Summer Vacation means more fanfiction! Huzzah! - Coffee
The next few days passed in a blissful haze.
They were preparing to make first contact with the people of Lursa Prime—the first stop on Q's suggested course—and the ship was abuzz with excitement. It had been too long since their last friendly first contact, and the prospect of fresh supplies and shore leave had the entire crew buoyant with good humor.
While each department was busy making lists of needed items to procure, Q moved from place to place, checking in with the senior officers, offering suggestions for supply requests and setting up an inventory of items that the Lursainians would be interested in trading for.
"One real advantage you have out here, sweet Captain, is your replicator technology," Q murmured to her as they lay together in bed that night. Kathryn was snuggled to his chest, relishing the feeling of having a man in her bed, and reveling in the joy of having a partner to converse with just before sleep. Q had just made love to her in the most sinfully slow fashion, and she was still twitching with pleasure. She tilted her head and pressed her lips tenderly against his collarbone.
"How so?" she sighed, flush with afterglow.
"Not many cultures out here have that kind of technology, which means we can always be certain we'll have exactly what they want to trade…and these Lursainians are easy to please; they enjoy simple luxuries…good food, good alcohol…" he stroked her hair, running his fingers eagerly through the satiny tendrils.
"I'm looking forward to this first contact," Kathryn murmured, pulling him a little closer. "It's been so long…"
"Well, after the briefing tomorrow, we'll be all set to proceed with the main event…" He paused and looked down at her. "I'm so happy to be able to share this with you, Kathryn…it's so exciting seeing this process through your eyes."
"I'm glad you're here too, Q. This is a great experience you're offering us…offering me…it's not unappreciated."
They lay there together for a quiet moment. Kathryn absently slid her hand back and forth across his chest, moving her fingers through the sparse hair there. She felt more than heard the chuckle rumbling beneath her hand.
"You're tickling me," he whispered teasingly into her ear, wrapping his arms around her in a sweet embrace. Kathryn scoffed, but she felt happy. It had been years since anyone had held her like this-since she'd felt like a woman, like a lover. The Captain was rarely offered physical contact as a means of solace; no one hugged the Captain or held her when she was feeling low, and she'd learned to be okay with being aloof and untouchable, but now, here, with Q…she couldn't get enough of the feeling of his flesh against hers, or the weight of his arm draped over her waist.
"Tell me you love me," he whispered into her skin.
"Q," she sighed, exasperated. She rolled over to face him. "You can't keep demanding that of me."
"Why not?" he tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and pulled her to his chest.
"Because, it's the kind of thing I have to say of my own free will," she snorted.
"Free will can be coerced," he snorted back. "How I'd love you, Kathryn, if only you'd let me."
"I think you loved me pretty thoroughly just a few minutes ago," she chuckled. Q grinned at her lasciviously before his expression sobered.
"You know that's not what I meant…" he began, but Kathryn placed her fingers lightly over his mouth.
"I know," she said. "I'm aware of what it is you want from me, Q, but you can't rush this…you have to be patient."
Q rolled his eyes at her and scoffed. "Of course I'm aware that I shouldn't rush this; could you please state something more obvious?"
"Well…You're awfully handsome," she smiled up at him sweetly. Q chuckled.
The entire Senior Staff was gathering in the briefing room for Q's final run-through of the protocols for First Contact with the Lursainians. The Captain was already there and seated, Q was standing patiently to one side of the view screen, arms clasped behind him, resplendent in jade green and charcoal. Kathryn was trying very hard not stare at him, but Q held no such compunctions. He was actively studying her face, watching her, knowing she was aware of him watching her, and thoroughly enjoying the fact that her sense of professionalism wouldn't allow her to respond to the fact.
Seven arrived early; she was pouring over a PADD in one hand and tapping out a crazy finger dance on another PADD sitting on the table. Tom and B'Elanna entered next, discussing something with each other in furious, hushed undertones. Kathryn used their distracting entrance as a cover to look over at Q and give him a playful wink. His eyebrows jumped up in pleasant surprise, and after a surreptitious glance around to make sure no one was looking, he returned her wink with a deliberately suggestive one of his own. Kathryn let a slow grin slide across her face. She looked down at her hands, attempting to control her expression, but it was no use. She looked back up at Q's face, and in a moment, they were both grinning at each other like idiots. Q stepped forward and knelt down next to the Captain's chair.
"We were fools to think we could behave ourselves in a room together like this," Q muttered in mock exasperation. "There's no point in trying to resist—I must ravish you now!"
"Shh!" Kathryn hissed, as Tom and B'Elanna fortunately grew louder in their argument, "You're going to get me in trouble!" She was grinning furiously. Q looked up at her and smiled.
"You're beautiful," he whispered. She looked at him, surprised by the sweetness and the sincerity of his compliment. Unthinking, she reached for his hand, gripping it tightly to convey her affection and gratitude. He looked at her hand, running his thumb casually over the back of it. He looked back up at her with love in his eyes…
…and then Kathryn realized the room was strangely silent. She looked over to find both Tom and B'Elanna staring at her and Q in surprise. She felt Q drop her hand with lightening speed and return to his original stance next to the view screen, and before she had time to process this sudden chain of events, Tuvok and Chakotay came in from the door closest to the bridge. Kathryn snuck a quick glance in Q's direction, but his expression was inscrutable. She looked over at Seven, but she still seemed obliviously absorbed in her PADD work. Chakotay and Tuvok were taking their seats. Kathryn nodded a greeting to both of them, and then snuck another quick glance towards Paris and Torres. Both were sitting, looking at each other, doing that silent communication thing some couples excelled at in times of crisis. She looked down at her hands again, and spent the next few moments it took for Harry, Neelix, and the Doctor to arrive, anxiously wondering what they had seen, and what they were thinking.
"Thank you for coming," Q said, addressing them all cheerily and genuinely. Kathryn was startled into reality. She looked over at Q and was impressed by his suddenly all-business demeanor. It effectively jump-started her back into her role as Captain. "I'm excited to be here to go over the details of this First Contact with you all."
"Well, we're excited to hear from you on this manner, Q," she responded crisply. "I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are grateful for an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a little shore leave."
"Here here!" called Harry, and Kathryn was happy to see heads nodding in all the way around the table, with the exception of Tuvok, Chakotay, and Seven. Kathryn scoffed to herself. Tuvok was always stoic, but Chakotay's expression was slightly surly, and his arms were crossed. He seemed to be trying to catch Seven's eye, but she was studiously ignoring his glances. Interesting, Kathryn thought.
Q handled the briefing like a professional with all the enthusiasm of a travel agent, assuring her senior officers that their time and efforts would be rewarded with superior experiences and resources, and informing them of exactly what needed to happen to ensure that those experiences would take place. Invitational and Welcome beacons had been received from the Lursainians, and Q reviewed the protocols they had contained. The Senior Staff seemed comfortable listening and taking suggestions from Q. Kathryn realized that Q's flight plan idea had given him a measure of credibility among the crew, and he had gained a small measure of their respect through his organizing efforts. A few good First Contacts like the ones Q had planned, and they might even accept him as one of their own. They almost seemed comfortable in his presence today. What a change is here, she thought, musingly. She looked back up at Q. He was so handsome, so in his element in this moment, and he was hers.
"…and if that is it for questions, then I believe you are dismissed," Q finished imperiously. Then, realizing what he'd done, looked over to the Captain to make amends. "That is, if that's okay with you, Captain," he added self-deprecatingly.
"I'm in full agreement, Q. Dismissed!" She chirped. The meeting broke up. Seven did not look at Chakotay as she made a beeline for the Doctor and engaged him in conversation as they exited the room together. Kathryn looked over at Chakotay and caught a look of frustration as his eyes followed Seven out the door. She felt Q move to her side.
"You did a great job," she said looking up at him warmly. "Your Captain is impressed with you."
"They seem to like me!" Q gloated. Her looked past Kathryn and his expression sobered. "Well, most of them seem to like me."
Kathryn turned and caught Chakotay looking at her and Q with cold disapproval in his eyes. He turned and left the room through the closest exit possible.
"Something's going on between him and Seven…trouble in paradise," she whispered to Q conspiratorially.
"Perhaps they've broken up! Now's your chance, Kathryn! Run to him!" Q cried dramatically, smothering a grin. Kathryn was surprised by his candor, but she couldn't help but smile at him.
"I like you better," she smirked.
He looked up; his eyes were burning holes into hers. She basked in his attention for a moment. She could feel how much he wanted her…there were only a few steps between them…
Suddenly, she was also aware of other eyes on her. Kathryn turned to see Tom, B'Elanna, Neelix and Harry all watching the exchange between her and Q with expressions of utmost interest.
"Um," Q said, following her gaze. "Perhaps we should go review the…course headings?" he murmured.
"Yes, of course," she replied coolly.
They made a hasty exit together, with eyes following them the whole way.