Title: "The Dress"
Author: M. Edison
Rating: PG
Feedback: Welcome at Medison@thezone.net
Category: C/7 UST
Keywords: C/7, fluffy fun with a little angst mixed in for flavor.
Spoilers: None really.
Disclaimers: I own none of the characters...if I did? bwhahahahaha...*G*
Author's Note: I haven't seen a few of the C/7ish eps *wahhh* but I hope I haven't contradicted.
And if so? Ok, the fic's AU. *Grin*

Muchas gracias to Christina for the beta.

"The Dress"
by M.
It was just a construct of cloth. Pieces of soft velvet material in a deep shade of green stitched
together in a shape pleasing to the human eye. Irrelevant to any function of her duties aboard


Taking the dress in hand, the former drone's eyes lingered on the soft material then moved to her
own jumpsuit. The Captain and the others had been encouraging her to explore what it meant to be
'human', but none of them had mentioned anything like this. So why had she replicated it?

A memory floated up to her, one that was not her own, and she recalled how that woman had felt the
first time her husband had seen her in a dress, the look of awe and wonder on his face and how
beautiful she'd felt.

A pang laced through Seven's heart, grief at knowing the woman to whom the memory belonged was
now a drone, her individuality lost in the single, uniform consciousness of the Borg.

Brushing her fingers across the dress, Seven allowed herself the chance to appreciate its soft
feeling and the resulting emotions it evoked in her. It was that wish, spurred by the memories of
others, to experience these feelings for herself, that haunted her. But she could not, for there
was no one who would look at her as the man in the memory had looked the woman to which the memory
had belonged.

Her expression hardening, Seven dropped the dress onto the console, striding away with a muttered,

Stopping before her alcove, the blonde stood with her back to the dress, entering commands in a
console and attempting to push the very thought of it from her mind. She succeeded, for the most
part, but the tiny whisper of it persisted. A quiet, alluring siren song that persisted in its

Like the proverbial moth to a flame, Seven returned to the dress, staring down as if hypnotized.

To replicate it and not even wear it would be a waste of replicator rations and resources, she
rationalized, picking up the garment again. She could not be so careless, not if she wished to be
an appropriate example for junior crew. All perfectly logical.

Her lips formed a small smile. Perfectly logical.


The material slid across her skin with a rich, luxurious feel that had the little girl within her
clapping with childlike glee. Turning slowly, Seven couldn't resist the urge to look down and
watch the skirt flare about her legs. A soft, swishing noise accompanied the movement and she
tried the motion again, a little faster.

A genuine smile graced her lips and she ran her hands down her torso, smoothing out wrinkles in
the dress. She did feel different while wearing it, which made no sense. There was no reason a
simple dress could cause a shift in her emotional state. Yet it had.

Spinning for the third time, Seven froze when she saw Commander Chakotay standing just inside the
cargo bay doors, staring at her. Instinctively, she opened her mouth to explain but closed it
again when she abruptly realized the expression on his face was familiar. It was the very
expression she'd seen in her 'borrowed' memory.

His awed gaze met hers and the executive officer summoned up a smile. "You look beautiful."

To her confusion, blood bloomed in her cheeks, tinging them a rosy color and she belatedly
understood she was embarrassed at being 'caught'. But, just as she was embarrassed, she was
complimented as well. "Thank you," she replied quietly. "Is there something you require,

Chakotay seemed to start, as if pulling himself out of a daydream, and chuckled slightly. "I did,
but it can wait." He walked forward. "New dress?"

"Yes." She looked down at it once more. "I replicated it this morning."

"It's lovely," he said frankly, smiling. "What brought this on?"

Seven hesitated, her hand resting on the smooth material of the dress. "A memory..." She confessed.
"A woman, now a drone, in a similar situation. I wished....I wished to experience the sensations
for myself. It felt wrong to continue to relive her memory. Like I was an intruder."

The commander moved forward, an empathetic expression on his face. "A very sensitive decision,
Seven," he said softly. "But what exactly was this memory?"

She drew in a slow breath. "She attended a dance, a party. It was the first time she had attended
such an event with her spouse. They danced. She wore a dress similar to this, and I wished to know
how it felt, truly know for myself, to wear one like it."

"And how does it feel?" He prompted gently.

Seven's lips formed a slight smile. "It is pleasant."

"Just pleasant?" Chakotay teased with a little grin. "It seems to me, it should be a little more
pleasant." He looked thoughtful. "Perhaps you need to make a few adjustments."


"Just a minor thing or two. Like," He took another step forward, reaching for her hair. "Do you

Seven forced herself to remain still. "Proceed."

Gently, the first officer loosened her hair, allowing it to fall free over her shoulders. "That's
better," he said softly. "Now," Glancing upward, he requested a selection of music. "I believe, in
this situation, the appropriate question is - may I have this dance?"

She froze for a brief moment, looking from his waiting arms to his smiling face, then - with her
heart in her throat - she stepped forward.

With the greatest of patience, Chakotay took one of her hands in his, placing her other on his
shoulder, then slipped an arm about her slim waist and pulled her closer. "Start slow." He
encouraged gently. "No pressure." He waited a beat then slowly began to guide their movement about
the room.

Forcing herself to forget about the particulars of the dance and every other distraction that
intruded into her consciousness, Seven met his gaze and was surprised at the way her heart rate
and respiration suddenly shot up, and was even more surprised by the way his reciprocated.

"Don't." He murmured softly. "Don't analyze, just feel."

Seven smiled, a smile that seemed to fill her eyes and radiate out, warming him. "Sage advice,

The dance seemed to last forever and yet, she knew that it lasted only a few moments. Her internal
chronometer could time it right down to the nanosecond but she didn't. She forced her attention
away from it and onto the dance, the surprising way their bodies moved together in a pattern that
seemed effortless, natural. An instinctive choreography that she would have thought only those of
a shared mind could produce. It was...quite pleasurable.

As the music came to an end and the movement of their bodies ceased, they were slow to step back,
lingering far longer than was socially acceptable, both loathe to speak.

Finally, she offered a soft smile and an inclination of her head. "Thank you, Commander, for the

He smiled. "Thank *you*, Seven, for accepting the offer." Turning, the executive officer began to
leave but stopped, looking back at her with a look of pure mischief. "And the next time you feel
the urge to make a memory..." He gestured to his comm badge. "Just call."

Long after the doors had swished shut behind him, Seven quietly voiced her response. "I will."