When they reached the mess hall B'Elanna asked if she could choose something for both of them. Seven agreed and they settled themselves in a quiet area near the windows. B'Elanna asked a few questions about what Seven remembered of their shared childhood and was delighted to find they were some of Seven's happiest memories. Things were going well until Tom turned up to take a late lunch.
"Well, well, well if it isn't the woman I thought was my wife and the Borg bitch it turns out she's been engaged to all this time." Tom shouted across the mess hall. B'Elanna was immediately on her feet and intercepting him before he could reach Seven.
"Tom, you can say what you like to me. I married you when I had feelings for someone else, even if I thought they were dead but you will not say a word against Seven. She has done nothing wrong. She had a childhood friend whom she bonded with and since she came here she's had to put up with my attitude yet recently she held me as I cried even though she had no idea why it was necessary. So leave her alone Tom or I will defend my bondmate, physically if I have to whether she wants me to or not."
"Fine I won't say another word against the Borg but don't rub my face in it."
"We're eating lunch Tom. That's all. We're stuck on this ship. It's not like we have anywhere else to go so you'll have to learn to handle seeing us both everyday and don't act like you are heartbroken over this. We both know we settled."
"Alright go back to her. I guess I can pretend you don't exist."
Not wanting to waste any more time on Tom, B'Elanna headed back to Seven and found her standing by their table. The half-Klingon knew with her superior hearing she had heard every word.
"I'm sorry you had to hear that Soch. He had no right to say those things about you."
"It is no worse than many other things said about me and at least he has some reason behind it."
"No one has the right to say anything about you and I will put a stop to it. It's the least I can do as I know I was worst of all."
"I think it would be best if I returned to the Cargo Bay now. The Captain has given me the rest of the week off. Perhaps we could meet again at some point tomorrow?"
"I'd like that." B'Elanna wanted to stop her leaving, not let Tom run her off but knew she had to respect her decision and give her some space. At least it hadn't scared her off completely.
As soon as Seven reached the Cargo Bay she took the opportunity to research Klingon bonds and betrothals. She was already aware of the Great Oath and ritual bite and that Klingons could be betrothed but she didn't know about the intricacies. The ex-Borg had always felt a pull towards the Chief Engineer that she couldn't explain, it kept her returning to Engineering even if it was just to take her abuse. The feeling she got when she saw the flash of passionate anger in her eyes led to her continuing to antagonise the half-Klingon instead of trying to develop a more stable amicable relationship.
Their bond was strong within her, Seven was sure of it now she had identified the feelings. To know she had twice performed the ritual bite on B'Elanna without them taking the Oath and fully bonding shocked her and caused her to reanalyse certain past actions. It was up to her what to do with the knowledge. The last few days had been confusing but some aspects she would like to repeat. Seven realised it might just be as simple as asking.
"Seven to Torres"
"B'Elanna here Soch, what can I do for you." The Engineer was surprised to hear from the ex-Borg only a few hours after their lunch together.
"I wish to ask you two things."
"Tomorrow is too long to wait, I would like to see you again this evening"
"Sure" Stuttered B'Elanna "I'm still staying in the guest quarters you can come round whenever you want. What else did you want to ask?"
"You called me Soch. I would like to call you Bella, you may also call me Niki again if you would like."
"Of course you can call me Bella and thank you. I'll see you soon." B'Elanna sat stunned and wondered what was going on in her bondmate's head.