DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all of its characters belong to Paramount and maybe some other people I can't keep up with. Anyway, this work of fiction is purely for fun, no profit will ever be made and no copyright infringement is intended. Also, this story deals with love in all sorts of flavors, be they heterosexual or homosexual, so please don't read it if the idea of to women in a relationship makes you troubled or irked or whatever. It rates up there with a D.R.A.W. in one part, so skip this is you can't get into the adult theaters wherever you live. Klingon terms are taken from the Klingon Language Institute (www.kli.org) however the author does not profess to have a good understanding of tlhIngan Hol. Finally, given the nature of the story, I've taken a few liberties with my techno-babble stuff, as well as my limited (or non-existent I should say) knowledge of Norway and horses. If anything sounds completely impossible, or silly, please ignore it, for this is simply an answer to RalSt's Christmas Challenge. Happy holidays to all my VJB brethren and to fanfic readers in general. I want to thank Carola for taking time out of her holidays to look this over and not laugh at me, I mean beta the story. She was an invaluable dragon, as most dragons are if you can get them to speak to you. Also, thanks to Erin who had some answers and good suggestions when I needed them. Still, any and all errors are mine to take credit for, and I do. Just do me a favor and think 'Christmas story' and don't notice if I hit any giant clichés along the way.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Of Christmas Alone
By Cirroco DeSade


Part 1

B'Elanna was in her kitchen trying to clean up the disastrous mess that had been left behind. That morning she had attempted some bonding with Miral by asking her to help bake holiday cookies. The now eight year old hybrid had not appreciated the chores involved and grumped for three hours straight, which was the entire time it took for the two of them to get a few different recipes prepared and in the oven to bake.

B'Elanna looked around her kitchen and shook her head. It was no wonder this kitchen rarely got any use. Neither she nor Miral had any talents in this arena. Give either one of them a set of equations to solve and you'd be in luck. Give B'Elanna an engineering crisis and she'd find the solution. Yet ask either one of the hybrids to cook from scratch and the simplest of recipes became harder to complete than fighting your way through a horde of drunken Klingons, and more daunting than a room full of tribbles.

So now B'Elanna was trying to figure out how to set her little used kitchen back to the way it was before. Right now it looked like a bag of flour exploded in one corner, the sugar and butter which had been replicated in too generous proportions looked as if they were trying to make a run for it out of here and some kind of odd gooey something ran down the front of one counter and onto the floor.

The front door chimed and immediately she heard the noisy footfalls of her daughter running down the stairs presumably to race her to the door, to be the privileged one to answer it. "I'll get it," came the standard shout. B'Elanna rolled her eyes and was simply thankful Miral was there to get the door. She didn't really want to have to see anyone while she looked like this; her hands were sticky and her clothes had flour and sugar scattered here and there, her hair was pulled back in an impromptu, and in her opinion not so flattering, ponytail which probably had flour in it too since Miral had insisted on playing with it several times.

The door behind her banged open, a clear indicator of Miral's entry. B'Elanna listened for the inevitable question from Miral, "Hey Mom blank is here can I go out to blank?" The only thing B'Elanna wondered was who blank would be today.

"Hey Mom, Uncle Harry is here" Miral shouted, unnecessarily since she was directly behind her mother. Yet Miral loved to do anything that would make her mom jump or twitch or, well anything that made her look more human and less mommish. She tried to repress the grin that came when her mom turned around, but suspected she was unsuccessful based on the look on her mother's face. Promptly she decided it was time to deflect the coming lecture. "Uncle Harry, you're just in time to get some cool homemade cookies that me and mom made!" she beamed, feigning enjoyment over the process, knowing her mom probably wouldn't call her on it if she played it right. "Want some help cleaning mom?" she asked with as innocent a face as she could possibly provide.

B'Elanna just raised an eyebrow, an old habit she had unknowingly picked up from Seven of Nine and Tuvok over the years she spent on Voyager, a technique that was usually pretty successful on her wild child daughter. It let Miral know she saw through the scheme but wouldn't fuss as long as she ceased it now.

"No, but you can clean one of those chairs for your Uncle Harry to be able to sit in here," B'Elanna said, then added sweetly "my little jajlo' Qa'." In the meantime B'Elanna retrieved the baked cookies from the oven and placed the entire pan on a cooling rack. Then she faced Harry.

Miral did as she was told, while Harry continued to bite back his laughter over B'Elanna's appearance. He stood just inside the door to the kitchen watching the whole interaction and now felt himself being focused on by his friend. He knew his attempts at smothering a smile would fail, so he didn't bother. Instead he lifted up the bag in his hands for her to see.

"I come bearing gifts," he told her in an appealing voice and with a charming smile.

B'Elanna smirked at the man, and then turned to the sink to wash her hands so she could go sit with her friend.

"Oooh gifts? Christmas gifts?" Miral questioned excitedly.

Harry laughed. "Of course. I had to bring them by early since I'm going to be off planet on Christmas day, but I couldn't forget my favorite qaryoq'a' before I went."

Miral rolled her eyes at his strange pet name for her. She believed that he just didn't want to learn anymore tlhIngan Hol so he stuck to what he already knew. He always called her this or "lorbe'" and she knew it meant he loved her. He was the best non-relative "uncle" and beat all the other of the former Voyager crew in coolness hands down. She came over and hugged him around the neck, making squawking noises like the one qaryoq'a' she had ever seen when she was visiting her cousins on Qonos. He laughed and pulled away from her.

"Here, open it," he said as he handed her a brightly wrapped little box.

The girl practically bounced as she opened the gift with innocent juvenile glee. The box inside had two unmarked data crystals. She lifted her eyes to his questioningly, knowing he would explain and if Uncle Harry had written her a Holoprogram it would definitely be cool. His were the best in her opinion.

"That first one is a puzzle I had designed for you by… a very good friend. I think it can even evade your problem solving skills for more than a day or two. The answer at the end of the puzzle opens the second crystal." He laughed at the look of confusion on her face. "The second is a new Holoprogram I designed just for you. I think it came out really good, but you'll tell me once you've had it a while I'm sure. I'm not going to sell this one unless you tell me I should okay Miral? If you want that one all to yourself, it's yours." Harry told her happy to see the look of childish joy return to her face.

"Cool! Thanks Uncle Harry" she exclaimed and hugged him, hard, again. He played it up and acted as if she were squeezing so hard that he couldn't breathe. She giggled and let go of him. Looking back and forth between her mom and her 'Uncle' she asked excitedly "Can I go work on the puzzle now?"

The adults both laughed and waved her away. Miral ran out of the kitchen and momentarily afterwards the tromping up the steps at running speed could be heard. B'Elanna smiled and walked over to the replicator.

"Want anything?" she asked politely and as expected he shook his head no. She order a Raktajino for herself and sat down in front of him at the table. "So, how's life Starfleet?"

"B'Elanna, how many years will have to pass before you stop calling me that?" he asked with a laugh. "I'm a civilian and you're in Starfleet"

"Never," she answered with a smile, "you'll always be Starfleet to me."

They settled into a companionable conversation and exchanged little gifts to each other. The old friends had kept in touch weekly, sometimes more often, sometimes less, but enough to always know at least a little about the other's life. As they were catching up with each other, the chime for the front door rang. B'Elanna tilted her head curiously and with a look of consternation started to get up to answer it figuring her daughter would be too engrossed in her gift to respond in her usual fashion. The loud thumping of feet down stairs, followed by the usual shout alerted her that she was wrong.

B'Elanna smirked and looked at Harry who was now laughing out loud at this little glimpse into his friend's domestic routine. When he met B'Elanna almost 15 years before, he would never have imagined her as a mother; actually he probably wouldn't have imagined anything close to domestic for her. Yet here she was, a responsible single mother, a Starfleet Commander and one of his best friends.

"Aunt Seven's gifts are here," Miral announced as she barreled into the room, ripping up the wrapping around the package holding the gifts before even asking if she could.

"Miral," B'Elanna exclaimed and her daughter stopped altogether, surprised and suddenly a bit guilty.

"I'm sorry momma," the little girl said softly and looked down at the half unwrapped box sadly.

B'Elanna could hold her irritation only for seconds then sighed. Her little girl was a mile a minute bundle of energy, excitable and mischievous, but she had a pure heart that could melt her mother without effort. "It's okay sweetie. Just come over here and sit with me and your Uncle Harry and show us what you got."

The little girl looked up, unabashedly grateful to her mother and nodded. Striding over with what she hoped was more maturity she sat down in the seat between the two adults and slowly opened the package. Inside there were two boxes and a card. Miral handed one box to her mom and took the other. She looked up at her mother for permission to open it and smiled when her mom nodded. Shredding the last barrier between her and her latest Christmas gift Miral squealed when she found four tickets to one of Bengt Michael's concerts, in Paris no less with the accompanying transporter passes and land transport tickets included. The child promptly showed it all off enthusiastically to both of the adults then ran out of the room chattering on. "I've got to call Rachel, and Crystal and maybe Erin, or…" the sound of her voice was cut off by the closing kitchen door.

Harry laughed. Then he looked back to B'Elanna. "Well, aren't you going to open yours?"

B'Elanna looked down at the box in her hands with an odd sense of hesitation. Why did it bother her every year when Seven sent both of them gifts? True, she was pleased by the few of the crew who would remember Miral, even Seven. But it felt somehow strange to receive a gift herself from her former crewmate, and she never could quite put her finger on why. She finally just ripped into the long box. Inside was another ticket and pass set so she could go with Miral to the Musician/Holo-artist's concert in Paris. Sitting under that was a new, state of the art tricorder. B'Elanna knew that they were still considered too expense prohibitive to replicate by Starfleet, although the higher institutes like Daystrom had been using them limitedly for months. She also knew they were not cheap. It was an incredibly insightful gift, although many people would think it a poor choice. Yet Seven seemed to understand her how deep her love of engineering and science ran.

Harry watched the subtle interplay of emotions displayed by B'Elanna during all this and wondered for perhaps the hundredth time if he shouldn't break his promise and interfere a little. Yet he sighed and knew he wouldn't. "So what is it?" he finally asked.

B'Elanna startled out of her thoughts. "It's a tricorder. Well, the newest engineering tricorder out of Daystrom. And a ticket for me to go to that concert too. Perfect. As usual." B'Elanna smiled but it was an odd smile that Harry couldn't interpret. "So, have you seen Ms. Perfect lately?"

"Not too recently. About two months ago we had dinner. I had a meeting in Oslo and called her up to see if she'd be available to visit. She invited me up to her place and cooked for me. We played some music together for a few hours, and then I had to run. I had a big presentation the next morning back in the city." Harry answered and his eyes danced off as he took in a memory or two of that night. Seven had stopped trying to hide her Borg heritage after her aunt died, quit wearing that ridiculous makeup her aunt got for her and she had never looked better. She had seemed to finally stop caring about hiding her implants period. She looked relaxed in linen pants and a white sleeveless blouse, her hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. Plus her musical talent was blossoming because of all the time she spent in isolation; she whittled away many of her hours singing or playing on her favorite instruments, the piano and guitar.

"But she looked good when I saw her. Lonely, but content." He knew he shouldn't have added that last bit, but it had just slipped out. He quickly forged on hoping she wouldn't focus on the word lonely with him. "I talk to her a few weeks ago or so, and she always remembers my birthdays, and of course holidays." He snickered. "She really went full force into embracing the terran holidays under her Aunt's influence at first, but at least now she only sends cards for things like Christmas and Unity day. I'll never forget that first year. I must have gotten over a hundred cards!"

B'Elanna smiled and nodded. "Does she still go see Janeway?"

Harry looked down at the table. For some reason B'Elanna was finally asking all those questions he wondered why she never asked. Yet it was making him very uncomfortable. Years of helping Seven understand and deal with her feelings and just as many years keeping it a secret had built up some feelings inside of Harry. He knew that he was Seven's best friend, and that made him sad, because he also knew he didn't have nearly the contact with her that he should for such a thing. He made as much time as he could for her, but she just lived so far away, so far into isolation that she was difficult to visit. On top of that, she preferred to work at night. She told everybody it was because that was when the most resources were available since fewer scientists were at the lab at that time, but he knew that it was something else; she just preferred to be there when less people were there. He knew that her integration here on Earth had not been much smoother than it had on Voyager. Despite all the glorified Federation and Starfleet ideals, some forms of subtle bigotry remained. That was actually included as one of his factors when he decided to leave Starfleet. He no longer saw the organization through naïve eyes, instead seeing something he did not always agree with and something he did not want to be forced to become.

"Not really," he finally replied. "Their relationship is fairly strained."

B'Elanna nodded as if she expected that. "I figured. I mean, it is hard when someone asks you to marry him, and then marries your mentor instead."

"Actually, Seven was happy for them. It is just…" Harry hesitated. Did he have the right to share this? Maybe he'd share a little, then no more. "Well, Janeway never stopped trying to change Seven. She kept at her, bugging her to have more implants removed. Seven finally told her no one day and made quite a few things clear that she had held back over the years." Harry shrugged. "The Admiral didn't really like all of it. Both of them are too stubborn and too scared to make up. So, they exchange cards and little else."

B'Elanna blinked, in shock. Leaning back in her chair, sipping her now cold Raktajino she processed all that Harry told her. Little questions kept niggling somewhere at the edge of her consciousness, something about the way Harry talked about Seven had her worried too. However she couldn't understand why. She had barely thought of Seven more than three times a year for eight years now: her birthday, Miral's birthday and Christmas, when Seven always sent a card and gift.

Harry watched her for a few minutes and when she looked up at him like she might grill him some more he quickly launched into a tale of daring and stupid escapades that Tom had dragged him into just recently. He knew she had a very surface love for Tom, she thought he tried to do well by Miral and for that she respected him. Yet, even as she held no real malice for him, she couldn't stay in the same room with him for too long. He was too alien to her, to strange and different for them to be friends. However over the years, she kept in touch with the juvenile side of Tom and his antics through Harry's stories, and the less often seen responsible side of Tom through Miral's stories.

Harry entertained her for a while. Then they talked of their families, what was left of them, and their plans for Christmas. He was heading to Risa for a holoprogrammers conference/party for a week. Miral was going to stay with Tom and his family. B'Elanna had no plans as it was her first Christmas without Miral. It was her first Christmas alone. He looked at her oddly when she told him that. He smiled at her with a bittersweet smile and told her he was sure she'd find some suitable way to celebrate.

As he rose to leave, she followed him to the front door. He put on his coat as it was even chilly here in San Francisco this year. Before he could walk out the door, one of those thoughts that had been niggling at her in the back of her head surfaced and before she could stop the impulse she grabbed his sleeve to halt him and ask.

"Hey, who does Seven spend her Christmases with?" she blurted.

He stiffened, and at first she thought he wasn't going to answer. Finally he turned his head just far enough to speak over his shoulder, because he didn't want her to see his eyes when he answered. It pained him to talk about it, especially to her.

"Seven spends Christmas alone." He quietly disengaged his arm from her grasp and quickly walked down the walk and out of sight.

B'Elanna stood on the front stoop of her home, silently, so still. The only evidence that she was alive was in the way her breath showed on the air and a tear that tracked down her face. Only when Miral barged past her announcing her departure for 'a little while' to go to a friend's house did she come back to the present, to her life as she knew it.

"Be back by dinner time," she yelled at her daughter's back, which earned her a wave. Then she turned back into her house, determined to shake the blues out of her mind, and somehow, some way, clean her kitchen.

As she walked into the kitchen, she found the forgotten card lying on the table, and opened it. It was a standard Christmas card it seemed, with the standard prosaic Christmas wishes written by some company who knows where. Christmas cards hadn't seemed to have changed in hundreds of years. Inside, in precise feminine script Seven wrote: "I wish you the very best this holiday season. I will be thinking of you with love. Merry Christmas," It was signed: "Seven of Nine, né Annika Hansen"


Part 2

Harry Kim stood in his apartment finishing a few packing details for his trip to Risa. As his latest programs were being loaded onto his portable console and separately onto crystals that he could distribute if he wanted to he thought of the one last thing he wanted to do before he left Earth. Striding over to his view screen he told the computer to connect him to the home of Seven of Nine. If she was home, which was more than likely, he would be able to wish her Happy Holidays and let her know he got her gift. A chord signaled a positive connection to the person he asked for and he looked up to see Seven's smiling face.

"Harry Kim," she stated in a flat monotone.

"S-Se-S-Seven," Harry acted as if shyly terrified.

The two of them looked at each other through the view screen and instantly the old joke made him laugh and her smile. Harry thought it was an odd old joke, but for some reason they often acted it out; since it always made her smile he enjoyed it himself. He felt lucky that he was one of a handful of people who not only saw Seven smile but had regularly made her laugh. Seven's laugh was so delicate as to be almost non-existent, so utterly feminine in a way nobody ever expected if they had seen the woman's shy, reserved, 'Borg' front.

"I thought you had a" she raised an eyebrow with obvious sarcasm, "conference in Risa Harry. Why are you still on Earth talking to a former drone when you had told me that you would be on Risa in the arms of some beautiful woman on this day?"

Harry blushed. He vaguely remembered talking about finding some female companionship while on Risa after having some wine at her house the last time he was up there, but he wasn't entirely sure of all he said. He saw her smirk and had a feeling that he hadn't said very much, that she was just having him on. He decided to ignore the implications and just answer the main question.

"Well, I'm actually just about to leave. I had a couple of things I wanted to grab from my apartment before I headed out. And I wanted to thank you for the gift. I don't know how you always seem to find the perfect things, but you do. Did you get my gift?"

"Yes Harry, thank you. I know I will put them to good use. They were very thoughtful," she answered.

"Yeah, well… Oh by the way, how come I don't get Bengt Michaels tickets and a trip to Paris?" He asked her in a teasing voice.

She blinked at him bemusedly. "I did not realize you were among the many millions of his fans, 73% of which happen to be female and under the age of 14." She stated dryly, but with a miniscule smirk on her face.

He laughed. "No I am not, but I saw an eight year old become practically rabid with delight at those tickets you sent." He watched as her smile widened, and at a certain point all the reservation left her face. She looked genuinely happy to have succeeded in pleasing a child she barely knew.

It was one of the sweeter things about Seven. He knew she did the same thing for Naomi Wildman still, and although Icheb was a young man she still doted on him like a loving mother. It was only coincidental that Miral just happened to be the daughter of the woman she loved. She would have sent her gifts, and generally spoiled her regardless even if she had no feelings at all for B'Elanna. "That was incredibly sweet of you Seven," he told her.

Seven's salary at Daystrom was quite generous, and her aunt had left her a tidy sum of money, much of it had belonged to her parents and had fallen to her aunt by default. Her aunt had been a woman of meager desires and had no children of her own. Beyond that, she had a mind for money that was uncommon on Earth in this day and age. Most people did not accumulate funds anymore. Yet her Aunt had accounts on several planets within the Federation.

If Seven's aunt was a woman of little needs, Seven's were practically non-existent in comparison. She had a large, lovely house on a very large tract of land, but that was inherited also, as was her hover car. She had purchased several musical instruments and upgraded the computer and communications equipment in the old Hansen house, but other than that most of her purchases were very minor.

Therefore she did not think anything of the extravagance of her gifts. Harry wasn't too sure if she even understood that most of her gifts were considered extravagant. So he wasn't surprised by her desire to buy the perfect gift for each child who had ever touched her life, sparing no cost. The adults that she knew and still bought for were not treated poorly mind you; she still searched for perfection in everything. In one of their many conversations she had admitted it was a trait she didn't believe was entirely Borg, but possibly familial reinforced by the Borg. Her aunt was a bit of a perfectionist also and told her that her father was too.

"B'Elanna really seemed amazed by her gift too. Who knew you could make a woman all gooey by giving her a tricorder?" Harry teased.

Seven blinked and almost held her breath. This was the first time she had any evidence of what B'Elanna might feel about her gifts. The hybrid never called, or sent a thank you note and her Aunt used to say that was terribly rude. Yet Seven just always held on to the hope that she chose something B'Elanna might enjoy, which might make her happy, and if only for a moment, think of her favorably.

"Gooey?" Seven asked with a slight hitch in her voice. "She liked it?"

"Oh yeah," he told her. "In fact she called it perfect. Why don't you call her? She's going to be alone this Christmas. Miral is going to be away with Tom." There, he'd said it. He had thought of this the whole way home from B'Elanna's. Yet he saw the immediate panic in her eyes and knew it wouldn't happen. It was ironic that the one woman who could probably make Seven the happiest was also the one person who terrified the blonde beyond reason. She was shaking her head back and forth quickly non-stop.

"I… I couldn't Harry. No. She doesn't need a former Borg in her life anymore and I will not bother her. I am certain she would not welcome it Harry. So do not try to convince me, because I will not change my mind." Seven jabbered.

"Okay, Seven, calm down," Harry told her soothingly. "It was just a suggestion." He knew when he was defeated. He noticed that his downloads were done and he was late leaving. "Look, I've got to go. I'll see you soon. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas my friend."

"You have a Merry Christmas as well Harry. Come see me when you return from Risa and tell me what wonderful woman stole your heart this trip my friend. I'll cook you dinner and you can drink my wines." She smiled and joked lightly with him, the only thing betraying the fact that she was still the least bit rattled was the tiny little lines around her eyes and Harry was the last person on Earth who could even register their existence for what they were.

"You're on! Harry out." He closed the channel and shook his head. Grabbing his bag he headed for the door, resolving to put his friend's unrequited love out of his head and find some of his own.


Part 3

December 25th, 2386, 4:23 am Pacific Standard Time (1223 Earth Standard)

B'Elanna was in the European terminal at the San Francisco Transporter Station pacing back and forth. She already had her travel chit in hand and the transporter operator was bemusedly trying to ignore her. On impulse the night before she had arranged the transport, arranged for a hover-car at the Oslo Transporter Station, paying extra for one with a navigational computer so that she wouldn't get lost. She had researched the area and found a hotel within 100 kilometers of Seven's place, just in case the woman didn't want her company, she had even read up on the area, trying to orient herself a little. She had packed, bracing herself for what she considered to be frigid temperatures and packing many layers. Yet now that she stood here in San Francisco's station she was terrified of what she was doing.

She wasn't even sure what had ever possessed her to do this. Honestly, she hadn't tried to contact Seven in eight years, and to suddenly show up at her door, unexpectedly, on Christmas day no less, it was some kind of madness. Yet her instincts told her to do it, to quit delaying the inevitable and just go. Growling at herself and startling the poor operator she swiped her chit through the reader then went over to the dais.

"Have a good trip and Merry Christmas," the young man told her cheerily before she felt the tingling of disintegration and reintegration involved in transport. There wasn't anybody present at the Western North American counter at the Oslo Station. Apparently, her region just wasn't that popular to the local populace, at least not on Christmas day.

B'Elanna followed the signs out to the hover car rental area of the station. Once there she showed the tall blonde man behind the counter her ID then swiped it through the reader, finally signing the agreement with a thumbprint on the PADD he presented to her. He looked at her with some amusement.

"You are sure you are familiar with driving over the snow?" He asked.

"I'm sure I can figure it out," B'Elanna answered him tartly, trying not to let the guy get her irritated. The last thing she needed to do was show up on Seven's doorstep irritated. 'What an impression that would make,' she thought.

Keycard in hand she grabbed her bag and headed for the door the young man had told her to exit through. Two steps out the door and she decided that Oslo really wasn't part of the same planet she lived on. The scene around her was blindingly white, snow stacked up higher than her head and she was shivering so badly that her teeth were already chattering. Grumbling to herself about hating snow and cold weather she found her way to her rental.

Tossing her bag into the backseat and setting a brightly wrapped package on the passenger side, she turned to the controls and breathed a sigh of relief that they were absolutely familiar, just like every other hover car she'd ever driven. She input her final destination, the western coast, and the car started its ascent.

"Would you like to take the scenic route through the capital?" the female voice of the computer intoned ever so politely.

"No thanks. Direct Route at the speed limit please. File best flight plan with authorities," B'Elanna answered gruffly, still fiddling with the thermostat in the vehicle, seeing if she could set it to Qonos' levels, oddly enough since she hadn't thought of the heat of Qonos in at least two years.

As the car lifted away from the terminal, she noticed that the mounds of snow were not nearly as high around the better traveled areas of the Station. Apparently the lack of North American traffic made a big difference. During the car's ascent she noted parts of the city as they were falling from her view. She thought that what she could see was beautiful, completely unlike anything else she had seen on Earth. She decided that maybe she would take the scenic route back if there was still daylight when she returned.

The trip took a little over thirty minutes before the car began descending towards a snow capped mountain. As it descended, it slowed and began a slow turn towards an immense modern home set in the middle of the slope at the mouth of a fjord. The house was beautiful she thought, geometrically intriguing with curves in the front of the home and sharp angles banking up in the back. B'Elanna was struck by the amount of clear aluminum that covered the front of the house, obviously affording the occupant spectacular views of the surrounding nature. She looked around and didn't see any other homes for miles, unless the little building situated a few hundred meters away was a home, but she thought it looked more like a barn of some sort.

The computer bleeped at her, requesting she input landing instructions. She directed the craft towards another parked vehicle on the southern side of the home. She had a feeling this wasn't the guest entrance, but she was completely clueless about where else to park, since the rest of the yard appeared a monotonous white to her, not to mention it sloped downhill at some imperceptible rate.

As the car settled in and she turned it off, she realized there was no turning back now. Well sure, she could, technically make a break for it. She hadn't gotten out of the car after all, but it would look mighty suspicious if she just turned the thing back on and high tailed it away. Hell, she'd alert the authorities if it was her house and some stranger did that.

"biHnuch" she grumbled at herself. Grabbing the gift she brought for Seven she exited the car and she left to find her way around to the front of the house.

She discovered a set of stairs that wound around a curved wall, and followed slowly, just examining the landscape. She would have never expected a home like this, but then again, she had no idea what it was she really expected anyway. Long ago, before they had ever returned to the Alpha Quadrant, she had realized that this woman, Seven of Nine, was never as anyone expected.

B'Elanna found herself standing at the woman's door feeling a bit intimidated. Now she had a lot of doubts. Looking in through the door, she figured she wasn't spying; the door was transparent after all. There appeared to be a long room under a loft, where B'Elanna could just make out an old fashioned grand piano. At the keyboard she could just make out a young woman with flowing blonde hair and a brilliant royal purple blouse playing passionately. The hybrid wondered how the music must sound, since the woman was pouring over the keyboard with obvious fervor. The engineer stood there dumbly as she finally realized that the stunning woman she saw sitting at the piano was Seven.

After another long moment of agonizing fear and doubt, B'Elanna finally reached out and pressed the button for the chime. She sucked in a breath and tried to appear less nervous as she saw the woman stiffen and turn to face her. The former Borg stiffened, sitting up ramrod straight and stared at the door for a moment.

It took Seven 4.7seconds to register that B'Elanna Torres really was standing at her door, and another 2.8 seconds to tell her body to respond, to go answer the door. She found it curious that suddenly her heart rate had increased by 5.89%, more than it had the last time she went on her morning jog. As she walked over to the door she noted somewhat breathlessly that B'Elanna had only improved in beauty since leaving Voyager. She did not believe there had ever been such a beautiful sight at her home, than B'Elanna standing there in the afternoon sun, framed by the winter landscape.

Finally standing at the door, she activated the lock, and the door slid out from in between them. Seven, finding difficulty in speaking finally had to settle for old habits, or else she wouldn't have been able to speak at all.

"B'Elanna Torres?" She asked. "May I… help you?"

B'Elanna didn't know what to make of the blonde. Harry had once told she was a lot more relaxed, but Seven seemed the same to her all of the sudden. She was wondering at the dichotomy of the woman standing in front of her versus the woman she just watched on the piano, plus Harry's description. She wondered if maybe she just brought out the Borg in Seven, and if so, why? A chill wind blew over the smaller woman and she shivered in response.

The blonde suddenly realized that she had not invited the woman in and she shook her head as if to break out of a daze, a maneuver not entirely lost on B'Elanna. "I am sorry, please come in," Seven spoke more warmly and stepped out of the door gesturing B'Elanna inside. "May I get your coat?"

The sudden domestic touches threw B'Elanna, and then she almost laughed at herself. Everything was throwing her off balance about this whole thing ever since Harry came to her house a week ago. She thought she should be adjusted to the feeling by now.

B'Elanna stepped into the open area at the entrance and took off her coat and removed her shoes while shifting the package she held from hand to hand. The blonde turned around and paced a few steps to the side, storing B'Elanna's coat in a well concealed closet. B'Elanna was struck by how warm and cozy the space was and how the sun seemed to sparkle in the room. She wondered if it was some optical effect built into the architecture, and she made a brief survey of the structure, trying to guess at its construction.

Seven gestured for B'Elanna to follow her and they walked towards a sitting room situated further in to the house. "Please, have a seat. Would you like a drink?"

B'Elanna sat down on a comfortable looking couch and shook her head no. The former Borg took up a seat opposite her in a deep and cozy looking arm chair. Something about the way the woman sat made B'Elanna think that Seven usually sat differently in that chair; if she were to bet, she would say Seven normally tucked her long legs up under her when she sat there. Putting that thought aside B'Elanna leaned over and handed Seven the gift she had brought.

"I, um. Well," B'Elanna hesitated. "Merry Christmas."

Seven looked at B'Elanna with such unadulterated joy and smiled radiantly. B'Elanna felt her twin hearts seem to skip a beat and flutter in her chest at the sight. "Thank you B'Elanna." Seven spoke softly.

"Open it," B'Elanna prompted.

Seven had no idea what was going on but she had learned well in the last decade of freedom from the Borg and forced integration into her human society to take what joys came as she could. So with an innocent glee she opened up the box. She found a tall domed cylinder. There was a small panel on one side and a place where you could obviously load data crystals. She turned the device in her hands, trying to guess its purpose, finally choosing to look at B'Elanna in hope of an explanation.

"It's a holographic astrometric projector. You can use it in a dark room to see different spatial bodies projected all around you," B'Elanna told the blonde. Suddenly feeling shy she finished. "I, uh, loaded all the astrometric charts we ever accumulated on Voyager, plus all of the Alpha Quadrant's mapped areas for you." She felt herself beginning to blush, but didn't know why. "I wasn't quite sure what you might have, or might need. So I just put together something I hoped you might like instead. I know, it's frivolous, but,"

"It is perfect," Seven whispered, interrupting her, looking down at the gift with a wondering smile on her face. She looked back up at B'Elanna and smiled fully at the Hybrid.

'Perfect,' B'Elanna thought as she stared back at the blonde, feeling overcome by a smile herself.


Part 4

B'Elanna followed the tall blonde through the woman's home, trying not to look like she was snooping as she peaked into each room that they passed. The house was tremendous, and the hybrid really wished that she could see a bit more of it a little more slowly, but Seven's pace was, as usual, rapid. B'Elanna had always thought it was because the woman was so tall, but today she found out that Seven was not even ten centimeters taller than her; if she had to guess she'd say about eight centimeters taller in fact. The younger woman had on flat soled shoes and B'Elanna didn't even have to crane her neck to look her in the eye like she used to.

They passed another open door where B'Elanna spotted benches and several consoles. Strewn about on the benches were many pieces of electronics in various states of array. The naturally curious engineer groaned inside as they rapidly moved past. She reminded herself that it was rude to snoop and maybe Seven didn't want to share her projects. The blonde would share what she wanted and B'Elanna was determined not to push for anything else.

At last they turned into a room at the end of the corridor they had been traveling and Seven called for lights. It was a simple room, with a modicum of furniture. Off to one side there was a long narrow futon flush against the wall; on the opposite wall there was a door. Set into the same wall was a view screen and console, yet they were tastefully designed and colored in order to flow with their surroundings. There were no windows to be seen. Finally she noticed a simple low table in the middle of the room. Upon it sat a Vulcan meditation lamp and beside it was a well worn pillow upon the floor.

Seven approached the low table and shifted the meditation lamp to one side of the table and centered the projector B'Elanna had given her on the table. As the blonde examined the controls a bit, B'Elanna looked about some more, finally noticing smaller details of the room. The odd looking art work next to the futon struck her and she turned fully towards it, examining it intently. The blonde behind her called for the lights to be lowered and turned on the projector. B'Elanna was about to turn around and face her host again when it struck her that part of the 'art' was glowing green.

'An alcove,' B'Elanna thought. 'She modified an alcove so that it was less obtrusive.'

"This was one of my favorite areas that we passed through," Seven said softly as she looked around at the projected stars. Seven pointed at the rear wall. "I had asked the Captain if we could stop so that I could better study that binary system, but she would not."

B'Elanna examined the two stars twinkling brightly, shifting through color phases. It really was a very good projector. If she hadn't known better she might've been able to believe she was viewing a star-field from her old quarters on Voyager. When she had this thought something else clicked in her head and she unconsciously turned to the 'hidden' alcove next to the futon.

'This is her bedroom,' B'Elanna thought nervously. 'She brought me back to her bedroom?'

Abruptly the lights were raised. The hybrid blinked and turned back to the blonde. Seven was studying her quietly and B'Elanna felt a little guilty for her inspection of the room. Then she felt a little irritated at herself for that guilt; Seven did bring her here after all.

"You still have to regenerate?" B'Elanna asked as casually as possible. Seven flinched ever so slightly. "I mean, that is an alcove isn't it? I think the new design is great." B'Elanna finished off softly.

"Only you would be able to recognize the Borg technology so easily B'Elanna Torres," Seven replied quietly, staring at the alcove.

'Back to my full name eh? I'm surprised I didn't get Lieutenant too,' B'Elanna thought. 'Nice going Torres, remind her about that which separates her, why don't you?'

"Honestly, I wouldn't have noticed if the lights hadn't been brought down," B'Elanna replied lightly. Seven had her arms crossed in front of her, but other than that her stance was similar to the way that used to grate B'Elanna's nerves. B'Elanna suddenly realized that this was that same stance only modified. Then it clicked in her head that maybe Seven was feeling uncomfortable. Putting those two thoughts together she wondered if all those times over the years they had worked together on Voyager if that stance was just a defense mechanism, not the arrogance that B'Elanna had always assumed. The last thing she wanted to do was make Seven uncomfortable so she grasped for an idea.

"Hey, I could've sworn I saw a lab hidden away nearby," B'Elanna said lightly. "Want to show me what kind of trouble you cook up for yourself out here?"

Seven seemed to relax somewhat and nodded, then led B'Elanna out of the room. The blonde showed B'Elanna her lab and some of the various projects she had been working on. They compared notes on technologies they had been working on in their respective jobs. Some of their respective tasks actually overlapped, but mostly their jobs were very distinct. B'Elanna was amazed at some of the technology that Seven had been allowed to bring home. When she commented on one particular item the blonde shyly admitted that it did not belong to the Institute, that it was her own invention; it had not come out of any research that was being conducted at Daystrom at all.

As B'Elanna was examining that tool, Seven was examining B'Elanna. She had barely caught her breath in the time that B'Elanna was here. Her Borg senses told her that B'Elanna had only been in her home for 42 minutes but it seemed like much longer. She still didn't know what possessed the hybrid to visit her and she was hesitant to ask. Yet after eight years, B'Elanna had never before contacted her. What was different now?

Despite all of her years on Earth, she still believed the best way to get information was to ask directly. The only difference was now she knew how to subtly control her voice and mannerisms some of the time.

"B'Elanna," she began gently. "Not that I am complaining, however, I wish to know, what brought you here today?"

B'Elanna sighed. She had been expecting this to eventually come about, but she still hadn't decided what to say. To be honest, she didn't really understand it herself.

"Honestly, Seven I don't know why I never kept in touch," B'Elanna started tentatively. "But when Harry told me that you'd be alone this Christmas, I decided to take a chance that you wouldn't mind some company." Seven tilted her head, obviously expecting more. "I mean… well, nobody should be alone on Christmas. You know?" B'Elanna stopped because she felt like she was messing everything up.

'Did she come here out of pity?' Seven wondered. Yet, a part of her didn't care, even if that were true, which she doubted it was. She was quite happy to spend some quality time with the woman. After all she had missed her so much for so long and she truly had believed she would never see her again.

"I usually go up to Bergen on Christmas day so I don't feel so alone," Seven admitted while looking at and touching a tool that B'Elanna had recently examined and lay back down.

"Oh," B'Elanna said quietly. She wondered if maybe now Seven would tell her that she had plans. She could imagine the long cold trek back to Oslo and then coming home. Suddenly being alone back in her house in San Francisco seemed like the most depressing thing she could think of and she wondered why she felt so rejected. "Maybe it's also because I didn't want to be alone." She nearly whispered. She wouldn't look up at Seven but she could feel her eyes upon her. "You always sent such perfect presents, like you knew exactly how I felt. Maybe I thought, well" she hesitated "maybe I thought you did understand how I feel. That you've been through some of the same stuff as I have and you knew…" She trailed off.

Seven couldn't believe this was happening. It made her slightly nervous, but her aunt had always told her to never slap a hand that was extended to her. "Would you like to go to Bergen with me B'Elanna?" she asked softly.

B'Elanna looked up and smiled. "I'd like that."

Seven felt her heart seemingly skip a beat when B'Elanna smiled at her. She found herself speaking without thinking. "I think it will be very nice to spend Christmas with some I l… care about," Seven caught her slip as quickly as possible but was quite sure it wasn't quick enough from the look on B'Elanna's face. She used a tactic she had learned from other humans in the last eight years… distraction. Appearing to look the smaller woman over critically, she spoke quickly. "I think I have some warmer clothes that might fit you. Come with me and see what you think."

Seven turned and left hoping B'Elanna would follow. She did, but it was with a very speculative look on her face.


Part 5

After a long afternoon walking through the old city then walking along the waterfront watching the sunset they found their way back to Seven's hover-car. Seven deftly drove through the city pointing out things they had not seen as they left the area. B'Elanna was a little amazed at how much there was to see and by the fact that they seemingly hadn't even scratched the surface. She knew she'd have a bit of fun juggling the packages she had acquired on the way back home. She had bought so many little things as they had explored. She had found so many things that she knew Miral would like, or that she thought would go well with her furniture or whatever.

It didn't make sense since she wasn't normally a shopper, but she had a lot of fun today doing just that. Seven had only smiled indulgently every time she stopped and announced she just 'had' to buy the next thing. The blonde would always offer to hold the other packages B'Elanna had already acquired and rarely gave back more than one or two things for B'Elanna to carry. By that evening they had already made one trip back to the car to drop stuff off and still the blonde was carrying several large bags and B'Elanna had two bags herself when they returned to the car to leave.

When they pulled into Seven's drive and parked the blonde suggested that maybe it would be more efficient to simply to allow her to ship the items. B'Elanna wasn't entirely sure but Seven convinced her finally that it made no logical sense to try to carry all of it. B'Elanna helped her lug all the bags into the blonde's home and followed Seven into what she presumed was an office.

She just couldn't get used to all the space in the house. It seemed like such a big place for only one person. As they set the stuff down, B'Elanna dug around until she found one particular item that she had bought to give Miral as soon as she saw her next. Seven raised an eyebrow in inquiry.

"Hey, she's eight," she replied with a laugh. "I can't go on a trip and come back empty handed!"

As they returned to the front room B'Elanna's stomach chose that moment to rumble exceedingly loudly. They had only snacked as they were out exploring as all the nice restaurants, in Seven's opinion, were already crowded. Seven turned towards the diminutive woman and smirked.

"Would you like for me to cook dinner now?" Seven asked lightly.

B'Elanna immediately felt bad, because she didn't want the blonde to go out of her way for her. She knew she had just shown up unexpectedly and now Seven was offering to cook her dinner.

"Oh, no, Seven," she said lightly then noticed Seven become slightly crestfallen. "I mean you shouldn't go out of your way for me. I am an uninvited guest after all. I can just replicate something simple, you know?"

"B'Elanna," Seven spoke softly but seriously. "You may have come here unexpectedly, but you were always welcome. As for dinner, I may not consume much, but I do have to eat more regularly than I did when I was on Voyager. I will have to eat whether you do or not. Besides, I like to cook and it is often depressing to cook for one." Seven smiled at B'Elanna winningly. "Please, indulge me."

"Okay, if you put it that way," B'Elanna replied with a shy smile.

"Excellent," Seven exclaimed. "You may choose the wine," she told her companion then, to B'Elanna's amazement she winked and walked off.

"Okay," B'Elanna replied. Besides, how hard could that be?

Forty minutes later she was trying to find her way out of the maze that was Seven's inherited wine cellar. She had never in her life seen so many bottles of alcohol in the same place. There were casks stacked in rows in one section and racks of differing regions and planets in rows and vintages dating back over a hundred years. The hybrid figured the wine and champagne in the cellar alone was worth more than the home.

Finally, she managed to find the door she had come in originally and made her way back up the stairs and into the kitchen. The blonde turned and looked at her and B'Elanna could tell she was holding back a laugh. B'Elanna looked down at the four bottles she held and resisted an impulse to shrug, knowing it would only displace one of the bottles.

"Well, I wasn't sure what you were cooking so I didn't know what would be the best," she said semi-defensively then mumbled as she set the bottles down on a nearby counter "and I didn't want to go back down and get lost again." She was sure she heard a snicker after that, but when she looked back over at the blonde she was the picture of innocence, except for maybe a twinkle in her eye.

Dinner was served not too long after that and they ate in companionable silence. The only real conversation was B'Elanna's occasional groans and need to compliment Seven's cooking repeatedly. After they were done B'Elanna insisted on clearing the table and taking everything back to the kitchen. She recycled everything, but had no idea where the dishes went and finally resorted to just opening cabinets until she found the right places. When she was done she turned back towards the door, only to find Seven leaning on the doorframe staring at her with a small smile on her face. B'Elanna raised her eyebrow in imitation of the blonde's inquiring look.

"It was taking so long, I was worried you had gotten lost in the kitchen also," Seven said lightheartedly.

"Well I do tend to get lost in the kitchen even in my own house," B'Elanna replied unabashedly.

"Ah," Seven rejoined blithely. "That explains a lot." Then she turned and left the way she came.

"Hey," B'Elanna exclaimed then, grabbing another bottle of wine first, followed the blonde out into the main room where they had sat early in the day when B'Elanna had first arrived.

B'Elanna watched as Seven lightly kicked off her house shoes and folded herself into her chair. 'I knew it!' she crowed internally. She sat down on the couch with her legs crossed facing the blonde. They continued the light conversation they had been having in the car on the way home about people they had seen from Voyager and caught up on some light gossip as if they were old friends. The first bottle of wine was empty within minutes, as they had drank several glasses with dinner, so B'Elanna set to opening the second, only then realizing she'd left the corkscrew in the kitchen.

Seven leaned across the table in between them, indicating B'Elanna should hand the bottle to her and used her Borg enhanced hand to pull out the cork. B'Elanna didn't see how she did it and when Seven began pouring the smaller woman another glass she remarked casually "it does come in handy for some things."

B'Elanna asked about Seven's ability to consume the wine. As she remembered Seven would become so drunk so easily on Voyager that she never attempted drinking more than twice. The blonde explained she had gotten a simple adjustment made to her cortical node and abdominal implant which gave her the ability to ingest alcohol normally. In fact she had the tolerance of an average Klingon male.

A lull in the conversation ensued as the two women sipped on the new wine. After a minute or two B'Elanna got up the courage to ask something she'd been wondering about all day, but was too shy to ask.

"So, can I ask you something personal?" B'Elanna started.

"You may ask," Seven replied, "if I may do the same at some point."

"Okay. Well, what I was wondering was, were there any other men after Chakotay?" B'Elanna questioned.


"That's it? Just no?" she asked unbelievingly.


"Why?" B'Elanna pressed.

"I have no more interest in men," Seven answer succinctly. She believed it said it all, but she could tell by the look of consternation on B'Elanna's face that it did not. So she waited.

"So you haven't seen anyone since leaving Voyager?" B'Elanna asked with a stunned look on her face. 'How can this beautiful woman be so alone?' she wondered.

"I didn't say that," Seven replied. "I only said I had no more interest in men."

At first B'Elanna looked baffled then quickly she blushed. "Oh. I get it."

They sipped their wine quietly again for a while. Seven studied the stars through the front wall which curved into the roof at this point in the house. She had always thought that if she couldn't be on a starship this was nearly as nice. She waited to see if B'Elanna would ask any more. She suspected she would, because everybody else from Voyager asked these same things. At first it was annoying, and then it was almost tedious. Lately she found herself more amused by it than anything else.

"So, was there someone else on Voyager that most of us didn't know about?" B'Elanna finally got up the courage to ask.

Mentally Seven gave B'Elanna applause for being more direct than almost anybody else who'd tried to broach this very subject. "There was somebody I thought I was in love with, but it was only a delusion. I don't think you will be shocked to find out how I loved Kathryn Janeway. However, she did not love me. Yes, she led me on for a while, but quickly tired of me. I was a constant project, somebody to improve and control. After a while I stopped submitting to her suggestions and she could not abide by it. I found out then I would never be an equal in her world. Once we returned I was quickly brushed aside. I had been trying to date Chakotay, to do the 'normal' thing and he just as quickly 'dumped' me."

"Jeez Seven I'm sorry," B'Elanna said softly. She watched as the blonde downed the rest of her glass of wine and poured herself another. The smaller woman took note of the fact that the bottle was already half drained and she was just finishing her first glass.

"I 'got over it' as they say. My aunt was appalled of course. However I really took little stock in her opinions of Janeway. She had not experienced all I had. Beyond that, I am still grateful for that woman's stubbornness and impulsiveness. Were it not for those traits I would still be a drone," Seven finished and lifted her glass in an odd little gesture.

B'Elanna didn't have anything to say to that. She didn't doubt that Seven had had plenty of time to work this out and probably had the healthiest attitude she had ever seen by somebody dumped so poorly. Her own opinion of Janeway dropped a few more notches though.

"And you B'Elanna? Was there nobody after Tom?" Seven asked but wasn't sure she really wanted to know. She knew she would be jealous of anybody who had ever been allowed the closeness she craved, yearned for so badly. However alcohol always loosened her up and made her speak more freely.

"Nope," B'Elanna said then sighed. "I don't think anybody is interested in a temperamental grease monkey of mixed heritage with a child for 'baggage'. I just stay blissfully ignorant of the dating scene and have pretty much written off love."

"That is practically a crime," Seven couldn't stop herself from muttering. B'Elanna just looked at her fuzzily.

"Well did you try anymore after all that?" B'Elanna asked half defensively.

"Yes, I did," Seven answered firmly. "Yet each woman could not accept me for who I was or understand my lost past. They didn't understand that Voyager was practically my entire free life and held almost all my memories. One of them was very… angry at the end and took great pains to explain to me that it wasn't only Voyager I missed. That I had loved somebody there and it wasn't who I thought. After that I stopped dating altogether."

"Oh," B'Elanna said with a look of shock. "Anybody I know?"

"You didn't know everybody on Voyager?" Seven asked evading the question. "I would've thought seven years long enough for you to meet less than 200 people in a closed environment."

"Ha ha" B'Elanna responded sarcastically about to press but Seven continued.

"However I regularly had to point out all the flaws in your engineering plans, so perhaps I can see this being a problem too."

B'Elanna looked at Seven confused. It sounded a bit like the old Seven. The superior tones, the condescension and she couldn't believe it but she actually felt a little irritated by it. They had interacted so well all day, so what was happening?

"I believe the phrase is 'Lighten up' B'Elanna," Seven told her. "I am joking with you."

B'Elanna sighed in relief. Things had been going so well and she was enjoying it. She could even believe they could become good friends, if she could just get a handle on Seven's dry humor.

"I would love to show you some of the research I am conducting on trans-warp technology, if you think you can understand past the wine you have consumed. I know this may be a challenge…" Seven said and raised her eyebrow cockily.

B'Elanna just made a face at her. "I'm sure I can handle anything you throw at me… Borg."

"We shall see Klingon" Seven replied and unfolded her long frame from her chair. She held her hand out to help the hybrid up from the couch, savoring the moment or so she held it, but letting go before she enjoyed it too much or it was obvious.

B'Elanna noticed the old fashioned clock they were passing in the hall and stopped. "Wow, is it that late?" she asked Seven seriously. "I might have to pass. I haven't even arranged for a hotel room, and if I can't find one here I'll probably just head back to Oslo then home."

"B'Elanna," Seven faced the smaller woman and put her hand on B'Elanna's shoulder, "you are more than welcome to stay here. I have more rooms than ever get used and to be honest, I would love to spend more time with you… if you are willing."

B'Elanna smiled. "Okay, as long as I'm not any trouble."

Seven looked back and forth. "Do I look overcrowded or ill-prepared?" She asked with her eyebrow high.

B'Elanna just snickered and waived her on. Seven smiled and bravely put her hand on B'Elanna's back as they walked down the hall more leisurely this time, pointing at pictures she had hung here and there, most of which were of her times on Voyager. B'Elanna carried the wine bottle in one hand and her glass in another. When Seven stopped to point at a picture taken on one of the many shore leave planets they had stopped at along the way she removed her hand but her arm almost encircled B'Elanna's shoulders.

B'Elanna thought it curious that she found herself leaning back into Seven's heat and even more curious how suddenly tactile Seven had become. She wrote it off to the alcohol however and just enjoyed it. It wasn't like she had a lot of people touching her anyway, so a little tactile stimulation from somebody trusted was not a bad thing.

After they made it into Seven's lab they really dug in to Seven's research. It wasn't long before they needed another bottle of wine. Not long after that they were having their first heated discussion bordering on argument. As B'Elanna began to, loudly, explain why she believed a certain theory of Seven's wouldn't work she looked up to see Seven staring at her and smiling.

"What?" she shouted.

"You," Seven replied calmly, still smiling. "I always admired your passion."

B'Elanna took a deep breath trying to understand. As she did she realized she hadn't felt this stimulated by a conversation in years. "You know," she said, "I never realized how much I missed debating with you. Maybe you should come and work out there with me at Starfleet."

"Or maybe you should come to where the real research is at Daystrom," Seven said with a smirk.

"Hey!" B'Elanna started to respond then laughed as she realized she was being goaded. "Okay, I give. I've had one too many of these" she held up her glass,"and according to your clock over there it is nearly 5 am and I think maybe I should be tired but I can't do the math on the time conversions so that should be an answer in itself… wouldn't you think?"

"Yes B'Elanna," Seven answered lightly. "I shall take you to your room. Afterwards I will go record in my log that I actually held up better drinking tonight than you did and my life will be complete."

"Oh hush."

Seven led B'Elanna to a room down the hall in much the same manner as the trip to the lab. B'Elanna wasn't about to complain because she had begun to anticipate and enjoy Seven's little touches. The blonde showed her where everything was in the room and wished her a good night, finally leaving her alone in the room. B'Elanna took one look around and simply stripped, used the facilities then passed out on the big fluffy bed.

As she walked down the hall towards her own room Seven smiled, speaking to herself. "You may not have realized how much you missed me, but I've long realized how much I miss you."


Part 6

B'Elanna awoke naked in a strange bed. She looked around to a room awash in winter sunlight streaming in from a large window and a well placed skylight. Stretching her muscles she recalled where she was and how she had ended up there. She looked around the room she had hardly examined the night before and wondered what, if anything, held Seven's decorating touch in this room. Finding she couldn't guess and deciding to get up and start her day she strode across the room into the facilities.

After getting dressed, she left her room, nearly stumbling over a pair of house slippers left in front of her door. She had simply walked around in her socks the night before, so she knew Seven must have left these for her. The implication was fairly clear that she was to make herself comfortable, so she tried on the shoes, finding them to be a good fit not to mention quite soft and warm.

Making her way down the hallway she passed the clock, seeing that most of the morning had already passed as she slept. She set off to find Seven and see what the blonde was up to for the day. B'Elanna did not have to go home right away. Miral wasn't due back for another few days, but she did not plan to stay too much longer. Surely Seven had better things to do than entertain a bored engineer, old crewmate or not. Not finding Seven in any of the first few places that she looked she continued back to the kitchen.

Seven was reclined in another well worn looking chair in a sitting area right past the main part of the kitchen. It appeared to be part sunroom, part casual dining area and it afforded another spectacular view from a different angle of the house. B'Elanna hadn't noticed the space last night but was not too terribly surprised; she knew she had not seen most of the home.

The blonde was quietly playing a guitar and singing. She had not seemed to notice B'Elanna's entry. B'Elanna had no idea what the tune was, and honestly the blonde was singing very softly, but the melody was haunting. Deciding not to be rude, she cleared her throat lightly as she approached. The blonde looked up, silencing herself and her hands moved away from the strings.

"Good morning, B'Elanna," Seven said with a small smile. She nodded to a small breakfast table near the window. "There is breakfast under stasis if you are hungry."

B'Elanna blinked at the stasis containers on the table, noticing a plate and a carafe, with silverware and a cup neatly laid out and ready. "Wow, thanks. You didn't have to cook for me again you know." B'Elanna smiled at Seven. "But, then I'm not complaining. In fact I think I'm becoming spoiled. Want to move to San Francisco?" She joked.

Seven raised both eyebrows at that question and B'Elanna felt herself begin to blush. She had no idea what made her say such a thing, so she decided to move on and sit down. "You didn't have to stop playing on my account Seven. I couldn't really hear you, but what I did hear was lovely."

"Thank you, B'Elanna," Seven answered, blushing lightly herself. She was still a little rattled from B'Elanna's innocent question. She knew that B'Elanna had no idea how much Seven really would love to be much closer to her, but it was not like her heart didn't stop running off with that thought anyway. She watched as B'Elanna settled at the table, pouring herself a cup of Raktajino.

"Wow, fresh Raktajino? See? You're spoiling me," B'Elanna said after her first sip. It wasn't until she pulled the lid off the stasis plate that she really beamed though. Seven smiled widely at the sight and felt a little of the years of ice melt off her heart. "Banana pancakes?" B'Elanna asked wonderingly.

"I am not sure if I make them as well as you will like, however, I remembered seeing you eat that meal upon quite a few mornings in the mess hall," Seven finally answered after much difficulty. She found it really was difficult to speak when B'Elanna looked at her like that.

The hybrid rubbed her hands together then grabbed her silverware with theatrical flair then dug in with obvious delight. B'Elanna looked up after her first bite with a look of such pure, unadulterated enjoyment that Seven found herself in some serious envy of the fork and shook her head slightly to clear some very libidinous thoughts from her brain. The younger woman distracted herself by storing her pick in the strings at the headstock of her guitar and rising to store the guitar.

"Oh god, this is so good," B'Elanna stated after swallowing. "Seven, please, don't put that away on my account." She nodded to indicate the guitar. "Please, play; act like I'm not here." She tried to persuade the blonde.

"I could never act as if you were not around me B'Elanna," Seven said with a mysterious smile. "And I… I am shy at first about singing, B'Elanna. Please forgive me; perhaps another time."

B'Elanna didn't know why she felt so suddenly disappointed, but she did. "How about just the guitar then?" she cajoled.

Seven looked up at her and found she would not be able to resist such a look from B'Elanna. She had a feeling that she was actually in danger of becoming what Harry called a pushover… again. "Very well," Seven said softly. "If you insist."

B'Elanna beamed and dug back into her breakfast. It was an oddly perfect moment for both women, though neither would know how to talk about it, even if they dared. B'Elanna listened intently to the blonde's obvious talent and passion while indulging in what she considered the best pancakes she had eaten since her father's mother had died many years ago. She watched the blonde closely and found herself extremely moved by the piece, despite it being completely unfamiliar to her. If she wasn't imagining things though, it was slightly reminiscent of something she would have heard in her grandmother's home.

Seven in the meantime concentrated on the sounds and vibrations, playing a romantic piece to the hybrid, from B'Elanna's own heritage. She consoled herself with the knowledge that it was apparent that only she knew the words to the song, and she heard the words ringing in her head as if she were singing them. She played every note as if it would draw B'Elanna into her heart, and wished she had the courage to voice them aloud. By the time she had finished the song, and then started another, she felt B'Elanna's eyes boring into her so she looked up to see B'Elanna had finished the food on her plate and was sipping her drink. The small woman smiled warmly when their eyes met.

Apparently B'Elanna knew the second song, because, much to Seven's surprise she began to sing softly. The Spanish love song was too beautiful for words as B'Elanna sang it. It was not that she had a trained or even particularly strong voice, but Seven heard her through the ears of a lover. She was biased to think the simple existence of that voice raised in song in her house was one of the best things she had ever heard in the house to date.

"I thought I recognized that," B'Elanna remarked as the impromptu duet ended. "My grandmamma had that singer's music playing in her home often."

"I," Seven started to answer honestly then stopped herself. It would not do to admit she listened to Spanish music from the last few centuries, and had even loved a few of them enough to learn, only because she knew B'Elanna. "I learned some of this after falling in love with a woman with a Latin American heritage," she finally finished. It was the truth, without admitting too much she decided.

"Lucky woman," B'Elanna mumbled. As she realized how that sounded, she clarified, looking nervously at Seven. "I mean, you must be an amazingly attentive lover. To learn love songs from the woman's heritage is amazing. I don't think anybody's ever sung me a love song in English, let alone Spanish."

"That, is another shame," Seven said quietly. She did stand at this time and put her guitar in a stand nearby. Grabbing her own glass off the table that had been beside her she then sat across the small table from B'Elanna. She looked at B'Elanna seriously over the brim of her cup. "You really must improve the quality of your lovers."

B'Elanna felt her hearts quiver at the look Seven gave her. If she had not known better she would have sworn there was a bit of a flirtatious quality to her statement. Yet, she was sure the blonde was being nothing more than a perfect host. "Ah," she replied belatedly, "well, if you find somebody who fits the bill, be sure and tell me."

"Indeed," Seven replied, trying not to speculate on how to take advantage of that invitation.

"So," B'Elanna changed the subject, "Do you have plans for the day?"

The blonde had already cancelled her plans before the engineer had ever gotten out of bed. She knew that she was probably leading herself to heartache, but she would not begrudge herself of one moment in B'Elanna's presence.

"I do not," Seven answered.

"Want to show me more of Norway then?" B'Elanna asked softly and almost shyly.

"It would be my pleasure."


Part 7

After retrieving her bag from her car and changing B'Elanna had returned to the front room and Seven had handed her a pair of tall, lined, leather boots. The smaller woman had bemusedly donned the boots and looked at Seven questioningly. The blonde's only answer was a smirk and a simple request.

"Please, follow me," the blonde said, lifting a leather rucksack over her shoulder and heading out the door with B'Elanna in tow.

B'Elanna followed Seven across the snow covered yard curiously. Now she trailed after the blonde, having to lift her feet carefully; she now knew part of how Seven kept in such excellent shape. Walking through drifts of snow was not easy, and since she hadn't done this in years, since a planet in the Delta Quadrant in fact, she had quite forgotten the skill and stamina involved.

They were heading to the other building that B'Elanna had seen yesterday. She had been wondering about it, and now it appeared her curiosity was to be satiated. As they arrived at the plain red building Seven stopped before the door and faced B'Elanna with a sly grin. She turned back and input a short code at a pad next to the door and the large door slid open.

It was a barn, just like B'Elanna had imagined. A weak forcefield of some sort obviously kept the warm air in and the snow out of the door, but it only tingled a bit as they walked through. B'Elanna turned and examined the field curiously as the door slid shut behind them.

"It's a modification of a Borg personal shield," Seven stated crisply. "It seemed an efficient way of keeping these guys safe and warm. It takes very little energy as it is only activated when the door is open."

The taller woman gestured for B'Elanna to follow, leading her over to a stall where a tall black horse with a flowing jet black mane was peeking over its stall doors curiously. Seven approached the horse, casually stroking behind its ears and rubbing its cheeks lovingly.

"This is Eirik," she stated warmly. "He is a døle horse, a strong breed of horse that has been used in Norway for hundreds of years. I've raised him since he was a colt, and now he is as arrogant and stubborn as I was when I first stepped off the cube." She looked carefully at B'Elanna as she said this and at the hybrid's shocked look she winked.

B'Elanna had to laugh. She would've never believed any of this had she not seen it. Yet, Seven was as natural within the barn as she had been in engineering or astrometrics on Voyager. She set the rucksack down and led B'Elanna to another stall with another horse, petting this horse in a similar manner as before.

"This is Eir, his mother. I think she will be a good mount for you," Seven told the smaller woman.

B'Elanna examined the large mare. She was not as large as her son but still frighteningly large to the small woman who had very little experience riding horses. The mare was almost as tall as her at the shoulder and had a silver dappled coat. There was a very peaceful look in her big black eyes.

"Eir is an old Norse name that means 'mercy'," Seven said practically in B'Elanna's ear. The smaller woman had not heard her approach she was so intent on examining her 'mount'. "She is twenty years old B'Elanna and she will not let you fall."

B'Elanna looked up a bit shocked. "Am I that transparent?" She asked. Seven merely smiled.

The blonde led the two horses out of their stalls then quickly and easily readied them for a ride. She led Eir over to B'Elanna and handed the smaller woman the reigns to the horse. B'Elanna looked at the horse again in doubt.

"You said you wanted to see Norway," Seven said softly to her. "Let me show you what I see, B'Elanna. Please?"

B'Elanna looked at the blonde and saw only innocent intent. "Okay, but you have to help me get up there," B'Elanna finally replied jokingly. She didn't expect it when Seven walked behind her and grabbed her at the waist and lifted her up.

"You'll have to raise your leg over the saddle," Seven stated to the stupefied woman.

'Kahless but she is strong,' B'Elanna thought as she hurried to do as suggested and found herself comfortably ensconced atop the mare. "Uh, thanks," she finally told the blonde when she saw Seven still looking at her curiously.

The blonde nodded and walked over to the stallion. B'Elanna watched her gracefully mount the jet black horse and thought she looked beautiful. He had a thick black coat, a flowing black mane and thick black fur around his forelegs, and she thought he was the perfect contrast to Seven's pale beauty and flowing blonde hair. Seven turned back to examine B'Elanna one last time then led the way out of the barn and back into the cold snow.

The day was bright and sunny and B'Elanna quickly relaxed at the activity. Eir certainly seemed to take care of herself, simply striding up beside Eirik, keeping pace with Seven and her horse. As they rode down a meandering trail through the hills, Seven told her about the local geography and the legends that accompanied it. Halfway down to the fjord she inquired gently of B'Elanna to tell her more about Miral.

No mother can resist telling tales of their offspring and Seven seemed to hang on every word that fell from B'Elanna's mouth. B'Elanna found herself enchanted by Seven's laughter whenever she would tell a story where Miral did something rambunctious. She realized Seven genuinely wanted to hear about her life and felt infinitely flattered by the attention. The blonde never let any silences last for long, always providing another question or comment at the right time, and it was a very pleasant ride down.

Once they made it to the fjord B'Elanna saw the beauty that Seven had wanted to show her. There were snow banks piled on frozen sections of water, there was water moving freely not very far beyond that and the afternoon sun reflecting off of the water looked like sparkling jewels. Seven led them over to a rocky clearing and dismounted. She walked over to B'Elanna.

"Flip your leg over the saddle facing me," she instructed.

"Hey, it's okay I can attempt this," B'Elanna said embarrassed.

"I got you up there," Seven responded, "I will get you down. Besides, I do not want you to fall. It is slippery here and I am quite sure you are not accustomed to ice under snow."

B'Elanna ruefully admitted to herself that this was true and allowed the blonde to lift her off of the horse and set her on the ground. The blonde caught her hands as she let go of her waist and looked her in the eyes, smiling gently at her. She did not let go of one of her hands and B'Elanna was confused at first. Then she took a step and felt how slippery it was under the snow and saw the practicality in the gesture. She shook her head at herself, realizing that she continually read too much into Seven's gestures, ever since she found out Seven preferred women. She felt a little odd knowing that she was almost a bit disappointed that it was not flirtation, but simply Seven's genuine kindness.

Seven, on the other hand was secretly thrilled that she had a perfect excuse to hold B'Elanna's hand. Reveling in the heat of B'Elanna's naturally higher body temperature, she committed the feeling to memory, letting her cortical node record every nanosecond as if it were the most important phenomena she had ever experienced. She led the Klingon hybrid up to a rock table that she often came and sat upon to reflect. She regretfully let go of the engineers hand to take a large water resistant blanket out of her rucksack. It was similar to the design that Starfleet used in their away mission packs in that it was incredibly warm if needed. She laid it down over the rock and led B'Elanna onto it, then sat down indicating B'Elanna should do the same. She began pulling assorted finger foods out of the rucksack and laid them out in between the two of them.

"Lunch?" she asked the brunette.

B'Elanna looked at the sun in the sky and looked back at Seven. "Isn't it closer to dinner?"

"Maybe, but you have only had breakfast," Seven started. "And I would never call this a dinner. I will serve you a real meal when we return home."

'Home,' B'Elanna thought. Having somebody take care of her like this could be so easy. However that was not what the blonde was offering. She was offering B'Elanna a couple of meals and a place to stay, and no matter how nice it was she couldn't let herself get used to it. Besides even if she were trying to develop something, B'Elanna liked to think she could offer the same level of care in return; just not as well in the kitchen.

"Okay, lunch it is," B'Elanna smiled as she replied.

They ate their lunch at a leisurely rate and Seven pointed out things about the history of Norway and the surrounding region. Then she told the engineer about her own family's ties to the area. Apparently she was purely Norwegian, her ancestry easy to trace for hundreds of years. The family had owned land in this valley since at least the late 1800s and her aunt had built the house Seven lived in before the blonde was ever born. The barn was a more recent addition, dating back only 30 years to when her aunt had decided she would never be entirely dependant on technology, just in case her hover car ever died she didn't want to have to call for a transport. She wanted to be able to get out on her own.

B'Elanna asked a few questions and laughed as Seven told her a few tales about her eccentric aunt. The only time things got a little awkward was when she told B'Elanna about how angry her aunt was with most of Voyager's crew for their treatment of Seven. Then Seven told her how her aunt herself had fallen into the same patterns of trying to change the 'Borg' in Seven. It was the first time that B'Elanna remembered Seven looking sad since she had been there.

Finally the blonde told B'Elanna that they should head back before it was too late. She helped B'Elanna up and stored away the remaining food and the blanket into her rucksack. The younger woman offered her hand to B'Elanna, who eagerly took it with a small smile on her face. Both women wondered at their own motivations, feeling sure that the other could not be enjoying the touch as much as they were.

When they approached their horses Seven went to place her hands on B'Elanna's waist and the smaller woman laughed. Seven stopped and looked at her curiously. When it was obvious B'Elanna would not volunteer what was funny on her own, she simply asked.

"I was just thinking that you're making me feel like a princess or something," B'Elanna said sheepishly, a blush upon her face.

"Ah," Seven replied then lightly joked. "Well, you cannot be the princess. After all, I am the 'Ice Princess.'" Seven saw that her joke actually upset B'Elanna, so she continued just as lightheartedly. "I would rather you be the Queen." She cupped B'Elanna's face in the palm of one hand.

"Seven," B'Elanna began, not knowing how to apologize for the cruel nickname she had given to the young woman years ago.

Seven placed a finger upon B'Elanna's lips to stop her. "Don't B'Elanna. I need no apologies from you. The past is in the past. Let us just say we both did some things we are not happy about and continue having a nice day. Acceptable?"

B'Elanna swallowed down the lump in her throat and simply nodded. Seven replaced her hands on the smaller woman's hips and lifted her up upon the horse with B'Elanna cooperating this time; however as soon as she started to turn away B'Elanna stopped her.

"Uh, Seven?" B'Elanna called for the blonde. "Hey. Stop that girl," she told the horse. "Seven, my horse is dancing, well limping or something. Why is Eir dancing?" She continued to fight with the reigns to try to keep the horse still but she was getting nervous and the horse felt it and got even more agitated.

Seven placed her left hand on the animals shoulder and tried to calm her. She frowned and turned to B'Elanna, holding her arms up again. "I believe it best if you dismount presently. She appears to be in distress," Seven told B'Elanna.

As Seven was lifting B'Elanna back down to the ground, Eir took a slight hop towards the pair and accidentally pushed B'Elanna into Seven. Seven stumbled a bit backwards and ended up leaning on her own horse with B'Elanna sliding down the front of her body.

As much as Seven was trying to conceal her attraction to B'Elanna, she was still only human and the feeling of her love's body sliding across hers like that was really too much to ignore. She inhaled sharply and had to bite her tongue to suppress a groan.

B'Elanna wasn't immune to the situation either. Yet she had not had years to discover and come to terms with her attraction for the blonde. The attraction was just really letting itself be known within the last day. So she tried to bury her feelings, until she noticed the blonde's eyes. The pupils were dilated to the point of almost nonexistence. As she steadied herself she placed her hands on the upper part of Seven's chest and she felt through her palms the blonde's heart was racing.

Seven swallowed loudly and hesitantly pushed B'Elanna away. "I should check on her. There must be something wrong."

"Yeah," B'Elanna answered distractedly. "Sure."

The blonde stepped over to the horse and picked up a leg examining the horse's hoof. She repeated this maneuver on the other front leg and began picking at the hoof with her Borg enhanced hand. Chips of ice and packed snow started falling to the ground. Finally she set the hoof down and examined the rear legs and repeated the process one more time.

"She must have found some water somehow, and stepped in it. She had ice and snow packed in two hooves," Seven explained to the other woman as she wiped her hand on a rag she had pulled from her bag. "It would've ached before you got on, but once you were on it probably really hurt her. I am sorry, but she really should not carry any weight on the way back up. She needs time to heal. What I did only helps a little."

"Uh," B'Elanna looked up the long slope ahead of them. "It's okay. I guess I can walk."

Seven raised one eyebrow high in surprise. She looked at the same slope then the engineer in disbelief. "I don't think so. By the time you got half-way there you'd be going into hypothermia. We only have another hour and a half until the sun begins to set."

"Oh," B'Elanna replied uncertainly.

"You will have to ride with me B'Elanna," Seven stated as flatly as she could. A hard task since her heart was pounding.

B'Elanna looked over at Eirik with big round eyes. "Oh," she repeated.

Seven bit the bullet and approached B'Elanna again. "I'm sure you'll want a hand this time," she said lightly. B'Elanna blushed and Seven lifted her up as high as she could in order for the small woman to get onto the stallion. After she was through she looked at B'Elanna carefully and asked. "Would you prefer to be in the back or front?"

As an answer B'Elanna scooted back as far as she could on the saddle. Seven nodded and mounted her horse. She turned and faced the smaller woman holding out the rucksack. "I'm afraid you will have to wear this or hold it B'Elanna as I will not be able to now."

B'Elanna smiled and took the bag and slid her arms through, feeling the weight settle nicely onto her back, providing a little bit of extra warmth. She felt Seven move her legs and the big horse began to move. She felt herself unbalance from the added weight of the sack and had to lean forward against Seven to catch herself. Seven casually grabbed one of B'Elanna's hands and brought it around her body, laying it on her stomach.

"You will need to hold on," Seven said. She knew there were other ways to hold on, but this was the easiest, least tiring and therefore most logical way. The fact that she enjoyed it so much really was just a bonus she tried to convince herself, and failed miserably.

B'Elanna decided to wrap her other arm around Seven and fully lean on her. 'In for a penny,' she thought. She tried not to enjoy the warmth emanating from the body so much, but it really was a losing battle. Once or twice she found herself exploring Seven's stomach under her fingertips. Each time she would make her hand into a fist in a panic. After a bit Seven would reach down and pat the balled fist as if to say it was okay.

There was a lot less conversation on the way up. Seven did her best on concentrating on leading the two horses, who luckily knew their way very well, while trying to reign in her suddenly out of control thoughts. It was amazingly distracting every time B'Elanna would play with the banding of her abdominal implant through her clothes. Then the smaller woman would ball her hands in a fist and Seven could feel the hybrid's twin hearts beat extremely rapidly on her back even through her clothes.

As they rode it began to snow lightly and B'Elanna watched for a while in wonder. However after a very short time, the cold was just too much for the inactive woman. B'Elanna finally laid her head on the blonde's back and shoulder, moving even closer somehow and holding on tight. She felt the wonderful heat coming off the blonde and she shamelessly began to snuggle into it. Quite unintentionally, she fell asleep like that.

When they made it back to the barn Seven woke an embarrassed B'Elanna so that she could dismount and open the doors. She led both horse in, taking the mare directly to her stall and returning to Eirik to find B'Elanna looking down at the ground questioningly. Seven smiled and walked over, "let me help you," she told the smaller woman. Halfway down, she whispered deliberately, "my Queen."

B'Elanna's head zipped up in shock and once again, Seven winked at her. The blonde left her there to stare for a few minutes as she took care of the horses' saddles and tack, then fed the animals and made sure they had water. Closing the stalls behind her, she strode over to B'Elanna. "Only a short walk to the house and you can have a warm hydro shower," Seven announced. "Or you could take a quick sonic and join me in the hot tub," she said coyly.

B'Elanna smiled fully now. "You are on," she exclaimed. "Lead on Princess."


Part 8

B'Elanna paced back and forth in the room she had stayed in the night before in front of the replicator. She was looking at the limited amount of designs available to her for a bathing suit. Seven had pointed out the room to go to after her shower and told her to replicate whatever she needed for the hot tub. She had then left the brunette going to her own room and shower. B'Elanna had finished her shower fairly quickly, but afterwards got stuck on the choice of suits. She was a little conflicted. There was a part of her that felt like wearing something sexy, because that part of B'Elanna wanted to attempt to seduce the blonde. The thing that was stopping her was she didn't understand her motivations. So the responsible part of the Klingon kept nagging her to wear something conservative.

Every time she would approach the replicator, she would falter and change her mind. No matter which decision she had made, she was not sure it was the right one. If only she could be sure that Seven was interested she wouldn't be as nervous she told herself. Then her mind returned to the question of what happened after the seduction. She was quite certain she had left the days of one night stands behind years ago. Although Seven did seem like the kind who only engaged in relationships, she wasn't absolutely certain. Then what would happen? They lived almost on the opposite sides of the Earth from each other.

Finally she just opted to fall somewhere in the middle of sexy and conservative, choosing a deep crimson, old-fashioned two piece. She replicated a big fluffy terrycloth robe in a matching color, found the house slippers Seven had given her earlier and headed for the room at the end of the hall.

As the door opened she felt the steam in the room hit her face. She stepped in quickly, hoping to keep that lovely warmth in the room. The room was moderately sized and comprised some weight equipment in one corner of the room and on the opposite side held a medium sized recessed hot tub. Steam rose off the bubbling surface and flowed over the floor in all directions. She saw Seven standing at a console on the far side of the hot tub. Before she could lose her nerve she removed her robe, hanging it on a convenient hook and then quickly entered the tub.

Seven turned her head at the sound of B'Elanna splashing into the tub. She was just in time to see B'Elanna reemerge from being under water. She felt her heart pound as she watch the hybrid push back her hair as she stood from the water. Despite all of her best intentions, she found her libido had taken charge of her brain for all she could think of was how it would feel to run her tongue down the same path as the rivulets of water trailing down the brunette's neck and chest. Blinking hard she brought her mind back to the question at hand.

"B'Elanna," she started walking over towards the woman in the tub. "How long do you have before you need to be back in San Francisco?"

B'Elanna sat in one corner near where the blonde was standing, laying her arms on the edge, crossed in front of her. "Well, I have to pick up Miral in four days, but other than that, I don't have a deadline. But don't worry, I'll get out of your hair after a soak in this wonderful tub," she said lightly. She had decided that it would be best if she left the blonde alone, not attempt seducing her. Seven surely didn't want to be involved with a single mother on the other side of the world. Then she thought of one of Seven's earlier comments. "Well, maybe I'll wait until you feed me that dinner you promised me," she said with a smile.

"First, I am enjoying your company," Seven stated as she knelt on one knee next to B'Elanna. Her robe fell open in such a way to give B'Elanna a glimpse of the long legs, and the smaller woman swallowed hard and dragged her eyes back up to Seven's. "But what I was trying to tell you is that you are stuck here for at least a day, possibly more."

B'Elanna rocked back a little. "Why?"

"That snow was the beginnings of a blizzard settling in to southern Norway," Seven answered. "So, unless you have the authorization to transport from this location and can arrange it, you will need to stay here. It is already too dangerous for you to attempt to even make it to the next town." She looked down, feeling suddenly insecure. "Hopefully you do not mind it here."

"Mind?" B'Elanna asked shocked. "Of course I don't mind it here. I'm having a very nice time. It has been the best Christmas 'alone'." B'Elanna said with a winning smile. "I'll have to remember to always come out here when I'm supposedly going to be alone," she said, "as long as you don't mind the company."

"The company is perfect," Seven said huskily.

The blonde leaned down towards the hybrid. B'Elanna thought Seven looked like she was about to kiss her. Then the blonde reached sort of over and past the brunette and when she pulled her hand back it was holding two wine glasses. She handed them to the shocked hybrid and reached past her again, this time bringing a bottle of bloodwine. She grinned and poured the dark liquid into the glasses. She stored the bottle back in the cooler cubby that B'Elanna now noticed and the smaller woman felt Seven's hand slip over one of hers, removing the glass from that hand. The blonde tipped the glass towards her in a toasting gesture.

"To staying warm with a friend," Seven said. B'Elanna tipped her glass into the blonde's and they made a soft clinking sound. They both sipped at the bloodwine.

Seven set her glass on the edge of the tub and stood. She took a step back and slowly pulled her robe off. She noted at the edge of her vision that B'Elanna was staring and by outward appearances was entranced by the disrobing. The blonde tested a theory by walking with a little more emphasis on her hips over to the peg where she hung her robe.

As she turned back, she noted B'Elanna's eyes were very dilated and her respiration had increased. She couldn't hear the smaller woman's heartbeat, of course, but by now she knew the look of somebody interested in her sexually. She wasn't sure what she would do with this information, but it was extremely interesting to note. The young woman entered the tub and sat across from B'Elanna sipping her wine.

"Uh, does this happen often?" B'Elanna asked. "Being snowed in I mean."

"A few times every winter," Seven answered. "You get used to it easily. You learn to have everything you'd ever need already in the house."

"Oh," B'Elanna answered. She realized that it just became more difficult to stay resolved to leave Seven alone, not seduce her.

The silence between them grew. The blonde leaned her head back against the edge of the tub and was the picture of sybaritic pleasure. She was relaxing, while thinking over her options with B'Elanna. Harry had always told her that she had a chance and she should just try. Seven didn't believe him, not wanting to get hurt. Yet, B'Elanna was at least somewhat interested in her, if only as a sexual partner. The thing was that she wasn't sure if that would be enough for her. She knew she loved B'Elanna deeply; it was impossible to know if she was 'in love' with her since they had yet to ever date, but she suspected that if she wasn't, it wouldn't be hard to fall the rest of the way. Her love for the diminutive woman had only grown over time and distance, and everybody she'd ever discussed it with told her that she was in love.

"Seven, can I ask you something?" B'Elanna asked. As she watched the blonde's eyes connected with hers and she became even more nervous than before. The blonde raised an eyebrow in response. "I've been wondering all day, well you said yesterday that you stopped dating. Don't you ever get lonely? I mean, why don't you try to find somebody?"

"As I told you, my last relationship ended," Seven paused looking for a word, "not only bitterly, but spectacularly. I realized Jean was right. I would never fall in love with anybody while I still felt this unrequited love."

"Well, why haven't you ever approached this woman?"

"I've never approached any of my lovers B'Elanna. I wouldn't know how. I can flirt, but approaching somebody for a relationship, I find almost impossible. I am too insecure Harry tells me. I think he is right, of course, but that won't make me get over my fear of approaching her."

"Oh," B'Elanna replied, filing that away. "Shouldn't you at least give her a chance to decide for herself? I mean, she may want you too." B'Elanna again decided she was right to not seduce Seven. The blonde had it bad for this mystery woman; she could tell just by looking at her.

"We have been separated since I left Voyager. Our jobs and lives have never brought us back in contact with each other."

"Well, find an excuse damn it! Go see her." B'Elanna told her seriously. She poured herself another glass of bloodwine and offered the blonde more. Seven shook her head.

"What would I say?" Seven asked the hybrid.

"Oh, I don't know," B'Elanna replied. She thought about it for a moment then looked up. "Tell me about her. Does she like bold people, or reserved people? Did you know who she dated on Voyager?"

"Yes, I knew who she dated. I believe she prefers bold people. She is bold herself." Seven answered. "She is the opposite of me in that respect."

"I don't know about that Seven," B'Elanna laughed. "You were awful bold in my engine room all those years. And the 'Son of K'Vok?' Now that was bold."

Seven blushed. "I do not have those memories or skills myself anymore B'Elanna. The Doctor repressed them, remember?

"I was just joking, Seven," B'Elanna said softly, gently smiling at the blonde. She was charmed by the blush on her face, but reminded herself to help her friend get the woman she loved and not to get attached herself. "So, you go to where she lives and when she answers the door you politely greet her and see if she invites you in. Tell her you were in the area and wondered how she was, so you decided to go see her."

Seven watched B'Elanna cooking up a ploy for her to get to the woman she loved. She wondered how B'Elanna would feel if she used her advice. Then she wondered if she could get the courage to do it.

"Find out if she is dating first, of course," B'Elanna continued. "If she isn't then maybe offer to take her to dinner. Treat her like you've treated me and I'm sure she'll see that you're a great catch. Then as you return her home, tell her."

"Just tell her?" Seven asked. "How?"

"I don't know," B'Elanna answered. "Maybe just say 'I want you to know, I've loved you for a very long time. I've never stopped thinking about you. Do you think maybe I could see you more often?" B'Elanna smiled. It was a good set of lines.

"Ah," Seven answered. She set her glass on the edge of the tub then moved across the tub to kneel in front of the smaller woman. She put her hands on B'Elanna's knees and leaned forward. "B'Elanna, I want you to know, I've loved you for a very long time. I've never stopped thinking about you. Do you think maybe I could see you more often?"

B'Elanna was the picture of shock.

Then Seven leaned forward, using her hands to gently push apart B'Elanna's legs so that she could get closer. The hybrid did not resist, and actually leaned forward by a fraction instinctively. Seven took her chance and leaned forward, tenderly kissing the lips she had dreamt about for so long. Not even a second passed before they opened up for her, an implicit consent, and she deepened the kiss, filling it with all the love she felt for the woman, all the held back emotion.

She was vaguely aware of the feeling of a glass bouncing off her hip underwater and the slightly cooler feel of wine that lasted only a second near her shoulder. Then she felt B'Elanna's arms wrap around her neck and pull her closer. The hybrid growled and deepened the kiss further and Seven slid her hands up the outside of B'Elanna's legs and slipped them around to the smaller woman's back.

After an unknown period of time, Seven finally felt the need to break away for air. She leaned her forehead against B'Elanna's and looked into her eyes. "Should I take that as a yes?" Seven asked.

B'Elanna smiled and snaked the fingers of one hand into Seven's hair. As she pulled Seven back to her again she growled out "oh yeah."


Part 9

The pair continued to kiss passionately and their hands roamed freely over exposed skin. By some unspoken agreement, neither woman pushed too far too fast, nor attempted to explore under the other's bathing suit. B'Elanna had one of her hands on Seven's side, her thumb rubbing over the ridges she had found early in the day during the horse ride. She could now admit to herself that she had been fascinated by the outline of those ridges years ago on Voyager. She had chalked it up to engineer's curiosity back then though, and would always push it out of her head as soon as the thought came about.

Seven for her part was trailing her Borg hand over the spinal ridges on B'Elanna's back memorizing the places that made B'Elanna growl deeper. Her other hand was resting atop B'Elanna's left thigh, the thumb slowly rubbing down the inside of the thigh, all the way to the knee and back up as far as she could reach without moving her hand, and not nearly as far as B'Elanna wanted. She felt her head being pulled back by the smaller woman.

B'Elanna sucked the blonde's full lower lip into her mouth and grazed it with her teeth in a gentle bite. She laved over it with her tongue, and then proceeded to wrap her mouth around the strong chin of the blonde. Quickly she followed this with tiny kisses and licks down the front of the pale neck of the blonde. She made it down to a throbbing pulse point and growled as she took the tender skin into her mouth. Sucking in with gentle pressure she marked the blonde and licked the skin over the rapid pulse. She felt the groan erupt from Seven's chest and the blonde's hands grasp onto her lower back, fingers digging in with delicious pressure.

She wrapped her legs around Seven's waist and pulled them closer to each other, until she was just barely sitting on the edge of the seat she had been upon. When her suddenly hypersensitive core rubbed against the Borg banding she growled out her desire and looked up into Seven's eyes.

Seven was both shocked and thrilled to see nothing but black left B'Elanna's eyes, and a look of such carnal desire as she had never imagined. She leaned back down and took possession of kiss swollen lips again. She felt B'Elanna wrap around her more strongly, her arms now back over the blonde's shoulders. Seven leaned back in the hot tub and moved one leg out as she took the entirety of the smaller woman's weight upon herself. She managed to maneuver herself so that she could stand while still holding B'Elanna tightly against her.

The kiss broke as B'Elanna felt herself lifted out of the water. B'Elanna began to ask Seven what she was doing and only got as far as the first word. Seven took the opportunity at that exact moment to suck on the neck that had been a constant torment to her all evening. As Seven sucked harder, B'Elanna growled louder, so Seven would only re-double her efforts to claim as much skin as possible, moving slowly down to her shoulder and finally biting skin and muscle in between fine teeth, holding the pressure right at the exquisite balance point between pleasure and pain.

"Kahless," B'Elanna hissed.

The blonde stumbled up and out of the hot tub with her precious cargo tightly in her arms. B'Elanna was in the beginnings of a bloodlust and the carnal desires she held in check threatened to overcome her. Despite the fact that she was a Human/Klingon hybrid her Klingon heritage could make itself known at some of the most difficult moments. Right at that moment it was actually probably both heritages that were responsible for her ache and her being impressed by the blonde's strength. She pulled the blonde to her again, kissing her with such passion that the blonde faltered in her steps.

Realizing that she wasn't as in control as she was a moment ago, Seven walked over to the wall and pushed B'Elanna's back up against it, supporting herself long enough to regain some control. She found herself groaning in response to B'Elanna's growls. Seven gloried in the feeling of their breasts meeting, their nipples rubbing over each other. She felt the rhythm of B'Elanna's hearts beating against her breast. She was surrounding by the heat of her, felt the weight of her, felt as if B'Elanna's passion was overflowing into herself. Seven backed off the wall again, quickly aiming for the door and the hallway that would lead to a bedroom.

B'Elanna hissed as the colder air of the hallway hit her body but quickly forgot all about it as Seven kneaded one of her glutes through her bathing suit. She fuzzily realized what the blonde was doing, but was not sure where the blonde would ultimately take her.

"Bed?" B'Elanna asked then took the blonde's shoulder muscle into her mouth intent on leaving another mark.

"Yes," came the breathless response from the blonde. Her eyes rolled back in her head for a moment at the exquisite feelings B'Elanna was providing and it caused her to slow. Just as suddenly she redoubled her efforts.

"Not your bedroom?" B'Elanna asked, since they had already passed that room, and then proceeded to treat the opposite shoulder to the same treatment.

"ooh, ah," Seven tried to answer distractedly. "Too small." She was quite proud that she managed to get out both words.

"What is?" B'Elanna asked then took possession of the full lips again. Her hands found and untied the two laces hold Seven's tiny top on. She pulled it away and let it drop while plundering the blonde's mouth with a hungry tongue.

Seven leaned on a wall in the hallway, just enjoying the kiss. Pushing off the wall and marching forward again, Seven formulated what seemed like a hard answer to an amazingly simple yet, somehow at this moment, complex question. Her mind was way too disorganized suddenly she decided. "The bed is." Then she took possession of B'Elanna's lips herself.

They finally made it into the room B'Elanna had been staying in and Seven brought B'Elanna to the edge of the bed. She knelt down so that she could set B'Elanna on the edge of the bed in a position similar to what they had started with in the hot tub. As their lips broke B'Elanna placed her palms on Seven's chest, pushing her back and looking into her eyes. The rims of blue were barely visible and very dark. She looked incredibly sexy like this; all flushed from the kissing, her lips swollen and her mouth slightly open as she panted shallowly.

"Seven, did you mean what you said in there?" B'Elanna asked softly, seriously.

"Every word," Seven answered sincerely. "I love you. I have for what seems like forever. I want to see much, much more of you."

B'Elanna smiled beautifully and leaned forward tenderly kissing her. "I don't know what it is I feel for you. I didn't have eight years to think about it like you, but…"

"But?" Seven asked breathlessly.

"But I know I could easily fall for you. I've felt how easy it would be for the last two days," B'Elanna answered. She pulled the taller woman to her, crushing her in a bone bruising hug. When she pulled back she found Seven smiling with a tear dripping from her right eye.

Seven leaned in and kissed her, letting her hands explore more of the body before her. She had dreamt of this often, but never thought it might become real. She left the perfect lips kissing down her neck, staying in spots that made B'Elanna whimper or growl moving ever so slowly towards her chest. She laid her lips down tenderly over the driving pulse she could feel through B'Elanna's breast. Her fingers found the catch that held B'Elanna's top, and nimbly unhooked it. Letting her fingers trail over the newly exposed back, she let her fingers massage the sides of the smaller woman's breasts as she leaned up and kissed her tenderly again. As she let go of the top with one hand, the other pulled the garment away from their bodies and she discarded it carelessly beside her on the floor.

Finally she pulled away from the kiss and looked down at the hard little dark pebbles that sat atop B'Elanna's breasts. She caressed the edges of her breasts, and kissed her way down to them. She slowly licked and kissed all around one of the perfect little nipples, and B'Elanna tried to pull her head closer, jutting her chest at the blonde, a tacit plea for her touch. Seven continued this treatment with her other hand on the other breast, but succumbed to B'Elanna's, and her own, desire and surrounded the nipple with her mouth. She licked it slowly, circling it with the tip of her tongue even as she sucked it gently further and further in to her mouth.

The sounds that B'Elanna made seemed to be some of the most beautiful sounds she had ever heard. She continued this treatment of the breast until she decided she needed to taste the other. She replaced her mouth with her fingertips and kissed her way over to the now aching nipple of B'Elanna's other breast. B'Elanna swore to her in English, then Spanish and even a smattering of Klingon, mixing each equally. The brunette swore she had never felt such joy and begged her for more. She leaned back supporting herself on one arm, submitting to Seven's ministrations.

Seven stayed at B'Elanna's breasts, moving back and forth until B'Elanna was practically purring. Seven supposed it was the part of B'Elanna that was Klingon that made her produce such a sound. After a long amount of time, she decided she wanted to move on, but she also wanted another kiss. So she let her mouth trail a path back up B'Elanna's chest, then neck. She detoured to the smaller woman's ear for a moment, taking an earlobe in between her teeth and nipping very lightly, then licking it before moving on. Her hands stayed where they were, kneading the pert breasts, occasionally holding the now sensitized nipples between her fingers and rolling gently. At last she kissed B'Elanna again.

Seven felt overcome with emotion for the smaller woman and tried to convey it all in the kiss. She dominated B'Elanna's mouth giving and taking the kiss until B'Elanna pulled away breathless. The smaller woman's head rolled back and Seven kissed the inviting neck on her way down to the soft stomach that her hands had just taken to exploring. Laying hot kisses, bites and licks in a trail down B'Elanna's chest, stopping briefly to lick each nipple, then returning to in between B'Elanna's breasts. She moved her hands to B'Elanna's sides. Her fingers firmly rubbed up the outside edge of the smaller woman's back, while her thumbs edged all the up her side, just caressing the very edges of B'Elanna's breasts as they passed, before moving on to massage the thick muscles covering the engineer's shoulder blades. Her mouth reached the tender skin of B'Elanna's stomach and she kissed it softly, almost reverently at first. She closed her eyes and inhaled, smelling B'Elanna's scent as it was becoming so strong. She worshipped the smaller woman's stomach with her lips and tongue. She massaged B'Elanna's back around the spine, feeling the bumpy ridges with strong fingers, trying to relax B'Elanna. Finally the woman lay back on both arms, letting go of the blonde hair she had tangled in one hand in for so long.

Seven found spots that made B'Elanna moan, and spots that made her whimper, even some that made her squirm, and committed each to memory. Her hands had made it to B'Elanna's lower back and she pulled them around, massaging the brunette's hips, then the outside edges of her ass, before moving down the outside of her thighs. Her tongue concentrated on a soft spot at the top edge of the woman's bathing suit bottom, right where her hip met with abdominal muscles. Seven wanted to explore this entire line, as it dipped into the suit, but she settled on kissing over the suit, then down along its outer edge and onto the top part of B'Elanna's inner thigh.

B'Elanna moved her legs further apart unknowingly. She didn't know what had become of her earlier thoughts to seduce the blonde. The tables were well, and completely, turned on her now, and she couldn't remember being so overwhelmed and submissive to another lover's onslaught. Her eyes opened to slits and she watched as the blonde's tongue peaked out and ran a wet line down her right inner thigh. She felt the blonde's hands massaging her calves, returning slowly up her legs. She thought that Seven's blonde hair looked incredibly sexy lying on her leg like that. She watched the hot tongue on its return journey up her left inner thigh. The blonde was moving her hands at the same pace on the outside of her legs and as she got closer to the juncture at the top B'Elanna's head fell back and her eyes closed of their own accord.

Seven stopped just at the edge of her desired destination, savoring the moment and taking the skin of B'Elanna's inner thigh into her mouth, leaving another possessive mark. Her fingertips found the edge of B'Elanna's suit where it rested on her hips, and she softly caressed until she was under the suit with just the tips of her fingers. She turned her face the last fraction needed and softly kissed B'Elanna's sex through her suit. The smaller woman moaned and picked up her lower body, implicitly surrendering to the necessary undressing. Seven obeyed, and slowly drew the bottom's down over B'Elanna's legs, caressing her legs on the way down, finally discarding the suit altogether.

She returned her lips to the top edge of B'Elanna's neatly trimmed sex, and kissed the skin where it met the short curls of hair. Taking her time, kissing all along the dark thatch of hair, she made her way down, to the woman's swollen lips and pressed warm kisses along each side, feeling B'Elanna's moisture on her face as it had trickled out to the tips of her curls. Her tongue snaked out to taste the tips of these curls, causing just enough pressure to barely touch the skin beneath, yet enough to make B'Elanna groan and fall back onto the bed. Seven took advantage of this and pulled the woman closer to the edge of the bed, taking and placing B'Elanna's legs over her shoulders. Then she let her hands continue their roaming over the beautiful body before her, over stomach, sides, and breasts, just anywhere they took themselves.

Seven dipped her tongue lightly in between the warm wet lips laving the moist inside skin of the outer lips, avoiding the inner labia and clit at first, simply licking as much of the wonderful moisture she could find and separating the lips more. B'Elanna was by now calling out her name and saying "please" quite often. After doing this a few times she finally lowered the tip of her tongue to the inner labia and with more pressure than before, she licked this new area clean, slowly inserting her tongue further into B'Elanna as she went. As she would reach the tip of the inner labia, she would lick a circle around the smaller woman's clitoris, not quite touching it yet. Once she had taken her initial fill of the salty sweet lubrication flowing from B'Elanna, she placed her entire mouth around the swollen clitoris. She slowly loved the fat little bundle of nerves with long, slow strokes of a flattened tongue.

B'Elanna moaned and her hips seemed to move of their own accord. It felt like her body was on fire, as Seven paid delicious attention to her throbbing clit and her fingertips rolled her nipples in a gentle but steady pressure and rhythm. She felt Seven purposefully using her chin below where she was licking and it was a delicious tease. B'Elanna had to grab something on Seven, but the only thing that she could seem to move to was her arms where they laid over her stomach, so she laid her hands on the arms gripping them in unconscious pressure. Seven seemed to understand, as her right hand left it nipple and took her left hand, crossing her fingers within B'Elanna's giving her a better point of connection.

As the blonde continued her gentle, slowly paced ministrations B'Elanna felt herself having a small orgasm along the way, and she was amazed since she was not normally multi-orgasmic; at least not that she had ever experienced. Her mind was too distracted to make too much of the fact though, and it slipped away altogether as Seven began slipping her tongue in and out of her. She felt the blonde's Borg hand trail down her stomach as if to take over the teasing of her clit. B'Elanna wasn't sure how she would feel about the Borg metal but her mind was very suddenly past that thought once the hand did touch her. It was not painful, quite the opposite in fact, but still different from her right hand in a way she just couldn't place at the moment and stopped trying.

Seven spent many minutes trying to reach as deeply as she could with her tongue in strong strokes in and out of B'Elanna. She was mesmerized by everything about the woman. She catalogued the taste of her and decided that it was perfect and she watched her strong body writhing in front of her, deciding she was more beautiful than any art she had ever seen. The feeling of filling her womb with her tongue, and B'Elanna's walls squeezing and releasing was driving her crazy. Seven gave in to her desire to have her Borg hand inside of B'Elanna. She pulled it away from rubbing the swollen clit, trailing the fingertips through the curly hairs before pulling the hand below her chin. Her tongue left her vagina returning to lick and stroke the swollen clit.

She ran her fingertips through the copious moisture a few times and then slowly slipped first one then two finger inside of B'Elanna. Both woman stopped against each other and groaned at the feeling of Seven pressing deep inside of her. Seven moved her fingertips slightly inside the warm, wet passage, the extraordinarily sensitive nature of her Borg hand threatening to overwhelm her. Seven began a rhythm that B'Elanna responded to by moving her hips in time with the blonde's strokes. They moved like this together for a while, the blonde slowly increasing the rhythm of both her hand and her tongue's treatment of B'Elanna's clit.

B'Elanna felt the orgasm build and shatter her, but Seven kept going and her body kept responding to it. In fact, the blonde filled her with a third finger and pushed deeply, rubbing one spot at the end of each thrust. She was surprised and a little confused, but couldn't keep up her thoughts as it began to build in her again. Seven's mouth left her clit, but the blonde quickly replaced it with her thumb. Seven removed her hand from B'Elanna's, and used her arm underneath the woman to lift her up further onto the bed. The smaller woman caught on and helped out somewhat by holding on to the top part of her body as she lifted. After she was settled more in the middle of the bed the smaller woman felt the blonde's wet kisses trail up her stomach and over a breast as she also felt the long hard body sliding over her own. Seven kept up her onslaught as she laid down along B'Elanna, then kissed her possessively.

Seven knew some things about Klingon women from her research back when she first discovered her love. She wasn't sure how the hybrid's body might differ from a full Human's or a full Klingon's but thus far she had seen evidence of B'Elanna being externally more like a Human, but apparently internally she possessed many Klingon traits. If she shared another trait with the 'pure' Klingon woman, then the next move she made would be what was considered a normal turn on. If she didn't like this, well Seven might get hit across the head. She thought it a good risk and decided to try it. As she thrust into B'Elanna harder and faster she trailed her mouth down to where the woman's neck and shoulder met.

"Come for me B'Elanna," the blonde growled loudly, then bit that muscle hard.

B'Elanna threw her head back and howled. She didn't even realize this kind of orgasm existed, and as the feelings race through her, every nerve screaming at her, every cell seemingly in focus, she trembled under the blonde and clung to her. It was a curious overload of the senses, kind of like being totally alive, knowing everything, and knowing it was too much more than she could process. That was when the world became dark as she finally just passed out.

Seven felt B'Elanna go limp under her and having seen it before in other women knew basically what to do. She wrapped her free arm and her legs around B'Elanna and rolled to her right, so that B'Elanna was now on top of her. She left her other hand inside of the woman, though she removed her thumb and only cupped B'Elanna's sex gently. She inhaled deeply, trying to slowly down the throbbing of her heart and somehow ignore the way B'Elanna's thigh had slid down over her sex. Seven realized at that point that it was probably better that B'Elanna had never gotten the bottoms off like she did the top. That would have been even more torturous. After a minute or two, the woman atop of her began to slowly writhe against her, a moan trailing off into a purring growl escaping her. She was unwittingly grinding into Seven's sex while subconsciously trying to grind more on the hand still within her.

"Kahless Seven," B'Elanna hissed slowly coming to, still in a sensual haze. She opened her eyes and saw the blonde's head pushed back in to the bed, her mouth hanging open slightly, her eyes barely open but focused on her with a look B'Elanna never remembered seeing before now. Seven's face said that B'Elanna was everything she wanted and needed, and that she needed her now. This made her growl possessively and she rose up to kiss the woman. She felt Seven grab her left hand and she pulled away to look into her eyes as she felt the blonde direct it to where she wanted it.

Seven stopped pushing B'Elanna's hand down as she reached the edge of the bathing suit bottom. She stared at B'Elanna with such hunger that it amazed B'Elanna. B'Elanna grabbed one side of the suit and told the blonde to 'lift up' then she pulled the suit down as best she could with one hand, because she really didn't want Seven's hand to leave its place, and Seven seemed just as willing to keep it there by the way she was gently flexing her fingers. She and Seven somehow got the suit off and B'Elanna returned her hand to where the blonde had left it. She looked into Seven's eyes questioningly.

"Please B'Elanna," Seven moaned out, "I want you inside of me. I need you, now."

B'Elanna ran her hand over the blonde's mound. Seven had only a thin line of blonde hair above her mound, and as B'Elanna's hand moved over the smooth, swollen lips, she found her fingers instantly coated in the blonde's juices. Seven's entire body responded to her touch, even though she had yet to even part her lips. B'Elanna could feel how much Seven had enjoyed making love to her, as the blonde was quivering, seemingly on the edge of orgasm as her fingers finally parted the swollen labia. The blonde somehow kept moving her fingers just slightly inside B'Elanna, in just the right way that B'Elanna didn't want to lose; B'Elanna was feeling it all build in her again as she watched Seven's rapid ascent.

The smaller woman finally thrust two well coated fingers into the blonde firmly and was mesmerized as Seven threw back her head and gasped. The blonde pressed back against her hand and B'Elanna felt the muscles inside contracting and releasing in waves. B'Elanna slowly pulled out and then quickly thrust in again, establishing a pattern that had Seven quickly on edge. Her body moved counterpoint to B'Elanna's motions and she quivered; she began moving her hand inside B'Elanna in the rhythm that B'Elanna was setting. B'Elanna growled unconsciously and she felt swept up by it all again. She leaned down to kiss Seven hard. After a moment they broke away from each other their cheeks still touching, each hearing the other's sounds close in an ear and, beautifully, they came together.


Part 10

The two women spent most of the night and into the next morning exploring their newfound passions. Occasionally they stopped for necessities, like the first time Seven left the bed to bring food back, claiming she was afraid of the beast that made such a noise when B'Elanna's stomach growled. However the blonde found the best solution was just constantly having a large pitcher of water around, and plenty of finger foods. Of course the finger foods provided their own sorts of entertainment for a little while too.

Later that morning as the room began to become a little brighter, they finally lay quiescent, B'Elanna lying upon the blonde as if she were her pillow, the blonde holding her tightly.

"Seven," B'Elanna asked into the blonde's chest, afraid to look at her. "How are we going to do this? I mean, we are so far away from each other. I have a child to consider, a job, you have an important job and a family house, well, it's an estate really."

Seven pulled B'Elanna tighter to her and kissed the top of her head.

"B'Elanna, do you remember how it was when we first got home? Some people had that dazed look to see us. So many people told us what we did was practically impossible," Seven said to the beautiful woman in her arms, marveling her luck. She collected her thoughts again as B'Elanna looked up at her and nodded, waiting for her to make her point. "It was the same while we were actually in the Delta Quadrant; we, you and I, were always making the impossible come true."

B'Elanna grinned at her new lover and nodded again. "Yeah?"

"Do you remember, how often Kathryn would come to the two of us, back when we were still at each other's throats, and tell us to 'get along long enough to get the damned ship through this crisis and then you can kill each other for all I care,' ?" Seven did a passable imitation of their former Captain. B'Elanna blushed, laughed and squeezed Seven tighter.

"Of course I remember," B'Elanna answered. "But isn't that fighting another example as to why we might have trouble with this?" B'Elanna asked.

"On the contrary," Seven answered and paused. B'Elanna looked up at her seriously. "Obviously those arguments were symptoms of sexual frustration," Seven stated then winked. "Do you think that if we had been doing this instead of arguing back then it would've taken us even half as long to do 'the impossible' all the time?"

B'Elanna smiled and laughed. She reached up and pulled Seven down for another kiss. "Now that you put it that way…"

"B'Elanna, I love you, and as long as you will have me, I am willing to make any impossible thing come true that you need or simply desire," Seven said suddenly serious. "Matters of logistics fall will by the wayside under Borg determination. Resistance is futile after all."

B'Elanna laughed then went back to lying contentedly on the blonde's abundant chest, playing with the banding of her abdominal implant unconsciously. Seven studied the top of her head for a moment and then gathered her courage to say something else.

"B'Elanna, did you know that we have trouble keeping a Starfleet liaison at Daystrom in the engineering departments?" Seven asked softly. "Usually the engineers Starfleet sends to us are either full of the Starfleet wanderlust and are clamoring for a good ship assignment, using Daystrom as a stepping stone, or they are not up to the challenge of keeping up with our regular scientists' minds."

B'Elanna looked up at Seven wondering what the blonde was getting at. They had been talking about their future relationship and now she was on to work. Would she ever be able to keep up with the turns, no matter how logical they were, that Seven's mind took?

"I happen to know there is an opening right now for an engineering officer, but it hasn't been announced," Seven stated and looked at B'Elanna seriously.

B'Elanna's mind took a little longer than Seven would've guess it would take to follow this to its conclusion. When she finally got it, she smiled. "We could work at the same place, and then come home together, and I could keep my commission."

"Yes," Seven answered. "You could come 'home' with me every day."

B'Elanna's eye got wider as she realized not only what the blonde had said, 'home', but also that she had said it first. She laughed and kissed Seven on the nose.

"Okay, but I have one more question for you: Are you sure you are ready to take on a frighteningly brilliant and very rambunctious eight year old?" B'Elanna asked her.

"Ah. I believe the correct question is: Are you ready to take on a frighteningly brilliant eight year old who will suddenly have access to a stable full of horses, a mountain full of snow, several sail craft for the summer on the nearby fjord and access to someone with the knowledge of over 10000 species who has finally come realize the value of a good joke?" Seven stated the question as seriously as she could, but could not pull it off without a smirk.

B'Elanna's face changed as many thoughts went through her head about what Miral could do in a place like this, how much Seven could teach her daughter. "Oh thank Kahless for all that wine you have downstairs… and that hot tub, definitely the hot tub. I think I'll need them both." She finally answered while burying her face in Seven's neck.

Seven laughed, smiling at the thought that maybe, if she was very good, and very lucky, this had been her last Christmas Eve she would ever spend alone. Maybe from now on every Christmas day would be like this one. And if Tom continued to take Miral during the holidays, well she and B'Elanna could spend their Christmases alone… together.

Seven sighed happily and squeezed B'Elanna to her. "I love you B'Elanna Torres."

B'Elanna looked up at Seven and swallowed. "I think I love you too Seven of Nine. I think just maybe, I always have."

Seven wasn't sure of the accuracy of the last part of that statement, but couldn't bring herself to feel anything but joy once she heard it. She pulled the brunette close and kissed her tenderly, thinking that some holidays were just so much better than others.

The End

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