your body like a searchlight
Summary: It’s a long and lonely journey for a woman who longs for things she won’t allow herself to have.
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Codes: Janeway/Johnson, Janeway/Chakotay, Janeway/Kashyk, Janeway/Seven, Janeway/Sullivan, Janeway/Jaffen
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Star Trek universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
4. Seven of Nine
Let me see your beauty broken down, like you would do for one you love
In her alcove, Seven is reminiscent of a statue, an object of beauty carved in marble. An object to be admired, even coveted, but never to be touched. Never to be warmed by human hands or breath.
Kathryn cannot count the times she has stood here, watching Seven as she sleeps. If asked – if caught – she might claim she’s ensuring the younger woman’s wellbeing, or guarding her dreams. As a mother would for her child.
But there is nothing maternal about the images jostling for space in her mind.
Her relationship with Seven is complex and dark and difficult to quantify. It’s more than duty, more than responsibility. More than love, even, and as such, leaves less room for the other things, the other people, she loves.
Which is just one more thing to feel guilty about.
Kathryn’s feet ache in her high-heeled boots and she shifts her weight, leaning a hip against the duranium casing of Seven’s regeneration unit. Her eyes blur with fatigue.
She’s been tired for five years, but this is a whole new level of exhaustion, perhaps because it’s tainted with shame. Over the past few days she hasn’t exactly behaved as a Starfleet captain should.
It’s not the first time she’s been prepared to endanger her crew to rescue Seven, and she can admit to herself it won’t be the last. This time, though, she was ready to shred her principles like so much tissue paper. Oh, she claimed it was to stop Ransom, and it mostly was, but she can’t deny that his abduction of Seven made it personal on a whole other level.
In her exhausted, livid state of mind, she had pictured Ransom misusing Seven, his fingers and eyes crawling all over her like foul beetles. She’d imagined Seven restrained, hurt, stripped and violated, and it had unhinged her.
It’s why she lost her mind when she questioned Noah Lessing. She’d have killed him and taken pleasure in it. She’d have destroyed the Equinox and everyone in her to get Seven back, or as vengeance for the loss of her.
Because to her, Seven is worth a hundred Lessings, a thousand Ransoms. Seven is worth the permanent loss of Kathryn’s own peace of mind.
She wonders if Chakotay knows that. If it’s why he’s so angry with Kathryn and so jealous of her protégée.
She can’t, at this moment, find it within herself to care.
Kathryn tips her head against the regeneration control panel, careful not to trigger the waking sequence. Behind Seven’s closed eyelids there is no movement, nothing to indicate the young woman dreams. She wonders if Seven’s sleep is restful.
Her own is most certainly not.
The last time she slept – she can’t remember how long ago that was; days, perhaps – she dreamed of Seven. Pale hair loose and shining, her figure swathed in something soft and pale-pink, her skin petal-soft and perfect without its silver Borg tracery. She’s smiling, her hair ruffled by a light sea breeze as she walks toward Kathryn, and her feet are bare. She glides over sharp barnacled rocks without seeming to feel them slicing her, and when she steps onto the beach where Kathryn waits, blood wells from her soles and soaks into the sand.
Kathryn remembers watching Seven bleed, her eyes drawn to the crimson pooling under her bare feet. She remembers crouching to touch it, studying the imprint of her palm and spread fingers in the sodden sand. She remembers, in the dream, Seven’s hands reaching down to cup her face, to twist gently into Kathryn’s hair, guiding her upward until Kathryn can see the dark sweep of Seven’s lashes and the pink of her cushiony lips.
She remembers her own lips parting, her breath catching in her lungs as Seven bends to kiss her, the tip of her tongue tracing along Kathryn’s lower lip until she welcomes it inside with a shuddering sigh.
Kathryn remembers falling into that kiss, the soft collision of bodies, the way her hands map the contours of Seven’s body and peel away the layers of her clothing. She remembers the pink dress falling to the sand, Seven’s blood seeping into it, staining it. She remembers cupping full breasts in her palms, her vision blurring, a hallucinatory overlay of bleeding veins decorating Seven’s pale, perfect skin.
She remembers assimilation tubules sprouting from her own hand, piercing Seven’s long throat like a vampire’s bite, and her own fascinated lust as the blood wells up, as she leans in to lap at it.
Kathryn jerks awake against the regeneration console, heart thundering sickly. Her eyes go immediately to Seven, cataloguing the form-fitting biosuit, the neatly swept-back hair, the spiked silver star on her cheekbone.
Seven is so still; not even the faintest flicker of expression crosses her flawless face. Kathryn can’t help but gaze at her, imagining those pink, pouted lips against her own, that body clothed in soft layers and revealed under her own acquisitive hands.
What is she doing, staring at this woman with covetous hunger? As though Seven’s beauty gives Kathryn the right to desire her, to lust after her like Kovin or Kurros or any of the others who would possess her?
Kathryn’s stomach curdles with guilt, and she steps back from Seven’s regeneration unit as though physical distance will mute this yearning into something small and manageable; something she can ignore.
It has to, she orders herself. She has to ignore it, deny it, pretend it doesn’t exist. Because Seven doesn’t deserve Kathryn’s lonely, guilt-ridden infatuation, and Kathryn doesn’t deserve Seven.