DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. I'm just borrowing them for a bit. When I'm done I'll put them back right where I found them, honest. No ex-drones or human/klingon hybrids were harmed in the writing of this fan fic.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

I Quit
By Sparx

Part 1

"Ok then. I quit." B'Elanna shouted.

"What do you mean you quit?" Janeway grated with a force ten glare.

"I mean, I QUIT!" B'Elanna shouted back with even more force, then abruptly spun and left the room.

The day had started normally enough. Their assignments for the day were not difficult ones. The most difficult job was a series of diagnostics. The rest was minor repairs and a few low priority upgrades. Voyager was, for once, running smoothly and the part of space they were traveling through was rich in foodstuffs and raw materials, but lacking in warp capable species. It was peaceful for a change and until they cleared the sector, was likely to stay that way.

Then Seven had decided to take care of a few astrometrics upgrades. The fact that she had simply walked into engineering and begun work had sparked this latest confrontation.

It was the usual fight with the usual result. Both woman were standing in front of the Captains desk in her ready room. Seven stood in her usual pose, while B'Elanna looked one step away from smashing something.

B'Elanna had ordered Seven out of engineering. Seven had refused. The captain had learned of the altercation and now the two were in Janeway's ready room.

"She's ill mannered and rude." B'Elanna complained. "She just strolled in and accessed the controls without any of the proper permissions or protocols. We were in the middle of a diagnostic and had to restart it when she disrupted the power flow."

"The test was irrelevant. It was a routine diagnostic." Seven interjected flatly.

B'Elanna rounded on Seven. "It was relevant. I'm in charge of engineering and I ordered the test. You totally undermined my authority and you ruined five hours of work. If you had simply asked for permission this wouldn't have happened."

"You would have refused." Seven said with conviction.

"I would NOT have refused. I would have told you to wait for ten minutes until the diagnostic was complete. Instead..."

Janeway put a hand up for silence before B'Elanna could continue. She didn't need to hear it to know what the hybrids response would be.

"Seven you know you can't just walk into someone else's department and do what you want. There is such a thing as chain of command." Janeway told her.

"That is inefficient." Seven stated.

Seeing the look on B'Elanna's face Janeway said. "B'Elanna why don't you wait outside while I talk to Seven." With a low growl B'Elanna stalked through the door.

A few minutes later Seven calmly walked through the ready room door past B'Elanna and began to work at the nearby science station. B'Elanna didn't even wait for the door to close before she was through it and glaring at the captain.

"You were eavesdropping." Janeway observed, as she saw the look on B'Elanna's face. She rubbed her temples absently with her fingers. "Seven will complete her upgrades, then you can do your diagnostic."

"No, she won't." B'Elanna sneered. "She was out of line. I will not stand by and see her simply get away with this insubordination."

"Seven needs patience. You know...." Janeway began.

"No, she doesn't and you know it." B'Elanna interrupted. "She may not know how to deal with people, but she does understand structure and protocol. You keep cutting her slack and expecting the rest of us to bend over backwards to help her."

"Well Seven is new to working in a ..." Janeway tried again but B'Elanna was having none of that.

"Excuse me, can you say Borg?" the hybrid growled. "She's more than used to following orders and working within a set structure. You're the one who seems to think that encouraging her individuality also has to include encouraging her arrogance. She'll never learn anything about humanity as long as you keep coddling her."

"B'Elanna you are out of line. You have your orders." Janeway grated with a force ten glare. She failed to notice that B'Elanna wasn't the least bit intimidated. "As a starfleet officer..."

"You seem to forget that I'm not a starfleet officer. I'm not going to play this stupid game anymore, Kathryn." B'Elanna shouted. "I've taken a lot from you for the sake of getting along and getting us and this ship home." With a glare of her own, B'Elanna continued. "I will run my department as I see fit. I will not have you interfering any more."

"You may not be a member of starfleet but you are on a starfleet vessel. As long as you have the responsibilities of a starfleet officer, I expect you to act like a starfleet officer." Janeway burst out.

"Ok then. I quit." B'Elanna shouted.

"What do you mean you quit?" Janeway asked incredulous.

"I mean, I QUIT!" B'Elanna shouted back with even more force, then abruptly spun and left the room.

Seven who had by virtue of her enhanced hearing, heard everything, said nothing as B'Elanna stormed out of the ready room, across the bridge and onto the elevator.

When her shift ended, she went looking for the small engineer.

She found B'Elanna sitting at a small table near the windows in the empty mess hall, slowly sipping a cup of Neelix's version of tea. It was not quite time for the dinner rush and with Neelix in the back preparing the meal, they had the large dining area to themselves.

"You resigned your position because of me." she stated as much as asked. She was surprised to see a lack of hostility on the normally fierce woman's face.

Indicating the chair opposite, B'Elanna nodded pointedly and waited for Seven to sit. "You were the catalyst, not the cause." she said with a steady look.

"Explain." Seven demanded leaning slightly forward in the chair.

"This is Kathryn's ship and I respect that. What she fails to respect is the fact that I am not a starfleet officer. She expects me and the other Maquis to behave and act like the rest of the crew. For the most part we do and that's fine with me. We need to get along, or getting home is just going to be that much more difficult." B'Elanna said.

"I do not act like the rest of the crew. I do not 'get along'" Seven stated.

"No you don't." B'Elanna agreed, "but that's not the problem. The problem comes when Janeway decides that you deserve special treatment."

"I do not understand. You told the captain that she coddles me. I do not seek to be coddled." Seven stated flatly. She may not understand everything about human behavior but even she knew that receiving preferential treatment would only serve to emphasize her lack of human qualities and set her further apart from the rest of the crew.

"Well you are." B'Elanna answered bluntly. "She is so caught up in her role as mentor to you, she forgets that you have to 'grow up' sometime."

Seven looked at her folded hands for a long moment. "Is that why you hate me so much?" she questioned quietly refusing to meet the dark eyes of the woman seated across from her.

The instant Seven had stood before her table in the mess hall B'Elanna had expected that or a similar question. She had always been antagonistic towards the blond. Now she had nothing to lose. When she'd walked out of the Captain's ready room that morning it had been like a weight lifting from her shoulders. No matter the outcome of this mornings events there would be no more hiding.

"I don't hate you!" B'Elanna stated with emphasis.

Seven's head shot up and B'Elanna had no trouble reading the skepticism on the normally passive face. Taking a deep breath B'Elanna made a decision. She'd faced the captain this morning, now it was time to face the rest of it.

"I don't hate you." B'Elanna repeated softly. "When you don't follow orders it's not you I get angry with, it's Kathryn. But she's not there, so I take it out on you. When any other member of the crew disobeys an order I discipline them or report them to the Captain. When I try to do that with you, I get told to cut you some slack. I'm the one who gets ordered to allow you to break the rules and to overlook it when you refuse to follow protocol. In the name of furthering your humanity, Kathryn orders those around you to let you get away with things that anyone else would be in serious trouble for, and that encourages you to act in ways that prevent you from learning how to be more human."

"So your constant anger is not directed at me?" Seven questioned quietly.

"Not quite." B'Elanna admitted with a small laugh. "You irritate me. You aggravate me. Every time I see you I feel angry and aggressive and most of the time I'm purposely rude to you."

"I see." Seven said somewhat confused.

"No you don't." B'Elanna interrupted gruffly. Giving Seven a bold clear look she stated, "If you look it up in the database, you'll find that Klingons show aggression as a form of mating behavior. I'm attracted to you Seven."

Before Seven could process that, B'Elanna rose and left the mess hall.

Part 2

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