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
Gondola of Dreams
McCoy/Barrows romance by Farfalla
blueberrysnail @ yahoo.com
Thank you to Marcia and to my aunt Maude for the beta.
"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
"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
"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
"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.