DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Nature of the Beast
By Kerisempai


Chapter I

"Do you require assistance Lieutenant Torres?"

B'Elanna, startled by the unexpected voice in what she thought was an empty Astrometrics lab, dropped the spanner she'd been using with a curse. The tool crashed down onto her nose, eliciting more curses, while B'Elanna blinked past stars of pain.

"God Damn it Seven," the engineer roared, flinging herself out from under the console she'd been repairing. "Why do you constantly have to sneak up on people?" The compact woman got to her feet, and barely controlled the urge to shove the former drone across the room. Her eyes tearing in response to her nose's collision with the spanner, her teeth grinding with frustration and rage, she wanted nothing more than to beat some sense into the beautiful blonde.

"As this is my designated work area, I would not classify my approach as 'sneaking'," Seven stated, "Perhaps your lack of attention to your surroundings, once again prevented you…" Seven stopped speaking and strode forward, seeing the tears and blood on B'Elanna's face. "Lieutenant, you are damaged!"

The Klingon's eyes widened, as the Borg invaded her personal space and reached out a fully human hand to B'Elanna's bleeding nose. Seven's intention was merely to ascertain whether or not the Klingon's olfactory organ was broken, but a surprised shift of the smaller woman caused Seven' s fingers to contact her intended target with more force than was necessary.

"Ouch, damnit!" B'Elanna grabbed Seven's hand and forcefully held it against the former Borg's chest, using her other arm to immobilize Seven against her.

"I… I did not intend…" Seven's apology died on her lips at the other woman's actions. Tears had once again formed in the Lieutenant's eyes, but were quickly clearing to make way for the fiery rage Seven found there as well. Those same brown eyes glanced down to Seven's now blood smeared hand, and then farther down to where blood droplets were currently falling onto Seven's silver biosuit.

A low growl came from B'Elanna, anger, frustration, and pain igniting something else entirely as she studied her blood on Seven of Nine. The Klingon felt every inch of the body that was pressed against her. She felt the hammering of Seven's elevated heartbeat, the expanding of Seven's chest as she tried to bring larger gulps of air into her lungs.

The growl did not frighten Seven, nor did the rage she saw in the engineer's eyes; Seven was used to both these responses from the Lieutenant. The new look in B'Elanna's eyes however, made Seven decidedly nervous. "Release me Lieutenant," Seven demanded, her usual arrogance trying desperately to reassert itself, "I have duties to attend to."

B'Elanna only gripped her tighter.

"Comply!" Seven made to force her hand out of B'Elanna's grip, but was unsuccessful. Frightened by the Klingon's iron hold, she began to struggle for real.

The fear in Seven's eyes, combined with her struggles, severed the last of B'Elanna's control. In a move any full Klingon warrior would admire, she lifted Seven off her feet, turned, and brought her down against the console. Her lips descended a moment later, punishing Seven for six years of frustration with a bruising kiss.

Seven grunted with surprise, as the air whooshed from her lungs. The engineer's tongue slid into her mouth, plundering, taking, leaving Seven at a loss for what to do. Her brain tried to process the responses of her body. B'Elanna had not actually injured her, but the assault on her lips was quickly restricting Seven's ability to apply logic to the situation. The sensations B'Elanna was creating felt… extraordinary, and with that last thought Seven gave up trying to analyze, and simply responded.

B'Elanna's growl increased tenfold when the former Borg's tongue caressed her own. She gentled her attack, but only to lure Seven's tongue out more. Somewhere in their struggles, unbeknownst to either woman, Seven's arm had come free, and B'Elanna felt it wrap around her and begin to stroke the ridges of her back. The engineer slid the leg that was already between Seven's up against her core, startling a moan from the other woman. B'Elanna dragged her lips from Seven's, gasping for air, but refusing to relinquish contact. She nipped and kissed the alabaster skin of Seven's neck, encountering the starburst implant on her lower cheek, and lavishing it with her tongue.

"L…lieutenant," Seven moaned, feeling as if the universe has reduced in size to the single feeling of B'Elanna's tongue caressing her implant and the knee between her legs.

"Kahless," B'Elanna breathed, worshiping Seven's neck with lips and tongue and teeth. She felt Seven's hand slip under her uniform top, seeking skin, and ground her knee harder into the younger woman.

Carey to Torres.

B'Elanna ignored her second in command's hail, concentrating on the feel of metal blending to skin under her mouth.

Carey to Lieutenant Torres, please respond.

Cursing, B'Elanna leaned back far enough to tap her communicator, ready to take Carey's head off.

"Torres here," B'Elanna grit out, but before she could even register what Carey's response was, she glanced down at the sight before her. Splayed beneath her on the console, one arm still pinned, lay Seven of Nine staring up at her with hooded and confused blue eyes. Seven's flawless skin was marked with B'Elanna's blood and bite marks. Her hair had come half undone, and her pelvis was still held to the edge of the console by the engineer's knee.

I just attacked Seven, B'Elanna's realization caused her to step back from the prone woman below her, horrified. And I enjoyed it.

"Kahless, what the hell have I done?" B'Elanna whispered, fleeing Astrometrics a second later, and not stopping until she reached her office and locked the door.


Chapter II

B'Elanna Torres alternated between pacing her quarters like a woman possessed, and huddling in the corner of her couch furiously trying to keep her dread at bay. It was well into the Gamma shift, and the engineer had been at this routine for some time.

She sighed, ceased her pacing and flopped down onto the couch, purposefully banging the back of her hard Klingon skull against the padded arm repeatedly. She winced slightly, the motion causing her still sore nose a little pain. B'Elanna had been forced to seek treatment; or rather the choice had been taken out of her hands when after storming back into Engineering, a flustered and confused Joe Carey had noticed the blood all over B'Elanna's face. Despite her locked office door, the doctor had materialized beside her desk not ten minutes after her return.

"So, Lieutenant, whose mother did you insult to warrant such an injury?" the hologram had teased in his superior way.

The small woman jumped at his arrival, and proceeded to glare at him as he approached. "I dropped a spanner," she grit out as the doctor ran his tricorder in front of the injury.

"A spanner you say?" he questioned watching his readings, "Looks more like the bones were repeatedly ground together." He missed B'Elanna's already dark skin flush. "No matter, your nose is most definitely broken. Accompany me to sick bay and we'll fix you right up."

"I have work to do," the Klingon began, but the doctor had foreseen this, and was already interrupting.

"Lieutenant Torres, for once can you not just accept that you are injured and stop with the 'I am a tough Klingon warrior' routine? It is simply ridiculous, and a waste of both our time. Besides, you are bleeding all over your reports." The doctor indicated the blood splattered PADDs on B'Elanna's desk.

"Fine. Whatever. Let's just get this over with," and with that she shoved her chair back and proceed out the door and in the direction of sick bay.

That had been several hours ago, after healing her nose the doctor had sent her back to her quarters for the rest of the shift, something the engineer would normally never agreed to, but for once B'Elanna's need to hide herself away overwhelmed her incredibly strong work ethic. She stared up at the ceiling and sighed again.

B'Elanna rose and resumed her pacing.

Seven of Nine watched the retreating form of the Chief of Engineering as she slumped to the floor of Astrometrics. She continued to stare at the now closed doors, desperately trying to understand what had just happened, and wondering why her body had betrayed her in favor of Lieutenant Torres.

She picked herself up off the floor, intent on resuming work. Now free of the Klingon's embrace her analytical mind was quickly resuming function. Her enhanced senses immediately identified the scent of blood, and under that the spicy scent of the engineer. Reaching out a shaking hand, Seven realized that it was still coated with B'Elanna's blood. She clenched the offending appendage and clasped it with her mesh covered hand.

Looking down, the ex-Drone realized that her biosuit was similarly blood splattered. She wrapped her arms around herself, shaking with some unknown force. Logic told her that the Lieutenant, by Starfleet definition, had just sexually assaulted her. Seven's mind quickly dismissed such an explanation. While she had been surprised initially by the older woman's actions, the Lieutenant had not inflicted harm upon her, in fact Seven had wanted the pleasurable sensations to continue.

Seven's eidetic memory replayed the incident, pausing at the engineer's final horror filled look. "She is horrified to have touched me," Seven whispered to herself, realizing that this caused her pain. "My body is offensive to her."

The former Borg straightened her spine, forcibly setting these thoughts aside as irrelevant, and began charting the latest nebula.

Seven ended her shift in Astrometrics, and quickly made her way to sick bay, intent on replicating a fresh biosuit and availing herself of the sonic shower.

"Please state the nature of the medical emer…" the Emergency Medical Hologram began as Seven entered sick bay. The balding hologram strode over to the former Borg, tricorder ready. "Seven! You are covered with blood!"

"I am functioning within normal parameters, doctor," Seven stated coolly, "I simply want to 'clean up'." She passed him, not willing to explain further, and made her way into the en-suite.

Unfortunately, Seven had not passed him quickly enough. The doctor's tricorder had indeed confirmed that while Seven was uninjured, the blood covering half her face and chest was Klingon.


Chapter III

Seven stood naked before the mirror of the sick bay en-suite, studying her reflection. Her hair fell in soft waves around her face and neck, just brushing her shoulders. The sonic shower had scoured all the blood from her body, but the blonde felt as if she still bore the stain. Her eyes trailed down past generous breasts, following the silver bands of metal that surrounded her ribcage and lead back to her abdominal implant. The woman in the reflection tightened a mesh covered fist, watching the human muscle and skin bunch and smooth between the metal.

Tears welled up in blue eyes, as Seven forced herself to turn away. Refusing to look into the offensive glass again, she reached for her newly replicated biosuit, dressing in a hurried and efficient manner, before pulling her hair up in its customary twist. Communicator in place, she strode to the door, exiting the en suite with squared shoulders, and collided immediately with the doctor.

The hologram blinked up at Seven of Nine from his new spot on the floor of sick bay.

"Doctor, my apologies, I did not expect you to be in the pathway of the door," Seven's tone, while sincere, held a coldness that the EMH had not heard from the former Borg in quite some time.

He got to his feet, dusting off his dignity, and reached out to stop Seven as she proceeded on her intended course to the door of sick bay. "Seven, I would like to speak to you for a moment," he said meeting her eyes, with what he hoped was a guileless expression.

Seven shifted her gaze down to where the hologram held her enhanced arm. She did not wrench her arm away from him, though she wanted to, but returned her gaze to the smaller man, ice chips seeming to form in her blue eyes.

The doctor took the hint, released the former Borg, and cleared his throat. "I won't ask why you entered sick bay covered in Klingon blood," his normal sarcasm had reduced several levels, but was still present, "since I treated Lieutenant Torres for a severely broken nose not three hours ago. But would you mind telling me what caused you to strike her?"

"I did not strike Lieutenant Torres," Seven had not anticipated this charge, and her surprise was evident in her tone. The charge did follow a logical course; she had to admit, for she herself had displayed no injuries, while the engineer had apparently been hurt. "Did the Lieutenant accuse me of such an act?" Seven looked around almost expecting a security team to burst through the door at any moment.

"No, no, of course she didn't," the doctor waved his hand in dismissal. "She gave me some song and dance about dropping a spanner on her face." He snorted. "Seven if you didn't hit her, then how did you get her blood…" the doctor trailed off, noticing as Seven turned to scan the doorway, a red mark just below the starburst implant on her cheek. "Well then," he muttered adding two and two and surprisingly coming up with four. "You and B'Elanna," he smirked.

Seven was uncertain of what the imaginative hologram had deduced while looking at her, but if it kept him from thinking any type of assault had occurred, she would go along with it. "I would appreciate it if you kept this incident to yourself doctor." Seven stated, drawing herself up to her full height. "It is of a personal nature."

The doctor's hopes of controlling a plum piece of gossip blew away on the wind, but the hologram nodded his agreement. "Well if you insist."

Seven nodded curtly, spun and made her way from sick bay without another word.

"Goodbye to you too," the doctor groused as the door slid shut behind the statuesque woman.

B'Elanna entered Engineering two hours before her shift was due to begin. She simply couldn't stand the slight of the four walls of her quarters another second. It was apparent to anyone looking that the Chief was in one of her moods, and the few crewman assigned to Engineering at that early hour made sure to give her a wide berth. For her part B'Elanna ignored them, and after checking the status of her beloved engines, made her way to her office.

To her surprise, the tool kit she'd been using the day before in Astrometrics was neatly piled on a corner of her desk. The sight of it brought memories rushing back, and her recently suppressed guilt surged to the surface. Before she could think better of it, she grabbed the kit and hurled it across her office, relishing the loud crash and fresh dent in the wall plating.

The two crewmen who'd been working on the other side of that wall jumped and winced with sympathy for the innocent wall, and quickly found projects to keep them busy, far from the volatile woman.

B'Elanna was so engrossed in losing herself in her work that she jumped when Tom Paris seemed to appear from nowhere in front of her desk.

"You planning on joining us at the meeting?" His chipper voice grated on B'Elanna's already short provision of nerves. She controlled the urge to bite his head off, but not enough to keep a sharp retort from her lips.

"I'm amazed you managed to tear yourself away from your latest conquest long enough to report for duty, Flyboy," the engineer snapped. The two had ended their relationship six months earlier, by mutual agreement, and had remained friends, but Tom presented an easy target for B'Elanna's wrath, and she'd given in to it.

The hurt look on the pilot's face made her damn her own inability to control her temper, and she ran a frustrated hand through her hair. "I'm sorry Tom, I didn't get much sleep last night."

"S'ok," he half smiled. "I just thought I'd swing by and make sure you were on time for senior staff. I figured I'd save us all the lecture on timeliness by the Captain this week." He winked at her, and waited for the smaller woman to precede him through the door.

Tom and B'Elanna were the last to arrive, and took their regular seats as Captain Janeway began the meeting. B'Elanna had been careful not to glance in the direction of the former Borg as she sat, and as the meeting wore on she managed to look everywhere except the seat directly across from her.

"What's the status on the refit of the external sensors?"

"Lieutenant Torres?"

B'Elanna raised her eyes to the Captain with a startled expression, unsure of what the question was.

"Actually Captain, it was slow last night on Gamma, and we already tested the new sensors," Harry Kim interrupted.

"Ah, good job Ensign." Janeway spared a small frown for her Chief Engineer, and moved on to the next piece of ship's business.

B'Elanna released the breath she'd been holding, and turned to give Harry a grateful look. This was a mistake, as Harry was seated next to the very person B'Elanna had spent so much effort trying not to look at. Her eyes refused to cooperate with her intention to look past Seven, stopping and resting on the ex-drone.

Seven, for her part had adopted the same plan as B'Elanna, and had studiously avoided the area surrounding the Klingon. Unlike the Lieutenant, she had been able to still follow the discussion at the same time. Her eyes had flicked to the other woman after the Captain's request had initially gone unanswered, thus she found herself caught in her perusal as the engineer glanced at Harry Kim. The haunted look in the Klingon's eyes made Seven uncomfortable, but she was unsure why. Commander Chakotay commented on the current discussion, giving Seven a chance to break contact with B'Elanna's gaze and turn away.

B'Elanna blinked after Seven turned to face the Commander. She cursed herself for how easily she'd been distracted by a pair of beautiful blue eyes, but felt as if she'd been punched in the stomach the next second. There on the otherwise flawless skin of Seven of Nine's neck was what could only be described as a spectacular hickey.


Chapter IV

B'Elanna didn't have much time to dwell on the mark, as the Captain drew the meeting to a close. She rose, intent on making a quick exit, but was stopped by the commanding voice calling her name.

"Lieutenant Torres, would you stay for a moment?" Although it was phrased as a question, there was no doubt that this was not a request. The engineer hunched her shoulders, and returned to where the Captain was standing.


Janeway took in her Chief Engineer's appearance with a raised eyebrow, noting the circles under her eyes, and the tension radiating from the smaller woman. "Is everything alright Lieutenant?"

"Yes Captain," B'Elanna answered, not about to explain why she was so distracted or tired.

Janeway knew she was being stonewalled, and that whatever was going on with the young Klingon would not be offered freely. She wondered briefly if things with Tom Paris had started up again, but dismissed that out of hand, positive that the ship's scuttlebutt would have made her aware of that development. "You look like you could use some rest, B'Elanna," the Captain said kindly, "Try not to burn the candle at both ends."

B'Elanna realized that she was going to get off easy this time, and murmured, "Yes Captain." She turned to make her way back to Engineering.

"Oh, and Lieutenant, I expect your undivided attention at the next Senior Staff meeting. Mr. Kim might not be able to save your bacon from the frying pan next time."

B'Elanna winced, and turned to face the other woman, "Yes Captain, it won't happen again."

B'Elanna's day proceeded poorly from then on. She finally called it quits when she broke her second tricorder. Kahless, Torres, get a fucking hold of yourself, she cursed internally. Every task she'd attempted had been met with distraction, failure, and in one incredibly stupid incident in which she'd forgotten to disconnect the main power coupling, pain and a nasty shock.

It was already two hours past the end of her shift, and she decided that all she wanted was a long hot hydro-shower and sleep. Two hours later, B'Elanna stared up at her now very familiar ceiling. Her shower had been completely unsatisfying, as the hot water cascading over her back simply brought unbidden images of Borg enhanced digits trailing over her spinal ridges. She'd turned the water over to cold after that.

B'Elanna still couldn't believe that the former Borg obviously hadn't told the Captain, but she'd surely be in the brig by now if she had. The engineer wondered at that. She closed her eyes, and saw the mark she'd left on Seven's neck once again. It wasn't that the hickey had been that blatantly obvious, the collar of the biosuit had covered most of it. It had only been when Seven turned her head that B'Elanna could really see it, but she had known immediately what it was; that it had been her lips, her teeth, her tongue that had left it there. Kahless, that delicate skin had been so soft, had felt so good…

The Klingon's eyes shot open, and she sat up abruptly. This has got to stop.

"Computer what is the location of Seven of Nine?"

Seven of Nine is currently in Cargo Bay Two.

Before she could think better of it, B'Elanna got up off her couch and walked out the door, determined to do something.

Seven had spent the last few hours doing research, the results of which were making her more and more uneasy. Based on the elevated respiration and heart-rate she'd experienced, coupled with the intense feeling of pleasure she'd experienced the day before in Astrometrics, she was unfortunately quite positive that she had been both aroused by and attracted to Lieutenant Torres.

Seven had in fact had several periods of what she had heard other crew members refer to as "day dreams" regarding the Klingon. Even now, the image of the Lieutenant's callused hands pinning her to the console, her lips crushing her own, caused a shiver to run throughout her body. Seven had also queried Voyager's database on the usual mating habits of the Klingon species, and found that their usual "rough physical expressions of affection" stirred her immensely.

The ex-drone heaved a very un-Borglike sigh, knowing that these affections would not be directed at her again. The Lieutenant's behavior both immediately after the incident, and earlier that day in the meeting had confirmed to Seven that B'Elanna Torres had no desire to even speak to her. Although, Seven's infallible memory reminded, she had seen something other than disgust in the Lieutenant's gaze across the table. Seven was unable to say what the emotion behind that short look had been, but it did stand out to her as something.

The doors to the cargo bay opened with a whoosh, causing Seven to turn in her seat. The Klingon striding toward her with determination was the last thing she expected to see. She stood, uncertain of why the other woman would be here. "Lieutenant… what may… I… um," Seven stuttered, completely at a loss. The engineer walked right up to Seven, not saying a word.

B'Elanna had no plan. She knew she had to do something, but as to what that something actually was, she had no idea. Standing less than a foot from the former Borg her mind seemed to have abandoned her. Her hearts felt as if they would pound out of her chest. Seven's face bore no trace of her usual Borg mask, and B'Elanna could see her pulse racing in the vein along her neck, right next to where she had marked her.

Ever so slowly, almost without realizing she was doing it, B'Elanna raised her hand and reached out to touch the mark on Seven's neck. The soft caress sent shivers through both women. The engineer stroked Seven's silky skin, fingers cupping the side of her face and running along the starburst implant.

Seven closed her eyes, afraid that the caress would stop if she even breathed. Her heart beat furiously against her chest, willing the Lieutenant to never cease this activity.

B'Elanna's body seemed to be acting independently of her brain, as she found herself only inches from Seven. She had no recollection of stepping any closer. Her other hand joined the first on Seven's face. Seven's lids fluttered open, blue eyes searching brown. Their lips were a hairsbreadth apart.

"Please," Seven whispered so low, even B'Elanna's incredible hearing barely picked it up.

That soft plea shattered the last of B'Elanna's resolve, if she even had any left at that point. Her lips met Seven's with none of the rage of their previous kiss, but twice the passion. Her tongue slipped past Seven's entirely willing lips and devoured the honey of the other woman's mouth.

Both hands free this time, Seven wrapped her arms around the engineer, bringing their bodies into full contact. She gasped into B'Elanna's mouth, eliciting a growl from the other woman.

B'Elanna's hands wound into Seven hair, dislodging the pins that held it. She tore her mouth from Seven's, burying her nose in the golden tresses. Her lips sought and found the implant along the other woman's jaw line, covering it with kisses before tasting it with her tongue. The moans and gasps coming from Seven were inflaming her more with each passing second.

Seven's fingers had found the fastening to the engineer's tunic, and made quick work of undoing it. Her hands slipped inside, marveling at the heat of the other woman's skin, and pushing the offending garment from B'Elanna's shoulders.

B'Elanna grabbed Seven by the back of her hair, forcing her to lean back against the console. "Kahless Seven, I want you," she rasped out.

Seven could only nod.

Brown eyes met blue, wanting more, demanding more. "Say it," B'Elanna commanded in a whisper.

"B'Elanna Torres I want you," Seven whispered as well, "Please… please take me."

The Klingon wanted to roar with triumph. Her hand reached up to the collar of Seven's biosuit, grasping the supposedly indestructible material and ripping it to the waist.

Seven's eyes slammed shut, certain that B'Elanna would see her implants and once again flee from her in disgust. Instead a steady growl issued from Klingon lips, so constant that it resembled a purr. Warm breath fell along Seven's ear.

"Mine," B'Elanna whispered possessively, reverently.

A fleeting kiss teased Seven's lips, then another before lips descended down her neck and along her collarbone.

B'Elanna slid the remains of the biosuit down Seven's arms as she made her way across the tops of beautiful breasts. Her fingers settled on a lithe waist, easing the material down further. Saving full exploration of Seven's chest for later, B'Elanna sank to her knees, helping the former Borg to lift her hips from the console and taking the biosuit with her to the floor. Hands splayed over the metal strips covering Seven's ribs, exploring their softness, entranced by how they blended flawlessly into skin. "Beautiful," she murmured.

She kissed the inside of each milky white thigh as she rose, inhaling the fragrance that was Seven. B'Elanna wanted to explore the wonder before her slowly and methodically, but her need for the blonde was becoming overwhelming. She reached down and grasped the hem of her Starfleet issued tank top, pulling it off without a second thought. Her bra quickly followed, and before Seven could truly appreciate the beauty just revealed to her, the Klingon had stepped between her legs and captured her lips again.

Both women shook with the sensation of naked breasts pressing together. B'Elanna cupped Seven's bottom, pulling her up against the rough texture of her uniform pants. The Klingon lifted the ex-drone as if she weighed nothing, turning and lowering them both to the platform amongst the discarded clothing.

B'Elanna no longer had control of the desire running through her blood. She captured Seven's wrists in one hand, holding them above the blonde's head. The breasts that had been neglected earlier were now worshiped by B'Elanna's free hand and lips. Nipples, already hard, seemed to beg the engineer for attention. She complied willingly, taking one into her mouth. Teeth and tongue lavished one peak, while a hand massaged and teased the other, as Seven's back bowed off the floor.

"Don't move your hands," B'Elanna ordered, not even bothering to look up at Seven and make sure she understood.

B'Elanna trailed both hands over Seven's willing and obedient body. She finally settled on her knees between the other woman's legs, gaze taking in the gorgeous woman before her. She leaned down, kissing and licking a path from one hip to the other, coming closer and closer to the triangle of dark blonde curls. Not able to take the torture any longer, B'Elanna slid her hands under Seven's ass, lifting her hips and sinking her nose into the blonde's essence.

The Klingon's tongue parted the swollen lips and gasped at the copious amount of lubrication flowing from Seven. Sending a prayer up to Kahless for the gift beneath her, B'Elanna proceeded to run her tongue up and around the hard bud of Seven's arousal, before reaching inside her as far as she could.

Seven was dying, and gladly. Surely this was Omega. B'Elanna's ministrations had her writhing in some unknown rhythm; wanting more. The engineer shifted, and Seven knew what more was as the other woman entered her first with one then two fingers.

B'Elanna increased her speed, knowing that Seven was close. Her lips captured the blonde's clit and began to suck firmly. Tremors began in Seven's legs, lifting her higher and closer to B'Elanna's mouth.

A keening moan came from Seven's mouth as the first waves of orgasm came crashing down on her, muscles clenching upon B'Elanna's fingers.

B'Elanna's own orgasm startled her with its unexpectedness, but she paid it hardly any mind, witnessing the pleasure of the woman beneath her with awe. When Seven's body had relaxed enough for B'Elanna to ease her fingers out, the engineer crawled up to rest her head in the valley of Seven's breasts, rolling both of them onto their sides and wrapping her arms around the younger woman.


Chapter V

Tom Paris sat with Harry Kim at one of the back tables of Sandrine's, nursing a beer. The holodeck held few people at this late hour, and only the fact that both men had the next day off kept them from calling it a night.

The doors opened, and Harry rose up for the umpteenth time, searching for the stocky form of the Chief Engineer. He sat back down, signaling for another round of drinks.

"Face it Harry, she's not coming," Paris stated, finishing off his own beer as their refills arrived. "She was a bit on edge at the meeting today, anyway. We're probably better off."

Harry frowned. "I know you said she lit in to you this morning, but it's not like B'Elanna to just not show up." The Ensign enjoyed their standing weekly arrangement for drinks at Sandrine's. It had become tradition when B'Elanna and Tom had been dating, and they had continued it after the two had split. "Maybe she's just pissed at you?" Harry wondered out loud, "Or at me for that matter," thinking of how he'd intervened with the Captain. He'd been trying to help her out, but B'Elanna was funny about what she classified as her "domain".

"This is stupid," the helmsman said, smacking his glass down on the table. "Computer what's the location of Lieutenant Torres?"

Lieutenant Torres is currently in Cargo Bay Two.

Both men looked at each other, surprised at this information.

"Computer what is the location of Seven of Nine?" Harry added his own query.

Seven of Nine is currently in Cargo Bay Two.

"Okay, that's just weird," Tom stated the obvious. "Computer is Seven of Nine regenerating?"

Negative, Seven of Nine is not currently regenerating.

"What do you think that's about?" Tom Paris questioned his friend.

"I don't know, but I don't like it." Harry's frown had deepened, and no little worry for the ex-drone was evident in his next comment. "You don't think B'Elanna would go down there to pick a fight, do you? I mean, I know you said she was in a mood, and she didn't look like she'd gotten much sleep, but you don't think, do you?" Harry's concern for Seven, whom he still nurtured a rather sizable crush on, was sending him rapidly into a full on babble.

"I seriously doubt that the Lieutenant is harming Seven in any way…" a haughty voice intoned from behind them, "but with Klingons it can be a thin line."

Both men turned and stared at the Emergency Medical Hologram, not sure what he was getting at.

"Why yes, gentlemen, I'd be happy to join you," the doctor intoned, pulling out an empty chair from their table, and seating himself with a wide smile.

"No offense doc, but what would you know about it?" Tom challenged.

"Oh, nothing," the doctor answered smugly, folding his hands in front of him and glancing around the bar.

Harry snorted at the hologram. "If you're trying to insinuate that Seven might be… be…" he trailed off, unwilling to voice the end of that thought, "with B'Elanna, then you obviously don't know either of them very well. They don't even like each other." Harry's mind rebelled at the very thought of Seven engaged in any kind of romantic activity with his friend, but against his wishes an image seated itself firmly in his mind's eye. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

"He's just trying to feed the gossip mill," Tom waived off. "Come on doc, I know it's been relatively uneventful lately, but B'Elanna and Seven? Please." He took another drink, wiping his lips after. "You just better hope B'Elanna doesn't hear you, or you might find your matrix creatively rearranged."

"Actually Ensign Paris, it might interest you to know that while Lieutenant Torres and I are not what one would call "bosom friends," Seven does consider me a mentor, and indeed a confidant." The doctor had drawn himself up in his chair during his short speech, radiating supreme confidence.

"So spill it then," Tom challenged. "What do you know?"

"Well," the doctor lowered his voice conspiratorially, leaning in closer, "I would point out the fact that they are obviously together right now, late at night, alone." This piece of information, already having been established did not inspire any gasps or awed expressions. He pressed on. "And if anyone had been the least bit observant, they might have noticed a particular mark on the side of Seven's neck earlier today. This particular injury results when blood has been urged to the surface of the skin, usually in the midst of amorous activity."

When Seven had requested the doctor's silence, she had only asked that he not share the nature of her visit to the sick bay, nothing had been mentioned about the presence of the mark or its implied significance; at least that was what the hologram had convinced himself.

"Are you saying Seven has a hickey?" Harry practically shouted, causing the doctor to wince. Silence fell over the few crewmen at the surrounding tables. "From B'Elanna?" he continued in an urgent whisper.

Tom, who'd been sitting down the table from Seven at the meeting, thought back. "She did have a mark," the helmsman remembered. He hadn't really thought about it, figuring it was an inconsequential injury. "It was high on her neck, right under that star shaped implant." He looked at the doctor for confirmation.

"Indeed she did Mr. Paris."

Harry looked desperate for these lies to stop battering his conviction that one day Seven of Nine would fall madly in love with him. "Tom, you can't seriously be buying this?" the shorter man begged.

Realization was quickly dawning on Tom Paris. B'Elanna's fights with Seven had always been a subject of conversation when he'd been dating the Klingon. Conversation in the way that B'Elanna would storm in from Engineering, cursing the former Borg, briefly relate the most recent transgression, and proceed to ravish him within an inch of his life. "Oh yeah," Tom smiled.

"You know, there's really only one way to find out what's going on." With that cryptic statement, the sandy haired pilot downed the last of his beer, pushed back from the table, and strode to the exit.

Harry and the doctor quickly followed suit, just catching up to the helmsman as he entered the turbolift.

"Mr. Paris, where are you going?" the EMH questioned just as the doors were beginning to close between him and Tom.

"To the cargo bay," Tom winked, breaking out into a large grin as the turbolift doors closed on the astonished faces of the other two men.


Chapter VI

Voyager's chief engineer breathed deeply, willing her hearts to slow their rapid beating. The woman in her arms shifted slightly, and B'Elanna pulled her even closer. Soft butterfly kisses landed on the Klingon's temple. B'Elanna felt she could lay there forever despite the cold openness of the cargo bay, and the uncomfortable metal platform beneath them. She sighed, full of contentment, brain unwilling to question the why or what next of the situation.

Paris to Torres.

B'Elanna growled in the direction of her uniform tunic, willing the pilot's voice to go away, and making no move to answer the hail.

I know you're in there B'Elanna.

Paris's voice came again, full of smug innocence.

I wonder why the cargo bay doors are sealed?

When B'Elanna had decided to seek out Seven in the cargo bay, she hadn't had a plan, but the engineer liked to be prepared for all situations. Not knowing what would happen next, be it tears, punches, or kisses, B'Elanna sure as hell hadn't wanted any witnesses. She ordered the cargo bay doors to seal behind her before entering. Rightly so, it appeared.

B'Elanna reluctantly rolled away from Seven's warm body and reached for her combadge. Striking it rather harder than was necessary, she responded to the annoying helmrat.


On the other side of the doors, Tom stifled a very unmanly giggle.

I was just wondering why you stood Harry and me up tonight?

"Shit," B'Elanna muttered. "Um… sorry Tom, I had a really bad day, and just wanted to go home and…" she trailed off, realizing that she was obviously not in her quarters now, and that Paris even more obviously knew her current location.

And Seven had a problem that you just had to attend to.

Tom didn't even try to stifle his sniggers this time.

B'Elanna closed her eyes, rage clouding her vision. He knew, that stupid flyboy knew she was in the cargo bay with Seven, knew that something had happened, and even without a shred of proof Tom had true grist for the rumor mill. The bastard was probably right on the other side of the door, waiting for her to come rushing out.

She turned around, feeling Seven's movement behind her. The blue eyes, that had been so full of passion and wonder a short while ago, were now uncertain and slightly frightened.

"Seven, I'm sorry. I should have known that Tom would start nosing around when I didn't show up," B'Elanna whispered, covering the combadge with her hand.

"Tom, go home. I've had a long day, and if I have to kick your ass when I walk out of here I will, but really let's save both of us the trouble."

Knowing he'd probably pushed the Klingon as far as he could, and happy that he'd confirmed his suspicions, Tom decided to take B'Elanna's advice.

Sweet dreams then B'Elanna.

A pause.

And good night Seven.

He chuckled the rest of the way back to his quarters, hardly able to wait until tomorrow when he could share his vindication with Harry.

B'Elanna heaved a large sigh, running hands through her tousled hair. She shifted closer to the former drone. She pulled the blonde head into her lap, stroking silky strands with a gentle hand.

Seven closed her eyes, absorbing and luxuriating in the soft caress. She had expected the engineer's formidable temper, or another quick disappearance, anything but this. She smiled slightly, delighting in how once again the Lieutenant had defied logical action.

B'Elanna thought of the possible fall out of her actions. She knew that the entire ship would know of Tom's suspicions by lunch the next day. The thought didn't bother nearly as much as it should have. She looked down at the beautiful woman lying across her legs. The thought of not stroking this soft skin again, not kissing Seven's lips again was frankly unacceptable.

"Seven?" B'Elanna questioned.

"Yes Lieutenant?"

"Um, would you, um like to join me for dinner tomorrow?" The words sounded ridiculous to B'Elanna's ears, especially given their current positions and what had occurred. She had no idea if the former Borg had any interest in seeing her again. Seven might well be plotting how to eject her from the cargo bay before reporting her to the Captain. Her self doubt was quickly spiraling into full panic.

Seven sat up, wanting to see B'Elanna's face. The Lieutenant wanted to see her again? "You want me to accompany you to consume your evening meal?"

"I'm sorry Seven," B'Elanna made to get up. "It was a stupid idea, of course you don't after the way I've…" The engineer looked down at the mesh covered hand preventing her from rising.

"I accept."

B'Elanna looked into smiling blue eyes, feeling a reciprocal expression slide across her own features. "You accept?" The Klingon couldn't help herself, she closed the distance between them, giving Seven a quick kiss, surprising the blonde.

"Okay then." B'Elanna wasn't quite sure what to do next. "I should maybe call it a night, let you get to, um regenerate." She rose, picking up the shredded biosuit from the floor, and headed over to the replicator. Several moments later the engineer returned with a fresh biosuit and leaned down, offering her hand to the still sitting ex-drone.

Seven had been unsure of the Lieutenant's intentions when she had strode to the replicator, and was touched by B'Elanna's actions. She took the offered hand, rising, a smile once again gracing her features.

B'Elanna handed Seven the suit and leaned down to collect her own garments. Once dressed she helped the other woman, pressing a small kiss to Seven's shoulder as she zipped up the final inches of the material.

Seven allowed herself to be lead to the alcove by the amazingly courteous Klingon.

"Good night Seven," B'Elanna whispered, placing a chaste kiss on Seven's lips.

"Good night Lieutenant," Seven raised her arms, pulling the other woman in for another longer meeting of lips.

"B'Elanna," the engineer said. "Call me B'Elanna."

"Good night B'Elanna."

Voyager's Chief Engineer stepped back from Seven, walked to the console and initiated the former Borg's regeneration cycle. She watched the blue eyes close, and couldn't help the grin that tugged at her lips. She turned and walked from the cargo bay, a definite spring in her step.


Chapter VII

B'Elanna Torres entered the mess hall with a smile still playing on her lips. This deviation from her normal scowl of late, as well as the new and almost unbelievable rumor circulating the ship had quite a few of Voyager's crew members whispering at their tables as she passed. Even Nelix gave the half-Klingon a wary glance as he served her breakfast, stuttering a careful "And to you as well," to B'Elanna's cheery morning greeting.

The chief engineer paid little attention to those around her, too busy planning her date with the former Borg. She had already settled on the venue - her quarters, as both holodecks were already booked for the evening. She was contemplating menu options when a tray smacked down on the table directly across from her, and Tom Paris took a seat.

"Well good morning sunshine," the helmsman drawled, face split in an inordinately large grin. "You look rather well rested for someone who was tinkering with Borg technology all night."

An unconscious imitation of Seven's raised eyebrow met his smug suggestion, but B'Elanna refused to be drawn in.

Harry, who'd taken the seat next to Tom, couldn't believe that B'Elanna hadn't yelled or reached over to throttle the other man. In fact, the small woman was still faintly smiling. That the Doctor's insinuations, and Tom's crazy story about the night before might actually be true, began to penetrate Harry's usually quick mind.

Tom shoveled a fork full of eggs into his mouth, determined to get some of the juicy details out of his ex. "So, is Seven operating at peak efficiency this morning, or did she need some extra powering up after all that hard work last night?"

B'Elanna patently ignored Paris and his innuendo-laced questions, and instead turned to Harry, "I'm really sorry I stood you up last night Starfleet. I should have hailed you, or let you know that I wasn't coming," she said.

"That's okay, Maquis," Harry shrugged, belying the fact that his feelings had been hurt. "No big deal." He concentrated especially hard on his tray, as if looking for answers in his breakfast. "Um, B'Elanna… what Tom said, um… about you and, um… well because I just wanted, I mean I wouldn't want to… well, um…"

B'Elanna knew what her friend was trying so hard to say without saying it. Harry's good nature and longstanding crush on a certain former Borg did what a hundred of Tom's probing questions couldn't. The Klingon reached across the table and placed her hand on Harry's, stilling his mumbled speech and forcing him to look up.

"Me and Seven?" B'Elanna said quietly, and at Harry's nod, "Well I don't know what Tom told you," here she paused to sneer at the helmsman, "but I asked her out to diner and she accepted." The little grin was back on the engineer's face.

"That… that's great B'Elanna." Harry tried to muster enthusiasm, but fell a little short. He poked around at the food on his plate, confusion still apparent on his face. "But I thought you hated her?"

"Apparently not," B'Elanna stated with a small grin.

"Not unless hickeys and late night naked engineering projects fall under extreme dislike," Tom couldn't help adding.

This time, both Harry and B'Elanna ignored him.

"Are you okay with me seeing Seven?" the Klingon felt she had to ask. Not that his answer would change her mind on the subject, but B'Elanna needed to know how deep Harry's feelings for the blonde still ran.

"It hurts a little," Harry admitted, "but not because it's you. I always knew someone would come along." He took a deep breath. "Seven will never see me as anything more than a friend. I want her to be happy, and I want you to be happy, so yeah, I'm okay. Besides Maquis, you're about the most honorable person I know. I'd rather see her with you than," he looked pointedly at Tom, "just about anyone."

"Oh yeah, B'Elanna's soooo honorable," Tom pouted, "she had the class to lock the cargo bay before fucking Seven up against her alcove."

As soon as the words left Tom's mouth, he knew he'd gone too far. He tried to quickly slide back from the table, out of B'Elanna's reach, but found himself already held in place by the caramel colored fist clenched on the front of his tunic.

"That was your last comment Paris," the smaller woman said in a deadly calm voice. "And to guarantee that you get the picture, and we don't have anymore of these probing questions, I'll feed your dirty little mind just this once without penalty of pain." B'Elanna pulled him halfway across the table, so that the sandy haired pilot was mere inches away from her. "Yes, I fucked Seven last night. It was hot and wet, and most definitely the best sex I've had in my life. Watching her come was so mind-blowing… mmm, but you'll never know, because you will never ask again."

Tom whimpered, and barely noticed when B'Elanna released him. Harry was wide eyed, and two or three shades redder than his normal complexion. "I do hope you boys enjoy your day off. Have a nice breakfast, I have a date to plan." And with that B'Elanna picked up her tray and made her way out of the mess hall.


Chapter VIII

Torres to Seven of Nine.

"Go ahead Lieutenant." Seven couldn't have kept the soft smile off her face had the Borg Queen herself been standing before her. The sound of her new lover's voice evoked both sensual memories from the previous night as well as excitement for the coming evening.

How does diner in my quarters sound? B'Elanna asked. Neither of the holodecks were free, and I don't really find the mess hall the most romantic of dining venues.

"Romance is to be the theme of the meal this evening then?" Just a hint of irony laced the usual Borg monotone of Seven's voice.

Seven, are you flirting with me?

The former Borg thought she could actually hear the smile in B'Elanna's voice.

"Indeed Lieutenant, I am." This time Seven's enhanced hearing picked up a very low growl over the comm-link. The former Borg waited for B'Elanna to respond, but was met with no further comment.


The engineer's voice was slightly deeper when she responded.

Um… sorry Seven, got a little distracted for a moment. How does 1700 hours sound?

Seven vaguely wondered if Lieutenant Torres was experiencing similar moments of recollection regarding their activities from the night before. "Acceptable."

And Seven.

"Yes, Lieutenant?" Before B'Elanna responded a single red rose materialized on top of Seven's console.

Enjoy the rest of your shift. Torres out.

The remainder of Seven's shift was anything but enjoyable. She alternated between twirling the stem of the flower between her fingertips, replaying every touch and caress of her interlude with B'Elanna, and anticipating what the coming "date" would bring. Her efficiency was down by 33.2972 %. She had finally managed to complete her assigned tasks when Jennifer Delaney came through the doors to Astrometrics.

"Hi Seven," the other woman greeted cordially.

"Good Afternoon." Seven was entering several programs into her console, as she wished to monitor a possible plasma storm several light years off.

The brunette took up a position at the console next to the former Borg. The bright splash of color in the otherwise drab room caught her attention. Jennifer was not in the habit of initiating non-work related conversation with Seven of Nine, but the incongruity of the rose on the other woman's console made her ask.

"Where did you get that rose Seven? It's beautiful."

Done entering her commands, Seven picked up the flower once again and allowed a small smile to grace her features. "It was a gift."

"Really? Wow, do you have a secret admirer?" Voyager was far from a vacuum, and Jennifer was quite aware that many of the crew, hell many of the officers for that matter, appreciated the blonde's good looks and harbored not so secret crushes on her.

"It is no secret," Seven stated, "Indeed we have a date this evening."

Jennifer clapped her hands together. "That's wonderful Seven. What are you going to wear?" She was genuinely happy for the ex-drone, and extremely curious as to who the lucky guy might be, but Seven hadn't volunteered a name, and Jennifer wasn't about to push the newly forthcoming woman by pressing for details.

A confused look crossed Seven's features. "I intended to wear my current attire. Is this unsuitable?"

Jennifer pursed her lips. "Well you could wear that, but dates are special. They give us an excuse to dress up a little. Feel beautiful. You know."

"I have never "dressed up" before." The confusion had been replaced by equal parts anxiety and anticipation. "Since being severed from the Collective this," Seven gestured down at the light blue biosuit, "is all I have worn."

It was all Jennifer could do not to shout "make-over." "I could show you a few things in the replicator," she offered in a calm voice.


For the next hour, Jennifer Delaney showed Seven different outfits, accessories, and even possible hairstyles. Seven scrutinized her options carefully, finally selecting a pale blue knee length dress in a soft knit fabric. After thanking the other woman for her assistance, Seven made her way to Sick Bay, ready to commence preparations for her evening.

The EMH smirked slightly at the blonde's entrance from the doorway of his office. "No blood I see, must be a slow day in engineering." Although he had spoken in low tones, the doctor was perfectly aware of Seven's acute hearing, and had no doubt been trying to tweak her.

She ignored him, crossing instead to the replicator and calling up the dress she had decided on. Seven took her new dress with her into the en-suite and began the sonic shower.

Seven spent a full twenty minutes in front of the mirror that had so repelled her several days ago. She touched the reflection momentarily. B'Elanna had called her beautiful. Seven hoped fervently that she still felt the same. While Seven had come to respect the engineer's opinion in matters paramount to Voyager's engines and structure, her feelings on other matters hadn't concerned Seven overly much. It was astonishing how much that had changed, and while analytically Seven knew she should not place so much importance and trust in a person who had until several days ago been her chief antagonist, her heart said differently.

One last look and Seven turned and left the en-suite. She was halfway across Sick Bay, when a slightly strangled noise made her turn toward the EMH's office. The hologram's mouth was hanging slightly open, and Seven heard one more splutter before his matrix flickered, and he simply blinked out of sight.

Seven raised her eyebrow at this turn of events, but resumed her course out of Sick Bay and to the turbolift.

B'Elanna was lighting the last of the candles when the door chimed. Instead of calling out permission to enter, she walked across the room to the door. It slid open, revealing the gorgeous form of Seven of Nine. Had B'Elanna been present minutes earlier in Sick Bay, she would have immediately understood what happened to the EMH. Her own systems seemed to be experiencing an overload due to the beauty of the woman before her.

Seven's hair fell to her shoulders in soft golden waves, framing her face. Her eyes were bluer than the engineer had ever seen them, reflecting the matching color of the dress Seven wore. And what a dress it was. It hugged the other woman's form, clinging to her upper body, then flaring out below the waist. B'Elanna was uncertain how long she stood there taking in the apparition, but eventually she regained control of her faculties and stepped back to allow the former Borg entry.

"Wow, Seven. You look… amazingly, incomprehensibly beautiful."

A look of joy fell over the blonde's face momentarily. "Thank you B'Elanna, I find your appearance aesthetically plea…" she stopped and rethought her phrasing. "You are very beautiful tonight as well."

Seven's attempt as less formal speech was not lost on the Klingon. B'Elanna had picked her outfit carefully as well, knowing that the soft cream-colored linen pants and sleeveless tunic complimented her skin tone. She'd even added a bit of gloss to highlight her lips, and possibly make them appear more kissable?

"Thank you Seven. If you'd like to have a seat, I'll just get the last of things together." B'Elanna gestured toward the living room area, where she'd set out several plates of light appetizers. The room was enveloped in the soft glow of a dozen or so candles B'Elanna had lit. Seven seemed even more ethereal in the soft light, and B'Elanna took a moment to watch her walk to the couch before resuming the last of her tasks.

She joined Seven a few minutes later, carrying two glasses of fruit juice. "I know that synthenol plays havoc with your Borg systems, so I thought you might enjoy this instead," she said, handing Seven the glass.

Both women drank, and by the smile on Seven's face, B'Elanna knew that her drink selection had been a hit. A moment or two passed, and neither woman broke the silence. Nervous tension settled around them, and B'Elanna had no idea how to relieve it. Every time she looked at Seven, intending to begin conversation, her mind deserted her. She didn't want to talk about ship's business. Not tonight. Why had things seemed so much easier when she'd been yelling at Seven one minute, and kissing her the next?

Shifting on the couch made B'Elanna take her eyes from her glass, and focus on the woman next to her. Seven had slid over so that she was close, but not quite touching the Klingon. B'Elanna's hearts, already keeping a steady beat, sped up even more.

Seven placed her glass on the table in front of the couch, then took B'Elanna's glass from her hands and did the same. "I am uncertain if it is the correct protocol, but I would very much like to kiss you right now B'Elanna."

"Kahless yes," B'Elanna groaned.

Seven's hand caressed B'Elanna's cheek before moving around to cup the back of her head and draw her closer. Her lips, soft at first, became more emboldened.

B'Elanna felt she could happily spend the rest of time being kissed by Seven. The all consuming passion of the night before had mellowed for now to an all encompassing warmth that spread through B'Elanna's entire body. They stayed that way for a while, letting the kiss come to an end naturally.

Surprisingly, when they separated enough to look at each other the tension from before had dissipated. B'Elanna leaned in for one more quick kiss, leaving a smile on both their faces.

Conversation flowed naturally after that.


Chapter IX

B'Elanna stood in the doorway of the kitchen area mesmerized. She had just finished placing the last of the dishes in the recycler, and was transfixed by the beauty of the woman standing in her living room.

Seven stood in profile, studying one of the many pictures on display, a faint smile on her lips. How could I have been such an idiot? B'Elanna thought to herself. Each moment spent with Seven had been a revelation. Her kindness, her genuine interest in B'Elanna's thoughts – these things had been revealed to her this evening. The engineer had no doubt that she found the blonde attractive, but somehow this all felt like more than just simple lust. That was as much as B'Elanna was willing to admit to herself at the moment.

Seven turned to look at the smaller woman. "You are staring at me B'Elanna."

The engineer gave a small chuckle. "I can't seem to help myself." She walked to where Seven stood, taking a pale hand in her own. "You are incredibly beautiful Seven." She brought that same hand up to her lips, kissing the mesh-covered fingers.

Seven inhaled and let out a small sigh. She had no words to express the bevy of emotion within her. B'Elanna's words and actions drove reason and logic from her. Though she was unsure of the engineer's future intentions, Seven was unable to even think of holding back with B'Elanna. She leaned down, capturing the lush lips that had caressed her hand but a moment ago.

B'Elanna's body molded to Seven's automatically. The kisses were tender, almost chaste, as if both women were trying to communicate to the other that what was happening between them was more that just a meeting of flesh.

Seven's hands roamed down B'Elanna's back, massaging and caressing. The smaller women knew that if this kept up, they would find themselves once again on the floor amidst a pile of discarded clothing. She pulled away slightly, waiting for blue eyes to open. B'Elanna wanted this; wanted it more than she could ever remember wanting anything, but the guilt from her previous actions was battering her.

"Seven, are you okay with this?" The question sounded inane to her own ears, but B'Elanna had to be sure. "I mean, I'm not sure I can kiss you much longer without wanting to…"

"Rip the clothes from my body," Seven finished with a raised eyebrow. B'Elanna could only nod and blush slightly. "Acceptable." The blonde kissed surprised lips briefly, and pulled back. "Although I believe that we should avoid the destruction of garments this evening."

A smile spread across B'Elanna's features, and taking a page from the former Borg's book she simply answered, "Acceptable," before reaching up and pulling Seven back down for another kiss.

With intentions established, their kisses rapidly became more heated, and Seven could not seem to draw the smaller woman close enough, despite that fact that there was no space between their bodies. In a move that surprised both women, Seven simply reached down and grasped B'Elanna by the hips, pulling her up along her body, and forcing the other woman to wrap her legs around her.

B'Elanna moaned into Seven's mouth, startled by the blonde's move, but more than happy with the resulting closeness. She knew she was already wet.

Seven knew it too. Her enhanced senses had already picked up the unique sent of B'Elanna's arousal, but the heat radiating along Seven's stomach confirmed it. She pulled her lips away from B'Elanna's, anxious to explore new areas of skin. Her lips trailed over jaw line and neck, leaving the engineer panting with the sensations.

"Bed," B'Elanna growled, trying to gather enough composure to leave Seven's arms and lead her into the other room.

"Indeed," Seven agreed, tightening her grip on the other woman and simply carrying her to the bedroom. Crossing the space in a few steps, Seven leaned down into the bed, settling B'Elanna underneath her on the soft surface. This had the added benefit of grinding her pelvis into B'Elanna's already overheated center.

"Kahless, Seven! You make me want to come," B'Elanna half-whimpered.

"That was my intention," Seven whispered with a small smirk. "I believed that I was denied that experience last night. A circumstance I will not allow to be repeated."

B'Elanna wanted to argue that just making love to Seven had made her come, but was quickly distracted by the younger woman's mouth once again. Cool air traveled over B'Elanna's chest, and she suddenly realized that Seven had most of her shirt unbuttoned. Lips were traveling over the tops of her breasts as hands finished their task.

B'Elanna, not to be outdone, reached down to the hem of Seven's dress and began sliding it up the lithe body on top of her. She had reached Seven's waist before she realized that the other woman wasn't wearing anything beneath it.

"You're… not… wearing… panties," B'Elanna panted, her voice a full octave lower than usual.

"It seemed more efficient," Seven answered, untying the drawstring of B'Elanna's linen pants.

"Kahless, if I'd known that earlier we never would have made it through dinner," the engineer said mostly to herself.

Seven leaned back on her heels, pulling the pants from B'Elanna's legs, and frowning at the presence of white lace panties covering the woman before her. A very un-Borg-like "Hmph," came from her lips, as if to say, "You Lieutenant, should have likewise forgone undergarments."

B'Elanna found Seven's frustration utterly adorable. All thoughts of amusement fled however, when Seven proceeded to first pull the blue dress over her head and cast it aside, then reach out and tug the afore mentioned panties past B'Elanna's ankles. The half-Klingon's bra met a similar fate next, and fully naked bodies met for the first time.

The weight of Seven pressed down on B'Elanna, and she immediately wrapped her legs around the blonde's hips. Almost without conscious thought, B'Elanna began rocking against the other woman. Strong, but gentle hands stilled the movement.

"Please B'Elanna," Seven whispered into her neck, "Please let me."

B'Elanna took in a huge gulp of air, knowing what Seven was asking, and willing her body to calm slightly, hoping that she had the control to give the other woman what she wanted. She met Seven's eyes and nodded. "Yes, Kahless, Seven, yes."

"Beautiful," Seven breathed. She made her way down B'Elanna's body, worshiping every inch with lips, hands, and tongue. B'Elanna was shaking by the time Seven reached her ultimate goal. That the other woman was in such a state, and that Seven was responsible for it, washed over her for a brief moment. In that instant, Seven knew that she had already given her heart to the fierce engineer. In all likelihood it had happened long before that first violent spark of passion in Astrometrics. "B'Elanna, come for me."

Seven slid two fingers into the warm wetness that was B'Elanna as she said the words. The response was immediate. B'Elanna's whole body tensed, and she screamed Seven's name.

Minutes or hours might have passed before B'Elanna opened heavy eyes. A mesh covered hand was stroking the hair away from her forehead, and blue eyes smiled into her own. A surge of such strong emotion welled up in B'Elanna that tears formed in her eyes. She reached up and cupped Seven's face in her hand, running her thumb over swollen lips. A million things raced through her head, but the only thing B'Elanna could seem to express was a quiet and sincere, "Stay."

Seven's eyes widened perceptibly, not expecting the offer. She scooted into the engineer's open arms without hesitation, reveling in the feeling of warmth and protection, and though Seven had found her previous attempts at sleep difficult, her eyes drifted closed and she fell into Morpheus's arms as easily as she had B'Elanna's.

"Mine," B'Elanna murmured as she too drifted off.


Chapter X

B'Elanna couldn't concentrate.

She'd read the same sentence on the PADD in her hand at least five times and still had no idea what it said. The engineer gave a sigh of frustration, closing her eyes and leaning back in her chair. Completely unbidden, a smile spread across her features. Visions of alabaster skin and blue eyes danced through her memory. The curve of a hip, the soft supple metal surrounding a rib, the satisfied smile on normally serene features; all of these things contributed to B'Elanna's smile, and thus, her inability to concentrate.

A month had passed since that fateful day in Astrometrics, when rage, pain, and passion had converged within B'Elanna and urged her to take the first steps toward conquering the former Borg. The weeks since, had been as blissful as any the Klingon could remember. The sex was amazing, and the conversations between even more so. Yet, under the surface, this emotional connection existed that B'Elanna was finding more and more difficult to stifle.

She was in love with Seven.

B'Elanna opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling of her quarters. They always seemed far more empty on the nights that Seven regenerated. The engineer hated being left alone with her thoughts lately. Her heart hammered away at her resolve to keep things with Seven casual, while her mind protested that telling the other woman her feelings would ruin everything. B'Elanna was most terrified that should she make the admission, the blonde would disregard it as "irrelevant."

Nothing in her recent association with the former Borg supported this theory, of course. B'Elanna had come to know Seven as a kind and passionate woman, with a dry, irreverent sense of humor, who deeply cared about her collective of Voyager. But emotional vulnerability did not come easily to the Klingon, and so she remained tied up in knots, not willing to risk the relationship that had become so very precious to her.

Seven stepped from her alcove after completing her regeneration cycle. It was the middle of Voyager's night, a full four hours before the start of Alpha shift. The former borg had come to resent the nights she was forced to return to the cargo bay and regenerate. Any other night Seven would be settled snugly in a warm bed, the arms of the chief engineer wrapped around her. Since the first night she'd been invited to B'Elanna's quarters, the blonde had spent her evenings there. The two women would take their meals together, either in the mess hall or the engineer's quarters. They would work on projects for Voyager, make love, or simply engage in conversation.

Seven looked around at the dark, cold cargo bay, and felt a heaviness in her chest. She regenerated for eight hours every nine days, and upon completing her cycle she would simply head to Astrometrics and get an early start on her shift. This is what she had done since she had taken over as chief of Astrometrics, and even after her affiliation with B'Elanna had been established, she had continued this routine. This option did not appeal in the slightest to Seven on this particular morning. Instead the former borg set out for B'Elanna's quarters, wanting nothing more than to slip into the warm bed with her lover for a few hours.

For Seven it was just that simple. Logic did not have a place in it. The engineer's doors opened for her as soon as she stepped up to them, having been set to recognize her recently.

"It only makes sense," B'Elanna had said, "You're here as much as I am."

Seven made her way through the darkened living room and into the Klingon's sleeping chamber. The soft sound of B'Elanna's breathing immediately soothed her, and brought a smile to her lips.

Seven removed her biosuit and slid beneath the sheets, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman.

"Seven?" B'Elanna murmured half-asleep.

"You were, perhaps expecting someone else?" Seven whispered against the other woman's ear before planting a gentle kiss there.

B'Elanna turned and snuggled closer to the blonde, already asleep again.

Seven felt the heaviness about her chest ease, and allowed her eyes to drift shut, secure in the knowledge that she was were she was meant to be.

B'Elanna walked into the mess hall for lunch. Most of the crew of the Alpha shift was there, and the room resonated will the sound of dozens of conversations. She made her way through the line, and tray in hand, looked for a place to sit. Harry raised a hand and motioned her over. B'Elanna gave the ensign a smile as she took the seat next to him.

"Hey Starfleet," she said, taking a tentative bite of the mystery dish on her plate.

"Hello yourself," Harry returned B'Elanna's smile with a grin of his own. Harry started to say more, but B'Elanna didn't hear him, as just then a certain former borg walked into the mess and caught the engineer's eye.

If Harry had thought B'Elanna's smile earlier had been bright, the one that the woman gave Seven was positively radiant.

The blonde smiled back at B'Elanna and stepped into the line to retrieve her own meal.

"So I guess I don't need to ask you how things are going with Seven?" Harry observed.

B'Elanna felt heat rush to her cheeks. "Um… They're good."

"The fact that you're practically glowing with pleasure was kind of a dead give away there, Maquis."

It's possible B'Elanna flushed even more.

"B'Elanna's glowing?" Tom Paris asked as he set his own tray down opposite Harry. "Why do I have a feeling that this has more to do with six feet of sexiness rather than some kind of radiation accident?"

B'Elanna scowled at him, but Tom just winked. The helmsman had learned his lesson those few weeks ago, and though he knew some things were firmly off limits, he couldn't resist tweaking B'Elanna a little about her relationship with Seven. The truth was, B'Elanna was obvious in her happiness, and as her friend, Tom took joy in that. Granted, if the opportunity to observe the two women ever presented itself, Tom would take even more joy in that circumstance. The pilot couldn't help but smirk at that.

"May I join you?" Seven asked.

"Of course," Harry accepted for the rest of the table. Seven set her tray down next to Tom and across from B'Elanna.

"Hi," B'Elanna greeted Seven once the woman sat.

"Good afternoon, Lieutenant. I trust your day is going well." The words, if spoken by anyone else would have been appropriate in the extreme, but the twinkle in the blonde's eye harkened B'Elanna back to the soft caresses that had awoken her this morning. Seven's lips had already surrounded a dark nipple, and her right hand had been teasing B'Elanna's clit before the engineer had been fully awake. The Klingon had climaxed precisely as the alarm went off. It was a game Seven liked to play. It definitely had begun to turn B'Elanna into a morning person.

"Yes, very well." B'Elanna's voice felt a full octave lower. She moved her leg under the table to rub against Seven's.

Blue eyes widened, lust lighting azure depths for just more than a moment, before the serene mask slipped firmly back into place.

"Ever feel like you might be invisible Harry?" Tom asked with a laugh. The two women had eyes for only each other, and though his ego was slightly bruised, he couldn't really hold it against them. If B'Elanna had any idea how transparent she and Seven were she'd be a little horrified.

"I do feel a little superfluous," Harry responded.

"All right, all right," B'Elanna said. "We get the point." Reluctantly she pulled her eyes from the ex-drone's and resumed eating her lunch.

The four spent a companionable lunch and after taking their trays to the recycler, they headed for the turbolift.

"I'll see you tonight," B'Elanna said as the doors opened for Seven's stop. She grazed her hand across the small of the blonde's back.

"Indeed. I will be prompt." Seven stepped out of the lift. "Ensign Kim, Lieutenant Paris."

The doors closed, and B'Elanna couldn't help the small sigh that left her.

Harry and Tom exchanged a look.

"So, B'Elanna," Harry started. "It seems like you and Seven are… getting along well."

Tom snorted.

B'Elanna ignored Tom, and simply smiled at Harry. "Yep. We are."

"It seems like things might be getting serious," Harry ventured a little more.

B'Elanna's smile faltered a bit. "I don't know about that Starfleet. I mean, we've only been dating for a month or so. It's very casual. We're just having fun, okay!"

"So you haven't told her then?" Tom's tone wasn't the least bit smug or teasing.

"Told her what?" B'Elanna demanded.

"That you're in love with her."

"Shut up Paris," B'Elanna said through clenched teeth. "What would you know about it?"

"I know you B'Elanna. There's a light in you that I've never seen before." Tom's voice was gentle, and it was at times like these that Harry was reminded that Tom was actually a decent and good man, under all the boyish crap. "Harry's right, you glow. You love her."

B'Elanna felt her anger rush out of her. How could she be pissed at Tom for pointing out what she already knew? "So what if I do? How is my relationship with Seven any of your business?"

"We care about you," Harry ventured back into the conversation. "And your feelings are pretty obvious, B'Elanna."

"Great, just great." B'Elanna ran a hand through her hair.

The doors opened for B'Elanna's stop. She walked past the two men without another word.

"Tell her," came Tom's disembodied voice as the turbolift doors closed.

Seven was tapping the keys of her console at a furious pace when Jennifer Delaney walked into Astometrics.

"Hi Seven," Jennifer greeted the other woman.


"Big plans tonight?" The brunette wagged her eyebrows at Seven. The two had bonded over the last few weeks, Seven coming to rely on the younger woman's insights on dating dos and don'ts.

"Lieutenant Torres and I are spending the evening in her quarters." Seven stated. "I am making a dinner of Chicken Piccata and roasted potatoes."

Jennifer gave a laugh at Seven's monotone delivery. It had become an inside joke between the two of them, after Seven, nervous and full of questions after her date with B'Elanna had started to relay intimate details in an attempt to differentiate between copulation and making love.

"Mmm, that sounds good. I hope B'Elanna realizes how lucky she is. Beauty, brains, and cooking all in one package."

"It is I that am the lucky one," Seven returned. "B'Elanna Torres is both beautiful and intelligent, and she cooks for me as well."

Jennifer just smiled.

"Ensign, what is the proper protocol on declaring one's feelings for another?"

"Well, gee Seven. That depends." The brunette gave Seven a thoughtful look. "I assume that we aren't speaking hypothetically here? You're talking about you and B'Elanna, right?"

Seven nodded.

"There really isn't a set rule. When the right time presents itself, you tell her."

"And when is the 'right' time?" Seven asked practically.

"You'll know." Jennifer laid a hand on Seven's shoulder. "You'll look at her, and the words will just come." Seeing Seven's frown, Jennifer laughed. "Seven that's the nature of the beast."

Seven looked at Jennifer quizzically. "What beast?"


As much as Seven was displeased that the other woman could not give her a more precise answer, Seven appreciated the advice. A few minutes later, Seven logged out of her console and bid Jennifer Delaney good evening.

B'Elanna stepped out of the turbolift two hours later than planned. Three power relays had decided to give up on life at the same time, causing a hiccup of sizable proportions within the communications system. She'd hailed Seven, hoping that dinner wouldn't be ruined, and that the former borg wouldn't be annoyed. Seven's gracious response had made B'Elanna smile.

"I will delay dinner to coincide with your arrival. I will use the extra time to contemplate possible activities for tonight."

So, despite being dirty and tired, B'Elanna entered her quarters in the best of moods. Heavenly smells assaulted her sense. Seven stood in the small kitchen, barefoot. Seven had been experimenting with more casual clothing lately. Instead of the usual biosuit the blonde wore a pair of loose drawstring trousers and a tank top. Her hair had been pulled back into a ponytail. B'Elanna felt her breath catch. Seven looked so young and innocently beautiful.

The blonde turned and gave B'Elanna a steamy look that drove all thoughts of innocence from the Klingon's mind.

"Welcome home, B'Elanna."

B'Elanna walked over to Seven and took her into her arms for a searing kiss. It took several moments for the women to separate.

"If this is to become the new greeting protocol I will endeavor to cook dinner more frequently," Seven said with a raised eyebrow.

B'Elanna headed into the bedroom to change and clean up. "It's not just the cooking," she said to herself. When she returned to the living room, she found Seven just setting dinner on the table.

Through out the meal, B'Elanna couldn't help but dwell on what Tom and Harry had said. It was getting harder and harder not to blurt out her feelings for Seven… and yet, the thought of losing this made the Klingon mute.

For her part, Seven kept thinking of the "right" moment. Had it been when B'Elanna walked in and kissed her so thoroughly? Had she missed it already, all chances of telling B'Elanna gone?

Dinner was unaccountably quiet.

Seven leaned against the counter as B'Elanna loaded the last of the dishes into the recycler. When the smaller woman passed her, Seven reached out and drew her into her arms. B'Elanna didn't resist in the slightest, but lay her head against the blonde's chest, and rested her hands on Seven's hips.

"You came home last night." B'Elanna said into Seven's chest.

Seven didn't miss the significance of B'Elanna's use of the word home. "Is it acceptable that I returned after my regeneration?"

B'Elanna nodded. "More than acceptable. Why didn't we think of that before?" B'Elanna thought that perhaps the nights wouldn't have seemed quite so lonely if she'd known that Seven would be returning before the morning.

"I do not know, B'Elanna. As for last night, I simply wanted to hold you before returning to my duties."

B'Elanna lifted her head. "You did a little more than just hold me this morning."

Seven gave a small laugh. "Indeed." She laid a gentle kiss on caramel forehead ridges.

"Seven…" B'Elanna laid her head back against the other woman's chest. "I need to tell you something." The Klingon's hearts beat a furious tattoo against her chest.

"Proceed." Seven answered.

"I…" Fear gripped B'Elanna. She buried her face in the softness before her, drawing a small amount of comfort.

Seven felt the small engineer snuggle closer and gave her a squeeze.

"I'm afraid." Came the quiet statement. "I need to tell you something, but I'm afraid."

Seven felt the pounding hearts of her lover against her chest, and felt her own speed up in response. "You need to tell me something, but you are afraid of my reaction?"


Seven was unsure of what could cause the Kligon to fear her response to anything. What the blonde did know was that she did not like the fear that she heard in B'Elanna's voice. She wanted to reassure her, take that fear away, and could only think of one thing to establish her support of B'Elanna.

"I love you."

B'Elanna's head came up from Seven's chest like a gunshot. "Yes, I need to tell you that I love you, but I'm afraid!" B'Elanna all but shouted. "I just don't know how…" B'Elanna's voice trailed off as the conversation replayed itself in her head.

"Did you just say…"

"That I love you, yes. I was waiting for the 'right' moment to present itself, and apparently Ensign Delaney was correct, it did so naturally." Seven kissed the somewhat stunned engineer on the nose. "Did my declaration alleviate your fear?"

B'Elanna nodded.

"Then you may proceed."

"Seven of Nine, I am in love with you."

"As am I with you, B'Elanna."

B'Elanna reached up and brought the blonde down for a kiss. "Mine," the Klingon declared between kisses.

"Yours." Answered Seven.

The End

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