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That evening Seven sat with Robert and Icheb waiting for the Doctor to return. She hadn't seen him all day and had decided to give him some space, but now she was feeling anxious. Surely he would return, he wouldn't abandon Robert, Robert needed him. As if reading her mind, Icheb asked, "Where is the Doctor?"

"I don't know," Seven said curtly. "Computer locate the Doctor."

"The EMH is currently off-line." Seven sighed. He was more angry than she realized. "His program was probably in need of refreshing. He will return tomorrow. I think it is time you regenerate." Icheb was about to protest, but one look at Seven warned him against it. He rose and left their quarters slowly. "Goodnight Seven."

Over the next two weeks, the Doctor stayed away from Seven and she stayed away from him. His hurt was so intense he spent the first few days away de- active. He couldn't deal with the emotions running through his program. The crew had immediately noticed the change in their situation and a few braver souls attempted to intervene. Tom tried a crack at the Doctor, but ended up banished from sickbay for three days. The Captain attempted on several occasions to get Seven to open up, but she adamantly refused to say one word.

"I'm telling you Belanna," Tom said, "something happened between the two of them." Tom and Belanna were sitting in the messhall eating dinner and discussing the Doctor and Seven.

"I think everyone should just leave them alone," Belanna replied. "The truth is their arrangement never could have lasted. The two of them are both extremely opinionated, Seven has a temper like you wouldn't believe, and neither one of them have the maturity level to pull something like this off. Frankly I'm surprised the Doctor lasted as long as he did."

"Belanna, you're not being fair."

"All I'm saying, Tom, is that that kind of situation has very little chance of survival with two people who don't have such complicated lives. It was nearly impossible for the two of them."

Harry strolled over to join his two best friends. "Hey guys," he said sitting. "What are you talking about?"

"What else," Belanna sighed.

Tom rolled his eyes, "I can't help it. I'm really worried about the Doctor."

Harry nodded, "I heard it's been two weeks since they talked to each other. I wonder what happened."

"She obviously drove him crazy."

"Belanna!" Tom exclaimed exasperated.

"Why do you assume it's something she's done?" Harry piped up. "He probably said or did something he shouldn't have, you know how the Doc is."

"Like what, Harry?" Belanna asked.

"Let's talk about something else, Ok." Tom interrupted.

"I have something I have to do anyway." Harry rose and smiled at Tom. Tom knew immediately what he was planning. He had tried for days to get Harry to understand that nothing was ever going to happen between him and Seven, but he was adamant that he wanted to try.

"Harry, if I were you, I would leave it alone."

"Fortunately, Tom, you're not me." Harry nodded goodbye to the two of them and left the messhall.

"Enter," came Seven's voice from inside her quarters. Harry walked in gingerly. "I'm glad you're here. I'm just dressing Robert, I'll be right out." Harry felt bewildered, how had she known he was coming.

Seven emerged from the baby's room a minute later and took Harry's breath away. He had always thought she was beautiful, but wow. Seven was out of her usual outfit. She wore a plain T-shirt and a pair of black pants. Her hair was down and framed her face perfectly. Seven had tried to tone down her look since she got pregnant. She wanted desperately to look like any other mother, to ensure that Robert didn't feel different from other children. She was determined above all else to give him a normal and stable life. She dedicated herself to that goal in every way and in true Borg form she hadn't diverted from her original objective. She was surprised to see Harry, "Ensign Kim, I was not expecting you. Can I assist you with something?"

"No, Seven, I came by to talk with you."

She looked at him curiously. "To talk? In regards to what?"

Harry was finding it difficult to speak. "I wanted to tell you." Harry couldn't finish. Just then, the baby cried from the other room. Seven glanced back, but Harry stopped her. "May I?" he asked. Seven nodded and Harry went to the baby.

Seven sighed when he left. She had been expecting the Doctor. She had asked him to come so he could spend some time with Robert and she wanted to talk to him about something important. She was about to check on Harry and Robert when the chime to her quarters alerted her of the Doctor's arrival. She smoothed her hair quickly and answered the door. There was an awkward pause before Seven motioned for the Doctor to enter. "Is Robert ready?" he asked quickly.

"Yes," she said, "but before you go, I wanted to talk to you."

"Ok," he glanced at her and his eyes told her he was seeing her for the first time. "You look lovely, Seven."

She smiled, "thank you."

The Doctor returned her smile feeling more at ease. "Before you say anything, I want to say that I'm sorry about the last couple of weeks. I allowed my personal feelings to interfere with my promise to you and Robert and I'm sorry."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I think our relationship needs to change."

The Doctor smiled widely grabbing hold of Seven's hands, "Oh Seven, that's what I hoped you were going to say. Seven I know what happened two weeks ago probably scared you, but I do love you and I want the two of us to make a life together, for us and for Robert. I'm willing to wait as long as I have to for you."

"Seven," Harry called emerging from the room with Robert in his arms. "He just did the cutest thing." Harry paused noticing the Doctor for the first time. "Oh, I'm sorry. Am I interrupting anything?"

The Doctor dropped Seven's hands immediately. He looked from her to Harry and a look of knowing came over his face. "I think I understand. Excuse me I have to go." He turned and walked quickly from the quarters. "Doctor wait," Seven called.

Harry felt slightly bad, knowing he had interrupted something important. Seven felt desperate, the Doctor had completely misunderstood, she had to go after him. "Ensign Kim, will you please stay with Robert." Harry sighed, he knew that nothing he could say would change Seven's mind. He could see it in her eyes. She loved the Doctor and he would only mess things up for them if he told her he loved her now. It was too late and he had waited too long. Looking down at the bouncing infant in his arms he knew what the right thing to do was. "Go, Seven." She smiled gratefully and nearly sprinted out of her quarters. She caught up with the Doctor at the turbolift. "Doctor, please let me explain." He ignored her and stepped into the turbolift. "Sickbay." Seven jumped in with him. "Hold," she called.

"You misunderstood," she said facing him.

"I think I understand perfectly. I thought you wanted to talk to me about coming home, but obviously you've replaced me, and with Harry Kim of all people."

"No."

"Oh please, Seven."

"Doctor, you don't understand. I did want you to come home. Robert has bonded with you and I could never replace you with Harry. I'm willing to try and make a relationship work with you."

"Why, just so Robert will have a father. I can be a father to him without being involved with you. There's no reason you should whore yourself out for him." Seven's hand flew across his face and immediately he knew he had gone too far. Her face burned with hurt. "I'm sorry, Seven, I didn't mean it."

"I thought we would be able to work this out for Robert's sake, but I see now that we can't go back to the way things were. I think it would be best if you moved out. I won't prevent you from seeing Robert, he is still your son as far as I'm concerned and I won't prevent you from having a relationship with him. I'm sorry we couldn't work things out between the two of us."

The Doctor nodded sadly, "me too. Maybe one day we can regain the friendship we had."

"Perhaps."

"I wish things had turned out differently between us, Seven."

Seven could only nod, unable to speak.

A little over four years later

"Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday dear Robert Happy Birthday to you"

Robert bounced happily in front of the huge blue frosted chocolate cake Neelix placed in front of him. Seven smiled triumphantly when he managed to blow out all five candles and the crew applauded wildly causing Robert to shriek with delight. Across the room the doors to the messhall flew open and the Doctor came running in. "Did I miss it?"

Seven smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry, he couldn't wait any longer." The Doctor looked disappointed but one look at his son wiped the expression from his face. "Daddy," Robert called holding out his arms to him. The Doctor took him from Seven. "Happy Birthday, son."

Robert cuddled against his neck content to finally be in his father's arms. The Doctor wrapped his free arm around Seven's waist. "I love you," he said.

"I love you too," she responded kissing him.

Belanna, Tom, and Harry stood off in the corner of the room watching the happy couple. "So Harry, ever think that might be you and Susan someday?" Harry smiled and stared at his new bride who was in the middle of a conversation with Neelix.

"Susan and I just got married, we're not rushing into parenthood any time soon." Tom smiled and looked down at his own sleeping bundle in his wife's arms. "You don't know what you're missing Harry."