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The Perfect Male Mate

By Catherine Ellis.


Disclaimer : Usual thing, Paramount owns all the characters. I'm just exercising them for my own amusement.


Summary: In the TNG episode called "The Perfect Mate" a female metamorph accidentally came out of stasis and assumed Picard was her intended spouse. In this story you should assume that it is a male metamoph (Garrad) who has awoken from stasis and that his first assumption was that Beverly was his intended mate.


The story begins after the metamorph has been loose in the ship for two days.


"Well Number One?"

"Well indeed Sir!"

The two men stood in the Ready Room mulling over the sights they had just witnessed.

"I think we have a problem, don't you?"

"Definitely sir, but what to do about it?"

"Difficult ... difficult ..."

"We could confine him to quarters." Riker suggested.

"We could ... but on what grounds?"

"Health and safety?"

The captain smiled. "I like it ... but I can't see Dr Crusher agreeing, can you? Apparently our guest is not used to being alone. And besides Beverly needs to check his condition every 4 hours. I'd rather he went to Sickbay than she went to ..." He let his voice fade away.

"I quite understand sir. I'm not keen on Deanna giving him counselling sessions. She's concerned his experience, here aboard the Enterprise, may have long term psychological effects."

"I should think it will! I'm not sure I'll recover from what we've just seen in Ten Forward."

"Things did get a little out of hand." Riker admitted.

"A little!" Picard's voice went up an octave. "Since when have bar fights been normal behaviour aboard my ship?"

Will coughed apologetically but said nothing.

"And next time any female Klingons ask to come aboard remind me what happened today."

"Yes sir."

"And who were the twin sisters who started it all? I thought I could trust our crew to act responsibly."

"They're the Dupres sisters, Sir, they work in astrophysics. In their defence, can I point out that they only invited him to their quarters."

"Maybe, Will, but what they intended to 'do' with him there was a little too obvious."

Riker couldn't help smiling. "You know I've heard men fantasise about twins, but I never guessed women might want ..."

"Quite." Picard cut him off. There were things about women which he'd rather not know. "Tell me Commander, since when has Guinan had a weapon behind the bar?"

"Several years I believe. Worf approved it, apparently she's an excellent shot."

"Then she must have wanted Garrad to overpower her. I didn't notice much resistance when he wrestled her to the floor." Guinan's apparent interest in lean, bald men was something else of which Picard would rather have remained ignorant. "She stopped the fight very effectively but I'd feel happier if she had used a different approach."


Riker stroked his beard thoughtfully. "I don't understand why women find him so attractive. He isn't particularly handsome or impressive, but they just go for him. Take Lieutenant Nicova ... for months I've been angling for a date and got no where. This morning Garrad interrupts her Judo class, acts all helpless and asks her advice on a reverse arm-lock. The next moment she's inviting him for private lessons! What's going on? Does she like wimps?"


The Captain gave a sympathetic grunt. He'd suffered a similar fate while speaking to a group of female pilots. Garrad had entered the shuttle bay and within seconds Picard had lost everyone's attention.

"Commander, please instruct Ensign Castani to stop showing our guest around the ship. He must have disrupted every section at least twice by now."

"I think she likes showing him off."

"I don't care." He snapped. "We are NOT here to indulge her juvenile fantasies."

"Yes Sir."

Picard gave a weary sigh, "We're drifting from the point, Number One. How do we keep Garrad away from the women without appearing to do so?"

"Are we missing the obvious solution - keep him busy and occupied in male company? Data tells me his race have a sport similar to fencing. Perhaps you could invite him for a match?"


The Captain's face lit up. "And they like to gamble Will! I think we should teach him poker, don't you? Organise a game for 21:00. I'll make sure Deanna and Beverly are kept busy ... and Lieutenant Nicova." He rubbed his hands gleefully. "Yes Commander, I think we have the answer."




Garrad listened very attentively but said little while the Captain explained the rules of fencing and demonstrated various moves. Picard was disappointed at this lack of response but reminded himself that conversation was not the purpose of the exercise. As long as Garrad was kept occupied and away from the women, then he was fulfilling his captain's duty.


When they started their bout the Onorian proved to be a competent if uninspired fencer. He rarely took the offensive and his counter attacks were predictable. In an effort to encourage his opponent's attacking spirit the Captain sometimes dropped his guard, but if Garrad had such a thing it wasn't on display today. In fact the metamorph seemed more interested in observering his opponent than fighting him. After twenty minutes Picard was so bored he was even relieved when Beverly arrived to check on her patient.


The effect of her appearance couldn't have been more startling, Garrad was transformed into a charming, talkative young man.

"Your captain is an excellent fencer Doctor, I wish I had had him as an instructor when I was a boy."

"Really? I haven't seen a fencing match for some time. Do you mind if I watch for a while Captain?"

Picard hesitated. Was that a mischievous glint in her eye?

"I thought you had a report to finish. Admiral Mayo was most insistent it should be with him by 06:00 tomorrow."

"Captain", Garrad interrupted, "Please let Dr Crusher stay. You only need one more point to win. I'm sure that won't take long."

Beverly's face was inscrutable.

"Very well", Picard conceded. "Shall we get on with it then?"

He donned his mask and returned to the mat.


It was like fighting a different person, suddenly Picard had a real contest on his hands. The new Garrad was swift, skilful and agile. The abrupt change caught Jean-Luc off guard and he was almost hit when his opponent took the offensive. Adrenaline pumped through his body as he fought backf. He was damned if he was going to be beaten by this opponent, and especially not in front of Beverly.


From the sidelines Crusher watched their every move. Fencing didn't usually interest her, but this was a fascinating contest. Both men repeatedly tried to out manoeuvre one another with changing tactics. They were evenly matched until Garrad lunged and caught Jean-Luc high on the chest. His foil slid upwards and under Picard's face guard. The Captain let out a cry as the blade found his neck. He dropped his foil and struggled to remove his mask.


Beverly was beside him in an instant.

"It's only a scratch." He insisted, panting and holding his neck.

"Maybe, but it's bleeding, let me look at it."

A distinct red mark ran up the side of his neck.

As Crusher examined Jean-Luc's injury, Garrad studied his own foil. He ran his fingers along the blade and found blood.

"Captain, I'm sorry. I don't understand how this could have happen. The sword is blunt."

"Our human skin isn't as tough as yours." Beverly explained. "We're susceptible to friction cuts. The speed of your blade was enough break the surface. Jean-Luc! Will you keep still!" She held his chin firmly as she finished her treatment. "There, that's better, but I want you to come to sickbay so I can get rid of the scar."

"When we've finished this match."

"Captain!" She protested.

"Doctor!" He countered. "It's a scratch and I am enjoying myself. If you don't mind I would like to finish this." He turned to Garrad. "Are you ready?"

The Onorian looked at Beverly for approval and then lifted his foil. "On guard, Captain."


Both men were tiring but the contest continued with the same intensity as before. Periods of slow thoughtful manoeuvring were interspersed with rapid quick-fire attacks. Finally it was Picard who outfoxed his opponent and found the way to his chest. Jean-Luc was breathing hard as he removed his mask but he couldn't hide his beam of satisfaction.

"Thank you Garrad." He shook the man's hand. "I haven't had such a close contest in years."

"It is I who must thank you Captain. I have enjoyed myself immensely. But if you will excuse me I must leave now, I have a card game to learn, from Commander Riker." Turning to Beverly he asked, "Should I report to you later tonight?"

Beverly looked at him wistfully. "No, I don't think that's necessary. I'll come and see you at 07:00."

As he was about to leave Picard called after him, " Garrad? I'd be interested in learning more about Onor. Will you have breakfast with me at 07:00, Dr Crusher can join us."

"I would be honoured. Until breakfast then. Captain, Doctor." Garrad bowed respectfully and left the gym.


When the doors had closed behind him Beverly turned slowly on Picard and gave him a suspicious look.

"What?" He enquired.

"Captain, are you protecting me from Garrad's charms?"

"Of course not." He blustered.

"Very gallant of you, Jean-Luc." She patted his arm. "Now come along to Sickbay and I'll fix that neck of yours."




A nagging thought kept drifting through Picard's mind as he waited for his breakfast guests to arrive. He hadn't been surprised when Garrad brightened up at Beverly's arrival - after all he was conditioned to respond to female wishes - no what was worrying him was something more specific. If Garrad always behaved as a woman wanted, did that mean Beverly wanted Garrad to beat him? Worse still, had she wanted Garrad to injure him? The idea was absurd, of course, but he couldn't shake it from his mind.


He tried to distract himself by listening to a news report and preparing the breakfast table but Garrad kept pushing his way into his mind. What would it be like to be a metamorph, to be at the whim of every passing female? Picard's only experience of such alteration was his sessions with Admiral Necheyev. In her presence, he changed from all-powerful captain into an obedient junior officer. It wasn't an experience he enjoyed. Was Garrad aware of changing? And if he was, did prefer how he was with one woman rather than another? This 'bonding' intrigued Picard as well. What was it like? Was it beyond anything a human male could experience? Jean-luc knew what it was like to be enthralled by a woman - to find yourself wanting to be the man she wanted. Yes he knew all about that. He stood motionless, eyes closed, reliving the touch of her fingers as she fixed his neck.


He took a deep breath and shook himself out of the reverie. Self-control, that's what you needed. He looked at the time - 06:55 - would she be early? He hoped so. Self-control, self-control or distraction. He touched his comm badge.

"Picard to Commander Riker."

When Will responded he asked how the poker game had gone. "Was Garrad quiet and unresponsive?"

"No, on the contrary, he was talkative and very entertaining. He also cleaned us out."

"So who was the woman who inspired this display?"

"None. The others were Data, Worf and Geordie. I've never seen Garrad so 'alive' without a woman in the room."

This report unsettled Picard. He could think of an explanation but he didn't want it to be true.


At his "Come" the cabin doors opened and revealed Garrad and Beverly standing side by side. At the same moment disappointment revealed itself in Picard's face.

"Something wrong?" Beverly enquired with a hint of mischief in her voice.

"No, No." He assured them. "Do come in."

"Dr Crusher found me in the corridor." Garrad informed him.

Picard blushed. Was his jealousy so obvious?

"Do sit down both of you. What can I get you to eat Garrad? I usually have coffee and croissant but the replicator can produce anything - within reason."

"Coffee and croissant will be fine."

"And you Doctor?" Picard asked.

"You sit with with Garrad Jean-Luc, I'll get the food" She touched his arm and headed for the replicator.


Picard relaxed a little, he liked it when she acted 'at-home' in his quarters. He sat down as instructed and found himself on the receiving end of Garrad's steady gaze. The scrutiny made him uncomfortable.

"How was your poker game?" He asked.

"Educational and lucrative. Is it possible that the others were letting me win?"

"Unlikely, my First Officer has a poker reputation to maintain. If you won it was through your own efforts ... and Lady Luck."

"I see. Tell me Captain, do you play often? Commander Riker said I must have been taking bluffing lessons from you."

At that moment Beverly put their food on the table and saved Picard from having to reply.

"I'm sorry I missed it", She said. "I'd have liked to have seen Will get beaten. Unfortunately I had Mayo's report to finish... Strange that, Captain, when I contacted the Admiral this morning he thanked me for being 'early'."

"Really?" His innocent expression gave nothing away. He ignored Beverly's glare and started to eat. As Picard dunked his croissant he became aware of Garrad watching and copying his actions.


"We should be rendezvousing with the Hanzar at 16:00 today, Garrad. Are you be ready for the wedding ceremony or is there something I can do to help?"

"Mr Data has created a holographic female Onorian to assist me. 'She' is most realistic."

"You know Captain, I realise that you and your officers have tried to limit my exposure to female company." Jean-Luc could sense Beverly's bristle beside him."Your efforts are much appreciated."

Picard suppressed an urge to laugh. He had been caught out but not punished.

"We like to 'accommodate' our guests. I hope your stay here has not been too 'overwhelming'."

"On the contrary, the experience has been most instructive. You could say it has helped me 'find myself'."

Picard studied the metamorph's inscrutable face; he feared he knew what the man meant.


"Garrad?", Beverly asked. "By our standards you are making a considerable sacrifice by agreeing to marry a woman you have never met. Are you sure you want to go through with it?"

The metamorph looked at her as if considering the alternatives.

"This marriage is my duty and it will help my people. Would you have me refuse a task that only I can perform?"

He held Beverly's eye until she answered.

"No." She agreed, but with obvious regrets.

"Anyway," Garrad continued more cheerfully. "Is it really such a sacrifice? To me giving up the chance of marriage and children would be a much greater sacrifice. Don't you think so Captain?"

Picard recoiled.Can Garrad read my mind? Again he found himself the subject of Garrad's close scrutiny.

"If you will excuse me gentlemen," Beverly rose to her feet. "But I have to leave now, I'm needed in Sickbay."

Both men stood to acknowledge her departure. Picard was dissapointed to see her go. Ten minutes before he had wanted to protect from Garrad but now he felt a little in need of protection himself. When she had gone they sank silently back into their chairs.


"If I was a female metamorph" Garrad asked " what do you think men would want from me?"

Picard gave an embarrassed little cough.

"Exactly." Garrad continued. "Sex. Or at least that's what 99% of them would want. Women are more complex. I've been amazed at the variety of their desires. Some do want a lover but others just want to be admired or cared for. Some want a companion or the husband, father, brother that they miss or have never had. What's more their needs change from hour to hour.

"I've spotted that myself", Picard quipped, "even without your empathic powers."

Garrad paused assessing whether the Captain would let him stray into more personal matters.

"Dr Crusher is an interesting woman."

The statement made Picard stop drinking and look up. As he said nothing the metamorph took this as permission to continue. "When I awoke from stasis I was expecting to meet the Hanzar leader. Dr Crusher was not as I had expected the leader to be but I sensed a strong will and her sense of purpose."

"That sounds like our Doctor."

"Her first reaction to me was to enjoy being admired. Later, when she discovered that I always responded to women's wishes she rebuked herself for being flattered." Garrad read Picard's reaction. "I agree with you Captain, she should not be so hard on herself. Later, in Sickbay, it was the scientist that came to the fore. She wanted to know all about me - my physiology, my mission, my history. That's when I became her 'son', someone she should guide and take care of. I had never known that mother / child relationship, I was taken from my own mother when I was very young. Tell me, is it common for human males to have a strong bond with their mothers?"

"I can't speak for all men, but for myself ... I'd say yes. I still feel the connection, even though she's been dead some years. Getting back to you though, when I've seen you with Beverly you haven't behaved like a son."


"No, as I said women change their minds. When she saw my childish dependence she rebuked herself again. She wanted me to be my 'own man' not somebody's toy. But trying to be myself raised further problems. There was no 'self' for me to be. Without a woman to respond to I am lost. I had memories but it was if they belonged to someone else."

"I don't understand something here." Picard interrupted. "Why is Dr Crusher such an influence on you? You've had contact with many other women on the Enterprise."

"She has a stronger will than most of them. And she's interested in how I am when I'm not with her. I feel her influence even when she's not there."

Picard let a small smile play across his lips, he could relate to that.

"You said you felt lost when she wanted you to 'be yourself'."

"When I explained the problem to her, we agreed that I needed a male role model - someone who would help me prepare for my future life. But to learn from that person I needed her presence too. That's why she came to see me while I was fencing with you."

"Me? I'm your role model?"

"Yes Captain, hadn't you guessed?"

Picard's throat tightened."You don't need her presence any more. You've bonded with Beverly haven't you?"

"The more accurate statement would be that I have bonded with both of you."


"It happened while Beverly was examining your wound and I was wiping your blood off my blade. Her emotions were particularly strong at that moment but none of them were for me. For the first time in my life I was jealous. I wanted to be you. "


This was getting too personal for Picard's comfort.

"Why are you telling me all this?"

"I've bonded with you, remember? Some part of you must want me to tell you this."

"But you're a male metamorph!" Picard protested. "You're supposed to bond with a woman."

"I have, but also with you - the man she wanted me to be like."

Picard swallowed and squared his shoulders.

"What happens now? Are you going through with this wedding?"

"You already know the answer Jean-Luc. What would you do in my position?"

He sat back and imagined himself in Garrad's place. "Marry her and try to make the most of it."

"Precisely. You see how wisely Beverly chose my role model? If she had selected Riker I'd still be in agonies of indecision."

Jean-Luc couldn't help laughing at this observation.


The two of them sat back with expressions of smug satisfaction on their faces and said in unison. "She's a remarkable woman"

"Another croissant Garrad?"

"No thank Jean-Luc, I need to ..."

" ... watch my waistline." Picard completed the sentence for him.

"In fact I should be getting on with my wedding preparations." He got up to leave but decided to offer Jean-Luc a piece of advice.

"You should have more minor accidents Captain, She likes having an excuse to treat you."

"Are you saying that because I want to hear it or because it's so?"

The Onorian studied his own thoughts. "I can't tell. But I sensed her enjoyment as she treated your neck."

"Thank you Garrad, I'll bear that in mind."



The bottle of wine was one Picard had been saving for a special occasion. The departure of a male metamorph wasn't quite what he'd had in mind, but he hadn't known about metamorphs then or how disruptive they could be. He poured a little into a glass and sniffed the bouquet. Yes, definitely one of the better years. He was just tasting a mouthful when Beverly arrived at the door.

"Secret drinking Captain?" She teased.

"On the contrary, I asked you here in the hope that you would join me."

"What's the occasion?"

"Nothing in particular." He lied. "Shall we say ... Garrad's marriage?"

She held her glass out for him to fill.

"What did you think of his wife?" He asked, trying to make the question sound casual.

"She worried me at first. I thought she was going to treat him as no more than a willing concubine." Beverly took a sip of the wine. "Hey! This is good."

Picard acknowledged the compliment. "You were saying ... about Garrad's wife."

"Did you see her watching him as he talked to her ministers? I'm sure she's realised that he's a born diplomat. He'll be more than a toy to her before long."

"That's not his only positive attribute surely?"

She examined his face for the motive behind the question but Jean-Luc gave nothing away.

"You're right, he has other 'attractive characteristics' as well."

"You sound as if you'll miss him?" Picard watched her face with equally attention.

"I won't deny I enjoyed his company... Did you know his elderly Onorian companion came out of her coma today?"

"No, I didn't. That's good news."

"When she learnt how much time I had spent with Garrad she asked me how I'd managed to resist him."

"And did you tell her?"


Jean-Luc's face broke into a broad grin. He had been politely told to mind-his-own-business and he would. He studied his glass and then looked back at her.

"What shall we drink to then? Their marriage?"

Beverly thought and then raised her glass to his. "Let's make it more than that - let's make it 'To Their Lasting Friendship.'"

The end.
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