Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Disclaimer: Oh, yes, I don't own the characters or the playground they play in. Paramount/Viacom does. I'm just borrowing them for a bit. Not for profit, of course.
Notes: I owe this story totally to my wonderful beta, Sara. She was amazing, and a huge help. She stuck with me, even though P/Q isn't her thing. Hope you all are as lucky. Jen helped with P/Q comments. These ::: ::: are for someone's thoughts. My very first fanfic ever. Ever, ever. This was written for Kira's Holiday Challenge.
"This is thy hour O Soul, thy flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars."
--Walt Whitman, "A Clear Midnight"
It was the end of his rather uneventful shift. He walked purposefully towards his quarters. As soon as he stepped through the door, he sensed that something was different. A quick scan allowed him to pinpoint the difference. Sitting on top of his desk was a miniature tree. It was very much alive, and placed inside a wide clay pot. The thing that drew his attention most, however, was the light snow that was falling upon it from an apparently unidentifiable source.
Picard walked up to it curiously. He reached out a careful finger and touched one of the small branches. His finger came back smelling of pine. He stuck several fingers in the path of the falling snow flakes, and watched as they melted on his body.
He wasn't surprised when he felt a pair of warm arms wrap around him. A head rested on his shoulder. "Q, what is this all about?" A soft, hot mouth placed a kiss on his neck. "Yes, that's lovely, but you didn't answer my question." The mouth moved to his ear, nibbling and licking along the way.
"Q, really..." Picard's voice trailed off at this point as his breathing became a little ragged.
"A surprise, mon capitaine. After all, it is the season of giving." Q tightened his arms around his lover, pulling him even closer, then went to work on the opposite side of Picard's neck.
"The...mmm...season of giving?" Picard somehow managed to get out his question, despite the rather tempting distraction behind him.
"Yes. The old Earth custom of Christmas. According to your Earth calendar, it's Christmas Eve. A time when some preferred to exchange gifts, rather than wait until the morning after.This will benefit me, since the main part of your gift involves leaving the Enterprise for the evening."
"Christmas? Q, as far as I know, no one on board keeps such an archaic custom." The arms began caressing his chest and abdomen, reaching lower with each stroke. "And what's this...about leaving ship?" He directed a mental suggestion to his tormenter. :::Q, that's quite enough for the moment.:::
"You're so irresistible. And don't worry. Nothing dangerous will come up while you are off ship. No one will notice you are gone. Remember who you are dealing with here, Jean-Luc."
"Still, you know how I feel about...oh god." He couldn't help the groan that escaped his lips, as the very talented hands reached his cock and began their exploration of it through his uniform. "Q, love, please...ah...why don't you tell me about this...gift." By this time it was becoming very difficult for him to form a clear thought.
"It's supposed to be a surprise. That's the whole point." Q stopped his ministrations for the moment, only to turn Picard around to face him and pull him in for a rough kiss.
The captain was startled by the quick maneuver and braced his hands at the entity's sides. Q had his own hand firmly gripping the back of Picard's neck, tilting the man's head up to meet his. It started hard straight off, full lips crushing those underneath, pressure immediately forcing the man's mouth open so the other could deepen the kiss. Tongues touched, twined together. Q pulled his mouth slightly back; just enough to use his teeth to bite Picard's lower lip. Then his tongue came out and slowly caressed the captain's lips before slipping back inside.
They separated from each other, both breathing heavily and fully aroused. Picard brought himself back to the matter at hand with a slight bit of difficulty. He spoke on an exhale. "Ahh...bon. But you have to understand; with you mon petit dieu, it pays to be informed." His voice was affectionately mocking on the stressed words.
"So, does this mean that you are ready for me to give you your little gift?" Q traced the line of Picard's jaw as he spoke.
"Am I to understand that this 'gift' is not something that can be wrapped?" Picard grabbed Q's hand and kissed it lingeringly.
"Very perceptive, human." :::And a very nice kiss. But more on that later.::: "Well, shall we then?" Q raised his hand, preparing to snap. His other arm wrapped itself firmly around Picard. The captain returned the gesture.
"I hope I won't regret this." This was said as they disappeared in a
flash of light.
They appeared somewhere outdoors.
"Shhh." Q placed a finger against Picard's lips.
Picard gently disengaged himself from Q's embrace. He slowly turned around in a circle, taking in his surroundings. It was then that he noticed that they were standing on top of a low hill. This seemed odd, as Picard observed that the rest of the land about them was flat. They were both still dressed in Starfleet uniforms.
"Is this hill upon which we are standing artificial?" Curiosity compelled him to ask.
"Actually, yes. It's for sledding."
Picard gave a brief nod. Something caught his eye in the far distance. "That dwelling, there. Are we going to disturb the ones who live in it?" The building looked like an old style Earth house. Around its perimeter, however, were small twinkling lights.
"No. Not at all. They are gone for the season. They're playing at being snow birds this year." Q's mouth quirked up at this.
"Snow birds?" Picard sounded puzzled.
"Never mind, darling. You worry too much," Q drawled. "And, as a matter of fact, no one else lives anywhere around here for a great distance. As you can see." He gestured out around him.
They were standing in a land covered in snow. All around them was blanketed gently in white. Tall, straight trees grew skyward; lightly touched with the frozen stuff. Stars shone in the clear night sky. The hill was in a clearing of sorts. Obviously prepared by the ones who usually occupied the dwelling in the distance.
The snow wasn't very deep at all. This suggested that the weather hadn't been like this for long. In places where the tree branches were quite low and sheltering there were bare patches of earth, covered in pine needles. Some of the trees were completely bare of leaves and had a papery white bark. They were quite lovely. As a matter of fact, everything seemed rather nice and peaceful, yet something nagged at the edge of the captain's consciousness.
"Q," Picard looked down at his bare hands and frowned as he spoke, "there seems to be something missing from this experience." He held out his hands to the entity, who clasped them tightly.
"Missing? Whatever do you mean, Jean-Luc?" There was a false innocence in that sensual voice.
"You know very well what I'm getting at. Why don't I feel the cold?"
"And why would you want to?"
"Because it would make all this more real!" The captain let out a frustrated sigh.
"It is real!"
"Yes, I know that. I'm afraid I won't be able to explain properly. Please, just indulge me," Picard said quietly.
They stared intently at one another, something unspoken passing between them. Q seemed less than thrilled at the end of it. "Very well, mon capitaine. As you wish." :::Only for you, Jean-Luc.:::
He lifted his hand and snapped. Suddenly both were dressed in old fashioned--compared with the 24th century--winter clothing. And more importantly to Picard, they now actually had a need of it.
"There, you see? Much better." Picard had a grin on his face.
"I fail to see how this is an improvement," Q said sourly.
"Here, love, allow me." Picard leaned in close to the being, then suddenly wrapped his gloved hand around the back of the alien's neck and dragged his head down for a kiss.
It was deep and thorough. Instantly their mouths were opening to one another, tongues meeting and exploring. Jean-Luc felt a hot rush of lust run straight to his groin. Q reached around and grabbed Picard's ass, pressing them in hard against each other. Picard moaned into Q's mouth as he felt the rigid length of Q's cock rub against his own.
Finally they broke away, Picard gasping. "So, you see? Kissing can now be used for warmth...as well as pleasure."
The entity merely looked dazed for a moment. "You haven't looked at what I wanted to show you yet," he finally said, apropos of nothing. "It's already started."
"Has it?" He didn't bother to ask what "it" was. Instead, Picard allowed his eyes to travel skyward in the direction Q was now looking. It was a case of instant gratification.
The sky was filled with a green glowing curtain of light. As they watched, it rippled and waved, dancing in the night. Another color began to appear. Along the bottom, there was a band of red forming. It spread and shrank across the sky; changing shape before their eyes. Purple joined the mix as well. The movement was quite intense. Then the other colors faded, as green came to the fore once more. Soon lances of green light were shooting through the now placid curtain; bright and vivid against the greenish glow.
These dispersed, too. A greenish haze was all that remained. "Beautiful. Despite all that I've seen in space, this is still beautiful." Picard spoke almost reverently.
"I'm glad that you liked it. It's a simple thing, really. But I know that you have never seen this from the ground before. And the setting seemed appropriate for the holiday."
"Simple? Why, it's the simple things that are often the most enjoyable. I know how auroras are formed, but that takes nothing away from my appreciation of them." An aura of contentment flooded him. Q did this for him. How wonderful. He sent the thought towards the entity.
"And you don't know how wonderful it is, just being here with you. I could never get anything from this without your being here. I'm getting joy from it through your joy of it. I'm quite jaded, really. And..."
The entity turned his face away from Picard's with a sigh.:::It's so hard. All the eons gone by, and all that stretches before me. Nothing's new anymore, nothing's a challenge. Until you. How did I ever get so lucky? Now I can see the wonders of the universe again through your eyes.::: He stopped himself from thinking this at Picard.
He tried to compose his features, and turned to face Jean-Luc again. Giving up on holding back completely, he managed to whisper, "Je t'aime." It was obvious that there was more, but Q couldn't bring himself to say it.
Picard lifted Q's hand and gave it a brief, fierce squeeze. He didn't need to hear anymore; he understood what Q found so difficult to say. A wave of longing passed between them.
"Here is more atmosphere for you." Q seemed eager to change the subject. He gave a sharp wave in Picard's direction, and a steaming mug appeared in the captain's hand.
Picard looked down at it. "Hot chocolate, Q? And, are these miniature marshmallows?" He couldn't help the smile that crossed his face, or the teasing note that entered his voice. Dark eyes stared back at him, unblinking.
:::I'm not one much for sweets, but...::: Carefully he took a sip. It was the perfect temperature, and delicious. Picard drank some more. The beverage was working its magic, spreading warmth throughout his body.
He looked over at Q. A wicked thought suddenly occurred to him. Picard closed the small gap between them. Then he remembered the mug still in his hand, and started to crouch to set the mug down. Before he could do so, it was gone. He straightened up, facing the being.
Apparently something wicked had also crossed Q's mind. A gleam showed in the entity's eyes as he reached out to touch Picard's face. Then Q was kissing him. Their arms snaked out around each other. It was a probing kiss, with full use of lips, tongues, and teeth.
When there was a break for the man to speak, he did so. "I noticed that you didn't have a mug to warm up with, Q."
"I prefer to taste my chocolate from your mouth," the being replied with a grin.
"I had something else in mind." Picard returned the grin and abruptly slid his hands up under the layers of clothing covering Q's torso. Without Q noticing he had removed his gloves beforehand.
Bare skin met naked flesh. Q gasped at the contrast of his warm body meeting Picard's cooler hands. Smoothly the hands glided towards Q's chest, the arms following underneath his clothing. The man found Q's nipples, and lightly brushed his fingers across them. A sharp exhalation from Q accompanied this maneuver. Reflexively Q clutched at the man's sides, while Picard continued his tease.
Q let go quickly and moved his own hands up under Picard's clothing, making his gloves disappear as he did so. :::My turn.::: He had been teasing all evening. Now his only thought was to see how fast he could push his lover over the edge.
Of course, the cold weather and their bundled up bodies provided something of a challenge; but Q definitely loved a challenge. For an instant he considered shielding them from the cold again, but there would be plenty of time for that later.
The captain had his own agenda. With Q's arms now pinned inside Picard's clothing, the mortal was free to become more bold without any interference. One hand entered Q's pants, closing around the long erection it found there.
It felt incredibly hot against the man's palm. So smooth, yet achingly hard. Completely wonderful in his grip. And to Q it must have felt the same; his own hands had stilled, body gone rigid from the pleasurable shock of it, small sounds starting to escape from his lips.
Picard gave a firm upwards stroke from the base, squeezing the tip roughly as he reached it. Fluid leaked from the opening, and he took advantage of it. Using stiff pressure, he spread the fluid in circles around the head of Q's cock.
The entity's eyes closed, his whole body leaning into Picard's. His head fell on the man's shoulder, muffling his soft cries against the man's neck. By this time the man was pumping the cock in earnest, aided by warm oil that had appeared as needed. Occasionally Picard's hand slid down to roughly caress the other's balls, only to go back to the straining length.
And Picard's other hand wasn't idle, either. It had gone around to Q's backside and slipped in between to find the opening with a probing finger, also well oiled. He teased the opening first, circling it, before pressing inside. He was rewarded with a groan. Slowly he started to move his finger in and out, pushing deeper each time.
Q managed to collect himself for a moment, producing more oil for his own hands. He rubbed and massaged Picard's upper body, putting all his intense emotions into it. He thrilled to the feeling of the compact muscular body under his palms. This was his beloved in his arms, giving and receiving such joy. Q fed off the wordless sounds of pleasure Picard was now voicing, and the gasps that accompanied the pinches he gave to the man's nipples.
A second finger joined the first, moving rhythmically in time with the other hand working Q's shaft. The speed increased, causing the entity to practically claw the man's back as his climax approached. "Jean-Luc--," he managed to pant, before giving out a yell and shooting out all over his stomach.
Picard pulled both hands free of Q's clothing. Q still had his arms wrapped around Picard's well oiled torso. The entity lightly kissed the side of Picard's face and then disengaged from the constricting garments, cleaning them both off with a thought.
The aurora was reforming above their heads. The cold had seeped into boots and faces. The rest of their bodies were flushed with the warmth from their exertions. Picard placed his bare hands back into coat pockets, keeping them warm. Q stared intently at his lover, eyes burning. Picard returned the heated gaze.
Suddenly Q reached out and gripped Picard's shoulders. "Are you ready now to forgo the little discomforts?"
Picard wasn't entirely sure what Q meant, but decided for the moment to leave everything in his hands. "Yes." The deep voice was quiet and steady; full of trust.
Quickly, Q shoved Picard down into the snow. The captain braced himself to feel the cold encircle his head, as his hat was dislodged in the fall. But there was nothing like that happening. Oh, he felt the snow all right. Crisp and yielding. Soft and strange. But no encroaching sting or numbness. Instantly he realized what Q had done, and he found he didn't care anymore.
Q eagerly ripped into Picard's clothing. The coat tore easily under his hands, shortly followed by the other layers in his way. The pants were ripped off hastily as well. Picard didn't question why Q didn't merely snap his fingers and make him naked. He found he was no longer thinking of much of anything but the obvious lust radiating from Q. His own had never left him.
The dark head bowed over the prostrate form and swiftly engulfed the stiff cock waiting there. Picard cried out and clutched at the snow underneath him. It was faintly unsettling to be able to feel the texture but not the temperature of the stuff in his hands. Even that thought fled his mind as he gave over to fervent passion.
Q took the entire length into his mouth and sucked hard. He let his teeth lightly graze the silky skin past his lips as he pulled back to the head and swirled his tongue around it. Hungrily he took the rest of the cock back into his mouth, licking and sucking ardently. Gauging when Picard was coming close to the brink, he pulled back abruptly. The human made a helpless noise of need low in his throat.
But Q was already quickly shoving aside the remaining tatters of the captain's clothing. Then he made his own clothes disappear in a thought. Kneeling over the man in the snow, he shoved Picard's legs back against his chest.
Sticking a slick finger inside, Q worked at loosening Picard's opening. Soon two and then three fingers were placed inside; moving and stretching his anus. Impatient now, Q removed his fingers. Then, with a quick thrust, he buried himself deeply in Picard's ass.
His breathing was harsh and his look was fierce as he plunged into that tight heat. "I...am...fucking you!"
"And you...are...all mine!"
"You will never...need anyone...but me!" Q's voice was rough with his passion. Jean-Luc was slowly getting used to the entity's need to stake a claim on the human. In a haze of pleasure, the captain briefly wondered how this same entity would feel when it was pointed out to him how much he belonged to Jean-Luc. Q eagerly heeded the man's request, leaning forward to wrap a hand around Picard's cock and increasing the force of his thrusts. Both of them had their eyes open, wanting to memorize this moment, to keep it close.
It was exquisite. Picard was being filled and stroked simultaneously. And this incredibly talented being was projecting his emotions out to the captain, bathing him in them.
The human felt overwhelmed. Feelings so intense, he could almost see them and taste them. Love, hot, like a flame. Joy, blinding in its light. Need, coiling around him. Desire, throbbing, licking at every nerve ending. Gratefulness and amazement at finally finding all this in one person; sparking in his mind like a bright glow. He opened himself up completely to receive it all.
Then, without quite knowing how, Picard returned the favor. Q felt the full force of the emotions hit him like a shockwave. Jean-Luc was new to this; and as Q opened himself wide, greedy to take all, the entity was penetrated quickly and thoroughly by the emotions in a powerful rush.
Standing out above everything else, love infused Q's essence totally. Of course there were others there, intermingled amongst everything else. Happiness shone out like a beacon, the sure conqueror of the loneliness that had always dwelled in Picard in the past. Euphoria, well-being, a sense of rightness in what was transpiring all added to the whole. And all this willingly and freely given to Q. Picard gladly wanted to be here now, sharing all this. Q was just as glad, and still amazed at it all. As he felt this, so did the other. A circuit completed.
Nothing he'd had before could compare to this. With a wordless shout of ecstasy the man came. A moment later Q joined him.
Jean-Luc straightened out his legs as Q slipped from him. Q stretched out beside him and opened up his arms. Picard willingly rested against Q's chest, content. :::I'm naked, laying in the snow.::: He was enjoying his private, rather fanciful (and improbable) musing. Then he tilted his head up towards the sky. Q, who had been looking down at Picard, looked upwards as well.
Their eyes were both drawn to the glorious display before them. Numerous separate bands swelled and twisted like green rivers of light flowing in the sky. They spread out their solar charged fingers across a broad section of the night. New curtains formed, rippling and shifting through space. Brighter spears pierced the greenish glow, as a rosy haze slowly moved over it all. This went on for some moments, before the dancers merged and gradually dimmed.
"Are you ready to return?" Q, whose attention had been mainly focused on his lover throughout; brought Picard's mind completely back with his voice.
Q snapped his fingers.
They were back in the captain's quarters. Still in a state of undress, they were laying in bed together. Q seemed perfectly happy to run his fingers through Picard's chest hair.
"What did you mean when you said that the ship would come to no danger while I wasn't on board? How did you know? Were you shielding the ship?" He sounded slightly suspicious.
"No. But remember, I am omniscient."
"Of course. How can I forget that I'm dealing with a god?" Picard let the sarcasm color his voice a little. "But wait. I haven't given you anything yet."
"You want to give moi a gift?" Q raised an eyebrow in mock surprise."Well, there is one thing that I want more than anything else in the entire universe."
"I am intrigued. What is it?"
As soon as the words had left Picard's lips, he felt a stab of fear, almost dread, enclose him. He had a terrible suspicion what this was about. But Q wouldn't do this to him, couldn't ask this of him. Could he?
"You. For all eternity. After having you, I can't bear the thought of being alone again, forever."
He could. They had danced around this issue before. Trying to figure out boundaries, to see where this relationship was going to go. However, neither one of them was any good at discussing their feelings. And they were cautious with one another, not wanting to lose what they had.
Yet, it had to come up. Picard had been injured, not too severely, in the course of his duty one day, and Q showed up. The entity appeared in a flash of light, frowning.
Picard had been absolutely needed planet side, and things had gone wrong. The doctor had not accompanied the captain. He lay still, mentally checking his body, allowing time for the shock to pass so he could assess his injuries before attempting to move.
"Allow me, my dear captain," Q said with a bow, and snapped his fingers before Picard could protest. "There. Good as new." Q held out his hand to help the man rise.
Grudgingly Picard took it. The others standing about them were shocked into silence at the appearance of Q. Picard gave the being a look of such anger that instantly Q knew to take them out of time.
Picard barely spared a glance for those completely stilled around them before he lit into Q. "You--didn't--ask!" His voice was barely controlled, a low hiss.
"But Jean-Luc, you were hurt! I couldn't leave you like that. Anything your doctor can do, I can do better, and faster. Why wait for her when I'm here now?"
"That's not the point, Q, damn it! My injuries were not grave, and yet you healed me without my permission. And what happens when I am hurt beyond the abilities of modern medical science, hmm? Will you step in then, as well?"
Q took a step back, looking hurt and confused. "Are--are you saying you want me to let you die?"
"Are you assuming, mon entit้, that I'd want anything else?" Picard was still angry.
It was too much. Q didn't want to go there, so he left in a blaze of light, restoring time as he did so.
Since then neither one had brought it up again. But it had been there, at the back of both of their consciousness. The captain had even begun lately to dwell upon it openly in his mind when he was alone. What would it mean to him if he let Q interfere that much in his life? What would it mean to Q if he didn't?
On the one hand, he would be changed forever. On the other hand, he tried to see how difficult it would be for someone to have to deal with the fact that their loss wouldn't be a transitory thing, but rather a pain without end. There was such a vast distance in their realities and experiences. He wondered if love alone could bridge the gap. Apparently, a leap of understanding was going to be needed if he was going to be able to weigh this fairly.
He felt helpless now, overcome with emotion. What did he truly want? He thought he knew, but he was afraid. He didn't exactly like that. Picard decided to try to stall for time. "Q, I--I don't know what to say..."
"Say you'll consider it, Jean-Luc. Or say you'll at least allow me to prolong your life, and we'll take things as they come. You could always decide later that you want me to let you die."
Now that he had gotten his request out, Q was almost sorry he had brought it up. He recalled with perfect clarity the last time this had come up. Jean-Luc had been so angry. He didn't exactly welcome the return of that anger now. And what would the man say? Q needed this so much, but it felt like a terrible risk, putting his heart out on the line like this. An old Terran saying randomly popped into the forefront of his thoughts. :::Nothing ventured, nothing gained.:::
Picard had never seen the entity more vulnerable. It was an enormous decision. Still, he had made so many difficult decisions in his life, each helping to shape what he had become thus far. At heart, he was an explorer. Fear was the killer of progress, and change was to be embraced. The journey was all the more exciting and worthwhile for the unknown elements.
He recalled the time the crew had first encountered the Traveler. Hurtled out into the far unknown, beyond even their own galaxy. Where reality was shaped by one's very thoughts. And surely yet even more strange things, unimagined and unimaginable lay there. His decision then had been to concentrate on getting back home, for the safety of all those involved. And yet so much had changed since then within himself. This thing being asked of him was only between himself and Q, really. There were always other things to consider, of course. But at the heart of it, it was purely personal. The life and happiness of the two of them.
So much had been asked of him by other people. His ship, the federation, even at times all of humanity was his own responsibility. Such grand gestures were becoming almost commonplace. He knew that he would (as in the past) sacrifice himself for his friends, for whatever he thought was right and just. Therefore, why was it hard for him to want to do this thing for the one he loved so totally and completely? He knew in his heart that Q would give him whatever he asked, anytime. They had just shared some of their deepest feelings with one another, without worrying about what was involved. It had been spontaneous, and just what was needed.
:::To love without reserve, to give of oneself completely, the rewards are incalculable. This is why I've never had anything like this before; loved and been loved like this before. I never took the final step, the jump into the unknown. Something was always being held back, on both sides. With Q, ultimately, that won't be possible. Things aren't perfect now, but I think I see what they can become. He needs this, but I need this, too. I can't turn away from him, not when I've denied so much else in my life.:::
"The heart has its reasons which reason does not understand." Picard finally spoke, the quiet voice richly resonating in the stillness. "Yes, Q, I will consider immortality with you. But I want us to take this one step at a time. Understood?"
"Perfectly." Q was practically glowing.
"Well, I'm glad I was able to give you a gift after all."
"Not as glad as I am to receive it, mon amour." Definitely elated.
Picard suddenly felt it necessary to lighten the mood a little. "Oh, by the way, Q. What ever happened to that miniature tree?"
"Ah. Well, it's no longer snowing, Jean-Luc."