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An Offer That Possibly Should Be Refused, But Really, Who Could?

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I had thought, after all the time she has been with us, that I had become accustomed to Seven of Nine's straightforward manner. In a way it is refreshing - you always know exactly where you stand with her, which is certainly more than I can say for any number of Starfleet's brass. Though I suspect that her way of asking questions has over time become less simply her natural way of being efficient, and more a sort of game she plays to see how much she can make the rest of us squirm. I swear she enjoys it.

But this - what she bluntly tells me when she visits me in my quarters and stands at the opposite end of my sofa, hands clasped calmly behind her back - this, I never could have been prepared for. I try to think of something profound to say in response, but all I can say is - "What?"

She looks at me in that way she has of making clear exactly what she thinks of your lack of understanding. Her ocular implant quirks up, the exaggerated metal brow lending gravitas to a gesture whose possibility was something I've always wondered about - how can a hunk of metal embedded in her skull quirk? One of life's mysteries, I suppose.

"Sex, Captain. I wish to experience it with you."

Ah, but that's not what she said. Oh no, sex is far too normal a word for us non-Borg folk. We'd never be uncomfortable enough with that phrasing to squirm. Not that I begrudge her her amusement; I often delight in it, truth be told, but I'd rather she not turn it on me. I think I'm her favorite target, though. Why else would she come to me just when I've shed my uniform jacket and settled down after a long day of battling with personnel reports and state, without preamble, that she wants to copulate with me? I don't care to imagine the look on my face as I blink at her, trying - and failing utterly - to come up with a decent response.

"Why?"

"I wish to further my education in this aspect of humanity, and I do not believe the Doctor's lessons on the holodeck are adequate for this purpose."

She stands there looking at me like this was exactly enough information for me to agree to whatever she’s got planned and should proceed with removing my clothing. I know there has to be more to it than that, though - for starters, why me? But I decidedly do not want to know - or, okay, maybe I do, but I certainly can't know. I'm the Captain, dammit, not a sex toy. Oh good god, this is so inappropriate I don't even know where to start.

"Look, Seven, I'm sure there are plenty of other crewmembers perfectly willing to help you with this. Maybe you should-"

"Their willingness to help is the problem, Captain."

That one throws me off. "How is that?"

"I do not wish for the primary objective of my first sexual encounter to be the satisfaction of my partner's desire to... 'bed the Borg.'"

She looks visibly uncomfortable, which makes me sit up straighter. Seven never looks visibly anything. My thoughts run wild, faster than I can keep up with them. Did someone hurt her? Bed the Borg? That wasn't something she'd come up with on her own, she must have overheard someone say it. Oh, heads will roll if I find out anybody has been acting at all inappropriately toward her. "Seven, did someone-"

Seeming to realize the path my thoughts are taking, Seven gives a minute shake of her head and interrupts again. "I am aware that several crewmembers find my physical form aesthetically pleasing, and although I realize the nature of most of the members of this crew precludes their taking advantage of the situation, I nonetheless find it... uneasy to trust them in this matter."

I let out a small sigh of relief that I won't have to decapitate anybody in the morning, then laugh to myself as I consider her severe underestimation of her appeal to the crew. I could make worse bets than to say that Tuvok is probably the only one on board who hasn't had an impure thought about her at some time or another. But as all too frequent as my own thoughts of that nature may be, I try to placate her enough to turn her attentions to someone else. "It's natural to be nervous about letting someone get that close to you, Seven. It's just something we all have to work through for ourselves. If you can, the rewards are... unimaginable."

The way she stares at me gives me the distinct impression that one of us isn't following the thread of conversation properly, and I'm about to be told it's me. "The Collective considers copulation to be no more than an imperfect means to an end. This is not what the act has come to mean to humanity, and it is this more... esoteric aspect of sexuality that I wish to explore. As I have already determined that I am desirous of sexual contact, my study of what it means to be human will remain incomplete without a partner with whom to experience the connection that underlies successful copulation."

Desirous of sexual contact? I gather she means that she has determined she isn't asexual, but my brain seems to get stuck on how she would have gone about finding that out. Did she go to the holodeck and - no, I'm not going to think about this. She's looking at me expectantly and I open my mouth without thinking.

"So what are you saying? That I'm the only person you're close enough to to consider having sex with? Not exactly the charming pickup line a girl wants to hear." Wait, what? I'm supposed to be discouraging her, not acting wounded that she didn't proposition me the right way.

"I am saying that I trust you, Captain. I know you would not take advantage of the situation to satisfy your needs over my own, nor would you become personally offended at any errors I may make due to my inexperience." She shifts her weight slightly as she takes a half step toward me. "I would be remiss if I did not tell you that I also took our friendship into consideration when I considered this problem. Were I only concerned with my partner being selfish or uncomfortable with my Borg nature, I would approach any other member of the senior staff. They, at least, would be easier to convince."

She actually smiles at me with that. It is almost imperceptible, only the slightest upturn of the corners of her lips, but it's enough to nearly shatter my resolve. I return the smile and she acknowledges it with a tilt of her head as she continues. "I believe that our existing relationship will aid the success of our coupling. I am aware that 'casual sex' between acquaintances or strangers can be enjoyable, but it lacks the emotional resonance inherent in copulation between those with a strong bond to each other. Sex can be... a way to express emotion that one is unable to adequately express by any other means."

Seven's eyes alight upon mine and my throat seizes up as I frantically wonder how I can handle whatever bomb she's about to drop on me. She couldn't possibly be about to say what it sounds like she's going to say. Can she?

"I am unable to articulate my emotions with any degree of efficiency, and I do not know if I will ever be able to. Nonetheless, I do know that I feel a great depth of emotion for you, Captain. If not for you, I would not be alive. I may still exist, but it would not be a life. You returned me to life, and beyond that, you have given me friendship closer than any other I have observed on this vessel. It is not merely gratitude that I feel, although it is the most easily identified sentiment. Since I cannot tell you with words, I wish to attempt to convey the extent of my emotion by physical means."

A massive internal battle is being waged between the Captain and Kathryn. All of my Starfleet training is telling me to flee, that no good can come of exploring this notion of hers, and certainly not from examining my own fluttering heart. Nothing can happen here, so it's best to just send her on her way with a polite smile and a thank you. The rest of me is yelling at the Captain for being such a heartless bitch - can't she see that Seven's just poured her soul out and given it to me to do as I will? Reject her now and she may never open up to anybody this way again.

An imaginary speck of dust on my pant leg draws my gaze away from hers and I ask, hesitatingly, "Seven... are you saying you want a... romantic relationship?"

I hold my breath as Seven considers the question. "I do not believe so." Oh thank god. So I just have to deal with everything else that's impossible about this situation. “I overheard a crewman mention a proposal such as this in the messhall several months ago.”

My eyes shoot back up to hers at her playful tone, and she looks back at me with a familiar light that tells me she's going to enjoy my reaction to what she's about to say. I brace myself.

“Captain, I would like to become friends... with benefits.”

Well. There's an idea. I imagine my reaction fails to give her the satisfaction of a good squirm, since that's pretty much what she'd proposed from the start, but it does serve to drive it home. Nothing like an overwrought phrase that represents a thoroughly inadvisable idea to give one a serious case of oh shit.

"Look, Seven, people have been trying this sort of arrangement for centuries, and it's never worked. Someone always ends up wanting more, or acting irrationally jealous, and it falls apart and they end up losing the friendship they started with. I don't want that to happen with us."

"It is an exaggeration to say that it has never worked in the past. Even if that were so, no one in the past has been a former Borg drone and an unusually determined Starfleet Captain. You and I are possessed of exceptionally strong wills. In the event that one of us desires, as you say, 'more' from the relationship that the other does not, I do not doubt our ability to work through the problem." Her chin lifts as she narrows her eyes at me speculatively. "You are a consummate professional, Captain. If you are concerned about the possible dissolution of our friendship affecting your ability to command me, I assure you, your fears are misguided."

She certainly knows how to cut to the heart of the matter. There are so many other arguments I could raise about my duty to the ship, or the impossibility of making what she proposes actually work, but after three years I've learned to recognize when Seven will refuse to give in. She likewise always seems to know when I would refuse to back down, and I've gotten the impression that she refrains from making arguments over issues she knows I can't give an inch on due to my position, no matter how much she may want to argue. Consequently, it seems that whenever she tries to convince me of something I don't want to be convinced of, she ends up winning simply because if she's making the attempt, she has already determined that it's something she can win.

As I let out a resigned sigh, pointedly ignoring the fact that I don't actually feel like I've lost anything, she sees fit to make another point in her favor. "The arrangement would not just be for my benefit. You have spent six years as Captain of this ship without intimate contact with another. I believe the Doctor would agree with me when I say that this is... inadvisable for a woman of your passionate nature."

I don't even bother to ask her why she presumes to know the last time I had sex - she's right, it has been far too long. I smooth out the wrinkles of my trousers and straighten my back, settling my eyes on her with an air of finality. "Did you have a time in mind for this?"

At least she has the grace not to gloat. “I do not anticipate my skills being required elsewhere at any point in the immediate future. We may proceed now, if you are amenable.”

Of course. My bare feet tread lightly across the carpet as I rise and move around to the opposite side of the table next to the sofa, crossing my arms at my chest. "You say you want to further your education. What do you know already?"

"I have comprehensive knowledge of both human anatomy and the mechanics involved in sex between two females; however, I have learned that knowing a thing does not necessarily indicate understanding of it."

"That must be frustrating for you." My voice is low as I take half a step closer to her.

She matches my movement. "Your assessment is accurate."

I notice my pulse has increased at her proximity. We've been within arm's reach of each other an uncountably large number of times before, and I never reacted quite this rapidly. But then, we'd never been about to have sex before. "So what sort of things do you know but not understand?"

"My current state of anticipatory arousal, for example." Her arms shift as she seems to adjust her hands behind her back. "It is a predictable product of the interaction of hormones and neurotransmitters in response to various stimuli, and is not a sensation that is wholly unfamiliar to me, but at this moment it is much more... intense than I expected."

"Not unfamiliar? Care to elaborate on that?" I reach a hand out to trail a finger along the collar of her biosuit. If she can delight in making me squirm, then I don't see why I shouldn't have the same privilege. She doesn't disappoint, and fidgets slightly before she continues.

"I have experimented with masturbation in the past." My lightly teasing hand at her neck moves to clutch her shoulder as my knees go weak from the images that suddenly fill my mind at this blasé statement. Point, Seven of Nine. "Consequently, I experienced physical arousal. However, given that sexual fantasies are often utilized by humans while masturbating, and I still have difficulty with using my imagination, it was less than satisfactory. I found it difficult to... let go, and simply allow myself to experience the sensations."

Now that's just too good an opportunity to pass by, and with a predatory smirk I close the distance between us with another short step. "Oh, that won't be a problem with someone there to help you, Seven. Trust me."

"I do." She looks down at me, utterly sincere, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world for my hand to slip to the back of her neck to draw her head down so I can press my lips against hers. She's so sweet, so soft, delicious, and she circles her arms around my torso, drawing me in. It is electric when our lips part to allow our tongues to meet - god, it has been far too long. Her warm breath tickles my cheek as it flows unevenly from her nose and I think I hear her whimper.

Oh, this woman will be the death of me. The urge to explore becomes too much to ignore, and I break the kiss to move my lips along her strong chin. She remains silent for a moment, then -

"Why are you doing that?"

I debate for a moment with how honest to be when I answer. It's not in my nature to reveal the sort of thoughts that are running through my mind at the moment, but she wants to learn. I feel her grip on my back tighten slightly as I nip at her jaw, and I know I can’t be anything less than wholly forthright. I tilt her head enough to murmur into her ear, my nose brushing the starburst implant next to it.

"Because I want to taste your skin." I let my tongue run lightly along the shell of her ear, noting the change in her breathing. "I want to know what you like, so I can give you pleasure most..." I drag my teeth over her earlobe, punctuating the sentence, "efficiently."

Her hands roam slowly across my back, settling on my hips. "Foreplay," she observes evenly, but not dispassionately. Her jaw moves beneath my lips as I continue to lavish attention to it. "The goal is to arouse, to prepare for penetration."

I smile against her skin and bring my hand up to her other ear, running my thumb along its curves as I draw back slightly to look her in the eyes. "Ultimately, yes, although that's not necessarily the goal of every sexual encounter. And it's not just a means to an end, Seven. We explore, just to explore." I move back to her ear and brush my lips against the implant. "Because we want to."

The metal is warm against my tongue, without much flavor beyond a faint hint of iron. I trace a path along the rays of the implant, sweeping against the salty-sweet skin in between, and her breath hitches. Smiling as I withdraw again, I move my thumb to her ocular implant, following the outline back and forth.

"See, now I know that the skin around your implant is particularly sensitive. And I can apply that knowledge in the future, when I get to all of your other implants." My lips curl into what I imagine is something of a predatory smirk as I let my fingernail run lightly along the skin around her metal brow and her eyes flutter closed. God, I could get used to seeing her like this. To making her feel for the sake of feeling. "That's how it goes, Seven. There's no script; if you get an impulse to do something, you do it. Unless it's going to hurt your partner, obviously, or it's something you already know they don't want. Is there anything you want to do right now?"

Her eyes had reopened when I started to speak, and they flit around my face as she considers the question. "Your sternocleidomastoid," she says finally, her voice too loud to be a whisper but her tone giving the impression of one.

I let out a laugh, wondering if I'm going to have to brush up on my anatomy should this become routine. "Beg your pardon?"

Seven turns my head to the side and brushes a metal-tipped finger over the now-outlined muscle of my neck. "There have been times when I wondered what it would be like to kiss you here, or how you would react to my tongue following the the path of the muscle from its terminus at your mastoid process," her fingers travel up to touch the bone behind my ear in demonstration, "to its origin at your sternum." She falters as she touches my collarbone through my shirt on her way back down my neck, evidently hesitant to take what she wants. Her hands drop to her sides and she looks at me questioningly.

I try not to think about how she just perfectly described my thoughts about her own neck. Sonnets could be written about her neck. Should be written. But that's neither here nor there - this is about her, not whatever misguided romantic notions may be drifting across my mind despite my better judgment. I shift my focus to what is, I imagine, her problem, and give her a reassuring smile. "You don't have to ask if you want to touch me, Seven. I mean, absolutely you need consent first in any sexual encounter, but trust me, anything you want to do is more than welcome right now."

To emphasize my point, I reach down to the bottom of my shirt and, noting her gaze following the path of my hands, untuck it and pull it slowly over my head. Some distant part of me is aware that this is the first time anyone on this ship, apart from the Doctor and possibly Chakotay on New Earth, has seen this much of my skin, the first time in six years that I have been this exposed to another person - but mostly, as her pupils actually noticeably dilate when she takes in the sight of my bra-clad torso with unconcealed wonder, I cannot help but marvel that I am standing nearly half-naked in front of her, and I am struck by an unbidden rush of lust that courses through me, flushing my skin.

Her eyes rise to mine, and when she speaks she has regained her usual inflection. "Is it not customary to remove each other's clothing?"

"Oh, that's certainly a good part of the fun sometimes, but other times, you just want to move things along." I flash her a winning grin, reaching a hand out to the collar of her biosuit. "Besides, if I'd started undressing you first then we'd have wound up with you naked and me still almost fully in uniform. Hardly fair, I think." I drag my fingers to the back of her neck and toy with the fastening. "You don't wear anything under this, do you?"

"I do not." She raises an amused eyebrow at me, then lifts her hands to the straps at my shoulders. "May I remove this garment?"

"Please do."

She immediately trails her hands to my back and makes quick work of the clasp, leaving me to wonder where she learned how to remove a bra if she'd never worn one. The Collective wouldn't exactly consider it useful knowledge, I should think. I lose my train of thought when Seven reaches back up to the straps and pulls them down my arms one at a time, letting the bra fall to the floor. She stares at my breasts for longer than could possibly be considered polite, and I'm both startled and unbelievably aroused to see that she is unconsciously licking her lips.

"I know what you're thinking, Seven." She glances up sharply at my low tone. "Just do it."

Time seems to stand still for a beat as we both consider her next move. I barely have time to catch her slight nod before she leans down and drags her tongue across my left nipple, an involuntary gasp escaping my lips. She has wrapped an arm around my torso as though to keep me in place, but I'm certain that nothing short of a warp core breach could pull me away from her right now. The fingers of her free hand squeeze my breast as she parts her lips enough to take the bulk of it into her mouth and oh god, this is Seven that is turning me into putty in her hands. Seven's mouth sucking on my breast, Seven's teeth grazing my nipple, Seven who's moaning low in her throat as she utterly devours me. I tangle my fingers into her hair, absently dropping the pins holding it in place to the floor, and my head falls back as I let out an extended low groan.

"Seven..." I don't know what I'm trying to say, but something about my inflection seems to encourage her to tighten her grip, ravishing my breast with her mouth. Any lingering hesitation I may have had about what we are doing withers away at the obscenely wet sound of her lips and tongue smacking against my skin - I couldn't stop myself from seeing this to its inevitable conclusion if the ship started to fly apart at the seams.

She abruptly straightens, my breast slipping unceremoniously out of her mouth. The comparatively cool air of my quarters chills the saliva on my skin and I imagine my nipple would harden in response were it possible for it to do so any more after the treatment she had just bestowed upon it. We simply stand in place for a long moment as we try to catch our breath, Seven continuing to stare at my now-red breast while I take in her flushed expression and swollen lips.

"Talk to me, Seven. Tell me what you're thinking."

I see her throat bob when she swallows, obviously struggling to put words to feelings. "I am... highly aroused. Hearing your sounds of pleasure has heightened my arousal. I knew this would occur, but I did not expect it to this extent." Her jaw clenches once, and before I can note that she has stepped closer to me her lips have claimed mine again and she has taken my breast in her human hand, massaging it roughly. A whimper makes its way up my throat as I grasp her hips to steady myself, but she pulls away just as abruptly as she had moved in. She sounds downright smug as she looks at me and continues, "I feel compelled to make you emit such sounds as often as possible."

It is a struggle of the highest order to keep myself from pouncing on her and taking her right there on the floor. It just shouldn't be possible for someone who'd barely managed to successfully bring herself to orgasm to make me feel the slightest touch away from it without even needing to get into my pants. I square my shoulders and point to my left. "Bedroom, Seven. Now."

For once she sees the wisdom of not questioning my orders and promptly spins on her heel, moving off toward the indicated room. I follow right behind and when she stops and turns at the side of my bed I turn the nearly resulting collision into an opportunity to crush my mouth against hers, tongue demanding entrance. My hands crawl up her back to work at the zipper of her biosuit, while hers move to the base of my spine and the back of my neck, bringing my body flush against hers. I pull the fastening all the way down to the small of her back, the sound of metal scraping against metal a harsh contrast to the wet sound of our increasingly desperate kiss. She sucks my bottom lip between hers as I start to peel the biosuit away from her skin, pulling it down her arms to leave her as exposed as I am.

Six years of celibacy make themselves known with a vengeance and I pull away from Seven and push her onto the bed in one motion. She lands on her elbows, her hips on the edge, and as she looks up at me with breathless anticipation I seem to lose every filter I've ever had between my mouth and my brain.

"You can make me make all the sounds you want later, Seven. Right now this is you, all you. I'm going to make you feel everything you can possibly feel." My hands scramble at the biosuit bunched around her hips, and she lifts them without a word as I try to pull the material down. "I'm going to touch every inch of you and make you lose control. I'm going to make you come so hard you'll forget you ever heard the word Borg."

Our eyes lock as I drag her biosuit down her legs, taking her heels with it when I toss it aside. "Do you want to come for me, Seven?"

Her ragged breathing calls my attention to her breasts, and I tear my gaze away from hers to take in her naked form for the first time. Oh good lord, is she beautiful. The bands of her abdominal implant cross her stomach like long metal fingers embracing her from behind, and I can already see myself running my tongue along the skin between them to test my earlier findings. As my eyes trail further down I can see that she wasn't joking about how aroused she was. I swallow hard, my mouth suddenly dry. And her breasts... Good god, those breasts. I can't remember the last time I needed something as much as I need those nipples to be in my mouth. Now.

"Yes..." She breathes, snapping me out of my reverie.

"Yes what?" I belatedly remember I had asked her a question and thank whatever deity might be responsible that my confused response could be taken for pointed teasing.

She sits up, her lips brushing against my skin as she tucks her fingers into the waistband of my pants. "I want you to bring me to orgasm."

Oh. Oh fuck, why is that word so arousing coming from her mouth? My hands scramble to cover hers, working furiously at the fastening, the need to feel her skin against mine suddenly unbearable. "Scoot up, Seven," I order distractedly, but fortunately she understands me well enough to shift on the bed, stretching out her lithe form down the length of it as I force the rest of my clothing down and off my legs.

I watch her watch me for a moment, both of us breathing heavily as our eyes rake over the other's nakedness, then I find myself crawling across the bed feeling as though I am stalking my prey, swinging a leg over her hips and settling my hands at her shoulders. Hovering over her this close I can see that the blue of her eyes has nearly become wholly subsumed by her pupils - but abruptly they come out of focus when she wraps her arms around me and pulls me down, my body collapsing onto hers. Our lips meet in a fierce kiss; whether she is aware of it or not, there is a desperation inherent in the movement of her mouth against mine, in the way her hips lift to grind her wetness against my leg.

It's become clear that she's not going to last very long once I start providing her with any real stimulation, whether because she's never done this before and isn't used to the sensations or because she's turned her usual laser focus intensity onto what she's experiencing, I couldn't say, but it's a damn shame that leaves me no choice but to help her along sooner rather than later - not that it's a very difficult choice. There's no way I'm not going to make good on my promise to touch every inch of her, and I want to be able to take my time.

My right hand trails - seemingly unnoticed - down the side of her abdomen, across her hip, through the tangle of hair between her legs. I smile against her lips in anticipation, and without further preamble I dip a finger into her folds, quickly drawing up some of her copious moisture to her clitoris and assuming a rapid circling rhythm around it. Her body surges beneath me, the arc of her spine causing her head to fall back and break the kiss as she lets out a startled moan. I feel an answering rush of arousal at seeing her like this and press my hand harder into her, unable to resist exploring the striations of her throat with my tongue.

"Captain..."

I feel Seven's voice rumbling under my tongue, deeper than I've ever heard it before. The incongruity of her calling me Captain while I'm driving her to the brink of orgasm is, I'm certain, entirely more arousing than Starfleet would ever approve of, and I don't know if I forgot to tell her not to or if she's simply too distracted to remember. I abandon the trail I'm making down her throat and skip over to her right breast, my teeth latching onto the nipple after I circle my tongue around it once.

And that - oh god, that was unquestionably a whimper that just came from Seven of Nine. My thumb joins my index finger at her clitoris, pinching it lightly and drawing opposite paths up and down the sides. The sound of crunching metal fills the room, and flicking my eyes up as I suck at the nipple between my teeth I see her Borg hand clenching wildly at the lamp next to the bed. She's out of control - I made her lose control, and I fully intend to see her give in to it.

I raise my head enough to let my free hand take the place of my mouth. "You know what this is, Seven. This is what you wanted, this is what you wanted me to do for you." Her human hand wraps around my forearm, putting additional pressure on my grip on her breast. "Just let go now. Come for me, Seven. Let me see you come."

Her knees bend awkwardly beneath me as her feet press against the mattress, raising her body up off the bed. She comes with a silent scream, every muscle in her body highlighted in sharp relief for long seconds when she tenses, motionless, awash in sensation she has no idea how to process. I give a few last slow strokes with my fingers before withdrawing as she collapses bonelessly back onto the bed, and I move up her body to plant a soft kiss on her lips.

After giving her a moment to catch her breath, I flash her a half-smirk and brush the hair off her forehead. "Seven?"

"Captain." Her breathing is labored, but nonetheless she seems entirely coherent. Good. I still have a goal to work for. "That... That was -"

"That was nothing, Seven."

Her eyes narrow at me. "Explain."

Oh yes, definitely too coherent. "I said I was going to make you come so hard you'd forget you've ever heard the word Borg. Did you?"

"It is highly unlikely that I would-"

"I'll take that as a no." I sit up, leaning back on my heels as I straddle her. My hands trace along the ridges of her abdominal implant and I take satisfaction in seeing her breath hitch. "That was just a little something to take the edge off, Seven. You were in such a state that you were going to come within seconds no matter what I did, and I want to take my time. Starting now. Any objections?"

She looks intrigued. "No."

"Good." My hands come up around her shoulders again as I lean down to whisper into her ear. "Because I really want to taste you right now."

I wonder what the Borg Queen would have to say about the implant fetish I seem to rapidly be developing, finding the grooves of her ocular implant all too tempting for my tongue to resist. Her eyelashes flick against my chin, the lids falling closed as I move down to briefly taste her mouth again before embarking on my exploration of her torso. I lower my body onto hers, laving over the hollow of her throat, her wetness pressing against my stomach begging me to come do something about it. I want to - god, how I want to - but as my mouth reaches her breast once more her hands come to my back, holding me in place, and I content myself with taking the nipple between my teeth and pulling up lightly. The nails of her human hand scratch at the skin between my shoulderblades as another of her moans escapes her throat.

The sound only serves to add to my need to take her. My right hand trails down the searing hot skin of her thigh while I continue to devour her breast, and her legs part slightly as my fingertips dance over another small implant. Whether the move is unconscious or not, I couldn't say, but it grants me the access I want. I cross my index and middle fingers, uncertain how much girth she can handle but needing to feel her around as much of my skin as possible, and gently press against her, stroking her labia for a moment before sliding my fingers into her with one thrust.

Her hands fly to my hips as she rises into my touch, grinding my pelvis into her thigh and as my forehead falls to her chest against the sudden rush of pleasure I am unable to tell whose voice it is that fills the room with a truly wanton moan. As the wave subsides I return my focus to my hand, and I am struck with the realization that I am inside Seven of Nine and oh fuck she's so hot and wet and yes, rather tight, but that just makes it all the more incredible when I uncross my fingers, stretching her lightly, and can feel her walls surrounding me.

Suddenly consumed by an overwhelming hunger, my mouth resumes its feast along her chest, licking down her sternum to the topmost implant of her abdomen. My tongue swirls patterns against the gleaming metal and over the skin coated with a thin sheen of sweat. I can't decide which taste I prefer; but, I think as my fingers withdraw slightly before pressing back in to the knuckle, I can imagine they both will pale in comparison to certain other tastes she has to offer.

I chance a glance up to her face to find her staring intently back at me, and it is clear that she's still thinking entirely too much. Now that just won't do. Over the past six years I've become quite adept at locating a woman's G-spot, and okay, that woman has always been me so the angle is somewhat different now, but I should be able to curl my fingers just so -

"Oh..." Her body shudders beneath me as her head falls back and I grin wickedly against her skin. It's possible I'm feeling entirely too smug, but the thought is short lived and I quickly become distracted by her continued moaning as I stroke the spot with variable pressure. I deliver a particularly strong thrust and I am rewarded with a high-pitched strangled whimper as she bucks against my hand. It's the most arousing sound I've ever heard, and I can't hold back anymore - I have to have her in my mouth, I need to fuck her with my tongue and hear her scream as I taste her.

I pull my fingers out and my hands scramble to her thighs, wrapping my arms around them as I spread them apart enough to bury my face into her folds, my tongue quickly stroking up the length of her to her clitoris. Seven calls out my name, or my rank - I can't be sure which because she's clamped the heels of her hands over my ears as she pulls me harder into her. I don't mind, though; I can think only of how her velvet-soft skin feels against my lips and how delicious she is - and oh god, is she delicious, in every sense of the word. I lap up her juices with my tongue, sucking lightly at her clit before raking my teeth against the delicate folds of her labia and her hands drop to push forcefully against the bed.

My head tilts back slightly so I can work my tongue inside her. Her already intoxicating taste is more intense here, and I pull her hips closer to try to penetrate deeper. I marvel at her soft heat but soon grow frustrated at my inability to probe as far inside her as I want to and abruptly replace my tongue with my fingers. I alternate thrusting in and out of her with curling my fingertips against her G-spot, my tongue returning to draw circles around her clit and the sound of my fingers playing in her wetness only spurs me to work at her harder, faster. I wonder what it will take to get her to scream; maybe if I -

Seven seizes my shoulders and hauls my body back up over hers, the elbow of my free hand landing next to her bicep. I quickly move my thumb up to work at her clit, thinking she wants to kiss me, but she only holds me in place and looks into my eyes. Her hips move with frantic need, fucking herself on my hand, but up here there is almost a sense of peace and as I return her unblinking gaze I try to discern any difference between her human and Borg eyes. I can find none: both are somehow dark yet blazing, rapidly losing focus with the sensations building within her.

Her orgasm hits hard; the tendons in her neck strain as I finally get my scream, her head arcing back into the pillow, and I know I'll have finger-shaped bruises in the morning from her iron grip on my shoulders. She's so beautiful, shuddering beneath me, her walls spasming around my hand, breasts swaying against mine as I continue my rhythm inside of her - I lean down to kiss her chin, needing to feel my mouth on her skin again but unwilling to block the sounds coming from between her lips.

I feel her tremble as I give an additional flick of my thumb over her clit, her body unconsciously shying away from the contact, and I let my fingers slip out of her. "Oh, Seven..." I murmur against her jaw as the implication of the movement overwhelms me: she quite literally cannot handle anything else that I have to give. My fingertips trail down her body as I lean back onto my heels, her hands falling limply from my shoulders. I simply watch her as she comes down, absently tracing symmetric paths along her arms where they lay splayed across the bed. Her breathing is still erratic, her eyes closed; I can see her pulse fluttering in a vein in her neck, and I wonder what she is thinking. If she is thinking.

"It's okay, Seven. Take your time, I'm here." I don't know what it is that compels me to comfort her in this moment, or if it's even something she needs, but I find I can't resist any more than I could resist taking her once I felt her mouth on my breast. Her eyes open and she looks up at me, a faint smile starting to dance about her lips. "God, you're beautiful."

Seven's hands come to rest lightly on my knees, stroking my skin with her thumbs. "Thank you."

She's never been one to accept compliments about her physical appearance, so I assume she's referring to the climax she's still feeling the aftershocks of, if her periodic twitches are any indication. My lips curl into a soft smile as I lean down, cupping her cheek with my left hand and brushing my lips against hers. "My pleasure."

Her arms wrap around me as I shift to lay on my side against her, my head resting on her shoulder. It is an indulgence I had not anticipated allowing myself, but it feels right in this moment. I can see the edge of an implant on her opposite arm and trace the outline of it with my middle finger, considering all that has just occurred.

"Seven."

She gives an uncharacteristic hum of acknowledgment.

"When I was... Just before you came... Why did you bring me up here just to look at me?"

I can actually feel her hesitation as she seems to struggle to remember, and I bend my elbow to prop my head up on my hand to look at her.

"You were correct." She pauses again, as though unsure of what my reaction will be. "As I approached orgasm, I lost awareness of anything other than the sensations I was experiencing. I... did not want to forget that it was you who was making me feel that way."

Oh. Oh god. I wonder if she's aware that she just uttered the single most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me. Something catches in my throat and I can suddenly feel the cardinal rule of the friends-with-benefits relationship crumbling before we've really even gotten started. My eyes screw shut and I blindly press my lips to the nearest patch of her skin, unable to respond over the unexpected rush of emotion.

"I believe I now understand the power of receiving physical affections from someone to whom you are close. I wish to... 'return the favor' now."

She moves to turn me onto my back, nudging my shoulder with her Borg hand. I don't know if I can do this, I need time to work this out. Hell, I don't even know what this is that I need to work out. "Seven, you don't have to-"

I am silenced by her lips pressing against mine as she settles on top of me. "I want to. I want to make you feel what you made me feel. Please."

She always has to go straight for the jugular, doesn't she? I suppose I should consider what it means that I've never been able to resist a request of hers when she says 'please' in that tone, but she has mimicked my earlier position as she sits back to straddle me and the metal fingertips dragging over my nipple are rather distracting. I give a faint nod, biting my lip and willing my eyes not to betray my sudden turmoil.

Hands trace my skin as she looks at me speculatively. And then Seven does it again: she asks a question that only she could ask, making me doubt both my sanity and my ability to handle anything that's thrown at me and leaving me gaping like a fish up at her.

"Captain, have you ever experienced anal penetration?"


"What?"

Captain Janeway stares up at me, apparently incredulous that I asked the question and unable or unwilling to give a response. It is easy enough to answer, only requiring a yes or no; yet, as I had anticipated, she is stymied by her sense of propriety that, as has become habit, I ignore.

"If you haven't, as I suspect is the case, I propose that we do so now."

Her fingers wrap gently around my wrists, stalling the progress of my fingertips down her thighs. "Seven, I don't think... That kind of... contact is..."

I raise my ocular implant at the dilation of the surface blood vessels in her cheeks as she trails off, evidently embarrassed by the subject. I understand that she is concerned with hygiene, the excretory functions of this part of her anatomy making sexual contact - and even simple conversation on the subject - still somewhat taboo, despite the millennia that humanity has nonetheless been engaging in such behavior. I fail to see the point of embarrassment over a biological function - although, I admit, this is one aspect of human experience about which I could happily live the rest of my existence without gaining personal knowledge.

When I relate these thoughts to her, she smiles, and I am pleased. From the beginning she encouraged me to develop my sense of humor, so as to better relate to the crew. I told her humor served no purpose, was in fact an inefficient waste of time. Eighty-seven days after I was severed from the Collective, I witnessed her laugh at a comment I made about Ensign Kim's at-times overbearing enthusiasm. Her eyes crinkled as she smiled, and if only for a moment, the burden of command seemed to disappear. She was... beautiful.

Humor was no longer irrelevant.

With a turn of my wrists I intertwine her fingers with my own. "I understand that it is uncommon for human females to engage in anal sex, although I do not believe the usual reasons for why this is so are valid excuses. It can be quite pleasurable, and it is a simple enough matter to alleviate concerns about hygiene and lubrication. I assure you, I would proceed in such a manner as to minimize the potential spread of bacteria." I give a pointed glance down between her legs. "Acquiring the necessary lubrication will not be a problem."

"Why do you want to do this?" She sounds merely curious, no longer hesitant. I feel arousal building within me again at the knowledge of what I will soon be doing.

"Everything I have experienced this evening has been new to me. I wish to provide you with a new form of pleasure as well."

She is silent for a moment, then nods. "Okay." It is said without as much enthusiasm as I might have hoped for, but the simple fact that Captain Janeway trusts me enough with so personal a thing as this is briefly overwhelming. I cannot imagine her allowing anyone else to touch her in this way, nor do I want to. And though she may currently seem ambivalent about it, I know that it will be an easy enough matter to make her want it.

I lean over her to press our lips together, lightly pinning her arms at right angles to her body with my hands on her forearms. She returns the kiss with abandon, her physical intensity now wholly returned after its ebb during our conversation, and I cannot resist bringing my hands up under her ears to lift her head slightly as I press in more deeply with my tongue. I feel fingertips on the implant at the base of my spine, a light touch that nonetheless nearly drives me to distraction.

"Captain..."

I'm uncertain why I say it when I pull back, my Borg hand stroking through her disheveled hair splayed across the pillow, but somehow it serves to connect me to her in a manner beyond the physical so I decide to consider the problem at a later time. It is perhaps unusual for me to refer to her by rank in this situation, but I believe that for me to call her by her given name would imply a degree of emotional intimacy she is unprepared to acknowledge.

Her hands mirror mine and her thumb brushes my implant when she tucks my hair behind my ear. Warmth suffuses through me at the gesture, a now-familiar physiological response to her touch. I return the affection with a soft kiss on her forehead before shifting to trace her sternocleidomastoid muscle with my tongue in the way I had earlier expressed the desire to.

My touch is less voracious than hers had been. I let my hands roam across her skin, preceding my mouth as I alternately lick and kiss the length of each of her limbs. It is, I imagine, what she had intended when she said she was going to taste every inch of me, before her considerable lust took over her actions. Particularly sensitive patches of skin behind her knee and on her wrists make themselves known to me with a gasp; I certainly would not be adverse to her delivering on her promise to explore my body in such a manner.

The number of nerve endings present in the region of the female breast is constant regardless of the individual; smaller breasts are often consequently more sensitive to touch due to the higher nerve density in the skin. She provides a clear demonstration of this fact, much as she did at the beginning of this encounter, when she moans at the contact of my fingertips on her areolae, clearly more stimulated than I had been by her similar touch. The increased stiffness of her nipples is enticing, and I spend several minutes alternating the attention of my mouth and hands upon them.

"Seven, please..."

I let my teeth graze over her right nipple as I look up. She is flushed, breathing heavily, and when her eyes meet mine I suddenly understand the sexual power inherent in making others beg for your touch, the desire to take as well as be taken.

"You are highly aroused."

"Yes."

"You want me to penetrate you."

Her spine arcs, causing her abdomen to press against my breasts. "Oh god, yes."

I place soft kisses down her stomach to her navel before sitting back. "Bend your knees, Captain," I murmur, settling myself on my shins between her thighs. When she complies, raising her knees into the air, my eyes are drawn to her vagina and the copious moisture she has produced. Her scent is... intoxicating. I find myself filled with the need to touch her, to taste her - not for her pleasure, but for my own.

Lust may be an emotion, and it is certainly one that I feel for her, but it is not what I had intended when I told her I wanted to express my emotions by physical means. Accordingly, I ignore the growing desire and nudge her legs further apart, trailing my fingertips up her inner thighs. She gasps as I press the index finger of my human hand past her labia and marvel at the wet heat of her skin. It is a sensation I could easily lose myself in, this feeling of touching her so intimately and seeing her slowly lose control - relinquishing it, freely, to me.

I remember what she had said to me prior to bringing me to orgasm, and feel an unusual sense of playfulness as I continue stroking my finger through her body's lubrication. "I am going to make you come so hard you will forget you ever heard the word Starfleet."

The remark serves its purpose; she moans again, her hips lifting off the bed, and I detect impatience in her voice as she begs for my touch. "Oh fuck, Seven, just... please, do something."

My pulse quickens in anticipation as I withdraw my finger and trail it lightly down her perineum. She gasps in response to the touch of my fingertip over her anus, involuntarily tensing her muscles.

"You must relax, Captain."

A nod, and her hands move to the back of her thighs to spread herself open for me. The gesture is more wanton than I had expected, and I reflexively swallow against the sudden dryness of my mouth as I push my finger past her outer sphincter, looking for any sign of discomfort as I enter her.

"Ohhh god."

She has exposed her throat to the air, her head thrown back into the pillow as the moan reverberates through the room. The muscles of her anus have tightened considerably around my intruding finger, and as I continue to penetrate her more deeply I become acutely aware of every millimeter of contact with her warm, smooth skin.

When at last I have buried the finger completely within her, we both pause, our breath coming in near pants as we are struck by the reality of the moment - she adjusting to an evidently pleasurable novel form of sexual expression, myself struggling to comprehend how I can feel so utterly surrounded by her when my contact inside of her amounts only to a fraction of a percentage of my body. I rotate my finger as I withdraw slightly before pushing back in to the knuckle, observing her reaction as I repeat the procedure several times.

"Can you achieve orgasm from this stimulation?"

Captain Janeway considers the question, experimentally flexing her muscles around my finger. "It's... good, Seven. So much more than I expected. But I don't think so."

I am unsurprised, but gratified that she finds the experience arousing. The human female body lacks the prostate gland that makes anal penetration easily enjoyable for males. The Gräfenberg spot - it is a uniquely human irony that a structure that is the basis of so much of a woman's pleasure was named for a man - can be stimulated through the anal wall, as can the nerve extensions of the clitoris, though I would prefer to perform both actions more directly. The best course of action is clear: as the external anal sphincter contains a high density of nerve endings close to the surface of the skin, further stimulation of the muscle should prove to be highly pleasurable.

In one smooth motion I withdraw my finger entirely, her tightening muscles expelling me more rapidly. She gives a startled gasp and just as quickly, I push my fingertip back into her.

"Oh fuck, Seven. Oh god... Do that again." Her hips jerk forward, seeking further contact as I repeatedly comply.

Hypothesis confirmed.

The Collective considers pleasure to be irrelevant. In this, as in so many other things, they are wrong. Pleasure is highly relevant. As I watch my Captain writhe beneath my hand, calling out half of my name before her ability to speak is subsumed by incoherent vocalizations, I realize that for the first time since I was severed from the Collective, the primary objective of my existence has become undeniably clear: to bring physical pleasure to Kathryn Janeway.

Mesmerized, my free hand moves to her pubis, the palm resting against her wiry hair, and I make small circles around her clitoris with my thumb. As she cries out with her sudden orgasm I reinsert my finger deeply within her, savoring the experience of feeling her spasms so intimately. I can sense that she is not satisfied, however - nor am I. I wish to make her involuntarily shout my name as I did hers, watch her become insensate with pleasure, give herself in to her baser, primal instincts.

She whimpers, her voice desperate. "Seven..."

My hand strokes the curve of her thigh. "I know, Captain."

When I enter her vagina with an abrupt movement she gives a low, content moan, satisfied - if only temporarily - by my two fingers filling her. I can feel the pressure from the finger that remains in her anus; intrigued, I slip the thumb of my human hand into her vagina as well. The digits rub each other through the thin wall separating them, a soft massage that seems to serve only to tease her further, her hands moving to manipulate her own breasts.

I bend the fingertips of my Borg hand toward the anterior wall of her vagina, seeking the textured skin of her G-spot. She gasps when I press against it, one of her hands pushing against the wall above her head for leverage as her body seeks to get closer to mine. My fingers stroke her flesh in an alternating rhythm, and she becomes profanely vocal when my thumb returns to her clitoris, encouraging me to 'fuck' her harder, begging for more.

I can no longer resist my growing arousal, feeling the urge to do something to obtain relief. I want to take her in my mouth, but I am reluctant to move either of my hands to make room; the simple knowledge that half of my fingers are touching her so intimately is nearly enough to overwhelm my cortical functions and is a sensation I wish to experience for as long as possible. Nor can I lean over her to take one of her nipples between my lips, as it would be impossible to maintain my balance while my hands work inside her in such a position and I do not want to injure her by allowing my considerable mass to fall onto her.

Frustrated, I lean over her as far as equilibrium will allow, my fingers thrusting against her G-spot and inside her anus more forcefully. Whether instinctively or from unconscious inspiration by her earlier actions, I try to satisfy my desire with the only course of action open to me.

"You are beautiful, my Captain. Do you know how it feels to see you out of control like this, to know that it was my touch that caused it? I need to see you climax, Captain. Please. Come for me now."

Her body tenses, squeezing my fingers as her vocalizations become even more erratic. She shouts my name in apparent disbelief at the sensations I am causing within her when her orgasm strikes; if only for the memory of that one sound, I know that I will no longer have difficulty in becoming sufficiently aroused for masturbation. My fingers slow as her voice lowers in volume, but her hands at my wrists forestalls the movement.

"Don't stop, Seven. Oh fuck, please don't stop. You... Ohhh god..."

My ocular implant raises unwittingly, incredulous at her evident need to climax for a third time. I wonder if it is a result of her long period without any sexual contact or if she naturally has a short refractory period - whatever the cause, she is moaning beneath me and I do not believe I could ever deny her this request. Her spine arcs and she buries her face in the crook of her arm as my fingers quickly guide her to another orgasm.

The curves of her muscles are momentarily outlined as she strains through her passion, until she finally stills and falls silent save for her gasping breath, sated at last. She whimpers at the additional stimulation when I withdraw the finger from her anus. I am briefly disappointed that I will be unable to perform cunnilingus on her at this time, but as I remove my Borg hand from contact with her and see my glistening fingers, I realize I can still taste her. As my human hand trails absently over her thigh, taking care to keep the index finger away from her skin, I relish the heady scent and taste of her moisture coating my other hand. It is intoxicating; if any of Neelix's culinary creations engaged my senses to such a highly pleasant degree as this, I surely would not have had any difficulty adjusting to ingesting solid nutrients.

It is exceedingly difficult to prevent myself from returning my fingertips to her vagina to gather more.

She still lies supine, eyes covered by her elbow, and for lack of any better guidance as to what action I should now take, I let my body fall to the side, coming to rest on my back next to her. I push thoughts of my own ardor aside; it can be satisfied at a later time either by myself, or, hopefully, with her assistance. My plan for the evening has thus far proven to be a complete success. All that remains to be seen is how she will handle the emotional subtext of our evening together.

I was dishonest when I indicated that I did not believe I wanted a romantic relationship with her, and although I did not enjoy deceiving her, I believed it to be my only recourse. B'Elanna Torres had advised me to simply take what I wanted and not accept Captain Janeway's inevitable protests about professionalism or regulations, but the thought made me uncomfortable. Tuvok recommended that I take a calmer approach, appealing to the Captain's sense of reason about how a relationship with her would be logical, but I believe she is too reliant on her 'gut' reactions for such a method to succeed. I could not rely on any method which did not show her with undeniable immediacy exactly what I wanted; otherwise, she could deny any reciprocal feelings she may have with far too great an ease.

A combined approach seemed most promising, confronting her bluntly about my desire to have sex with her but tempering it with logic she could not refute. Believing that her personality would not allow her to accede to merely casual sex, I appealed to our emotional bond and my desire to express my fondness for her. I also suspected that she was unable to accept the full reality of that bond, so I referred only to friendship. I took advantage of what B'Elanna calls her "Borg-sized soft spot" for me, and framed the situation as another request for help with regaining my humanity, which Captain Janeway has never been able to deny if at all possible.

I believe B'Elanna would be proud at my manipulation of the situation.

My ultimate goal, of course, was to get her to agree to engage in a romantic relationship with me. I anticipated three possible outcomes of this evening: the Captain realizes she has feelings akin to my own and seems to openly acknowledge them, in which case I tell her of my earlier dishonesty; she realizes she has feelings for me but ignores or fights against them, in which case I would give her time to consider the issue while attempting to subtly make my intentions known; or that she simply have no romantic feelings for me at all. I do not know what course of action I would take in that event, but I would, at least, have the memory of our evening together.

Fortunately the outcome of the third possibility may have proven to be a non-issue, as she seems to have realized at least the potential for romance between us during my second orgasm, if not earlier. Her breathing has calmed as she lies beside me, and the nervous anticipation I feel as I wait for her to decide how to deal with her newfound emotional awareness causes irrational doubts to cross my consciousness. What if she believes this was a mistake and tries to avoid me? I had told her it would not affect our professional relationship, but I am suddenly filled with dread at the thought of losing the closeness of our friendship. This must be what she meant when she suggested 'friends with benefits' was an unwise idea. My life would be lessened considerably if -

She interrupts my increasingly frantic thoughts as she turns onto her side, nuzzling her head against my ribcage. I move my arm out of her way and she sidles closer to me as my hand comes to rest on the small of her back, tentative relief washing over me. Her hand settles over an implant on the hip closest to her; it briefly started for the opposite one but she paused, evidently hesitant to appear to lay claim to me by draping her arm across my body but needing the contact. She murmurs against my skin, her fingers tracing patterns over the implant.

"Stay with me tonight, Seven."

It is not an order, though if it were it would be one I would gladly obey. She does not ask if I need to regenerate, or if I am capable of sleep, or even if I will be comfortable. She wants to sleep beside me, as lovers do, and she is not seeking an excuse to deny herself the pleasure.

I wrap my other arm around her, angling her further onto my chest. Our legs intertwine and as I inhale the faintly spicy sweat-tinged scent of her hair I allow myself to smile.

"I will stay for as long as you want me, Kathryn."

She trembles, her shuddering breath raising the vellus hairs on my skin. Kissing her shoulder, I reach to the floor for the fallen blanket and manage to cover our bodies. I look forward to watching her sleep, as I know she so often does with me as I regenerate.

I will tell her of my deception - in the morning.