Assimilations

By K.M.S. Daydream Omega

Disclaimer: The names of Annika's parents where taken from the episode The Raven: No copyright infringement to Paramount or anyone else intended.

Disclaimer 2: Subtext: PG J/7 relationship. If this type of love offends you, please beam out. Other than a few lines at the end of the story, you should be safe. That means kiddies anyone can read the story below.

Disclaimer 3: Episodes the Raven, and Dark Frontier.

There is a reference to the novel Lord of the Rings. No copyright infringement intended. (If you have not read it please find the book, it is great.)

I have often wondered what may have happened to a young Annika and her family before and during assimilation by the Borg. Therefore, I decided to write a story about what Annika saw and remembers on board the Raven before becoming Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One and on board the Borg cube. I've also wondered what exactly a Unimatrix One is, so I have made up what I believe one is and why Seven of Nine is so important to the Borg that they have tried to get her back.

Assimilation

The Federation Starship Voyager had been lost and alone in the Delta Quadrant for more than six years. The Starship and crew where kidnapped from Federation space, and stranded in the Delta Quadrant, by a being calling himself the Caretaker.

Their return journey home would take them many years; especially if they did not find a wormhole or another alien being like the Caretaker. It was very unlikely that they would return home in their own life times.

Along their journey home, they came across Borg space, home of the Borg. A life form unlike any other the Federation had encountered, they live as one being, work as one, their purpose solely to assimilate other species and technology. The Borg worshiped perfection above all other things.

Captain Janeway found her self-making a deal for safe passage through Borg space; in return, Voyager would help the Borg defeat their enemies. The Borg, after defeating their enemies turned on them. Janeway and her crew had little choice but to defend themselves, and stop one lone Borg drone, on board their ship, intent on handing them over to the collective. In doing so, they ended up with a new passenger... One Borg female, about 24 earth years old, which was not in the least bit happy to find her self separated from The Borg hive mind. Her designation was Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One, her human name Annika Hansen.

Janeway found that she had become more than fond of the former Borg, more so than perhaps she should have been. From the first moment she spoke to Seven of Nine, Janeway was fascinated. She wanted to know how she had become a Borg. When Seven remained on board voyager after the Doctor had successfully removed many Borg implants, Janeway made sure that she would be the one Seven would come to with her problems.

The only problem was, Captain Janeway had managed to put her feelings for Seven aside, in the belief that the emotions she felt would pass. As time passed instead of getting weaker, they had only grown stronger, as Janeway began to see that Seven was as intelligent, as she was beautiful. Beneath the Borg's cold facade, was a woman learning how to be human, an individual.

Janeway had never found the courage to tell Seven about her feelings. Oh, she had come close a few times, stepped up to the line, but never crossed over. Janeway was not sure if Seven felt the same way, and losing her friendship was not something Janeway was willing to risk. She did not want to confuse Seven any more then she had to. That was after all the doctor's job.

Therefore, Janeway had remained silent; happy to spend what time she could in Seven's presence. She watched as Seven slowly began to explore all the emotions that a human was capable of feeling. Janeway believed there was time enough to approach Seven, if or when Seven showed any feelings beyond friendship for her.

As Janeway made her way down to Astrometrics, she tried to suppress her feelings for Seven, and entered the one place Seven of Nine spent the most of her time, other than the Cargo Bay Two. Astrometrics always displayed the current star maps, from planets to solar flares, mapping space as they went, hoping that one day perhaps the information they collected would make it home.

She found Seven in a very unusual position; flat on her back with her head and shoulders under a console.

"Now there is a view worth mapping." Janeway softly cleared her throat.

"Seven?"

A thud was heard as Seven slid from underneath the console. Moving her hand up to rub her sore head, Seven glared at the intruder who had dared to interrupt her work.

Janeway tried to keep the amusement off her face, as Seven gave her an annoyed look. "Even when she is mad, she's beautiful"

"Captain, are you in need of assistance?"

"What are you doing Seven?" Janeway asked as she walked over to stand beside the shapely Borg.

Seven turned to her console and made a few minor adjustments to the display. Watching as the lights and controls flashed.

"One of the jell packs under this console is degrading. I was fitting a new one, along with a few Borg enhancements. The sensors should have more range and more detailed information the next time you require a planet or space scan," replied Seven turning to look at the Captain with a raised implant.

"This will improve them by how much?" She knew that to Seven, that a one point difference was like a fifty percent improvement to anyone else. Janeway had sat though more then one report, Lt, Torres had made, stating that Seven was ruining the ship's system even if Seven was improving the ships performance.

"The preliminary scanners should have a point 4 increase and the secondary scanners should increase by point 2."

Janeway smirked. "I'm sure Lt. Torres will be thrilled, Seven. Well done."

Seven gave an inward sigh. She still did not understand why Lt. Torres or anyone else for that matter got so upset when she improved their stations. After all, it did make their jobs a lot easier to do, more information, meant better results, better results made life safer for them all.

"Do you require assistance Captain? Seven inquired again, I am sure you did not come down to ask about the sensors."

"Oh right. Well, actually, Seven... I came to see if you were going to go to attend Neelix's party tomorrow night, and well..." The good captain stuttered and stopped, turning slightly red. "This would have been easier to say over the comm. System"

Seven watched as the colour travelled up the captain's face. Janeway turned even redder when she saw Seven watching her closely.

"Does she have to look at me like that?"

Clearing her throat, Janeway tried again. "Are you going to the party, Seven?"

"There, that was easy"

Janeway hoped the answer would be yes. It was not often that Janeway had the time to relax, and having Seven around would make the evening a lot better and enjoyable. Maybe she could teach Seven to dance, and it would give her an excuse to hold the lovely Borg. A smile appeared on Janeway's face as she thought about the dance.

"If I get her to dance, Neelix will have to schedule them every week"

"I have said I would attend." Seven stood rigid with her hands laced behind her back. "Mr. Neelix was quite insistent on the matter this morning in the mess hall. He said he looked forward to seeing me at the party. Borg do not party."

"Yyyyesssss"

"I'm sure I can show you how Seven. It's pretty easy."

A small unhappy smile appeared on Seven's face making the captain once again silently thank Neelix for suggesting the party. It would be a party to celebrate survival, life, and family. After all, they had been together for six years.

"Indeed, Captain I look forward to it." Seven sounded anything but eager.

A quick grin was Janeway's reply. "So will I"

"Excellent, Seven. I'll save you a party hat." With that as her parting shot, the captain left Seven to her console repairs.

"Hat?"

Seven had spent her time before her duty shift in the presence of Naomi and her mother Samantha. The young Naomi had invited Seven to the holodeck. Samantha, Naomi's mother had designed a program for Naomi, that showed her all about Earth, and she had suggested that Seven come along with them as well.

Seven met them outside the holodeck, and hand in hand with Naomi had taken a trip around Earth. They took in the Seven Wonders of the World, along with a basic history lesson, and cultural background. Then they had spent some time in a 20thcentury zoo, looking at all the animals that were now extinct on Earth.

Seven had spent a lot of time watching Naomi and Samantha laugh, talk and hold hands. There were also quick little hugs of affection, which passed between them.

Seven had no real memories of Earth or her parents. All she had were the records they had obtained from the Raven.

Seven had never really missed her parents until now. Watching Naomi and Samantha had brought forward fleeting memories of times long gone. It made her ache for the past, and some one who would care for her, as much as Samantha cared for Naomi.

After reading many of the records from the Raven archives and Voyager's database, Seven was not very impressed with her parents. To Seven, they seemed arrogant. Their work was everything to them, and a young Annika Hansen had been more of a burden in their lives than a joy. What parent, who loved their child, went looking for a hostile unknown race, dragging their child, for years though space?

Seven had left the holodeck feeling very unhappy, unwanted, and alone. Although Voyager was a family, Seven felt like an outsider, spending very little time with other members of the crew. She found social occasions a horror to attend, and was only happy when she was with the captain. Otherwise, she spent her days in Astrometrics, or regenerating.

As to why Seven only felt truly happy if Janeway was present, she was not to sure, other than Janeway was like no other person she had ever met. She was strong, intelligent, brave, and to Seven's eyes, beautiful. Janeway was perfection. After all, Janeway was the one who was there though all her pain; listened and answered all her questions and most of all was not afraid that the former Borg would assimilate her while she slept.

Seven was aware that many would call what she felt for Janeway as love, but Seven was lost as how to proceed. Any time Janeway could spend with her was a blessing in Seven's life.

Returning to her Alcove in Cargo Bay Two, Seven was uneasy about all the new emotions she was experiencing. Maybe the captain would be available after her duty shift so that she could talk though the memories of her parents.

Seven was shortly due on duty. Filing her memories and emotions away for a later time, she headed for main Engineering.

Seven of Nine had been working in main Engineering for the last few days helping with maintenance repairs that should have been finished weeks ago. Voyager, being Voyager, stranded and alone, had a number of run-ins with hostile aliens and the Engineering crew had not found the time to do all the much-needed repairs.

Lt. Torres, the chief engineer, was not too pleased at Seven's presence in her engine room. For Seven was not incapable of doing the repairs. No, in fact Seven was more then capable of running every station on board Voyager. It is just that Lt Torres did not like admitting she needed her help.

Some of the Borg's former knowledge and speed in which she got the jobs done, had helped them a great deal over the last three years. Refusing to take advantage of Seven's knowledge would be foolhardy at best. In addition, Captain Kathryn Janeway recommended Seven. After a few choice words from Lt. Torres, Janeway ordered her to accept Seven's help.

It was more then well known that Lt. Torres did not have a friendly relationship with Seven. Many had heard them arguing over more then one thing, in the last few hours and were now taking bets on how long it would be before Lt. Torres lost her very short temper. It had been the same over the last few years since Seven came on Board; as yet, it had yet to get physical-much to the Engineering department's crew relief. Having your Chief Engineer in the brig would not help them get home any faster, that is if there was anything left of her after Seven had finished. Taking on a Borg drone was not a good idea at the best of times, taking on an angry Borg drone was a sure way to lose body parts, or worse your life.

As usual, Seven had arrived early in engineering, which only annoyed the chief Engineer more. Lt. Torres had spent the last two hours listening to the captain, and reading Seven's detailed report. It seemed that Seven had taken it upon her self to improve the efficiency of the sensors. Seven did these things with not a thought as to how hard it was for the rest of them to stand by and watch the Borg in action.

"She just comes in and takes over," thought B'Elanna.

Lt. Torres walked over to Seven. "So Seven, what system would you like to improve today?" Torres asked with a lot of sarcasm. "Perhaps the Warp Core?" Torres hoped she would say yes, mainly because it would keep Seven busy for a while, and out of her hair.

Seven looked down at the Lt, noting that she appeared to be totally pissed off, but she looked like she had not slept in weeks.

"The captain said to assist you Lt. I am here to help. If you do not wish me in Engineering I will leave." Seven started to turn only to find B'Elanna's arm turning her back.

"Yea right, and I'll have the Captain on my ass, one minute later."

Torres had grabbed Seven's arm as she made to leave. "No, no. The Captain wants you down here, so down here you will stay. I don't want her pissed at me again."

"As you wish Lt.. Where do you need my assistance?" Seven replied in a cool voice.

"One of these days…" Lt. Torres ran her hand through her hair turning to watch as other engineers rushed pass to handle different problems.

"Start with the energy plasma conduits. Until there up and running, we can't see if there are any other malfunctions, before we start up the warp core again. Blowing up the captain's ship is not on the schedule today."

"I am sure the captain will be pleased," said Seven. Lt. Torres missed the slight smile that was there, and gone in a moment.

Seven made her way over and began working shutting out the rest of Engineering as Lt. Torres started shouting orders.

"All right people. Until this problem is sorted out," pointing over to Seven and the console, "We need to get the rest of the systems up and running. You have six hours, so get to it." People around them started to move.

A few hours later, Seven of Nine, late of the Borg Collective was still working on one of the Conduits, when a power flux blew out the station's main command boards interactive systems.

There was nothing anyone could do, except watch as a flash of white energy hit Seven squarely on her shoulder. Seven flew across main Engineering, hitting the deck so hard that she did not move again.

All hell was let loose in Engineering. "Ensign Parker, get that fire under control." Lt. Torres started shouting orders as she ran to Seven's side.

Torres dropped to her knees, taking one look at Sevens charred clothing, and the blood running down her face. "Ensign Parker, take control of Engineering"

In her next breath, she contacted the doctor. "Torres to the doctor, Medical Emergency! Two to beam directly to sickbay." Within minutes, they were gone, leaving only the pool of Seven's blood on the floor at the engineers' feet.

Suddenly the lights of sickbay flashed around them. Lt Torres was cradling Seven in her arms.

"Doctor, I need some help here!"

The doctor came rushing out of his office shouting instructions. "Lt., help me get Seven on the bed." He waved his hands to the nearest one. "Be careful with her head."

They moved quickly but gently as they lifted Seven onto the bed. "Now, Lt. get out of the way and let me work."

Lt Torres backed slowly away from the bed, and tapped her comm-badge.

"Lt. Torres to the bridge. Captain, there has been an accident in Main Engineering. I'm in sickbay now-"

The captain's sharp voice interrupted. "Are you all right Lt.? What happened?"

"I'm fine captain." Torres turned to watch the doctor. " I wasn't the one hurt."

Captain Kathryn Janeway became still and her face went pale. In a very quiet and controlled voice she asked, "Who?"

"I'm sorry captain, but Seven has been injured."

"I'm on my way." The line to the bridge cute abruptly

The crew watched Janeway as she left the bridge. Over the last few years, everyone waited to see what would happen between the captain and Seven of Nine. All were aware that the captain had deep feelings for Seven, however, no one was quite as sure if Seven of Nine had the same feelings, or if she had any idea at all of the way the captain felt about her.

Torres stared down at her uniform noting the blood, and how sticky her hands were. She rubbed them down her pants legs leaving a red trail as she paced back and forth.

After a few minutes, which to Torres felt like hours, she approached the doctor. "How is she?" Lt. Torres walked up on the doctor's right and looked down at Seven.

One side of Seven's suit was charred black, and Torres could see pieces flesh mixed in with the bio-suit imbedded in her shoulder. Seven's head rested on its side. The doctor ran his regenerator over her wounded brow. He frowned as he watched the readings.

"Lt what happened?" The doctor inquired.

B'Elanna ran her still sticky and red hands through her hair. "There was an energy discharge that hit her. Seven was fixing one of the energy conduits, right near a power transfer node, there must have been a backlash of power in the coils."

"I thought all conduits in on board had a protective lock down system to prevent this sort of thing happening."

"So did I."

"There is some damage to the cortical implant and the surrounding tissue, no doubt from the energy going through Seven's Borg systems. I can repair the tissue and "hopefully" her nano-probes will do the rest. As for her shoulder, other than a few burns and bits of chard flesh, it should heal fine."

"So why the frown?" inquired Torres, relieved that it did not sound as bad as it looked.

"My instruments show some other damage to the Borg implants near Seven's brain. I have no idea if they will heal and I do not want to interfere with her nano-probes. I hope they will fix the problem themselves, without my interference..." He turned to see the shocked look on the Engineer's face.

"Lt., perhaps it would be best if you wait for the captain in my office."

The doctor turned back to his patient, and began to repair the damaged flesh.

Meanwhile, Captain Janeway had made a dash to the turbo lift, shouting orders for Chakotay to take the bridge.

She barely heard the "Aye Captain," when the turbo lift's doors closed. Janeway slumped against the wall, and tried to get her racing heart under control. She ran her fingers through her hair as she prayed for calmness.

"Sickbay," she ordered the turbo lifts' computer.

"Come on Kathryn, it's probably nothing." She all but stamped her feet to get the turbo to move faster.

"Please let her be all right." Kathryn repeated the words over and over again.

"Damn it. Hurry up you useless piece of..." The turbo doors finally opened, and Janeway ran the rest of the way to sickbay. She did not notice the astonished looks the crew gave her as she barrelled past them. She stopped just out side sickbay to take a couple of deep soothing breaths before she entered.

Lt. Torres rushed over to the captain's side as soon as she entered.

Janeway's eyes scanned sickbay, finally coming to rest on the doctor. She turned to look at Lt. Torres for a brief moment before looking at Seven.

"Report Lt." Janeway could not take her eyes off the still form lying on the surgical table.

"Captain, I'm not to sure what happened really. Seven was working on one of the energy coils and it just blew. There was no warning. She was thrown-"

"Was anyone else hurt?" Janeway did not trust herself to hear all the details of Seven's accident.

"No, the rest of the engineering crew was working on the secondary computer terminals."

"Ensign Parker to Lt. Torres"

"Torres here."

"Lieutenant. I think we have found the problem."

Torres looked at the captain.

"Good, Lieutenant B'Elanna, keep me informed. I want a full report within the hour." With that, she started walking towards the doctor and Seven.

"Aye Captain." Torres took one last look at Seven, before she left sickbay.

"Doctor?"

Captain Janeway got her first real look at Seven. Since she was still unconscious, Janeway moved around to stand near her head. After a brief moment, Janeway folded her arms and stared at the doctor.

The doctor started his report wishing he could give her better news. "There was some damage to Seven's shoulder, as you can see by the state of her clothing. That was easy to heal. Other then a few bruises, there should be no further sign of injury. Seven's head wound however is a bit more difficult."

"Difficult how?" asked Janeway, once again looking down at Seven's face.

"There was a lot of damage, not just on the surface. The surface will heal, and her nano-probes have already corrected the damage. However, there is a lot of swelling near Seven's brain, which has me worried. If you would Captain." The doctor motioned towards his medical console.

"Captain, these are the scans I took when Seven first came in, and these are the scans I took a minute ago. As you can see, most of the swelling has gone down. Seven's nano-probes work very quickly as we all know, but here," he pointed to one small dark spot, "there is still a bit of swelling."

The captain looked from one scan to the other and then over at Seven of Nine.

" I see," Janeway said in a quiet voice, then moved over to stand beside Seven again.

"This means... what? She will wake up?" asked Janeway.

"Captain, the effects of head injures are difficult to predict, even with our advanced technology. The longer Seven remains unconscious the more danger she is in."

Captain Kathryn Janeway felt and looked completely helpless as she slowly reached out and touched Seven's long blond hair... hair still matted with blood. She stroked the fine strands with a loving hand, and realized that this was something she would never have done if Seven were awake.

The doctor looked on; knowing there was nothing else, he could say. Only time would show them the answer to their question.

" Captain..."

"Captain" said the doctor, a bit louder this time.

"Yes doctor." She was still, softly stroking Seven's hair.

"You know I will do everything I can for Seven. If there is any change, I'll let you know."

Janeway made a decision. "I'm staying Doctor"

"Captain really..." stuttered the good doctor.

"Doctor if she awakens, I want the first person she sees to be me." Janeway paused to take a deep breath. "That's final."

Seeing the look of determination on the captain's face, the doctor wisely remained quiet, and offered no further comments on the subject of her leaving.

"As you wish. I'll get you a chair, you might be in for a long stay."

"Captain to the bridge"

"Bridge here, Captain. Is Seven all right?" asked Chakotay.

"No, Commander. I will be staying in sickbay for a while. Please arrange the duty shifts to accommodate my absence for the next few days."

"Aye Captain, understood."

Feeling the tears, and her vision clouding, Janeway quickly ended the communication.

The doctor had delivered his promise of a chair, along with something to clean Seven's hair. After taking care of Seven's hair and doing a few more readings, he left them alone.

"Oh Seven." A single tear rolled down Janeway's face, as she slowly sank onto the chair. She could not stop touching Seven's soft hair. Slowly she reached out and captured Seven's still hand, interlocking their fingers.

Seven was dreaming, not something she did as a Borg. There was a flash of bright light, and Seven found herself in the past... her past.

Annika's parents, Magnus and Erin Hansen, were exobiologists. Both were at the top of their field. They had met as children, and grown up together. As soon as they left college, they found themselves recruited by Star Fleet's science division, and had been working on numerous projects since. After nearly 20 years of knowing each other, they finally got married.

The Federation had known about the Borg for some time, but had not let the knowledge of the new and possibly dangerous race into the general population for fear of the consequences. The U.S.S. Excalibur had come across a lone Borg ship drifting in Federation space. The Borg crew was dead, and there was major damage to their ship. After careful study, Starfleet Command ordered that the ship and crew returned to Earth for further study.

When the Hansen's learned about the Borg, they decided to conduct their own study. It was a dream come true for them. They had just had a child named Annika, and were soon into the study of the new species. They collected all they could from the ship. However, most of the data was not retrievable and much of what they found was beyond repair, but the work soon became their lives.

After three years of study, when Annika was barely four years old, Magnus and Erin Hansen believed that they had learned enough about the Borg to seek them out and study them in person.

Star date field Notes: 32611.4

"We have finally got the Council of Exobiology to let us go ahead and seek out the Borg. Although Starfleet Command is highly concerned about security, they have allowed the study to begin. Equipment and supplies have been loaded on a civil research vessel equipped for a long space voyage.

Annika- nick named "Muffin" by her father-loved to play with her parents' models of the Borg cube. She was not too happy about leaving Earth, but it was all going to be a great adventure. Besides, Annika was with her parents. What could possibly go wrong?

"It will be a great adventure Muffin. How many children get to go along with their parents into space like this?" asked Magnus, as he put Annika into bed.

"Not many papa. Will we be gone long?" Annika asked as she cuddled her red teddy bear closer.

"A while, Muffin. There you go." He placed a soft blanket over Annika small body.

"Will there be monsters?"

He laughed. " No honey, no monsters. The Borg are not monsters, they're like you and me, and we're not monsters are we?"

Annika giggled. "No Papa."

"There's nothing to worry about, now go to sleep." Calling the lights down, Magnus left Annika's room.

"What do you think?" Annika asked her teddy, holding him tight.

"I don't want to go. I want to stay with grandma and granddad. I'm scared." While holding her teddy tight, Annika spent her last night on earth afraid.

After all was completed, they said their good-byes to Earth, and set out into space, little knowing that it would be the last time they would see earth as human beings again.

After eight months of following readings, there was no sign of any Borg activity. Annika was having fun doing her lessons and playing, but was unhappy that her parents were never around, they where always too busy to notice Annika. She spent time with them mostly at bedtime, and that time together was getting shorter and shorter. Annika was very lonely and wanted to go home.

"Magnus we have already run out of time, and we have deviated from the flight plan. Starfleet Command has ordered us to return to Earth. You know that they are not going to role out the welcome wagon for us when we do. And we have crossed the Neutral Zone, broken the treaty " Erin was not happy, on one hand, she did not want to have the Federation coming after them, but on another, they had come so far. To turn back now would be a mistake. Little did she know the biggest mistake was yet to come.

Annika was standing at the open door, listening to her parents argue, which over the last week was all they seemed to do. She heard something about them losing ten days. The arguments made her sleepy. It seemed that all she really wanted to do these days was sleep.

It was bedtime, and no one had come to tuck Annika in, so she could not sleep. Annika loved to sit on her dad's knee, it was warm and safe, but like always something came up and she was told to go to bed.

Seven felt as if she were watching her parents on a view screen. She did not want to wake from this dream because her parents were so happy and excited. If only they had not found the cube. Seven continued to watch and remember.

On the main screen, a young Annika saw the cube.

"They're ignoring us," Erin said while looking down at her console making little corrections.

"Yes." Magnus was very happy indeed. "This may prove my theory that they only attack if provoked."

Even after they scanned the Borg cube, they did not bother the small craft. Before long, they opened up a slipstream and were gone. The Raven slipped in behind them and followed, finally entering Borg space.

They followed the cube for some time, making scans on its size and speed. All the while, Annika watched and studied, but spent a lot of her time alone.

Each day, Annika would have breakfast with her Mum and Dad. They would spend some time playing with her but after breakfast and play, Annika found her self -alone, left to entertain herself.

By the time, she was six years old, Annika knew all about the Borg. She even knew each of her parents' pet names for them, and what each one did. Her father spent a lot of time on board the Borg cube studying their every move, and every night one or more of the Borg where beamed on board the Raven to be tagged for study.

"What's the queen like?" asked Annika as another Borg drone was tagged and given a name.

"We think she controls the Hive much like an insect does."

Annika thought for a moment looking at the Borg, "So he's important?"

"Very," said Magnus smiling down at Annika. " And he's a Borg. His designation is One, Premiere Adjunct to Unimatrix One."

"What does that mean?"

"Well, as far as we can tell, there are a lot of levels in the Borg Hive, a bit like Star fleet, with Ensigns, and Commanders. Therefore, being the Premiere among drones, in Unimatrix One, is a bit like being second in command on a star ship. The Premiere is the right hand Borg of the Queen."

"Oh, so he is their admiral, and the Queen is the president?"

"That's right, Muffin, but at this moment, it's time for all Muffins to go to bed."

Annika looked up sadly but made her way to her cabin, dragging her teddy behind her.

"Unimatrix One," said Magnus softly looking over at Erin with a smile. They had been hoping that one day they would find a link to the Borg Queen, and here standing in front of them was the Borg they had been looking for.

From the data they had collected, the Hansen's had discovered that the Borg had a command structure in place on each Borg ship, each ship remained linked together all controlled by the queen. However, Premiere, was one of a kind. He was a Borg that was more than just a mindless drone. The other Borg received their names according to the group they would belong too. Each had a designation such as, Two of Five, Ten of Three, or Seven of Twenty. One Borg above all others, designated as the Premiere. If something happened to the Queen, the Premiere would keep order in the Collective until a new queen emerged to take her place.

Premiere, was a Borg who would be groomed in all ways of the Borg... a Borg taken in its childhood. One lone Borg drone, who would speak in the Queen's name.

The Hansens had sent the Borg back to his ship, in the hope that he would finally lead them to the Queen.

All was going fine, until one day after three years of study-in that time, the Borg had not so much as said a word to them-they were attacked.

"We are the Borg. Resistance is futile." This cold voice echoed throughout the Raven, waking Annika from her sleep.

"We are the Borg. Prepare to be assimilated." The sound was filling the otherwise eerie silence of Annika's room, making her sink under her warm covers.

"Magnus," Erin shouted in panic while fighting with the controls.

"I'm thinking, I'm thinking." Magnus tried to get their small ship away from the Borg cube, which was slowly closing in on them.

The Borg fired on the small craft, not to destroy, but to simple cripple them.

The Raven had received severe damage, and they were running out of options. The Borg would not give up there pursuit. They had two options, neither one of them good. They could take the escape pod and hope that the Borg ignored them, or they could crash land on a nearby planet.

The Raven was a fast ship, with up to date Starfleet shields, but the shields were failing. As for the weapons system, the Raven was an explorer ship, not a ship of war. The ship's weapons system was no match against the Borg cube.

Annika felt the ship shaking all around her. She held her teddy against herself for comfort. While she lay crying in the dark, her father finally came in to calm her down. He made her feel safe. Annika knew that her daddy would let no one hurt her. He left as quickly as he had come. Little Annika was alone once more.

"Daddy won't let anything get us teddy," Annika whispered in her teddy's ear. She began to tremble as another round of fire hit the shields, sending small objects around the floor.

Sickbay

Captain Janeway had been sitting besides Seven's bed for a number of hours. She had been reading her departmental reports and stopped only to watch the doctor when he came to take more scans.

Kathryn Janeway had fallen asleep in her chair, still holding Seven's hand. She awoke, as the hand she was holding suddenly started to move.

A sleepy Janeway yawned as she rose to an upright position quickly looking over at Seven. "Seven?"

Seven's whole body was shaking. Janeway quickly shouted for the doctor, who immediately came running. He looked at Seven, and then turned to his monitors.

"What's wrong?" said a frightened Janeway holding Seven's hand to her chest.

The Doctor was silent for a moment. "Doctor!" the Captain snapped.

"Captain, from what I can tell, Seven appears to be dreaming. It is nothing to be worried about, from the way these pathways are behaving, it's a very good sign." He reached over and placed a hypo spray against Seven's smooth neck

The captain let out a short breath, and watched as Seven's movements slowly stopped until only a slight twitched in the hand she was holding came through their linked hands.

"Whatever she was dreaming, there must have been some strong emotional elements in them. Her signs have calmed down as you can see," said the Doctor.

"Perhaps you could try talking to her Captain, if she's aware, she'll know that you're here, and hopefully she'll try to wake up," suggested the doctor, as he walked back to his office.

Janeway regained her seat. "Talk to her. I can do that, but where do I start?"

"Emm...well Seven, I don't know were to start. I guess at the beginning would be best. I cannot tell you how much I have, and will enjoy your presence in my life. Since you came on board Voyager, I didn't realize just how alone I am." Janeway swallowed.

"I have never, ever regretted taking you one board, not that I gave you any real choice," said Janeway with a slight smile. "You were so angry with me. Do you remember, Seven?" Janeway waited hoping for a reply, but there remained only silence.

"You said you would kill me, but now, you are my light in the dark. You are never afraid to tell me what you think, and even if I do make it an order, you still question me." Janeway let go of Seven's hand and stood. She smiled as she remembered a very angry young Borg in her brig.

"I am so very proud of you. I have never told you that, and I should have. I should also have told you how I feel, and this seems a good a time as any. Starfleet captains are supposed to be strong and resourceful, not needing anything but their ship." Janeway moved closer to Seven as she felt the hot tears run down her face.

"But, Seven this Captain isn't all those things. This Captain has fallen in love with you. Oh, heaven knows I tried not to. I told myself it would pass, and I tried to remain strong, but one look, one glance, into your eyes and... I do not feel like a Starship Captain...I do not..."Sobs racked the older woman's body. " I don't want to lose you, Seven. Please come back to me." With that, Captain Kathryn Janeway fell apart.

For some time in sickbay, the only sounds were that of a woman crying. "I have to get myself under control."

"I know you can hear me Seven, and when you do open up those eyes of yours, I intend to tell you this again. I...I hope...I believe you feel the same. I have just been too afraid to say anything. I'm sorry it's taken me so long, and I promise you that I will make the time to show you how much I love you."

"Not with a Mothers love for a child, or a friends love, but a love from my heart and soul, a love that comes rarely, an unconditional love. The sound of your voice, the way you move the way you listen to me, even when you believe I am wrong. All these things and more, make me fall in love with you over and over again. Each day is a joy like nothing I can explain, all I know is that you are so much a part of my world, my heart, that having you not there would be worse then death."

Janeway continued to walk around the bed. "Mother always said, that one day I would find my other half, I did not believe her. I believed that I did not need love in my life, and like my father, all I needed to be happy was a ship and crew. I have been so wrong, it took you entering my life for me to realise that there is more to life then Starfleet and duty." Janeway gave a small laugh, " Mother will be so pleased Seven, I know she will adore you as much as I do. I am sure she will take great pleasure in telling me "I told you so."

"There is so much I want to show you Seven, so much I know you will enjoy," Janeway's voice broke. "You deserve so much," she whispered.

Janeway wiped her red and swollen eyes. She slowly lowered her head to the bed and drifted back to sleep.

Seven remained quiet. Seven had heard every word but she was not able to respond as she once again drifted into the past.

The Raven was falling apart. The ship was losing power, the engines were failing, and the shields were down by 50. Magnus had shut down as many essential systems as he dared in order to give them more power to the shields.

Another round of fire caused a hull breach, and more systems began to fail.

"We don't have a choice Erin. The escape pod has too much damage. We have to find a place to land."

Erin ran to the sensor to find a planet, or system in which they could lose the Borg.

"Come on," Magnus yelled.

Erin was in a panic, but managed to find a class M planet. "Here, we need to go here," she said as she transmitted the details to Magnus' helm control.

"Do we have enough power to get there?"

Erin tried to move towards Magnus, but she found her self-thrown against the console as another torpedo hit the shields.

"Go get Annika!" Magnus pushed Erin in the direction of Annika's room. "It's not going to be a soft landing, let's hope the shields hold."

A tear ran down Erin's face as she rushed to collect her daughter.

She entered Annika's room to find her sitting in a corner crying in fear. "Honey, honey you need to get dressed. Hurry."

"Mama?" cried Annika as a river of tears ran down her frightened face. Annika had never seen her mother so upset.

Erin tried to control her own fear as she neared her only child.

"It's all right baby, mama's here. Come on now, get your teddy, and put these cloths on. Everything is going to by fine. Come on now." Erin held her hand out to her daughter.

Annika got dress as quickly as she could with her mother's help, and then Annika mother guided her out of her room.

They ran down the small corridor, passing through smoke and stumbling over fallen objects on the floor. Annika held her mother's hand tightly, and in the other was her red Teddy.

After setting a course for the planet below, Magnus rushed into his small office, where he had stored emergency packs, with food, clothing, medical supplies, and small hand weapons. He fixed a phaser to his waist and picked up another. He grabbed the packs and made his way back to the main room as Erin with Annika ran in.

"Here." He threw a phaser towards Erin who snatched it out of the air. She looked at the phaser, then at Magnus, knowing that even if they managed to land, they would not be safe. Erin's only hope was to hide Annika before the Borg came for them.

The fear of assimilation was now a reality to the Hansen family. After all, they had seen, and been a part of over the last few years; they arrogantly believed that they were never in any real danger. They had watched as the Borg laid waste to numerous worlds. They even watched as members of unknown species fell to the Borg. Now they were under attack with no real hope of surviving.

The ship began its descent into the atmosphere shaking and groaning under the pressure. Panels blew out all over the ship; small fires and alarms went off. There was nothing they could do but hold on, and pray for a miracle.

Magnus fought with the controls as the ship moved towards the planet at an alarming rate. They passed over water and trees, before hitting the ground. The ship bounced and came down again, sliding for some time over grass and rocks, which tore the underside of the Raven apart; it finally came to rest on a cliff ledge.

The emergency lights went out, and they found them selves in darkness. Annika screamed, then there was silence.

Smoke filled the air when the small craft came to its last resting-place... a place it would remain for the next 18 years. Then light started to drift in through a hole where the view screen used to be. Bring with it sounds of birds and woodland smells

Magnus stood on shaky legs. "Are you both all right? Muffin?" The sound of Annika's crying sounded loudly in the ruined ship.

"He made his way over to the communication station, and activated the emergency beacon. He hoped someone other than the Borg would find them. It was a risky thing to do, but it was their only way to get help.

"Hurry!" shouted Magnus, but it was far too late. Borg drones appeared on board the Raven.

"We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."

"Nooooooooo," screamed Erin. She held Annika close. As she reached for her phaser, the Borg began to close in. Erin released Annika's hand, pushing the child behind her. Magnus fired, but the drones simply adapted to the phasers.

"Annnikkkaaaa, runnnnnnnn." It was the last thing Magnus said as the Borg closed in.

Annika hid her self under a console. Fear made her want to hide away from her mother's screams filling the air. Then the screaming stopped, and the ship became silent.

"Resistance is futile." Two Borg appeared in front of the small child. Annika dropped her teddy as they roughly pulled her from her hiding place. The last thing Annika saw on board the Raven, were her parents, as they transported Annika away. Moments later she too was gone.

The Borg Cube

Magnus and Erin had witnessed what happened when the Borg took a species. Now, they too were in the hands of the Borg, along with their young daughter.

They stood no chance when the Borg drones beamed on board the Raven. Their hopes that the Borg would abandon their quest when the ship crashed, had failed. After three years of studying the Borg, and learning their secrets, they were going to have first hand knowledge of the Borg for the rest of their natural lives.

The Hansens where separated from Annika on board the Raven. They were beamed directly on broad the Borg cube, and were surrounded by Borg drones. The drones waited silently for their next command. Magnus held Erin close. He tried to shield her, but he knew they were beyond hope.

Erin embraced Magnus tightly as she softly cried Annika's name over and over again.

Two of the Borg that had brought them to the large room, moved forward and stood apart as a door opened before them. A green glow entered into the dark room. In walked a Borg- a woman, who moved with power and grace-looking them over with a clinical eye with interest.

The Hansens where pushed from behind, and they stumbled forward a few feet. The new Borg walked slowly around them and Magnus tried to follow her with his eyes. To his amazement and horror, a smile appeared on the woman's face.

"Welcome to the Borg." She came to rest in front of them.

Magnus stood tall, trying not to show the fear he was feeling. He placed his arm possessively around his wife. Erin tighten her hold on his waist.

The woman spoke again. "It is our," she paused, "pleasure, to meet you face to face at last after all this time."

She moved slightly. "We have been aware of your presence from the day you approached this cube," said the Borg woman with an arrogant smile.

"The human species were unknown to the collective. We have decided that your species will make a fine addition to our perfection."

Magnus looked on in shock. They had believed that the Borg were unaware of there study. To find that the Borg had been more than aware of them made Magnus realize, for the first time, how their own arrogance made them vulnerable.

Finding his voice, Magnus asked, "Why leave us alone and unharmed if you knew?"

He knew enough about the Borg to suspect that the woman before him was in fact the Queen. No one else in the collective would have this much power. They had learned that although there were millions of Borg drones, very few had such a degree of independence. The woman who stood in front of them had free will. Other than the Queen, the only member of the collective that spoke was Unimatrix One, the right hand of the Queen.

All other Borg drones were silently going about their assigned jobs. They showed no emotion when one of their own became damaged. The damaged ones either where repaired or terminated no longer any use to the hive.

When the Borg attacked a world, even its children and the elderly where assimilated. Many did not survive the process; they either died at the hands of the Borg, very few escaped capture for long.

"Why?" responded the Queen to Erin's unspoken question, "Annika was too young."

Erin head shot up. "Annika, where is she?" she cried.

The Queen's simple reply was: "Where she belongs ...with us."

Magnus did not understand "Annika? You are after my daughter?" His voice changed pitch as he took a step towards the Queen, only to be dragged back by a strong Borg hand.

"We scanned your computer's memory banks the moment we became aware of your vessel. Your personal logs were informative. Annika is an intelligent child, and above all a young human. She will become our voice, and all that we are-all that we have learned-will be hers. We will be her teacher and in return she will give us the human species."

Erin cried out. "She's just a child."

The Queen moved to look at Erin, taking her by the chin, she looked into terrified eyes.

"Exactly. She is a child, but she will become Borg. We will be all she knows. Children survive assimilation more easily than adults do. They do not fear us as you do, and they learn well what we teach them. You should be proud of her. Annika will make a fine Borg. Along with your knowledge of the Federation, your lives will be spent in the service of the Collective."

The queen moved away from them, and walked towards the door. She turned to look at their terrified faces, and then signalled to the drones standing behind them.

"Assimilate them."

The door closed leaving Erin and Magnus in the dark. A faint green glow of mechanical lights bathed their faces as the drones began to move.

On the other side of the door, the Queen paused as a scream sounded from behind the door. When all was quiet, she turned and made her way down the dark corridor.

A short time before.

The Borg ship was so cold it made Annika shiver. As she was lead by the drones, she watched as other Borg walk by taking no notice of her. Annika was led pass Borg drones each standing in their own alcoves, each doing their tasks with a collective purpose. All unconcerned that a small family was about to be torn apart.

Suddenly, the two Borg released Annika. She stood alone before what was a smaller version of a view screen like the one on the Raven. The screen came to life, showing Annika's parents surrounded by Borg. They were holding each other close. For a few minutes, that is all a young Annika saw.

Another Borg entered, and Annika could here the voices of her parents, as the Borg walked around the room.

Seven of Nine watched as her past played out before her. Things long forgotten came to her. She heard her parents try to defend her, and realized that she had been destined to be Borg from a very early age. A silent tear ran down her cheek, and for the first time in her adult life, Seven of Nine began to silently cry.

She cried for her parents, who no longer existed. She cried for a lost childhood and for a family that she would never have again. Although her father remained in the hands of the Borg, the memoirs of her mother ended that day. As many that faced the Borg terror of assimilation, she died a few days later, never regaining consciousness again as Erin Hansen, spending the last few days of her life as a drone.

Seven watched as young Annika-the child she was for a short time- met her destiny at the Queen's hands.

After the Queen left, Annika was alone with the same Borg who had taken her from the Raven. They led her to the room where Magnus and Erin were laying on a flat grey surface staring up at the ceiling. They made no sound when Annika entered the room. Borg where at either side of them, and machines were placed around the still bodies.

"Papa? Mama?" Annika tried to get to them, but Borg held her back.

A voice sounded in the small room. "Finish the Assimilation, leave the child." The Borg drones began to work, taking no notice of the small crying child. Annika watched as her parents where assimilated. A long line silver tube slowly inserted into each of their necks, and at once, a grey hue came over their skins. Small implants began to appear on their faces, as the Borg removed their clothing. Amour and tools where fitted to their bodies. Their Eyes where replaced with live sensors. Annika screamed, but held fast between the two Borg drones. She watched as one of Erin's arm where removed and replaced with a mechanical limb. More implants slowly appeared and in each passing moment, Annika's parents were gone. All that they knew and experienced all of their dreams, now belonged in the Borg Hive mind.

Annika stood for some time, her crying had stopped, and she looked on in fear, as her parents began to move. Each stood, and turned towards her. There was no life in their eyes, no sign that they were aware of her or anything else. They looked right through Annika, and awaited their instructions.

"Regeneration is required." One of the Borg that had been holding Annika turned and walked away. Magnus and Erin followed. It was the last time Annika would see her mother again.

"Place the child in stasis." Annika was removed from the room, and taken to a small square chamber. The last thing she remembered was a Borg coming towards her as she cried out for her parents.

Sickbay

Janeway had been in sickbay for three very long days. The doctor had tried on a number of occasions to get her to leave, but the captain had refused each time. She kept watch over Seven, and read her reports at Seven's bedside.

Other then the few remaining twitches; Seven showed no other signs of life. The doctor had taken new scans every few hours. Each scan revealed that the swelling was very slowly going down, however he was unable to say when or if Seven would regain consciousness. In addition, he could not tell if there would be any long-term problems if she did wake up.

Janeway found her self in a state she was not used to... helplessness. Members of the crew, and Seven's friends, began to drop by sickbay one day after the accident. Each stayed a few minutes, wishing her well and speaking to the captain. They left shocked to see their captain looking so frail. The look of pain in the captain's eyes was not something they could miss. The news travelled fast around Voyager that Seven of Nine was badly injured.

Naomi Wildman made a visit with her mother. She ran over to the captain, and began asking all sorts of questions that the captain was not able to answer. Naomi began to cry when she saw Seven on the bed. She held onto the captain's hand as her mother talked quietly to Janeway. Since Naomi was so upset, and her captain was beyond tears, Samantha felt that it was better to leave. Therefore, she picked Naomi up into her arms, and spoke softly to comfort the child. Samantha promised that they would visit again. Saying her good-byes to Janeway, Samantha let Naomi kiss Seven on the cheek, before wishing Seven well.

Lt. Torres had made her report to the captain only hours after the accident.

Lt. Torres entered sickbay nodding to the doctor, and walked over to stand beside the Captain, taking note that Seven had yet to awaken.

"Captain?"

Janeway looked up from watching Sevens face for any sign of live.

"Oh Lt.?"

The Engineering handed over a small data pad with her report. Janeway sat back on her chair, stretching her back, and looking down at the Data.

Janeway was relieved to read that it did appear to be an accident and that no one had tried to get rid of her Borg friend. It turned out to be a simple energy flux. Reports had been coming in on similar malfunctions, but none as bad as the one in Main Engineering. The cause was unknown. It was just unfortunate that Seven was injured. The coil in Engineering had major damage, and would take days to repair. All systems in Engineering were running through the ship's secondary control system.

Janeway turn to Lt. Torres, "I want a level one inspection on all control panels, energy coils, and back up systems starting in Engineering and ending on the Bridge. I do not want any more accidents to happen like this. I want to now why and stop it, do I make myself clear Lt.?"

"Plus I want a detailed report on the new systems to be put in place to warn of future problems."

"Aye Captain." Turning with another look at Seven the Engineer return to Engineering.

After that first visit, Lt. Torres had stopped by sickbay after every shift to visit Seven. Each time, the Doctor and told B'Elanna the same news. The Doctor was not only worried about Seven, but the captain as well. The Doctor hoped he could talk some sense into the captain, and that she would return to her quarters to rest.

As luck would have it, Janeway remained at Seven's side softly talking to her. Janeway had sent Ensign Tom Paris down to her quarters to fetch a book that she loved to read.

Janeway placed her chair at the head of the Seven's bed. "I don't know if anyone has ever read to you Seven, but when I was small, my mother used to read to me and my sister all the time. It was one of our favourite things to do as a family. I hope I do not bore you too much. You'll have to tell me to shut up if I do."

"This is one of my favourites, it's called, 'Lord of the Rings'. It is a very old book, written in the early twentieth Century. It's a wonderful story."

Janeway placed her jacket over the back of the chair, and put the book beside Seven's shoulder. She began to read.

"Chapter One"

A Long-Expected Party

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence. There was much...

The Doctor stood and listened to Janeway's voice floating through his sickbay. He turned back to sit behind his desk, and listened as Janeway told a very old story, that hopefully had a happy conclusion for all of them.

The Queen.

The Borg cube made its way back to the main collective. Annika remained in stasis while Magnus and Erin started their lives as drones. All their memories of their former life no longer existed.

Annika was soon taken from the Borg cube and transported to the main hive, while still in her stasis chamber, placed into a large room and left alone.

The stasis chamber hissed opened, Annika became aware of the soft noises around her, and she was very cold. She looked up see rows and rows of alcoves, some with regenerating Borg inside. As she slowly sat up, a drone moved away from her and stood still besides another figure.

"Do not be afraid child. Today you start a new life, a life that you were destined to live." The figure walked closer and Annika saw a woman, a Borg woman.

"Where's my mama?" said Annika hugging her legs to her chest.

"Where she belongs, she is with us now child, as are you."

The Borg woman came closer, and after a moment of study, she reached over to brush a lock of hair out of Annika's eyes.

Tears appear in Annika's eyes.

"You will one day be our voice. We will give the human race perfection. They will be added to the collective," said the Queen.

"Do you know who I am?" she asked.

Annika nodded her head and sniffed. "The Queen?"

"That is right. One day you will be Premiere," replied the Queen.

"I have been aware of you for some time. You will be our link to the Humans, but for now, you will learn."

The last thing Annika heard as a human, were the chilling words "Assimilate her."

Annika Hansen, daughter of Magnus and Erin Hansen, was no more. In her place, was A Borg name Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix Zero One... future Queen of the Borg.

Annika Hansen was no longer alone.

Sickbay

Sickbay had been quiet for some time, and Janeway had drifted off to sleep after the third chapter. The Doctor took some more scans, then retreated to his office, leaving them both alone.

Janeway missed the first sign of life from the bed as Seven slowly started to awake. The hand that Janeway had been holding for nearly five days, started to slowly move as Seven opened her eyes.

Seven moved her head, but stopped when she felt a sharp pain. She looked around, half expecting Borg drones to appear and take her away again, from the ones she loved, but the only person in the room was sound asleep at her side.

A tear rolled down Seven's face as she started to remember the details of her dream... her lost parents, her lost childhood. The things she had forgotten over time slowly returned to her, and yet if those things had not happened, she would never have met Kathryn, and for that bit alone, she was grateful to the Borg.

Seven slowly moved her hand to touch the sleeping figure. She stroked the dark head so near to her own. Surprised to find herself in sickbay with the captain, Seven tried to sit up, only to find that other than her head and arms she was pinned to the bed.

"Cap...Captain?" said Seven in a broken voice.

The head beside her moved, and then was still.

Seven gave a small smile. "Captain Janeway," she called a bit louder this time.

Janeway moved her head and slowly sat up. She began to slowly awake, but when Seven called her name again, she very nearly fell off her chair.

"Seven!" she all but shouted, "Don't move I'll get the Doctor."

Before Seven said another word, Janeway was off shouting for the doctor. Moments later, they were both besides Seven's bed. Janeway was very silent as she watched the doctor run a few more tests. Janeway smiled when Seven raised an eyebrow at the questions the Doctor asked. If Seven knew her name, remembered how she was injured.

Giving Seven a pat on the shoulder and releasing her from the restraints, he turned towards a very nervous Janeway.

"Well Captain," he beamed, "I'll need to run a few more tests. Seven needs to remain in sickbay for the next few days, and then she must regenerate. I can see a very bright future ahead."

He smiled down at Seven. " Welcome back, Seven."

Seven nodded, not taking her eyes off Janeway as the doctor took his leave, and made to inform the rest of the crew.

"Seven," whispered Janeway as tears started to form yet again.

"Captain. What happened?" asked a confused Seven slowly sitting up.

Janeway reached out and helped her to a sitting position, but did not remove her hand from Seven's arm.

"There was an accident, Seven. Unfortunately, you got hurt, but you're going to be fine," said a shaky Captain. "I'll explain later after you have regenerated, all right?"

Seven nodded. "As you wish, Captain." Seven replied as she looked down at the captain's trembling hands.

"Later, will you also show me the things I have been missing?" Seven asked shyly.

"What!" said a shocked Janeway as she took a step backwards.

"You...You heard me?"

Seven watched as the captain fidgeted for a moment.

"Yes"

"Oh."

Seven let her legs slowly hang over the bed. There was a thoughtful look in her eyes as she watched Janeway.

"I love you too."

"You...do?" Janeway did not know whether to faint- which a Starship captain did not do- or to shout for joy. Fortunately, she chose neither, and a silly grin started to spread across her face, a face that was turning a nice shade of pink.

"I don't know what to say, Seven."

"Will you kiss me instead?" replied Seven hopefully. She needed to feel loved and wanted by this woman.

Janeway looked into the eyes of the woman she thought she had lost... her friend and future lover.

"There's nothing that I would rather do, Seven."

Janeway moved to stand between two very shapely legs. She placed her hands on Seven's thighs, and leaned forward for a kiss. She was surprised when Seven moved closer.

Lips touched and moved together, sealing their love for one another when a cough came from behind them.

"Captain, really! That can wait until after Seven regenerates," commanded the stern Doctor.

Janeway turned away blushing, and Seven just sat there and stared at her. Then, the brightest smile, the only true smile Janeway had seen came to Seven's face.

"Seven needs to rest Captain."

"Right. Yes of course."

"So do you Captain," said the doctor making Seven aware of how bad her captain did indeed look.

"Are you ill Captain? Perhaps you should let the doctor look at you." Concern and worry appeared all over Seven's face now.

Taking Seven's hand and kissing her fingers, Janeway laughed. "No Seven, I'm fine, really. I just need a little rest and I'll be back to normal."

"Very well. Will you come back when you are rested?" said Seven, in a child like voice.

"The captain will be back in the morning, Seven. Not before."

Seven slowly relaxed onto the bed, watching as Janeway collected her jacket.

"Will you leave the book for me?"

Janeway placed the book on the bed as the doctor came to reclaim his chair. Janeway watched as he looked at the book, and nodded to her.

"Sure, but you need to rest, Seven."

With that, and giving Seven a light kiss on her forehead, Captain Janeway left sickbay with a slight swing in her step.

They had so much to talk about and now they had the time. Time that Janeway was going to make sure they spent together.

Seven made her self-comfortable after the captain had left. Her future was changing, yet her past was coming back to haunt her. Perhaps with the captain's help she could lay her nightmares to rest.

Reaching out she touched the book. As memories of her mother reading to her surfaced for the first time, and not just in her dreams. Seven began to cry.

The End?

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think.

If you would like a sequel, to find out what happened to Seven after her regeneration and how she comes to terms with her past, let me know. I will reserve a seat for you at Neelix's party.