::moves nearer to doors, waiting an inefficient moment for them to open and studiously ignoring prodding looks from general bridge area during that wait...particularly prodding looks from one set of eyes::
::clasps hands behind back when doors do open, stepping over threshold::
If you have a moment...?
::finishes settling down with a thump, staring at desk in despair...tempting fate, tempting fate::
For the sake of everyone aboard, let's hope I have more than a moment...
...or maybe just an over-developed sense of worth?
::sighs as her mostly blank look only gets blanker::
It was just a joke, Seven. A foolish attempt at humor.
I believe I am developing a strong distaste for humor.
I hope Paris developed an affinity for the couch, then.
::coughs, motioning her to chair on other side of desk...whatever it is, it could take a while::
...I'm under the impression that you've managed to patch things up
this time and that he has his half of the bed back?
::suppresses another wave of despair...surely there has to be more to life than bureaucracy and keeping tabs on Tom Paris' private life?::
His two-thirds, Captain.
I fail to see why sleep has to be an exercise in athleticism...his only, at that. I have no difficulty maintaining one position throughout the night.
::fights lip twitch, eying former drone, not fooled at all by the bland, querying look she has on face...for someone who dislikes humor and innuendo, she's a master at indulging in them::
That makes you a better sleeper than most of us, then, Seven.
::pushes away joking mood, putting light chastisement in tone::
Nightmares. He's always had them, for one reason or the other.
::hesitates, then drives stake home::
I'm frankly surprised that you don't.
You surprise me.
::succumbs to courtesy, taking proffered seat...gingerly::
::offers elucidation at faintly confused expression on host's face::
Many cultures, including those with marked similarities to your own, believe that internal turmoil is not best resolved by extreme response...physical or psychological.
One can confront demons just as easily through calm self-examination as unfocused panic.
::clasps hands, searching for a constructive, non-insulting way to break it to her::
I'm not so certain the Borg have given you enough insight into Native culture
...any Native culture... to make you an expert quite yet.
You would make a fine Vulcan, I'll give you that...but youaren't a Vulcan, and their safeguards against too much emotion serve no healthy purpose in your case.
If you have bad dreams, you shouldn't be attempting to suppress them.
Have you been speaking to Counselor Troi?
Only when necessary.
::at sight, elucidates again::
While my father and Commander Paris apparently find her input useful, I see no point. The counselor's entire career is based upon a talent that serves no purpose with myself or Voyager's crew. She is empathic, but with limited range.
Since my emotions cannot be read and interpreted at this distance, the counselor has nothing to offer me that the knowledge I garnered during my time with the Collective cannot.
::pinches bridge of nose...pointedly::
While Troi's empathic abilities are certainly a meaningful part of her duties, it's unlikely they define them. She's had years to hone other types of insight as well.
There's book knowledge and then there's practical knowledge. The Borg may have given you the text, but it's probably safe to say they didn't give you the first clue how to apply any technique.
That aside...even the most qualified counselors occasionally need help from someone else...an unprejudiced eye.
Counselor Troi is hardly unprejudiced. Both she and her intimates...fellow crewmates...have encountered the Borg and been harmed by them.
Seven, at some point you have to let the armor down and give people...more than one or two people...a chance to help you. It's not a display of weakness, it's a display of human frailty. Judging by the fact that you consider the Borg 'them' and not 'us' any longer, I'd say you are functionally human.
Troi is capable and willing. Please, give her half a chance.
It would put my mind at ease.
Troi is not fully human, either.
::lifts chin at companion's incensed look::
Very well. I will not refuse her next request.
...now, perhaps, you are ready to hear my own?
::presses end of stylus to forehead, dragging it briefly::
::can feel the lines deepening::
What do you need, Seven?
It is not strictly a personal need, merely a project that might prove beneficial to Voyager as a whole.
Some time ago, I submitted schematics to Commander Paris for approval...schematics for a new Delta Flyer design. I believe he pushed my idea aside, considering it unnecessary in light of other needed maintenance.
...while I admire such a desire to place the needs of others first, the time has come when such a project is more than a personal vanity. If we are to attempt slipstream, it would be ridiculous to do so without a more flexible, technologically advanced craft ahead of Voyager.
::sits back, taking quick, hidden breath::