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Author: jm
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns the Trek characters and universe they live in. I'm merely visiting.
Notes: Written just for the heck of it. But I'll take the chocolate for the Trek character just the same.



HAVE A CUP?



"And when the last horn burns the hills
Fetch me far one draught of grace
To quench my thirst before it kills."
--Louis MacNeice, "Invocation"



To finally wake in a haze of forgetfulness. To lie languid, rested, sated there. To feel the heavy warm weight of a lover again, nestled in. These were things to be truly cherished. And no rush to be anywhere. Just time unfolding to do with as one wished.

This called for sex.

"Mmm. Morning, mountain man," she purred, stretching out against him.

Sleep dense in his body, he murmured, "I lived in the wood by the sea. Not in the mountains." He rolled over toward her slowly.

She expected to feel the softness of his beard tickling her as his face moved against her neck. But no--she had shorn him, erased his lush dark coat of hair, leaving him smooth and pale again. And the cleft visible once more.

"Do I like you better this way?" she asked, fingering his chin. It was perhaps a redundant question. Or not. She could always change her mind later. Better to know that she had this control over him, to do with him as she desired. Time had tempered him. She did like that.

"It's your call," he replied cheerfully. A smile of true delight turned into an amorous kiss. They savored the intimate connection, and let lips and tongues speak silently. It was all wonderfully new again, this dance, but their minds were old friends--connected, entwined as one.

Soon their naked limbs tangled too, sliding together in the hot air and hotter passion. Without conscious direction, she opened up for him, feeling herself become swollen, moist, and hypersensitive. Her fingers ran through his hair, while his hands skimmed over her breasts. His erection accidentally brushed her clit and she stiffened, pulling on his hair.

"Ow! Deanna, that hurts!" he complained, jolted out of a lust-filled haze rather abruptly. He tried to remove her hands from his head, but she pulled away before he could reach her, a mischievous glint in her eye. Her hands reached down to just above his hips, lightly gripping him there. He looked into her face and saw her smirk. "No, Deanna, this isn't funny..."

She started tickling him. Within moments they were both laughing out loud. He tried to stop her assault, gripping her arms to push her off so he could get a chance to turn the tables. Instead, she squirmed away, finding a place on his inner thigh that just made him laugh harder. Finally, he grabbed her and began tickling back. After a short while of this, their giggling, energetic tussle left them breathless.

"Ok, uncle, or whatever it is you say on Betazed," he panted. "Water. I need water." He reached for a glass lying on a side table next to a pitcher. It was wet with condensation, and it slipped from his hands before he could get it to his mouth. Will quickly caught it, but not before some of it spilled all over the both of them. This brought on a fresh wave of laughter. Deanna snatched it from him and got the first sip. It was passed over to him, and while he drank, she declared that it was definitely time for breakfast.

"Breakfast? Dee, I thought we were going to..."

"Hm. Well, maybe later. Right now I absolutely need to eat something," she said.

"I have something here you can ingest," he said suggestively.

"Is that so? Sorry, Will, I meant something I could swallow without wanting to gag." She grinned and rose from the bed in a hurry while he threw a pillow at her.

When she started dressing, he decided to give up the chase and follow suit. Will wanted to see what she had in mind this morning. Since they were visiting her planet on leave, each day had been a new adventure. He sampled old Betazoid favorites, and tried others for the first time.

"Oh no! We're all out of bilozen! I simply cannot face the day without a fresh cup of bilozen," Deanna said. "There is a place just down the road. I'm positive they will have it. I must get my hands on some more."

"Deanna, why is it so important to have this stuff? You managed to do without on the ship. Besides, there are other things here to drink," he said.

"That was only because it never managed to taste quite the same coming out of the replicators. The subtle bitter sweetness, the rich aroma, the light spice. It's beyond description."

"I see you've managed to try anyway," he said, grinning. "Anyway, it's all in your head. The replicators are perfectly capable of synthesizing whatever has been programmed into them. Like a good cup of coffee," he said.

"Humph. My drink is far superior to your coffee," she said. "And I intend to have some. Are you coming or not?" She headed for the outer door.

"Of course. A little morning stroll? I wouldn't miss it for the world," Riker said. The bright sunlight temporarily blinded him as they stepped outside. The air smelt clean, scrubbed after the heavy rain of the night before. The road was mostly beige and magenta gravel. It shifted pleasantly under their feet after the monotonous smoothness of the starship.

"Good. It's not far. Even you should be able to manage," she teased.

"Hey! I work out with Worf regularly. I'd say that makes me in pretty decent shape," he said.

"Yes, well, I like your shape. I did take you to bed with me last night, after all. Are we feeling a little insecure, Will?" she asked, smiling. She took a moment to kick some pebbles across the path.

"No, not a bit," he answered, smiling back. They were almost to the door of the inn, with its little shop on the ground floor.

"Ah. Then you won't mind the high calorie breakfast I have in mind. Fresh pastries dripping with butter and tazoberry jam, heavy, clotted whipping cream smothered over the tops--oh, excuse me," she said, as she managed to bump into someone on her way into the building.

"That's quite all right. I'm the proprietor of this establishment. My name is Adhamh. Is there anything I can help you with?" He smiled amiably at them.

"Yes. We were looking for--" Will started to say.

"Just a tin of bilozen powder, please. I'm fresh out," Deanna cut in.

"We serve bilozen here, actually. Hot or cold. I could get you each a cup if you'd like," Adhamh said.

"Oh, that would be lovely, thank you. Two please. Cold," Troi said. The couple walked toward a long, dark wooden counter running alongside the hallway that led into the depths of the inn. There were several shiny, red metal stools underneath the counter, and above the view was of a sort of cafe, empty at the moment. The hour was such that everyone else was either out and about already, or they were still sleeping in. The man disappeared around a corner in the cafe, and they took their seats.

"A bit...hard, aren't they?" Riker asked, trying to get comfortable on the stool. This was the first time they had been here, though they had seen the place from the shuttle when coming in. He looked around. Illumination seemed to pour right from the walls. No single point appeared to be any brighter than another. The floor was soft, almost fuzzy, and yet slightly slippery. It almost sucked at the soles of their shoes as they had walked across the hallway. He gingerly placed his feet on the rungs of the stool. Deanna didn't appear to notice anything odd. Perhaps this was all familiar to her. The wallpaper, or whatever it was covering the walls, almost looked like the pattern was scrolling down its surface. He shook his head to clear it and frowned, looking over at Deanna.

"Oh, Will, you are in for a treat! I bet they make wonderful bilozen here." Deanna was looking at the door the innkeeper had disappeared into. Her hair moved as though a slight breeze were stirring it, although there were no open windows or other such obvious sources for the phenomenon.

"Um, yes, I'm sure I am," he said, beginning to feel more than a little uneasy. He looked down at the counter, admiring its grain and smooth glossy surface. He lifted his hand up to glide along the top of it, when the wood sucked in his attention. At first, he saw his reflection in it, but as he continued to stare, he felt like he was falling into impossible depths. The lines of grain turned into twisting ribbons of nebulous gases, while sparkling points of light slowly expanded to encompass caters and dust on countless empty moons. Riker attempted to pull away, his mind battling the intense focus forced upon it. He tried to push his hands against the surface, but instead of the slick coolness of before, he felt heat and stickiness. He violently jerked his hands away, finally able to snap his head back. "Uh!" Riker exclaimed.

"What is it? Is something the matter?" Deanna asked, a bit concerned.

"N-no. Nothing. Nothing's wrong." He took a quick peek at the counter, and everything looked fine. He rubbed his palm across his forehead and back through his hair. Riker tried to smile reassuringly at Troi. She smiled back, a little hesitantly. The entrance of their host, bringing two milky white glass cups of bilozen, suddenly distracted them. Adhamh set the cups down with a solid thunk and then stood back with an eager, expectant expression on his face.

Will tried to force his lips to curve upward in a look of enjoyment as he slowly raised the glass to his mouth. Deanna lifted hers up and breathed deeply in the scent of one of her favorite beverages. As he took a cautious sip, she looked down into her glass and saw a dark red, nearly viscous liquid filling her cup. "What? This doesn't look like--." She stopped as she observed the liquid stir in the glass, although she swore she was holding the cup still. She gasped and dropped the glass on the counter, the contents splattering messily across the surface and her chest. The remainder stayed in the cup while it rolled drunkenly off to shatter on the floor. She stared down in horror at the wet, glistening, dark crimson fluid pooling on the countertop.

Will stopped drinking to look over at her. "What is it? What's wrong?" He almost echoed her questions to him earlier exactly. He set his cup down and waited for her to answer.

Her eyes flicked up at his face. "Will?" A strangled sound escaped her throat. He blinked at her, confused. A thick swath of carmine graced his mouth and upper lip. She drew closer to him, smearing the tips of her fingers into the wetness, watching it cling to her own hand. It seemed to spread beyond where she touched, even as she slid her hand down his chin and off. This time when she opened her mouth, no sound escaped. Deanna furiously shook her hand to rid it of the stain, jumping back into the stool behind her.

Will gaped at her for an instant, before he started feeling a burning, tingling sensation. It started in his face and rapidly traveled across his nerve endings. His flailing arms struck his own glass and threw it to the other side of the counter, at Adhamh's boots. "Aaaah!" he yelled, rubbing frantically at his face, which only made the feeling worse, and spread it to his hands.

Deanna tried to back up further, but the stool blocked her way, and she tripped, dipping her hand into the expanding puddle of fluid. She shrieked and leapt away, trying desperately to wipe her hand off on her chest. Will joined her in a grotesque dance of frenzied liquid removal. Unfortunately, their efforts proved futile, and they ran out the door screaming hysterically.

Another, female figure appeared behind the proprietor. A clock ticked loudly behind her on the wall, its hands perfectly still. "What was that all about?"

"Hm. I don't know. Probably some silly off-worlders on a post martial jaunt." He turned and crunched through the reddish-black shards beneath him, slurping at his feet.



~finis~





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