This new song I adore just begged me to write a D/7 story surrounding it.
Enjoy! Warning, angst. hehehe. I'll be checking for spelling errors when
it's NOT 5 am, so don't mind if you find a typo or two. :-)

Title: I Don't Want To Believe
Rating: PG
Author: Nine
Summary: Seven says goodbye. AU
Disclaimer: Paramount owns it Voyager. Taitband owns the song, Unglued off
their album Empty. Michael Tait wrote this for his late father. *Hugs
Mike* I highly
recommend this album.

**
Restless and alone. A weary soul has traveled home
What am I to do in a world without you?

Seven stood there in the messhall, staring at the holo image they had hung
up...gazing to the mobile emitter that lay on the table below. It was
unacceptable. Incomprehensible. One of the most stable parts of her life
was gone in the blink of an eye. A matter of seconds had erased a future of
singing...a future of friendship. Any future they could have had. She
swallowed, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall past her eyelids.
She didn't want them to see her crying. And so she turned towards the
stars and gazed out. Just a couple of minutes was all it took. Just a
random attack on a random day and he was gone. Deleted and unretrievable.
All they could do was start from scratch and try to rebuild a replacement.
Seven crossed her arms and sniffed. She didn't want it to have his image.
Nothing could replace what she'd lost only a few days ago. Oh, if she could
only go back. Two days ago her life was unblemished and stable. Now it was
chaotic, irratic and imperfect. He was gone. Her whole body ached as she
longed to return to a few days ago. If only for a few moments. Anything to
see him again. Just once.

"Seven?" Harry whispered, touching her back.

Seven set her jaw and held tightly to herself. "Can I assist you, Ensign?"

He was silent for a moment. "I'm sorry," was all he said before departing.

Sorry. He was sorry. They were all sorry. What good were these foolish
emotions? They were inefficient and pointless and...achingly lonesome.
Seven balled her fists and closed her eyes, trying to fight the tide of
emotion that swept through her. I will adapt, she firmly told herself -
knowing it was a lie. How could she possibly adapt to this? It was a
nightmare. Her eyes met the endless stars once again as she gazed them over
as if searching for something. Perhaps some sort of release. Perhaps
something to tell her that this wasn't real. Perhaps a way to pick up the
broken pieces.

**
I don't wanna believe. I turned around and you're gone
All the sweet memories of loving you for so long

"Attention," Seven heard Captain Janeway say somberly. "You're all well
aware of why we're gathered here. We've lost someone unique to us, to the
universe we know. But more than a hologram that crossed the barriers
separating us from him, we lost someone that was dear to us. A part of our
family." Seven covered her mouth to hide the cries within. She couldn't
turn around yet. She couldn't let them see her.

"I'm reminded particularly of that time we had to debug his program of his
adventure in fantasy." She laughed sadly. "I remember being angry with him
and irritated. And then as I left the holodeck where his fantasies were
being played out, I remember forgetting the anger. I remember seeing a
bright eyed man smile and thank me for allowing him to prove himself. He
told that holographic representation just what this crew meant to him and I
couldn't be angry with him. Sometimes we failed to understand just exactly
what he was - man or machine. Seven years ago I would have said machine
without thinking twice. But in these past seven years I've seen that love
can do many things. It can save a friend from death, it can give hope to a
crew that no longer has reason to believe." Her voice shook a little and
Seven closed her eyes as a new rush of tears fell down her cheeks. "And I
truly believe it can pass beyond boundaries we never thought possible. The
Doctor was fond of playing the part of Father Mulligan in our Fair Haven.
I'm not sure what this will mean to any of you, but I think he'd want this
read.

"1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reads; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self
seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does
not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects,
always trusts, always perseveres. Love never fails.

"Love is a powerful thing. And he loved us. We were his co-workers, his
friends and most importantly, his family. He was much more than our
holographic doctor. He was a part of us and I'd give anything to go back
and change what happened, but I can't. He would want us to move on, I'm
certain. He would want us to remember the best times, to think back on him
and who he was and not to dwell in pain over his departure. He will be
missed, but most important of all I believe, he will be loved." Seven
fought to wipe the constant flow of tears that trailed her cheeks.

**
Sometimes it's hard and most times I cry
But God holds this heart of mine...He fills the pain inside

She'd finally given up and turned around to face the crew, having only the
shadows to hide her from their eyes. Tom Paris spoke now, softly and at
length of his relationship with the Doctor. "He was definately something,"
Paris said, looking at the floor. He managed a half hearted smile. "He
could be a cranky pain in the ass, but God I'll miss him. I know I'm not
speaking as eloquently as perhaps the Captain or the others, but it's what I
feel. What am I going to do when I have to enter that Sickbay and face it
alone? What am I going to do if he's not there tomorrow, telling me some
long list of things to do before the day is out? How can I...how can I sit
in his chair and call it mine? I know I'll make it, but what if I don't
want to do it without him? I know he and I seemed to have a rocky
relationship, but I really loved him. And that's the important thing, as
Captain Janeway said. To remember him in love rather than wish for
something that can't be. And to tell the little ones about him." Seven
glanced to where B'Elanna held the sleeping Miral. "My little girl will
definately know who her Godfather was, what an amazing person he was."
Seven gazed at the floor, wishing he could have been here to hear the words
these people said about him.

**
Broken and undone. You were the one we counted on
You taught us how to say 'I love you', then you showed us how to pray

It was her turn to speak. She wasn't sure she could. What could she
possibly offer to compare with what these others had said? But as his
friend it was expected of her and she felt that she should do it. So, she
shakily took her place at the front of the room and swallowed, trying not to
cry. "The Doctor," she began in a softer voice than she'd tried for, "meant
a lot to me. He meant a lot more than I thought a holographic
representation of an individual could mean to me." She found strength as
she continued. "He taught me about individuality, as most of you know. He
taught me that I could be more than the drone I was before." A few tears
slid down her cheeks. "He taught me how to be standing here tonight, loving
him and longing for his presense once again. I wouldn't trade those things
for anything but I can't understand how individuals can handle this." Her
voice broke up and she did the very thing she'd battled to repress for the
last hour. She cried. "It's unlike anything I imagined humanity would
bring and I don't know if I can live with this." She covered her face. "I
don't want this to be real. I don't want to believe he's gone. He meant
more to me than I ever told him and I just don't know how I'm ever going to
get through this. I'm sorry." She moved away from the head of the stunned
room and into a corner where she could be alone again with her pain and
tears. Almost instantly that comfort was invaded by Janeway taking her into
her arms. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I just long for him."

"Shhh," Janeway said, smoothing Seven's hair back. "I know. I know.
You'll get through this, Seven. We all will."

"No. No," Seven whispered, wishing her words could deny death access to the
Doctor. Wishing she could bring him back and in despair knowing she
couldn't.

Janeway pulled her up. "Come with me." Seven stood and obeyed in tearful
silence, joinging Janeway across the room as the others stood to pay their
last respects over the only thing left of the Doctor, his emitter. In the
back of the room, Janeway produced a book, a leather bound bible. She
handed it to Seven. "He would want you to have it."

Seven wiped the wetness from her eyes and took it, opening it. "It's not
holographic," she observed, wondering why the Doctor would possess a real
bible.

Janeway smiled softly. "No, it's not. I wouldn't swear to it, but I
believe he had a spiritual side to him that he never shared with us. You
know it's ironic really. In a time where spirituality is all but forgotten,
a being considered unreal would be drawn to something so human and in some
ways perhaps more real than human. I don't know what comfort if any you can
find in that or in owning that bible, but I think perhaps it might make you
feel closer to him."

"Thank you," Seven replied, running her fingers across it's surface. Her
eyes met Janeway's. "Thank you."

Janeway nodded, touching Seven's shoulder. "It will help, saying goodbye."

Seven looked at the line uncomfortably. "I will say goodbye in my own way
and time," she told her captain, not in defiance but in assurance that she
would seek closure to this terrible event.

"All right," Kathryn said, giving Seven one more pat and walking past. "If
you need me, I'm here," she called back.

I don't wanna believe, no no. I turned around and you're gone
All the sweet memories of loving you for so long

Seven sat curled up in his chair, unsure as to why she'd come here. She'd
been terrified the past few days to return to this place, afraid of the pain
that would inevitably wash over her. Surprisingly she didn't fall apart
when she came in, sat down. She could almost imagine him there with her,
almost reach out and touch him. Closing her eyes, she bit back the pain and
momentary despair in knowing she'd never see him again. But she didn't fall
apart. As the pain subsided, she picked up the bible and thumbed through
it, trying to get her mind off him but finding that it was impossible. "Oh,
Doctor," she breathed, startled that such an act would come so naturally to
her lips. He wouldn't hear her talking to him, but it comforted her
nonetheless to speak. "I miss you."

She gazed at the walls of his office, images of him flashing before her
eyes, his smile, his eyes, his voice. She could just about feel him here.
Closing the bible, she pulled it to her and closed her eyes. For some
reason or another it had been a part of him and in holding it so she almost
felt like she was holding him again. "I love you."

With each new phrase she uttered her voice shook more until at last she
said, "Goodbye."

Sometimes it's hard...and most times I cry...
But God holds this heart of mine...He heals the pain I hide
**