The long muscled legs fitted tightly into the long black boots drew some unusual looks but not for long once they realised who they belonged to.
Straightening as they witnessed the slightly miffed and embarrassed visage of their superior officer making his way along deck eight.
"As you were ensign." Will grumbled as a raw recruit suddenly saluted him once she realised she had been jaw-drop starring. Obviously too young to have witnessed the days of the skant, Will Riker notched up another payback chit to Deanna.
His head felt like it was going to split, a numb pain was threatening to curl him into the foetal position and a persistent fever was banging away at his heart; but onward he strode till he could seek cover.
Within moments, his cabin came before him, but not before another wave of pain rippled through his loins. "Dammit!" he groaned trying not to let it loose from his clenched jaw.
The door lock beeped as he punched in his code. His door should have opened on approach but seemed stead fastly locked. Trying his pin, the door flared up a red warning light shortly before the 'ghost of lwaxanna" computer voice issued it's commandments. "Cabin 812 under quarantine, please report to CMO Doctor Beverly Crusher for further verification."
"Not even inside and she's quarantined it." He grumbled before suddenly feeling like his head was on cloud nine. Now what? He wondered as a moment of giddiness nearly floored him.
She had to be off duty surely, and if, not he did have her code. Would she mind if he took shelter from the prying eyes of passing by crewmembers. Yes, Will Riker was an amazing specimen of maleness, but right then the thought of his hairy muscled legs being spied further by every eager ensign was going beyond proud into downright embarrassing.
It was as if every female crewmember had suddenly reported to deck 8. He'd never seen the area so busy before. Adjusting his skant lower with the usual Picard manoeuvre handhold, he steeled himself and pressed the intercom.
The door whooshed open making him even dizzier.
"Will!" Deanna's face split into two as it fought to hold back a mixture of anger and laughter. "I see the skant didn't keep you in place for long." Her anger focussed at his audacity to circumnavigate Crusher's orders, and to turn up looking green to the gills, expecting her to comfort him.
"Can I come in? It's getting a little crowded out here." Noticing the pick up in traffic looking his way. "And I don't feel so well."
"Go back to sickbay." She replied, standing in the doorway, arms crossed.
"I don't think I'll make it." He swayed suddenly, one hand grasping the door edge in a white-knuckle grip.
"Will!" Deanna shrieked as he suddenly pitched forward, only to be caught in time by Lieutenant Swarn who'd been passing by.
Staggering under the weight of his superior, another security officer moved in to take the right hand side of Will as he lay heavily draped over Swarn's shoulder.
"He ok?" Swarn asked concerned about not only the first officers appearance but by the counsellor's warning cry.
"Just bring him in." She ordered, removing Will's bare arse from sight. Hefted over the two crewmen's shoulders, his tunic had hiked up, and a sure sign that Deanna hadn't left him any underwear was confirmed. "On the couch." She suggested, grabbing the throw rug and covering him from the waist down.
"Shall I call Doctor Crusher?" Swarn enquired, his hand moving steadily towards his communicator.
"No, no thank you Lieutenant. Though I suggest you get yourself down to sickbay and tell them you were in contact with Commander Riker; have yourself inoculated. I'm sure you're immune but I don't want to take any chances." She watched them both nod. The security officer, Marshall Griggs, frowned lightly.
"Are you sure you don't want us to call Doctor Crusher, Counsellor?" Griggs pressed.
"I'll be fine. He just escaped quarantine a little earlier than he should have." Deanna began to head them back to the doorway, sighing with relief as they parted ways once she'd thanked them once more.
"William Riker." She sighed. "What did I do wrong to have the pleasure of your unconscious company?"
Gathering up some cushions, she began to place them around Will to keep him upright and comfy. The last one she placed under his head just as he began to return to the real world.
"What hit me?" He whispered, swallowing back the threat of nausea's undoing.
"A migraine by the looks of it." Deanna surmised as she noticed him flinch from the starlight as he tried to open his eyes. The pale wax like features painting his beard a dark brown in contrast.
"Showed up like an Aqueous Nine Stripper at the door " He moaned before his eyes rolled back from the exertion and he fell back into a light slumber.
Sighing Deanna sat beside him, unsure of what to do next. Holding his hand she gently ran the back of her hand over his cheeks, something she'd witnessed Beverly do many times over. He was warm but probably from pushing himself too hard. It was a long way from Cargo Bay 3 to Deck 8.
As she began to busy herself with a few overdue reports, a sense of an oncoming storm was felt. Beverly was here. The door buzzer confirmed her empathic presence within seconds.
"Who is it?" Deanna tentatively asked, wondering if she should let her in on the unsuspecting Will. If she did let Beverly in, would she just take him back to quarantine, and have this happen all over again?
"You know who and why." Beverly replied.
"Can I get back to you, I'm in the middle of something." Deanna grimaced, knowing her mother would shun the day she caught her daughter lying so easily to her best friend.
"I locked out his quarters on purpose Deanna. He's not a well man." She sighed, her patience wearing thin.
Deanna sat quietly weighing up the trouble she was now getting herself into. "Swarn and Griggs confirmed the whereabouts of our missing XO, so open up, or I'll use my medical override and barge in." Beverly continued.
Silence was all Beverly heard until she reached forward to the keypad, ready to enter her override code only to feel the light pressure blow across her face as the door parted.
"You do know that blackmail is old and dated." Deanna smiled.
"And Will's hiding places are even older. You'd think by now he'd find a better place to escape to than to his old girlfriend." Beverly teased as she brushed past the Betazoid Counsellor.
"Old? Great." Deanna pouted.
"It's what you get for trying to hide him from me. Not that that'd work." Beverly grinned as she showed Deanna the med scanner. A small display indicated Will's exact presence on her couch.
"You tagged him? Wish I'd learned to do that a long time ago" Deanna grumbled.
"I think what you needed to do was spade him Deanna not just chip him." The doctor teased as she ran her scanner over the recumbent form. Will's soft snores reverberating around the room.
"A little warm, but nothing to worry about". Beverly mused as she removed her hand from Will's sweaty forehead.
"I think he's a little delirious he mentioned something about seeing Aqueous Nine strippers." Deanna replied, while setting about gathering a towel to wipe away her patient's beading forehead.
"What's so funny?" Deanna sighed.
"You've never seen Aqueous Nine strippers in their full glory?" The teasing doctor enquired, her eyes glossy with unshed tears of laughter.
"I'm starting to wish I had." Placing her hands on hips Deanna rolled her eyes. "Spill Beverly or I'm leaving him in your custody."
"Well let's just say he wasn't delirious. He probably meant he looked like one. Aqueous Nine's delightful dancers are decidedly male and wear nothing but short tunics and long kinky boots." Pointing a long finger in Will's direction Beverly grinned. " Take away the Starfleet colours and command pips and you've certainly got a great candidate.
The look on Deanna's face was priceless. "If he knows so much lets just hope he never did audition."
"I'm sure he didn't. The waxing would frighten him off for sure." Beverly stood, collecting her equipment in hand. "Tell him when he wakes that if I find him on the bridge tomorrow, I'll take away the skant and let him parade around in just his boots."
Deanna smiled warmly. "If only." As she let her friend out.
"She tagged me?" Will's eyebrows both rose high in shock. "Where?"
prodding around till he realised he'd never find it, no doubt microscopic.
"I don't know, but I'd think twice about leaving her den, she might just tag something sensitive." Deanna jibed as she handed him a hot cup of tea.
"Tea? That's the captain's drink, not me." He whined.
"It's Chamomile, great for tender tumms Will. Just grow up and drink it quietly." Sitting down beside him, watching as Will sat heavily within the warm couch throw.
"Wish you'd left me some underwear to go with this skant." Will grumbled, remembering the looks he'd received when he'd bent down to pull on his boots in quarantine.
"The skant was a warning, not an incentive Will. I expected you to refuse to wear it and stay put. Not march all over the ship showing off your tackle box. The ensigns I'll have to counsel over the next few days " She let the sentence drop at Will's blushing cheeks.
"How come Bev let me stay?"
Deanna took in his handsome face and noted the colour slowly returning. He was on the mend, but still banned from duty thanks to his latest transgression. "I think it was to teach me a lesson to hide escapee patients in my living room."
"I'm that hard to look after?" he grinned.
"You're even harder than hard." Deanna rolled her eyes. Just drink your tea and rest. And if I catch you up and working "
"I know I know bridge duty in the buff." He grimaced. "Damned if I'll do that. The questions Data would ask."
"The comparisons you mean." Deanna flirted. "Just don't go anywhere ok? She'll know." Reminding him of the doctors tracking device lodged somewhere on his person. "I have a full compliment of sessions this morning, most likely thanks to you. Will you be alright for a few hours?"
"Thanks, I'll be fine."
"Have a shower if you want but nothing else ok?" Gazing into his dazzling blue eyes to lock in his promise.
"I promise." He smiled warmly, enjoying the attention he was getting from her.
"Oh and take your hypo at 09:00." She added before slipping through the doors.
"Great." He grumbled. Suddenly finding himself bored within seconds. All his work padds were locked in his quarters, a clever plan on Crusher's part, and Deanna had encoded him out of her terminal.
Finally giving up, Will reached down, undid his boots and swung his legs up onto the couch. Within minutes he was cosily asleep upon the counsellor's couch.
"Well well well." Beverly tuttered. "Not every day you get to find a naked man sleeping on your couch."
Somehow during his sleep, Will had not only managed to undo his skant and escape from its claustrophobic grasp but knock the throw rug to the floor.
Like draped alabaster marble, the warm flesh of Will Riker glowed brightly under the streaking starlight as it flew by the window above. Head ploughed deep into the cushion and arms and legs akimbo; it looked like he'd crash-landed.
"So the quarantine is definitely over? I can wake him and send him home?" Deanna whispered, not wanting to wake the peaceful man.
Beverly sighed, spying the hypo on the side table. It's blue contents glowing brightly. "Only if he takes his meds. If he single handedly stars this epidemic again just by sleeping through his specified med timetable, I'll ground him forever."
Deanna smiled. Her mind half wantonly wishing Beverly would banish him to her couch forever, taking in his luscious muscles and gentle giant slumber.
"No you can't keep him Deanna." Beverly knew where her friends mind was going. "Unless there's some old Betazoid aristocratic tradition about acquiring stud material. And if there is I had better warn the captain next time your mother comes visiting."
Deanna gasped lightly but enough to wake the giant. His long limbs stretching outward in an orgasmic display as muscles and tendons popped. He groaned in a satisfying way before popping open his bright blues.
It was then that he realised he had an audience, and an audience of his bare physique. As fast and careful as he could, he grabbed the throw that lay on the floor and draped it quickly around his midst.
"What can I do for you lovely ladies?" Half concealing a yawn.
"Well that's a proposition and a half." Beverly smirked. "I've come to release you to the wild."
"There's not a hoard of slobbering ensigns outside that door waiting for my next skant appearance is there?" He grimaced.
"I can organise it, but the Captain I think would prefer a full working compliment." Slipping forward and sitting beside him, the errant hypo in hand.
"I'm late?" he asked, one eyebrow rose as she adjusted the dose.
"Mmmmhhmmm. And for that I'm going to give you a double dosage just in case." Pushing the hypo a little harder against his neck than she normally would. The sting eliciting an angry glare from Will as he rubbed the tender spot.
"Hows the tumm?"
Will sat and thought for a moment. "Fine. I think."
"Headache? Muscle aches? Dizziness?" Beverly listed of f the various symptoms of the virus' presence.
"All clear." He replied just as his stomach grumbled. "Can I eat something? Coffee?"
Giving a warm motherly smile, Beverly Crusher removed herself from the couch and began packing away her implements. "You, Will Riker, can now have anything you like, but in moderation. But if for the slightest moment you feel unwell, call me."
Hands on hips she waited till he nodded. "And as for you hiding him away, I'm going to leave him in your care till 09:00 tomorrow; where he can then return to duty for alpha shift." Directing her last order to the diminutive Betazoid Counsellor.
Deanna grinned knowing her friend truly believed it to not be a burden. The glee in both Will and Deanna's eyes belying their delight. "I promise to help him rest and recover. But just one thing "
Leaning close to Beverly's ear she whispered the words "Where did you tag him?"
Beverly grinned an evil red haired smile. "Lets just say that it won't be where you think it is." Making her way to the door, she tossed out a last comment. "Goodnight children, behave won't you?" And with the stare held for the right amount of time directed towards Will, she made her exit.
"So think we can eradicate these horny feelings I have for you?" Will broke the silence.
Deanna burst into laughter. "She warned me it might happen, but with you it's a constant." Laughing as he pouted a little. "If you do anything but rest and recover you might just locate the tag in an unfortunate way. And I don't want to be the one to call Beverly in the middle of the night; that's for sure." Swatting away his wandering hands as she sat beside his naked wrapped body on the couch.
"So what you're saying is you don't want to play doctors and nurses." Wiggling his eyebrows.
Deanna fell into a pile of giggles. "You are incorrigible Will Riker." Launching herself off the couch to wrestle from his wandering hands, Deanna stuck out her tongue and held up the wrinkled mass of his skant. "Catch me if you can."
"If you leave the confines of this cabin, it's considered foul play." He grumbled as she moved towards the outer cabin doors.
"It might be the only chance I have of evading a horny XO." She grinned, staying put just out of the reach of the door sensors.
Standing up and removing the couch throw rug, Will Riker held both arms away from the side of his body, letting her take in his magnificence. "Do I look horny?"
Deanna moved her head to one side taking her time to gaze over his lightly furred torso and down to the engineering section. "No. But I have a remedy for that." Winking wickedly as she dropped his skant and soon added her own uniform to the pile.
"Well as a desperate individual in need of saving, I would like to take up your offer, as long as you lock that door first so that no fire breathing doctors interrupt my therapy session." Moving steadily forward to take her into his embrace.
"Computer, lock cabin 811, authorisation Deanna Troi." Was the last thing heard apart from the snigger Will Riker made as she began to tickle the back of his neck; signalling the start of something that was only going to end with big smiles and lots of heavy breathing.
The scantily clad end.