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The Liaisons cycle, done in the autumn of 1994 lasts for six
vignettes, well, sketches, really. They were . These are the
final pair.

Palindrome
emordnilaP

Liasons V

Crew rotations weren't entirely bad, he'd be getting rid of ensign
Bouchard who's single solution for every problem was separation. The
lieutenant shuffled her feet.

Captain Picard had no idea who she was or what she did, only that
she was on the day watch and was often on the lift Picard took from his
quarters after breakfast, dropping her off on deck two. About as often,
she took a lift from deck two at about the same time he went from the
bridge to his quarters.

Idly, he wondered if she worked in...

'Permission to speak, sir?' He swivelled his head about and raised
his eyebrows. Oh, the crew transfers. Starting yesterday, people he'd
almost never seen and didn't know from Eve or Adam told him what a great
ship this was and how sorry they were to go. Nice of them, naturally,
but damned embarrassing when, like a school teacher, every quarter he had
to forget and learned a few hundred names. 'I'm transferring tomorrow at
star base twenty-three to the Lester Pearson.' He interrupted to ask her
what her next assignment was. He'd only been nodding hello to her four
times a week for six months, naturally he'd never learned her name. 'And
you're really terribly sexy.'

Her timing was very good. Instinctively, he turned to gather himself,
looked at the control panel and saw they'd reached deck two. What ever her
name, she shimmered through the door.

He was grinning when he took a stack of display pads from Commander
Data. This was a busy day. Fortunately, there would be no overhaul, just
a two-day stop-over. They might not even dock, given the elderly star
base's limited capacity.

So many section heads came to see him. Picard left his ready-room
door ajar until noon when he went to the observation deck for a working
lunch with the engineering team. Afterwards, when sitting he caught his
reflection on one of his desk displays and thought 'You've still got it.'

That thought ruined the afternoon's remainder. Picard became
slightly-distracted. Throughout his work he drifted to amusing thoughts.
Where did she work? What did she do? She was a few meters below him,
somewhere. Would she be at the anniversary party on the main hanger deck
tonight, celebrating the ship's lucky seventh year? When Commander Riker
came to say the new programs linking astrogation to the saucer's
navigational control weren't working and the crew transfers would only
lengthen the ironing-out process, Picard called-up the day-watch personnel
records, as both sections were on the deck below.

He thumbed through the records nonchalantly, looking at the pictures.

Picard had an erection that would not go down despite his having
to get to a meeting. He focused on the exec's plan, which necessitated
keeping the relevant personnel aboard two extra days, largely by minor
deceits. They'd drop the people onto the star base just before the
Enterprise left to go to Acitore. Picard approved the plan.

Through the afternoon, he had a warm, half-aroused feeling follow
him until he returned to the bridge settle an energetic argument between
a two department heads.

He finally left his ready-room a half-hour after the ten-hour day
watch had finished. Fortunately, Counsellor Troi wasn't on the bridge
because it was already hard enough to keep from grinning: Commander
Riker was talking to the mysterious young lieutenant, thanking her for
her considerations, but it hadn't been necessary to bring this data to
the bridge personally. The bridge was crowded enough and that's why
they had a communication system.

The captain and the lieutenant took the lift.

'I hope you'll be attending the thing, the commissioning anniversary,
Lieutenant?'

She would, but still hadn't told him her name when their conversation
was silenced as three other people got on.

That night he gave a good speech, thanking them for making the
Enterprise what she was and continuing the name's reputation. There was
always a children's play put on for their parents' benefit. Well, had he
kids he'd likely want to see them shine as well. Anyway, the play was
perfectly revolting but the food was good.

They gave him a pot-plant.

As the evening wore on, the mass splintered and, when he realized
he was standing in a corridor, found a chance to escape with several
couples. She approached him at his most vulnerable, as the group thinned
out by pairs. He started at seeing her.

She was a half-head shorter than he, had a bob of black hair and
wore no jewelry. The lieutenant had a single medal, the Wolf-359 broken
shield.

'Lieutenant. Please, what is your name?'

Lieutenant Marie Loyer. Her French, however was almost non-existent,
her family having been off Earth for two generations.

'I'm leaving tomorrow, and Star Fleet's a very large service.'
They stood a lift door and entered. He couldn't speak because there were
people present, but shook his head vigorously when she stepped-off on
his deck.

'Lieutenant. You flatter an old man. What are you, twenty?' He
growled lightly, making light of the business.

'And I'll be gone tomorrow.' He turned at his door, telling it to
open. Picard spun and told her good night very firmly, almost more
loudly than he'd intended. His back was to his open door. With an
audacity he couldn't believe, she shoved him with both palms, making him
step backwards on his heels. 'This is mutiny.'

* * *

They were alone with the starlight.

'I want you to understand. If you want to stay here you cannot talk
about this. You can't speak about it. In my position, I'm your superior
officer, it might look coercive. It will appear coercive. If we walk
past one another, it will not show; it won't be that nothing happened
between us, but that nothing can be shown to have happened between us.
That is simply the way of things.'

Kissing gently, they kissed again. Her hair smelt clean and fresh.
He was suddenly aware that his shaving soap was perfumed. He smiled when
she looked about, his quarters were, in area space, as large as ten-
forward, and his bed was behind another wall, far from sight.

They pressed and ran their hands over one another, first slowly,
searching for the other's preferred rhythm, then faster. Picard shifted
his weight and nearly fell. He reached and searched inside her dress coat
for buttons. He felt the lieutenant fumble inside his coat and brush the
back of her hand against his pants. Marie dropped her hand to cup his
crotch but he twisted back when snaking through her coat. He could have
opened it instantly were he wearing it.

Marie opened his coat's hip button, then the one at his ribs. There
were one more at chest height and a small steel clasp that kept the
coat's upper corner flush against the collar-bone.

Jean-Luc opened her coat's mid-button. He'd expected only one at
the chest but after he saw the satisfactory glint from the lapel clasp
the coat didn't peel open. He took both sides and tugged before she
could react. Threads snapped and a button flipped against his shoulder:
she'd put an extra button on her coat to help keep its shape.

The lieutenant reached upwards inside his coat and tugged it over his
shoulders and onto his biceps. Sliding her hands down his trunk the
lieutenant pulled at his trousers. The lieutenant's short nails gave him
a light scratch when she pulled at his waistband. He was leading her
backwards towards the bed partition. She sucked his Adam's apple, then
on his neck. His scent was delicious. The lieutenant started when
catching his face; not only had she never been so close to him before,
but he was transformed: he was red and fleshy, his nostrils flared and
his lids were heavy. She bit his nipple through his tunic.

Jean-Luc slipped a hand into her pants, then into her underwear,
touching her backside. His free hand nearly ripped open her fly as he
tried pushing the cloth over the bump of her hip. Both their trousers
fell at once. Jean-Luc's free hand he used first to tear at her coat,
then bend free to fight her arm from the sleeve. He shivered when she
touched his penis and bumped her backwards onto the bed. Lowering
himself quickly, both lay on their sides, neither letting go. Jean-Luc
bent one leg to push free of his pants and boots. Together they pushed
at her pants, getting one trouser leg past her knee, but the cloth rolled
and twisted about her shin, ankle and foot. Nevertheless, Marie shifted on
her side and bounced her free knee onto his hip bone. She'd stopped
holding his penis and begun caressing its glans, but again took a
fumbling grip when he tugged her panties aside. Jean-Luc stroked her
with the backs of two fingers then felt her shift. So did he. Her heat
surprised him, making him gasp as he passed into the hot ring.
They began thrusting. Jean-Luc pressed her clit, fluttering his fingers.
Their faces were wet with each other's saliva. Marie tried hooking
her entangled feet under his to bring her legs up. Jean-Luc's face grew
stiff, mask-like. He gasped and ejaculated, biting her earlobe. She crested
sharply later, when his erection was slippery and softer.

They entered his cabin three minutes ago and had two more days
together. He blushed when Beverly found the button a month later.

    

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