Your Biological and Technological Distinctiveness

Summary: In the last days on Voyager, and back on Earth, Seven goes too far - as in, completely off the deep end. Completely J/C, in spite of Seven's best efforts.

With a small smile of triumph, Seven watched the shuttle hatch close behind herself and Chakotay. She had dreaded the last few hours aboard Voyager, with the risk they entailed that Chakotay would choose some other departure plan. In the end, though, the captain was too wrapped up with the crew's needs and Starfleet's incessant demands to do more than pause and wish them both well in a spare, melancholy moment while crossing the bridge. Chakotay faltered and seemed ready to go after her, but Seven carefully put a hand on his arm and tilted her head toward him with her most innocent, tremulous gaze. He rewarded her with a look of concern. "Are you okay, Seven?" he asked. "I know this must all be overwhelming for you."

She was Borg. She understood the meaning of the word overwhelmed, but it was hardly a condition she would ever experience. Yet Chakotay, in the role of mate, needed to play out his protective instincts. She understood that, too. "Yes," she said, looking around her as if uncertain which way to go. "Everything is very … overwhelming." He tucked her hand under his arm and led her from the bridge as if he'd never considered doing anything else.

#

Their two weeks' leave with the Hansen family in Norway was far too long. By the second day, Seven tired of the Hansens' incessant questions and emotional response to her presence. She began to take long walks alone, which seemed to suit Chakotay, who was eagerly catching up on seven years of anthropological journals and reveling in the Hansens' exuberant family snow sports. Seven explained that she was still adapting to Earth's gravitational field, and the gullible Hansens accepted the lie without question. Chakotay pressed further, surprised that she was having this particular difficulty for the first time since he'd met her, so she adapted the lie to him. The Hansens' warm, intimate family life was also overwhelming to her, she said, and she needed time alone to explore her individuality. He swallowed that story eagerly, because it advanced the narrative of her liberation from all that was Borg.

In reality, she needed the time to formulate a plan for her future collective. Voyager had provided her with most of the expertise she required for her various research projects, as well as any recreational activities that interested her. Now she would have to recreate all of that, starting with the foundational building block of Chakotay. She did not want him as a mate in the biological sense. She found the human reproductive process repulsive and was contemplating suitable surrogates. Rather, he would be a partner and guide who would assist her in establishing her genetics research lab and beginning to build the superrace she wanted to found. She would explain his role to him when he seemed ready. The problem on the horizon was assimilating Kathryn Janeway's genetic material, which Seven considered necessary for a high quality breeding program.

#

They were absurdly easy to manipulate. Seven obtained language for the decoy messages from freely available romance holonovels. It was distasteful, but she was sure it would be effective:

Dearest Chakotay,

So much has happened between us that I no longer feel sure if there is any chance that you might still harbor some flame of desire for me. For my part, I have never stopped wanting you. I long for your touch. If you feel the same, please meet me in my quarters at midnight.

Forever yours,

Kathryn

The same communication went to Kathryn with only the names reversed. Seven delivered the messages by pad the afternoon of the celebratory gala for Voyager's return. The entire crew would be there long past midnight. Seven made sure that Janeway and Chakotay had no opportunity to exchange more than a few words over the course of the evening. At the appointed time, she watched in satisfaction as one, then the other, made an excuse and slipped out the nearest door.

When Seven went to Janeway's quarters nearly an hour later and overrode the security code, she realized that she had arrived earlier in the process than she had intended. From the sound of voices in the bedroom beyond the lavish living quarters, it was clear that they were still awake. She would have to wait to administer the hypospray to augment Janeway's fertility enough to ensure conception. Seven silently took up a post immediately outside the bedroom door to wait until the biosigns within quieted enough to ensure that she would not be detected when she entered. The voices were quite audible. Seven listened for the argument she expected to begin right about … now.

She heard Janeway's satisfied sigh first. "That was … breathtaking," she said, in a voice unlike any she'd ever used in Seven's hearing.

"I was inspired," Chakotay answered. "I never thought you'd say such words to me, or write them, anyway." There was a pause for moans and what Seven imagined to be kissing. She tapped her foot silently and examined the implant on her hand.

Then Janeway's voice again. "Wait, what words?"

Seven could barely hear Chakotay's low voice. "How you never stopped wanting me. How you longed for my touch. If I'd had any idea, Kathryn, I never would have" and then he stopped abruptly, as if Kathryn had done something to interrupt him.

Suddenly her laughter pealed out of the room. "That's what your note to me said, Chakotay!" she exclaimed. "It must have been the crew, trying to get us together!"

There was a silence as Kathryn's laughter trailed off and Chakotay did not join in. Finally, he said: "You mean, the note was faked?" Seven rolled her eyes. It wasn't the first time she had questioned her decision to include Chakotay in her select gene pool. His notions about a "spirit world" were clear evidence of a delusional nature, but he brought attributes other than the sort of unimpeachable objectivity she admired in the Vulcan race, the backbone of her genetic project, or a quick wit. Besides, she knew that he wasn't entirely himself.

"I seem to have gotten the same note," Kathryn confirmed. Seven heard a bounce on the bed. "Here it is."

Another moment's pause. "Then what was this to you?" Chakotay asked in an injured tone. "Just part of the evening's entertainment?" Seven nodded in satisfaction. Here it was. They would fight, he would leave, Janeway would fall asleep, and she, Seven, could ensure the success of the breeding with the hypospray clutched in her right hand.

"No!" Janeway answered, too quickly, and in a high-pitched voice. "Didn't you hear what I said to you when we made love?"

Chakotay's voice was strained too. "You said you love me. You said you've always loved me. Was that real?" Seven's eyebrows shot up.

"Oh my love," came Janeway's voice, full of warmth and emotion, "of course it was. I wish it hadn't taken some practical joke – probably by Tom Paris – to get us here, but you have to know how much I love you. It broke my heart to see you climb into that shuttle with Seven."

There was further noise of movement on the bed. "I only left with her because you were so distant, like you couldn't stand to have me around anymore."

"I was trying to protect myself. I was so lost without you."

Chakotay's voice came back full strength, filled with emotion completely unfamiliar to Seven. "My Kathryn," he cried, "thank the spirits. Thank even Tom Paris, if that's who did this." And they both began to laugh, and murmur, and whisper, until the sounds died away and Seven heard the beginning of Chakotay's soft snore. She stared down at the hypospray, torn. Her plan had taken an unexpected turn off course, but still, it was essentially on track. They had copulated, as anticipated, and once she had ensured conception, she could deal with their ill-advised attempt at intimacy. Two such dominant individuals could never partner successfully, and Janeway would have ethical constraints against modifying his moods chemically to keep him compliant. Seven had no such difficulties.

She crept into the bedroom where Chakotay lay on his back with Janeway curled around his body. Seven wrinkled her nose at the uncomfortable position. He always wanted her to lie with him that way, and it left her stiff and poorly rested. She generally refused. In this case, however, the posture conveniently left Janeway's thigh and buttock exposed. Seven applied the hypospray and ducked below the edge of the bed in case Janeway opened her eyes. She hummed a little and brushed a hand against her leg, but did not awake. Seven rose and let herself out.

#

The next morning, Seven emerged from her temporary alcove to find an empty bed in the quarters she had taken with Chakotay. There were no messages for her. She had opened her mouth to command the computer to locate him, when the door opened. He was in his formal shirt and trousers from the night before, his bow tie dangling around his neck and his dinner jacket over one arm. His hair was, she noticed, charmingly tousled, and he was having trouble keeping a smile off his face.

"We have a transport at nine hundred hours," she announced, moving forward to kiss him warmly. "Your bag is already packed."

He took her shoulders as she came close to him and turned his head to kiss her on the cheek instead of the mouth. "About that, Seven," he said, "I won't be going."

She raised an eyebrow. "That will be inconvenient. Your teaching obligations begin in one week and we need time to arrange adequate housing near the Vulcan Institute."

He shook his head. "That's the problem, Seven. I can't take the job. I need to stay on Earth."

"Why is that?"

He tossed his jacket over the back of a chair. She picked it up and folded it into the open travel container beside the bed. "I'm needed here," he said. "It was a mistake to think that I could distance myself from the crew so quickly."

"I need you. You said you would accompany me," Seven countered, then switched her tactics to the emotional reliance he seemed to find so compelling. "I have made plans based on your representations. I … I don't know what I would do without you." She put a hand on his chest and cocked her head with a beseeching look she knew affected him greatly.

Chakotay winced. "I know that, Seven, and I'm sorry. It can't be helped. I'll do everything I can to help you from here, but I can't go with you. Our relationship needs to go forward on a basis of friendship. It will be better for both of us."

Seven paused to consider for only a moment, then lifted her head. "I see. I must not miss the transport. I will prepare nutritional supplements for you while you take a shower."

Chakotay stared at her for a moment and opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, then seemed to change his mind. He nodded, pulled a change of clothes out of the travel container, and moved off toward the shower. Seven turned to the replicator to order tea, toast, and eggs, with a heavy dose of plutosamine, a recently discovered tasteless element, native to the dwarf planet Pluto, which had the effect of making humans docile and slow-witted when consumed orally. Then she finished packing and confirmed their transport arrangements.

#

THREE MONTHS LATER

When the Doctor arrived on Vulcan, the Vulcan Institute's human specialist met him at the transport site with the traditional Vulcan greeting. "I am Kel. Thank you for coming. In three months of analysis, we have been unable to identify a physiological explanation for the commander's mental confusion. Given the failure of conventional treatments, he fears there may be a genetic component, with which you have unique experience. Just today he mentioned this possibility, for the first time – probably a result of his confusion. This is why I sent for you."

"How fortunate that, as a hologram, I could arrive almost instantaneously," the Doctor said with a smile. "Please, show me to my patient."

Chakotay was in civilian clothes on a bench in a well-tended, if sterile, Vulcan garden, looking healthy but staring vacantly at a hedge. He jumped up at the Doctor's approach. "Boy am I glad to see you!" he exclaimed. "Maybe now we can figure out what's happening to me."

"Did the mental confusion manifest as soon as you arrived on Vulcan?" the Doctor asked. "I'd like to rule out some kind of environmental reaction."

"I'd been feeling it even before I got here, since our last few weeks on Voyager even, but it seems more intense here, I admit. I have the persistent sense that I'm forgetting something important, and I can't concentrate on any of my work here. I should be teaching a class, but I can't stay focused long enough to prepare lectures. Kel has being doing meditation exercises with me, but the benefits are short-lived."

The Doctor studied his medical tricorder readings. "Depressed heart rate and blood pressure compared to your baseline readings from your time on Voyager. Are you consuming any unusual foods?"

"Nothing unusual. Just Seven's replicator recipes, for the most part. She's really enjoying learning to cook."

"And how is Seven feeling? Is she having any of the same symptoms?" The Doctor tapped intently at his tricorder, humming at the readout.

"No, she's never been healthier. Her research is going very well. She's advancing some of Icheb's genetic theories." When he spoke of Seven, Chakotay's dazed look grew more profound, but a broad smile transformed his anxious face.

"I see. Well, we'll need to do a complete physical workup. Dr. Kel has given me full access to his facilities. And Captain Janeway sends her regards." This was not entirely true. Janeway had in fact told him to tell the commander that if she never saw him again, it would be too soon, but that hardly seemed like an appropriate greeting for someone who could be terminally ill.

Chakotay blinked as if he were just waking up. "Kathryn? I hadn't thought about her in … too long. How is she?"

"Pregnant. And a terrible patient, as always," the Doctor said with a frown.

"She's pregnant? Who's the father?" Chakotay demanded, suddenly alarmed but not sure why.

The Doctor gave him an exasperated look. "That seems to be the secret of the quadrant these days, although you can hardly expect to have hidden it from me. I have DNA from the entire crew."

"Then who?" Chakotay insisted.

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "You, Commander. Whom did you think?"

#

Seven found him pacing their quarters, running his hands through his hair. When he saw her, he held out his hands to take hers. "I'm so sorry, Seven, but I have some difficult news for you."

"Very well," she said, reaching to settle her shoulder bag on its hook. "Let's have a cup of tea first."

"No, no tea! I can't have anything to eat or drink until the Doctor finishes his blood tests tomorrow morning. Seven, I don't know how I could have forgotten what happened my last night on Earth, but the Doctor says – he says that Kathryn's pregnant, and it's mine."

A light smile played on Seven's lips. "I see. Well, you can sue for custody and bring it here." She seemed not to have noticed his unusual reference to "the Doctor" rather than Kel. It didn't occur to him to clarify.

"What?" Chakotay dropped her hands and stepped away. "No, no, I could never do that to her. I couldn't take our child away from her, and Terran authorities would never allow it. I have to go back. I have to be with them."

"That would be illogical," Seven answered. "You have responsibilities here. We have a pair bond. The child must come here, even if we are forced to abduct it. You will see that when you are calmer. The captain's biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own."

Chakotay spun around to face her full on, his face a mask of shock. "What did you just say?"

Seven kept moving into the kitchen. "It is irrelevant," she said. "We will discuss it when you have recovered from your medical treatment. Come, have your tea. Surely Kel won't object to a simple cup of tea." Without further protest, Chakotay followed her into the kitchen to accept his plutosamine tea.

#

Chakotay awoke on a low bunk and banged his head on the bed frame above when he tried to sit. The noise attracted the Doctor to his side. "Where am I?" Chakotay asked, rubbing his head and looking around at the telltale Starfleet gray on every surface.

"I arrange for last-minute passage on a Starfleet transport back to Earth. I had to sedate you and do a medical evac to get you off Vulcan without anyone noticing."

Chakotay stared and carefully moved to the edge of the bunk. "Why would you do that? Where's Seven?"

The Doctor harrumphed. "We'll deal with Seven later. She should be under arrest by now. I had to get you out of there. She'd found a way to defeat the Vulcans' diagnostic technology. You were being drugged, Commander!"

"Drugged?" The pain in his head was subsiding, replaced by a different sort of ache. "By Seven? "

"Who else? The person who's been feeding you all these months!"

"No, that's impossible," Chakotay said. "We love each other. Why would she want to drug me?"

"My personal theory is that she's using you or plans to use you in her genetics research. Let's talk for a moment about how you managed to conceive a child with Captain Janeway. I assume it was … the old-fashioned way?"

Chakotay lowered his head into his hands. "Yes. I'd forgotten – maybe I'd been made to forget – but it's starting to clear up. We were together the last night before I left Earth. I told Seven the next morning that I couldn't go, I had to stay on Earth, but then" - he broke off with a frustrated cry. "I don't really remember what happened after that. What happened to me, Doc?"

"She drugged you, obviously, and took you to Vulcan. And she's been using so much plutosamine" – the Doctor stopped as Chakotay interrupted.

"Plutosamine? Isn't that stuff banned by intergalactic treaty?"

"That's correct. She used so much to get you under control and take you to Vulcan that you've been experiencing severe mental confusion ever since, even at a much lower dosage. It's amazing you're functioning at all."

"So it's not genetic?" Chakotay raised his head at the first hopeful news.

"It is absolutely not genetic. In a few days, when it's out of your system, you'll feel like a new man. There will be some lingering side effects, but I anticipate a full recovery. That's the one upside to plutosamine: it metabolizes relatively quickly. She was counting on that to keep from being detected, but I arrived too quickly," the Doctor announced triumphantly, clapping Chakotay on the back. "Now, about the captain. I may need to prepare her before she sees you."

"She must want to kill me, after what happened between us. I assume she tried to contact me?"

The Doctor frowned down at his baffled patient. "It's worse than that. She thinks she did contact you, but it must have been Seven intercepting your communications. So when we arrive, hang back and let me take the lead."

#

After a two day voyage to Earth, Chakotay remembered every detail of his most recent visit to Earth, and much more of the foggy days he'd spent on Vulcan. His fury with Seven was almost equal to his trepidation at the idea of facing Kathryn: abandoned, pregnant, and surely mad as hell.

Following several paces behind the Doctor, he entered Starfleet headquarters and walked a series of corridors and lifts to find himself in the anteroom to Admiral Kathryn Janeway's office. He stood out of the line of sight while her assistant ushered in the Doctor. Her warm welcome was audible before the door shut, and then, a few minutes later, he heard her voice straight through the door.

"WHERE IS HE?" she shouted. "WHERE IS HE RIGHT THIS MINUTE? I WANT HIM IN THIS OFFICE IN TWO MINUTES, THAT LYING, TWO-TIMING, BLONDE-CHASING, CHILD-STEALING SACK OF SHIT!" The door flew open and Kathryn stood on the threshold, nearly breathing fire, the Doctor behind her, explaining as fast as he could about the effects of plutosamine. She wasn't listening to a word. Chakotay stood frozen next to her assistant's desk. When she saw him, she stepped out of her office, picked up a book from the nearest table and threw it as hard as she could at his head. He ducked and watched it sail by to dent the far wall. "YOU'VE GOT SOME NERVE, SHOWING YOUR FACE HERE!" she roared, as if she hadn't demanded his presence ten seconds ago.

Her uniform was beginning to show a gently rounded belly. Her hair had grown a little and she'd pulled it back from her face but left most of it curling down her back. Her cheeks were rosy with anger and her eyes reminded him of the fireworks that had heralded Voyager's return. He had never seen her more beautiful. He only hoped that he could make her listen before she ran him through with the antique admiral's sword displayed on the wall. He retreated a few steps as she edged toward it.

"Are you listening?" the Doctor was still insisting. "He was drugged! He hardly knew his own name!"

Kathryn eyed the sword, then slowly pulled her eyes back to Chakotay. "Is this true?" she demanded. She still looked entirely ready to attack with deadly force if he gave the wrong answer.

"It's true, Kathryn. According to the Doctor, Seven has been dosing my food with a banned mind control drug for months. When I told her I was staying on Earth with you three months ago, she gave me such an overdose that I thought it was a relapse of my grandfather's mental illness."

Kathryn swayed, put out a hand toward the wall, then reeled into the Doctor's waiting arms. He walked her carefully back from the anteroom to the spacious, comfortable couch in her office, with Chakotay on their heels, still a little afraid to touch her. She closed her eyes and lay back. Several minutes later, when she opened them, Chakotay was bent over her. She startled at the sight of him. "Don't shoot!" he said gently. "It's just me."

She put a hand to her face. "I thought I was going to faint. That's never happened to me," she said in astonishment.

He nodded. "You've never been pregnant before either," he reassured her.

She looked down the length of her body, wearing a baffled air, and shook her head. "You left me. That morning, you said you were going to get your things, and you never came back," she said in an accusatory tone. Her anguished eyes came up to search his face, the fury behind them not yet spent. "And then you sent that awful message on your way to Vulcan with Seven."

Chakotay's swimming, sleepy memory of that voyage was only beginning to return, but certainly, he thought, he would remember sending an "awful" message to Kathryn. He examined the plaid pattern on the couch, willing himself to remember. "All I can recall is … sleeping nearly the whole way to Vulcan. I was so dizzy I couldn't stand up. Seven said I had space sickness, but I'd never been spacesick before in my life. I don't think I could have sent you a message in that condition."

Kathryn rested her head on the back of the couch and covered her eyes with her hand. "Well, someone did. You said it was all a mistake and you needed to be with Seven." Her voice was dry and hollow.

He shook his head with vehemence. "I wouldn't have written that. I went to Seven that morning and told her that I had to stay on Earth. I wanted to stay with you, but she" – Chakotay turned his head from side to side as realization dawned. "She made breakfast for me that morning, right after I told her. After that, everything goes fuzzy."

Kathryn lowered her hand cautiously from her eyes. "So she sent the message?"

He began to nod. "She must have. It would have been simple for her to access my personal codes, and I was barely functioning after the dose she gave me." He lowered himself to the cushion beside her and took her hand. "I'm so sorry. I don't even remember leaving Earth. To all intents and purposes, I was abducted. I would never have left you willingly after that night."

"And then when I contacted you about the baby" – she broke off with a pained look. "I didn't want to. My mother insisted that you had to know."

"I never got any messages. I didn't remember what happened between us until the last few days when the Doctor started treating me," he insisted.

To his satisfaction, she left her hand in his. "I said I wanted to talk by video link, but you refused. You said that any communications we needed to have could be in writing. Now that we know about the plutosamine, it all makes sense," she said with a little more animation. "At the time, it just felt as if you wanted to cut all connections, even talking face to face. Finally I wrote to you – the hardest letter I've ever had to write. I told you about the baby, and how much that night had meant to me. And you wrote back to say you wanted custody. You said that you and Seven would take the child to Vulcan and raise it there, so that I wouldn't be inconvenienced." As she spoke the words aloud, her face changed. "I should have known that wasn't you."

He shook his head, appalled. "I didn't send that message. I would never say that or do that. It was Seven. That's just what she said when I finally found out about the baby. She told me … I still can't believe this, but she told me that the baby would add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."

Kathryn gasped and put a protective hand to her abdomen. "She said that?" Then a new realization stole across Kathryn's face. "The messages that night! It was Seven, luring us together!"

Chakotay blinked a few times, then nodded as he scooted closer to Kathryn and snuck an arm around her with a tentative smile. "But she miscalculated. She didn't expect us to confess our love."

From several feet away, the Doctor cleared his throat. "Perhaps I'll just wait outside," he said, and retreated to the anteroom.

Kathryn rubbed her face with her hands, looking around her in confusion. "I – This" – she struggled for words as she stood and began to move around the room in a haphazard pattern, not so much pacing as wandering in a daze. "How did the Doctor know?"

"My Vulcan doctor contacted him, and because he's holographic, he showed up before Seven had a chance to clear the plutosamine from my system. It was just a lucky break. Apparently she'd found ways to beat the Vulcan's tests, but the Doctor surprised her."

Kathryn took this in, still examining one piece of furniture then the next, getting no help from any of them. "How long has she been doing this?"

Chakotay dropped his head. "The Doctor believes that she extracted the chemical data on plutosamine from one of the early Starfleet data streams, as they were updating our medical databases. She may have started using it on me while we were still in the Delta quadrant. I recall now that she started giving me things to eat and drink even before she suggested dating." Chakotay's jaw worked angrily as the words settled in the air. "I should have had chump tattooed on my forehead instead. At least that way people would be warned."

Slowly, Kathryn came to stand in front of him, her feet between his. "So let me get this straight," she said. "This baby is some kind of genetic experiment that Seven performed by drugging you and tricking both of us?"

He leaned back to stare up at her. "When you put it that way, it doesn't sound so good," he said with a sigh. "But I was happy when I heard. Confused, but happy." He reached out to take her hands.

"I'm sorry about what happened to you," she said in a low voice. "And I apologize for the part I had in it. If I'd had any idea" – she began, but he interrupted.

"Kathryn, no. If there's anything I don't regret about this entire nightmare I've only just become aware of, it's the night I spent with you, and what came of it. Do you regret it?" he asked, almost wincing as he studied her face.

Still holding his hands, she settled beside him on the couch. "Since that night," she said, "I've run through just about every emotion I did my best to avoid in the Delta quadrant. That first message …" she trailed off as if the words were still in front of her, still taking her breath away. "For the first time, I thought I really understood how the other Admiral Janeway became the person she was."

The growl in Chakotay's throat roused her. "I'm going to kill Seven with my bare hands," he told her.

Kathryn squeezed his hands. "She needs help. And you'll have to make a criminal complaint. But to answer your question – no, I don't regret it. Even when I was so angry with you that I could hardly deal with Voyager reports with your name in them, there was some part of me that was still glad that we had one night, and that I will have your child, even if I don't have you."

Chakotay pulled her hands to his chest. "You have me, Kathryn," he said with great urgency. "Everything I said that night was the truth. Every word of love, even under the influence of Seven's drug. My heart knew, even though my mind was clouded." He pulled her up across him onto his lap, to cradle her in his arms.

She hid her face against his neck and shuddered through several heavy breaths. Her voice came soft against his skin. "What are you going to do now? Are you staying?"

He smiled and showed her his dimples. "Crazed Borg couldn't drag me away, Kathryn. I'm so sorry I left you."

She swallowed and grasped his shoulder. "I was so lonely, Chakotay. And sick, oh have I been sick. You would have been holding my hair back while I vomited for the last three months. You should be grateful to Seven for sparing you that, at least."

He rubbed her back and said, "I wish I'd been there for you every minute, Kathryn. But it's over now. I'm going to take you home and" – but she sat up and interrupted him.

"Home?" she exclaimed. "This is no time to go home! Who knows who else Seven has been experimenting on? We have to contact Starfleet security, confirm that the rest of the crew are okay, and get on the next available transport to Vulcan. Honestly, Chakotay, don't you want her brought to justice?" He watched in admiration as the admiral in Kathryn prepared to charge after Seven with the whole of 'fleet behind her.

He clenched his jaw. "Oh yes. But I know that the Doctor has already made a full report to Vulcan and Starfleet security. Seven should be in custody by now, and all her lab work impounded."

Kathryn looked a little disappointed. "Well then," she said, "that's taken care of. I'll just go and get a status report from the head of Starfleet security."

She made a move to push off his lap, but Chakotay moved his hand up her neck to tangle in her hair. "Wait just a minute, Admiral. Now I get a chance to do what I would have done the moment we arrived in the Alpha quadrant, if I hadn't been drugged into submission by our Borg reclamation project." Before she could protest, he pushed her back against the arm of the couch and pressed his lips to hers.

She gave a little, shuddering sigh as his lips finally lifted from hers. "Oh, that's definitely an improvement," she declared, wrapped an arm around his neck, and pulled him back down.

END