Disclaimers

Copyright: I don't own any of the Voyager characters or Voyager concept. I do however own the story plot.

Violence: None.

Subtext: This story has lesbian context.

Pairing: Janeway/7of9

Feedback: red_hope@yahoo.com

Summary: A first time story between Seven and Janeway. Seven is invited to dinner in the captain's quarters and they spend the night talking; just Seven working Janeway through her fears. Set just after the Think Tank episode. Possibly a sequel to this story?

Started: February 15, 2004 sunday

Ended: February 17, 2004 tuesday

Seeking Perfection

By Red Hope

Captain Janeway gradually leaned back until her back touched the work station in the middle of Cargo Bay 2. She thoughtfully watched Seven of Nine continue to regenerate in her Borg alcove. It gave the captain several quiet moments to just enjoy Seven's presence without any suspicious of her crew or even Seven for that matter.

"Computer, when is Seven of Nine's regeneration cycle complete?"

There was a brief chirp then the computer reported, "One point two minutes."

Janeway tilted her head a little as she folded her arms over her chest. She'd been running this ship for almost five years now. She'd seen many things in the Delta Quadrant and she suspected she still had many more before their arrival in the Alpha Quadrant. Overtime, she'd grown rather close to her fellow crewman and the entire crew was now her family. Yet the one thing Janeway was coming to realize was just exactly how much Seven of Nine stood out in front of her than the rest of her crew. The past few days had reminded her of that when Kurros and the rest of the Think Tank wanted Seven of Nine, and desperately at that.

Kathryn Janeway shifted out of her musings when the computer announced the end of Seven's regeneration cycle being complete.

Seven's eyes instantly opened and locked on Janeway below. "Captain, can I assist you?" She gracefully stepped down from the dias of the alcove.

Kathryn softly smiled as she straightened up, becoming more of the captain. "Yes, I was wondering if you'd be interested in dinner this evening?" She slightly grinned when Seven lifted her metallic eyebrow.

"Indeed," whispered the remotely surprised borg. "Is it not your weekly dinner with the Commander?"

The captain's lips pressed together a little tightly but she quickly replied, "It was but plans have changed." She tilted her head back a little more so she could look directly at Seven's face. "I'll have a dinner ready and nobody to eat it with." She smiled and asked, "Care to join me?"

Seven had clasped her hands behind her back earlier and now she clenched and unclenched her hands as she considered. "I'd be honoured, captain."

"Wonderful." Kathryn smiled at that and shifted away from the borg. "Be there around nineteen hundred-ish time."

Seven of Nine's metallic eyebrow again lifted up. "Are you on 'ish time,' captain?"

Captain Janeway stopped walking towards the doors and turned around, a grin on her face. "I suppose so… there's no rush."

"Of course," agreed the brog.

"I'll see you then." Janeway flashed a smile then quickly left the cargo bay.

Seven of Nine tilted her head to one side and curiously wondered what that was about. She'd never known Janeway to cancel a dinner date with Chakotay unless certain events merited it. Seven even had to admit to herself that she'd never really had a quiet evening meal with the captain.

Seven decided she needed to get to Astrometrics before it got any later. As she headed there, she continued to turn over the captain's interesting behaviour. She knew this week's events with the Think Tank had bothered the captain but nothing considerably extreme like other cases. However earlier on, only a month ago, the captain had gone to great length to save Seven from the Borg Queen. Now Seven wondered if this was an after effect of everything and the captain's way of re-establishing the closeness in the friendship.

When Seven entered Astrometrics, she noted everybody's head turn to her and she merely ignored them as always. She set about to do her work and started by entering the recent information she obtains from the Think Tank. She had much to enter into the database for future reference.

Suddenly the door to Astrometrics swooshed open and Lt. Torres appeared. She went directly to Seven of Nine. "Seven, I need your help in engineering."

The borg continued to enter her information without even giving any regard to the Chief Engineer. "What is the problem, lieutenant?"

"I've got some wet nose baby engineers down there and unfortunately I'll need your help for this."

Seven almost let out a heavy sigh at the Lt. Torres obnoxious words and tone. She came to a stopping point in her data entry and she looked at the smaller woman. "Lead the way, lieutenant."

B'Elanna Torres briskly nodded and turned around. She led the way down to engineering and first picked up her tools. "We need to go into the Jefferies Tubes," she explained when she returned to Seven's side. She started to head to the main entrance of the tubes with Seven at her side. "I didn't pick up the problem until after we got underway." She let out a heavy sigh.

"What is the problem?" probed the curious borg.

"Let's just say if we don't fix the problem, there'll be a mutiny on board."

"Ah." Seven of Nine nodded. "The main replicator system has failed."

"Yes," replied B'Elanna. She said nothing else as she crawled into the tube and Seven followed her. "I don't know about you, but I don't like Neelix's slop."

Seven sighed as she crawled along side the smaller woman. It was times like this that she wish she was about a foot smaller much like Naomi Wildman or at least the captain's height. "Yes, it'd be wise if we fix it now." She was silent for a moment then added, "Especially since I'm having dinner with the captain."

Lt. Torres hesitated but kept crawling and tugging along her toolbox. "You're having dinner with the captain?"

The borg glanced over briefly to B'Elanna. "Yes, later this evening."

B'Elanna sucked in a breath and breathed out, "Kahless… you really are her favourite."

Seven note ahead was the small door into the replicator room for the machine. She reached up to punch in the access code then crawled in after Lt. Torres. "I do not see how I am the captain's favourite."

The Chief Engineer rolled her eyes. She sat down cross legged by the replicator and started to pull out her tools. "Trust me, Seven… you get special treatment from the captain."

The borg's eyes slightly narrowed. "I believe the captain and I have a different relationship than most."

B'Elanna snorted at the remark. "You could say that." She then nodded at the lid on the replicator. "Can you get that?"

Seven of Nine reached forward and punched in the code for the hatch on the replicator. The lid slid open and flipped out of the way. "Are you ready?"

"Yes." Lt. Torres had her two tools she figured she needed. She was about to go down into the replicator but then she recalled one more complication. "Zero gravity, Seven."

Seven resisted from smirking as she held out her left hand towards the wall to her left. "Of course, lieutenant." Her hand fisted up and suddenly two borg tubes slithered out of her knuckles and connect to a circuit panel on the opposite wall.

B'Elanna suppressed a shiver at seeing the borg tubules but her attention suddenly went to the zero gravity in the small room. "Alright, here goes," she grumbled and reached forward to the sides of the replicator entrance.

Seven extracted her tubules and when Lt. Torres started to pull herself down the replicator, she helped push the smaller woman down. She used her human hand though to hold onto the deck so she wouldn't float anywhere while her borg hand helped guide B'Ellanna into the replicator.

Lt. Torres felt all the blood rush to her head but she tried to ignore it. She wanted to fix the problem and get out of the replicator as fast as possible. She could still feel Seven's cool hand on her right ankle to anchor her in a safe position. B'Elanna slowly and carefully grabbed various tubes, hoses, pipes, and whatnot as she turned inside of the replicator. She finally came to a stop and stared directly at the problem. "Kahless," she hissed and stared at the liquid that seeped out of the pipe and floated in midair. "Seven, I'll need that cover tape."

"Hold onto something, Lt. Torres."

B'Elanna grabbed the broken pipe and she felt Seven's hand release her ankle.

Seven bent forward and over the opening of the replicator. She pulled the hovering toolbox over to her side and she fished through it until she came to the grey cover tape. She then brought the tape to the opening of the replicator hatch and carefully pushed it downwards.

B'Elanna saw it coming and she sensed the borg hand on her ankle again. She grabbed the tape as it came into close proximate. She pulled the tape apart and ripped a decent size chunk then carefully wrapped it around the pipe to the stop the leak.

"Is it the pipe defective?" inquired the borg.

"It looks it… just aged out." She sighed and added, "Looks like I'll have to get a new one made and installed."

Seven peered down to study the temporary fixed pipe. "It is for the hydrogenation?"

"Yes," replied the miffed Chief Engineer. She put the tape into her mouth then grabbed the pipe again. She carefully pushed upwards and her body was one quarter out of the replicator and her feet just touching the ceiling of the tubes. She'd felt Seven's hand travel up her leg and now stopped just under her left knee. She removed the tape from her mouth and let it float near her head. "I'm going to by-pass the hydrogenation pipe to the backup pipe."

"Wise decision," agreed the borg.

Lt. Torres tried not to roll her eyes and instead went to work on the pipe. She first had to take her spanner and turn off the flow of liquid hydrogenation to the main pipe then use her spanner to open it up in the neighbouring pipe.

"Lieutenant?"

B'Elanna let out a heavy sigh. "Seven, just call me B'Elenna… please."

Seven noted the agitation in the older woman's tone but she didn't comment on it.

"And what do you want to ask now, Seven?" insisted the Chief Engineer.

The borg's full lips faintly pierced together then relaxed. "How do perceive the captain's relationship with me?"

Lt. Torres almost released her spanner while opening the values for the backup pipe. "Like I said, you're her favourite out of the crew." She knew not to say anymore since Seven was currently holding onto her and if she angered the borg, she may end up hitting her head in several spots in the replicator.

"Why?" persisted the younger woman.

"If I told you, Seven I'm almost positive I'd… accidentally start hitting my head on these pipes." A slight grin touched the Human-Klingon's lips.

Seven looked down into the replicator and saw the grin. She quickly processed it as a joke. "And that will not happen if you do not tell me?"

B'Elanna clearly stiffened until she'd realized Seven's tone had been light and not its normally icyness. "Kahless the Doctor has been teaching you the ways of a smartass."

The amused borg suddenly tightened her grasp on B'Elanna's leg. "I believe I've learn that Human trait from you, Lt. Torres."

B'Elanna yelped as she was suddenly being pulled out of the replicator. She quickly grabbed the tape and held tightly to it and the spanner in her other hand. She closed her eyes as everything spun around until finally two strong hands grasped her hips and settled her down onto the floor of the Jefferies Tube. She carefully opened her eyes and let out a sigh. "Thanks." She carefully crossed her legs under her and just hovered over the floor.

"You are welcome." The borg pushed Lt. Torres's toolbox to her.

B'Elanna caught it and opened the lid as the box floated in front of her. She took a few seconds to put her tools and tape away.

Seven, however, had outstretched her fisted left hand. Her borg tubules snaked out and connected with the panel.

B'Elanna peered up and looked into cool blue eyes. She felt another chill ripple down her back as she watched some kind of data flash through Seven's eyes like a computer screen. Suddenly the gravity returned and B'Elanna half yelled and half growled when her toolbox slammed onto her right foot. "Kahless!"

Seven heard a few other words hiss from the Human Klingon and she knew they were curses in the Klingon tongue. "Are you okay, B'Elanna?"

The lieutenant just glared at the younger woman. "I'm great," she chided in an annoyed tone. She put her toolbox aside and looked up to see the replicator hatch seal shut.

"We are finished," announced the borg.

"We are," agreed the Chief Engineer. She shifted onto her hands and knees and nodded to Seven to follow.

Seven shifted onto her hands and knees too and quietly crawled along side B'Elanna. After a few seconds, she finally broke the silence. "You did not answer my question, B'Elanna."

"Damn. I was hoping you forgot." Lt. Torres flashed a teasing grin but lost it. "Of course that borg mind of yours doesn't forget anything."

"Forgetfulness is inefficient."

"That it is," quietly agreed B'Elanna. She was quiet for a moment then finally spoke again. "I use to think Janeway was like your mother… a parental figure in your life."

"Perhaps," mused the borg.

"You don't agree, do you?" urged the lieutenant.

"Perhaps at one time but that is incorrect now."

B'Elanna suddenly came to a stop and leaned back to straighten up. After Seven did the same, she locked eyes with the younger woman. "Seriously, Seven… you come off like Janeway's little borg."

Seven gradually lifted her metallic eyebrow. She made no comment on the remark because she knew B'Elanna was stating it as a fact and not attacking her.

"That's to any outsider of the Voyager." B'Elanna lost her gaze and her eyes unfocussed. Something seemed to occur to her as she returned her attention to the borg. "But to everybody on this ship, especially me, Janeway only favours you for one reason and I doubt she even realizes it." She paused, shrugged then added, "But she might realize it too."

Seven tilted her head to the side. "What's the reason?"

B'Elanna smirked, reached over, and patted the borg on her shoulder. She bent forward and continued crawling but called back, "Because she likes you more than a friend."

Seven opened her mouth to quickly refute Lt. Torres's idea but she hesitated because she didn't quite understand what B'Elanna meant. More than a friend so what did that mean? She quickly continued to crawl through the tube until she met with the lieutenant.

B'Elanna was working on the door for the tubes but a sudden cold hand stopped her. She quickly looked at Seven.

"How do you know the captain would be interested in me?"

Lt. Torres was slightly surprised by Seven's persistence as well as her obtuse view about the topic. "Come on, Seven." When she felt the borg hand release hers, she shifted around to face Seven better. "It's like an equation… add it up. You're good at logic."

"The Borg Queen," stated Seven.

A grin slowly grew on B'Elanna's face. "She saved you from her." She folded her arms over her chest as she sat back on the heels of her boots. "Not to mention what just happened with the Think Tank."

"And now a dinner," quietly mused the borg.

"Plus plenty of other small things." B'Elanna shook her head and went back to opening the door for the tubes. "You'll figure it out, Seven."

"I already have."

B'Elanna couldn't hide her grin but suddenly her eyes were filled with the light from the engineering room. "Come on, Seven."

Seven crawled out of the tubes last and felt relieved to stretch her long legs. "Will you need assistance installing the new pipe later?"

"I may, Seven." B'Elanna was about to walk away but paused and looked back at the younger woman. "If you don't mind helping."

Seven of Nine folded her hands behind her back. "I will assist." She saw a flicker of warmth pass through B'Elanna's eyes, it was the first time she'd ever seen it.

"Thanks." B'Elanna grasped Seven's forearm briefly then disappeared into Engineering with her toolbox hanging from her side.

Seven gave a brief shake of her head and returned back to Astrometrics. As she returned to her department, she realized just how much she had to consider by nineteen hundred hours.

Kathryn Janeway quickly stole a piece of tomato from the small glass bowl on her kitchen counter. As she chewed on it, she continued to vertically slice an onion on a cutting board. The door chime though brought her out of her cooking preparations and she looked up. "Come in."

Seven of Nine gracefully stepped into the captain's quarters and her eyes quickly centred on Janeway. "Captain," she politely greeted.

"How are you, Seven?" The captain gave a warm smile. "I'm glad you made it." She returned her attention to cutting up the onion in front of her.

"I see I am a bit early." Seven silently crossed the quarters to come to the opposite side of the kitchen counter.

"Not at all." Janeway gave a grin then added, "You can see my cooking talents."

"Are they as skilled as your captain talents?" gently teased the younger woman.

The captain softly chuckled and shook her head. "Many would probably disagree."

"They cannot be quite as good as Mr. Neelix's," further teased the borg.

Janeway paused in cutting up the onion and offered a half glare. "If you keep these remarks up you can eat in the messhall." Her threat finally brought a grin to Seven's face.

"I believe trying your cooking is worth endeavouring, captain."

"You're too kind, Seven."

Seven appreciated the gentle smile on the captain's lips, something she rarely saw but quickly committed to memory. "And what are you making, captain?"

Kathryn lifted her head as she popped a piece of tomato into her mouth. "Something quite traditional back in Indiana." Her grey eyes softened to a mild blue. "Burgers with yellow corn."

Seven shifted on her feet a little but remained ridged and her hands behind her back. "I believe that is a rather old tradition as well."

"It is," confirmed the captain. She knelt down suddenly and opened some doors below.

Seven heard the sound of metal moving around underneath and she considered what it was the captain was looking for. "Was it a summer tradition in Indiana?"

Janeway suddenly rose up with a black square object in her hands. "Actually yes." She placed the item down on the counter and plugged it in for electric. A rather old item, Seven noted. "This is actually my mother's." She tilted the item towards Seven.

The borg bent forward some and inspected the item. She noted long metal bars that run across the top in a grill-like pattern. "What is it?"

Janeway quietly laughed as she lowered the item back down. "An electric grill." She turned away and walked over to the replicator. She began to punch in various commands.

Seven craned her neck to the right so she could see if the replicator was working efficiently. The meat was produced but she could tell it took a little longer than normal.

"I swear that replicator will finally fall apart." The captain turned around with a cutting board that had a large portion of ground beef on it.

"Actually B'Elanna and I repaired it today."

"Oh?" asked the curious captain. She'd never heard Seven call Lt. Torres by her first name and it remotely surprised her.

"Yes, one of the hydrogenation pipes is defective," reported the borg.

"You and Lt. Torres had no problem fixing it?" Kathryn peered up through hooded eyes while she continued to break up the meat into four piles.

"Lt. Torres merely patched it until she can make a new pipe."

The captain only nodded and urged herself to shift out of her captain persona. She wasn't here to talk work with Seven despite at times it was almost impossible. "Do you like raw onions or tomatoes, Seven?"

"I am… unsure, captain," answered the curious borg.

"Here." Janeway offered first a thin piece of sliced onion.

Seven attentively took it and studied it.

"Try it," persisted Kathryn.

The young woman carefully put the onion piece into her mouth. Within a second, her eyes widened and she tried to hide her coughing.

Janeway held back her laughter but her face was smug. "Like it, Seven?"

Seven cleared her throat and blinked a few times as she urged the tears to stay back. "It is quite… robust."

"That it is," agreed the captain. She finished making the burger patties and lifted them onto the electric grill that had red grill bars now.

Seven heard the meat patties immediately start to sizzle against the hot grill.

Janeway knelt down once again and pulled out a pot with a lid. "Try a tomato piece," she offered.

Seven eyed the small bowl of finely sliced tomato pieces. Did she dare try that next?

"Go on," urged Kathryn, "it's not as bad as the onions."

"You erred to tell me about the onions." Seven lifted a metallic eyebrow.

"If I had, would you have tried it?" teased the Kathryn. She went to the replicator again and put in another set of operations.

Seven let out a dramatic sigh then reached forward to pluck a piece of tomato. "I am fool enough to trust you again, captain." She lifted the tomato tidbit to her lips.

The captain was returning and caught sight of Seven trying the tomato. "You won't regret it. It's nice."

Seven of Nine slowly started to nod her head. "I concur." Her head nodded in approval again. "The tomato has an aesthetically pleasing taste."

"One of my favourites," agreed Kathryn, her eyes bright with pleasure. "I especially enjoy Cherry tomatoes." She walked off to her right and turned on the electric stove top. She put the pot down and let the corn cook over the heat. "Mother grows them in her garden."

"Organic tomatoes," quietly stated the borg.

"A much better flavour… something these replicators could never reproduce."

Seven tilted her head to the side as she studied the captain. "Growing food is very inefficient, captain."

"It might be but it tastes much better." Janeway pulled out a metal spatula to flip the burgers over very carefully.

The borg was silent as she mulled over what the captain said. Her lips puckered a little and she thoughtfully looked at Janeway. "I hope one day I have a chance to compare."

Kathryn peered up from the grill and gradually a warm smile creased her lips. "Me too, Seven." Her smile grew even warmer as her eyes shifted bluer. "I promise to take you to Indiana so you can compare my mother's dinner to a replicated one."

Seven at first didn't respond but then a smile touched her lips. "I would enjoy that, captain." Her thoughts now shifted to Earth and their arrival in the Alpha Quadrant. "What do you believe will happen to me, captain once we return to the Alpha Quadrant?"

Captain Janeway released a heavy sigh as she considered the variables for Seven. "That depends on what you want, Seven."

"I am… concerned about Starfleet," gently mentioned the borg.

"Your concerns are shortcoming, Seven." Janeway could already feel herself shifted back into the captain. "Starfleet will not perceive you as a threat or scientific experiment."

Seven clenched her hands behind her back then tried to remain relaxed. "I do not hold the same… faith in Starfleet as you do, captain." She paused but gently added, "I cannot claim to know how Starfleet will react nor can you claim to know after being away from the Alpha Quadrant for so long."

Janeway contained herself and attempted to remain calm because she knew Seven was only worried. "Seven, I understand your concern but nothing will happen." She locked eyes with Seven.

The intensity of the gaze helped settle some of Seven's worries but something still rested in the pit of her stomach.

"Besides," whispered Kathryn, her focussed lowered to the burgers, "I will not let anything happen to you."

Seven felt a flutter ripple through her stomach. She took a brief moment to figure the captain's protectiveness into her already building equation. She decided this merited more testing and studying. "I am not sure where I will go once we arrive on Earth."

"You'll have options, Seven." Kathryn felt relieved for the mild change of topic. "You can continue with Starfleet, become a citizen…." She lifted her head after flipping the burgers again. "Or I'm sure there will be plenty of scientific organizations that would love to have you work with them."

"Yes, I suppose a borg mind would be fascinating for them."

Janeway shook her head despite she was amused. She was taking the burgers off the grill and putting them on a plate to her left. "I think it's Annika Hansen's mind that's more vast." She lifted the plate and held it out to Seven. "Can you put those on the table for me?"

"Of course." The taller woman took the plate and carried it to the already set table.

Janeway however took a few minutes to ready the cooked corn after pouring out the hot water. She turned off the stove top and put the yellow corn into a bowl. She carried both the bowl and the cutting plate that had cheese, the tomato bowl, and onions.

"What would you like to drink, captain?" inquired the borg as she went to the replicator.

After the captain had the plate and corn bowl set on the table and looked at Seven.

Seven noticed the playful glint in the captain's eyes.

"A dark beer would great, Seven."

Seven's eyebrows somewhat knitted to the centre. "Another tradition?" She busied herself with programming her drink and Janeway's into the replicator.

"Yes." Janeway pulled out her chair and sat down comfortably. She smiled when Seven lowered a tall, thick glass of dark beer in front of her.

Seven however had simply replicated a glass of water, not in the mood to disrupt the flavour of Janeway's dinner. "This looks pleasant, captain."

The captain brightened but then her expression faltered. "I forgot one thing." She quickly rose up and went to the replicator. When she returned she had four rolls and she placed them beside the burgers.

"You can lead," mildly teased the borg.

Kathryn merely chuckled as she took one of the buns and put it on her plate.

Seven followed suit and she studied the burgers after Janeway had picked one out. She actually sensed her stomach growl in anticipation of nutritional supplements. It was a sensation she rarely had but when it happened, it made her feel a little more Human and less Borg. Finally Seven picked out one of the larger burgers and placed it on her bun. After that, she noted Janeway was putting the cheese, a slice of onion, and some tomato on her burger. Seven retrieved the same but passed on the onion and instead added an extra slice of cheese.

The captain had noticed it but reserved herself to say anything and just simply grinned. She then picked up the bowl of corn and spooned out a good helping of the corn. She could only hope her meal tasted as good as it looked but she'd spent many summers perfecting the art of grilling numerous foods.

Seven remained quiet as she took the offered bowl of corn from the captain. She also took a decent helping of the corn and set the bowl off to her left.

"Let's do a toast, Seven."

Seven's lips pulled with a hidden smile. She picked up her glass when Janeway did the same. She lifted her glass even higher and brought it towards the captain's.

Kathryn met her halfway and their glasses clinked together. "To your future, Seven."

"To yours as well, captain." Seven couldn't hide her smile anymore.

Kathryn had a silly grin as she pulled her glass back and took a drink of her beer.

Seven followed suit with her glass and took a drink.

The captain put her glass down and eyed her burger. "I hope this tastes as good as it looks."

"I will be very displeased if it doesn't," muttered the borg.

"Agreed." Kathryn lifted her burger and took a large bite.

Seven had done the same and as she thoughtfully chewed, her expression went into awe.

Kathryn caught the expression and she almost laughed since it was her first experience at seeing such an expression on Seven's face. She was lucky to be able to hold her laughter so she wouldn't choke on her burger.

"Captain, this is exceptional," complimented Seven after she swallowed her bite down.

The captain had finished her bite as well. "Now that is a compliment coming from you, Seven."

Seven shook her head. "I do not understand how people can make complaints about your cooking."

Kathryn tried not to let out a grumble as she returned her focus to her meal. She and Seven remained fairly quiet as they happily ate their meals, both quite content how it turned out. When Kathryn finished her burger and corn, she sat back in her chair and eyed the two burgers sitting on the cutting board.

Seven was relaxing back in her chair as well and took a drink of her water. She also studied the two burgers. "I do not have room for another."

"But do you have room for half of one?" probed the captain, a grin played on her lips.

"I can be persuaded," lightly teased the borg.

Janeway instantly sat forward and took her knife so she could cut the burger in half. As she picked up her half of the burger, Seven retrieved her own. "Try the onion."

"I prefer not to," replied the borg.

Kathryn eyed the younger woman as she cut an onion slice in half. "Try it," she persisted again.

Seven opened her mouth to protest again but her words failed to leave her lips. Her shoulders vaguely slumped in defeat and she took the offered onion slice. "You are the only one," she muttered quietly while she took two slices of Swiss cheese.

"Only one what?" questioned the captain.

Seven peered up from her plate, her expression rather serious. "You are the only one that I cannot resist."

Janeway remained still as she absorbed the information. It was quite a statement coming from Seven of Nine, the borg that still sought some sort of perfection even when she wasn't under the Borg influence. "I'm not sure I concur, Seven." She returned to stacking her burger with tomato slices. "You've done pretty well in resisting my command at times."

"My attempts are becoming more futile, captain." Seven had picked up her fork and knife but hadn't touched her prepared burger yet. 

"Why?"

Seven expected the question and she tried to think of the best way to answer without giving too much truth. She recalled this Human tendency as glazing the truth. "I respect you, captain and more as I've come to realize how exceptional of a captain you are." She paused as she collected her thoughts. "I also believe in the past years you've managed to tap into…." The word she was looking for was slightly lost but then it came to her. "You've reached my heart, captain and my logical side cannot resist what is in my heart. It is a futile attempt on my part to disagree with you anymore." 

Kathryn thoughtfully studied the younger woman and took her words to heart, it warmed her. "If it's any consolation, Seven you've touched my heart as well." She left it at that as she lowered her attention to her meal.

Seven sensed her body warm up and she tried to remain in control. She knew the captain wanted to let the topic go and she agreed but only for now. She decided to finish her burger before it got any colder.

After the meal ended, Seven and Kathryn took about ten minutes or so to collect the dirty dishes and put them in the recycler. Janeway asked Seven to sit down on the sofa as Janeway took a moment to replicate a hot cup of coffee.

"Would you like anything, Seven?"

"I am satisfied, captain. Thank you." Seven leaned back into the sofa and tried to relax just for once during her time with the captain.

Kathryn came over and sat down on the sofa next to the younger woman. She curled up the silver mug in her hands and let it warm her hands.

"Thank you for dinner, captain."

Janeway softly smiled up at Seven. "It was my pleasure." She paused and considered the dinner for a moment. "We'll have to do it again sometime."

"I would like that," quickly agreed the borg.

The captain chuckled and brought a grin to her lips. "Hopefully all my meals will turn out to be as successful."

Seven was quiet for awhile as she processed tonight's events as well as the past few weeks. "Captain?"

"Seven…." Janeway freed her left hand and placed it on Seven's closest knee. "Call me Kathryn, please." She shot a grin at Seven as she teased, "I'm not sure I can handle much more of this captain stuff in my quarters."

"I apologize."

"It's okay, Seven." Janeway squeezed Seven's knee then removed her hand. She took a sip of her coffee and when the rim of the mug left her lips, she asked, "What'd you want to ask?"

"I was curious as to why you invited me to dinner."

"Do I really have to have a reason?" countered the older woman.

"There is a reason for everything," reminded the young borg.

Kathryn let out a faint sigh but she couldn't help her soft smile. "I suppose you're right." She shifted a little in her seat and took a sip from her coffee again. When the mug was back in her lap, she finally answered the question. "It's my way of thanking you, Seven."

"There is no reason to be thankful, Kathryn."

The captain thoughtfully looked up and took in Seven's gentle expression. "I don't agree." Her eyes lowered as various thoughts went through her head. "I admit… I was concerned you would leave to join the Think Tank team." Her eyes lifted up to Seven. "I couldn't… Voyager couldn't afford to lose you, Seven."

"I cannot leave," reassured the borg, "not even to the Borg."

"Yes… I've come to realize this." Janeway peered down at her mug and stared at the dark contents.

Seven debated whether to explain why she couldn't leave Voyager but she decided it wasn't the right moment yet. "I did have an interesting conversation with Lt. Torres today."

"In the Jefferies Tubes?" probed the older woman. She gazed up at Seven.

Seven nodded. "She believes I am your favourite." Her eyes directly locked on Janeway. "Is that true?"

The captain fiddled with her mug a little; she seriously considered the question. "I can't lie, Seven. I try not to favour any one person over another." She released a long sigh. "However I know I do favour you more than anybody else in the crew."

"Why?" persisted the borg.

"Because you merit special treatment, Seven," honestly replied the captain.

Seven found that curious as much as almost insulting that she wouldn't be treated like any other crewmen onboard. She tried not to let it anger her since she didn't know the whole truth. "I never expected Captain Janeway to give any crewman special treatment." She arched her metallic eyebrow for emphasis.

Kathryn sucked in a breath because she knew this would be a lengthy conversation. She leaned forward and settled her mug onto the coffee table. "I didn't mean special treatment as in hand holding, Seven." She rested back into the sofa. "You are unique compared to the rest of the crew." She lift her focus up to the young woman, her head somewhat tilted back. "Unique in many ways and such uniqueness requires a different set of rules."

"I do not wish to be treated any different."

"I know you don't, Seven and I don't do it to anger you." The captain felt her temples faintly throb from on onset of a possible headache. "I merely do it because you're still growing into a Human and learning."

"And how do you expect me to become Human when you treat me different?"

Kathryn knew she was pitting her common sense against Seven's logic and it was never an easy battle. "Seven, as time goes on and you learn more about your Human side, I will not favour you. You will be held more accountable for your actions and expect to follow protocol to a T." She shrugged. "Until then, I will remain somewhat lenient considering your circumstances."

"That is not logical, Kathryn," refuted the young woman.

"No, not exactly," agreed the captain, "but it is common sense." She studied the confused borg and felt her heart go out to her. "You've been through much, Seven." She returned her hand back to Seven's knee. "You lost your parents, were assimilated, and severed only to have to deal with being Human." She shook her head. "Many of my crewmen have been through tough times but compared to you, it doesn't measure up."

"It may have been tough," agreed Seven, "but it has never hurt me." She paused while studying the captain's eyes. "The assimilation was the second best thing in my life."

Janeway squeezed the knee under her hand and removed her grasp. "I understand that, Seven even though I don't accept assimilation."

"You cannot appreciate it until you've achieved it, Kathryn." Seven's eyes glimmered with on old hunger for the Borg Collective. "To seek perfection is powerful."

Kathryn felt her chest tighten at the look on Seven's face. She'd seen it when the young woman was originally apart of the Borg and it still chilled her. She knew though she accepted Seven's borg qualities as well as respected and even admired them. Yet she would never admire the Borg goal even though she understood it clearly and could appreciate it as their ultimate mission. "Perfection is not everything, Seven."

Seven suddenly returned from her Borg thoughts and her eyes warmed again. "It is for the Borg but it is not for Humans." She tilted her head a little and quietly stated, "Love is Human perfection."

Kathryn swallowed when Seven hit the nail on the head. She hadn't realized Seven had come to understand so much about Humans, she hadn't given Seven enough credit.

"Knowledge is power, Kathryn and the Borg desire that perfection." Seven's ocular implant lifted some. "The Borg are like a locus, they will not stop until they've achieved perfection."

"I know," whispered Janeway, "but you cannot tell me love isn't just as satisfying, Seven."

"Emotions, especially love, are irrelevant," stated the borg in her old monotone voice.

Kathryn straightened up and held out her hands, palm up. "Give me your hands."

Seven held out her hands and much smaller, warmer hands curled around hers.

Kathryn lifted her gaze up to Seven and started rubbing her thumbs across the tops of Seven's hands. She then stopped her right thumb that rubbed Seven's borg hand. "You cannot tell me what you feel in this hand…." She squeezed Seven's Human hand in signal and continued her caress. "Is irrelevant compared to this hand." She now squeezed the Borg hand and started caressing again. She dropped her head to the side when she saw Seven's eyes drift shut.

Seven's mind was rapidly comparing the two sensations from both hands. Her Human hand was warm and seemed to surge through her body, made her stomach flutter. Then she focused on her Borg hand and all she received was data such as the temperature of Janeway's hand, the speed at which Janeway's thumb moved, the perfect measurements, and even Janeway's fingerprints were recorded.

Kathryn had watched all the emotions flicker across the younger woman's face. She admitted she was enjoying this debate with Seven. She softly smiled when Seven opened her eyes again.

"What I feel in my Human hand is… intriguing."

"And your Borg hand is very factual, I'm sure," gently teased the captain.

"Yes." Seven sensed Janeway's caressing stop but they still clasped hands. "You're currently thirty-seven degrees Celsius." She narrowed her eyes as a grin pulled at her lips. "Thirty-seven point seven, two, two." Her head tilted a little. "You're getting warmer, Kathryn."

The captain merely mocked glared at the young woman.

"Knowledge is a powerful draw, Kathryn," reminded the borg. Her left hand started to fist up.

Kathryn looked down when she felt very cool metal tubes snake around her wrist. Her eyes widened at the borg tubules that extended from Seven's knuckles. She'd seen Seven's tubules several times in the past but she'd never touched them or felt them. She tried to remain calm even though it unnerved her. She accepted Seven's borg side and she wouldn't show anything less.

Seven had noted the incredible decrease in temperature in Kathryn's hand and a slight shaking. However she maintained her tubules just over Kathryn's wrist.

The captain drew in a deep breath as she pulled her hand away from Seven's clenched hand. She slowly lifted her hand until her fingertips came in contact with the cool swinging tubules.

Seven also watched as Janeway gently touched the borg tubes and seemed to inspect them. She carefully laced her right human hand through Janeway's to offer comfort.

Kathryn gradually felt her nervousness fade away as she became more comfortable with the sensations of the tubules. She reminded herself it wasn't anymore different than seeing Seven's ocular implant or her jaw starburst.

"Do you trust me, Kathryn?" whispered Seven.

Kathryn lifted her eyes to meet with Seven's. She felt her all her fears smother under the caring gaze of Seven. "Yes."

Seven vaguely nodded then looked down at her borg hand and the tubules. "This will hurt for a brief second but you will be fine." She looked at Kathryn again. "I promise," she quietly added.

The captain nodded, not sure what to say.

Seven inwardly smiled at the trust and faith that shined in Kathryn's eyes and it even reassured her. Carefully, Seven directed her tubules to gently wrap around the captain's wrist. They extended a little further up Janeway's arm and suddenly the tips opened and two faint needles extracted.

Kathryn's eyes flew shut when the two needles pierced her skin but the pain was immediately gone. Suddenly all these images bombarded her mind at such a rapid pace. She dropped her head back and a quiet moan escaped her lips.

Seven's eyes were shut too as she carefully processed the data through her mind, to her tubules, and sent it to Janeway's brain.

The captain was breathing harder and harder as her mind suddenly filled with extensive knowledge on Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Uni-Matrix Zero One. So many images flashed through Janeway's mind of all the places Seven of Nine had been, who she assimilated, what she experienced, and the very last image was of herself: Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Seven ended the data transfer and extracted the needles from the captain's arm.

Kathryn rasped for air as her head fell forward. "Oh god," she breathed. She sensed her body reacting to the onslaught of information and she felt weak.

Seven's tubules had retreated back into her hand and she unlaced her right hand. She quickly grasped the captain's sides to give her support. "Are you okay, Kathryn?"

Kathryn covered her face with her right hand and tried to steady her breathing. "I think so."

"I apologize… I didn't realize how little Humans could handle."

"Neither did I," joked the captain as she started to massage the bridge of her nose. "Well… that certainly encouraged my headache."

Seven instantly frowned and scooted closer to the captain. "Lay back into the sofa, captain."

Kathryn decided not to make a comment on the use of her title. Instead she leaned back until her head touched the back of the sofa. She then felt one cool hand on her right temple then a warmer hand on her left temple. "I said it before and now I've had my proof." She took a deep breath then said, "You've been through a lot, Seven."

"I believe we all have," commented the borg.

Kathryn didn't argue the statement but instead enjoyed the sensations of massaging that Seven did.

"And thank you, Kathryn," quietly said Seven.

"For what?"

Seven softly smiled as she warmly replied, "Trusting me."

Despite the captain had her eyes closed, she could hear the smile in Seven's words. "Thank you for sharing your borg life with me, Seven." Kathryn contently breathed deeply as the felt the remains of her headache float away. "Mmmm… this is exquisite, Seven. I will remember the next time I have a headache to have you report to me right away."

Seven had a faint grin. "Would that be an order?"

"Oh yes," teased the captain. She now opened her eyes and the lights in her quarters didn't hurt her eyes now. "Much better… thank you."

Seven pulled her hands way now that she was content that the captain's headache was gone.

"I do have to ask you one thing, Seven." Janeway tried to resist her smug look so Seven wouldn't be suspicious.

"Continue," urged Seven.

Kathryn repositioned herself as she locked her gaze with Seven. "The Borg's desire… aspiration is perfection, knowledge." She tilted her head to one side. "Correct?"

"Of course," agreed the borg.

"Right so...." Kathryn tapped her piercing lips with her right index finger. Her hand fell back to her lap. "What if the Borg did accomplish this perfection?" She shrugged before adding, "For arguments sake, suppose the Borg assimilated the entire Universe and have contained utterly all the knowledge in the Universe." Her grin slightly played on her face. "The Borg even have the Omega… they have complete perfection."

Seven breathed heavily and tried to imagine such a scenario, it was amazing in her mind. A slight smile started to develop.

The captain was quiet for a moment as she let the young borg contemplate such a Universe. "Now that the Borg have perfection… what is left for them?"

Seven's smile started to falter as her mind raced to an answer but nothing came, her smile was lost. "I… do not know."

"There surely has to be something?" argued the captain, her hands held up for a moment then fell. "Or is it just a Universe filled of perfect and emotionless Borgs wondering the Universe?"

"I…." Seven's smile had turned into a complete frown. "I have never considered this."

"No, I suspect you haven't nor has the Borg Queen." Kathryn laced her hands in her lap. "That is why Humans consider perfection absolutely imperfect… it is the means to the end."

Seven's eyebrows were knitted together as much as they could be as she turned over Janeway's words. "Then perfection is truly not perfection." Her eyes focused on the other woman. "What is true perfection then?"

Kathryn softly smiled as she whispered, "It is love, Seven."

Seven was quiet for awhile as she tried to process the new information. She shook her head a little and asked, "How can love be perfection?"

"Because Seven, it is something anybody can strive for and no matter how hard you try or how close you get, you can never contain it." Kathryn went silent but only briefly before saying, "Love is perfection because nobody can contain it… not even the Borg… especially not the Borg."

Seven swallowed a little and her eyes had brightened into a soft blue that Kathryn had never seen. "I agree, Kathryn." She felt as if this information had been eluding her for some time now and now that she not only knew it but understood it seemed to help her accept her Human side. "I was correct when I said my assimilation was the second best thing in my life."

Kathryn had a mildly confused look but she asked, "What was the best thing, Seven?"

Seven uneasily shifted some in her spot. She rarely felt anxiousness or apprehension but right now she did more than ever but she used her Borg side to gain courage. "The best thing in my life, Kathryn was meeting you."

Kathryn stopped breathing for several seconds as a warm charge rippled through her body.

Seven knew it would take more encouragement to get the captain to open up. "I do not believe you favour me merely because of my circumstances either, Kathryn."

Finally Janeway realized she needed to start breathing again. She took in a shaky breath and her head dipped down a little. "Those are the only reasons," she stated a little more harshly than she wanted. She suddenly stood up and walked away from the young woman. She crossed over to her office area and faced the window. She simply watched the stars streak across and she willed her mask to cloak over her again for protection.

Seven studied the woman's back for a moment then she stood up. She silently came up behind the smaller woman but remained several inches behind her. "If love is perfection, Kathryn… why do you not seek it?"

Kathryn closed her eyes and folded her arms over her chest in a protective manner. "I could tell you it's because I'm a Starfleet captain. That I don't have time for relationships. Or that protocol cannot allow me to be with my crewman."

"But?" probed the borg.

"But… you would simply see through that." Kathryn swallowed the lump down in her throat as she stared out the window.

Seven was hesitant as she lifted her hands but she carefully clasped Kathryn's tight shoulders. "Then what is it?"

"Seven, I've been burned too many times," whispered the captain. "First when I lost… my 'childhood sweetheart' then Mark Johnson." She let out a disgusted sigh. "And too many other failed attempts in the past."

Seven had some knowledge of the captain's past romances but she never endeavoured to talk about them. "And now you have given into the notion of never finding a mate?"

"Yes," whispered Kathryn, "I am content with my command, my crew, and my ship."

Seven squeezed Kathryn's shoulders carefully then quietly stated, "Then you would make an excellent borg."

Kathryn stiffened and completely stunned by the abrupt yet truthful statement. She slowly turned around and her eyes met Seven's.

Seven tilted her head to the left. "Perhaps One of None would be an appropriate name." She saw the hurt look on Kathryn's face and she regretted her words but only to a point if it got across her message. "I do not understand how you insist I embrace my humanity when you do not do the same, Kathryn." Seven could tell she'd over stepped the bounds as the captain pulled away and moved to another spot before the window. Seven tried not to sigh at how hard this would be but she knew resistance was futile, even for Kathryn.

"Seven, even if I could… you are not ready."

Seven lifted her metallic eyebrow.

Kathryn already knew she made a mistake by materializing such a lie.

"And you are not my mother," jibed the borg. She closed in the distance between her and Janeway. "I think I can decide for myself if I am ready." She stopped just inside of Janeway's personal space and she kept her back ridged so she lived up to her full six feet. "I am ready."

Kathryn had to drop her head back to look up at Seven. "Seven… no," she breathed but her resistance was faltering.

"Kathryn…." Seven clasped her hands on the smaller woman's hips. "Resistance is futile." She lowered her head some. "Embrace it."

Kathryn sensed the last of her walls breaking and she hadn't realized she'd stepped forward. Her arms slid around Seven's waist and Seven pulled her in closer. She lowered her head onto Seven's chest and closed her eyes. A very deep breath escaped between her lips and weight lifted off her shoulders.

Seven smiled as she lowered her head and rested it against the top of Janeway's head. "It is okay to be Human, Kathryn," she quietly teased.

The captain let out a small grunt and squeezed Seven very tightly.

The borg felt the wind squished out of her and when Janeway's hold loosened, she breathed hard.

"How did you figure it out?" quietly asked the older woman.

Seven had a faint grin on her lips. "It was a simple equation to add up although B'Elanna helped point me in the right direction."

"Damn her," muttered the captain playfully. "Although the past few weeks haven't helped me."

"Because of the Borg Queen and the Think Tank," clarified Seven.

Janeway lifted her head finally and peered up at the younger woman. "Yes… I was scared I'd lose you." Her gaze fell for a moment but came back to Seven. "I wouldn't have stopped you though if that was what you wanted."

"No," protested Seven, "I could not leave your side… regardless of how our relationship stands between us."

Kathryn carefully took in Seven's statement and knew she meant each word, it was a promise. "I guess I haven't realized until tonight exactly how much you've learned, Seven. Far more than I originally suspected."

"I endeavour to always surprise you, captain."

Kathryn softly laughed at Seven. "That you do."

Seven didn't say anything back as the closeness of their bodies was sending shocks through her body that she could no longer ignore. She slowly lowered her head and let her lips brush against Kathryn's.

Kathryn was breathing a little harder and her heart beating faster. She felt her lips burst with warmth that flooded her senses. Her eyes drifted shut as she closed in the distance and captured Seven's lips in a very gentle kiss.

Seven didn't urge the kiss deeper as her lips pressed tightly against Kathryn's. She then felt Kathryn pull back and for a brief second she thought something was wrong until her lips were suddenly captured again by Janeway's.

This time, Kathryn parted her lips and the tip of her tongue ran along Seven's lips.

Seven instinctively opened her mouth then her mouth was filled with Kathryn's tongue. Seven ran her tongue against Kathryn's and she heard a muffle moan come from Kathryn.

Kathryn started to pull her tongue back but Seven stopped her by sucking on her tongue. This only caused her to moan again and tightened her arms around Seven's waist.

Seven sensed Kathryn's need for support and she drew her arms around the smaller woman's waist. She then finally felt the need to breathe and she broke the kiss.

The captain let out a faint whimper but she pulled back as well. She gradually opened her eyes and stared into amazing icy blue eyes. "Wow," she breathed, "it has been awhile."

Seven had a faint grin. "We should sit down, Kathryn."

Janeway gave a nod and willed herself to separate from Seven.

The borg turned as Janeway stepped around her and went towards the sofa. Again Seven couldn't resist smiling some. She crossed the space into the living room but stopped beside the coffee table. She lifted a metallic eyebrow at Janeway after she sat down. "Another coffee, perhaps?"

"That would be wonderful," agreed Kathryn and before she could get her mug Seven already had it. She inhaled deeply and finally felt some sense of control come over her again. Already her mind was processing the changes between her relationship with Seven and some fears arose in her. However she forced herself to remain calm and chided herself that her fears were purely childish. When Seven returned, she received back her mug that had warm steam filtering out of the top. "Mmmm."

Seven sat down beside the captain and observed how the captain drank her coffee.

After Kathryn lowered her mug from her lips, she quickly looked at Seven; surprise written over her face. "What'd you put in this? It's exquisite, Seven." She looked back into the mug and noted it was more of a light brown than the rich almost black colour that it normal would be. She considered how it tasted and she thought she'd picked up a hint of vanilla.

"Simply some milk and vanilla flavouring." Seven curiously watched Kathryn take another drink but Kathryn seemed to be test tasting it this time. "And a little almond."

The captain chuckled as she straightened up and leaned back into the sofa. "It's excellent, Seven. Thank you."

"I am glad you approve."

Kathryn softly laughed. "Very much so." She finally peered up at the younger woman and her stomach automatically knotted up.

Seven could tell how worn out the captain was between the past few weeks and how tonight seemed to end the last of her resolve. "You need to rest soon, Kathryn."

"I will soon," agreed Janeway. She took a moment to take another drink of her warm coffee.

"At least attempt to relax more," quietly persisted Seven. She could tell the other woman was somewhat tense and probably because of earlier.

"I am," refuted the captain.

"No you are not, Kathryn," countered the borg. She decided not to verbally argue about it anymore and instead grabbed Kathryn's shoulders and pulled.

Before Kathryn could even protest, she found herself starting to lie downwards and she decided not to argue either. She shifted around until she rested horizontal on the sofa and her boots dangled just off the edge of the sofa. Her head now was propped up by Seven's muscular thigh. Her hands still held her mug that rested on her stomach.

Seven lowered her gaze down and saw how comfortable Kathryn was becoming. "Acceptable?"

"Mmmm," was the captain's only response and she took a drink from her coffee. She took two full gulps of her coffee and realized she only had a small amount left. After a quite minute, she emptied her mug.

The borg noted it and took the mug from Kathryn. She leaned forward and placed the silver mug onto the coffee table before leaning back again. She decided to rest her left hand on the arm of the sofa but her right hand attentively lowered onto Kathryn's stomach.

Janeway paused for a moment but she returned the gesture by pulling Seven's hand into her own. She closed her eyes and with her left hand, which rested on top of Seven's hand, she began to trace out Seven's hand. "Seven, this won't be easy."

"I realize this," stated the borg, "I have considered every angle."

Janeway slowly opened her eyes and tilted her head back to gaze up at Seven. She broke the eye contact and lifted her head back. "We cannot act out of our positions when we're on duty."

"Why would we otherwise?" countered Seven. "Lt. Torres and Mr. Paris have always been professional despite their romantic relations. As the captain, you expect that just as the rest of the crew. Why would we do any less?"

Kathryn let out a sigh but she was grinning. "You're correct." She chewed a little on the inside of her mouth as she stared at their locked hands. "And if you don't mind, I would like to keep this private until we're more comfortable."

Seven hid her amusement as she seriously replied, "I would like the same." Her eyes drifted towards their hands on Janeway's stomach. "I have no experience in a romantic relationship." She paused as she put together her thoughts briefly. "It would be detrimental to me if Voyager knew before I could adapt to our new relationship."

Janeway felt remotely surprised at how well Seven knew what she wanted. "You have thought a lot about this, Seven."

"Of course… why would I not?" persisted the borg.

Kathryn dropped her head back. "I don't give you enough credit, Seven." Her lips teased with a grin. "I didn't realize how ready you were."

"I have collected thirty thousand gigaquads on the subject of relationships," stated the borg, "however I lack experience."

Kathryn suddenly had a devilish grin. "Well then, we'll just have to give you thirty thousand gigaquads of experience." She then reached up with her right hand and started to sit up.

Kathryn's hand on the back of her head urged Seven to lower her head and she met Janeway halfway. Her lips met Kathryn's and Seven savoured the vanilla taste when she entered Kathryn's mouth. She felt Kathryn free her left hand from hers and Kathryn helped prop her body up with her left hand on the sofa. Seven offered support by sliding her left arm under Janeway's upper back then returned her focus to the kiss.

Kathryn quietly moaned as Seven's tongue danced with hers. She hadn't felt this amount of desire in a long time, especially over a kiss. Seven started to separate from the kiss but Kathryn took a second to nip at Seven's lower lip when she pulled back far enough.

A shock instantly flashed through Seven's entire body from the playful nip. Her mind was attempting to record data as fast as her body reacted to all the sensations growing in her. She carefully helped Janeway lower back down into her comfortable position. "You have made the wrong assessment in the amount of data I will collect," Seven factually stated.

"Oh?" asked the intrigued captain. "Did I?"

"Yes, I believe I will collect far more than thirty thousand gigaquads." Seven considered the playful expression on Janeway's face and she wondered what it was about.

"I believe you will never stop collecting your… data," teased the captain.

Seven opened her mouth to reply but she faltered as her eyebrows knitted together. "You are correct."

Kathryn chuckled and contently sighed as her eyes closed. She urged herself to relax, which was quite a battle for her.

"You should rest, Kathryn and I must regenerate." Seven clearly saw the captain's shoulders deflate.

"You're right, Seven… it is late."

Seven had put her hand back on Janeway's stomach earlier and laced again with Janeway's hands. She tried to offer some comfort by rubbing her thumb against Janeway's hand. "I have been here for two point fifty-three hours."

"Thanks for the reminder," chided the captain but she briefly squeezed Seven's hand.

The borg's ocular implant lifted a little but lowered back down as she studied Janeway's face. "So we have agreed on the new dynamics of our relationship?" She felt Kathryn's body shake a little and she saw the huge grin on Kathryn's face, she knew now that Kathryn was inwardly laughing.

"Yes, Seven," agreed the captain. She patted the woman's larger hand then added, "And we are taking this slow."

"Of course," agreed the not so convinced borg.

Kathryn quickly opened her eyes. "Seven," she warned.

The borg couldn't resist her grin when Janeway's stare locked her in place. "I will comply, Kathryn."

"Excellent." The captain's happy grin reappeared and she suddenly sat up. When she swung her legs off the sofa, she looked over at Seven and noticed the amused expression on the borg's face. "What is it?"

Seven's head tilted a little to the right. "We are agreeing on many things, captain."

Janeway noticed the use of her title and knew it was apart of Seven's teasing. She patted the borg's closest thigh and stood up. "Will miracles ever cease?"

Seven of Nine mused over the question and after she stood up, she replied, "I do not see how this is a 'miracle.'" She now put her hands behind her back, her normal stature returning.

"It is to me." Kathryn instinctively put her hands on her hips and became very much the captain. "I never thought I'd see the day you'd agree with me."

"Hmmm." Seven's head bobbed a little as she studied the captain. "I believe it is you who is agreeing with me, captain." She gave a taunting grin then suddenly turned to leave the quarters.

Captain Janeway furrowed her eyebrows at the change of tide. She quickly realized she'd only been stating what Seven had already decided upon prior to the change in their relationship. For the past hour, she had really only been agreeing with Seven's ideas. "Damn," she muttered. "Seven?" she called when she lifted her gaze from the floor.

Seven stopped by the door and questioningly looked at the captain. Her hands as always went behind her back as she stood stoic and cool.

Kathryn approached Seven and despite Seven's emotionless demeanour, she could see the warmth in Seven's frost blue eyes. "Thank you again for coming over."

Seven remained still and calm as she professionally said, "I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, captain." Despite Seven's monotone, her words were still sincere and the captain knew it.

"We'll do it again, soon," promised Janeway. Then she threw off her captain attitude and stepped into Seven's personal space. Her left arm went around Seven's waist while her right hand went to the back of Seven's head.

The tall borg didn't hesitate to free her hands and bring her arms around Janeway's waist. Her lips met Janeway's in a long kiss that grew heated closer to the end.

Kathryn drew back and she put her right hand on Seven's chest. "Slow," she muttered to herself and took a few deep breaths.

Seven had a smug look as she whispered, "Resistance is-"

"Not futile," hotly stated the captain but the grin on her face deceived her. "Go regenerate, Seven."

"Of course," agreed the borg and she stepped away from Kathryn, closer to the door. The door automatically swooshed open and Seven remained in the doorway. "Goodnight, captain."

"Goodnight, Seven. See you tomorrow." Janeway caught a glimpse of Seven's smile before she stepped away and the door closed. She then let out a long and deep breath she'd been holding within all night. Finally the desire and need in her started to subside now that Seven wasn't near her. Janeway went over to her sofa and sat down but she was bent forward, arms in her lap, and her eyes locked on the carpeted floor. She took in tonight's events and how they turned out to be nothing she'd expected especially Seven becoming her girlfriend.

"Girlfriends," quietly stated Kathryn; she tasted the title for the first time. It was as if the title of their relationship instantly settled thickly into her consciousness. "Oh my god… I'm dating… and another woman." She laughed but more out of astonishment than amusement. "What am I doing?" She lifted her head and shook it as she stared across her quarters. "The scary part is, it doesn't bother me for an instant," she muttered while grabbing her mug and she stood up.

Captain Janeway tossed her mug into the recycler and finally decided to call it a night. She was trying too hard to think about tonight and it would have to wait until tomorrow. She went into her ensuite, changed, and prepared for bed. She replicated a new uniform for tomorrow and left it on the edge of her sink. She took her commbadge and carried it back into the bedroom with her. She placed it by her nightstand then she adjusted her Starfleet issued silk pyjamas that pretty much matched the same colour of the royal blue bedsheets. She crawled into the cool bed and ordered the lights off.

Kathryn rolled to her left side and gradually closed her eyes but a thought occurred to her. She opened her eyes and called out, "Computer, locate Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is in Cargo Bay Two."

"Is she regenerating?"

The computer chirped then replied, "Seven of Nine regenerating for twenty point thirty-seven minutes."

"Thank you," called back the captain and she wondered why she'd just thanked the computer. She shrugged it off, closed her eyes, and for the first time in weeks she was able to drift off to sleep. Kathryn was content to fall asleep to the knowledge that tomorrow would be better than today and that every day forward would hopefully be better than the one after. Seven of Nine was now seeking perfection with Kathryn Janeway.

The End


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