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

Author's note: Telepathic communication is shown using *.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Jean-Luc controlled himself until Admiral Beyland had ended the communication then relieved his feelings by letting loose with some of his father's favourite curses. The universal translator automatically repeated them back to him in Federation Standard and hearing the literal translation of the colourful phrases made Jean-Luc laugh, easing his frustration. Admiral Beyland had called about the 'mistake' in his and Deanna's records and it had taken him two hours and all of his patience and diplomacy to convince the admiral that it wasn't a mistake and that the bond was real. Fortunately, he'd contacted Telna the day before to ask for any literature she had about Betazoid mind links, so he'd been able to tell Admiral Beyland that the mind links were totally unpredictable. This, in turn, had enabled him to bring in the adage that, 'Dealing with the unpredictable is all in a day's work for Starfleet'. The connection was a bit specious but Admiral Beyland had been reassured by the idea that it was just another of those things that trained Starfleet officers should be able to take in their stride and had ended by wishing Jean-Luc good luck. Jean-Luc sincerely hoped that he'd convinced her that it was simply part of the rich tapestry of life as a Starfleet officer because she was a pompous pedant and was entirely capable of insisting that he and Deanna go through a battery of tests, even though Telna's tests and conclusions were all that was required by Starfleet regulations. He just hoped that Admiral Beyland wasn't the first of many.
Thinking about Deanna calmed him down further and he smiled as he remembered how she'd surprised him last night, turning up just as he was about to go to bed. She had casually undressed and joined him in bed, smiling mischievously as his body had reacted to hers, saying,

'Have you missed me?'

Then she had kissed her way down his body and proceeded to use her tongue to drive him wild. Through their link he could feel her arousal building alongside his and he'd deliberately opened his mind to her so that she could feel how much he wanted her. After a few minutes he could no longer tell where his emotions ended and hers started, all he felt was joyful lust. Just when he thought that he was going to go insane, she stopped and lay in the middle of the bed, opening herself to him and pulling him towards her. He had retained just enough self-control to insist on returning the favour and had been rewarded by her screaming his name as he used his fingers and tongue to drive over the edge again and again. Eventually, the urge for completion became too much and he had flipped her over and joined their bodies, using his knowledge of her body to bring her to another climax before finally joining her.
He had managed to stay awake just long enough to tell her how wonderful she was and had then slept solidly for several hours.
He had woken to find her soft body draped over his and had found himself entranced by her sensual beauty. He had watched her until she woke and then they had made love gently and tenderly before going their separate ways.

Jean-Luc reluctantly forced his mind away from Deanna and picked up the latest update from Data on potential improvements to the holodeck systems.

Deanna watched her mother pack with mixed feelings. She wouldn't miss her mother's bossiness and interference but she would miss her strength and unconditional love.

* Be careful on Tevny, Mother*

* It's a routine diplomatic mission, Deanna. I'll be fine. You're the one that needs to be careful*

* I'll be fine*

* You say that but serving on board Starfleet's flagship is hardly safe*

* Jean-Luc's captain of the flagship for good reason. The Enterprise has had far fewer fatalities than other ships of its class*

* Far fewer! Is that supposed to make me feel better?*

* Actually, yes. Statistically, I'm safer here than I would be on many planets*

* Not than if you were on Betazed*

* Mother, I am not returning to Betazed. I love Starfleet and anyway, what would Jean-Luc do on Betazed?*

* He could teach. Or bring up your children*

* Bring up our children! Mother, we've only just started a relationship, I think it's a bit early to be thinking about children*

* I was just saying that Jean-Luc would have options if you lived on Betazed. He wouldn't have to just sit around looking decorative. Not that he's not decorative but I wouldn't want him to be bored*

* Mother, you are unbelievable! What Jean-Luc and I decide to do is not your business. If our relationship turns out to be long term, then he and I will decide whether or not we want to have children and where we want to raise them*

* Deanna, you are a daughter of the Fifth House. You have duties as well as privileges*

* Duties to a mouldy old pot and a set of rusty rings! Don't you think it's time that the Houses came into the twenty-fourth century? All this nonsense about daughters and rituals is so ridiculous. Betazed is an egalitarian culture and has been for centuries now except for the few people in the Houses who insist on clinging to the past. A not very glorious past, may I point out*

* I know how you feel, Deanna, but the fact is, people like seeing the old customs kept alive*

* You and your cronies, you mean*

* Not just us. When your grandmother died I tried to step down as head of the Fifth House, you know. I was going to give the house to the world government, along with half of the other properties because I didn't want to spend my life in the public eye. There was a huge public outcry and I was made to see that it wasn't in Betazed's best interests for me to step down*

* Times change, Mother. I'm only half Betazoid and any children Jean-Luc and I have will be only a quarter Betazoid. I'm sure I'll be able to convince the government to let me step down. It won't be for a long time anyway*

* That's true. Your children could be adults by the time I die and you never know, perhaps one of them might want to take up the duties*

Deanna sighed with frustration and pointedly changed the subject,

* What time are you supposed to be meeting Telna?*

* Twelve. Why?*

* It's eleven forty-five. Shouldn't we be leaving?*

Lwaxana abandoned her packing and left her hotel room without a backwards glance, knowing that Mr Homm would finish it for her and take it all to the ship. Deanna walked to the restaurant with her mother but refused an invitation to join them for lunch, choosing to say goodbye there rather than at the docking bay. Having exchanged tearful hugs with her mother and a polite farewell with Telna, she returned to the hotel to chat to Mr Homm whilst he finished packing.

Jean-Luc smiled as Deanna came into his quarters. She returned the smile but only briefly so Jean-Luc said,

'Everything all right?'

'Yes…except that Mother and I argued again before she left.'

'What about?'

'The usual. She wants me to go back to Betazed, settle down and have a family.'

'Still? I would have thought that she would know by now that that isn't going to happen?'

'So would I. Every time it's the same refrain, 'Come back to Betazed, find a nice man…' although to be fair she left that one out this time.'

'So she's accepted our relationship?'

'Accepted it? Jean-Luc, she was suggesting jobs that you could do on Betazed, because she wouldn't want you to get bored.'

'Really?' asked Jean-Luc, intrigued despite himself, 'What did she suggest?'

'Teacher…or staying at home to raise the children.'

'She suggested that I should stay at home with the children? She has seen me with children, hasn't she?' said Jean-Luc incredulously.

'Of course she has. You don't think Mother would let a little thing like reality get in the way of her fantasy, do you?'

'I suppose not. Did she tell you how many children we were going to have?'

'No though I've got no doubt that she has a preference…and a list of names.'

By the time that she'd finished, Deanna was annoyed again but when she looked at Jean-Luc she realised that he was amused rather than angry,

'It doesn't bother you?'

Jean-Luc put his arms around her, saying,

'Deanna, we will do what we want to do. I have the greatest respect for your mother but we are not going to enact some fantasy for her benefit. Particularly not one that would make us both miserable. You don't want to be grounded any more than I do.'

'No I don't. I love being on the Enterprise, probably almost as much as you do.'

'Well, then, it's settled. We'll stay on the Enterprise and Lwaxana will just have to accept it.'

Deanna snorted at the idea of her mother ever accepting her choice of career but relaxed, reassured by Jean-Luc's unwavering support. Snuggling into his arms, she said,

'Do you have plans for this evening?'


'I've got some holodeck time booked. Would you like to join me?'

'I'd be delighted.'

'Good. So, which do you want first? Dinner or sex?'

As Jean-Luc tightened his arms around Deanna, he realised that letting Beverley nag him into taking leave on Ydea was the best thing that had happened to him for years, possibly ever.
Smiling he led Deanna into the bedroom, saying,


The End

I'm planning a sequel – please let me know if you want it.