All 1014 people on the Enterprise-D, including the characters in this story, belong to Paramount. The rest of it is mine, and Phil Gramm is not getting the movie rights. This story contains consensual,
heterosexual, interspecies sex between adults. If you are under 18 (or the equivalent for your species), reading this story will make your face break out.

This is a rush job, so I'm not going to get into elaborate scene-setting; suffice it to say that an away team consisting of Riker, LaForge, Worf and Ro has beamed down to a Class M planet, where they have separated into two groups. LaForge and Ro are exploring a cave. The rock surrounding the cave contains large quantities of micostracode [MIneral Conveniently Obstructing Sensors, Transporters And
Communications for Dramatic Effect]. The stardate is 46134.5.

Star Trek - The Next Generation: A Single Candle (MF,inter)
by Jennifer Loehlin

The ground trembled beneath their feet and a great roaring sound came from overhead and behind them.

"Run!" shouted Geordi LaForge, slapping Ro Laren on the shoulder. She ran, looking over her shoulder to see what was happening. The cave seemed to be collapsing. She ran as fast as she could, stumbling once and nearly falling. She ran into a stone wall, striking it first with her flashlight, which shattered. The air was thick with dust. She pulled her headband down to cover her nose and mouth. The rumbling stopped. It was very dark.

"I can't see a thing," said Ro, her voice tense.

"That's no surprise," replied LaForge. "There's very little radiation in the visible spectrum present. The only source of visible light is a small opening at the top of the rock slide where we came in, but it's not direct light--that point is already well inside the tunnel. There's enough other radiation around that I can see, though not very well. We're in a chamber about four meters deep and three meters wide, with solid rock on all sides except the way we came in, which is nearly blocked by the rock slide."

"Can we dig our way out?" There was a long pause while he assessed the situation. The whine of his tricorder was somehow comforting.

"Not very easily. At the top of the slide, there's a block of stone the size of a shuttlecraft. If we start messing around with it, it's liable to fall our way. If we try to use our phasers on it, it's likely to split, and again, we could get big chunks of rock falling on us. The chamber isn't large enough for us to get to a safe distance. The best thing will be to just sit tight until a rescue party can bring some antigravs down from the ship. I'll climb up to the opening and see whether I can send a signal through it."

Ro moved along the wall of the cave, feeling it, trying to orient herself. Suddenly, she heard the sound of rocks sliding.

"Geordi?" she called out. There was a tight feeling in her stomach. What if something happened to him and she was trapped here alone in the dark? What if the noise hadn't been made by Geordi at all? What if someone or something else was here? Her thoughts did not include any conscious awareness that she had used a rather familiar form of address for an ensign speaking to her ship's chief engineer. LaForge was aware of this, even aware that he liked the sound of his name in her voice, though most of his attention was focused on the task at hand, finding a reasonably safe path up the rock slide.

"It's all right, I just slipped a little. I'm going to put my tricorder on top of the rock slide, in the opening, so that the signal will reach into the tunnel, with luck even out of the tunnel. I can use it to relay the signal from our comm badges. If we're lucky, we may be able to contact the other members of the away team or even communicate with the Enterprise."

"Be careful," she said, feeling that it was a stupid thing to say. She felt that her hands were sweating and becoming coated with dust from the wall of the cave. The stone was cool and surprisingly smooth. For all she could see, the cavern might have been vast, but she felt as though it were even smaller than Geordi said, as though there were no space around her but what she could move her arms through. She felt trapped. It seemed to her that she'd spent a great deal of her life feeling trapped and she didn't much like it. Well, at any rate, this time it was merely literal. The dust, at least, had settled quickly--she was able to remove the headband from her face and breathe freely.

LaForge carefully ascended the rock pile. He was quite frightened, frightened of the possibility of falling and being injured or possibly killed, or losing his VISOR, frightened also of triggering a rock slide which could injure or kill Ensign Ro, for whom he felt responsible - no, it was more than that, though she'd never know it. At the same time, though, he was enjoying the mental challenge of estimating the relative stability of various parts of the slide and the physical effort of climbing. Finally, holding on to a ridge in the cave wall and balancing carefully on one foot, he was able to position the tricorder on top of the great slab of stone. Ro heard the click of his comm badge.

"LaForge to Riker. Can you hear me? LaForge to Enterprise. Can anybody out there here this?" There was no answer. The signal wasn't reaching the mouth of the tunnel. They'd have to wait until somebody came far enough into the tunnel to pick it up. For now, there was nothing to do but climb back down. He proceeded to do so, explaining the situation to Ro as he went. Climbing down was harder than climbing up, since he couldn't see where he was going very well, but he remembered fairly accurately the path he had taken. Twice his left foot slipped and triggered small slides - the second time he was close enough to Ro to hear her draw her breath in sharply - but both times he was able to hang on and find another foothold. Finally he stood in the soft dust at the bottom of the cave.

"I've set the tricorder to broadcast a distress signal and to signal us if it detects any life signs on the other side of the rock slide," he said. "For now, I guess all we have to do is wait." He tried to sound upbeat. He did think they'd be rescued eventually, and probably soon. The captain certainly wouldn't just go off and leave them. If Riker and Worf weren't hurt or trapped themselves--something he didn't know and preferred not to think about - they'd be busy organizing search parties. If they couldn't, Data would. And after all, it must be pretty obvious that they were trapped in a cave somewhere in this general area.

For the time being, they were safe. The air circulation through the opening in the slide seemed to be adequate. The slide appeared stable, as long as there was no seismic activity, and based on the sensor scans that didn't seem likely. Water would become a problem eventually but not for some hours, though he'd certainly be happier if he weren't sweating.

The problem was, he wasn't alone. He was trapped in this cave with a very attractive woman, someone he would have felt awkward being trapped with for a two-deck ride in a turbolift. He probably ought to say something to her--he felt uncomfortable sitting there in silence - but there really was no more business to discuss and he didn't know what else to say. When they'd been phased by that Romulan cloaking device they'd been much too busy trying to save the ship to need to make small talk.

"Geordi, where are you?" Ro was a little startled by the sound of her own voice. This time, too, she realized that "Commander" would have been the proper thing to say. She didn't like the word. Picard had said, when he had thought she was dead, that she'd probably be a lieutenant commander herself by now if it weren't for that disaster on Garon II. Really, she was happy not to be.

"I'm right over here." He should probably go over where she could touch him. The idea made his palms sweat. He looked over at her, a pattern of heat emission against the wall. "Come on, Geordi, it's not any harder than climbing that pile of rocks," he said to himself. He sat down close beside her, placing his hand on her shoulder, feeling her jump a little at his touch. "I'm right here."

His touch felt almost as good to her as it had that time when he'd been the only one on the ship she *could* touch. She turned toward him and reached out to him, wondering whether she was getting too far out of line. She felt the smooth fabric of his uniform. The surface she touched was fairly flat, so it must be his chest. She could smell him, too. He smelled good, especially after the cold stone smell of the cave. He was wearing a cologne she liked, but she liked the smell of his body, too. That was important, since like all Bajorans she had a keen sense of smell and disliked being around people who smelled bad to her. Admiral Kennelly, for instance. Being trapped in a cave with him would have been a disaster.

She leaned toward him so that she could smell him better, then backed off. He'd feel the increased pressure of her hand on his chest. Hell, he could see her, however she might look through that thing of his. She kept forgetting that.

What to do? Here they were, the two of them, stuck for who knew how long with nothing but themselves and a couple of phasers and the tricorder somewhere up there in the darkness on some big slab of rock she'd never even seen. They couldn't exactly play cards. She didn't feel like just sitting here leaning against this cave wall for hours if there was a pleasanter alternative.

"Go for it, girl," she told herself.

"Listen, I hope I'm not getting out of line here, but we might be here for hours - we could try to get a little more...comfortable." She turned to face him and moved her hand across his chest until she hit his comm badge, then up and around to the back of his neck. He wasn't pulling away. No, his hands were touching her shoulders, sliding around to her back, his arms were supporting her. She turned her face toward where she knew his face must be. She felt his warm, soft lips touch her own.

LaForge was more than a little startled by her advance. Not that he'd ever known her to be anything other than direct, to be sure. But having beautiful women throw themselves at him was not part of his everyday experience. Was this what it was like to be Captain Picard? Well, he'd always prided himself on his ability to handle unexpected situations. He drew his knees up behind her back and gently caressed her face with his right hand. He ran his fingers over her earring.

She kissed him softly at first, exploring his invisible mouth with her lips and the tip of her tongue. Her left hand moved up behind his head, feeling the unfamiliar texture of his hair, very soft. Her right arm lay over his shoulders. She pulled herself closer to him. He felt her breasts against his chest. He tightened his own arm around her back and moved his free hand down along her side to her hip, feeling her kisses grow more intense as he did so. He thrust his tongue into her mouth. His hand traced the firm, delightful curve of her rear end. He thought about what she would feel like without the uniform. He slid his hand slowly up, pushing her gently away from him so that he could cup her breast in his hand, could reach the little slit at the center of her collar, could gently unzip her jacket. She sat up and let him slip it off over her shoulders. Then she unzipped his. They laid the two jackets on the dusty floor of the cave. She laid her headband with them for good measure. They kissed again, kneeling facing each other, their bodies pressed together, hers with two bulges up high and his with one down low.

Ro pulled Geordi's top out of his pants and over his head, enjoying the feel of the smooth fabric in her hands. She dropped it somewhere in the general vicinity of their jackets. She ran her fingers down his chest, feeling his muscles and ribs. His skin was smooth, hairless, not at all like Will Riker's. When she reached fabric again, she slid her thumbs under it and pulled down, feeling it catch briefly, releasing it, continuing until she reached his knees. He sat down and busied himself with his boots. He laid his pants beside their jackets. Then he reached out to her. It was like peeling some luscious fruit. He added her clothing to what, if there had been enough light for either of them to see colors, would have been a fine patchwork of red, yellow, and black against the pale dust of the cave floor. He laid her down on top of it. There was a sudden clicking sound as her shoulder came into contact with her comm badge. They both laughed. She pushed it out of the way. She felt a gentle touch on her left nipple. It was wet. His mouth. She reached down and stroked his soft hair.

She tasted of salt and cave dust. He sucked and nuzzled, licked, drew in his breath across the wet surface of her breast. He eased his arm under her neck. She pulled her hair free. Now his fingers were stroking her breast, while his mouth found hers. She ran her short fingernails down his back. When he broke the kiss, she said, "I don't think there's anyone I'd rather be trapped in a cave with."

"Laren, I'm sure glad you were wrong about us being dead."

He nibbled her nose, running his tongue over each of the ridges at its top. She moaned softly in response. He kissed her forehead. She put her hands on his shoulders, pushing him, guiding him gently as he rolled over onto his back. She knelt astride him and bent to kiss him, lowering her body onto his. He stroked her back. A little on the thin side, perhaps, but beautiful. Now she slid down him, turning her head to drag her hair slowly over the skin of his chest. His only thought of rescue was a fervent hope that it not come too soon. She teased him with her hair and with little kisses on his stomach and thighs. For some reason, he suddenly thought of a time, not long after she'd come on board the Enterprise, when he'd told Guinan that if he ever found himself on an away team with Ensign Ro, he wouldn't turn his back on her. Well, he wasn't exactly turning his back on her right now, but things had certainly worked out much better than he had expected. He laughed softly to himself.

"Am I tickling you?"

"No, no, that feels wonderful."

"How about this?" She ran her tongue along the underside of his shaft and took the tip in her mouth, tasting his sweat and that other salty fluid. She stretched out, her breasts against his legs. He reached up and took off the VISOR, giving himself over totally to the sense of touch. She lay now with her head on his belly, sucking him, tracing patterns on his thigh with her hand. She seemed to have removed her earring. Her ear was a warm curve against his belly. Her tongue was warm and soft and wet like some sea creature. LaForge sighed. When he didn't have a lover, which was usually, he always tried to tell himself he wasn't missing that much. To be sure, he enjoyed his life and its many pleasures. The look on Worf's face last week when he laid that straight flush on the table, for instance. But this was even better.

He felt Laren's body move against his. Now her mouth had moved to his torso, while her breasts, surprisingly full considering how thin she was, surrounded his penis. Then her nipples traced their parallel courses up his abdomen. He felt her legs come up beside his hips, felt a brush of hair, then her hand, guiding him into a much warmer, wetter tunnel than this one in which they lay.

Ro let out a soft moan. It was good to feel a man inside her again. The night with Will, when they'd lost their memories and she'd assumed they were lovers, had been wonderful, but that had been it since she'd been on the Enterprise, and the dry spell before that had been pretty long, too. Jaros II wasn't exactly Risa. She rocked back and forth, feeling the firmness of his shaft, the grip of her own muscles around it, and farther within her that vague, mysterious softness. She slid up and down, taking him into her again and again, hungry for him. Finally she lay down on him, stretching out her legs along his legs, thrusting with her hips as he moved under her. It was almost as though it were she who was penetrating his body. They were one and yet two, plunging into each other, taking pleasure and giving it. She called out in a low voice, soft Bajoran words he didn't understand. He tightened his arms around her so hard that her breasts hurt, but she didn't care. She wanted to go over the edge, but she also wanted this to go on forever. She felt his body stiffen beneath hers as he came, uttering a series of long, low groans and then her name. They kissed. She lay draped over him like a blanket, feeling him warm and soft within her, feeling the fluids run out of her over him, dripping down to the cave floor or their uniforms or whatever was down there.

Now it was his turn to roll her over onto her back. He kissed her breasts, taking her hard little nipples gently between his teeth. With his tongue, he traced a slow line down the center of her abdomen. He could feel the dust and sand clinging to the wet parts of his body. He wondered what it looked like. He reached her hair. Her scent was strong and inviting. He slid one hand between her thighs and felt them close warm and firm around it. Kneeling, he slid in the other hand. She resisted him as he pressed her legs apart. For a moment, he hesitated. Did she not want this? Well, he decided, if she didn't she was going to have to say so. He overcame her resistance, forcing her slim thighs wide apart. There was no sound from her except a sigh. He moved his face in slowly, smelling her scent and his own. His nose touched wet hair. He reached out with his tongue, exploring the warm folds of this exotic flower, thrusting his tongue deep inside and drinking her nectar as though he were a hummingbird. She wrapped her legs around his head, noticing for the first time that he was no longer wearing the VISOR. She tipped her pelvis up, thrusting her open, dripping vulva against his face.

"Geordi, I want your fingers," she whispered down into the darkness. He wiped the dust off on his hair, as best he could, and slipped two of them into her. She spread her legs as wide as she could, wanting nothing but to be open to him. He spread her lips with the fingers of his other hand, covering her slick wetness with little flickers of his tongue, moving his fingers in and out. Suddenly he felt her close around his hand and heard her cry out, a loud, inarticulate cry which echoed in the cave. Her whole body shook. He left his fingers there until the tremors had subsided. Then he moved up to lie beside her and took her in his arms. She curled against him, her head on his shoulder. Neither one said a word.

LaForge's arm was just beginning to go to sleep when there was a beep from the tricorder at the top of the rock pile. Then, from somewhere under them, a voice, "Riker to LaForge. Geordi, can you hear me?"

The two of them sat up, fumbling in the pile of clothes for their comm badges. Ro found hers just as Riker's voice came from it. She touched the cool metal.

"Ro here. We're OK. We're trapped behind a rock slide."

"I think I can see it now. We'll have you out of there soon."

There were flurries of activity on both sides of the rock pile. On the one side, rocks were cleared away. On the other, clothing was shaken out and pulled on. LaForge replaced his VISOR, Ro her earring. They were waiting, smiling, when the rescue team finally cleared a passageway through the rubble.

* * *

As they emerged into daylight, everyone but LaForge blinking and squinting, Riker turned to look at the rescuees. They were a sight. Their jackets were open. Ro's headband lay around her neck. Excusable, under the circumstances. Her hair was a mess. The light and slightly bluish dust from the cave adhered to both of them in liberal quantities. It clung to their skin (particularly noticeable on Geordi) and hair and formed irregular patches on their uniforms. Some of those patches, it seemed to him, looked like handprints.


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