The Satisfaction of Wanting

The Satisfaction of Wanting

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Parting after an argument, Crusher finds herself abducted by terrorists and used as a bargaining chip. Picard must rescue her.

Summary

Parting after an argument, Crusher finds herself abducted by terrorists and used as a bargaining chip. Picard must rescue her.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Satisfaction of Wanting

Author Chapter Note

Parting after an argument, Crusher finds herself abducted by terrorists and used as a bargaining chip. Picard must rescue her.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

Reads: 695

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

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The Satisfaction Of Wanting.

 

 

Doctor Beverly Crusher settled into the soft sofa, toed off her boots and planted her feet on the low table, crossing her ankles. Emitting a long sigh, she sipped her cabernet sauvignon, leaned back and closed her eyes.

Her companion watched with a developing frown, however he sighed softly, raising his eyebrows and shaking his head, an amused ghost of a smile gracing his classical features.

Of all the people on his magnificent Starship…nine hundred in all, no one but Beverly Crusher would even consider putting their stockinged feet on his coffee table. His smile growing slightly, he sat back and sipped his wine, resting an arm along the back of the couch, his eyes resting on the beautiful red head beside him.

“Long day?”

The Doctor guided the glass to her lips and took a long sip.

“Hmm.”

He sighed and closed his eyes.

“Me too.”

They were silent for a while before Beverly stirred.

“What’s for dinner?”

He grinned in silent amusement; Beverly’s appetite was the stuff of legends. How she could put away such enormous amounts of food yet stay so tantalisingly slim was a mystery.

“When I can be bothered to get up, I had intended to order fillet mignon with scalloped potatoes and young beans in a hollandaise sauce, followed by a light lemon sorbet.”

Beverly arched her back and settled further into the cushions.

“Mmm, sounds delicious. So when did you say you’d order?”

Chuckling, Jean-Luc Picard leaned forward, swallowing the remainder of his wine. He placed his glass on the table and got wearily to his feet.

“I take it if I don’t replicate immediately, you’ll pass out or something.”

Her eyes cracked open and she raised a lazy hand and beckoned with her finger. Intrigued, the Captain of the Starship Enterprise leaned down to his CMO, his eyes warm and twinkling.

“Actually I won’t pass out…but I may bite you. There are parts of you that look absolutely delectable.”

Clearing his throat, he straightened and snorted.

“You, my dear Doctor, are incorrigible.”

Beverly snickered and sipped again, closing her eyes and contenting herself to listen as he moved to the replicator.

She heard his deep gentle baritone as he placed the order then sighed as he began to put the dishes and accoutrements on the table.

She smiled softly when he said gently,

“Are you coming to the table, or shall I bring your meal to you over there?”

Adopting Jean-Luc’s actions, she drained her glass and rose, picking up both glasses and the bottle and sauntering over to the dining table. She took a moment to admire the tasteful setting and bestowed a warm smile on her companion as he ushered her into her chair with gentlemanly good manners.

They ate in companionable silence and, over dessert; Beverly decided to bring up a rather contentious subject. Taking a mouthful of sorbet, she swallowed and pointed with her spoon.

“Thirty-eight hours Jean-Luc.”

He looked up and frowned.

“I beg your pardon?”

Giving a look of disbelief, Beverly elaborated.

“I leave in thirty-eight hours. There’s still time for you to change your mind.”

He frowned and devoted his attention to his dessert. Not fooled in the least, Beverly risked his displeasure by pursuing the matter.

“Why don’t you come with me Jean-Luc? You know you want to.”

He lowered his head and placed his spoon beside the bowl with great deliberation. Taking a large breath, he gathered his patience and looked up.

“You know as well as I how difficult it is for me to get away, and considering you’re going for five weeks…it’s virtually impossible.”

The Doctor’s lips thinned and she snorted.

“That’s bullshit and you know it! You’re the Captain for God’s sake. If you want to take leave…take it! I know for a fact you’ve got innumerable days owing…it’s about time you availed yourself of a few.”

He shook his head and wiped his mouth with his serviette.

“It’s out of the question! I told you the first, second and third time and I’m telling you again…I’m not going.”

Beverly sat back and folded her arms defiantly.

“You can be so bloody minded! Tell me why.”

Exasperated, he threw down his napkin and rose, going to the replicator. Over his shoulder he barked,

“I already have…several times!”

He ordered a pot of coffee and two mugs. Picking up the tray, he walked stiffly to the sofa and sat, hoping that was the end of the matter. The problem was he did want to go, but such was his intense love for Beverly, he couldn’t trust himself to be in close proximity to her for any extended time…and ensconced in a remote cabin on an out of the way planet was a recipe for disaster. He had offered to take their already deep friendship to a more intimate level and she’d turned him down. A proud and sensitive man, he was not about to leave himself open for more hurt by pursuing something she didn’t want. The trouble was if he was alone with her on the planet, that's probably what he would do. He couldn’t help it, he’d been in love with her for thirty years and he knew his heart would overrule his head. No, it was better this way, painful, but infinitely better than risking losing her friendship, something he cherished dearly.

However Beverly was not cognizant of all that…or was she?

She rose from the dining table and walked slowly over to the sofa, her eyes trying to gauge his mood. She sat next to him and remained silent as he poured the coffee. He sat stiffly, blowing on the brew before taking a tentative sip and closing his eyes in appreciation. She refrained from picking up her cup; instead she shuffled closer to him, one hand coming to rest on his thigh. He stiffened even more and cleared his throat.

“Come on Jean-Luc…it’ll be fun.”

He shook his head brusquely.

“I don’t think so.”

With her free hand, she stroked his face.

“Come on…we could go on long walks and swim or maybe just sit by the fire and read. Maybe we could…fool around.”

He’d had enough. His feelings for this woman were too deep to allow her to mercilessly tease him. Slamming his cup down and spilling the contents, he stood abruptly and glowered down.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? Jesus Beverly you cannot keep playing with me like this. I offered you something more and you turned me down…why do you persist with these cruel games?”

She stood and fisted her hands on her hips.

“You arrogant, pompous blow hard! Did it ever occur to you that after all these months I might have changed my mind? How is that a man reputed to be so intelligent can be so bloody obtuse? I’ve been giving you hints for weeks!”

His eyes blackened and his face hardened.

“Hints? You mean all your snide innuendoes and smutty gibes? I’ve been putting up with that for years from you. How the hell was I supposed to tell the difference? And anyway, why is it that I am now to run to your beck and call the minute you snap your fingers? Did it ever occur to you that it might be too late, that your ice-maiden routine may have finally put my fire out?”

Her mouth agape, Beverly stepped back, the force of his anger buffeting her.

She lowered her head and stared hard at the floor, his pain filled, angry eyes too much to bear. In a small voice she uttered,

“I’m sorry Jean-Luc…I had no idea.”

She gathered her wits and brushed past him.

“I’ll trouble you no further.”

Just as she got to the doors, his anguished voice carried to her.

“Beverly! Don’t…”

Whatever else he had to say was lost as she went through the doors and they closed. She stood momentarily still, her mind reeling. With a choked sob, she turned and ran to her quarters.

Jean-Luc stared at the doors, numb with shock.

“What have I done? Why did I say those things? She was offering…what? A chance at a new relationship? Intimacy?”

He sat heavily on the sofa and slowly lowered his head into his hands.

“Oh Picard you fool! You damned stupid fucking fool!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once in her quarters, Beverly went into her bedroom, undressed and donned a nightie. She then sat at her dressing table and brushed her hair, her mind trying to come to grips with what had just happened.

“He doesn’t love me anymore. I’ve finally pushed him too far. I turned him down, then I teased…but that was all in good fun, wasn’t it? He always laughed…blushed…he’s such fun to tease…oh God why didn’t I see what it was doing to him? Why did I play so damned hard to get?”

She replaced the brush by feel, her eyes staring off into space. With absent movements she went to the bed, turned down the covers and slid between the sheets.

“Lights off.”

In the darkness tears welled in her eyes.

“I can’t believe this! He waited so long and now I’m ready only to find my own nasty tongue has soured him. Oh God…what am I going to do now? I want him…so badly…”

She turned over and grabbed the second pillow, hugging it to her breast.

“I am such a bitch.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc made his preparations for bed in a similar manner. He went through his routine, undressing, putting on his satin shorts before going to the bathroom. He washed his hands and crawled into bed; amazed at how desolate his voice sounded when he ordered the lights off. He sighed and turned onto his side, scrunching the blankets.

“She’ll never forgive me. Somehow I’ve got to learn how to live without her in my life. Mon Dieu c’est impossible! I will die inside.”

He closed his eyes and two tears slipped free. Sleep would not occur this night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning, before going on duty, Beverly sat at her desk in her quarters and recorded a message. Downloading it onto an isolinear chip, she stood and tossed in thoughtfully in her hand.

“If this doesn’t work I’m damned. Computer, location of Counsellor Troi.”

“Counsellor Troi is passing junction 2E, deck five saucer section.”

Nodding to herself, Beverly was tempted to call the Captain, but she knew he wouldn’t want to hear from her so she clenched her jaw and exited her quarters.

 

Jean-Luc sat at his dining table staring at its bare top. He was freshly showered and shaved; his uniform was crisp and clean yet he felt like hell incarnate. Without his usual breakfast companion he had no appetite. That, on top of his sleepless night made his eyes scratchy, his body weary and his heart heavy. He pushed away his melancholy thoughts and savagely suppressed his aching heart. He was on his feet and out the door before he even realised it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deanna Troi, ship’s Counsellor and best female friend of Beverly Crusher, had just sat at her desk when her office door chimed. Her empathic senses told her who was outside, but the turmoil, and the desperate attempt to conceal it, distressed her.

“Come in.”

Beverly entered and smiled wanly.

“Good morning Deanna.”

The Counsellor frowned and stood.

“What’s wrong Beverly?”

Closing her eyes, Beverly pinched the bridge of her nose. In a quiet voice she said,

“I don’t want to go into it Dee. Will you do something for me?”

Knowing the futility of trying to get Beverly to talk about something she didn’t want to, Deanna nodded.

“Of course.”

Beverly stepped up to her and reached for her hand, turning it over and placing the chip on her palm.

“I leave at fourteen hundred tomorrow. After I’ve gone, will you give this to the Captain please?”

Deanna nodded solemnly, her free hand closing over Beverly’s. She knew something of significance had happened, something bad, but until Beverly was willing to talk about it she would be in the dark. She allowed her mind to stretch, seeking the thread of consciousness that was Jean-Luc Picard. What she sensed made her wince. He was tightly closed, cold and full of despair. Her sympathetic black eyes settled on her friend.

“Is there anything I can do?”

Beverly smiled sadly and shook her head.

“No…just look after him while I’m gone. He’ll try to shut you out and shun everybody…don’t let him Dee. I caused this and when I get back I hope to fix it, but for now I think it better we left things alone.”

Deanna nodded and opened her arms, taking Beverly into her embrace. The Doctor allowed the comfort then drew back.

“I’ll see you in the Shuttle Bay tomorrow.”

Deanna frowned.

“What about your send off in the lounge tonight?”
Beverly grimaced.

“No…I don’t think so. Tell Will and the others thanks, but I’m just not up to it. Okay?”

The Counsellor nodded and sighed.

“All right but Will’s going to be really disappointed. He had plans.”

Beverly snorted.

“I’ll bet…usually involving real alcohol and loud jazz. Tell him some other time.”

Deanna went up on tiptoes and kissed Beverly’s cheek.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Captain spent an hour in the command chair on the bridge before retreating to the Ready Room. For the entire time he was on the Bridge he was sullen and withdrawn. Will Riker, sensing something was wrong, waited until his CO was absent before putting a quiet call to his lover.

“Riker to Troi.”

“Troi here.”

“Deanna I know you have appointments this morning, but can I see you for a few minutes?”

“Yes Will. Give me fifteen minutes. Troi out.”

The big bearded First Officer sat back and scratched his cheek.

In due course Will pressed the chime outside Deanna’s office. Her warm call made him smile.

“Come in Will.”

He grinned as he entered, seeing Deanna had two cups on the low table, coffee for him and hot chocolate for her. He pointed at her drink and shook his head.

“It’s a little early for that isn’t it?”

The Counsellor smiled enigmatically and sipped her drink, sighing with heady appreciation.

“It’s never too early for chocolate. Now…what is it?”

Will frowned and stared at his hands.

“When Captain Picard came onto the Bridge this morning he was not his usual self. He was brusque, morose and withdrawn. Do you know why?”

Deanna sighed and shook her head.

“Not exactly, although Beverly came to see me this morning and she was upset too. Something’s happened between them and my guess is it’s not good.”

The exec ran a hand through his hair.

“But Beverly leaves tomorrow…for five weeks. Surely they won’t part under these circumstances? Look I know we all speculate just as to what is the exact nature of their relationship, but besides all the scuttlebutt we know they’re dear friends. If they’ve had an argument I can’t believe they wouldn’t settle it before Beverly leaves.”

The Counsellor folded her hands in her lap and sighed.

“I’m not so sure. Beverly gave me a chip to give the Captain after she leaves. She said to me that what has happened was her fault and she intended to fix it when she returned. She asked me to look after Captain Picard while she was gone.”

Will stood and paced in front of the table.

“Dee I’m not happy with this at all. In the mood the Captain’s in…if he stays true to form, he won’t eat properly, he won’t get much sleep and he’ll spend most of his time brooding in the Ready Room. He’ll ignore the rest of us and immerse himself in work. There’s got to be something we can do.”

Deanna stood and gripped Will’s elbow, stopping his restless pacing.

“Will you know him as well as me. If he won’t let me help him then there’s absolutely nothing I can do…that is unless his work suffers, then I have the option of either ordering him to Sickbay or relieving him of duty.”

The big man snorted.

“Hell Dee…it won’t come to that! Do you think it would do any good for me to talk to Beverly? She knows him better than all of us…she must know what he’ll do in her absence if they part like this.”

Deanna shook her head.

“No Will it would be best if you left her alone. She’s really upset…she doesn’t even want the send off tonight. Let the dust settle…maybe the chip will have something the Captain needs to hear. Perhaps after he’s heard it things might settle down.”

Will nodded and chewed his cheek.

“Okay but I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a very trying five weeks.”

Deanna reached up and took his shoulders, turning him towards the door then gently slapping his behind.

“Off with you Will Riker. I’ll see you tonight.”

His chuckle hung in the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That night was not easy for either Beverly or Jean-Luc. The Captain had stayed on duty until oh three thirty before giving in to sore muscles and straying concentration. He made his way to his quarters, replicated a sandwich and fell asleep on the sofa, the meal half finished.

Beverly too worked until late, retiring only when Deanna, suspicious of her habits, called down and all but ordered her to her cabin. Both people had an unpleasant rest, uneasy and fractured.

Jean-Luc was on the Bridge at oh eight fifteen and Will sighed at seeing the dark circles under the man’s eyes. Beverly had the day off so she packed and spent some quiet time in the arboretum, trying to settle her churning emotions.

At ten minutes before the given hour, Beverly made her way to Shuttle Bay two and loaded her bag aboard. She spent some moments doing a pre-flight check then sat in solitude, her eyes on the chronometer.

At precisely fourteen hundred hours she paged the Bridge.

“Bridge this is shuttle Curie requesting clearance to launch.”

Will’s cheerful voice responded.

“Curie this is the Bridge you are clear to go. Have a good time Beverly.”

The Doctor grinned.

“Thank you Bridge. Curie out.”

As she powered up the little vessel, she glanced out the port screen and saw Deanna standing in the bay. Beverly smiled and waved, receiving a grin and a wave in return. As the shuttle exited the great ship, Deanna blew a kiss.

“Stay safe my friend.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc sat at his desk in the Ready Room, the communication system open. He listened to Beverly’s departure, his face a stony mask. Once he heard the order to close the bay doors he closed the channel and turned, rising to gaze out his viewport, his eyes soon picking up the tiny ship and he watched as it swung gracefully away from it’s gargantuan parent and set course. He raised a hand and pressed his fingers against the cool, clear aluminium.

“Adieu mon coeur.”

The Enterprise made an effortless leap to warp speed and the shuttle disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three hours later Deanna came up to the Bridge. She was just going off duty, but she had a service to perform. Will’s eyebrows rose as the petite woman sat beside him and looked worriedly at the Ready Room doors.

“He’s still in there.”

Will sighed.

“Yep. Hasn’t emerged all day. I was kinda hoping he might’ve gone to the Shuttle Bay to see Beverly off, but no luck.”

Deanna frowned and shook her head.

“Have you seen him at all?”

Will stroked his beard.

“Oh yeah, this morning. He spent an hour in the big chair then retreated to his lair. Deanna…he looks like hell.”

The Counsellor pressed her lips together.

“I’m getting very little from him…he’s closed up almost completely.”

“Are you going to see him?”

Deanna looked her lover in the eyes and lifted her chin.

“Yes. I have something to do for Beverly and I think it’s time I tried to get him to talk to me.”

Will raised his eyebrows and puffed out his cheeks.

“Good luck…I’m glad it’s you not me.”

Smiling and trying to exhibit confidence she didn’t feel, Deanna rose and walked over to the Ready Room doors. Over her shoulder she mouthed,

“Wish me luck.”

Will nodded and gave her a ‘thumbs up’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc ignored the first chime. He was staring at the computer screen, not really seeing it; his mind was light years away. The second chime broke through and he scowled, barking,

“Come!”

Deanna entered, respectfully coming to attention in front of his desk. He kept his eyes glued to the monitor, willing his visitor to leave. When she didn’t, he glanced up and said coldly,

“Yes, what is it Counsellor?”

Adopting a parade rest stance, Deanna stared over the top of her Captain’s head.

“Sir I have something for you.”

He sat back and stared icily at her.

“Well?”

Holding her arm out stiffly, she offered the chip.

“Doctor Crusher asked me to give it to you after she left.”

He took the chip and tossed it disdainfully onto the desk.

“Is that all Counsellor?”

Swallowing and fortifying her mental barriers against his cold anger, Deanna shook her head.

“No Captain.”

He placed his hands on the desktop and lowered his already deep voice.

“I am rather busy Counsellor. State your business quickly, then leave.”

Deanna relaxed her stance and looked into his eyes for the first time. What she saw shocked her.

“Captain it is plainly obvious something has happened between you and Beverly and you are very upset. Judging by your appearance and your reactions to past problems with the Doctor, my guess is that you’re not eating or sleeping sufficiently. Although it is my duty to monitor your health, I would like to offer you the opportunity to talk privately about what’s troubling you before it becomes necessary for me to become involved in a professional capacity. I wish to remind you Sir, I will order you to Sickbay if I feel it’s called for and I won’t hesitate to remove you from duty if I see the need.”

He looked down at the desk and fisted his hands.

“So you’re giving me an ultimatum? Talk to you privately or suffer the consequences? May I remind you Counsellor that I am still the Captain of this vessel and I will not be dictated to by you or anyone else. Whatever has occurred between Doctor Crusher and me is my business and I’ll thank you to mind yours. If and when I feel the need to talk, I’ll let you know. In the interim I would ask you to attend to your duties and leave me alone. Is that clear?”

Deanna frowned down at her Captain and gritted her teeth.

“Perfectly Sir.”

His dark glittering eyes never leaving hers, he said quietly,

“Dismissed.”

Once back out on the Bridge, Deanna took a large breath and caught Will’s questioning eye. With a shake of her head, she left the Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took Beverly two days to reach Kalara II. She landed the shuttle and exited with her bag, the bright sunshine making her squint. She made her way into the reception area and registered with her thumbprint. After a short wait, an aide welcomed her and guided her to a hover car. She took her seat and waited while her bag was loaded then the vehicle took off for a three and a half hour journey to her accommodation. The aide noted her silence and stifled his glib spiel, allowing her to doze. It was the gentle bump of landing that woke her and she smiled as her eyes cleared. Before her was a chalet made of native timber, glass and stone. Nestled against a rock bluff, it faced the east and consisted of walls of glass interspersed with wood and stone. Beverly rose from the hover car a little stiffly and slowly pirouetted, taking in the snow-peaked mountains, the nearby river and the thick bush that grew up to the cleared area of the dwelling. Her patient aide picked up her bag and gestured grandly. They entered the chalet and he showed her around, explaining the features and showing her all the hidden technology. When they walked out onto the back deck, Beverly leaned against the railing looking down into the bluest pool she’d ever seen. Her aide grinned.

“It’s heated.”

Beverly smiled and the aide held out his hand.

Here’re your codes. If you need anything simply contact the reception building. As I explained, in case of emergency, press any one of the red buttons situated throughout the chalet and someone will transport to your location immediately. Have a nice stay Ms. Crusher.”

Beverly thanked the young man and stayed on the deck until she heard the hover car take off. Then she ambled into the living area and stood still, listening to the silence. Sighing, she went to unpack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three days after Beverly’s departure Jean-Luc still hadn’t played the chip. It sat now on the desk in his quarters, ignored. The trouble was Jean-Luc didn’t want to listen to it…he was afraid of what he might hear. Did she intend to resign? Was it castigation for his behaviour? Was it to tell him she never wanted to see him again?

He sat in his favourite chair and cast a wary glance across the room. Grunting with discontent, he turned his attention back to his meal. The light chicken salad felt like sawdust in his mouth but, although he had admonished his Counsellor, he was under no illusions as to her determination to carry out her threats. To that end he decided the only way to forestall her was to eat and sleep to her satisfaction, at least as best he could under the circumstances.

As it was quite late, after he finished his meal he disposed of the remains and went to change for bed. In minutes he was under the covers but struggled to find sleep. After an hour and a half of tossing and turning he threw back the quilt and brusquely exited his bed, stalking into his living area and finding himself standing over his desk, staring at the damned chip. With an irritated sigh…and some trepidation, he sat down and loaded the chip into his computer. When Beverly’s face appeared, he closed his eyes in pain.

 

 

“My dearest Jean-Luc…where do I start? You and I have been friends…best friends for more years than I care to admit. I remember clearly the first time we met, after Jack had inundated me with stories about his illustrious Captain and I expected you to be quite different to what I found. You were not the hard, calculating Starfleet officer I thought you’d be, although you did try to project that sort of image…no, you were, under the carefully constructed façade you hid behind, a sensitive and gentle man, dedicated to your career and Starfleet and totally bonded to my husband. For two men who were not related…my God you were like brothers and I was so happy Jack’s Captain was such a good friend. Then slowly, over a period of time I became your friend too. It came as a shock to me on Kess Prytt to find that you fell in love with me almost from the first time we met, but now, in the fullness of time, I realise I harboured deep feelings for you too. After Jack died and we drifted apart I still thought of you, there was always a place for you in my heart and when I joined the Enterprise so many years later those feeling s were still there.

“Jean-Luc when I said we should be afraid I was speaking from a position of uncertainty. I was in love with you then, as now, but I was confused. I know my acid tongue has caused you pain and I deeply regret that, as I’ve told you, you’re not the first to suffer from my particularly poor sense of humour.

So what am I trying to say? First I’m sorry. Sorry for not trusting you with my heart and for hurting you. And second I want you to know I love you and if you could find it in your heart to forgive me, then when I get back, perhaps we can try to find out just where our hearts will lead us.

That’s it my love.

I will think of you constantly until I return.

Beverly.”

 

 

 

Jean-Luc slowly blinked away his tears and reverently touched his fingertips to Beverly’s image.

“Mon coeur there is nothing to forgive.”

Standing abruptly, he strode to his bedroom and proceeded to dress in civilian clothes. He was about to embark on a very important mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc stopped outside his intended destination and rested his bag at his feet. He asked in a soft voice,

“Computer what is the time?”

“Two fifty eight hours.”

He sighed and briefly closed his eyes. Lifting his hand, he pressed the chime.

Both occupants in the bed stirred and the man grunted.

“Was that the door?”

His companion hummed and lifted her head. Sleepily she asked,

“Computer who is at our door?”

“Captain Jean-Luc Picard.”

Will sat up and was half out of the bed when Deanna’s hand gripped his arm.

“He might be here to see me.”

The naked man grunted and stood, reaching for his robe.

“And he just as likely wants to see me. We should both go.”

In silence Will waited for Deanna to don her robe then they both walked into the living area, calling for lights as they went. At the door, Will cast a look at his lover and, receiving a nod of consent, opened the door.

“Captain.”

Jean-Luc looked from one officer to the other and lowered his head. Softly he said,

“I apologise for waking you both but I needed to see you Number One.”

Deanna slipped her hand into Will’s and gently squeezed it.

“I’ll go back to bed.”
Jean-Luc offered a brief smile as an apology and waited until the Counsellor left.

Will noticed the packed bag at the Captain’s feet and raised his eyebrows.

“Going somewhere Captain?”

Jean-Luc sighed and nodded. Will turned back into his quarters and gestured for Jean-Luc to follow him. Both men sat in the lounge and Will curbed his curiosity while the Captain gathered his thoughts.

“Will I’m taking some leave, effective immediately.”

Will simply nodded and Jean-Luc continued.

“I’m taking the yacht and I’ll be gone four weeks…if I’m lucky. If not I’ll be back in eight days. The Enterprise will be charting the Ferris expanse for the next six weeks so there should be no problems with my absence, however if you need me, I’ll be on Kalara II.”

Will sat back, hiding his triumphant smile. Keeping his voice even and an innocent look on his face, he asked casually,

“Kalara II? Isn’t that where Beverly went?”

Jean-Luc’s cold stare sobered the younger man. He sat up and adopted a more professional approach.

“Very good Captain, I’ll amend the logs and change the roster to reflect the change. Would you like me to detail a crewman to ready the Calypso?”

With a shake of his head, Jean-Luc stood.

“No that won’t be necessary. Who has command of the Bridge at this hour?”

Will frowned and scratched his beard.

“Ah that would be Lieutenant Farrund.”

Jean-Luc offered a small smile.

“And I take it the Lieutenant will be able to handle my departure?”

Will chuckled.

“Well she’ll be a little shocked, but I think she can handle it Sir.”

The Captain nodded and turned for the door.

“Very good Commander I’ll be off. Take care of my ship; I’ll rendezvous with you within the expanse on my return. I’ll send the coordinates at a later date.”

Grinning slyly behind his Captain’s back Will couldn’t resist one small dig.

“Yes Sir…Beverly was going to do the same thing.”

Jean-Luc paused momentarily in his step but recovered and exited Will’s quarters. As soon as the doors closed, Deanna came out and sidled up to her lover.

“Well?”

Will’s grin widened.

“He’s off to find Beverly.”

Deanna smiled, her black eyes sparkling.

“Thank the Gods…it’s about time. Did he say anything?”

Will shook his head, but the grin remained.

“Nope but he’s very preoccupied. My guess is there may be some fireworks, but if he plays his cards right, this may all come out all right.”

Deanna took his hand and led him back to the bedroom. Over her shoulder she said,

“Well I certainly hope so…they’ve waited long enough. The attraction between them has been so obvious for so many years…and the sexual tension they exuded, by the sacred chalice of Rixx, you could’ve reignited a dead star! How on Earth they resisted it is a mystery.”

Calling for the lights to extinguish, the couple doffed their robes, climbed into bed and settled down. Will’s soft chuckle caused Deanna to rise on her elbow.

“What’s so funny?”

“Maybe they didn’t.”

“Maybe they didn’t what?”

Will turned onto his side and stared up at the Counsellor.

“Maybe they didn’t resist the urge. What if this trouble they’ve had is about sex?”

Deanna sighed and gently slapped Will’s chest.

“They haven’t had sex, believe me I’d know. Not only would I sense the change, but Beverly would’ve eventually told me. One of her greatest curiosities is how the Captain would be in bed. Her theory is that a man possessed of such deep passions and legendary control would be a consummate lover. She often wondered what it would take for him to lose his control.”

Will snorted and put his hands behind his head.

“Why is it you women always take a romantic view. I don’t think he’d be that good, hell, he’s so out of practice; I mean when was his last time? Nella Darren? That was months ago. No…he’s such a bloody gentleman he’d probably ask permission to put it in. He’ll never satisfy Beverly, she needs someone with hot blood.”

Deanna huffed and flopped down beside him.

“You’re forgetting something Will…he’s French. They’re renowned for their sexual abilities.”

Will made a rude noise and rolled over, pressing his body down on the petite woman.

“So what? I don’t believe that bullshit about the French anyway. Everyone knows for real satisfaction you require an Alaskan man.”

Deanna sniggered and bit his earlobe.

“And why would an Alaskan man be better at sex than a Frenchman?”

“Because…”

He kissed her passionately and grabbed her hands, pinning them to the pillow.

“…we have to spend so much time indoors. You have to amuse yourself somehow.”

Deanna’s laughter turned into a moan of desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc went through the pre-flight check then called the Bridge.

“Bridge this is Captain Picard aboard the Calypso requesting permission to launch.”

There was a momentary silence before a female voice responded.

“Captain Picard there is no launch scheduled for the Calypso Sir.”

The Captain sighed.

“I am aware of that Lieutenant. Check your board, I have lodged my flight plan.”

Again there was a hiatus, quickly followed by,

“Aye Captain. Helm bring us out of warp. Sir you are free to launch.”

Smiling with grim satisfaction, Jean-Luc replied,

“Thank you Bridge. Picard out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly woke, but lay still, keeping her eyes shut. The filtered light from the drapes crossed the room, straddling the bed in a stripe. Relying on her sense of smell, the Doctor concentrated on ‘seeing’ her environment through closed eyes. She could smell the wood of the building, the still smouldering ashes in the hearth, the dregs of sherry in the small glass on the side table and the selection of fresh fruit sitting in a bowl atop the dining table in the lounge.

Smiling to herself, she stretched and yawned. With some reluctance she opened her eyes and slowly rose, leaving the bed and spending twenty minutes doing a series of limbering exercises on a rug on the floor of her bedroom. After a leisurely shower, she emerged in a bathing suit and short silk robe, sauntering into the kitchen where she prepared a simple breakfast of assorted fruit and coffee.

While the morning sun warmed the air, she settled onto a lounge beside the pool with a book, intent on reading. She dozed off within the hour.

The short nap was ended by the noisy bird life. Now the sun was higher, the temperature increased exponentially and creatures of all sorts were making use of the warmth. Strange furry animals descended from the trees to forage, causing the riotously coloured birds to complain loudly.

With great amusement, Beverly watched the antics of the wild life before dropping her robe on the lounge and diving into the pool. She swam a few laps then floated, completely relaxed. As was often the case when she allowed her mind to wander, it went to thoughts of Jean-Luc Picard.

“What are you doing now? Have you listened to the chip?”

With a slight loss of equilibrium, water encroached over her face. She took a large breath through her nose and regained her buoyancy.

“I wonder if you’ll accept me my Captain? Will you forgive me? Will you let me into your life…share yourself with me, without reservation? Will you ever let down your guard completely…let me see your heart, your soul? Because if you can’t, if you won’t give all of yourself to me it won’t work. If you’ll have me, you’ll get all of me, I’ll hold nothing back, but one of the things that’s always scared me about you is that you’ve always hidden behind a carefully constructed façade, built to protect yourself from hurt. But you can’t be open to love while taking shelter within a walled heart. It has to be all or nothing my Captain…can you do that? Can you love me that much?”

After another ten minutes of relaxed floating, the Doctor exited the pool and wandered inside to find some lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having set the course and speed and activating the autopilot, Jean-Luc retreated to the sumptuously appointed lounge of his private craft. He played the chip again then sat back in his comfortable chair, allowing his mind to wrestle with the implications.

“So…Beverly loves me.”

He smiled wistfully and sighed.

“I wonder how she’ll take me turning up? She might be happy about it, after all she did want me to accompany her…but on the other hand she might not be ready to see me. She may need some time to settle her thoughts.”

His smile faded and he crossed his legs, folding his arms across his chest.

“However…if she is happy to see me, and I can stay…what then? How will this work? How does one instigate an intimate relationship with one’s best friend?”

He abruptly stood and began to slowly pace, the fingers of his right hand gently rubbing his lower lip.

“What does she want from me? Something casual? A lifetime commitment? And for that matter, what do I want? What do I expect from her?”

With distracted exasperation he ran a hand over his bald head.

“Oh God…this could be so complicated.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elegant Calypso entered orbit around Kalara II and Jean-Luc paused in his piloting to consider his options. He knew someone in the planetary administration would soon be contacting him and he had to make up his mind as to what direction he should go. In reality he had only two choices. Either try to book a cabin close to Beverly’s…unlikely seeing she’d chosen something in a remote region…or refuse offers of accommodation and scan for Beverly’s comm badge and transport down to her location. He sighed and sat back, shaking his head.

“Well fortune favours the brave”,

He muttered.

He nodded and was inputting directions in the computer just as the planet hailed him.

“Ship in orbit, please identify yourself.”

His eyebrows rose and he debated quickly whether or not to reveal his true identity. He knew his name was well known and he wished to avoid any fuss. Tabbing open a channel, he keep his voice even.

“Kalara this is the private yacht Calypso. I intend to beam down to visit a friend.”

The man facing him on the monitor screen was unimpressed.

“This is Mark Webber, director of interstellar traffic. To whom am I speaking?”

Frowning at his efforts to avoid that particular question, Jean-Luc gritted his teeth.

“This is…John Packard.”

“I see. And tell me Mr.Packard…just who do you wish to visit?”

Bristling slightly, the Captain glared at the monitor.

“May I ask what business is that of yours?”

The smile on the director’s face was unctuous.

“We guard our guest’s privacy well Mr.Packard. It would be inappropriate for you to simply…beam down. If you would let me know who you wish to visit, I will contact them and perhaps gain permission.”

Jean-Luc lowered his head and sighed. Knowing he would have to tell the truth, he looked up and ruefully smiled.

“Mr.Webber you have me at somewhat of a disadvantage. My name is not Packard…it’s Picard, Jean-Luc Picard.”

Webber nodded sagely, his eyes twinkling.

“Do tell…Captain Picard. Did you really think I wouldn’t recognise Starfleet’s most famous Captain?”

Jean-Luc closed his eyes briefly and decided he could use this bumptious man to his advantage.

“I apologise Mr. Webber, you are obviously too clever for me. The truth is I’m on official business and I need to speak with one of my officers…someone who is holidaying on your fine planet. Now you understand I cannot divulge their name, that would compromise their cover, however if you would let me scan for them, I can surreptitiously beam down and no one would be the wiser. Of course I would have to rely on your collaboration and discretion.”

Swelling with pride and self-importance, Webber looked around and lowered his voice.

“Secret business…Mr.Packard?”

“Ah…yes.”

Sitting up, the director nodded and adopted a serious demeanour.

“Very well. I will inform my superiors that your visit is sanctioned. You may proceed with your scans and I will direct our probes elsewhere.”
Jean-Luc breathed a quiet sigh of relief.

“Thank you Mr.Webber. I may be here some time, do you wish me to report to you when I leave?”

Lifting his chin and stroking his wispy moustache, the thin man shook his head.

“No Mr.Packard, I’m sure your efforts to keep our galaxy safe are none of my business. Go about your mission, you’ll get no interference from me.”

Jean-Luc lifted his hand, rubbing his chin to disguise his smile. With difficulty he adopted a serious face.

“Thank you Mr.Webber, your efforts in defence of the Federation will not be forgotten. Packard out.”

The monitor blinked off and Jean-Luc sat back and chuckled, shaking his head.

“Beverly’s going to love this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scan took exactly three minutes. Once he had a location he inputted the coordinates then went aft, picked up his packed bag and made his way to the small transporter pad.

“Computer maintain orbit and initiate security level five. Inform me immediately if anyone tries to board this vessel. Energise.”

He rematerialised in a cleared space in front of the impressive chalet. He turned a small circle, taking in the exotic tall tress, the towering mountains and the nearby river. Inhaling deeply, he blinked in the bright sunshine and looked at the imposing front door.

“Well…no time like the present.”

He strode up to the door, raised a hand and rapped his knuckles on the wood panel. Nothing happened. He could plainly hear the noise of his knocking echoing throughout the rooms, but nobody came to the door. Frowning, his clenched his fist and pounded on the door itself, but still no one answered.

Leaving his bag, he ventured around the side of the dwelling and found he had to climb a rock wall, then scale a wood and wire railing to gain access to the back deck. He took the time required to admire the view of the bluff and the tantalising pool, before going the large glass doors and peering in, his hands surrounding his face to lessen the light. He saw nothing. He knocked and called out, but it was obvious…nobody was home.

Ten minutes later he was back at the front door. He looked forlornly down at his bag, sighed deeply and sank to the ground.

“Oh well, she has to come back sometime. Might as well get some sleep.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly was humming softly as she followed the track through the filtered light of the bush. With a posy of wildflowers in her hand, she ambled along somewhat tired and hungry but happy nonetheless. She’d been walking most of the afternoon and was looking forward to a meal and a long soak in the hot tub. As she entered the clearing, her eyes picked out the form slumped against her front door. She stopped and frowned.

“Now who the hell is that?”

Taking cautious steps forward, she squinted and then smiled.

“I’d know that bald head anywhere.”

With quiet steps she approached the sleeping man and stood so her shadow fell across his face. He slept on and Beverly smiled wider. She squatted down and gently stroked his face.

“Hey.”

He jumped and gasped, scrambling to his feet and backing up against the door. Beverly held up her hand and spoke softly.

“Jean-Luc it’s all right…it’s just me.”

He swallowed and blinked several times, steadying his breathing.

“Ah…yes, Beverly…I…I was dreaming. You startled me.”

She smiled and tilted her head.

“So it would seem. Are you okay now?”

He took a large breath and squared his shoulders.

“Yes…yes I’m fine, thank you.”

Beverly nodded and looked down at his bag.

“Are you planning to stay?”

The Captain lowered his head, flushing slightly and pushing his hands deep into his pockets. His voice was low and very deep.

“Actually…that’s up to you.”

Beverly pursed her lips.

“I see. Am I to understand you left the Enterprise and galloped across the sector to see me?”

He looked up and shrugged.

“Yes.”

The Doctor turned and paced slowly in front of the nervous man.

“You simply up and left?”

“Uh huh.”

She stopped her pacing and faced him.

“But wait a minute…it took me two days at maximum warp in the shuttle to reach Kalara. When did you leave the ship?”

Jean-Luc shuffled his feet and looked decidedly uncomfortable.

“Yesterday…early.”

Beverly shook her head.

“Then how the hell..?”

The Captain lifted his head and clenched his teeth.

“I took the Calypso.”

Beverly’s mouth gaped.

“You took the Captain’s yacht? I don’t believe it! You never take the yacht. What did Will say?”

Now becoming somewhat annoyed, Jean-Luc fisted his hands in his pockets.

“Nothing. It wasn’t his place to say anything. I exercised my prerogative as Captain and decided to take some leave. You of all people should be happy with my decision…as my Doctor of course.”

Beverly smiled enigmatically.

“Of course. So…what are your plans?”

Taking his hands out of his pockets, Jean-Luc clasped then in front of himself.

“Well…I was hoping I might, if the offer is still open, spend my leave with you.”

Beverly brushed the toe of her boot through the dirt, lowering her head to hide her smile.

“I see. Well you’re here, I suppose you might at least come in.”

She stepped past him and entered her code. The door swung open and cool air rushed out.

The couple entered and Jean-Luc sighed, gently running a hand over his head and wincing. Beverly heard him and turned, a smile creeping across her face.

“You’re burnt.”

He scowled and shook his head.

“I forgot a hat, but in my defence I didn’t think I’d be sleeping uncovered in the full sun.”

Beverly gestured to a chair and said over her shoulder,

“Take a seat, I have a med kit here somewhere.”

Jean-Luc placed his bag on the floor and sat staring appreciatively around the room. The vaulted ceilings and glass walls allowed a feeling of airiness and space he liked. Beverly soon reappeared and sat on the arm of his chair, a tissue regenerator in her hand.

“Keep still.”

He complied and it took mere seconds to heal the burnt skin. He sighed and looked up at his best friend.

“Thank you.”

Beverly stood and walked into the kitchen.

“No problem.”
Jean-Luc rose and followed her, stopping in the doorway to watch as she went to the cooling unit and took out a jug of clear liquid. She placed this on the table then returned to the unit, retrieving several salad items and cold meat. The Captain ambled over and stood at the table.

“May I help?”

Beverly turned, sucking something from her thumb. She pointed to the cupboards and mumbled around her digit,

“Plates and cutlery.”

While she busied herself making the salad, Jean-Luc searched and found what he wanted. Gently placing his prizes on the table, he returned to the cupboard and found two tall glasses. Pouring from the jug, he lifted his glass and sipped. His eyes widened and he coughed.

“What the hell is this?”

Beverly smiled, while chewing some celery.

“Vodka martini.”

Jean-Luc cast a suspicious look at his glass and frowned.

“What…neat vodka?”

The Doctor shrugged and went on with her preparations.

Once the salad was ready, Beverly placed some cold meat on each plate then gestured for Jean-Luc to serve himself from the salad bowl. As he did this she asked,

“Do you want rolls?”

He shrugged and smiled.

“If you like.”

Nodding absently, Beverly went to the replicator and ordered some crusty Italian rolls and butter. Jean-Luc waited to see where Beverly wanted to eat their meal and was surprised when she sat at the kitchen table. He seated himself and began to eat.

After a while Beverly waved with her knife.

“Keep an eye on the window…we may have a visitor.”

Jean-Luc nodded, but his mind was on his companion. As always he was entranced, her beauty and elegance capturing his attention. When a loud tapping occurred he jumped, turning his head sharply towards the window. There sat an outlandishly coloured bird, studiously pecking at the glass. Beverly rose, opened the window and held out her hand, some breadcrumbs offered. The bird cocked its head and observed her with a wise expression, its clear black eyes sparkling with intelligence. The Doctor remained still and cooed,

“Come on I know you’re hungry.”

The bird’s eyes darted to Jean-Luc and he made sure he kept still. Beverly understood and encouraged the life form.

“He won’t hurt you…come on this bread is yummy.”

The bird seemed to come to a decision. It hoped onto Beverly’s hand and pecked gently at the crumbs, not stopping until her hand was empty.

“There you go. That’s enough now…you go and find some natural food now.”

The bird sat up and ruffled its feathers before suddenly taking off with a raucous squawk. Beverly laughed and turned to her Captain.

“It’s been coming by this time every afternoon. It’s tame isn’t it?”

Jean-Luc smiled.

“Indeed it is.”

Beverly refilled their glasses and flicked her head.

“Come on let’s go sit out on the deck.”

Jean-Luc stood and nodded.

“You go, I’ll just be a minute.”

Beverly smiled and wandered outside, settling in one of the comfortable deck chairs. When Jean-Luc joined her he was wearing a broad brimmed hat. Beverly chuckled and nodded.

“Very wise. It’s hot now, but once the sun goes down it gets down right cold.”

Jean-Luc sat and toed off his boots. Sighing he leaned back and tentatively sipped his drink.

After a companionable silence Beverly asked,

“How did you get to my location? The resort director assured me I would have absolute privacy.”

Jean-Luc chuckled and described his run in with the redoubtable Mark Webber. Beverly sat up, her face a study of frank disbelief.

“Whoever you are…show yourself and give me back my Captain.”

Jean-Luc frowned.

“I beg your pardon?”

Beverly took a hefty sip and wagged her finger at him.

“You can’t be the Jean-Luc Picard I know.”

She counted on her fingers.

“One…you up stakes and took leave. Two…you took the Captain’s yacht…and three…now you’re telling me you lied to a planetary official to pursue a private matter. Like I said…who the hell are you and what have you done with Jean-Luc?”

He scowled but couldn’t maintain it. His face crumpled into a grin and he shrugged.

“You’re right I suppose, but you know what? It feels good to do something different!”

The both laughed and settled again into silence. Finally finished his potent drink, Jean-Luc placed the glass on the deck and sighed. His voice when he spoke was very soft.

“Beverly?”

She stretched languidly and replied,

“Hmm?”

“I’m very sorry for what I said…I didn’t mean it.”

She turned her head and watched him.

“What didn’t you mean Jean-Luc?”

He sighed again and closed his eyes.

“That I didn’t love you any more…that I wasn’t aware of your…hints.”

Beverly sat up and caught her hair in her hands, pulling it back over her shoulder.

“You’re not the only one who should apologise Jean-Luc. My behaviour these last months has been reprehensible. I knew what I was doing, but not what it was doing to you. I should have simply told you how I felt and allowed us to see where it took u


© Copyright 2018 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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