DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story depicts a loving relationship between women...okay, disclaimer done.

By ralst

Hailstones rattled against the glass in a symphony of impending destruction, the forces of nature making themselves known in the most dramatic of scenes. It was humbling for the two women caught in its grasp; their joint knowledge and feigned superiority counting for nothing against Mother Nature's merest whisper of disdain. The light that was filtering past the descending ice and transforming into a cloud of murky grey, bringing an early night to those under its influence.

"Is it just me, or do you feel kind of small in comparison to all of this?" B'Elanna's words were hushed and barely audible against the thunderous music of the storm.

"I." Seven had been about to refute the suggestion, stating that the weather had no bearing on her physical size but she relented. "It makes me feel... Inconsequential."

B'Elanna looked over at a face shrouded in a blanket of twilight, the beauty and arrogance obscured but still ever present in her mind's eye. It was a mental image that had never once even bordered on inconsequential, if anything she'd always seen Seven as someone of innate importance, at least to her. "The weather must truly be something if it can manage that."

"Why?" Seven turned her head to stare at B'Elanna, the engineer's gaze having returned to the vista that was before them. "Do you think me so egotistical that I cannot be humbled by such magnificence?"

"No." The word was spoken in a hush, the atmosphere inside the dome too intensely personal to warrant the possibility of an argument. They'd had enough of those in the past three years, senseless rows that germinated from B'Elanna's fear of her own inadequacy and Seven's inability to understand. The fear had diminished and understanding grown but still their arguments had continued, the reasons more complex and harder to acknowledge. "I've just never thought of you like that. To me you've always been..." Her words trailed off into nothingness.

Seven looked at her companion but B'Elanna remained silent. "Been what?"

B'Elanna focused her attention on Seven's eyes, the usual arctic blue distorted into greyness by the descendant gloom. It was almost as if a gossamer wall had been constructed between them, separating with a barrier that just cried out to be breached. B'Elanna's hand rose to caress her cheek, fingers gently outlining blurred features. "Important."

Seven dared not move, the touch she had waited years for had finally materialised and she had no idea how to proceed. How to avoid the moment ending in lose or recrimination. Being stranded on a planet of raging thunder had seemed like a curse from the heavens, until they'd discovered the tiny glass topped cabin. Then it had merely become an inconvenience, a waste of time until they could make contact with the ship. But now it was transforming into a moment of unlimited possibility and unlimited heartache. "B'Elanna?" The name became a question of hope as fingers grazed past anxious lips.

"Seven." B'Elanna moved closer, her breath ghosting across pale skin. "You have always been important to me, probably the most important thing in my life." Brown eyes closed, eyelids shuttering out the possibility of rejection. It had taken her years to admit what had been in her heart from the first moment their eyes met and she couldn't face having the secret dream of those years crushed by a single look.

For Seven the world around them had suddenly receded, the ferocity of the storm nothing more than a background track to the beating of her heart. She'd fantasised about this moment for years, a declaration of interest followed by touches of love and welcome. But in all those fantasies she'd been calm, eager to taste of the pleasure of B'Elanna's kisses. Yet now she was frozen with fear. Fear of the unknown, of having her fantasies smashed against the hard outer shell of reality. "Really?" The word came out small and fragile, the product of a scared child not an arrogant drone.

"Really." B'Elanna's hand combed through soft blonde strands, loosening the golden tresses from their usually austere confinement. "I think I'm in love with you Seven."

The breath was squeezed from Seven's lungs as her heart swelled with barely believed anxiety. This was the moment she'd craved but all of a sudden it was too much for her, she just wanted B'Elanna to take control and remove all the doubt and fear from her heart. What she wanted was to feel the other woman against her, holding her, loving her. "Kiss me."

B'Elanna had never before been given a command she was more willing to follow. Leaning forward the final couple of inches, B'Elanna brushed her lips against the inviting warmth of Seven's own. In that moment everything changed, they were no longer two separate women hiding out from a storm and their own desires. Now they were as one, two people joined together by more than mere flesh. Two people on the verge of becoming lovers and entwining their lives forever.

A gentle kiss became more urgent, hands searching out the firmness of heated skin in an attempt to bring their two bodies into fuller contact. B'Elanna's hands reached up to encase Seven's perfect face, drawing their lips apart for a second to look deep into warm blue eyes. "I want to love you Seven, to make love to you...but if I do, it has to be forever, not just for the moment."

Blue eyes retreated into the seclusion of actualised dreams and a smile of unknown happiness covered full lips. "Forever."

The second kiss became a promise of things to come and as the storm raged on in impotent jealousy, two lives were forever changed.

The End

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