Echoes From The Past

Echoes From The Past

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Crusher goes on a mission and is captured. Picard rescues her, but the perpetrators want revenge.

Summary

Crusher goes on a mission and is captured. Picard rescues her, but the perpetrators want revenge.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Echoes From The Past

Author Chapter Note

Crusher goes on a mission and is captured. Picard rescues her, but the perpetrators want revenge.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

Reads: 836

Comments: 1

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

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Echoes From The Past.

 

 

Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Starship Enterprise had never been very good at trying to dissuade Beverly Crusher, his Chief Medical Officer, from doing what she’d set her mind on.

They were in his quarters, breakfast having turned into a lesson in adversarial posturing, something he had hoped to avoid. He looked into his now cold coffee and sighed, once again attempting to get her to see reason.

“Beverly, you’re not thinking clearly. This mission isn’t one you should be considering. Even Command told you it was at your discretion, it wasn’t an order…you don’t have to do it!”

Placing her napkin on the table with slow precision, Beverly took the time to take a calming breath. These arguments with her lover were nothing new; in fact, she sometimes felt it was the dichotomy between them that somehow managed to draw them to each other. Having gathered her thoughts into a coherent package, one she hoped would sway him; she looked into his dark hazel eyes and offered a conciliatory smile.

“Jean-Luc, those prisoners can’t rescue themselves. The team that has been put together requires a Doctor, one who has passed Starfleet’s advanced tactical training…and that’s me. That’s why I was asked to do this. Now I intend to go, whether or not you condone it. I suggest you get used to the idea and, instead of giving me grief, offer me your support.”

Anger warred with fear and panic within the Captain. It was times like these that he sometimes wished they had never entered into their current relationship. Had he not loved her, and she him, it would have been so very much easier to simply say…”Fine, go.”

But he did love her, with every fibre of his being, had done so for more years than he cared to admit and his current dilemma was based on that love. If anything were to befall her, he was not sure he would cope with the consequences.

Yes, there was the fact that this situation was not of his making, it would not be one of his orders that sent her into harm’s way, but the very fact that she was choosing to put herself in what he thought of as unnecessary danger made him angry and frightened.

He tried once more, but deep down he knew it was pointless. She had made up her mind and, like many other things they shared, stubbornness was endemic.

“Beverly, you are not the only Doctor in Starfleet with advanced tactical training. We’re light years away from the sector in question; it would take you at least a week to reach the team at warp five! You don’t have to do this.”

Now losing her patience, Beverly placed her hands palm down on the table, her face grim.

“My rank has a bearing on this too, and you know it. I am a full Commander and as such I would be the team leader. Jean-Luc, I can’t understand why you’re being so bloody obstinate! If it were you, there would be no question, of course you would go.”

Defeated and giving in to his fear, Jean-Luc quietly admitted,

“I don’t want you to go because I’m scared something will happen to you.”

That took the wind out of Beverly’s sails. Of all the things she was learning about her lover was just how vulnerable their relationship had made him.

She stood and went to him, taking his hands and drawing him to his feet. They embraced; Jean-Luc closed his eyes against the pain he was experiencing. Into his ear Beverly whispered,

“You have confidence in my abilities, haven’t you?”

He silently nodded.

“Then trust me now, my love. I’ll be fine and I’ll be back home before you know it.”

They kissed tenderly and, for the millionth time since he’d lost his heart four decades ago, Jean-Luc wondered how he could feel such heartache without his original organic organ.

Beverly left the ship that afternoon. They didn’t even have time to make love or say a proper goodbye. Since breakfast she’d been in constant contact with her team, then packing the essential medical supplies she thought she would need. Jean-Luc had spent the time in his Ready Room, finding out as much as he could about her mission. The more he learned, the greater his dread grew.

A group of extremists had taken a party of Federation scientists prisoner on a disputed planet in a distant sector and were using them as a bargaining chip in the hopes of securing weapons in return for the captive’s freedom. Of course neither the Federation, nor Starfleet would negotiate with terrorists, so it had been decided to send in a covert team to rescue the prisoners. As Starfleet had evidence that at least some of the captives had been tortured, it was determined a Doctor was required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the time of Beverly’s departure at hand, Jean-Luc actually ran through the corridors to get to the shuttle bay before she left. He caught her just as she was entering the runabout.

“Beverly!”

She turned and smiled.

“I didn’t think you were going to make it.”

With a lopsided smile to hide his fear, Jean-Luc shrugged.

“I nearly didn’t.”

He took her hands, his gaze intense as he looked into her blue eyes.

“You were right, of course, I wouldn’t have hesitated to accept this mission, but Beverly…please come back to me.”

She smiled and placed one hand against his cheek as she kissed the other.

“I will, I promise.”

She stepped back and took a deep breath.

“Any last orders…Sir?”

He smiled, then grew serious.

“Promise me you will stay in contact with us as long as you can.”

She gave a nod.

“Consider it done.”

He sighed.

“Then I won’t say goodbye, my love, merely adieu.”

There was a suspicious moisture in Beverly’s eyes as she whispered,

“Adieu.”

Jean-Luc watched forlornly as she entered the runabout and was still standing there, staring out into the cold, black vastness of space ten minutes after she’d left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her journey was due to take six days and, for the first four days she kept her promise, contacting the Enterprise three times a day and once at night, but that communiqué was private, taken in his quarters by her lover.

On the evening of the fourth day, Jean-Luc’s dread inexplicably increased and he had a premonition of doom. When Beverly’s call came for him he placed his fingers on the screen, inordinately pleased when she did the same. With a growing lump in his throat he asked,

“How are you?”

She smiled, wicked mischief twinkling in her eyes.

“Bored stiff!”

He managed a chuckle, well aware of how interminable long journeys that often preceded dangerous missions could be. He kept a small smile on his face as he said softly,

“Have you any more information?”

She shook her head and, for the first time he saw her tension.

“No, nothing new.”

He lost his smile to replace it with a concerned frown.

“So your intelligence will be how old?”

“Ten days.”

He swore softly under his breath.

“Merde, Beverly. You’ll be going in blind.”

She sighed.

“I know, but there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll just have to do our job and hope for the best.”

They sat silently, staring at each other until Beverly said quietly,

“I’d best close now.”

Jean-Luc nodded slowly and tried to smile, but he failed. With the lump once again threatening to rob him of speech he said softly,

“I love you, Beverly.”

She smiled, but he could see her worry.

“And I love you, Jean-Luc. Crusher out.”

As the screen went blank, Jean-Luc couldn’t help but feel something terrible was going to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first inkling that something was wrong was when no contact was made with Beverly throughout the next day. But, knowing that she was nearing her rendezvous point, Jean-uc concluded that she was maintaining a communication blackout. He was confident, however, that she would call him that night.

It was a very long day for the Captain. His First Officer, Commander William Riker, was well aware of why his CO was tense and even more taciturn than usual. Even the Bridge staff were tense, their Captain’s mood pervading the atmosphere of the Command centre. It was with some relief when Jean-Luc retreated into his Ready Room to brood.

That night he was unable to eat any dinner, his stomach was sour with fear and, as the hours passed with still no contact from Beverly, his dread only grew.

Very late that night he undressed, put on his shorts and lay on the bed, hugging Beverly’s pillow to his chest, taking some small comfort in the lingering scent of her shampoo. But no sleep came.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Captain sat stiffly at his desk in the early morning ship time, and continued to stare blankly at the darkened monitor, as he had for some time. 

 

An hour ago he had been overwhelmed with emotion, but now his body registered only an all-pervading numbness.

 

“Computer, raise temperature to twenty five degrees centigrade”.

 

His voice felt harshly foreign to himself and he wondered momentarily whether the ship’s system would recognise it.

 

It did, and the ambient temperature of his quarters rose commensurate with his order. 

 

Yet, he continued to shiver, teeth chattering, arms crossed tightly across his uniformed chest, the knuckles of his fingers as white as they had been since he had first received the report from Command.

 

He vaguely registered that he was suffering shock and he tried to steady and calm his breathing, forcing himself to remember – as he had so many times - the hard lessons of the therapists who had cared for him in the months following the replacement of his heart by an artificial device, the parthenogenetic implant he still carried within himself.

 

“You can’t rely on your heartbeat anymore, because you don’t have one, or a pulse.  You must learn to compensate.” 

 

That had been four decades ago.

 

Breaching the silence came the expected, though dreaded, message from the bridge

 

“Riker to Picard”

 

“Picard here,” he managed after a time, a twitching in his throat.

 

“Captain, we’ve received official notification from Starfleet Command….”  Riker’s voice broke…and suddenly Picard didn’t want to hear the rest.

 

It had stopped him from running – that great uninhibited joy of his young life – and it had stopped him from so much else. 

 

He could never be truly intimate with another person because he could never truly share himself.  That had been the hardest lesson of all to learn from the loss of his heart.

 

Yet, it had not stopped the longing, and he had experienced so many conquests, and even some real relationships along the way, mostly to assure himself that he was still capable, still human. 

 

And of course with practice and time he HAD learned everything his lovers felt.  He knew how to respond to the pulse lines of their lovely necks dipping down to their breasts and beyond.  He had learned to listen and to actively act upon those speeding signs of desire. 

 

And yet, in all these years, and deep within himself was only the soft monotonous slushing of the artificial device buried in his chest.

 

In time, he had become accustomed to live with this.

 

His deficit had made him an expert and it was why so many of his past lovers continued to seek him out. 

 

So why was it that he now knew with certainty that he could not only sense, but actually feel, that his heart was breaking?

She was missing. Her runabout had not made it to the rendezvous point and was now eight hours overdue. Then came the news he somehow knew was coming. Command had just received a communiqué from the terrorists that they had her.

He sat, motionless and grim, trying to make his mind still, striving to find a place of calm, to hide from the turmoil of his thoughts.

But he couldn’t hide from the man he was. He stood abruptly, shoving himself away from his desk. He was out the door and on his way to the Bridge, one thought sounding loudly, over and over…

“I must find her!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An hour later a very agitated First Officer stood by helplessly as his Captain readied a runabout for departure. They had argued, Will had eventually stooped to beseeching, but his CO was impervious to all his words. But still, ever mindful of his duty to protect the man he both respected and admired, Will tried one more time.

“Please, Captain…you mustn’t do this.”

Jean-Luc didn’t even pause in his pre flight check, nor did he look at the younger man.

“You are mistaken, Number One, I certainly must do this.”

Will sighed, rubbing his forehead.

“But, Sir…”

Finally finished with his procedures, Jean-Luc swivelled the cockpit chair to face Will. The Captain’s expression was kind, but his eyes were gimlet-like.

“Will, I have lodged a notification that I am taking a leave of absence. I am going to find Beverly, and I am going to bring her home. Now, if you can’t accept that, then I’m sorry, but I am going and there’s nothing you, or command, can do about it.”

Before his CO could dismiss him, Will, clutching at straws, risked his superior’s anger by saying forcefully,

“You haven’t heard back from Command about your leave yet. What if they deny it?”

The way Jean-Luc shrugged diffidently made Will finally give up. It was obvious his Captain didn’t give a damn about what his superiors might think about his actions, he was determined to proceed on his plans and nothing was going to stop him, certainly not the feeble protestations of his Second in Command.

Will straightened and looked his Captain in the eye.

“Very well, Sir, good luck.”

Jean-Luc smiled but it was grim.

“Thank you, Number One.”

As Jean-Luc had done before him only days earlier, Will remained staring out into space long after his Captain had departed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of her advanced tactical training, Beverly had been subjected to different forms of torture so that she would be, at least in theory, prepared should she ever be captured and have to endure the reality of the real thing. So far she was bearing up reasonably well, but, as she languished, naked, bruised and bleeding, with her hands manacled behind her back, her ankles fettered and with a black hood over her head in her tiny darkened cell, she knew with fatalistic certainty, it was only a matter of time before she finally broke. Her wry chuckle, though soft, was loud in the otherwise silent cell. To counter the sensory deprivation she was experiencing, she decided to speak aloud.

“I don’t even know the answers to their stupid fucking questions!”

She chuckled again, then tilted her head, saying with curiosity,

“I wonder what Jean-Luc would do in this situation?”

She thought about how he had withstood the torture at the hands of the Cardassian Gul, Madred, and admired him yet again at his ability to recover, even though he had admitted that, in the end, he had been broken. Then she thought about his assimilation by the dreaded Borg and how the horror of what he had experienced had almost driven him insane and how hard she and Deanna Troi, the ship’s Counsellor, had worked to assist in his long, slow recovery.

Her face settled into a determined mask and, when she spoke, it was with resolve.

“He would resist with every last ounce of his mental and physical strength!”

Her eyes blazed brightly under the hood.

“Well so will I!”

The rush of adrenalin that produced bolstered her flagging spirits. She settled into a more comfortable position on the cold stone floor and set her mind free to wander through the past eight months, eight months filled with unbridled love, joy and not a little frustration. And it was all about Jean-Luc.

Their current relationship had come as a surprise to both of them. After almost thirty years of comradeship, which had in turn blossomed into a deep friendship, neither would have denied that they loved each other, but for many reasons they never acted upon that love. There was a potent sexual tension between them, in fact that had been evident even when she had been married to his best friend, but rather than complicate matters, it seemed to somehow set a boundary between them that persisted long after her husband had tragically died.

As the years passed and Beverly lost contact with Jean-Luc, she never lost him from her thoughts and, when she eventually achieved the position as CMO on his new ship, she knew that the old feelings were still there. That he had attempted to stop her appointment to the Enterprise only solidified that knowledge in her mind, but, though she expected him to be harsh, or at least remote with her, he once again surprised her, offering friendship where she thought he may have shunned her.

And so, slowly over the years they grew closer and closer, but never acknowledging the love that grew apace. Then, one afternoon when they were sharing a coincidentally mutual day off on the Holodeck, something changed. There was a fundamental shift in their relationship.

It had been one of Beverly’s programs, a late spring day in the hills of Caldos, where she had grown up. They had shared a picnic in a field of wildflowers and afterwards were lazily sunning themselves, Jean-Luc sitting with his back to a tree, Beverly lying at right angles to him, her head resting on his upper thigh. She was lightly dozing when she became aware of being gently caressed. His fingertips, so ethereal, were grazing the skin of her face in a feather-like touch.

She suddenly opened her eyes and gazed up at him, catching him off guard. In his eyes she saw not only love, something she was accustomed to, but desire, patent, raw, desire and, for the first time, it ignited something inside her she had successfully been suppressing for years.

Startled by her intense scrutiny, Jean-Luc quickly removed his hand and turned his head, trying to hide what she’d seen, but she reached up and gently encouraged him to look at her, whispering,

“It’s all right, Jean-Luc…I feel it too.”

His stricken expression melted away as a look of sheer wonder took its place. His voice was soft and husky, testament to his powerful emotions as he said,

“Do you? Do you really, Beverly?”

In reply, Beverly turned her body and tugged at his light blue shirt, bidding him to lie with her. He did so and Beverly slowly undid the buttons of his shirt to explore his hirsute torso.

He lay quietly beside her, allowing her to set the pace. After a few minutes, two smoky blue eyes looked into his dark hazel ones as Beverly said throatily,

“Do you want this as much as I do?”

He sighed, briefly closing his eyes as he said with heartfelt intensity,

“I have wanted this with you for most of my adult life. I have wanted you that long.”

Gasping softly as he cupped one of her breasts, Beverly said sensuously,

“Then take me.”

She was surprised when he shook his head.

“No, I don’t want to take you, Beverly; I want to share this with you. This won’t be sex, this will be making love.”

With tears in her eyes, Beverly reached up and pulled Jean-Luc down for a lingering passionate kiss. When they parted, her tears were running freely down her face. Shakily she said,

“I’ve just discovered something.”

His own eyes suspiciously moist, Jean-Luc swallowed the lump in his throat to ask,

“And what is that?”

Smiling tenderly through her tears, Beverly said softly,

“I love you.”

He surprised her by chuckling.

“I know that.”

She shook her head.

“No, you don’t understand. I’m in love with you, Jean-Luc, I’m in love with you and I want you so badly it hurts.”

There was silence then as they slowly undressed each other, broken only by soft gasps and sensuous moans of delight as they began to explore one another.

Gently pushing Jean-Luc onto his back, Beverly kissed him heatedly, then slothfully kissed his chest, playfully nipping at his nipples, making them pebble. His penis, lying erect over his right hip, twitched in anticipation as she left his nipples and licked her way down his torso. When she gently took him in hand, he moaned softly, his hips thrusting involuntarily. He felt her vibrant red hair brush his lower stomach and thighs as she bent low to take him into her mouth. Closing his eyes, he willed himself to control his reactions to what she was doing to him.

She began by teasing the head with her tongue, running it around the rim and dipping in and out of the slit while her hand slowly stroked the shaft, pulling his foreskin back to its limit before bringing it up again to cover the head as she withdrew her mouth, only to tease him again on the downstroke.

He tolerated this, but only just, however his desire was escalating and, when Beverly suddenly engulfed him, he cried out, his fingers burying themselves in her hair as he thrust up into her mouth.

“Oh God, Beverly…stop!”

She slowed her movements then stopped, lifting her head to sear him with a look of pure lust.

He sat up, pulling her to him as he laid her on her back and kissed her. Wasting no time, he directed his fingers to her folds, finding her saturated. While his slid his fingers inside her, he concentrated on lavishing her nipples with his lips and teeth.

Beverly squirmed, writhing with unfulfilled need. She cried out sharply as his thumb glided over her clit, but they both froze as the overhead speakers came to life.

“Attention. Your allotted time in this Holodeck is about to expire. Please end your program and prepare to leave.”

With his attention solely on his partner, Jean-Luc raised his voice and said firmly,

“Computer, override time limit. Authorisation, Picard, alpha two zero.”

“Time limit overridden.”

The computer’s reply was ignored as Beverly panted,

“Now, Jean-Luc, please…now…”

Knowing there was someone waiting to use the Holodeck; Jean-Luc quashed his desire to draw out this first time. He had wanted to bring Beverly to a state of sexual insanity, but that was not to be. He rose over her, her scent, her legs parting to receive him, the ruddy flush of passion that stained her milky white skin, all this was indelibly etched into his brain as he sunk into her, filling her, stretching her and making them both gasp at the wonder of it.

Beverly’s hands gripping his buttocks and her hips bucking under him drew him into a quick hard rhythm, but he alternated between long slow strokes and hard short ones. He couldn’t contain the soft grunts that escaped his throat, but Beverly’s moans and cries were his undoing. He rose up above her and their eyes met. Giving up his formidable control, he pistoned in and out of her, knowing his orgasm was about to happen, but he held on, gritting his teeth, willing Beverly to be with him when he came and it was her calling of his name that broke his fragile hold over himself. Suddenly he found himself consumed with physical and emotional ecstasy and, as he came hard enough to make him see stars, he felt Beverly’s rhythmic inner contractions as her climax swept her away, her voice one long, soft scream.

They rested, panting in each other’s embrace until Jean-Luc lifted his head and muttered,

“Computer, two warm, wet towels.”

The towels appeared and the couple reluctantly parted and cleaned themselves. They then dressed and packed away their hamper before checking each other for any evidence of what they’d shared. Satisfied all was well, they ended the program and left, ignoring the sly look on the young Lieutenant waiting outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By mutual, silent agreement they went to his quarters. Once inside and alone together they became inexplicably coy. Beverly went to the sofa, her hands restlessly entwining on her lap. With little idea as to know what to do, Jean-Luc ordered teas for them both and then carefully joined Beverly on the sofa, sitting close, but not touching.

 They sat in silence, each sipping a brew neither tasted. Eventually, and predictably, it was Beverly who broke the impasse. She sighed, looked at her now lover and said softly,

“What now?”

Jean-Luc took a deep breath, swallowed and said quietly,

“Beverly, I’m not sure how this is going to work, but I know I want it to continue. I love you…and having made love to you…I can’t go back to being just friends.”

She sighed and smiled with a modicum of uncertainty.

“I agree, we’ve crossed a line and we can’t go back. I love you too, Jean-Luc and I too want this to continue, but I‘m not sure I want anyone to know about us, at least not until we’ve worked out how this is going to work.”

Placing his cup on the low table with great precision, Jean-Luc took Beverly’s hand and looked into her eyes.

“Then it’s a simple matter of being very discreet. We carry on as we always have, but when we’re alone we can share our love.”

Beverly nodded, but frowned.

“Until when?”

His smile was filled with confidence.

“Until we’re ready to go public.”

He sighed.

“Beverly, my love, this is no one’s business but ours. It’s up to us to keep this private…that is as long as you agree?”

She smiled then and her love for him shone like a beacon.

“I agree, Jean-Luc, in fact I want you all to myself for as long as we can manage it.”

Her smile faltered then.

“But what about Deanna? She’s bound to pick up on us.”

Jean-Luc’s expression was sly.

“Not if we’re very careful. Since my mind meld with Sarek, I have become very proficient in blocking Deanna. I can teach you how to do it. If we’re diligent, she will never know.”

Beverly put her cup on the table and took Jean-Luc’s free hand. Looking into each other’s eyes she said softly,

“We can do this.”

He nodded.

“Yes, we can.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

That had been eight months ago and he’d been right. As far as they were aware, no one knew, not even Deanna. They slowly discovered things about each other that surprised them, despite their long history. Beverly smiled to herself as she recalled how, while she liked to chat, albeit in a desultory manner, after sex, Jean-Luc struggled to stay awake. She also discovered he had remarkable recuperative powers, being able to make love two, sometimes three times in a single night. And she was aware he had suppressed irritation at how untidy she could be. Although they rarely stayed the night in each other’s quarters, there were the odd times when it occurred and Jean-Luc, without fail, always grimaced at the mess she made in both his bedroom and bathroom. Yet he never, not once, said anything about it.

She smiled widely under her hood, wincing as her split lip stung and emitted a trickle of blood. Oh yes, she had learned so much about her lover. To everyone else on the ship he was the consummate senior Starfleet officer. The stern, but fair Captain who had safely seen them through more scrapes than she cared to admit. He was a legend, a towering figure within the organisation they served, but she knew him, the real Jean-Luc…the man. The man who could weep with joy as they made love, the man who was ticklish, and the man who enjoyed forestalling his own pleasure to ensure she was satisfied. She had asked him about that, not truly believing a man could be so altruistic, especially when it came to sex, but his explanation only served to deepen her love for him.

He had told her about how he had trained himself to respond to his lovers, to be so very careful to watch and listen so he could correctly gauge their level of desire, all because he felt he couldn’t share the experience because of his lack of a real heart. But there was more and this told her more about the kind of man he was. He had learned, long before he’d lost his heart that with patience came reward. With a connection with his partner, encompassing a modicum of trust, he knew that it didn’t matter how long he waited for his own release, because it would eventually come and he discovered it was often more potent having been delayed.

Beverly smiled again, saying softly,

“Oh yes, my love, you are a very patient man. How long did you wait for me? Wait for me to finally find what you already knew I felt but couldn’t…or is that wouldn’t admit?”

Her musings were broken as the overhead light suddenly blazed, making her squint even under the hood. She heard the cell door open and boots crunch on the filthy stone floor. A guttural voice, one containing a faint trace of amusement, said softly,

“Are you ready for more, Doctor?”

With her flagging confidence bolstered, a defiant Beverly lifted her head and trained it in the direction of the voice.

“You realise, of course, that this is pointless. Not only do I not know the answers to your questions, Starfleet will not negotiate with you for my release.”

The voice became decidedly deadly.

“Then you are in a very precarious position, Doctor, because we are going to continue to interrogate you and if what you say about Starfleet is true, then your life becomes worthless.”

Rough hands gripped her upper arms, hoisting her to her feet. She felt the presence of another as she was dragged from her cell.

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time in more years than he could remember, Jean-Luc was embarking on a mission with absolutely no idea on how to proceed. His overwhelming need to find the love of his life was his motivation for such recklessness but, other than the idea to go to her last known coordinates, he was without a clue what to do next.

By surreptitiously monitoring secure Starfleet channels, he knew Beverly’s mission was underway. The team had proceeded without their Commander and had inserted themselves on the planet where the scientists were being held, but until there was a result, one way or another, communications with the team were forbidden.

So he had four days in which to form some kind of plan. He went over every skerrick of information about the mission that he could glean from Command, utilising some very devious and judicial usage of his command codes. He knew, should he be caught doing what he was doing, he would be severely censured, even perhaps losing his captaincy, but he ignored the danger to the point where even when he did give it some, albeit brief thought, he threw caution to the winds, his overriding and desperate need to find his lover making all else irrelevant.

He should have been shocked, perhaps even dismayed, that a man such as he, a man who had dedicated most of his life to one, and only one goal…to serve in Starfleet and become a Captain should have found it so easy to willingly throw it all away, but his love for Beverly…and hers for him…made him suddenly realise, for the fist time in his life, he had found something greater, something that meant more than his career, something that made him more than he had ever been before and he was willing to risk anything to hold on to the new man he had become.

Taking a few minutes to retrieve a cup of Earl Grey, Jean-Luc sat in his chair and devoted some time to consider this new revelation about himself.

When he and Beverly had become lovers eight months ago, he had first thought nothing much would change. If they could successfully hide this new aspect of their relationship from Deanna and everyone else, then he could literally have his cake and eat it too. Little did he know just how profoundly he would be affected by this new situation and, until only moments ago, he had no idea just how much he was willing, not only to risk, but to give up in order to preserve it.

A melange of emotions coursed through him. Determination, resolve, fear and confusion all warred within him, but the one overriding thought that eventually permeated his mind and soul was that, no matter what, he would find Beverly and bring her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly couldn’t see the room she was in, but, judging how her screams didn’t echo at all, she surmised it was small. She knew the floor was stone, her bare feet had told her that and the apparatus she was shackled to was made of cold, unyielding metal. She had been subjected to electric shocks, beatings with both fists and batons and something she could only guess was a Klingon painstik, but though she screamed in agony, inside her the kernel of defiance remained. She refused to beg for mercy and she took an enormous amount of satisfaction in hearing the exasperation in her torturer’s voice as his shouted questions became more and more irrational. They were getting nowhere and they knew it.

As suddenly as the torture had begun, it stopped. Beverly’s head dropped forward and she panted, rallying her strength for what she thought would be more abuse. But her torturers had grown tired…or had lost interest. Either way she started when a rough low voice sounded close to her right ear.

“It would seem you were correct, Doctor, this is pointless. You know what that means, don’t you.”

With a weary nod, Beverly whispered,

“You are going to kill me.”

The maliciousness in his voice made Beverly wish she had some way to look into his eyes so he could see how unafraid she was. He chuckled, but Beverly could tell he was angry.

“Quite so, but before we do that, I wish to explore some…other…avenues.”

Immediately on her guard, Beverly lifted her head to say with remarkable force,

“Like what?”

The vicious slap to her face was muffled slightly by the hood, but it generated a new split in Beverly’s lower lip, however still she could hear the uncertainty in his voice.

“That is none of your business, my dear Doctor. If I were you I would be contemplating just how we intend to kill you.”

He grabbed Beverly’s chin and jerked her head up high.

“Will it be a slow, painful death, or one that’s mercifully quick?”

She gasped as a thick finger was rudely shoved into her vagina.

“Of course we all might like to have some…fun…with you first.”

The word was out of her mouth before she could stop it.

“Bastard!”

This time it was a heavy punch to her stomach that silenced her. Retching and gasping for breath, Beverly suddenly fell to the floor as she was released from the metal frame.

Still manacled hand and foot, she was dragged back to her cell and lifted to her feet, only to be shoved forward so hard she slammed into the wall, breaking her nose. Trying to cope with the pain, she crumpled to the floor as the door was slammed shut and the light extinguished.

It took almost twenty minutes before she could sit up and take stock. As she’d done before, she spoke out loud.

“Well, Beverly, now what?”

Despite her pain and the situation she was in she smiled to herself, saying softly,

“I’m still here, Jean-Luc…still defying them. Are you proud of me?”

Exhausted but still defiant, she settled onto her side and rested her head on the cold stone floor. She closed her eyes and sighed.

“I hope I dream of you, my love.”

It was quite surprising how quickly she slipped into sleep.

 

 

 

Jean-Luc’s quiet digging had finally paid off. On the evening of the fourth day of his odyssey he hit pay dirt. Utilising a rather devious use of his command codes, he intercepted a covert communiqué from the team leader to Command. They had been successful, the scientists rescued. All but two of the seven men and woman were well, but there were two casualties, victims of protracted abuse. 

As he listened carefully, his heart, that mechanical substitute for his own organ, seemed to squeeze in anguish as no mention of his beloved was made. That could only mean two things. Either she was dead and they couldn’t retrieve her body, or they couldn’t find her.

He stayed up for hours, monitoring the channel until he heard more.

The scientists, at least those well enough, had undergone their initial interviews. None of them had seen, or heard of Beverly.

Buoyed by this, Jean-Luc was interrupted from his vigil by the computer.

“Attention. You are approaching the coordinates you inputted.”

Closing the channel and taking care to ensure his eavesdropping would be untraceable, Jean-Luc lifted his head and said with some conviction,
“Computer, bring the ship to a full stop and hold this position.”

As the chirrup of compliance was heard, he rose from his seat and went into the cockpit. He settled into the right hand pilot’s seat and said quietly,

“Computer, scan for ion trails, taking into account the attenuation of four days, and any evidence of phaser fire, or any other tracers of a fire fight.”

“Acknowledged, Scanning.”

A plan was forming in the Captain’s mind; all he needed was a trail to follow.

The computer took only seconds before it reported its findings.

“There is evidence of phaser fire and three ion trails. They are dissipating rapidly.”

Sitting forward, Jean-Luc barked,

“Can you follow them to their destination?”

“Affirmative.”

“Then do so. Engage at warp four.”

“That is inadvisable.”

Frustrated and wishing to get moving as fast as he could, Jean-Luc snapped angrily,

“Why?”

“There is a debris field in our flight path.”

His stomach soured.

“Can you identify the vessel?”

“Yes. It is the remains of a runabout, Starfleet issue.”

Taking a deep breath, Jean-Luc closed his eyes and said softly,

“Computer, scan for bodies.”

It took mere seconds before the computer responded.

“There are no bodies present in the debris.”

Letting out his held breath, Jean-Luc swallowed to wet his dry throat and said quietly,

“Computer, once we are clear of the debris field, follow the ion trails at warp four. If we approach a star system, alert me and drop to one half impulse.”

“Acknowledged.”

He sat back, staring balefully out the front screen. After a while he sighed and said,

“Computer, can you extrapolate a destination?”

“That is not yet possible; however as the ion trails grow stronger, it may become easier to determine the destination.”

Jean-Luc sighed and ran a hand over his stubbled chin; suddenly realising he’d not shaved in days. Offering a grim smile, he muttered,

“You wouldn’t like that, would you, Beverly. Your skin is too delicate for my whiskers.”

He was about to rise to go to the bathroom when he turned back to the console and said, almost off-handedly,

“Computer, show me a star chart of this sector of space.”

The forward screen blacked out and a chart appeared on it. Jean-Luc sat forward and studied the chart intently, his intention to shave forgotten.

“Computer, overlay our predicted flight path.”

A blue line appeared and Jean-Luc grumbled darkly,

“I think I know where you went, you bastards.”

Tapping in a few instructions, Jean-Luc said tensely,

“Computer, what is the likelihood of the ion trails terminating at planet, designation, F893?”

“There is a seventy-six-point-eight percent probability that the planet, designated F893 is the destination, however, until we get closer, no unequivocal determination can be made.”

Jean-Luc’s voice had dropped to a rough growl.

“Well, you might not like to bet on it, but I would! What do we know about F983?”

“The planet was surveyed eighty-nine years ago by the Ark Royal, under the Captaincy of Gary Ablett. A flourishing eco-system was in evidence, but no sentient life was detected.”

Jean-Luc sat back, glaring at the screen.

“What a perfect hiding place! Computer, ETA at F983?”

“At our present speed, nine-point-six hours.”

Rising to his feet, Jean-Luc tabbed off the screen.

“I’m coming, Beverly…hold on.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly, despite her circumstances, was sound asleep. Whether from sheer exhaustion or some other factor was irrelevant, she was completely unprepared when a bucket full of icy cold water sloshed over her unprotected, naked body. Startled awake, and finding it difficult to breathe through the now saturated hood, a spluttering Doctor struggled to a sitting position. Before she could get enough breath to protest, another bucket full of water was thrown over her. A cruelly amused voice said loudly,

“You’re filthy, Doctor. You need a wash.”

She struggled as rough hands grabbed her and hauled her to her feet, but when hard, abrasive objects assaulted her skin she yelled,

“You bastard! Undo my hands, I can wash myself!”

Her word must have had some kind of impact because the rough washing stopped and, in a few seconds, the manacles that had confined her hands behind her back were undone. She wasn’t given the time to massage her sore and swollen wrists. With the hood still in place, a brush was shoved into her hand, the other hand guided to a bucket filled with cold water.

Beverly took a steadying breath and started to wash, ignoring the tasteless and lewd remarks from her captors. When she thought she’d finished, she lifted her head, saying with as much dignity as she could muster,

“I want to wash my face and hair.”

A cruel hand gripped her chin, forcing her head up and back.

“Do you now?”

Struggling to keep calm, Beverly said softly,

“Well what’s the point of washing everywhere else and not my face and hair?”

A hard hand grabbed her left breast, squeezing hard, but Beverly resisted the urge to protest or struggle. Near her ear a rough voice muttered,

“You may have a point.”

She heard some guttural orders given in a language she didn’t understand and footsteps could be heard as some people left her cell. Then, without warning, the wet hood was dragged off her head.

Blinking back tears and squinting in the bright light, Beverly didn’t get the chance to say anything. A sharp, vicious blow to her stomach had her collapse to her knees, bending double as she retched. A hand gripped a fistful of her hair and shoved her head into a bucket of water, holding it there for some seconds while Beverly weakly struggled.

Just as abruptly her head was lifted and the red head gasped and coughed, trying to catch her breath. The voice chuckled, saying with derision,

“Well come on, Doctor….wash!”

When Beverly didn’t immediately comply, the calloused hand suddenly rubbed her face hard, opening up the many cuts and sores. Lifting her hands, Beverly yelped,

“Stop! I can do it.”

The voice grumbled,

“Then hurry up!”

Gingerly, Beverly washed her face, the salty taste of blood infiltrating her mouth. She managed to wash her hair as best she could, all the while trying to ignore the fact that she was being watched. She did, however, try to engage her captor in conversation. She started with a question she’d been wanting answered ever since she’d been captured.

“So…can you tell me where we are?”

The voice sounded bored.

“No.”

As she rubbed at her sodden hair with her chapped and damaged hands, Beverly decided to continue.

“Okay, but seeing as how I’m still alive, you must have plans for me. Can you tell me what they are?”

The hand suddenly pushed her head back into the bucket, this time holding her down for some long time. Instead of panicking, Beverly relaxed, knowing he would let her up eventually. He did and Beverly took a few minutes to get her breath, trying to do so with as little fuss as possible. The voice muttered threateningly,

“You talk too much.”

Before Beverly could react to that, she was surprised when the shackles around her ankles were released. Looking up for the first time, she was just making out the male who stood over her, when some dry material hit her in the face.

“That is your clothing. Put it on.”

She knew instantly by the feel and smell of the fabric that it was her uniform. She heard her boots hit the floor. Rising unsteadily to her feet, she slowly dressed, trying to not let her captor see how much she appreciated being dressed, especially in something so familiar. However her joy was short lived as her hands were gripped and wrenched behind her back. She was manacled again, as were her ankles. The hood was dragged back over her head as her captor called for assistance. Within seconds two sets of hard hands were gripping her shoulders as she was unceremoniously dragged from the cell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Riker had always been a good sleeper. It seemed as soon as his head hit the pillow he was out like a light, often snoring softly. This night was no different, but his bed mate was restless. Not for her the oblivion of sleep. No, her job often left her tossing and turning, her mind not letting go of the concerns of her days and what had happened recently to their Captain had kept her from peaceful sleep for some nights.

Eventually growing irritated with her partner’s blissful slumber, she turned to face him and deliberately poked him in the ribs…hard. Will’s snoring stopped abruptly as he sluggishly opened his eyes and mumbled,

“What?”

Deanna knew he would quickly slip back to sleep unless she woke him completely. She insinuated her fingers into his short beard and tugged his head towards her.

“Wake up, Will, I need to talk to you.”

Annoyed, the big man tried to turn over, mumbling,

“Can’t it wait ‘til morning?”

For a petite woman, Deanna was surprisingly strong. With her free hand she grabbed his shoulder and hauled him onto his back, saying sharply,

“No, it won’t!”

Will knew that tone of voice and it told him he had little choice but to acquiesce. He sighed, knuckled his eyes and tried to wake up.

“Okay, what is it?”

Rising up on her elbow, Deanna stared down at her lover in that darkened room and attempted to put into words what had been bothering her.

“It’s Captain Picard.”

Will sat up suddenly, his sleepiness forgotten.

“Is he all right? Are you sensing something…some sort of danger?”

Exasperated, Deanna pushed at Will’s chest, encouraging him to lie down.

“No, I can’t sense him at all, he’s too far away.”

Somewhat mollified, Will let some of his tension go and tried to relax.

“Okay, then what is it?”

There were a few moments of silence before Deanna asked softly,

“Have you ever known the Captain to just up and leave the ship like he did?”

Will shrugged.

“Well no, but Beverly has been reported missing.”

Deanna nodded thoughtfully.

“Exactly, but why did he just leave like that? He hadn’t even got permission for his request of a leave of absence. It’s so unlike him, Will. He didn’t seem to have a plan of action, as far as I know he had no more idea where she was that we did, yet he dropped everything…and risked his command to go rushing off to who-knows-where…to do what? What could he possibly do that we here, with all the resources of the Enterprise, couldn’t do?”

Again the big man shrugged.

“I don’t know. I tried to talk him out of it, you know, but he’d made up his mind. But Dee, wouldn’t he do that for any of us? Think about it. We’ve been together as his senior staff for over ten years…we’re more than friends, we’re family and of all of us, Beverly is the closest to him. Is it any wonder that he would go off like a knight in shining armour to rescue her? Remember that little Sherwood Forest jaunt, courtesy of Q? The Captain had no problems risking his life to save Vash.”

Deanna flopped back down, a frown marring her classical beauty.

“That’s true, but he didn’t risk his command for her. Something’s different, Will, there’s been some sort of fundamental change that I’m unaware of and it’s driving me nuts not knowing what it is.”

They both lay in silence for a while before Will sighed and said softy,

“If I were you I’d try and concentrate on his well being. Who knows what he’s going to encounter? And for that matter, devote some thought to Beverly. Let’s just hope she’s okay and that he finds her and brings her home.”

Deanna nodded silently and turned onto her side to snuggle into her lover’s side. As usual, Will was quickly asleep, but Deanna was awake a long time before sleep claimed her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was as his runabout entered the solar system of planet F983 that the computer alerted the dozing Captain. As he started awake, he suddenly realised he’d not slept properly for over four days, only snatching quick catnaps here and there. One thing he had managed to do was shave. Somehow it seemed important to him and he smiled wistfully as he remember how that had come about.

It had been the second time Beverly had stayed the night with him in his quarters, only a week or so into their new relationship. He had woken, well before the alarm, probably because he was still becoming accustomed to sharing his bed. By the light of the stars outside he had let his eyes wander over Beverly, first her face, relaxed and peaceful in sleep, her lustrous red hair spread on the pillow, then his gaze meandered over her curvaceous shape, the covers hiding what he knew to be a flawlessly beautiful body. His mind brought up images of their love making of the night before and he hardened slowly, recalling how passionate she’d been, how responsive to his touch and how he was so very quickly learning the signs of her desire. He knew from long experience how to react to those signs, how to let them guide him to bring pleasure, if not for himself, then for his partner, but with Beverly it was as if they were in sync. Even without a real heart beating in his chest, without his own racing pulse to guide his reactions, he seemed to know instinctively what she wanted and that knowledge fed his own desire.

It wasn’t sex with Beverly, it was, perhaps for the first time in his life, making love and, in making love with Beverly he had discovered something about himself he’d never thought possible. He could share the experience.

For the first time it wasn’t a case of…I’ll bring you to orgasm, then I’ll allow myself that release. With Beverly they seemed to be immersed in each other, striving together for the same goal, one of mutual pleasure and reward. And to his undying gratitude, Beverly seemed to know this and encouraged him to give up his ingrained habit of putting himself outside the act and to concentrate as much on his own pleasure as he did with hers.

And so, that morning, as he lay watching her in the dimness of their bedroom, Beverly woke and smiled at him, lifting an arm and inviting him into her embrace. They made love again, long, languid love that left them sated and sleepy, and so they drifted off again at peace with the universe.

The alarm woke them scant hours later and Beverly was first out of the bed, saying cheekily,

“I have first dibs on the shower.”

Jean-Luc sent her a mock scowl and sat up, saying gruffily,

“Well I’ll go and program the replicator for breakfast.”

He had only put one arm into his robe when he heard a particularly vulgar Klingon curse issue from his lover in the bathroom. Surprised and a tad concerned, Jean-Luc went to the bathroom and opened the door to see Beverly standing naked in front of the basin mirror. Nothing seemed amiss, but he asked anyway.

“What is it?”

Beverly had the lights on dim but as she turned towards her lover she barked,

“Lights on full!”

What Jean-Luc saw made him grin and the instant he did, he knew he had made a terrible tactical blunder. The milky white skin of Beverly’s face, neck, breasts and stomach, not to mention also around her genitals was bright red. Beverly’s glare rooted Jean-Luc to the spot as he tentatively raised a hand to rub at his stubbled cheeks. His grin vanished to be replaced by a look of contrition.

“Ah…sorry.”

Beverly’s glare never altered.

“What the hell do you have on your face? Metal shavings?”

The tips of his ears grew red as he mumbled.

“I...ah...have a rather strong beard.”

Beverly’s gaze shifted back to the mirror as she inspected the damage, saying with incredulity,

“A strong beard? My God, Jean-Luc, that’s the understatement of the year! Look what you’ve done to me! I can’t be seen in public like this. Jesus…everyone will know what I’ve been up to…and probably with whom.”

That brought an instant reaction from Jean-Luc. Without due thought he blurted,

“Don’t worry, I can fix it.”

Intrigued and surprised by his reaction, Beverly watched with growing amazement as Jean-Luc went back into the bedroom and to his nightstand. He opened the top drawer and took out a dermal regenerator. He strode back to the bathroom and presented it triumphantly to the astonished…and quickly angered Doctor.

“There, that will fix it.”

He seemed so pleased with himself and was grinning again, that was until he saw the anger in Beverly’s eyes. Again his grin vanished. He took an involuntary step back, saying with uncertainty,

“What?”

Beverly held up the regenerator and said quietly and menacingly,

“What are you doing with one of these and where did you get it?”

Finally realising his error, Jean-Luc made the mistake of trying to be flippant.

“Oh who knows…the thing is it will fix your skin.”

Not swayed in the slightest, Beverly shook her head.

“Uh huh, I want answers…Captain.”

The use of his rank brought Jean-Luc up short. He knew he was going to have to confess. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I’ve had it for years, I…ah…appropriated it from Sick Bay and I use it to repair minor injuries.”

Beverly’s eyes narrowed.

“So you admit to stealing it. What, exactly, do you mean by…minor…injuries?”

Now decidedly uncomfortable, Jean-Luc resisted the urge to squirm.

“I didn’t steal it…I…borrowed it, I just haven’t returned it yet.”

With a flip of her hand, Beverly shook her head.

“Semantics. Tell me about the injuries you’ve been healing.”

He held up his hands in a placating manner.

“Really, Beverly, you’re making too much out of this.”

She stepped closer and poked him in the chest.

“Am I not the CMO of this ship?”

He sighed, resisting the urge to roll his eyes.

“Yes.”

“And, as Captain, the most senior officer, isn’t it your responsibility to be an example to the rest of the crew?”

He nodded silently.

“Then what would you do, as Captain, if you found one of your crew had…appropriated…a dermal regenerator and was treating themselves, in effect, hiding their injuries from the medical staff?”

He sighed and shook his head.

“Beverly…it’s not like that. I…”

She poked his chest again.

“This stops now, Jean-Luc. I want you to give me your word that you will never hide an injury from


© Copyright 2018 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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