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 7

Day twelve.

Kathryn sipped her drink before stretching lazily in the deck chair. She closed her eyes and sighed happily.

Getting no reaction, she opened her eyes and peeked to her side. She puckered her lips in thought. She looked out over the ocean and to the beautiful sunset. She sighed again.


Kathryn grinned and looked back to her wife. "Yes?"

Brika turned to look at Kathryn. "You have a set of very talented lips on that mouth; I'm sure that you can manage more than just sigh."

The grin changed to a smirk. "That would not be as much fun."

"Fine, you win." Brika got up from her own chair and shamelessly molded her body against her wife's. "There, happy now, you hedonist?"

Kathryn hummed her approval. "I'm very happy; you make me that way, Gorgeous. But I would be in sheer heaven if the both of us were naked and could do something else than just cuddle."

Brika smiled before kissing her wife. "I really don't think that this falls under cuddling; this is more in the necking area."

She looked to the side, and the two other people that were with them on holodeck four of The Glory. Then she went back to the joyful task of kissing her wife senseless before stating, "I'm just really glad that you are so comfortable around them that you don't worry about you relaxing so much."

"Oh, come on, you love it just as much as me that 'my sisters' love to spend time with us," Kathryn accused.

Brika shook her head amused. "You still get a kick out of that. Just you wait until you are at some official ceremony, you mess up, and call one of them your sister."

"Hey," Kathryn objected. "I would not call that messing up. I think that Seven, in her straight to the point kind of way, did all of us a great service. Within five minutes she basically described exactly what our dimensions are, and we could agree or not."

She shrugged before adding, "Remember that new beginning we talked about? How now I can make friends with the other captains? I really like that I can start that new beginning off by immediately having two friends that are so close that I would love to call them family even though they are not. And it also helped me and Seven. Hell, if we really wanted to, I don't think that either of them would have a problem with it if the two of us really did get rid of these bikinis. Before, I would not have done that simply because of what happened between Seven and me back them. Now I have a problem with doing that simply because I'm a prude."

Brika smiled and kissed Kathryn's neck. Then she looked over at the two friends that were playing in the water; a game of chase, Brika guessed. "I see them getting closer with every day. I know all that B'Elanna told us about why she thinks that staying married to Seven isn't possible. But I really do think that if they go ahead and get divorced, that both of them will have to live with a broken heart for the rest of their life. Married or not, this will affect them for the rest of their life regardless."

Kathryn also looked at her friends and could only hum in agreement. "Good thing that we don't have that problem, my Gorgeous. I'm thanking my lucky stars every day that I'm married to you."

Brika looked Kathryn in the eyes before adding with a grin, "Yeah, and you also thank your god quite often." She lowered her voice a little, trying to get close to Kathryn's tone of voice before, saying in a half plea, half moan. "God, oh god yes."

Kathryn pinched her wife's side, resulting in a squeal that was quickly stopped by hungry lips demanding that Brika's mouth would be used in a different way. Brika moaned her agreement, making Kathryn get a little daring. On the side that she knew B'Elanna and Seven couldn't see, she moved her hand up until she was cupping her wife's breast. The kiss changed to a long series of kisses, and Kathryn figured that if her wife didn't mind the little cup a feel, she also wouldn't mind a thumb stimulating the nipple.

"Mmhmm. You might be a prude, but you sure like to live dangerously, my sweet Kitten." Brika was surprised when suddenly, Kathryn's hand stopped all movement.

"Gorgeous, look."

Brika looked at her wife, and then in the direction that Kathryn was looking at. After a moment of surprised silence she said amused, "They sure don't act like people that don't want to be married."

"Kahless, who would ever have thought that my idea of an afternoon of freely chosen fun, would be to spend time with the Captain?" B'Elanna asked after surfacing from her dive into the water.

"I believe that if we keep going like this, we soon have to set up a schedule as to whom to spend time with," Seven said amused. "We have now already an agreed upon poker night, a standing invitation for once a week a dinner with Kathryn and Brika, and also one two hour period every week in which the four of us go to the holodeck. Beside that Danna has already suggested that we should spend more time together with him. And we have been invited twice already to spend some time with the Engineering crew when they go out for their end of workweek evening of fun... though they did not yet tell us just what that fun is."

"Which is why I didn't accept yet," B'Elanna grinned. "I first want them to tell me what the fun is, then I see about us accepting the invitation."

Seven lifted an eyebrow. "Do you not mean that you would accept for 'you'?"

B'Elanna hesitated for a moment before deciding to just go with her first thought. "No, I did mean before accepting for 'us'. Of course I would still ask you if you would like to go, and call it off if you don't want to. But, come on, Seven, we are doing pretty much everything together. What would the use be to first say that I have to ask you when I know that you will say yes anyway? It's not like I'm not asking you, or am making a choice for you that you are bound to. I promise you that I'll always leave you an out, like saying 'if Seven agrees'. But I just don't see why I should have to say to them that I first will see if you agree, and then contact them again to tell them that they can make preparations."

"But this will leave the impression that I would be the one that ruins the plans if I don't agree," Seven noted.

B'Elanna frowned. "And this would be different, how? If I tell them that I first have to see if you would like to come, and then tell them that you don't feel like joining us. Or I say yes and then ask you and after that contact them and tell them that you don't feel like joining us. What is the difference?"

"The fact that the first looks like I can make a decision before you do, and do not first have to see what you want to do?"

"Let me get this straight," B'Elanna said slowly. "It is not alright if I make a decision before you do, but it 'is' alright if you make a decision before I do?"

Seven opened her mouth, only to close it again.

Seeing that Seven realized that B'Elanna had a point, the Klingon continued, "It's the same either way, Hon. If plans are suggested and I can't answer because I have to ask you, and then suddenly the answer is no, people will know either way that the answer is no because you did not feel like it."

B'Elanna came closer and put her arm around Seven's middle before asking with a grin, "Besides, didn't you give me the permission to be possessive of you?"

Seven mimicked B'Elanna's movement and put her arm around the Klingon as they walked a little further up the beach, and then continued to walk along the beach in the ankle high water. "It is not exactly the kind of possessive I had in mind."

"Then what kind of possessive did you have in mind?" B'Elanna wondered. "The kind where I start telling people that they can't see you, or first have to ask me if they can see you?"

"Of course not. But more of the kind where..." Seven stopped before eventually admitting, "Actually, I have no idea of just what exactly I meant. It just seemed fitting to say that at that point."

"So you didn't mean it?" B'Elanna asked.

Seven shook her head. "No, I did mean that. It is merely that I do not fully know what I meant with it. I like for you to be possessive of me, but I can only tell you what I do not like that possessiveness to be. I cannot tell you what I do want it to be."

B'Elanna thought about it for a moment. "Hmm, then how about I explain my idea of possessiveness to you, and you see if you agree to that?"

"I am listening."

"Alright, my kind of possessive," B'Elanna started thoughtfully. "Let's see. My kind of possessive is where I accept invitations for the both of us. But then ask afterwards if you would like to go, and if not then I will respect that and contact the person to let them know that plans have changed."

B'Elanna very deliberately let her eyes drift over Seven's forms; clad only in a red bikini. Having seen the blonde nude now countless times, in the shower, when they got ready for work or bed, or in fact, when they were in bed, B'Elanna knew those forms only too well. Knew them, but never tired of seeing them. And the bikini the blonde was wearing now was sexy as hell since you could see quite some of the breasts, and yet the fabric covered just enough to make you itch to see the rest. "My kind of possessiveness is where I love to see you in that, but would growl at anyone that would look at you for more than five seconds."

"Both Kathryn and Brika looked longer than five seconds," Seven noted with a smile.

"Alright, the more I like the people, the longer they can look, but twenty seconds is top. For friends I do have to make some allowances. I mean, if you run around like that," B'Elanna relented with a grin. "After that they have to start stealing looks when I don't see it."

Talking about their friends, B'Elanna took a moment to look behind her to the other two women. "But I think that at the moment they are way too busy now to look at anything but each other."

Seven looked behind her as well, and noted amused, "I believe that they are experimenting with a new tonsillectomy procedure."

"There you go with that Borg humor again," B'Elanna grinned. She looked in front of her again while continuing. "Really, the bottom line is that I like to make choices; which is why I love being Chief Engineer. Well, just because I'm not at work, doesn't mean that this stops. So, with possessiveness I mainly mean that I make initial choices, but it is up to you to decide if you agree to them. If you think about it, we have been doing that from the first minute the both of us were in our quarters together for the first time. It is just that now I'm giving a name to it."

"We have?" Seven asked surprised.

B'Elanna nodded. "Sure, think about it. Who was it that allowed you to stay in the quarters? Wait, I know you have the right. What I mean is, who made the choice between me accepting that, or me first throwing a tantrum until I was ordered that you would be allowed in the quarters as well."

"While I disagree with the fact that you 'allowed' me to live in the quarters, I do agree with the fact that it was your choice on just how easy or hard this would be initially," Seven partially agreed.

"Well, it's a lot more than that though," B'Elanna continued. "Who is the one that decided on the home keeping chores division between us? Who was the one that decided that your alcove should be in the bedroom? Who was the one that decided that we should both have our own room as well? Who was the one that decided that I would watch you shower? You allowed it, but I made the decision between staying or walking out. Who was the one that made the decision that we should also touch? Let's face it, Seven. I have been making decisions for the both of us from day one. It is just that I make the decision and then offer it to you for your opinion. That is the kind of thing I'm talking about. That is what I consider a possessive behavior."

"You are correct. You did make all of those decisions. But as you have pointed out; I could have disagreed," Seven noted out.

"But you didn't. Why not?"

Seven thought about that for a moment. "Because your choices were to my liking; I saw no reason to object."

"Yeah, but ask yourself this," B'Elanna persisted, "Would you have objected if I had made different choices? If I had told you that 'I' wanted a room for myself, would you then have demanded to have one as well? Or would you have called it irrelevant? If I had walked out of that shower, would you have called me back in or would you simply have accepted that as my answer to the situation?"

Seven thought back to all the situations in which B'Elanna had made the choice, and wondered what she would have done if the Klingon had made a different choice. Finally she admitted, "It seems that I am very comfortable with letting you make decisions."

"Then that's what we do," B'Elanna suggested. "I make decisions, but you will always have the option to nix a decision I made, or ask me to argue my case if you are not sure if you fully agree with my choice."

Seven nodded her head in agreement before reluctantly letting go of the Klingon. B'Elanna did the same and for a few seconds they walked along in silence. Suddenly Seven stopped and looked at the water.

"What?" B'Elanna asked, also looking at the water but seeing nothing but, well, water.

"Look," Seven said as she carefully scooped some of the water up in her hands.

"What is it?" B'Elanna asked as she came closer to look at the water in the blonde's cupped hands.

"Water," Seven said, right before throwing the water in B'Elanna's face and running away.

B'Elanna stood rooted in place for a moment while wiping the water from her face. Finally she looked at the blonde that had already created a respectable distance between them. "You are sooo dead, Borg!"

The chase was a fun combination of running over the beach, swimming, and Seven sometimes letting B'Elanna come dangerously close, only to prove that long legs and Borg enhancements were definitely superior to a Klingon that really didn't want the chase to end anyway.

But after a few minutes, Seven decided that it was time to suffer the consequences of her surprise attack, and she let B'Elanna catch up once more.

B'Elanna didn't stop to think. As soon as she saw her chance, she jumped and tackled the blonde to the ground. They were just at the shoreline so they ended up mostly in the water, but with their heads safely on dry ground. They wrestled a little while the both of them giggled like little girls. Finally B'Elanna managed to be the one on top and was able to pin Seven's arms to the ground above the blonde's head. She had no illusion about the fact that she had only been able to do so because the far stronger blonde had allowed it.

"I got you now," B'Elanna said with a feral grin.

Seven looked into those brown eyes above her and stopped her fake struggle for freedom. Letting her body go limp, she could only agree, "Yes you do."

B'Elanna noticed the change, noticed the surrender that was more than just their little play. The grin disappeared as she lost herself in blue eyes that had more depth than the water she had just been swimming in. She saw the blonde's lips open slightly, asking in that way the thing that Seven didn't dare ask with words. Fearing that the words would only bring B'Elanna to think in a way that Seven didn't want her to think at that moment; rationally.

B'Elanna slowly came closer until finally their lips met for just the slightest touch. After a contact that was much too short for either of them, she moved away again slightly so that she could look Seven in the eyes. She saw the want, the need, and couldn't but obey the call. She lowered once more. Again a hesitant kiss followed. She felt Seven run the tip of her tongue across her lips; asking, hoping.

B'Elanna responded, and this time there was nothing hesitant about the contact. She opened her mouth and slipped her tongue into Seven's welcoming mouth. The tongues dueled, caressed, performed a dance of give and take.

Suddenly Seven rolled them over, and B'Elanna gladly went with the motion. Now that Seven was on top, B'Elanna let her hands roam over the blonde's back, all in an effort to pull her even closer. They broke apart for a moment of air, but the kisses never stopped fully. Lips, chin, the corners of the mouth, all contact was good enough.

They rolled once more and for a moment, B'Elanna just looked at the blonde that was looking back up at her with clear fire in her eyes.

"I am yours," Seven finally whispered. "Until death does us part, if you want me."

B'Elanna blinked away the tears that had formed, not caring in the least that the blonde saw her cry; it would only help in making her understand the next words. "Three days. Please, please, Seven. Give me three more days. I promise you that I will give you my answer then."

"I understand," Seven assured. "And I am proud of you for taking your commitment so serious; it shows me how serious your commitment to me will be. Be it as your wife, or as your divorced friend. You have your three days. But B'Elanna Torres, you already kissed me now; if we continue with kissing this will not change anything."

Despite her tears, B'Elanna smiled. "You are right. I already know what kissing you feels like, and I already know that I want to kiss you again and again. So enjoying it a little longer won't change that."

B'Elanna decided that for the next half hour or so she had done enough talking and sought out those wonderful lips once more. And as they lay there in one of the most romantic spots one could imagine, as warm water licked on their lower bodies, as the sounds of nature conveyed the feeling of pure paradise, they noticed none of it for to them they were holding paradise in their arms.

"You think we should leave them?" Kathryn wondered as she looked at her friends making out on the shoreline.

"Why should we have to leave because they feel frisky?" Brika reasoned. "They can leave if they want to be alone. Though we could give them some privacy."

"And just how do you want to give them privacy if we are not leaving?" Kathryn asked amused.

"Simple; by being too busy to look at them. I'm feeling quite frisky too you know? So, my sweet Kitten, want to do something about that?"

Kathryn merely chuckled. Who would have thought only a few months before, that she would feel comfortable making out on a holodeck, with their friends doing the same about twenty meters away? Life, Kathryn decided, was good.

Tal Celes had sat and talked with the Delaney sisters often. They were good friends as a matter of fact. All three of them had worked under Seven in Astrometrics, all three officially being one crew member on duty during all three shifts. Though It was common knowledge, and condoned by the Captain, that the sisters who officially had to cover the Alpha and Beta shift, normally worked both on the Alpha shift and did their work together.

Celes knew that the Captain had condoned this because the sisters worked better together, did more together than when they worked apart. And never complained when they had to pull double shifts and both work the Alpha and Beta shift to get work done.

But still, this was the first time that Celes sat across from her friends during a boss/underling discussion.

"I want you to know that this is totally off the record, you can say whatever you want to say," Jennifer assured. "You are a great friend, but Megan and I feel that with these changes, we first had to talk to you and see where we stand before just simply working together."

"Alright," Celes agreed, nevertheless, still a bit worried.

Megan decided to continue where her sister had stopped. "We understand that this is a rather unique situation. Jennifer and I both officially only had the position of sensor analyst, not even a senior sensor analyst. Whereas you have reached the position of grade three sensor analyst even before joining Voyager. So technically you have a position where you should tell us what to do, yet Jennifer and I are the ones that were promoted to heads of our departments. We are the ones that will be sitting at the Senior Staff table from now on. We wanted to talk to you, unofficially, to make sure that there are no... to see just how you feel about that."

Celes smiled, finally knowing what the conversation was about she knew that she could relax. "I don't think that you can really count our official titles. There is a difference. We talked about this before. You told me about how Starfleet was deliberately holding you two back in the hopes that you would agree to separate posts on different ships. I don't know what position you would have reached if they had promoted you normally, but what I do know is that my position also doesn't really count."

"Why not?" Jennifer asked.

"Because just like you I served on a small ship before being transferred to Voyager," Celes explained. "Just that I had a Captain that was strictly by the book, and that didn't have any orders to hold me back. On my ship, I was the only official sensor analyst, who reported to the Chief Engineer, who then added my finings to his overall report. On that ship the Chief engineer was the senior one. He was the one everyone looked to, that did all the work. He was the one that the Captain asked for advice even more than he asked advice from his second in command."

She shrugged her shoulders. "But, as I said, the Captain was strictly by the book. Since I was the only sensor analyst, I had to do all the sensor work. As such I did things that a junior analyst would do, but I also did the things that normally a senior analyst would do. But since the Captain was so by the book I was very rapidly promoted so that I had the position where I was officially allowed to do the things I was doing. So, just who of us was truly the senior? You that was not promoted because they were holding you back, or I that very occasionally did a task that requires a grade three sensor analyst and was promoted only because I did one of those task once a week."

"Well, just who got into what position why isn't really important," Jennifer said. "What is important is that you had a certain position, we had a much lower one, yet we are promoted over you. A lot of people, most people actually, would resent that."

Celes shook her head. "I don't. Even if I knew more, did my job better then you, I still fully agree that you should become heads of the departments and not I. There is more to being in charge than just knowing stuff. I may know my work, but I know nothing about delegating work. And more than that, I don't even want to be in charge of people. Nor do I want to be the focal point that everyone looks at. I don't want to sit at that table. All I want is to come to work, get told what to do that day and then do my work. Or finish something I started the day before of course."

"So you would have no problem at all with us bossing you around?" Megan asked.

Celes shrugged. "Nope." But as she gave the single worded answer, a hesitant look crossed her face.

"Yes?" Jennifer asked.

Celes hesitated. She didn't want to insult her friends, but she also had been clearly told that this was an unofficial conversation. "Well, it's just that, um, well."

"Yes?" Jennifer prompted again.

Celes cringed but nevertheless braved ahead. "Well, it's just that one thing I really like about working for Seven is that she doesn't play favorites. She hands tasks out according to who she thinks will do them the best. And, well," She ran out of courage when she saw understanding dawn in the eyes of the sisters.

"And you are worried that with is being department heads we will pick all the nice work for us and let you do all the grunt work," Jennifer guessed. "That we will pick checking the interesting data of a new planet, and let you finish off cataloguing the position of stellar bodies in the last sector."

"Well, not as much worried that you will do it," Celes defended, she wanted it to be clear that she didn't think the sisters would do it deliberately. "More like that eventually it will happen. We all know what kind of data is always asked for by the senior crew, and what kind they never look at. So it would only be natural for the department heads to pick things that they know they'll get questions about."

"Which is all the fun work to do," Jennifer persisted. "Like checking out new planets. Especially with the increased tasks we're getting."

"She does have a point," Megan noted as she looked at her sister. "I would worry about that too if I was in her place. Especially in the situation we are in. We are now department heads and know Celes enough that we could push her around without even ordering her around. You and I know only too well that we just have to smile at her and say please and she will do it because she is our friend, and is eager to please."

"And is lousy at saying no," Jennifer added more bluntly, but with a small smile that took away any sting there might have been in the statement. And on top of that we'll be getting three Urdians that are totally new to life on a spaceship and that we could push around even more."

"There will be even more people working in Astrometrics?" Celes asked surprised.

"You didn't know?" Jennifer wondered before explaining, "Yes. The Captain decided that since we have people we can give jobs to, and since there will be two official departments, and since there will be more work for us, yes, there will be more people too. Both Stellar Cartography and Astrometrics will be staffed by three people so that one person is on duty at all times in both departments. And a few people will be trained to the level where they can help out in case someone is sick or has a day off. As Senior staff members, Megan and I will both serve on the Alpha shift. You will be one of the beta shift people, but you already knew that, right?"

"Yes, the captain told me that," Celes assured. "I don't mind. It's an improvement to being on the Gamma shift like I was, and on top of that I still will be able to sleep in in the mornings."

"By the way, you will be working in my department," Megan noted. "Since you worked in Stellar Cartography before joining Voyager, the Captain felt it best to put you in that position again."

Celes frowned at that. Yes, she had gained her experience in Stellar Cartography, but because of that she also knew just what exactly the jobs of Stellar Cartography were. She liked some of the jobs that had been added over time since Astrometrics was created, and she would be sorry if she wouldn't be able to do them anymore.

Seeing the frown and having a good feeling as to why, Megan assured, "Don't worry too much about it. The Captain told us that there will be two departments because of the increased workload, and that certain jobs will be located in a certain department because it belongs there according to Starfleet rules. But she made it very clear that she knew that Jennifer and I will really be doing the job together, and that she wants all people in our departments to learn and do the jobs of both departments. Ever since being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the Captain has grown to appreciate the fact of people being able to fill different positions in a pinch. So the people that work for us will be doing jobs of both departments, just that Jenny and I will see about officially logging the reports in the right department."

"Now," Jennifer said when she saw in Celes' eyes that she liked that description. "We are in a bit of luck in the beginning. Two of the Urdians that will join our department are fresh out of their universities, while the third one is from their stellar academy with a degree in sensor communication. You know what that means?"

"Um, that all three of them know just enough to find the on switches?" Celes said, exaggerating, but only a bit.

"That too," Jennifer agreed with a grin. "But what that especially means is that they actually do not yet have the qualifications to do the interesting stuff. And I do mean that we are literally not yet allowed to let them do it. Just like we all did back when, they will have to start from the beginning, doing the tedious work that involves hundreds of hours of logging star chart data. All so that eventually they can just glance at a star chart and see all the interesting data like we all can. Now, we, the three of us, will have to train them. So we will have to check their work, explain things to them, train them in new stuff. But in return for that none of us will have to do the boring stuff any time soon."

"Is it mean for me to enjoy this?" Celes asked with a shy smile.

"It's the nature of trainers and students," Megan reminded. "They will be doing the exact same thing to other students in ten years. Because when all is said and done it's really needed because that boring repetitive work in the beginning is a base that we all need to be able to learn and understand the things we really love to do."

"So, how about this?" Jennifer asked. "Orders that have to be done now are only given by the Senior crew on the alpha shift. So when one of those comes in Megan and I take care of it, or start doing it depending on how long it will take. But the rest, planned jobs and all that, we share fair and square. We put them on a list and when one of us is finished with a project we start on the next one on the list, no matter what it is."

"Well, it would have to be two lists," Megan reminded, liking the idea. "One list with jobs for us to do, and one list for the newbies. Then they would get used to our way of working, plus they would be doing jobs from both departments just like the Captain wanted. And that way we can better oversee the kinds of jobs they are doing and start to add more of the jobs we do over time as they learn more."

"Which would mean that over time we also will have to start doing some of those tedious jobs," Celes reminded. "As they learn more, it's only fair that they don't have to do all the grunt work."

Jennifer nodded her agreement. "True. But the list system allows for that. We simply add more experienced jobs to their list over time, and take some of the grunt jobs they really know by then and add them to our list. And best of all, that way we can still put them back on their list from time to time to keep their knowledge fresh. Until we reach a point where only one list is needed and then all six of us work to that system. With the three of us helping and overseeing the Urdians until they can do the jobs just as good as we can."

"Deal," Megan agreed.

"Deal," Celes also agreed.

Having covered what they wanted to, Jennifer smirked and said, "Now, with that taken care of, let me get nosy and personal. Why don't you tell us about you and this big guy we hear talking about? He seems to be very famous under the Urdians. Is it serious? Did you have sex already? When,"

Celes lifted her hands in a stopping gesture. "Whoa, hold on there for a moment. I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours."

Jennifer frowned. "Ours? It's well known that Megan and I aren't seeing anyone. With so many new people around we are making lots of new friends, but we are holding off on doing anything more until we are underway and we have more of a feel of just who is involved with who and who is working where."

Celes shook her head. "No, that's not what I mean. I know that you two aren't looking because you don't want to find. You are way too happy with each other."

Seeing the sisters both roll their eyes, Celes assured, "Not like that. I'm not one of those that believes that. I mean that you are so close that you would never let anyone else get that close just because you happen to have sex with them. No, what I was talking about is whether you are going to continue the 'I'm the other sister' trick. I know damn well that you deliberately keep looking alike because you love pretending to be the other sister. Otherwise you would long since have adopted different hair styles. If nothing more just so that people know who they are talking to."

The sisters looked at each other for a moment before Megan corrected, and at the same time partially agreed, "Not entirely true. We look the same because we are so much alike in tastes. We both like the hairstyle, and hair color we have. We both have the same favorite color, like the same clothing, even wear the same perfume. All because we like the same things. But granted, it would be easy to make a difference. For instance, we could simply wear proverbial nametags in the form of having necklaces with our names on it. I think, seeing the situation of us looking so much alike, that the Captain would even allow us to wear them while on duty."

"So why don't you?" Celes wondered. "Or if you don't like the idea of nametags, use something else to keep you apart. Like one of you using the old communicator design and one the new design. I'm sure that the Captain would allow that, since the only reason we all stick to the old design communicators and uniforms is simply because of resources. I'm sure that in your situation one of you would be allowed to use the new style."

"And have everyone look at our boobs with the excuse of seeing who we are?" Jennifer asked with a giggle. "Neh. Though, that's actually a good idea we didn't think of. Oh, by the way, I heard that the captain is thinking of updating the uniforms to the new style now that we have enough resources. But, to answer your question, we like the idea that we look so much alike. Everyone on Voyager knows that Megan and I have very different characters. And all in all it serves us well. It serves us double well because sometimes we don't want to be that character. Sometimes I want to be the quiet one that just sits and goes along with the group. Or Megan wants to be the one to act a bit wild on a party. So we loan each other's personality. Megan says she's me, I say I'm Megan. It works for us. So why would we change that?"

"Did you ever do that with me?" Celes wondered.

The sisters looked at each other for a moment before Jennifer admitted, "We did that with everyone on Voyager at some point, even the Captain. But we think it's fair because everyone that knows us should know that Megan and I don't have secrets. What you say to me, you say to Megan, even if she isn't there at the moment. But, that's just between you and us, alright? Don't go spoiling our fun now."

Now Celes smiled. "Alright." And then she went on to prove some of her brilliance by still remembering all of Jennifer's questions about the person Celes had been seen with. "The big guy you heard about is called Olik. And he is huge."

She put her hands at her head level and quite some wider apart then her own shoulder width to indicate just how big and broad Olik was. "He is two meters tall on the centimeter. He himself isn't that famous, but it's more that what he is is famous. You heard some of the Urdians talk about there being Mountain Tribes members on the ships?"

"We did," Jennifer agreed. "Though from what I heard nobody really knows much about them, just things they heard. Kinda like if we were to have a... a Breen on Voyager. Nobody knows anything about them, except for all the stories everyone in the Federation knows."

Celes nodded her agreement. "Right, and that's what I mean, and why everyone is impressed with Olik. Olik isn't just a member of those tribes, he is the First Warrior of one of the biggest Clans. So that compares to... well, let's say, ignoring B'Elanna for a moment, that we had a Klingon on Voyager, but that it wouldn't just be 'a' Klingon, but that it would be that General Martok everyone talks about. Olik is First Warrior, and that makes him famous, even though most people don't even know him. It's the position they know."

She blushed before admitting, "No, sadly we didn't have sex yet, which is driving me wild if you really want to know. I want to, but he wants to take it slow because he never took it slow before. Kinda like he wants to prove to me that way how serious he is about us. I'm close to jumping him and telling him that I get the point already, and now come to bed."

"So why don't you?" Megan asked teasingly.

"Because I love all the attention," Celes admitted. She lowered her eyes, wondering if she should tell the sisters about her fears. But they were her best friends, and Celes knew only too well that the sisters that people often called gossipers... and they indeed were on certain points... also knew only too well just what and what not to gossip about. "I'm afraid that once we had sex that he will realize that I may look different than the Urdians, but that the sex is still the same. So why would he stay solely interested in me when he can have a different woman every night?"

"I heard that the sex might be pretty much the same in regards to activities and how it feels, but that stamina differs," Megan said softly. "I don't know how it is with the women since the difference came up when I heard Lisa De Moraes talk with two Urdian women about the difference in men. It seems that the Urdian men last longer than Humans, if you know what I mean."

Celes groaned. "Just what I wanted to hear."

"What? Are you worried that he will outlast you?" Jennifer asked with a chuckle.

Celes just scowled at her.

"You shouldn't worry too much," Megan soothed. "I haven't been with an Urdian man, at least not as I can remember, but I have been with men from about ten different species ever since I became sexually active. And you know what I found? All men, at least the ones that care about more than themselves, worry about being able to truly satisfy a woman. And they see it as something to be proud of when they are able to outlast a woman, when she is the one that has to call it quits before he does."

"So?" Celes wondered.

"So," Megan repeated. "If the Urdian men really do last longer and you still last as long as you did when we had some fun a few years back, then you should have a very satisfying sex life. This Olik guy gets a regular boast to his ego from being so well and truly satisfying to the point where you had enough. No more thinking 'damn it, I was so close'."

Celes didn't answer, but her scowl did slowly turn into a little happy smirk when the thought nestled in her mind. "Well, there is that."

Day thirteen.

B'Elanna entered her quarters, slightly surprised to find that Seven was not there. B'Elanna had been stuck in a good natured discussion with some of the Engineering crew and she had suggested that the clearly bored blonde go home already. She was just about to open a channel to Seven when she heard a sound coming from the bedroom.

Curious she walked into the bedroom, only to be treated with a sight that ripped her heart apart. Seven was sitting kneeled on the floor in front of the nightstand on her side of the bed. But the thing that urged B'Elanna to run the little distance and kneel by her side, was that the blonde was sobbing.

"Hey, what's wrong?" B'Elanna asked worried.

Seven didn't answer, but instead she took B'Elanna in a tight embrace and clung to her as if her life depended on it.

Knowing that she wouldn't get an answer that that moment, B'Elanna merely returned the embrace and did all she could to simply assure the blonde with her presence and mumbling nonsense words of comfort.

They set like that for over ten minutes, with B'Elanna holding the blonde whose head was on her shoulder as she cried. Eventually Seven calmed down enough to hear the Klingon's last words.

"Shhh, it's alright honey. It's going to be alright. Everything will be fine."

"No, it will not be alright," Seven merely sobbed before breaking down again.

B'Elanna merely held her and gave all the comfort she could.

It was yet twenty minutes later before Seven had calmed down so much that they were now just sitting there and holding each other. Finally B'Elanna braved to ask, "Come on, talk to me, what's wrong Hon?"

"I do not remember, I will never remember."

"What? I don't understand what you mean," B'Elanna admitted. "Tell me, why are you sitting here on the floor, what can't you remember?"

Finally Seven tried to explain a little better. "Since I had nothing to do, I decided to watch a few of my holo files. In it a reached a point where I explained the importance of these objects."

At the 'these objects', Seven had pointed at the items in the lower draw that B'Elanna had described as garbage on her day of snooping around.

Tears started to flow again, but Seven nevertheless explained as she picked up the broken off spanner handle. "I describe in great detail, and clear fondness, the events on the day where you drove me so insane that I broke this spanner in half while using it. I explained to myself that in nights where I do not require sleep, that I would entertain myself by taking out one of these objects and reliving the entire event in my mind down to the smallest detail. The event, the time before, the time after. But now I do no longer remember. To me this is merely... useless objects. The days that these are reminders of are gone forever. Until now I did not really mind the fact that I no longer remember. I told myself that the past is irrelevant, the present day and future is of importance."

"But now, reality has come and kicked you in the butt," B'Elanna said in understanding.

Now she understood the blonde's behavior. B'Elanna had been dealing with what had happened from the first day. In her own very strange way, but she had been dealing with it. But for Seven all the emotional stress had come crashing down in one single moment. "I'm sorry you had to go through that, Hon. I really thought you had no problem at all with this; I should have known different."

"Now I finally understand why you do not want to watch your files," Seven said sadly. "It is not that you are afraid to see things you do not want to see; you are afraid to see things you want to see, but can never have again."

"Yeah," B'Elanna admitted. "Forget about what I might see about us for a moment, do you know what jobs we did on the planet?"

"I do not," Seven had to admit.

"Neither do I, and I also don't want to know," B'Elanna pointed out. "Just imagine I watch those files and I see that I had managed to become the head of an Engineering research facility. Can you imagine what it would be for me to see that and realize that I can't have that anymore? That I gave up the chance of experimenting and enhancing technology on a daily basis, only to become a Chief Engineer whose task is it to maintain the status quo? As you know, I love my job as a Chief Engineer. I think that it's the best thing that ever happened to me. But what if I were to find out that something even better happened to me on that planet? What if I find out that the best is no longer the best? It's not that I don't want to watch those files because I'm scared of what I had; I don't want to watch those files because I'm scared of seeing what I might have lost."

"One of the things those files will most likely tell you is that you had me," Seven couldn't help but point out.

"I don't need those files to know that." B'Elanna sighed. "Seven, I knew that you are mine as soon as Kathryn told me that the two of us were married. Back then I told myself a lot of reasons why this had to be fake, why this wasn't real. Now I know better. I know now, simply from the last two weeks, that the two of us must have had a great time together."

B'Elanna lifted Seven's head to look her in the eyes before adding, "I don't need to watch some file to know that I'm in love with you; I know that already. My heart tells me that every minute of the day."

"But you do not know if you love me enough to bet your life on it," Seven said sadly.

"That's where you are wrong," B'Elanna disagreed. "In my heart I know that we will live happily ever after and all that crap."

Seven lifted her eyebrow at the rather interesting choice of words, and B'Elanna grinned.

"But you see," B'Elanna continued, "I also know that all people that ever fell in love thought that. But if this is true, then why does the Federation work with timed marriage contracts? I tell you why; because the feelings of the heart aren't long term reality. You are the one that always researches things, but did you know that I did a little of that as well? As soon as this thing between us changed from, 'I hate that stupid Borg', to, 'damn, maybe being married to her isn't that bad an idea'. I looked a few things up. Did you know that before the Federation made the Bolian timed marriage contracts their standard, there was a divorce rate of ninety-five percent with Humans? It had become so standard for relations to be casual that most marriages don't last. People get married for a few years and then want something different."

"I thought that you liked to rely more on your Klingon side," Seven noted.

B'Elanna gave a humorless smirk. "Yes and no. Ever since the Barge of the Dead I have realized that I should embrace my Klingon side more, and not try to suppress it. But I do realize that I'm still part Human, and ignoring that would be just as dishonorable as ignoring my Klingon side. And this too plays in my relationships. Did you know that before all this I had casual sex with Tom?"

"I suspected, but did not know for sure," Seven admitted.

"Why did you suspect?" B'Elanna wondered. She and Tom had always been careful to not slip up, to not say something wrong, to not touch in way that was more than friendly once they were out the door. Their fun was only for behind closed doors.

"Because Tom is a person that enjoys the female form," Seven explained. "His eyes wander. Even now that he is with a woman that is apparently his whole world, his eyes still wander. He looks someone in the eyes when they are talking, but as soon as the woman is not looking at him, his eyes drift over her body, taking in curves as much a she can before he has to look back up."

B'Elanna chucked, "Yeah, that's one of the reasons why I felt that he would be interested in having sex with me; the way he looked at me."

"I cannot blame him," Seven admitted. "As you know, I also like looking at you. But you might also have noticed a difference there. When we are out of the quarters, I still look at you because I like looking at you, but I look more at your face now. I do not take a lot of time to admire your body, unless you are dressed in certain ways. The reason for that is simple; I am allowed to see you nude all the time. I am allowed to not just look at you, but look at your for minutes at a time and have you wanting to be looked at even more yet."

"And Tom stopped looking at my boobs and ass when we are out," B'Elanna said, knowing that Seven had been right. "Because he would soon have the opportunity to not just look at them but touch them too. So you figured out that he must have seen at least as much of me as you have. And with him and I not living together, there can only have been one reason how he could have seen so much of me."

"That is correct," Seven agreed.

"Well, see, the point I was actually getting at," B'Elanna said, deciding that it was better to not dwell too much on what she and Tom had done, "is that there it was alright because we were both single and wanted some fun. He and I never had a relationship that went further than friendship. Just that some of our friendly activities were done between the sheets. If you and I were not married, I would have taken you to bed for some friendly activities days ago. But the fun I had with Tom showed me that the fact that I'm part Human plays into a lot of things that I like in bed. But here comes the problem, if I like things in bed that are clearly Human, then chances are big that for the rest of the relationship the fact that I'm part Human is something I cannot ignore. Seven, believe me. I really, really want to stay married to you, and in a perfect, happy, and totally not realistic world, we would stay married happily ever after."

"But?" Seven asked.

B'Elanna sighed. "But, the problem is that we are not living in a perfect world. Let's be honest, and logical. We went from hating each other to loving each other in two weeks. Logic dictates that if that's possible, then it is also possible that in the future we go from loving each other back to hating each other in such a same time period. That is the real problem here, Honey. It's not the fact if I love you; I do. It is not the fact if I want to be married to you; I do. It is that damn 'for life' thing. We are literally, for real, no exception, talking about for the rest of our life here; no out. If we start hating each other again in the future and we live as separate people even though we are married, I have two options."

B'Elanna lifted a finger to indicate option one. "Either I nevertheless fully stand by all that it means to be married to you, as in never being allowed to have sex with anyone but you, or standing up and protecting your honor, even if you don't want that protecting, and all those kinds of things. Can you imagine? You find someone else you are interested in, and then I come in challenging that person to a fight because he or she is trying to dishonor my wife by enticing her into an extramarital relationship."

Now she held up two fingers to indicate option two. "Or the other option is that I have to give up the Klingon honor and also the Klingon heritage I finally embraced after the Barge of the Dead. Frankly, Seven, I'm scared shitless."

"I thought that being scared is also un-Klingon," Seven said, finally managing a weak smile.

B'Elanna shook her head. "No, it's fine to be scared; it's just that a real Klingon will never admit it. But since you are not a Klingon, and you are my spouse, I can admit as much to you without looking weak."

"Do you want more time?" Seven wondered. "You asked for three days, now you have two left. But it is still ten days after that before you have to make your choice officially."

"No. It would be no use," B'Elanna pointed out. "I'll be warring with myself until the last minute as it is. Ten more days will only give me ten more days of coming up with more and more yes and no reasons until I can't even remember just which of those are real reasons. Two days. On the morning of the third day I will tell you, I promise."

Then, knowing that they had gotten way off topic, but not wanting Seven to think that the matter was unimportant to the Klingon, B'Elanna asked, "So, now that this happened, will you stop watching the files?"

"No," Seven said resolutely. "Until now I liked each and every file I watched. However, I will not watch the rest of the files in the category that has to do with these items." She looked into the open draw before suggesting sadly, "Maybe I should throw this away. What use is it to keep it if I cannot remember it? It will only be a painful reminder."

B'Elanna flinched at the words, the pain in Seven's voice was so clear to hear that B'Elanna wondered how she could ever have thought that the blonde was incapable of having emotions, let alone showing them. "Seven, honey, if you really want to get rid of them here, then put them in a box and place them in your closet. But don't throw them away. Now you can opt to save them, but never look at them. But once they are gone, they are gone. What if you decide in a few months that now that you know that it might hurt, that you are prepared to watch the rest of the files and then decide that even though you don't remember, you still want to keep the reminders? Now you can, but once you throw them away they are gone forever. Give yourself some time to accept that just because you don't remember it, doesn't mean that it's not important to you anymore."

B'Elanna softly kissed Seven's cheek, and then her lips as Seven shifted her head slightly. One kiss led to more, yet no passion stirred between them. These kisses were what they both needed; comfort, and the knowledge of whatever else happened, they had each other.

"I love you, B'Elanna Torres," Seven assured between leisurely kisses.

"And I love you, Seven. I love you." And as they spent the next half hour sitting on the floor comforting each other while thinking about what they had lost, B'Elanna couldn't help but think about what she had said to Seven. 'Just because you don't remember it, doesn't mean that it's not important to you anymore.'

Day fourteen. (Early evening.)

They were sitting in the living room. Seven was once more dressed in her bathrobe, while B'Elanna had opted for what had become her favorite in the last few days; the very boring, but very comfortable underwear. A Sports bra and boxer shorts, and just to keep the colors from clashing, a matching pair of socks. It had been Seven who had asked her to please pick a color for the socks that went along with the rest, and since that day, B'Elanna had done so. She had humored the blonde, but still found it funny that to Seven it hurt more to see something out of order or mismatched than insults ever could. B'Elanna knew that right there she could call Seven a 'stupid Borg bitch' and Seven would merely ask what she did now. But Kahless forbid if B'Elanna picked a color of socks that didn't match the rest.

Seven, of course, didn't wear socks. The only thing Seven wore all the time was that white bathrobe that she liked so much. Well, considering that Seven wore it every day after taking her shower, if they didn't go out, B'Elanna had actually replicated a few more of them so that Seven could wear a fresh one every day while the rest was waiting for B'Elanna to put them through the replicator for cleaning.

The Rubik's cube was lying on the coffee table, unused for the moment as Seven was working on some PADD. It thrilled B'Elanna to no end to know that even after two weeks her gift was still so much appreciated. Seven spent at least one hour every day playing with the cube, and on some days much longer than that.

B'Elanna looked at the blonde. Her roommate, her friend, her wife... for now. She knew that tomorrow was the day she had to make her choice. Tomorrow she would decide the fate of the both of them by choosing between two of the smallest words possible; yes, no.

"What is on your mind?" Seven suddenly asked, her eyes never leaving the PADD.

B'Elanna chuckled. "I keep forgetting that your peripheral vision is pretty much just as good as your normal vision."

She threw the PADD she had been working on herself onto the table and opened her arms in invitation. "Come here you."

Seven reacted immediately. She moved to B'Elanna's couch and sat down beside her before leaning back and into the welcome embrace.

"You know damn well what's on my mind; you of course." B'Elanna looked over the blonde's shoulder and was treated to a very tempting view of a nice cleavage. "Oh, I should call you over more often; I see all kinds of interesting things from this angle."

She tugged at one side of the bathrobe to indicate what she was talking about, and the sides opened up a little more. Now she didn't just see a nice cleavage, now she also saw the roundness of Seven's breasts. Deciding that the view was too nice to ignore, B'Elanna slipped a hand inside the bathrobe and moved it until she was cupping Seven's left breast, and her thumb was leisurely moving over the nipple. "Did I ever tell you how much I love your breasts?"

Seven left out a soft hum of approval as the thumb continued to stimulate the nipple while the rest of the hand was cupped around the underside, trying to get as much contact as possible.

"I love how they feel," B'Elanna admitted. "Firm but so nicely supple. How they move with your movements. How they quiver ever so nicely with every step you take under the shower. And just how big they are. I really, really, love the fact that they are so big that I can't even cup them in my hand, but can only cup my hand around them. I have always loved big breasts, so that's not just the experience I can't remember talking. Kahless how I love to play with big breasts. And you have so much to play with. I never asked, but just how big are you?"

"As far as I remember I never measured, or asked the doctor," Seven said. "But according to the tags in the lingerie I have they come in two sizes. 36D and 36DD. Does that mean anything to you?"

"It does," B'Elanna happily assured. She captured the by now hard nipple between her thumb and index finger and started to squeeze and role it slightly. "Even in this time of replicators, designers and brands still have slight differences in size. Some D cups will fit you, and some will be too small and you need the double D."

Seven hummed her approval again when she felt her breasts being gently squeezed and fondled. Finally she decided to ask, "B'Elanna Torres, what are you doing?"

"Here I thought 'I' was the one that liked to ask the rhetorical questions. I think that what I'm doing is pretty damn obvious; I'm touching my wife."

At the words, Seven suddenly turned in her arms and looked at her.

"You are my wife, Seven. If you stay that, is open to discussion." Because Seven had moved, B'Elanna's hand had lost its interesting find, so she lowered it a little in further exploration. She found Seven's abdominal implant, and started to softly caress along the metal bands, making sure that the tips of her finger also trailed over Seven's warm flesh.

"This is the first time you touch my naked body, other than in the bathroom," Seven pointed out, not really knowing what she actually was asking B'Elanna by giving that statement.

B'Elanna kissed Seven's neck. "Turn around and let me touch you. Besides, I think that the kissing we have been doing falls under touching as well."

Once Seven had moved back to her original position, B'Elanna's hand continued to play along the bands of the abdominal implant. Finally the Klingon noted, "You know, until now we have been talking about staying married or not, and the whole damn complexity that is the mix between my Honor, us having sex, and that basically being a life decision. But we never truly talked about what we want."

"I thought that was clear, at least from my side," Seven noted, "I want you."

"Yeah, but just what does that mean Seven? For this we can actually ignore the sex part. We,"

"Not entirely," Seven disagreed. "I believe that I understand what you mean; that we have to talk about what else we want in this relationship. But there is something that I want that can be considered intimacy."

"Go on," B'Elanna urged.

Seven placed her hand on B'Elanna's and stilled it for a moment. "You are doing it right now. You are trailing your fingers along my abdominal implant, you just also touched my breast. To you they are the same. Well, they are different as different parts of my body, but they are the same to you in the fact that they are a part of my body. What I want is physical contact. I want you to touch me. Like you are now, in private, and more general in public."

"Like when we are in Engineering and I come over to check what you are doing, that I place my hand on the small of your back. Or something like that," B'Elanna said in understanding. She lifted her hand once more to cup the breast that she could reach in that position. "Or like this if we are here at home."


"But only realistic, right?" B'Elanna asked. "I mean, me calling you over like I did now and touching you as we talk is fine. But if I get up to go pee, it's not that I first have to walk over to you on your side of the couch just to touch you for a moment."

"Indeed," Seven once more agreed with a single word.

"I don't think you have anything to worry about," B'Elanna assured. "You have no idea how my hands have been itching to touch you lately. Just like I'm now, or to trail my hand over your shoulders as I go and get myself a drink and walk past you."

"Then why did you not do so?" Seven asked.

"Because I was trying my hardest to keep my distance from you."

"Really," Seven asked amused as she deliberately placed her hand over B'Elanna's to show what she was doing.

"Yeah, well, as I said, I 'was' trying my hardest."

"I told you one thing I want, what is something 'you' would want?" Seven wondered.

B'Elanna hesitated before admitting, "Actually, there is something I don't only want, but something I need. But Seven, before you agree, I want you to agree because you truly accept it and want it as well, and not just because you think that you can deal with it because you want to stay married to me."

"I am listening."

"You know that decision making thing?"

"I thought we worked that out?" Seven asked confused. "I do not mind you making the decisions, as long as I can voice my opinion, that opinion is listened to with an open mind, and I can refuse for myself if I want."

"We did work that part out," B'Elanna agreed. "But it's more than that. Seven, did you know that when Klingons are in a serious relationship, the first time they have sex it is quite... forceful."

"Yes, the famous bruises and broken bones," Seven said, indicating that she had heard about it.

"But do you also know why we do that?" B'Elanna persisted. "I mean, most people simply think that we Klingons like the rough stuff. But if that was truly it, then why only have rough sex once? If we truly enjoyed the rough stuff, why did Tom never have to see the Doctor?"

"And I have seen those files we recorded," Seven reminded. "I know for a fact that at least in those recordings you never became truly rough."

B'Elanna frowned. "What do you mean, 'truly rough'? Just what is the difference between rough and truly rough?"

Seven smiled. "The difference, if you really want to know, is that 'rough' was fun when you figuratively threw me onto the kitchen unit and took me there again and again until I finally begged you to stop."

B'Elanna's eyes drifted to the door where the kitchen was located. "We did that?"

"Yes we did," Seven assured. "And I am certain that the only reason we did not do it on the table that day as well is because that must be where the holo recorder was located. But the point is, you were rough that day. You pushed me, you ordered me into different positions, you ordered me to do things to you. You entered me with four of your fingers and had me screaming, begging, and pleading, all depending on the moment. You were rough, but you were never 'truly rough' because you did what you wanted to do, which was exactly what I wanted you to do, and I kept begging you for more."

B'Elanna sobered at the words. "Yeah, beg for more, but you also just said that you begged me to stop; clearly I must have been too far gone then to know what you wanted."

Seven laughed, surprising the Klingon. "You knew exactly what I wanted; you gave it to me. The reason why I begged that day is because I wanted to beg. As soon as I said 'please stop'. You immediately did. Of course, you did pretend that you stopped because you had enough of the situation, but it was clear that this was part of the game. From those files I know that those sex toys we have, they have told us the truth from the first day. We had a very active sex life, and we enjoyed it all from slow and sensual lovemaking where the only thing we do is use our mouth, all the way over to having love sessions that involve all our toys and on top of that a little acting."

"That's good to know," B'Elanna admitted. "So compatibility is not an issue."

Seven chuckled. "Far from it, believe me."

"Well, the reason why I brought up the rough Klingon stuff," B'Elanna said, getting back on topic, "Is because this fighting the first time Klingons have sex is not an act; there is a very serious reason for that. On that first time, the person that wins, is from then on the dominant partner of the couple. People have their set roles in Klingon houses, like the woman normally being the Lady of the house that manages house affairs, while the man is the Lord of the house that manages things that have to do with, let's say, external influences. But that first time, right there it is decided just who of the two is the leader in the family."

"Interesting," Seven said thoughtfully. "That would also explain why even now in a time where Klingon women are generally seen as equal to the men, in opposite sex relationships normally the man is still clearly the more dominant."

"It does?" B'Elanna asked.

Seven nodded. "Yes, because just like in Humans, there is a physical strength difference between the genders with Klingons. Just that Klingons are as a species stronger than Humans and therefore pretty much every Klingon woman is stronger than the average Human man. And there is the fact that Klingon women also learn to fight and therefore often win fights with men because they fight better. But still, in general the Klingon men are stronger than the women, and therefore it is more likely that the man will win a fight, or sex session, whereas the woman cannot fully let and fight while keeping the ,man at a distance or render the man unconscious because overall they are still having sex. And for sex you do need a physical closeness; close enough to be well in reach of strong male arms."

"I see what you mean," B'Elanna said in understanding. She hesitated for a moment before admitting, "I don't want to do that. I don't want to wrestle with you to see who is in control. But I do want to be that leader of the family. Seven, we have a very unique situation. Besides the fact that I don't want to hurt you, there is no use in us fighting anyway because the both of us know damn well that you are stronger than me. And on top of that have the combined martial arts knowledge of about a gazillion people. So if we truly were to fight I would either lose, or I would win because you let me win. So why even bother with that?"

"I can see your point in that," Seven agreed. "But does it then not stand to reason that if we do not fight, I should be considered the leader of the family?"

"Hon, think about that for a moment; do you really want that?" B'Elanna asked softly. "We talked about this only yesterday. The last two weeks, who has been making the decisions? It is clear that there is a natural and comfortable dynamic between us of me being more of a leader, and you being more of a follower. But one should not mistake a follower for a puppet. As we said, you still have the power to say no, just that mostly you don't use that power. Do you really want to suddenly start making the kinds of decisions I have been making for us? Do you want to be the one to groom the social contacts for us? The poker nights, the nights we spent with Kathryn and Brika, who was the one that made that happen?"

Seven was quiet for a moment as she thought about what B'Elanna had said. As she was doing so, she noticed that the Klingon's hands had returned to simply holding her in an embrace again. "I like the way we interacted in the last two weeks. Very well, no battle for supremacy is needed. I won, and my choice is it to hand the primary decision making position to you."

B'Elanna chuckled at Seven's slight change. But despite that, the agreement was nevertheless that B'Elanna would be the one that would take charge of the relationship. "So what else would you want?"

"To be listened to."

"I think we just covered that, didn't we?"

Seven shook her head. "No, we did not. That was an agreement that you would be the more dominant partner, but I would still have the option to give my final say on matters, even if that strives with what you want. But what I mean with that I want to be listened to, is that you would listen if I give my opinion on things, and evaluate what I say. What you have been doing in Engineering ever since we reached our agreement. But what I mean is more than that. During my time on Voyager I was often ignored. People talked about me as if I was not there. If I gave my opinion on something it was ignored. If I stated that some document clearly said something, people nevertheless wanted to read it for themselves. What I would want is a partner that listens to me. That believes me when I say that I am quoting a text word for word. I want someone that will listen to me when I lie in her arms as we enjoy a sunset, and I am talking about a document I read. Sometimes I read something and I want to discuss it, but people start groaning as soon as I bring it up."

"Like?" B'Elanna asked, before stating, "I have a side-note to what you just said that I will come back to by the way. But for now, please continue."

Seven removed B'Elanna's arms for a moment before untying the bathrobe cord and placing the Klingon's arms back, this time with one arm ending securely under either flap of the robe. "For instance, some of the Starfleet regulations make no sense to me at all. I tried to get several people to talk to me about them, but the end result was always the same. They suggested I read them, and when I pointed out that I already did that, their reply was, 'well, that's rules and we have to live by them'."

"Guilty as charged," B'Elanna could only admit. Seeing that Seven had so openly invited her to hold her under the bathrobe, B'Elanna happily did so. She used the hand of the arm that she couldn't move too much because it prevented Seven from falling over, to once more cup one of the blonde's breasts, while she started to softly move the other hand up and down the blonde's side in a tender caress.

"I was not talking about you," Seven pointed out. "But yes, you did the same. What I would like from a partner is that she gives me the opportunity to talk about theoretical things like that, and actually listen. And even give an opinion or an explanation if asked for. Simply give me a different point of view, or a basic explanation to counteract the dry text of documents that have often deliberately been set up in a way that a Captain can ignore the regulation if it is convenient."

"It is more than a matter of convenience, Hon," B'Elanna said amused. "It is more a matter of not having to face court-martial for the smallest things. Take yourself. When Kathryn severed you from the collective and refused to allow you to go back? If those little exemptions were not in the rules, Kathryn could face court-martial just for that alone. She did after all prevent a sentient being that is of rational mind from going back to her people; even keeping you captive against your will. I'm sure that in that law there is some kind of exemption where Kathryn can argue that you were actually not of rational mind at that moment since you were still suffering the after effects of being linked to the Hive mind, or some crap like that."

Seven smiled and turned slightly to look up at the Klingon.

By now B'Elanna knew that little parting of lips down to the smallest detail, and already leaned in to place a kiss even before Seven had completed turning.

"I love you, B'Elanna Torres, and that is exactly what I meant with having my partner listen to me. If I want to talk about things that are boring to most, that she nevertheless listens and is an interested part of the conversation if needed."

Simply because she could, B'Elanna kissed the blonde once more before agreeing, "Alright, in general I would be willing to do that. But, I did say that I have a side-note to that. Seven, we can be in situations where talking about stuff like that is the last thing I want to do. Not because I don't want to talk about it at all, but simply because of the situation. Let's say that we are on the holodeck with some of our friends and we are having a good time just goofing around. If someone of them says something that triggers in you a need to discuss it in great detail, then I can ask you to save it for later. I promise that we will talk about it once we are home. Or maybe the next day, depending on how late we got home. But we 'will' talk about it. I know only too well that you won't forget what you wanted to discuss, and that's fine. Perfect even, because I might forget. I'm not looking for that, all I ask is that in situations like that you postpone the talking about it for some time."

Seven thought about that for a moment while she once more turned around so that she could sit in B'Elanna's embrace in comfort. Then she merely stated, "Acceptable. Your turn."

"Hmm, what else would I want?" B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "I would be the dominant partner, I can touch you like I'm now, and you even want to be touched by me, decently, in public. You already gave me the right to be possessive of you. So I would say that we have my Klingon conditions pretty much covered."

"So it seems," Seven agreed. "And at the same time we have covered the fact even though you will be the decision maker, I will be listened to and will have a say in things."

B'Elanna placed a kiss in Seven's neck. "Which I really want. Seven, I may be the decision maker, but you will need to keep track. Make sure that I don't move to bossing you around."

"But what if I want that?" Seven asked. "I do not mean in daily life. There I like the dynamic we have and that simply developed between us. You decide, but ask me what I think. Simple and effective. But in our sex life,"

"Seven," B'Elanna interrupted.

Seven turned once more. She caressed B'Elanna's face before reasoning, "It needs talking about. If we stay married we will be sexually active; I promised you that. As such the topic of sex should be discussed, even if not in detail."

B'Elanna leaned into the touch before finally turning her face and placing a kiss on Seven's palm. "Alright, go on."

"I have seen the files we recorded," Seven reminded. "In them you are more in control than you are in daily life. In daily life you only make one of two decisions every day that affect both of us, simply because moments where decisions need to be made are that far apart. It is called daily life for a reason. But when we have sex,"

"How about we call it making love?" B'Elanna interrupted. "Sex is what I had with Tom. Great for the body, and once you have your clothes back on you go out and have a drink with your then only friend. Making love is a physical expression of the love between people... which happens to feel damn good on top of that, I admit."

Seven nodded her agreement before continuing. "When we make love, that decisions making is much more condensed. While I do give input, you are the one that decides in general. For instance, you suggest we use a strap-on and then you ask me which one I want. I give my input, tell you what I want, but you still make the original decision of using that toy instead of no toy at all."

"I asked," B'Elanna objected. "You could have said that you want something else."

Seven kissed the woman to smooth those ruffled feathers. "Easy there Sparky. Listen to the whole conversation. I did start off by asking 'what if I want that'?"

"Sparky?" B'Elanna asked with a grin, having no problem recognizing one of her own words being used by the blonde once more.

"Yes, Sparky. Literally meaning a lively and energetic person. However, in daily use normally used to indicate a person that acts and or talks before thinking."

"I know what it means, Hon," B'Elanna assured tolerantly. "I was just surprised to hear you say it. Please, continue."

"Very well," Seven said after a moment of hesitation. "As I said, what if I want that? What if I want you to 'boss me around' when we have s... make love? I like what I see in those files. I... that when I am not sure of what I want, you make the decision and we move on to doing the things we both enjoy doing. I think that I would really enjoy that to be a permanent situation. I think that I would really like for you do say 'we will do this' or for you to decide what kind of lovemaking we will enjoy that night."

B'Elanna smiled. "You are right, Sparky should have listened to what you wanted to say. So you are not talking about me literally telling you what to do every moment, but about making... basically about the same behavior that we have in our daily life now. Instead of first asking you what you might want, I simply say what I want to do and we do it, unless you are not in the mood for that and then you let me know. That is important to me, Seven. If you are not in the mood for something, tell me. I much rather move to doing something we will both enjoy then doing something I like doing but that you are not really enjoying at that time."

"I will," Seven assured. "Though I do feel that I have to point out that from those files I know that you like to tell me what to do, you like to give me orders, and I like to follow them."

B'Elanna stiffened when hearing that.

"I like it," Seven assured. "A lot." She felt the Klingon relax a little and continued. "I think that the reason why you are so comfortable with giving me orders,"

"Tell you what to do," B'Elanna corrected.

Seven smiled and kissed B'Elanna again. "You are correct. That is a much better description. You do not order me around. Kathryn orders me around, on duty. No, you merely tell me what to do. And I think that the reason why you are so comfortable with doing so is simply because you know that I will only do so if I actually want to do what you say."

"So," B'Elanna said thoughtfully. "I guess you could simply say that we cut out the asking stage? I don't ask you stuff, but simply tell you. Always assuming that the answer will be yes unless you tell me otherwise?"

"You are once more correct," Seven agreed. "Can I tell you a detail from the files?"

"Um, not a detailed and colored-in description of what we are doing, but other than that, yes."

"Very well. There is one file where in the second part..." Seven interrupted herself and explained, "In the files I have seen until now, we always recorded two kinds of lovemaking. I can only guess that either we simply like that difference, or we did it deliberately to give me a wider sample of the things we both enjoyed. In any case. There is one part that I think covers exactly what we are talking about. In it you tell me to... to do something to you. And as a result of that the file continues with me being in total control over you. You plead, ask, even beg at one point. You are in control as far as you telling me what you want without first asking me what I want, but that does not by definition mean that you are also in control of every minute of our lovemaking. That, B'Elanna Torres, is what I want."

Now B'Elanna grinned. "Well, Seven of Mine, if that is what you want, and we do end up staying married, then I can assure you that it will be a non-issue. I have always been quite direct in telling lovers exactly what I want, how I want it, and for how long. So as long as I know that it's alright with you and that you will speak up if you want something else, then you bet that great ass of yours that I will be more than happy to have that kind of control in the bedroom as well."

"I am glad to hear it," Seven said sincere.

"But," B'Elanna added," That doesn't mean that asking in general is totally out. "There is nothing that says that I can't ask you if you want a drink, or if you want to come enjoy a nice shower with me, or even if you are in the mood to go to the holodeck."

"Those kind of questions are certainly welcome," Seven assured. They shared another kiss and then reluctantly, Seven finally turned again until they were both once more looking in the same direction. Even though like this she couldn't see or kiss the Klingon, the position was more comfortable. Besides... she smiled when a bold hand found an ample breast once more and started to gently move the thump over it... this position was fun too.

Then some of B'Elanna's earlier words registered. They had been ignored for a moment in favor of the important overall statement, but now she asked, "Seven of Mine?"

B'Elanna kissed Seven's neck and then sucked it for a moment. But not long enough to leave a mark. "Sure, you did say that you wanted me possessive of you? And I really do want another nickname than Hon for you. So, Seven of Mine. And a huge plus is that it's decent enough and harmless enough that I can even say it in public."

"Seven of Mine," The blonde repeated once more. "I like it."

"Seven," B'Elanna said hesitantly. "I do have to point out, what we just talked about, that is still only talking 'if' we stay married of course."

"Of course," Seven said, knowing a lost battle when she saw one. But also being smart enough not to tell B'Elanna that she knew that there was no longer a case of 'if'. They were talking about the 'how'.

They sat in comfortable silence for over ten minutes. Just relishing the contact they had. Holding each other and not wanting to let go.

Suddenly Seven felt one of her breast being cupped once more and then squeezed softly. "B'Elanna Torres, may I remind you that the object you are squeezing is attached to a body that has a brain that still remembers certain rules we agreed upon under a certain shower?"

B'Elanna laughed at the interestingly worded statement. And especially when she realized that Seven didn't mind the fondling, but was merely reminding her of what the result might be if she continued.

"I know," The Klingon assured. "But it just occurred to me that I had been holding one of those perfect boobs of yours on and off for our entire conversation."

"Only now?" Seven asked amused.

"Yes, well no. I know I was touching of course. But yes," B'Elanna said, confusing them both. "What I mean is, I just realized that I have been touching you through all of this. I now have you sitting here on my lap with your bathrobe hanging open and you being totally nude under it."

B'Elanna took a deep breath through her nose and growled. "Just smelling you makes my heartbeat increase. But you want to know the really funny thing?"

"What?" Seven asked again.

"The really funning thing is that through all of this, until just now, I didn't even think once about making love to you."

"Doubtful," Seven disagreed. "We talked about the very subject."

B'Elanna shook her head. Then remembering that the blonde couldn't see it, she explained, "No, what I mean is, yes we talked about making love. But I didn't 'think' of it. Even when we were talking about it and you said that you had me begging and pleading in one of those files, I did not think of it in a true sex concept. I didn't see a scene in my head, it didn't get me horny. We were discussing a topic and it affected me physically just as much as a discussion about cleaning the quarters would have."

"And this is a good thing, or should I now be insulted?" Seven asked with a smile. But the smile was mostly a reaction to the grin she just knew B'Elanna was sprouting by now, even though she couldn't see it.

"It is a very good thing. Seven, you know what I just realized?"

Now Seven rolled her eyes and turned again before asking once more, "What?"

"I just realized that if we do stay married, then the last two weeks have been invaluable training to me. Just think about it. For two weeks now I have been training to keep that Klingon libido in check. And now I reached a point where I can have you sitting like that right in front of me and I don't want to throw you on that couch and ravish you."

"I hope it is not too much control though," Seven said.

"Why?" B'Elanna asked confused. She had relished in realizing this little victory over herself.

Seven winked. "Because the image sounds very appealing to me. I think that I would like the fact that I can drive you to the point where you simply throw me on this couch and take me."

B'Elanna groaned and at the same time an image flashed into her mind. Seven was on her back, one leg over the back of the couch to open herself more, her hands busy with... "You just had to say that, didn't you? Great, thank you very much, now I have an image of that in my mind."

Seven smiled and then kissed her. "Look at it from the positive side."

"What positive side?"

"Now you have a new fantasy to think about the next time you are enjoying some quality time in your room."

B'Elanna laughed. "Well, yes. There is that."

"Tell me, B'Elanna Torres," Seven said, deciding that they had done enough talking. "Did that image turn you on so much that seeing me nude would be too much of a temptation?"

"Why do you ask?" B'Elanna merely replied, not really answering the question because she wasn't that sure herself.

Seven reluctantly moved out of the embrace, and off the Klingon's lap. Once she was standing she extended a hand to B'Elanna. "I really liked it when I was lying in your arms being hugged by you."

"So did I," B'Elanna assured right away, taking the offered hand and letting herself be pulled onto her feet.

"But did you realize that we have been living here for two weeks now, and neither of us has yet used that bath in the bathroom?" Seven asked. "It looks big enough to hold the both of us. What would you say? You, me, water, and just enjoying the sensation of holding and being held for some time."

"Sounds like a damn good idea to me," B'Elanna agreed. She put an arm around the blonde's middle and pulled her against her as they walked to the bathroom.

Part 8

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