Gun Brookes Advent Calendar 2012

Star Trek Voyager /Devil Wear Prada – Crossover

Dangerous by Design


 

Door 8

 

Janeway frowned. “I was led to believe that you have some pull with this woman.”

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you, considering that we sort of hit it off initially.” Tal gave a one-shoulder shrug. “Nash is a dangerous woman. In itself, that can be rather thrilling and I fell for that. The dangerous, bad-girl routine. It was when I discovered who her associate was that I realized it wasn’t a routine.”

“You understood that you were getting too close to the Alpha Quadrants worst crime boss alive.” Miranda sipped her drink. “What was your reaction?”

“I contacted my superior officer. She took it up with the brass and came back within twelve hours, ordering me to cultivate the relationship.” Tal curled her lips into a wry smile.

“You say relationship…of a romantic nature?” Janeway saw Seven sit even straighter out of the corner of her eyes.

“Oh, yes. Hot and heavy.” Suddenly Tal blinked. “Capt—damn, I mean Admiral, it was easy at first. I just had to go with what my body told me. Then—it became more. She has a way to get under your skin, Nash. For being so callous, and I’d say greedy, she is also warm, caring, and nice. When she wants to be. That made me start to believe it could happen. You know.” She swallowed hard and wiped at her eyes. “Love?”

Janeway grabbed a paper napkin and gave it to Tal. “And?”

“And that’s when I remembered. She was the next in command to the man who was directly and indirectly responsible for my parent’s death. I got to spend ten days. Ten days, Admiral, with mom and dad after we returned to the Alpha Quadrant. Then their colony was attacked the day before I was to join them. Eight-hundred people, men, women, and children, died on Logg’s Prime.”

“I only learned of this today.” Janeway wondered now if the brass had kept this from her deliberately. Nobody at any of the Voyager reunions ever mentioned anything about Tal and her family. That in itself was odd and it was only because of her own heartache at the time that she’d not been attentive enough to question Tal’s absence.

“Now we know, you do not have to carry the burden alone anymore, Tal Celes,” Seven said, her voice soft and resonate. “We are here because we need your assistance, but I also feel you need out emotional support. Your new orders are to join us on the Brilliance and thus go find Nash Forster, and thus you might find out her true feelings regarding you personally as well.”

“D-didn’t you hear me? She most likely hates my guts for just leaving her without an explanation. Nash is a bit on the possessive side.”

“I still maintain that all might not be what it seems.” Seven smiled faintly. “Just remember how everybody perceived the two of us, each in our own way. Today, we both have exceeded everybody’s expectation, do you not agree?”

Tal guffawed, but nodded in agreement. “I’d say so. Me from a wimp to an agent. You from a Borg automaton to a brilliant and stunning scientist.”

“And if I found love, so you can you.”

Janeway winced. Too many personal revelations about to ensue. “So, pack up your belongings and report aboard the Brilliance in two hours, Lieutenant. Lt. Commander Wu is head of security. She expects you.”

“Aye, ma’am,” Tal responded, but it was Seven that received her careful smile. “See you soon then?”

They stood, and Miranda checked the time. “Oh, my goodness. I guess I have time to join Andrea and the children after all. I know I should be thrilled, but honestly…I’m a great deal more apprehensive about what they might expect of me at this Water Wonder World place rather than what we’re about to face regarding Maladorian.”

And this comment made Tal Celes go from a careful smile to uneasy laughter.

 


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