Star Trek: A Lesson In Love
By S.A.M

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of TNG. I just borrow them for a little story.


Commander William T. Riker felt the sun blare against his closed eyelids. It ripped him from unconsciousness and welcomed him into the world. Not again, thought Riker in disgust. Will rustled under the covers, trying to relocate the wonderful gift known as sleep. However, the damn sunlight refused to let him do so. For Will Riker, the sun had been the most aggravating thing about being planet side. The bright star loomed over the Earth and shot evil rays of sunshine into his quarters almost every morning. Every day for the last month, William Riker had been woken up by the sun's power rays instead of his alarm chrono, which he ironically set every night. Riker yanked his pillow out from under his head and smashed it into his face, in the hopes of blackening his line of sight. However, Will quickly realized that covering his face with a pillow inhibited him from breathing. The Starfleet Commander cursed to himself and tossed the pillow across the room. There was no reason to fight it any longer. He was awake.

Will Riker slugged out of bed and turned off his alarm, so that it would not go off later. He read the chrono as he clicked the off switch. Riker realized that he could have slept for another forty-five minutes. This angered the Commander, so he released his displeasure by knocking the chrono off it's stand. He took pleasure in the clock's misfortune as it crashed into the floor. He thought he heard the clock break but he did not give it any attention. The Commander was too cranky to care. After Riker bumped off the chrono, he focused on the next objective, and that was to take a shower. Riker rubbed the sleep from his eyes and drug himself toward the bathroom of his quarters. As he approached the bathroom he passed the main window of his bedroom. Riker stopped and took in the view. His quarters were located on the teacher's grounds of Starfleet Academy. He had a perfect view of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun shown brightly and reflected it's glare off the reconstructed bridge. A Starfleet shuttle flew over the Golden Gate and headed toward the Academy. Riker observed the shuttle as it moved toward it's landing pad. Its probably transporting students to their appointed classes, thought Riker as he scratched the side of his beard.

It was the first day of Starfleet Academy's second semester and Will Riker was to teach tactics and strategy to the upcoming cadets. Will was not particularly interested in teaching but he had no choice in the matter. The Commander had been on Earth for six months and waited patiently for the recommissioning of the Starship Enterprise-E. The new Sovereign Class Starship would not be ready for another few months so Riker was forced to cool his heels planet side. During his stay on Earth, Starfleet Command issued him a temporary assignment of teaching tactics at the Academy. Riker had taught the first semester of classes and found it to be extremely boring. He longed to be back on a starship and exploring the far reaches of space. Teaching at the Academy was not something Riker reveled in. His spirit was too wild. He knew that he was meant for something more. Riker had to be doing something a little bit more adventurous and exciting. However, excitement had not been in Will's vocabulary for quit sometime. Will sighed as he watched the cadets populate the campus. He we go again, thought Riker as he turned toward the sonic shower.

Will showered quickly and put on his Starfleet uniform. He had some time on his hands so he decided to get some breakfast before his first class. Will brushed his teeth and gave himself the once over in the mirror. He was satisfied in his appearance so he raced out the front door.

"Computer, lock door." ordered Will as he headed down the street walk.

The computer complied with a beep and Will began his trek across campus. Riker took long strides and smiled at the people passing by. The Commander was greeted by fellow officers; teachers and cadets alike. Riker was extremely well known by the Academy staff because his missions on the Enterprise were textbook material. His reputation as the Enterprise's first officer was something of a spectacle. He was often asked about his experiences on the Enterprise. The teachers and cadets were amazed by his stories of the Q and what it felt like to be a part of the Continuum. They asked him about dangerous mission he had been on and his experiences with the Borg as well. Will Riker had become a mild celebrity. One bold cadet even asked for his autograph. Riker had laughed at the idea but went ahead and signed his name on the cadet's PADD. Who am I to neglect my adoring fans, laughed Riker sarcastically?

Riker quickly made it across the main campus and approached one of the Academy's cafeterias. The cafeteria food was not great but it was palatable. Once again, Riker found himself longing for the Enterprise. Ten-forward had always offered excellent meals and deserts. The Academy cafeteria was no where near the dining facility that Ten-Forward was. Will really enjoyed the food and company which Ten-forward had to offer. It was a nice place to enjoy one's free time. He could not believe how much he missed something so trivial. Will shook the thought from his mind. There was no use wishing for something that was not there.

Riker entered the cafeteria and quickly replicated himself some breakfast. Will had replicated eggs and bacon and the smell of the food was intoxicating. He had not realized how hungry he was until now. Will sat down at an empty table and began to consume his food at a rather quick pace.

"Easy, Commander. You might make yourself sick." warned a lovely feminine voice.

Riker looked up from his plate of food and stared blankly at the woman standing before him. Suddenly, his melancholy mood had been uplifted. Will was certain he had food dripping of the side of his mouth. He wanted to swipe it away but he was frozen. His eyes were locked on the person standing in front of him and it was all he could do from drooling. It was Captain Rachael Finnegan . Finnegan was a professor in Bio-chemistry and taught at the Academy. Will had met her the first week he started teaching. He had noticed her in the teacher's lounge and quickly started up a conversation with her. Riker was attracted to Rachael from the moment he laid eyes on her. Rachael was intelligent, had a great personality, and was gorgeous. Boy was she gorgeous. Her figure was something from out of this world. Rachael's body was curved perfectly. Her eyes sparkled emerald green and her long scarlet hair laid gently around her shoulders. Riker was sure that when God mad Rachael, he placed her gently in a box and signed it "From God to men". All Will could think about was taking her body and…

"Will, are you alright?" asked Rachael puzzlingly.

Will Riker snapped out of his fantasy and returned his attention to the Captain. He felt his cheeks glow red and he prayed that she hadn't notice. Rachael continued to look at him in confusion. Will realized he must have seemed like he was flirting with retardation.

"Yes Captain, I'm fine. Won't you sit down?" asked Will as he wiped egg from his chin.

"Why thank you, Commander." replied Rachael as she slid into the seat across from Will.

The Captain had a mug of coffee which she sipped gingerly. She smiled at Riker as he continued to eat his food. Will had reduced his speed of consumption quite substantially.

"Are you ready for classes?" asked Rachael before she took another sip of coffee.

"Yeah, I guess so. I stayed up most of the night finishing my lesson plan." replied Will as he speared a piece of egg and brought it to his mouth.

"A little bit of a procrastinator are we?" asked Rachael with a light smile etched on her face.

"No not at all. It's the same lesson plan as last semester. I just went over it last night so I'd know what I'd be discussing this week and to see if I needed to add anything."

"Did you add anything?"

Will Riker smiled with his cocky little grin. He suddenly realized that Rachael had become fairly interested in his trivial day to day procedures. Why if I didn't know any better, I'd say she was beginning to take a personal interest in me, thought Riker devilishly.

"No. I usually get things right the first time." replied Riker with a wink.

This made the Captain smile and Will was certain he saw a sting of red pierce the tips of her cheeks. He had made her blush.; one of the first signs of attraction. Will decided to take the initiative and explored the idea of getting to know Rachael Finnegan on a more personal note.

"Look, I have to leave for class but maybe we can get together sometime this week. Perhaps we can have dinner and discuss school?"

Rachael did not spend of second pondering the idea. She responded immediately which to Riker, seemed like a very good sign.

"That sounds great. We'll have to get together soon."

"Excellent. Then it's a date." replied Will as he stood from the table.

Will Riker slowly walked away from Rachael Finnegan. He had a huge grin spread across his face. What he did not know was Rachael was smiling just as big.

=====/////=====

Cadet Vanessa Starkey twiddled her thumbs as she waited impatiently for the Tactics and Strategy class to begin. She had been the first to arrive so the wait for the professor had been a good twenty minutes. The other cadets seemed content as they talked and laughed with one another. Not Vanessa. She was too serious when it came to class. Her friends had given her the name of "hard-ass" because she became rather unpleasant when it came to school and homework. Study groups and class projects with Vanessa were less than desirable. However, her closest friends managed to withstand her foul moods during studying. Her best friend, Mary Hollingsworth, had often told her to lighten up but she would not allow herself the pleasure. Not when it came to her education.

Cadet Jonathan Hale sat in the desk behind her. He was chatting with his good friend Sor'tok, a Vulcan who had joined the Academy. Jonathan had become some what of a pest to Vanessa. He had declared his romantic interest to her late last semester. He was one of the few who willingly volunteered to join her study groups. He did it just so he could be close to her. Jonathan had called on Vanessa many times but she turned him away every time. Hale had the I'm so damn good looking, I can have any girl I want, look at my rippling muscles mentality. She couldn't stand to be around him. However, Jonathan couldn't take the hint. Jonathan Hale proceeded to sit next to Vanessa in almost every class they had together and always asked her friends if he had a chance with her. Vanessa had told her friends to tell him no but it did not seem to work.

"Come on Vanessa, he's good looking." pleaded Mary, as she tried to convince her of going out with Jonathan.

"I don't care if he's Mister Universe. I can't stand him. His cocky personality really bugs me."

"Well, you wouldn't mind if I went out with him would you?" asked Mary with a twinkle in her eye.

"Not at all. By all means, maybe he'll finally leave me alone."

However, Jonathan refused to be tempted by other girls. He knew who he wanted and that was Vanessa. Cadet Hale used all his free time and resources to woo Vanessa, and that included sitting behind her in their Tactics and Strategy class.

"Psst, Vanessa. Did you hear who was teaching this class?" asked Jonathan as he leaned over Vanessa's shoulder.

His soft breath brushed up against her ear, made Vanessa cringe. I wish he wouldn't do that, she thought angrily.

"No, I forgot to check. I just signed up for this class because it was in my curriculum and it had a opening."

"Are you kidding me? I had to practically kill other Cadets just to have a chance to get into this class! You really don't know who the teacher is do you?"

"No, who is it?" asked Vanessa as she looked over her shoulder in interest.

"Commander William T. Riker." stated Jonathan with a happy smile on his face.

Vanessa's mouth opened in shock. She couldn't believe it. Vanessa had heard about Commander Riker temporarily teaching classes at the Academy but she never imagined actually being in one of them. Thee William Thomas Riker would be teaching her tactics. An actual living legend was going to teach her at the Academy.

"Are you serious? You're just messing with me aren't you?" asked Vanessa in disbelief.

"No! He really is! Tell her Sor'tok."

The Vulcan turned to Vanessa and lifted his eyebrow. Vanessa could not see any recognizable emotion on his face. She would never know if the Vulcan was lying to her but Vanessa seriously doubted that a Vulcan would lie to her in the first place.

"Mister Hale tells the truth. Commander Riker will be teaching this class." informed Sor'tok with a deadpan expression.

Suddenly, Commander Riker entered the class room and set several PADDS on his desk. He turned to the class and looked over every individual briefly. Vanessa's eyes met with Will's and she felt her heart skip a beat. My God he's gorgeous, she thought to herself.

Commander Riker wrote his name on the electronic display board and turned back to the class.

"Hello class, I'm Commander William T. Riker and I'll be teaching Tactics and Strategy."

Vanessa Starkey did not hear a word Riker said. She was lost his powerful blue eyes. Vanessa could not help but smile. She was re-experiencing a childhood crush. For the first time in a long time, Vanessa had a desire for the opposite sex. She usually focused on school work but she thought she'd make an exception in this case. I want Will Riker, she said to herself.

To Be Continued……