Seven looked up at the dangling piece of greenery and tried to formulate a response to Ensign Paris' overly delighted insistence that she should kiss his date. It wasn't that Seven had anything against the idea of pressing her lips against those of the chief engineer and, if circumstances had been different, she would have gladly obliged but she just could not get over the simple fact that...
"You expect me to kiss Lieutenant Torres simply because we happen to be standing beneath a parasitic plant?" Human logic was fallible at the best of times but performing one of the basic steps of the species' mating ritual based solely on their proximity to a berry laden piece of foliage was verging on the bizarre. "Explain."
"It's tradition," said Tom.
"It's stupid," countered B'Elanna.
"It'd be hot," drooled an intoxicated Harry Kim.
Of the three options presented to her Seven could most readily agree with B'Elanna's assessment, although she did think that Harry had a point. "Elaborate."
"It's mistletoe," Tom informed her, incorrectly assuming the question had been posed to him. "You have to kiss under the mistletoe."
"It's tradition," he repeated.
Circular logic was not favoured by the Borg and it was one aspect of her former life with which Seven fully agreed. "It is mistletoe, therefore I must comply with the tradition, but the tradition is predicated on the fact that it is mistletoe. Am I correct?"
"It'd be hot." Harry nodded, his eyes glazing over as he slumped into a chair.
Tom shrugged, his smile faltering as he tried to unravel the question. "Yes?" he guessed.
"It's just an excuse to go around kissing whoever you want without having to feel guilty about it," B'Elanna explained.
The intricacies of human dating still eluded Seven but she was aware that it was considered wrong to make romantic advancements to people already in established relationships. This tradition, however, seemed to negate that rule and provide a suitable avenue of approach for anyone wishing to show their superior suitability to those individuals who were already part of a couple.
"I shall comply."
Tom practically whooped for joy as Harry struggled to wakefulness and B'Elanna plastered on a fake look of indifference.
"Lieutenant?" Seven enquired, stepping closer to B'Elanna while at the same time making sure they remained firmly beneath the shadow of the drooping plant. "May I?"
B'Elanna had slapped the last person who'd tried to maul her beneath the mistletoe but Seven's polite request had her stepping into the embrace and eagerly welcoming the other woman's lips. The kiss was extremely brief but before either Tom or Harry could voice their disappointment it was replaced by a second and much longer kiss that left B'Elanna reeling and desperate for the third.
As the third kiss was surpassed by the fourth and then the fifth, Tom began to rethink his belief in traditions and Harry dissolved into a puddle of drunken drool at their feet. His slumped body proving only a minor obstacle as B'Elanna unhooked the mistletoe and led a willing Seven of Nine back to her cabin.
The Christmas spirit had truly descended on Voyager and nothing would ever be the same again.
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