She was getting too old for this.
Too old and too deep into the Delta Quadrant, she decided, but Seven Of Nine had this sway to her hips that Janeway found irresistible.
She'd tried to stop flirting with Chakotay, with other men she came across as they travelled through the galaxy, because it was never going to get her anywhere, and only going to hurt her. She felt too old to be getting her heart broken. It was fine for some of the other crew members, for Tom Paris, and Harry Kim, B'lanna Torres, but she had a decade or more on them.
She was definitely too old to be experimenting with her sexuality, but couldn't really help it. Not when it came to Seven Of Nine. It wasn't like she'd never considered it, however briefly or otherwise, but it had never felt like this. She'd never been so completely transfixed on another woman like this. Or even another man when she thought about it. There was little spark that burst in her chest when she saw Seven walk. From any angle and she wasn't particularity proud of the the fact that sometimes she completely sexualized Seven in her own head. Half her crew did that too, and she was definitely too old for that sort of thinking.
It was worse on days when she looked at herself in the mirror and saw every year she'd spent in the Delta Quadrant etched into her face, her eyes, looking down to see them on her hands too.
It was all washed away too easily by Seven Of Nine though, and a little attention from her. Five years could be gone with a question directed her way, even more when the younger woman was pleased, though it had taken Janeway a little while to be able to tell when Seven was actually pleased about anything. Once, when they'd been talking about names, their meanings, their significance, Seven had called her Kathryn, testing the name on her lips, and Janeway had felt 16 again.
"You were staring," she said. "At me."
"Oh, sorry," Janeway replied, feeling a touch of heat on her cheeks. "I was day-dreaming."
"Yes, something we'll have to work on. It's a little like dreaming, or fantasising while you're awake. Exercising your imagination."
"We'll come back to it I promise," she said. "We're supposed to be talking about the latest astronomical data you've been collating."
Janeway was there was a hint of a smile on her face, and chuckled.
"I see many members of the crew day-dreaming," Seven said, moving to the other side of her quarters, Janeway watching her as she went. "I have also seen many members of the crew stare at me in a similar manner to yourself. The Doctor assures me that this is not day-dreaming."
Janeway wasn't quite sure where Seven was going with this. The young woman had learnt a lot over the past year, and Janeway had learnt a lot about her but sometimes she was a still a little confusing.
"You were looking at me with serious interest in my anatomy Captain."
There was definitely a hint of a smile on Seven's face now, and more than a hint of a blush on Janeway's own face. She was rarely speechless in her life, if she had been one for a loss of words, she doubted she would've made Captain. Right now though, she didn't know quite what to say to Seven Of Nine.
"Are you interested Captain Janeway?" she asked, bluntly.
She still didn't know what to say, but managed to nod.
"This embarrasses you?"
Janeway knew why, remember the shyness from years ago, when she was a teenager faced with her first crush. It was ridiculous really, she was too old to be feeling this way, but Seven Of Nine was turning her insides to mush with the way she was staring at her.
"Because you're beautiful," she managed to say.
"I do not understand."
Janeway smiled and stood up, walking up to Seven, reaching behind her and removing the grip holding the woman's hair up. It fell down around her shoulders and she sighed at the sight. Seven really was very beautiful, though she wasn't sure the younger woman quite comprehended the concept just yet.
"The Doctor hasn't taught you about beauty?" she asked.
"He has tried."
Janeway nodded, the more abstract ideas didn't come easy to Seven, and she often wished there was a way she could get through to her.
A little more confident again, like her old self, she leaned forward and kissed her, a tentative meeting of lips at first, Janeway had only kissed another woman once and she was sure Seven hadn't kissed anyone at all. With a few moments more, and Janeway running her fingers into Seven's hair, the kiss deepened. When they pulled apart, the younger woman was as confused as she had ever been but Janeway simply smiled at her. She turned her around and unzipped her, pulling apart the material, slowly stripping her. Seven remained still, puzzled as her clothes were removed and Janeway let them drop to the floor at her feet. When she was completely nude, she walked around her, looked over her, sighed again, kissed her again, smiled again.
"This is beauty," she told her.
"I do not understand," Seven repeated.
Janeway moved to stand behind her again, and pointed to the mirror in front of them.
"Do you see yourself?" she whispered in the younger woman's ear. "That is beauty, a form that is pleasing to the eyes of most. More so to me."
"I do not see what you see Captain Janeway."
"In yourself, I suppose not, but I see it in you."
Janeway moved around and kissed her again, harder this time, wrapping her arms around her naked body, stroking her hands down her back, pleased to get a little reaction, a shiver from Seven.
"I do enjoy this process, even if I do no understand it."
Janeway laughed. The mirror in front of them, still showed the years, but she really didn't care right then.
"I'll help you understand I promise."