DISCLAIMER: All characters are owned and copyrighted by Paramount. No profit is intended.
SPOILERS/AUTHOR'S NOTE: Since it's playing after 'Endgame' the whole show could be declared as the spoiler. However most importantly I have to thank my beta-reader Elizabeth Crusade - blame her for any remaining mistakes :-P
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

After All We've Been Through
By Skye

Part Seven

They had grown very close in the past few weeks. Close, to a point where she could call for Seven's help and the other woman was there in an instant. Close, to a point where she moved in with her daughter to live with Seven. Close, to a point where they saw each other the whole day at home, at work, and on Voyager (which was practically the same as home).

They had almost kissed. Almost. That was the problem. They hadn't talked about it. After her divorce from Tom and her moving in with Seven, B'Elanna had tried to broach the subject, but Seven had avoided it.

They shared a home, their work, their meals, and even the bed (in all innocence of course). They shared the duty of parenthood. Seven had become Miral's mother as much as B'Elanna. That was amazing enough, but they still hadn't shared their feelings.

Three weeks had passed since their `almost' kiss. They had grown as close as possible under the given circumstances. But they could still grow closer. And that was exactly what B'Elanna longed for.

Every night she slept at Seven's side. Well, at least that was what she tried to do. It became increasingly difficult to get rest while her Klingon hormones where raging through her veins. If it were only lust that kept her awake, she would have found a way to get over it. But it was worse than that. She really loved Seven. And she had to find a way to tell her.

"Chief!" Nicoletti shouted at B'Elanna.

Engineering was still a mess. Cables were hanging everywhere. Walls were, basically, non-existent. The place was clattered with tools, cables, gel-packs and other unidentified equipment. One had to be very careful when walking around.

That was one of the reasons why only a few people were working in engineering right now. B'Elanna, lately more and more lost in thoughts about a certain blonde, wasn't paying attention, and despite Nicoletti's shout, stumbled over a large item and crashed to the floor.

It was at that exact moment that Seven chose to enter engineering. Upon seeing B'Elanna sprawled over the various items, she rushed to the other woman's side.

"What happened, B'Elanna? Are you injured? Let me help you." Without effort Seven hauled B'Elanna up and cradled her in her arms to carry her out of engineering heading for sickbay.

B'Elanna had no chance to realize what was going on, and certainly had no time to do anything about it. All she saw was the stunned Nicoletti, who watched them leave.

"Seven wait!" She tried to protest.

"No. You could be seriously injured." Seven insisted and hurried along.

"But it… it's just a scratch… and maybe a bump." B'Elanna explained looking at the scratch in question.

Seven would hear none of it. She was in `help-B'Elanna-mode' and wasn't about to stop until she could be sure that B'Elanna was going to be okay. Besides, B'Elanna had stopped resisting.

Arriving in sickbay a young medical officer turned around. Ensign Samuel Baxter had been assigned to Voyager as long as the overhaul lasted. Voyager's designated Doctor was on vacation right now.

"What can I do for you?" He asked politely in a manner completely different from what they were used to.

"She is injured." Seven stated and settled B'Elanna on one of the biobeds.

"What happened?" He asked B'Elanna, who was trying not to be embarrassed.

"I stumbled. I wasn't paying attention and kissed the floor. She came in and made a fuss. She didn't give me a chance to explain that it was only a bump and a scratch." She shrugged and sounded apologetic for wasting the medic's time.

"Well, I'm here, you're here, so I can tend to the bump and the scratch. Just let me check you." He gave her a friendly smile and took a scan. After he confirmed and convinced Seven that B'Elanna hadn't suffered any major injuries, he healed the scratch and the bump and released her from sickbay.

"You have a very caring colleague there." He told B'Elanna with a wink.

"I know." She said, completely conscious of the fact that Seven was always there when she needed her. And even, when she did not.

It was two days later when it hit her.

After another restless night, B'Elanna tiredly turned around to look at Seven who was sleeping peacefully on her side of the bed. She was so beautiful, so relaxed. During the day the ex-Borg kept up a façade with her cool and composed mask. Only at home did she allow herself to relax, but only while sleeping she was really truly relaxed.

This woman was amazing. Seven had gone out of her way to help her, to be there for her. She never asked questions. She was just always there. And she never asked anything from B'Elanna, who had done nothing for Seven.

B'Elanna groaned into her pillow. Sometimes she could just be so stupid. Seven was the last one who would demand anything from her, but B'Elanna could at least express her thankfulness. She knew that even that wasn't important to Seven. More important would be to express what B'Elanna really felt for the other woman.

It was time for her to do something for her favourite blonde.

And she would start with making breakfast.

Yawning widely, B'Elanna managed to rise. Slowly she padded over into the living room throwing a look into her daughter's crib. Miral was sleeping as peacefully as Seven, sucking on her little fist.

For a second B'Elanna was tempted to pick Miral up and return to the big bed to cuddle up with her and Seven (as would be perfectly normal for a family).

B'Elanna sighed and resumed her way to the kitchen. Usually she just replicated something, or Seven prepared some tasty stuff. But today B'Elanna would make her special banana pancakes, the ones that were shaped like hearts.

Grinning to herself, she started to collect the ingredients.

Seven awoke to the very pleasant smell of something sweet. Her first thought was that of B'Elanna. She heard the noises of someone rampaging through the kitchen, but judging from the smell it seemed at least to be a successful attempt at cooking.

Seven smiled to herself. It was the first time that B'Elanna had prepared breakfast. This was something she could get used to.

In her crib, Miral began to stir. Seven rose and walked over to look at her… she was tempted to add `daughter'. Somewhere in her middle, Seven felt an incredible warmth and fuzziness. She couldn't remember when she had ever been this happy. B'Elanna in the kitchen preparing their breakfast. Miral in her arms, a little girl she more and more considered her daughter. But what did that make B'Elanna? Her wife? She had claimed as much a few weeks ago when B'Elanna had been arrested.

There was no denying that the three of them were a family. But Seven was afraid to go further. Their almost kiss had scared her. Had it been just the heat of the moment? Or had there been more to it? Could it be love? Did she love B'Elanna? Yes, without a doubt.

But did B'Elanna love her?

That she had to find out.

With those thoughts in her head, Miral in her arms and the love in her heart, she finally entered the living room. There she was most surprised to find everything ready for breakfast.

B'Elanna smiled warmly at her.

"Ah, my favourite two have finally awakened." She beamed. Seven couldn't help but beam back.

"It seems our… your daughter is hungry as well." Seven blushed, realizing that she had almost called Miral their daughter. Although she managed to correct herself, she wasn't sure whether B'Elanna had realized it or not.

Taking her daughter from Seven, B'Elanna avoided looking at the other woman. She was perfectly aware of Seven's slip of the tongue. All she wanted to do was kiss Seven, but she knew that this wasn't the right moment.

Instead she smiled down at her baby and sat down to feed her.

Seven sat down too, looking at the breakfast and then over at B'Elanna, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Well, Sev, while our girl is … well … drinking her breakfast, you might want to eat something yourself." B'Elanna knew very well what she just said.

Seven's heart skipped a beat upon hearing that. Then she took a fork to take a bite from the pancakes that looked as fluffy as they should and smelled like heaven. And on top of that, they tasted like heaven. These were certainly the best banana pancakes Seven had ever tasted.

"Perfect." was all Seven said before continuing to devour her breakfast.

When Miral was satisfied, B'Elanna put her back into her crib. She would tend to her daughter after she had eaten herself.

"Well, I might have made the best pancakes of my life. But the kitchen is a mess." B'Elanna said in between two bites as if she was talking about the weather.

Seven almost choked on a piece of the pancake, hastily drank some milk, and turned around to throw a look into the kitchen. It was a mess.

Looking at B'Elanna she said, "Maybe it will have disappeared by the time we return from work."

"Or we could just move out." B'Elanna suggested laughing. Seven merely raised her ocular implant.

This raised a question in Seven's mind… would they still share the same quarters when Voyager was launched on her next mission?

How to say `thank you' to an ex-Borg?

That was the question. B'Elanna knew Seven well enough to know that the other woman had few or no wishes at all. Usually luxury items were irrelevant to her and besides that; she had everything she could wish for. In the future it would be upon B'Elanna to show her how to enjoy life and all the extra little gifts that came with it.

Well, that was one way to say thank you.

But B'Elanna needed more. She had to make a statement.

"That's it. Ha! I know what I can give her." She shouted triumphantly at the walls.

A second later she was on her computer terminal sending her request to Voyager's current quartermaster.

There was only one thing Seven wished for… and that was a home.

"A what?" B'Elanna was tempted to pretend deafness.

"A get-to-know-each-other-party for the new Voyager crew. You see, the old crewmembers already know each other pretty well. After all, we've lived together for the past seven years. We've gone through hell together. But about half of the crew will consist of new crewmembers. This way they won't feel left out. And I think that you all will benefit from the party… in order to become acquainted with one another." Janeway said terribly pleased with her own idea.

"I take it attendance is mandatory?" B'Elanna carefully asked, although she knew the answer already.

"Of course. You should know me well enough." Janeway said, throwing a mock glare at the half Klingon.

"Okay, okay. When and where?" B'Elanna had to admit defeat and surrendered to her fate.

"Saturday evening, my house. You can bring Miral. I already told Seven. Will you two come together?" Janeway couldn't help but ask being her usual subtle self.

B'Elanna blushed furiously but tried to keep cool and shrugged her shoulders "Sure. It's only logical since we're living together anyway."

"I see. Of course. Well then, I'll see the three of you in two days." Janeway said, effectively dismissing the Lieutenant. When B'Elanna was gone Janeway sighed, wishing not for the first time, that Neelix were here. He would've thrown a party to remember. But now it was upon her to make it at the very least… a good party.

B'Elanna was lying on the couch, with Miral on top of her asleep, and thought about the upcoming party.

She had told Janeway that it was only logical that she and Seven would come together. But, was it really logical? She could ask Seven out. Or she could make a suggestion to go together. Or maybe Seven already assumed they would go together.

This was going to be more difficult then B'Elanna had anticipated. Would they go as a family? Or as a couple? Official or unofficial? Maybe just as friends?

B'Elanna felt the urge to growl but she refrained from doing so because she didn't want to wake her sleeping daughter. Instead she sighed.

What should she do?

Later that evening they dined together as usual. B'Elanna was quite nervous and didn't really know how to approach the subject that was on her mind. It was rather frustrating.

"I take it Admiral Janeway told you about her party." Seven stated. She had caught up on B'Elanna's nervousness and although she had an idea why the other woman was nervous, she found it a little bit unusual.

"Uhm…yes. So you know about it? She asked whether we would come together and she suggested that we bring Miral. I didn't know whether you already knew about the party or not. I do know, however, that you are not very fond of such events and therefore I wondered whether you even wanted to go or not. But then again, Janeway made attendance mandatory so…" B'Elanna trailed of realizing that she was rambling and remembered, belatedly, that Kathryn had mentioned telling Seven about the party.

"I see. Well, after the Admiral told me about the party I ran into the Doctor, though I should say he ran into me. I tried to choose another route when I saw him but he was persistent in following me. I eventually had no choice but to ask him how I could assist him. He then persuaded me to accompany him to the party. He told me that we should attend the party in memoriam of our social lessons on Voyager. I insisted that he would have to take the three of us. I got the impression that he was not very fond of that idea, but in order to take me to the party he finally realized that he had to take you and Miral as well." Seven finished her lengthy explanation with a deep sigh. Seven knew that B'Elanna's hearts had stopped beating when she had mentioned the Doctor's proposal. But now the other woman looked at least slightly relieved.

Of course B'Elanna was anything but happy. If it were possible to do so, she would've throttled the damn hologram. She knew that the Doctor had had a crush on Seven for a long time now, but this was ridiculous. Not even Tom was so… blind.

She just hoped that she wouldn't have to compete with the Doctor for Seven's affections. It was doubtful that Seven would ever love the hologram, but then again she had dated Chakotay and the Doc had much more character than her old Maquis Captain.

B'Elanna was so engrossed in her musings that she didn't see Seven's smirk. The ex-Borg was most amused by the other woman. After all, she finally had confirmation that she was important to B'Elanna and that the half Klingon was obviously jealous.

Seven knew that it wasn't the nicest way to treat her future wife. But it really was upon B'Elanna to take the next step or the first step. Seven didn't want to throw Chakotay into the game, and besides Harry, only the Doctor had deeper feelings for her. Though, she would never return them. After all, he was the male equivalent to Janeway.

"The Doc, huh?" B'Elanna eventually said. She had always threatened to tamper with his matrix. Maybe she should give it a second thought. Nah… he was, after all, Miral's godfather.

Does this count as a date? For four? Or three and a half at least? B'Elanna wondered.

"I bet that he was not pleased." B'Elanna suddenly grinned, somehow sure that Seven would never have agreed to go out with anyone… without her.

"Wow…" B'Elanna was speechless beyond words. Seven was wearing a long sleeveless dress, light blue in colour. It high lightened her eyes and it looked absolutely stunning on the slender woman.

Seven blushed and looked B'Elanna up and down. The other woman looked stunning herself in a deep red dress that was shorter than Seven's and just covered her knees.

"Wow indeed."

"You're beautiful," they said together, blushing in unison.

A chime at the door broke the spell. Seven reluctantly walked over to the door knowing it was the Doctor. She opened the door to let him in.

"Hello, Seven. My dear you look wonderful tonight. Ah, and B'Elanna, well, well, I must say I am a lucky hologram to accompany two beautiful ladies to the party. Or should I say three? Where is my goddaughter?" He bounced into the room looking for Miral. Sometimes B'Elanna wasn't sure whether she had made the right decision in making him her daughter's godfather. He could be way too cheery… more human than any human had a right to be.

She sighed and glanced sideways at her daughter's second mother. Seven's ocular implant was raised. She seemed as sceptical as B'Elanna herself.

"I suggest we leave for the party. Doctor?" B'Elanna was at his side, taking her daughter from him and throwing Seven a grateful look.

"Ah, yes, of course. Well then ladies, let's go and enjoy the evening." He offered them both one of his arms and they obediently took them. `Dandy' was the word that sprang to B'Elanna's mind, remembering Tom's description for a man like the Doc in the 20th century.

"So, Starfleet… I hear you've finally been promoted to Lieutenant and they gave you Tactical?" B'Elanna asked teasingly.

"Yeah, Maquis… now we're both Lieutenants and you cannot order me around like you used to do. And yes, Tactical. I'm not going to stay stuck at Ops for the rest of my days." He shot back grinning from ear to ear.

"What? When did I order you around? And who says I won't be able to do it in the future?" B'Elanna enjoyed their bantering. She was happy that Harry would be a part of the new crew; after all, he was one of her best friends.

"Well, Lieutenants, as it is you will still have to follow my orders." Tuvok joined them.

"Aye, aye Captain." They said with one voice, standing at attention. Their new Captain merely raised one of his brows and resumed his way into the crowd leaving two Lieutenants laughing very hard behind him.

Seven had observed the whole scene. It was indescribable how much love she felt upon hearing the careless laughter of B'Elanna. It was something she wanted to behold for the rest of her life. And it made her even happier because she knew that B'Elanna was finally happy.

They had been through a lot, before and after their return from the Delta Quadrant. But now B'Elanna could allow herself to relax and more importantly… be herself.

"Now, Seven… how have you been lately. With B'Elanna and her daughter in your quarters, it couldn't have been easy for you." The Doctor tried for the third time to start a talk with Seven who always had her eyes and thoughts elsewhere.

"Not at all. We're a family and although I needed about five minutes to get used to the new situation, it has worked very well ever since." Seven said distractedly, not even realizing that she had used a contraction.

"But Miral certainly is a load of work, isn't she?" The Doctor inquired, desperate to find something negative or at least to get a reaction from Seven.

"No, actually our daughter is behaving very well for an infant of her age and development. We're sharing all duties and of course all benefits from being mothers." Seven smiled, still looking at B'Elanna.

"Our daughter?" The Doctor wondered, unable to believe his photonic ears.

"Doctor, she is your goddaughter." Seven corrected him, not understanding his bewildered look.

"Hello, Doctor, Seven." Admiral Janeway had heard Seven's last comment on her family and thought it prudent to step into the conversation before the Doctors matrix collapsed beyond repair. After all, he was supposed to be the Chief Medical Officer on Voyager and it wouldn't do to lose him at a dinner party.

"I see that you have kept to yourself. Why don't you mingle with the others? There are a lot of new crewmen you might want to get to know. Seven, I just saw Lt. Wildman and her daughter. I believe Naomi was searching for her favourite Kadis Kot partner." Janeway smiled in complete innocence, showing Seven the direction where she would find her little friend.

Turning around to the Doctor she said, "Well, Doctor. I think it's time you choose a name for yourself. Your new staff will need to address you in some manner and I don't think they will want to just call you `Doctor' all the time. By the way, you may want to get to know them." With that she took him by the elbow and guided him over to a group of four people, two men and two women. The men and a woman were nurses and one of the women was an assistant doctor. After all, Voyager was slightly bigger after her overhaul and now had enough room for a little more than two hundred crewmen, and they would need a complete medical staff to take care of their needs.

Meanwhile Seven cruised through the room and talked to different people. She heard from Sam Wildman that she had divorced her husband. Seven years had been too long to be separated and like most spouses of Voyager's crewmen, he had eventually moved on. Naomi though, was not too concerned with that development. She had never known her father and so she wouldn't miss him.

Seven moved on to Lt. Ayala, who was to be the new Chief of Security. He was pleased to see her and even asked her for a dance.

Seven granted him one dance, watching for B'Elanna, who indeed observed the two dancers like a hawk. After that Seven resumed her cruising. She met a lot of her old crewmembers and most of them showed the same reaction as Lt. Ayala. They were pleased to see her and greeted her in a friendly manner, exchanging some of the latest gossip, and assuring Seven and each other, that they were looking forward to working together again.

Seven was most surprised to hear that. She would never have thought that any of her former crewmembers would have missed her or be pleased to see her. But there was no doubt about it. B'Elanna had been right; she indeed was a valued crewmember.

Due to Janeway's order to mingle with the newbies, Seven got to know her new staff pretty quickly. Tal Celes and the Delany twins had decided to remain on Earth (or Bajor in Tal's case). So her department had been given a completely new staff.

One of Seven's junior officers, Lieutenant Pascal Delacroix, dared to ask the beautiful woman to dance with him. He was a handsome guy and judging from his file, he was intelligent and certainly a good addition to Seven's team.

From previous experience Seven knew that he was obviously attracted to her and she wouldn't have considered it appropriate if there would have been a chance for her to return his attraction. But at this party, she thought it would be all right to grant him a dance. Maybe it would cause B'Elanna to do something. After all, they had not spent a second together since they arrived at the party.

B'Elanna had been talking to the new first officer, a female Bajoran woman named Ro Laren. This Ro had quite a history within Starfleet and the Maquis. It had been Picard himself, who had recommended her for this position. Considering, that there were still three dozen former Maquis as part of the crew, it was a good thing that Commander Ro knew both ways.

As much as she would've loved to continue talking with the other woman, B'Elanna had spotted Seven at the other end of the room. She was dancing again, and this time with a quite an attractive guy whom B'Elanna didn't know.

"Well, Lt. Torres… B'Elanna. I suggest that you go and claim your woman." Ro said smirking.

"Commander?" B'Elanna asked eyes opened wide.

"Laren, please." Ro said, still smirking.

"Well, Laren?" B'Elanna preferred to continue their little game.

"Well, B'Elanna, you two might have separated since you arrived at the party, but neither of you have stopped looking for the other. Her eyes were searching for you and once they found you, they didn't let go of you. And you did the same. What kind of Commander would I be if I couldn't keep an eye on my crew?" Ro smiled warmly at the half Klingon.

"Okay, I guess you're right. We've been avoiding this topic way too long. Thank you. And see ya later." B'Elanna handed her daughter over to Ro, waved at her and stalked off in Seven's direction, looking like a hunter aiming for her prey.

"I guess the first celebration Voyager will be seeing is a wedding." Ro said to the small bundle in her arms, terribly pleased with herself and watching for events to unfold.

Seven saw a small brown hand approach the shoulder of the Lieutenant she was dancing with. She watched as it patted said shoulder, followed by a growled "Excuse me."

The Lieutenant turned around and looked down at a rather displeased looking Klingon woman. "I'm sorry?"

"You will be sorry, if you do not leave in the next instant."

"What? You must be crazy. I'm dancing with the most beautiful woman I've ever seen." He tried to defend his position.

"Don't you get it? Move on. I want to dance with my girl." B'Elanna growled menacingly.

"Err…sure…I wasn't aware…" the poor guy suddenly stuttered and hastily retreated, more than embarrassed.

Seven stood with her arms crossed and looked at B'Elanna, ocular implant raised. She had a mock scowl on her face.

"I thought you would never make it." She smirked.

"You…you've been waiting for me?" B'Elanna's eyes grew wide again.

"Yes." Seven simply stated. She could have told B'Elanna that she would have waited for her forever but right then it wasn't necessary. A simple answer was more than enough.

"Oh, I've been such an idiot…" B'Elanna trailed off. She looked into Seven's deep blue eyes, wanting to get lost in them.

"Weren't you about to ask me for a dance?" Seven asked.

B'Elanna slapped her forehead and took a step forward. Bowing slightly she held out her hands and asked, "May I?"

"You may." Seven said taking the other woman's hands.

Another step forward and their bodies merged with one another. Someone had been considerate enough to start a slow love song. Oblivious to the world around them, they slowly started swaying.

Looking into each other's eyes they knew that they had finally found what they had been searching for their whole lives. Home was not the place where you were living but the one who you were living with.

"I love you. Did I mention that?" B'Elanna smiled somehow feeling self-conscious.

"Not yet. But then again, I didn't mention that I love you too." Seven replied.

Slowly they moved closer until their lips almost touched. B'Elanna wanted to drown in Seven's blue eyes. She would've died happily.

Suddenly impatient, Seven closed the distance between them and their lips finally met.

It was the most amazing thing she had ever felt. B'Elanna's full, soft lips on her own, warm and inviting. At first it was only a pressing of lips onto each other. Then B'Elanna started to rain tiny little kisses over lips, chin and cheeks, every so often lingering on Seven's lips, just to revel in the feeling.

They could've stayed like that forever because there was so much more to explore.

Tentatively B'Elanna slipped her tongue out to touch Seven's lip asking for entrance, which was granted only too willingly.

Seven was about to lose every coherent thought, but she was still aware enough to decide that she had erred before. This was even more amazing. Their tongues were touching, swirling around, and duelling with each other.

Seven felt her knees buckle and it was only B'Elanna's strength which kept her on her feet. Though B'Elanna was decidedly weak herself.

But suddenly B'Elanna pulled away, slapping her forehead and yelling "Damn!"

Everybody around them fell silent, staring at the two of them, who had just confessed their love and kissed each other as if there was no tomorrow. Hearing B'Elanna's outburst seemed most unusual and they were curious to see what would happen next.

Seven almost fell over, but B'Elanna managed to catch and steady her.

"Oh, BangwI, I'm sorry." She said while holding Seven.

"W…what?" Seven was far from being her usual composed self. She had problems even thinking something that made any sense. Her world was spinning… mostly around B'Elanna.

"I had a surprise for you." B'Elanna said, chastising herself for forgetting about it.

"And now you haven't anymore?" Seven asked, sporting an incredibly cute pout.

"Well, no. I mean, yes. I still have it. But I'm not sure whether it's the right moment."

"I don't mind. What is it?" Seven said somewhat excited.

"Family quarters." B'Elanna blurted out.

"What?" Seven felt lost.

"Oh, okay. Wait. I thought about a gift for you. But I couldn't come up with anything suitable. But then one thought struck me. The only thing I can give you is a home. A family. On the new Voyager we'll have family quarters. I asked the quartermaster to assign us one. Normally I would've just asked Chakotay, because as first officer it's one his duties to assign the quarters. But of course he isn't the first officer anymore and when I made the request, Laren hadn't been assigned yet. So I asked him anyway, because it used to be his responsibility. And well, long speech, no sense, we got it." B'Elanna knew she had to stop herself or she would've rambled on and on forever.

Seven had tears in her eyes when B'Elanna finished her little speech. Wordlessly she pulled her close to embrace her with all her force, knowing that B'Elanna could handle it.

"I love you," she breathed into B'Elanna's dark locks. "You and Miral are my family. And you just gave me the most precious gift. Thank you."

A sigh of relief went through the crowd. Deciding that the two women deserved their privacy, the assembled Voyager crew eventually occupied itself with each other. The music started again, couples danced and people resumed their talks.

Ro Laren approached the young couple to deliver their third family member.

"I thought you might want to have your daughter back. She is an angel, really, but she needs her mothers." Ro smiled warmly at them, handing Seven her daughter. "Oh, and let me be the first to congratulate you. I know you will be very happy."

"Thank you, Laren." B'Elanna grinned, beaming with happiness. Watching her soon-to-be wife and their daughter she added, "Ah, BangwI, this is our new first officer, Ro Laren."

"It's my pleasure to meet you, Commander." Seven said and smiled. Lately she had been smiling more often and she felt that Ro was a person who deserved one.

"No, it's my pleasure. And it is Laren to you." Ro smiled back, having the feeling that she had gained two and a half new friends today. It had taken almost an eternity for her to become at ease with herself, Starfleet and the Maquis. She had had a hard time, but now she thought it was worth it. There was no doubt that she would enjoy her time on Voyager.

"Laren then. You may know, that I'm called Seven of Nine, usually just Seven, but I was thinking about reclaiming my birth name. With the rank of Lieutenant, it would be better to be called Lt. Hansen, instead of Lt. Seven. Or worse… Lt. of Nine. So, Annika it will be for you."

Ro and B'Elanna were more than stunned. But very pleased.

"It's been an honour to meet you, Annika." Ro said, bowing slightly because it seemed appropriate somehow. "But now I'll leave you alone. Enjoy yourselves. We will see each other soon enough."

B'Elanna pulled Seven in for a kiss. No, she pulled Annika in for a kiss.

"I love you, Annika." It sounded new and strange somehow, but right, like it was meant to be.

"Let's go home." Seven said.

For the next two months they would stay in Seven's temporary quarters. But then Voyager would be ready and they would be in their new quarters, their new home.

"Yes, love… let's go home."

The End

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