Being a ranking officer on a starship that was tasked with deep space exploration could be a lonely undertaking that could cause stress or depression. Luckily, for Beverly Crusher, she didn’t fall victim to any of those things. She was more fortunate than most on the Enterprise. She smiled about this as she entered the Ten Forward lounge and looked around carefully. The ones she was searching for weren’t there, yet, so after shaking her head in fond amusement, she made her way over to her favorite table by one of the bigger windows that looked out over the stars as the Enterprise continued it’s steady course to their next destination.
One of the servers came over with her usual drink and set it down in front of her.
“Are you enjoying your night in seclusion, Dr. Crusher, or will the usual people be joining you?”
Beverly laughed softly. “No, the boys will be here at some point. They seem to be running a little bit late as per usual.”
“Would you like one of us to send a message to the Bridge that you’re waiting?”
Beverly grinned and pondered that for a moment before shaking her head. “As amusing as that would be, no. Though, I do reserve the right to ask you to do that at some future time.”
The server laughed and nodded. “Of course, all you have to do is ask. I’m going to take drinks to Commander Riker and Counselor Troi. If you need anything, just let one of us know.”
“Of course, thank you.”
Beverly watched the server walk off in the direction she had seen her two friends sitting at and then picked up her glass of pomegranate wine and took a sip. She wasn’t worried about the men not being there, yet, and could be patient enough to wait for them.
It was about twenty minutes later that Jean-Luc Picard and Jack Crusher arrived at Ten Forward and joined Beverly at their usual table. After their drinks were put down in front of them, Jack reached out to take Beverly’s hand. All three of them seem to be able to relax so naturally into each other, but sometimes the drawback was that when two of them were together in any way, they tended to lose track of time and every other thing that was around them.
“So, what happened?” Beverly asked, fixing the both of them with a knowing look.
Jack blushed slightly and Jean-Luc cleared his throat. The two of them didn’t seem to be scrambling for answers, more like they were trying to figure out how to explain their tardiness.
“It started out quite innocently, really,” Jean-Luc began. “The new ambassador from the Skali system had a few ideas for a way to increase output in some of the outlying mining systems that are within the Federation umbrella but also want to retain what self-reliance that they are able to.”
“I see.” She kind of did. Anytime a new invention came across their tables, her boys became almost childlike in their fascination and inquisitiveness. For all that they were Captain and First Officer, they still loved the idea of putting things together and making them work. “So, then what?”
It was Jack who took up the tale. “The Ambassador wanted to show Jean-Luc how everything worked in a private exhibition in the Holodeck to get his opinion before he decided if it was worth showing to anyone else in an official capacity.” Jack cleared his throat. “Well, there was no way that I could let my captain go off alone with someone we didn’t know and machinery that hadn’t been cleared. He wanted to be the one to program a new setting into the Holodeck. It was unthinkable for me to allow Jean-Luc to enter into a situation that could have endangered him.”
“Of course,” Beverly murmured, her lips twitching slightly.
“Naturally, after we saw the plans and the schematics of what the machine could do, we got a few of our own ideas.” Jean-Luc looked slightly embarrassed and she was even more curious, now. Jean-Luc didn’t show embarrassment. Even before they had moved seamlessly into their relationship and bond, he had always been good at being stoic. “The ideas made sense and we thought we could reorganize a few of the plans to create something that would be useful for us.”
Oh no. Beverly wasn’t sure what to expect, but she could tell from the demeanor of the two men she loved more than life that things had not gone exactly as they had planned.
“Something went wrong,” she guessed.
Both men shifted in their seats and Jean-Luc sent Jack a slightly sour look.
“Yes, something went wrong,” Jean-Luc admitted.
“Just a little something,” Jack protested, downing his drink quickly.
“It was more than just a little something, Jack, and you know it.”
Beverly lifted an eyebrow, demanding answers without saying a word.
“The bedroom…” Jack started.
“It kind of exploded.”
Beverly stared at Jack open mouthed for a long moment. She looked to Jean-Luc, hoping that she would see that they were joking but he looked quite serious and abashed. Too many thoughts went through her mind and she wasn’t even sure where to start. Finally, she shook her head and looked at them.
“The bedroom exploded,” she repeated slowly, making sure that she had heard them correctly.
“Kind of,” Jack tried to correct her, but his voice trailed off when she glared at him.
Jean-Luc looked decidedly uncomfortable and it was only because he was the Captain and in public that he didn’t squirm in his seat beneath the glare. When she also used the voice that was usually mostly directed at exasperating patients or children that would not listen to her orders, well, it was a fight not to shift in his seat as it was.
“Yes, my dear?”
“Don’t you even try my dearing me! How in the hell did the bedroom kind of explode?” Her voice was low but there was no disguising the Irish temper that was right beneath the surface.
Jean-Luc sighed and glared at Jack for a moment. “The bed has been reduced to sawdust.”
She stared at them, then shook her head. “How did you manage to destroy our bed?!”
“It’s possible that I got the calculations just the slightest bit wrong.”
Jean-Luc harrumphed. “The slightest bit?”
Beverly turned her glare on Jack. “What exactly were you attempting to do?”
Jack sighed. “It was supposed to work to effortlessly expand our bedroom without messing with the actual structure of the ship. The bed would have been significantly larger and we would have had one of those large soaking tubs where all three of us could fit quite comfortably.”
Beverly didn’t know whether to laugh or to throttle him. It was just so Jack. He would get these wonderful ideas that he thought would make the lives of the three of them so much more extravagant -- whether they needed more or not. The ideas would get more and more grand, and then a catastrophe would happen. His heart was in the right place, but his ideas didn’t always work out like it he meant for them to. And Jean-Luc loved him so much that he rarely gave more than a token protest to his schemes and desires.
Sort of like when Jack proposed this arrangement they now had between the three of them all of those years ago. The arrangement that had been the best thing in all three of their lives. It was their dreamer, Jack, who made them realize that there was no reason for any of them to have to choose one over the other in any combination.
“How long before the suite is repaired, then?”
“No more than a week, my love,” Jack said with a cheerful smile. “But all is well, because Jean-Luc still has his Captain’s quarters. We can stay there until our preferred lodgings are fixed to our specifications.”
Jean-Luc sighed and nodded. “While they are nothing like we have been accustomed to--” Meaning that they had not been decorated by all three of them together -- “But they are perfectly suitable for a short term stay.”
Beverly got to her feet and gestured to the men to get up as well.
“Well, we should go get moved in as I had plans for tonight and even though I am annoyed with you both, I refuse to have my plans go to waste.”
Jean-Luc and Jack took up positions on either side of her, and while Jack wrapped an arm around her, Jean-Luc merely walked as close as he could without seeming improper. Their Captain was still hesitant to show too much affection in public when he was thinking about it because he was mostly private and he cherished their relationship too much to draw a lot of attention to it. He thought he was protecting the other two from someone that might see him as an enemy or not understand their bonds. It was something that Beverly always found amusing because it was no secret to most of the crew that Captain Picard was very much spoken for.
“If you boys are good, I might even show you the new deep tissue massage techniques I’ve finally perfected that can be used for more than just treating injuries.”
Beverly Crusher couldn’t help the delighted laugh that rang out behind her as her two beloved men instantly picked up their pace. It was looking to be a wonderful evening.