“Times up Data.” Ship’s counselor Deanna Troi announced, stepping up from her chair and away from her desk.
Data frowned slightly, “Counselor, can’t we extend this session a little longer?”
Deanna smiled, “Data, I know you are excited about making progress with our little emotion lessons, but I don’t want to overload your circuits. I believe an hour a day is sufficient.”
“Yes, but this concept of love . . . . it intrigues me, and the images you paint for me are most enlightening.”
Deanna brushed her bangs back in frustration, “Data, you will not be able to grasp the full concept of love in one or two sessions. Love is something that you learn about continuously throughout your life. Now come on, today is poker night and you know how the commander hates it when anybody is late.”* * * *
“Deanna, you have the worst Poker Face on the planet.” Will chuckled, as the regular group of senior officers began to disbar from a two-hour game of poker.
“I was just having an off night.” Deanna defended, pretending to punch Will in the arm, “I think you only beat me because you using our telepathic link to your advantage.
Will opened his eyes incredulously, “Are you accusing me of cheating?”
“If the shoe fits.”
Will rolled his eyes and grabbed for his soft drink.
“Everybody, I have an announcement.” Announced Data, from where he had positioned himself at the door.
“Data having an announcement? This is got my curiosity.” Will wondered aloud, taking a man-size swig of his drink.
“Be nice Will, he has made vast improvements in his emotion capabilities. I assume whatever he wants to tell us is important to him on more then one level.” Deanna warned.
“Go ahead Data, were all listening.” Geordi coaxed.
“I have been taking classes with the counselor the past couple of weeks, learning about such emotions as happiness, sadness, compassion, regret, and love,” Data started.
“Yes Data, and we are all very proud of your results.” Beverly smiled reassuringly.
“and through these classes I have learned that I am capable of these emotions.” Data continued.
Deanna stepped forward sensing that Data may be experiencing a breakthrough, “Go on Data, you can speak your mind to us, we are your friends.”
Data nodded and looked straight at Deanna, “Counselor I love you, will you marry me?”
In surprise, Will began to choke on his mouthful of pop
. Ch 2
The room went eerily silent, as all eyes turned on Deanna.
“Data, you have certainty shocked me.” Deanna began cautiously, searching for the right words that would not alienate him.
“Well that good right? Women liked to be surprised by their potential mates.” He leaned forward closer to Deanna, “I think this is where you are suppose to answer my proposal with a yes.”
Deanna opened and closed her dry mouth, “Data the woman says yes when she want to marry the person who proposed to her.”
She looked around helplessly to the crewmates around her, hoping somebody would step up and help her. No one did.
“Data, I need time to think about this. Can we talk tomorrow?”
Data thought for a moment and then nodded in approval, “Yes, I have read it is very common for a woman to keep her mate in suspense. It heightens the man’s excitement towards the marriage. I will wait till tomorrow for your yes.”
Will began to choke again, “Where is he getting his reading material.”
Deanna turned around and shot him a dirty look.
“Till tomorrow counselor.” Data leaned forward and placed a rather stiff, rather uncomfortable kiss on Deanna’s cheeks.
He turned on his heels and made an exit out the door.
“What does one get a woman for her wedding night with an android, motor oil?” Will teased, as soon as Data was out of ear shot.
“Extra spark plugs?” Added Geordi
Beverly bit her lip, “WD-40?”
Deanna groaned and threw herself on Will’s couch, covering her head with a pillow “What am I going to do?”
Sensing Deanna was not in the joking mood, Will quickly ushered out the remaining stragglers from the Poker party.
“Dee, come on it’s not that bad.” He made a spot next to her on the couch and sat down. Gently, he pried away the pillow she was using as a shield to cover her face, “Data is a very respectful suitor.”
“I’m sorry it was a perfect set up, it could not be helped. Seriously though, you just have to sit him down and explain to him that was a generous offer, but your not interested. Just tell him the cold feel of synthetic skin is not what you crave to come to after a long hard day at work.”
“WILLIAM you are NOT amusing.” She stood up from the couch and headed towards the door.
“Deanna wait.” Will got up from the couch and grabbed her arm.
“What?” she asked angrily, her eyes narrowing to cat-like slits.
“What are you going to name your offspring? Chip? Rom? CD?” He asked, his eyes sparkling with mischief.
“Will, I hate you.” she picked up the pillow beside her and threw it towards his head. Missing her target by mere inches.
He looked up in surprise, “Did I say something wrong?”
“AUGGHHHHH!” she walked out the door.* * * *
Walking to her room, she was shocked to see Data standing outside her door waiting.
“Data, is awfully late to be making a social call.”
“I forgot to give you the ring.” He whipped a small box out of his pocket and handed it to her. “You can put in on when you decide to marry me.”
Deanna open the box and inspected the delicate gold ring inside. “Data, haven’t I seen this ring before?”
“Yes it was Tasha’s.”
Deanna nodded slowly and closed the box, “Data I can’t take this. I wasn’t close to Tasha, you were.” She held the box out for him to take, but he shook his head no and backed away.
“And I am close to you. It’s our engagement ring.”
Deanna joined Beverly at the Ten-Forward Lounge the next morning for breakfast and relayed the previous nights events for her.
“Wow Tasha’s ring, that’s serious Dee.”
“I know. He handed me that ring and I was so dumbfounded I took it.” Deanna looked longingly at her cup of coffee and wished it was hot chocolate.
“Dee, something tells me more is bugging you then Data.” Beverly cocked an inquisitive eyebrow at her friend.
Deanna looked up from her coffee guiltily, “Am I unattractive Bev.”
“Have I gotten fatter, homelier, or more wrinkled then I used to be? Am I starting to resemble my mother?”
“No. Deanna, we are sitting here talking about you setting a passion in data, a mechanical robot. If anything you’ve gotten too attractive for your own good.”
Deanna sighed miserably, “Then why did things between me and Will die again after the briar patch. We were red hot for awhile and now were back ice cold.”
Beverly had been wondering about that for awhile herself, but not wanting to scare Deanna at this moments, shrugged it off, “Dee, he’s a man. Do not try to figure out his reasoning . . .its . . .its FUTILE.”
Deanna giggled. “Bev, he isn’t even slightly miffed that Data proposed to me. That another man proposed to me.”
“Deanna we are not talking about another man, we are talking about Data. He knows there is nothing to worry about. He knows you are going to say no.”
Deanna stared down at the unappetizing eggs in front of her, “What if I didn’t say no, at least not right away?”
“Dee, he’s not a threat to Will, he’s a joke.”
“Maybe, but right now he’s the only thing I have to hold over Will’s head.”
“Deanna, what are you saying?”
“I’m just was thinking that maybe I won’t say no to Data’s proposal right away.”
Beverly’s jaw dropped open in shock, “Is that fair to Data, to be playing with emotions he has only newly required?”
“I’m not playing with him emotions, I’m simply considering thinking out his proposal to the fullest extent before answering it. I think it’s only fair to Data that I truly analyze his proposal and all its possibilities before giving him my life altering answer.”
“Deanna your rationalizing.”
Before she could continue, Will Riker walked into the Ten-Forward and waved to the two. Within moments he had walked over and slid into the chair next to Deanna.
“So how’s every this BEAUTIFUL morning.” Will asked, grabbing a fork and digging into Deanna’s eggs.
“Someone’s in a good mood.” Beverly noted.
Deanna pushed the eggs in front of Will, “Go right ahead, dig in.”
“Don’t mind if I do.” He dug into the scrambled eggs and raised a heaping forkful to his mouth. “So, are you ladies all prepared for the Captain’s Square Dance tonight on the holodeck?”
Beverly shook her head, “He is going to hate it Will. He hates it when we acknowledge his birthday, and now we are adding the pressure of an old fashion barn dance on top of it. He is going to have an absolute fit.”
“No no, he’ll love it.” After taking another spoonful he turned his attention to Deanna, “I’ll pick you up a little after six, okay?”
Deanna turned to him, “Will, you never asked me to go with you.”
“Deanna, we always go to these functions together, people expect that.”
“You know I think I need to get to work.” Beverly said quickly, sensing an emotional eruption just waiting to burst from Deanna, “I will see you guys tonight.” She grabbed her food tray and practically bolted to the door.
Deanna began to clench her fist, “Will, you never asked me. What if I have accepted an invitation from somebody else?”
Focused on the eggs in front of him, Will shrugged, “Nobody else is going to ask you.”
“Your spoken for. Everybody knows that you attend these functions with me and so not to get on my bad side, no one is going to ask you. It’s just the way it is.”
Deanna turned to him, amazed that she had never fully realized how chauvinistic he could be, “Well I’ve got a date.”
“With who?” Will asked, shoving that last forkful of eggs in his mouth.
“My potential fiancée.”
Surprised once again, Will began to choke.
“Is there a conspiracy to scare me to death or what?” Will choked, his face turning a scarlet.
“I can’t tell you that or I’d have to kill you.” Deanna joked, banging on his back.
Within moments Will had recovered, and slowly his face turned back to normal. “Are you mad at me? Is that why your being this ridiculous?”
Hurt by his stupidity, but determined not to show it, Deanna shook her head, “Just because I accept a date with another man, you automatically assume I’m angry with you. I think you need to realize that I’m an adult single woman and I will date. Sometimes you, sometimes other people.”
“Date yes, but referring to Data as your potential fiancée? Isn’t that a little much?”
“Will when your my age and still single, you have to take all potential suitors seriously. Data is a single, stable, faithful man with a dependable job and a steady income. He is kind, gentle when needed, strong when needed, and has some endearing child-like qualities. Any woman would be lucky to find such a man willing to settle down.”
“Deanna, are you ill? He’s an android?”
“And your a human, and I’m a Betazoid, and Worf’s a Klingnon. Will when did you become so racist?”
Will through down his fork in disgust, “I don’t appreciate name calling.”
“Well I don’t appreciate you taking on the role of my father. I’m a grown-up and very capable of making my own decisions.”
“Deanna, I have bridge duty in five minutes and now, thanks to you, I’m feeling sick to my stomach.”
“I didn’t make you eat my eggs.”
“It’s not the eggs that are making me sick, it’s your attitude.”
Deanna shrugged unsympathetically , “Oh well, I can’t be expected to keep you happy all the time, I’m a psychologist not a miracle worker.” She slid up from her seat, “I’ve got to go to work myself, I guess I’ll see you tonight.”
“Maybe.” Will muttered.
Leaving the lounge, Will stomped his way to the bridge suddenly not looking forward the upcoming nights activities like he had. The conversation he had just finished with Deanna had set his emotions in a downward tailspin and he very much desired to go back to his cabin, crawl back under his sheets and start this day all over again.
“Commander,” Geordi LaForge ran up to Will, “when did you want to go over those statistics?”
Will stopped, and turned to Geordi in confusion, “What statistics?”
Sensing Will’s mood, Geordi decided to drop the subject of statistics for one regarding Will’s mood, “Commander, do you want to talk about it?”
“About whatever has gotten you so upset that you are primed to take off somebody’s head.”
“No.” Will said firmly, “It’s too embarrassing.”
“Does it have anything to do with the Poker game last night?”
A pitiful groan escaped Will’s lips, “You know if I would have known she would seriously consider such a ludicrous idea, I would have not made fun of it last night. . . I would have driven such notions out of her head immediately, before they had time to blossom into . . .into . . ..”
“madness?” Geordi asked helpfully.
“Exactly. Before such an idea blossomed into madness. Geordi, I am so tempted to call her mother right now and fill her in on her daughter’s madness.”
Geordi shook his head and gave a low whistle, “You know, there has always been rumors that you and Deanna would never last, but never in anyone’s wildest dreams did the idea of Data being the source of your problems come into play. Data? I mean the counselor could have her pick of men of the ship, why Data is beyond me.”
Will looked at Geordi angrily “Rumors about being and Deanna not lasting? Why? We are imzadi.”
“Yes, but she has been ready to settle down for ages and you . . .well you are like the rest of us guys, not ready to commit to anything but our jobs.”
“What gave you the idea that I can’t commit?”
“Commander, either you can’t commit, which is understandable to me and the rest of the male species on this ship, or your letting one of the most eligible female specimens ever to grace this ship, fall right through your fingers, which none of the males on this ship, including me, can understand. We like you to much to think the second scenario is true” Geordi turned around the opposite direction to Will, “We can do statistics another time. You’d better get to the bridge before the Captain has your head. You know what birthdays do to the man’s temper.”
Will nodded, secretly wondering which scenario Geordi had said was right.
“Data,” Deanna looked up from the papers she was analyzing in surprise, “What are you doing here.”
“It is our time for our emotion lesson.” Data responded, he looked at the dozen perfectly replicated red roses on her desk, “I see you got my flowers.”
Deanna gave a half hearted smile, she had figured the roses were from Data, by the flawless handwriting on the card that said I love you, but secretly she had hoped they were a present from Will. “There perfect Data. Very fitting under the circumstances.”
Data nodded, “Yes, I knew they would be. I read it is very customary to present loved one with such things like flowers, to show ones endearment towards them.”
“You’ve been doing a lot of reading then Data?”
Data nodded, “Oh yes, I’ve gone back to some late twentieth century romance novels. Very enlightening.”
“Yes, I’ve found a couple writers, Jackie Collins and Daniel Steele, that have really explained the finer points of romance. Their writing is truly comparable to the works of Shakespeare.”
“Hmm . . .I’ll have to check some of their works out.”
“Counselor, have you thought about my proposal anymore?”
“Data, I’m thinking about it, but I don’t want to rush into anything. Maybe it would be a good idea if we go on a date first, say the Captain surprise party for example.
“The square dance?”
“Yes, we can see how we relate to each other on a one-on-one personal situation.”
“If you think that is wise counselor.”
“I do. Now let’s get on with today’s lesson, guilt.”* * * *
“Captain, I’m sorry I’m late.” Will started immediately as the doors of the turbo-lift opened, “I had a quick meeting with Geordi.”
The Captain held out his hand to stop Will, “It’s no problem Number One.”
Will looked at the Captain curiously, noticing something was out of place, but not quite sure what. “New uniform Captain?”
“No Number One, why do you ask?”
Then it hit Will, the Captain was sitting in his chair with a goofy grin plastered on his face, “Captain, you seem unusually happy today, especially under the circumstances.”
“Let’s just say I’m looking forward to tonight?”
“Tonight?” Will tried to cover his surprise, and wondered who had told the Captain about his party.
“Yes, you see Beverly is taking me out for my birthday.” the Captain started, “on the holodeck. A special little rendezvous for just the two of us. “
“Just the two of you, wow.” Will said cautiously.
“Oh yes, and she is being very secretive about the whole thing. She told me she would bring a box to my quarters containing everything I needed for tonight, clothes, etc, and told me all I had to do is be open minded and the night would unfold to become a magical event.”
Will looked at the excitement on the Captain’s face, and felt a sinking dread overcome him, “You want a evening alone, just the two of you.”
The Captain looked at Will in surprise, “Are you daff? I’ve been aching to start a relationship with Beverly nearly as long as Deanna has been aching to start things up with you. I guess lucky for me, Beverly came around faster then you have.” The Captain slapped Will on the back and headed to the turbo lift, humming happy birthday as he went.
Will sat down in the Captain’s chair sullenly. Now, not only did he have to worry about Deanna’s joke of engagement, he now had the added pressure of the Captain looking forward to a romantic dinner that wasn’t going to take place, and trying to figure out where everyone got this damn notion that he, William T. Riker had commitment issues.
Frustrated, Will tapped on his badge, “Riker to Troi.”
“Troi here, and I’m in a session.”
“Counselor please tell Data he will have to wait for his little lessons later. I need to see you and Beverly on the bridge immediately.”
“Okay, I’ll get her and be right up, Troi out.”
“He what?!?” Beverly looked at Will in amazement.
Will had pulled Beverly and Deanna immediately into the conference room upon their arrival on the bridge, and quickly relayed the events between him and Captain, of course minus the little blurb about Deanna, him, and commitment.
“So we are just going to have to cancel the party and you two can go on a little romantic dinner for two.” Will decided.
“Will,” Deanna hissed, while kicking his leg under the table.
“You can’t keep making all these decisions about what people can and can’t do. It’s Beverly’s choice on whether or not she feels comfortable having a romantic dinner with the Captain.”
“Deanna, considering what kind of mood the Captain is going to be in, and the hell he is going to put us through if she doesn’t, I would think the sacrifice would be no big deal.”
“Will, you make the prospect of marrying Data look better and better by the moment.”
“Deanna, Will, please stop.” Beverly held a hand on each side of her head. “Your going to give me a headache.”
“Beverly,” Deanna soothed, changing into her doctor voice, “contrary to what our fair commander has to say, you only have to do what you want.”
“Deanna,” Beverly’s blue eyes twinkled, “If Jean-Luc want a romantic dinner for two, I want to give Jean-Luc the best, most romantic birthday dinner he has ever desired. Not because Will wants me to, but because I’m sick of you getting all the eligible men around here and because I think I’m finally ready too.”
“Crisis averted.” Will looked smugly at Deanna, “I guess I’m not so bad in the love department after all.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m the one with the engagement ring and your not.”
Will smug looked turned into a scowl.
“You guys, we still have to deal with the little problem of the barn dance. We can’t exactly send messages out to the whole crew telling them it has been called off, in time.” Beverly pointed out.
The group sat in silence for a moment, before Deanna jumped up, “I know, we will set up the Ten-Forward for the barn dance, and leave the holodeck for Beverly and the Captain.”
Will and Beverly nodded, it would take a lot more work to get ready, but under the circumstances they didn’t have much choice.
Beverly twirled herself around in the mirror, “Deanna is this to much.”
Deanna let out a low whistle, “I guess it depends what kind of response you want. If you want to bring him to his knees, drooling, then no it’s not to much. If you want to convince him to get regular check-ups, then maybe it’s too much.
“Ha Ha, you and Will always the comedians.” Beverly turned around in the mirror one more time, “The tux?”
“Will’s having it delivered to the Captain’s room as we speak. Data’s taking care of programming the holodeck for a French Rivera setting, and Guinan, Wesley, and Geordi are frantically replicating decorations for the Ten-Forward”
“Sounds like crisis is averted.” Beverly looked suspecisouly at Deanna, “Except that whole thing of you being engaged to the wrong person.”
“Beverly the way he’s been acting lately, I think I am potentially engaged to the right person.”
“So you are going through with this date tonight and not breaking it off to go with Will.”
“Definetly. I think Will needs to know I am not just going to run to him at the snap of his fingers.”* * * *
“Data, how’s the holodeck programming coming.” Will Riker asked.
“Good.” Will shuffled around Data, “so I here you’ve got a hot date tonight?”
“Oh yes, slang. Yes, I’ve got a hot data tonight.”
“Data, did she mention to you that she is already engaged.” Will fibbed, trying to look innocent.
Data stopped what he was doing, at looked at the commander, perplexed. “No she did not.”
Will shook his head, “She is, and that is why she hasn’t been able to give you an answer yet? I think she felt GUILTY that she taught you about LOVE and when you finally felt LOVE towards somebody she didn’t want to discourage that.” Will looked at Data, hoping he hadn’t been to obvious by accentuating the emotions Will knew Data could express.
Data stopped what he was going, and sat down. The corners of his mouth began a downward turn, “This upsets me greatly. I understand why the Counselor did this, but” he held his hand to his chest, “I know if I had a heart it would break right now.”
Will looked at Data and felt a twinge of guilt hit him. “Data,” he sat down next to the android intending to comfort him but Data shook his head and scooted away.
“Commander, I wanted emotions therefore I must deal with the consequences.”* * * *
Deanna was walking down the hall, heading to her quarters to change for the nights events, when Data appeared and stopped her.
“Hey you, I was just going to get ready for our date.”
“Counselor, under the circumstance I do not think we should carry out our date.”
Deanna looked at Data in surprise, “Why, what’s wrong.”
“Counselor, do not spare me. I wanted these emotions and therefore I must take the good with the bad.”
“Counselor, I wish you all the best.” Data kissed her on the cheek, “and being my first true love I will always hold you dear.”
He walked away, leaving Deanna in a stunned silence.
“Data wait.” Deanna ran after the android.
Data turned, “Yes counselor.”
“Data, what circumstances are you referring to.”
“It’s okay counselor, you don’t have to pretend to me, the Commander told me everything.”
“Will? I should have known. What did Will tell you?”
“He told me about your engagement, and although it hurt at first I am really very happy for you. It made me realize that it wasn’t love I felt for you, it was infatuation . . .hero worship because you have helped me discover so many new things.”
Deanna’s eyes opened wider, “Did Will tell you that also.”
“No, I figured that out myself.”
“Oh. . .so did Will tell you by any chance who I am engaged to?”
Data thought for a moment, “No, he didn’t, and at that time I didn’t care to know.”
“Thanks Data, I’ll see you at the party.”
Data nodded and headed off.
Deanna stood in the hallway alone, deep in thought. There was no way she was going to give Will what he wanted, at least not without subjecting him to severe forms of mental torture first . . .the kind he has been subjecting her to for the past ten years.”* * * *
Will Riker buttoned up the last button on his shirt, feeling quite proud of himself. Yes, maybe fibbing to Data was not one of his finest moments but it wasn’t like Deanna was really going to marry him or anything, so he was saving the guy of a lot of heart ache later on.
He picked up his newly replicated cowboy hat, and put it on. Yes, he would be ready when Deanna came to his door and needed his service to escort her to the party.
Almost like clockwork, as soon as the thought ran through his mind, there came a knocking at his door.
He did a quick once over in the mirror, smiled, and confidently gloated to his image “Riker do you know women or what.”
He strode to the door and opened it.
“Why Deanna, this is an unexpected pleasure.” He smiled, “Aren’t you suppose to be with Data?” His eyes traveled up and down her body, very pleased by her outfit choice.
Deanna noticing his drooling over her outfit, silently complimented herself, did she know men or what. Choosing a little black mini skirt, with a tight white tank top was no accident. “Oh Data, Will you were so right, it was never going to work.”
Smug, Will leaned against the wall of his cabin, hoping the pose would be noticed and appreciated, “Well, I hope he didn’t take you breaking up with him to hard.”
“Oh, he broke up with me.” Deanna batted her long dark eyelashes, and forged her best sad look.
“Really,” Will asked, his voice oozing with fake sympathy, “do you need a hug to comfort you?” He started to walk over to her, when a knock came to his door.
“Who ever it is, I’m going to kill them.” Will silently muttered.
“Oh that must be my dates.” Deanna rushed to the door.
“Dates? Aren’t we going together?”
“Us? Oh no, I just came here to tell you that you were right and I was wrong. I made other arrangements this afternoon for escorts to the party.”
“Who are you going with?”
“Who in engineering,” Will spat.
“All the single male ones. Isn’t it cute.” She opened the door and stepped out, “See you later Will.”
“Deanna, he is going to make engineering’s life a living hell.” Geordi moaned, as him and Deanna stumbled there way through the Texas two-step.
“Geordi, I owe you guys, big time. Now what ever I do, go with me?” she tilted her head back and let out a loud, flirtatious laugh.
“Kind of over the top, isn’t it Counselor?”
“Geordi, when you are dealing with a man like Will Riker, you can never be to obvious or to over the top. Can you see his expression from here?”
“Yes, and it’s making me want to call in sick tomorrow.”
“Don’t worry your songs almost over, and then I have Wesley.”
“Deanna, in this outfit your going to make the poor kids eyes fall out.”
“I know, but he overheard me talking to my secret weapon about this and wanted to be let in on the fun. I didn’t have the heart to tell him no.”
Geordi winced as Deanna stepped on his foot, “And who is the secret weapon?”
“Worf, he agreed to beam in when we thought this party was going to be for the Captain and I convinced him to stay when the Captain’s plans got changed.”
Geordi shook his head, “Deanna your playing with fire.”
“I know, but when you’ve been going in circles with a guy like Will as long as I have, you learn not to get burned.* *
“Well Number One, considering everything you pulled off in the last twenty-four hours, I would think your spirits would be a little brighter.” came the voice of Jean-Luc Picard.
Will turned around in surprise, “Captain, Bevely, aren’t you guys suppose to be on the holodeck?”
“Yes, well Jean-Luc has a little fessing up to do about the holodeck.” Beverly looked at the Captain and cleared her throat.
“Yes you do.” Beverly proclaimed sternly.
“Yes, well, let’s just say Data accidently relayed information to be about the surprise party and I twisted such information around to you, so to get me my date with the doctor,” he casually grabbed a hold of Deanna’s hand.
Will snickered, “You old dog, lying to get the girl.”
The Captain held his head high, “And you telling Data that Deanna was engaged, what was that.”
“How in the world did you know about that.”
“I’m the Captain, I know about everything.”
During the men’s conversation, Beverly let her eyes wander to the dance floor where Deanna and Wesley were slow dancing, very closely.
“Oh this is getting way out of hand,” she groaned, letting go of Jean-Luc’s hand she angrily stormed over to break the two up. Grabbing Deanna’s hand she yanked her over to Will. Grabbing Will’s hand, she yanked the two on the dance floor. “I bet you guys a week worth’s of chocolate brownies that you can’t dance closely to one another for one whole song without being all over each other like a cheap suit. I DARE you to prove me wrong.”
“Pushy.” Will commented.
“No kidding, if I didn’t know better I’d think she had been taking personality lessons from you.”
“She’s probably angry because you were practically molesting her son on the dance floor. So are we going to prove her wrong by dancing or what?”
“One song, that’s it.” She laid her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his neck. He circled her waist with his arms, and together they moved in rhythmic silence, just enjoying being near one another without having to maintain the fight that neither one of them truly wanted to participate in but didn’t want to lose face by backing out of either.
“Were you really going to think about marrying Data?” Will asked, breaking the silence.
“What do you think?”
“Then why did you carry on like that. Why didn’t you just tell him no, and come here tonight with me. Like always, like tradition.”
“Because, I’m not a holiday Will, I’m a woman, and you doing things with me because they are tradition, is asinine. I want you to do things with me because I make your head spin, your knees weak, and your heart flutter.”
“Wear outfits like that, and I might be prone to a couple of heart flutters, and fainting spells.”
“Wear jeans as tight as those and I might be prone to wear outfits like this more often.”
“Does this mean you forgive a chauvinistic, good for nothing, cowboy like myself?”
“Forgive . . .no. Willing to put on a probation period . . .well that could be arranged.” She giggled in his ear, taking a quick nibble while she was there.
Soon the two were locking lips like old times.* * * *
“How did you know that one dance would bring the two together,” Jean-Luc asked amazed.
“Truthfully, I figured it would work perfectly or backfire horribly in my face, and well, I’ve always been a risk-taker.” Beverly sighed happily, as the two stood of on the sidelines watching Will and Deanna.
“Willing to take any wagers where we are concerned?” Jean-Luc asked lightly, cocking an eyebrow in Beverly’s direction.