Title: Clarify

Author: Will Freeman

Email: jliberi@wells.edu

Rating: PG13

Disclaimer: paramount owns 'em, we play with 'em.

Author's Note: Sequel to "Poetry". Timeframe: Early season 4, alt?, No warnings, except f/f romance. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Feedback: I thrive on it. Not just me, most fan-fic writers. So, support us: tell us what's good, what's not, so that our fictions can evolve into more pleasant reads. It's the only thing that can be gotten from writing, besides the experience of the crafting itself.

Seven of Nine began her day as she had any other. As she roused her body within her alcove, she downloaded relevant information for her day's task. It still felt somewhat empty to sift through Voyager's course corrections, engineering reports and recent reports as one mind, but if nothing else, she had compensation when looking upon her new Hive Queen--er, Captain.

Thinking of Janeway, Seven realized that she needed to speak with her. There was something addressed to Seven about the Borg modifications she had helped install in Voyager, but key information was missing. In fact, Janeway's grammar had changed--twisted--to avoid critical information. The only thing Seven knew for certain was that a manifold had broken down. But where? And what system?

She tread the hallways, vaguely aware of the expressions of the crewmembers. Emotions were such puzzling things, as inefficient as the abundance of light in these hallways. The illumination did not seem integral to seeing obstacles, as there were none. So why? Why could not Seven just be, why feel all of these confusing, conflicting things?

"Seven, what can I do for you?" The Captain's face betrayed symptoms of guile as she stood up and took a step towards the former drone. What was Kathryn hiding?

Seven held up the PADD in her hand--a pre-arranged prop, really-- and stared into Janeway's eyes. "Clarify report." The corners of Janeway's mouth twitched, as if suppressing a smile. From the strain in her cheeks, Seven was almost sure of it. Seven knew she had just stepped into some sort of trap.

"No, Seven, you clarify. What is the meaning of 'Report: Poetry'?"

Seven's head reeled with panic. She had no way to explain, nor a full grasp of what she had meant. It had been a foolish risk, which brought back her own observation of the limitations of oneness. "It will be your undoing." How could she leave herself so vulnerable? Quickly... anything to fix this... "Irrelevant. Ship's functions take precedence over..." Seven paused, looking for anything to avoid something dumb like 'feelings' or 'relationships,' which might mean more trouble. "Over exploration."

Janeway took a couple more steps towards Seven, smiled and shrugged. "That? Well... then I will 'clarify,' Seven. There was no breakdown. I just don't like it when I am being deprived of 'relevant data' any more than you do. A starship depends on communication every bit as much as a Borg cube does. And if I receive a... love poem, I have two obligations. As a captain, I need to deal with the crew member involved, since it could be viewed as very, very inappropriate." Her face clouded and she took half a step back.

"And the other obligation?" Seven refused to move, refused to betray her thoughts--her feelings--with motions, as everyone else did.

"As a human, receiving a love poem--possibly two--from someone that I feel the same way towards, I must acknowledge those emotions, and at least have a frank discussion about what they mean for--"

Okay, so Seven was not beyond moving. But, at least she found out why humans made such a big deal about this interpersonal activity, kissing. It was so many things, from the terror or "flying blind" to the wonder that Kathryn did not back away. How could any touch, any action be so tender as lips on lips--parting, sharing--and tongues expressing pent-up affection more eloquently than words ever might?

Kathryn's hands were around Seven's waist, struggling to decide whether they were a captain's hands, mother's hands-- and push Seven away for her own good, for the good of the crew--or woman's hands, just happy to be humming with the energy or affectionate touch, selfish enough to let this moment of bliss last as long as it could. This was not good; this was so good.

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