DISCLAIMER: These characters are not mine, they belong to Paramount/Viacom. No money earned, which is a shame, since I'm broke!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By alastria7



"What are you doing?"

"It should be of no concern to you; your shift in Engineering ended some hours ago."

"Well, you're right. I'm not concerned. Puzzled would be more like it. And I'd like an answer."

"I'm running a diagnostic on the left nacelle."

"You're what? Why?"

"It is always wise to check these things periodically, Lieutenant. Microfractures can occur, as I'm sure you know."

"Oh, I understand fully why a person might get the urge to check a nacelle out here and there but... at 3am?"

"03:00 hours is as good a time as any, and this shift tend to leave me alone to attend to my work, without..."

"Yeah, well. Don't you need to plug yourself in, or something?"

"Plug myself...? No, not for another 18 hours."


"And now that I have explained my presence in Engineering; why are you here?"

"We can't all get hitched up to some green machine and go off to the land of nil response for 8 hours, you know. I couldn't sleep."

"State your reason."

"These things happen. There doesn't have to be any reason."

"During my research into the sleep patterns of humans, I discovered that when a person doesn't relax enough to sleep, there is usually a reason. You are half-human."

"You make that sound like an accusation. I just couldn't sleep, OK?"

"Then you should try relaxing in your quarters at this time of night."

"Maybe I should. Maybe I should do a lot of things I don't... anyway, you're here."

"A small fact that you would never have become aware of had you remained in your quarters."

"So, you usually come here, outside of your shift hours? Shouldn't you be...?"

"I have no quarters, if you recall."

"Yeah, that's right. No, actually, it's not right, it's wrong. You deserve a place to hang out."

"Hang what out, Lieutenant?"

"A figure of speech. Chill, relax, you know?"

"On three separate occasions I have tried to mention it to the captain."

"So, what's stopped you?"

"It seems... disrespectful."

"How do you figure that out?"

"I have been given so much already. It seems unwise to ask for more."

"Seven, it's a basic human right to have a private place to be. And you are half-human."

"You make that sound like an accusation."

"Touché. Ask her."

"I don't understand: whether or not I had quarters in which to `relax' was not your concern yesterday, or before then, to my knowledge. Why are you suddenly taking an interest in my affairs?"

"Me? I've often thought about it."


"You'd be surprised how much I think about you."

"You're staring at me."

"Oh, yeah; look... right. I know. You, uh...?"

"Are you attempting to ask me something?"

"It looks that way, doesn't it?"


"Uh, how far off finishing this nacelle thing are you?"

"I completed it 46.3 seconds ago."

"Then maybe you'd like to... come back to my quarters... with me, for a while?"

"State your purpose."

"To chill? Relax? You know, all those things you'd do if you had your own place?"

"Your invitation is... unexpected. I believe I will accompany you, but I am already at a temperature which is conducive to my well-being, and anyway, I understood that Klingons didn't like the cold?"

"What are you babbling about?"

"You invited me to chill, did you not?"

"It's an expression, Seven! It means the opposite of getting all hot and bothered about something; stressed, you know?"

"Then I fail to see why I would need the opposite as I am neither hot nor stressed."

"This isn't easy for you, is it?"

"Define `this', and I may be able to answer you."

"Any of it. Learning how to be human; how to respond, what to say? I guess I'd never realised how hard it was for you before."

"Be careful, Lieutenant. You sound as if you care."


"Very well. I shall attempt to become both cold and relaxed - although I fail to see how anyone can be relaxed if they are entering into the human reaction of shivering. However, I will do my best."

"That's all I ask. And your best has got to be better than most."


"Why are you better than most?"

"No. Why do you care?"

"Enough to make you shiver? Yeah, sorry. Look... I guess it's because we both share being different to the others."


"We're both half of what they want us to be, what they'd prefer us to be so that they could understand us better. But that other half is what defines us and, in a way, we both hate that other half of us. We fight against it, we wish it had never happened, and yet we need it. It makes us what we are. It makes us whole. But it also makes us rebels."

"I didn't realise you held such thoughts. You are correct. No one has ever categorised who I am so successfully. Nor had I realised that you are there also, in the same category."

"Now can you understand why I often think about you?"


"So, you coming back to mine?"

"Your quarters? To shiver?"

"Something like that. But, believe me, you don't always have to be cold to shiver."

"The captain is always saying I should broaden my horizons. I must say I'm intrigued. I believe I wish to learn how I can be made to shiver when I am not, in fact, cold. Will I be able to do the same for you?"

"I hope so. In fact you're doing it a little now. Come on."

"Yes, Lieutenant. Oh, and Lieutenant?"


"I like it when you smile."

The End

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