CHAPTER 80

"Katie, you've become a little lax in your dress code over the years I see."

Lwaxana Troi stood in the center of the medical wing of her Institute with a huge smile playing upon her lips. Her smirk nearly prevented her from taking sips from her glass that was filled with more whiskey than soda or ice. At seventy-six Lwaxana possessed a mischievous glint in her dark brown eyes and a voluptuously feminine form she was never hesitant to be very proud of. The fact that lovers half her age all seemed to fall madly in love with her only helped expand an already sizeable ego.

She had been pleasantly surprised to hear from Kathryn only twenty minutes prior asking for medical assistance for one of her Voyagers. Lwaxana had characteristically been teasing in her conversation accusing Janeway of only calling her when she needed something. In truth, the light tone she employed did mask a slight twinge within her that regretted the fact that she didn't see much of the woman she had a large part in helping to raise.

Lwaxana's smile grew as Janeway's cheeks reddened as she passed her a robe to cover her nakedness. "I'm betting there's a long story to why you've shown up on my doorstep in nothing but your birthday suit, but I see you brought company as well."

Kathryn brushed a gentle hand over Annika's forehead. "There is. I'd just like to make sure Annika is all right. And you were the closet facility."

"No need to flatter me so, Katie." Lwaxana moved to the medical monitor and shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. "She's fine. She just needs to sleep, eat and regain her strength. After a few days resting here she'll be good as new. So, tell me who exactly is she?"

"Annika Han—"

Lwaxana waved her hand in the air dismissively. "Not the boring biographical stuff. Who is she to you? Don't think I can't see your feelings written all over your face. Now spill."

"It's complicated."

Is it because of Kes? Should we talk privately?

No. It's not Kes.

"It's rude to speak about someone as if she isn't standing right here." Kes rolled her eyes, but she couldn't stop a grin from pulling at her lips.

"Well, look who's become a telepath again. Welcome back." Lwaxana took a long drink from her glass before she eyed Kes critically. "It's just I didn't want to be rude since I know you had a little thing for Katie awhile back."

Kes' mouth and eyes went wide at this proclamation.

"Don't listen to her, Kes. She says that about everyone. She's just trying to get to you." Janeway smiled reassuring though missing the knowing looks and communication exchanged between the two telepaths.

"Well, I need another drink." Lwaxana downed the rest of the amber colored liquid quickly. "You two look like you need a few stiff ones in ya and then a week's worth of sleep. I'll go get you a high ball and some decent clothes then I want to hear all about the latest adventures of Captain Janeway and her wayward ban of intrepid do-gooders."

"We're not 'wayward'." Kes' disagreeing words were ignored as Lwaxana, with a twirl of brightly colored fabric and clanking mass of bangles and gemstone necklaces swept out of the sickbay.

"Sometimes we are." Janeway reluctantly left Annika's bedside to utilize the communications display connected to the wall. "UFM ship Enterprise."

"Enterprise here—Janeway! Where the hell have you been?"

"It's good to see you too, Will." Janeway smiled warmly at the flabbergasted man on the monitor. "It's a long story, but suffice to say busy. Kes and Annika are here with me at Lwaxana's institute. I intend to return within the hour to assist in—"

"Kathryn?"

"Jean-Luc, how are things on the ground?" Janeway shook off the unease at knowing the man before her had seen some of her demons and Regina's as well.

"As well as to be expected. I'm afraid it's taking your government some time to sort out how to handle the situation. The President has declared a state of emergency and set up central control at the Pentagon. I'll never cease to be impressed by what the American people can take in stride." Picard smirked as he shook his head. "There's already bids circulating for reconstructing the White House and the surrounding area that suffered damaged."

"It's nice to know that capitalism is alive and well."

"How are you, Kathryn? I'm alone."

"Oh I'm fine. I take it I have you and Kes to thank for that."

"And Annika? She's there with you?"

"Yes. Kes found a way to locate Regina's nanoprobes and extract them." Janeway nearly shivered by the image of the procedure coming to the forefront of her mind. "She saved her."

"I'm pleased to hear that." Picard's eyes were diverted from the screen to the door that continued to announce someone's wish to gain entry into the communications center. "It appears there are others who would like to speak with you."

Janeway felt her chest warm and a smile threaten to break through her serious façade as recriminations and exasperated words were spoken all at once by her Voyager team. Some, like B'Elanna's, were more colorful than others but all had the same message. If she were to do anything like this ever again, scare them in this manner, they would not be so lenient.

"What do you have to say for yourself, Kathryn?" Chakotay knew the critical words against Janeway were because of fear and worry and that she knew it. He could see tears in her eyes from her feelings of warmth and love. There was also regret on her features and she appeared unable to find the necessary words.

Janeway cleared her throat audibly as she took a moment to look at each entreating face displayed before her. She felt a lone tear drop from her eye but did not feel embarrassed or ashamed by her show of emotions. Janeway knew at this moment above all others she had to let her guard down. She needed to trust them as much as they trusted her. She had to tell them the truth.

"I know I worried you. That you didn't understand what was happening onboard Regina's sphere. How I could suddenly become your enemy. And I'm… truly sorry for that." Janeway took a deep breath as her throat tightened with emotion. She put a hand to her upper chest to help calm her as she continued her confession.

"I—I have a problem." Janeway straightened her posture; her resolve to say what see needed clear on her determined features. "I hunger for power, usually I can control it and I've taken steps to let it never consume me. Or so I thought. In preventing the core breach I took in too much energy, it was volatile, powerful, it… overcame me. What I did was wrong. Especially to you Tom. I used your trust in me against you."

Tom looked at the woman who looked so vulnerable it made his voice softer than what was usual for the boisterous man. "You seem okay now."

"Yes, I have Kes and Jean-Luc to thank for that." Janeway's gaze averted from the monitor to where Kes was seated in a gray chair at Annika's bedside. She felt fortified by the encouraging smile Kes offered her. "The hunger is once again contained."

"What about Annika? Is she okay?"

"Yes." Janeway nearly smiled at B'Elanna's show of concern. Nearly. "She's fine. Lwaxana is allowing her to stay her to recoup her strength for the next few days."

"Captain, I think I speak for all of us when I say you should just stay in Australia." B'Elanna crossed her arms over her chest, an unyielding posture. "We're good here. Not much for us to do until the Prez says something other than UN forces are assisting the US government in a time of need. We'll let you know if you're needed and then Harry can pop on down and get you."

Small knowing smiles were on too many lips for Janeway's comfort. They knew. Somehow they knew. "I thank you, B'Elanna, but I really think I should—"

"Captain." Tom's stern voice stopped Janeway immediately. "Trust us. Like we trust you. The first face Annika sees when she wakes up should be yours. The US will still be here in two days."

Janeway was floored. It was as if her admission of her dark secret hadn't even been heard. She listened as more voiced their agreement with Tom and B'Elanna's assertions. Janeway's eyes moved to Chakotay who had an indefinable look on his dark features.

"Stay, Captain. We'll hold down the fort until you return." Chakotay grinned at the relieved look he received. "Annika needs you more than us for the time being."

"Thank you. All of you." Janeway's smile was tremulous but genuine. "I'll see you in a few days. But call me if—"

A laugh burst forth from Kes at seeing Janeway's indignant and surprised expression when the screen went black after Chakotay had unexpectedly terminated the call.

"Can you believe that?"

"Yes, I can." Kes continued to smile as motioned for Janeway to take her seat next to Annika.

"Kes." Janeway placed her hands gently over Annika's left forearm and rubbed the bare skin that had been revealed when Kes had replaced the silver combat suit with a gown while Janeway had been on with the Enterprise. She looked away from Annika's features in repose to look at Kes, who was checking on Annika's vitals. "Thank you. For everything. And I'm sorry. For what you had to see."

Kes looked at Janeway carefully not completely understanding what the other woman was referring to until she remembered that Janeway had been anything but a passive participant in quelling her immense appetite.

"You owe me no apologies, Kathryn." Kes moved away from the monitors to stand before Janeway. She had no words to say how sorry she was for what Janeway had suffered at the hands of Camet and his men, so instead Kes merely knelt down and placed her lips to Janeway's forehead and tried to convey her emotions through her touch and her thoughts.

"I told you she had a big ole yen for you." Lwaxana's words as she entered the sickbay with a tray of drinks and clothing draped over her shoulder elicited a chuckle from Kes and a groan from Janeway.

Kes opted out of the drink passed her way. "Actually I think I'll go to bed, let you two catch up."

"The guest wing is empty. Take whichever room you'd like." Lwaxana smiled with approval when Janeway took the proffered tumbler filled with whiskey and little else. She watched Kes leave, the door to the sickbay slid closed behind her before Lwaxana spoke again. "Do you think it's wise to allow her full use of her mind's ability? She can be quite dangerous."

"We all can be. I trust her to seek out help if she requires it as she has done so in the past." Janeway took a healthy drink from her glass and appreciated how the alcohol burned her throat along its trek. "I have every confidence in her."

"Far be it for me to demonize anyone." Lwaxana placed the tray with Kes' rejected glass, that was now empty, and the clothing she had brought for Janeway onto the lounger in the corner before she brought a chair so she could seat on the other side of the slumbering Annika. "So tell me everything about this woman you obvious are head over heels for. I never thought I'd see the day, especially after Jus—I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I never thought I'd fall in love again either. A part of me didn't want to. It seemed like a betrayal to Justin"

"And now it doesn't?"

"No. He was a good man who only wanted me to be happy." Janeway let her hand drift across Annika's forehead lovingly. "She makes me happy."

"I see that clearly in the way you look at her. But I also see pain. What happened? The news makes it sound like the whole eastern seaboard of the US has been under attack by militant anti-metahuman groups. I had sent Ezri and Odo to assist, but by the time they got there apparently Bashir and his team along with your people already had the situation well in hand." Lwaxana considered the mistake for not bringing the entire whiskey bottle down with her as she finished her third drink. "I couldn't believe it when they told me Regina's sphere was there."

"Lwaxana, Regina was there."

Lwaxana looked too shell-shocked for words, but she was not a woman to be silent for too long. "My God! Now I definitely need another drink."

CHAPTER 81

Janeway groaned as she came awake with a great crick in her neck and pain in her upper back muscles. She brought her head up slowly from where it had been resting on the edge of Annika's biobed for an amount of time unknown to her. She stretched her arms above her head to relieve some of the discomfort from her body and was satisfied with the resounding cracks her movements caused.

"Annika?" Janeway's voice was soft and entreating as she placed a gentle hand upon the slumbering woman's forehead.

It worried her that she was still asleep, but knew it was unfounded since Kes and Lwaxana not to mention herself were all medically trained. Annika's needs were being met by the medical equipment surrounding the biobed and Janeway knew what the woman needed most was rest.

Janeway removed the blanket that had been draped over her at some point in the early Australian morning she stood. The pajamas she wore obviously belonged to someone taller and better endowed than she, but they served their purpose. And she had been fortunate Lwaxana had brought her clothing that were sedate with their blue color scheme instead of something that employed the other woman's usually loud preferences when it came to fashion.

She cast one last look at Annika before she entered the bathroom. The lights turned on automatically filling the small sterile room with dim yellow light that sent the slightest buzz through Janeway's system. She looked forward to the sunrise.

As she passed near the large mirror mounted above the sink she couldn't stop herself from looking at herself critically. It was strange to her that she didn't look any worse for wear after all she had gone through in the past twenty-four hours or so.

Janeway quickly drew the long sleeved shirt from her body and then dropped the drawstring pants to the dark gray tiled floor in preparation for her shower. As the warm water and soap cleansed her body she thought about Regina, Lwaxana and Annika.

She had whiled away the evening telling Lwaxana of Regina's plot. Janeway had tried not to make it seem any worse of an ordeal than necessary since she knew Lwaxana carried guilt with her that she had not been able to rehabilitate Regina. She, in her mind, had only been able to prolong the inevitable. That guilt was something Janeway shared as well, but tried not to dwell on especially now. She wanted to concentrate on Annika. Janeway had surprised herself not to mention Lwaxana when she had spoken so freely about Annika. The love she felt for her. The fear at what trauma Regina's actions had caused Annika.

"So, you're in love with this young woman then?" Lwaxana had smiled her all-knowing grin that was characteristic of her. "Well, I for one can't wait to meet her. So, I can judge and be over protective like everyone claims I tend to be. Don't worry, Katie, I'll save the embarrassing photo albums for you and Annika's next trip down to visit me. You know for someone who has speed on her side you don't get out to see your old friends too often."

Even though Lwaxana's tone had been deliberately teasing Janeway had detected the hurt and annoyance laced within. "I know. And I'm sorry about that. I don't know why I don't come see you. Or Aunt Martha. Or any of the others that helped raise me."

"You're a good girl, Katie." Lwaxana had tried to shrug it off, but she held hope that Janeway's words meant she would see more of the woman she considered like a daughter. "I know you're busy with your Institute. And everything else the UFM has you doing. Not to mention all that crappy anti-metahuman sentiment plaguing the US."

Janeway had detected that the sentimentality occurring was perhaps too much for Lwaxana, which was practically confirmed when the other woman informed her it was late for Australians and went to bed. Alone with Annika, Janeway had spent the next several hours watching over the slumbering woman until she had apparently succumbed to a blissfully dreamless sleep.

A part of her hated Regina for what she had done to Annika, what she had tried to do. But another part felt just as she had back in that horrible place in Reykjavik when she thought she had killed Regina. Suddenly she felt the weight of what had occurred in the last twenty-four hours and was overcome by both joyful relief and agonizing pain.

Janeway pressed the palms of her hands against the slick, tiled wall of the shower as she let hot tears mix with shower water while her body shook with wracking sobs she would never allow another person to ever witness. Embarrassed even alone, Janeway regained her composure through sheer willpower alone. She washed away her tears before she turned the water off and stepped out of the stall.

She dried herself quickly wanting to get back to Annika. She dumped the towels and her pajamas into the hamper before she opened the closet near the door to find a never worn suit to don. Janeway had never really wondered about why Lwaxana always kept such a large supply of brand new bodysuits, she figured for times like these. She pulled the form-fitting garment that was a dark red with black piping that went from her shoulders to form a V that ended above her bellybutton. She tied her long, thick hair into a loose ponytail as she walked towards where Annika still slumbered on.

The sleeping woman looked so peaceful, so achingly beautiful. Janeway bent forward to gently press her lips to Annika's forehead. She lingered for a moment almost willing Annika's eyes to open, when they didn't Janeway slowly withdrew.

"I'll be right back."

Janeway opened the skylight with a voice command before she flew up to greet the morning sun.

The energy she received from the sun was pure and gentle, she never felt greedy nor did she hunger for that energy. She closed her eyes and floated ever higher with her feet together and her arms outstretched as if offering herself up to the dawn of a new day. Those up early enough to see the sunrise saw another blaze in the blue sky. Being used to metahumans, Australia was one of the leaders in metahuman rights equality, most looked at the specter in the sky with awe, others who were more jaded shrugged indifferently and went about their morning. If close enough people on the ground looking up saw what resembled a great fiery, golden bird.

CHAPTER 82

Annika awoke slowly, almost reluctantly. The first thing her senses detected was the scent of coffee. She wondered when the smell of coffee became reassuring. She could hear a light clicking sound, nothing intrusive but in the quiet it was noticeable. Gradually she opened her eyes. The only light was cast by medical equipment and the PADD held in the hands of the only other person in the glass-enclosed area Annika had found herself in.

Kathryn. Annika's chest felt warm as she observed the woman curled up in a recliner only a few feet from her bed. The soft glow from the PADD cast shadows across Kathryn's elegant features and reflected off the red-rimmed glasses she wore. Annika secretly thought the other woman looked undeniably sexy whenever she sported those glasses. In fact she always found Kathryn Janeway attractive and alluring. Annika thought Kathryn looked even more diminutive than usual dressed in a pair of dark green yoga pants and an oversized grey sweater. She looked comfortable, but Annika wanted those dark blue eyes on her not the PADD. She tried to speak but found her voice uncooperative.

As if perceiving her struggle, Kathryn looked up from her PADD. A look of surprise graced Kathryn's features before she bolted from her chair to Annika's side. She knelt down next to the bed as she placed a gentle hand on Annika's forehead. Kathryn used her other hand to hold Annika's hand, the pad of her thumb rubbed small circles across pale skin.

"Hi, how are you feeling?" Kathryn hadn't known how Annika would react to seeing her, but she felt relief wash over her when the beautiful woman smiled in response.

Annika placed a hand to her neck. She was rewarded when Kathryn efficiently offered her a straw so she could relieve her parched mouth and sore throat. She smiled her gratitude.

Kathryn absently set the plastic cup back on the nearby tray never losing eye contact with Annika. Light blue eyes held the warmth Kathryn had been waiting to see again, but also confusion. "We're in a UFM facility in Sydney. You've been through quite an ordeal. How much do you remember?"

"I—I remember seeing you, hurt and then a pain, in my neck." Annika's hand unconsciously went to the area of her neck where Regina's assimilation tubules had burrowed into her. "It's all hazy after that. Like a dream. A bad dream."

"I'll explain everything to you. Later." A part of Kathryn knew she was stalling, but she needed to know Annika was up to hearing the entire story before she was going to go into any details. "Right now I just want to make sure you're all right. How do you feel? Do you have any pain?"

"No. I don't think so." Annika lifted her hand not enclosed by Kathryn's to gently take the other woman's hand away from her forehead to her lips. She kissed the pale skin of Kathryn's knuckles before she let the hand go. "Are you okay?"

"Oh, I'm fine. I was just worried about you." Kathryn's finger's tingled from the sweet kisses she had just received. She wanted nothing more than to curl up next to Annika, but her sense of decorum won out. Annika needed time to come to terms with everything that had happened. She needed time. "Are you up for something to eat? You've been asleep for about twenty hours. Maybe you'd like a bath. Walk around a little bit?"

"I think all of the above sounds pretty good. I feel like I've been asleep for a month." Annika suspected Kathryn wanted to wait to tell her all that had happened and though she was curious, she decided to allow herself to feel like her old self before she pressured the other woman too much. Right now she felt like a wet piece of spaghetti. "Maybe a shower first?"

Annika swung her long pale legs over the bed before she touched her feet to the surprisingly warm gray tiled floor. Kathryn helped her while she gained her equilibrium.

"I'm okay. Thanks." Annika smiled reassuringly as she felt Kathryn's hands around her waist and on her arm loosen until they fell away completely.

"I'll be right outside the door if you need me." Kathryn watched Annika enter the bathroom. It was only when she heard the shower start that she let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding.

Kathryn walked back into the infirmary to turn off the now unnecessary equipment and to gather her things since the room needed to be sterilized. The news scan she had been reading regarding criminal charges against Senator Hayes and several of his in-Congress supporters for money given to outlawed anti-metahuman groups vanished as she turned off the PADD.

A noise from the bathroom sent a shiver of ice down her back and she dropped the PADD as she ran to the bathroom. Uncaring of decorum she burst through the door and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight that greeted her.

Annika had her knees pulled to her chest and her body trembled as it was racked by powerful sobs. Her teeth punished the skin of her knees as hot tears mixed with the water streaming down upon her.

"Oh my God." Kathryn quickly broke out of her reverie. She turned off the water before she pulled a large fluffy towel down from the nearby shelf to wrap around Annika's quivering form. "Annika? What happened? Please—"

Something broke within Kathryn as Annika's frightened and tear streaked face lifted from her knees. Annika's voice cracked as she asked the single most important question she had ever asked. "What am I?"

"Come on, Annika, we need to get you dried off." Janeway pulled the reluctant woman to her feet and then out of the shower stall. Her hands trembled as they used a towel to rub the water from Annika's shivering body. When she was suitably dry Kathryn wrapped a white terrycloth robe around her, she never once took her gaze off of Annika's frightened features.

"Do you even know what I am?" Annika's tone was sharp, almost accusing and it cut Kathryn to the quick. "Because I don't."

"You're Annika Hansen." Kathryn didn't know the right answer and could tell by Annika's expression it had not been the response she had wanted. She tried again. "You're the woman that I love. The woman who I fell in love with."

Annika looked at Kathryn for a long, silent moment with an indefinable expression on her features. A single tear fell from her right eye as her voice trembled despite her efforts to remain strong. "How can you say that? How can you be in love with me? I'm not even a real person. I'm a creation."

Kathryn suddenly understood. "You are as real as I am. Regina did a lot to you, but who you are, the wonderful, compassionate person I fell in love with, has nothing to do with her machinations. Annika, you're an individual, you're yourself no matter what. I know it's painful. What she did to you was wrong, it—"

"She saved my life. She gave me a part of herself." Annika hugged herself as if she were cold despite the warmth and steam in the bathroom. "The part that loved you. I'm in love with you, Kathryn. I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you. But is that real? How do I know what I feel for you is me at all? It could just be what I've been 'engineered' to feel."

Kathryn felt the blow as if Annika had physically struck her. The fact that she had no answers to Annika's questions added to the pain she was feeling in her heart. "It—it could be. I can't undo what happened to you. All I can ask is for you to trust what you feel. Trust the relationships you've forged with so many people already. Those friendships are real."

"What about us? Are we real?" Annika knew she was hurting Kathryn, but she couldn't stop herself from asking these questions.

After she had been flooded with images as water flowed down her body Annika couldn't trust anything that had occurred after Regina had "activated" her. She wanted to trust in her love for Kathryn and for the other woman's love for her, but now she didn't know what Kathryn saw when she looked at her: Annika Hansen or Regina McQueen.

Through her pain Kathryn still felt the love for Annika continue to burn deep within her. With no words, Kathryn did the only thing she could think of to try to answer Annika's fears and doubts about their relationship. Slowly she moved towards Annika and was relieved when the other woman didn't move away. She was even more relieved when Annika didn't resist when she put her arms around her. Kathryn cupped Annika's face and looked with all the love she could muster at the woman who held her heart. Kathryn licked her lips in anticipation for what she was about to do next. Her dark blue eyes were focused on Annika's full lips as she moved her own ever so slightly closer. She progressed very slowly in order to give Annika enough time to stop the kiss. When she didn't move away and retreat, Kathryn pressed her lips against Annika's in a chaste, but prolonged kiss.

Annika pulled her lips away from Kathryn's. Her breathing was labored and her eyelids felt heavy as she looked down upon the worried expression that Kathryn possessed. Annika's voice was soft and breathy. "Tell me that was real. Tell me what I feel for you is real. That I'm real."

Kathryn's voice was low and husky as she answered. "That certainly felt real to me. You felt real. I could feel your love for me on your lips. It's real. We're real, Annika. You and me. I need you to believe that."

"I'm trying. God, I want to believe." Annika's arms tightened around Kathryn's slim waist as she pulled the other woman against her and kissed her with all the passion she held in her heart for Kathryn Janeway.

Kathryn moaned in pleasure as Annika entered her mouth with her tongue and began a duel with her own. The taste of Annika, the feel of being in her arms, made Kathryn's knees buckle. Annika's strong arms kept her standing as lips and tongue continued to elicit groans from deep within her.

Kathryn nearly screamed in frustration when Annika's lips left hers. Annika's voice was rough with need for the woman in her arms. "Tell me I'm real."

"You're real. Oh God, you feel real. You feel wonderful." Kathryn was rewarded by Annika's mouth moving against her own once again. Her fingers dug into the thick material of white terrycloth as she clutched onto Annika. Hot liquid need was beginning to gather between her legs and she wanted Annika in a way she had never desired anyone in her life.

"Oh God, please." Kathryn's eyes closed of their own volition as she struggled to remain on her feet as Annika began trailing hot kisses down her neck until her lips met material. She felt the rush of the warm air brush across her skin as the gray sweater fell in a heap onto the floor.

Annika's tongue left a moist trail between Kathryn's breasts as she slowly laid the woman in her arms upon the discarded sweater and towel. Annika's blue eyes darkened with desire as she looked upon Kathryn's pale skin lightly dusted with freckles for the first time. Annika licked her lips when her gaze fell on Kathryn's dark pink nipples that were already hardened into ready and waiting peaks. She placed her right index and middle finger into her mouth before she used them to dare Kathryn's left nipple to harden even more. The groans coming from Kathryn encouraged her to do the same to the right nipple before she brought her head down and enclosed the peak in the hot, wet velvet of her mouth.

"Annika, please. That feels so good." Kathryn arched her back in an attempt to push her breast even closer to Annika's wet mouth. Her legs closed around Annika waist as she ached for relief from the sweet torture Annika was treating her breasts to.

Annika's mouth never lost contact with the pert nipple as she quickly shed herself of the cumbersome robe. She groaned in delight as her naked skin touched Kathryn's for the first time.

"Annika, let me see you." Kathryn placed a hand on Annika's shoulder to still the woman's suckling of her breast. She needed to see Annika fully naked, to see that luminous flesh she had dreamt about. "Please. I need to see you."

Annika stood slowly, regretting the loss of contact but wanting to obey Kathryn's wish. She was rewarded by a quick intake of breath and a desiring look on Kathryn's hungry features as she pushed herself up onto her elbows. Annika felt wanted, she felt incredibly sexy and she felt real.

"You're beautiful. So beautiful, Annika." Kathryn's voice was soft, reverent as her desire-laden eyes brushed across every millimeter of the magnificent woman on display. Annika stood before her like a goddess. Kathryn licked her lips as her eyes made a slow journey from the enticing full breasts topped with rosy peaks, down across the smooth planes of Annika's stomach, to her sex. Kathryn couldn't wait to taste every inch of Annika's body, starting with those lovely breasts.

"You're wearing too many clothes, Kathryn." Without another word Annika stripped Kathryn of both her pants and her undergarment. Annika smiled as she saw Kathryn Janeway gloriously naked laid out before her as if in offering. "Spread your legs, Kathryn. I want to see how much you want me. I want to know you're ready for me, for my fingers and my tongue to enter you without hesitation, without mercy, until you're begging me for release. Do you want that too, Kathryn?"

"Y—yes. Please." Kathryn could feel liquid heat coat her inner thighs as her need for Annika grew to an almost painful level. "I want you to touch me."

"I'm going to do a hell of a lot more than just touch you, Kathryn." Annika lowered herself to her hands and knees. Like a predatory cat she crawled towards Kathryn's waiting, quivering form. "Now, spread your legs more. I want to see all of you. Mmmm, I can smell you. I can't wait to taste you on my tongue. Graze my teeth against your clit. Would you like that?"

Kathryn was near orgasm just from Annika's low, sultry voice and the explicit words she had never imagined would be coming forth from the beautiful woman mere inches away from her hot center. She thought she should be embarrassed that Annika was taking in deep breaths, smelling her fully, but she wasn't. She was just completely aroused, which was exemplified by the great amount of liquid that continued to drip from her sex onto her inner thighs

"You smell so good." Annika smiled with a carnal hunger as her blue eyes met Kathryn's in a haze of desire. She watched Kathryn's beautiful face as she placed her hands gently upon hips that felt smooth and soft to her touch. Annika's eyes remained on Kathryn's enraptured expression as she slowly, carefully slid two fingers into the moaning woman beneath her. "Oh, Kathryn, I love how you're squeezing my fingers. You feel so damned good."

Kathryn couldn't speak, couldn't think, she could only feel. She felt Annika push another finger into her. She groaned loudly her approval and even louder still when a forth was added.

"That's my girl. You love being filled completely don't you?" Annika smiled broadly at the guttural sounds emitting from deep within Kathryn's throat. She began to rub her thumb against the swollen bundle of nerves as she continued to thrust her fingers in and out of Kathryn's wet heat. "Yes. Thrust against me. Work for it."

Kathryn did as she was told. It seemed she would do whatever Annika demanded of her as long as the exquisite torture continued. She wasn't quite prepared when Annika replace her thumb with the tip of her tongue.

"Oh, yes! Annika, please!" Kathryn's hips thrust strongly to meet the movements of Annika's fingers deep within her and now the flat of the blonde's hot, wet tongue. She was going to explode. She had to warn Annika, but couldn't find the words. Instead she screamed as she came, hard and fast.

Annika continued to lick at Kathryn's sex as the petite woman's body still shook from the aftermath of a powerful orgasm. One, much to Annika's surprise and delight, had caused Kathryn to glow brightly in the dim lighting of the bathroom. The glow was now gone and that was regrettable to Annika. She decided the only thing she could do was cause Kathryn to light up once again.

Annika plunged her tongue deep within Kathryn, not allowing the woman beneath her a moment to recover. Kathryn ground herself wildly against Annika's hot mouth and tongue. Annika continued to thrust and curl her tongue, which caused Kathryn to make as many provocative noises as she wished. With her hands free Annika used them to pinch both of Kathryn's nipples before she began to squeeze and massage the soft breasts.

"OH! ANNIKA!" Kathryn's hands clung to Annika's shoulder, blonde hair, she grasped at anything including her own insanity as Annika continued to thrust her tongue into her, going deeper each time. Kathryn bucked frantically against the woman pleasuring her so thoroughly. She felt a flood of juices flow over Annika's lips and she felt nothing but pleasure because of it. Annika certainly didn't mind if her enthusiastic tongue and lips were any indication.

Annika closed her eyes, but could still detect the bright glow that emanated from the woman bucking beneath her as wetness poured into her mouth when Kathryn came again. She slowly withdrew her hands from Kathryn's breasts and her tongue and mouth from her dripping wet sex.

"Kathryn?" Annika looked with worried eyes at the woman who was shielding her own eyes with both her hands. She carefully took Kathryn's hands away so she could see her flush features. "Are you okay?"

Dark blue eyes locked onto hers and she saw what she had dreamt many nights of seeing, naked uncontrollable desire. Annika gasped her surprise and enjoyment as Kathryn flung herself on top of her. She felt Kathryn's cooling wetness on her stomach as the petite woman straddled her and plundered her mouth with passionate kisses and bites.

Annika was deterred from stroking Kathryn's silky smooth skin by a strong hand holding her wrists together and pressing her arms so they were above her head. She smiled. Kathryn in charge was definitely making her wetter. She dueled with Kathryn's tongue until the woman pressing so lovingly against her moved her mouth to Annika's right nipple and began sucking noisily. Kathryn's teeth nibbled at the plump nipple until it was red and swollen from attention and she moved on to the left one.

Kathryn's hand not imprisoning Annika's wrist made its way down past the smooth plains of her stomach to her heady sex. The tips of Kathryn's fingers played in the copious amounts of liquid she found flowing from Annika's core, but she didn't enter. This elicited a groan of frustration and need from Annika, which made Kathryn bite down on the nipple between her lips harder. That earned her a scream of pain and pleasure. She soothed the nipple with licks and kisses as she began to smear the creamy liquid from Annika's vagina to her plump nipples. Once Kathryn was satisfied that Annika's right breast was sufficiently slathered she moved her lips and tongue to collect the intoxicating liquid, while she went about making the other nipple equally as delectable.

Annika, who had been with what she thought a fair share of women, had never experienced someone so hungry for her essence to be literally feasting upon it. She watched through an almost painfully aroused haze as Kathryn continued to transfer more of her fluid onto her full breast and lick them clean before the process was repeated again and again. She had never come from someone concentrating on her breasts, but she thought there was always a first time for everything and she was near the shattering point.

During one of Kathryn's passes over her swollen lips to collect liquid sustenance, Annika could hold back no longer and came with a scream of pleasure and release. She screamed Kathryn's name loudly as she came a second time within the span of a few seconds when three fingers plunged forcefully into her, her left nipple was pulled taut and teeth clamped onto her collarbone.

A stream of fluid was released onto Kathryn's hand. She smiled as she brought her coated hand up to Annika's eye level and used only the tip of her tongue to lick the fluid from her palm all the while watching the other woman's reaction. When Kathryn moved her hand down to collect more she let out a gasp of surprise when she was stopped with a firm hand on her wrist. She let out a groan of approval when her hand was moved towards Annika's lips and her fingers were sucked into the moist hot cavern of her mouth.

"Tastes good doesn't it?" Kathryn smiled as Annika continued to suckle on her fingers. "Now you see why I couldn't get enough."

Annika nodded in response as she continued to taste herself on Kathryn's fingers. She wanted Kathryn to be treated to the same. She slowly trailed her hand down Kathryn's taut stomach to the source of the essence she wanted so much to taste again. She parted Kathryn's swollen, drenched lips with her fingers. She entered without resistance and was rewarded for her series of deep thrusts by a flood of juices upon her hand, enough that it dripped onto the gray tiled floor as she moved it up to the petite woman's breasts.

Kathryn waited for Annika's mouth to descend on her breasts and ached with the need to feel that velvet heat close around her nipple. She wasn't disappointed for when her fingers were removed from Annika's mouth her breasts were devoured with frantic need. While Annika's teeth nipped at peaked reddened nipples and she fed on Kathryn's essence, her hands were free to do her bidding. She used one on the small of Kathryn's back to push the woman's hot, wet vagina against her leg and the other to play with her clit.

As Kathryn used her hands against the tile to hold herself up on trembling arms, she rocked herself against the offered well-muscled thigh and the finger that pinched her clit. She wasn't prepared when she was suddenly pushed onto her back, her knees spread apart and Annika's mouth began devouring her sex. Annika suckled on Kathryn's clit as more fluid flowed onto the hand she had buried deep within the woman bucking beneath her.

Kathryn had lost count or care as to how many fingers Annika now had in her, pumping into her, fucking her harder and harder with each turn. All she cared about was the fact that her clit was being pinched between teeth and how her orgasm was going to flood Annika's palm. When she did come it was long and powerful. Her whole body was aglow with a brilliant golden light that flooded the room just as her screams of pleasure did.

Annika kissed her way up the still shaking form as she pulled the petite woman to her. "Kathryn, I love you. With everything that I am. I love you."

"Annika." Slowly Kathryn's eyes opened as a soft smile graced her lips. "You have my heart. And I have to warn you, it's non-refundable."

Annika laughed softly. "I'm fine with that. I—about earlier… I don't know if I'm ready to know everything. Yet."

"It's all right. We can talk about it more in the morning. All right?" Kathryn pressed her lips to Annika's enjoying the taste of herself as she did. "Let's shower and get you something to eat."

Kathryn blushed prettily as Annika licked her fingers, which were coated in her juices. "I—uh, mean something else. Food. I meant food."

"Of course." Annika smiled broadly at the cute display of modesty after what they had just done to each other. "Food."

"Oh my." Kathryn looked at herself in the mirror. She had slight bruises on her breasts, especially around her nipples, and on her neck. Her hair looked a mess since it had all but completely fallen out of the bun she had had it in earlier in the evening. She pulled the pins out before she brushed her fingers through her hair to help tame it a bit.

"You shouldn't do that." Annika's voice was a low, soft warning of sorts.

"Do what?" Kathryn continued to comb out the snarls in her hair as she looked at Annika questioningly.

"Let your hair down at a time like this." Annika motioned to the auburn tresses that fell in thick waves about Kathryn's shoulders. "Not if your intention was for us to leave this bathroom in the next week or so."

"You… like when my hair is down?" Kathryn looked incredulous as she waited for Annika's answer.

"You have no idea how goddamned sexy you are, do you?" Annika moved so that she was standing right behind Kathryn. She used her hands to coax Kathryn into looking at the two of them in the mirror. "You're so beautiful."

"Annika." Kathryn's utterance was a benediction as she fell against the woman who held her so gently, so carefully. "I—I'm not good at receiving compliments. But I feel beautiful when you look at me, when you touch me. So, thank you, for seeing me, for touching me. For loving me."

"Always." Annika knew the situation could escalate into another bout of lovemaking, but she didn't want to change this moment that was occurring for anything. "I'll always love you. No matter what."

Kathryn turned in Annika's arms to place a kiss on the full lips that met her own. "I'm yours, Annika."

CHAPTER 83

Lwaxana and Kes exchanged knowing looks as they watched Kathryn and Annika enter the kitchen from their place at the dining room table. Kes gave Lwaxana a warning look before they decided to make their presence known.

"Well, look who's finally gracing us with her presence." Lwaxana's accusation was said in an oddly jovial manner as she moved towards Annika and Kathryn. "Annika Hansen, I'm Lwaxana Troi, it's a great honor to meet the woman who has not only captured Katie's heart but also got her to light this place up like the Fourth of July. Good for you, and right out of bed too."

Annika knew her face was burning red and that her jaw was on the floor. She would have perhaps died from embarrassment if it wasn't for the fact that she was very proud of the pleasure she had given Kathryn.

"A woman of your age should show a bit more restraint." Kathryn's dark blue eyes narrowed as she took in the woman she had been partially raised by. It was times like these when she wondered if that had been entirely beneficial for her.

"Yes, well, not all of us have Victorian sentiments regarding sex." Lwaxana crossed her arms petulantly. "Anyway, let's get you both something to eat. I'm sure you've worked up an appetite."

"You're impossible." Kathryn shook her head, but she couldn't stop the smile from pulling at her lips as she looked at the unrepentant woman.

"Kes, it's good to see you." Annika let Kathryn deal with Lwaxana's bawdiness as she moved towards the elfish woman.

"I'm glad to see you up and well, Annika." Kes definitely had a smirk and a knowing look even if she wasn't about to voice anything similar to what Lwaxana already had. "We were concerned. Kathryn hardly left your bedside even though she was repeatedly told that you were fine, merely exhausted."

"You go out of your way to embarrass people." Kathryn's voice carried over to Kes and Annika, the former smiled at Lwaxana's indifference to that accusation because it was probably true.

"Kes? Regina's gone completely, right?" Annika knew from her remembrance during her shower that it had been the woman before her who had rid her body and mind of Regina McQueen.

"Yes. Except the parts Kellin transferred to you. Those will always be with you." Kes placed a gentle hand upon Annika's shoulder. "Perhaps we should talk later."

"Thanks, Kes, I'll let you know."

"You just can't admit that you're a little bit of a prude, Katie." Lwaxana waved away Kathryn's annoyed denial. "We're all adults here. Nothing to be ashamed about. It's just sex."

"It's not 'just sex'." All eyes turned to Annika. "It's amazing, mind blowing, curl your toes, and shout at the top of your lungs, unbelievably incredible sex."

"Oh my, you have just become family, my dear." Lwaxana clapped her hands in delight as she looked from Annika's rather haughty expression to Kathryn's, which was a perfect mixture of embarrassment and pride.

Annika smiled with delight when she was caught up in a strong hug by the woman she knew to be a maternal figure to Kathryn, so definitely a person she wanted to be in good graces with. Not to mention the fact that Annika enjoyed when Kathryn blushed and she was definitely blushing now.

"Thank you. And I expect to be seeing some embarrassing little Kathryn Janeway pictures soon." That earned Annika another tight hug before she was released and Lwaxana declared that she would be spreading this conversation to everyone she knew. Katie's girlfriend was a keeper.

Kes followed Lwaxana from the living with ill-concealed chuckles rumbling from her throat.

"Do you forgive me?" Annika looked entreatingly at the woman who was still quite pink in the cheeks.

"I just wasn't expecting it, that's all." Kathryn thought that was perhaps the understatement of the year. "Why did you say that?"

"Other than it being true? She obviously already knew, so why deny it or try to hide the fact that you're an amazing lover. And because she jokes with you. I know she, like me, enjoys watching you squirm. Your blush is absolutely adorable." Annika continued to move closer until she was a hair's breadth away. "Everybody thinks so."

"Well, I don't care about what everybody else thinks." Kathryn smiled as she circled Annika's waist with her arms. "Only you."

"Good. Because I'm not sharing." Annika pressed her lips against the woman in her arms, but was careful not to let it become any more passionate than that. "You gave yourself to me and I intend to keep you."

"I'd like that." Kathryn removed herself from Annika's embrace to go to the fridge. "Now let's feed you. I intend to take you hard against the wall of my bedroom in an hour."

Annika smiled broadly as her arousal was felt between her legs at the picture Kathryn had just painted. "Yes, ma'am."

Kathryn smirked as her sparkling blue eyes met Annika's. "You'll be calling me 'captain' by the end of the night. And I expect you to follow orders. When I say harder you do it, understood?"

"Yes, Captain." Annika's center was dripping with want at the suggestions filling her with thoughts of what other orders Captain Janeway would be giving her. All she knew was whatever they were she would quickly follow each and every one of them. "An hour is suddenly a very long time."

"Isn't the anticipation a turn-on?" Kathryn knew she was thoroughly turned on already.

"No. The turn-on is you bucking against my hand." Annika purposefully let her eyes wander to the area between Kathryn's legs. "Or the taste of you on my tongue."

"Oh my, we, we need to stop or I'm going to take you right here against the fridge." Kathryn finished laying out the ingredients for mushroom soup and Greek salad as she tried to calm her raging hormones. "What would you like to drink?"

"I can't tell you what I'd really want to be drinking right now." Annika kept her distance knowing that if she touched Kathryn they would be unable to stop themselves from making love in the kitchen. "I'll just have water."

"Okay. Water. Yes, I can do that." Kathryn's fingers tingled as she filled two glasses and tried not to drop them as desire made her hands shaky.

The quick meal and the clean up were performed in silence. They had both pushed one another and themselves as far as they could and another suggestive word would have placed them in quite the compromising position. Kathryn led the way to her bedroom on the second floor of Lwaxana's institute silently as well, not wanting their restraint to run out. Annika for her part resisted the temptation to throw caution to the wind and take Kathryn right there on the staircase.

The door hadn't even slid close behind them when Annika was pushed against the wall and her lips were under the most wonderful kind of attack. The t-shirt and cotton pants she wore were quickly torn from her body and she rejoiced in the feel of Kathryn's hands on her bare skin.

"Spread your legs for me." Kathryn's low husky voice drew the response it had intended. "I told you I'd take you hard against this wall. Now, feel free to start calling me 'captain'."

"Oh yes, that feels good." Annika hugged Kathryn tightly to her as fingers plunged into her wet heat. Her warm breath brushed against Kathryn's ear as she whispered her request. "Fuck me hard, Captain."

"Oh God, yes." Kathryn drove her fingers in and out of Annika's dripping core faster now and with enough force to make the pictures on the walls shake. "I want to make you scream my name. I don't give a damn who knows. I'm going to make you come all over my hand and then I'm going to wipe it over those glorious breasts of yours so I can have my dessert."

"Please, Kathryn, don't stop. Don't stop! Don't ever stop fucking me!" Annika felt her orgasm overwhelm her as she screamed her release. Kathryn's fingers continued pumping into her quickly, making obscene noises that sounded wonderfully naughty to Annika as she moved her hips in time with the thrusts.

"You like that, don't you, Annika? You're so beautiful when you're coming. You look like a goddess with your full breasts begging for my mouth on them. Soon, my love. Very soon." Kathryn held Annika upright as the other woman came again.

"I want you on your back on my bed." Kathryn released her hold on Annika and waited for her order to be fulfilled. She smiled as it eagerly was. "Now spread your legs and put your arms above your head. That's a good girl."

Kathryn went to her closet to get a dark green silk belt from one of the robes found there before she moved to the bed. She quickly tied Annika's wrists together and then restrained her to the headboard.

"Please, Kathryn, I want to touch you." Annika had allowed herself to be tied up, but she still wanted her desire voiced.

"All in due time, but for now I just want you to concentrate on feeling what I do to you." Kathryn moved to the end of the bed now to look at Annika's splayed sex. She licked her lips at the inviting fluid coating Annika's inner thighs and swollen outer lips. Slowly she crawled onto the bed to settle between Annika's legs. "You look delicious."

"Please, Kathryn, don't tease." Annika lifted her hips in offering and was rewarded with a low chuckle and hands on her thighs.

"Patience." Kathryn bent Annika's legs easily before she slowly pressed her hot, went center against Annika's. "Oh my."

"Kathryn!" Annika lifted her hips so she could press her own swollen flesh closer to Kathryn's. She was losing the ability to focus as Kathryn started to move against her, stroking their clits together as she did. Annika pulled at her restraints as the pleasure began to overwhelm her. She moaned deep in her throat as the wet folds of Kathryn's sex rubbed against her own in an intoxicating manner. She wantonly ground herself against Kathryn as she tried to keep their tenuous connection. Annika had never felt anything as sensual as having Kathryn's sex rubbing against hers.

Kathryn created tiny circles as she maintained their tight, intense embrace. Her inner walls began to flutter and she knew she was close. "Oh, Annika, I'm going to—oh, yes!"

Even as Kathryn glowed with her orgasm she maintained her pressure against Annika as her juices mingled and flowed into the writhing blonde's wet opening. Kathryn knew this image of a wanton, completely abandoned Annika Hansen would be forever imprinted in her mind. "You're so beautiful, Annika. Please, let me feel you come."

"Oh God, yes, Kathryn! Please!" Annika squeezed her eyes shut as she continued to feel Kathryn's sex rubbing against her own. It wasn't enough though and she couldn't attend to her own breasts because she was restrained. "Please! My breasts… they ache."

Kathryn didn't hesitate. She used the two hands she had been bracing herself with to grasp hands full of Annika's pliant breasts. She used her thumbs and index finger to pinch Annika's nipples into reddened peaks. "Come, Annika. Do it."

"Kathryn!" Annika arched high off the bed as her orgasm washed over her and caused her long, lean body to tremble in the aftermath.

Soothing kisses were placed upon Annika's heaving chest as she came back to herself. She smiled as dark blue eyes met hers. "You're incredible. I've never—I still want you. You've made me insatiable."

"Lucky me." Kathryn wondered if she should tell Annika that the glow during her orgasms energized her, not to mention made her incredibly aroused, so to have that hunger returned was fortunate indeed. "Well, what are you waiting for? Take me. Make me yours."

"Release me and I will." Annika's smirk seemed to say payback was soon coming. "I think I'd like to see you tied up now."

"Oh, I think I can accommodate that." Kathryn crawled up Annika's body for the purpose of releasing the other woman's wrists, which became more difficult to do when her nipples were being licked fervently.

After several licks later Annika was finally free and was now kneeling on the vast bed instructing Kathryn to take her place. "Lie down. On your stomach."

"I—I can't." Suddenly shy Kathryn's voice was shaky at best. "I'm sorry, but I…"

"What is it?" Annika could feel the mood suddenly shift and she almost hit herself for not remembering. "Kathryn, I—I know about the, uh, the scars, on your back."

"Oh." Kathryn looked away as shame filled her eyes.

"Please, I didn't mean to hurt you." Annika gently brought Kathryn down to the mattress so they could be lying on their sides facing one another. "Or bring up bad memories. Especially at a time like this."

"No, it's all right. It happened a long time ago. I've come to terms with what happened to me." Kathryn didn't add that she had lost her fiancé and first and only true love before Annika at the time as well and hadn't completely come to terms with that loss. "It's just—they're quite disfiguring."

Annika's heart broke at the matter of fact tone Kathryn had spoken with. "Nothing about you is ugly, Kathryn. Nothing. What that monster did to you was ugly, but never you. Those scars, they're a testament to who you are. Of how strong you are. How incredible. Please, don't be ashamed of any perceived flaws. You're perfect to me. Beautiful."

Kathryn looked deep within Annika's eyes and found only love and kindness. Reluctantly, she rolled on to her stomach revealing the tracery of seven scars that were thick and each one was as long as Annika's hand. Tears sprang to her eyes as she thought about the pain obtaining the vicious looking scars would have produced. Annika held in her own emotions though as she gently stroked her fingers against the raised pale flesh. Soon she pressed her lips to each one willing the powerful woman beneath her to believe her intentions.

"You're so beautiful." Annika could see Kathryn's shoulders shaking before she heard the soft sobbing coming from her. She stretched out on the bed before she pulled Kathryn into her arms. Annika held her close and tried to soothe her with words of love as Kathryn Janeway cried within her embrace until sleep from emotional exhaustion overcame her. Annika continued to cradle Kathryn in her arms throughout the night. Neither had bad dreams.

CHAPTER 84

Kathryn awoke slowly and snuggled into the warmth her bedmate provided her. She smiled softly as she remembered how caring Annika had been the previous evening. It surprised her that she didn't feel embarrassed to have cried in front of another person, something she was loathed to do, but she wasn't. She felt renewed and unencumbered, as if a great weight had been lifted from her. She pressed her lips to Annika's forehead before she slipped out of the bed.

Muscles she hadn't used in years and others she didn't even know she had ached from the previous day's activities and Kathryn smiled in remembrance. Her eyes fell on Annika's sleeping form and her chest filled with warmth from the intense love she felt for her. She wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed and perhaps wake Annika up with a sensual touch, but the sun was rising and like most mornings she was going to be there to greet it.

She quickly pulled on a combat suit and exited the bedroom through the window. She closed her eyes as she felt the first touch of the sun's energy reaching her and filling her with its power. Kathryn floated higher and higher with her arms open in offering.

Twenty-three minutes later, Kathryn returned to the bedroom aglow in the sun's energy she had taken into herself. A moment of ice-cold worry filled her when she saw the empty bed with the rumpled sheets.

"Annika?"

Kathryn felt relief wash over her when Annika walked out of the bathroom in a robe and a towel wrapped around her hair. Dependency on another was not something that Kathryn wished to possess, but she couldn't deny that she needed Annika in a very fundamental way. She felt as though she belonged to her in some way. Unlike Regina, Annika had never assumed she was hers that's was Kathryn felt so free to offer herself. She knew Annika was hers as well, but that didn't stop fear from creeping in. But she was Kathryn Janeway, she laughed in the face of fear.

"Good morning." Annika smiled in greeting as she moved quickly towards Kathryn in order to embrace her and plant a passionate kiss upon willing lips. The golden glow that surrounded Kathryn heated Annika like a furnace. It also made her incredibly aroused. Her kisses became more aggressive as she moved Kathryn to the bed.

"Kathryn, I can't wait, please." Annika rubbed herself rhythmically against the smooth material covering Kathryn's thigh as she used her hands for leverage to strengthen her thrusts.

"Then don't." Kathryn's gaze became hazy as she watched Annika's enraptured face and then moved down to watch her generous breasts bouncing with the motion of her rocking. Once the nipples poked through the opening in Annika's robe Kathryn seized on them with her fingers; tweaking and pulling them that elicited guttural groans from Annika. "I love you, Annika."

"Please. I need—I need more." Annika groaned her frustration that the delicious friction of her rubbing her sex against Kathryn's thigh wasn't enough to release her.

Kathryn quickly flipped Annika onto her back and without hesitation plunged two fingers into the writhing woman. With the tip of her tongue she began to torture the bundle of nerves above where her fingers were causing wet noises as they continued to thrust in and out of Annika's dripping sex.

Annika was reduced to a quivering mass after she succumbed to the pleasure provided by Kathryn and came with a scream torn from her throat. As she came back to herself she smiled as she felt Kathryn lapping up her juices from her inner thighs.

"Kathryn, come up here." Annika's body felt electrified and she wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of the day making love with the incredible woman now kissing her with wild abandon.

She tasted herself on Kathryn's tongue and groaned in appreciation. Slowly she began the wonderful task of making love to Kathryn. The fastenings gave way easily under her fingers, but instead of immediately removing the combat suit altogether she pushed her hand inside to cup an exposed breast and fondled Kathryn's nipple with her thumb.

Gently, Annika positioned Kathryn onto her back and continued to undo the fastenings of her suit, which exposed more pale skin as she did to her hungry eyes. Annika latched onto a nipple with her mouth as she pushed a hand into the suit to begin stroking Kathryn's dripping sex.

"Please, Annika." Kathryn's voice was rough with need as Annika continued to use the pads of her fingers to caress her moistened outer lips, but didn't enter her. "Don't tease."

Kathryn cried her gratitude as Annika pushed three fingers deep inside of her. The feeling of her muscles tightening around Annika's fingers and the hot, wet mouth sucking on her breasts caused Kathryn to lose herself to her own pleasure. She tangled her hands into Annika's damp, blonde hair as she moved against the hand buried inside of her. She moaned in pleasure and appreciation when Annika used her thumb to rub her swollen clit.

"Oh God, please, harder!" Kathryn's powerful bucking forced Annika to hold onto her tightly in order to not lose contact with the small body that she loved so much.

Annika smiled around the nipple as she did as instructed and thrust her fingers even deeper and added a fourth. The wet noises caused by her pumping in and out of Kathryn caused a rush of fluid to drip from Annika's own sex. She held Kathryn's body close to her as it shook and glowed from the powerful orgasm Annika's ministrations caused.

Annika wiped the copious liquid that she had collected on her hand across Kathryn's small, pert breasts before she stripped the combat suit off of the trembling woman completely and threw it to the carpeted floor. Hungrily, Annika devoured Kathryn's breasts and the juices she had coated them with. She moaned against the nipple in her mouth as finely boned hands cupped her breasts and fingers pulled at her own nipples.

"Annika, I need to taste you." Kathryn pulled Annika away from her breasts as she licked her lips in anticipation of tasting the other woman's sex. "Straddle me. I want to be surrounded by you."

Annika didn't need to be told twice, but she did add something to Kathryn's plan. She positioned her drenched sex over Kathryn's mouth as she braced herself on her hands and knees. Slowly she lowered herself to Kathryn's tongue while she captured Kathryn's clit between her own lips and began to suckle on it ardently. With her face buried between Kathryn's legs, Annika began to moan her own pleasure at having her sex being thoroughly fucked by Kathryn's skillful tongue. The thick, warm muscle pushed in and out of Annika as she continued to lap up Kathryn's juices and suck on the small bundle of nerves that caused moans to reverberate against her sex.

Annika came first. Her juices bathed Kathryn's face as she cried out in pleasure having to give up her hold on the drenched clit before her to do so. As she came back to herself she plunged her fingers into Kathryn's hot opening as she pulled at her clit with her lips.

"Oh God, Annika!" Kathryn's hips surged upward to push even harder against the fingers buried deep within her and the hot mouth on her clit. "Don't stop!"

Annika had no intention of stopping. As Kathryn's orgasm hit she pushed two more fingers deeply within her and continued to pump in and out of her feverishly. She didn't want to give Kathryn a moment of respite. She was going to make this beautiful woman come again and again. Until Kathryn begged her to stop. After three more mind shattering orgasms, Kathryn did just that.

"Annika, no more… I can't—"

Mercifully, Annika relented. She pulled her fingers slowly from where they had been nestled for the last forty-seven minutes. Annika moved so that she was now peering down at the flushed features she cherished that were still wet from her juices. Annika bent down to press her lips against Kathryn's and tasted herself on her tongue as she entered her mouth.

"That was wonderful." Kathryn's body felt incredible as it experienced the aftermath of multiple orgasms that still caused her skin to glow brightly. "What do you need?"

"You. Only you." Annika smiled as she gathered her own juices onto the tips of her fingers that had pooled between Kathryn's breasts. She was about to taste herself, but was stopped by a hand on her wrist. She was agreeable in allowing Kathryn to wipe her fingers clean. Kathryn's hand on her wrist maneuvered her hand to Annika's wet, opening to collect more fluid before she licked the fingers clean again.

"You taste so good." Kathryn smiled carnally before she moved down Annika's body and slid her onto her back. She crouched between Annika legs and quickly buried her face in the swollen sex that smelled and tasted wonderfully feminine. She sucked hard on Annika's clit as she pushed only the tips of two fingers into the opening to collect moisture that was soon moved to the bundle of nerves before it was licked and sucked off.

Annika was being tortured; there was no other word to describe it. Kathryn's tongue, her hot mouth, the fingers playing in her wetness was all driving her completely insane with the need to be penetrated deeply. "Kathryn, I need you inside. Fuck me! Hard!"

Kathryn plunged her entire fist into Annika.

"Yes!" Annika's orgasm crashed upon her as her inner muscles squeezed the hand that was buried deep within her. "Fuck yes!"

Kathryn was careful as she slowly extracted her fist from Annika's sex. She placed a reverent kiss upon the apex of Annika's thighs before she moved up the lithe body to hold the trembling woman close to her.

"Did that feel good?" Kathryn snuggled her face in the warmth and softness of Annika's bountiful breasts.

"God, yes. I've never felt so good in my life." Annika held Kathryn's petite form tightly against her own. "Thank you."

"I should be thanking you. That was incredible." Kathryn's eyes closed as she drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

"You're mine, Kathryn. Forever." Annika's eyes also drifted close as she joined Kathryn with a smile of contentment on her full lips. Deep within Annika, a quiet hidden place, a part of her rejoiced for she finally obtained what it had always thought was its destiny.

EPILOGUE

"Kathryn, are you ready to go?" Annika knocked on the door unnecessarily since the hotel bedroom belonged to her as well. She pushed the entry button and stopped in her tracks as she saw Kathryn in the middle of the bedroom looking devastatingly gorgeous.

Kathryn's thick auburn hair was pulled into a loose French twist that allowed tresses to fall upon her slender neck. The pale yellow gown she wore was cut asymmetrically baring her right shoulder, while her other had a silver broach attached to the thick strap. Kathryn's lean, toned arms were completely exposed as were her hands except for on her left ring finger. The platinum ring Kathryn wore contained a square-cut diamond that shown in the light of the bedroom. Annika smiled as she remembered the night she had given the ring to Kathryn after hours of lovemaking.

The skirt of Kathryn's gown hugged her hips snuggly before it flowed to the ground in layers of satiny material. Annika wondered if they had time to make love before they were due to be picked up for the award ceremony.

"You look beautiful." Annika moved quickly to embrace Kathryn before she placed a warm, moist kiss to her lips. "Are you up for this?"

"As I'll ever be." Kathryn's fingers shook a bit as she placed her hands upon Annika's upper chest. "You look quite debonair. A part of me is tempted to stay in tonight."

Annika appreciated the hungry eyes that grazed over her tall, voluptuous slender form that was clothed in a dark gray suit that hugged her body tightly. The matching vest barely contained her generous breasts and the crisp white button down shirt was left unbuttoned enough to expose only the smallest hint of cleavage.

"I think the President would have us killed if we did." Annika brought Kathryn's knuckles up to her lips to plant warm kisses upon them. "Are you still nervous?"

Annika had been surprised when Kathryn had expressed anxiety about receiving her second Noble-prize, but quickly understood that it would be the first major public event Kathryn Janeway would attend as an internationally known metahuman. It was her global coming out party.

"Maybe a little." Kathryn kissed Annika's lips before she extracted herself from her fiancée's arms to finish getting ready. She secured the charcoal colored cloak around her before she slipped into her high-heeled shoes. She looked about the room sensing she was forgetting something important. Kathryn smiled as Annika held out her purse. "Thanks."

"Are you ready?" Annika offered her arm, which was quickly taken by Kathryn.

"As I'll ever be." Kathryn moved her hand down Annika's arm so that their hands were entwined.

Annika held Kathryn's hand for the duration of the trip in the town car to the Oslo City Hall. The rode in silence, Kathryn seemed lost in thought as she stared out the window at the passing cityscape as Annika considered all the changes that had occurred in the last year and a half.

With the help of Kes and of course Kathryn, Annika had managed to come to terms with what Regina had done and with who she was as a person. She finally had to just ignore the existential problems with perhaps not knowing exactly who she was and instead trusted her instincts, her feelings, and the people around her. She had become great friends with many of the former staff from the Voyager Institute and others in the UFM, most notably with B'Elanna and Tom. She was happy and unsurprised when the pair had finally succumbed to their mutual attraction and fumbled into a romance teeming with drama and hilarity.

The greatest change was within Kathryn. Annika knew it had been difficult for the sometimes-reclusive woman to open up with members of her former staff, but it had been well worth it. Kathryn was now truly happy with the closeness she hadn't allowed herself for far too many years.

It had started simple enough with an offer made by Tom to go see if Russian vodka was all that it was said to be when they had been staying at Nechayev's institute in Moscow. Annika had watched Kathryn physically stiffen and a cloud of gray befall her eyes when Tom had asked her to join them. It had been Annika's touch on her shoulder and her pleading icy blue eyes that had stayed Kathryn's usual response of "no". Nervously Kathryn had agreed, much to the surprise and happiness of Tom and B'Elanna.

The night had ended with Tom and Kathryn belting lyrics to half-remembered oldie but goodies by artists like Queen and Cyndi Lauper. While Annika and B'Elanna had tried to hush their respective partners as loud and off-key singing of how girls just want to have fun had filled the cold Russian evening Annika had hoped that the vodka-filled night was just the beginning of Kathryn and the end of the captain. She had not been disappointed. Kathryn had opened up to the people around her in a way that caused almost a permanent dark blue to settle in her eyes. Many had informed Annika that they had never seen Kathryn Janeway happier. Complete strangers from the UFM had come up to her to tell her how happy they were for Kathryn to have found someone like Annika. Each time Annika had been floored, but delighted that she could have such a positive impact on Kathryn. Kathryn of course had a vastly positive impact on her.

Annika had cried when Kathryn had accepted her proposal and the ring that she shook as she tried to put it on. Even after hours of making love they had consummated their proposal well into the early morning. Annika remembered Kathryn's expression of surprise when an engagement party had occurred that evening. B'Elanna, Kes, and of course Lwaxana, Lyndsay, and Martha Janeway had already been well-informed about Annika's intentions and had all given her their blessings. Kathryn had literally been glowing that entire evening.

Of course other major changes happened outside of her relationship with Kathryn and her group of friends. The world had shifted ever so slightly with the signing of the first major peace accord between the United States and the United Federation of Metahuman. In order to bring peace with metahumans and humans a UN summit had been hosted by the respective representatives: President Bacco and Kathryn Janeway who were now being dually honored by the Nobel Committee this December evening in Norway.

As the car slowed to a stop in front of the Oslo City Hall, Annika was brought out of her reverie by Kathryn's hand tightening around her own. She smiled reassuringly as she met dark blue eyes with her lighter ones.

"Well, Doctor Janeway, are you ready to make history?" Annika brushed her lips against Kathryn's.

Kathryn inhaled Annika's enticing scent as she steadied herself with deep breaths. Her answer was low and husky. "Let's do it."

The driver opened the car doors before a woman in pale yellow shimmered with a golden light that emanated softly around her petite form. The woman who held her hand was clothed in a gray suit that complimented the shiny metallic gleam of her body. There would have been a time and a place not so long ago and not so far away where these women would have been ostracized, even attacked, but on this December night in Norway they were applauded and cheered as they entered the great hall under the Latin inscription that hung over the doorway that read Pro Pace Et Fraternitate Gentium. For Peace And Fraternity Among Peoples.

The End