DISCLAIMER: I don't even own this computer! I do not claim to own these characters either. They will be returned unharmed.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just Add Water
A quiet chime broke the silence in Astrometrics and Seven of Nine looked in the direction of the offending sound, her porcelain features simultaneously curious and irritated. The only thing she had to say when she read the alert on the screen was "Unexpected." Then she procured an engineering kit from a storage locker in the wall and left without a word.
Tal Celes, also on duty in Astrometrics, shrugged and went on with her scan of the surrounding sector while part of her wondered exactly how Seven could make the word unexpected sound like an uttered profanity without ever changing her intonation.
Frowning slightly, Celes muttered, "Why can't she just say 'Fuck!' like everyone else?"
"Fuck!" B'Elanna Torres growled briefly before sucking on her burned fingers. She glared at the exposed innards of the turbolift, watching as wisps of black smoke from the energy discharge dissipated lazily. "Don't start with me, ship!" she groused, wagging a spanner toward the hole in the wall. "I'm Klingon, remember? We have sayings like 'It's a good day to die!' but what we really mean is 'I hope I kill you first.'" She took a preparatory breath then dove back into the fray, willing herself to find the short sooner rather than later. If there was one thing B'Elanna Torres despised, it was being stuck in a malfunctioning turbolift. Unfortunately it had been happening a lot lately--for reasons B'Elanna could not begin to explain.
She'd tried, of course. She'd been over every system, had done every diagnostic available, had even once considered communing with one of Chakotay's animal guides--to no avail. The turbolift would break down, usually with her in it, and she'd fix it and then everything would be fine...for about a month or so. Then it would happen again and she'd feel like she was back to square one. It was never the same problem twice but she usually had the lift running again within minutes. She knew this time she wasn't going to be so lucky.
Twenty minutes later, her uniform jacket was off and she was pissed. She rested on her knees in the center of the deckplating and looked from one open panel to the others. She had exposed four circuit junctures and still had not found the cause of the lift's immobility. She was hot, thirsty, and grimy--not necessarily in that order--and, while she knew she could do a site-to-site transport out of the stifling capsule at any time, finding out what was wrong had now become a point of honor. No way would she back down.
Just as she began to pry yet another access panel from its mooring, B'Elanna heard a muted chirrup above her and she watched, stunned, as the ceiling access panel opened, revealing an unusually-outfitted Seven of Nine.
"What the--" she began but Seven interrupted her.
"Lieutenant," greeted the blonde. "May I be of assistance?" She dropped through the access panel and landed with a graceful felinity that B'Elanna both recognized and approved. It was the young Borg's outfit, though, that had the Chief Engineer a bit...flummoxed. Seven of Nine wore her black biosuit--the one worked through with silver so that it looked like she was clothed in a star-dappled expanse of outer space. She had a black safety harness with silver grommets snuggly fitted across her torso and around her thighs and her silvery blonde hair--usually done up in that no-nonsense twist--was braided in a single braid down her back. Black leather gloves and knee-high black combat boots completed the outfit.
B'Elanna suffered a moment of discombobulation unlike any she'd ever suffered before. She struggled with the sudden and visceral desire to wolf whistle at the Borg, the officer in her clamping down ruthlessly on the baser Human instinct. While those two were distracted, her Klingon side began a sub-vocal growl of sensual appreciation. Again the officer in her prevailed, strangling the sound practically as it began.
What Seven heard was "...erk."
"Lieutenant?" Her ocular implant rose serenely above that sky-blue eye and B'Elanna sought refuge in the only defense she had at the moment. The only defense she had possibly ever had against this frighteningly beautiful and undeniably brilliant being. Anger.
"Dammit, Seven! What do you think you are doing??"
Seven unclipped the guide lines from her safety harness and stood at ease, her hands folded in the small of her back. This posture accentuated her breasts even more and B'Elanna once again struggled to keep from embarrassing herself. This time with drool.
"I am rescuing you."
Those words had the same effect on her growing arousal that cold leola root stew had on her appetite and B'Elanna's desire turned instantly to outrage.
"Rescuing me?! Trust me, Borg, the only one who's going to need rescuing in this room is YOU! Now hook yourself back up to that rope and haul your scrawny ass out of here before I introduce you to the business end of my spanner." She deliberately turned away from Seven and resumed fiddling with some circuits in one of the open access panels.
Seven allowed a small smile to tug at her lips so briefly that had B'Elanna seen it, she would have doubted she had. She then turned to face the young hybrid woman again.
"I cannot, B'Elanna Torres. I have been monitoring routine repair logs. Turbolift repairs now comprise 22% of your department's maintenance efforts. It appears no progress has been made toward finding the cause."
"I'm working on it, Seven, okay? If I wanted your help, I would have asked for it!" B'Elanna's words echoed strangely from inside the guts of the lift.
"Unlikely," countered Seven. "That is why the mountain has come to Mohammed."
There was a muffled thud followed by a string of curses in three different languages. B'Elanna finally managed to extract herself from the tentacle-like wires she'd been digging through. A bruise was already purpling her uppermost ridges.
"I'm sorry--did you just use a cultural reference in conversation?" B'Elanna was having a hard time keeping up. Every minute in the lift with Seven brought new confusion. Earlier, she'd been bemoaning the fact that she'd bothered to show up to work today. Now she was beginning to think she shouldn't have even gotten out of bed.
"Will you be doing it again?"
"It is likely."
B'Elanna narrowed her eyes. Something just wasn't adding up but she couldn't quite put a finger on what. Wariness tingled in the pit of her stomach, though, and she'd learned long ago not to ignore that.
"Why exactly are you here again, Seven?" she demanded.
"I am here to rescue you."
B'Elanna crossed her arms and canted her hip in that way that made the pit of Seven's stomach drop deliciously--which it did now. The young woman, however, had become a master at hiding her emotions and the only indication she gave that anything was amiss was a rapid double blink. B'Elanna looked the Borg woman up and down, her confusion and pensiveness clearly written on her features. She was no closer to figuring out what the Hell was going on but she was reluctant to turn down a pair of helping hands. Even if they were Seven's.
"Since it's obvious I don't require rescuing, you can help me figure out what's wrong with this stupid lift. Grab a spanner and get to it, Borg."
Seven nodded and reached for the engineering kit she'd brought with her. Again, the hint of a smile touched her lips.
Ten minutes later, however, all evidence of a smile was gone. Seven of Nine was now more unnerved by the turbolift malfunction than she had been when news of it reached her console in Astrometrics. Her irritation there had been because she hadn't scheduled a malfunction for today. Her alarm now came from two factors: she still had not located the cause of today's malfunction and she suspected her scheduled malfunctions and this one were related in ways she didn't dare ponder. The thought that she had unintentionally unleashed a mutating turbolift virus while in pursuit of the attention of one vibrantly beautiful and explosively passionate engineer was exponentially disturbing. Especially when she thought of it infecting less mundane parts of the ship.
Seven was about to abandon her lie of omission and confess to B'Elanna her potential responsibility for the breakdown when a thought occurred to her. She took out her tricorder, made a few adjustments, and began to scan the walls of the lift. B'Elanna, who was checking the connections on a particularly chaotic-looking circuit board, didn't look up.
The analysis of the data she'd just collected left Seven with no doubt that she was, at least in part, responsible for this turbolift's unexplained inability to move. Fragments of the algorithm-based virus code she'd released months earlier were present in 19 turbolift-specific circuit arrangements. The conundrum, however, lay in the virus' apparent corruptibility. Seven had designed the simple batch of code to infect five turbolift circuit arrangements, which would have resulted in .73 x 10 to the 21st different malfunctions if she had not specifically restricted the results to those 13,760 or so that would cause the lift to stop between decks. She could not understand what had caused the virus to shatter in quite the way that it had. Nor could she explain why it had traveled to 14 additional circuit arrangements; 11 of them not directly connected to the five she had begun with.
Seven opted to answer those questions at a later time as focusing on them now would not assist in making the lift functional. Instead, she formulated a probable course of action based on what little she did know and her knowledge of the original virus. She turned to share that course of action with B'Elanna but changed her mind abruptly when she saw which circuit configuration the engineer was working on.
"Lieutenant Torres, cease your actions immediately!"
Seven's sudden outburst made B'Elanna yelp in a wholly un-Klingon-like manner and she almost threw her calibrator at the young Borg. "Khaless' Last Meal, Seven! What is it?!"
"You have accessed the turbolift's emergency protocols circuit board."
B'Elanna gaped at Seven. "I am aware of that, actually," she said dangerously. "They don't call me 'Chief' around here because I do a mean rain dance!"
Seven ignored her. "The malfunction has affected 19 circuit configurations, including that one," she continued, indicating the offending circuitboard with her tricorder. "You might inadvertently activate the fire suppression protocols, such as decompression of this capsule--"
"Get over yourself, Borg," interrupted the beleaguered chief engineer. "I know what I'm doing!" She finished with the connections she was making and smiled triumphantly...until she heard something sputter overhead. Two seconds later, water rained down from above.
"--or the hydro-suppression option," finished the Borg, her voice curiously flat.
Before B'Elanna could muster the appropriate curse words, the circuit board in her hands began to pop with electrical discharges. "Quick!" she yelled as she leapt to her feet. She jammed the board back into its slot and covered it with the access panel. "Get the others back inside before they all blow!"
Seven complied and soon the two women were standing in a mostly-whole turbolift during an ersatz downpour. The lights became victim to a secondary short due to the water and randomly flickered from full illumination to emergency backup.
Within seconds, Seven's entire demeanor changed. The young Borg had never felt water against her skin like this. As a member of the Collective, external conditions were always regarded as 'irrelevant'. Since regaining her individuality, she'd opted for the sonic shower in deference to its superior effectiveness and efficiency. Suddenly she began to question that decision.
With childlike wonder, she turned her face upward to the spray, surprised when her eyes closed of their own volition. She had meant to keep them open. The cool water was both stimulating and soothing; spattering against her skin and clothing in thousands of points of contact while gathering to stream downward in dancing rivulets that tingled as they moved. She became aware of the increase in weight of her hair and reached up with questioning fingertips to touch the braid that was now soaked through. She used her Borg-enhanced hand first--to capture the empirical data--then followed with her Human hand. Silky wet tendrils against the skin of her fingertips made Seven wish to feel more and she quickly removed the tie that fastened the braid and unwove it under the deluge. Delight prompted her to snake her fingers through her freed locks.
Desire made B'Elanna lick her lips; her eyes as wide as Bussard collectors. "Um, Seven?" she asked quietly. "What are you doing?"
"I have never felt water on my skin like this. Is it always so pleasurable?"
B'Elanna didn't know how to answer. She didn't know if she could answer. Those parts of her body that she had consigned to cold storage after breaking it off with that louse, Tom Paris, were on fire now. Blood pounded through her veins in time with the water pounding against her bare shoulders. A sub-vocal growl began somewhere below her sternum. She ached.
Seven, hearing that delicious growl, turned and studied B'Elanna briefly before coyly dropping her gaze. Flickering blue light from the damaged overheads illuminated the shadow of a smile that dusted those petal pink lips. Seven blushed even as rills of cool water cascaded down her cheeks and dripped off her jaw.
B'Elanna gaped. "You know what you're doing, don't you?" she whispered, amazed. "You planned this!"
Seven regarded the chief engineer with steady, sky-blue eyes and shook her head. "No, B'Elanna; I hoped for this. I planned the previous nine turbolift malfunctions that stranded you between decks. In every instance, unfortunately, you were able to repair the unit before I arrived. I did not plan this one."
"You hoped for what, exactly?" Caught between her own hope and the possibility of rejection, B'Elanna wanted Seven to be clear. Very, very clear.
Never breaking her gaze, Seven reached her long-fingered hands behind her and undid the catches on her biosuit and safety harness. The harness dropped instantly away but the wet biosuit clung to her body. Slowly, she peeled it away from her skin. She said nothing. This was answer enough.
B'Elanna felt all the breath inside her evaporate once she realized what Seven was doing. Beneath lightning-like flashes, the young blonde freed her arms from the biosuit and bared those alabaster shoulders to a barrage of sensual droplets. B'Elanna began to growl again. Caught in this most unlikey and wondrous rainstorm, Seven peeled the soaking fabric down to reveal creamy breasts tipped with cherry-pink nipples, reveling in the heightened sensitivity of her body; in the duel between the wild heat of her skin and the soothing chill of the water. B'Elanna groaned. The sound held within it all the frustrated desire she had ever felt for the beautiful Borg.
Seven opened her long, filigreed arms. "Come to me, bangwi," she whispered.
Eyes closed, B'Elanna fell into Seven. Their mouths collided in a deep, hungry, long-denied kiss that eventually slowed to become something altogether languid; soft and sweet. When they parted, Seven rested her forehead against B'Elanna's caramel ridges. Her fingers tugged at the engineer's dark ringlets, amazed at the texture of them, so different from her own yet just as wonderful. If not more so.
B'Elanna gulped air and stood fixedly in Seven's arms, her muscles tense, her body trembling with need. "Seven?" She would walk away from this embrace if that's what the young Borg wanted. She would somehow keep her hands to herself; somehow restrain herself if Seven asked it of her. But she needed to know now, while she could maintain some semblance of control. "Seven?" she repeated, the name a plea on her lips.
"B'Elanna," whispered Seven, savoring the intimate usage of her love's name. "Take of me whatever you will have. I am yours."
"Oh, thank Kahless!" sobbed the Klingon, claiming the blonde's mouth in a crushing kiss once more. Water poured over the women as hands feverishly tugged at the remnants of clothing and removed boots until they both were finally fully bare, bodies instantly entwined. One of B'Elanna's dark hands roamed downward to capture one of Seven's curvaceous buttocks and when the young woman threw her head back to hiss in pleasure and surprise, the Klingon's mouth captured a nipple, feeling it harden instantly against teeth and tongue.
Seven reminded herself to continue with respiration but had barely managed a single breath when she felt the corded strength of B'Elanna's thigh press between her legs. "Please!" she cried, not sure what she was asking for; only knowing she must have it. "Please..."
B'Elanna growled around the nipple she had captured, changed her stance slightly, and pushed Seven against the wall of the lift. She groaned when she felt Seven wrap one ludicrously long leg around her hip. She reached up to nip at the blonde's throat, then licked the raindrops from her jawline.
"I need to be inside you," B'Elanna breathed against Seven's cheek.
Seven mewled with an aching desire so intense it was almost pain. "Yes!" she begged.
B'Elanna snaked her small hand between their slippery bodies and moaned when she felt Seven's sweet wetness for the first time. "Oh God... Oh God..." She plunged two fingers deep inside her lover, heat and silken softness detonating through her like a warp core breach. Seven bucked against those fingers, sobbing with the sweet relief of them, crying out with wanton desire.
B'Elanna braced herself against the wall of the lift with her remaining hand and rocked her hips behind her thrusting fingers, the pounding water on her back urging her deeper inside her lover. She dragged her teeth down Seven's long, leonine throat until she found the sweet spot in the hollow. She sucked there as her thrusts became harder; purpling Seven's pale skin with its first love-bite. Her rising growl became the thunder that completed the storm scene playing around them.
Seven felt the maelstrom within her begin to coalesce. So many sensations, so many feelings, so many needs...all coiling tightly inside her. Deep inside, where she hid so much of her perfect self from the prying eyes of others. Hid everything wonderful and confusing about her individuality, hoping for the day she could share it with this strong, passionate woman who had found her way past the all-encompassing void that hollowed her.
Skin against skin, filled by B'Elanna's strength and need, showered with love and water for the first time, Seven felt that void begin to wash away.
B'Elanna pressed her mouth against Seven's throat, drinking the droplets she found there. "Yes yes yes yes yes..." she chanted, hearing her beautiful lover begin to keen needfully. She looked up into startled azure eyes. "Come, baby," she ordered softly. "You're safe. You've always been safe with me. Come for me, Seven."
Seven threw her head back and screamed as her orgasm tore through her, decimating the ice that surrounded her heart with the white heat of a thousand suns. B'Elanna had claimed her completely; body, heart, and soul.
When she finally came back to herself, she found she could no longer stand. Together she and B'Elanna slid slowly to the waterlogged deckplating of the turbolift; wrapped around each other, gulping air into tortured lungs. Seven looked up, curious, as the downpour suddenly began to lessen; first to a light drizzle, then to a gentle mist, finally stopping completely. The lights, however, continued to flicker.
"You are...capable of...'a mean...rain dance'...bangwi," she noted absently. "Are...you certain...you are...called 'chief'...for other reasons?"
B'Elanna blinked twice before dissolving into weak chuckles. "There...you go...again," she said, resting her forehead against Seven's shoulder. "Using...cultural references...in conversation..."
"I told you it would be likely...that I would do so," replied Seven, raising her ocular implant slightly in challenge.
"Yes, you did," conceded B'Elanna. "Doesn't mean I have to get used to it...all at once." She smiled up at her beautiful lover. "After all, I've learned so much today already."
Seven nuzzled the young Klingon's ear. "I have much to learn by comparison," she whispered. She captured B'Elanna's mouth in a long, slow, wet kiss then asked softly, "Teach me, bangwi?"
"Like you taught me, BlueEyes? Absolutely. But not here. I'm freezing!" She shivered and seemingly endless waves of gooseflesh rolled over her body. Looking up at the ceiling of the lift in the way all Starfleet officers did when conversing with the ship's computer, she barked, "Computer, two to transport to my quarters on my mark; authorization Torres Beta Tau Five. Once transport is complete, transfer this lift to the first available maintenance bay. Mark."
They were kissing again when the transporter beam captured them in silvery blue sparkles.
A quiet chime broke the silence in Engineering and Susan Nicoletti looked in the direction of the sound, her features breaking into a sudden smile. The message was brief and to the point: Site-to-site transport from turbolift 11C to personnel quarters confirmed. Turbolift 11C transferred to maintenance bay 2. "Excellent," said Susan warmly as she retrieved her toolkit from a nearby workstation. She marched confidently out of the department, whistling as she headed off to repair the damage she'd done to poor turbolift 11C. She would have it fixed and back in service within the hour, she knew. She just hoped the Chief and Seven would be too preoccupied with each other in the coming weeks to bother with the whole malfunction mystery. If they ever figured out that was the one who corrupted Seven's virus and they confronted her, she'd have to give back all 2000 replicator rations she was going to win in the pool. That would be a true tragedy.
Tal Celes, who'd been augmenting power to Astrometrics from Seven's console in Engineering, watched the cheerful junior officer leave, shrugged, then went on diverting excess energy toward specific EPS connections. Part of her wondered why so many people made such a big deal about Lieutenant Torres and Seven of Nine and when they were likely to discover the inferno-like sexual attraction between them.
Suddenly realizing it probably meant there was a pool on the topic--a pool she'd missed out on AGAIN somehow--she frowned slightly and muttered, "Fuck!"
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