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Old April 22 2011, 10:51 PM   #1
Whoa Nellie
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TNG Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

Title: Bound to Happen Sooner or Later
Author: Whoa Nellie
Contact: whoa_nellie40@hotmail.com


Summary: Some things are inevitable and Vash faces an intergalactic archaeologist's occupational hazard with her usual style.

Author's notes: This occurs in the Reasons of the Heart timeline which launched an expedition toward the Delta Quadrant in a previous story, History's Legacy.

As always: Paramount owns all the marbles, we just have a lot more fun playing with them.

Whoa Nellie's Romance Star Trek Fan Fiction Stories
http://whoanellie.fortunecity.com



Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

"I realize that some people might think 'rash' should be my middle name, but, to me, a symbol denoting death is definitely a sign to slow down not go faster," Vash Picard cautioned her team. Scans of an M class moon in this system had revealed the presence of four large stone circles reminiscent of the Stonehenge circle on Earth. The archaeology department was evaluating the structures and surrounding ruins in an effort to determine their purpose. Each of the stone circles had a pathway leading from it lined with smaller, flat stones that were inscribed with alien writing. The pathways all converged at a point some distance from the stone circles. The writing on the smaller stones were different for each pathway, suggesting that each stone circle played a different role in the society, but at this point there were no indications of whether those differences were political, cultural, theological or even based on the education or economics of the society. The symbol on the pathway where all of the smaller pathways converged was similar in style to the symbol for death in a couple of the alien cultures that the expedition had met thus far in their travel, so cultural or theological were the most likely contenders.

Latona felt a slight shift beneath her boot. The tall, lithe Romulan archaeologist took a step back and knelt down to investigate. "Professor Picard, this stone is quite loose."

"So is this one over here," Archaeologist Karita Leigh announced from one of the other paths picking up another stone. With her long dark curly hair and petite curvy silhouette, Vash's prot้g้e was reminiscent of a young Deanna Troi.

"Trying to decipher the writing on these smaller stones before we go poking around in the large stone circles might be prudent. We're most likely dealing with a type of sepulcher site but it never hurts to be cautious." Vash accepted the small stones from her colleagues and began to inspect them.

"You? Extolling the virtues of caution?" Lieutenant Sean Kennely inquired with feigned incredulousness eliciting a not-quite smothered giggle from Karita.

With a regal toss of her brunette hair, Vash cast a sidelong glance at the young security officer. She had discovered that Sean's innocent boy next-door looks concealed a wickedly sharp sense of humor. He was also just plucky enough to verbally spar with her on occasion. To her delight some of that daring was rubbing off on Karita, his romantic relationship with the younger woman was helping to bolster her self-confidence. Vash's blue eyes sparkled while she quipped wryly, "just don't tell your captain."

"You don't want Captain Picard to know you acted judiciously?" asked Somnus, Latona's husband who was also the other Romulan archaeologist on the team.

"The shock of the revelation might cause my husband to need medical attention. Besides, I've got a reputation to protect," Vash offered in explanation.

Karita waved her hand in a calming motion to reassure her Romulan colleagues. "She's joking."

Somnus shook his head, his mouth pinched in slight confusion. "I am still finding the humor of humans difficult to understand."

"Let's just see if we can figure out what these stones are trying to tell us." Vash compared the stones that she was holding with the other types of stones around her. She moved slowly, stepping backward onto the large octagonal stone at the very center. Just as her left foot came down onto the center of the stone's design she felt herself being enveloped by an energy beam.

"And she keeps her reputation intact yet again," Kennely muttered with a curse. He quickly pulled a stunned Karita and Latona back to put more distance between them and the stone where Mrs. Picard had disappeared.

"Sean," Karita gasped in shock gripping his arm for support.

"Don't worry. He'll find her and get her back. He always does," he assured her before tapping his communicator, "Kennely to Enterprise."

…………………

Captain Jean-Luc Picard needed another cup of Earl Grey. He should have realized that being the fleet captain of a three ship expedition to the Delta Quadrant would mean three times the paperwork. Having already reviewed Beverly's reports from the Pasteur and Will's from the Titan, he only needed to add his own to the regular data stream transmission before it was sent back to Starfleet Command. He took his tea from the replicator and turned to face the ready room door when the chime rang. "Come."

"Captain," Chakotay said briskly as he walked into the ready room.

Picard returned to his desk and set his cup of tea down on the corner. Commander Chakotay was in charge of the expedition's Department of Anthropological Sciences, including the First Contact teams, anthropologists, archaeologists and historians. Considering that the man was married to one of his oldest friends, he had spent enough time in Chakotay's company to know him fairly well. He could tell immediately from his solemn bearing and tone that there was a problem. All that was left was the details. "The archeology team on the surface?"

There was no easy way to say it and the captain wouldn't appreciate the details being sugarcoated. "Vash is missing. Apparently she stepped onto a large stone and was instantly enveloped by what they believe was some kind of alien transporter technology. The rest of her team has returned to the Enterprise. We've already got science teams working to analyze what happened."

Vash. Why was it always Vash? She always promised to try and stay out of trouble and yet somehow she had this uncanny ability to effortlessly land right in the middle of it. An icy knot started to form in his stomach and he exhaled slowly in an effort to dispel the sense of dread. His mind racing, he moved to sit down and inadvertently knocked his cup of tea off the corner in the process. The clatter of the cup shattering when it hit the floor resonated in the quiet room. Ignoring the broken cup, he looked back at Chakotay. "Are we sure it was a transporter beam?"

"Yes, sir. Since there are no inhabited planets in the system, we haven't ruled out an automated system of some sort. Barclay is working with Astrometrics to trace the source. Commander Data has advised Captain Riker on the Titan of the situation."

He slowly lowered himself into his chair, sitting back with his hands steepled in front of his face and his index fingers resting against his lips. After a long moment, he spoke, "so we need to find the particular rabbit hole Alice managed to fall into."

"Your Alice spent two years deftly handling the very embodiment of the Cheshire Cat. She'll have no trouble handling any Mad Hatter she may come across," Chakotay reminded his commanding officer.

"It's the possibility of a Jabberwock that concerns me," Picard admitted.

"When we first met, she informed me that she once took you with your own sword," Chakotay said with a small reassuring smile.

Picard chuckled in spite of situation. "Indeed she did."

…………………

After the bright sunlight of the archaeology site, Vash had to blink her eyes several times to adjust to the lower light of the room where she had materialized. The room was quite warm, around thirty degrees Celsius. By the time she could see, there were six aliens surrounding her. They were roughly humanoid, fairly reptilian in appearance, in fact they reminded her of the Gorn the only major difference being cobalt- blue, iridescent scales. The hard, militaristic fashion of their clothing was punctuated by the rather large, nasty-looking weapons that they were pointing at her. She took a deep breath, concentrating on calming the normal fight-or-flight response. There was no reason for her to panic. There were theoretical limits to the distances over which transporters could function so the expedition couldn't be too far. Data and Reg would trace the transporter beam and then Jean-Luc would send Will on the Titan to fetch her. The tallest of her hosts stepped toward her.

"I am Lord Teiadie, the High Suzerain of the Fen Domar. You have been seized for desecrating the sacrosanct resting place of the Fen Domar."

"I assure you grave robbing was not my intent." She decided to leave out the 'mainly because my darling husband doesn't approve of me doing that sort of thing.' Although her naturally brazen nature served to bolster her composure it was probably wise to keep her sarcastic wit in check. She placed the two stones in her hands on the floor and backed away.

As one of his soldiers retrieved the stones and took them out of the room, Teiadie challenged, "You were caught violating the rest of the ones who have gone."

"I am Archaeologist Council member Vash of the Federation Starship Enterprise. We are a group of peaceful explorers, seeking to learn about different life forms and civilizations." She winced inwardly. Damn, she was rusty. Was that really the best she could come up with? After all these years married to Jean-Luc she was beginning to sound like a Starfleet recruitment poster. Why don't you just add the 'to boldly go where no one has gone before' line off the ship's dedication plaque while you're at it, Vash.

"Only the sanctified votaries of Sauria, Lacertilia, Cordylidae, and Helodermatidae are permitted access to the resting place of the Fen Domar. It is strictly forbidden to all others. You will be taken to your cell to await trial on charges of desecration and grave robbing. The penalty for your crime is death."

…………………

Picard entered the conference room on the Enterprise, followed by his chief of security Commander Geoff Lar. With the many uncertainties and the possibility of a First Contact situation, it had been decided that the Enterprise would continue to take the lead. It was still quite possible that the archaeology team had accidentally tripped an automated device and they would find Vash animatedly exploring another abandoned site and chastising them for taking so long to find her. Picard took his seat at the head of the table noting that Chakotay was already there, sitting next to his wife, Beverly. His first officer, Data, was speaking quietly with Riker about the contents of a PADD sitting in front of them. Across the room, Picard noticed his chief engineer, Reginald Barclay standing next to the room's viewscreen and fidgeting restlessly, looking downright impatient. "Mr. Barclay, should I take it that you have something to report?"

"I believe so, sir." Barclay tapped a couple of controls on the side of the viewscreen and a star chart of the region appeared. "According to our findings, the transporter beam was actually a micro-wormhole, extremely powerful and precisely calculated. It's an incredible feat of engineering that would actually allow for individual transport over much longer distances than our own transporter technology. Of course the power and technology requirements would be—"

Beverly headed off Barclay's rambling admiration of the science, as concerned about Vash as everyone in the room. "Were you able to pinpoint the source of this wormhole, Mr. Barclay?"

"Yes, ma'am," Barclay said. He pointed to a spot on the star chart being displayed on the viewscreen. "The beam originated from what appears to be a warp capable civilization on an M class planet in this nearby solar system. It was triggered by a pressure pad on the stone that Professor Picard stepped on just before her disappearance."

Lar spoke up, "all personnel have been recalled from the surface to prevent anyone from triggering any more of these micro-wormholes."

Riker studied the long-range scans of the system for any indication of military threat. "There's no indication that they know we're here yet. We could move toward their space, here's a small asteroid field that could provide some cover for the Pasteur and Enterprise while I--"

Picard stopped him. "No, although it appears Vash did indeed trip an automated device, this is still a first contact situation. We want to avoid appearing like an invasion fleet. We'll all hold position here for now and try to make contact with the planet first. I would request that your people stand ready to pull her out if it doesn't go well. My wife's vast expertise in archaeology is only outmatched by her vast ability to find trouble."

"And your vast ability to fret over her," Beverly teased. She'd known him long enough to know that, when it came to his wife, his mind went straight to worst-case scenarios no matter how calm of a fa็ade he put on for everyone else. "Vash is quite resourceful."

"Captain Crusher, is that your gentle way of reminding me that if I go charging in before actually knowing if my wife needs rescued she's liable to take my sword away again?" Picard inquired. He knew full well that everyone in the room was aware of the reference.

"Just something to keep in mind," Beverly replied.

Chakotay offered what he could of the Anthropology Department's work on the situation thus far. "I have Parcaes Somnus and Latona, as well as Dr. Leigh working with linguists from my department to analyze all of the data they managed to collect from the moon's surface. Some of the symbols appeared to be variations on writing from races we've met recently, so we may be able to extrapolate some cultural inferences as a basis for contact. They hope to decipher the symbols of the alien text and determine the purpose of the site along with the reason for the automated transporter contained in the large center stone. As soon as we have a little more to work with, my First Contact team will compose an introductory message to send."

"The ball is in your court, Commander," Picard said.

With everyone briefed on the situation and the plan of action, the conference ended. Riker headed straight for the nearest transporter room to begin preparing an assault force in the event that they had to rescue her by force. Before leaving to head back to the Pasteur, Beverly walked over to Barclay. "Reg, I have a message for you from Geordi."

"Yes, Captain?"

Following the death of her first officer in an attack, Geordi had been promoted from Chief Engineer of the Enterprise to serve as her first officer onboard the Pasteur. "He said to tell you that you'd better not be showing him up too much, Reg. Between you and me, however, as his captain I'm telling you to feel free because I'm not giving him back."

"Yes, ma'am" Barclay chuckled.

"I still can't believe you managed to drag LaForge out of engineering, even for a first officer's position," Lar quipped to Beverly, overhearing their conversation as he walked past on his way out of the room.

Chakotay had been coming over to a quick kiss from his wife before getting back to his office. His eyes took on a mischievous glint as he rested his hand on the small of Beverly's back. "Ever try to say no to one of the trio, Geoff?"

"Point taken," Lar chuckled.

……………………..
__________________
Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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Old April 22 2011, 10:53 PM   #2
Whoa Nellie
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Re: TNG Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

From her seat, Vash watched the Fen Domar pilot fly the small craft toward an island located in the middle of one of the planet's vast oceans. The island seemed to be in more of a subarctic climate zone rather than the more tropical climate on the mainland where she had initially materialized. Her supposition was confirmed once the craft landed and her hosts hustled her out. The cold, sharp wind felt like a January day along the great lakes of North America.

"Activate personal thermal unit," one guard ordered the other.

"Executed," the other curtly replied tapping a button on his uniform.

Vash suppressed a grin at the overly militaristic, stereotypically redundant terminology. These Fen Domar didn't really seem to have the sense of humor to appreciate it. Following her escorts toward a large building, she noticed about a half a dozen craft similar to the one she had just exited sitting unattended. In fact, there were no other guards in sight. It wasn't any warmer in the building and the long corridors were eerily still in spite of the many holding cells they passed. Reaching an empty cell, she was shoved in and the door slid closed, locking behind her.

She plopped herself down on the hard slab of a cot. It wasn't the Ritz Hotel Paris but it wasn't the worst place she'd ever been and at least she was alone in the cell.

……………………..

Picard reached over to pick up a framed picture of Vash from the sideboard behind his readyroom desk. Leaning back in his chair, he ran a thumb over a small button on the corner of the silver frame. Instantly, the smiling image came to life. Tossing her hair, she gave playful wink and blew a kiss. Unable to contain the giggles that bubbled to the surface, she lowered her head, peering coyly through her lashes. He lost himself in the depths of those pools of liquid blue while the sound of her sprightly laughter played in a continuous loop. The ready room door chime pulled him back to the present. Deactivating the frame, he set it back in its place and turned his chair toward the door. "Come."

Chakotay walked in with a smile on his face, an obvious indication of good news. "Captain, our long range sensors have located one human female in a compound positioned in a subarctic region of the planet. Life signs are strong and stable. They've found our wanderer."

"Dieu merci," the captain sighed. Hoping for the best only went so far, hearing the good news was an enormous relief.

Chakotay reluctantly began to drop the other shoe. "We have been able to make contact with the civilization on the planet. They call themselves the Fen Domar. You will be negotiating for Vash's release with a Lord Teiadie, his title is the High Suzerain."

Picard's respite was short lived as the icy knot began to form again. "Vash's release?"

"She's being held for desecrating the sacrosanct resting place of the Fen Domar."

"Grave robbing," Picard simplified with a disgusted huff.

Chakotay tried to find the best possible way to phrase the rest of his report. He opted to start with the least bad aspect of the situation. "They've already agreed to a temporary stay of the sentence for that crime in order to allow for talks between their High Suzerain and our supreme leader."

"Do I want to know?"

Chakotay sighed, shaking his head in a 'not-really' gesture. "Their penalty for that crime is death, she's been sentenced to execution."

"Merde, haven't we just done this dance?" The knot in Picard's gut twisted tighter. He could hear Vash's mischievously, lilting voice, 'Jean-Luc, it's not me. This time.' Talk about foreshadowing, some might even call that tempting fate. "What can you tell me about them, Commander?"

Chakotay handed him the PADD with his report on it. "They're a reptilian race. A male dominated, highly-structured society, apparently extremely regimented and militaristic."

"Great, because my little girl does so well within those parameters," Picard groused as he took the PADD.

Amused at the captain's use of a moniker that he only tended to use in reference to his wife during moments of frustration with her, Chakotay continued providing him with what they had learned about the aliens. "There are some clear parallels with the Voth that Voyager encountered out here before. Given their nomadic, far-flung existence, it's not impossible that these Fen Domar are connected to them somehow. The archaeology team has deciphered enough of the ancient text to determine that we were dealing with a sepulcher site. Each of the four large stone circles are dedicated to a separate group, we can't be certain of how their belief systems differentiate among castes but each of the four areas were tended to by a sanctified custodian from that group. My guess is that these special caretakers underwent a ritual of cleansing before traveling to the site. Our sensor readings didn't find any active technology or indicators of recent habitation, which is why we thought the site abandoned. It's possible that this is a special burial site for those particular populations and that there are other such sites throughout neighboring systems."

"I assume you've already issued a memo advising the archaeology teams to avoid areas with similar aspects in the future?"

Chakotay gave an understanding, affirmative nod before continuing with his report. "Tactical analysis indicates that while the Fen Domar do have more advanced transporter and weapons technology than we do, their sensors, shields, and propulsion systems do not appear to be as advanced as ours. The Titan is standing ready. Captain Riker said that you only need to give the word."

"You mentioned they're militaristic. Any evidence that they are aggressively hostile?"

Chakotay reached for the PADD to locate a particular item in his report and handed it back. "Only anecdotal, sir. I did recall a conversation I had with Captain Janeway a long time ago. She told me about the elder Admiral Janeway making a reference to her favorite coffee cup getting broken in a battle with the Fen Domar whom Voyager would have encountered in a few more years had we not used the Borg transwarp hub to get home early."

"Hopefully in this encounter we can avoid a battle. Shall we?" Picard stood from his desk tugging on the bottom of his uniform jacket.

On the bridge Data rose from the command chair as the Captain and Chakotay walked out of the readyroom. "Shall I hail the Fen Domar, sir?"

"Yes, Number One, thank you." Picard took a position in the center of the bridge between his command chair and the view screen. With a barely perceptible nod of his head, he signaled Data to open the channel and a reptilian humanoid filled the screen. "I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise and the commander of this expedition. Do I have the honor of addressing the High Suzerain, Lord Teiadie?"

"I am High Suzerain, Lord Teiadie. You wish to defend the female of your kind against the charge that she violated the sacrosanct resting place of the Fen Domar."

While outwardly maintaining his impassive demeanor, inwardly the captain was relieved that this Lord Teiadie didn't seem realize just whom they were holding. "We intended no disrespect nor did we intend to intrude on your territory. In fact, I have kept my ships here to avoid inadvertently provoking conflict with your people; we have no wish to fight. We are very eager to resolve this situation peacefully. Our mission is one of peaceful exploration. The individual in your custody is a member of a team of scientists who specialize in the study of civilizations, what we call an archaeologist."

"The female, Vash, stated this also," the Fen Domar leader acknowledged. "That does not alter the verity of her actions in defiling the resting place of the Fen Domar."

"Archaeology is the study of ancient life and cultures by scientific analysis of the material evidence that remains. Professor Vash and her team were unaware of the Fen Domar or your claim to the moon. They were sent to explore what was thought to be abandoned ancient structures detected on the moon," Picard explained careful to use only his wife's title and first name.

"What purpose is served by disturbing those who have gone?" Lord Teiadie demanded.

Picard took a step toward the screen. "Studying a civilization's past often gives us a better understanding of the civilization's present. It is how we understand cultures that are different from our own. This study is done with the utmost respect and reverence for those whom we wish to know better."

………………………

Unaware that Jean-Luc was negotiating with Lord Teiadie, Vash carefully explored her cell. The complete lack of guards, surveillance or other advanced security measures puzzled her. In spite of the cold temperature, she was quite comfortable thanks to her field attire. The special material kept her at a comfortable temperature within a reasonable range by ventilating or retaining her own body heat depending on the environment. She recalled the guard ordering the activation of a personal thermal unit and surmised the Fen Domar must be an ectothermic race, controlling body temperature through external means. Keeping the cells cold would essentially send prisoners into a dormant state, which would make other security measures unnecessary.

They had been very clear that were planning to execute her as a grave robber without any due process at all. That just didn't really work for her. There were no windows, the only way in or out of the room as far as she could see was the door. The simple locking mechanism wasn't going to pose much of a challenge, at least not to her. Then again, they probably couldn't conceive of any prisoner being awake and alert enough to fiddle with it either. Unfastening a hidden pocket in her jumpsuit, she pulled out small packet that contained several high-precision tools. As she adroitly applied one of the tools to the door's lock, she softly quoted a personal hero of hers. "A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."

In mere moments, the door lock gave an audible click and she was able to open the door. Vash knelt down and used a mirror from her tool kit to check the corridor in both directions. Once she knew there was nobody in sight, she quickly but quietly slipped down the vacant corridor. Having spent her adult life as a field archaeologist navigating her way through labyrinth-like ancient sites all over the galaxy, she easily found her way through the straight orderly corridors to the entrance. She peered out the door and found the landing pad as devoid of guards and security measures as the building. She eyed the half a dozen small spacecraft. "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."

The hatch of the craft she selected yielded almost as easily as her cell door had. Slipping into the pilot's chair, she took a moment to familiarize herself with the markings on the controls. Granted, she hadn't had time to work up a translation of the language, but the similarities with other languages they had come across combined with watching the Fen Domar pilot earlier would have to do. She tapped several controls, closing her eyes in case she inadvertently blew up the ship. When the engines came to life exactly as she'd planned, she grinned broadly. Jean-Luc had often told her if she could learn to handle a Delta Flyer, she could fly just about anything. "Well, Johnny, let's hope you're right about that."

………………………

Lord Teiadie broke off mid-sentence as an aide rushed to his side. After conferring with the other Fen Domar, Teiadie returned his attention to the screen. "I will continue this later."

Taken aback by the suddenness at which the transmission had been terminated, Picard muttered to the blank screen, "by all means."

"Sir, Captain Riker is hailing," Lar spoke up from his station.

"On screen." Picard took his seat. "What is it, Captain?"

'The Titan's long range sensors have picked up weapons fire near the Fen Domar homeworld. The altercation seems to involve several small spacecraft. The confusion would provide valuable cover under which to mount a rescue. The Rustam and Sigurd are prepared to launch. My people can go in and retrieve her and then you can continue your fascinating ethical debate with Lord Teiadie,' Riker recommended having listened to Picard and Teiadie talk in circles for the last thirty minutes.

"Let's see it, Mr. Data," Picard ordered. The bridge of the Titan was reduced to half the viewscreen, the other half of the screen was then filled by the image of the Fen Domar homeworld. Both captains watched the chase from the bridges of their respective ships. One Fen Domar vessel was flying in a wavering, unsteady path away from the planet, being chased by and fired upon by several other ships. The lead, fleeing vessel abruptly slowed down and altered course, executing an extremely unwise sharp turn to port. The change in speed allowed the pursuit ships to catch up and surround the fleeing vessel. The fleeing ship then appeared to go into a full speed reverse, forcing the other ships to veer away to avoid a collision. As he watched the lead vessel barely avoid what should have been certain destruction, the Enterprise's captain sighed, "Merde, that was pure luck."

From his own bridge, Riker had to concur. 'Agreed. The pilot of the lead vessel is either very lucky, insanely reckless or too inexperienced to know any better.'

"Vash!" Both captains exclaimed, simultaneously realizing who had to be piloting the lead vessel.

Riker looked back over his shoulder to the officer at the Titan's ops station, 'Scan the lead vessel.'

'Sensors read one human life sign, female," the ensign replied.

'That's our girl,' Riker confirmed to Picard. He looked back to the viewscreen just in time to see Vash's vessel appear to almost spin out of control while evading several blasts from the pursuing vessels and muttered, 'What lunatic taught her how to fly like that?'

Onboard the Pasteur, Beverly, who had been also been monitoring the proceedings from her bridge tried to smoother a chuckle. It was obvious that Riker had not really thought about that last aside before it slipped out.

"I didn't realize that she was actually paying attention," Picard groused in self-defense. He tugged on the bottom of his uniform jacket and walked closer to the viewscreen, standing directly behind the helm officer's chair.

Beverly opened the channel to offer her two cents. 'Vash always pays attention. She bats those blue eyes of hers so that you gentlemen will forget just how resourceful she really is and underestimate her.'

Watching the vessel that his wife was piloting perform two more very questionable maneuvers, Picard gripped the back of the helm officer's chair so hard that his knuckles turned white. "Mon Dieu."

'Enough is enough. Plot an intercept course, maximum speed and ready a tractor beam. As soon as we're in range, extend shields, lock on and haul her ass on this ship,' Riker barked the order.

"Aye, sir," the helmsman replied.

Riker returned his attention to Picard. 'Excuse me a moment while I go retrieve your wife – again.'

Picard made his way back to his command chair and sat down. "Welcome to my life."

……………………………………

Vash leaned back in the pilot's chair of the Fen Domar vessel with a sigh of relief when the Titan arrived and locked a tractor beam onto her appropriated transportation. Her heart rate and breathing slowed back to normal as she was slowly brought into one of the Titan's shuttle bays. It took a moment to find the hatch release, by which time Will Riker and Martin Madden were waiting for her. The look of expectancy on Will's face bore an uncanny resemblance to the expression Jean-Luc often wore. She graced both officers with her most wide-eyed gaze and winsome smile. "Hey there, tall, dark and handsomes; thanks for the lift. I trust you gentlemen will make sure my borrowed ship is returned to its rightful owner."

"Yes, ma'am." Madden replied.

"Thank you." Vash began to head toward the shuttlebay door.

Riker stepped in front of her to block her path. "Whoa there Nellie, just what the hell was that?"

"An escape," she chirped, completely unabashed.

His expression was one of speechless incredulity. "You almost killed yourself at least a half a dozen times out there."

"Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Will."

Riker heaved a long sigh only to realize that he sounded exactly like one of what Vash referred to as Picard's plasma-leak sighs.

"They were planning to execute me, Will," she said. "I had a problem with that."

"Do you really believe I would have allowed that to happen?" he demanded in a quiet stern voice. His fingers under her chin forced her to meet his gaze until he heard a barely audible, murmured no. Briefly his hand stroked her cheek and he softened his tone, "Now, are you all right?"

"I'm fine," she assured him, surprised when he sighed and leaned down to gently kiss her forehead. "What was that for?"

"I'm beginning to realize just what a difficult assignment your security officers have. Commander, please escort Mrs. Picard to sickbay so Dr. Selar can examine her. I'll have the bridge set course back to the Enterprise." Riker decided to leave the part about 'where her husband can deal with her' unspoken.

"It would be my pleasure, sir." Madden offered her his arm.

Vash dramatically slipped her arm into his and allowed him to guide her toward the door. "Now, Martin, after Dr. Selar is finished, I'll need to stop at one of the Titan's guest quarters to freshen up before we beam over to the Enterprise."

"I'm sure Captain Picard is anxious to have you home . . ."

"He. Will. Wait. For. Me." Her stress on each word directly contrasted with her sweet, dulcet tone.

Madden glanced over his shoulder to see his captain smile while mouthing 'Queen Bee.' Looking back at his charge he answered, "of course, ma'am."
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"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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Old April 22 2011, 10:54 PM   #3
Whoa Nellie
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Re: TNG Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

'She's making him wait,' Lieutenant Kennely thought to himself watching Picard slowly pace the far side of Transporter Room Two. He had seen this particular act played out many times before. Mrs. Picard was over on the Titan, taking her time primping to make sure her husband had to deal with her on her terms. He didn't need to be here, he had requested permission to handle the transport himself more out of a sense of guilt that he'd lost her in the first place. He just wanted to see her back onboard safe and sound with his own two eyes. Checking the transporter console yet again for the confirmation signal, he offered, "I'm sure Mrs. Picard will be beaming over soon.'

The chase in Fen Domar space had been almost unbearable to watch and yet Picard had been unable to look away from the viewscreen. It was an overwhelming relief to see the tractor beam lock on to the small vessel and 'haul Vash's ass' onto the Titan as her captain had so eloquently stated. Will had contacted him a short time later to inform him that Vash seemed no worse for wear and that Dr. Selar was checking her over just to be sure. The Titan had returned just as the Fen Domar contacted him to demand that the expedition leave their space without delay and never return. They had set course, now he was just waiting for his wayward wife to deign to return home. Considering the dangerous stunt Vash had just pulled, he wasn't sure what he wanted more to take her in his arms or over his knee. Reining in his impatience and frustration, he looked over at his officer. "It's all right, Lieutenant; of course, you might want to remember who her prot้g้e is."

"Aye, sir." Kennely had been in a serious, romantic relationship with Vash's assistant, Karita long enough to know that he was looking at his own future. "The Titan is hailing. Mrs. Picard is ready to beam over."

"Thank you, Mr. Kennely." Picard turned to face the transporter padd. Vash materialized appearing more like a socialite than a recent prisoner. With her hair perfectly coifed to frame her delicate features, she had also taken time to replicate a change of clothes for herself. She was dressed in a blue sweater dress that brought out the color of her eyes while skimming her feminine curves and setting off her long shapely legs. Catching his stare, she gave him a coquettish smile full of promise. With the memory of her recent near disaster fresh in his mind, he set his jaw and resolved not to allow her to distract him. There were a multitude of things he wanted to say to her but one thing took precedence over all the others. "Did they injure you?"

"No, I'm fine." Vash's heart skipped a beat at the intensity of emotion in Jean-Luc's penetrating eyes and the determination etched in the strong square line of his jaw.

Kennely cleared his throat. "Welcome home, Mrs. Picard."

"Thank you, Sean," Vash replied, glancing over at her security guard.

"You're dismissed, Lieutenant." Picard said.

Once the door had closed behind Kennely, Vash held up a hand to fend off Jean-Luc's scolding. "Will has already read me the riot act."

"I'm sure he has," Picard noted tersely. He watched Vash seductively saunter down from the transporter pad to stand directly in front of him. She slowly ran her hands up his chest and over his shoulders until her arms wound around his neck.

"So why don't you just skip to the part where you take me in your arms for a welcome home kiss and tell me you love me?" she cooed softly.

His mouth descended on hers in a ravenous kiss, his tongue hungrily delving into every corner of her mouth and savoring the sweet taste. He wrapped his arms around her svelte frame to pull her tightly to him. Her body melted against his, perfectly molding to him at every point from the roundness of her breasts against his chest to the intertwining of their legs. When the kiss was finally broken, they were both breathing unevenly. "Je t' aime, Vash."

"Je t' aime, Jean-Luc."

A touch of expectancy tinged his tone, "Now, about your piloting . . ."

"That was fun! How come no ever lets me drive?"

***FINIS***
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Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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