A/n: If this little fic seems familiar to any of you it's because this was posted as a chapter of my co-authored story 'Seven's Sins', which was taken down after the site crack down on songfics. ): I was going through my files and remembered I still had the chapters I'd written, so I decided to re-post them as one-shots. Enjoy! :)
Seven's hands sped deftly over the Bridge console as she recalibrated the deflector to repulse spacial anomaly 3214, which had been destabilising the ship's warp core on and off for the last three days as Voyager made its way through this particularly difficult region of space. After reading the latest scans, Seven breathed an exhausted sigh of relief and allowed her body to sag slightly against the console. "Report Seven!" The Captain ordered in an abrupt business like tone from her chair in the centre of the Bridge.
Seven jumped and automatically sprang to attention in her default stance, spine erect, hands clasped behind her back. "The anomalies have cleared Captain; I believe we are now beyond the reach of their effects.
"Good…" The Captain said quickly without looking back at her, instead smiling at Chakotay beside her as she took a long sip of her customary black coffee, "Well, at least my coffee won't spill in the turbulence now." She joked, earning indulgent, forced laughs from the rest of the Bridge crew as she lowered the beverage and produced a stack of PADDS, handing them back to Seven, "Study these scans we got of the anomaly using Astrometrics decoders would you Seven?"
Seven precariously balanced the large bundle in her arms, peering at them askance. Didn't the Captain consider that she'd been doing nothing but studying the movements of the anomalies for the last three days? Despite this irritated thought, she answered stoically, "Of course Captain."
Janeway gave a brief nod, her thoughts already elsewhere, but Harry had obviously noticed her discontent, stepping away from his console and taking some of the PADDs into his own arms. "I'll help you Seven." He offered, earning himself a grateful, and rare, smile from the ex Borg.
Chakotay, whom Seven now saw had been watching the whole exchange, smiled approvingly. "Good idea Harry, and good work Seven."
Seven felt a momentary blush creep into her complexion, it felt good to get at least some recognition and appreciation. "Thank you Commander." She mumbled hastily before turning back to Harry, "Come with me Ensign."
He obligingly followed her into the turbolift and down into the bowels of the ship. Seven wasn't really in the mood for conversation but after catching his fifth concerned glance her way in three minutes she asked irritably, "Is there something wrong Ensign?"
Harry appeared to be taken aback, "No Seven, not at all. I was just wondering, when was the last time you took a break?"
Seven heaved a sigh, "Borg do not take bre…"She began to say but stopped herself when she read his horrified expression, after all she wasn't Borg anymore. "I have been on duty for the last 71 hours deflecting the anomalies off the hull."
Harry inhaled sharply. "Whoa, in that case you don't just need a break, you need a vacation!"
Seven's brow furrowed, "A vacat…" She stopped as an idea made her smile and she abruptly handed all of her PADDs to Harry. "Do you mind excusing me Ensign?" she asked politely.
"Yeah…sure." Harry replied, a little confused but unable to find a reason why not.
"Thank you." She said lightly, "Computer, halt turbolift!" she ordered, rapidly exiting onto a seemingly random deck as soon as it stopped, "Goodbye Ensign!" she called back as she strode off down the hall.
"Oh, okay! I'll just cover for you then!" Harry called back as the turbolift doors closed, feeling more than a little bamboozled by his friend's actions as he continued on his journey to Astrometrics.
"So Chakotay, you want to join in on the pool game I've got set up at Sandrine's tonight?" Tom asked languidly as he twisted around in his chair to face his commanding officers, bored by the flying skills this region of space called for.
"Is there really much point Tom? Gambling's illegal and I usually win anyway." Chakotay teased.
Tom snorted, "If you'd hurry up and make gambling legal on this ship you'd never win, believe you me!"
"Now, now, the Bridge isn't the place to be bickering about pool games…" The Captain began to rebuke but was interrupted by the bleep of her comm. badge.
"Kim to Janeway." Harry's voice echoed through the comm. system.
"Yes Harry?" Janeway replied calmly.
"It's Seven Captain; she asked me to cover for her over two hours ago but hasn't returned."
"Really?" the Captain replied in a tight voice. "Computer, locate Seven of Nine."
"Seven of Nine is in Holodeck 2." The Computer intoned in reply.
The Captain frowned incredulously as she activated the comm. line between herself and Seven, "Seven, you're on duty, what are you doing?"
The whole Bridge crew heard Seven take a deep, bracing, breath, "I'm taking a vacation Captain."
"A…A vacation?" The Captain squeaked out in disbelief. "Members of this crew can't just decide to take a vacation Seven!"
"They could if they had been working 71 hours without respite and had never redeemed their shore leave privileges; I have 92 days and three hours saved up in unused off duty hours." Seven replied coolly.
The Captain pursed her lips in anger as she heard snickers began to resound around the Bridge, "Can I presume you're not going to take all 92 days at once?" she asked in an acrid tone.
Seven sighed again, "Of course not Captain, two days seems to be a popular option according to my research, they call it a 'weekend holiday'. Seven of Nine out."
With that, the comm. line clicked off and for several minutes the Bridge fell into a stunned silence until Tom piped up loudly, "Who the hell gave her that idea? It's ingenious!"
"I did, I think." Harry answered quietly, his comm. line still connected, "But I wasn't being serious!" He said defensively, as if he could sense the Captain's seething glare even in the comparative safety of Astrometrics.
"What were you thinking Harry?" Tom asked laughingly, "You should now by now that Seven takes everything seriously!"
"Lieutenant, I don't want any more talk of this!" The Captain snapped, making the whole Bridge fall into a tense silence again.
"Kathryn, just let her get it out of her system, there's no harm in it, and she has been working hard recently." Chakotay carefully advised but the Captain just heaved an agitated sigh and settled back in her chair to sulk.
Seven felt dazed as the comm. line clicked off, she'd actually managed to get away with it! The momentary thrill of rebellion shot pleasantly through her brain but was quickly tinged with guilt, what if the ship got into trouble in her absence? She dismissed the thought with a shake of her head as she looked around her newly created holographic paradise, a long white sand beach, lapped by warm turquoise waters and dotted every so often with shade providing palms and the occasional beach hut. If she peered through the haze she could see a group of holographic characters swimming in the sea, when she'd first entered the programme they'd attempted to get her to join in, but as she didn't find talking with holograms particularly relaxing she'd ordered the Computer to keep them at least 500 metres away from her, though she did privately admit to finding their distant laughter a pleasant sound. What should she do now? After a few moments of scanning her surroundings she saw a deckchair pleasantly situated and headed off towards it, but her heels sunk in the sand and sweat was quickly dotting her brow. She glanced down at her biosuit; it really wasn't suitable attire for these conditions. Making a quick decision, she kicked off her heels, finding the sensation of warm sand against her skin unexpectedly welcome, and replicated herself a pair of white linen crop trousers and a flowing blue blouse. She even released her hair from its constraining pins, letting it brush her shoulders as she perched uncertainly on the edge of the deckchair.
Her body began to relax in the peaceful heat but her brain continued to work hard, she wasn't used to being unoccupied and couldn't settle. Finally, after about half an hour of frustrated boredom, she asked the Computer, "Computer, provide appropriate reading materials for this environment." Instead of the stack of PADDs she'd been expecting, a pile of books she believed had been called 'paperbacks' in an earlier century appeared at her feet and she cautiously picked one up, its blurb read: "Felicity, brought up in an orphanage in Victorian England, finds new horizons when employed into the household of the wealthy young playboy Mr Fisher…" Seven stopped reading there and threw it aside, picking up another: "Captain Kacey Jamieson finds her loyalties split between Starfleet and her heart when she falls for her renegade First Officer Charles…" Seven gave a violent shudder and threw that book away with particular force, giving up on reading altogether and sinking back into the deckchair, letting her heavy head loll back as the sun beat down on her. "Computer, make sure the sun does not emit UVA and UVB light." She ordered in a sleepy murmur, she didn't want to return sunburned after all, yet she was beginning to understand the pleasure taken in this environment…
"Seven! Report to the Bridge now!" Seven jerked awake, forcing her stiff body upright in the deckchair as she felt the ship shudder violently.
"Captain?" she asked in newly awakened confusion.
"The anomalies are destabilising the warp core!" The Captain shouted down the comm. line, "Get up here!"
Seven gasped in horror and stumbled in the sand towards the door. "I'm coming Captain!" She ran up to the Bridge as the ship pitched and rolled violently, not even noticing the crew's shocked stares at her attire, bare feet and loose hair as she practically flung herself at the console and began to dial in commands. Thankfully, within a few minutes her normal defence tactic had worked and the anomalies dissipated as they had before. "We're safe now Captain, I have eliminated the danger…" She started to report but halted as the Captain whirled round to face her, looking livid.
"Safe?" she echoed incredulously, "Don't you realise that your little stunt could have cost us the warp core?" she raged angrily.
Seven cringed in guilt, feeling her face flush with shame as everyone stared at her. "Yes, I realise…" She choked out brokenly, feeling a lump form in her throat, "I'm sorry I…" Unable to take it anymore she fled the Bridge at a run, pulling frantically away from gentle hands that held her back.
Seven sat on her deckchair once again, but this time she cowered on it, curled up and pressing her burning eyes against her knees, taking no pleasure from the hot sun, which now seemed to be scolding her with its rays. What had she done? She'd put her own individual desires to indulge in laziness and frivolity above her duty to her crew, her Collective. They'd almost died because of her slow reactions! Tears bubbled at the edge of her lids as she heard the holodeck doors open behind her, "Captain, can we…please discuss my…misconduct later?" she croaked out painfully without turning around to look at the intruder.
"I'll pass that message along." A deep, considered voice, which was most definitely not the Captain's, replied softly.
She turned around so quickly she almost fell out of the deckchair, only to see Chakotay standing next to her, his neat uniform speckled with sand. "Commander! I'm sorry, I…" She blushed at her flustered tone, "Do you require the holodeck? I will leave immediately…"
She saw surprise cross his face at the sight of her and blushed even deeper at the thought of appearing before him in such unprofessional attire, but the detached and logical part of her brain could read no disgust on his face, in fact he seemed gratified somehow. "No…" He began quickly after getting over his initial surprise at how, well, human, she looked, though her distraught expression pained him. "I actually came to speak to you." He awkwardly indicated the deckchair next to hers, "Do you mind if I sit?" Seven shook her head, dumbfounded as to why he would be here, and be so gentlemanly towards her after what she'd done. "Thanks." He muttered as he sat down, resting his hands on his knees and peering intensely into her face, "Our near miss today wasn't your fault Seven, if it wasn't for your hard work the past few days, we would've fallen victim to those anomalies days ago."
"My past successes are irrelevant!" Seven exclaimed unhappily. "If the ship had been damaged…"
"But it wasn't!" he reiterated in exasperation, breathing a sigh as he was met with her confused and tearful face to calm himself, "I'll admit you did kind of blindside us with that sudden decision to go on leave, that wasn't the right thing to do…"
"No." Seven agreed. "I won't go on leave again Commander."
"I didn't say that. You had been working too hard and I realise none of us were giving you the appreciation you deserved, but you tend to take things to the extreme, dedicating yourself to working or dedicating yourself to resting, that can create problems."
Seven's brow wrinkled in thought, "You're suggesting that I don't do too much of either?"
He beamed at her proudly, "That's right, everything in moderation. Why don't you come with some of the crew when we next come on shore leave? Beautiful as this place is, you must have been lonely by yourself."
Seven sighed, "I'll admit that I experienced a great deal of boredom while here, perhaps I will follow your suggestion."
"I'd like that." He replied, sounding honestly pleased. "Do you feel better now?" he asked her gently.
"Yes." Seven responded, finding to her surprise that it was true, she did feel better. "I believe I had better go and apologise to the Captain now." She murmured, unable to hide the dread from her voice entirely.
Chakotay smiled in understanding, "Do you want me to come with you?"
"I'd appreciate that." She replied gratefully as she clumsily tried to rise from the deckchair, Chakotay managing to catch her arm before she fell, "Thank you Commander." She mumbled as she pulled her arm away from his strong hand, surprised by the warmth that once again flooded her cheeks.
"No problem." He said graciously, "Ready to go?"
"Yes." Seven answered decisively, "Computer, deactivate programme."
A/n: PLEASE REVIEW! :D