It's no fun in this joyless universe.
Since I went through a mirror on Gaius IV, I emerged into a parallel universe where everything is a lot harsher. I have to keep saluting everyone. No fraternisation is allowed, so Bev has been very different.
I've even been told that the human race is only grown in laboratories. We have to keep our bodies well covered to prevent any illicit thoughts.
I can only imagine what my counterpart in my universe must be thinking. He's probably locked all the women in the brig by now!
I know the answer is in that mirror on Gaius IV, so I will beam down and get through. It could be a problem right now. Riker is viewing me suspiciously. Beverly must have told him what happened in SickBay when I pecked her on the cheek. If I'm not careful, I could end up imprisoned for not following procedure.
"Doctor Crusher tells me there was an altercation between you and her in SickBay" he comments coldly to me in the corrider, "And that you assaulted her."
"Purely a misunderstanding, Commander Riker" I reply in the formal manner they are used to here, "I assure you it will not happen again."
"Nevertheless" he continues, "I must make my report to Starfleet. I may get orders to put you in the brig and assume command of the Enterprise."
That's just what I didn't want!
"Err..look, Commander." I ask, "Can't we just let this slip by. I wasn't feeling too well at the time after that visit to Gaius IV."
Riker thinks about this for a while.
"Very well, Captain" he concedes, "If you make an apology to Doctor Crusher, and she agrees, I shall let this matter drop. Do not do this again."
"Of course not." I say in a grovelling manner, "By the way, what have you ever thought of Deanna Troi?"
Riker thinks again.
"She is an adequate enough counselor." he tells me with a sniff.
"Have you ever thought her attractive?" I ask in a hinting manner, "Or maybe that she likes you?"
"Of course not!" he replies firmly, "Such thoughts are forbidden!"
"That's true." I say, "But it might be interesting to ask her, and to find the reply."
I walk away and notice that Riker is thinking about the question...and about Deanna.
I arrive back at SickBay. Beverly is hostile, but I apologise and decide to tell her everythingabout who I really am.
Afterwards she asks me a few questions.
"You mean in your universe people kiss and are not grown in laboratories?"
"That's right" I reply, "There, you and I are very close."
"Are we?" she asks curiously, with interest in her voice.
I approach and kiss her gently. This time, Bev does not slap me on the cheek, but kisses me back with a passion.
"I shall have to go back to my universe, Beverly" I tell her, "I'm sure you will be able to eventually get my counterpart to warm to you."
"I'm sure I will, Jean-Luc" she says with a smile.
I beam down the surface of Gaius IV, and find the mirror. Looking at the marker, it is still set at twelve. My reflection is in the mirror, but in it, Beverly and Riker are in the background. I walk through.
The marker there is set at seven, so I'm in the right dimension.
I tell them about the harshness of the universe I was in, leaving out the kiss with Beverly, of course!
"However." I continue, just as we are about to beam up, "I have the feeling that there might be one or two changes in the place I've come from."