June 28, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 16

Already Virginia was beginning to feel the effects of her hastily swallowed drink. As she and the android danced, the voices that constantly hammered at the edge of her awareness slowly faded away to nothing.

Silence. Blessed silence.

Except for the chattering of her dance partner. With some effort, she focused on what he was saying.

"...but the Ferengi has to go."


"Did you not understand the joke?" Data asked, his face crinkling in a fair resemblance of polite concern.

"Oh...No...It's just that I'm feeling the Romulan ale I just drank," she answered honestly.

Before he could reply, the music ended, with a pause to allow changes in dance partners.

"You are an excellent dancer, Mr. Data," the admiral said in compliment.

"Thank you; Doctor Crusher would be pleased to hear that she has been a good teacher. You had an excellent teacher as well."

"Yes, I did..."

"May I have this dance?" interupted Picard as a spirited waltz began.

Virginia hestitated in indecision, allowing Data to nod at them and take his leave. Before she knew it, she and the captain were dancing.

"I never said yes," she protested.

"You didn't say no either."

Her eyes locked with his, but Virginia could still see out of the corner of her vision how the good doctor watched them...along with several other people...but only one of them was angry with her.

"She loves you Picard," the admiral said evenly. The spot between her eyes was beginning to feel fuzzy. Maybe she shouldn't have gulped that ale down like she did. "I can't come between you."

Picard's eyes had a somber twinkle to them. "And what are my feelings towards her?"

"Excuse me?"

"I'm assuming you must have had complete Access to her at some point during the play, or just after; am I right?"

Virginia nodded. "I didn't realize the full extant of her feelings until she spoke with us."

"I see. Admiral...Virginia...You Accessed me earlier than that. Do you by any chance recall my feelings for her?"

"Uhm, no. I was rather distracted." By his attraction to her, if she was honest, coupled with being caught up in his Borg experience.

Picard smiled. "I consider her a friend, though an exceptionally close one. There was a time when I loved her, still do to a degree. But...several years ago...when Q shifted me around in time, I realized that a deeper relationship would not end well...so I decided never to pursue one."

"I see. Does Beverly know this?" She was beginning to feel a little dizzy...but she was beginning to feel a little more hopeful.

"Not precisely everything, but she knows that I've decided not to pursue a romantic relationship."

Silence reigned for the remainder of the waltz, when the two stopped rather abruptly with the music.

"Where do we go from here?" Virginia asked quietly, not moving from his embrace.

"Where ever we want to," Picard asnwered.

The music started again...softer...slower...and decidedly romantic.

"Come closer," whispered Picard.

Virginia hesitated only a heartbeat before stepping closer, deeper into his arms. Her arms wrapped around him, and she rested her head against his shoulder. He responded by tilting his head so that his cheek rested against her forehead. His arms were firm about her, one hand slipping up her back to rest on the bare skin on the back of her neck, and she could hear the soft beating of his heart. Even though she knew it was an artificial heart, the sound still brought comfort to her. She sighed contendedly and nestled closer.

June 14, 2007

Resistance Is Futile -Pt 15

The wedding was held in 10-Forward.

The bride wore a sleek white gown, loosely formfitting and low in the neckline. In her long hair amongst the curls, Deanna wore a wreath of pearls, moondrops, and white lilies. Her smile shown brightly.

The groom wore his dress uniform, and of course his traditional Klingon sash.

The bride’s mother, as was her style, wore a voluminous gown that was a pallet of brilliant rainbow hues.

Worf’s foster parents, the Rozhenko’s, had been unable to attend, due to the Enterprise’s distance from Earth. However, the matriarch of his Klingon family, Sirella had indeed made it in time for the ceremony. Dressed in staunch Klingon garb, her sour expression matched Lwaxana’s.

Admiral Hamilton had been asked to officially marry the couple, not only as the highest ranking officer on board, but also to allow Captain Picard to serve as Worf’s Best Man. She was dressed in a conservative lavender outfit; an ankle length pant-skirt, with sheer sleeves that had almost as much fabric as the pant-skirt. She wore her hair up, decorated with pearl and diamond pins to keep it in place.

The captain, of course, was in his dress uniform. His gaze was often focused on the admiral.

The matron of honor, Dr. Crusher, had chosen to wear a daring dress: a close fitting sleeveless dress that was brightly hued with as many colors as Lwaxana’s. Her gaze was on the captain, so she was well aware of the looks he was giving the admiral {who was looking everywhere and nowhere}.

Although the ceremony was short and to the point, there was a sizable crown gathered to witness it, with more showing up afterwards to attend the extravagant reception.

As soon as the formalities were over and the dancing had begun, Virginia made a beeline for the drinks counter.

She looked over the large variety of drinks. Someone, no doubt Sirella, had brought Klingon bloodwine. No matter how badly Virginia wanted to get drunk, she wasn’t about ready to drink a Klingon beverage; something about them made her sicker than regular alcohol did. Just as she had made her choice, and had picked up the glass of Romulan ale, she was joined by Guinan on one side, and Picard’s second officer Lt. Commander Data on the other.

There was a moment of awkward silence, each waiting for the other to speak first.

Guinan, having seen Data’s nod of deference, spoke first. “Virginia, don’t.”

“Why not?” She demanded, her tone with underlying anger in it. “I won’t need my powers until the mission, which is days away. And I’m tired of hearing all these voices!” Still, the glass in her hand trembled.

“You’re hurt and you’re angry, two very good reasons not to.”

“Guinan…I can’t interfere with a current relationship. You know that.” The anger in her voice was now mingled with despair. “The Orion Council would have my hide.”

“There is no current relationship. As I told you earlier, they’re friends. I know I don’t have the same gifts as you, but I have one you don’t.”

“What’s that?” Virginia asked, irritated but curious.

“I listen.”

Virginia made a disgusted sound. She ended the conversation by looking at Data. “Yes, Commander?”

“I was wondering if you would like to dance, Admiral,” the android asked, intrigued by the women’s conversation.

Out of the corner of her eye, Virginia saw Picard leaving Beverly as they had danced the formal bridal party dance and heading in her direction. “Yes Commander, I’d love to.” She downed the tall glass of Romulan ale in one shot, much to the amazement of Data and the dismay of Guinan. She set the empty glass back down on the table and left with the android just as Picard arrived.

Picard’s face was one of frustration, and a little anger. The admiral had ignored his hails for the rest of the afternoon, and had not answered her door either. “Guinan,” he said in greeting.

“Captain.” Guinan’s eyes were watching her friend as she twirled around the dance floor in Data’s arms. She was well aware that the captain was also riveted to the same scene. “Jean-Luc…Virginia’s been my friend for a long time. I was there for her when Marcus died, and later when Jayden left her. I don’t like to see her hurting.”

“I have no intention of hurting her,” Picard assured the 10-Forward hostess.

“But she is. She’s somehow gotten it into her head that you already have a relationship with someone else – and the Rules that choke the life out of her expressly forbid her from interfering with a current relationship.”

Picard picked up the glass that Virginia had discarded and looked at it for a long moment. “Beverly just told me she’s interested in a deeper relationship with me.”

Guinan listened.

“There was a time, I would have already left with her to begin exploring that desire. But that time has long since passed, and I told her so.”

“Don’t you think you should tell Virginia that?”

The captain smiled ironically and set the glass back on the counter. “That was my intention, and as you can see, she ran away. Just as she’s ignored me all afternoon.”

Now Guinan smiled. “She’s hurting and confused. However, she’s also just downed a glass of Romulan ale. Not only will you be able to sneak up on her by now, but she should also be falling down drunk in less than half an hour.”

“Are you serious?”

“Very. I tried warning her. Romulan ale always takes her out quickly.”

“My God,” Picard said softly.

“If you want to talk to her, I’d suggest you hurry.”