Jane St Clair
Disclaimer: All things Voyager belong to Paramount. The story belongs to me. It's strictly a non-profit venture. Don't sue me. I got nothing but a cat.
Summary: Janeway and Seven take a journey down a holographic highway. And then travel much farther. A car, a night, a white t-shirt (and hairpins!), a leather jacket.
Warning: This story contains explicit sex between female consenting adults. That makes it slash. That also makes it off-limits to the children of the world. Behave yourselves. This is among the joys that you may experience when you're older.
'specially to Boadicea, who betaed and suggested and more or less wrote
Hack writer will
work for feedback. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Kiss on the Body Electric
by Jane St Clair
The car moves
the way it's supposed to, fast and silent along a highway that runs empty
out of sight. Sodium
headlights cut through the dark, catching flashes of grass and naked tree limbs, refracting off bits of metal that vanish as soon as they catch the eye. Kathryn burrows deeper in the leather of her jacket and drives. If she could live like this, she would. There's infinite distance between her and the end of the continent; she could just keep moving without any threat except the possibility of losing herself in the empty country, more protected than space but nearly as satisfying for Kathryn in her current high-energy state. If she could force this car to match the speed of sound, she would, letting the friction of the air rip the steel sheeting off the sides and tear them both apart. And Seven of Nine doesn't say anything at all, only tilts her body on an angle to study Kathryn's profile.
She doesn't want anyone else's eyes on this woman tonight. The way they look at her, most men, some women, it's ugly. Like palpable lust could rip her clothes away and rape her before Kathryn could make a single protective gesture. Not even a Captain's possession stops those eyes.
She doesn't want to stop until she can gain some control over her own rage. At the moment, it doesn't matter that the car is holographic and that this ancient stretch of Interstate is fifty-five thousand light years away. It isn't physical distance Kathryn needs just now. She wants the silence and the dark more than the miles. "Your resentment is unproductive," Seven says softly.
Kathryn rakes Seven with her eyes and doesn't answer. For an instant, she would like to fix her with that same lust simply to see if she reacts. But that might be too much of a test of "if looks could kill." She's angrier now than any of the day's offences against them warrant.
It bothers her, the idea of hands touching the too-pale skin that Seven revealed when she changed clothes in Kathryn's quarters. How many people want to touch that beautiful body, want to crush palms against those breasts? She's never been able to make Seven understand the lust she arouses on more than a superficial level.
She's never been able to make her see it as a threat. She doesn't understand that it can hurt her. That it can take them both apart.
Just ahead of the horizon line, an oncoming car emerges from the darkness, its headlights tiny white flecks in the distance. Far too far away to make any sound.
Kathryn slams the wheel left and puts them in the opposing highway lane, in the path of the oncoming car. With each vehicle moving at a hundred and ten kilometres an hour, the space between them closes frighteningly quickly. In her peripheral vision, Kathryn can see Seven's eyes widening, gauging her mood and trying to make sense of this maddening action. The computer-precise mind behind those eyes is visibly measuring the time they have left until impact. Thirty seconds. Twenty. Fifteen.
"Captain, stop it! Please!"
There are tears behind the tight-voiced begging. Kathryn throws them back into their own lane and the other car slides cleanly past, giving them just a half-second's view of a white, frightened face behind the windshield.
She hits the brakes and spins the car half around to make the next pull-off. Opens her door and slams it again behind her, stalking off into the stubble field illuminated by headlights. Runs. The soft ground pulls at her feet and she makes it only half a hundred yard before she collapses onto her knees and shrieks wordlessly at a sky that only exists fifty-five thousand light-years away.
It's too much for her to be responsible for all these people who keep dying on her, twenty-one so far, when she can't protect them. It's too much for her to have to protect this woman-child whose electric beauty makes her a target for every eye and who refuses to understand the anger. Who refuses to see that their desire is less than what she's worth. Why they can't love Seven when they haven't don't understand her beauty inside and out. Damn her, why can't she shield herself just a little from their eyes?
Kathryn picks herself up and walks back to the car. Seven is still inside, dressed in the terran-human clothes that Kathryn insisted on and sitting with arms wrapped tightly around her knees.
"You frightened me," she hisses.
Kathryn looks her over. "Good." At least Seven can recognize some things as threats, even within safety-regulated holograms. But there are tears in Seven's human eye and guilt at having damaged that innocence swells up.
"Get out of the car."
When Seven changed clothes in Kathryn's quarters, her shyness was overwhelming. Kathryn couldn't reconcile it with the casual sensuality the woman radiated in even the most formal situations, with the silver body casing that was more explicit than nudity. It took her a long time to realize that Seven would never before have had to dress herself in casual clothes. And longer to move gently into the bedroom and lay hands on those naked shoulders, offering something between help and simple protection.
It was a ghosting movement. She remembers standing behind Seven and guiding her hands through the rituals of dressing.
These are your clothes. These are the colours I want next to your body. White covering your breasts and buttocks. Raise your hands -- like this -- and let me slide this shirt over your head. Gods your legs are beautiful. If you can lift this foot a little I can slip you into your jeans, wrap you in socks and tie your shoes for you. Let me touch you, please. Let me button this shirt around you, keep you warm, armour you against their eyes. No one should be allowed to see your beauty but me. Gods I love you, can't you feel it in my touch?
She brushed Seven's hair, as much to complete the ritual as to clear away the nonexistent tangles. The hair weighed against her hands; it smelled of water and night. Kathryn could remember raising it for an instant to her face and wanting to kiss the back of that neck but not wanting to show that vulnerability. She let go, then and pinned the hair up, because down it was too easy to take this woman apart.
She turned Seven's
body to face her, as firmly as a parent to a child, and the look in those
electric blue eyes had been unreadable. But the lips had smiled and kissed
her on the cheek and neither of them had crumbled into dust at the touch.
"I'm sorry," Kathryn says. "I shouldn't have tried to frighten you."
"We were not in danger. The holodeck safety protocols would have overridden the accident scenario."
"But you were afraid."
"I do not understand." Seven leans against the hood of the car, the Borg facets of her body in shadow. If she was made just to be beautiful, maybe that's reason enough for her existence. But it's too easy to ignore the mind like razors that hides behind that colourless face.
Kathryn says, "I wanted you not to trust me."
"You trust too much. Sometimes I want to put the fear of God into you, just so you'll be careful. Before someone hurts you." Kathryn hugs herself and turns away. They ought to lock her up. She's a mad, middle-aged woman trying to talk sense into a twenty-four year old with the emotions of a child. She must be out of her mind.
Seven's fingers, warm flesh and cold metal, catch at Kathryn's chin and try to turn her face back. "Captain . . . ."
"Stop it, Seven."
"You cannot make me stop trusting you." Seven's low voice is as unquestionable as her scientific assurance. "Even if you try, I refuse to be afraid of you."
Seven's expression shatters. The face she wears underneath is naked and almost elementally frightened. She moves her weight off the car as if she has first to pull all her fragments back together, steps closer, hugging herself, and wraps both arms around Kathryn, pressing her face into the Captain's neck.
"Please don't do this. Please don't leave me." Tears. Kathryn can feel
them running down her
neck. "Please. Please don't."
"I didn't . . ."
"You're the only one who loves me." Seven's voice is wretched.
She's insane, but she wraps first her arms, then her entire body, around this crying woman and rocks her standing up, kissing the long blond hair and whispering comfort. "No, no, my Seven. Never would, I never would. I never meant to leave you."
Seven's lips kiss up and down her neck, desperate and clinging to her, shrieking for comfort. She repeats, "Don't leave me, don't leave me," like a mantra. Kathryn's whispered, "I won't, I won't," takes long minutes to cut through it, and afterwards Seven still rocks in her arms.
Finally, Seven whispers to her, "Why did you do that to me?"
"I don't know. I was stupid. I'm sorry."
Tear-wet blue eyes raise to Kathryn's. "I have never known you to do anything without a reason. Tell me why."
"I'm so afraid someone's going to hurt you," Kathryn says. "You never seem to notice them, the way they look at you, and what if I can't protect you from them . . . ?"
"It bothers you the way people look at me."
"Captain." Pause. "The way they look at me is irrelevant. You are the only one who touches me."
It's too much for her to be this beautiful. Kathryn pushes up on her toes to lock her mouth on Seven's and kisses her hard. Kathryn's tongue is first on her lips, then in her mouth as Seven's resistance melts and she clings hard to Kathryn's shoulders. She wants to own this woman and protect her and break down the walls of stubbornness that make them fight too often. She wants to rip the breath out of Seven's body.
She finally breaks the kiss herself and pulls Seven's face level with her own so they can speak eye to eye. "Gods you're beautiful. What do you want?"
Seven says, "I want you to take me out of here."
"It does not matter. Anywhere you take me."
to the computer for an arch and moves them both out of the illusion. She
can't seem to look up at Earth's stars.
In Kathryn's bedroom,
Seven is like a ghost or an animal coming out of the dark. She moves without
watchful of every move and always with her eyes on the captain who led her back here. In the starlight, her lips are the colour of dried blood and her hair is no colour at all.
She is still fascinated by Kathryn's jacket. The Borg had no conception of leather, the scarred cowhide that smells of tanning chemicals and dyes and sweat and smoke. Her silver-lined fingers run up the zipper front and brush Kathryn's breasts, then rise to her own face as if she could transfer the scent to herself.
She says, "You smell like an animal." Runs her fingers over Kathryn's shoulders and down her back, measuring the feel of the jacket and the dimensions of the hard body underneath. Seven herself smells different, her clean coldness sharpened by arousal and determination. She smells like expensive whiskey and the brittleness of roses. Kathryn tilts her head and tastes the pale skin along the neck.
If there are gods responsible for mad, lost, middle-aged captains, they are going to punish her for this. She pulls Seven sharply against her and hisses, "Mine."
"Yes." That delicate nose trails across Kathryn's skin as Seven nuzzles her.
She pulls both Seven's hands up to her lips and kisses them. They shouldn't belong to the same person, this pair, one Borg mutilated, the other human, both with the same long, white nails. Seven twists herself in that grip and catches Kathryn's chin, tilts the brown head up and kisses her. The kiss draws lips and teeth and the bone-shape of two mouths.
Kathryn holds Seven against her shoulder and whispers into her hair, "Is this what you want?"
"Are you sure? Do you understand?"
"Yes. I do. I am." Pause. "I want you."
the younger woman's hold on her and paces away to sit on the edge of her
bed. There's little
enough light here, just enough to see the layers of human clothes and the shadows of Borg implants on Seven's forehead and at the edges of her face.
Seven comes and sits beside her. She's a little more than an arm's length away, with one leg tucked under her and the other resting its toes against the floor. With one hand, she reaches up behind herself and pulls all the pins from her hair. It falls like a ghost. She drops the pins in front of her, letting them rebound on the bedspread. She holds out the same hand and waits. Kathryn doesn't take it.
Seven says, "You do not trust me."
"I don't trust myself. I can't be what you want."
"Then trust me. You are not my mother. I can decide this for myself."
With the same hand she used to take her hair down, Seven unlaces her shoes and kicks them off. She drops her socks into them and sits for a moment watching Kathryn's face.
"Kathryn." Not a question, just the name. Kathryn rolls her body forward and kisses the human hand quickly, before the other woman can pull it away, then moves back.
Delicate fingers loosen each button. The skin Seven exposes at her neckline is almost perfectly white. Further down, the white is cloth, the thin t-shirt Kathryn dressed her in hours ago. She finishes unbuttoning and slips the flannel off her shoulders, rolling them a little to emphasize their freedom, then pushes the discarded garment off the bed.
Long nails rake along the waistband of her jeans and catch the hem of the t-shirt. Kathryn can see the Borg tracework that runs up one thin arm and vanishes under a short sleeve. Then Seven pulls the shirt up and over her head in a simple, graceful, cross-handed gesture that belies her lack of experience with these clothes. She offers the shirt and Kathryn takes it. The cloth smells like Seven. It's softer than her own aging skin. And when she raises her head again Seven has her brassiere unhooked and the white cotton is falling to the floor.
Seven runs her fingers over her breasts with a combination of familiarity and curiosity. Their skin lacks the Borg scars that trace so much of the rest of her body. They don't even show the white lines of surgery. Nipples as dark as her lips.
The button at the waist of her jeans gives at a touch and she spreads the front closure flat across her abdomen with both palms. Her navel is a quick, dark indentation that Kathryn would love to touch her tongue to. She'd love to raise those narrow hips and peel away the heavy cotton and kiss her way along both thighs. But Seven must be teasing her now, because she seems determined to strip her clothes away without ever standing up. A quick rock of her hips frees the waistband from her hips. Clean, precise leg movements let her slip the denim off and kick it away with beautiful bare feet. Seven sitting opposite her in nothing but white briefs that are already soaked enough to show the hair beneath.
The younger woman rolls to her knees and peels the panties away, running a quick hand through her pubic hair and raising her fingers to her face. A few liquid drops glitter on those nails. She's too beautiful to be human and too perfect to be Borg and all the scars that line her body only serve to keep her from being blinding at a glance.
She crawls her way across the bed and straddles Kathryn's lap, wrapping arms around her neck and kissing her face. Tiny, tight kisses that leave moments of dampness on her skin. Kathryn's arms twine around the frighteningly narrow body. Her Seven, her possession, her lover. No one else knows how pale this skin is. They've never measured these shoulders or touched the matte-silver lines that mirror her ribs. These are captain's privileges. She can feel Seven soaking against her leg.
Seven of Nine kisses her, undresses her, kicks her clothes away into the dark. The touch of Seven's breasts to hers is a controlled charge that sets off sparks behind Kathryn's eyes. She tries to keep her hands resting on the bedspread at her sides, because this is Seven's time to explore. Warm fingers touch her navel and the fold of her elbow. They trace the notches of her spine from skull to buttocks and test the soft skin in the notch at the base of Kathryn's throat. A narrow tongue coloured like burnt roses takes the dimensions of her ear. And Seven kisses her there and whispers, "Love you," into the dark.
Kathryn lies back against the pillows of her bed and lets Seven learn her. Long nails just barely brush her nipples and vanish again. And there are Seven's palms, running down her captain's body from shoulders to ankles, mapping out the skin.
Here, this is where she cut her leg on an ancient barbed-wire fence as a child. This is the mark left over from a shuttle accident when she was just an ensign. Those white lines across Kathryn's back are best forgotten; they're the history of a Cardassian prison where everything is unspeakable.
Seven is still measuring Kathryn's body when she lets her fingers slide between the slightly parted legs. Her face reflects the difference in texture between rough hair and velvet-skinned labia. She's moving entirely by touch, having lowered her body to lie against Kathryn's flank and pressed her forehead against the Captain's shoulder. It's only by touch that she finds the flooded line of skin that leads up to the opening of Kathryn's body. The pads of her fingers run along the dark-tipped outer lips, spreading the soft moisture along them. "I love you," brushes against Kathryn's neck.
It's the easiest
thing in the world for Kathryn to catch those fingers and lick herself
off them. Seven's exoticism
makes her want to run her teeth along every plane of that body, but such activities can wait. As carefully as she can, Kathryn untangles their legs and settles herself into a kneeling position. The viewport makes a soft draft against her naked skin. When Seven pulls up to study her, she reaches out and catches the slender hips in the palms of her hands. Seven lets herself be guided across Kathryn's knees, settles her long, pale legs on either side. She's clinging again to the Captain's neck and shoulders, her face pressed against the warm brown hair.
Kathryn whispers, "That's my Seven. You're doing fine. I won't ever hurt you, love, I promise."
The skin on Seven's inner thighs is unutterably soft. Kathryn loves it; she traces small patterns on it, imagining she can see the heat differences where her fingers have been. This is good. It feels so good. Under that baby skin, the younger woman is still as strong as iron, but she's entirely relaxed.
you cannot make me not trust you
Fingers massage up those long legs until they rest against the stiff blond hair between them. It's wet, almost dripping, and the skin underneath is warm and breathing gently. Kathryn strokes her carefully, murmuring, "Relax," like a lullaby. She isn't going to hurt this beautiful girl; she couldn't if she tried. It's too sweet to catch Seven's chin and tilt her face up and kiss it and feel human skin and skin-warmed metal grafts that only heighten that beauty with their strangeness.
She penetrates Seven with a single fingertip, holding her upright and together with a second hand resting low and steady in the hollow of her back. Seven whimpers for a moment, then exhales slowly and presses back so that Kathryn slides inches deeper. When her hand rests against the pubic curls, she bends her finger a little and strokes the soft internal muscles, watching Seven's face for what brings pleasure.
The younger woman bucks slightly and Kathryn takes the opportunity to press a second finger in and rotate them both a little so Seven moans. *Yes. Please.* And Kathryn's more than prepared just to kiss those soft baby lips until they both lose breath.
She's making love to Seven now in earnest. It's as simple as a kiss and a touch. In the space between them, she breathes stories of Earth and love and rain and water and kisses and all the reasons she'll never stop loving this woman.
Seven arches sharply back to look Kathryn in the eye. Her face by now is wide open, curious and pleading, colourless in the starlight seeping through the viewport. Her fragility hangs around her like an aura. She rocks her hips, moving the stroking fingertips where she wants them and trembling a little when they touch the right places.
Kathryn leans close, catches the ends of that blond hair, whispers, "Love you."
Seven comes in a long, slow moan and presses close against Kathryn's shoulder. Tears slip down against the older woman's neck. She cradles this beautiful, slender body against herself, kissing gently until Seven raises her mouth up and they open to each other. Seven's tongue traces teeth and bones and finds the other tongue and twines around it. Kathryn can make out the blue, electric eyes so close to her own as they focus again and crinkle into laughter. She hears a murmured, "Thank you," before Seven twists out of her grip and moves to explore her lover's body.
Seven kisses Kathryn's shoulders and down to her breasts. Kathryn isn't as proud of her body as she was at twenty, or even at thirty, and she can feel herself retreating under the scrutiny. But Seven only snuggles close. She presses a kiss to the pale-skinned hip. "Beautiful, my Kathryn."
This is the same cool, precise woman who argues with Kathryn about warp equations and social patterns and the ethics of space travel, and she's beautiful and glittering and laughing in their sex play. She presses her lips between Kathryn's thighs and licks there delicately, just enough to push her over the edge she's been riding. Too beautiful, too much, too sweet and fast.
oh gods what you do to me how did I live without you don't ever let me give you up
And Seven growls, "Mine."
When Kathryn can breathe again she's wrapped in a blanket and Seven's warm body is curled up semi-fetal a foot or more away. She's shocked at the change in her partner. Seven's expression is entirely that of a terrified child; her hands touch Kathryn's shoulders as if she expects to be pushed away. The fear underlying her is shockingly heavy.
"You said you would not leave me." A whispered reminder, heartbreakingly tentative.
How can Kathryn, in her middle age, have stumbled across something so precious? She's succeeded, quite by accident, in frightening this child-woman half out of her mind; she's going to have to put her back together, somehow. "I won't."
"I . . ." Silence.
"Come here, sweetheart." She pulls Seven against her, back to front, and works at fitting their bodies tightly together. Every muscle under that pale skin is tensed to run away. It's a cold feeling, not the one Kathryn wants.
She begins carefully, running her palms over both shoulders and down the arms. It turns into a long, slow massage over Seven's breasts and abdomen. She calms, gradually, and presses back against the older woman, and Kathryn can let her go long enough to pull blankets up around their bodies. Protecting them from the unnatural cold of ship's night.
"I love you, my Seven. I'll never let you get away from me. I need you too much." Kiss. "Sleep, angel, if you can."
Kathryn believed, once, that there were highway gods. They lived in empty places. She almost found them, once, driving, but distantly, as if they had already moved on to find less populated country. They don't live on Earth anymore, but they might be here. Something out there gave her this woman-child with a body like electric passion. Something that gave Seven a mind like a knife and a will that Kathryn can't or won't resist.
Hundred of millions
of miles away, there's still an Earth. In the space between, there isn't
any absolute morning. By the time Kathryn has to let go of this girl,
she hopes she'll have slept away the last of her anger. This is a beauty
that needs to be protected; it's for no one's eyes but hers.
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