Star Trek - Anniversary

Star Trek is in no way shape for form my idea or property. It belongs to Paramount. Characters used here are done so for fun, not profit.

The scene: Captain Jean Luc Picard of the NCC-1701-E is on the bridge making sure the last reporter is leaving the ship, following the 15th anniversary of his crew being together.

Captain Picard dumped himself into his command chair, a relieved man. The 8th conference had ended, and now it was simply a matter of getting back to work. Worried that one of them might have a question, some nugget of information they want to send back to Earth, he turned to Lloweyn, the security chief.

"Has the last one gone?" he asked

"Yes sir." Said the officer.

Picard allowed himself to smile. He was a free man again.

Troi shot him a playful expression "Anyone would think that you wanted to forget about the last 15 years."

Picard shook his head. "No Deanna, its not that. I do think 15 years is a very commendable achievement for this crew, its just. why spend a week dwelling on it with conferences and seminars? They seemed to worship us, and not our achievements. It's very. disheartening. I can't wait to get back on the 'road' again."

Troi nodded "I think I understand sir, but this ship, all of us, especially you, have become a symbol to everyone else. Besides, a little hero worship can be good for the soul."

Picard mumbled in agreement and looked at the viewscreen. He would never admit it, but he would rather take on a pack of crazed Nausicans, than face the Federation Press Corps.

Picard's train of thought was interrupted. on the viewscreen appeared the five pointed shape that Earth once used to represent stars. Another star appeared, then another, then another. They began to spin in a circle, moving faster and faster. In the centre of the circle appeared Q. He waved an old earth 'magic wand', and the following words appeared on the screen in golden letters:

CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF FRENIDSHIP

"Q! What ever your going to do, spare us the annoyance."

Q didn't seem to notice, and cheesy organ music began to play over the intercom. Picard signalled to have the music stopped, but it continued.

The image on the viewscreen was replaced with a pair of stage curtains. On the left curtain was an embroidered image of the Enterprise D on the right was the same thing for the Enterprise E.

"And Now!" Boomed a deep voice "Your host for the evening. the immortal legend, the reason why life is great, and the most handsome creature that ever thought about existing. Please welcome the being who is admired by all, matched by none, and is eternally caring. This Is Q!!!!!!!"

The curtains separated. On the stage was a starcase. Beneath it was 8 chairs and between the first four and the second four was a raised podium. Q, dressed in an orange tuxedo came down the stairs to a rousing applause from somewhere. Picard looked around him. The rest of the crew shared the look of annoyance and irritation that he new he had right about now.

He looked back at the screen Q was now standing at the podium "Ladies, Gentlemen, Androids, and omnipotent beings, welcome to a special presentation marking the 15th year since I first enriched the lives of 8 men and women. I would like to introduce them now. Give it up for Picard and his minions!"

There was polite applause, nothing like the ovation Q received. Q then clicked his fingers and suddenly Picard found himself sat in one of the chairs on the Stage. Riker, Data, Troi, Geordi, and Crusher were all sat there too, they seemed to be confused and the fact they were dressed in 20th century earth formal dress didn't help matters.

"You'll notice that there is one chair empty. but how could we miss him out? He may have finally had the good sense to find a new leader, but lets welcome him anyway. Celebrating his 6th year housetrained, the only thing more foul than his temper is his body odour. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Ambassador Worf!"

Worf appeared in the chair, momentarily disorientated. Seeing Q he immediately realised.

"What morose activity do you intend to subject us to this time Q?" asked the Klingon

Q sighed "You know, I used to like you more when you growled at me."

Picard decided it was time to put a stop to this farce.

"He knows that that's exactly how you get your satisfaction. so what ever game your planning you might as well saunter off, back to the continuum and let us be on our way."

Q put his hand to his chest "You wound me Mon Capitan. I thought we should all celebrate 15 years together, as a team, oh the japes we used to have. great days."

Picard contemplated for a moment. For the sake of argument he actually tried to find a 'great day' where Q was concerned. He couldn't.

Q spoke up. "I know what you are thinking, 'what great days?' Well, how about our chance meeting at Farpoint?"

Picard retorted: "Q, nothing with you is left to chance."

Q then turned to Riker, "Tell him Riker, tell him of the great gift I gave you..."

"You mean the powers that I didn't want? Oh yes, I almost ended up as arrogant and self important as you."

Q marched up and down the stage for a moment before saying:

"But surely you haven't forgotten about us, side by side, taking on the Borg."

This time Data spoke

"Q, the crew does not need the memory of an android to recall that you gave us our first encounter with the collective by whisking us across the galaxy. Furthermore, you insisted on getting the captain to beg before sending us back."

Q seemed annoyed that the crew weren't jumping through his hoops. Picard took great satisfaction in this.

"Alright, I admit it." Said Q "Our relationship could be classified as a little. confrontational from time to time, but, you welcomed me with open arms when I was temporarily human."

"Q. I don't know what the hell you are up to" Picard said "But you know as well as we do that we did not have all this fun during our encounters. So please stop insulting our intelligence by pretending we did and get to the point of this meeting."

"Have it your way Picard." He snapped his fingers, and they were in the Enterprise ready room.

Q then began to pace. "I have seen how fond your people have been about 15 tiny years of you plodding along this galaxy. I was content to ignore all this nonsense. well the best that an all seeing all knowing entity can ignore something, but I then realised that I've discovered more about myself in these 15 tiny years then I had in the last 1500. and I wanted to show my appreciation."

Picard buried his head in his hands, exhausted and annoyed "Q. the last time you tried to show me your appreciation, you whisked me and my crew into a simulation of Sherwood forest that had a life of its own. This same simulation almost got an innocent woman. well, a woman, killed."

Q chuckled "True, I realise I could have been a little more tactful. Besides, after all the time I spent with her, believe me you are better rid of her. Anyway, enough about the past. Come on Jean Luc. I can give you anything you want."

Picard thought about asking Q to go away, but that didn't work last time. He searched his mind for something. anything that he would want that Q could give him. Suddenly his eyes lit up.

"Alright Q. I want. a bottle from the first batch of wine made by the Picards."

Q burst out laughing "Oh Jean-Luc, that's good. like you'd really want a centuries old bottle of wine, you old kidder."

"Q. I'm serious." said Picard, annoyed at Q.

"Well you've just proved my point. I am learning things. you just proved how boring you truly are, even more than I thought. Nevertheless." Q clicked his finger and a bottle of wine appeared before them.

Picard felt a little enthusiasm, despite Q's ridicule. He owned a piece of his family's history. He wondered what he should do with it. should he drink it? Save it for a special occasion? Or just stick it on a shelf for the rest of his days. Picard noticed that Q was still standing there.

"Thank you." said Picard in a tone that he normally used for the words Go Away.

"That was just one gift." Said Q "I have decided that for our anniversary, I should get you a surprise gift. After all they're best ones." With that he clicked his fingers and vanished. Picard then walked onto the bridge.

"Report number one." Said the captain

"Worf hailed us, he got back to the Klingon Homeworld in one piece, and the rest of the crew is unharmed." Riker glanced down and saw the wine that Picard had "A gift?"

Picard nodded "But only half a gift. the other will be a surprise."

Riker understood immediately "I'll warn the others. I suggest before you drink any of that wine you have Dr Crusher take a look."

"I intend to number one, I intend to."

Beverly moved the tricorder up and down the bottle. Well aside from Alcohol, I'm not reading anything harmful. no toxins or poisons."

"That you can detect." said Picard

"True, but Q is all powerful. if he wanted to kill you or affect your judgement he could just snap his fingers and you could be barking like a dog and be none the wiser."

Picard sighed. Beverly had a point. He picked up the wine from the medical analyser and turned to the doctor.

"Thank you." he said and headed for the door.

"Jean-Luc, if I may ask, what are you planning to do with it." Picard stopped and faced her. He knew what she was hinting at, but he was content to play ignorant for now.

"Well I hadn't decided yet." he said. That was a lie. As soon as Beverly had asked him the question, he had the answer. He valued the Doctor's company, and he loved her like no other. It was this mutual love that fuelled their off-duty interaction. They always danced around the topic. There had been attempts, but it was silently agreed that as professionals it would always remain beneath the surface.

The doctor smiled at him, enjoying the game as much as he was.

"My grandmother always said that a good bottle of wine should always be shared." She looked at the bottle.

Picard tried to be a nonchalant as possible "Well I'll replicate some Beef Strogenov, and I should be ready around 2000 hours."

"Why wait?" Came a familiar voice from nowhere. There was a flash of brilliant light and Crusher and Picard were sat on a balcony, a sumptuous feast before them. Jean-Luic had to admit that the food did smell good. He looked out over the balcony. There was a beautiful twin sunset being reflected in an emerald green sea. Picard then turned towards Beverly. She was in a resplendent blue dress, the light from the suns reflected on the sequins and highlighted her as the angel he knew she was. Picard looked down at himself, he was wearing a fine dinner jacket.

"Jean-Luc what's going on?" asked Beverly

Picard was bought back to attention. He didn't need to work it out. He nodded, to himself, working everything out. "Its Q. it appears he has selected our relationship to tinker with."

"And why not." Dressed in waiter's attire Q walked up to them, holding the wine under his arm. "What better way to illustrate the warm feelings I have for the Enterprise Crew than uniting the Captain and its first lady in the love half the quadrant knows they feel for each other."

Picard shook his head "Q, Bev- Doctor Crusher and I simply close friends."

Q walked over to Beverly and began to pour wine into her glass. "Beverly, kindly tell the captain of your longings for each other, so I can get this show on the road."

"He's right" said Beverly "The captain and I are friends, damned good friends, perhaps even best friends. But there is no romance."

Q yawned and raised his hand "In that case, I could click my fingers and cause you two to say every thought you have about each other out aloud and nothing embarrassing will surface.

"No!" said Beverly putting her hand on Q's.

Picard decided to play it civil "Q, look, we are two important officers, on an important ship. Assuming we did have romantic feelings for each other it would not be 'proper' to go gallivanting in a courtship like a pair of 18 year olds."

Q clicked his fingers giving Picard the scare of his life. luckily nothing happened, Q was just imitating human behaviour. "That's it! Thanks Picard. I'll leave you to your meal now. just tell me when you want to go back to your quarters." Q vanished in a flash of light.

Despite the romantic surroundings, they continued their meal as normal. They chatted about their day, speculated at what Q might be up to, they even shared a story or two they had shared before in the last 15 plus years. Finally they asked to leave, and they found themselves in their respective quarters.

Picard woke up in a haze the next morning. He lifted his body to get up and immediately felt a pain in his head.

That wine was strong stuff he thought. He lifted his hand to his head, expecting to feel the smooth skin of his bald scalp, put instead he felt. hair. he tugged at it, and that made the headache worse, although due to the new hair, he hardly noticed. He ran to his mirror.

"Computer, lights" he ordered. The voice that came from his mouth seemed lighter somehow, less seasoned perhaps. He looked in the mirror. Staring back at him was a site he had not seen in decades. an 18 year-old Jean Luc Picard.

He dressed in his uniform - a garment which hung fairly loose on him now. Despite his pretences to Beverly in the past, he did not have the same collar size since he was at the Academy, and it showed now. He felt at his chest. Gone was the mechanical hum and slight ticking of his artificial heart, replaced, he surmised with the heavy beating of a real, human heart. He went to sickbay, passing officers who looked at him, wondering who he was. He felt his neck. No doubt the fact that a young man dressed in a Starfleet Captain's uniform was startling.

He finally entered sickbay.

"And you have eaten no foreign flora or faunae." said a voice Picard recognised as Nurse Ogowa

"No. at least, I don't think so." said a second voice. It sounded a little like Beverly, but it seemed lighter somehow. Much like his own voice sounded to him. He turned the corner to see Beverly sitting on the edge of a biobed being examined by Ogowa. at least it looked sort of like Beverly. He blonde shoulder length hair was replaced by its natural auburn which now fell to thigh length. The tiny lines that were forming on the edge of her eyes were gone. He looked down at her figure. The medical gown that she was wearing hung off her figure. her body seemed more firm, definitely younger. Qucikly realising that he was staring, he spoke up at last.

"It seems that this is Q's gift for us."

Counselor Troi opened the door, there stood the Captain and Doctor. She was shocked at the transformation. Picard "Bev, I don't know which I prefer, being looked at like a stranger, or being gawked at by people who know us."

Troi picked up a definite air of hostility in Picards voice. A roughness that had not been there in the 15 years she had known her captain. Beverly giggled at his comment

"I'm sorry, its just this situation is going to get some getting used to. Please come in, come in."

The two sat down on a couch, Picard was normally one to wait for whoever was in the room to sit down first, but he jumped down. Beverly merely slouched down. Troi gracefully sat down,

"Are you aware of why I asked you here?" said Troi

Picard rolled his eyes, "The top brass at Starfleet want to know if a couple of experienced officers can still keep their experience, after a little physical change."

"No" Deanna corrected "Starfleet want me to explore the nature of this transformation, to see if you are able to do your jobs without putting yourselves and others at risk."

"Same difference" retorted Picard. Beverly chuckled again.

Beverly seemed quiet, as if she were not too sure of herself. This was much more than a physical transformation, Troi thought.

"So, Captain, what do you think it will take for Q to turn you both back to your original ages?"

Picard yawned "I dunno, us getting married, a quick roll in the hay." At that comment, Crusher aimed a well placed elbow into Picards rib in a 'playful' gesture."

Troi imagined herself telling the captain and doctor to grow up, but quickly hid the image in her mind. "So, Beverly, what do you think will turn you back?"

Realising the focus of the proceedings was now on her, she quickly tensed up "I don't know." she said flatly.

Troi began to piece things together.

"So Captain, how do you feel?" she asked

"Great!" enthused Picard "I'm healthy, I have a real heart - I have hair, and I'm.great!"

"And you Beverly?"

The doctor looked just past Troi's head.

"I'm fine."

Troi wrote the notes down on her PADD, searching for a way to break her findings to them.

"Is that it?" asked Picard getting up.

"Yes. I'm sorry to have to tell you, but its my professional opinion that you are both unsuitable for active duty right now."

"Why would that be?" Snapped Picard.

"Well." began Troi calmly "I find that as well as physiological changes, you seem to have undergone emotional changes. You Captain, are headstrong and confrontational, while Beverly here seems to have become introspective and timid in front of traditional authority figures such as myself. It is my belief that these qualities would be a hazard in your roles on this ship."

Beverly began to softly sob. Picard held her in his arms and hugged her. "Screw it." Picard said, throwing his Comm badge at Troi's feet in a defiant gesture "Who'd want to waste their second youth behind a Captain's desk anyway? Lets go Bev."