DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belongs to a whole lot of people that aren't me, I just owned the piece of chocolate that got me to write most of this story, and sadly that is gone now. But we were good friends, the chocolate and I, for as long as it lasted.
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson
It had started as any ordinary day onboard the U.S.S Voyager.
Then during a senior officer's meeting, Captain Janeway seemed to be waiting for something before starting the meeting, the other people in the room shifting quietly in their seats, but otherwise being quiet. The Captain frowned and checked the chronometer.
"Well, is Her Royal Borgness going to join us or not, Captain?" Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres finally asked, quite testily. Captain Janeway scowled at her rude engineer and was just about to answer when another voice spoke up.
"I am present, Lieutenant."
The entire room gasped, and people started looking around.
"What? Where the hell are you, Seven?" B'Elanna growled, not seeing the woman in question in the room.
"I am sitting in my usual place, Lieutenant." Came the calm, well-modulated response. Everyone stared at the chair that was usually occupied by Seven of Nine. There was nothing there.
B'Elanna seemed to be sensing something, shot to her feet and leaned in towards the chair, and reached out with one hand towards the empty air above it. Her hand connected.
"Lieutenant Torres, you are holding my mammary... my... breast. Please discontinue to do so."
B'Elanna blushed furiously and snapped back as if burned.
The room broke into pandemonium, everyone speaking at once, and it took Janeway some time to restore order and get to the bottom of things. For some reason, Seven of Nine was invisible. The doctor could still read her signs, and found nothing out of the ordinary there, yet Seven remained invisible.
"Why didn't you just say that you were invisible, instead of waiting like that?" B'Elanna asked somewhat exasperated as she watched the others fuss over what looked like an empty chair.
"I was unaware of this development, Lieutenant." Seven answered as calmly as ever.
"Oh come on, you have to have known you were invisible!" B'Elanna sneered in the chair's general direction, arms crossed across her chest. "When was the last time someone looked at you or spoke to you today?"
There was a moment of absolute silence.
"I... believe that I have not been spoken to in person during this day, although I have been spoken about. I cannot say when I was last looked upon, as I have not seen any reason to pay attention to that detail."
"And you didn't find that the least bit odd?" B'Elanna scoffed, but her heart wasn't really in it. She was getting intrigued by this phenomenon, even if it was happening to someone she didn't care much for.
"No Lieutenant, that is much like the events of any of my days."
The meaning of those words hit B'Elanna strangely hard. "You mean..." She spoke softly. "...that you didn't notice you were invisible, because you're always treated like you are?" She wasn't entirely ready to believe that, but it still made her feel bad for Seven.
Another silence, then Seven responded in a quiet voice. "Yes."
The rest of the people in the room fidgeted somewhat uncomfortably at the quiet admission, then Captain Janeway cleared her throat and decided on a course of action. Seven would go to Sickbay with the doctor, to go over her current condition in more detail, while Tuvok would have Harry's aid in going over security logs to determine if this was the result of outside interference. B'Elanna was also assigned to help with figuring out the cause of their dilemma, and most importantly, how to restore Seven back to normal, the others would be on alert in case this was the beginning of an alien attack or disease that would affect the rest of the crew. For now events would be kept quiet, as not to alarm the crew unless it proved necessary.
But the very first thing on the agenda, after Janeway dismissed the rest, was for herself, Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry, B'Elanna and Seven to go over Seven's day in an attempt to discern just when the young woman became invisible. It would give them all a starting point on which to focus their search for any irregularities in sensor logs, traces of radiation, or whatever else they could think of. The holodeck seemed the best location to do this, as it allowed Seven, with her perfect recall, to program a holographic representation of her day. While this would normally have taken a long time for any other member of the crew, Borg efficiency prevailed as it tended to, and it took a reasonably short time for Seven to arrange a program to the desired parameters.
"I saw Seven outside of Cargo Bay 2 late last night, so I don't think we need to go as far back as yesterday." Janeway said as the small group waited while the holodeck controls were accessed by invisible hands.
"I saw her regenerating during the night, so that's out too." Chakotay added in an effort to be helpful.
"What the hell were you doing ogling her while she slept?" Chakotay found himself the recipient of the angry glares of both Janeway and B'Elanna, but it was B'Elanna that had spoken. He paled slightly.
"No, no, not like that... I was fetching a bottle of wine I had stowed away in Cargo Bay 2, it was really quite innocent. I just saw her in passing, but, you know, I _saw_ her, so she wasn't invisible at that point." He hurried to assure them of his innocence.
"Many individuals have been known to observe my regeneration, including all of you currently present in this room. It is a common occurrence." Seven's disembodied voice interjected calmly from the direction of the holodeck controls.
A grumbled chorus of 'but that's different' came from B'Elanna and Janeway when Seven mentioned their own visits in Cargo Bay 2, which had Tuvok raise an eyebrow slightly. Then the holodeck changed around them to resemble the hallway outside of Cargo Bay 2.
"I have not entered the time from the end of my regeneration period until my exit from Cargo Bay 2, since I neither encountered nor spoke to anyone during this period." Seven explained just as the doors of the Cargo Bay opened and a representation of Seven herself stepped out. "I have also added a function to speed up non-relevant parts so that this will not take as long. It seems the... more efficient recourse."
The others watched silently as the image of Seven, in her two-toned blue biosuit, swish down the corridor at a speed that was even more impossibly brisk than her normal walk. Halfway down the corridor her speed returned to normal and a crewman stepped into sight from an adjoining passage. He crossed Seven's path and passed her by, never once looking up or in her direction, instead keeping his eyes on a padd.
"Well..." Harry said, uncertainly. "that might not mean anything, he was reading that padd pretty intently. He might not have noticed anyone right then."
Holo-Seven sped up again, then entered the turbolift. The surroundings changed into the interior of the lift, and things returned to normal speed.
They watched mostly in silence as Seven was joined in the lift by two female crewmen who completely ignored her presence, giggling together about something Tom Paris had apparently done on the holodeck the day before. Evidently Seven had thought to add sound to the representation.
Then the lift opened, and the crewmen, then Seven, moved out and walked into the messhall.
The group watched how the holographic Seven walked in absolute silence to a replicator, punching in the command for one of her nutritional supplements. Then she retrieved her glass and walked over to a secluded and empty table and sat down. All around her the people in the messhall moved about, talking and eating, no-one paying her even the slightest attention.
Since the representation was centered on Seven, they watched from a point near her seat, and heard all that she had. It surprised them all how sensitive Seven's hearing was, and they couldn't quite discern all the voices speaking, but there were several that was gossiping about Seven herself, or commenting on her. There were a few derisive comments and quite a few cruel jokes about her person, and also a few rude comments about her looks and at least one description of what one crewman would like to do to the 'Barbie Borg'. Neelix was heard muttering to himself about his stew as he moved about his cupboards, and a few crewmen were laughing over some joke. Holo-Seven rose, having finished her supplement, and moved in silence over to the recycler with the empty glass, then exited the messhall.
"Halt program." Janeway said, crossing her arms and frowning at the frozen replica of Seven.
"Seven of Nine. Is this occurrence a regularity in your daily routine?" Tuvok asked as the others remained silent, cocking an eyebrow slightly in inquiry.
"Yes Commander." The disembodied voice answered simply, dispassionately.
"I think what Tuvok is asking is, is that the usual response you get when entering the messhall?" Janeway clarified, still frowning deeply. She was wondering if she could have the computer single out the voices and identify them, so that she could have a little... talk, with certain crewmen about proper conduct.
"I understood the Commanders question, Captain." Seven responded, and Tuvok's eyebrow went up a fraction higher in approval. "And yes, this is much the standard for my visits to the messhall, unless I encounter a senior officer or an Ensign assigned to Astrometrics in which case we exchange greetings in passing, Mr Neelix is free and aware of my presence, or the Wildmans are in attendance." Seven's voice grew silent, as if contemplating something. "Although, I believe that the number of comments regarding my person, personality, body functions and position on board this vessel are usually greater in number."
B'Elanna was seething in silence. The sight of Seven, sitting all alone while the room around her seemed to mock and taunt her, moved something deep in B'Elanna, and stirred old memories of her own past to the surface. The realization that she, B'Elanna herself, had undoubtedly been one of the loudest of the mocking and derisive voices on many, many occasions made her feel ill, in fact it made her feel like she needed to go and empty her stomachs right away. She savagedly pushed the nausea aside, vowing to herself to not only do better from then on in, she would find a way to help Seven... it seemed the least she could do in penance.
Janeway also looked as if she was torn between feeling agony and feeling angry, B'Elanna noted, while Chakotay and Tuvok didn't really have any expression at all. Harry looked embarrassed for some reason, B'Elanna would have to corner him later and ask him about that.
The program was restarted, and they watched Seven move at an increased speed to the turbolift, then down a corridor in the direction of Astrometrics. She passed by an Ensign and a crewman on the way there, and the program slowed down to normal speed, allowing the group to hear that the two were talking about the building of Astrometrics, then adding a few unsavoury comments on Seven herself after they had passed her by. Neither acknowledged her presence, and Seven entered Astrometrics.
"During my duty shift in Astrometrics prior to the senior staff meeting I encountered no-one, and spoke to Ensign Kim twice, the doctor once, and the Captain once, over my combadge. Similarly I encountered no-one during my walk to the meeting."
Janeway sighed and rubbed her temples. "So it looks like you've been invisible all day, only you say this is what your days are usually like, so it could have happened at any moment. All we really know is that you were visible last night, and invisible at the time you entered the staff meeting."
"No, not really, Captain." B'Elanna disagreed. "She was invisible from that first turbolift trip and on in, at the very least. I don't know about before that, but after? Invisible, most definitely."
"What makes you so sure?" Harry asked, and the others looked at B'Elanna expectantly.
"Yes, Lieutenant, what prompts this conclusion?" Seven sounded interested.
"Uh, well, you know..." B'Elanna looked a bit uncomfortable. "The women in the turbolift would have glanced at her at least once, if not lowered their voices a little, if they had seen her there. And in the messhall and the hallway encounters after that, someone would have looked at her, if only to glance at her when she passed by, or look at her when she walked away." B'Elanna gesticulated slightly to make her point, though she wasn't entirely sure what her point was herself yet. "You know, if Seven enters a room, you _notice_, whether you want to or not. And I just can't believe that there'd be that many males, or females for that matter, aboard this ship that would actually be oblivious if she walked by. Even if they didn't like her, they'd _look_, if you know what I mean?"
With the last sentence, B'Elanna threw her arms out in emphasis, then yelped and jumped as they hit something solid right next to her. "Seven!"
"I... apologize, Lieutenant, I did not think to make you aware of my location. It was not my intention to alarm you."
"Umm, yeah, well..." B'Elanna muttered, fighting a blush. "...just don't do it again."
"I have to agree with B'Elanna, Captain." Harry spoke up. "I know some of those guys, and they definitely would have looked at Seven if they had seen her."
Janeway shook her head slightly in the direction of the two younger members of her crew that were visible, as well as the invisible third one. "Allright. Well, Tuvok has the program if he needs to run it again, and you Harry are at Tuvok's disposal until further notice. Seven, I expect you to go see the doctor right away, while we try to come up with a way to restore you." Janeway moved closer to B'Elanna and reached her had out somewhat tentatively in the air at B'Elanna's side until she felt something there. "Try not to worry, Seven. We will solve this thing."
Silence followed as the doors to the holodeck opened, then closed, around what appeared to be thin air.
A good while later as B'Elanna was pouring over the readings on a consol in Astrometrics, the doors opened and closed behind her. B'Elanna smiled a little, knowing without turning that she wouldn't see anyone there, as she to her own surprise recognised the sound of Seven's footsteps.
"Hi Seven." B'Elanna tried not to grin as she could actually hear Seven stop and look at her in surprised silence for a moment.
"Lieutenant." Seven acknowledged, and in B'Elanna's mind she saw the head-tilt that tended to follow Seven's greetings. "What are you doing in Astrometrics?"
B'Elanna was once again surprised that she found herself not bristling at what she normally would have thought to be Seven arrogantly questioning her. Instead she caught the slightly curious note in the smooth voice, and responded to that.
"I'm going over sensor logs for the last week or so, to see if there's anything, any strange radiation or similar things, that might account for what has happened to you. Wanna give me a hand?"
Seven didn't answer, but B'Elanna could hear her move over to a consol at one side of the room and begin accessing data there. "Is your hypothesis based on my Borg nature making me susceptible to this irregularity, thus causing a reaction that would account for this alteration?"
"Yeah." B'Elanna smirked. "I'm thinking that you being part Borg might have made you vulnerable to something we passed through, and ended you up like this. It's just a thought that might not lead anywhere, still it's worth checking out."
A moment's silence, then B'Elanna heard Seven sigh deeply. "Um, Seven? Is something wrong? I mean, yeah sure, but _besides_ the fact that I can't see you right now?"
Another uncharacteristic sigh.
"I... find I am disturbed by the frequency my ma- ...my breasts... are the focus of others attempts at locating me by touch now that they are unable to do so visually."
B'Elanna nearly swallowed her tongue, then promtly blushed. She could only too well remember every detail of her own brief up close introduction to Seven's ample chest. She swallowed hard and tried to ignore that her hand started to tingle with the memory. "Oh? How's that?"
Then, thinking that perhaps that came out sounding a bit too nonchalant considering B'Elanna herself had done what disturbed Seven so much, she tacked on. "You know, it's not like we do it on purpose, but it's kind of hard to estimate where you are much less which direction you're facing, Seven."
"I was not referring to your one touch to one of my erogenous zones, " B'Elanna reflexively bit right through the side of her tongue, then tried very hard not to make faces at the sudden pain. "as I am well aware that it was not your intention, and given the difference in our height and the angle of our bodies at the time, it was unavoidable."
"O-oh? Yeah well, you've got an awful lot up there to try to miss, so..." B'Elanna was embarrassed and frankly couldn't believe what was coming out of her mouth, so she clamped her mouth shut, letting the sentence peter out on it's own.
"I fail to see the relevance of my chest size in this instance, or any other for that matter." Now Seven sounded very irritated. "The size of my mammaries are a hereditary trait on the maternal side of my genetic heritage, and are quite outside my ability to control or influence, yet I am often held accountable for this."
"I am not the only individual aboard this vessel with larger than average mass in a specific area of my body, yet in my case the divergence is often commented upon, when it in others would be considered rude to do so."
"Um." B'Elanna didn't quite know what to make of the unusual outpouring. "Who grabbed you, Seven? When?"
Seven didn't answer right away. "It was the doctor and Ensign Paris. Mostly Ensign Paris."
B'Elanna frowned. "OK. Did they in your opinion have a valid reason to touch you?"
"The doctor had valid reasons, and I believe that in his case the touch was unintended. Ensign Paris however... repeatedly and intentionally sought out certain parts of my anatomy, for little reason. Eventually the doctor told him to desist, that he would handle my examinations himself, then had Ensign Paris join him in his office."
B'Elanna didn't know what to say, but she felt glad that the doctor had been there to look out for Seven, at least. She was also getting rather angry at her ex and his overactive libido.
"I can read lip movements." Seven's apparent non sequitur threw B'Elanna for a moment, before Seven continued. "Ensign Paris' repeated touching of my intimate parts were deliberate, he admitted as much to the doctor although he seemed to be of the opinion that because of my appearance and Borg nature, it was permissible to do so. The doctor sent him away after that."
The growl that emanated from B'Elanna's chest rumbled ominously in the silence of the room, and B'Elanna's mind was filled with images of the many and downright evil things she wanted to do to Thomas Eugene Paris. She got so caught up in this anger that she didn't pay attention to the things she was putting into the computer, or the sound of Seven's footsteps as she crossed the room to observe why Lieutenant Torres was inserting so flawed and contrary commands.
"Lieutenant, that command will cross the..." Seven spoke up at B'Elanna's elbow, where she had been leaning over the shorter woman to observe what she was doing.
"YAAAAAARRRRRGHH!" B'Elanna jumped and yelled. "Seven, don't _DO_ that!" She snapped angrily without meaning to.
There was a quiet gasp, and then the sound of someone scrambling away. "I... I... I apologize... it was not my intention to..." For every sound Seven's voice changed drastically, and as she spoke up again she sounded downright miserable. "I... will get out of your way, Lieutenant."
B'Elanna felt like an absolute heel. "Seven, wait..." B'Elanna reached out but of course found nothing. "Seven, where are you?"
"I am not in your way, Lieutenant." The voice was choked and quiet, and absolutely despondent.
"I know that Seven, but _where_ are you?" Mentally B'Elanna kicked herself, and worse, for being such a jerk. "Allright, you don't have to say anything, but no complaints when I accidentally touch you someplace in trying to locate you." She warned half-jokingly as she began to feel through the air as she walked slowly in the direction Seven's voice had last come from.
After a moment of silence, Seven spoke up even more quietly. "I am over here, Lieutenant... in front of the viewscreen."
B'Elanna walked up on the dais in front of the screen, and began feeling her way from one side to the other.
A muffled sigh. "I am here, Lieutenant." A hand reached out and grabbed B'Elanna's, showing her where Seven was sitting against the wall.
B'Elanna sat down as well, lightly holding on to Seven so that she would not end up trying to sit on the younger woman. As she had seated herself B'Elanna realized that Seven was hugging her own knees and shaking... moments later she heard a very quiet noise that could only be a stifled sob. B'Elanna's heart just broke at the sound.
"Hey..." She whispered, awkwardly pulling Seven closer and into her arms. "C'mere."
And so B'Elanna Torres found herself on the floor of Astrometrics, with her arms full of silently weeping and invisible Borg. She bit back the unexpected moan that wanted to escape her as she felt the strong yet soft body press into her, confused at her own reaction. What was wrong with her, this was _Seven_ for Kahless sake! And yet the hot flush of desire was unmistakable... no, no, that just couldn't be. She shoved those thoughts down hard.
"You know Seven, I didn't mean to yell or snap at you just now." She began tentatively while patting the shaking back. "I was mad at Tom for being such an honourless petaQ, and you startled me, that's all." Oh, Seven smelled really nice up close. "I promise I'll make sure he knows to not ever try any of his stupid stunts on you again, OK?"
Seven stopped crying and lifted her head from B'Elanna's shoulder. B'Elanna sighed a bit at the fact that she couldn't see Seven's face, but decided on something else instead. Slowly she lifted her hand, giving Seven the chance to move away or stop her if she wanted to, then let the warmth of Seven's body guide her until she was touching Seven's face with her hand.
"There you are." B'Elanna breathed softly, smiling a little as she traced a wet cheek with her fingertips. She wiped a little at the wetness, charmed when Seven leaned into the touch. Feeling a surge of affection that she never had expected, and somewhat daring as well, she leaned in to place a chaste, friendly kiss on that cheek.
Unseen by B'Elanna, Seven turned to speek just then, and the brief kiss ended up not on Seven's cheek, but at the corner of her mouth.
The small contact between their lips sent an electric jolt through both of them, causing them to gasp and freeze mid-touch. By the time B'Elanna managed to tear herself away, her breath was coming in gasps and she was staring unblinkingly at the space underneath her hand where Seven's face had to be. She was trembling.
The other hand came up to join the first, cupping Seven's face between them. Then, with a nearly hypnotized intensity, B'Elanna traced the fingers of one hand across the smooth cheek until she reached Seven's lips. The lips in question were parted slightly, and the hot breath that ghosted past them against B'Elanna's thumb was as rapid as B'Elanna's own. She tried not to whimper as she traced the softness of those lips with her fingertips.
"L-lieutenant?" Seven whispered uncertainly, then her voice deepened a fraction or two. "B'Elanna?"
This time B'Elanna did whimper. "I wish I could see your eyes right now." She breathed, then visibility became moot point as she closed her own eyes, and leaned in to replace fingers with lips.
Their first real kiss was lingering and sweet, waking emotions that neither had acknowledged before, but that had been there for a long time. B'Elanna's hands caressed the sides of Seven's face, tracing implants sensually before one hand slipped into silken hair and loosened it from it's restraints.
Seven's arms were hesitant at first, but then wrapped around B'Elanna firmly, bringing them almost impossibly close as, true to their natures, passions rose and overwhelmed them.
When Captain Janeway eventually stepped into Astrometrics to get a personal update to B'Elanna and Seven's work, the two young women were lying on the dais, kissing most enthusiastically.
They were too occupied to hear her come in, and it took Janeway a few moments to realize just what B'Elanna was doing in that strange position on the floor. To her credit, Janeway did not scream nor call upon the computer to signal red alert.
No, she just fainted instead.
"Captain? Captain, wake up." The voice that was speaking to her belonged to B'Elanna, Janeway realized as she was struggling to clear her head and sit up.
"Do you require the doctor's assistance, Captain?" That was Seven, but with a note of concern in her voice that Janeway was more accustomed to hear from the young woman when in rather dire combat situations. She wondered groggily if it was the Hirogen, because Seven didn't quite sound alarmed enough for it to be the Borg or Species 8472. Maybe it was another pitcher plant? Quick, what had she been doing before going to sleep?
"No Seven..." Janeway responded groggily as she sat up with their help. "I'm fine."
"Seven?" Janeway realized that while she could se her Chief of Engineering, her Astrometrics officer was nowhere to be seen. And why was B'Elanna blushing, anyway?
"I am right here, Captain." The calm voice was accompanied by a hand squeezing Janeway's arm slightly, and that was when she remembered that Seven was invisible. As she stood up, she suddenly remembered what she had walked in on.
"You! And you!" She swiveled around to point at B'Elanna, then at the empty space she thought were Seven. "And _you_!" She spun around to point an accusing finger at the dais underneath the viewscreen. "And, and, and... you!"
"B'Elanna, I believe the Captain has suffered injury to her cerebral cortex, I will summon the doctor." Seven's voice was still concerned, but B'Elanna grinned in response.
"No Seven, she's not brain damaged, she's just... surprised, that's all."
"She is reduced to monosyllabic vocabulary because she witnessed our k-"
B'Elanna reached up and managed to put a hand across Seven's mouth. Seven got the hint and stopped talking, although having B'Elanna that close gave Seven other ideas.
"Seven!" B'Elanna giggled slightly as long, invisible arms pulled her in close against Seven's body, making B'Elanna put some of her weight on Seven. B'Elanna sighed contently at the contact and pulled her arms around Seven in return.
Janeway gaped like a fish. "What is going on here?"
A fourth voice interrupted whatever explanation B'Elanna was about to give, by bursting out in riotous peals of laughter. As Janeway and B'Elanna spun around to locate the source of the sound, a very familiar shape just... blinked into vision, leaning on a consol.
"Hello Kathy, dear... you have no idea how much fun it is to watch you mimic aquatic vertebrates!" The annoying man jumped around making faces at Janeway, tiny bubbles coming out of his mouth then disappearing. "I'd almost forgotten how much fun you are."
"What do you want this time, Q?" Janeway regained her equilibrium, perhaps because trading banter with Q was, if odd and disturbing, a familiar thing, while watching her surrogate daughters make out on the floor was not. Well, watch one of them, anyway, but that only added to the surrealism of it all.
"Me? Whatever would I want, Kathy, if not to see some happiness come to your intrepid crew?"
"Hey! Are you behind what's happened to Seven?!" B'Elanna interjected angrily before Janeway had the opportunity to respond to Q. Without realising it herself, the feisty engineer pulled the invisible woman in slightly behind herself as if to protect her.
"Aww, how sweet!" Q enthused. "And if you mean making the poor child invisible... no. The crew of this ship did that all on it's own, I just made it a bit more obvious." He was quite oblivious to the fact that both B'Elanna and Janeway were growling at him threateningly.
"But, I suppose you have been 'seen' enough by now, haven't you Seven?" Q grinned at Seven, having no problem looking past the manipulations he had made in space and actually seeing her. "Ah well, it was... educational, at least." He snapped his fingers.
"It... was." Was Seven's calm response, and B'Elanna spun around to watch in fascination as Seven became visible again. She was wearing the blue biosuit from her holoimages, and her hair was down from it's usual bun, hanging to her shoulders in an unruly mass created by B'Elanna's eager fingers.
"Now that's a sight for sore eyes." B'Elanna breathed reverently, touching Seven's cheek.
Seven looked at her shyly. "Can you see me?" At B'Elanna's nod and smile, Seven broke out in a big, exuberantly happy smile herself.
"Oh yes I can, I can see you and it's a gorgeous sight to behold... look at that smile..." B'Elanna said with adoration clear in her voice, then matched Seven's sunny grin with one of her own. The two of them had completely forgotten about their company, and instead focused solely on one another, smiling and looking deep into each other's eyes.
"Isn't it beautiful, Kathy? Young love..." Q whispered to Janeway, laying it on a bit thick in voice and facial expression, but Janeway had enough on her hands just getting used to the sight of her 'daughters' embracing. "Surely you can't begrudge them that?"
"I had no intention of 'begrudging' them anything, Q, now _why_ did you come here? Really." Janeway whispered back, not wanting to intrude on the sweet scene in front of her. "I'm sure it was something more than playing Cupid."
"Actually... no." Janeway glared at him. "Allright, allright, but you're not supposed to know!" Q caved in. "Seven isn't just a liberated Drone, and she, and your feisty half-Klingon over there, will be very important to the future of... well, just know they'll be important."
Janeway yanked him away from the still oblivious couple, although Q had already taken precautions so that Seven's Borg hearing would not catch their conversation.
"What are you talking about, Q? The future of mankind? Why are they important to the future of..."
"Sorry Kathy, I really can't tell you anything else." Q gave her an apologetic look. "You'll find out when you're supposed to, not before then, even if I want to tell you."
Biting back a few nastier retorts, knowing when she wouldn't be able to push Q any further, Janeway instead changed tacks. "Allright, I'll settle for that. But why come here, Q? They are here, surely you knew that... did you come to test them? Check up on them? What?"
To her surprise, Q looked serious when he answered. "They need to be together, Kathy, for the future. They weren't doing what they should, so someone had to go and give them a little... push, without actually interfering with their emotions. Oh, and yes, I have tested them, though not in any way you might think." Then Q smiled brightly. "Well, my work here is done. Until next time, Kathy dear, until next time."
Janeway rolled her eyes to the now empty space where Q had been. "Next time, just pop in for a cup of coffee and some friendly chitchat like a normal person, will you?" She muttered with exasperation, knowing full well he would hear her words before leaving Voyager completely.
Then she turned around to be greeted by the sight of Seven and B'Elanna kissing deeply. She chuckled softly and shook her head, it was going to take some time getting entirely used to that particular development, but in all honesty, she couldn't picture a better choice for either of her girls than the other.
Careful not to make any noise that would disturb the new-found lovers, Janeway tiptoed out of Astrometrics, deciding on slamming a senior officer's clearance on the doors as they closed behind her, then she set out to contact the others and call off the research regarding Seven's bout of invisibility.
Then she would get Harry to help her identify certain voices in that holoprogram... and she had some thinking to do.
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