Title: The Ball
Author: Romana (romana03@yahoo.com)
Series: Star Trek Voyager
Pairing: Janeway/Seven
Rating: PG
Archiving: Yes please.

Email:  romana03@yahoo.com
Notes: Not really BritSlash, but written in response to Helen and Michelle's
Comic Relief challenge: "write a little snippet of fiction, or poetry,
which mentions a 'red nose' somewhere in it. That's all.  Simple <g>.
And for every piece of fiction posted for the challenge, Michelle and I will
give a £1 each to Comic Relief."


The Ball


by Romana

I can't quite believe I'm doing this.  I turn in front of the mirror and try
to take in the sight that meets me.  A headache is developing before I get
anywhere near the party.  We're off to a bad start.  The door chime invades
my bad mood.  I turn, rubbing the bridge of my nose, trying to clear the
dull ache from my brow.


Even to myself, my growled invitation doesn't sound all that inviting.  I
glance at my hand as I take it away from my face.  White make-up covers the
fingertips of my gloves.  I groan.  Seven of Nine stares at me from just
inside the door.  I notice she's still wearing her plum biosuit.  I wonder
whether she has decided not to attend Neelix's 'morale raising' costume

"An interesting choice of attire, Captain."

"I notice you're not in costume yet.  What can I do for you Seven?"  I sound
resigned.  Most of my crew would have made their excuses and left within
seconds just from the aggressive greeting, never mind the look I must have
given Seven when she came in.  But she's different.  I can't keep this up
around her.  It's water off a duck's back.  It's hard to be obnoxious to
someone when they don't react.  I even find it hard to stay angry with her
when she defies me, questions my decisions and shouts at me.

"My costume is to be a surprise.  However, I require your assistance.  I
need to have ringlets in my hair, but I do not know how to achieve this."

"Ringlets?  Well, I'll have a go.  Let your hair down."

She reaches up and releases her hair from it's customary tight roll.  My
breath catches.  I don't think I've ever seen her with her hair down like
that before.  Bits of it work themselves free when we play velocity
sometimes, and that looks adorable, but now she looks incredible.  I remove
my gloves, head for the replicator and programme a brush, combs and clips,
some strips of material and a large can hairspray.  Trying to look dignified
despite my costume, I sit on the couch.

"Come here and sit on the floor in front of me."

She does as she's told.  Curling her legs beneath herself, leaning back
against the couch, between my legs.

*Focus Kathryn.  Don't think about anything.  Just do her hair.*

I drape her hair over my left hand and brush it out gently.  It's soft.  I
fight my impulse to bury my face in it, instead just stroking and revelling
in the feel of it in my hands.  I gather it up, secure it back from her face
with the combs and grips.  Then I start to split it, twisting it tightly in
the rags with copious amounts of spray to hopefully hold it the way I want

"You know, it would be easier for me to know if this is going to look right,
if I knew what you were going as."  I'm dying to know, and I want
conversation, anything to distract me from the fact that the most beautiful
woman on my ship is sitting between my legs.

"It is to be a surprise.  However, I am certain that  your styling will be

"Ok, well that's it done.  Don't take the rags out until the last moment."
We stand and I hand her the hairspray.  "Take them out carefully, and then
spray them again, then they will have a better chance of lasting the

"I do not wish to risk ruining them.  If I return, will you remove the rags
and complete the ringlets?"

"Of course.  But then I'll get to see your costume before the party."

"It will still be a surprise when I arrive here.  That is acceptable."

"Ok, I'll see you later."

Feeling rather more cheerful, I go back to my own preparations.  I repair my
make-up and replicate some more gloves, deciding not to put them on until
it's time to go.  I get myself a coffee and sit down to wait for Seven to
come back.

About quarter of an hour later, the door chime sounds.


This time my invitation is almost cheerful, I can't wait to see what she
looks like.  A vision enters my quarters.  Seven's dress is pink.  Pink and
lacey.  With bows.  And a huge hooped skirt right to the floor.  It's low
cut and reveals cleavage. Lots of it.  Short puffed sleeves trimmed with
ribbons grace her arms and her shoulders are bare.  On anyone else, a 'Bow
Peep' costume would look vaguely ridiculous, on Seven, it takes my breath
away.  She leans her crook on the wall and puts down the toy sheep.  She
turns around in front of me.

"Do you like it Captain?"

*Don't gape.  Shut your mouth Kathryn.*

I'm glad I saw her before I got to the mess-hall.  Staring open mouthed at
one's crewmembers does not inspire confidence in a leader.

"You look lovely Seven, absolutely lovely."  I move behind her, carefully
taking out the rags and fixing the ringlets.

"Your costume is...it is..."  she is undoubtedly desperately searching the
Doctor's 'useful phrases' for something complementary to say about my
costume.  Which I'm thoroughly regretting.  Why did I let Chakotay talk me
into this?

"Don't worry Seven.  I know I look stupid.  I think that's the idea.  There,
now your hair matches your costume.  Lovely."

Seven turns and stares at me.

"You always look lovely to me," she states quietly, "even in that ridiculous
costume."  She steps closer to me, takes me in her arms.  "I would kiss you,
but I do not wish to mess up your make-up before the party.  Perhaps we
could continue this conversation afterwards?"

Seven wants to kiss me.  And I have to wait until after the party.

"Yes..."  my voice sounds unusually weak and feeble.

I doubt I'll make it through this evening.  Seven hands me the pink and
black spotty gloves.  I slip them on unthinking.  She picks up her sheep and
her crook.  I start to head for the door.

"Kathryn, do not forget your red nose."

Damn clown suit.  I really do not want to go.

"Come on then Seven, the quicker we arrive, the sooner..." I stop, that
sounds awful.

"We can be back here?" she smiles at me and we head for the ball.

If the measure of the success of our costumes is the amount of sniggering
and silly remarks they caused, I won hands down. If it is the number of
admiring or even openly lecherous stares, Seven deserves the prize. It isn't
unusual for Seven to be the subject of admiring glances, but the dress,
while leaving more to the imagination than her biosuits, certainly
highlighted her femininity, and I was definitely not the only one who
noticed. I don't doubt that the fact that I arrived at and am now leaving
the ball with my pretty Astrometrics officer has been noted and will be the
subject of much speculation. What does surprise me, is that I really don't

When we arrived the mess-hall was already busy. We entered together and
there was a rather stunned silence. Conversations picked up hurriedly;
evidence of embarassment at having singled us out so obviously. I blushed
and was actually glad of the thick face paint. We joined Chakotay and Tuvok
who were standing not far from the door. Chakotay was dressed as a pirate,
and looked quite handsome in knee breeches, a loose white shirt and a
menacing looking cutlass. An eyepatch covered his left eye and the costume
was topped off with a wig of long, black curls. Even Tuvok had entered into
the spirit of the thing, and was dressed as an elf. I have to say that when
I stood by him, I felt a little less ridiculous. Neelix, in Klingon armour,
bustled over with drinks for us, champagne for me and a fruit cocktail for
Seven. Naomi spotted Seven and shot across the room, flinging herself at
her, pulling her down to her level and hugging her tightly.

"Hi Seven, you have the prettiest dress!" she exclaimed.

"Naomi Wildman, that is an unusual costume. You have wings."

"I'm a fairy, do you like my wand?" She waved the sparkly stick at Seven.
"It does magic. I have fairy dust too." She blew glitter from her palm at
Seven, who nodded gravely.

"No doubt you have cast a spell on me."

"Yes, I cast a spell that makes you want to let me play with that sheep."
She promptly claimed Seven's cuddly sheep and ran off to show Neelix.

I grinned at Seven. "Well, that's how it goes, Seven. You play Bo Peep, you
lose your sheep."

She raised her occular implant and made no reply. Ok, bad joke. I blushed
again and thought the time had come when as Captain, I was going to have to
circulate and face the comments my costume was bound to cause. I lost count
of the number of times I explained that it was Chakotay's idea, and he had
practically dared me to wear it. I also lost count of the number of times I
overheard admiring remarks about Seven. I spent the whole evening half
listening to what was being said and half thinking about Seven. Well, more
than half thinking about Seven. I think she must have borrowed some of
Naomi's fairy dust and cast a spell on me. I was constantly aware of where
she was and who she was talking to. I fumed silently when I saw her cornered
by Tom and Harry. Tom put his arm around her, and I was sorely tempted to
stomp over and challenge him. Just as well I wasn't in the pirate costume;
it would have been cutlasses at dawn. Tom and B'Elanna must be 'on a break';
she spent the whole evening trailing Chakotay and I got the impression that
Tom was trying to get her attention. Harry just looked smitten, and I hoped
my expression wasn't quite that love-struck on the few occasions I did get
to talk to Seven.


We walk into my quarters together and suddenly I feel awkward. I leave the
lights low.

"Uh, have a seat Seven." I gesture towards the couch and head for the
replicator. "Can I get you a drink?"

She sits, as usual with her absolutely perfect posture. She looks as
uncomfortable as I feel.

"No thank you, I require no further liquid refreshment at this time."

"Ok, do you mind if I have one?" I get the whisky before she has a chance to
reply. She just nods. I sit next to her, put my glass on the low table and
sink back into the couch with a sigh. I pull off the red nose and the
hideous curly green wig that I've been wearing all evening. I shake out my

"The starlight catches your hair."

Seven reaches towards me tentatively, stroking my hair much as I did hers
earlier. Her hand trails down from my hair and she caresses my cheek. I'm
momentarily surprised that the mesh covering her hand is soft, not like
skin, but not as unyielding as I had expected. I turn slightly, brushing the
tips of her fingers with my lips. Our eyes meet and my mind goes blank. Then
our lips are pressed together. The kiss I have been anticipating all
evening, and it's happening and I know I'll never remember quite how it
happened because it just is. Our tongues meet and dance, exploring, as we
reach for each other. Her dress is silky, sensual, but not as soft (as far
as I'm concerned) as her skin. I run my hands down her arms and know that I
need to touch more of her. We break apart, both breathing hard, and I drink
in the sight of her, and then we both giggle. It's not something I associate
with Seven, giggling, and that makes me laugh more. She has a splotchy mess
of red and white face paints around her mouth and a white blob on her nose
and I know that whatever mess she is in, I must look ten times worse. It
looks horribly incongruous with the pretty girly pink frock and the spun
gold ringlets (which for a brief second I'm proud to note held up well for
the whole evening). I suppose it just goes to prove that there's nothing
like a stupid clown costume to cut through sexual tension. I sit up and take
a sip of my drink to give myself time to gather my composure.

Seven stands and reaches out towards me. I take her hand. She leads me
through to the bathroom. She takes a face wipe and gently she removes the
make-up from my face, her movements slow, almost a caress. We're standing so
close together, our bodies a breath apart. I return the gesture, removing
the splotches from her skin. Then she leads me through to the bedroom and
we're kissing again. Her hands tracing fiery trails down my back, even
through the material that separates her touch from me.



Suddenly I know this can't happen. Not now.

I haven't done my legs.

How can I have been so lazy? It only takes five minutes!

I pull away and look up into her eyes. Her blue eyes, alight with passion
and desire. I take a deep breath.


"Do not speak Kathryn, do not stop this."

She steps closer to me again. I back away, although everything in me is
screaming at me to take her in my arms now.

"I, we, should take this more slowly."

"I do not see the necessity of that."


She looks at me. Nods. Turns to leave.

"Good night Captain."

There is a tone of such finality in her voice.

"Good night Seven. I'll see you tomorrow."

She nods and walks out of my quarters without looking back. I feel like
screaming. I kick the wall instead. It hurts. I strip off the stupid,
bloody, hideous, dumb, idiotic, fucking clown costume. I'm muttering,
swearing under my breath as I run the repressor over my legs. Never, ever,
ever again will I fail to do this. I pull on a short, black silk nightdress,
nearly tearing it with my furious haste and throw myself on to my bed. My
empty, more lonely than ever before, lacking in lanky blonde occupants,
horrible bed. I fail to fall asleep. I lie on my right side, and fail to
fall asleep. I shut my eyes, twist over on to my left side and fail to fall
asleep. I lie on my back and stare at the ceiling.

"Computer, locate Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is in Cargo Bay Two."

Even the bloody computer sounds smugly sated.

I get up and pull on my uniform. It makes me feel more in control. I like
that. I calm down a little and make a decision.


She enters my cargo bay precisely 22.76 minutes after I left her quarters.
My estimation of the length of time it would take her was inaccurate. I was
0.986 minutes out. She is early. No doubt she expected me to be
regenerating, she looks a little surprised to see me sitting on the dais of
my alcove, waiting for her.

"Good evening Kathryn."

She is once again in uniform. It makes her feel more in control. She likes
that. She likes to feel that she is in control, even of me, and I like that,
sometimes. I stand as she approaches me. Take up my usual stance. Her hands,
balled into fists, move to her hips. I allow myself a small, a very small
smile. She sees it, she is one of the few members of my collective who
recognise my emotional responses, and she smiles back.

"Why aren't you regenerating?"

"I was waiting for you."

"How did you know I would come?"

"You usually do when you cannot sleep. I decided to be awake when you
visited me."

She blushes.

"Seven, I'm sorry about earlier."

She is sorry, but not, I think, because she thinks she hurt my feelings.

"I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"Then you came to apologise?"


"I accept your apology, Kathryn."

She looks at me. She is waiting for me to kiss her again. I am not going to.

There is silence.

She steps closer to me. Looks up at me. Reaches out and touches my arm. Just
the lightest touch of hers seems to affect me in the most extraordinary way.
I know in a moment she will speak and her voice will have that low tone,
almost a growl that seems to turn my insides to jelly. I do not allow my
reaction to her touch to show in my expression.


She did it. She growled at me. I am hers. I always have been.

"Come with me."


She took me back to her quarters then and we copulated. Or 'made love', as
she prefers to term it. The feel of her body against mine, her lips touching
me everywhere, her hands caressing me and that moment when everything is
lost to me and I feel as though I cannot continue are beyond description. I
love to touch her, and kiss her, to bring her pleasure. I lie in her bed and
watch her sleep. She is wonderful. My lover. Sleeping next to me. Once I
hated her for bringing me aboard her ship. Now I love her with every part of
my being. My love for her fills me with warmth and I will never let her go.



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