RATING: PG 13
CODES: R/T (Imzadi)
TIMELINE: Missing scene from Insurrection
SUMMARY: Challenge response. See below.
DISCLAIMER: Characters are the property of Paramount, etc.. No infringement is intended other than the enjoyment of its readers.
FEEDBACK: Encouraged and welcomed.
The scenario is the timeframe between the first 'kiss' in Insurrection ("I kiss you and you say 'yuck?') and the bubble bath. What happens between those moments to get Riker and Troi to the point where they decide to become lovers again. Here's the challenge.
The story can be any format, any style, but:
1. It will NOT be about shaving off Riker's beard or encompass the infamous 'bath tub' scene as the primary plot (though it can be alluded to, foreshadowed, or started before the story ends).
2. Deanna cannot be the reason the beard goes (the beard doesn't even have to be IN the story if you'd prefer).
3. Deanna will explain to Will why she really pushed him away the first time (and it's not because of his facial hair!)
4. The decision to become lovers again will be made *before* that bath-tub scene ever occurs; the intimacy can be either written or implied, but the decision needs to be there in some form before that bath-tub sequence.
5. Bonus points from me if you write the story in Deanna's POV. :-)
<Counselor Deanna Troi Personal Log>
"I never kissed you with a beard before."
"I kiss you and you say 'yuck'?!"
"Those few bantered words continue to resonate in my mind over and over. Why did I push him away? How *lame* of an excuse! "I never kissed you with a beard before?!?!" No points for originality -- that's for sure! He knows better than that. Although he didn't seem to contradict my statement. But I didn't give him a chance to say much of anything either. Just pushed him right out of my office... again. And that kiss ... it was far from yuck! It was incredibly passionate. Wow! I think he planned to devour me with that one touch. He certainly took my breath away. I haven't felt anything like that from him in years! My toes started to curl! And it scared the hell out of me! What else was I do to but get him out of here as fast as possible? Now, I am here alone - talking to my myself. I wonder what the ship's counselor would say to that? Probably tell me I am in serious need of shore leave. If only I had some time.
"Time. Time that is slipping away or seems like it is. Will walked in here asking if I had a minute with this look in his eyes that I haven't seen since we were on Betazed. A fire burned within that twinkle that set my heart racing. What could I do but play along with whatever had him so full of life!
"Something is building in me. In both of us. I can feel it. Of course, if I was to be honest with myself - it has been brewing for a long time. Are we being given yet another chance? Can I -- can we -- risk it? It feels different this time and yet I am at a loss as to how to explain that to myself. Do I even want to?
"This is crazy! I can't sit here asking myself rhetorical questions all afternoon. I have to find Will. Maybe he is as confused by all of this as I am. Although confusion wasn't exactly what I was sensing from him earlier. If I seek him out now - what will that tell him? Does it even matter? We have been doing this dance for so long, I am not sure who is in the lead any longer! Why am I agonizing over this? Why not just give in? A part of me wants to -- no *needs* to -- very much. And besides - I can't get that kiss out of my mind! My lips are still tingling for gods sake!
"Maybe I should talk to Beverly about this first. No, that would just delay the inevitable. Besides, I am sure she has her hands full in sick bay with all the people we brought back. Come on, suck it up Troi and just do it before you lose your nerve.
<Computer, location of Commander Riker>
<Commander Riker is in his quarters>
"He's free and not on the bridge? I suppose it's now or never. I can't believe I am having to give myself a pep talk to go and talk to someone whom I have known for over 13 years! This is solving nothing - so here goes everything.
"Got a minute?"
"For you - I've got a lifetime. Deanna. Come in."
"Are you sure? I did throw you out of my officer earlier."
"Are you ready to talk about that?"
"What are we doing Will?"
"Not funny. What was that about in my officer earlier?"
"What was that about in the library?"
"Don't turn this around or answer a question with a question. Are we ready for what has been happening here?"
"Deanna, I am feeling things lately that I didn't think we would get a chance to ever express again. Not with each other."
"But what does it mean, Will?"
"It means that all those reasons we have pushed each other away -- they seem inconsequential right now. And instead of examining the 'why' of it all or running away - I just want to go with it. Is that so wrong of me?"
"No. Aren't you afraid of what it will mean? What about once we leave this part of the galaxy? What then?"
"I don't want to think that far ahead, Deanna. Haven't we wasted enough time worrying about things just like that?"
"Strange you say that. I was thinking that in my office a bit ago."
"Did it make you want to do something about it?"
"I'm here, aren't I."
"Yes. But I want more Deanna. I don't want to have to tip toe around you any longer. I don't want to have to continually hide what I am feeling for you or disguise it as love for a friend. I think we have played that role long enough. Don't you?"
"I'm scared Will. Scared of being hurt. Scared of not. Scared of what it means if we get back together. Of what will happen it if doesn't work out. Can't you understand any of that?"
"I understand all of it and more Deanna. I know because I have been there too. You don't know how many times over the years I've wanted to take you in my arms and just forget .. everything.. our duty, our past, other relationships we've had. Haven't you?"
"Of course I have. I'm afraid that with our emotions in such disarray - that if we let them out - we can never go back Will. Not this time. Not ever."
"Who says we have to go back? Why can't we just continue forward?"
"Deanna, I have loved you for a very long time. You *know* that. And I believe that you feel the same way."
"Then we have to take the risk."
"What if this is just the effects of the planet?"
"What if it isn't?"
"What if it is?"
"This is getting us no where! Deanna, why did you really push me away in your office?"
"Because.. because I haven't seen you act like that in a long while and my nerves got the best of me, ok? I panicked. So I pushed you away. Got you out of there as fast as I could. I had to."
"To save myself. To save you. To save our friendship... our working relationship before crossing that final line of no return."
"To hell with us working together here! I think that *excuse* has worn out its use over the years. We have proven to the Captain, Starfleet, this crew, each other and ourselves that we are more than capable of 'working' together under any number of circumstances and stresses! I want you Deanna! I want US! Don't you?"
"I do Will! I do!"
"Then why are you fighting it so hard? What else do I need to prove to you?"
"Are you sure Will? Truly sure?"
"I would kiss you again and show you how sure but you said my kiss was 'yuck'."
"It was far from yuck. It was one of the most sensual, passionate and provocative things I have ever felt."
"And yet you still pushed me away and said 'yuck' "
"You overwhelmed me Will. The way you were acting. The fire behind that twinkle in your eyes. Moving around my office like you were. The intensity of your feelings radiating off of you. It was like you were going to devour me given the chance."
"That's a good assessment Counselor. What?"
"What do you mean 'what'? You haven't been that openly flirtatious in some time Will. What has gotten into you?"
"Yes, *you*. It all makes sense doesn't it? Maybe it has just taken some time and a helpful nudge to push us in the direction we have been headed in since I arrived on Betazed and attended Chandra's wedding."
"That seems so long ago."
"It was. But my feelings for you haven't changed since then Deanna. They have grown and matured, just like we have but they haven't really changed. Not deep down where it matters. Have yours?"
"I suppose not. We're really going to do this? Give it an honest try this time? Will, I can't... I won't.. be able to take a casual fling or a one night stand. Not with you."
"I don't want a casual fling or one night stand with you either. This is way more than a 'try' Deanna. This is forever."
"You sound so sure."
"I am sure. I'm sure of *us*."
"Then come here and show me."
"I thought you'd never ask."
"I do love you Will."
"As I love you Deanna. Now for more of those 'yucky' kisses."
"I've always had this fantasy... "
"Tell me about it."
"How about if I show you..."
"Will just left to go take care of matters on the Bridge and here I am again talking to myself. We had quite an afternoon doing things with each other that seemed like a long lost faded memory. Things in which I am sure we will do again. I am worried about the fact that we have become lovers again but I believe in Will and his assurances to the contrary. And that bath! Certainly haven't experienced anything like that before... and not with Will. Too bad we got interrupted. I will just have to have another one planned as soon as we can get a few free moments together. I can't believe how free I feel now. How wonderful and liberating it has been finally being able to love each other like we have longed to. To experience sensations that only seem to come with each other. Not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. And certainly not yucky either although I will never forget the shocked and bewildered look on his face from that conversation for as long as I live. Suppose I should get ready for my next patient now. Thanks for listening personal log."