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Beauty is like a good wine...

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2388, Bloomington, Indiana, Earth

 

Kathryn Janeway had just finished her chores and tending to the farm. Like any other day, she first got inside to grab some coffee before sitting outside on the front porch, enjoying the last rays of sunlight.

It was while entering the house that she noticed she'd received a communique. The redhead couldn't help frown at the sight and wonder who on Earth could want something from her and why.

Ever since arriving back from the Delta Quadrant, the former captain of Voyager led a very quiet, secluded life. She'd kissed Starfleet goodbye years ago and pretty much caved in to her family's farm, never having met any of her former crew again.

While it was true that she still stood in contact with a selected few of them, she could hardly recall the last time she'd last talked to any of her former Voyager family.

Janeway chuckled bitterly. 'Family, yeah, right. I was their leader, nothing more, nothing less. They listened to me, followed my orders, for reasons that elude me, even after I'd stranded that ship all the way out in the Delta Quadrant.

'They respected me, but that's about as far as it went.'

The little voice at the back of her mind that always sounded suspiciously like her little sister mocked. 'You bestowed that fate upon yourself, Katie.

'They wanted to stay in contact with you, meet you, even, but you never showed up to any of the reunions they celebrated. Now don't go crying over spilled milk.'

Kathryn sighed heavily, massaging the bridge of her nose. She could already feel the headache that was building behind her forehead.

While back in the day, she would've argued with that voice, reminded her what the reason for her not showing up to those reunions had been, these days she simply didn't care anymore.

 

The former captain now farmer finally prepared herself a cup of her drug of choice, grabbing the data padd and her favorite mug, walking back outside to the front porch where she sat in the swing.

After taking a large swallow of coffee, she felt somewhat brave enough to open that message she'd received by the heavens knew who. She had to re-read the message various times, unable to grasp the meaning of it at first.

No matter how many times she read it, however, the content stayed the same.

The petite woman shook her head in disbelief. 'Jean Luc Picard invites me over to his infamous château. Now that's truly unheard of.

'I admit that a little break from farm life might do me good, a nice little vacation in France certainly does sound appealing, I can't deny that.

'Jean Luc has always been kind of a snob and we're not exactly the best of friends, but if he already invites me to his pride and joy, it'd be rude not to accept the offer.'

Janeway, after having contacted her sister who'd agreed to look after the farm while she'd be on that trip to France, had packed her bags and taken her shuttle to the place Picard had been kind enough to tell her the coordinates to in that invitation of his.

The redhead couldn't help feeling quite a bit excited. It had been years since she'd last been away from the farm and for someone as adventurous as Kathryn Janeway, that had been far too long.

'It all wouldn't have been half as bad if I wouldn't have been forced to live on my own. I can't deny that I miss the company of my fellow humans, as much as I enjoy my solitude. Gods, hopefully, this is going to go well.

'Why do I feel like over those past few years that I've been living on my own, I've turned even more socially awkward and into an asocial weirdo than I've been before? Jean Luc Picard of all people, this is gonna be bad...'

 

While Kathryn was still contemplating why the former captain of the Enterprise had invited her to that château of his, in the first place, her shuttle informed her that she had arrived at her destination.

One look outside revealed that this indeed seemed to be the perfect vacation spot. The view was stunning, the vineyards and overall landscape looked like something straight out of a holodeck simulation Tom Paris could've created.

Janeway swallowed at the sudden, unexpected thought of her former helmsman who was, in a way, much like a younger brother to her, the two of them having pretty much grown up together.

'Oh, Tom. I wonder how he, B'Elanna, and the children are doing.

'It's my fault we haven't been in contact with each other in so long.

'They always offered I could stop by and pay them a visit, or asked if they could visit me but, the stubborn person and coward I tend to be, I always politely declined and came up with excuse after pathetic excuse.

'All because I'd been so afraid they might ask uncomfortable questions or worse still, tell me things I couldn't bear hearing...'

Jean Luc Picard, to the redhead's utter surprise, had greeted her much like an old friend, almost family.

He'd immediately offered her something to drink and knowing how the Frenchman was making his own wine which she enjoyed quite a lot, she'd asked for a glass of Bordeaux.

Picard had instructed her to go to the backyard where he typically sat and had his meals to which Kathryn had complied.

 

Not having suspected anything, she was shocked to find an assembly of people already surrounding a large table, chatting and laughing excitedly. To her utter humiliation, all eyes soon turned in her direction.

It took a moment before Kathryn recognized the other people to be Jean Luc Picard's former Enterprise crew. The redhead flushed softly upon seeing none other than Beverly Crusher who was seated next to who she recognized as Deanna Troi.

A sense of dread gnawed at her.

'Bev, oh, shit. It sure has been a while. How does she look so stunning? It's been, what? 30 years? What's her secret? Why does seeing her make me feel ancient?'

Kathryn almost jumped, the voice of Picard from behind her startling her. “Kathryn, why don't you take a seat? I apologize for not having informed you that we'd be holding a little gathering here. You don't mind that, I hope?

"It's simply a little get-together with a few old friends. You know Beverly, don't you? She told me the two of you attended the Academy together back then and Deanna and Will, Data, Geordi. I'm sure you'll get along.”

Janeway bit back the remark that sat at the tip of her tongue, grudgingly walking towards the others and taking a seat on one of the vacant chairs.

'Three vacant chairs? Oh, well. Maybe it's a coincidence.'

She took a swallow of the wine, desperate for some comfort and something to help calm her nerves down.

Their host announced. “Now that Kathryn's here as well, we're almost complete. There's only one person missing still but I'm sure she's gonna arrive any minute now.”

Kathryn frowned. 'She?'

While the redhead still found herself wondering who that last guest might be, the Frenchman already announced. “Everyone, our last guest has arrived. It looks like we're complete now.”

Kathryn lifted her gaze, an action she immediately regretted, the sight of the woman she'd successfully avoided all these years took her completely off-guard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven had contemplated whether or not she should follow the invitation of Jean Luc Picard for a long time, but, in the end, she'd mused a trip might do her good.

The young woman had worked tirelessly ever since they'd arrived back in the Alpha Quadrant, her job at Daystrom Institute anything but satisfactory to her but she'd been desperate for a distraction.

Still, she couldn't help long for those days where she'd been aboard Voyager, working in her Astrometrics lab with her Captain stopping by every so often, usually for seemingly no reason, severely invading her personal space.

When she'd received the invitation, she had not at all expected that same woman who had haunted not only her dreams but very much her waking hours too and had been the main reason behind her working herself off to the brink of a burnout, greeting her, sitting right there alongside some of Picard's former crew.

Seven experienced a strong, highly irrational urge to rub her eyes, convinced she must clearly be having visions, hallucinations, presumably induced by the lack of sleep, and her overall beyond unhealthy lifestyle.

'It can't be. The Captain vanished years ago. No one knows where she went. This is impossible. I'm clearly seeing things. It's that damned insomnia that's messing with me to a point where I'm already having delusions.

'I should've known that following this invitation was a terrible idea...'

The blonde snapped out of her inner musings, their host asking her, sounding audibly concerned. “Seven, are you alright? I should have probably told you beforehand that this is a little gathering of sorts.

"However, I had hoped you might want to see your former captain again, catch up with her. I'm sure the two of you have a lot to tell each other.”

 

Seven thought her hearing must betray her, a sinking feeling settling in the pit of her stomach.

'So I'm not having visions then, she is real and she's truly here. Why? She clearly doesn't want to talk to me, see me and I'm not sure if I'm ready to face her after all this time...'

Their host after offering her something to drink, gently, yet, with determination nudged her in the direction her former Captain sat. Everything inside Seven was screaming, anxiety knotting up her stomach, making her feel quite sick.

Once she sat next to her former mentor and first love, all those strong, long-repressed emotions came rushing back to her, hitting her like a storm.

Kathryn Janeway had changed quite a bit ever since they'd last seen each other, but Seven had to admit that she looked even better than she'd remembered.

She couldn't for the life of her say what it was, but looking at the older woman made her feel almost dizzy, yet, she couldn't stop drinking in the sight to behold that was her former Captain either.

Seven didn't know what she had expected but the sheer indifference of the redhead who paid her no mind, whatsoever, currently engaged in a conversation with who she recognized as Dr. Beverly Crusher felt like a blow to the gut.

The ex-Borg felt very much out of place, surrounded by all those people that were strangers for the most part and she regretted her decision of following Picard's invitation to this château of his even more.

What she had hoped could be a nice vacation, a welcome distraction from her monotonous life that these days consisted mainly of work, appeared to slowly turn into a nightmare.

The thoroughly overwhelmed young woman over the course of the evening had downed far too much wine, unable to cope with the situation.

 

She'd hardly touched the dinner Picard had prepared for them either, her stomach still feeling awfully knotted up. Kathryn Janeway had downright ignored her all evening and engaged in conversation with others, mainly the, admittedly, very gorgeous Beverly Crusher.

Unable to take the sight of the woman she still harbored such strong feelings for flirting with another, enjoying herself, having fun while she was sitting right there next to her, silently suffering, Seven finally got up from her seat, determined to hide somewhere, maybe in the vineyards and bawl her eyes out.

What she hadn't accounted for, was the raw abundance of liquor in her system combined with the fact that she'd barely eaten anything all day and not gotten any rest, let alone sleep in forever, making for a most futile combination.

Her legs, to her utter chagrin, didn't seem to want to cooperate with her and felt like they were made out of rubber.

She'd barely arrived at the outskirts of the vineyards when an all too familiar voice called out. “Seven, stop!”

The young woman ignored the voice and the urge to turn around, her heart feeling heavy, aching, her cortical node kept assaulting her with images of the older woman flirting and laughing with Beverly Crusher earlier.

Tears had, without her noticing, started rolling down her cheeks, blurring her vision. She tripped and was convinced she'd fall but instead of feeling the ground underneath her, a strong set of arms had caught her.

That same voice that she'd been aching to hear again in all these years and that sounded oddly changed somehow, told her with a tenderness that made her choke up again. “Easy there. It's unwise walking in the state you're currently in.

"How much have you been drinking, Seven?”

The young woman shrugged, muttering. “I dunno, kinda lost track. Why would you care anyway? It certainly didn't seem like you were interested in me earlier.

"How about you go back to Dr. Crusher?”

 

Seven finally lost her resolve, violent sobs shaking her, the older woman tightened her hold on her, whispering in those same tender tones the young woman had missed so much and that reminded her of countless nightly talks they had held what felt like a lifetime ago at the captain's quarters aboard Voyager. “I care because you mean a lot to me, Seven, and I sincerely apologize for making you feel as if that wasn't the case earlier.

"In all honesty, I was completely overwhelmed with the situation, suddenly seeing you again after all this time.

"I'd been thoroughly unprepared but I'm aware that that's no excuse for my giving you the cold shoulder, this unnecessarily hostile treatment earlier.

"Beverly Crusher and I are old friends, nothing more. I think we've done enough catching up for tonight.

"Seven, are you alright? Heavens, you are crying!”

Seven sniffed, furiously rubbing at her eyes that, to her surprise, were indeed wet with tears.

She pressed out, feeling deeply humiliated. “I'm fine, Captain. Don't worry. I apologize for breaking down like that.

"Much like you, meeting again after all this time is affecting me far more than I could have ever anticipated.

"That combined with the fact that I've been drinking seems to make for a futile combination.

"You should probably return to the others. I'll retire to my room meanwhile.”

To her surprise and silent delight, the older woman told her. “I won't allow for you to go anywhere on your own in this fragile state and risk you harming yourself, Seven. It's the least I can do to guide you safely to your room.

"Also, it feels odd having you still address me with my old rank after all this time. I'm no longer a starship captain.

"Please, feel free to call me Kathryn, alright?”

Seven swallowed, her cheeks darkened softly.

'She's going to accompany me to my room. I'm not usually that affected by drinking alcohol. It must be the lack of sleep, perhaps combined with the long journey here earlier that messes with me.

'Also, I haven't eaten anything either and her presence merely worsens my predicament, and then she offered me to address her with her first name. I can't believe I lived to see the day...'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a moment there, Kathryn was afraid the younger woman might not agree to her offer but then Seven finally said. “That might be for the best. Sorry for bothering you and forcing you to bring me to my room. I'm such a mess...”

Janeway frowned, her heart dropping at the ex-Borg's unexpected words.

The young woman had sounded so defeated which merely made her worry more and increased the already immense guilt she felt for having let her former protégée down, pretty much left her to her own devices ever since they'd arrived back here in the Alpha Quadrant and on Earth.

She carefully wrapped one arm around the blonde's middle to support her.

The redhead was unable to keep the sadness and self-deprecation out of her voice when telling her. “Seven, you're clearly not a mess. It's plain to see that you're not doing well, you seem tired and worn-out, but I'm honestly blaming myself for that.

"I should've never left you to your own devices, abandoned you right after we'd arrived back here on Earth. I'd promised to bring you to my hometown, show you the farm, introduce you to my family but I broke that promise and for that, I'll never forgive myself.

"I've always been a coward, especially where matters of the heart are concerned.

"That encounter with the Admiral could have been eye-opening, but instead of finally confessing to you that time, I panicked, even more, shut you out, and caved in, hiding from the world, afraid to get my heart broken by the person who means the most to me, the love of my life, I'd even go as far as to say my soulmate.

"The mere thought of you being with Chakotay of all people, getting to see the two of you together, happy, perhaps getting married, and having children was simply too much to bear, not even to mention you dying in his arms after that away mission...”

Without the petite woman's noticing, they had arrived at Seven's room. A surprised oomph left her, a certain blonde had made use of her distraction and trapped her against the door that was fortunately already closed behind them.

Kathryn's heart appeared to want to beat out of her chest, her cheeks were burning at the sight to behold that was Seven of Nine who was gazing down at her with eyes that had darkened to alluring indigo, seeming to cast a spell on her.

 

The ex-Borg husked. “I had never wasted a single thought on anyone but you, Kathryn, in a non-platonic context anyway and how could I, really when you are that deeply intriguing of an individual with such a strong, unforgettable presence, aura?

"You might not be aware of this yourself, but whenever you enter a room or any place, really, all eyes are always on you.

"That wasn't only the case when you used to still be the commanding officer of Voyager and on duty, wearing your uniform, but it's your natural charms, that magnetic, captivating aura of yours.

"There's a reason why you, against all odds, managed forming alliances with otherwise hostile alien species all the way out in the Delta Quadrant.

"You are irresistible, Kathryn Janeway, and I believe it is safe to say that you can win anyone over, not solely thanks to those great diplomatic skills of yours. I could have never refused to join your crew, accompanying you back then, even if I wanted to.

"From the moment I first laid eyes on you back then aboard Unimatrix 01, my world had been turned upside down. You turned me from an emotionless, unfeeling, mindless drone to an individual, accepted me as part of your crew, never once made me feel out of place, unlike most of our former crew members, at least, initially did, but you treated me like an equal and I am truly grateful for everything you have done for me.

"I would not be where I am right now, had it not been for your selfless act of compassion back then and your time, patience, and dedication to teaching me, aiding me in regaining my rights as an individual, a human being.

"As for what you said earlier regarding what the Admiral told you that time, there was one crucial detail you appear to have forgotten about that woman, that is that she was not from our reality but a different one.

"While the Seven from her reality might have been dating the Commander for reasons that will probably forever elude me, I have never even been remotely interested in him and I am fairly certain that the feeling is mutual.

"The mere thought of dating him, being romantically, let alone physically involved with him, frankly, makes me feel sick to the stomach. It took me a while to figure this out myself but for a while now I've actually known that I am solely attracted to females, you in particular.

Also, as for the other statement of the Admiral, I am still very much alive right now, although, I admit that I've barely been hanging on, and would it not have been for my nanoprobes and Borg physiology, I might've not survived the past few years, especially without you.

"Much like what you said earlier, I too have thought ever since first encountering the term on my extensive research on humanity that we are soulmates, share a very special, deep connection, bond.

"These past few years have easily been the toughest time of my life, including my time with the Collective.

"Being separated from you and never knowing where you were, how you were doing, if I had done something wrong, upset you to the point that you'd decided to avoid me was unbearable, let alone the fear that you might have ceased to exist altogether, were no longer alive...”

 

Kathryn had actually started to cry somewhere during Seven's heartfelt speech, her heart breaking all over again for the woman who meant the world to her, was the center of her little universe.

She gasped, a strong set of arms wrapping around her, engulfing her in what could quite possibly be considered the warmest, most loving hug she'd ever had the privilege of being on the receiving end of in her life.

Getting to be in the arms of the love of her life, so close to her that she could actually hear the younger woman's heartbeat made her cry even harder.

Seven asked in silky, tender tones the older woman would have previously never associated with the ex-Borg of all people. “Where have you been all these years, Kathryn?

"I must admit that I've attempted to find out about your whereabouts countless times ever since we arrived back but it appeared that you had vanished off the face of the Earth, literally.

"I was so worried and afraid but something you would probably refer to as intuition now tells me that you must've been even more afraid, terrified even if you seemingly went out your way making sure no one would be able to locate you, know where you were hiding.

"Correct me, if I am wrong there.

"Also, don't think I'm blaming you for anything, please.

"While the past few years have certainly been very tough, I'm sure you've had your reasons for doing what you did there and I'm assuming that it was linked to what the Admiral told you that time regarding your former First Officer and I potentially becoming romantically affiliated with each other, dating, in the future, founding a family, even.

"What I don't understand is, why you never asked me if there was any truth to what your future self from that other reality told you there or not. Were you afraid of my reaction, what I'd be telling you?”

 

Kathryn's sobs had died down by now and she was practically clinging onto the younger woman, afraid this might only be a dream again and Seven could vaporize any second now if she didn't hold on to her.

Her cheeks heated up and she confessed, feeling quite mortified. “I've been home, on the farm, in Bloomington, Indiana. It's the traditionalist community and well...

"One good thing or bad, depending on how you look at it, is that there's, technically, no 24th Century technology allowed, actually all technology that's post 22nd Century is pretty much banned or at the very least frowned upon there, so it was the perfect place for me to escape to and hide out these past few years.

"Aside from that, it was nice and a welcome change getting to lead a simple life as a farmer for once. Living all by myself was far tougher than I would've initially anticipated, however, and I can't deny that I longed for the company of a fellow human.

"Oh, who I am trying to fool? I longed for your company, your presence, Seven.

"Gods, it's not enough to merely say that I'm sorry, is it? I've messed up big time.

"If only I would've bothered telling you what the Admiral had said to me that time, asked you whether there was even some grain of truth to it, or not, if you harbored even the hint of an interest in Chakotay but no. Kathryn Janeway doesn't function that way.

"I simply had to act beyond stubborn again, blindly believe what that woman who I'd been convinced to be my actual future self had told me, never even questioning anything and why?

"All because deep down, I'm riddled by insecurities, self-doubt, self-loathing even and that damned guilt. I never once considered you could reciprocate my feelings because I deemed you way too good for me, superior, in every single way.

"How could you possibly fall in love, be interested in the likes of me? You think you're a mess? Believe me when I tell you that you're probably perfectly fine in comparison to me.

"Those past few years have fucked me up big time. While I've always been kind of an asocial weirdo and a loner, living on my own, left to my own devices, all the while yearning hard for you, has ultimately messed with me to the point that I'm surprised we get to be here holding a proper conversation like that...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven's heart broke hearing her beloved's words and she tightened her hold on the small form.

Her head, to her utter chagrin, was spinning, her legs threatening to give out under her and she suggested, sincerely hoping the older woman wouldn't take this the wrong way. “Kathryn, would you mind if we'd lay down on the bed?

"I don't trust myself with my legs feeling like they don't even belong to my body and as if they're about to give out under me any minute now.

"I can't risk hurting you, causing you harm because I tripped and fell while you were as unfortunate as to be in my arms at that same moment.”

The redhead sounded guilty and Seven instantly felt even worse, her voice uncharacteristically small, pulling at the young woman's heartstrings. “I'm sorry, darling. You need rest, sleep.

"I'd only meant to bring you safely back here which I've done presumably more than half an hour ago. This was never the plan. If you want to retire for the night and have me leave, I completely understand...”

Seven instantly shook her head, reminding the rambling ex-captain. “I don't want you to leave, Kathryn and you have nothing to apologize for. I asked you whether you wanted to lay down with me, remember?

"That's because I want you to stay and I enjoy your company. Much like you, I've been yearning hard for you all these years, longed to be in your presence, getting to hold you in my arms.

"I don't want you to leave tonight, Kathryn. Unless you aren't okay sharing a bed with me, sleeping together...”

Only once she'd said it out loud did she notice just what she had said there. It was too late to take it back now, however, and, in all honesty, she would've been lying if she would've said that she wasn't tempted to make love with the woman of her dreams.

Kathryn, to Seven's utter delight, was blushing profusely, her vital functions elevated, pupils dilated. The young woman couldn't suppress an animalistic growl, the most alluring scent tickling her nostrils, confirming her suspicions.

 

Seven, who hadn't even noticed that they'd arrived at the bed squeaked in surprise, a certain redhead who seemed very eager had pushed her on the bed and positioned on top of her.

The blonde's own cheeks heated up at the sight to behold that was Kathryn Janeway so close to her, those beautiful eyes darkened in obvious desire, freckled cheeks flushed, lips slightly parted, some strands of luscious copper hair had loosened from the updo she was wearing, framing that gorgeous face.

Seven breathed, her own desire having darkened her voice. “Perfection.”

The older woman's cheeks further darkened and she muttered shyly. “You consider me perfection, Seven?

"I've changed, a lot, grown considerably older since the last time we met, my skin is covered with freckles because of being out in the sun so much, working in the fields pretty much all day. I didn't get my hair cut in years either...”

Seven tenderly cupped her beloved's face, telling her genuinely. “All these things combined make you all the more beautiful, my love. Ever since getting a first proper glance at you from up close earlier, I'd been wondering why you looked so different, changed.

"In all honesty, you look better than you have in a long time and I'm inclined to say that it must be your changed lifestyle, the fact that you've been outside so much, working in the fields, getting lots of natural sunlight, out in nature, on the countryside, at home on your family's farm, leading a quiet, peaceful life away from the burden of command and your beloved Starfleet.”

Kathryn scoffed, spitting out, much as if the word was poison. “Starfleet. I'm so done with that damned organization! To hell with rules, regulations, and protocol, the chain of command, and all that bullshit! I've left that behind for good.

"You're right, leading a more quiet, somewhat peaceful life as a simple farmer, being my own boss was far better and helped ground me. At the same time, it would've surely been great getting to share my new life with someone, ideally, you, Seven.

"I might've been outside a lot, have gotten more fresh air and sunlight than I have in forever but that doesn't mean I've led a healthy lifestyle, quite the opposite, I'm afraid. As I mentioned before, I'm a bloody hot mess who doesn't have her shit together...”

 

Seven's eyes widened, her cheeks turning crimson, liquid fire starting to burn in her nethers.

She growled once more, informing the older woman. “Kathryn, I can't guarantee anything with you talking this candidly, tempting me like this. Hearing you speak in this manner does things to my body that I never knew it was possible for me to experience.

"The fact that I've waited for you for all these years, more than a decade, and am quite frankly severely touch-starved, not to forget highly inexperienced in terms of romance and physical intimacy, certainly doesn't help my cause either.”

She brushed her lips against the sensual pair of her beloved, adding in tender tones. “I don't mind you being a mess, my love, even a bloody hot one, as you just referred to it. As I mentioned earlier, I'm very much a mess myself, even if you seem to not believe that.

"I've developed some terrible habits and coping mechanisms over the past few years, chronically overworking is still the most harmless one of those. You want to know a secret?

"This is the first time in ages that I actually get to be in a bed and might even get to sleep for once, rest.

"While I do, technically, have an apartment rented out in San Francisco close to my workplace, Daystrom Institute, I can hardly recall the last time I've been to that place, let alone slept there.

"I never even bothered adding any personal touch to that place, not that I have many possessions, let alone am I a material person, but still. The place looks as if no one has lived there in years because that's how it is.

"Being there always depressed me, I couldn't stand it, so I either stayed at work, in my lab or went out, usually to crowded places, just so I wouldn't feel so alone.

"It's funny how that usually backfired and I tended to feel even lonelier than at my empty, lifeless apartment while being at those places.

"While I did feel very much alien, not exactly welcome when first having come aboard Voyager, it was never that extreme, mainly because you were there and your presence and guidance helped tremendously.

"Knowing you were right there, just a hail away, or a turbo lift ride, always available shall I need you, provided far more comfort and was a luxury I never knew how much I was privileged at the time to possess before arriving back here, on Earth, without anyone to turn to, no Captain to confide in, ask for advice, visit the holodeck with, engage in philosophical discussions with, butt heads with, you name it.

"I have missed you, no, missing does not even come close to this feeling. I've been aching for your presence, yearned for you to the point that it felt as if I'd lost my mind and I'm afraid I might've indeed lost my sanity...”

 

Kathryn, to the younger woman's surprise, barked out one of those deeply erotic throaty laughs of hers, sending an almost painful throb to the young woman's nethers that deeply humiliated her.

The former captain remarked playfully. “Oh, well. It looks like I've found my match then. Jokes aside, I can relate all too well.

"In the beginning, when I'd freshly arrived back on the farm, my mother still lived there with me and we often had guests over too, those including some of our fellow former Voyager family.

"Even with all those people around, the place sometimes packed, everyone chatting happily, the mood, technically, being great, I always felt out of place and even lonelier than when I was alone in my bedroom or even out in the fields in those moments.

"After mom had moved over to Australia with my sister, leaving me behind on the farm on my own, my social life pretty much ceased to exist.

"I never once invited anyone over again, stopped inviting anyone over or accepting invitations from others, completely shutting the world out and caving in on the farm, turning into pretty much a hermit and an asocial weirdo with terrible habits and coping mechanisms.

"Sleep might've not been so much an issue anymore, but every time I woke up, reality hit me hard. Every single night, I, without fail, dreamed of you, us, leading a perfect, wonderful life together, on the farm, happy and healthy.”

Seven swallowed, only now did she notice her beloved had started to cry.

Unable to stand the sight and desperate to comfort the smaller woman, she finally claimed those trembling lips, tenderly wiping at those soft, tear-stained cheeks.

Their first kiss felt like a revelation, all worry, pain, and suffering of the past few years turned irrelevant, insignificant as they slowly, yet, no less passionately, learned each other, drank one another in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathryn whimpered, the blood rushing to her cheeks and a place farther down south her body, her lover's sneaky hands had wandered down to her butt which she groped with gusto.

The redhead couldn't help chuckle, remarking seductively. “You seem to be enjoying yourself, darling.”

Seven flushed, sending a furious flutter to the pit of the redhead's belly, muttering shyly. “I am enjoying myself, yes. In case you hadn't previously been aware, I've always loved that cute ass of yours, Kathryn. It's been tempting me ever since my eyes first fell on it.

"I believe it is safe to say that it was love at first sight.”

Kathryn's cheeks darkened further, every fiber of her being aching for attention from the younger woman now. Hearing Seven talk so candidly, confessing to that kind of thing deeply affected her very much starved body.

Her insecurities and nagging self-doubt were for once forgotten, her arousal seeming to turn her mind into mush.

She practically purred, her voice dripping in desire. “How about we remove that textile barrier currently separating us, darling? I think we can both agree that our clothes are very much in the way.”

A cry that was, fortunately, drowned by those divine plump lips that were once more pressed against her own, slipped her, the impassioned and clearly impatient ex-Borg ripped her clothes from her body in reckless abandon, all the while growling much like an animal.

Kathryn followed her beloved's suit, eager to feel those heavenly curves, that alluring combination of skin and metal pressed against her own heated-up body.

Her lips already felt slightly sore and bruised, the same most likely went for Seven, but none of the two women was willing to stop kissing, far too long had they been deprived of this.

In a way, it felt as if they wanted to catch up on all those missed kisses they could've shared over the past few years, had they spent them together and had either of them had had the courage to confess to those strong feelings they'd been harboring for each other for all this time.

 

Their bodies were gliding against each other, skin touching metal and skin. Kathryn couldn't help marvel at the softness of Seven's implants and how pleasant, stimulating they felt against her skin.

Both women peaked simultaneously, their bodies seeming to meld into one singular entity, their souls entwining. For a little eternity, they were joined and once more found themselves in midst of the vast galaxy, in between countless stars, floating, weightless, nothing else mattered, only the two of them in this moment together.

Kathryn slowly opened her eyes again and was greeted by the most erotic sight she'd ever had the privilege to see. There beneath her lay Seven of Nine, the vision of a woman, her body the perfect combination of man and machine.

A fine sheen of perspiration covered that glorious form, golden blonde hair that had formerly looked immaculate as always was slightly sticking to that high forehead, her cheeks were flushed, those plump lips looking positively abused, bruised, and even fuller than was the norm and were slightly parted, formerly ice-blue eyes had turned almost black in raw desire.

She growled possessively, all thought of sleep forgotten and replaced by the wish to ravish this tall, beyond beautiful goddess. Kathryn nuzzled that long, elegant neck, breathing in that intoxicating soft, clean scent of her beloved she'd missed so much.

Her eyes filled with a fresh row of tears that she forced down. 'She still smells the same way she always did. It's good, comforting to know that some things never change.'

Seven whimpered downright adorably, reminding her of her initial plans. Not bothering to hold back, feeling quite a bit possessive and eager to mark her territory, the redhead started to suck and bite that soft, previously flawless porcelain-like skin, covering it with lovebites.

 

Seven's whimpers had turned into full-blown moans by now, the ex-Borg audibly enjoying what she was doing.

Kathryn was astonished to find her darling was quite vocal, one could even say loud when getting pampered. Her expression turned smug, her dominant right hand traveling down those divine curves, one finger entering the almost shockingly tight, slick channel of the young woman.

Janeway couldn't help praise her lover. “My, Seven, you're so tight. One could think that this is your first time engaging in these kinds of activities.”

Her eyes almost popped out of their sockets, her heart skipping a beat at the blonde muttering, audibly humiliated. “I thought I had made that clear before earlier. This is, in fact, my first time, Kathryn.”

The ex-Borg added in soft tones. “I could have never engaged in these kinds of activities with anyone but you, my love. The mere thought repulses me.

"You have always been and always will be the one for me and I guess that, in a way, I'd never truly given up hope that one day we'd get to make love, after all.”

This was the last straw. The tears she'd successfully managed to suppress before finally started spilling.

Kathryn pressed out in between sobs. “Oh, Seven! That's by far the most romantic, yet again, the saddest thing I've heard in my life. Despite me giving you all reason to hate me, you still continued loving me, waited for me, were loyal, infinitely patient.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for waiting for me, not giving up on me, on us and our love, and forgive me for forcing you to wait for so unbearably long, making you believe that I didn't give a damn about you when truthfully we'd both wanted the same all along.

"I still can't believe I trusted what was practically a stranger, an alternate reality future version of myself or not more than I did you back then.

"Seven, is this truly okay with you? Frankly, it's been a long time for me as well, decades, in fact, since I've last engaged in these kinds of activities with anyone and you're so tight.

"Heavens, I can barely fit one finger inside you. I'm afraid I might end up causing you pain and that's the last thing I want, this should be pleasurable, enjoyable...”

 

Seven's cheeks had turned darker than Kathryn had ever seen them before, melting her heart.

The young woman muttered shyly. “You do not have to apologize for anything, my love. I did not mind the wait and it was obviously very much worth it. Please, do not worry about potentially hurting me, Kathryn. I have waited for this for so long, spared myself.

"Please, make me yours. I really want this, Kathryn, and I am ready. Make love to me, please. I trust you.”

It felt as if a switch had been pressed inside the redhead. She'd never been able to resist that precious little please of her darling and those last three words were all the confirmation she needed.

Determined to make this experience as pleasurable as possible for the woman she loved, she continued her ministrations, her left hand and mouth paying attention to the blonde's breasts.

Kathryn had fantasized over Seven's breasts countless times in the past and caught herself staring at them while they'd still been aboard Voyager together at the most random, sometimes inappropriate times.

Those obtuse, skin-tight creations of the Doctor, had put even more emphasis on them.

So how had the poor Captain who, at the time, had already very much been starved and living in this self-imposed celibacy of hers, punishing herself for stranding them out there in the Delta Quadrant, all the while hiding the secret, if you will, that she was a lesbian and Seven so happened to be right up her alley, been supposed to not stare and find her mind wandering places one too many times, wondering how those glorious breasts might look like without that suit, how they'd feel like, taste like?

Nothing could've ever possibly prepared her for the real deal, however. While the skin on Seven's neck had already been soft and delicate, her breasts were a whole other story.

Kathryn marveled at the softness, one might even say, fluffiness of those gorgeous, perfectly sculpted mounds and the feel of them when she touched them, tweaked that rosy nipple between her fingers, not even to mention the taste.

She could swear, she'd never tasted anything like this before and she was already addicted, the combination of the sweetness of her skin and slight saltiness from the young woman's sweat was nothing short of intoxicating, addicting.

Seven's inner walls impossibly tightened around her finger that had pushed through that barrier, the blonde's hymen, and was now curling up, stroking that particular piece of slightly rough flesh she knew would grant her beloved orgasmic bliss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven's one hand had tangled in the older woman's hair, keeping her firmly in place, unwilling to lose that delicious contact of those divine lips, tongue, and teeth as well as that elegant, small hand tending to her breasts while her other hand gripped the sheets.

Her back arched, an impressive cry wormed its way out from the depths of her being, that familiar knot had formed in the pit of her belly before it burst, her insides seeming to explode, an orgasm the likes of which she'd never experienced before crashing over her.

The young woman barely noticed the way her most intimate body part kept producing copious amounts of fluids that gushed out of her, positively drenching not only her beloved's hand but also the sheets that were underneath her.

Without her knowledge, Kathryn had just managed to grant her what many women could only dream to achieve and some even deemed a mere myth, she'd ejaculated and quite impressively so.

She was breathing hard, her body by now soaked in sweat and other bodily fluids, tiredness suddenly settling over her. Her eyes opened lazily, a traitorous yawn that sent the heat to her cheeks, slipping her.

Kathryn, to her utter humiliation, cooed. “Seven, you're so adorable! Looks like I've worn my precious darling out effectively, hm?

"I'm not exactly surprised considering you've just orgasmed in such an impressive way, not a mere plain orgasm either, no, you ejaculated, during your first time. Oh, my. Well, one thing's for sure. Seven of Nine doesn't do half-assed things.

"If you do something, you go all in. That's one of the countless things I love about you.”

Seven flushed, breathing. “I love you, do you have even the hint of an idea how much I love you, Kathryn Janeway?”

The smaller woman happily nuzzled her, clinging onto her much like a koala, melting the smitten blonde's heart.

Kathryn husked. “I'd like to think it's the same amount that I love you, Seven of Nine. Heavens, I can't believe it took us, how long, by now close to two decades to tell each other that. Oh, well. I've personally always been rather slow when it comes to matters of the heart.

"Let me tell you a secret. You're the first person I ever told those three words to. At the ripe age of 52, soon to be 53, Kathryn Janeway first said: I love you to the love of her life. This day will certainly go down in history.”

 

A furious flutter tickled the pit of Seven's belly, a wide grin had spread all over her face that was almost painful. For the first time post assimilation, Seven of Nine giggled happily, her lover's words making her feel over the moon with happiness.

She tenderly kissed her beloved's lips, breathing affectionately. “You have no idea how incredibly happy I am right at this very moment, Kathryn.

"Knowing I am the first person you ever said those three words to makes me all the more proud and elated that you did say them to me than I already would've been anyway.

"You'd probably guessed that already due to what I told you earlier and my history but you were also the first person I ever said those three words to, at the ripe age of 37.”

Kathryn gasped, audibly shocked. “Seven, you're 37 years old?”

Seven blinked rapidly, feeling quite a bit weirded out by the older woman's reaction, confirming hesitantly. “If Starfleet's record is correct then yes, I am, going on 38 this upcoming July.”

Her cheeks flushed, the older woman muttering. “Wow. I don't know what I had expected. I mean, of course, a lot of time has passed since we last met but still. You still look every bit as young and fresh as you did back then.

"Meanwhile, I've certainly aged, considerably within the past few years and look very much my age.”

Seven frowned, her heart clenching at the older woman once again downgrading herself and very much undeservingly so.

She instinctively tightened her hold on the redhead, telling her sincerely. “You're not giving yourself enough credit, Kathryn. You look amazing and you're still in great shape too.

"I mean, damn those muscles of yours. I'm pretty sure it must've been the hard physical labor on the farm that granted them to you but either way, I'm certainly not complaining and I'd even go as far as to say that, especially towards the end of our journey aboard Voyager, you had nowhere near been in that kind of physical shape, had you?

"Also, you made it sound like you're old earlier which totally isn't the case. You're at your prime, your life has barely just begun, Kathryn. Stop acting like you're planning to leave me anytime soon.

"I'm very much planning to spend, at least, another few decades with you happily together on the farm.

"Do you think your mother is old?”

 

Kathryn gasped, immediately shaking her head vehemently, exclaiming. “Mom isn't old! She's still very much alive and kicking, honestly, she's been doing far better than I have these past few years all the way down there in Australia.

"She's living her best life and presumably still has quite a few decades ahead of herself still.”

Seven quirked her left brow, remarking smugly. “If your mother isn't old and she is, as I'd assume, at least two decades older than you then how can you be anything but young, Kathryn Janeway?

"Your logic is, as tends to be the case with you sometimes, severely flawed thanks to those highly unnecessary insecurities of yours.”

The redhead blushed profusely, Seven told her in gentle tones. “While it's true that I haven't outwardly aged due to my nanoprobes considerably slowing down my natural aging process, always instantly regenerating my skin cells, keeping them nice and fresh and we do have a certain age gap, I personally don't think you are inferior to me, let alone insufficient as a lover.

"On the contrary, you are every bit as beautiful, perfect, as I am, if not more so. If anything, those soft lines on your face make you look all the more charming, add to your perfection, and don't even get me started on those gorgeous freckles of yours and your tanned skin.

"You hardly ever if not never looked this fresh, youthful when we'd been aboard Voyager, presumably due to the burden of command and that guilt of yours, along with the fact that you hardly ever left the ship even while we were on shore leave, getting some actual fresh air and natural sunlight.”

Kathryn coughed, muttering embarrassingly. “Was I that bad back then, Seven?”

The younger woman admitted. “Quite so, I'm afraid, yes.”

Her cheeks heated up, the redhead musing. “I would've gone on shore leave more often would I have known that you would've done so as well.”

Seven felt even guiltier now, muttering. “I'm sorry, Kathryn. Had I known that was the case, I would've done that, if only to get you to get out every once in a while as you deserved and relax.”

 

The young woman mused. “Shore leave could hardly be considered a vacation though, especially for you, at the time the commanding officer of Voyager, leader of 152 people.

"You were pretty much always on duty, had to be prepared for an emergency, the next attack, even more so all the way out there in the mostly hostile Delta Quadrant where dangers lurked around pretty much every corner...”

Kathryn sighed softly, confirming. “Exactly. I'd truly never been on vacation once, been able to fully relax, let my hair down if you will in all these years while being in command.

"That's part of the reason why I agreed to come here, followed Jean Luc's invitation despite having deemed it odd from the very start. I still can't help wonder why that man invited me, of all people, here to his château and you as well.

"It doesn't make any sense. I mean, he and I already got hardly any connection, but you and him? Unless there's a connection I don't know of yet, I'd been of the opinion that you'd never even met before. Have you?”

Seven shook her head no, admitting. “I'd been wondering about that same thing before but much like you, I'd been desperate to get away from work and my regular life in general, have a change of scenery, go on vacation.

"This invitation almost seemed too good to be true, especially coming from practically a stranger.

"Wait a minute... Do you remember Reg Barclay?”

Kathryn chuckled softly. “How could I ever possibly forget that man? Why are you asking that now, Seven?”

The petite woman's eyes widened, Seven explaining to her. “Reg Barclay, who as I only recalled now used to serve under Picard on the Enterprise, paid a visit to Daystrom Institute a while back and we held a conversation, mostly about Voyager, you know his unhealthy obsession for the ship and us, her former crew.

"He asked all kinds of seemingly random questions, mostly about how everyone had been holding up, especially you but I couldn't exactly provide him with many answers because I'd not met any of our former crew, that very much including you, in a long time.

"I might've told him a little too much about you to the point that he was probably able to put two and two together. As weird he may be, he's clearly not stupid and he knows way too much regarding us anyway.

"My best guess is, he told his former captain about that and Picard then decided to invite us both over here without knowing the other would be here as well.

"Chances are, Deanna Troi also played a role in this. She is a counselor, after all, and a Betazoid, half or not, hardly matters. Also, Reg and she are pretty close from what I remember.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lovers before finally falling asleep, completely spent in each other's arms that night had come up with a plan to find out whether or not their theory was correct.

Kathryn had been deeply intrigued, that infamous curiosity of hers tickled by hearing the tale of Reg Barclay seemingly having played cupid all thanks to a simple, seemingly harmless visit from his side to Seven's working place.

The next morning, they decided to put their plan into motion. Kathryn had snuck back into her own room, so as not to raise any suspicions and gotten ready in there.

Seven meanwhile had gone downstairs right after getting ready herself to check whether the coast was clear and start setting their plan into motion.

Kathryn was barely able to contain her mirth upon entering the kitchen where Deanna Troi and her lover stood seemingly having a heated discussion, Picard who stood at the side looked visibly uncomfortable, especially for his standards, trying in vain to appease the two women.

The redhead entered the kitchen as well, asking in her command voice, following their plan. “Can anyone explain to me what's going on here? Is Seven causing any problems?”

Picard's eyes widened and he was seemingly about to defend the young woman but was beat by Deanna Troi who immediately reassured her. “Seven isn't causing any problems, no. Why would she?

"As her former captain, you should know that she is not the kind of person to do that. We simply had a discussion, that's all. Seven had a question that I answered. She wasn't all too happy with the answer and for that, I apologize but I deemed it best to tell her the truth.

"It was foolish, wrong hiding this from her. I don't know what I was thinking ever agreeing to this. Reg has a way of convincing me when he told me your story, I thought it was the obvious solution to getting you to meet again in this way.

"No offense, but what were you thinking avoiding Seven, never once checking up on her in all these years, Kathryn?”

 

The redhead swallowed, balling her right hand.

Her tone came out far more harshly than intended, the Betazoid having hit a nerve. “No offense, Deanna, but that's none of your business. Also, you were right earlier, you should've informed us that you'd planned to have us meet here.

"However, your motives were honorable, you had the best intentions and in all honesty, I, for one, am grateful for this chance to get to meet Seven again, right my wrongs. Looks like Seven had been right with her suspicions, hm?

"Reg Barclay set this all up and he must've truly talked to you, his old friend, and convinced you of talking to your former captain, knowing how he, conveniently, possesses this château where we could meet under the guise of spending a nice few days, destress, go on vacation, something both Seven and I are in dire need of.

"Your plans could've backfired, however. I don't usually check my recent communications.”

Deanna Troi smiled knowingly. “That might be so, but you're a naturally very curious person, Kathryn, and in the end that made you read Jean Luc's communique and get you to come here.”

Her cheeks flushed and she admitted sheepishly. “Well, yes. You seem to know me quite well. Let me guess, you talked to Beverly, hu? What else did she tell you about me?”

The counselor waved it off, reassuring her. “Nothing you would have to be ashamed of, Kathryn. She spoke in the highest tones of you and having met you now, I must admit I can see why.

"Seven truly is very lucky then again, you two seem to have truly found each other. I'd even go as far as to say that you're soulmates.”

 

Seven and Kathryn had spent almost a month at château Picard, both thoroughly enjoying their first vacation together and generally their first vacation in a long time, in the younger woman's case, her first vacation in forever.

Kathryn had been afraid at first that once their vacation was over, things would go back to normal, both going their separate ways.

She'd been delighted her suspicions hadn't turned out to be founded, her lover had instantly agreed to ditch her unloved job at Daystrom Institute along with her apartment in San Francisco to move in with her on her family's farm in Bloomington, Indiana.

Seven had instantly loved the farm and easily adapted to the traditionalist lifestyle, as well as life on a farm in general. Despite no longer requiring regeneration and being able to sleep like any other person, her Borg components still required regular check-ups.

None other than Beverly Crusher had agreed to take care of that job, the former Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise who stood in contact with Voyager's former EMH, had familiarized herself with the young woman's unique physiology, her nanoprobes in particular deeply fascinating her.

It had been half a year since their vacation and Kathryn had felt off for a while now but was unable to get to the bottom of her symptoms.

Seven who was by now deeply concerned for her beloved's well-being and knowing Dr. Crusher's next visit was due, decided to use the chance and tell the doctor to check up on Kathryn in hopes she might be able to get to the bottom of this.

 

Both lovers, who had been prepared for the worst, experienced the shock and surprise of their lives, the ginger-haired woman telling them, audibly fascinated and delighted that Kathryn was, in fact, seven months pregnant.

It didn't take the lovers long to make the necessary calculations and they both had to realize to their amazement that their first night spent together had with almost 100% certainty granted them this gift, both still remembering that first moment of complete oneness all too well and the older woman only now recalled that odd feeling she'd felt for a moment there but at the time had barely registered in her brain due to her state of euphoria that had much been like an intrusion of some kind as if a small, foreign object had entered her.

It slowly dawned on her that said foreign object must've been one of Seven's nanoprobes that had planted the seed for new life inside her and in turn also finally explained her newly enhanced stamina and fresh, youthful appearance as well as overall energized state.

Seven not only had granted them their first child but quite possibly increased her lover's lifespan. It looked like, in the end, the younger woman's words from that night of Kathryn's life had only just begun couldn't have been any more accurate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end