Friday, September 25, 2009

Fanfic Pick O' the Week

This week I’m going old school. Before my current fanfic obsession with Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer developed, my character of choice was Harry Kim from Star Trek Voyager. The two characters have several things in common I think, things that probably say a lot about me psychologically for being so drawn to them, but let’s leave that for another post. As I’ve stated before, I was a Kim/Torres shipper, but I was also a fan of Kim/Seven as well. K/7 was certainly more popular, and therefore the fanfic was much more abundant. Something about the relationship just worked well, their personalities were very complimentary. Where Seven could be cold and seemingly unemotional, Harry wore his heart on his sleeve. He was a fresh out of the Academy, wet behind the ears young officer when Voyager first became stranded in the Delta Quadrant, and through seven years of adventures and hardships he became an integral part of the crew. And yet he never became jaded or bitter by what he experienced, he never lost his wonder for space travel or his sense of adventure. If Seven truly wanted to learn to be more human, there was no one better to show her what that meant. Their relationship never moved beyond friendship on the show, but the foundation for more was easy to see. And so here we have a story that I think exemplifies what that relationship could have been.

I Only Have Eyes For You
By Michael Ben-Zvi (
Fandom: Star Trek Voyager
Pairing: Kim/Seven
Genre: Romance, Angst
Summary: Seven decides that she needs to explore an area of her humanity that she finds sorely lacking, her sexuality. She approaches Harry, who is at first offended, but then decides that her request must be her way of telling him that she has feelings for him. Harry shows her the time of her life and shows her that sex is about more than just biology. But can Seven understand her own feelings well enough to reciprocate?

If there’s one thing that will make a fanfic author put pen to paper, it’s when they feel like their favorite character isn’t being given a fair shake on the show, that they aren’t being respected or treated right by the writers. This was a common theme for stories that featured Harry. On the show they played the inexperienced ensign card far too often, especially in the later seasons, and they gave him disastrous luck with women. And that was when they remembered that he was even there. So when Seven came along and Harry showed an interest in her, the fans jumped on it.

This story does an excellent job in showing Harry’s vulnerability. He’s the archetypical good guy getting stepped on. His feelings for Seven are mocked and ridiculed by his friends who either believe that Seven is little more than an automaton, incapable of feeling, or that she’s just way out of his league. He sees Seven’s humanity, buried deeply under the cold façade that she shows the world, and he wants to nurture it. So when Seven approaches him for an interstellar booty call, he’s hurt. He feels like all of his efforts to befriend her were for nothing, all she wants from him is to use him to suit her own needs. But when he decides that her reasons must go deeper, that she must have real feelings for him, his friends think that he’s just setting himself up for a big fall. But if there’s one quality that personified Harry, it’s that he never loses hope. Harry plans the perfect evening for Seven, drawing out her humanity more and more each step of the way. But the morning after comes, and Seven becomes afraid of these new feelings. She runs away, leaving Harry feeling hurt and foolish. I won’t give away the end of the story, but suffice it to say that Harry’s friends learn a lesson about trusting him to make his own decisions, and treating him with respect. And Seven learns that human interpersonal relationships are not as irrelevant as she had once thought.

I think anyone with a familiarity with these characters can enjoy this story. Voyager was always more character driven than any of the other Trek series, in my opinion. They didn’t have any long, sweeping story arcs (for better or worse), they didn’t tackle any big issues like politics or war, they were removed from all that, a ship alone. They were simply a group of characters trying to make their way home, and forced to get along with each other along the way.

“I Only Have Eyes For You” is the first story in a series called The K/7 Saga, the rest of which can be found at the author’s site (link above). If you decide to read the story and you like it, be sure to drop Michael a line and let him know.

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