DISCLAIMER: Alexa is mine; born right from my head as for the others; I don’t own ‘em, I just like ‘em… A LOT. And as someone (don’t remember who) said before… they have more fun in my world than they ever had in Paramount’s world!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Split Seconds
By The Other Liz

Part Twenty


The girl pulled back again, preparing for the next one.


'Too low...' she thought.


'Too high, lay off the high ones...'


'That would only be a double... dammit, now your hitting like a… p'taq…'


'It'll have to do.'

The young girl placed a hand on both ends of her bat and raised it above her head, stretching her arms, back and stomach at the same time. A shiver ran through her as her muscles involuntarily flexed against the strain. She then removed her helmet, grabbed a bucket and began retrieving the balls she had so thoroughly placed around the field. She'd gotten about halfway though picking them up when she felt eyes on her back. She swung around to find herself face to face with the one person she'd hoped to avoid today.

"Ms. Torres." the taller woman spoke.

"Coach Foster." Alexa said before turning back to get the bucket she'd sat on the ground.

"When are you going to come play for us?" the coach asked.

"Never." Alexa replied. 'Why does she not ever get this through her head?'

The older woman sighed.

"Alexa, you have talent. You could really do something for the team and yourself."

Alexa stopped short and turned around setting the bucket down again.

"Myself?" she snorted. "Look, I don't want to play. I just hit the balls to clear my head. I'm very thankful that you let me use the pitching machine when I need it but I just don't want to actually play. I couldn't do it anyway."

"Alexa, please." the Coach sighed again. "We need a hitter like you. You're aggressive and come after the ball, you already have an eye for a bad pitch and I've seen you run in gym, you're fast. I don't care if you can catch although I don't doubt that you can, we need your hitting and running."

"Coach, no offense... but I've been hitting and running my whole life, I'm really not trying to do it for fun."

Coach Foster's clear blue eyes darkened slightly. The coach knew this girl's troubled past and her heart went out to the young girl. It had ever since she'd first seen her in the hallways. Head always down or in a book, she didn't dress like the other girls, always in jeans and sneakers usually paired with a t-shirt or hoody. Ever since then the coach knew that there was more to this girl than met the eye. It wasn't until the day she'd taken some of her team to the batting cages for some extra practice that she'd gotten a first hand glimpse of Alexa's true nature. She hadn't noticed Alexa at first, not until she'd heard the twang of a ball hitting the bat right in the sweet spot back to back for 5 minutes solid. She'd gone looking for a player that apparently could hit anything, what she'd found was a shy, quiet girl who only wanted to hit something, anything. Over the last three years, she'd gotten to know Alexa, found that the young girl had a lot to be angry about and she'd come to see Alexa as a close friend, possibly a daughter. She knew what made Alexa tick, what she could never figure out was why the girl didn't want to play.

"Coach?" Alexa cocked an eyebrow at the older woman.

Coach Foster shook her head slightly clearing the glaze from her eyes.

"Yeah, sorry I was just thinking we could go to State with you on our side."

Alexa sighed. She didn't hate competition; she hated drawing attention to herself. She always felt out of place, no matter where she was. The young girl dreamed of a place where she belonged, where she was wanted. She wasn't lying when she said she'd been hitting and running her whole life, it's just that she wasn't talking about baseballs or softballs. She picked up the remaining three balls that they were standing near and glanced at the coach.

"State champions you think?"

Blue eyes brightened slightly. Surely she hadn't finally talked the young girl into it. The coach walked to the pitching machine Alexa was taking down for storage to help.

"I think so. With you, Rhianna and Nikki out there, I don't see why we couldn't." Foster chuckled a little. "Might even pull off regionals or nationals."

"Don't get too ahead of yourself." Alexa smirked slightly.

She finished stowing the machine and balls in the shed provided and picked up her equipment bag.

"I don't know Coach." she sighed. "I hate attention."

"It's not that bad."

"It is to me." Alexa smirked again. "Would I actually have to make conversation with these people?"

Coach Foster rolled her eyes and tucked a strand of hair back behind her own ear.

"It would probably help if you got to know your teammates."

Alexa tied the equipment bag down on her bike and straddled the old Ducati.

"I tell you what," she began as she grabbed the black helmet from the handlebars. "I'll think about it."

Alexa then pushed the helmet down on her head and started the bike up. Foster sighed.

"Okay... think about it."

With that Alexa released the brake and took off, leaving the coach in a cloud of dust.

"Such pleasant memories you have." A cool voice broke into the dream.

Alexa's eyes snapped open.

'What the fuck!' she thought.

A cool film of sweat had settled over the young hybrid's body making her slightly sticky to the touch.

"For a race so high tech, you'd think you would have some A/C on this hunk of junk." Alexa spat.

The Queen simply smirked.

"You're physiology does not require you to be cool." The Queen said. "You sweat because you fear."

"I sure as fuck don't fear you." Alexa said. "Why the hell are you looking at my dreams... do I even want to know how you did that?"

"You are connected to us." The Queen came closer. "You do fear me because I can take you away from everything you love."

"I'm connected to you?!?" Alexa shrieked. "What the fuck did you do to me?"

The hybrid tried to move but found herself still restrained.

"Let me go!" Alexa felt the fear rise up and tried to squash it but could not. "Please..."

The Queen simply smirked at the softly spoken plea. A lone tear fell from Alexa's eye.

"You have enough of Seven of Nine's nanoprobes for us to be connected. It was just a matter of getting them to work for us." The Queen smiled cruelly. "As long as you are linked to the table, you are connected with us."

The Queen turned to walk away.

"You'll never get me with out a fight bitch." Alexa said hoarsely.

"You only have two hours left until I do... get you." The Queen spat.

She then turned once more leaving a stunned Alexa connected to a world she would rather die than be connected to.

Icheb was unused to the queasy feeling of nervousness. It didn't matter how many times he'd felt it, he would never get used to it.

"Icheb, you also feel... queasy." Azan stated from the helm of the Delta Flyer.

"Indeed." Icheb said.

"The cloak is performing its function." Rebi piped up. "The Borg sensors have not detected us."

"Hopefully they will not detect us at all." Icheb said quietly.

The boys had worked feverishly a few years ago trying to get the cloak to mask not only the ship but the occupant's life signs. It had worked then, but the Vinlakapts, a particularly heinous race they had been up against, had technology far lower on the totem pole than the Borg. This was a new ball game all together. While most wouldn't say more was on the line, none of the boys would agree with that. This was... family. It was personal.

"The cloak is holding." Rebi stated more for his own nerves rather than any other reason.

"Ready to input the Borg algorithms to match our sensorsory outputs to the sphere's." Azan said. "Standby."

A moment later a grin spread across the boy's face.

"We're in." He stated simply.

"When we arrive we are to secure the area first," Icheb stated. "I will then infect the nearest regenerating drone."

"What if the Queen has already assimilated Alexa and Naomi?" Azan asked.

"She has not." Icheb said. "Alexa is her weapon against Mom and Naomi is the weapon against Alexa."

The three drew silent again as Azan guided the Flyer to the zone they had designated for landing.

"We must succeed." Icheb said quietly. "Failure is not an option."

"Agreed." Azan and Rebi said.

The three brothers checked their current location for any threats through the Flyer's windows. Not seeing anything, Rebi slowly popped the hatch. He poked his head out and quickly scanned for any threats. Finding none, he motioned for the other two to follow him. They slowly crept from the cloaked Flyer towards the nearest entryway. The three exchanged a slightly anxious glance before activating the door and going through it.

Failure was indeed not an option today.

Naomi shivered despite the humidity of the Borg sphere. Three drones were holding her. A little excessive if you asked her. It's not like she could over power them like Seven or even B'Elanna. That was something she could think about to pass the time until they were rescued. Because they had to be rescued. Naomi shivered again at the thought of being assimilated. She tried to comfort herself with the fact that at least she would be with Alexa. But then it wouldn't really be Alexa would it? No. Finding that those thoughts weren't really comforting at all she let her mind drift back to the past…

"Naaaaaaaaaaaay!" a small Klingon bundle of energy hurtled herself towards the older Ktarian.

Naomi braced herself for the familiar impact and swung the child into the air at the last second.

"Hey Lexy." Naomi smiled. "What are you up to today?"

"Running away!" the tyke answered.

"And who are you running from?"

"Me," a slightly out of breath B'Elanna answered coming around the corner.

"Lieutenant." Naomi straightened considerably and had she not thought about it, would have dropped Alexa in the process.

"At ease, Naomi." B'Elanna laughed. "You're worse than Seven was."

Naomi relaxed slightly.

"I apologize, Lieutenant." Naomi said.

"Kah'less, you're my kids' best friend." B'Elanna smiled again. "I think you can call me B'Elanna off duty."

"Yes Lieu...B'Elanna." Naomi smiled.

Alexa slid down the side of Naomi and pulled at her hand.

"We're going to see Neelix!" Alexa announced. "You should come."

Naomi smiled and felt herself being pulled towards the Mess Hall. Even at three, Alexa was an ox for strength.

"Alexa, don't you think you should ask Naomi if she wants to go first?" B'Elanna said.

"Why wouldn't she want to go?"

"It's the polite thing to do, Alexa." B'Elanna said gently.

"Oh. Nay, do you wanna go to the Mess Hall with us?"

"Of course." Naomi smiled down at Alexa. "I'd love to."

"Told you so, Sos'Oy." Alexa grinned and began pulling again.

It was only when they entered the Mess Hall that Alexa slowed down again. The young Klingon hybrid stopped short and made a mad dash behind her Sos'Oy when she caught sight of the origin of her nightmares.

"Wa'Hom, where are you going..." B'Elanna laughed trying to catch her daughter.

Finally catching her, she scooped her up and settled her on her front.

"What's the matter?" B'Elanna asked.

Alexa simply shook her head and buried her face between her Sos'Oy's neck and shoulder. B'Elanna threw a confused look at Naomi who could only shrug her shoulders. It was only when Tom walked up and Alexa began to tremble a little did B'Elanna get her first clue.

"Hey B'Elanna," Tom said, trying his hardest to be charming.

"Tom." B'Elanna replied curtly making the move to go around him.

"B'Elanna, don't you want to talk or something?" Tom smiled again.

"No, I don't." B'Elanna said icily. "I'd actually like for you to never speak to me or my family ever again."

Tom tried his best to look confused about what his ex had just said to him, then turned and left the mess hall.

"I'm going to get rid of that biological mishap once and for all, then she'll come back to me." Tom muttered once he was past the doors.

Naomi snapped out of her reverie. She hadn't remembered hearing Tom say that on that particular day. Maybe she was imagining it. She glanced around her surroundings again. Two of the drones holding her hadn't moved, the third was gone though.

'Weird.' she thought.


"Oooh, I'm shakin' in my little space boots." Tom sneered. "If you think that your little beast is coming back you're wrong and even if she does come back, she'll be sprouting implants."

"You will cease your incessant... jaw flapping." Seven said icily. "Not only have you endangered our daughter and family, you have endangered the entire ship and crew."

"Who cares?!" Tom shouted. "What have they ever done for me?"

"Mama, Sos, you should not even grace that question with a response." Mezoti said quietly.

Mezoti had stayed out of the back and forth of rude comments for the most part, only coming to her family's defense when she was needed. She was focused on her siblings and best friend. Some things were more important to her than trying to get the upper hand in a battle of words. However, she understood completely what her parents were doing. They were just as nervous as her and tended to be a little on the louder side.

"By Kah'less, Paris, you better pray that I never meet you without a divider between us." B'Elanna said.

"Oh right, whatever... you had your opportunities." Tom said. "You don't have the balls to try and fight me."

"It seems that she would have no problem overtaking you," Mezoti piped up again. "If you remember, that is, if you have that many brain cells to spare, my younger sister killed you, and effortlessly, at that."

That seemed to shut Tom up for a moment. B'Elanna turned to her daughter with a slight smile on her face.

"It's always the quiet ones that are the meanest." she said.

"It was not my intent to be mean." Mezoti said. "Only honest."

"I can feel her." Seven said suddenly.

"You can feel who sweetheart?" B'Elanna asked reaching for the blonde's hand.

"Alexa." Seven whispered.

Trees and tall grass whipped by her as the speedometer on her bike climbed higher. It was only out here in the middle of nowhere and when she was hitting balls that Alexa could really clear her head and think about her future. She'd been talking with Coach Foster more these days; now that she was playing for the team the Coach couldn't be avoided. Alexa smiled slightly. Coach was hot. Tan, blonde, blue eyed and with legs that went for miles.

'Okay, time to concentrate on the road.' Alexa chuckled slightly to herself.

She'd gotten to know some of the team slightly. Most of them hadn't spoken to her until after the first game.

'Guess I had to prove myself more than a wallflower first.' she thought.

The first game had actually gone very well. She was faster than mostof the girls on her team, save for Brittany, whom everyone "Wheels" and with good cause. Wheels was also on the track team and she could move. She usually batted third, just before Alexa who was the best hitter the team had. Alexa sighed.

'I suppose Coach really does know what she's doing.'

They had a tournament in California next week. Apparently some of the scouts from UCLA and So Cal were going to be there. Alexa wasn't used to this nervous feeling. She never really had anything to be nervous about. Why start now? Not like they would pick her.

"Pull over now!" A loud voice exploded into her thoughts.

She cleared the glaze from her eyes and came to stop. Not before noting her speed first.

'Holy hell!' Alexa thought.

She could see the officer in her mirror approaching. He was tall, clean-shaven and would probably be considered handsome. She reached for her helmet and took it off, shaking out her hair in the process.

"Officer." she greeted.

"Hi there," he said with a smile. "Do you have your license and insurance verification?"

"Of course, Officer." Alexa smiled and nodded.

'Sometimes it's just too easy being female.'

She reached in her back pocket, digging out a wallet and producing the things he'd asked for.

"Let me just check these, I'll be right back."

"Sure." Alexa answered with another show stopping grin.

After he'd gone back to his car, Alexa looked down to make sure that her bike jacket was suitably unzipped enough. She was not working overtime to cover a speeding ticket. Again.

"Seems you're a little speed demon." The officer said, appearing at her side and smiling.

Alexa had the common courtesy to blush slightly and cock her head.

"Yeah, sometimes I just get lost in thought."

"Well, " he looked at her license again. "Alexandra,"

"Alexa." she interrupted and smiled.

"Alexa, I tell you what, I'm Rob, and I'll let you go if you promise to slow down." He smiled again. "And give me a call some time next year after you've hit the big 1-8?"

Alexa smiled again.

"Absolutely, Rob, I'd love to call you sometime, after all... that's only 8 months away."

"You be safe now." he said. "No more country speeding."

"Of course." Alexa said, replacing her helmet.

"This area is secure." Rebi said softly.

"Acknowledged." Icheb said.

The boy turned man approached the regenerating drone. His palms were sweating, also a new feeling for him. One he'd rather not have. He slowly but steadily reached up with the hypospray to inject the drone.

*Cycle complete.*

"Icheb! Do it now!" Azan hissed.

Icheb's eyes grew wide as saucers as his chosen drone awakened. His quick reflexes quickly injected the drone and the drone dropped nearly as quickly.

"We have to find another drone." Icheb said, his voice wavering slightly. "Now."

The boys moved into another section, this time checking that the drone was still regenerating for a longer period of time. Icheb prepared the next hypospray and approached this drone swiftly. Once again checking that the drone was still deep in regeneration, he injected the contents of the hypospray. Almost immediately the power around the sphere begin to dip.

"Maybe you should do another?" Azan asked hesitantly.

The Queen was regenerating herself, when she felt the deaths of thousands others doing the same. There was at least one downfall to being linked. She tried to step out of her alcove quickly. She was not quick enough.

"NOOOO!" She yelled.

She sent one last command before falling to the floor herself.

Alexa would have bolted up right had she not been held down. The pain was blinding, she could take a lot and had taken a lot in her short life. But this was too much. As Alexa watched the red searing pain cover her eyes, she let loose with a bloodcurdling scream and passed back out.

Two drones approached her lifeless body ready to carry out the command they had received. The clamps were moved from her hands to her upper arm. A small circular saw was produced and prepared to take her human arm and replace it. The offending drone fell to the floor in a crackle of green energy.

"Excellent shot." Rebi commented to Azan.

The other drone quit what he was doing and came for Azan but falling short in a crackle of green energy also at the steady shot of Icheb.

"Save her." Icheb said. "I will stand guard at the door and ward off any other offending drones."

"Understood." Rebi answered.

The two boys rushed to their sister's side, Azan producing a hypospray to help revive her. He injected the contents into her neck and waited for it to take effect.

"Mmmph." Alexa moaned quietly.

She slowly opened her eyes and on recognizing who her saviors were, snapped them open completely.

"Get me the fuck out of here." she stated dryly.

"Indeed." said Rebi.

"Just hit the buttons on the side." Alexa told him.

As soon as she was released from the table, she ran her hand through her hair and down her neck checking for anything attached to her. After a flurry of shivers brought on by nothing but a case of the "heebie jeebies" and finding nothing attached, she turned to Icheb.

"Where's Naomi?"

"We have... yet to find her." Rebi said cautiously. He had experience with Klingon hybrids not knowing where her mate was. It was not pretty.

"Do you know where they have taken Naomi?" Icheb asked.

Alexa felt a flare of her temper rush through her.

"No." she stated simply.

She popped her neck and then looked slowly at Icheb.

"Find me some computer access."

"You will be unable to break the Borg encryption codes." Azan stated.

Alexa kept walking, following Icheb to a console he had seen earlier. She accessed the computer quickly and made short work of the encryption codes. Finally, finding what she needed, she turned only to find her brothers looking at her in a slightly amazed awe.

"How... how did you do that?" Icheb asked.

"I really don't want to talk about it." Alexa said. "Let's just go."

The boys, easily reading her eyes, let it go and followed her.

"Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One, you are our Queen. You must take your place." The drone stated as soon as it caught sight of Seven in the cell.

When she didn't move, the drone began to step forward. The force field held in place and the drone bounced off with a static discharge. It tried again after adapting to the field's harmonics and this time passed through with the use of it's personal shielding.

"You must take your place." the Drone repeated.

The drone reached for Seven, only to be shot away by an irritated B'Elanna.

"Bang'wi." she shook Seven out of her reverie and motioned to the other two drones that had flanked the first.

"We must destroy them." Seven said quietly.

One of the other Borg finally found the code for the force fields and they dropped.

"I knew I should have put an encryption on those." Mezoti muttered.

"Yes!" an elated Paris shouted. "Guess you'll have to take your place Ice Bitch."

He began a dash for the Brig doors only to be caught by the other drone. Tom screamed like a girl on helium. The drone picked him up easily by the front of his shirt and plunged it's assimilation tubules into Tom then dropped him on the floor, letting the nanoprobes do their work. B'Elanna popped off another shot and took out the nearest one to Seven. As she was turning to shoot the other, she found it was already on the floor. She looked over at her oldest daughter and smiled slightly.

"Nobody takes my Mama." Mezoti said.

Seven went to where Tom was still writhing on the ground gasping in pain.

"S..seven...." Tom gasped. "Help....me."

The tall blonde tapped her chest.

"Seven of Nine to the Doctor."

*Doctor here.*

"I am beaming Mr. Paris to sick bay, we were attacked by three Borg drones, Mr. Paris has been assimilated."


Seven closed the channel not wasting her time explaining to the Doctor what had happened.

"Computer, beam Mr. Paris directly to sickbay, authorization Tau Gamma Phi."

Tom disappeared in a haze of blue flurries.

"Mama?" Mezoti asked, hand in hand with B'Elanna.

"I never meant for that sort of harm to come to him." Seven whispered.

B'Elanna and Mezoti both rushed to Seven and wrapped her tightly in a hug.

"The drone said that it was time for you to take your place." Mezoti said. "Does that mean that the Queen is dead?"

B'Elanna and Seven's eyes widened.

"You don't think?" B'Elanna whispered.

"No." Seven said shortly. "It cannot happen."

"Lt. Torres to the Captain, have you heard from the away team?"

B'Elanna said rapidly, not even waiting for the go ahead from her Captain.

*Lt. Torres... No, we haven't. Something we should be concerned about?*

The three exchanged confused glances.

"Captain, we were just attacked by three Borg drones. Mr. Paris has been beamed to Sick Bay, he was assimilated. As we were warding off the attacking drones, one stated that it was time for me to take my place as Queen. We were hoping that you had heard something from the away team stating... otherwise."

There was a long pause.

*Ready room, now.* Was how the Captain answered and disconnected the connection.

"Here, she's in here." Alexa said. "Shoot the doors open or something."

"That is unnecessary." Rebi said stepping up to the door.

He and Azan grabbed either door and forced them apart.

"Score one for teamwork." Alexa said. "Naomi?"

Naomi snapped her head up. Hallucinating. That's what she was doing, hallucinating. A slightly greener light than every single other one in the sphere caught her attention.

"Nay?" a hesitant voice came.

"ALEXA!" Naomi yelped and ran head long into the other girl's arms.

"Whoa easy, killer!" Alexa joked.

"Oh Holy Gods, I thought we were going to be Borg," she glanced at the boys. "Am I ever glad to see you guys."

"We just gotta get off this death trap now." Alexa said hugging Naomi again.

"We'll go the way we came." Rebi stated. "Hopefully the Borg did not find the Delta Flyer."

"Commander, the Delta Flyer is decloaking." Harry said.

"On screen." Chakotay answered.

"Commander." Azan greeted. "Permission to board, sir."

"Granted." Chakotay said, a fleeting glimmer of hope in his eyes.

The tall man got up and went to the Ready Room door. He had seen Seven, B'Elanna and Mezoti rush in there earlier but he had hoped it was only because Tom was irritating the life out of them.

"Enter." the Captain called.

"Captain, Seven, B'Elanna, Mezoti, " Chakotay greeted. "The Delta Flyer has decloaked and landed in the cargo bay."

"And?" the four asked eagerly.

Chakotay furrowed his brow.

'And what?!' he thought. "I didn't ask the boys anything, Captain."

Mezoti squinted at this tall... wood-like man.

'What in Grethor....' she thought. "Captain, permission to be dismissed."

Janeway smiled slightly.

"Mezoti, I think we're all going down there." she said.

"All I want to do is go to the Holodeck and chill." Alexa said as the Delta Flyer settled into its spot.

"I do not think that will be happening any time soon." Icheb stated, pointing at the small group forming in the Cargo Bay.

"Sonofabitch." breathed Alexa.

She glanced at Naomi and smirked.

"Rain check?" she asked.

"Always." Naomi smiled.

The five exited the craft and made their way toward the gathering crowd. They hadn't gotten more than a few feet when the crowd parted and Mezoti burst forth followed closely by B'Elanna, Seven and Samantha.

Mezoti stopped short of them while the mothers rushed forward to their children. Icheb and the twins stepped aside motioning for B'Elanna and Seven to go to Alexa first. Alexa found herself being lifted in the air by Seven and thoroughly checked over by B'Elanna.

"Kah'less!" Alexa giggled. "Okay, that tickles!"

"Are you injured?" Seven asked, still holding Alexa in the air.

"No." Alexa smiled and hugged Seven. "You can put me down now."

Seven reluctantly sat the girl back on the ground. Alexa turned to B'Elanna and hugged her as well.

"Can I just be frank?" Alexa asked after a moment.

Everyone turned to look at her.

"How creepy is the Queen?!" she asked, a small smile on her face. "Wow."

A gentle wave of laughter followed until the Captain walked in.

"I apologize for my tardiness, I had to check on... something."

Janeway said. "Alexa, Naomi, we are certainly glad to have you two back on the ship."

"You and us both." Alexa said. "I'm just glad I've got brothers a girl can count on."

The twins turned a slight shade of pink while Icheb just dipped his head slightly.

"Indeed." Mezoti said. "It is an honor to call them brother."

"And friend." Naomi chimed in.

"Nah, they're your brothers too." Alexa said. "You know we're all family, when we get back to Earth, they can be our roadies."

The three girls laughed while the boys exchanged arched eyebrows.

"Well, I think that a debriefing is in order. The sooner it's over, the sooner you five can relax."

"Yes, Captain." Naomi answered.

The five of them followed the Janeway to her ready room and prepared to share their side of the story.

"Do you think she'll be alright when she finds out what happened to Tom?" B'Elanna asked Seven.

"I am unsure."

"She's strong."



"She reminds me of," Seven paused, searching for the words. "An ice sculpture, strong and able to hold a lot of pressure but fragile at the same time."

B'Elanna nodded.

"I think it may be an initial shock, only because she had previously caused his demise."

B'Elanna laid her head on Seven's shoulder.

"But, I think that she'll understand that while technically it had "something" to do with her, this was really all his own fault."

"She will not see it that way to begin with."

"I know."

"She doesn't like to see actual harm come to anyone."

"I know."

Seven smiled.

"You seem to know a lot."

"I know." B'Elanna grinned widely, then let the smile slip slightly. "What about Naomi? And the boys?"

"I think they should all talk to each other with their feelings." Seven said. "Who better to understand them than each other?"

"Good idea." B'Elanna said, stretching. "I wish they would come home soon."

No sooner had she spoken the request, the missing group of teens walked through the doors of their quarters. A somber mood cloud followed above them. They all came to where Seven and B'Elanna occupied the end of the couch and sat. Alexa in her chair with Naomi perched on the arm of it, Icheb in his usual spot on the floor next to them, Rebi next to him with Azan in the other chair and Mezoti taking the last spot on the couch. It was quiet for a few moments, the only sound was the soft noise of the ships engines.

"You heard?" B'Elanna asked quietly.

"We heard." the five of them answered.

It was quiet again until Alexa looked up and into Seven's eyes.

"I felt you, Mama." she said just above a whisper.

"And I you." Seven said. "I feared for you."

"I know."

Silence fell around them again.

"He was a damn fool." Naomi spoke up.

"Indeed." Icheb said.

"Sad for a loss of a human life." Alexa said. "Even if it was his."

"Sos," Rebi piped up. "You were correct."

"About what?"

"He was his own demise." Azan supplied.

"Indeed." Mezoti said.

"Are you all okay?" Seven asked.

The small group of young adults looked at each other briefly. Alexa was the first to quirk a smile.

"Even if we aren't," she took Naomi's hand. "We have each other and you guys."

"Just don't go expecting the entire clan in your bed anytime soon." Mezoti smiled.

"Yeah." Alexa laughed. "There's not enough room for the boys anyway."

The gentle laughter is what the family needed.

"So, what now?" Alexa asked.

"What do you mean?" Seven asked.

"I mean... there's a giant sphere of parts out there, all the Borg on it are dead, or will be when they regenerate next."

"I see." Seven said, glancing at B'Elanna.

"Trans-warp conduit." B'Elanna said, smiling at Alexa. "You never stop do you?"

Alexa blushed slightly.

"Well... I did my fair share of studying."

"Is that how you hac..."

"Rebi!" Alexa hissed. "Not now."

The boy clicked his mouth shut with an audible pop. Icheb put his head in his hand and gently shook his head.

"What is this now?" B'Elanna asked.

"Nothing." the boys and Alexa said.

"Didn't sound like nothing." Naomi said.

Alexa prayed quickly to Kah'less for a way out of this one. Her prayers were granted.

*EMH to Lieutenant Torres and Seven of Nine.*

"Yes Doctor?" Seven answered, eyeing Alexa suspiciously.

*I have yet to be granted a check up on any of your.... clan.*

"Really." B'Elanna said, raising an eyebrow.

The five in question quickly found else where to direct their gazes.

"They are on their way." Seven stated and closed the connection.

"Damn." Alexa muttered.

"We will see you later." Seven said, a small smirk playing at her mouth.

Mezoti barely contained a small grin at her luck.

"Mezoti, why don't you go with them." B'Elanna said, spying the smirk. "Wouldn't hurt for you to get your physical done early."

Mezoti's face dropped.

"Double damn." she muttered.

"Can I go to the Holodeck after we're done?" Alexa asked, eyes pleading.

Seven and B'Elanna glanced at each other. Neither wanted to ever let her out of their sight again but they couldn't tie her down.

"Be back in time for dinner, all of you." Seven said.

Alexa grinned and kissed both parents on the cheek.

"You guys rock."

With that, the small group disappeared back through the doors again.

"Kids." B'Elanna said.

"Ours." Seven smiled.

"Wouldn't have them any other way."

"I suppose that does give us a few hours... alone." Seven dropped her voice an octave.

B'Elanna's eyes widened and she felt her heart quicken.

"It sure does." she smiled.

Seven scooped up her Klingon and carried her into their bedroom, remembering to seal the door this time.

Part 21

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