STAR TREK: VOYAGER

"Seven Past Midnight"

An Original Voyager Story

2007 by Patricia L. Givens

September 2007

Disclaimer # 1:Many of the characters used in this story have been borrowed from the existing Trek universe. I mean them no harm and promise to return them intact (more or less) as soon as I am done. No gain, monetary or otherwise, is expected from their use.

Disclaimer #2:All original characters and storylines contained herein belong to me. (Like anyone else would claim them!) This story may be archived by those so inclined so long as all parts of the story and disclaimers remain entirely intact.

Disclaimer #3:This story depicts a romantic relationship between two consenting females. Some scenes may be graphic, but lovingly so. If you are under the age of 18, you are on your own. Age has never been a factor in wisdom! If this sort of thing is illegal where you live, I guess that proves that wisdom has never been a factor in government!

Who To Blame:Thanks go to G.L. Dartt, because one must always pay homage to their deity. Thank you for all your time and words. Thanks also to Ky, for being so damned patient. Additional thanks to Andrea and Shawn for beta reading.

This is a first time story. With all the first time jitters. I have found that I dislike wasting pages describing the antics of Voyager up till the point before the story begins. We all know where they are and why, and how Seven ended up with them, so I am going to leave that out.

The best time frame for this would be sometime later in the series. LOL Sorry, that's as exact as it gets.

I welcome all comments, suggestions, criticism and compliments. Please email them to either of the above addresses. Flames concerning the lesbian content will be promptly laughed at, printed, and used to line my cats litter box.

To all that makes us unique!

DAx /\ The EverBard


It's been so long since I've touched

So long since I wanted

Then you made me laugh

And my heart opened.

-Melissa Etheridge

Captain Kathryn Janeway of the U.S.S. Voyager stared restlessly out of her living room window, her attention focused on the painfully beautiful sphere hanging in the center of her view.

She knew that Chakotay had meant well, instructing Tom to match the planet's speed as it slowly turned on its gravitational axis. His official reason was sound. Maintaining orbit meant that the away teams would never fall out of transporter range…just in case anything should happen. She might even have bought it, if the planet hadn't been devoid of any predator larger than a mouse.

In truth, what he had done was to give her the best possible view of planet below them, one that afforded her the vision of sunlight glistening off of crystal blue oceans by day and the peaceful serenity of the moon's reflection at night.

It was breathtaking.

And so heartbreakingly familiar that she had awoken each morning for the last five days with a smile of joy on her face, not realizing for a few precious moments that the big blue marble outside of her window… wasn't home.

It wasn't Earth. No matter how much she wanted it to be.

Janeway sighed. She had considered requesting that they take up station keeping on the far side of the moon, but the necessary explanations would have been more painful than the view.

After all, she was a Starfleet Captain. Homesickness was part of the job.

And if it sometimes got a little too rough, well she could just find a diversion.

Smiling sadly, she left her quarters and headed for the holodeck.


Seven of Nine stood in the middle of the Astrometrics Lab and wondered idly if she was somehow malfunctioning.

Unlikely, to be sure, but she was at a loss to otherwise explain the emotions she was experiencing. She was irritable and distracted, unable to focus or to find a project that would occupy her attention.

Captain Janeway had asked her if she wished to join the groups on shore leave, but Seven had declined, thinking of all the work she could accomplish if left in peaceful solitude.

But it hadn't worked out that way.

At first, the quiet had been a salve, a welcome change from the loud voices and hectic activities that the crew normally engaged in. Seven found it enormously productive.

For the first two point five days.

It was then that she realized she may have been a little too productive. With all of her projects completed, she turned her attention to the ship, running scans, doing diagnostics, and attempting to improve efficiency by any means possible until a rather unfortunate power surge had temporarily destabilized the Doctor's holomatrix.

Seven had managed to bring him back online, only to be told in no uncertain terms that her days as an engineer were over. Apparently, he was correct. The Captain had been gentle but firm in her opinion that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Which she had followed with a suggestion that the ex-drone take some R&R.

As Borg, every moment of her existence was controlled. Her actions were precise, her attentions unhindered. Each task she completed meant only that another would follow. There was no time for rest and relaxation, no time for being irritable or… bored?

Seven stopped short. "I am bored." She said out loud, her voice a surprising presence in the otherwise silent lab.

But more disturbing than that revelation was the one that followed on its heels.

Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One… was lonely.

It was the only explanation. The lab was still the same. The work was still the same. She was assuredly still that same. The only difference was the solitude.

It was more than she was used to, and that surprised her. Until now, she had spent every day aboard Voyager feeling like an outsider, like an intruder. Because of that, she had tried to hold herself away from the people that lived and worked around her, building a wall of indifference between herself and the rest of the crew. It had never occurred to Seven that she might have failed.

And yet, everyday, she was confronted with examples of that failure.

Examples like Naomi Wildman, a small, half-human, half-Katarian child who had been terrified of the ex-Borg at first. Over time, that terror had turned into a respectful fascination which had eventually become a strange sort of friendship. At least, it had seemed that way then.

It didn't seem so strange now. Not since Naomi had told her she considered her family. Not since she discovered that she felt the same way.

B'Elanna Torres was another example. Half-human, half-Klingon, all mouth and attitude, B'Elanna had violently opposed the Captain's decision to bring Seven on board right from the very start. She had been antagonistic, competitive and, on more than one occasion, vaguely threatening towards the ex-drone. Seven never understood it but then, she never cared either. She had simply categorized B'Elanna with the others who loathed her very existence and went on about her work.

But somehow, somewhere, something had changed. It hadn't been huge, nothing drastic or notable. In truth, it was a change she had not even recognized, so gradual was the lessening of animosity between them. Until the day B'Elanna had actually smiled at her. A smile of friendship and grudging respect she had found impossible not to return, albeit in her own, much more subdued way.

But the most glaring example had to be Captain Janeway. The woman who had taken her from everything she had ever known and thrust her into a world she didn't want, filled with people who didn't want her.

But Janeway wasn't satisfied with that. Not only did she drag her, kicking and screaming from her home…but then she removed her implants and with them, her perfection. She took everything from Seven and gave her back a single mind and a single voice where once there had been millions. She took the strength of the Borg and gave her human frailty. She made her into an individual.

And then had the nerve to demand that Seven learn to like it.

It was only more infuriating that Captain Janeway had been right.

As she grew to embrace her own individuality, she found the she also began to appreciate the strength and character the smaller woman possessed. There was something appealing in the duality of her nature. One moment she could be stern and imposing, the next gentle and caring. Seven had been on the receiving end of both and found them equally… invigorating.

She frowned. That was not exactly the word to describe how the Captain made her feel, but she could not seem to formulate a better one. She always found her intellect engaged completely when she spoke with the older woman, something that had surprised her from someone that was not Borg. Yet, at the same time, it was as though Janeway could reach something buried deep within her, a facet that she herself did not know how to access.

It was both frustrating and endearing.

Endearing. Seven wondered that she would use that word to describe the enigmatic red head. She had thought of her in many ways since she had been brought on board Voyager. Captor, Captain, mentor… friend. The last being the most recent development and, if forced to admit it, the most rewarding. And yet, there were other emotions she had been experiencing as of late that were hard for her to categorize. They seemed to surface at the oddest moments, most frequently, when the Captain smiled.

But she was still getting used to her all too human reactions. They tended to crop up at the most unlikely of moments.

She was equally amazed at the trust that the Captain had placed in her. She had made her not only a senior officer, but the head of Astometrics as well. And even after all their acrimonious disagreements, her faith in the ex-drone had never wavered.

That was why Seven endeavored to make sure her work was perfect. To ensure her department ran smoothly and that she operated at peak efficiency.

Unlike now. The Borg frowned, looking around yet again for something to occupy her time. She thought briefly of going back over the systems she had already checked and found that she was not intrigued by that idea.

She had already recalibrated the sensor array…twice.


"Computer end program."

Captain Janeway stood in holodeck one, staring bleakly at the stark walls of the hologrid. She had been to Fair Haven, visited every one of her holonovels and even took a peek into the status of Tom Paris' Captain Proton program. None of them seemed to provide the diversion she needed.

She just had too much energy that was the problem. It was keeping her from sleeping and making her listless. There had to be someway to work it off.

Smiling, she thought of one thing. "Computer, locate Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is in Astrometrics." The feminine voice replied.

"Computer, what is the present time?"

"The time is 00:07 hours."

She tapped her commbadge. "Janeway to Seven of Nine."

"Yes, Captain?"

"Seven, what are you doing?"

"I am reviewing the data from the away teams… again." She could almost hear the frustration in the ex-drones voice.

"Shouldn't you be regenerating?"

"It is unnecessary at this time, Captain."

"All right then, how about a game of Velocity?"


"Captain?"

"I know it's not our usual time but I thought a game might be just what the doctor ordered."

"Aye, Captain. I will change my apparel and meet you immediately. Seven out."

Janeway headed to the locker room and changed into her outfit. She was standing on the hologrid when Seven arrived a few minutes later dressed in her black workout outfit.

"I am surprised to find you awake at this hour, Captain." She joined the older woman in the center of the room.

"Couldn't sleep." The Captain raised her phaser. "I'm red."

"You are always red." The Borg raised one eyebrow. "I will be red."

Janeway started to argue and then laughed, refusing to take the bait. "Fine. Whatever. Computer, begin round."

The disc appeared between them, glowing red, and Seven quickly struck it with her phaser beam, sending it careening off one of the walls and back at the Captain.

Janeway didn't move, waiting until the last possible moment before firing at the blue disc, dropping low to take the shot so that it collided with the ceiling, flipping end over end as it sped back towards Seven.

It was one of the Captains standard tactics and the ex-drone side stepped it easily before dropping to one knee, her shot sending the disc into the back wall where it rebounding and struck the Captain solidly between the shoulder blades.

"Full Contact –Janeway. Point to Seven of Nine. Round to Seven of Nine. Score one to zero."

"Nice move." Janeway threw her a feral grin. "Let's see you get away with it again."

The both played all out, neither one giving an inch, circling each other like warriors on the battlefield. After two and a half hours, the score was tied at three all.

Seven was beginning to get frustrated, as she usually did when she played against the Captain. The woman was infuriating, countering everything she threw at her with a casual grace that was astounding. Suddenly, an idea formed in the Borg's mind and she moved behind the Captain, closing the space between their bodies until she was almost pressed against her. She matched the older woman's movements exactly, anticipating her steps each time, often brushing up against her as she took her shots.

"Seven," Janeway was slightly breathless. "You're crowding me."

"I do not believe that this tactic is in violation of the rules, Captain."

"No, I don't suppose it is." She reached back with her arm trying to widen the space between them and felt her hand close on Seven's breast. It took her a moment to realize where her hand was and, before she pulled it away, she felt the nipple beneath her palm harden.

Seven gasped slightly and stopped moving, giving the Captain the opportunity to send the disc directly into the Borg's midsection.

"Full Contact – Seven of Nine. Point to Captain Janeway. Round to Captain Janeway. Score three to four."

Janeway turned to find Seven looking at her sullenly, one eyebrow raised. "Is that a standard tactic, Captain?"

The older woman laughed lightly. "It was unintentional, I assure you. But hell, if it works I might keep it in my repertoire."

"Indeed." Seven was flustered and could not discern the reason why. The Captain's hand had left a trail of warmth in its wake that had moved through her body quickly, causing her other nipple to harden and her stomach muscles to clench. "It would seem that I will have to counter it with creative tactics of my own."

Janeway swallowed, her throat suddenly dry, confused by the affect Seven's voice was having on her. Shaking it off, she smiled again. "By all means, you're welcome to try."

The Borg resumed her former position, bringing her body even closer to the smaller woman. As she reached around her to take her shot, she allowed her hand to rest on the Captain's hip, just above the swell of her left buttock. The effect was gratifying. The older woman faltered slightly as she inhaled and the Borg took the opportunity to turn them, placing Janeway into the path of the oncoming disc.

"Full Contact - Janeway. Point to Seven of Nine. Round to Seven of Nine. Score Four All."

"All right," Janeway said dryly. "If that's the way you want to play it."

Suddenly, the game became less about physical prowess and more about distraction as each of them tried various subtle points of contact to throw the other off balance. Nothing was overt, or could even be considered inappropriate, but the intent was there.

The winning shot came when Janeway suddenly turned around. Their faces were a little more than two centimeters apart and the Borg found herself staring directly into the Captain's eyes. Her breath caught at the warmth and humor she saw there, highlighted in a dusky blue she could not remember having seen on any occasion previously.

Before she knew what happened, the disc slammed into her back. It wasn't real, an illusion of contact, but the computer supplied just enough force to push her forward, bringing her lips into contact with Janeway's for the briefest of moments before she stepped back, her eyes wide.

"Full Contact – Seven of Nine. Point to Captain Janeway. Round to Captain Janeway. Score six to four. Captain Janeway is the winner."

Full contact indeed. Janeway thought as she stood looking at her opponent. They were both out of breath and a little dazed. Maybe a little more contact than I needed.

She finally broke the silence. "Good game, Seven." She smirked slightly. "I'm going to have to remember some of those moves in the future."

"Yes," The Borg seemed lost in thought. "I will have to remember them as well."

Seven's voice seemed a little unsteady but Janeway chalked it up to their having a more strenuous game than usual. "I'm starved. Care to join me for a late night snack?"

"I could use a nutritional supplement as well."

"Good, get changed. I'll meet you in my quarters."


"You can't be serious!" Janeway pushed her plate away and picked up her wine glass, sipping from it before continuing. "Zefram Chochrane was a visionary!"

"Perhaps," Seven asserted. "I merely maintain that his vision was not one of uniting the planet, but of increasing his personal wealth."

They had started with a light conversation as they ate dinner, but quickly moved into areas where they each had very different views.

"What are you basing your opinion on?"

"My research into that period of Earth history indicates that most humans lived in a level of extreme poverty. Any efforts on their part would have been focused on improving their individual situations, not the state of mankind as a whole."

"You're speculating." The older woman maintained as she moved over to the couch.

"As are you." Seven joined her and shocked the Captain when she sat down beside her. "The difference between our speculations is I have quantifiable data to back my assumptions."

"Such as?"

"Zefram Cochrane only utilized the individuals in his own encampment in his endeavors. If he sought, as you surmise, to facilitate the betterment of the entire species, he would not have deemed the others irrelevant. Assuredly, his project would only have been enhanced had he utilized all of his compatriots."

"Ok," The Captain gave her a grudging smile. "I'll give you that one. But you have to realize that time period was fraught with peril. They were under constant attack by other forces."

"True," Seven settled back into the couch and turned to look at her. "But having more individuals to provide security would have been in the interest of all, while his secretive nature lends credence to my hypothesis."

"But Seven, his efforts led to the first contact with another species, helping to usher in one of the brightest periods in Earth history."

"I believe Cochrane was merely 'lucky' in that regard."

Janeway gave her a cocky half smile. Seven knew it well. It drew up one corner of her mouth and made her look… adorable. The Borg blinked, wondering where that thought had come from.

"I thought you didn't believe in luck!"

"The inability to prove the existence of such phenomena does not preclude the fact that such fortuitous situations do occur."

"Maybe. But what are the chances that at the exact moment that he activated his drive a Vulcan ship would be passing by and just happen to take notice."

"Ah, now you are changing your argument from intent to divine providence. You are implying that it was not chance, but destiny or fate."

The Captain smiled again, thoroughly enjoying the conversation. "Let me guess, the Borg don't believe in fate."

"The Borg do not…"

"But?" Janeway's eyebrow shot up in surprise and she leaned closer, putting her hand on Seven's arm. "Are you saying that you do?"

Seven flushed slightly. "I am still evaluating data on that subject." She suddenly felt very warm and did not understand why. The Captain had touched her many times before, but for some reason this time it felt different. She remembered how her hand had felt on the holodeck and was astonished to feel her nipple harden beneath her biosuit. She shifted her body away and silently contemplated the floor.

Janeway stared at her for a few moments before clearing her throat. "Well, I guess it's getting late."

"Of course, Captain." The Borg stood up immediately. "You need to rest. I will go."

"Seven?" The Captain called out to her before she could leave. "I really enjoyed tonight. Would you care to join me again tomorrow? Same time?"

"I would… like that." Seven nodded slightly in acceptance before leaving.

Janeway sat silently staring down into her wineglass. She had seen the effect her touch had had on the younger woman and found herself torn by it. Seven was a member of her crew, off limits to her by all the principles and protocols she had pledged to uphold. Still, she couldn't deny the initial thrill that had gone through her at the reaction. She had always thought that Seven was beautiful, as well as intelligent and kind. On the few occasions that she had allowed her mind to evaluate the possible romantic pairings she might be interested in, the ex-drones name had been right at the top of the list. It had just never occurred to her that the thought might have entered Seven's mind as well.

Exactly what thoughts are we talking about here, Katie?

Could Seven actually be attracted to her? Have feelings for her?

With a heavy sigh she realized that it didn't really matter. There were some lines that she would just never cross.

She drained the last of her wine before crawling into a bed that seemed somehow emptier than it ever had before.


As soon as she reached the cargo bay, Seven stopped and leaned heavily against the bulkhead, her mind swimming with thoughts she was unfamiliar with. In addition to that, her heart rate had increased, her palms were clammy and she was having a hard time breathing.

She recognized these irregularities. She had come across references to them quite often when she had been researching human sexuality.

She had just never experienced them before.

Or had she? Her eidetic memory scanned through images in her mind and she recognized that she had suffered from these symptoms in the past, just not all at the same time. The only thing they had in common in her memories was that they had always occurred…

Her eyes widened.

They had always occurred when she found herself in the company of one specific individual.

The revelation left her lightheaded. Could she possibly be in love… with the Captain?


Kathryn Janeway pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger, trying to stave off the headache she could feel coming on.

And the evening had started out so pleasantly.

First, there had been another interesting game of Velocity. She had never seen Seven play so fiercely. They had stepped up their tactics from the day before and she had found herself rather breathless for reasons other than the game. There had been one moment when she had backed into Seven rather forcefully and had found herself tangled in the younger woman's arms on the holodeck floor. Startled, she had remained there for a few moments, listening to the pounding of Seven's heart before her sense of propriety kicked in and she climbed to her feet. Seven had taken longer to get up and, when she did, there was a curious expression on her face, as though she wanted to say something and then changed her mind. Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, she hadn't asked any questions.

They had gone best out of five this time, with Janeway barely slamming home the winning shot in the fifth game.

Seven had not been happy. She had been losing to the Captain since their very first match and Janeway knew that, sooner or later, Seven would find a way to beat her.

Until then, however, she would revel in the look of respect she received with every point she won, and the grudging look of admiration that the ex-drone bestowed upon her at the completion of every set.

Not to mention how much you enjoy seeing her breathless and disheveled, her little voice offered.

Janeway shook the thought from her head.

Then, there had been dinner. Another quiet affair in the Captain's quarters, consisting of some stew-like concoction of Neelix's, which had been rather tasty, and a bottle of wine, which had been utterly fantastic. Seven had brought the wine along with her, a "gift" as she had put it. Janeway had been dubious initially, but by her second glass, she was practically begging Seven to tell her where she had found it and if, by some blessing of the gods, she had any more.

Seven had merely smiled inscrutably and said "Some time ago." and "Perhaps.", neither answer assuaged the Captains curiosity, but she was content to let it go…for the time being.

After dinner, they had engaged in a lively conversation about the benefits of exploration versus the time and resources it cost the ship. The trouble hadn't started until the topic changed to the Prime Directive.

"Seven, you have to understand. The Prime Directive was put into place to make sure that we do not meddle in things that do not concern us."

The ex-drone snorted. She actually snorted!

"Captain, you cannot honestly say that you have not 'meddled' in the lives of numerous species here in the Delta Quadrant."

"Maybe not. But I can say that anything I may have done did not fundamentally change their development."

Seven looked at her pointedly. "And what of me?"

Janeway looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"I do believe that all of your actions concerning me have greatly influenced my development."

"That's different, Seven. You're human! You were born human. It was the Borg that changed the course of your development; I simply… corrected your path."

"I see." They were sitting on the couch again, bodies turned to face each other and Seven leaned in closer. "May I suggest a hypothesis?"

The Captain smiled, feeling excitement course through her veins. While Velocity and dinner had been fun, it was these conversations she liked best of all. Trading ideas with the ex-drone was one of her true pleasures. "By all means."

"Is it safe to say that the Borg, regardless of their methods or agenda, are more technologically advanced than the Federation?"

"All right," Janeway held up her hand. "If we are removing from the equation their propensity for violence and domination, then yes I would have to agree with that statement."

"Would it also not be true that individuals who join the collective are in some way enhanced by the experience?"

"Join the Collective?" She said dryly. "I don't think that's the correct terminology."

"Perhaps not, Kathryn, but we are not debating the tactics of the Borg, merely the effect they might have on newly integrated species."

Janeway blinked. Had she just heard that? "All right. Then yes, I can see how assimilation may equate to enhancement."

"An enhancement that might also be considered a form of evolution?"

"I think your stretching this a bit thin, but I just have to see where you're going with it so I'll say yes."

"Now, taking the Prime Directive as it is written, your alliance with the Borg was not actually a violation as they were more technologically advanced than you and thus you posed no threat of contamination."

"Remind me to have you around when we get back home and the official inquiries start." Janeway smiled. "Agreed. Go on."

"That being said, could separating me from the Collective and your subsequent removal of my implants not be seen as a form of active de-evolution?"

Janeway's jaw dropped. She started to reply, and then stopped, choosing instead to stare at Seven in astonishment. "So what you're saying is…"

"That while your involvement with the Borg was not a violation of the Prime Directive, your interference with my evolution was."

She was dumbstruck. "I never knew you felt that way." She said softly.

"I do not."

"But you just said…"

"It was hypothetical, Kathryn. I was merely trying to point out the rather absurd nature of the Prime Directive."

She definitely heard it that time. "So how do you feel about it?"

Seven looked directly into her eyes. "I am grateful. Every day I find new reasons to be grateful for what you have done for me."

Janeway smiled, feeling more relieved than she thought was possible.

"But," The younger woman continued. "Therein lies my point. With Federation technology you could vastly improve the lives of millions, and yet you do not do so based on a principle, the idea that your way is the correct way to interact with other species. How far would the human race have come if the visionaries and idealists in your past had not shared their philosophies and talents with each other?"

"You're right, that is the point. We shared them with each other. We did not take them from other species. We alone were responsible for our growth as a race."

"And would you have declined help, had it been available to you? Would you have walked away from a cure to a particularly devastating disease simply because you did not develop it yourself?"

"Of course not." Janeway ran her fingers through her hair. "And I do see your point but I think we've wandered a little off course here. What we have done in the past is simply not relevant. The Prime Directive governs our current actions to ensure that we do not hinder another species natural growth. I know that in our time here in the Delta Quadrant I may have bent Starfleet principles on several occasions, but it was never my intent to cause harm." She laughed softly, shaking her head.

"Captain?"

"There's an old Earth saying. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'."

Seven blinked. "Hell must be populated with Starfleet officers."

Janeway stared at her for a few moments and then started laughing. It was a full, throaty laugh and it made the hair on the back of Seven's neck stand up.

Without thinking, the older woman wrapped her arms around the Borg in a tight embrace. "Ah, Seven! You are the wonder of my existence. I love you."

The words were out before she realized what she was saying and she froze, feeling Seven's arms wrap around her snugly. "Thank you, Kathryn. The feeling is mutual."

They sat like that for several minutes until Janeway finally pulled away. She looked into wide, bright blue eyes and took a deep breath, holding it until she thought she might faint.

Say something! Do something! Kiss her for pete's sake!! Her little voice yammered at her.

"It's late." She said finally, standing up. "I have the early shift tomorrow."

Seven thought that was an odd statement as the Captain always had the early shift, but she was so busy trying to get her mind and body under control that she dismissed it. "Of course.' She stood up and placed her hand on Janeway's arm, startling the older woman. "Same time tomorrow?"

Say no! Say No! SAY NO!

"I'd like that." She kicked herself mentally. Things were already getting out of hand!

"Sweet dreams, Kathryn."

And she was gone, leaving the Captain feeling decidedly weak in the knees.


"Regeneration cycle complete."

Seven of Nine stepped down from her alcove and walked over to the replicator. "Computer state current time."

"The time is 23:40 hours."

Twenty minutes, Seven thought to herself as she began to change into her Velocity outfit. As she pulled the garment on, she let her mind play back the events of the prior evening.

Every moment of the time they had shared together was stored perfectly in her eidetic memory, but the image that constantly sprung to mind was that of the Captain wrapping her arms around her and the simple joy in her voice when she had said 'I love you.'

It was the first time anyone had said those words to her and she found that they had caused a definite impact on her physiology. It was different from when the Captain had touched her, and yet vaguely similar as well. While the older woman's hand had created a molten heat that burned throughout her body, those three small words had traveled directly to her heart.

Until that moment, she had always wondered about the references to ones 'heart' in regards to personal interaction, thinking it simply another human allegory use to describe the emotional bond of 'love'. But as she heard those words, she had felt an almost painful reaction in her chest. It was as though a thin, hot blade had been slipped between her ribs and up into her pulmonary muscle where it lodged and refused to budge.

The situation was extremely disconcerting and yet, at the same time, she felt herself yearning to experience it again.

Being held by the Captain had evoked a similar response and she knew that she would have stayed there forever, holding her close, if Janeway would have allowed it.

The most confusing, and intriguing, part of the entire experience had been the realization that all of these sensations were being generated without her consent. It was as though her mind had simply stepped aside to allow emotions she did not even know she possessed to operate independently.

Seven wondered if the Captain had experienced the same emotions and felt a small, unfamiliar tendril of fear twist through her abdomen. She did not want the feelings to stop and did not know how she would react if the Captain did not share them.

Seven stepped onto holodeck two and was immediately confused, wondering if she had somehow entered the wrong program.

There was a long, rectangular pad on the floor in the center of the room and a rack on the wall that held swords of several different shapes and sizes.

"Seven." She turned to see the Captain standing at the holodeck controls, entering information into the screen. She was wearing a thick, padded vest that looked slightly uncomfortable and hid most of her figure, something the Borg decided she definitely did not appreciate.

"Captain?" She said curiously.

Janeway smiled. "I thought we would take a break from Velocity tonight, Seven. Try something a bit different instead." Something a little less 'full contact'. She thought to herself. "I'm going to teach you to fence."

"Fence?"

"Yes." The older woman smiled at her. "I take it that fencing is not something stored in your memory?"

Seven tilted her head to one side as she always did when she was thinking. It was just another one of the quirks that Janeway found so adorable. "I do not believe so, Captain. If information on this activity had been assimilated, the Borg must have deemed it irrelevant."

"Not surprising. It is hardly a technologically advanced sport. Here, put this on."

Seven took the white vest gingerly, holding it out at arms length. "What is the function of this garment?"

"It's called a fencing jacket, Seven. It is meant to protect your chest and abdomen from possible injury."

"Would not the holodeck safeties adequately suffice?"

Janeway swallowed. She should have seen that one coming. She had welcomed the vests as an added barrier between them. "I wanted to share the entire experience with you, Seven." When the Borg did not seem swayed, she lowered her eyes and looked up at her through her lashes. "Indulge me…please?"

"Of course, Captain." The younger woman agreed quickly, feeling the look melt through her resistance with ease. "I am afraid I do not know how to utilize this garment however. Can you assist me?"

Janeway stepped forward and held the jacket open so that Seven could slide into it. She realized her mistake almost immediately. The jacket opened from the back and she found herself pressed up against Seven's chest as she reached around her to fasten it securely.

She took a deep breath and stepped away. "Now grab the croissard and draw it up. It fastens in the back as well."

"The croissard?"

Janeway pointed to the strip of material that hung down from the front of the vest to just above Seven's knees. She watched the younger woman struggle with it for several moments.

"I require your assistance, Captain."

Didn't quite think this one through as well as you thought you did, huh? Her little voice cackled in glee.

"All right." The Captain moved around behind her. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and said it. "Spread your legs, Seven."

She heard a quick intake of breath but the Borg complied, shifting her stance slightly so that Janeway could quickly reach between her thighs and draw the fabric up the where it fastened at the back of her waist.

Seven twisted from side to side, adjusting to the weight of the restrictive material. "Is there other protective equipment involved?"

Janeway laughed at her lack of enthusiasm. "Usually, yes. Traditionally you would also wear a plastron to protect your sword arm, and a mask, but I think we can forego those for this lesson. As you said, the holodeck safeties are on and I want you to be able to see what I am trying to teach you."

She walked over to the rack against the wall. "There are three types of swords in fencing, the foil, the epee, and the sabre. Tonight, we are going to work with the foil. It's a light thrusting weapon and its use restricts the strike zone to the torso exclusively."

"You intend to strike me?" Seven looked baffled. "With that? Would a phaser not be more efficient?"

Janeway sighed. "The point of fencing is not efficiency, Seven. Fencing is about reading your opponent, anticipating their movements, maneuvering, accelerating, decelerating, changing directions and so on. Fencing is about confidence and grace. It was a required study course at the Academy as it teaches not only control, but dexterity and coordination. It's almost like… dancing."

"But with weapons?" Seven deadpanned and was gratified when the captain laughed out loud.

"Something like that." She said dryly. "As unlikely as it may seem, fencing takes a great deal of endurance and patience."

"Very well." A small furrow appeared between her eyebrows and Janeway swallowed a smile. It was the same look she got whenever she was concentrating very hard on something. "Begin the lesson."

The Captain's mouth quirked into a grin. "Yes, ma'am!" She handed Seven the foil, turning her fingers until she had the proper grip before leading her over to the mat. "Ok, now let's work on your stance. Turn to left, place your left leg behind you with the toe pointed out, place your right leg in front of you and then turn your torso to the right."

She watched Seven silently for several minutes, biting the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at the Borg's attempt to follow all of her conflicting directions. She finally relented when she saw the younger woman was becoming frustrated.

"Ok, let's try something different. Watch me." She struck the stance perfectly, her left arm slightly elevated as she held the foil before her. "Now you do it."

Seven tried, she honestly did, but she just couldn't seem to fold her long body into the same position. Sighing, she looked down. "I am sorry, Captain. I have failed. Apparently the Borg do not bend."

"You haven't failed, Seven. You just need to try again. Here," She took a deep breath and resumed her position behind the younger woman. Trying hard to focus on what she was supposed to be doing, she moved closer until their bodies were a hairsbreadth apart. Reaching around, she laid her palm on Seven's thigh, using her own leg to frame the stance from behind. After she had their legs placed correctly, she laid one hand on Seven's stomach and the other on her right shoulder, using gentle pressure and her own torso to turn her until she was facing her imaginary opponent correctly.

Seven was in heaven. The Captain's entire body was pressed up against her from behind and, more than that, she could feel the older woman's heart thumping painfully in her chest, could feel her erratic breaths as they caressed the back of her neck. No matter what Janeway might say to her in the future, she knew what her body was telling her right now.

"Ok," Janeway said softly. "As I said before, the foil is a thrusting weapon. The most common move is called the lunge. You lean forward, in a rocking motion, bending your forward knee so that your thigh is parallel with the ground. At the same time you extend your arm…" She ran her hand down the length of Seven's bare arm, swallowing hard at the goosebumps her fingers left in their wake. Slowly, with her other hand still on the Borg's stomach, she rocked them forward and back. "Tighten your stomach." Not that it could be much tighter! "Now thrust out with your sword."

Seven did as she was told, gratified when the Captain mumbled praises into her ear. She looked back over her shoulder and her heart stopped beating. The older woman's eyes were closed and she had her face buried in the hair that had come loose from Seven's bun as they practiced. There was small, soft smile on her face and the Borg felt as though her heart would break just looking at her.

Janeway loved the scent of Seven's hair. It smelled vaguely of fresh water with just a touch of… rose petals? Inhaling deeply, she also caught the scent of the Borg's skin and thought that if she leaned forward just slightly, she would be able to taste it against her lips. Realizing what she was doing, her eyes flew open and she found herself staring directly into twin pools of azure that seemed to sparkle with humor and…desire? Blushing furiously, she released the younger woman and stepped back, composing herself.

"When we engage, the objective is to strike the torso. If you are not advancing, then your objective is to stop, or parry, the attack of your opponent. The foil is not a slashing blade. You can 'flick' with a circular motion to keep your partner's blade off target. You may also 'beat' with your blade, meaning a sharp blow to the center of the other foil to create an opening." Janeway demonstrated each move as she described them. "You may also 'feint', which is a false attack meant to cause your opponent to parry before you actually try to land a blow, thereby possibly causing a weakness in their defense. Do you think you're ready to try a few simple steps?"

"Of course, Captain."

"All right." She threw an evil grin at the younger woman and struck her stance. "Let's see how well you dance. En garde."

"Captain?"

"It means, 'get ready'."

"This is an unusual type of battle, Captain. One does not normally warn their opponent that they are about to attack. Would not a surreptitious approach be more advantageous?"

Janeway laughed. "Maybe. But that's not how the game is played."

"Very well." Seven struck her own stance and stood ready. "En garde."

Seven actually did quite well. She paid close attention to the Captain's foot work while constantly watching the movement of her opponent's blade.

They stalked around each other like big cats looking for a weak spot until Janeway finally stamped her foot, hard. This caught the Borg's attention just long enough for her to lunge in and make full contact with the center of Seven's vest.

The younger woman frowned at her. "That seemed less than admirable, Captain."

Janeway laughed. "It's called an appel. And the move is very much allowed."

"I see." Seven flexed her shoulders and returned to her position. "Again."

Seven came after her hard and the Captain found herself being pushed about the mat. Apparently the younger woman had been watching closely because she was able to parry every one of the rudimentary movements that was thrown at her.

"This is called 'conversation'." Janeway smiled broadly. "When our blades meet repeatedly with no blows being landed."

Seven dropped her blade momentarily and the Captain lunged, only to meet empty air as the younger woman bent backwards before bringing the tip of her own blade up to strike her target soundly.

"I believe our conversation has ended, Captain."

The older woman laughed, delighted. "That's called an 'invitation', Seven. The way you pretended to give me an opening only to catch me in an open position. Very nicely played."

"Thank you. Again." Seven found she was enjoying the feeling of stalking the smaller woman. She was also fascinated by the way the Captain moved, her steps quick and graceful, the smile on her face both friendly and feral. In fact, she was so absorbed by the look of enjoyment on her opponent's face that she almost missed her next attack.

Almost.

Flipping her wrist, she caught the Captain's blade against her own, sliding it backwards. She over calculated the needed amount of force, however, and the momentum of her much larger frame impacted with Janeway's, sending them both to the mat with the Borg laying on top of the smaller woman.

Breathlessly, she smiled at the woman beneath her and reached out to brush an auburn lock of hair out of her opponent's eyes. They look she found beneath it set her heart to pounding. The Captain's eyes were a smoky blue and seemed to lock onto her and not let go.

"What do you call this?" She asked softly

Janeway looked at her breathlessly, feeling the thigh pressing between her legs as it set her body on fire. "I'm not sure what you would call this."

She waited for the younger woman to get up, only to shiver as Seven brought her fingers up to lightly brush along her jawline. Swallowing hard, she tried to smile. "Seven… Let me up."

She could see the reluctance in the bright blue eyes staring intently into her own, but the Borg complied. Standing, she reached down a hand and pulled the Captain to her feet.

"Well," Janeway pulled at the collar of her jacket, trying to get some cooling air onto her overheated skin. "I think that's enough for tonight."

"Very well." She could hear the regret in Seven's voice.

"Did you enjoy it?" Her smile faltered as she took in the flush that was present in the normally alabaster cheeks.

"I enjoyed it very much, Captain."

Janeway was not at all sure what she was referring to, but she was certain it wasn't the lesson.


"James T. Kirk?" The astonished look on Seven's face made Janeway laugh. "You can not be serious."

"I'm completely serious." The Captain poured herself another glass of wine. "I find him fascinating and quite admirable."

After a rather interesting dinner of some sort of casserole that they appropriated from the mess hall, they had settled into a lengthy conversation about Starfleet captains.

"I have studied his history in the computer data banks and he was not, by any definition, a shining example of Federation ideals."

"Oh, I know he was a bit of a cowboy."

"I believe a better term would be 'outlaw'." Seven took her glass and the bottle of wine over to the couch, gratified when the Captain followed her. "His record is riddled with as many reprimands as commendations. He was extremely unorthodox and was known for disregarding any protocol that did not suit his needs. I am confused as to how you can consider such an individual admirable."

"It was a different time back then, Seven. The Federation was still in flux and Starfleet needed cowboys like Kirk to pave the way for the rest of us. If he were alive today, it's doubtful he would be allowed anywhere near a starship but that doesn't change the fact that he made an indelible impression on all those he came in contact with. They still talk about his creative solution to the Koybayashi Maru simulation…"

"Creative?" The Borg raised one eyebrow. "He cheated."

Janeway laughed. "Maybe. But it was still creative."

Seven looked thoughtful. "I would have expected you to list Jean Luc Picard as someone you admire."

"Oh, I do admire him. He is a great Captain, one who will undoubtedly receive just as much adulation as Kirk one day." She smiled. "Is he the Captain you most admire?"

The younger woman gave her such a soft, shy look that Janeway thought she would die from the sheer beauty of it.

"There is only one Captain whom I truly admire, Kathryn."

Janeway blushed, knowing full well who the Borg was referring to. In that moment, she also realized something else.

She isn't even aware that she's calling me Kathryn. It isn't a conscious thing. It's just how she thinks of me here… in private.

The Captain wasn't sure how she felt about that. But she did know one thing. She adored the way her name sounded every time it fell from Seven's lips. The way she spoke it… was almost like a caress. And it affected her like one, every single time.

"Thank you." She said quietly.

"Although," Seven smirked. "I do believe that 'cowboy' would be a fitting description for you as well."

"Oh really? How so?"

"Destroying the Caretaker's array, invading Borg space, kidnapping a drone! Not to mention all the times you have used trickery and subterfuge to attain freedom or supplies for your ship and your crew." She gave a mock sigh. "Kathryn, I do believe you could be aptly termed a 'scoundrel'."

"Scoundrel?!" Janeway laughed, nudging her gently in the ribs. "I don't believe I have ever been accused of that before. I doubt the crew would agree with you."

"You might be surprised." She loved the sound of her Captains laugh, especially when she was the cause of it. "I have heard many stories of your exploits before I came on board. While I am certain that some of them must be hyperbole, I can only surmise that they are at least partially true."

"Like what?"

"That you found Amelia Earhart in cryo-stasis… and you revived her. Was that standard Starfleet protocol?"

Janeway grinned sheepishly. "I wanted to talk to her."

"That you outwitted Q?"

"More than one. And more than once."

"That Q wished to mate with you?"

"He said I was angry when I was beautiful." She took a sip of her wine.

The Borg raised one eyebrow. "And that you… mated… with Tom Paris!"

"I was a lizard at the time!"

"I would think that you would have to be."

Janeway couldn't stop laughing. "Seven, be nice."

The younger woman gave her a knowing look. "As I said, Kathryn, a scoundrel. I have no doubt that someday young Starfleet Cadets will revel in the tales of Captain Kathryn Janeway, the only Captain to ever take on an entire quadrant single handedly."

"You make me sound positively romantic!"

"I do not believe that is my doing." Seven said softly.

Janeway blinked, becoming suddenly aware of how close they were sitting. Downing the rest of her wine in one gulp, she held out the glass to have it refilled.

Seven obliged her and, after setting the wine back on the table, managed to reseat herself even closer than before, unsure whether she wanted the Captain to notice or not.

She did. It was hard not to, now that the entire length of the Borg's leg was pressed warmly against her own. She was torn between wanting to move further away and wanting to get even closer. It was a struggle she had been feeling for quite some time, whenever Seven was involved. It was as though there was an ongoing battle between the Captain she was supposed to be and the woman she kept hidden inside.

"Do you know the definition of that word, Seven? Scoundrel?"

"I know the definition that I apply to you."

"Which would be?"

Seven leaned in even closer, following the shape of Captain's lips with her eyes as she answered. "A rogue… a scamp. Playfully mischievous…" She licked her bottom lip. "Uncontrollable…" She reached out and traced the bottom of the older woman's jaw with the back of her fingers. "Unique."

"Seven," Janeway's voice was low and husky. "What are you doing?"

"Appreciating you." She let her hand trail down to the Captain's neck, her fingers trembling when Janeway leaned her head to one side, granting her better access. "You long to be touched. I can see it in your eyes. You are a very tactile person, Kathryn, and yet, no one ever touches you."

She reached up and took Seven's hand in her own, stilling its movement. "That's because I'm the Captain. It isn't appropriate."

The young woman looked at her for several long moments before nodding and pulling her hand away gently. "Tomorrow is the last day of shore leave."

"Yes it is." Janeway said sadly. "We break orbit at 1500 hours the day after tomorrow."

"Am I correct in assuming that we will be resuming our normal activities and schedules at that time?"

"Yes."

"Then I would like to ask that you allow me to choose the activity for our last evening."

Alarm klaxons started to sound in her head and she was about to say no when the Borg played her trump card.

Seven lowered her eyes and looked up at the Captain through long golden lashes. "Indulge me…please?"

Janeway would have laughed at having her own tactics thrown back at her… if she had any air left in her lungs to do so. "All right."

"Thank you." She said softly. "I will make sure you have instructions before midnight. Good night, Kathryn."

The Captain sat on her couch for quite a while after Seven left, looking out at the passing stars and wondering just how much longer she would be able to keep the young woman out. It wasn't until after she had changed and slid into bed that a single question popped into her mind.

Instructions?


Captain Janeway spent her entire day in her ready room. She made periodic visits to the bridge, but with the ship in orbit there was really nothing there that required her attention.

She thought briefly of retiring to her quarters to wait out the stroke of midnight, but she knew it would be better if she kept busy. Too much time to think was definitely not something she needed right now.

She caught up on departmental reports and crew evaluations, then updated her personal logs, which had been woefully neglected. After that she spent several hours going over the star charts for the upcoming sectors of space they would be traversing before finally moving over to the couch to take in the night time view of the planet beneath her. It really was quite lovely, no matter how much it hurt.

At 2330 hours, she heard a beep from her desk console and found a message waiting for her. She smiled at the formality of it.


From: Seven of Nine

To:Captain Janeway

RE:Instructions As Promised

Security Level: Eyes Only

She keyed her access code quickly, completely unprepared for the short, four word message that popped up on the screen:

Tag. You Are It.


Laughing, she tapped her commbadge. "Janeway to Seven of Nine."

There was no response.

"Computer, locate Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is not on Voyager."

The Captain blinked. "Computer, scan for Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is on the planet's surface."

Wonderful. She fumed. Seven had to know she couldn't leave Voyager with all the other senior officers on shore leave. Now she would have to send someone else after her. Grinding her teeth, she exited her ready room, stopping in her tracks when she saw Chakotay sitting in her command chair.

"Captain?" He looked at her quizzically. "I didn't know you were still here."

"Commander, what are you doing here? I thought you would still be planetside until tomorrow."

"I was planning to be." He smiled. "But Seven sent me a message saying that I would be needed on the bridge tonight. Is everything all right?"

"Of course." She forced a smile. "It's all yours commander. Have a good night."

She left the bridge and headed straight for transporter room one. "Computer, lock onto Seven of Nine and beam me to her coordinates. Energize."

The air was warm on her skin as she rematerialized. There was a slight breeze that carried with it the scent of some sweet flower and she looked around, finding herself off to the side of a wooded area surrounding a beautifully placid lake.

The night was surprisingly quiet and she felt a sort of peace settle into her as she breathed in deeply. About twenty paces away, she spotted the brightly shifting lights of a campfire and headed towards it.

As she came through the trees, she saw Seven sitting next to the fire. The light from the flames bathed her face and highlighted her features with a soft glow that took the Captains breath away. She was wearing jeans and a light blue sweater, over a gray t-shirt. Her hair hung freely about her face creating a white gold halo that shifted as the breeze moved through it. She had her knees drawn up to her chest with her arms wrapped around them and looked so lost in her thoughts that Janeway hesitated to disturb her.

Finally, after drinking in the sight of her for as long as she dared, she called out quietly. "Seven."

The Borg looked up, her blue eyes wide and full of joy. "Kathryn. I was not sure if you would come."

"I told you I would let you choose what we did." She walked over to stand beside her. "Although I can honestly say this was not what I expected. Why are we here, Seven?"

The young woman stood and led her to the edge of the water. "I have heard many of the crew state that this place is as close to Earth as Voyager has come in her travels. I wished to see for myself what has kept so many of them, and their Captain, captivated for so long."

"And what do you think?"

"On a Borg world, there are only clean lines, logical structures and necessary landscapes. The air is purified and very few Borg have reason to ever see the sun or the moon. It is considered perfect." Seven closed her eyes. "Here, there are crooked trees, rough, un-scalable mountains, pollen filled air, not quite pure water and an odiferous breeze that runs through it all carrying the fragrances of every flower it comes in contact with." She inhaled deeply. "I find it…fascinating." Seven stared at her intently. "Why have you avoided visiting this planet, Kathryn? It is beautiful here."

"A little too beautiful." The Captain shivered.

Seven moved behind her and opened her sweater, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman to share her warmth. "Explain."

Janeway sighed, trying to keep herself from snuggling into Seven's chest and failing miserably. "It reminds me of Earth, Seven. It looks so much like it. I've stared out my window every day and wished that it was. But it's not. And it hurts."

"Because this is not home?"

The Captain nodded.

Seven tightened her embrace. "Close your eyes."

"What?"

"Close your eyes. Please."

The Captain hesitated for a moment and then complied.

"What do you hear?" Seven whispered.

She frowned. "I don't understand."

"Shh. Just answer. What do you hear?"

Janeway turned her head to the side, filtering out the sound of the fire and her own breathing. "I hear... the trees. The wind in the trees. I hear the water where it laps up against the shore. I hear a bird… it sounds like a loon… far off in the distance… I hear your breath…"

"What do you smell?"

"I smell… the grass, the wood of the fire, the scent of the earth and the flowers that are growing along the lakebed." She inhaled deeply. "I smell the water… I smell the scent of your skin."

She heard a small splash and felt Seven's hand at her lips. "Drink." She said softly.

Trusting her, Janeway parted her lips and felt the cool water slide across her tongue and down her throat, shocked when warm lips followed, and gentle tongue caressed her bottom lip.

"How did that taste?"

"Sweet…" Was all she could manage to say.

She took the hand she held and placed it against her chest. "Now what do you feel?"

The captain swallowed quickly, trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to break free.

"I feel your heart…"

"It feels like home to me, Kathryn. Because you are here." She pressed her lips lightly against the Captain's. "In my heart."

The tears escaped, running unchecked down her cheeks. "Seven," She whispered, feeling the walls she had carefully constructed begin to fall away.

"Earth is a location, Kathryn. You are home, here with me."

Seven hugged her tighter and held her as she wept, cradling her gently until the tears subsided before wrapping her fingers into soft auburn hair and drawing her close.

This time, Janeway didn't hesitate. She sought out Seven's lips with her own, parting them to taste the recesses of her mouth in an agonizingly passionate kiss.

Seven led her back to the fire and laid down beside it, looking up at the Captain expectantly until Janeway stretched out next to her, closing her eyes.

"Look at me, Kathryn."

She complied and her breath stopped at the tenderness in the Borg's azure gaze. "Please let me love you." She whispered, stroking her cheek with her fingertips. "Do not ask me to stop. I can not."

"Oh, Seven. I don't want you to stop." She ran her fingers through the Borg's white gold mane, thinking it was ever softer than she had dreamed.

Slowly, Seven unfastened her jacket and pulled it off her shoulders, folding it into a square that she placed beneath the Captain's head. As her lips slid down to kiss Janeway's neck, she brought her hand up under the edge of the smaller woman's shirt.

Janeways gasped. Seven's fingers were cool against her overheated skin. She could feel the metal tips as they grew warmer, they were so much softer than she had ever imagined. She held her breath as they traveled upwards, around the swell of her breast until the palm rested fully against her pebbled nipple.

"Kathryn," Seven nipped lightly at her pulse point. "I wish to remove the barriers between us. Is that acceptable?"

The Captain hesitated, knowing the question was two-fold, knowing that whatever answer she gave now would change their relationship forever. "Yes." She whispered. Finally…

Seven did not need further encouragement. Standing, she pulled off her boots and clothes quickly, laying them on the ground to create a bed of sorts. Reaching for Janeway's feet, she drew off her boots and set them aside before sliding her pants down her hips. Reverently, she drew the t-shirt from her body, followed by her undergarments before lifting her onto the makeshift mattress. Afterwards, she lay down beside her and, for several long moments, she did nothing but run her eyes over the small form next to her.

"Seven?" She asked uncertainly.

"You are beautiful, Kathryn. I was simply admiring the view." The younger woman brought her lips down again, capturing the Captain's passionately, sliding them open with her tongue, running it lightly over her teeth. Slowly, she edged her weight onto the small frame, being careful to support most of it with her elbows as their skin met.

It was like an electrical current shot through them both. Janeway shook as her thighs parted long enough to allow Seven's knee between them.

The warm heat and wetness on her thigh made the Borg shudder, even though she did not understand exactly why, it was the most incredible thing she had ever felt. She caught a musky scent on the breeze and smiled. It was Kathryn, her essence. It was… intoxicating.

She dropped her lips lower, kissing her way down one elegant clavicle and, as the fingers of her human hand closed on one swollen nipple, her lips closed on the other. Slowly, she suckled it, biting it lightly as Janeway moaned beneath her.

It was ecstasy. The older woman arched her back and wrapped her fingers through white gold hair, pushing the lips more firmly against herself. Her body began to shake harder as the soft, full lips continued their downward assault.

Seven didn't know exactly what she was doing. The only thought in her head was that she needed to reach the wellspring of moisture she had felt on her leg. She had to feel it against her chin, taste it on her tongue. When she reached her destination, she wrapped each of her arms around a shaking thigh and lowered her face into the damp curls below her. It was glorious. The scent was full, yet light. The taste was like nothing she had ever experienced. Sweet, with a slight touch of spiciness. She began to lap at it, gently at first, then more insistently as she felt her love moan.

"Oh dear god," Janeway looked down, watching Seven as she devoured her. The blonde's eyes were closed, a look of rapture on her face. "Go inside…with your fingers…please."

Seven began to move her human hand only to have the Captain stop her.

"Not that one. The other one."

The younger woman blinked in surprise but complied. She closed her eyes again as she moved two of her metal tipped fingers around the wet opening.

"Now… please!" The older woman begged, her hips surging up to meet the touch.

Seven slid inside her gently, moving cautiously until her fingers were all the way in. She felt the muscles contract around her and recognized the movement of Janeway's hips. Slowly, she began to thrust in and out, her mouth finding a small protrusion at the apex of her lover's cleft. When she touched it with her tongue, the Captain shuddered, so she stayed there, nibbling it, sucking it as her fingers began thrusting faster.

Time seemed to stop as she lost herself in the taste and feeling of Kathryn. The night air was cool against her flesh but she didn't care. All that mattered was the movements beneath her and the small sounds of joy that were quickly escalating in her ears.

"Yes!" Janeway felt the wave begin to build, felt her muscles begin to contract wildly under the younger woman's ministrations. All the desire she had kept locked away coursed through her limbs, causing her to thrash wildly against the warm weight pinning her to the ground.

And then she was there, atop the precipice, every feeling in her body centered on the fingers within her and the lips loving her gently. The climax rocked her to her very core, her muscles froze, her spine stiffened. And then everything began to shudder as she screamed her pleasure out into the night. "Oh, Seven! YES!"

Seven stayed where she was, not ready to give up the nectar on her tongue, licking faster, she began moving her fingers in long, languid strokes until one of them found a high slick spot that made Kathryn freeze again. She flicked the ends of her fingertips against that spot as she pressed harder against the bundle of nerves beneath her tongue.

Janeway could not believe it as the wave built within her again, faster this time, harder than before. Her eyesight dimmed as a huge climax rocked through her, her fingers digging into Seven's shoulders as she lost control, her body convulsing with pleasure before she crumpled and lay still. "Sto…stop." She panted. "I can't… again. I can't… impossible."

She felt the full, ruby lips smile against her swollen flesh. "Impossible is a word humans use far too often. But I will comply." Releasing her hold on the legs twitching in her grasp, she slid up the Captain's body and kissed her, rubbing her face wetly against her love. "That was… most exceptional."

"I would have to agree." Janeway smiled as she nuzzled the blonde hair atop Seven's head. They lay there for several minutes until she realized that the younger woman was shaking softly. "Seven? Are you all right?"

"I am… aroused." The Borg flushed.

Laughing gently, Janeway rolled them over until she was on top. She slid down until she was sitting on Seven's hips. "Let's see what I can do about that. Spread your legs, Seven."

Part of her was greatly amused at the words. Who would have known the first time she spoke them that they would be so… prophetic?

Seven complied and the Captain slid her own thigh beneath one of them, fitting her sex against her lovers snugly as she began to move, rocking back and forth, slowly at first, then more quickly as Seven began to moan.

The friction was exquisite. The feel of Janeway's softness against her own, the thought of both their fluids mixing intimately sent shudders through the younger woman. When the Captain reached up with one hand and began to pinch one of her very swollen nipples, she thought she might die from the pleasure that enveloped her. She heard soft grunts coming from somewhere and was very surprised to realize they were emanating from her own lips. The sounds increased in volume as her lover quickened the movement of her hips, grinding against her in small circles and she twisted her nipple harder.

"Oh…Kath…" She could not finish a though, could not formulate the words to convey what she was feeling so she stopped trying, content to moan and cry out into the cool night air as her climax hit her. She felt the wave crash down on her and felt for a moment as though she would pass out, so great was the pleasure and emotion. She felt her body stiffen, felt her hair stand on end as she began to shake violently before finally collapsing to the ground.

"Seven?"

No response.

"Seven?" Janeway untangled herself and crawled up the lanky body to take the Borg's beautiful face in her hands. "Seven?"

When there was still no response, the Captain began to shake her softly. "Seven…wake up!"

Finally, the Borg's opened her eyes slightly, the bight blue filled with the sparkling light of the fire. "Kathryn?"

"Are you all right?"

Seven smiled softly. "I forgot to breathe. How can one forget to breathe?"

Janeway laughed. "You would be amazed at what you can forget when you're making love."

"Making love…" Seven mouthed the words, tasting them. "Kathryn, I choose 'making love' as our primary activity from now on."

"Oh you do, do you?" The Captain laughed. "Well… there will be some things we will have to discuss but… I can think of much worse ways to spend the rest of our journey. At least there are a lot of different techniques we can try."

The Borg perked up immediately. "There are more? Show me!"

Janeway smiled, and complied.


Seven felt Kathryn shiver and tightened her arms, pulling her sweater around the smaller woman in her arms. They were leaning up against a rock watching the sun rise over their lake. The fire had long since died to embers and the morning air was quite chilly.

"It's beautiful." Janeway breathed.

"Am I to assume that you enjoyed our game last night?" Seven asked innocently.

The Captain laughed. "I did. Even if it wasn't much of a game of tag."

"I disagree, Kathryn. Who said the game was over? Do you wish it to be?" Her voice grew very soft.

Janeway turned in her arms and looked into those gorgeous blue eyes. "No, Seven." She kissed her gently. "I want it to go on forever."

"Acceptable."

"However, I do believe we need to get up. The ground is hard and I am not as young as I used to be. Plus, we'll be leaving today. We need to get back to the ship."

Seven nodded and pulled them both to their feet where the dressed quickly and transported back to the ship. They walked in silence down the corridors until the reached the Captain's quarters.

"Hmm…" Janeway looked around.

"Captain?" She looked at the older woman curiously.

"It seems we have at least a couple of hours until we're needed anywhere." Smiling mischievously she keyed the door before slapping the Borg slightly on her ass. As she disappeared inside, Seven heard laughter floating back to her along with three words. "Tag, you're it."

Smiling, she stepped inside.


Captain Kathryn Janeway stepped onto her bridge at 1450 hours, smiling broadly as she greeted her staff.

"Good morning, Captain." Chakotay stood and offered her the command chair. "Did you enjoy your trip to the surface?"

Janeway grinned. "It was lovely. Status?"

"All hands are on board and Voyager is operating at optimal efficiency."

"Very good." She turned to the helmsman. "Mr. Paris, break orbit."

She watched the viewscreen until the beautiful green and blue sphere disappeared from sight.

"Set a course for home?" Paris asked.

The Captain smiled. "Set a course for Earth, Mr. Paris. Warp Six. Engage when ready."

Settling back into her command chair, she sighed happily. For the first time in longer than she could remember, she knew what it meant to be content.

The End