DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns them, I play with them. No money
NOTES: This is a re-working of a story I did for another site.
One Last Journey
I am uncertain what I expected to find here. I do not enjoy this place in the dark; I find it uninviting and most unlike the workplace I remember. I cannot understand why I have chosen to return here this evening, on this day of all days. Tomorrow, when Voyager is decommissioned, bit by bit it will gradually be torn apart and this ship (this home) I once knew will be no more.
I know the Borg technology that built this room will be installed in every Starship belonging to the Fleet, a legacy of the Borg – to the good, for a change. Admiral Nechayev has made it clear that my knowledge will be invaluable to Starfleet Command, sharing the technologies of various assimilated species. That pleases me, but I am strangely incomplete in my pleasure, almost as if…
"Computer, lights one third."
Ah, that is more comfortable. What is it I am looking to `find'? For it does indeed feel as though something has been lost these past few months, since returning to the Alpha Quadrant. Is it simply the feeling of `home' (here on Voyager) that I have missed? No, I delude myself… it is more than that, but what?
Are you here - this `thing' I cannot see, reason, sense, or touch? If only I knew what this huge emptiness related to, I could attempt to rectify it, but I am unsure what it is that causes this pain… is that too strong a word to describe it? Pain? Maybe. Maybe not.
Admiral Janeway thinks it is the loss of the `security' I found aboard this vessel. She says I made my home here and, when that was taken from me it brought up subconscious feelings within, feelings similar to my childhood loss of home and security. She thinks I am dealing not just with the here and now, but with the past also. Perhaps she is right. But still, I feel…
I am missing something, I know. There was definitely something I knew here, was a part of here, that I have not felt since my return to Earth. I feel empty deep inside, even though I now have family and I belong to Earth in a way I could not have done before.
How is it that I can miss something when I do not know the nature of what it is I am missing? And how can I rectify what I do not understand? Human's are indeed very complex creatures.
It's so unfair. These `engines' could have run forever and yet they're killing `my' ship in the morning! It's such a damned injustice. I can't stand this.
What the hell is it with you, Torres? The dream happened: you got home; the ship is being decommissioned. Deal with it.
Yeah, right. So why can't I? Why do I feel the need to be here tonight? Why do I feel if they kill `my' ship tomorrow, something deeply ingrained in me will be gone forever?
Oh, what kind of idiot… Chakotay moved on, Harry moved on, Tom did… so what is this? What's the matter with me?
I feel so empty inside. And it isn't because Tom and I parted… Mother and Miral are my life; I love them both so much. And I'm home. So, why can't I breath a huge sigh of relief and just…
There is something, something I can't quite put my finger on, something missing.
God, I love this room. I sweated blood for you, Voyager, and you always came through for me, for all of us. Time and again you beat the odds… we did, together. And most of it happened in this room, pushing you, nudging you – a tweak here, a tweak there and another bad situation overcome with pride.
I can't believe you won't be in my world, won't be there any longer.
Why did those words have such a profound effect on me? `…you won't be in my world, won't be there any longer.' There's something there, in those words, as though somewhere within them is the answer as to why I'm here today, here right now.
Yeah, whatever. I could stay here all night – what difference? The ship will still be decommissioned tomorrow.
So what are you going to do, you idiot? Stand there tomorrow, hands outstretched, telling them they can't break her up? And how long do you think you'd hold out against Starfleet Command and Admiral Nechayev?
You were so beautiful when you were powered up – the prettiest warp core in the Universe. What a sight. Oh, don't worry, they'll use you again in another ship: you'll be its heart, but I was your soul. I was always your soul.
This is so hard. Hell, one last tour of the ship, and then home. Wherever that is these days.
It was a mistake to have come here, I am sure of that now. Clearly, whatever this void is within me, it can not be fulfilled by this room, by this ship: the answer is no more here than it is in my own head. I should go.
I have a new life now, and it is something I should embrace. I shall return to Earth, to my aunt, to Starfleet Command, to my work, and hope that this feeling recedes. What else can I do when I do not understand the nature of my dis-ease?
Voyager, you have failed me, for the first time ever. You have failed to deliver what I returned to find, the `thing' I felt compelled to come here tonight to collect. I think perhaps you are cruel… why did you lure me here tonight, if you had no intention of answering that need which was deep within me?
As I suspected, you really have no answer for me. So why am I finding it so hard to go?
I find something amiss about just leaving without… WITHOUT WHAT? WHAT DID I THINK WOULD BE HERE??? I am unwilling to leave like this, to remain in this state of unknowing, this state of emptiness any longer. Voyager, PLEASE, HELP ME! For pity's sake, help me.
The door to Astrometrics whooshed open and Seven jumped, believing she was the only person aboard Voyager this night. Turning about, she saw the slim form of B'Elanna Torres walking slowly into the room, wearing an expression she didn't quite recognise.
The Lieutenant's mouth was slightly ajar as she stared at the Astrometrics Officer, walking forward towards her almost in slow motion.
The tough ex-Borg was shocked: of all the things she could have thought of, this wasn't it, and yet she was suddenly experiencing strong feelings for the Lieutenant, strong emotions. `Could it be?' she thought, `could I have been so blind? "I thought myself alone," she explained, smiling in spite of herself as she realised in these moments that she had found what she'd returned to Voyager to look for.
It seemed B'Elanna had also made the same discovery in the same moment, as she looked as shocked as the face she gazed upon, and she seemed to be just as aware about what was taking place here.
Unwilling to be wrong, either of them, an uneasy silence fell over the pair, broken at last by the Engineer. "Uh, Seven. So, how have you been? Since you left Voyager? You settling in OK on Earth?"
Seven stared unblinking at the hybrid, feeling the need to cut more directly to what was on her/their mind(s). "Why did you return here, to Voyager, tonight?"
Stunned by the directness, and by the discovery she had just made about herself (that she had feelings for Seven) B'Elanna muttered, "I.. er, I just felt I needed to be here, is all."
"But, why did you need to be here?" Seven persisted.
There was something about Seven's face, something that said, `don't lie to me, Lieutenant, this is too important,' it pushed away any flippant reply the Lieutenant might have come up with. "I came because I guess I was looking for something; I have been since I left the ship - I thought the answer might be here."
"And have you found it?" Seven's look dared the truth.
"I think so." B'Elanna swallowed hard, still trying to come to terms with the intensity of her new feelings. "And you – why are you here?"
Still unsure, cautiously Seven answered, "I also appear to have returned to Voyager in search of something."
"You find it?"
This conversation was rapidly covering the underlying feelings of the two women, and Seven knew it. If anything was to come from this meeting tonight she had to be honest and she had to have the courage to display that honesty. She drew in a breath and turned to face B'Elanna more squarely, "I have found it only if I… am the answer to your need, Lieutenant."
B'Elanna stared stupidly, not daring to think she had heard correctly, and yet she knew that this was right. "Seven," she began softly, taking her lead in honesty from the ex-Borg and stepping forward to reach down and take Seven's hand in hers, "I would never have believed it. When I came in and saw you, I knew my search was over. I knew there was something I'd left behind – something I wasn't complete without. But I never dreamed it would be you, not until now."
"I felt it too," answered Seven, stepping forward nervously and running the palm of her hand over the Engineer's cheek. She noted the way B'Elanna closed her eyes for an instant, and the way her look had intensified, once her eyes were open again. Such dark eyes, so filled with passion. "I had not thought of you and yet now… I wonder how I ever ignored what I am seeing now with my own eyes."
"You ignored it, Seven, because I didn't show it. I couldn't because my conscience wasn't aware of what my heart knew to be true."
"Why did I not realise that I could never be complete without you? All these years, you've always been there and yet…" Seven was lost for words. Speech deserted B'Elanna also, both women realising how unnecessary it had just become. Slowly, and still with some uncertainty due to the newness of this `reality', the two moved their heads closer together until their lips brushed together.
It felt strange, for both of them, and they pulled back a little, but the drive to move forward overtook them and they were soon sharing a kiss that seemed to suggest they had never acted in any other way with each other.
Their kiss was the seal, the archway through which they would walk to the rest of their lives, and Voyager was no longer their centre. They could leave now, realising they had both found the reason why they had journeyed into space, to Voyager, one last time, on this night of all nights.
B'Elanna cast her eyes around the Astrometrics Lab and felt a pang for the loss of this ship, but she had a new place to be now, a new place in which her heart would be happy. "Take me home, Seven?" she whispered into her love's ear.
"Your place or mine?"
"Humour? I didn't know you had it in you! We'll work it out as we go along," she answered as they made their way to the door.
Two people, who had arrived searching, lost and incomplete, left the Lab together. But before they did they visited the Bridge, the `eyes' of the ship, if B'Elanna's Engineering had been the `heart'. Having looked around in silence, saying their goodbyes within, Seven looked at the `dedication plaque' on the wall - she read:
"U.S.S. VOYAGER: Starfleet Registry NCC-74656. Intrepid Class Starship. Launched Stardate 48038.5. Earth Station McKinley. Sol Sector. United Federation of Planets."
Then she dropped her eyes to the base of the plaque and read the most important words of all…
"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see; saw the Vision of the World, and all the wonder that would be…" Alfred Tennyson
Looking up, misty-eyed at her new-found love, she knew that the wonder was all ahead of them both as she said, quietly, "Take me home."
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