Mr.Picard

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. (FanFic, TNG, PG, slash)

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I wrote this little ficlet this morning, and people appear to like it a lot, so I'm posting it here as well. No warnings of any kind needed, it's PG rated. (For a change. :P )

 

 

 

 

TEA. EARL GREY. HOT.

 

He walks into the bar - and I almost break the glass in my hand when I see him. He doesn't show up here very often, but when he does, he always sits down and stays for a cup of tea, and I find myself looking forward to this a lot more than I probably should.

I know it's wrong what I'm going to do - watching his every move while he's here - but I can't help it. I hardly ever see him, I have to make use of every small chance that I get... right?

He walks up to his usual table and I'm relieved to see that it's not occupied. The crew knows that the captain likes to sit at that particular table, and they usually leave it vacant, but sometimes the bar gets busy and then... ah well, not now.

He sits down, leans back slightly and then starts to read the PADD that he has brought with him.

My time has come - unless Guinan is around, and she was rummaging through the small cabinet below the bar a few seconds ag-

She's gone.

Of course she is.

I swear she knows.

I put the glass down and then leave my place behind the bar - for some reason it has become an unspoken rule that the captain is only to be approached by me if I'm there when he shows up.

I slowly walk up to him, mentally preparing for the inevitable short conversation that will throw me right into the depths of Unrequited Love Hell. "Good afternoon, Captain. Can I get you something?"

He looks up from his PADD, sees me and the briefest hint of a smile touches his usually stern face. "Hello, Alexander. Yes, I'd like a cup of Earl Grey."

"Sure. Coming right up, sir."

"Thank you." He looks back at his PADD and I quickly walk away from his table, trying not to grin like a lovesick teenager.

Once I'm back behind my bar I take a deep breath and open the small cabinet - I've placed something there which I now take out and examine before I put it into an empty tea cup. It was extremely difficult to get, this real and not replicated Earl Grey tea bag, but I hope it will be worth it.

I turn around and ask the replicator for a small pot of boiling water. It hums to life, the pot appears and I take it, turn around again and pour its content into the cup with the tea bag inside. I know I have to do this as fast as I can, the captain probably expects his order any second now - replicators are quick, tea bags are not, unfortunately - but I hope he'll appreciate the short delay once he realizes why it happened.

I look over at him and realize I wouldn't have needed to worry: He's reading his PADD, completely absorbed by what's on there - most likely a mission report or something.

Or maybe a love letter?

Hopefully not.

I let out a frustrated sigh and force myself to look back at the cup of steaming tea. I lean over and can't resist inhaling briefly; I've been a bartender for years, but the smell of real tea still gets to me. I briefly close my eyes and then open them again and glance at the chronometer next to me - since I know that the captain prefers his tea strong, I've given it three minutes, and those three minutes are actually up... right about now.

I take the tea bag out and put it away, and then I take the cup and place it on a small tablet. Before I start moving, however, I once again mentally prepare myself for what I have to do: Serving the tea. I've never been a waiter and therefore carrying a cup of real tea to the man I have a very real crush on might... just not work out very well.

Nevertheless, it has to be done.

I take the tablet and slowly walk up to the captain's table, reach it without incident (phew!) and put the cup down in front of him. "Here you go, sir. Your tea."

He looks up from his PADD - he doesn't seem to have noticed my approach, a fact at which I cringe internally because it tells me he most likely isn't interested in me at all - and then he smiles broadly.

And I melt.

"Ah. Thank you."

I nod, smile back (and hope I'm not grinning too much) and then I quickly walk away and am halfway back to the bar -

"Alexander?"

Oh shit, he's tried the tea and it's terrible.

I turn around and expect to see him angry, but all there is on his face is pleasant surprise.

I walk back to his table and try not to notice the interested glances from the other guests.

I've brought this upon myself.

Well done.

Not.

"Yes, Captain?"

He points at the tea cup on the table. "This is real Earl Grey, isn't it?"

He noticed.

Of course he did.

"Yes. I... thought you might enjoy some real tea for a change."

"It must have been difficult to get in this sector," he remarks, takes the cup again and drinks a bit. "It's delicious."

"I'm glad you like it."

He smiles at me again. "I do."

I manage to smile back. "Well, enjoy it, then."

"I certainly will. Thank you very much, Alexander."

"You're welcome."

He looks back at his PADD and I again quickly walk away - but this time it feels like as if I'm walking on clouds.

He liked it!

He smiled!

Twice!

I hurry up to get back behind the bar, where I put the tablet down and then take another deep breath before I look at him again - just a short glance...

He's no longer reading his PADD.

He's looking at me.

Wait, what?

I stare at him.

He stares back.

And then we both look away.

Quickly.

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I wrote this little ficlet this morning, and people appear to like it a lot, so I'm posting it here as well. No warnings of any kind needed, it's PG rated. (For a change. :P )

 

 

 

 

TEA. EARL GREY. HOT.

 

He walks into the bar - and I almost break the glass in my hand when I see him. He doesn't show up here very often, but when he does, he always sits down and stays for a cup of tea, and I find myself looking forward to this a lot more than I probably should.

I know it's wrong what I'm going to do - watching his every move while he's here - but I can't help it. I hardly ever see him, I have to make use of every small chance that I get... right?

He walks up to his usual table and I'm relieved to see that it's not occupied. The crew knows that the captain likes to sit at that particular table, and they usually leave it vacant, but sometimes the bar gets busy and then... ah well, not now.

He sits down, leans back slightly and then starts to read the PADD that he has brought with him.

My time has come - unless Guinan is around, and she was rummaging through the small cabinet below the bar a few seconds ag-

She's gone.

Of course she is.

I swear she knows.

I put the glass down and then leave my place behind the bar - for some reason it has become an unspoken rule that the captain is only to be approached by me if I'm there when he shows up.

I slowly walk up to him, mentally preparing for the inevitable short conversation that will throw me right into the depths of Unrequited Love Hell. "Good afternoon, Captain. Can I get you something?"

He looks up from his PADD, sees me and the briefest hint of a smile touches his usually stern face. "Hello, Alexander. Yes, I'd like a cup of Earl Grey."

"Sure. Coming right up, sir."

"Thank you." He looks back at his PADD and I quickly walk away from his table, trying not to grin like a lovesick teenager.

Once I'm back behind my bar I take a deep breath and open the small cabinet - I've placed something there which I now take out and examine before I put it into an empty tea cup. It was extremely difficult to get, this real and not replicated Earl Grey tea bag, but I hope it will be worth it.

I turn around and ask the replicator for a small pot of boiling water. It hums to life, the pot appears and I take it, turn around again and pour its content into the cup with the tea bag inside. I know I have to do this as fast as I can, the captain probably expects his order any second now - replicators are quick, tea bags are not, unfortunately - but I hope he'll appreciate the short delay once he realizes why it happened.

I look over at him and realize I wouldn't have needed to worry: He's reading his PADD, completely absorbed by what's on there - most likely a mission report or something.

Or maybe a love letter?

Hopefully not.

I let out a frustrated sigh and force myself to look back at the cup of steaming tea. I lean over and can't resist inhaling briefly; I've been a bartender for years, but the smell of real tea still gets to me. I briefly close my eyes and then open them again and glance at the chronometer next to me - since I know that the captain prefers his tea strong, I've given it three minutes, and those three minutes are actually up... right about now.

I take the tea bag out and put it away, and then I take the cup and place it on a small tablet. Before I start moving, however, I once again mentally prepare myself for what I have to do: Serving the tea. I've never been a waiter and therefore carrying a cup of real tea to the man I have a very real crush on might... just not work out very well.

Nevertheless, it has to be done.

I take the tablet and slowly walk up to the captain's table, reach it without incident (phew!) and put the cup down in front of him. "Here you go, sir. Your tea."

He looks up from his PADD - he doesn't seem to have noticed my approach, a fact at which I cringe internally because it tells me he most likely isn't interested in me at all - and then he smiles broadly.

And I melt.

"Ah. Thank you."

I nod, smile back (and hope I'm not grinning too much) and then I quickly walk away and am halfway back to the bar -

"Alexander?"

Oh shit, he's tried the tea and it's terrible.

I turn around and expect to see him angry, but all there is on his face is pleasant surprise.

I walk back to his table and try not to notice the interested glances from the other guests.

I've brought this upon myself.

Well done.

Not.

"Yes, Captain?"

He points at the tea cup on the table. "This is real Earl Grey, isn't it?"

He noticed.

Of course he did.

"Yes. I... thought you might enjoy some real tea for a change."

"It must have been difficult to get in this sector," he remarks, takes the cup again and drinks a bit. "It's delicious."

"I'm glad you like it."

He smiles at me again. "I do."

I manage to smile back. "Well, enjoy it, then."

"I certainly will. Thank you very much, Alexander."

"You're welcome."

He looks back at his PADD and I again quickly walk away - but this time it feels like as if I'm walking on clouds.

He liked it!

He smiled!

Twice!

I hurry up to get back behind the bar, where I put the tablet down and then take another deep breath before I look at him again - just a short glance...

He's no longer reading his PADD.

He's looking at me.

Wait, what?

I stare at him.

He stares back.

And then we both look away.

Quickly.

Cool!   I always wondered how Alexander (who's so self-assured later on) 'broke the ice' with Jean-Luc.  

Maybe the next chapter could be called, "Tea.  Not Earl Grey.  Hotter."  :P

 

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Cool!   I always wondered how Alexander (who's so self-assured later on) 'broke the ice' with Jean-Luc.  

Maybe the next chapter could be called, "Tea.  Not Earl Grey.  Hotter."  :P

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!

Some of the ice-breaking IS in the very first part of the In These Arms arc, but admittedly the tricky moments like this one are more mentioned later on (such as the breaking of glasses) than explicitly written down. That's because I needed to drive the narrative forward, I couldn't have endless stories in which a nervous Alex serves Jean-Luc tea, lol, this is the VERY beginning of the two of them, poor Alex has no idea how to approach Jean-Luc, and really, it IS difficult, we all know how easy it is to scare Jean-Luc away. Alex just has this massive crush on him but hardly ever gets to see him because, obviously, Eleven Forward isn't exactly a place that Jean-Luc frequents very often and Alex can't just show up on the bridge with some kind of officer excuse because he isn't an officer in the first place. Guinan is also still there, she runs the bar in the first part of the arc, so it's her responsibility to contact the bridge when something's shady... poor Alex really has only those little moments. (He gets more of them as time passes on, but since this is at the very beginning, options to impress are very limited. You can't just walk up to Jean-Luc, smoothly sit down and be like "what's a nice starship captain like you doing in a place like this". That would put him off IMMEDIATELY. I mean even HE uses that phrase only with ex lovers of his - Donald Varley comes to mind here, heh. Not to mention that Alex isn't the TYPE for that kind of approach. Not his style.)

All this is exactly what ficlets are for, though - to fill the gaps. I think of them as the written equivalent of "deleted scenes", mostly - scenes that were deleted because they weren't needed in the actual narrative, not because they're bad or don't fit or something.

Now now, a next chapter with THAT kind of name would end up in x rated territory in no time... :angel_not:

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