Ten Forward had never looked so beautiful. At the O'Briens' wedding, Beverly watched as couples began dancing, following the performances from the bride and groom, and the bride and father of the bride, or in this case, the bride and her friend. Data had performed quite well, despite being a little stiff. She was proud of him, just so long as he kept quiet about who had taught him to dance.
To her surprise, Data appeared on the dance floor again, this time with Geordi in tow. Beverly had only expected Data to dance once, given that he had only learned to dance that day, before retreating to mingle with the crowd. But there he was, leading Geordi through a simple waltz that the engineer seemed to follow with relative ease. They were talking, about what, she couldn't discern, but they appeared happy. Beverly smiled, the two of them always were when they were around each other. She had spoken to Data before about his attachment to Geordi, and while he always explained that Geordi was his best friend because he was kind, and because they spent a lot of time together, the softening of his face at the mention of Geordi's name belied his attempts at emotionless explanations.
Did Geordi know how much Data cared for him? Beverly could only conclude that he must do, given how he laughed as Data spun him. You didn't laugh like that with someone who didn't love you, and that you didn't love in turn, at least, that was her experience.
She watched on from the side as Data and Geordi twirled and talked. Data would carefully direct them out of the paths of other couples, the skirt of his dress uniform twisting with him as he moved.
"Beverly?" a warm voice came from beside her. Deanna Troi was smiling up at her, dark curls framing her face.
"Oh, hello Deanna, I was just watching the dancing."
"I can see that, would you like to join me for a dance? My mother made me take so many lessons on dancing at formal occasions as a child that I'd quite like the chance to put them to use."
Beverly was already reaching out to take Deanna's hand as she asked "Betazoid dances or Human ones?"
"Both, but I think I'll put my waltzing skills to use here, rather than some of the dances my mother's side of the family prefer," Deanna chuckled, taking hold of Beverly to begin leading her.
The two elegantly stepped around the other dancers, gliding across the dance floor with far too much professional skill for a small wedding on a starship.
"Hmm, I didn't realise you were so good," Deanna span Beverly before pulling her back in, "You'll have to give me lessons sometime, I'm getting rusty."
"You're far better than most of the people here, but I'd be happy to give you a couple lessons, just don't tell anyone. I spent far too many years being known as the 'Dancing Doctor', it was embarrassing."
"I promise I'll keep your secret, dear doctor," Deanna teased, "I have to ask, though, have you been giving lessons to anyone else recently? Because Data's dancing style is very close to your own, if a little less skilled."
"How on Earth did you notice that?" Beverly glanced over her shoulder to spot Data, who was still dancing with Geordi, "You could give Data's beloved Sherlock Holmes a run for his money."
"I'm just observant, you get like that when everyone else around you tends to read minds, rather than saying anything out loud, you want to keep up with everyone else when it comes to knowing what other people are thinking."
"Can't you telepathically communicate with your mother?"
"I can, but I can't initiate telepathy myself, I'm just empathic."
"You'd better not be down talking yourself, Counselor," Beverly gave Deanna a stern look, "Your empathy is incredibly valuable, as is your knowledge of psychology and diplomacy."
Deanna laughed. "I know, I know! I swear I wasn't down talking myself, I was- oh!" Deanna's head snapped to look over Beverly's shoulder.
"What is it?" Beverly turned to scan the room for herself, trying to determine what had captured the counselor's attention.
"We shouldn't stare, it's rude," Deanna chastised her, just as Beverly realised what she was referring to. Data and Geordi had hidden away in a corner of the room, apparently for the purposes of kissing one another.
Beverly turned, grinning, to Deanna. "I think I may have just won a good bottle of Romulan ale from Guinan."
"You're terrible!" Deanna pulled Beverly from the dance floor, laughing as she went, "Betting on other officers getting together has to be unethical in some way."
"Maybe when they're just your coworkers, but I think when they're your friends it makes it at least a little more ethical."
Deanna shook her head, acquiring a couple glasses of champagne and heading to an empty table at the far side of the room. They sat in silence for a while, simply enjoying the festivities and the company.
"Weddings always get everyone in a romantic mood, don't they?" Beverly said.
"No one knows that like I do, trust me. As much as I love romance it can almost get a little sickly when everyone's like this, especially all crowded in one room."
"Can you tell who is in love with whom? Or does your empathy mostly just tell you that a person is in love with an unspecified someone?" Beverly leaned forward on the small table separating them.
"It's not too specific, but I can generally work it out based on who a person is around when they feel a spike of romantic affection. Though sometimes it's not very clear," Deanna looked into Beverly's eyes, and the doctor was unsure as to what she saw there, but the romance and perhaps the alcohol pushed her towards an optimistic conclusion.
On an impulse, Beverly reached out to pull Deanna in to meet her halfway across the table, kissing her slightly inelegantly.
"Well, Doctor, I never would have guessed," Deanna’s eyes sparkled with mirth as they broke apart.
"Liar. You knew damn well what was coming, you were just letting me make the first move," Beverly smiled and gave Deanna another quick peck on the lips. As she pulled back her elbow knocked into her glass, spilling champagne onto the table and her dress uniform.
"Oops," Beverly righted the glass, face flushing at her clumsiness.
"Well, we'll just have to go back to your quarters to get you cleaned up, then, won't we?" Deanna stood, offering her hand to Beverly.
"You read my mind." Deanna groaned at the terrible pun but began walking hand in hand with Beverly out of the doors of Ten Forward, returning Riker’s grin as she spotted him giving her a thumbs up from a nearby table. He was going to want all the details in the morning, but the morning could wait. Currently, she had a champagne covered doctor to attend to.