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.
Captains Ready Room
"Captain incoming link with the Starship Enterprise." came Harry's voice over the com.
"Transfer it here Ensign." on Janeway's monitor came the image of Captain Jean Luc Picard. "Captain Picard it is an honor sir."
"Thank you Captain Janeway I am pleased to see you as well. Let me introduce you to Dr. Beverly Crusher our CMO and to Deanna Troi ships counselor. I have asked them to render what assistance they could to you and your crew." pointing to a tall lieutenant the captain continued. "This is Lt Reginald Barclay the scientist that came up with this plan and this is my Chief Engineer Lt Geordie La forge and Commander Data my Science officer."
"Thank you. Especially you Mr. Barclay the contact you have allowed us to have with the alpha quadrant has been a life line to this crew."
"Thank you captain but I hope someday soon to get you home." Reg replied.
"Yes that is a day we are all looking forward too." the captain replied solemnly. "Anyway here is our schedule of crewman so that we can begin the contacts." she transmitted the files.
"Captain if I may there are several members of your crew that are not on this list." inquired Data.
"You are right many of my crew are former maquis who have no surviving family in the alpha quadrant due to the massacre of the maquis by the Cardassians. As such they felt that they had no one to contact."
"Captain" Counselor Troi interjected. "We anticipated this and we have actually contacted several surviving maquis many relocated to Bajor and some were rescued by the Klingons from the Cardassia camps and have relocated to the klingon empire. Let me transmit to you our list of contacts some are too far to participate and have forwarded messages but I think that everyone on your crew will at least have a message."
"That is wonderful news. We did not know of any survivors. The news of the massacre was a horrible blow to my crew." the captain could not help but recall the turmoil her young engineer had gone through. "I will be delighted to pass along this news."
"Let us send you the names of the contacts and we will work on connecting the ones on the schedule that you have already sent we will also transfer several messages to your crew. Further more anyone that does not have a direct link contact will be connected to a member of my crew for a chat. We will try to connect them with someone with a professional or personal interest in common."
"Your thoughtfulness overwhelms me." the redheaded woman was dumbfounded by the kindness that they had shown her crew. "I need to let my crew know about the new developments if you will contact us when you are ready to proceed."
"Of course" replied Picard.
Taking a moment to compose herself she let B'Elanna know that everything should begin on schedule and then summoned Commander Chakotay .
"Captain." he said as he entered the room. The captain motioned him to a seat on the couch. "How did it go?"
"Very well. Our contact ship is the Enterprise." at the Commander's low whistle she smiled. "I know and they have even better news. It seems that they have contacted several Maquis survivors and that everyone will at least get a message and those without a direct contact will be contacted by a member of their crew. Here is the list of contacts."
As the commander looked over the list he smiled several times and when he came to one particular name he stopped his hand even shook. "Commander are you okay."
"Yes captain it was just a name I did not expect to see. I thought she was dead."
"Would you like to talk about it Chakotay?"
"Ro Laren she was a Bajoran student of mine at the academy. We later met after she was freed from a Cardassian camp she was with the maquis. I tried to persuade her to join our group but she did not get along with Seska. Seska convinced me that she was jealous of our relationship . She left and joined another group. We heard she was captured shortly before we became stuck in the delta quadrant. After I found out the truth about Seska, she informed me that she had betrayed Ro to the obsidian order. To hear she is alive it is unbelievable." tears of relief and guilt ran from his eyes,
The captain just sat there and allowed him to regain his composure. " I think that you might like to tell the rest personally." she handed him the pad and patted his arm.
"Thank you Kathryn."
"Go on now we have to get another schedule together and I am putting you in charge of that."
"B'Elanna everything is a go here. How is everything there?"
"Right on schedule captain." The engineer turned to face the monitor. "After we begin I am going to Cargo bay 2 to help with Seven's quarters captain."
"All right B'Elanna you look exhausted are you sure that you don't need some down time?" The captain worriedly asked.
"Captain I will later on. I have lots of help it should not take long" The lieutenant replied.
"Let me know if you need anything, I am looking forward to seeing the new quarters Janeway out."
After the captain's image left the monitor, she turned to the Vulcan working beside her. "Vorik can you take over once this starts."
"Of course lieutenant." the Vulcan with his usual composure.
"I am going to have one of the ensigns relieve you at 1200 if all this emotion starts to get on your nerves call them in earlier." the klingon said as she completed last minute adjustments.
"Vulcans do not suffer from nerves lieutenant." Vorik stated.
B'Elanna just gave him a dirty look. "Fine if you decide your time can more efficiently be used in engineering give them a call." There that gives him an out without him having to lose face.
They continued working until the first crewman was escorted in. "Vorik I will be in Cargo Bay 2 if you need me." B'Elanna said as she walked into the corridor.
"Seven how is it going" She said into her com badge.
"We are proceeding at an acceptable level. We have acquired assistance from several members of the crew." came the perplexed response.
As the smaller woman entered the cargo bay she literally could not see over the throng of people. Neelix was set up on one end dispensing refreshments. "Where did all these people come from?" she asked the smiling Talaxian.
"Many of the crew who are waiting to do their transmissions are here and many of the ones who won't be receiving them are here. They want to do something with the time and they want to help Seven out. I believe Samantha Wildman referred to it as a barn raising. Anyway you better get in their quick the Doctor , Tom, and Lt Carey are talking about improving your designs and it could get ugly." His smile got even bigger as he saw her fight her way through the crowd.
As she approached the arguing men she caught a glimpse of Seven's face and her look of utter confusion almost made the older woman laugh. "What is going on?" the men turned as she shouted at them. Then they all three proceeded to present their ideas at one time and to try to get her on their side. "Hold it. Seven do you or the kids want any of these changes?"
"Well Lt. Torres while the children do seem to like the idea of hammocks, I prefer the original design." the younger woman looked like she would rather face the Hirogen than disappoint the three men helping her.
"Tom, Carey, Doctor did any of you ask Seven or the kids about the changes that you are proposing." the three looked abashed. "They have approved these designs unless you have a change due to function I don't want to hear it. Tom go help Icheb install their consoles. Doctor why don't you go supervise the nursery . Carey you can supervise the Alcoves."
"Chief" Lt. Carey turned to her. "I don't understand these specs he pointed to a data pad."
"Those are backup power supplies for each alcove if there was a loss of power these batteries will give 36 hours of rejuvenation and the force shields are if there is a hull breach this area will be secure until we can evacuate it. The force shields also have back up batteries." B'Elanna said.
"Okay I get that. Thanks Chief."
As the men walked away to their assigned tasks B'Elanna turned to her friend and smirked "Couldn't get a word in could you? Hammocks" she snorted.
"They were most persistent."
"Come on lets go check it out." The walls were up already and it was all interior work now. As they walked in they saw the large kitchen and eating area three members of the crew were laughing as the hooked up replicators and disposal as well as other food prep devices. "Looking good." the engineer said to them as she passed. As they entered the main living area they saw a large very bright pink couch. "This is not right you wanted a slate blue couch right. "Ensign" she called out to the young woman bringing in a matching love seat. "These are not right"
The ensign sighed and handed her the data pad "this is the second time I've changed them." On the pad the change was initialed by Mitzoi.
"Make it the slate blue ones we will talk with Mitzoi." chuckling under her breath the engineer looked up at the blond and saw her expression and her laugh deepened.
"What is humorous Lt Torres" arching her eyebrow at the klingon and causing her to convulse with laughter.
"Your face" the klingon said between gasps for air. "You've got my mom's "Oh she's going to get it" expression on." the klingon reached over and hugged her. "You are going to be a great mom."
The blond was overwhelmed by a warm feeling that she did not comprehend but she hugged the smaller woman back with fervor. After a few moments, they pulled away. "I must see to Mitzoi."
"Okay lets go see what the pink terror is up to."
In Mitzoi's room, they observed her moving her desk into place. "Mitzoi, explain why you changed the color of the furniture in the living area." The former drone asked with a frown.
"Because I have discovered that I find the color pink to be more aesthetically pleasing than blue." she stated without even turning around.
"Mitzoi." Seven turned the little girl to face her. "We as a family decided on the color for the living room. It was wrong of you to try and change it. You owe Ensign Collins an apology for making her extra work and you will not do it again."
With a sigh Mitzoi said "I will comply" and she returned to the other room to find the beleaguered ensign.
The passed Icheb's room where the were busy connecting terminals. They arrived at the twins room in time to see Ichan make a jump from the top bunk to the floor. At the sight Seven went into full mother mode. "Stop that activity immediately you may cause injury to yourself." Checking for herself that the young boy was okay while his brother smirked from above. When she was satisfied that he was fully functional, she scolded them both knowing that it was likely that the other twin had urged him on. Leaving only after the two youngsters assured her that they would follow proper protocols with the furniture.
The klingon struggled to contain her laughter until they were out of earshot. "Well Seven boys will do that sort of thing." snorting at the younger woman's sigh. "Hey lets look at your quarters." as they entered the master bedroom Carey was exiting.
"Hey Chief we are all done in here." he motioned the two women to enter.
As she looked around the room she felt satisfied that it would please Seven. She examined the alcove carefully to make sure that everything was good to go just as she had in the other rooms. Turning she noticed the bed " Oh no they screwed it up and got you the wrong size bed" she remarked to the blond.
"No I changed the specifications"
"When we discussed it last night you said you wanted a smaller bed not a king size. What changed your mind?" B'Elanna asked puzzled.
"At the time we talked I had not realized all the functions of a bed." came the cryptic reply.
"You've lost me."
"Allow me to demonstrate" she sat down and pulled the smaller woman down on top of her and kissed her. The kiss started off hesitantly and grew more passionate.
Into that scene stepped Commander Chakotay they broke apart at his cough. Seven stood and B'Elanna stood with a cross between a growl and a groan coming out of her throat. "Haven't you heard of knocking Chakotay."
"That only works if there is a door lieutenant" came the smirking reply. "Sorry to interrupt but I have news for you ."
"That is all right commander we will have other opportunities for the demonstration." the blond stated coolly.
"Demonstration, I have never heard it called that before." The man said with laughter in his voice. Taking pity on the klingon's embarrassment. He handed her a data pad.
"You don't want to make changes to Seven's Quarters to do you."
"No the contact ship has traced several surviving Maquis these are messages from some of them who wanted to contact you and several klingon ones including some that look official."
"Oh great, if there are suing me for something I am staying in the Delta Quadrant."
"One of them is from Ro. She's alive B'Elanna" Chakotay almost whispered it.
"Thank you Kahless." the klingon swore ferverently.
"She wants to contact you we are scheduling a time." the commander said.
"Is she going to talk to you Chakotay."
"She has not requested to talk to me."
"Then you request to talk to her. She loved you and you broke her heart by believing Seska. You owe her an apology." her voice was steady with conviction
"I have already sent off a request. I just don't know if she will speak to me I hurt her pretty badly. I have more people I have to talk too."
As the commander left Seven walked over to the smaller woman. "B"Elanna you are leaking." The klingon just snorted. "Explain" insisted the taller woman,
"Okay Soch I am just a little out of sorts because several of my friends that I thought were dead are alive but there are a lot of missing names as well and I am almost sure that one of the official notices is about my mothers death. It is just a little bit much to handle all at once." B'Elanna said softly.
"B'Elanna after all your assistance to me if you require anything let me know." She hugged her uncertainly as the older woman had done for her before.
"Hey I'll be okay." as she was in the embrace the memory of the demonstration came back to her. "Seven why did you kiss me."
"To show why I required the larger size bed." at the klingons groan she inquired "When we copulate will we not require more space."
At that the klingon's head came up " Seven you said we."
"Of course you explained that I am not yet ready but I am researching the issue and I assure you I soon will be so I wanted to be prepared. Now" pushing the other woman prone and crawling on top of her. "I would like to continue my research." Seven began kissing the startled engineer again.
Several moments later they were interrupted again by Tom and Icheb coming to put on the door. Tom hooted "Hey I don't mind watching but I think Icheb is a little young."
This time B'Elanna got up with a definite growl approaching Tom intent on inflicting serious injury. Tom hiding behind Icheb said "Don't let her get me"
At the klingon's approach he looked very nervous. "Pe'taq" she spat out. "Coward that hides behind boys."
"Smart officer who does not want to be in the sickbay for the next several weeks." came the retort.
Seven got off the bed and strode over to the klingon officer placing a hand on her shoulder she said quietly into her ear. "He is not worth it and you are scaring Icheb."
At that the klingon nodded and brought herself shakily under control. "Get him out of here."
"Icheb remove Ensign Paris" at this command the young man picked up Tom and carries him out of the room.
Watching Icheb caused B'Elanna to disolve into laughter. "I'm sorry I got so mad Seven."
"Are you embarrassed by my actions B'Elanna?"
"No! It was his comments that made me mad he was taking something beautiful and making a cheap joke out of it." the klingon said pulling Seven back into a gentle embrace. "But I think we better not take the demonstrations further until you get a door." Sitting on the bed she continued to hold her as they talked about the quarters and the children. "Hey have you picked out a name yet?"
"No we are unfamiliar with the protocols for naming an infant. Can you assist us?" The puzzled look on her face made B'Elanna smile.
"Sure. After we get through with the quarters, the kids and us can discuss it. Come on we better get in there and make sure they haven't tried to improve anything else."
"Incoming message from the Enterprise Captain Ro" the klingon ensign stated.
"Thank you Mog transmit to my office." the Bajoran left the bridge to receive it. On the screen in her office she saw the face of her former CO and mentor Capt. Jean Luc Picard. "Hello Captain, how is everything going with the transmissions?"
"Very well in fact I am here to give you the time that you may contact Lt. Torres and you also have a request for you to speak with Commander Chakotay. Is that acceptable to you?" the captain politely inquired.
"Certainly I will be happy to talk to Commander Chakotay."
"The transmissions will begin in one hour they will be twenty minutes in duration with a five minute pause between the two exchanges. Will you be ready to receive them?
"Yes" the Bajoran replied. "who will I talk with first?"
"I believe it is Lt. Torres." he said.
"Thank you Captain. We will be waiting to hear from you." she said. As they concluded the conversation her thoughts turned to her friend and to her former teacher.
"Lt. Keleg you have the com and will transfer the transmission to my office."
As the klingon left the engineering she headed to her quarters to change and get ready to talk to Ro. Upon entering, she realized that she was not alone. Looking over to the couch she saw Seven waiting for her. "Hey , how did you get in?" The engineer said with a smile on her face.
"Lieutenant you keyed the doors to me yesterday." the Seven watched as the smaller woman sat across from her. "I wished to enquire about how you are feeling about the coming transmission."
"I am okay. Seven call me B'Elanna."
The older woman's expression puzzled her. "B'Elanna why are you smiling."
"Just happy to see you." Changing the subject she asked "How are the kids getting settled in?"
"They are adapting well. They were disappointed that you could not be there when it was finished."
"Hey I am sorry that I had to postpone our dinner we had a dilithium crystal fracture and you know how tricky it is to remove them when they do that. I will make it up to you tonight."
"I am looking forward to it." they talked further about the children's antics in their new home and discussed Seven's trepidation about the baby coming out of stasis.
B'Elanna was in the middle of reassuring her that these feelings were normal when Vorik's voice came over the com. "Lt Torres your communication begins in thirty minutes"
"Thanks for the reminder Vorik. I'll be there." disconnecting the com she turned to Seven and said "I have to change. Would you like to walk with me? I believe I could use the company."
"I will comply L.. B'Elanna."
A few minutes later they were walking down the corridor and the half-klingon asked "Who is your transmission with?"
"My paternal aunt."
Reaching over to squeeze the other woman's hand she told her "If you need to talk about it come to my quarters and I will be happy to listen."
At the door to the transmission area they parted ways. Checking with the security officer she found a seat as she was waiting Chakotay entered. "Hi Chakotay." she motioned for him to sit down. "Did Ro say she would talk to you?"
"Yes she did. I am not really sure what I am going to say." the commander said.
B'Elanna told him "Just tell her what all happened. I'm sure that if she was holding a grudge she would not want to talk to you. I'll feel her out if you want."
With that Vorik came in and said that they were ready for her. She nodded at him and rose to go in. Chakotay smiled and said "Good luck."
As she sat she heard the computer say "Prepare for incoming transmission from Klingon Bird of Prey Revenge of Kahless." the klingon started at that. "HoD Ro Laren for Lt. B'Elanna Torres." at that the image of the Bajoran woman came on the screen.
"Ro, I am not surprised to see you in uniform but that uniform does take me by surprise. How did you get to be a Klingon captain." A stunned B'Elanna asked.
"Well you know how I have this ugly attraction to Cardassian camps. Well the Klingons liberated the camp and they gave refuge to the surviving Maquis those who were able to fight were allowed to join their service they needed recruits by then. What with the causalities from the civil war and the war with the Dominion they welcomed any true warriors as they said. Because I was a former Starfleet officer they gave me a commission, I was assigned to a ship and knowing you saved me from a lot of grief. They really did not let me do much. After I had been on board for two months the bridge took a direct hit as the only surviving officer I took over . I made it look like we were destroyed and found a place where we could make repairs. My crew was not happy I had to take a phaser rifle to one of them. Then we returned to the engagement and because they weren't expecting us we blew two of them away before they detected us. It turned the tide and I became a hero to my crew I was a genius. It seems it never occurs to klingons to retreat and then reattack. My innovative tactics were a revelation. Because I did not care about looking like a coward I only wanted to win."
"Wow" the klingon just looked back at her friend "A real klingon war hero I am impressed."
"Me." Ro laughed uproariously " I am not even in the same league as you."
B'Elanna looked at her puzzled. "What are you talking about?"
"You don't know!" the captain explained.
"What!" the smaller woman growing more insistent.
"Did you read anything yet that I sent you. You know the official stuff."
"No I thought it was my mother's death notice and other stuff." the Klingon stammered.
"Your moms not dead." The other woman said laughter in her eyes.
"Is she still not speaking to me is that why I haven't got any messages from her." the smaller woman was beginning to become agitated.
"No! Relations between the Empire and the Federation has been strained. B'Elanna we never received notification that you survived. Miral does not know that you are alive I swear. She was ill several months ago and she told me that she saw you on the Barge of the Dead. The reason you can't speak to her yet is that we haven't been able to get a hold of her."
"I'm sorry Ro. thank you for telling me. I would really like to hear from her."
"By the next transmission I promise B'Elanna." the Bajoran said.
"Thank you Ro. What's all the official stuff for?" B'Elanna asked to take her mind off her other thoughts.
"Oh no. You are going to have to just read them we only have about 10 minutes and I want to hear how you are." came the reply. They spent the remainder of the conversation catching up. As the conversation was drawing to a close, Ro asked. "So how's your love life."
Flushing crimson B'Elanna stuttered. "Well I'm working on it."
"Details girl" as she said that B'Elanna was rescued by a security officer saying that she only had a minute left.
"I've got to go Ro. Chakotay is looking forward to talking to you."
"Run I'll get it out of you the next time." the smirking woman said.
As she left The commander entered "Hello Ro."
"Hello Chakotay. Your looking well."
"So are you I love the uniform." after a pause he continued. "I wanted to apologize to you for what happened with Seska. I am terribly sorry that I didn't believe you."
" She was very good at manipulating people. Don't worry I got over it along time ago. I survived. Let's not waste a lot of time going over old history. We don't have too much of it." she said soberly.
"Well okay how did you get to be the Captain of a Klingon bird of prey?" nodding toward her uniform.
She repeated the story that she had told B'Elanna. She concluded with a wry grin and quipped. "It just shows that the Prophets have a sense of humor."
"Are you happy Ro?" Chakotay asked quietly.
"Most days." the Bajoran chuckled under her breath. "Except when I have to break in a new cook. It takes them awhile to adapt to the fact that I like my food dead and cooked when I eat it."
"And I thought we had it bad with Neelix." he filled her in on the Talaxian's cooking abilities.
"Chakotay did B'Elanna ever fill you in on that mission when she rescued me." She asked.
"No she never did. I know she was tortured but she never spoke of it."
"Chakotay I am going to send you the official klingon debriefing and another holoprogram. You need to read it as soon as you can."
"Why is B'Elanna in trouble?" the commander started looking concerned.
"No on the contrary it is good but it might help you help her with some of the stuff she is going to have to deal with. Just read it you will understand then." Ro finished as the security officer came to say that they had one minute left. "Goodbye Chakotay I hope we talk again soon."
"Incoming Data transmission" the computer said.
Inserting a data pad into the com, he bid his former student goodbye. After examining the information he new that he had to speak to the captain right away.
As Commander Chakotay entered the bridge he asked "Captain Janeway may I speak to you in your Ready Room."
"Certainly" she turned and he followed her into the room. "How can I help you Commander? Sitting down she motioned to him to sit as well.
"I really think you need to see this." He handed her a data pad.
"What is it about?" she inquired as she took it.
"It is about B'Elanna's rescue of a Cardassian death camp. I did not know about it until this was transmitted to me by Ro Laren." He filled her in on more of the details about how he came by the information.
After several minutes of reading she looked up at him with grim expression "How did she survive."
"I don't know. What I do know is that the klingons view her as a national hero. Hell Ro even sent me a copy of the opera they made of it." the commander shook his head.
"B'Elanna as the heroine of a klingon opera. Lets just hope the Doctor doesn't try to sing it."
"I think she is going to start getting a lot of transmissions." he said.
"Does she know that she is a klingon cultural icon." The captain asked.
"I don't believe so."
"Well we have got to tell her." as she said this her first officer pointed out the notation at bottom part of the transmission. "She was awarded the order of Kahless."
"Yes that surprised me. She is the first woman ever to receive it." as Chakotay replied. "Also her mother is alive but was never notified that B'Elanna survived."
"How did that happen?"
"There have been some tensions between the Federation and the Empire recently and it got lost in channels." Chakotay replied with a shake of his head.
"Has B'Elanna been told that her mother is alive?" At the captains inquiry he nodded yes. "I am going to ask Captain Piccard to do whatever he can to locate her mother as quickly as possible."
"Thank you captain. I will leave these with you." He motioned to the data pads
Upon announcing herself repeatedly and receiving no response, Seven entered B'Elanna's quarters. She found her sitting on the couch looking at a stack of data pads on the table in front of her. As she stepped further into the room B'Elanna glanced up. "Seven how did you get in here?"
"I am sorry to intrude lieutenant but you would not respond and I grew concerned." the other woman said stiffly.
"Seven I told you to call me B'Elanna. It's okay I was just surprised to see you." Motioning the other woman to sit down. "How did it go with your aunt?"
"It was difficult." the younger woman said looking at B'Elanna with a puzzled expression.
"She showed me pictures of myself and my parents when I was younger. It brought back distressing memories. I do not understand why I still feel such pain when this happened so long ago." Her haunted blue eyes showed all the sorrow and grief that she was feeling.
"Come here." B'Elanna said as she pulled her into her arms. "You are always going to feel some grief when you think of your childhood and your parents. Your parents and your childhood were taken from you. You have a right to hurt about this." as Seven started to cry B'Elanna rubbed her back and arms. "Go ahead cry. You certainly have a right to cry." The klingon held her gently as the sobs shook her. After long minutes Seven struggled to regain her composure. Pulling away she started to apologize. When B'Elanna saw this she laid a finger against Seven's lips and shook her head. "Don't apologize. I was glad to be here for you."
"I am glad you are here too." Seven said with a sigh.
"Seven it will get better you will be able to remember the happy times you spent with them. And you are building new memories and a new life. Speaking of new life have you thought about names for the baby yet." Hoping that this new conversation would distract her friend from her grief.
"The children and I would like you to come over for dinner this evening to discuss naming protocols." Seven said hesitantly
"I would be happy to."
"B'Elanna what are these pads?" she asked.
"They are transmissions from my friend Ro Laren. They are written in klingonese and I am not good enough at reading it to understand them. I know they are official by all the seals. I was going to have the computer translate them but I don't really know if I want to know what they are. I know they aren't my mother's death notice because Ro says she's alive." the klingon looked at the data pads with an exasperated expression.
Seven reached over and took one of the pads. "Would you like me to translate it for you?"
"Yes but if it is a summons they are going to have to come and get me." B'Elanna grinned at her to show she was joking.
"Indeed." she commented as she began to read. "This is an adoption into the house of Martok. This is a document showing the value of your share of the war prizes you captured against the Cardassians. The inventory is fairly long. Also the closest that I can translate this pad is too a finders fee for repatriated personnel ."
"What?" The klingon looked confused.
"It says that you liberated a Cardassian camp. Your action lead to the capture of 13 ships and the liberation of over 5000 individuals. 350 of which were klingon prisoners. They called it Gith grethor "The bowels of hell. Do you remember it?"
At the name of the camp B'Elanna straightened up and made to pull away but Seven would not let her. Softly B'Elanna replied "I remember."
"B'Elanna are you functioning within acceptable limits." even out of the depths that the klingon's soul had plunged into that very borg expression brought a slight smile to her face knowing that the more concerned Seven got the more she relied on stilted phrases.
"I am okay Seven it is just bad memories."
"Would you tell me about it?" Seven asked.
"Seven it was a very dark time and it is not pleasant to listen to but I guess if I am asking you to consider becoming involved with me you need to here it." B'Elanna thought if this doesn't scare her off nothing will. So she told about the torture and the terror and finally about the escape. When she talked of Gul Vicat, she grinned a feral smile. "I was. No I am glad I killed him the universe is a better place without him in it."
"The Cardassians are like the Borg remorseless killers. I am surprised that you do not hate me also. I am guilty of assimilating thousands." Seven said with a look of trepidation.
Pulling her closer B'Elanna said. "The borg aren't like the Cardassians. The Cardassians have free will and they chose to hurt and kill for no reason but power and their sick pleasure. The Borg have always reminded me of a poem I studied at the academy it was by Rudyard Kipling. It talked about army ants that they had in Africa. They were remorseless but they were like a force of nature. The Borg don't torture for pleasure and they think they are helping the civilizations they come across by adding them to their collective. They are very mistaken but they aren't evil. Seven you did not control your actions when you belonged to the collective. You could no more stop what happened than I could survive in vacuum. They took your childhood your family and your sense of self. You are still trying to connect with the child you were. Don't accept their guilt. If anything you are a better person than I you regret what you did when you had no control. On the other hand I had control of my actions when I killed the Cardassians and I don't regret it at all. If I had it to do all over again I would probably have twisted the knife when I killed that bastard. So maybe you should hate or fear me."
"Never!" Seven replied fiercely. "You were rescuing yourself and others if I had him in reach I would help you twist the knife."
"Thank you ." with that B'Elanna reached over and kissed her. "Now what are all the other pads for."
With a sigh Seven settled back into the embrace. "This is a bank document with your mother as your representative. The balance is a significant amount. This is the deed to your estate."
"Yes, and this is where you have been awarded a title. I am not sure what it translates to but it is some form of nobility. This is an honorary degree from the military academy at Q'onos and this is where you are awarded the Order of Kahless. It is a very high honor I believe." with this she handed the pads to B'Elanna.
"This has got to be some kind of joke." the klingon said. "Ro must have been hitting the bloodwine."
"It looks authentic." came the response from Seven.
"Well I am not going to worry about if its a joke I'll laugh about it later and if its not it isn't going to do me a whole lot of good in the Delta Quadrant anyway. The only title I care about right now is Chief Engineer." She smiled down at the woman she still held in her arms. "How about we do a little more research?" with that she started kissing her again. Her hands roamed over the blonde woman's biosuit. Just as B'Elanna thought she had figured out how to rid herself of this obstruction. Her com unit buzzed. "What ever it is had better be good!" She snarled into the com.
"Lt.Torres." came the Captain's voice. "Would you like to rephrase that?"
"I'm sorry captain. I uh I was occupied." there came a very unborg snicker from the body underneath her. While B'Elanna tried to pull her thoughts together, Seven started to unbutton her shirt and explore the contours she found beneath it. "Seven" after a pause "Just hold that thought." into the com she said "Captain is it urgent to talk to me."
"B'Elanna I have had some transmissions that I need to discuss with you. Can you come to my ready room in 30 minutes?"
"Alright Captain I will see you in 30 minutes." after closing the com link she turned to Seven. "Next time you come into my quarters for any reason I am engaging the privacy protocols." this caused Seven to smile shyly at her. "Oh and Seven tonight after we talk about names for the baby we are going to see about replicating some easier to access clothes."
"That is acceptable."
"I will meet you at 1800 in your quarters is that ok." B'Elanna asked.
"That is acceptable."
As B'Elanna entered the bridge Captain Janeway looked up. "Lt. Torres right on time." She opened the door to the ready room. After they sat down, Janeway said. "B'Elanna, I want you to know that I asked Captain Picard to do whatever he could to contact your mother before we leave this area."
"Thank you captain." she felt extremely grateful for the captains consideration.
"Also I would like you to know that I have received several communications about your rescue of a Cardassian camp. Would you like to talk about it?"
"Captain I appreciate the offer but I would really rather not. I am okay I have talked to someone about it just recently. It was hell and I know I will never forget it but it was six years ago. I have done a lot of soul searching about it and I know I did what I had to do at the time. But if I ever feel the need to talk about it. I will let you know." at this Janeway just nodded.
"Okay but if you ever need someone to listen I am available. The next thing is I don't know if you realize it but you are now a Klingon cultural hero and icon."
"What?" The engineer looked at the captain in disbelief.
"Yes I have had Captain Picard forward all the information he could get through the link to us. You have been honored by the Empire with some very impressive honors. Also your rescue has become heavily portrayed in their arts. This." the captain said holding up a data pad. "contains three holonovels." as she went through the documentation listing a holo mural, several epic poems, ballads, and finally she handed her the holocube with the full klingon opera.
"An opera, Oh Kahless do you know how klingons are about opera." All she could think was at least I am safe in the alpha quadrant. "Does any one else on board know about this?"
"Commander Chakotay does. Your friend Ro Loran mentioned it to him." Captain Janeway had to bite down on a laugh at her friends expression when she heard about the opera.
"Don't let anyone else know captain. Can you imagine if the Doctor found out about the opera." The look of shear horror on the lieutenant's face caused the Captain to lose the shaky hold on her composure.
"I'm sorry B'Elanna but your expression was priceless. No we will keep the opera to ourselves but I need to warn you will probably start receiving several transmissions." the captain was glad that the discussion had not upset B'Elanna. She knew this peace was hard earned for the young engineer. She had held her when she cried after her near death when she believed she had seen her mother's spirit and the despair that she had felt after the massacre of the Maquis had truly frightened the captain about the klingons safety.
"Captain thank you for the warning but I hope it won't interfere with the transmissions for the rest of the crew." B'Elanna looked worriedly at the data pads on the desk.
"No with your permission we are having the Enterprise screen your mail." this was said with a smirk. "Oh B'Elanna I want to congratulate you on the way the transmission are turned out. It allowed the crew privacy and a place to relax."
""Thank you captain but most of the ideas were Sevens and my crew are just as responsible for getting it put together." the Klingon was quick to share the credit.
"Then convey to them my gratitude. Now for the next item on the agenda I have had several notes from the Doctor about you over working." To silence the coming protest she handed her the duty logs from engineering with her times highlighted.
"Its not as bad as it looks." it is hard for a klingon to look bashful but B'Elanna succeeded.
"Okay why don't you explain it to me." the older woman motioned for her to continue.
"Well you know how you asked us to keep an eye on our subordinates and how they were handling the upcoming contacts." at the other woman's nod she continued. "Well in my department you know my two main shift leaders are Vorik and Carey. Well as a Vulcan Vorik can only handle so much emotion and he is not exactly approachable if someone needs to talk. On the other hand Carey is having a hard time right now this is the first time he has spoke with his wife and his sons in six years. I have spent a lot of time talking to him and he is coming along but the rest of my team knows his situation and they don't want to cause him any more pain. Now I know that I don't do touchy feely well but I'm better than Vorik and if I am there in my office they have someone they can talk to. I have been taking naps at my desk." she thought to herself that resting in a chair was going to cripple her.
"B'Elanna why didn't you come to me about it."
"Captain you had a whole ship of this to deal with and I thought I was handling it okay."
"B'Elanna that's what I am here for. At the very least we could have put a couch in your office. You are going off duty for the next three days. No arguments. I will assign Harry and Chakotay to do rotations through engineering. If there is a crisis we need you at the top of your game." at the determined look in the captain's eye she knew better than to fight it.
"Alright captain can I go down and give assignments to my crew and let them know what is happening."
"No B'Elanna I know you if I let you in engineering it will take the rest of the day to get you out. You can tell them over the com and I am sure they will find something to do while you are resting. By the way I am sorry that I woke you up. After looking at these logs I realize how little sleep you must have had."
"Woke me up?"
"Yes when I called you to the ready room." the captain replied.
B'Elanna flushed. "I wasn't asleep."
"Oh." the captain eyes lit up with curiosity.
The flush deepened. "Well captain If we are through. I am going to go get that rest now."
"Dismissed Lt. Torres." the captain thought to herself there is bound to be an interesting explanation about that.
Returning to her quarters B'Elanna thought that that was a close escape. Sitting down she thought about what the captain had told her about the transmission and could not help but think I wonder if my mother is finally proud of me. She glanced at the clock and saw that it was 1600 already. Shaking off this reverie, she told herself I have a date tonight. I need to get things ready. First item on the agenda is clothes. Walking over to her closet she pulled out a hunter green silk blouse and black tailored slacks. Her eyes paused on a slinky red dress and thought the first date that is just me and her that is coming off the hanger.
"Computer research naming protocols. Emphasis human naming protocols down load into data cube." there that part of the research is started.
As she entered the sonic shower she was whistling. Coming out of the shower 30 minutes later she heard the computer sign off. Looking over at the cube she read over it skimming through and hitting the highlights. She thought about the baby and sent a little prayer to Kahless to keep the little one safe. She got ready and went over to the replicator. "Flowers assortment in vase." and then she thought I ought to get something for the kids too. Looking over the replicator options she saw a 3D chess set that she thought Icheb would like. Then she thought that games would be good for all of them she knew how much Seven enjoyed kadis kot with Naomi. Mitzoi she thought would enjoy the Kadis kot most because her and Naomi are friends. Now for the twins for Axan she got a game that involved building a tower with blocks of wood Jenga was the name of it and for Rebi who was always asking questions she got a trivia game. As she was glancing through she saw something under ancient games called twister. This must be an adult game she thought. Oh what the hell she punched up the code for it, maybe later I can talk Seven to playing it with me. The ideas that that provoked caused the klingon to flush. Down, down klingon its family night she thought to herself.
As B'Elanna came up to Seven's quarters, she saw Mitzoi and the twins sitting outside. The closer she got the better she could see the mutinous expression on the children's faces. "What's wrong sochlings."
Mitzoi stood up and approached her "I am not consuming that nutritional supplement and you can't make me." The twins quickly nodded their agreement.
Truly puzzled the klingon said. "Well that's up to your mom but I'll go check it out okay." She walked in and saw a frazzled looking Seven in the dining area. "Hi Seven can I help." she sat down the flowers on the table and handed the presents to Icheb who looked flustered as well.
"Mitzoi and the twins refuse to eat the dinner I have made." the frustration in the former drones voice was evident.
"Sometimes kids go through phases where they won't eat certain things. What did you make?" She said this a she lifted the lid off of the serving plate. "Kahless" the klingon exclaimed. "It's gagh." she set the lid back down before any of the wiggling serpent worms escaped.
"Yes." Icheb explained "Seven researched and discovered that it was a Klingon delicacy."
B'Elanna reached up and embraced the woman and said "That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me." after a pause. "but I don't eat gagh. My stomachs may be klingon but my taste buds are mostly human. I may embrace many aspects of my klingon heritage but gagh is not one of them. I eat it for my mother when I can't get out of it but that's it. If you chew it tastes horrible and if you swallow it they wiggle all the way down." seeing the stricken expression on the taller woman she pulled her down and gave her a kiss.
"I just wanted to make something you would like." it came out as almost a cry.
"Seven it's okay we are still learning about each other. There's no harm done and just think at least we don't have to eat it. Come on lets go over to the replicator and I will show you some recipes from my other heritage." Pulling up the menu options she started showing her several Mexican dishes that her grandmother used to make. "How about tacos? The kids will like that." Dumping the gagh into the recycle bin she turned to the tall teenager that had been sitting by so quietly. "Go get the kids and tell them that the menu has changed okay." He nodded and stepped into the cargo area.
While she and Seven were setting the table, Mitzoi still looked dubious "This nutritional supplement does not move does it."
"No." B'Elanna said. "It's tacos." they all set down to eat and B'Elanna gave a demonstration of the proper taco eating procedure. Constantly through the meal B'Elanna would reach over and squeeze Seven's hand or pat her leg. She even wiped her mouth when the taco got a little messy. All this contact sent strange shivers through Seven and she wished to talk to B'Elanna about it when they were alone.
As the meal came to and end. Rebi asked "What are the containers for?" he pointed to the presents that B'Elanna had brought.
"Why those are gifts from me to you." she pointed to the kids. "The flowers were for your mom. You can open them." as they looked at her blankly she motioned for them to bring them here. "Like this." after that you heard lots of paper tearing and enthusiastic chatter as they compared their gifts. Turning to Seven "I know how much you like to play games with Naomi. This will give your a little variety."
As the younger children continued to play Icheb came back over to the two woman. "Did you like the chess set?" the smaller woman asked.
"Yes. Thank you Lt. Torres. Might I speak with you for a moment." Icheb said standing stiffly.
"Certainly." The young man's posture causing her some concern.
"Are you pursuing a romantic relationship with Seven?" If it were possible he looked even more uncomfortable than before.
Motioning to Seven to let her speak. "Yes Icheb I am. As her son if you have any concerns you can ask me I won't get angry."
"I have been doing research on klingons and I came across a reference that it is good luck to break a bone during the honeymoon. I do not wish for Seven or yourself to be damaged." his concern was evident in his voice and at that comment Seven started to look concerned too.
"Okay let me explain this tradition. Yes during ancient times it was considered lucky to break a bone on your honeymoon but it was not because they intentionally inflicting damage on one another. In the past klingon beds were very similar to the hammocks that Tom tried to talk you into getting. So if the parties were very enthusiastic a couple of things could happen. First one of the participants could fall out. Second the bed could flip over. Third and this was supposed to be the best luck the bed could break. There was even a shameful practice of partially cutting the ropes but if you got caught doing that you would catch a lot of ridicule. Now you and the other kids start looking at that data cube about names. I want to talk to Seven a minute." after Icheb went into the other room the klingon turned to the other woman. "Seven come here." She pulled her close. "I want you to know when we make love we won't do anything you don't want ok. All you have to do is tell me you don't like it and we will stop." feeling the other woman nod and then relax into her embrace. B'Elanna felt relieved. "You know what he reminded me of when he asked that. My mother used to tell a story about my father singing me a lullaby it was called Rock-A-Bye Baby. Do you know it?" at that Seven smiled and nodded. "Well the first time she heard him sing it to me." at this point the klingon swallowed a laugh. "She thought it was the English version of a particularly raunchy klingon drinking song. You know the part and down will come baby cradle and all." her brown eyes glowed with laughter at he memory. She hugged Seven.
Seven pulled back and looked her in the eye. "I trust you B'Elanna."
B'Elanna's hearts stopped with the gift of those words and she swore to herself that what ever it took she would never cause Seven to regret those four little words. Kissing her once more she pulled her up. "We better get in there or that baby is going to graduate from college with no name."
Entering the living are B'Elanna sat down on the couch. "Okay any ideas yet" she said to the kids.
"How do humans normally pick designations?" Seven asked.
"Well some people are named after someone such as a family member, friend, or a personal hero. Some people pick a name because the like the meaning of the name and some people pick a name just because they like the way it sounds." the klingon said calmly. They discussed several possibilities with the kids coming up with some outrageous suggestions. As they were talking B'Elanna noticed that Seven grew quieter. "Seven what are you thinking?"
"I believe that I would like to name the baby Kathryn."
"I am sure that she would be honored." the klingon agreed.
With this decided Seven announced that it was time for the children to regenerate. There was some small grumbling as they left for their rooms. Seven went up with them to make sure that they were settled. While B'Elanna waited, she straightened. Although most of it Seven had already taken care of. After a few minutes the blonde returned. "Did they give you any trouble?"
"Mitzoi is very stubborn?" Seven sighed.
"Oh I wonder where she gets that from." the klingon snorted recalling all the times that Seven had gone toe to toe with her and the captain.
Seven just lifted her eyebrow at her and sat down beside her. B"Elanna pulled out the pins holding the blonde hair up and ran her hands through it. Pulling her closer she began to rain soft little kisses over her face. Softly so lightly it was almost like a butterfly flitting past. Finally she settled on her mouth still just the lightest of touches ready to pull away at any sign that Seven was uncomfortable. Seven grasped her behind the head and deepened the kiss. After several pleasurable moments Seven pulled away and stood up. B'Elanna looked up afraid that she had pushed too fast and saw her hold out her hand to her. Grasping the hand like a lifeline she allowed her self to be led into Seven's bedroom.
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