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The Guilt

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B'Elanna and Seven stood with lowered heads in the captain's ready room. Kathryn sat behind her desk and looked at both women with a punishing look. Kathryn sighed deeply before getting up from her chair, approaching her two officers, circling and studying her.

"How many times have we met here to discuss your quarrels?" She asked resignedly. Both B'Elanna and Seven knew that the captain was not expecting an answer. Both women were equally aware that it had happened too often and that this time the captain had lost their patience with them.

"It was too often for my taste." Kathryn said sternly. "So I think this time it's fair to prevent us from ever meeting again because of your disputes. In the next two weeks you will spend one hour a day with each other in your free time. It is up to you how you spend or design this time. But I very much hope that you do not hit your heads during this time, arguing or hushing. I expect you to make good use of this lesson, get to know each other, treat each other with respect, and eventually make peace." said Kathryn and B'Elanna looked appalled.

"Captain, that's ..." B'Elanna did not get any further because Kathryn had raised her hand and stopped her.

"Your objection, based on your previous behavior, is ineffective Lieutenant! My God, both of you have been on Voyager's leadership and as such, you should behave yourself!" Kathryn said sternly, looking at both women again with their special captain's look, which represented both disappointment and severity.

Kathryn was most sorry about this punishment for Seven. She knew that the young woman was seldom guilty of the quarrel and was still struggling to understand human behaviors and was still integrating herself into the crew. On B'Elanna, on the other hand, she was extremely angry because she had expected more from her chief engineer. Kathryn very much hoped that the punishment would have a positive effect on the relationship between B'Elanna and Seven and not make things worse.

"After the hour spent together, I expect a detailed report from each of you on the activity that has taken place and an analysis of how useful the activity was to improve their relationship with each other. And for that to be clear, if that does not work, I'm even ready to put you in a detention cell for that hour. Dismiss!" The captain ordered.

B'Elanna looked at her captain with an open mouth and was speechless. Tears welled up in her eyes, which she held back with all the willpower she could muster.

Seven, on the other hand, raised her chin arrogantly, turned around and left the captain's ready room without saying anything for punishment.

"Dismiss!" The captain commanded once more as she realized that B'Elanna still stood rock-solid in her seat and looked almost as if she was about to start a fierce discussion.

B'Elanna glared at her captain again before she turned and left the ready room quickly. Kathryn stepped relieved behind her desk and sat down in her chair with a sigh.

"Damn, these can be two very tough long weeks, not only for B'Elanna and Seven, but for me and the crew as well." Kathryn cursed and closed her eyes exhausted.