Seven itched her cybernetic hand. The urge to extend her assimilation tubules and plunge them into the neck of Voyager's Chief engineer's neck was almost overwhelming. The half-Klingon woman was beyond irritating. Her insistence on plunging ahead with plans and repairs before they were entirely thought out was illogical and often resulted in further chaos, rather than an enhanced order. She had just pushed Seven away from a console she had been working on because she 'needed' to run a level 2 diagnostic on the warp core injector modules. Seven was well aware that this diagnostic was not scheduled to be run for another two weeks and she suspected the engineer was running it now for no other reason than to irritate her.
Seven waited patiently but in vain for the half-Klingon to acknowledge her presence, but when it became patently obvious that B'Elanna had no intention of doing so Seven turned on her heel and left the engine room to do her work form a console in Astrometrics.
Later in the afternoon Seven noticed a fluctuation in the power to the sensor grid. She steeled herself before making the obligatory call to engineering to ask for B'Elanna's assistance. A month ago she would have simply made the necessary repairs herself, but the Chief's vociferous complaints to the Captain on that subject had netted Seven enough lectures on protocol, chain of command and proper procedure to last her until they reached the Alpha Quadrant and beyond. So Seven made the call and requested that she be allowed to make the repairs herself. She was not surprised when B'Elanna denied her request and told her she would dispatch a repair team as soon as she could spare the manpower.
Seven didn't expect to see the repair team for at least a day or two. In truth, she knew that she had had the upper hand in her dealings with the engineer for a very long time and much as she hated to admit it, even to herself, she didn't really blame the engineer for rubbing her nose in their change of positions a little now that the Captain had finally stepped in and backed B'Elanna up. It didn't make their interactions any easier to deal with, but Seven was certain she would 'adapt' in time. Although she was also certain a good quick assimilation would do the engineer some good.
They had occasion to butt heads again at the morning staff meeting when B'Elanna presented another half thought through idea for improvements to the warp core. She was halfway through enthusiastically outlining her ideas when Seven felt compelled to point out a computational error that would adversely affect the outcome of the plan. She felt a small surge of triumph as she saw the engineer's jaw tighten and a brief look of annoyance flash across her features. The Captain intervened before it escalated beyond dirty looks and B'Elanna continued with her outline. Seven knew that ultimately the plan was a good one, brilliant really, but this didn't stop her from pointing out several other flaws in logic as B'Elanna talked. Finally Seven was rewarded when B'Elanna lost her temper completely and tore into her with a Klingon vengeance. Finally the Captain was forced to intervene and restore order.
Seven wasn't at all surprised when the Captain asked her to stay after the meeting. After stressing again the importance of tact and timing in fostering interpersonal relationships and shipwide harmony the Captain asked Seven to sit.
"Is there anything you'd like to tell me Seven?"
"I am unsure of the meaning of your question Captain."
"I realize that you and B'Elanna have had your problems, but I thought you were making some progress in the last few months."
"We were Captain, but we appear to have regressed."
"You took the words right out of my mouth Seven. You were downright rude to B'Elanna during the meeting this morning. I believe you own her an apology. It just isn't like you to be so antagonistic Seven."
"I behaved badly and I will attempt to correct my behaviour in the future Captain."
"Are you sure there isn't anything you'd like to talk about Seven?"
"No Captain, but thank you for your kindness."
As Seven left the room the Captain idly wondered at the timing of Seven's change in attitude. It seemed they had been doing much better up until B'Elanna began seeing Tom Paris and then all hell had broken loose once more. Janeway wondered if Seven might not have feelings for the helmsman, but then dismissed that thought as absurd. To her knowledge Seven and Paris had never had a civil interaction since the drone had come onboard.
Seven left the conference room and went to engineering. She wanted to get her apology over as quickly as possible. Her discomfort with the situation was exacerbated by the fact that Seven knew she really had been out of line with the young Klingon.
B'Elanna was working at the main console when Seven entered main engineering. Seven squared her shoulders and approached the fiery chief and stood beside her waiting for her presence to be acknowledged. When it became clear that yet once more B'Elanna was pointedly ignoring her Seven spoke.
"Lieutenant Torres, I believe I was 'out of line' in the meeting this morning. I wish to apologize for my behaviour."
B'Elanna looked at her for the briefest of seconds before returning to her work.
"What the meeting I don't know what you're talking about Seven."
"My behaviour, I was rude to you Lieutenant and I feel I should apologize."
"Look Seven, it was par for the course. I hardly noticed, but if it makes you feel any better apology accepted." B'Elanna said all of this without even looking at her and Seven felt her irritation growing. She stood there a moment longer, but when it was again clear that B'Elanna had no intention of acknowledging her existance she turned and left the room. She could not believe that the engineer didn't even have the grace to admit that she'd been affected by Seven's behaviour all evidence to the contrary. How could such a small woman evoke such huge emotions in one so generally perceived to be emotionless? It was really beyond comprehension.
Seven made it a point to go nowhere near engineering in the following weeks. She worked her Astrometrics shifts and spent the rest of her time divided between Cargo Bay 2 and the holodeck where she ran as many physically exhausting programs as she could find in the database.
The next week saw Voyager on the losing side of a battle with the Egrigions that left the ship in a shambles and the warp engines offline.
At the staff meeting B'Elanna outlined her plans for effecting repairs to the ship and to her chagrin Seven found that the engineer had assigned her several jobs in engineering. Knowing better than to argue with the Lieutenant in the meeting Seven waited until after and approached the Captain with her concerns. After outlining her objections to the Captain she was told in no uncertain terms that her duties lay pretty much wherever she was needed onboard the ship and that she should complete her duties in Astrometrics as quickly as possible and report to engineering and put herself at B'Elanna's disposal.
For two days Seven did her assigned tasks and held her tongue at B'Elanna's illogical behaviour and generally irritating manner. After 12 straight hours of crawling through Jefferies Tubes in an effort to track down a fused relay Seven found herself working alone on the upper level of engineering. She heard the whining of the lift and to her dismay saw the body of the Lieutenant emerging onto the deck.
Seven continued to make adjustments at the console and completely ignored the presence of the engineer. After about 15 minutes B'Elanna approached and peered around her shoulder, observing her work.
"Kahless Seven, what the hell do you think you're doing? I told you specifically to leave the dilithium mixture ratio alone for now."
Seven interrupted and tried to explain the logic of refining the mixture now before they attempted to restart the warp engines, but B'Elanna just bulled ahead with her diatribe.
"If you introduce that mixture into the engines now we won't be able to tell where the problem lies if the engines won't restart. I thought you'd know better than that Seven, even a first year "
Seven couldn't stand it any longer. She grabbed the engineer by the collar of her uniform and pulled her close, planting a kiss firmly on her luscious wine-coloured lips.
B'Elanna hesitated for a second and then responded to the kiss, she parted her lips to allow Seven access to her mouth, letting her own tongue slide along the length of the young drone's and find its way into her mouth. An involuntary moan escaped Seven's lips and this seemed to snap B'Elanna back to her senses. She pushed the drone away sharply.
"Seven what the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Shutting you up Lieutenant. I thought it was preferable to hitting you which was the only other course of action I could conceive of in that moment."
"Shutting me Seven, you can't simply go around kissing people just because you don't want to hear what they have to say."
"Lieutenant, I feel compelled to point out that you kissed me back."
"WHAT, that's ridiculous Seven. I'm seeing Tom now, and there's no way I'd kiss a drone, single or not."
Seven leaned over until she was a breath away from B'Elanna, "and yet you did," she said before she left the room.
B'Elanna could only lean against the console, hanging her head and wondering what had just happened to her, and why in her entire life she had never responded to a kiss like that before.
Seven returned to Cargo Bay 2 and paced furiously wondering what in the world had come over her. She had actually kissed Lieutenant Torres; granted it was better than hitting her, but still. How could she have kissed another woman, and worse, how could she have enjoyed it so much? In situations like this Seven did the only thing she knew how to doresearch.
Several hours later she had the answers to her questions, but she wasn't sure she liked them very much. She stepped into her alcove and her anxiety was instantly gone as her regeneration cycle began.
The next day she reported to engineering for her shift; the first person she saw upon entering the room was B'Elanna. The engineer took one look at Seven and headed for her office. Seven sighed and followed her determinedly.
"Lieutenant Torres, I need to speak to you."
"Don't start Seven. I can't deal with you right now."
Seven was about to leave the office when B'Elanna spoke again.
"You kissed me Seven. I can't believe you kissed me."
"I know Lieutenant and I wanted to "
"I said don't start Seven I mean it."
Seven once again started for the door.
"I mean you can't just go around kissing people like that Seven. You just can't."
"I know and that is why "
"SEVEN, stop arguing with me. I need you to swap out two gel packs in Jefferies Tube 36 right away. We can't get the core on line until you're finished."
Seven finally managed to leave the room and spent the rest of the day working like a fiend. Her only contact with B'Elanna was over the comm as the Lieutenant gave her job after job that kept her as far away from engineering as possible.
At the end of the day Seven went to the mess hall knowing it would be empty at this time of night. She sat by herself at a viewport drinking her nutritional supplement and working on her plans for the repairs to the sensor array for Astrometrics.
She heard someone enter the room and not wishing to interact with anyone she kept working without turning around. She felt a flash of irritation as she heard the person approaching irritation that was quickly replaced by trepidation as she saw Lieutenant Torres slide into the seat across from her.
"Seven of Nine."
The silence stretched between them.
"I broke up with Tom tonight."
Seven was about to say that she was sorry to hear this until she realized that it would be a lie, so instead she merely asked, "Why?"
"Because I can't stop thinking about how it felt to kiss you."
Seven was taken aback by the Lieutenant's brutal honesty. It was downright Borg of her.
"Speechless for once eh Seven?" B'Elanna was smiling now. She leaned across the table and brushed her lips slowly across Seven's. "But the next time you're in that situation, do me a favour and just hit the person okay." Seven found herself caught in the gaze of the beautiful engineer's liquid brown eyes.
"See you tomorrow Seven," she said, letting her hand trail gently over Seven's cheek as she stood and left the room.
The next day B'Elanna assigned the work schedule for the entire day in the morning and then sent her teams off to their tasks. When she returned to the Jefferies Tube where she was working after taking her lunch break she saw a second tool box sitting closed beside the one she had been using all morning. She opened it and smiled at the sight of a dozen red roses and a note from Seven wishing her a lovely afternoon.
When Seven returned to the cargo bay after her duty shift she was surprised to find a PADD propped up on her personal console with a note from B'Elanna inviting her for dinner that evening in the engineer's quarters.
When Seven walked into B'Elanna's quarters that night she saw that the lights were dimmed and candles were lit and the food was already on the table. B'Elanna handed her a glass of wine and led her to the table. They sipped their wine and picked at their food while trying to make polite conversation. Halfway through dinner Seven could no longer take the tension.
"B'Elanna I was thinking I mean perhaps we could skip dinner "
"Oh hell yeah," said B'Elanna taking Seven by the hand and leading her toward the bedroom.
Seven awoke the next morning completely undressed and tangled in the embrace of the equally naked chief engineer. She was feeling suddenly and irrationally shy considering the events of the past few days. She tried to ease out of the grip of the sleeping Klingon but froze when B'Elanna spoke.
"You aren't trying to sneak out on me are you Seven?"
"I was just I was unsure whether or not you would "
"Jeez Seven, you haven't figured out how I feel about you yet?"
"I no "
"Look, I know we started out on a kind of a strange note, but the truth is I'm completely attracted to you and I'd really like the chance to get to know you better. So, I guess the only question now is, how do you feel about me?"
"I believe that you are the most irritating woman I have ever known, and I also believe that I am falling in love with you B'Elanna Torres," said Seven as she bent to capture B'Elanna's lips in a kiss.
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