EXTRA DISCLAIMER: Note that domestic violence, in particular violence to a child, is talked about at one point but not actually shown. I have marked that part of the story with the following mark. {{{{{}}}}}

Alternate Choices
By H.W.

Chapter 17

Seven moved her hands over the bio-suit she just put on, smoothing out wrinkles that weren't there. It was something she had always done, from the first time she had ever put on a bio-suit. Torres and Seven had just finished their bath and Torres had already put on the nightshirt she normally wore and had left the bedroom to answer the door, all the way to the door growling about disturbing people at that point of the evening, leaving Seven to finish putting on her bio-suit.

She had just changed into her 'nighttime' bio-suit. It was a bio-suit like the others in the way that Seven could also wear it outside if she wanted to. But the cut of it was in such a way that Seven felt that it continued to be comfortable even while moving and shifting in her sleep. And Seven also liked the fact that the decorative holes and very low décolletage enabled Torres to put a hand inside the suit and touch her skin while sleeping. Having Torres always take hold of her, pulling her close in her sleep in a way that Seven could only call possessive, just as possessive as Seven took hold of Torres in her sleep, it always gave Seven a warm feeling. She never got enough of waking up in those arms.

While researching mating behaviors, Seven had also studied the time that came after the act, knowing that a lot of races found that time just as important, if not even more important than the act. While studying, Seven had been sure that every minute spent after the act was only an insufficient waste of time. How perceptions could change.

Seven had discovered that sexual release was only a part of a much bigger whole. Laying in each others arms while try to calm your breathing felt really good as well. Just like sleeping in a really uncomfortable position could feel really great as long as you could hold onto the person you love.

'Love,' Seven let the word go through her mind for a moment. No, Seven had to admit it to her self, there was no more denying it. She was absolutely madly and hopelessly in love with Torres. And she knew that Torres liked her as well, but she also knew that Torres didn't love her, not as Seven loved the Intendant. Seven closed her eyes for a moment while that realization hit home. She knew that she was no longer just a possession to Torres, hearing the Intendant admit that to Martok had been a very wonderful moment for Seven. But it still hurt to know that her love was not returned. Only a few days before Seven had felt that it was enough for her to know that Torres liked her. But Seven was starting to feel that it wasn't enough.

How she longed to hear Torres say a simple 'I love you.' But she knew that she would never hear it. But as she was thinking this, Seven realized that she was being extremely unfair. Unfair for two reasons, first Seven herself had never told Torres anything more than that she liked her. Could she then really blame Torres for not saying more? As a matter of fact, Torres had at least used endearments. Torres had called her, my dear, honey... Torres had actually used the word love once. It had been a mere moment before climax, she had said 'Right there, love.' But Torres had said it, Seven never had.

The second reason was that Seven had accepted Torres as her mistress. That meant that whatever Torres did in their relationship Seven had to like it just as much as Torres. And it meant that Seven had to be fully content with the way Torres treated her. It was her duty as the slave, the duty she had accepted freely and willingly. Seven took another look at the situation she was in now, bering in mind what she had just realized. Seven nodded her head, life was good.

She was in a relationship she wanted to be in; even Torres had called it a relationship. Even called it a relationship in a conversation with Martok... Martok, his remark to Torres had been very sweet to Seven. 'You don't just flirt with danger, you take danger to bed and fuck her.' Most people would think of the remark crude and demeaning, but most people would then be forgetting that it had been said by a Klingon, by a powerful Klingon. Klingons did not say things nicely, they said things in a to-the-point way. And the point was that Martok had called her danger.

To have a Klingon so openly admit that they consider you dangerous, a worthy opponent, it could be considered one of the highest compliments one could get. Especially considering that Seven was, to him, only a slave; a mere human, a thing. Torres had been right, telling Martok about her abilities had brought her his respect, and having the respect of the Commander of the security department was a very convenient thing.

"You okay?" Torres asked when she joined Seven in the bedroom, holding a padd.


"I have been standing here for about a minute now, and you didn't even see me until I spoke up, so I'm wondering if you are okay."

"Yes, mistress. I was just contemplating my position."

"You know, my pet, that just left me the perfect opportunity to joke about you and positions I like you in. But, I somehow have the feeling that you would not appreciate that kind of joke now like you normally do."

"Thank you, mistress."

Torres moved further into the room lightly throwing the padd onto the bed before sitting down on the bed, "So, what is the prob?"

"Prob?" Seven repeated.

"What is the problem?" Torres elaborated with a sigh.

Seven moved closer and knelt between Torres' legs, "I was thinking of one thing mainly, but I noticed another thing at this moment."

"Well, start with the first one, and if we can take care of that, we see about the second one."

"Yes, mistress. Mistress, what do you think of me?"

"Hmm, how about starting with the second problem first?"


"Sssh," Torres interrupted, "That was a little joke. I just didn't see that question coming. Let me think for a minute before going into that conversation."

"Yes, mistress."

They were quiet for a few minutes in which Torres moved her fingers through Seven's hair while thinking.

"Alright, I think I'm ready now. What do you mean with 'what do I think of you?' Don't tell me that you think that I still see you as the first day we met."

"No, I do not. I know that you have feelings for me, but I am wondering what those feelings are."

"I sincerely hope you are not insinuating that I see you as a passing thing?" Torres asked with a growl, "Or as a living vibrator? Sex is always up to you. In the beginning I didn't even start anything, except for the first night I saw you. Now I do, but as soon as I even get the hint of a feeling that you are not fully willing, I stop, change things to an innocent kiss or a single intimate caress. Do you really think I would do that if I didn't care about you?"

"No mistress. But what makes me wonder about the extent of your feelings is that you only ever show them in a sexual way."

"Move," Torres suddenly growled in a tone of which Seven knew by now that Torres only a fraction from exploding.

Once Seven had moved from between Torres' legs the Klingon stood up, "You stay in this room. I need to let off steam and I really don't want the person around that is the one that pissed me off. I'll be back when I'm good and ready, and able to talk to you without giving in to my urges," Without saying another word, Torres stormed out of the room.

Seven looked at the closed door in total bewilderment for a moment. Wondering what had angered Torres. Thinking back over the last days, Seven realized that she had been totally wrong. Yes, Torres showed true emotions the most while they were making love, Seven liked to call it that even if it was only to herself, but Torres had showed much more.

Torres had taken the time to dress her in her bio-suit while Seven was sleeping, Torres showed at least ten times a day some kind of affection that was more than a caress or a touch. Torres might not use words, but she showed more affection towards Seven than Seven did towards Torres. Seven knew the old Earth saying, 'A picture says a thousand words.' If this was true, than an action must say a million words. Torres might not voice her feelings for Seven, but she showed them every hour of the day. Seven smiled for a moment, but the smile quickly disappeared when she realized that she had some fences to mend.

Torres swung the bat'leth around her in a deadly figure eight, putting all her anger into her battle training. At some moments, the bat'leth moved so fast that it was little more than a blur in Torres' hands. Torres was so focused on her training that she didn't hear the door opening, but a moment later her battle ready body noticed that someone had entered her circle of control. Before she realized that this could only be one person, her body had swung around, bringing the bat'leth down in a trajectory that spelled certain death.

Seven merely put her mesh covered hand up and caught the deadly blade as if Torres had been moving in slow motion.

"DAMN IT SEVEN, I COULD HAVE KILLED YOU!!!" Torres shouted at the top of her voice while pulling the Bat'leth out of the blonde's hand and throwing it to the ground with so much force that the points of the Bat'leth tore the carpeting wide open.

"You could not kill me, even if you wanted to," Seven replied calmly. She moved closer and took Torres into an embrace. While the Intendant didn't return the gesture, Seven was already more than happy with the fact that she at least allowed it, "I am sorry, B'Elanna. That was stupid, uncalled for, and out of line."

"I can not believe that you said that," Torres said, and Seven could hear the tremor in the normally so steady voice, "Do you really think that I only feel for you when we are in bed? I... How can you..."

"I am truly sorry. I never have been in a relationship. I never had a person I cared so much for that I wanted to know if that person feels as much for me as I hope she does. I never loved someone before, like I love you. I..."

"Wh... What did you just say?" Torres asked, not truly believing her ears.

Seven softly caressed Torres' cheek, "I gave myself to you on the first day we met. I gave you my body that day. And somewhere along the line, I also lost my heart to you. In my ungrounded fear, I thought that you did not care as deeply for me."

"Seven, just because it's hard for me to talk about feelings, doesn't mean I don't have them. I'm a Klingon, we don't talk about feelings. I'm an Intendant, as such I'm supposed to be able to put myself above any feelings I might have. My entire life I have learned that emotions are something you do not talk about except if it is hate, revenge, or honor. It is hard for me to actually tell you how I feel about you. But I could..."

"No," Seven interrupted, "It was stupid of me, you show me how you feel with everything you do. Though I may complain about it every day, I love the fact that you insist every night on scanning all my implants. If you truly only cared as much about me as I accused you of, you would never do that. I love the way you always sit beside me, our bodies always touching at some place."

"You sure use that word a lot all of a sudden."

"Word?" Seven said before understanding what Torres meant, "Love, you mean?"

"Yes, that word."

"That is because I realized just after you left the bedroom that I have reached the point where I can admit to the both of us that I love you. And I noticed that every time I say the word, a warm feeling spreads through my body. Simply from the fact that I can say it, and the fact that it is true."

"Seven, I..."

"No," Seven interrupted, "Do not say it only because you think you have to. Only say it when you are ready."

"Thank you," Torres said relieved.

"Please tell me that you forgive me for my behavior in the bedroom," Seven pleaded.

There was no way that Torres could have denied the request, not even if she had wanted to. She put her arms around Seven and finally started to return the embrace the blonde was still giving her, "You are forgiven," She said after placing a soft kiss on those perfect lips, "You are just so damn perfect, that every time you do something that isn't perfect, it confuses the living crap out of me."

"I am not perfect," Seven disagreed resolute.

"To me you are," Torres disagreed just as resolute.

Seven softly kissed the Klingon before putting her head on the muscled shoulder, "And here I accuse you of not showing how you feel. I love you, B'Elanna Torres, and I love how easily you can find it in yourself to forgive me."

Torres moved her hands softly over the blonde's back for a moment before stepping out of the embrace, "Come, let's go back to the bedroom. You had something else to ask me, and I have something to show you."

Seven turned to the bedroom and they both slowly started walking, "B'Elanna, I think it would be better to keep the second subject for a later date."

"Why?" Torres asked while passing through the door, "Is it going to piss me off again?"

"I doubt it."

"Then let's get it over with. Despite the little interlude we just had, I want to know what is troubling you."

"Very well," Seven once again took her favorite spot between Torres' legs. She somehow liked sitting there and looking up at her while having a discussion.

"Alright, let's hear it."


"Mistress or B'Elanna," Torres interrupted.


"Alright, let's hear it."

"Mistress, I have a problem..."

"Good, at least it's not me this time," Torres said, treating Seven to a grin and a soft caress.

"The problem is that I really like the relationship we have, the power you give me, the trust, the confidence, the freedom. And I like the way you treat me in public, I would not want to change any of it."


"But, you are giving me too free a rein."

"Come again?" Torres asked, "Seven, I know that we both like the master/slave thing, but I don't want you to be like a mindless attack Targ. I want you to give your view on things, and yes, I also like to do things for you every one in a while."

"And I want that was well," Seven said, and Torres could hear a trace of frustration in the blonde's voice, "This is quite annoying. Our relationship is exactly how I would have designed it if I had to design a perfect relationship."

"Then what was that about a minute ago?"

"That was nothing more than my insecurity showing. Mistress, how often do you get exactly what you want? If you get that, you start wondering, assuming that something must be wrong."

"Unless you are simply lucky. And that is what we are Seven."

"I am finally starting to understand that."

"Okay, so what is the problem? If you have exactly what you want, what else do you want?"

"Your control. Mistress, I do not see the mistress/slave relationship as a game. It is real, and it is just like I want it. You gave me the perfect mix between freedom, and yet having a mistress to command me. But sometimes, sometimes I want you to control me even more."

"Hmm, I think I know what you mean. Just like I am more than happy with what you do while we make l... love..."

Torres was interrupted by Seven pulling her close and treating her to a searing kiss that made Torres very glad that she had been able to say the word, even if it was in 'make love.' "Damn it honey, the things you can do to me," Torres panted once they broke apart, "Anyway, normally I'm more than happy with that, but sometimes I need you to use the toy. Sometimes I really need that, but not most of the time. This is kinda the same, normally you are perfectly happy with what we have, but sometimes, sometimes you need me to totally control you, show you that I am your mistress. This doesn't have anything to do with sex, this could just as well be during the normal day."

"Yes," Seven said relieved, glad that Torres understood.

"Well, I think that I wouldn't mind that sometimes. Just as I like to have you as an equal partner at times, I think I would also like this. But the problem is that I can't know when you want this, and this could also only be done when we are alone. If we go out, I need to be able to trust that you will tell me things I need to know."

"True," Seven agreed, "I will think of a way that I can let you know when I need your total control."

"You know," Torres said with a grin, "You could of course simply tell me what you want."

Seven returned the grin with a smile, "What a novel idea. I think I will do that."

"So, you okay now?"

"Yes, B'Elanna. Let me apologize once more. I can not believe that I accused the person who is sitting here so patiently listening to my problems of not caring deeply for me. I never was ashamed of something in my life, but I am ashamed of myself for not trusting you."

"Seven, don't. I know that no matter what you know, it still is very nice to hear it every once in a while. I am as guilty of what happened as you were. Give me time, Seven."

"You got all the time you need, that I promise you."

They kissed once more before Torres changed the subject with a sigh, "Alright, now. You know, my pet, you made one Gre'thor of an impression on those Bajorans. Look at this," Torres reached over and took hold of the padd that she had brought into the bedroom the first time and that had been lying on the bed ever since.

Seven looked at the short message for a moment.

To Ma'am Seven of Nine and Intendant B'Elanna Torres.

Hereby we would like to invite you to our life bond ceremony.

Please grace us with your presence at the Palace temple tomorrow at noon.

Jetur Adami and Ro Laren.

"It seems that they decided that the name is going to be Jetur Ro," Seven concluded, "It is tradition to put the names in the order they will later have so that people know how to address them."

"Interesting," Torres said, "But if they weren't going to be Intendant, and if I really cared, I could have them killed for that message. But I think they were sending you the underlying message, not me."

"Mistress? I do not understand."

"My pet, I am the mighty Klingon Intendant, boss of bosses, commander of commanders," Torres gave Seven a grin to indicate that she knew that she was laying it on rather thick, "And you, my dear, are nothing more that a slave, moving furniture...," Torres interrupted herself when she saw that Seven was about to say something, "Sssh, go along for the moment."

"Yes, mighty Intendant," Seven said with a smile.

"Now, what do Jetur and Ro do? They mention you, okay, that's fine. They want to make sure that you also know that they want you there. But, they address you before me. They address a slave BEFORE an Intendant. Oooeeh, that's close to committing suicide."

"I see," Seven said, understanding what Torres meant, "But you think it is really a message to me?"

"Yeah, I do. They want to make sure that you, and I, understand that they truly want you there, that they aren't only inviting you because they know you would come with me anyhow. They are inviting YOU, my dear, and if I want, then I can come along as well."

"And you will accept such a show of disobedience?"

"Yeah, because I don't think it truly is disobedience, I don't think that this is a sign of things to come. They understand what you did for them, they are thankful to you, and they want to show it. Hmm, I bet... Tell me, how many people are normally invited to a life bond ceremony?"

"Only the closest family and friends. Normally a group in total between twenty and fifty people."

"See? They knew that they had to invite me either way. Not doing so would have given them a bad start with me, and they can't afford that. But there is no reason to invite you, unless they want to show you that they consider you a very important person in their lives."

"I see. Will we attend?"

"Yeah, I think we will," Torres said while nodding her head, "That will also give me the chance to see you in one of those other dress-like bio-suits."

"Mistress, I will be more than happy to model them for you."

"No, my pet, that's not the same. There is just something about seeing you moving in them normally, not posing. Just walking beside me, or walking away from me to get me something. I don't know, it's just different."

"I will do what ever pleases you, mistress. You just have to find more occasions for me to wear those bio-suits."

"I will," Torres agreed, "Now, why don't you go get the Tricorder so that I can scan your implants."

Seven stood up and moved so close to Torres that the Klingon had to lean back onto the bed, "But mistress, why waste time on that? I would much rather take you to bed and apologize in great length for my behavior earlier."

"Tempting, very tempting, but... no. You will get scanned, you won't get out of that. And once we have done that, we will go to sleep," Torres could see the disappointment on the blonde's face, "Aww, don't worry my little vixen. We have to go to sleep on time today, I want you to have your eight hours of sleep and tomorrow we are invited to a life bond ceremony. But once we get back..."

"Once we get back?" Seven repeated, leaning even closer.

"Once we get back, I'm all yours for the rest of the day."

Seven came closer until her lips were a mere hair's width away from Torres.' "Very well," She whispered seductively, seeing Torres' eyes slowly close, she knew only too well what kind of effect she was having on the Klingon, "That sounds like an acceptable compromise. I will get the Tricorder."

Torres suddenly felt Seven move away. She opened her eyes to see the blonde move slowly to the closet, where she bent over to grab the box that held the Tricorder. Torres knew that it was a lot easier to simply kneel and take the box. The blonde was very deliberately giving her a very nice view of her body, "You know something, wench?"

"Yes," Seven said while looking back to Torres without standing up, "I am making you hot beyond belief."

"Yes, that too," Torres agreed, "But I was going to say that you can be an incredible tease."

"I know," Seven said, finally standing up, "And you wouldn't have me any other way."

"Seven, you really should get your sleep, but if you go on like that, I can't tell you what I will do."

Seven handed Torres the Tricorder, "I know, I will be good. I just love the fact that I can tease you so easily."

"More of that?"



"B'Elanna, now that I can say it, I will. Be prepared to hear it a lot more often. Unless you do not want to hear me say it."

"I do, it's jus that...," Torres didn't finish her sentence.

"Believe me, I am not saying it, hoping that you will say it as well. I am only expressing my feelings for you, I do not expect a reply."

"Thank you. You really are the best."

"Of course," Seven said with a smile, "As you say, I am perfect. Now, please start scanning, I want this finished, I want to lie in bed holding you."

"Yes ma'am," Torres said before mumbling, and knowing that Seven would still hear every word, "My, my, demanding little vixen."

"There?" Annika asked.

"Oh, yeah. Right there, that's it," B'Elanna agreed, "No, don't. You are moving too fast, slower."

"Hmm, in my experience, fast has always been good," Annika replied, but she did slow down a little.

B'Elanna moved her legs a little more, twisting her body until she was lying fully on her back, "That may be, but you never did this before."

"True," Annika agreed, "Wouldn't this be easier if I moved my hand a little lower?"

"No, no, you stay right there, trust me, it will come..."

"You know, B'Elanna," Annika interrupted.

"What?" B'Elanna asked, moving her body a little more until it was just right.

"We can be glad that we don't have our communicators on."

"Why?" B'Elanna merely grunted. Talking was quickly becoming more difficult for her, her body was getting more and more rigid from the strain.

"Because if we had activated it again accidentally like we did before, and people could hear us talk right now, they would swear that we are having sex."

"What?!" B'Elanna asked, being distracted by the remark and pulling so hard on the spanner that the bolt finally got loose and the Klingon was treated to a face full of engineering oil, "Phe, thep," B'Elanna sputtered, trying to get the oil out of her mouth while trying to cover the hole with her hand to prevent even more oil from coming out. To her extreme irritation, she could hear Annika laughing beside her. But no matter how much it irritated her, that soft sweet laugh also calmed her right down again. "This is NOT funny," She growled only to hear Annika start laughing harder.

"It is actually pretty damn hilarious," Annika disagreed. She put the spanner aside and moved from under the thruster assembly. Then she bent down and pulled B'Elanna from under the assembly by her feet. Seeing the Klingon covered in green Machine oil only started her laughing again.

B'Elanna stood up, looked down at herself and couldn't stop the grin coming to her face, "Looks like I need a change of clothing." She looked back to the spot where she had been lying, "Well, that needs to bleed out anyway. It's getting late, how about we call it a night for today and I go and change in my quarters before we have to leave Voyager again. We can clean up that mess tomorrow."

"Sounds good," Annika agreed, still smiling, "Mind some company? Not much that I can do here now anyway."

"Sure, let's go."

A couple of minutes later, they entered B'Elanna's quarters.

"Nice," Annika said while looking around the room, "I thought that all personal possessions had to be put in the cargo bay?"

"True," B'Elanna agreed while she walked to the door of her bedroom, leaving Annika in the living room, "But since I'm so busy all the time, I didn't get around to it. Just like I didn't get around to renovating the rooms."

"Hmm, how about when we finish tomorrow with the thruster assembly, we take a little two day break from the big work and tackle your quarters?"

"Turn around please," B'Elanna said from her room.


"Turn around and face the door for a moment. I stripped out of my dirty clothing and want to take a quick shower."

"Aww, you are so unfair," Annika said with a soft laugh while turning to face the door, "I let you look while I take a shower."

B'Elanna sprinted from her bedroom to the bathroom, "You can turn around now. Actually, you can come into the bathroom if you don't mind sitting on the toilet while waiting."

Annika also moved to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet lid. She was happy to see that the ribbed glass of the shower gave the same outline image she was accustomed to from the prison cell she and the Klingon shared, "You know, you could have just replicated your new cloths and moved in here before stripping out of your dirty ones."

Where is the fun in that?" The voice from the other side of the glass asked, "And if you don't mind throwing furniture around and throwing in new carpeting, I wouldn't mind some help in here."

"Oh, but B'Elanna, if you want help in there, you just need to open the door."

Annika could see B'Elanna's outline stop moving for a moment before hearing a frustrated, "In my quarters I meant."

"Ah, pity."

"And if I truly opened this door, you would not come in here anyway," B'Elanna said, calling Annika's bluff.

"True," Annika had to agree, she knew that no matter how much she loved the interaction she had with the Klingon, she was not ready to take things further. But that didn't stop her from teasing the poor woman into frustration, "After all, we got only half an hour or so left, not enough time to enjoy a good shower. I mean, think about it, you, me, in an actual water shower, with a sponge, moving slowly while my free hand..."

"That's enough."

"You are sooo easy," Annika said with a smile. Then she realized that B'Elanna always made her smile. She smiled more in one day spent with the woman than she had done in her entire life before meeting her.

"Yeah, well, call me a prude and get it over with."

"No, I simply call you alive, how about that?"

Now B'Elanna laughed, "Well that certainly is true."

"So let me change subject to something more safe," Annika said, once again smiling when she heard the Klingon readily agreed.

"Now, that sounds like a good idea," B'Elanna shut off the shower, "Could you hand me the towel on the counter?"

"Sure," Annika took the towel and opened the door of the shower a little to hand it to the Klingon, making sure to keep her eyes well away. She knew that while she didn't mind showing her own body to the Klingon, B'Elanna had a modesty that Annika liked to make fun of, but that she also found really... cute. Once Annika was sitting again she asked, "So I was wondering. Why do you have such big... relatively big, quarters while you live alone? I have seen quarters on this deck that are smaller than these but that are assigned to two persons."

"Because it's a compromise," B'Elanna said while she stepped from the shower, the towel securely wrapped around her body, "Everyone of the senior staff in entitled to big private quarters if they want. And I jumped at the chance of not having to share my quarters. But, I'm an Engineer, and Voyager is my baby. I wanted to be as close as possible to Engineering. This normally was designed as one of the few family quarters on board Voyager, they are even bigger than what you saw, and there is a second bedroom besides mine. Don't ask me why they would put family quarters on a ship designed as a scout ship, but they did. So the Captain assigned it to me."

"I'm surprised that this never changed. I mean, in the beginning I can understand that," Annika said, looking quite fascinated at how B'Elanna was combing her thick Klingon hair, "But surely during the years there must have been a point where someone thought of the fact that it might be better to put two people in these quarters and put you in one of the single person quarters."

B'Elanna finished combing her hair and turned to Annika with a grin, "I think that they never tried because they didn't want to get into a fight about quarters with a Klingon that can look really dangerous if she is pissed off."

"It would not have impressed me, I'm sorry to say this, B'Elanna, but I have seen a lot worse than you."

"I'm not surprised. Anyway it might be a moot point soon."

"Oh?" Annika asked while standing up, "You want to move to a different set of quarters? Then it wouldn't be of much use to redecorate these ones."

"No, I'm thinking of asking the Captain to reassign my quarters as two person quarters."

"Oh, you want to share your quarters?"


"Anyone I know?" Annika asked, trying to keep her voice steady, somehow she couldn't stand the thought of someone else spending as much time with the Klingon later as she was doing now.

"You know, Annika. If there wasn't the chance of me dropping my towel accidentally, I would smack 'you' on the back of your head right about now," B'Elanna said before turning around and leaving the bathroom.

"Oh? OH!" Annika got up and followed the Klingon, "Hey, B'Elanna, once I become a part of the crew, I will need a place to say. Since we are getting along so well now, what about we continuing that once we get away?"

B'Elanna walked into her bedroom and to the new clothing she had replicated before, "I don't know, I kinda like my freedom to do what ever I want when ever I want in here... You stay right there," B'Elanna said when Annika was standing just before the open door. B'Elanna knew that this way Annika could see most of the room except for one corner that was more than big enough for B'Elanna to use it to change. "So what do you have to offer, something to twist my arm and let you in here for good?"

"Um, I'm a really good conversationalist?"

"Not good enough," B'Elanna said while dropping the towel.

"Um, I can cook?"

"Nope, I can program a replicator just as well as you," B'Elanna reached for her new uniform.

"No, I mean real cooking, from scratch."

"What?" B'Elanna asked moving to the door in pure reaction, "You can actually cook, like on a heat source?"

"B'Elanna!!!" Annika shouted while turning around.

"What?" B'Elanna asked before she felt the draft from Annika's quick turn reach her naked body, "Oh, shit. You stay like that. Don't turn around."

"We could put a small kitchen unit in the main room," Annika suggested mostly to put her mind on something else.

"No, I like the space in there," B'Elanna disagreed while putting her underwear on, "Okay, you can come in now, you have seen me like this before."

Annika moved into the room and sat down on the single chair in the room, somehow she didn't feel like she should sit on the bed, it was B'Elanna's. Not some prison bed, but the bed B'Elanna had slept in for years. But despite B'Elanna's reassurance about her state of dress, Annika kept her eyes well away from the Klingon.

"Would you want the second room as your bedroom?"

"What?" Annika asked.

"If you were to move in here, would you want the room that I'm not using as your bedroom?"

"I guess."

"You guess?" B'Elanna asked while putting her trousers on.

"I never had a room for myself. But I guess I could get used to it."

"Well, that is what I was thinking about," B'Elanna took a moment to put her uniform top on, thinking if she really should suggest what she was going to suggest. Then after a mental 'what the heck' she continued, "We could change this room. Put two beds in, and then we could change the second room by putting in a kitchen unit and an eating area. Take out the wall over the length of the room and make it kinda of part of the living room, but yet have it be a separate room because it is set to the side. And not an actual part of the living room. After all these years, I think it is time these quarters got a real makeover."

"Are you sure you wouldn't mind me living here, sleeping in the same room as you?"

B'Elanna shrugged her shoulders, "We are doing that now."

"Because we are in a prison at night and you don't have another choice."

"Annika, I like having you around, okay? The only reason why I never shared my quarters with someone is for the simple reason that nobody dared, and I didn't want someone in here who is afraid of me. Don't get me wrong, they are a great crew, but sometimes my Klingon temper blows up and nobody of them would want to be caught in one room with me.

"Even when Tom and I were engaged, we still had our own quarters. Sleeping in what ever bed was closer at the end of the day, or the one who got off duty last would visit the one that was already off duty. As you said, you have seen worse than me. You have seen me blow up, and simply laughed at me in response, laughing even more the angrier I got at that stupid piece of junk."

"That stupid piece of junk was a brand new industrial replicator, before you took your spanner to it and treated it to some nice dents."

"Yeah, well it didn't fit, okay, and I got those dents out," B'Elanna defended.

"It did fit, had you bothered to take my advice and also use the Klingon style converter to hook it up to Voyager's systems," Annika countered.

"I couldn't do that because..." B'Elanna interrupted herself and treated Annika to a grin, "See? The others would already have backed down. Come on, let's take a chance. If it doesn't work out, I can still throw you out somewhere down the line and you get other quarters like you would have if you asked for them at the moment we get out of here."

"Alright, you got a deal."

"No," B'Elanna disagreed, "The deal is that we put in that kitchen unit and you cook every once in a while. You really can cook?"

"Yeah, it was a necessity. Some places where I was didn't have nice replicators. And to make sure I didn't get food poisoning from some of the food others made, I decided to learn it myself."

"Do you like doing it?"

"Yeah, it is very calming. Yeah, I like it."

"Alright, then here's the deal. You cook, and on the days that you cook, I do the small quarters cleaning. But the big cleaning we do together."

"Alright, I think I will like that..."

They were interrupted by the ship's claxon going off, the sign that it was time to leave Voyager and be transported back to the prison.

Both of them stood up and moved out of the bedroom. While they were about to leave the living room and move into the Voyager corridor, B'Elanna asked, "Did you sneak a peek?"

"B'Elanna, you were standing naked in front of me. What do you think?"

"I think you turned around really quick."

"I don't have to ogle you for hours to see you."

They walked down the corridor for a moment before B'Elanna asked, "Did you enjoy what you saw?"

"B'Elanna, I'm not dead either."

"You know what?" B'Elanna asked.


"I think sharing quarters is going to be very interesting."

"I think you are right," Annika agreed.

"So how did your family take it?" Ro asked when Jetur came out of the bedroom. It was only minutes to midnight and Jetur had just gone to her bedroom to contact her family in private. It wasn't that she didn't want Ro to hear what she had to say, but she didn't know how her family would react and didn't want Ro to hear if it had been negatively.

"Surprisingly well. There were the obvious questions about whether I really wanted to make such a big step, going into a life bond with someone I barely know. My father suggested marrying you first, and then we still could go into a life bond if we are still together several years from now."

"I assume you explained the deal to them?" Ro asked.

Jetur sat down in the chair that was facing the chair Ro was sitting in, "Actually, no. I lied by telling them the truth."


"Meaning that I told them that I've already known you for three years now, which is kinda true because three years ago, I became an advisor's assistant and from then, I saw you almost every day, even spoke to you several times. I just didn't tell them that I would normally only see you when you and I were both walking through the corridor to a different place in the palace. And I told them that once I became your assistant, we had to work together more and since then my feelings for you started to grow. Which is also true since I did start to like you more with every day that passed."

"So why not just tell them the truth?"

"Ro, I told you, I will do anything I can to make this work for real, and I don't want my family to think that I'm only putting up a front because I have to. I want them to think that I am truly madly in love with you, that I can't think of a more beautiful thing than spending the rest of my life with you. I want them to welcome you into the family as my true partner, not just as my business partner."

"It will be interesting to have a family again," Ro said more to herself than to Jetur.

"That's right, you never did tell me if you had any family, and if not, what happened to them. You only always talk about the Special Forces as if they were your family."


"In a way they were," Ro agreed softly. She had never told anyone what truly happened to her family, she normally only told the official 'they died in a robbery' story. But since Jetur was going to share her life with her, she deserved to know, "Long story short, I killed them. I was an only child and I killed my father and mother."


"Okay, not so short I see," Ro said with a smile, "Adami, not everyone comes from a loving family like you. My father never wanted kids, my mother did. So, my mother decided to simply get pregnant, she stopped taking the yearly injection and two years later, she did indeed get pregnant with me. I'm lucky that here in Bajor a child is seen as having rights from the moment it is conceived; my father could not force my mother to get rid of me before I was born. But it destroyed their marriage. They would have divorced, had their marriage not been an arranged marriage to keep the credits from two very wealthy families in those families.

"They knew that they could not let out their anger on each other for fear of starting a family war, so they turned to me. I have been beaten from the first day I can remember, and the older I got, the harder the both of them started to hit me. I had scars all over my body, scars that were only removed by the Special Forces doctor once I joined them. My parents never cared enough to have them removed, to have my wounds properly healed.

"Then one day I was crying because my mother had once again blamed me for the failing marriage, and given me the beating that normally accompanied that accusation. My father got home and beat me for showing weakness and crying in front of them. He beat me so hard that I could hardly move, but he made one mistake, he shoved me into the coroner where he had dropped his stuff when he saw me crying. Normally he always locked away his disruptor, but that day he forgot. It was the last mistake he ever made. I shot them both right then and there. I shot them so often that I drained the energy cell of the disrupter.

"When my father didn't show up for work the next day, they came to see if everything was alright. I was arrested, and seeing what I done, they offered me the choice: jail or join the Special Forces. I never regretted the choice I made."

Ro stopped talking when she saw tears rolling down Jetur's face. Suddenly, Jetur threw herself at Ro and took the sitting woman in a tight embrace.

Ro moved her body slightly to give them both more room in the big comfortable chair that never the less was not really designed to have two people lying on top of each other in it. Ro could feel her shoulder getting wet from Jetur's tears. Somehow it felt right, as if Jetur was shedding the tears that Ro had not. She had promised herself that day that she would never cry again, and she had kept that promise.

"I swear to you, Laren, our children will be drowning in love."

Ro knew that children would come somewhere along the line, it was expected of life bonds, not by law, but by culture. But somehow it felt nice to hear Jetur assume that they would have children. It awakened something inside that she had oppressed for as long as she could; having a family, a loving family of her own. Ro had already decided that she would open her heart to Jetur, but now she was starting to wonder, maybe, just maybe dreams could come true.

Jetur loosened the embrace a little and smiled down at Ro, "You know, you are really lucky. The deal just gets better and better for you. Not only do you become Intendant, you also get a loving wife and a great family thrown in. A father, mother, two brothers, two sisters, dozens of aunts and uncles... did I already mention the loving wife part?"

"Yes, you did. But I don't mind hearing it twice," Ro sighed and pulled Jetur a little closer, "I'm glad I could tell you this, and that it hasn't send you running to the hills screaming."

"I'm glad that you felt that you could tell me this," Jetur said softly, "And no matter what you tell me, it won't send me running and screaming." Jetur placed her hand softly against Ro's cheek, "Laren, I know that there must be things that you rather not talk about. I know what kind of jobs the Special Forces normally have to deal with. What ever there is you want to tell me, whether it is from your job in the Special Forces, or personal, I'll listen. I told you, as long as you treat me right, I'll be here for you. Nothing you tell me will change that."

"Thank you. You are such a caring person, Adami, don't ever change. If there is anything you can't do, or don't want to do, tell me, and I swear to you that I will make the problem go away."

"Thank you," Jetur had resigned herself to the fact that there were going to be moments where her new job demanded of her that she do things she didn't want to do. But maybe she didn't have to do that after all. How many people didn't want to have someone who could make their problems just... go away. And Jetur knew that she had such a person. Ro would make the problems go away. One way or another.

They stayed in their embrace for more than an hour, but finally Ro's back began to protest to the continued strain.

"It is getting late, I should go," Ro said while she softly prompted Jetur to move off her lap, got up and moved to the door.

Jetur joined her at the door and took hold of Ro's hands, "I'm dying to ask you to stay... for the night."

"And I'm dying to accept, but I can't. I'm going to do this right, Adami, and that means that I'm going to court you. My honor demands nothing less."

Ro moved a little closer to the door, into the range of the sensor, opening the door.

"Wait," Jetur said, coming closer once again, "Before you go, I want to give you something."

"What?" Ro asked, feeling her body react to the redhead's body standing so close.

"This," Jetur said before leaning in and placing a soft, sweet kiss on Ro's lips.

"Thank you," Ro said breathlessly, "That was a very nice gift."

"There are a lot more where that came from. It's a never ending source as a matter of fact," Jetur closed in on Ro once more, and this time the kiss they shared was much longer, but just as sweet.

"You know something?" Ro asked once they broke apart.


Ro made a small show of taking in Jetur's body, "I'm going to be known for having the most beautiful wife in the whole Bajor territory."

Jetur thought for a moment that Ro was talking about her physical looks, but then Ro tapped Jetur softly against her chest, where her heart was beating in overtime.

"And they will say that the person with that beautiful heart looks beautiful as well. You have a beautiful heart, Adami, and I feel very honored that you want to let me into it."

Before Jetur could reply, Ro turned around and walked down the corridor to her own Palace quarters.

Jetur could feel fresh tears running down her face. She placed her hands over her heart before whimpering softly, "You are so wrong, Laren, there is not only room for you in my heart; it's yours entirely. Just like my body and soul."

Part 18

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