Darkness

By DAYDREAM OMEGA

K.M.S

Disclaimers. No copyright intended to Paramount or any other person living or sadly dead.

Subtext. Yep, need I say more? However, not in this part, keep waiting and reading we will get there.

Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Star Ship Voyager was dreaming. There was nothing unusual in that, the only thing she could see was a blanket of thick blackness. No light in any direction was visible, not even the stars that had become the only view out of her windows for the past six years.

This was an unusual dream, in that it did not feel like a dream. She felt her own heart beat, was aware of her surroundings, and other than the fact she had just slipped into bed, Janeway would not have even been aware that this was a dream.

Kathryn Janeway had no idea where she was or how she felt so alive. Normally when she dreamed, it was of a known place; somewhere she had visited or lived.

This place was somewhere she had never been to, but it was warm and peaceful. Although she seemed to be alone, she was not afraid.

A warm soft hand touched her arm, making her jump slightly, and made its way along her arm, trailing around a firm shoulder, to run across her back and down the other arm, and then the touch was gone.

Janeway slowly turned around; Kathryn could see nothing and only heard the noise of her own breathing, rumbling in her ears. Deciding that whoever was here with her, meant her no harm, but she continued to wait for the next movement.

Suddenly Kathryn Janeway felt a soft breath on her neck, and turned quickly, to find more blackness.

"Hello?" Janeway asked, into the surrounding darkness watching for the slightest movement in front of her.

"I mean you know harm, who's there?" Asked Janeway speaking a bit more loudly hoping someone would reply.

The only answer Janeway received was silence.

After a while, Janeway began to hear the soft footsteps of someone slowly walking around her.

"I know you are there, speak to me."

The footsteps stopped, and then began again moving away from her.

"Please wait." Janeway asked.

Kathryn started to walk forward to where she believed the noise was coming from, as she did so the darkness around her began to lift, leaving her surrounded by a grey mist.

From within the mist came a voice, calling softly. "Follow me."

Janeway hesitated, only for a moment, after all where else was there to go?

Suddenly Janeway could see a tall thin shape, quite a way in front of her. The figure was matching her pace, remaining always the same distances, away.

"Where are we going?" Inquired Janeway as they both started to move again.

"Where your heart leads you and where dreams come alive." Replied the soft voice that beckoned her to follow.

"My heart?" Kathryn questioned.

"Yes." Janeway could hear the smile in her shadow like friends voice.

"Are you my dream, or my nightmare?"

A soft velvet laugh floated around Kathryn. "To some, I can be their worst nightmare."

Janeway held her breath, afraid to ask her next question. "To me you are?"

A soft laugh floated in the wind. " What you long for, and yet are most, afraid of."

Janeway gave a short humourless laugh. "After six years in the Delta Quadrant there is nothing much that frightens me."

The voice again answered, "Perhaps, this is not the Delta Quadrant, out there you have a ship and a crew to protect you. Here, be, only you and I."

"Who are you?" Janeway asked hoping for an answer to ease her tired mind.

Again, no answer was forthcoming, and they continued to walk on.

Then the voice asked Janeway a question. "What do you dream?"

"This apparently." Janeway said waving her arms around her in a circle.

Another soft laugh. "This is the place you have dreamt of, not what you dream off."

"I don't understand." Replied Janeway coming to a stop.

The figure in front of the Captain also stopped walking.

"This place is just that, a place. What do your dreams hold?"

Captain Janeway thought for a moment "My home, family, someone to hold at night, to grow old with." Came her wistful answer.

"Why do you not have these things?"

"What, a home or...?"

"No. Your home has always been among the stars. Why are you alone on a ship full of people?"

"I'm the Captain." Replied Janeway as if that explained everything.

" Being Voyagers Captain, means you must always be alone?" Questioned the soft voice.

Janeway thought for a moment and began walking again. "Yes...I don't know any more."

"Do you wish to be alone for the rest of you life, or until you return home?"

"No." Janeway said unhappily

For some reason she believed the figure in front of her was pleased with her answer.

Still walking through the mist and keeping the tall figure within her view, Janeway pondered the fact that the voice was right, and that she did not want to spend the rest of her life alone.

Janeway and her mysterious companion continued to walk for some time, with only the mist and each other to for company.

Up ahead of Captain Janeway, she could see another strange line. This one was of fire, and she came to a stop as the figure came to stand beside the flames.

Janeway, taking a deep breath, started to walk forward.

"To find your heart you must cross the line." That said, the figure turned and stepped into the waiting flames. Captain Janeway bit off a scream, and ran the rest of the way, stopping when she felt the heat on her skin.

"No Way." Screamed Janeway's mind. "Are you completely insane? You'll burn alive in there."

The soft voice returned. "You said you feared nothing. To find your heart, to live your dreams, you must face your fear, and step into the flames."

Janeway gave a weak laugh. "Are my dreams worth dying for?"

"Only you know the answer to that. I can only show you the way." Came the reply seeming to come from far away.

Looking into the flames, Janeway asked again, not really expecting any answers, "Who are you?"

Janeway waited a few moments. "Do I know you?"

The sound of the flames could be heard and above them a voice. "You know me, look within your self."

"Is this a game?" She asked as she began to pace.

"Perhaps. Life is full of decisions... which roads to take. Each choice we make, takes us to the next crossroad. There is no right way or wrong way, it is whether you enjoy the outcome."

"Q?" Question Janeway, hoping it was not.

Another soft laugh came through the flames "No."

"This place is what my mind has imagined?" Janeway inquired.

"Yes." Came the reply. "With a little help from me."

Janeway once again looked around herself. "Why Mist?"

"Perhaps the mist is your inability to see clearly what is in front of you. You tend to let your mind rule your heart, instead of going with what your heart tells you to do."

"I told you, that is not possible." Shouted Janeway with a little anger in her voice. She was feeling a insulted about the mist being compared her ability to see clearly what was in front of her face.

"Anything is possible with life, in a universe full of possibilities, changing all the time. In the time we have been here, planets have been born, nations where conquered, and history and legends are being made. All living things change, if not are there any reasons to exist? With no reason there is no hope, and without hope, there are no dreams to dream."

"Back to dreams again?" Janeway muttered under her breath.

The voice was silent for a moment. "They are what makes life worth living. Why fear, what your heart most desires?"

Still pacing, the Captain stopped and replied. " What I want is not important, getting my ship and crew home is all that matters to me. My dreams will have to wait."

"Forever?"

"If they have too."

The voice was silent.

Captain Janeway was getting more annoyed. The voice had been silent for some time. No one else had appeared in the dreamscape, but the mist and the flames remained.

"Are you still there?" Janeway finally asked, restless for the silence.

"I have always been here."

Janeway looked into the flames. "If...I step into this, moving her arms towards the flames, what will I find? Are you trying to kill me?"

"Why would I wish to harm you? I have not hurt you have I? I have always been here to help you."

"Help? You haven't been much help so far." Muttered Janeway.

"I have said all that needs to be said. The rest is up to you. Open your heart and see the truth, and embrace your future."

Slowly moving her arm, Janeway reached forward and touched the flames. To her surprise, although it was warm, the flames were not burning. Taking a deep relaxing breath to steady her remaining nerves, Janeway swiftly stepped into the flames.

From the moment Janeway stepped into the flames, a feeling of warmth surrounded her, peace settled over her.

"What happens now?"

"What ever you wish, the choice is yours." Came the voice and then another voice spoke.

"I do not know Captain." Said a quiet voice from her left.

Turning in the direction of the voice, Janeway found herself, face to face, with Seven of Nine.

"Seven!" Janeway squeaked. "W..w. what are you doing, here?"

Seven lifted one perfect eyebrow. "I have no idea Captain, I was regenerating and in the next moment I was here, with a voice saying to step into the flames."

"Let me guess, this voice said if you stepped into the flames, you would find your future."

"I do believe that is what the voice said." Seven watched Janeway for a moment, and then looked around them.

"Is this a dream?" There was wonder in Seven's voice.

"So it would seem." Janeway smiled over at Seven, happy to see a friendly face, instead of shadows.

Seven gave a slight smile in return. "Borg, do not dream. I do not remember dreaming as a child."

"Well, I wonder if this is your dream or mine?" Said Janeway, not too sure if she should be worrying about whose dream it was, or what it all meant.

"Who are you kidding" came Janeway's own inner voice "You have known for a long time that your feelings for Seven, were not just feelings of friendship, they are so much more? More than you have been willing to face, but now..."

"But now?" Janeway thought to her self.

Two voices responded and then were gone. "Yyyyeessss."

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