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Seven paced softly and gently rocked the small bundle she held in her arms. B'Elanna Torres' baby, as yet un-named, was sleeping fitfully, her tiny hands balled into fists and twitching slightly as she settled into a deeper sleep. Seven knew that it would not take long for the infant to relax after a good size meal of milk so she moved carefully over to the baby's crib.
She placed the baby onto the mattress before methodically tucking a light blue blanket around her. The tall Astrometrics officer remained bent over the crib and waited a few minutes to ensure that the baby really was sound asleep before straightening up and stretching. She glanced over to where B'Elanna lay sleeping and allowed the ghost of a smile to flash across her features. Despite the exhausting trial the brunette had endured, she looked beautiful and peaceful.
Seven allowed herself to relive the last few hours, assisting the Doctor as he worked frantically to save both B'Elanna and the baby. With the luxury of reflection, Seven recalled just how concerned she had been for the both of them. The Astrometrics Officer paused and with typically brutal honesty, admitted silently that she had been petrified. There had been times when she thought that B'Elanna was going to die, and the feelings of hopelessness and fear had gnawed at her insides voraciously. Seven was unsure as to why these emotions appeared so powerful, but she knew she did not want them repeated.
As she evaluated her feelings, she realised that she was struggling with a paradox. She enjoyed her time with B'Elanna and knew that the woman understood her far more than any other person she had come across. She wanted to spend hours with the engineer, and felt more comfortable in her presence than at any other time. In direct contradiction to this was the sheer terror she had just experienced. Seven was certain that the feelings had been amplified due to her new found relationship with B'Elanna, and knew that should B'Elanna be compromised again, her emotions would be scratched raw.
Seven's reverie was interrupted by the Doctor. "You should rest," he advised sagely.
"I do not need to regenerate at this time," Seven retorted automatically.
The Doctor smiled. "That may be true, but you need to take advantage of any opportunity, now that you're looking after a baby."
The tall blonde frowned. "Lt Torres will have a long list of volunteers willing to help," she predicted.
"More than likely," the EMH agreed. "But you know B'Elanna better than I do. Will she admit that she needs help to any of them? Are you sure she'd entrust one of them with her baby." The doctor's dark eyes shone. "I think it's you or no-one. And B'Elanna is in no fit state to look after herself, let alone a baby."
Seven felt conflicted. She knew that the Doctor's logic was impeccable, but she did not want to leave Sickbay in order to re-generate.
Seeing her predicament, the EMH gave her a solution. "I have a side room available. Why don't you try and sleep in a real bed. I'll wake you if things change."
The young woman hesitated but after looking at the sleeping faces of B'Elanna and her daughter, she made up her mind. "I will comply."
B'Elanna tried to open her eyes, but they felt as if they were glued shut. Blinking fiercely, she tried again and felt the gritty irritation of sleep dislodge as she squinted in the artificial light of Sickbay. She moved a hand to wipe away the debris, but froze as a searing pain ripped across her abdomen. Involuntarily, she groaned, swallowing down acid nausea. She felt a pressure on her neck and almost instantly, the nausea and pain eased. Gingerly, she moved her hand again, and once realising that there would be no more agonising pain, at least for the time being, she lifted her arm and rubbed her eyes vigorously before opening them. She squinted into the glare of Sickbay and pulled focus onto the balding man looming over her. "Hey Doc," she acknowledged, her voice raspy and weak.
"B'Elanna." The EMH smiled kindly down on his patient. "How are you feeling?"
Torres was about to answer when a far more pressing concern overwhelmed her. "Doc, the baby?"
"You have a beautiful daughter." The EMH beamed proudly.
The half-Klingon choked back a sob of relief and returned the smile. "Thank you. Can I see her?"
"Of course. But I'm not sure you've got the strength to hold her yet."
"Doc," B'Elanna warned.
The medical hologram recognised the tone instantly. "I'll just go and get her." He hurried off. B'Elanna closed her eyes for a moment and offered a silent thanks to the gods that her baby was safe. She smiled softly. Her daughter. Hearing quiet footfall, she opened her eyes again and her breath caught as she saw Seven of Nine approach with a small bundle wrapped in a Starfleet blue blanket. The engineer's smile widened as she saw the concentration on Seven's face as she made her way to the bio-bed, clearly determined not to wake the infant with her movement.
"You look like a natural," the brunette complimented.
Seven looked up and smiled instantly, relief evident on her face. "B'Elanna " she shifted the bundle in her arms slightly so that the baby's face could be seen. "Meet your daughter."
B'Elanna sat up gingerly and waited for Seven to hand her daughter into her arms. Once cradled, B'Elanna carefully moved the blanket and checked her daughter thoroughly, ensuring that she did indeed have all her fingers and toes.
"She's perfect," Seven commented in a hushed tone.
"Yeah she is," the part Klingon agreed, unable to take the wide grin from her face.
"Say cheese," another voice instructed, breaking the spell and causing both women to look up in confusion. The EMH stood a short distance away, camera in hand, poised to take holo-images. "We need images for posterity," he stated. "Come on ladies, smile." The first picture was not successful, with both women showing forced grins, but they relaxed after the Doctor fussed over them, and he continued to take shots, capturing natural poses and action images as they spent time talking about what had happened. B'Elanna took great delight in Seven's stories of her attempts to feed her infant and subsequent accidents involving regurgitated milk. Seven demurred quite categorically that two of her biosuits would never be the same again as there was simply no way to remove the smell of rancid milk.
The two friends were still laughing over the episode when the doors to Sickbay opened and Tom Paris strode in. He was laden with various gifts including balloons, flowers and a huge stuffed toy. The helmsman took a moment to survey the scene before moving towards the bio bed. "So here are my two favourite ladies," he commented cheerfully.
"Tom!" B'Elanna smiled at her ex-husband and adjusted the hold on her baby so he could see her more clearly. "Wow. Thanks for all the gifts. Is that a targh?" she asked, gesturing at the stuffed animal.
Tom grinned. "Yep. I figured that you couldn't give up Toby, not even to your own daughter."
"Our daughter, Tom." B'Elanna corrected gently. "I know we're not married anymore, but I still want you involved. That is, if you want to be " Suddenly, the brunette was not so sure and looked at the pilot quizzically.
Tom laughed. "Of course I want to be. We went through all this. I will help out in whatever way you want me to. And I'd like to be part of her life." He looked at the small infant who was now fidgeting herself into wakefulness and grew contemplative. "I'd really like to be a positive influence, if I can." He returned his gaze to the engineer. "B'Elanna, I know I told you before that I'd be a proper father to her. But I mean it. We might not be able to live with each other, but I'd like to think we love each other enough to make sure we do right by her."
Seven coughed, uncharacteristically nervous. "I should leave you to your privacy," she offered, stepping back.
"You don't have to on my account," Tom offered.
"I'm sure you have much to discuss." Seven was insistent. "However, I will return later," she confirmed, smiling softly at the bed-ridden half Klingon.
"Make sure you do," B'Elanna replied. She watched the tall blonde leave Sickbay before turning her gaze back towards her ex-husband. "What?" she asked, noting his curious look.
Tom opened his mouth to answer, and then shook his head slightly. "It'll wait," he told her gently.
"Tom, what'll wait?"
Tom ignored the question and instead posed one of his own. "So, what are we going to call her then?"
B'Elanna blinked suddenly. "I have no idea," she admitted with surprise.
"Miral?" suggested the helmsman, generously nominating B'Elanna's mother's name.
B'Elanna shook her head. "No. I know I've made my peace with her, but I'm not sure I can name our baby after her. To be honest, I'm not even sure I want a Klingon name."
"Well she is part Klingon," Tom pointed out obviously.
"Only a quarter," the engineer returned. "I don't know Tom. Names are so important. It should mean something to the both of us."
Tom smiled. "There's no rush. I'm sure we'll get inspiration from somewhere."
They were interrupted by the baritone timbre of the Doctor. "Would you like me to take a picture of you and the baby with B'Elanna?"
Tom glanced at B'Elanna and his daughter, now staring up at him with huge brown eyes. With remarkable sensitivity, he asked his ex-wife, "Would you mind?"
B'Elanna studied Tom's face for a moment. "Being a father has really had an impact on you, hasn't it?" she commented rhetorically.
"I don't think it's sunk in yet, to be honest." The pilot moved position and hunched down so that the Doctor could capture some images. He took the time to stroke the downy black mop of hair on his baby's head lovingly before looking at B'Elanna again. "You know, I had every intention of coming in here and using every tool at my disposal to convince you to come back to me so we could be a family together."
B'Elanna looked at the tall sandy-haired man, surprised at his candour. "What's stopping you?" she prompted.
"You're not in love with me," Tom replied simply.
The engineer blinked. "How can you be so sure?" Tom's direct frankness was unnerving her.
"I saw it today when I came through the doors."
B'Elanna narrowed her eyes as she tried to decipher Tom's obtuse reply but was distracted when she felt her daughter awaken properly, and with good reason. "I have a feeling we still need to talk about this Tom, but if you're truly serious about being a proper father, you can start right now. Your daughter needs a change."
Tom blanched as he realised what she meant. "B'Elanna, do I have to?"
"You're gonna have to do it at some point. And believe me; it'll get worse way before it gets better."
Tom grinned ruefully. "Well it looks like I'll at least get to spend some time alone with her." He reached down and scooped his daughter into his arms, cradling her and enjoying the sensation of holding her. "Wow. We made her." He stared for a moment before wrinkling his nose. "And she sure made something."
"Mr Paris, you'll find everything you need over at station 4," the EMH advised, grinning smugly at the thought of Tom having to deal with the business end of baby matters.
"Thanks Doc, enjoy it while you can. What makes you so sure that you won't be asked to assist every once in a while?"
The EMH was visibly taken aback. "Really? I'd be delighted." He puffed out his chest with pride.
B'Elanna smiled at the banter before relaxing back down on her cot. "We'll see," she commented lazily. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift off, knowing that she would value every precious second of peace from now on.
"Doctor, is B'Elanna unconscious again?" Seven asked, concern evident in her voice.
The EMH looked up from his desk in his office. "She's fine, Seven. She's just sleeping."
The tall Astrometrics Officer frowned. "But she never takes this long to rest. Even at almost full gestation she was operating on only limited hours of sleep."
"She's been through a traumatic operation, Seven. She lost a lot of blood, and it was an extremely stressful time for her," the Doctor reminded her.
"But she will recover. Things will return to normal?" Seven was positively anxious.
"It's always difficult to ascertain exactly what normal is with Lieutenant Torres," the EMH remarked dryly. "But she should be back to her cantankerous self in a day or two."
Seven glanced round suddenly. "Where is the baby?"
"I've put her in a cot next to B'Elanna. After Lt Paris' fun and games at trying to change her and feed her, she decided that it was nap time."
Seven blanched slightly at the Doctor's description of the happy family. "B'Elanna must be pleased with his attention."
"She certainly is," the medical hologram replied, not noticing the flinch his response elicited. "In fact, they made quite the family. Would you like to see the holo-images I took of them?"
"Another time, perhaps," Seven demurred, unwilling to have a visual reminder of the close relationship B'Elanna still clearly had with Voyager's pilot. "Perhaps I should return later. I have no desire to disturb either of them."
Her movement towards the doors of Sickbay was halted when she heard B'Elanna call out. "And where do you think you're going?"
The tall blonde spun round immediately and smiled as she saw the engineer prop herself into a semi recumbent position. "I did not wish to wake you B'Elanna. You need every opportunity to recuperate."
"I'm not an invalid," B'Elanna objected. "I've had a baby." She grinned happily at the thought and glanced down to where her daughter was snuffling quietly in her sleep. "Besides, I need you here. The Doc's confined me here for another day. Even with this little one distracting me, I'll go mad if I don't have some company."
Seven had already moved to stand next to the bio-bed. "As long as I'm not intruding," she commented softly.
"Intruding on what? Me baiting the Doctor?" B'Elanna grinned smugly as she heard an indignant grunt from the EMH.
The ex-drone appeared to relax slightly and nodded. "Have you thought of any names yet?"
"Nope. To be quite honest, all the names I thought of before she was born just don't seem to fit now. At the minute, she's just my little peanut."
Seven was about to comment on the appropriateness of referring to an infant as a legume, when she realised that it was simply a term of affection. She smiled softly, but the smile turned melancholic as she reflected on B'Elanna's circumstances.
"What's up?" the engineer prompted.
"Your availability away from work has diminished almost entirely with the birth of your daughter," Seven stated blandly.
It took a moment for the brunette to decipher Seven's words. "No more free time huh? You're right. I think I'm pretty much going to be occupied with her for every second I can."
Seven nodded, trying to keep her face neutral. She had thoroughly enjoyed the time she had spent with B'Elanna learning to socialise and had valued every second. Now it appeared that their meetings would cease as B'Elanna would be quite rightly diverting her attention to her daughter. The thought of losing shared evenings was distressing, but Seven could understand why. She had spent most of her free time with the borg children until homes had been found for them, and had cherished that time.
The ex-drone hid behind a carefully constructed façade as she continued her conversation with B'Elanna, briefing her on the latest updates in Engineering and what was projected on long-range scanners. The Klingon hybrid laughed readily at her staff's antics and Seven wondered how she would manage to stay away.
Eventually, the EMH shooed Seven out, insisting that B'Elanna needed more time to rest, despite protests from the engineer. When the Doctor pointed out that it was quite likely that B'Elanna would be receiving a whole procession of visitors in the next few hours, she reluctantly agreed to the Doctor's wishes.
"Do you wish me to return tonight?" Seven asked, almost tentatively.
"Seven, please visit me whenever you want," B'Elanna pleaded, knowing that the hours of boredom she would endure in Sickbay would be reduced significantly by the blonde's presence. She was delighted that her comment provoked a grateful smile and didn't take her eyes off the ex-drone until the doors to the medical centre closed, cutting off her view.
The Doctor's prediction of visitors proved exhaustingly accurate. First, Captain Janeway arrived, with a handmade blanket for the newest member of the crew. B'Elanna was delighted, and equally pleased that Kathryn ensured that she made just as much fuss over her Chief engineer as she did with the baby. "Well," she explained as she poured out a glass of ruby-red wine and held it out for B'Elanna to take. "Everyone focuses on the baby and forgets how much the poor mother has gone through."
B'Elanna laughed. "I knew there was a good reason you made Captain," she lauded, raising her glass towards her commanding officer before savouring a taste. "Oooo, that's good."
"Just don't over-do it," Kathryn advised in a low voice. "I don't think the Doctor would approve."
"The Doctor most certainly does not approve," the EMH interrupted. "However, as neither of you ever listen to my advice, it doesn't really matter." He shook his head as both women laughed.
The Captain stayed just long enough, reassuring B'Elanna that much as she wanted her back in Engineering, she did not want her rushing back too soon.
Janeway was followed quickly by Chakotay and Kim, and then Neelix and members of her engineering team. B'Elanna was stunned when Tuvok entered Sickbay and proffered his best wishes along with a Vulcan hanging mobile. B'Elanna narrowed her eyes at the contraption. "It's beautiful," she complimented.
"It is aesthetically pleasing," the Security Chief accepted, "but its purpose is to stimulate the baby's senses."
"Not a toy then," B'Elanna prompted, inwardly smiling.
"Vulcans have no need for toys," Tuvok replied blandly, raising one eyebrow as he acknowledged B'Elanna's attempted provocation.
"Thank you Tuvok. I'll put it up when I get home," she promised.
"I'll put it up when we get home," corrected Tom as he entered Sickbay.
"Hey Tom," B'Elanna greeted cordially. "You don't have to do that."
"It'd be my pleasure," Paris answered with a smile. He looked over to where the baby lay sleeping and his smile deepened. He was clearly already smitten with his daughter.
B'Elanna grinned evilly. "Ready for another round with a diaper?"
"Uh uh," the helmsman shook his head vigorously. "It's your turn next."
"I'll have to hunt round for more willing volunteers," she told him conspiratorially.
"Oooo sneaky, Torres." Tom admired his ex-wife's deviousness.
"I'm an engineer," B'Elanna explained. "I know how to use resources." The remark triggered another raised eyebrow from Tuvok before he politely excused himself.
Tom took the opportunity to pick up his daughter and cradle her lovingly. "You're going home tomorrow, princess," he told her softly. "I'm going to make sure you've got everything you need at your mother's place, and then I'm going to replicate it all at mine, so you have all your creature comforts." He paused, suddenly nervous. "B'Elanna, it will be alright to share looking after her, won't it?"
"Tom, are you kidding? Of course it'll be fine. You're her father." Once again, the sandy-haired pilot proved a surprise to B'Elanna. "Once I've got a routine going, we'll work out all the detail."
Tom sat on the edge of the bio-bed, and looked at his former lover. "You want any help tomorrow?" he offered.
B'Elanna hesitated for a fraction. "I'd love help, but I'm kinda hoping someone else will give me a hand," she admitted, surprised at her honesty.
Tom grinned. "Yeah, I thought that might be the case."
B'Elanna blinked at him, before shaking her head slightly. "Am I that easy to read?"
"To me, yes. And I think the Doc may have a clue too. As for the rest of the crew," Tom shrugged noncommittally. "I think they're just happy you're not at loggerheads anymore."
"Me too," concurred the raven-haired woman. She sighed. "I just wish I could be sure she felt the same way."
Tom rolled his eyes. "For a half-Klingon, you can be a real coward sometimes," he told her, though his tone was soft, trying to take the sting from his words.
It didn't matter. Torres flared immediately. "And what's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, only hushing the last of her words as she heard the baby squeak a protest at the sudden rise in volume.
"Why are you waiting for her to guess how you feel? Tell her," Tom demanded. "You've got nothing to lose."
"I've got everything to lose," B'Elanna contradicted quickly. "I could ruin our friendship."
Tom shook his head, frustrated at the engineer's obtuseness. "If you don't tell her, this will just eat you up and it will affect your friendship anyway, and not telling her would be more harmful, it's it's dishonest." Tom held up his free hand to prevent Torres from interrupting. "And give her some credit, will you? Even if she doesn't feel the same way as you, which I very much doubt, she would still be your friend. She'd still trust you. B'Elanna, one thing I know about you is that you choose your friends very carefully. That's why you only have a small circle of trusted friends. Don't doubt your own judgement, and don't under-estimate Seven's commitment to your friendship too. That's what I mean by having nothing to lose."
B'Elanna stared at him for a long few moments, her dark eyes smouldering as she took in his words. "When did you get so wise?" she asked eventually.
"It's easy when it's not about me," Tom admitted candidly. "I let you down as a husband, B'Elanna, but I'm not going to let you down as a friend. Okay?"
B'Elanna threw her arms round the pilot and hugged him, feeling their baby wriggle in comfort as she was suddenly cocooned between their bodies. "Thanks Tom," she murmured.
Seven blinked at the scene and felt a lurch of heart-breaking disappointment flood through her. As quickly as the emotion rushed over her, she subdued it and chastised herself. It made sense that B'Elanna would want to establish a family group. Seven had just hoped that the engineer might have chosen her instead of her ex-husband. The Astrometrics Officer blinked as the impact of those thoughts registered. Seven evaluated them again carefully, and concluded categorically that she did indeed want to share her life with B'Elanna and her baby. Unfortunately, due to her lack of self-reflection, or cowardice at her inability to voice her feelings, she had lost that opportunity.
With an uncharacteristic sigh, the blonde strode over to the bio-bed. "Lieutenant Paris, B'Elanna," she greeted formally.
B'Elanna smiled, drawing away from her embrace with Tom carefully so as not to disturb the sleeping infant. "Hey Seven," she replied with a smile. "Just the person."
Seven raised her ocular implant quizzically.
"Are you free to help me move back to my quarters tomorrow?" the half-Klingon asked hopefully.
"Barring any sudden conflicts, unexplained emergencies or faults onboard, I will be," Seven replied with typical honesty.
B'Elanna grinned. "Yeah, well putting any unforeseen incidents aside," she allowed. "Would you mind?" she queried, suddenly nervous.
"I would be honoured," Seven corrected. "But would you not prefer Lieutenant Paris to assist?"
"No can do, Seven," Tom told her. "Not only am I on helm duty, I'm also second choice." Seven frowned at his choice of words, and her confusion deepened as B'Elanna slapped him good-naturedly on his bicep and commented, "Don't flatter yourself, flyboy. You're way down the list."
Tom grinned widely, and then, winking at his ex-wife, turned to Seven. "Hey Seven, have you changed a diaper yet?"
Seven did not understand what was so funny about the question.
B'Elanna held her daughter up and slowly turned round 360 degrees. "Welcome to your new home, peanut," she told her softly. "This is the living area. And through there is the bedroom. And over there is your cot. That contraption over it was a present from Tuvok." The half-Klingon noticed her baby yawn sleepily. "Wow, you don't do much except eat, poop and sleep, do you?" she asked rhetorically.
"Your baby is just 3 days old, B'Elanna. What are you expecting her to do?" Seven enquired.
The brunette laughed. "Nothing. I'm just counting my blessings that she's so quiet for now. Looks like she's not going to be any trouble."
"From her heritage, I would suggest that is highly unlikely," Seven refuted blandly.
"Hey! I was a good baby," B'Elanna confided.
"For how long?"
"Er, well. Okay, I'm just going to make the most of this while it lasts," the engineer stated, laying the baby in her crib.
"I have put items that you might require in your bathroom and on the table," Seven told the shorter woman.
"Thanks, Seven. You want to sit down for a while?"
"I do not want to intrude on your time, B'Elanna," Seven responded.
The shorter woman frowned. "You never intrude on my time. I enjoy your company," she told her.
"Be that as it may, you have already stated that all your spare time will be consumed by attending your daughter."
"Well, yes, she is my first priority. But that doesn't mean I don't want to spend time with you." B'Elanna had a suddenly sinking feeling. "That is, unless you don't want to spend time with us."
"You and Lieutenant Paris?" Seven sought clarity.
"No, me and the peanut." B'Elanna stared at the blonde intensely. "What is this obsession with you thinking I'm doing everything with Tom now?"
"I have seen your interactions together with your child. It makes sense that you would want to be a family," Seven replied, her voice stilted with formality.
B'Elanna laughed, half in surprise, and half in relief. "Seven, Tom is my ex husband. I've got to get along with him for the sake of our baby, and to be honest, seeing him with her warms my heart. He's going to make a great dad."
"I see. I should leave," Seven interrupted, turning toward the doorway.
"Wait. Seven, he's going to be a great dad," B'Elanna repeated, "but I could never get back with him. I just don't see him that way. Besides " she hesitated wondering if she could really tell Seven what she felt.
"Perhaps you just need more time to adjust," Seven offered.
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. Enough was enough. "Seven, I'm in love with someone else, not Tom."
Seven was crestfallen. She had come to terms with losing B'Elanna to Paris as there was an understandable logic to the situation. But to lose her to someone else was unacceptable.
B'Elanna, seeing the shattered look flicker across Seven's normally stoic visage, knew that she had to tell her. She closed the distance between them in a few steps. "You, know, for a highly intelligent woman with the knowledge of thousands of species, you can be awfully dense," she told her quietly.
"I'm in love with you." The brunette looked into Seven's eyes and held her gaze. "I'm sorry I waited so long to tell you. The truth is I was scared that you'd react badly and feel uncomfortable round me. That if I told you, it would damage the friendship with you that I value so highly. I was scared that you'd maybe even stay away."
Seven was reeling from the information and the emotional rollercoaster she had just ridden. She could see the absolute sincerity in the half-Klingon's eyes and realised the magnitude of the revelation.
"As a friend, I can think of no-one else I would rather spend my time with," she started.
B'Elanna had to stop herself from physically stepping back. "As a friend ?" She was suddenly finding it very difficult to speak, her throat contracting in an emotional precursor to crying. Despite warning herself that she could not expect Seven to reciprocate her feelings, she was devastated when she realised that the blonde really might only see her as a friend.
Seven continued rapidly. "But I cannot promise anything more until "
Seven paused for a moment, before lifting a hand to caress B'Elanna's face. She felt a thrill course through her at the touch and noticed the engineer's eyes dilate. "Do you remember how all this began?" she wondered, her voice as gentle as the fingers tracing patterns along B'Elanna's jaw-line.
The shorter woman gulped and nodded, careful not to break the contact, her heart racing and stomach flip-flopping; it was her turn on the rollercoaster.
Seven continued as if oblivious to B'Elanna's response. "I told you about my 'first kiss' with Commander Chakotay."
"No spark," B'Elanna confirmed, her voice barely above a whisper as Seven's enchantment continued to hold her still.
So very slowly, Seven lowered her head and brushed her lips across the smaller woman's. Even just that tantalising caress sent a jolt through her body, and Seven continued the embrace, her lips lightly dancing across the brunette's lips, savouring their sweetness, and glorying in the almost electric sensation that tingled through her mouth and on through her body.
With a will she hadn't realised she possessed, B'Elanna forced herself to remain passive and let Seven take the lead. She had no intention of frightening her away with an overly passionate embrace. She just hoped she could demonstrate her ardour once Seven was comfortable with their relationship. The engineer couldn't help but respond as Seven deepened the kiss though, and she brought a hand up to cup the blonde's face as they kissed for what seemed an eternity.
Eventually, Seven pulled back from the embrace, but only the shortest of distances. She could feel her heart racing and could hear her own ragged breathing. She savoured every sensation, filing each one in her eidetic memory in just nano-seconds as she closed her eyes and rested her forehead against B'Elanna's.
"Are you okay?" B'Elanna asked, almost timidly. Her body was alternating between the most exquisite feelings of being kissed and the abject terror that Seven might not feel the same way.
"I believe your analogy was incorrect, Lieutenant," Seven murmured.
B'Elanna's eyes widened in horror at hearing her rank used and she felt a lurching nausea in her stomach. "No spark?" she managed to grind out.
"More like the most glorious electrical storm," Seven corrected, smiling as she felt B'Elanna throw her arms round her and hug her close. They stood for long moments just holding each other and savouring the closeness.
"I love you too," Seven confirmed.
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