Vaxen - A Starting Place
[pwaxen@yahoo.com]
J/7 Stories

This is a vignette written in response to the episode "Fair Haven." It's just one possible scenario depicting what might become of Janeway, Seven and their relationship after the holographic glow grows dim.

Disclaimer: The characters of Star Trek: Voyager are the property of Paramount Pictures. No infringement is intended.

Warnings: This work contains spoilers for "Fair Haven" and "Dark Frontier." Same sex romance is implied.

Please do not archive, link or reproduce without author's permission.

Dubious Honor

by Vaxen (pwaxen@yahoo.com)

Seven paused at her work when she heard the door to astrometrics whoosh open behind her. She didn't turn around. She didn't have to. She could see the silhouetted figure standing in the doorway reflected in the polished surface of a nearby panel. Seven could have identified the trespasser even without sight as breeze from the hallway carried on it the delicate scent that could only belong to Captain Kathryn Janeway.

However, Seven began to doubt her senses as the figure continued to remain motionless in the doorway. It was not like Janeway to hesitate at the threshold. It was not like Janeway to fidget as this person had begun to do. Seven watched the reflection as it first wrung its hands then unclasped them only to hug itself. Concern and curiosity at last drove Seven to abandon her work and turn toward the door.

"Captain, may I be of assistance." The strained look on Janeway's face caused a worried tone to resonate in Seven's voice.

Janeway took one step forward, allowing the door to close, then hesitated again. She cast her gaze around the room. "You're here very late, Seven. Are you alone?"

Seven turned back to the console, hiding her expression. "I frequently continue my work after the shift ends. There are more resources available. Several of the departments, including astrometrics are only utilized during one shift each day. It seems inefficient, but it does suite my purposes." Seven failed to mention that part of her purpose was to occupy her time – to avoid thinking about things that otherwise tended to monopolize her thoughts.

"Am I interrupting anything?" Janeway asked, taking another faltering step forward.

"Captain, you seem troubled." Seven turned her full attention the fragile woman who bore only a physical resemblance to the fighter who had faced down a Borg queen to save her life. She leaned forward, coming just short of touching the captain.

Janeway began ringing her hands again, her brow wrinkling in anguish. "It's Michael Sullivan," she blurted almost on the verge of tears.

The warm concern slid from Seven's face and her posture became rigid at the mention of the name of Fair Haven's holographic bartender – the recent focus of Janeway's romantic attention. "If you are having problems with the holodeck, perhaps you should contact Lieutenant Torres. Her knowledge of that system is superior to mine."

"The system isn't the problem," Janeway said, lowering her voice to a whisper as she moved close to Seven.

Seven's concentration wavered as the tantalizing aroma wafting from Janeway's hair and the warmth that radiated from her hand where it touched Seven's arm battered her senses.

"The problem is with the character itself," Janeway continued. "I ordered the computer not to accept any more modifications to the character from me, but there are problems– things I couldn't foresee when I gave that order – things I need to rectify and I was hoping that you might help me."

"You want me to make the changes for you." A strange feeling came over Seven. It wasn't anger – an emotion she was familiar with and often found difficult to refrain from expressing. Still, there was an urge to do violence. A picture formed in her mind and she saw herself taking Janeway by the shoulders and shaking her vigorously. The moment passed as the manifestation of her revulsion turned into a flick of her ocular implant. Janeway's eager expression further dulled the edge of her ire. "As you wish."

Seven and Janeway proceeded to the holographic lab in silence. Once safely inside the lab, Janeway ordered the computer to call up the Sullivan character. A rugged man with rather ordinary features appeared in the empty space before them. He began to speak, but Janeway cut him off with an order to freeze the program.

Seven had only seen Sullivan once, crying in his beer and lamenting the loss of the woman he claimed to love. On that occasion she left the holodeck, only to hear later about the maudlin depths to which the bartender had eventually sunk. She was not impressed then or now. "Computer, modify character."

"Please state parameters." The computer patiently awaited a response.

"Captain, what traits do you wish to alter?"

"The first thing he needs is an attitude adjustment where women are concerned. Intellectually, I know that the 19th century was not an enlightened era, but I never truly understood what male chauvinism meant until I spent time as the object of that tripe. It was quaint at first, but a little of that goes a long way."

"Computer, upgrade the characters gender biases to reflect current standards."

"Modification complete."

"Anything else?" Seven asked. She did not look at Janeway, but examined Sullivan, trying to detect any change the personality modification may have made to his appearance. Finding none, she began wondered at Janeway's attraction to stubble.

"Lose the beard," Janeway ordered as if reading Seven's mind.

"Computer, remove facial hair." Seven wasn't sure the bare face was an improvement. Janeway paced around the hologram. Seven noted that her gestures were more stable. Something of the fiercely independent woman she knew was returning.

"How do you go about making someone a better lover?"

"Captain?" Seven remarked, fighting the blush that was creeping up her neck.

"Sex, Seven. I don't know if it's the holographic database or just this program, but sexually, Sullivan lacks something."

"A penis?" Seven offered.

"No," Janeway responded with a casual smile that delighted Seven despite the uncomfortable situation. "Lovers learn each others bodies, respond to each other's reactions. Over time the sex just gets better, provided both parties have some imagination. Sullivan lacks the spontaneity and the imagination of a good lover."

"I'm not sure I can reprogram those parameters." Seven concentrated, staring at the ceiling until a thought occurred to her. "Computer, alter character's personality profile to respond to the sexual appetite of Kathryn Janeway."

"Please specify."

"Enable character to fantasize about Kathryn Janeway."

"Unable to comply. Specified parameters are beyond the scope of this program."

"I don't understand," Janeway mused, "The Doctor can fantasize, why can't Sullivan?"

"The Doctor is an interactive hologram. He is unique. Like any sentient being, he adjusts his responses based on the stimulus he perceives in our reality. Mr. Sullivan is subject to the limitations imposed by the environment in which he exists."

"Well it was a nice try, Seven. I suppose I could just get used to dull sex. What made you think of giving him fantasies?"

"It seemed logical," she replied, sidestepping the real answer. "Captain, may I ask you a question?"

"Of course." Janeway dragged her attention away from Sullivan.

"When you first approached me concerning to this matter you referred to this holocharacter as 'it.' Do you not consider Mr. Sullivan to be male?"

"You must be mistaken."

"I quote, 'The problem is with the character itself.'" Janeway couldn't argue with Seven's memory. "For you Fair Haven is not a safe harbor but more like 'any port in any storm.' You have settled for an inferior substitute when the companionship you seek is readily available."

"I can't become involved with anyone in the crew."

"Why not?"

"I have to maintain the chain of command."

"If there were another captain on board could you maintain a chain of command and a relationship?"

"Yes, it's possible." Fleeting thoughts of Captain Ransom passed through her mind.

"Then the significant factor in chain of command is the pairing of individuals of equal rank?"

"Yes."

"Then why did you not order Torres and Paris to end their relationship when Paris was demoted to ensign?"

"That's different and this whole conversation is out of line."

"It was you who came to me for help. I have allowed you to be my guide over these difficult years. Allow me now to offer you guidance."

"How?" Janeway's eyes were full of pain and skepticism.

"I suggest that you require the love and support of a companion that will both challenge and inspire you and can respond to you as a human being and not just another element in a holographic program." Seven walk around the console to stand face to face with Janeway. "I suggest that you abandon the notion that your rank requires you to separate yourself from those individuals that might provide you with that companionship." Seven took another step closer, putting her almost nose to nose with Janeway. "I suggest that you consider your options right here among the men and women of Voyager, people who already love you."

"Women?" Janeway whispered.

Seven took Janeway by the shoulders and pressed her mouth against the captain's. Their lips melded in a kiss that became mutual. When Seven finally pulled back, she left Janeway dazzled and light headed.

"Perhaps ring toss is not your game," Seven said.

Janeway didn't regain her senses until she heard the sound of the door closing and she found herself alone. "Computer, delete Sullivan character."