Alternate Choices
By H.W.

Chapter 18

Torres looked at the 'dress-like' bio-suit that her slave was wearing. The 'dress-like' suits, as Torres liked to call them, were made of as little technology and fabric as possible, and over that, there was a garment that looked like a regular dress. If a person didn't know that there was a bio-suit incorporated into the design, that person would see the outfit as a regular dress. The particular bio-suit the blonde was wearing at that moment was a light blue long 'dress' that left Seven's arms bare and besides the very nice, but not too deep décolleté, it also had slits in the fabric up both the legs, showing those long planes of perfection with every move...

"You know something, my pet?" Torres asked, as the stopped trying to describe to herself how her pet looked. She preferred to just take in the looks.

"What, mistress?" Seven asked, turning away from the mirror, deciding that her hair was as perfect as it could be, having it put up again for the occasion.

"You drive me nuts."

"Of course, mistress. It is my aim to make you lose your mind at least five times during every day." Seven stopped in front of Torres and asked with a smile, "What did I do now?"

"I was just thinking to myself how you look and I thought of your legs showing through those splits as 'those long planes of perfection.'"

Seven looked to one of her sides and moved her leg until the fabric moved and showed one of the planes of perfection in question. "Mistress, my legs really are not that flat."


"Plane: adjective flat or level, as a surface. Or noun; a large area of land with few trees. Or verb..."

"Trust the walking dictionary to take the fun out of a remark."

"No," Seven disagreed. "Trust the walking dictionary to take the fun out of a remark up to the point where you kiss me just to shut me up."

"Oeh, now that's an idea." Torres put her hand behind Seven's neck and pulled her close to share a sensual kiss.

"It is time, mistress," Seven said after a moment.

"I guess it is," Torres agreed, "but wait." Torres looked at how the blonde had done her hair up. While it was up, it wasn't in the tight bun that it had been in the first day Torres saw the blonde. Normally Seven had her hair hanging loose down her back, just like Torres had told her, and just like Seven liked it.

Seven found it much more efficient, not needing the work of putting it in a bun, and Torres had to agree that she liked to see the blonde like that the most. But when they went somewhere, like the day that they went to the theater, or now that they were going to the temple, she liked to see those long blonde strands put up. It somehow gave the blonde an air of superiority that Torres didn't even see all that often in the highest of free people. Torres reached up and freed a few strands of hair, making them hang down the blonde's face on both sides, just over the temples so that they wouldn't bother the blonde. "There, the famous finishing touch. You look beautiful, my dear."

"Thank you, mistress. You look beautiful as well."

"It's just a battle uniform, with a few decorations to show that this isn't actually the uniform I wear on a daily basis."

"Regardless. You, always look beautiful to me. I love you very much, B'Elanna Torres."

"And you are a mush-ball talking to a Klingon."

"Who loves for me to tell her that I love her."

"True," Torres agreed. "Come on, let's get moving, my dear."

"Yes, mistress."

"I can't believe I'm so nervous," Jetur said while pacing back and forth in the temple waiting room. One of the rooms especially designed to have one of the partners wait for a ceremony to begin while the other partner was waiting in a same room in another part of the temple.

"Why?" Her brother Olan asked. "You are only going to walk in there and give your entire life away to her. Nothing to be nervous about."

"I'm glad you find this funny."

Olan laughed. "Of course. This is a one time thing; I have to get my enjoyment out of it now."

Adami walked over to her brother and put her hands around his throat as if strangling him. However, a mere moment later, her hands moved and she took him into a loving hug.

"She doesn't mind you being so touchy feely?" Olan asked once they parted. "I mean, you are always touching someone."

Adami smiled at that. "What did I embarrass you again?"

"Neh, Meru isn't here now."

"Ah, but she will be at the reception later. I guess I just have to hug you in front of your girlfriend later on."

"She is not my girlfriend, she is just a friend," The thirteen year old Olan defended hotly.

"Right," Adami agreed, "And if that is all that you want her to be, then you are on the right track."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that if you want her to be more than just a friend down along the line, you should show her that you're interested in her more than 'just a friend.' Touch her sometimes, hug her. Let her see that you care. Do things with her; go places."


"I know," Adami said with a smile. "Right now you think it is much more fun to run around in this palace than it would be to be seen somewhere in the company of a girl. But, you see, little bro, the thing is, soon you and your friends will start to find girls and boys a lot more interesting then you do now. And when other boys or girls start drooling over Meru, they will all be too late because she will be only interested in the nice boy and friend who took her places while she was younger. If you are lucky that is, if not, she will only be your friend, and you can never have enough of those either."

"But Adami...," Olan almost whined, "last time she wanted to go to the MUSEUM."

"So, don't you like the museum?"

"Yeah, but..."

"Let me get this straight, you like her, you like the museum, but you don't like going with her to the museum?"

"But the others will laugh at me."

"Let them laugh. Once they start asking Meru out, she will laugh at them," Adami sighed before continuing, "besides, soon they won't laugh at you anymore. Soon every boy and girl in your school will want to be your best friend. Better know upfront who your real friends are. What girl is really interested in you? Meru is really interested in you; don't let her slip through your fingers."

"Why would everyone suddenly want to be my friend?" Olan asked.

Adami caressed his cheek before saying softly. "You, my man, are going to be the little brother of the Bajoran Intendant. People will want to be your friend because they think that you will be able to do things for them. Get them jobs, governmental position, or maybe just something as simple as getting them a house in the middle of Bajor City without having to be put on the waiting list for several years."

"Why would they think that?"

"Because, hey, you would only have to ask your sister right? Can you think of an even more direct line to the top?"

"That's nuts."

"That won't stop them from doing it," Adami countered, "as I said, best thing to do is know who your friends are now. They already were your friends before there was even the slightest change of me becoming Intendant. Heck, a few weeks ago, even I would have laughed at the notion."

"You think Meru is really interested in me?" Olan asked in a soft voice.

"Olan, when you are my age..."

"Yes, grandma?" Olan couldn't help to ask with a giggle.

"When you are my age," Adami continued, "a few years don't matter. Laren is six years older than me. But with you kids, a year is a big thing. If Meru wasn't interested in you, this fifteen year old popular girl wouldn't be caught dead showing interest in a measly thirteen-year-old. She would hang around the boys of her age. Those are the ones lusting after her. They don't see her as just a friend; they see her as a young woman. She could have every single one of them falling over themselves wanting to do everything for her. But she blows them off so that she can go spend some time with a thirteen-year-old kid. What do you think? Is she interested in you?"

"Wow," Olan said, finally seeing the light. "She's interested in me, cool... Aww, you just had to tell me this when I'm going to see her in less than an hour?"

"Of course," Adami smiled, "now we can both be nervous."

"You really like her?" Olan asked, changing the subject.

"I love her," Adami said with a smile, knowing that it was the absolute truth.

"She better be good to you or else I'll hurt her."

Adami laughed at the determined tone in his voice. "Olan, you can't hurt her unless you shoot her from a very long distance. I forgot to tell you, she was a captain of the Special Forces."

"She was?" Olan asked, his determination wavering, but not disappearing. "Well, um, I would find a way."

"Don't worry. I think she would rather kill herself than hurt me." A tear rolled down Adami's face when she added. "I think she opened her heart for me, letting someone in for the first time ever. She is a good person, Olan. You heard what she said while the Klingon Intendant was testing me. She was prepared to pull back her bid in order to save you."

"But the Special Forces, they k..."

"They do what the people in charge want to have done," Adami interrupted. "And they are good at it. Laren is very good at it, that's why she made to captain, but she is willing to move on now. With m...," Adami brushed away a new tear, "with me, and my family, that includes you."

"You sure cry a lot since you met her," Olan pointed out, not knowing if this was a good or bad thing.

"They are happy tears, little bro. I always had a good life, a protected life, a loving family. It always made me smile. But just thinking of her makes me feel warm inside. Just seeing her smile at me makes my heart beat overtime." While she was telling this to her brother, Adami knew that it still was only an inadequate way of describing what she felt for Ro. Once she had decided to truly open her heart to the brunette, it had been all the way. There was just no middle ground with Adami. "I love her all the way."

"And, in about fifteen minutes, you will be bonded to her for the rest of your life."

"How cool is that?" Adami asked while taking her brother into another embrace.

"How cool is that?" Her brother replied with a smile. A soft knock on the door was heard a moment later. "Bet that's mom and dad."

"Let them in, will you? It is time to prepare."

"Sure," Olan said, while walking to the door.

"Don't fidget."

"I'm not," Ro snapped back.

"My, my, aren't we touchy? What are you worrying about Laren? You are just going to throw your life away, that's all," Oryn said.

Ro turned away from the mirror to face her former commander, and the man that had been as close to a father for her as she could remember. He had made her his protégé once he saw what she had learned from the Klingon trainer they had at that time. He had only found out years later why that trainer had taught the young girl so much.

"I'm not throwing my life away, I'm making it complete."

"You sure you want to wear that? Don't get me wrong, we, in the Special Forces, are honored that you would go into a life bond ceremony wearing your captain's dress uniform. It's just that... you are out for five years now."

"Didn't you once tell me, 'You never leave the Special Forces'?"

"That I did," He agreed.

"The Special Forces made me: they turned me into what I am today. I would have still been in the Special Forces if Kira didn't want me to be her play thing and took me out. I feel comfortable in this, it is part of me, and I want people to know that."

"So how does your wife-to-be handle that?"

"What? Knowing that I was part of the Special Forces, or knowing that I slept with Kira several times?"

"Yes," Oryn merely said.

"She is okay with it." Ro gave him a smile before adding. "She takes me just the way I am. I told her things only you know, even things you don't know, and all she did was hug me and cry the tears I can't. I told her about my parents; the true story, not the official one."

"Did you now?" Oryn asked impressed. "I didn't know this was so serious. I thought that this was only part of a deal?"

"Oh yeah, it is serious, more than you know. The deal is what made us go straight to a life bond ceremony. But, I think... no, I know. I know that I would have married her if she had only stayed my advisor. She is such a gentle person; she is exactly what I need. She doesn't condemn me for the things I did. She knows I killed Kira, she even asked me how and when I did it. Yet she still wants to feel my arms around her."

"It was you who killed the bitch?" Oryn asked surprised. "I thought it was that Delik guy. That is why the Klingons executed him publicly yesterday."

"No, they killed him because he was stupid enough to try and call the Klingon Intendant a whore. He was quite surprised when he was... stopped before he could fully say the word. Torres knows I killed Kira. The Kai and the first minister were there as well when we spoke about it."

"Ah, one of those public secrets. Since they wanted you to be Intendant, they conveniently executed him for your crime. They would have executed him anyway for what he did, but that is a different matter."

"Right," Ro agreed.

"So why did you..."

"Because she wanted to put twenty percent of the national income into her own pocket."

"What? If that had become known, Bajor would have had uprisings of the scale that even we and the army would not have been able to control."

"I decided to not let it go that far. And as for your other question, I slept with Kira, and Adami did what she had to do to get her job. She is not new to using her body."

"Her job? You mean as your assistant? I can't really blame you, she looks damn hot I...," Oryn suddenly found his words cut off by a hand closing around his throat. "You know Laren," he said with difficulty, "you seem to forget who trained you to the point that you could become captain in the Special Forces. Do you really want that arm broken when you are about to go out there to be joined?"

"Sorry," Ro said, while letting go. Her body had acted before her brain had.

"You truly do love her," Oryn stated.

"Yes I do," Ro said and somehow it felt nice to actually say it out loud. "What I meant was that she had to sleep with the guy who gave her the job she had before she became my assistant."


"Sorry for that," Ro repeated.

"My fault really, Laren. Even if it had been as I thought it had, it was disrespectful to talk like that about your wife-to-be. I apologize for that."

Ro nodded her head, taking the apology and moving on. That was how things always had been between them.

"So she goes both ways?" Oryn asked to get talking again.

"No, not really, she goes what ever way she needed, like most do. She can truly enjoy being with a man, but women are her preference."

"Um," Oryn asked thoughtfully, "I know that we trained you to use your body in whatever way you need to, but do you think you can, um, make love to her?"

"I know I will be able to please her. There is no question about that. Will she be able to please me? I think so, I hope so, Prophets I hope so. But even if my body won't let me enjoy it fully, it won't matter."

"Why not?" Oryn asked. He and Ro had talked about certain things in both their lives that the conversation they were now having could be considered mild.

"Because, just a few weeks ago, I thought this was impossible, but... Oryn, when she just touches my arm, or just looks at me in 'that way,' I feel more inside me than I ever did while sharing my body with someone."

Oryn grinned slightly, "In that case, I don't think you will have to worry. Tonight you will find out what making love is all about, all the times you had sex before, it won't even measure up to her just kissing your nipple."

"Tonight?" Ro asked.

"Well, yeah. You are about to go into a life bond, are you not? Life bond or marriage, it is the same in the sense that after the reception the couple bids the guests goodnight and goes to their quarters to... party by themselves while the guests party on without the couple. The guests continue to party and talk good things about the couple that is by then probably testing out the customary new bed."

"Tonight?" Ro asked again.

"You do know that it is considered bad luck and a curse on the relationship if the couple doesn't make love the first night?"

"Tonight?" Ro repeated once more before finally adding. "But I'm still courting her."

"Laren, you know that I'm married for the fifth time now, and this marriage has lasted twenty years already while the other ones only lasted a couple of months, a year at most. May I give you some good advice, something I learned only after doing it wrong four times?"

"Sure, I think I can use all the help I can get."

"Don't ever stop courting her. You don't have to stop showing affection only because you now live together. You don't have to stop telling her how you feel about her only because you told her already several times before; you keep doing that for the rest of your life. Sixty years from now, you still come home with a little present, just because. Sixty years from now the first thing you tell her in the morning should still be 'I love you.'"

"How do you know this?" Ro asked, wondering how a fellow Special Forces member could know so much about relationships.

"Because unlike you, I could not suppress my feelings while being drafted. So they only trained me along the commando style while they also trained you for special ops."

"Ah. Is it really like they say it is?"

"I can't really answer that for you," He replied, knowing that Ro was talking about married life. Except for some arranged marriages, like Ro's parents had been, there really weren't any bad marriages on Bajor. It was so common, expected even, that marriages only lasted a couple of years at most. A marriage like his twenty year one only happened with about one percent of the population. Marriages were normally ended if the people didn't get along that well anymore, were ended long before partners could start hating each other.

"Every marriage is different. All I can tell you is that I wouldn't want to miss a day of the last twenty years with my wife. Oh, we had our disagreements, fights. But, at the end of the day, we reached a compromise we both could live with. I can also tell you that every day I wake up beside her I realize just how good life is. Laren, if you love her, your life will finally feel complete when you know that she is all yours."

"As I said, my life already feels complete."

Oryn patted Ro on her back. "I'm glad for you. I think she will make you a wonderful wife."

"She is wonderful," Ro agreed.

Oryn smiled. "So how about we end this mushy stuff? We are Special Forces. We are tough, rough, bad mannered and madder than an Odik on three legs. We don't do mushy stuff."

"Right," Ro agreed. "It's time anyway. Thank you for giving me away."

"It is my honor. Thank you for asking me. You know, I think that with the both of you being Intendant, Bajor will change a lot. Change a lot for the good of Bajor. After Kira, the prophets know we can use it."

A soft temple gong was heard and Ro took a shaky breath.

"Come on," Oryn said, "it is time to be joined to your wife. May the prophets bless you, my friend."

"Thank you. I do feel blessed."

For such an important event, the ceremony had actually been very short, Seven deducted. Efficient, she liked that. Jetur and Ro had come into the temple's main room from two different sides, the priest had given the mandatory blessings, the couple had exchanged vows and the priest had announced them joined. What Seven had liked the most were the vows. She had heard the sincerity in them, there had been no deception in their voices, and Seven could see that the two women truly did have feelings for each other.

"Thank you for coming, I'll see you at the reception in a moment," Jetur said to the people standing in front of Torres and Seven.

"It was a pleasant ceremony," Torres said politely when it was their turn to speak with the new couple. She knew that now was not the time to be the bad ass Intendant that everyone should fear.

"Thank you for coming," Jetur said to Torres, but both Torres and Seven knew that the woman was really talking to the both of them. It was just that Jetur couldn't thank a slave in public, not even if that public was her own family. "We will never forget what you did for us."

"All that was done was to make sure that the right person will rule over Bajor and its territories." Torres felt the very soft pressure of her pet's hand on the small of her back. Knowing what the blonde wanted to convey, Torres continued her conversation. "I'm also glad that you were able to truly find each other during this. Something tells me that you will be blessed in your bond. That is also what I wish you both; blessings and a good life."

"Thank you," Jetur said, flicking her eyes briefly to the blonde woman standing to the Intendant's side, showing them both that she understood where the well wishes were truly coming from.

Ro, on the other hand, wasn't as talkative. She merely looked at Torres for a moment before bowing her head for a few seconds, showing her gratitude, then she looked at Seven. She didn't bow her head this time, but she did lower her eyes for a moment. Basically sending the same message, but doing it in a way that others could not see.

"We would be honored if you could join us at the reception," Jetur spoke up.

"You sure you want me there?" Torres asked amused. "Having me there is sure to put a big damper on the party."

"That may be," Ro agreed, "but, it's our party, and you have been a very big part of me now being married to the woman I love. I, we, want to show our gratitude."

"Very well, we will be there."

"Thank you," Jetur said, while the two women walked past her and out of the room.

Torres and Seven had been the last to leave, so Jetur turned around to face Ro. "Two weeks ago, I was wondering how I could come out of this mess with some kind of job. That was what I was looking for; a job. Now look what I got, I'm going to be Intendant, but more than that, I got you." Jetur took Ro into an embrace and was glad to notice that where there had been a moment of hesitation on earlier occasions, now those strong arms closed around her as well and right away.

"You got me alright," Ro agreed, "I never thought that anyone could really care that much about me. I'm a coldhearted killer that..."

"No," Jetur interrupted forcefully, "you are a wonderful person who just never got the chance to show it. You did what you had to, and I'm glad you did."

"You are?" Ro asked surprised.

"Yes. Laren, if you hadn't lived your life like you have, if you had done things differently, you would not have been here now. I would never have known you. I might have found someone that I could have settled for, but because you did what you had to do, I don't have to settle, I have won the jackpot. I have landed the biggest prize of all, I got you."

"I can't understand how you can accept me so easily. I am a ruthless person if pushed wrong. I can..." Ro was interrupted when Jetur took a step back and treated her to a very stinging slap to her face, "Wha?"

"Are you going to kill me now?" Jetur asked pointing.

"What?" Ro asked while rubbing her cheek. "No, of course not."

Jetur stepped closer and took Ro once more into an embrace, an embrace that was once again immediately returned. "Laren, I know what you are capable of, alright? And truthfully, I think we will need that, we will never be able to satisfy everyone once we are Intendant. We will need people to know that the Bajoran Intendant will do what ever is needed. Others might have to fear you, but I don't fear you."

"Is that why you hit me? To show me that?" Ro asked.

"No, I did that because you were trying to convince yourself just as much as you were trying to convince me that you are not the wonderful person I know you to be. Don't ever do that again. I know that you aren't perfect, neither am I. Do you really think I don't know that I'm just a weakling with the only advantage I have being that I have a nice body and am not above using it. Delik was right, I am a whore, I slept my way into my job, and I had to sleep with my former boss several times to keep that job. We both aren't perfect, but we enhance each other. Together you and I will make a wonderful life. Have faith in me, and in yourself."

"Alright," Ro relented, "I'll make you a deal."


"I will simply be who I am, and won't try to paint myself worse. If you never call yourself that again. Never again."

"What? A wh..."

"Never... a... gain." Ro interrupted forcefully. "I will kill him for doing that to you."

"No you won't," Jetur disagreed with a smile.

"You're already trying to influence my decisions?" Ro asked, mentally wondering how a simple smile could calm her down so easily.

"Well, it is my job. I will influence all your decisions, just like you will influence my decisions. But no, that's not why you won't kill him," Jetur gave Ro another smile, and this one Ro could only describe as wicked. "You see, my love, he WAS my boss and I had to do what ever he wanted, but now, now I'm going to be Intendant. I'm going to be HIS boss."

"Ah, I see," Ro said before leaning down a little to kiss the slightly shorter woman. "You sure you aren't the evil one in our relationship?"

"Ah, but I never said that I wasn't. I merely said that I don't go as far as you. I'm not above petty vengeance. I heard that they still need a government representative in sector 103."

Ro laughed at that. "Woman, you are truly evil. You really want to send the poor man to the only Bajoran star base that lives in permanent weightlessness?"

"Oh yeah."

"A place where, thanks to the neighboring spacial anomaly the magnetic north and south pole switch every thirty minutes, making even the most sturdy person live constantly with a severe case of space sickness?"

"Yes, that's the place. Someone has to make sure that the spacial anomaly continues to shrink without destroying that solar system."

"You do realize that doing this will send a signal?"

"Yeah," Jetur agreed, "I don't think that would be such a bad thing though. Laren, sleeping with someone for a job is becoming too common. I mean, it's never going to disappear, but it should also not be as expected as it is now."

"Alright, I agree. So who is going to tell him the good news?"

"We both are going to tell him."

"Yeah," Ro agreed, "no matter what, we will do things together. That means telling people that they have to pack and move out, just as much as it means telling Bajor the new rules we instate."

"Sounds good to me," Jetur agreed.

"Alright, how about we get going? We are expected at our own reception."

"Right. Um," Jetur stopped talking for a moment before continuing shyly, "you, um, do realize that it is expected of us to leave the reception early?"


"You also know the reason why?"

"Um, yeah," Ro said again.

"Sooo, are you going to frown or smile at the reception?"

Ro spent a brief moment wondering what Jetur meant; then she gave Jetur a broad smile. "Oh, I'll be smiling alright."

"Good," Jetur said with a smile just as broad.

Ro leaned in and whispered softly in Jetur's ear. "But don't you even think that I'm anywhere near finished courting you. I plan on doing that for many years to come." Ro placed a soft kiss on the tempting cheek and took Jetur's hand to gently lead her out of the room and to the part of the place where the reception was being held.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," B'Elanna said while sitting down on her prison bed.

"Yeah, well, you wanted fair and square," Annika retorted.

"Alright, alright." B'Elanna brought her fist up in front of her and started to shake it a little. "Rock, scissors, paper. Damn." B'Elanna shook her hand in a wait a minute gesture. "Okay, two out of three. Rock, scissors, paper. Damn, damn, damn. Okay, three out of five?"

"Forget it," Annika said with a triumphant air, "you lost. I win. Swallow your pride and surrender."

"Oh, alright already. I'll go update Janeway. You just sit here and relax."

"Actually, I'm not planning on relaxing right away."

"You aren't?" B'Elanna asked, while standing up and walking to the door.

"No, I was planning on taking a shower and after that I think I'm ready to show you how I normally deal with my stress and the tension that builds up if I have to work with someone I like."

"What? Are you telling me that you want to lie down there and... um, you know, with me watching."

"Actually, I normally prefer to sit with my legs crossed, but, yeah, I think I would really like to show you this."

"I... I... I..."

Annika laughed and decided to have some mercy. "B'Elanna, you really shouldn't think about sex that much."

"Yeah, well, I thought you knew that I'm part Klingon. Like it or not, a big libido is part of the package."

Annika laughed at that. "Tom must have been a very happy guy then."

"Um, HE was."

Annika's laugh ebbed away to a smile. "You mean you weren't?"

B'Elanna hesitated for a moment, wondering if she should talk about something so personal, then she figured that she had been honest with Tom, and wasn't spilling dirt by telling Annika the truth. She walked back to the bed and sat down. "Actually, to be honest with you, Tom is a good friend, and he was also a very good lover. The thing is that he is a man. After thirty minutes, at most, we were done."

"I get it," Annika said, "he's a good sprinter while you would love to have a long distance runner."

B'Elanna hung her head for a moment before looking back up with a grin on her face. "Yeah, something like that."

"Well, I can tell you that I really love a good, long... run. "Annika gave the Klingon a smile before changing the subject. "Actually what I was talking about was that relaxation technique I was talking about earlier."

B'Elanna slapped herself against the forehead. "Oh, right, THAT. Um, I don't know Annika, Tuvok once tried to teach me a Vulcan meditation technique, I stopped doing it because it frustrated me to no end. Chakotay tried to bring me into contact once with my spirit guide; I ended up killing the damn animal."

"Tuvok is too logical, and Chakotay seemed to forget to take your temper into account," Annika stated. "B'Elanna, as you say yourself, you are a Klingon. You should not try to meditate your energy away. If you are pissed, you can't just say 'ohommm' and have that energy just disappear. You have to accept your energy and focus it.

"This relaxation technique isn't about emptying your mind; it isn't about taking energy away. It's about taking the energy that's inside you and focusing it. I solved many problems by focusing my energy on the problem and on nothing else. Just looking at the problem from all sides."

"Alright, I will give it a try when I come back." B'Elanna stood up and walked to the door.

"Oh, and B'Elanna," Annika said while standing up as well.

B'Elanna turned around, her hand ready to open the door. "Yeah?"

"One thing that I can promise you," Annika said while starting to open her uniform and showing most of her chest to the Klingon, speaking while she continued to strip. "I won't let your libido go to waste. I learned to control mine, but if I let loose, I have a very big appetite."

"You really are out to drive me crazy, aren't you?" B'Elanna said while turning to the door again. Just when she was about leave the room, she heard a soft voice behind her.

"Every minute you can resist me driving you nuts, my admiration for you grows."

"Just remember what I told you," B'Elanna said without turning away from the door, "I will tell you when you go too far."

"But you haven't told me that I went too far."

"My point exactly," B'Elanna said, before finally opening the door and walking out.

"What a woman," Annika said to herself. She finished stripping and stepped into the sonic shower. She smiled to herself when she thought about the Klingon's reaction when Annika had talked about her own sexual drive. Annika hadn't exaggerated; she did have a healthy lust for sex, when she let it surface. Normally she didn't, that was why she invented her relaxation technique.

It wasn't that often that she trusted someone enough to take them to bed, to take off her knives. But she did want to take B'Elanna to bed, and that was becoming a problem. She loved teasing the Klingon, but it was beginning to affect herself as well. More and more, she was beginning to hope that B'Elanna would call her bluff.

However, as much as she wanted to be in the same bed with the woman, she didn't want to just have sex with her. She felt that she could have more, so much more with the woman. For a moment, Annika wondered what she should do. She didn't want to fully stop with teasing the Klingon in an erotic way; she knew that they both enjoyed it too much for that.

Maybe it was better to cut just it down a little. Maybe she could start doing something else instead. Like... deep conversation. There were things in her life that she wanted to tell someone, but until now she never had someone to tell things to. She was sure that the Klingon must have lived a very interesting life as well. They had touched on different subjects before, but never really talked much about it.

Normally expecting that the other wouldn't want to talk about it certain subjects. That, Annika decided, had to change. They should feel comfortable talking about all kinds of stuff if they really wanted to have... something together. And Annika felt that both of them indeed wanted that.

Annika nodded her head; the teasing would stay, just not as blatant. And at night, she would just talk to the Klingon. Decision made, Annika started whistling softly. Life, she decided, was good.

Seven frowned for a moment while looking at the report in front of her.

"What is it, my pet?" Torres asked while sitting down beside the blonde. They had left the reception four hours after the ceremony had ended. Only moments after Ro and Jetur had said goodbye to the guests. With is only being four o'clock in the afternoon, both Torres and Seven knew that the day was far from over.

"I am reading the report on the repairs to Voyager, mistress."

Torres turned the computer unit towards herself and took a moment to go over the list. "Now I know why you were frowning. What in all levels of condemnation are they doing? Industrial replicator? A clocking system?"

"They have also uploaded a lot of replicator patterns into the memory of the industrial replicator, so much so that I assume that the memory must be filled to capacity."

"I'll just believe you on that part," Torres said, not wanting to bother looking at a list of patterns that had to number in the hundreds of thousands. "It seems that they are using the chance to stock up for years to come."

"It is only logical," Seven concluded after thinking about it for a moment. "They are preparing to be on the run for a long time. I assume that they concluded that there are two possibilities; either they will find a way to get back to our universe, which means that they will be once again back in the Delta Quadrant. Or they will not find a way back and will have to stay in this universe, which will be a very hostile place to them. Either way, they can use the enhancements. Mistress, will you allow them to use the wormhole to get back to the Delta Quadrant?"

"I don't know, check the report on it. We have devices to monitor the stability of the wormhole on one of those weapon platforms. You will find it under the header military forces, and then under, stationary arms. You will be looking for weapon platform cluster thirty-three."

"Thank you mistress. I have found the information. It states that the wormhole has achieved a state of flux four times in the last week."

"What do you think, my pet? Will they take the chance to travel through it against those odds?"

"I am not certain, but I would think not."

"So there is really no need to make things harder on myself by deactivating those platforms."

"Why would it make things hard on you mistress? Surely giving an order to deactivate those weapons platforms is not an order that would bring an Intendant into trouble."

"Normally, no," Torres agreed, "But think of the chain of events, my dear. Slaves escape from a star base, now that I can cover by the deal we made, and I really only have to worry if the Chancellor finds the deal acceptable. And since Martok must have told him by now, and he didn't contact me, I assume that he will not intervene in the plan. However, if I also were to let them escape safely back into their own space with ship and all, I don't think even Worf would be able to accept that. Besides, there is a much safer way for them to go to their own universe. A way that is much safer, but will require them to leave the ship behind."

"Mistress?" Seven asked, her interest fully awoken.

Torres sighed before staring to explain. "Remember that I told you in the beginning that the wormhole and a second way were the only two safe ways of traveling between our universes?"

"As far as an unstable wormhole can be considered safe," Seven said, mostly to show the Intendant that she remembered, but also to prompt her to go on.

"Right, well that second way involves the transporters. Some years ago an engineering slave was caught while trying to escape. Now, I told you, if you are caught TRYING to escape the penalty is certain death. But, the way he wanted to escape was so interesting that they brought him before me.

"Since he was caught in Bajoran territory he normally would be brought in front of Kira, but he was lucky, a Klingon spy was there when he was caught and the spy paid the others off, bringing the slave to me. The slave had developed a device that changed the working of a normal transporter if it was activated. Instead of sending you to a different place, you would be sent to a different universe; yours.

"I made him a deal. He would explain the full workings of the device and put the schismatic to padd that make it possible to recreate the device if needed. In return I would give him a very nice job. It wouldn't be freedom, but he would live, and have a good life. He works at my home now, making sure the mechanical stuff keeps working right. Anyway, the device was set to bring the person using it to a Bajoran star base in your universe. A base called Terok Nor."

"Terok Nor was the name of the star base that is later called Deep Space Nine," Seven said, to indicate that she knew the base, "they would be just a few days from their home if they could use this."

"If," Torres agreed, "but they can't. Not yet."


"Ah. No, they can't use it for the complexity of it. Think about it. I would have to bring slaves to Bajor, into Bajoran territory, to let them escape on a Bajoran station. It would cost me my neck for involving the Bajorans into this, and it would cost Jetur and Ro their necks for allowing it.

"I can get away with a lot of stuff because I'm the most powerful of the Klingons. Bajorans are third in line after the Cardassians, but Ro and Jetur are only just Intendant, heck, they aren't really Intendant yet, that will be tomorrow once they are appointed. We can't let your friends escape from the base. It would cause a political earthquake that would shake the whole Coalition. It is just too much, Seven."

"I understand mistress. Besides, you are already doing as much as you can for them, for me."

"You really do understand, don't you?" Torres asked, glad that the blonde did understand the problems of coalition politics. "Anyway, if what I'm working on succeeds, they might be able to use it to go back in a year or two. If they succeed in being on the run for two years and my plan works, then we can send them back."


"Soon, my pet, soon."

"Yes, mistress."

"Anyway, time to change the subject," Torres said with a grin.

"Yes, mistress?"

"I promised you something yesterday."


Torres closed the computer unit and pushed it a way a little. "I promised you that after the joining ceremony of Ro and Jetur I would be yours for the rest of the day."

"To do with whatever I please?" Seven asked before softly kissing the Intendant.

"What... ever... you... please..." Torres said between kisses. "I'm not kidding baby, today I'm all yours... if..."

"If what?" Seven asked when Torres stopped talking. She knew that the Intendant had been waiting for her to ask.

"Today I'll be totally yours if tomorrow, tomorrow you will be totally mine, completely."

"I am always yours mistress."

"No, what I mean is that tomorrow you are totally mine, without restrictions, all the way. I decided that I can ask you that as well, as you asking it."

When Seven understood what the Intendant meant, her heart skipped a beat. "I would like that very much, mistress. However, we are supposed to be at Jetur and Ro's inauguration tomorrow."

"That's okay. We take a little break then."

"Acceptable." Seven kissed Torres once more before asking. "So you are mine now, completely?"

"Yes," Torres whispered.

"Then get up and follow me to the replicator. I think I would like to see you in something else other than a battle uniform or naked. I think some lacy lingerie, in black."

"I thought looks were irrelevant," Torres noted while she got up to follow the blonde.

"They were," Seven agreed, "Until I fell in love with a beautiful Klingon. Suddenly I understood that aesthetics are relevant after all. I think I would enjoy seeing you dressed in something else."

"Well, my dear, today is all about you, so I would love to play fashion model for you. Go on, pick something nice for me."

"Thank you, B'Elanna," Seven said while turning to the replicator.

Part 19

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