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By Cirroco DeSade


B'Elanna left her office intending to go to the rear warp core station to begin a diagnostic. It was a fairly boring day, all things considered. They'd only been attacked twice in the last month and her team was almost caught up on all repairs from the last nebula Janeway had decided to detour into. She was examining some specifications on a padd as she walked and calculating the next series of adjustments that she was going to have Carey run on the Beta shift. However while on her journey there, she happened to notice a series of logs that her young Vulcan engineer Vorik was examining. Since she was always good at keeping abreast of her engineers maneuvers by such casual glances while on strolls across her domain, it didn't always register with her right away what she saw unless it was really ugly. Usually red lights were the only thing to make her stop and immediately pay attention. Everything else just filtered into the back of her mind where it eventually percolated into her consciousness if necessary.

Five steps past the Vulcan, B'Elanna came to a sudden halt and her head popped up, her padd already forgotten. If anybody had been in front of her to see her facial expression, they would've seen her eyes at their widest and most alarmed. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself and calmly walked back to the young man.

Now, her history with Vorik was awkward. The Vulcan had once tried to mate with her when he had gone into Pon Farr a few years back. Instead of a mate he got the living hell beat out of him. Unfortunately, he had already achieved half of a mind meld on her so she ended up with a major case of Klingon hormones running amuck. An ill timed away mission combined with said facts led to her mating with Tom Paris, the only being available during a cave-in. B'Elanna hadn't ever forgotten the Vulcan's absolute mastery at creating this havoc on her life, even if she did understand that he really could not help his Pon Farr induced machinations.

Now it looked like he still had some unfortunate timing.

"Um," B'Elanna began, not too intelligently she noted, "what are you doing Vorik?"

"I am examining an unusual pattern in one of Voyager's system's maintenance," he answered proudly. "It caught my attention while I was trying to track down the maintenance logs of nearby EPS conduits that there have been a high number of repairs conducted on the Turbolifts recently. I was trying to ascertain if there were underlying issues at the core. However those who have conducted the repairs, including you, have left little in the way of reports to indicate the problems repaired."

Interestingly enough, since her encounter with the Vidiians and their splitting her into her respective human and Klingon halves, she sometimes felt and heard thoughts as if she was still distinctly split. The Human half of her was running around in circles in her brain, in a blind panic yelling "oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!" Meanwhile the Klingon side of her was wondering if there were a way that she could get away with pounding the annoying Vulcan into the deck; maybe if she hit him hard enough and long enough he'd forget everything and she could claim he was trying to come on to her again.

Gathering up what was left of her wits after telling her two sides to shut up and cooperate she casually spoke to the well meaning meddler before her. "Actually, the reason that the notes are scarce is because it is a private project that Seven and I are working on, not truly maintenance."

Vorik lifted his eyebrow in that annoying Vulcan gesture of question. "A private project, Lieutenant? Is the Captain aware of this project?"

Gritting her teeth, B'Elanna tried to figure out how to successfully answer this one without lying. "Have you noticed how Seven and I have been getting along better lately, Vorik?"

"Indeed," he answered. "There has been much speculation as to why Seven and yourself have come to some form of accord, as well as some betting as to how long it could last."

"Really?" B'Elanna's ire was a little piqued at that, but she decided to drop it for now. B'Elanna forged on. "We've been spending time together working out our issues in private areas of the ship, that way, our more vocal and excited moments don't disturb those around us. We've found that spending time together sharing mutual interests has greatly relieved a lot of stress and made it easier to work more peacefully with each other."

"A most worthy endeavor, Lieutenant," Vorik praised in that superior Vulcan way that never failed to grate B'Elanna's nerves.

"Yes, well," B'Elanna continued, "we are still working at it, and it would be easier if we didn't have people, you know, bothering us about it." The Vulcan raised an eyebrow again. "You know how people like Chakotay and the Captain are always trying to push us. If they knew where we were working, they'd start showing up to 'see how we're doing' which kind of defeats the privacy aspect of our… um, research."

"I understand, Lieutenant," Vorik answered and with a dignified nod finished, "I will not mention this to anyone."

"Yeah, uh, thanks, Vorik," B'Elanna answered truly grateful. "And if you don't mind, I think I'm going to erase those logs."

"A prudent course of action," he agreed, watching her do so. "I wish you two continued success for your experiments."

"Thanks," B'Elanna said, while her internal Klingon howled with laughter.

The End

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