Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters.

Synopsis: Captain Janeway is concerned about Seven's erratic behavior. She decided to go to the holodeck and check on the program that has been taking up so much of Seven's time.

Rated: PG

Checkmate
By: Anne T.M.

Captain Janeway walked into the holodeck and found herself in the middle of a very comfortable looking room. There was a warm fire blazing in the fireplace, soft music was playing in the background and the smell of something delicious permeated the air. She circled the room, slowly running her hand across various objects as she went. This was certainly not the project that Seven had described to her. When she reached the piano, and saw the opened sheet music she shook her head and smiled. Maybe Seven was finally accepting her humanity. This looked very much like the apartment of someone striking out on her own. It had a few more beautiful things than Kathryn remembered having in her first apartment but the feeling of home was there just the same. She picked up the lovely vase and examined the details etched on the front. She would have to find a way to talk to Seven without violating her privacy. She put the vase back on the table and headed for the door.

"Is that you, Seven?"

Kathryn froze. There was some else there.

" I hope you don't mind but I rearranged our plans just a little. I thought we could have dinner second."

Kathryn fought the sudden wave of nausea that hit her when she recognized the voice.

"I am waiting for you here in the bed. Come on, honey. Hurry up. I have been waiting all day to touch you."

Kathryn held her mouth as she ran from out the door. She leaned her back against the wall and closed her eyes. Suddenly she knew what all the other girls at the academy had meant when they said that their hearts had been broken into a million pieces.

"Kathryn, are you all right?"

She jumped at the sound of his voice. Her first impulse was to run. Her second was to punch him in the face but he was still too far down the corridor for her to reach him. Wait a minute, she thought. He was walking down the corridor toward her and he was wearing his uniform. How could that be when a second ago he was in the holodeck, naked and in bed? At least she had thought he was naked.

She shook that image out of her mind as quickly as possible. This didn't make sense. Suddenly, he was standing before her with his hand on her shoulder saying something.

"What did you say?" she asked.

"I said, are you all right? You look like you've just seen a ghost." His bright smile was filled with concern.

There is no way he could have left the holodeck without her knowing it. "Where are you coming from?"

"The mess hall. Why?"

She smiled a genuine smile and sighed with relief. "I just thought that maybe you could join me for a late lunch."

"You have lunch. I'll have tea." He gallantly offered his arm. She took it and held on for dear life.

"What is it with the females on this ship today? You are acting strange, B'Elanna gave me hug and if I am not mistaken I think Seven flirted with me this morning. It must be a full moon."

Kathryn stopped. "I think I left something back in the holodeck." Before he could say anything, she was running down the hall. "How about dinner instead?" she yelled.

"Fine. See you later." He headed to the bridge where he fervently hoped he would find only men.

Meanwhile in the holodeck...

"Computer override programming controls Janeway pi-146." I'll bet she was flirting with him! She probably hoped that her fantasy world would spill over into her real world. She'll get a nice dose of reality when she runs the program again. If Seven thinks she can jump in and take him just because protocols forbid us from acting on our feelings than she has another thing coming. Those feelings are real and everybody knows it! There, finished! Seven will be shocked when she encounters this Chakotay. She will also know immediately what I did but she won't confront me. If she does, she will have to admit what she had been doing in the holodeck all those nights when she said she had been working on a project. Yes. This was the perfect counter strike.

Later that night in the holodeck...

"Seven is that you? I have been waiting for you."

"Yes, Chakotay it is I. I am sorry I am late. I could not leave Astrometrics until Harry arrived." She walked over to where he sat and leaned down to kiss him.

He backed away. "Seven! What are you doing?"

"I thought it was customary to greet each other with a kiss." Seven was confused. Just last night they had mated no not mated. What had he called it? They had made love, now he did not wish to kiss her.

"Some people greet each other with a kiss. People who are... involved might do that." Chakotay stood up and walked to other side of the room.

"But last night in bed..."

"Last night in bed! What are you talking about? I was not in your bed last night!"

"Why are you lying? Why are you here?"

"I came here because you sent me a message and said that it was urgent that you speak to me."

"I never sent you a message. Just leave."

"Seven, I don't know..."

"Just leave." Then a terrible thought ran through her mind. What if he was really Chakotay? She held her breath as he headed for the fake door of her quarters. She only relaxed when she was sure that he had disappeared and not walked out into the corridor.

A short while later...

"Come."

"Captain, I wish to report..."

"Kathryn, I fixed your favorite desert, coffee..." He stopped his serving when he noticed Seven. "Hello, Seven."

"I did not mean to interrupt."

Captain Janeway remained lounging on her couch. Her uniform jacket had been discarded onto the chair and her legs were stretched across the cushions. She made no attempt to move. Chakotay could feel the subtle undercurrents that filled the room but he did not understand what was happening. "What is it you wanted, Seven?"

Seven looked back and forth between the Captain and the Commander. "Nothing Captain. I believe I made a mistake."

"Yes, I think you did."

"I am sorry I bothered you." Seven turned and headed to the door as quickly as she could. In a voice that would be inaudible to most humans she heard the Captain whisper, "Checkmate."

"What was that all about?" Chakotay sat on the couch and lifted her legs across his lap.

He began to massage her feet. "Nothing important. Oh, that feels wonderful."

"If you think that is wonderful just wait until later."

"Later?"

"Yeah, later, about 60 years or 60,000 light years." They both closed their eyes and enjoyed the limited closeness that their commitment allowed.

The End