By Elizabeth Carter
"You're getting married!" Mizoti almost shouted as she starred at her newly adopted mother.
Seven met with her daughter in Astrometrics, as the girl had wanted to see her mother before she spent the day with Naomi in the holodeck.
"This displeases you?" Seven turned and studied the girl with a concerned expression as Mizoti rubbed her forehead.
Mizoti scrunched up her face in a scowl. "I . . . I thought you and Jane .er the Captain were together."
"The Captain and I are 'together' in the same manner you and I are together my daughter. We share a special relationship. I love her as you love me. She is very special and dear to me, but she is my maternal figure Mizoti. And I care for her as such. I am in love with B'Elanna Toress as she is with me."
"This means you two are going to spend a lot of time together." Mizoti was still scowling.
"Yes." Seven continued her work on the scans of space she was more than intrigued by the sightings of species 342. The living-ships had been able to avoid assimilation for their adaptive abilities. They had always been elusive and the Collective when able spent considerable recourses to join their biological and technological distinctiveness to their own.
For the past week Seven worked steadily as Mizoti was with her often asking questions, as if to catch up on what she had missed since her absence. Today didn't seem any different. Seven was more than compliant to have her little girl with her if only to reassure the new mother her little one was going to be okay.
"Mizoti Hansen you must realize that though I love B'Elanna very much, and she is not competition for you. Indeed I believe she is very fond of you. And she has no desire to come between our relationship Mizoti. Undeniably her distinctiveness will only strengthen us."
"You sound like the the Queen." Mizoti said almost grumbling.
"The Queen is utterly irrelevant Mizoti. It is she who is small for she deemed family and the love that comes from such bonds as irrelevant." Seven countered. "It is my experience this bond of family is of great significance and of great strength." The tall blonde moved around the hub of Astrometrics and cupped her daughter's chin in a meshed hand as she knelt to Mizoti's eye level.
"But the Queen thinks you're 'family.'" The child argued. "I mean she must think you are special . you are unique. She may want you back in her Unimatrix, but not as a drone."
"I do not care what the Queen thinks. Nor do I wish to be apart of her Collective again, or especially her Unimatrix. Granted there is something to be said for Borg efficiency, but Voyager is my collective. You, Icheb, B'Elanna and Captain Janeway are my Unimatrix, just as it is yours daughter."
"What if she comes for you? Will you go to her again?" The child was almost near tears.
"Is she comes for me Mizoti, the Queen can go assimilated herself." Seven said defiantly.
The child grimaced as she rubbed her forehead feeling the dull ache coursing through her head.
Seven narrowed her eyes. " You are experiencing pain. You will accompany me to Sickbay immediately."
"I don't want to go to sick bay." The girl protested. "It's only a little headache."
Alarm bells struck Seven hard. The last time she felt such a pain was when her cortical node was malfunctioning that almost lead to her death. "It is irrelevant if you want to go to sickbay or not. I am your mother and you will comply. Your wellness is paramount to me."
Within the walls of sickbay Mizoti once again found herself sitting upon a bio-bed as the Doctor hovered running a medical tricorder over the girl. Seven stationed herself behind the little Norkadian protective as ever.
"Doctor?" The concern over Mizoti was clearly evident in the near shaking voice of Seven.
"Her cortical node is functioning properly. There is a barely measurable electromagnetic field being emitted but her nanoprobes are addressing the problem better than anything I can do. Seven you can relax she won't fall into any kind of arrest."
"Why is Mizoti experiencing headaches?"
"She suffered a great deal of trauma Seven. It is not to be unexpected. I can administer analgesics for the discomfort. It should pass." The Doctor pattered Mizoti on her knee. "You'll be fine."
He picked up a hypospray to do just that. But as he moved to the girls neck she flinched away from the Doctor blinked and looked up to Seven for clarification and aid.
"The Doctor will not harm you Mizoti. Let him proceed."
She nodded slowly and titled her head allowing the Doctor to administer the drug.
"There that wasn't so bad wasn't?" He smiled gently.
Mizoti shook her head agreeing with the photonic physician.
"It should take effect almost immediately. I'll give your mother a hypo filled with analgesics should you experience this pain again. Seven if she is still experiencing this pain within two days let me know. She isn't in any danger so there is no cause for worry."
Seven titled her head in acknowledgement. "Thank you Doctor."
"Can I go meet Naomi now? We're supposed to meet in holodeck one."
"You may proceed." Seven commented taking her daughter into her arms and setting her back down to the ground. "I will expect you return to our quarters at 1800 hours." The tall blonde pulled her lips into a slight warm smile. "Until then have fun. But do not over fatigue yourself, Mizoti. I have instructed Samantha Wildman to monitor your activity so that you and NaomiWildman do not overtax your reserves."
"I'll be 'fine.'" Mizoti commented in the same tone most children take who had enough of illness and were tired of being sick. She just wanted to play and not worry about being confined to bed. She was half way out of Sickbay when she turned around and saw her Mother posture almost stiffen. In that moment the child scampered back up to Seven and hugged her tightly around her thin waist. "You should not worry."
A meshed hand stroked through the soft dark blonde hair of the little girl. "That is a difficult thing not do where you are concerned." Seven allowed the corners of her lips to curl into that same smile Naomi had mentioned the other day. Mostly Mizoti thought Seven's blue eyes smiled.
The Doctor watched the interaction and felt his subroutines spark in pride for his star-pupil, for the woman he loved. She had turned out to be a remarkable caring mother, in as much as Samantha Wildman. She was devoted, and loving and yes strict but she treasured her children. It was as if she wanted to be everything Erin Hansen was not.
When Mizoti skipped out of sickbay, the Doctor turned his attention back to Seven. "I know it's a difficult thing to do but Mizoti's right you shouldn't worry to much for her. She's pulled through this terrible incident remarkably well."
Seven straightened and sighed. "Physically yes she is adapting. . . .recovering but it is her physiological health that gives me great concern. Overestimating her Borg-strength will be a disservice to her, but I am unsure on how to proceed."
"She has suffered greatly Seven. The one thing I can suggest is not to push her to open up but listen to her when she does. Perhaps she can speak with Commander Chakotay."
"No!" Seven said venomously. Recovering her composure. "He has always mistrusted the Borg. To have him administer physiological aid to my daughter would not be appropriate."
"Seven I think he's changed his tune over the last couple of years. He has a certain fondness for you."
"Perhaps his fondness steams only for my physiological shell." Seven looked at the Doctor as if his subroutines were completely malfunctioning. "I am not here to discuss the folly Commander Chakotay's physical attraction to me. My child needs aid, more than I can give to her."
"She needs to talk to someone she can trust, that she will open up to." The doctor said softly.
Three people sprang to mind. One was her beloved B'Elanna, another was Neelix the last was SamanthaWildman. Naomi trusted Neelix greatly and he had a rapport with the girl, perhaps he could become Mizoti's confidant as well.
"Seven I can tell you this. You've done a remarkable job with her so far. Just continue doing what you've been doing."
"Thank you doctor."
"So do you want to talk about it?" Amanda pinned the captain with the question, the older woman was trying to avoid. The tall blonde was standing next to the replicator using her own rations as she ordered two whiskeys and cokes.
Kathryn looked up from her couch she was stretched out along its length her steel-blue eyes mustered a force five glare but then turned away. She heard rather than saw the approach of her young friend as Amanda took a seat next to her and placed the captain's legs over her own.
"Here, it's on me." The blonde handed her captain the drink.
It had been a long shift, though relatively dull outside of Voyager the bridge-crew had been chattering bout the impeding marriage almost non-stop. Harry and Chakotay remarking they never saw it coming. Tuvok was surprised that they had not admitted their affection sooner, as it was most illogical. Of course that gave a new round of questions as to what was said during the meditations. Had B'Elanna hinted she wanted the Borg? Tuvok wouldn't let anything slip said it was confidential. There were questions to the Captain of Seven. Surly she had to notice that Seven's eyes were drifting away from her to the Chief. They had to have a 'philosophical discussion' about it all. The Captain took Tuvok's stance and said what was passed between she and her protégée was a private matter.
During lunch and the dinner to follow the Mess Hall was positively buzzing with comments about the two getting married. Some wondered how the Captain would react now that she lost her girl to a younger woman. Some more derogatory comments that Seven had taken Tom Paris out of the picture so that she had a chance with B'Elanna. Apparently they had forgotten the attack on little Naomi and Seven's near death, that attack had provoked. They also seemed to have forgotten that B'Elanna had dumped the Helmsman long before she and Seven started to get seriously romantic.
The Captain had left the mess haul forgetting the thought of eating there at all. Lunch had been in her ready room and dinner here in her quarters with a belated invitation to Amanda. Kathryn didn't want to discuss Seven and B'Elanna with her wooden first officer, instead opting to take some time and be with an old friend. They had already and long ago established the comfortable silence together, and they had also taken to reading the other's body language. They were so completely comfortable in one another's presence the shields of rank dissipated quickly.
When Amanda was first rescued the Captain of the Albitani had told his young Commander Janeway if she wanted to take full responsibility of their feral ward until they reached a starbase she could. For five months Amanda had shared quarters with Commander Janeway, and it had been during those first few weeks that trust and friendship blossomed. It got to the point were Amanda was extremely overprotective of Janeway, causing some of her fellow crewmates to mockingly compare the lithe blonde to a Rottwiler. Janeway already had an Irish setter puppy named Molly what was one more pet?
"No I don't want to talk about it." Kathryn said at last.
"Yeah you do." Amanda commented pulling the boots off her captain's feet and tossing the footwear haphazardly on the floor by the arm of the sofa. With one hand she started to massage the soles of Kathryn's feet knowing from past experience how much the older woman liked it.
"What makes you think I do?" Came a smoky growl.
"I know you."
"I also know you're in love well at least in lust with Seven." Amanda tossed out there.
There was a force ten glare directed her way. The blonde chose to ignore it.
"Kath, there isn't a body on this ship who hadn't thought that you and Seven were already an item. Why the hell do you think none the crew really approached her about dating? Because she's Borg and has a dominating personality? Hardly. It was more to the fact she was the captain's girl. Meaning no touchy! Seven is one hell of a good-looking woman, and smart. God the woman is an absolute genius. Great combination. Then you add in the fact she can hold her own well, hell even better. Then of course there is that innocent quality that's so completely adorable."
Kathryn thought of what her friend was saying and a part of her knew this was true. The rumor that Seven was the Captain's girl made it easy to keep the less honorable away from her. It must have been a shock when the crew found out that their Captain was having an 'affair' with Michael Sullivan. Janeway had heard that comment in the mess hall too. The captain wanted a male for a little time and played with a hologram, keeping her girl on a shelf for latter use. It had to be then, that Seven decided she had enough shelf time and went looking for someone else. Enter B'Elanna Toress into the arena. If you can't have the top-dog of the pack you take the next best, and that was the strong-willed fiery B'Elanna Toress, who was far too much woman for Tom Paris to handle.
"Kath, look I know this is hitting you a bit hard. But look at them. Seven is very happy with B'Elanna and I'd have to say the same is in reverse," Amanda said softly as she continued the foot massage. "Seven slipped through your fingers because you were to scared to let your heart love her openly. Adhering to regulations .one that is .kinda stupid if you ask me."
"Amanda ." Kathryn warned. She would have sat up and stormed away but the foot rub was feeling too good to even think about moving.
"It is! You had her and you let her go. Like I said there isn't a person on this ship who hadn't though you claimed Seven as your own. And no one spoke about it because we were all 'helping' you hide behind those regulations. Like that archaic rule of 20th century earth, 'Don't ask, Don't tell.' Only this wasn't about some dumb-ass ancient rule of homosexuals in the military. It was about our captain who needed companionship, someone to love without recriminations of regulations. The majority of us pretended not to see because we wanted you to be happy. You have a good and loyal crew Captain. You have to trust that most of 'em would back you up on you having a relationship. You're not the frigging Borg Queen made of ice. It isn't natural to be celibate. And frankly a lot of you're crew wouldn't worry about you if you had someone to come home to. Be it Chuckles or Seven."
Kathryn snickered as Amanda used Q's nickname for her first officer.
"Um 'Chuckles' really doesn't do anything for me. I do care for him; I don't know his just too flat, a bit one-dimensional for my personal tastes. Michael was a lot like Mark, and it was like slipping on an old pair of rugged, torn up pair of sneakers. You should probably throw them out but they conformed so well to your feet you don't want to. Michael conformed to what I wanted. But.. he wasn't ."
"Seven?" Amanda offered. Her massage had now gone up the length of Kathryn's calves, enlisting a purring moan of pleasure from her swollen lips.
"Real." Kathryn corrected. "Granted I locked out the fact I could convert him to anything I wanted, but still "
"The very idea it could be done was there." Doe-brown eyes sparked in a teasing light.
"Exactly." Janeway shifted setting her now empty tumbler on the glass toped coffee table, content in allowing the tall blonde to continue her administrations. "I don't want that in a relationship. I want someone who has spirit, that will challenge me intellectually, and someone stimulating ."
"Stimulating ." Amanda giggled. "That's an open subject."
Kathryn smirked sheepishly
"No cardboard officers or photonic paramours?"
"Not stimulating enough." Kathryn said suddenly thinking she should get herself another drink. The constant pressure and stroking of Amanda's long fingers across her legs was stirring more she cared to admit.
The blonde must have read the older woman's reactions to her touch, for she smiled, and started to move under Kathryn's knees and lower thigh. She racked her nails along the silkily limb before she moved slowly backwards. If Kathryn wanted her to continue the massage she would have to be a clear on the matter.
The Captain sat up and captured the blonde's hand with her own. "Seven isn't the only one.. . I have been reluctant to say something to."
"Really?" Amanda flashed an all-encompassing smile.
"You said I shouldn't hide my feelings."
"Not exactly healthy. Take a look at the Vulcans they repress and every seven years they tear at the bulkheads to get sexual relief, if they don't they die." Amanda said with astounding candid bluntness. She was acutely aware of what Kathryn was doing with her hand as the Captain had placed it upon her inner thigh, but Amanda chose to ignore how close her hand was to heat of the Captain's core.
"Perhaps I should rejoice that our resident Klingon wants to take as a mate the resident ex-Borg." Kathryn uttered as she leaned into the tall blonde. "Without guilt I can allow my heart to fully open to another I've thought of since before Seven came aboard."
"Given the reaction the crew had to you and Seven's rumored relationship, there shouldn't be anything standing in your way."
"No I suppose not." The captain said as she curled her hand around Amanda's chin and titled her head. Her lips softly brushed against the satin velvet smoothness of the blonde's lips.
A genteel tentative taste, as lips pressed against lips. Kathryn leaned her body into Amanda's welcoming arms, moaning as the younger woman slipped her hand under the red waves. It had been a long time since Kathryn had felt the fires of passions ignite and flare to life. A long time since a single kiss had caused such a surge of want and need. She readily accepted the blonde's demanding tongue as it slipped into the warmth of her mouth. Her secret plea that her soon to be lover would help her forget Seven of Nine.
Off duty and Seven of Nine was still working. Though she was now home in her new quarters. She had taken the advice of B'Elanna several months ago and replicated casual garments. She was garbed in jeans and a lightweight white silk shirt. Living in B'Elanna's body for three days made her appreciate the use of other clothing other than uniforms. Her lover was similarly dressed in jeans and a dark blue cotton tee-shirt that was cut off at the waist, revealing her washboard abs.
The young Klingon wanted to tease her beloved with bringing work home with her, but B'Elanna was just as bad as Seven was on that account. But before she opened her mouth she noticed slight nuance in Seven's ramrod posture. You truly had to know Seven to know something was bothering her if she didn't want the fact to be known. B'Elanna could tell because if at all possible Seven's posture was even more ridged.
The small engineer padded up behind Seven and slipped her bare arms around the still too thin waist, and pressed her caramel cheek against her long back. B'Elanna closed her coffee brown eyes as steeling the warmth she discovered there. "You want to tell me what's wrong, BangwI?" her voice was a low purr.
"There is nothing wrong, but I am concerned nonetheless. Mizoti had experienced severe headaches."
B'Elanna's face contorted in a flash of fear. "Like you had when your cortical node failed?" She shuddered against Seven's body in the remembrance of the near death of her beloved. Her arms tightened their hold on her soon to be wife.
"The doctor has informed me that the pain is not related to cortical failure. He gave her full physical including an MIR. All of her tests came back negative." Seven said.
"Babe, she's been through a lot, it doesn't surprise me she is having headaches. I think she's done remarkably well considering."
"Indeed she has.' Seven said will all a mother's pride.
"I'm guessing this isn't all that you're concerned about?"
"It is not."
"Then what?" B'Elanna mumbled against Seven's back
"She was rather despondent when she discovered that you and I are to wed."
"Ah." B'Elanna nodded understanding. " She's a little insecure as it is. Add to the fact her mother / hero is getting married and willing to share her life with another is a big thing to take in. Hell it's a big thing for kid who hadn't gone through all that crap." B'Elanna traced a finger across the ocular implant. "I could talk to her? You know smooth out the rough edges?"
Seven tilted her head slightly; "I have spoken to her on the matter. Explained that you and she are not in a competition for my affections, and that my affections for you both lie on different levels. She has accepted this."
B'Elanna nearly laughed. She spun her love around in her arms and pressed a kiss upon the fullness of Seven's lips. "BangwI it will take more than that to convince Zot. Especially now that she is so vulnerable. Seven of Mine, let me talk to her okay? Maybe it will help." Dark velvet eyes shown prefect love.
In that gaze and in B'Elanna's words Seven considered. Then nodded. "Perhaps hearing it from your own perspective will assist her adaptation to this new development and help eliminate her disconcerted thoughts."
B'Elanna smiled, her caramel hands placed on either side of Seven's angular cheeks. "Well since Zot's all tucked in how about we distract ourselves?" the hybrid didn't have to try very hard to pull her lover to the common room, and to the sofa. Seven readily allowed her body to sink into the plush velvet of the white cushions as B'Elanna predatorily crawled her way along Seven's body. "I didn't see you in the mess for dinner." She said giving Seven small kisses as she trailed up from her hips, to her abs, along her torso deliberately missing the amble breasts as she soundly kissed Seven's lips.
"But I hardly ever see you there." Lanna continued as she nibbled on her beloved's lower lip.
"With the exception of when you force me to consu to eat." Seven corrected herself. Her eyes taking in all the grand beauty of the woman who was holding her. With her meshed hand she began tracing the contours of B'Elanna's cranial ridges finding them completely fascinating. "Mizoti desired to dine with Naomi this evening. She had also desired to engage in what is known as a 'slumber party' but when it was time for them to sleep, she had altered her decision and wanted to come home. She expressed a need to be with me."
"It's understandable Annika, she has only been on board Voyager for about a week now. It's good that she wanted to try a sleep over, it kinda shows Zot's healing." B'Elanna commented gently. She placed a kiss upon Seven's lips. "Speaking of sleepovers . BangwI have you . um .well considered what we are going to in the future? I mean our housing situation."
Seven narrowed her eyes. "B'Elanna I have just been awarded accommodations. I admit I have not thought beyond the perimeters of that. I am still adapting to having a place of my own. Cargo Bay 2 was not exactly private. As my individuality asserted itself I tried to represses the need for sanctuary. I failed."
"God Annika you were on public display. It's only natural to have a place to call your own. And 'awarded accommodations'....Annika you should have been given that long ago. It's a right, not a privilege."
"The Captain thought otherwise." Seven said bluntly. "She did not trust me when she severed me from the collective. Even after a year she was reluctant to trust Voyager and the crew to me when we had to travel through the nebula. She gave command to a hologram." Seven maneuvered herself from beneath the woman she loved moved cat-like into the kitchenette.
B'Elanna reflected upon that time. It was only because of Seven they made it out even after the Doctor when off line, which was something the Captain had not thought of. But it had been Seven that had repaired all the damaged gel packs, and everything else that had gone wrong as well as making sure they got out of the Nebula safe and sound.
"Annika you know neither one of our quarters are large enough for a family."
Instead of answering B'Elanna's question Seven ordered a tumbler of Bloodwine for her beloved and for herself a glass of Zinfandel with the alcohol content reduced by 75%.
"I have not considered that equation."
"Well since this isn't a generational ship, there isn't very many family quarters, I think the only one large enough is the VIP quarters near the Captain's quarters."
Seven gave B'Elanna a chiding look as if to say living next to 'mom' was not something she wanted to entertain. She resettled herself down next to her beloved and started thinking of she would do. In fact with Mizoti taking the trumble bed, in the one bedroom didn't offer a lot of privacy for either mother or child.
"We could modify these two quarters, ya know. Linking them with a door between the bedrooms, so we can make a third. Turn one of the bedrooms into work areas for us and convert the common room into a bedroom for Mizoti and rip out the second kitchenette and recycle the unneeded bits."
Seven considering the idea. "I have substantial rations to assist in this endeavor. We can also use an allotment of Mizoti's rations. We should draw up the schematics and propose them to the Captain."
B'Elanna nodded slowly. And she thought that if by chance their family should grow, there would be room enough to add a third bedroom. Not that she ever imagined herself as a mother, but in one momentous decision, she now had a fiancée and a soon to be adopted daughter.
Seven had lost herself in the richness of B'Elanna's presence. Once more her Borg hand lifted to trace the lines of the forehead ridges, completely enthralled by the soft texture. Long ago B'Elanna had tried to cover up her Klingon heritage, but in Seven's touch she felt alive and more loved than she had in a long time. The blonde was intoxicated by the beautiful spectacle before her. She lightly touched each windswept eyebrow before placing a butterfly soft kiss upon each one.
"You are magnificent" The voice carried an almost lyrical note as she moved her satiny lips over each ridge. The small engineer closed her eyes as she felt Seven love her in tiny kisses. Across her ridges down the high cheekbones along her sculpted jaw, along the warm soft neck to the valley between her breasts down her bare stomach. Then once more she moved to the brow ridges causing B'Elanna's stomach to flutter and her eight chambered heart to pace erratically. "You are perfection Bella." Seven cooed as once more she traced the lines of the ridges with the meshed silver hand.
Having been in Seven's body, the young Engineer knew just how sensitive to tactile sensations the malleable metal was. Dark chocolate eyes closed as she fell into the feeling of the warm mesh gently touching her. In this simple touch great intimacy was traded between the women. B'Elanna felt overjoyed and overwhelmed by this gentlest of touches. Moving on pure instinct she moved to take Seven's mouth with her own. Gingerly she bit down upon the full lower lip as her hand moved across Seven's amble breasts. The pads of her thumb almost forcefully brushing against the hardening nipples she could feel under the uniform top.
"Bella .." Seven whimpered, urging the passionate Klingon claim what was her's.
The smaller woman moved with a dancer's graceful precision as she wedged her thigh between Seven's long legs, her tongue at the same time demanding entrance between the blonde's lips. The tip of her tongue running along polished pearly whiteness of her teeth. B'Elanna's mouth taking dominance over Seven's sweet wet cavern.
Seven's moan provoked the fires almost claming B'Elanna's self control. That control was further taxed when Seven's hand cupped her own smaller breasts in a mirrored action. "Ann---ika we can't do this."
"I want you." Seven moaned her teeth nipping the soft flesh of B'Elanna neck. "I want to know love making. Show me."
"Kah'less I want to." B'Elanna groaned as she pulled ever so slightly away. "Annika, BangwI .Zot's in the next room. I want to show you love, but we're not alone."
"Can we not be silent?"
"I don't want to have to be quick my Love. I want to make love to you until your blood sings, until it boils. I don't want us to have to be worried about our little girl walking in on us." B'Elanna kissed the velvet lips once more. "Understand?"
Seven meekly nodded. "It is difficult to comply." Seven's breath was becoming drawn out in deep settling gasps of air. "I feel ." She paused trying to articulate what it was she was feeling.
"I know BangwI." B'Elanna said brushing her lips across the starburst implant. "I know it's like your entire center is on fire. You feel like your climbing the walls wanting release."
"Yes . release everything." Seven exhaled deeply.
"You feel as if your whole body is heated." The Klingon murmured tracing the lines of the starburst with the very tip of her tongue, causing Seven to whimper.
Seven's hands automatically tightened her hold around the trim waist of her beloved. She would not let go her hold as love continued to speak. "You feel the flash of lightening coursing through you."
B'Elanna's hands trailed across the fullness of Seven's breasts down her waist to her thigh. "You feel so wet within ..your womb tightening in anticipation "
"Yes." Seven whispered. "Bella don't torment me."
The Klingon moved so she could see the electric blueness of Seven's eyes become almost black in their dilation. In sympathy she kissed the bridge of Seven's nose making the other woman blink. "Believe me Nic I am tormenting myself." Dark caramel hands cupped the side of seven's alabaster face. "BangwI, I know what you are feeling and Gods you have no idea what it means to me to to....be the one you give yourself to for the first time. I don't have that .kind of gift for you."
"You are mistaken." Seven said. "You many have had lovers in the past. But I am the first who is completely in love with you; that has never known love. So this is a new experience for you as well my soon to be Be'nal."
B'Elanna thought about it. Seven was right. She had never made love to a virgin before so in a way it would be new and fresh for her. The engineer was almost always the dominant one even if she was the less experienced one. Now to be given the gift of absolute trust and responsibility of new love was something B'Elanna never had before.
"Annika." B'Elanna kissed her. "If there is anything, anything at all no matter how irrelevant or small you might think it is, if there is anything that makes you apprehensive you must tell me. I want to take things slow with you." Her voice was a deep husky purr of smoke. B'Elanna looked deeply into the ice blue eyes wanting Seven's full and undivided attention. "I don't wan t this to be something you regret. My first time ..well it wasn't all that I had hoped it was. It kinda left me feeling empty and regretful .a bit anticlimactic. I don't want that for you, BangwI."
"How can it be like that, when it is you who will love me?"
B'Elanna flashed a breath-taking smile. Her own hold on Seven tightened. "Nic um the Doctor er ..explained things right."
"We are not procreating B'Elanna contraceptives are not necessary."
"Well that wasn't what I meant." B'Elanna's face reddened in a heated blush. "I meant that well a woman's first time is a little painful but .but . um .I don't have to penetrate you fully there are several different ways to "
"You refer to the tearing of the hymen." Seven said in her perfect bluntness
The blush deepened as B'Elanna coughed out. "Um yeah."
"This unpleasant sensation does not last long, I will adapt."
"Annika you don't have to 'adapt.' Like I said I don't have to even penetrate you at all."
"What if I wish you to?" Seven whispered.
B'Elanna kissed her warmly. "Then I will be as gentle as I possibly can BangwI. Get you used to the sensations first, help you become extremely ready and we can go on from there."
"I trust you B'Elanna. I have always trusted you." Seven nuzzled the woman in her arms. "You will not injure me. Will you show me how to love you? I have kept my word and not researched methods of intercourse until we did so together. AS you know I am completely inexperienced with protocols of love making."
"Of course I'll help you BangwI. And pretty much the protocols you want to stick to is make sure your lover isn't hurt and they enjoy the love as much as you do. Too many times than I care to admit, sometimes it can be a little ."
"That's a polite way to phrase it. But yeah."
"I do not wish to for you to be unsatisfied." Seven said with a note of concern.
B'Elanna tightly embraced the woman she loved with every fiber of her being. "I doubt that will happen. I trust you. We may have some truly rough moments but I knew I could always trust you. You're too damn honest sometimes for you're own good." B'Elanna smiled. "I love you BangwI."
The new equation was something that took the Queen by complete surprise. The Borg Queen despised and detested surprises. Surprises were the spawn of Chaos, the hated enemy of the Collective.
The Queen had counted on Janeway being the primary source of Seven of Nine's resolve to stay with the Voyager Collective. The hybrid Klingon added new complications. The Klingons with their redundant organs made excellent tactical drones. They were fierce and cunning as well stubborn and resilient.
However the fact Seven of Nine was going to take this female hybrid as a bonded mate, could work into her advantage. Seven could be easily rendered into supplication if the life of her "BangwI" was at stake. The very idea of her favorite allowing another touch her in the manner the Queen wanted to was almost ludicrous to cybernetic matriarch. The Queen's anger reinstated through out the entire Collective, shaking every thread of the Hive mind. And so when three cubes in the Klingon Imperial Space had been given orders to initiate assimilation of a fleet of Bird of Pray it was of no surprise. Of course the attack of Chancellor Gallron would shake the foundation of the Klingon High Command. The Dur'ross Sisters were not pleased when they found themselves at the business end of assimilation tubules.
Even with the new additions of Klingon females in the Collective it would not make up for what one Klingon-hybrid was taking away from Queen. Add that to the fact that once more her tactical drones had failed to assimilate species 342 and the Queen was in a very fowl mood.
The only thing that brought a micron of pleasure to the Queen was she was starting to comprehend Seven's attachment to her new collective. It was through the eyes of a child she had been given this new perspective. Family. It was all family. One would do for family what they would never even consider doing for anyone else. Seven had given herself over and over again to Voyager because of her bond with a few lifeforms aboard the vessel. Even the Queen understood this, she had done for Seven what she would never have done for any other. No other drone could match what Seven of Nine was. Not even species 342 captivated the Queen so. Seven of Nine would be her's to claim, not the hybrid's. And then the Queen smiled as she ordered yet another surgical strike in the Alpha Quadrant.
B'Elanna woke from slumber with the feeling of warmth covering the whole of her back. Across her abdomen was the long limb of Seven's arm. For a moment the young Klingon was merely content to lounge in the protective embrace of her beloved.
She smiled coyly, thinking of Seven as her own personal heater. The ex-Borg gave off a lot of heat and B'Elanna wanted nothing more than to snuggle deeper into the blissful embrace. 'This is perfection, BangwI, sleeping and waking in your arms.' B'Elanna thought as she stretched slightly in the confines of her warm prison and indeed she snuggled deeper into the hold. 'Of course, to finally be able to make love to you would top perfection, my Borg Princess.'
Absentmindedly, B'Elanna ran the tip of her index finger along the lines of the exoskeleton that encased the blonde's right hand. The Klingon enjoyed the warmth and softness of the metal as it was unlike anything else she had ever touched. The engineer in her flared with ideas of how machine and flesh had been bonded. Then another aspect of her thought, 'This is Seven. This is apart of her, not something dead to be touched.' The metal was as much a part of Seven as the pale skin. The nanobites within the Nordic beauty had generated the exoskeleton and it was as flesh.
Gingerly, so as not to awaken her beloved, B'Elanna turned the palm of the hand over to see the malleable silver that covered her in spider web netting, which extended up her arm to her elbow. The scientific element completely fascinated the young engineer, so much so she didn't realize she was being watched.
"You love her, don't you?" came a soft whisper from out of the darkness of the ensuite.
"Kah'less!" B'Elanna gasped, as she hadn't heard Mizoti tiptoe up to the bed. "You gave me a start, kiddo."
The child tilted her head a little. "Sorry," she said quickly.
They were still whispering. As B'Elanna ruffled Mizoti's hair it gained the Klingon a scowl. "Yes, I do love your mother very much."
"I always thought Janeway would take her as a mate." Mizoti lifted her blue eyes to the sleeping blonde.
"Janeway?" B'Elanna frowned. "You used to call her Captain."
Mizoti paled and rubbed her forehead. "You um call her that."
"Well, I probably should call her Captain all the time. It's the proper thing to do. Your SoS'oy calls her that all the time." B'Elanna was mindful of the fact that this little one's foster parents had abused her, and thus it was bound to change Mizoti's behavior. "It's okay Zot, but call her Captain, okay?"
"I will comply." The tiny Norkadian looked down.
"Good girl," B'Elanna winked. "And Zot . You know what your SoS'oy and I share is way way different than what you share with her."
"She said the same thing."
"Then you know its true. Seven doesn't lie, right?"
"No she doesn't."
"There you go then." B'Elanna winked again. "I think we can share her."
Mizoti looked to Seven then back to the young Klingon. "Do you love me?"
B'Elanna smiled. "Oh, that's an easy question, kiddo. You're pretty easy to care for and to find a spot for in the hearts of those around you." She raised a finger to her lips. "Don't tell Itch, but you were always my favorite. You have a lot of spunk and fire, kiddo. Gotta love that. And you."
Mizoti smiled. Her eyes scanned over both women. "Why?"
"Why what?" B'Elanna scrunched her brow
"Do you want to marry Seven?"
B'Elanna moved from Seven's embrace and shifted so she was now sitting on the edge of the bed. "Come here, Wa'Hom." She scooped Mizoti into her arms and carried her into the common room of the quarters.
"That's a pretty easy question, too. I love her. I have for a while and now I want to make a life with her. A while ago .. there was a moment when I thought I lost her and I had only just found what she meant to me. Annika is a very special woman; she's special to me."
"And she feels this for you?" the child asked in sincere honesty.
"Yeah, I guess she does." B'Elanna smiled. "I love the fact that I am the one who can make her smile and lose her guard. She doesn't feel like she must hide behind the Borg-armor. Kinda like me and hiding behind my own heritage." She reached out to touch Mizoti's chin. Instinctively the girl flinched. B'Elanna wanted take her Bat'lath to the Wysanti who raised a hand against the girl. "How do you feel about it all?"
"It is acceptable." She rubbed her forehead and flinched as the headache asserted itself once more. "B'Elanna .if the Queen of the Borg were to come for Seven would you stop her from re-joining the Collective."
"I don't think I have to, Mizoti. Seven wants nothing more to do with the Collective. 'Assimilation,' as she said, 'is an unpleasant fate.' Survival isn't enough. She has no desire to lose herself again."
"But what if the Queen let's her keep her individuality?"
"Annika struggled hard to regain her humanity. She stumbled along the way and I am afraid some of us really didn't give her a chance at first. Even when you four came on aboard there were crew members who scoffed at her attempts to be a parent and wouldn't lend a hand to her." B'Elanna flinched, remembering that she had been one of them. "But your SoS'oy is a woman of strength and a powerful presence. She's been through a lot and she won't want to lose that, sweety. The Collective would rip that away from her. The Queen would never be able to contain a woman like Annika. She couldn't handle the competition."
"You might be surprised," Mizoti said darkly.
"Why do you say that?"
"You find Seven ..Annika desirable as a mate. What if the Queen wants her in the same capacity?"
"Oh, Honey, don't worry, okay!" B'Elanna hugged the girl to her. "That old thing would never know what it is to love or feel or desire. She's cold, heartless and evil. She isn't like a drone. A drone is given no choice, no freewill ..but the Queen .that Pa'taq. She knows what she is doing. She commands and they comply. And the Queen, if she wants SoS'oy, it would be only as a trophy. She is more machine now than anything. And besides, Annika has no love in her heart for the Queen. She'd never go to her."
"What if the Queen takes my mother. What would you do?"
"Get her back." B'Elanna winked. "Simple as that. I'd go to Grethor and back if it meant saving your mother from the Queen. And if the Queen does try anything against my family I'll have her guts for my bootlaces."
"My SoS'oy said the Queen could go assimilate herself if she came for her."
B'Elanna belted out a laugh and then cupped her mouth, recalling that Seven was still sleeping. "Oh, God, I am sorry, but that is too funny." Of course for the Klingon 'go assimilate yourself' was equivalent to 'go fuck yourself.' To know that Seven had said something like that was all too amusing.
Apparently the boisterous laugh was enough to wake Seven from her slumber as she padded up behind B'Elanna. The engineer felt a flood of new emotions take her. Here in the common room was the picture of her family, her soon to be wife and their daughter. The corners of her lips pulled pack into a full bright smile.
"Good morning," Seven said as her arms curled around the waist of her lover. She felt a warmth spread throughout her whole body as the two she loved deeply were creating a rapport.
"Sorry to wake you, BangwI," Bella said as she turned in the arms that held her so that she might see Seven's blue eyes. "We were talking about a few things."
The young girl looked at the two women before her and thought they were perfectly compatible. Once more her hand reached up and rubbed her temple. She didn't understand why she was suffering so. Most of the time the headaches came when she thought too long upon Seven. The girl knew her mother wasn't to blame for the headaches, but why then did she suffer them? She pushed the pain aside, deeming it irrelevant. After all, she was Borg, she would adapt. Mizoti allowed the brightness of Seven's love to fill her and make her feel safe.
Both B'Elanna and Seven noticed that their little girl had her hand on her temple.
"Hey, you okay, Kiddo?" B'Elanna tried once more to reach out and touch the child. This time Mizoti accepted the gesture and smiled.
"A headrush. It's nothing." The words were directed to Seven, as she knew her mother would worry over her.
B'Elanna, knowing herself and knowing her lover, jumped in. "Well, you're probably hungry. I know that if I go too long without eating I'll get a headrush."
"This is unacceptable for either of you to neglect the nutritional needs of your bodies," the former Borg said. "Nor will either of you continue to do so. You will sit at the table and consume your morning supplements. Comply."
Both Mizoti and B'Elanna swallowed hard and nodded. "Yes, ma'am," both said in chorus.
It surprised B'Elanna how quickly she submitted to Seven's order, but then the woman had used a voice that could not be argued with. This wasn't the Astrometrics officer demanding more power, nor an arrogant ex-Borg, This was the voice of a mother. The sharp order demanded obedience. It only just now phased B'Elanna how quickly she answered it.
'Kah'less .She's turned into a Klingon mother!'
Seven stood with a stolen 'B'Elanna stance,' her arms folded across her ample chest, scowling. B'Elanna gave a look to her beloved and decided all Seven needed were the ridges and she'd be a model Klingon mother. The young engineer shivered. Miral Toress would be proud. Neither of the other two females thought to defy this woman. Breakfast would be consumed without protest.
After insuring that her family had properly started their morning meal, Seven turned her attention away from the dinette and went into the living area.
She picked up a data PADD and started her computations for the scans she wanted to make to locate Species 342. She was well into the research when a shadow passed over her. Looking up, she wasn't at all surprised to see her fiancé hovering over her.
"He-ey you can't command that we eat and then you don't!" B'Elanna tried to sound gruff but the merriment in her voice betrayed her.
"I do not require nutritional supplements at this time," Seven said formally, though the mirth in her own voice was even evident to the woman who loved her.
"Oh?" The young Klingon took a glance at Mizoti who was digging deeply into the stack of banana pancakes oozing with maple syrup.
"I don't experience headrushes like you and our daughter."
"Yeah well .." The Klingon stood, smirking as she startled by the long alabaster thighs. Seven was still wearing the tee-shirt and boxing shorts she had slept in. B'Elanna too was garbed in her own sleepwear, thus her own thighs were bare and warm against Seven's creamy thighs.
Carmel hands lifted up the pale face, brown eyes met blue, and lips touched softly, kissing. B'Elanna's voice was a husky whisper. "Our daughter?"
"She is BangwI, is she not?"
"Yeah, Nic, Mizoti is ours. I just enjoyed hearing you say it."
The silver ocular implant went up, but the full lips smiled and were promptly kissed once more. "Banana Pancakes." Seven murmured. She feigned ignorance despite knowing what her love had consumed for her breakfast. The tip of her tongue sneaked out between her lips, licking up the slight taste of syrup. "I could be mistaken," she teased. "Scientifically speaking, I should conduct another battery of tests." Seven kissed Bella once more.
Seven was not exactly telling the truth when she conveyed that she wasn't hungry. She drew B'Elanna's lower lip into her mouth nipping and suckling the tender softness. Her hands, both human and enhanced, held B'Elanna tightly around her waist with wanton need. The young Klingon felt her breath being drawn in by Seven's mouth. Seven's tongue prodded and slipped in-between lips and teeth, deepening the kiss.
Lana felt the pressure increase around her waist, causing her heart to hammer hard against her chest. The caramel hands slipped behind Seven's neck, her own mouth hungrily devouring her lover's lips and tongue. Lipped nips. Long sucking passion filled them, until a very familiar stirring burned within their cores. Seven moaned, her hands now kneading B'Elanna's back urging the Klingon to great heights of wanton lusts.
"Nic " Lanna's smoky voice uttered a soft warning.
"We are not alone .I know .." Seven almost grumbled. "Mizoti is present."
"Yeah," B'Elanna said softly and rested her forehead against that of the woman she loved with all her hearts. "Soon my BangwI. I promise. I love you, Nic."
"And I love you, Bella," Seven uttered, forcing herself to calm her libido
Mizoti watched as her parents 'smooched,' and decided that Naomi was right. Seeing your parents do so was defiantly an 'eww' experience. Yet the young girl couldn't help but smile because she saw her hero, her SoS'oy, smiling as brightly as the girl herself was. And it was all because of B'Elanna.
She heard the soft bell-like laughter coming from Seven as she giggled at something B'Elanna had whispered into her ear. B'Elanna made his happen. B'Elanna made this joy for Seven and so Mizoti approved.
The child winced suddenly as a sharp pain hit her temples, a pain almost strong enough to make her cry out, but she clamped her mouth shut, wincing as the ebbing sharpness coursed through her with every heartbeat. Affording a glance at her mothers, Mizoti was gratified to see they were far too busy in the intoxication of each other to notice her.
The little Norkadian rubbed her temples trying to massage away the agonizing pain. Tiptoeing past the nuzzling couple, Mizoti moved into the bedroom. Once in the privacy of the room the little girl opened the drawer of the bedside table and collected the hypospray the Doctor had recently given Seven. Mizoti, being an ever-alert child, knew exactly how to operate the small implement and administered the anesthetic into the pulse point at the side of her neck. She knew the pain would cease within moments.
Even as the pain ebbed away, another wave of dizziness shook her and things seemed dim, as if she was observing her own dreams or, better yet, some distant memory that her eidetic memory would not allow her to know.
That fogginess lasted through several classes and even beyond, to when Mizoti and Naomi were excused for their lab/project time. Both young girls had been given permission to use salvaged and non-essential parts from certain containers stored in Cargo Bay One. Yet it was Cargo Bay Two that the young Norkadian wandered into, her insatiable curiosity far too strong to be turned away by a mere warning from Commander Tuvok.
After their classes, Naomi and Mizoti had the afternoon off to work on their science projects. Havening been given permission by their instructor Tuvok, to collect a few bits and pieces from none essential excess equipment the two youngsters headed for Cargo Bay One. However Mizoti took a detour by way of Cargo Bay Two.
Mizoti was stunned as she merged into the minimal lighting of the cavernous chamber, thinking it more like a tomb then a cargo bay. Not even the alcoves gave off the comforting green light that was so reminiscent of the home-ness of the Cubes. It wasn't that the alcoves had been deactivated; they had been obliterated. By appearances what had not been decimated had been salvaged in nearby storage containers.
"What happened?" Mizoti uttered to no one, tracing her small hands across the skeletal remains of jagged metal of what once was a place of respite. "Who would do this to you? Who dares!?" the young voice hissed.
This was the scene into which Lieutenant B'Elanna Toress walked. With both hands gingerly stroking Seven's former alcove the girl knelt before it on the dais. "Zotie?" When the child didn't answer right away the young Klingon rushed to the girl, fearing that some how she had been hurt. Taking Mizoti's shoulder B'Elanna turned her daughter, but the girl was so startled she whipped around and flung her arm in a backhand sweep. The force was enough to send B'Elanna sailing five feet backwards, landing on her rump with a grunt of pain.
"Easy! Easy! It's just me Zot. B'Elanna." The Klingon tried again, this time mindful of the tiny ex-Borg and the strength she carried.
"Who dares lay a hand upon the alcoves?" Mizoti demanded, "Who attacked Seven of Nine!?"
"It's a little complicated, Mizoti." B'Elanna kept her voice calm and soothing, trying her best to dispel the rage coursing in the child.
"Who?!" Mizoti would not be placated.
The young engineer sighed heavily and with the next heavy breath she said: "Mizoti, this is one of those things we should be talking about with your SoS'oy present."
"Who attacked her? Who is the perpetrator, Klingon!?"
At first B'Elanna felt her twin hearts flood in a rush of flash anger at the insolence of the demanding, miniature ex-Borg. But her better judgment took charge. "Calm down, Wa'Hom." B'Elanna's deep brown eyes dominated the hazel-blue of the child. She didn't want to scare the little girl by telling her that Seven had self-inflicted the grievous wounds and destroyed the alcoves. But then again, Seven would have never done so if it had not been for Tom's interference. And Klingons never shielded their children from the truth of the brutality of death.
"Wa'Hom. Mizoti, your mother wasn't in the alcoves when this happened. But she was severely hurt. She was in a coma for nearly a week. She had only recently awakened, barely more than a day when she came for you. Honey, it was pretty amazing she was able to do what she had done on the Wysanti ship."
"You didn't answer my original question," Mizoti said, not satisfied with the explanation so far. "Who attacked Seven of Nine? Why did Janeway allow it to happen?"
B'Elanna sucked in a steadying breath. This child would not let go. She was as stubborn as her mother. "Sometimes, Kiddo, people can do some stupid-ass stunts, especially when a lot of emotions are involved. Tom Paris couldn't wouldn't -- handle the fact I left him. And he couldn't deal with the fact I have feelings for your mother."
"He did this?" Mizoti snarled as she waved a hand indicating the whole of the cavernous room. "His heart is irrelevant." The child declared.
"No. I am afraid not. He. . . ." B'Elanna took another breath. "Look, as I said, this is a little involved and complicated. We really should be talking about this with your mother."
"This is about my mother and I have every right to know. Would you be pacified, Lieutenant, if it concerned your mother?"
"No, I guess I wouldn't," B'Elanna nodded. "I'd want to find out exactly what happened." Tenderly the young soon-to-be second mother rubbed the small back of the girl. "There were a few altercations, Mizoti. And Paris sought vengeance. He rigged the alcoves so that it would send 200,000 V EM pulse into Seven's implants."
Mizoti's large eyes widened. "Such a surge would have deactivated her."
Knowing better then to disguise the truth, B'Elanna nodded again. "Yes, it would."
"And this was how the alcoves were destroyed? Janeway must have allowed it. How could she not know?"
"First of all, as I said before, Mizoti, you will call Janeway Captain. And second of all the Captain cares very deeply for your mother. And thirdly, no one truly knew Paris was capable of such things, much less that he would carry them out. Naomi was the one who was attacked. She saw the alterations to the alcoves and tried to remove the tampering. It was then she got electrocuted. If it weren't for Lieutenant Rothery she would have died. But Rothery started immediate CPR and was able to revive Spike.
"Seven took it pretty hard. After you and the twins left, your mother was very heartbroken. She loves you and no one really knew how much. It tore her apart after you three left. When Naomi was hurt all that pain came flooding back. She remembered the death of the little drone baby, and of course the death of her first son, One. But Seven didn't know Naomi was going to pull through, so all her strength just snapped." B'Elanna wasn't about to add to the fact that it was Samantha Wildman who gave Seven that final push over the razor thin edge. "Seven blamed all of that on the Borg. Because of the Borg, One had sacrificed himself to save us least the Queen get her hands on him and turn The Collective into an even more potent nemesis. Because the Borg maturation chambers failed, the little baby that Seven beamed over trying to save her life, died. She really didn't have a chance. And because of that, Seven blamed the Borg.
"Then the three of you were gone and Naomi was hurt badly because the Borg technology was tampered with."
"My my Seven did that?" Mizoti winced as a stabbing pain assaulted her mind.
B'Elanna was observant enough to notice that the little girl was experiencing pain, but chose to ignore it for the moment. "Yeah, she did." B'Elanna swallowed back the bile as her mind flashed to the crippled form of Seven lying in a pool of blood. It wasn't the blood that shook the Klingon; it was the devastating wounds that had been self-inflicted.
"Seven was shattered. She is a very strong woman. So strong that sometimes it is difficult for people to remember that your mother is also very compassionate and feels things very deeply. Perhaps more deeply than the rest of us, despite the fact she doesn't display her emotions. It is to easy to think her emotionless and cold."
"You believed it. You called her the Ice Princess."
B'Elanna looked away. "Yes, I did."
"Now you love her."
This time the coffee brown eyes looked soulfully into the hazel-blue. "Very much," she smiled warmly as she spoke. "I really got to know Seven on a whole new level and I know she feels everything deeply. And as I said, she hides behind those shields to protect herself. After everything she's gone through ..I can't blame her. Hell, I hid behind my own heritage often enough to know when Seven's doing it."
"So seeing Naomi hurt and with us gone she 'snapped'?" Once more the pain asserted itself. Ignoring it for the moment she whispered, "Do you believe she would have been able to withstand the sufferance of Naomi had I and the twins not left?"
"I can't say one way or the other." B'Elanna didn't want the girl to feel even guiltier than she was so clearly feeling now. "Wa'Hom, all I can tell you is that you shouldn't feel bad for leaving. I can understand----."
"You understand nothing!" Mizoti whimpered. "I knew the captain wanted to get rid of us. This isn't a generational ship and Voyager already and a child on board. The Captain didn't want to have the added flux of our presence. We all knew this. I didn't want to be alone with the Norkadians. If she found them, Janeway would order me to go with them. She would force me away from my mother. I didn't want to lose my family. I went with my brothers because I knew, I knew Janeway wanted to be rid of the 'Borg infestation.' I heard the crew talk about us and Seven. The Captain knew that if she didn't keep her crew happy they would turn on her, so she just got rid of us as quickly as she could." The tears were freely flowing now. "But .but. They are gone. And they .and ." The child hiccupped as her weeping shook her whole body with the softer weeping that comes after no energy is left for deeper sobs but the emotions still burn. Mizoti didn't want to be alone; she couldn't stand the thought of it.
B'Elanna was prepared for the force of the child as she plunged herself into her waiting arms. Lanna cradled her, petting the soft fawn brown hair, calming Mizoti. "You're safe, sweety. The Captain has no power now to 'get rid of you'. And I have vowed to protect both you and your mother and your brother. I have also vowed that no one will take you from her."
Mizoti winced as the pain ebbed within her head. "You can't guarantee that." The voice was almost cold.
"I can try," B'Elanna said sternly, trying to dispel the fears the child possessed almost covetously. "I told you before, Mizoti, I will die if it means keeping my family safe. I love the three of you deeply. And if that means I have to face off against the Captain, the Hirogen, the Collective or go nose to nose with her Borgness, the Queen, I would do it to keep the three of you safe."
Mizoti stared, and for a moment she felt the distant wakefulness steal into her conscious, separating her from the tangible. It was almost as if she were on the Cube once again. The children had been separated from the Collective for months before Voyager found them and Seven had rescued the four of them. The tall young woman had said the Borg would not come, but she was mistaken. The Borg had come in the form of Seven herself. And she had "assimilated" the children into her own Collective.
"Mizoti," B'Elanna's soft voice called the girl's attention back to the real world. "Are you okay? And no 'I am Borg, I will adapt' crap either. Are you okay?"
"It's only a headache," Mizoti commented. "Sometimes they hurt worse than others."
"You want to go to Sickbay?"
"Not especially. The Doctor gave SoS'oy analgesic to administer to me when the headaches increase. It is more efficient to go back to my quarters than it is to listen to the Doctor's 'prattle.'"
Despite herself B'Elanna laughed. "Where did you get that phrase?"
"My mother. She stated the Doctor prattles on, especially concerning her former social lessons. She found it tediously boring and pointless."
"I have to agree there. I have no idea why the Captain put a hologram in charge of Seven's social lessons. He's an egomaniac who has a hard time keeping even the most patient from wanting to throttle the photons out of him. I will always think that the Captain must have been dropped on her head as a baby for giving Seven to the Doctor. She would have had an easier time fitting in with Voyager if Janeway had instructed her herself."
"The captain didn't perhaps because the Captain only wanted the façade of a ward and not the tending." Mizoti shrugged. "Rather like a pet a toddler grows bored of after a fashion."
B'Elanna hated to admit it but that is exactly what she had been thinking. "Never say that to anyone else, Mizoti," the Klingon warned. "It would hurt your mother's feelings to hear it."
"I won't repeat it," the child swore.
B'Elanna rubbed the child's back. "Good."
"B'Elanna. Don't tell SoS'oy about the headaches."
The young Klingon scowled. "I think we should. Your mother would worry."
"That's why I don't want her to know. She'll worry too much for me and she is already way too worried as it is."
Lanna understood. "Her worrying is making you nuts?"
"Kah'less, Wa'Hom, you are your mother's child!" The Engineer chuckled. "She's coddling you. Making you feel stir crazy.'
Mizoti nodded. "Yes!"
"Well, Wa'Hom, that's to be expected. The state she found you in and the fact you're back. Well, she's bond to hover over you for a while." B'Elanna tenderly stroked the long fawn-brown hair. "And I can't blame her for that. For what happened in here I hovered over her."
"You tended her?"
"Yes," B'Elanna nodded. "And yes I was very worried for her. More than I cared to admit."
"I just don't want to worry her more than she is already."
B'Elanna nodded and saw the opening she needed to get the child to trust her. "Zot, for now if you tell me, trust me that I won't tell Seven .for now." She repeated "Look, just this once I'll take you home and give you something for the pain. But we can't keep things from SoS'oy for long. She has a right to know if you're hurt. She will want to take care of you and she may need to do so. Mother's are like that. And Mizoti, I want you to know that if there is ever anything you want to talk about I am all ears."
The girl only nodded.
"I also want to make sure you're okay. The last time ." Despite herself, B'Elanna shivered at a recent memory. ". . . an ex-Borg had such headaches, her cortical node failed and she nearly died. Had it not been for Icheb she would have."
Mizoti sat drinking in the unspoken part of the story. Seven had nearly died.
"The only clue we had that anything was wrong was because of the headaches. So you see there is a true reason Seven is very worried for you."
"When did did that happen?"
B'Elanna didn't want to answer. She knew what conclusions the child would jump to if she told.
"It was after we left wasn't it?" Mizoti questioned, though her words were more akin to a demand than a query. "She nearly died because we left."
"No!" B'Elanna grabbed the girl's arms, holding her firmly yet tenderly. "No, never think that. It was maybe a catalyst but it was never the fault of you or the boys. Right now Seven wants to make sure you are safe and sound and she loves you. She wants to protect you, Mizoti, so you're going to have to let her hover and make you stir-crazy with her attentions."
"I understand," Mizoti uttered. She cut a glance to the dilapidated remains of what were once the alcoves. " I will comply."
"Good girl." B'Elanna nodded approvingly.
"You are my mate and when the time comes, my chosen successor," the Queen uttered softly as her hand touched the holographic representation of Seven of Nine. "I fashioned you to my specifications. I made you MINE! Look what they have done to you. They allowed you to be attacked so viciously. That which gives you life was destroyed because of their smallness. No more .You are coming home."
She was dying.
It was inevitable that the severity of her wounds would end her life. What was not inevitable was that her child die with her. She had to do what mothers had been doing for their children since before the dawn of time, care for their offspring, insuring they live even if it meant that in the end the mother would die.
She couldn't prevent her death. She could, however, prevent that of her child. And so the resolution was made as all pragmatists make decisions, based on what was before her. She knew that another had scanned for her bio-signs, hunting for her. She would become the hunter. In their pod her child would thrive. The dying mother knew also that her child would need a guardian to protect her. When she had passed them and had gone unnoticed she had analyzed two beings within that she found to be suitable.
One was like her hunters.
The other was a warrior and scientist.
Both would suffice.
With the last reserves of her energy, the being pursued the warp-trail of her last hope.
Several days slipped away as Seven and Icheb continued their scans of the area searching for species 324 as well as scenes of neighboring nebulas, quasars and pulsars. Icheb was hard at work studying for his mid-term exams. Seven, like Tuvok and B'Elanna, was a demanding instructor. Not only did they push the Academy requirements, but they also knew what the boy was capable of. He had an aptitude for both engineering and astrophysics.
The plus of Seven being both your instructor and administer of tests was that she told you exactly what she expected of you and never gave irrelevant information. And she was a superb tutor. As it was, for the past week and a half she had been walking Icheb through various theories concerning both wormhole and quantum physics. Seven insisted he study the works of Erwin Schrodinger, Dr. Samantha Carter, Albert Einstein, Ambassador Spock, and Dr. Leah Brahms among notable others. It was during the course of his studies that the sensors picked up something of an oddity nearly beyond the range of the deflector. It was a distortion of a technological variety, not cosmic.
"Lieutenant," Icheb said formally, addressing his mother, as they were both on duty. "Take a look at this." He frowned, not understanding the readings he was receiving. There was not a doubt in the young man's mind that his mother would know what to make of the strange sensor readings.
"Cadet?" Seven uttered as she looked over her son's shoulder. Her meshed hand easily dancing over the kiosk. Her other hand hit the combadge.
"Seven to bridge."
"Go ahead, Lieutenant," Janeway's smoky voice called over the intercom. Using Seven's new title resulted in a smile in the voice.
"Astrometrics has picked up distinctive transwarp signatures common with species 342. Suggest using Borg algorithms to track the multi-phasic telemetry of the vessel."
"Understood. Go ahead Seven find out all you can, use whatever resources are necessary," Janeway ordered.
"Engaging tests now," Icheb said after he received a nodded from his immediate CO. "Will keep you apprised, Captain."
Astrophysics ran several more scans on a broader spectrum; each one more advanced than the last. The distortions appeared more and more as if the other vessel was having a difficult time maintaining the integrity of its own power sources.
Engineering was more than surprised to see the indication of the fluctuating energy flashing across their screens. B'Elanna frowned as she found it more than odd. She became deeply concerned, as if Astrometrics was deliberately dropping power by a significant percentage.
Seven of Nine's ocular implant rose as she saw that Engineering was leaching power from Astrometrics. Why would Engineering cut power from the department without notification? Not only was it highly irregular, it stymied the young woman.
At the same time:
"Toress to Seven."
"Lieutenant Hansen to Lieutenant Toress."
"Explain what it is "
"..the hell you're doing!"
Twin voices, " There is a power lose."
The tall ex-Borg maneuvered around the kiosks of her department, her blue eyes glimmering in befuddlement and frustration. She should now why there was a power drain, what was going on, what was happing, but she had no answers. Not yet.
"Seven, there isn't a power drain. You're feeding it back to us. Astrometrics cut the power, not Engineering."
"You are in error, Lieutenant," Seven said more crisply then she intended. "Engineering cut power to Astrometrics by 21.3%."
"And I am telling you it's not happening. Not here," B'Elanna growled, not meaning to.
"We can not both be correct, Bella." Seven slipped in the use of her lover's private name.
"I'm all ears, Annika," the young Klingon reciprocated without realizing she had used her beloved's secret 'designation'.
In both departments, Vorik and Icheb called out to their superiors, and said precisely the same thing: "Lieutenant, this is highly irregular."
Each woman turned around to her junior.
"Stating the obvious, Vorik."
"Icheb, this entire phenomenon is irregular."
And as each woman mirrored the other, as each checked the new readings flooding the screens, their bodies became illuminated in a iridescent emerald light.
And then they were gone.
Both Icheb and Vorik shared the same expression as they arched an eyebrow in astonishment.
Upon the Bridge, Captain Kathryn Janeway stood, listening to Harry Kim as he was agog at the readings flooding OPPS.
"I can't explain it, Captain, it's like an EM feedback loop of energy. Only the power source is from outside Voyager."
"Confirmed." Tuvok said, gaining his captain's attention.
But before Janeway could hail either Astrometrics or Engineering she herself was hailed.
"Ensign Vorik to Bridge."
"Cadet Hansen to Bridge."
The Captain signaled her young OPPS officer so she could speak to both men simultaneously. "Gentlemen, we are aware of the power flux from the outside source. Report."
"Captain. I regret to inform you that Lieutenant B'Elanna Toress is MIA."
"Say again!" Janeway snapped.
"As is Seven of Nine, Captain. She is gone missing." The boy's voice cracked.
Janeway whirled upon the Chief of Security. "Tuvok!"
In a calm voice the Vulcan spoke. "Confirmed. Internal readings do not detect the bio-readings of either Lieutenants Toress or Seven aboard Voyager."
The Captain was only able to stare open-mouthed with disbelief at the words she had heard. Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Toress, two women close to her heart, had vanished out of existence.
Continued in A Journey
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