October 31, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 41

The time between Virginia sitting and talking with her friend in Ten-Forward and the time for the shuttlecraft departure flew by quickly. She got a little sleep that night and had spent much time the next day with Reg working on the transporters, stopping long enough in the evening to chat with Doctor Crusher about various medical things. That other woman had been more than cooperative, though concerned over not telling Captain Picard and Deanna about the change in plans.

"Beverly," the admiral had said quietly, earnestly. "As far as I am concerned, too many people know about my plans. If it were not for my insane desire to continue living, you would not even know. I will tell Deanna when she needs to know."

Beverly had tilted her head. "No offense Admiral, but this is my friend we're talking about."

"Understood. And knowing your friend as well as you do, don't you think she'll try talking me out of it?"

The red head had nodded. "And that would be a bad thing?"

Virginia's eyebrows had risen at that, not unlike a former Vulcan lover of hers. "Yes, because of all the people I know, Deanna would be one of the few who could talk me out of this. And my mind will not be changed."

Beverly had seemed to understand her determination. Because she had nodded again and changed the subject.

And now it was almost time. Admiral Hamilton stood in the shuttle bay, going over a last few technical details with Chief La Forge. Her mood dark, she was dressed in black fatigues with her hair pulled tightly back, tied into a little bun at the nape of her neck. Picard, looking from a distance, thought it was a sad beauty he was seeing, but as he was unaware of her plans, he didn't understand it.

Deanna, entering with her husband at her side, was also dressed in black fatigues, though hers were more form fitting that the admiral's. Her hair was pulled back into a long braid that ran down her back. She paused mid-stride, causing her husband to come up short.

"Deanna?" Worf asked, his usual gruff Klingon voice somehow gentled for his beautiful wife.

"Something's different," Deanna said softly, as if not wanting to be heard. "Something's wrong."

"Do you know what?"

Deanna shook her head.

"Is something wrong?" asked Picard, approaching the couple. Having worked with the counselor for as long as he had, the captain had learned to read her expressions to know when something was bothering her about a situation.

"Yes," Deanna answered. "But I'm not sure what. The emotions I'm sensing in the room are quite varied. I'm sensing..." The Empath paused in shock. "I'm sensing the admiral's emotions."

"Is that not normal?" Picard asked.

"No, I mean...since I've met her, of course I've been able to sense her emotions. She's never been able to completely shield herself, so there's always been leakage. But...there's a difference that concerns me."

"How so?" asked Picard with a sharp tone.

Deanna struggled for words. It was always so difficult to put these things into words that non-empaths could understand. "Her emotions are sharper, clearer, more defined. Like she's not even trying to keep them silent. Or can't. And they're the emotions of a woman resigned to death."

Both men looked disturbed and concerned.

Worf bristled. "If she has received orders not to rescue Deanna, would she tell us?"

Picard looked unsure.

"It's not like that," Deanna insisted.

"It's not too late to turn around, Deanna." Picard said. His hand had begun to move toward his comm badge to order such a thing.

"No. I'm still going."

"It is the honorable thing to do," Worf said grimly.

The three stood in silence a moment.

Virginia chose that moment to approach. She had seen their conversation, and thought to interrupt, but decided to wait at a safe distance out of earshot for a lull such as this. "Are you ready?" she asked, addressing Deanna.

The Betazoid woman's chin rose. "I am. I'll just go into the shuttle and wait...unless there is something else you wish me to do?"

"No, you may go. Have you and Worf...?"

"We've said or goodbyes," the other woman answered.

"Very well." Virginia nodded and watched with the men as she walked briskly across the shuttle bay and disappeared into the shuttlecraft. "A brave woman."

"And honorable," growled Worf. "Hear my words as a husband...bring her back to me." He bared his teeth at her and walked away.

Picard looked startled, even as Virginia rolled her eyes.

"Klingons," she muttered.

"Now remember Admiral, it was you who said that we needed them as allies." Picard teased, seeing that she was unoffended at his first officers behavior. Still, Picard would have a word to say to him later.

"Don't remind me." The alien woman sighed and straightened her clothes. "Jean-Luc..."

Picard caught something in her eyes. And wondered if perhaps he was seeing what Deanna had been sensing.

"Jean-Luc, I'll never forget you, you know that don't you? Even though things didn't turn out the way ... well, since we both love others, perhaps things turned out the way they were meant to."

"Perhaps so," he said with a sad smile. She was saying goodbye, he realized. "Do you regret our time together?"

"Some of it," she said honestly. "But it is in the past, and some things can't be taken back."

He couldn't even say that it had been enjoyable, because it certainly hadn't been completely enjoyable for her. Oh, her body might have...but at what cost to her heart? It was a wonder Q let him live. "Virginia, I'm sorry."

"I know. But it wasn't meant to be."

"For our hearts belong to another." He gave her a smile, wondering if she realized what she had said eariler, about loving another. For surely, she had meant Q. Ian as she called him. "Even so, Virginia...try to bring yourself back as well."

Virginia looked at him curiously. "It is my intention."


She kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks for being a friend." And then she too turned and walked the same path as Deanna had, with as much determination in her gate.

Picard waited for her to disappear inside, and the door begin to shut before returning to the observation lounge.

The time had come.

October 30, 2007

Resistance is Futile - pt 40

Guinan was surprised to see Virginia walk back into Ten-Forward. Surprising Guinan wasn't something easily or often done. But of all the people she knew, Virginia was the most adept at surprising her.

Virginia, her eyes red with her recent tears, walked up to where her friend stood at the bar. "I saw him."

"Q? I mean..."


Guinan didn't know what to say. Which is something else that didn't happen very often. "Virginia..."

The younger woman raised her arm...and set a half empty bottle of Romulan Ale on the bar in front of Guinan. "I could have just flushed this down the head or gotten rid of it in the disposal. But I thought it more important that I give it to you. So that you could know, and know that it was my own choice. I just..."

Guinan pulled the bottle from Virginia's light grasp. "I understand."

"You do?"

"Yes." Guinan then pushed the bottle back to Virginia. "Now...the disposal is right over there."

Virginia followed her friend's guesture. Her expression firmed as she picked the bottle back up and walked the distance to the disposal with a determined gate. She did not hesitate in relieving herself of the bottle. This mission accomplished, her shoulders relaxed as though released from the weight of the universe. She breathed a deep sigh.

Guinan led her friend to a far corner of Ten-Forward and sat with her. "What happened?"


"When you saw him?"

Virginia shrugged. "We talked some, he dried my tears."

"Is he why you decided to give your bottle of Ale up?"

Again the alien princess shrugged. "Yes, and no. He was the first one to ever try to get me to stop drinking."

"You've always given Marcus the credit for that."

"And he still deserves it. If Marcus hadn't stayed with me, loved me the way he did, worked with me, then I'd have never survived the China incident. I'd probably have killed myself with alcohol."

Guinan was silent a moment, knowing that the time when she lost her young daughter in China on a movie shoot was still a sensitive subject for Virginia. "But Ian didn't do any of those things?"

"He tried. That first weekend he found me drunk. But I was young and angry and he was only my teacher and my friend. He did the one thing that would have saved me...he told on me."

"I don't understand." Which is something else Guinan didn't say often.

"My drinking was something I was able to keep secret from Marcus. Ian told him. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't help Marcus too. I could be somewhat ... ah ... stubborn ... when I was younger."

"You don't say," Guinan said deadpan.

Virginia blushed. "Even more than I am now."

"So, what now?"

"Once again I march into the breach between life and death, once more hoping he'll be there to rescue me should things go sour."

Guinan's head cocked as she listened. "Go on."

"Not much I can share, my friend. This is one mission I'm keeping under wraps. I've only told one other person, and she's not telling. Although I have no doubt that Ian knows...it's probably why he's even around."

"I see." Guinan folded her hands on the table top. "Perhaps he's around because he loves you."

"Maybe," Virginia said softly, surprising her friend by blushing.

It wasn't that Guinan had never seen Virginia blush. In fact, it hadn't been that long ago that Virginia had been blushing at Jean-Luc's presence. Guinan had hoped that things between the two would work out, but she hadn't counted on the captain's still loving Crusher. Come to think of it, Guinan had experienced a lot of surprises ever since Virginia had come on board. But there was something different about this blush. Because it was brought on by Q, and that was something Guinan had never seen before.

"What's changed?" Guinan asked.

If anything, Virginia blushed a deeper shade of red. "Nothing."

Guinan, in her wisdom, let it drop at that.

October 28, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 39

Virginia lay for long hours on the couch, watching the start slide effortlessly by the windows. They weren't singing, but then there was no reason for them too. He was gone again, to that place where she knew he was watching but beyond her perception.

She wanted him to come back, wanted him to spirit her away from the madness that was approaching. But she couldn't bring herself to ask for him. She was still too proud, and her heart was still smarting.

Toying with the stopper to her bottle of Ale, Virginia's mind went back over the years. As much as she loved Marcus, and as much as he loved her...he hadn't been the first one to confront her about her drinking problem. She had been young...in her early twenties. And far from home, new to the Hollywood scene and overwhelmed by the glitz. She and Marcus were newlyweds, maybe five years, or was it six...but he hadn't caught on to her drinking problem yet. As complete as the Bonds were, it was still possible to keep secrets from the other. She knew that Marcus had kept things from her from time to time, and he hadn't always shared. And this had been her secret.

Ian had found her one weekend while Marcus had been away on a long business trip. He had been negotiating copywrite rights with a Chinese firm for a movie they were going to be doing there, and for some reason she didn't remember now, she had stayed home. Maybe she'd been in the middle of filming something and couldn't leave? Who knew now, and it didn't matter anyway. But it had been a long time without him...and Justin had been hitting on her...and all the girls couldn't understand why she didn't just sleep with him since her husband was away. So, Virginia had locked herself away and drank...and drank...Finding her in her own vomit, Ian had hustled her into the shower, clothes and all.

It had been the first time the two of them had really fought. She had been less than her usual sweet self. She had a memory of kicking him at least once that weekend. He had begged and pleaded, raising his voice to her only twice during it all. Finding her resisting common sense, he had left her alone. But Marcus knew about her drinking problem when he came home, so it hadn't been a hard guess as to where Ian had left. Although it was possible that her control had slipped at some point and he had found out through their Bond.

Virginia sat up, deciding once again that she had had enough. It wasn't going to take months like it did after Marcus had come home from that trip. He wasn't here to help her like before. Then he had cut back on all his trips, going no where even overnight without her. He hadn't suffocated her, but he had made himself more than available.

She paused at the disposal unit. It would be so easy to just get rid of it. But then...it would be a victory, but victories were always better shared. With a toss of her head, she turned and left her quarters.

October 27, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 38

It had been a good day. Virginia had worked most of the afternoon with Reg on the transporters on the shuttlecraft and had even worked on the other shuttlecraft for quite some time. She had also enjoyed a leisurely dinner in Ten Forward with Reg, and a few others who had wandered in. It had been good to get reaquainted with Laren and Arnold and Red-22.

But now she was tired. She had had a long day, and she and Reg had agreed to meet early to get a jump on the ship's transporters. Entering her quarters, Virginia was quick to shed her clothes and slip into more comfortable clothes. She raked her hands through her hair and flopped rather inelegantly on the long couch that faced the windows...where she had left the bottle of Ale.

Taking the half empty bottle in her hands, Virginia sighed. She really shouldn't. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow...Reg was counting on her to help with the ships transporters. And she had more than enough alcohol in her system to last until after the mission. But her 'tired' wasn't just from physical exhaustion...in fact, very little of it was from that...Her 'tired' came from the weight of her burden. From the weight of this mission. From the weight of her heartbreak...not just with Jean-Luc, although that was a disappointment and even now, an embarrassment. That after so long, she should be so weak to masculine attention. How she missed her beloved Marcus...how deep the shame she felt for betraying him with Ian...the shame she felt for missing that man as well.

At the thought of Ian, Virginia's skin prickled. Her fingers toying with the neck of the bottle, she looked about. She could feel nothing and no one...and she didn't dare skim along the Bond they shared for fear of drawing his attention, even Muted as it was. But still... "You're watching, aren't you?" she said to the thin air. "I can't see you...or feel you...Sometimes I just wish you'd..."

"Wish I'd what?" Ian/Q asked gently, quietly appearing at her feet. Kneeling no less!

"I just wish you'd go away," she said, tears slipping from her eyes. Her heart contradicted her because she was insanely glad that he had decided to show himself to her.

He reached out and, with a gentleness known to only her, he wiped away her tears. "No you don't."

Frustration flitted across her face, tears increasing despite his efforts. "Can't you ever just agree with me? Must you always contradict me?"

Ian/Q's smile was gentle, and amused. "I think that if you remember long enough back, there have been plenty of times I've agreed with you...even though we both know you were wrong."

She didn't answer.

"Please don't drink the rest of this," he said, clearly posing it as a request. His other hand reached out and covered her hand that rested on the bottle. "Please, Virgina."

"I'm a lost cause, Ian," Virginia said, her hand involuntarily tightening around the bottle.

"No, you're not. Have you forgotten everything you once believed?"

"That was a long time ago," she said bitterly. "He has forgotten me."

"No, He hasn't...He's just waiting for you to call on Him again."

"Am I always such a failure in your eyes?" The bitterness in her voice turned to anger.

"Far from it," Ian/Q answered. "I'm sorry if coming to you now was the wrong thing to do..."

"It wasn't..." As quickly as that, she was back to being heartbroken. For the man before her, that she couldn't admit to loving after such a long denial.

They sat in silence. He was still catching her tears. Each lost in their own thoughts.

"I'm going to leave now,"Ian/Q said after a long moment of watching the various emotions skitter across her face. "Please, just...don't finish this bottle." He paused, waiting to see if she would answer him, if she would say anything at all, if she would hand the bottle for him to take. When she didn't, he leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. And then as quietly as he appeared, he was gone.

Tears flowed in earnest now. Never had she felt his absence as keenly as now...and this when their Bond was Muted! Virginia hugged the bottle of blue liquid close to her, wanting it now more than ever.