Enjoy!
Rhiannon

Title: Brushing Up (Part 3 of the 'Sketches' series, after Perspective and
Preparation)
Author: Rhiannon
Contact: psyraven...
Rating: PG-13 (maybe not in this part, but it's about to get hotter...)
Author's Notes: Doc/7 (of course); P/T. Seven is receiving seduction tips
from B'Elanna while Tom does a little spying in a bored moment. The Doc is
about to get the surprise of his life...
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything. I own nothing. I just like to play
with them...
Distribution: If you want it, just ask...

Brushing Up
by Rhiannon

"I know it's only rock 'n' roll but I like it, like it, ba-da-da," sang Tom
Paris under his breath as he checked tissue samples and surreptitiously
watched the Doctor.

Right on cue, the hologram looked over and gave him a disapproving glare. "A
little concentration would not go amiss, Mr. Paris."

"Lighten up, Doc. I'm just trying to bring a little culture to Sickbay."

"That... noise... is your idea of culture?"

"Sure. It's practically history!" Tom enthused. "You should expand your
horizons Doc. There's more to life than opera, you know."

Once again, the Doctor reacted exactly according to type. "I am always
expanding my horizons, Mr. Paris. Why, only recently, I took up still-life
drawing and, if I may make so bold, I've developed quite a knack for it."

"Get away!" Tom said, pasting an incredulous expression on his face. "You?
An artist? I'll believe it when I see it." He waited patiently for the
Doctor's predictable response. His ego, for want of a better word, was never
very good at staying submerged. Tom was gambling that he wouldn't be able to
resist showing off his work and then he'd finally get to see what had gotten
Seven all in a flutter.

B'Elanna had been tutoring the ex-Borg in how to twist a man around her
little finger and they'd both made it perfectly clear that Tom was neither
needed nor wanted at these bonding sessions. All that female whispering
made him nervous anyway. He almost felt sorry for the Doc — the poor guy
didn't stand a chance. When a woman got that determined look in her eyes you
might as well just wave the white flag and save yourself weeks of anguish
and torment.

"Then feast your eyes on the work of a genius," said the Doctor with his
customary lack of modesty, dragging Tom back to the situation at hand. He
grabbed the sketch pad out of the hologram's hands and started flicking
through, looking for the good stuff. He was surprised to discover that the
Doctor had been telling the truth. He did have talent — the drawings were of
exceptional quality. Tom paused for a moment at a picture of B'Elanna with a
pensive look on her face. Probably pondering how to fix the transporter
calibration circuits, he thought fondly.

"I don't suppose I could have this one?" he asked.

The Doctor smiled. "I don't see why not. It really captures her intensity,
doesn't it?"

"Yeah," agreed Tom, already flipping through the next few pages. He felt
himself start to smirk as he saw all the pictures of Seven: Seven sleeping,
Seven laughing, Seven looking seductive. "Seems like an awful lot of these
drawings are of one particular person," he said. "Don't tell me you've still
got a crush on a certain blonde Borg."

He could see the Doctor clench his teeth and his fists before controlling
his temper. Interesting, Tom thought, very interesting.

"As it happens, Mr. Paris, my feelings for Seven are none of your business,
but I can assure you that they are not in the nature of an adolescent
infatuation. I lo..." He broke off suddenly, as if aware of what he had
almost let slip. Tom decided not to push it — he'd already found out what he
needed to know. Whistling cheerily, he got back to work, the Doctor shooting
him suspicious glances every few seconds.

* * * * * * * * * *

"No, Seven!" B'Elanna ran a hand through her usually immaculate hair in
frustration. "You're still being too aggressive."

"It works for you," the Borg commented.

"That's not the point. I'm part Klingon and expected to be a little..."

"Violent?"

"Assertive," B'Elanna insisted. "The point is that you may have been Borg
once, but you started as a human and you still are human deep down.
Behaviour that's acceptable from me is seen as pushy and domineering in a
human woman."

"I could say it is seen that way in you also, but I am striving to improve
my personal interaction skills," Seven stated, her lips twitching almost
imperceptibly. She always enjoyed baiting B'Elanna — she was one of the few
crew members who wasn't afraid to bite back. Seven was also grateful for the
time B'Elanna had been spending, coaching her in how to seduce a man.

Considering that her former coach was now to be the target of her
newly-learned skills, it would hardly have been appropriate to enlist his
aid in this particular lesson. Seven could barely wait to show him how much
she had learned already. She was sure he would be proud of her — once he
recovered from the shock, of course.

"Okay," said B'Elanna. "Let's recap. You set up Sickbay with flowers and
romantic music, dim the lighting, lock the door and activate the Doc. Then
what?"

"I proceed through the fourteen steps of seduction which you have detailed
to me." Seven's tone was impatient. "I assure you, I am adequately prepared
to carry out this task."

"Uh-huh," B'Elanna said, clearly sceptical. "You nervous?"

"Anxiety at this stage would be a pointless emotion. I can do nothing to
determine the Doctor's reaction to my plans, therefore it would be a waste
of time to worry about that reaction." Seven paused, took a deep breath and
looked over at B'Elanna. "I have never been more nervous in my life," she
said.

* * * * * * * * * *

"Please state the nature of..." The Doctor's voice trailed off as he took in
his surroundings. It certainly looked like Sickbay - yes, there was a
biobed, under what looked like... satin sheets? How odd.

He looked around further, noting the profusion of flowers artfully arranged
in crystal vases. As he struggled to deduce a reason for the change in
décor, a husky voice behind him said, "Computer, play audio selection EMH
Alpha Nine."

The subtle refrain of a Puccini aria filled the air and the Doctor turned
slowly towards the direction from which the voice had come. If he had
possessed a heart, it would have stopped beating there and then. As it was,
his photons skipped a cycle. Every fantasy he had ever had had come true -
Seven lounged on the other biobed in what looked like a nightdress, all thin
straps and clingy fabric. Her hair hung down around her face in golden
waves. As he watched, glassy-eyed, she plucked a grape from a platter next
to the bed and popped it between her full, pouting lips. He gulped audibly.

"Good evening, Doctor," she said softly, when he appeared unable to speak.

Please don't let it be another daydream, thought the Doctor, Please,
please...