DISCLAIMER: All characters are owned and copyrighted by Paramount. No profit is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set after 'Infinite Regress'. Oh, not to forget, Tom never took the opportunity to go with Janeway. So he's still in that prison on earth and out of the way.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
For The First Time
I've been thinking about her, ever since I can't remember when it started. There have been so many moments, when I would catch a glimpse beneath that Borg-mask of hers. I've seen her true self and I want to see more of it.
She has done a lot for Voyager. Without her we wouldn't have made it through that Nebula.
She lost her son to Voyager. In a way, he sacrificed himself for us all. Nevertheless she lost him.
She was the one, who kept me from killing myself. Telling me it would be inefficient and illogical to kill myself. I was furious at her, but she made me feel alive again. After saying that, she had just raised her ocular implant at me and walked off, leaving me furious but alive.
And when she bit me oh if she would've chosen another place and time I would've reacted like any true Klingon. I would've claimed her as my mate.
When I see her with little Naomi, I wish we could have our own little girl. Maybe one day, when I am successful...
Tomorrow begins the Christmas Season. Joe Carey told me about it. He used to celebrate this time with his family. He and his wife made an advent calendar with little treats in it for their kids. For each day of the Christmas Season one treat was hidden behind a little door in some kind of box. He showed me some examples in the database.
It was perfect. As a drone Seven had missed eighteen Christmas Holidays. And though her parents must have celebrated it with her, I know she has little memory of her childhood. So, all in all, she has missed twenty-four Christmas Holidays.
Twenty-four days until Christmas. One treat for every day. I will make it up to her. I will show her what this time of year should be like.
I know it's not a part of Klingon traditions, but it is of my human half, and it is a part of hers as well. I will do whatever I can to make her happy.
I have decided that my first treat will be a smile. I need to start somewhere and I never consciously smiled at her before.
Kahless, that woman is beautiful. Why did I never realize that before? She has always been beautiful, ever since she arrived on Voyager. When I really look at her, I can't help it. I just have to smile.
Oh my, I have really messed this up. I'll need to apologize, big time. Maybe I can make that another treat for another day.
Her reaction to my smile? A raised ocular implant. She probably thinks I'm nuts. I can only smile wider at that.
She still manages to annoy the hell outta me. But today I won't scream at her. I've asked Tuvok for some techniques on how to remain calm in the middle of a storm. I'll probably have to count a lot today.
When she asked me at the end of our day if I felt ill, I doubled over with laughter. She's really worried about me, cuz I didn't scream at her. That's too funny. How cute can one girl be?
Her concern seems genuine. But I would bet that she did provoke me at least once, just to get a reaction out of me. I remained calm though.
No wonder she's worried.
Okay, this is the first time this week that I have received a request from Astrometrics for more power. She really wants to have an increase of 1.5%. I wonder what she's doing up there.
Anyway, I'll give her 0.5% as the treat of the day. This is actually a good idea for another day or maybe even two. In the end she'll have more power than she asked for.
Voyager can afford it. We've been running smoothly lately and our energy supplies are high.
Damn, how I would like to see her face, when she realizes that her precious Astrometrics has gotten its power increase.
I'm in the turbolift.
She enters and greets me with a short nod.
"Lt. Torres." She turns to stand at my side for the ride.
"Seven." I say smirking.
"How have you been lately?" I ask.
"Excuse me?" She asks, sounding slightly confused.
"Well, how have you been?" I repeat.
She seems to think about it and eventually says, "I'm functioning within acceptable parameters."
"Ah, you're well then." I translate.
"Well, why don't you say just that? It's much shorter to just say that instead of your statement. And people will understand you and respond in kind."
I've no idea why the Captain never explained to her how to have small talk. And even the Doc seems to have missed it in his so-called social lessons.
"I understand. Thank you for the explanation, Lt."
"You're welcome." I grin.
She looks as if she wants to say more, but the lift comes to a halt and she steps out.
What's going on in that beautiful head of hers?
This morning I beamed a small chocolate Santa into her Cargo Bay. I deposited it on her console, where she would find it easily.
Now, I'm sitting in the mess hall, waiting for her arrival.
And here she comes, carrying the small man as if it is the most precious thing in the world. She makes her way over to Neelix, who's standing behind his counter. I grin.
"Mr. Neelix, I need your assistance."
"Good morning Seven. How can I help you?" He asks cheerfully.
"I found this on my console this morning." She says and presents him with the small Santa.
"Oh, yes. It's wrapped chocolate in the form of Santa Clause. You should ask Naomi about it. She's an expert, when it comes to Christmas."
"Thank you." Without another word or even a glance back, she leaves. Probably heading for the Wildman quarters.
I wonder whether li'l Naomi will be able to persuade Seven to eat the chocolate man.
Yesterday evening I put a daisy on the dais of her alcoves. She should have found it after her shift. I have to say it's a bit disappointing and downright frustrating, not to be able to see her reactions.
When I enter the mess hall again, I immediately spot her at her usual place. Its lunch and Neelix fills my tray with a load of stuff I don't dare identify.
I take it and walk over to sit with her. Today it's my intention to sit with her.
She looks up at me. For mere nanoseconds something like astonishment is flying over her face. Then it's gone again. But it was there.
"You may." She allows and goes back to reading her padd and sipping the stuff she usually drinks.
I dig into my own pile of food. It's at least edible. We remain silent and she seems to be okay with it. I'm not as it is.
"Have you ever tried something else?" I ask eventually.
Her head shoots up and she looks at me with a penetrating gaze.
"Yes." She finally replies.
"Oh, really? You always seem to be consuming only this nasty looking stuff."
"It is satisfying. And I ate something else two days ago." She explains. Is that a smug expression on her face or am I imagining things?
"And what was that, if I may ask?"
"A chocolate Santa Clause." Well, that is what I call a smirk. No doubt. She cannot possibly guess that it was from me. I erased every trace. But you never know with her.
"And? Did you like it?"
I am probably grinning from ear to ear now. Kahless, I need to control myself.
It's the middle of the night. A case of insomnia on my part. Can't guess what's keeping her from regeneration.
"Hey Seven, you know what? Call me B'Elanna, when we're off duty." I say this on impulse, but I think it's a good treat for today, though it's still quite early.
She's silent for all of a minute. Then she nods.
"As you wish, Lieu B'Elanna."
"Okay then. Have a good err regeneration."
"You too." She replies.
Wandering off to my quarters I decide, that Astrometrics will get more power tomorrow. Another 0.5 %.
A dozen relays exploded today. Just great. Makes my day.
When Janeway assigned Seven to help me with the repairs, it was a good opportunity to try and work together in peace.
It worked indeed. We worked well. I was most amazed and her occasional sideway glances seem to express the same.
She kept calling me 'Lieutenant' until I told her, that it would be perfectly all right to call me 'B'Elanna' when we were alone while on duty. She nodded her assent, but again looked as if she doubted my sanity.
Either she will address me personally about the apparent changes in my treatment of her, or she'll go to the Captain and tell her that she believes I might have lost my mind.
"You'll never again say something like that about her." I growl at the two crewmen. I couldn't believe what they said about Seven. Jerks! She's a beautiful, young woman, not a sex toy, or a piece of meat." I know I've had made my share of disrespectful remarks about her. But I have never said something like that. The two stare at me, quite afraid that I will harm them. Good.
If anyone else makes such a remark, or it's equal, ever again I'll show them what the limits are. And I'll start today.
Seven doesn't deserve that.
"Thank you, B'Elanna." A voice barely audible says behind me.
I spin around.
Damn, she was quiet. I didn't hear her approaching me.
"For what?" I ask slightly confused.
"For defending my honour." She says, still with that quiet voice.
I feel the heat creeping up from my toes to the top of my head. My face must be crimson.
"Oh, that." I croak. I had no idea how she would know about that.
"Listen, Seven. I know, I've treated you very badly since you arrived on Voyager. I couldn't help it. You just annoyed the hell outta me. You still sometimes do. But that doesn't justify insulting you, screaming at you, or being disrespectful to you. I'm really very sorry." I duck my head and wait for her reply.
"Then you do not hate me?"
I look at her with wide eyes. I never would've expected that question.
"What? No! I I don't hate you. I never did. Did you really think that? Oh Kahless. I was such an idiot. No, really Seven, I never hated you. I'm so sorry." I want to hug her, but I know that's not possible right now.
I look at her, unsure of what to do. And there it is. Her smile. I don't know if she ever smiled before, but is my first.
"Apology accepted." That said she turns around and leaves me standing there. I think I'll just stand here for a bit longer. My legs seem to be malfunctioning.
When I saw her the next time, she greeted me with another smile. It was smaller than the first, but it was still a smile.
"You should do that more often. It looks beautiful on you." I told her and left her standing this time.
My first compliment for her. When coming up with my plan, I hadn't realized it would indeed be a time of firsts.
Like today, I order two piles of banana pancakes for breakfast. I carry them over to Seven's place and deposit one in front of her. Her drink is still untouched.
"B'Elanna?" She asks with a raised ocular implant.
"Try them. You've eaten chocolate before. You can eat banana pancakes for breakfast."
She looks sceptically at me. Nevertheless, she takes her fork and cuts a bite with it. One last hesitant glance in my direction.
"Go on." I encourage her and watch when the bite disappears in her mouth. Parts of me want to follow yeah I know bad thoughts.
She's tasting her first bite of banana pancakes and judging from her expression, she likes it a lot. Her eyes are closed and she's concentrating on the sweet taste. I can tell.
"Well?" I ask with a smirk.
"I love it." She blurts out, looking at me in wide-eyed wonder. I bet all she intended to say was 'it is acceptable'. I got her.
"Told ya." I grin and dedicate myself to my own pile of pancakes.
Well, I think Astrometrics is in for another power increase. I'd say 1% this time. Tomorrow actually.
"Ah, Lt. Torres, there you are. I've been looking for you." The Doctor is a bit too cheerful for my tastes. I wonder what he's up to.
"Well, you could've called me over the comm." I say grumpily. I'd had a long and exhausting day.
"You are here now, that's the point. However, I wanted to ask a favour of you. I'm aware that you seem to be making an effort to get along better with our resident Borg."
I furrow my brows. Why should he be interested in that?
"I would like your help in my next social lesson with Seven." He explains.
"I see. And what am I supposed to do?" I admit I'm a bit reluctant. I'm not a fan of his social lessons.
"Well, you see. Neelix suggested a Christmas party and I want Seven to participate. She usually just stands around. She is most impassive as it is. I would like to create a similar situation on the holodeck. I think it would be good to have someone around who could interact with her." I can't see why he is sporting this smug expression, but I know I will help him nevertheless. I'll do it for her. Not for him.
"Okay. Tell me when and where."
"2100 hours. Holodeck 2."
At exactly 2100 hours I arrive at the holodeck. A program is already running, so I enter.
"Ah, Lieutenant, I'm glad you made it. We may as well start right now." He's takes me by my elbow and guides me over to Seven. I look up at her, while she's looks down at me.
"B'Elanna. I was not aware that you would be a part of this simulation." She has her hands behind her back and stands in her usual ramrod straight stance. But she's not wearing one of her biosuits. Instead she's wearing dark blue pants and a light blue blouse. I'm afraid I'm going to start drooling soon.
"You look gorgeous." I can't help myself. And her blush is just too adorable.
"Thank you. You look beautiful yourself." Now it's my turn to blush. Did she really compliment me?
"Well ladies, you may take your positions." The Doctor calls over at us.
"Our what?" I ask.
"We are here for a dance lesson." Seven states.
We are what? I feel faint. I know Klingons do not faint. Nevertheless, I feel like fainting. This is not what the doc and I had talked about.
I feel Seven's hand on my waist and her other hand taking mine. All I want to do is pull her close. And, I want to delete the Doctor's matrix. I know I can't do that but he is in for a most unpleasant surprise.
Sighing, I submit myself to my fate. I can't possibly run away right now. To have her close is just too tempting; too wonderful too much really, I want to faint.
All I have to do is control myself. I've no idea how I'll do that, but I've no choice.
The music starts and we start moving. Her scent is alluring. I breathe it in and feel my head swimming. Somewhere deep inside me, a growl starts to bubble to the surface.
I will certainly delete his matrix. I can't help it. I manage to restrain the surfacing growl enough to let it come out barely audible. But I know that Seven's keen hearing must have picked it up.
I cannot look at her. So I pretend to concentrate on the steps. This is way too embarrassing. I will never be able to explain this.
Kahless, help me
"Does this make us friends?" Seven asks me.
Do I like to call it a 'morning after'? Somehow it is, though not 'the' morning after. I had hoped to avoid her today and send some small treat to her but obviously, she has other intentions.
"What do you mean by 'this'?" I need to know what she is referring to.
"Everything you have done lately." She merely answers.
Fine. I've done a lot lately. But I guess she's right. I hadn't thought about it until now. But I think 'this' makes us friends. Okay then. We're friends.
"Yes. We are friends."
"Good." She smiles again.
I melt again.
I admit I'm beginning to run out of ideas. I still have some. But I don't know what to give her today and tomorrow.
And one week to go.
It's already late into the night, but I won't sleep until I know what I'll give her in the morning. So I'm lying awake, racking my brain to come up with something.
It would best if it had something to do with Christmas. After all, this is supposed to be the Christmas season.
I need all of an hour until I come up with something suitable.
I know Seven has a beautiful singing voice. She took lessons with the Doctor and I heard her once, while she was working in Engineering.
Considering her reaction to my chocolate Santa, I can assume that she knows little to nothing about Christmas. So I decide to put those two things together.
After a little research I have a collection of the most beloved Christmas songs from earth. I remember only two or three of them. Maybe we will be able to listen to them together.
I download them onto a padd and beam it to the Cargo Bay.
That done, I finally allow myself some sleep.
Today was the first time that I have seen a downcast expression on Seven's face for seemingly no reason. The only other time I'd seen her like this was when One had just died. But I had no idea what could be wrong this time.
As it was, she was clutching onto the padd I sent her yesterday.
"Everything okay, Seven?" I asked her concerned.
She looked at me without saying anything and to my astonishment she sighed. My hearts went out to her and without knowing what else to do I pulled her in for a hug.
She resisted for as long as a second and then melted into my arms.
I held her for a short eternity, stroking her back and making calming noises. She seemed sad and upset, but remained calm. No tears or sobbing. Her sadness was a quiet one. But I could feel her pain or was it despair?
"What is it?" I eventually asked her.
"I just want to have what everyone else already has."
We are standing in her Cargo Bay and she looks around with a lost expression on her face. She has never looked more human to me.
And then I understand.
She wants a home.
She's been living in that cargo bay, stored away like a tool. Every night she puts herself into that alcove to recharge herself. No wonder she's distressed.
I take her hands and squeeze them. I wanted her to know that I will be there for her. She smiles a sad smile and nods her understanding.
Right after that I storm through the ship making my way to the Captain's ready room. Without announcing my arrival, I storm right in on her almost jumping over her desk.
"How could you've been so blind? This girl needs a home, for Kahless' sake. Give her some quarters. I'll deal with the alcove problem."
I pace around her room like a wild targ. If she attempted to say anything, I probably blew her off. She made an effort raising her voice though.
"Christmas is coming up. She deserves her own quarters."
Without waiting for any response, I storm out again.
Later I return to the Cargo Bay and invite Seven to my place. If she wants, she can sleep on my couch. It was at least something to begin with.
Now she's there, on the other side of my bedroom door. Her first night of sleep in my quarters.
Another first. And the best treat so far.
"May I have a word with you, Lt. Torres?"
Uh-oh the Captain. I should've known that my little stunt would have consequences. Okay, I turn around to face her then. She's sporting one of her infamous glares.
"I will not allow such an intrusion into my ready room again. You were right though. Seven deserves her own quarters. And if you're really willing to deal with the problem of her alcove, she'll get some as soon as possible. Though, I have absolutely no idea, why you came up with this in the first place."
She looks at me as if she wants to read my thoughts. But I avoid her piercing glare and just nod my assent.
"Okay. Sorry 'bout that. I'll work out the alcove problem."
"Do that." Janeway says and I know I'm dismissed.
Phew so she'll get her quarters.
It seems as if I'm making progress.
We had breakfast together and before she left my quarters, I invited her to have dinner with me tonight. She agreed with one of her rare smiles.
Now, I'm trying to prepare a decent meal. Usually I do nothing more than replicate my meals or cope with Neelix's stuff. I never learned how to cook something edible.
When I asked Neelix for help this afternoon, he was more than pleased to give me some advice. I'm not so sure though I want to take it. His cooking is not very well received amongst the crew.
So, I do some more research while still on duty in engineering and find a recipe for something nice and hopefully tasty.
Carey looks at me as if I am ill when I finally sign off duty at the end of my shift. I shrug at him. I don't feel the need to get into it with him that I have something of a private life.
The small kitchen area in my quarters looks as if someone threw a grenade into it. But the table I set for our dinner looks exceptionally nice with two candles on it and a simple but elegant decoration.
If I can just hide the mess in the kitchen, everything should be fine.
Seven chooses exactly this moment to chime at my door. It must be her, cuz it's exactly 2000 hours. Only Seven is this punctual.
Thank Kahless, that I'm done with everything so far.
I walk over to the door and open it.
And there she stands in all her beauty. She's wearing a long, midnight blue dress. Her hair is down and she's looking self-consciously down at the floor.
Oh my goodness! She's shy!
I take one of her hands to guide her in.
"You're beautiful." I say matter-of-factly.
She blushes furiously and looks me in the eyes.
"You too." She breathes.
I tried my best. My wardrobe is rather small, but I found a dark red dress that I'd bought on one of the planets we visited ages ago. I've never had the chance to wear it though. Until today.
I look down at my hand, which is still holding hers and stare at them. I suddenly can't tell which hand belongs to whom. Of course hers is paler than mine, but in the dim light of the room there's no big difference at all.
This is a date!
This is really our first date.
I didn't realize when I asked her, but it is.
Did she realize? Does she know?
"Will we remain standing for the rest of the evening or will we sit down?" She asks. I look up into her face and see her smirking. She's absolutely adorable.
"It was my intention that we would sit. So please." I show her over to the table and we take a seat. I watch her examining everything.
"This looks good. I hope I will have no problems ingesting it." She's looking slightly uncertain.
"I asked the Doctor about it without getting specific. He's the center of the rumour mill as it is. And I didn't want him to spread anything around that is none of his concern." I say, hoping she wouldn't get the wrong impression of me trying to hide her.
"I agree." She nods to my surprise.
Good, then that's settled.
I pour us some wine into our glasses.
"Don't worry, I don't intend to make you drunk. This is entirely without alcohol."
She hesitantly takes hers and looks at me. I raise mine and make a toast.
"To a lot more first times."
"Indeed." She smiles and briefly touches my glass with hers.
The light of the candles is reflecting in her deep blue eyes and I know this evening is going to be perfect.
I'm standing with a padd in front of her Cargo Bay. We talked about everything and nothing yesterday evening. It had indeed been a perfect dinner. Though, I still don't know whether I should really consider it a date or not. There was no talk about that. But to be honest, I don't mind at all. It was great as it was.
Last night she told me about her research concerning Christmas but that she still had no idea what the 'Spirit of Christmas' meant. So I've prepared something for her.
I've no idea though, whether she's ever read a book just for pleasure. If not, it will be another first time. That thought makes me smile.
Just when I was about to enter the Cargo Bay the door opens and Seven almost runs into me.
"B'Elanna!" She almost shouts at me.
"Oh, Seven. Hi." I feel a bit ridiculous.
"Do you want something from me or from the Cargo Bay?" She's smirking. If I were to die right now, I would die happy.
"Not from you. I wanted to give something to you." I say and present her with the padd.
She takes it curiously and looks at its content.
"A Christmas Carol?" She wonders.
"Yes. Read it. You'll understand." I turn around in order to head for engineering, but her voice is stops me.
"It was you, am I right?"
I stop dead in my tracks. I turn around to face her. Very slowly, catching my breath.
"Me?" I know I cannot lie at her. My shoulders slump and my head hangs down. "Yes. It was me."
"Thank you." A simple statement like that and I know I've done nothing wrong. Everything will be alright.
I'm a lucky woman.
"Torres to Seven of Nine."
"Seven of Nine here."
"Please meet me in Holodeck One in ten minutes."
"I am on my way."
That settled, I gather some winter clothes together. I know that Seven will not be wearing anything other than her usual biosuit. After all, how would she know to wear anything different? I didn't tell her anything about the program I was running.
As was to be expected she is punctual and on the second. I'm already in my warm clothes, cuz it's rather cold here.
She looks at me and smiles. I have the feeling that this smile is reserved only for me. I watch her, how she approaches me and looks curiously around. She shivers a little bit. My cue.
"Hi Seven. You should put these on. It's cold and I don't want you to get sick." I hand her the bundle of clothes and watch as she puts them on.
"Thank you. You are right, it is cold. Normally my biosuit regulates my body temperature. But under these circumstances it is not able to provide me with the required warmth..." I'm under the impression that she likes to explain things.
"Fine. Let's go." I take her hand and lead her into the white scene of the holodeck. I've created a beautiful winter landscape. With snow everywhere. It's glistening under the artificial sun and not to far away is a frozen sea.
"This is beautiful." Seven obviously admires the program. "But why are we here?"
"It's a reminder of winter. On earth, in the area were I used to live, it is winter right now. And to have a white Christmas is considered perfection. It should be snowing; kids should be building snowmen and making snow angels. And young couples would be taking sleigh rides. This is the so-called 'Winter Wonderland'. I wanted to show it to you. It's a part of the season and without it, Christmas probably wouldn't be the same." I squeeze her hand, relishing in the softness of her touch.
"Can we take a sleigh ride?" She asks with sparkles in her eyes.
"I would love to." I say before I can stop myself.
There is that smile again. My smile.
I'm incredibly nervous and tired as hell. I could fall asleep while still standing. I worked many long hours on the configuration and the design for Seven's small alcove. She deserves it and a little sleep deprivation won't kill me.
It had been my intention to spend only an hour in the holodeck yesterday evening. But we had stayed three hours. We were lucky though, that the holodeck was free after the time I had booked.
Well, then I had to work on the alcove problem. It's supposed to be the treat of the day.
*Regeneration cycle complete*
I can hear a distinct click and look up at that beautiful woman.
"Good morning Seven." I say and can't stop the yawn that follows.
"Good morning, B'Elanna." She replies and steps down from her alcove. "How can I help you?"
"Actually, I came to help you somehow. Well it is I had this idea you know. And I worked on it and now I think I'm done. Yeah see " Kahless! Why is this so difficult? I'm stuttering and rambling. Did I lose my ability to speak coherently?
Finally I just hand her the padd. She's perfectly able to read and understand it herself.
She takes it and scrolls through the content.
"This is you did this for me?" She has tears in her eyes.
"I Yes. For your new quarters."
"My what?" She asks disbelievingly.
"Your new quarters. I asked the Captain for it a couple of days ago. You deserve them and we agreed that you could have your own quarters if I were able to solve the problem with the alcoves. I think this is a good solution."
An instant later I'm engulfed in her arms. Her arms are strong and to feel her body against mine almost makes me faint.
"Thank you." She mumbles against my neck.
And please, hold me the rest of my life.
Today's the Holy Eve and the night of Neelix's party.
Everybody will be there. Since the morning, Neelix, the Wildmans, Joe Carey, Harry and the Delaney twins have been decorating the two holodecks. Both will be open for the whole event.
Seven asked me to go with her. And she made it clear that she considers this our third date. The third date. This is unbelievable.
I'm dating Seven of Nine.
All I wanted to do, when starting this whole thing, was to show her that there was more to life and to the season. I can't deny that I had one or two eyes on her. But that I would end up dating her until Christmas was beyond me.
I replicated a new dress. It's silken, sleeveless, and amber coloured. I think it suits me rather well.
Seven will pick me up and we will go together to the celebration.
Speaking of the devil. There she is.
I open the door to admit her, but instead of moving to the side to let her in, I'm rooted to the spot. She's wearing a long silver coloured dress. I can't identify the material, but it's flying around her form looking like some dense nebula. It is beautiful.
"You take my breath away." I whisper breathless.
"Thank you. But you are very beautiful yourself." She smiles and hands me a single white rose. I take it and realize that it has no thorns. This flower is just like her.
"I suggest we leave." She says and offers me her arm. I don't know whether she had any dating lessons with the Doc so far or whether she researched the perfect behaviour of a well perfect gentlewoman. I don't mind either, cuz the only thing that matters is her perfection.
She's my date.
That thought makes me grin from ear to ear. Taking her arm I follow her and we head for holodeck one.
At our arrival every head of every person in the room turns in our direction. It's good thing that the music is being played by the computer. Otherwise it would be utterly silent right now. Mouths are agape, eyes wide open, someone looses control, and a glass shatters down on the floor.
This was not the entrance I had intended. But then again, I'm here with Seven of Nine. A woman considered my archenemy. Besides the Doctor and Janeway, only little Naomi and maybe Neelix were aware of the change in our relationship.
Well let them stare. Seven seems rather confident about us. Yes, there is an 'us'. And we walk over to a small group that has gathered around the Captain.
"Seven, B'Elanna, you two look wonderful tonight." Janeway says smiling. I know there was a time when she doubted that the two of us would ever be able to get along. And to see us now seems to have surpassed her greatest hopes.
The others are nodding their assent, admiring the two of us openly. Harry is almost leering at Seven, but I know that he's over the crush he had on her. He's just a man though, can't be mad at him.
For a while we mingle with the others, enjoying the party and ourselves. But to be honest, I want to have her for myself. And it would be a shame if our dancing lesson had been for nothing.
As it is, I owe Seven one last treat.
"Would you like to dance with me?" A soft voice asks me from behind.
"I'd love to." I answer and turn around to look into her beautiful blue eyes.
We're dancing but to me it feels as if we're flying. The world around us disappears and we are the only thing that matters. There's nobody else, nothing else. Only the bliss I feel while being with her.
It has always been this way. Since I first saw her I have felt this bliss. She got under my skin with her voice, with her gaze and now with the heat that's emanating from her. She is under my skin and that's exactly where I want to have her.
Her fingers are trailing along my waist. They wander around me and up my spine. I've goose bumps all over my body. She knows which buttons to press.
My hands wander from her shoulders to around her neck. I need little strength to pull her closer. She doesn't resist. For a moment her eyes grow wide but close when my lips meet hers for our first kiss.
For the first time in my life I feel peace, freedom, and love. I feel so much that I want to cry and can't remember that I've ever felt something like this before. I just hope it will be like this forever. Though I'm not sure, whether I'll be able to stand it.
But I am sure that she's the only one who can make me feel like this. It has been my endeavour to make her happy. Now she's making me happy.
Do I love her?
And tomorrow, when we celebrate our first Christmas together, I'll tell her.
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