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Game, Set, Match

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"Look at the two of them."

Lwaxana's voice cuts into the quiet lassitude I've fallen into. I don't know what the hell is in this Samarian Sunrise that she recommended I try, but it tastes fantastic. Oh, Saul would hate it because it's just too damned girlie of a drink, but he's not here, is he? He's off with Bill, conferring with the captain of this ship to figure out how the hell we got into this area of space, and how we can get back.

"Ellen, darling, are you even listening to me?"

Sighing, I turn to face my self-styled tour guide. "What?"

She points toward a far corner table near the large window. If I squint, I can just make out its occupants: Alex Moreau and Ainsley Hayes. Their heads are bent close to each other, and it looks like Ainsley's stroking Alex's forearm. There's a frown marring the exotic beauty of Alex's face, and I have to wonder what they're talking about.

"What about them, Lwaxana? Looks like Ainsley's trying to comfort Alex. Considering what happened to Rachel when we landed in this region of space, I'm not surprised that she's in need of a little comfort."

Lwaxana frowns briefly and stares at Alex more intently. The younger woman startles and glances around the room until her eyes land on the two of us. I offer her a sheepish shrug of the shoulders, then she turns her gaze to my tablemate. Her eyes narrow, then Lwaxana lets out a small, startled gasp before turning away. I have to admit that I'm curious what just happened.

"I can't believe she did that," Lwaxana mutters and motions for the waiter to bring another round of drinks. She's unusually silent for a moment or two after our drinks are replaced, but I can practically see the wheels turning in her head. "I was only trying to help…"

"Help what?" I swear this woman is going to drive me to drink even more than I already do. She's just so… I don't know how her daughter can stand to be around her. She'd drive me insane so frakking fast.

"They clearly are meant to be together."

Before I can answer, movement from the table in question catches my eye again. Alex and Ainsley have finished their drinks and are heading toward our table. Oh frakking hell! I don't need to be involved in whatever showdown is going to happen between Alex and Lwaxana. Saul and Bill will think I had something to do with it and kill me.

"Excuse me, Ellen," Alex says as they stop just a couple of feet from us. "Ambassador Troi, I would appreciate if you would stay the hell out of my head. My private life and my thoughts are not on display for you, no matter how important you think you are."

I bite back a chuckle at the sight of the usually unflappable Lwaxana Troi doing a damned good impression of a fish out of water. Ainsley is standing behind Alex, but I can see her trying to hide her own smirk at the Betazoid's reaction.

"I merely wanted to offer assistance--"

"By reading my thoughts and trying to plant a suggestion that I might want to get involved with Ainsley? Do you even understand that my wife is in this ship's Sickbay, recovering from injuries sustained in an explosion?"

"I apologize, Alexandra," Lwaxana finally says, blinking rapidly several times. "I-- I didn't realize."

"No, you didn't. You just barged your way in without even asking or considering the consequences." At the touch of Ainsley's hand on her forearm again, Alex stops, closing her eyes, and takes a deep breath. She turns her head to flash a grateful grin at the blonde, then turns back to face Lwaxana. "I've no need of your matchmaking, Ambassador. In fact, I am quite capable of taking care of my family when I need to. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check with Dr. Crusher to see how my wife is doing."

With that, she nods curtly in my direction and starts toward the door, Ainsley following behind her. As soon as they step through the doors and are out in the corridor, Alex stops to pull Ainsley close for a gentle kiss. As the doors close, they link hands and head off toward Sickbay.

"What on Betazed was that?"

I don't bother to hide my amusement at her confusion, not even when she glares at me. "I'm not surprised that Alex reacted so angrily to your little machinations there, Lwaxana," I finally say.

"What do you mean?"

"First off, Alex has some telepathic gifts herself, so be careful when you try to rummage around in her brain. She's incredibly sensitive about that sort of thing."

"Clearly," she mutters, more to herself than to me. "Most humans don't notice when I do it."

"Alex isn't most humans. You'd do well to remember that." I pause to take another healthy swallow of my drink, and let Lwaxana stew on that for a bit. "And if I'd known you were trying to play matchmaker for Alex and Ainsley, I'd have stopped you sooner."

"Clearly, Alex is more devoted to her wife than I'd expected."

"Yes, she is, to both of them." When Lwaxana's eyebrows creep up into the hairline of her luridly yellow wig, I chuckle again. "The reason you were probably getting those romantic vibes from Alex and Ainsley is because they're two-thirds of a very successful and incredibly monogamous triad."

"You mean…" The eyebrows come back to their normal position slowly, but I can recognize the understanding in her dark eyes. "Well, no wonder I sensed something brewing between them. I should go apologize immediately."

I grab her arm as she starts to stand up. "Actually, I wouldn't do that right now. Alex looked pretty pissed. Give her some time before you approach her." I drain my glass and stand myself. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go see if I can find my husband. Have a good evening, Lwaxana."

And I leave before she has the chance to say anything more. I think I'll stop by Sickbay before I catch up with Saul and Bill. Maybe I can smooth a few ruffled feathers for Alex. We don't need any incidents between members of our two fleets, after all.