Disclaimer: No-one is mine, I didn’t make them up and the characters and the universes they normally live in belong entirely to their creators and respective television companies (I assume).
All I will admit to doing is taking these characters and their universes and mixing things up a bit. Hope you enjoy.
As this is an AU story, some of your favorite characters or events will probably not appear or be mentioned.
Dates and chronologies used have been mainly taken from Wikipedia and cross-referenced against the various Star Trek reference sites - some dates contradict each other, so I have chosen to use those which recur most frequently.
With much thanks to Joe P for making a few suggestions and having a few ideas as well as proof reading - any problems, blame him.
Explain that again, what exactly did she do?” Harry looked at Tom with an expression of disbelief.
“I can't explain it, but I think she said something and bang! - The whole place lit up, and the program just stopped.”
“Are you telling me that she might have her powers back? And, why all of a sudden?” Harry looked at B’Elanna on the couch next to him.
Tom held his head in his hands. “That’s what I am trying to figure out. They didn’t work when we tried before. I wonder if something has changed? Or was it just a temporary loss in the first place?”
“You should talk to her about this, Tom, it's too important not to” B’Elanna said as she reached out patted his hand. “We’re no experts at this type of thing. Go see her. We have to get going anyhow, come on, Harry.” They both got up to leave.
“Don’t worry, buddy,” Harry said, looking back as he followed B’Elanna out of the door. He knew why this revelation was bothering Tom so much. The poor guy was falling hopelessly in love with Willow and now he was afraid he was going to lose her.
Tom stared into space after his friends had left. What’s going to happen now, he wondered, now that she might have some of her powers back? Will I lose her? Will she disappear? What happens if she tries to change her future? My past? Our past? He got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. When she goes, I’ll never know what happened to her, and I might not even remember her. Of course I'll remember her, won't I?
She was still trying to decode his ancestors diary, especially the note in it that she appeared to have written herself. She had no recollection of doing this before she left, so unless the book traveled back through time itself ....... He was starting to realize that even though he thought and hoped that she had fallen for him, she would go back at some point if she could. But he needed her ... he continued to argue with himself ... this was a different time and place, far, far away from her home, his inner voice responded. There was little chance, if she did have a choice, that she would choose to stay with him and leave her past behind. As much as he wanted her to stay, he had an awful feeling that it just wasn’t going to happen.
They really needed to talk, but if he put a voice to his fears, that might make them come true. She had seemed brighter and happier recently, but every so often her eyes would cloud over. Much as he loved her, could he really stand in her way?
“I’m bored!” Willow paced around the room and flopped down on the couch. “I need something to do. You’re gone for hours on duty and I’m all alone here. Neelix is busy, Harry and B’Elanna are on duty at the same time as you, Seven is inscrutable and Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay aren’t exactly best bud material. And Tuvok looks at me strangely since I called him an elf. ”
She did the pout that always made Tom all squishy inside, and he pushed aside his earlier gloomy thoughts. “Isn’t there some kind of job I can do? I mean, I AM here and it doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere soon. Make me part of the crew?” She added hopefully.
“Well, we know giving magic classes and holo-programming are out of the question.....” He chuckled until he saw her look, “I’m sorry, Willow, that was a bad joke.” She had tried a spell again earlier that day but nothing had happened. Tom had feigned disappointment when it failed but inside he was doing cartwheels, even though he did feel a bit guilty. Maybe there was a glimmer of hope for him after all?
“I have given some lectures to some of the crew before on 20th century Earth history, but now that you’re here...” He saw her face light up. “Do you think that's something you’d might like to try? I can talk to the captain if you’d like?”
Willow was excited. She now had a job, and today was the first day of her new duties.
Captain Janeway had agreed that Willow’s “talents” should be put to use, and after a long and frank discussion, it had been decided that Willow would teach Earth history and culture to Naomi Wildman, Seven of Nine and a few other crew members, both alien and human, who had expressed an interest. Obviously there would be a huge gap in her knowledge, but if anyone was interested in history after the turn of the twenty first century, then the Doctor, or Tom, would continue with this, duties permitting. These classes, however, would be compulsory for Willow, Naomi and Seven (Neelix had also expressed an interest).
Willow cast a critical eye over her appearance. Neelix had very kindly given her his ex-girlfriend's clothing and she had chosen gray leggings with a loose flowery top. She was secretly glad that she didn’t have to wear the compulsory star fleet uniform, it was so unflattering she thought, though if it was a choice between that and what Seven of Nine wore, then she would take the Starfleet uniform any time.
Seven raised an eyebrow and fixed Willow with a careful gaze. “I do not understand. What is the purpose of a slumber party?”
Willow sighed in frustration. She had been telling Seven about “girly” pastimes on earth but the woman just wasn’t “getting it”. To Seven, if it didn’t serve a useful purpose or lead to one’s personal development, then it just wasn’t necessary.
“It’s just to have fun. Spend time together and do … you know … stuff.”
“No, Willow Rosenberg,” the eyebrow was back, “I do not understand ‘stuff’. Please elaborate.”
Willow sighed again, and so it goes on she thought, back and forward like a demented tennis game.
“You talk about boys, play music, eat too much chocolate, drink too much wine, paint each others toenails, things like that.” How high can that eyebrow go, she thought as Seven continued to stare at her.
“You know,” Willow continued, “You just won’t understand this and I can’t explain it to you any more. The only way is to actually have a slumber party. Be at my quarters tomorrow night when you come off duty and bring a pair of pajamas and a teddy bear.”
Game set and match, she thought. If Willow had looked back as she stomped out of the classroom she would have noticed that Seven’s eyebrow could reach very high indeed.
For the second time that day, Willow found herself wondering how high something could go, though instead of Seven’s eyebrow, it was now B’Elanna’s voice. Willow winced as the woman continued to screech, “I mean she is rude, opinionated, and down right unfriendly, and you want me to paint her toe nails? Does she even have toenails?”
“Please?” Willow squeaked. “It’s a whole girly bonding thing. Maybe that’s why you haven’t become friendly with her yet ...... “ Willow’s voice trailed off as B’Elanna’s eyebrow now appeared to be in competition with Seven’s.
“We’ll have Blood wine and Neelix mentioned something about Gagh,” Willow thought she was winning as the eyebrow came down a millimeter or two. “Please?” she pleaded again, giving what she hoped was her best lost puppy look. “And he also mentioned Larish Pie ...” she suggested hopefully, instantly realizing she had made a mistake as the eyebrow went back up.
“That’s Cardassian,” the woman growled back at her.
Willow decided to quit while she was ahead, the eyebrow wasn’t as high as it had been before, “So, my quarters after your duty shift, I’ve checked the rosters and we are all off at the same time. Bring pajamas and a teddy bear.”
She took one more look at B’Elanna’s face before hastily leaving the room, calling back over her shoulder, “Oh, and if you don’t have a bear, a bunny rabbit is fine.”
Captain Janeway was perplexed as she replayed the conversation in her head. She turned to Chakotay who stood beside her equally confused.
“Why does Seven want to know if Naomi Wildman has a collection of stuffed animals?”
Obviously there was no reply from her second in command.
“Tell me more about Harry,” Willow giggled, “How long have you two been...you know ... seeing each other?” B’Elanna cursed herself as she realized she was beginning to blush.
“Is it not obvious, Willow Rosenberg? Mr Kim and B’Elanna Torres both work on this ship. They have seen each other everyday since they were assigned to their duties,” Seven piped up. “Can you please explain the purpose of the simulated life forms?” She raised her eyebrow as she looked at the over-sized teddy bear she had obtained from Naomi.
“Relax, Seven, they’re to practice kissing on,” Willow laughed as B’Elanna rolled her eyes. “B’Elanna, have you two, umm, you know....?”
“Have you and Tom?” She retorted collapsing backwards on her blanket, giggling uncontrollably and feeling her blush spread to her brow ridges.
“Well, actually I’m not sure ... still haven’t figured that one out yet. He may have, but I....” Willow again made a mental note to ask Tom what he was doing with the Sunnydale holodeck program, and more particularly with her.
B’Elanna buried her face in a disreputable looking fluffy animal that made Willow shudder just looking at it and snorted with laughter. She would need to remember to tell Tom that Willow knew exactly what had been going on in the holodeck.
“Kissing? Please elaborate. I do not know this ‘kissing.’ And what have you two done, or not done, with Mr Kim and Mr Paris?” The eyebrow went up again as Seven attempted to understand what they were talking about.
“Okay, Seven, come here, I’ll tell you,” Willow moved closer to her and began to whisper in her ear.
B’Elanna watched in amazement as the normally unflappable Seven of Nine began to blush, but she could have also sworn that she saw her about to giggle.
Instead, Seven pulled herself together and stated, finally starting to understand the point of the slumber party, how she had several holodeck programs involving Commander Chakotay, but that they must not say anything as he did not know.
B’Elanna tried her best not to gape, while Willow slapped Seven on the back “You go girl!”
“Go where?” Seven queried, “However, I will add kissing to the program in an attempt to understand the process,” she held the bear in front of her and eyed him with distaste. “Commander Chakotay would be more … acceptable.“
Shaking her head to remove the image of the Commander and Seven ‘kissing”, B’Elanna moved to Willows’ desk and picked up some bottles of nail polish along with a copy of the Watcher's Diaries that Willow had borrowed from Tom’s room. “How did you get this?” she queried, waving the bottles in the air and remembering Tom’s earlier concerns about Willow’s returning powers.
"Oh, the doctor helped. He sounded quite like Neelix when he said he would do anything to help staff morale. So we rooted around sickbay looking for replacements for formaldehyde and acetate and the other stuff that we needed and came up with this.” Willow took the bottle they had called ‘Talaxian Sunrise’ and gave it a quick shake, “It’s actually pretty good and doesn’t smell as strong as the … well, the old stuff I would use back home, I guess.”
Seven moved closer as both she and B’Elanna reached for the bottle of ‘Vulcan Stew.” The two women’s hands met over the bottle and they smiled at each other not wanting to spoil the tentative friendship that seemed to be developing.
“Its OK,” Willow chirped, “I have another bottle of that color. In fact we made too much of the basic mixture so there are … “ she paused and counted “… about 17 bottles of each color. There is only one bottle of ‘Captain Red’ however, and that’s for the Captain of course.”
As Willow began to show Seven what to do, B’Elanna sat back and leafed through the book. She smiled as she listened to Willow babble on about her friends back home and how they had done this to Xander once when he fell asleep. She found their pictures in the book and wondered if perhaps she should visit the Sunnydale program when it was up and running to help understand Willow better and maybe help her out if she got a bit homesick.
She was just about to berate herself for going soft when she came across a pencil sketch drawing in the book. She stared at it trying to understand what she was seeing, and took a deep gulp of her blood wine …. She turned the page and there was another drawing, of a different man, but it was unmistakable. She could not deny what she was looking at.
She stood up and ran past a startled Willow and Seven, clutching the book to her chest and muttering loudly in Klingon.
Seven looked at Willow. “Was she crying?”
Willow scrambled to her feet and, with Seven in tow, they chased after B'Elanna.