Contact: zakhad (at) gmail.com
Pairing: Mary Sue/Patrick Stewart
Author’s Note: These are fictional representations of actual people, with emphasis on the fictional — I really don’t know if this is what they’re like on the set or at home, I’m making it all up.
Some other details aren’t fictional but are well known enough that I don’t fear a lawsuit. For those who may not know:
1. Patrick Stewart had an affair with Jennifer Hetrick (aka Vash)after/during his busted up (first?) marriage some years ago, while TNG was in production. 2. He married Wendy Nuess recently. She was one of the production crew of TNG and still is, AFAIK.
The rest is lies, all lies. Mary Su is not my own Mary Sue, but a caricature of the genre. Any resemblance to anyone real is purely coincidental.
Thanks to JK, for use of the peach bubble bath and asterisks. It seemed the logical thing to do at the time.
“All right, Patrick, from the top. Let’s get this one right!”
The boom mike swung around, the lights went on, and the latest Next Generation movie was once more under way. Of course, since the inside shots would be easiest, the first day of shooting started in the middle, with a scene in the transporter room.
“Two . . . one.” The director pointed. Patrick turned, donning his best captain’s demeanor to deliver an order to his first officer. As he opened his mouth to speak, Jon grinned like a fiend — not in the script.
“Cut! Frakes, what’s the problem?”
“Break out the captain’s kleenex, we have an intruder!”
While most of the crew groaned or laughed, or both, the intruder was apprehended, makeup retouched, and the tenth take was under way. Patrick ad-libbed a few steps toward the transporter platform this time. A flash blinded him before he could deliver the line.
He blinked and stumbled backward. For a minute he thought they’d pulled a practical joke — had Brent gotten control of a spotlight again? Then he realized he stood in a different room than before. White on white, with no demarcation between wall and floor, and a steady ambient light. Like the scenes he’d done in that episode where Picard had died and been baited by Q.
He turned around in a circle and was stunned to find a familiar face. “John? What the hell? We’re supposed to be — are you guesting on this and no one told me? Damn, I hate when they change the script at the last minute!”
An eyebrow rose, in a dead-on imitation of Leonard Nimoy — DeLancie was good at it. Too bad he’d never played a Vulcan. “This isn’t in anyone’s script. It’s just a diversion — I’m good at them, you know.”
“Great, only the first day on the shoot and we’re already falling prey to the elaborate practical jokes. What, did Gates put you up to this? Oh — no, it has to be Michael. He said he’d make me pay big time for that pie gag at the last wrap party. Ha, ha, very funny, let’s — “
“This is no joke.” Something in the way he said it startled Patrick to silence. He smirked, and suddenly the doubt started in the pit of Patrick’s stomach. “It’s not *their* joke, anyway. Mine, yes. Similar to one I’ve already played, but with a new twist — I can’t *wait* to see the look on her face! And Mr. Stewart, I expect you to have as much fun as you like with the situation. Because you know no one back home will have any idea it’s ever happened.”
That Cheshire grin — it was DeLancie, but somehow not, and he raised a hand and snapped in that same lackadaisical way —
Patrick opened his eyes on stars. The environment was familiar — he’d done scenes in the captain’s quarters before. Sitting up, he noticed he was now wearing one of those loose nondescript Trekkish night shirts.
And did a double-take. These really were the captain’s quarters. No studio ceiling through those little windows. Those were real stars, out there. All the walls were in place, too, and all the furniture. He wandered around the room and picked up a lingerie off the back of a chair. Ooooh, Captain Picard was a naughty boy. Either that or a cross-dresser, and he was in big tr —
Oh. Big trouble. BIG big trouble.
This was real. That was the real Q. And Patrick had a big, whopping headache thinking about it.
Trying not to hyperventilate and mostly failing, he sat down on the edge of the bed, letting the lacy item fall from his hand. “Shit, this is bad. This is *so* bad. How the hell am I going to — “
It took a long time to stop gasping and think. Okay, this was Star Trek. How do you find out anything in Star Trek?
“Computer, who am I?”
“Captain Jean-Luc Picard.”
Well, there was that much. The computer worked just like it ought to. Asking it questions ought to help him through this. The problem was that he wasn’t who it thought he was, and if anyone happened to point a phaser at him —
“Oh, God, this isn’t happening to me, this *isn’t* happening — what am I doing here?”
“Please restate the request.”
“What am I — what are my current orders?”
“The *Enterprise* is en route to the Thenolvan system to perform a survey of the fourth planet for potential colonization.”
“Great — wonderful!” Just sit back and let the crew handle it. That would be fun. If the Q had him returned so that no one noticed he’d even been gone, this could be interesting. Especially if whoever belonged to the cute little frilly thing on the floor came back.
Hmmm. . . that frilly thing. Something wasn’t the same as they scripted it in the series. Picard was supposed to be the monastic do-gooder high-moral-ground type when he was on the ship. Maybe there were clues as to some of the other differences. Certainly if one major point were so different, there would be other disparities.
And hmmm again. What if the frilly thing belonged to Beverly Crusher?
Hey . . . waaaaaaaaiiit just a minute . . .
“Computer, is Vash aboard?”
“There is no one named Vash aboard the *Enterprise*.”
Damn. So much for that theory.
Patrick heard the noise — the sound effect for the door. Oh, no, it was the door — the owner of the negligee, perhaps?
Deanna Troi. She looked just the way she ought to, her hair pulled back neatly, wearing the post-First Contact uniform. Why was she looking at him like he’d turned purple or —
Oh. Troi. Betazoid. He was not only in trouble, he was up to his eyeballs in deep telepathic shit. That little-used, pull-it-out-when-we-need-it plot device was real, if everything else around him was.
She stared, her eyes wide and bottomless black, and he wondered if she were just empathic, or if in reality she had a full complement of whatever Betazoids had.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Captain J — “
“You’re not Captain Picard! Don’t even try that! Did Q put you in here?” She looked around, her gaze set on kill. Patrick watched, speechless — he hadn’t expected the hostility. His response had almost been automatic — it was the setting and the uniform, and everything. Seeing Marina in her Deanna mode — no. Seeing *Deanna.* Damn, this was difficult to wrap his mind around!
She stalked further into the room, eyeballing him, making him feel like he was on trial.
“I’m not the captain, but I play him on TV,” he managed at last.
She gaped a moment. “Play him . . . on TV.”
“Television? Movies? I’m an actor.”
She rolled her eyes. “An actor. This can’t be anything but Q. If you’d set out to intentionally masquerade as the captain, you’d know how to at least put up the appearance.”
“Well, it’s a little silly pretending to be someone when there’s a Betazoid in the room. Can you . . . really read minds?”
“Can I really — look, who are you? Where are you from? How did you get in here, and where — oh, hell, I don’t believe this! Q! I know you’ve got to be out there laughing about this! Get back here and fix this, or I’ll — I’ll — “
“Sic your mother on him?”
She stared at him in renewed shock. “Mother? You know my mother?”
Backing rapidly, Patrick ran into the table and fell into a chair.
“Uuuhh, no, actually I don’t think I’ve — “
“I’ll kill her! How could she . . . no. This isn’t like her, she’d never do this to me. And he’s not . . .” She walked around the room slowly, arms crossed, as if deep in thought. “He’s not on board. He wouldn’t leave the ship. I can’t sense him anywhere. It could only be Q. Did you see Q? What did he tell you?”
“Well . . .” What had John . . . Q said? “That this is a diversion. That I should do whatever I want.”
“He said that,” she exclaimed dangerously. “Bastard. Well, Mr. — what is your name?”
“Patrick Stewart,” he said, almost laughing at the absurdity of sitting on the *Enterprise* being himself. “Hey, you think I could get a tour?”
She inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly, and did that funny tap behind the ears thing — what did they call that? Some Betazoid thing. Weird. Reality and fiction were so close, yet so far. She picked up the lace teddy he’d been wondering about, crossed to a closet, tossed it inside, and picked up some boots sitting on the floor as well. “Am I in the wrong cabin?”
“Just what cabin did you expect to be in?” she exclaimed, sarcastic, glaring at him briefly before going in the bathroom and shutting the door, disappearing for a while. She came out again, dragged him out of her quarters, down the corridor, stopped in front of a door, and gestured at it. “Your quarters, Mr. Stewart. Until you’re returned to where you belong. I hope you like them.”
“Hey, this isn’t my fault, you know. It’s not like I even thought Q existed. Where I’m from he’s another actor, no powers, unless you count the ability to do a dead-on impression of Paul Lynde.”
She shoved him toward the door, giving him an extra push when he didn’t move fast enough. “Oh, and don’t try to leave. The doors are locked. And I’ve already locked you out of the computer voice control.”
“But the computer thinks I’m the captain! Can you do that?” A dismaying development — he’d been looking forward to finding out how much information on a few sporting events and stocks he could find from his time frame. Might be interesting to see how accurate it could be.
“It takes the command codes from two senior officers. Luckily, I happen to know my fellow officers quite well. And since this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, it wasn’t hard to persuade them to do it at least for the night. Good night.”
She hesitated and eyed him suspiciously. “What?”
He looked around the living room. “Aren’t you taking this a little too calmly? Shouldn’t we do something, contact the rest of the officers, try to think of a way to get the real captain back? You’re just going to bed?”
“It’s Q. You can’t accomplish anything by giving him the response he wants — all he’s after is a disruption. He’s a three-year-old child testing our limits. I refuse to give him the reaction he wants. *Good night* Mr. Stewart.”
Patrick wandered around, but like the sets, the quarters were bare. Evidently the real ships looked as much like futuristic hotels as the sets. It was too quiet here. Eerily so. He tapped on the replicator controls and got a dish of chocolate ice cream. He tried again, but no matter what combination he tried, something chocolate appeared — fudge, candy in a dish, a frothy beverage, a cup of hot cocoa.
Another dish of ice cream covered with chocolate sprinkles and hot fudge materialized as a thunk distracted him from his cavalcade of sugar and calories. He figured out where it came from as the door slid open and a perky blond teenager bounced in.
“Hi,” she chirped. “I’m Ensign Mary Su.”
“You don’t look Oriental,” he blurted, surprised into candor.
She giggled and tossed her waist-length hair artfully. “I was adopted. Come on, I’m here to rescue you.”
“Rescue . . . Um, isn’t the counselor one of the good guys?”
Mary tsked and put her hands on her hips fetchingly. “Are you going to go all technical on me, or are you coming with me? Oh, goodie, chocolate!” She snatched a brownie and trotted out with it.
Patrick shrugged and went for it. “How did you unlock the door?”
“Oh, I can do anything,” Mary said around mouthfuls of brownie. “I used a bobby pin. I can fix the engines with it, too. It’s a twenty-fifth century bobby pin, they’re the bestest kind.”
She led him into an elevator — turbolift, turbolift, this is Trek — and she chirped, “Deck six.”
“How does the computer know where to go with such vague instructions? I mean, aren’t there lots of destinations on deck six?” Something he’d always wondered on the show.
Mary scowled cutely. “There you go again getting all technically again.”
“What*ever*!” She romped through the doors when they opened and jiggled to the first door they came to. “C’mon, let’s go in here!”
He went, only to find himself in a darkened room. The perky Mary Su seemed to have vanished. Suddenly a spotlight went on in a corner, and there was Mary, in a slinky gown posing seductively. She seemed to have aged a good fifteen years. Pursing her full, ruby-red lips, she began to sing ‘Sweetest Taboo’ and sounded just as sultry as Sade, if not more so. As she sauntered over one hip at a time, the spotlight followed her. She touched his shoulder, and he realized he still wore the loose nightshirt, which fell away at her touch with shocking ease.
************ (This row of asterisks borrowed from Jungle Kitty’s early works, as Mary Su sex is way too excruciating for me to contemplate, let alone write.)
“Let’s visit the bridge,” Mary chirped.
All Patrick wanted to do was sleep, but she wouldn’t stop. The instant the lights came back up in her quarters, everything was gone — even the scent of the peach bubble bath she’d used while seducing him the fourth — fifth? — time. It seemed anything, no matter how ridiculous it sounded, became possible when she did it. He couldn’t help himself no matter what — and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d rebounded that quickly so many times in one night. Or if he’d ever been able to.
The bridge looked just like the set, only complete, no cameras or film crew. He had half a mind to ask about the joystick — something about flying a huge starship with a souped-up Wingmaster seemed just wrong to him, but then, Mary Su seemed just as wrong and here she was.
She bounced from one station to the next, greeting crew, and none of them seemed the least bit perturbed that an ensign had come to the bridge for no discernable reason and then distracted people from their posts. None of them seemed perturbed by their captain in a frilly peach nightgown, the only thing he could find to wear. The replicator in her quarters spat out only chocolate, just like Troi’s.
Mary had the helmsman dancing with her across the open space in front of the main viewscreen while the soundtrack to ‘Dirty Dancing’ blared and the other crew waited in line for their turn when something in Patrick snapped.
“Computer, turn off the music!”
“Hey, you can’t do that,” Mary whined, stamping her foot. The cuteness of the gesture threatened to overwhelm him, but Patrick fought it off as best he could.
“Security! Get her off the bridge!”
“But, don’t you like me, Captain?” Mary pouted fetchingly — wretchingly, he amended. This was sick. Wrong.
“Do as I say,” he snapped, pointing at the man who’d been at tactical. “Confine her to quarters. And whatever you do, don’t go in there yourself!”
“But sir, it’s Mary,” the officer exclaimed. “She’s saved the ship more times than all the rest of us put together!”
“And she’s beautiful,” the helmsman cried.
“And she sings like an *an*-gel,” the woman at ops swooned.
“Wake up, people! Don’t you see what’s happening? This woman has brainwashed all of you! Shake it off! Look at her! She’s got non-regulation hair, non-regulation uniform — that miniskirt went out when the original series went off the air! You’re all mooning over her and any minute now this ship could plunge into an anomaly or a gravity well or a black hole and you’d never even realize it!”
“But Mary could run this ship by herself,” Data said. Patrick jumped — the android had come out of the lift while he ranted. “You have made it a standing order that she be allowed to do as she please no matter what. Command has made a practice of allowing one Mary Su per ship — they are a crucial part of the crew, so much so that we keep clones of her in storage for her occasional death in childbirth. Starships would be destroyed too often if there were no Mary Su’s to save them when the crew proves too inept to do so. And Captain, why are you wearing her nightgown?”
“How did you know this was hers?”
“It is her color — peach.” Data stood looking him in the eye as Mary simpered over and attempted to work her magic on him. His lack of reaction gave Patrick an idea.
“You don’t seem to be influenced by her, Data. Why don’t you take her down and confine her to quarters?”
“But Command — “
“It’s a conspiracy, Data, and we’re going to put a stop to it. The Federation has been infiltrated by Mary Su’s and they must be stopped.”
“What’s going on here?” Will Riker arrived, striding down the bridge and posing dramatically with his hands on his hips.
“Oh, Willie!” Mary cried, throwing herself at him. “He’s being so *mean*! Please save me!” She fell at his feet and sobbed with all her might. Everyone but Data leaped forward to comfort her.
“For God’s sake, Data, don’t you see what’s going on?” Patrick exclaimed. “Do you think it’s natural for everyone to do that?”
“I know it is not, but it is normal.”
“She’s dead!” Riker stood, the limp Mary Su in his arms and tears streaming. “What a cruel universe! But we might be able to save the baby — to Sickbay!” The others joined him in a sniffling mournful procession from the bridge.
Patrick groaned. “I don’t believe this. What are you doing, Data?”
“I am taking readings,” Data said. He waved a tricorder at Patrick. “Your immunity to Mary intrigues me. If it is indeed a conspiracy, then an antidote to Mary must be sought, and since you seem immune that would seem a good place to start.”
“I can help you there, Data,” Deanna said, leaving the lift. “He’s not the captain. It’s all over the ship that Mary’s dead — let me guess, he killed her.”
“He ordered her confined to quarters.”
Deanna shrugged. “Same difference when it comes to Mary.”
“You don’t sound terribly fond of her either,” Patrick said. “What?”
She covered her smile with her hand. “Peach isn’t your color.”
“Well, it’s better than running around naked. The damned replicators won’t give me anything but chocolate.”
“Oh, that’s Mary — she keeps reprogramming the computer. I don’t mind it so much, Betazoid endocrine systems produce an enzyme that breaks down anything that might make me fat, but you should see what Dr. Crusher goes through to keep everyone swimsuit-slim. We had to turn half of deck ten into a liposuction clinic.”
“You see what I mean? If Mary weren’t on the ship, think of all the funds that could be diverted to actual missions! Think of the adventures you could have without her around to constantly save the day! The sense of accomplishment that could be had when the crew works out solutions on their own, the drama and character development. . . . Anyhow, she’s holding you all back!”
“He does have a point, Counselor,” Data said.
She regarded him soberly, lips pursed. “He does at that. Perhaps you should stop the doctor before she thaws another clone and we should have a staff meeting.”
“Damn the staff meetings, why can’t we just do it? This is cut and dried, you’re the counselor, you know this is the best thing for the crew — just tell Dr. Crusher what you recommend and get it done!”
“Why are you so caught up in this, Mr. Stewart?” Deanna asked.
Why indeed? “The captain would want this. Trust me. No sane, intelligent, rational man would want otherwise.”
A blinding flash. Deanna and Data disappeared, and Q took their place. “So I tell you to enjoy, and this is what you do?”
“Oh, for — “
“You’re boring, you know that? Just as boring as Picard. And you look terrible in that robe. You could’ve had a good time with Troi if you’d asserted yourself a little — “
“Sure, why did you think I dropped you in her quarters? Ever since Riker started boffing Mary Su she’s been neglected. You had a perfect opportunity to score with a Betazoid, I handed you a mind-blowing experience on a silver platter, and you ruined it to save the crew. Well, back you go — maybe I’ll have better luck with an alternate universe Patrick Stewart.”
“Wait — “
He sat up, gasping, and shook off the dream. “Shit,” he muttered, stumbling out of bed. “Shit!”
“Pat?” Wendy came in, half a glass of water in hand. “What’s wrong?”
“You said they were thinking about writing Wesley into the next movie — how serious were they?”
“Not very. Why?”
“If they do, I’m out. I don’t care how much they offer me.”
“Settle down, for heaven’s sake. I told you they weren’t that serious. If Gene were still alive there might be more of a chance but it’s not likely.”
Patrick flopped back into bed. “Good.”
Wendy went in the bathroom and came out a minute later. She hung her robe on the closet door and headed for her side of the bed.
“Have they talked about bringing anyone else back? One of the other recurring characters, maybe?”
Wendy froze, hand outstretched to put the glass down next to the lamp. “There were a few mentions. Who do you have in mind?”
“Oh, I thought it might be fun to have one of the popular ones — Lore, maybe. Or Vash.”
“We’re not having Vash back.”
“Well, if Picard were to run across — “
“Hettrick wants too much. We’re already going to go over budget if the writers have their way and throw in the grand space battle.”
“Another joystick scene? I’d rather bring back Mrs. Troi. I don’t see why Picard couldn’t have a romance as a B story, Riker’s getting married — “
“Right, like the lackluster Anij thing? We’re not . . .” Wendy thought for an excruciating moment, while Patrick calculated how quickly he could reach the door. Just in case. “We’re sticking with the original cast. No guests, just a villain and mean-looking ships. I’ll put in a good word for another Picard – Crusher teaser, if you like.”
“Oh, that would be so realistic. If either of them were written with any thought of making well-rounded characters, they’d have moved on ages ago. People who obsess over a single person for years are mentally unbalanced.”
“It’s not realistic, it’s Star Trek, Pat. Get over it.”
She put down the water and got in bed. The house was silent but for the dripping faucet in the bathroom — have to get someone in to fix that. He was almost asleep when he smelled it.
“Is that . . . peach?”
“For God’s sake, Pat,” Wendy sighed, “it’s just my hand lotion.”
“I think I’ll go sleep in the guest room. It’s making me ill.”
He got as far as the hall when he felt the gentle swishing around his ankles. Looking down, he saw that he’d brought back a souvenir — the nightgown.
This wasn’t space. The neighbors for miles around probably heard him scream.