Midnight Counseling V
(DS9: The Muse)

Author: D. Destiny


With her eyes already half-lidded from sleep she pressed the enunciator of the door in front of her. The anticipated reply however didn't come and so she pressed the chimes again. And again until she got tired of it and simply keyed in the access code.

She found the person she was looking for sitting in front of a computer-monitor, black eyes unseeing, mouth half open and not a single visible movement. Guinan circled the familiar figure, until she could cast her eyes upon the monitor, which was, as she now could see, black.

"Deanna?" She tried cautiously to bring Troi's attention to herself, but when she failed she placed her hand among the light, straight tresses on Deanna's shoulder. The physical contact finally drew a reaction in the form of a quiet "I don't believe this"

"Believe what?"

The empath seemed to fall out her daze and swung her chair around to face her visitor. "Hmm? Oh, Guinan!" She shook her head, shaking the shock of her earlier conversation off her and stood up from her chair to relocate herself on her couch.

Guinan stepped to the replicator and got both of them something to drink, then she settled across from Deanna. "What got you in such a state of shock?"

"Mother" she answered plainly, adding a roll of her eyes to emphasize her annoyed tone.

"What did she do?"

A half-amused, half upset snort left her throat. "It's more like what *didn't* she do. She got married, pregnant, run away, divorced, remarried, then left her husband, who happens to be Chief of Security on space station Deep Space Nine, in as little time as six months. And of course I had to hear it from Worf first, before she bothered to tell me."

Guinan blinked.

And blinked again. God knew she had pulled some stunts in her lifetime, but she'd need another hundred years to equal Lwaxana Troi, no doubt. "Well, I married a couple of times during my life--" The sentence was left unfinished on purpose, something both women were content with.

"Yeah, but you have six *hundred* years behind you; she'll be lucky to make it to the two." She had a point there. Two hundred times another six months. Two husband each period and a child, that would add up to four hundred ex-husbands and a hundred children.

Deanna seemed to have come to a similar conclusion, because just when the El-Aurian failed to keep her laughter inside, Troi began to giggle. "We'll need a bigger place" she remarked between laughs.

"Is she happy?"

Apparently the question gave the counselor something to think about, for she remained quiet of what seemed like ages. Only moving to sip her drink, or tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "For the moment, yes. Tomorrow she'll start whining about being fat and having no control over her telepathy and when the baby is born she'll be in sixth heaven and looking for a husband again."

That sounded like Lwaxana already. "Why didn't she stay with the father of the baby?"

Another snort was her response. "If there's anything that infuriates my mother, it is a man assuming he can make a woman his property and when he then informs her, her child is to be raised by solely men, he's infuriated her in just about every way possible." She shrugged uninterested and put her glass down.

"There is something to be said for that, you know." The El-Aurian watched her friend smile and studied her face. She thought she'd heard something in her voice earlier on...a touch of "Deanna, correct me if I'm mistaken, but aren't you a little jealous?"

Her smile grew a little wider, and then disappeared. "I would settle for a husband and a child really." Guinan did a double take, unsure how sincere her friend was. Sure Deanna was the family type of person, but she seemed pretty happy and content at the moment. "In about five or ten years" she added with a big smirk.

Their eyes locked for a second and a hint of weariness tickled Guinan's mind. She reasoned that the question she originally came to ask could wait. "I have no doubt you'll have more children in twenty years than you'd care for. All the crying and changing diapers. Believe me, you're in for something."

She could tell Deanna wasn't half as amused as she appeared to be, but she was in a better mood than when Guinan had first walked in. And in the end that really was all what mattered, in as far as these midnight counseling sessions went of course.

A familiar far-a-way look had settled in the black Betazoid eyes again. A mix of sleep, weariness and thoughtfulness swirled together in the blackness. It made sense really. Nothing to make you think like your mother getting married again. She'd been there. "I think I'd better call it a night."

"Hmm." So much for an objection.

"Peaceful emotions Miss Troi."

"Hmm...oh! Happy thoughts Guinan" she returned just in time.

And the doors closed.