Chapter 15

It had gone better than I thought, even if Melli seemed to think I completely lost my mind. She and Data had had little chats during the movies. I could see her surprise about his sentience or things like the warmth of his hand.

Melli had decided to go out on occasion. She even had met some other teenagers to go out with. I had a feeling that the true reason was a guy but that was just an assumption.

So Melanie went to Ten Forward with her friends and I got ready for my shift. Data told me that he planned a surprise for me afterwards. It was decided that he would wait for me in my quarters. I just hoped Caro wouldn't tell him every embarrassing detail of my youth.

It was shortly after midnight when I reached my doorstep.

She silently tiptoed down the corridor to her friend's quarters. Katharina's shift was almost over and she would be home in just a few minutes. Melanie definitely wanted to be at home before her. Her date had been brilliant. They had gone out to a small bar somewhere in the ship. They had talked about almost everything, but in the end her date had organized some booze and now she was drunk. Not really drunk, just enough to notice the alcohol. She reached the door and opened it. The loud hiss almost made her jump. When she entered the quarters she saw Data waiting for her. "Melanie, it is pretty late for you to go out and you are drunk." he said coming towards her.

"I'm not drunk. I just drank a few beers. Perhaps I'm tipsy but not drunk."

"Your blood alcohol level is 1.8 per mil. You are drunk." Melanie heard the door hissing again. "Who is drunk?" Katharina said with a confused face. Data turned to his girlfriend. "Melanie's blood alcohol level is about 1.8 per mil." he said.

"Melanie, is that true?" she asked almost yelling. Melanie knew that she couldn't lie to her friend and she told the truth. "I just drank a couple of beers nothing too dramatic."

"What did I tell you about drinking?" she asked and her slightly confused expression eventually turned into an angry face. Melanie tried to avoid eye contact with both of them. "Yeah you know, it actually wasn't planned. It was by accident..."

"You don't want to tell me that you got drunk by accident. Do you know what happened to me when I got drunk the last time?" Melanie just shook her head still not looking in Katharina's face. "I got pregnant, my boyfriend left me, I almost died and I was turned into a vampire. So don't tell me it was by accident."

"Yeah, but you wouldn't be here with your fancy android boyfriend." She knew that she just made a striking statement.

"Data, she doesn't mean it like that." Kathi said.

"You know she cannot hurt me, but I am a bit concerned if I am the right for you."

"Of course you are. And I told you that about a million times." Melanie took advantage of the situation and tried to sneak away to her room. "Melanie, come back. We're not done talking yet. You still have to tell me why you did this. I'm not happy with your answer."

"You won't be happy with any answer I give you."

"I think you wanted to try out what booze tastes like and you overdid it." Melanie almost shrunk under Kathi's gaze, but Kathi couldn't know that she absolutely right. "Ok, so it's exactly like I said. Melanie, I'm not a complete idiot in reading someone's facial expression. Say goodbye to your DVDs for a week and now go to bed. Data is right. It's very late and I don't want hear any tomorrow about you having headache. Have a good night."

I took a breath and turned towards Data with a worried expression on my face.

"Do you think I was too hard on her?"

"I do not know. I do not have any experience in that matter but I do understand your reasons. Perhaps you should talk to her when she wakes up."

"You're right." I sat down on the couch next to him. "I'm sorry. I lost my temper. I didn't mean to imply that I regret our relationship. I only regret the things which led into it."

"Do not apologize. It is understandable."

I smiled thankfully. "Thanks, hon."

He seemed to enjoy being called by a pet name.

"You are more than welcome, dearest."

"So…" I remembered his promise. "You said something about a surprise?"

"Yes, but I do not know if you are in the mood right now."

Realization dawned and I smirked. "Has someone developed a sexual appetite? I thought you couldn't feel desire."

"That is not entirely correct. I do not 'feel' anything, but my mental pathways have become accustomed to you and our level of intimacy, so I am well inclined to touch you."

As if for emphasize he wrapped his arm around my waist. I stood up and pulled him to his feet. He led me to his room.