By Elizabeth Carter
B'Elanna walked through the corridors a bit disorientated. Samantha Wildman had just told her that Seven of Nine loved her or rather loved B'Elanna. 'How am I supposed to react to that? Pissed? Flattered. No stunned. She is supposed to be the Captain's pet her girl...everyone knows that Maybe everyone does, but Seven. So maybe the rumor mill isn't true. Seven loves me? She can't love me ' Seven of Nine's body stopped in her tracks. 'Well why the hell can't she love me? Barbie-Borg. Ice Queen Drone no a woman who tells pretend monsters she is going to assimilate them if they don't leave a little girl alone. A woman who brakes down with a friend because she has hurt feelings feelings I hurt she just can't love me Okay its not that she's a woman That has never been a hang up with me. Not that she's human or half human obliviously part machine? I'm an engineer hell the implants intrigue me...I love to figure things out no what then? She's innocent really I mean like Samantha said she's had only six years in the real world and she's in a body of a twenty five year old she's intelligent. Kah'less who am I kidding she's more intelligent than I am but she's still has the soul of a child is that it? No Borg? There isn't anything to see it's an infatuation. No. She's a bombshell and I am not.'
Shaking her head she tired to clear her thoughts. "I've got to talk this over with her."
Striding quickly the body of Seven of Nine made her way down the corridors to a turbolift that would take her to deck nine section twelve. As she rounded a corner she stopped dead as she saw Tom Paris in civilian clothing walking out of the Delaney sister's quarters. His lips were locked on one of the two sister's lips (B'Elanna could never tell which one was which at a distance.) as he was backing out.
"It's been fun Megan." Tom said in his best boyish charming voice.
'Megan? I thought she was with Harry '
"I'll tell Jenny she missed you." Megan said as she slipped her tongue down Tom's throat causing the helmrat to moan. "You me Holodeck Two tomorrow night we can play Captain Proton saves Miss Pollyanna from Queen Achrania "
"I'll be there." Tom waggled his eyebrows up and down thinking it was charming. He stood feeling pride in himself as the ensign returned to her quarters, before he went for the turbolift. He shoved his hands in his pockets as he made his way to the hall a very pissed off B'Elanna was standing.
"Oh!" Tom stopped dead. "Ah Seven how long you've standing there?" Then he grinned, "Studying human romantic interaction again? You know last time Lanna wanted to tear you apart for being a voyeur."
B'Elanna suddenly recalled who it was she was supposed to be. "I thought you were in a romantic relationship with the Lieutenant." The voice was as cold as space.
"That? We're on a break. Translation we're free to date whoever we want. Besides what she doesn't know doesn't kill me. And I can make it worth you're while if you keep this between us."
"Indeed." B'Elanna gnashed her teeth together. "That's not how I understood it."
"Well Seven what you know about sex and romance can fill a thimble." He chuckled as he saw blue eyes dilate. "I can teach you." He moved towards her, his smile becoming more lecherous.
"You couldn't teach a Ferengi to desire gold-pressed latinum."
That stopped Paris from moving. He had no idea that the drone could be so witty. "I manage to make both the Delaney sisters and a few others and B'Elanna cum."
He had no idea what hit him. But suddenly he found himself a dozen feet back and on his arse. His chest hurt like a son-of-a-bitch where Seven had struck him. "You want to continue breathing 'you keep this between us.' I assure you 'it will be worth your while' if you do."
Tom was still trying to catch his breath that had been knocked out of his lungs. He knew his breastbone had to be broken. His own blue eyes filled with dread as he watched the tall blonde move like a shark past him and for the turbolift. He couldn't think, he dare not move, he didn't even know why the fucking drone had hit him.
Back in Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres' quarters, Seven had not moved from her position on the sofa where Harry Kim had dropped her off. She was still there when a very confused, very pissed off 'half-Klingon' entered the room. B'Elanna still had the vertigo of surrealism when looking at her body passed out on the couch. Add that to the revelation of Seven's love for her and the helmrat's indiscretion and it equaled a very, very bad day.
"Good idea." The voice of a former Borg said. "I need a drink." B'Elanna moved for the replicator and asked for a pint of bloodwine. She only had to wait a few seconds before the desired beverage fizzled into existence. Taking the mug B'Elanna made her way to a chair sat down and took a large gulp of the Klingon drink. Suddenly she discovered just how intolerant Seven's body was of synthohol. She hadn't even finished the contents before she too was out cold.
"I am sorry B'Elanna but I have damaged your body." Seven groaned as she slowly moved from the sofa that she had spent the entire night on.
"Please no shouting." Came a voice from somewhere to the 'ex-Borg's' left.
Fumbling to her feet, stumbling over boots, a chair leg and a cast off jacket Seven finally managed to make it to the bathroom before she promptly vomited.
Grethor that's where she was. She had taken the Barge of the Dead bypassed Stov-o-Kor and landed in Grethor. "Kah'less." B'Elanna grumbled. Never had she had such a hangover. Her head was pounding, the lights were far too bright and the inertial dampers were off line. "Computer turn the lights off."
"Unable to comply."
"There is no illumination in these quarters."
B'Elanna looked around her she could see everything so clearly. It was obvious that the lights were on.
"Yes there is you tin-can." The 'Klingon' growled. "So shut them off."
"Oh shut up." Came a cold growl.
"Bella " Seven groaned, "Arguing with the computer is futile."
B'Elanna snarled or at least it would have been an impressive snarl had she a Klingon larynx. "Just shoot me with a phaser." Came another groan.
"Only if you actually shoot me out of an airlock." Complained Seven as she sat the compact body of B'Elanna on the floor. "I didn't think you would insult your ship."
"No one is allowed to insult my ship but me."
"Your ship?" Seven mumbled from under her arm.
"Yes mine." B'Elanna moaned as she moved up to her six-foot height and made a run for the bathroom to purge her own stomach.
A moment latter a frazzled blonde managed to make her way out of the bathroom and back into the common room of the quarters.
"You lied." Seven said suddenly
"I did not."
"Fine. About what."
"This body's ability to contain the effects of synthohol. It doesn't. It is damaged."
"Sev it's called a hangover." Blue eyes looked over and saw the muscular form laying perfectly spread eagle on the floor with eyes squeezed tight. 'Kah'less this is so bizarre.'
"I do not enjoy it." Pouted dark ruby lips.
"Preaching to the choir, Sev."
"Klingons do not preach."
"Neither do Borgs."
"A Borg doesn't get a hangover." Grumbled Seven wishing she was back in her own body. "Why have you damaged my body?"
"I needed a drink. I forgot how sensitive this body was to synthohol." B'Elanna tied to smile. "News for you Sev you're a former Borg."
"No, you are. You posses that body now."
"Semantics " grumbled the 'Klingon' "So tell me can you always see this well in the dark?"
"Bitching well if I wasn't so sick."
"Bitching?" It hurt too much to raise a dark eyebrow.
"I'll explain when my head isn't swimming you're head whatever this head."
Twin female voices grumbled as they moved. "Sickbay?" both voices said at once.
"Agreed." Seven said in the dark purr of B'Elanna's voice.
"You first." Came the softer notes that belonged to the ex-Borg voice.
"You're senior officer you go first." Seven tried to sit up.
"You're in possession of the body."
"Semantics." Seven countered still not wanting to move more then a millimeter.
No one moved.
"Site to site transport."
"You know being in my body is good for you, that's a brilliant idea." Full lips pulled back in a smile.
"My mind your body." Seven countered.
"Is that supposed to be a joke?" B'Elanna mumbled.
"If I wasn't in such pain, perhaps."
A moment later two senior officers shimmered into Sickbay. Both made a mad dash for the privies to vomit, both rinsed out their mouths, before returning of the main center of the Infirmary.
"If we summon the doctor we will have to explain " Seven moved a dark caramel hand to rub the pounding in her ridged skull.
"From my last experience of ingesting synthohol I know the cure."
"No hair of the dog that bit you?"
The body of B'Elanna stopped raised a dark eyebrow and tilted her head. "That seems a very unhealthy cure for a 'hangover.' It is Klingon?" Seven asked in pure sincerity.
"No Nevermind." B'Elanna raised a silver meshed hand. Frowned the looked to her body as it moved slowly around Sickbay. "Sev you understand or you don't get it?"
"I have never heard that expression used before, nor any context I can compare it with."
"Oh. Means you would drink more synthohol." It was odd to see her own face turn green.
"Yeah me too." B'Elanna felt the Borg stomach reflexive need to vomit yet once more.
"I have discovered the cure. Vitamin B-12 and "
"Sev." Grumbled B'Elanna. "Please don't explain anything just hit me with it." She blinked "I mean "
"Bella I know what you mean. That body might be blonde but I am not stupid." Seven growled in a very predatory snarl. She blinked. It was odd to hear such a resonating sound coming from her throat. It was more odd, to watch her own body lean against a bio-bed with her arms crossed and scowling.
A dark caramel hand reached up with a hypospray and injected the compound into the body of the tall blonde. Then inserted a new cartridge of the hangover cure to heal the body of the Klingon. The effects were almost instantaneous.
"You noticed that you started to call me Bella?"
"Of course I have."
"Call me that. I mean most shorten my name to Lanna."
"I am well aware of that Lieutenant." B'Elanna's body went ramrod straight, hands clasped behind her back.
'That is so annoying that you stand like that.' Scowled an alabaster face. Seven's body went stiff; feet placed shoulder width a part arms folded over her chest . B'Elanna looked down at the body she inhabited and realized just how she was standing. 'You stand like that when you're annoyed or nervous or pissed off?'
'You are so defensive how can you make my body look Klingon? Do you know you stand like that every time you are annoyed or angered or nervous?' Seven arched a dark eyebrow and forcefully relaxed her body, as it dawned on her just how she was standing.
B'Elanna mirrored the action and forced the body of the ex-Borg to relax. "Sev I am not going to be mad if you tell me why you chose that particular 'designation.'
"If you'll tell me why you 'nickname' me Sev."
Two pair of lips curled into a smile. "Okay point taken." B'Elanna said.
"Sev I don't know I guess it just happened."
"Very well. I call you Bella because it is efficient."
"Fair enough." B'Elanna said. "Sev I got an idea an experiment, you willing? Well first I want to take a shower."
"Then you must take one in here."
"Sickbay you've gotta be kidding."
"There are no sonic showers in the cargo bay."
"I am not taking one in Sickbay, not with the Doctor lurking around No way. No how." B'Elanna shivered. First she hated full physicals, secondly she hated the way that old man fluttered about Seven like some love-sick schoolboy. Old letch anyway shouldn't be looking at her that way "Look while I have custody of this body I am taking a shower in my er .the Torres quarters."
"Bella the quarters are still yours despite the body you are 'leasing.'"
"Yeah I guess so." The 'Klingon' shook her golden head it was starting to get confusing. "Just tell me that this body regenerated. Sorry Seven but those alcoves give me the creeps."
"You do not need to fear Lieutenant. That Borg body had regenerated one point five days ago. Once I am in custody of it again I will regenerate. I understand about the Alcoves they are a reminder of what you loath the most." With that the compact body of B'Elanna Torres stormed out of sickbay.
"Seven!" B'Elanna dodged after her. "Wait up." The young woman was surprised just how quickly the body she was in as able to move.
"You can carry out whatever experiment you want with that body . after all it is only that of a Drone."
A combadge beeped. Stunning both women into silence.
"Janeway to Seven of Nine."
Neither woman moved to answer the call.
"Captain Janeway to Seven of Nine."
"That's you." Seven snarled through very sharp Klingon teeth.
B'Elanna sucked in a sharp breath of air. "Seven here."
"Report to my ready room."
"On my way."
"Seven listen " "B'Elanna said.
"The Captain is waiting."
"This isn't finished." The Chief of Engineering snapped.
A moment later the combadge on Seven's tunic chirped. "Torres here," she almost snarled.
"Lieutenant report to my ready room."
"Seven." B'Elanna was almost smirking
Dark eyes glistened "What?"
"Neither one of us is presentable or in Uniform."
"Ah Kah'less on a crutch!" Seven cursed casing the silver ocular implant to rise over the body she was looking at.
"Not bad for you're first attempt at cursing." B'Elanna praised.
"Captain Janeway." A silver meshed hand hit the combadge. "Both I and Lieutenant Torres will " B'Elanna paused trying to think Sevenish "will comply momentarily. Seven out." The chief caused full lips to smirk. "I finally can cut her off without getting in trouble."
On the bridge Captain Kathryn Janeway looked to her first officer. For some reason Chakotay was trying very hard not to laugh. "One day she will learn who is the Captain here." Janeway grumbled. Try as she might the fiery captain could not get the young ex-Borg to comply with protocol.
"You have the bridge Commander." She threw over her shoulder as the redhead moved for her ready room.
"Look Seven I feel the need to shower but um "
"It is merely a vessel." The younger woman offered.
"No it isn't and stop thinking of yourself like that!"
Seven took in a deep death of air. "Bella would you rather be washing my body or washing the vessel that contains your essence?"
"Oh right okay just a vessel right just a vessel."
B'Elanna wondered into the bathroom and stared to methodically to remove the biosuit. She had never seen Seven nude before. In fact the younger woman despite the sheath of cloth that covered her was never seen out of it. 'Wow she has one hell of a body!' B'Elanna whispered to herself. She felt a little ashamed that she was staring at the body being reflected in the mirror. The streamline perfection of muscles blending with the malleable metal of the implants was in truth beautiful. The strips that covered the ex-Borg's abdomen were an almost tribal tattooing. Far more sexier then Chakotay's adornment, B'Elanna decided. Seven had a very long waist, the silver ribbons of mesh followed the lines of Seven's ribcage going upwards toward the ample breasts, as another set created a V going down towards the apex of Seven's very long legs.
"Stop ogling her for Kah'less sake! What kind of p'tahk are you? You're acting like those crew members ."that brought a growl to the throat. "Once I get my hands on them they'll regret their sexiest remarks." B'Elanna navigated Seven's body into the sonic shower, taking the long tresses of golden locks out of the austere bun as she did so.
Jumping in and jumping out of the shower reminded B'Elanna of her very brief stay in the Academy during basic. Get in rinse, soap, rinse get out five minutes tops. Feeling clean B'Elanna moved to the replicator. The young Engineer knew Seven wore the bio-suit to help regulate her extremely finicky body's temperature. However it was the cloth not the style that was the necessity. "Time to integrate you further Seven." B'Elanna muttered as she ordered the attire from the replicator.
A moment latter she exited the bedroom dressed in a Science-blue Starfleet uniform. B'Elanna almost asked for gold but Astrometrics was a science so blue was the color. Besides the blue brought out the color in Seven's eyes. B'Elanna smiled, thinking in two days she could look at Seven from her own eyes.
"You are wearing a uniform." Seven said a little baffled.
"You're quick." Teased the Engineer.
Instead of becoming upset, Seven merely smiled. "Am I to understand that this is your experiment?"
"Yeah. Hey don't worry its made out of the same material as your biosuit "
"Bella it is understandable you are after all a military woman, and a uniform is more fitting then a civilian attire."
"Well " B'Elanna wasn't even aware opened her mouth to say something then closed it. She had absolutely nothing to say to that. Nothing at all.
Seven skirted the compact form of the Klingon around her former body and headed to the sonic shower. With quick efficiency she stripped and ducked in to the stall. She didn't want to look at the mirror. She couldn't. B'Elanna was as the euphemism said forbidden fruit. She didn't want to look in the mirror and remind herself of what she could never have. The image of an unmarred body, of the woman she was in love with. It was bad enough she had to look down at the perfectly proportioned caramel body of tight muscles without the added temptation to look at the extraordinary beauty of deep dark brown eyes.
"You dishonor her by gazing at this body without her knowledge. She would find it detestable if she knew. It is just a vessel only a vessel holding my conscious. That's all." Seven admonished herself.
Fifteen minutes later the bodies of Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres strode purposely to the Captain's ready room. A caramel skinned body was about to walk directly into the room when a silver meshed hand stopped her.
Whispering the sliver tones of an ex-Borg B'Elanna said. "You just can't walk in there like that."
"The Captain summoned us. She is expecting us. We are to appear before her."
"Sev she isn't the frigging Borg Queen. You don't have to bow and scrape to her."
"Drones do not bow and scrape to the Queen they do as they are told without question."
"Yeah, real nice lifestyle slaves no will of your own," growled the young Engineer.
Seven considered the words of B'Elanna with a frown. It never occurred to her that she had to ring the chime before entering a room. If she was summoned she went and did as she was told to do. No questions you just did it. It was one of the most difficult things Seven had to overcome when regaining her humanity. When she was expected to be independent, she felt lost because it seemed that independence only went so far. In fact Seven was very lost in the conundrum of what was expected of her.
That thought similarly reflected in B'Elanna's mind. Seven didn't follow Starfleet protocol because having given orders to do something, it would be inefficient to stop and inform another of said orders. Just like walking into a room she was called to. A child did the same B'Elanna thought of Spike. You call the girl into the room she just appeared, she didn't knock or announce her presence she just came. Both the child and Seven simply carried out an order without stopping to discuss them with another. In understanding that, B'Elanna looked upon the ex-Borg in a new light. It wasn't arrogance; Seven was simply complying with the last order she was given. Like Samantha said tact and etiquette were learned behaviors.
"It is polite Seven." B'Elanna said informing the young woman. "Alright. Besides you're in my body that body announces its presence."
"I will comply." Seven said then smirked.
Janeway heard the chirping of the door, and thought it had to be her Chief Engineer after all Seven would just walk right in without so much as a how-do-you-do. Coffee cup in hand the Captain moved to her desk holding a data PADD in the other hand. "Enter." She said. She was mildly surprised to see both young women enter.
She looked at the PADD now resting on the desk she gave a brief look to B'Elanna and Seven. The statuesque blonde was standing with feet shoulder width apart with her arms folded defensively over her chest, while B'Elanna stood ramrod straight at a classic at ease stance that not even the most strict of drill instructors at the Academy could find fault with. Janeway did a double take and found the stance now to be reversed. Giving a dubious look to her coffee mug, Janeway put it at the other end of her desk as if it was a viper. 'I definitely can use a real night's sleep for a moment I thought oh never mind what I thought maybe it was just the coffee '
Seven was standing well like Seven. B'Elanna was standing in her slightly permissible defiance.
"Ladies I called you here for two reasons. One I heard about the exchange that happened in Engineering yesterday." Before either one could offer a protest, Janeway held up a hand. "I know that disciplinary action was carried out by Commander Chakotay thought he didn't say what as far as I am concerned, that is the end of it. Seven I know I asked you to help in Engineering, but I need those reports from Astrophysics. Icheb isn't as efficient as you are, though the boy tries."
No one said a word. Then the body of B'Elanna seemed to nudge the tall blonde.
"Of course Captain. However I am not finished in engineering, the Lieutenant requires my help." Blue eyes looked down to dark brown searching for confirmation.
"Yes. I do. Much as I hate to admit, I can use Seven's help. For two more days."
The captain rubbed the bridge of her nose then looked at her two respected officers.
"All right. But Seven I need those reports. Take half the duty shift to gather the information on the next section of space, and then report to B'Elanna. Will that suffice Lieutenant?"
"No." The answer was abrupt. So abrupt that both the Captain and the eyes of Seven of Nine looked at the diminutive Engineer.
"Lieutenant?" The voice of Janeway dropped her grey-blue eyes took on a force ten glare.
"Sorry Captain but with priorities, she is needed in Engineering we are close to the modifications and trusting them "
Janeway relented. "I need those reports as soon as possible Seven. If you're still needed in Engineering fine but you will need to pull a double shift understood?"
"I will comply." The monotone voice answered. B'Elanna thought the Captain's desire for the reports a little extreme. In two days, Seven would be back in Astrometrics and she could have an entire library of data PADDs if she'd wait. What was so important about the next section of space anyway that couldn't wait two days?
The Klingon smirked in hearing the almost catch phrase of the ex-Borg.
Kathryn nodded her approval. "I received your reports on the Warpcore modifications with the condensed dilithium that you found Seven. You said in the report that we can increase our reserves by 3.456 %?"
B'Elanna thanked the stars she had read Seven's report that coincided with her own of course the Ice Queen's numeral increase was more precise, still the Chief felt confident she could answer the Captain's questions. "Correct." Clipped, cool and monotone. 'I am getting this Seven thing down and it will get me out of this room and back into my Engine Room.'
"Lieutenant I am impressed with the work you've already done, if you have nothing else to add then I'll let you get back to Engineering. Your ideas and Seven's combined not only will we increase our reserves but cut of ten light-years from our journey. Carry on."
"Yes ma'am." The brunette nodded her head. Seven felt it must be a dismissal and started for the door of the Ready-room but stopped when she didn't see that she was being followed. Then she saw why. The Captain had a hand on well her body
It was strange indeed to see her body outside of herself. It was stranger yet that the Captain obviously did not realize that she was not restraining her pupil but the Chief Engineer. "I need to talk to Seven alone. Dismissed Lieutenant."
Both women gave an apologetic expression to one another as they parted company.
Chakotay smiled as he saw the compact form of B'Elanna Torres storm for the turbo lift. He could tell by the fact Janeway hadn't summoned him into her Ready-Room that the two women were adhering to the restrictions he had placed upon them.
B'Elanna hadn't moved from her spot as she watched her body with Seven's mind go out the door.
"So." Kathryn smiled as she maneuvered her protégée to the upper level of her Ready-room. "Do you want to tell me what happened in Engineering?"
"Not especially." B'Elanna was still a little embarrassed that Seven had so easily picked her up by the front of her tunic without so much as batting an eyelash.
"Seven " Janeway smiled warmly her grey-blue eyes shining. "I know that Lanna can be a little 'volatile' but Engineering is her baby I know that all Engineers think that the ship belongs to them that the Captain merely sits on the bridge commanding her. And she is half Klingon so she is going to be territorial. Try to appreciate that."
B'Elanna was flabbergasted at the Captain's words. She had no idea Janeway understood her so well. "And you have a temper all your own Seven." To soften the judgment Janeway touched Seven gently upon her cheek. "I am very disappointed to hear that you accosted one of my officers like you did. I am not going to punish you Seven, Chakotay had seen to that. But Never Again will you do that, understood."
"Yes ma'am." B'Elanna said automatically.
Janeway frowned. Seven never called her ma'am. It had never crossed her lips.
"Seven? Are you okay?"
"Yeah I am fine..." 'Okay that was so not Seven figures Janeway would pick up on it.'
"Attempting to use more human speech patterns. Have I performed them incorrectly?"
"No. Actually you said everything right almost too perfectly."
A silver implant went up. Janeway relaxed when she saw her Seven perform the familiar expression.
"Want to tell me why you are dressed in Science blue?"
"I am head of Astrometrics which is a precise Science. The color of the uniform is correct."
"Seven, I am also a scientist I wore blue before I wore the red." Kathryn patted Seven's arm. "But why are you wearing it?"
"I no longer wish to be singled out. There are members of the Maquis who wear Starfleet uniforms and have not joined Starfleet officially. Case in point the Chief of Engineering is not truly a Starfleet member nor is the First Officer. Am I or am I not a member of the crew?"
"Of course you're a member of the crew." Kathryn smiled. "Just that I didn't expect you in uniform. But what about your need to regulate your body temperature?"
"This is made out of the same material was the bio-suits."
"Clever " Katherine approved. "I'll have to admit Seven those biosuits are a little distracting. I always thought that the Doctor had an alternative motive for putting you in them." Janeway stood up and flashed warming smile. "Not that you didn't look attractive in them but I'd rather not have crew members leering at you."
'Yeah you're not the only one Janeway.' B'Elanna thought. What the voice of Seven said was, "Indeed."
"Seven, how about dinner tonight?"
"I " B'Elanna blinked what would Seven say? 'Of course here is a great opportunity to get more dirt on but I don't want dirt on her just curious as to what makes her tick "will comply."
'I am sorry B'Elanna that you must comply with what the Captain wants of "me." But I shall make it up to you.'
Seven walked without thinking almost automatically to Astrometrics before she stopped and turned around headed for the Engine Room.
It was there near the doors of Engineering she collided with Tom Paris. In her best mimic of B'Elanna, Seven snarled. "What do you want TOM."
"Look Lanna " The blonde pilot smiled his best come hither boyish charm smile. "I can explain what that Barbie-Borg-Bimbot thought she saw."
Tom winced as he saw his girlfriend cross her arms in front of her chest. "Indeed."
"Look I was discussing things with Megan Delaney how she could get Harry to loosen up. I mean she's dating him right? And Seven thought she saw me kissing Megan she just gave me a peck on the cheek." Tom smiled Lanna had to believe him over the Ice Queen. "Hey I think the drone was just you know peeking at me and trying to do her research again on relationships." Paris knew that Lanna hated the fact that Seven had made a study out of him before. She was down right jealous that Seven had chosen him to study and what wasn't to be jealous of? Perhaps all he had to do was point the fiery Klingon anger in the right direction. "She's only trying to soil my good name."
"You can not tarnish a rusty blade."
"How stupid do you think I am .Tom?"
"You heard what I said p'tahk. B'Elanna Torres is not a fool! Do you really believe that your lies would be believed? You have dishonored the agreement."
"Me!? You said we needed to take a break."
"Yes. To think things over. That was what was agreed upon I believe. And you go 'fucking around'? What hologram females don't do it for you? Not getting enough from Queen Arachnia that you now have to "
"Look Lanna " Tom snapped. "You wanted a break that doesn't mean that I and so what if I was with Megan ."
"You will not hurt her!" Came a snarl
"Hurt? Hurt who?"
Seven snapped. The helmrat had the most desirable woman in the entire quadrant and he wasn't honoring her, as he should. Tom for the second time in as much as fourteen hours went arse over teakettle as he was back fisted. Stunned Tom blinked as blood started to freely flow from his nose and mouth. He knew his jaw had been broken.
"Know this helmrat in two days I will not be so lenient."
Tom Paris blacked out.
That was when the lean body of Seven of Nine rounded the corner.
"What the hell happened here?" Blue eyes rested upon the form of a maddened Klingon.
"He dishonored you." Seven said suddenly. "I ask your forgiveness Bella but I allowed my anger to overwhelm me. I struck him."
"Yeah I see that." B'Elanna said looking at the prone form of her former boyfriend
She looked to see a very strange expression upon her face. Yep still odd to see one's own face express things and you're not in your skin to do it. "Sev? What is it?"
"An odd sensation with your cardiovascular system."
A sliver laugh rang out. "Twin hearts Seven. Klingons have two hearts three lungs you know redundant organs."
"Actually it is very practical for a warrior race. The design is more than efficient. Human physiology is flawed in this respect."
B'Elanna smiled thinking it charming that Seven thought her an effective model of life.
"So you said he dishonored 'me' let me guess you told you about what happened last night?"
"I believe he was attempting to. But I hit him"
"Good for you. Or me." B'Elanna smirked. "We have to figure out what we should do with him."
"Do you have a Klingon disruptor?" Seven asked in perfect deadpan seriousness.
"Yes I do. My mother's but I don't think we could fire it."
"A phaser set on stun at close range would terminate him." Seven said in utter seriousness. "If he is a rat he should be exterminated before he causes a plague aboard the ship."
"Seven why are you all of a sudden so gung-ho about killing him?" B'Elanna asked very much aware of Seven's literal take on the world.
Dark eyes looked down to the floor. "He has as I said dishonored you. He admitted to me or rather "you" that he broke the agreement of your 'Break". He was with Megan Delaney last night "
"I know I ran into him as he was leaving the Delaney quarters." B'Elanna said. "So is that why you hit him?"
"Yes. He hurt you. That is unacceptable. I I " Seven stopped herself before she finished her sentence. "He had broken the honor of the agreement with you. I was merely responding."
B'Elanna thought of Samantha's admission that Seven of Nine was in love with her. It was no wonder Seven lost her temper, and shattered the human male's jaw. Or more to the point had this protectiveness when it concerned the young Engineer.
"Seven we can't kill him. But the thought of assimilating him comes to mind."
"No!" Seven blanched "I don't want my tubules anywhere near that body It will contaminate me er my body. Whatever he touches he contaminates."
B'Elanna scowled. She would have laughed had it not been for the last comment that stuck in her mind. "Are you saying I am contaminated?"
"I did not say that."
"Yes you did!"
"No I did not."
"You don't want your body to touch him because you think he is a contaminate. Well my body touched him " for a moment the face of Seven of Nine went green. "So you are saying I am contaminated."
Seven stared. She watched as her body took on the famous pose of the young hybrid and the blue eyes glaring in red rage. The expression was so utterly B'Elanna that just for a moment, Seven believed she was looking at the Engineer and not her own body.
Taking in a breath and steadying her jaw, Seven actually pushed her own body back.
B'Elanna growled and shoved the compact body away from her. "Now listen to me " She snarled.
"No you listen." Seven cut her off. "I would not have inferred that you are a contagion. Maybe if you simply took a moment to hear what I say rather then adding your own definitions to what I say, you'd hear what I say."
"What?" B'Elanna blinked.
"That body had extremely acute hearing. I suggest you use it."
At that moment Tom Paris chose to wake up. He groaned and tried to sit up.
"Yoth...it ee yoth bith " he cupped his blooded nose and mouth.
"You deserved to be hit." Both females cursed.
Two sets of eyes looked to one another. Two pair of lips curled into a smile.
Tom staggered to unsteady feet. He watched as his ex-girlfriend approached him looking very much like a predator. "You know perhaps assimilating him is not a bad idea after all. He would be compliant then a 'mindless drone'."
"It would not be difficult. After all, this individual had been given permission on several occasions to do so. I believe the exact wording was 'She can assimilate me anytime.' Lieutenant does this constitute as anytime?" A silver implant rose.
"I believe so." Caramel arms folded over a petite frame.
"I' yellin th 'aptain !" Tom wanted to scream but his broken jaw was mind-numbingly painful thus prohibiting such an outburst.
"Tell her what?" The voice of B'Elanna clipped out coldly. "That you are so clumsy as to walk into a bulk head?"
"Are you aware of the position you are in?" The icy tones of Seven of Nine asked as a silver mesh hand flexed. "You have given your permission on several occasions to be assimilated. As you know this ex-Borg takes things very literal "
Tom stared disbelieving as he heard his ex-girlfriend say: "Seven of Nine would simply be complying with that request."
"Tik got runk olo-rogam..mal-unctiond."
"Good idea Tom." Sharp Klingon teeth pulled back into a smile.
"Intoxication while running a Holodeck program with the safeties off is most unwise." This came from the statuesque blonde. "However you being a medic I am positive that you can repair any damage done to your body without alerting the EMH to your failing to adhere to parameters. It is also fortunate that you have a med kit in your quarters to attend those needs so that you need not report to Sickbay."
Tom knew Borg blackmail when he heard it. Seven's carefully phrased words could never be taken as a threat, she was too cleaver for that. But the hint was there nonetheless. He nodded and managed to stay on his feet. It was true he did have a medkit in his quarters. He had taken it there when he had started to date B'Elanna always thinking she would be a little rough when they got physical. A bone-knitter and a dermal regenerator had taken care of a more then a few abrasions and bruises.
"Neth ime I'm yelling th Cap'an." Tom scowled trying to sound forceful despite his nasally whine.
"Next time perhaps you will use more discretion." Both women said in time.
"Computer initiate site to site transport of Tom Paris to Paris quarters." The order came from the tall blonde. "Command Alpha-theta theta-Seven of Nine.
There was a shimmer of light and the helmrat vanished.
"Do you think he will inform the captain?" Seven asked a little worried.
"No. His ego is too big. But we better watch it for a while. Paris can be pretty petty about things he'll want revenge."
"He is not entitled to it." Seven said seriously. "He was not the one wronged."
B'Elanna chuckled. "Yeah well entitled or not the helmrat will try to pull something. Just keep your eyes . open."
"Don't you mean your eyes?"
"That's what I said." Blue orbs narrowed into a frown. Then full lips pulled back into a smile. "Right " B'Elanna snickered. "I got'cha. Our eyes then."
"I concur." Seven nodded as she smiled back.
To say that seeing Seven of Nine dressed in Science blue gained attention was something of an understatement. There was not a pair of eyes that didn't follow the tall blonde as she walked side by side with their Chief when the two entered Engineering. Carey, Chell, Chapman, Nicoletti even Vorik could not help but stare at the transformation of the ex-Borg.
B'Elanna privately smirked at her coup. And couldn't wait to test it with the rest of the ships complement. The only two people she truly carried about approving was the soul whose body she was currently inhabiting and the Captain. Both women had agreed with her experiment.
Kathryn Janeway technically had three hours before she was officially on shift. And that was only because she had placed herself on the duty roster. This was her day off, but she wanted to take the time to integrate herself in the larger projects on the ships. That meant she'd take a detour into Engineering. Of course there was an alternative reason as to why she would go into the Engine Room.
She was a little concerned for her Chief of Engineering. A lot had happened to one of the souls she cared deeply for in the last several months. Captain and friend she would address that. Granted now wasn't the most appropriate time for such an encounter, still Janeway did not feel comfortable in allowing the issue to go unresolved.
"Lieutenant, Can I have a moment your time." The captain said as she came near both Seven and the Chief.
She missed the exchange of glances between the younger women as she had headed off to the Lieutenant's office. Then over her shoulder she addressed Seven of Nine. "Seven, I need those Astrometrics reports as soon as possible. As soon as you're through here report to your Department."
"I will comply." B'Elanna answered in a cool note. She was a little uneasy that she wasn't going to be included in the meeting with the Captain. Not out of personal reasons but she was head of this department and if it was about Engineering she would have to know. She debated on telling the Captain of the truth about their switched bodies. But there was something in the body language of the redheaded captain that made her pause. What ever Janeway wanted to talk about it didn't seem to be of dire importance. So the young half-Klingon let it go.
"Captain, something wrong?" Seven took the patented Torres stance with arms crossed in front of her chest. "I haven't 'damaged' the Borg "
"Lanna." The softness in Kathryn's voice started the younger woman out of her reserve.
"Please, it's just you and me in here. Not Captain and Lieutenant. It's Kathryn and B'Elanna I know you hate it when people make a fuss over you. I am a little concerned about what happened yesterday in here and I know that you were reacting to something else."
"Captain Kathryn I don't mean to be rude but what is the point of this conversation?"
"You." Kathryn sighed heavily. "When you and Paris first started a relationship I was worried, because I knew the boy's reputation. As a captain I wouldn't interfere with the personal lives of my crew but "
"So now you think you can?" Seven said with a little more bite then she meant to.
"But I know you." Kathryn said with an extraordinary amount of patience. B'Elanna was reacting just as she thought she would. Angry. "You'll bury this so far down that you'll become self-destructive just so you can feel anything."
"I talking about it is not easy." Seven said quietly. It was the truth she could not speak of the subject of the break-up between her B'Elanna (her B'Elanna?) and the helmrat with any amount of ease. One she had so little facts to give an accurate discourse and second she was regretful that B'Elanna was damaged but it, though not regretful that the affair was at an end.
"I know." Janeway squeezed her shoulder. "And I am not ordering you to tell me anything. I am not the ships counsellor, so I can't comment on your personal life but I am a friend. And you can confide in me"
"Yes I know." Seven made wine red lips smile slowly. "You were there after the incident of the Barge of the Dead. So may other times as well. Thanks." Seven shifted her weight on her feet. She had prayed to Omega that she had phrased things the way Bella would. She also felt a little shamed that the Captain was here out of sheer friendship trying to help Bella but the soul she wanted to comfort was not present.
For her part Janeway read the unease in which her Chief was reacting. Predictable B'Elanna skirt away from the personal, dive into work and react to situations with a quick burning fuse. "Lanna I wanted to tell you that you've come a very long way from the angry young woman I first met. And no starship captain has ever had a better Chief of Engineering not even Scotty "Miracle Worker" Montgomery can touch your talents. I am so proud of you, regardless what else is going on in your private life, you remember that. Helmrats aren't worth a lot of thought." With that Kathryn smiled.
'B'Elanna should hear this not I.'
"I thought you should know you have more support then you might have thought. I know you trust Chakotay more than me "
'Not at the moment. I think I can safely speak for B'Elanna that subject'.
"I trust you Kathryn. Perhaps more than you think I do. But this I just want to get over it." 'I can't talk to you about this! This isn't me. Bella needs your support Kathryn not me' "Thank you for trying. Maybe in a couple of days I'll feel more like...myself and can talk about this. Right now I am needed out there."
"B'Elanna has anyone ever told you that you are a workaholic?" Kathryn softly chuckled.
"And the ship's captain has room to speak on this?" Seven smirked. "Now really I have to get back out there."
"Concerned that our little ex-Borg will assimilate the engine room?"
"Something like that."
"That's the other thing." Janeway wrapped her arm around the muscular body of the young Klingon. "Thank you for not tearing her head off. I know you can become a little territorial in your engine room, and Seven can be so difficult sometimes."
"Well if you can put up with her so can I." There was a sharp fanged smile. 'You, Bella and the Borg Queen have all said the same thing this is cause for thought.'
"Well I think you do more then 'put up' with her Lanna.' After what you told me that night about unattainable attractive blue eyed blondes somehow I didn't believe you were speaking of Tom Paris."
Seven only stared.
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