Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount. I own nothing.

Author's note: This story takes place after Generations and after Deanna's relationship with Worf has ended.

Chapter One

Deanna Troi wandered idly round Ydea's main resort, revelling in there being nothing that she had to do. She was on leave, on a beautiful planet with shops, theatres and spas and she could do whatever she wanted. There were no patients to see and, best of all, no reports to write. Deanna loved her life in Starfleet but there were disadvantages. As an empath, she sometimes found being on a Galaxy Class ship, with over a thousand people on board, overwhelming. The need to shield herself constantly was exhausting and sometimes her shields were not strong enough. The other disadvantage was the paperwork. Starfleet had paperwork for everything and moving up the ranks led to more and more of it. Some of it, such as patient notes, was essential but some of it was meaningless nonsense. Luckily, Beverley Crusher hated meaningless paperwork and could be relied on to send the most pointless paperwork back to Starfleet Headquarters with a ferociously worded request for the originator to stop wasting her staff's time. Deanna smiled to herself as she remembered the last time that had happened. The offended bureaucrat had complained to Captain Picard who had reviewed Beverley's actions, decided that they were fully justified and had given the pompous idiot a dressing down which left him pale and terrified.

Deanna's wanderings had brought her to the pool complex and she decided to sit down and have a cold drink whilst she decided what to do next. Finding a poolside kiosk, she bought some chilled fruit juice and sat down on a sunbed. Within five minutes she had been joined by a trio of young men. All three of them were attracted to her and for while she toyed with the idea of having a fling with one of them, but they were too young and too full of themselves to be attractive to her. She no longer found brash young idiots sexy. They usually had no idea how to please a woman and she wasn't in the mood to teach them.

Finishing her drink, she took her glass back to the kiosk and wandered off. A minute or two later, she realised that one of the men had followed her. Carefully lowering her shields slightly, she opened herself to his surface emotions. There was lust there but controlled and overlaid by a happy feeling, which she identified as optimism. He was probably sure he could convince her to go on a date with him. Deanna looked round for a way to tactfully escape from him. If necessary, she would be completely blunt with him but the emotional turmoil that would cause would leave her tense and upset.

She was just wondering whether he was young enough to be too embarrassed to follow her into a lingerie store, when she recognised a familiar emotional pattern; the Captain was nearby. Lowering her shields a bit more she scanned ahead of her. Using her vision and empathic senses together was always a bit odd as a person's mind could seem to be right on top of her whilst their body was some distance away. But it was useful as her empathic senses could tell her which way to look. After a few seconds she saw the Captain, about fifty yards away from her, talking to a middle-aged woman. Deanna walked quickly towards them. As she got closer, she realised that the Captain was trying to get away from the woman. She kept talking to him but he was edging away, his whole body language negative,

'I can assure you, you'd have a very good time,' said the woman, suggestively.

Deanna nearly laughed as she realised what had happened; in going to the Captain to be rescued from an awkward situation, she was going to rescue him. Smiling, she called out,

'Jean-Luc, there you are.'

He turned and without hesitation, she slipped her arm round his waist and rested her head on his shoulder saying,

'It's time to get ready for dinner.'

Jean-Luc's arm automatically came up and circled her waist. Years of diplomatic training enabled him to control his surprise. Smiling down at Deanna, he said,

'Is it that time already? I had no idea it was so late.'

'Yes, we should really be getting back if we don't want to miss our reservation.'

Smiling politely, Jean-Luc said goodbye to his would-be seducer. They had met in the museum and a friendly discussion about early Ydean pottery had clearly given her the wrong impression. Thankfully, Deanna's timely appearance enabled him to withdraw without having to be rude, something that he always hated. His mother had been very strict about politeness and he always felt very guilty if he was rude to someone. He and Deanna walked away, casually holding hands.

They turned a corner and he went to let go of Deanna's hand but she held on firmly. He shot her a questioning glance and she murmured,

'Young man, twenty-five yards behind us.'

Amused, Jean-Luc waited for a few seconds and then glanced behind them. About thirty yards away and looking disappointed was man in his early twenties. He was good-looking and athletic and Jean-Luc wondered why Deanna wasn't interested. He'd obviously failed one of her mysterious criteria, if they actually existed. He'd listened with amusement one evening as she and Beverley explained to Will that they had specific criteria for choosing men, which were immutable and impossible to explain but meant that Will had no chance with either of them. At the time he'd been sure that they'd been punishing Will for something.
He waited another couple of minutes, then asked,

'Are we still being followed?'

'Yes. Sorry about this, Sir. I didn't expect him to be this persistent.'

'It's Jean-Luc whilst we're on shore leave, please.'

'Right,' said Deanna, apologetically, feeling annoyed with herself. She'd convinced him to be more relaxed when off duty and then she called him 'Sir'. Well done, Counsellor.

'And there's no need to apologise. You rescued me from Avayla. I'm only too happy to return the favour. Why is the young man being so persistent?'

'I don't know. I only spoke with him for a few minutes. I was surprised when he followed me.'

Jean-Luc took a proper look at Deanna. She was wearing a blue and white sundress that showed off her figure and had her hair down. She looked incredible.

'He's probably never seen someone as beautiful as you.'

Deanna looked at him in shock as her assumptions about him were shattered by his words and the emotions that she could sense from him.

Please review.