The Meeting is over the decision made. Admiral Janeway will be distracting and ultimately killing the Borg Queen while Voyager escapes. The Voyager crew will be destroying a Borg aperture hub while using it to get home. Every one is so calm about the older Janeway’s impending assimilation. One more time Janeway is offering her life to get them home. This time no one is stopping her. This time they have a Janeway to spare. Every one on the crew, except Seven of Nine, sees this as heroic not tragic. It is what she came back for after all.
The Admiral was trying to keep her mind off what lie ahead. Being in the guest quarters rather then her own was not peaceful. “Not your quarters Kathryn” She reminded her self. “Hers. Her quarters, her life, her fresh start. Tomorrow it will be done. Who knows what will happen next, but it will be done.” Her thoughts were interrupted by a door chime. “Computer who is at Admiral Janeway’s Door?”
“Seven of Nine” was the dispassionate reply.
Janeway whispered her name as if in benediction. “Seven” the last person Janeway wanted to see and yet only person Janeway wanted to see. “Come”
Seven stepped in to the cabin. Janeway’s command mask was up and in full force. “What can I help you with Seven?”
“The truth” was Seven’s reply. Janeway’s eyebrow quirked at the bluntly phrased answer.
“Of course Seven. I am not prone to lying to you.”
Seven’s eyes were cold. “Four days ago I told you that I was embarking on a personal relationship with the commander. Do you recall that conversation?”
Mask still in place Janeway gave Seven a small smile. “For me that was over 20 years and many battles ago. But I still recall the conversation yes.”
Seven nodded. “You looked at me in pain as if I had hurt you. It was the same look when you came in to sick bay 20 years and many battles later.” Janeway’s lips twitched in amusement at how the phrase was turned back on her.
Seven continued in a less angry voice. “When you saw him it was different.” Janeway’s face became even more guarded.
“I did not see pain it was the joy of seeing an old friend.”
Janeway cocked her listening.
“I felt bad for hurting you, for accepting his date. Until we spoke I had no idea that I was encroaching, that I would cause you pain.”
Janeway held up her hand to stop her. “Seven it-”
Seven reached in and put her finger on the older woman’s lips her voice gentler still. “When I saw you look at him across the room I realized that it was not him.”
Janeway stepped back away from the touch that was searing across her lips. It had been so long since they had talked or touched. The pain she had unsuccessfully tried to hide was back in her eyes full force.
“It was not him,” Seven repeated. She stepped closer in to the Admiral’s personal space. “It was me.” Seven reached out and grasped the Admiral by the shoulders. “You did not try to stop me. You did not let me know of your feelings. You just looked at me and tried to cover your pain while you congratulated me.”
The Admiral did not move out of Seven’s grasp. She was turned to stone as the young woman continued her voice rising again in emotion. “For four days I have been trying to decide what to do. Were his kisses worth the pain on your face?” Seven almost hissed as she continued. “Was it ok to allow his kisses when it was your face I saw when I closed my eyes to receive them?”
The Admiral started to shake. Her voice was husky and for the first time since she arrived on Voyager she sounded her age. “I loved you Seven but I was your Captain. I had no choice.”
Even though she knew it was true Seven was surprised at the older woman’s admission. She was also offended that it was past tense. “You loved me? And now Admiral how do you feel about me now? You are not my Captain now.”
A dry chuckle came from Janeway as she stepped away from Seven’s grasp. “Now I am an old woman full of regrets. I am the woman that officiated at your marriage. I survived your wedding night and most nights by sleeping in my ready room. While there I was able to avoid the sounds of your love making that invaded my cabin from yours. I gave the order that sent you to your death and I held your husband as he cried over your corpse. I was dry eyed while I gave your memorial. My tears were saved for my ready room with poor Tuvok trying to cope with his distraught friend. I am not your Captain now,” Janeway paused not sure she could continue and then decided why not. “I am just an elderly Admiral who will love you to the day I die. Of course that will be tomorrow so I guess it will all be over for me soon.”
Seven moved back in to Janeway’s space. Her hands gentle now as they pulled the Admiral in for a hug. “But not for me. It will not be over for me. I have loved you from the moment I was able to love.” She held Janeway tight as the older woman tried to pull away.
“I am sorry to hear I gave up. I settled for him. I should have fought for you. My only excuse is that I didn’t know it would be an option.”
The Admiral felt Seven’s hands caressing her back and Seven’s lips begin to trace kisses along her jaw. “No Seven stop. I don’t need your pity. You have her she is right out there and she loves you. Soon she wont be your Captain.”
Seven pulled her lips away from Janeway’s jaw and looked into her eyes. “No Kathryn.”
The Admiral’s heart stopped at hearing her name from Seven’s lips. “Soon she will not be my Captain. But she will also never be you. If you push me away I will never know what it is like to love you. And it was you I fell in love with three or so years and many battles ago. Maybe someday she will accept our love for each other. There are no guarantees, she may not. Will you deny me the right to love Kathryn Janeway?” Admiral, Captain or civilian you are Kathryn Janeway. Forty-five or Seventy-one you are the woman I do and will always love.
Seven’s eyes stayed open as she moved in for their first kiss. She could see the signs of age on her loves face. Yet each line, earned from caring for her crew, made her more beautiful in Seven’s eyes. Seven watched as the firm eyes of a fearless Admiral turned to pools of desire. The soft meeting of lips elicited moans from both women. The escalation from exploration to passion came quickly and soon the two women were moving to the bed room.
Once they were in sight of the bed both women paused. They looked at each other hesitantly. “Admiral I am unsure of how to proceed.” Janeway looked at her with a gentile smile. She was amused that in her trepidation Seven reverted back to titles and Borg phrasing. She found that she liked hearing her title. It assured Janeway that Seven knew exactly who she was about to make love to.
“It is alright Seven. It has been a long time for me but I am pretty sure we can figure it out.” The Admiral reached for the zipper of Seven’s bio-suit. She zipped it down gently. She felt like it was Christmas morning and she was slowly opening her present. She leaned in and kissed each patch of skin as she removed its covering. Seven stepped out of the bio-suit as Janeway pulled it down her legs. The Admiral couldn’t help but playfully nuzzle her nose in to the patch of blond hair as she moved up so that she could wrap her arms around Seven. The quick contact of nose to clit was electric and caused Seven to fall back on the bed.
Janeway laughed. It was probably her first truly genuine laugh in 20 years. She felt years of burden shift from her shoulders as she lay down on the bed. She ran her hands over Seven’s body exploring implant verses skin. She felt Seven’s hand tug at her shirt and stilled it. “No” her voice was husky with arousal. “Let me love you Seven.”
The young Borg’s eyes flared. Before Janeway knew what had happened she was flat on her back with a powerful Seven straddling her. Suddenly the younger woman’s hesitation was gone. You will love me Kathryn Janeway and I will love you. You will not hide from me. With a glance at her Borg enhanced hand Seven created a sharp edge that she used to cut open the Admiral’s shirt and then her bra. The blades receded and Seven began to slowly stroke the Admiral from waist to neck. Sometimes her hands went along side the Admiral’s breast and other times she flicked her nipples with her fingernails as they passed by. Janeway reached up to caress the body that had fueled her fantasies for so many years. Seven shook her had no. She grabbed the older woman’s hands and pushed them into the mattress above her head.
Seven leaned down to whisper in Kathryn’s ear. Janeway moaned as their breast connected for the first time. She arched as the change in position caused Seven’s mons to grind in to hers. Sevens voice was low almost growling as she spoke. “I will be very displeased if you move you hands before I tell you to. Will you keep them here?” Seven’s hands continued to firmly push Janeway’s into the mattress. Her question was punctuated with more movement that made Janeway’s “yes” a groan.
The Admiral was a little scared and a lot turned on as she wondered where this was going. She was a playful and sensual person but had never been in to bondage or domination. She was however willing to follow Seven’s lead.
Seven moved off of Janeway and unzipped her pants slowly. She lifted the Admiral and slid her pants and under pants down past her hips. Once she had Janeway fully exposed she began to blow softly all over her body. Her mouth just millimeters above her skin. Then as she continued to explore her tongue would sneak out for a little taste here and there. Kathryn was straining against the non-existent ropes. Her body was arching hoping to cause more contact. After a few more minutes of this torture Seven settled her self once again straddling her lovers body.
“Do you understand Kathryn that you are not in charge here?”
“Yes” she replied in a strained voice.
“You will not hide from me? You will allow me to touch and taste you?” Her hands were caressing the older woman’s breast lightly pinching her nipples as she waited for an answer.
“Anything. Yes” Janeway’s words were almost a sob as Seven leaned down and flicked her tongue over her puckering nipple.
“You will not hide your beautiful body from me? You wont allow unreasonable fears in the way of our mutual pleasure?” With each question Seven undulated against the practically flailing woman beneath her her.
“No Seven, what ever you want.”
Still moving rhythmically against her Seven reached up as if to untie Kathryn’s hands. “Then I release you. We will love each other as equals.”
Before Seven realized what was happening the Admiral bucked her hips and flipped Seven on to her back. Janeway lay on top of Seven kissing her neck their bodies were connected from top to bottom. “If we weren't equals right now I would throw you in the brig for that torture. But I'll find other ways to get my revenge.”
Seven smiled gently as she ran her hands through the silver hair of her love. “Proceed Kathryn.”
With all her fears of rank, age and propriety gone Kathryn was able to give herself in to passion. For all her bravado Seven was still unsure of herself. Kathryn took the lead and lead her in to a haze of pleasure and desire.
Seven didn’t sleep. When they were not making love she was holding lover and watching over her. It was only while Kathryn was sleeping that Seven let her tears fall. She knew what tomorrow would bring. She knew that nothing would stop the Admiral from making the ultimate sacrifice for the people she loved.
Just before morning one of her tears splashed on Kathryn’s sleeping face. The Admiral’s eyes opened and looked with understanding at the younger woman. With a voice still scratchy from sleep she offered, “I know I was out of practice but it couldn’t have been that bad.”
Flashing her trademark crooked smile Janeway reached up and pulled Seven’s face to hers. After a through but gentile kiss she looked in to Seven’s eyes. “Regrets?”
Seven shook her head. “Never" She said quickly. But then more slowly she said, "I do, however, want to come with you. Infecting both of us gives Voyager better odds of success. I do not want you to die alone in that place, with her.”
Janeway shook her head emphatically no. “If you stay with your Captain or go with me one of us dies alone eventually. She is still here Seven and until four days ago she was me. If you love me then you love her.”
Seven took a deep breath. “There is no way to know if she will allow herself to love me. I do love her. I love and have loved you. Please Kathryn I am a creature of the Delta Quadrant. Let me stay with you.”
Janeway got up from her bed and turned to Seven truly angry. “I did not risk this ship and crew to get you back from that bitch to just give you to her later. I did not break the temporal prime directive so you could die three years earlier this time around.” And then tears began to fall. “I watched you die once Seven. How could you be so cruel to ask me to do that again?”
Seven stepped back away from the anger that was pulsating from Janeway. Even at seventy-one years old and completely nude Admiral Kathryn Janeway was a force of nature. She would not give in on this and was truly outraged that Seven would even ask. “You would give me up so easily knowing what you now know? It is me out there Seven. It was me looking at you in pain when you decided to date Chakotay. And because it was me it was her. I don’t know what is going to happen but I do know we gave up on each other once. Will you really do that again?”
“I will stay.” A subdued Seven responded with tears in her eyes.
“Gently Janeway cupped Seven’s face between her hands. “Did I ruin it for her? Has she lost you because you love me? When you love her Seven you are loving me. Please remember we are the same person.”
“No Kathryn when I am loving you I am loving you. And if someday I am lucky enough to make love with her. It will be her I am loving. Until a few days ago I loved you both as one person and now I will always love the two separate people that you have become.”
“I have to get ready. It is almost time.”
“Say goodbye to me here. I can’t face it out there.” She sent Seven another flash of her crooked grin. “It will ruin my legacy if in my final moments the Captain has to pull me off her Astrometrics officer so that I can complete my mission.”
With tears falling unabashedly down her face Seven touched her lips to Kathryn’s. It was a slow and thorough kiss. The kind you can feel all the way down to your toes. When she pulled away she gazed at her love for a moment longer and left the cabin swiftly. It would not do for the Captain to have to pull her Astrometrics officer off the Admiral so she could complete her mission.
Epilogue 26 years later
No one really knew why Seven of Nine insisted on a 26 year reunion. The famous Voyager crew usually had a big bash every few years and often got together in smaller groups where ever they were. But this year Seven insisted on pulling out all the stops. She didn’t get the crew to plan a party, she just threw one. As owner of Delta Seven, a technology development company, Seven had the resources to throw as many parties as she wanted. She rented an entire hotel so that she could provide rooms for the complete crew and their families. Engraved invitations were sent out. One of Seven’s assistants called each guest and made travel plans for anyone who lived far away. Due to the great distances this entailed, the invitations had gone out two years previous.
Kathryn and Seven looked amazing as they greeted their guests. Long flowing gowns of white made them look almost ethereal. The ball room was sparkling. Seven had worked out every detail from the food choices to the table settings. After desert was served Seven went to the front of the room. She usually left the public speaking to her wife. Admirals did tend to have an easier time of it then Borg drones, but this was Seven’s party.
“Good evening” Seven smiled at the 250 guests. “Tonight I am asking you to honor a special woman. Someone we each hold dear and to whom we owe much.” A large picture of Admiral Janeway appeared on the wall behind Seven. The familiar Janeway smile looked out at them all. Kathryn’s eyes grew big as the crowed started to cheer and then went silent. Kathryn saw instantly what the crowed was just figuring out. They began to recognize the out dated uniform that the Admiral reverted to while on Voyager. The crew continued to look closer. They recognized the lines on her face that the Admiral next to Seven never got.
“We rarely speak of this Admiral Janeway except in whispers. And tonight I need us to speak of her out loud. We knew her for such a short time. And it was so hard to reconcile where she came from and who she was. How could we account for Kathryn Janeway getting over her immense distaste of temporal mechanics.” Kathryn put her head in her hands as every one chuckled. “Admiral Janeway,” Seven glanced at her wife of 20 years. “The other Admiral Janeway, that is, told me many things that I could not say before today. She told me how hard it was to convince Harry Kim, Captain of the Rohde Island, to let her go.”
Seven smiled as Tom Paris yelled out from the back. “Well if he had known he was trading up for the Enterprise he would have been much more co-operative,” Harry punched him on the Shoulder.
“The last time she they were together Be’ Lanna was annoyed with her. Miral had missed the anniversary party because she was on a mission to get the technology needed to come get us.”
Once again Tom’s cocky voice came out of the crowd. “Thanks Honey Girl I always knew you would do important things!” The group chuckled again.
“I can tell you these things today because we are moving past her past.” The guests were clearly struggling to understand what Seven was trying to say. “From our perspective Admiral Janeway sent us home 26 years ago. But really it was today. Last month the Admirals Janeway turned 71 years old.”
Janeway spoke from the back. “ Thank you Seven, really, from the both of us. Thank you for reminding everyone of that little tidbit. I know she would have appreciated it as do I. And I did know her pretty well.” the crowed out right laughed and the tension was reduced a little more.
When she left Voyager to once again confront the Queen, Admiral Janeway was Seventy-one years and twenty-two days old. Today the Admirals Janeway are that age. Today thirteen lives, mine included, were saved by her actions. Today she died to send us home.” Seven lifted her glass.
“Please Join me in remembering this incredible woman on this incredible day. Let us thank her that we are here together having had full lives and with many years to come. May we honor her by continuing to enjoy the gifts she has given us.” Every one lifted their glasses with Seven.
“Admiral Janeway,” the group said as one and they drank to her memory.
Kathryn had been completely unaware of what Seven was planning. She knew she would be expected to speak. As she cast her mind for something to say all she could think of was ways to phaser her wife.
Kathryn cleared her throat. “For tonight I will take the title of ‘The other Admiral’. I knew Admiral Janeway. For the first forty-two years of my life you could say I knew her intimately. But her trip back to us meant we were no longer the same. She lived a life that I did not. She got you home and then she came back and got you home again, faster. I didn’t realize what today was. Seven didn't share that with me either.” Janeway closed her eyes and she collected her thought as to how she could honor this woman with her words.
“Today she and I become one again. Tomorrow is a day that no Janeway has ever faced. Starting today I live for both of us.” Janeway’s eyes teard a bit. She raised her glass as Seven had. “Thank you Admiral Janeway.” The crowed did the same. Janeway continued “I'll hold her in my heart until the day I cease to exist. I'll continue to live my life so that hers did not end in vain." She raised her glass again and the crowed knew exactly what to say. “Thank you Admiral Janeway.”
For the rest of the evening the crew enjoyed themselves with music and dancing. They all spoke of the her, Admiral Janeway. Previously her sacrifice caused such discomfort that her name was barely spoken and even then only in a whisper. Tonight they were free to remember and discuss things like Janeway’s face when confronted with her older self. They talked with wonder about how the Admiral could have been so brave and what the end of her life must have been like. Today they acknowledged that it truly did take two Janeway’s to get them home.
Kathryn walked up to Seven, “Dance with me.”
“I would love to”
“You amaze me Seven” Janeway said in a low voice “For 26 years you refused to so much as speak her name and tonight you threw her a party. I don’t know why it took me this long to understand it. You loved her.”
Seven smiled but did not respond.
“Last night you were with her weren’t you? You made love.”
Seven nodded knowing that Janeway was talking about night before the Admiral left Voyager. The other last night.
“Yes,” A one word response said in a gentile voice.
Not sure how her love would react to that news Seven was shocked when Janeway threw her head back and laughed with delight.
“Well it all makes sense now. I could never figure out exactly what she was telling me at our last meeting. Now I know.”
Seven cocked her head in question.
“Just before I left the shuttle I thanked her. I said that I was glad to have met her and told her that I felt very lucky. She laughed at me. I couldn’t believe it. She was laughing so hard tears were running down her face. She said ‘Kathryn Janeway you have no idea. Some day you will. But right now you have no idea how lucky you are!’ Then she told me to get my ass out of her shuttle because she had a job to do. And then she was gone.”
Seven's smile softened. "You are not upset." It was a statement not a question.
"How could I be Darling? After all, it was me."
Doctor and his ever present holo imager captured that iconic image. The Admiral and her love dancing and laughing while a larger then life photo of Admiral Janeway looked down on them. The crooked smile on her face so familiar and yet her own.