The flowers on her desk were new and if she had to hazard a guess, not replicated since they looked like the species that had grown on a planet they had just visited earlier that day.
Pretty as they were, and doubtful of any malicious intent but it was always good to be wary as the captain, it still begged the question of who was leaving them.
She idly granted access to whomever was at the door when it chimed, the flowers taking most of her attention still and Chakotay stepped in a second later, stopping shot and looking at the flowers curiously.
“I take it this means they weren’t from you?” Janeway raised an eyebrow at him.
Chakotay shook his head.
“I don’t suppose you saw anyone step into my ready room the last few hours?” She couldn’t help but want to find out who’d left them there; a mystery on her own ship that for once didn’t seem life threatening.
Chakotay looked thoughtful for a second, no doubt thinking back to his shift on the bridge but then shrugged, “Sorry Captain, maybe they were beamed in by a secret admirer.”
“Now there’s an idea.” She stepped around her desk and sat in her chair, swinging the computer towards her to try to look up transporter logs.
“Before you get into that thought, care to take look at some maintenance details first?” Chakotay sounded amused, grinning when she looked up.
“Yes, fine,” Janeway sighed, “This little mystery will just have to wait.”
She glanced over at the flowers one last time before turning her attention to the PADDs Chakotay had brought in.
The flowers were on her mind even when she left her office to go to the bridge, quietly watching her staff for any hints it might have been from one of them and worried it might have been.
She sighed internally, there was always just a possibility Neelix had left them there to help cheer up the staff, maybe if she took a tour around the ship she’d find them everywhere.
It at least gave her an idea to try something.
“Chakotay you have the bridge, I’m going down to astrometrics.”
As she walked down there she wondered if Seven might have some interest in the mystery or at least an idea for it. Briefly she thought of the ex-drone leaving the flowers for her and quickly pushed that aside as idle fantasy.
She stopped by the lunch hall to briefly grill Neelix in regards to the flowers, who had no idea who might have left them on her desk but several in ways to use them in a salad.
Thinking she’d skip the messhall lunch that day she made her way further down to astrometrics where Seven was, stepping in and making Seven turn from where she stood at the console to greet her.
“Captain, I was unaware you’d be coming here. Was there something you needed?” Seven was nothing if not the picture of professionalism, her hands locked behind her back and watching Janeway take a slow turn around the room.
“At ease Seven, I’m here for more personal reasons than anything else.”
“Oh? Are you in need of companionship?” For a brief moment Janeway thought she saw something akin to amusement in Seven’s eyes that could almost constitute as flirting but she quickly looked away, glancing around the room once more.
“I wouldn’t say no to it,” Janeway quickly continued on, not letting herself dwell too much on how that sounded back, “Someone left flowers on my desk this morning, I was curious if they’d been left around the ship but I haven’t seen them anywhere else. Seems to me like a mystery I could use help solving.”
Seven looked thoughtful, pursing her lips and furrowing her brow in a manner that made Janeway want to reach out and smooth any wandering thoughts from her mind.
“Perhaps you have overlooked something Captain.” Seven finally said and Janeway tilted her head, leading Seven to go on, “It may be that you have a secret admirer. I have heard that flowers are a good indication as such and often appreciated by the person receiving them. Is this true?”
“That did occur to me actually,” She neglected to mention that she’d thought of Seven then, “still makes it a mystery.”
“Then you would prefer knowing their identity rather than…” Seven paused, clearly looking to quote something, “‘Let it be a surprise.’”
“I’m more hoping I won’t have to put some poor ensign down, there’s only so many places on this ship to avoid love sick officers.” Janeway sighed.
Though she knew most of her crew and was willing to bet that none harboured serious feelings beyond friendship to her it was always possible someone’s feelings had shifted.
“Would you not wish to give them a chance?” Seven somehow held her shoulders higher, looking tight and worried and leaving Janeway confused.
“It isn’t proper, Seven. I’m the Captain.”
“And you do not feel you are as welcome to have personal relationships as you encourage the rest of the crew to?”
“Not with an ensign.” Janeway was beginning to get a headache, dropping her head into her hand to rub at her forehead and wishing she had a cup of coffee before she left to tide her over at least.
“Then it is a matter of rank.” It was clear that Seven wasn’t going to let this go, “You would not have this issue with someone who is not a member of Starfleet.”
“I suppose I wouldn’t,” She didn’t see Seven slightly relax at that, “But if it’s someone on this ship then I don’t see how that’s possible.”
She heard Seven shift slightly and walk over to something, the familiar sound of an computer interface being interacted with catching her attention and she wondered if Seven had decided the conversation was finished after all before a tantalizingly familiar smell filled that air and a cup of coffee was held in front of her.
“Thank you Seven.” She smiled, taking the coffee from Seven’s hands and gratefully taking a sip.
“You are welcome.” Seven resumed her stance though she looked slightly agitated. “Captain you did no answer my question, are flowers not usually appreciated by the person receiving them?”
“Well,” Janeway took another sip, “They’re thoughtful and very lovely. For a secret admirer it would certainly be a start.”
“But there is something else you would prefer if you were be courting?”
That made Janeway laugh, throwing her head back and nearly spilling her coffee.
“I have said something humorous?” Seven raised an eyebrow coolly.
“No Seven, well, it’s nothing like that. I’m not much for one to be wooed. I just need a cup of coffee and some decent conversation with whomever I’m dating.” For a second she thought of Mark and years before back home, she’d moved on as he had but there was a certainly loneliness still in missing their old talks and just having somebody there.
Seven stepped back, towards the console and began tapping at it, drawing up a map of constellations.
“Would you like to see what I have been working on Captain?” Seven glanced behind her, probably unaware how welcoming that was.
Janeway blinked, a bit surprised at the sudden shift in topics but nodded anyway, stepping close to Seven and letting herself get drawn into the ways that Seven had adapted the system to increase scanning planets.
When she got back to her quarters that night there was a bundle of roses on her bed and PADD on famous incomplete mathematical formulas.
All that was missing was the coffee and companionship to talk about the formulas too.
She shook her head, walking over to the replicators to fix one of those issues when her doors chimed.
“Come in,” She straightened herself up, ready to deal with any ship issues that might have come up in whomever was delivering the news when Seven walked through the door.
“Seven,” She greeted her with a smile, “To what do I owe this honour?”
They’d parted ways a few hours ago when she’d had to go back to the bridge to deal with a course change.
“I was thinking about what you had said earlier, Cap- Kathryn.” It had been a long process to get Seven to use her first name while off duty but it was worth it.
“About what? Would you like something to drink Seven, I was just about to order myself some coffee.”
“I am sufficient at this time.” Seven replied and continued on as Janeway ordered her coffee, “I am referring to you wanting to know the identity of the person leaving you flowers.”
“Ah, them.” She nodded towards her bed, “They struck again.”
“Yes,” Seven agreed, shifting slightly and looking for all intents nervous. “I did.”
It took her a moment to catch up, just about to take a sip of her coffee and freezing with her lips just touching the rim of the cup.
“Seven?” Her throat felt very dry all of a sudden, licking her lips and catching Seven watching the movement.
“I believe it is clear that I am the one leaving these flowers for you. I had plans for more but given our conversation today it seemed the best option was to tell you as the flowers were insufficient.”
Their conversation from before sped through her mind, Seven dropping the topic once she had brought up coffee and a good talk suddenly became obvious.
She opened her mouth to speak, lowering her cup, but Seven cut her off.
“I wish to point out that I am not a member of Starfleet. I therefore have no rank for you to worry about.”
She had to chuckle at that, “I suppose you aren’t.”
“I am also proficient at talking about topics that interest the both of us.”
“I don’t need a resume Seven.”
“Does that mean you are open to this?” Anyone else might have missed the waver in Seven’s voice but Janeway caught it.
“Yes.” She couldn’t lie, not with Seven staring at her with hope, not when she felt that hope and affection just as much.
She crossed the gap between them, setting her coffee cup down on the table as she did, and stood in front of Seven, reaching out to rest her hand on Seven’s cheek.
“For the record however, the flowers are sufficient too.” It was nice to just stand there enjoying each other’s presence, a piece of something she’d thought she’d lost settling within herself, making her smile.
Seven’s hands rested on her hips, echoing Janeway’s smile with a small one of her own, “I will keep that in mind.”