Love With All the Trimmings
Seven only managed to play a few chords of the guitar before Janeway grabbed her arm and dragged her to one side. The captain stared at her astrometric’s officer in disbelief.
"Seven – what are you doing?!" she demanded, completely stunned by this display.
"Serenading you," Seven replied, pushing up the tip of her sombrero.
Kathryn glanced over her shoulder at the bridge crew, who immediately looked away, trying desperately not to appear interested. Janeway leaned closer to the blonde.
"Serenading me? Seven… whose idea was this?" The captain asked, feeling her exasperation at Seven dissipate into annoyance on the ex-drone’s behalf.
Seven stared blankly at Janeway, "I read it," she admitted.
Kathryn’s eyebrow arched at this unexpected revelation. She released her grip on Seven’s arm, her expression softening.
"You read it?" Janeway repeated.
Seven nodded, feeling that perhaps she had misinterpreted the data. She had thought it was clear, but like so many human rituals, when it came to the actual practice, it was far more complex.
"What were you trying to do?" the captain asked gently.
"The Doctor informed me that you will not consider a romantic relationship with a member of your crew."
Janeway nodded, feeling uncomfortable with any direction this conversation would take. She was always guarded in relation to her personal life and the recent holodeck affair – or ‘the public unveiling of Janeway’s private life’ as she preferred to call it, unnerved her. It made her vulnerable, and that was a dangerous position for an isolated Starfleet captain.
"You are the only person on this ship that I am compatible with and I am not, strictly speaking, a member of your crew. I am not part of Starfleet’s collective, therefore… it is possible that you might consider a romantic relationship with me."
Janeway folded her arms, not taking the ex-drone seriously, "And so you decided…"
Kathryn waved her hand, indicating Seven’s ludicrous get-up, "that this was the best way to win my affections?!"
Suddenly, Seven felt awkward. This was not going according to plan. The information she had studied clearly stated that Earth women responded favourably when they had love songs performed publicly to them.
Judging from the captain’s expression, Seven realised this was not the case.
"I shall leave now," stated the Borg. She tucked the guitar under her arm and marched off the Bridge.
Janeway took a deep breath before returning to her chair; she felt everyone’s eyes upon her and wished the view screen would crack and suck her into space. The crew were attempting to hide smirks, the captain ignored them - a guitar-wielding, sonnet-singing ex-Borg would not chase Kathryn Janeway from the Bridge, no matter how tempting the notion was.
* * * * * *
The captain had seemed displeased at her costume; she would select clothing that was more appropriate for her next attempt. She finished replicating the roses, and then tapped in instructions for lingerie. Examining the result contentedly, she slipped the clingy garment on and headed for the captain’s quarters; she would have to work quickly if she were to arrange the room in time.
* * * * * *
Janeway rubbed the back of her neck. She was exhausted; all she wanted was to collapse into bed. What with a run-in with a Malon freighter, Seven’s impromptu cabaret and the crew’s hushed tones since, she had had her fill for the day.
The door opened, welcoming her to sanctuary. She didn’t bother initiating the lights, she could find her way without their illumination. She made her way to the bed, taking off her uniform jacket and slipping both shoes off, she slumped wearily onto the bed.
"Oh!" exclaimed the ex-drone currently stretched across Kathryn’s bed.
The captain leapt to her feet, instinctively hitting her insignia, "Janeway to Security – intruder alert - my quarters."
She took a step back from the bed, and ordered the lights to come up. As brightness flooded the room, Janeway recognised her intruder. She sighed and covered her face with her hands, shaking her head in disbelief.
Seven removed the rose from her mouth, "I did not mean to startle you, Captain," her tone was apologetic.
Janeway dropped her hands to her side in exasperation.
"Seven," she paused, "what are you doing here?!"
The ex-drone offered the older woman one of the glasses of red wine she held in her hands. Janeway didn’t move. Seven sat up carefully, trying not to disturb the rose petal covered duvet.
She opened her mouth to speak, but was prevented by Tuvok storming into the Captain’s quarters, accompanied by three ensigns, phasers drawn. They stopped dead at the sight that greeted them.
Janeway had to stop herself from screaming at the smirks on the ensign’s faces. She was never going to live this down!
"It’s alright, Tuvok – false alarm." The captain informed him.
Tuvok looked from Janeway to Seven, then back at Janeway. Even he seemed startled by this scenario.
* * * * * *
When she walked through the corridor the following morning, Janeway noticed the crew were avoiding eye contact with her. She had the feeling that she and Seven were the main topic of ship’s conversation. She groaned internally. Just what she needed, another series of rumours about her love life, she’d weathered the "hologram"’ storm, but she wasn’t sure she could endure an "ex-Borg" blizzard as well.
Then she decided she was handling this all wrong. The more she attempted to deter Seven, the harder the ex-drone seemed to try. Maybe she should approach it from another angle. Janeway smiled to herself, a plan already formulating in her busy mind.
* * * * * *
Seven sauntered happily towards the captain’s Ready Room; she had been pleasantly surprised by the summons, thinking that after last night’s debacle, the captain would be avoiding her.
When she entered, the lights were low and Janeway was already seated on the sofa on the far side of the room, her arm leaning leisurely against the back of the couch. She smiled flirtatiously at Seven and patted the space beside her. Seven raised a dubious eyebrow. This was most unusual. She moved up the steps and seated herself beside the captain.
Janeway leaned towards her; the close proximity of the captain’s face to her own startled Seven. Janeway had a tendency to get in her personal space, but Seven had never seen her do it quite so purposely.
Kathryn smiled confidently, then pulled her hand up and rested her chin against her palm. Her eyes probing Seven’s, she sighed dreamily, her lips curving in a suggestive manner.
The ex-drone wanted to bolt from the room; she felt tenser than she had when facing assimilation, "You wanted to speak to me?" Seven asked, uncertainty marked in her tone.
"Not really, I just wanted to look at you… hear that sexy voice of yours," Janeway tilted her head and ran her eyes the full length of Seven’s body before resting them once again on her face. She moved even closer to Seven, allowing her breasts to gently brush against Seven’s arm, then breathed lightly against the ex-drone's neck.
Tingles overpowered Seven’s nerve endings; her body’s systems almost shut down with the fierceness of the sensations. Janeway reached out her hand and stroked the exposed skin of Seven’s neck.
Overwhelmed, Seven stood up and strode to the other side of the room, trying to put some distance between her and Kathryn. This was too hasty, her body was responding too quickly for her mind to catch up.
Janeway smiled to herself, she just needed to push Seven a little further. She got to her feet and strolled confidently over to the ex-Borg, who seemed to tremor at her approach. Kathryn stopped directly in front of her astrometric’s officer, not entirely sure how far to take this bluff.
Seven was actually shaking, Kathryn took a step back; she had only wanted to frighten Seven into shying away, she didn’t want to be responsible for a nervous-Borg-breakdown. All of her instincts for Seven’s welfare returned full-force and she felt thoroughly ashamed of herself, her eyes softening as she gazed at the ex-drone.
Seven immediately sensed the shift in Janeway and she relaxed a little as the familiar look of friendship appeared on the Captain’s face.
"I’m sorry Seven, this was a bad idea – very bad."
Seven didn’t have the opportunity to respond, Voyager shook violently, thrusting Kathryn forwards - knocking Seven down, and forcing the captain to land on top of her.
The Ready Room lights went out and the red alert siren screeched through the ship.
Seven lay flat on her back, Janeway perched directly on top of her. The ex-drone felt the distinct imprint of the captain’s breasts pressing against her own, and although Voyager was in danger, she felt the urge to roll on top of Janeway and make love to her here and now.
For a brief moment, the same thought occurred to Janeway as she straddled Seven in order to get up. The feel of the younger woman between her thighs made her aware of certain… sensations. She placed her hands on either side of Seven and attempted to lever herself up, but her uniform tunic had become ensnared in Seven’s hand implant. The material pulled her back down, forcing her to a sit astride Seven’s lap, her chest in Seven’s face.
The blonde took a controlled breath as she stared at Janeway’s heaving chest. Seven realised the obstruction and set about untangling the captain's jacket.
The ship rocked again, Janeway braced herself against the ex-drone. Then wished she hadn’t as an all-consuming stir of desire blazed through her.
Lost in the moment, neither of them heard the captain’s insignia chirp or the First Officer’s anxious voice, "Chakotay to Janeway."
Janeway pulled back from Seven, loosening her arms from around the Borg’s neck. Her tunic having become more enmeshed with Seven’s implant, the astrometric’s officer set about disentangling them, accidentally tapping Janeway’s insignia in the process.
* * * * * *
The bridge crew were at battle stations when they heard the captain’s husky voice, "Seven, not so hard! Oww… you’ll rip it!"
"I am unaccustomed to this sort of endeavour, I shall try to be more gentle," replied the drone’s cool voice.
The crew exchanged confused glances.
A low sound issued from Janeway, followed by, "Ah! Almost!"
"Stay still, your squirming is distracting."
"You nearly had it then – just – yes – that’s it!"
"I cannot do it. You try. I will observe, for next time."
There was a pause.
"But you’re doing so well, just - a bit more to the left – yes! That’s it!"
* * * * * *
Having successfully untangled themselves Janeway and Seven stood up. Kathryn removed her tunic; it had a small tear where Seven had managed to pull it free.
Both women headed for the Bridge, hair tussled and faces flushed. Janeway entered first, closely followed by Seven. The Bridge was silent and everyone stared at them.
"Report," ordered the captain, wondering why everyone was gaping at her.
Harry took a moment to respond, "A Malon freighter attacked us, Captain," he sounded hoarse.
Janeway turned to look at Chakotay who seemed to be more disconcerted than anyone else, "What?!" she asked innocently.
* * * * * *
*THE INADVERTANT ATTEPT (AKA: ATTEMPT FOUR)*
She wanted Janeway as her mate. She had decided. That was the easy part; it was the ‘courtship’ phenomenon that was creating the problems. But she had rectified the situation, she hoped. She had carefully assimilated more information on Earth’s dating practices and realised that the serenading idea was redundant, and the more modern romantic gesture, which had been intended to remain private, was equally as inappropriate, so she decided on a new approach. A direct approach - she would just be herself and ask the captain for a date.
Seven glanced at her reflection in the workstation; she practiced her smile one last time and then removed her hairgrip, letting curls fall loosely around her face; she was ready.
* * * * * *
It was the first social event that she had ever been early for since joining Voyager. Neelix greeted her with his usual enthusiasm. He offered her a drink as she scanned the holodeck for Janeway.
"The captain hasn’t arrived yet," Neelix informed her as he handed her a glass of water, having learned from bitter experience never to serve the ex-drone with alcohol, synthesised or otherwise.
Seven took the glass and smiled graciously. She would have to wait, which would be difficult; she had an inexplicable desire to see Janeway.
When Neelix did not move to greet the other new arrivals, she turned her questioning gaze on him.
"I heard what’s been happening – with the captain," he informed her, "Don’t you think you should be a bit more… discreet? She is the captain after all."
Seven raised an eyebrow. She had hardly meant for her intentions towards Janeway to be clandestine, but nor had she intended to provide gossip that could fuel Voyager all the way back to the Alpha Quadrant. She was aware that the captain loathed rumours about her personal life circulating among the crew and the thought that she was somehow bringing discredit on Janeway filled her with apprehension.
She excused herself, put down her glass and headed for the doors, walking straight into the captain and Chakotay, who had just entered arm in arm, Janeway laughing at something the commander had said and looking far too happy in his company.
Startled, Seven instantly apologised, then, when she saw Kathryn's hand linked intimately with the commander's, she pushed past them. She could cope with rejection; it was all the crew had offered her over the last three years... but Janeway had never treated her as an outsider, or made her feel insignificant; in fact, she had always made Seven feel unique… until now.
Kathryn turned her head and watched with concern as Seven stalked off down the corridor; she glanced up at Chakotay; he didn’t make a move. She released her arm from his; he let her, as if expecting this reaction. He watched silently as the captain turned and rushed out into the corridor.
* * * * * *
*THE FINAL ATTEMPT (AKA: FIVE ATTEMPTS TO HAPPINESS)*
Seven had stopped running due to a malfunction with her ocular implant whereby her eye kept filling with water, which proceeded to pour down her face. Mortified by the weakness in her cybernetic construction, she had hidden behind a dividing wall.
Janeway marched along the corridor, her eyes scanning the hallway for any sign of the ex-drone. She didn’t so much ‘see’ Seven as hear her. A faint… blubbering sound was coming from behind a dividing wall. Janeway slowed her pace and decided to investigate. As she peered behind the bulkhead, she immediately recognised Seven and approached carefully.
Seven heard the captain draw near; there was nothing wrong with her enhanced hearing. She glared sideways at Janeway; then turned away.
Janeway stepped closer to the ex-drone and placed a gentle hand on her friends shoulder, "Seven… will you come out please, I need to talk to you," Kathryn requested.
Seven shook her head.
The captain sighed. Seven turned her flushed face towards Janeway, the Captain’s heart pounded with distress, "Don’t cry," she pleaded.
Seven could not bring herself to respond verbally, her throat was tight and words escaped her.
"Please don’t cry," the captain entreated again, her voice barely more than a whisper, she reached out and lovingly wiped Seven’s tear-stained cheeks, "I can’t stand to see you like this… all puffy-eyed, quivering lip… such sad, sad eyes…" Janeway leaned forward and kissed Seven’s forehead affectionately.
The ex-Borg closed her eyes as the captain’s kiss radiated life into her body. Janeway slanted her head and kissed Seven’s eyelids.
Kathryn pulled back slightly, watching breathlessly as Seven opened those big baby blues, but instead of being filled with sorrow, they were bursting with joy. Janeway couldn’t help but smile back at her astrometric’s officer and, before she could think, she raised her lips to Seven’s, pressing tenderly against them and wrapping her arms around the ex-Borg’s neck. Seven returned the vigour of Kathryn’s kiss, embracing the captain passionately.
After blissful moments, Seven broke their kiss and gazed longingly into Janeway’s eyes.
Without words, Kathryn slipped her hand into Seven’s and led her out from behind the dividing wall. Seven followed unquestioningly. They walked hand-in-hand along the corridor. Once outside the doors of the mess hall, Seven hesitated. Kathryn squeezed Seven’s hand in reassurance; they looked at each other and smiled, then entered the mess hall, together.