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Turbolift Torment Four
B'Elanna Torres entered the turbolift on Deck 11. She was rather preoccupied over her fight with Joe Carey and was looking down at the ground, but it soon dawned on her conscious mind that she was not alone.
The two people had been moving away from each other (her subconscious told her) and had now come to rest, either side of the Lieutenant, towards the rear of the turbolift. B'Elanna stood looking towards them and smiled at the Captain, giving the usual Starfleet non-verbal greeting of a nod. The Captain gave a strangely nervous smile and looked down immediately.
B'Elanna left the Captain for a moment and turned her attention to Seven of Nine. Surely, she wasn't nervous too? Seven?
Wait a minute. She looked back at the Captain and studied her, thankful the woman was still looking at the floor. `You're a little flushed, Captain dear,' the Engineer thought to herself as she caught the sideways glance Janeway gave to the ex-Borg... but Seven wasn't looking at her - she was studying the woman who was studying her Captain.
B'Elanna was no fool. She knew she'd interrupted something here, and she knew she was in the company of two very nervous people who were both fervently hoping that she was a fool.
The Captain took a deep breath and looked up at last to B'Elanna. Tilting her head back slightly she said in a steady voice, "Seems as good a time as any to ask, Lieutenant. Do you have those figures ready for me to see yet?" Janeway stared into B'Elanna's dark eyes. `She knows,' she thought.
"Yes, Captain," replied B'Elanna steadily, staring back. "If you have a moment, you could accompany me now and…"
"That won't be possible, I have a situation I have to attend to."
`I'll bet you do,' thought B'Elanna, looking involuntarily at Seven who appeared to be colouring slightly. "OK. Well, I could bring them up to you later, if you tell me when?"
"It might be better, Lieutenant, if you'd give them to Seven before 14.00 hours and I'll go over them with her then."
"You want me there?" asked B'Elanna deliberately, gauging the reaction.
"I think we can manage." Janeway looked hopelessly towards Seven, looking for some release from this torment her mind was going through.
B'Elanna looked again at Seven who, this time, held her gaze. `I always thought…' her eyes told the blonde.
`You never showed the slightest interest in me,' accused Seven's glance. B'Elanna shifted slightly, aware that the Captain was looking in on this `dialogue' between the two of them. Back to Seven's eyes she said, `I thought I didn't have to say anything, I thought you just knew.'
`And that was your folly, Lieutenant.'
Just before the lift door finally opened to let three slightly shaken people out, B'Elanna's eyes asked Seven, `Is there any hope for us?' She was rewarded with a slight smile, a rarity from Seven of Nine, as the ex-Borg walked past her to exit the turbolift.
Janeway looked from Seven to B'Elanna and sighed. The looks she had just observed between her two officers had been unmistakable. In hindsight, she had clearly been a fool to believe Seven cared about her. In any event, the Captain was a fair woman and knew how to concede defeat.
`I'll back off,' Janeway's eyes told B'Elanna as she began to exit the turbolift. `Seems like her heart belongs to you.'
B'Elanna smiled sadly at Janeway and placed a hand on the older woman's sleeve, conveying her gratitude before glancing at Seven, who had turned to wait for the Captain.
Somehow all three now knew where they stood.
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