Things Change

Based upon Star Trek: Voyager

Series Spoilers

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B'Elanna was thinking about the Delta Quadrant, which she was so liable to do in her old age. Despite being considered as seven of the most unfortunate years in her life, they really had done her wonders.

One of those wonders, of course, was Tom.

When she met him he was a disrespectful, self-serving, arrogant, chauvinistic pig. Well, maybe not "chauvinistic," but the other adjectives stood. He was impossible. He had just gotten out of prison; which was actually more the start of the problem than the cause.

But she realized she was not the angelic conversationalist then that she was now. She was angry, about everything. She was angry at the Cardassians. She was angry at the Federation. She was angry at the Klingons, the Terrans, the Romulans, her parents, her cousins, her old academy friends, her old academy instructors, Chakotay, Tuvok, Captain Janeway, Joe Carey, Tom . . . just to name a few.

She fought because she had nothing to live for. She fought so she could destroy something.

But all of that changed. They both changed. They both changed each other.

He became less arrogant and more concerned about those around him.

She became less angry, like she had a purpose in the galaxy.

She couldn't remember when she started to change, or when she realized she loved him. But one morning, she got up and she wasn't angry at all. Frankly, it scared her. She had been angry for so long . . .

Oh, but in the long run, he made her so angry. Every time he tried to get her to connect with "who she was." Every cursed Klingon Holodeck program. More than once she had swung that bat'leth at his head, hoping he wouldn't feign in time.

But of course, all those programs led to the Day of Honor, and it did matter to her. She realized that she hadn't been living for anything for quite some time. And in the cold weightless darkness of space, she told him that she loved him.

Which was promptly followed by days of awkwardness.

Then they dated for three years, and she began to be angry again. However, the brink of death once again brought them happiness.

And that's when it first occurred to her: they were adults. Real adults. They could have real discussions; disagreements, even, and then they could just let it go. They acted responsibly. They had to be Harry's conscience more than once.

But when she was pregnant with Miral, she was so afraid. Her anger had driven her father away so long ago, and she didn't know what she would do if Tom left her.

But Miral was born quarter-Klingon, as was Owen a few years later, and Tom was still around. Still nagging, but still around.

Now Miral and Owen were grown, with children of their own. Owen had married a human and their children's ridges were mere ripples on their foreheads. Miral, on the other hand, married a Klingon. B'Elanna's grandchildren barely looked related, but there were the best of cousins.

To think she had been so afraid of Tom leaving and it really turned out to be absolutely nothing.

The man he was when they first met would have been out the door so fast. Then again, that was part of their relationship: turning each other into better people. She knew she was definitely a better person because of him.

"Captain Torres?" her cadet assistant leaned into her office. "Ma'am, you have a class in five minutes."

She looked up at him a smiled. "Thank you, Cadet." She stood up and gathered a few of her things.

If someone asked her thirty years ago if she'd be teaching at the academy, she would have told them there was no chance in hell.

Things change.

- - - Fin - - -