Spoilers: none really, set post-Good Shepherd
Disclaimers: I don't own the characters except dear Daisy, all others belong
to Paramount. The song excerpt is from "The Way You Look Tonight" written by
Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern. I won't talk about any of the misgivings
because you might not enjoy the fic, so read on and if you feel the need
flame on, but they will only hurt my feelings then I might not ever write
Summary: The Doctor gets a double dose of humility and Seven does a research
paper. Nah just read it.
In Sickbay, the Doctor had been having a relatively normal day. At 0700hrs,
he was automatically activated and began his routine. He analyzed the
sample cultures from the day before and recorded some interesting findings.
After running the diagnostic for the biobed sensors, he sat down to finish
the report for Captain Janeway. Nothing out of the ordinary, he thought
almost to his dismay. Finally, he sat down to write out a few more social
lessons for Seven of Nine.
But instead his mind wandered from the lessons to Seven herself. At first
he was just replaying scenes from the past, the dance, the platonic kiss,
the fan letter. He was still very much in love with her. His thoughts
swiftly cascaded into images of her, her smile, the small line from her
cheek to her chin, her graceful neck, the cleft between her breasts…
From there his imagination took a definitive erotic turn. She was taking
his hand and pressing small kisses into his palm. Ever so slightly her
tongue grazed his fingers, before she drew his index finger into her mouth.
She raked her teeth over the tip of his finger and soothed it with languid
circles with her tongue. She apparently decided there were more pleasurable
places for her tongue, abruptly breaking the sensuous touch. Wrapping
herself in his arms she kissed him, her tongue probing his…
"Doctor?" he heard from outside his reverie.
Seven of Nine entered Sickbay for her weekly checkup. There was a spring in
her step and a curl on her lips. She enjoyed these meetings of theirs in
spite of its actual purpose.
"Good evening, Doctor," she said upon seeing him at his desk. He seemed
engrossed in something on the monitor. "Doctor?"
"Oh, hello, Seven," he said looking up to greet her. Getting up, his eyes
shined and his demeanor changed. "How are you feeling today?" he said
walking over to her with a grin.
"I am well, thank you." She'd already seated herself on the biobed closest
He retrieved his tricorder from the instruments' tray. First he scanned the
implants about her face and made his usual small talk. "You look lovely
this evening," he said attending to the scan of her ocular implant.
"I--" Seven had begun to protest, as her appearance hadn't altered since
she'd seen him the day before. But she didn't protest, instead she was
He waited for her to continue, but she remained silent for several minutes.
She was staring at him with an undisguised look of amusement. "Something
funny?" he asked. Her eyebrow crooked and she looked even more amused.
She cleared her throat and said purposefully, "As you have said on a
previous occasion, it isn't polite to stare."
"Stare at whom?" he asked even more perplexed.
"The more accurate phrasing of that question is 'at what'. Doctor, are you
alright?" she said her smirk morphing into a devilish grin.
It was only then that the Doctor looked around him to see what she was
referring. His eyes widened in surprise and horror when he
noticed...his...addition to his program was...being overactive. He jumped
back from her and faced the partition.
"I...I...I don't know what to say. I apologize, Seven. There must be
something malfunctioning with my...subroutines--" He grabbed the cart beside
him and using it to shield himself from view he turned around. She was still
grinning to his dismay. "One shouldn't find amusement in the distress of
She seemed to compose herself with only a slight smirk remaining. "I
apologize, Doctor. Do you require...privacy?" she said with a daring tone
in her voice.
"Just give me a moment to remedy the situation," he said nearly with a
squeak. He fled quickly to the back of Sickbay, leaving Seven to ponder the
Chief Medical Officer's Personal Log: I have never been so humiliated.
That's a feat in itself. I don't know what happened, for a moment I was
thinking of her and the next--well, it was quite obvious that I was thinking
of her. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. There must be a
malfunction somewhere. I'll have to investigate before I make an even
bigger fool of myself. I especially don't know how to face Seven after what
happened. At least she didn't stay for the entirety of my torment. If I
taught her anything, it's how to make a graceful exit.
The Doctor entered Engineering to see if Lt. Torres had discovered the
problem. She was scowling over a data PADD. She looked up as he approached
"Have you been toying with your program again?" she asked sternly.
"Why does everyone assume that? No, I have not!" he said indignantly. Why
was everything his fault?
"Well, because someone has. There's at least 47 different subroutines that
have been altered in various areas." She was tired of having to fix
something every time he decided to play engineer. "Are you sure you haven't
touched anything?" she said cocking an eyebrow at him.
"I think I'd know if I did something like that." He was growing more annoyed
every minute. "Can't you check and see if anyone's had access to my
She walked over to a panel and punched in a few things. "The problem is,
there were many people who had access to your program over the past few
days. Remember the 'check up'? It took longer than we thought so I brought
in a few extra hands."
"So someone could've just come in and accidentally caused my…program…to
malfunction?" he whined, hands on hips.
"Well, it would have to have been a very specific accident. I don't know.
We can run a security code scan and cross-reference, but it'll take some
time," she frowned, "maybe you should go back to Sickbay and sit tight." She
made no mistake in letting him know she meant it.
"Very well," he grumbled. Sit tight while I have no control over my
Meanwhile Ensign Harry Kim was pleading with Neelix to give him a few
lessons in the culinary arts. Neelix was skeptical.
"Gourmet cooking is not something you can learn in an hour!" Neelix
protested. He was willing to help out but he was in the middle of
preparations for Tom's birthday party. As specific as his instructions from
B'Elanna were, he was still wondering what a hotdog was.
"Please, Neelix, just a few pointers," Harry followed the little man around
the kitchen of the Mess Hall. He wasn't giving up easily. "I'll even help
you with tonight, come on, I'm desperate!"
"Why are you so desperate? Didn't your mother ever teach you to cook?"
Neelix had never seen the young ensign so up in arms over something.
"Sort of," he sighed, "It's for Daisy. She loves Tomari food, and I kind of
told her I knew how to make pagapi. I have no idea what it is. Help me?"
He was just pitiful now and Neelix gave in.
"Alright. Is that the same Ensign Jones I see in here every morning?" Neelix
recalled the young woman giggled a lot. Not usually the kind of woman Harry
"Yeah, that's her," he said. He'd been watching her for a while and finally
gotten the nerve to ask her out. He would've said he knew Leonardo Da Vinci
if he thought it would make her go out with him.
"Ah, I see. Do you by chance know what a hot dog is?"
The Doctor paced back and forth in front of the door of Sickbay. He had
been invited to Mr. Paris's birthday party in Sandrine's. Dressed in a dark
plum suit, he'd normally be happy for the chance to socialize. But he
hadn't gotten to talk to Seven since the incident and things would
Before he could leave, the doors opened and he was nose to nose with Seven.
She was just inches from his lips to where he could feel her breath on his
cheek. Her hair hung loosely around her shoulders. He supposed she was
wearing it like that for the party. Her mouth was open to speak but no
words came out. He pressed his eyes shut and backed away a step from her.
"Seven, what can I do for you?" he croaked.
She closed her mouth and narrowed her eyes. "Doctor are you uncomfortable
with me?" she looked at him through dark lashes.
Gulp. "No, of course not. Why, why would you think that?" he did his best
to keep up his nonchalant face. His upper lip twitched a little.
"Earlier you seemed…uncomfortable. I thought that perhaps my presence
distracted you. I wish to know if I was the cause of your actions," she
"You were just the unfortunate observer," he said.
She eyed him with a look of skepticism.
"It was malfunctioning!" he protested.
"On the contrary, Doctor--"
"No! That's not what I meant! The subroutines are programmed to mimic the
normal human male reaction to stimuli; there was no stimuli!" he decided not
to mention what his mind had momentarily wandered to before she'd come in.
He'd had similar thoughts before and had never reacted that way.
"Are you certain, Doctor?"
"I'm not programmed with a teenager's hormones! It would normally take more
than a gust of wind to--" he stopped himself in light of present company
from finishing the sentence. "Well, anyway.."
"What would it take?"
She inched closer to him, "Explain the condition necessary for your normal
reaction to occur."
"Erotic mental images, auditory stimulation perhaps," she trailed off. "Or
would you require more tactile stimuli?" she said taking his hand in hers
and putting it on her thigh.
The Doctor was stunned, "Seven? Are you trying to seduce me?"
"Seduction was never covered in our social lessons. Irrelevant as it may
seem; it is one of the basics of human interaction. I have made an
independent study of it. Would you care to see what I've learned?
"As much as I enjoy your attempts at humor, this isn't the time, Seven," he
"I was not being facetious. Do you recall the subroutines affected in your
"Yes, they were--"
"Subroutines 5976 through 6033. Security authorization Alpha Pi 4."
"You did this to me? But why?"
"As I said, seduction wasn't part of our social lessons. I wanted to use my
newly assimilated knowledge, but I first wanted to determine if you were
attracted to me."
"So you went into my program and turned up the heat?" he said. "What
happened to respecting other people's privacy?" He was truly distressed at
"If you were attracted to me, why wasn't I informed?"
"My feelings are private. The reason I didn't share this was because I
didn't want to hurt our friendship."
"But your feelings involve me therefore I should have been informed. How
could feelings damage our friendship?"
"You have a lot to learn, Seven. If you didn't reciprocate then our working
together and yes, our friendship would be strained. You can't see it now,
but I assure you it would be…. will be, now that you know."
"Explain. What are the nature of your feelings toward me?"
"Seven," he paused, "I love you."
She was silent. "I see. Then it was more than physical attraction…"
"Yes. You are incredibly beautiful but that's not why I love you--"
"This is all irrelevant. I wished to practice seduction and I've failed. I
must leave." Before he could stop her she was gone.
He didn't go after her, thinking that perhaps she should work some of this
out herself. What a day this was turning out to be.
In Holodeck One there was food, fun, and Tom Paris. It was his birthday and
he made sure everyone knew it. The party had been his idea but B'Elanna had
made the preparations. It was done like a Sunday barbecue--and was a big
hit among the guests.
B'Elanna was gorging herself on potato salad and turned to Neelix. "This is
really wonderful Neelix." Tom nodded in agreement, after he stuffed nearly a
half a hotdog into his mouth. "Do you know what those things were made of?"
she asked with distaste. Tom merely shrugged.
Neelix took the chance to change the subject. "Well, I can't take all the
credit. I couldn't have gotten everything together without my apprentice
here." he said smacking Harry on the shoulder.
Harry who had been chatting with the bubbly blonde on his arm turned around
to them. "You hang around with Tom and you pick up a few things."
Apparently he'd picked up a few tips on women along the way. Harry smiled
and turned his attention back to the young woman.
Commander Chakotay and Captain Janeway were seated somewhat away from the
others in the back of the establishment. They appeared to be deep in
conversation. It seemed that everyone was having a good time.
That is except the Doctor…he stood against the old piano, his thoughts a
world away. Seven hadn't arrived yet and he was worried about her. All he
wanted was for this day to be over with.
"Hey, Doc! How about a little entertainment?" Tom winked and nodded towards
the piano. He held B'Elanna close and kissed her cheek.
"That's what I'm here for," he said half out loud and half under his breath.
Anything to get his mind off of the earlier events. He began to play and
coupled paired off to dance. With his accompaniment he sang softly.
"Someday, when I'm awfully low
And the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight…"
As if on cue, Seven arrived. She walked in like a vision from a dream. Her
hair was upswept but tendrils framed her face and cascaded down her neck.
Dressed in a red gauzy dress that flowed around her legs as she walked. The
Doctor was in awe. His lips were moving automatically singing the song, but
his mind was all over her.
She walked quietly to the bar, amazingly unnoticed by the rest of the room.
They were all involved in other things to notice a party latecomer. She
ordered a drink from the bartender and sat with her back to the crowd. He
watched her twist a napkin pensively. She seemed apprehensive about being
there, or perhaps it was that she looked so incredible.
Did she do all of that herself? He couldn't believe his eyes. She was more
enchanting than she'd been earlier. He could go on forever just taking in
the sight of her.
"Do you take requests?" Commander Chakotay interrupted his gaze. He'd
walked over to curtail the Doctor from his distraction. Apparently he'd
stopped singing. People were beginning to stare. Not only at him, but at
what he'd been staring at.
Unfortunately, Seven had noticed. With a blush and a frown she got up to
leave. Acting quickly the Doctor called out to the computer, "Computer,
play Doctor music selection Gamma 9."
The strains of soft jazz floated through the air as Seven rushed out of the
He caught sight of her in a flash of red rounding the corner. Taking up
pursuit, he called after her. She wouldn't stop.
"Seven!" he called again but she'd disappeared. He thought about returning
to the party, but there was nothing there he'd miss. "Computer, locate
Seven of Nine."
"Seven of Nine is on Deck 4, Corridor 16."
What? She was still there somewhere. "Seven? Please don't hide from me," he
called out. He was upset that she'd altered his program with no regard, but
more upset that he might've ruined their friendship by telling her how he
felt. This was the very thing he'd been trying to avoid.
"I'm not hiding," she said from behind him.
He turned around to see her a bit more disheveled than he had a few moments
before. But his heart still caught in his throat when he looked at her.
"I'm sorry, Seven." He couldn't think of which things he was sorry for at
the moment but he knew he was sorry.
"You must think I've…lost my mind," she said her eyes at her feet.
"What has this whole thing been about? Really," he cupped her chin in his
She withdrew from him and frowned. "That is what's this is about. I am
confused, Doctor. Where is my technique flawed?"
He took a deep breath; this was going to be painful. "Why me, Seven? Why
this sudden fascination with seduction? Why go to all of this trouble when
you could've just asked me?"
"I wanted to do this on my own. You've instructed me on nearly every
aspect. I wanted to be able to do this. And I chose you because I
wanted…my first contact…to be with you. I trust you, Doctor. You're my
closest friend," she explained.
"But I don't understand why you ran away when I told you of my…feelings,"
his elation at her confession was undermined by the dark cloud of fact.
"I felt guilt that perhaps I would be using you," she continued, "I care for
you too much to do that." There was another reason on her mind. "And I had a
realization…when you said those words to me…that you loved me," she paused,
"I felt something as well."
She clenched and unclenched her fists trying desperately to put into words
what she felt. When she had seen him staring at her in Sandrine's she had
been so happy. But then she was confused. If he was in love with her, then
that meant so many things. With him she didn't think of rules or what was
acceptable. She was just herself. She was in love with him.
"I love you," she blurted out.
He'd been leaping out of his skin listening to her sort out what was in her
heart. Now he could react. He reached out and kissed her. He had
surprised her but she recovered quickly and reciprocated.
"Mmm…Doctor, shall we go over a few of the later lessons?" she smirked
"Well, let's take this one thing at a time, Seven," he grinned
mischieviously. Snaking one arm around her waist he suggested, "why don't
we go back to the party for a while so I can escort you home with out
arising any suspicion? After all, this crew is famous for it's gossip. I
wouldn't want to embarrass you with innuendoes flying around."
"That will be acceptable," she said amusingly.
He led her back down the corridor, not noticing the slight smudge of red on
his upper lip…