As the first rays of dawn filtered through the sheer curtains adorning her window, Amelia woke with a start. Bolting upright in her bed, she experienced a moment of disorientation as hazy memories of the night before came rushing back to her. She recalled feeling particularly pleased to find Delbert waiting for her when she arrived home. For some reason, he had seemed less enamored of her than she thought fitting. After all they hadn't seen each other for almost a month. In fact, she distinctly remembered experiencing a moment of frustration when he didn't respond to her amorous overtures… her eyes widened as this thought registered.

Amorous overtures?

Although she had been glad to see her bumbling lover, her actions had been somewhat out of character. What had precipitated that, she wondered. Suddenly, she remembered. Her cargo! She had been doused in catnip. Sheer panic coursed through her as she realized what her state of mind must have been. Terrified at what she might discover, she quickly brought her hands to her neckline to confirm that she was, indeed, still clothed. An audible sigh of relief escaped her when her fingers brushed against the soft linen of her shirt, and she collapsed in relief against the headboard, assured that she hadn't engaged in anything regrettable.

She looked over expecting to see the good Doctor stretched alongside her, but much to her surprise, the bed was empty. She frowned in confusion. In the past, when an evening had extended into the wee hours of the morning, Delbert had convinced her to stay the night in his bed, while he slept either on a couch or, most recently, on the other side of his bed. They had, by unspoken agreement, chosen to refrain from consummating their relationship, for the time being, but she found it comforting to fall asleep aside Delbert. She knew he was ready to take things further – his occasional slip ups had assured her of that – but Amelia hadn't been quite ready to commit to something so involved. She loved him. Of that, she had no doubt. But still, the reticence had been there.

But this morning, her relief wasn't founded on the fact that they hadn't explored farther than their usual boundaries. She had to admit, the point had been reached where she was ready to take the next step and consummate their relationship, but she rather hoped their first time together to be when she was lucid and could remember the experience. Besides, she grinned, she had specific plans for the good doctor, and she intended on seeing them through. She preferred to do so without the intoxicating effects of any outside influences.

Amelia paused as what she'd just admitted registered in her mind. It was somewhat startling to realize that she was, indeed, ready to share that facet of herself with Delbert. She cast her thoughts back over the last few months and replayed the many tender moments she had shared with him. His loving concern and affection had been a soothing balm in her life which was so often filled with hectic deadlines and the rough atmosphere that inevitably accompanied the life of a spacer. Until she had experienced it, she hadn't realized how desperately she had craved that attention. Now as she reflected on precisely how much she had come to love Delbert, Amelia realized she was ready to demonstrate that to him in a way that left no room for uncertainty regarding her true feelings.

Deciding to investigate the whereabouts of her missing lover and hopefully begin the seduction of one Delbert Doppler, she swung her feet over the side of the bed. She couldn't help chuckling when she glanced down and realized she was still in her fitted pants.

Ah, Delbert, she thought fondly. Always the gentleman.

After shedding her uniform and slipping into a silken nightgown, she gathered her favorite robe about her and padded softly to the living area. Rounding the corner, she smiled broadly when she spied one foot dangling from the arm rest of her stuffed sofa. As she moved closer, she saw that he was haphazardly snuggled under a blanket that barely covered his lanky form. He really was a gangly man, she reflected affectionately. All limbs and no muscle. But she knew she wouldn't want him any other way. Although her Delbert possessed little physical might, his inner strength was a force with which to be reckoned. She was somewhat surprised to realize a warm sense of security wash over her at this self-admission, quickly followed by a tender wave of affection as she gazed at him.

Quietly lowering herself to the floor next to where his head lay, she gave his brow a tender caress and softly whispered his name.

"Delbert…"

His ear twitched as her breath danced across it, and he turned, burrowing deeper into the blanket. Amelia smiled. He was far too adorable.

"Darling," she tried again and laid a gentle palm against his face. "It's time to wake up."

This time, his response was more vocal as he grunted his displeasure at being disturbed. Amelia shook her head in amusement. Honestly, he was worse than an Academy recruit. Leaning across him, she brought her lips to his and exercised a bit of gentle persuasion. As Delbert responded to her heartfelt greeting, she felt his arms slip around her neck and pull her against him. Deepening the embrace, she shed restraint and indulged in a kiss meant to curl his toes. When she finally released him, his eyes remained closed and a goofy grin spread across his face.

"If this is how you're going to wake me up every time I sleep on your couch, I'm choosing this option more often," he confessed and finally opened his eyes. They widened in pleasant surprise when he discovered her clad in a sheer gown and maroon terrycloth robe.

Amelia grinned as she watched his eyes trail over her form. He had once commented that he'd found dark colors particularly fetching on her, and since that time, she'd made a concerted effort to add those hues to her wardrobe. Of course, she would never admit that aloud, but as she watched him stare, her heart sped up. It was incredible what this silly astrophysicist could do to her. Raising a brow, she gazed at him with frank amusement. "I can think of far better ways to rouse you, Doctor."

Delbert smiled. "I can think of better ways to arouse – rouse, I meant rouse! – me, too." Amelia watched as his face flushed a dark crimson, and he bit his lower lip in frustration.

"You are far too amusing, Delbert," she chuckled. She ran her fingers through his loose hair and sighed affectionately. "Oh, how I've missed your verbal faux pas."

Rising, she stood and observed him as he swung his feet to the floor and languidly stretched his arms across the length of her couch.

"I think I need a shower," he remarked after another yawn escaped his lips.

Amelia nodded. "Indeed." She arched an eyebrow and grinned at him with an impish smile. "However, there are far more productive things you could do with your time, Doctor." She chuckled at the confused look that spread across his features and moved away.

Amelia could feel his eyes trained on her as she made her way to the hallway entrance. Knowing she had his full attention, she made certain to sway a little more than necessary. Turning back to him, she was pleased to note the extra effort had accomplished its goal. Delbert was staring at her in unconcealed disbelief. Giving a low laugh, she graced him with her most sultry smile. "I believe I'll retire to the bedroom for the remainder of the morning," she informed him with a pointed look.

It required a concerted effort on her part to contain the peals of laughter that threatened to spill from her lips. Delbert's mouth had fallen open several inches in astonishment, and he regarded her with wide, uncertain eyes. His lips moved, but no words issued forth as he tried, unsuccessfully, to respond to her blatant invitation. Amelia smirked and inclined her head toward him.

"Doctor, I'm only going to extend this offer once." She arched an eyebrow and crooked her finger. "Are you or are you not going to join me?"

Delbert's frantic scramble from the couch resulted in the good doctor being tangled in his blanket and sprawled across the floor. But, he quickly recovered and was by Amelia's side in an instant. An eager smile illuminated his features as he easily swept her into his arms and hastily retreated to her bedroom. Her laughter filled the hallway, but silence quickly ensued as her amorous lover found her lips with his.