by Joseph Anderson
This is a sequel to Bare Essentials. Sorry I didn't come up with a better title. It's been posted so I guess I'm stuck with it now. Seven and Harry belong to Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended. This may not be sold and must contain all notice of copyright.
The door to holodeck 3 opened smoothly and Seven of Nine stepped inside looking around. A forest setting had been created. She could hear a sound not readily identifiable until she searched some of her memories and identified it as the sound produced by an Earth instrument called a clarinet. Seven followed the sound and then said, "There you are, Ensign."
Harry looked up from where he was leaning against a holographic tree and smiled at her. "Hello, Seven."
"You invited me," she said bluntly. "And you are not wearing any clothes, Ensign. Explain."
Harry looked down a moment and looking back up said, "Remember that away team mission we went on last month. Where we thought we had to be naked to blend in."
Seven said, "Of course, I do. You know that I have an eidetic memory."
"Yeah, right. Well, it was embarrassing but I also really sorta liked it. Like it was freeing or natural or something. So I decided to put together a holoprogam like that. I did some research and there were several times in Earth history when nudity was totally accepted, not just in ancient times either. And even when it wasn't there were people who practiced it when they could. In places like this." Harry waved his hand indicating the beautiful forest he had conjured up with his holodeck expertise.
Seven said, "You want other of Voyager's crew to come here and remove their clothing. The way they go to Tom Paris's tavern program, Sandrine's."
Harry nodded. He had psyched himself up for this and tried not to be embarrassed when Seven came in. But he wasn't sure how much longer he could just stand around naked and pretend it didn't mean anything. He was about to give up when Seven said, "You remembered that I found the away mission to be a valuable experience and so have invited me here. Who else have you told of this program?"
"Nobody, yet. You're the first," Harry said and his face got red.
Seven nodded and said, "It was an emotionally charged experience for the captain, Tom Paris and yourself. I learned a great deal and said I was glad I was a part of the mission. You are demonstrating friendship for me by inviting me. Thank you, Ensign. As the captain told Tuvok, nudity is complicated for humans. As I learned much on the mission I may also learn much from this program."
Harry was relieved. He never knew what Seven would come out with. He said, "Well, it'll be good if it works out. It might just make everybody think I'm ridiculous."
Seven said, "I understand. You are taking a risk." She studied him then said, "I should remove my clothes. You are ill at ease and pretending to hide that state, but I can tell by your breathing and muscle rigidity that you are self conscious."
Harry forced himself not to deny it. That was why he liked being naked. He liked the metaphor of honesty. He said, "Yeah, I am nervous. It'd make me feel better."
"Very well, Ensign," Seven of Nine said and removed one shoe then another. Then simply peeled her skintight costume off. She knelt to carefully fold it and looked up at Harry who was studiously looking away from her. "Yes, it is very complicated. You are sexually aroused but expending great energy to hide it. You would never knowingly attempt to get me to remove my clothes under false pretences. Ensign Kim, you are attempting to control your physical urges. It is rather like Tuvok, actually."
Harry looked at her and said, "God, you're right! I'm using you...only instead of trying to get you naked to ogle you, I want you naked so I can resist you. God, how sick! I'm sorry, Seven! I should forget the whole thing."
She stood and clapsed her hands behind her back. "As on the mission, I am glad to be in a situation where I can learn more. And your quest for self discipline is admirable. I believe this could be a very fine program. I hope others use it. I believe I can use it myself to further explore my humanity."
Harry smiled with relief at her. "That's great! That's just what I wanted to create."
Seven of Nine sat down near him, the dappled light falling on her fair naked skin and said, "What was that you were playing on your clarinet, Ensign?"
He sat down beside her, wet his reed and began to play again.