By Elizabeth Carter
B'Elanna had just about had it with the Ice Queen. Truth was, she had just about had it with Janeway as well. The captain had ordered Seven of Nine to assist in Engineering without telling the young Klingon. And thus the ex-Borg came waltzing in, without reporting mind you and started calibrations on a plasma conduit. Okay granted the conduit needed attention and Seven or B'Elanna's hand but still there was protocol to adhere to.
"Look Borg!" Torres stormed up to the tall blonde. "We talked about this. You have an eidetic memory so you have no excuse. You report to me. This is my Department. Engineering is my territory. You come in here under Janeway's orders fine, but you report to me."
Seven set her jaw. She had grown tired of these debates. Efficiency was programmed into her since she was six years old. For eighteen years she was religiously faithful to it. How could she be expected to break such faith just because the Klingon wanted her to? On a Cube you were commanded what to do and you did it. There was no reporting, nothing you simply complied.
"You knew I was ordered in your 'territory' Lieutenant. The reason to report to you is redundant. Protocol is irrelevant. You are Maquis I would think you would not adhere to Starfleet regulations.
That caught the diminutive engineer that she couldn't find a come back. She bristled that Seven had apparently upped her. "Well if I had to learn Starfleet regs so do you Drone."
Seven sucked in a sharp breath of air. Her control on her anger snapped. "Do. Not. Call. Me. Drone." Seven said each word deliberately as she stalked B'Elanna. Her enhanced hand snatched the Chief Engineer's tunic and hoisted her up. "I understand some Humans use derogatory remarks when they speak of Klingons. Insist on calling me Drone and I will use such words when addressing you."
B'Elanna snapped her hands around the wrist that so effortlessly held her up. Not even her Klingon strength could break the hold. So she did the only thing she could think of. She headbutted Seven hard enough to shake the blonde's hold but not loosen it.
It was then that Chakotay decided to walk into Engineering.
"Seven of Nine!" He snarled.
The ex-Borg turned her attention to the intruder.
"Let her go. Now."
Seven complied. She simply opened her hand and dropped B'Elanna on her backside
"Fucking Ice Bitch" Torres leapt to her feet and pulled back her fist. The first officer was too slow in response to stop the fiery Klingon from striking Seven in the jaw with a satisfactory crush.
"B'Elanna!" Now Chakotay's voice now commanded the Engineer. "Both of you come with me now." He would leave no room for arguments as he waited for the two women to attend him.
The first officer led them not to B'Elanna's office or the Captain's ready room but back to his own quarters. "Before either of you speak, shut up." He said coldly. "And both of you sit. Seven I don't care if you prefer to stand you are going to sit."
B'Elanna was seething, her sharp teeth gnashed together as she stared at the tall blonde sitting impossibly straight on the sofa. The only thing that gave her satisfaction was the purple bruise now forming on the ex-Borg's chin. She turned to her long-time friend and once Maquis commander with an expression of smugness. Her anger returned when she saw the dark eyes of the Olmec glittering in frustration. "Chakotay, she started "
"Didn't I tell you to shut up?" He barked. "Janeway tried over and over again to enforce peace between you. You are both senior officers." He saw that Seven was about to protest to the fact she wasn't an officer. "Yes you are." He pointed to the blonde. "You're seen as a senior officer. You're both heads of departments. You can't be seen fighting like raw cadets. The brig won't work, confining you to quarters won't work, forcing you on away missions won't work and forcing you to work long hours on a project will more then likely be lethal. You two have left me no choice but to take an unorthodox measure."
Both women looked to each other and then to Chakotay, each holding the expression of mistrust and apprehension. They were suddenly more aware of their surroundings. Chakotay's quarters were filled with icons of the Olmec culture: small statues, incense burners, clay cups, tapestries and candles. He moved to a small glass covered table and poured what looked to be blue-purple juice into three cups.
"First we are going to have a drink." He said.
Once more Seven opened her mouth to protest.
"I don't care if 'You do not need liquid refreshment at this time.' You are going to join us." The Commander gave her a cup then another to B'Elanna.
She gave her old friend a dubious look then without a thought downed the juice in a single gulp. Seven turned to her sniffed the too-sweet smelling drink, frowned and took a sip. She would not be out done by the Klingon so her next drink she ingested all of it.
The effect was almost instantaneous. Only once had Seven felt such a reaction. When she had taken a drink of champagne. She felt drunk. She shook her head and looked B'Elanna to see if the Klingon felt the same. They locked eyes: mahogany to cerulean.
Klingons do not faint
Borg do not faint.
B'Elanna and Seven fainted.
Chakotay set his empty cup down; in truth he had never filled it. Taking a candle from a shelf he placed it into what looked like a clay hurricane lantern of his ancestors and poured a bit of the juice into it them blew it out. The women before him had inadvertently inhaled the smoke of the pungent candle coughed and opened their eyes.
"Chakotay, what in Kah'less did you do!" Seven of Nine snarled.
B'Elanna blinked, rose a dark eyebrow and sat ramrod straight. "Commander Explain."
Both women looked at each other. Astonished that they were not looking in a mirror but out of the eyes of the other.
"How the hell?" Seven / B'Elanna howled. "You put me in the Barbie Borg!"
"This is unacceptable." B'Elanna / Seven snapped in a monotone voice.
"You have three days to figure this out. There is an old tradition of the Natives of America. To understand another you must walk a mile in their shoes or moccasins. Now you will. I want each of you to see the other's life. You are forbidden to explain or let anyone know you've been switched. You must act as the other; you will carry out your duties as if you are the other. You will interact as if you are the other. As I said you have three days, if you disavow the fact you've been switched, you'll stay this way."
Both women glared at him.
"You forced this onto yourselves ladies. Maybe you'll learn something from this. If not then at least it might be an effective punishment by turning you into the person you dislike the most, and next time you want to start an altercation you'll remember this day. Dismissed."
Both women were seething.
Chakotay watched as they left his quarters, and smiled. His bluff about keeping them in the other bodies should be enough from letting the truth get out. The shamanism spell only worked for three days, but no need to allow the two volatile women in on it.
"This is all your fault Drone." Seven now B'Elanna snarled through perfect white teeth.
"You are the drone now." B'Elanna now Seven said, her voice perfectly toneless. She continued to walk ramrod straight down the corridor, her own mind fuming in rage.
B'Elanna stopped and looked at the body she now inhabited. Seven had a point. "Fine. Its only three days. I can put up with it."
"As can I."
"Well look we better go to my quarters for now to get a few things straight."
"Since I now possess your body, do not the quarters belong to me?"
"Don't get any ideas Borg."
"Do not insult me." Seven growled through sharp teeth.
"Because I do not insult you. And calling the Chief of Engineering a Borg will undoubtedly allow others to know something has happened."
Seven or rather her body stormed down the corridor with deliberant anger. An enhanced Borg hand slammed into the bulkhead, not only denting it but going through it. B'Elanna's now blue eyes stared at the damage then to her former body.
"You can do that?"
"Yes." A note of superiority in the voice. Perhaps now the Klingon would realize just how much of her strength she was holding back when they fought. "You are correct we do need to talk."
The women entered the turbo lift and B'Elanna with Seven's voice ordered the lift to deck nine section twelve.
A moment later they entered B'Elanna Torres's quarters.
B'Elanna was still staring at the silver meshed hand with awe. The raw power contained in the artificial Borg hand was astonishing. She had no idea Seven was that strong. Privately she wondered what else the Ice Queen could do. She was almost anxious to find out.
"Look Seven. If we are going to pull this off we have to act like one another."
"No. I don't talk like that."
"I do don't use contractions."
"I do not sit as if my back is tied to a post."
"I have perfect posture."
Seven's body straightened, B'Elanna's slouched a little. Then the smaller body crossed its arms and the eyes narrowed in to a glare.
"I don't look like that."
"Yes you do. Every time you look at me you have this expression. I am only following your instructions and acting like you Lieutenant."
B'Elanna sucked in a bit of air realizing that Seven had a point she always glared at the Borg. "Sorry." She said in sincerity as she found she wasn't fond of the expression being mirrored to her through her own eyes. It was not an attractive appearance.
"You are forgiven." Seven said softly "However if others see you being less then agitated at me they will think you ill."
"I am not that bad Sev." B'Elanna said. "You don't always agitate me."
A dark eyebrow shot up.
"Don't do that!" B'Elanna snapped though with a smile. "It's creepy. How can you make my body look Borgish?"
"It is unintentional."
"We'll have to watch that."
"Indeed." Seven commented.
"Kah'less I am going to rip Chakotay's head off his fucking neck for doing this to us."
"With the enhanced hand his neck will prove little resistance should you do so. However that action would not be advisable until he has placed us back into our corresponding bodies."
"You're right." The blonde said. Then B'Elanna sighed. "We are going to have to work on our speech patterns."
"So you don't use contractions, your vocabulary is extensive and you're blunt to the point of rudeness."
"It is not it isn't my intention to be rude, Lieutenant. But I do no don't understand the need to be false. It is irrelevant and inefficient."
"Its it is not being false Seven er I guess I should call you Lieutenant." The lips of the ex-Borg turned into a small smile. "It's called tact."
"It is something the doctor is helping me with." Seven smiled widely. "Now you must attend his training."
"You don't like them?"
"I find them boring."
"Okay Guess you do not use words like that do you?"
"It is not going to be easy."
"I believe that is what the Com . Chakotay intended." Seven said. "However I am gratified to know you are no longer in a relationship with Lieutenant Paris." The body of B'Elanna shivered.
The Borg's alabaster face grinned. "You do not like the helm-rat?"
"He is a dishonorable p'tak." The expression on the Klingon's face looked as if she had ingested a cockroach.
The voice of Seven laughed 'Kah'less she sounds like that when she laughs? It's a beautiful sound 'She smiled slowly 'Beautiful I can be in a body that others find beautiful
It would take another hour before either woman emerged from Torres's quarters finally satisfied in what was required of either of them to mask the fact they had been switched. B'Elanna relented to the logic of Seven that harming Chakotay should wait until they were back in their respective bodies. Neither woman wanted to remain where they were.
The one thought Seven had was that at least now she would looked upon with normalcy. For three days in B'Elanna's body she would be respected and not shunned. Perhaps this was not entirely a bad thing.
B'Elanna grinned Janeway would be back in a day now she would bask in the glow of being the Captain's pet. B'Elanna decided to take full advantage of the situation. Chakotay's plan would fail. This was going to be a breeze.
Since the argument took place near the end of the shift, there was not much time left. The two women returned to Engineering. Neither saying a word as they worked upon the plasma conduit. They ignored the stares of the crew and wondering glances as to what Commander Chakotay had done. B'Elanna's people knew enough about the fiery Klingon to stay way for her for the rest of the shift, lest they become a target.
Tomorrow was another day and once their Chief had the night to cool down they could then approach her. Offer their support or what ever she wanted. Right now only one with a death wish would even talk to the Chief of Engineering. And by the look of it the Ice Queen was pissed off as well. Obviously the punishment was quite severe. Yep it was definitely a very good idea to stay clear of either woman until tomorrow.
When Alpha shifted ended three hours later, the crew watched in silent astonishment as both women went into the Chief's office.
Once in side B'Elanna turned to her body. "Look if we are going to pull this off you're going to have to read these reports. 'Seven' will be assisting in Engineering for the next three days so don't get any ideas about taking over my Engine room."
"The thought had not occurred to me." Seven said coldly. "But 'my' presence will be needed in Astrophysics. The Captain is expecting a full scan of the sector as well as other M-Class planets to gather reserves for the ship. There is also the factor of Icheb's training."
"I can handle that "
"I truly hope so. Icheb is former Borg and more then an astute observer. I shall go over these reports tonight and familiarize myself with what will be expected of the Chief of Engineering tomorrow. Tonight however NaomiWildman requires my presence. It is our night to play Kadis-kot. She too is observant. You will have to proceed with care."
"Look Seven I think I can handle a game with Spike."
"NaomiWildman. I do not call her Spike. That is your name for her."
"Fine. Seven, I can handle one night don't worry. Just tell me what you do."
"I play two to three games of Kadis-kot with her, and we commence with small talk. NaomiWildman will ask me of what I did during the day. She will ask me relevant questions to her goal in becoming the Captain's Assistant, which I am endeavoring to make sure happens. She is an efficient individual with astute distinctness that will benefit the Captain. I want to see her succeed in this worthwhile endeavor. It means a great deal to NaomiWildman, therefore it is significant to me."
"That's really sweet of you, Seven." B'Elanna said. Hell she was impressed with the soft affection Seven held in her voice when speaking about the child. Granted it was B'Elanna's voice but the softness was Seven's alone.
Seven looked down a little bashful and taken back at the warmth she felt at the complement.
"You know is weird seeing my face blush." B'Elanna joked. "I think its great you're taking such an interest in Spike NaomiWildmen's future. So what else do you do?"
"Occasionally she will want to 'play' with my hair. She will take it out of the bun and brush it. She says she enjoyed doing it."
"And you allow this?"
"It is not an annoyance." Seven cleared her throat. "She may request you " She paused.
"What?" B'Elanna was curious once more she saw her own face blush. Then her body went ramrod straight.
"When I am there near her time to regenerate she will ask me to 'tuck her in.' She feels that there are 'monsters' in the replicator and under the bed as well as the closet. I have tried to assure NaomiWildman there are no such things as monsters. But she reminds me of the Entity we encountered that pretended to be a wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant that tried to devour the ship and that it was indeed a monster. I comply with her request. She is a child and will soon outgrow this need. I inform the non-entities that they will be assimilated if they do not comply with my orders to vacate the Wildman quarters. NaomiWildman will then require a lullaby."
"Seven I don't know how to sing."
"My voice will be efficient."
"Ah I don't know any songs that are for children."
"You have access to my eidetic memory. The words are there as are the melodies."
"If you say so." B'Elanna wasn't so sure. "What if I sing wrong Spike is bound to know something is up."
A brown eyebrow arched.
"Don't do that! I don't do the Vulcan eyebrow thingy."
"Don't use contractions. I have no desire to remain in this small body."
"What did you say?" B'Elanna stalked her prey.
"Do you wish to stay in a drone's body?" Dark caramel arms crossed over a compact chest.
"No." Came a growled answer.
"Then try to assimilate my mannerisms or we will 'give ourselves away.'"
"Well you are not doing any better then me. I have more emotion in my voice."
"Should I growl then? Gnash my teeth and call everyone who becomes an irritant a p'tahk? And call out to Kah'less?"
Seven watched as her body fell onto the sofa and let out a heavy sigh. A silver meshed hand rubbed against a smooth forehead.
"I miss my ridges." B'Elanna said. "And the ocular implant is strange to see through It took me awhile to get used to the different spectrums of sight. I mean when it focuses with different range things turn a little green."
"Borg enhancements. Things are not always 'green.'"
"Yeah I figured that out for myself. You could have warned me."
"I had not hadn't thought of it." Seven said honestly. "It is not something I completely conscience of as being different as it is a normal function to me."
"No I guess not." B'Elanna sat up straighter. "I guess I was slouching."
"Yes." Seven said.
"So is 'my' posture. Sev in my body you have to relax a little."
"I will compl I will try."
"Good." B'Elanna sighed. "So I guess Spi NaomiWildman is expecting me"
"You must be punctual. As I am not late."
"Yeah I know." B'Elanna said under her breath almost cursing the fact that the Borg was always on time.
"And you have a date with Harry and..."
"You are seeing Ensign Kim in a romantic "
B'Elanna blurted out laughing loudly. "Me and Starfleet?!" B'Elanna was still laughing hard. "Oh you have to be kidding me. No we have a game of pool in Sandrine's. We are practicing to go up against Tom and Jennifer Delaney in a tournament."
"I see." Seven frowned.
"I did not think you were on friendly terms with Lieutenant Paris."
"We are kinda on a break, Seven, to figure things out. We're not enemies just we've been fighting more then we should. I just need time away from him to clear my head." A silver meshed hand went up. "It's a figure of speech."
"I know. I must confide something Lieu "
"Look Sev, just call me B'Elanna in private okay I mean we are in each other's bodies for Kah'less sake It think we can be on first names bases here."
"As you wish."
"So what do you want to confide?"
"I understand more euphemisms then I 'let on.'"
"I knew you did!" B'Elanna smirked. "So why the pretence?"
"I have discovered that others are kinder when they think I do not understand such things."
There was a sheepish expression. "Oh." B'Elanna looked away knowing she was one of ones who treated her the worst. 'Hell if she knew half the reasons why she can get to me ' "Okay look you have to call Harry, Starfleet most of the time and if not call him Harry. My body can handle synthehol so don't fane from drinking or they will defiantly know something is wrong. And no eating that nutritional supplement crap either. Real solids got that?"
"You will have to consume that ' nutritional supplement crap'." Seven countered.
"Ever try anything else?"
"I have yet to consume solids as I am unable to."
"Great." B'Elanna grumbled. "Okay look we both have things to do. Hopefully we can pull this off. Just try to relax a little don't be so stiff. We only have three days of this shit and we're done."
"I do not use colorful metaphors."
Blue eyes rolled and arms crossed in front of a buxom chest. "Oh fuck your right. That is going to be a hard habit to break."
There was a small smirk on the beautiful caramel face. "Nevertheless I shall endeavor to use such words as I occupy this vessel as to be more you."
"Well this is the first real test then."
With deliberate swiftness the body of 'Seven of Nine' strode down the hall heading towards the Wildman quarters.
'Spend a little time with Spike and it should be easy. Just remember sit ramrod straight, use Seven-Borg speak easy. Besides this might be a little fun '
As B'Elanna walked down the corridors she heard two male crewmen muttering under their breaths. It shocked the 'Klingon' just how acute her hearing was.
"Damn it's almost a violation against regs to have a body like that and be a machine."
"Ever wonder what is under that hot little suit?" asked the second one.
The first one laughed deeply. "Would you even want to know? Take a look at that hand she's probably covered in that crap."
"Ice Queen I wouldn't mind trying to melt her though "
"She'd assimilate you." The first commented with distain.
"Hey like Tom said she can do that to me any day."
B'Elanna growled. She was repulsed by the two crewmember. She almost turned on her heels and slammed the human Pac'ta into the bulkhead before she realized just who she was supposed to be. Her hands curled into fists trying to calm herself. She had never heard of Seven going into Blood-Rage so she had to stay her hand. 'Just wait until I am in my own body you targ-shits you want to talk about her that way I'll show you assimilation. No one can insult my Borg but me!" B'Elanna stopped. She was a little shocked how defensive she was over Seven. 'My Borg?'
B'Elanna found that she was now standing in front of the Wildman quarters and was about to ring the chime then the door whooshed open. The young woman was taken by full surprise when Naomi lunched herself into Seven's arms.
"Seven!" The child exclaimed. "I'd knew you'd be here. I wanted to surprise you."
"That you did." B'Elanna smiled.
Naomi stepped back and frowned. "Seven?"
'Oh shit.' "You have succeeded in your attempt to surprise me." 'Okay that more Sevenish' "But you knew I am punctual therefore you had an advantage." 'Kah'less I hope that sounded right.'
The child smiled and pulled Seven into the quarters. "I've got the board all set up. Mum is in her room changing from her shift."
B'Elanna just nodded the blonde head.
Samantha Wildman watched her friend interacting with her daughter. Tonight was their ritual game of Kadis-kot and Seven was losing badly. In fact something was very off with the young woman. Sure she sat ramrod straight as always, her voice was as clipped and monotone but something was off and Samantha couldn't put a finger on it. But it was as if Seven just wasn't Seven.
Naomi was aware the change too. "You're not yourself today." The little Katerian said suddenly, as with all children she was blunt and to the point when she spoke.
"Explain." B'Elanna said she was a dreading that Spike would discover the difference in personalities.
"You're weird tonight." Naomi said. "So something is wrong."
"I " B'Elanna started and stopped. "I apologize. I am distracted." 'Okay I hope that covers it. Kah'less! Spike is about as blunt as Seven neither one of them know tact. Of course Spike is a child what seven years old? Of course Seven was six when she was taken neither one of them know better '
"Are you going to be functioning in normal parameters?" The child said with deep concern in her eyes for her best friend.
B'Elanna couldn't help herself. The Borgish-words were so adorable coming from Spike that a smile crept across her lips. "Yes. Do not worry Naomi."
Naomi frowned. Seven never just called her Naomi. It was always NaomiWildman. Seven said her whole name as if it was one single designation. It took the Katerian a while to get used to it, but she had. Now when Seven had called her simply by her first name it worried the Katerian even more. "Are you sure?"
"Positive." B'Elanna said crisply.
"But you're losing really bad tonight and you "
Samantha wanted the interaction and she too was growing concerned for Seven. And she could guess why Seven was so un-Sevenish. Something had happened in engineering. Something that preyed upon the younger woman.
"Honey, its time for bed."
"But Mum we haven't finished playing."
"You already played three games and I let you stay up past your bedtime. Now say goodnight to Seven and get ready for bed."
The child pouted.
"Now!" Samantha snapped.
"Fine." Naomi turned to Seven and asked. "Will you sing to me?"
B'Elanna blanched. She knew Seven had a wonderful singing voice but she didn't know any true lullabies. Yes Seven said she had access to the words with her eidetic memory still that didn't mean she could sing.
"Pleeeeeeasssssssssse." Naomi pleaded crawling onto her friends lap and putting her arms around the alabaster neck. "Come on Seven you always sing me to sleep."
Samantha admitted to herself that she too enjoyed the singing to the ex-Borg. Seven was a virtuoso of vocal talent. "Perhaps another time NaomiWildman." 'Sorry Spike despite what Seven says I don't believe I can sing.'
The child pouted. "But Seven ."
B'Elanna took a deep breath. 'There is no way I can sing like that.. She sings like an angel Sorry but no way.' "I will however inform the figments of your monsters they should vacate your quarters." 'Yeah that was Sevenish.'
Naomi looked on expectantly.
B'Elanna stood rigidly. She had heard the Borg's first contact proclamation. 'Butchering that announcement should be efficient.' The 'Klingon' thought. "I am Seven of Nine former Borg the monsters in the Wildman quarters will vacate now or be assimilated.' Then for an added flair B'Elanna added. "Resistance is futile."
Obviously there were no monsters.
"That's a little different then what you normally do." The young Katerian said softly. "But I think if there were monsters, you made them go away."
"Good." B'Elanna said in a monotone voice. "Then it was efficient."
Obviously the child bought it for she snuggled into her blankets with her Flutter doll tightly held under her arm. "Sleep well NaomiWildman."
"Night Seven love you." Naomi yawned.
The proclamation shocked B'Elanna. And wondered what she should say. Finally she whispered, hoping it was the right thing. "I have a fondness for you too." Slowly the body of Seven rose and padded back into the main room of the quarters.
"So you want to tell me what's wrong?" Samantha said suddenly
"Explain." B'Elanna self congratulated herself. The single word was the easiest way to make people clarify themselves. Some of them even back peddled to try to make themselves clear or others simply told her to forget it. No wonder Seven said it so often. Heck it was efficient.
"Naomi was right, you're off today. So what happened?"
There went that ocular implant. 'Ha that's easy too. I don't have to say anything and can skirt subjects I don't want to get into.'
"The Lieutenant get you again?" Samantha said in a tone that was so gentle it was loving. "Come on Seven. Sweety we're friends I know when something's bothering you."
B'Elanna was curious as to what Seven and ensign Wildman spoke of. She had no idea Samantha and Seven were so close. 'Time to get some dirt.' The 'Klingon' thought. "There was an altercation in Engineering today." She said
"So the gossip says." Samantha remarked with a soft smile of encouragement. She patted the cushion on the sofa next to her. "Please "
"Very well." 'Ha Seven-speak is easy.'
"Seven " Samantha said in the tone a mother takes to sooth the night terrors of their child. "Sweety I know she agitates you. But you have to let her know it. Lieutenant Torres thinks you are an emotionless drone. Yes I know you hate that word " Samantha smiled warmly. "But if you don't let the Lieutenant know she's hurt you she'll keep on doing it."
Seven is hurt?
"Hurt feelings are irrelevant." 'That sounds like Seven.'
"Yeah and that's why you've cried so many times when you're here with me. Seven how many times have I held you while you broke down? Quite a lot. You're not an emotionless drone and feelings are not irrelevant. Don't pull that crap with me."
'I had no idea. I thought she always ran to Janeway. Now I find out she cried with Samantha I bet nobody knows this '
"She is irrational and will not listen to me." B'Elanna said hating the fact she was speaking the truth. She wouldn't give Seven the chance to explain things. She would just think it some Borg game. 'I know the Borg doesn't play games it would be inefficient. But it is easy to bait her '
"You said that before. Seven, I know it's hard to fit in. You've been apart of an emotionless environment for a long time. It's like asking Tuvok or Vorik to suddenly display emotions. But you have them; you just don't know how to express them so you repress them. Seven honey I see it because well I am raising a child. And I don't mean to be rude but you still have the mentality of a six year old.
"You and Naomi are learning things like politeness, tact and how to behave socially. For me it's easy to see the real you and see beyond the mistakes of your social interaction. Maybe because I'm a mother of a young child, I can see this. Everyone sees an adult woman and expects you to behave accordingly. When you don't, they get angry and more then that. They think you get away with things the truth is what they think you should know what is learned behavior. The Borg decided it was irrelevant and so you never learned it. Lieutenant Torres is among those that expects you to behave as the adult you appear."
"I am not a child." Came a defensive answer.
"I know. But in so many ways you're an innocent as much as Naomi is. Both of you have the same amount of years in the real world." Samantha brushed back the locks of golden hair. "Seven you've become to mean so much to Naomi and to me I don't like to see you hurt. I know it's got to be hard on you the way you feel about her."
"The way I feel about her?" B'Elanna was puzzled. She had been contemplating everything that Samantha had said about Seven. And found it true. The Klingon did expect Seven to behave as an adult with years of experience in the real world. The truth was Seven had about as much experience as little Spike. And tact, politeness was a learned behavior. 'Mother said one does not need to enjoy virtue. Maybe it was time to cut Seven a little slack. Patience. Klingons don't do patience well ' Samantha's question however did catch B'Elanna by surprise. What exactly did Seven feel about her? Other then disdain.
"Seven you said it yourself you love her."
Seven took the initiative to look up everything she could on the subject of the game of pool and billiards. Having never played the game wanted to familiarize herself not only with the rules but the techniques of it. The 'ex-Borg' used her own hours for the Holodeck on thinking it only just that she use her rations and not B'Elanna's for the research. Having spent two hours practicing she felt more comfortable with the game and ready to meet with Engine no correct that with 'Starfleet' at Sandrine's.
The truth to be told she was frustrated. It was easier to process information when she was within her own body. Seven hadn't realized just how much she relied on her eidetic memory until it was gone. Not only could the young woman not process information as quickly she was used nor as much information, she could not simply download the information for ready recall. The 'ex-Borg' was also irritated that she could not scan the parameters of a geometric conundrum as she normally could.
'This is inefficient.' She grumbled. 'How does the Lieutenant achieve what she does when she has such limited resources?' Seven's appreciation for the young fiery Klingon rose ten fold. B'Elanna Torres was Seven thought a very accomplished Engineer, brilliant in fact but she didn't have an eidetic memory. Nor did she have access to all the former knowledge of the Collective; the Lieutenant achieved what she had on her own. That was impressive.
Seven was still irritated that she was not as quick as she once was, nor as proficient. 'Of course I don't have the hand eye coordination I once had.' The lips pulled back from her mouth as Seven suddenly realized she had effectively used a contraction without thinking of it. She was actually very proud of herself for the grammatical change in her modem of speech.
Her combadge bleeped.
Automatically she hit it and answered. "Seven " 'Dammit' "Torres here."
"Hey Marquis you forget we're meeting at Sandrine's?" Harry's cheery voice piped over the badge.
"Of course I didn't forget." Seven snapped. She blushed she had never been late for anything, her internal chronometer made it impossible for her to be late. 'That is of course when I had one.' She growled. "On my way."
Holodeck 2 fortunately was very close at hand and B'Elanna's body stormed into it. Seven was mortified to realize that she was late. She was never late. She had chided B'Elanna not to be late when meeting with NaomiWildman and here she was late with Harry Kim.
Seven definitely was in a foul mood when she came face to face with Voyager's Ops-officer. Harry was grinning when he approached her with a mug of dark ale with a thick head. "Hey Marquis, thought you might need this after what happened today in Engineering."
"What did you hear?" Seven said more curtly then she intended to.
"That our favorite Borg managed to irritate you once more."
'Think like the Lieutenant ' "She won't listen to regulations and refuses to acknowledge my authority." 'That was easy. That is her primary complaint.' "I'm really growing tired of it." 'I even managed to use a contraction.' Seven congratulated herself.
"I have to hand it to you B'Elanna. You have a lot more patience with her than you give yourself credit for. Everyone expects you to make good on your promise to make her apart of the hull or ship her out of an airlock." Harry was still holding out the offered ale.
Seven took it with a dubious look, and sighed. The Lieutenant had told her she had to ingest synthohol, and that she could handle the effects. Thinking it was the proper thing to do Seven took hold of the mug and downed the pint of ale in two swallows.
"Damn Maquis!" Harry ogled. "Drink like that and you're going to get drunk fast. Unless that's what you're trying to do."
Seven felt her eyes burn as the alcohol hit her stomach instantly warming it. She had felt the effects of synthohol once before, but this was something beyond champagne. This was something so new to her; she wanted to experience it again.
"Maybe I do." Seven said. She stalked up to the barkeep and ordered another one. The other thing she wanted to try was to eat solids. B'Elanna said she had to consume food. And so she was going to. With a new mug of ale in hand Seven turned to Harry Kim saying: "Do we not have a pool game to enga play?"
" 'Do we not?'" Harry smirked. "Picking up a little Borg-Speak are we."
Seven studied herself with a heavy sigh. 'Contractions use contractions!' Dark eyes narrowed and lips pulled back into a snarl. She saw that Harry backed up a little holding up his hands in mock-surrender. 'Efficient use of expressions I shall have to remember that. No wonder the Lieutenant utilizes such facial reactions, so often.'
"My bad. Sorry Maquis I know you've had a bad few months."
'Bad few months?' She had not indicated that anything was wrong. Perhaps he means the termination of her relationship with the 'helmrat' She has not allowed this to interfere with her work.'
"You know I might be Tom's best friend but I am here for you too. If you want to talk about it "
Seven forced dark wine lips to smile thinking that the Lieutenant would do so. "Thank you Starfleet. I know you are." 'That sounded correct. B'Elanna is a private person she would not wish to discuses things.' Downing the second mug of ale Seven moved to the pool table "Are we going to play or not?" Seven frowned 'B'Elanna? When did using her given designation become common?'
Without comment she started to place the balls in the triangle to rack them up. Once she was satisfied with the tightness of it she removed the rack and took up a cue stick reading to shoot.
"Hey!" Harry commented. "You forget rules already?"
A dark eyebrow went up.
Harry frowned. "Either you've been spending way too much time with Seven or Tuvok, but you got that expression down pat."
A dark caramel hand shot up to a ridged forehead. "No "
"No?" Harry cocked his head. "No what?"
"Just shoot Starfleet." Seven said quickly. She was both annoyed and embarrassed by the fact she allowed one of her 'tells' to be reveled. "We have a tournament to win. And it has been a long day. I rather not 'get into it.'"
"Okay." The young Asian shook his head. His friend must really be riled. From what he had heard of the rumors Seven had hoisted B'Elanna into the air and was about to throw the Chief into the Warpcore before Chakotay stopped the Borg. But Harry couldn't bring himself to believe Seven would have killed B'Elanna. Besides if the Nordic Beauty wanted the fiery Klingon dead she would be dead. But he did believe that B'Elanna had been picked up by Seven and been shamed by the fact. It was no wonder she was acting a little distracted tonight. Best leave the subject alone if he knew what was good for him. Better Klingon rage directed where it belonged then on him. Then of course there was Tom, who had been more than insensitive to B'Elanna.
The game of pool is predictable. Knowing the angles and understand how much force to use, physics demands that you're desired effect will occur ... except an occasional variable ... a slight flaw in a ball or the table or the cue stick. Seven had an appreciation for the mathematical precision the game demanded. The hard science of it, the technology, the numbers, the objective of all of it was fascinating. Seven could see why B'Elanna sought to engage in such diversion.
A native instinct for geometry, coupled with excellent hand-eye coordination, and a very precise knowledge of just how much force to apply made the former Borg utterly deadly with a pool cue or one would have thought so.
Seven of Nine hated to lose at any competition nearly as much as B'Elanna Torres. Both reacted in a similar fashion. They brooded. Jaw set, dark chocolate eyes bore a hole in the surface of the green felt as she studied her next shot. Harry had already won two games and was well on the way of defeating 'B'Elanna' once more. And it was unendurable.
Harry was growing worried more and more by the passing minute. B'Elanna had been the one to teach him pool, now he was losing to her. She was playing like a rank amateur. Granted she was able to bank a few more shots then she normally did but her playing was not what it should be.
"Lanna?" Harry sucked in a breath of air wondering if he might be able to make to the exit before the Klingon ripped him a new one for asking her what he was about to ask her. "You can tell me to shut up, you had a lot of stress laying on you. And I am worried okay. Tom then Seven they really got to you. But you want to tell me really what's up?"
"Explain." Seven said automatically then winced. B'Elanna did not speak with such mannerisms. She lifted up her what was her fifth mug of ale and finished it. "I mean explain what you really want Starfleet and stop beating around the bush." 'It is fortunate that I recently learned the meaning of that particular phrase.'
"Your game is off a bit. Well a lot."
"I have " Seven sighed "Things on my mind."
"I gathered. We can call it a night you know."
Seven stopped herself before she rose a dark eyebrow. "If my game is that 'off' perhaps I should " once more she stopped. She knew she was saying things in the wrong tone of voice. 'Smiling smiling is good B'Elanna smiles in the presence of the Engine In fact she has the most radiant smile ' "Kah'less." She grumbled. "This is harder than I expected."
"I can't talk about it." Seven said reminding herself to use a contraction. She moved to the bar and shifted her weight. Suddenly her head was spinning and she thought the inertial dampeners were off line because everything in Sandrine's was spinning. "I have to get to Engineering."
"The inertial dampers they are misaligned. I can feel it."
"Maquis you're drunk." Harry laughed.
"A Klingon does not get drunk." Seven growled.
"Well this Klingon is drunk. You didn't eat before you drank did you?"
"I " Seven thought she had no clue when the last time that B'Elanna ingested nutritional supplements. "Since I've been here no." Misleading but true. Since Seven was not in possession of the beautiful body of the Chief, no she hadn't eaten.
"No you only drank that was your seventh glass."
"Seven?" The woman paled. Had she been found out already? "I am B'Elanna Torres not Seven of Nine."
Harry just starred at her. "That's not what I said Maquis. I said you had seven glasses of ale."
"Oh." The face of B'Elanna Torres held a sheepish expression. "So I have. Strange I lost count. I never lose count." She was frowning.
"You also never lose a game of pool with me either." Harry commented putting his arm around his friend.
"No." It was a declaration. She shoved Harry aside so swiftly that the young Asian toppled over his own feet. "Do not touch me!" Then Seven lost her own balance had promptly sat down. She rubbed her head, and frowned the silver implant over her left eye had gone missing. She shook her head she wasn't supposed to have a crescent shaped implant she had ridges.
"Come on Maquis I'll take you home." Harry found his feet then helped his friend to hers.
"I have to wait three days before I am home."
"What?" Harry was at a complete loss. He had no idea what B'Elanna had meant by that but he chalked it up to drunken ramblings. "You're quarters "
"Yes quarters I have quarters I am not stored in a cargo bay like some piece of equipment." Seven was smiling widely now. "It makes you feel less like a human. They want you to be human but...store you away like a machine. You know that?"
"B'Elanna you really should eat before you go on a drinking binge you do know this right?" Harry guided her to the exit then to the lift that would take them to the Chief's quarters.
"Right." Seven was almost giddy.
"Stored away? Back on Seven are we?" Harry frowned. "Maquis I never understood why you never brought that up to the Captain. You've been talking about how wrong it is for Seven to be kept in the Cargo bay as if she was a piece of equipment. I am sure the Captain would listen to you. Like you said Seven is a member of the crew and should be treated as such."
"Why would " Seven stopped herself from asking the question. She truly wanted to know why B'Elanna would wish to offer such a remarkable gesture of kindness. 'That is a simple answer. She had honor. She is the most honorable soul I know even if she is volatile and irrational. '
"Well you said it, if she was treated like a real crew member and not a pet she might behave like a living breathing person and not a drone."
"Perhaps you're right."
"You're really are drunk." Harry laughed at her. "And your head is going to hurt tomorrow morning."
An unconscious dark eyebrow shot up. 'The Lieutenant never said anything about pain affiliated to drinking synthohol.' The only time Seven was drunk the Doctor had taken her to sickbay and alleviated the problem. 'Perhaps he is exaggerating.'
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