Midnight Counseling VI

Author: D. Destiny


Deanna Troi entered the darkened lounge without specific purpose, other then finding her friend. She found the other woman sitting at the bar, her aura simply shouted thoughtfulness. Curious about whatever was bothering the wise El-Aurian she quickly made her way through Ten-Forward. Using the chair next to Guinan as step-up, Deanna crawled onto the bar and settled with her legs crossed in tailor-fashion.

She reached behind her and picked up two glasses and a bottle and poured the yellow liquid --not dissimilar to the drink known as Ice-tea back in the twenty-first century on Earth-- into the glasses, then shove one to her friend. "You seem, occupied."

The dark-skinned woman lifter her head slightly and smiled a small smile. "More like mystified." Her correction surprised Deanna to the point of arching one eyebrow. It seemed impossible that something mystified Guinan, for almost by law of nature, she usually was the one who mystified.

"The wormhole?" She queried gently, putting down her now empty glass. She had been thirstier than she'd thought.

Again surprising her, the El-Aurian shook her head. "Dixon Hill." At that Troi smiled, having experienced one of the captain's detective programs. It mystified her too actually, that someone so bent on negotiating and avoiding bodily harm enjoyed a tale set in a time of violence to such extend.

But then it did remain nothing more than a holo-program; no real people were killed and perhaps it was that that made it tolerable for the captain. And of course the mystery was what really drew him, a mystery with just enough clues to solve, without making it too easy. A challenge to his intellect.

"And where he ever got that bleached bimbo from god may know."

The emotions she sensed from her friend --annoyance above all-- were so unusual they piqued Deanna's interest more than a chocolate sundae would've had at that moment. "Bleached bimbo?"

Guinan's smile grew wider as she appraised the black-eyed counselor. "Nothing but a colorful Terran term Miss Troi. Not one of the most polite ones either." Deanna seemed satisfied with that explanation, although a small string of curiosity remained. I can look it up in the computer later, she figured and returned to the original topic.

"It is quite amazing" she started, waiting until the El-Aurian met her eyes before continuing "how a species that strives so fervently towards the future like humans, remain so attached to their past."

"Indeed" Guinan murmured "but ones roots are in the past, never in the future."

Since no verbal acknowledgement was required Deanna remained silent and focused her eyes on Guinan's hat. For some reason the swirl of bright green colors on the hat invoked a sense of déjà vû in her. A wave of dizziness suddenly overwhelmed her and before she could recover she fell to the left.

As if she had anticipated Troi's fall, the hostess shot to her feet and steadied the counselor before she'd lost her balance completely. "You all right?" Deanna lifted a hand to indicate a moment of silence and kept her eyes closed as she recovered.

"It's worse this time."

"This time?"

Sensing her concern Troi hurried to explain "It happened before. Beverly isn't sure what caused it, but we're guessing it's some sort of side-affect of traveling through the wormhole." As good as the empath was at hiding her emotions, it was a lot more difficult to hide them for the sensitive El-Aurian.

"But you're not sure."

Their eyes locked and both of the women did their utmost to read each other's minds. They'd been able to pick of thoughts from each other before, but only after intense preparation and concentration. It wasn't that they really wanted to read each other, but being both so sensitive of mind had drawn them to one another and although Guinan was in no way as sensitive as Deanna, she did understand the daily strain the woman was under. And so the playful experiment had developed.

"You feel it too, don't you?" It wasn't exactly mind reading, more like recognizing a thought pattern similar to her own. "That more happened than unconsciousness when we traveled through the wormhole."

With one -very- slow nod Guinan conceded. "Have you told the captain about those feelings?"

Guinan nearly smiled when Troi's expression didn't change. The woman had an uncanny ability to slide a mask in front of her face without anybody realizing, if she put her mind to it. "No more than you have" she replied evenly.

"Perhaps it is a mystery that should remain unsolved." All Deanna did was smile and watch as the El-Aurian lifted her now empty glass and threw it into the recycler.

"You missed" she predicted even before the glass shattered on the floor, never turning to look.

"Give me a retry?" With a bow that send black curls spilling forward over her shoulders she handed her own glass over. This time Guinan didn't miss, although being slightly distracted by Troi long yawn. "At least it isn't a mystery what you have to do. Get some sleep Deanna, perhaps that will even solve the mystery of your dizziness."

Taking the advice Deanna hopped off the bar, regarding Guinan for a few seconds. "Think you can get me that hat in deep purple?"

"Peaceful emotions Miss Troi." She returned, intentionally in a slightly disapproving tone. And again Deanna just smiled; her smile obvious even with her back turned to the bartender.

"Happy thoughts Gloria."

And the doors closed.

Note: Gloria refers to the character Picard had asked Guinan to play: Gloria from Cleveland.
Bleached Bimbo refers to holo-Dix's secretary Madeline, who refused to let 'Dix' know Gloria had arrived.