L'Alliance Du Diable- Rated R
Slipping unobtrusively into the corner niche of Quark's, the woman watched her assignment carefully. Yes, most certainly a match to her files, a bit thinner than the photos hinted at-of course, people never came out of any sort of prison, even Federation prison, healthy or especially happy. Even the short distance away, it was easy to read the tension in the mans shoulders, the restrained unease in his face. He seemed not to be playing well at his pool game, with a negligent air.
Standing, she prepared to approach, watching the barkeep with trepidation. He approached, grinning, a bottle in each hand. "Another, Counselor? The finest in the system ,at a special price..."
"Quark, go away." There, no preamble, and she moved away. He sighed, shaking his head and retreating.
"I couldn't help but notice your game. You should lighten up, release the tension in your back. You'll find your focus better."
Tom Paris glanced up, handing his cue stick to a fellow player, eyes observing, faintly wary. "Care to give lessons?"
She pressed sweaty palms to her abdomen, forcing calm, reminding herself not to presume. Observe, heal, not harm. "I'm afraid its not my game. Relaxation simply seems to work across the board."
Needling, those eyes, and cynical. She wondered if she'd given herself away already. "I'm sorry to interrupt, then, you simply looked a little lonely..."
"You've got no idea." Catching her elbow, he blocked her turn, head angling up. "Starfleet?"
"No, not now." A half-truth...
"Ah, good. I'm what they call an observer. Admiral's son, prison pet. They needed an excuse to get me out of prison. I'll never see a conn control pad." His glance was sardonic. "And I'm guessing you know who I am. Whole station seems to."
"I've heard stories." Too many too count.
"So which side are you interested in, the ex-Fleet, ex-Maquis felon half or the galactic whore half?" There was affable amusement in the tones as he turned to swipe two glasses from a passing tray.
"I want you to tell me a little about the Maquis."
"Just like everybody else. Sorry, lady, my traitorous remarks are reserved for Captain Janeway. I hear she likes me. I bet its the galactic whore half."
Oh, gods. Fingers tightening on the drink he had handed her, his companion looked away, face burning. "I...don't believe she's that sort of woman."
"Oh, maybe not. I'll see." Studying, now, and drinking, those eyes. "So, whats your name, beautiful?"
A smile threatened. "Drunk, are you?"
"If I say yes, could we carry on to my decadent guest suite?"
"Could we?" An unwise answer, by any standard, and one she regretted...almost...as soon as it left her mouth. It was the the...what was it tonight? Quark...she pinned threat onto the thought.
He was laughing at her, a genuine, eye crinkling grin that made it almost worth it. "I take it you don't hold your poison."
"I don't hold my poison." She agreed, smiling wryly.
The smile vanished. "Look, why don't you go home? Playing these games may seem fun, lady, but I'm telling you, they pave the road to hell."
Back in role, Counselor, she reminded sternly. Or you'll be denied that hypo come morning. She straightened, but not too much, it was so damned easy to slip into Starfleet parade rest by mistake. "I'll sober up just for you. I actually came in search of you, Mr. Paris."
"Tom. Mr. Paris is my father, when he deigns to drop the rank." There, the smile was steely again. He downed another shot.
"Tom. I came to discuss the Maquis with you."
"I don't suppose you're asking for a research report, are you?" He led way to the holodecks, and she stepped in, unsurprised. He seemed to be prepared for trysts. Watching as he arranged a secure lock, she glanced around the stark holodeck, bemused as it flared to life, a homey little bar program opening.
"No." There, a deep breath. "I'm frankly a little sympathetic to the cause."
His gaze pierced. "You have a good job? A home? Family? Don't drop them. The Maquis as an ideal are a very good little cause, but the life, well, stinks. You make a mistake, the people are no nicer than Starfleet. They'd tear you from limb to limb, physically or emotionally, or both."
His anger seemed genuine enough. "That why you accepted the post as observer?"
His hands fell on her shoulders, warm, but rough. "Tell me, just how does a civilian know about my post?"
"You're a very popular criminal, Mr. Paris."
"Little liar." There, soft, the tones, firm, almost brutal, his hand on her chin.
"Would any Starfleet member be in a cheap holodeck with you?" The barbs were necessary, but seemed foreign, rolling from her lips with difficuluty. Heal, not harm...
He bent low, and, before she could turn away, claimed her mouth, fingers digging almost brutally into her back, thumbs tracing underneath the flimsy civilian gown. His words were muffled, purposeful, as he continued the assault, taking advantage of her temporary stupor. "I'm going to undress you, lady, inch by inch, and by the time its all over, I'll know who you are and if I should break your neck right here and risk another stay at my preferred Federation host motel."
And he did, baring her back quickly, nudging her into a corner, groin pressing into her, eyes drinking in the sight. "Starfleet." Lips curling, he lightly traced the curve of her back, fingers dancing around the lines and curves of the tattoo. "I knew it."
"Knew I was once Starfleet?" Oh, this, of all things...hold to the game... "How?"
"So you were." Eyes glinting with delight at the admission, he caught a nipple between his thumb and forefinger, watching her wide-eyed reaction in satisfaction. "Quite a career change on your horizon, lady."
"How did you know?" Struggling,she grasped his arms, fingers brushing his side, and, oh, gods, he stffened...
He retreated, removing his shirt, his boots, his other garments with almost methodical ease, calling for deletion of the scenario, opening a lazy French guesthouse scene, bared skin flashing a pink pallor in the dim lighting. "Oh, the walk. The expressions. The voice. A little bit of princess, a little bit of swagger, a whole lot of presumption."
He continued, gaze sobering. "You're a brat, huh?"
After a moment, she grasped the old concept, smiling,moving forward, uncertain. Limitations of your duty, Counselor? "Yes, I have Fleet roots."
"And roots can choke the life out of the seedlings, can't they?" Certainly, levels of angst there, his hands clenching on her shoulders, then lips kissing, almost apologetically, leading way to the soft litte bed.
"Yes." She found a bit of her own, mind drawing back into memory. This role was becoming almost...fitting. "They can."
"Welcome to the Maquis, Starfleet." He kissed her again, whiskey and sweat, and she couldn't fail to respond. Welcome, indeed. "But don't look forward to it. The bastards'll destroy what Starfleet hasn't."
The holoprogram was gone by the time she woke up, and he wide awake, staring at the grid ceiling with almost hollow resignation. "Oh, don't look so nonregulation, I figured it out. You were sent here to spy on me. What, sex for secrets?"
She jerked her head away, gaze settling on the distant wall, hands clenched. "No. I was sent to talk to you. To..."
"See if I was ready to betray Starfleet again? What, Janeway needed poor little you to double-check her prison pick? Just who are you? How good a job and family is it?" His gaze, when he finally looked down, was ugly, roiling with contempt she wouldn't have been able to imagine the evening...night...before. "I guess you do have the roots."
"Thats vastly, vastly unfair..."
"Tell me, is your Daddy's pride riding on this little mission?"
"My father is dead, and no, he would hardly be proud of this. No more than I suddenly am."
"Oh, I see." His smile softened, but retained a wry anger. "My Daddy's pride is. On the line, that is. If I screw up this time..." A quick, slashing gesture across the throat, then a hand, falling heavily on hers. His gaze probed her own. "Look, the hair color and clothes are a nice touch, but you have to realize that your face is beautiful and all over news feeds every day. I recognize you. You don't need this little liason showing up on your records."
Her face burned. "A plea bargain, of sorts, is that what you want? Sexual silence in exchange for restriction of whatever information it is you believe I may have gleaned?"
He nodded, a noncommital inclination of the head, and prepared to leave. " I do talk in my sleep, you know, and I know things I don't want anybody finding out. Things that could do a lot more than lead to the capture of a few former friends. It could kill them. I'm not a murderer."
"Neither am I."
"Then we have a pretty good deal, don't we, s'est leve?" Smile dipping towards genuine, he exited, leaving her alone amidst the tousled sheets.
Deanna Troi sighed. So much for her counseling techniques.