Man, the muse is striking in strange places lately.
by: Tracy L. Sobieski
He hadn't noticed her at first. Which in itself was strange. When Seven was in a room, she commanded attention. Even if she was silent, her presence could almost be *felt*. It bothered most people, but not Harry. He enjoyed it. He liked knowing she was near.
So it was a surprise when he turned to leave the darkened messhall after dropping off the coffee cup he had taken with him to the bridge for his night shift. She was sitting alone. In the far corner, blending with the shadows.
Her head turned slightly toward him.
"Ensign Kim," she acknowledged quietly.
Harry walked over to her, his eyes darkening with concern.
"How did it go today?"
"I had some problems with the transmission that required...."
"I didn't mean that, Seven," Harry admonished. She knew full well what he had been asking about. He was beginning to think she had studied "Evasive Conversational Tactics" from Tom.
Seven drew in a breath.
"It is difficult being there and hearing the conversations between the crew and their families," she admitted, remembering how she wanted to be *anywhere* except Astrometrics when Lt. Torres and her father spoke.
Harry nodded. It was too bad her presence was required, but she really had done a remarkable job of making herself "invisible."
"I don't think anyone minds that you are there, Seven. They know you have to monitor the connection and make constant adjustments to keep it going."
"It is still difficult."
"Did you talk to your Aunt today?"
He grimaced. Time to play Twenty Questions. Getting Seven to talk about her feelings was a complicated process. Advance. Retreat. Push. Pull. And hope like hell she didn't get too annoyed before you managed to glean enough from her to figure out the problem. It was a game he was getting *very* proficient at.
"Are you okay?"
"I am fine," she asserted.
"What did you talk about?" he tried again.
"Nothing of relevance."
"Was she happy to hear from you?"
Silence stretched between them for a long moment.
"I believe so."
"What was it like seeing her? Did you remember her?"
Seven's hand trembled slightly as she reached up to brush a stray lock of hair off her face.
"Really?" he asked softly.
She met his gaze finally. Troubled, haunted eyes that tore at his soul.
Harry smiled gently, reaching for the hand that she clenched tightly into a fist.
"What did you remember?"
Her breath caught slightly and a small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.