Disclaimer: I do no own Voyager or any of its characters. I do own my own characters though.
A/N: I don't normally approve of this paring since, for me, its just too weird… "Them" being about ten years apart and all… but I decided I would give it a shot. I hope you enjoy!
This story begins 10 years later. After the end of Voyager. The estimated character ages: Icheb – 26, Naomi – 17 but appears closer to 22 to 24 because of her mixed blood with Ktarian. I didn't make that up, go look it up if you think I'm lying about that. She was Seven in Voyager, in the later seasons, didn't she look around Twelve? Yup, I thought so.
UPDATE: Let it be known that this story is VERY old and full of (in my opinion) problems. I am undertaking a massive rebuild of it and should start posting it under the name Irrelevance v2 soon! 08/18/2015
Cadet Naomi Wildman glanced up at the vast reception area of Starfleet Academy, and felt a pang of loss without the comfort of her friends and family that had once formed a motley crew of the starship Voyager. Naomi took a deep breath for courage and scaled the steps to the reception desk. She smiled at the elderly woman at the desk and presented her PADD. "Good morning Ma'am," she greeted politely.
The woman took the PADD and looked over the information, then smiled back at the young woman. "Ah, Cadet Wildman, we've been expecting your arrival. You will find your instructional PADDs and uniforms already at your dorm-room. Just take the turbo lift to the third floor and head down junction C to the Cadet quarters. Here is the list of your classes and where they are located," the woman informed, handing Naomi a PADD and went back to her work. Naomi smiled appreciatively and turned in the direction of the turbo lifts.
Just as she was heading over someone bumped into her, causing the PADDs she was lightly holding to spill on the floor. "Oh!" she exclaimed, reaching down to pick them up and that's when she noticed another set of hands with hers.
"Sorry about that! I was in such a big hurry to meet my new Professors I didn't pay attention to where I was going!" The voice of a young man sounded before her.
Naomi looked up to see a Bajoran with short, black hair and beautiful silver-gray eyes smiling sheepishly. She smiled back at him and shook her head, dismissing the apology. "Its quite alright. What's your name? Are you new here too?" She asked him.
The young man grinned as they stood straight and he handed her the PADDs he had helped pick up as he answered. "No, actually, this is my second term! My name is Kav'ain. What about you? Are you new?" Kav'ain asked.
Naomi smiled and shook his offered hand. "Second term, huh? I'm Naomi and yes, I'm new. Would you mind giving me tips on any Professors you know? Who's who and which Professors are lenient and which aren't? You know, so I'm not totally lost and all..." Naomi asked with anticipation, leaning forward on her heels teasingly.
Kav'ain laughed and nodded. "Sure! Professor Barclay is great if you take Historical Culture and Professor Markus is awesome if you take Physics. The other Professors I took are okay but I'm sorry to say, I don't know many other Professors," Kav'ain explained. Naomi nodded in understanding and reviewed her PADD. Unfortunately, the computer announced that first period classes were beginning so she was unable to properly read it, she only read enough to know where her first class was located.
Naomi was happy to find her new friend running with her to the same class. As they entered the classroom they noticed several other Cadets already there and chatting away; apparently the Professor was going to be a bit late. Naomi sat down at the front, in front of Kav'ain and turned to greet the other students just as the door opened and a short, balding man in uniform walked in.
"Class, I'm sorry to say Professor Mathews was reassigned to another academy in the Alpha-Quadrant. I would like to introduce your new Astrometrics Professor, Professor Icheb," the man said and stepped aside for said younger man to walk in. In shock, Naomi's PADD slipped out of her hand and fell on top of her desk with a rattle as her long-time child-hood friend entered and smiled tightly at his class.
'No way! He looks so...' she blinked, unable to place words correctly, '...grown up!' Naomi thought, gazing in astonishment at the once slim but now apparently broad-shouldered Brunali she had been friends with ten years ago. 'Wow, he's... still every bit as attractive as I remembered him being...' she thought and blushed at her very thought, thinking that age was kind to him. 'I bet he doesn't even remember me...' Naomi smiled at the sound of his familiar, though now somehow much richer - than she remembered at least - voice as he addressed the class.
"Good morning class. I look forward to getting to know all of you," Icheb said and glanced at the young woman with Ktarian features curiously before turning to set his instructional PADDs down. 'It seems like I should know her… she looks so familiar,' he thought, picking the right PADD and giving the device direction to send his syllables to the students' computers. A hand went up and he turned to the student. "Yes Cadet?" He questioned.
The young woman stood and smiled at her Professor. "Good morning, Sir. We were wondering… Is it true you were on Voyager?" She asked as politely as she could.
Icheb smiled at the girl and nodded. "Yes, that is correct," he answered. The girl glanced at her class mates who gave her a look that let him know there was more than one question. He had a feeling he knew the next question though.
"Is it also true... that you were once part... Borg? I-I hope you don't mind me asking," the Cadet asked cautiously. Icheb set his PADD down and turned in her direction, giving her an analytical scrutiny though his face had drained of emotions. He almost appeared Vulcan. The young woman squirmed under the intensity in his scrutiny and sat down. Icheb's face relaxed significantly and his eyes softened slightly, not having meant entirely to frighten the girl, before answering in a knowing manner.
"Forgive me, Cadet. That was a test, do not be afraid to speak up in my class, no matter how nervous you may be. Others may benefit from your questions. To answer your question, yes, I was once Borg," he answered and smiled at the poor girl reassuringly. There were murmurs of awe and excitement in the class from the revelation. Naomi didn't miss the dreamy sighs when he smiled and resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Icheb turned to the rest of the class and began his lesson, aware that his every move was followed by the eyes of the Ktarian girl. Somehow, the Ktarian girl reminded him of someone who used to do the same thing, so very long ago, but he simply could not place who and when that was.
Kav'ain thought for a moment before tapping Naomi's shoulder, Naomi turned slightly to give him her attention. "Your last name is Wildman right?" he received a curt nod. "Is it true you were also on Voyager?" he asked in a whisper. Naomi simply nodded again and returned her attention to the silky smooth sound of her "long lost" friend's voice.
Kav'ain sat back in astonishment. "Really? Whoa that's awesome! You were on Voyager too! Wow!" he exclaimed loudly, catching the attention of the other students who muttered in surprise. Naomi ducked her head bashfully and hid her face behind her PADD. That's when Naomi noticed that that little revelation also caught the attention of her new instructor, who gazed at her in as much surprise as she had looked at him with when she first saw him.
Naomi blushed when he smiled in the coy yet also somehow sly way he was always so darn good at, and cleared his throat. "Settle down Cadets, I have not dismissed class yet," he commanded. His eyes fell and lingered on Naomi's a moment as the students sat back down and quieted before scanning the whole room again and continuing on his lesson. The rest of the class was spent with introductions into what the tall Professor would be teaching and his high expectations. "I may not be a Borg anymore, but I'd still like to see a semblance of perfection," he had said half serious, half teasingly, relieved when the class laughed good-naturedly. Naomi grabbed her things as the class ended and made to head out, but was stopped by a hand on her arm. She turned slowly and met her old friend's eyes once more.
Icheb smiled at her before speaking in a wistful sort of way that did not seem usual for him. Then again, how could she be so sure what he sounded like now, after ten years? "Naomi Wildman. I did not recognize you! I see time has been very gracious to you," he commented, unaware of how much that simple input affected the young woman. Naomi blushed and kicked herself for stuttering as she answered back; she hadn't the slightest clue why she was reacting the way she was around him… they were friends after all right? Or perhaps, it was just the anxiety from reuniting with him so suddenly that overwhelmed her.
"Ah… thanks, you too…" Naomi responded in kind, nodding at him. "You've-ah changed… um… well, too…" she responded pathetically, feeling a small blush begin to creep up her face. Honestly, this was kind of an embarrassing conversation so far. "Um, but I did recognize you though, you still have your Borg implant visible and you're hair is almost the same," she commented with a friendly smile. Well, maybe it wasn't so much the same... she didn't remember his hair looking as tousled as it did now, but it was still short... kind of a rugged look?
Icheb smiled back and nodded in agreement. "Yes, I decided the implants make me unique, at least around here," he began. "I suppose you could say, in an ironic way, it is a representation of my individuality," he explained and then raised an eyebrow when he realized he had missed the sound of the computer advising the Cadets to head to their next class. 'How could I have lost concentration?' he wondered idly before pointing it out to Naomi. "I believe the second classes of the day are beginning. You should go if you don't want to be late," he advised softly.
Naomi jumped in alarm and nodded. "You're right!" She gave him a fleeting and sudden hug before rushing off.
Icheb blinked at the strange absence he felt as she let him go from the quick embrace. 'Odd…' he wondered before greeting his next class. His new job as Professor was definitely going to be interesting.
End A/N: This was just a quick attempt at this paring. I hope I didn't muck anything up, like too many typos, spelling mistakes, out-of-character-ness, that sort of stuff. If I did, though, please let me know and I'll correct it as soon as I can! Please review and let me know what you though of this chapter, okay?