|Star Trek Fanfiction|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TNG|
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I've raved about this more than once, but if I were introducing a Trek fan to the world of slash, I'd give them this one first. There's no kinky stuff, Ladonna does a great job with the "voices" of the characters, and the sex is a nice combination of dreamy and hot. It's been reviewed at the Blue Reviews. 
Ranking (using the Ruth System, on a scale of "partially read then abandoned while still on-line" to "*trying* to be good and not to nag my wife for more"): "Devoured while still on-line, saved to disk, and then printed for multiple re-readings."
I would never have read this story if someone whose taste I admire hadn't steered me in its direction. After all, Picard/Data is a not common TNG slash pairing; it doesn't have a huge amount of canonical weight behind it, and, on top of it all, I'm not a big Data fan. But that doesn't matter, even if you agree with any or all of the above reasons not to read it, read this story anyway. It's just that good.
"Obscured" takes place shortly after the events of "Generations," and begins with the inevitable court-martial that Picard must face for losing his ship. During the celebration that ensues after the Court finds in Picard's favor, Data admits to his slightly inebriated captain that, as result of his new emotion chip, he's been experiencing desire. More specifically, desire for Picard. From this premise Ladonna builds a lovely, almost dreamy story of how both Picard and Data work through the consequences of Data's confession.
The characterizations are well done; Picard's concerns are exactly what one would expect them to be, and Ladonna is wonderful at climbing into his head and understanding his reactions to the burdens he places on himself in the name of his command. As for Data, trying to write someone having feelings for the first time can't be easy, but she manages to make Data *sound* like Data, while at the same time bringing a tentativeness to him that makes perfect sense under the circumstances. The story is told in numerous flashbacks and has some fantasy and dream sequences. You do have to work a little to figure out what's going on, but that's a big part of the appeal. The sex, when it happens, is a wonderful mixture of sensuality and attention grabbing action. In short this one is romantic without being mushy or sappy, and hot without losing one ounce of emotion.A tribute to the staying power of "Obscured," is that, although it's been around for two years, I thought of it again after watching "First Contact." The idea that there is more to the relationship between Picard and Data than that of commanding officer and subordinate, or even "just friends" adds a lot to the climatic scene at the end of the movie. Ruth-Bob says: Check it out.