You WHAT, Doctor?

by Susan P.
  Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager      Pairing: Janeway/Seven  
  Rating, etc.: 13+, for language and sexual innuendo  
  Spoilers: Spoilers up through "Body and Soul" (7th season), but it only includes fairly minor spoilers from that episode.   
  Summary: What at first sounds like bad news, turns out to be not so bad, after all. This is a response to a challenge on the J7_Faction list to write a story beginning with: "I slept with Seven last night."  
  Author's Notes: All hail to 'The Queen of Doom' for posing this little challenge. Anything that gets my muse in gear is a good thing. <g> I didn't really write this to fit in with any other story, but it could be read as a sequel to my J/7 piece, "What Happens Next," if you're so inclined.  As for the medical stuff and Seven's authorization code: it's fiction, I made it up, okay?  
  Disclaimers: These characters belong to Paramount.  I'm just having a little fun with 'em.  
  Permission to Archive: Passion and Perfection. ShatterStorm Productions   Anyone else, please ask first.  


"I slept with Seven last night."

She simultaneously tried to inhale and spit out the sip of coffee she'd made the mistake of taking a moment before. She managed to do neither well, and she doubled over in a coughing fit.


She held up a hand toward the com-panel, signaling him to wait until the convulsions shaking her body, and the thoughts raging through her mind, calmed enough to allow her to respond.

She finally stopped coughing and managed to draw in several deep breaths, which helped soothe her jangled nerves a little. "You WHAT, Doctor?" The strangled croak that came out of her throat was a pale imitation of her usual command voice, but it got his attention, and it wiped that damned look of concern off his face.

"I slept with Seven last night."

He sounded excited, the way he often did when he was involved in some new project or had just solved one that he'd been wrestling with. She wanted to kill him. Or at least do something--anything--to wipe that smug look from his face. But she concluded that trying to strangle a mass of photons and force fields would be a foolish, and ultimately unsatisfying, endeavor.

She was spared from having to respond when the Doctor spoke again. "Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I slept in Seven..."

That did it. She would kill him. She'd delete his program. No, no--couldn't do that--ship needs its Doctor. She'd strip his personality matrix down to the bare bones. She'd...

"...It was a rather interesting experiment, actually."

"Experiment!?" she sputtered. She hadn't noticed that the Doctor had continued to drone on until that word penetrated her senses.

"Why, yes, of course. Why would I bother, otherwise?"

She still found herself stifling the urge to do him bodily harm--he should be glad he chose to inform her via the com-system. But this conversation had apparently taken a turn somewhere and she was beginning to suspect she was missing some crucial information. Even the EMH couldn't be that insensitive. Could he? She fought hard to keep her voice as calm and emotionless as she could manage, "I think you'd better explain it from the beginning, Doctor."

"Certainly, Captain." He positively beamed, as if he'd been hoping for just such an invitation. "Seven spoke to me about the possibility of reducing her necessary regeneration time by increasing her food intake and starting a regular pattern of natural sleep. Well, I suggested she spend a week allowing me to monitor her biofunctions while she slept in Sickbay so I could compare the effects with those of her regular regeneration cycle. She was less than enthusiastic about that plan, and came up with the 'more efficient' alternative of downloading my program into her implants--like she did when she hid me from the Lokirrim--so that I could access much more detailed physiological and cybernetic data, as well as share in the sensations associated with sleep and her energy levels after waking."

"I take it from your tone that the experiment was a success?"

"Oh, yes. She made some adjustments so that I did not have full control of her...behavior like I did before. That made it a little less 'fun' for me, but it was a fascinating experience nevertheless. I mean, the dreams alone..."

"And the data you collected, Doctor?" That last statement worried her a bit, and she felt it best to keep him on track, lest he go off on a dangerous tangent.

"Ah, yes. Based on the biometric information downloaded into my program, and on my qualitative experiences during sleep, and after waking up this morning, it seems she can definitely benefit from a regular schedule of sleep. I doubt she will ever be free of the need to regenerate. But if she gets an average of five to eight hours sleep a night, in addition to spending several hours a week regenerating, she shouldn't notice any deficits in functioning."

"I see." Then she remembered why the Doctor had contacted her originally. "So, why does she need the day off to regenerate?"

"Yes! I almost forgot. I need to determine which schedule of regeneration will provide the most benefit. One option would be one long cycle per week--fourteen to sixteen hours should do it. Or perhaps two nights per week of her regular regeneration cycle. A third option would be for her to regenerate a few hours each day. I suspect that one of the first two options might be best, and Seven expressed a preference for the first. And, since things have been a little quiet in this sector of space, I saw no harm in authorizing the time off. Seven wanted to begin testing the options as soon as possible."

"That's fine, Doctor. And will Lt. Paris need to pull any more night shifts while you proceed with this plan?"

"Not unless there is a major emergency of some kind. My monitoring of Seven's functioning will be of a more conventional nature from this point on. I only needed him last night in case something went wrong with our experiment, and so that someone would be available if anyone needed medical assistance. He assures me he was quite bored, and that he managed to sleep a little himself. So, he should be fit for his usual shift tomorrow."

She nodded, "Fine. Is there anything else I should know about?"

"Not at the moment. I'll inform you when I determine what the best schedule for Seven's sleep and regeneration cycles will be, in case changes should be made in her shift and duty assignments."

"Thank you, Doctor. If changes to the duty roster seem necessary, be sure to inform the Commander, as well."

"Of course, Captain. Doctor out."

She leaned back in her chair and blew out a long breath. She was relieved the conversation was over, and that the Doctor's rather outrageous statement had had a logical explanation, after all. And that she had managed to keep herself from doing harm to the Doctor's program long enough to discover that. She looked to her cup of coffee on the desk, and the small mess from her coughing fit that she would have to clean up. Later. None of it held much interest for her at the moment.

She checked the chronometer on her desk: 0940. "Computer, locate Seven of Nine."

"Seven of Nine is in Cargo Bay Two," the computer chimed.

"And her status?"

"Active, and logged onto the computer console in Cargo Bay Two."

Good. She strode out of her Ready Room and headed for the turbo-lift, pausing just long enough to address Chakotay. "There's something I need to check on, Commander. I won't be long. You have the Bridge."

She barely registered his, "Yes, Captain," and the curiosity in his tone as she stepped into the lift.

When she entered the cargo bay, Seven was stepping away from the computer console, turning to look toward the door on her way to her alcove.

"Captain? I just sent a message to your terminal."

She smiled, "Aren't you supposed to be regenerating now?"

Seven's expression was a perfect mixture of surprise and guilt. "How did... The Doctor. He spoke with you."

"Yes, he did." Her grin turned mischievous, "And because you neglected to inform me of your little experiment yourself, you put the good Doctor at risk."

She almost felt guilty when Seven's look changed to one of obvious concern for her doctor and friend. Almost. Let her sweat a little, she thought.

Seven stammered, "How? he...?"

She took pity on her then. "Relax, Seven. The Doctor's first attempt at explaining why you needed the day off to regenerate was to brag about having 'spent the night' with you." She chuckled as she watched Seven's jaw drop. "I was about thirty seconds from decompiling his matrix myself."

Seven's ocular implant shot up almost an inch as she exclaimed, "Captain!"

She finally threw back her head and let out the laughter that had been bubbling up within her. As she did, she felt some of the tension of the past several minutes drain away.

When she recovered, she looked back to see the amusement dancing behind Seven's lovely blue eyes. "Luckily for all concerned, I managed to control myself long enough for him to correct my original assumption," she smiled.

Seven's lips curled into a slight smile as well. "You were..." She faltered a moment, unsure, "Were you...?"

"Jealous? You're damn right I was." She moved to stand in front of Seven. Close enough to touch, but not touching. Not yet. But she let her eyes caress the young woman--first a quick, and obvious, sweep down her body and then back up to linger over the skin of her neck, the planes and curves of her face, the depths behind those eyes.

Seven seemed both embarrassed by, and hungry for, her attention, and she reveled in the sight of the emotions playing across Seven's face. 

The young woman swallowed nervously before speaking, "Computer, engage privacy lock on the doors to Cargo Bay Two for a period of fifteen minutes, or until released by Captain Janeway or myself--authorization Seven-zeta-one-zero."

"Privacy lock engaged."

Seven took a half step forward, and she finally gave into the urge to pull the young woman into a loose embrace.

"Kathryn, I apologize for not informing you about the experiment myself. I had hoped to keep it as a surprise. I asked the Doctor not to inform you of our plans to carry it out, but I apparently neglected to mention I wished the results to remain in confidence."

She tried to soothe the young woman. "Well, there was no harm done, really. And, while the Doctor should have checked with you first, I really think he was just dying to talk to someone about his new experience with sleep. You should be careful, I think he's had way too much fun using your body." 

A smile played across Seven's lips. "Not as much fun as you have had 'using' my body, I assure you."

She was secretly delighted by Seven's playful teasing, but tried hard to hide it. "Very funny. I haven't heard you complain."

"Nor will you," Seven's voice was deceptively neutral, but there was a wealth of promises in her eyes.

"Glad to hear it. Seven, I'm curious. Why did you want to keep your experiments 'as a surprise?'"

Seven hesitated a moment before answering. "Leaving your difficult for me. And it is only becoming more difficult the longer we..."

It was almost as if Seven couldn't yet bring herself to say it, or believe it. So, she chose to finish the sentence; she wanted Seven to hear her say it. "The longer we're together?"

She was warmed by the quiet relief in Seven's eyes. "Yes."

She grinned, "I know. Even if I'm asleep when you slip away, I still miss you in the morning."

Seven tilted her head to the left and studied her with her ocular implant. "You experience this sense of loss, as well?"

She reached up to caress the young woman's cheek. "Oh, honey, of course I do. I realize that being in a relationship is new for you, Seven, but what we're feeling is hardly unique. It's fairly normal for lovers to want to spend as much time together as possible--especially in the early stages of a relationship."

Seven looked skeptical, "Then, these feelings will diminish as our relationship progresses?"

She couldn't quite decide whether Seven looked more relieved or worried about that prospect. "Well, the symptoms might become a little less acute over time. But, if we're very, very lucky, we'll never get tired of spending time together." She had tried to convey, in slow, seductive tones, her hope that that would be the case. To further emphasize her point, she pulled Seven closer and gently nuzzled the juncture between her neck and shoulder. She felt Seven's fingers stroking along her back, and they stood like that another moment or two.

Finally, she murmured, "How long will your regeneration cycle last?"

Seven pulled back slightly, "Fifteen hours. I must report to the Doctor for a brief examination afterwards. Once that is concluded, I will be free to join you in your quarters, if you like?"

She wasn't sure whether to be grateful for Seven's careful respect for her private time, or angry on Seven's behalf because the young woman didn't yet feel she could presume upon it. "Seven, not only would I like you to join me, I'll expect you to. And if I'm asleep, I expect you to let yourself in and wake me."

Seven shook her head, "You need your rest, Kathryn. If you are asleep when I arrive, I will simply join you."

Now it was her turn to argue. "After such a long regeneration, you'll hardly be tired enough to sleep. But I can think of some wonderful ways to tire you out... Tell you what: I'll promise to take a nap this evening, if you'll promise to wake me, if necessary, when you arrive?"

Seven relented, "Agreed."

She nodded and pulled back slightly, "Good. Now, I came down here to 'tuck you in.' Are you ready?"

Seven had heard the phrase, and witnessed the process, with Naomi Wildman. She smiled, "Will you also give me a 'goodnight kiss?'" she teased.

She feigned shock, "You've found me out. That was my intention all along! And, as a bonus, I'll even wish you 'sweet dreams.' Oh, wait..." She turned semi-serious again, "Speaking of dreams, the Doctor mentioned that you had some interesting ones last night. Should I be concerned?"

She watched the flush creep into Seven's cheeks but found it more charming than worrisome.

"There was nothing in them that would betray the nature of our current relationship. Not that I can recall. You...were in at least one of them, but your appearance was different. I do not think the Doctor could have recognized you." She seemed embarrassed for some reason.

"I don't suppose you'd care to talk about that dream with me?" she probed, gently.

Seven appeared uncertain, but she replied after a moment's hesitation. "I...there were Borg. Chasing me. And, then I was with the Queen. She was...touching me. Invading my mind. I...was afraid. And then there was an...angel. But...more fierce. She had a sword and she struck down the Queen and rescued me. Healed me. She had...flame-colored hair."

The implication seemed clear enough in Seven's eyes, but she still found it hard to believe. "That... Me?"

Seven nodded, "I believe so, yes."

She shook her head, still trying to get around that image. "So, you see me as some kind of avenging angel? I'm no angel, Seven. I certainly can't picture myself in that role. I'm surprised you can picture me as one, even in your subconscious."

"I admit it was not my initial characterization of you."

They shared rueful smiles at the truth in that statement. "No, I bet it wasn't."

"Kathryn, I do not consciously think of you as an angel. But, I have come to think of you as my rescuer. You...have fulfilled that role for me many times. You may find it easier to think of yourself in those terms, as well, if the angel imagery troubles you so."

"Hmm. Maybe." She suddenly had the sensation of being on the wrong side of this conversation. Here Seven was lecturing her--and doing a pretty good job of it, too--on dream interpretation, and on aspects of their relationship. One thing seemed certain, life with Seven would prove to be continually challenging. But that shouldn't surprise her--it always had been.

She shook herself out of her thoughts and noticed an unpleasant expression on her companion's face. "Something wrong, Seven?"

"You said the Doctor was aware of my dreams last night?"

"Yes, but I wouldn't worry. Their content certainly falls under doctor-patient privilege. He won't mention them to anyone," she soothed.

Seven didn't seem convinced. "I am more concerned that he will want to discuss them with me."

She nodded and smiled sympathetically. "Ah. I see your point. Well, maybe by the time your cycle is over, he'll have forgotten about them." 


She gestured toward Seven's alcove. "Go on. Up you go. The earlier your cycle begins, the earlier I get to see you again."

" kiss, Kathryn?"

"I haven't forgotten. Now get up there." She could barely contain a grin as she watched Seven step into her alcove and get into position. Once she had, she reached up to her, "Give me a hand."

Seven helped pull her up onto the narrow platform. She grasped Seven's waist tightly and leaned in close. "Do you know how many times I watched you regenerate and wished I could do this?" she whispered before stretching up to kiss her lover.

The kiss was slow and sweet, leaving them slightly out of breath when they broke apart. She gazed into Seven's eyes and drawled, "So, how was that?"

"Wonderful," she whispered.

Seven held her arm to steady her while she stepped down. She moved to the control panel and keyed in the proper sequence. "Rest well, Seven. See you tonight."

Seven's look was intense, "Be sure to rest, also, Kathryn." She said no more before slipping into unconsciousness, but her meaning had been clear.

She allowed herself to linger a few moments and watch the young woman 'sleep.' She then thought of being able to observe Seven really sleeping, in bed, next to her, and that made it easier to turn away. 

She released the privacy lock on the doors and headed through them and back toward the Bridge.


The End

© December 2000