DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my response to a Christmas story (2003) challenge, made on VJB. The really fast disclaimer is: I don't own them, I don't own Christmas, and I don't own my computer... no wait, I actually do own my computer. But I really don't want to give it up. This is just a little fun.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The most wonderful Christmas present ever
"Your mouth is hanging open," Harry pointed out with a grin.
"Di... Did you just hear what that bitch said to me?"
"Um, you mean about you not knowing what you are doing, or the fact that maybe she should give you a manual for Christmas?"
"Yes," B'Elanna merely said.
"No, I didn't hear that."
"Harry..." B'Elanna growled.
"Oh, come off it. Give it a rest already will ya?" Harry countered. "How long do you think you can keep this up?"
"Keep what up?" B'Elanna asked. Hopping desperately that Harry wasn't going to say what she thought he was going to say.
"Your pretending to hate her is really sliding into the ridiculous," Harry lifted his hands in a 'wait a minute' manner. "Now, I agree, in the beginning you were right. When she was changing warp engine settings without telling you or the Captain. But, B'Elanna. That is two years ago. Seven does follow the procedure by the book even though she tells us time and time again that the procedures are 'truly unproductive.' Now you are throwing a fit if Seven tells you that something you are doing was wrong."
"I don't need her to tell me I'm wrong," B'Elanna growled annoyed.
"Was she wrong by saying you were wrong?" Harry asked getting to the point.
"Well, no, but..."
"So you are pissed because she was right and you were wrong?"
"No?" Harry repeated.
"Yeah, okay, maybe I was," B'Elanna relented.
"Why don't you just stop this nonsense? She is a great person, just give her a chance."
"Maybe I would if she just stayed out of my hair," B'Elanna said with a sigh. "Anyway, let me change the subject. As you heard the Captain say, since we are in orbed of a planet anyway, we are all assumed to join the Christmas party the day after tomorrow. Would you like to accompany me to the party?"
Harry laughed at the question. "Are you that desperate? Well, I happen to already have a date. Why don't you ask Tom?"
B'Elanna didn't say anything, but just glared at him.
"Okay, bad suggestion," Harry said while once again lifting his hands, but never wiping the grin off his face. "Hey, I got an idea, why don't you ask Seven?"
A moment later the people in engineering were treated to the spectacle of Harry running as fast as he could, trying to stay out of B'Elanna's hands.
B'Elanna smiled when she felt the strong hands starting to move over her naked body. Oh, how those hands knew her body, knew her. B'Elanna turned around and spent a long moment giving her lover a very heated kiss before pulling back a few centimeters to 'talking distance.'
"Shouldn't you be sleeping? Tomorrow will be a long day."
"Do you really think that I could sleep without holding you?" Her lover asked reasonably, "Where were you? I have been waiting for you for two hours."
"I was being a good girl and going around asking people to go with me to the party."
Her lover laughed. "I assume that nobody agreed?"
"Nope. That's the reason why I waited 'til now to start asking, and of course, I made sure to only ask people of who I know they already have a date."
"I thought this was a Christmas party, why is having a date so important?"
Before answering, B'Elanna quickly leaned in to steal a kiss. "Remember last year? How the running joke was that not one couple was at the party? Well, now nobody wants to be seen without a partner this year as well. Hey," B'Elanna said, changing the subject. "Guess who people kept suggesting I should ask. Almost everybody suggested the same."
"Nope, you got one more try."
"Kathryn?" B'Elanna asked with a chuckle. "No, she is the only one of who everyone assumes she will be there alone. No, most, even Kathryn and Chakotay suggested..." B'Elanna lowered her voice to give an impression of Chakotay. "Why don't you ask Seven. I think that she doesn't have a date either."
"I am surprised," Her lover said. "I would not have thought that people would dared suggest that to you. Everyone knows that you hate that stupid bimbo."
"Bimbo?" B'Elanna repeated. "Honey, I called you a lot of things, but I never called you a bimbo."
"I know," Her lover agreed while turning them both around until she was lying on top of the Klingon. "You loved, and still love, to call me a Ga'ZoK though."
B'Elanna smirked at that. "True, I love it. But you are part of that, you know. You were the one who told the others in that meeting that it translated to an animal comparable with an Earth donkey. I can't help it that they never bothered to look up the real meaning. Only Tuvok knows. He is the only one who knows that the Ga'Zok is the most intelligent animal in the whole Klingon territory. I love the fact that I can call you brilliant and everyone thinks that I'm insulting you."
"We are going to cause a spectacle, are we not?" Her lover asked with a seductive smile.
B'Elanna returned the smile. "Honey, we aren't just going to cause a spectacle, we are going to be the core of the biggest riot Voyager has ever seen." B'Elanna reached up to tangle her hands in her lover's blond hair. "Now get down here, I have half an hour before I have to go to sleep, I would love to cuddle."
"Cuddle?" Her lover repeated. "B'Elanna, Klingons do not cuddle."
"Before I fell in love with you, I didn't do cuddle. But I just love you so damn much that I just want to spent the rest of my life holding you. So yeah, this particular Klingon does cuddle, as long as it's you who I'm holding."
"Words are not enough to express how much I love you," Seven whispered, while lowering herself until her head was resting just under B'Elanna's throat.
B'Elanna felt how Seven put her arm protectively over her body, tucking her hand under the B'Elanna's side; just above her hip. She once again wondered how she ever did get through the days before she and Seven became lovers. "You don't have to tell me honey, you know that I know how you feel."
"Do you think she will like it?" Seven asked.
"I am certain she will," Tuvok said calmly, but Seven could hear that faint trace of reassurance in his voice that she was looking for.
"B'Elanna asked me to once more thank you for not telling the others."
"You have done an excellent job of not letting your relationship interfere with your work. Therefore there is no reason for me to point out to others that your relationship has changed, not even to the Captain."
"Do you think that this is the wrong time?" Seven asked, bringing the subject back. She was feeling nervous. And while deep down she knew she was doing the right thing, she wanted to hear it from someone else.
"You could give her this gift in private," Tuvok agreed. "But I think that the human event of 'Christmas' is suited for it as well. Over the years the ritual of giving gifts has changed to people seeing what they get from others. A lot of people have forgotten that the essence of exchanging gifts is not about what gifts you get, but of what you give. I could not think of a better gift."
Seven smiled. "Thank you."
"But," Tuvok said slowly. "The real question is not if B'Elanna will like the gift, but if you are truly willing to give it. Is it not?"
Seven's smile changed into a frown, but all she could really do was agree. "You are correct."
"Are you willing to give it?"
"Am I?" Seven asked herself out loud. Then she thought about not giving B'Elanna the gift, about waiting until another time. Just thinking it hurt. No, there was no question about it. She was more than willing to give B'Elanna the gift she had prepared.
The party was in full swing, and everyone was having a good time. There were only two people missing, and everyone was joking about it. Sharing the preposterous joke of suggesting that Seven and B'Elanna would arrive together after all.
It was therefore that the whole room became absolutely quiet in ten seconds flat when Seven and B'Elanna did indeed show up together, arm in arm and radiating clearly that they were for real and not just faking.
"Nine point seven seconds, love. You win the bet," Seven said while putting her arm around B'Elanna's middle and pulling her a little closer.
"That's okay, honey, that wasn't a real bet anyway," B'Elanna grinned when she saw how people were looking at them. "That's right," She said to the group in general. "Mine."
A moment later the thump of Tom's body hitting the floor could be heard. The image of Seven and B'Elanna together had short-circuited his brain to the point where he really had forgotten to breath.
Half an hour later the buzz had returned in the room and it was easy to guess what everyone was talking about.
Janeway, Harry and Chakotay, were the ones lucky enough the get the story first hand, while the others could only speculate. Poor Tom was no longer in the room, the Doctor had insisted on him visiting sickbay, and was running all kinds of tests on the pilot while the group was talking. B'Elanna made a mental note to thank the Doctor later. She knew that he had only done this to make sure that Tom couldn't open his mouth too much and spoil what was quickly becoming a great evening of well whishes. It wasn't that they didn't like Tom, they did. It was just that on that evening, they could do without hearing his jokes about him coming to 'visit' them.
"But how?" Harry asked, wondering when the universe moved upside down without him noticing it. "You hate each other. B'Elanna chased me halfway through Voyager when I suggested she asked you, Seven."
"We were keeping it quiet," B'Elanna started to explain. "Seven didn't want to go through the rumor stage, she wanted to do this today to get it all over with and have the whole crew know. And I must honestly admit that I wanted to see the look of total shock on your faces."
"But, how long..." Chakotay didn't finish the sentence, knowing that the others would know what he meant.
"Almost a month now. Since that away mission B'Elanna, Tuvok and I were on," Seven explained.
"Wait a minute," Harry interrupted. "Are you telling us that you have been hiding this for a month?!"
"We had our reasons," B'Elanna said. "We wanted to see if our feelings would change once we were back in the normal routine of Voyager, and we wanted to see if we could conduct our work on a professional level, keeping our relationship out of our job."
"I see," Janeway spoke up. "That explains why all of a sudden I have three times as a much reports of malfunctions in the Jeffries Tubes. Must have been really annoying having to work all that time in those cramped tubes, just the two of you."
"Um, well, uh," B'Elanna stammered while she could feel that she must have been sprouting the biggest blush of her life. "I, um, didn't think someone actually read those reports."
"Oh, you would be surprised what you can find out by reading innocent reports," Janeway countered. "You know, when I started to notice how much time you where spending together, I had a feeling that something was going on. But I thought that you were finally becoming friends. I had no idea that you, um, where this close."
"Yeah, how did that happen anyway?" Harry asked.
"Well, that away mission on itself wasn't that special," B'Elanna began, not really knowing how she should explain what had happened. She looked at Seven, and the blonde took over right away.
"As you know from the reports, the Sedebik are all telepathists. While they do not read one's mind without permission, they can not help but feel the emotions coming from 'lesser trained' species like us. Therefore they could feel what B'Elanna and I did not even want to admit to ourselves at that point. They put us in one room, assuming that we were a couple, and continued to treat us like that for the next day."
Thanks to Seven giving the start, B'Elanna now had a point to go from and took over. "Finally we found out that they thought that we were a couple and we told them just how wrong they were. To apologize for their grave mistake, they insisted on giving us two gifts. You have to understand that with the Sedebik it is against the law for two adult people to spend a night in one room if they are not a couple. Tuvok suggested that we take the gifts so that we could move on with negotiations."
"What gifts?" Harry asked.
"I'm getting there, Starfleet. The first gift was a visit from a Sedebik negotiator. We didn't know what that meant, until he touched Seven and me. He created a link between us. For five minutes Seven and I could read each others minds, feel what the other felt. It was amazing, finally all the answers were there. And from the other side, it was also a huge disappointment."
That last clearly surprised the others, so Seven explained what B'Elanna meant. "While it was convenient to know what B'Elanna truly thought about me, how she truly felt for me, it was a disappointment because now we knew. We knew that we could move on."
"That frightful thrill wasn't there," B'Elanna explained. "You know, that petrifying feeling that you know that you are going to be turned down, but what also is that wonderful feeling that you remember for the rest of your life. The moment where she said 'yes.'"
"But beside that," Seven went on. "I knew everything about B'Elanna. Every minute of her life that she could remember, I could remember. And the other way around. We would never be able to spend a night just doing something as simple as finding out what food the other liked, or talking about our families, for we already knew."
Seeing the understanding on the faces around them, B'Elanna grinned. "But there comes the second gift they gave us. After those five minutes they messed with our minds again. We didn't remember any of it anymore. I didn't remember what I had 'seen' in Seven's mind, and she didn't remember what she had seen in my mind. But they didn't take that information out; they just blocked it. Now it is that I don't know what Seven knows, but if she tells me something, I remember that, and only that."
"I don't see the use," Harry said confused. "Why bother then? If she tells you, what is the use in reminding it only at that point?"
"What B'Elanna means," Seven explained, "is that we than 'remember' the entire event, including the feelings we had. When I tell B'Elanna about a sad moment in my life, I only have to tell her, and she will understand fully why it is affecting me so much."
"Or, Starfleet, imagine this. Remember how great it feels to hear the woman you love say 'I love you'? Well, if Seven tells me that, I don't just hear her say it, I feel her love for me." B'Elanna interrupted herself and looked to Seven with a smile. "She just did it again. And the best thing is, it isn't just a one time thing. I feel that every time she whispers the words 'I love you,' loud enough for me to hear."
"But if they blocked all that you new from each other, than how did you know how you felt before either of you had said it?" Chakotay asked.
"Because the Sedebik are really just a bunch of nosy meddlers," B'Elanna said with a grin. "We knew people weren't allowed to stay together if they weren't a couple, right? So when they brought us to our room after receiving our gifts, I pointed that out to them; that we weren't allowed to be in one room. They just said that we were allowed."
"It did not take B'Elanna long after that to make the connection," Seven said. "But I hope that you all will understand that we do not tell you about that night. It is only for me and B'Elanna to know."
"Of course," Janeway said diplomatic.
B'Elanna started to laugh when she saw Harry's face. "Now, get your mind out of the gutter, Tom."
"Tom?" Harry asked. "What do you mean... oh," Harry smiled sheepishly when he realized that it must have been only to clear what he had been thinking, and that it indeed had been thoughts that were 'Tom' worthy.
"And no, Starfleet, we didn't do any of that the first couple of days. We just talked."
"The first couple of days?" Chakotay asked amused, letting them know how the statement could be interpreted.
"Oh, shut up," B'Elanna merely growled, but with a smile.
Everyone was checking the clock every few seconds, the mess-hall being the only place on the ship that actually had a clock, since Neelix had grown tired of hearing people asking the computer what the time was. Just one more minute and it would be past midnight, gifts would be exchanged. Even Tom had been allowed back. Janeway had intercepted him at the door, and while Seven and B'Elanna didn't know what the Captain had said to him, Tom had been on his best behavior; even giving them the most sincere well wishes without making one single wise-ass remark.
Janeway checked the clock one final time before walking into the middle of the room.
"Alright, everyone. According to Neelix's clock it is now Christmas eve. So let me be the first one to wish you all a marry Christmas. I hope that you all enjoy the rest of the evening. And as a little gift from me to you all, we will be staying in orbit for two more days. Except for having to take part in a shortened down skeleton crew schedule, you all now have two days off. Marry Christmas."
Sheers went up all around. While the crew did want to get home, it would be nice to have two days to spend Christmas in peace.
Fifteen minutes later, Seven noticed just how right Tuvok had been. Everyone was talking about this or that gift that they had gotten, but nobody was talking about how thoughtful the giver had been for giving the gift.
Seven felt nervous. She had been only more nervous once before, on the away mission, the moment B'Elanna had said, 'Seven, we need to talk.' Seven looked over to Tuvok and saw him giving the slightest of reassuring nods. She walked up to him and he gave her the small box that he had been saving for her.
Seven moved back to the middle of the room before speaking up. "As I heard some of you point out, B'Elanna did not get a Christmas gift from me... Yes, I did hear that." Seven looked over to the crewman who had just whispered very softly, 'she heard that?' But then she gave them a smile and started to speak to the room again. "But there is a gift that I would like to give to my love. As a good friend told me, with Christmas, what you give is more important than what you get. B'Elanna, could you join me?"
Not knowing what the blonde was up to, B'Elanna slowly came closer.
"B'Elanna, one month ago to the day you told me for the first time that you love me. I know just how much this is so. Just as much you know how much I love you. I waited until this day to also say in public, 'I love you.' I love you more than life it self. And I do not want to spent another night without you." Seven slowly knelt down before a totally bewildered B'Elanna. "My Christmas gift to you, love." Seven offered the small box and whispered, "With this I give you the most personal gift I can give you, something you had for a month now, something I now want to give you for the rest of your life as well; my heart. Lanna, will you marry me?"
B'Elanna took hold of the little box with a shaky hand. While holding her breath she opened the box. Inside she found two rings. One was the bold Klingon ring worn by partners on Klingon ceremonies. But while this was a beautiful ring, it didn't compare to the other ring. It was just a small gold band, but what made it important was the fact that in a time where people normally didn't wear commitment rings all the time, the small gold band was the only ring allowed to be worn on duty by Federation law.
B'Elanna didn't answer with words, her true answer was to take the small gold band and placing it on her finger.
A magical moment started to grow between them as they just continued to look into each others eyes. Saying so much more with that look than they could ever do with words.
Finally the sound in the room started to penetrate their senses. Seven got up and quickly looked around the room with a small smile before looking back to B'Elanna with an even bigger smile.
Janeway came closer and put a hand on both their shoulders. "Congratulations. Guess we have to assign you two some combined quarters huh?"
"No need," Seven said while shaking her head slightly. "B'Elanna and I already discussed this, and we would be more than happy to live in her quarters. She has more than enough room for the both of us."
Suddenly Harry spoke up with a smile. "Hey, B'Elanna, you still haven't given Seven anything for Christmas."
"I haven't?" B'Elanna asked. "Harry didn't you hear a single word of what Seven said? It isn't about the gift you get, but about what you give."
"B'Elanna gave me the most wonderful thing possible," Seven added softly. "She gave herself to me. She is going to be my wife. What more could I possibly ask for? I have the most wonderful Christmas possible. I am spending it with my friends, and once we get home, I will spend the rest of Christmas eve with my wife to be."
"It doesn't get better than that," B'Elanna could only add.
Note, yes I know that Christmas isn't only about gifts, but I it is where the story focused on, and who am I to try and change that? :)
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