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Summary: B'Elanna Torres is visited by a Q, who gives her a difficult choice to make.
"Kahless! I don't believe the gall of that Borg." ......
7 Jul 2002
"Kahless! I don't believe the gall of that Borg." Lieutenant Torres muttered to herself as she headed towards her office. Once again, she had shown up in a good mood only to have it ruined by the vision of Seven of Nine standing in front of an engineering consol imputing changes without the proper authorization.
Irritated more than usual by now being in a rotten mood, B'Elanna leaned back in her chair and shut her eyes. Visions of her taking various sharp objects and physically expressing her displeasure upon the tall blonde filled her mind. It was a way she spent many a pleasant hour just thinking of new and horrid tortures to visit on her nemesis. A smile lit up her face as she imagined impaling the irritating ex-drone and watching her entrails ooze out of the hole.
"Can you really be that terrible?" A quiet voice questioned her.
Sitting up with an oath, the Klingon was treated to the sight of a complete stranger. He was lounging on her couch, one foot sprawled out lazily in front of him. "Who the hell are you?" She snapped out angrily.
"My name is Q." He said, giving her a sad look. "You don't remember me because I had to alter the time line, but you once knew me quite well."
"What?" She said, blinking rapidly in confusion before regaining her normal aggressive disposition. Tapping her com badge, she called out "Intruder alert in engineering." Failing to hear the characteristic chirp from the electronic device, she repeated her actions twice more before sitting back with a scowl on her dark features. Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she snarled her question out. "Why the hell are you bothering me?"
He watched her for a moment before giving her a defeated smile. "I just wanted to show you what once was. Perhaps it'll change your perspective on some people."
"I'm not interested in anything you have to show me! Not get the hell out!" B'Elanna yelled at him.
She was taken aback when his features went from sad to furious. She flinched when those cold steel-blue eyes seemed to bore into hers. "You're not interested, huh? You should be, B'Elanna, you should be."
"What do you mean by that?" She asked angrily.
"That poor woman gave up everything so that you could live." He snapped at her. "Her happiness, her sanity, even her emotions."
The Lieutenant merely squinted her eyes in confusion. "You are talking about Seven, right?"
The man leaned back into the couch and sighed wearily. "Yes, I'm talking about Seven." He stared back at her thoughtfully before seemingly reaching a conclusion. "How about I show you her choice?"
"Fine. Let's get this over with." She growled.
Without further prompting, Q snapped his fingers and everything changed. The Klingon found herself in engineering, but everything was wrecked. Workstations were smoking from angry sparks that shot out from exposed wiring. There was blood everywhere she expected a crewman to be. The only person she could see was a tall blonde woman wearing a Starfleet uniform cradling something as she sobbed.
"What are you waiting for?" Q asked her gently. "Go over there and find out what's going on. She won't see you or hear you."
Nodding her head dumbly, B'Elanna cautiously made her way over to stand in front of the woman. She grunted in surprise to see that the woman was Seven and that she was cradling B'Elanna's blood smeared body. The Klingon could see the pips of a Lieutenant Commander adorning Seven's collar. What really surprised the fiery woman was the total absence of any Borg implants on the young woman.
"B'Elanna, I love you." The woman whispered as she sobbed. "Please don't leave me. Never leave me. I need you so much."
It was then that the body she was cradling sighed and went limp. Panicked, the woman she knew as Seven felt around desperately for a pulse before bringing the limp body in for a bone-breaking hug. B'Elanna watched as the woman slowly stopped crying and laid the body out prone. "I will send warning for you, my love. Tell them to hold the barge for me. I won't be long." Seven whispered before throwing her head back and emitting a fairly accurate rendition of a Klingon death howl.
When the woman finally went quiet, she bent down to gently kiss the cooling lips before her. Wiping the residue from whatever tears remained, she reached down one leg to pull out a D'k Tahg out of her boot. With a simple press against the handle with her thumb, two blades shot out to either side of the main blade of the Klingon weapon. "You gave this to me when we were married, Be'nal. You said that it would protect my body as you would protect my heart." Seven continued to whisper. "I know you said that if anything happened to you, I had to keep going. I can't do it, B'Elanna. I can't go on without you. I hope you can forgive me for this." She said as she placed the point over her own heart and with a sudden movement, thrust the deadly weapon home. Blood immediately poured out of the wound as the woman grunted in pain before she collapsed across the body of her beloved.
There was a bright flashing light in the room and B'Elanna could see Q standing over the two dead women. His eyes met hers for a second in surprise before he looked past her. The Klingon looked behind her to see Q still standing there watching everything with that same sad expression. Spinning back around, she saw Q kneeling before the blonde and extract the knife. Then he waved his hand and healed the wound.
Groaning, the blonde opened her eyes which immediately fastened on the man before her. "Q? What are you doing?" She asked quietly.
"Annika, you can't die like this." He said gently. "This isn't meant to be."
Hope filled her eyes with a sudden rush as she searched his face desperately. "You can bring her back?"
Q gave her a small smile before letting his face go impassive. "Yes, but there's a small problem."
"Anything, Q." The young woman spoke hurriedly. "Just bring her back to me."
"I'm sorry, Annika, but that's not possible." Q said quietly.
"You. you can't bring her back?" Annika whispered, tears forming in her eyes once again.
"No, I can bring her back." He assured her. "But she can't come back to you."
Annika's shoulders hunched in on themselves as she wept. "Why not?" She managed between her choked sobs.
"Another Q has taken steps to ensure that this reality ceases to exist." He told her. "If I bring her back, I have to change a lot of events. In order to get his permission to affect his changes, I have to agree to his terms."
"Why would a Q bother with us?" She cried in a broken voice.
"Because you helped me propose to my mate, Annika." He said. "He wanted her for himself. I tried to convince him that she didn't want him in return, but he refuses to listen. He wants to punish you."
Her tears began to subside again, as she stared at her love. "I'll do anything you want Q, just bring her back, even if I can't have her."
"Alright." He told her, patting her shoulder gently.
"And Q?" She said so quietly he almost didn't hear her.
"Can you make her happy for me? She deserves to be happy." She whispered as she gently stroked the dead flesh of B'Elanna's cheek.
"Of course." He replied.
"We were only married for three years, Q. Three wonderful years. Even being stuck out here in the Delta quadrant, we were happy. She was so proud of me when the Captain made me Chief Engineer." She broke down in sobs again. "She supported me in everything I wanted to do. Oh, God, this isn't fair. I don't want to loose her!"
"I know." Q said.
"She. she always wanted children. Could you give her that for me, Q?"
"She liked to laugh. Give her someone who can make her laugh."
She watched in despair as Q snapped his fingers and her love disappeared. Before he could do it again, she made one final request. "Q? Can you do me one more favor?" She asked hesitantly.
"I'll try. What is it?" He asked her in return.
"When you change my reality, make it so that I can never feel this way again." She instructed him in a cold voice. "I don't ever want to feel anything like this again."
He nodded in return and snapped his fingers. When the flash of light died down, B'Elanna found herself back in her office with Q sitting on the couch again. He looked at her and was unsurprised to see tears coursing down her cheeks.
Q stood up and handed her a small box with a button on top. When she looked up at him in confusion, he said. "You have a choice to make. You have a husband now and a child that you love very much. You also have the love that you originally felt for Annika. If you press that button, everything will change back to what it originally was. You will be back with Annika as your wife. You will both live to see the Alpha quadrant again and live fulfilling lives.
"If you discard it, everything stays the same and you'll forget that this ever took place. Annika will remain emotionally retarded for the rest of her life. She'll eventually marry Commander Chakotay out of the need to please her Captain, who she sees as her surrogate mother.
"You saw what she gave up for you. Her entire existence was destroyed, but she made sure that you would be happy. I wonder what your sense of honor will decide." He finished and disappeared in a flash of light.
B'Elanna stared at the button before her. She could feel the overwhelming love she had for Annika, but she could also feel her love for Tom and their child.
Rubbing her forehead, she made her decision.