DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: BE WARNED! Compared to my normal writing this is quite dark. Major physical and emotional suffering in this one. But my golden rule still applies; all stories MUST have a happy ending. This is a song-fic. Who would have thought that I would ever find a second song that I would like to use in a story? Especially since I myself normally don't like song fics because people might not know the song, or might not see the things the song makes you see. But... here it is. I really like this song because even if you don't know the song, the text is quite potent and understandable, I think. The first song-fic I wrote was from Seven to B'Elanna. Now it's time to have one from B'Elanna to Seven. The problem is, we all know that Seven can sing, but can B'Elanna sing? Somehow she doesn't strike me as a person that likes to sing, at least not in public, so I had to set a whole different kind of stage here. Hence the warning above. Song used: Number One Crush, By Garbage.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Machines. There were several machines surrounding the former Borg drone. All of them making some kind of noise and having flashing lights screaming for attention.
B'Elanna couldn't help but note the irony of it. Once she had tried to tell herself that she hated Seven, and she knew for sure that she hated Borg technology even more. A shudder had always run down her spine when she had seen Seven standing between those Borg machines when regenerating... how B'Elanna wished that the blonde was standing between those machines now.
Instead she was lying on an operating table while the Doctor was fighting for her life. It was messy, and many a person would have either passed out or lost the contents of their stomach... or both. At first there hadn't been time to set up the delicate operating tools that used beam technology to operate without even touching the skin. No, the Doctor had taken one look at the gaping wound, and how B'Elanna had actually been holding Seven's intestines inside the blonde's body, and he had pulled open a rarely used draw that had the old, but effective, tools of his trade. Scalpels had cut away seared flesh, while clamps were used to stop the flow of blood from arteries that had been ripped from the vital organs they once supplied with blood.
Somewhere during the operation the Doctor had told B'Elanna that she could let go now and pushed her back a little to have room. At some point Tom had shown up and had started to set up the machines on order of the Doctor. B'Elanna had never even heard the call for Tom's assistance.
Suddenly B'Elanna felt useless. While the Doctor and Tom had been working frantically, all she could do was stand and watch. The machines started to show their disapproval of the situation as soon as Tom started them. Only red lights started to show, and then even blink as if outraged by the fact that they were brought in at such a late stage in the operation. B'Elanna's eyes had focused on the carnage in front of her. She couldn't believe that somehow Seven was still alive, just. Ribs had been broken off, flesh had been ripped away, forming a huge round, bowl shaped, wound that literally spanned from side to side. And at the place where the blast had hit the blonde, B'Elanna could even see the bones of Seven's spine, even though she was looking at her from the front.
And then, suddenly all went black.
"Are you alright Lieutenant?" The Doctor asked in a soft voice.
"Yeah, I... What happened? Seven?" B'Elanna quickly looked around but didn't see the other woman. Then her eyes fell on the force field privacy screen that was up around one of the bio-beds.
"You passed out," The doctor simply stated. It told B'Elanna a lot about the gravity of the situation that the doctor hadn't made fun of the fact that B'Elanna had fainted.
"Seven?" B'Elanna asked again.
"I was able to repair the damage and physically she will be alright again, given time for the gel-packs to toughen the new skin."
"You were able to repair... that?" B'Elanna asked amazed as she sat up and put her legs over the side of the bio-bed she had been resting on.
"It was actually a lot like when she came onboard and I had to remove a lot of her Borg implants, including her body armor. This time her vital organs were mostly destroyed, but there was enough healthy tissue left with all of them that I could re-grow them. This time I had to remove the abdominal implant as well... what was left of it anyway. I think that it actually took the most of the impact. It, and your excellent handling of the situation after that, unquestionably saved Seven's life." The doctor sighed, knowing that he had prolonged the bad news for as long as he could. "Unfortunately it seems that all of your actions and my work later have been for naught."
"She... she is dead? But you talked like she was still alive," B'Elanna said in a whisper.
The Doctor slowly started to pace between the bio-bed B'Elanna was sitting on and the next one. "It's complicated. I think that I can best describe the severity of her situation by telling you that she is brain-dead."
"No," B'Elanna could only whisper in shock.
"I told you that it was complicated," The doctor continued. "She isn't actually brain-dead, more like Borg-dead. Her brain is working, and the rest of her human body is capable of working as well, but every single Borg implant has shut down. I think that her cranial implant has registered the huge amount of damage there was to the body, and determined that the drone was now useless and deactivated all implants. You know how the Borg are. If a drone is damaged it's considered expendable and simply cut off. I think that's what happened here."
"But we can fix that," B'Elanna said determined. "If a machine is shut down, it can be started up again. Her implants are machines, they can be activated again."
"We could, if the Borg didn't have all kinds of interesting ways to make sure that their technology isn't used against them. I have seen it with the implants I removed when Seven can onboard. Once the implants shut down it's a permanent situation and nothing can activate them again."
"We have to do something," B'Elanna persisted. "We can't just give up."
"I'm trying," The doctor assured. "Actually, we could really use your help. Harry is in holodeck 1 going over all Seven ever shared with us about her implants. I will join him there when Lieutenant Paris comes back from his rest..."
Tom is sleeping?!" B'Elanna interrupted in disbelief.
"On my order," The Doctor assured. "I fully plan to spend as long as I need to to see if I can find a solution, so for now I need a rested Tom here so that he can monitor Seven for a long time. B'Elanna, he didn't want to go; he didn't think he would be able to sleep. I had to give him a sedative to that he could, and then come here and monitor Seven for as long as needed. As for you, why don't you go to holodeck 1 already and see what you and Harry can find out?"
"I'm on my way," B'Elanna said as she moved off the bed. She took a last hesitant look at the force-field that was hiding Seven, and then she moved out of sickbay with a single clear mission on her mind.
"The Makclavi were finally able to catch Seven's assailant," Janeway said as she looked around the conference-room table. "Turns out that he was a 'crazed religious fanatic,' to use the Makclavi's own words."
"And why did he single out Seven?" Harry asked.
"Because she was blonde."
"What?" Almost everyone around the table said at the same time, clearly not believing that someone had wanted to kill Seven for the dim-witted reason that the pigment of Seven's hair just happened to have a low melanin level, making her blonde.
"The Makclavi don't have blonde hair color," Janeway explained. "The lightest color they have is dirt brown. Seven was unlucky in the fact that she simply happened to be the first light-haired person from our crew that this lunatic saw. He saw her and was sure that she had to be a messenger from their devil. A messenger that had to be killed. B'Elanna, you were with Seven when she was attacked, did he give any indication at all that he would attack her, any warning?"
"Nothing at all, Captain. We both wanted to see the Makclavi technological museum. Since nobody else was interested we decided to go together since you had given the order that nobody should be out alone. When we left the museum the bastard came walking up and suddenly shot Seven at point blank range."
"Hmm, well, the Makclavi have decided to charge him for murder, so tomorrow the Makclavi court investigators will take your testimony so that we can leave after that."
"Murder? But Seven's isn't dead," B'Elanna said in disbelief.
"They decided that the fact that we have a better medical knowledge than they do shouldn't be part of the equation. The wound that he inflicted was deadly, so he will be charged with murder." Janeway was quiet for a moment before bringing up the most difficult point. "That brings me to Seven herself. It has been a week now, and everything we tried has proven unsuccessful. I think it's time that we accepted the situation for what it is. I..." She had to swallow before finally saying the words that had to be said. "I have decided that tomorrow at noon the machine will be switched off. If anyone wants to say a last goodbye you can do so in the next twenty-four hours." Everyone around the table knew that Janeway would be one of the first people to go and say goodbye to the woman she had taken under her wing as if she had been a daughter to her.
B'Elanna hesitantly walked into sickbay. She saw the Doctor standing at Seven's bed, looking at the blonde for a moment longer before looking up at B'Elanna.
"Nothing?" B'Elanna asked in idle hope.
"I'm sorry, but no. I was just saying my own goodbye. She was such a remarkable person." He pushed away from the bio-bed, and B'Elanna was surprised to see clear frustration in the motion. "It's so senseless. Physically she is fully healed. She could go back on duty tomorrow. But those damn implants just won't activate. I never felt so useless before."
"You did all you could," B'Elanna said, knowing it to be the truth. "I think I'll..." B'Elanna didn't finish her sentence, but where her eyes had drifted told the Doctor enough.
"Sure. I'll be in my office."
B'Elanna moved over to the bio-bed and sat down on a chair that had been put beside the bed. She let her eyes drift over the body of the blonde for a moment. Dressed in her gray biosuit it looked just as if Seven was sleeping; her chest rising and falling ever so slightly with every breath she took. The machines that had once surrounded Seven were gone, replaced with a small machine that was attached to the head of the bio-bed and that was beeping at a steady rhythm; clearly monitoring Seven's vital signs, and acting every so often to keep the woman alive.
"Hi Seven," B'Elanna started softly. "Didn't expect to see me here, did you? Or maybe you did, we were getting along better lately." B'Elanna stopped for a moment as a tear started to roll down her face. "Who am I trying to kid here? We always got along. Well, we did need a few weeks to feel each other out, but you loved our fights as much as I did, didn't you? You provoked me on purpose didn't you? You are way too smart. You wouldn't do things that you knew would piss me off over and over again if you didn't like my reaction. You would simply go to the Captain then and have her give me an order. But you didn't. No, you just came back time and again, pissing me off again and again." B'Elanna took hold of Seven's hand and placed a soft kiss on the pale skin of the knuckles. "I... I should have told you. Now I've missed my chance. I should have told you how much... How I..."
B'Elanna stopped, not really knowing how to say it. Then she started again, approaching the subject from a different direction. "Hey, you want to hear a little secret? Did you know that I had a crush on you from the very first day you were severed from the collective? Yes, even back when you were still walking around with those metal plates screwed to your head, and that visual probe sticking out of your eye. You were walking around so superior, so absolutely sure of yourself. I was looking at you, trying to tell myself how creepy you looked with that metal screwed to your head... and instead I started to fantasize about your lips. About how sexy they were, how much I wanted to kiss them, wondering if I would even be able to kiss them or if your protruding eyepiece would be in the way. I'm so sorry I never told you, Seven. I should have."
B'Elanna never did hear the Doctor coming back. Nor did she notice him standing and listening for a moment. She also didn't notice him activating the privacy force-field that separated her and Seven from the rest of sickbay, before moving back to his office. None of that registered with her, because she only had eyes for the woman on the bio-bed.
"I should have told you that... how much... how." B'Elanna let out a frustrated breath. "Kahless, talking about my feelings has always been hard for me. I don't know how to tell you how I feel, what I feel. I just told you that I had a crush on you from the first day, yet I can't just say how much I lo... You would think it would be easy. You are lying here, you can't even hear me, and tomorrow the machine that is keeping you alive will be turned off. And yet..."
She placed another kiss on the hand she was still holding before squeezing it a little more. "I wish it was the other way around, you know? I would, if I could, you know? If I could I would switch with you. I really would die for you. I'm not just saying that either. You are such a wonderful person, you don't deserve to die."
Her own words reminded B'Elanna of something, something that might convey her feelings at least a little. "You know, this might sound crazy coming from me but, um, I know this song. I heard it on the holodeck once during a party and I looked it up afterwards because I liked the lyrics so much. Every time I play it now I wish that I had someone that I could feel so strong about. And you know what? For the last two years there was such a person onboard, and yet I always found some stupid reason to not tell you how I felt." Now B'Elanna chuckled. "Mind you, I can't sing, so don't listen to see if I can actually carry a tune. Then again, maybe you should. Maybe I sound so terrible that it'll wake you up."
B'Elanna was quiet for a moment, going over the words of the song before starting softly, in a low and alto tone... which was only surprisingly little off key.
I would die for you
I would die for you
I've been dying just to feel you by my side
To know that you're mine
B'Elanna held on to Seven's hand with both of her own, letting her tears fall freely.
I will cry for you
I will cry for you
I will wash away your pain with all my tears
And drown your fear
She had always wondered if Seven had fears; demons that haunted her. With a guilty feeling B'Elanna had hoped that Seven did have her demons. That way B'Elanna would have been able to hold her and chase all those fears away, if only.
I will pray for you
I will pray for you
I will sell my soul for something pure and true
Someone like you
B'Elanna could only hope that her words could convey how much she meant those last two lines.
See your face every place that I walk in
Hear your voice every time that I'm talking
You will believe in me
And I will never be ignored
Even that was totally true, B'Elanna realized. Seven had always believed her, and believed in her as well. Be it on something as silly as swearing that she really hadn't eaten the last rice pudding, or something as important as what setting the warp core should have. Seven had also always believed that the things B'Elanna had suggested as solutions to problems could work. She might have disagreed with it because she thought her way was better, but she had always believed the facts that B'Elanna had provided. She had even said it a few times, literally said, 'I believe in you' when B'Elanna had to make a choice and doubted her own abilities. She had also never ignored B'Elanna, though Seven certainly had been capable of ignoring someone into total frustration if she wanted to. Something she had done several time with others of the crew. But never B'Elanna.
Taking a deep breath, B'Elanna continued.
I will burn for you
Feel pain for you
I will twist the knife and bleed my aching heart
And tear it apart
I will lie for you
Beg and steal for you
I will crawl on hands and knees until you see
You're just like me
How true that was. B'Elanna had realized a long time ago that even though they seemed different as day and night, if you took a closer look they were very much alike. Both a mix of two species, both had been outcasts in their lives, both loved technology, and both were very passionate people that could loose themselves in what they were doing.
Violate all the love that I'm missing
Throw away all the pain that I'm living
You will believe in me
And I can never be ignored
Singing was becoming more difficult with every word, yet she pushed on, singing the single line parts of text that made up the rest of they song with more and more difficulty, while blinking the tears out of her eyes.
I would die for you
I would kill for you
I will steal for you
I'd do time for you
I will wait for you
I'd make room for you
I'd sail ships for you
To be close to you
To be part of you
Cause I believe in you
I believe in you
I would die for you
B'Elanna lowered her head to the bed, pulling Seven's hand against her cheek, and let herself go completely, morning the person that had become such a big part of her without her knowing it, that now it felt like her very soul was being cut in half. "I do believe in you, Seven. You don't deserve this. How I wish I could take your place. I love you." She placed a last kiss on the hand she was still holding before placing the hand back against her cheek and breaking down completely.
She never did hear the change in the rhythm of the beeping machine, she never did notice those eyes starting to move under those closed eyelids. But she sure felt the twitching in the hand she was holding. She stilled, sure that she must have been imagining things. But no, there it was again. She sat up, looking at Seven's face, just in time to see her eyes open.
"Seven? Seven! What, how?" Not waiting for an answer, B'Elanna literally threw herself at the blonde, burying her face in the crook of Seven's neck. It was only when she felt arms close around her that she realized that this was truly not a dream. "Seven, how? We tried, but we couldn't find a way to active your implants again. They were going to switch off the machine tomorrow." B'Elanna knew that she didn't need to explain what machine, or what this meant.
"I did not want to come back," Seven said hoarsely. "I was in a peaceful place. Nobody feared me, everyone wanted to spend time with me; make me feel good. Fighting to leave there and come back here hurt so much, staying felt so good. I had nothing here that was worth for me to fight for, or so I thought. I... I heard you and realized that I did have something to fight for after all. Please tell me that you meant what you just said."
B'Elanna placed a soft kiss on Seven's forehead. "I did, every last word. I love you, Seven, and I'm sorry that I never told you. Are you alright, what about your implants?"
Seven lifted her Borg enhanced hand a little and looked at it over B'Elanna's shoulder. I am... I think 'alright' would be a proper word. My implants are no longer working, yet they are. I no longer receive data from them, yet at the same time I can 'feel' them. I 'feel' my enhanced hand just like I can feel my normal hand." Seven placed her Borg enhanced hand on the exposed flesh of B'Elanna's neck and said full amazement, "I can feel your body heat. Before this hand only had tactile sensors. It is not designed to feel heat."
"Then you either proved that the saying 'mind over matter' counts for Borg implants as well, or some higher power decided that we deserve as life together. I don't care." B'Elanna placed a hesitant kiss on Seven's lips. "I don't care. Because either way, I got you back, and I'm not going to let you go, ever again."
Seven initiated the second kiss, but this time the kiss led to a long string of tender kisses; both women relishing in the love that was flowing between them.
"Tired," Seven finally said, trying to explain why she had stopped doing what she wanted to continue doing so desperately.
B'Elanna had to smile at that. "Why don't you try to sleep some? Let your body get used to the fact that those implants are now truly a part of your body."
"Do not leave me," Seven begged.
"I'm not going anywhere," B'Elanna assured as she crawled all the way onto the bed and stretched out beside the woman she loved so much. "I'll be right here, holding you, loving you. I love you Seven. I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you for coming back to me."
"I love you too, B'Elanna Torres. Thank you for giving me a reason to come back. Will..." Seven hesitated for a moment before asking in a somewhat shy voice, "Will you sing me to sleep?"
"As long as you can stand hearing my terrible singing, I'll sing for you whenever you want me to."
"Your singing is not terrible; your singing is wonderful."
"Let's not exaggerate, honey." The endearment had slipped out, and B'Elanna's eyes got wider when she heard what she had said.
"That sounds wonderful as well. I will never tire of hearing you calling me that," Seven assured. "I love you, and you literally sang me back to life, even if your voice sounds like metal scraping over metal, I will never tire of hearing you sing to me."
"Well then, honey, close those eyes and let me sing you to sleep. And Seven, now that I know that you can actually hear me, let me tell you that I mean every word of what I'm going to say now."
B'Elanna took a deep breath before starting to sing so soft that it was more a whisper.
I would die for you
I would die for you
I've been dying just to feel you by my side
To know that you're mine
The computer had immediately warned the Doctor when Seven's vital signs had started to change. He had activated the sensors in sickbay long enough to be sure that Seven was truly alright, and had heard how Seven had explained that somehow her implants had become a true part of her body now. He knew that a lot of questions still had to be answered, but hearing the conversation going on in sickbay, he decided that now was definitely not the moment. He switched off all the sensors in sickbay, with the exception of the one that kept track of Seven's vital signs. Then he contacted the bridge to let them know that Seven had woken up, and that because Seven needed rest, that sickbay would be off limits to anyone for the next day unless it was truly an emergency. For anything else they could contact him and he could make 'house calls.' The Doctor had to smirk. That would stop people from contacting him for small things; they hated him making house calls even more than he hated making them.
Q listened how B'Elanna started to sing again, deciding that as always with these women the solution lay in the middle ground between their opinions. B'Elanna's voice really wasn't as bad as B'Elanna thought, but she would certainly not be asked to sing in an opera any time soon. He looked at them for a moment before snapping his fingers and tweaking the changes to Seven's implants a little more. He looked at B'Elanna and shook his head a little. He really was getting soft in his old age. Another finger snap and B'Elanna had changed as well, even though she wouldn't notice it until the first time that she had to use her strength or stamina.
After all, it was only fair, wasn't it? Now that Seven had implants that far surpassed anything the Borg would come up with in the next millennia or so, it was only fair that he had changed B'Elanna to be able to interact with Seven on the level those implants now made it possible. Especially the new cranial implant and the telepathic abilities it would give Seven eventually. And of course, giving the Klingon that extra stamina to keep up with Seven's now doubled endurance was a nice thing too. That should prove an interesting discovery for them the first time they made love. Then they would discover that unlike people that only meant it proverbially when they said it, Seven and B'Elanna truly would be able to make love all night long, and then still have enough wind left to make it through a day of work.
Q smiled. Yes, he was sure that both women would be only too happy to help him out in a couple of years when he had to deal with that bet he had with his wife. Q sighed, things had become so complicated since he had bonded with Q, and he and she had become so close. Then he grinned. Complicated, but fun.
He snapped his fingers again, transporting himself away, leaving the two women to start their new life, together.
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