"Same Auld Lang Syne"

An Original J/7 Voyager Story

Ó2008 by Patricia L. Givens

New Years 2008

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 belong to the author. (Like anyone else would claim them! J ) This story may be archived upon request with the stipulation that it must be posted exactly as it was written, with all disclaimers intact.

Disclaimer #3:This story may or may not depict a romantic relationship between two women, I haven't decided yet. However, I did want to provide you with the warning that it might so that you could get all pissy about it if that kind of thing bothers you. Once you're done being pissy about it, be good little automaton and go and make me an Irish coffee would ya? If you're under 18, then make sure you designate a driver so you can read my stories when you are 19 too. If this is illegal where you live, then take heart! It is a brand new year and the possibilities, as they say, are limitless.

Who To Blame:Thanks must go out to Ky, for never changing, as well as to Andrea and Anne for being gentle when they point out that I am being silly.

This one is dedicated to everyone who loves paisley.

No parkas were harmed during the writing of this story, however, two did need to have their buttons sewn back on.

To all that makes us unique!

DAx /\

"To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To hope is to risk pain.

To try is to risk failure,

but risk must be taken

because the greatest hazard in life

is to risk nothing."

Seven of Nine, former Tertiary Adjunct to the Unimatrix Zero One pulled her thick jacket closer around her body, trying to keep the chill from her limbs even as she enjoyed the feel of the cold air against her face.

In the three years since Voyager's triumphant return to Earth, she had made it a point to visit many of the places she had heard the crew mention during their long voyage home and had come to the conclusion that out of all the climates the planet had to offer, those that came with a covering of snow suited her best.

She had long ago given up the skin tight bio-suits that had been her standard dress on the Intrepid class starship in favor of fleece lined cargo pants and turtle neck sweaters, the Borg mesh of her left hand nicely covered by the thick mittens she wore to keep her fingers from going numb.

Seven quickly sidestepped to avoid a rather large group of boisterous people who were moving down the sidewalk towards her singing carols as they went. She glanced back at them as they passed, one eyebrow raised in consideration.

So this was New York City.

Going by the Old Earth Calendar, it was New Year's Eve. Looking up, she took in the lights strung gaily from one side of the street to the other and the large view screens which had been erected to count down the time to what was apparently the "magical moment of midnight', whatever that meant.

She was well versed in Earth lore and knew that the celebration was the traditional one for the changing of one year into the next. Just exactly why the passage of time should be magical, she had no idea. Unless time suddenly began moving backwards, it seemed more of a normal progression of events than anything that should be celebrated.

Shaking her head slightly, she continued up the street. Harry Kim had informed her that to 'see the ball drop in Time's Square' was something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. As she had no other plans or obligations, she had decided to investigate the phenomena and decide for herself if it could truly be categorized as a 'magical' moment.

Thinking of Harry caused a slight tightening in her chest that she tried to ignore. In truth, any thought of Voyager's crew caused the same reaction within her. They had all made the attempt to stay in contact with her since the ship had come home… all but one of them.

The one she had wanted to remain close to more than anything.

At first, Captain Janeway had made it a point to see her every day. Then, as it became clear that Starfleet was going to accept her recommendations regarding the former Borg drone, she began to slowly disappear from her life, the visits becoming more and more rare until finally they stopped altogether. Her messages went unanswered and her inquiries into the Captain's whereabouts were either met with stony silence from Starfleet personnel or the much more painful refusals of information from her former crewmates.

She could picture B'Elanna's face quite clearly the last time she had seen her. The way the Klingon had refused to look her in the eye and the sad expression on her face when she saw the pain her refusal caused.

And still she had not yielded, which meant only one thing.

Kathryn did not want to see her.

Seven had heard, and read, many references to having one's heart broken, but she hadn't truly understood the emotional resonance behind the colloquialism until that point was made painfully clear to her.

And so she had started to travel.

So many times she had wanted to ask the Captain a question or share in the joy she felt over a particular discovery only to find the ache from her loss painfully renewed.

The cold helped.

It was hard to worry about your heart being frozen when you were trying to keep your limbs from ending up the same way.

With a sigh, she flipped up the collar on her parka as a particularly nasty breeze blew cold air down her neck. For the hundredth time, she reached up and brushed the frost away from her ocular implant.

The Borg did not rust, but that didn't mean they liked snow in their eyes either.

There was a loud noise from up ahead and she raised her eyes as several fireworks trailed across the night sky to explode into multi-colored stars. The light show was followed by loud cheers from the crowd gathered tightly together in the center of the street.

Apparently, she had found Time's Square.

Gently, she pushed her way through the people crowding around her, her eidetic memory catching and categorizing everything for her to review later, when there was not so much to see and experience.

Harry had said that a new year meant new possibilities… new hope. It was a time to let go of the things that haunted you in the past and allow yourself to start over.

But where was she to start?

Standing in the center of the snow-lined street she allowed herself to revisit the memories that meant the most to her from her time on Voyager.

And the Captain was in every single one of them.

She had assumed that when they returned…

What had she assumed? What had she wanted? What did she want now?

She closed her eyes and pictured Kathryn's face; the gentle little lopsided grin, the sparkling blue-gray eyes, the auburn-red tint of her hair… and her laugh…

Her laugh…

Seven squeezed her eyes tighter thinking she could almost hear the lilting sound of it, the light, teasing measure, the tone…

She could almost hear it…

She could hear it…

She could hear it?

The Borg's eyes flew open wide as her enhanced hearing tuned out the sounds of the people around her, searching through the noise for the one note she was sure she had heard…

And there it was.

Her heart pounding, Seven moved quickly through the crowd, her eyes darting back and forth until she caught the unmistakable bald plate of the Doctor's head. He was smiling up at the fireworks and talking animatedly to the person standing at his side.

Seven felt her heart contract painfully in her chest as she took in the vision before her.

Kathryn Janeway stood beside him, her small powerful form wrapped in a full length crimson parka. Her long slender fingers were covered in black suede gloves and the shimmering red of her hair was dotted with white snowflakes as she tilted her head back to watch the light show above them.

Seven couldn't breathe. For a moment, the whole world narrowed down to the corridor of space that stood between the two of them. The only sound she could hear was the pounding of her heart as she stepped up quickly behind the smaller woman, her eyes closing in appreciation as the scent of lavender and soap and something else, something so uniquely Kathryn that she had never been able to figure out what it was, washed over her.

She wasn't sure how long she stood there, simply breathing her in, but at some point tears began to spill down her face, the warmth of them cutting through the cold and leaving trails in the frost that covered both her cheeks.

Slowly, she raised her hands, holding them barely an inch from the body she longed to touch.

And it was enough.

The form before her tensed and went still, the elegant head leaned forward and the blue-gray eyes studied the pavement. Without turning, without looking, without breathing, Kathryn whispered, "Seven?"

The Borg closed the space between them, wrapping her long arms around her from behind. She thought for a moment that the Captain would protest, shake her off or move away, but then the small body relaxed back into the embrace and a soft sigh fell from her lips.

"I used to wonder how you always knew when I walked into Astrometrics." She laughed softly. "I guess now I know."

"Kathryn." Seven whispered, her eyes closing and her face dropping down to rest on Janeway's shoulder as The Voice wrapped her in velvet. "What are you doing here?"

Kathryn turned in her embrace and traced the tracks of her tears with one finger. "Hoping…"


"I've come here every year." She smiled softly. "Harry said he told you about New Year's in New York City. I guess I was playing the law of averages that eventually you would show up."

Seven's eyebrows furrowed. "If you wished to see me why did you not just allow them to tell me where you were?"

Kathryn pulled one glove off and laid a warm palm against her face. "Because there is so much out there for you, Seven. I wanted you to see at least some of it for yourself before making a decision."

"There was never a decision to be made." The Borg frowned. "Everywhere I have gone has been lacking without you. Everything I have seen I have wanted to share with you. Everything is nothing… without you."

All around them people began to call out, counting backwards from ten as a brightly lit ball began to descend from atop a tall spire. When the number hit one, Kathryn leaned up and captured Seven's lips with her own, drowning out the cheering of the crowds with the sound of two hearts… finally beating as one.