Title: Data in the Soap
Author: Farfalla the Butterfly-Kitten
Email: blueberrysnail @ yahoo.com
Website: http://cosmicduckling.com
Beta: Hypatia
Series: TNG
Pairing: D/La, P/D implied
Rating: G
Written for jm and Babs (and Databit!) Fulfills jm's P/D challenge (er, sort-of) and Babs' bubble bath challenge.
Summary: Data comes back from the Romulan trip in "Unification" with a startling little piece of news. (Look! A Unification fic that has *nothing* to do with Spock! :-P)


"You are a better kisser than Captain Picard," Data said matter-of-factly, breast-deep in bubble-bath.

Geordi LaForge's mouth dropped open, his bar of soap slipping out of his hands and hiding willfully beneath the suds. "Thank you?" he ventured, brow furrowed in confusion. "Uh, Data, mind if I ask on what this is based?"

"I do not mind, Geordi." Data was arranging the bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other fun stuff along the side of the tub with mathematical precision. "I believe it to be a fair assessment of both of your abilities, based on technique, enthusiasm, and--"

Geordi held up one bubble-festooned hand. "Data, that's not what I mean."

Data paused. "You seem concerned. I thought you would be pleased to hear of your superiority in this activity."

"I'm pleased, all right--it's not every day I hear I'm a good kisser at all, never mind better than the captain!" He couldn't resist a chuckle.

"Do you wish to hear it every day? I did not realize you required such affirmation."

"Data, that's all right. Once is enough, for now." Geordi shook his head. In the relaxed atmosphere of the bathtub, it was sometimes too easy to forget Data's tendency to take everything literally. "I'm just... naturally a bit curious as to why the captain was kissing you in the first place!"

"It was to protect himself from being physically attacked while we were posing as Romulans."

Geordi reached for Data's arm. "Now, Data, why was he in danger of attack?"

"A young man of quite considerable build approached us with violent intentions. Luckily, by seizing me into a passionate embrace, Captain Picard was able to cause him to believe we were paired and thereby diffuse his anger."

Geordi fished around in the tub for the lost soap. "I still don't get it. You escaped from being beat up by posing as a same-sex couple? That seems like the reverse of the typical scenario on backward planets."

"It was an effective method of convincing the Romulan that I had no inappropriate intentions toward his wife."

"His wife? What happened with his wife?"

"We stumbled into each other in a doorway. The moment was rather awkward, and her husband assumed I was interested in her physically."

"So the captain kissed you to make the Romulan think you were with him and wouldn't be picking on his wife."

"Yes. The Romulan had already consumed a considerable quantity of native ale. According to the analysis of his breath taken from my body sensors, his blood alcohol content--"

Geordi was laughing. "So Captain Picard doesn't know how to kiss, eh?" He couldn't resist interrupting, in his amusement.

"I am sure his enthusiasm was curbed significantly by the circumstances."

"You know, the captain does seem to prefer women."

"Why are he and the doctor not yet, as you say, an item?"

"Complicated... human.... reasons." Geordi sighed. "I guess I'm lucky you don't like the way he kisses. You're not really male ~or~ female, and you could always modify yourself to fit his standards if you wanted."

"I do not wish to change my outward appearance," Data reassured him. "Becoming Romulan for a time, in service to Starfleet, was a learning experience and a diversion, but for the long-term, I desire to retain the appearance I show now. I am the likeness of my creator, Dr. Soong, and I do not wish to either forget him, by altering myself, or dishonor his design, by altering his work."

"Good." Geordi kept fumbling for the soap, a bit grumpily.

"And, as I already said, you are the superior kisser." Never mind what Geordi had told him--humans often needed to be complimented more than once before it sunk in. He decided that "now" was over, and another compliment was due.

Geordi's expression changed to one of triumphant glee. His submerged hand breached the bubbles, clutching the bar of soap. "Found it!"

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