May 20, 2007

Restitance Is Futile - Pt 14

“It’s quite all right,” Picard said in diplomatic response to Beverly’s question as to whether or not she was interrupting. She was, but there was no way he would let on. “Doctor, may I introduce Admiral Virginia Hamilton. Admiral, this is my Chief Medical Officer, Beverly Crusher.”

“I am familiar with the doctor’s reputation,” Virginia said with a smile as the two women shook hands and exchanged formal greetings.

Picard continued. “Beverly is an old friend of mine, her former husband served with me on the Stargazer.”

“I know,” Virginia said softly. She had ‘read’ the doctor as she had performed on stage, but even if she hadn’t, the admiral would have been able to discern the jealousy in the other woman’s eyes. “I never had a chance to play Queen Gertrude, Doctor, I always played Ophelia. You’re quite an excellent actress.”

“Thank you,” Beverly replied, honestly pleased at the alien woman’s praise despite her present ill feelings. “Shall I see you at Counselor Troi’s wedding tonight?”

“Yes,” the admiral answered. “I have yet to decide whether to wear my dress uniform though, they are so uncomfortable.”

“I know what you mean.” Beverly looked at the captain. “So, Jean-Luc, I’ll be ready around 18:30…will that work for you?”

“Ah…” Picard, the diplomatic captain who had performed numerous first contacts with countless different alien species, floundered as he sat between two distinctly different women. The admiral’s face was smooth and devoid of expression, but Picard could feel her sinking emotions as clearly as if he were Deanna with her empathic abilities. Doctor Crusher sat there looking at him with an innocent expression of expectation, but her facade didn’t fool him. “Doctor,” he began cautiously, “I had thought to escort the admiral”

“Oh, how rude of me. Of course you would. I’d forgotten you wouldn’t know anyone on board, Admiral.”

“I’m sure,” answered Virginia, hating what she was going to say next. “Captain, you should escort your friend. Far be it from me to interrupt a tradition. Don’t worry, I’m quite used to going to parties on my own. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a communication to send to my office.” The admiral rose to her feet as she spoke. “It was nice meeting you, doctor. I’ll see both of you later.” She turned and walked away with a quick militant gate.

The silence that ensued was not comfortable.

“I will see you at the wedding, Doctor. Not before.” Picard stood and walked in the same direction that the other woman had left in, his back stiff.

“Damn,” Beverly muttered to the empty chairs.

45 minutes later, Beverly was recounting the incident to Deanna Troi.

“Beverly,” Deanna began matter-of-factly once her friend was done. “I’m not sure I understand. You’ve never had a problem with the captain previous romances. You’ve even fixed him up a time or two. Why now?”

The redhead crossed her arms beneath her breasts. “None of them have had the potential of permanence like this one does.”

“You can’t know that…it’s only in the beginning stages. You’re acting like he’s asked her to marry him.”

“Admiral Hamilton is not known for casual love affairs. She’s had 2, maybe 3 affairs since her husband died…almost 2 centuries ago! The lives of the men that she’s chosen was changed forever!”

“I’m quite certain that the captain knows what he’s getting into to…if that is what he chooses. Beverly, when you and the captain became aware of your feelings for each other during your captivity on Kesprytt, weren’t you the one to tell him you were comfortable with the relationship and didn’t wish to pursue anything romantic?”

Beverly grudgingly admitted, “Yes.”

“And have you ever given him any indication you were ready for your relationship to change?”

It was several long seconds before Beverly conceded, “No. Deanna, I don’t know that I am ready. I’ve just always expected him to be there when I was.”

“I see.” Deanna was introspectively quiet for a moment. “That was Commander Riker’s attitude as well. And I waited…and waited…and waited…and then he died. Worf and I had already begun dating before his mission, but will never expected it to last. Shortly before Doctor Soran killed Will, I had made the decision to let go of my romantic feelings for him and move on with Worf. Needless to say, Will was hurt by my decision and claimed that he was going to try to change my mind, but he never got the chance.”

“I…didn’t know all of that,” Beverly said softly.

“Beverly, if Captain Picard has decided to move on, then you either try to change his mind…or you let him go and move on.”

The other woman cursed.

“Now, we both need to get ready for tonight. You are still coming, aren’t you?”

“Of course! I’m honored you chose me to be your attendant. And…thanks for taking the time to listen to me.”

Deanna smiled. “What are friends for?”

May 18, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 13

Not a morning person, Virginia slept late, especially since she had spent another two hours talking with Guinan before going to bed. She had little work to do, but what she had to do she did from her quarters. Her office in StarFleet Headquarters called once at noon to check in, and all was well. Then, her work done, she checked the Enterprise’s daily recreation schedule and saw several for that afternoon, ranging from exercise classes to a craft class and a presentation a portion of Act 5 of “Hamlet”. Having portrayed Ophelia several times in her acting days, Virginia decided to attend.

Though she wasn’t required to wear her uniform, she did so anyway. She wasn’t technically on duty, but one thing she had learned in her 50 years as an admiral, was that a StarFleet admiral was never off-duty. She had tried over the years, once going so far as to not tell anyone where she was going on vacation. It hadn’t worked of course. There were 3 others Gandraleayians in StarFleet service, and one Gandraleayian/Vulcan/Human hybrid. Any one of them were able to locate her without so much as blinking an eye during the process. The only time they couldn’t locate her, was when she was drunk. But then, she couldn’t get drunk on vacation without getting in trouble with her superiors.

Leaving her uniform jacket hanging open, she gave her hair once last finger combing and left her quarters. She took her time getting to the rec room where the play was going to be held, just meandering through the different corridors, greeting the people. Finally she found herself seated in the middle of the rows of chairs talking with an ensign on her left, when she felt someone sit next to her on the other side.

How was it possible that she knew it was him without a telepathic bond between the two of them? That phenomenon had happened three times before in her life; once with Marcus before they were married, often with her foster father Luther, and a few times with Ian before he had become her teacher. Both Marcus and Luther had loved her unconditionally.

“You really think I should transfer to the medical field?” Ensign V’Hazna was asking her. “Oh, hello Captain!”

“Ensign,” acknowledged Picard with a nod of his head.

Virginia answered the ensign, playfully ignoring the captain. “Ensign, it doesn’t take telepathy to see that you’re unhappy in engineering.”

“But my dad, ma’am…he’s had his heart set on me being chief engineer someday.”

“Your father wanted to be an engineer himself and since he couldn’t, he’s trying to live out his dreams through you. We can’t live out our parents’ dreams, ensign. It just doesn’t work.”

“Yes ma’am. I’ll…”

“Good. When you decide, let my office know and we’ll see that the transfer goes off without a hitch.”

“You...thank you ma’am!”

The lights dimmed and conversation cut off across the room. Verbal communication cut off.

Virginia turned to face the stage and positioned her right hand conveniently so that if Jean-Luc wanted to, he could take it into his own. With the lights so dim, they were practically invisible, so it wasn’t long until his hand enveloped hers. For the rest of the play, the couple flirted with their fingers.

They regretfully let go as the applause began and the lights brightened. As the bows were given, and the audience began to break up, Virginia turned and smiled widely at the captain of the Enterprise.

“I see why I haven’t seen you yet today. You’ve been busy given advice to my crew,” said Picard gruffly.

“Just Ensign V’Hazna. I did my work from my quarters this morning, you know – the necessary checking into the office to make sure the kids aren’t partying too much while I’m gone. So, did you come all the way down here because you missed me, or was it just your love of Shakespeare?”

Picard was smiling now, his eyes alive with laughter. “I had already intended to attend the play, but when the computer told me you were here, it was an added bonus. I didn’t have to call you and ask if you could.”

“You have some excellent actors among your crew,” Virginia said to redirect the conversation. “If they had been around in the late twentieth century, they’d have given us a run for our money.”

“Oh yes, you started out as an actress didn’t you? I’d forgotten.”

“Five movies and three Broadway plays before I switched to directing. Between the competition and the critics, I found it an excellent training ground for politics.”

“Did you ever do anything of Shakespeare?”

“I was Ophelia one on Broadway. You know, I never bought that she committed suicide. I always thought that she was murdered.”

“Really? I’ve never…”

“Jean-Luc! I wasn’t sure you’d made it!” intruded a delighted female voice. Doctor Beverly Crusher sat in the row of chairs in front of the admiral and captain. “I’m sorry…am I interrupting?”

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 12

Later that night, nearing midnight, Captain Picard and Admiral Hamilton dropped hands as they exited the holodeck. They even stepped apart so that they were not walking closely together. Both had agreed, that for now, in public they should refrain from being romantic. For now.

Both were relaxed from their time in the holodeck. Picard's uniform jacket was slung over his shoulder, and Virginia carried her soft shoes in her hand.

"We have a wedding to attend later tomorrow," Picard commented.

"I wonder if there will be dancing," Virginia wondered.

He looked own at her, a smile on his face. "If there is, shall we dance?"

"As long as it isn't the chicken dance."

"The chicken dance?" The very sound of it caused Picard to laugh.

"I'll have Data demonstrate for you." The admiral yawned, and wished that she could lean on the arm of the man next to her. "It's the single most embarrassing dance next to the hokey-pokey."

"The hokey-pokey?" Picard wondered if she was making this up.

"I like your laugh," Virginia said with a content sigh. "You don't even know the hokey-pokey?" She shook her head in amusement. "What do kids do these days? I'll have Data demonstrate the hokey-pokey for you too.

Once in front of her quarters, the door opening at her presence, the two stood face to face. Each wondered what was going to happen next. Would she invite him in? Would he kiss her?

“I have an early morning,” Picard said, and instantly regretted it.

Virginia smiled. “All mornings are early.”

“I have a confession to make,” said Picard, stepping closer to her. “I’m as nervous as a schoolboy on his first date.”

“Why is that?” she asked, trying not to blush and failing.

“I don’t quite know, except that our time together has been…wonderful.”

“I agree.” She waited. “Uhm…Jean-Luc…”


“You kissed me once, and there’s no one here, aren’t you…” She leaned into him as he answered her with a kiss. By the time they were done, Virginia had been backed up against the door jam. Not the most comfortable position, but she wouldn’t have moved for the entire quadrant.

The sound of footsteps caused them to disengage.

“Good night, captain,” Virginia said, winking at him as she ducked inside her quarters.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Admiral,” Picard replied formally as he walked away from the shutting door.

Once alone, Virginia, a being hundreds of years old, giggled like a giddy schoolgirl herself. She pressed the communicator pad nearby the door. “Guinan?”

The answer came a moment later. “Come on down Virginia.”

Breaking the rules that bound her for the first time in too many years to count, Virginia disappeared from her quarters in a flash of light.