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Transcendence
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Mature People

Title: Transcendence
Author: Ky (Venom_69)
Fandom: Voyager & Stargate: Atlantis Crossover
Category: Romance, angst
Pairing: John/Elizabeth, Kathryn/Chakotay, Elizabeth/Kathryn
Rating: Mature People
Summary: They stay with their arms around each other until they’re not there anymore.
Archive: My site. Anywhere else, sure, just let me know where so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, never will. Promise to put them back in the state I found them. Song’s not mine either. That would be Meat Loaf's "Good girls go to heaven. (But the bad girls go everywhere)"
Author’s notes: Written for [info]xfairy1013. Hope you like it, hon.
Date: 18/09/06
Copyright to Venom, 2006

***

No-one said it had to be real,
But it's got to be something
You can reach out and feel now
it ain't right; it ain't fair
Castles fall in the sand,
And we fade in the air

***

“Hello Kathryn.”

Kathryn smiled and hugged the other woman. “Elizabeth. How are you?”

“I’ve had better weeks. You?”

“I’m still breathing.”

They move to the couch, the only item of furniture in the room and sink onto it gratefully. Elizabeth’s arms automatically go around her and Kathryn’s head rests over her breast. A strong, steady heart beats under her ear and she smells of familiar saltwater.

Kathryn breaths in the scent deeply and finds comfort in the sound of the beating heart beneath her.

Once, in the beginning, this was uncomfortable.

They were nervous around each other, fidgety. The first time, they had sat uncomfortably together as they mulled over the problem aloud. How did they get here? Where was here? When would they get home? How would they get home? Did they bring themselves here or were they sent?

Did Q send them?

Some Ancient technology that she had unwittingly stumbled upon and activated?

Two leaders, debating their sudden appearance in a room with nothing but a couch and a stranger, both of their uniforms gone and, in place, two girly dresses.

Eventually, they stopped asking questions. They never got their answers, but they knew that whenever one of them needed it, they would be brought here.

Kathryn doesn’t remember the first time she let Elizabeth kiss her.

She remembers the taste, the texture. She remembers the jolt of suppressed desire, but she doesn’t remember how long ago that was, exactly.

It could have been a day, a week, a month, a year or a decade.

She doesn’t really believe that it matters, anyway.

“What happened, Kathy?”

“I died.” Arms tighten around her, but Elizabeth doesn’t say anything. “I died and I saw it happen. And I saw Chakotay trying to save me. He cried.”

“He loves you.”

“I know.”

They discussed this last time, after Kathryn and Chakotay returned from being stranded together. Where that was, Elizabeth doesn’t know. But she does know that it was the happiest two months of Kathryn’s life to date. “I thought you were going to talk to him?”

Kathryn sighed, turning her face a little to nuzzle at the exposed skin above the line of Elizabeth’s dress. “I can’t. He wouldn’t understand.”

“Why wouldn’t he understand that you love him?”

“He’ll understand that. He won’t understand why we can’t do anything about it.”

“I understand.”

“I know… that’s why I like you.”

They sit in silence, absorbing the comfort that is offered.

Words aren’t necessary, not anymore. There is an understanding now, a bond that has developed between them. Neither of them can really comprehend the finer details of their time together, but they have both learnt to appreciate what they can get.

Their respective lives are chaos, but here, in this room, they seek the comfort that they both need and deserve.

“I like you in lilac.” Elizabeth announces quietly.

Elizabeth’s dress is always red and the fabric swirls around her legs. Kathryn’s is always purple, ending just above her knees. “I like you in red.” She returns.

They stay with their arms around each other until they’re not there anymore.

***

“Captain!”

Captain Janeway looked up from the PADD in her hand and smiled as Ensign Kim rushed to her side and fell into step with her. “Ensign. How are you today?”

“Well, thank you Captain. And yourself? Did you sleep well?”

“Very, thank you. What can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if you were going to come to talent night?”

“Of course,” Captain Janeway nodded. “I wouldn’t miss it. I understand you have a clarinet solo coming up again?”

“Yes ma’am.” He grinned proudly.

“I’ll look forward to it.”

***

This time it is Kathryn that holds Elizabeth.

A dark head of hair rests on her stomach; a hand holds her thigh, hidden underneath a blanket.

Their room has had an addition; a soft sheep-skin blanket was on the end of the sofa this time and they have used it to cover Kathryn’s legs and Elizabeth’s body. It isn’t cold in their room, the temperature is consistent and they keep each other warm, but the comfort that comes from the blanket is like a mother’s hugs and neither woman has the strength to pass that up.

“Liz, tell me.”

“I have to make an alliance.” Elizabeth started. “With my enemy. And I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know if I can.”

Elizabeth hasn’t told Kathryn of the Wraith, just as Kathryn hasn’t told her of whatever enemies she has. For all that they know of each other, it’s the big things they don’t share. But the important things… no, the important things are what bring them back each time.

“You can only try to prepare.” Kathryn sooths, stroking her hair. “And you have to believe that you are doing the right thing.”

Tears form in Elizabeth’s eyes. “I am not prepared, I do not approve and I am not resigned.” She turns around, stretches herself up and tries to loose herself in Kathryn’s kiss.

It works until she is not there anymore.

***

“Doctor Weir?”

He doesn’t call her by her given name anymore. She misses that. “Major Sheppard.”

“Do you have a moment?”

“Of course.” She gestures for him to sit in the empty chair across from her as she pushes her food away. She wasn’t hungry anyway. “What can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if we’re really going to do this?”

“This?”

“The treaty with the Wraith.”

Ah. “Yes.” She doesn’t let her own distaste show. “It’s in out best interest.”

“They will screw us!” He hisses fiercely.

“Maybe.” She admits. Doctor Weir forces a confidence into her voice that she does not feel. “But we will loose this war without a treaty.”

***

“Chakotay gave me a rose, did I tell you that?”

Elizabeth is pulling the pins from Kathryn’s hair and the long auburn tresses fall down her back. “No. When was this?”

“After I died. He brought me a peace rose.”

“That’s sweet.”

“It was.”

“You smell like roses, you know. All the time.”

“Soap.” Kathryn shrugs a little. “You smell like saltwater.”

“The ocean air, I imagine.”

They are silent again.

Kathryn doesn’t know why they are here this time, only that Elizabeth needs her. She knows the other woman well enough to know that she will talk when she is ready. Until then, she makes small talk to fill the silence.

“I’m thinking of cutting my hair.”

“How short?”

“My shoulders?”

Elizabeth fingers the long strands, trying to imagine them gone. “Chakotay loves your hair.”

“I know.”

“So do I.”

“You want me to keep some of it?”

Finding a point on her back, Elizabeth rubs the spot until Kathryn acknowledges her. “Cut it to here.”

“OK.” She sighs, playing with the fingers on Elizabeth’s left hand. She rubs over the spot where a wedding ring might, one day, reside, but doesn’t let herself think about it. “You want to tell me what’s wrong?”

“John doesn’t support me.”

“The treaty?”

“Yeah. He says they’ll screw us.”

Kathryn doesn’t know who her enemy are, but she imagines Chakotay’s reaction to her suggesting a treaty with the Borg. “He’s worried for you. Negotiations won’t be easy, I imagine.”

“No, they won’t.” She shudders a little at the thought of sitting down with those things, attempting to discuss the fact that they feed on humans, in a civilised manner. “But it’s the right thing to do.”

“He loves you, Elizabeth.”

“I know.” She sighs. “And it scares me.”

***

Commander Chakotay is injured on an away mission.

The Captain stops by sickbay and ensures that he is well. She pats his shoulder platonically and tells him to get better, because the bridge isn’t the same without him.

An accident report is filled out by all parties involves and all witnesses. Captain Janeway, being his direct superior, is provided several PADD’s worth of information to read.

Information that methodically relays the details of the incident.

She reads them with a detached coldness, puts her thumbprint on them, makes a brief mention of the incident in her log and files the PADD’s away.

***

Kathryn cries in Elizabeth’s arms, her tears staining the red fabric.

***

John Sheppard is injured on the mainland in a training mission.

Doctor Weir stops by the infirmary and ensures that he is well. She pats his shoulder platonically and tells him to get better, because the city isn’t the same without him.

An accident report is filled out by all parties involves and all witnesses. Doctor Weir, being his direct superior, is provided several file’s worth of information to read.

Information that methodically relays the details of the incident.

She reads them with a detached coldness, signes her name at the bottom of them, makes a brief mention of the incident in her running diary of day-to-day happenings and files the reports away.

***

Elizabeth cries in Kathryn’s arms, her tears staining the purple fabric.

***

Captain Janeway wanders the halls of Voyager.

Yesterday they found a wormhole that led to the Alpha Quadrant.

To Earth’s doorstep, almost.

Alpha shift had discovered the anomaly and everyone set to work studying it, ensuring that the passage would be safe for Voyager and her crew. Scans were run, numbers crunched, theories thrown about in a specially held briefing. They all went to bed excited, expecting to be home the next day.

Today they had found that the wormhole was gone.

Vanished.

Half a day, twelve hours and their hesitation would cost them all seventy years of their lives.

Her decision would cost them seventy years of their lives.

***

Elizabeth holds her and tells her that it’s not her fault.

She doesn’t understand the finer details - she knows that, like her and her team, Kathryn and her people are far form home and they missed an opportunity to return - but she understands the guilt all too well.

Kathryn doesn’t cry, but she sniffles a lot and her lips are desperate as they move against Elizabeth’s.

***

Doctor Weir is released from the infirmary not long after all of the nanites are expelled from her body.

She makes small talk with Major Sheppard, thanks Carson for his efforts and she gets straight back to work. Writes her report for her superiors and files it to be sent through the next Wormhole opened to Earth.

Her confusion is, for the most part, dissipating now and she is able to recall what is real and what is not.

Briefly, she wonders if all of her time with Kathryn was simply another part of the delusion, something her mind created in a time of confusion and sadness.

***

She continues to wonder about that until their next visit.

Kathryn takes her hand and repeats, “I’m real.” until Elizabeth believes it.

“I was so scared,” She admits. They have moved to their sofa again, curling their bodies around each other. “I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t.”

“Was there anything in the hallucination tying you to the real world?”

Elizabeth told Kathryn that she had been subjected to a form of torture that caused her to hallucinate and it was slowly killing her because her real body wasn’t getting any food, water or stimulation. It was as much as she could say without having to go into the whole back story of Atlantis. “Yes…”

“What was it?”

“John was there.”

“In your hallucination?”

“Yes. But it wasn’t him at first. Just a shadow that would hover by the door to whatever room I was in. I was scared at first, I though the shadow was trying to attack me.” She remembers the fear and shudders a little. Kathryn’s arms tighten around her. “He became him towards the end, when he was telling me to fight it. Our doctor told me that John risked being infected to come into isolation and touch me, to anchor me to the real world.” Doctor Weir had been prepared to reprimand him for the stupid risk.

It was irresponsible, unconventional, dangerous and quite possible the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for her.

“I’m sure that the leader in your protested about that.”

“Loudly and clearly.” Elizabeth admits, unsurprised that Kathryn is able to pick that. She is a leader herself, she understands.

“Are you going to talk to him about that?”

“I think I might.”

Kathryn strokes Elizabeth’s back lightly, amazed at the strength of the woman in her arms. “Liz?”

“Yeah?”

“When you do… kiss him.”

***

Admiral Janeway charges into their lives and, effectively, saves the day.

At least, that is the plan.

Captain Janeway is optimistically hopeful that their plan to destroy the Borg hub and still make it home will be successful. Admiral Janeway will sacrifice herself. But most certainly not before spilling the beans on everything that is to come.

Tuvok’s illness.

The twenty three other crewmen who do not make it home to Earth. Home to their loved ones.

Joe Carey will die soon.

Seven’s death that comes after she marries Chakotay. He, at the moment, can’t even stand to be in the same room as the former drone.

Captain Janeway fights the urge to laugh at the mere thought of them together, but the Admiral looks appropriately broken about it.

And after all, Captain Janeway thinks, there has to be a reason that I end up so bitter and twisted.

The Admiral tells her that, once they get home, she never sees Elizabeth again.

“It was a comfort thing,” She says, “Something that we both needed at bad times in our lives. I looked Doctor Elizabeth Weir up, when I’d been back on Earth for a while. You should too. You’ll be surprised at what you find, but the pieces of information that she offered would make more sense if you do.”

“Does she get the same opportunity?” The Captain asks. “To find out about me? To see the pieces of the information I offered up and make sense of it?”

“No.”

Captain Janeway wonders what "No" - so definitive - means, exactly, but she doesn't press the issue. She will look through the public records on Earth when she can.

The night before their plan is scheduled to go off, Captain Janeway sleeps soundly while Kathryn floats to another time and place.

***

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to see you again.” Kathryn says quietly.

“You’ve found a way to stop us coming here?” Elizabeth is unsure of how she feels about that.

In the beginning, it was all that they wanted. They are both women of facts, in varying forms, and they didn’t like that someone had the power to control when they were brought here and when they were removed.

Now, though, Elizabeth knows that when she has a bad day, she will end up here.

She knows that when Kathryn has a bad day and needs her, she will be here. It’s consistent. Just the chance to find some sort of escape from their daily lives has grounded them both throughout the years and Elizabeth doesn’t know how to feel about the possibility of that not being an option anymore.

“We’ve found a way home.”

“That’s… wow.”

“I know.”

“You’re obviously sure it will work if you’re telling me.” Kathryn doesn’t usually tell her when opportunities come up, but Elizabeth has held her through several disappointments.

“We are.”

Elizabeth can feel that she is about to leave. A slight tingling in her bones that she has learnt to look for over the years. We didn’t get enough time to say goodbye! She thinks desperately. “Kathryn?”

“Yes?”

“When you make it home… kiss Chakotay.”

Kathryn smiles.

A brilliant, beautiful smile that lights up her entire face.

Elizabeth kisses her, once, quickly.

She stands back and stares at the smile, committing it to memory as she feels herself leave.

***

End

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