A Counselor, A Bridge Officer, and A Heroine

by D. Destiny

Oh, how stupid can one be? Stupid, I tell you. I can sense the admiration of the crew members as I pass them in the corridors. Oh, yes, admiration. It should make me feel good... even a bit proud, but right now I just feel stupid. Plain, simple stupid.

'The Counselor saved the Enterprise, who would've thought that?' That must be just about what they're thinking. I feel the eyes of the two other officers in the turbolift on me as I shake my head, but I ignore them and am grateful when they choose not to say anything. The past couple of hours more people have walked up to me and thanked me for saving them than I usually get to see in my office in an entire week.

I'm so damn tired that I suspect that the minute I drop down on a couch, or preferably a bed I'll drift off to a deep sleep. That is, if my psyche will stop whining for a while.

Oh! I still don't believe how I could've been that stupid!

I've nearly reached my quarters. A few more steps, and I won't have to feel the eyes of the other crew members on my back anymore. The doors close behind me. I'm alone now, alone with my stupidity.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm pouting, just let me, will you? The past hours have been horrendous, and right now, all I want to do is either sleep or sulk and feel stupid... and since my psyche isn't cooperating, I'll go with the latter for now.

God this couch feels good! I'm craving a mug of hot chocolate, but I don't think my legs will obey should I try to stand up. So, I'll just stay put for now.

"She carries the rank of Lieutenant-Commander." Oh, I'll never forget the look of complete surprise and disbelief on Ro's face. I mean, I know I didn't exactly look not-surprised myself. After all, I really hadn't expected O'Brien to know my actual rank, but Ro's surprise was... slightly humiliating, I'm ashamed to say. Why was she so surprised? Is it so unusual for a counselor to have obtained the rank of Lieutenant-Commander? Or had she simply not expected that of me?

Where's my brush? I need to get these tangles out of my hair. Oh, ah hum, it's on the other side of the room. Never mind then. I can hardly keep myself from growling aloud. I can't believe Ro's reaction got me this upset! Why did she have to look like, okay, we're doomed? How am I supposed to help that I outrank her? It's not like I didn't work for my rank, my interests are just in...different matters than hers. And I do know something about command... I just don't know as much as her. God, the admission alone makes me feel... yes, stupid.

Thank God Miles was there. He didn't blame me one bit for not knowing about procedures and things. If it weren't for him, I would probably have been forced to let Ro Laren do as she wished: separate the saucer-section. If it had been just me and her up there, then yes, we'd most likely have separated. I have to admit that I'm assuming she would never have told me everything O'Brien did. I know, I know, that's not how a ship's counselor is supposed to think, but as I said, I'm tired. It's quite a strain to be in command without having a clue of any bridge procedures and at the same having to deal with a stubborn Bajoran and the pain of fellow crew members.

I could've informed Ro about that, but I doubt it would have accomplished anything... and being in command, you're not supposed to sulk, now, are you? Now that would've been stupid. Not that not knowing the first thing about technical aspects and procedures is not stupid, but there's a difference.

Let's try if my legs are ready to cooperate, I really need that chocolate. My, my... they are! Hot chocolate, here I come!

It's stupid, really. I've followed all the command classes and such on the Academy, so you would expect me to know them. But ever since I got a position as ship's counselor instead of taking the refreshment courses the bridge crew takes every six months, I usually go to some kind of psychology seminar or something like that. Maybe I should change that this year. Yes, maybe I should.

Yum, this chocolate tastes damn good. I can't help but smile.

"By not separating the ship now, you could be responsible for all our lives."

I'm glad I didn't listen to her. Sometimes, besides being tiring, empathic senses can actually be helpful, too. I don't think I'll be able to look either Chief O'Brien or Ensign Ro in the eyes for a while. Laren's eyes will undoubtedly carry disdain, and Miles eyes will just remind me of him being more or less my translator for all the technobabble... which, as you might have guessed, will only make me feel stupid. Oh, I'm definitely going to brush up on tactical and emergency procedures.

Is that a chime I hear? Hmm... it is. I'll be polite and invite the person standing outside in, just as soon as I've raised my head from its comfortable position. Why won't people just let me sulk for a while?

"Come in." It takes a while for my eyes to realize who the person who's walking in is, but as I realize who my visitor is I quickly assume my previous, way more comfortable position. "Hello, Will, have a seat." I notice how his eyes convey his concern, but right now I'll just ignore that. I'm surprised, though, as he pushes me to sit straight and then sits down where I was lying until seconds ago. Unwilling to move, call it laziness, I'll just use his chest as a pillow... and, I must admit, it's actually more comfortable.

"Congratulations on your first bridge command."

I would've rolled my eyes had I not been too tired to do so. "At least I didn't crash the ship." Obviously my attempt at humour doesn't work, and really I don't care. I hadn't realized I was this tired, actually.

"Really Dea, I've heard both O'Brien's and Ro's version of what happened, and if it hadn't been for you, we would've lost the battle-section and all the people within it. You rescued a lot of lives today, Lieutenant-Commander Troi."

I'm too tired to set him straight, to tell him how stupid I've been and still am. Besides, as I listen to his words, they make sense, and frankly I'd like to think I did save the day. After all, even a ship's counselor should have a little ego...


Riker soothingly stroked the ship's counselor's back while waiting for her to reply to his compliment, but after three minutes and a couple of soft snores, he realized he'd have to wait until she woke up. He bent over and tenderly kissed her forehead, noticing her lips were curved into a slight smile.

"I'm proud of you, Imzadi. Sweet dreams."

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What people are saying about this story:

Claire "Counselor Jacynth" from Nevada:
Goodness! That is exactly how I pictured Deanna reacting after that incident. I really liked the internal agonizing over her perceived inadequacies. I play a character that is somewhat fashioned after Troi...but more important I think I have a similar personality to Deanna. I think D. Destiny nailed it well!

From Toria Wildman:
*DROOL!!!!* Ohh yeah! I can't wait till December 13, when they get married!!!!!!!!! :)

From Nessie:
You are Deanna Troi, aren`t you? I cannot believe it, I thought, she is not real...


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