"Tell Me No Lies"
Chapter 7 ~ "Will We Ever?"
IMPORTANT Author's Notes: Alright, I don't normally write songs into my stories because I tend to view it as 'corny' but I couldn't really see this chapter playing out any other way. So if you guys are interested, when you get to the concert section of this chapter, you might want to check out Vonda Shepard's rendition of "I only want to be with you" on YouTube. It will help you guys get a broader perspective of the environment being created in this chapter. Thanks! :-)
Data had never experienced an awkward moment in his life. All the practical jokes and mockery he had endured at the Academy never phased him. He wasn't designed to be affected by such foolishness. In fact, most of them he never understood, despite them being at his expense.
But this moment, alone, in the turbo-lift with the two of them could constitute as his first. He tried desperately not to watch, not to glare at the couple across from him. He wanted nothing more than to remain stoic, unemotional, unscathed by the interaction taking place before his eyes.
Although it seemed that the blonde whom had beguiled him had other intentions. It was almost as if she wanted to gauge a reaction from him, undaunted by the hell he was already in. Their eyes met for a brief moment and of all things, she smiled at him. Data noticed how it lacked the sincerity he was used to, it was almost filled with reprisal.
A ploy to get him to speak what she knew he couldn't say. She was taunting him, of that much he knew. Tasha tore her eyes from his, returning her attention back to the man beside her. A man, in Data's opinion, that didn't even deserve her admiration or affection. Dare had left her so many years ago when things had gotten rough between the two.
Which left the android pondering...Why would she reunite with the man now? Was she using him in an effort to show Data what he was missing or was she genuinely interested in the man? He watched intently, despite the tightening sensation of his chest. The android's acute awareness saw it all, the light whispers, the faint smiles, the longing gazes, the brief touches.
The pair only occupied the lift for two minutes but to Data, it was the longest two minutes of his artificial life. He was literally suppressing the urge to roll his eyes at the couple till finally the lift reached Tasha's floor. Data had to fight the urge of protectiveness that had brimmed over the second Dare reached out for Tasha's hand, stopping her exit. He slightly leaned his head out of the lift, resting his body against the doors.
"Will I see you tonight?"
Tasha's eyes quickly averted over to Data's and then back to Dare's. The action was so quick that no human would have caught the blunder but Data was no human, his keen eye sight immediately picked up on the delay in her answer.
Tasha merely nodded as she slowly removed her hand from Dare's grasp accompanied with a barely audible goodbye.
The doors swooshed close again as Dare turned to smile at the android across from him.
"Your the artificial life form, aren't you?"
"I've heard a lot about you." Day announced still smiling.
Data smirked in disdain. "And I have heard a lot about you as well."
The man immediately stopped smiling but Data continued on.
"May I ask a personal question?"
Dare nodded as he swallowed hard, his Adam's apple visibly moving up and down in distress.
"What are your intentions toward Lieutenant Yar?"
The man coughed a laugh but Data was not amused.
"What are you...her father?" Dare quipped back.
"No, I am..." Data paused a second, searching for the correct answer. "A concerned friend." He responded.
Dare waved off the android's apprehension. "Don't worry, I have no intentions of hurting her. I am only seeking to make things right between us."
The doors opened and Dare moved to exit but Data's firm hand upon his chest halted his departure, startling him completely.
A faint snarl came to Data's lips as he voiced the veiled threat. "I must warn you that Lieutenant Yar serves under my command and if she were..." His yellow eyes narrowed, piercing Dare's blue one's. "mistreated in any way, I would be very displeased!"
The man nodded his answer, still unable to find his voice. Data smiled and lightly patted Dare's chest as if reiterating the threat before removing his hand entirely, allowing him to exit the lift.
Data sat at the piano as the other band members took their places. He was relieved to find that Tasha was no where in sight. He briefly talked to Geordi as a well-known singer named Veranda Knight was getting ready to deliver a small concert. The woman was very attractive and her voice was revered all throughout the universe.
She was the very reason the Enterprise made a brief stop at Mavalia Three. The Federation Council had requested that the Galaxy Class starship transport the young lady to Earth, since she would be performing at Château Thelian. The President's official residence located at Vallée de la Loire in France.
But with the modifications needed to reinstate the small freighter that had interrupted their departure placing them slightly off course, the singer decided to make use of her time aboard the Enterprise. One of the reason's why Data was requested to play the piano. An instrument that he was not at all familiar with but acquired the ability to learn fast.
The crowd was so large that the concert had to be divided up into three different intervals to accommodate all the spectators. This, was thankfully the last show and Data noticed that most of the senior staff were in attendance, except for one Natasha Yar.
And just as a surge of frustration shot through him, his thoughts began to wonder to just whom she was with. Suddenly, the doors to Ten Forward opened, confirming his suspicions as the couple entered. He immediately looked down, denying himself the desire to simply stare in offence.
"Something wrong, Data?" Geordi asked a little concerned.
The android was able to muster a faint smile. "I am fine."
Data briefly looked past his friend to Dare and Tasha, taking note of their seats right beside Counselor Troi and Commander Riker. Geordi briefly turned, following the android's gaze. It didn't take him long to figure out his diversion.
The upcoming engineer had never entertained thoughts about the forced 'small talk' brewing between the Security Chief and her Commanding Officer. He was blind but not deaf, he heard the rumors that were going on around the ship about the two. But he never once considered it to be true, after all, Data didn't possess emotions. To give the rumors any credence would have been absurd or so he thought.
Geordi lightly patted Data's shoulder, in a small effort to comfort him.
"You'll be just fine, Data." He reassured him, although the android never gave his hidden affliction a voice, Geordi could read it in his body language.
His friend walked off and took his seat beside Guinan. Data looked back down to the piano that sat before him, his eyes analyzing the keys, preparing himself for the introduction of the old earth song.
He waited for Veranda to nod, giving him the confirmation that she was ready to start. A few moments later and he got the go ahead. Data's fingers lightly pushed the 'G' key, starting the rest of the band in unison and he continued on to 'D' as the guitar began to strum in and then Veranda's voice.
'I don't know what it is that makes me love you so
I only know I never want to let you go
Cause you started something
Oh, can't you see
Every since we met you've had a hold on me
It happens to be true
I only want to be with you'
Data ventured a look toward the crowd as he continued to play, intrigued by the way Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher were staring at each other, their bodies magnetically moving in closer together. He lightly raised his eyebrows, fascinated by the effect the music was having on the two. But he refused to look at the one pair he most desperately wanted to see. His fingers continued to softly graze the keys as Veranda continued singing.
'It doesn't matter where you go or what you do
I want to spend each moment of the day with you
Look what has happened with just one kiss
I never knew that I could be in love like this
It's crazy but it's true
I only want to be with you'
The android's eyes averted from the Captain and Dr. Crusher to Commander Riker and Counselor Troi. The music appeared to be having the same affect on them as well. Data noted how the Counselor smiled up at Riker, interlinking her arm in his as she drew her head closer to lie upon his shoulder. Again, he was fascinated as he watched the pair.
'You stopped and smiled at me
And asked me if I cared to dance
I fell into your open arms
And I didn't stand a chance
Now, listen honey
I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as were together honey, I don't care
Cause you started something
Oh can't you see
That every since we met you've have a hold on me
No matter what you do
I only wanna be with you
Finally he gave into the temptation as the song was ending, his eyes landing on the couple he most desperately wanted to view as Veranda sang the last line.
'No matter what you do
I only want to be with you.'
His eyes narrowed in disgust as Dare leaned in closer to Tasha, placing a light kiss upon her cheek. Data's nostrils flared at the intimacy and he banged the keyboard, making a dissonant, unpleasant noise as the audience, startled, turned toward the sudden outburst.
Data refused to look back as he stormed out of Ten Forward, his best friend hot on his heels as the other patrons looked around confused by the phlegmatic android's reaction. Geordi caught up to him as he waited impatiently for the turbo-lift, pacing back and forth repetitiously.
Stunned, Geordi pointed back toward the lounge. "What was that, Data?"
"I do not wish to discuss it!" Data warned.
Geordi cautiously took a step back, partly from the android's growing frustration and the other from his tone. His friend knew him well enough to know when to back off or did he? After all, he was never faced with this situation before as far as Data was concerned.
The android stopped pacing to glare at his friend, an unspoken threat for him to leave. Geordi lightly shook his head, throwing his hands up in defeat.
"Alright, I'll leave you alone."
Data never replied, he just merely stalked into the turbo-lift, his destination unknown even to him.
That was almost three hours ago and now here he sat, hiding out in Holodeck four with a half empty bottle of red wine sitting beside him. He has no clue what drove him to the revolting substance. Perhaps it was the vision that kept dancing throughout his mind of what could possibly be taking place between Tasha and Dare at this ungodly hour of the night. Or maybe it was his inability to understand the magnitude of what she was doing to him or how.
Whatever the cause, his mood compelled him to the concoction. It seemed somewhat befitting for the occasion. An emotionless android brooding over a woman whom could very well be breaking the laws of physic's as far as he was concerned. Somehow compelling him beyond what his own Creator had denied him.
How can one woman have such an effect on a machine? He would love to strangle whatever god decided to place her in his path. And for a brief moment, he scanned the Holodeck, curious as to if this was Q's bidding. He even slightly felt ridiculous when he called the demi-god's name out into the darkness that surrounded him, only to receive no answer.
He looked down at the bottle that he had driven down into the sand, a make-shift holder to keep the substance from tipping over upon the asymmetrical sands of the beach. Data grabbed the alcohol taking a quick swig from the bottle, holding firmly on to the bottle. His eyes began taking in his view, finally relishing the site since the fowl concoction was beginning to calm his turbulent state.
Two moons hung in the sky, giving the viewer a full spectrum of the ocean's glow further back in the distance. A sight that would be impossible to view on earth with just one moon hanging above. He could hear nothing but the sounds of the waves crashing on top of one another, the water's rage ceasing just before it reached his shoes.
Data had arched his legs up as he sat down on the beach, his arms dangling off the edge of his knee's. His left hand still visibly holding on to the wine bottle that was really serving no purpose but to merely amuse him.
He didn't even hear the faint footsteps as they approached him from behind. The intruder taking in his desolate state, almost afraid to invade such a private moment. The visitor briefly stood back, drinking the site of him in.
He looked the part of a rogue mentioned in one of those old earth romance novels, whom was lamenting over the loss of his fair maiden. A man enflamed with a bewailing desire for a woman who he longed to ravish. A woman who was unattainable, even to his mastery. A man who had gone long enough without a voice and in his annoyance, he would punish himself here; alone!
Data's normal appearance would put any Starfleet Officer to shame. He was always meticulously dressed. Even off duty, his clothes were impeccable. Of course, when she was graced with the opportunity to witness him in civilian clothing. But here, he seemed to lack his infallible taste. He was corrupt, untamed and dangerously lonely.
His pristine shirt was half un-tucked and the top two buttons were undone. His face appeared to bear the shadow of a faint beard, although he could consciously program the hair to recede. She noticed his hair was mused, a rebellious lock falling upon his forehead. He bore no resemblance to the former officer she saw this morning in the turbo-lift.
"I know you are there..." His words startled her out of her reverie. "I can literally hear you breathing, Tasha."
He gave a side ways glance to confirm his abilities to distinguish her breathing from others among the crew. But then again, she did stand out to him.
He grunted an approval at his keen perceptions, as he took another drink, turning back to stare out into the distance.
"Captain Picard asked that I come and check on you?"
"You mean spy on me..." He offered. "To determine whether or not I am fit for duty."
She remained silent as his tangent continued.
"Let me guess, I am to report to engineering immediately to undergo a series of testing."
He abruptly stood to his feet quickly turning to face her.
"Good... Maybe Geordi can figure out what is wrong with me."
Tasha eyed the bottle in his hand and Data's eyes immediately went to the source of her attention.
"It is amazing really...such an innocent concoction and yet it can render even a machine docile." His eyes dangerously pierced hers. "Much like you!"
She knew he was referring to her powers of persuasion over him. He was well aware of the fact that she was the only woman who could subdue him.
Tasha took a small step back. Again, Data noticed.
He titled his head, displeasingly. "Are you afraid of me, Tasha?" He asked almost seductively.
She defiantly crossed her arms. "No!"
A slow smirk began to form on his lips as he bravely took a step forward; testing her.
She answered his challenge by standing her ground. Again, he tempted her by moving closer.
Data's eyes softened and took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled, his body mimicking the human action perfectly. His eyes wondered across the curves of her face only to stop at her lips.
Hesitantly, he reached his hand out to stroke her cheek, the same cheek Dare had kissed hours earlier.
His eyes implored her. "Why must you test my resolve?"
Tasha briefly looked away but his hand traveled down to cup her chin, shifting her gaze back to his.
He dared fate and asked the question that had haunted him every since Dare had arrived, his eyes never wavering from hers.
"Do you love him?"
"I will always care for him." Tasha answered honestly.
It wasn't good enough.
"Do you really believe that he loves you?" Data scoffed. "Why must you be so superficial?"
Tasha's eyes widened at the insult. "Superficial?" She distastefully voiced the word, her disdain toward being labeled that evident.
"Yes...Superficial!" Data reiterated. "You can be so impulsive at times...Have you ever thought anything through before acting, Tasha?" He argued.
"Your really one to be talking, hell, you over analyze everything...Only causing yourself to miss out on so many opportunities." Her hand pinched the bridge of her noise, trying desperately to keep her anger in check. "At least I know how to seize the moment, Data. But then again, you wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
His hand quickly fell from her face, taking it's place by his side. "Well, it is hard to seize the moment when you do not possess a heart!"
'That bastard!' She thought. 'Was he seriously bringing up her last remark to him on Galorndon Core. I mean damn, she did apologize for that. He was like a dog with a freaking bone.'
"You know Data, at times, you can be so sweet." She said so softly and then, she screamed her next words."Until you open your damn mouth!"
He remained silent, roughly offering her the half drunken bottle of wine.
Tasha narrowed her eyes in confusion.
His hand shook the bottle in an effort to get her to take the substance. "Here!"
"Why are you offering me that?"
Data's lips snarled up. "I assumed it would help you in your endeavors to bedding Darryl Adin, since you obviously have an habitual addiction to succumbing to men you do not love."
Tasha's hand immediately flew to the side of his face, only to be stopped short by the firm grasp of his hand stopping her in mid-air. He lightly tossed the bottle to the side, it apparently serving it's purpose to him.
Data roughly pulled her body to his as she began pounding on his chest in vain. He gladly welcomed the punishment, holding her to him until she ceased her efforts.
He could feel the rising and falling of her chest as she had exhausted herself in fighting him. Quietly, he leaned back locking his eyes with hers. Again, he began searching her face, burning every beautiful aspect of it into his memory. As if afraid that he would one day forget what she looked like.
His eyes briefly fell to her lips and she watched, mesmerized, when his parted in anticipation. He was entranced by the proposition, tempted by the need to feel her lips against his. She waited patiently for what she assumed would be the most mind-blowing assault upon her lips that she had ever experienced in all her years.
It did not come! Instead, he slowly backed out of the embrace, his eyes moving back to hers. They heard nothing but the sound of the waves crashing on top of one another. It oddly mimicked the emotions that were flooding through them both at that particular moment.
Her words hung in the air, a question beckoning to be answered by him.
"Will we ever?"
She watched as his Adam's apple mechanically bobbed up and down, the question obviously dominating not only her mind but his as well.
Data quickly retreated toward the exit, leaving her motionless in a wave of emotion. The last thing she heard was his voice giving one last command.
"Computer, end program."
Tasha heard the faint noise of the doors opening as he walked out, leaving her behind in the now vacant Holodeck.