Title: Irrelevant Conversations
Fandom: Star Trek Voyager
Summary: B'Elanna and Seven discuss the nature of relationships.
Status: Complete. Series/Sequel: No
Disclaimer: No profit is intended in the writing of this story. Star Trek: Voyager and all its characters are the property of Paramount and Viacom.
Feedback is required for basic sustenance, so please email me. Downloading and archiving are welcome as long as you credit the author. Many thanks to Tracie L for beta-ing this.
"I do not understand," said the former drone.
"I need an alignment check on optical relays AB008 through 011," said B'Elanna as she tried to disconnect a fused node. "What don't you understand?"
Seven of Nine shifted her legs to a more comfortable position in the confines of the Jeffries tube. "Ensign Paris told me that your original feelings toward him were those of extreme acrimony. I have noticed that your relationship is frequently confrontational. In discussion with other members of the crew who observed your interactions before I arrived on Voyager__"
"Dammit Seven what did you do, interrogate the entire ship?" The short-tempered engineer took out her frustrations on the stubborn coupling. It broke apart in her hand. "Arrrgh!"
"I wished to understand the intricacies of human courtship rituals," replied Seven, scanning the open Mees panel with her tricorder. "The optical relays are correctly aligned."
"Then it's a pity we're not. Understand this Borg. I don't like my relationships being the subject of...analysis! Have you got that?"
"In that case you should refrain from making your intimate relations with Ensign Paris so public. It is the subject of frequent 'analysis' amongst the crew."
B'Elanna glared at the tall blonde in fury. The calm manner in which her look was returned only served to infuriate her further. "CAREY," she yelled, not bothering to use the comm system. "REACTIVATE BETA 12...uhhhh...BETA 12 SUB 0!"
"Captain Janeway said I should broaden my understanding of human behaviour. She believes it will help us avoid our numerous disagreements."
"No Seven, you just do it so you can feel superior to the rest of us."
The photonic tube in front of them flared out, a black stain spreading rapidly across its' crystal surface.
"QI'yaH!" B'Elanna swore. She popped the latch on her toolkit and rummaged through it for an isolinear spanner. Seven tapped her combadge. "Seven of Nine to Lieutenant Carey. Shut down Beta 12 Sub Zero." She turned to B'Elanna. "I do not understand."
"Then I'll 'clarify' it for you," the engineer said, wondering where the hell she'd put that bloody tool. "Your attitude toward relationships is...ah here it is...awfully Vulcan. Love is illogical, passion is inefficient, sex is irrelevant." B'Elanna attacked the conduit with gusto. "Well so is arrogance, friendship, loyalty, fear..." She tried to think up other emotions the Borg had displayed, but couldn't. "Uh...all those emotions you've shown from time to time. For someone who's spent their entire life, well most of it, linked to several billion others you're awfully determined to remain a loner. I think you're just frightened of loosing control."
"Romance would impair my efficiency. The incident with Ensign Kim and the Varro female Tal is a typical example."
"Oh?" said B'Elanna, "Well love can be a good motivator as well. Take yourself. You seem rather keen to do things for the Captain."
"And you seem all too willing to ignore Ensign Paris' many faults!" Seven answered, slapping the replacement tube hard into B'Elanna's hand. "You should have left the autonomous regeneration sequencers in place. They do not require constant replacement."
"I'm not having technology in my engine room that's likely to decide on its' own to regenerate and start assimilating things. Look what happened with..." B'Elanna stopped short before mentioning that incident with One. Grief was another emotion Seven had displayed.
B'Elanna went on more gently. "Love helps you see past someone's faults, not ignore them. They become...irrelevant compared to what's important. Do you understand that?"
The ex-Borg heard B'Elanna mutter something under her breath. It sounded very Klingon.
"The Doctor informed me that an intimate relationship requires the individuals concerned to have compatible interests and personalities."
"Well what would he know? Differences can make life interesting. If your partner was just the same as you it'd be like a date between a couple of Borg drones."
Seven bristled. "Are you saying a romantic interaction with me would be uninteresting?"
"Only if you were to date someone who's identical in personality. You need to find an individual whose differences complement your own. TRY IT NOW, CAREY!"
"An individual such as yourself."
B'Elanna dropped her spanner.
"You are passionate, open in your expression of emotion, yet still efficient except when you insist on these irrelevant conversations."
"Seven, there are limits. The feelings we arouse...I'm talking about love and passion, not hate and resentment. Let's face it; we really don't like each other..."
B'Elanna trailed off as she suddenly found herself impaled by the gaze of Seven's piercing blue eyes. The former drone spoke to her, using phrases that B'Elanna had only read on the sterile interface of a padd. The poem was awkward in translation, yet Seven imbued it with a beauty she had never heard before.
As I look at you my enemy,
I realise that we are closer than any companions
The sight of you stirs my blood
To passions greater than any lover
For you I travelled these vast desert plains, sword in hand
For you I left behind all those I said I loved
I am never more alive when fighting with you
I realise all my hate is an illusion
Your respect is worth more than a hundred empty compliments
From those who claim to be my friends
As we join in combat this one last time
Arms locked together in endless embrace
I hope we will fight forever in Sto-Vo-Kor
My enemy, my love.
B'Elanna stared at Seven in shock, captivated by the beauty of the words, stunned by the meaning implied in them. 'She doesn't mean it,' she thought. 'It's just something she's read in a database. Why am I reacting this way?'
"You...you know Klingon love poetry?"
"It was part of my research."
B'Elanna didn't ask why the pedantic ex-drone had bothered to study Klingon mating practices on a ship with only one half-Klingon.
Seven of Nine snapped shut her tricorder. "The relay is now functioning. I will proceed to the next task." She began crawling down the Jeffries tube, leaving B'Elanna staring after her.
The engineer turned her face back toward the open panel; scanned it with her own tricorder. It wasn't necessary. Even with their often testy interactions, B'Elanna and Seven had managed to align the relays perfectly.
B'Elanna followed Seven down the tube.