*I want that too* Deanna smiles and pulls Beverly closer. She gives her a soft kiss and then tucks her head into Beverly’s shoulder. “Do you mind?” She asks. “It’s been a long evening. Can we just sit for a while?” Beverly smiles down at her and kisses the top of her head. “Of course.” Deanna sighs while Beverly absently pulls her fingers through her friend’s long curly hair. After a while, Beverly tightens her arm around Deanna. “I like this Deanna. I like having you here. You make me feel happy” she says quietly. “I like this too” Deanna tells her. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this comfortable. Not with anyone else. Not in a very long time.” “Do you want to stay the night?” Beverly asks. Deanna picks up her head and smiles at Beverly. “I think I would like that”. Beverly smiles back. “I would like that too.”
Beverly carefully pulls Deanna’s face to hers and kisses her. Deanna makes a happy noise and lets her body lie across Beverly’s. The kiss is soft and gentle. Both women are exhausted from their long day, and perhaps not enough sleep the night before. The kiss isn’t a passionate one. It’s more about comfort, getting to know each other. They touch each other softly, letting their fingers brush against each other’s faces and hair.
Beverly can feel Deanna’s energy fading. She’s tired too and a bit worried about the plans for the next day. She really has no idea how many of the planet’s sick are going to be moved to her sick bay. On top of that, she will need to be sure the right medicines get to the people below as well as vaccinate any of the Enterprise’s crew who may be exposed to the Andorian Flu. “Are you ready?” She asks Deanna. Deanna nods. Beverly rises and pulls Deanna to her feet with her. She wraps her arms around Deanna again and gently presses her lips to Deanna’s. “You are so beautiful” she says. Deanna dips her head shyly. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you that before” she says as she uses her fingers to bring Deanna’s face back to hers. “Beverly…” Deanna tries to speak. “Shhh…” Beverly tells her as she kisses her one more time. “Let’s go to bed.”
Beverly leads Deanna to her bed. She finds the seam in the back of Deanna’s uniform and pulls it open, letting the clothes fall to the floor. Her hand lands lightly on Deanna’s breast. “Beverly…” Deanna tries again. “Shhh. Not now. I just want to hold you” she says as she lowers Deanna to the bed. She quickly slips her own uniform off and joins Deanna in the bed. Deanna lays her head on Beverly’s arm while Beverly molds herself to Deanna’s back and pulls her tight. She snuggles her face into Deanna’s hair with a deep sigh. Both women lay still for a few minutes and Beverly wonders if Deanna has fallen asleep. She burrows deeper and kisses the back of Deanna’s neck. The smaller woman shivers from the feel of her hot breath on the back of her neck. “Beverly?” “mmm” “Are you disappointed?” Beverly pulls away just a bit. “Disappointed? About what?”
Deanna runs her fingers across Beverly’s arm where it is draped over her. “What I said earlier?” “What did you say?” Beverly asks, half asleep herself. Deanna smiles to herself. “I meant it you know. I just…” “I know you did” Beverly tells her. “I did too. But no. I’m not disappointed. I’m tired too. I’m just glad you’re here.” Deanna smiles a sleepy smile and pulls Beverly’s arm tighter around her.
The next day starts early for the crew of the Enterprise. Beverly schedules three full shifts for sick bay but not any relief for herself. At times like this, she prefers to stay where she can be easily found, where she can make quick decisions should problems occur. It’s almost 36 hours before things begin to slow down and Beverly finally allows herself to relax.
Deanna has been just as busy as Beverly. She’s been the Enterprise’s liaison with the planet below. She’s been shuttling back and forth with medicines and patients as well as meeting with the leaders of the planet. Now that the worse of the epidemic is over, she hands care of the Sycorax people back to the capable hands of their own doctors. She files her last status report and lets Captain Picard know that the crisis is over. The people who were treated on board the Enterprise have all been returned to the planet below. She will check in quickly with Medical, just to make sure, but she believes that the ship’s mission has been completed. The Captain thanks her. “You’ve done good work Counsellor. Now go and get some rest. You look like Hell!” Deanna smiles. “I could say the same of you Captain.” Picard smiles back. “You could but you know that I won’t leave the bridge until the Enterprise is ready to depart.” “I could relieve you of duty…” Picard smiles again. “Go Deanna. Sleep. We will need you tomorrow. I’m sure many of the crew are as strung out as you look.” “Alright Captain” Deanna says. “Just please get some rest. We need you too.” Picard nods as he drops back into his chair. “I will take it under consideration.” Deanna knows that’s the best she’s going to get from him and turns to leave.
Deanna is halfway down the hall to her quarters when her stomach begins to rumble. She tries to remember the last time she stopped for something to eat. At times like these, she usually goes for something sweet and chocolate. She smiles to herself. She just had a wonderful idea.
“Computer: what is the location of Dr. Crusher?” *Dr. Crusher is presently in her quarters* “Excellent” she says out loud though no one is around to hear her. She changes directions and hurries toward Beverly’s quarters as she instructs the computer on exactly what she wants.
Deanna touches the door and can hear the computerized bell on the inside. She’s about to ring again when she hears Beverly’s voice “Come.” The door slides open to reveal Beverly stretched out on her sofa, boots still on, one arm draped over her face, covering her eyes. “Beverly?” she asks softly. Beverly doesn’t move except for a small smile on her face. “Do you want some company?” Beverly doesn’t answer. Deanna steps inside and the door closes behind her. “Have you eaten? I was so busy I completely forgot about food.” That makes Beverly smile again. “No I haven’t eaten either.” “Good!” Deanna says and asks the computer to complete the task she had instructed on her way down the hall.
Deanna steps to the replicator and removes two hot fudge sundaes and brings them to the couch where Beverly is lying. Beverly smiles again. “I smell chocolate. Why do I smell chocolate?” Deanna laughs. “It’s the food of the gods. Literally. You know chocolate was first cultivated in the Central American region of Earth, the Mayans and the Aztecs believed it had magical powers. Only the kings, and gods of course, were allowed to drink it.” Beverly sits up while Deanna continues her history lesson. “I’ve always found chocolate to be extremely comforting. It always makes me feel better. Perhaps there really is some magic to it.” Beverly smiles. “More like theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamide working on the serotonin in the brain…” Deanna glares at her. “Do not ruin this for me!” Beverly laughs and takes a big bite of her ice cream and hot fudge. Deanna looks at her with a raised eyebrow. Beverly laughs again. “Magic. Definitely magic.” Deanna nods.
The two women are sitting together on the couch now. The sugar high is starting to wear off and they are starting to wind down again. Deanna leans into Beverly. “I think my serotonin levels are starting to drop. Any suggestions?” Beverly thinks for a few seconds. “Well, let’s see. Some say that the chemicals in chocolate mimic the hormones released when you are falling in love.” “So?” Deanna asks. “So” Beverly explains, “if we want those happy feelings to last a bit longer, we should probably do something that makes the brain think it’s in love.” “Really?” Deanna asks. “Do you have any suggestions?”
Beverly puts her hand on the side of Deanna’s face. “We can try this?” She gently touches her lips to Deanna’s. “Is that it?” Deanna asks quietly before kissing Beverly back. “Mmmm…there’s another chemical…it’s not in chocolate though…” Beverly tells her in between kisses. “Oxytocin. The body releases it. It’s what makes this feel so good” she says as she presses Deanna harder. “What else?” Deanna asks, her voice barely a whisper. “Well there is one way to get a quick hit of ocytocin…” “Mmmm.... tell me…” Deanna asks. “I can do better than that” Beverly whispers as she slides her hand across Deanna’s chest. She finds a nipple and pinches it. Deanna groans. “That does work” she says. “Let me try…” She reaches behind Beverly and starts to pull her uniform off, slipping her hands inside and finding Beverly’s breast. “The body releases oxytocin when the breasts are stimulated to help mothers breast feed which is why this is the best way to get it into the system fast” she says as she continues to roll Deanna’s nipple between her fingers. “Oh I can tell” Deanna says as she returns the favor.
In spite of the happy chemicals in her system and Deanna’s lips and hands on her, Beverly finds herself yawning. “We should go to bed” Deanna suggests. “We’ve both had a couple of long days.” Beverly agrees and leads Deanna to her bed. Once there, Deanna snuggles into her. She gently brushes the red hair out of Beverly’s face. “Do you want to know what I like best about us?” “Mmmm tell me” Beverly asks sleepily. “I like that we can just be together. No agenda. No expectations. I just want to be with you. I just want to sleep next to you. To feel your arms around me. I feel safe.” “Me too.” Beverly murmurs as her eyes close. Deep in her brain she feels something. If she had to put the feeling into one word, that word would be ‘happy’. She’s not sure if it’s Deanna’s thoughts she’s hearing or her own. It doesn’t really matter though. For the first time in a very long time, Beverly feels happy.