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The Enterprise has been busy mapping a new star system. As part of their survey, they sent an away team to a previously undiscovered (at least by Starfleet) class M planet. First contact with a new civilization is always tricky and the crew has been on full alert for days. Counsellor Troi has been on the bridge off and on for the last 3 days. Dr Crusher has been on several away teams as well as screening and developing vaccines for new pathogens.

All in all, its been a long and exciting week for everyone. But now the crew is looking for some time off. Beverly and Deanna are no exception. Despite their new living arrangements, they haven't seen much of each other lately. Falling into bed after a long and exhausting day is not exactly romantic, not that they've even had much of that.

Deanna walks down to Beverly's sickbay. She was hoping to find Beverly already in their quarters but she's not at all surprised that she isn't. Beverly can be a work-a-holic. She loves what she does. She'd work day and night if she could. But Deanna worries. Beverly isn't as young as she used to be. Deanna has always tried to get her to relax but now the incentive to pry her out of sickbay is even higher. She misses her. She's had something on her mind, something she wants to show her lover.

Beverly looks up from her desk just as Deanna enters sickbay. She smiles as she starts stacking tablets. She knows why her friend is here. She was hoping that Deanna might have some time off. By the time Deanna reaches the door to her office, Beverly has already neatened up and is coming around to the front of her desk. She grabs Deanna around the waist, swinging her around and kissing her. "Beverly!" Deanna gasps in surprise. "I thought we were keeping things quiet?" Beverly laughs. "I've missed you so much this week. I don't want to waste another minute not kissing you!" Deanna laughs. "And besides, I'm pretty sure everyone knows now anyway." "True" Deanna tells her. "So perhaps you should kiss me again." As Beverly leans in for another kiss, she sees her head nurse Alyssa Ogawa over Deanna's shoulder. Alyssa smiles and waves at her with a little finger wiggle. Beverly smiles back. Its not that she really cares what the rest of the crew thinks but its nice to know that her good friend approves.

Deanna tries to pull away but Beverly holds her tight for another kiss. "I was hoping we could get something to eat" she manages between breathless kisses. Beverly looks at her with disappointment. "That's all you want?" Deanna laughs again. "No, but its a start. Besides I have something I want to talk about." "Yeah?" Beverly asks as she steals one more kiss. Deanna finally escapes Beverly's arms. Deep in her brain, Beverly feels a tickle and a thought forms. *I love you so much Imzadi. Now come.* She nods and lets Deanna take her hand and lead her out of sickbay.

As the women enter Ten Forward, Guinan spots them and comes rushing out from behind the bar. "Beverly! Deanna! Its so good to see you...together." They smile back at her. "Thank you Guinan." Beverly says. "For everything." Guinan gives her a wink. "I'm just glad you two worked everything out. Are you here for a meal?" Deanna nods. "Well then let me show you to the perfect table." They follow Guinan, past a handful of smaller, more intimate tables, to a larger booth in the back. Beverly looks at her with a raised eyebrow but Guinan just smiles and leaves them. Deanna shrugs and slides into the booth and Beverly follows her. They sit closes together in the middle of the seat, still wondering why they were seated at such a large table.

Before they can even order drinks, Commander Riker enters the lounge followed by a small group of friends. They're all talking loudly and not really paying attention to the table they are led to. Riker stops in front of the table. "Ladies? Do you mind?" Deanna shakes her head. "Of course not Will. We were expecting you." Beverly gives her a look saying that she wasn't expecting anything of the sort. She knows, though, that Guinan engineered the whole arrangement and there is no point in arguing.

Will slides into the booth, close to Deanna and the rest of his gang spread out around the table. He gives Deanna a kiss on the cheek and a wink to Beverly. "And how are you ladies this fine evening?" Beverly smiles and relaxes a bit. Riker's joviality is infectious and she can't help but feel lighter around him. She would have preferred to eat with Deanna privately but she knows they will have plenty of time to talk later. That thought is echoed by another, this time from Deanna. Beverly looks at her and smiles.

Another thought comes into Beverly's mind. *Are you really OK? With this?* She nods as Deanna leans close and offers herself for a kiss. Beverly takes a deep breath. No time like the present to come out of the proverbial closet. She gives Deanna a quick kiss. No one wants to see a mugging at the dinner table. She sits back, a bit uncomfortably, not sure what the reaction at the table is going to be. She catches Will's eye and he gives her one of his most charming smiles. He leans into Deanna and whispers something in her ear that makes her smile and her cheeks turn pink. No one else at the table has any reaction at all and Beverly finally relaxes. As their drinks arrive, she feels Deanna's hand land lightly on her thigh and she smiles to herself. Right now, everything in her world is perfect.

The two women spend several hours with their friends. Talking, eating, laughing and drinking. Finally, they excuse themselves. Riker lets them out of the booth with another kiss to Deanna. Beverly can't hear what he says to her but with the smile on Deanna's face, she can tell it probably has something to do with the rest of the evening's activities. "Do you want to share?" Beverly asks her as they walk hand in hand from Ten Forward. "No. I don't think so." Deanna replies. "Not here anyway." "That bad?" Beverly asks again. Deanna's only answer is her cheeks turning pink. Beverly chuckles and Deanna's cheeks turn even redder.

Inside the door to their quarters, Beverly pulls Deanna into her arms again. "You feel so good. You have no idea how much I've missed you." Deanna smiles. "I think I do." She lets Beverly kiss her while she runs her hands down Beverly's sides. Beverly moans softly as the kiss becomes more and more passionate. "You wanted to talk?" she asks, her voice husky. "Yes. I mean no. Not now. Later? OK?" "Ok" Beverly says as she starts to lead Deanna to the bedroom.

She slowly undresses Deanna, letting her eyes and her fingers linger. She picks up the smaller woman and lays her on the bed. She gently brushes a stray hair back behind Deanna's ear while she stares into her lover's eyes. "I love you so much" she says before falling lightly onto her. Deanna helps her to remove her own clothes while Beverly lets her fingers trace Deanna's lines. Deanna reaches for her but Beverly moves away. "No not yet. I want to see you" Beverly says softly as her hand finds Deanna's breast. Deanna moans and pushes herself up. Beverly leans in and begins to run her tongue around Deanna's nipple, giving it a little nip and making Deanna moan again. She keeps her fingers playing with Deanna's hardened nipple while she turns her attention to the woman's neck.

Deanna starts to squirm and Beverly starts her tongue back down, over her chest, to the sensitive skin on her abdomen. Deanna has her fingers in Beverly's hair while Beverly's fingers are working their way up the inside of her thighs. As she moves closer, Deanna tries to stop her. "No Dee. I want to. I dream of this. Of touching you. The way you feel. The way you taste. I love you." She doesn't need any more words. As she touches her tongue to Deanna, her brain is filled with the other woman's thoughts, *I love you too.*

Beverly keeps her mind open as she slides her tongue against Deanna. She wants to hear every one of Deanna's thoughts, feel everything that she is feeling. She's not disappointed as Deanna's body responds to her every touch. By the time Deanna lets go, Beverly can feel the smaller woman's pleasure wash over her. She crawls back up to the head of the bed and pulls Deanna into her arms. She feels Deanna's body quake and holds her tight until she has recovered. She finds Deanna's sweet lips and kisses her gently. Deanna wraps her arms tight around her lover as Beverly's body shivers in anticipation. She lets her fingers tickle Beverly's ribs and Beverly groans herself. She falls deeper into their kiss as Deanna lets her hands find the places that make Beverly purr. By the time she is done, Beverly is flat out, struggling to catch her breath and Deanna is pulled tight into her shoulder.

"Beverly?" "Hmmm" "How do you feel?" "Mmm I feel amazing." "Are you tired?" "A little. Why?" Deanna sits up. "There's something I, um, I've been wanting to, I don't know, talk about? Something I want to try." Beverly is intrigued now. Its not often that Deanna is at a loss for words. She sits up as well. "What is it?" Deanna shakes her head. "Not yet. Not now." She rolls out of bed and grabs a robe. "Dee..." Beverly calls after her. She gets no answer so she gets up herself and follows Deanna to the other room.

She finds Deanna on the sofa, her legs tucked beneath her and a glass of water in her hand. She sits and puts her arm around Deanna's shoulder. "What is it? What's wrong?" Deanna smiles at her. "There's nothing wrong. Its not bad. I just don't know how to explain, or ask." Beverly laughs quietly. "What?" "You're the one who talks for a living. In touch with your feelings and all that. I'm the repressed one." Deanna laughs. "Thank you. I needed that."

"So what is it then?" Deanna turns so she's facing Beverly on the sofa. "When we talked about what it means to be Imzadi, there's something else." Beverly nods for her to continue. "The connection we have, it works on many levels. There's one that I've never explored. It's something that Betazoids talk about. But I'm only half Betazoid. And Will, he's not a telepath." She pauses. Beverly thinks about what she's said so far. "But I am." Deanna nods. "You know what its like when we're intimate. That's part of it." "There's more?" Deanna nods again. "Many Imzadi, they say that, well, that the experience can be much more than that."

Deanna can tell that Beverly doesn't quite understand. She doesn't fully comprehend it either, not having ever experienced it herself. "Its a Betazoid thing?" Beverly asks? Deanna shrugs. "I don't know. Maybe its just a myth, something telepaths tell those who aren't as gifted. I don't really know." "But you want to try?" Deanna nods again. "But its not going to be easy. I mean it will take some concentration. More than just opening your mind." "While we're making love?" "Yes" Deanna answers quietly. "Well" Beverly says as she takes the glass out of Deanna's hand and drinks, "even if it doesn't work, the experiment will still be fun." Deanna laughs again. "And since neither of us know what it really is..." "We can't really go wrong" Beverly finishes. Deanna smiles and leans into Beverly for a kiss. "Yeah. And we might not get it right the first time." Beverly nods. "So we may need to run the experiment several times, just to confirm the results." "Now you're getting it" Deanna whispers as she kisses Beverly again, more passionately this time.

She leans into Beverly, knocking her backward on the sofa. As she pushes Beverly's robe to the side, Beverly asks "now?" "No" Deanna says. "I think we need more practice first." Beverly smiles. "Fine but we have a date tomorrow night." "Deal" Deanna whispers as she moves down Beverly's body, first with her fingers, followed by her tongue.

Come back tomorrow to find out what happens.