Her hips rock from side to side, the weight of the universe shifting with each step, as she marches through the parted doors, lips painted in a crooked smirk. She stops, hands-on-hips, and gazes at me, that cloudy cobalt penetrating every pore of my body.

"Only you," she says, "would lock the doors and barricade yourself from the rest of Voyager on your birthday."

I have learned that in these situations, cursing is the appropriate reaction.

"Shit," I say, but the words come out far too cold and calculated and all she does is laugh.

"I thought perhaps a full blown birthday party wouldn't be appreciated," she speaks, stepping closer to me, "But I wasn't about to let this slip by unnoticed."

"I do not require your company on this night," I say, "It is no different than any other."

She makes a sound, gruff in her throat, indicative of amusement, and I find it wonderfully charming.

"Computer," she says, "Play audiofile Janeway Seven-Nine."

Music fills the room, slow and soft, and as she walks over to the replicator, she dims the lights.

"Now, I know you do not require nutritional supplements at this time," she says, "But eat it anyways."

She hands me a small plate with a slice of Cake. Cake is one of those human idiocies that I have learned to love. Sweet, delicious, and utterly void of any nutritional value whatsoever. Far more inefficient than, say, wheat bread, but ultimately more appealing.

I make no protest, mostly because I have to objections to Cake, and we eat together as the gentle music swells around us. My eyes flicker over her, and as her gaze meets mine, I immediately look down to my Cake. Several seconds later I find myself drawn to her again, and again I look away.

This continues for some time, and I do not know why. Eventually, after we finish eating, she grins at me and takes my hand, and asks me to dance in that delicious husk of hers. I oblige, though thoughts of nearly breaking Lieutenant Chapman's arm during my previous foray into dance are not far from my mind.

It is oddly wonderful, to feel her wiry frame against mine, to feel her breath against my cheek, and to smell her scent, musky yet feminine and delectable in my nostrils. The music is slow, sensuous, just as our movements are, and I never want this moment to end.

"Make a birthday wish, Seven," she whispers in my ear, "But not out loud, or it won't come true."

I do.

She smiles at me, and leans closer, and suddenly her lips are on mine and I'm drifting. The floor disintegrates, the walls too, and it's just the two of us, floating along in the infinite universe, alone yet so complete.

But she parts from me and smiles again.

"I hope that was your wish, or I've just made a pretty big ass of myself."

It's my turn to smile.