B'Elanna beaming at both Seven and her captain as both women approached.
"Have you been ready for dinner in Tom's quarters?" She asked the two, and both looked at her irritated.
"Tom invited me to dinner today, he wanted to explain his new design suggestions for the Deltaflyer. I thought we were alone." Kathryn frowned.
"Oh, then he probably forgot to mention that Seven and I will be there for dinner too. The more the better, Tom always means." B'Elanna replied and Seven looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Are you coming?" B'Elanna asked innocently and all three women went to Tom's quarters.
"Interesting." Seven only said and B'Elanna had to laugh, while Kathryn smirked.
"We are not allowed to talk about it. Unfortunately, if you want to know how it was, you have to take part in it." B'Elanna explained and sat down at the covered dining table, which already had some delicacies that Tom had replicated in the last half hour.
Disappointed Tom looked at his girlfriend and pulled a pout.
"Please Captain, Seven sit down. Today, I have a 21st century court replicated for us. It's called sushi. Sushi is a Japanese dish of cold, leavened rice, with ingredients such as raw or smoked fish, raw seafood, nori leaves, vegetables, tofu varieties, and eggs." Tom explained, and all three women looked at him curiously.
"I thought we would enjoy making our own sushi. There are two ways to do it. Once the Nigiri Art and then the Maki Art. I would like to show you the Maki Art today. In front of you there is a pad, which is called a bamboo mat, on it is now the nori leaf - which consists of a compressed algae leaf, the rice, the fish and the various types of vegetables, laid on it as desired and together with the bamboo mat to a rice roll together rolled." Tom explained and then pointed to the various plates that were spread on the table.
"Here we have the different kinds of fish, there are the salmon, the tuna, the king prawns and the octopus. Of course you can use many more seafood or fish species, but I thought a small selection would make it easier for us the first time. Over here are the ready-cut vegetables we can use. There are cucumbers, avocado, mushrooms, carrots, radish or pumpkin. Okay, shall I demonstrate it to you?" Tom asked, looking at the three women intently.
"Yes, show us how it's done," demanded B'Elanna immediately, which was already hungry and therefore already fidgeted a little impatiently on her chair.
"Okay." Tom replied and began eagerly as he explained the steps.
"First, the nori leaf is placed on the bamboo mat, then the rice comes to it, not so much, otherwise you later have difficulties in curling up. And the rice is distributed only on one half of the nori leaf. This is wasabi ..." Tom picked up a small bowl of a greenish-looking paste and showed it to the women.
"That's a horseradish paste, it's seasoning the sushi. This is spread thinly on the rice in the middle. Then comes the raw fish and vegetables. Now the bamboo mat is rolled up. Before you roll the sheet completely, it should be covered with a little water, which sticks together better. Then it is rolled on and pressed at the end a little more. Finally, the bamboo mat is removed and the resulting rice roll cut into small bites. However, you should be careful when cutting so that everything does not fall apart again." Explained Tom and showed the finished result.
He then pulled out several bowls. "This is a soy sauce, Gari - a pickled sweet and sour ginger and again the wasabi. This will allow you to spice up your sushi." Tom said, offering B'Elanna, Seven and the captain sushi treats. Then he dipped his own snack in the soy sauce and then put it in his mouth.
The three women did the same and also tried their sushi.
"Mmmmm ... that's very wholesome Tom." the captain confessed immediately and smiled at Tom.
B'Elanna, on the other hand, frowned at her friend before she spoke. "Are you sure I can get sick of it?" She asked uncertainly.
Tom raised an eyebrow, ignoring B'Elanna's objections for the moment.
"Seven, what do you say to that?" He asked Seven instead.
"I'm not sure, I needed more samples to make a detailed statement." she confessed, as always logically.
"Okay, then everyone should make themselves a sushi roll." he invited the three women and everyone started to imitate the steps that Tom had previously shown them.
Kathryn obviously had a lot of fun while B'Elanna growled hungrily and impatiently, Seven concentrating on reworking the steps. Tom, on the other hand, quickly finished another sushi roll and share with B'Elanna, who smiled gratefully at him.
While the four sat comfortably together, after each had prepared several different sushi appetizers, B'Elanna's communicator hummed at once.
"Lt. Carey on Lt. Torres, please contact me."
B'Elanna immediately clicked on her communicator. "Lt. Carey what's up?" B'Elanna asked immediately worried and Tom, Kathryn and Seven looked at her eagerly.
"I have a problem here in the engine room that you should look at." said Lt. Carey.
"Okay, I'm on my way." B'Elanna said hurriedly and got up from the table.
"Shall I come with you?" Seven asked immediately, but B'Elanna shook her head.
"No, I'll see what's going on first and if I need your help, I'll call. I'll be right back, let me have some of the sushi left over." she demanded quickly before leaving Tom's quarters with a deep sigh.
Tom looked at Seven and Kathryn with a sigh and shrugged.
"B'Elanna will be right back, let's keep eating, there's no point in waiting for her." he said, making another sushi roll.
During dinner, Tom explained Kathryn's latest improvement suggestions for the Deltaflyer. He told her visually, what the improvements looked like and how they would prove in the field.
Seven and Kathryn listened attentively, asking questions now and then about things that Tom explained to them.
After they had finished eating and B'Elanna had still not reappeared, they cleared the dining table together and recycled everything.
"I think we should start with the movie. B'Elanna will not mind." Tom explained and all three moved over to the couch.
Kathryn and Seven sat side by side on the couch, while Tom served the TV and started the movie. Then he sat down in his favorite chair.
"Doctor to Lt. Paris." Came his communicator. Tom rolled his eyes and clicked on his communicator.
"What is Doc?" He asked.
"I need your help, please come over." the doctor replied.
"Doctor, what is so important, that you need the help of Lt. Paris?" Kathryn intervened.
"Captain?" The doctor asked before answering. "Oh, there is nothing important, please do not worry. It's just a small thing, for which I Lt. Paris I need."
"Good." Kathryn replied, and Tom stood up with a sigh.
"I'm on my way Doc." he answered, glancing apologetically at Seven and Kathryn.
"Please keep watching the movie, I'm sure I'll be back soon." Tom said goodbye before leaving his quarters.
Kathryn and Seven looked irritated for a moment.
"Well, let's take a look at the movie on our own." Kathryn said and turned to the TV set.
After the movie ran for a while and Carl Fredricksen was flying his house high in the air through the city, Seven looked at Kathryn in surprise.
"Captain, a house can´t fly, it is impossible, even with so many balloons." Seven confused and Kathryn smiled at her.
"I thought, we are going with Kathryn? We're out of duty, so please tell Kathryn to me." Kathryn replied.
"Sorry, Kathryn." Seven pushed after her and to try the name again, she repeated her statement again.
"Kathryn a house can not fly, not even with so many balloons."
"Seven, that's just a movie. In movies, things often happen that are probably impossible in real life. But I think since it's an old movie and the house was built of wood, it's most likely possible that it can fly if you only use enough balloons. But please, relax and just watch the movie. Do not think so much about it. Just relax. Okay?" Kathryn asked, smiling softly at Seven.
Seven nodded her head and pushed her questions aside, to analyze them later.
After the two women continued to watch the film, Seven came up with a new idea that she wanted to address.
"Kathryn?" She asked quietly and Kathryn turned her head to her.
"I think I failed practice in the *Find Yourself* training today." Seven confessed quietly and looked embarrassed.
"Why do you think so?" Kathryn asked immediately worried.
"Because I still have the same guilt as before. The burning of my notes, to which I have written everything, has not effected. As a result, I conclude that I failed in this exercise." Seven explained.
"Oh, you did not fail. I'm just like you. It just means that we both need a little bit longer to get rid of what bothers and torments us. I think we still have a long way to go before we are ready to let go. Do not worry, we're going the way together, yes?" Kathryn asked, grabbing Seven's hand in hers and squeezing her gently.
"Yes." Seven replied, gently squeezing Kathryn's hand. Then both women turned back to the TV and continued watching the movie. Meanwhile, they kept their hands together.
Neither Seven nor Kathryn wanted to give up the soothing physical contact that gave each other comfort and confidence. But the more Seven relaxed and felt well, the more the voices began to reenter their minds. As the voices grew louder and harder, Seven pulled her hand out of Kathryn's hand and pressed her two hands against her ears. Painfully, her face twisted as she pressed harder and harder against her ears to silence the voices.
Kathryn looked at her worriedly.
"Seven, what's going on?" She asked, looking at Seven in amazement.
Seven had her eyes locked tight, her lips pressed together, her jaw and every fiber of her body tense.
"Seven, look at me, look me in the eye. The voices are just a memory, they are not real. Concentrate on me and listen to me." Kathryn demanded as she realized what Seven was most likely tormenting.
"Seven, please follow my command. Look at me." Kathryn demanded again, but as Seven continued to keep her eyes closed and her hands pressed even more to her ears, she put her hands on Seven's hands, gripping her tightly, pulling her away from Seven's ears and she pressed against her upper body.
Seven then opened her eyes and looked at Kathryn with a pained look.
"Look at me and focus only on me and what I'm telling you. We stand through this together. Do you understand?" Kathryn asked as she still squeezed Seven's hands against her breasts and held her tight. Seven blinked at her with her eyes irritated.
"It's just memories, it's not real. I am real. Feel how I hold your hands, feel how my heart is tapping against my ribcage. Do you hear and do you feel it?" Kathryn asked and she saw Seven trying to focus on it.
"Feel my pulse and measure my body temperature. Feel my body, I'm real. Everything else is not." Kathryn said, releasing Seven's hands, but quickly wrapped her around Seven's upper body and pulled the young woman close to her, holding her tight in her arms. Their faces were only a few inches apart. Her noses were almost touching.
Kathryn leaned her head towards Seven's ear and softly began to hum a melody from her motheras as she was a child, always sung her mother her when she was hurt or sad. Kathryn hummed this tune until she realized how Seven's tense body slowly relaxed back into her arms, she laid her head on Kathryn's shoulder and began to cry softly.
"Shht, shht ..." Kathryn muttered and stroked reassuringly over Seven's short hair.
"... I am here, you are not alone. The voices can not hurt you. I will not allow it."
Only after a while, when the voices stopped into Seven's head did she pull herself out Kathryn's embrace and look at her sheepishly as she wiped her tears from her cheeks with her hand.
"Thanks." she murmured softly.
Kathryn smiled gently at her, put her hand on Seven's cheek, and ran her fingers over the tear trail.
"Look, we stopped the voices without you having to hit a punching bag. We can not go back in time and what has happened can change, but we can hold ourselves in the here and now and focus on the present to shut out the past that torments us." Kathryn replied and Seven looked at her thoughtfully and her Head immediately began to think about what she had just heard.
"Okay, it looks like B'Elanna and Tom are not coming back soon. Half of the movie we missed. How about I bring you to your quarters now and we finish the evening?" Kathryn asked after realizing that she had lost Seven's attention and that the young woman was thoughtfully caught in her own thoughts.
"Acceptable." Seven said only, and both women left Tom's quarters after turning off the TV.
"Seven." Kathryn sighed deeply. She was glad that she was able to solve the situation earlier in Tom's quarters and that Seven felt better afterwards. She did not want to imagine what would have happened if she could not help Seven. Certainly, she had violated some of her self-imposed rules, but that had been of value in helping Seven.
Satisfied with herself and certain that Seven and her could finally get Seven out of their tormenting feelings of guilt finally, she went into her bedroom and got ready for the night.