DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended. This story includes same sex relationships between women. If you are offended by this or it is illegal where you live or you are underage then please read no further.
ARCHIVING: Please ask first.
Constructive feedback welcome.
SUMMARY: B'Elanna teaches Seven about families
COMMENT: I keep the cannon I like and discard the rest
WARNINGS: This fic contains strong language and a sexual relationship between two women. If any of this offends you or is illegal where you live then please read something else.
"Hi, Reg here are those reports you wanted on the micro- wormholes." Commander Riker said as he laid a data cube on the desk. "What research are they for?"
"If my findings are correct it might allow Voyager a real time communication with the alpha quadrant and they could at least talk to there families instead of just relay messages." He explained as he entered the data cube into his computer.
"I hope it works out. They could sure use a break." Will said as he left the lab. Reg returned to his research Voyager being his number one priority for the last four years.
"Prepare to receive star fleet communication." chirped the computer.
"Looks like the mail is here." quipped Tom.
"Do a ship wide announcement Tom. The crew could really use a lift. Then transfer it to astrometrics for Seven to download." instructed Captain Janeway with a smile.
"Attention all decks! We got mail!" everyone on the bridge except Tuvok smiled at this.
Down in engineering in the bowels of a Jeffries tube the announcement startles two women replacing relays.
"Well Seven I guess that means you are through helping me today." said a surprisingly civil chief engineer.
"Lt. Torres, I will complete my assignment before going to astrometrics it is not an urgent matter." Seven said as she continued her work.
"Maybe not to you but to the rest of this crew it is very urgent. They really miss home and their families." B'Lanna stated forcefully.
"Lieutenant if I might ask a question." Seven asked tilting her head. "You said they. Do you not also miss your home and family."
Long moments passed before she replied, " I don't have a home and the only family I have are the Maquis and other than the members of this crew they are all dead. So there are no messages from me from the alpha quadrant."
"We are alike then for I have no home or family also" Seven quietly said.
That remark caused B'Lanna to sit up quickly bumping her head in the cramped confines. "That is BULLSHIT!" she shouted at the stunned drone. "Who are those five borglings if not your kids! You pulled Icheb back from his psychotic family and the twins and Mitzoi weren't gone two weeks before they made that ship turn around and bring them back to there collective. You go to see the baby in stasis every day while the doctor is trying to stabilize her and remove her implants. They are your kids and you are their mother and if you are not prepared to accept that you should have left them with the borg." She sat there glaring at Seven's opened mouth astonishment.
"I am not qualified to be a parent." she replied.
"Then you better get qualified because to them you are there mother. What are you going to do when we get back give them over to strangers." snarled the Klingon.
"No!!" Seven shouted before she could stop herself.
The Lieutenant just smirked at her.
"No." Seven replied quietly this time. "I could not do that."
"That makes you their mother and you better do everything you can to protect them. They need you." B'Lanna said passionately.
"What if I make a mistake. I am not qualified."
Time to use a little logic thought B'lanna "Is Captain Janeway qualified to command this vessel."
"Of course" came the response.
"Does she make mistakes" The klingon questioned again.
"Yes" came the short reply.
"Am I qualified to be the chief engineer" this was moving on to more uncertain ground.
"Yes" came the surprisingly forceful reply.
"Do I make mistakes"
"Frequently" Seven said.
"Everybody makes mistakes. You learn from them and go on." B'lanna said looking deeply into a pair of blue eyes.
"I will comply with your advice Lieutenant" Seven said as she left the Jeffries tube.
B'Lanna leaned back for a moment and thought about home and family and blue eyes.
Later in astrometrics Seven called to the Captain on her communicator "Captain you have a for your eyes only communication from Starfleet Command."
"Thank you Seven I will be right there. Janeway out."
Captain Janeway entered astrometrics with a sure stride. "How are you today Seven?"
"I am confused" she answered.
The captain noticing the troubled look on her face walked over to her and asked as she lay a hand on her arm. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Seven looked at her and began to speak " I had a conversation with Lt. Torres about home and families and mothers and mistakes."
"That sounds like quite a conversation." Janeway paused for a moment "What did she say that confused you."
"That Icheb, Mitzoi, the twins and the baby are my family and that I am their mother." Seven stated.
"Lt. Torres to astrometrics immediately" The captain barked into her com badge.
A short time later B'Lanna hurries into astrometrics with a worried look on her face. This can't be good she thinks to herself. She enters to see a very upset captain. "Captain how can I help you."
"Could you please explain what you meant by telling Seven that she is the mother to the children we rescued from the Borg." the captain clipped out.
The klingon looked astounded by the question. "How can you not see that she is, Captain"
"She is just taking care of them until we can get them settled." the captain responded through clenched teeth.
"What is this some kind of goddamn experiment, Captain." B'Lanna spat back. "Another of your humanity lessons. Those kids aren't lab rats their children and neither is Seven. She loves them and they love her. She even fought you for Icheb. She loved them enough to let the twins go to make them happy."
The captain was taken aback by these words and stuttered out. "I know she cares for them."
"Cares" B'Lanna cut her off. "she'd die for them and you know it." her voice steadily rising in volume as she continued. "and how about the kids she is the only security and love that they have ever known." she practically shouted.
Seven finally spoke and said turning both of the other women's attention to her. "She means that I have no biological claim to them."
B'lanna walked over and grasped the younger woman's shoulders and calmly looked into her eyes. "Are you familiar with the Christian religion of earth?" she asked. at the blondes nod, she continued "My grandmother, my father's mother, told me a story when I was little from their holy book when I was little. Would you like to hear it?
"I do not see the relevance, Lt Torres."
"Oh it is relevant. Will you listen"
"I will comply."
"Once there was a great king named Solomon, he was known throughout history for his wisdom. He had to judge many disputes for his people. One day two women were brought before him. They lived in one house and both gave birth to sons on the same day. One of the babies died, and both of the women claimed the survivor as her own. There were no other witnesses and it was one woman's word against the other. The king thought and he finally told them to bring the baby forward and he told one of his soldiers to cut the baby in half and give one half to each woman."
Seven interrupted "That is horrible. The baby would die. I do not think he was very wise."
"The story is not over yet Seven. When the women heard what he was going to do, one of the women said that was fair. The other said no let her have the baby to spare his life. The king pulled the second woman forward and said this is the mother."
Seven queried "How could he be sure this was the biological mother?"
"I asked my grandmother that very same question. Do you know what she said?" Seven shook her head. "It is not blood but love that makes a mother. You know those little borglings love you. Do you love them?" at Seven's nod. "then fight for them!"
"I will comply" replied Seven through unshed tears.
"Don't tell me tell her." B'Elanna said pointing to the captain.
Seven turned to her mentor "Captain, I wish to adopt Icheb, Mitzoi, Azan, Rebi, and the baby."
The captain walked over to Seven and nodded. She activated her com badge with a wry smile. "Chakotay, I have a request for a change of status from a crew member."
"Who's getting married" came over the badge.
"Not a wedding an adoption, Seven wishes to adopt the children." Janeway smiled inwardly at the startled look that she knew must be on her first officers face.
After a pause, the com badge spoke again. "Certainly captain, if Seven is available she can come to my quarters and start the paperwork now."
"She will be with you in just a few moments, Commander." Janeway turned to Seven and motioned her over to the console. "Show me where the files are that I need to access then you may leave."
"Here and here." Punched up several files. "But captain I must complete downloading the other messages."
"You go ahead" the captain motioned to the door. "The lieutenant and I will work on it till you get done."
B"Lanna came over to the console as Seven left the room. "How can I help captain."
The captain pointed toward another console and said "Start downloading the personal message file to data cubes, while I go through the security and official files." before she started though she asked "B'Lanna. what if the federation does not approve the adoption? Have you thought how this will affect Seven and the children?"
The other woman turned to look at the captain. "Captain you taught me there is always a way if you look hard enough and want it bad enough." She paused before continuing. "We are a long way from the alpha quadrant and if you recognize Seven's family it would mean everything to her."
The captain just nodded and returned to her work.
The meeting in the ships conference room was only waiting for the captains arrival.
B'Elanna asked Chakotay. "Do you know what this meeting is about?"
"I assume it is about the classified documents she received from Starfleet."
"How did the meeting go with Seven? Is the paperwork going alright?" She leaned closer to him to hear his response.
"So far so good there is a lot to process and it all has to be done five times once for each child. It would be easier if she just wanted to get married." Inwardly Chakotay groaned at the uphill struggle it would be for the former borg. "She also has to under go a psychiatric screening and counseling."
"That's going to be difficult with no counselor on board."
As B'Elanna finished speaking, the captain entered motioning with her hand that they remain seated. "I have had some very good news from starfleet. Some of you are familiar with the work that Lt. Barkley did in setting up the relay beacons so we could get messages from earth. Well he has discovered a way to use the micro wormholes to allow real time communications with home. We will be able to talk to our families and friends."
The room erupted with chatter and smiling. The captain motioned for quiet " There are several thousand of these type wormholes between us and home we reach the first location in two weeks time. Everyone will be allotted 15 minutes. We will need a rotation schedule Chakotay I want you to handle that." The captain turned to Seven "Is there anything that we ought to know about these coordinates."
"No captain it is in an isolated part of space with no planets and to my knowledge not part of any ones territory." The blonde stated calmly.
"All right Chakotay I want that schedule for day after tomorrow so we can get the arguing over with before we get there. Dismissed."
As the others left Seven sought out Lt Torres. "Lieutenant I require your assistance."
Rolling her eyes she turned to face Seven. "what do you need?" She growled out.
"Lt Torres I believe the crew will require some privacy for these communications. I believe if we set up a relay to the deep space transmitter in smaller room perhaps empty crew quarters. They would be more comfortable." The taller woman said while looking down at her.
B'Elanna was shocked at the former drones insight and thoughtfulness to her fellow shipmates. "That is an excellent idea, Seven. That was very considerate of you to think of that."
"Lieutenant might I ask you a personal question."
"You can ask it doesn't necessarily mean I will answer." the klingon answered testily.
"Why do you hate me?"
"What!" B'Elanna turned and gave the woman her full attention. "I don't hate you. In fact I respect you and grudgingly a small microcosmic amount I even like you."
Now it was Seven's turn to be shocked. "Then why do you act the way you do to me and talk to me like you loathe me."
"Seven you just drive me crazy sometimes its a klingon thing. I don't hate you." with that B'Elanna turned an left the flustered woman.
Seven pondered for long moments after the smaller woman left. I must investigate this behavior. She considered going to the doctor but his advice sometimes just made her more confused. Who else knew about other cultures. Neelix.
Entering the mess area she saw the Talaaxian stirring a large kettle as he added chopped peppers and leela root to the simmering mix. "Mr. Neelix I require your assistance."
"Certainly Seven, are you hungry the stew is not ready but I am sure I can make you something."
"I do not require nutritional supplements at this time. I have a question about a crewman's conduct."
"Alright Seven you can ask me anything." the little man said as he came around the corner smiling.
"Lt. Torres has displayed an extremely hostile attitude to me on several occasions. When I questioned her about this she said she did not hate me and that it was a klingon thing."
"Be more specific about her behavior Seven."
"She yells at me, She threatens me, She throws things, and the term I think is she gets right into my face practically nose to nose sometime. Sometimes she even shakes with the effort to control her emotions." the ex borg remembered with a puzzled expression.
"Has she ever hurt you or touched you." Neelix asked patiently.
"She has never hurt me but she has shoved me and has grabbed my arm on several occasions and even shaken me once." the woman spoke remembering the incident.
"When did this happen?"
"We were replacing conduits in the Jeffries tube by the plasma nacelle I was through with my assigned area and went to help with the ones closer to the nacelle she told me to "leave it alone she would replace it." I disregarded her comments as I removed it she pulled me violently away and thrust us both to the floor as it vented plasma she crawled over to the side and turned off the plasma release. When it was over and we both stood up she grabbed me and shook me and threatened to weld shut my regeneration alcove, skin me and put me out an airlock, as well as insulting me and issuing several more threats she questioned my intelligence, my sanity, and my parentage." Blue eyes looking lost with confusion.
Neelix paused as he collected his thoughts. "Seven this maybe hard for you to understand but during that incident I think B'Elanna was just afraid that you could have been injured. Seven what do you know about klingons?"
"I know their physiology, their language, their home world, the borg thought they were worthy of assimilation." Seven replied.
"Seven know this that I could be mistaken but I believe that the behavior you describe is very typical of klingon courting behavior. You might look up klingon culture in our data base. Klingons desire a life mate. When someone is interested they start acting very aggressively to the other person if that person responds in kind it expresses a similar interest. On the other hand if a person fails to respond in a similar fashion it is seen as a brush off. The other may pursue for awhile in hopes of piquing their interest. I am afraid you may be sending mixed signals by provoking arguments with her and not showing any physical aggression towards her. Be very careful I know B'Elanna would never hurt you but if you were to show any physical aggression it could lead to an embarrassing situation." The small man cautioned strongly.
As Seven fought her confusion, she asked "What should I do?"
"Just proceed carefully."
"Lt. Torres has given me much support about the adoption of the children."
"She just wants you and the little ones to be happy and safe." Neelix said softly "So do I"
Seven returned to the cargo bay deep in thought. Postponing her regeneration she activated her console and accessed the ships data base. "Computer access klingon mating rituals.
Klingon mating rituals
Klingons are allowed to claim mates starting at the age 15.
Courtship procedures vary but fall into three main groups.
Playful aggression- Typical activities include exaggerated threats, boasts, showing off, loud arguments, invading personal space, pushing, and grabbing up to and including wrestling.
Serious interest- The same behavior as above but intensified with the added elements of trying to show that they would be a worthy and desirable mate. Protectiveness rises and the desire to make the other happy comes to the front. Jealousy is often present.
Hunter instinct- This behavior often comes to the fore when the person that they are attracted to is perceived as a threat. The urge to conquer and dominate is a heavy motivation. Read Botok's theory on klingon evolution. Part of the attraction is the element of danger.
"Stop computer" Seven said turned away thinking. I cannot process this now. I have to concentrate on the children."
"Computer location of Lt. Torres." Seven queried as she ended her regeneration cycle.
Jeffries tube 14 near crew quarter section beta.
Seven went over to the children's alcoves as they chimed. Regeneration cycle complete She motioned them over towards her. "I have something that I must discuss with you." as they gathered around her she started speaking softly. "I wish you to know that I have started proceedings to adopt all of you."
Mitzoi looked up and asked. "Why"
The question startled Seven she paused for a moment before replying "First because I love you and would like us to be a family. Secondly, I would be able to protect you and see to your needs better if I had a legal claim."
Icheb came forward and said "This is acceptable." and then awkwardly added. "I love you as well."
Mitzoi just reached over and embraced the startled former borg while the twins nodded.
Seven felt something on her cheek and the children cried out in unison "Seven, you are leaking." They hurried her to sickbay.
In sickbay they found the doctor singing as he worked on his medical files. "Seven, Icheb what is the matter."
Icheb answered the concern evident in his voice. " Seven is leaking."
The doctor snapped as he ran a tricorder over her. "She's not leaking; she's crying. What happened?"
Icheb related the prior activities and asked "Is she sad is that why she is crying?" His confusion evident in his face.
Seven hastened to reassure him "I am not sad. In fact if I comprehend the emotion correctly I am experiencing great happiness."
The hologram just smile as he exclaimed "Those are known as tears of joy I hope you have many more of them."
Just as he finished speaking Lt. Carey's voice came over the com. Doctor we have an emergency.
"State the nature of the medical emergency."
"There Lt. Torres was caught in an energy discharge and the equipment she is using prevents a transport. The chief is conscious but we wanted to talk with you before we attempted to move her. Carey out."
"My sensors are unable to access her condition due to interference. I am sure that it would affect my emitter as well. Do you have anyone with medic training there?"
"Lt. Vorik does."
"Where is the closest I can transport supplies to?" The doctor said as he ran through options and scenarios in his programming.
"Crew quarters Beta 17." instead of Carey's voice it was Vorik that replied.
"Lieutenant immobilize her as much as you can and then transfer her to sickbay as soon as you are free of the interference. The Doctor out."
"Understood." Vorick out.
The Doctor turned his attention back to the former borg around him "Would you like to see the baby?"
Seven and the children followed him to the stasis chamber where the tiniest of their number lay.
Around the stasis cradle lay three little objects that had not been there before. One was made of string and feathers the other two were objects designed like animals.
"What are these?" Mitzoi asked.
The knelt down as he answered. "I asked the same question. The first one is a dream catcher it is supposed to allow good dreams to come through but catch nightmares in the strings. The second one." he picked up the uglier of the animals it had long teeth and huge claws and a snarl on its face. "Is a guard targ. Klingons put these in the window of a child's room to frighten away evil spirits. And this" He handed her the brown stuffed bear that Mitzoi unconsciously squeezed. "is a teddybear. So she wouldn't get lonely."
"I know the dream catcher must have come from Commander Chakotay and the targ from Lt. Torres but where did the teddy bear come from?" Seven asked.
The doctor replied. "Actually Seven you are mistaken, B'Elanna brought them all. When I talked to her about them. I told her that the infant was not aware of things at this point and did not dream. She just smiled and said then they can't hurt anything."
He left them alone at that point. Seven thought about the gifts and the woman who gave them.
Mitzoi looked up and said "You are leaking again."
Seven just brushed the tears away "We need to start researching about a name for the baby." They all nodded at that. You need to proceed to your assignments. Icheb you are studying in communications with Ensign Kim today. Mitzoi, Azan, and Rebi are going with Naomi and Samantha Wildman today to the hydroponics bay to study botany and nutrition.
As the children left she heard the hum of the transporter and looked over as Vorik and Torres materialized.
"Doctor may I be of assistance"
"Yes come over here." Seven followed the doctors direction. "Vorik you are dismissed."
The vulcan left with unusual haste Seven thought. Seven finally allowed herself to look at the smaller woman she had several burns and her wrist and leg were at odd angle. She was restrained onto a flat surface with some device around her neck. "Doctor why is Lt. Torres restrained?"
"It was to prevent further injuries while they moved her. Seven the sensors indicate no spinal trauma. Go ahead and remove her from the spine board and help her remove her clothing be careful of the burns.
B'Elanna had been laying there quietly growling and gritting her teeth shouted. "No, I can do it myself."
"Don't be ridiculous" came the EMH's response "you have a broken wrist, three broken ribs and your right leg is broken in three spaces. If you keep arguing I will sedate you and we will do it with you unconscious."
Seven moved closer and said. "It will be alright lieutenant." She brought over a blanket from one of the other biobeds. and draped it over her. "I am going to release you from the restraint but let me help you." with a hiss the restraints retracted. "I am going to undo your boots and remove your socks." moving very gently she removed the first shoe from the uninjured side and then carefully the other. She could tell this caused her great pain but she only growled. As she looked at the leg, She made a decision "I am going to cut the pants off. I think that this will cause the least discomfort." B'Elanna just nodded expecting her to reach for a scalpel and was surprised when she ran one finger of her borg enhanced hand on the outer thigh and calf of her uninjured leg feeling the material fall away but a moan escaped her when the blonde's hand moved to the inner thigh of her injured leg and made its way down slowly and carefully to her ankle. "I am sorry lieutenant I am being as gentle as I can."
"Your bedside manner is a lot better than the Doctors Seven. Don't worry about it your doing fine." "Let her think that moan was pain" B'Elanna muttered under her breath. "not a different kind of ache."
Seven turned to dispose of the pants and knew that the klingon had not meant for her to hear that. The other woman often forgot about her enhanced hearing. "Doctor" she called out. "Could you repair B'Elanna's leg before we move her other clothing I think that would cause her less pain"
"Yes but she has a dampening chemical on her from the fire retardent it must be removed before I can use my instruments here this solution will remove it." He handed her a basin and a cloth and left for his office.
Seven turned back to the other woman and lifted the blanket and began to wipe the solution on the good leg . She could hear the other woman's hearts accelerate and could see where she began to perspire by the time she reached her ankle B'Elanna was shaking. "Lt Torres this procedure is causing you discomfort" the klingon did not even open her eyes just continued breathing shallowly. The former drone walked up to the head of the bed and grasped the woman gently by the neck. When B'Elanna looked up, Seven said "trust me." BElanna nodded and then her world went black as Seven used a Vulcan nerve pinch on her. After that she quickly finished the other leg, then removing the rest of her clothes and using the rest of the solution to remove the remainder of the residue. She could not help but admire the other woman's form and was feeling many new emotions she could not identify. Covering the other woman again with the blanket She released the pinch.
B'Elanna came around knowing she had been unconscious and realizing that she was nude under the blanket. She blushed furiously. Glaring at Seven. "What did you do?"
"It is a Vulcan technique that Tuvok taught me. Your discomfort was distracting my efficiency." The blonde responded.
The doctor came through the door with his instruments. As he healed the burns abrasion and broken bones he spoke into his com badge. "Lt. Carey how long has Lt Torres been on shift for the last three days."
"I'm checking doctor." there was a short pause and then came the astonished reply. "68 hours Doctor."
"Lt Torres as far as I know we are not in an emergency situation and working yourself into exhaustion is dangerous to you and other members of this crew. You are relieved from duty and barred from engineering for 24 hours. If you don't get some rest I will keep you in sickbay and sedate you." the EMH glared at her.
"Are you out of your mind." snarling the klingon moved to get up and realized she was still undressed. She paused to wrap the blanket tighter around her as she stood "I have too much to do to take a day off."
"If that is the way you feel" He replied calmly and as she moved to brush past him he administered a hypospray to her neck. Seven caught the smaller woman as she fell forward unconscious. "Please place the lieutenant back on the biobed Seven."
"Doctor would not Lt. Torres regenerate better in her own quarters." The younger woman asked still holding the sleeping body in her arms.
"You are probably right. Seven would you take her to her quarters. I have to check the procedures in the stasis chamber." the Doctor said looking down at his work station.
"I will comply" with that Seven strode out of sickbay carrying B'Elanna still wrapped in a blanket through the corridors to her quarters.
"Wait" the doctor called out too late to catch her "I was going to do a site to site transport. Computer, Authorize Seven of Nine entry to Lt. Torres' quarters medical authorization Emergency Medical Hologram"
As Seven proceeded through the ship she overheard many curious comments and received quite a few startled glances. Coming up to the door the computer admitted her inside. Walking though the second set of doors and over to the bed, the former borg laid her burden gently on the bed and covered her. Standing there observing the smaller woman in her slumber Seven was struck by feelings she had never felt before.
"36 hours till we arrive at the micro wormhole. What is the status on the adjustments? Captain Picard inquired from his command chair on the bridge.
"We have just finished the last test and everything is a go." Came Lt. LeForge's response from engineering.
"Good work Mr. Leforge and Mr. Barclay."
"Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi please meet me in the ready room at your earliest convience" as he made to leave the bridge his thoughts went to that other ship stranded so far from home and aid.
Around 20 minutes later the captain looked up as two women came in and he motioned them to be seated. "What assistance can we give to the families of the Voyager crew?"
Dr Crusher answered "We have already made sure that each person has a counselor with them for after the conversation and an extended therapy profile to pursue after contact."
"What assistance can we offer Voyager and her crew? Counselor Troi can you respond to that? How are they going to be able to respond"
The Betazoid looked pensive for a moment "They have very limited capabilities there ship's doctor and counselor were killed early on in the mission. They only have the EMH and it has a limited psychiatric database. There are no clergy and to my knowledge no one with any counseling background. The Starfleet crew with few exceptions have extensive family and social connections and that should help. The former Maquis on the other hand have lost most of their friends to the Cardassians and many their families as well. This contact will just bring their grief to bare all the harder on them. I would request that we look extensively for some contacts on this side for them however tenuous and those without any someone from our crew should contact. I would also like for them to transfer as much data as we can to Dr. Crusher and myself so that if there is any individual that we need to counsel during the link we can. I would also recommend that you and Lt. Barclay have as much contact with the captain as is feasible. It will be up to her to keep her crew focused through this and I am sure she will need all the support she can get."
"Contact Deep Space Nine and have them contact the Bajoren government Miles might be able to help you several of the surviving Maquis settled there. I will contact Ro Laren." Thanking the women he escorted them out. As he opened the com channel he thought of his former crewman who left to join the Maquis and of all the hardships she had survived. She had been saved from a Cardassian death camp by the klingons after they had started there own war with Cardassia. They had even refused to turn her over to the Federation for trial after the new accords and whenever she traveled through federation space it was on a klingon bird of prey. She was now a decorated veteran of their service a captain of her own ship and they were very protective of her. "Captain Jean Luc Picard to Klingon Bird of Prey Revenge of Kahless come in please."
"Captain this is Ensign Mognock what do you need?" growled the Klingon.
"May I speak with the captain please." The captain asked politely.
"I'll see." unaware that he had left the com active he turned to another crewman and said "there is some federation captain wanting to talk to our captain he looks like a Grelek (a klingon rodent) If he tries to arrest her I'm going to hunt his ship up and use it for phaser practice."
"Mog I'll go ask the captain. The name was P'eccard right." at Mog's nod the other crewman left. shortly the other man returned and said "Captain said transfer it to her office. Mog you p'taq you left the link open again." The other crewman turned and knocked the ensign out of his chair as he transfered the link. Suddenly the link changed to the image of a dark haired Bajoran woman of about three decades with eyes that had seen way too much."
"Captain Picard how nice to hear from you I appreciated the flowers on my promotion. How may I help you?"
"It is nice to speak with you again Ro. Do you know of the starship Voyager that is stranded in the delta quadrant ." at her nod he continues. " What you may not know is that about half of her crew are former maquis that were stranded with her from the ship Liberty your old teacher Chakotay was one of them."
Her eyes if anything seamed to get colder "Is Seska with them?"
"No she was killed. They had discovered that she was a Cardassian spy after her death."
"Too bad I wanted a piece of her myself but yes I know many members of the Liberty crew. Captain is B'Elanna Torres alive."
"Let me check." He pulled up a crew manifest. " Yes she is chief engineer"
The Bajoran actually smiled. "That is good news I will have to share that up the chain of command."
"Why?" the captain asked with some trepidation.
"She is a Klingon Hero they even have an opera about her. she will be pleased I'm sure. They call her the angel of death." Smirking as she said this. "I will send you a copy."
"What did she do"
"You know I was in the camps twice since I left starfleet?" at the Captain's nod she continued. "The first time I was freed by a klingon as well B'Elanna was sent in to rescue a Bajoran resistance leader. When she arrived the leader was dead? After being tortured she was put in with other klingons and they were given the option to fight each other to the death to have a warriors death. She was put into the pit with the grandson of General Mortok, Kort he may have been thirteen a big thirteen mind you. She told him that it was not honorable to do the enemies work for them then she beat him but refused to kill him. When he was going to kill himself, she told him that she was going to get them all out of there and that he would have the commandants head for a trophy but that she needed his help. He told her bring him the head and he would help her. Later that night as he was sleeping he felt something hit him on the back. It was the head of Gul Viket camp commander. That is the only recorded mass escape from a Cardassian Death camp all the inmates were freed 5700 of them and there were no Cardassian survivors." On the way out they Destroyed two space stations and several ships. She was injured twice saving Kort's life but refused treatment until they were out of danger. Then she left to rejoin the maquis . The last time I was in Kort's home he still had Gul Viket's head mounted above the fire place and he had named his twin daughters Bey and Lanna. I personally owe her my life. As much as I would like to help you we have no access to the delta quadrant."
"We are going to be able to do live transmissions through a micro wormhole so that they can speak to family and friends. Many of the Maquis have lost everyone and we were trying to make some contacts for them. I new you were a student of Chakotay's and thought you might know others." The captain explained.
"Ok transmit the list I'll see what I can do and I'll transfer you a copy of the opera. You will probably find it interesting "
"Thank you Ro. It is good to see you looking so well."
"They think I am fragile and they spoil me." The younger captain said with a laugh.
"They don't know you yet do they." The conversation ended with both captains laughing.
"Captain Loren to Q'onos command please respond."
"Captain Loren this is Q'onos Command how can I help you."
"I would like two things one to be connected to commander Kort and two to notify the chancellors office that Beylanna Torres is alive and well but in the delta quadrant here is an official report on her location."
"What" came the response? "She's alive I have to call Chancellor Martok. Here is your connection Captain." The officer gasped out.
Next on the screen came a fierce klingon visage. "This better be good my wife just got the kids to sleep and if you wake either of them she's going to kill us both."
"Oh well I think its good news Beylanna is alive." the Bajoran smirked at the klingons shock.
"What, Where has she been? Is she ok." he asked excitedly.
"She's fine. She's stuck in the Delta quadrant on a federation vessel has been for the last six years. There going to do a live transmission the details are in the report. They wanted to know if I could think of anyone to contact for her and the other maquis in the crew. Well I naturally thought of you."
"Thank you Ro. She gave me back my life and the best definition of honor I have ever had. Contact them and tell them that if it is at all possible I would like to speak with her."
"Good-bye Kort go back to sleep."
"All Department heads to the conference room in 15 minutes. " Harry's voice announced.
"All right Carey and Vorik carry on while I go see what the meeting is about." as B'Elanna started to walk away Lt Vorik walked up to her.
"Lt. Torres might I have a word with you." the surprised engineer turned to face him.
"Ok but make it short. The captain will be upset if I'm late." she responded.
"Lt Torres you know that Vulcans are telepathic. When I was treating you in the Jeffries tube, I inadvertently read your thoughts. I wish to apologize for this breach of your privacy."
"Okay, what did you read Vorik." Thinking to herself how is it someone who is not supposed to show emotion can look so embarrassed.
"Your feelings for Seven of Nine." the Vulcan definitely looked greener than normal.
With a sigh she said. "Just keep it to yourself Vorik."
She entered the turbolift and noticed that she was not alone on the lift Icheb and Seven were there. Taking a steadying breath she spoke " Seven, thank you for helping me to my quarters but next to time beam me over ok. So anyway how is the paperwork coming."
"It is most inefficient" the younger woman commented.
Icheb turned to the lieutenant and asked. "The commander said that we must complete these forms and as soon as we get through one set we are given another. Many of these forms ask the same questions. Why can they not use the information from the other forms." the young man's puzzled expression indicating his concern.
"Let me give you a short answer for now and after the meeting I will give you more information. Ok." at the his nod she continued. "These documents are going to several different government agencies and even different departments of those agencies. They all have slightly different purposes and so the questions are just slightly different as well. Also I think they make it difficult deliberately so that people do not take this lightly. Sort of like a trial by paper combat. Just keep working at it you will get through. Hopefully before we reach the alpha quadrant in 10 or 15 years." The last part was said with a grin.
"Thank you lieutenant. I will see you after the meeting with more questions." at this time Icheb got off the lift leaving the two woman alone.
Noticing the strained look on the younger woman's face B'Elanna moved closer. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"I am just concerned that the paperwork is not going well." came the whispered reply.
"Hey don't worry this is your first option not your only one and as far as the Captain is concerned they are your kids. The alpha quadrant is still a long way away. Take a break from the paperwork and enjoy the kids I here the little one is coming out of stasis next week. We should have Neelix throw her a party. It will give you a chance to name her and It will be a great morale booster for the kids and the crew." the older woman nudged her. "Come on it would be great."
"Lt. Torres I think that they would like that. I have yet to thank you for your gifts to the baby. Thank you." the younger woman noticed the other woman complexion darken. "Are you functioning alright lieutenant."
"I am fine Seven. We have a meeting to attend" with a motion of her arm the older woman guided her through the door of the turbolift and into the conference room.
They were the last ones to enter so as they were seated the captain began speaking. "The next day is going to be rough on the crew as it becomes closer to time. Does anyone have suggestions for areas that we should address ."
"Captain I would like to recommend that security be allowed to carry hyposprays for those individuals that become over traumatized by the situation and that the EMH be prepared to offer sedatives on an as needed basis." Tuvok commented. "Also I would like to request that security be allowed to wear non regulation clothing. The crew should also be encouraged to wear civilian attire."
"Why the worry about the uniforms?" Ensign Kim asked.
"One the sight of security uniforms tends to make people uneasy and might bring on a confrontation, secondly I have noticed that most humans tend to try to restrain their emotions when they wear uniforms and behave more formally. I believe it will be more beneficial to their conversations and the time after if they can be more relaxed." The vulcan explained.
"Very good we will arrange that. B'Elanna how are the facilities coming."
"Captain we are all set . We have the private conference area and three privacy rooms adjacent with couches and facilities for drinks like tea or water and lots of tissues replicated. There is a room off to one side for the security officers and a waiting area there for the next person. I also set up data cubes for those who would like to record their conversation."
"That sounds good. I would like you to watch your people if you have any concerns about them come to me or Commander Chakotaty. I know we haven't got a ships counselor but we have to help each other out here. If anyone needs to talk they are free to approach myself or the commander. Mr. Neelix has also volunteered to be available. In a little over 24 hours now we will be in contact with the alpha quadrant. At 0800 I will speak to the ship's captain and relay our schedule of contact if there are no problems we should begin rotation at 1000 hrs each person will have 15 minutes of contact and 45 minutes of downtime. Those that need further downtime will be allowed to return to their quarters. Any other issues." the captain asked looking around the table.
"Captain I have something it is not about this but I think now is a good time to bring it up the little sochling gets out of stasis Thursday of next week and I think it would be good if we gave her a party . It would introduce her to the crew and pick up people's spirits." As B'Elanna spoke she could not help but notice how Neelix lit up at the word party. "It could be like a baby shower."
The captain looked at her in surprise "That is an excellent idea, B'Elanna but what is a sochling."
The engineer looked chagrined "It means little seven."
Seven realized that the engineer must have listened to her when she explained that she did not like the children to be referred to as borglings because they were no longer borg. This little gesture on the other woman's part filled her with happiness. That she would respect her wishes in this way meant a lot to her. "Thank you lieutenant."
"Hey it's okay I like parties too!" the engineer said with a grin. "I am picking out the food though." This comment was pointedly directed at Neelix. That got a laugh from around the table.
The meeting wound down after another 15 minutes and they were dismissed as they exited the room Icheb was waiting. "Lt. Torres you said we could continue our discussion after the meeting."
"Ok Icheb lets go down to the mess hall so we can discuss this while I eat and you can partake of a nutritional supplement. You to Seven I am sure you've got some questions as well may as well let you both pick my brain at once."
"Why would we do that to your brain it sounds like it would damage you." he said.
"It is an expression it means to try to get as much information as possible through questioning a person." She just shook her head as she entered the turbolift with Seven and Icheb right behind her.
After she got her plate of the current mystery meal she motioned to them to sit across from he. "Ok go a head and start with the questions but Icheb I don't want you to worry about any of this as I told Seven we are still many years from the Federation and Captain Janeway already considers you guys to be a family."
He nodded and from his posture you could tell he was relieved. "You said there was several agencies and that they had different purposes could you elaborate."
"Well." the klingon said between bites. "There is Starfleet because you are passengers on and were rescued by one of their ships. There is Federation Immigration because you kids are not Federation citizens. There is the Board of Refugees which is probably what you are being considered. There is the Department of Children's Services. The Interspecies Adoption Agency, the Committee of First Contact it is a prime directive watchdog group. Local jurisdictions near Seven's birthplace attempting to establish residency. If you have been declared dead instead of just missing then there is that paperwork. And probably half a dozen more I can't think of off the top of my head." At the other woman's stunned expression the klingon snorted. "Hey its just paperwork.
"We have other things to talk about .So about this party. I am going to pick out the refreshments but Icheb why don't you and the other sochlings help me and Neelix decorate." Thinking to herself that would give the kids something else to occupy their time and take some of their anxiety away. Suddenly thinking of it she turned to Seven. "Seven we have to get you quarters and the stuff for the baby like a cradle and stuff we're going to have to rig some kind of monitor that will pull you out of regeneration when the baby wakes for feedings. Look I have to get back to Engineering but if you and the kids want to get together with me in my quarters after my shift. We can go over ideas."
"That would be acceptable Lt. Torres we will meet you at 1815 if that is sufficient time." Seven said but inwardly she felt mystified at the kindness the other woman displayed.
Outside the corridor of B'Elanna Torres' quarters as the former borg approach the door Seven's com badge chimes. "Seven I've been delayed a few minutes. You can go in I programmed the door to admit you I'll there in a few minutes." In the background you hear the Doctor muttering. As they entered the rooms the children were busy looking around. The rooms were tidy except the desk area where there were stacks of data pads haphazardly strewn. There was a display of klingon weapons on the wall that she had to direct the twins away from. "Children do not touch the lieutenant things." A few moments later the lieutenant walked in. "Lieutenant are you alright ?" Noticing the general disarray of the normally well groomed officer.
"I just got off the holodeck when the Doctor ordered me over there to check on a monitor and I did not have time to use the sonic shower in sickbay. I did not want to keep you waiting. Here if its okay you and the kids can go over these diagrams I worked up and see how you like them? If you don't mind I'm going cleanup and change." She paused as she headed to the bedroom and walked over to the replicator. "Computer chocolate chip cookies and milk for six. Here." as she sat the tray down "some thinking food."
As the brunette left the others just looked at the items curiously Seven went to the next room to ask B'Elanna how to consume these nutritional supplements as she entered se saw the smaller woman remove her shirt at the sight of bruises and contusions she exclaimed. "Lt. Torres you are injured you should be in sickbay."
The other woman jumped at the sound " Seven do you want to give me a heart attack. Don't sneak up on me." noticing the younger woman's concern she said. " I'm okay I just came from sickbay the Doctor has seen them."
"Doctor" she said as she hit her badge " I am with Lt. Torres and I believe you must be malfunctioning. The lieutenant is injured and you released her."
This caused the smaller woman to snort with laughter. The Doctor's voice was indignant in his response. "I am Not Malfunctioning! She left before I could fix them saying she was late." "
"Its ok I was just playing hoverball they are minor I promise" B'Elanna tried to comfort the younger woman. "I did not want to be later than I already was."
"I do not like to see you in pain." unconsciously the blond reached out to touch the klingons arm.
Down ,down bad hormones she thought silently to herself as she felt the blonde's skin against her own. Her klingon half had already thought of two dozen things to do that involved the blond and the bed now it was working on scenarios for the floor and the sonic shower. Taking a deep breath she covered Seven's hand with her own and said "What did you need when you came in?"
"We have never had this nutritional supplement before we are unfamiliar with how to partake of them." Seven replied shyly liking the feel of the hand over her own.
"Look let me shower and change real fast and I will show you. Go ahead and look at the plans I'll be five minutes." the younger woman nodded and left the room.
"Kahless give me strength."
After her shower as she entered the room she noticed them all standing and staring at the cookies. "go ahead and sit down" she motioned to the couch and chairs.
"We prefer to remain standing" they said in borg unison.
"Sit!" ordered the klingon. "that's better" The children left the couch for her and Seven probably not wanting to be too close to the lieutenant. Sitting down she lifted a cookie and dunked it in her glass of milk. After taking a bite she said "that is how you eat cookies and milk. Now you try it."
After a few tries they got the hang of it and Mitzoi said "This is much better than the Doctor's or Neelix's nutritional supplements." The twins nodded vigorously in agreement. They started going over the plans that B'Elanna had made. Making suggestion. Seven appreciated the way that B'Elanna listened to each of their suggestions and even changed her plans to accommodate their ideas.
Icheb asked "Why do you have an entrance into the passage way as well as to the cargo bay?"
"Because that way you are closer to the turbolifts and your new entrance is right at end of crew quarters it will make you feel like more of the crew. Also as a klingon I always like two areas of escape to keep your enemies from surrounding you." As she looked up she noticed the milk mustaches that they were unaware of, unobtrusively she reached around and grabbed her holocamera . While they were looking down, she coughed and as they raised their heads she snapped the picture.
"What did you do that for?" Seven asked.
Turning to face her the klingon also snapped her picture. "milk mustaches."
Grabbing the item quickly Seven turned it on the startled engineer. "you also have a milk mustache" The older woman just laughed.
When the Seven tried to hand the holocam back B'Elanna just shook her head "Your going to need one for your family. When they have kids you can pull these out and share them."
"Thank you B'Elanna."
"Hey lets put some of these on the console so we can get a better look." B'Elanna started entering the data that they had come up with. While the kids started arguing color schemes and whose room was going to be where. Taking Seven into the other room B'Elanna showed her a separate data pad with the schematics for a crib it had special monitors hooked into Seven's borg alcove. "This way when the little sochling gets hungry or needs anything it will stop your regeneration and you can tend her. It has wheels and you can take it with you to astrometrics. There's also a baby sling so that if you need to hold her as you work or regenerate you can."
"Lt. Torres might I ask you a question?"
"Of course Seven but you can call me B'Elanna."
"B'Elanna there are monitors and force fields in front of my and the children's alcoves and the controls lead back here are we under suspicion of something."
"Oh no Seven these are for your safety." she showed her the specifications. "they are one way to allow you or the children to leave even if they are activated. The monitors are rigged to alert me during your cycles if someone approaches closer than five feet to any of the alcoves if someone gets within three feet they automatically go up. I wanted to rig it so that whenever you went to regenerate an opaque force field would go up to give you privacy as well as protection but others thought it would be too inconvenient for someone. I am not sure who. I felt you and the kids were too vunerable to not have any protection when you were unaware. The only people that can come through the force field when it is up is Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Tuvok and the security specifically assigned to that area."
"You did not include yourself B'Elanna."
"No your forcefield has been there for sometime . I know our relationship has not always been an easy one and I wanted you to feel safe. I did not know you had not been informed of it being there. I'm sorry Seven you should have know about this. It's not a cage it's a shield."
"Thank you again B'Elanna. You are always thinking of things to help me but we are not exactly friendly. Why are you the only one who treats me like an equal?"
"Seven the captain treats you like an equal." The flustered klingon countered.
"No. She treats me as a child. She makes decisions for me."
"Seven you are still very innocent and I am sure she just wants to protect you." came the soft reply.
"I understand this she has maternal feelings for me and the research I have done frequently states that it is hard for a parent to allow a child to grow up but you alone have asked my input and considered my feelings. When One died and many other times you have thought of my feelings and discussed them with me when no one else has. Yet you have been very hostile and sometimes even cruel to me I do not understand."
"Okay Seven when you first came on board you were a threat as a klingon I saw you as the enemy do you understand?" at the younger woman's nod B'Elanna continued. "It is a very instinctive reaction in a klingon your smell the sound of your movements all sent very primitive responses through me. The basic klingon response to an enemy is either to conquer it or kill it. After you were severed from the collective, logically I knew you were no longer a threat but at the basic level of my instincts you were still the enemy. You were not submissive so I knew you weren't conquered and you certainly weren't dead. It took a lot of fighting to beat back those urges and when you would go right up against me it was like a war for dominance. My klingon reaction was to try to get submission and that is where a lot of that came from. The arguments were a sort of compromise between my klingon and my human halves. The klingon half had more physical ideas in mind and the human half could see how many things we had in common. Also because of the knowledge you got from the borg, I assumed that you knew more about klingon behavior than you did. I thought you understood what you were doing when you challenged me and that you knew where my response was coming from. When I finally realized you were ignorant of these things, I tried to avoid you and put as much space between us as possible to allow things to cool down."
Seven considered what the klingon had said and accessed all the information she had about klingons in her data base. The conclusions she drew were obvious and shocking. "You are sexually attracted to me." at this the engineer flushed a dark crimson and nodded. "You thought that I was initiating a courtship ritual."
"Yes Seven I did and that was another thing it seemed like you were playing with me going first one way and then another. It made me angry because many people have played with my emotions. That is why I called you an Ice Queen. I am sorry if I hurt you as soon as I realized you had no clue of what you were doing to me. I started Vulcan meditation with Tuvok and I made sure that the fights that we had after that did not get ugly. They were just arguments."
"You are an acceptable mate if you wish to copulate I will comply." Seven replied calmly .
"Seven, Klingons mate for life. I don't think you are ready for that kind of commitment. You have a lot to handle just trying to sort out your family with the little ones." the klingon paused to look into the former borg's eyes. "Seven when you are ready for this you will be looking for more than just acceptable. Okay."
"You are a very desirable mate, You are honorable, honest, and intelligent. You have shown my family much kindness." the blonde stated sincerely.
"Okay Seven come here." as the blonde leaned closer B'Elanna pulled her down and kissed her hard. The blonde just sat there stunned. B'Elanna reluctantly moved back. "When you can reciprocate that we will talk about it again until you do you aren't ready. Come on let's go check on the kids."
Seven was not unaffected by the kiss on the contrary. She was experiencing an emotional overload. She watched the engineer walk into the other room as she struggled to regain her composure. I will listen to B'Ellana and address this issue at another time. She thought to herself as she walked into the living area.
"Alright have you settled on which rooms you are each going to take." The klingon said as she sat back on the couch.
Icheb replied. "Rebi and Azan wish to share a room and wonder if instead of having two rooms here they can take out this wall and make it one big one."
"Sure that's easy." with a couple of quick clicks the plan was adjusted. "So" handing the data pad to Seven. "Is this acceptable to you?"
As she carefully looked over the information, she was touched by the effort the other woman had made on their behalf the plans were thorough and well thought out containing things she would not even considered to have included. She noticed that instead of a flat ceiling her rejuvenation area was to be covered with a holoprojection of stars. "Thank you lieutenant it is an excellent design."
B'Elanna just nodded embarrassed by the compliment. Glancing at the console she realized it was after 2100. "Alright my little sochlings it is past time for you to be rejuvenating and I need shut eye myself if we are going to get this started tomorrow."
Over the protest of the youngsters Seven guided them back to cargo bay 2.
B'Elanna watched over the monitor as Seven settled the children. After she was sure they were settled she headed out to the holodeck for a round with the klingon battle simulations.
to burn off some frustration .
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