Written for the Matrithon, for the prompt "Lwaxana Troi, loving the alien". This story contains frank discussion of sex, which you ought to expect, because come on, it's Lwaxana. But there's nothing explicit.

1.

Little One, her mother said to her, you are a daughter of the Fifth House. When I am gone, you will hold the Holy Rings of Betazed and the Sacred Chalice of Riix. You must marry according to our traditions. The man your father and I have chosen for you is a good man, a decent man. His genetics are compatible with yours; your children will be healthy.

Lwaxana Troi sighed deeply. I know all that, Mother, but he's so boring.

Kestra Troi frowned at her daughter. "That's not really a consideration," she said stiffly, using words, something she did mostly when she was annoyed. The heart wants what the heart wants... but what the heart wants may not be sensible. The mind must rule the heart, or chaos can result.

It was an aphorism, but Lwaxana well knew the counter-argument to it. But if the heart doesn't advise the mind, Mother, then life has no joy. Isn't that the other half of the saying? "After all, we're not Vulcans."

Kestra sighed. "You're fifteen," she said. "You'll marry in four years, when you reach the prime age of 19. That's entirely too young to know what will make you happy."

That wasn't true. Lwaxana was absolutely certain of it. What would make her happy -- or more precisely, what would make her aroused -- would be aliens.

Aliens! Men who weren't Betazoid! Just the thought excited her. Which, of course, her mother knew, because her mother peeked in on her erotic fantasies from time to time and gave her advice. Betazoid men were... well, they were like brothers. If she had any brothers, which she didn't. But really, all Betazoid men were so open and giving and they didn't have any secrets because no one on Betazed had secrets. Everything was out in the open. Everything was known, and no one was embarrassed about any of it.

But not alien men! When she met them in the course of her mother's work or worked with them in her classes, and they fantasized about her, they didn't know she knew all about it. They thought they were doing it secretively, and they were.. not ashamed, exactly, but they considered it a taboo. None of them would ever tell her, in so many words, that they were undressing her with their eyes, whereas Betazoid men would cheerfully send her telepathic pornography imagining her in bed with them in a couple of years and suggesting that she look them up after she'd had her first. There was nothing taboo about their fantasies, nothing dirty, nothing embarrassing. It was all open and up front.

Lwaxana liked dirty little secrets. She loved it when men wanted her and felt wrong about it, when they were embarrassed or ashamed or just considered it off-limits to tell her their feelings. It excited her tremendously, and it was even more exciting to feel their reaction when she told them that she knew -- the waves of embarrassment or humiliation or hot desire that would wash over them at the thought that she knew their dirty little secret, and she liked it. Fifteen was generally considered too young to have sex with adult men, and Lwaxana didn't know any alien boys, and most of the men who thought she was hot stuff weren't interested in actually doing anything about it with a teenager.

Tevon Jarr was a nice boy with good genetics -- not as powerful a telepath as she was, because Betazoids considered it important to breed for moderation in their telepathy rather than strength, as telepathy too powerful made people into damaged, haunted hermits, but healthy and strong and certainly attractive. But he was a Betazoid. He knew exactly what she knew about him already; besides, she'd practically grown up with him. He was familiar and therefore boring. He was an open book.

Lwaxana wanted to explore. She wanted to go offworld and meet new people and see new cultures and walk on alien planets. But at fifteen, with the hormones of puberty ruling her waking life and much of her sleep as well, the biggest attraction of going offworld was the thought of all those men who hadn't grown up with telepathy. All those exotic and interesting men. Mm-hmm.

And her mother expected her to marry Tevon, because it was traditional and that was just what you did. She sighed. "Fine," she said. "But he'd better not be upset when I take lovers."

2.

Tevon wasn't upset when she took lovers. He was incredibly understanding and considerate about it, very Betazoid in his conviction that of course he didn't own his wife and whatever she needed to be happy was okay with him, and that infuriated her. He couldn't even do her the courtesy of pretending to be jealous. Not that it would have fooled her, since she was a more powerful telepath than he was.

She wanted passion. She wanted to be swept off her feet. She wanted to be married to a man who actually cared what she did with her body and her time. Tevon was a fine lover, and he had his own little kinks that she was pleased to indulge with him -- such as his desire to invite his good friend Reittan Grax into their bed, and that was exciting, she had to admit -- but he didn't love her, and he didn't even want her all that badly. He thought she was pleasingly attractive but not the type of woman that made him drool, and he thought that that was all right, because if people went around marrying the people they were stupid with sexual desire over, then they were likely to do stupid and antisocial things in the course of their marriage. Like actually feel jealousy when their wives had sex with other men.

That changed when she met Ensign Ian Andrew Alexandros.

Ensign Alexandros ("but you can call me Ian") was gorgeous. He had pale skin and dark hair and eyes that were brown, not endless deep black Betazoid eyes, and when he looked at her he had to fight off erotic fantasies, which he did remarkably well because he was a well-disciplined Starfleet officer but she knew the fantasies were still there. And he felt guilty about them. Because he was serving as a Starfleet escort for the family of the Fifth House, and he should not be having fantasies about a young woman he was charged with escorting, especially a married young woman.

The guilt and the attempt he was making not to fantasize about her and his failure in that attempt was the most deliciously erotic thing Lwaxana had ever experienced. She became obsessed with him. Tevon didn't object when she attempted to seduce Ian, but when he rebuffed her because she was married, and she kept after him, desperate to spend time in his company... then Tevon was upset. Then he was angry that his wife was chasing after another man, making him look inadequate because she was so plainly desperate. It was too late -- there'd been a time when Tevon being jealous would have reawakened Lwaxana's interest in her marriage, but now she had eyes for no one but Ian. Tevon snapped at her that if his presence in her life was such an obstacle to her deep infatuation with Ensign Alexandros, then perhaps they should divorce. Lwaxana retorted that that was a splendid idea. If she hadn't meant it, the marriage might have been saved, but of course, Tevon knew she was telling the truth. Betazoids couldn't lie mind to mind, and rarely bothered to lie verbally, given that anyone could see through such lies if they wanted to.

The divorce papers had been approved and finalized for exactly thirty-seven minutes before she ended up in Ian's bed. Two weeks later they stood nude before their equally naked guests, and he became Ian Troi.

3.

Ian was the stars. He was human, the species that ran Starfleet, that drove the Federation, the species that were the face of adventure and exploration to every other race in Starfleet. He was an officer in Starfleet, and a scientist, and an explorer, an exotic adventurer from a far-distant foreign world. He wanted her so badly that he had nearly turned his back on his people's ethical beliefs, and he was so steadfast that in the end he had waited.

He was everything she had ever wanted.

She taught him everything she knew about sex. He wasn't a virgin, but he wasn't a Betazoid either. Humans were famously xenophilic, but so much more repressed than Betazoids were. Ian's experience was less than hers, and given that he wasn't a telepath and hadn't been raised around people who willingly shared with their friends the intimate details of the sex they'd just had, his knowledge was much less than hers, but he was very eager to learn, and a quick study. And the fact that he loved her, and she loved him, made even their most awkward and clumsy sex more wonderful than the hottest, most acrobatic adventure she'd had with Tevon and his friends.

It took effort to establish a mental link with him; he wasn't a telepath at all, so the work she needed to do to make herself heard by him was substantial, at least until she got the hang of it. But even that excited her. It seemed to her that her link to Ian was much more special, much more meaningful, than the link she'd had with Tevon, because he had to care for her to make himself receptive to her.

She called him imzadi. He wasn't the first man she'd had sex with, but he was the first she'd ever truly loved.

4.

Her baby girl was alien.

Only half Betazoid, it was likely that Kestra would never develop full telepathy; most Betazoid/Human hybrids were merely empaths, able to function telepathically with family and lovers but no one else. Her eyes weren't as dark as the average Betazoid's; they weren't the clear brown color of her father, but they were visibly dark brown, not black. She was born prematurely, except that she wasn't premature at all, because Betazoid pregnancies lasted ten months but Human only nine, so when she was born at barely nine months she was perfectly formed, with no need for medical treatment at all.

And she talked.

All Betazoid children talked, of course, because most didn't develop full telepathy until adulthood. But Kestra wouldn't shut up. She babbled nonsense syllables endlessly when she was only seven months old, and by a year she could say a word or two, and by the time she was two you couldn't get her to shut up. She didn't have the quiet, peaceful mind of a Betazoid child, fully receptive to parental telepathy; her mind raced constantly, always jumping ahead to the next question, the next thing she wanted to talk about. She pointed at objects and asked what they were. She asked what the sky was made of and why plants were green and if dogs could read your mind and how could Daddy fly in space. She invented wild stories that she was generally the star of, and told lies about silly things, and described in detail things that had actually never happened, such as when cowboys came to her birthday party and they gave her a flapjack. Lwaxana was slightly troubled by this until Ian explained that this was normal for human children, that in fact the primary trait of human children was their wild imagination. After that she basked in her little girl's alien nature, amazed over and over again that a creature so exotic and wondrous came out of her body. Kestra was Betazoid, but she was also so very, very human, and Lwaxana loved that about her.

She died the day Kestra did. She held her little girl's cold wet body in her arms and screamed, with voice and mind, so loudly that they had to sedate her to stop her from projecting her mind-swamping grief to dozens of others. And when she woke and there was a hole in the universe where once there had been her sweet baby girl, she was still dead. She didn't eat, she didn't sleep. Nothing existed but that hole in reality, nothing mattered but the fact that her daughter was gone. She had looked away for a moment and when she looked back her baby was gone forever, and it was all her fault, and she needed to die.

Even Ian's love couldn't save her. But his logic did, as he drew her attention to the new baby, Deanna, the one who had just been born. The new little girl who would never be Kestra but who needed her as Kestra had needed her. If Lwaxana's physical life ended, what would become of that baby, made suddenly motherless?

To survive for Deanna's sake, Lwaxana made herself forget. She destroyed the pictures of her little girl, she erased the journal entries that mentioned her, she disintegrated Kestra's toys and clothes and covered the bedroom that had been Kendra's with new baby toys for Deanna, making the room a playroom. When Ian thought of his lost daughter she jerked herself away from his mind. Eventually he, too, learned to stop thinking of Kestra.

Deanna was everything, now, and Lwaxana would keep her safe.

5.

Deanna was quiet, reflective, a girl who preferred books to running around outside in madcap play. She was tremendously compassionate, and gentle. She didn't tell the kind of wild stories that (what was Lwaxana thinking of again? There she went losing her train of thought) She was very, very Betazoid.

Except that she wanted to be a cowboy. A gunslinger, to be precise. With a shiny white hat.

Or maybe a space pirate. Or a spy. Deanna snuck around the house for three days once taking everything down on a PADD, pretending she was a spy.

When Ian died, Deanna became very, very serious, often telling Lwaxana to eat her dinner or bringing her medicine as if she were the mother and Lwaxana the child. She stopped pretending to be a gunslinger or a space pirate or a spy. Lwaxana tried to coax her back into playing, dressing up as a Koropian princess in a sedan chair for Deanna's seventh birthday, but Deanna just sighed and rolled her eyes.

Lwaxana honestly didn't understand the girl. She was only half Betazoid, and that half came from her. How had Deanna ended up... well, so much like Lwaxana's own parents? She tried to see Ian in her girl, but aside from the color of her hair and her beautiful accent, Deanna was a tiny copy of Lwaxana's mother Kestra, and never mind that Kestra's namesake had been (what had she been thinking of again?) Lwaxana encouraged her in the accent, speaking to her in an exaggerated imitation of Ian's lovely accent -- half the time Ian hadn't even had his accent, his speech patterns trained by Starfleet into standardized clarity, but when he'd been emotional it had come out -- and Lwaxana parroted that back to her baby so Deanna would talk like her father and at least sound like an alien. Since Lwaxana talked to Deanna more often than anyone else did -- Lwaxana's parents generally used telepathy all the time, and of course the tutors of a Daughter of the Fifth House would never be so gauche as to communicate with her primarily via speech -- it took. Deanna sounded beautiful and exotic, even though she was a stuffy, serious, properly Betazoid girl.

The only area where Deanna showed any of her mother's own free spirit was her complete lack of interest in her responsibilities as a daughter of the Fifth House -- oddly, one of the few areas of Lwaxana's own life where she took her responsibilities seriously. Deanna took her responsibilities to her mother seriously, but not to any of the things her mother wanted for her. Instead of marrying Wyatt Miller at the age of nineteen, as she was supposed to, Deanna went to Starfleet. The Millers, being human, tolerated it, considering nineteen too young to marry. Lwaxana, remembering how little interest she'd had in Tevon Jarr, supported it... to a degree. Her baby girl was going to follow in her father's footsteps, and be an explorer in Starfleet like Ian had been. Of course the idea of Deanna being out in space, where she could be killed like Ian was, terrified Lwaxana, and she pointed this out to Deanna repeatedly in the forlorn hope that her little girl would come home and lead a safe life. Starfleet no longer seemed as exciting and exotic and wondrous to the widow of an officer as it had to a young woman infatuated with one. But she knew better than to think she would actually persuade Deanna to change her mind. Deanna would do anything for her except change the way Deanna lived.

And then Deanna was gone, off into space. Lwaxana's own duties took her offworld more frequently than not, and she sought to intersect her daughter as often as possible, but the fundamental truth was that she was alone.

6.

Reittan asked her, on occasion, "If it hurts so much to be alone, Lwaxana, why don't you find a nice Betazoid man to settle down with? A widower, or a young man looking for an older, experienced woman to teach him the arts of love, or something?"

He wasn't offering. Reittan generally preferred men, and for when he wanted a woman he had a wife of his own, as most diplomats did. He'd give her a fling in the hay if she wanted it, but he knew as well as she did that she wanted so much more.

And he had a point. Betazed was full of young men who would look at a handsome older woman entering Phase, and think only of all the wondrous joys she could teach them and the amazing sexual appetites she'd have. But she didn't want a callow boy. And yes, there were divorced men and widowers who would find her attractive. The trouble was that she didn't want a Betazoid at all. She never had.

It was horrifying, because so many alien races saw women her age as washed up, sexless crones, not the vital, sexy beings that Betazoids knew she and others her age were. That made it so much harder to find a good man, who'd love her and respect her and appreciate her sexually. But it didn't change the fact that had shaped her loves, all her life. As frightening as she found the thought of being alone, she couldn't stop herself from loving the alien. And if it came to a choice between the calm, oh-so-understanding, generous, peaceful nature of Betazoid men, versus a life of stormy ups and downs with men who would misunderstand her and have ridiculous cultural beliefs that were just plain stupid and break her heart most of the time, but who would feel things... who could possibly love her, as Ian had loved her, with all their heart and soul... she had to keep taking the risk. A teen girl could settle for what her parents had arranged for her, and hope for things to get better someday, but Lwaxana was too old to wait and hope... if she compromised, she would likely live with the results for the rest of her life.

So she kept searching, and hoping, believing that someday she would once again reach out to an alien nature in love, and the alien would reach back to her.