Gondola of Dreams

McCoy/Barrows romance by Farfalla
blueberrysnail @ yahoo.com
Rated PG. Thank you to Marcia and to my aunt Maude for the beta.

The Enterprise crew's first night on the Shore Leave Planet found Dr. McCoy and Yeoman Barrows reclining in a gondola, drifting down an imaginary canal in an imaginary Venice. From childhood, the city had fascinated her with its air of elegance, culture and freshness. In her mentally concocted Rennaissance gown she suited it completely. She rested her head against McCoy's chest and took a deep breath of the crisp sea air.

"Everything all right?" Leonard asked, and sipped from the best mint julep he'd ever tasted.

"Everything's perfect." Tonia smiled, but Leonard could tell there was something on her mind. He waited patiently for her to continue. "Leonard, do you think I'm old-fashioned?"

"Old-fashioned?" Leonard chuckled. To tell the truth, that was the last way he'd have described the bubbly, sensual young woman. "No, not in the least. What do you mean, my dear?"

"I mean because I'm--because my fantasies are all--this stuff." She tugged at her sixteenth-century gown. "Back in the days of yore. I kept saying how I wanted to be a princess."

"A lot of girls talk like that."

"Right!" she agreed. "I played with a lot of dolls when I was a child. But anyway, I was just wondering if it was making you think I was old-fashioned."

"Perhaps it would help me to answer you if you told me what exactly you meant by 'old-fashioned'," said Leonard.

"Prudish?" she volunteered. "Chaste? The purest flower in all the land? That sort of thing."

Leonard started to laugh again. "I'm laboring under no misconceptions as to your twenty-third century lifestyle, Tonia. Don't you forget I was there when you danced on that rec room table."

"Oh." Tonia grinned sheepishly. "Right. Well, then, I've got to ask, if only out of curiosity. Why haven't you put the moves on me?"

"Tonia," said Leonard. "I can think of nothing I'd rather do more, but that's just it. We're here on this fantasy planet, where everything we wish for becomes our reality." He waved his arm around at Venice, the canal, and the automated boatman who guided their passage without paying any heed to their conversation. "If we were to get more physical here, a little part of me would never believe it was what you really wanted."

"That makes sense," Tonia was forced to agree. "So, then, I can expect some lovin' back on the ship?"

"If that is Milady's pleasure," said Leonard in an exaggeratedly grand voice.

Tonia let out a slight laugh. "I guess that's the reason I haven't exactly been that forward myself," she admitted. "This fantasy is so incredible for me. I've lived this moment in my head since I was a child. You saw--back this morning, I couldn't stop thinking about Don Juan, and you see where it got me. I think I was holding back from you a little because I want you to be real, not some made-up dream character that'll disappear when I wake up."

"It seems, my dear, that we are in complete agreement." He took another sip of his drink. "I just hope this doesn't make you want to rush through the rest of our leave together. I'm really enjoying this chance to get to know you on leisure time."

"Don't worry, Doctor," said Tonia. "Sex is sex, but how many times do I get to go to Venice?"

The gondola sailed off into the jeweled night, and the starlight traced patterns on the curves of the water like the fingernails of a lover.


More McCoy fanfic by Farf

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