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The Date

Chapter Text

Kathryn Janeway was tired. She had spent the last several nights on the Kadi home world, discussing trade negotiations. It had gone well but it had been dreadfully boring. The Kadi were a race of monks who viewed coffee as sacrilegious. It was all over now and as she walked back to her quarters all she could think about was coffee, but her First Officer was chattering about what had gone on while she was away.

“Honestly Chakotay, I just want to take a long hot bath, drink a cup of coffee, and sleep in my own bed,” she told him, ignoring the way he grinned at the mention of her in the bath. “Can we discuss ship's business in the morning? Unless there's something pressing like an imminent warp core overload or hull breach.”

“Nothing like that but there is something you probably want to hear about,” he said.

“What is it, Chakotay?” she asked with a sigh, stopping outside her quarters.

“Seven of Nine went on a date.”

Kathryn froze and stared at him in shock.

“I thought that might peak your interest,” he said with a smile.

“Come in,” she said, keying the entrance to her quarters and motioning him inside. “What happened? Who?”

“Lt. William Chapman,” he answered as she ordered a cup of coffee from the replicator.

“Chapman?” she repeated. “But...they...have they ever even been in the same room together? Wait, they went on that away mission together not too long ago. Well, what happened? How did it go?”

“Badly. Tom Paris said she broke his arm dancing.”

“Oh no,” Kathryn said. She felt a mixture of disappointment and pleasure. She was disappointed for Seven that her first date had gone badly but she was pleased she wouldn't have to see the gorgeous blonde with anyone else. She felt a stab of guilt as well for thinking this way.

“Apparently the Doctor was giving her dating lessons,” Chakotay said.

“The Doctor?” she repeated skeptically. He was a hologram, hardly one to give dating advice.

“Yep. Then he and Seven attended Neelix's party for the Ambassador together.”

“Oh?” she said, quirking her eyebrow.

Surely Seven isn't dating the Doctor?

“That went badly as well. Apparently the Doctor and Mr Paris made a wager regarding her ability to get a date and she found out.”

“What?” she said softly. “Oh no... I'll have a talk with Mr Paris and the Doctor tomorrow, you can tell them that.”

“I will.”

“Is there anything else?”

“No, Captain. I'll leave you to your bath,” he said with a grin.

“Thank you, Chakotay.”

When Chakotay was gone Kathryn went to her bathroom and stripped off her uniform. She dumped the clothes in the recycler and went to run her bath. She dumped in a bunch of Epsom salt and eucalyptus oil, then sat on the side of the tub and waited for it to fill up. As she waited she thought back to her last conversation with Seven.

She hadn't meant for the girl to go off and treat dating like a science experiment but she should have expected it from the former drone. She only wished she hadn't gotten hurt in the process. She knew Seven could be sensitive underneath that cold Borg exterior. It was a front she put up.

I should have been here to help her through it, she thought as she slid down into the water. I could've helped her, given her advice. Seven and Chapman, that's a bad match. He's too nervous, she's too dominant. Oh my poor girl...

She sat up in the tub, surprised. Since when do I think of her as mine?

But in her mind she had to admit, in a way, she was. She had saved Seven from the Borg, reintroduced her to humanity, helped her anytime she had questions. She knew some of the crew referred to her as 'the captain's pet Borg'.

Seven of Mine, she thought to herself.

And the Doctor! The hologram had been giving her dating advice. Then placing stupid bets.

She sank back into the water angrily. She would think of a good punishment for him and Tom Paris later. Scrubbing plasma conduits was just the beginning. But Seven...she needed to talk to Seven now.

“Computer, locate Seven of Nine,” she said as she got out of the bath.

“Seven of Nine is in Holodeck 2,” the computer chimed.

Curious, she dressed in comfortable black pants and a simple gray shirt, glad to be out of her dress uniform. She pinned her combadge to her top and slipped on her boots. She got another cup of coffee before leaving her quarters and heading down to the holodeck.

Chapter Text

When she reached the holodeck, she found the door locked with a Borg encryption code. It was a simple code and she broke it easily. When she entered the holodeck, she was surprised to see Seven waltzing in the middle of an empty ballroom, with a holographic man. Kathryn cleared her throat and Seven turned to face her. The hologram kept dancing without her.

“Computer, delete hologram,” Seven said and the man vanished. “Captain. I was unaware you had returned from the planet.”

“I got back not too long ago. What are you doing, Seven?” she asked, offering her a smile as she went to sit at one of the tables. Seven followed her.

“Dancing,” Seven said stiffly.

“Clearly. Sit down, please. I'd like to talk to you.”

“You heard,” Seven said uncomfortably.

“About your date? Yes. Did you really break Chapman's arm?” she asked sympathetically.

“That is incorrect, Captain. I did not break his arm... I tore a ligament in his shoulder while dancing.”

“Seven, when I suggested you try romance for yourself, I didn't mean for you to run off and try it while I was off the ship. I would have like to be here, I could have given you some advice.”

“The Doctor was instructing me.”

“The Doctor is a hologram. Not the first person I'd go to for relationship advice. And I heard about his little wager with Tom Paris, I plan on speaking to them both tomorrow.”

“It is irrelevant,” Seven said, standing up suddenly. “I do not intend to attempt dating again.”

“Then why are you practicing dancing?”

Seven did not answer for a moment.

“I have determined there are no suitable mates for me aboard this vessel.”

“I suppose that depends on the criteria you're using. Seven, please, sit back down and talk to me.”

Seven hesitated, then sat.

“I believe I am flawed,” Seven stated.

“Well that's a leap,” Kathryn said, thinking that the woman in front of her was anything but flawed. She's perfect. “What makes you think that?”

“I went on two separate dates and I did not enjoy either experience. I have not experienced an attraction to any male aboard Voyager, or any that we have encountered in our travels...I believe this to be a malfunction, perhaps due to the Borg technology in my body.”

“Have you talked to the Doctor about it?”

“No,” she said, sounding a little hesitant. “I find myself...reluctant to do so.”

“Well, it could be something with your Borg systems, Seven, I don't know, but have you considered that maybe you just aren't attracted to men?”

“Captain?”

“I mean, some women find that they are only attracted to other women,” she said quickly, fighting the blush that threatened. “Or some, like myself, are attracted to both genders.”

“I see,” Seven said slowly. Then her eyes moved over Kathryn's body in a way that made her blush to the roots of her auburn hair, no matter how hard she tried to fight it.

“I selected Lt William Chapman out of a list of men aboard the ship who shared some of my interests. The Doctor said that was important for compatibility,” Seven said. “I could compose a similar list of female crew members, Captain.”

“Call me Kathryn, please,” she said, then plucked up the courage to ask what she'd wanted to before she'd left for the Kadi home world. “While you do that, how would you feel about going on a date with me tomorrow night?”

Seven stared at her in silence for several seconds, almost as if she didn't believe what she'd just heard.

“Cap-Kathryn?” Seven asked, quirking her ocular implant.

“You and I get along fairly well and I'd like to think we're friends. I can show you what a date is supposed to be like.”

Kathryn held her breath while she waited for Seven's response.

“...Will I have to eat a creature with an exoskeleton?” she inquired.

“No, no exoskeletons,” Kathryn promised, holding back a chuckle, not wanting to hurt her feelings.

“Then I find that idea acceptable...Kathryn.”

“Good,” she said, flushing with pleasure, standing up.

“What time tomorrow evening?” Seven asked.

“How about 20:00 outside of Holodeck One? I had the holodeck scheduled anyway, so we shouldn't be disturbed.”

“Acceptable,” Seven said with a nod and she stood as well. “I will go and regenerate. I will see you tomorrow, Kathryn.”

“See you tomorrow, Seven,” she said, watching the blonde go.

When Kathryn returned to her quarters, the doubts started to creep in. She lay on the couch with a groan. She wanted this to be a real date, not just a social lesson, which is obviously what Seven expected. And it should be a social lesson, but the fact of the matter was she was falling for the former drone – had fallen for her some time ago, though she'd be hard pressed to say exactly when her feelings had changed.

But she had to put aside her own prurient interests. She wanted Seven to have a good experience on their date, even if it wasn't a real date.

Where should I take her? She mused . I doubt she'll want to go dancing again. Maybe something less formal...

Chapter Text

The next evening Kathryn arrived first outside of the holodeck. She had spent over an hour trying to decide what to wear and another hour worrying over her appearance. She'd finally decided on black slacks and a red top. She knew red was Seven's favorite color. She applied her makeup lightly, obsessed over her wrinkles, berated herself for thinking Seven would even notice or think she was attractive, then arrived outside of the holodeck 15 minutes early with a picnic basket.

She was punching in the commands on the holodeck computer when she heard Seven's footsteps behind her.

“Hey Sev-” she began but trailed off as she turned and saw Seven. She was wearing a white cotton dress that flowed around her knees. Her blonde hair was down around her shoulders, it had a natural curl to it.

“You're gorgeous,” she said breathlessly and for the first time ever she saw Seven of Nine blush.

Adorable, Kathryn thought . This was definitely not a mistake.

“Thank you, Kathryn,” Seven said softly. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you. Are you ready?”

“Yes. Where are we going? What's in the basket?”

“You'll see,” Kathryn said with a smile and activated the program.

They stepped through the holodeck doors into a green, sunlit field. Kathryn took a deep breath, thinking that it even smelled like home.

“Is this...Indiana?” Seven inquired.

“Good guess,” she answered with a nod. “I've never brought anyone else here – I mean, never shown anyone else this program. But I thought you...it's a nice place for a picnic.”

She groaned inwardly, thinking she sounded more like a nervous teenager on a first date than a starship captain.

“It is beautiful,” Seven said, looking around.

Kathryn smiled and took Seven's hand in hers, leading her up the hill to her special spot.

“Why not start the program where you want to end up, rather than walking?” Seven asked curiously.

“Well sometimes walking can be nice, don't you think?” Kathryn asked, lacing her fingers with Seven's.

“Yes. ...I have never held hands with anyone before. I find it agreeable.”

“Good,” she said, squeezing her hand lightly. “I talked to the Doctor and Tom Paris this morning.”

“By talked to you mean 'yelled'?” Seven asked, the corners of her mouth twitching slightly in amusement.

“Maybe a little.”

“And your 'Janeway-glare'?”

“My what?” she asked, chuckling.

“You know very well 'what'.”

“Well...they deserved it. I've got them both scrubbing plasma conduits for the next week.”

“They did deserve it,” she said with a nod. “But you did not have to punish them on my behalf.”

“Well somebody needed to defend your honor...though I heard you gave them a thorough tongue-lashing yourself.”

“I did. You defended my honor?”

“Valiantly, if I do say so myself,” she said, smiling and squeezing her hand.

“Thank you, Kathryn. And thank you for bringing me to Indiana.”

They reached the top of the hill where a large peach tree cast shade from the bright sun. Kathryn let go of Seven's hand and opened the basket she was carrying. She lay the blanket out on the ground and set the basket down.

“Come on, sit down,” she said, sitting down and tugging on Seven's hand.

“On the ground?” she asked skeptically.

“It's a picnic, Seven. Come on.”

Seven sat awkwardly and Kathryn caught a flash of white panties beneath her dress.

“Oh, um...sit like this,” Kathryn demonstrated. “We're taught as girls not to sit like that in a dress. You're not supposed to let people see up your dress.”

Seven corrected her position as Kathryn opened the basket and pulled out stasis containers of food.

“This is only my second time wearing a dress. I considered just wearing my biosuit, but I...I wanted to look nice for our date,” she said, her cheeks faintly pink.

“Well I think you look nice in anything,” Kathryn assured her. “but it is a lovely dress. And your hair – I've never seen you with your hair down before. It's beautiful.”

“Thank you, Kathryn. What are we eating?”

“Nothing with an exoskeleton,” she promised, pulling a few food stasis containers from the basket.

“You are making fun of me,” Seven said, her face crinkling in a frown.

“No, Seven, just teasing you a little. You do that with people you like.”

“You...like me, Captain?” she asked, her expressino clearing.

“Of course I do! And it's Kathryn, unless we're on duty – a privelege I should have extended to you some time ago.”

“Because we are friends, Kathryn?”

“Well, yes. Now, look here,” she said, opening the lids of a few containers. “Chicken salad sandwiches, potato chips, various cut fruit – and lemonade. Everything we need for a perfect picnic.”

“There is still one stasis container in the basket, Kathryn,” Seven observed as Kathryn poured them two cups of lemonade.

“That's dessert and before you ask it's a surprise,” she said with a smile. “Here, try this.”

Seven accepted a glass of lemonade and took a sip.

“What do you think?” Kathryn asked.

“Tart, but sweet,' she replied, then took another sip. “Acceptable.”

“I'm glad you approve. Sandwich?”

“Thank you.”

“It's chicken salad, the way my mother always made it when I was growing up – with grapes and walnuts.”

“It is good,” Seven said after swallowing her first bite.

“Excellent,” Kathryn said, pleased. She picked up her own sandwich and began to eat.

The warmth of the sun, the sound of birds chirping, the way Seven's blue eyes sparkled, it was Perfection...almost.

If only it were real, she thought wistfully.

“How did you know you were attracted to women?” Seven asked suddenly and Kathryn choked slightly on her sandwich. She coughed, cleared her throat, and took several large swallows of her drink.

“I'm not sure how to answer that, really. I guess I've always been this way.”

“Explain,” Seven said. “Please.”

“Well, my first crush was on a boy named Casey when I was 8 years old. When I was 9 though I had a crush on a girl named Rachel.”

“A crush?”

“Yes – that's what it's called when you first develop feelings for someone, especially as a child. A brief, intense infatuation for someone.”

“The boy, Casey, did you date him?” Seven asked curiously.

“God no,” Kathryn laughed. “He wasn't interested in me at all.”

“I do not believe it,” Seven stated.

“What?”

“I do not believe that anyone would not be interested in you. You are Captain Janeway.”

“I wasn't a captain back then,” she laughed, thoguh she felt her cheeks grow warm. “I was just a kid back then – I was all baby-fat and frizzy red hair. I didn't go on my first date until I was 14.”

“So the girl, you did not express your feelings for her?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Well, believe it or not, I was sort of shy back then.”

“That is also difficult to believe,” Seven said, picking upa chunk of canteloupe.

“Social nuances can be...complicated.”

“I have discovered as much,” she said dryly, but with a slight smile.

Kathryn chuckled and took a strawberry for herself.

“It's even more complicated when it comes to relationships-”

“Sexual relationships?” Seven interupted.

“S- well, yes. Romantic relationships. It can be difficult to express interest in someone new. You can't help but wonder – what will they say? Do they feel the same? Do they think I'm attractive? ...What if they snore?”

Seven smiled slightly at her joke and took a bite of a strawberry. Her eyes widened slightly as she chewed.

“This fruit – I like it,” she said before immediately popping the other half into her mouth.

“That's a strawberry,” Kathryn informed her. “I like them as well, but watermelon is my favorite.”

Seven didn't speak again for several minutes and Kathryn watched with some amusement as she picked each strawberry from the container and ate them delicately. She couldn't help but imagine what it would be like to kiss her full lips, and knowing her mouth would undoubtedly taste like strawberries.

Chapter Text

“Time for dessert,” Kathryn said when they'd finished off the fruit.

“I do not know if I can consume any more food,” Seven said, placing a hand on her stomach, but smiling faintly.

“Just try it – we can go for a walk afterwards, work off some of the food.”

“If we walk, is it acceptable if I hold your hand again?” Seven asked.

“Of course. I think I'd like that.”

“Then that is acceptable,” Seven said, sounding pleased.

“Here,” Kathryn said, handing Seven one of two spoons and pulling the lid off a container of chocolate ice cream. They both took a bite and she saw Seven's mouth curl into a smile.

“A sweetened bovine secretion,” she said. “It is cold.”

“Ice cream, Seven. Chocolate ice cream. Another favorite of mine,” Kathryn said, licking her lips and taking another bite.

Seven slid closer to her so they could share the container of ice cream. When Kathryn looked up and saw a smear of chocolate at the corner of Seven's mouth, she couldn't help but smile.

“You've got a bit of chocolate – hang on,” Kathryn said. She licked her thumb, then wiped the chocolate from Seven's face. Seven's hand came up to hers and directed her thumb into her mouth. Kathryn gasped as her digit was sucked past ample soft lips and enveloped in the heat of Seven's mouth. Seven's tongue stroke the pad of her thumb and Kathryn felt a rush of heat in her lower abdomen that settled between her thighs. When Seven released her thumb with a 'pop', Kathryn felt lightheaded.

“I, uh...Let's go for a walk, shall we?” Kathryn murmured, no longer interested in the ice cream.

“Acceptable,” Seven said.

They packed the empty containers back into the picnic basket, but left the basket behind as they began to walk down the hill. Their hands joined easily and Kathryn glanced down briefly. She couldn't help but notice that the metal Borg implant of Seven's right hand was as warm as her skin and somehow soft, more pliable than she'd imagined.

“Does my implant bother you? I can move to your other side if you prefer,” Seven said, also glancing down at their clasped hands.

“Not at all, Seven,” she assured, giving her hand a light squeeze. “Nothing about you or your implants bothers me.”

They continued to walk, following a dirt path past a vast cornfield.

“Is this where you grew up, Kathryn?” Seven asked, her eyes as blue as the Indiana sky.

“More or less. I couldn't bring myself to include the house or even that barn. It would be...painful,” she said, wondering if Seven would understand that.

“It would cause you to be sad,” Seven said.

“Mm, yes.”

“I do not want you to be sad, Kathryn. I wish for you to enjoy our date.”

“Oh I am,” she said, smiling warmly at her. “Are you?”

“Yes. Infinitely more than my previous dating attempts.”

“I'm so glad,” she said, squeezing her hand again.

Their walk led them past the cornfield and the path continued through the woods.

“My sister and I used to ride horses down the trail when we were growing up,” Kathryn said fondly. “My grandfather always kept a few horses. He taught us to ride and how to take care of them.”

“I believe I would have enjoyed growing up in Bloomington, Indiana,” Seven said, looking up at the canopy of the trees above them.

“You think so?” Kathryn asked, smiling at her. “Even without all the technology?”

“Yes,” Seven replied simply, then looked at her. “Perhaps I could have been the first girl you had a crush on.”

Kathryn blushed and smiled. She was trying to decide how best to respond when Seven continued.

“Perhaps then you would not have been too shy to express your interest?” Seven said, quirking her ocular implant questioningly.

Woman up, Katie, tell her how you feel! Kathryn shouted at herself inwardly.

“I, uh- uh- um...”

You're floundering! Straighten up, Captain!

“Uh-huh,” she managed weakly.

Seven looked at her oddly. They continued walking but after a moment Seven stopped abruptly.

“I wish to terminate this activity,” she said.

“What?! Why, Seven? I thought you were enjoying yourself?”

“I am,” Seven quickly assured. “But my research indicated that at the end of a successful first date it is acceptable to share a first kiss...I wish to experience this.”

“Wh- uh...You don't have to wait until the end,” Kathryn murmured, finally finding her voice. “If you want to kiss me, Seven, then kiss me.”

Blue eyes met gray and they stood frozen for what felt like an eternity, each waiting on the other to make the first move.

“I am uncertain how to proceed,” Seven said, her voice barely above a whisper.

Kathryn took a step closer to her and put her hand on Seven's cheek, her fingertips barely brushing the edge of her ocular implant. Those blue eyes closed, then Kathryn closed the short distance between them and kissed her.

Chapter Text

 

Strawberries and chocolate. Her lips tasted like strawberries and chocolate and something even sweeter that made her want more. Kathryn deepened the kiss, moving her hands to the back of Seven's head. As she tasted more of Seven's mouth, she felt Seven's hands on her waist. She felt an intense rush of heat and lust flare within her. She had to stop herself from taking things farther.

When she pulled away, Seven's cheeks were flushed, and her lips spread into a smile. Kathryn felt warmth in her own cheeks, felt herself smile in response.

“Seven,” she breathed, but didn't know what else to say.

“I no longer believe I am defective, Kathryn,” Seven said, her blue eyes boring into the captain's in a way that seemed to liquefy her insides. A shiver went through her as she realized the implication of Seven's words.

“May I kiss you again, Kathryn?”

“Uhmmhm,” she answered and nodded when she realized she hadn't made any sense.

Those lips were on hers again in an instant, Seven's tongue in her mouth, caressing hers, exploring. She loved the warm, soft feeling of Seven's body against hers but the growing heat and need in her own body reminded her of just how long it had been.

Kathryn made herself pull away, groaning softly as she did. Seven was breathing hard, her blue eyes hungry for more.

“Wait – we should slow down,” Kathryn said as Seven lowered her head for another kiss.

“Why? Are you not enjoying this activity?” Seven asked, immediately taking a step back, letting her hands fall to her sides.

“No, I am. I am, Seven, I am. Too much, maybe,” she said with an awkward laugh.

“I do not understand,” Seven said, tilting her head.

Kathryn felt herself flush in embarrassment.

How to explain? She pondered.

“The things I'm feeling – that – they aren't exactly appropriate for a first date.”

Seven looked confused, then comprehension seemed to dawn on her.

“You are aroused,” she said triumphantly.

Kathryn flushed deeper and let out a bark of nervous laughter.

“You certainly have a way of getting to the heart of things, Seven.”

“You wish to copulate with me?”

That's putting it mildly! She thought.

“Well, that's not – I mean, I, that's-”

“Not appropriate for a first date?” Seven concluded.

“Yes! Right. Exactly right.”

“Perhaps our feelings are more appropriate for a second date?”

Our? Did she just say 'our' feelings?

“I am having inappropriate feelings as well,” Seven admitted.

“It isn't inappropriate to have those feelings, Seven,” Kathryn said quickly, not wanting her to get confused. “Having these feelings it perfectly natural. It just would not be appropriate to act on them right now. Understand?”

“No. The end result is the same. However...I will trust your judgment in this,” Seven said and Kathryn smiled softly. “I was enjoying holding your hand, Kathryn. Perhaps we could continue walking?”

“Acceptable,” Kathryn said lightly, reaching for Seven's hand again.

Chapter Text

The sun was sinking in the sky as they reached the end of the trail. It ended in a pond, spread over several acres. Kathryn let go of Seven's hand a moment and took off her boots.

“What are you doing?” Seven inquired as Kathryn stepped into the water.

“I just wanted to feel the mud between my toes,” she said with a sigh of content.

“I find it difficult to believe the experience is pleasurable,” Seven said doubtfully.

“Phoebe and I,” she said, rolling up her pants legs. “Used to go swimming here in the summer.”

“Your sister?”

“Yes. And my father took us fishing, whenever he could get the time off work,” she said, wading out a little farther into the water. “Which wasn't often. He was an Admiral after all.”

Kathryn glanced back to see Seven was slipping off her shoes. She held up the edges of her dress and stepped into the water.

“The mud is cold...and of a viscous consistency,” Seven said, an odd expression on her face.

“Squishy?” Kathryn suggested with a chuckle.

“Yes. You find this enjoyable?”

“I suppose it's an acquired taste,” she replied. “If you'd grown up in Indiana, you might miss this as much as I do.”

With her face scrunched up in what Kathryn found to be an adorable expression, Seven waded farther out into the water.

“You can get out if you want to, Seven,” Kathryn chuckled. “It's okay not to like it.”

“No,” Seven said stubbornly. “I-”

Whatever she'd been about to say was forgotten as she slipped in the slick mud. Kathryn grabbed for her and just barely kept her from falling on her butt.

“Oops! That was close,” Kathryn said with a laugh. “Maybe we should go back ashore before one of us falls in. I don't fancy walking back to my quarters soaking wet, do you?”

“Not particularly,” Seven said, keeping hold of Kathryn's arm as she walked carefully back to shore. When they reached solid ground, Kathryn sat down in the grass next to her boots and tugged Seven down beside her. Seven quirked her ocular implant, but sat.

Smiling, Kathryn leaned back a little to watch the darkening sky.

“I've seen these stars come out a thousand times, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed it quite so much,” Kathryn murmured, pressing her leg against Seven's. “Even if they aren't real...”

“We can pretend they are,” Seven said softly, seeming to sense the wave of sadness that threatened the captain.

Kathryn smiled a little sadly and sat up to put an arm around Seven. She immediately felt a little better.

“One day I'll bring you here for real,” she promised, giving Seven a squeeze.

“I have no doubt you will,” Seven said quietly and Kathryn glowed with pleasure.

“We'll go swimming and ride horses. Drink coffee on the front porch of my mother's house and cuddle on the swing.”

“I would like that, Kathryn. Very much,” Seven said, slipping her arm around the smaller woman.

They sat like that for some time, watching the sky and enjoying each others company. Neither of them wanted the night to end but Kathryn knew it had to be getting late. She was about to say as much when she spotted a streak of light across the sky.

“A shooting star!” she exclaimed. “Make a wish!”

“For what purpose? It is a meteor burning up in the planet's atmosphere,” Seven said, puzzled, reminding Kathryn very much of herself as a child.

“It's just what you do!” Kathryn laughed. “go ahead – close your eyes and make a wish. And you can't tell anyone or it won't come true.”

Seven tilted her head slightly, then seemed to decide to humor her. She closed her eyes briefly. When she opened them a moment later, Kathryn knew exactly what she had wished for.

“Did you wish for me to kiss you?” she asked smiling.

“You said not to tell, although I do not think debris entering the Earth's atmosphere holds any-”

“Shut up and kiss me, Seven,” Kathryn said playfully.

Her blue eyes lit up and Seven smiled.

“I will comply,” she said, and kissed her.

 

A short while later they lingered outside the holodeck, reluctant to part ways. From the look in her eyes, Kathryn knew she could have the gorgeous blonde in her bed in a heartbeat. It took every ounce of self-control she had not to invite Seven back to her quarters. She didn't want to take advantage of her. She wanted to be sure Seven had time to think things through. To change her mind if she wanted.

“Kathryn,” Seven said, interrupting her thoughts.

“Yes, Seven?”

“Are you available for another date tomorrow evening? I believe Holodeck 2 will be unoccupied around dinner time, as you revoked Tom Paris' holodeck privileges for a month.”

“Yes, I believe so,” Kathryn said, smiling.

“I will plan our second date,” Seven said with a confidence Kathryn admired.

“Alright,” she chuckled and touched Seven's cheek gently. “I'll see you tomorrow.”

Kathryn gave her a quick kiss, conscious that a crew member could come around the corner at any moment. She sighed softly as she made herself step away.

“Goodnight, Seven.”

“Goodnight...Kathryn.”

Chapter Text

Kathryn spent most of her duty shift distracted. When she wasn't wondering what Seven would plan for their date, she was worried the gorgeous blonde would change her mind. She told herself she would be fine if Seven changed her mind, but deep down she knew it just might break her.

She didn't see Seven all day, which made her even more anxious. She thought about paying a visit to Astrometrics, but told herself it would be inappropriate to discuss her budding relationship with Seven while they were both on duty.

About an hour before her duty shift was to end, Kathryn received a message from Seven. She checked it from her command chair console, too impatient to go to her ready room.

Captain,

I am requesting confirmation of our Holodeck appointment at 19:00. Please respond promptly.

-Seven of Nine

 

She smiled at the professional tone and wondered if there were something else in the brief message. Could Seven be as nervous as she was about the whole ordeal? She sent back a response immediately.

Yes, Seven. I will see you at 19:00.

After several minutes she typed out another message to Seven.

Can I have a hint as to what you have planned? I'd like to dress accordingly.

What will Seven choose for a second date? She wondered . Something in the DaVinci program? Or maybe Sandrine's?

Finally, Seven sent back a reply which contained a one word response – swimsuit.

Kathryn immediately flushed and hoped no one on the Bridge noticed. A swimsuit! Surely she was kidding?

Do Borg even swim? She wondered.

She tried to think if she even had a swimsuit pattern saved in her replicator. She was sure she didn't. She'd have to pick one from the computer. She checked the time. 17:32. Less than a half hour til the end of her duty shift. She checked it again. Still 17:32.

She thought about swimsuit possibilities. Definitely something red. Seven had said before red was her favorite color.

17:33. 17:34. If she didn't know better she'd think they were stuck in a temporal anomaly where time moved slower.

Maybe...

“Mr Kim, anything on sensors?” she asked.

“No, Captain. Nothing to report,” he answered.

In that case...

“Chakotay, if you don't mind I'm going to leave the Bridge in your capable hands,” she said, looking to her first officer as she stood up.

“No problem, Captain. You've been fidgeting all afternoon, is everything alright?” he asked, a light note of concern in his voice.

“I'm fine, just have some excess energy to burn off. I'm meeting Seven on the Holodeck later.”

“I'm surprised she hasn't given up trying to beat you at Velocity yet,” he chuckled. “Have fun.”

“Thanks,” she said. “We will.”

Back in her quarters, Kathryn pored over bathing suit patterns in the computer.

I'm a starship captain, I can't wear anything too revealing, she thought as she browsed.

She laughed aloud as she clicked past an image of a bikini.

I definitely don't have the body for that! She thought.

She felt her body grow warm, then hot, as she imagined Seven of Nine in a bikini. She definitely had the body for it.

She probably wouldn't find it a very efficient garment though, she thought with a smile.

Eventually Kathryn settled on a red one piece swimsuit, with a pair of black shorts she could wear over it. She decided not to put it on yet and headed for the sonic shower.

What if things do get physical? She thought as she used the sonic razor to remove all the hair from her lower body. I'm not as young as I used to be and she's such a Perfectionist...What if she doesn't find me attractive after all?

Kathryn tried to push her doubts aside as she finished her grooming. After all, the way Seven had kissed her yesterday...that look in her eyes...a shiver of delight went through her at the memory.

Kathryn stepped out of the shower and put on the bathing suit she had replicated. It fit perfectly. It was comfortable and modest, but still showed off her natural curves. She looked at herself in the mirror.

Not bad, she thought, then slipped shorts on over her well-toned thighs. She found a pair of simple brown sandals to put on, then headed to the holodeck to meet Seven.

 

There was already a program running when Kathryn reached the holodeck at exactly 19:00. She didn't see Seven anywhere, so she headed into the Holodeck.

When she stepped through the doors, her feet immediately sank into warm, white sand. She laughed in surprise and slipped off her sandals as the doors shut behind her.

“Kathryn.”

She looked up to see Seven walking towards her, her eyes as blue as the ocean behind her. She was smiling, a slight breeze blowing through her loose blonde hair. That combined with the short white dress she wore took the captain's breath away.

As Seven grew closer, she realized it wasn't a dress but an almost see-through cover up through which she could see what appeared to be a blue bikini.

If she takes off that cover up, I'll definitely fall in love, she thought with a smile, knowing full well she already was.

“Hello Seven,” she said warmly. “You look stunning.”

“Thank you, Captain – Kathryn,” she corrected quickly, evidence of her own nervousness. “Have you consumed your evening meal yet?”

“No, not yet. I thought you might have something planned.”

“You were correct. There is a restaurant up the beach we can walk to. Is that acceptable?”

“That sounds lovely,” Kathryn said with a smile.

Seven offered her hand and she took it happily. They started up the beach together, leaving Kathryn's sandals in the sand behind them. The sand was warm under Kathryn's bare feet and a pleasant breeze came off the ocean, tousling her hair. Walking hand-in-hand with Seven of Nine, the captain felt happier than she had in years. But when she looked up, she noticed a troubled look on Seven's face.

“What's wrong, Seven?” Kathryn asked, worried that the blonde had changed her mind about dating.

“Nothing,” Seven answered, quickly clearing her expression.

Kathryn pursed her lips and raised an eyebrow. I know better, she thought, meeting Seven's eye with a look that said as much.

Seven lowered her gaze to the sand before speaking.

“I asked the Doctor's advice on a second date,” she confessed. “Even though he made that wager with Tom Paris, he is still my friend and has been instrumental in my social lessons. I believe he feels badly for his mistake, so I forgave him and asked his advice.”

“Well that's alright, Seven. You picked a wonderful spot. The ocean-”

“He believed I was going on a second date with Lt Chapman,” Seven interrupted.

“Oh?”

“When I corrected him, he did not believe me. He said that you are only teaching me, that this couldn't possibly be a real date. Have I misinterpreted this, Kathryn? Is this just another lesson in my humanity you are attempting to guide me through?” Seven asked, sounding more desperate and confused than Kathryn had ever heard her sound.

Shocked, Kathryn stood there a moment, speechless. Then she grabbed Seven with both hands, pulled her close, and kissed her with everything she had.

“This is not just a lesson,” she said firmly, keeping both hands on Seven's waist. “It might have started that way, but...I wanted it to be real from the moment I asked you. I wanted to ask you before I left for the Kadi home world, but I didn't know how you'd react and I was running late and I...well, I was nervous I guess.”

“The Doctor said-”

“The Doctor was wrong and if he was here right now I'd tell him so. I intend to date you properly, Seven, if you'll let me.”

“So...you will be my girlfriend and we will copulate,” Seven said with a smile.

Kathryn flushed at the bluntness of her words. She chuckled awkwardly and took Seven's hand as they resumed walking.

“There's more to it than that, Seven. Being in a relationship is more than just physical. It's...” Kathryn ran a hand through her auburn hair as she tried to think of how best to explain. “It's having someone to share your day with, good or bad. Someone you look forward to seeing. Someone to talk to, to spend time with, to share your life with. Someone important to you. Do you understand?”

“I think so,” Seven said slowly. “You are already important to me, Kathryn. More so than anyone else on Voyager. You are the most important person in the universe to me. I find myself looking forward to seeing you everyday, even if it just for a moment. I am always...disappointed when we have to cancel our plans with one another. Even though I know it isn't rational, things come up, still. When I see you regularly it improves my efficiency and the quality of my day is improved.”

Kathryn smiled warmly and squeezed her hand.

“I would spend every moment with you if I could, you know that?” she murmured. “Sometimes...if I have a busy day and I don't get to see you, I visit the Cargo Bay while you regenerate.”

She gave Seven a sheepish grin.

“I know,” Seven said simply. “I am aware of your presence.”

“You were? I mean...you never said anything.”

“Neither did you. I was not disturbed by your presence. I felt...as though you were looking out for me. Comforted. I believe I felt...loved.”

Kathryn looked at her in surprise, not knowing quite what to say. She squeezed Seven's hand again but was saved from having to say anything as they reached the restaurant on the beach.

 

“Welcome to the Beachfront Bistro,” said a holographic man who appeared as they ascended the stairs. “Table for two?”

“Yes, please,” Kathryn said.

“Right this way,” he said, picking up two menus before leading them to a table on the deck. It had a beautiful view of the ocean.

Seven quickly stepped forward to pull out Kathryn's chair for her.

“Thank you, Seven,” she said, smiling warmly as she took her seat.

Seven sat across fro her as the waiter put the menus down.

“Can I start you ladies off with something to drink? Our raspberry tea is quite popular this time of year,” he said.

“That sounds lovely,” Kathryn said.

“Acceptable,” said Seven.

The waiter bowed slightly to them before disappearing inside.

“Did you have anything in mind?” Kathryn asked, picking up the menu and browsing the options.

“I thought a salad might be appropriate. It is inadvisable to consume a heavy meal before swimming.”

“That's true. A salad sounds good. Maybe a cup of soup as well. They have lobster bisque, that's bound to be good.”

“Lobster?” Seven said, looking uneasy.

“Don't worry, darling, there's no shells,” she assured her, surprised at how easily the term of endearment fell from her lips. Seven caught it as well and her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled across the table.

The waiter returned with their drinks and took their order. When he left they sipped their tea and looked out over the ocean.

“This is a really beautiful location, Seven,” Kathryn commented.

“I found the program in the database, it's from a place on Earth called Florida. I removed a number of what I considered to be extraneous characters. I kept the cafe but I deleted the other patrons...I did not wish to share my time alone with you.”

“I understand,” Kathryn said, reaching across the table to hold her hand. “I think it's perfect.”

 

They talked little after the waiter returned with their meal. They enjoy6ed the food and each others company. When they finished they got up and walked hand-in-hand back down to the beach.

“Do you want to go swimming now?” Kathryn asked.

“We should wait 15 minutes after eating before swimming,” Seven stated matter of factly.

“In that case...have you ever built a sandcastle before?”

“I have not.”

“Oh it'll be fun! Come on, I'll show you.”