It had been 5 days since that first touch, since fingers had ghosted over the back of a hand, since they interlaced.

Afterwards, there had been lingering glances. Several accidental touches…. or were they, accidental?

Two tentative "goodnight" pecks on the cheeks with hugs which held just that little bit longer than deemed the norm.

But since then, neither had taken any initiative to take things any further. Neither could bring themselves to make that first move. And it was killing them both.

The crew had shared their evening meal together in the mess are of La Sirena, lazing around afterwards in a shared commune. But now they had begun to disperse, each to their own individual areas.

Picard opted to retire his hologram Chateau. Not programmed by his design but selected for him when he first boarded, and as Seven had pointed out to him when they spoke after she was beamed aboard that fateful day; he "liked it enough to keep it". A small reminder of home.

Agnes and Chris bid goodnight and headed for their, now, shared quarters. The more spacious one which Chris's position as captain of his ship offered.

Elnor followed, informing them that he would be spending the remainder of the evening in meditation as his Qowat Milat ways directed.

Raffi stood, offering to clear the remainder of the crockery and utensils from their shared dining into the recycling, biding them each a good evening as she did.

"'I'll help" came the voice of Seven, the tall, blonde….. and oh, my Gods, the breathtakingly gorgeous former Borg.

Raffi breathed a sharp breath, a futile attempt to steady her suddenly increasing heart rate and breaths. Turning, she saw the other woman still sitting at the table where they had eaten.

"What? Uhhmmmm, yeh. Thanks, I uhhhh, I thought you ehhh, you had head off too…." she stumbled over her reply, inwardly kicking herself for feeling ridiculous.

"Jesus Raffi, what are you? Some God dammed pre-pubescent hormone riddled teenager? Just fucking talk to her like the grown assed woman you are!" she scolded herself. She could make out the half smile which snuck its way into the edge of Seven's mouth. Gods….. that mouth….

Placing the last remaining cups in for recycling she attempted a more coherent conversation.

Seven stood, swinging her leg over the moulded plastic bench and slowly moved towards Raffi.

"So….. you uhm, you got anything planned for the rest of the evening?" she asked the blond.

"Smooth" she told herself "is that the best you have" her inner voice mocked.

Seven turned, leaning lightly on the edge of the counter beside the replicator, hands resting either side of her hips.

"Nope, nothing" Seven breathed. Fuck, that voice. Raffi adored the way that voice became gravely when Seven spoke in a quieter tone. It could send a rush of blood down to places where it hadn't been in such a long time. The pull this woman had on Raffi was like a tractor beam drawing her, and her shields were weakening with every passing day.

She sniffed out a laugh of agreement "hah, me either" she offered.

Seven lifted her chin, that dammed head tilt she did. Blood. Rushing again.

The implant above her left eye raised. "Jesus, kill me now!" Raffi pleaded.

"I have the remains of a bottle of bourbon in my quarters…. we could do "nothing" together" Seven replied.

Raffi doubted that Jesus would be enough now, how many deities would she need to call upon to hide her growing anticipation, or was it expectation now. Shit, what was the difference now!

"Act cool Raffi. You're a grown woman, not some sex crazed cadet." her internal voice over continued. She wished it would shut up.

Fight or flight.

Now or never.

Finally, the inner voice served her purpose: "answer her!" it screamed.

Gaze lingering upon sapphire eyes her voice finally emerged.

"I'd like that. I'll grab us some glasses". A smile washed its way over her bronze face and slowly it was mirrored upon the paler one before her. Two, almost indistinguishable nods of her head gave acknowledgment from Seven as she slowly stood back up to her full height, perfectly matching Raffi's.

She listened to the dull sound of Seven's footwear move off with graceful thuds towards their destination. Raffi felt rooted to the spot as she fought her internal skirmish between remaining where she stood or taking those steps towards where desire drew her

As Seven walk slowly towards her quarters Raffi drunk in the stunning physique of her. Strong shoulders, the muscular back which she could make out underneath the black vest, legs which went on for ever.

The greater part of her adult life had been one complete failure after another. Dedication to duty over dedication to her marriage, over motherhood. It had destroyed both. It led to her spiral down resulting in far too many years of addiction and drinking. A life led solitary in some God forsaken trailer in the middle of nowhere. No one to answer to, no one to admonish her actions. No one. Years spent alone.

She deserved someone. She needed someone.

Slowly Raffi followed off towards Seven, heart pounding in her chest. Breaths coming so rapidly that she felt sure her head was spinning. God, why was she feeling like this?

The walk to the quarters felt like an eternity.

By the time she reached the door Seven was already inside, perched against the edge of a small table with padds neatly stacked upon it.

"I was starting to think you had changed your mind" she teased.

Raffi let the door hiss closed then leaned against it, composing herself for a moment.

"Well, someone had to bring the glasses" she laughed, placing them beside the bottle beside Seven's hand.

She could feel Seven's gaze upon her as she slowly lifted her eyes to meet it. The air became thick between them as Raffi swallowed a lump in her throat.

"Shall I pour?" she managed, attempting to fill the silence which had fallen as she moved her hand to the bottle.

The slightest shake of Seven's head offered her rejection of the offer.

"Actually – I don't want a drink." She whispered as she gently lifted her hand, ghosting over Raffi's, toying with her fingers.

Where was that inner voice now? She could sure as hell use it right now.

Raffi felt like time slowed to some almost imperceptible level.

Gradually, the distance between them lessened as they both moved towards each other, sure that neither had dared breathed in the last few moments.

Slowly, painfully slowly, breaths moved across lips, until they finally met. Both women moved into the kiss, giving themselves to the moment. To the desire. To the simple need. The need for another, to be wanted.

The moment, and the movement deepened, both surrendering themselves. The fingers on Raffi's hand made its way to the back of her head, she felt herself quietly moan into Seven's mouth as it caressed the back of her head. The Borg augmented left hand brushed across her back, gently pulling Raffi closer to her as both women melted into each other.

Raffi could feel her eyes fill with tears as she allowed herself to simply exist in the moment. Her arms moving round Seven, securing herself into the embrace whilst tongues explored lips and mouths.

She didn't think she had had feelings like this with anyone before.

Shit, she could barely think at all. Lips finally parted and she slipped her cheek along Seven's, nestling her face through the blond hair as she sighed, feeling strands flutter against her face.

A smile crept across her mouth.

"Actually, I didn't really want a drink either" she whispered. Gently pulling in close.

She felt Seven huff out a soft laugh.

"Good" she replied as she lifted her head, seeking out Raffi's eyes.

The most beautiful smile which Raffi had seen spread from Seven's mouth to her eyes making them glisten in the dim light of the room as she guided Raffi back in for another kiss.

Both women praying that this would be the beginning of many more.