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Breakfast Talk

by Catherine Ellis

Rating : Any age

Summary : Over breakfast, Picard lets something slip.

"More coffee?" he asked.

"Please?" She held out her cup.

"Go on with what you were saying?"

"You mean you were listening!"

"Don't sound so incredulous. Yes I was."

She shrugged, surprised at this unusual behaviour. Normally her husband didn't seem interested when she told him about relationships amongst the crew.

"Ok - as I've obviously piqued your curiosity - your Science Officer , Michael Otaki, has become rather uncooperative. Every time I ask him to join Phillipa and our visiting botanist for an away mission he finds some excuse not to go. We could really do with his help today."

"Do you want me to order him to accompany them?"

"No, not yet. Let me give it another try. ... Another croissant?"

Picard patted his stomach. "I think I can risk it."

While Beverly went to the replicator he stretched and yawned. "Try seeing it from Michael's perspective. I imagine he's feeling much as I did when Odan caught your attention..." He stopped mid-sentence.

His jealousy of Odan wasn't something he'd spoken of before, and he hadn't meant to now. He glanced her way, hoping she hadn't been paying attention.

She had.

Beverly's blue eyes were staring back.

For half a second she was tempted to tease him, but this was no teasing matter. It hurt when someone you loved preferred someone else. Calmly she returned to the table and handed him his croissant.

"And I imagine that was similar to how I felt when Nella Darren was aboard."

The pair of them gave one another a brief glance, then looked away. The subsequent silence was awkward.

Picard fidgeted with his food and cursed himself. It was his mistake for raising the subject and he felt duty bound end it.

"Beverly ..." he began slowly, "whatever happened in the past ... or might have happened, I'm happy now and with the future I hope to have with you."

She reached for his hand and gripped it hard. "Me too ... I just wish I had said YES earlier... " she was about to stroke his face " ... and NOT given you a this croissant."

He smiled and examined her sticky fingers. "Oh I don't know, I like the taste." He leant forward and licked slowly and delicately up her middle finger.

Beverly shivered at his touch.

Pausing at the tip, Picard raised his eyes and asked, "Tell me Doctor, are you in a rush this morning?"

The end.
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