"Tell Me No Lies"
Chapter 3 ~ "What I Can Not Give"
Data ventured to holodeck four where Lieutenant Yar was conducting some training exercises inside.
As the doors opened he could see her vigorously, enthralled in a challenge. And within moments of his entering, she had her opponent pinned to the ground.
Data watched silently as the figure dissipated and Tasha stood to her feet, readying herself to engage in another fight.
"Computer, go to level eight." She commanded. "And disengage safety settings."
Immediately Data interrupted the computer as it began relaying the dangers of that level.
"Computer, terminate that request."
Tasha quickly turned to face her intruder. The moment her blue eyes landed upon the yellow, gold flecks of his, her eyes narrowed with anger and determination just as she had previously looked at her opponent. She knew this was it! This was the moment she had been dreading and desperately trying to prevent for a week now. No matter how she saw it, she was stuck, alone, with him!
"Forgive the intrusion."
"Cut to the chase, Data...why are you here?"
"I wish to express my concern over the status of our friendship."
Tasha stood even straighter as she sharply placed her hands upon her hips, slightly blowing her sweaty bangs off of her brow.
For a moment, Data was enraptured by the gesture and made a mental note to examine why it had intrigued him so once alone in his quarters.
"I have noticed that your body language towards me is quite... ambivalent!"
Tasha rolled her eyes in response. "What? Is my body language among one of your many researches now, Data?"
The android mechanically tilted his head sideways, a clear sign of his curiosity.
The security chief let out a small, choke of laughter. "I've heard about your little quest, Data...on love!"
"I was under the impression that what I discussed with Counselor Troi was strictly confidential."
Tasha's eyes widened in horror. "You talked to Deanna about us?" She scoffed in disbelief.
"To whom were you referring?"
Her eyes drilled holes into his, as her anger mounted she hastily slicked her rebellious bangs out of her eyes.
"So just how many people have you talked too?"
For a brief moment, he considered the repercussions of his answer. But chose to take the risk any ways.
"I questioned Commander Riker..."
Tasha began stalking back and forth at the mention of the Commander's name. "Will?" she asked pungently.
Data continued on. "And Geordi..."
Tasha lowered her head down into her hands, as she roughly rubbed her forehead. "Oh God!"
The android ventured further. "And Counselor Troi..."
Tasha immediately ceased her pacing as she turned to stare at him. Her eyes burrowing into his with pure malice.
Data quickly held up a finger to ensure her. "All of whom know nothing of our previous encounter."
"What encounter?" She asked bitterly.
Her response caught the android off guard and it showed completely in his expression.
"The tsiolkovsky virus...do you wish for me to access the events of that night and relay them back to you."
"No!" she shouted.
Data's eyes constricted and Tasha thought for a brief moment she saw anger began to flare within them.
"I see..." He whispered. "It never happened, right?"
Tasha remained still, refusing to answer.
The two continued to stare at each other, the silence of the holodeck was almost deafening to them both.
Again, Data whispered. "Correct me if I am wrong, Lieutenant." She quickly noticed the formality in his voice. "But if I were human, would your response still be so...biased?"
Tasha was immediately insulted. "What the hell does that mean?"
"If I were not an android then you would not have to face the embarrassment that comes along with the crew discovering that you slept with a machine...Is that not a fair assessment?"
"It is completely unfair and if I didn't know any better, Commander, I would say that you were becoming paranoid."
"Then as your commanding officer, I demand an answer...Is not your absence from my life a direct result from you avoiding me?"
Tasha's face snarled up in disbelief. "Your pulling rank on me?"
Data knew that his abuse of power was not in accordance to what was considered morally right but at the moment, he did not care.
He refused to answer, his silence getting his point across.
Reluctantly, Tasha answered. "Data, this isn't you?"
"And it is not like you to run either!" He remarked just as quickly.
"I'm not running!" She argued.
He shrugged his shoulders in what Tasha considered as annoyance. "Evading then!"
"I'm not evading either...I'm just not giving you what you want."
Data quickly took a step toward her, closing the distance between them. He smirked slightly as his keen eyes picked up on her sharp intake of breath.
His face stopped inches from her lips, as Tasha remained too shocked from his boldness to move.
"What is it that I want?" The android asked.
"You want to hear what I can't say..." She reluctantly responded.
"And you want what I can not give..." Data countered.
The pair did nothing more than stare into one another's eyes, the air so intense that even Data found it hard to imitate his breathing.
Tasha was the first to break the stand off, as she brusquely brushed past him, taking the white robe off as she discarded the garment into the corner.
"We seem to be at a crossroads, Commander."
"Data!" He corrected her.
Tasha whirled on him once again, her rage getting the better of her.
He knew the remark would get her blood boiling enough to stall her, to keep her in his presence longer.
"My name..." He softly reprimanded. "Is Data!"
"I know your damn name, Commander." She spat as she turned to hastily leave the android behind.
It had been hours since she left Data standing in the holodeck and here she was, in her quarters, still venting to Deanna.
"I swear, Deanna, for an android who claims to have no emotions he was..." The Security Chief stalled for a moment.
"He was what, Tasha?" Deanna coaxed.
The petite, blonde resigned to finally sit down, as she roughly landed upon the sofa.
"He was imitating signs of emotions quite well."
"Well, he seemed angry because I wouldn't answer none of his questions and if I didn't know any better I would even venture to say that he was...jealous!"
Deanna's smiled slightly.
Tasha waved a hand of dismissal in the air. "But that's silly, right? Data can't feel anything, all he can really do is imitate the appropriate emotion for what he thinks is the proper response to certain situations."
"To be honest, Tasha. We don't really know what Data is capable of, all we know is what he leads us to believe."
Tasha simply nodded her head in agreement. Deanna watched silently as Tasha slowly began to trace some unknown figure into the fabric of the couch.
"May I ask a personal question?" The Counselor inquired.
Tasha looked at her hesitantly.
"Did something happen between you and Data?"
Tasha's eyes briefly widened in surprise and then just as quickly the blunder was gone.
She quickly shook her head from side to side. "No...why do you ask?" Her voice slightly screeched nervously.
"Well, Data came to me yesterday asking me all kind of questions about love."
Immediately, Tasha's interest was piqued. "Like?"
Deanna turned sideways to face Tasha. "He wanted to understand how one would know they were experiencing love and I proceeded to tell him."
Tasha swallowed hard, she tried desperately to hide her uneasiness by playing with the tips of her fingernails. "And what did you tell him?"
"Now you know that's confidential."
Tasha let out an irritated growl.
The Counselor simply ignored her. "And now, your asking me whether or not it's possible for him to experience emotions..." Tasha opened her mouth to protest but Deanna quickly held her hand up, stopping all objections. "Which leads me to believe that something happened between the two of you or...perhaps you both want something to happen!"
"That's crazy..." Tasha fervently denied. "Why would we want something to happen?"
Deanna reached out, slowly grasping the Security Chief's hand in hers. "Tasha, have you forgotten that I'm half betazoid. I can not only sense the way you feel about him, I can also see how you look at him on the bridge. You practically stare at the back of his head!"
Suddenly, Tasha stood to her feet, her rejection over the accusation evident in her posture. "I most certainly do not!
The chiming of the door, literally caused both women to jump.
"Who could that be?" Tasha asked as Deanna nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders in response.
Tasha walked over to the door, pressing the button, engaging the doors to swoosh open.
And for a moment, Deanna thought Tasha was going to faint as the android stood motionless outside her door.
"May I speak with you in private..." Data noted her reluctance to do so but he quickly added. "Please!"
Deanna easily read the defeat in Trash's slumped shoulders, taking that as her que to leave. "Excuse me." she said as she softly brushed past Data with a small smile playing at her lips.
Tasha moved to the side as Data entered. "Thank you!" He whispered.
Data quietly watched as the petite blonde ran her fingers through her hair apprehensively.
"I understand that my conduct in the holodeck was somewhat lacking..."
"Boorish!" she offered for him.
"Crude." He replied in turn.
"Insensitive!" She shot back.
He merely paused, taking in a deep breath as his eyes desperately sought hers.
The words simply fell from his lips without volition. "Forgive me!"
Tasha tore her eyes from his gaze, staring off into the distance at some unknown object.
"It was not my intention to hurt you, Tasha...I would never..." Data immediately ceased, his silence bringing her eyes back to his.
"You would never what?" she asked softly.
"I would never wish to harm you with words or actions...to do so would be a direct contradiction to what you mean to me."
Tasha slightly cocked her head to the side, suspiciously eyeing the android. A direct, silent gesture of her doubt to his confession.
Data took one small step closer to her, no longer caring about the propriety of one's personal space, as he risked entering hers.
"I am not sure how or why..." He cocked his head perplexingly to the side. "I have ran various calculations to understand the circumstances more clearly...time and time again, I run the same scenario over in my mind to gauge its uniqueness. And the only thing that stands out is you! I experienced the situation with you, therefore I deem it as...special." Data chanced another step closer to her. "You are special to me, Tasha!"
He slowly leaned in closer, his lips mere inches from hers. Tasha watched in slow motion, her body numb to everything that was happening. Finally, she was able to jump back into reality, her body mimicking her thoughts as she recoiled away.
She watched in surprise as Data slowly closed his eyes shut. His downcast features, his slumped shoulders all yelled 'defeat' in his body.
Softly he whispered. "If you wish for me to delete the memory from neural net, I will immediately do so. But I must warn you that I would have no recollection of the events in question."
Again, Tasha eyed him curiously. "You would do that for me?"
"If it pleased you...Yes!"
He slowly opened his eyes, pinning hers to his. "Because I regard your friendship in the highest...If the deletion brings calm back to the turmoil my presence causes you, then I will gladly desist the memory."
Tasha was slightly taken back by the gesture. This man was willing to give up an event that he rendered as special in order to appease her. Was that not an act of selflessness, which in turn could be motivated by love?
The question fell from her lips before she could even stop it. "Are you in love with me?" she whispered.
Data straightened his posture before answering. "I am incapable of experiencing love." He seemed to be in denial.
Tasha shook her head from side to side fervently. "Of course not...how silly of me...your only an android, you could never love me back."
Data's eyebrows rose at the disclosure. "Love you back?"
'Damn his acuteness to every detail,' she thought.
"You used the verb in a past tense, except you applied it to the present." The android slightly smirked, an attribute than made him all the more appealing. "Are you in love with me?"
"Data, don't be so vain!" Tasha added, as she tried to brush past him but his hand was all too quick. Softly he grabbed hold of her arm, keeping her in place beside him, their hips touching side by side.
"You forget so easily...I am incapable of such emotions."
"Or either in denial!" Tasha spat back.
Data tilted his head to the side, beckoning her to explain further.
"What if I am in love with you, Data...what would it matter since you can't return the gesture? If your so hell-bent on the fact that you can't experience emotions, then why hound me about it? Why worry so much about what pleases me? Its not like you can do anything about it..." Her eyes glared at him. "What would you do, Data, if I was in love with you?"
The question didn't even have time to hang in the air, as his lips quickly descended on hers, erasing all doubts about his inabilities.
The kiss was short and hard, only allowing himself to apply enough pressure to get his desire for her across. The act left them both breathless and daring for more.
Data took a step back, breaking the moment that had just transpired. Lightly he shook his head back and forth, as if trying to gain some manner about him.
"Forgive me...I do not know what came over me...I...I must get back to the bridge."
And just as quickly as he came, he was gone! Leaving Tasha in the solitude of her quarters with more questions than doubts.
Author's Notes: So here's an update...Not quite sure where I'm going with this story, well, I have a general direction but I find that as I am writing it, my idea is slightly changing. Despite that, I hope you guy's like it...And please review, the more reviews the quicker the updates! :-)