It had been nearly 10 months since Raffi finally caved in and kissed Seven. The early flirtations had been fun, the "will she/won't she" moments when she thought that Seven might close those last few inches and bring their lips together. They had slowly and gradually progressed; heads resting on shoulders whilst reading a shared PADD, the occasional arm or hand resting on one another whilst sat round the table or over an evening's drink together.
Until one evening, over a game of Kal-Toh.
They had settled in for another round, which Seven was, of course winning, sitting at the corner of the table and chair set. Raffi resting her head onto the bare skin of the blondes' shoulder in a comfortable companionship. As she felt Seven rest her cheekbone against her forehead she smiled into the shoulder. Emboldened by the gesture of Seven's response, Raffi began to nuzzle the side of her face against the cool flesh, bringing her face round until it rested into the smooth long neck.
Seven lifted her head and looked down, steel blue eyes met golden brown. Raffi could feel the battle begin within her mind. Blue corner urging her to pull back, red corner urging her on. She had waited long enough, the need within edging her to claim the moment.
Raising her head, she leaned in, and finally, they both surrendered to their emotions, to their needs, to each other.
Raffi and Seven had retired to their shared quarters finally after completing their evenings game. They enjoyed the ease with which their relationship had developed, sharing their histories, their joys, their losses, their failures and their accomplishments. Interspersed with occasional laughter and the odd tear. They could see much of themselves mirrored in each other and it seemed to bring them closer. They could understand where others in a way which others couldn't.
Seven had used her portable regeneration the previous night and could forego the need his evening. On the nights when she did, Raffi would lie beside her and simply watch as Seven lay, the faint green glow from the somewhat mysterious unit gently reflected upon the fair skin of her lover as she absorbed the energies upon which she still depended, even after all these years. Sometimes she would rest her head gently upon Seven's chest and marvel at the subtle hum which she could make out as the power source coursed through the various implants within.
But tonight, they could simply enjoy each other.
As they lay on their sides, face to face, Seven absentmindedly allowed her metal tipped fingers to ghost over the light brown shoulder of Raffi, her eyes lazily following them. She was constantly fascinated with the shades of brown which the dimmed lighting of the room cast upon the woman who lay beside her.
"How long were you married?" she asked, causing Raffi to raise her eyebrows in a moment of surprise. For all they had mentioned her previous marriage, and its obvious failure, they had never discussed it in any detail.
"Uhmmm almost 17 years…." Raffi's voice trailed off at the end.
"Why do you ask babe?". Curious as to what had brought up that topic in Seven's mind.
Seven sighed as she bought her gaze up to meet Raffi's, allowing a soft smile to cross her face to dispel any adverse thoughts she could sense rising in Raffi.
"No reason in particular." she whispered in reply. "You have mentioned your marriage on a few occasions, I was just wondering how long you were together."
Her fingertips traced a line from Raffi's shoulder, grazing lightly along the long swoop of her neck, across the elegant curve of her jaw as she allowed her thumb to gently sweep across her bottom lip.
She instantly recalled every touch from those lips which she had received from this woman before her, her eidetic memory was a blessing in such times.
"Never considered it yourself?" Raffi smiled, pursing her lips to place a kiss on the thumb resting upon it.
"Marriage?" Seven's eyebrows rose sharply as she blew out a laugh.
"Why not" Raffi questioned, smiling out a gentle laugh which mingled with Seven's.
She pondered the subject, gaze wandering off as she searched for appropriate response.
"I - I hadn't been with anybody with whom I felt comfortable to consider it with. I hadn't felt that I could trust them, completely. Nor did I feel I could open myself up enough in a way which one should with a spouse"
Gaze returning to the brown eyes which were still fixed on her, Seven curved the corner of her mouth to the hint of a smile.
Raffi felt touched by the sheer honesty in Seven's reply. She had picked up on her use of the past tense in her explanation and silently hoped - prayed - that Seven was beginning to put those feelings behind her.
She reached her hand out and soft, gentle fingers began to trace the outline of the implant which swooped around the curve of her left eye. When they had first become intimate Raffi was unsure how Seven felt about it being touched, however she quickly became assured that Seven wished her to touch the area. Confiding in her that she was particularly sensitive around the edging of that particular implant and savoured her touch.
Lifting herself up to support herself with her elbow, Raffi leaned down to kiss the dark silver area, allowing her tongue to gently slide along the edge where skin met metal. She could hear the slight gasp followed by a gentle sigh which was accompanied by a metal encased hand sliding around her back to hold her that little bit closer.
Lifting her head away once more Raffi bit the corner of her lip.
"So" she spoke, "theoretically, if I asked you to marry me… like, if we were back on earth… what would your answer be?" She wondered where the hell that had come from!
Seven looked up at her. Slowly her brows knitted together. Slightly taken aback at the question. Unsure how to respond, she searched for a response. Thinking. Wondering. …
"ExB's are not allowed to marry on earth." she finally offered.
Raffi laughed quietly. Trust Seven to give a reason instead of an answer.
"If they were. Theoretically. What would your answer be?"
"If they were. Then, theoretically, I would say yes."
Raffi smiled. Leaning forward, offering her lips for a gentle kiss.
Raising her head back up she looked down to study Seven's face, bathed in the low light, her hair splayed out upon the pillow. She adored this woman. She momentarily considered her past relationships, her marriage to Jae. Had she felt emotions as strong as she did for Seven with any of them? She couldn't recall feeling like this for anyone.
"Will you?" she whispered. Her voice barely carrying on the air.
"Will I?" seven queried.
"Will you marry me?" Raffi's eyes searched the blue ones of Seven.
Seven continued to hold the gaze.
"Theoretically?" she asked. Eyes searching in return.
"No. Not theoretically Seven." Raffi's whisper almost fading.
"Will you marry me?" she said again…. a tear threatening to breach the edge of her eye.
Seven snaked her hand round Raffi's neck, cradling the back of her head.
"Yes." she whispered.