Seven. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, a beautiful body and a beautiful mind. She has a dry and sometimes sardonic sense of humor and makes me laugh on occasion. She's innocent, yet wise but still a child in her heart. I wish I could rediscover my inner child once more as well.

Seven is in control of her emotions most of the time, or so it seems. She has, which most people don't realize, a fragile soul. Her emotions are never complicated, just raw and pure and whenever she shows them I'm awestruck by their intensity.

Seven of Nine is many things, one of them is intense.

I started to fall in love with her. I'm not sure how it happened exactly but one day I felt this lightness of the heart, this strange feeling in my chest. I kept telling myself that it was just a phase; how childish that sounds out of the mouth of a Starfleet Captain.

That urge to smile was almost unbearable. Whenever I saw her off-duty my lips formed a smile, I couldn't help it, it was just there and suppressing it was harder than I thought because I soon realized that I couldn't. It needed to be out, it needed to be there and I smiled.

At some point I acknowledged that I felt more for my friend because lying to myself wouldn't make things better now; I was too far gone. I had fallen for her - I knew it and I accepted it.

Accepting it was fine, at least after I got over the shock. I kept chastening myself, asked myself how I could've let this happen, how I had gotten myself into this but in the end facing the music, facing myself, felt like a relief.

I thought about her and me together often; how it would be like, what we would do, how our life as a couple would be like? I thought it could never happen though. There was Voyager, I needed to be a Captain, I needed to be a Starfleet officer, nothing more, nothing less.

I could endanger the ship, I reasoned with myself. I could make emotional decisions, I told myself but one day I knew that I already had.

On some days the way back home seems so much longer, especially when Seven and I are spending time together. While it lasts I feel home so much closer, when it's over earth is tucked away at the far end of the galaxy.

I realized that I could not be alone all of the journey; I would break, I would go insane. Everyone needs someone to love and be loved in return after all, that's what humanity is about, right? We love, we are angry, we're sad, grateful, forgiving, we fight, make up, have fears and worries. But what for if we can't share all this with someone?

I wanted to be with her, want to be with her still. I had made up my mind and I knew that maybe, one day, if she felt the same way about me, I would surrender to my heart's desire.

Seven wasn't ready back then though, she didn't know about love or so I thought. She didn't know much of emotions but she grew. I decided back then that I would wait, wait for the sign. She needed to let me know that she was ready, but most importantly, that she had feelings for me.

And I waited.

I waited one year, until today…

'You do not wear your Velocity outfit.' Seven stated, rather than asked, while studying the Captain, still clad in her uniform.

'No, I thought we could do something else today? I had enough exercise with the dampeners misaligned all day long.'

'I see. What would you like to do instead?'

Janeway sighed and turned, thinking. 'Why don't we just sit somewhere and talk?'

Seven raised an eyebrow. 'A philosophical discussion?' The Captain smiled at that and came closer. 'No, just talking…Computer, start program gamma 15c.'

The two women found themselves on a small hill. Seven gazed out into the blue sky for a moment, then her eyes found the lake further down the hill and some trees surrounding their location. 'Is it okay for us to sit on the ground or would you rather like to sit on a bench near the lake?' Janeway asked suddenly, startling the young woman.

'I am not accustomed to sitting on the ground, Captain, perhaps a bench would be more comfortable.'

A few moments later they walked along a small path near the lake. 'What would you like to talk about, Captain?' Seven queried. 'I don't know…tell me about your day?'

The blonde lifted an eyebrow at Janeway's proposal and, having long ago learned that people only wanted to know 'relevant' or 'interesting' things about one's day, she began. 'My day was rather uneventful. I plotted a new course with Mr. Paris, Ichep was very helpful, he might be able to assist Mr. Paris on his own soon. I assisted Lieutenant Torres in realigning the dampeners then, later in the day, she asked me to 'take a look' at an energy fluctuation in the warp core, which turned out to be the result of a broken EPS-manifold and a malfunctioning power-charger on decks 6 and 9. Other than that, nothing much happened.' The Captain gave her a diplomatic smile, leading them further along the small path.

'How was your day, Captain?' Seven asked, the question tasting strangely on her tongue, somehow unfamiliar, at least when asked to Janeway. 'Well, this morning the replicator in my ready room was giving me lukewarm coffee again. I just reprogrammed it yesterday but the damned thing just 'forgets' how I like my coffee…other than wobbling around the bridge I didn't do much today. Maybe a certain astrometrics officer could tell me when space is getting a bit more adventurous again?'

Seven lifted an eyebrow slightly, a small smile tugging on the corners of her lips. 'The long range sensors picked up a small singularity we will head past in two days. I hope it at least counts as a small adventure?'

'Of course. Anomalies always are.' The Captain said in all honesty. 'As well as class 5 nebulas or a class H planet. They're all small adventures.'

Janeway grinned then noticed that Seven wasn't at her side anymore and turned to find the woman examining something with her eyes. 'A boat.' The blonde stated with a hint of intrigue.

'Would you like to make a small trip?' The Captain regarded Seven intently.

'Will it be stable enough to carry us both?'

The ex-Borg hadn't even finished the question when Janeway was already walking over the footbridge towards it. 'It's the holodeck, Seven, don't worry.' With that the Captain tried to get in the boat with Seven watching the spectacle that was about to unfold.

Somehow Janeway slipped, she just lost her footing, struggled, turned, shrieked once and landed in the lake. As she resurfaced, standing in the dim water that barely reached her shoulders, she spluttered and rubbed her eyes, coughing all the while. Wading over to the small wooden footbridge, she came eye to feet with Seven's shoes, which's owner didn't make one move to help her get out.

Of course she managed alone and stood somewhat forlornly in front of the blonde. 'Now look at me, I'm all wet.' She said unnecessarily. 'Don't worry, Captain. It is just the holodeck, remember?' Seven teased lightly, taking in the mess that was Janeway. Kathryn on the other hand stared at the blonde. She wanted to smile, she often felt the urge to but tried not to. She didn't want to show how much she actually enjoyed the bantering and the ridiculous situation she was in.

'You might not have noticed, but you are dripping on my shoes.'

The Captain looked down quickly then stepped back as soon as she realized how close they were standing together, just to find herself almost falling back into the lake. Seven caught her, she had good reflexes after all and enough strength to pull the Captain back by the uniform.

'If falling into it is your reaction to water, we should probably continue on our way to the bench?' With that Seven turned, feeling smug, while Janeway glared at her back.

'Computer: delete water in my clothes…' Dry again, the Captain hurried after the blonde, her stride aggressive, her back ramrod straight, her hands clenched in small fists.

I think I looked quite ridiculous. Seven was amused.

Usually she's the one amusing others; most of the time unintentionally, but I like that about her. She's not as concerned about what others may think of her, like most people. Actually that is one of the reasons why I decided to act on my feelings one day. I could not keep asking myself what people might think of me. To be happy you sometimes just need to be yourself, to just be and act on feelings and step up.

Usually people think a starship Captain should be capable of that. Most certainly, yes, but they don't realize that there isn't just a Captain, there is a person in that uniform and if you took it off, tunic, boots, pips and all, you would see just that.

Seven also doesn't care about appearances but understands why it's important for us to look a certain way, wear certain things.

Seven understands a lot. Sometimes I think she understands us better than we do ourselves, sometimes I think, she knows me better than I know myself.

She has so much insight. I often ask myself when she got so smart. Yes, of course, she knows a lot but that's not all. She somehow has the ability to connect logic with emotion. She's compassionate, even more than anyone I ever knew; it's strange to say that about an ex-Borg but it's true nonetheless.

Seven is just unique. An individual, but even among those she is unique. Everyone has their own mind, their own thoughts, beliefs and emotions but somehow most of us fit into some niche or group, are similar to someone, have things in common with others. Seven does too, of course, but she's just different but in a way that fascinates me, captivates me. I'm drawn to that, to her uniqueness.

The way she sees things, experiences things. Sometimes I feel right with her, when she tastes a new food, discovers new things. I feel her…and just a few months ago I started to realize that she feels me too, I think.

Usually Seven is someone who says what's on her mind; a direct person. But at times she shows others, not just me, signs. Shows them with a tiny little smile that they are appreciated, liked. On occasion she makes small gestures, like making someone a gift. The best and most valuable gift she ever gave me was to open up, to talk to me, share her thoughts with me, her opinions, her feelings. It's a precious gift indeed.

Seven's signs are rare and hard to detect but after all this time, I think I'm quite capable of not just seeing them but also of knowing what they mean.

'Captain…are you still interested in 'talking'?' Seven said carefully while walking at her Captain's side.

'Of course, why wouldn't I be?' Janeway took a look at the sunset and tried to remember if she had programmed it that way or if someone had altered it.

'Your 'lake-encounter'. Maybe you are not in the mood anymore?' Seven glanced sideways once more. 'I'm in the mood alright, if there's something you'd like to talk about then go straight ahead.'

'I actually would like to comment on our current undertaking.'

Janeway grinned lopsided, she did it on occasion because the grin suited her and she knew it. 'Searching for a bench instead of telling the computer to create one, I presume?'

Seven lifted one eyebrow while making a small pause. 'No.' She said turning her eyes back on the path. 'I was referring to our spending time together in this manner…taking a walk, talking. I would like you to know that I enjoy it greatly.'

Janeway, a bit surprised but pleasantly so of course, smiled slightly. 'I enjoy it too, Seven.' The Captain watched the blonde's profile in the red-golden light. Too caught up in it, she didn't see the root of a tree, growing in the middle of the path.

Seven did of course, and, noticing her Captain's 'absence', put a hand on her shoulder. 'Careful.'

In that moment Janeway asked herself, after she took a large breath, since when she was so clumsy. Seven did the same and narrowed her eyes to take in the slight nervousness that the Captain suddenly showed.

'Thanks…' Kathryn continued walking, spotting the small bench ahead of them, but she still felt the hand on her shoulder.

Why was it still there?

She felt it trail down her shoulder blade as she took a bigger step. The hand, Seven's hand, slid down her back, careful and slow. It stopped in the small of her back and stayed there; stayed and stayed, one moment, two, three.

What's she doing?

The hand lingered still, fitted itself perfectly into the little mould. Janeway turned her head then, she wanted to know what Seven was doing, thinking. Kathryn caught the blonde's eyes, they stared right back at her, she saw the small tiny smile. Seven's hand left the Captain's body but the smile stayed, seeming almost shy by now.

Janeway wasn't sure what just happened there but somehow Seven's eyes conveyed the meaning and Kathryn was glad she had taken the time in the past to get to know Seven so well as she did now to recognize what her gesture meant.

She wasn't sure if it was done subconsciously by the blonde or on purpose but she recognized a sign when Seven gave her one, no matter how subtle it was.

Whenever I'm near her my heart starts to race. Whenever I see her, I want to kiss her, love her, be with her. I want to touch her body, hold her hand, touch her hair. I wish I had known her earlier, of course that's not possible but somehow I regret that we lost so many years.

But the nervousness I feel when I'm around her is nothing compared to the turmoil raging inside me now.

This morning, when I woke before the 'wake up call' of the computer, I thought about my musings of yesterday. I tried to understand what happened between Seven and I. Somehow I'm still not sure what exactly she tried to tell me with her touch.

To me it seems like she wanted to cross some barrier, make a step into a new direction. Usually Seven rarely touches anyone, that's why I was surprised to feel her hand on me, to feel it linger, caress me even. It was a mere touch, but a very intimate one nonetheless.

Intimacy is something Seven has problems with, at least I thought so. In truth it's me with the problem; I'm the one who can't let anyone near and into their heart, who can't be intimate physically or intellectually. It's not because of Voyager, it's my fault entirely but today I will change all that, I will change. I will show courage, not in space, battle or the captain's chair; no, today I will be courageous and open my heart, to myself and to Seven of Nine.

It's actually just a small step forward, through the doors leading to Cargo Bay 2 and I take it. I'm nervous. I'm a nervous starship captain, a nervous woman but my heart knows what it wants and I let it lead me.


Who needs courage when they're madly in love?


'Evening, Seven. Am I interrupting anything?' The blonde cast a glance at Janeway then studied her consol again. 'Nothing that requires my immediate attention.'

Seven regarded the Captain curiously as the woman herself walked up to her, leaving the consol between the two of them. 'I'd like to ask you something…' Janeway began, fidgeting with her hands for a moment, then holding onto the edges of the consol instead.

'Of course, Captain.' Seven said as Kathryn remained silent for a few seconds longer. 'It's more of a private matter.' Janeway added.

'I see.' The blonde didn't 'see' at all but she decided that whatever the Captain was about to say was more important than any explanation she might get now, besides, she would soon find out what this was all about.

Janeway seemed to sort herself out because Seven witnessed her expression going from nervous to determined in less than a second. 'I'd like to go out…with you.'

There. She said it. The Captain took a deep breath and waited for an answer, but after a few moments of total silence she waited for just some sort of reaction.

'Seven, would you like to go out with me…on a date?' Kathryn tried again, afraid that she had misread the blonde, that she had just made a huge mistake, destroyed a friendship, all the trust between her and Seven. This time however the blonde before her showed a reaction to the Captain's utter relief.

Seven quirked an eyebrow cockily, a small smirk graced her lips, her eyes smiled, they looked happy. Then she took a breath and gave a nod.

The End

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