H&C: 04) The Well of Hurt

Chapter 15: The Light of Day

"Mr. Kim, how would you like to do me a favor?" Chakotay asked, standing to his full height for intimidation's sake.

"Of course Commander." Harry said with a slight tremble.

"One of the Borg children needs a roommate. You would not be responsible for him, I just feel it would be best if there were someone available to answer his questions until he gets used to living on Voyager." Chakotay said with an undertone that was almost a growl.

Harry looked at Icheb and said, "That would be fine."

"Good. I'm going to move you into quarters on deck three." Chakotay said and took a seat.

"Family quarters?" Harry asked.

"Yes. You will each have your own room for privacy, but share common rooms so he doesn't have to be completely alone." Chakotay said in a more relaxed tone.

Harry stood silently, waiting for more instructions. Chakotay was obviously letting him stew.

"Three of Seven, report to Sickbay." Chakotay said and got back up off the couch.

"I'll port us, it'll be faster." Andrew said and opened the portal to sickbay.

"Please state the nature of... what can I help you with?" The Doctor said cheerfully.

"We need to have a discussion with Three of Seven, and if he agrees to our terms we will ask you to restore some of the Borg appliances that were removed from him.

"I may need Seven of Nine's help for certain of the appliances. I believe connecting them may be more difficult than disconnecting them." the Doctor said.

The door opened and Three of Seven walked into the room.

"Three of Seven, you have asked to be treated as an adult. To interact with adults, you will need to treat other members of the Voyager crew with respect. Address them by name and include their title when on duty. You will follow the instructions of your commanding officer while on duty. There may also be other things, which we will tell you as they come to light. Will you be willing to accept these conditions?" Andrew asked in his most serious tone.

"Yes, thank you One of Two." Three said flatly.

"You will address me as Andrew off duty or as Crewman Wells on duty." Andrew said firmly.

"Yes Andrew." Three said immediately.

"Good, then we can begin. This is Harry Kim. You will be moving into quarters with him as your roommate. You will have your own room in which we will install a regeneration alcove. Harry will be there to answer whatever questions you might have. You do not have to comply with his instructions, but you do have to treat him with respect. Do you accept these terms?" Chakotay asked seriously.

"Yes Commander Chakotay." Three said with a hint of enthusiasm.

"You will be assigned duties in engineering. Chief Engineer B'Elana Torres will be your commanding officer. You will treat her with respect and comply with her instructions." Seven of Nine said flatly.

"Yes Seven of Nine." Three said with more excitement showing through his voice.

"You have asked about wearing your Borg clothing. While on duty you will wear a Starfleet uniform, off duty you can wear what you choose, within the limits of polite society." Andrew said, ending with a smile.

"Thank you Andrew." Three said and kept his gaze forward.

"Your welcome. Now I need for you to make a list of those Borg appliances that you would like to have restored. Beside each item, you need to explain how the item would be used to benefit the ship or crew. It would be illogical to restore a piece of hardware that serves no purpose or would harm the ship or crew." Andrew said and handed a padd to Three.

"Seven, Icheb and Mr. Kim. Come with me and we'll find quarters for Harry and Three." Chakotay said to the group.

"Three, call us when your list is complete so we can approve your choices." Chakotay said and left the room followed by Seven, Harry and Icheb.

Three stood motionless for a moment. Then he looked at Andrew and smiled. "Thank you Andrew, this is everything I asked for."

"There is an old saying from my planet... watch out what you ask for, you might get it." Andrew said honestly.

"Explain." Three said with curiosity.

"Sometimes we get the things we want and find out that we don't want them. Three, you may be enhanced and advanced, but you are still a fourteen or fifteen year old boy. You think your ready to be treated as an adult and accept this responsibility, but you may not be. The only way to tell is to give you the chance to find out. Just remember that you are getting what you asked for, this is not a punishment or a reward. If you have problems and want to ask questions or just talk, you can come to me or Alan and we'll listen. This is not a test. You are allowed to ask for help." Andrew said and looked to find comprehension in Three's eyes.

"Do what makes you happy. If you find yourself in a situation where you are not happy, then figure out what you need to make you happy and let me know. I think I've just shown you that if it is something I can provide for you, you will have it." Andrew said honestly.

"Thank you Andrew. I will endeavor to make you proud." Three said and came to full attention again.

"Three, you have already made me proud by knowing what you want and asking for it. However this turns out will not effect that. As long as you treat others and yourself with respect, I will continue to be proud of you." Andrew said and motioned to the padd.

* * * * *

Andrew looked at Three's completed transformation. He looked frightening with the variety of appliances attached to his body.

"If you're ready, I'll take you to our quarters." Harry said.

"Thank you Ensign Kim." Three said and followed.

"You can call me Harry when we're off duty... what would you like me to call you?" Harry asked hesitantly.

"You may call me Three... I do not know how I will be addressed when I am on duty." Three said honestly.

"I think Chakotay is still at your cabin, we can ask him." Andrew said helpfully.

As the group entered the cabin, muffled sounds could be heard from behind a door at the far end of the room.

"Seven and the kids are installing a regeneration alcove. She said that with their assistance, it would be complete in time for you to regenerate here tonight." Chakotay said to the group.

"Good. I'm glad they're doing that. I know I'm always excited about moving into a new place." Andrew said with a smile.

"Three, do you have any questions for me?" Chakotay asked politely.

"Yes, how will I be addressed on duty?" Three asked respectfully.

"I've thought about that, would you mind if we called you Crewman Three?" Chakotay asked, looking for Three's reaction.

"That would be acceptable." Three said with Borg efficiency.

"Could you show three the proper uniform for his new post. I know I'm going to have to replicate one for the ceremony tomorrow and I still don't know which one." Andrew said in a ramble.

"Of course. Engineering wears the gold uniform... here." Chakotay said and showed Three a picture of the uniform on the replicator's display.

"Are you going to the ceremony tomorrow?" Chakotay asked casually.

"Two of... Icheb said that we were invited, so I plan to attend." Three said with care.

"Since you are now a crewman, you will need a formal uniform of the same variety... this one." Chakotay said as he pulled up a display of the proper uniform.

Three quickly entered his measurements and replicated the Starfleet dress uniform.

"Are you going to have trouble getting that on over your hardware?" Andrew asked with concern.

"I believe I can manage." Three said, looking over the uniform.

"If you don't have any other questions, I'm going to take Andrew back to his cabin." Chakotay said with a smile.

"Just one question. When do I report for duty?" Three asked quickly.

"There will be a revised schedule posted tomorrow afternoon, after the ceremony. Check that schedule to find your first day of work." Chakotay said and walked out of the room, followed closely by Andrew.

"Why don't you go back to your cabin and I'll send Tom down when I get back to mine?" Chakotay said as they left Three and Harry's cabin.

"Okay, thanks for all your help Chakotay." Andrew said with a fond smile.

"Anything for the kids."

* * * * *

When Andrew had been in his quarters a few minutes, the door chime sounded.

"Come." he said and continued looking at the holo-program.

"Have you made any progress with that thing?" Tom asked as he walked into the room.

"I made a few little changes... tell me what you think?" Andrew said and moved aside.

Tom looked over the settings and looked at Andrew with worry. "You *want* it to rain at your wedding?"

"I've been on this ship less than a month and I'm already missing home. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed simple things like unpredictable weather, a chill in the night air... the sunlight changing through the day or the change in seasons. This is kind of like being in a prison." Andrew said helplessly.

"No it isn't." Tom said with a dark tone to his voice.

"What?" Andrew asked, concerned by the change in mood.

"This is nothing like being in a prison... I was in a prison for nearly two years before I was brought on Voyager... as an advisor. This is paradise compared to being in prison. I understand what your saying and I miss all those things too but... it's just not the same." Tom said and walked out of the cabin.

"Shit." Andrew muttered to himself.

* * * * *

Andrew woke up feeling miserable. He hadn't been able to think of anything but the way he had hurt Tom by his thoughtless words.

He dragged himself out of his bed and went to the bathroom to prepare for the day.

As he came out of the bathroom he heard the door chime. "Come." he said and walked into the bedroom.

"Andrew?" Tom called quietly.

"Yeah, just getting dressed... we never did replicate a uniform for me... want to do that now?" Andrew asked as he pulled on a robe and walked into the main room.

"Yeah, the ceremony will be starting in less than an hour so we should get you ready." Tom said hurriedly then stopped and looked Andrew in the eyes. "I'm sorry I went off like that last night... you didn't know... and it just hit a nerve."

"I'm sorry that I upset you Tom. I had no idea. As far as I knew, everyone on Voyager was just her crew." Andrew said and brought up his personal account on the replicator.

"Well, I'm the only convict on the ship. But Chakotay, B'Elana and some of the others were a group of freedom fighters working against the Federation... the Maquis." Tom said and brought up the appropriate uniform.

"Blue?" Andrew asked.

"Yes, you are assigned to medical so you wear a blue uniform. Go ahead and replicate it. I think it'll look great on you." Tom said with encouragement.

Andrew selected the formal style of the Starfleet medical uniform and a moment later he had it in his hands.

"Go ahead and put it on, I want to see it." Tom said with excitement.

Andrew rolled his eyes and took the uniform into the bathroom to put it on. A moment later he came out, almost dressed in Starfleet medical blue.

"How do you fasten this tunic? I can't find it anywhere." Andrew said in frustration.

"I know, let me. You fasten it here at the neck and here at the shoulder." Tom said as he fastened the elaborate piece of clothing.

"What a pain in the ass. Do you have to wear these things often?" Andrew asked in frustration.

"No. Well Chakotay and I do for formal things when we meet dignitaries from different worlds but the average crewman doesn't have to wear it but once or twice a year." Tom said and stepped back to look.

"You look great. I bet Alan is going to look just as good in his uniform." Tom said and walked behind Andrew to check it out from every angle.

"You haven't seen Alan in his uniform yet?" Andrew asked.

"No, Chakotay wanted to be the one to help him with that. I'll be seeing it for the first time when you do." Tom said and stopped before Andrew.

"Is the program finished for the wedding?" Andrew asked as he walked into the bedroom to see himself in the mirror.

"I want to run through it one more time to be sure, but I think so... are you sure about the rain?" Tom asked from the workstation.

"Yes. All the guests will be under the tent and we will be able to watch the rain falling in the meadow... will it smell like rain?" Andrew asked as he walked back into the main room.

"Yes, that's an automatic adjustment made by the computer when you create rain... what's this... a trigger when the captain says the word 'kiss'?" Tom asked and pulled up a detailed listing of the trigger.

"The rain stops and the sun shines." Andrew said with a smile.

"Dramatic. That's a nice touch. You have good instincts for holo-programming." Tom said and continued to look through the program.

"Thanks. Do you think Icheb and Three will be able to get ready on their own? I don't know if Icheb knows anything about dressing formal and Three... if he has a tunic like this, he's going to have trouble.

"Harry is there to take care of Three and Seven can take care of the children. Don't worry about anything. If one of the kids shows up dressed in everyday clothes, will it ruin the ceremony?" Tom asked and looked away from the workstation.

"No. I guess I'm just finding things to worry about." Andrew said and sat on the couch.

"Ooof." he said and stood back up.

"I forgot to warn you about that. Whoever designed the Starfleet uniforms was a sadist... or a woman... maybe both." Tom said and walked to the replicator.

"I hope I can still make Alan pregnant this afternoon." Andrew said with a gasp.

"Here, I'll show you the trick. You see this measurement... add about five or ten centimeters to it and it should get rid of that binding sensation." Tom said seriously.

"Binding sensation? It was like having my nuts in a vice!" Andrew said and changed the measurement by ten centimeters.

Andrew took the new pants and walked into the bathroom. A few minutes later he walked back to the replicator and threw the original pants in and pressed the button to make them disappear.

"Better?" Tom asked with a smile.

Andrew carefully sat on the couch and said, "Much better. You'd think that after four-hundred years clothing designers would have noticed that men have testicles."

"They're in denial." Tom said and walked to stand beside the couch.

"How long do we have?" Andrew asked with nervousness.

"The ceremony is supposed to start in fifteen minutes... let's go now. It won't hurt for us to get there early." Tom said and offered his hand to help Andrew off the couch.

"Yeah, let's go." Andrew said with a smile as he accepted Tom's hand and got up.

* * * * *

Tom inserted a data rod into the holo-deck controls and pressed a few buttons. The door opened and Andrew led the way inside.

"It's perfect." Andrew said in wonder at the forest meadow, surrounded by old growth trees.

"I can't believe something this simple can be so beautiful. A tent and some trees." Tom said in wonder as he looked around the space.

"Do we need chairs for the guests? Or a platform for the captain?" Andrew asked as he looked around the open grass under the tent.

"I think this will be fine. We'll keep it simple. The ceremony isn't so long that the guests will be exhausted and have to sit before it's over. The whole thing is less than ten minutes... unless you have something planned besides the standard Starfleet ceremony?" Tom asked cautiously.

"No. In fact, I haven't even looked at the ceremony. I'll trust the Captain to come up with something appropriate. We talked about what kind of ceremony I wanted." Andrew said and looked at the sky.

"It looks like rain." Tom said with a smirk.

"Yeah, it's programmed to begin at the top of the hour. All the guests should be here by then." Andrew said with a smile.

"Gentlemen, you have chosen a picturesque location for your ceremony." the Doctor said, holding a holo-camera.

"Thank you Doctor... Did you leave Puppy in Sickbay?" Andrew asked.

"Yes, he is in my office. I gave him a new chew toy to keep him entertained." the Doctor said with fondness in his voice.

"Why don't you bring him along. He can run around and play for a while and when we're done you can just upload him back to Sickbay." Andrew said with a smile.

"Thank you Mr. Wells, I wasn't aware that the ceremony would be outside or I would have brought him." the Doctor said then called, "Computer: Arch."

The arch appeared and the Doctor quickly pressed a few buttons. A moment later Puppy appeared before him and began running around in ever expanding circles, playing in the grass.

"I think he likes it." Tom said, watching Puppy running full out.

The sound of the holo-deck doors opening got everyone's attention and they turned to see Seven of Nine and the children walk into the holo-deck.

"Seven, you look... beautiful." Andrew said in amazement. She had looked good in the formal gown the night of the dinner party, but now she was dressed in a simple sun dress that was light and airy. It was white with a faint pattern of peach blossoms.

"Lieutenant Torres said that this would be appropriate for this occasion." Seven said in her flat Borg tone.

"She was right. It is perfect." Tom said, looking Seven up and down.

"Four, that suit looks good on you... Some other time I need for you to remind me of something. Just say 'Spike' and I'll remember it." Andrew said and looked to Five.

"Five, I'm glad you could come. You really scared me yesterday." Andrew said honestly.

"I must thank you for your assistance Andrew. Four informed me of your actions and Six... Jimmy relayed his experience yesterday. If not for you I would not be alive." Five said with sincere thanks.

Andrew moved closer to Five and quietly said, "This creates a bond between us. Before we were like a teacher and student but after this, we are family. We will talk more about this later. I have to talk with the other guests."

"Icheb, you look very handsome in that suit. The color looks good on you." Andrew said with a smile.

"I recalled you saying that Jimmy had a good sense of style, so I asked for his assistance." Icheb said shyly.

"Jimmy, you did a great job... you don't have your data padd?" Andrew said in question.

"I will remember this event without a written account." Jimmy said with confidence.

"You look good... did you choose that shirt to match the color of your eyes?" Andrew asked, noticing that the green shirt he wore was the same shade as his eye color.

"Yes. I noticed that when you wear blue, the color of your eyes becomes more noticeable and I wanted to duplicate that effect." Jimmy said happily.

"It worked perfectly... Seven of Seven. You look pretty today. Did you pick this outfit yourself?" Andrew asked, looking at her pink frilly dress.

"Naomi Wildman helped me pick this clothing. She said it was appropriate." Seven of Seven said, apparently not thrilled with the pink dress.

"It looks good on you." Andrew said and turned when he heard the door open again.

"Geron, Greg... I'm so glad you could come." Andrew said happily.

"Thanks for inviting us Andrew. Gerry hasn't been able to talk about anything else since yesterday." Greg said and held Geron close.

Andrew noticed that Seven of Seven and Jimmy had started chasing Puppy.

"How long till we start?" Andrew asked Tom.

"Any minute... come over here so Alan can see you when he and Chakotay walk in." Tom said.

The door opened again to reveal B'Elana, Harry and Three all dressed in Starfleet formal uniforms.

"B'Elana, how are you doing?" Andrew asked and moved away from the front again.

"Fine... except for the Starfleet dress uniform. The designer must have been a sadist... or a man." She said and tugged at the chest of the tunic which was unyielding, then looked at Andrew and continued, "You look great. The uniform suits you."

Andrew smiled and turned to Harry and Three. "Hi Harry. I was worried for a while that you wouldn't be out of Sickbay in time for the ceremony."

"I wouldn't miss it." Harry said with a smile.

"And Three, you look good in your Starfleet uniform. The gold color looks good on you. Did you have any trouble with it?" Andrew asked in genuine interest.

"The designer of this clothing is unworthy of assimilation." Three said flatly.

"But on the up side, I now know how to swear in Borg." Harry said without humor.

"I'm glad you're both here. I have to get to the front. The Captain and Alan should be here soon." Andrew said and went back to his place.

The door of the holo-deck opened. All the guests and witnesses stood back creating an aisle down the middle of the pavilion. Andrew watched in awe as the Captain, Chakotay and Alan walked down the aisle in matching Starfleet red uniforms followed by Tuvok.

* * * * *

Alan walked through the holo-deck doors and thought he would pass out when he saw Andrew standing in his Starfleet blue uniform. The color of his eyes shown from across the group of people.

He felt a little nudge in the small of his back and began walking to the front.

He realized that he had stopped and was standing face to face with Andrew before the Captain. He had no memory of the walk down the aisle.

He could see Seven of Nine and the Doctor standing behind Andrew and knew that Chakotay and Tom were standing behind him.

The Captain held up her hands to indicate the need for silence and the first pitter pats of rain could be heard on the tent.

"Just like captains of vessels back to the ancient times, I am given the privilege of being able to perform a joining ceremony. These two men have come to me and asked me to exercise this privilege today." Janeway said as the group looked on in silence but for the gentle patter of rain on the tent.

"LeeAndrew Malachi Wells, do you forswear your loyalty, fidelity, trust, truth and love to this man, Alan Sunshine Summers from this day forward?"

"I do." Andrew said with love radiating through his look and voice.

"Alan Sunshine Summers, do you forswear your loyalty, fidelity, trust, truth and love to this man, LeeAndrew Malachi Wells from this day forward?"

"I do." Alan said with a radiant smile of peace and love.

"If there be anyone here that knows a reason these men should not be joined, you are charged to speak now." Janeway said and looked over the assembled group.

There was silence but for the drops of rain pelting the canvas of the tent.

"Then by the power vested in me by the United Federation of Planets and before these witnesses I declare that these men are joined in civil union." Janeway said in a full booming voice.

In a quieter tone she said, "You may kiss."

Alan pulled Andrew into a deep kiss, full of love as the rain stopped and the sun shown down on the meadow. A rainbow shown in the sky behind them, getting brighter and brighter until a second rainbow began to form above it. As everyone in attendance watched the spectacle, a third rainbow formed faintly above the second.

Chakotay whispered to Tom, "Is it our third date yet?"

Tom smiled and said, "Absolutely."

Chakotay pulled Tom down into a passionate kiss and into a deep hug that spoke of years of pain and loneliness.

Geron and Greg looked at Tom and Chakotay, then Alan and Andrew. Geron pulled Greg down into a passionate kiss for all to see.

Janeway looked on in surprise as the three couples kissed.

Seven of Nine stepped away from the Doctor and directly to B'Elana, "May I B'Elana?" she whispered.

B'Elana nodded shyly and Seven of Nine pulled her in for a kiss that was the release of a lifetime's unspent passion.

Janeway went from surprise to shock at that development and said, "I believe that there will be a reception in the mess hall in half an hour." Then she walked directly off the holo-deck followed closely by Tuvok.

"Love you." Andrew whispered when he pulled out of the kiss.

"I figured that out." Alan said with a smile.

Andrew pulled him close again and soaked in the joy of this moment.

"Gentlemen, if you would be so kind, we need to go to the sickbay so you can become pregnant before your wedding reception." the Doctor said quietly.

"Of course Doctor." Alan said and hugged Andrew close to his side.

"Do you want to upload Puppy to your office before we go?" Andrew asked as they headed for the door of the holo-deck.

"No, I'll leave him to play for a while. I believe this program will be running for a while longer." the Doctor said as he looked at the three couples kissing passionately.