DISCLAIMER: All Paramount's not mine. No money earned (sob).
NOTES: RalSt asked for a sequel, so here it is. Another short piece of nonsense.

What a Surprise

By alastria7

Janeway entered the Conference Room with a spring in her step and a slight smile on her face. `What are you up to?' thought the only other occupant of the room, her First Officer. "You look happy, today, Kathryn?" he said as he sat.

"Do I?"

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were plotting something." He waited for a reply but she simply smiled at him. He knew the look; it informed him silently that no information would be forthcoming. He knew better than to push it.

Tuvok entered the room. Looking at the Captain with his usual serious expression, he nodded and then took his seat: Janeway acknowledged with a nod of her own. It was done, then, she thought. And she had no doubt that Tuvok's job would be exceptional. She smiled to herself, sending her First Officer into another set of mental question marks.

B'Elanna came from the door straight to her seat, sitting immediately without acknowledging anyone. She didn't dare acknowledge anyone as she was having a hard time keeping a straight face. She certainly kept her eyes away from the Captain's - to laugh now would ruin everything. So she sat, trying to look as though she was in a foul mood.

Janeway studied the young half-Klingon's face. `She's doing an excellent job', she thought, which caused a further smile, not lost on Chakotay.

The Conference Room slowly filled, each member of the select group taking their seats and murmuring quietly between themselves before the Captain's expected interruption to bring them all to order. Only one seat remained empty. Seven of Nine's.

Janeway looked suitably annoyed as she swept her eyes around the room, looking at the other staff, until she pointedly rested her gaze on the empty seat. She waited a little longer before muttering, "Oh, this is ridiculous," (in a whisper loud enough for everyone to hear) and tapped her combadge. "Janeway to Seven of Nine."

"Here, Captain."

"Seven, you might be there, but you're supposed to be here," Janeway frowned, hoping everyone was fooled by the irritation in her voice.

"I have been delayed. You may begin without me. Seven out."

"How can you let her talk to you like that?" B'Elanna's eyes bore into the Captain's. The room's other occupants were now looking from the Chief Engineer to the Captain and back again, with mild excitement. They were all familiar with B'Elanna's tone and they knew it was the Klingon version of something approaching Yellow Alert.

"Seven, we're waiting for you. Please hurry."

"As you wish, Captain. On my way."

"That woman should be taught some damned manners!"

"B'Elanna!" warned Chakotay, looking across at his ex-Maquis friend. Somehow he still felt very protective towards her and it looked to him like she was spoiling for a fight of some kind. With B'Elanna's previous record, and given her current mood, it was almost certain that Seven of Nine would be in trouble when she finally joined them.

Harry Kim considered the ex-Borg needed warning about the current B'Elanna `situation', but then he decided that Seven could look after herself. And anyway, he honestly delighted in a good scrap between B'Elanna and Seven, knowing the entertainment value was usually high. He was looking forward to the next few minutes.

Tom's head went up. He knew the tone. He was very sure Seven was in big trouble. He didn't have to wait too much longer to find out as Seven breezed in and sat down, without even an apology.

"Aren't you even going to say sorry, Borg?" growled B'Elanna menacingly.

"And why should I apologise to you? "

"Not me, dummy, the Captain. The other officers. Hell - all of us. You kept us waiting, you know!"

Most eyes were turned not on Seven or B'Elanna by now, but on the Captain, fully expecting Janeway to step in forcibly to end the banter but, one by one, they realised she wasn't going to. Slowly their attentions reverted back to the warring pair.

"I informed the Captain she should begin without me. If she chose to ignore my directive, I can hardly be held accountable."

"Why you rude, arrogant." B'Elanna was on her feet and heading Borg- ward, with a look of pure fury on her face.

Harry looked at Tuvok as the Vulcan rose in his seat. "Ladies, this is no way to conduct."

"Tuvok," he felt the Captain's hand on his arm, gently restraining him. "We stop these two ladies often enough, don't you think? Let's just see where they're going with this, OK?"

Now the `audience' was definitely spoiled for choice. They divided their time between watching in disbelief as the Captain halted Tuvok's intervention (which was practically unheard of); watching Seven, anticipating her reaction, and watching B'Elanna, who appeared to be holding the verbal bag of fireworks! In fact they resembled a crowd sitting net-side at a tennis match.

B'Elanna reached her prey and gripped her arm, while the young woman looked down into her eyes. "I am rude and arrogant? What about you, B'Elanna Torres? Are you not a prime example of both?"

Tom nodded.

B'Elanna dropped Seven's arm and looked towards Janeway beseechingly. "I've tried every which-way with this woman. I've tried reason. I've yelled at her. I don't know what to try next!"

"Well, whatever it's going to be, Lieutenant," replied her Captain, "do it soon. This ship doesn't slide through space without help, you know. And we do have a meeting to conduct, when the two of you are ready."

Harry couldn't quite believe the look in Janeway's eyes; he couldn't quite put a finger on what was bothering him.

B'Elanna turned once again to Seven, to continue her plea. "What's going to work with you, Borg? I mean, what's it going to take to make you less of an ice cube, huh?"

Seven lowered her voice. "Ice always responds well to warmth, Lieutenant."

That got Tom's attention. He stared at Seven, unable to work out why she would apparently open up like this in front of everyone.

"So what are you suggesting?"

"I am suggesting that we introduce some warmth between us."

"And how do you suggest we do that?"

"I have an idea, Lieutenant. Prepare yourself - I shall now kiss you." To an assortment of amazed gasps, Seven, suddenly leaned forward and enveloped the Chief Engineer in a lengthy and deep kiss, in front of the entire room.

Harry simply stared - his facial features were either wide open, flared or gaping, as his face held an open-day all of its own.

Tuvok raised an eyebrow that might have needed an oxygen mask to survive any longer at that altitude, his frown almost folding his brow.

Chakotay gave a look resembling a child who had just seen Santa Clause punched by a little old lady.

Tom tried to consider objecting, but was frankly too turned on by what he saw to do anything other than watch.

Neelix loved it, being the loving Talaxian that he was, and he settled down to watch the show, folding his arms and smiling happily.

Kathryn Janeway was simply happy that the whole thing was being caught on film. She had asked Tuvok earlier to set up a surveillance camera, three in fact, although he'd had no idea why. The three cameras had all been set to begin recording as early as three minutes before the first of them had arrived. She had been pleased with B'Elanna's idea to perform one last mini-fight.

Seven let go of the now-subdued Engineer. "You have ceased in your efforts to shout at me, Lieutenant. I deduce that I should kiss you each time you begin to look thunderous."

"The way you annoy me, I guess you're going to have to kiss me every day," replied B'Elanna, trying her best to look surprised by what had just occurred.

"If I am to kiss you every day, Lieutenant, I supposed I will need to be with you every day."

"You will?"

Neelix smiled even wider than before. Chakotay considered he would need a hearing test after this meeting, after all - that couldn't be right, could it? Tuvok continued to observe, his eyebrow breathing heavily. Tom placed his padd over his lap.

"And if I am to see you every day, then it would be more efficient to move in with you, Lieutenant, to be of full service."

"I guess that would make things easier," replied B'Elanna, smiling now in spite of herself.

"But I warn you, I am not the kind of girl who could live with a person and kiss her every day, without a legal agreement."


They were all getting it now. Knowing smiles were spreading throughout the room as the crew watched.

"If I am to kiss you every day, I shall expect you to marry me. There is no alternative."

"Marry you! Are you out of your tiny metal mind? I couldn't possibly marry you."

"And why not?"

"Because you haven't asked me yet, you idiot."

Both women were now smiling widely and the Senior Staff were definitely enjoying the show.

"I apologise. Please allow me to rectify that situation." Seven looked around at all the faces looking back at her. To them, as well as to B'Elanna, she said, "In the sight of all these people I consider friends, I ask you this question, B'Elanna Torres. Will you marry me?"

"I certainly will."

As the two women kissed again, they were met with a raucous round of applause and good wishes, as people left their seats to congratulate the two of them.

"I wish you could have seen your faces," laughed the Captain, looking around. "In fact you CAN see your faces. All this has been recorded and will be shown as part of the wedding celebrations later."

"So you knew all along?" Chakotay accused. "That's what you were smiling about?" He looked dangerously close to a sulk.

"Should I have told you, and broken the surprise?" Janeway asked mockingly. She looked towards the happy couple fondly. "Ladies, are you done surprising us for today, do you think?"

"Maybe," replied B'Elanna, breaking off hugging Seven and returning to her seat.

"Only we have a little matter of a wedding to plan next, and I suppose, at some point, we ought to think about holding a meeting!" She wasn't sure exactly why she was bothering, as she had clearly lost control. Everyone was still engaged in talking excitedly with the two women, and she settled down in silence to allow it.

`The Fire Maiden and The Icicle, who'd have thought it,' Janeway mused shaking her head and smiling. `What a surprise'.

The End

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