Rating: R/NC-17 later
Summary: Captain Jung Yunho of the USS Valiant wants nothing more than to take his ship out into deep space and leave the memories of Earth behind; however, when he and his crew come across a destroyed Borg cube and a drone in need of help, he finds himself battling old demons and unexpected emotions. In the end, it’s the drone, struggling to remember what it means to be human, who teaches him about forgiveness, healing and maybe even love.
Warnings: Violence and language. I just wanted to write a story about the Borg. OTL Fic takes place in the TNG/DS9/VOY-era.
This is me asking for typo leniency. This chapter is crazy long and my beta isn't here. =.= Posted in two parts because of LJ's character limit.
chapter one | chapter two | chapter three | side story one | chapter four | chapter five | chapter six | chapter seven | chapter eight | chapter nine
Chapter 6: Strange Unknowns
Captain's log, stardate 45110.2: It has been an ... exhausting day. Jaejoong — as our new friend has been named — has spent the better part of a day moving into his new quarters and working with Ensign Lee to organize the ship's findings. Personally, I am appalled at how a species could have access to so much information and still know so little.
"Are you sure you know where his quarters are?" Yoochun asked as he and Changmin followed the doctor down the wide hallway, from one room to another.
"Of course I know," Junsu replied easily. He tried another door, only to be shooed away by a rather intimidating looking Klingon crewman. "It's just that Jaejoong's directions weren't that clear. He barely knows the full layout of the ship himself."
“Doctor, what is that?” Changmin motioned toward the small package wrapped in cream-colored paper in Junsu’s arms.
Junsu halted his search. He grinned and held the box up for closer inspection. “It’s a housewarming gift, Commander. For Jaejoong.”
“You got him a gift for moving out of sickbay?” Yoochun said with a frown. “Doc, just how attached to it did you get?"
“It is a he, Commander,” Junsu answered indignantly. “And he’s more than just moving out of sickbay; he’s finally decided to embrace his humanity. This is a big step for him.”
“'Embrace' may be too strong a word, Doc.”
“Indeed," Changmin agreed. "'Tolerate' may be more appropriate. Or 'endure' his humanity, 'forced to accept' his humanity, 'be resigned to,'—"
"We get it, Changmin," Yoochun groaned. "Nobody wants to be Human."
"I wouldn't say that. You, for example, seem very happy to be a member of species that is motivated by nothing more than chemical reactions caused by pheromones."
Junsu ignored the two officers' bickering (a skill he was beginning to perfect) and fumbled with the small package. Perhaps it was a bit too much. Could he be violating some obscure Starfleet regulation by giving a gift to a patient who technically was also considered a prisoner? Junsu hadn't paid much that attention to his Starfleet Procedures and Regulations class while at Starfleet Academy. "Do you think it's inappropriate?" he asked.
Changmin gave Yoochun a final disapproving glare before turning to face the medical officer. "I do not pretend to understand the reasoning behind most Human social customs."
"What is it?" Yoochun asked.
Junsu raised the package up happily. "I got the picture of him with his mother and sisters framed for his new quarters."
The older officer smiled. "That's real sweet, Doc."
"Sweet, but unnecessary," Changmin chimed in. "The Borg has no recollection of his family and will have no attachment to seeing them."
Yoochun turned and scowled at the young Vulcan. "Does it ever hurt you to be so damn emotionally repressed, Min?"
Changmin arched an eyebrow in question. "Stating an observed fact in no way causes me pain, Commander; however, I am intrigued. Does acknowledging logic and rationality cause you discomfort? If so, that would explain a great many of your actions."
"There's a difference between being illogical and being tactful."
"Tact, by its very nature, is illogical, Commander. It is a physiological tool Humans use to shield each other from the truth in order to comply with asinine social norms."
Yoochun rolled his eyes. "And logic is a tool Vulcans use to be assh—"
"We're here!" Junsu said loudly, effectively cutting off their discussion. "Those are definitely his quarters." He hurried the remaining steps to the entrance of Jaejoong's small quarters and pressed the chime outside the narrow door. He was surprised to hear the weary sound of Yunho's voice beckoning them inside.
"Captain!" he greeted when he entered the small front room. "I didn't expect you to still be here. Where's Jaejoong?"
Yunho gave him an weary look before nodding toward what Junsu assumed to be a bedroom. "He's taking a look around. We still have some issues we'll need to work out. The biggest is his inability to be left alone."
“Was that a problem?" Changmin asked as he studied the sparsely decorated room. "He should have been working in the labs with other officers all day.”
“You’d be surprised how fast he can clear a room out," Yunho answered with a sigh. "Worse, every time he found himself alone, guess who he’d call?”
Jaejoong walked back into the room, oblivious of the fact that he'd just been the topic of discussion. He acknowledged Junsu, Yoochun and Changmin before approaching Yunho.
"We have a bed," he stated simply standing before the captain.
Yunho suppressed a frustrated groan. "Is that a problem?"
"We don't require a bed. We need an alcove."
"That's over here. Follow me." He led Jaejoong to a small closet off the main room. Sliding open the door, he moved to allow him to inspect it.
Jaejoong looked at the set up, which consisted solely of a wire-wrapped prong extending out of the wall socket, before turning to stare at Yunho in question.
The other man shrugged self-consciously. "What?"
"What is this?"
"It's your alcove."
"This is not an alcove. It's a plug-in."
"Well, it'll have to do."
"You could have asked us. We would have helped you build something more ... suitable."
"Try it," Yunho encouraged. "If it needs to be improved, we'll help you."
Jaejoong looked at him doubtfully, but went ahead and pulled up his tunic sleeve to connect the power conduit in his forearm to the pronged outlet extending from the bulkhead. He felt a sudden surge of energy shot through the wiring in his arm and spread through the rest of his body. It didn't feel as powerful as what he was accustomed to from an alcove back on the Borg cube, but it would be effective. He'd have to regenerate longer than he was used to, however. Seven hours instead of the usual five.
“This will suffice,” he replied. He unplugged himself before following Yunho back out to the main room of his small living quarters. He stared at the three waiting officers nervously. Yoochun ignored him, Changmin gave him a curt nod and Junsu enveloped him in a hug.
“How was your first day?” he asked, handing his gift over to Jaejoong. The other man handled it awkwardly before placing it on a shelf, still in its wrapping paper.
“We worked closely with your bridge ops officer, Lee Jinki,” he replied. “He was noticeably uncomfortable with us, but was no threat. We believe we will do well in our position.”
“That’s great to hear,” Junsu chirped. He grabbed the package and unwrapped it before giving it back to Jaejoong, who looked up at him in confusion. “This is a gift for you. It’s your family.”
“It’s a photograph."
Junsu rolled his eyes good naturedly. “It’s a reminder of your family. I wanted you to have something in your new quarters to remind you of where you came from.”
“That is unnecessary. We’ve read a great deal about our Human parents and do not require a photograph to remember them.” Junsu deflated a bit.
“Just say thank you, Borgy,” Yoochun muttered. He elbowed a visibly smug-looking Changmin. “That’s what Humans do when someone does something nice for them.”
“Even when it is not of any use?” Jaejoong asked him, curious.
“One,” Yunho sighed. “Remember the talk we had earlier this morning about manners?”
Jaejoong nodded before turning back to Junsu. “We thank you, Doctor. We’ll take this photo as an example of your concern for us.” That perked Junsu up and he gave Jaejoong’s hand a reassuring squeeze.
“I have to get back to the bridge, Captain” Yoochun interrupted, barely restrained irritation evident in his voice. “Changmin and I came down to see if you had any orders for the night shift before he took off.”
Yunho shook his head and dismissed them both with a wave.
“I should go as well,” Junsu remarked. He reached out to straighten Jaejoong’s collar before grinning up at him. “I’ve been a bit behind in my own work. I need to get the final physicals noted and logged before we get further in unknown space.”
“I’ll follow you out, Doctor,” Yunho yawned and stretched his limbs. It had been an exhausting day, orientating Jaejoong to the expectations of belonging to his crew and helping his own officers deal with interacting with a member of a species many of them had heard about, but had never seen up close before.
“You’re all leaving?” Jaejoong questioned. He sounded momentarily panicked and Yunho gave a tired sigh. The day could have been much less draining if he hadn’t had to make sure that someone — someone he trusted — was always with Jaejoong.
“Yes," he replied. "We all have work to do.”
“But we’ll be alone again.”
“No. I told you, you can go to any other public place on-board — the mess hall, the officers' lounge, the labs. Any place except the bridge."
Jaejoong shook his head frantically. “That is unacceptable, Captain. We can’t … deal with strangers yet.”
"If you can't handle that, you can always talk to the ship computer.”
Jaejoong gave him a look that would best be described as panicked irritation. "Also unacceptable."
“One— I mean, Jaejoong,” Yunho began, still not used to calling the other by his Human name, “you do realize at some point you’re going to have to learn to be comfortable being by yourself?”
Jaejoong looked around the small quarters, eyeing each piece of furniture and object with suspicion. Yunho felt a small bubble of amusement at the look of utter distrust on Jaejoong's face. He was acting as if the room itself were going to come alive and eat him whole.
"You're welcome to come back to sickbay with me," Junsu offered.
"No, Doctor," Yunho said. "You just said you had work to do. If I'm correct, keeping Jaejoong company is the reason you're behind in the first place." He turned back to see Jaejoong still watching them both plaintively. He could easily see how this power struggle would end up. He was beginning to learn he'd have to pick his battles when it came to Jaejoong, and at the moment, he was too tired to fight this one. His stomach rumbled as if to remind him he was too hungry, too. He supposed it wouldn't kill him to have some company for dinner.
"Jaejoong, I’m going to grab a bite before heading back to the bridge. Would you like to join me?”
"Food, Jaejoong," Junsu replied. "He hasn't eaten before, Captain."
Yunho turned to stare at Jaejoong incredulously. “What has been nourishing you before now?”
“Our implants are able to create the organic nutrients our biological components require, and the doctor provided us with a nutritional supplement to make up for any deficiencies.”
"Yes," Junsu piped up, "but the implants are not as efficient now that he's cut off from the power of the Collective."
“Are you hungry now?” Yunho asked, giving the former drone a curious look.
Jaejoong placed a hand over his belly and thought. "We aren't sure," he answered finally.
Yunho shared a look with Junsu, who only grinned.
"I suppose that's a good enough answer," the doctor said, making his way to the quarter doors. "Thank you, Captain, for helping him. I hope you two enjoy your dinner." He left quickly, but not too fast that Yunho missed the barely suppressed grin on his face.
Yunho was aware of the stares that followed them around the small dining hall. A few officers were bold enough to glare at him angrily, but the majority of the crowd looked up from their meals in fear.
He was also aware of Jaejoong hovering closely behind him. He was near enough, in fact, that Yunho could feel the warmth of his breath blowing across his neck. He stopped and turned suddenly, causing the other man to run right into him.
“Is there a reason you’re practically on top of me?” he asked.
Jaejoong gazed nervously around the bustling mess hall. He noted the glares and stares of the ship's crew and could feel his heart begin to race in anxiety. While no one appeared to be as hostile as the crew members he had encountered when he was drug down to the cargo bay, the memories their stares evoked were still unsettling. “Captain, we’re not comfortable being in such a crowded room.”
“How can you be afraid of crowds and of being alone?” Yunho scoffed.
“We aren't comfortable being by ourself nor are we comfortable being with strangers. We didn’t know there would be this many people here. We thought we would be eating with only you.”
“You will today,” Yunho replied. “But what about tomorrow? Or the day after that?”
“We would wish to be with you on those days, too.”
Yunho ignored the flush that burned his face. "You won't be able to stay with me forever, Jaejoong," he said quietly. "You have to learn to deal with new surroundings and new people."
Rather than reply, Jaejoong took another cautious look around the crowded room. Still unnerved by the activity of the mess hall, he frowned and took a hesitant step toward Yunho.
Exhausted and more than a little frustrated, Yunho decided to let the topic drop. With a sigh, he led the other man across the room and guided him to the mess hall appliances.
“The replicators can reproduce nearly 2 million food items from more than 40 different planets," he said, motioning to the small machine installed near the mess hall's bar. "Just tell the computer what you want and how you want it prepared."
Jaejoong nodded. “We are familiar with this technology.”
"Good." Yunho smiled encouragingly and waited for Jaejoong to place his order. The other man simply stared back at him in silence.
“Well?” he asked, when it was obvious Jaejoong wasn’t going to speak up. “Go ahead and tell it what you want.”
The former drone fidgeted uncomfortably. “We are familiar with this technology; we are not familiar with what we would want to eat.”
“You don’t know what food is?”
Jaejoong sniffed in contempt. “Of course we do. We have the knowledge of trillions of food items from thousands of cultures. But, that information is irrelevant. The Borg do not eat. We have no idea how to determine what we should eat now that we have to.”
“You’re over-thinking this. Just name something you think you’d like.”
Jaejoong considered this for a moment before looking back over at him. “What do you like?”
Yunho sighed. Personally, he would have liked a spicy hot kimchi stew; however, since he was pretty sure Jaejoong was just going to order whatever he did, that wouldn't have been wise. Eaten too late in the day, kimchi stew sometimes left him with horrible heartburn; who knew what havoc the meal would have on Jaejoong's inexperienced system.
“Computer," he ordered, speaking to the replicator, "baked salmon with steamed vegetables and rice.” A bland choice, but one he felt both he and Jaejoong could stomach. The meal materialized nearly instantly in the replicator bay. He grabbed his tray and motioned for Jaejoong to place his own request. As he expected, the other man repeated his order — copying him down to the cadence of his words.
He led them to an empty table near one of the mess hall's larger windows. He sat and motioned for the other to join him before digging into his meal. Tasteless as the food was, he couldn't deny how great a hot meal felt in his belly.
Jaejoong lowered himself stiffly into the chair and placed his tray on the table with a loud clatter. He studied Yunho in fascination.
"Do you just ... start eating?" he questioned. "Is there no analysis of the meal to ensure that it will meet all your energy requirements?"
"No," Yunho said after he swallowed a mouthful of fish. “Just dig in."
“We do not understand your order.”
"Put the food in your mouth, chew it and swallow it."
Jaejoong studied his food, poking at a vegetable before looking back up at Yunho. “Do you enjoy this?”
“It’s not one of my favorites, but it’ll do. Try it.”
Jaejoong grimaced but decided to comply with Yunho's order. Using his fingers, he picked a piece of broccoli of the tray and popped it into his mouth. He chomped down hard, and in his haste, bit down painfully on his tongue. He yelped and looked up at Yunho, eyes watering.
“Chew carefully,” Yunho warned. "It's important you take your time so you don't choke. Take another bite, but this time go slower."
Jaejoong nodded and picked the baked piece of fish off his tray. The meat fell apart between his fingers.
“Here." Yunho picked up the pair of chopsticks that had been included for Jaejoong's tray. "Use these.”
Jaejoong grasped the utensils awkwardly and positioned them between his fingers, attempting to copy Yunho's skilled hand. The stainless steel chopsticks slipped on the greasy piece of fish and one of the pair slipped out of his hand and clattered to the table. Frowning, Jaejoong picked it back up and tried stabbing at the fish.
“You’re not the most graceful thing, are you?” Yunho piped up as he watched. Jaejoong didn’t answer; instead, holding a chopstick in each hand, he slid them underneath the piece of fish, lifting the piece of meat off his tray. He slowly brought the food to his mouth, only for the fish to slip and land on his lap.
“You’ve assimilated technologies throughout the galaxy, but are stumped by a pair of chopsticks?” Yunho asked with a grin.
“The Borg have no use for such primitive means of acquiring energy,” Jaejoong snorted tossing the chopsticks and his mangled piece of fish back onto his tray.
“Chopsticks may be simple, but —”
“We mean eating.”
Yunho gave Jaejoong a stern look from across the table. “The Borg may have no use for eating, but you do. You’re Human now,” he reminded him firmly. He picked the chopsticks back up and helped Jaejoong to hold them properly. "Try again," he instructed.
Chastised, Jaejoong pouted at him before making another attempt to eat his meal. He decided to try his luck with the vegetables, which looked as if they would hold up better under his rough ministrations. After a bit of fumbling, he was able to pick up a small piece of cauliflower. Concentrating hard on his task, he brought the vegetable closer to his mouth, but right before he could eat it, his grip slipped, causing the piece of food to be flung right at his face.
Yunho laughed, stifling his amusement when Jaejoong shot him a hurt look. The Borg dropped the sticks on his tray before simply grabbing a handful of the vegetables and tossing them back.
"Well, we can't say you aren't persistent," Yunho commented wryly. Jaejoong just looked at him, mouth full of vegetables and eyes full of satisfaction. He chewed slowly — mindful of his tongue — until he stilled and turned to looked at Yunho in expectation.
"What?" Yunho asked, eyeing him in confusion.
Jaejoong attempted to mumble something past the vegetables. It sounded suspiciously like When?
Yunho smirked as understanding dawned on him. "You can go ahead and swallow."
Jaejoong did, making a surprised face as the lump of food traveled down his throat. He repeated the action a few more times, grimacing as his throat tightened and relaxed with each swallow. "That was an ... unexpected sensation," he said somewhat nervously.
"Jaejoong, may I ask you a question?" Yunho rested his chin on his hand as he studied Jaejoong from across the table. "How is it you were exposed to untold amounts of information and technology as a member of the Borg, but here you are not even sure of how to chew or swallow a vegetable."
Struggling with his chopsticks again, Jaejoong stared down hard at his tray as he made another attempt to pick up a piece of his fish. "A lot of the information that you require of us was deemed 'irrelevant' by the Collective and a waste of our time and resources. We have not had as much exposure to it as you think."
"Eating was declared a waste of time? Well, what did you all do when you weren't busy assimilating people and terrorizing whole worlds?"
"Regenerating, analyzing assimilated data and helping to keep the ship in proper order," Jaejoong replied.
"That's more boring than I figured life on Borg cube would be."
"What did you expect?"
"I've never thought too much about the specifics. A lot of torture, I guess."
Jaejoong shook his head. "Torture is a inefficient tool used by Humans and other less perfect species as a means of gaining information. Assimilation is much easier."
Yunho flinched and scowled at how easily Jaejoong said those cruel words. "I think they're one in the same."
Sensing the other's rising ire, Jaejoong set his chopsticks down and frowned. "We have offended you."
"No," Yunho answered sharply, turning his attention back to his meal. "Nope, you just reminded me who I'm dealing with. I'm not offended at all."
"You are lying." Jaejoong frowned and began to fumble nervously with the implant arched above his left eye. "We are trying to be Human, Captain. It's just … there are many concepts we don't understand. Interacting with other Humans has been the most difficult."
"You never had to deal with other drones?"
"There was nothing to deal with. We viewed other drones as another part of the Collective."
"I suppose relationships are easier to manage when everyone shares the same brain."
Jaejoong nodded forlornly, still staring down at his meal. "Individual Humans are confusing to understand. What is acceptable behavior with one, may not be for another."
Yunho looked up and tried to meet Jaejoong's eyes, but they were hidden underneath the fringe of his thick black bangs. "You seem to do fine with me," he offered.
"You are different from others."
"You are easy. We can understand you."
Yunho was about to ask just what was so easy about him when a voice interrupted over his comm badge.
“Jinki to the captain. Captain, you're needed on the bridge."
"On my way."
Yunho stood to leave the table, but stopped when Jaejoong grabbed his uniform sleeve.
"Captain, wait," he began.
Yunho frowned down at him. "You're going to have to learn to start keeping your hands to yourself."
Jaejoong nodded in agreement, but didn't let go of his sleeve. "We're not finished eating yet."
"A captain's always on call, Jaejoong." He tried to pull out of his grip. "You'll be fine."
"You promised us," Jaejoong pressed, tightening his hold on Yunho's sleeve. "You promised us that you would help us become Human."
He had promised, he reminded himself, but he hadn't realized how big a job that would be. Especially if Jaejoong wouldn't trust anyone else on the ship, save him and the doctor. Changmin had been right about one thing; the only way everyone — including Jaejoong — would get over their fears of each other was to be around each other.
And speaking of Changmin, he was there in the mess hall, Yunho noted. His second officer stood across the hall, reading notes off a PADD as he replicated himself a cup of tea. Changmin had worked his bridge shift with him earlier that day and was more than likely preparing for a quiet evening to himself. Well, Yunho thought with relief, who else to better help a new individual adapt to society than the man responsible for making him one?
“Changmin!” Yunho called for the Vulcan, motioning with his free hand for the other man to join them. When he approached, Yunho pulled him by his elbow into a seat causing him to stumble inelegantly into the chair. Warm tea sloshed over the sides of his cup and onto the front of his uniform shirt. Changmin looked up to give Yunho a reproachful glare.
“Sir?” he began, his voice ice cold.
“I have to report to the bridge. Please assist Jaejoong with his meal and see to it that he makes it back to his quarters in one piece.”
"Captain, I —"
"That's an order, Commander."
Prying Jaejoong's fingers off his shirt sleeve, he gave his hand a reassuring squeeze before leaving the two men alone. Shrinking into his seat, Jaejoong turned to watch after him as he left.
"Being a nuisance to the captain won't make anything easier for you," Changmin scolded. He grabbed a discarded napkin and tried to soak up the tea that was staining the front of his gold uniform. "He's a busy man." Changmin looked up pointedly and met Jaejoong's eyes with a stern glare. "And so am I."
"We don't wish to be a nuisance to him," Jaejoong said, his tone defensive. "We're simply more comfortable when he's around."
Changmin arched an eyebrow. "You're what Humans call 'attached' to him," he noted. "I'm surprised you picked the captain over the doctor, but I can't say I have a full understanding of Human emotional bonds."
“You’re not Human," Jaejoong observed.
“Vulcan," Jaejoong repeated. "Species 3259. We have added your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your species’ enhanced mental and analytical abilities make you prized drones.”
Changmin frowned disapprovingly. “As true as all that may be, I don’t think the captain would appreciate hearing you speak like that.”
"We know," Jaejoong said softly. "We can't be Borg around him. We are trying to change, but it's difficult."
"You seemed to have survived today," Changmin noted. "How was your first meal?"
Scowling down at his food, Jaejoong shoved his tray away. "We did not enjoy it. We thought we would like what the captain likes."
"Food preferences can vary amongst individuals depending on mood, health, culture and previous experiences. It may take you a while to figure out what foods you do enjoy."
"We don't understand what we need to figure out," Jaejoong groused. "Humans eat food to provide their bodies with nourishment. All Human bodies require the same nutrients. It should be a simple thing to figure out what to eat."
Smirking in a most un-Vulcan way, Changmin tossed his wet napkins aside and took a sip of his tea. "You will find that Humans make a lot of things more complicated than need be."
Jaejoong looked up at the officer in gratitude. It was comforting to find someone else on board the ship who was as perplexed by Human behavior as he was. “You are easier to talk to than most members of the crew.”
“I can see why you think so. I’ve observed that Humans are astonishingly inefficient in communications when it comes to personal matters. They often times avoid stating their true feelings or intentions in order to save ‘face’.”
"How have you adapted?"
Leaning back in his chair, Changmin looked around at the dining officers, the majority of whom were Human. He'd be lying if he told Jaejoong he had coped well with being surrounded by members of a species whose philosophy on life differed so much from his own.
"I've had my own struggles," he admitted honestly. "But I believe the key to fitting in is to strengthen your relationships with those Humans you are able to get along with. I value the captain's company very much. And, as frustrating as he can be at times, I also am grateful for Cmdr. Park's advice for dealing with Humans."
Jaejoong sighed and frowned. "That sounds difficult."
"I guarantee it will be."
"We don't need unnecessary relationships," Jaejoong complained. "We just want the captain to trust us.”
Changmin nodded his approval. “A wise goal.”
"How do we accomplish it?"
The Vulcan seemed to eye him with pity. "Human relationships are immensely complicated things. I'm not sure even they fully understand them." Noticing Jaejoong's sad look, he continued. "But ... the captain is a fair man. Let him get to know you and — if you give him reason to — he'll trust you as he would any other person on board."
"How did you get him to trust you?"
"I have known the captain for many years. I would even go so far to say that he's one of my closest friends. But we had to prove to each other that we were reliable, that we could be counted on when we needed each other. We had wait and learn more about each other."
“If we could assimilate him, we could learn everything about him and he could learn about us.” Changmin raised an eyebrow at the near wistful tone in Jaejoong’s voice.
“The Borg are aware that there are other ways to learn from people and cultures besides forcing them to submit to their will? You cannot violate the captain’s privacy and then expect him to trust you.”
Jaejoong flushed pink. “We know that.”
“You will find relationships between people take time to cultivate."
“Can you tell us more about him?"
Changmin eyed him skeptically. "What do you want to know?"
"His full designation is Jung Yunho?" Jaejoong asked uncertainly.
"That's his name," Changmin corrected.
"He is around our age?"
"It's safe to assume you both are the same Human age."
Jaejoong seemed to hesitate before raising his eyes to meet Changmin's. "He has no future?"
"What do you mean?"
"He said this to us after he helped defend us from the crew, when we argued. He said that we took his family and we took his future. We understand the part about his family, but the other …"
"Ah," Changmin said. He nodded slowly and stared into his teacup. "I understand."
"Do you?" Jaejoong brightened. "We've been trying to understand what he meant. Tell us."
"Unfortunately, I can't. That is something you'll have to ask him about yourself."
"Why?" Jaejoong asked with a frown. It was more of a pout really and Changmin noted with displeasure the pace the former Borg drone was learning annoying Human mannerisms. He wondered if it was too late to try and instill the basic tenants of logic in the young man's thinking processes before he became too emotionally compromised. As cruel as the Borg were, he couldn't find fault in their grasp of logic.
"Because, the captain has trusted me to keep his feelings about that matter in confidence. If you want to know, you must ask him yourself."
"What if he won't tell us?"
Changmin shrugged before taking another sip of his now lukewarm tea. "The captain's already told you more about his past than even I expected. You may be surprised how much more he may be willing to share."
A/N: *laughs hysterically* THIS IS MADNESS! Jaejoong is hard to write at this point, because I have to walk a thin line of him not knowing much about Humanity while at the same time being a member of a species that's basically the humanoid version of the Internet flying through space in giant cubes.