Tillallareone: thanks, I'm glad to here you liked it.

3rd of five: it's an interesting idea but I don't think it would really fit in well with this story. That storyline sounds like it deserves its own story.

Crashcart9: there really is a book about seven of nine going suicidal? Hmm, interesting.

Goddess Anjane: I have been tinkering with the idea of getting them married, but I think it's still early in their relationship for that.

Janire: Thanks, it looks like I'm getting really close too.

Savagelove: Sorry it took a little longer than normal, Christmas and new yea stuff.

Reader: thanks, I just hope I have a few more ideas for stories, I would really like to start another Voyager fic.

Rune: that's me, hitting all the demographics 

For the Love of a Child

Part Sixteen

Seven and B'Elanna had just finished eating dinner, and Kaia had just gone to sleep after finishing the second book of the Curious George series. Seven knew that this was the time that she and B'Elanna would have their rather difficult conversation.

She looked over to see B'Elanna kissing Kaia goodnight. Seven had to smile at that, it seemed as if B'Elanna was never able to spend as much time as she wanted with Kaia. Her duties in engineering were among the most demanding on Voyager.

The few times that B'Elanna was even able to take a day off it was spent almost exclusively with Kaia and her.

"Seven." B'Elanna called softly as she sat down on the couch. She just wished she knew what to do to change Seven's mind. She had never felt so powerless before.

Seven sat down next to B'Elanna and rested her head on her shoulder as B'Elanna put her arms around her. Seven was still very new to expressing her emotions and she had no idea how to deal with this situation.

"B'Elanna." Seven said as a long silence descended over both of them. Both of them knew what they wanted to say, but neither was able to express it.

"What would you do in my place?" Seven finally asked.

"What do you mean?" B'Elanna asked.

"If it was me and Kaia that died would you be able to keep living?" Seven asked. She had been asking this question herself for the entire day.

"The same," B'Elanna found herself saying as she saw things from Seven's point of view. She didn't know why she hadn't seen it before, but she had to make Seven see it from her point of view as well. "What if you only thought that I died?"

"What do you mean?" Seven asked. It seemed like the most obvious thing to her. She would know if B'Elanna was dead, wouldn't she?

"Have you thought about the way I would feel? What if I got lost on an away mission or there was an accident in engineering and you thought I was dead?" B'Elanna asked. "What would I do if you were gone?"

"I do not know." Seven for the first time considered B'Elanna's words.

"That's what I'm afraid of Seven, loosing you because you didn't know all the facts." B'Elanna said as she pulled Seven into her lap.

"I will not do anything rash until I am positive that you are…" Seven trailed off. She did not even want to think about anything bad happening to Seven.

"We're both tired Seven, maybe this isn't something we're going to be able to solve tonight." B'Elanna decided not to push the issue tonight. She could see how difficult it was for Seven to talk about it.

"Let's go to bed Seven." B'Elanna picked up Seven and carried her to the bed, for once without Seven complaining that she could walk on her own.

Seven only rested her head under B'Elanna chin after softly kissing her neck. She had grown to like the feeling of B'Elanna taking care of her.

The next three weeks passed fairly quickly for the crew of Voyager. Seven and B'Elanna seemed to have formed an unspoken agreement not to discuss Seven's former wish to commit suicide. The topic was still a painful one for both of them, and for the time being ignoring it seemed to be the easiest solution.

A friendly meeting with an alien species allowed Voyager to trade for resources they were running low on. Unfortunately shore leave was impossible as the alien planet's atmosphere was toxic to Voyager's crew.

Meeting and negotiations were held strictly on the view screen as they found out that the atmosphere of each ship was also toxic to each other. Voyager came out of the trade with enough dilithium to last them another 20 light years and only had to part with some star charts of the surrounding area.

The breakfast that Harry was anticipating was a huge success. Seven had really gone all out. Harry, Janeway, Naiomi, and Samantha couldn't remember when they had eaten so well.

Seven had made banana pancakes, eggs, bacon, French toast, and even a pot of coffee that Janeway demanded the recipe for.

Kaia had even gotten into the spirit much to the distress of Seven who had to clean maple syrup off herself and Kaia on two separate occasions. Kaia still had not grasped the fact that she needed to wait another three to four months before she could begin eating food other than breast milk.

Seven woke up the next morning to realize that today was the day that Tom Paris completed his time in the brig. She had thought that given enough time she would not feel as much anxiety about having to see Paris again, but it seemed that time had not dulled that feeling.

For a moment Seven considered locking herself in the bedroom with Kaia in hopes that she could put off facing Paris.

"What's the matter?" B'Elanna asked sleepily as she woke up. This was early even for Seven. Kaia probably wouldn't wake up for at least another fifteen minutes.

"Mr. Paris will be released from the brig today." Seven said as she sat up in bed.

"It's going to be okay Seven." B'Elanna said as she sat up and hugged her. "I won't let anything happen to you or Kaia."

"I am afraid." Seven said as she leaned into B'Elanna. "I do not wish to see him."

"You're going to have to face him sooner or later Seven, and believe me, the longer you wait the harder it's going to be." B'Elanna said in a soothing voice. Personal experience had shown her that something like this could not simply be put off.

"Will you stay with us?" Seven asked, referring to her and Kaia. For some reason she knew she would feel better if B'Elanna spent the day with her.

"Sure Seven." B'Elanna agreed. "We might as well get Astrometrics prepared for communications with Earth."

Every time that Voyager used the Midas array, most of the systems in Astrometrics had to be re-calibrated to ensure that there were no degradations in the data files. It usually took a couple of days for Seven to set up by herself, but with Kaia Seven found it difficult maintain her usual quantity of work as Kaia seemed to do the most entertaining things to draw her attention. The only solution that Seven could find was to ask for B'Elanna's assistance with the re-calibration.

"Have you decided what you will tell your father?" Seven asked. Wondering what B'Elanna wished to say about her and Kaia.

"I'm going to tell him everything." B'Elanna said. "You and Kaia are too important to me not to tell him about."

"Kaia and I will not be hurt if you do not wish to tell him about us yet." Seven didn't want B'Elanna to push too hard and possibly endanger her relationship with her father.

"What are you talking about Seven? Of course I want to tell him about you and Kaia. If he doesn't want accept it then that's his problem. Besides, I don't want Kaia to be around someone like that." B'Elanna disagreed.

"Then we will speak to him after the morning meeting." Seven said as she got out of bed and went into the living room. Kaia would be waking up momentarily.

"You really have to tell me some time how we seem to always get the best times to talk to Earth." B'Elanna said, referring to how they always got the earliest time slots, and the fact that they were always one after the other.

"It is up to the Astrometrics officer to organize the earth communications schedule." Seven pointed out as she went to check on Kaia.

"Lucky me," B'Elanna smirked as she helped Seven with Kaia. "Wait a minute, is that why I always used to get the worst times?" B'Elanna asked as the full realization hit her.

Seven's only response was to smirk as she picked up Kaia and tried to contain her laugh.

"Are you ready to go?" Harry asked as he met Tom at the brig.

"More than ready," Tom said feeling relived. "If I ever see the brig again it'll be too soon."

As much as the brig gave Tom the time to think things over and give him ideas on how he would deal with B'Elanna and Seven's relationship it was still a place that he would never grow fond of.

"Have you thought about what you're going to do?" Harry referred to Seven and B'Elanna. If Tom was going to cause trouble he wanted to be there to stop it.

"You don't have to worry about me." Tom figured out where Harry was going. "I've learned my lesson."

"Good." Harry said breaking out into a smile. "Let's get some breakfast, my treat," Harry teased.

"Funny Harry," Tom remembered that he wasn't allowed to have any replicator rations for awhile.

As Harry and Tom left the brig Tom couldn't help but notice all the glances he was getting from the rest of the crew as he passed them in the hallway. He couldn't be sure but it felt like a little bit of distrust mixed with anger.

"What's going on Harry?" Tom asked as they sat down at a table. "It feels like the whole ship is giving me the evil eye." Tom felt a little hurt that besides Harry there really didn't seem to be anyone else that was happy to see him again.

"After what happened to Seven a lot of people's opinions of her changed. You'd be hard pressed to find someone know that would say a single bad thing about her." Harry answered. Harry didn't want to make Tom nervous but quite a few people were willing to step in if Tom ever stepped out of line with Seven.

"I really am sorry about what I did." Tom said feeling ashamed. "I never meant for that to happen, but it did. Trust me when I tell you, I'm not going to hurt Seven again. She's going to need all of us backing her when we get back to earth."

"What do you mean?" Harry asked. "What's going to happen when we get home?"

Even though Harry had become a seasoned and dependable officer he sometimes couldn't help but be a little naïve about the world around him.

"Don't tell me you never thought about it." Tom said. "The bottom line is Seven is a former Borg drone, and the collective had years to perfect her. Can you honestly tell me that Starfleet wouldn't be the least bit interested in her?"

"Sure they'd be interested but they would never do anything against her wishes." Harry said, still not grasping the full situation. He had started fresh out of the academy and was away from alpha quadrant so long that he didn't know how it operated.

"They let the Cardasians enslave the Bajorans." Tom pointed out. "Who knows what they're capable of now?"

"That was an isolated incident." Harry defended, still not wishing to see Tom's point. "Starfleet isn't like that."

Tom decided to give Harry some time to digest the information as he ate the rest of his meal quietly. The last thing he wanted to do was alienate his best friend.

"We should probably get going," Harry said as they finished their breakfast. "The guards will be waiting for you at the doors to the ready room." Harry reminded Tom of the restraining order the captain placed on him.

"Did the Captain say how long that would last?" Tom asked. He wasn't planning to track down Seven and have it out with her but the idea of being ordered to stay away from someone like that was disconcerting.

"Not really. I think it's going to be a standing order until you regain her trust." Harry said.

Tom just nodded. He had a lot of fence mending to do ahead of him. He just hoped that it wasn't too late to change some of the crew's opinions of him.

Seven walked into the ready room with Kaia in her arms and B'Elanna at her side. It was obvious to everyone that saw her she wanted to be anywhere else but there. She wouldn't even look at Tom.

B'Elanna had to gently pull Seven into the room and sit next to her, placing her hand on Seven's knee comfortingly.

Kaia, also sensing her mothers discomfort reached up with her tiny arms and touched Seven's face.

Seven looked down to the crooked smile on her daughter's face and couldn't help but give a small smile in return as she kissed Kaia's forehead and held her close.

"Well let's get started." Janeway said as she noticed the tension in the room.

The two guards that Tuvok has assigned were standing next to the wall behind Seven's seat, with phasers at their waists, ready to draw in less than a second.

"As you all know, our real time communications with Earth will begin in two days." Janeway announced with a smile at the eager looks of her staff.

"Seven, do you need any help preparing?" Janeway asked.

"B'Elanna has already agreed to assist me." Seven replied keeping her eyes on Kaia as B'Elanna rubbed her knee in support.

"Mr. Paris you will not have any replicator rations for the next three months and any meetings you have with Seven will be monitored by security." Janeway reminded him. She had no idea how long she would have to keep the guards around, but by the look on Seven's face they wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon.

"Yes Captain." Paris agreed without complaint, thinking it was best not to bring up how long the restraining order would last.

The rest of the meeting was mostly about the routine stuff that happened on Voyager. Neither Tom nor Seven said much during the meeting. One was unable to look at the other, and the other feeling too ashamed to speak.

As soon as Neelix outlined a plan for a crew celebration, for as obscure Talaxian holiday Janeway ended the morning meeting.

Seven was the first to leave with Kaia in her arms, and B'Elanna trailing after her.

Finally when the three of them entered the confines of Astrometrics Seven let out a sigh of relief. It had been very hard for her to remain in the same room as Paris, a lot harder than she had originally thought.

"You did pretty well in there Seven." B'Elanna said as she wrapped her arms around Seven's stomach and pulled her into a hug. "I'm proud of you."

"I could not even look at him B'Elanna." Seven said with another sigh. "Will it always be this way?"

"I don't really know Seven." B'Elanna admitted. "Normally in a situation like this Paris would be at the very least transferred to another ship and we wouldn't have to deal with it, but since we're alone out here we really don't have much choice."

Seven placed Kaia in her play pen and put her stuffed monkey down next to her after B'Elanna let go of her. "I do not wish to be afraid. I do not like this emotion."

"It's going to get easier." B'Elanna promised. "We both knew that seeing him again for the first time would be difficult."

"I hope that you are correct B'Elanna." Seven said as she walked towards the screen to begin with the calibrations.

"Where do you want to start first?" B'Elanna asked as she sat down in the chair.

As soon as B'Elanna had found out how often Seven was standing in one place during her shift B'Elanna had immediately installed a chair.

"If you will begin with the deflector dish I will make the necessary calculations." Seven said as she pulled out a data pad and started to go through some of the calculations.

Seven was so engrossed in her work that when she felt B'Elanna pull her into the chair she didn't even notice until she landed on B'Elanna's lap.

"Why did I install the chair?" B'Elanna chided with a smile.

"So that I would not have to stand for my entire shift," Seven answered as she turned sideways and kissed B'Elanna's cheek.

B'Elanna smiled as she turned to her work, using the console.

Considering how everything went during the morning meeting Janeway had to admit that everything turned out better than she thought.

She had half expected B'Elanna to lunge across the table and begin to strangle Tom.

'Seven didn't seem to take it too well though.' Janeway reminded herself. 'She didn't even look at him once during the meeting.'

"How long do you think we're going to need the guards for?" Chakotay asked, interrupting Janeway's train of thought.

"What? Oh, I'm not really sure. I guess I should ask Seven what she thinks first." Janeway said as she stood up. She had a feeling nothing interesting would happen in this area of space anyway, and the bridge crew would hardly miss her for a little while anyway.

"You have the bridge Chakotay." Janeway said as she walked out of the door.

Janeway walked down to Astrometrics not knowing what to expect. Over the past two months she was sad to admit that she had began to drift apart from Seven. She was no longer able to read the younger woman as well as she used to, or at least believed she used to.

A part of it was because she just wasn't there to support Seven when she needed it, but she felt that a bigger part of it was because she was never truly able to connect with Seven no matter how much she tried.

At first she had been envious and at times even jealous about the way that B'Elanna was able to bond seemingly so easily with Seven, but as she had more time to think about she realized she wasn't seeing things the way they truly were.

She only saw the happy moments, not the work that both Seven and B'Elanna had put in to make the relationship work. In the end she found herself genuinely happy for Seven.

The door to Astrometrics opened as Janeway stepped inside. She was a little surprised to find Voyager's newest family all occupying the same chair.

"Captain," B'Elanna said as she swiveled the chair around. She made sure to keep a steady grip on Seven, as Seven wasn't expecting the sudden change of direction.

"I didn't know you were… I'm sorry I didn't…" Janeway said as she got an eyeful of Seven breastfeeding Kaia and quickly turned around. "Maybe I should com back later."

"It is alright Captain." Seven said as she covered herself. "I have just finished feeding Kaia." 'She must be uncomfortable about seeing me in this state of dress.' Seven thought to herself as she rubbed Kaia's back.

"Are you sure?" Janeway asked as she chanced a look behind her.

"Don't worry about it Captain. It's only breast feeding." B'Elanna said, doing her best to contain her amusement. After all, Harry hadn't even raised an eye over it.

"I just wanted to talk to you about how you feel about Mr. Paris." Janeway said as she tried to regain at least a little bit of her dignity.

"What do you mean?" B'Elanna asked.

"Well I want to leave the decision on how long the restraining order is going to last to you." Janeway said as she looked at Seven. "It isn't really too much of a drain on resources, so I don't want that to be what your decision is based on." Janeway explained.

"Thank you Captain," Seven said. "I do not know how long I want the restraining order to last, only that I want it to remain for the present time."

"I just wanted you to think about it Seven. You don't have to tell me right away." Janeway said. She didn't want Seven to feel like she was forced into anything.

Kaia decided that her mother wasn't paying enough attention to her and at that moment grabbed onto a piece of Seven's hair and gave it a tug.

"Kaia," Seven said in surprise as she gently began to pry Kaia's hand from her hair.

"Does she do that often?" Janeway asked as she cast an amused glance at Kaia.

"Only when she thinks Seven isn't paying enough attention to her." B'Elanna smirked. "I guess her mind's just developed to the point where she's started to become a little possessive."

"Kaia does look like she's maturing pretty quickly." Janeway admitted with a smile.

"Mentally anyway," B'Elanna agreed. "Physically though, she's just on par with a four month old."

"I was wondering B'Elanna." Janeway said as Seven was finally able to free her hair from Kaia's grasp. "Have you thought about who the god parents are going to be yet?"

"What are god parents?" Seven asked as she tickled Kaia playfully, causing her to gurgle.

To Be Continued…