Chapter 5

by Starsinger

I realized I might need to update the fics when somebody started writing their ideas of what happened next in the reviews for them. I thank you for your ideas. Now, Will and Jim informally meet and talk. Don't own them.

Jim appeared in 10 Forward. Will had agreed to meet with him here. He intended a small conversation to get to know him. And what was up with the Betazoid Counselor? It had become instantly apparent that not only did they know each other, there was some chemistry going there as well.

A bartender walked over and placed a glass with a brown liquid inside it on the table before nodding at Jim grinned. Kentucky Bourbon, the best, it was one of the things Bones had stopped by for. The Brawns between Bones and Riker had been aliens. Two Vulcans and an Andorian had filled the rolls, and they had all been excellent. Will was different. He was human, and he was from the North American continent, specifically Alaska. He was even said to have developed as fine a taste for both Bourbon and Whiskey as Jean-Luc had for Earl Grey Tea.

"Hello, Jim," Will's voice interrupted his reverie. Will sat down and looked at the glass. A gleam in his eye that would have made Gary green with envy winked at him as he lifted the container and inhaled the aroma. "Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, 1876 unless I miss my guess," Will said as he took a grateful sip. Jim watched as he appeared to roll the liquid around his tongue before swallowing and giving a satisfied sigh. "Gift from the Admiral?"

"Where else? I don't exactly have space for it in my shell," Jim said with a laugh. "Bones heard you were human and decided it might be appropriate."

"Well, thank him for me," Will said. "How does it feel to be back on the Enterprise?" he asked.

"Like home," Jim said. "I spent 20 years on Enterprises," he said with a wistful expression. "The original and then 1701-A."

"How are you getting along with the crew?" Will asked picking up the glass. He idly let the liquid swirl before taking another sip.

"The younger kids don't quite understand that I'm not an imaginary friend, yet," Jim said with a snort. "The middle ones think I'm just and advanced AI. The older ones are fascinated by me. Wesley even challenged me to a game of 3-d Chess the moment he stepped on board," Jim said with a laugh.

"Did you win?" Will asked.

"Of course I won, I played against a Vulcan for at least twenty years!" Jim said shaking his head. "What's with you and Deanna?" Jim asked.

"Imzadi," Will finally breathed. Jim breathed. He'd heard the term, but never quite seen it before. Most Betazoids never truly met their "soulmate". It was said to be an instant connection with that person you were meant to be with, transcending everything else.

"That she found it with a human is extraordinary," Jim said finally.

"She's half-human," Will reminded him. Jim nodded. "And her mother does not like me," he continued.

Jim laughed, "She betrothed to someone else?"

"Yep," Will said finishing off his drink. "What do you think of the Command Crew?"

"Jean-Luc is a solid captain. With as much experience as he has he'll do well. Deanna is solid, even if she occasionally appears flighty. Geordi, I think he's misplaced. He needs to be down in Engineering, where the power really is. He's always tinkering with something. Dr. Crusher is a good Doctor with excellent instincts. Worf, he's hard to read, as most Klingons are. He's a solid officer though. It's sad that he was at Khitomer. His adoptive parents did well for him. Data reminds me of Pinocchio, wanting to be a real boy. It'll be interesting to see how he grows with so many living beings around him. Tasha is…intense. I'm afraid that she's burning so bright and fast that she'll do something and be extinguished," Jim concluded.

Will nodded. That was pretty much his own assessment. "It feels really weird to be calling an Admiral by his first name," Will said with a twitching of his eyebrow. "Tell me something, how do you think I would look with a beard?"

Jim was caught off-guard by the question and considered the man. "You know, I think you would look good with a beard," Jim finally said. "You thinking about it?" Will nodded as the bartender picked up his empty glass.

Will rose from his seat, "I need some sleep. I have Alpha Shift. See you in the morning." Jim nodded as Will left the room. He let his hologram dissipate. He had some work to do.