STAR TREK: VOYAGER
"Viva Las Vegas"
An Original J/7 Voyager Story
2007 by Patricia L. Givens
Disclaimer #1:This story is an original work of fiction set in the pre-existing universe of Star Trek: Voyager. As such, many of the characters and references used within belong solely to Paramount Pictures. I have borrowed them for the purpose of creating this scenario and promise to return them unscathed, and smiling, as soon as I am done. No gain, monetary or otherwise, is expected from their use and no copyright infringement is intended or should be inferred.
Disclaimer #2:All original characters and storylines contained herein ) This story may bebelong to the author. (Like anyone else would claim them! archived upon request with the stipulation that it must be posted exactly as it was written, with all disclaimers intact.
Disclaimer #3:This story depicts a romantic relationship between two women. Some scenes may be graphic, but lovingly so. If you are under the age of 18, either stop reading now or find a really good place to hide it. I don't want to hear from your mother! (And clean up your room would ya??) If this is illegal where you live, then please advise your local government to pull its head out of its ass or at least put a window in its belly button.
Who To Blame:Massive Huge Thanks must go out to Shatterpath, for helping me pound out the outline to this so long ago. Thanks also to the women of HerCaptain, Ladies of the Stars, The Janeway/Seven Faction, The Voyager Conspiracy, Passion and Perfection, Ralst, and Sazzy for just being wonderful in general, to G.L. Dartt, for showing us all how it's done and to Andrea, Ky and Shawn for beta reading and thumping me on the head when I needed it.
This story is dedicated to Kristen, for gracefully putting up with hours of Trek babble and J/7 lust while trapped in the backseat of her own car. You truly were a lady in every sense of the word…
One last note – Please Read: This story was written with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I recommend that you read it the same way. It came about from taking eight trips to Vegas in one year. And yes, I know it's an inane concept, but I just couldn't resist! I did not care about the probability or possibility of it. The only thing I tried to adhere to were the personalities of Janeway and Seven themselves. If you are a fan of purely logical stories, you might want to skip this one. Oh, and yes, the story about the ring is true. Someone told me they thought it would be cathartic…shrug. I apologize if it seems rather melodramatic.
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, other than very briefly.
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.
No half Borg blonde goddesses or velvet tongued ship jockeys were harmed during the writing of this story. However, my water bill has risen accordingly.
To all that makes us unique!
DAx /\ The EverBard
What did you want, How could I guess
You wanted more, I gave you less
A miracle is all I need,
A bush to burn, A stone to bleed
Walking on water, Water to wine
Love lasts forever
Wish you were mine
Chapter One: What the hell?
Tom Paris stifled a yawn as he scrolled through the programs on his PADD. He had seen them all before, but he still lived in hope that maybe he had missed something in his perusal of Voyager's 20th century entertainment database. It wasn't that he was tired of Captain Proton or his '57 Chevy, a guy just needed something new every now and again.
Sipping his coffee, he glanced around the mess hall, taking in the various people who were milling about, waiting for Neelix to serve breakfast. He waved at a few of the cuter Ensigns who wandered by before returning his attention to his search. If he hadn't looked down at exactly that moment, he might have missed it.
"What was that?" He mumbled to himself. The screen had gone out of focus for a second and when it realigned itself, there was something there he had never seen before. Walking over to the replicator he punched in the program code, using three of his precious ration strips in the process. He was slightly disappointed when a traditional 20th century book appeared instead of a holochip. Picking it up, he wondered briefly at the title before turning it over.
The coffee cup fell from his fingers as his jaw dropped.
"All senior staff will report to the conference room."
Tom stared for a few moments longer before tucking the book under his arm and heading for the staff meeting.
"What's the status of the warp core?" Captain Kathryn Janeway turned her attention to her half Klingon Engineer. She almost didn't need to ask. After being lost in the Delta Quadrant for the last six years, she had come to trust B'Elanna with her precious ship's engines to the point where the query was merely procedure.
B'Elanna looked up from her PADD. "The overhaul is complete. We're just doing a standard inspection of the plasma injectors and then we're good to go."
"Thank you." Janeway turned her attention to the far end of the table where her head of Astrometrics sat patiently. Half Borg, Half human, Seven of Nine had been severed from the Collective two years earlier. At six feet tall, with white gold hair and clear blues eyes, she was as stunning as she was intelligent. Even her remaining Borg implants seemed to add to her beauty rather than detract from it. Or, at least, the Captain thought so. "What do we have ahead of us, Seven?"
"There are several interesting phenomena in the next sector, Captain. Including a small planetoid that is showing a high concentration of dilithium ore. If we divert our course slightly, the addition to our current stores would be well worth the delay."
"Agreed." The Captain took a drink from her favorite mug as she looked at each of her senior staff in turn. "If there's nothing else, you're dismissed."
"Uhm…Captain?" Tom Paris looked at her oddly. "I'm not sure how important this is but I thought I should bring it to your attention."
"Yes, Mr. Paris?"
Standing, Tom placed the book on the table and slid it over to her.
Janeway raised one eyebrow. "Starting a book club, Lieutenant?"
"Not exactly. I found that in the entertainment database. The weird thing is it wasn't there before this morning."
Janeway reached out and drew the book towards her. "The Problem With Temporal Mechanics…" She read out loud. "Not exactly what I would name a novel, but each to their own. I'm sure you just missed it, Tom."
"Uhm, no, Captain. You don't understand." He hated to contradict her but he had no choice. "I was looking through the database and the screen sort of…went out of phase and when it came back in line that was there."
"Computer glitch." She said stubbornly.
"There is also the fact that it was in the 20th Century entertainment database."
That got her attention.
"And then there is also the matter of the back cover."
Janeway sighed and flipped the book over. Her look of astonishment must have been immense as every member of the senior staff suddenly leaned forward. "Damn it!" She breathed.
"Captain?" Chakotay looked at her curiously. "What is it?"
Slowly, she turned the book so that they could all see the picture on the back.
There, dressed in blue jeans and a white button down shirt, laughing into the camera, was Seven of Nine.
The silence was deafening.
Finally, the Captain cleared her throat. "Obviously this is something we need to investigate." She flipped the book open and read the first page out loud.
A Note From The Editor
Lauren Scott was many things to many people. She was a mother, a friend, a lover, an accomplished writer and poet, as well as respected scientist and mathematician. She was also a mad dog lobbyist for the rights of AIDS and cancer patients, even going so far as to head many different task forces aimed at changing the structure and policies of several of the larger American insurance companies.
And yet, I have found, that none of the work she has left behind in print, rivals the manuscript you now hold before you. It was found at the bottom of a bureau drawer ten years after her passing. Simply reading these pages made me miss her with a profound ache that I have never experienced before, or since.
This book…this history…of the beginning of the rest of her life, shows a side of Lauren Scott that only a very lucky few were blessed to know. I have always thought that rather unfair, as she had so much to offer to the world, in so many different ways.
For that reason, I have decided to publish this, her last known unreleased work, under the name she herself gave it. While I have yet to figure out what the title means, I can only assume it is part and parcel of the unflappable spirit that was Lauren Scott, as is the rest of this unforgettable novel.
But don't take my word for it! Read on!
And if you can finish this book without laughing, crying, and smiling from the wonder of it all… then you are a bigger man than I am.
And I will never envy you for it.
ASH – 2063
She went to turn the page only to be interrupted by Tuvok.
"Captain, I believe that we must approach this situation carefully." He reached out and took the book from her hands. "While it is obvious that this could not be a picture of our Seven, as this woman has no implants, I do believe precautions would be prudent. There is the Temporal Prime Directive to take into consideration."
"Agreed." The Captain shook her head slightly to clear her thoughts. "What do you recommend?"
"I believe that the book does need to be read, to ensure that we do nothing to interrupt the timeline. However, it is my feeling that it would best be investigated by a less emotional mind."
Janeway smiled. "I presume you mean yourself?"
"Yes, Captain. I would be able to dissect the information in an appropriately objective manner. If, as I suspect, the novel is nothing more than the fanciful imaginings of a human mind, I will declassify it and allowed it to be accessed by the rest of the senior staff. If, however, it does warrant our involvement, I will act accordingly."
"All right." She ran her fingers through her hair, wondering when the headache would start. "Get back to me, Tuvok. Dismissed."
Her senior staff filed out silently, all curious about what had just happened but knowing better than to ask. All except one.
Seven of Nine came to stand next to her. "Captain?"
"Seven," Janeway smiled up at her. "How did I know you'd want to talk to me?"
"I find myself vaguely unsettled by the picture on the back of the book. I do not know how such a thing could exist."
"Neither do I, Seven. But I am sure Tuvok will get to the bottom of it." She raised her hand. "I do not want you to do any investigating into the matter until we hear back from him."
"May I ask why? The picture did seem to be one of me."
"Pictures can be deceiving. And if it is, by some colossal cosmic joke, a picture of you, the last thing we need is more people mucking around and cluttering up the landscape. It's safer to let Tuvok carry out his investigation and wait to hear his recommendations before we do anything. Understood?"
When the Borg did not leave, Janeway craned her neck to look up at her. "Was there something else?"
"I wanted to inquire as to your plans for the evening."
"My plans?" The Captain blinked, shifting gears. "I don't have any."
"Would you care to join me for dinner?" The younger woman watched her intently. "I have been experimenting with several recipes I located in the database and I need feedback as to my success in their preparation."
"I'd love to. When and where?"
"I would 'invite you back to my place' but I do not have the facilities for such an undertaking. Would it be acceptable for me to prepare the dishes in your quarters?"
This is new. She just invited herself to spend the evening with you in your quarters.
If it had been anyone else, Janeway might have been a little put off. But Seven never meant any disrespect, she merely voiced the most logical course of action, if not the most appropriate. The Captain's lips quirked into a smile. "You're certainly welcome to come feed me anytime."
Okay that didn't come out quite right…
Seven didn't seem to notice. "I will arrive at 1830 hours. Dinner will be at 1900. Please do not be late." Without another word, she turned and left the conference room.
Janeway watched her go, aware that tonight she would be in a position of envy to more than half the ship… and the one least likely to take advantage of it.
"How could you not look at it?" B'Elanna glared at Tom. "I can't believe you didn't even take a minute to flip through it!"
"I'm sorry!" Tom sighed. He had just picked up his lunch tray when the engineer had cornered him and dragged him to a table. "I had just replicated it when we were called for the staff meeting. Besides, I really didn't want to be involved, especially if the T.P.D. is in question. I happen to like the extra pip."
The Klingon snorted. "All that time you waste on 20th century crap and when you finally find something interesting, you don't even look. Sometimes I wonder about you, Tom."
"C'mon, B'Elanna. If it does have something to do with Seven do you really want to know about it? You know how protective the Captain is."
"Yeah I know." The Klingon frowned and settled back into her chair. "She has a definite weak spot where the Borg is concerned. Why do you think that is?"
"Oh, no." Tom put his hands up. "I told you before the last thing in the galaxy I would ever gossip about is the Captain, and especially how she feels about Seven."
"But don't you think it's odd? All the time she spends with her? I know you have to have seen the way she looks at her. I'm telling you, the Captain likes her. And from the way Seven follows her around like a puppy dog, I would have to say it's mutual."
"What does it matter?"
B'Elanna sighed. "She's given us so much, Tom. Don't you want her to be happy?"
The helmsman did a double take. "Wait a minute… are you saying you would actually approve of a relationship between them?"
"Honestly? I can't say I understand what she sees in the ice queen, but if Seven really could make her happy, I'd be the first one to give them my support. I would hope you would too. You know there are people on the ship that wouldn't take to it. It's important that the Captain knows her senior staff supports her."
"Well, I would agree with that. But I think we had better wait until we know there's something to support before we start supporting it. And I for one, am not about to ask her."
"Are there any other crew requests?" It was late in the evening and Captain Janeway had spent several hours going over shift rotations with her First Officer, Chakotay. He was a tall, robust man, whose Native American heritage left him with a well tanned complexion and a rather interesting tattoo over his left eye. Many of the female members of the crew thought him quite a catch. Janeway thought him to be attractive as well, but only in an analytical way. He was her good friend. That was all.
Chakotay smiled. "We have another transfer request to Astrometrics."
The Captain sighed. "How many is that this month?"
"Five. This one is female."
"Well, that's different. Who's the candidate?"
Janeway pursed her lips. "Wasn't she the one dating Jennifer Delaney?"
"Yes." The First Officer rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Apparently they broke off the relationship a few weeks ago."
Leaning back in her chair, the Captain sipped from her favorite coffee mug. "Does she have an aptitude that would justify this transfer?"
"Actually? She hasn't ever shown an interest in that department before."
"Honestly, Chakotay. I know we're a long way from home but we can't just move crew members around because they have a crush on the head of the department."
"Is that what you think is driving her?"
"Do you think any differently?"
"No. In fact all of the requests we've received seem to be generated by a desire to be closer to our resident Borg. I suppose it's better than when everyone avoided her like the plague."
"Not by much." Janeway ran her fingers through her hair. "Request denied. Please inform Ensign McNamara that she is needed in Logistics. She'll just have to work up the courage to talk to Seven herself, outside of her duties."
Chakotay studied the Captain out of the corner of his eye. At least two of the transfer requests might have worked out, but she had dismissed them summarily. He wondered why. "I'll keep looking for a suitable candidate to help out in Astrometrics."
"You do that." Suddenly, Janeway stiffened. "Computer, state the time."
"The time is 1910 hours."
She shot up out of her chair, stacking the PADDs on her desk quickly. "I'm late. Can you finish this up?"
"Got a hot date?" He teased.
Janeway shot him a poisonous look. "Dinner plans."
"No problem. Have a good time." He smiled at her broadly.
Ignoring him, she left her ready room quickly and headed for the turbolift. When she arrived at the corridor outside her quarters, she was saddened to see that it was empty.
How long did you expect her to wait for you, Katie? Her little voice asked snidely.
Unwilling to delve into the many meanings of that particular question, she sighed and keyed her door, walking inside only to stop dead in her tracks.
Seven of Nine sat on her couch primly, her knees together with her hands folded on top of them. "You are late."
"I'm sorry, Seven. Chakotay and I were going over crew rotations and I lost track of the time. I didn't mean to make you wait. It was thoughtless of me." She tried not to think about how many times her father had had used a similar approach with her mother, trying to placate his spouse every time he arrived home late for a meal or a family function.
Spouse? Get your head together, Kathryn. She's a member of your crew.
She straightened and slid into her command stance. "I see you let yourself in."
Seven ignored the change, standing gracefully to walk over to the replicator. "I anticipated your tardiness and have timed the food preparation accordingly. You have time to shower and change your apparel before dinner if you begin now."
Janeway's lips quirked into a half smile. "All right then. I'll be out in a few moments."
Heading into her bedroom, she laughed to herself at Seven's commanding demeanor. Slipping into the hydro shower, she allowed the hot water to wash away the stresses of the day and emerged in a much better mood. Going to her closet, she fussed over what to wear for several moments before she realized that Seven could probably care less. She could walk out in a fuzzy pink robe and bunny slippers and the Borg probably wouldn't even bat an eyelash. Choosing a pair of comfortable grey slacks and a black t-shirt, she padded barefoot back out to the other room, surprised when she saw the lights had been lowered.
The table had been set with china and crystal wine glasses, accompanied by two gaily flickering candles in the center. Swallowing, she suddenly felt a little less sure of herself. Was this… could Seven… possibly think this was… a date?
Jeez you're all over the place today. It's probably just part of the Doctor's social lessons. Get a grip.
"This looks nice, Seven." She sat down at one of the place settings, gratified when the Borg filled her glass with a generous amount of wine. Sipping it settled her very empty stomach and calmed her somewhat strained nerves. "What are we having?"
"I have prepared several courses, Kathryn." Seven paused for a moment. "It is appropriate to use your given name is it not? In a social setting?"
Janeway thought about it for a moment. "It is acceptable when you're in my quarters, Seven."
The Borg nodded, apparently pleased she had judged the situation correctly. "The first course will be a Caesar salad, accompanied by several pieces of 'french' bread. That will be followed by a dish called Chicken Marsala over penne pasta with garlic bread. Finally, I have programmed a dessert called 'Tiramisu'. As I have never sampled these dishes before I will be relying on your honesty as to the adequacy of their preparation." She brought two plates of the salad over and set one in front of her, taking her much smaller portion over to the other side of the table. Sitting down, she looked at the Captain. "How was your day?"
Janeway could almost hear the 'dear' on the end of the sentence and her pulse quickened. "It was fine, Seven. A little boring but I'll gladly take that over the alternative. How was your day?" She smiled to herself as she watched the Borg thinking intently for the correct way to answer.
"It was acceptable. We are still understaffed in Astrometrics. I could use a crew member to assist me with data entry."
"Anyone in mind?"
"Ensign McNamara approached me today suggesting she might be able to help."
I bet she did.
"What did you say?"
"I informed her that she lacked the necessary training to be a suitable candidate."
Janeway laughed. "I thought the same thing."
When they finished, Seven removed their plates and brought over the main course. The Captain took her first bite and looked at the Borg in amazement.
"Seven, this is phenomenal. How did you learn to do this?"
"I have been researching traditional Earth recipes. After studying their components carefully, I chose one that I felt I could prepare satisfactorily. I am gratified that you find it adequate."
"It's more than adequate." Janeway took a sip of her wine. "Why did you decide to learn how to cook?"
Seven flushed slightly. "It is my understanding that food preparation is often 'the way to someone's heart.'"
The Captain choked, barely able to keep from spewing her wine across the table. "What?"
"Was my utilization of that colloquialism incorrect, Kathryn?"
Janeway dabbed the wine from her lips with her napkin. "No, it was correct. I just wasn't aware you had heard that expression before."
"B'Elanna Torres has used it on several occasions when she is expressing her dissatisfaction with the food available in the mess hall."
"Ahh." The Captain said noncommittally. "Well, I am sure you could win her heart with this meal."
"I am uninterested in acquiring B'Elanna's affection."
Just who's affection are you trying to acquire?
Janeway kept the question to herself, choosing instead to dig into her meal, gratified by the comfortable silence between them.
The dessert was just as magnificent as the rest of the food, and when she was done, the Captain pushed her plate away and patted her belly in satisfaction. "That was outstanding, Seven. Maybe you could prepare something for the entire senior staff sometime."
"If you wish."
Janeway helped her clear the rest of the dishes and then settled onto the couch with her glass of wine. She was a little flustered when Seven joined her, sitting much closer than she normally did. "So," She searched for something to say. "Was there something you wanted to talk about?"
The Borg cocked her head to one side and looked at her intently. She noticed that the Captain seemed to fidget slightly under her gaze. "Are you nervous, Kathryn?"
"Nervous?" Janeway laughed weakly. "Why would I be nervous? Nothing to be nervous about." Then why do you sound so nervous? Her little voice asked gleefully.
"I wished to discuss with you the traditional Earth practices of 'dating' and copulation."
The Captain had just taken a drink of her wine and this time she could not stop it from going down the wrong pipe. As she choked and coughed, the Borg leaned forward and patted her gently on the back.
"Kathryn, are you all right?"
"Hmm? Yes, yes I'm fine." Why wouldn't I be fine? My stunning Astrometrics officer has just made me the best meal I've had in the last six years and now wants to talk about my mating habits. Her palms began to sweat. "What did you want to know?"
"I would like to know the standard amount of time two individuals must 'date' before they begin to copulate and what that procedure entails."
Janeway sighed. "I thought the Doctor was helping you with your socialization."
Seven looked irritated. "He did attempt to do so, but I have found his information and experience inadequate. I fail to see how I can learn something so… human… from a hologram."
"I see. Was there something specific you were interested in?"
"Yes." Seven took a rather large drink of wine and if Janeway didn't know better she would swear she was trying to work up her courage. "Ensign McNamara informed me that it is acceptable for members of the same sex to engage in romantic activities. The Doctor was either not aware that this behavior was appropriate or left it out of his lessons intentionally. I wanted to know why."
What did I get myself into here…
"Well, as you have said, the Doctor is a hologram. He may have just assumed that you wouldn't be interested in this particular area of humanity. While it is completely acceptable, the urge to mate with a member of the same sex only occurs in about 27 percent of the human populace."
"I see." Seven considered that for a few moments. "Are you a member of that 27 percent?"
RED ALERT!! RED ALERT!! She tried to think of a way out of the question but couldn't seem to find an available exit.
"Well," She said carefully. "I've never really thought about it. All of my partners have been male." She knew it was an equivocation but she really did not want to talk about her own feelings on the subject.
"So you would never choose a female partner?" The Borg looked at her intently.
"I didn't say that, exactly." Careful here Katie. "It just isn't something I've ever considered."
"I suppose the situation has just never come up." She tried to turn the topic away from herself. "What about you? Is it something you think you would be interested it?"
"In truth I had never considered it either, since I was unaware that it was acceptable. If I had known, I believe I would have factored it into the equation when I made my selection for my 'first date'."
Janeway remembered hearing about Seven's abortive dating attempt. She had been off ship at the time, engaged in a trade delegation with the Kadi. She knew the young woman had seen the experience as a failure, but she had not approached her about it for…various reasons.
Exactly what reasons, she wasn't sure.
Seven seemed not to notice her discomfort as she continued. "I believe I find myself more comfortable in your company than the company of anyone else on Voyager."
The Captain felt her heart flutter and squelched it. "That's because we're good friends, Seven."
That single word sent chills running up and down Janeway's spine. She knew she had always found the young woman attractive, but this conversation was making her study that attraction more closely than she wanted to. Feeling slightly childish, she faked a rather large yawn.
"I apologize, Kathryn. You are weary and should rest. Thank you for having dinner with me. I hope we can continue this conversation at another time." She stood to go and Janeway walked her to the door.
"Of course. Anything to help."
Without warning, the Borg turned and wrapped her arms around her. It was a light embrace, innocent and sweet, and she returned it carefully. "Good night, Seven."
"Good night, Kathryn."
After the young woman had left, Janeway collapsed on the couch, her heart beating wildly and her pulse racing. No matter how innocent the hug had been intended, it had affected her more profoundly than she wanted to accept.
This is inappropriate. She is a member of my crew. I can't have these feelings!
Sadly, she realized there was only one way to stave off what she was feeling and keep it from getting worse.
She would have to stop spending time alone with Seven of Nine.