Captainís Homesick Blues
 

"Here Katie have another drink?"

Why Kathryn I would love a little more wine, Thank you."

And so goes another off rotation evening for Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Kathryn Janeway, a petite auburn haired woman, was alone in her quarters. As Captain of a Federation starship 30 thousand light years from home, she was usually alone in her quarters. A situation from which she saw no immediate relief. Typically she was satisfied spending her off time relaxing with books or a holo-novel. Tonight, her younger sisters birthday, she felt alone. Phoebe, I wish you were here to pick fight over the last brownie or at least to call me by my name. I am sick of always being right, always being boss, always getting the best. So Phoebe you pain in the ass, hereís to you. Kathryn rose her glass and took another drink.

The Captain was not drunk but she certainly was feeling a little free. Buttoning her silk shirt she looked in at herself in the ensuite mirror. Ok so you are the captain that doesnít mean you always have to be alone. Seven years youíve been out here, there must be someone with whom you can be yourself. Someone who might care that you are sad on your baby sisters 40th birthday. Ok, how about someone who doesnít have anything better to do.

"Janeway to Seven of Nine"

"Yes Captain."

Seven what are you doing right now?"

"Routine Alcove maintenance."

Janeway smiled, "Well, Seven when you are done cleaning your room would you like to come up for a visit."

"I will report to your quarters Captain. Seven out"

Kathryn rolled her eyes, "I will report to your quarters Captain. Well thatís friendly." She plopped down in her chair with a huff and soon the door chimed. She is quick anyway.

"Hello Seven have a seat. What would you like to drink?"

"Nothing thank you Captain. I am curious as to why you called me here."

"I just thought it would be nice to have a visit."

"Define visit."

"Spending time together, to chat, you know girl talk."

"Captain, what is the purpose of this endeavor?"

"Seven, call me Kate."

At the bemused look she received from Seven she said, "itís a nickname. My sister Phoebe always called me Kate or Katie."

"Why did you prefer to be called something other than your designation?"

"Oh, I didnít" Kathryn replied, "I hated it. She did it just to annoy me."

"Captain," Seven closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "why do you want me to address you in a manner that annoys you?"

"Could you just accept that I want you to? Could you forget that I am Captain for a few hours?"

Sevenís face had a ghost of a smile as she cocked her implant. "Is that an orderÖKate?"

"Yes and it is the last one I am giving tonight barring a red alert. Are you sure you wouldnít like some wine Seven, it is the real thing from my private stock. I have allowed myself one bottle every Six months. I only have two left."

"I will try it. You may proceed with the girl talk." Seven sat down and watched Kathryn expectantly as she poured the wine. "CapÖKate if the klaxons do sound who will be in command." She gave a nod towards the bottle in Kathrynís hand.

Kathryn pointed to a hypo spray on the counter. "A captainís cure, standard issue for deep space missions. One shot and the alcohol is neutralized, but you are left with one hell of a headache."

"In that case it would not be prudent to have a red alert. The last time you had a headache while dealing with aliens you piloted the ship through a star. Speaking of piloting the ship," Seven held out a pad to the Captain, "I have had a breakthroughÖ."

"Oh no Seven, no ships talk. Having you here has cheered me up immensely donít ruin it with business. She tossed the pad on to her desk."

 The two women stared at each other for a while neither coming up with any brilliant ideas of how to be together without talking ship.

"Kate, you are sad. Tell me why."

"Ok but donít call me Kate. Youíre right it annoys the hell out of me. Call me Kathryn."

Seven shook her head and took a sip of her wine.

"Today is my sister's 40th birthday. For years before we came to the Delta Quadrant I have waited for this day. The tortures I had planed for her. Revenge for yearís worth of teasing would descend on her this day. Do you know when I graduated from the academy she hid my uniform I was almost late for the ceremony. When Justin and I started dating she sent him a package full of old baby pictures of me bare bottomed. And when I was promoted to captain she printed a comic, Captain Katie of the Federation Starship Repression. Phoebe is an artist you know. She put several copies on the table at the reception and everyone read it. The evening was half over before I found out what they were laughing about. The best part of being in the Delta Quadrant is there are no copies of that thing."

Janeway took another swig of her wine not noticing Sevenís guilty look. She would never admit that Captain Katie was well known and loved by the crew. Several of the more artistic crewmen had even added a chapter or two. No it wouldnít do for the Captain to find Captain Katie in Borg land or The Secret life of Captain Kate.

"And you never reacted as things happened? I would think you would have," Seven searched her mind for the right expression, "given as good as you were given too."

Kathryn grinned a grin that was laced with evil. "Well, now this is in confidence, on her first date with John, I just happened to have a shuttle assigned to me. I used the transporter and beamed them both onto the bridge of our fathers ship. How was I to know they would be in the hot tub at the time." Kathrynís eyes got a little misty. They were engaged when I left I guess they are married now, or I hope so.

"Speaking of transporting I have new calculationsÖ"

"Seven are you about to bring ships business into my off evening?"

"Yes, Kathryn."

"Well donít."

"Yes, Kathryn."

The captain poured each woman more wine and frowned as the final drop departed her precious bottle. Oh well, Seven it looks like we are back to the replicated stuff. Seven smiled.

"I doubt I could tell the difference Kathryn. I am feeling fuzzy. Is this normal?"

Janeway reached over and rubbed Sevenís arm. "Thatís funny you donít feel fuzzy to me."

Seven totally unused to humor, touch and alcohol stared at the captain for a long time. Then to her own surprise, and Kathrynís amazement, she laughed. Seven of Nine Former Borg Drone let out her first laugh in over 20 years.

"Seven you laughed, you really laughed." Janeway furrowed her brow. "Couldnít you have waited for a better joke?"

Cocking her head Seven replied, "I apologize Captain, but considering the company I figured that was the best one Iíd get."

The two women settled down on the floor with their backs on the sofa. Their shared amusement erased any awkwardness. "Tell me Kathryn, other than you tormenting your sister, what do you think would happen if we returned to the Alpha Quadrant tomorrow. If, for example, Q were to zap us into orbit around earth."

"Well I guess there would be debriefings. All the Maquis crew have served with distinction. I have gone over all the records that we had and most of the crew didnít have a criminal record. Only Chakotay and even his crimes would be mitigated by the fact that we ended up at war with the Cardassians. As far as I am concerned the Maquis have been in Starfleet custody for 7 years under hard labor conditions. So if they arenít pardoned they have defiantly served their time."

"And me Kathryn, what about the Borg Drone?"

"Oh Seven you are so much more then that. You have been a wonderful member of this crew. You have saved this ship and the people on it more times then a Captain would want to acknowledge was necessary. No one on the senior staff and I daresay the crew would stand by while something happened to you. And you are my friend, I look forward to showing you my home." Kathrynís eyes widened as she sat up straight. "Oh Seven, together, imagine what we could do to Phoebe!"

"Kathryn, I have no connection with earth, or even the entire Alpha Quadrant. I donít know what I would do or where I would go. As much as I want to see the crew happy I have no desire to end this journey."

"Yet you work harder then anyone towards that goal Seven, why?"

Seven turned to look her Captain full in the face and when their eyes locked she replied, "Because you asked me to."

Kathryn felt herself pulled forward by the intensity of Sevens gaze and profoundly moved by the revelation. "Because I am the Captain?"

Seven looked down at her hands, "Because you are Kathryn."

Kathryn reach out with one finger and tilted Sevenís face upwards. Her touch was light not pushing or pulling just guiding. "And if I asked you to kiss me?"

Sevens eyes started to fill with years of emotion, "I would."

"Because I asked you to?" Janeway asked

"Because I have always wanted to." Seven whispered

As they moved their lips together both women closed their eyes and savored the moment. Lips gently caressing, hands entwined, Kathryn and Seven let go of fear and duty and were, for a moment, nothing more than human women who loved.

But in a moment it was over. Kathryn was still the captain, and Seven a woman who had admitted more then she ever intended to. Seven stood, "Captain I should go, you need your rest."

Kathryn was relieved that she didnít need to think of an excuse to be alone and ashamed that she wanted to. "Yes, Seven, dismissed."

They parted both knowing that tomorrow was another day in the Delta Quadrant and feeling just a little more hopeful, less alone.

*********** 

"Oh damn." Captain Kathryn Janeway auburn haired leader of the starship Voyager put her hand to her aching head. The evening before Kathryn had shared a bottle of wine with her friend and astrometrics officer Seven of Nine. Kathryn prepared a bath for a long soak. As she strode from the replicator to the tub she grabbed the pad Seven of Nine had presented her with the night before. "Might as well look this over. And check out her breakthrough." Kathryn grinned as she remembered Sevenís last big breakthrough. It improved Warp efficiency by .000025 percent, saving enough fuel over the course of a year to run the engine for 7 extra hours. BíElanna refused to make the changes and Kathryn refused to force her. Seven pouted for a week.

"Ummm," Kathryn sunk in to the tub. Closing her eyes and sipping her coffee Janeway felt the tension ease from her muscles and the throbbing in her head start to dissipate. As she began to review events of the previous night her thoughts turned to Seven. This, of course, started a throbbing in an area decidedly below her head. "Oh Seven you deserve better then a lost captain. But if we ever get home and you are still interestedÖ" Her mind wandered to all the ways and places she would like to touch Seven. She trembled as she began to pinch her nipples imagining Sevens perfect teeth were assaulting them. Her other hand moved lower, as in her minds eye, the water turned to Sevenís breath caressing her skin. As she came, she could have sworn, she heard Sevenís voice urging her onÖ

"Seven of Nine to Captain Janeway. Captain?"

Kathryn struggled for control realizing that she had once again forgotten to put a privacy lock on her comm. signal when she got in the tub.

"Go ahead Seven."

"Have you had a chance to review the calculations I sent you?"

"I am just about to do that Seven. Iíll let you know."

"Captain, I want to inform you that I enjoyed sharing the girl talk ritual with you. Thank you for including me."

"I enjoyed it also Seven, Janeway out."

The Captain took the pad from the side of the tub and began to read. Her face went pale as she studied the information. Completely forgetting where she was Janeway stood up and called over the comm., "all senior staff report to the conference room immediately." The Captain, in her haste, did not close the hail and the splash from her falling was carried ship wide. There was a moment of silence, "Amend that to ten minuets. Janeway out."

As she strode to the conference room Kathryn had never been more grateful for her command mask. She imaged a sparkle in the eye of each crewmember she passed; sure they were visualizing her less then graceful reentry to the bath. "Great on what could be the most important day of my life I have the entire crew thinking of me naked." She was shaking her head as entered the conference room. Noticing her full staff already present she moved to the head of the table and nodded to Seven. "I have read your information Seven. Would you please go over your findings with everyone."

"As you know we have the technology to create and operate a slipstream drive. I have been working for the past several years to boost our shields to withhold the tension of the stream. The pull on the sides of the corridor would stop forward motion and batter the ship against the stream walls. I have, however, discovered that shields were not the solution. I propose that we open a slipstream corridor and release a torpedo or probe. The Projectile will begin to travel in a corkscrew motion riding the sides of the corridor. After it has maintained a steady course we tractor the ship to the torpedo. By the time Voyager enters the corridor it will be traveling in the correct motion to avoid battering."

Sevenís proclamation was greeted with absolute silence. Finally Tom Paris found his voice. "That is the most twisted idea I have ever heard." When no one laughed at his attempt at humor he asked, "where in the world did you come up with this?"

"Actually Mr. Paris I must recognize you for your help. Naomi Wildman and I were availing ourselves of your 20th century recreational programs on the holodeck. At a place called Disney World, I accompanied her on an amusement designated as Space Mountain. The motion of the ride caused not only this line of inquiry, but a large headache."

"Seven is there any risk of damage to the ship or crew?"

"Actually Captain the tractor from the torpedo will pull us in to the stream which would then provide the forward motion. As we will not need to use the warp core we could divert energy from engines to inertial dampers and shields. Other then an increased risk of space sickness to crewmen with weaker stomachs, there is almost no risk above the usual ones associated with space travel. Shall I list those?"

"No Seven that will be enough. How long will it take to implement and test needed changes."

Seven looked uncharacteristically abashed. "Captain because I know of this crews desire to get home I did not want to set up false hopes. I have fully tested all facets of the idea with simulations. The equipment to complete it is already present on the ship. With a few modifications it can be ready in an hour."

Harry Kim was transported to sickbay as soon as he hit the floor.

Captain Janeway stood up from her seat at the table. "Please continue to review this information, Seven come with me." She tossed her pad on the table as she left the room.

The anger in her voice was barely controlled as she addressed Seven in her ready room. "I can not believe you would be working on this without letting anyone know. Seven this is completely against protocol. You know that. Explain yourself."

"I canít explain it to you Captain. My reasons... are..are not...are..can I speak with Kathryn?"

Janewayís anger melted away as she saw the fear in Sevenís face. A slight smile appeared on her face. I am sure Kathryn will have time for you latter Seven, but the Captain needs to deal with this now. Sit down and I will listen."

"I didnít want to tell you until I was sure, there have been too many disappointments for you and this crew. But I was also afraid to tell you, afraid that things would happen too fast. I know that Voyager needs to get back. But I am not sure that I do. I am frightened Captain."

"You are scared, but you brought it to me anyway. Even before I promised I would take care of you."

"Yes Captain."

"You decided to trust me. I promise Seven, I will be worthy of that trust. Letís go back to the conference room and decide when we are going home. And tonight you and Kathryn need to talk about what comes next."

*************

 Captain Janeway and her First officer Commander Chakotay moved to the ready room after she dismissed senior staff. Knowing that they now had the ability to get home, the two officers had things to take care of before they made the trip.

"Janeway to sickbay."

"Here Captain."

"Dr. how is Mr. Kim? Has he regained consciousness?"

"He is fine Captain a little old fashion smelling salts and he headed back to the bridge."

"Thank you Dr. Janeway out."

"Well Chakotay, what a way to start the day. Tell me your thoughts."

"I think I am still in shock. This plan of Sevenís will have us orbiting earth 10 hours after we start. I am a little concerned aboutÖ things."

"Me too. But Chakotay we are one crew. There is not one member that I hold higher then any other. I will do everything in my power to keep us all safe. The only Maquis crewmember that had an actual arrest warrant on them was you. The rest were Maquis, but no record other than consorting with you. About a year ago Tuvok and I did custody sheets on all Maquis members. Treating Voyager as a prison labor camp and basing their sentence on typical federation sentences for Maquis members. So even if they arenít pardoned, with time off for good behavior and aid to society, all of the crew has served their time, except you. Considering the war and your service to Voyager, which represents the Federation, I think you will be fine. But my dear friend I canít promise."

"Kathryn, would you let me escape? Just disappear once we are back?"

Janeway was pensive, as she looked her first officer in the eye. "Iíd leave the keys in the Delta Flyer and look the other way if you asked me too. But I wouldnít lie about it. And if it turned out that you were in danger I would leave my pips in Voyagers command chair as I walked off the bridge."

Chakotay smiled, "I am not ashamed of the choices I made. And I believe they were vindicated by the dominion war. I will go back and face the consequences no mater what they are. Keep your pips Kathryn. I just wanted to know where we stood. Now what about Seven?"

"What do you mean?"

"Kathryn we may be able to convince people she is the prodigal daughter, lost to the Borg and returned, but she is part Borg. There are those both in and out of Starfleet that might cause her problems. They may want to hurt or exploit on her."

"And your suggestion is?"

"You should adopt her. The Janeway name is big in Starfleet and the Federation. If she had it, it would protect her."

"I canít do that"

"Kathryn think about it?"

"No"

"Why?"

"Because I love her. I canít make her a relative." Janeway looked at her friend expecting him to be shocked at her revelation.

Chakotay grinned, "I am glad that you finally figured that out. But it does limit our options a bitÖ"

The captain held up her hand and stopped the commander from continuing.

"We need to take a few days to make sure that when we go everyone is ready. I want to meet with all the Maquis crew and answer their questions and fears. Iíd like to do that together. It has been 4 years since we talked to Starfleet. I donít know if the war was won, lost or is still in process. We are going to have to approach home carefully, but home we will go, in 4 days time. Have all department heads send a list of any concerns that they have to be reviewed at tomorrows staff meeting. Seven and I will be meeting latter tonight. I will keep you apprised of that situation. Anything else?"

"No Captain."

"Dismissed."

"Come" Kathryn responded to her door chime. She smiled at Seven as entered the Captains Quarters. "Hello Seven have a seat."

"Thank you Captain."

"Kathryn please, the Captain is off duty except for in an emergency."

Seven looked relieved, "Then you arenít still angry with me."

"Oh Seven this is a good example of why a captain keeps her personal life away from the crew. I would probably be schizophrenic after a week of trying to separate what part of me responds to what. The Captain in me was upset that you didnít keep the chain of command informed of what you were doing. I had to address that. But the woman in me, the one that loves you, had to accept that it was your fears that stopped you and I wanted to protect you."

Seven looked at Kathryn completely stunned. "You love me."

"Yes, with all that I am. I knew last night that I just couldnít hide it anymore. I needed more than a friend; I needed you. I was glad when you left right after our kiss because I didnít know how I could fulfill two roles, Captain and lover. But oh Seven how I want to."

"I am sorry Kathryn, that this is troubling you so, I will leave." She stood and began to move towards the door.

"Seven wait, am I wrong, donít you care for me, not at all?" Janewayís lips were trembling. Oh god I was so sure she cared. I canít face this.

Seven turned to Kathryn. "I have loved you for so long that I couldnít stop any more than I could stop breathing. But I wouldnít jeopardize your command I know how important it is to you."

The relief that engulfed Janeway was a physical sensation. Her eyes started to tear and then she was overtaken with gentile laughter. "Oh Seven, I think after all we have been through my command will last the next 4 days just fine. Donít you see? I needed you and started to reach out, but you made it possible to continue. In just a few days I will not be your commander, but I hope to remain your love."

This kiss was different. The two women came together both knowing when it was over they would do it again. And they did. They slowly and softly explored the lips they had each studied for so long. As Kathryn flicked her tongue over Sevenís lips she felt her trembling with desire. Sevenís hands seemed to have a mind of their own as the caressed Janewayís torso from hips to breast her thumbs making contact with the Captainís hardening nipples. As Janeway heard her own moans begin to fill the room she knew it was time to stop.

"Seven darling," Kathryn pulled away slowly, "we need to talk."

The dazed former Borg allowed her self to be lead back to the table.

**************** 

As the two women sat down Kathryn knew what she had to say, but not how to say it. "Seven we need to keep clear heads and make some plans. Do you have any idea what you want to do when we reach earth?"

"I want to be with you Kathryn. I donít know what work I will be suited for but I assure you I will not be a burden."

Janeway smiled. "I know you wonít Seven. Actually I want you to meet with Tuvok tomorrow so he can help you fill out some patent forms. Many of the things you have developed on Voyager are uniquely yours. If Starfleet wants to keep them they will have to pay you. The Astrometrics lab alone should provide for you quite well, never mind some of your shield enhancements. As you are not a member of Starfleet they canít claim you developed these things while in their employ. Assuming there is still a Starfleet. The plans we make are going to be under the assumption that the federation won, or is winning the war."

"And if they arenít Kathryn, what then?"

"This is classified Seven. After first contact with earth, if the federation is no longer, we will download what information we can and hide while we figure out the right thing to do. If the war is still going on Voyager and the Starfleet crew will need to join. Everyone else will make their own choices."

"I choose to be with you Kathryn, by your side always."

The Captain smiled and mentally prepared her self for the next topic. "Seven I have known for a long time that I would always want you with me. Even though we have only just begun to acknowledge the more personal side to our relationship, it has never been in doubt. I need you to know that I have always planned to be the person that showed you Earth when we got back. I have thought about sharing sunrises over the Grand Canyon, swimming in the Caribbean and long walks through the cornfields of Bloomington Indiana."

"Your home town." Seven said in an almost reverent voice.

Janeway smiled. "Yes, and I had thought maybe after watching a sunset on the front porch I would ask you to spend your life with me, marry me. But Seven we donít have time for that. As much as I want to wait, to give you time and romance, we have to get married now."

Seven was staring at the Captain with a stunned expression. "We have to get married?"

Kathryn looked at her very seriously and took a sip of her wine, "Yes."

"Are you pregnant?"

"What? No Seven I.. I am doing this badly. Seven we need to make sure that you are protected when we get to earth. The Janeway name means a lot in the federation. Even if they throw me in the brig for some of the decisions I have made, the service of my father and grandfather will still mean something. As my wife no one would have an easy time of hurting you. I need you to know that marrying now is a situational necessity, but even with out it I would want to marry you."

"Kathryn, you know I have extensive knowledge of the Federationís past."

"Yes"

"Based on this knowledge, I believe you have just made the most bazaar marriage proposal in history." Seven quirked the implant over her eye as a sign of humor.

Kathryn grinned, "I donít have much practice in this dear, I have usually been the one who was asked. Of course based on my track record a speedy marriage may be a good idea. And never fear, as efficient as you are known to be, I am sure no one will think youíve gotten me in the family way."

The women spent the next several hours discussing their plans for return. They agreed their nuptials would take place the next day. As Seven rose to leave she asked, "while I understand your desire to take things slow, would it be acceptable to give my fiancť a good night kiss?"

Janeway licked her lips in anticipation. "It would be completely unacceptable for you to leave without doing so." The women moved together and shared many kisses before Sevenís need for regeneration overrode her desire and she left.

The next several days went by in a haze for everyone. The first officer married the Captain and Seven. A combination, we are going home, and wedding banquet followed the ceremony. Janeway was shocked that almost no one was surprised by her choice of life partner. She and Seven decided in spite of their marriage they would take things slowly and each maintained their currant living space. There was just too much going on to begin the intimate aspect of their relationship the way Janeway wanted. They would continue to build, but more intimacy would wait for their honeymoon on Earth.

Today, however, the celebrations are over and the planning complete. The Captain looked at her senior staff and took a deep breath.

"Janeway to engineering."

"Torres here Captain, go ahead."

"Activate slip stream."

"Aye, Captain."

A swirling tunnel appeared in front of Voyager.

"Lt. Kim divert power from propulsion to inertial dampers and shields."

"Aye, Captain."

"Tuvok fire projectile into the stream" Janeway watched the probe enter the stream and began to ride the sides in a circular motion. "Tuvok lock a tractor beam on the probe."

In spite of all the preparation that proceeded this moment, the bridge staff seemed to be holding their collective breath. It was only released after they entered the slipstream pulled by the tractored probe. "Ensign Kim, unless we want the whole bridge crew space sick, we need to turn off the screen." The tension was broken as the crew laughed as Harry turned off the view of the swirling tunnel.

"Attention all hands this is the Captain. We have entered the slipstream and estimate being in orbit around earth in approximately 10 hours. Janeway out." Kathryn could almost feel Voyager vibrating from the crewís cheers. "I will be in my ready room. Tuvok you have the bridge. Commander join me please."

Chakotay followed the captain to her ready room and smiled as she went to the replicator.

"Coffee black, what would you like commander?"

Chakotay requested some lemon tea and carried both cups to couch. Waiting for Kathryn to tell him why they were here.

"If I had stayed on the bridge I would have been pacing." Janeway said with a wry smile. "Promise me we didnít forget anything. I need to know everyone is taken care of."

"Kathryn we are going home, to our families, you sound like this is an away mission."

Janeway met her first officerís eyes and held his gaze. In the last 7 plus years I have thought how it would feel to bring this crew home. Joy, pride, gratefulness, these are what I expected to feel, but all I do feel is fear. I am suffering from what ifs. What if the Federation has changed and they donít like Talaxians, or if the Maquis are persecuted or the Doctor deactivated. Damn it, I am doing the one thing I have wanted to do above all others and I am scared out of my mind."

"Kathryn, over the years I have watched countless times while you did what you believed to be the right thing, damn the consequences. The consequences were not always easy, but you were almost always right and the crew better off. If you can deal with the Hirogen, defeat the Kazon, and even confront the Borg, surely you can face your mother."

"How did you know?"

"How could I not, the only thing in human history more fierce then the Borg is a mother. And since you have never seemed particularly scared of the BorgÖ" Kathryn gently slapped her friend on the arm and smiled.

"Ok you, get back on the bridge and keep us spinning towards home." After her first officer left the room she activated the comm.

"Janeway to Janeway," she said with a grin. There was a pause while the new Mrs. Janeway remembered who she was.

"Very funny Captain, I knew I should have insisted on us taking my name. I think Kathryn of Nine would have a nice ring to it. How may I help you?"

"I am trying to think of a way to kill the next 9.5 hours."

"I have some suggestions but we are on duty and you keep telling me we have to wait for the Poconos. What exactly are the Poconos?"

"A traditional honeymoon spot on Earth." Kathryn replied with a salacious grin. "I hear they have heart shaped bathtubs, and beds that vibrate."

"Oh, I see," Said Seven, not really seeing at all but willing to humor her new spouse. "I have nothing pressing to do in Astrometrics, would you like me to join you?"

"Thank you Seven, but no. I guess I just wanted to hear your voice. I could use this time to make sure all personnel reports are updated and do some housekeeping. Will you meet me here for lunch in 2 hours?"

"Yes Kathryn and if you need to. Öhear me again, feel free to call."

There was a chuckle in her voice as she closed the comm., "Janeway out."

10 hours from the time she entered the slipstream Voyager exited and was right where she was supposed to be, orbiting Earth.

"Hail Starfleet" Said the Captain, hoping no one could see her crossed fingers behind her console.

"Aye, Captain" The tension on the bridge was thick as pea soup and not half so easy to swallow. Soon a fresh faced ensign in a different, but clearly Starfleet, uniform came on screen. "This is Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager I would like to speak to Admiral Necheyev." The ensignís eyes almost popped out of his head as he looked at the Captain. He barley had time for a quick "Aye Captain" before the Admiralís face appeared on screen. The Captains hands were shaking as she faced her commander.

"Hello Admiral, I trust you have a space dock available for some weary travelers." She said with more confidence than she felt.

While the Captain was speaking Harry Kim was quickly feeding legal documents like patents and marriage licenses to the Federation database. Along with Kathryn and Sevenís marriage the crew wanted to make sure that Ichebís recent adoption by Tuvok and his resulting Federation citizenship were also recognized.

The Admiral, who after her first glances at Janeway, had eyes only for her Borg crewman, shook her head as if to clear her vision. "Welcome home Captain. Please proceed to space dock and you will be given a berth. You can begin downloading your logs now. Be prepared to transport to headquarters in one hour."

And for the first time in over Seven years Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager took an order from someone else. "Aye, Admiral."

"Necheyev out."

***************

Captain Janeway strode into her ready room. She was not unaware of the looks the admiral was giving her spouse. She knew she needed allies and needed them fast. She began to push buttons on her computer hesitantly then shook her head with a self-depreciating grin. Come on Kathryn this is your mother not the Borg Queen. Just hope the shock doesnít kill her. Oh my god, if she is still alive. The thought that her mother might not be there was quickly pushed aside. The Captain placed the call that she had been waiting seven years to make.

"Hi Mom, Iím home."

Gretchen Janeway stared almost uncomprehendingly at her video terminal. As the wife of an admiral she had had her share of shocks, but none had prepared her for this.

"Kathryn, oh Kathryn."

"Itís ok Mom. We are home. We are docking at now and I am due at headquarters in an hour." Gretchen continued to stare not being able to form a coherent sentence just the name of her lost and found Child.

Kathryn was not yet dealing with the emotions of her return. Still in command mode, she knew that the joys and sorrows waiting on earth had to keep waiting. Until her crew, and most of all Seven, was safe she needed to continue being the Captain not the daughter.

"Mom I need you, I need your help. Please Mom."

Gretchenís head snapped back almost as if she had been slapped. She hadnít spent 30 years as Mrs. Edward Janeway with out some command skills of her own.

"What do you need Kathryn?"

The younger Janewayís face was flooded with relief. "Thank you Mother. I donít know how things are here. But I am afraid that our homecoming may not be as easy as I had hoped. Admiral Necheyev didnít seem that happy to see us. Is there anything I should know before I go to headquarters?"

"The war was bad Kathryn we lost so many. Of course Necheyev herself was scarred by the Borg incursion at Wolf 359, and the war touched every one in the Federation. We have been at peace for a year now and Starfleet is rebuilding. I have been meeting over the last several years with a group of families of your crew. Most of them are grateful you got lost. They were so relieved their loved ones werenít involved with the conflict. Of course we didnít know what was happening on Voyager, but I knew you would take care of them Kathryn. I knew some day you would be home. Considering the need for experienced officers I cannot imagine Starfleet wouldnít be delighted by your return. Is there something I should know before you go to headquarters?"

"I think I understand the problem. I know I reported our interaction with the Borg during my report 4 years ago."

"Yes everyone was quite surprised that you were able to capture one for study. Though a little shocked that you would make an alliance, even temporary, with the hive"

Kathryn took a deep breath. "I didnít capture one, I liberated one. She, Seven, has become a valued member of my crew. It was Seven who figured out how to get us home. I am afraid for her. The look on Necheyevís face when she saw Seven on the bridge was not nice. We have to make sure she will be safe here. We have to make sure she is treated as a recovered prisoner of war and not a captured Borg."

Gretchen Janeway was surprised by the urgency in her daughterís tone. "Kathryn I donít know what you think I can do about Federation or Starfleet procedures in dealing with your Borg problem. While it is true the Janeway name holds some powerÖ"

The Captain interrupted, "She has it."

Gretchen looked confused, "She has what?"

"The Janeway name. Seven is not just my Borg problem, she is your daughter in law."

The elder Janeway was silent for a moment. "All these years I worried that your choice in men was a little dullÖ. Good Lord Kathryn a Borg. That is taking exotic to a new level. Your sister will be proud."

Kathryn allowed herself a little grin. "Well, I live to please Phoebe. How can we make sure she meets her new sister in law?"

"Tell me everything Kathryn. Do you know who she was? Do you love her? Everything."

As quickly as she could Captain Janeway told her mother about Seven. Both who she was and who she has become.

"Here is what we will do," Gretchen said confidently. "I will go to the press, and present the love story of the millennium. A starship Captain lost in space and the woman who brought her home. A small child raised by the enemy only to be rescued years latter by an officer fated to cross her path and return her to humanity. It will spread like wild fire. By the time you get to headquarters it will be the talk of the Federation. With all the bad news we have lived with over the last years people will eat this up and no one will dare touch her."

"Well you have 20 Minutes before I am due front and center. Good luck."

The women smiled at each other, both getting a little misty eyed.

"Soon Mother, I promise I will be home soon.

Kathryn didnít even have time to tell Seven what was planned. She finished downloading the classified logs and reported to the transporter room. A young ensign met her in the transporter room and escorted the Captain through the hallways at headquarters. Felling very out of place Kathryn walked briskly with her command mask firmly in place. The ensign left her outside an office door and motioned for her to enter. Janeway stepped inside and found herself alone in a room with a long conference table. She was left alone for about 30 minutes before the door opened. Several people she didnít recognize along with Admiral Paris and Admiral Necheyev came in to the room and took their places around the table. While Necheyev was looking quite stone-faced, Kathryn could see the joy radiating from the face of her friend and mentor Owen Paris.

"Hello Captain Janeway, welcome home." Necheyev said stiffly.

"Thank you Admiral, I canít tell you how wonderful it is to be back."

"Sorry to have kept you waiting, but there was some late breaking news I wanted to watch." Necheyev looked Kathryn directly in the face. "There are some things about your mission we need to discuss before you and your crew may disembark. I assume you are prepared to answer for your actions. We have not read all of your logs but we have had several years to study your actions at the beginning of the mission." Owen Paris looked pained at the way his friend, the woman who brought his son home, was being treated. He did not, however, interfere.

"Of course Admiral."

"I would like to discuss your first breach of the Prime Directive. Who the hell did you think you were blowing up that array?"

"I was asked by the owner of the technology, a fully warp capable species, to do so. He made the same request that I would make if I felt Federation technology was in danger and I was alone and dying. I did not feel I was breaching the Prime Directive"

Necheyev looked doubtful. "It was your only way home Captain, you stranded your crew."

"With all due respect Admiral I donít know if I believe that. This was technology more advanced then anything we had ever seen. Lt. Tuvok, after spending just a few minutes with the alien technology, felt he knew how to use it. I was not as convinced. We were being fired on and the array was already damaged. It is true it might have worked, but it also might have sent us to a Quadrant for which we donít even have a letter. It might have blown us up completely. I weighed the risks and made a decision."

"How do you explain your alliance with the Borg?" Necheyev had a gleam in her eye that wasnít attractive, as if waiting for the Captain to say something unforgivable.

"Three words Admiral, necessary, temporary and profitable. You know that we have had a former Borg as a crewmember for the past 4 years. Voyagerís database is filled with information that we can now use to defend against the Borg. When you read our logs you will find that a mission to bring home a few Maquis turned in to one of the greatest science expeditions since the days of Kirk. I am proud to have commanded it."

Necheyevís gleam turned Nasty. "And will we also read about your wedding Captain, the one where you married the enemy?"

"No admiral, I only have had one wedding. You will read about me marrying a wonderful woman, the one who got us home."

The room was silent. And Owen Paris had had enough. This briefing was the only thing standing between him and his new grandchild, and he had his priorities. "I think I have heard what we need to for now. It was agreed 4 years ago that all the Maquis would be pardoned. Unless you have corrective action that needs to be taken towards a member of your crew, they are all free to take general leave for the next few weeks. We do want to know where everyone is so that we can reach them for debriefing. For those who need them Starfleet will arrange for accommodations and of course credits. With regards to your spouse, there are some," he glanced over at Necheyev," that believe she represents a danger to us. How do you respond to that Captain?"

"If Seven wanted to harm anyone she could have done it at any time over the last 4 years. She is no danger."

Owen smiled, "for now she will need to be under Starfleet observation at all times." He held up his hand to forestall an outburst from Kathryn. "As a Starfleet officer I am ordering you to know where she is at all times and accompany her when ever she is outside your home." Kathryn grinned at her friend and pretended not to hear the grinding of the other admiral's teeth.

"Aye sir"

"You have only been home an hour. I donít know everything that is going to happen to your ship or even your command. Not until all the logs are read and people debriefed. But you did bring them home. A damn fine job Captain, one your father would be proud of."

Kathryn mentally cursed the lump that was forming in her throat.

"Now if everyone will excuse us, I would like to go back to Voyager with the Captain. There is someone over there Iíd like to meet." With brisk steps Admiral Paris escorted Captain Janeway to the transporter. "Involving you mother was quite clever Kathryn." Paris gave her a conspiratorial grin. "Your commanding officer had smoke coming out of her ears as Gretchen got the jump on us and told the world you were home and in love. So are you?"

"Well sir," Janeway grinned at him with an almost swaggering stance, "I didnít know what home was until I fell in love with Seven. So the answer would be yes. I am home and in love." The two officers disappeared in a sparkle of lights as they transported to Voyager.

************************

The halls of Voyager were silent. No Warp core noise, no crew, and an almost empty ship in space dock. In her ready room Captain Kathryn Janeway was packing her personal belongings. Tonight was her last night aboard her ship for the foreseeable future. Arriving back in the Federation four days ago was an amazing accomplishment that generated an amazing amount of work. Thank God I was such a stickler for those damn personnel reports. I could have been locked in this room for years while I updated them. Soon there was nothing left to do, reports were filed and packing was done. It was time to go. "Janeway to Seven of Nine."

"Seven here Captain."

"Lord Seven, Kathryn please, we are the only people on the damn ship."

"How may I assist you Kathryn." Seven replied evenly.

"I am all done here. I will be working in my quarters next. What is your status?"

"I have accomplished all my assigned duties and have completed a regeneration cycle."

"Would you like to meet in my quarters in 15 minutes for dinner?" The Captain asked.

"Yes Kathryn."

"See you then. Janeway out" A deep melancholy descended on Kathryn as she headed down from the bridge. This ship has been my home for 7 years. Will I know how to be anything other then Captain of Voyager? As she neared her quarters Kathryn noticed her spouse of 7 days coming from the other direction. "Hello Seven. Perfect timing." The women entered the quarters together.

Kathryn moved to the replicator and ordered herself a glass of white wine. "Seven would you like a drink before dinner?"

"I will have what you are having." Seven replied as she moved over to the couch and took a seat. Kathryn raised her eyebrows in surprise. She wasnít sure if she was more shocked that Seven wanted a drink or that she was sitting.

"Is something wrong Seven?" Kathryn moved to the couch and placed her hand on Sevenís knee."

Seven smiled shyly, "I am apprehensive about tomorrow."

"I know it will be hard to leave Voyager, Seven, but I will help you."

Seven looked at her hands in consternation and took a deep breath. "I am not as apprehensive about leaving Voyager as I am about meeting your mother." She said quickly. "Research indicates that it will be an adversarial relationship."

"Seven, Why would you think you would not get along with my Mother. Anything you have read about her must be inaccurate. Mother is a wonderful woman. Now I can understand that you might worry about your past with the Borg, but I assure you she understands."

Seven looked at Kathryn thoughtfully. "As my Mother in Law she will be required to comment on my inability to care for you. I do not cook, provide a domicile or earn an income. She will find me insufficient."

Kathryn took Sevenís hand and looked into her eyes. "Mother will find you very sufficient. A good marriage is not about houses or money it is about love. My mother knows that."

Seven smiled shyly. "I also researched the Poconos today."

Kathryn raised her eyebrows with a grin, "and?"

"If a good marriage is not about houses, is good lovemaking about heart shaped bathtubs in the mountains?"

"No Seven, good lovemaking comes from knowing and loving the person you are with no matter where you are. Of course location can add a little spice."

Seven leaned in a kissed Kathryn slowly and thoroughly. Stroking her mouth with her tongue and nibbling on her lips. As she pulled away Seven commented, "Voyager is the only home I can remember. I do not know if I will feel as safe anywhere else. Knowing we will be together will give me the courage to leave the ship, but Kathryn I would like one more memory." As her voice took on a throaty quality Seven began to remove her spouseís uniform. Hands finding skin and experiencing, for the first time, the joy of making her love quiver with desire. "I believe this location is inefficient," Seven said as she lifted Kathryn and carried her towards the bedroom. Kathryn, for her part, was stunned. She assumed she would be the leader in their first sexual interaction.

"SevenÖI.. Are you sure?"

"Yes Kathryn I am." She said as she placed her love on the bed and continued to undress her. "I have done much research on this type of interaction and am looking forward to putting it in to practice."

Kathryn grinned as she looked up at Seven who was beginning to take off her bio-suit. Well Dear, then practice away.

Kathryn Janeway woke slowly the next morning. Voyager is home, Seven is in my bed, and all is truly right with the world. She grinned as she began placing soft kisses on Sevenís neck. Sevenís eyes opened and she blinked rapidly. "Good morning Kathryn."

"Hello Seven did you sleep well?"

"Yes, but not as much as you. While you were unconscious I made some calculations for you."

"No calculations before my bath Dear, I have muscles aching that I didnít even know I had."

Seven blushed as she looked down at their entwined bodies on the bed. "Was I sufficient?" She asked nervously.

"Oh Seven, you are wonderful and your love making divine. But we better keep that to ourselves or every Captain in Starfleet will be stranding their ship in order to meat the Borg." The women grinned at each other as Kathryn got out of bed and went to start her bath.

"I will arrange for nutrition while you bath Kathryn, you could review the calculations in the tub."

As Janeway settled in to the warm water she grabbed Sevenís pad and began to read. It took three times through before its meaning sunk and she stood up straight in the tub and hollered to her spouse. "Seven are you sure about this?"

Smiling Seven entered the room. "Yes Kathryn, you really need to practice converting star dates."

"But this means Phoebes 40th birthday is tomorrow, not last week!"

"Yes Kathryn."

The gleam in Kathryn Janewayís eyes was almost scary as she turned to get out of her bath. "Oh Seven we have to start planning right away." In her excitement Kathryn tried to jump out of the tub. As the water from her fall splashed every thing in the room, soaking Seven. Janeway said, "ok maybe in 10 minutes." Both women were laughing as Seven began to pull off her wet clothing. Relaxed from the tub and aroused by the sight before Janeway said in a deep voice, "Oh hell, lets just get her a card." And she led Seven back to bed.

Finis