The aged, azure mountains sat smoothly as a backdrop against the
purplish hue of the sky’s setting sun. One did not have to leave
earth to find this surreal setting as it existed in the southwest.
The sun’s rays, highlighting the metallic cross, as if setting it on
fire, served as a reminder of where Captain Kathryn Janeway stopped
the hovercraft and why she was there.
She shivered as she stepped from the vehicle and clutched the
Starfleet issued wool coat around her. The wind whipped around her
fiercely. Pulling the coat tighter she surmised winter in the
foothills of the Rocky Mountains was just as cold as anywhere else in
the world and anywhere else in the world was exactly where she wanted
to be right now.
She walked across the road and was greeted by two men sporting Star
Fleet uniforms. They saluted and one pulled the door open for her.
“Captain,” he spoke, nodding his head. Janeway returned the nod with
one of her own as the old wooden door shut behind her echoing the
emptiness of the chapel. She guessed the church to be almost a
millennium old; still in immaculate condition and embracing the
Catholicism the Spanish brought over many lifetimes ago.
“Captain.” The voice startled her from her perusing. Tom Paris
approached from the other side of the dimly lit vestibule.
“Lt. Paris,” she replied the smile she bore belied the tone of voice.
“You’ve arrived early.” Tom spoke gesturing around the empty area.
“So have you.”
“Well Captain, B’Elanna is standing with Seven.” He thought she would
have known this fact and then stopped to consider his old captain was
probably kept quite busy at Starfleet, too busy to be aware of such
“I see. How’ve you been, Tom? Is all going well on Utopia Planetia?”
“It’s a job, Captain. And you? How is Starfleet treating you?”
“A job as well,” she smirked then promptly changed the subject as her
grin lifted to a smile. “How’s Muriel?”
“Oh she’s quite the handful. A lot like her mother, but I love her.
She’s the best thing, next to B’Elanna, that could have ever happened
to me.” Tom admitted proudly. “Captain?” he questioned sensing the
unease wrapped around the woman.
“Would you like to see Seven?” he asked trying hard to bridge the
distance he felt.
Kathryn Janeway thought for a moment before she replied, “Yes – yes I
He noted the brief hesitation, but saw the light in her eyes sparkle
in reply. It was something he had witnessed many times aboard Voyager
when Seven’s name was spoken. Long ago, he made the assumption there
was something between them - something one could only find in their
eyes. Perhaps it was a well-concealed secret allowing a lonely
captain a bit of life. Who was he to think otherwise about such
things as long as everyone was happy? It was a presumption he kept
“Come on, I’ll show you where they are.” He proffered his arm and
provided small talk as he walked her down a flight of steps, through a
small corridor toward the back of the church, where he stopped to
knock at a door. When it opened a crack, the ridges, the frown and a
growl of B’Elanna Paris greeted them.
“You can’t come in here, Tom,” she spoke bluntly.
“I know, honey,” he replied calmly as Janeway stepped into B’Elanna’s
view. Before any more words could be exchanged the door opened and
the captain was whisked inside. Tom stood alone in the dark corridor
facing a closed door. He shook his head and chortled as he walked
away thinking he would never fully understand women.
“Captain! It is so good to see you!” B’Elanna exclaimed, wrapping her
arms around the slight woman.
Hugging in return Janeway replied, “I’ve missed you, too. How are
“Doing well – doing very well,” her former engineer released her and
“I didn’t think you’d come.”
“Really? Two of the most important members of my crew are getting
married – why – I would never miss that.” Janeway replied. She
removed her coat and placed it over the back of a chair. Then
adjusted her dress uniform down and tugged her white gloves up.
“You look wonderful, Captain.” B’Elanna commented, pushing the
subject in a different direction.
“So do you,” she smiled and looked around the taller woman.
“She’s in the restroom. She’ll be out in a minute. She’s beautiful,
Captain.” B’Elanna stated, seeing the captain’s eyes wander. At the
same moment the door at the other end of the room opened and Seven of
Nine stepped into view. The white cascade of satin dress flowing
around her, blonde hair twisted back with two strands curling down the
long pull of an elegant face she stopped taken aback by her visitor.
“Captain.” Seven spoke starkly.
“Seven of Nine,” Janeway hesitated. “You look absolutely -
breathtaking.” Stunning took her by surprise. Why? The pure beauty
of this woman astounded Kathryn Janeway every time she looked in her
face. A tug in her heart pulled. She swallowed, finding it hard to
think of words, a vowel, a noun, any word would do about now.
“Thank you. You look well yourself.”
“It’s good you have come.” Seven spoke a quick smile played across
her glossy lips only to disappear as quickly as it came.
“If the two of you don’t mind I’m going to go check on Muriel – and
Tom.” B’Elanna spoke up as she looked from one woman to the other.
“I won’t be long.” She grabbed the excess material from her skirt
careful to not step on it as she made her way out of the door.
Janeway sighed silently as she turned back to the bride and to feeling
even more as if this was not the place to be currently in the Alpha
“Are you ready for this day?” the captain questioned, having skipped
almost all pleasantries. The conversation seemingly picked up from
another left behind them unfinished on Voyager.
“All the preparations have been made.”
Janeway chuckled knowing the answer was as literal as her question.
“Are you – ready – Seven? Is your heart - ready?” she rephrased.
“Chakotay and I have spent much time together. We enjoy one another’s
“Is it enough?” Kathryn asked, knowing it would never be enough to
keep Seven happy.
“Should there be more?”
Kathryn Janeway felt an old pang in her chest. What unconscious demon
spurred on this line of questioning? This was neither the place nor
the time she decided. Why had she not stopped at how are you?
“This certainly is a lovely old church.” Janeway spoke, taking a few
steps to examine the latticework consisting of an ornamental design of
some sort made from strips of inlayed wood on the church’s wall. She
ran her gloved hand across the intricate pattern. It was beautiful,
as beautiful and intricate as the woman she turned back to.
“It was built in 1708 by the Spanish who inhabited the area. You did
not answer my question, Captain,” she informed, laying great
emphasis on the woman’s title.
“I should never have asked. I apologize.”
“Perhaps not, but you did. And now I require an answer to my question.”
They regarded each other intently. Janeway felt as if she stood 8,000
feet up on a narrow ledge hugging the mountain behind them. If she
moved one inch in either direction surely she would fall to her death.
At that height breathing became hard; she drew a shallow breath
before continuing the conversation.
“Do you love him, Seven?” she asked in earnest. Regardless of the
answer it was something she long ago decided she could live with.
“No. I do not,” Seven replied pragmatically.
It was a painful truth for the listener. She gripped the mountain
tighter. Janeway shook her head, “Then what are you doing? No.
Don’t answer.” She held up her hand as if to stop the conversation.
“It’s none of my business – really.”
“It is never your business – Captain. It was not then and it is not
now.” The icy tone and its truth sheared through Janeway.
“Why Seven?” the Captain questioned softly. “Why are you doing
this?” She searched the young woman’s face as if to find the answer
“Because you did not ask,” Seven replied simply. Seven did not
like the way she vacillated between the hot and cold of emotion. She
loved, but did not want rejection. She wanted to be open with this
woman, yet the alarm calling for protection screamed in her mind.
“Should I have?” was Kathryn’s quick retort, knowing the answer better
“You love me.”
Janeway’s eyes cast away. Caught in a tangle – denial – hadn’t she
worked her way out of this some time ago? She looked back at Seven of
Nine. “You know the answer to that as well as I.”
“Stop denying it. Just stop!” Seven spoke angrily, and then restated
her previous response assuredly. “You love me.”
“Captain, your pulse indicates otherwise.” Seven reached up and
touched the pulse point on Janeway’s neck. “You love me, Kathryn.”
The touch was calming and in it a synergy they both knew was there.
She let go the precipice. “Yes,” her heart replied. Kathryn Janeway
stared into the blueness of Seven’s eyes, feeling the exchange as well.
“Then isn’t your question, why am marrying Chakotay and not you?” But
no answer was forthcoming, just the subtle exhale of regret.
Seven grabbed the skirt of her dress picking up the material and moved
closer. So close it left little room for the captain to step away.
Janeway closed her eyes and shook her head. “We can’t do this now,”
she whispered receiving signals from her heart contrary to the words
Seven pulled the captain’s head up holding her chin to look at her.
“You know this is irrational – unreasonable.” Seven lowered her face
until their lips were almost touching. “You know I still love you as
much as you love me. How can we not?”
In the folds of satin and dress whites hands searched for something to
hold on to, to steady them in this moment. Breath met breath just as
eyes met eyes out of abandon and disregard for where they stood.
“Seven?” was the bare request for acknowledgement.
“Yes, Kathryn,” came the simple reply.
Kathryn Janeway closed her eyes committing the face in front of her to
forever’s memory and allowed fervor reign. Lips met lips, gentleness a
mere afterthought. Kathryn’s hands unclipped the blond hair allowing
it to fall down around them all the while pulling gloves from hands.
Seven pulled her closer, nipping at the thin proffered neck as
Kathryn’s hands searched through folds of satin for a zipper, for
snaps, for anything which would free them. Kathryn Janeway stopped
being captain of anything at this moment..
The church above started to fill with guests. Stringed music played,
yet went unheard by the two women more intent on finding each other.
Seven paused, stepping back and looked questioningly at the older
woman. Eyes filled with passion, hungry. She hurriedly unbuttoned the
white jacket. Watching it fall from the slight shoulders, Seven longed
for this woman. The dress she so carefully donned was now being
pulled at in all directions. Her cares fell away. Clearly the only
feasible idea was to remove it, but was there time? Time? Seven
questioned in her mind, what did she care nothing was going to take
place now except for what was happening right here, right now in this
room. She tugged at the zipper on the back of her dress.
“It’s time to get this show on the road.” Chakotay remarked as the
priest moved away from the small group.
“You’re a lucky man, Chakotay.” B’Elanna replied. She turned toward
her husband and reached for their daughter. She said, “Let me.”
“Let me.” The sultry voice spoke, and she turned, feeling the release
from material, hands moving instantly around her touching her –
frenzied. Seven leaned back into a warm embrace as Kathryn’s hands
found her breasts. A deep moan escaped.
Tom cast a glance back at the groom, his wife and their daughter, all
smiling, then moved down the steps toward where the bride was getting
prepared. He was to deliver her to the groom in waiting at the front
of this church.
Control? Neither woman could wrap their minds around something so
arbitrary. Lips moved across skin – deliriously, salty and inviting -
rushed. Kathryn Janeway didn’t know who was who and for the first
time in her life she did not care. Seven turned, pushing them back
against a table, a desk, whatever. Her hands explored, aroused,
inflamed adrift with this woman. She moved her hand down between
Kathryn’s legs – warmth – no, heat, Kathryn cried out.
Tom whistled as he approached the door. It was good the Captain came
and took the time to speak with Seven of Nine, he thought.
Kathryn looked into Seven’s eyes pleading, as Seven’s hand massaged.
“Seven,” she moaned, “please, take me…”
He placed his hand on the door knob and knocked softly. “Seven? Are
you ready?” he inquired, receiving no answer. A puzzling look crossed
his face. He heard nothing from inside. Tom turned the knob and
opened the door slightly, “Seven?” And still no answer. He opened it
fully and was met with a reality he once only assumed was true.
The satin dress lay crumpled across a table. No Seven. No Captain.
Yes, Tom Paris thought with a smile and he pulled the door closed.