The Christmas Challenge 
 

Seven-of Nine walked briskly through the corridors of the Starship Voyager. The ship's captain, Kathryn Janeway, (major intergalactic super hero) had liberated her from the Borg (intergalactic bad guys). Stranded decades from home the crew of the Starship Voyager worked their way through space, making a difference where they could, taking and stand where they need to, and just plain trying to live long enough to see their families again. Adding Seven to the crew has been both a blessing and a burden to the captain. As a crewmember Seven has more knowledge of space then anyone on board or even living anywhere. All the knowledge of the Borg Collective combined with free will makes for an incredibly brilliant person. As a human Seven has less knowledge of personal interaction and social mores than the shipís only child, six-year-old Naomi Wildman. As a result Captain Janeway felt obligated to help Seven learn to be human again and even enjoyed teaching Seven about her favorite things.

"Hi, Seven come on over." Naomi Wildman called from across the room. "Look what we are doing. The captain did this when she was a little girl in Indiana. Did you know the captain used to be a little girl just like me?"

Seven cocked her head raising the implant that arched over her left eye. "Hello Naomi Wildman, Captain. What is the purpose of the debris on this table?"

Captain Janeway smiled at the disdainful tone of her Astrometrics officerís voice. "It is not debris Seven. These are the makings of a Christmas house. Yesterday, Naomi and I baked the cookies for the walls and today we will assemble and decorate the house. We made enough for you to do one, too."

"And who would reside in this cookie domicile? The walls are quite small."

Naomi replied very seriously, "It is a decoration, to celebrate Christmas. Make one with us Seven please. Watch I am going to put my walls together now."

The child dipped her finger in the white frosting and spread it on the corners of her cookie. "See we hold it together while it dries and then do the next." Soon a small house about ten inches high was formed. As she released the final wall to stand on its own Naomi licked the frosting from her fingers. Seven started and pulled the childís hand from her mouth. "Donít ingest the paste Naomi Wildman, it could make you sick."

Kathryn chuckled. "It is frosting Seven, mostly sugar." She then proceeded to dip her own finger in the substance, "See," She said as she licked it off. Kathryn looked up and met Sevenís eyes as she used her tongue to remove the frosting from her finger. Her voice deepened as she felt her chest contracting with the eye contact, "it's really quite good. Dip a finger in yourself and have a taste."

"That does not seem very hygienic Captain, but if you insist." Kathryn gasped as Seven dipped her finger in to the paste. As the frosting was removed with Borg like efficiency Kathryn felt her knees weaken. "Seven I .. I Ö"

Naomi Wildman was giggling loudly. "Seven, I think you were supposed to use your own finger!"

Seven looked from the child to the captain and then smiled, the first genuine smile of her adult life. "My apologies, Captain, let us proceed with the construction."

Whoa, Pull yourself together Katie. Janewayís heart was beating fast first from the contact then from the smile. What a smile, my God she is beautiful. With shaking hands Kathryn began to put her house together, modeling the steps for Seven. Soon the three ladies had made charming, candy-laden, cottages. Seven and Naomiís rapport captivated the captain as they teased and fed each other candy. Samantha Wildman arrived to take a frosting covered Naomi home leaving Janeway and Seven cleaning their area of the mess hall.

"Captain, thank you for including me in this project. It was enjoyable."

Kathryn smiled, "You are most welcome Seven. I do enjoy sharing some of my traditionalist past with Naomi and you two are such great friends."

Seven paused, "And us, are we friends?" She asked as she moved over to the captainís side.

"I like to think so Seven." Kathryn looked up from a particularly sticky spot on the table she had been wiping. Not having been aware of Sevenís approach she was quite surprised to be eye level with the taller womanís bust. Kathryn took a shaky step backwards, almost tripping over her own feet. Seven steadied her friend with an arm on her elbow.

"Kathryn, will you ingest your evening nutrients in my presence this evening?"

Surprised by the use of her first name and charmed by the phrasing of the invitation Kathryn smiled, "Did you want to have dinner in the mess hall or my quarters?"

"Neither, I have the holodeck reserved. Will you join me?"

Kathryn wavered a little since this seemed more than the usual friendly dinner they typically shared. "Okay, what time?"

"1900 hours. It will be a civilian setting." With that the former Borg took her rag to the recycler and left.

Seven walked into the Astrometrics lab and activated the com. "Seven of Nine to Lt. Paris"

"Paris here, go ahead Seven"

"I require your presence in Astrometrics."

"On my way, Paris out." Lt. Paris shook his head and grinned as he made his way to the turbo lift. He never knew what Seven was going to want. She may have discovered a new energy source or she may want to know how Jell-O is made. He always found it best just to come when called.

"Hi, Seven. Whatís up?"

Seven looked at the Lieutenant and raised her implant. "In space nothing," was her standard reply. "I have secured a date and need to know how to proceed. We will be meeting in the holodeck at 1900. My help on my last date was insufficient so I decided to ask someone who has actually had the experience."

Tom grinned, "Who is the lucky guy?"

"Who is irrelevant. Where should we go for dinner?"

"Look Seven, I need information before I can start handing out advise. How serious are you about him? Do you want to start a relationship or just a roll in the hay?"

Seven looked at her hands and then back at Tom. "My date is a female for whom I have fond feelings. I would like to have a pleasant evening in order to gage her reaction to the possibility of a relationship. I do not believe we need to involve bovine food or gymnastics at this stage."

"Human?"

"Yes."

"At this time on earth every major religion has a holiday. Over time the celebrations have merged. I would go for something reminiscent of that. I think a cozy restaurant during Earthís winter. Someplace on the ocean so you can look out on to snow and water. That is also a good excuse for a fire and a settee for after dinner coffee." Tom walked over to her console and started typing, "Here it is, a lovely little inn located on Earth in the state of Maine. They will serve you a traditional meal and then if you get lucky you can just go right upstairs."

They were interrupted by a familiar voice coming over the COM. "Janeway to Seven of Nine."

"Here Captain."

"Seven you said civilian clothes for this evening. Can you give me a hint about what to wear. I would hate to show up in silk if we are going to eat submarine sandwiches and play velocity."

"Silk would be fine Captain."

"See you at 1900, Janeway out."

Tom Paris cleared his throat. He looked at Seven, then away and then back at Seven. He began to back out of the lab. "I know nothing about this, I gave you no advice. I havenít even seen you today." Tomís exit was anything but graceful.

Captain Janeway sat at her desk with her chin in her hands. What is going on with that girl, okay woman. Silk is fine, she is calling me by my name and we are having dinner on the holodeck. Oh my God it is a date. I am going on a date with Seven tonight. The memory of Sevenís lips around her finger suddenly jumped to mind and caused a warm spot between Janewayís legs. Oh no, donít even think that. You are the captain; you cannot date someone under your command. Besides you have always dated men. The vision of Sevenís tongue cleaning frosting of her finger came to mind causing Janewayís nipples to harden. Six years is a long time Katie and you are an explorer after all.

The captain closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and slammed down her command mask. You do not date your crew, end of discussion. Janeway picked up a padd and began to read some of her never-ending reports.

Well here goes, thought Captain Janeway as she arrived at the holodeck door. Remember Katie, be gentile. Her last date wasnít so great and it shows a great deal of trust that she is trying again. Spend an enjoyable evening with her but make it clear from the outset that this is a dinner between friends, nothing more.

Janeway activated the holodeck doors and entered a snowy street. Holographic shoppers dressed in warm clothes walked up and down the street of a small coastal town. After a quick glance around Kathryn saw Seven waving to her. She made a lovely picture with her hair down in a royal blue wool coat. A white fluffy hat and scarf completed her ensemble. She walked toward the captain holding out a red coat matching her own.

"Hello Kathryn, I am afraid that I did not prepare you for the temperature. Please take this." Kathryn put the coat on and found mittens and a hat in the pockets. Soon the two ladies, decked out in their winter wear, were walking down the street.

"So Seven where are we?"

"On Voyager, Kathryn, on the holodeck."

Janeway grinned that special smile that she unconsciously reserved only for Sevenís faux pas. "Yes, but this program Seven, where are we pretending to be?"

"We are in a town called Camden in a section of Earth known as Maine. We will ingest our nutrients at an inn down this road." Both women admired the scenic harbor as they walked down Bayview Street. The snow was crunching happily underfoot and the moon glistened off the water.

"Here we are Kathryn," Seven motioned for Janeway to precede her up the steps of the Camden Harbor Inn.

The Captain entered the inn. As she removed her coat Kathryn pretended not to notice how lovely the snow looked clinging to Sevenís eyelashes. The inn boasted a large dinning area with only ten tables. Each table had an ocean view and the space between was enough to feel very private. The hostess showed them to their table and took their drink order.

"Seven," the captain said once they were alone. "Why have you brought me here?"

Seven looked at her quizzically. "I thought I mentioned dinner when I extended the invitation. Was there something you would like to do other than eat?" The blush that graced Janewayís face was only a little more unbecoming a Starfleet Captain than the thoughts that raced through her mind. "Are you unwell, Kathryn?"

"No Seven, but I was wondering why you chose such anÖintimate setting for our meal."

"Do you like it?" Seven asked quietly.

"Well really, Seven, whatís not to like? It just seems different from our usual time together."

Seven took a deep breath. It is now or never. You know she will resist, but you are BorgÖwell you were BorgÖOh shut up. "Kathryn I was hopping you would find this setting to be romantic."

Kathryn searched for what she should say. There it is Katie out on the table. She wants romance. What do you want? "Why, Seven? I am the captain, you know I canít entertain romantic feelings for a member of my crew."

Seven smiled and leaned across the table. She whispered conspiratorially, "It is a good thing I am not a member of your crew then." As she sat back in her seat Seven ran her hand over Kathrynís. Her smile faltered a little as her stomach quivered with both fear and anticipation. As she touched Kathrynís hand she could sense signs of arousal, elevated temperature and rapid heart beat.

"What do you mean not a member of my crew? You have been on my starship for four years, what else could you be?"

"I have looked through Starfleet regulations and precedents. The only title that applies to me is Civilian Scientist. I am not a member of Starfleet, nor am I on any payroll. I serve on this ship in exchange for room and board and the opportunity to study my areas of interest. As you know, many captains with a spouse or partner with similar duties accompanies deep space missions. Like them, I am outside the chain of command, but under the care of the captain and crew. "Kathryn," Seven reached for her hand and this time held it, gently stroking the captive palm with her thumb. "There is no one for whom I care more. Do you care for me?"

Momentarily speechless, Janeway looked into Seven eyes and for the first time in seven years the powers that be decided to give her a break. The waitress came to take their order and further conversation was halted. Janeway didnít even pay attention to what she ordered as she franticly tried to piece together her thoughts.

Romance, she wants romance. I am being romanced by a Borg. A beautiful blonde Borg. A beautiful blonde Borg who makes my chest tighten when she looks in to my eyes. Oh Katie not a Borg, a woman. A woman you care for more than any other. "Seven I donít know what to say."

"Yes or no, Kathryn. Do you care for me?" Seven was not backing down. She continued to rub circles in Kathrynís palm as she looked at her expectantly."

Janeway studied their hands on the table. "Yes, Seven, I care for you."

"And when I touch you like this Kathryn, do you feel electric shocks between your legs."

Kathryn jumped in her seat and pulled her hand away, her entire body was suffused in heat. "Seven you canítÖOne doesnítÖThat kind of talkÖ" Janeway looked up at Seven and saw confusion on her face. Well you did tell her once she could ask you anything. Janeway smiled slowly and nodded. The fates once again were kind and their meal arrived.

As the food was served, Kathryn studied her plate. Ok Katie you have admitted you are attracted to her. What does that mean? Is she a member of your crew or not? Are you actually considering a relationship with a woman? Kathryn looked up at Seven, "Why, why me?"

Seven smiled, "I do not know why you anymore than I know why the universe is. I just know that it is. Kathryn you are beautiful, smart, brave and honorable. Your smile makes my heart race, your voice makes my skin tingle and there is the small matter of the electric shocks betwÖ.."

"Okay, okay," Kathryn hurriedly interrupted her, blushing fiercely.

Seven grinned, "You have said you care for me and indicated you are attracted to me. I believe it is time to embark on a more personal relationship." Her voice lowered, "One that includes physical intimacy."

Kathryn took a sip of her wine while she processed this information. Well, there it is all laid out on the table. Yes or no, Take what she is offering, what you want. Or deal with being alone until we get home. Or worse watch her fall in love with someone else.

"Seven are you sure you know what being in a relationship with me would be like? You would still be under my command, which would be no different. I am not my own person as long as we are in the Delta Quadrant. My first priority is, and must, be this ship and its crew, this mission to get home."

"Kathryn, that has been true as long as I have known you. It is because of that I am here at all. Or do you have some secret love of the Borg that caused you to form an alliance?"

Kathryn stared into Sevenís eyes; she took a deep shuddering breath and surrendered. "The only secret love I have is for you. I guess I canít hold back any more. Seven I do want to be with you, I donít want to be alone for the next thirty years and I would die if I had to watch you love someone else. If you think you can take on a set in her ways Starship Captain who is fifteen years your senior, then who am I to resist?"

Seven smiled sheepishly, "Resistance IS futile anyway dear Kathryn." The two women ate in silence for a while, each taking out the little happy feeling from inside and just admiring it. After the meal was finished Seven began to look around.

"Lost something?" Kathryn asked.

"No Kathryn, I was just looking for the Casino."

"Seven why do you think there would be a casino in an inn on the coast of Maine?"

When Lieutenant Paris suggested this program he stated that we would go upstairs if I got lucky. But without a casino how is one to get lucky?"

Kathryn couldnít decide if she was more concerned about Parisí knowledge of their date, the need to explain getting lucky to Seven, or the fact that getting lucky was a great idea. I guess I will just start at the top. "You asked Lieutenant Paris about our date?"

"Well I asked him about where to go, he had just told me about going upstairs when you came over the com and asked about attire. He then got quite pale and left the lab quickly. Why do you think that was?"

Janeway grimaced, ok could be worse. "Seven, getting lucky is a base term for making love. When he advised you to take me upstairs he was thinking about you being intimate with someone. When he discovered it was me you were talking about, it threw him off. One doesnít think of their captain that way. At least heíd better not, and if he did it would be very bad form to say so. He is probably quite worried that we might be having this conversation."

"Oh, no casino does change my plans for the evening. What will we do next?"

Kathryn smiled. "Computer play music selection Janeway 1900." Janeway stood up from the table; "We dance." As the music started she quietly mouthed the words to Itís a Wonderful World, sung by Louis Armstrong. Janeway pulled Seven up from her seat and in to her arms. Both women started as the unmentionable electric shocks made themselves known.

"Kathryn?"

"Yes, Dear."

"Being with you like this makes me feel.. feel..I can not explain the feeling."

Kathryn smiled tenderly, "Donít try to explain it, just feel it. And know that I am feeling it too." She closed her eyes and rested her head against the taller womanís shoulder and they danced. Breast to breast the women allowed their hands to roam over the backs and buttocks of their partner. Gently exploring, quietly teasing, the women let themselves be in love.

The voice of the ship's computer disrupted their revelry. "Holodeck time will expire in five minutes."

Seven looked down into the eyes of her dance partner and began to speak. Kathryn stopped her by gently tracing the outline of Sevenís lips with her forefinger. Grinning lazily Seven drew the finger into her mouth and began to suck and nibble. "Isnít this where I came in?" Kathryn said in a voice that was almost a moan.

Seven licked the finger and replied, "You taste nice, even without the frosting." Both women laughed shakily. And then Kathryn pulled Sevenís head down to hers. Their first kiss was gentile, almost reverent. Seven felt Kathrynís lips caress hers and closed her eyes. Their bodies melted together, as their kisses grew more urgent. As Kathrynís tongue began to stroke Sevens lips she felt her stomach tremble with desire. Sevenís mouth opened and offered her entry. Kathryn alternated between nibbling and licking until she got hold of Sevenís tongue and sucked it all the way into her mouth. After seven years of denial, four of them with the object of her desire so near, Kathryn Janeway broke the bonds of restraint.

Her hands began to run up and down Sevenís body touching and tweaking her breast and buttocks. "Seven, Darling, tell me if I am hurting you. You just feel so good I want to touch all of you. I want to feel you. Do you want that too? Is it too soon?"

"You are not hurting me Kathryn. I want you to touch me. But in forty-two seconds the holodeck door is going to open and allow the people outside entry."

"Will you come to my quarters, Seven? Do you understand what I am asking?" Kathryn moved out of Sevenís arms and held both of her hands as she waited for an answer.

Looking down into Kathrynís eyes, Seven slowly replied. "All the feelings that I am processing may blow out my cortical node, but I think it will be worth it."

The two women grinned and left the holodeck together as the computer announced the end of their time.

As Kathryn and Seven headed for privacy Kathryn knew there were things they should talk about; how to behave in front of the crew, what they expect from each other and their future plans. But all she could think about was how to get the silver bio-suit off her soon to be lover. Oh lord I donít think I can make it to the turbo lift. I want to throw her down right now.

"Computer, site to site transport, two to the captainís quarters, voice authorization Janeway." Seven looked at Janeway in surprise. Her heart almost jumped out of her chest when Janeway gave her a jaunty wink as she began to disappear. Reappearing in the Kathrynís living room Seven barely had time to take in her surroundings before she felt Kathrynís lips on hers.

After an almost fierce kiss Kathryn stepped away. "Seven I need to know this is what you want. Show me you want this too. Show me you know what you are getting into."

Seven Studied Kathrynís face for a moment and then slowly reached up to her collar. Kathryn had to remind herself to breathe as she watched Seven slowly disrobe. Pulling the suit down her body Sevenís hands shook. Kathryn could see the fear in her eyes.

"You are so beautiful Seven, I want to run my hands over your body and kiss every inch of you."

"You arenít afraid of my implants? Afraid I would hurt you?"

"I know you would never hurt me on purpose, dear one," and then with a feral grin added, "of course a little pinch here or there can be fun."

"Captain I would like to remove your attire. I would like to feel the silk of your skirt and the silk of your skin."

Kathryn moved in close to give Seven access and then said smiling, "Darling donít call me captain when you are naked. Contrary to popular belief I donít pull rank in bed."

Seven looked at her hands as they finish removing Kathrynís top. She slowly began to circle Kathrynís nipples with her thumbs as she palmed the side of each breast. "I have wanted to touch you like this for so long." Seven bent her head and began to nibble on Kathrynís neck as she felt her nipples harden against her thumbs. Throwing her head back Kathryn moaned her approval. Seven moved her mouth lower and soon was sucking gently on one breast while kneading the other with her whole hand. As Kathryn felt her knees weaken she knew it was time to be off her feet.

She gently pushed Seven away from her and removed her remaining clothes. The women held hands and walked to the bedroom. Sitting on the bed Kathryn pulled Seven, standing, between her legs. Nuzzling the taller womanís stomach with her face she began to massage her buttocks with her right hand while the left roamed freely over the former Borgís body.

"Oh Seven," Janeway moaned has she slid back on the bed dragging Seven with her. Soon two bodies were completely entwined breasts pushing against each other and legs entangled while the women explored every inch of the other. Seven soon sat up straddling her love. Kathrynís mons was settled comfortably between her legs as she made eye contact, and smiled shyly.

"I like this Kathryn. I feel so full, so excited, I am not sure what to do next."

"Come up here Seven." Kathryn said. The other woman looked at her quizzically and cocked her head to one side not understanding. Kathryn smiled and nudged Sevenís shapely buttocks slipping her hands under Sevenís legs and pulling her forward. Kathrynís eyes never left Sevenís as she pulled her on to her mouth. Her tongue began slowly stroking Sevenís moist center. Kathryn reached up and began to tweak the other womanís nipples until she was writhing with pleasure. Not missing a beat Kathryn made sure that her mouth never lost contact as Seven bucked above her.

"Kathryn I donítÖI donít know..OhÖKathryyyyyyyyn." Sevenís voice hit a note she didnít even know was in her range as she felt waves of pleasure wash over her. She collapsed on the bed and rolled her lover on top of her, taking security from the closeness as the shivers from her first orgasm subsided. Kathryn was rocking against Sevenís body as her own pleasure from the taste and feel of Seven overtook her. Seven felt little shocks start again as she arced to match Kathrynís motions. The two women were practically screaming as they came together.

Hours later they feel into a deep sleep, intimately entwined and deeply contented. Tomorrow will be another day in the Delta Quadrant, but never again like every other.

finis