Only One

by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - Paramount own the names. That's all

Part nine in the Delta Quadrant 90210 series. Earlier parts can be found at: http://members.tripod.com/~SuzVoy/deltaq.html

*

A repetitive and particularly irritating noise eventually drew Seven from her slumber. As she woke she had the faint recollection of some place safe and warm...but such memories were irrelevant. She opened her eyes and her other senses came to the fore.

Pressure was being exerted on various parts of her body, due to the close contact she was sharing with the individual she was lying in bed with. His arms were around her, their legs were entwined, and she was resting one hand on his chest. Frowning, she studied the hand and wondered how it had managed to place itself there.

Then she discovered why she had woken.

Commander Chakotay was snoring. Rather loudly.

She was not entirely sure why, but she found that possibly inappropriate piece of information amusing. And she...smiled. Removing her hand from his chest she rubbed it slowly over her mouth. She understood the human compulsion to find amusement, but she had only displayed such amusement in the presence of others. It was only logical to assume that smiling was only necessary when you wished to provide proof of your amusement to others.

So why was she smiling, now? Only Commander Chakotay was in the room with her and he was asleep. Why should she be smiling to herself?

Removing the hand from her mouth her eyes opened wide when she realised it was shaking. Startled and concerned that she may be damaged in some way, she quickly lowered it to her own chest. Clenching her fist several times she tried to gain control over her thudding pulse. Her heart rate had increased by five per cent and she was behaving erratically. What was wrong with her?

Perhaps a visit to sickbay was in order.

The clenching continued until her hand seemed to stop shaking. Perhaps the journey to sickbay would not be needed. A temporary aberration.

Moving her head slightly so not to wake him, she took the opportunity to study the Commander. He was handsome in human terms. He was not at his physical peak but his body was in adequate condition for his age, he quite obviously chose to dye his hair and he had a dimple in his cheek when he smiled.

Seven blinked, again surprised at herself. How was a dimple important? It was irrelevant. This entire exercise was irrelevant and not something she should be wasting time on.

She should get up.

That would wake him.

She would regret doing so.

Perhaps...perhaps as the Commander suggested on occasion, she should learn to relax. It was very warm in his bed, and she was very...comfortable. She was no longer tired, but perhaps she should relax.

*

She watched as he came back to consciousness. When he opened his eyes his head moved back in surprise for a moment, then his eyes focused properly and he relaxed.

"Good morning," he greeted.

"Good morning," she repeated, for once thinking that perhaps that wasn't such an illogical greeting.

He studied her for a moment before speaking. "How long have you been awake?"

"One hour seventeen minutes."

Shaking his head, he smiled. "You could have woken me..."

"I did not wish to do so. You have not been sleeping particularly well and should the Doctor have discovered that I woke you he would be most displeased."

"You're going to tell the Doctor that you slept with me?"

Seven frowned. "Why not?"

Opening his mouth to respond, the Commander only then seemed to realise how they were lying. "Oh...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take up so much room." She observed with interest as his face flushed. She had not thought him a person who would get embarrassed so easily so often. He started to move, removing his arms from around her.

"You do not have to move," she informed him. "I do not mind and I am comfortable."

He continued moving despite her words and sat on the edge of the bed with his back to her. She thought that she heard him mutter something before he spoke. "We have to get dressed anyway, Seven. Not long until our shifts start."

She nodded. Of course. He was in charge of the duty shifts.

He remained seated rather than move to get dressed. "Seven..."

"Yes?"

"You may not want to publicise the fact that we slept in the same bed together." He appeared to be rubbing his hands over his face again.

"You wish to keep it a secret? Why?" The Commander - like most humans - behaved in ways that she frequently found baffling.

"No, I don't want to keep it a secret. It's just that some might get the wrong idea. I wouldn't want them to think that of you."

It took a few moments for her to assimilate the information and realise the possible consequences. "I believe I understand the possible ramifications, Commander. I will not...publicise it." She did not add that she was pleased at his concern for her, simply because she did not understand why.

Seven watched as he nodded, then stood and walked to his closet. Once there he retrieved a uniform before walking into the bathroom. He appeared just seconds later with her outfit which he placed on the end of the bed.

"I'm getting changed in the bathroom. Let me know when you're dressed."

She nodded.

*

Commander Chakotay declined her invitation to share breakfast together, instead insisting that he had to get to the bridge rather urgently. She let him go without any further queries although she was curious why he was so eager to get to the bridge.

Entering the mess hall she approached the counter and - as expected - discovered the Talaxian in the middle of giving Lieutenant O'Donnell what he described as a 'handy hint'.

"Trust me Lieutenant, try it with just a little Japata juice. Really brings out the flavour!"

"Thanks Neelix," he replied unenthusiastically, and as he picked up his breakfast and turned away he studied the contents of the tray with the kind of morbid curiousity that Seven had become accustomed to seeing in the mess hall.

"Hello Seven! Wonderful morning, isn't it? I take it you'd like some breakfast?"

She faced him. "Indeed, Mr Neelix."

Unsure of what question she was answering, he decided to make her breakfast anyway. Placing a plate on a tray he pottered about. "So how was your night, Seven?"

She considered his words, then considered the Commanders words earlier. "It was interesting."

"Really? How so?" Neelix tapped a spoonful of a yellow substance onto the plate.

"I slept."

He paused his tapping. "Slept? You mean instead of regenerating?"

As she nodded she noted that he was quite clearly surprised.

"Well what was it like?" He continued, apparently eager for details.

Seven paused, browsing her vast vocabulary for the words that would best describe the experience. Eventually, she chose only one.

"Warm."

~FINIS

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