Why Do They Only Flatter Me When They're Drunk?
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - Paramount own 'em.

It's very late. I should be sleeping.

Personal experience? Nah. Bitter? Nah.

For Morgan, Karma, Claire and Fiona. Who know all about it.


What is the reason, really? Can you tell me? Is it because I've deliberately kept them at a distance? Is it because I'm a woman and I'm in command? Or is it just some stupid male thing?

I know which explanation I prefer.

Men have never figured out how to deal with their feelings; it's a known fact. Okay, that's an unbelievably stereotypical comment, but I'm the one talking so just shut up and listen.

*Generally*, men haven't figured out how to deal with their feelings. I've often observed how their behaviour differs with the company they're in.

Take, for example, a certain unnamed member of my crew who has a fascination with the Twentieth Century. Whilst in my company he is roguishly charming, a bit of a joker. He pushes the envelope occasionally but rarely too far.

Then I see his behaviour in the holodeck. He doesn't know that I've seen him like that, of course. If he knew I was in the room he'd instantly slam up the defences and would try to act polite while trying not to look - to the friends he had just been discussing breast size with - like he was sucking up to his Captain. I've seen him do it when B'Elanna walks in. Of course, they're a little more intimately involved, so I can't really judge if his reaction would be more or less if he saw me.

Captain or lover.

Neither are easy to face at times.

I suppose that answers my own question. I suppose I'm just complaining about something I can't fix, but I'm Captain so that's my perogative.

It's just annoying.

I'm a woman. I'm human - though some would say that's frequently untrue. I'm as aware of my vanity as anyone else, and I appreciate a compliment.

What do I get?

The Doctor, trying to soften a medical recommendation by complimenting me first: "You should be admired for your dedication Captain, but you really need to relax more. In fact, I'd prescribe..."

Like it isn't the same advice Doctors have been giving Captains for centuries.

And there was that little thing - whatever the hell that was - with Chakotay, but that was years ago. I need something recent.

I *like* being complimented for an outfit. I *like* being told that my hair looks good (which it frequently doesn't these days but that's hardly the point). I *like* being told gently, "You look beautiful, Kathryn." I *like* the passion in a lovers eyes when they look at me.

What I don't want is to attend the latest celebration of Prixin, only to be accosted behind a potted plant by an obviously inebriated First Officer who wraps his arms around me from behind and slurs into my ear, "I've just had a drink and you're really sexy."

How flattering. No, really. I especially appreciate the smell of alcohol on your breath.

Problem is, as unromantic as it is, I am flattered. Mainly because he looks good. Mainly because he thinks I look good. Mainly because - at this point - I'll take anything.

So, I suppose that explains why I'm lying on my inebriated First Officer's bed, studying his naked form after an interesting sexual encounter. One that has left me with a single question:

"Just how drunk are you?"

His head is buried in the pillow, but I know he's smiling.

"Not at all," comes the muffled reply.

Devious bastard.

The question changes from 'why do they only flatter me when they're drunk?', to 'what the hell am I doing when I'm sober?'

I need a drink.


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