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CHALLENGE RESPONSE: To challenge SFC#12.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Diamonds and Tears
Seven returned to Astrometrics after consuming her evening nutritional supplement alone in the mess hall. With nothing else to do and no friends available to spend her free time with, she had decided to spend the evening, before regeneration, upgrading the power conduits for the Astrometrics viewscreen. Knowing that the calculations required would take up several hours of her time she entered Astrometrics on autopilot and headed towards the secondary console to begin inputting her calculations.
As she waited on the computer to return her results Seven turned suddenly and peered into the farthest corner of the lab. On entering Astrometrics she had noticed something out of place but had dismissed it as insignificant and irrelevant to her theories, but now that she had time to actually think about what she'd seen, she decided to investigate it.
Her long stride carried her to the other end of the lab in a matter of moments, where she stooped to pick up the offending object. A book. An actual paper copy of a novel. Its pages were worn and marked obviously by countless turnings of the pages. The slightly musky smell of decades' old paper reached her nostrils as Seven straightened and read the title of the book. 'Diamonds and Tears.' Reading the back cover she discovered it was described as 'A gripping romance novel set in early 1920's England, capturing the essence of rural England's aristocracy and the tangled love affairs of the upper class gentry.'
Flicking open the book Seven read from the first page she landed on. 'The dark haired young man slid his arms around the young blonde female and gently ensconced her in his arms. Lowering his head to gently graze her lips with his, he whispered 'I love you' before tenderly kissing her full on the mouth. The unbridled passion which had been building since before the wedding ceremony was finally given free reign as their love and lust consumed them.'
Sighing gently, she closed her eyes and pictured the scene. Seven raised her eyebrow at the unbidden images dancing behind her eyes. In place of the dark haired male, her mind's eye had an altogether different image of who was doing the kissing. Blushing furiously at the thought of that person getting close enough to actually share kisses with her she could only shake her head in wonder at the extravagant nature of the writing.
The Collective had deemed romance irrelevant and had discarded all knowledge of it from the races they had assimilated therefore Seven's knowledge of the topic was severely lacking. The only data a drone required regarding the subject was whether the race would produce strong healthy bodies which would add to the Collective's strength.
The sudden whoosh of the lab doors opening startled her into opening her eyes hurriedly; dropping the book at the base of her console and shoving it out of sight with her foot she turned to greet her visitor.
Blushing again at the unbidden thoughts of passion and perfection described in the book and desperately trying not to relate them to the woman standing in front of her Seven spoke quietly. "Good evening Lieutenant."
Nodding in Seven's direction Torres headed over to the main console and laid her toolkit on the floor beside it. Noticing the computer running a complicated looking computation she turned to Seven and queried. "Does this have much longer to run? I need to take apart the console to upgrade the converter."
"It will be finished in 2.374 minutes Lieutenant. Why does my console need to be taken apart? It is not malfunctioning."
"It will if I have to keep supplying you with additional power for that damned screen of yours. The converter will blow before much longer so I want it replaced before it happens."
"You could have assigned the task to me Lieutenant rather than having to complete it yourself on your evening off."
"And have you 'upgrade' my design and integrate even more Borg technology into my ship before I can blink? Not a chance Blondie!" The unintentional use of a moniker floored both of them. B'Elanna blushed to the roots of her hair while Seven's ocular implant attempted to leave her forehead altogether.
"Blondie?" Seven ground out. "Is this another nickname you have for me? I thought you preferred Ice Princess or Barbie Borg?"
Desperately trying to regain control B'Elanna shrugged. "Yeah, well, those two are getting kinda old now, so I thought I'd try out a new insult for you. Like it?"
"No." Seven had retreated to the secondary console to complete the computations and close down the programme she was running to allow the lieutenant to work on the main console. Stubbing her toe on the book she'd previously hidden there she frowned as she looked down at the offending item, romance was certainly different to real life.
Noticing the frown and the downward glance Torres followed the gaze downwards and spotted the novel. Sauntering over to the other console she grinned like a predator about to snack on lunch. "Whatcha hiding there Seven?"
"I am not hiding anything." Seven retorted.
"So what's that at your feet then?" She nodded, indicating the book.
"I can see that. I didn't think you were into reading books Seven. I took you more for instruction manuals and star charts." B'Elanna leaned over swiftly and retrieved the novel before Seven could stop her. "Diamonds and Tears?"
"Apparently." Seven acknowledge the title. "I found it earlier when I entered the lab. I presume it belongs to Tal Celes."
"A likely story Seven! What's it about?"
"I do not know. I have only read one brief paragraph from it. I have no idea what the story is about."
Scanning the back of the book cover for a brief description of the contents B'Elanna grinned as she read 'A gripping romance novel set in early 1920's England, capturing the essence of rural England's aristocracy and the tangled love affairs of the upper class gentry.' "You're into romance?"
"As I have already stated Lieutenant, the book is not mine. Regardless of ownership of the book, why are you surprised at the thought of me being "into romance" as you so eloquently put it?"
"All work, no play makes Seven a dull Borg. Somehow, the words Seven and romance in the same sentence don't really fit together."
"I could be very romantic Lieutenant." Seven smirked at her next comment. "You have never socialised with me to know how I behave when I am off duty or how I behave in romantic situations."
"That I would love to see!" B'Elanna blurted out before she thought about what she was saying. "Seven in a romantic setting behaving like a normal human female."
"Are you asking me on a date Lieutenant?" Seven tried not to sound too keen on the idea as she started towards the exit.
"What? No. I didn't mean with me. I meant that I would like to see you behave less Borg-like and more human. I wasn't asking you out." B'Elanna retracted her words whilst blushing again.
"A pity Lieutenant. I would have agreed quite readily if you had." Seven replied as she walked out of the lab.
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