DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. However, I sure wish that Paramount would create a new Star Trek series of good quality that would keep the idea alive so that we Fan Fiction writers don't have to do all the work. :)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There are several sex scenes in this story. On top of that, sex is talked about. However, this story is not just sex (talk). It simply turned out to be a good base to build on other stuff. Note that this story deals with a relationship that has a more dominant and a more submissive partner. However, this is not Dom/sub by any stretch. This is merely two people that fit well together where BOTH people have an equal say in their relationship, just that they prefer to fulfill different roles in said relationship. Also, note, the Delaney sisters are in this story and they are close. Very close. So close that some people might have a problem with it, but rest assured it's not so close as some Voyager people would wish it to be. :P On a side note, Tal Celes also has a pretty decent role in this story. If you read some Voyager Fan Fiction, you will probably know her because she is very often featured as a supporting character. But when I was checking out her bio, I discovered that she has actually only been seen in two, count them, two, episodes. My point here is I find it interesting how some characters can just stick with you and appeal to so many; not just Tal, but also the Delaney sisters or Ro Laren. (Ro is not in this story, just using her as an example for this side note.) She was also in only a few episodes of TNG yet everyone pretty much knows her. But on the other hand, characters like Tuvok and Neelix are often nothing more than just mentioned because they are part of the main cast and therefore basically have to be mentioned. Strange.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To mhw.weckseler[at]gmail.com

Twenty-five to Life
By H.W.


Chapter 23

Day 23. (Morning)

This time when Sirva woke up she wasn't that confused by her surroundings. She recognized the room, just that she was looking at it from a different angle now because this time she was waking up in Megan's bed.

She smiled as she looked slightly down to see the peaceful face of the sleeping woman that was lying half on her. Megan... well, unless Jennifer and Megan has switched places somewhere during the night, which she sincerely doubted.

The last two days had been interesting, to say the least. Two days ago Jennifer had managed to talk her into bed. Then yesterday morning Megan had convinced her somehow to also sleep with her. Which had also been a very nice experience. Sirva had noted that the resemblances between Jennifer and Megan were truly astonishing. Even to the point that it might scare some people off.

It wasn't just their faces, but their entire bodies that looked alike. They both had pretty much exactly the same body mass, with the same measurements. Their breasts were exactly the same size and shape. And even their most private body part was formed the same. The only difference were small scars on the bodies that you could see if you were very close, and the sisters happened to be nude or at least in a bikini. Small scratches that had been small enough to not bother with having them healed, but large enough to leave small scars.

Sirva was now also one of the few people that knew that Jennifer and Megan's personal traits also extended into bed. They were different in bed, but both were very... satisfying.

Eventually the time had come yesterday where Megan and Sirva had been sated and after an enjoyable shared shower, Sirva had finally left the Delaney quarters to go and find a quiet corner to think about her life.

Sirva had spent almost ten hours to just think. Despite the fact that Sirva had been brought up in a society where she had basically been taught how to be a good and submissive wife to some future husband, she was actually a very smart woman. She hadn't just thought about her life, but also about what she would want to do different if she had a chance.

And then had come the call of the sisters, asking her if she was interested in sharing dinner with them. She had accepted, this time not bothering to play hard to get. To her surprise it really had only been a dinner invite. But after that had come the invite to spend some time with the sisters on the holodeck. Her doubtful look had been met with an assurance from the sisters that they really just wanted to spend some time with her. That they wanted to see if she could also be fun outside the bed since they were always on the lookout for people that might become friends.

And fun it had been. Sirva had enjoyed herself as the tree of them had played some lost in space kind of scenario. The fun part had been where the pirates had shown up and they had to use their wits to outsmart the superior numbers. Sirva had loved it.

It had only been when they had left the holodeck and a separation was at hand that Megan's offer had come. But this time it hadn't been 'have sex with me'. This time it had been 'sleep with me'. It had been very clear that the offer wasn't just for a few moments of fun; the offer had been for literally spending the night.

And so, here she was. Lying in Megan's bed, with the woman that had been so eager to please her the night before lying on top of her. As if Sirva was a huge private pillow. Sirva had to admit that she loved it.

Suddenly Sirva heard a sound to her left. She lifted her head a little higher so that she could look over Megan's hair. She was surprised to see Jennifer in her own bed, stretching and apparently in the process of waking up.

Her moving had apparently been enough to wake Megan who opened her eyes and looked up at her.

"Morning," Megan greeted as she moved up a bit, clearly fully intent to kiss Sirva.

"We have company," Sirva warned before the lips could make contact.

A confused Megan looked in the only direction where company could be at. She was surprised to see that her sister was truly in the room. "Jen?"

"Morning you two," Jennifer greeted. "I hope you don't mind me crawling into my own bed. You left the bedroom door open sometime last night. When I went to the bathroom I saw that it was open and figured that you were done and that it was safe to sleep in my own bed. I don't mind sleeping on the couch, but I prefer my bed."

"Oh, that's right, we forgot to close it last night after our shower," Megan remembered. "I'm so used to just go to bed, and a certain someone was kinda distracting me."

"Did you use the toy again?" Jennifer asked as she got up, not bothering to cover herself because Megan was well used to seeing her nude, and Sirva had very close and wonderful experience with doing a lot more to her body than just see it nude. "I didn't want to ask about it yesterday because we were having too much fun doing other things, but does it measure up to expectation? You still have to show it to me."

"Did it ever," Megan assured as she crawled off Sirva and from under the blanket. She moved to a small dresser that stood against the wall beside the bed on her side of the room. Jennifer had a similar dresser at her side. The dressers weren't big since they didn't need to hold clothing; they had the walk-in closet for that. But both sisters preferred to have a little cabinet beside their bed to store things that they wanted to have close at hand. Like Jennifer with her panty collection.

Sirva looked at the interaction with a mix of puzzlement and surprise. That the two sisters were so casual with each other did not surprise her; it would have surprised her more if they had not. She was an Urdian after all. But what did surprise her was how they did that with her in the room. It wasn't like they were treating her like she wasn't there, it was more like they just happen to be the two of the tree people that were talking. The easy and relaxed atmosphere, as if they were actually fully dressed and sitting around a table, instead of the one person she had slept with now talking to the other person she had slept with while all three of them were still nude. That kind of casualness was even new to Sirva.

Megan pulled a shiny light blue rectangular box from one of the draws. She casually threw the box onto Jennifer's bed before sitting back down onto her own bed in such a way that her behind was making contact with Sirva's abdomen. "I assure you that it was well worth the replicator rations. And by the way, if you think that Sirva can suck, just wait until you have that thing on and she treats you to the experience she gained when pleasing the man she's been with. Now that... hmmm. She truly has a talented mouth."

"I'm right here, you know?" Sirva reminded as she sat up. She figured that if the sisters were so casual, why would she spoil the mood? She moved until she was sitting behind Megan with a leg on either side of her, and then pulled the very willing woman against her.

"And this really does clean itself?" Jennifer asked as she opened the thirty centimeter long box. Inside it was a pearl colored shaft that was about fifteen centimeters long. The rest of the box was filled with a little screen and a few buttons. And, Jennifer guessed, under the screen the sonic cleaning technology. "Oh, I like the design. Straight with a little bulb on the end. I hate it when they try to mimic a man's anatomy. But I also want some texture to it so that you can feel it move inside all the better. The bulb is just perfect. So does it really clean itself? Or else I'm not touching it."

"Close the lid," Megan merely said.

Jennifer did so and heard a soft humming sound. "Ah, I guess they did that so that you hear it really works."

"It isn't just cleaned; it's ultrasonically cleaned and then sterilized," Megan informed.

Jennifer opened the lid again and took out the shaft. She squeezed it a bit and felt the toy give a little. Then she tried to bent it and noticed to her happy surprise that it did actually bent. Not extremely, but certainly enough to adjust to a woman's body when in use. She had used toys before and had noticed that depending on position, the inflexible shafts could be a bit uncomfortable inside. There would be no such problem with this toy. "This gets even better with every moment. Bit smallish though. I prefer something a bit bigger, thicker especially. The length is actually nice, if you keep in mind that you don't need to hold it and the entire length can be used."

"Remember, you can change the size," Megan pointed out. "That's why there is a screen in the box. That thing has so many options that if they had only used buttons they would have run out of room. You select what you want to change and then you can brush your finger over the touch sensitive screen to change the setting. Also very nice because that way you can just leave it on a setting you might want to change in a hurry. Yesterday, once Sirva and I were in the swing of things, I wanted it to be bigger than when we started. It's so easy to set that you can even do it while getting fucked. It can be set between ten and twenty-five centimeters long, and from half the thickness it now has to double as thick. What you seen now is the default setting so that it fits in the box and exactly right in the cleaning field."

Jennifer put the toy back in the box with a smile. "Sister dear, that might just be the best purchase you ever made." Then she sighed and got up. "But, it's time to get dressed now. Today the both of us have to work."

Knowing that her sister was right, Megan got up and prepared to head to the walk-in closet with her sister. She looked back at Sirva who was still sitting on the bed, temptingly naked, and offered, "Want to join us for breakfast? If you want you can stay in our quarters afterwards. We really have to go, but we don't want to be rude and kick you out."

"Thanks," Sirva said as she started to look around for her clothing. Then she suddenly looked at Jennifer and narrowed her eyes. "You didn't pinch my underwear again, did you?"

Jennifer giggled as she pointed to the floor right beside Megan's bed. "No, I would only have done that if you had ended up in my bed."

Sirva grabbed the rest of her clothes and then joined the sisters as they headed to the walk-in closet. The women got dressed in silence and they were in the kitchen before one of them spoke up again.

"Today it's Jennifer's turn to make breakfast," Megan informed.

"You take turns?" Sirva asked. "Wait, yeah, yesterday you made breakfast."

"Once upon a time there were two little girls," Jennifer said half teasingly and half explanatory. "They always wanted the same things and fought all the time, selfishly wanting things for themselves. It was made worse by the fact that they always had to share toys. Then one day their mother gave them the hottest new toy around. Space Cadet Jane with her personal body armor. The girls fought like crazy over the doll, so their mother took it away instead. The same thing happened the next day, and the next. So the day after that they reluctantly agreed to play with it together. They took turns. One was Space Cadet Jane and the other was the evil Breen soldier that wanted to kill Jane. And... hey, they actually had fun playing. And... hey, since they were so relatively quiet and good, their mother even let them play longer than normal. Hmm, that had potential. We shared stuff ever since. And if it's something that can't be shared at the same time, we take turns. That also includes the fun stuff like this sexy Urdian woman we managed to get home, and the less fun stuff like preparing the food."

"Nice story," Sirva said with a grin. Then she became more serious and added, "Of course, we got taught that if a boy wants it the girl has to give it up. That girls don't play the kind of games boys play. That dolls is just something for those weak non-Clan girls."

That sobered them up a bit and it was quiet while Jennifer replicated some breakfast and put it on the table. As she sat down she asked, "Sirva, you said you needed to do some thinking yesterday. What about, if I may ask? And did it lead to something?"

"About things you said, and things I have seen," Sirva said. This time she waited for the sisters to take their portions of the food first. As she did so she added, "I know that when you were talking to me you wanted to get me into bed, and at the same time wanted to help your friend out a bit by keeping me busy. I know that when Olik was speaking to me about choices in life, that his main objective was to just make me disappear. I'm not a complete moron you know? Just because I dismiss things said, that doesn't mean I didn't hear them. I did listen to what you said. I did listen to what Olik said. I looked around me."

She touched the tattoo on her face. "I saw people treat me with more respect than I ever got at home simply because I am allowed to wear a facial tattoo. At home I was just a girl and then just a woman. But here, here people admire me because of my birthright. Here people step aside for me out of respect. Respect that they give me just because I am Clan. Yet at home with that Clan, the fact that I am Clan is just normal. There was much to think about."

"And the result of this thinking?" Jennifer prompted.

"The result is that I have decided that it's time to leave my Clan," Sirva said slowly, as if saying out loud to someone else made the decision more real, more final, not just a thought. "I hope that since Olik was trying to convince me to leave my Clan, that he will put in a word for me to be accepted into his Clan. I want to be Clan, and I want my facial tattoo. But if I leave my Clan they will demand that I remove my tattoo. And since I am renouncing the Clan they are in their legal right to do so. But I think I can live with having a different facial tattoo instead. I think I can live with treading being part of the smallest Clan around for being part of the biggest Clan around."

"But you don't want to join the Fleet?" Jennifer asked between bites. "You want to stay on the planet?"

Sirva took a sip of her drink to wash down the food in her mouth. "Oh, I do like the idea of joining the Fleet. I have been on this ship for five days now and I do like the atmosphere. I also like the idea of no more cold winters and hot summers. But as I told you before, I only have a visitor's pass. There is no way that I would be allowed to join the Fleet."

Jennifer and Megan looked at each other in silence for a moment. Then Jennifer gave a little 'why not' shrug, and Megan agreed with a smile.

"I see you also have the silent communication thing down pat," Sirva noted.

"Sorry," Megan apologized. "It's just that Jen and I discussed something not long ago. I swear, we didn't have plants for this to be you because, well, frankly, we thought that it would be great to get you into bed, but that you were way too rude and arrogant to be a suitable candidate. It's only once we got to know you that we discovered that there is actually a nice person hiding under that gruff attitude."

Sirva nodded as if she understood what Megan was talking about. Then she asked, "And now once again, only this time in a way that non-telepaths can also understand it."

"Allow me," Jennifer said and then started to explain the sister's vision of a third partner. Finally she concluded. "So you see, you could join the Fleet if you want to. Megan and I don't have any partners and people in the Fleet can take their partners along. Normally partners are calculated in with the number of people that join the Fleet, but Voyager is somewhat of an exception. Voyager crew members have partners now and they were also allowed to join the Fleet even though they were normally not coming along because the Fleet had no idea yet that Voyager would come along when people were already being selected. And the best thing is, partner doesn't mean married. We could take you along as our partner and if we don't get along after some time we can go our separate ways. By then the Fleet will already be underway and you can stay in the Fleet because, well, it's not like they can send you back."

"You have it all worked out, don't you? You want your private little sex slave, ready to serve you at your beck and call," Sirva noted.

Jennifer put down her fork and reached over to caress Sirva's face. "Aww, don't be like that. A sex slave can't say no or doesn't have her own life. Our idea would give you a place to live, and good sex without having to bother with doing the rest of the relationship kind of things, like spending the evening listening to us harp about our new and inexperienced staff and stuff like that."

"Uh hu," Sirva said, not at all convinced. "And you think that I would be suited for that because I happen to be decent in bed."

"Oh, feel free to say that you are good," Jennifer disagreed with a smile.

"Uh hu," Sirva said again. "And you figure, hey this woman has been brought up with the idea of being second to others. You think I would be perfect because you think that I'll just go along with all your nice plans of letting you decide just who of you two I'm going to bed that time. You think that I'll be happy to have my little room where I have to wait until one of you comes in to be served."

The sisters frowned. "Well, if you put it like that, it doesn't sound that perfect," Megan finally admitted. "It sounded a lot better when we were planning it."

"Uh hu," Sirva said for a third time.

"Alright," So it's a bad idea," Jennifer finally admitted.

Having the sisters' thinking at the point where she wanted it, Sirva offered, "Then how about I offer you a counter proposal?"

"Um, sure," Jennifer said hesitantly.

Sirva finished the last of her food and pushed the plate away a little before explaining, "You see, when I was thinking about what I wanted for my life, I didn't just think about what I didn't want anymore. I also thought about what I 'do' want if I didn't have old customs to hold me back. I like the person I could portray here on the ship. The bold one, the one that can think for herself. So this is my offer. I don't become your little sex slave, instead you two become my girls."

She pointed to the small corridor. "That bedroom you talked about, yes, that will be the room where love is made so that the other sister doesn't run the risk of seeing her sister having sex. That way we can also have a bigger bed there because frankly yours are too small. But unless I and the girl I was with happen to fall asleep there, I won't sleep there. I'll sleep in the other bedroom; I share the bed with you. So to be very clear; your bedroom will be our bedroom. Since you are my girls, I decide who I'll sleep with that night, and with who I will literally sleep that night. I won't have you set up a schedule where you can check on a calendar which one will get bedded in six weeks and two days."

Sirva smirked when she could clearly see that this was nowhere near what the sisters had in mind. "Don't worry, just like I don't want to be your little sex slave, I also don't want sex slaves for myself. I guess you could say that I do like the roll division in my Clan, just that I would actually like the roll that the men have with us. So that means that I also won't be making any food. But that shouldn't be too hard. You have a system set up for you two. You can keep the same system, just that now food for three people will need to be made. Same thing with cleaning. I don't clean. But don't worry, I'm well used to putting things back where I got them. I don't make a mess."

Jennifer frowned. "And just what would we get back for that? It sounds like we would be taking a leech into our home."

"What did you just say? Aww, don't be like that," Sirva teased. "I think you got the wrong impression with all that 'men in charge' thing. You see with us the dominant partner... the position I'm applying for you could say... does have obligations as well. The women in our Clan aren't slaves. As the dominant partner it would be my task to keep you very satisfied, in the way you want from me anyway. Just that it's more my choice than having to perform on command. But it would also be my task to be the strong one. To provide comfort when needed, to provide a listening ear."

"We already do that for each other," Jennifer pointed out.

"Do you?" Sirva asked. "If I understood it right you work in the same spot and also spend all your off-duty time together... if one of you isn't trying to get the flavor of the week into bed. Wouldn't you like to be able to tell someone about your day that doesn't already know it because she was there? Just think, when you get home and want to talk about your day, you wouldn't just be able to tell your sister in more detail what you think about the things your sister already knows because she was there when it happened. Instead the two of you could snuggle up with me on the couch and the both of you could talk to me about how your day was. You could add to each other's story, and tell me all, fill me in, give me information, get it out of your system."

She smiled. "After all, you might not want to be sexually intimate with each other, but there is nothing that says that you can't both sit on the couch at the same time, one on each side of me, and snuggle up to me while I have an arm around each of you. Plus you would have the added benefit of also having my replicator rations and holodeck time in the mix. You do things together on the holodeck anyway. Now we can do them with three people and you would have even more time."

"But it would be up to you to decide with who you make love and who you comfort by holding them as they sleep," Megan persisted. "Jen and I get along so great because we share, and share equally. I don't know how... smooth things would go if we just have to accept that someone else decides who of us gets what when."

"That's actually part of the point," Sirva pointed out. Just because you have a nice schedule as to who might have sex that day, that doesn't mean that you are in the mood for it, right?"

"Well, we could skip," Jennifer began.

Sirva shook her head. "No, you see, that would be my task. It would be my task to see who of you needs a hug, who of you needs to feel the comfort of a body beside you that night. It would be my task to make love to you until you are totally sated, but it would also be my task to recognize that a fuck is actually the last thing you need. That you need to be held and told that everything will be alright. That you need to just feel arms around you as you cry simply because you need a good cry."

She pointed a finger at both sisters. "You two are close. I'm sure that you comfort each other. I'm sure that you hug when you need a hug. But tell me, do you also hold each other for hours just because you need a good long hug? Or do you actually care so much for each other that you don't want to bother the other too long and say after ten minutes that you are fine? Because that would be my task too. Know that from the beginning. It is my duty, my task, something I willingly accepted, to be there for you when and for as long as you need me. And it would be my task to not just be there for you, but to also see that 'I'm fine' is just a lie and then still be there for you until it's finally a true statement."

"And just what do you get out of it?" Jennifer wondered. "If you ask me that's actually more work than just being that proverbial sex slave."

Sirva chuckled. "You mean besides getting a lot of sex, on my terms? To have there be the chance that I have sex with both of you during the day because you both need? After all, no schedule can also mean that one of you is treated to a nice love session after work to get rid of some tension, and the other is the one that gets fucked in the evening so long and goood that she has trouble walking normally the next day."

She chuckled again when she saw both sisters cock their head a little when that idea registered. "But that I would also get out of it is that I could strut around as the biggest stud around. We Urdians normally don't do the group thing. Romantic relationships exist out of two people. But I would be the woman that can strut around with two women on my arms, that can clearly also keep them satisfied because the relationship continues. Because make no mistake, this relationship wouldn't be hidden. In some ways this would even set me more apart than Olik. Because he may be First Warrior, but even he managed to only get one alien woman. I would have two. And not just have them, but also keep them."

"That's very calculative," Megan noted.

Sirva shrugged. "I would say that it's just as calculative as trying to snag yourself your little sex slave. Just know that the same thing would be a fact then as what you just talked about yourself. We wouldn't be married, so if it doesn't work out, or if I don't fulfill my part of the deal and don't make you feel good physically and emotionally, then you can kick me out. Plus, I may be the more dominant partner, but since we are with three people, I would say that decisions that concern all of us should be made by majority vote."

"Majority vote," Jennifer said in understanding. "With three people, of whom two have sided with each other for their entire life. And even if they didn't side with each other all the time, they still have the same preferences and wants."

Megan smiled when she finally understood what Sirva was getting at. "So you wouldn't be our little sex slave. Instead you would be our very proud and wonderful protector who still pretty much does what we want, but... but now because you are such a wonderful and gracious person who wants her girls to be happy. You wouldn't do what we want because our little sex slave has to, but because our wonderful and strong protector is such a tolerant person that she reluctantly tags along as her girls go and do girly things that this proud Clan person would of course never have done herself. Such things are beneath her, but if it makes her girls happy... well, she might just suffer through it."

"Does sound a bit more interesting than being a sex slave, doesn't it?" Sirva asked. "I wouldn't be introduced to strangers as the third wheel; instead I would be the one that introduces my wonderful charges to strangers. I wouldn't be walking behind you like a little timid kitten; I would be the lioness protecting my charges. And just think, isn't that one of the things that attracted you to me? The fact that I'm not just some timid thing, but that I'm Clan; that I'm rough, an uncut diamond, a bad girl with attitude?"

Neither of the sisters answered with words, but their guilty looks talked all the more. Sirva was right, and they knew it. They hadn't wanted a good little girl; they had wanted a bad girl that was still fun. If it really came down to it, nobody wanted and angel; they wanted the little devil that was so much fun and so willing to play.

"Naw, you don't want to tame me, and I don't want to be tamed," Sirva continued. "I was the tame one at home, nobody on this ship ever saw who I was. Olik comes the closest to having seen who I was. No, nobody will ever see that person again. I want things, and what I want is to be the person I somehow ended up being here. No, I will never again be a third wheel. But I am more than willing to walk proudly with my women at my arms.

"Not behind us but at your arms," Megan repeated. "At your arms, that means also that you wouldn't be walking in front of us."

"You are very perceptive," Sirva noted, approving of the fact that Megan had realized from the statement that they would be equals, just play different roles.

Jennifer nodded in understanding. "And as that proud and fearless protector, would you be willing to do things for your girls because they asked you to and said 'pretty please'?"

Sirva smirked. "That would all depend on how nice the asking was done, and on how much of a sacrifice it would be for me."

Jennifer stood up and shamelessly sat down on Sirva's lap. "How about this?" She put her arms around Sirva's neck and looked at her with her best puppy dog eyes. "Could you do me a favor and wear your Clan leathers today? You look so incredibly hot in them. I would be very... thankful."

Sirva put her arms around Jennifer and treated her to a kiss. "Oh, for something as easy as asking me to do something I want to do anyway, you don't even have to work that hard. But how about this? Let's skip the suggestion of sex as a reward? I want sex to be making love, and have it be something that is done because we want to and not because it was promised. You could always bribe me with some great food of course."

"Deal," Jennifer agreed.

Sirva kissed Jennifer again before looking at Megan. "Are you comfortable with this? If I do this, I want to be able to show affection for the both of you without having to hide it."

As Sirva was asking this, Jennifer stood up and moved back to her own chair.

Seeing that Sirva's lap was empty now, Megan stood up and took the place her sister had just vacated. She kissed Sirva as well before assuring, "Oh, I was fine with that." She took hold of Sirva's hand and brought it to her own breast.

Getting the hint, Sirva gently molded the supple flesh.

Megan enjoyed the sensation for a moment before saying, "I would have been comfortable with seeing this as well." She looked at her sister and asked, "You comfortable with seeing this?"

Jennifer nodded. "Yeah, but how about we make that the line? Kissing, a bit of petting or necking. If I see that I might at worst get jealous and also want some of it. Even a little grope like just now is fine. But if it's clear that the groping or kissing might lead to more, it's taken to the other room."

Megan was just about to answer when Sirva's lips apparently found and extremely sensitive spot, because Suddenly Megan's eyes fluttered closed and she let out a low and long moan of approval.

Jennifer chuckled and watched how Sirva was necking with Megan. The moan sounded a lot like she had sometimes heard coming from the bedroom on Voyager when her sister had someone say over. Sound isolation inside the quarters on Voyager had not been the same as on the Glory. And yet, that moan stirred nothing in her but amusement. She was glad for that. And she was glad to feel that the sight was fun to her. Fun; not erotic, and also not repelling. Just her sister, and her apparently soon permanent lover, being intimate in a way that was still decent enough for their quarters. She wouldn't mind seeing that kind of affection, and since she wouldn't mind, she also knew her sister wouldn't mind seeing it.

"Alright," Megan said as she moved her neck a bit away from extremely talented lips. She needed to think, and Sirva was making that kinda hard. "So just to have said it out loud, we agree that Jen and I will be your girls, but are actually secretly in charge of this triangle because we sisters will stick together."

Both Jennifer and Sirva nodded their agreement. Then Megan continued. "And what Sirva and I are doing now is about the line for display of intimacy if both sisters are in the room? So we can say that clothing is the line? And what I mean with that is not that everything that can be done with clothing on is fine. I mean that as soon as we reach the point where we really want to take the clothes off it's time to move."

"Good clarification," Jennifer said amused. "Because I know a lot of things that can be done with clothes on. Sirva is really good at sticking her hand down my pants for instance."

"Really?" Megan asked. "When did that happen?"

"When I was trying to convince her to come with me. She finally agreed and in the turbo lift I explained to her what you could also do in a turbo lift. Let's just say that she wanted to show that she was listening. We were interrupted before she could finish what she started. So we definitely have to do that again sometime."

Sirva placed a last kiss on Megan's neck. "Hmm, hearing you two talk like that, it sounds like you are willing to agree to my version of you having your little sex slave."

Jennifer chuckled again. "Yeah, our version was a bit one sided I guess. You should get something out of it too. Especially since you will be the one that has to put the work in to keep two women sexually satisfied." She frowned and wondered, "Without boasting, you think you can keep up with that? You didn't want us to use sex to bribe you to do fun stuff; I'm more then cool with that. But on the flip side you keeping us satisfied should also not become a task you feel that you need to do even though you aren't in the mood for sex."

Sirva frowned. "Just how often do you Humans have sex that you worry about that?"

"Um, that's impossible to answer," Jennifer said. "There is so much that ties into that. Whether we have a partner or are single, whether we have the time or are on different shifts. Whether you simply have the room. Meg and I are lucky in the fact that we could take people home, but exactly because we didn't have a steady partner, I would say sex with a real person once every month or so, since we had this rule of not sleeping with someone more than once. So we were kinda limited to people Voyager would come across in its journeys and shore leaves. Sex on the holodeck, I would say once a week. And then there is of course the sometimes doing it yourself under the shower, you know?"

"Yeah, pretty much," Megan agreed with the numbers. "I do know for a fact that married couples that have sex once per week are considered sexually active, and the few lucky ones that have sex at least twice per week are considered to have a healthy sex life." She kissed Sirva and decided to mold her breasts a little before looking over at her sister just to see if she was truly alright with seeing that much intimacy. Seeing only an indulging smile, she looked back at the Clan woman and asked, "How about you Urdians? I have heard that it's common for you to sleep around, to have a lot of sex partners before you find 'that one'. But that doesn't really say much about just how often you do it."

Sirva chuckled. "Trust me, we will be fine. We Urdians like to have sex once a day. I won't say 'at least once a day' because it gives the impression that we want it a lot more. But yeah, once a day, and we don't mind twice. Yet on the flip side, we also won't go crying in despair if circumstances prevent us from having sex for a couple of days in a row. If we can't do it, then we don't do it. But if we can... it's more like, we like it, so why not do it? So don't worry girls; I'll take care of you and will also want to do it again the next day, and the next. Good enough?"

"Good enough," Jennifer agreed and then chuckled. "From what you say it sounds more like Meg and I have to worry if we can keep up with you."

Sirva shrugged. "And if you don't, hey it will do my ego good if you have to skip a day or so because I wore you out that much. Just be honest with me about what you want in sex. Don't do any 'you are wonderful' talk and then wish in private 'if she only would do this'. Tell me, at worst I will say flat out no and you will know that if you want that, you have to find it on the holodeck. But if what you like is along the lines of what we shared already, you got nothing to worry about."

"Alright," Megan agreed as she finally moved back to her own chair. "let's talk about that satisfying for a moment. You are great in bed, but you were also quite...guiding. You liked taking charge. Are you always like that?"

"She was?" Jennifer asked before Sirva could speak up. "I mean, yeah, she was bold. But once I got her into bed I was definitely the one in charge."

Sirva shook her head amused. "I guess I have to get used to be talked about in the third person."

"Sorry," Jennifer started, only to be waved off by Sirva.

"Don't be. I said that I have to get used to it. I really don't mind if you talk about me in the third person, just don't go talking like I'm not here."

Megan pushed her plate away a little. Her food had gone cold, but luckily there hadn't been that much left. "There is a difference?"

Sirva nodded. "If you are talking about me in third person you might say something like, 'Jennifer, Sirva said she liked chocolate. Hey Sirva would you like some chocolate too?' But if you are talking like I'm not here, then that same example would be, 'Jennifer, Sirva said she liked chocolate, we really have to ask her if she would like some chocolate too'. See the difference?"

"I think I do," Megan agreed.

Sirva moved a pointing finger back and forth between the sisters. "As for that other subject, you really gave your own answer already. When I was with Jennifer, I was with a woman for the first time. I'm not stupid. I decided to let the person that knew exactly what to do take charge. But when I was with you Megan, we mostly played with that toy of yours and I had by then been with a woman too. I knew what to do before we used the toy, and I'm not new to the form of the toy or how to work with it. But normally when I'm with a man the man is the one in charge. Since I know what to do I decided that I wanted to be in charge when we were playing with the toy. But if you remember, when you were the one using the toy, you were also the one on top and I was more than happy to let you set the pace."

"You were," Megan had to agree. Then she admitted a bit shyly, "I guess I forgot because for the most part you were the one doing most of the work."

Sirva laughed. "Well, I finally had a chance to feel what men feel and I liked it. So much that I for one liked to give for as long as you were willing to take. That's one advantage to that toy of yours; I could set the sensitivity back so that it was very great for me, but I was aware enough to focus on making it feel wonderful for you. Bottom line is, I like it both. I like to take charge, and I like to surrender to your talent. Just do me a favor and don't go telling everyone that I'm more than happy to let you take charge in the love life. I am that rough Clan woman, remember?"

Jennifer laughed. "Deal. By the way, it's your toy as well if we are going to try this triangle thing. Hmm, though we have to come up with a fitting name. 'The toy' is kinda impersonal. Anyway, as the fact that the toy was paid for with replicator rations from both Megan and me proves, Megan and I don't really have a mine and yours mentality. And I for one don't want to start now. For as long as this thing between us works, all things will be ours. I hope that we will all be mature enough to be able to see what's ours and yours if this thing goes bad."

"Does that mean that I have to get used to more than just my underwear disappearing?" Sirva asked amused.

Jennifer winked. "Well, I did find that red set of leathers kinda cute, and we are pretty much the same size."

"Uh hu," Sirva said. "Well, I don't mind really. But don't wear any of my jewelry. At least not until I pointed out what you can wear."

Both sisters frowned, so Sirva explained. "It's not as much that I would mind, but that others would. I 'am' Clan, so about half of my jewelry carries the Clan symbol. If you were to wear it and Urdian's would see it.... not good. It's like... like.... well I can't think of a comparison really because you are of a different species. But since you also have a chain of command on you ship, let's just say that it's just like you deciding to put on Captains insignias just for fun. I'm not saying that we Clan are seen as being higher in command, I'm just trying to get a point across."

"And I think we get it," Jennifer assured.

"For the rest," Sirva shrugged, "As long as you know that if you think that my wardrobe is fair game, then I think that yours is too."

"That sounds fair," Jennifer agreed. "And the good thing is that Meg and I are used to sharing. Except for the underwear, all our clothing is acquired for us. We are exactly the same size and we like the same things... we don't see why we should get a blouse twice just because we both like it. Instead we only get it once, save some replicator rations that way, and then put it in 'our' closet. And if we both want to wear the same thing, we just flip an old coin we have. Um, a coin is something used by some species to pay for stuff."

"I know what it is," Sirva assured. "We had coins a couple of hundred years ago, and I happen to know my history. Oh, I got one more rule for you. I knew these twins once who thought that it was really cool to pretend to be the other from time to time. If that's something you do as well, don't try it with me. If you want to be someone else to the world that day, tell me and I'll use the other name for you and play right along so that others don't find out. But don't try and fool me. Believe me, I would know real fast because I have found how to tell you apart."

"You have?" Megan asked surprised. "Nobody was ever absolutely sure. We could even fool our mother!"

Sirva grinned. "Ah, but you never explored your mother's mouth with your tongue, did you? It's in the kiss. Just like you are different in bed you also kiss differently. So you might fool me on looks, but I would know the first time we kissed."

"This I got to see," Jennifer said, not believing it for a moment. "Come on, Meg, we'll test her claim. Sir, you close your eyes and then tell us which sister kissed you."

"Sir?" Sirva asked, not sure if she liked the name.

"Yeah," Megan explained as she stood up and joined Megan behind Sirva's chair. "Jen and I like to use shortened names for us. I call Jennifer Jen if we are really private like now, and she calls me Meg. In public I normally call her Jenny because she doesn't mind if others call her that too. But I'm just Megan in public."

"I thought you would like being called Sir," Jennifer teased. "Seeing how you want to be the man in this relationship."

"Funny," Sirva said, deciding that for a real private nickname she didn't mind being called Sir. "But let's just keep that Sir name for between us, Alright, Jen?"

"Deal," Jennifer agreed. "Now close your eyes."

Sirva decided to play along and moments later she was treated to a nice kiss. She pulled back a little and shook her head. "No, you got to use tongue, there is the difference."

The lips came back, and this time an eager tongue slipped from between them. A very enjoyable kiss later, Sirva licked her lips and said, "Definitely Meg... do you mind if I use the shortened name too?"

"I think you just earned yourself that right," A very impressed Megan said.

"That's just a fifty percent chance," Jennifer noted. "Let's try this again."

"Meg," Sirva said a kiss later. "What, you thought that just because you objected that I would think it was you, Jen?"

She was silenced by another kiss. "Meg. Come on, that was so obvious I could have guessed it without a kiss. Two kisses from Meg, so the third one has to be from Jen? I would have said Meg no matter what."

"Alright, this means war," Jennifer teased. After that the Kisses, all very enjoyable and very heavy on tongue play kept coming. And Sirva answered right every time. "Jen, Meg, Jen, Jen, Oh, nice one Meg. Jen, Jen who wants to outdo her sister. Meg, Jen, Meg."

"I give up," Jennifer finally said as she sat down in her chair again. "That's amazing. What's the difference?"

"And you think I would tell you my little secret?" Sirva asked amused. Seeing a little pout forming she relented. "To tell you the truth, I have no idea what the difference is. I just feel something different. And I like it that way. I mean, you really are alike. You even smell alike. I kinda like the fact that I'm the only one that can tell you apart."

"Alright," Jennifer agreed. "I think there is something to that. The person we live with should be able to tell the difference."

Sirva grinned. "And you know what I like the best of that little test?"

"What?" Megan asked.

"The fact that both of you were just kissing me in turn, and in a way that is a lot more intimate than a peck on the cheek," Sirva reminded. "And clearly didn't have a problem kissing the same lips your sister just kissed.

"Um," Both sisters said at the same time, realizing that the Clan woman had been right. If they had seen someone else kiss someone like that they would probably have looked away, feeling that it was too private a moment to watch. And yet, here they had watched, had looked on as their sister was kissing the same person they themselves had kissed mere moments before and hadn't even thought twice about it. Not many people would do that so easily, not even taking feelings into account. I'm talking about kissing someone like that when someone else just kissed the person like that. Exchange of bodily fluids and all that."

"I guess," Jennifer finally said, "But I think that with Meg and me, it is actually that part that is the least important to take into account here. Meg and I have been sharing stuff our entire life. That includes using one fork to share a desert, me wiping some sweets of her lips with a finger and then popping that finger into my own mouth to clean it, and taking a bite of hand held foods under the 'here try this' mentality. So the fact that I was just kissing lips that had some of her saliva on it sure won't gross me out. It's the kissing itself, the tongue that just swirled around hers now swirling around mine that is more than likely to set us off. But... it doesn't."

She shrugged. "I think we should consider that a good thing. It proves to me that this thing between us can really work and that we aren't just talking wishful thinking. I love my sister, but seeing her nude does less for me than seeing myself nude. Because myself I at least do like to play with, if you know what I mean. You, Sirva, I like, but I sure love to have my hands and mouth on that body of yours. And I think that's the mix. If I see my sister kiss someone, I don't give a damn. If I see you kissing my sister, at best I'm glad that both of you are doing something you like. But I don't think I would take it very well if I were to see you kiss another woman. Oh, and on that note, we have one final condition. Break that and everything is over."

"Oh?" A curious Sirva said.

"We know how casual you Urdians are with having sex as long as you aren't bonded; we just talked about it even. But we don't share," Jennifer stated resolutely. "You have us both, but nobody else on the side. And in return we stay true to you."

Sirva chuckled. "I don't think that will be a problem. You see, with the two of you I have all the woman I need. And on top of that, that little toy you have makes sure I also get what a man could give me. Because believe me, I like that too."

"Um, What Jen said makes me kinda wonder," Megan said hesitantly. "You Urdians are casual about sex because you have that whole getting addicted to your partner thing going on. Kinal, Olik's sister, is a healer. And to make sure that there weren't any complications between Olik and Celes she sat Celes down one day and told her about how things work with you Urdians. That Celes should be aware that simply by staying in a relationship with Olik, the relationship would literally become more serious with every passing day. And seeing that Celes knows about me and Jen playing around, she told us so that we could keep it in mind and not sleep too often with the same Urdian. So aren't you worried that you would become bonded to one of us?"

"It is a risk," Sirva admitted honestly, all traces of humor gone now. "And I can assure you that eventually it will happen if this really works out between us. But it takes months for this... addiction... to become of such strength that we can't leave our partner anymore. But the way I see it, and let's be honest here, it is a question if this thing between us truly can work out for longer than a few days. To be honest with you, I'm doing this half because I want you both, and half because you are my ticket into the Fleet. But it is exactly because we Urdians are so casual about sex as long as we aren't bonded that I'm willing to give this a try. I mean, I just know you for two days. And if you count hours spent together we literally spent less than a day together. Who knows if you can still stomach me in a week, or I you. I know that this thing between us will last until the Fleet has left, but after that?"

"Ah, there is that calculative side back," Jennifer noted.

"And you need it," Sirva countered. "You and your sister are so much alike that you are almost one. Great, but that means that the absolute last thing you need is another person that is just like you. You need someone that is different; I am different. And because of that, this can either only last for a few weeks, or last very long because we enhance each other. And the longer it lasts, the less likely it is that it will end. Because we will grow towards each other. And eventually, if it does last that long, yes, I will get addicted to you to the point that I need you in my life. Now, normally we get addicted to one person,"

"That is what I'm worried about," Megan admitted.

"Ah, but that is the beauty of you being so close," Sirva noted, and now the grin was back. "And it's also your assurance that I will never try to slowly drive a wedge between you. I will need you both. I will have no idea whether it's you or Jen that triggers those hormones. Especially because those hormones are also triggered during sex. I'll be sleeping with the both of you so my body will always have a certain level of those hormones. Even if it's Jen that I bonded to, if I sleep with you I also get those hormones and I also feel good. So because I see you both each day, I won't have a clue which one of you I'm actually bonded to. All I will know is that I'm bonded with one, or maybe both of you."

She shrugged. "Who says that this can't happen too? Especially because you are so much alike. It's things like seeing a smile that triggers a little bit of the hormones. But who's smile is it? Yours or Jen's? Or is it both because the smile is exactly the same and all I see is a smile that makes me feel good?"

"There is no way of finding out?" Megan wondered.

Sirva shook her head a little. "Not really. At that time, the only way we could probably find out is by you two separating to the point where you have totally no contact, and then putting me with one of you one month, and with the other the other month. Because even if I miss Jen the first month, it might still be that I really am bonded to both of you and that putting me with Jen the next month will only mean that I will miss you. There is so much uncertainty in this that I can only take it one day at a time. The real question you have to ask yourself is, are you willing to take the risk?"

"What do you mean?" Megan asked.

"What I mean is that with us Urdians it's simple; the more time we spent together, the more it's certain that we will spend the rest of our live together. But from what I hear it's actually quite common for members of the Voyager crew to find someone and then split up again. Isn't that why my government even invented the rule that people that are married under Urdian law have one chance to nullify the marriage? So with me it's easy. The longer I stay with you, the more you can be sure that I want to stay with you even longer."

She shook her head a little to give her next words more meaning. "A few months from now you will never ever, even once have to worry about me even thinking of leaving you because if I'm still with you then it would mean that I would rather die then leave you. But you. You Humans often work exactly the other way around. You start off knowing for sure that you will be together forever, only to then split up again a few months later. So, you should ask yourself, are you willing to take the risk? Because I for one don't know what will happen. We Urdians don't split up. So if you tell me after half a year that you have enough of me... what will I do? For starters they will probably have to put me on another ship just to prevent me stalking you. And I mean the real kind of stalking, and not the kind I was doing with Olik."

"We would be your drug then?" Jennifer said in understanding. "You would crave us, want to be with us. Maybe to the point where you will try to bypass security to get to us."

"You might even decide to," Megan suddenly stopped, not wanting to finish her thought.

So Sirva did it for her. "Might go crazy and think that I need to kill you. Because it's only the death of a partner that finally stops the addiction. And that, my lovely ladies, is the risk you might take."

They were quiet for a moment as they contemplated the difficulties that might be.

"You know, we really should have known," Jennifer said with a sigh. "We wanted just some fun. We wanted a sex toy that we could share and that can do a lot more than just buzz."

"We didn't count for feelings and emotions," Megan added.

"So, are you taking back your offer?" Sirva asked, giving them an out and the sisters knew it.

The sisters looked at each other in silence for a moment before Jennifer shook her head. "No, maybe it's for the better. This way we know that in the beginning we don't have to worry about feelings. We know that for the next two months at least we can tell you, 'it's been nice, bye', and you will accept it. Chalk it up to a nice experience and then move on to the next person to keep you warm in the night. But if it lasts longer, Meg and I don't have to worry if you ever get enough of us and want to leave us because by then you can't."

"But you could decide to leave me, or kick me out to be more precise," Sirva noted.

Jennifer shook her head. "There it helps that you aren't Human. You Urdians age different than we Humans do. You are twenty-eight years old now, but you look like a Human would look at around eighteen. And as we get older, Meg and I will get wrinkled and frail but you don't care because you are addicted to us, and we old hags would have a partner that is just as old as us, but that still looks tasty and by then about thirty years younger than us. So you will always be our young looking lover with the hot body that makes us drool, even though you are technically one year older than us."

Seeing the raised eyebrow, Jennifer lifted her hands. "Alright, so that was mostly a joke, but there is a truth to that. As Humans get older they tend to get interested in younger potential partners, unless they are madly in love and the love is the most important part. So actually having a partner that looks a lot younger than us will be a huge benefit. But on a more serious note, relationships between Humans normally stop because people grow apart. In a time long gone people would sometimes stick together for certain reasons and start hating each other's guts. That's why Earth was so eager to accept the timed wedding contracts. But you aren't Human. If we develop different interests you will happily accept that we have interests that don't interest you because you would by then love us and just want us happy. You wouldn't get upset because we spend time doing things that you don't like doing, because you are glad that we found something that we like doing. As long as we don't cut you out. As long as we at least ask you if you want to join us."

"Or not, because you know me well enough to know that you don't need to ask," Sirva noted. "I do realize that you two are close. You will want to do things by yourselves from time to time. Especially when I'm hanging out here all the time. And you will need time to gossip about me. Talking makes people understand and cope with things. You will need to talk about me when I can't hear you. You will need to discuss if you need to discuss something with me."

"Well, yes, we will need some time for ourselves," Jennifer noted. "But not all the time. If you stay with the Fleet you will have to do a job so you will be gone from time to time. Plus don't forget that Meg and I work in the same spot. We will have eight hours every day to gossip about you. And since you and we work in different spots we will also have something to talk about, be able to talk about our day. But yes, you have a point. Meg and I will probably want to do some things alone from time to time."

"But then, so will I probably," Sirva pointed out. "Just because we live together, doesn't mean we will have to do everything together. I sure hope that I'll make friends that I also want to spent time with. But my point was that it's not that you have to ask me every time if I want to come along, if I want to join you. We have to get to know each other a bit, find out what our interests are. But there will come a point where you don't ask me if I want to come along with the both of you to go and watch a dramatic theater production because you know by then that I hate any theater production that isn't a comedy."

Jennifer glanced at the clock over the replicator and sighed. "And talking about doing separate things during the day. We talked too much. We have six minutes before we have to be at our job. Sir, please stay and see if you could feel at home here. Please do some thinking about what you want. Meg and I'll do the same. And if we still want to do this when we get home then we'll contact Captain Janeway to let her know that Meg and I have a partner that will join us on our travels."

"You really need eight hours to think about just whether you what to try this?" Sirva asked. "Remember, if you don't like it, or I turn out to be a real pain in the ass, you can always kick me out. Just that I would appreciate it if you kept me as your partner on paper until the Fleet has left; which is in only a few days. But then again, maybe I will be the one who changes her mind. So why don't we make this as painless as possible? What time do you normally have lunch?"

"Um, four hours into our shift," Jennifer said confused. "Our lunch hour is from eleven to twelve. And then we have to work again from twelve to four."

Sirva nodded. "Then how about this? Your lunch hour, in the little mess hall where we ate. The ones that want to go through with this will show up and have lunch, and a talk, there. The ones that changed their mind don't show up. No hard feelings, no other contact, no scene."

"Alright," Megan agreed for the sisters. "I like that. But now we really have to go. Feel free to eat more breakfast; there is still some left. And since it is part of the deal, don't bother with cleaning up when you are done. We'll do that when we get home."

"I like a girl with a mind very capable of remembering," Sirva approved.

The sisters stood up and took turns treating Sirva to a proper goodbye kiss. She followed them to the door and watched them leave.

Once alone Sirva let herself drop onto the couch in the living room. "Gods I hope you show up, because I definitely want to give this a try."

Her stomach decided to voice its objection to only having a relatively small breakfast and Sirva stood up to feed the beast. That was something the sisters would soon find out. Sirva always had a healthy appetite; it was one of the reasons why the sisters had been able to get her attention with food. Lucky for Sirva she also had a fast metabolism and actually had to make sure to eat enough or else she would lose weight.

She went back to the kitchen and ate the rest of a once again excellent breakfast. She chuckled. She was willing to bet that it wouldn't take the sisters long to figure her little weakness out. No, they didn't need to bribe her with promises of sex; promises of food would be much more effective.

Once she was done, Sirva cleaned up in the kitchen and after that went back to the bedroom and made both the beds. When she had said that she had the tendency to put things back where she got them it had been quite an understatement. Sirva was actually a very neat person. Girls in her Clan got taught how to clean and then keep things that way. Now it was second nature to Sirva. Despite what she had told the sisters, she would pull her weight in doing the chores. She just had wanted to be sure that it would not be expected of her. It was better that way, she figured. Because now she could do chores when she felt like it, and the sisters would be happy because she was doing chores for them which she didn't need to be doing.

Once she was done she went and explored what she knew had to be the second bedroom, since it was the only room she hadn't been in yet. She nodded her approval. Big enough for a nice bed with room to move, and then there was still enough room left for a dresser against one wall. That way some of her things could be stored there since she would be moving in with two people that had already divided their space. Though if Jennifer had been sincere about borrowing clothes, then her clothing would probably end up in the walk-in closet. Which was fine too. Just that she also had a few reminders from home that would need storing. Things you rarely or never used, but that you didn't want to part with.

At the moment there were two tables in the room and to one side a cabinet without doors that was clearly selected for its ample amount of shelves and draws. A hobby room.

Sirva walked up to the tables. On one there was a line drawing of some hills with trees and a little cabin. On the bottom it was partially covered by little pieces of colored glass.

"Damn, you're good Jen," Sirva said, remembering that Jennifer had said that she liked to make mosaics in her free time.

She moved to the other table. There she found several thick but short candles, one of which was in the process of being carved with some kind of animal.

"Meg," Sirva guessed. Then she frowned as she remembered something.

She moved back to the living room. Yes, there on the coffee table stood three of the candles. Carved with scenes of animals all chasing each other. "And you are good too Meg."

Looking around the quarters in more detail, she found more of the sisters' handiwork. Candles in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom. Yet all just enough to be decorative instead of a clutter. And on the walls in different rooms there were a total of eleven colorful mosaics.

"Both of you are very good with your hands," Hearing her own words, Sirva snickered before adding, "But then, I already knew that." Then she became more serious and added, "Gods you just get better and better. I really do hope you want to try. Because, maybe, I have a feeling, seeing what you do for hobbies, that you won't laugh at me for wanting to write poetry, like they did at home."

Day 23. (Morning)

"Are you ready?" The Urdian Doctor asked.

"No," Kathryn replied a bit shaky. "But I don't think I've ever be, so let's just get this over with."

"Very well," the doctor agreed as she gestured to one of the bio-beds that were located in the Glory's sickbay. "Please lay down. This will be very much like when your own Doctor gave you the medicine that brought your memories back to the state it had been before you landed on our planet."

"But," Kathryn started a bit worried, "I will not lose the memories of the last month, right?"

"That is correct," the Urdian Doctor assured. "Because your old memories are still in your mind, the new memories were not written over the old ones, so to speak. The only thing we are doing today is remove the blocks that prevent you from accessing those old memories on will. But I do have to warn you, just like last time there will be an extremely strong headache for a couple of minutes. There is nothing we can do about that."

Kathryn nodded in understanding and then lay down on the bio-bed. "Alright. So let's get this over with."

A hypospray was placed against her neck and she heard the telltale hiss that she loved and dreaded so much. Loved, because it was the sound that had accompanied the relief of some of the worst physical pains in her life. And dreaded, because normally bad things were related to those pains, like being attacked on an away mission, and people around her dying.

For almost a minute there was no reaction to the substance and Kathryn was starting to think that maybe they did something wrong. But then the slow headache started. Just a small bit, the little bit that she usually had at the end of her working day for nothing more than all the thinking that came with the job of being Captain. But then it started to grow and grow until in the end she was grinding her teeth together to stop from shouting out her pain. But luckily this only lasted for a minute as well and then the pain started to taper off.

Hesitantly she opened her eyes and looked at the other people in the room, all three of them. Voyager's Doctor, the female Urdian Doctor, and Admiral of the Fleet, Brika Danara. After a confused moment, Kathryn admitted to them, "Something must have gone wrong, I still feel the same."

The Urdian Doctor smiled at her. "Captain, you might be a bit confused. This was not about how you feel, but what you remember. As long as you don't think about memories that happened in the time that you could not remember you won't notice a difference."

Brika came a step closer and gently caressed her wife's face. "Can you remember our first kiss, my love?"

There wasn't even a fraction of time before Kathryn answered. Even as Brika was still saying the 'my love', Kathryn was already smiling and started to say yes. Then she remembered even more and rolled her eyes with a groan. "You weren't kidding, I really was playing hard to get. How did you ever hang in there?"

Not caring in the least about the Doctors, Brika leaned in and treated her wife to a gentle kiss. "Because of that first kiss. I kissed you and realized right there at that moment that you were the one for me."

Then she smiled. "Besides, you have to remember I had to work to get to the position of Admiral. I too had points in my life where I thought that I could never have a personal life because of my career. That is why I understand you so well; been there, done that. I felt my other half in that kiss and from that moment I just knew that I had to ride out the useless 'I can't have a personal life' wave before you would give in."

She chuckled. "Actually, I think that in this case we were lucky that you were under the influence of that trace element because now your resistance was more a result of standard behavior instead, of what you truly wanted. Be honest, do you really think that otherwise you would already have given in two weeks after that first kiss?"

Kathryn blushed a little as she thought back to more and more of those first weeks. It had taken Brika two weeks to get Kathryn to even go out with her, and even then only because Brika had blatantly lied and said that it wasn't a date. At the end of that evening Brika had managed to coax a kiss out of her, but even that wasn't the end of it. After that first kiss it took another two weeks before Kathryn finally gave in and admitted to herself that she was in love.

It hadn't been her intention, but Kathryn had been an incredibly tease for poor Brika. At one moment nearly jumping her from lust and then the next moment say stupid things like 'I can't do this'. At one moment holding hands and enjoy an incredible romantic sunset, and then ruining it all the next moment by telling Brika that she could never see her again. Only to show up the next day at her door with flowers because she had decided to thoroughly woo the beautiful woman that called to Kathryn's intellect just as much as her body.

"I have a lot to make up for, don't I?" Kathryn mumbled into her lover's shoulder.

"Kitten, you already made it all up to me." She looked Kathryn deep in the eyes before adding, "You said 'I do'."

"I love you," Kathryn assured. Then she finally remembered that other people were waiting for a more professional assessment. She moved her legs off the bio-bed and made herself comfortable sitting on the side of it. The Captain in her wanted to get up and stand, and most definitely not want to sit on the side of a bio-bed like a five year old kid who was waiting for uncle Doctor to come in and tell her once again that she shouldn't play that roughly. But the normal woman inside her was smart enough to not try and stand up while the edges of her peripheral vision were still waving up and down a bit.

She looked at the two doctors in turn for a moment, glad to see that neither of them decided to comment on the personal scene they had just witnessed. "Well doctors, aside from the splitting headache that I wouldn't wish on anyone, I would call this a success. I remember it all now. From the moment we got here."

Now she looked the Doctor of Voyager straight in the eyes. "And I do owe you an apology. You were right, we ignored your valid concerns way too easily. In fact, by ignoring your concerns I was also ignoring Starfleet protocol. The Chief Medical Officer has to clear a planet before shore-leave may begin."

"They have to?" The Doctor asked surprised. He had never bothered to look up Starfleet regulations about what a Chief Medical Officer had to do because he wasn't the Chief Medical Officer; he was merely the Doctor.

As if reading the Doctor's mind, Kathryn nodded her head. "They have to. Not with away missions because with those there is usually not enough time for time-consuming medical tests, other than looking at a sensor scan and deciding if one can beam onto the planet without dying. But yes, with shore-leave this is a different matter. There the CMO has to clear the planet, or at least decide which places are safe to visit. This for the simple reason that with shore-leave there is enough time. There people can wait for a day if needed."

"But I'm not the CMO," the Doctor reminded.

Kathryn shook her head. "Just because you don't have the official title of CMO, that doesn't mean that you aren't our highest ranking medical officer. You are part of the senior crew for a reason. All I can really say in defense is that we were impatient. Finally after half a year we found a planet that wasn't only just in the margins of livable, or that didn't have a species that wanted to kill us to either get our technology or get rid of what they saw as a threat. We finally had found a wonderful place with extremely friendly people. The last thing we wanted to hear was that maybe it was not safe. I apologize for ignoring you as if your very valid concerns were not important."

"Ah, well, apology accepted," the Doctor said not really knowing how to react to the Captain's statements. Then the scientific programming in his matrix realized something and pointed out, "Captain, don't take this the wrong way, but your behavior is showing me that even though you might remember all now, the time on Urdia Genera did nevertheless clearly changed you. With all due respect, half a year ago you would never have apologized, not like this at least."

Kathryn didn't say anything for a moment. At first she was miffed about the fact that here she was, apologizing for her behavior, and the Doctor was treating it like a symptom of some kind of disease instead. And then the miffed feeling made room for bemused acceptance. He was right. She would never have apologized to him like this. At most she would have apologized for not following procedure, but it would still not have been a real apology to the person.

"You have a point," she agreed. "It is something to keep in mind. Just because I remember now, doesn't mean that I didn't change. I actually like that."

She looked at Brika for a moment and gave her a small smile. "Because maybe that means that I don't have to worry about certain things I was worrying about, like suddenly realizing that it's better to keep people at a distance. I'm glad that I won't be making that mistake again."

She sighed. "But that also means that all the others will continue on from the person they are now, and not from that person they were a few months ago."

"And that means?" Brika asked.

"That means," Kathryn repeated. "That we will have to focus more on the people that were trying hard to ignore what happened on Urdia Genera and not as much of the people that accepted it. While I encouraged people to look and embrace what they found on your world, there have been about ten people that downright rejected all, that just wanted to go on like it never happened. While I didn't like that, until now I also didn't really worry about them because I thought that they had a point. If you are able to ignore the months on your planet, then when you remember the time before then that life would just go on where it was when we reached your planet. But it won't."

"You have a point," Voyager's Doctor agreed. "In this I would say that only Tuvok is lucky. He didn't as much ignore what happened on the planet, it's more that his logic was still intact. He knew that he is still Mated in the Alpha Quadrant so he didn't get involved with anyone. But it will not be so easy for the others, the ones that have spent the last month alienating the person they fell in love with on the planet because they thought it wasn't real."

Kathryn nodded her agreement. "For people like me, Tom, Harry, or Chakotay, it will be easy because they will really remember the good time with their new partner and be thrilled about the fact that their new partner is coming with them on our journey. B'Elanna and Seven as well, I was worried about them for a long time. In the beginning with B'Elanna deciding that she didn't want to be married to Seven... can you imagine what a disaster that would have been if B'Elanna had managed to alienate Seven as she was planning to in the beginning? And that now she would realize that she actually loves her because she remembers the time and feelings on the Urdian Homeworld?"

"But now," Brika said with a smile, "Now we don't have to worry about them because they will be just as glad to be married as we are. If not more. But I see what you mean, there were some that acted just like B'Elanna and tried to push away the person they love, just that B'Elanna stopped doing that because of her Klingon Honor. Once she realized that she truly loved Seven, she felt that she should have to stick to commitments made. But others didn't feel that way."

"If not more?" Kathryn asked surprised. "Is it even possible for someone to be even more glad than us to be married?"

Brika nodded vigorously. "It is. We are happy because we found each other and fell in love. But they, they have the added bonus of not just finding somebody they love, but also losing their worst enemy. They will be double glad that they are together and realized that the differences that annoyed them so much in the beginning can actually be very endearing if you loved that person."

"Good point," Kathryn had to agree. Then she looked back at the doctors once more. "Alright, for the sake of report, let me give you a little bit more information about the remembering. Because there are some things I don't remember."

That clearly surprised the doctors. "What do you mean?" The Urdian Doctor asked.

"Well, I don't remember the forgetting, if that makes sense," Kathryn began slowly. "It's all a nice flow of events. Before this procedure, when I didn't remember my time on the planet, the flow of events that I remembered was; we reached Urdia Genera, had a vote and decided to settle, had our life there, it was found out that we were under the influence, had the procedure that purged the element from our system. A nice flow of events, but... but even though I do remember those events, it all changed now."

"Changed," Brika prompted.

"Well, before I didn't remember the four months spent of the planet and now I do," Kathryn explained. "So now the chain of events is longer. I remember the getting here, us voting on staying here, me actually also voting for staying... which still feels right now like an obvious choice to make. I don't know, it's to me like we decided to purge the element from our system a month ago and the only result was that I suddenly started to 'act' like I lost my mind and didn't remember people, even though I do. I mean, I can remember walking into my ready room and seeing Brika. I remember recognizing her, and yet at the same time wondering who she is. Like I have two memories. I remember how much I like her, and yet feeling confused because there was some strange attraction to this person. I remember her name, yet also remember asking her who she is. It's like one holo-vid is recorded over the other."

She frowned. "But other things too. Even though I now know that I did some things on Urdia Genera that I would have never done anywhere else, I still don't feel that at any point I acted different. What I mean is, it all felt the same as it does now. Even now all the decisions I made seemed totally rational to me even though I know I would never have made them if I had been truly me. I mean, just look at me actually deciding to leave Voyager and settle on some planet. Worse, to agree to having Voyager stripped for resources. I would never have done that, yet it makes perfect sense to me even now."

She looked at her wife before adding, "Or take Brika and me. As I just said, had I been of rational mind I would have kept her at a distance... um wait, let me rephrase that. If I had been of what I considered before getting to the planet rational mind. But now I know that I would have kept her at bay before, yet I also feel that what I did in the last month was the 'real' me. Those decisions make more sense than my decisions before that time. Understand what I mean? It's like... the element in the air changed me somehow, I guess. That I'm no longer the person I was before that day... and yet, I finally feel like I am the person that I should be."

She looked at Brika before adding, "That probably also explains why I'm so easily willing to set myself those new goals we discussed last night. Or why even now that I remember it all I have absolutely no problem with me being under the command of a non-Starfleet Admiral."

"Could the procedure have failed?" Brika asked the doctors. "Maybe that there is also a second block of some kind? That not just memories were blocked."

The Urdian doctor shook her head. "I don't think so. It's how we lived our life that determines how we act. Yes, there is also the personality factor, but it's mostly upbringing that forms us. For instance, I'm sure that one of the reasons Captain Janeway had such a problem with letting people close is because pretty much for her entire adult life she has been trained that people in command don't get close to people under them. While you, Admiral have been trained under the Urdian system where closeness to subordinates is seen as a normal thing and you are trained in how to set yourself over that when needed, instead of being over it all the time."

"She has a point," Kathryn agreed. "A big part of our training is about knowing that one day you might have to order people into death, know that there will be that one mission where you tell someone to go and do something and know right there that you just killed that person. There is a holodeck test at the Academy, for you to pass it, the only option is to order a crew member to go do something you both know will be their death. If you don't give that order, you fail the test and can't continue on the command track. If you start out like that you know from the beginning that it's better to not get too close. Hell, as we discussed yesterday, there are even laws that prevent certain relationships in the chain of command."

Then she looked back at the Urdian doctor. "But that doesn't explain why I don't feel like that anymore."

"It does," The doctor disagreed. "Let me simplify and say that for your entire life you have been trained that the color red means good and green means bad. And,"

Kathryn couldn't help but chuckle. "It's the other way around actually. Green means good, safe, you can go ahead. Red means warning, take care, stop. That's why on our ships the red alert is the highest level of readiness."

"As it is with us Urdians," Brika added.

"I was just making a point," The Doctor persisted. "Let's say that for your entire life you have been trained that red is good and green is bad. Now, the last month you have been subjected to the other way around. You have now seen that actually green is good and red is bad. Just because you now have your memories back, that doesn't mean that you suddenly think that green is bad. You still know that in your present situation green is good; that didn't change. It's just that you also remember that at some point in your life red was actually good."

"So basically, we will never be the same people again," Kathryn surmised. "Getting the memories back really means nothing more than the fact that this four month gaping black hole is filled. But getting my memories back doesn't change me back into the person I once was. I will always be this new Kathryn."

"Unless future events change you, I would agree to that," The Urdian doctor said. "For instance... I hope you forgive me for using you as an example Admiral... for instance Captain, if the Admiral were to die in an accident tomorrow, you might be traumatized from that and decide that you will never again have a relationship, just like we Urdians only rarely start a new relationship once a life partner has died. But then still, you would do so because of future events, and not because of past events. I would even dare to guess that even if you were to lose your memory again right now, you would still behave like the person you have become, and not like the one you once were."

Kathryn sighed. "This is a mess. For myself I'm glad, but for some people in the crew this will be a disaster."

The ones that are fighting it," Brika said. "Like B'Elanna was in the beginning. It means that probably all people that started a relationship with an Urdian will continue it. But the ones that were fighting it will suddenly realize that they can never again go back to being that person they want to be."

"Captain," Voyager's Doctor started, "if I may come back to something else you said for a moment? Could you please try to explain what you mean with that you don't remember the forgetting? Because I find that a bit confusing."

Kathryn nodded her agreement. "What I mean is, I remember finding the Urdian Homeworld, the welcome's committee that came onboard Voyager. I remember clearly my discussion with you, Doctor. I remember going onto the planet. And there is what I mean for the first part. I remember all that happened on the planet and it feels absolutely normal to me. Then comes the part where they discovered you, Doctor. I even remember being present during those meetings with the government representatives and then later with the Voyager crew were we decided that we wanted to take the risk of removing the trace element out of our systems. For better or worse, we wanted our choice to be free. Of course we all assumed that the free choice would be that we want to stay on the planet. And now comes the part what I mean with I don't remember the forgetting. Because I remember deciding that I should be the first to take the antidote. I remember getting the hypospray injection. I remember the spitting headache, and then I remember starting to ask you questions."

She could see from the look on their faces that they still didn't fully understand. "What I mean is that to me it now looks as if you gave me a spitting headache for nothing because I remember every second of that time. What I mean is... it's like... missing the holes. It feels very weird. So hard to explain but... well, it's as if I just don't want to believe your explanation as to why I forgot stuff because I never forgot stuff. I know I did... yet I feel like I didn't."

By now both doctors were nodding in understanding. It was the Urdian Doctor we spoke up. "We have seen similar behavior in coma patients who were in coma for a long time, anywhere from half a year to, well, longer. Years for instance. They wake up and then feel something similar because for them they are suddenly in the future. For them it's more about what they lost, about realizing that they will never get those years back. But it's pretty much the same. We shouldn't worry too much about it. This feeling normally doesn't last too long. In severe cases it's a couple of weeks before they finally focus more on the fact that now at least they are awake to enjoy the rest of their life. Since with you it is more about realizing what you have instead of what you lost, I would be really surprised if you still feel the same by tomorrow morning. Still, it is a very important piece of information. We clearly have to warn the others before we give them the antidote that they can feel this way afterwards. Please could you give us some more detailed information?"

"I will try," Kathryn agreed, knowing that it wouldn't be too easy to describe that weird feeling of feeling a loss about the fact that you aren't feeling a loss.

Day 23. (Afternoon)

B'Elanna was happily chewing the excellent food as she pretended to listen to the two others at the table talk about things of which she only understood the basics, at best.

On Voyager lunch had been a time to dread, and preferably skip, because despite his best intentions, Neelix never did truly master the art of good cooking. He had mostly continued to be the cook of Voyager for a mix of different reasons. What he made was not good, but it was edible. He managed to run his food service on a shoestring budget of energy and resources. Plus, nobody else wanted to do the job. But now that the Voyager crew could beam over to the ships they were living on, which was for ninety percent of them The Glory, food tasted great and lunch had become a time to look forward to. The break in the day's work that it was actually supposed to be.

Voyager's mess hall had been drastically decreased in size and converted to more of a rest place for people to go to on their ten minute breaks to get a small snack. If they wanted more than that they would beam to one of the other ships and use the mess hall there.

Neelix was not too upset by the fact that he no longer cooked for the crew, nor that he didn't run a mass hall at all anymore. This because he had been promoted and now had a fulltime job that he loved and that he had proven time and again on Voyager that he excelled at it. Though still part of Voyager's Senior Crew, he now worked for the Urdian Fleet Supply department and held the position of the Fleet's Senior Quartermaster. He was now the department's main negotiator and spokes person, though not the department's highest ranking person.

Neelix liked it that way. There were very qualified people that kept busy with making sure that every ship in the Fleet had what it needed, and he could concentrate more on making sure his department got what it needed to make sure that the rest got what they needed. It would be his task to hold the lengthy negotiations with alien species. His task to do the talk that normally preceded the final negotiations in which the Captain would agree, or not, to deals made.

"So you are saying that the triple helix configuration might be better suited as a base structure for the alloy because of stability?" Sever surmised.

"In short? Yes," Q'Vir agreed. "Because the triple configurations gives you a build in safety margin since the alloy will only need a double helix configuration to work. Once the liquid dilithium shifts through the sixth dimension there will be a large lazion wave backwash which can destabilize the integrity field. A triple helix configuration is strong enough to cope with the wave and you can run the generator even without an integrity field at all if you wish."

"Though keeping an integrity field would not be a burden and therefore should be done for added safety," Seven pointed out.

"True enough, Q'Vir readily agreed. "I was just stating what was possible, not how things should be done in practice. In practice I would say scratch the whole idea because creating a triple helix costs more energy than the generator will ever create in its lifespan."

"True," Seven agreed. "But this was a theoretical exercise anyway because in practice it would be easier to,"

"Flip the fucking switch," B'Elanna interrupted.

Both women looked at her confused, so she elaborated. "I know that you two love to talk about what's theoretically possible, but you seem to have forgotten the base question. The question was to prevent a cascade failure in the Urdian engines if their dark matter storage field goes unstable and threatens to destroy the ship... and everything in half a light-year's distance by the way. And there your answer is, flip the switch. Open the access hatch and flip the switch that closes the circuit that provides the power to the secondary containment field."

She shrugged. "The Urdians don't just use crude switches for no reason; they love their touch sensitive stuff. So when I was studying the engine I checked why they used crude flip switches in a few places. The switch in question is an extreme crude but effective fail-safe that will always work because it doesn't rely on power. You just need someone to flip the switch. Then the second containment field is switched off by the circuit being physically interrupted and the valve that is attached to the switch opens since the electronic magnets have no power anymore and the dark matter is released into space because at the moment it's the path of least resistance. Nothing blows, you can repair the engine... and of course spend a week to harvest enough dark matter to start the engine again. But, you will still be alive."

Seven dipped her head in acknowledgement. Then she looked back at Q'Vir. "And that is why my be'nal is the Chief Engineer while I am not. In cases where a simple solution is needed I tend to overcomplicate. If a valve is stuck I tend to check the engine. B'Elanna would just hit the valve with a spanner, make sure that it works for that moment, and then check the engine."

"Which can be dangerous in certain situations as well," Q'Vir noted. "For instance, if you hit a Borg regulator valve, it will actually fuse in the position it's in."

"Well, you do have to know your technology," B'Elanna relented. "I'm not about to hit a piece of technology over the head that I don't know. But both Federation and Urdian technology is built with certain safety margins build in. While Borg technology is more aimed at peak efficiency because they can afford to have a thousand maintenance drones on a ship."

"True," Seven had to agree. "It is one of the reasons why a lot of the potential changes to Voyager that I could offer were never implemented. We simply did not have the crew to cope with the increased maintenance level."

"Maybe you should look at some of those changes again," Q'Vir suggested. "I can't invent new technology for you, but since it's actually damn obvious I can point out that those Borg technologies couldn't be adapted to Voyager because Voyager's technology level was too crude to change it... no offence B'Elanna."

"None taken... I think," B'Elanna said amused. "And I guess your oh so obvious point is, Voyager's technology level might have been too crude. But what if we look at those Borg technologies through Urdian technology eyes? Voyager has been upgraded to the extreme. A change that could kill before, could now be perfectly safe to do. Maybe we can adapt a few of them to be a bit less peak Borg efficient, but more Urdian reliable."

"And if you were to come up with such a middle way, it would be your own doing and therefore I would then be allowed afterwards to make suggestions to... make it a bit more reliable yet, but not better," Q'Vir said. "That's that middle ground that I'm allowed to travel. I can't tell you how to make Borg technology more reliable because it's a done deal. Borg technology exists. If you want to use that, you have to use it as it is. But, if you make changes to a technology and it works, then I can help you tweak it a bit more because everyone knows that if you make something work you are going to tweak it anyway, so there I can help. Just as long as I don't come up with totally new uses which I know are possible. You need to think of it and get started on the idea by yourself, then I can come in and help and we can start tinkering. "

"Don't you find that balancing annoying?" B'Elanna wondered.

Q'Vir shrugged. "I have a tendency to take things as they are. Fact is, that these are the rules the Q set me. So I prefer to see how I can move in the rules and not break them instead of being upset about the fact that rules exist. What I like more is..."

She stopped talking when they were joined by Voyager's Doctor.

"Ladies," The Doctor greeted. "Sorry for interrupting, but I just wanted to inform B'Elanna and Seven that we set your procedure for remembering for tomorrow at fifteen hundred hours. I took the liberty of scheduling you both at the same time."

"Thanks Doc," B'Elanna said. "Yeah, I guess that tomorrow is really the closest we can cut it. That way we can get used to having our memories again and prepare the final details for establishing our House the day after tomorrow."

"How are the people behaving that already underwent the procedure?" Seven asked before offering, "Please sit down for a moment."

The Doctor did so and opened his mouth to speak, only to stop confused when Q'Vir treated him to a dazzling smile.

"Hallo Doctor," Q'Vir said with an incredibly sensual tone to her voice that hadn't been there moments before.

"Q'Vir," The Doctor greeted back before answering Seven's Question. "All in all well. It's actually a bit harder for the people that were fighting what happened on the planet. B'Elanna, you can be glad that you stopped resisting your feelings for Seven because we discovered that the remembering doesn't take away the feelings you have."

"So you mean that if I had managed to drive Seven away, I would only have ended up heartbroken tomorrow?" B'Elanna clarified.

"You would," the Doctor agreed. "But for the rest you should be prepared to continue from where you are now, just that you remember a few months of your life that you couldn't before. But the emotions, the feelings, those will stay as they are now."

"So we will still feel that we want to create our House?" B'Elanna asked.

"Definitely," The Doctor assured.

"About that," Q'Vir interrupted. "What exactly is this House thing I hear people talk about?"

"We'll explain it in a moment," B'Elanna promised. Then she asked the Doctor, "So, seeing that you think that we will still feel like creating the House, it's a safe guess that Seven and I will still like the Klingon ideals we incorporated into our lives over the last month?"

"Ah, you are talking about a Klingon House," Q'Vir said in understanding.

"We are," B'Elanna agreed before looking back at the Doctor to get his answer.

"Well, nothing is sure until you have truly underwent the procedure," the Doctor reminded. "But it would be my educated guess that, yes you will still feel exactly the same about that. Now, if you will excuse me, I still have a few other people to inform about their planned time for the procedure."

"Why do you not send them a notification over the computer?" Seven wondered.

"Eh, well," The Doctor hesitated as if not really comfortable about having to explain why he didn't do what he normally would have done. "It's just that, every Fleet ship has its own medical staff, and the Voyager crew members now live on those other ships. So it's not likely that I will continue to be their physician for much longer. Eventually they will go see the doctors on those ships, for convenience if nothing else. Which means that soon I won't have any patients left. It is already happening now. Since we left the planet not a single person has come to me for a medical problem, with the exception of Seven, and the bigger general problems like the memory blocks of course. So I am using different subroutines now,"

"You mean you added stuff?" B'Elanna interrupted, remembering the chaos of the last time he did that.

"No," The Doctor disagreed. "I have a lot of subroutines that came with my program, just that a lot of them never saw use because they were labeled as less important. My first priority was to heal people. My second priority was to find a cure if I didn't know one. And my third priority was to research medical problems. Now that I see less people I automatically have more time to do other things, which also includes personally informing people of upcoming medical appointments."

B'Elanna snorted. "Sometimes explanations are so obvious, if you take the time to look."

"What do you mean?" The Doctor asked.

"Come on, Doc, you know that everyone, including me, complained about your bedside manners," B'Elanna reminded. "Yet here you are informing up personally of a medical situation. Why? Simply because you have the time. Maybe if you had gotten some help from the beginning, you would have had more time and there would have been less complains. But no, the only help you had was Kes if she was bored and didn't have other things to do, and worse, Tom if he was order to."

"This more personal approach will help you fit into your new role," Seven noted. "As Voyager's medical officer,"

"Chief Medical Officer," The Doctor corrected. "The Captain noted as much in her logs. She offered me a ceremony as well, but I declined. I don't see the use. As long as it's on file and official."

"As Voyager's CMO," Seven dutifully corrected, "You will be the person that becomes more of the Fleet Medical Officer. The person that is asked questions and that suggests medical situations that affect the entire Fleet. As such you will be the one that researches solutions for general problems and that is called in when there is a medical emergency that affects the crew instead of just one person."

"I Wondered about that," B'Elanna noted.

"About what?" The Doctor asked, deciding to stay seated for a moment longer after all.

"About the lack of Fleet positions," B'Elanna explained. "I mean, they leave as a Fleet, shouldn't there be more positions that go over the Fleet instead of just one ship? They have all nicely in place on the individual ships, and I guess you can travel like that. But shouldn't there actually be an official Fleet CMO for instance? Or a Fleet Chief Engineer? But the only real Fleet wide department is the Supply Department, and other than that you just have the Fleet wide position of Admiral."

"It's done deliberately," Q'Vir noted. "A big part of the Urdian Fleets is that they should grow. That's why there is room on the ships so that people can grow in numbers. But they also want them to grow in other ways. And you can't do that if you restrict all before even leaving. The Urdians make sure that they have all in place so that the Fleet can survive and people know what to do, but after that it's up to the Fleet. So a lot of positions do exists 'on paper' ready to be used if the Admiral decides to, but they aren't filled. It's one of the jobs of the Admiral to guide the Fleet in its growing. Make positions available when they are needed, keep an eye on promising people so that they can be promoted into certain positions without first having to raise through the ranks. That's why those positions are 'on paper' so that the Admiral can fill them in."

She nodded to the Doctor to indicate him. "There are no rules right now that say that the position of Fleet CMO can't be fulfilled by a hologram for instance. So if the Doctor here grows into that role, and the Admiral is satisfied with what she sees, she can 'create' the position of FCMO. There is nothing that stops her from doing so because there are no rules that say that it's only a position that can be fulfilled by someone of the rank of Commander or higher, for instance."

"You really do know a lot about these people," B'Elanna noted. Then an idea came to her and she asked with a grin, "Tell me, do you know a lot about Klingons?"

Q'Vir shrugged. "It all depends on your definition of a lot. Do I know all there is to know about Klingons? No. But I do like them and I have been one for a couple of lives."

"A couple of lives?" The Doctor asked.

"Yeah, that's what I did," Q'Vir explained. "Different Q like to do things in different ways. Some like to be, say, a Klingon, and then just be in the prime of life and just move around a lot so that people don't notice that they aren't aging. I for one preferred to stick to one place. Start out as a child that is an orphan that was just relocated to that place, and then just grow up. Live my entire 'life' in that place until I'm old and pretend to die. I liked that because that way I could have friendships that lasted me for that entire life instead of just a few years. I've been five different Klingons in different times. Not all in a row; then it only becomes boring. One man, four women. I prefer to be a woman, though being a man is fun too on occasion."

"Then would you be interested in being an Advisor in Klingon customs and traditions to our House?" B'Elanna asked with a glance at Seven. Noticing the blonde dip her head a fraction in approval, B'Elanna added, "Before you answer, let me point out that I said advisor for a reason. We are building a Klingon House, but we are tempering it a bit by having Federation influences, and keeping in mind that we are part of an Urdian Fleet."

Q'Vir smirked. "Tell you what, why don't I answer that question after you told me more about that House?"

"Deal," B'Elanna agreed. "Maybe we can give you another position as well; Seven and I had been talking about having a House scientist."

"Well, I should really be going now," The Doctor noted, and this time he did stand up.

"Oh Doctor," Q'Vir said, her voice once again dripping with sensuality. "I Do realize that I was a bit rude to your yesterday when I was released from my prison. I can understand that you would want to see what makes me tick. Maybe we can set up an appointment so that you can... check my body out and take all the time you need to do so?"

"Ah, um, well," The Doctor stammered, not used to such blatant flirtations.

But before he could say more, Q'Vir suggested, "Tell you what, why don't I come by your office later so that we can... discuss things?"

"I ah, well, I'm actually busy for the rest of the day," The Doctor noted.

Q'Vir gave him a brilliant smile. "Even better. Then how about I come by your place and then you can treat me to a nice dinner? I would be most appreciative."

"Um, I guess," The Doctor started, "But,"

"It's a date then," Q'Vir interrupted. "I'll be there at seven, is that good for you?"

"Um, sure," The Doctor said, finally giving up and leaving.

"Do you even know where he has his quarters now?" Seven asked.

Q'Vir shrugged. "Sure. Since I don't have to pretend here that I'm just another mortal that can only read so much in an hour... I actually read all the publicly available files from everyone in the Fleet last night."

"And your sudden change of heart towards him, and not to mention the flirting is because..." B'Elanna prompted.

"Because... I actually read all the publicly available files from everyone in the Fleet last night," Q'Vir repeated.

"I don't get it," B'Elanna admitted.

"Alright," Q'Vir said slowly. "Let me put it this way. I'm an immortal being that can live forever, that doesn't age unless she wants to. That can look like whatever she wants to, within reason. I already know now that I will outlive everyone I ever meet, save if some Q comes and visit me. Technically I know that I am talking to dead people right now because sooner or later you will be dead and I will still live. Now, can you tell me one person in this entire Fleet that is kinda in the same boat like me? That can technically live forever, as long as his emitter keeps working? That doesn't get old, that can change the way he looks?"

"I see," B'Elanna said, now in understanding. "Um, you do understand that the Doctor technically has a shorter lifespan than me, right. No device works forever. In fact, we had problems with his emitter several times already; only barely managing to fix it. And if that isn't enough, there is the whole minefield issue of the fact that technically the Doctor is Starfleet property, and even if they let him be because they agree with us that he is aware, than they will still want his emitter since that is actually future technology."

Q'Vir waved a dismissive hand. "They can have his emitter for all I care. I know how to build a new one and fix all of it, which I would be allowed to do because you already have the technology. And on top of that, I also know how to configure his emitter to where it works better, uses less energy, and his program is hard-stored in the crystals so that if he ever looses all power he will only power down instead of his programming being lost."

"And you would be allowed to change his emitter in such a way?" Seven wondered.

Q'Vir winked. "Ah, but I just said that I wouldn't change it; I just know how to use it differently. And as such the changes would fall under the tweaking that I am allowed to do. Kinda like you can adapt a standard phaser to carry nanoprobes in its beam. You don't really invent a new phaser; you merely reconfigure the use of the existing device. And the Doctor has already proven that he wants to adapt his programming, just that it's too dangerous to do so. So I'm once again allowed to oversee potential changes to make sure that it's not dangerous for him or other people."

"I see what you mean," Seven said. "You have the knowledge to keep the Doctor's emitter and programming working for a theoretically indefinite time. With the correct maintenance this combination of emitter and programming can work for billions of years. However, while I do understand your reasoning, this does not mean that the two of you are compatible. There is such a thing as attraction, love, and liking each other's company."

Q'Vir grinned. "Ah, but as I said, the Doctor... hmm, we will have to come up with a name for him... anyway, the Doctor has already proven that he is willing to adapt his programming. And let's not forget that I'm not human. I can also change things about myself. I can decide to change myself to the point where I absolutely love the character traits of him that you all find so annoying. But, you are correct. I was a goddess of love once in a former life, and, "

"Former life?" B'Elanna interrupted.

"Well, it sounds better then saying that I was this so many years ago. I can say that I was a Klingon once in a former life, or a goddess of love. It just sounds better."

"So you truly were the goddess of love for the Prekesm, also known as species 2953," Seven noted.

"I was," Q'Vir admitted. "Anyway, as such I know that true love is something even I can call a miracle. I can make people fall in love with me, I can make others fall in love... if I let that power grow again of course. I can't do that right now. But the point is, it's all not really true love. It's induced, like it is done by a drug. Just that my powers surpass any drug and can last for life. I won't do that to the Doctor because I wouldn't want to live a lie like that. But my point is that he and I are a lot alike. Enough for me to want to get close to him. How close, well that we will see. But I'm sure that we can get close enough to be friends so that we both have someone that can share our eternal journey with us. Just think if you were me, what would you give to have a friend, just a friend, that knows who you are and that is there for you now, tomorrow, next year, and next millennium."

"You did a lot of flirting for someone that wants to be just friends," B'Elanna noted amused.

Q'Vir winked. "Ah, but I said that I wouldn't mind if he and I were just friends. I for one hope that we can be a lot more, and I'm willing to work for what I want. I love the pleasures of the body. A good orgasm is one of the best things in the universe, and you do well to remember just who said that; I know what I'm talking about. But I also love to be held when I watch a sunset. To fall asleep with my head resting on a chest while listening to a beating heart... small change needed there. He'll adapt and add that to his matrix for me, I'm sure. But don't worry; I'll explain it all to him and let him have a free choice in the matter. I want someone beside me that wants to be there; even if it's just a friend that likes the idea of their friend being around forever just like them."

"The Doctor did experiment once with having a holographic family," B'Elanna said slowly. "Plus he had a few... interests along the line. So I guess it's safe to say that he wouldn't mind to have a romantic interest in his life. It's just that normally it didn't work out because, well, the holographic family weren't as advanced in their programming as he is. They were just holodeck programs when all was said and done. And the other interests, well, they didn't work out for different reasons, mostly because the person in question didn't want to leave their home."

Q'Vir gave her a dazzling smile. "See, this might just work out. If you ask me it's a better option than me getting close and comfy with some Urdian and not being able to let myself truly get close because I know that the Urdian will get old and die."

"Something might also happen to the Doctor," Seven pointed out. "In fact, chance calculation and chaos theory mandates that something will. There will someday be that one moment where something happens and you are not there to prevent it or fix the problem."

"True," Q'Vir agreed. "But I think that you don't see my point. I know up front that any Urdian I meet today will be dead in a hundred years from now. I know for sure that everyone I meet will die within a certain timeframe. And while this is not that bad with friends, it's a whole different matter in regards to someone I might share my life with. In regards to that someone that you share that one little part of you with that you share with nobody else. I don't want to know up front that this person only has fifty years left at most, only ten years left at most. I don't want to be able to calculate probability at the hand of life expectancy."

Her lips twitched into a little smile before adding somewhat dreamingly, "What I want is to be with someone of which I don't know that. Of which I do know that someday he might no longer be there, but of which I have no idea if that will be tomorrow or a billion years from now. I already know too much for sure, I don't also want to know for sure that I can't be with this person for longer than such amount of years."

B'Elanna chuckled. "Who would have thought, a romantic Q?"

"Half Q," Q'Vir corrected. "And yeah, that's always been one of my weaknesses. It's also one of the reasons why for most of my lives I preferred to live between normal people. I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved being the all powerful one. Not even talking about when I was being the full Q. But being a Goddess, or an Empress. But that get's old over time. As a standard, the kind of life I lived so that the other lives were all the more special, I preferred to be this normal person that had just enough financial means to live very comfortably and not worry about bills, if the society used monetary units of course."

"In that case I would suggest that you be honest with the Doctor about your intentions," Seven noted. "He will probably see the logic in the two of you getting to know each other and seeing where it ends. He is someone that would not turn down a friendship offered in earnest. But the Doctor is also a person that doesn't like to be plaid with. At least not with his present programming."

"I'll keep it in mind," Q'Vir assured. "Now, tell me about that House of yours."

Part 24

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