- Romping -
F. J.

After minutes, or seconds, perhaps even hours their kiss broke. Gasping for the breath their bodies lacked so dearly the two looked quietly at each other. Neither one wanting to be strong enough to break free from the hold they had on each other. And neither willing to be weak enough to be the first to speak the words. But they both knew something had to be said.

"It's late," Deanna said finally, not moving her arms an inch away from her man's body.

He nodded, tightening his grip around her waist. "I know," Will replied. Again, silence. Slowly, almost unnoticeably, their mouths crossed the distance to each other and then met again.

"This is stupid," he said angrily, her taste still lingering on his lips after she had pulled away, and he began to pull her closer to him. He could feel her struggle, against him as much as herself. "I want you ..."

Deanna shied away, moving her arms between the two of them, acting as a shield as she rested her palms against his chest. "Not while we're working on the same ship, Imzadi."

"I'm hearing that a lot, these days," he said. "As it is, I think that argument is losing ground every time I hold you in my arms."

"And I want you too, but ..."

Her wanting eyes found his, a soulmate. A prisoner of the same compromise they had made when they had found each other again.

"Yes, I know," he said. "And you're right. We both know a relationship like ours could never work. The risks of losing ..."

"But I never said ..." Deanna interrupted hurriedly, insecurity turning to fear as she heard his words. She grabbed his arms and pushed herself up to him, her face inches away before she averted hers and buried her head against his shoulder. "Please," she whimpered softly. "What we could have ... there must be ..."

They remained in each other's arms for a while, Will comforting his love as she sobbed her tears away. He ran his fingers through her dark, long tresses and finally said the words. "There is."

Deanna's soft cries subsided. She looked up at him.

"I'll transfer off the ship," he explained, "get a new commission. With my record ..." Will read the questions in her eyes and smiled wryly. "I could never stand to hear a woman crying."

"But I'd be alone here," she said, the thought of his possible absence breaking through to her. "If you would get a new commission .. and another long voyage. Starfleet's missions are to uncertain to build a life on."
"But ..." he started. "We can't ..."

"... I could still teach," she exclaimed. "Leave the Enterprise and take a position on Earth, or Betazed. Any planet. We've talked about it before .. and ..."

"I could visit often," he said, placing his hands on her upper arms, rubbing his thumbs against the fabric.

"We could marry," she countered, hooking her fingers under his collar. The heat of her breath against his lips made him crazy. "Jean Luc is going to be mad as hell,"

"Too bad," she replied, dodging his nose before she pressed her lips against him. "I'm not going to have our children on this ship."

"A child," Will repeated softly as he felt himself pulled down. The separate fastenings on the back of her dress loosened hurriedly in time with the small buttons on his shirt.

"Two," Deanna corrected him. Then his lips found hers once more, accepting the offer hastily.

And the doors shut.

* * *

"Was that Will?" the woman asked, a odd tone of curiosity present in her voice. Jean Luc Picard re-entered the room and took off his communications badge, tossing it into a corner.

"No," he said, seemingly rather annoyed with the subject. "Deanna."

"She quit?"

"I'm afraid so," he replied and sat himself down on the bed, next to her. "Effective immediately."

Beverly Crusher crawled over the mattrass to meet him, put her hands to his shoulders to give him a backrub, and whispered lovingly into his ear. "You shouldn't think of this as losing a fine counselor," she said, putting a little extra effort in one particularly persistent knot. "Rather think of it as losing five strips of latinum. Though I'll settle for home-made dinner."

"I could've sworn it would be Will, resigning." Picard muttered quietly, secretly enjoying her touches. Bev's face leaned over his left shoulder and kissed him on the unshaven cheek. Quickly he turned to try and meet her fleeting kiss, but she had already pulled back.

"Odds were it would be her," she explained from a safe distance. "It's been Will making that call seven times the last half year. As to Deanna's two."

Picard sighed, or perhaps it was a groan escaping him. "She has a tour on the bridge tomorrow, you know."

"I do. And a pretty full calendar at that. She's getting to be quite the Starfleet-career woman lately ..."

"She said she wanted to teach ...," Jean Luc muttered softly.

Gently, Beverly moved up closer, kneeling behind him on the bed, and pressed herself lightly against his back. "Oh dear, not the psychology-classes again?" she smirked. Ten fingers simulaneously wrapped themselves around his waist and belly, pulling him back to her. "Has she kept up with it at all?"

Picard groaned, blessfully ignorant of the answer, and let his head fall back to her.

"Should I give it two days?" he asked, pleading her to give him the time he knew would be enough to avoid a lot of unneccessary paperwork.

She shrugged knowingly and began to kiss his shoulders. "From a mutual acquaintance I learned they plan to take a few days together after we dock next week."

"Oh, really?" He ducked under her arms and grabbed her. She feigned a little anger, annoyance at being the subject of his whims again. And still, when he moved over her, she couldn't keep the mask in place. Her smile broke through the veil of virtue and invited him to move further.

"Perhaps they'd stick it out until then?" she asked.

Jean Luc thought on it while he kissed the woman in his arms right there and then and pulled her closer to the bed. He took Beverly's upper lip between his lips and sucked on it before losing himself in a tongue-tied, passionate lover's embrace.

When they came up for air, he could see in her eyes that she was still contemplating the question. He smiled. So did she.

"She'll call ..." they said and softy laughed in unison. "... claiming she acted hastily ..." Beverly whispered, her mouth dangerously close to his left ear.

"... withdraw the request after the weekend ..." he muttered, envisioning loads and loads of red tape ...

"They'll probably already be planning to break up before then ...," Beverly added, temporarily releasing Jean Luc's lobe from her teeth. Picard yelped the second she got hold of it again and shot her an angry look. A look she completely ignored.

"Damn," he swore.

And the romping continued....

the end ...