DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, just borrowing them for a little while. As always thanks go out to Lilian for the beta.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the final part of the series. Following Darkness Prevails, Darkness Fades and Light Dawns.
I would like to submit a great huge THANK YOU to my Lil Munchkin (Lilian) for the beta job. As always, you keep me from sounding like a moron. which I am rather adept at I might add. Any and all mistakes remaining are my own inability to follow instructions very well. I would also like to thank whoever nominated me for an award. While I don't believe my writing is remotely in the same category as the excellent stories it is up against, it did at least prompt me to write the last installment. So Thank You. I am deeply honored to have been thought of at all.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Light Perseveres
By Gizzmogeek

B'Elanna and Seven walked quietly back to the Lieutenant's quarters, each lost in her own thoughts. Seven was concerned for B'Elanna, both from the engineer's comment about dreaming of late and from finding her on the floor in the corridor near Cargo Bay 2. B'Elanna was confused still over being in the hallway and also disturbed by her dreams of late. Dreams of a certain ex-Borg who was currently standing beside her.. Staring at her.. they were standing in front of her own quarters.

Shit. She had spaced out.

"Sorry Sev," B'Elanna apologized as she quickly keyed the door code.

Seven frowned with concern. B'Elanna was behaving completely out of character, causing the blonde to be very concerned.

"B'Elanna, are you certain you do not need to see the Doctor?"

"Huh? No, I'm okay. Really. Let me make you breakfast and maybe I can explain all this so it makes some sense. Is that acceptable?" B'Elanna had a small grin on her face as she asked Seven this, further piquing Seven's interest.

"Yes. That will be very acceptable," Seven responded while grinning herself, but unsure why. Seven was very well aware of her feelings for the Lieutenant. She'd had feelings for her for quite sometime, but B'Elanna's relationship with Paris had always made Seven try to convince herself it wouldn't come to anything. She had tried very hard to ignore her growing attraction to Lieutenant Torres. The thought of Tom Paris suddenly made Seven frown.

"Will Mr. Paris not be joining us for breakfast, Lieutenant," Seven queried.

B'Elanna recognized the stiffness in Seven's speech as a sign of Seven being uncomfortable, so refrained from reprimanding her again on the use of the term Lieutenant. Instead she chose to explain a few things while she busied herself making banana pancakes for them both for breakfast.

"Sev, why don't you replicate something to drink for us while I make the pancakes. And to answer your question, Tom hasn't lived here for 3 months." She watched Seven carefully as she said that last part to see her reaction. She got the answer she was looking for to her unasked question.

Seven looked a little startled and was almost quick enough to suppress the smile that graced her face at hearing that B'Elanna and Tom were no longer together. Almost quick enough. but not quite.

Quickly realizing she was smiling about something that could potentially be a soft spot for the Engineer, Seven quickly frowned.

"I am very sorry to hear things did not work out for you B'Elanna."

B'Elanna had already seen the smile flit across Seven's features, no matter how brief it had been, so when she answered she had a small grin on her face.

"Don't be. It was a long time coming. We got tired of trying to force what just wasn't there. So we quit trying. . We are still friends though. In fact, I had asked him to stay over last night to help me with an issue I've been having."

B'Elanna had intentionally been vague and was pleased to watch the look of dismay that crossed Seven's features when she mentioned Tom staying over last night. The rush of pleasure that shot through B'Elanna at that confirmation was enticing. She didn't want Seven to be left in the dark too long, so she quickly continued with her explanation. B'Elanna paused in cutting up the bananas for the pancakes, but didn't raise her eyes from the cutting board. Softly she stated, "I've been having nightmares for the last several nights. To the point where I've started sleep walking."

Seven turned from setting the table and gave B'Elanna her undivided attention. It was extremely rare for the half Klingon to admit a weakness and even rarer to admit it to Seven.

B'Elanna continued a beat later, "I used to sleep walk when I was young but thankfully grew out of it when I was still a teenager. It started again when I started having nightmares 4 nights ago."

At the startled gasp from Seven, B'Elanna finally focused on the Astrometrics officer, for the first time realizing that Seven had crossed the room and was standing just a few feet from her. The look of surprise in Seven's eyes startled B'Elanna. She misread the look as shock regarding the show of weakness on her own behalf and got slightly defensive.

B'Elanna frowned and bowed her head in frustration, "I shouldn't have told you that. They are just stupid dreams and I need to get over it, I know but."


The outburst from Seven stopped B'Elanna's rambling and she looked up sharply at the blonde, noting the shock still showing on her face.

B'Elanna uttered her next word a little harsher than she intended, "What?!"

"When did you start having your nightmares?"

"Four nights ago, why?"

"I have been having nightmares for 4 nights also and it has been disrupting my sleep. I have been unable to complete a nights regeneration successfully in the last 4 days."

Something B'Elanna had been questioning over the past several days clicked in her head finally.

"Is that why you haven't been in Cargo Bay 2 the last several nights?"

Seven was confused by that question. "Pardon? How would you know if I was or wasn't in Cargo Bay 2 each night B'Elanna?"

Then, B'Elanna did something Seven had never seen before, she blushed. B' Elanna's caramel colored skin flushed with embarrassment and Seven realized she wanted to see that again.

"Umm.. well..," B'Elanna stammered. "This brings me back to the whole sleep walking thing. You see. I've woken up and found myself standing in Cargo Bay 2 for the previous 3 nights. Which brings me to why Tom was here last night."

B'Elanna paused. She wasn't used to sharing anything of herself with Seven, but knew if she wanted to get closer to the stunning ex-borg, she would have to make the first move.

"I asked him to stay over in a very plutonic way in hopes he would be able to keep me from wandering out of my quarters. I tried locking the door and rearranging the furniture so I would trip over it, but it didn't help. Apparently I'm quite resourceful even when I'm asleep," B'Elanna smirked while rolling her eyes at her own weirdness.

"Cargo bay 2?"

"Yeah, cargo bay 2. But you were never there, which I thought was odd since you generally regenerate nightly. But I guess if you haven't been sleeping either, that would account for that."

"Actually, I don't regenerate nightly anymore," Seven intoned quietly, still only a few feet from B'Elanna.

B'Elanna's eyes went wide at that. "Really?"

"Yes, I have progressed to sleeping most nights and only regenerating once every 7 days or so. The Captain provided me quarters about a month ago so I could have a place to actually sleep. I have been working on creating a portable regenerator so I don't have to use the Cargo Bay if at all possible."

"Wow. I didn't know. I'm sorry. Why didn't you say something. I would have been more than happy to help you design that Sev," B'Elanna intoned quietly.

"I didn't want to bother you."

"It wouldn't have been a bother."

Both women just stared at each other for a minute before B'Elanna broke the spell and returned to finishing up breakfast. She carried it over to the table while Seven grabbed something to drink for them both.

"Hope you like banana pancakes Sev, because there is nothing more comforting after finding yourself half naked in the hallway than a tall stack of steaming hot pancakes and syrup," B'Elanna quipped trying to add some levity to their discussion. She wanted to tell Seven about her nightmares, but was somewhat reluctant to do so as they greatly disturbed her.

As they started eating, B'Elanna finished explaining her presence in the hallway earlier that morning.

"So like I said, I've been sleep walking each night and finding myself in the Cargo Bay when I awoke. I guess I didn't quite make it to the Cargo Bay last night before you found me in the hall." B'Elanna chuckled. "I'm just glad it was you who found me and not one of the Engineering staff. Kinda hard to command someone who has seen you in your underwear." B'Elanna's eyes crinkled at the corners as she laughed at herself. The smile on her face made Seven's heart flutter before she too joined in the chuckle.

"Yes, I can understand how that may have been a little embarrassing for you," Seven added good-naturedly. "Although you have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about Torres."

B'Elanna was pleasantly surprised by Seven's teasing tone which made her laugh all the harder.

"Watch it there Borg, or I might think you like me or something."

The startled look in Seven's eyes at B'Elanna's ribbing sent the engineer into another fit of hysterics once more.

When they had both finally calmed down a little, B'Elanna decided to give Sev a break and stop teasing her. She had pretty much confirmed her suspicions that Seven did indeed have feelings for her. that she herself returned. The engineer figured she should probably let her off the hook for a while before she had the blond bolting for the door.

Subtly, B'Elanna tried to steer the conversation away from her for a moment. "So what have you been dreaming about that has been interrupting your sleep Sev?"

"I think this was supposed to be about you telling me what you were dreaming about, not the other way around Lieutenant." Seven raised her eyebrow in challenge to B'Elanna.

The engineer chuckled. "Okay okay. I'll tell you on one condition only. you tell me what you have been dreaming about."


B'Elanna studied her empty plate for a moment before softly saying, "I keep having nightmares that you are." she faltered for a second before continuing. "killed... in Engineering. An explosion on the upper deck that .."

Seven interrupted B'Elanna and finished the statement for her. "that sends us flying over the railing from the upper deck and onto the floor of main engineering. However in my version, you are killed on impact where I survived."

They both stared at each other for a minute wide eyed. B'Elanna broke the silence.

"You have been having the same dream!"


B'Elanna stared at Seven for a minute longer before she finally brought herself to complete the dream sequence. "I come to and you are lying next to me with my own blade to the hilt in your chest."

"What! You died... and I couldn't revive you... and... I .." Seven faltered. B'Elanna reached across the table and held her hand very tenderly, softly stroking her thumb across the knuckles of Seven's exoskeleton covered hand.

"And you what," B'Elanna gently encouraged.

Seven looked up into the soft brown eyes and said slightly stronger, "You died in my arms and I couldn't live without you so I took my own life."

B'Elanna rose, pulling Seven to her feet as well. She pulled the Astrometrics officer into a tight embrace and held her close. Before she could second guess what she was doing, B'Elanna tilted her head and captured Seven's full lips in a kiss. It started out as a gentle kiss to tell Seven she was still there, that she felt the same way. but it turned heated rather quickly. Within a few moments, they were leaning against one another, foreheads pressed together, gasping for breath.

Again, B'Elanna broke the silence.

"I have wanted to do that for so long."

"Me too," Seven replied while an earth shattering grin spread across her face.

After a few minutes to clear their heads, the ladies cleaned up breakfast and finally parted for the day. But not before agreeing to a date later in the evening after their respective shifts were over. Both women went to work feeling happier than they could ever remember.

And then the red-alert sounded and brought their recurring nightmares back into focus.

Captain Janeway had had better days. It all started when she overslept, something that never occurred. A fist hitting the replicator when it refused to work and provide her with her much-needed first cup of coffee for the day closely followed. When she went down to the mess hall to get a cup of Neelix's coffee like substitute, she managed to end up wearing half of it instead of drinking it. So by the time Captain Kathryn Janeway changed into a fresh uniform and arrived on the bridge, she was 15 minutes late for the start of the Alpha shift. Kathryn sighed. At least she was the Captain, so she could be certain no one would call her on being late. Well... no one except the ever-presumptuous second in command.

Chakotay looked up at the captain as she entered the bridge and stifled a smile. She didn't look pleased and he couldn't help but rub in the fact that she was late.

"So, Captain, forget to set the alarm?"

"Stow it Commander," Kathryn shot back with a smirk.

Chakotay chuckled in response.

Before he could make any sort of come back, Harry spoke up.

"Captain, I'm getting some strange readings off the port bow."

"On screen, Ensign."

"Yes, Ma'am."

On the main viewer, the image of a rather large nebula appeared. The nebula seemed to have a number of, what appeared to be lightening events occur within the cloud. Lightening isn't something that generally occurs in the vacuum of space.

"Captain, energy readings are off the scale. The output is interfering with our warp bubble. We should consider..."

"Bring us out of warp Tom, one quarter impulse."

"Aye Ma'am," Paris replied to the Captain's directive from his station at helm.

"...dropping out of warp," Harry quietly completed his sentence smiling.

Tuvok was running scans at his station and raised an eyebrow, as near a concerned look as the Vulcan ever allowed.

"Captain, we seem to be having a power surge coming from Engineering," Mr. Tuvok warned.


Several decks away in Engineering, B'Elanna had also noticed the power surge starting in the warp core the same time Tuvok had noticed it. Before the first red alert klaxon sounded, she had started a shutdown procedure on the warp core. She remembered all too vividly the recurring nightmare she had been having and how this mimicked the start of it each and every time. She instinctively knew that if she tried to route the excess power through the secondary manifolds like she normally would do in this situation, they would explode. They had blown for the consecutive four nights, and taken with it the one woman she couldn't live without. So without a second's hesitation, she started the shutdown procedure to cut all power to the warp core.

Before she had gotten a second into the procedure, the klaxons had sounded, followed immediately by Seven emergency beaming herself into Engineering just meters away from where B'Elanna was standing on the upper deck.

For a brief moment both women stared intently in each other's eyes, both acknowledging the recognition of their nightmares but also their determination to do their duty.

Seven didn't even bother to ask what B'Elanna was doing; she instinctively knew what she was doing because Seven would have done the same thing in her place. Instead, she started helping shutdown the warp core. Fingers flew over the control panels with lightening speed, the urgency and focus telling of the years of practice at performing such tasks. Within a minute and a half they had shut down all power to the warp core and eliminated the power surge building up in the drive. Another thirty seconds and they had engineering down to minimal emergency power only.

With a sigh of relief, they both turned and smiled at one another over their victory. Both smiling because they knew they had done it right this time and that they would have a tomorrow. Their nightmares hadn't come true.

And then the panel in front of B'Elanna exploded without warning, sending both women over the railing to the deck below with a sickening crunch.

Just a second after Captain Janeway had ordered the Red Alert, she attempted to contact Engineering to inquire about the power surge.

"Captain Janeway to Lieutenant Torres"

No answer. Unbeknownst to the Captain, both Seven and Torres were too engrossed in keeping their fears from coming to fruition to hear the call Janeway made.

"Captain Janeway to Lieutenant Torres, please respond."


"Report Mr. Tuvok."

"The warp drive has been shutdown. And power is... Engineering is now on emergency power only. All power has been diverted or shutdown in Engineering. The power surge is non-existent."

Janeway looked at Tuvok for a nano-second then barked at Tom.

"Mr. Paris, report."

"Steady as she goes, Captain. One quarter impulse."

"Mr. Kim?"

"The nebula is still off our port bow, Captain but receding fast. We appear to be in no danger."

Just then all power went out on the bridge and emergency power kicked in. At the same time, down in Engineering, the ship's Chief Engineer and Chief Astrometrics officer were being thrown over the railing and onto the deck below.

Slowly Seven started to become aware of her surroundings. First she realizes she is lying down and secondly she realizes it is quiet. really quiet. Immediately Seven starts to panic, remembering all too vividly the dream she had woken from the past morning.

"Please don't let this be real, please let it be another dream."

"Oh it is real, I can assure you," came a disembodied voice from very near by.

Seven's eyes flew open and locked onto the image of the Doctor's smug face hovering just above hers. She pushed him out of her way as she flew off the bio bed in Sick Bay, practically falling off the bed to land on her feet. Unfortunately for her, her body wasn't quiet prepared to be in an upright position. Luckily the Doctor was still close enough to catch her as Seven started to faint.

"Seven! Lie still! I have to finish examining you before you can leave."

The Doctor pushed her back on the bio bed before she was cognitive enough to resist. Seven batted away his hands though while everything came back into focus. The first thing that she saw was B'Elanna on the bio bed next to her.


Again she pushed the Doctor away and stepped up to the bed containing her engineer.

"Doctor, is Lieutenant Torres damaged? How is she? What is wrong with her?"

"Hold your horses, Seven. B'Elanna is fine, her hearty Klingon heritage saved her from seriously damaging anything vital. I can say the same for you. Your borg enhancements made the difference between breaking a few major bones and just some serious bruising. Both of you should be up and around in a day or so."

Hearing the Doctor say that B'Elanna was okay lifted the veil of panic that was threatening to consume Seven. She sighed and reached out and touched B' Elanna's cheek ever so gently. As she talked to the Doctor, her focus remained on B'Elanna's face while she absently stroked her bangs off her forehead.

"So she is okay?"

The Doctor recognized the concern in Seven's voice and took note of the caring gentle touch she was imparting on the Lieutenant. In a softer voice he responded.

"Yes, Seven, she is okay. But I still need to run a diagnostic on you both. You have both been out for 12 hours due to serious concussions. You both hit the deck pretty hard. You were out when you were emergency transported to sickbay. I have to admit, I kept you both sedated until I could repair the damage because I knew you wouldn't sit still otherwise."

This got a raised eyebrow from the statuesque blond.

The Doctor dismissed it and continued.

"I just need to make sure all the swelling is down before I release you back to your quarters."


Finally, she turned and faced the doctor, but did not step away from B' Elanna's side.

"You may complete your scans."

The Doctor just rolled his eyes and ran the tricorder over Seven, confirming what he already figured, she was fine.

"The swelling is down and your sprained wrist is completely healed. Everything looks in working order, but I would suggest you regenerate for 7 hours. I repaired the bruising along your right side, but it would be good to let the nanoprobes do their job too."

"Glad to hear it," came the gruff voice next to Seven.

Seven spun around and locked eyes with the smiling Engineer on the bed.

"You are awake!"

B'Elanna chuckled.


Seven squinted at the Chief of Engineering.

"How long have you been awake, Lieutenant?"

"Long enough to hear you are in perfect working order," replied a grinning B'Elanna.

They continued to just stare at one another for a minute, before the Doctor cleared his throat.

"Ahem. Ladies. if you will just let me perform another scan on Lieutenant Torres, you can both leave sickbay whenever you are ready. I'm not even going to bother trying to keep you here overnight."

"Agreed. Proceed," the blond stated briskly as she stepped back just enough to let the EMH perform his duty. She kept within arms reach of B'Elanna though, she needed confirmation that she was actually okay and their dreams hadn't come true.

For her part, the brunette never took her eyes off of Seven.

After just a couple of minutes, the Doctor cleared them both. In the meantime, Captain Janeway had come down looking for them both to see how they were doing.

"Ah Captain, just the person I was looking for. Both Seven and Lieutenant Torres are cleared but I recommend they get a good night's sleep before returning to duty."

"I'll do even better than that," Captain Janeway replied as she turned smiling to the two other occupants of sick bay. "You are both off duty for the next two days. Captain's orders."

"Yes ma'am," they both said in unison, unable to hide the smile on either of their faces.

Such easy compliance to being off work actually startled the Captain, but she hid it well.

Now that everything was settling down, and B'Elanna knew Seven was okay, her brain started to work again and she remembered to ask what happened.

"Can anyone tell us what happened? We shut down the power to Engineering, what caused the explosion?"

"I don't know how you two knew to shut down the power to Engineering but it probably saved your lives, along with everyone else on this ship. We were close to a nebula that had some very odd energy outputs that were affecting our systems. Just after you shut down the power to Engineering, what I can only describe as a lightening bolt hit the ship and caused a power surge. Had Engineering been on full power, it would have caused the warp core to potentially breech and probably blown out most of the systems on board. As it was, the only thing that has any real damage is the console that exploded where you two were standing."

Both the Chief and Seven looked wide eyed at the Captain. She looked back and forth between them, hoping for an answer as to how they knew what to do.


"Ummm.," B'Elanna stammered.

Seven stepped in and saved B'Elanna.

"We were aware of the power surge and took the appropriate steps necessary to prevent an issue, Captain. Consider it. instinct."

"Instinct, Seven? I didn't think the Borg believed in instinct," Kathryn good-naturedly replied while smiling at her Astrometrics officer.

Seven smirked. "That may be true, Captain, but it is a human trait."

This garnered a laugh from everyone in the room.

"Yes, yes it is Seven. Great job to both of you, ladies.. Carry on." With that, the Captain left Sick Bay.


"Yes B'Elanna?"

"Ready for your date?"


Seven and B'Elanna left Sick Bay hand in hand, leaving a stunned but pleased Doctor in their wake.

Later that evening in the Torres quarters, Seven and B'Elanna were sprawled out over the couch lazily eating a chocolate souffle Seven had whipped up. Apparently there were a few things the compact engineer had yet to learn about her love interest.

"So .. Sev. instinct?"

Seven smirked for the second time in as many hours.

"Would you have rather I said that you and I were having premonitions about the entire event, Bella?"

The term of endearment made B'Elanna smile.

"There is hope for you yet, Nik," B'Elanna replied as she leaned over and gave Seven the first of many kisses to come that evening.

The End

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