::covers mouth with hand briefly before easing way down, poking an angled knee in turn::
Stop. Act your age, Captain.
::softens rebuff with a hand atop same knee, twisting head to take in view from below::
All right. What is it I'm supposed to be seeing, Imzadi?
You have to be more flexible than that.
::gently grasps both shoulders, steering her to prone position, head nearly on lap::
::after a brief sigh at the unfairness, removes a hand, feeling up under desk until rough pattern emerges in polymer surface::
Can you read it?
::suppresses temptation to comment on cushiness of pillow, shifting and squinting to see through shadows::
Five years worth of Christine's gum?
::protests the shaking his laughter causes with an elbow jab, looking again::
...something carved in by laser beam?
Just so, Counselor.
::snags a tendril of hair between fingers, tugging teasingly::
But can you read it?
::purses lips, making mental note to fully punish him later::
::in meantime, dedicates attention to assigned task, lifting own fingers to brush his aside and trace::
::at vague noise of assent, braces self further, angling head closer to read::
::Will loves Deanna?::
::pulls head up when no response is forthcoming, meeting bright, honest blue eyes::
And when exactly did you get it in your head to vandalize Starfleet property in a fit of schoolboy affection, Mr. Riker?
Right after Admiral Nechayev called to remind me that Starfleet's pace is somewhat faster than a civilian pace, and to express her doubts as to which I'm working at.
I needed to remind myself why exactly I'm doing this.
::realizes how unenthusiastic that probably sounded, quickly sliding dee_troi
from under desk and back against chest in snug embrace::
::nudges fall away strands of hair away with nose, trailing the faintest of kisses up a cheekbone::
Things are about to change again. I don't regret it, but you'd better believe I intend to hold onto every memory of this
Looks like I'll have you under my desk one way or the other, Commander
::jumps as another spanner falls, bringing palm down to smack a knee...hard::
::scoots away, turning to frown::
It's a good thing these people won't be serving here.
::shakes head, unable to really hold annoyance::
What exactly does Admiral Nechayev believe you should be doing at a faster rate of speed?
It's a good thing they know that things heard on a job stay with the job, too.
::lowers voice after subdued murmurs from outside suggest point was made, looking at wife with twinkling eyes::
She sent me potential crew manifests. Some of the crew are coming back, but damn if Christine didn't manage to steal a few as well. Looks like I have to pick a new senior staff.
::bites lip again::
::pulls away, climbing to feet::
::places hands on hips, eyes sweeping to flexi on desk::
I suppose it's lucky that you already have your advisor, then, isn't it?
::lifts brows, debating whether to crawl to feet as well, or just stay put...even if ass is going numb::
::will be ribbed either way::
::with a self-castigating groan, grabs edge of desk, hoisting self up::
Is it too late to schedule a physical?
Sounds like someone already has a few ideas.
::folds hands, generously hiding a smirk...clearly, someone will be needing a fitness regime to catch up::
I spoke with Chris several days ago, actually.
She warned me that there would likely be vacancies...the last few years were occasionally brutal on the crew and she suspected more than a few would prefer a chance to slow down and enjoy the relative peace, rather than hop back on board for an extended foray into destinations unknown.
She didn't want you to think it was personal.
::cocks head, uncertain as to just how that might be best taken::
Do you think it might be personal?
::holds up hand before any answer can be given, shaking head::
Dumb question. I'm sure it is, on the part of a few. I walked away. Gave up. Not the type of leadership most expect from their captain.
Haven't we been over this before?
::moves closer, placing a hand on his arm in soothing::
Most of the crew understood that you had suffered a loss and needed time to regroup. The few who didn't probably would have found fault with any decision you made..stay or go.
This is your ship, always was, according to Christine. You don't owe explanations.
::buries a sigh...there you have the counselor's opinion and the Starfleet officer's opinion, but as usual, Deanna's seems nowhere to be found::
::cracks a half-hearted smile anyhow, nodding toward jimmied door::
Maybe we should leave these people alone to put my ship back together, then.
You can share your other ideas with me back ho...back on Earth.
::reaches over to shut down terminal, taking one last look around before following her out::
Did you check in on the boys?
All three of them.
Things are fine in La Barre...though, apparently, Jean-Luc is heartbroken to think this will be the last visit he and Barin will have. By the time we get back, he'll be grown...grown!
::drops good-natured imitation of Picardesque outrage, own smile faltering momentarily::