Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek Voyager or Devil Wears Prada – but I don't mind borrowing them and play with the characters. I don't make any money from this and no copyright infringement intended.
If you haven't already, I think you will find this story more enjoyable and easy to understand if you read the two last "Advent Calendar stories" of mind as this is the third installment of this crossover series. The first installment is called Double Trouble Love (2011) and the second Dangerous by Design. (2012) and you find them in my list of stories here on .
Fandoms: Star Trek Voyager and The Devil Wears Prada
Pairings: Janeway/Seven – Andy/Miranda
Rating: G—NC-17 depending on the door in question.
Summary: Four months into their mission, Admiral Kathryn Janeway and covert operative Miranda Priestly, are closing in on the arms smugglers and mapping the organization. Everything is going well until Janeway and Miranda realize their loved ones are the one who might pay the ultimate price for their assignment.
A/N: Just to be clear. This was originally posted in tiny sections in December 2013 on my web site as that year's Advent Calendar story. Now it's been edited, polished and consolidated. I hope you will enjoy!
Gun Brooke ST VOY J/7 – DWP MirAndy crossover fan fiction
"Seven?" Admiral Kathryn Janeway walked over to her the tall blond who stood by one of the far view ports in the almost empty mess hall. "Is something wrong?"
"Kathryn." Seven turned, but made no effort to reach for her lover. "I am…concerned."
Frowning, Janeway cupped Seven's shoulder. "Something you wish to share with me? I don't mind listening. Perhaps I can help."
"It is not that easy. You are the commanding officer on this vessel, and these days I am familiar with the command structure. If I bring something to your attention, you are bound to act on it, as it is your duty."
Janeway digested this. "And you don't feel certain enough about whatever you're concerned about doing so?"
"I may end up harming an individual if I act prematurely."
"Is there immediate danger to the ship or any of the crew or passengers if you wait?" Janeway had to ask this, but she ached at the tormented look that ghosted over Seven's features.
"No. If I thought so I would not hesitate to let you know." This time Seven sounded a lot more certain. "I would never risk our mission or any of the people aboard this ship. Your ship."
"You don't have to tell me that," Janeway said, slipping her hand around Seven's waist. "If there is one person's integrity I believe in, it's yours."
Seven smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. Janeway didn't care if there were any late-comers sitting in the corners; she leaned in and pressed her lips to Seven's. It took a few more moments longer than usual before Seven responded to the caress, but she did. The soft, plump lips, always gentle and able to arouse, returned the kiss.
"We should go to our quarters." Janeway withdrew. "I've been in a meeting with Miranda for the last hour and that woman is enough to drive the most saint-like person to the brink of despair."
Now Seven's smile was authentic as she tilted her head. "Miranda Priestly is a formidable person and only surpassed by one other individual."
"Hm. I have no idea who you can mean." Janeway was so relieved that she'd broken through Seven's unusual anguish.
"I think you do." Seven tucked Janeway's arm under hers as they left the mess hall. As they reached the corridor, a shrill female voice came from around the corner.
"Please! I need help. Something's wrong with her. Help!"
Seven recognized the voice and began to run. Her eidetic memory identified it belonging to Cassidy Priestly and clearly something was wrong.
As they rounded the corner, she saw Cassidy on all fours on the deck, frantically holding onto a still form on the floor. Seven and Kathryn hurried to her side and Seven placed a gentle hand on Cassidy's shoulder.
"What has happened?"
Cassidy's head snapped up, her eyes huge with fear. "Andy and I were coming back from the studio and she—she collapsed." Cassidy held on to the slumped woman on the floor.
"We will take her to sickbay," Seven said. She heard Kathryn call for a medical site-to-site internal transport. Soon the four of them shimmered into existence in the sickbay where the Doctor met them.
Andrea Sachs had automatically ended up on a biobed and now Seven could see how pale she was. For a startling moment, Seven couldn't detect any life signs, but a few moments later, she realized And
it was hard, even for her, to detect.
"We have to tell mom and Caroline." Cassidy clung to Seven's hand.
"We will." Seven tapped her comm badge. "Seven of Nine to Miranda Priestly. Report to sickbay with Caroline Priestly."
"Seven!" Kathryn flinched. "That was brusque." She moved to stand next to the biobed where the Doctor was scanning Andrea's still form. "Doctor?"
"Give me time, Admiral," the Doctor muttered. He placed a cortical stimulator on Andrea's neck and waved over a nurse. "Run the scans. Look for toxins."
"Toxins?" Janeway eyes narrowed. "Your thoughts, Doctor?"
The Doctor pressed a sensor and a life-support arch rose and engulfed Andrea's body. "She shows signs of it, yes. There are unknown agents in her bloodstream and I can't explain at this point how they got there."
"Are you saying someone has poisoned, Andy?" Cassidy asked, her voice shrill. She still held onto Seven's human hand with her own two, which were painfully cold by now.
"I will know more soon, Cassidy." The Doctor's voice grew milder as he turned to the child. "I've placed your…uhm, stepmother in a ventilator system, which gives her body rest and reduces the stress. Should she deteriorate, I will place her in stasis while we construct a remedy."
Kathryn glared at the Doctor and Seven guessed her lover thought the physician was being too blunt and informative to a twelve year old child. Kathryn didn't know Cassidy and Caroline the way Seven did, through Andrea. These girls were as brilliant as their mother must have been at their age.
The tingling sound of a transporter gave them precious little time to prepare for the arrival of a distraught Miranda Priestly. Seven turned to watch the formidable mother of the twins re-materialize with her other daughter.
"What's going on?" Miranda asked, her face white, but her voice still held its trademark soft, lethal tone. Her eyes homed in on the main biobed and it was as if her knees gave in for a moment. "Andrea?" She strode up to her lover and found her hand below the life-support arch.
"The Doctor says she's been poisoned, or something." Cassidy didn't let go of Seven's hand, but reached out to her twin and grabbed one of hers.
Miranda froze for a moment and turned her laser-blue eyes on the Doctor. "Poisoned?" It was obvious that heads would roll if someone didn't explain this statement to Miranda—and did it now.
Miranda placed both hands on Cassidy's shoulders, but didn't take her eyes off the one person whom held the answers—the Doctor.
"I'll have more information in a minute," the Doctor said.
"How about letting me in on what you know now?" Miranda murmured, shifting her gaze to Andrea's still form. The young woman she loved lay so still and pale, dark circle beneath her eyes, which weren't entirely closed. Was she awake?
"She fainted in the corridor, Mom." Cassidy pivoted and wrapped her arms around Miranda's waist. "I saw how she staggered and I tried to catch her, but I couldn't hold her. She was too heavy when she was all limp. I made sure she didn't hit her head, though." Cassidy stared up at her, blinking against the tears forming at the corners of her eyes.
"You did wonderfully, Bobbsey. You took good care of her." Miranda pressed her daughter to her chest. "That's what my daughter witnessed. And then, what happened?"
"We heard Cassidy call for help," Kathryn said. "Seven and I ran over and ordered a medical transport. That's it, so far." She stepped closer to the woman she'd come to admire and call her friend. "We got her here very fast."
"Ms. Sachs was showing respiratory distress as she arrived," the Doctor said, his voice professional and kind. "The toxins affect her breathing, hence the life-support arc."
"Oh, Gods." Miranda covered her eyes with a trembling hand. "She's not breathing on her own?"
"Yes, but not enough."
"Doctor, the result." The nurse gave the Doctor a data PADD and busied herself by removing Andrea's shoes.
Miranda studied the Doctor as he read through the result. The look on his face as he raised his gaze to hers, made her lightheaded and weak. "Doctor?"
"This is more serious than I expected," the Doctor said. His eyes looked with empathy at Miranda and Cassidy. "An unknown toxin has entered Ms. Sachs's system and is slowly shutting down one organ after another."
Miranda had to steady herself against the life-support arc. "How?"
"The only two ways this could've happened is that Ms. Sachs either accidentally ingested it, or unknown people administered it via her food or by other means. I will have more to tell you once I decide what agents we're looking at here."
"Her organs…you say they're shutting down." Miranda was finding it hard to breathe, but kept going. "How long before…I mean, how long do we have?" She began to rock Cassidy gently as the little girl was sobbing into her chest.
"So far, the arc is enough. If her kidneys or her liver gets affected, I'm going to have to put her into stasis until we've figured out a remedy."
"Stasis…" Cassidy whispered. "Mom, we have to fetch Caro before he puts her in stasis. Mom!"
"Yes. Yes, of course." Miranda let go of Cassidy who scurried out the door. She rounded the arc and looked at Andrea who lay so still, as if she was already—no! Rejecting such thoughts of defeat, Miranda placed a gentle hand the top of Andrea's head; the only part not covered with medical technology. She scratched Andrea's scalp tenderly. "You rest, darling, and get better. I'm going to find whoever did this to you, and trust me, they're going to pay."
The darkness shifts into something milky grey. Somewhere, a voice, so familiar, beloved even, rises and falls. Its cadence changes as well, sometimes staccato and sometime lingering like a caress.
Why can't she move? Where is she? Fumbling in this frightening darkness that won't give way, she floats, up, up, and suddenly drops like a rock, only to float again.
Oh, words. Words that put a name on…on her? Is she Andrea? The name is familiar too, or part of it is. Why can't she feel her arms and legs? Is she…Is she dead?
"Pulse is climbing, Doctor. BP 180/100."
Another voice. A stranger. Definitely a stranger.
Something sits on her chest, pressing and pressing, making it painful to breathe. Whatever it is, it wraps around her waist, hugging in a very unpleasant way. A snake? Oh, Gods, a snake? She can't remember her name, but she knows without a doubt, she hates snakes.
"Her heart is under too much strain. I thought her kidneys, or her liver, would be the organs to suffer first, but these readings show deterioration of her heart tissue."
Who are they talking about? Her? Is her heart broken? No. She knows, like she knows she fears snakes, that her heart isn't broken. She's happy. She's loved, cared for, and very happy.
So why is she kept prisoner in this…this no-mans-land? Why isn't Miranda—Miranda! Where is Miranda? Why is she here alone? What is going on? Why can't she breathe and why is that snake still curled around her? Miranda knows about the snakes. She would never allow them to put snakes on her so Miranda must be gone.
"Easy, darling. Relax. I'm here. So are Caroline and Cassidy. And Kathryn and Seven too. We all are. Don't be afraid. The Doctor is going to put you in stasis now. It will be like a deep sleep. When we bring you out of stasis, you'll feel a lot better and we'll together again. I love you, Andrea."
Miranda! Oh, sweet Gods, Miranda. She heard her, but she couldn't speak, was unable to reciprocate. Stasis? What for?
Her hands won't obey when she tries to will them to move. Is she paralyzed? Are these phantom feelings in dead limbs? Is that why she's going into stasis.
Something in the milky darkness moves. A snapping, crackling sound around her startles her, makes her whimper. She doesn't like this. And now a hissing noise. Something is making a very loud, hissing, gurgling noise. She's never been so afraid in her life.
The cold. Oh, no, no, no. Such unbearable cold. Nobody can survive that. Such searing coldness, like being dipped in liquid nitrogen. It hurt and she couldn't breathe. She was powerless to stop it. No, no, Miranda. Stop. I'm here. It's me. Don't do this.
Don't do this.
"I know this looks bad, Miranda," The Doctor said. "Now she is comfortable and her vital organs are safe until we learn how to rid her of the poison."
"Are you sure, Doctor?" Caroline said, leaning over the sealed stasis chamber where Andrea lay. "She looks…she doesn't look peaceful mom."
Miranda bent over the chamber and wiped at errant tears. "She can't feel a thing, Bobbsey. The Doctor bought her time."
"But, Mom. Look!" Cassidy pressed her index finger against the transparent aluminum.
Miranda squinted and put on her glasses. A lone teardrop left Andrea's eyelashes on one side and ran along her temple. Surely that was a delayed effect?
Janeway pulled Seven aside, both to give Miranda and her daughters some privacy, but she also had questions.
"Does this situation with Andrea have anything to do with what you told me in the mess hall earlier?" Janeway held on to Seven's human hand.
"I do not see how it could, but I cannot rule it out either." Paler than usual, Seven gripped Janeway's hand harder. "Andrea is a designer. She has nothing to do with ship's business or our mission."
"No…but she is Miranda Priestly's partner and Miranda is involved with the mission. We need to close Maladorian's weapons dealing down. So what if they're using Andy to get to Miranda?"
"Are you saying that someone aboard the Brilliance has poisoned Andrea to distract her lover, therefore keeping her from performing her duty?" Seven raised the eyebrow not covered by a Borg implant. "Why not poison Miranda directly?"
"That might attract more attention to what the real issue is. This way, we cannot be sure."
"Yes, we can. We can trace Andrea's steps back and determine how the poison entered her system."
"I can help some with that," the Doctor murmured right next to them. He had to have watched some of Tom Paris's old movies from the 20th century as he looked the part of a private investigator from that era in the way he leaned in and spoke through the corner of his mouth.
"Go ahead, Doctor," Janeway urged.
"The toxin is construed from several synthetic agents and bound together with yet another substance of unknown origin. On a molecular level, this is small enough to pass through the blood brain barrier. I see no injection marks on her body, either from a needle or a hypospray. My best guess is that she either inhaled it, or imbibed it."
"Someone poisoned her food or drink." Seven pressed her full lips to a thin line. "If she had inhaled it, shouldn't she or others notice it? Someone else would have been affected too if that was the case."
"Inhaled what?" Miranda's stern voice interrupted them. "If you are discussing Andrea's condition, I need to hear." It was not a request. Janeway related on so many levels as Seven's life had been in danger many times.
The Doctor brought Miranda up to speed in a few words. Janeway kept an eye on the fashionista turned clandestine operative so she didn't faint. She should have known better. Miranda took a deep breath and then turned to Seven.
"You think this was in something she ate?"
"Yes. Most likely. Either meant for her, or, if she switched food last minute with someone, someone else. You or any of the twins are the first that come to mind."
"Caroline and Cassidy?" This time Miranda reached out to steady herself against the bulkhead. "My children are potential targets?"
"At this point, anyone associated with you and our mission is, yes." Janeway placed her hand on Miranda's shoulder and wasn't surprised when the other woman shook it off.
"I want security officers with my girls at all time. People you trust who worked with you on Voyager."
Miranda glanced at the stasis chamber. "And one guard at Andrea's chamber."
Miranda turned to face Janeway, her voice a low growl. "And then I want the names of the people behind this. Or their heads—whichever comes first."
Seven strode into astrometrics, which was the part of the Brilliance where she felt most at home, not counting hers and Kathryn's quarters. The large view screen, twice as large as the one aboard Voyager, stretched across two walls. There she read star charts farther into space than any other Federation vessel.
She didn't stop to admire the screen, like she tended to do, but moved on to her computer console at the center of the vast area. On an average day, forty some people worked there at each shift, but Kathryn had put the Brilliance at yellow alert, which meant another twenty crewmembers worked double shifts and manned the extra consoles.
"Listen up," Seven said as a way to get everyone's attention. She found the expression lacking and would much rather use a navy whistle or something, but Kathryn maintained whistles were for dogs and other animals. "I want you to divide the sectors between you and use maximum magnification along with the strongest sensor readings."
"What are we looking for, ma'am?" Lt. Meyk asked, always eager and ready to jump into action. Seven appreciated the young woman's exuberance enough to overlook Meyk's habit of breaking protocol. Seven had done the same when she was new on Voyager.
"Anything you deem anomalous, any ships that are not registered or flying outside their flight plan. We are at yellow alert for a reason. I expect you to be conscientious and use your instincts as well as your logic." There had been a time when Seven thought instinct was a human flaw more than anything else, but that was before she encountered the Omega molecule and for a few fleeting moments saw perfection.
Someone tapped her on the shoulder, and Seven turned around, surprised. Her crew never made physical contact.
"Miranda Priestly," Seven said and frowned. What was Miranda doing here?
"I need you to run this along with your other search parameters," Miranda said and handed over a computer strip. "This has something to do with our covert mission. I cannot allow any of your subordinates to run this—it has to be done at your console."
"Very well." Seven slipped the computer strip in a slot on the side. A vast amount of data began running alongside the regular search parameters. "I have a query, Miranda," Seven said. "Should we not bring in Tal Celes and Nash Forster, if your suspicions are correct?"
"Tal Celes and perhaps Nash Forster, if Celes agrees. She knows Forster better than anyone of us." Miranda pinched her nose. "I should get back to sickbay. I don't want to leave the girls there alone with Andrea in the stasis chamber."
"They are resourceful, strong girls." Seven touched Miranda's arm, not entirely comfortable about it. She would never let anyone know, not even Kathryn, that Miranda intimidated her.
"Thank you, Seven." Miranda surprised her by reciprocating the touch by squeezing her hand. "I haven't felt right about the whole stasis chamber solution since Cassidy claimed she saw Andrea's tears run after the Doctor locked the stasis chamber."
Seven frowned. "I was not aware that this was the case. Is Cassidy certain?"
"Yes." Miranda shuddered.
"We should let my console do the work we just initiated. I will place a Borg algorithm security lock on it. We need to go back to sickbay and run a diagnostic on the stasis chamber…and on Andrea."
Kathryn strode into sickbay, her facial expression somber as she joined Seven, Miranda and the Doctor standing by Andrea's stasis chamber. Miranda had sent the girls with Lt. Ayala to her quarters. She trusted Ayala as he was an original Voyager crewmember who originated from the Maquis movement. Devoted to the admiral, he would protect her girls.
"Did I understand correctly, Doctor," Kathryn said with quiet dismay, "that Andy is not completely in stasis?"
"Seven's run diagnostics on the stasis chamber, which functions perfectly." The Doctor's eyes seemed darkened by remorse. "However, when I ran a similar, Borg-enhanced, I might add, diagnostic on Ms. Sachs's brain patterns, I found several parts of it to be put in stasis, but some aren't."
Miranda closed her eyes as pain tore through her chest. "Which parts?" she managed, her voice barely carrying.
"Her organs are in stasis, except the parts of her brains that guides her auditory and sensory abilities."
"Audi—" Miranda gasped. "She can hear…and feel? She's not unconscious?"
"I sedated her as I found her stress hormones levels too high, something a stasis chamber isn't set to register. If young Cassidy hadn't spotted those few tears, and you not brought it to Seven's attention, the truth is, Ms. Sachs's would have suffered a great deal longer."
"Andrea…" Miranda placed both hands on the stasis chamber and looked down at the pale woman lying so still. "And she's sedated now?"
"Yes, I am monitoring her as if she was on a ventilator arc, as well as in stasis. Her brain is no longer showing any signs of distress."
"Is the toxin you discovered to blame for this?" Kathryn asked, moving to stand next to Miranda.
"Yes. That's the only explanation. I searched the Brilliance's and my own databases and not found one naturally occurring incident like this. I'd say it was on purpose, an engineered method of obtaining this outcome." The Doctor shook his head. "I cannot fathom who would do this…and to this very sweet young woman at that."
"Whoever it is, I want them." Miranda straightened and let her gaze wander between the other three. "I want a meeting with Tal Celes and Nash Forster."
"They may have heard of this toxin—and this effect." Seven nodded.
"How's the search for an antidote coming, Doctor?" Kathryn asked.
"I've got ten of my best scientists working on it, apart from myself," the Doctor said. "It's a complex toxin, with some alien compounds we've never seen before."
Miranda fought to contain her fury, still not so much that it gave too much room to her fear and despair. She needed to stay furious enough to keep going, or she might end up a sobbing heap next to Andrea's chamber, which wouldn't do her lover any good. She wanted to reach into the chamber and stroke Andrea's cheek, but as this wasn't possible, she held her hand against the cold surface that encased her for a moment. Letting go, she turned to the others. "All right. Assemble Forster and Celes, and a few of the security detail that you trust implicitly, Kathryn. We need to do our part while the Doctor does his."
Janeway gazed around the conference table. Miranda sat to her left, Seven to her right. Nash Forster and Tal Celes sat next to Seven, which during any other circumstances would have amused her. Miranda in this mood intimidated them as well. The Doctor and Lieutenant Ayala joined in via encrypted video feeds from sickbay and Miranda's quarters, respectively. Three more lieutenants that had served with Janeway in the Delta Quadrant sat on Miranda's side of the table, but with two empty chairs in between.
"Does anyone have anything new to report?"
Miranda turned her head toward Nash. "I for one want to know if Maladorian habitually uses unknown toxins on innocent young women." Her voice was soft and cold, a combination that Janeway heard matched her own low growl register.
"If you're asking have I ever saw him poisoning someone, or giving such orders, the answer is no." Nash spoke matter-of-factly, but her slanted golden-amber eyes darkened to an almost brown. "His way is more that of a blow'em up, shoot'em down kind of approach. Poison? Too sophisticated for him."
"As his right hand, you ought to know," Janeway said.
"Former right hand." Nash shook her head. "I have one allegiance now." She glanced at Tal. "And she wants me to do my duty to the Federation—so I do."
This was as trustworthy and loyal as Nash would ever be. For some reason, the lethal woman loved Tal Celes and was prepared to do anything to keep her—even betray the man who wouldn't hesitate to kill her in the most painful imaginable when he found out.
Seven's dataPADD beeped twice, almost making Janeway lose her train of thought. "So, if not Maladorian, even if I haven't ruled him out, then whom?" Janeway rapped her nails against the table.
"I have erred in my judgment, Kathryn," Seven said, her voice aplomb as usual, but the tiny infliction of pain in her voice was clear to Janeway. "I have reason to believe that I underestimated the problem you asked me about last night."
"And you waited until now to tell me?" Janeway was astonished.
"I could not tell before, Kathryn. I only finished my simulation now." She lifted her data PADD for emphasis. "When I saw the outcome, I realize this might just be the beginning."
"What?" Janeway straightened and pressed her palms at the table."
"I fear Andrea might not be the only target."