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

By ralst

Elegant. That is the only word I can think of to describe her, pure elegance in the form of a beautiful leggy blonde. Sigh. He's watching her too, I can see him through the corner of my eye, watching, leering, undressing her with those beady little eyes of his. She is unaware of us both, or at least fails to give our silent worship recognition. Of course that could just be her natural modesty. Modesty, it's not a word I would have ever thought I'd use to describe the intellectually arrogant former drone, but it fits. She wanders about the ship turning heads at every juncture but never presumes the cause could be attraction, desire, no for her the looks were always signs of disapproval, fear. I've tried to explain to her, in my own clumsy manner, that she is breathtaking and that is why they stare. She doesn't believe me. I wish I could show her just how beautiful she is but I don't have the right, I'm not her lover or even her friend, I'm simply the woman she argues with, the one who never gave her a fair hearing.

I envy the Captain. From the first she could see something in the Borg drone, that it has taken me years to discover. When Seven was no more than a machine without the capability, or wish, for her own thoughts or feelings, Kathryn saw a young woman hiding deep beneath the shielding. Sometimes I go to bed at night and thank Kahless that our Captain is a headstrong, determined woman who wouldn't let up on the all most impossible challenge that was Seven of Nine through those first years. Kathryn saved her, befriended her, loved her, all while I looked on with contempt and open hostility. The Captain gained a surrogate daughter, I could have gained at least a friend but I did not, I only gained a gaping hole where Seven's love would have gone.

He's moving towards her now, a smile of charming openness on his face. I want to slap it. I've wanted to slap him ever since I realised his intentions, not just to bed her but to forever take her away from me. That's a lie. I don't want to slap him, I want to kill him, sit by and watch while the life leaches from his treacherous brown eyes. I want to make him pay for his betrayal. He looks over at me now, his expression one of triumphant glee, he knows I love her, he's known since before he ever approached her. Some part of me wonders if he's doing this to punish me, for what I don't know, perhaps for marrying Tom and having his child, or even for ending my marriage but still refusing to allow him to take Tom's place. If I thought he really loved her, mind, body and soul as I do, then I wouldn't hate him as I do, I'd be envious as hell but I'd understand. I so want to kill him.

"If looks could kill, the commander would be ash by now." Tom's concerned voice is somehow soothing, an anchor in a sea of raging emotions. He knows of course, after being friends and more for so long he couldn't not notice how I feel towards her, infact he knew even before I did. In a show of love beyond anything I'd ever experienced he suggesting we end our marriage before the cross-stick of emotions ruined the bond we had, he was right, he loved me so he let me go. Could I be so honourable with Seven? I don't know, although I do know I won't leave her to Chakotay's lukewarm affections.

"He doesn't deserve her." My words are quiet, I'm afraid of attracting attention, I don't know why, if Seven knew maybe she'd choose me, or maybe she wouldn't. Perhaps that's the reason, for all my belief in his unworthiness she could still choose him over me, I don't know if I could bare her rejection. "I should go."

"Don't." Gentle hands touch my shoulders, forcing me to meet his worried gaze. "Go to her, fight for her. If you truly love her you can't let him take her from you without a fight, don't let your fears turn you into a coward, not now, not when it matters this much."

Oh how he knows me, I may try to repress my Klingon side but the accusation of cowardice still brings blood to my ears and the urge to fight pounding into my chest. "You don't play fair." I murmur, before homing in on my prey, on my love.

'He' isn't pleased to see me, despite his false smile and cheery greeting, I wonder if he knows the battle lines have been drawn and the war is about to commence? Should I warn him? Give him a chance to prepare his defences? It would be the honourable thing to do, but I won't take the chance he'll use the time to fool her into his arms, into his bed. Where she is concerned there can be no trickery, no falseness, for once in our relationship I have to be completely honest with her. I just wish I knew what to do.

She is smiling at me, the gesture hardly noticeable to any not familiar with her, anyone who hasn't lain awake at night with images of that same expression dancing before their eyes. I smile back, an open smile I pray contains the warmth and pleasure I'm feeling in her company, the slight softening of her liquid blue eyes makes me think it has. "Hello Seven."

"B'Elanna." With one word my hearts are beating so hard I'm sure all around me can hear, but then it's not just a word, it's my name and never before has that name seemed so fitting or so important as it does right now. She never uses my name, not in arguments or jest, but she's using it now. Part of me worries that this is just some random side effect of the Doctor's latest lesson in etiquette, another much larger part is just clinging onto the hope that it mean something special, that I mean something special, to her.

The Captain is making a discrete coughing noise, her kind eyes regarding me with patient hope and encouragement. I acknowledge the look with a smile, not taking the time to examine its presence, just grateful that it is there. I realise I've been standing there for long moments just looking into Seven's welcoming eyes. I try to drag my eyes away, join in with the now stilted conversation, but I can't. It is then the implication of what I've seen begins to register, her eyes are welcoming, welcoming me, the look so tender and, dare I hope, loving is directed straight at me, only for me.

The moment is broken. He sees to that, with his politely asked question gauged to capture her full attention. It doesn't work. The Captain, my sweet, beloved Captain, intervenes, cuts off his enquiry in a way he can't avoid, forcing his attention to her. It's then I see it, a look of permission and encouragement from a surrogate mother for the hand of her only child. I'm shocked. I never thought she'd consider me worthy, not of Seven.

Seemingly out of nowhere a hand lightly brushes my arm as blue eyes capture mine and beckon me to follow, I don't resist. He turns to watch us but is soon caught again in Kathryn's web, the Captain's look of encouragement is now focused beyond my shoulder, to a nervous looking Seven of Nine. I hadn't even known she could look nervous before today.

"B'Elanna?" My name again flows from her soft full lips but this time it is hesitant, possibly even afraid. I want so much to take her fear away, to be brave for a woman who has spent her whole life taking care of herself, not even knowing she could disclose her weakness to others.

'Don't let your fears turn you into a coward' Tom, had said and he was right. No battle for her love was needed, no plans to expose Chakotay's true intentions required. If there was any hope for me it could only come from the truth, the whole truth. "Seven, marry me?"

The look of shock is instantaneous and probably mirrored on my own face. I had only meant to declare my love but at the last second knew what I really wanted was a lifetime with this amazing woman. I'd rushed things. Ha! That was an understatement, she probably thinks I'm crazy but I have to let her know how I feel. "I love you Seven, I want to spend my life with you and only you."

A tear falls from her closed eyes and with it my heart constricts before a watery gaze captures my own. "Yes B'Elanna, I'll marry you, I love you."

The End

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