DISCLAIMER: They all belong to Paramount and I didn't earn a penny!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is one of those 'I don't want to hurt anyone 'cause I'm essentially a nice person' stories. Don't let the J/T part put you off, PLEASE! Mild angst, with a tissue standing by at the end!
PAIRING: T/7 and a bit of J/T

Tell Her

"Bella, hurry up! Come on, you know I'm leaving in a while. Come on, hurry!" Kathryn shouted, trying to wake her sleeping lover.

B'Elanna was lying in bed, it was 05.00 hours and she'd only just got off to sleep an hour ago. She had been up most off the night helping Kathryn pack for the away mission she would be on for the next weeks. Then, after the packing, Kathryn had decided that she needed B'Elanna to show her how much she was going to be missed, so the rest of the night had been filled with the two of them making love.

Now Kathryn was rushing around like a targ in heat as she'd also only had an hour's sleep, but she had to get down to the shuttle bay for the away mission in 30 minutes.

"B'Elanna Torres, get out of bed and come say goodbye to me NOW! Or so help me I'll come and get you," Kathryn said, standing with her hands on her hips and her usual 'I'm the Captain and you will do as I say' glare on her face.

Opening one eye and smiling, B'Elanna replied, "Oh I think you should come get me."

Then, without any further warning, Kathryn jumped onto the bed, flipped B'Elanna onto her back and pinned her hands above her head.

A now fully awake B'Elanna was a little taken back. "And there was me thinking you were only joking," She said with a smile.

Leaning down to kiss her lover's neck, Janeway whispered in her ear, "you should know by now I don't joke." That said she began kissing B'Elanna's neck and then let out a slow low moan.

Closing her eyes and allowing herself to enjoy the feeling of her lover kissing her neck, B'Elanna asked "I thought you were in a hurry to go?"

Kathryn replied, "I am," looking up into B'Elanna's eyes and stroking her cheek, "but I think I'll need a kiss before I go."

Then the two came together in a hot passionate kiss, the kind of kiss that could easily lead to something more, if it were allowed to, but after a few minutes the two pulled back.

Getting up out of the bed Kathryn said, "I better go or I will be late."

Also getting up, B'Elanna came and walked her lover to the door and then embraced her. "I'll miss you while you're gone Kathy – I'm not sure what I'm going to do for two weeks without you."

"Oh I'm sure you'll find something to do. I'll bet you're never home while I'm gone; you'll be with your engines or on the holodeck with Harry playing pool." The Captain kissed the Engineer on the cheek, "Well, I'll see you in a weeks babe. Miss you."

"Miss you too, sweetie."

With that said, Kathryn left for the shuttle bay. Watching the doors close after her, B'Elanna stared at them for a moment, then a small and slightly seductive smile crept over her face. Walking over to the coffee table she picked up her combadge.

"Computer locate Seven of Nine"

<Seven of Nine is in Cargo Bay 2>

Tapping her combadge, B'Elanna said, "Torres to Seven of Nine." Waiting a few seconds, she then heard the familiar voice of the ex-drone.

"Yes Lieutenant, how my I help you?"

Smiling at hearing the voice B'Elanna replied, "Hey sexy, she's gone and I was wondering if you wanted to come over to my quarters and, hmmm, play for a while?"

"Lanna sometimes I do think that you're just after me for my body."

"Oh come on, you know I'm after you for more than just your body, as nice and hot as it may be. Come on, come over: I love you; I've missed you I need to see

you," B'Elanna said, nearly begging.

"I love you too, and I have missed you. But we have a week with her gone and we can make the most of it. I'll be there shortly."

"Ok see you in a few minutes, Torres out."

B'Elanna was in the bathroom when she heard the door chime. Putting on a robe and heading to the living room, she called for the person to come in. "Well hello, didn't take you long to get here, you must be dying to see me!" she said, taking Seven in her arms. "Oh, I've been waiting to see you again since yesterday morning," Seven replied, leaning down to kiss B'Elanna.  After a couple of minutes they pulled back and moved to sit on the couch. "So, when did that woman of yours leave?" Seven asked, in not such a pleasant tone. "Oh, come on Seven, don't start with this again. I don't know how many times we have to have this conversation," B'Elanna said, looking like she really didn't want to go through this again, at such an early hour of the day. "We will have this talk, until you tell me why you still haven't ended things with her!" "Seven, you know it's not that easy, I've been with Kathryn for over two years now. I can't just end it like it's nothing, plus she's the Captain of this very small ship, that we all have to live on for God knows how long. So think for a second how unpleasant things would be if I just came out with it one morning and said, 'Hey Kathryn, guess what - I've been having it off with Seven behind your back'.  Now, do you think life would be that nice around here after that?  Well do you?"  By this time, B'Elanna was a bit more than pissed.

"I know it's not easy but we've been together for 6 months now. I think it's about time you told her. I mean if you love me as much as you say you do then you would tell her. Or is it that you still love her?" Seven asked, standing and moving closer, looking at B'Elanna.

Thinking that she needed to get Seven of this train of thought now, B'Elanna moved to stand in front of her; she put her hand on Seven's shoulder, "Seven come on, let's not get into this now. We've got the week together; we can worry about all this when Kathy gets back."

Pushing B'Elanna back a little,  Seven looked her in the eye, "You're still in love with her, aren't you?  That's why you haven't told her."

Seven was already half why out of the door before B'Elanna could say anything, "No Seven that's not it," she began, but the door closed on Seven's back before she could finish, and she was gone.

"SHIT! What the hell am I meant to do now?"  B'Elanna decided that, whatever it was, this wasn't going to be easy. She knew that Seven had been right and that she did still love Kathryn, but she also loved Seven. She'd fought with herself more than enough about this – more than she had with Seven. It came back to the same question every time, who did she love more?

Was it to be Kathryn, who she'd spent over two years of her life with, who'd brought her out of herself; who'd shown her that she could be herself and didn't have to fight anymore?  Or was it to be Seven, the woman who decided one day, in the office in Engineering, that she'd had enough of always fighting with B'Elanna, and had kissed her for a change, just to shut her up!  Little did they know that two days later they'd be back in that same office kissing again, but this time it wasn't to keep the other quiet. It was because it was something they both needed and wanted from each other.

Now B'Elanna was stuck between Kathryn and Seven - her Captain or her fellow crewmember, but worst of all her lovers. "I don't know what the hell I'm going to do," she whispered sadly.

Three hours later, in Astrometrics.

Seven was working and it hadn't been a good morning. She loved B'Elanna so much that it hurt; she knew she couldn't breathe without her. The last 6 months with her had been heaven and there was only one thing that turned her heaven into hell - Kathryn Janeway. Every time she was with her Lanna, she knew that sooner or later her love would have to leave her and go back into the arms of the Captain.

Seven couldn't remember a second when she hadn't loved B'Elanna, and when she saw Kathryn finally get B'Elanna (her Lanna, the woman she loved) it was nearly too much. She had spent a year and a half living in agony, every time she saw them together, or even when one mentioned the other, it cut like a knife. Then she remembered the day she finally got her B'Elanna - it had been everything she had ever dreamed, and more.

Having Lanna meant the world to her. For a while the initial pain of losing was gone, but when they had been together for 2 months and B'Elanna still hadn't ended her relationship with Janeway, Seven had asked her why not.  B'Elanna had replied that it simply wasn't that easy.

Now they had been together for 6 months, and Seven felt she still had to fight Janeway for B'Elanna's time. She had to deal with a quiet moment while they worked, or a hurried and stolen hour or two when Kathryn was working late. Seven was unsure what would hurt her more: not having B'Elanna in her life at all, or having to share her with someone else - with the Captain.

Just then the doors opened behind her. She didn't need to look to know who it was. She could feel the footsteps coming closer and closer and then a single red rose popped up in front of her face.

"I'm sorry," B'Elanna said, hoping that this show of affection was going to work.

Taking the rose Seven turned, finding herself face to face with her beloved. "I know you are, but it doesn't stop the hurt." A tear started to form in Seven's eye.

Taking Seven into her arms, B'Elanna hugged her as tightly as she could, "I know baby, I know. I know how hard it is for you and I wish things could be different, I really do."

Seven pulled back, "I am the one who should be sorry, I knew when I got involved with you that you belonged to someone else."

Putting her finger on her lover's lip to quiet her B'Elanna said, "You're too good for me, you know that? You put up with all this shit and then think you're the one who should be sorry. No you're not. What I am doing isn't fair on you; you deserve better than this. I'm sorry I hurt you baby, I really am."

Seven pulled B'Elanna into a kiss; it was slow and soft but filled with passion and forgiveness. The kiss continued for a while then both pulled away. "Let's not fight any more Lanna, let's just enjoy this week together. We can worry about things when Kathryn returns, OK?"

B'Elanna smiled at Seven, "OK sweetie, no more fighting. We will make the most of this week." Seven smiled back and kissed B'Elanna again.

Sighing, B'Elanna finally said, "OK Seven, I have to go. I said to the Doc I'd meet him in 5 minutes and that was 10 minutes ago, so I'm already late. Will I see you tonight?" B'Elanna asked, with a hopeful look on her face.

Smiling Seven replied, "Thank you for not taking me for granted.  Yes, tonight, your quarters 18.30 hours."

Returning her lover's smile, B'Elanna said, "OK, I'll see you then," and with that she was gone.

Seven looked down at the rose and wondered: was it that easy to just forgive B'Elanna? Was it that easy to push away the pain of knowing what she still belonged to someone else?  No, it was not that easy, but she knew it was enough to know that she had her beloved in her life.  At least, it would be enough for now. It would have to be, until B'Elanna either broke her heart or left Kathryn.

Things went well that night: Seven came to B'Elanna's quarters and they talked and had some dinner, after which they spent an hour in the bath and then retired to the bedroom for the eventful part of the night. Afterwards they lay in each others arms. They didn't speak; just being held by each other held more pleasure than words could describe.

It was 6.30 when B'Elanna awoke to the sound of the computer: <Beep - Beep>!!  "Shit, who the hell is that?" she said as she jumped out of bed, throwing on a robe.  She ran over to her terminal in the living room to see who it was that was making her get out of bed, and leave the warmth and happiness of being held by her lover.

Sitting, she opened the com-link, and she was greeted by the smiling face of her other lover, Kathryn.

"Kathy babe, I didn't expect to hear from you so soon," B'Elanna said, looking more than a little shocked.

"Come on Bella, you didn't think I could go for a whole week and not call, did you? I know it's only been a day but I'm missing you like mad," Kathryn said, smiling. For the Captain, just to see her lover and know she was well was enough to bring a smile to her face any day.

"Oh I've missed you too. I've not stopped thinking about you for a second. I missed not having you to hold last night, my bed felt lonely."

"I know how you feel honey, it didn't feel right falling asleep without you in my arms. Plus, I could hear Harry and Tom snoring all night, when you know the only sounds I like to hear, when I'm in bed, are the ones I hear you making."  Kathryn gave her lover a seductive smile.

"So, having fun bunking with the boys, huh?" B'Elanna smiled back

Janeway laughed, "Oh, I'm having a great time, really I am.  I learned that the two of them are as bad at poker as they are at pool! I think it's going to be a good week, but," she softened her voice, "I really miss you I wish you were here, babe."

B'Elanna put her hand up to the screen, as if to stroke Kathryn's face, "Oh sweetie, it's only a week and then you'll be back in my arms and it'll all be worth it."

"I know darling, I can't wait. Well I better go - the boys are up and we have work to do. I'll call you again when I get chance."

"I love you Kathy. I'll miss you so much 'till I hear from you again," B'Elanna said with a pout.

Kathryn put her hand up to the screen and touched it, as did B'Elanna. It wasn't much of a gesture but to Kathryn it was as good as being able to hold her lover's hand in person. "Bye Bella, I love you," she whispered, and then she was gone.

B'Elanna leaned back in her chair, looking over to the bedroom. She felt like scum.  Here she was, telling Kathryn how much she loved and missed her, while Seven was in the other room - in her bed. God she was low. Hell, she felt lower then low. What was she doing?

B'Elanna considered that there was no point in beating herself up about this right now. If she was going to think about this properly, it would have to be without having just talked to Kathryn on the com-link, or with Seven in the other room. No, to think this through properly, she needed space.

Getting up from the chair, she dropped the robe she had been wearing and walked back into the bedroom. Climbing back into bed she cuddled up to Seven, feeding off the warmth of her lover's body.

"Where did you go? I missed holding you," Seven mumbled, half awake.

"Nowhere important, and I'm back now, don't worry." B'Elanna hugged Seven tighter trying to allow her troubled mind to drift back off to sleep.

Things ran smoothly over the next few days.  B'Elanna spent every spare minute with Seven; most of it spent in B'Elanna's quarters and if not there then the holodeck. They had not fought since the incident at the start of the week, and things between them seemed to be going well.

Seven had not brought up the subject of Kathryn and B'Elanna had kept well away from it.  Of course, Janeway had called several times but luckily the calls had always come while B'Elanna had been on duty: she knew it would have killed Seven if she had seen the way she and Kathy had been with each other over the com link. B'Elanna still loved Kathryn and it hurt to be away from her, even if she did have Seven there to lessen the pain.

It was the day of the Captain's return and B'Elanna had arrived early to the staff meeting after looking in on her engines, to make sure they were running to her liking after being away from them for the night. On finding that she was the first person to arrive, B'Elanna moved over to the view point to look out at the stars, as they passed by at warp speed.

Mesmerised by the stars, B'Elanna let her mind wander, so much so that she didn't hear the sound of the door open and the footsteps that followed. In fact, she didn't realise there was someone else in the room until she felt a pair of warm arms and a whisper in her ear.

"Hello, I was hoping you would be here," the voice said, before B'Elanna felt soft lips touching her cheek.

Turning in the welcoming arms she said, "Oh, and why were you hoping that?" as Seven's hands moved up and down her back.

"Well I just wanted more time with you. I know she'll be back in a few hours and, well, I just wanted a bit more of you before then," Seven said, as she pulled B'Elanna into a deep kiss.

Almost instantly B'Elanna pulled away, "We can't, not here," she warned, "it's too risky - someone could walk in at any moment."

Seven smiled at this; "I thought you liked risk?" she teased, pulling her lover closer and kissing her again, more deeply this time. Too caught up in the moment to pull back, B'Elanna responded, but suddenly they heard the door opening and pulled apart; both looking over to see Commander Chakotay standing there in shock.

Before he had a chance to say anything B'Elanna responded, "Chakotay, this isn't what it looks like. I mean it's not, I swear!"

"Save it B'Elanna!" Chakotay said, cutting her off before she could say anything else.  "Now's not the time or the place. I don't know what the hell the two of you think you're playing at and frankly I don't care, but Kathryn will. In fact I was just coming to give you the news that she's back on Voyager, and on her way here now. So, if I were you, I'd be more worried about what she's going to say, not what I might."

B'Elanna stared in shock. All she could think was that it might have been Kathryn who'd walked in through that door: had it been, it would have broken her heart. "Chakotay you're not going to tell her, are you? I love her, I swear I never meant this to happen."

Chakotay looked at her - this woman he'd known for years - and saw a stranger.  Never in his life would he have thought B'Elanna would do this to Kathryn.  "Oh don't worry," he replied, "I'm not going to tell her. YOU are. And you're going to think long and hard about how you're going to tell her because both you and I and everyone else knows what this will do to her."

Turning, Chakotay then addressed Seven, who for the most part had been forgotten, (in fact B'Elanna had forgotten she was even in the same room) "As for you, I thought you were above this type of thing.  The Captain's been like a mother to you and this is how you repay her!"

Just then, the doors opened and in walked the subject of their conversation, "Well hello!  And God, does it feel good to be back. I hope these two haven't been giving you too much trouble while I was gone, Commander?" Janeway said as she walked in and headed for her lover.

"Oh, you know Captain, no more than normal," Chakotay said, sending a look of warning to the two in question.

"Glad to hear it." The Captain replied as she ushered her lover over to the corner of the room so they could have a small amount of privacy.  "Hello Bella. Miss me?" she said as she let her hand lightly brush B'Elanna's.

"More than you know,  I'm glad you're back," B'Elanna said, smiling at her lover while inwardly she was screaming to get out of this room and put together in her mind what was going on.

Janeway smiled back at her as the rest of the staff filtered into the room, "Well, I hope you'll show me later just how much."

Everyone had taken their seats, and the meeting began.  B'Elanna had glanced at Seven only once since Chakotay had walked in on them, and now found the courage to do so again.  Seven's face was a mixture of sadness, pain and anger, all rolled into one. She looked at B'Elanna as if she was nothing more than an unwanted pest. It made B'Elanna ache inside to see her lover looking at her like this, but she knew that if things had been different and their roles had been reversed that B'Elanna would be giving Seven the same look now.

The simple truth was they had been caught, and B'Elanna had tried to save her own ass, forgetting about Seven and what this might also do to her. At that moment she felt sick to her stomach; she was disgusted with herself; wanted to curl up under a rock and never come out again.  She was low, she knew - lower than low.

If B'Elanna thought that having a relationship with both Seven and the Captain without either knowing been hard before, she didn't want to stop and think what it would be like now - now that Chakotay knew.  She would have to talk to him alone and sort things out. She would also need to talk to Seven and explain herself to her, but most of all apologise.

Then there was Kathryn.  B'Elanna's heart sang to know her lover was back, but at the same time it was breaking - she didn't want to hurt her Kathy, but the truth was that Kathryn could have been badly hurt had she walked in on them, and not Chakotay.  B'Elanna had to make sure that this information didn't get back to Kathryn, not yet - not while she still didn't know what to do or how to tell her.

The staff meeting had ended and Kathryn made her way over to B'Elanna, before the room cleared.  "Darling I'm sorry, I can't see you until later, tonight.  I still have a lot of work to do from the away mission."

Looking over Kathryn's shoulder, B'Elanna saw Seven shoot her a look of pure contempt and then turn to leave the room. "That's OK," she said to Kathryn, "I understand.  I'll see you soon."

After leaving the briefing room, B'Elanna ran down the corridor to try and catch Seven before she got into a turbolift. Just as the doors were about to close, B'Elanna pushed her way through them. "Seven I'm sorry." She said, just a little out of breath.

"Lt Torres. I don't want to know! Now, why don't you go back down that hall into the arms of the person you really love; I mean, after all, I was just a mistake!"  Seven stared at her lover with a bone chilling look, the kind of look that would scare off anyone in their right mind. But not B'Elanna.

"Seven, for God's sake I didn't mean it, OK?. I had to say something, and telling Chakotay the truth is just not an option right now, not until I get a chance to tell Kathryn."  B'Elanna was really trying to make Seven understand, even though recent events were still a blurr to her.

"A chance to tell her?  My God, you had more than a chance! Don't you get it?  You could tell her now that Chakotay knows, we wouldn't have to hide anymore. But no, you won't tell her, and why? - because this is all too convenient for you. You get to have me whenever you get an itch Kathryn's not there to scratch, and then when I'm not around you have her. It all works out pretty well for you, doesn't it?"  Seven turned her back on her lover - she couldn't bear to look her in the face; it was just all too much for her right now.

"That's bullshit, Seven!" Torres shouted, "That's not how things are and you know it. Listen, I love you... I swear to God I do. It's not my fault that when I fell for you I happened to be with Kathy at the time, is it? And I will tell her, I promise, just give me time; I need to do things right."

"You've had more than enough time B'Elanna and I'm starting to wonder why I'm waiting, and if it's really worth waiting for," Seven said as she turned, giving Torres an icy glare.

That was it. B'Elanna had been pushed to the limit for the amount of crap she could take at such an early hour of the day, "OK.  Well fine, if that's the way you what things, my Ice Princess, then forget it!  You can go find yourself a new playmate."

"Oh don't you worry, I will." And with that Seven pushed B'Elanna to one side and stormed out of the turbolift, leaving B'Elanna to stand there in shock.

'Oh my God, what have I done?' was all that ran through B'Elanna's mind: not only did she have Chakotay pissed of at her for cheating on Kathryn, but now she had just told her other lover that she didn't want her anymore. 'Oh, this day has the potential to kill me if it gets any better,' thought B'Elanna.  She could already feel the tears welling up in her eyes, but she wouldn't cry, not yet: she still had to fix this mess and hadn't a clue how to do so.

B'Elanna walked out of the turbolife and entered Engineering. To her surprise she what grated bye a very unhappy looking Chakotay.

"In your office, now!" Chakotay said taking her by the arm and half dragging her into the office.  Everyone in Engineering had turned to see what was going on because, as heated as some of their Chief's conversations could be, she was not one to have anyone push her around. They stared as they watched Chakotay doing just that.

Once inside her office she pulled her arm away from his grasp.  "What the hell do you think you're doing?" she nearly screamed at him.

"What am I doing? Well I was just going to ask you the same thing"

'This day is becoming more of a bitch by the second,' thought B'Elanna. "Listen Chakotay, whatever was going on with me and Seven is my business not yours, OK?.  So I respectfully ask you to keep the fuck out of it!"

"What the hell has gotten into you B'Elanna? What made you think for a second that you seeing Seven behind Kathryn's back was ever going to be a good thing?  Didn't you think about how this would kill Kathryn?  She loves you more than anything else in the world. Don't you realize what you've got there?"  He wondered if B'Elanna even really knew just how much she meant to Janeway.

"I know OK - I know and God, I love her with everything I am and will ever be, but I also love Seven with every beat of my heart; so what the hell am I meant to do, Chakotay?  Come on, tell me 'cause I sure as hell don't know!"  B'Elanna turned away from him and sat on top of her desk; "when did this all get so out of hand?"

"You tell me?" he said sitting down next to her.  "Listen Lanna, I'm not happy about what you're doing, but you're like a sister to me and, if you need someone to talk to about this, then I'm here to listen."  Chakotay could see the tears welling up in B'Elanna's eyes and knew she must be having a really bad time of it, because nothing made her cry.

Pulling her into his arms and hugging her he said, "It's OK, let it out."  She hugged him back; she could feel her world falling down and she didn't know how to put it back together.

"Listen, you need to think about what you're going to do," offered Chakotay.   "Your choices are either to end it with Seven before Kathryn finds out, or end things with Kathryn. It's not fair on either of them, as things are at the moment, and they both deserve to know where they stand.  So go think about this, will you?" he said, pulling back and standing up.

"I will Chakotay, I promise - I'll sort things out," she said with a weak smile.

Heading for the door, the Commander stopped when B'Elanna called out, "Oh Chakotay, thank you."  He smiled at her then left.

B'Elanna spent the rest of her day working - it was the only thing she could do to blot out thinking about everything else.  She hadn't heard from Seven or Kathryn at all since the morning, and right now she thought that was a good thing; she couldn't really talk to them right now, not with her heart the way it was.

When B'Elanna's shift ended she headed back to her quarters, hoping to have a hot bath and relax but, on opening the door to her quarters, she was greeted by a room filled with candles and rose petals scattered everywhere. Looking around the room she saw Kathryn in the corner, still in her uniform, lighting the two candles on the table.

"Is there a power cut? 'cause if there is, you should have reported it."  Kathryn turned, startled to hear B'Elanna's voice.

"Oh Bella you scared me. I didn't think you'd be home so early," Kathryn said, walking over to her lover.

B'Elanna put her arms around Kathryn's waist and kissed her on the cheek.  "So this is what you've been working on!  And here was little old me thinking you were really going to work on reports from the away mission."

"Well, I talked the boys into finishing up while I set this up for you," Kathryn replied putting her arms around B'Elanna's neck.

"Hey, not that I don't like all this, but what's it all in aid of?" B'Elanna asked.

Kathryn smiled, "Well, the first reason is because I've missed you.  The other reason I was going to work up to, but since you're home…" she trailed off, leading B'Elanna to the couch, sitting them both down.

Kathryn took her lover's hands in her own: "Sweetheart, you know - we've been together for about two years now, and we've become so close.  Being away from you this week gave me time to think about something that's been on my mind for so long, and I came to a decision.  Darling, you know I love you more than life itself,"  Kathryn said,  moving her hand behind her and pulling out a small silver ring with a line of white diamonds across it.  Holding the ring out to B'Elanna, Kathryn said, in a husky voice filled with emotion,  "Bella, marry me?"

B'Elanna was stunned; she had never considered that Kathryn would ask her to marry her.  OK, perhaps never was a bit strong – she had wondered about it but never really thought it would happen.  But now it had happened, and an answer was expected of her.

Kathryn smiled at her, "Well, come on Bella - will you marry me?"

"Yes!"  The word was out of B'Elanna's mouth before she could stop it, before she could even think about it.

Kathryn's face was a picture of happiness as she pulled her lover to her and kissed her.  Then, pulling back, she quickly put the ring she had been holding on B'Elanna's finger.

"God Bella, I promise you now what you won't regret this for a second.  I'm going to make sure you're happy.  Darling, I love you."

"I love you too, Kathy," B'Elanna heard herself reply; all she could do was to sit and smile; with her head feeling like it was going to explode. She didn't know if she'd just said yes to the rest of her life, or if she'd said yes to the end of her life.

The rest of their night together had been filled with Kathryn talking about wedding plans, and about how happy she was that B'Elanna had said 'yes'.  She had talked for hours and, just when B'Elanna thought she couldn't take any more talk of getting married, Kathryn had pulled her into bed.

B'Elanna lay in the dark, her now-sleeping lover beside her.  Her mind had been running a mile a second since Kathryn had asked her to marry her. It was just all so much - she didn't know what the hell was happening to her life, if anything it all seemed to be going on without her and she was being dragged along with no choice.

The next morning when she awoke, Kathryn was not in the bedroom.  B'Elanna searched the quarters looking for her, but found only a note on the coffee table, it said:

"Bella my darling,

Sorry I was not there in your arms when you awoke, but I do have a lot of work to catch up on, since I took yesterday off to plan for last night!

Anyway, I will see you tonight - I'm arranging a little get together in the Mess Hall for everyone, to celebrate our engagement.  Oh and don't worry, you don't have to do anything, I sent out all the invites this morning.

See you later, my Bride To Be,

All my love, now and always Kathy xxxxx"

B'Elanna dropped the note in shock.  "Poor Seven," she said aloud, considering that if Kathryn had sent out invitations to everyone, Seven would almost certainly have received one by now.  With that disturbing thought in her head, B'Elanna ran back into the bedroom, grabbed a uniform and threw it on as quickly as she could, then she left her quarters and made her way to Cargo Bay 2.  The whole way there her mind was running through what she might say to Seven; what Seven may say back, and whether or not she would live to see the rest of the day.

On arriving at the Cargo Bay, B'Elanna called for the doors to open and was greeted by the sight of Seven leaning over a console, reading from a padd she was holding in her hand.

Afraid of the reaction, B'Elanna said softly, "Seven?"

Seven's head shot up and her face, which was stained with tears, filled with anger.  "What the hell are you doing here?!!" she shouted as she threw the padd at B'Elanna. "GET OUT, NOW!"

B'Elanna ducked just as the padd flew towards her head. "Seven please, just listen to me!" she pleaded.

"Why in the world should I?  You ignored me and our relationship in front of Chakotay, you didn't even care how I felt, and now you do this.  Look at the goddam padd," Seven said, pointing to the padd in question.

B'Elanna turned, picking the padd up from the floor where it had landed, and read:

"You are invited to celebrate the engagement of Kathryn Janeway and B'Elanna Torres.

The festivities will begin at 19.00 hours tonight in the Mess Hall.  All are welcome.

Thanking you kindly - Kathryn and B'Elanna."

B'Elanna looked up at her lover but before she had time to say anything Seven spoke, "And this is how I find out that my so-called lover is getting married, through an invitation to her engagement party!  God when had you planed to tell me? On your wedding night?!  It just shows that I mean nothing to you; I have no more status than a toy."

B'Elanna could see the tears flowing down her lover's face.  Moving towards her she said, "Seven, I'm sorry OK?  Kathryn asked me last night and I just panicked; I didn't even realise what I'd said until it was too late. I know it's a mess sweetie, but I promise I'll fix it all."  B'Elanna put her hand up towards Seven's face, to brush away all her tears.

"Don't touch me," said Seven, instantly pushing B'Elanna's hand away, "you were never going to 'fix' things, were you?  And you were never going to tell Kathryn the truth.  You have never loved me, B'Elanna Torres, all you have done is lie to me.  I hate you!"

Now B'Elanna was the one with tears in her eyes. To hear that her lover hated her hurt more than anything; it was like someone had ripped her heart out of her chest.  "Seven please don't, I do love you I swear it."

"You do not, and it wouldn't matter even if you did because I no longer love you.  Now, please leave, I don't want to see you any more," Seven said as she turned and walked towards her alcove.

Without another word, B'Elanna left and headed towards Engineering.  On her way she was greeted with congratulations from members of the crew;  everyone smiling and telling her how happy they were for her.  While she was putting on a brave face, thanking them and smiling, inside she was crying because she knew this time she'd done it... she'd lost Seven for good.

Everyone had gathered in the Mess Hall for the celebration that night. Kathryn was being the perfect hostess, while B'Elanna just seemed uninterested in the evening, polite but not overly chatty.

Before the party, B'Elanna had met Kathryn and they had got ready together.  Kathryn was wearing black dress pants and a black fitted top that was low enough at the front to show a hint of cleavage.  B'Elanna had wanted to wear her favorite black leather pants but Kathryn argued that she didn't want the entire crew staring at her wife in those pants, so B'Elanna had given way and worn a black dress that Kathryn had given her.  The dress fitted B'Elanna perfectly; it was low at the front but didn't show too much, and ended mid-thigh, showing her shapely legs.

The couple made a good entrance and looked fantastic together. Kathryn kept her eye on B'Elanna all night, in fact she couldn't keep her eyes off her - looking her way to see what she was doing as she talked to her guests.  Deciding she needed to get a closer look, Kathryn came up to her lover and took her hand.  B'Elanna smiled at her and her Captain warmly smiled back.

"Look at the two of you, all loved up," Chakotay said, "I can't believe you finally beat her into submission, Kathryn: I never thought I'd see the day when she'd be willing to spend the rest of her life with one person."  Chakotay said this with a smile but looked B'Elanna right in the eye.

B'Elanna smiled back at him and spoke before Kathryn could say a word, "Well, what can I say?  I guess I'm just a one-woman girl," she said, looking at Chakotay and kissing Kathryn on the cheek.

"Oh yes, you're a one-woman girl alright!  You make sure it stays that way when we're married!" Kathryn joked with her lover.  "And now, if you'll excuse us Commander, I need moment alone with my fiancée."

"Of course, Kathryn," Chakotay said as the two women made their way to the corner of the room.  Once there, Kathryn pulled B'Elanna into a quick kiss and then pulled back to ask, "So, are you having fun?"

"Yeah - sure I am.  I'd just rather be in your quarters celebrating alone than here with everyone else," B'Elanna replied with a seductive smile.

"Is that all you ever think about?  Sex?  Oh wait, I forgot - sex, and your engine room," Kathryn said with a smile.

"I'll have you know..." B'Elanna trailed off as she saw Seven walk through the door.  The sight of Seven was enough to take anyone's breath away: she was wearing a white dress, similar in design to the black one B'Elanna was wearing.

B'Elanna couldn't keep her eyes off Seven, who looked amazing; the dress fitted her like a second skin.  Wondering what had taken her lover's interest, Kathryn followed her lover's line of sight and saw Seven walking into the room.

"My God, she looks amazing in that dress, doesn't she B'Elanna?" Kathryn asked her dumbstruck lover.

"Yes she does, she looks fantastic," B'Elanna replied, still unable to take her eyes away from Seven.

"Come on, let's go say hello," Kathryn said, heading for Seven and pulling her lover along with her.

Upon reaching Seven, Kathryn was the first to speak, "Hello Seven, and may I say you look fantastic."

"Thank you Captain, you look lovely yourself," Seven replied lightly.

"Yeah Seven, you look amazing," B'Elanna said looking her ex-love in the eye.

"Thank you Lieutenant but, if you'll excuse me, I must find my date," Seven said looking at B'Elanna with a smug smile.

Kathryn, being the curious woman she was, had to ask "Your date, Seven?   And who would the lucky crewmember be?"

"Lt Susan Nicoletti," Seven replied proudly.

"You have a date with Sue?" B'Elanna asked, more than a little pissed at Seven, and shocked that her ex-lover had found someone else to replace her so soon.

"That is correct, Lieutenant Torres, and now I really must find her," and with that Seven was gone.

"Well I for one think it's great that Seven is dating, don't you sweetie?" Kathryn asked, putting her arm around her lover's waist.

"Yeah, it's great.  Just great," the half-Klingon replied.  If truth be told her blood was boiling.  What in hell was Seven doing dating someone else!  And a member of B'Elanna's staff at that.  Seven was 'hers', and it annoyed her so much to think of her with someone else.

B'Elanna spent the rest of the night angrily watching Seven and Sue together as they talked and laughed. Then the dancing began and Seven and Sue got up and moved to the dancefloor.  It hurt B'Elanna to watch as the two women held each other close, in fact it was driving her mad.

After a couple of songs, B'Elanna decided she couldn't take it any more and made her way over to them.  Tapping Sue on the shoulder she asked, "Mind if I cut in for a dance?"

"Sure Chief, not a problem," replied Sue.  "See you in a minute, Seven," she said, as she left the dancefloor.

B'Elanna put her arms around Seven's waist and began dancing. "So, the two of you getting on OK, huh?"

"Well you should know, you've been watching us all night," Seven shot back.

"Oh come on, Seven, why are you doing this?  I know you're not into her, so why don't you stop this before she gets hurt?"

Seven looked B'Elanna in the eye, "I am quite attracted to the Lieutenant,  if you must know, and I have no intentions of 'hurting' her, as you put it.  In fact, I intend asking her out again."

B'Elanna really didn't want to hear that: "Come on Seven, I know you're only doing this to get back and me, and I'll admit it's working.  Listen, just get rid of Sue and I promise I'll find away to sneak off for a few hours tomorrow and see you."

"A few hours isn't long enough B'Elanna, I want total commitment and that is something you cannot give me - but Sue can.  So if you'll kindly excuse me I am off to find her."  Seven moved away from B'Elanna, leaving the Engineer alone.

"Hey!  What's a sexy young thing like you doing on your own in the middle of the dancefloor?" Janeway asked mockingly.

"Well, I was dancing with a sexy blonde, but she left. So I guess I'll just have to dance with you now," B'Elanna said with a cheeky smile.

Kathryn slipped one arm around her lover's waist and swatted her backside playfully with her other hand, "Doesn't surprise me. I saw the way you were staring at 'Blondie' in that dress of hers. I'll admit she dose look sexy, but I know I'm the one you love and are marrying." They both laughed and started to dance.

"Do you want to go after this dance?" Kathryn asked as she leaned her head on her lover's shoulder.  "Only it's getting kind of late and I had hoped for some time alone with you."

"Sure, we can go as soon as you're ready."  B'Elanna didn't want to leave, if truth be told, she wanted to stay and make sure nothing happened between Seven and Sue.

As the song ended, Kathryn lead the way from the dancefloor saying goodnight to their guests.  As they stopped near the door to say goodnight to the Doctor, B'Elanna turned to take one last look at Seven, only to see her and Sue kissing and then sneaking out of the side door.

"Come on, B'Elanna, let's go home," Kathryn said as she led her lover out of the door, but even as B'Elanna went through the door her eyes were still fixed on the spot were she had seen Seven kiss Sue.

Following Kathryn, B'Elanna couldn't think, she couldn't speak; all she wanted to do at that moment was to go to Seven and make her see that it was her she was meant to be with, and not Sue.  But B'Elanna knew there was nothing to be gained by going to Seven right now.  Hurt and jealousy flooded her mind and her heart.  'Seven,' she said in her mind, 'I love you so much my angle.'

Over the next couple of days, B'Elanna Torres tried every way she possibly could to get in touch with Seven of Nine, but nothing worked.  She'd tried personal messages; official messages; called Seven to Engineering to assist in a work situation, but that didn't help because Sue would immediately catch Seven's attention - she even tried decorating the ex-Borg's alcove with red roses, which she knew Seven loved, but nothing worked.

B'Elanna had even turned up a few times in Astrometrics, but Seven refused to be drawn into anything other than work; it was driving the half-Klingon insane.  To top it all, Kathryn would talk to her about planning their wedding: "The sooner the better" the Captain would say.

This particular day in Engineering, B'Elanna had been listening to two crewmember's talking about their previous night in Sandrine's, when she heard something that really lit the fuse of her temper.

"Did you see the two of them last night?  They were all over each other in the bar."

"I know.  It's strange seeing Seven like that with someone, she seemed so passionate."

"They both seemed really into each other: I don't think I've ever seen either of them so happy.  You can really tell Sue's in love with her, she hangs on every word the woman says."

"Oh I know.  But wouldn't you, if you had Seven?"

"Too right!  Only a fool would give that woman up."

Listening to the conversation, B'Elanna's eyes stung; she was so angry and so jealous.  It hurt so much that she couldn't take it any more.  "Computer, locate Seven of Nine?"

<Seven of Nine is in Cargo Bay 2>

'Right,' thought B'Elanna, 'I'm going to get Seven back, and I don't care what it takes.'  There was no way she would give up on the woman she loved that easily.

Storming out of Engineering, B'Elanna made her way to Cargo Bay 2 and Seven - she didn't have a clue what she would say or do but it didn't matter, she would get her Seven back this time for sure.

On arrival, B'Elanna stormed straight towards Seven, who had been checking the data on the side of one of the cargo containers when she saw B'Elanna enter.

Before Seven could even enquire as to why the Lieutenant was there, B'Elanna walked right up to her and, taking Seven's face firmly in her hands, kissed her.  The kiss was given with passion and although Seven didn't respond to it at first, after a moment she started to deepen the kiss, nibbling and sucking at B'Elanna's lips.  B'Elanna moved her hands up and down Seven's back as they continued the embrace then, out of nowhere, Seven suddenly stopped and pulled back.

"I hope you enjoyed that because it will be the last time it ever happens between us." Seven stated coldly.

B'Elanna was shocked, how could Seven be saying this after the kiss they had just shared - hadn't it meant anything to her at all?  It had felt very much like a mutual kiss. She was a about to reply to Seven when the Captain's voice came over the comlink.

"All senior staff report to the Briefing Room."

Seven and B'Elanna entered the turbolift together on their way to the staff meeting.  Seven didn't even look at B'Elanna and her face had it's usual Borg mask in place, but Torres was determined to break it down.

"Seven, listen.  What happened before, you can't just dismiss that.  You kissed me back you know, it wasn't just one-sided.  I know you still love me and that kiss proved it," B'Elanna said, turning to look at Seven.

Seven didn't even look at B'Elanna when she replied, "It was a momentary lapse in judgement, nothing more Lieutenant.  I no longer have feelings for you.  I am perfectly happy in my relationship with Sue - I would not want to risk ruining it by becoming involved with you again."

"Come on Seven, you don't think I'm going to buy that do you?  There is no why in hell she can give you what you want, but we both know I can. Seven just tell me what it is I have to do to get you back, I'll do anything, I swear!" B'Elanna pleaded.

Seven turned to look at the half-Klingon; "There is nothing you can say or do B'Elanna.  There is nothing that could make a new attempt at our relation work any better than the last time.  I won't be hurt again, and I'm staying with Sue, so this is the last time I'll tell you...  I don't love you and I don't want you back."

The door to the turbolift opened and Seven walked out and took her seat around the Conference Room table.  B'Elanna stared after her for a moment and then followed.

The briefing went fairly smoothly - apparently Voyager had picked up a distress call from a ship in need of assistance and, although it was off Voyager's course, the Captain had decided to send an away mission.

"B'Elanna, I want you there.  It may be complicated technology and I'm more than sure my Chief Engineer can figure it out," Janeway said, smiling lovingly at her.

"Seven,"  Seven's head shot up as the Captain addressed her, "you can accompany the Lieutenant."

Seven looked far from pleased at the thought of having to spend time alone on an away mission with Lieutenant Torres. B'Elanna, on the other hand, simply tried to hide her smile; she hadn't even thought of giving up on Seven, and with the two of them being the only members of the away mission, Seven would have to listen to what she had to say.

"OK, you have an hour to prepare.  Dismissed."

Seven was the first to arrive at the shuttlebay, accompanied by the ever-present Sue.

"Well Seven, I'll see you soon.  Now don't go fighting with the Chief while you're away, I don't want you coming back in pieces, OK Bunny?" Sue said to her new lover.

"I will try to refrain from arguing with the Lieutenant, if it makes you happy," Seven said, and then leant forward to kiss her lover on the cheek, "I will see you soon."

Sue smiled.  "See ya," she replied, as she watched Seven enter the Flyer.

Waiting until Seven was inside, Sue then turned and made her way to the door.  As it opened she was greeted with the sight of the Captain and Lieutenant Torres.  "Captain, Lieutenant, if you'll excuse me," she said, heading for the turbolift.  They both smiled back at her then walked into the shuttlebay.

Kathryn and B'Elanna turned to each other and hugged, "Promise me you'll be good while you're away, and not do anything stupid love," Kathryn said.

"I promise, but you promise me you won't drive everyone nuts worrying about me while I'm gone, OK?" B'Elanna said, smiling at her lover.

Kathryn blushed, "Now, how do you know I drive everyone crazy when you're away?"

B'Elanna stroked Kathryn's cheek with her hand, "Oh Harry told me, he said you drive the Bridge staff crazy."

Kathryn laughed, "Well, I'll try not to worry to much, just make sure you're back soon,"  she said before leaning over to kiss B'Elanna.

"Well, I better go. I'll miss you," B'Elanna said hugging Kathryn one last time.

"I'll miss you too," replied Kathryn, in a voice that was almost afraid but she hid it well, and had a smile and a wave for her lover as she turned around one last time.

Once inside the Flyer, B'Elanna looked at Seven sitting at the helm going through the pre-flight check; she put her bag inside a storage compartment and then she moved towards the silent woman.

"So, this is nice - the two of us alone in the Flyer, with nothing to do for two days," B'Elanna said as she came to stand behind Seven.

"I am sure you will be able to find something to occupy your time," Seven said coldly, going through the last of the pre-fight check.

Torres placed her hand gently on Seven's shoulder, then leant down to whisper in Sevens ear: "Hmmm, I'm sure there's a way we could pass the time together."

"I don't think so, Lieutenant. I advise you to make sure you have all that you need, as we will be ready to lift off in a few moments," Seven said as she stood and made her way to the back of the ship.  Walking in to the cargo hold she let out a sigh. 'Please don't do this to me B'Elanna,' she said to herself, 'I miss you so much already.'

The rest of the day went well: Seven managed to keep herself busy and keep B'Elanna at a reasonable distance, although she had to fight every part of herself to keep from taking B'Elanna in her arms and give into her.

It hurt Seven so much to be pushing the woman she loved back, when all she wanted was to take her in her arms and never her let go again.  But she couldn't let herself be hurt again, she had lost her lover to someone else once and wasn't sure she could do it again.

B'Elanna had been right, when she told Seven that Sue couldn't give her what she wanted.  Seven knew that all she had ever wanted (and all she would ever want) was her Lanna back in her life.  Her train of thought was broken however when she heard B'Elanna call, "Seven, you better put the Flyer on auto-pilot for the night."

"I will, just let me check over the last of the systems first," Seven called back.  Systems checked, and auto pilot set for the night, Seven made her way to the back of the Flyer to sleep, but when she got there she saw B'Elanna standing next to the only bunk.

"Is there a problem, Lieutenant Torres?" Seven asked.

"Oh, well it's not a problem to me but, you see, the Flyer only has one bed and there's two of us.  Do you mind sharing?" B'Elanna asked with a hint of a smile.

"Of course not Lieutenant, we will adapt," Seven said in her usual Borg tone, while inside she knew that being that close to B'Elanna would drive her crazy.  She wanted her lover back so much it pained her to even breath without her.

"Well as long as you're OK with it," B'Elanna said smiling, as she got into the bed.  Seven got in next to her.

Propping herself up on her elbow, Torres looked down at the incredible woman next to her, the woman that really held her love - who held everything she was: heart, body and soul.  All she wanted to do was lean down and whisper in that ear and tell her everything she felt.

"Night Seven, sweet dream," B'Elanna said lying down.

"Good night Lieutenant," Seven said, turning on her side to hide the tears that were forming in her eyes, from the sheer pain of not being able to hold the one person in the universe that she wanted more than life itself.  Closing her eyes the tears fell down her checks as she drifted off to sleep.

Waking the next morning, Seven was aware that she was being held, arms wrapped around her body, and that her arms were holding someone close to her, and she became aware that her head was resting on someone's chest.

Now fully awake, she remembered who it was she was holding.  Trying to move herself out of the arms, she looked up to see B'Elanna's lovely eyes staring at her, eyes that were filling with love and happiness. God how she'd missed looking into those eyes.  "Lieutenant, I am so sorry," stammered Seven, "I did not mean to..."

"Shh, Seven.  It's OK, I don't mind and, if truth be told, I miss this  (waking up with you in my arms) so much," B'Elanna said softly.

Seven couldn't help herself; the feeling of being held by Lanna was too much for her.  Leaning forward she said, "I've missed this too," as placed a soft kiss on her lover's lips.

B'Elanna was shocked. She looked into Seven's eyes and smiled.  "Do you mean it?  Do you really miss me?"

"Yes, more than anything in the world," she replied as she leaned in again to kiss her lover.  The kiss was soft and slow but conveyed all the love and longing that the two lovers shared.

"I've missed you so much Seven.  I wasn't sure how much longer I could live without you in my life.  This time I promise you, and I mean it, I am ending things with Kathryn the minute we get back.  I don't want anything to get in the way of us being together.  I love her but I'm in love with you, not anyone else: you own me, heart and soul," she said, as she brushed away the tears that had formed in her lover's eyes.

"I don't think I could ever be happier than I am at this moment, my Lanna," Seven said, smiling.

"Oh you will be happier, I will make sure of that.  I will make sure you're the happiest person in the worlds from now on, I swear," B'Elanna promised her as she pulled Seven down into a kiss that seemed to go on forever.

For the rest of the day the two officers worked hard, preparing for their mission.  They would occasionally stop to kiss or just smile at one another.   Seven couldn't remember a time when she had felt so loved and she was blissfully happy to know that her lover was back, and this time it was for good: she would never have to lose her or give her up again.

B'Elanna knew that this was what she wanted, what she had always wanted.  She had Seven in her life and, no matter how hard it would be when they returned to Voyager and she told Kathryn what had to happen, she knew that it would all work out, as long as Seven was in her life.

Looking up as they worked they both smiled at each other and, getting up to move over to where Seven worked, B'Elanna placed a small kiss on the end of Seven's nose; "Did I tell you how much I love you?"

"Yes, but I will never get tired of hea..."  Seven was cut of as the ship suddenly rocked.

"What the hell was that?" B'Elanna asked as she moved to the Helm.

"There is a ship 500 meters to port. They are firing phasers!" Seven shouted.

"Raising shields. Taking evasive manoeuvres," B'Elanna shouted back from the helm.

"They are gaining on us. I'm firing phasers," Seven called out.  "No affect!"  The ship suddenly rocked again.

"Shields are down to 50%!" Seven said, looking for away to gain an advantage over their attackers.

"Shit!  Here they come again," shouted B'Elanna as her fingers flew over the controls, desperately trying to gain distance between them. "They are firing torpedoes. BRACE FOR IMPACT!" she yelled.

The shipped rocked and, for Seven, everything seemed to move in slow motion.   She looked up just in time to see the helm controls explode, which resulted in B'Elanna hurtling backwards across the room.

"B'Elanna!!" she screamed.

Seven brought the Flyer about and fired off a round of torpedoes at the enemy ship, hitting and disabling its weapons array.  Getting up from her chair, she ran over to where her lover's body lay, grabbing a medical tricorder on the way.  She looked over B'Elanna's body and noted it's battered state and, scanning it, she found several major wounds,  both internal and external.

"B'Elanna, can you hear me?" she asked softly.  "Please B'Elanna, answer me."

Slowly Torres opened her eyes, "I'm here," she said weakly, "God, did you get the number of the thing that hit me?"

"This is not the time for levity, you have several major injuries that I don't know how to treat.  We need to get you back to Voyager, now," Seven said, trying to make her lover as comfortable as possible.

"I feel so tired, I just need to sleep."  B'Elanna wanted to just close her eyes and drift.

"NO Lanna!  Please stay with me.  Don't close your eyes, keep looking at me," Seven pleaded as her tears started to fall.  She instinctively knew that sleep would be the wrong thing right now.

"It's OK babe, I'm just a bit tired," B'Elanna said, with a very weak smile.

"Lanna don't go to sleep, please.  I can't live with out you, don't leave me again," she cried, taking her lover's hand while she brushed a strand of hair from her bloody face.  There was no response.

"Voyager to Delta Flyer, come in."

"Delta Flyer here, Captain.  We require urgent medical assistance. B'Elanna is badly hurt."

"Don't worry Seven, we'll be there just as soon as we can," Janeway replied, trying to keep her voice steady: if Seven sounded this upset there must be good reason.  "Janeway out."

"Did you hear that, love?  Voyager's coming, just hang on a bit longer, everything will be OK,"  Seven soothed, with a weak smile.

B'Elanna roused herself.  "Listen Seven, I need to tell you something," she said, fighting to keep her eyes open.

"No!  Don't you dare say goodbye.  Not now, B'Elanna!  Voyager is coming and you will be OK, I promise."  She could feel her Lanna's body starting to lose some of its warmth and wrapped her arms around her carefully.

B'Elanna looked down at her left hand and stared at the ring on her finger, the ring that was a symbol of Kathryn's love for her.  She knew that there was no way she could say goodbye to the woman she truly loved with that reminder of her past still with her and, taking it off, she then dropped it.   It landed on her chest.  Seven looked down at it then into B'Elanna's eyes. "B'Elanna what are you doing?"

"Shh, just listen to me OK? I need to tell you this without any reminders of what was."  She moved her hand up to Seven's face: "You were always the one I wanted Seven, the one I truly needed to be with.  Don't ever forget that, OK?  You are my BangwI."  B'Elanna's eyes started to close as she spoke her last words, "I love you Seven, always."  B'Elanna eyes finally closed and her body went limp in Seven's arms.

"NO!  B'Elanna!  NO, you can't leave me, please.  B'Elanna," Seven shouted as the tears fell from her eyes and the pain hurt her heart.

As she cried she felt the transporter take them.  They materialised in Sickbay, where B'Elanna was instantly carried to a bio-bed and laid on it, with Seven standing over her, crying.

The Doctor finished scanning B'Elanna's broken body.  "Seven," he said awkwardly, "I'm sorry, she's gone.."  He looked at his friend with deep sadness in his eyes, and then left her for a moment and went into his office, so that she could say goodbye on her own.

Seven looked down at B'Elanna, she looked at her lover's face, all battered and bloody but still as beauitful as the day she had first laid eyes on it.  She looked at her lips; those soft lips that she loved so much, that she knew she would never feel next to hers again.

Seven moved down and placed a soft sweet kiss on her love's forehead.

"I love you Lanna, my Bangwl.  Our love will live on, I promise you that."  It was strange, she thought, how she seemed so free of the emotion she had expected to feel at this moment; what she did feel was deep and endless love and, oddly, peace. She supposed it would hit her later.

Seven heard the doors of Sickbay open, and saw the Captain go directly into the Doctor's office as though she hadn't even noticed anything else in the room.  The Captain's face was pinched and pale, and there was real fear impressed into her movements.

As Seven heard them speak, she looked back at her lover again and saw that Kathryn's ring still lay on B'Elanna's chest. Her heart missed a beat as she recalled B'Elanna's words to her: "You were always the one I wanted Seven. You are my BangwI."  With tears pushing into her eyes, Seven looked back into the Doctor's office and saw the state of the Captain; suddenly her heart went out to a woman who was probably feeling just as she did right now, at having lost her lover.

'I can't hurt her any more,' thought Seven as she turned back to B'Elanna's body and picked up the ring, carefully placing it back onto the cold finger it had previously adorned. 'I know the truth, my love', she explained to the still form, 'what does the ring matter, now?"

She turned in time to see Kathryn leave the office alone, and head towards them.  The Captain's eyes were filled with tears and her face was contorted into a picture of pain.  Seven knew her own face must have had the same display on it.

Kathryn stood next to Seven and looked down at her lover and said, between sobs, "I never thought I'd lose her like this - I don't believe she's gone."   Struggling, she continued, "She promised me she would come back safely and..." Kathryn cut off as the tears rolled down her face and she was unable to contain herself any more.

Seven moved and put her arms around her Captain and held her silently, as she finally felt her feelings surface.  She stood for a long while, sharing the same feelings of desolation, of loss, of a future unwritten, until she pulled back and said, "There is something I must tell you, Captain."  Seven looked down at the body of the woman who had meant everything to her and then back to Kathryn.  "Before B'Elanna died, she told me to tell you that she loved you, always."

Kathryn stared to cry again, and moved to take B'Elanna's hand, drawing it close to her body, seemingly to comfort it, and, as hard as it was for her at that point, Seven decided to leave the Captain alone with her grief.

Before Seven finally left Sickbay, she stopped at the door and turned to look over to where the love of her life lay.  'I will miss you more than you will ever know,' her mind told her love.  'You are my BangwI.' She paused as the tears started to flow again, and then thought, finally, 'Goodbye, my B'Elanna.'

The End

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