Midnight Counseling IV
"The party is over Miss Troi"
With a tired smile Deanna Troi acknowledged her hostess. "So it is."
The dark-skinned woman sat down in the empty chair next to the
counselor. "Stayed to help me clean up the mess?" Black, Betazoid
eyes scanned the El-Aurian's face, trying to get an accurate sense
of her emotions through the haze of her empathy.
"Sure" she replied after a pause, but remained seated.
"Rollercoaster day" Deanna corrected and turned her gaze to the
stars seemingly lost in thoughts. Guinan followed her lead and
squinted her eyes as if trying to see there weren't any Warbirds
around by any chance. "We are eight hundred light-years away from
the Neutral Zone you know."
The El-Aurian bared the white of her teeth as she grinned half-
heartedly. "It was a beautiful wedding, don't you agree?"
"Hmm...you do realize Keiko threatened your position as 'woman-with-
the-strangest-hats', don't you?" The empath smirked impishly as she
locked her eyes on Guinan's, silently laughing at the swirl of
emotions she sensed from her friend.
The El-Aurian returned it with a knowing smile of her own, slightly
annoyed by the counselor's jest. "Just wait until you see the -new-
hat I ordered." She watched as the counselor shook her head, her
loose curls dancing around her shoulders.
Guinan, along with all the other guests at the wedding, had noticed
what a beautiful couple Deanna and the First Officer made and for
the millionth the bartender wondered just what had aspired between
the two in the past. "I understand the bride had a case of cold
A small snort left Deanna's throat as she dropped her head. "Just a -
small- case" she said in a tone that managed to indicate the
opposite. "Data actually solved it. Or perhaps not 'solved' it, but
he got Keiko thinking it over. Which is more than what I managed to
do." With a push of her feet Deanna swung her chair around so that
she was directly facing the El-Aurian. "What's it with you people
anyway? First you're after my job, now Data...who's next? The
The bartender stared at the counselor for a while; Troi's tone was
harsher than it should've been. Was, or wasn't she joking? "I told
you, it's the office" she retorted once opting to go with the first
assumption. Brown eyes watched as Deanna stood up from her chair and
began to collect the empty glasses of the tables around them. Not
too comfortable with her guest doing her job Guinan too rose to her
feet and began collecting as well.
She knew from experience that the empath needed to move around to
shake of the tension from her fellow shipmates of the last couple of
days. "Did you ever see the ambassador?" She could swear Troi froze
for a second.
"You mean, why didn't I sense her deceit?" Deanna continued
wandering from table to table, keeping her back turned towards her
friend. "The captain never asked me to and I was all too happy to
use the time to catch up with my paperwork."
"My, aren't we touchy" The words, said with a gentle smile, made
Deanna spin around instantly. Her defiant look died as she caught
the white of Guinan's teeth and her shoulders slumped.
"Long days, rollercoaster emotions...and no chocolate." She added
with some blame. Of course she'd ate the last of Guinan's stock
after their little encounter with the two dimensional creatures and
Guinan hadn't had a chance to get some new chocolate.
"Three days and you'll have all the chocolate you can eat."
"I'll hold you to that." They put the collected glasses in the
recycler simultaneous and Deanna hopped onto the bar were she sat
down in tailor fashion at the left end, her back resting against the
wall. "I take it you didn't see her either?"
The El-Aurian empathically shook her head. "I wonder how much
information she took back with her to the Empire."
"Hmm...I know my mother hardly has any information about Federation,
or Starfleet security or tactics. But then, she's more interested in
the different men she encounters." The Betazoid accepted the mug
Guinan held out to her and looked at her quizzically.
"Something to help you sleep."
"Better be something strong."
"Believe me, it is."
Deanna carefully placed the mug on the bar and then untangled her
legs to jump onto the floor. "I guess I'd better return to my
quarters then, before I fall a sleep on the bar and have to explain
to every one that I'm not an...an...what's the word? Alcoholic?" At
Guinan's nod she grinned triumphantically and picked up her mug
again to head for her quarters. "But just drugged."
This time Guinan shook her head as she watched the counselor leave,
her long skirt flapping behind her and her hair bobbing up an
down. "Peaceful emotions Miss Troi."
"Happy thoughts Guinan."
And the doors closed.