By Carol Sandford


Chapter 04


Deanna welcomed Kathleen Carson into her office, pretty much in the same way as before. But this time Deanna received a welcoming smile, a vast improvement to the sullen scowl she'd gotten yesterday.

Deanna had received her report from Will telling her that Ensign Carson had been duly chastised and that his personal opinion was that she was probably homesick, and probably in need of a good female friend to off-load onto.

As Deanna watched Kathleen settle onto the chair opposite her, Will's words rang in her mind and for once, she allowed him the concession that he was probably right...for a change.

She not only smiled at the image of Will's smug grin but also at Kathleen as she prepared herself to become the woman's friend and confidant. "Hi, you look happier today, are you okay?"

Kathleen smiled shyly, not quite able to meet the Counselor's eyes, "Yes, Ma'am. In between your comforting words and Commander Riker's sermon this morning, I'm beginning to feel slightly less...foggy."

Deanna laughed at her choice of words, "Foggy?! Can you explain why you felt that you were 'foggy'?"

Deanna watched her patient twist her lips into a variety of shapes and forms as she pondered the question, "Well, yesterday I felt like the whole ship was against me, even though I knew they weren't. And today..." She sighed heavily before continuing, "Today, I feel better."

She ended her small speech with a shrug, unable to voice her reason why. But even Deanna could see the woman was hiding 'something' But what? How could a very negative Counselling session and a reprimand from your Commanding officer defuse a months worth of assumed misery?

Deanna frowned as she asked. "Are you telling me that you liked being told off by Commander Riker. That you needed his harsh words to shake you free of your...fog?"

Kathleen nodded, "Uh huh, I guess so."

Deanna was completely perplexed, but laughed to hide her confusion, "Why?"

"I can't tell you, Counselor. All I know is that right now, I feel great. I just 'feel', and it's great."

Deanna couldn't help but smile. It was good to see a success story walk out of her door, even if she wasn't quite sure how it came about. Deanna stood and grinned at the woman who was sitting, crossed legged and relaxed, "Kathleen, would you like to join me this evening for a cocktail or two in Ten forward, say around...7.30pm?"

Deanna laughed in startled surprise as Kathleen leapt to her feet, her long hair swinging like a puppy wagging his tail, "I would LOVE to join you, Counselor, I mean, Deanna."

The two women laughed as Deanna showed her to the door, "Okay, see you later then."

Kathleen chirpy voice echoed Deanna's as she spun into the corridor, waving over her shoulder as she went, "Later!"

Deanna leaned against the door jamb, her head shaking in merriment as she silently congratulated Will's insight into the female mind, "Hot damn, he was right."

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