"Tell Me No Lies"

Chapter 2 - The Real Reason

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It had been weeks since Tasha had delivered her verdict based on their drunken interlude. She had made it very clear to him that she had no desire whatsoever to explore the relationship further. It was a judgement that he was severely perplexed over, to the point that he made the decision to ask for advice.

Of course he could not reveal any details nor the person's name. He would merely make an inquiry on the actions of females in particular. A subject that he was certain Commander Riker would be quite familiar in.

He waited for the perfect moment and found it when the senior staff was relieved of duty for lunch. No one else occupied the lift except for the Commander and himself, so Data seized the opportunity.

"Sir, I have an inquiry?"

Riker slightly raised his eyebrows and smirked a little.

"Shoot Data!"

Data narrowed his eyes in confusion as he looked for his phaser, noting that he was not armed.

"I am unarmed, Sir. It would be highly improbable for one to fire their phaser in such close quarters. I would have to advise against such recommendations, Commander, considering the dangers involved."

Riker rolled in eyes in disbelief. "It's a figure of speech, Data. Just another way of me telling you to ask your question."

The androids eyes perked up, a small animated smile forming at the corners of his mouth. "I see, a metaphor."

"Exactly Data...Now what can I help you with?"

The Lieutenant Commander cocked his head perplexingly to the side. "Are all women complicated in the affairs of love?"

Riker leaned back against the railing of the lift, his hands firmly planted on either side of him as the small smile that played at the corners of his mouth went into full swing. "So this is about a woman then?"

"Not directly, Sir. I have been doing various studies on romantic interludes, relationships and the emotions involved as well as the body language of those who show interest or a lack thereof."

Riker held up a hand to stop the android's on-going ramblings.

"The answer to your question is easy Data...Yes!"

The lift doors opened and Riker quickly moved to exit, giving Data a reassuring pat on the back as he passed by Geordi, who was now entering the lift.

LaForge took a closer look at Data, taking note of the confusion upon his face.

"Something wrong, Data?"

"I was attempting to debate the many acts of love with Commander Riker but he seemed disinterested in my inquiries..." Then Data looked over at Geordi, his eyes lighting up from his new found hope. "Perhaps you can help me with my research."

"About women? Ohhh nooo! Believe me, Data...I am not the man to be giving advice about women."

"Not necessarily women." Data added.

Geordi shrugged his shoulders in defeat. "Alright, I'll try...Ask away."

"I have found that body language is considered a sure sign that you have an admirer?"

Data could visibly see Geordi's eyebrow rise up, even with the obstruction of his visor in the way. "Do you?"

Taken back, Data asked. "I beg your pardon?"

"Have an admirer, Data?"

"I do not, Geordi...I am merely conducting a study on the matter."

"Why?"

Data cocked his head to the side. "I do not understand."

"Why now? Why are you suddenly interested in the subject of love now?"

"Because it is an emotion that evades me. I wish to understand why humans...love and sometimes stop loving."

"Well, that's easy. It depends on the compatibility of the couple and the level of attraction felt between the two."

"Why is that important?" Data questioned.

"Because attraction and compatibility allows the people in question to realize if they could fall in love or not. Let's take Tasha for example..." Data was immediately caught off guard and the widening of his eyes showed his unarmed state at the mentioning of her name. But Geordi continued on. "Now although I am legally blind, I can still pick up on some features of a person's face to conclude whether or not I find them attractive."

"And you find Tasha attractive?" Data whispered.

"Well, yeah Data! She is a very attractive woman and not only that we have a lot in common. So let's say that Tasha and I decided to take that to the next level. It would be up to us to figure out if the relationship was something we both wanted to pursue."

"And what if she expressed her desire to no longer pursue that relationship?"

Geordi wiped his brow in disconcertion. "It would be a hard pill to swallow I guess but I'm assuming that she would make that decision known."

"Would you disengage your pursuit of her?"

LaForge silently nodded. "I would..."

Data lightly put his hand on Geordi's shoulders as the turbo-lift doors opened to his destination. "This conversation has been very enlightening. Thank you, Geordi."

With that said Data turned to exit the lift when Geordi called out. "So you gonna tell me who she is?"

Pausing, Data answered his best friend. "As you are aware Geordi, I am incapable of emotions. I do not possess the ability to love. Therefore my attempts to do so would be futile... on both parts." He added before completely exiting the lift.

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Data paused outside Counselor Troi's office, staring at the name plate upon the wall before chiming her door.

"Come in"

The android entered and could visibly see the surprise upon the Counselor's face.

"Data! I never expected to see you here..."

"Should I leave, Counselor?"

She hurriedly walked up to him, interlocking her arm in his. "No, of course not! I'm just surprised that you would require my expertise that's all." She stated as she led him over to the chair opposite of hers.

"Yes, well I am endeavoring to better comprehend the various emotions of love?"

Troi smiled knowingly as she took her seat, crossing her legs as her hands rested lightly upon her knee's.

"Do you believe to be experiencing love, Data?"

"I am incapable of experiencing love but I am curious...what emotions lead up to the knowledge that both parties are in love?"

Deanna let out a deep breath. "Um, let's see." She paused a moment taking in her answer. "There's a number of emotions that could lead up to love."

"Such as?"

"Well, there is infatuation. An attraction that can easily be labeled as lust, not love!"

Data arched an eyebrow, a silent gesture that she explain further.

"Lust can make someone believe that they want the other person but then after they act upon that emotion, they come to the realization that it wasn't what they wanted after all."

"Which can be one end result to seduction...The revelation comes after the fact?"

For the second time, Deanna was shocked by his line of questioning.

"Yes, the seducer can come to realize that the relationship wasn't what they wanted. But one can come to that conclusion without allowing it to go that far."

"But what if they did not?"

"Well, Data, I suppose it would depend on the individual as to why they chose to end the affair...There could be many facets as to why they chose that route."

Again, Data arched his eyebrow.

Deanna couldn't help the small smile that came to the corner of her lips.

"Say for example this person is a woman who had became the seducer in this scenario. Let's say that afterwards she chose to end the exchange..."

Data stood inexplicably still as the Counselor recounted his undisclosed encounter with Natasha Yar and for a brief moment, the thought had crossed his mind if Tasha had already confided the event to Deanna herself.

"There could be a number of reasons as to why she decided to end it. Perhaps she did decide the man wasn't who she really wanted..." Deanna held a finger up to reiterate her next words. "But she could have decided to separate because the encounter frightened her."

"I must admit that I am...at a loss, Counselor. Why, would one choose to terminate the encounter due to fear."

"Perhaps she felt more than she expected to..." Data slightly tilted his head to the side as she continued. "and it frightened her because she knew that she would be entrusting her heart to someone who could possibly hurt her by not returning those affections."

"So she would be protecting herself in a sense?"

"Yes, Data she is!"

"Then how would the man know the difference?"

"He would have to get her alone and contemplate her reaction to him by engaging her into a conversation...Perhaps confronting her with what happened would be one good way of gauging her response to him. Women tend to fall apart when the man they fancy get a little too close for comfort."

"I see..." Data whispered softly. "And what if she is still apprehensive?"

"Then it is up to the man to convince her that he is what she wants by assuring her that her heart would be safe with him..." Deanna continued to stare at the android sitting across from her. "Forgive me, Data, but I just feel like this is more of a personal nature than that of some simple research."

Data abruptly stood to his feet.

"I must be getting back to the bridge. Thank you for your help, Counselor."

Perturbed a little by the brisk conclusion to their meeting, Deanna added. "Data, you do realize that if your experiencing any type of emotion or even if you believe yourself to be..." She paused as he looked at her. "You can confide in me, I promise it will not leave this room."

And for the third time today, he relayed with confidence his impassive state. "It is well documented that Dr. Soong created me with the ability to not experience such emotions..." He imitated her recent gesture by holding up his index finger. "But if I were, I would keep your invitation in mind."

"Data, just from the line of your questioning I somehow find that hard to believe!"

"How so, Counselor?"

Well, if you weren't in the least bit curious over the emotion, then you wouldn't have even conducted your research, correct?"

"That is a correct assumption?"

"Then my question to you is this...someone or something had to prompt you into wanting to know more about love...perhaps, deep down you have become suspicious over whether or not you are experiencing emotions, therefore you have set out on this little investigation of yours to place your mind at ease. Maybe some woman has caused you to question if you can really experience love or not...Either way, you are seeking validation in the matter."

"Forgive me, I failed to acknowledge your question."

"My question was this...Out of all the emotions to research, why love? Why even look at all, Data, if you've resolved yourself to the fact that you can't experience any emotions?"

"Purely curiosity, I assure you!"

Deanna shook her head from side to side in disagreement. "That may be but I assure you as this ship's counselor, that its woman driving you to seek the answer."

The android briefly locked his eyes with hers, pondering her evaluation and then turned to leave without speculating further.

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Author's Notes: Alright, so far all my stories are updated except "If Only" which I'll have to work on tomorrow. I hope you guys enjoy it and please leave a review if you want more! :)