all of this is window dressing
by not jenny

Relax, no song is written, nothing you thought of yourself.

You will never again rule the world. The quadrant, whatever.

['we're being hailed.']


You will never again control the fates of a hundred and fifty-one (a hundred and forty-one, thirty-one, twenty-one) crewmembers. Never. But a desk, yes, that you'll commandeer, that you'll glare at and bully and boss around.

The welcome home ball will be gaudy and loud. Sweaty. Seven and Chakotay will dance, awkwardly because Seven will still be thinking about the Admiral's predictions, but together and openly. Fortunes told, only fifteen credits a piece. Only your soul in exchange.

Coffee will be served, gleaming silver pots full, and Admiral Paris will joke, will laugh 'So you're still drinking that swill, eh Kathryn?' And you will smile, because that's what one does, but you'll be thinking 'Captain, my name is Captain.'


Your mother will cry. Your sister will roll her eyes.

['sorry to surprise you. next time we'll call ahead.']

You will hug, and reporters will take holos of the reunion. No one will comment on the empty look in your eyes, the forced (of course I trust you, Kaskyk. Alien. Traitor.) smile. No one will say a word.

You will be a hero, the woman who brought her crew home from across the galaxy with little more than a glare and a compression phaser rifle; schoolchildren will recite the story of Kathryn Janeway and the Federation Starship Voyager. There will be songs.


The Maquis will not be brought to trial, and you will be promoted to Admiral.

When news of the pardons come through, Seven will not be at Chakotay's side. You, however, will. He will turn, overdramatically, making eye contact to remind you that protocols no longer stand in your way. He'll be a civilian, after all. He will touch your arm, caress the palm of your hand.

['it'll all be in my report, sir.']

Dinner will be followed by breakfast. You will be sweaty and sore, and you will not talk. Lunch will follow breakfast (will follow dinner will follow lunch will follow good-bye), and he will call you 'Captain' in bed.

Yes, ma'am. Oh, gods, Captain.

It will turn you on.


Seven will be quarantined, will show up unannounced and accusatory one morning. Will yell, will wake up the neighbors, will blame. Will cry. Her head will have a layer of blonde fuzz on top, she will have been bald. Her implants will gleam in the morning sun, will be blinding.

She will call you Captain.

The coffee you offer her will burn her tongue; she will drink it anyway, haughtily lifting her ocular implant. You will merely smile, blowing the smoke from your mug, and take a gentle sip. Anger will not stop her from stroking your leg with her foot.

Will not stop her from caressing your cheek.

Will not stop her from leaning across the table, from kissing your eyelids, from licking your mouth. (Will not stop. Do not stop.) Her. Seven of Nine. Will not stop her from trying to bite your tongue.

Will not stop her from devouring you on the kitchen table.

Oh Captain, my Captain.


And Chakotay will comm you, late one night, declaring his undying love. He will ask you to marry him, to live with him, to be his (barefoot and pregnant, tied to the land) one and only. He will freeze when he spots Seven lying in your bed.

She will be naked and flushed, obviously post-coital; she will smile at the view screen. Chakotay's voice will crack and the tips of his ears will turn pink. You will decline his offer.

['mr. chakotay, the helm.']

He will disappear after that.


Deskbound and bored, you will put on weight.

Your mother will smile and cluck, bringing over a pan of caramel brownies every time she visits. Seven will brew a pot of coffee, and it will all be very domestic.

But you will frown at the added curve to your hips, the more pronounced swell to your stomach. You will have to replicate a larger (might as well be pregnant) uniform. Spotting your backside in the mirror one morning, you will vow to play more Velocity. Seven will marvel at the fullness of your breasts, a timid smile forming as she plays with them.

You will ask her to call you Kathryn.


You will do your job, PADD after PADD of pointless reports.

Picard will look at you pityingly (always so superior, so smug) when you pass in the corridors of HQ. Seven will shudder, almost imperceptibly, nudge your arm and whisper 'Locutus.' She will be awestruck. He will merely nod and continue on his way.

'Janeway and her pet Borg,' they will say. In meetings and strategy sessions, at dinners and formal functions. 'She's gone quite mad, or so I've heard.'

You will long for the vastness of space.


Seven will keep her hair short, boy-like, and she will begin to experiment with her wardrobe. Your hair will fall halfway down your back, but you will let Seven cut it one morning after struggling with the tangles for almost an hour.

['aye, captain.']

You will retire (no one will even notice) from Starfleet. Travel the quadrant.

On Betazed, you will tell Seven that you love her. She will propose on the promenade of DS9, going down on bended knee and offering a ring made of one of her implants.

It will all be very romantic, and the Ferengi tending bar will snap a few holos of the event, selling them to the highest bidder. The ceremony will be small, private; Seven will wear a powder blue dress and you will wear a black (always figured it would be a dress uniform) pantsuit. No one from Voyager will attend; you will not have invited them.

You will be a collective of two.


But there will be a reunion, one year from the day you (die) return to the Alpha Quadrant, and Seven will insist that you attend. Harry Kim will be the first to approach the two of you, shyly approaching with a blonde ensign on his arm. Shyly offering his congratulations, he will let it slip that the crew has planned a surprise wedding celebration for the evening.

They will call you Captain, all of them, your former crew. You will tell them, 'My name is Kathryn,' and it will all be very awkward. Tom Paris will propose a toast to lighten the mood; B'Elanna will brag about Miral's accomplishments.

You will dance, smile, kiss your wife at all the correct moments.

You will be Kathryn again, and it will never be enough.


['set a course... for home']

You will.


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