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Clean Slate - An Eight Weeks Sequel
by Wyrdmaege
wyrdmaege@...
started: 1:00AM (thereabouts)
finished: 4:45AM

Disclaimers: Once again, not Ferengi. Don't own them, not out for profit, not trying to steal or infringe anyone's copyrights. I'm just terminally bored. Aren't /you/ lucky?

Notes:
1. "/.../" is for emphasis and "<...>" is for someone's thoughts.
2. Not a free write, but I did a half assed job betaing. It's almost 5AM, I'm tired!

Acknowledgements:
This one's actually dedicated to Ralst/Rachel (though, the letter /was/ signed "Ralst"). I was emptying my mailbox and re-read her feedback on "Eight Weeks" and suddenly I was inspired. This is, as always, dedicated to my muse. I just can't let that go.

*****************************

"I kissed her! I mean, it /was/ the logical thing to do at the time, but... I kissed /her/!" Seven stared into her small mirror for a moment. Her eyes, human and enhanced, tracked and analyzed her features. She wasn't stupid. She knew more than half the ship found her attractive. In those quiet moments, when she was desperately lonely, she reminded herself of that fact. She was so inexperienced. So new to humanity. B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim were perfect examples of the prevailing attitudes on the ship. Hate her or copulate with her. Naomi was unique in accepting her as she was because even the captain expected certain things of her. Yes, even Tuvok's parental pride created expectations.

Seven watched as her pale blue eyes darkened to a cornflower color as they always did when she was profoundly sad.
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Clean Slate - An Eight Weeks Sequel
by Wyrdmaege
wyrdmaege@...
started: 1:00AM (thereabouts)
finished: 4:45AM

Disclaimers: Once again, not Ferengi. Don't own them, not out for profit, not trying to steal or infringe anyone's copyrights. I'm just terminally bored. Aren't /you/ lucky?

Notes:
1. "/.../" is for emphasis and "<...>" is for someone's thoughts.
2. Not a free write, but I did a half assed job betaing. It's almost 5AM, I'm tired!

Acknowledgements:
This one's actually dedicated to Ralst/Rachel (though, the letter /was/ signed "Ralst"). I was emptying my mailbox and re-read her feedback on "Eight Weeks" and suddenly I was inspired. This is, as always, dedicated to my muse. I just can't let that go.

*****************************

"I kissed her! I mean, it /was/ the logical thing to do at the time, but... I kissed /her/!" Seven stared into her small mirror for a moment. Her eyes, human and enhanced, tracked and analyzed her features. She wasn't stupid. She knew more than half the ship found her attractive. In those quiet moments, when she was desperately lonely, she reminded herself of that fact. She was so inexperienced. So new to humanity. B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim were perfect examples of the prevailing attitudes on the ship. Hate her or copulate with her. Naomi was unique in accepting her as she was because even the captain expected certain things of her. Yes, even Tuvok's parental pride created expectations.

Seven watched as her pale blue eyes darkened to a cornflower color as they always did when she was profoundly sad. <really, the="the" doctor="doctor" did="did" an="an" excellent="excellent" job="job" with="with" the="the" implant.="implant." one="One" would="would" never="never" know="know" that="that" it's="it&#39;s" not="not" real.="real."> When Seven started speaking again, her voice was hoarse and she had to take a moment to clear it.

"It -erhem- It may have seemed like the logical thing, however it is quite apparent that it was not. Afterwards, upon reveiwing our previous conversations, I realized there /is/ a way to retrieve her memories. It would, however, involve my nanoprobes. I am uncertain as to how the captain would feel about such measures as she strictly prohibited me from using them on another person after the incident with Mr. Neelix. Though, this is rather different from bringing somebody back from the dead. I shall have to speak with the captain about this." Again, Seven paused in contemplation.

"I wonder if I should first bring the option to Lt. Torres' attention. On the one hand, it is her memory. On the other hand, I do not believe it would be productive to 'get her hopes up' if the captain says no. Also, there is the fact that B'Elanna is happier with her life now. She has stated that she does not believe she liked herself before, but she very much likes who she is now. Presenting this option would be, in effect, presenting the weapon which would destroy this new B'Elanna Torres.

"I- I find I am reluctant to do that. Upon examination, this is purely for selfish reasons and not the good of the ship. Therefore, my feelings on this matter are irrelevent.

"Returning to the possible solution for Lt. Torres' memory loss, I believe I should go directly to the captain. B'Elanna cannot make an objective decision about this and I believe she would reject the offer outright. Although she seems to be a happier person, there are many aspects of her life which are suffering because of her memory loss. Her relationship with Ensign Paris has become markedly strained which in turn is adding more stress to her relationship with her daughter, whom I have had to comfort on several occaisions." There was another pause in the recording. This time Seven was checking her internal chronometer. A few blips could be heard as she sent a short message to Astrometrics warning Ensign Delaney that she would be delayed. It was 07:40. She should have plenty of time to discuss the ramifications of using the nanoprobes with the captain as well as including the typical digressions into 'humanity'. Then, after the senior staff meeting at 10:00, the captain could speak with Lt. Torres.


***************************
10:06, Conference Room 1

"NO!"

"B'Elanna, we can certainly understand your hesitation-"

"No, you can /not/, Captain." The angered Klingon jumped up and began pacing. Momentarily, Seven appreciated the new length of the Klingon's hair. It had been most enjoyable to pull the tie out as she had kissed the fiery woman. Suddenly, that fire was being directed at her in a most unpleasant way. "And you! I thought you understood! I thought you-" B'Elanna took a deep breath and reigned in her rampaging emotions. Getting pissed off wasn't going to help.

The captain's eyebrow rose. <Maybe- Could it be-?&gt;

"Look, Captain, with all due respect, this isn't about hesitation. I /like/ who I am now. I've got a grip on my temper that all my previous pain never allowed me. I spent so much energy fighting my own pain, humiliation, and suspicion that I had nothing left over for creating the kind of relationships that I was longing for. The only people I got along with were those who put up with my attitude and could see past my bullshit. Which meant there were very few people in my life. And there sure as hell wasn't anybody that I really, truly trusted. After reading my logs, I've realized that I've got what I always wanted: a clean slate."

"Restoring your memory wouldn't change that, Lt. You would simply be gaining something. You would still have whatever insights you've managed to gain since the accident."

"But, Captain, I don't have the emotions that /go/ with those memories. I've got the memories themselves in the logs!" The half Klingon couldn't hold back a deprecating smirk. "You wouldn't believe how detailed those logs are. I put /everything/ into them. Captain, I haven't really lost anything except the hang ups. Please, please understand that.

"You've seen for yourself that I've got my technical expertise!"

"And what about your relationship with Ensign Paris? The two of you are no longer living together," the captain's hazel gaze shrewdly assessed the woman as she answered.

"I should never have married him. He was a good friend and that's what we should have remained. Once he's less pissed at me, I fully intend to begin repairing that relationship. But. It will not be as husband and wife."

"Well. It certainly seems as if you've thought this through, but maybe you should take a few days to think about this."

B'Elanna shook her head. "That's not necessary, Captain. I realized when Seven told me about her revival of Neelix that she could probably restore my memory. That was several months ago. I'm certain."

"Alright then. That'll be all, ladies."

Seven followed B'Elanna into the turbolift furiously analyzing the conversation. She found herself worrying about Lt. Torres' opinion of her actions. It was apparent that she /should/ have gone to B'Elanna first.

"Halt turbolift." Seven faced the diminuitive woman. "Lt., I wish to apologize for not approaching you first on this matter. I assumed that you would be unable to approach the matter in an objective manner-" Seven was cut off by a throaty chuckle.

"Seven, I wasn't at all objective. I was merely very persuasive." B'Elanna gazed affectionately at the taller woman. <Kahless, does she even realize that /she/ wasn't objective at all?&gt;

"I shall rephrase. I believed you would not think the matter through and that you would simply react on pure emotion."

"Seven," B'Elanna's voice was soft, gentle, and warm. "That's pretty much what I did. Oh, I had a while to put my arguments in order, but this was totally a gut reaction. I /don't/ want to lose this wonderful feeling of happiness. Of liking myself. And I will reject anything which threatens that."

Seven shifted nervously, suddenly feeling like this conversation wasn't entirely about the meeting with the captain. Abruptly, she pulled herself into her typical straight-backed stance and spoke dispassionately, "Again, I apologize. I should have approached you first."

B'Elanna considered the former drones words. <How do I open her eyes?&gt; "Yes, Seven, you should have. Because that's what people in love do."

"Lieutenant!" Seven's voice rose in anxiety, "I believe you are-" The touch of warm, calloused fingers on her parted lips stopped the panicky blonde.

"No," B'Elanna said firmly, "whatever you're going to say, no. We /are/ in love with each other and I want a relationship with you. People in a relationship talk to each other first about the things that will affect that relationship."

Seven side-stepped away from the distracting fingers, fighting for her composure. "Lieutenant-"

"'B'Elanna', Seven. We're having a heart to heart, not discussing engine modifications." Seven tried to take the comment in stride, but she felt her anxiety rise.

"B'Elanna, I will admit that I have strong feelings for you, that I care for you, but I believe it is too soon to call this love." Seven's body radiated arrogance. B'Elanna didn't resist her reaction and finally allowed her annoyance to show through.

"So you care, but you don't love. And you know /exactly/ what love is, right?" She barely avoided the most hurtful words on the tip of her tongue. "You have researched love and now understand it so thoroughly that you can teach this poor, deluded, /emotional/ Klingon all about it, right? Is that it, Seven? Are you going to teach /me/ what it means to love?" B'Elanna had slowly advanced on the tall woman who had basically ended up circling the turbolift. Finally, her fear morphed into anger and she held her ground. The two women stood with barely a hair's breadth between them as they glared fiercely at each other.

"I don't bloody well think so!" B'Elanna growled as she suddenly reached up and grabbed Seven's head. She pulled the woman down and kissed her roughly, thrusting her tongue through startled lips, swirling it inside Seven's hot mouth, bruising the blonde's full lips. "This is love, Seven, wanting you even when you screw up, wanting you when you piss me off, cherishing those very traits," B'Elanna gasped when she pulled away. She gazed steadily into shocked pale blue. "Why did you /really/ decide to take this to Janeway?" Then she pulled the blonde into another scorching kiss, refusing to allow her to think rationally. "Answer me honestly now," she gasped when she pulled back the second time.

"I-, I just wanted you to have a family," Seven shakily replied. "I can't give you that. The Borg-" Seven broke down into sobs and buried her face in the smaller woman's neck.

"Ohh, baby," B'Elanna rocked the weeping woman. "My memories weren't going to make me fall in love with Tom again. I'm already head over heels for /you/. With you and Miral, I've got all the family I need, Seven baby. You're all I need. Just love me and everything will be perfect." B'Elanna continued murmuring and reassuring her love until Seven straightened just enough to rest her forehead against B'Elanna's.

She wrapped her arms around this strong lady. During the last five months of talking, laughing, working together, and eventually dating, this strong-willed and surprising woman managed to entrench herself in the blonde's heart. B'Elanna had waited tenderly and patiently for their first kiss. Seven had never known stronger, swifter emotions. The implications had frightened her, but she'd pushed those fears aside for two weeks. Trying to relish the thought of actually having a place aboard Voyager, she thought about having a family until Miral had asked her why her parents didn't love each other anymore. The child had weeped and begged to have her mommy home again. Seven's insecurities had joined with the painful plea making her believe that loving B'Elanna actually meant letting her go. Finally, they had exploded in this ridiculous exercise of twisted logic. Seven knew in her heart that B'Elanna didn't want her memories back. She knew exactly what the little Klingon wanted and she returned it with her whole heart and all of her soul.

"B'Elanna, I do love you. I am very much /in/ love with you. So much that it scares me more than being severed from the Collective. Thank you for not letting me destroy that." Seven's tentative smile projected all of the young woman's hope. B'Elanna laughed and grinned as she wrapped her arms more tightly around Seven's neck.

"Well, /one/ of us has to be the sane, logical one!"
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