A Single Day
By Elizabeth Carter
B'Elanna Torres watched from across the mess hall as a tall blonde ex-Borg sat down in the darkened corner of the room at her usual table and, just as predictable, alone. At 0600 hours in the morning the place wasn't exactly jumping with personnel and those that were there paid the former drone little attention, not more than to comment on it was a shame to look so desirable but be so unapproachable. Ice Borg Queen indeed.
B'Elanna, for her part, was just as alone. But those who were not engineers had nothing truly to say to a hybrid Klingon of the Maquis. Of course, the fact that the lieutenant's table top was filled with data PADDs could have something to do with the lack of company. Besides, the Klingon rather wanted to be alone at the moment so she wasn't complaining. She wanted an uninterrupted view of the scene about to play itself out.
Blue eyes flamed wide as a new taste hit her tongue. Seven forcefully swallowed the contents in her mouth, staring at the glass tumbler in her hand as if it could somehow explain why the nutritional supplement had not tasted as it should.
Tentatively she took a second drink, this time only sipping the gray liquid and again Seven was surprised. B'Elanna was grinning like a tika cat that had eaten a targ pup.
Rising from the table, Seven of Nine moved quickly to the replicater on the wall, placed her drink in the recycler and reordered her liquid breakfast. She took a confident swig of the pasty shake only to discover the drink was just as altered as the last had been. The flavor had completely shocked her.
"Seven? Something wrong?" Neelix asked, having noticed the stymied ex-drone's actions.
"I believe the replicators are malfunctioning," Seven delivered.
"Oh?" Neelix cocked his head and frowned.
"Yes. My nutritional supplement does not taste as it should." Seven wasn't frowning as much as her blue eyes betrayed her puzzlement.
Neelix held his hand out, "May I?" He took the offered glass from the slender meshed hand and sniffed the contents, shrugged, then bravely took a drought.
B'Elanna watched as Neelix's yellow eyes opened wide. "Chocolate! Seven, it's chocolate. Mightily tasty, I might add."
"I was under the impression chocolate was of a deep brown coloring," the ex-Borg said in her normal monotone. What she didn't express was that chocolate was the same deep color as that found in B'Elanna's eyes. Rich....chocolate brown.
"I can have Engineering take a look at the replicators," the furry chef commented. "In fact, B'Elanna is right over there. I am sure she won't mind....."
"I am fully capable of repairing the replicator myself," Seven said dryly.
When the petite engineer heard her name, she was about to rise and go over to the taller woman's side but stopped when she heard Seven's proclamation. She was a little disappointed, but she hadn't expected anything else. Since gaining her individuality, Seven was very independent. It was an aspect that drew B'Elanna but frustrated her at the same time. The frown that had burrowed its way onto the Klingon's face soon vanished when she heard Seven speak once more.
"However, the replicators do not seem to be malfunctioning after all. I must have been in error."
B'Elanna dropped her jaw. Had she just heard Seven correctly? The cool Borg drone admitted error! The smile B'Elanna had been sporting earlier was even larger now as she reclaimed her chair.
Seven hadn't wanted to change the flavor of the supplement. Not only did the flavor enhance the palatability of the drink but it served to remind the blonde of a certain woman whom her heart yearned to be with but never would be. B'Elanna witnessed the slightest blush and the smallest of smiles grace the pale face as the blonde passed her table to take her own.
B'Elanna smiled quietly to herself, thinking that just a simple thing could bring the aloof, or perhaps simply shy, woman so much pleasure. True, it was B'Elanna's tampering that caused the replicators to make Seven's nutritional supplements chocolate favored, but had Seven truly detested the alteration, B'Elanna would have eagerly switched it back to its bland flavor.
But today was an ancient custom on Earth. It was Valentines Day, and B'Elanna decided to use the day to start her courtship of Seven. Granted, most lovers gave each other chocolate, but Seven still had a very sensitive digestive system and thus eating truffles of dark chocolate was not an option. But B'Elanna saw no reason why her unrequited love should be without. B'Elanna had used a clear chocolate extract concentrate to blend with the recipe for the replicated shakes. Seven would not know of the alteration until she had tasted it.
Seven had no idea why someone would change the flavor on her, but it didn't seem to be a malicious act. In fact, it seemed like something some one who cared for her might do. But the only people who would do such a thing might be little Naomi Wildman, but the child was not old enough to have that sort of access to the replicator's command center. Had she talked her mother into it, or perhaps Neelix? Neelix might have tried it, but Neelix would never do anything so covert, nor would the captain. In fact the Captain would be very up front, almost demanding Seven try something new. As would the Doctor. Harry Kim? Yes, that made sense. He could be covert and he was old enough to program the replicators to alter her nutritional supplements. The one person who Seven had wished to have done something so secretly caring was the most unlikely person, and so Seven never considered that B'Elanna Torres would have done such a thing.
The blonde now had a problem on her hands. How to let young Harry Kim down without damaging his heart. He had meant well, but Seven didn't reciprocate his feelings. She cared for him deeply, but she wasn't in love with him and never would be. This attempt made it even the more difficult to turn him away because she cared for him all the more for the attempt.
Seven's puzzlement had risen ten-fold when she had overheard Tel'Cass thank T'Laura for the chocolate divinity she had been given that same morning.
"You received chocolate confections from T'Laura this morning?" Seven said matter-of-factly, trying to calculate the coincidence of both of them receiving chocolate in the morning.
The Bajoran was glowing, "Yes, ma'am. Well, it might be an Earth tradition but I've always liked Valentine's day."
"Clarify." Seven said in a clipped tone, but not meaning to sound harsh.
"Today is Valentines Day. On Earth, Humans celebrate it by making the person they love feel special." Tel'Cass might have been a little surprised if another human had asked her about the holiday of lovers, but this was Seven of Nine, and thus her familiarity with holidays and celebrations was sorely lacking. "Depending upon the lovers, different gifts are given. But some of the more traditional gifts are chocolate and flowers."
"Yes, you know red roses. A lot of flowers are given on this day. It seems sometimes the whole room is filled with them."
"A room filled with roses is an acceptable gift? But if they are removed from the soil the flowers will die," Seven pointed out.
"Well, maybe, but it's so romantic to walk into a room and see red roses." The Bajoran was smiling.
"I see." Seven nodded. "But why set aside one day to proclaim the love you have for your mate. If you love such an individual why not proclaim your affection for them at any time?"
"You know, T'Laura asked me the same thing. She doesn't see the true relevance in the day, but she will celebrate it with me despite that. Which makes it all the more special. She thinks that a single day set aside to tell your mate you love them is inefficient, and that you should proclaim such things all the time. I've tried to say its simply special to set a day aside and make that person you love feel extra special, that you don't take them for granted and sometimes people come together for the first time on this day. It's supposed to be very romantic."
"I understand. Thank you for explaining," Seven commented easily."
The young ensign thought about the questions Seven had asked and her mind wandered into a new area of thought. "Seven....um...do ...do you like someone?"
"It would not be returned," Seven said simply as her eyes were down cast at the kiosk in front of her. When faced with troubling issues Seven resorted to working until she had the time to ask the Captain to have a philosophical question.
'By the Profits she does like someone! I hope it doesn't go badly for her.' Tel'Cass looked up meeting Seven's blue eyes. "Are you so sure?"
The blonde thought for a moment that B'Elanna might actually return her feelings. She winced inwardly. No it wasn't possible. The fiery spirited Engineer could never return the love Seven felt for her.
"You could, you know, send a gift anonymously, but give little hints that it could be you that gave the gift. She might put two and two together and realize you gave the gift. And then you will know if she returns your feelings or not."
Seven considered the words given to her by her junior officer. "How do you know the person I have an affection for is female?" Seven wondered if somehow she had let slip she was in love with B'Elanna.
'So it's true! She is in love! I knew it! I knew it. Seven is a lesbian! I knew she was family.'
"Well,you kinda set off the 'gaydar' Seven. Most of the lesbians on this ship were hoping you'd out yourself."
"Um, you know, a kind of instinctual feeling that another person might be of the same sexual preference you are. You kinda give those of us who are lesbians a hunch that you might be as well."
"Then your assumptions would be correct and the gaydar is working in acceptable parameters. I have no sexual nor romantic desire to be with a male of any species, however I have a friendship with Harry Kim, Neelix and the Doctor."
"Friends are one thing, having sex with them is another," Tel'Cass said simply. "But I have to hand it to you, it's great news that you play for our team."
Seven figured 'playing for our team' was simply another euphemism so she didn't question it, she accepted it for what it was. Besides, she had too much work ahead of her to bother with idol chatter.
Several hours later, B'Elanna found Neelix and Naomi in her office. Every horizontal space was filled with Klingon blood roses.
"What the hell?" came a growled demand.
"Oh, B'Elanna, it's sooooooo romantic, isn't it?" Naomi jumped up and down, clapping her hands. "We had to beam them directly in so you wouldn't know, but you got a big Valentines!"
B'Elanna didn't know what to say. Her mouth was gapping, she was so overwhelmed by the enormity of the blood roses. The entire office smelled of the roses, something so familiar it sang in the memory of B'Elanna's blood. Something so familiar it caused her heart to flame, and roar in her mind.
Driving the impulse aside to claim the person the scent belonged to, B'Elanna concentrated upon the people in front of her. "Who sent them?"
Neelix shrugged, "I can't tell you." His lopsided grin and the twinkle in his eyes made B'Elanna think he had known but refused to tell her. "You're telling me you have no idea?"
"No, I am sorry Lieutenant. I was given a great quantity of replicator rations and asked to deliver the roses to the Chief Engineer's office and her personal quarters."
"Wait, how did you get into my quarters?" B'Elanna folded her arms.
"You're secret admirer sent a request to the Captain and to Mr. Tovok requesting that he escort myself and Naomi so that we might deliver the roses." Neelix wrung his hands in nervousness. "Um..I'll....um....we'll be going now," the furry man stammered as he scooted the little Katerina out of the office and fled as quickly as possible, leaving B'Elanna alone in the office with the roses.
Taking a blossom, the petite woman inhaled deeply and it hit her, the scent.....She knew the sent so carefully hidden amount the natural perfume of the blossoms.
"SEVEN! You cleaver little minx!"
Seven was sitting in the darkened corner of the mess hall sipping her chocolate flavored nutritional supplement. B'Elanna, stealing her resolve, marched up to the tall blonde, ignoring the comments as she strode her way to the back.
Several people commented that the Ice Queen must have pissed the Klingon off again and any moment Sickbay and Security would have to be notified due to the altercation that was about to explode in the Mess Hall.
Seven looked up and found herself drowning in the chocolate eyes, not caring that at any moment she was going to be accosted for sending the roses. She just wanted to live the moment.
B'Elanna became lost in the site before her. 'The brave will not live forever, but the cautious will not live at all.' It had been something that Miral, daughter of La'carra, had told her child several times. It was something B'Elanna believed in herself.
B'Elanna grabbed Seven's arm and pulled the taller blonde to her feet. Her arms snaked around the thin waist, her dark wine red lips pressed against the blonde's own. The kiss was tentative, unsure. Then something changed. Seven's arms coiled around B'Elanna's own body and held her firmly to her longer body. The kiss became more confident, tender, deeper and all consuming.
When they pulled away, their eyes never left the other.
"Thank you for the chocolate," Seven whispered.
"Thank you for the roses," B'Elanna breathed into the kiss.
"I no longer wish to be a spectacle, the others are staring. Can we leave?" Seven uttered shyly.
"Oh yeah, not fond of public displays of affection myself." B'Elanna nipped the delicate throat.
"But you kissed me in public."
"I'm not ashamed Seven, I just like to keep us... if there is going to be an us...private. But I wanted to let you know that I am perfectly okay knowing others know we...could...be...something....together."
"For a Klingon you are very nervous." Seven smiled into the kiss. "You are most attractive when you 'babble'."
B'Elanna smirked. "Happy Valentines Day, Seven."
"Happy Valentine's day.....BangwI."
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