Too Many Stars And Not Enough Sky
by Kaite

"You probably want to meditate, or hit yourself with a painstick, or something."
- Deanna Troi to Worf, 'The Icarus Factor'.

She's having one of those days when you look back at last night and think 'was it really me doing that?' Strange, she's never exactly been the inhibited one. Fumbling around in the half-light like the virgin she once was, barely figuring out what goes where in her heady, lust-filled daze. She did things she wouldn't let Will do. They broke furniture. She giggles out loud at the thought. It's the biggest cliché in the book, for God's sake. But wood splinters when you're almost thrown against it, sweaty and screaming, and poetry in whatever language is always a turn on. Ever since Betazed, ever since Will…Speak of the devil. And he really could be, with that fallen angel grin and his neatly trimmed beard. Winking at her as if he had any right to, as if he were flirting with her across the bar, not as if he were her imzadi-turned-ex-turned-best-friend-turned-persistant- annoyance. He doesn't take her and Worf seriously. Even Beverly doesn't take Deanna and Worf seriously and it's only been a matter of months since she took up with the family ghost, abandoning Starfleet and Jean-Luc for a planned lifetime of non-corporeal sex.


Sometimes she wonders if anyone on board the Enterprise has a normal sex life anymore. It's been a while since she's teased Will with the promise of what he always termed 'kinky mind-sex', almost as long as it's been since Beverly teased Jean-Luc with the promise of any kind of sex. Reg Barclay left the ship at their last stop on Earth and she gave Geordi strict instructions not to tell her or anyone about any holo-programs he might have had to delete. At least holograms don't shuffle into Ten Forward and acknowledge you with a embarrassed nod after they've spent the entire previous night doing things to you that you can't even pronounce. Will shifts uncomfortably in his seat and instantly turns on the charm for the nearest pretty girl, thus establishing his role as the ship's resident Alpha Male. She rolls her eyes and meets his. Worf steps over to her table, and calls the barman over. He orders for both of them and she wonders how much longer they need to keep up this polite charade. If they leave now everyone's going to stare at them. They're staring already. They stare anyway, but this is prurient curiosity; surprise, not lust. Still, she wants to leave. Not that she's really up for another session, even after Beverly's amused ministrations this morning. But she wants it anyway, something primal, carnal screaming in her blood. And God, her nipples hurt from where Worf bit her, so hard she thought he'd drawn blood. The wetness on her skin was just the stickiness of his saliva, the wetness between her legs… Everyone imagines something far more tawdry than the reality. They think handcuffs, leather, bondage. But who needs restraints when your lover is so much stronger, or safety words when a look will do?


Beverly keeps shooting them intrigued glances from the other side of the room. She catches Deanna's gaze and her eyes plead for details at the same time her mouth twists with suppressed laughter. Tired, post- coital and still aching, Deanna wants to snap "Would you like to watch?" The good Doctor can't take a hint, but the moment the Captain walks in, she immerses herself in the paperwork she's been avoiding. The moment he sees her, a sharp pang of regret shoots through him, accompanied by long-buried desolation. She pretends not to have noticed him – for a talented actress, she fakes ignorance terribly. Ever since he played the knight in shining armour and walked in on the woman he loves wrapped in the arms of her invisible lover, nightdress pushed up indecently, breathing heavily and moaning someone else's name…well, Deanna imagines that you don't really look at a person in the same way after that. She fought with Beverly. Long and loud, not caring who heard. She may be dating the ship's only Klingon, but the good Doctor's track record isn't so much chequered as pitch black. Worf has the distinct advantage of remaining in the same body for the foreseeable future. The distinct advantage of being in a body, full stop. The distinct advantage of being the Security Officer, not the Captain. She walked to Worf's quarters soon after that retort, her cheeks flushed from where Beverly had slapped her.

He is centred in a way no other lover has been. She veered away from full-Betazed lovers with the same kind of prejudice human men show to her, sick and tired of having her mind probed by horny teenagers who never grew up. The meditation techniques she taught Will could never entirely cleanse his mind of would have been called once upon a time, on a different planet, impure thoughts. When meditating, all thoughts are impure. Worf's focus was always an attraction on a ship full of undisciplined minds. On the bridge, at social gatherings, he was a breath of fresh air for her aching empathic senses. So conflicted, so complex, but at the heart of it all, so damned simple she could cry. Somewhere beneath his bluster and bravado, the Klingon empire and Starfleet sit in perfect harmony. The cultural differences are on the surface. Peace and war are two sides of the same coin. He loves the quiet centre she brings out in him as much as she loves raging passions she no longer has to control. His deep, measured breaths, her animalistic gasps and growls. He isn't her imzadi. This isn't some deep spiritual connection, or no more of one than really good sex is usually borne out of. She'll never acquire a taste for blood wine (or prune juice) and he only understands chocolate from the cooling sensation as she drips it across his torso and thighs, followed by the rough velvet of her tongue as she laps it up.


She's changed, since she came on board seven years ago, all wide eyes and short skirts, following her imzadi around like a love-struck puppy. She's older, not much wiser. The floating dresses and pale skin have gone, now she's black and blue. She's earned these colours. The new pip. The uniform she can actually breathe in. The large fingerprints and bite marks that stain her skin all the colours of the rainbow. It's like armour beneath her clothing, a secret skin no- one knows about. She's doing things she'd never imagined before. Away missions don't scare her anymore, she knows about pain. Learnt it all from a strong man who tests her mental and physical limits with something as basic as sex. Everyone treats her like a china doll. She could be made of porcelain with her white skin and rosebud lips. Men have caressed her curves, soft, giving flesh. When Worf touches her, he feels every muscle and sinew she doesn't even have a name for.


The Captain told her about a future where she didn't end up with either of them. Where Will and Worf stayed at this stalemate for years, still hostile when they stood on opposite sides of her grave. He told her about a tragic waste of life, a life lived without either of the two men she could have settled down with. She heard about an existance where she decided not to choose. Where she carried on alone, independent. Respected enough as an officer to go on the kind of away missions that could get her killed. From where she sits, between two men, with the eyes of every person in Ten Forward subtly and not-so-subtly on her, the future sounds bright.


The immediate future, however, involves slipping out of the room with her lover, indulging in some highly unprofessional and nauseatingly cliched groping in the turbolift, praying to the entire Q continuum that no-one catches them, and knowing that someone (probably Will) is going to try. It's silly, really. She's counselled them all through break-up after break-up. She's fended off one seduction after another, learnt to ignore her reputation. Heard the stories from Beverly about impotence, about bizarre injuries from activities the Chief Medical Officer of the Federation flagship blushes to mention. She's seen the look of quiet resignation after the love of Jean-Luc Picard's life keeps him at arm's length. Heard rumours about Geordi and a hologram of some scientist, watched as Data procreated in the only way he can while trying to block certain overly-descriptive phrases of Tasha Yar from her memory. Picked up the wrong PADD in Will's quarters and read letters that had nothing to do with love and everything to do with positions she would break limbs trying to get into. Crewmembers past and present have been interested in her, or not. It all fades into background noise in the end, bar the inevitable deafening exception. The odd ambassador or negotiator with a tongue smooth as his hands. Tasha, subtle even when drunk, but clear enough to surprise a relatively sheltered half-Betazoid and tempt her with the promise of the exotic. Her best friend's son. Even if it weren't for the empathy, the reddening tips of his ears would give his feelings away. Seventeen, awkward and gangly. An eloquent, adolescent genius reduced to a bundle of hormones by a pretty woman in a nice dress. She accidentally catches the eye of a yellow-clad Lieutenant sitting between the two women he's cheating on his girlfriend with. Off-duty and slightly drunk, he can't be bothered to hide his smirk. She looks up at Worf, smiling at some joke he delivers deadpan. Downing her drink, she glances pointedly at his empty glass and loops her arm through his.

"Shall we?"


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