Fear and Loathing in a Turbolift
Muffled screams and curses could be heard echoing down the turbolift shaft; the names of several deities being taken in vain. A thud resounded and the deck plating in Engineering quaked in sympathy and fear.
"Attacking the turbolift with a hammer or other blunt object is highly unlikely to produce productive results," was Seven's appraisal.
"Better the turbolift than the back of someone's skull," B'Elanna responded.
Seven gave a slight bow of the head in acquiescence. "You have a point."
A second thud was felt, quickly followed by a scream of such pitch and duration that even Tuvok sighed with relief at its gurgled end.
"Screaming accomplishes nothing."
It was B'Elanna's turn to nod in agreement.
A new string of invectives shattered the momentary peace.
"That is not anatomically possible."
"Sounds kinda painful, too."
More words resounded.
"Now that, I've done," B'Elanna confided, her smirk falling at the look of wounded jealousy on Seven's face. "It was years ago, before I met you."
"I do not wish to discuss the matter."
"I was drunk," B'Elanna insisted, "and I'd never seen a set of Puluvian twins before."
"I do not wish to know."
"I'd have been laughed out of the Academy if I hadn't at least tried to find out if the rumours about their flexibility were true." The icy storm she could see brewing in Seven's eyes told B'Elanna that she really should have heeded her lover's advice and kept quiet. "Sorry."
A third thud forced B'Elanna to her knees.
Seven carefully knelt beside her. "I believe it may be time to release them from captivity."
B'Elanna peered through the open doors and into the turbolift shaft, the murky lighting just allowing her to see the tiny capsule beneath. "Another ten minutes?" she asked, her eyes pleading.
A loud gasp of triumph, mixed with a whimper of relief, issued from the turbolift below; both quickly submerged beneath the bleating of the red alert klaxon. The sound of rapidly stampeding feet swiftly joined the siren, only to find the rhythm reduced to a staccato, when Seven activated her remote unit and switched off the internal sensors, that were routed through the bulkhead adjacent to the turbo-shaft; thus silencing the alert.
"I thought she'd have cracked that an hour ago," said B'Elanna. "I think she's slipping."
"I disagree." Seven disassembled the remote unit and handed the pilfered parts back to B'Elanna. "Captain Janeway is operating under extreme duress and with a viable handicap. In such circumstances her tardiness is within expected parameters."
"I still think she's slipping."
The alacrity with which the captain had agreed to Seven's invitation, and her inability to foresee the trap that had been set in place, had made the former Borg question her mental faculties. But B'Elanna herself had stated that she lost all reasoning and objective thought the second they touched, so she could hardly expect Janeway to behave in a more rational manner when she was under the misconception that she was finally being given her chance to more than touch the former Borg.
A fainter series of thuds sounded from below, signifying the 'head against the wall' portion of the evening.
B'Elanna winced. "I do kinda feel sorry for her."
Seven raised a brow.
"All she's really guilty of is loving you." It was a feeling B'Elanna knew all too well and one that was almost impossible to fight. "It's not her fault you don't feel the same."
"It is not her feelings that are at fault." Seven couldn't believe that B'Elanna, of all people, was defending the woman; when three days earlier it had taken every ounce of strength Seven possessed to stop her from tearing Kathryn limb from limb. "It is her actions."
"Yeah, but . . ."
"Do I need to remind you, once again, of exactly what transpired in our quarters three days ago?"
B'Elanna's knuckles turned white and her breathing became laboured as a hot cauldron of fury began to boil in her stomach. "Don't," she begged, unsure that she could withstand a second glimpse at her own fiery jealousy. "You're right. She deserves what she gets."
Illegally tampering with the ship's transporters and insinuating herself in Seven's bed, on a night when she had made sure B'Elanna would be busy, had been the first of Kathryn's crimes. Arriving nude, with nothing but a rose and bottle of Champagne to cover her dignity, had been her second. But the final nail in the Captain's coffin had been her slightly inebriated attempt to charm and beguile a stunned Seven of Nine the second she stepped out of her sonic shower.
Arriving unexpectedly, B'Elanna had been shocked and appalled to discover her lover and her captain ensconced in their bedroom, totally naked and, from the looks of things, equally aroused. The second or two it took for B'Elanna to realise that Seven's arousal was actually cold, hard fury, were two of the longest and most painful seconds of her life. At the end of them Janeway had found herself unceremoniously thrown out on her rear, and Seven comforted in the arms of the woman she loved.
"I am slightly worried about Commander Chakotay."
"Don't be." B'Elanna might have pitied Janeway's unrequited love, but she had no sympathy for Chakotay's need to brag. His comments regarding his extremely brief relationship with Seven had been both un-gentlemanly and obscene. She only wished she'd been the one to punch his lights out, although she'd been very grateful to her ex-husband for doing the honours. "He's getting off lightly."
A new scream tore through the air; the accompanying thuds, reminiscent but slightly louder than the previous barrage, a sure sign that Kathryn had tired of slamming her own head against the wall, and was now using the Commander's skull to create the effect.
"Perhaps we went a bit far?" B'Elanna queried.
"The punishment is commensurate with the crime."
B'Elanna took hold of Seven's hand, their fingers intertwined, as she peered further into the turbolift shaft. It was ironic, really, that the site of so many of their early encounters, was now also the site of Kathryn and Chakotay's ultimate punishment.
"I still think piping in romantic music and threatening to keep them there until they agreed to get married, was taking things too far. But at least next time they'll think twice before trying to split us up."
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