What a Wonderful Day
Kathryn Janeway awoke with a sharp intake of breath. The light in her quarters was considerably brighter than usual, and she frowned in confusion. A feeling of dread suddenly came over her, causing her to sit up in near panic.
"Computer, what time is it?" she asked in a voice husky from sleep.
The emotionless computer responded immediately. "The time is 0830 hours."
"Damn!" Kathryn grated, flinging back the covers and jumping out of bed. She was over a half-hour late for her duty shift!
In her haste to get up, Kathryn’s foot got tangled up in the blankets and she crashed heavily to the deck with a muted thump. Pushing to her feet, she rushed into the ensuite and ordered the sonic shower to activate.
A shrill whine that was almost loud enough to cause her head to explode was the only response to her command, and the anxious captain covered her ears with both hands shouting, "Computer, deactivate the sonic shower!"
So much for that, Kathryn thought, making a mad dash for the uniform she had replicated the night before. At least she had that much going for her. The fiery redhead bounced on one foot while quickly putting the other into her trouser leg. Her agitation and uncontrolled bouncing carried her too close to the doorframe and her little toe impacted sharply with the corner.
"Ow!" she bellowed collapsing to the floor, and clutching her wounded foot in her hands. Kathryn rocked back and forth moaning until the pain finally began to subside. When the pain had receded slightly, she looked at the wounded appendage, appalled at the purple color.
There was no time to see the doctor about a broken toe, she realized, and struggled to get dressed with a little more control. Just before walking out the door of her quarters, Kathryn stuffed her wounded right foot into her tight, brightly polished, Starfleet issue boot. Hissing in pain, she hobbled quickly down the corridor of deck three and into the turbolift.
"So, do you think she’s going to be here sometime soon?" Tom Paris asked rather snidely from his position at the helm controls.
Of course, Commander Chakotay knew instantly who the insubordinate young man was referring to. Without glancing up from the con report, the burly first officer responded.
"That’s not really your place to question, is it Lieutenant?" Although he was wondering the same thing, he knew that Kathryn Janeway put in more double and triple shifts than anyone else on board the ship. If she wanted to be late once in a while, fine.
The turbolift doors swished open, and all eyes on the bridge swiveled to see a slightly disheveled captain rush out. The hair on the left side of her head was sticking straight up, and her shirttail hung down below the hem of her tunic.
"Sorry I’m late, Commander. I overslept . . . whoa!"
She didn’t pick her injured foot up quite high enough and caught her heel on the edge of the steps leading down to the command center. Everyone watched in horror as Kathryn Janeway, Captain and leader of the Starship Voyager careened down the small flight of steps.
"Captain, are you all right?" Harry Kim asked as he hurried across the aft section of the bridge to help his commanding officer.
Harry still maintained an air of youthful innocence even after being so long in the Delta Quadrant and was intensely worried about the older woman, not seeing any humor in the situation at all. Other occupants of the bridge, however, saw things differently.
Paris quickly turned back to his station, fighting to control the laughter trying to break free. Commander Chakotay bit the inside of his cheek hard, but couldn’t control the mirth dancing in his dark eyes.
Even Tuvok had a raised eyebrow and the suspicion of humor in his dark visage, even as he lent a helping hand to assist Janeway to her feet, was unmistakable.
"Are you all right, Captain?" Chakotay asked, laughter threading his voice.
Standing gingerly and smoothing a slender hand through her wild hair, Kathryn fixed her second in command with a scathing look. "If you laugh, Commander, I’ll have you drawn and quartered."
At that moment, he truly believed her and cleared his throat reflexively.
Relenting slightly, Kathryn informed him. "I’m having a bad morning. The computer didn’t wake me, the acoustic resonators in the sonic shower blew out, and I haven’t even had a cup of coffee."
Knowing that the last part of her statement would impart the seriousness of the situation to the swarthy man, Kathryn informed him that she would be in her ready room. Chakotay silently watched her walk with as much dignity as she could muster into her inner sanctum, and wasn’t even tempted to comment on her limp.
Inside the ready room, Kathryn took several cleansing breaths, and determined to get this day on the right track. She took time to wash her face in the small ensuite tucked away in the corner and for the first time that day saw her appearance. No wonder Tom Paris’ shoulders had been shaking so hard with quiet laughter. Kathryn groused about upholding her image as she ran a comb through her tangled hair and tucked in her shirt tail.
Finishing up, she decided that a cup of strongly caffeinated coffee was in order. Walking over to the replicator, she ordered her beverage and waited patiently while the mug materialized. Without pausing or looking into the cup, Kathryn raised the ceramic to her lips and took a deep pull. Almost instantly she spit the offensive liquid across the room.
"What the hell?" she asked, her face twisted exaggeratedly at the bitter brew.
"This stuff tastes like ashes! Computer, perform a level one diagnostic."
Running a hand over her face in frustration, Kathryn decided to try and get some work done while the computer was performing its internal checks. Sitting down at her desk, she noticed a flashing light at the bottom of the screen indicating a personal memo. Not in the mood for anything personal at the moment, Kathryn decided to try and get some work done. She picked up an engineering pad and felt her anger escalate above manageable tolerances.
It seemed Seven of Nine had taken it upon herself to reroute power to Astrometrics again. She had caused three conduits to rupture in main engineering and blew out half the replicators on deck two. This was absolutely it.
"Janeway to Seven of Nine, report to my ready room," she barked, after slapping her combadge so hard that she feared she had bruised her chest.
"Acknowledged," was the calm reply that just set Kathryn off again.
Fuming, she waited impatiently for the impertinent young woman to arrive. When the chime finally did ring, Kathryn was fairly heaving with barely restrained fury.
Seven calmly entered and presented herself before the captain’s desk, linking her hands behind her back at polite attention.
The captain stood up in agitation and gingerly walked around her desk to stand in front of the younger woman.
"Seven, this is unacceptable." Kathryn began, waving the padd in front of the blonde’s nose. "You cannot just turn this ship into your own private play ground. Now, I realize that you like to be efficient, but the power level of Astrometrics isn’t so important that you can just blow out half the relays on the ship on a whim!"
The lanky blonde waited with an uplifted eyebrow until the Captain finally took a breath. "Captain, did you finish reading the report, or did you stop at the end of the first sentence?"
The pointedness of the question caused Kathryn to hesitate. Reluctantly, she finished skimming the report and found that Seven had obtained clearance from Lieutenant Torres to complete the modifications. It was just coincidence that the modifications had interacted with a point three phase variance in the warp coil, creating the ruptures.
Kathryn was mortified to have accused the young woman of something without having all the evidence. Honestly, if it weren’t for bad luck today, she wouldn’t have any at all.
"I’m sorry, Seven." she said with deep regret.
The blonde dipped her head briefly before suggesting coldly, "Perhaps next time you should read the full report before reprimanding me."
Kathryn leaned against the front of her desk, releasing most of her tension in a deep sigh. "You’re right, Seven. I’ve been having a bit of a bad morning and I’m afraid I took it out on you. On top of all that, my replicator isn’t working and I can’t even get a cup of coffee."
The former drone sent the captain an appraising look before offering to fix the replicator. Kathryn just shook her head, wishing she could forgive insults so quickly. Soon Seven had fixed the replicator, and departed with a newly contented captain sipping a cup of her favorite brew.
Having had enough of messing up ship’s business, Kathryn decided a personal letter might just ease the stress of this day. Pulling up the data file, she was astonished by what she found.
Janeway limped up to the console and rested her hands on the touch screen. She still hadn’t had a chance to the see the doctor, and her foot was really starting to throb.
"You are injured," Seven stated.
A small frown of realization passed over Kathryn’s face when she saw the obvious concern in the pale blue eyes. The evidence of the younger woman’s feelings had been there all along, and only after an anonymous note, could Kathryn even bother noticing. Shaking her head at how blind she could be she said, "It’s nothing."
"Seven, I just wanted to apologize to you again, for what happened earlier."
"Captain, you have already apologized. It is unnecessary for you to continue to do so," the blonde informed her.
Was that a smile curling the corners of the curvaceous woman’s mouth? It was slight, but it was definitely there. And her eyes, usually so distant were warm and . . . welcoming. Now Kathryn was sure the note had come from Seven.
"Seven, when we’re alone would you do me a favor? Would you call me Kathryn?" she asked gently.
"You wish for me to call you by your given name?" Seven asked in disbelief. "Why?"
For a moment Kathryn was stymied by the question. Then trying again, she said, "Well, we’re friends, aren’t we?"
At Seven’s nod, she continued. "I find myself at a crossroads, Seven. I have spent the last six years alone, separated from the simple emotional contact of another individual. I am feeling the need to connect with someone, a special someone, that I can trust and confide in."
The former Borg shook her head in confusion, "I thought you had those things with Commander Chakotay."
Was that why the young woman had sent an anonymous note? She thought Kathryn was involved with Commander Chakotay? Well, she would have to set her straight, but in the middle of the Astrometrics lab during Alpha shift was not the time or place.
"You certainly don’t make this easy, do you?" she finally asked. "How about if we discuss this later, say over dinner? My quarters, 1900 hours?" she offered tentatively.
Seven of Nine was having difficulty keeping up with this conversation. Somehow she felt she was missing an integral piece of a puzzle. Intrigued in spite of herself, Seven acquiesced and the captain turned to leave the lab. Unfortunately, her injury hindered the movement and she bumped her hip against the computer console. Stifling the oath of pain, Janeway limped slowly and carefully out of Astrometrics.
After making a brief stop by sickbay to have her wound attended to by the doctor, Kathryn decided to call it a day. She walked quietly to her quarters, and into the ensuite. She forgot about the sonic relays and activated the shower again, cursing when the earsplitting wail pierced the air.
"Damn it! Janeway to Torres!"
"Torres here, Captain," a surprised engineer immediately responded.
"I need someone down here to fix my sonic shower, now," she demanded.
A slight pause followed then a nervous engineer responded. "I’m sorry, Captain. Everyone is working on the blown power relays. I can have someone there in about two hours."
"Torres," she began in a warning voice before finally giving up. "Fine, forget it. Make it tomorrow morning, I’ll just take a bath."
"Acknowledged, Captain. I’ll get someone on it first thing in the morning."
At least the captain’s quarters boasted a large sunken tub with whirlpool jets, and that was just what the doctor ordered right now.
Kathryn filled the tub and took a long relaxing soak, only to emerge forty-five minutes later feeling more relaxed than she had all day. She spent the rest of the afternoon reading and re-reading the letter she was sure Seven had sent her, and making preparations for a romantic evening.
Promptly at 1900 hours, the chime to her quarters rang. Kathryn took one final visual sweep making sure everything was in place.
The ambient lighting in her quarters had been lowered to forty percent, candles were scattered everywhere flickering provocatively, and soft jazz played overhead. A romantic candlelight dinner waited for them; the place settings intimately close together.
Janeway had dressed in a simple dark green sheath of silk that fell to just above her knees. A split on the seam of the left side exposed a vast expanse of creamy skin all the way to her upper thigh. Her makeup had been applied lightly, but tastefully, and perfume had been dabbed on her pulse points.
"Come in," Kathryn invited nervously, standing a few feet inside the doorway.
The pneumatic doors parted and Seven of Nine strode briskly into the room, freezing when she caught sight of all the preparations. Her ocular implant nearly shot off her forehead, and she fixed her eyes on the vision of her commanding officer standing before her like an offering.
"Captain . . . Kathryn," Seven stammered. "You look . . . "
The young woman’s voice trailed off at a loss for the words she needed, but the look on her face was reward enough for all of the smaller woman’s efforts.
"Seven, I’m glad you could make it. Are you hungry?"
Feeling anything but, yet not wanting to appear rude, Seven simply nodded and sat at the place indicated by her host. Throughout a light fare of chicken caesar salad and white wine, Kathryn initiated normal conversation centering around ship’s business, eliciting her companion’s thoughts about improvements in different systems, and easing Seven’s obvious nervousness. By the end of the meal, the younger woman was convinced nothing was amiss with her friend, apart from the newfound freedom to call her Kathryn.
After dinner, Janeway led the way over to the sitting area of her quarters. Seven settled on the edge of the sofa slightly nonplussed when Kathryn sat down next to her so close that their thighs brushed.
Kathryn decided it was now time to pour on the seduction, and see if she could get Seven to admit her feelings. Reaching for a brandy decanter and two glasses resting on the coffee table, she leaned toward Seven and ‘accidentally’ brushed her breast against a muscular upper arm. She ignored the swiftly indrawn breath, and poured drinks for both of them.
Handing Seven her glass, Kathryn settled back against the cushions and drew her legs up under her. Her movement caused the slit to part, giving the blonde a peek at bare skin. She waited for Seven to take a small sip of the fiery liquid, and cough slightly before setting her plan in motion.
"Seven, I have to admit that I invited you here tonight with an ulterior motive," Kathryn confessed.
Taking another quick look around the decorated quarters, Seven felt that she knew what that ulterior motive was. Other crewmembers had expressed sexual interest in her, but she had never thought the captain shared those desires. Her own feelings for the wonderful auburn-haired woman had been growing for a long time, but she had never dared hope those feelings could be returned.
"I wanted to let you know how much you have come to mean to me in the short time you’ve been on board Voyager. You are very dear to me," she said honestly, meeting Seven’s blue gaze openly.
Taking both glasses and setting them down, Kathryn gently took Seven’s left hand between her own. For a moment she simply stroked the Borg mesh, delighted and surprised at the softness of the skin-warmed metal.
"As a Starfleet Captain, I’m supposed to maintain a certain distance from my crewmembers. I’ve carefully maintained that distance, and even erected a few barriers with individuals that I could feel close to. But somehow, you’ve managed to breech those barriers." Taking a deep breath, Kathryn grasped the courage to speak what was in her heart.
"Two years ago I didn’t even know your name. Today, I couldn’t imagine a day without you. I love you, Seven."
Tears of unexpected joy flooded azure eyes. With wonder, Seven raised her right hand to caress a warm cheek, leaving her other hand imprisoned in Janeway’s gentle grasp.
Janeway tugged gently, pulling the younger woman toward her. Seven willingly met the captain halfway, the lips brushing softly. Seven absorbed the heat and warmth of the body pressing lightly against her breasts. She moaned into the kiss, her lips parting slightly. Kathryn took advantage of the opening and gently licked the inside of Seven’s full upper lip.
Somehow, Seven’s hands wrapped around the smaller form, pulling Kathryn tightly against her. Their mouths parted and tongues began dueling in earnest. Seven was so overwhelmed with sensation she felt sure she would faint. Finally pulling back to draw breath, Kathryn planted a series of hungry kisses along the blonde’s cheek, nipping her earlobe and the side of the sensitive neck before returning to drink from her lips.
Seven’s hands roamed freely over the silky material covering Janeway’s back. Kathryn wrapped her arms around the long neck, reaching up to release the blonde silk from its customary bun, sinking her fingers into the mass and pulling the woman closer to devour her. Seven slid her hands around and cupped beneath Kathryn’s breasts, running her thumbs over the older woman’s erect nipples. Kathryn gasped in response and pulled away briefly, resting her forehead against Seven’s dimpled chin.
"Seven," she began breathlessly, "unless you intend to spend the night with me, we’d better stop now."
"I do not wish to stop." Seven responded, kissing Kathryn’s forehead tenderly.
Making the decision to escalate their tender passion, Kathryn stood and tugged the other woman gently to her feet. Walking backward, she led the way to her bedroom. The sheets were already pulled back, awaiting her beloved.
"By the way," Kathryn said softly, "thank you."
"What for?" Seven asked confused.
Stopping when she felt the edge of the mattress behind her knees, Kathryn reached up to pull the blonde head down for another earth-shattering kiss. "For the letter," she whispered just as their lips met.
Kathryn sank back onto the bed and pulled the younger woman down on top of her, moaning at the sweet pressure of the body covering her own. She was on fire now and wanted nothing more than to taste her love.
"How do I take this damned suit off?" Kathryn rasped.
Seven reached behind her neck to loosen the catch and both women set about avidly removing the clothing between them. When the blue-gray bio-suit had been removed, Kathryn gasped in pleasure at the full breasts before her. Unable to refrain, she latched on to a soft pink nipple and pulled it avidly into her mouth, sucking greedily. Seven moaned at the contact and threw her head back in appreciation.
She didn’t want the intense pleasure to stop, but desperately needed to feel Janeway’s warm skin. Seven reached down and pulled the hem of the silken gown up exposing Kathryn’s soft belly, her fingers gently exploring the taut muscles. Stroking lower, her long fingers slipped inside the waistband of Kathryn’s panties. As her hands slid into the silky garment, she slowly pushed it down over the slight swell of Janeway’s hips.
Their mouths continued to consume one another, drinking from each other’s passion even as hands explored wantonly. Kathryn gasped and moaned appreciatively when Seven grazed her achingly wet center. Impatiently, she kicked her sodden undergarments away, and raised her knees to give Seven better access.
"Please, darling," she moaned. "I want to feel you inside me."
Long fingers explored the humid opening, swirling the copious moisture around the bundle of nerves at the apex of the slit. Kathryn jerked in Seven’s arms and tightened her grip around the neck. She buried her face against the lean neck; her breath coming in short gasps. Slowly, almost teasingly, two fingers slid deeply into her to curl possessively inside the aching channel.
Kathryn’s hips began moving strongly, thrusting against the deliciously intruding digits. Feeling the desperate woman’s need, Seven increased the rhythm of her thrusts. Sweat broke out over Kathryn’s body as the ecstasy built sharply within her. Seven’s thumb stroking the excited clit drove Kathryn over the abyss. Throwing back her head, she roared her release into the night, crying Seven’s name. Slowly she drifted down to lie safely in strong arms. Gently kissing the full soft lips, Kathryn rolled onto her lover. The musky scent in the air reminded her again of tasting the young blonde, and she began trailing kisses down the lanky body tasting implant and warm flesh equally.
Parting the creamy thighs, Kathryn settled happily between them and deeply inhaled the aroma of Seven’s arousal. Slowly lowering her head, she lapped slowly from the base of Seven’s wetness, through the sopping crease and up over the swollen knot of flesh. Seven jerked spastically in her arms.
"Kathryn," she cried out in mindless pleasure, unaware of her volume.
A rough, wet tongue parted Seven’s folds and dipped inside drinking the nectar found there before Kathryn sucked the tightly swollen pearl into her mouth. Seven’s legs began shaking as the younger woman neared her own release. Her left hand grasped the sheets tightly, and in her aroused state she didn’t hear the material ripping.
Relentlessly, Kathryn drove her to the edge and finally pushed over. Seven went rigid, then bucked convulsively almost throwing her lover from the bed. Finally, she sank back limply on the torn sheets, pulling her beloved Kathryn into her arms.
For a moment, both simply reveled in their shared intimacy, snuggling into nakedness.
Several minutes later, Seven broke the silence. "Kathryn, what did you mean by a letter? I sent you no letter."
Janeway froze and her eyes went wide. "You didn’t?"
Sitting up, Kathryn reached over her new lover and plucked the padd she had placed there earlier from the nightstand. Accessing the memo, her eyes fixed on the address line.
To: K. Janeson
Groaning, Kathryn rested her forehead on Seven’s bountiful chest and handed the younger woman the padd. Seven read the memo then quietly set it back on the table.
Kathryn waited in embarrassed silence for the gorgeous woman to finish reading, knowing she had seduced her. She had assumed the memo was sent to her and hadn’t even paid attention to the fact that it was a mix up. The note had been intended for Karin Janeson in biometrics.
"Kathryn," Seven began slowly, "you initiated this encounter only because you thought I sent you a ‘love note’, correct?"
Her throat constricted, the smaller woman could only nod. Seven felt the movement on her chest, and guessed accurately that Kathryn was afraid of her reaction. Gently urging the stormy blue eyes to meet her own with a finger under her chin, Seven sought to reassure this woman that meant so much to her.
"You may have been mistaken in thinking I sent you this letter, but you were not mistaken in my feelings for you. I do love you, Kathryn, and I wish I had sent this letter to you."
Kathryn smiled the tenderly shy smile she reserved for when Seven said something that touched her deeply.
"Well then," she said tremulously, "I guess things worked out perfectly after all."
A huge yawn caught Kathryn by surprise, and she raised a hand belatedly to cover her mouth.
Seven smiled gently. "You should rest, my Kathryn."
"Your Kathryn . . . I like that. Will you be able to sleep?"
"If not, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to watch you sleep," Seven responded sincerely.
"Sweet talker," Kathryn returned happily.
What a wonderful day this had turned out to be, she thought. Rolling over to settle comfortably into her favorite sleeping position, Kathryn promptly rolled off the side of the mattress and landed on the floor with a thump.
To: K. Janeson
In the Wild River of Your Arms
where I’m carried to wet silk plunging
I lean into your strong back which doesn’t give in the sharp turns of touch
Bears me through nightmares and changing faces
lights racing a glitter of deep kisses
in darkness I didn’t know was my home
until you held me and would not let go
In the wild river of your laughter
nothing I do is crazy or too much or can’t be understood with time
No need for lies because you’ve no accusations
Grinning you embrace all that I am
even what I don’t want of myself
In the wild river of your tongue
I travel light years away from everyone
who has lain with me claiming
some corner of my spirit as their own
read meanings into me
without my knowledge or consent
made me afraid of my own desire
ploughed me with confusion
as they called air sand a verdant bank
tried to kill all
that surges clear in me
a wild river uncontained
without a name
In the wild river of your sex
where I am first to shake you free and screaming wildly
I swim against the tide of brutal discarded husband
shame and rocks of regret for a woman
who would not give you this water
we drink as though the desert burns on every side
I ride you lightly as a birch bark canoe
in late spring melt
catching your wrists in a seine of desire new
and trembling as this wind
breathing between us bringing song
In the wild river of your soul
I’ve known you clear green and true
your hands carry no deception no bribes
My brother calls you a good old gal
and loves your laugh
I remember the child I was before
my uncle sliced her into debris
I see a long ribbon of our lives
flashing with the hope of home
I thought couldn’t be
In the wild river of your eyes
I wash up new alive with colors
I open the deep pool of my tenderness
and float you down
where our toes are dancing on rocks
like crawdads waving hello with long feelers
Light as a leaf boat skimming the lights
my tongue is fishing for your pleasure
sweet water sweet grass
in the wild river
of our arms.
My dear K, this writing sums up all that I feel for you. Although I can never reveal myself to you for fear that you cannot return my passion, I thought you should know.
Kathryn sat back in her chair and took a deep breath. She was amazed at the depth of emotion contained in the communiqué, and the fact that someone could feel this way for her. The raw trust, passion and blatant sexuality also had her a little keyed up. One thing about it though, this day was certainly looking up. The only question was, who was it?
In re-reading the memo, she was sure it was a woman. That effectively narrowed the list down to forty-seven, she realized with a wry snort.
Kathryn sat back in her chair with her fingers steepled while she pondered the mystery.
There was only a handful of women in Janeway’s circle of friends. From the intimate words she had just read, it would have to be one of them. Narrowing down the list, it came down to two people, B’Elanna and Seven of Nine.
B’Elanna was ruled out almost instantly, she was involved with Tom Paris, but Kathryn had never before considered that Seven had developed emotionally to the point of having these kinds of feelings. She had only been severed from the hive for two years. The letter emoted a well-spring of hunger, intensity, and passion, counterbalanced by tenderness, devotion, and trust. It was something Kathryn found herself desiring to partake of desperately.
Re-reading the prose, the words seemed to identify their relationship perfectly. Her acceptance of Seven without judgment and the support and friendship she had bestowed on the younger woman, how could it be anyone else?
But how could she let Seven know that she knew of her desire without scaring the younger woman away? True, at one time Kathryn wouldn’t even have considered engaging in such a relationship, but she had been alone for a very long time. Everyone needed someone, and she did love this woman desperately. Everyone, especially a Starfleet captain needed someone they could confide their hopes and fears in. It had taken her a long time, but she had come to understand that such a relationship could only make her a stronger leader.
"Oh no," Kathryn groaned, leaning forward to pound her forehead repeatedly against her desktop.
She had just chastised the woman for something she didn’t do. What made her think Seven would want anything to do with her now? Maybe a little abject groveling, a large slice of crow pie? Maybe an apology?
Well, one thing was clear, she’d better get her little captain’s ass down to Astrometrics and try to mend some fences.
Maybe they could start with something simple.
The doors to Astrometrics parted with a hiss and Seven of Nine didn’t need to turn from her console to identify her visitor. She did anyway, granting the captain a silent courtesy she reserved for only a few.
"How may I assist you, Captain?"