DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women...okay, disclaimer done.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Life Half Lived
By T.J.

You can't remember a time when you weren't fascinated by her, since the day she arrived on Voyager as liaison to the Borg. At first you were afraid, deep down in places you don't like to admit even exist you were afraid that she would secretly call down the wrath of the Borg on Voyager. When she was separated from the collective you became secure enough to begin hating her. You demanded that she be an apologist for the collective, and when she wouldn't you let your anger flare. She became the focal point for everything that had gone wrong in your life. Someone had to pay, and she was conveniently alone. But she didn't remain alone for long. Soon she had the Captain's ear and the Captain's time and this ground a diamond edge to the blade of your anger.

You would watch her stride into engineering…your domain, and begin to work without so much as acknowledging your presence. You tried to fight, and to argue, but she took no notice and continued to do as she wished. It got so bad that you couldn't stop staring at her when she was working. Everyone assumed you still hated her, but you were beginning to suspect otherwise. You were beginning to suspect that it was yourself you hated.

You tried to fill your time and the bottomless pit in your heart with other things. You threw yourself into your work, and when the opportunity presented itself you took a lover. He pursued you relentlessly and when your loneliness and frustration reached its peak you let him catch you. You never really loved him, but you suspected that he wasn't really in love with you either so you didn't let it bother you too much. He spent most of his time running around and playing games, so you worked, and you watched, and you wanted.

You convinced yourself that this was the way things were supposed to be…that you were happier like this, that you weren't missing out on anything by hiding behind your relationship. Enter the Vinculum. You've never felt anything like that…before or since. You've never been able to forget the way she smelled, the way her pupil dilated when she looked at you. You've never been able to forget the exquisite feeling of pain you felt when her teeth broke the skin of your cheek. That memory has gotten you through some long lonely nights, alone, and with Tom.

You started arguing more after that because you just couldn't stay away from her, and you had no other point of contact between you. Sometimes you could swear that she was as aroused as you during your more heated arguments, and once in a while you detected real concern for your well being when you were in a tight spot. But something always seemed to hold you back. You could never bring yourself to admit to her how you really feel. Hell, you could never admit it to yourself. Sometimes, during the execution of your duties, you would touch her, and you'd get a glimpse of what perfection could be, but you never reached out, you never took a chance. Time went on and you existed, but you never really lived.

You knew you were alive on the day you realized that your opportunity had gone forever, because only something alive was capable of feeling that much pain. You always knew she wouldn't wait around forever, but somehow you never really believed she would take a lover. You watched the man you considered a close friend fall in love with someone you knew wasn't really free to love him back, and still you said and did nothing. There must have been a point at which you could have stopped it, a time when you could have spoken up and saved all four of you from being doomed to a half-life of unfulfilled dreams, but you let it pass you by unremarked. Now it is too late. Lines have been crossed, and none of you can ever go back. Honour and friendship hang in the balance, and you walk the razor's edge in the company of those you should be closest to. It wasn't much but it was all you had.

You were leaving work and as you walked down the corridor toward your quarters you saw them. She was dressed in a breathtaking black sheath and she was hanging onto his arm, laughing at whatever comment he had just made. You felt your heart stop beating as it turned to stone. You thought you'd known pain before, you'd been certain you'd made your peace with the situation the way it was, but only now, when it was far too late did you realize the true extent of your mistake. You don't remember the walk back to your quarters. You just put one foot in front of the other and made your way home in a haze of pain.

You forced a smile to your face as you had for months before and as you knew you would for the rest of your life and you walked into the quarters you shared with your 'husband.'

"Hey honey, how was your day?"

The End

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