2378: Three Days After Voyager's Return
Admiral Owen Paris stood with his hands grasped firmly behind his back and with a grim expression said. "Welcome home, Kathryn." Before breaking into a massive smile.
"Admiral Paris," Janeway replied with a smile and a tear in her eye.
Owen Paris stepped forward and into Kathryn's arms, giving her a greeting to make up for the seven-year hole her absence had left in his life.
Tom stood back holding his newborn daughter in the cradle of one arm and his wife in the other. He felt like crying, he hadn't seen his father smiling like that since his mother died when he was fifteen.
Owen stood back and smiled. "Really Kathryn don't you think it's time you started calling me Owen, it's not like I out rank me."
This comment was met by looks of happy surprise on both Janeway and his extended families' faces and Owen couldn't help a jovial belly laugh. "That's right, Admiral Janeway." Owen's smile turned slightly sour, "the only bad news I have for you Kathryn is that Voyager has been decommissioned. After all, it's been through more in the past 7 years then most ships, in their 20 to 60 year lifespan."
Kathryn's smile also turned sad as she took one last look at her ship through the view port of the space station. "She's been a good ship," she raised her hand to her throat in pain, "just tell me she won't be destroyed."
"Of course not, she'll be displayed as the ship that brought home Starfleet's biggest stars since Kirk and Spock."
While Janeway mourned a miner loss to herself, B'Elanna was experiencing a sorrow so deep that she had to turn from the man speaking the words and hold back the need for a mourning howl. Her ship, her first true home, was to be dry-docked and made into a museum.
"Lieutenant Torres it's a pleasure to meet with you again, and on such better circumstances too," Admiral Brand stated smiling at B'Elanna, as the Superintendent of Starfleet Academy, Admiral Brand had seen B'Elanna on the other side of her desk too many times for someone who she always felt could be just what Starfleet needed.
"It's a pleasure to see you again too, Admiral." B'Elanna smiled shyly at Admiral Brand remembering just how much the Admiral had let her get away with. The fact that Admiral Brand was actually being very lenient with her had escaped her at the time but she could see now that the Admiral had actually let her get away with more than Janeway had and Janeway was like a mother to her.
"So Lieutenant Torres, are you ready to become Professor Torres? Because we've got a opening in our Engineering Department and I for one think you're perfect for the position."
B'Elanna's eyes lit up, she had been hoping for a position at the Academy but had figured that she'd only be able to get a job working as an assistant to one of the other professors or as a lab rat or something. "Yes, I'm ready for anything they can throw at me."
"Actually that's one of the reasons we want you, you have a great deal of experience training inexperienced individuals not only in the ways of Engineering but in the ways of Starfleet. That makes you perfect for the freshmen class in Introduction to Engineering, and your ingenuity and creativity make you perfect for teaching Command Track Engineering, with our third and forth year students."
"That's perfect, when do I start?"
"Well as you know our academic year has already started, so in order to give you time to get your lesson plans in order we won't be starting your classes until the next semester. However, we will expect you to spend at least eight hours a week on campus working on those lesson plans and working out the projects you have planned for the classes. We'd also like you to teach a advanced course for returning students on the integration of non federation technologies into Starfleet systems, though we won't have an opening in our schedules for that class before the second semester of 2381."
B'Elanna smiled, if there was one thing she was really good at it was taking from other technologies and making an artistic combination to meet the needs of her Captain. She may have bitched about it when Seven chatted Janeway into it, but she always loved making it work and knowing that everyone knew that it was her imagination and not Seven's stubbornness that made that possible in the end.
"Thank you, Admiral, I look forward to the challenge."
"I'm glad you realize that this will be a challenge, you may have been working with people who didn't want to be there on Voyager, but here you'll be working with upstart students that think they already know all there is to know. They can be a real pain in the ass, but I know if anyone can teach them, you can, and they have much to learn." Admiral Brand smiled knowing that B'Elanna knew she spoke of the youth B'Elanna had been.
B'Elanna threw her head back in laughter. "Yeah, I know the type."
Jupiter Station: The Center of Holographic Imaging and Programming
"Doctor." Dr. Lewis Zimmerman said looking up from his computer console with a straight face but with a glint in his eye.
"Father," the doctor said with a profound look in his eye and a gentle smile on his face.
Lewis smiled broadly at his son, for though the doctor was not a child made from the love between himself and another human being, he was made from love and he was the man Lewis always wished he could have been.
"So my boy, have you picked a name yet or would you like me to do the honor?"
The doctor's eyes lit up, the truth was that he had always wanted a true family and to be named by his father was just the proof he needed to confirm that his family accepted him as he was. "I haven't picked a name yet and I'd love it if you were to name me my father."
Lewis smiled. "I was always going to name my first born son Richard after my grandfather, 17th removed, Richard Richards. He was a doctor in the late 20th century and he served during the Vietnam War. He was my greatest hero growing up. So, what do you think of the name Richard Zimmerman?"
The new Dr. Richard Zimmerman smiled back at his father with a gigantic smile usually reserved for opera night. "Richard Zimmerman, I like that. I'm so glad that I'm able to be the son you've always wanted, because you are the father I've always needed."
Lewis smiled and hugged his son for the first time and hoped that the last wouldn't come too soon. "Oh Richard, I've been asked to tell you that you've been offered the position as the head of Starfleet Medical." Lewis smiled at Richard's expression of surprise and for the first time was truly grateful that he had programmed human emotions in to the Medical Holograms. It may have backfired on all his other sons but Richard had truly reached beyond his greatest hopes. "If you're going to except, which I hope you do, you'll have to leave tomorrow afternoon in order to reach Starfleet Medical on time to accept the position and be briefed and prepare an acceptance speech before 1000 hours."
Richard smiled at his father but his eyes held some disappointment. "That does cut our time a little short doesn't it."
"Yes is does but you're my son Richard, and from now on we will always keep in touch. Don't worry I've got a hell of a lot of leave coming to me and I plan on being there for my son's acceptance speech." Lewis was smiling from his very heart and he was so choked up that he was holding back tears.
The door slid open just in time to admit the winded Commander, whose vision was impaired by the large box he carried, causing him to trip slightly over the change in height between the metal and carpet of Seven's new quarters.
"I am capable of navigation the change between a solid surface and carpet without warning." She paused in her statement before thinking to add, "but thank you for your concern."
Chakotay set the box down next to the wall and turned to smile at her, "Hey, what's a boyfriend for if not to point out the obvious?"
Chakotay walked to Seven's side and pulled her into a stiff kiss. Seven still wasn't use to kissing but he had hope that would change now they were living away from Voyager and would only see each other on a more social level.
Seven smiled a small obviously forced smile and said. "Perhaps it was a less then logical idea to pack all of my valuables in to as few boxes as possible."
They both went about unpacking the two boxes and moving the many other things that they had beamed down into their rightful places.
"So, Seven, are you ready to start at the Academy next week?"
Seven paused in her unpacking. "I am." But then she fell quiet and Chakotay waited. "I am experiencing some feelings which I believe to be nervousness."
Chakotay smiled at her. "Well that is to be expected, but I believe that this will be a really good experience for you."
"I'm sure you're right, thought I can't help but point out that perhaps your wish for me to attend the Academy stems from the fact that you will be teaching there and wish for me to be close to you." This time her smile wasn't forced, she found human behavior extremely amusing and when Chakotay did something so very human it was even more so, because he so often acted more Vulcan then the Vulcans.
He stepped off the shuttlecraft onto the hot sands of his home and felt the pull of it's higher gravity in his bones like a hug on a bad day, but this was a good day and the sands of his home whipped around him in the warm air.
Lieutenant Commander Tuvok felt so much in that moment that a slight smile slipped beyond his control and manifested as a slight upward curl of his lip. In the distance, waiting just off the landing pad, stood his four children and their mates watching his arrival. Tuvok walked in a slow even stride towards the family he had left behind so many years ago and tried to cover the smile on his face, rather unsuccessfully, but he didn't consider or worry about it too much; he'd be forgiven for the slip given the circumstances.
"Father." Tuvok's eldest son Sek stood at the front of the group, in his place as the eldest family member, given that his mother was not present, holding his first born child T'Meni.
"I presume your mother is in stasis," Tuvok asked calmly, though inside we felt a pulling in his mind and fires rising at the very thought of his mate.
"Yes father, the doctors await you."
"Very good. It is good to be home." Tuvok turned and walked towards the hospital in the distance with the same calm stride.
Tuvok reached the hospital and the nurse at the reception counter recognizing him tilted her head in the direction of his wife's room, so that Tuvok would not have to stop before reaching his mate. Upon walking into the room the nurse had directed him towards, Tuvok was pleased to see his wife sitting up in her hospital bed, even though he didn't show it.
"Hello my husband." T'Pel stood before the attractive young female doctor, with long straight hair, greeting her husband who had been gone for so long.
Tuvok walked to his mate's side and placed his fingers to hers and spoke to her through their link. 'It had been too long my wife.'
T'Pel stepped into her husband's embrace just as the young doctor left the room quietly, showing proper respect for the mating couple.
Shuttle on the way to Starbase 26
"Really, Neelix, it's great of you to move all the way out here to be with Naomi during this rough period in her life. I'm sure it's going to be difficult for her to meet her father after so many years of not knowing him," Samantha said smiling, at her best friend.
"Yes, I'm sure it will be, though it's hard to tell how she'll show it, being the fighter that she is," Neelix said smiling.
"Yes it is. We will have to keep our eyes open, where Naomi's concerned. I can't wait to see Greskrendtregk again, I've missed him so much." Sam was smiling and Neelix could feel his chest contract in on his heart, but he still had hope that one day if he waited long enough and was truly patient Samantha would return his love.
Greskrendtregk stood with his girlfriend of three years in the quarters they had shared until a year ago. "I'm sorry Rasha, I love you but I want to be a father to my daughter, she deserves a real family."
"I know you want to be there for them, but Greskrendtregk, I love you and always will. I don't know if I can stay here when your with you're family." Rasha took a deep breath. "Greskrendtregk I've put in for a transfer. I hope you find happiness in your life." Rasha turned and walked out the door and down the hall but just as she got beyond the first turn and she embraced the wall shaking as tears ran from her eyes. "Oh, Greskrendtregk, I'll miss you my love."
Greskrendtregk watched the love of his life walk out the door and with a cry of pain fell to his knees weeping. He had never meant to cheat on Sam, he had thought she was dead, so when he met Rasha and started to fall in love he didn't fight it but embraced it as anyone would after two years of mourning.
Starfleet Medical: Special research division ten days later
Dr. Colleen McMurphy, a beautiful woman in her mid 40s whose hair was a rather dark brownish red and whose beautiful smiling eye were a pleasant hazel, sat at her console in the special research division working on the new project she had just been assigned to- a study in advanced physiological techniques related to what was now being called post-Borg disorder, which was basically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder only applied to the Borg who had been trapped in the Alpha quadrant and severed from the collective after Voyager's return.
Colleen was one of the only people to survive one of the very earliest experiments in cryogenics, a very top secret project done by the United States Military in 1998 in which 12 people, mostly doctors, were placed under cryogenic stasis and stored in a top secret sealed volt under Norad, which wasn't discovered until its deconstruction in 2360. Having served as a nurse during the Vietnam War, Colleen had direct contact with many people who were suffering from PTSD and after the war she had found a small amount of self-healing in working directly with those veterans who were suffering, which lead her to become one of the leading experts on PTSD in this century.
"So you're a hologram?" Dr. Colleen McMurphy asked with a twinkle in her eye and perhaps too much humor in her voice.
Richard raised an eyebrow and came back at her, "So, you're a relic from the 20th century?"
Colleen smiled and laughed. "Yes, yes I am."
Richard smiled, really looking at her for the first time and he couldn't help but shake his head as he wandered over to his own console next to Colleen's. "So, shall we see what we can accomplish together. After all who better to work together then a set of misfits."
Colleen laughed, throwing her head back slightly; it was good to meet someone at Starfleet Medical who still had a sense of humor.
Six months later Starbase 26
"Greskrendtregk, honey, what's wrong," Sam asked her husband, knowing that neither of them had been happy since she arrived home. Even the first week hadn't felt right. Sam was starting to wonder whether she and Greskrendtregk were really meant to be together or if they had just been apart too long to really know each other anymore. Sam sighed, the truth was that she didn't really love Greskrendtregk anymore. She just wanted it to work because she felt Naomi needed a father figure, but as Naomi pointed out a week ago she had many father figures on Voyager, not to mention strong female role models. Being a father wasn't necessarily a role decided through genetics and Greskrendtregk had missed out on too much of Naomi's early development to be a father in the true sense, though he was wonderful with Naomi as more of a friend.
Greskrendtregk sighed and looked at Sam. Watching her facial expressions as she thought all of this that he knew that he didn't belong there with Sam and Naomi, no matter how much he loved Naomi he wasn't in love with Sam anymore and staying only made them all unhappy. "Sam," he sighed again, "I can't do this anymore. I mourned you and I moved on. Samantha, I fell in love and I tried to make us work but I still love her and as much as I love you and Naomi, my love for you isn't enough to make this marriage work." Greskrendtregk was silently crying and had his head lowered in shame.
Sam was crying too but she wasn't worried about breaking up but losing her friend. "Greskrendtregk, I love you as a friend but you're right we're not lovers anymore and I pray to God that you and the one you do love are truly happy together."
Tears still running down his cheeks Greskrendtregk smiled at his beloved Sam and hugged her. "I'll always love you Sam and I will always love Naomi, my wonderfully intelligent and sweet daughter." Crying this time tears of joy he continued, "I too hope you find happiness Samantha with whoever it is that truly makes you so."
Chakotay looked over the dinner table at Seven, noticing her far off gaze, and smiled. He finally understood that look. It had taken him years of knowing Seven to properly analyze that look she got at times, but now he remembered the first time he saw the sadness of that look.
It had been her first year aboard Voyager and Seven had been sitting in the Mess Hall with the Captain and himself when B'Elanna and Tom walked in together and Seven's eyes widened slightly before her mask fell and she looked back at the Captain and himself. "What is the nature of their relationship?" She had asked with a cool voice.
He hadn't thought of it at the time but connecting that look with the look she now exhibited allowed him to see just what had always been there and he smiled to himself before calming his features and doing what he had to do.
Seven looked up with a shake of her head and her eyes cleared as she forced a small smile.
"Seven, I don't think this is working out."
Seven's eyes widened in slight shock before a look of understanding came to rest on her features and she nodded.
"We're not in love with each other, we're really just good friends and I think that's all we'll ever be," Chakotay finished smiling softly
"Yes, you are right this has never felt as romantic as it has friendly," she answered calmly almost happily.
Chakotay grinned. "So, you know what I heard today?"
Seven's eyes lit up, trust Chakotay to know just how much she loved gossip, "What was that?"
"Well I was walking along on Campus today and overheard two Admirals talking about how strange it was that Star Fleet was allowing Admirals Janeway and Paris to take that assignment together."
Seven smirked and leaned in. "What assignment?"
"I'm not sure, that's all I heard, but just think about it, Star Fleet finally allowing a married couple the chance to serve together. Wow."
"That is very interesting, I will have to see what kind of information I can get out of Admiral Janeway."
Chakotay smiled and laughed slightly. "She doesn't stand a chance. You will let me know when you find out, wont you?"
"Of course I will, we are friends are we not," Seven stated.
"Always," he answered with a smile before standing to take the dinner plates to the recycler. Standing in front of it he stretched his body out while watching as the recycler removed the plates. "Well, it is getting pretty late and I wouldn't want Janeway to see me in the background when you sucker her into telling you about her new mission, so I will be going."
Seven stood. "Yes that would be best. I believe I will be using our breakup as a tactic for retrieving the information we desire."
Chakotay smiled as he and Seven walked to the door, which swooshed open as they neared. Turning to face Seven he placed a soft kiss on her cheek and whispered in her ear. "It was fun while it lasted," smiled and turned to walk out the door.
2380: San Francisco, within walking distance of the Academy, the Apartment of B'Elanna Torres
B'Elanna Torres tucked tiny, two and a half year old, Miral into her little bed, in her specially designed room. Holo-emitters had been added to make it look as if the bed was set on a little asteroid orbiting around a beautiful purple gas giant. Swirls of lavender and light blue rolling by, as the precious child drifted off to sleep, listening to her mother read the children's book Starry Nights Dream which had written by the young half Vulcan author, T'Lara.
Shortly after Miral finally drifted off, B'Elanna heard the front door swish open and Tom Paris stumble in from the local bar. She sighed and left her little daughter sleeping tight in her bed.
"Tom, where have you been?" she asked walking up to him catching a wif of his breath and waved a hand in front of her nose. "Never mind I know where you've been. Why didn't you call? You missed supper and you weren't here to tuck Miral in?"
"Soourry Lanna, I was just celebrating," Tom slurred.
"We're moving to the Enterprise," Tom said, smiling crookedly listing dangerously to one side in his excitement. This causing him to lose his balance and he would have fallen if B'Elanna hadn't caught him with one hand and held him up.
"We are, are we? Well, Tom, I have a job and a home here that I love. Which is actually more then I can say about you," B'Elanna answered. It had been over a year since they had last made love and they no longer sleeping in the same bed. The truth was that neither of them had ever really enjoyed making love to the other. "Tom we're not in love. We never were and I'm sorry that I let this go on as long as it has, because who knows if ether of us will have the time to find the true love we both deserve."
Tom looked at her in surprise then nodded. "I knew this was coming. I'm sorry B'Elanna. I love you but you're right, I was just lonely and you were such a good friend. I was sure if I tried hard enough I could make myself love you and that I could make you love me. We really were fooling ourselves on that one, weren't we?"
B'Elanna nodded. "You're a wonderful father Tom and I'll never truly regret what we had because it gave us Miral. I want you to be able to continue being her father so. What do you think of half a year here with me and the other half with you on the Enterprise?"
Tom nodded. "That should be just fine, B'Elanna. We'll explain it to her tomorrow before I start packing."
StarFleet Academy Lecture Hall E-12: five weeks later
B'Elanna smiled as she looked out over the bright-eyed and concentrating faces of her first year cadets. She loved to see that look on their faces, it meant that they were truly lessening to what she was saying. As she looked among the students of her class, she could see looks she remembered from her brief stint at the Academy. The ones that admired her skill, the ones that paid close attention to her teaching style and would some day be teaching this class themselves, the ones, both male and female, who longed for a romantic interlude with her. She loved them all, they were her students, and she would always be their friend. One of the main points she tried to get across to her students was that even twenty years from now she would be their champion, she would stand by them just as Janeway had stood by her.
"So, your homework for the next month and a half is to create a working modification of a shield generator and write a paper explaining why your modification is important to the future of shield generators. Remember to take into account how much power the shield will use and explain why that helps the ship; either by reducing power usage or showing that the extra power usage is less important then the benefits the new shield design will bring to the ship."
B'Elanna paused to look out over the sea of bowed heads and frantically moving writing utensils, smiled and gave them a few minutes before dismissing them.
Enterprise two months later Ten Forward
The doors to ten forward swish open as Guinan walked into the darkness of after hours. As her eyes adjusted to the lack of light she noticed two men slumped in front of the corner window, their table covered with empty beer bottles. Walking to the drunken couple, Guinan couldn't help but overhear their conversation.
"So Tom, what happened with B'Elanna?" Harry hesitatingly asked.
"I love B'Elanna and she loves me, but we love each other as friends. We were just fooling ourselves into believing that our love was a romantic love, because neither of us wanted to be alone any longer."
Harry smiled sadly while pealing the label from his bottle of replicated beer. "Yeah, none of us wants to be alone."
Guinan smiled as she walked up to the end of the table and said. "The thing is, that sometimes when being alone is the only time when you can know what you really want from life."
With that Guinan smiled again before turning and leaving the men to their thoughts and their beer. Had anyone else been in the room they would have seen the look of knowledge on her face and would have known, as she did, that this was only the beginning of the journey for the two young men.
Seven's apartment early 2381
Chakotay casually leaned back on the couch and smiled at Seven over his wineglass. "So, did you hear that B'Elanna got a professorship at the Academy?"
Seven's eyes widened in surprise and she blinked a few times. "She chose to leave engineering!"
"Well, she really hasn't left it, she's teaches it to first year students."
Seven nodded her head slightly.
"Actually I've heard really good things. Her students love her. She gives them challenges that most instructors only introduce in the third year and she goes beyond introduction and leaves them to solve it for themselves. The other professors are thrilled because her students are more involved in all of their other classes than they were before B'Elanna started."
Seven softly smiled. "I'm not surprised, B'Elanna, was always good at bringing out creativity and dedication in people."
Chakotay looked into Seven's eyes and saw the look again. "Are you in love with B'Elanna?" he asked, already knowing the answer but also knowing that she would need to be the one who said it for this to work.
Seven looked briefly at Chakotay, but then looked away before answering. "Yes, but it doesn't matter. B'Elanna's in love with Tom."
Chakotay raised a brow and smiled mischievously before saying. "No she's not "
"She and Tom have been divorced for well over a year now."
Seven's eyes widened and her jaw went slack in shock.
Starfleet Academy four months later
Seven walked down the long gray-carpeted halls of the Administration building of Star Fleet Academy. She was nervous but happy; she absolutely loved working with young minds. After a few minutes of walking she reached a large waiting room with a round, blue carpet in the middle with the UFP symbol outlined in white.
Sitting at a desk at one end of the room was a large man in command red, a single pip on this collar. He raised his head to look up at Seven and smile. "Are you here for the Professorship in English, Science, Cultural Education or Biology?"
Seven smiled slightly. "Science."
The large ensign smiled. "Your name, please?"
"Seven Of Nine."
The ensign smiled again. "You may take a seat, I'll inform the Chancellor you're here."
Seven calmly walked to the plush couch and took a seat but couldn't help but overhear the ensign contacting the Chancellor.
"Yes Chancellor, Seven of Nine, is here for the Professorship in Science."
"Seven of Nine. Wow, this must be my lucky day."
Seven's eyes widened slightly, she couldn't help but wonder if that comment was sarcastic or to be taken on face value.
"Send her in."
The ensign looked over at Seven smiling. "You may go in now."
With a deep breath she rose and walked towards the indicated door, which swished open to reveal a little old lady with a great big smile.
"Seven, I can call you Seven, can't I?"
"Of course you may."
"So, you're applying for the Science Professorship."
"You've got it."
Seven blinked slightly in surprise, from what Chakotay had said told her, he had been interviewed for hours before he got his Professorship, so she was extremely surprised to be accepted so quickly.
"Now, is there any chance that you'd be interested in the Cultural Education as well? As you know Professor Chakotay has left the Academy and Star Fleet to pursue a life true to his heritage. What you don't know is that before he left I asked him if he could think of a suitable replacement and he suggested you. So, would you be interested?"
Seven raised a brow before tilting her head to the side and smiling. "I accept."
The little old Chancellor stood and shook Seven's hand. "I think you'll make an excellent addition to our staff. Welcome to Star Fleet Academy, Professor Seven"
One week later
B'Elanna and Seven stood before Admiral Brand, both wondering what she had done wrong to warrant finding herself standing beside the other, on the wrong side of the desk, again.
B'Elanna looked over at Seven before shuddering and looking down, 'damn it! What did I do now? I couldn't have pissed Seven off. I haven't seen her in years.' She sighed deeply before looking back up at Brand, who sat behind his desk looking particularly stern.
Admiral Brand sat back watching the looks that registered on the women's faces- this was great. Admiral Janeway had told him so many stories about the antics of these two women that he just couldn't help letting them suffer a bit longer.
Seven swallowed hard, she couldn't work out how she had managed to violate B'Elanna's personal or work space, not having seen her for years. She supposed anything was possible, given Star Fleet's many rules and regulations, where you never knew what you were doing wrong. Seven shook her head, smiled in that half smirking way of hers, and thought 'slurp a noodle from the wrong side of your mouth and you earn a month in the brig. I wonder what it was this time?'
B'Elanna shifted slightly away from Seven and shuffled her feet, the nervous energy finally reaching her. If he didn't say something soon she'd go nuts.
Admiral Brand's face broke as he barked out in laughter and ended up short of breath and clutching his stomach.
When he finally calmed down he spoke breathlessly. "Relax ladies, I just wanted to inform the two of you that you would be working on the bi-dimensional transverse research project together."
Both women visibly relaxed and an audible sigh was heard along with further laughter from the perpetually straight-faced Brand.
"Now we expect Star Fleet regulations to be followed, but we're sure that with your knowledge of Delta Quadrant and Borg technologies we won't have any problem with creativity." He paused and smiled. "Getting along on the other hand, well, that's not that important to me. Just get it done. I'm sure the department wouldn't mind sponsoring a catfight or some mud wrestling."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes at Seven as soon as the door shut after they were out of the room; "I had no idea that humor like Tom's was so prevalent in the higher ranks of Star Fleet."
Seven raised her implanted brow. "Yes, I've always found the human male's lack of maturity, when it comes to women, to be almost universal and highly entertaining."
B'Elanna laughed and smiled. "Yeah, well I have to get going, I have a class in fifteen. I'll call you later to discuss when we can meet." Shaking her head as she walked away, she thought 'maybe this won't be so bad after all.'
Enterprise Four months later
The sun was setting over the distant mountains and the forests below were cast in darkness. As Harry looked over the beauty of the new program Tom had surprised him with for his birthday, tears ran down his cheeks and a smile seemed plastered to his lips.
The lips Tom was contemplating kissing for an eternity. As he stood beside Harry he was shivering, not from fear but nerves, and taking a deep breath he quietly walked into Harry's view and knelt on the damp grass at his feet.
"Harry, will you marry me?"
Harry's eyes went wide and his smile, which was already radiant, brightened even more. "Yes! Yes, of course I'll marry you Tom."
Sisko's Restaurant in New Orleans a week later
B'Elanna and Seven sat at their cozy, two-person table in the moderately lit old-fashioned wood hall of Sisko's Restaurant.
B'Elanna looked across the table, shaking her head in silent laughter, at the sight of Seven tentatively putting her fork full of vegetarian Jumblia to her lips, like she had never eaten it before, even though this was her favorite restaurant.
B'Elanna smiled again and swallowing her Jumblia. "So, did you get invited to Harry and Tom's wedding?"
Seven smiled. "Yes, would you care to attend it with me?"
B'Elanna smiled in slight surprise and answering, "yes," before blushing down into her Jumblia.
Joseph Sisko, who happened to be walking by just in time to catch their conversation, smiled to himself before turning sharply on one foot and walking speedily back to the kitchen. The doors swung wildly as he rushed into the room and stood in front of the cook. Shaking his head, he handed the skinny old man a handful of rations before throwing his hands in the air. "You win, Seven asked first."
Enterprise Ten-forward a month later
Admiral Kathryn Janeway stood beside Captain Jean-Luc Picard and in unison they spoke the vows that had been decided upon before by the wedding pair. "Do you Thomas Eugene Paris take Harry Kim to be your lawfully weeded husband, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Tom said with a smile on his face and a tear in his eye.
"Do you, Harry Kim take Thomas Eugene Paris to be your lawfully wedded husband, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in heath, until death do you part, as long as you both shall live?" In the beautiful combination of their voices there was a calmness that spoke wonders for their joint beliefs that this truly was a good coupling.
"I do," Harry's answer was a blubber as his face was completely awash with tears.
Looking into each other's eyes both the Captain and the Admiral smiled, holding their lips tight together in order to keep from letting out light flits of happy laughter. "We now pronounce you Husband and Husband, you may kiss you husband."
The wedding guests laughed as they realized that Tom must have chosen those words because of his 20th century obsession and smiled on as Tom and Harry kissed each other passionately. They all cheered and gathered around the newly blessed couple in smiles and laughter, the party had begun.
Tom and Harry walked up to Seven and B'Elanna and sheepishly Tom approached Seven. "Seven, we were wondering if we could ask something of you?"
Seven raised an eyebrow and answered. "You may."
"Well we were wondering if we could ask your help with having another child. We've been talking about it with Richard and he said the easiest way for us to do this would be to have you donate some nanoprobes and an egg, or another female friend to donate the egg. Then Harry would carry the baby to term when the baby would be beamed out- as is standard with pregnancies where the parent can't handle given birth regularly, which we know he couldn't." At that Tom and Harry both cringed.
Seven smiled and B'Elanna, who was standing nearby, bowled over laughing. "I'd love to see you try."
Seven looked over at B'Elanna, smiled even more and laughed softly out loud before shaking her head and answering. "You may have both,"
"We're not going to do it right away because even with the nanoprobes it will take over a year for the genetic striping of the egg and then the combination of our DNA, not to mention the nine months of waiting for the birth, but we wanted to get a start on it for when we're ready. So, could you maybe tonight or tomorrow just stop into sickbay and talk to Beverly and Richard?" Harry continued red-faced.
Seven just nodded and said. "Tomorrow." She then took B'Elanna's hand and leading her sill laughing form out onto the dance floor.
"They're a cute couple," B'Elanna said, while still chuckling softly under her breath.
"Yes they are. They are perfect for each other, as are Samantha and Neelix. " Seven answered, looking briefly over to where Samantha stood watching Neelix dancing with Naomi, while dancing B'Elanna across the floor.
Not ten feet from where B'Elanna and Seven were dancing Kathryn and Owen were also enjoying the dance floor and as Owen skillfully turned Kathryn into his arms he whispered into her ear. "Will you marry me Kathryn?"
Kathryn Janeway's eyes lit brighter than the stars in the sky as she answered. "Yes. Yes Owen I'd love to be your wife."
Dancing not more than ten feet from where the Admirals stood, were B'Elanna and Seven, bodies entwined and swaying to the soft romantic instrumental that the live band was supplying for the wedding party. B'Elanna was lost in Seven's eyes and her hearts beat in time with Seven's, but she could not at that moment sense the beating because she had lost all sense in the twinkling of Seven's eyes and all she heard was the breath from Seven's mouth. And the whisper in her ear. "B'Elanna will you marry me?"
Two months later in mists of a meadow
The ceremony was small, only a few close friends and family were in attendance, but among them were Richard and Colleen, Neelix, Samantha and Naomi, Tuvok and T'Pel, their families and a few other guests.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the joining of two hearts forever in time. Do you Kathryn Janeway take Owen Paris to be your lawfully wedded husband, from this universe into the next?"
"And do you, Owen Paris, take Kathryn Janeway to be your lawfully wedded wife, from this universe into the next?"
"If no one here has any objections, I do pronounce you husband and wife."
No one spoke and the preacher continued. "You may kiss the bride."
A cheer went through the wedding party as B'Elanna and Seven, in their ridiculous bridesmaids dresses, and Tom and Harry, in their all to stylish tuxes, threw handful upon handful of confetti on the newly ordained couple as they were trying to kiss.
Later that night in a hotel room in Iowa
While lying in a large hotel bed Richard turned to look into Colleen's ever smiling eyes. "I love you, Colleen McMurphy."
Colleen blinked in slight surprise; thought Richard had told her many times since they first started dating that he loved her, this was the first time he ever looked frightened when he said it. In fact, Colleen had yet to see Richard look so frightened. "I love you too, Richard."
Richard took deep breaths, shaking with anticipation and fright, and through dry lips whispered. "Will you marry me? I know I don't deserve you and "
Colleen took Richard's face into her hands and kissed him softly on the lips. "Yes Richard, I'll marry you."
"Tonight?" He asked overly excited.
Colleen laughed, "What about all of your friends, don't you want all of them to be there?"
Richard just smiled, "They're already here."
Colleen looked at him with a slightly raised eyebrow and a crooked smile. "Richard."
Richard jumped from his bed and ran to the door. "Get dressed, I'll go see if Admiral Janeway's still here."
Laughing, Colleen crawled naked out of their bed and walked to her wardrobe to pick out a beautiful, form fitting white dress made of silk and lace. "I guess, truth be told, when I bought this earlier I was thinking that it would make a great wedding dress."
2382 A Few Months Later Vulcan
Kathryn Janeway walked through the beautifully kept park, a fine reddish dust rising from her boot, enjoying the warmth of the dual suns on her protected skin. "So, my friend, where will your next posting be?"
Tuvok took a calm breath before answering. "Admiral Janeway, I find that I have been from my home and my family too long. I have found that I have no interest in leaving the sands of my world for the coldness of space, even if it is in your company." Tuvok looked to Janeway and noticed her understanding smile. "I have put in for a retirement from Starfleet and will be working as a private security consultant from my home."
Admiral Janeway nodded smiling. "Yes, I wondered if you might do that, especially given your knowledge of your progressive illness and the prolonged treatments you will need. I'm glad that we were able to get home for you to spend your remaining years with your wife and children."
Tuvok nodded slightly and they continued on through the park in quiet compatibility.
Six Months later The Reception
The wedding was beautiful, with B'Elanna in standard officer's dinning uniform and Seven in a white wedding gown, fit very much like her biosuit, exchanging vows before their friends and family. But, it was nothing compared with the reception.
There were tables of food, every type imaginable from Chinese to Klingon, dipping barrels of Blood Wine as well as over a dozen dispensers of various other alcoholic beverages, all supplied by B'Elanna's family- who horded in large groups, mingling with Star Fleet and civilian alike, drinking and laughing up a storm. There were, of course, some non-alcoholic beverages but few partook of them, for even Naomi was sipping away at a lightly liquored fuzzy navel.
In the middle of the room, Seven stood surrounded by her closest friends (her family), laughing and smiling at the drunken stories of B'Elanna that Tom Paris was telling her and the sight of Harry Kim-Paris choking on his liquor in laughter. Naomi Wildman was standing beside her, laughing her little heart out at the mental image of B'Elanna chasing Tom around the room with her bat'leth after he tried to serve her Gak on their first anniversary.
Across the room, " If I weren't a hologram I'd have no arms." B'Elanna was listening to Richard tell stories, of trying to teach Seven to dance for the first time, while watching Colleen roll her eyes at Richard's exaggerations.
Chakotay walked up to B'Elanna and shook her hand before pulling her into a bear hug. "I have to be going soon or we won't make it to the planet in time to set up proper homes before winter."
B'Elanna smiled. "Why don't you just use star fleet temporary homes, they'd give them to you if you asked."
Chakotay laughed. "That would take the fun out of having your own house fall down around you."
B'Elanna threw back her head in laughter. At this point she was fairly drunk and Chakotay was hilarious now that he had begun to find himself, or at least he was compared to his old uptight self.
"Besides, we are going to take up the old ways and part of that is the building of one's own home."
B'Elanna nodded. "I understand."
"I knew you would." Chakotay smiled saucily at her. "Mind if I kiss your wife one last time before I go?"
B'Elanna bit her lower lip and with a smile on her face answered. "Do you think your keeper will let you get away with that?"
Chakotay looked over his shoulder to smile at the beautiful woman with long brown hair who stood talking to Seven and Naomi. "I don't think Evelyn will castrate me."
B'Elanna laughed, nudging him in the ribs with her elbow, "I don't know, Seven is an ex-girlfriend after all."
Chakotay laughed, walking away from B'Elanna who was shaking her head in laughter, before turning to the doctor who had been listening from a few feet away. "I suppose you'll be asking to kiss my wife too, huh?"
The Doctor smiled knowing that B'Elanna was only joking and that she trusted Seven with all her heart and truly didn't care who kissed her, because Seven would always stay true to B'Elanna just as B'Elanna would stay true to her. "I just might have to do that before the night's over, I'm definitely getting a dance thought."
B'Elanna laughed. "Just don't steep on her feet this time, she might deck you."
"Yeah." He laughed. "I'll have to avoid that."
Chakotay walked up to Seven smiling. "Seven, we have to leave soon to prepare the ship for flight."
Seven nodded, she knew all about how he and his new love, Evelyn, were going with as two hundred and fifty other people to make a new life on an uninhabited M-class planet in a remote sector of Starfleet space. They would return to the ways of the Native American Indian peoples, though most of the people going either had no Native American blood or extremely little.
Chakotay leaned in and gave Seven a gentle kiss on the cheek before turning to Evelyn and nodding. Evelyn smiled and turned to take his arm before turning back to grab Seven into a big hug. "Thank you for bring him to me, Seven, I'll never forgive you." She laughed. "I'll be grateful for the rest of my life and beyond."
Seven smiled. "May your journey find you home."
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