DISCLAIMER: Yes, Paramount owns it all - I am just having some fun with their characters.
SERIES: This story is a sequel to Resistance
PAIRING: B'Elanna/Seven (eventually!)
FEEDBACK: Yes please, I wouldn't post otherwise.

By Rebelgirl

Part Four

Seven could only stare back at the raven-haired woman. Her brain seemed to have ceased to function. B'Elanna's words were repeating themselves continually in her mind, but Seven was dumbstruck by the declaration. She had waited so long for B'Elanna to react to her outburst on the prison planet that she had begun to think that nothing would ever change. She wondered if her auditory senses were operating correctly while she tried to comprehend the implications of the revelation but, judging by the intense look B'Elanna was directing at her, she knew that she had indeed heard the statement correctly. Seven was shocked by the words, but more so by the fact that she seemed unable to form any kind of reaction to them.

B'Elanna stared closely at the blonde woman, looking for any sort of response, other than open-mouthed awe. As the lack of reaction continued, the Klingon hybrid began to wonder if she had done the right thing by admitting her feelings after all this time. She could feel her heart clench as she considered if she had perhaps left things too late and that Seven had, understandably, moved on.

She broke her gaze away and stared at the table, feeling a miserable sense of dejection flood through her, compounded by her earlier altercation with Tom Paris. B'Elanna knew that she had left Seven hanging on ever since their return, speaking only of selected experiences on the planet and never of Seven's admission of love. She had treated Seven poorly and it was time to make things right. She just hoped that the close relationship she had developed with the Astrometrics officer hadn't been jeopardised.

B'Elanna studied the back of her hands, noticing the tiny moles and imperfections that graced them and the various scars she had acquired during her life. She noticed that the skin over her knuckles had been bleached white by being stretched taut with the clenching of her fists. It appeared that Seven was going to say nothing in response to her words. The silence was killing her as it sat oppressively in her quarters. Without looking up, the engineer came to the conclusion that she ought to give Seven a way out and took a deep breath. "Seven, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you like that. And I presumed too much to think that you might still have feelings for me." She hurried on, almost tripping over her words as she continued. "I know I haven't behaved honourably. I just couldn't deal with my emotions. I am so sorry. Please don't let this ruin our friendship."

Finally, the brunette looked up and saw unshed tears threatening to fall from Seven's cobalt eyes. Ashamed that she had provoked such a reaction from the younger woman, B'Elanna stood up abruptly from her seat and stalked away from the table, holding her head in her hands. "Kahless, I've done this all wrong." she started again, berating herself for what she had done.

Her pacing and her words were stilled as Seven laid a hand gently on her shoulder. "It is I who should apologise B'Elanna," she murmured softly. "You took me by surprise, but I have wanted you to say what you said for so long, I almost made myself refuse to believe the words." She ran her fingers lightly across the smaller woman's jaw before gently gripping her chin and gazing into B'Elanna's chocolate- brown eyes. "My feelings have not changed," she whispered, her voice laden with emotion.

Before B'Elanna could reply, Seven brought her head down slowly and brushed her lips over B'Elanna's. She passed her lips teasingly across the shorter woman's, marvelling at the soft touch and the electricity the caress sparked, but she was reluctant to deepen the embrace until she was certain that B'Elanna would reciprocate.

B'Elanna thought her hearts would explode when she felt Seven's feather-light kiss touch her lips. She knew that she had deep feelings for the ex-drone but they seemed to magnify immeasurably with that first tentative caress. She was so lost in the sensation that she almost forgot to reciprocate, but as Seven brushed her lips over hers again, the Klingon returned the pressure and stilled the taller woman's head with her hand as she deepened the kiss. Gently, she ran her fingers over Seven's cheek, allowing them to delicately examine the ex-drone's starburst implant while she softly ran her tongue over Seven's full lower lip.

Seven had marvelled at the feelings she experienced when they began the kiss. Now B'Elanna was returning the kiss, the blonde began to believe that she was malfunctioning. Her heart was pounding and her breathing had become ragged. When B'Elanna touched her facial implant Seven thought she would stop breathing altogether. All she wanted to do now was deepen the kiss further and explore the Klingon with her hands and mouth. As she felt B'Elanna's tongue glide across her lower lip, Seven gasped and moved her own tongue out to meet it.

The two women moved their bodies closer, pressing into each other as they continued the exploration of their mouths. Seven ran her hands over B'Elanna's back and shoulders, feeling the dense musculature that lay hidden under the engineer's uniform. She moved the investigation lower and massaged B'Elanna's backside, eliciting a deep groan from the brunette.

B'Elanna's hands were not idle. While one hand continued its gentle touch of Seven's face, the other snaked round the taller woman's back, tracing small circles as B'Elanna allowed her hand to roam. She luxuriated in Seven's nearness and never wanted the embrace to end, but eventually, the brunette had to pull away as her lungs demanded oxygen.

The two women kept their faces just millimetres apart as they gasped, unwilling to place any distance between them. Seven recovered from the passionate kiss more quickly and, recognising that B'Elanna was still gasping and trembling in her arms, dropped her head slightly so she could place gentle kisses on the engineer's jaw and neck. As she tasted B'Elanna's skin, Seven applied herself more vigorously, gently nipping at the Klingon's neck before soothing the area with her tongue. She smiled as she heard B'Elanna groan again, a deep growl that excited her.

The blonde began to move her partner backwards, gently at first, while she continued to kiss her. But she wanted more and Seven ran her hands round to B'Elanna's sides, running them up and down her ribcage and abdomen until she extended her hands and allowed them to brush over the swell of the brunette's breasts. The touch made her moan and she pushed B'Elanna more forcibly back until there was nowhere left to go and she had the shorter woman pinned up against a wall.

B'Elanna was lost in the sensations Seven was providing. The ex- drone's soft lips had almost tickled as they drifted down her jaw, but as the ministrations became stronger, B'Elanna felt her body respond in an almost primeval way. When Seven bit her neck gently, the Klingon could not hold back the growl from her chest. Her response spurred Seven on and B'Elanna found herself being propelled backwards as the taller woman continued to caress and kiss her. Even as they moved, the engineer lifted her head back to give Seven more access to her neck and feverishly ran her hands up and down the Borg's back, locating a number of implants that as yet remained hidden under Seven's biosuit.

With an audible exhalation, B'Elanna slammed into a wall but that slowed neither woman down. The brunette lifted her hands back up to Seven's face and then encouraged the taller woman to bring her face up so they could kiss once again.

Seven needed little encouragement and attacked B'Elanna's lips voraciously, pushing her whole body into the engineer as she began to massage the Klingon's breasts more forcefully.

Somewhere in the back of B'Elanna's mind, she knew that she had to stop Seven, or at least slow her down. Things were moving far too swiftly. With extreme difficulty, she moved her hands and applied a gentle pressure to Seven's shoulders, trying to break the embrace.

Seven could feel B'Elanna push against her. Focused solely on investigating the extreme pleasure she was experiencing, the blonde drone took no notice and pushed back, instinctively nudging her thigh into the apex of B'Elanna's legs as she continued to plunder her mouth, revelling in every new sensation. She grinned as she heard B'Elanna gasp at the new development but did not relent and continued to ravage the smaller woman's mouth as she brushed the pads of her thumbs over stiff nipples. Her eidetic memory logged every response the engineer gave to each touch. The power her hands and lips had over the Klingon was intoxicating and the way her own body reacted to every interaction was almost too powerful to control. The one thing she was certain of was that she did not want to stop.

She ignored B'Elanna's continued push against her, and when the smaller woman broke away from the kiss, she did not listen to what she gasped. Denied the contact of B'Elanna's lips, Seven returned her attention to the brunette's neck, nuzzling her lips underneath the collar of her shirt to try and reach previously unexposed flesh. Her fully human hand drifted away from B'Elanna's breast and located the fastener of the gold and black tunic, unzipping the garment in one fluid movement. She tugged the grey turtleneck and vest-top free from B'Elanna's trousers and stroked her hand across the fevered skin that she uncovered.

B'Elanna growled both in frustration and arousal. She couldn't help her body responding to Seven's attention but in an ironic twist, her usually passionate Klingon psyche was urging her to stop before things went too far. "Seven.wait.we need.to stop," she panted, cursing her hormones for interfering with her thought processes. Getting no indication that the blonde might have heard her, B'Elanna tried to push Seven away again. She felt the pressure returned, almost dismissed by the younger woman and she was pressed more forcibly against a wall as Seven continued her exploration.

B'Elanna was in awe of the power Seven displayed so easily. There were very few people who could match her own strength, let alone surpass it. It also alarmed her slightly. She was beginning to wonder if she had the ability to stop Seven from continuing. As she felt the blonde woman continue licking and nipping at her pulse point, B'Elanna swallowed and concentrated on finding her voice. "Seven.stop.please," she tried again.

"No," the taller woman practically growled. The sensations she was experiencing were beyond her wildest imagining and she was determined to continue. She ground her thigh more forcibly into B'Elanna's crotch even as her hands began to roam upwards, seeking out the Klingon's breasts. She ran her fingertips lightly over the lace edge of B'Elanna's bra, trying to imagine what it actually looked like before realising that she could easily find out.

As she grabbed the hem of B'Elanna's shirt, she felt a pair of hands close over her own, trying to still their movement. For a moment, she ignored their presence and began to lift the garment but found that her arms were being forced back down. Vaguely, she could hear B'Elanna's voice through the shroud of arousal that had enveloped her but the sweet intoxication that fogged her mind didn't allow her to discern the words B'Elanna was saying. Seven moved her arms quickly and managed to transfer both of B'Elanna's wrists into her borg- enhanced hand. With B'Elanna's hands firmly in her grip, she pulled the engineer's arms up above her head and kept them pinned against the wall. Once secured, she was free to move the engineer's clothing and she yanked the garments up swiftly, exposing a taut, flat stomach and the firm swell of B'Elanna's breasts encased in a black lace bra, pushing out and up because of B'Elanna's stretched limbs.

The blonde woman leaned back slightly to drink in the sight of B'Elanna's body, swallowing as she felt her mouth go dry. Her gaze swept up to look at B'Elanna's face adoringly but she reeled as she saw fear and hurt in the brunette's eyes. Instantly sobered, she pulled back further and in that moment realised that she was still clenching B'Elanna's wrists, and that the force she was using was far beyond what was necessary.

Seven concentrated and tried to remember what B'Elanna had said during their embrace and with horror she realised that the Klingon had asked, almost begged her to stop. Instead, she had pressed on, intent on her own pleasure and not what B'Elanna wanted. She released her grip on the brunette instantly and reeled back, stumbling onto the floor in the middle of the room. "I'm so sorry. I did not mean." She stopped, ashamed at her behaviour and appalled by what she could potentially have done. She felt hot tears burning down her cheeks, mortified by her lack of control and her treatment of the woman she loved.

For a few agonising seconds, B'Elanna burned with anger. That Seven could so easily ignore her wishes and continue doing whatever she wanted to do was both frightening and outrageous to the engineer. She forced herself not to react reflexively and drew on everything Tuvok had ever taught her. The brunette allowed herself the time to try and get Seven's perspective on what had occurred. She then looked at the ex-drone's face and B'Elanna was at her side in an instant. She could see the emotions etched clearly on the younger woman's face and her contrition was obvious. Gently, she ran her hands through Seven's hair, freeing it from its constraints and combing it through soothingly with her fingers as she pulled the stricken woman into a hug. "I know, I know," she whispered reassuringly. "I'm sorry too."

Seven frowned but allowed herself to remain in B'Elanna's arms, her body taut. "You said that you loved me," she began hesitantly. "I thought that meant I could.I could." She could barely speak. Her chest felt constricted, as if there was a broad belt steadily tightening around her and squeezing the breath from her lungs. She couldn't believe that she hadn't listened to what B'Elanna had said to her. She was mortified at what she could so easily have done, regardless of the Klingon's wishes. Seven had declared that she was in love with the engineer, but had ignored the other woman's words so that she could satisfy her own needs. She mentally braced herself for the rejection that would now surely follow her actions as B'Elanna spoke again.

"Seven, I do love you. But I'm still married. To continue what we were doing would have been totally dishonourable to me and to Tom." B'Elanna sighed as she continued to play with the younger woman's long tresses. "Besides, I want you to experience a bit of romance. We've been dancing round each other for some time now. A little while longer won't kill us."

Even as she spoke the words, the Klingon wondered just how long she would be able to wait. Seven's touch had ignited a passion inside her she hadn't experienced in a long time. She ached for more of the same but wanted to be certain that Seven was not just reacting to her body's needs. The Astrometrics officer had only limited experience of romantic or sexual liaisons and B'Elanna was determined that Seven should discover that they *were* a relevant aspect of her humanity. The engineer wanted to build on their admissions together and develop their relationship; strengthening and deepening the bond that she recognised was already there. Despite Seven being brave enough to admit her feelings on the prison planet, B'Elanna was still slave to her own insecurities and belief of inadequacy, and was still uncertain if she would ever be good enough for the blonde woman. She too would benefit by taking things at a steadier rate.

B'Elanna could feel Seven relax into her arms but she made no effort to relinquish her hold. "Seven, don't be too hard on yourself. It's easy to get carried away," she murmured into her hair.

"That is not the point," Seven replied, her voice shaky with emotion. "I should have listened to you. I had no control." She looked into B'Elanna's eyes, her face still showing the torment she felt. "I could have hurt you," she whispered.

"But you didn't," the brunette replied gently. "You stopped yourself. You did have control." She smiled slightly. "It just took a while to kick in."

"Can you ever forgive me?"

"I already have. Don't tear yourself up over this, Seven," B'Elanna continued. "Just promise me that you'll listen to me in future."

Seven exhaled loudly. By B'Elanna even mentioning the chance of another opportunity at intimacy, she realised that the Klingon hybrid did not hate her for her dreadful behaviour. The opportunity to deepen and alter the nature of their friendship was still present, and Seven was relieved that she had not ruined their relationship. "I am not experienced with romantic encounters B'Elanna." She spoke hesitantly. "I am afraid that I will make more mistakes and drive you away," she admitted, hearing her voice crack as her deepest fear was spoken.

B'Elanna shifted and held Seven by the shoulders. "Listen. We will learn about what we need from each other together. I'm no angel. I've already made mistakes. I should have confronted my feelings a long time ago. Because I didn't, I ended up treating both you and Tom badly." She shook her head slightly. "But making mistakes is part of the process. It brings us closer together." She wrapped her arms round the ex-drone and pulled her into another hug. "The one thing we must do is talk to each other, and more importantly, listen to each other." She played with a strand of Seven's hair absently. "And listen to me when I tell you that I love you," she murmured again.

Seven drew in a ragged gasp, feeling as if a heavy weight had been lifted from her chest. She could breathe again. The rejection she had been dreading had not happened and in that moment, Seven realised that her love for the diminutive engineer was a fluid entity, growing continually with each moment.

B'Elanna looked round her living quarters as she rubbed her neck tiredly. "Who thought that talking could be so tiring?" she mused quietly.

"I believe your fatigue may be due to the lateness of the hour as well as what has occurred this evening," Seven replied.

B'Elanna glanced at the chronometer on her desk and raised her eyebrows, surprised that they were now into the early hours of a new day. "I have to go to bed. I'm on an early start tomorrow," she commented.

"I will leave you to retire," Seven replied, trying to disentangle herself from the engineer and stand up.

"Seven, you don't have to go. You're more than welcome to stay here if you want to."

"I do not want to impose on you," the young ex-drone replied hesitantly.

B'Elanna realised that Seven's words were not a polite attempt to excuse herself but a genuine concern. "It's not an imposition. But don't feel obligated to stay either. It's your choice."

Seven smiled gratefully at the invitation. "I would like to stay," she affirmed quietly.

"Great. I'll get some bed linen," the Klingon offered, turning towards the bedroom.

"That will not be necessary. I do not need to regenerate," Seven reminded the smaller woman.

B'Elanna stopped and turned back towards the other woman. "Yeah, but you'll want to sleep for a few hours won't you?"

"I have not yet mastered sleeping," Seven admitted candidly.

"Have you tried?" B'Elanna questioned.

"Yes. But it was not successful. Sleeping is an inefficient process. I prefer to regenerate."

Seven nodded slightly at the end of the statement to underline her determination. The action made B'Elanna smile. "You just don't want to admit you failed at something," she teased knowingly. She was delighted to see Seven's face flush slightly with embarrassment.

"I see no reason to learn a process that I have no need for," the Borg rebuffed defensively.

"You never know Seven. You might need it some day," B'Elanna responded, smiling devilishly.

Seven noticed the look on the engineer's face and felt her skin flush again, the feelings that she had experienced when kissing B'Elanna returning to her system with great force. She swallowed convulsively before she spoke again. "Perhaps I should attempt the procedure again," she conceded.

B'Elanna stared at the taller woman and felt her body reacting to her presence. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she licked her suddenly dry lips. She wondered how she could have been so stubborn and not dealt with her feelings before now. She knew that things were not going to be easy. She was volatile and unpredictable. She had also been permanently scarred physically and mentally by the Moderator. Seven would have to be extremely patient while they got to grips with their relationship. But B'Elanna knew equally that the ex-drone had suffered on the prison planet. She also had emotional scars that needed to be dealt with. The Klingon was determined that they would heal together.

Realising that she was still staring at the blonde woman and that Seven was returning an enquiring look, B'Elanna turned hurriedly and retrieved blankets, a sheet and some pillows. She dumped them on the couch and then inspected the sofa more critically. "I'm not sure that you'll be comfortable on here Seven," she remarked. "It's a bit short. Your legs will hang over the end."

"I'm sure I will manage," Seven replied. "I doubt I will sleep anyway, so my comfort is irrelevant."

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong," the Klingon hybrid disputed. "You won't sleep if you're uncomfortable. Do you want to swap and use my bed? I'll be okay on here," she offered.

"No." Seven's refusal was instant. She wasn't sure if she would be able to sleep on the sofa but was certain that she would not sleep if she was in B'Elanna's bed, covered by sheets that would surely hold the lieutenant's enticing aroma. At B'Elanna's inquisitive frown she tried to explain her stout refusal. "You need to sleep in order to function efficiently. I have the alcove to fall back on if necessary."

B'Elanna nodded, accepting the explanation easily as she tucked a sheet into the sofa and threw a blanket across it. She plumped up the pillows unnecessarily and then straightened. "Do you want something to sleep in?"

"My biosuit will be sufficient," Seven stated assuredly.

"You might want to take off your shoes. It'll be a bit more comfy," B'Elanna advised.

"I will comply," Seven returned.

The engineer shook her head in amusement. "Good night Seven," she said softly. "And thank you, for everything."

"You're welcome," the ex-drone responded. "Good night." She watched the brunette retire to the bedroom before removing her shoes. As she lay back on the couch, Seven drew the blanket round her shoulders and tried to relax. She sighed. The blanket B'Elanna had provided was infused with her scent. So much for avoiding the intoxicating perfume of the engineer. She inhaled deeply and ruminated over the events that had unfolded. The overwhelming feeling she had was one of hope. She had almost ruined her relationship with B'Elanna but she had been forgiven. She was determined not to jeopardise things again.

Seven was so focused on the intricate issues that she didn't feel her body relax into the couch or her eyelids get heavier. Caught up in the events that had unfolded in B'Elanna's quarters, Seven neglected to analyse her body reactions and examine what actually happened as a prerequisite to sleep. And because she wasn't dissecting the mechanisms that caused humans to sleep, she succumbed to its lure successfully for the first time.

Part 5

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