Disclaimer; to Paramount, Viacom etc, etc. I've borrowed these characters for a little while. I am not making any profit out of this, it's just for my own amusement.

Hi. This is my very first fanfic, and it's been a long time in the making. It's a little J/C story set a year after Endshame. If anyone has done this idea before, then I apologise in advance. Feedback good and bad will be appreciated.

Please read and review.

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The Dance Chapter 1 – Getting ready

Kathryn Janeway looked straight ahead at the woman facing her.

The woman's hair was dull dark brown, not the shimmering auburn that it used to be. Her grey-black uniform sat awkwardly, while a belt sat insecurely on her hips. The woman's eyes, once a lovely sapphire blue now looked dull, bordered by many worry lines. The woman applied her make up with absolute precision. Foundation, eyeliner, shadow and lipstick all looked perfect, but still the eyes looked dreary.

Kathryn took a step back to appreciate her work, but felt upset as she gazed at the middle aged woman standing before her. It was ironic, in a way, that in one year doing a desk job on Earth, she had aged more than the sum of the seven years she had spent agonising over life or death decisions in the Delta Quadrant.

*What's happened to me? * she thought inwardly. Scrutinising her reflection, she searched for the answer to that question. Deep down, she knew that answer.

She was lonely, and boy, did it hurt more that ever. When Admiral Janeway told Kathryn of Chakotay and Seven's future liaison, she had been upset, but thought from the way the Admiral was talking, that their relationship was still a few years away from beginning. It had all become painfully clear when Voyager touched down at Starfleet command's parade ground. Kathryn had been greeted by friends and relatives, introduced to her senior officers' families, and introduced to many of the crews' spouses.

She had looked around herself that day. Everything was perfect. She looked around at the many happy couples that were reunited, and she looked at Chakotay. Kathryn had surely got Voyager back long before he could take an interest in Seven hadn't she? Her CO had come up and enveloped her in a big hug, kissing her cheek, before dashing over to Seven. Kathryn saw the look in his eye as he gazed at former drone before leaning down and passionately kissing her.

She lost him that day.

Taking another look in the mirror. She viewed the uniform she wore. Was this all that she wanted from life? To wear a uniform and issue orders to people whom were terrified to talk to her. Was that really what she envisioned herself doing?

More thoughts sprung to mind. She would become the Admiral Janeway that had brought her crew home. She'd spend all day barking orders to young lieutenants, before going home, alone.

Kathryn hung her head, tears threatening to spill and overwhelm her. It was hard to be upbeat and positive when the man that you loved had ran off with a beautiful curvaceous blonde.

*How could I ever hold a torch to her? *

It wasn't bad enough that Chakotay and Seven were an item. It wasn't bad enough that they would probably get married as they had done in the Admiral's timeline. What really upset her was that Chakotay hadn't told her of their relationship, and hadn't once thought to contact her in the twelve months that had passed since they had last spoken.

She was shook out of her reverie by a bleep bleep noise coming from her terminal. Getting up, she realised that someone was calling her.

Kathryn walked over to the terminal, before hitting the control panel to see who was calling her.

The familiar face of Admiral Paris beamed back at her

"Hello. Kathryn."

"Hello sir. How are you?" "Never better. Yourself"

"Not bad, not bad at all" she lied "looking forward to tonight"

"As am I. Kathryn, are you sure you're okay"

"Absolutely sir!" she replied too cheerily

"Mmm...I guess that I'll just have to trust you on that one. I'll see at 1700 Admiral"

"1700 sir. See you then"

Kathryn signed off, and leaned back in her chair. Owen Paris knew her too well. He'd been a surrogate father to her ever since that fateful day at Tau Ceti Prime. Owen knew to back off a little if something were amiss, but he always asked her if she was okay. Tom Paris was lucky to have such a devoted dad.

Her thoughts drifted again, this time to Tom and B'elanna. This pair had been at loggerheads for years, before finding love together; they were now two years married with a year old daughter, Miral.

Kathryn smiled, as an image of the family crept into her mind. She was looking forward to seeing them again, along with Harry, Tuvok, the doctor, Celes, The Delaney sisters, and Chakotay.

Suddenly, her mood changed, and Kathryn felt a familiar twang of anxiety wrap itself around her gut. This was going to be tough...