Kathryn walked quickly through the snow-covered landscape toward the building complex where the laboratories were located. Before she entered the building complex, she hastily knocked on her boots at the door and then entered. Inside, she slipped her weatherproof hood down with her hands in thick gloves and took her first orientation. She glanced quickly through a sign, who worked in which lab, and after finding Seven's lab, she made her way there. For this she had to walk through several corridors and passed several other doors. Passing by, she read the lab numbers to make sure she did not miss the right lab.
When she finally found the right laboratory door, Kathryn was already a bit sweaty in her thick winter clothes. So she took off her gloves first to open her winter jacket. The gloves put her in her winter jacket pocket. Since they were very thick, they did not quite fit in and hung out half way. Kathryn sighed deeply, leaving the gloves as they were. After all, she had more important things to do than hang around with her gloves for a long time.
Kathryn turned to the lab door and stood a little nervous. Only a few yards separated them from her Seven. Seven, whom she had painfully missed for many years. How would Seven react if Kathryn stood before her suddenly and without notice? To calm down, Kathryn thought again briefly about how she had come here.
After Bo was released from the infirmary, Kathryn took her and Peter to the transporter station, where all three beamed the transports to Bloomington, Indiana. Once there, they rented a hovercraft and flew to their mom's house.
Bo and Gretchen got along very well, so Kathryn started preparing for the trip to Colderim.
For her trip, she had asked Tom for help and he had found a small spacecraft for a minimal crew, which Kathryn immediately bought. It was not a Starfleet spaceship and therefore had no comfortable equipment, but it was quick and shortened her journey to just 5 weeks.
Since Kathryn could not fly the spaceship alone, Tom and B'Elanna had agreed to accompany Kathryn on their journey, in tow they had their now five-year-old daughter Miral. Harry, too, had joined the crew with his wife Libby and their three-year-old twins.
Overall, the five-week trip had passed very quickly. Kathryn had quickly realized how much she had missed her time with her former crew on Voyager, in the last six years. All the better was their current trip to Colderim. All of them, including Peter, rejoined a well-rehearsed crew. Everyone knew what he had to do and even the children were peaceful and enjoyed the journey.
Kathryn sighed deeply and then pull the door buzzer. Since nothing happened, she held the code card that she had received from Peter to the designated lock and as soon as she had unlocked the door, she pushed down the door handle and entered the room.
And now Seven was standing in front of her, just a few yards away, in the middle of her lab. Kathryn quickly realized that it was icy cold in the lab, so she quickly closed her winter jacket again and put her hands in her jacket pocket.
Seven was dressed warmly too, wearing black gloves, a white coat over her clothes, a thick scarf around her neck, and something stuck in her ears that Kathryn could not identify.
Seven had leaned down to a microscope, holding a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other. Seven had not noticed Kathryn, so Kathryn could watch her closely.
Seven's hair was tied to a horse's pigtail and lay on her back, she had a pony that seemed to fall into her face, but Kathryn could not see exactly where she stood. On her nose, Seven had glasses on which she stared into the microscope and with the hand that held the pen, something under the microscope handled.
Kathryn took a few steps closer to the lab and toward Seven.
"Seven?" She asked, but Seven did not respond. Kathryn looked at her skeptically and stepped closer to her. When Seven still did not turn to her, Kathryn put a hand on Seven's shoulders.
Seven immediately jumped and turned around as fast as lightning. Shocked, she looked at Kathryn and blinked her eyes in confusion.
"Hello Seven" Kathryn said, trying to read Seven's irritated look.
Seven, whose heart had begun to beat wildly after seeing Kathryn in front of her, hastily set aside her clipboard and pen, then pulled the plugs out of her ears and turned back to Kathryn.
"Captain?" She asked in astonishment, swallowing once, twice the thick lump suddenly found in her throat. Meanwhile, Kathryn smiled gently at her and then shook her head.
"No, only Kathryn." she replied. "What's that?" She asked after the silence spread between the two of them and she felt dizzy, considering that she had finally found Seven again and she was standing in front of her.
"These are my earplugs, I can use them to listen to music or other audio while I work. It also prevents me from hearing the loud drone of the rock drills and the blasts all day long." Seven answered as she held her hands behind her back, as she had done before, and responded.
"Oh" Kathryn just answered and looked at Seven, feverishly thinking about how to start a rational conversation with Seven. Everything in her mind was buzzing and she could not think clearly, just looking at Seven and wondering how pretty she looked overall. In all these past years, she had always imagined what it would be like, her first meeting and what she would say to Seven. But right in that moment, she did not think on it.
"What are you doing here?" Seven asked, looking at Kathryn curiously.
"I'm here to bring you home." Kathryn answered quickly without thinking much about it and then got an irritated look from Seven.
"My home is gone, the Voyager is now a museum and my collective is broken apart and each one goes his own way." Seven replied logically, stroking her pony from her eyes and tilted her head a little.
"I did not mean the home. I meant the home in Bloomington, Indiana. There is a small house there and there is a small room waiting for you where your alcove stands." Kathryn said, continuing to look at Seven softly.
"How did you find me?" Seven asked with interest, instead of responding to what Kathryn had said to her before.
"Bo found me and through her and Peter I found out that you are here." Kathryn replied and sighed deeply.
"Seven please, do not make it so hard for me. I've been looking for you for the past six years, why can not we just hug each other, now that I've found you again?" Kathryn asked anxiously and looked at Seven afraid.
Seven looked at her confused, but then turned away from Kathryn and her microscope back to. As she adjusted something to her microscope and placed a new sample of rock on the slide with tweezers and looked through the lens, she replied.
"I ... I can not." said Seven only and continued to look into her microscope.
"Why not?" Kathryn asked worriedly and gently pulled Seven away from the microscope.
Seven saw Kathryn right in her eyes and stared at her. Kathryn saw Seven wrestling with her and looking for an answer.
"Why can not you hug me?" Kathryn asked again, this time more urgent.
"Because ... because then I would never let you go again." Confessed Seven quietly and in Kathryns eyes immediately tears came.
From Peter and Bo, she had learned that Annika spent a great deal of time alone and never stayed in the bar or other places where the workers in Colderim met and spent time together. Bo even thought that Annika, rarely used the mental connection between the former Borg drones and even wanted to have nothing to do with them. It was clear to Peter and Bo that because of this, Annika would have to be pretty lonely.
Kathryn immediately stepped to Seven and pulled her into her arms, hugging her tightly. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest and her head buzzed with confused anxious thoughts, but to her astonishment, Seven did not push her away, but returned the hug. Although timid, but at least.
"I would not want that either." Kathryn admitted relieved and held Seven in her arms in a warm hug.
"I love you and I missed you so much and made me so worried about you, please come home with me." Kathryn asked and Seven pulled herself out of her embrace and looked at her distraughtly.
"I can not. I have to stay away from you. I ..., I ... promised." Seven replied haltingly, turning even more from Kathryn's arms. Then she took a few steps and walked away from Kathryn, who looked at her in surprise.
"What, who did you promise that?" She asked, staring blankly at Seven.
"I can not tell you that." said Seven, looking down at the floor, embarrassed.
Kathryn stepped to her, placing her hand under her chin and lifting it lightly so that she could look Seven in the eye.
"Seven, why can not you tell me? Who made you promise to keep you away from me? Please tell me what's going on." Kathryn asked and Seven avoided Kathryn's eyes.
"Please Seven answer me!" Kathryn demanded in old Captainton after Seven still did not want to answer her.
"What happened on Voyager back then? Why did you regenerate that long?" Kathryn asked when Seven was still standing in front of her.
Seven lifted her head and looked at Kathryn again.
"I was trapped in my own little hell and had to face my guilt." Seven replied bluntly and Kathryn looked at her in horror. Then she took Seven's hand and joined her fingers with Seven's fingers. Seven looked down at their bandaged hands and the first tears fell from her eyes, which she wiped awkwardly with her other hand as her glasses were in the way.
Kathryn put her other hand around Seven's waist and pulled her slightly towards her. Seven leaned against Kathryn and gave up being strong.
"Please tell me everything." Kathryn softly asked, holding Seven in her arms and Seven relaxed in her arms.
"Not here and not now." Seven replied quietly and Kathryn nodded her head.
"Okay, let's go where we can talk better." Kathryn said and Seven nodded her head.