"And to your left, you can see the conference room." Harry stopped just outside the door where a level two force field had been erected in order to keep nosy visitors on the bridge instead of in the room. Beyond the force field, Captain Janeway and her holographic crew sat around the table discussing "business." Every once in a while B'Elanna would nod at something Seven said or Chakotay would glare at the captain. In Harry's opinion, they were consistent with the inconsistencies throughout the ship.
"If we continue around this arc," Harry led the small group of about a dozen tourists down the steps to the captain's ready room. Another force field was in place over this door as well. Janeway's hologram was inside having a discussion with Tuvok and Chakotay. The holograms would walk around and argue with one another as they were programmed to do. Harry had, after three years of duty on the Voyager museum, memorized each individual script they were programmed to play out-- and there was quite a handful of them.
"Did she ever not obey them?" A small brown haired girl piped up from near the back.
Harry allowed a smile to cross his features. "Sure. She was the captain. Her word was law. There were a few times the senior officers did clash, but the junior officers never knew it. In the end, the crew stood together."
"Now, if you turn your attention to the center of the bridge," Harry paused as he had been instructed to do and allowed the computer to take his voice and initiate the holographic attack program 'Hirogen.' This was the part most of the visitors enjoyed. Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay suddenly materialized in their command chairs as did the rest of the crew about various stations. There were shouts from different consoles as the Hirogen vessels were spotted on long range sensors. Lights dimmed the instant Janeway called for red alert. Harry leaned against the wall and watched his hologram fight the Ops console for readings he knew his captain would want. Around him, the visitors watched on in fascination as the legendary crew of Voyager fought off one of the various hostile aliens they had encountered.
Consoles beeped. Lights flashed in the darkness. The very deck below them shifted and shuddered as they experienced direct hits. Harry kept his eye trained on Tuvok's left ear. It seemed that particular part of his program was experiencing some malfunctions. Every once in a while, it would blur and begin to fade out. He'd have to work on it later tonight.
When Starfleet had heard that Lt. Kim was working on a monstrous holoprogram containing the visages of his own crew members, they had been furious. Harry had promised to not allow it to interfere with his work, and within the first year, he had finished it. Presenting it to Admiral Paris, he waited impatiently to see what they thought of it. He was unprepared for their reaction-- they loved it. Every detail, from Janeway's hair to Paris' cocky attitude had been lovingly incorporated into the program. The tiniest details made so much of a difference, Starfleet saw. They realized that Harry's program was superior to that of their own because it portrayed the crew as they really were.
"Set course for the Alpha Quadrant, Mr. Paris. Warp six." Captain Janeway gazed at the view screen as it erupted into a burst of light as the ship jumped to warp. Then, she turned around and sat down in her chair-- hands on either arm and leg crossed over her knee. Raising her chin slightly, the program stopped and blinked out of existence as the lights returned to normal.
"That, is the crew of Voyager." Harry said. "If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Or, you may look around the bridge. All of the consoles are fully operational still, but security precautions have been taken so they will not exit the visitor simulations. You are able to test your flying skills, run weapons diagnostics, sensor sweeps, even hail aliens that we encountered during our mission. Thank you all for coming on board, the turbo lift will take you back to deck thirteen where you can exit the ship."
Harry looked around the room quickly. Everyone was becoming immersed in some aspect of the bridge. The tiny brown-haired girl was tapping furiously on navigation as a young woman held her in her lap. A teenage Klingon male settled himself into the captain's chair and reached his hand over to the console. Harry turned back to the engineering console and pulled off the panel. He would take a quick look at that holo simulation right now.
The data chip was easy to access, it was the last one entered. Isolinear chip number 962A74Q03. Pulling it out of its place, Harry held it up to the light. A fine piece of lint was seen caught on the edge of it. Giving it a quick dusting, Harry slid the chip back into place. There, now Tuvok's ear should be clear.
"Computer, dim lights by eighty percent." Harry keyed open his quarters with his security codes and entered. His quarters were the only ones on Voyager not open to the public. He had purposely asked that he be allowed to continue to room in his old quarters and not be moved to the wardens' accommodations. Starfleet had finally agreed to it, but were not happy about it. Therefore, they had imposed all sorts of new rules and regulations he had to strictly adhere to. Such as the 'curfew' of 0130.
Flopping back on his bed, Harry let out a loud sigh. The rules and regulations were really not a problem. He could handle a few admirals telling him what they thought was best for his ship. He could handle replicator food day in day out. What he could not handle was the loneliness that had seeped its way into him ever since he'd left Seven. That was why he had found Libby and begun dating her again. It hadn't been the same, but their relationship had developed into a new friendship. One he was quite pleased with. Even if it meant he'd never marry or fall in love with her.
Everyone had a true love once in their lifetime-- or so he'd been told. Some allowed theirs to escape, others left them, still others lost them due to death. His heart told him Libby was not his true love. He had been sorrowed at their separation when they were flung to the Delta Quadrant, but it had not hurt his very soul as Seven had when they had separated.
"Ready." Libby flashed her gorgeous smile at Harry as the two stepped out of HQ's transporter room. The sleek interior of the building usually forced Harry to be a little more quiet and formal, yet today, he couldn't seem to bring down his spirits. This was the first free day he'd had all month. And, he was going to spend it with a good friend- Libby.
"I was thinking we could head over to the bookstore after lunch," Libby was saying. "I found an old fashioned book you might enjoy having." The secretive way she squeezed his arm immediately peeked his interest. They had first met in the large store-- while both searching for the same book.
After lunch was eaten, Libby excitedly led Harry towards the bookstore.
"I think it's on the sixth floor." She grinned at him.
Harry nodded once and began to take a step towards the new turbolift that had been installed last year.
"Oh no you don't!" She exclaimed grabbing his arm. "We're doing this the old way!"
With giggles and hushed whispers, Libby and Harry grasped one another's arms and stumbled towards the stairs. Mounting the first two floors rather swiftly, they slowed as they came to the third flight of steps. Finally, reaching the sixth, Harry and Libby were huffing and puffing. "We take the lift down." Libby gasped out. "Remind me to never do this again."
Harry tried to laugh, but it sounded more like a choke. And then it turned into a sneeze as they opened the door and were greeted by a cloud of dust rising up from the other side of the shelf towards them.
"Oops. Sorry." A blue faced Bolian's head popped around the shelf and grinned at them. "My mistake."
"Not a problem." Libby whispered back with a smile as she guided Harry down another aisle. "It should be here somewhere..." A long slim finger tapped on each book as she swiftly read the title and moved to the next. "I found it late last autumn, but didn't pick it up for you because I had to leave so fast. I figured, if you were still interested, this would make a nice place to come."
Harry was listening to her, really he was. He just happened to notice a slim blond creature in a cadet's uniform that had captured his attention. Seven moved through the aisles, head tilted slightly to the left, as her fingers methodically tapped each book as she scanned the title. She was actually making decent progress, Harry realized, as she stooped to read a lower shelf. Much faster than he would have. Then again, she probably didn't stop to actually open any books that had half interesting titles.
"Ahh! Here it is!" Triumphantly, Libby grabbed the book and held it out to Harry.
Harry quickly turned back to her and accepted the book. The Bounty Trilogy. A grin spread across his features as he remembered their separated searches for the book that had led them together. Rising his eyes, he met her twinkling ones and shook his head with laughter.
A quick glance across the shelves revealed Seven who had heard their laughter and was watching them. Harry read the pain in her eyes before she quickly turned away and bent back over the shelves. Suddenly, Harry knew what it was she would be looking for. Taking a hesitant step in her direction, he quickly made the decision to move forward before he could back out of it.
"Lieutenant Kim." She greeted him frostily without looking up.
Harry thrust the book under her nose. "Looking for something?"
Seven glanced at the book and then straightened up. "Indeed. I was ordered to retrieve that book by Lieutenant Nimembeh."
Harry stifled a grin and held it out to her. "Take it. I know what it's like to search for something only to have someone else find it. I was lucky enough that the other person lent it to me."
Seven gingerly took the book from him. Their fingers brushed-- a surge of electricity shot up her arm as her eyes locked with his. "Thank you." She said softly casting a quick glance at Libby.
Libby! Harry suddenly remembered the other woman standing behind him. "Well, I'll be seeing you around, Seven. Are you going to the reunion?"
"I plan to."
"Until then." He touched her arm and smiled softly at her before turning to leave with Libby. Seven was still watching them as they got into the turbolift. Unknown to her, a salty tear escaped her eye and coursed its way down to her chin.
"We can't see each other anymore."
Harry's head snapped up. "What?"
"Us." Libby shrugged her shoulders. "I have no idea who that was back there--"
"An old shipmate from Voyager."
"--But you're in love with her. And she quite obviously feels the same." Libby leaned against the interior which had been designed to resemble an old elevator lift instead of the inside of a modern turbolift.
"Face it, Harry." Libby turned and grinned at him. "I've known for a long time that you and I are not 'the one' for each other. I think you have too and have been fooling yourself. Go to her now. Tell her you've made a mistake and want to work around it."
And that was how Harry came to be standing at her door later that evening. Knocking softly, he nearly turned from the dorm room before it was flung open. With a grin, he turned back quickly. The smile quickly slid off his face as he stared at the woman who had opened the door.
"Yes?" She asked with a mischievous smile.
"Uhmm.. yeah. My name's Harry Kim. I'm looking for Seven."
She smiled even wider. "I know. I'm Julie Henderson, her room mate. Seven's should be back in a little bit. Want to come in and wait for her?"
Harry hesitated. Would it be a wise course of action to 'remeet' her in front of Julie? "Sure." He couldn't make it any worse afterall. Stepping inside the room, he knew instantly which side belonged to whom. Julie had thrown several data padds to the floor and had a towel tossed over a chair. Seven's chair was pushed tight to the desk which didn't sport a fleck of dust. Four data padds were stacked neatly in the corner, The Bounty Trilogy was tucked under them. The only personal touch added to her side was a picture on her nightstand and another on her desk. Upon closer inspection, Harry felt his stomach flip over. It was of him. The one on her nightstand showed him leaning against a tree while on one of their shoreleaves in the Delta Quadrant. The one on the desk was of both of them, his arm around her waist. It had been taken at his family's house in Massachusetts.
"Have a seat, she'll be back soon. I need to go talk to a friend of mine really quick." Julie ducked out of the room as the door swished shut behind her.
Harry opted for Seven's desk chair as opposed to her bed [though, it was tempting to curl up for a nap]. Laying his head on his arms, he waited for her to come back.
A bed creaked. A woman's giggle was muffled as the sound of moving blankets met his ears. Harry was vaguely aware of someone standing behind him and leaning over his shoulder.
A hot breath suddenly whispered against his ear. "We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. Your biological and technological distinctness will be added to our own."
Harry's head snapped up. Eyes wide, he spun to glare at Seven. "That's not funny!" He exclaimed as Julie allowed her giggles to let loose. Seven, herself, was hiding a smile at his reaction.
"On the contrary, Lieutenant. It was quite funny." She smirked at him.
"I'll let you two talk." Julie gasped trying to regain control of her laugher as she scooted from the room.
Seven watched her go and then turned and raised her Borg implant/eyebrow at him. "You needed to see me, Lieutenant?"
"Yeah." Harry rubbed his eyes trying to rid the sleep from them. That'd been a good nap! "I wanted to talk to you about today."
Seven sat down on her bed and tilted her chin at him. "You made it perfectly clear that we do not have a relationship together anymore. We have not for years. Why would you have to explain your actions now?"
"Because I...." Harry shook his head. "I hurt you today, Seven. And I never meant for that to happen. I'm so sorry."
She looked away. "My emotions are irrelevant."
"Not to me!" Harry grasped her by the shoulders and turned her towards him. "I still care deeply for you, Sev. And, I don't want you to ever be hurt. Much less by me."
The same tears threatened to spill over Seven's eyes as she quickly looked away. "Your concern is noted and appreciated, thank you. Please leave."
Harry shook his head as he released her shoulders. "Not until I hear you say what needs to be said." He knelt down on the floor and rested their joined hands on her knees as she continued to gaze at the window. "I know, and I think you know, that we belong together." He began. "I want to hear you say that you'll agree to a relationship with me again. Please."
Seven was silent for a moment as a tear slid past her guard. Harry's hand was instantly there to gently brush it away.
She wasn't answering. He glanced down at their hands. Maybe he'd been wrong about ev-
"I love you, Harry."
--Everything and she didn't feel--
Harry's head snapped up. "What?" He asked in disbelief. He must have heard her wrong. She had never said she loved him before.
"I love you."
He stared in stunned silence as she turned her tearful blue eyes to meet his. "I'm sorry too." She whispered. Harry continued to stare at her as though she had suddenly announced her desire to assimilate Earth. "Say something." Seven implored squeezing his hands.
He said the first thing that came to mind, "That wasn't exactly what I expected you to say." He immediately felt like kicking himself. "I mean-"
Seven tried to hide a smile from him, but failed miserably. Finding his eyes again, she spoke, "Can we try that relationship again?"
"What? Of course!" Harry said a little too loudly as he pulled himself up to her side and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. Seven settled herself contentedly in his embrace and managed to wind an arm around his neck so she could twist a lock of his hair.
"Good." A mischievous smile slipped over her features as she release the dark tress and moved her hand to the back of his neck to pull his head down to hers. "I promise not to mess this one up." She whispered.
Harry met her waiting lips and was instantly rewarded with the sense of disorientation he had experienced the first time he'd kissed her. As she pulled back and smiled at him, he shook his head at her. "You're something else, Seven."
"I know," she replied cheekily. "And, if you don't make yourself scarce in the next five minutes, you'll find yourself something else. Probably demoted back down to ensign."
Harry gasped and glanced at the chronometer. 2255. "You're right!" He exclaimed in surprise releasing her and jumping to his feet. "I'll see you at the reunion, though. Next week."
"You'll see me before that if I have anything to say about it." Seven smarted back lying her hand on his arm. "I've missed you, Harry. We've got a few years worth of time to make up for. And, I intend to try to do just that."
Harry leaned forward and brushed a kiss quickly over her mouth. "You've changed, Seven. You're more human than you ever were before. I like it." He touched her cheek. "And, I love you."
"And, to your left is the conference room." Blah. Blah. Blah. Harry honestly felt like saying that and seeing if anyone noticed. But, someone would. For instance, the golden-haired, spotted skinned, man in the back who wore coat of bright orange and lime green with purple pants-- none other than their infamous cook/moral officer/ tour guide of the Delta Quadrant-- Neelix.
"Here, senior officers met to discuss ideas, ship business, alien visitors, and anything else that required all of them to be in one place." Harry started walking down the steps and to the Captain's ready room. "Here, we have the Captain and Commander and Tuv--" he stopped suddenly and looked inside. Tuvok's program was missing. "We have the Captain and Commander holding a discussion about an alien race we met called 8472s."
"I've made my decision, Commander. Seven and I will transport over to this ship and test the slip stream technology." Captain Janeway's eyes glittered with unmasked excitement. "Just think, it could be a way home."
"Captain, I feel that it's an unwise course of action. It would be more in the terms with Starfleet if you allowed myself, or Tuvok, to take your place." Chakotay countered.
Harry stared at the program in confusion. He'd been working this museum every day for three years-- when had they changed it!?
"Ahh," he turned back to the group and felt Neelix's questioning gaze on him. "If you turn your attention to the center of the bridge," As cued, the computer took over and the holodeck scenario was played out without a glitch. Even Tuvok's ear behaved.
Neelix stumbled over to Harry and tapped his shoulder. "Lieutenant, out of curiosity, why would the Captain be wearing admiral level pips?"
Harry blinked rapidly and spun around. "What Neelix?" he demanded moving over to the ready room. Peering inside, he noted that Neelix was right. And, Chakotay had captain level pips attached to his collar instead of his Maquis bar. "Oh my word...."
Harry and Neelix both turned to each other in shock as they caught sight of a sparkle. Identical gold bands circled the finger of each other senior most officers' left hands.