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Beverly wakes with a smile. She’d forgotten how much she loved waking up with another person in her bed. She rolls over and lets her arm drape across Deanna’s body and cat naps for a bit before deciding she really does need to get of bed. The last couple of days have been crazy. The Enterprise has been on an aid mission, helping the planet Sycorax 3 with an epidemic of the Andorian Flu. The crisis is over but there is still work that needs to be done.

She carefully studies the face of her friend Deanna as she sleeps. They haven’t had much time together since redefining their relationship. She’s just happy that Deanna stayed for the night. They haven’t had the time or energy for sex, not after working around the clock for several days but Beverly doesn’t mind. It’s not that the sex wasn’t good. It was amazing. She can’t wait for some time when she can take Deanna on a proper date, not just stolen moments between crises. She gently brushes the black hair from Deanna’s face then kisses her on the temple. Tonight she will make some time for the two of them together. Her body tingles with anticipation.

Deanna is not a morning person. Beverly knows that and tries to slide out of the bed without waking her. She’s only partially successful. Deanna rolls toward her and slowly opens her eyes. “Good morning” Beverly says with a smile. Deanna gives her a sleepy smile in return. “Where are you going?” She asks. “I have some work to do in sick bay” she replies. “It shouldn’t take me too long though and I need to finish my reports for the Captain. After that…I haven’t decided yet. I’m thinking of taking some time off.”
Deanna smiles again. “That sounds nice” she says. “How about you?” Beverly asks. “Busy day?” Deanna waves her hand at her. “I have a meeting down on the planet and then I need to meet with Commander Riker and bring him up to speed on what the crew has been doing the last couple of days. There are quite a few who need to take some time off as well. And some that will have to be forced to take some time off.” Beverly laughs. She knows exactly who Deanna is talking about. “Good luck with that” she says with a smile as she steps into her uniform on and pulls her fingers through her red hair. Deanna sticks her tongue out at her friend as Beverly grabs a cup of tea and heads out the door to her sick bay.

Beverly drops to the chair behind her desk with a sigh. Half a dozen tablets litter the surface of her work table, waiting for her attention. She shuffles them around and tries to focus. Despite her best efforts, her mind keeps wandering. Probably she’s still exhausted from the past couple of days. Or maybe it’s the woman she left in her bed. She sighs again. There’s only one way to get through the work, the quicker she gets it done, the sooner she can take a break. She picks up a tablet and forces herself to update the documents it contains.

It takes several hours but Beverly is finally done. She needs to make a trip around the sick bay, just to make sure everything is ready for the next crisis. But first, she leans back in her chair and closes her eyes for just a second. She is startled awake by Data standing in her doorway. “Data! You scared me!” (and ruined a perfectly good dream about Deanna but she’s not going to tell Data that.) Data raises an eyebrow. “How did I scare you Doctor? I did nothing frightening.” “Never mind Data.” He gives her a disappointed look. Data is a student of human behavior and is frustrated when others don’t explain the odd things they do and say. Data is an android and claims he doesn’t experience emotions such as confusion and disappointment though Beverly wonders sometimes.

“What can I help you with Data?” she asks, hoping that this will be a short conversation. She really wants to find Deanna and go to get something to eat. Data looks a bit uncertain. “Data..?” “My question is of a personal nature” he says. “Okay”. She gives him a look that makes it clear, even to an android, that he should get to the point and quickly.

“Doctor, I have questions about relationships.” “Relationships?” He nods. “Sexual relationships. You are an expert in such things.” She pauses. “Data, close the door and sit down.” Data complies. She leans back in her chair. “Why on earth would you think I am an expert?” “Well, you are a doctor, Doctor. They discuss these things in medical school?” “The mechanics sure but…” Data interrupts her. “And you were married and have a son so I am to assume that you know something about sexual relationships.” Beverly sighs.

“Sure Data. What is it you want to know?” “I was hoping you could explain to me why certain people decide to enter into sexual relationships with certain other people?” Beverly smiles. “I’m not sure I can help you with that Data. There are quite a few factors that attract one person to another. Friendship for sure. Curiosity. Many times it is a hormonal reaction.” “So hormones make you want to engage in sex?” Beverly sighs. “Sometimes I suppose. Sexual attraction is not something that can be easily explained. There is no formula. It’s very personal for both people involved.” “I see” Data says. “May I ask another question?” She smiles at the android. “Sure Data.”

“As you know Doctor,” he starts, “I am fully functional. I have been programmed with a great number of scenarios involving male and female sexual contact.” She nods, still not sure where he is going with this. “My programming does not include sexual relationships that occur between two women. I was hoping you could help me to understand this.” Beverly leans forward in her chair. “Data! What do you know??” “What do you mean ‘what do I know’? I know a great many things Doctor.” She shakes her head. “Why are you asking me this now Data?” “Ahh” he says. “You are wondering how I know that you and Counsellor Troi are engaging in a sexual relationship?” “Yes Data. That is what I want to know.”

“It was a simple deduction, Doctor. In Ten Forward, Commander Riker implied that you and Counsellor Troi were in love. The odds of both of you being in new relationships with other people were high. The simple conclusion was that you and Counsellor Troi were in love with each other.” “Is that all Data?” Beverly asks. “Well no. I also observed Counsellor Troi leaving your quarters at 07:00 hours this morning.” Beverly rubs her temples with her fingers. “Who else have you talked to about this Data?” He tilts his head. “No one Doctor. As I said, I believe you are the best person to be talking about this sort of thing.” He pauses for a second. “Ahhh. I see. You think perhaps I should be talking to someone else, Commander Riker perhaps, about matters of the heart.” “No Data! Don’t talk to Commander Riker.” “Should I speak to Counsellor Troi then?” Beverly sighs. “No Data. Don’t talk to her either.” “Hmmm. Interesting” he says.

“May I ask you one more question Doctor?” He pauses as if he is gathering his thoughts. Beverly knows that Data only mimics human behavior but sometimes she really wonders what exactly is going on in that positronic brain of his. She steels herself for the next question. Still, he surprises her. “As I mentioned, I am fully versed in sexual relationships with the opposite sex. However, I have no paradigm to explain sex between two women. I was hoping you could explain the biomechanics of…” Beverly jumps to her feet, interrupting him. “I think we’re done here Data!” He looks confused. “But Doctor…” “No Data. We’re done. I’m done. You’re just going to have to figure this one out yourself.” He stands. “I see. Perhaps…” She turns him and pushes him towards the door. She closes the door behind him without waiting to hear the rest of his thought.

Beverly walks slowly back to her desk, sinking into her chair with a sigh. Her fingers go back to her temples. She wonders what Deanna is doing right now. She would really love to talk to her, perhaps to warn her that she may be next on Data’s list. She closes her eyes and tries to reach out to Deanna. So far she’s only been moderately successful in transmitting her thoughts and that is when Deanna is sitting right next to her. Even a distance as small as the size of the Enterprise causes her great difficulties in searching for the connection to Deanna’s mind. Still, she tries. She’s about ready to give up when she begins to feel something. It’s not really a word or a thought. The distance between her and Deanna is too much for that. It’s more like a feeling. Like being wrapped in a warm blanket. She leans back in her chair and closes her eyes. It’s all worth it, she thinks, just to feel love like this.