DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters or concepts, Paramount does. This contains implies F/F relations so it's not for everybody. Read at your own discretion.

What Dreams May Come
By Genuine Lies

Chaos. In its purest form, it ran through the glowing engine room like an insane creature. It had many different states. Exploding panels, screams of pain, hotly spoken curses, yet its mission was always the same. To spread its influence as far as it would go and unleashed its full force upon the unwary. The targets were coincidentally the defenders. Each one hell bent on pushing back the chaos that swirled about them and restoring peace. Everyone had their method of fighting the unseen force. Some spoke reassuring words to themselves, others berating their minds and always demanding more. Of the defenders, two stood out among the crowd. Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres.

Seven, in all her awe and beauty, stood against the enemy with the same calm as the eye of a storm. Long, elegant fingers skated nimbly across the panels of flashing lights as a mind of exponential proportions sent electric commands. Like a man standing to defy a tidal wave, Seven stood tall and strong, never bending to the sweeping madness. But she was human, and those human eyes harboured the ebbing strength and weariness of a boxer on his last punches. Try as she might, she could not stand against the tides of darkness alone.

B'Elanna was everything the blond was not and yet at the same time, everything she was. While her companion hid behind a wall of defenses, she showed all her wear and tear on the outside. The smudges of smoke and dried blood from cuts cried out a challenge to the unseen force. Sporting them on her caramel cheeks, they bore witness to the fighting spirit of the half Klingon. She would stand and face the coming waves of destruction with a stout heart and a fierce mind, both willing her to succeed in the face of failure. B'Elanna was the human equivalent of a hurricane. The middle of a swirling mass of confusion she fought the losing battle with vigour that belied her young years.

Even in the ensuing insanity, Seven could not resist a momentary glance at her superior officer, drawing strength from the woman who wouldn't give up. In a split second, she took in all the details she had grown to appreciate, adore and eventually love. Her noble presence, modest smiles, richly expressive tones, bursts of outrage and laughter. Everything about her contrasted the ex-drone yet they also perfectly complimented Seven. Together, they would make the most passionate force in the entire universe. But two things stood between the blond and her Omega. Tom and Miral Paris.

However small the moment of lost concentration lasted, was all that Chaos needed. It struck a fatal and indirect blow, sending a massive energy surge from Seven's console into B'Elanna's. A mad cry tore through the cool Borg facade to warn her colleague, her commander officer, her love. "B'Elanna!!"

Chaos' mocking laughter rang out in the form of hissing pipes and cries of dismay as the chief engineer absorbed the explosion. Her broken body crashed to the ground in a dull, lifeless thud, her limbs hanging limply as if they were all made of jelly. Seven dropped to her knees, tears filling her eyes for the first time in her life. She cradled the young woman's head in her arms, pulling her close until B'Elanna rested in Seven's lap. The ex-drone took in the damage wrought upon her beloved and sobbed unabashedly as she tried to revive the fallen crew member.

B'Elanna opened one eye, the other one having been taken out in the explosion. Her lungs burned in the simple effort to draw in air and the fair voice that once graced Engineering was now nothing more than a croak. With extreme effort, she spoke two words. "Tom... Miral...?"

Seven's heart crashed to the bottom of her rib cage at the two names. Even facing death, those were the only two she thought about. Try as she might, the ex-drone simply couldn't take the heartache. Fresh tears found their way down her alabaster cheeks and fell onto B'Elanna's blood soaked uniform. Through the haze of pain and smoke, Seven realized what her love was asking about.

Seven had always been the one to cause the smaller woman undue stress. Always fighting her, correcting her mistakes, bringing up ideas in her superior tone. Never had she intentionally done these things to the centre of her existence, but it never failed for her to anger B'Elanna. She made up her mind and was adamant not to end their short time together on the same note. Still fighting the pain in her heart, Seven quietly reassured B'Elanna her family was all right. "They are fine B'Elanna... They are fine."

The short phrase wiped all the pain from the beautiful engineer's face and replaced it with a half smile of gratitude. The memory of the smile burned its way into the ex-drone's mind, forever to be remembered as the first and last smile ever received from her love. Blood seeped its way through B'Elanna's pale lips and with a gurgle, the chief engineer's head lolled to the side and the spark of life that once danced across those sable eyes was snuffed out by the veil of death.

Seven let out a cry filled with three years of bottled up love as she hugged the woman who would never know just how much an ex-drone could feel.

Seven's eyes fluttered and attempted to adjust to the darkened room. Her heart beat irregularly, still quivering from the death of its soul mate. Or was it? Surveying her surroundings, Seven found herself laying on a bed, with the Starfleet sanctioned blankets shredded into pieces. She tried to think, wondering how she had gotten here and if Voyager had survived the attack. Sleep left her mind groggy and disoriented. Finding it impossible to think about so many things at once, she tried to figure out why she was in the bed. There had to have been a reason.

It hit her suddenly, and with it came realization, exultation and depression. She had been attempting to sleep and it was apparent that she had finally achieved the state of unconsciousness the rest of the world used to rejuvenate their body and minds. Following the train of thought, she realized all she had experienced had been nothing but a dream, a side effect of sleeping. Her heart leaped at the thought because that would mean B'Elanna was still alive and well. Seven hugged her pillow with all her enhanced Borg strength and utterly crushed the object in her excitement. Then the dread returned, claiming her pain and smothering all her fragile hopes. B'Elanna was still in the arms of Paris, and she still had Miral. There was no room for a former drone.

Her hands shook from the vivid horrors that visited her in her sleep. It had all seemed so real, the sounds, the smells, the sights. It wasn't, that was the most important thing. B'Elanna was all right and everything was back the way it was. But eidetic memory kept bringing images back to the surface where they haunted Seven with a vengeance. B'Elanna's eyes, her scorched skin, her blood, the life giving fluid, flowing freely out of numerous gashes and tears. The last two words to leave those soft lips, the pain of exclusion and that look. That look Seven would never receive in reality. The joy it brought to her bleak existence burned brightly in her mind like a flare piercing the fog upon a lake.

Seven stumbled about the room, shaking her head furiously in a futile attempt to battle the images, to push back the feelings into the deep pool they had so rested peacefully until their rude awakening. She had to see B'Elanna. There could be no other way to put her mind at ease. The computer told her it was 0300 hours meaning both the Lieutenant and her hubby would be deep asleep. With long strides, Seven soon found herself staring at the steel gray of the Torres/Paris quarters. She didn't know what she was doing, but the need to see her love alive and well drove all reasoning and logic from her mind. The thought that B'Elanna might be involved in certain marital activities never crossed her mind.

Her assimilation tubes made short work of the privacy codes and the doors slid open with a muted hiss. The first thing Seven noticed was the scent of B'Elanna in the air. While Seven had on many occasions caught a waft of the pleasant fragrance, she was unprepared for the tangy smell that permeated the room. Just one short breath was enough to drive all intelligent thought from the ex-drone's mind. She gripped the door panel for support as her knees began to shake at the prospect of entering the private domain of her love. Borg enhanced eye sight quickly spotted the bed and the two immobile occupants. At the foot of the bed rested the crib of Miral Paris with miniature models of Starships and Warbirds hanging over it.

Seven stopped as the sleeping form of Miral came into view. Such a small mass of flesh, Seven could hardly believe it could produce the level of emotions B'Elanna showed towards it. The need to love it, hug it, cradle it and whisper words of endearment into its tiny ears. The blond suddenly wished she were a baby, B'Elanna's baby, then perhaps she could experience the joy of being held by those protectively, gentle hands. To be kissed goodnight, to have her hunger sated by the half Klingon's breasts. Seven trembled at the thought and trained her eyes upon her heart's desire.

B'Elanna lay in Tom's arms, nestled under his chin. Her normally arranged hair was in disarray from sleep and possibly more yet the effect on her appearance was riveting. The look of happiness and completeness on her face stabbed into the ex-drone's heart. How could she be happy with someone so inferior? Perhaps Tom Paris was more than he seemed on the outside. If he was less, B'Elanna would have left him long before the relationship became serious and surely before having a child with the man. Seven struggled with the ideas, unable to deal with the thought B'Elanna could be truly happy with anyone but her.

Interrupting her serious thoughts, Miral awoke and began to announce her protest in being left in the dark, alone. Crying out for one of her parents, as well as for nourishment, Miral kicked at her crib and squirmed in the darkness. Seven react quickly, pulling all thoughts of B'Elanna from her mind in a rare moment of logic and retreated behind a convenient couch before either parent could see her. To the blonde's surprise, it was Tom who got up and tended to his child. Seven had assumed he would let B'Elanna take care of the nightly feedings, as most research pointed out.

"Hey, it's all right baby. Daddy's right here, shhh..." Tom spoke to the bundle of joy in his arms through a quiet whisper. He rocked the child back and forth until her cries subsided and she began to let out gurgles of happiness at being held. Reaching to the floor, Tom picked up a bottle of milk wrapped in material made to keep warmth in. Miral stretched out her arms, plunked the bottle into her mouth and began to suck down the contents at an amazing rate. Chuckling to himself, Tom rocked his baby and started singing an age old nursery rhyme.

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock, When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall And down will come baby cradle and all...

Humming the tune to his daughter, Tom slowly paced about the room, waiting for Miral to have her fill. With a audible "Eh", Miral finished with her bottle and promptly tossed it near the couch Seven was hiding behind.

"Ha! I knew you were going to do that, that's why I used a no leak bottle." Tom said triumphantly. "Now, I gotta burp you and the-" His musings were cut short by a loud burp and more gurgles of joy. Laughing to himself, Tom checked her diaper and was relieved to find it dry. One of the less desirable duties of a parent.

"Well, I fed you, burped you, and checked your nappy. I did it!" He said with a laugh. "Too bad your old mom can't see me now, middle of the night, taking care of my daughter. Think she'd be proud?"

Miral answered with a gurgle and kicked her feet. She stuffed one chubby fist into her mouth and began sucking with abandon. Her eyes slowly closed and she drifted off into a light slumber.

"Yeah, I think she would be too." Tom said, still talking to himself. Instead of placing Miral back into her crib however, he carefully climbed into bed and positioned her in between B'Elanna and him. The clumsy movement caused his wife to stir and she opened to her eyes to see her chubby child happily sucking on her fist. She looked up sleepily and saw Tom trying hard not to wake her. Smiling to herself, she kissed Miral and then lifted her head to give Tom a kiss. Startled but pleasantly surprised, he kissed her back and slid his arm under the only two women in his life.

"I love you." B'Elanna whispered in the dark.

"I love you too." Tom whispered back. Both sighed contentedly, knowing their entire life was in that bed.

Seven still hid behind the couch, but now her face were streamed with tears and her eyes threatened to produce even more in the coming future. She bore witness to the one most horrifying experience of her life, a look into B'Elanna's life. She saw a pilot, loud mouthed, thick headed, pilot. A pilot who loved B'Elanna with everything he had. Even with her relatively tiny experience with emotions, Seven could tell from the whisperings and his careful mannerisms, just how much B'Elanna meant to Tom. And those three small words that B'Elanna volunteered before drifting back to sleep brought the ex-drone's worst fears into the light. B'Elanna was happy. She was happy the way things were, she loved Tom, Miral, her life.

Only then did Seven realize there was absolutely no room for someone like her. Not even as a friend, for friends did not wish heartache upon their friends and Seven was guilty of those thoughts a hundred thousand times. Her heart receded back into the cold domain it once stood in, her feelings dropped back into the hidden place they had stayed for so long until a pair of Klingon hearts had chased them out into the open.

Hours passed, and only when Seven was certain the family was asleep did she dare to move. Muscles protested with cramps but the blond could care less. The pain in her heart was greater by a million fold. The doors hissed open and Seven took one last look at her love. Her vision blurred as tears filled her eyes.

"Good bye B'Elanna Torres. I... I..." Seven couldn't finish her sentence and had to clamp her hand down on her mouth to keep from screaming. With a single step, she made the ultimate sacrifice and the hardest decision of her short life.

B'Elanna was dreaming. She was on a planet, everything was green. She wasn't wearing a Starfleet uniform. She was laying on her back, the sun smiling down on her. The streaks of light changed colours though, they were no longer yellow. They were blonde now, and they engulfed her in their warmth and whispered everlasting love her ears. She was happy. She was complete.

The End

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