~XIARA ESTA, TA FIRA XI~
~Home is where your soul belongs~
Finished at: 08-26-2002
T/R, P/C, T/s (s=surprise), R/f and lots of C/T (Friendship only). Plus
I’m introducing some new characters (background) and there are some ‘cameo’s’
Mainly PG-13, Chapters 16, 17 & 25 being the exceptions with and
This story is set after the ninth Star Trek feature: Star
Trek: Insurrection. I’ve tried to stay true to the continuity as written
throughout the TNG series and
features, as well as the timeline written in the Imzadi-books by Peter Davids.
Even though there have been instances where I have adapted those timelines to
fit better into this story. The years in which this story starts is the year
Author's note: This story I started with the intention to make it a short one but I I'm not good at staying true to my resolutions. No different this time. *Shrugs*
I’ve mixed up British and American spelling…and please keep in my mind
that English is not my native language.
Dedicated to: Julia,
for being a wonderful friend and my aunt, for she was the first person who has
a totally non-trek background to whom I dared to show this story and who has
encouraged me to continue writing. And of course the actors and actresses of
TNG, in particularly Marina Sirtis,
who together made each episode a pleasure to watch J
Backgrounds used for this story I have borrowed from the backgrounds
provided to us throughout the TNG-series, as well as from the novel Imzadi I by Peter Davids. Some
‘facts’ have been either ignored or simply forgotten, I hope you will be
able to overlook this.
All Trek-characters (introduced to us through either of the five series) belong to Paramount/Viacom/Gene Roddenberry, I purely used them for my own enjoyment and that of others. No infringement is intended.
The storyline and additional characters are the results of my own
imagination and I claim all copyright to those.
Special thanks to: Bec, for doing the extensive, and I'm sure at times
frustrating, Beta-work, Kathy and Gloria for encouraging me the way they have J And to Julia, who
occasionally has brightened my days. J
>Will, come in.< She still could pick him out a 1000 people, not
that he knew that. If he had, he might not have told her what he was about to.
The Enterprise was orbiting Ryara I, a newly discovered M-class planet
with a population of just over five billion people. It floated around a binary
solar system located at the outer boarders of the Alpha Quadrant. The planet
had six moons and had thirty-five hours of light during a forty hour day due
to its two suns. Though the geography and vegetation of the planet itself was
similar to Earth's there were differences. For instance, Ryara's grass was of
the brightest blue, while its oceans were deep purple. The ground was white,
which helped to keep the ground at a cooler temperature despite the sunlight.
The sky was purple/pink during the day and deep blue at night. The sand along
the shore was shiny and was made up of all the colors of a rainbow. The
climate was practically the same on the entire planet. Snow only occurred one
month a year and the planet had no ice-continents or deserts like Earth.
The inhabitants themselves had technology several decades behind the
Federation and they weren't capable of warp drive at this time. Their social
bonds were maintained by dozens of rituals which varied from one family to
another and from continent to continent. The entire world had one Government,
rudimentary laws and social values. Their communication system was advanced;
using several beacons on the planet, they had developed a system similar to
'phone lines' of Earth's 21st century. The only difference was that it wasn’t
made up of glass fiber cables but instead used special atmosphere heights for
the transmission of their messages. Their cities were all bright and clean,
each one of them modeled after the same design. The Ryarans had somehow been
able to prevent air-pollution.
The Enterprise's mission was to obtain as much information on their
technologies as possible without interfering. And thus Away Teams had been
beaming up and down for over two months now. Captain Picard had ordered his
crew to investigate the social structure and behavior of the Ryarans as well.
They had built their ‘headquarters’ in an office complex in one of Ryana's
southern states. 'Troi-consultants' was a psychology/physicians office. Both
Deanna and Beverly 'worked' there. Their undercover job was the perfect way to
obtain as much information as possible and the office provided a safe place
for away teams to beam down and up. Deanna could pass as an Ryaran without
trouble, as could most of the crew. Only those with blue or gray eyes had to
wear lenses. The Ryanarans had all kinds of skin colors; normal, for them, was
blue, green, purple and even gray. The colors of their eyes could be green,
brown/black, purple and yellow. Just like their skin, their hair came in many
different shades. Everything combined into a very colorful effect.
The Ryarans were a gentle yet hardworking race. Aside from their
appearance there was no difference in status between males and females. They
were equally scattered over different kinds and levels of work and both would
take care of the children. Children...Counselor Troi had been struck when a
girl only twelve years old had come to her for advice about how to ask a
friend of her to 'R-kta' her, a rite that was equivalent to marriage. After
doing some more research they discovered that Ryaran children are considered
mature at the age of ten.
After two full months the studies of Ryara had been completed. A full
report on their technology had been made and it was estimated that that they
would be capable of discovering warp-drive in about a decade as long as their
progress continued at this rate. Their social structure and laws made them a perfect
candidate for admission to the Federation one day.
"All right, we’ll remain in orbit for two more weeks, after that
Starfleet Command has a mission for us near the Neutral Zone." Jean-Luc
Picard placed his fists on the table and pushed himself up.
"The meeting is adjourned." She sensed the shift of emotion
from Commander Riker, he was disappointed, like all of them, sad but also sure
of something and definitely up to something. She was a little disappointed as
well, she had enjoyed her time on the planet fully.
The Ryarans were very open and free which reminded her of home. Will left
immediately probably to beam down again. He had spend a lot of his time on the
planet's surface, the planet had a calming and up-lifting influence on
him...and on everybody else.
The Senior Staff officers left, leaving Deanna and Captain Picard behind.
She looked up and smiled, she knew what he was about to ask.
"Counselor, I was wondering...have you talked to Commander Riker
lately?" She couldn't hide her surprise, this wasn't a question she was
"Uhm, well yes. Occasionally in my office and in Ten-Forward."
"Anything about the mission?" Much to her dismay, she didn't
know what he was aiming at.
"Well, apart from the usual discussions...no, not really."
"Hmm." Jean-Luc frowned, she sensed he was uncertain how to
"Captain, is there a problem?" He looked up as if she was
"Huh? Oh, no, nothing I suppose. It must be my mind playing tricks
"Well, that happens more often to 'elderly' men." She was
teasing of course, but Picard didn't seem to take notice of it. "Captain,
something is bothering you." She looked directly at him now, her dark
hair spilling over her shoulders, resting on the table's surface.
"I'm sure it's nothing Counselor." He refused to meet her gaze
and bend his head down.
"Captain, I'd feel better if you'd told me what is bothering you
before I have to try to figure it out myself, with all consequences of those
actions." He heard the coy smile underneath her words. She kept throwing
that sentence back to him.
"Look Deanna, I appreciate what you've done for Beverly and I, you
really don't have to keep using that against me you know." Deanna leaned
forwards and looked him in the eyes.
"Well, as long as it works..."
"Alright, you win." Satisfied she sat back and waited for his
words. "I've been reviewing the transporter logs and I noticed that
Commander Riker has spent more than twice as much time on the surface than
anyone else. I wondered if he had told you anything." She was
surprised...again... "I guess he hasn't." The Betazoid folded her
hands on the table and watched them for several moments, then she looked up
"No, he hasn't. I found though that some crew members are reluctant
to return to the Enterprise, the atmosphere on the planet has and 'up-lifting'
effect on them."
"I am aware of that Counselor. Did you sense anything from him when
I informed them of our departure in two weeks?" He really was deeply
"Disappointment, sadness and certainty." She intentionally left
out the 'up to something' part not even sure whether she had perceived it
correctly. Jean-Luc was considering her words.
"I see." The slender woman laid her hand on her Captain's.
"Captain, I'm sure he's fine. The planet is bound to have a
captivating influence on people, and besides, Will has always been a
'nature-man' so to speak." Her smile was reassuring, reassuring enough
for Jean-Luc to drop the issue...for now.
What he didn't know though was that Deanna had adopted his concern. Will
hadn't spoken to her, not the way he used to. A bit ashamed to admit it, she
knew she hadn't really made time to see him. The planet with all its colors
had been absorbing most of her time as well. Maybe she should talk to him and
Another week had passed and she still hadn't taken the time to talk with him, something she felt guilty about every time she remembered she had to. And now he stood in her doors, confused but also sure of himself.
"Will." She gave him the sweetest and most comfortable smile
she had, but he didn't notice, just as he didn't notice the dress she was
wearing. Long, red, strapless and with a deep V; a dress that would normally
have captured his attention instantly. It had been too long since they'd been
together she admitted to herself, their relationship had been practically put
on hold during this mission and now he was standing this close to her again
she realized how much she'd missed him.
"Deanna." Her sense of him was confused and that worried her,
he was definitely struggling with something but also not; she didn't
understand. What she also didn't understand was that he hadn't hugged or
kissed her yet, small actions that meant the world to her ever since they had
rekindled their relationship.
"Have a seat. Can I get you something?" She stood up from her
couch, the dress clinging to the curves of her body, accentuating them. Her
long ebony curls spilled down her shoulders and back; but he hardly noticed.
"Uhm, a black coffee please." Deanna frowned at him 'black
coffee?' that wasn't a good sign.
"Hot-chocolate." A cup of hot chocolate appeared out of the
"Black coffee." She picked the two drinks up and carried them
over to the table they were sitting by. The Counselor installed herself back
on the couch and tucked her legs beneath her. For five minutes they just
stared at each other. Will's mind was working on full speed 'How should I tell
her this without being dubbed a lunatic. Do I deserve being dubbed a
lunatic?'...'Maybe I do'. Deanna tried to clear her senses of him. The
Imzadi-bond between them had grown very strong in the past year, but now she
couldn't get a clear reading of him. He was in state of turmoil, yet he was
very sure about something.
"Will? What did you want to talk about?" His head turned up,
his hands reached out to his coffee and he drank all of it in one breath.
Amazed by this action Deanna's dark eyes grew even larger.
"Are you alright?" She stood up again, worried something was
terribly wrong. This time Will stood up as well and advanced towards her. As
she looked into his bright blue gaze it suddenly hit her 'Oh My God, he's in
love!' A strange thing, since they'd been in love for a long time now. But if
he was going to ask her what she thought he was, then today would be a dream
come true. He placed his hands on her waist, lifted her up and swung her
"Will!" A laughing and surprised shriek left her throat
"Sorry, I guess I'm in a rather cheery mood." He winked at her
when he put her down. Her heart skipped a beat. 'That look!'
"Yes, I can see that." She threw a coy look at him and got one
"What, you don't sense it?"
"That too." He kissed the tip of her nose and dropped back onto
the couch he had been sitting in. Surprised by his action her facial statement
froze for a minute before she dropped down beside him, her heart full of
"Will you tell me what is going on?"
"I'm in a jolly mood." Her face grew serious when he evaded her
"We already established that." He grinned but aside of that he
"You're also nervous." A sigh escaped his throat.
"Yes, that too."
"About...about what I'm going to tell you, about what I'm going to
ask you." If he had been paying more attention he would've noticed that
her heart had started beating faster with expectations...but he didn't. He
gathered her tiny hands in his much larger ones but didn't notice the familiar
feeling that fled through his body.
"Deanna, I'm very grateful for our relationship, I cherish it more
than anything else." She could see the hope in his eyes. Would he finally
ask her? He squeezed her hands gently now.
"But during our mission something happened inside me." Deanna
held her breath, hopeful for what would come, 'I won't turn him down this
time, not again'. Had he looked better he would have seen the hope in her
eyes, he would have noticed she stopped breathing and he would have realized
what caused her behavior, but he didn't, his mind too focused on what he was
about to say.
"I fell in love all over again." He said it! It was out, no
need to hide anymore. His heart felt a lot lighter now and the characteristic
smile washed over his face once again. "With the most beautiful woman in
the galaxy." 'Will he finally ask?'
"Her long dark luscious hair smells like Alaskan spring, her skin is
so soft and silky." Deanna could hardly keep herself in check, she wanted
to wrap her arms around him, feeling the familiar presence of him in her mind
with this time the insurance it would stay there forever.
"And her eyes, oh my God, Deanna her eyes! They are so brown, the
deepest brown I've ever seen." The Betazoid was trembling now, she
couldn't read him any longer because her readings of him were clouded by her
own emotions. But like before Will didn't realize the change in her behavior,
for he was too occupied in his own thoughts.
"They matched perfectly with her grey skin." 'Grey skin?!' Was
he playing around with her?
"Yes, Lyana has this perfect grey skin, not too dark, not too light
, just...perfect." 'What the hell?'
"Yes, oh you'll love her! She's so sweet and gentle. She understands
me, knows me." He grabbed her shoulders now.
"I'm going to stay here Deanna, with her." This was going too
fast for her, she couldn't keep up and pushed him a way.
"Wait a minute..." She rose her hand, indicating him not to
interfere. 'You're not talking about me!?' "...Lyana?" He nodded
like a little boy being asked if he wants an ice-scream.
"And you've decided to stay with her?" 'Who the hell does he
think he is!?' "On the planet?" Again he nodded, even more
enthusiastic than before. 'How could he do this?!' Will grew impatient, 'Why
doesn't she say something? Isn't she happy for me?'
"Deanna? Say something. Aren't you happy for me? What's wrong?"
'No, I'm NOT happy for you! I want you HERE with ME!' Her heart cried out, but
she was able to keep her feelings hidden on the outside. Had he remembered
even the slightest thing about their bond he would have known how she felt.
"What about..." 'ME' "...your career?" She could
hardly speak, something that clearly indicated stress, something that would
have concerned him deeply, had he noticed.
"To HELL with my career Deanna. Look at me, sixteen years and I'm
STILL First Officer on the Enterprise." 'Yeah and WHO exactly is to be
blamed for that?!' The sarcasm rang loud and clear in her head but she
concealed it from him.
"What about the Captain's Chair?"
"It's not what I want anymore, it hasn't been for a long time
frankly. But why can't you be happy for me?" The sudden vulnerability in
his voice struck her, made her feel guilty. Deanna squeezed his hand
comfortingly 'Kiss him, do it now. Make him change his mind!'
"I am happy for you." She said instead. "I'm just a
bit...surprised." With effort she managed to smile s silence entered the
room to leave but a few minutes later.
"Are you sure about this Will?" 'Please Gods, let him say no,
let him stay'
"Yes." She sensed the hesitation in his voice, she was
relieved, but at the same time felt guilty for being relieved.
"There’s a 'but'." He sighed deeply and leaned back, ran his
fingers through his hair before he spoke.
"But...BUT I have to give up everything I worked for in my live. My career, my friends. The luxury I'm used to, my job. Space battles." A grin followed. "Encounters with other species, Klingon food..." She smiled, he sure kept his sense of humor. He cupped her face in his hand. "...My friendship with you..." Deanna swallowed, 'Friendship? Was *that* all there was to him?!' "...That will be the hardest Deanna, honestly, our relationship is very precious to me." 'THEN STAY!!!'
"I know, it is for me too." 'CHICKEN!' She had it in her power
to let him stay, she could persuade him to stay; she was sure of that.
"But the question is ARE YOU willing to give up all of the above for
a woman?" She held her breath again, waiting for his answer.
"I am, for this particular woman I am." A knife sliced though
her heart, splitting it in half. He hadn't been willing to give up all that
for her. A painful realization it was.
"Then you must follow your heart Will, if you really love her that
much." 'More than me' "You must listen to your heart." She
couldn't believe she had said that, of all the things she wanted to say to
him, that wasn't one of them. But then WHY had she said it?
"You're right." 'NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I'M NOT!!! DON'T YOU
SEE?!!!' "I'll resign tomorrow."
"RESIGN?!" It came out as a gasp, suddenly and harsh.
"Yes, I want to be with her." Resignation was definite, she
would loose him forever. She couldn't let that happen, not yet. Fortunately
her Counseling modus took over.
"Will, if you resign there's no going back. If it doesn't work out
for some reason you will truly have lost everything." 'Maybe even me.'
"I'm willing to take that risk with her Deanna." She shook her
head, triggering a surprised look on his face. "You think I
"No. But as I recall you have nine months of shore leave left. Maybe
it would be wise if you used that time to find out whether it works between
the two of you." 'That is the first sensible thing I've said since he
walked in.' "You must not forget it's an entirely different culture down
there." She gestured beneath her.
"What would I do without your advice?" 'STAY HERE!'
"You're absolutely right. Will you put in a good word for me with the
Captain please?" He threw her one of his famous, or better, infamous
looks and she felt herself melt...but there was something else...very faint,
but growing stronger...she was...angry!
Will bend over and kissed her gently on her cheek. She was in two minds,
turning so that she could capture his mouth with hers or pushing him away? But
before she could decide he was the one who pulled away. He traced her jaw line
with his finger tips and whispered to her "Thank you Imzadi, for
everything." 'IMZADI!? How DARE you!?! Have you forgotten what it means,
have you forgotten what WE had?!' But she kept silent and endured his touch.
"I *will* miss you Will." Why couldn't she just tell him how she felt? Seeing her tears he gently wiped them away, not realizing she wasn't crying because her best friend would leave, but crying because he Imzadi, the only man she had truly loved, would leave.
"I will miss you too Deanna. You're my best friend, you'll always
be." And with those words he stood up and walked to the doors that hissed
open at his approach. He turned around one more time, standing in the doorway.
"Deanna, I would like to introduce you to Lyana tomorrow..." 'I
don't want to know her! She's taking you away from me!'
"I'd love to meet her." She replied with her sweetest smile.
"I appreciate that." Will stepped back, into the corridors and
the doors slid together, blocking her sight of him.
Dazed she sat in her quarters, her position remaining unchanged for
nearly half and hour. How could she have let him go so easily? I could she not
have mentioned the wonderful they shared? Why hadn't she told him she loved
him, that she didn't want to things to be over between them?
It didn't make sense, after the Briar Patch they'd rekindled their
relationship. Decided the love still existed between them and hoping they'd be
strong enough not to let their relationship interfere with their duties.
The Imzadi-bond had grown so much stronger between them the past year and
yet Deanna had been hesitant and cautious. When he had proposed to her three
months after they were officially together again she had gently turned him
down. Explaining she needed more time, more assurance that it would work out
between them. And now, now she might never see him again!
Anger began to take over her rational thoughts. He had no right to just
pretend to have forgotten what they had shared the past year He had no right
to deny the Imzadi-bond it's existence, to deny *her* her existence, for
without him she would be empty.
Deanna buried her face in her hands, her curls falling down in front of
her face but the tears didn't come, nor did the fury for she was too proud to
show either. He had broken her heart yet again.
>The time is 19.45 hours.< 'So what?!'
"Oh damn! Bridge Watch." She stood up and quickly brushed her
hair. There where quite some tangles in it much to her dismay, so she gathered
her hair and bound it together with a string of white satin. Just in time she
realized she still wore the red dress, hastily she changed into her uniform
and left for the Bridge.
Chapter Three: Betrayal of
Heart and Mind
"Ha, Counselor, just in time." Captain Picard was surprised;
Deanna was always a few minutes early.
'I could care less Captain.' "I apologize Sir, I...I had some work to do." The frown that washed over his face told her he knew there was something more going on than simply 'some work'. He rose his hand for a second, then dropped it back on the elbow rest.
"No need to apologize Counselor, you're still in time." She
managed to smile back at him without showing her nervousness.
"There's not much to do for you I'm afraid. No goose-chases, no
saucer-separations...no piloting." The latter, accompanied by a wink, was
something the crew had been teasing her with for the last years, ever since
the destruction of the Enterprise D which *hadn't* been her fault; confirmed
so by the crew and by the conclusions of Starfleet's investigation. She had
even been rewarded because she had managed to avoid casualties.
"Too bad Captain, I am in the mood for some action." 'Thank
god, I need to think.' "Though, maybe I could destroy the planet...cause
a war in the Federation. Then we'd have some action for several weeks."
They both grinned at her idea, a totally ridiculous one of course, but part of
"True Counselor, but then again, maybe that would be a little too
much of everything. Anyway, the Bridge is yours, we have no orders except
orbiting Ryara I for four more days, have fun."
"Always Sir." She watched her Captain disappearing in his Ready
Room, he sure was in a good mood lately. Her decision to play matchmaker
hadn't wrong. Two more days...two more days and they would leave Ryara I
behind and her Imzadi. 'No, he doesn't deserve that endearment, he has even
forgotten what it means.' But wasn't an Imzadi-bond forever? But if it was,
why was he leaving her? For no apparent reason she wildly shook her head,
trying to shake the question out of her mind. She felt the crew looking at her
but didn't pay attention to them.
'Could I persuade him to stay?' She was pretty sure she could, but did
she want to? Was she willing to take the risk to of humiliating herself in
front of him by begging him to stay? She though about it for a while, drawing
the conclusion that she wasn't. She could perfectly well take care of herself
on her own; she had done so before. 'But what if he *does* resign? I'll never
see him again.' How was it possible for one person to hurt her this much?
During the Ba'Ku mission in the Briar Patch she felt totally right about
rekindling their relationship and had decided to continue it after the
mission. Of course she was aware of the influence the metaphasic radiation had
had on them, but how much could that be? And when he hadn't backed off after
the mission she had been relieved. 'Where did it go wrong?'
Yes where *did* it go wrong? Now that she thought about it, they hadn't
spent much time together even before the beginning of this mission. Their away
missions were mostly split leaving one on board and one down. During this
mission it had been no different; when he would beam up, it would be her turn
to beam down. That they all had spent many nights down there had attributed to
their lack of contact as well. Maybe it *was* her fault. If she had welcomed
him the few nights he sought out to her, if she had loved him instead of
letting him slip in her bed and telling him she was too tired and than falling
asleep on his chest, maybe then he wouldn't have fallen in love.
'Enough of this! He's not worth all this thinking and self-pity.' She
picked up a PADD determinedly and began reading; she might as well work
through 'her paperwork' instead of doing nothing and wasting her time.
After four hours she had completed twenty-four updates of personnel
reports. Deanna stood up from her chair and pulled the satin string out her
hair, allowing it to flow down her back and shoulders. She had decided to let
it grow again after the Ba'Ku mission but it still wasn't as long as it use to
be. Why Will chose exactly that moment to walk onto the Bridge was a mystery,
but she was glad fate had picked that moment out of all the others. She felt a
wave of familiarity, love and admiration wash through her but it disappeared
just as suddenly as it had appeared.
"Hello, Will." She stood with her back to him. If only he had
realized that, things might have changed. Deanna pulled her hair back in place
and fastened the string around it while she turned.
"Ah, Deanna, condemned to take the Bridge Watch I see."
"Yes, sure you won't miss all those hours of doing absolutely
nothing?" He didn't miss her coy look, but he did miss were the feelings
"I'll miss the company during those, but the hours themselves...nah
I don't think so." The big grin on his face made her laugh, no matter how
she felt, it always made her laugh.
"I assume the Captain is in his Ready Room?"
"He is...but you already knew that."
"The benefits of an advanced computer system I guess." 'He's
going to ask for it now, maybe Picard will not let him go.' False hope, she
knew that very well. If anyone on this ship deserved shore leave it was Will,
she was painfully aware of that. Will walked to the doors, he was
self-confident and full of hope. The doors hissed open and Will walked inside,
ready to begin the negotiations.
Only fifteen minutes later he walked out, feeling satisfied and certain.
She could barely keep herself from running to him, begging him to stay.
"I take it the Captain agreed?" She saw his eyes shining when
he looked at her.
"Not yet, he needs to think about it." He didn't fear Picard's
decision; after all, on what grounds could he possibly deny him shore leave?
"You're pretty convinced he'll allow you to go."
"Yes, I don't think there are any reasons for him to deny me my
well-earned shore leave." He bent towards her, bringing his mouth near
"Unless, of course, the Ship's Counselor has..." Weakly she
forced a smile on her face.
"Well Commander, you'll be in my debt forever after this." How
on earth she managed to act so lightheartedly on the outside when she felt so
desperate on the inside she didn't know, she didn't care either. 'Why don't
you see?!' Will stepped into the turbo lift and Captain Picard asked her to
come to his Ready Room. Even before she stepped inside she knew what he wanted
to talk about.
"Counselor, have a seat." With dignity she sat herself down,
crossed her legs and serenely folded her hands on her lap. 'Would Will have
told him?' Patiently she waited for the Captain to begin.
"Counselor, Commander Riker has requested permission for a nine
month shore leave." He watched her closely when he spoke, because she
didn't express surprise he assumed she already knew.
"I assume he has talked to you about this."
"He has, Sir." She could explain by herself but because she
didn't know how much her Captain knew she thought it would be safer to let him
ask the questions before answering them.
"What exactly did you discuss?" Uncomprehendingly she looked up
at the bald man across the room.
"Sir...?" It was half a question, and half an indication that
he shouldn’t ask her.
"Deanna, I know that what you discuss as a counselor is
confidential. But I have the feeling you didn't talk to him as a
counselor." There was no accusation in his voice, or in his emotions. His
statement was a logical one, she had almost never talked to Will as a
counselor, she never could. She cast her eyes down, only to raise them a
"No, Sir, I didn't." Picard slightly nodded and leaned back in
"I'm worried about him Deanna. He has been uncharacteristically
distracted lately, in addition to the amount of time he spend down
there." Jean-Luc looked out the window at the planet below. Even from
outer space the view of the planet was a colorful one, the red clouds clearly
in contrast with the purple/white/blue surface. "And now *nine* months of
shore leave." Slowly she nodded, confirming his words."Nine months
*is* a long time."
"You think it's too long?" She asked.
"Well, no and yes. He has earned it of course, god knows that. But
it's so, unlike, Will." Again she nodded at his words. She owed it to him
to explain, he *was* Will's friend, but maybe she also saw it as a way of
getting back to Will.
"He came to see me this afternoon." Deanna made herself more
comfortable before she continued. "He wanted to tell me something; the
reason why he had spend so much time down there." She too looked out at
the colorful ball below them. "I felt a bit guilty that we had spoken so
little the past months and was glad he came to see me."
She felt no need to hide her own feelings from the Captain, at least part
of them. "I sensed he was nervous, but also very sure of something."
Jean-Luc noticed his confidant was nervous but tried not to let her know,
knowing it would make her uncomfortable. "He has fallen in love with one
of the Ryaran woman."
With her head slightly bend down she watched him for his reaction.
Jean-Luc exhaled slowly, pressing all the air out his lungs. 'The Prime
Directive, damnit Will, those everlasting hormones of you.' His first reaction
he didn't spoke out aloud, but Deanna had a pretty good guess what it was. His
second reaction however he -did- speak out loud.
"But I thought the two of you were..."
"Yes...no...I-- I don't know." The sadness that now showed in
her eyes nearly knocked him off his feet. He was unsure how to respond and
therefore opted for the most neutral reaction, hoping he wouldn't hurt her
more by doing so.
"I see." He felt sorry for her, she sensed as much. Grateful
that he didn't voice his regret she informed him of Will's intention to resign
and how she had persuaded him to take shore leave first. "I owe you
"So I assume you will grant Commander Riker his shore leave."
"I have to, I don't have any legal grounds to keep it from
him." The Betazoid sensed the indecision in her superior.
"Captain. Even if you had he would simply resign. He's very certain
about this." The man was grateful for her words. She knew exactly what to
say; 'one of the benefits of being Betazoid'. He realized once again how lucky
he was to have her onboard, and how lucky he was to have the crew he had.
Friends, family, confidants and exemplary officers.
He was reluctant to let Will go like this; he had always thought he'd
raise a toast to his First Officer for his promotion to a Captain's position
on another vessel. Therefore he was more than grateful that Deanna had talked
him into taking shore leave first.
He looked at Deanna and realized this was painful for her. She was
clearly trying not to let her emotions surface, but he wanted to wrap his arms
around her, comfort her like a father would comfort his child.
Everyone onboard the Enterprise was well aware how much the Ship's
Counselor and First Officer meant to each other and they all had seen evidence
of that love and affection occasionally even before they had become lovers
again. She was beautiful and he couldn't understand why on earth Will let her
go. In fact he was even a bit angry with him, like a father would be when a
man hurt his daughter.
Suddenly, for the first time in sixteen years he realized the amazing
parallel between his relationship with Beverly and Will's relationship with
Deanna. 'It's a small galaxy after all.' Deanna noticed the shift in the
Captain's feelings and wondered why he was laughing inward. Jean-Luc noticed
her quizzical look and knew he had to explain.
"I never, ever thought it possible that Will would resign for a
woman." 'Except for you.'
"Neither did I." 'Even for me' She replied with a grin.
'I wish I could do something back for her. She helped me and Beverly a
great deal.' "Between you and me Counselor...I think that he'll beg us to
take him onboard again after nine months." Deanna laughed at the
conspiratorial tone in his voice.
"I bet he's even willing to be degraded to Lieutenant by then."
She replied in kind, desperately trying to hide how much she hoped that his
assumption would be correct. He grinned for a while and then turned serious
"So you think I should allow him to go?" 'NO!'
"Yes, Sir, he did earn it."
"Alright than, I'll allow it. Thank you Counselor." Deanna
uncrossed her legs and stood up. She tucked a long ebony strand behind her ear
and walked to the doors. They hissed open and the Counselor walked out,
surprised that he didn't call her back in the last minute.
Jean-Luc was amazed at the selflessness with which she had handled this
situation. If Beverly would pull a stunt like this on him he'd either kill her
or try everything in his power to make her stay. Deanna o the other hand
seemed to put Will's happiness above anything else.
On the Bridge Troi sat down in the Captain's Chair again and picked up
another PADD, trying to continue updating the personnel reports. But much to
her dismay she couldn't concentrate. 'Nine months?!' 'How would it be without
him?' And if he did stay? Would she try to make him come along then? Would she
have the guts?
The entrance of First Officer onto the Bridge interrupted her chain of
"Deanna." He nodded nervously...apparently he wasn't so sure
after all. In contradiction to everything her heart told her to do she nodded
reassuringly and watched him walk into the Captain's Ready Room. Even though
she already knew what the Captain had decided she could barely sit still;
nervous about the outcome.
Only minutes later he walked out; self assured, happy and relieved.
Energetically he walked up to her, scooped her up in his arms and gently
kissed brushed his lips against her, triggering a homesick feeling in the pit
of her stomach.
"Thank you my friend, for everything." 'NO!!! Fool! Don't you
see?!' He put her back in the chair and left the Bridge without another look.
'How could he do that?! Doesn't he know how I feel?!' This was it; he would be
leaving, there was no longer a way back.
Deanna felt like crying loudly and for a long time, alone in the darkest
corner of this godforsaken ship! But she managed not to let her mask down,
like she had all the years onboard. She swallowed her tears and used every
ounce of willpower to keep her mask up.
When Picard entered the Bridge and relieved her of duty thirty minutes
early she was surprised but grateful. He had probably realized how she felt
about Will's decision; she sensed his compassion for her, but for the first
time in her life she didn't care. She just wanted to be alone now, just as
alone and deserted as she felt.
By the time she reached her quarters tears shone in her eyes. The doors
hissed open and Deanna stormed inside, grabbed the first thing she encountered
and smashed it against the wall. "Damn you Will Riker, DAMN YOU!!!"
The vaze that had been the victim of her brief outburst of anger fell in a
thousand pieces on the floor. 'What's the difference anyway' she though to
herself, 'a broken vaze or a broken heart? Neither can be healed entirely.'
She collapsed onto the floor, her senses flooded with her own feelings of
loss, despair, fury and sadness. Her petite body was racked with sobs. 'I HATE
you Will! I HATE you!, I HATE you!, I HATE you!!!...But I *need* you so
much!!!' Her crying prevented her from screaming her thoughts out loud, no
matter how much she wanted to.
After nearly half an hour her crying finally eased down. Her ebony curls
were stuck to her cheeks, caught in the trail left by the flood of tears that
had streamed down her face. Her eyes were red and swollen, dried out and
aching. In the palms of her hands little rivulets of blood trailed down to her
wrists, caused by the immense strength with which she had pressed her nails
into her flesh. Deanna Troi fell asleep on the floor, her hands still clenched
into fists; her body and mind exhausted.
While Deanna slept Captain Picard informed the rest of the Senior Staff
of Commander Riker's decision to take a nine-month shore leave. He hadn't told
them the reason for his decision, since in his opinion that was up to Will.
But that wasn't his main reason; he was concerned about Deanna. She had been
so cheerful during and after the Ba'Ku mission and so had Will been as he
recalled. He figured it would be more painful for her when the others knew
exactly why Will Riker had left.
The Senior Staff officers had taken the news well, just the fact that
Will would take a *nine*-month shoreleave had surprised them. They hadn't
decided yet how to replace him although they all agreed that it was not
necessary to bring a temporary First Officer onboard to fulfill Will's tasks.
After the meeting Beverly had accompanied Jean-Luc to his quarters where they
shared a late dinner.
"Does Deanna know yet?" She wondered how her friend would react
to Will's absence. 'If only she knew...' Jean-Luc was tempted to inform her of
Will's reasons but also knew Deanna or Will would.
"Yes, I asked her advice about whether or not to let him go for such
a long period of time." Beverly frowned, that wasn't Jean-Luc's custom,
but the feeling she had had during the meeting that there was more to it than
a simple shore leave signified.
"And what did she say?" She wasn't going to let this go, he
knew that the minute he looked into her amazing blue eyes.
"That he deserved it." Again the tall woman on the other side
of the table frowned.
"And she agreed to let him go?"
"Yes Beverly, she agreed." A bit taken a back by his slightly
angry voice she looked at him quizzically.
"Oh...wait a minute." A smile decorated her face and Jean-Luc
looked at her in surprise. 'What's funny about this?'
"Deanna didn't happen to ask for shore leave herself as well did
she?" Now he was the one with a quizzical gaze on his face. The redhead
grinned at him mischievously.
"Beverly Crusher, keep your mind at home." His eyes sparkled
when he realized what the dear Doctor was aiming at, but soon his face turned
serious. "No, Bev. She hasn't." With a serious face herself she
leaned over the table.
"Jean-Luc, what *is* going on? I have the feeling there's more to this than a simple shore leave."
'How can I
possibly lie to those beautiful eyes?' He took her hands in his and held her
not the one to tell you what is going on." She got the hint and left the
issue for what it was, she'd talk about this later.
Deanna woke up almost seven hours later. Slowly she opened her sore eyes; her body still twisted into the same position as when she had fallen asleep. Her entire body was aching; sleeping on the floor hadn't been good for her. With a great deal of exertion she managed to pull herself onto her feet. Her muscles protested to each move she made. 'Great, damn floors.' The Betazoid stumbled to her shower and got undressed. She bit her lip to avoid voicing the pain the movements caused.
Only when she reached for the panel next to the shower did she see the blood on her hands. 'What the--?! How did this happen?!' She pushed the panel knowing it would be easier to wash the blood off under the shower. The warm water ran over her tense body, easing her muscles and mind. Slowly she began to relax, refusing to allow herself to think about Will, Lyana, or the planet below. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the water cleansing her body.
"Computer: one five cc bottle of X'Ta." When a little blue
bottle materialized just within reach, she grabbed it and poured its contents
over her hands and body. The small lacerations in her palms stung when the
soapy substance touched them but Deanna ignored it best as she could. Slowly
and gently she began to spread the elixir over her body, starting at her
ankles, working up all the way to her neck, covering every part. She washed
the suds off and stepped out of the shower. With a large fluffy towel she
dried her hair and body before she climbed into bed and fell asleep again.
Fortunately, when she awakened two hours later her body wasn't as sore. Her muscles were still stiff and somewhat painful but not as unbearable as before.
>1000 hours.< 'KaRa!' Forty-five minutes until she would have to
meet Will in Transporter Room 1 to meet the love of his life, something she
dreaded immensely. Deanna stayed in bed for another fifteen minutes before she
finally got up. She climbed out her bed, painfully realizing that her muscles
still were too sore to walk normally.
In order to get medication that would take the pain away she would have
to get to Sickbay but Beverly would undoubtedly ask questions and the last
thing she wanted right now was a full Cruhser-negotiation. So Deanna just
washed her face and put on some civilian Ryanaran clothing. After that she
eased herself onto the couch and waited until it was almost time to leave for
the Transporter Room. At 10.40 she walked to the replicator.
"Computer: one hypospray of Diolamyne. Authorization
Troi-Med-PHD-zero-one-Beta." She took the hypospray when it appeared and
injected the medicine in her neck. Beverly would know that she had used it,
but with a bit of luck she would be done with the meeting with Lyana by then.
She felt the soreness fade away immediately and did a concentration exercise
before she left to meet her best friend and the love of his life.
In the corridor on the way to the transporter she ran into Will, who was
carrying several Ryaran flowers and wearing civilian clothing as well. 'God he
looks handsome like this.' Immediately she kicked herself mentally for
thinking that. He had no interest in her anymore, why should she be interested
"Deanna, right on time as always." 'He is nervous, very
"Will, is something wrong?" It wasn't like him to be nervous at
all. He climbed on the platform and she joined him, seeing him like this
reminded her of their little adventure with Cochran and made her smile.
"You think it's funny that I'm just as nervous as Reg?" She
looked at his grinning face and had to restrain herself from caressing him.
"That's not nice of you to say Will." He didn't miss her
disapproving look, nor the mischievous one. He shifted his look to the
transporter chief who nodded at him in return. The lieutenant’s hands
lightly touched the console and the familiar sounds of the transporter
Seconds later she found herself down on the planet in the middle of a
"Lyana lives about a mile south from here." She studied his
face again, he was even more nervous than before.
"Will you tell me why you are so nervous?" His blue gaze met
her dark eyes and then turned to the ground. "Will, are you sure about
this?" 'Please gods, let him say no!' But Will took her hands in his and
looked straight into her eyes.
"I am, Deanna. It's just...well, it's just very important for me
that you like each other." Her heart literally melted in her chest and
she squeezed his hand encouragingly. Abruptly she turned her head away
overwhelmed and scared by her need for him.
"So, this way you said?" Will looked at her quizzically 'what
"Uhm, yes, just follow the road." They walked side by side
silently, Deanna drunk in her surroundings; the beauty of the planet kept
amazing her. In the distance she saw a shining white house with two deep blue
trees in front of it.
"Is that Lyana's house?" He looked along her pointed finger and
she saw his eyes filled with apprehension.
"Yes, it's hers." When Deanna started to walk towards it,
carefully hiding her fear and anger, he suddenly grabbed her hand and pulled
her back. Unbalanced by the sudden counterweight she stumbled and fell down.
"OUCH!!! Will don't ever do that again!" She pushed herself up
with her hands and Will's assistance. When she was standing again their faces
were only inches apart. She saw his face coming closer and closed her eyes
waiting for him. After two eternal seconds his lips gently brushed over hers
but before she could respond he broke the contact.
"Still in pain Imzadi?" 'I don't believe this!' For a second he
thought he saw something flash through her eyes something called 'fury'. But
immediately afterwards a smile washed over her face, making him doubt what he
"Well yes, but I think Doctor Crusher will take care of it a whole
lot better than you just did." Their coy routine had returned once again,
and maybe it was better this way.
"Ouch." Semi-hurt, he placed his hand on his heart.
"So Commander, exactly why did you let me fall?" He raised his
hand to defend himself.
"I didn't *let* you fall. But I wanted you to know that I told Lyana
that you're my sister." Her brown eyes widened and again he thought he
saw a flash of anger. '*Sister*! Just what do you think you're doing
"Oh really? Is there anything else you think I should know my dear
brother?" What was it in her eyes now? Hurt? But she playfully hit his
stomach, causing him to forget the confusion he had over her statement.
"Well, I also told her that our father died when we were
eight." As she cast her eyes down he realized how insensitive that had
been of him. He placed his finger under her chin and lifted her head up,
allowing him to look in her eyes. With his other hand he wiped away the tears
that emerged in her eyes.
"I'm sorry Deanna, I wasn't thinking." 'Where did it go wrong
Will? When did you stop caring?' The tears weren't for her father, at least
not all of them. Just like before, her mask slid back in place and let her
"It's alright Will. What about our mother?"
"She lives on the other side of the planet on a small island."
This hurt her even more; he had been letting out her demons but had kept his
safely hidden. 'What other lies did you tell her Will?' She didn't voice the
question but was very much tempted; how *dare* he use her father's death! Will
had started walking again and dragged her along, growing more and more
impatient as they approached the house. Deanna used every ounce of will-power
she had to avoid letting him see how much he had hurt her.
They were standing at the edge of the garden. When Deanna reached out
towards the door in the fence Will laid his hand on hers.
"I forgot to mention, she has a dog." She looked at him
searchingly, he knew she loved dogs, so why give her a warning?
"Okay." She opened the door and stepped into the garden.
Immediately a loud barking sound reached her ears and a second later a very
large orange dog-like creature came running across the garden straight at her.
"Will!" Her shrieking voice amazed even herself. 'A DOG?!' The 'dog'
had reached her now and reared up on its back paws and placing its front paws
on her slender shoulders, its head towering above her.
The weight of the animal caused her to loose her balance again and
moments later she found herself lying on the ground with the orange creature
licking her face with its red tongue. She pushed it off and quickly got back
to her feet. "Don't you dare do that again." Much to Will's
amazement the dog seemed to understand her and lay down at her feet. Deanna
bent over and scratched her nails behind its ears.
"That's better." She straightened her back and giggled
uncontrollably when she saw Will’s stunned gaze.
"Will, for future reference, dogs are not this big ok? THIS..."
and she pointed at the orange ball at her feet, "...is *not* a dog, it's
an elephant!." Overcome by his amazement Will replied, "Well, you
didn't seem to be affected by it anyway."
"Do you know her name?"
"Her?" Deanna shook her head in disbelief.
"Yes Will, *her*. You disappoint me Commander, surely *you* would have known." 'What does she mean with that?'
"Hynda." She repeated the name softly to herself.
"Alright, so shall we go inside or what?" A broad grin appeared
on his face and she knew she had said something very silly in his eyes.
"Deanna, no one except Lyana gets that thing moving, and even she
doesn't always succeed." The Betazoid shifted her gaze between the two
and smiled victoriously.
"Hynda, what do you say we go inside?" Immediately the creature
rose to its four paws and took its position next to Deanna, her head reaching
Deanna’s midriff. Deanna caressed Hynda's neck and started to walk to the
front door, with Hynda following docilely. When they were halfway there Deanna
realized that Will was still standing at the gate. She turned around and
sensed his disbelief and wonder.
"Well, are you coming or not?" He shook his head as if trying
to forget what he just witnessed and ran up to them. "Men" She said
to the dog. Amazingly enough her encounter with Hynda had lightened her
spirits; she loved being with animals....well --she looked over her shoulder
at the man behind her-- ...some animals. Suddenly the front door swept open
and a slim figure walked outside.
"Hynda!? You didn't bother our guests, did you?" The dog barked
happily but remained at Deanna's side. The woman, whom Deanna assumed was
Lyana, had nearly reached their position. Deanna was struck by her appearance;
she was indeed a beauty, exactly as Will had described her.
Lyana walked with a certain grace and elegance towards Will and kissed
him tenderly. Deanna felt a knife slide through her heart as she sensed the
love and desire emanating from both of them. The animal at her side shrieked
softly, as if she had sensed Deanna's pain. For a brief moment, woman and dog
looked straight into each other’s eyes until they were interrupted by Lyana.
"You must be Deanna." She managed a smile as she took Lyana's hand and shook it.
"I was a minute ago...and you are Lyana, I assume?" The grey
woman smiled genuinely back. She was taller than Deanna, but not by much, two
or three inches at most. Her deep brown eyes were soft and large; Deanna liked
her immediately despite how hard she tried to hate her. 'Don't try, it's not
her fault Will fell in love with her.'
"I hope Hynda didn't 'attack' you." Will answered before Deanna
"Well, they did end up on the ground." Lyana looked
disapprovingly at her pet and Deanna felt she had to put in a good word for
"She gave me a warm welcome." The other female smiled weakly
back, took Will's hand and guided them into the house. Hynda looked at Deanna
once again and if she hadn't know any better she'd say the dog was apologizing
for Lyana's behavior. Deep in thought, Deanna followed the two lovers. 'Could
Hynda be some sort of empathic creature?' The Ryarans weren't empathic or
telepathic at any level, that she knew for sure. But did that count for all
creatures on the planet? Some of Betazed's indigenous animals possessed some
empathic ability, so why couldn’t that be possible here?
She looked down at the dog once again, she was actually quite a funny
sight. So large and orange yet so good-natured. Deanna tickled Hynda behind
her ears and then stepped into the living room. The room was rather large,
just about the size of her entire quarters. Like the planet itself the room
was colorful too. The walls were painted in several shades of red, the two
strangely shaped couches were yellow and the accessories in the room were all
the colors of the rainbow.
"Are you thirsty or hungry?"
"Well, I'd like a cup of Rak'Ta, if it isn't too much effort."
Suddenly she sensed the feeling of thirst from someone else as well. She
looked around and met Hynda's gaze once again.
"And a bowl of water if you have it." Both Will and Lyana
looked at her quizzically but she pretended not to notice.
"I'll have a cup of your delicious homemade Stara." The wink
between the two didn't escape her, but she refused to allow herself to feel
the pain that it caused. When their hostess had left the room Will turned to
"And what do you think of her?" 'She's weird Will.'
"I like her, she seems a tender and loving woman."
"Oh, please do sit down." A bright voice emanated from
somewhere within the house, causing an interruption she was frankly grateful
for. Deanna sat down on the smallest of the two couches leaving the bigger one
for Will and Lyana. Hynda hadn't left her side and stood beside her.
"She's very pretty." Will looked at her gratefully.
"She certainly is." Again she had the feeling of a knife
slicing through her heart and again the orange-animal shrieked softly. 'I want
to leave this place!' Lyana reentered the room carrying a large bowl with
water. Deanna took the bowl and thanked the Ryaran who immediately went back
to the kitchen.
"That thirsty huh?" She couldn't bear the grinning look on his
face, the love she felt from him, a love that wasn't for her.
"Yes." She replied simply and put the bowl on the glass-like
table in front of her. The dog met her gaze. "Go ahead Hynda."
Eagerly she began to lick the water inside.
"How do you do that?"
"That dog, what are you doing with her?" Part of her wanted to
explain, but she didn’t.
"I don't know...maybe she just likes me." Before Will could ask
her something else his lover returned with their drinks.
"Hynda! That's not polite!!!" Frightened by the sudden anger in
her voice the creature almost jumped towards Deanna who had also moved away
from Lyana in fear. The empath had been keeping an eye on Will and her senses
told her that he was surprised and even a little scared. He was, however, the
first to speak.
"Don't worry Lyana, Deanna intended to give the water to Hynda. She
has...a way with animals." He explained. Deanna wondered how Lyana felt
about all this and only now realized she couldn't get a clear reading of her.
Deanna thought about this for a little while and came to the conclusion that
she had instinctively blocked her senses of Lyana.
She lowered her walls and read the woman. The woman *was* in love with
her Imzadi and the anger she had just expressed was gone, but she also sensed
that the gray one felt threatened by her. She didn't understand this reaction
since Will had told her they were brother and sister.
"Oh, I apologize. It's just that Hynda can be very brutal at
times." She threw the dog a disapproving look and weakly smiled at
Deanna. She took a seat next to Will and sought out his hand. The Betazoid
cringed inside as the pair across the room shared a kiss.
"So, Will told me that you're an psychologist in Z'Kat. It must be a
rather stressful profession."
"It can be...especially when certain patients refuse to talk to
you." A meaningful look crossed the room between the two officers, a look
Lyana didn't miss. Playfully she hit him in his stomach just like Deanna had
done little less than an hour before.
"I take it this big fellow isn't much of a talker then."
"Oh, I could never see him as a patient. After all we are..."
'Imzadi' She swallowed her thought and hoped neither of that would noticed her
hesitation. "...Brother and sister. It wouldn't be professional if I
treated him as a patient." Will cast his eyes down briefly, knowing what
her hesitation had meant.
"I can imagine."
"Lyana, I’m afraid Will hasn't told me very much about you...he
tends to 'hide' his girlfriends in fear that I'll scare them away." Her
voice was definitely coy but the underlying meaning was most definitely not.
"Well, I don't think you would succeed. You seem like a very nice
person to me." 'Than why do I sense hostility from you?'
"Tell me, what's your profession?"
"Oh, I'm just an administrator; that's not nearly as difficult as
being a psychologist."
'Taza' 'Deanna, shame on you! She has done nothing wrong.' 'She *did*
steal your Imzadi.' 'Maybe you should have shown your love more than you did.'
'I have shown my love.' 'Even if you did, you can't blame her. Your Imzadi
allowed himself to fall in love.' He shouldn't have.' 'Face it, he doesn't
care anymore.' 'No! He DOES care!' 'Does he?' 'You scare away all the men
around you; him, your son, your father.' 'NO!!!' Her demons overwhelmed her,
and the fighting in her head became too much for her to handle; Deanna Troi
Will had seen the change in her eyes just a second too late. He rose just
in time to see her fall off the couch. Immediately he ran towards her.
"Deanna? Deanna can you hear me?" Lyana quickly ran into the
kitchen and soaked a towel. "Imzadi, talk to me, open your eyes."
'Imzadi? What does that mean?' The female placed the wet towel on Deanna's
forehead and tried to push Hynda away who was pushing her nose against
"Hynda, beat it! You're in our way." To her surprise the dog
growled aggressively at her. "Ok, very well, stay." She muttered.
"Imzadi, please, open your eyes." 'I have to get her back to
the Enterprise. Beverly will know what to do.' "Lyana, I think she needs
some fresh air. I'll pick her up and carry her into the park to let her come
"Alright, I'll get our coats."
"No, I'll go alone with her. She knows me, and I’m afraid you’ll
only confuse her." Will scooped a limp Deanna into his arms, kissed his
lover goodbye and walked to the front door. Lyana and Hynda followed them
closely. When Will walked out Hynda tried to follow but Lyana held her back,
pulling at her collar roughly.
"Hynda! Stay!" But the dog broke free and ran after Deanna.
Lyanna was close behind.
'I don't have time for this!' "Lyana, it's alright. Deanna has
always been comfortable around animals. Besides, Hynda seems to like
her." Lyana nodded her consent and walked back into the house. 'There's
something going on between those two...and what exactly does 'Imzadi' mean?'
Will sighed with relief. 'I'll have a hell of a lot of explaining to do
when I get back.' He studied Deanna's face, she looked horrified. 'What
happened to her?' When they were out of sight he put Deanna on the ground, and
the orange-animal immediately pushed her nose against her as if to comfort
'What exactly was there between those two anyway?' Deanna had seemed to
like the dog from the beginning, in total contradiction with Will's
expectations. He found her CommBadge very quickly. He couldn’t believe that
he had been foolish enough not to bring his own.
"Riker to Enterprise."
"Two, no three to beam up directly to Sickbay."
Chapter Five: Battle of the
Mere seconds later Will found himself on the floor in Sickbay.
"Will, what the hell...?!" Beverly froze when she saw the
orange creature. "What is that?" Only then did she notice Deanna's
"Cusack, Alyssa, get her on a biobed. NOW!" The two officers
reacted quickly and lifted Deanna up. "What happened?" Beverly
glanced at Will before turning to Deanna and running a basic medical scan.
"I don't know...she just...fainted."
"Her psilo-synine level has raised by fifty percent. Alyssa, give me
a light psilo-synine inhibitor." The Asian woman handed her the inhibitor
and the Doctor injected it into Deanna's slender neck.
"Psilo-synine level has dropped to forty-five percent."
"Dammit! That's not nearly enough!" Beverly nearly tripped over
Hynda and felt a surge of anger. "Will, get that...animal out of here,
NOW!" Will was about to protest when he met Beverly's eyes.
"I'm sorry girl. But the Doctor needs space to help Deanna." He
blinked in surprise when the dog seemed to nod at him and then headed for the
door, making sure not to cross anyone's path on its way.
"Doctor, her heartbeat is rising as well as the level of her
"What?! That can't be!" Beverly rechecked the readings and
briefly buried her head in her hands.
"The animal ma'am." A deep sigh escaped her throat.
"Ok, bring it back in." One of the ensigns opened the door and
Hynda rushed back in, pressing her nose against Deanna's hand. Her heartbeat
immediately dropped. "Well, that's quite a medicine. Alright Alyssa, give
me a mild sedative and twelve cc's of kryozine." Alyssa quickly handed
her the medications and Beverly injected them with a five minute wait between
"The levels *are* dropping Doctor, they’re back to ten percent
above normal." Beverly and Will sighed simultaneously. "Thank god.
She's going to be all right, I think. There's nothing I can do now. She has to
wake up on her own." Will nodded slightly and looked at his best friend
lying on the biobed.
"Will could I talk to you for a moment?" Again he nodded and
Beverly pointed at her office. She kept staring at the unusual situation in
front of her; she had never seen such an ... orange creature. Even on all four
paws it towered above the biobed, she thought that if it stood on its back
paws it would be about her height.
And then there was Deanna; why did she look so horrified? What happened
down there? Beverly Crusher shook her head and went inside her office where a
guilty feeling Will was waiting. 'Why didn't I notice something was wrong
sooner? I should've caught her.’
"Well, well Commander looking for a excuse to evade your shore
leave?" Her attempt to lighten the air failed miserably.
"How is she?"
"Physically she's fine apart from two or three light bruises.
Mentally...her levels of psilo-synine are still elevated and her
neurotransmitters are working top-speed. What happened down there?"
"We were talking..."
"You and Deanna?"
"No, we were at Lyana's. I introduced her to Deanna."
"Lyana?" She hadn't missed the change in his eyes when he
mentioned her name. 'Could it be?'
"She's a Ryaran woman, I met her shortly after the beginning of our
"What were you talking about?" The Doctor crossed her arms in
front of her waist and looked at him somewhat accusingly. Had Will looked up
he would have seen it, but he didn't.
"Deanna was explaining to Lyana that she couldn't counsel me and
Lyana told Deanna what her job was."
"Why couldn't Deanna counsel you?"
"I told Lyana that Deanna was my sister..." Why had he lied?
The redhead closed her eyes tightly. When she opened them her gaze fell on the
orange dog-like animal.
"What is it with that dog?" Will smiled slightly and looked at
the duo as well.
"She has refused to leave Deanna's sight ever since she jumped on
her. I hadn't told Deanna that the dog would be there, expecting her to be
scared by it. But they were best friends immediately. Hynda listens to Deanna
and seems to -understand- her."
"Did anything strange with the dog happen down there?"
"Other than the fact that she was extremely obedient to Deanna and
growled aggressively at her boss...no. Though now that you mention it, just
moments before Deanna...fainted she began to push at Deanna's hand, as if to
keep her awake."
"Odd." 'Alright, this probably explains the increase of her
neurotransmitters and even part of the heightened psilo-synine level. But
there -must- be...' Her thoughts were interrupted by the loud barking of the
dog. Beverly and Will flew out of the office and were standing at Deanna's
side within ten seconds.
Deanna's eyes were closed but they could see them moving underneath her
"No...that's not true...it isn't my fault...it can't be."
Beverly and Will looked quizzically at each other. 'She's having a nightmare,
but about what?'
"Beverly, she's terrified can't you do something?'"
"No Will, I can't risk doing damage to her psyche by waking her up
now." She patted the animal on its neck and watched her friend in
silence. Deanna was still murmuring and twitching on the bed.
"I couldn't help it...I did tell...I DID...go away...please...leave
me alone! NO! I'm not responsible!" Suddenly Deanna opened her eyes wide
and jumped up. "LAVEER! I DIDN'T SCARE THEM AWAY!!!" Doctor Crusher
immediately pushed her back onto the bed.
"Shh Deanna. It's all right, your back on the Enterprise. You just
had a nightmare." Frightened Deanna looked around, her gaze shifting from
Beverly to Will and to the dog.
"Hello Hynda." Hynda laid her head next to Deanna who visibly
relaxed at the presence of the dog. This left Beverly rather confused.
"You fainted on the planet." Will stepped towards her and
closed his hand around hers. "You scared the hell out of me Imzadi."
'WE'RE NOT IMZADI ANYMORE, YOU BETRAYED ME...AGAIN!' Hynda whined softly, but
Beverly was the only one who noticed. Deanna smiled weakly at him, hiding her
fury. But he *did* notice the darkening of her eyes.
"How did you get me out there?"
"I carried you to the park and told Lyana to wait in the house.
Hynda here refused to stay behind."
Deanna smiled lovingly at her new friend and scratched behind her ear.
"Maybe you should go back, she might try to find us if we don't
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure." 'Did I actually -tell- him to get back down
there?!' "Hynda, thank you for watching over me. But I think we have to
say goodbye now." The orange creature whined softly and tears formed in
"Take good care of your boss and her friend okay?" Beverly
almost fell of her chair when she saw the dog nodding. Hynda licked Deanna's
face and walked to Will who was waiting at the doors. The women watched the
"What is it with that dog?"
"She's empathic." Deanna replied matter-of-factly.
"Like some species on Betazed?"
"Yes. It is unusual though, since the Ryarans aren't empathic or
telepathic at all."
"Is that why she listened so well to you?"
"Yes." The redhead frowned; the empath kept amazing her.
"Deanna you used a muscle-relaxant hypospray this morning, without
asking my permission. Deanna smiled victoriously as her predicament came true.
"I knew you'd bother me about that as soon as you had the
chance." Beverly kept her face straight, letting her friend know that she
didn't approve. Deanna was not at all surprised. "I was very stiff and
had to beam down. I didn't have time to stop by Sickbay so I used my medical
authorization code to get the computer to replicate the hypospray."
"Deanna you know full well that..."
"My actions were irresponsible and against ship's protocol. Yes
Beverly I know, but there really wasn't another option at that time." The
Doctor kept her gaze on her patient's eyes without blinking for a long time
"Alright, no charges pressed *this* time."
"Now, will you tell me what happened?" Deanna turned her head
aside, avoiding the Doctor's searching look.
"I can't." She whispered. "I don't even understand what
happened myself." Just as Beverly opened her mouth to say something in
return the doors hissed open and Captain Picard walked in.
"Doctor, Counselor...what happened?" Beverly stood up and
looked straight into Jean-Luc’s eyes. 'At least it worked out between those
two', Deanna thought to herself.
"She fainted without an apparent reason; Will brought her back
The Captain walked to her side and leaned over slightly. "How are
you feeling Counselor?" She managed to smile weakly at him.
"Fine Captain, just a bit tired."
"I thought you weren’t returning to the planet's surface."
"Will dragged me down to meet Lyana" Her voice was light and
coy, but she didn't fool him. Deanna saw the question in his eyes and nodded
"I see. I suggest that you return to your quarters and take the rest
of the day off...unless the Doctor objects of course." He turned to
Beverly and met her quizzical look 'What just happened between those two?'
"No, I don't. Your psilo-synine level is still a bit elevated but
it's nothing dangerous. If you need any medication you *will* come to Sickbay
Deanna Troi" She playfully hit her friend on her arm when Deanna hopped
off the biobed.
"I *will* Doctor." She replied in kind. "You might want to
give me some painkillers for my arm right away." Deanna tried to keep her
face serious but failed miserably; the two women laughed loudly. When they
were finished Deanna headed for the door.
"Well, Captain, it's good that you're here. Now I can run your
physical right away." The couple heard Deanna's laugh as she walked out
"What is going on Jean-Luc?" Beverly had turned serious again,
she was concerned about her friend. Jean-Luc felt terrible about not being
able to tell her.
"As I said, I'm not the one to tell you."
"I don't like it if people are keeping secrets from me, especially
not when it concerns a friend and in this case also a patient of mine."
He kissed her on the tip of her nose.
"I'm sorry." He lowered his attention.
"Don't think I'll forget about your physical Captain." She
murmured against his lips.
The first thing Deanna did when she was in her quarters was to order a
hot chocolate. As the warm liquid flooded through her body she relaxed bit by
bit. She put the mug in the recycler and walked to her bathroom. There she
undressed and put on a nightgown. She picked up her hairbrush and gently
brushed the tangles out her hair. Finally she stepped into bed and tucked
herself in. Almost immediately she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Several hours later the sound of the door chimes awakened her. 'Will, darn.' She couldn't just ignore him, she was painfully aware of that. Talk about pain…' Her hands were aching; she looked down at them and felt terror flood through her as she realized they were bleeding...heavily. Almost her entire hands and wrists were covered in blood. 'What happened?' The door chimes penetrated her ears. 'I can't let him see this!'
"Just a moment Will!" She heard his body colliding against the
doors and quickly walked to her wash table to clean the blood off. Fortunately
she got her hands clean quickly, but the little wounds were still bleeding.
"Computer; two blood restraining gloves." She grabbed the
gloves out of thin air and slid her hands in. 'Damnit, my nightgown!' 'This
day is going just great.'
"Just a sec. Will!" Quickly she pulled a clean gown out her
closet and slid into it. Then she walked to the doors and opened them. Will
stumbled in; apparently he had been leaning against them and hadn't counted on
her opening them.
"Well, that's one way to enter a lady's quarters." Grinning, he
"I woke you, didn't I?" The Betazoid crossed her arms in front
of her and looked at him accusingly.
"Yes you did." His eyes fell on her gloves and he advanced
towards her to take her hands into his.
"Why on earth are you wearing those?" 'Good question...how will
"I, uhh, I wanted to run an icy-holoprogram." 'What a lousy
"In your nightgown?"
"Well...no, I just wanted to see if they still fit." He looked
at her in disbelief and obviously didn't believe a word of what she was
"Deanna, hands don't grow."
"I know that. So, were you able to explain things to Lyanna?"
Normally an attempt like that to change the subject wouldn't have worked, but
things weren't normal now.
"I think so, I told her that I took you home to rest."
"Well, that isn't a lie, is it." Will realized that she meant
something more to that, but he didn't get it.
"No it isn't. So, how are you feeling?"
"Fine, rested." 'Furious!'
"Have you figured out what happened down there?" Was he really
concerned about her, or was he just making sure it wasn't his fault?
"No, but I guess I should've eaten something before beaming
down." Disapprovingly he shook his head.
"Deanna, Deanna you know very well that you can't work on an empty
stomach." His patronizing voice was too much for her and for a moment she
let her mask down.
"Don't you *DARE* talk to me like that! I -can- take care of myself
Will Riker!" Scared by her seemingly sudden fury he backed off.
"Hey, take it easy!" Her eyes shot fire when they met his but
softened in the very same second.
"I'm sorry..." 'NO I'M NOT!' "...you just sounded a bit
too much like my mother."
"Oh...I'm sorry for that." He couldn’t think of what else to
say. "I actually dropped by to see if you were coming to the poker game
tonight. It's sort of a farewell party." The pain was clearly visible in
her eyes, but he didn't look. Like before Deanna managed a bittersweet smile.
"A hundred Klingons couldn't keep me away."
"Really? I might want to test that." 'How can he act so damn
"Will, I have some work to do...I'll see you at the poker game
alright." He tried to catch her eyes, but she evaded his gaze hastily.
"Alright, I'll see you then." Will Riker left her quarters
without once looking back. If things had been normal, her behavior would have
more than worried him...*had* things been normal. Deanna felt tears sting in
her eyes, but they didn't come and they wouldn't. She promised herself that
she wouldn’t cry.
She pulled the gloves off and inspected her hands. The small but deep
wounds were still bleeding; when she washed the blood away she saw the shapes
of her nails imprinted in her flesh. The warm water made her cry out in pain.
'Well, back to work then.' She sat down behind her desk and began working
through the incredibly high mountain of PADDS on her desk.
>Crusher to Troi; Deanna, are you going to Mok'Ba'Rah class?<
>Because you were supposed to meet me at the Holodeck 5 minutes
"O damnit! Sorry, I forgot." She heard her friend laughing on
the other side of the comm.
"I'll be there right away." Deanna stood up abruptly, colliding
against the table in her hurry. The mountain began to totter and despite her
attempts to keep it standing PADDS fell everywhere.
"Oh forget it! Computer: One Mok'Ba'Rah outfit." Troi put on
the white outfit and headed to the Holodeck.
"I'm terribly sorry Beverly."
"No need to apologize, it happens to the best of us." Deanna
frowned and followed her friend into the Holodeck. She couldn’t avoid
noticing the doctor’s flushed cheeks.
"I assume the Captain's physical went pretty well." Instantly
Beverly turned around and looked straight into her friend's laughing face,
causing her cheeks to become even redder.
"Yes, he's in perfect physical health...and condition." They
both broke down in a fit of giggles. "Thank you so much for bringing us
"Hey, I have to do something to earn my shore leave, don't I?"
Sheepishly Beverly looked at the Betazoid who appeared to be dead serious.
"My shore leave. Now that you two will go together there will be
more space for me to pick from. Besides, the Captain promised me four extra
months." The redhead let her eyes slide close and bent her head for a
"Let's just start our exercises, all right? We've already lost ten
minutes because of a certain Betazoid psychologist."
"Oh yeah, just keep using it against me." Deanna acted as if
she was almost hurt, something Beverly immediately picked up on.
"It's the first time I used it against you." She saw Deanna
thinking about that and quickly added, "But it will certainly *not* be
the last Counselor." The taller woman quickly began her exercises before
the smaller one could reply. Muttering something to herself Deanna stepped
next to Beverly and synchronized her movements with the ones of the woman next
to her, carefully keeping the insides of her hands out of sight.
They both worked hard and were deeply concentrating. Though Neither of
them was actually concentrating on the exercises at hand. Suddenly a loud sigh
broke through the silence and the Counselor let her arms fall alongside her
"That's it, I give up." Startled and not understanding the
Doctor straightened her back and watched Deanna walk to a bench against the
"Exactly *what* do you give up?"
"Doing my exercises today." Beverly frowned, very obviously
"I can't concentrate, it must be a consequence of my black out
earlier." It sure sounded logical, didn't it? The redhead was about to
say something in return but Deanna cut her off.
"Oh no, don't you dare lecture me, Beverly Crusher; you weren't
exactly concentrating either." Her cheeks flushed immediately at the
realization of what the empath had picked up.
"All right, I admit it: I'm guilty; so sue me." The Doctor
raised her hands and let them fall down, indicating her surrender. A smile
washed over the Betazoid's delicate features; sessions like these with her
best friend always had a good influence on her and lightened her mood.
"Hand me a towel will you?" For a brief moment Deanna let her
down guard as she passed her the towel; she left her palm turned upwards when
Beverly pulled the towel away. Her eyes caught the four dark lacerations
before Deanna could turn her hand down. Beverly leaned forward to grab her
friend’s injured hand, carelessly tossing her towel onto the floor.
"Deanna what the hell happened?!" Her gaze didn't reveal
anything, it just shifted from her hand to the blue eyes of the woman in front
of her and back; looking at the hand as if it was someone else's. "These
lacerations were caused by your nails! I want an explanation for that young
lady." She was in trouble; Beverly only used that endearment when she was
*really* angry with her. Nonetheless Deanna couldn't help laughing.
"Young? Which exactly makes you...?"
"Damnit Deanna I'm serious! What is this?" Roughly she lifted
her hand up. "Some kind of self punishment?!" 'And exactly how -am-
I going to explain this?' She stared into the blue gaze of the CMO, buying
herself some time.
"I, uh, I'm not sure really. I suppose I was clenching my fists
during a nightmare or something." 'The last days have been a nightmare
after all, just one that won't end.'
"The other one, is it just as bad?" Docilely she showed her
other hand as well. "Oh, terrific." The sarcasm was tangible.
"Tell me again: WHY didn't you come to Sickbay?"
"I haven't had the time yet."
"That's BULL Deanna and you know it!" She bent her head,
causing ebony tendrils to fall down and partially cover her face. Silently she
agreed with Beverly's words.
'I shouldn't have been so harsh on her. But she *should've* come to
Sickbay. She knows full well that all injuries have to be reported.'
"Let's go to Sickbay and heal those nasty wounds. They must be rather
painful." Her anger had slipped away for the most part and was replaced
with concern. Deanna nodded slowly; she only now realized just how much they
hurt. Apparently she had instinctively closed her mind to the pain.
In Sickbay Beverly cleaned the wounds and healed them as best as she
could. "I can't heal them entirely; the last part will have to heal on
its own." Her dark hair spilled around her shoulders when she nodded at
her Doctor once again. The Counselor hopped off the biobed for the second time
that day and thanked Beverly.
"Just don't let it happen again." Her voice was strict yet
friendly; a trait she had always appreciated and admired in her friend.
"I won't." She gave the redhead a reassuring smile and left.
Chapter Seven: Challenge of
Deanna went to the Holodeck; she had three hours left before the poker
game would begin and she refused to allow herself the time to think about him.
She initiated a nature program. The Betazoid climbed onto a Rytax the Betazoid
version of a horse. This one was very large and black and reminded her of the
one she had back home. She had been riding ever since she was a little girl
and used the Holodeck to keep in practice. Unfortunately, the Holodeck horses
weren't telepathic like the real ones so she returned home every chance she
got just to ride her mother's horses.
She rode bareback and enjoyed the feeling of the wind blowing through her
hair immensely. But although the fences demanded her full attention her mind
slipped to Will. Deanna drove the horse harder; trying to get Will out her
mind. Tears streamed down her cheeks again and she kept driving the horse
harder. But still Will was in her mind.
"Computer: create a rainstorm; level nine ." The sky
immediately darkened and the first drops of water started to fall. The setting
was beautiful; the path she rode ran along a large river, over several hills,
through a forest and eventually along the shore of a sea. It was raining
heavily now; the material of her uniform had already soaked through to her
shoulders and her tears had merged with the raindrops on her face. And though
she had to keep focused to be able to see the fences in time she still
couldn't get him out her mind. His words sounded through her psyche and kept
repeating over and over.
///I want to be with her. I'm willing to take that risk with her Deanna.
I'm going to stay here Deanna, with her.\\\
"NO!!!" They had reached the shore now and she let the horse
run through the water at his top speed before driving him back to the field
with fences. She paused for a while, letting the rain fall down on her. The
Counselor was completely soaked now; there wasn't a dry inch left on her body.
She tucked a wet strand of ebony hair behind her ears.
"Computer: security guards off. Authorization:
>Security Guards are offline.< Troi didn’t notice the warning
that the ship's CMO would be informed if the security guards remained offline
for more than thirty minutes. She took the fences carefully at first, knowing
she could get seriously injured if she fell. But she hadn't fallen off of a
horse in a long time and soon became more confident and restless.
When all fences remained untouched even at the fastest speed and Will's
image and words were still spinning through her mind she ordered the computer
to increase the height of the fences by ten centimeters. The fences were now
at a level safe only for the most advanced riders. The rain and her fury made
them even more dangerous but she went after them anyway. Her wet hair hung
straight down, almost reaching the small of her back. It clung to her uniform
and cheeks but Deanna couldn't risk letting go of the horse with one hand to
push her hair aside.
>Warning: the safeguards of Holodeck 1 have been offline for thirty
"What the he*l? Computer: identify person in Holodeck 1." The
Doctor stood tapping her foot as she awaited the answer.
>Counselor Deanna Troi is in Holodeck 1.< 'Damnit, what's wrong
with her today?!'
"Alyssa, take over for a while will you? I have something to take
"Yes, Doctor." Beverly left Sickbay with her mind rolling with
Deanna increased the height of the barriers again by ten centimeters and
prepared herself to jump the barriers again, urging the horse on. The takeoff
was perfect and they flew over the first barrier without touching it. The
second barrier went perfectly as well, as did the third...and the fourth. The
fifth was no exception, nor was the sixth, seventh or eighth. After the
twelfth barrier was defeated the round was complete and Deanna allowed herself
and the horse a couple minutes of rest before increasing the barriers by
another 10 centimeters.
The second Beverly entered the Holodeck she felt the rain pouring down on
her. 'Oh fantastic.'
"Computer: cease the damn rain shower." The irritating
raindrops immediately disappeared. "That's better; now let's see what
Deanna is doing." Beverly climbed up the small hill in front of her and
looked around. Her gaze was instantly drawn to the large black animal.
Momentarily stunned by its incredible speed she approached the open area.
She saw Deanna’s soaked figure and watched her with interest. 'Boy, she sure
can ride! Why didn't I know that?' But when she realized which barrier Deanna
intended to jump a scream of horror slipped from her throat.
"DEANNA! DON'T!" But the Betazoid was too focused to hear her
friend’s cries. Beverly's cry was followed by a gasp of relief when they
jumped safely over it; the horse only hit the top with its hind legs. But when
she saw Deanna steering the horse for the next, much more dangerous looking
barrier she ran down.
"DEANNA! STOP!!!" Still Deanna didn't hear her; the horse
however did and abruptly stopped.
"SamaRa?!!" A surprised curse slipped from the Betazoid's
throat. Unprepared for the halt Deanna flew forward and landed roughly on the
ground. Beverly froze, unable to move as she watched the accident unfold
before her eyes.
"OUCH!" Only when Deanna's cry reached her ears did she begin
to run down. By the time she reached her, the Betazoid was already trying to
get back on her feet.
"Deanna, are you all right?"
"Yes, just some bruises I think." The smaller woman was
standing on her feet again, leaning against a tree.
"My wrist is a little sore though." The Doctor reached for her
tricorder and quickly scanned her friend.
"It's broken." Deanna raised her eyebrows and looked at her
wrist, which indeed was in a pretty unusual position.
"Where's His Highness?" She looked around her, shifting her
gaze across their surroundings.
"Oh...come on, let's get you to Sickbay."
"It's Holodeck program; he won't get away." A short laugh
escaped from her throat as she followed the red-haired Doctor.
"Computer: save and end program." While they were walking
through the corridors Deanna was very much aware of how...unusual she looked.
Her hair was still dripping from the rain and she was pretty sure she left a
wet track behind.
Deanna sensed Beverly's emotions quite clear; she was angry, concerned
but also curious. Knowing her friend she would undoubtedly get a little
lecture about taking responsibility and she would have to answer *some*
questions, but she didn't really care.
When the arrived in Sickbay Beverly guided her to a private room where
Deanna hopped onto the biobed and patiently let the Doctor treat her.
"The fracture is healed, but you cannot use your left hand and wrist
for at least two days." Deanna nodded her agreement; she hadn't expected
otherwise. Next the Doctor inspected the empath's hands. "Terrific
Counselor; now I need to clean this again." Knowing that Beverly wasn't
really angry with her Deanna restrained from replying.
"Deanna, why on Earth did you call that horse 'His Highness'?"
It's wasn't exactly the question she had been expecting but she couldn't think
of an easier one.
"To bug Mother." The CMO frowned in confusion. "I got him
as a colt before I met Will. Mother was desperately trying to find me a
husband at the time which was really annoying and embarrassing."
"I can imagine that. But that means the he's more then thirty years
old." Deanna understood why her friend was amazed.
"Rytaxes, a Betazed horse race, are known for their long lives; they
usually live fifty till sixty years."
"All right; but why the name?" A smile washed over her face and
she chuckled quietly at her memory.
"I had taken the foal home without asking for permission; Mother was, and still is, very proud of her stables ad wishes to judge each horse herself before allowing it into the stables." Beverly was surprised, she hadn’t known that they had stables.
"Anyway, I came home after a date which Mother had set up. She asked
me how it went and I told her that the date had...sucked but that I met a
really sweet male on my way home."
"Couldn't she tell you were lying?"
"I wasn't lying, so no, she couldn't. Naturally she began to
question me. I told he was royalty; very handsome and understanding. 'When am
I going to meet him?' she asked, so I snapped my fingers and called for 'His
Highness.' He came immediately and was probably the biggest disappointment of
mother’s life." Laughing, the redhead shook her head as she finished
her final scan.
"Seriously now Deanna, why were you riding so irresponsibly? You
know very well that it was extremely dangerous to ride under those conditions
with the safety guards off." Beverly
locked her stern gaze on the dark eyes of the woman in front of her.
"I'm aware of that Beverly; I just needed some serious
training." The CMO was obviously not satisfied with that answer but saw
from the Counselor's body language that she really didn't want to talk right
"All right; you better get dry. I'll see you in Ten-Forward at
20.00. Mind the wrist!" Deanna had already hopped off the biobed and was
near the doors.
"I will. Thank you!" 'Not a chance she'll leave it at this...'
In her quarters Deanna took a shower and patiently washed and brushed her
hair. She pulled on one of her regular off duty dresses and began to clean up
her quarters; a task she had neglected for longer then a day. Everyday tasks
were tricky to execute with just one hand available but she managed to succeed
>Warning: time is 19.55< 'Time for the big show.' Quickly she
brushed the newly formed tangles out her hair and then headed off for
Ten-Forward. Before she entered she let her usual mask slip into place. A long
slender arm waving at her from near one of the windows immediately caught her
attention. With a big grin on her face she walked towards the owner of the
"Afraid I wouldn't see you?"
"Afraid you'd ignore me on purpose." With a grin Beverly
watched her as she sat down.
"Have you gotten used to the one-handed life yet?"
"I'm managing, but I *do* understand why all species we've
encountered got at least two." Her witty response made her friend laugh
and the giggles spread to Deanna almost immediately. One of the waiters walked
up to the two grinning ladies and gave them their drinks; Beverly had ordered
a hot-chocolate for Deanna and some alien drink with an undetermined reddish
color for herself. Grateful, Deanna took a sip of her chocolate and held it in
her mouth for a while before swallowing, the familiar taste of the warm liquor
sliding down her throat and easing her senses.
"So, I assume you're going to Will's poker party tonight as
well?" Deanna almost choked on her favorite drink; the question
"Yes, how could I miss it?" 'If only I could.'
"You're right." Surrounded by silence both women enjoyed their
drinks. Beverly was studying her behavior; she was well-aware of that.
Fortunately she didn't try to hide that either. When their eyes met the Doctor
asked her question.
"I didn't know you could ride."
"Well, I knew you could ride, but not that you could...ride,
"Well, it's good to know there are still *some* things you don't
know about me after sixteen years." Giggling the Betazoid watched her
"No seriously Deanna; I watched you...out there for a while and you
ride more then 'okay'." Deanna was only beginning to realize how much
this previously unknown facet of her amazed her friend.
"I've been riding as long as I can remember. Something *both* my
parents agreed on for a change." Beverly couldn't help smiling. From the
stories Deanna had told her, she knew that her mother and father had hardly
ever agreed on anything. 'As different as Earth's summer and winter.' But that
wasn't the topic; she wanted an explanation about why she had turned the
safety guards off and she did not intend to let go of that.
"Do you always ride that dangerously?" For a brief moment her
onyx eyes flashed with annoyance.
"No, not on the Holodeck. At home, yes. I do have to keep the horses
in shape." The confusion and curiosity she sensed from her friend
encouraged her to keep telling.
"I have a title to defend; the annual horse show is in a few
"A title?" Beverly's eyebrows rose as she looked at Deanna in
awe. A proud smile washed over the Counselor's delicate features.
"Yes, I've been the champion in the highest class for the past three
years." At those words the Doctor eyes widened even further. 'Why didn't
I know this?'
"But..." She was too stunned by this new information to finish
"But what about our rides with Captain Picard?"
"Yes, you pretended you couldn't ride very well."
"I can't. At least not like that. On Betazed we don't use harnesses;
they can hurt the horses. You have to understand that Betazoid horses are
empathic and telepathic as well. We do not ride our horses by yelling at them
or by pulling their halter. Each jockey creates a bond with his or her horse.
If you treat the animal with respect and love it will do anything for you and
all you have to do is to ask." Deanna leaned back in her chair and drank
the dregs of her chocolate.
Still in awe the redhead stared at her. The younger woman across the
table never ceased to amaze her. By now she began to wonder if there was
*anything* Troi couldn't do. For a moment she forgot about the purpose of this
conversation...until her glance fell on the hands of her friend.
"If you're such an excellent rider, then why turn off the safety
"Because...if they're on I don't ride carefully or at my best.
Having no safety guards adds an extra sense of reality to it."
"And risk. Those barriers were *high* Deanna." The disapproving
tone in her voice was distinct.
"Yes I know, 1m70."
"Is that why you fell?" Deanna's mouth fell open.
"Wait a minute! As I recall I was doing perfectly well, until *you*
began to yell."
"Oh, no. I had to stop you; it was way too dangerous. So yes I
"And broke the concentration of the horse..."
"And broke the concentration of the ho...oh, I see. Sorry."
After 5 eternal seconds Deanna's tight-lipped mouth turned slowly into a smile
and only then did Beverly realized she hadn't been angry with her for a
fraction of a second.
"Good..." The Doctor stood up and indicated the Counselor was
free to stand up as well. "...Than let's go."
"Where to?" The redhead didn't see the surprise in her friend's
eyes, but she heard it clearly in her voice.
"Why?" They had reached the doors by now, Beverly literally
dragged Deanna forward.
Chapter Eight: Dressing up
As she looked at herself in the mirror she still couldn't believe she had
let Beverly talk her into this.
"Forget it Bev. I'm not going." The redhead stepped behind her
and looked at their reflections.
"Hey, I didn't just spend an hour doing your hair and make-up only
to have you go back to your quarters and wash it all off."
"Why do we have to dress up like this?" Beverly walked to her
bed and stepped into the gold-colored pumps standing at the foot of the bed.
"Because I know Will Riker and you'll have to make him not forget
about you." Like she had done many times before that night Deanna
summoned all her inner strength to keep her mask in place. Her friend already
stood by the parted door, ready to walk out. "Now come on, or we're going
to be unfashionably late."
Both women left the Doctor's quarters and headed to those of the First
Officer. One was looking forward to their arrival and the reactions of the
others; the other was dreading exactly that. Both were pleased by the
surprised and admiring looks they got from passing crewmembers. 'How am I
going to get myself through this?' When Beverly was about to ring the door
chimes Deanna stopped her.
"Give me a minute Bev." With interest she watched the Betazoid
who was clearly concentrating on something.
"What were you doing?" She asked as soon as Deanna's eyes
"Blocking my senses for the poker game."
>Deanna, come in.< Almost instantly the doors slid open and Deanna
plus a very surprised Beverly walked in. Will came up to them but froze as he
saw them. And although she knew she shouldn't Deanna allowed herself to sense
him. There it was: love, admiration and awe.
Riker studied his best friend carefully. Her silky ebony hair was been
put up and pulled together by numerous tiny silver clips which allowed quite a
few tendrils to drape down her neck, back and shoulders. A dozen silver
strands were woven through her hair, creating a shiny glow around her. The
make-up around her eyes made them appear larger than normal. Her lips where as
red as red could be, matching the color of her dress and shoes.
Her dress was rather simple; fitting around her upper body as a second
skin. Two very thin silver straps were the only things holding the dress in
place. A folded vertical band across her chest was decorated by several shiny
stones. The snug fit of material around her waist and hips left nothing to the
imagination. As soon as it reached her thighs the material exploded into a
wide skirt that reached down to the floor. Until she walked up to him he
didn't see the slit starting halfway her right thigh. She was so close that he
could feel her warm soft breath against his neck. So close that if he had
wanted to he could reach down and kiss her.
"Glad you like it." As she passed him he couldn't help from
turning and following her with his eyes. Her back was left naked until the
upper edge of her hips. Then a civilized yet insistent cough came from behind
him. Reluctantly he turned around to see an annoyed and insulted looking
woman. Beverly and Deanna quickly exchanged a wink before Beverly began to
"Where have your manners gone Commander? You know very well it's
impolite to keep a lady unattended; especially after she put herself through 2
hours of self-torture by dressing up for *your* party." For a moment he
really believed she *was* insulted...until he saw the little, mischievous
twinkle in her eyes. When he was about to make a witty comment in response he
suddenly found his chance being taken away by Geordi.
"What is it Riker? You're not trying to keep all the women for
yourself are you?!" Geordi’s reaction was very much the same as Riker's
when he saw the two women on either side of his Commander with a sheepish look
on his face.
"Ouch; tough choice huh, Commander?" Without hesitation the
engineer stretched his hand out to the Counselor who accepted and let the
blind man guide her to the poker table.
"Well, I guess that leaves me with you." The Doctor sounded
less than pleased and proceeded her 'companion' without glancing at him.
Despite not quite understanding the situation, Will followed her dumbly.
Intrigued, Data tilted his head as he studied the two women.
"Doctor, Counselor; may I ask what the reason is for your...unusual
way of dressing tonight?" They quickly exchanged looks; this was enough
for Beverly to understand Deanna wanted her to do the talking.
"Well Data; Deanna and I thought that since this is sort of a
goodbye party for the Commander, we might please him by dressing up in this
way." She turned her head to throw Riker a disdainful glance.
"Apparently, I was mistaken."
"I see, an interesting notion. You picked those clothes to impress
Commander Riker, but they did not have the desired effect. You had expected
the Commander to make compliments and give you attention, but instead he has
this rather strange apathetic look." Deanna frowned and when her eyes met
Beverly's both women laughed gently.
"Quite correct Data."
"Thank you Counselor." Turning to Will Data seemed to access
one of his databases. "Commander, you are know as what humans call a
ladies man, or in more ancient terms a lady-killer." The android tipped
his head to the left and blinked his eyes. In the meantime Deanna took a seat
next to Geordi and Beverly sat down on her other side. "Then, as a ladies
man, should you not overwhelm the Counselor and the Doctor with
compliments?" Tipping his head back Data awaited Will's answer with
curiosity. When none came Deanna gathered all her inner strength and forced
herself to lock her eyes onto his.
"Data *has* a point there, Will." Her intense look burned in
his eyes and had the intended effect.
"Well Data, you see, sometimes a woman can look so astoundingly
beautiful..." He had not released Deanna's eyes, but instead intensified
his gaze. "...That she takes the breath away of even a ladies man."
The Betazoid ground her teeth in order not to let anger and fear take control.
'My God, she's so damn beautiful.' Almost hearing his thought she clenched her
hands into fists. 'That dress is gorgeous; I'll take one with me for Lyana.'
After hearing that devastating thought her eyes briefly shot fire, but Deanna
simply bent her head and closed her eyes for a second. When she looked at him
again, they were empty.
Will narrowed his eyes ' what just happened?'. 'THE BASTARD!!!' Her
thought was so intense; so loud in her head that she was sure that the others
had heard it as well...but they hadn't.
"Thank you Will, I'm sure Deanna appreciates that too."
"Alright, that's IT, I *quit*." Everyone looked up in surprise.
"Oh, don't give me those innocent looks. Gee, I spend all that time
dressing up and you don't even let me win!" With no exception, everyone
regarded their seemingly furious friend.
"Don't even try it Data. You *could've* handed him some useless
"But that's cheating!" Deanna silently watched the scene around
her unfold. Will wasn't sure if Beverly really was furious, which was exactly
what the Doctor had been hoping for. The two women locked their gazes briefly
and with a slight nod Deanna let Beverly know to continue.
"Bev. calm down." The furious glare she got back was
accompanied by a wink.
"I will Counselor, in my quarters! Now if you’ll excuse me, I'll
go and get out of this..." she gestured angrily at her body.
"...Thing." With large steps she left.
"If you'll excuse me; I'm going to make sure she's alright."
Jean-Luc stood up and left, avoiding the gazes of his friends. Still confused,
the remaining three men turned to the empath for an explanation. Deanna
shrugged her shoulders and took the deck of cards.
"Tough day I guess. So, you're all still in?" Geordi shook his
"The Doctor has a point. And I will not keep feeding that..."
With a broad grin on his face he pointed at Riker. "...Man's ego.
Besides, the Captain requested a more detailed report on the Ryarans’
communication system. Data, I could use your help." With an apologetic
nod Data stood up and followed Geordi out. Riker was too stunned by their
behavior to say anything.
"Well Will, it seems your winning row is over." She winked at
him coyly before she too stood up. But before she had pushed herself all the
way up he grabbed her wrist; preventing her from straightening further.
"Can't you stay and talk for a while?" Quizzically she looked
deep into his blue eyes. 'Forget it Will.'
"Sure; but in my quarters; I *have* to take this dress off." A
mischievous sparkle appeared in his eyes.
"Shame on you William T. Riker!" This time he didn't hear the
disbelief and anger in her voice.
"Can I still come?!"
"Ten minutes!" As he watched her leave he compared her body and
way of moving to that of Lyana. They were alike, but also not. The difference
was not only in looks and character but also in presence. Much to his dismay
he couldn't quite place or describe it. He used the ten minutes to clean up
the mess his friends had made and to put together a short list of things he
wanted to discus with his Imzadi.
Deanna used her ten minutes to change her dress into a lose-fitting deep
purple one. 'I can't do this! I don't want to be alone with him!' But she knew
there wasn't an escape for her, just like there hadn't been one before, ever.
Chapter Nine: The Hurt of a
She waited, almost trembling from her nervousness. ‘How am I going to
get through this?! Maybe I should tell him. But how will he react? Will he
stay? And what if he doesn’t…’ Her string of thoughts was interrupted by
the ever familiar beep, indicating that there was someone waiting at her door.
‘Showtime.' A deep sigh followed her thought.
“Will, come in.” The doors hissed open and William Riker walked in.
He stood still, blocking her door as he drank in her looks.
“Nice dress.” Somehow she managed a smile, a weak one, but strong
enough not to draw his attention.
“Thank you, have a seat.” He walked to the couch and slowly sat down,
never once releasing her gaze. Deanna’s empathic sense of him was strong,
stronger than it had been for a long time. ‘Why? Why now?’ Patient, at
least in appearance, she waited for him to start. He was obviously gathering
“Deanna, … you know me better than anyone, better than I know myself.”
The look in his eyes grabbed at her; he was so hopeful, trusting. “Do you
think I’m ready for this?” ‘He’s hesitating!!!’ She had to urge to
fly over, embrace him and make sure he’d never go away. But she didn’t,
and like most of the time she was in perfect control of her emotions.
“Why do you ask?” He was a bit embarrassed and began to play with his
hands nervously. After a minute of just watching him it became too much for
her. “Will.” He looked up, the uncertainty clear in his eyes.
“I’ve fought for this…” He let his arm swing from one side to the
other, gesturing at their surroundings “…my entire life. I wouldn’t let
anything or anyone hold me back.” Deanna cringed. ‘Anyone’. But when she
realized he wasn’t even thinking about her, her fury once again came to the
surface. By the sudden haunted look in his eyes she knew he had seen a glimpse
of her fury.
“You have Will, but perhaps you’ve been aiming at the wrong goal all
along.” Her words, her musical voice made him forget the fury he had seen.
“What do you mean?” The Betazoid uncrossed her legs, pushed herself
up and walked over. ‘What am I doing?! Why?! I don’t want this!’ But her
body moved nonetheless. She sat down, mere inches away from him.
“Maybe it is time for you to settle down.” His bright blue gaze
locked on her onyx one and did not stray. For the first time in her life it
made her uncomfortable and she wanted nothing else but to run away. Her
breathing accelerated and her hands clenched back into fists. This time he did
notice the changes.
“Deanna, what’s wrong?” But she didn’t answer, caught up in her
internal fight. ‘Fool! You shouldn’t have told him that!’ ‘But it’s
the truth; he’s your friend. Of course you want to see him happy.’ ‘Why
would he deserve to be happy when you don’t?’ ‘He has to make his own
choices.’ ‘BULL! Make him see, make him stay!’ In panic she shook her
head; her hair slapped against her face, against his.
“Leave me alone!”
“Deanna?!” He didn’t know what to do, and what was wrong with her?
He instinctively grabbed her shoulders and shook her back and forth.
“Deanna, listen to me. Calm down.” But his actions were in vain, and
she kept screaming.
“I don’t want to hear it! Leave me alone!!!” ‘Like everyone else?
Like your father, like your son and your sister?!’ ‘Don’t! That was not
my fault.’ ‘Oh no? Than whose was it?’
“It wasn’t my fault!!!…I’m not responsible!!!…Leave me alone!”
Frantically she kept shaking her head; screaming out denials. But soon sobs
and cries racked her body and made her unable to speak.
Riker was horrified, never had he seen his Imzadi behaving like this. ‘How
can I help her?’ He searched his memory for answers, but found none. Until
he heard her soft cry for help in his head.
~Will! Help me!~ It was faint, hardly audible. But it *was* there. He now
knew what to do, how to calm her. However, he was uncertain if he could. ‘I
have to try.’
Drawing on everything Deanna had once taught him he cleared his mind and
focussed solely on her. With his mind cleared he started recalling everything
he loved about her. Her inner strength. Her compassion for others. Her wisdom.
The peace within her. Her amazing ability to make the best out of things,
anywhere, anytime. He focussed on the pureness of her soul, her innocence and
the beauty of her heart and mind. Then he focussed on Deanna herself; the
turmoil she was in, the demons she was so desperately trying to fight. And he
began to send the emotions he had gathered earlier to her. Slowly and
carefully he forced them into her head.
After a while she began to calm down, her breathing slowing and her
movements becoming less frantic. When she had calmed down enough he withdrew
himself from her mind, fighting the desire to stay. He watched her for a few
eternal moments before he enveloped her in his arms and drew her close.
Quietly she cried into his chest, for the moment ignoring the fact that he was
going to leave her the next day.
“You remembered…” As soon as he heard her whisper he gently pushed
her away and looked her in the eyes.
“How could I forget.” Deanna laid her head back against his chest,
savouring the moment. He ran his fingers through her silky hair and rubbed her
back soothingly. “Can you tell me what happened?” Briefly she stiffened.
“I...can’t Will, I’m sorry.” Tears welled up in her eyes again.
Gently he rocked her back and forth.
“Shh, it’s alright. Just promise me you’ll talk to Beverly.”
“I will, when I’m ready.”
“Don’t wait too long Imzadi.” His use of the endearment had no
influence on her this time, much to her relief. ‘O DA*N, Beverly!’ In the very same instant
she up righted herself; triggering a confused look from Will.
“I…uh...I promised to meet Beverly after the poker game.” Not
really a lie, was it?
“Will you tell her?”
“No, I need to find out what happened first.” Their eyes fell
simultaneously on her hands; the bandages were soaked with blood. In horror
they looked at each other.
“Let’s get you to Sickbay.” He already dragged her to the doors
when she stopped him.
“No Will, the bleeding has stopped. Let me clean it up.” She hurried
to her bathroom and unwrapped the bandages. Carefully she began to clean her
hands, making sure she wouldn’t re-open the wounds. When she looked into the
mirror she saw Will standing behind her, obviously concerned. Before he could
say anything she handed him the bandages.
“Will you put these in the recycler for me please?”
“Sure.” Quickly she threw some cold water in her face and brushed her
“Computer: clean dress.” A blue light slid over her and the beam
cleaned her dress. She took Will’s arm and guided him into the corridors.
“Will, please don’t tell anyone.” He met her gaze and held it. She
sensed his concern clearly.
“Will, please! It’s all I’m asking for.” Her desperate gaze
begged him. His sub-conscious knew there was an underlying meaning of her
words, one his conscious ignored.
“Thank you.” They had reached his quarters; Will stood indecisively.
Should he ask her in?
“Goodnight, I’ll see you tomorrow.” ‘Well, I suppose that’s a
no.’ As reply he brushed his lips over hers, a habit he had adopted ever
since he served with her.
“Goodnight Imzadi.” ‘Don’t let him go!’ But she did not leave
him for long.
Chapter Ten: Surprise!
Riker entered his quarters confused and concerned. Something was wrong
with Deanna, but she had asked him to let it go. And so he would. He shrugged
his worries off and concentrated on the next day, the day he would leave the
Enterprise. 'Odd, I thought the lights were on when I left.'
~They were.~ Two simple words...they scared the hell out of him.
He turned around, half expecting to see Deanna standing in the doorway.
But there was no one, he was alone...he thought. 'Why did she send that to me?
What does she want to say?' Deep in his heart he knew the answer; but he
couldn’t quite place it. For the second time that evening he shrugged his
confusion off. He walked through the dark to the replicator.
"Ryaran coffee, extra salt." Two pairs of eyes watched him as
he picked up the coffee and carried it back to the living area. Then he put
the coffee on the table and plopped down in his chair.
"Computer: music, jazz, twentieth century Earth, any artist."
Soft tones of music filled his ears and eased his mind, causing him not to
notice the movements the beings behind him made. They turned their heads
towards each other and seemed to communicate through their eyes. All four eyes
briefly lit up before turning back to the human in front of them. As he sipped
his coffee Will thought about the life he was going to build with Lyana. Oh
sure he had to leave a lot behind, like Deanna said; everything he had worked
Deanna... He hoped he would have a chance to properly say goodbye to her
tomorrow. He was certain that if it hadn't been for her, he wouldn't here
today, and he wouldn’t be looking at the same future. He still didn't notice
the two creatures behind him. Each of them had picked a side of the ignorant
Commander and approached him slowly and carefully.
If one looked closer one could see the somewhat sadistic smile on their
faces, the mischievous and wicked gleams in their eyes. But Will Riker didn't
have eyes in the back of his head, nor did he have the empathy that would've
warned Deanna. Thus, the creatures had a huge advantage. Suddenly he realized
he was still sitting in the dark. His mouth was opening to order the computer
to turn the lights on when he changed his mind.
"Computer: increase volume." The music immediately became a bit
louder. The beings behind him exchanged looks apparently discussing the next
move of action. Simultaneously each being reached behind itself and pulled
something from its sides. Moving the objects to where their mouth would
probably be they winked at each other, indicating it was time for the final
phase of their plan. Behind them a third being moved to the right wall; still
unnoticed by Will.
After waiting a few more moments the creature on his left side slowly
nodded; three seconds later they took a deep breath, and then they
straightened up a little. At the fifth second the creature near the wall
placed his hand on the panel, closely monitoring the movements of his two
companions. In the last second a wide smile washed over the two conspirators
as they simultaneously jumped up from their hiding places; causing the third
one to turn on the lights.
"SURPRISE!!!" Four loud, laughing voices penetrated Riker's
ears, accompanied by the shrieking sound of birthday trumpets when at the same
time his eyes registered two people jumping up at his side and the sudden
light that appeared. With his heart in his throat, the Commander jumped out of
his chair and turned around, grabbing his phaser and aiming at thin air.
"What the he..." His voice trailed off as he looked into the
laughing face of a certain redheaded Doctor. His gaze shifted to the other
side where he met the twinkling eyes of his Security Officer. Then he noticed
the Chief Engineer standing at the light-panel with the broadest grin he had
ever seen. The confusion and surprise wasn't complete until he saw the android
accompanied by an openly laughing Captain emerge from his bathroom. Everyone
except for Data and himself was laughing to no end at how confused and
surprised he looked.
"Number One; you can put that phaser away now, we won't bite."
Sheepishly Will looked at the phaser he that was still holding. As soon as his
brain reconnected with the nerves and muscles in his arm he lowered the phaser
and put it on the table.
Outside Deanna had followed everything and when she sensed the fear and
adrenaline running through Will's body she couldn't help but laugh. She waited
a few more moments before she punched in the code she knew by heart and
re-entered his quarters.
"I thought you loved surprise parties Commander." He watched
her walking in with new eyes; it was as if he had never, ever seen her before.
Something had definitely changed. But to his dismay he couldn't quite pin it
down. At that moment Geordi carried the cake in and the farewell party began.
Three hours later Deanna stumbled into her quarters. A bit too much real
alcohol caused her room to spin around her. She didn't even bother undressing
before tumbling into bed. The evening, or rather night, had gone much better
than she had expected. She had managed to keep her mask in place and had not
shown her anger or sadness about him leaving the Enterprise...her. Right now
she didn't care whether or not he'd come to say goodbye to her the next
morning, but she knew that as soon as she was sober again she would care. As
she lay on her bed and watched the universe spinning around her the alcohol
overcame her and she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Chapter Eleven: Just in
With a bag in each hand, Will walked quickly and nervously down the
corridors. The idea to abandon the Enterprise and his career seemed distant,
almost as if it was just a dream. He knew, however, that this was very real.
He had tried to talk to Deanna but she didn't respond when he had contacted
her. He figured she was still sound asleep.
The image of her from the night before was still clearly imprinted in his
mind. She had looked exhausted and that was *before* the surprise party. When
she had left she was more than just a little tipsy so, speaking from
experience, it would be better to allow her to sleep.
In the Transporter Room the others members of the Senior Staff were
already waiting. Quickly they said goodbye once more since they had all had
time to do so the night before.
"Keep an eye on Deanna for me will you? I'm worried about her." Surprised as well as confused Beverly glanced at him. 'Deanna hasn't told him what was wrong?' Then a warm smile washed over her face as she gently squeezed his arm.
"I will." The gratitude in his eyes almost knocked her off her
feet. 'This -isn't- a simple shore leave.' He was about to step onto the
platform when Picard held out a little black bag.
"Just in case." Curious about its contents Riker accepted it
and climbed onto the platform. Scanning his surroundings one more time, hoping
that she'd be there, he eventually straightened his back and nodded at his
Captain. Jean-Luc turned to the Transporter Chief who understood the silent
command and fired up the transporter. Will Riker faded away into nothing, only
to appear on the planet's surface merely seconds later.
With solid ground under his feet he dropped his bags and laid the
smallest one on the grass. 'Now, let's see what's in it.' One by one he picked
up the things in the bag.
First a tiny PADD came out. When he opened the file he realized it
contained a schedule of vessels passing the planet within transporter range
for the next eight months.
Second there was a CommBadge; apparently they didn't expect him to be
able to stay away from Starfleet for nine entire months.
The third and last present surprised him the most. It was a silver photo
frame: quite old judging from its dusty appearance. The first photo had been
taken the night before, showing the entire Senior Staff in party outfits.
Beverly wore a lovely black dress that reached just below her knees. Fko, the
Security Chief, had worn a dress for the first time in her life; hers was deep
blue and like Beverly's reached just below her knees. The four men all wore
similar outfits; loose fitting dark-coloured trousers and different coloured
dress-shirts. His had been coral-blue, the Captain's had been deep red, Geordi’s
had been black and Data...well Data's had been rather...colourful. 'Damnit!
Deanna isn't on it.'
With that realization sadness suddenly overwhelmed him. He had forgotten
to pack a picture of her. His eyes lit up as he discovered the tiny button at
the underside of the frame. He pushed it and the picture that appeared made
his heart skip a beat.
"Deanna..." 'Has this been taken last night?' He couldn't
remember. His fingers cautiously touched the glass, as if he was afraid to
break it. She looked incredibly gorgeous. Her ebony curls cascaded down her
neck since she had made no attempt to catch and hold them. Countless silver
strands had been woven through her hair, accentuating the natural blue glow
she had always been so proud of. The makeup around her eyes was a little
heavier than usual, but was certainly flattering.
Her large brown eyes were aimed directly at the camera, and from the look
on her face he gathered the photographer had surprised her. Her soft, natural
coloured lips were slightly parted. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that her
next words had been "By Rixx!"
His eyes slid down the column of her elegant neck. A single, simple
silver necklace decorated her perfect chest. Attached to the thin silver chain
was a long strand of sparkling silver which was interspersed with tiny
diamonds. The strand fell down between her collarbones and into the valley
between her breasts; he could only imagine where it ended.
The dress she wore was simple, simpler than most of the dresses he was
used to. Extremely thin black shoulder straps held the dress in place. Each of
them attached to one of the triangles on the front side. The dress seemed
crumpled but when he looked closer he realized that was on purpose. The
crumples in the purple material created a mysterious play of colours when
light fell on them. The bodice of the dress fit perfectly around her
well-shaped body, then widened from her hips downwards. In the front the skirt
didn't reach further than halfway down her thighs but behind her it grew
longer and longer until it dragged on the floor.
His eyes traced the two perfect legs down to her ankles. A thin silver
chain had decorated her left ankle. Her shoes, pumps, were grey with a
silver-like reflection. When he finally finished studying his Imzadi he let
out a quiet sigh. Why he didn't know, but suddenly he turned over the frame.
"Xiara esta, ta Fira xi." A Betazoid phrase. Like
Imzadi there was no accurate translation. But 'Home is where your soul
belongs' came pretty close. He repacked his gifts and started walking to
Lyana's house. But he couldn't get his mind off of the picture. 'Who had
picked it, and why?' He couldn't believe the Captain had picked the photos and
frame. 'Deanna perhaps?' No, she avoided pictures as much as she could; at
least ones she had to pose for. Besides she would never give him such a frame
and certainly not such a picture of herself. 'Beverly than?...YES, of course!'
Typical Beverly Crusher, romantic and sentimental. With a grin he kept
walking, grabbing at something in the bag. When he had found it he briefly
"Thank you Beverly, very thoughtful." In Sickbay Doctor Crusher
grinned as well, not bothering to reply.
Slowly, very slowly Deanna opened her eyes. 'He's gone.' She knew it the
second she opened her senses. 'Why didn't he wake me?!' She wasn't sure how to
feel; she was relieved, yes, but also angry and disappointed. Deanna tried to
sit up but the sensation of a knife penetrating her head caused her to fall
back immediately. Annoyed she groaned. 'Great, just what I need.' How far away
could he be?' A wicked gleam shone in her eyes. The empath concentrated,
focussed and sent.
~Will! Where are you?!~ A mile away from Lyana's house Will froze in his
steps. She sounded confused and even scared. 'Must be because of the
hangover.' He wanted to reassure her, calm her down. And after last night he
had a fair idea how. Now he too concentrated and focussed every fiber within
~Thank you for making me the man I've become.~ Deanna gasped out loud;
never before had he send her such a long message!
~You did that yourself Will. Where are you?~ A feeling of gratitude and
joy overwhelmed her, almost causing her to sit up again.
~I'm home Imzadi.~ Her breath stuck in her throat and her stomach turned
into one huge knot. Her eyes widened, then darkened as she experienced her
immense fury, her disappointment and despair. She raised her barriers just a
little too late; she sensed Will's concern and confusion floating into her
mind and she knew he had sensed her emotions. She felt, really *felt* her
heart break; falling apart in a thousand pieces. Her pain was all consuming,
scream was filled with all her pain and anger, all her despair and love, and
came from the very core of her being.
Riker gasped aloud, his hands moving to his throat as if an invisible
something was trying to strangle him. The force of Deanna's emotions made his
head spin and his eyes widen. But as suddenly as it had hit him it
disappeared. He took a few moments to gather himself before he tried to
contact her again to make sure she was all right.
~Deanna? Imzadi, are you alright?~ He was amazed how much easier it
suddenly was to send to her. But there was no response. It was as if his
message just slammed against a wall and disappeared. 'She must have blocked
He tried to analyse the feelings he had sensed from her, most which were
quite easy to recognize. There was one feeling...that seemed to embody every
emotion in existence, but still seemed to be part of something bigger. 'Like
splinters of a vase' The sentence flashed through his psyche but he didn't, he
couldn't, he wouldn't, didn't *want* to understand.
'How can he say that?! We're Imzadi, his home will always be here, with
me!' She knew he had sensed her feelings, she did not doubt it for a second,
but she regretted it immensely.
"I don't need you Will Riker!" It was a promise, one to
herself, one she vowed never to break. It was also one she had already broken.
She had made exact the same promise all those years ago, back on Risa when
he didn't show. And she had kept it for a long time, until they had decided to
renew their relationship after the Briar Patch. And now she was making the
same vow again and was experiencing the same heartbreak all over again.
For the second time in her life she had trusted him with her heart and
for the second time he had betrayed her trust and broken her heart! Deanna
felt those annoying, humiliating tears welling up in her eyes. And fight as
she might, she could not hold them back. And she was crying over him, crying
herself to sleep. Tears, cries and sobs racked her small body, drawing her
breath away. And her shattered heart cried out, to him. Begging him to come
back to her even though she never, *ever* wanted to see him again. But even
then, in all her despair and anger she comforted him. The man who had caused
her so much pain that she wondered if she could ever love a man again.
Momentarily she blocked her feelings and focussed her mind.
~I'm all right Will.~ She knew he had heard her, that he would try to
send something back. But she would not allow herself to receive his answer.
Deanna blocked her psyche for him, more definitively than she ever had in the
past. But they were Imzadi and they could not be whole without each other.
Thus she was condemned to spend the rest of her life as one half of a whole.
Will received her message. It relieved him to know that she was all
right...for a moment. Something was different; her message had been...cold. He
did not sense any feeling with it; not the way he was used to. But fate didn't
give him the chance to think about it as Lyana came running towards him.
"Will!" He dropped his bags onto the ground and scooped her up
into his arms.
Deanna woke up alone.
>12.21< She hadn't slept for much longer than half an hour. Her
head was still aching, and so was her heart. Somehow this was worse than each
time before. The psychologist inside her told her to analyse her feelings,
despite how badly she wanted to ignore them. And to her own surprise she did.
She began to look for the reason why it hurt so badly this time. At first
she thought it was because it was the second time that she had lost him but
she soon realized that the difference was in *how* she had lost him. Where the
first time it had been to his career, a non-living, non-sentient, non-loving
thing. Now she had lost him to something far more dangerous; she had lost him
to another woman, one who had the power to capture him and one who was not
likely to let him go.
The Counselor knew she had to deal with her emotions, and that she had to
sort them out before they would start to control her life. But she wasn't up
to that task, yet. And so she pushed her feelings aside; she pushed the back
into a dusty, dark corner in her psyche. Having done that she sat up.
Immediately a sharp pain rushed through her head. 'Damn
hangovers!' Despite the headache she got up, undressed and stepped into the shower.
The soft water nurtured her body as well as her mind and when she got out
fifteen minutes later she felt a whole lot better. She dried her body and hair
and put on a regular uniform. After having brushed her hair she left her
quarters and headed for Sickbay.
"Deanna, take a seat." The cheerful voice of Doctor Crusher
made her cringe. Beverly picked up one of the tricorders and scanned the
Counselor's wrist and wounds in her palms. "They have been re-opened
recently." The disapproval in her voice was clear.
"They have?" 'Fine, if you don't want to talk then by all means
don't.' Immediately the Doctor kicked herself mentally for thinking like that.
But she couldn't help it. With narrowed eyes she watched her friend. 'Has she
noticed something?' But the surprised and quizzical look she had expected from
the Empath never came, much to her relief.
"Your wrist has almost healed completely, but you still cannot use
it." Deanna smiled understandingly at her Doctor but didn't say another
word. 'She looks like he*l.' Beverly said to herself. "Here, I'll give
you something to put on the lacerations and a hypospray for your
hangover." Briefly Deanna widened her eyes, then closed them before her
lips curled into a slight smile.
"That obvious huh."
"Well, not now; but last night, or rather this morning...yes."
Gently Crusher injected the hypo in the large vein in Troi's neck and then
patted her on her arm. "It'll be gone in a few seconds. The Captain gave
you the day off so I suggest you use it to relax a bit; you look
exhausted." Although surprised Deanna didn't care and decided not to
"I will Beverly."
Author’s note: The lyrics used come from the songs ‘Us’, ‘Love is on the Way’
and ‘Immortality’ from the Album
‘Let’s talk about Love’
performed by Celine Dion. No
infringement was intended, but I just *had* to use them. :rolleyes:
Chapter Twelve: No more
In the week that followed everything seemed to be normal. Deanna, Data
and Geordi had each taken part of Will's bridge watches and Deanna and Data
had decided to handle Will's other tasks together.
The solution seemed to be a good one. Doctor Crusher had, of course,
expressed her concern over Deanna's heavy duty roster but the Counselor
herself was quite happy with it. Being on duty for most of the day gave her an
excuse not to think about her personal life, about him...Even though she knew
she could not avoid looking back forever.
Beverly had questioned Jean-Luc several more times about Riker's shore
leave, but he stoically refused to give her any answers. However, as the
second week neared Deanna's behaviour became more and more abnormal. She
couldn't concentrate anymore, and was easily distracted and nervous. Beverly
talked with her and Deanna assured her it was nothing.
But her behaviour went from bad to worse. At the beginning of the second
week she was withdrawn, snappy, sarcastic and cold. She still performed her
duties well – Deanna Troi was the last person to let her personal misery
interfere with her duty – but by the end of the week she couldn't perform
her duties any longer. The fatigue and sadness were tangible on the Betazoid’s
"I heard you're going to take a month’s shore leave." There
wasn't the slightest reaction from her until she opened her mouth. She
answered still looking out into space.
"Yes I am, I need to take a break."
"I'm glad you've asked for it yourself. I was to the point of
confining you to your quarters."
"I appreciate your concern Beverly, but I can take perfect care of
myself." The Betazoid clenched her teeth together as she spoke.
'Something is definitely bothering her.' Beverly stated silently. The redhead
leaned back in her chair and took a sip of her tea. Suddenly a coy and
searching glimpse entered her eyes.
"Going to pay a visit to our dear Commander, are you?"
Slowly...very slowly Deanna turned around, locking her gaze immediately onto
Beverly's. If the utter calmness of her movements hadn't yet concerned the
Doctor, the look in her eyes most certainly did. Her irises had darkened and
Beverly could almost *see* the flames of fury.
"De...Deanna?" The sound of her voice seemed to have a calming
influence and the fire in her friend’s eyes died. But the cold tone of the
empath's words sent an unpleasant shiver along her spine.
"No, I'm not Doctor. I'm going to Betazed if you must know. Now, if
you'll excuse me, I'm tired and want to go to bed." She hadn't released
her gaze, he*l she hadn't even blinked her eyes. Every muscle in the
Counselor's body was strained and she was trembling.
Beverly realized that her own heartbeat had accelerated and a feeling of
fear crept over her. Part of her wanted to walk over to her best friend and
comfort her, take away whatever hurt she was feeling. But another part of her
wanted to run away, out those quarters, away from the uncomfortable and
frightening silence within them.
She chose the latter, walking backwards to the door. Her arm stretched
out behind her, searching for the panel and pushing it; opening the doors. All
the while her gaze did not leave the trembling Betazoid at the window. As soon
as the doors slid back together in front of her Beverly turned around and
nearly ran to her own quarters where she walked straight into the arms of her
friend, lover and Captain. With a shaky voice she started to explain what had
As soon as the doors slid back together Deanna exhaled slowly, allowing
the fury inside her to flow out bit by bit. Beverly had been scared of her;
for the first time in her life she had *scared* someone. She knew she should
feel guilty and angry with herself, but she felt none of that. She just didn't
"I definitely need shore leave." As she mumbled those words to
herself Deanna tucked an ebony curl behind her ear. Empty-eyed she stared out
to the stars; the same ones that she had dreamed to explore so long ago.
"Computer: play the songs 'US, Immortality and Love is on the Way'
performed by Celine Dion, 21st century Earth. Random order" It had been a
long time since she had listened to those – 16 years. The soft tones and
lyrics filled her quarters.
~ I want to know why ~
~ you're letting this die ~
~ Without the blink of an eye ~
~ You say that you need time ~
~ I say you'll be fine ~
The music began softly but grew louder and louder as the voice became
stronger and stronger. Deanna found herself intensely listening to the lyrics.
'NO! I *don't* need him anymore; he made his choice!'
~ If you would only see ~
~ Like you did before ~
~ You became imprisoned ~
~ Can I reopen the door ~
"Computer: delete the song 'US' from the list." The music
faded, quickly replaced by another song. "Increase volume by one hundred
percent." She didn't want to be aware of anything but the music and
"Jean-Luc, I want to know what is going on and I want to know -now
!!!" He planted a light kiss on her hair and made her face him. She could
see in his eyes that he wanted to tell her, but she could also see that he
wouldn't. "Jean-Luc..." The woman was pleading with him; something
was very wrong with her best friend and he knew what; but he -wouldn't-
-couldn't- tell her.
"Deanna alone holds the answer to that My Love, go to her. Don't use
the chimes, use your overwrite code and don't speak until she does." Had
she heard that correctly?! He wanted her to invade Deanna's privacy. She
watched him in mile shock, but when her eyes met his she realized he was
"All right." Beverly got up and glanced at him silently before
she walked to the bedroom and exchanged her uniform for a civilian dress. As
she passed him they quickly kissed.
"I'll see you tomorrow." Before she had the chance to respond
the doors closed behind her. 'Tomorrow?' Her first impulse was to walk back
in, but instead she headed back to Deanna's quarters. Much to her surprise the
doors hissed open at her approach; Deanna apparently hadn't locked them after
she had left. As she entered the beginning notes of a song penetrated her
ears. Judging from their loudness the volume had been set extremely high,
especially for Deanna.
The quarters were dark; the only light came from the stars around them.
Beverly stood still three meters behind Deanna's back and waited. A soft,
female voice accompanied the music and the Doctor fell victim to the
intoxicating effect of the song. Like the Betazoid before her, she listened
intensely to the lyrics.
~ Waking up alone ~
~ In a room that still reminds me ~
~ My heart has got to learn to forget ~
~ Starting on my own ~
~ With every breath I'm getting stronger ~
~ This is not the time for regret ~
~ 'Cos I don't need to hang on to heartbreak ~
~ When there's so much of life left to live ~
As the meaning of the words dawned on Beverly she realized what had
caused Deanna to behave like she had.
~ Love is on the way ~
~ On wings of angels ~
~ I know it's true ~
~ I feel it coming through ~
~ Love is on the way ~
~ Time is turning the pages ~
~ I don't know when ~
~ But love will find me again ~
A surge of sorrow and pity rushed through her and when she saw Deanna
stir she knew the empath had felt it. But she didn't turn around so Beverly
waited patiently for her friend to speak.
~ I am not afraid of the mystery of tomorrow ~
~ I have found a faith deep within ~
~ There's a promise I have made ~
~ There's a dream I'm gonna follow ~
~ There's another change to begin ~
~ And it's coming as sure as the heaves ~
~ I can feel it right here in my heart ~
A The song ended and another on began. Again Beverly's attention was
drawn to the lyrics, which she just *knew* were important for Deanna. The
singer was undoubtedly the same as the previous.
~ So this is who I am ~
~ And this is all I know ~
~ And I must choose to live ~
~ For all that I can give ~
~ The spark that makes the power grow ~
~ And I will stand for my dream if I can ~
~ Symbol of my faith in who I am ~
~ But you are my only ~
~ And I must follow on the road that lies ahead ~
~ And I won't let my heart control my head ~
~ But you are my only ~
~ We don't say goodbye ~
~ We don't say goodbye ~
~ And I know what I've got to be ~
While listening to the song, something that was almost impossible not to
do, Crusher closely studied her friend. Although Deanna was standing with her
back towards her the redhead was sure she was crying at the moment, if not
over what could've been, then over what once had been.
~ 'Cos I have found a dream that must come true ~
~ Every ounce of me must see it through ~
~ But you are my only ~
~ I'm sorry I don't have a role for love to play ~
~ Hand over my heart I'll find my way ~
~ I will make them give to me ~
~ Immortality ~
~ There is a vision and a fire in me ~
~ I keep the memory of you and me inside ~
~ And we don't say goodbye ~
~ We don't say goodbye ~
~ With all my love for you ~
~ And what else we may do ~
~ We don't say goodbye. ~
Again the music faded, and this time Beverly found her eyes filled with
tears. The songs were beautiful, but she knew that the meaning – the reason
why Deanna played them now at such a volume – was that those songs reflected
what was going on inside the mind and heart of the tiny Betazoid who looked so
"Computer: stop." This was it, one wrong word and...she didn't
even want to think about what would happen then. Deanna still hadn't turned
around, but Beverly's instinct told her to approach her friend.
"It's been sixteen years since I listened to those songs." Her
voice was almost emotionless, almost but not quite.
"They're beautiful." Slowly Deanna turned around. The fury that
had dominated the black eyes earlier was gone, replaced by tears that kept
falling down her cheeks. The empath wiped them away with her small hands and
sat down on the couch. Beverly sat down besides her and waited for her to
"I frightened you, didn't I?" Briefly both woman looked at
their hands before their eyes met again.
"You did." A nervous laugh escaped her throat as she looked
away in shame.
"I'm sorry." The Doctor didn't respond, fully aware that she
didn't need to. A comfortable silence surrounded them, allowing each the time
to think about what their next step would be.
"Why the songs Deanna?" The question was direct, more direct
than either of them had expected. Beverly held her breath; Deanna would either
explode or explain. Preferably the latter.
"I told you that Will and I had met before we were stationed on the
"Yes, you told me you had a brief affair but that it just hadn't
worked out." Deanna laughed again, this time her laugh was filled with
"That's what I tried to make myself believe; that it 'just hadn't
worked out'." She took a deep breath and a few moments to compose
herself. "When I first met him I didn't want to have anything to do with
him. He was so full of himself, so arrogant and even then his reputation had
preceded him." Beverly smiled knowingly; she could understand Deanna's
"My opinion about him changed when he came to rescue me from a gang
of robbers who had kidnapped me." The surprised look on her friend’s
face made her laugh. "Yes, I know; a typical fairy-tale. Only 'they lived
happily ever after' didn't count for us." She shook her head sadly and
"I fell in love with him; utterly, completely, undeniably in love
and so did he. At least that's what I thought. My mother tried her very best
to keep us apart...and almost succeeded." The Betazoid closed her eyes,
trying to get a grip on her emotions and on the fury that was building inside
Beverly took the pause as a sign and got up to get them both a mug of hot
chocolate. While sipping their chocolate Deanna told Beverly about the night
she had walked in on Will and Wendy Roper; she told her about the fight
between her and Will, between her and her mother. And about how eventually she
had come to trust him again.
Beverly listened quietly as Deanna told her how she had reacted when he
had informed her of his departure, how during their time together she had
forged the sacred Imzadi-bond between them. She told her friend how happy she
had been when he had proposed her. Hearing that Beverly gasped; they had been
Sensing her friend’s surprise, confusion and curiosity Deanna smiled
weakly. "Yes, we were engaged. Much to Mother's dismay." She added
smiling. 'What happened?' Beverly didn’t verbalize her question, but she
knew Deanna could put two and two together and figure out the question anyway.
"We contacted each other regularly, informed the other about our
lives." Deanna's voice became unsteady and Beverly gently squeezed her
friend's small hand for comfort and courage. The empath mouthed a silent
thanks and continued her story.
"After six months I took a leave from the University and went to
Risa, where we had agreed to meet and be married. I waited for him an entire
week, telling myself with each transport arriving that if he wasn't in it, he
would be in the next. But after seven days I could no longer fool myself and I
returned home; broken-hearted and no longer the person I used to be."
"Part of me has always stayed behind on Risa, waiting. When I came
back home I refused to talk to anyone, even my best friend Chandra. But they
understood and supported me by allowing me time and space for myself."
"Chandra send me the songs; respecting my wish not to be disturbed
but vocally supporting me anyway. I listened to them for several days, each
time realizing more and more how true they were. Eventually I made my
decision. I would built a career of my own and I would shed *no* *more* tears
over William Thomas Riker."
"Oh Deanna." Tears shone in the eyes of both woman and Beverly
slid her long arm around Deanna's slender shoulders and pulled her to her
chest. "Shh." Quietly Deanna cried and Beverly rocked her back and
forth, murmuring soft encouraging words. Eventually Deanna pushed herself up
and wiped the moisture of her cheeks.
"Another promise that didn't make it though." Looking into
Beverly's gaze she explained. "I made several promises to myself
regarding Will throughout the years. At first that I would no longer run away
from the man I loved. Then that I would have faith in him and see him on Risa.
After that I promised myself I would shed no more tears over him as a
"Later, on the Enterprise we vowed not to cross the line between
being best of friends and being lovers. And the last one I made about three
weeks ago; when he came to see me to inform me about his 'shore leave'."
The sarcasm in her last two words startled Beverly.
"I promised myself that if he would ask me again to marry him I'd
accept." Her words caused hope in the older woman. 'Would he?' But when
she looked into the sad, empty, dark eyes in front of her that hope
"What happened?" The younger of the two swallowed, sighed and
"He came to me, about a week before we were to leave orbit. He
started talking about this woman he'd fallen in love with. I was so sure he
meant me, so sure that he would finally ask me to marry him and that we could
finally put the past behind us." Her gaze shifted from her friends cold
blue eyes to the stars outside. Her delicate face no longer revealed any
emotion. "But I was wrong again. I was hoping for something he couldn't,
wouldn't give me." As they locked gazes again the despair was easy to
read in the dark eyes of the Betazoid.
"He had fallen in love with one of the natives. He was willing to
give up the very same things that he hadn't been able to give up for me Bev.
And once again I was punished for trusting him with my heart. He was even
willing to *resign* for her!" Deanna collapsed onto her best friends lap
and let the tears and cries take control of her body; she was tired of
fighting, tired of pretending she didn't care. Gently Beverly stroked her
thick dark curls, humming softly.
After almost two hours Deanna fell into a dark, dreamless sleep. Only
then did Beverly dare to think about what Deanna had told her. It all made
perfect sense now; their behaviour towards each other, and Deanna’s
hesitation and fear over getting involved with Will again. Oh, she could
imagine how Will told her, how he wouldn't have thought about her feelings at
Her mind wandered off as she thought of all the times she had talked with
Deanna about him, all the times she had seen her friends features momentarily
harden as they saw him with another of his flings.
She also realized that it was Deanna who had managed to talk him into
taking shore leave instead of resigning. Her thoughts flew to the moment she
had found Deanna lifeless on the floor in Sickbay, only weeks ago and she made
the connection instantly. But she knew there had been more to it than just the
pain over him leaving. And she had to find out what it was before it happened
The answer, unbeknownst to her at that moment, would become clear quicker
than she expected.
"Damnit Jean-Luc, keep your hands at home!" As much as she
loved him, his habit of waving his arms around while he slept was annoying.
The sudden feeling of pins and needles made her open her eyes. She was still
half-asleep as the unfamiliar surroundings registered. A distant voice caught
"No...I'm not responsible...it isn't, wasn't my fault."
Sheepishly she looked down at the restless form on her lap. The pale face
covered in dark curls tossed from one side to the other. "They *did* love
me! Like I love them!...not my fault...not mine."
"Deanna." She had meant to yell, but the name came out as
barely more than a soft whisper.
"Not my fault!...I told him...I did...I didn't scare them!"
'She looks horrified.' She remembered now
what they had discussed last night. 'I have to wake her up.' "No!
They weren't angry...they weren't scared!...they just left...but not...no! Not
because of me!!!"
"Deanna..." Her voice still wasn't much more than a whisper.
"...Deanna..." She placed a hand under the woman’s neck and
shoulders and began pushing her up. "...Deanna!..." There was no
"NOT my fault!...Stop it!!!...Leave me ALONE!" She roughly
shook the Betazoid back and forth with all of her strength.
"DEANNA!!! Damnit! Wake up!!!" Beverly's scream finally had an
effect; the other woman stilled her movements and slowly opened her eyes.
"Where--What--?" Frightened and disorientated, Deanna looked
around, visibly relaxing as she
recognized Beverly Crusher, her best friend.
"Shh, it's all right."
"You had a nightmare, that's all." But both knew it wasn't.
Nonetheless Deanna didn't allow herself to think about it now. Beverly gently
but determinedly pushed her up. "Let's get you into bed." The
Betazoid stood up docilely, a shimmer of shock appearing briefly in her dark
>05.37 hours.< Wide eyed she looked at her friend.
"Oh, I'm sorry Bev! I kept you up all night!" The Doctor got up
and led the Betazoid to her bedroom, assuring her that she didn't need to be
sorry at all. Deanna undressed and slid into a nightgown. Beverly tucked her
in and was on her way out when she heard Deanna's soft, pleading voice
whispering her name.
"Beverly...could you please stay with me tonight? I know it's a lot
to ask but..."
"Stop it right there." Shocked by Crusher's sudden interruption
Troi shut her mouth instantly, only to open it to apologize, again.
"Deanna, of course I'll stay if you want me too." The gratitude
in her eyes was all that she needed and so she silenced the Empath before she
could voice it.
"But I will join you in that bed if you don't mind, 'cos I'm not
exactly used to sleeping in a chair." Both of the women grinned and the
Doctor walked out to change. When she entered the bedroom again Troi had moved
to the side creating more space for her friend. Beverly got in and drew the
sheets over herself and Deanna. To her surprise the latter had already fallen
asleep. She slowly closed her eyes. Within seconds Beverly Crusher had fallen
into a restful sleep.
Again she awoke from arms slapping against her. Turning around she found
Deanna half conscious fighting her invisible demons. "Not me!...No!...I
didn't...they did!" Beverly sat up herself, her heart going out to the
young Betazoid who was so desperately trying to fight the demons within her.
"Deanna, wake up."
"He...isn't dead!...I didn't kill him...he wasn't meant to die!...I
tried to...I couldn't...STOP IT!!!" 'This is ridiculous; she *has* to
wake up.' Not knowing what else to do Beverly slapped her friend across her
delicate face. Her eyes flew open and stared straight into the blue gaze of
Doctor Crusher. This time Deanna was almost immediately aware of where she was
and what had happened.
"It happened again, didn't it?" Beverly just nodded, the
compassion clear in her eyes. Deanna shook her head sadly, causing the silky
curls to drape around her face and shoulders, and let out a loud sigh.
"When did it first happen?"
"Down on the planet." Immediately the Doctor made the
connection and looked at the Betazoid who nodded confirmation.
"The voices surprised me, I didn't have time to lock them away; they
overwhelmed me. I can control, ignore them during the day but not when I'm
asleep, not yet."
"What are they saying?" With a quiet voice and tears building
in her large eyes Troi explained how one of the voices accused her of scaring
away every men she loved, while the other was defending her.
"Sound like the 'good' and the 'bad' part of your mind are having a
discussion." Noticing the confusion in her friend Crusher explained about
the human perception of the battle between heart and mind.
"How are you going to deal with them?" Another sigh escaped
"I'll have to accept that Will has left me yet again." She
forced a weak smile on her face, one that wouldn't and never had fooled
Beverly. She drew the younger woman into her embrace and hugged her tightly.
"You'll manage, I'm sure you will Dea."
As the doors closed behind the backs of the admiral and her husband the
center of the night's attention dropped down in the nearest chair. "Thank
"So, how are we feeling...Captain?" With a big grin on her face
one of the ladies at the table asked.
"Tired." Was the plain reply.
"You should be proud."
"I'm too exhausted to be proud." The answer was simple and
true, there wasn't a trace of humour in it. Beverly Crusher studied the face
across the table; the exhaustion was clearly visible.
"How's the leg, any pain?"
"A little, but it'll be fine." A yellow-skinned man walked
stiffly up to them.
"Would you like a beverage of some kind...," He paused
intentionally, hoping to accomplish a sense of drama when he addressed the
highest in rank present. "Captain." A smile rewarded his attempt.
"I'm fine Data and really, you don't have to use that title all the
time." The android slightly tipped his head.
"Capt...I found in my studies of human psychology that they usually
like to be reminded of honourable accomplishments." Beverly laughed
"Some of them do Data, but they usually have a huge ego. Something
the new Captain here lacks."
"Very funny Beverly. Shall I need to adopt one I'll give you a
call." The two looked each other in the eyes, neither of them willing to
look away first. But soon they simultaneous bursted into laughs." Data
opened his mouth to ask something when he was interrupted.
"Well, Admiral Hirya and her husband have beamed down...finally.
*Do* remind me never to give up captaincy." Jean-Luc reached out for a
chair, shove it to the table his friends were sitting by and sat down.
"I will, believe me, I will." The two Captains grinned and
winked at each other. A sudden rather loud and annoyed sigh draw everyone's
attention to Deanna Troi.
~Little One, the ceremony was beautiful my dear. But I *do* have some
comments. Could you send Jean-Luc.~
~Mother, one cannot just -send- the Captain of a Starship.~
~I'm sure you'll manage Little One.~
~Will you *stop* calling me Little One!~
~Just send him alright.~
"Deanna?" Deanna tipped her head to Beverly's concerned looking
"Mother." And no further explanation was needed, for any of
"So, when are you off to your own ship?" Curious all present
glanced at the new Captain, who took a deep breath and glanced first at
Beverly and then at Captain Picard.
"Actually, I was hoping to be allowed to stay on board the
Enterprise." Confused looks were exchanged before he answered.
"But your promotion..."
"After having seen you being a Captain for sixteen years, I'm happy
with my function as it is." The teasing tone of the statement obviously
went unnoticed by the Captain.
"But your career..."
"My career, my ambition isn't to command a Starship. It never has
been. I *am* proud with myself for earning that rank and the possible
assignment to go with it, but it's not what I *want* to do. I'm happy with my
life as it is."
When everyone remained silent the newly promoted Captain decided to
strengthen the previous statement. "Even if that means refusing the rank
of Captain." Cautiously the officer watched the reaction of Jean-Luc
Picard. He folded his hands in the same way he had been folding them for the
past sixteen years when he was about to try to alter a person's mind.
"Counselor..." He paused briefly and looked her full in the
face. "...I do not expect you to do so. I don't need to tell you about
how I feel about this request. If you truly wish to stay I'll allow you too;
but I will not allow you to refuse your newly obtained rank *Captain*."
Deanna smiled and sighed of relief and looked at each of her friends who were
glad she had decided to stay, but also a bit sad that she wouldn't make her
career even more impressive. Beverly gently squeezed her hand.
"Are you sure about this Deanna."
~Little One, don't be ridiculous!~ Ignoring her mother best as she could
she replied quietly.
"I am Beverly. Captaincy won't allow me to counsel people anymore,
and that is what I want to do most and what I'm good at."
"Well I could say I'm sorry, but I know better than to lie to an
empath." All the officers chuckled and mumbled that they felt the same.
Deanna smiled and stood up.
"Thank you all for coming. But this guest is going to give herself
some rest." Congratulations and goodnight wishes filled Ten-Forward as
Deanna Troi turned around and headed to the doors.
"Don't let my absence spoil the party!" She called over her
shoulder and she rolled her eyes at their common response "Aye
Captain!" Knowing full well that they were trying to trigger a response
from her she remained silent. Jean-Luc watched her walking out.
"What about the leg? Will she ever fully recover?"
"You mean if she'll have to walk with a game leg forever."
Silently he nodded.
"Jean-Luc; she has had little more than three weeks to recover. Give
it some time. It amazing that she got this far already."
"You're right Doctor, as usual." Doctor Beverly Picard-Crusher
smile thriumphantic and kissed her husband on his nose.
"As long as you remember that."
In her quarters Deanna stared at the reflection in the mirror. 'I don't
look different...I don't feel different either.' She took the shiny golden
medal of her chest and looked at it, then shrugged her shoulders and put in a
drawer. Just as she reached at the clasp of her dress the doorchimes went.
"Come in." The doors slid open and Beverly Picard peeked around
"Don't forget your appointment tomorrow."
"I won't. Now, go; Jean-Luc is waiting." The cheeks of the
Doctor flushed instantly and she began to step away from the doors.
"Got to admit; Captain Troi sounds good." The Betazoid turned
around to make a comment, but found the doors already closed. Returning her
attention to her mirror she judged herself one more time.
"It does, doesn't it." And with a grin on her face she walked
to her bedroom to undress. 'Captain Troi...' Beverly's words had made it
definitive; she was a Captain from now on. Though she had refused the usual
vessel to go with it. She pulled the sheets down, stepped in bed and tucked
herself in. Fatigue took possession of her as soon as her head hit her pillow.
The ceremony had definitely taken its toll. Until Beverly had said those
two simple words it hadn't really hit her, not when the nomination came, nor
when the medal of Exceptional Courage had been pinned on her chest. And not
when the fourth pip had been added on her collar. As she rolled her head to
the side her eyes fell on the picture of William T. Riker.
"Ironic, isn't it? How we seemed to have exchanged our goals."
It hurt, not having him there with her to celebrate; tonight it hurt far more
than it had done the past months.
~It will always hurt Little One, but it'll fade.~ Deanna sighed sadly.
~I know Mother. I just would've liked him being here tonight.~
~You're exhausted, you need your rest. Sayara Irië Little One.~
~Sayara Irië Mother.~ She closed her eyes and twisted a bit to make
herself more comfortable. Almost immediately she felt herself falling a sleep.
~I'm proud of you Deanna Troi.~ With a smile on her face Deanna slipped
over the edge, feeling more loved and more at peace with herself than she had
for a long time.
"She has recovered very well, hasn't she." He watched his wife
as she walked up to him, carrying their drinks.
"Yes she has, both physically and mentally. Her strength keeps
surprising me." She handed him his drink and sat down beside him.
"She has surprised many over the years." Beverly chuckled and
snuggled closer to her husband.
"Who had expected this when she came aboard? She looked so fragile
and was so tiny, full of life, naive in her own way and always so
understandable and compassionate. God I admire her!" Jean-Luc laughed
teasingly and planted a kiss on her forehead. Then he finished what she had
"And she still is, time has taken nothing from her, but has given
her more wisdom and grace." A sad sigh penetrated his ears.
"What is it Love?"
"Time *did* take something from her, something possible far more
import to her than any of the afore mentioned." Soothingly he stroke his
hand through her auburn hair; he knew exactly what she was referring too. And
like her he could only imagine what had been like for their friend. "I'm
afraid Jean-Luc, afraid that she'll never be able to love, really love someone
again. Damnit! Will had no right to treat her like he did!"
"Shh, no use in getting angry at the past Beverly. Deanna is at
peace with it now."
"Oh, Jean-Luc, you should've seen her. When she told me of their
history, she looked so lost, broken even frightened. And even then she loved
him too much to be angry, furious at him. I spoke to Lwaxana several times
while she was on Betazed and I did some research myself at this 'Imzadi-bond'.
It has never happened before that an Imzadi-couple split up while both were
still alive. In Betazoid religion they're almost sacred! How could he toss
that, her away like it was nothing?!" Tears shone in her icy-blue gaze.
"She's my friend, he*l my sister and it just saddens me that she has been
and still is hurting so much."
He encircled her with his arms and drew her close. The evening had been a
joyful and emotional one. And it now was taking its toll. "Come on, let's
go to bed. Otherwise the dear Captain will ask questions tomorrow." Both
grinned and reluctantly got up from their comfortable positions.
"Oh, she'll do that anyway, count on it." They shared a tender
and loving kiss and right after that Beverly disappeared in their bedroom.
"Oh, Jean-Luc darling, could you please clean up a bit?" He rolled
his eyes and picked up the empty glasses.
"Of course Ma'am." When he heard her gentle laughter he started
whistling; something he found himself doing a lot lately. By the time he had
dressed for bed and stepped in besides her she was already sound a sleep. With
mellowed eyes he stroke a wry strand of hair out her face and gently kissed
A deck lower Lwaxana Troi was very much awake. As soon as her daughter
had fallen a sleep she had raised her mental shields around her Little One,
and now she sat in her dark quarters waiting for the dreams she knew would
come. It wasn't her habit to protect Deanna from her dreams. She had done it
only a few times before. But today was Deanna's day and she deserved nothing
more than a good night's sleep.
Chapter Fourteen: Laughs
"Red Alert!!! All hands to battle stations!!!" The small form
in front her groaned and rolled to the other side of the bed. "Come on
Captain! You're needed." Another groan and a pale hand drew the sheets
higher up. "Deanna, your mother is on her way!"
The Counselor sat up instantly; her dark eyes wide open.
"WHAT?!" Startled she looked around her until her eyes caught the
laughing face of Doctor Crusher.
"Quite an impression you make Deanna. Coming late to your first
appointment as a Captain." Quizzically Deanna looked into her friend’s
face. She rubbed at her eyes with the palms of her hands and blinked.
"Captain?" Beverly frowned and looked at Deanna. All of a
sudden she started laughing hysterically, startling the Betazoid. Deanna still
didn't quite understand but Beverly's fit of laughter had an infectious effect
and so Deanna joined her.
After Deanna had regained her composure again --she could breath again--
she asked her friend why they were laughing. The question couldn't be answered
by either of and she decided to ask another instead.
"Why was it you come to wake me up anyway?" Beverly focused
inwards for a second.
"Uh...? Oh, you were supposed to be in Sickbay then half an hour
ago." 'Odd, I haven't slept uninterrupted for a long time...' She turned
her gaze back to the ceiling and thought for a second.
Beverly studied the Betazoid for a while, realizing that something either
bothered, or puzzled her but decided not to ask, happy that for the first time
in months the look of sorrow and fear had disappeared from the younger woman's
They remained lying on the bed for a couple more minutes, until their
breathing had slowed down and they were ready to get up and go to Sickbay.
Deanna sat up first, eyeing the Doctor playfully.
"Bev, you are as red as a tomato," she stated matter-of-factly.
"Well, you don't look that smashing either Counselor." Crusher
replied. "Now get yourself moving and dressed so that you can honor me
with your first visit to Sickbay as a Captain." Both grinned slightly and
Deanna got up. With a slight limp she walked to her bathroom and disappeared
Several minutes later Deanna reappeared from the bathroom, dressed in a
beautiful civilian dress.
"What? Not showing off you medal and fourth pip?" Instead of
answering Troi threw her friend a sly glance and proceeded her out her
quarters. Grinning Beverly initiated her pursuit.
During their walk from Deanna's quarters to Sickbay Beverly studied
Troi's leg carefully, the dress that darted behind the empath partially
covered the leg, but nonetheless the Doctor was able to tell which of Deanna's
muscles hadn't healed sufficiently. She's hadn't given up hope though, Deanna
was still improving. Suddenly Deanna halted and turned, locking her gaze on
that of the Doctor behind her.
With her eyes she conveyed her question about what Beverly was thinking.
Being the empath and telepath she was now Troi could often pick up stray
thoughts from her closest friends. This time however was one of the times when
her new powers failed and therefore, knowing there was something important on
Beverly's mind she asked. Unwilling to tell Troi what she was thinking just
yet Crusher threw her a glance that said as much as 'later'.
Briefly Deanna twitched her mouth in playful dismay and then she entered
Sickbay. "I'm exhausted! I feel like I've been running up and down the
ship for an entire week!" With a loud sigh she hauled herself onto one of
the biobeds. Doctor Crusher picked up a medical tricorder and started scanning
the Counselor thoroughly.
"So, any insight into our behavior this morning Counselor?"
"Well, I guess that was the mental revenge for the last stressful
"Sounds acceptable." They winked conspiratorially and Beverly
turned to study the scans.
"Your back and arm are fully healed, and so is your cheekbone."
Patiently Troi waited until her Doctor would continue. "There's no more
residue of the drugs in your system. So, apart from your leg you are totally
healed and ready to return to duty." A sigh of relief escaped her throat.
"You did it Deanna!" Both chuckled at Crusher's happiness.
"And the leg?"
"Is better than yesterday. I think you have a very good chance it'll
heal entirely in time." Deanna extended her empathic sense; Beverly
hadn't lied but she was afraid she might be holding something back. 'Odd, she
Gently she extended her probe a little further. 'Definitely different.'
In her mind she went over the possible causes. When Beverly turned back to her
the concentrated features of the Counselor worried her.
"Deanna? Are you all right?" Beverly’s words shattered her
concentration as the realization hit her.
"By Rixx! Beverly, irhai trhaisyaliha!!!" The Betazoid's
foreign words, her broad smile and the twinkles in her eyes surprised the
"What are you saying?"
"You're pregnant!!!" Beverly's blue eyes widened in confusion
"Deanna *what* are you talking about?!" Now it was Deanna's
turn to be confused.
"You didn't know? Beverly, I'm sensing another presence -in- you.
Judging by its strength you're 3-4 weeks pregnant!"
"But..." Her mixed emotions prevented her from speaking.
Sensing her friend's inner turmoil Deanna hopped off of the bed and more or
less forced Beverly to sit down.
"Shh, relax. I'll take a med scan." She nodded mutely. 'A
baby?! But how? When? Oh my God! What will Jean-Luc say?!' Troi's soft voice
interrupted her string of thoughts.
"Have a look." With trembling hands she accepted the tricorder
and nervously looked at the readings. Softly she gasped and handed the device
back. The empath sensed her emotions change from disbelief to uncertainty and
eventually into immense happiness. Together they laughed and cried in joy.
"Oh Beverly, I'm so happy for you." The redhead mouthed a
silent thanks when suddenly her features turned serious and concerned.
"What will Jean-Luc think? Oh, Deanna, what if he doesn't want the
baby?" Tears welled up in her eyes, and the Betazoid squeezed her hands
"He'll be thrilled...once he's past the initial shock. I'm certain
of that Beverly." The Doctor studied Deanna's face carefully but then
agreed with her.
"How will I tell him?"
"Oh, can I tell him?! Please??? I'll never refuse any treatment
again! Can I? Please?" Deanna's childlike enthusiasm made her smile. Her
dark eyes were filled with hope and joy. 'How can I possibly deny her anything
when she looks like that.' The mother-to-be sighed and nodded slowly.
"Oh Thank you!!! I'll be in your debt!" Softly grinning she
shook her head. She hadn't seen Deanna this happy since...well since a long
time. Maybe this was just what Deanna needed to get her life back together
It had been two days since Deanna's promotion and the discovery of
Beverly's pregnancy, and so far both were the best-kept secrets on the
Enterprise. Deanna had requested that her promotion would remain a secret
until she had taken care of personal issues. And Beverly had given Deanna the
honor of announcing her pregnancy. This morning Captain Picard had gotten
Troi's permission to reveal her promotion to the rest of the crew.
>All Senior Staff; report to the Bridge.< Captain Troi glanced at
her reflection one more time. She told herself that she looked like a true
Starfleet Officer as she nervously left her quarters. Her fourth pip and medal
was hidden in her closed hand.
In the Turbolift she joined Data and Geordi who were on their way up as
well. She handed the medal and pip to Geordi who silently attached them on her
uniform. On the Bridge the other Senior Staff members were already present.
Silently she walked down and went to stand in front of her usual chair.
Jean-Luc stood up and gestured her to stand in front of his chair. While
she moved the other officers gathered in front of the view screen. No one
spoke. Curious, the lieutenants and ensigns present watched the strange
behavior of their superiors in puzzlement.
"Computer: open ship-wide commchannel."
>Channel open.< He winked at the Deanna and began to speak.
"This is Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise-E speaking. Can
I have your full attention please." The Betazoid felt the anxiety and
curiosity of the crew rising and locked her eyes on her Captain.
"It is my pleasure and honor to announce to you the promotion of one
of the most cherished officers on board this ship. Two days ago that officer
was promoted to Captain." The anxiety was gone, but the curiosity kept
rising. "To my surprise, and frankly relief, the new Captain has
requested to be allowed to stay aboard the Enterprise...I have granted that
request." The curiosity was almost overwhelming and accompanied by
"Together with the promotion the officer also received the medal of
Exceptional Courage, the most prestigious award within Starfleet." The
pride she felt among the crew made her feel content, loved and...home. With a
slow nod Picard indicated it was time. He stepped forward and extended his
hand. Deanna took it.
"Deanna Troi, congratulations on your promotion to Captain. I can't
think of anyone who deserves it more."
"Thank you Captain." Briefly she closed her eyes when she felt
the joy of almost a thousand people wash over her. "And congratulations
to you as well." Quickly she winked at Beverly before she returned her
eyes to Picard's now confused face. "I'm sure you'll make a wonderful
Quizzically he looked into the mischievous onyx eyes of his Counselor,
but she just smiled back and offered no explanation. When the meaning of her
words dawned on him he slowly turned around on his heels and looked at his
wife. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were aimed at the floor.
"Beverly?" She nodded slightly and then lifted up her blue eyes
to lock them on her husband's. The confusion on his face was exchanged for joy
as he ran towards her and scooped her in his arms. "You're pregnant?!
That's fantastic! Marvelous! Terrific!!!" Joy and relief replaced Beverly’s
nervousness and anxiety as she laughed and cried at the same time.
Unprepared for the joy of everyone on board the ship Deanna swayed under
the deluge of everyone’s emotions. Data's perceptive eye saw this and in a
few steps stood beside her in support.
"Are you all right Counselor?" She looked up at the android and
"Yes Data. The joy I felt overwhelmed me for a moment, but I'm fine
now. Thank you for catching me."
"No need Counselor. I'm glad you're all right." The two of them
turned their gazes to the couple standing the middle of the Bridge. They
looked so happy. Deanna really was happy for them, and she was proud on them
as well. But inside she was hurting. She had wanted the very same thing so
much for herself...with Will.
~Don't allow him to spoil the moment Little One.~
~I know mother, but I really wanted us to be a family. It hurts.~
~I know it does, but you'll pull through it. Now, go and congratulate
your Captain from me.~ With a slight smile the Betazoid shook her head and
walked up to the Picards.
"Mother congratulates you both." They nodded in return but were
still too caught up in each other to respond vocally.
"It seems we have something to celebrate people! Counselor's
orders." She called out to everyone then ordered the computer to
terminate the ship-wide comm. "Take your wife home Captain. I'll take the
Bridge." She smiled reassuringly and received a silent thanks as the
couple headed to the Turbolift. She ordered everyone else to go as well and
only allowed Data to stay on the Bridge with her. Neither had someone to go to
now and after all, what could happen? 'Okay, wrong question.'
Author’s Note: All
paragraphs in italics indicate a flashback. It’s the third time I uploaded
this chapter, it seemed reluctant to go out in the big wide world ;) Enjoy!
Sixteen: Exceptional Courage, Pt I
Sitting in the Captain's
chair, surrounded by silence, Captain Deanna Troi checked for personal
messages...there were none. In the five-and-a-half months since Will had
departed on his so-called shore leave he hadn't sent her a single message, and
that hurt. She closed the screen angrily and turned her gaze outward to the
stars, the life she had chosen.
For days the thought of
returning to her home, between the stars had been the only one that had kept
her sane, alive. No one had expected that a simple political mission could
have gone so...wrong and thus no one had prepared.
Her mind wandered to the day
she had left the Enterprise to spend some time on Betazed. She had been near a
mental breakdown and she had known it. She had used her time on Betazed to
clean up the mess she was in from Will's departure. And once again she had
managed to get her life back together. With the help of her mother and her two
best friends, Chandra and Beverly, she had managed. The crew had been happy to
have her back on board and she had been happy to be back...among the stars.
Upon her return several
changes were introduced. Data had taken over all the First Officer's Bridge
Watches, and the extra time that had given her allowed her to keep counseling
her patients and to take care of Will’s normal tasks. It was true that she
didn't have as much spare time as before, but she didn't really mind. She
loved leading Away Missions and more than once her empathy had proven helpful.
Besides, it kept her from thinking too much about her personal life.
Things on the Enterprise went
well; there had been no wars. Of course people had gotten injured during an
away mission, including herself; but then, an away mission just wasn't an away
mission without *something* going wrong, was it? There had been only one
hostile encounter in space.
Three weeks after she had
returned they had been attacked by a Romulan Warbird near the Neutral Zone.
They had been surprised...not as much by the event itself but by the ancient
Warbird. It was no match for the Souvereign Class Enterprise-E, but the
Romulan commander in charge had set things straight with her 'welcome
sentence' "You're going to regret the day you set foot aboard *my* vessel
Major Rakal. Or should I call you Deanna Troi." The venom in Toreth's
voice had been nearly tangible, but strangely enough Deanna hadn't been
scared. On the contrary, she had been annoyed. Talking hadn't helped; Toreth
wanted revenge. And so the attack itself hadn't been much of a surprise.
Throughout their communications the Warbird had remained
cloaked and when it eventually showed itself to fire it turned out to be over
twenty years old. By the time they realized this it was too late, and they had
already used their strongest weapons, resulting in the regretful destruction
of the Warbird and its crew of eight Romulans.
Both governments had mutually
agreed that it had been a regretful incident but that neither could be held
responsible and the Treaty remained.
However, almost two months
later things went wrong, -very- wrong.
The mission had been a
standard one. Deanna, Picard and Data had beamed down as representatives of
the Federation to Pklira Prime, a planet that had joined the Federation twelve
months prior. They beamed down to talk with the planet's government to
investigate the status of the population and the effects of joining the
Federation on the natives. She was unsettled by the idea of the three most
senior members of the crew beaming down to the planet so she logged her
objections. But Starfleet Command
stood fast, sending them down anyway, leaving Geordi in Command.
The first day hadn't been a
problem. The planet's Prime Minister Kltiap had been cooperative and had
allowed them access to all archives. She hadn't sensed any danger or
deception, but she was a little concerned by the feeling that he was holding
something back. She had made several attempts to find out what it was, but
each had ended in a dead end. By the end of the day the officers had beamed
back to the ship for the night. The next day they would view the capital city.
Someone was following them; she was sure of it and she doubted that that
their intentions would be good. Abruptly she stopped and looked over her
shoulder, trying to determine where their pursuer was hiding. Picard had
noticed her hesitation before but her sudden stop concerned him.
"What is it?"
"Someone's following us." Her whisper was so soft that only
Picard and Data could hear her. With a gesture of his hand he motioned Data to
keep their guide busy.
"Can you determine his or her intentions?" She shook her head
"No Sir; but I doubt they’re good."
"I agree Commander. Let's be cautious." She threw another
glance over her shoulder and then continued their journey.
Oh, she remembered that
mission well; better than she wanted. And much to her annoyance she wasn't
likely to forget. That afternoon the mission had taken a drastic turn.
The sensation of being followed hadn't left and was joined by anxiety by
the time they had reached the government building. They spent several minutes
discussing their tour through the city and during that time she felt the
anxiety magnify and the tension in their pursuer grow. She realized that there
were two pursuers, in close proximity to each other.
She informed the Captain and Data of her findings and asked them to be
extra alert. Because it was a friendly mission they didn't carry any weapons,
which made them a rather vulnerable target. The Prime Minister walked up to
them to welcome them back and of course ask them their opinion on his city.
As soon as he walked out the door the anxiety increased tenfold and made
her gasp softly. When the Minister went to stand next to Picard she suddenly
felt a need for revenge and immense hatred.
Immediately she knew and understood the intentions of the two men
emerging only a few meters away. They held weapons of some sort and aimed at
the Captain and the Prime Minister. In the blink of an eye she threw herself
in front of her Captain while shouting to Data to protect Kltiap.
The disruptor-like beam meant for Picard hit her in her upper leg and
made her scream of pain. Glancing at Data and the Minister she saw Data
getting up to pursue the attackers and in the same instant she realized that
Kltiap had been hurt as well. Deanna then hit her ComBadge and opened a link.
"Away Team to Enterprise: Beam us up, now!" Without giving it
another thought she threw her Badge to the Minister, thereby making sure he
would get the necessary medical treatment. Only after making sure they had
been beamed out did she allowed herself to pass out.
Unconsciously Deanna rubbed
her left thigh where she had been hurt over a month ago.
Slowly she opened her eyes and scanned her surroundings. There was hardly
any light, but enough to see that she wasn't in a luxury suite. The room was
humid and cold; a combination the tiny Betazoid couldn't stand. When she tried
to sit up a sharp pain surged through her left leg and she clenched her teeth
in an effort to avoid crying out.
Looking down at her leg she saw the primitive bandage, soaked with her
blood. "Well, at least they have the politeness to bind me up." Her
muttered statement was lost in the darkness of the building. Judging by the
amount of blood the wound was large and had not stopped bleeding yet. Biting
on her lip she began to unwind the bandage.
What she saw made her gasp in horror. A large chunk of flesh was missing,
and several veins and muscles were cut and bleeding heavily. She was very well
aware she had to stop the bleeding or she'd bleed to death, which wasn't quite
the kind of death she preferred. She shifted her position slightly, took off
her jacket and tore it into strips. One of those strips she wound around her
leg just above the wound. She tightened it as much as she could; hoping it
would decrease her bleeding.
Her initial thought was to use the other strips to wrap the wound, but on
second thought she decided not to. Her clothes were filthy and would only
cause infections, which would worsen the problem. In a position between
sitting and lying down she waited...and waited...and waited and eventually she
A pain in her cheek awoke her. "Wake up Starfleet-one!"
Reluctantly she opened her eyes and looked at the man towering above her. He
was rather tall, 6'2” she estimated, and very angry.
"Where am I?"
"That's not of your concern lady." His cold voice sent a shiver
down her spine but she didn't show her fear.
"Who are you?"
"Nobody. Now you'll stop asking questions and follow me!" His
edgy and unpredictable state of mind silenced her...until she tried to move.
"Laveer plarhja!" She clenched her teeth together to avoid
screaming out again.
"What did you say lady?!" His voice conveyed his menace quite
"I said: goddammit this hurts like hell!" While translating she
pointed at her injured thigh. To her pleasure she saw the man's features pale
as his eyes fell on her wound.
"Very well, I'll bring everything here." Curious but also
frightened about what that 'everything' might be she awaited the man's return.
Some five minutes later he came back; carrying to buckets with water, two
towels, some clothes and more bandages. He put the things down at her side and
left. "One hour." He called over his shoulder.
"Terrific" she muttered as she watched him leave. "Okay
let's give it a shot." But every move, no matter how slight, made her
cringe in pain. Drawing on everything she had once been taught she used all
her inner strength to block out the pain. Eventually she succeeded; leaving
only a vague stinging sensation when she moved, but she wouldn't be able to
block the pain very long and knew she had to hurry.
In little more than half an hour she managed to undress, clean, bandage
her leg and dress again. She had soaked the bandages in the warm water and put
them over the wound; then she had wound the dry bandages tightly around it. It
was the best she could do, she just hoped it would be good enough. When she
was finished she quickly washed her face before allowing herself to feel the
Like she had expected the pain had increased by several magnitudes and as
soon as she stopped blocking it she fainted.
This time the feeling of cold water on her face was the reason she awoke.
This time there was a couple standing in front of her. The man was taller than
the previous, 6'4” or 6'5”, and she had to admit he was handsome as well.
He was accompanied by a woman about Beverly's height, pretty to look at but
not stunningly beautiful. Both were agitated and nervous but satisfied about
their captive; the man a little more so than the woman. Deanna regarded them
both with a scrutinizing glance that revealed none of her emotions. "That
was a stupid action of you lady."
"Taking the blast meant for the Minister and that Starfleet
Captain." The man nearly spitted the word Starfleet out. His disgust was
"I consider it my duty to protect my Captain." She lifted her
chin up slightly, creating the aristocratic look her friends used to tease her
"Even if it costs you your own life?"
"I'm not dead, am I." A short, horrifying laugh penetrated her
ears and made her wish she were dead.
"Not yet my dear, not yet." She heard the threat in his voice
and sensed that he was able to kill...without remorse.
"What's your name?" Deanna shifted her gaze to the woman on her
other side. Her soft and pleasant voice had surprised her since it didn't seem
to fit her hardened and stern features.
"Deanna Troi." They would find out one way or the other. For
now she'd rather cooperate until she knew with whom she was dealing. "May
I know yours in return?" The two exchanged looks and the woman nodded
"All right. I'm Kasheira and this..." Kasheira pointed at the
man. "...is Rahad." 'Brother and sister.' At least, that was what
her empathy told her.
"Ktoria, sikra tpos Deanna Troi!" Although
she didn't understand the native words Deanna was pretty sure the man had just
ordered someone to search for information about her. Knowing she wouldn't have
advantage of her empathy much longer she began a complete probe of the two in
front of her.
"Why did you capture me?"
"You'll find out soon enough." Brother and sister then left her
alone. Mentally she made notes about them. They pretended to be polite and
caring and they treated her kindly hoping to win her trust. But to the empath
their malevolent spirits and intentions were crystal clear. Neither of them
would hesitate to use violence in order to get her to cooperate, and
considering her condition it would be better not to infuriate or agitate them.
She had only a faint idea of what they were trying to accomplish.
In the mean time the Enterprise was buzzing with commotion. Prime
Minister Kltiap was in surgery for his badly injured arm, while a lightly
bruised Picard was discussing the possibilities and options to retrieve his
acting First Officer. The knowledge that she had taken the blast meant for him
spurred them to act quickly in order to get her the necessary medical
treatment. The Away Team that had been beamed down to investigate the
crime-scene had returned without clues.
"So, a Betazoid, a pretty one even." Rahad and Kasheira had
returned and closely examined her now clean face.
"If I had known you'd look like this I'd have cleaned you sooner my
dear." 'Good, then this wasn't intentional.' With the tips of his fingers
he tried to caress her cheekbone but she pulled away, biting her lower lip in
pain. Grinning evilly he stood up and turned to his sister.
"Rajih tara Kluos tia liamy niro."
"Iro sata Rahad." Kasheira held out her hand. Quickly
probing her Deanna knew that whatever was about to happen wouldn't be harmful
to her and thus she accepted the hand. As she was being pulled up she screamed
from the pain and tears sprung up
in her eyes.
She limped with the aid of the woman who had lifted her arm over her
shoulders to support her. Kasheira led her deeper into the complex. Troi tried
her best to keep focussed to study her surroundings and direction but soon the
pain forced her to use all her attention not to pass out.
She was led through a long corridor and Kasheira opened two large doors
nearly at the end and showed her inside. The stunning look of the room made
her forget the pain momentarily. Kasheira released her grip and walked out.
"You'll find painkillers on the wash table." The doors closed
and Deanna heard them being locked. Fortunately the wash table wasn't too far
away. Having reached the painkillers after what had seemed an eternity she was
willing to take the risk of being poisoned - the pain was *unbearable*. She
swallowed them with water and hobbled to the huge bed against the back wall.
Once there she laid down and allowed herself to sleep.
"It's a quiet evening,
don't you agree Captain?" Data's attempt to start a small talk failed
miserably as Troi didn't hear his question, or anything else for that matter.
>Ambassador Troi to Doctor
Crusher; Doctor I suggest you and your husband stop celebrating and help my
daughter; she's in need of medical attention." The two officers in
question looked at each other in surprise. "Doesn't that woman ever just
keep her comments to herself?" He murmured the words to his wife in
annoyance. But Beverly was one step ahead.
"Computer: location of
>Counselor Troi is on the
>Data to Crusher. Doctor,
"I know Data, I'm on my
way!" Quickly she dressed and headed for the Bridge; Jean-Luc followed a
minute later. Neither of them had remembered to reply to Lwaxana.
She looked around herself in confusion. 'Where am I? What is this place?'
Slowly the events of the previous, at least she assumed it was the previous,
day returned. Deanna sat up and realized that she only felt a slightly
stinging pain instead of the sharp breathtaking pain she had felt the day
before. "The painkillers must be working."
Throwing the sheets off her body she saw the gown she was wearing. 'They
must have changed my clothes while I slept.' It didn't bother her, she knew
her empathic sense would've told her if anything else had happened. She sat up
and looked around her. The room was painted in soft yellow and purple colours,
the furry carpet was white and most of the furniture was made of wood. A large
closet was placed a few meters from her bed in the right corner. On her left
was a small alcove in which a white bathtub had been placed.
On the doors someone had hung a dress, the only piece of clothing in the
room. Reluctantly she got up from her comfortable position and walked to the
doors, glad she could –walk- instead of limping. A small note was pinned on
"Brekfast wil be rite ther." She had to read it twice before
realizing that is was standard English, only written phonetically. She carried
the dress back to the bed and waited for her breakfast.
For two days she was constantly interrogated and deprived of sleep. At
first they had tried to get information about the archives the Enterprise crew
had reviewed but as soon as they had realized she would not talk they had
switched to information about Starfleet; weak points in their defence system,
political weakness, anything.
When she still didn't talk they had started on her empathy. They tried to
find a way to use it to their advantage. Questions like 'Can you influence a
person's behaviour with your empathy.' She was left with little to wonder
about their intentions. Questions about her empathy she answered honestly, but
they didn't believe her.
"I don't get it!
Everything is normal: brain activity, heart-rate, blood-pressure, psilo-synine
levels, EVERYTHING!!!" Frustrated she pushed herself away from her desk.
"I just CAN'T wake her!" Beverly forced herself to go over the
readings once more. The sound of the doors hissing open broke her
concentration. "*WHAT*?!!" Angrily she swung her chair around and
found herself looking straight into the big brown eyes of Lwaxana Troi.
"Oh, Mrs. Troi. Deanna is in the Personal Observation room."
The elder Troi turned her back
to the Doctor and looked through the window into Sickbay. "I didn't come
to see Deanna." With a frown Beverly looked up. "There's nothing *I*
can do for her. She has to wake up on her own, or with the help of her
"And that's out of the
question right now." Beverly stood up and approached Lwaxana until she
stood right behind her. "You know what's wrong with her, don't you?"
With a smile the Betazoid turned around, and the two women locked their eyes
until Lwaxana sighed and turned back.
"I'm not totally sure but
I think she induced this comatose state herself." As she opened her mouth
to ask something the telepath cut her off. "I don't know why."
Annoyed the Doctor let herself drop back in her chair.
"So what? We just sit and
wait until Sleeping Beauty there decides to wake up?!" A bit angry but
most of all frustrated and tired Doctor Crusher returned to her desk to once
again go through the readings.
"Doctor, there is nothing
anyone can do for her now. I suggest you return to your quarters and get
yourself and the baby some rest...or to continue whatever you and Jean-Luc
were doing." Open mouthed she stared at Lwaxana. 'Did she just order me?'
"I wouldn't Doctor, now
go!" Too confused and tired to object Beverly left silently. 'Did I
just...?' But she never finished her thought and just headed back to her
Author’s note: The parts in
italic are flashbacks.
Seventeen: Exceptional Courage, Pt II
When after two days Troi still hadn't given them any valuable information
Rahad called a physician. She briefly entertained the hope that he would treat
her wound but soon it became obvious his purpose was to use her for
In the next twelve hours the doctor, Giltiar, almost constantly
administered drugs into her system. Soon she was unable to shield her mind.
She was overwhelmed by the emotions of others, causing her behaviour to change
from second to second. One moment she was crying, the next she was furious or
having a fit of giggles.
Rahad, Kasheira and Giltiar watched her with interest. But the emotions
extracted their toll and soon Deanna became more and more exhausted from the
lack of sleep as the emotions battered at her mind. After nearly five hours
she was delirious, her words were incoherent and her movements frantic. Her
eyes were larger than normal and had a haunted look. No one was able to
approach her. After yet another hour she was too exhausted and simply
collapsed. The two men carried her to the bed and allowed her a few hours of
By the time she awoke the drugs hadn't worn off and she still wasn't able
to shield her mind. Fortunately she could control her own behaviour. The next
drugs they gave her had far more serious results. The drug was designed to
enhance the slight telepathic abilities she had. But its influence was far
greater than they had expected.
Her mind picked up every single thought of the people around her as well
as everyone else's in the city. The thousands of voices in her head slowly
drove her insane. Constantly screaming and twisting she managed to frighten
the three spectators. Every once in a while she'd fall down in front of them
and beg them to make the voices go away, tears streaming down her pained
They kept her in this state
for several hours; agreeing that it was the perfect way to know what the
population of the city was thinking and feeling. During that time she injured
herself by slamming against walls and other objects as well as scratching
herself with her nails. In her state the pain didn’t register so she didn't
pay attention to her wounds and her physical condition worsened quickly.
Finally the doctor sedated her, after insistence of Kasheira.
"Why did you let him sedate her?!"
"If she's insane, or dead she'll be of no use to us!"
"She isn't anyhow!"
"Glpatioka Rahad! She's a *royalty*!!! We can ask *anything* for her
return! But if we do that
we *have* to make sure she's in good health!!!" The fire was nearly
visible in Kasheira's eyes, but Rahad remained calm.
"You've seen the records! Starfleet -doesn't- help criminals. Why
would they help us?"
"As I see it my brother; we have two options. One is that we use
Troi to get a ransom of some kind. The second is that you somehow manage to
kill her and we get captured by the Federation. Personally I prefer the
former." Kasheira's voice had dropped and dripped with sarcasm, but Rahad
didn't back off for a second.
"C’mon sis, she's been here for four days and those friends of her
still haven't found her. -If- we accidentally kill her they won't even know.
And so far...I have other plans for her." A devilish grin washed over his
cruel face. Kasheira's eyes flashed with disgust.
"It will only be a matter of time Rahad, you know that." He
smiled self-confidently and turned to the small form lying on the bed.
"Well than, maybe you should clean her wounds...so that her
condition won't worsen." He threw her a disdainful glance and left. The
woman walked to the bleeding person on the bed and studied her condition. Even
now she was murmuring protests against the voices in her head. The Pkliaran
didn't allow herself to feel pity for the small woman in front of her. But
because it would be in the best of interest for both of them she decided to
clean the wounds.
"Hello Little One. I had
hoped I wouldn't see you back in this room so soon. You really have to take
better care of yourself." A sad sigh escaped Lwaxana as she stroked a
stray strand of hair from her daughter's face. She wasn't really surprised
this had happened. After all, what happened to Deanna on Pkliara Prime would
have driven most Betazoids insane, if not killed them. She had seen the tapes
and she had to admit, she doubted she would have handled it as well as Deanna
had. Her daughter's mental strength kept surprising her and reminded her time
after time that her Little One was a lot stronger than she expected.
"Don't give up Little One, you have a godchild to watch growing up."
Lwaxana lovingly placed a kiss on Deanna's forehead and then left her side
Quietly he slipped into the room, making sure that no one, especially not
his sister, would see him. Cautiously he walked to the bed and looked down at
the small sleeping figure. 'She -is- perfect.' Tenderly he stroked a stray
strand of ebony hair from her pained features. The woman stirred and turned
her head. He studied her for a while and listened to her incoherently murmured
Deanna turned to her side, causing the sheets to fall down and giving
Rahad the view he had hoped for. The highly transparent nightgown she was
dressed in left little to the imagination. Rahad liked everything he saw...too
much. As she was sleeping Deanna sensed his arousal slowly building, causing
her body to began to react as well. Giving in to his desires Rahad tenderly
began to trace her jaw line with his fingers.
"I-Imzadi?" Suddenly overwhelmed by feelings and thoughts of
physical lust and desire her eyes flew open. She stared wide-eyed into the red
gaze of Rahad.
"What?!--How?!--Where?!--" He placed a silencing finger on her
lips and gently stroked her lower lip with his thumb. Too confused and
unfocussed Deanna didn't notice.
"Shh, it's all right. I'll take really good care of you."
"Can you make the voices stop? Please?" She gazed at him
hopefully, begging as a child would. But he shook his head while continuing
striking her soft skin.
"I can't. But I can make you forget them." With his large hands
on her shoulders he gently forced her to lie back down again. Not totally
aware of what was going on Deanna settled herself into the sheets and closed
"I don't want to hear them anymore."
"I know Liefje." His soft voice soothed her and her breathing
slowed down. He trailed his hands down her body, barely brushing the material
of her gown. He moved to sit at her side and simultaneously pulled her gown
upwards and roughly pressed his lips against hers. Troi's eyes flew open and
flashed with anger and confusion. Quickly he straddled her tiny frame and
pinned her down underneath him.
Frightened and infuriated she kicked her legs, ignoring the pain. But she
couldn't reach him. Triumphantly he smiled down at her, while his hands
roughly caressed her chest. "Let me go!!!"
"I promised to take care of you didn't I?" He pressed his mouth
on hers once again and was dismayed when she held hers tightly closed.
"What? You don't want to play?" The coldness in his voice
startled her and for a brief moment she ceased all her movements. While he
continued his strokes and kisses she forced herself to think. But the voices
in her head confused her and made it impossible for her to concentrate.
"Tria ta fhlore thioha klahaya ZHATH!"
"That sounds flattering, what does it mean?" She waited to
answer until her eyes had locked with his. The raw emotions in her eyes
briefly startled him; the fury and despise were almost tangiblet.
“ It means get your filthy, ugly, despicable body off mine..." He
ceased his movements and just watched her. "...I don't believe there's a
correct translation for Zhath, but 'little, repulsive, disgusting, brainless
DWARF!' comes close." During her explanation she had felt the anger build
within him. If it wasn’t from her words it was because of the agonizing calm
and authority with which she spoke.
Rahad lifted his left hand up, his red eyes almost burning with fury. He
struck he cheek with incredible force. She literally -felt- the bone break as
she bit her lip to prevent herself from crying out. Seeing the blood on her
mouth he laughed in satisfaction and leaned down to lick at it. It was a
painful mistake. As soon as she felt the pressure on her hips lessen she
lifted her right leg and rammed her knee
between his legs. Unprepared for an assault, he screamed out from the
sharp pain flowing through his lower regions. Her hands were freed and she
used them to push him off her.
She stood up immediately and started to hobble to the doors. But Rahad
recovered quickly and ran after her, grabbing her leg and yanking her down.
This time she did scream out from the pain as he grabbed just below the
painful wound on her leg. Deanna fell roughly to the floor. Before he had the
chance to pin her down again she turned onto her back and started kicking at
him. With the accuracy of an android he grabbed her left foot and twisted her
leg. Her high shriek chilled the marrow in his bones and he almost felt sorry
"You're even filthier and lower than a rat Rahad." Her
insulting words fed his fury and he stood up, rising to his full length above
her. With his foot he pushed her onto her side.
"At least I can walk." His voice was soft and low, almost
apologetic. Horror washed over her face when she realized what he was about to
do. A devilish grin curled around his lips as he bent to bring his mouth near
her ear. "Cooperate and you will too." Flashes of the past ran
through her mind; her father and mother, Ian, the Janara Falls, the
Enterprise-D, her Captain and friends until the image of Will Riker took its
place and did not leave.
"I would never, *ever* give myself to such a rat as yourself
willingly! Even the most cruel woman in the universe deserves better!"
The words, spoken through clenched teeth, were barely a whisper but loud
enough for him to hear. Rahad brushed his lips against her broken cheek and
stood up. Deanna tried to turn onto her belly but was stopped by an invisible
force. She closed her eyes and summoned all her mental strength to block the
pain she knew she was about to feel.
The man swung his leg backwards and waited a few seconds before kicking
it forward with all the strength he had. Deanna felt the tip of his shoe come
into contact with the small of her back. She was thrown forward from the force
with which his shoe collided with her body. A long scream of pain rang through
her ears but it took a while before she realized it was hers. But he didn't
allow her much time to experience her pain before he roughly rolled her back
onto her back and kneeled down at her side.
"Happy now?" She ignored him and focussed inwards. "Very
well, I'll have fun anyway. With or without your mental presence." He
grinned wickedly and leaned down to kiss her once more. His hands tore her
dress apart and violently attacked her bare skin. But Deanna didn't react; she
refused too. His nails scratched her silky skin and soon she was bleeding
everywhere. But Deanna didn't feel it; she didn't allow herself to. Inside the
fury was steadily building.
"Open your eyes!" A small evil smile crossed her features. She
knew he was watching her closed eyes. The fury within her had pushed the
voices to the background, allowing her to concentrate fully.
"Watch me." She spoke calmly but through clenched teeth.
Something in her voice made him shiver and he wanted to pull away but found
himself unable to break his gaze. Serenity washed over her face she seemed
utterly calm. Inside, however, the fury was ten times greater than she had
ever felt. Slowly she opened her eyes and focussed them on Rahad. What he saw
made his heart stop beating for a few seconds and then it jumped to his
throat. But no matter how much he wanted to, he was still unable to break her
In each black pupil there was a tiny yellow spark, flickering as
vigorously as a flame. Her irises had changed from deep brown to as green as
possible. The brightness of the colour almost hurt his eyes. The whites of her
eyes were almost black. Horrified he gasped aloud and tried to move...but
Deanna narrowed her eyes slightly and attacked him mentally. All of a
sudden he -felt- the emotions and voices of everyone around them pour into his
mind. His red eyes widened and his hands flew up to his temples. Terrified he
shrank backwards, away from the empath. As soon as she was freed Deanna
crawled up, never once noticing the wide red eyes of her captor. She glanced
down disdainfully at the screaming man.
"I told you to let go." Utterly calm she turned around and
started walking to the doors, oblivious to her pain and nudity. As she walked
to the doors she focussed her gaze on the lock. As she neared it a click was
heard as it unlocked. When she was less than two meters away the doors
suddenly swung open, freeing her. As she stepped out into the corridor she was
noticed by a guard. The woman stared at the Betazoid for a few moments before
taking her weapon and aiming it at her. Deanna never slowed her pace. She
focussed her green fury at the guard and shot emotions and voices into the
woman's head. The intensity and abruptness knocked her out.
Deanna continued her way without seeming to notice.
Kasheira had witnessed everything via the camera's placed throughout the
complex. She had been on the verge of interrupting her brother when the
Betazoid had taken control. The small woman scared her; apparently she was far
more powerful than they had assumed. Her mind went quickly over all possible
scenarios of what could happen and within seconds she had made her decision.
Deanna had knocked three more persons unconscious from her mental attack
and instinctively knew she was near the exit when she noticed Kasheira was
coming her way. She was ready to defend herself and tried to lock her gaze on
that of the taller woman. But she was smart enough to keep her eyes at the
"Take this." Kasheira held out a long black coat and a little
black box. "The box contains the visual documentation we made of your
capacity; it will help your Doctor treat you." Troi could almost smell
the fear of the woman in front of her and even sensed it. She accepted the
coat and slid into it, then took the box and put it in a pocket. Without
glancing at the woman again she proceeded to the exit. Kasheira sighed her
relief but stiffened as she heard Deanna's hate filled voice in her head.
~Don't even think it's over now.~ She turned towards Deanna and saw her
just going around the corner. As soon as she had pulled herself together she
ran to their hostage's former room to help her brother.
Deanna no longer walked; her feet barely touched the ground. Her mind was
empty, yet not. Her psyche was filled with thousands of voices and emotions,
but none were her own. Except for the strongest emotions of all: anger, hatred
and self-defence. Having reached the door another guard ran up to her, but as
soon as his eyes met hers he ceased his approach, turned around and ran away
as fast as he could.
Using her newly discovered telekinetic powers Deanna broke the lock on
the doors and opened them. Fresh air blew into her face and made her hair
flutter backwards. While she strode through the streets she drew everyone’s
The black coat left little to the imagination, her bruised and bleeding
features radiating determination and anger. But most of all it was her eyes
that drew the attention. Her huge green eyes were luminous and accentuated by
the black surrounding them. She kept going straight ahead. Everyone that
crossed her path turned aside and all obstacles she encountered she moved
telekinetically. The Pkliarans looked after her, stunned and scared by what
they had seen.
"Captain; censors register one human/Betazoid lifeform." Data
calmly made the announcement. Picard nearly jumped out his chair.
"Several hundred meters from the Government buildings Sir."
"Get a transporter lock on her Mr. Data. Picard to Sickbay: Doctor,
prepare for the arrival of Deanna. We've found her."
In Sickbay Beverly flew up from her chair.
"What's her condition?"
>Unknown< The Doctor left her office and ordered her medical team
to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Immediately Sickbay was buzzing with
orders, questions and curses.
"I have a lock Captain." Jean-Luc sighed in relief and walked
over to Data to pat him on the shoulder.
"Transporter Room 5: Beam Counselor Troi directly to Sickbay."
>Yes Sir.< Exhaling slowly, Picard sat back in his chair, thinking
they had her. Then a few seconds later the Transporter Chief contacted him.
>Captain we are unable to beam her up.<
"What?! Data, can you tell me why?" Data pushed some buttons
and managed to zoom in on the place Deanna was now. Jean-Luc frowned as he
stood up again to study the viewscreen. Meanwhile, Data left his position and
took one of the science stations to study the sensor readings. "Doctor
Crusher: report to the Bridge."
Having noticed something was wrong Beverly was already on her way.
"Odd, she seems to be all right." When the Turbolift’s doors
hissed open he didn't even turn around but motioned Beverly to approach with a
gesture of his hand. She took her place next to him and both officers watched
almost hypnotized at the scene being displayed in front of them.
She sensed she was nearly out of the city. Several hundred Pkliarans were
following her now, driven by curiosity but keeping a safe distance. Deanna was
beginning to relax when she heard the unmistakable sound of policemen coming
towards her. A quick empathic scan told her they were ahead of her.
She intensified her concentration but didn't slow her pace; determined to
get away. Several minutes later five heavily armed Pkliarans came walking
towards her. Each of them held a weapon, comparable with 21st Century Earth
"Lady; cease your actions and surrender or we will fire!" The
man talking lifted his gun slightly. Deanna heard and understood his words,
but ignored them and continued on her way.
"Jean-Luc we have to do something!" The couple stared at their
friend with wide eyes..
"We can't, our weapons aren't precise enough to attack."
"But they'll kill her!"
The man warned her again and when she still didn't react he ordered his
troop to prepare for firing. Out loud he counted down; beginning with the
Pkliaran equivalent of five and ending at one. The five men fired their
weapons simultaneously. Five bullets flew towards Deanna, and all witnesses
held their breath, including those onboard the Flagship in space.
The bullets closed in on her; five meters, four, three, two, one...when
they were not more than sixty centimetres away from Troi they stopped,
floating in the air before her like tiny insects before they dropped dead onto
the ground. The five confused shooters exchanged looks, as did the two
officers aboard the Enterprise. Deanna didn't seem to notice the turmoil
around her and kept going.
The leader of the five
ordered to prepare for fire again, when suddenly an invisible force lifted him
of the ground and up into the air. In their surprise the others dropped their
weapons onto the ground. Four invisible hands picked them up and aimed them at
their former owners.
The empath walked between
the four men and underneath their leader. When she was a good ten meters away
the leader fell down and the five guns seemed to melt. The policemen slowly
turned around to watch Deanna disappearing in the distance.
On the Enterprise both Jean-Luc and Beverly were too startled to speak or
move. And when Data addressed them they nearly jumped of surprise.
"Captain, I believe I have found the cause of our inability to beam
Counselor Troi up. Her body contains an extraordinary amount of drugs which
the computer does not recognize. Also it appears the Counselor has somehow
"How?" Beverly’s voice sounded absently, her eyes still aimed
at the viewscreen.
"Unknown?" Doctor Crusher spun around on her heels. "Scan
for her medical condition." Obediently Data ordered the computer to take
a med scan and handed a PADD with the results to Beverly. She studied them in
silence and than gasped aloud.
"My God!!! Dozens of bruises and cuts, a broken cheekbone, a broken
arm, her leg is fractured at two places not to mention a week old injury of a
Pkliaran weapon and she has multiple spine injures!!! She shouldn't even be
able to move let alone to walk!!!" She stared at her husband with wide
"I second that." Came Data's neutral reply. Thousands of
questions spun through their heads but they couldn't answer even one of them.
"Data, it appears she is heading towards something, can you
"I shall try Captain." The android made some quick calculations
and commanded the viewscreen to zoom in to an open place in the nearest
forest. "It seems that is her destination."
"Very well. I want you and Doctor Crusher to beam down and wait for
her there. Be careful and don't make her feel threatened. In the meantime Mr.
LaForge and myself will work on a way to beam her up."
"Aye Captain." The android and Doctor replied together and
headed for the Transporter Room.
"Bridge to Engineering. Mr. LaForge report to the Bridge."
>On my way Captain.<
While Deanna was on her way to the forest Picard and LaForge were
feverishly working on a way to get her onboard. "The drugs aren't our
biggest problem Captain. If necessary I can shut down the safety guards and
biofilters and reinstall them as soon as the Counselor is back on board. Right
now we have to find a way to beam her up while she still is shielded."
"Whoa!!!" One of the ensigns screamed out in amazement.
Everyone's eyes turned to the viewscreen on which they saw a group transport
vehicle being literally thrown away by an invisible force to land a few meters
to Deanna's left. It seemed as if she didn't even noticed it.
"What was THAT?!". Geordi and Jean-Luc exchanged looks and
turned back to the Science Station to resume their attempts to find a way to
beam Counselor Troi up.
Kasheira tried to calm her brother down, but his frantic movements
prevented her from approaching him closely enough to administer the sedative.
"Leave me alone! Get away!!!...phrinsbeoskly!!!" He was going
insane; right in front of her eyes. At least she thought he was until he
suddenly stopped moving.
"Rahad?" Her voice was soft and unsteady, but he heard her
"Kasheira? Where's the woman?" She looked at her brother
incredulously. "She was in my head, I heard her, I felt her." Slowly
he sat up and looked around. "She could've killed me. He was right; she
isn't able to kill." A cruel smile curled around his lips.
"I am always right concerning her." A tall man stepped out of
the dark corner of the room. "I told you to be careful, but you let her
get away!" His anger added tension to the air. He walked closer and
looked down at the two relatives. "Now get up and find a way to bring her
"NOW!!!" Rahad and Kasheira stood up. They left the room
quickly, fearing the tall bearded man that remained. As soon as his two
servants had left he sighed and looked around. "Still being stubborn,
aren’t you Imzadi." He picked up her torn gown and called out to the
"Riker to Rhiuk: one to beam up."
Geordi stood up shaking his head. "This isn't working. I don't know
why or how she's been shielded like that, but I cannot penetrate the shield or
find a way to beam her out of it." Throwing one last glance at the
readings displayed on the screen Picard nodded once and ran his hand over his
"Can you determine what the power source of the shield is?"
Geordi immediately began giving orders to the computer.
"Hold on." He muttered while working. "Okay, computer:
display findings on viewscreen." Both men turned around and watched the
screen. Geordi stepped closer and point at the screen while explaining what
was being displayed.
"This..." He pointed at the left side of the screen.
"...Is where the sensors first picked her signal up. Now over
here..." His finger pointed a few decimeters to the right at one white
dot, facing five black dots. "...Is where she encounter the troop of
policemen. Computer: display shield." Around the white dot a red circle
appeared. "The red circle indicates the shield around her. According to
our calculation the shield is formed around her like a ball. The shield has a
diameter of approximately one point two meters."
He moved to the right side of the screen and pointed at a black bar.
"This is the transport vehicle we saw a minute ago. Computer: display
Vehicle Encounter." The scene they had seen nearly ten minutes ago
repeated itself. "Look, as the vehicle crosses the Counselor's path, it
was moved precisely so that she wouldn't have to alter her course or slow her
pace." Picard let the words sink in before he turned to his Chief
"Are you saying *she* moved it?" Geordi sighed and nodded at
the Lieutenant at the helm, who immediately restored the viewscreen so that is
was following Troi again.
"I can't prove it, but it appears that way." The Captain
stroked his chin and turned back to the screen.
"Is there a way to prove it?" LaForge's eyes lit up.
"Maybe, but I need a full mental scan." The bald man's eyes
shifted from left to right until they met Geordi's artificial ones.
"I believe Doctor Crusher can take care of that. Picard to
"Doctor; we have not been able to find a way to beam Counselor on
board. You'll have to find a way to let her drop her shields." With a
mischievous grin on his face he waited for his wife's reply.
>*Her* shields Captain?< He smiled at her reaction.
>Security to Captain Picard.<
"Hold on for a minute Miss Fko." He retapped his CommBadge.
"Yes Beverly. Geordi believes Deanna has created those shields herself.
She also appears to possess telekinetic powers; caution is required."
Down on the planet Beverly looked up in the air as if expecting some answers
to her unvoiced questions.
>Aye Sir.< And she terminated the link. 'Telekinesis? Deanna?'
"Doctor: Commander Troi will be here in approximately five
minutes." She nodded absently at the android
"Bridge to Security."
>Captain: we've beamed up five persons from the building where
Counselor Troi seemed to have originated. Four of them were in need of medical
care and have been escorted to sickbay where they are being held.<
"Well done Chief." The connection was terminated and a
satisfied Jean-Luc sat down in his chair. Geordi returned to the Science
Station to continue working on a way to beam her up. The Captain briefly
allowed his thoughts to wander off, trusting on the capability of his crew.
"Bridge to Sickbay. How are our guests doing?" Alyssa Powells
voice came through.
>We have sedated three of them. One has been treated for bruises and
"Sedated? Do you know what's wrong with them?"
>They seemed to have lost their sanity. The one who was all right
claims to have been mentally attacked by Counselor Troi.<
"Thank you nurse." He closed the connection with Sickbay.
"Beverly, did you hear that?"
>Yes. I don't know what to think of it now. I'll scan her soon as she
is in reach, which will be in less than two minutes.<
"All right, be careful."
Note: The entire chapter is a flashback and is therefore entirely in italics.
Eighteen: Dangerous Encounters
curiously awaited Deanna's arrival, her head spinning with unvoiced questions.
Data came from out the bushed and stood still at her side.
"Counselor Troi will be here within
thirty seconds." The redhead took a deep breath and looked around
once more. They were standing at the edge of the round open spot,
surrounded by huge trees. She couldn't help but noticing it was a typical
setting used for UFO landings in 20th century Earth movies.
mind was buzzing with thoughts from others. She acted purely from instinct,
reacting to the need to get away, to make the voices go away. She was only aware
of the thoughts of others. As she walked through the forest multiple branches
attacked her body, scratching her face. She reached the open spot and didn't
stop until she was standing in the middle.
god, Deanna!" Horror washed over Beverly's face as she saw the bleeding
welts on her friend's face. When she heard her friend's words and sensed her
emotions Deanna lifted her head up and opened her eyes. She met Beverly's blue
gaze head on with her furious green one. The Doctor's eyes widened and she
unconsciously stepped back, scared by the empath. Beverly felt her heart beating
in her throat and held her breath.
the other hand, Data wasn't more than a little surprised and approached her. As
soon as she noticed him her eyes flashed with fear and anger. While Data
distracted her Beverly quickly opened her tricorder and scanned the furious
come closer." Through clenched teeth the hissed words contained so much
anger Beverly could practically touch it. But Data stoically continued his
you are injured, we must help you." Two short high sounds indicated the
scan was completed. Doctor Crusher gasped as she read the readings. "By
Cochrane!" She muttered. She pushed a button to send the readings to the
Enterprise and put her tricorder back in her pocket; it wouldn't be of much use
anyway. The android was little more than two meters away for Deanna when she
suddenly yelled out.
told you to STAY AWAY!" A fraction of a second later Data was picked up by
an invisible voice and thrown away like he was nothing more than a football.
Beverly's wide-eyed gaze followed him until he disappeared out her sight. She
turned her eyes back to Deanna in amazement.
the viewscreen Picard witnessed everything, including Data's flight. He had
landed on top of a tree a few meters away. It seemed Deanna had 'planted' him
there on purpose. The Captain ordered the Transporter Chief to beam the android
up and silently wished his wife good luck.
it would be best to let Deanna calm down first Beverly sat down on the ground
with crossed legs. She studied the Betazoid closely, thinking of treatments and
ways to calm her while she waited. But Deanna picked up on those thoughts, and
her latest encounter with a physician hadn't been a pleasant one. "Hm, nice
thoughts Doctor Crusher." She looked at the Betazoid in confusion. 'Since
when are you telepathic?'
when? Since your colleague injected those drugs into me." Her voice was
filled with sarcasm and hatred. Crusher got on her feet and took a few steps
did he do to you?" The injured woman closed her eyes and shook her head
madly. She sensed the surge of compassion flooding through the tall woman but
didn't realize its cause. "Deanna, let me help you." Beverly stepped
closer. "I want to help you, make you better." When their gazes met
again the vulnerability and pain in the Betazoid's eyes struck her and urged her
to move closer. "I can make the pain go away. But I'll have to sedate
you." The green eyes flashed with fury and she clenched her hands into
Fear overwhelmed the Doctor and briefly she was sure Deanna would kill her. But
instead the trees around them suddenly caught fire and soon turned into huge
I'm getting you out of there!<
Jean-Luc wait!" He
rolled his eyes at his wife's stubbornness, but conceded. Beverly raised her
hand and slowly walked forwards.
not going to do anything, but I need to get further away from the flames."
The empath didn't react and endured the Doctor's approach. When about two meters
separated the two women Beverly sat down again, in the same position as before.
ten minutes neither woman moved. Deanna was still standing with her eyes empty,
dead. Beverly was still sitting on the ground. She had been patient and had
waited for Deanna to relax. But the empath didn't and the Doctor became a little
annoyed. Her mind had been working constantly and finally she had come up with a
fairly good plan.
to Enterprise." Deanna tensed when Beverly's voice suddenly broke the
steady sounds of the burning trees.
Doctor.< A slight smile curled around Beverly's thin lips as she heard her
is Geordi there?"
can you beam down something to play music?"
thing Doc. Any particular songs?< Geordi's optimistic enthusiasm was
contagious and she felt her spirits lift.
The songs ‘Immortality’ and ‘Love is on the Way’, performed by Celine
Dion, 20th Century Earth and include a Betazoid mediation piece as well."
its way Ma'am.< She glanced at her companion who had visibly stiffened during
her communication with their ship. Deanna's eyes had hardened and focussed
again. 'What's going on in that head of yours Deanna Troi?' Their eyes met and
for a fraction of a second the green eyes mellowed and a tired sounding voice
really don't want to know Beverly." The redhead wanted to say something in
return, something to comfort her friend, but was interrupted by a white and grey
box that appeared in front of her. Deanna's haunted gaze shifted rapidly between
the Doctor and the box.
worry, it's something to make our time here more enjoyable." While the
tones of the songs joined the crackling sounds of the burning trees Beverly
focussed her mind on the past; their first meeting during the Farpoint mission
and the ensuing seventeen years they had served together.
tried to make Deanna's mind pick upon the good memories, but at the same time
keep Will out her thoughts. Deanna didn't notice immediately but when she did
her softened eyes flashed with again with fury. "*Don't*hide!"
Crusher's eyes flew up to meet Troi's gaze. Knowing instantly the mistake she
had made Beverly raised her hands in an apology.
sorry." 'How am I going to make this right?'
me in." Their gazes still held. It took her a few moments before she
realized what the empath wanted and needed. 'Should I? How will she react?'
you *are* my friend you don't need to be scared." The blue eyes searched
the green ones for any sing of recognition but found none, nor the slightest
indication of any other emotion. Her eyes shifted from left to right as she
quickly tried to go through the pros and cons. When her eyes met Deanna's again
she knew she didn't really have a choice
right." Deanna nodded slowly and lowered herself to the ground. Beverly was
fully aware of the extent of her injuries and nearly reached out to assist her,
but the bright green eyes held her back. She sat down, facing the Doctor and
tucked her legs underneath. Her eyes focussed on the blue ones of the woman
across from her.
closed her eyes, but opened them as soon as Deanna softly whispered
"Don't". The empath's eyes narrowed and Beverly held her breath. After
a few more moments she felt a slight tingling sensation in her mind and she
focussed her eyes on Deanna's again.
saw Beverly's entire life; from the moment she had gained a memory, her quest to
find out more about her parents, her Academy years, the meeting with Jack, their
wedding, Wesley’s birth, then coming aboard the Enterprise, the friendship
that had grown between the Senior Staff, Q, the Borg, Locutus, each Senior
Officer in critical condition in Sickbay at least once, her year at Starfleet
Medical, her experience with the Captain on Kespryt, the destruction of the
Enterprise D, boarding the E, fighting the Borg, Zefram Cocrhane, the Son'A,
Will's leaving and, of course, Beverly’s wedding. But Deanna didn't just watch
Crusher's memories, she also felt her emotions at the time of each event. The
empath softly gasped as she felt the flow of compassion, concern, fear,
friendship, joy, and sister-like love surging through her as she witnessed
Beverly's latest memories.
Deanna's gasp Beverly looked back into her eyes. To her delight the eyes had
softened, as had her friend's features. Troi retreated from the Doctor's mind
and stood up again, her eyes watching the fire, her mind checking the
information she had received. As soon as the green eyes had left her own Beverly
closed them and exhaled deeply.
stood up slowly, hesitating before offering Deanna's her small hand. But before
she had Deanna, ever so slowly, turned her head back, her dirty curls swinging
around as well. The redheads braced for another flash of fury coming from the
bright green eyes but although the irises were still green and surrounded by
black the eyes were dim and empty. They shifted from one side to the other. For
a few moments she looked down, trying to compose herself. When she lifted them
again they seemed to be searching something in the blue eyes they encountered.
Her voice was quiet, cautious, pleading and hesitating at the same time and all
of a sudden Deanna seemed so very, very small to her friend.
here Deanna. Let's take you home and make you better."
Home. No more voices." 'Voices?' She looked at the empath questioningly.
When she reached out however Deanna shrank away.
touch me." Confused Beverly looked at her. 'Why not?'
right, I won't until you let me okay?" At her slight nod Beverly tapped her
to Enterprise: Deanna and I are ready to be beamed directly to Sickbay." On
the ship Picard briefly glanced at his Chief Engineer before responding.
afraid we can only beam you to a Transporter room. I'll meet you there.<
Sir." She glanced at Troi who hadn't even blinked her eyes throughout the
to go home Deanna." And as she spoke a shimmering light surrounded them and
carried them. home.
they materialized they where alone. There was no one behind the console and no
one to welcome them.
stepped out the lift and nearly ran to the Transporter room where his wife and
First Officer had materialized. The doors hissed open and he stepped in with a
broad smile on his face which disappeared the second he laid his eyes on Deanna.
the distance between them her green eyes were in stark contrast to the pools of
blackness surrounding them and made him freeze. It took him longer than he
would've wanted to compose himself, but when he did he studied the rest of her
appearance. Her hair was dishevelled and filthy, and from where he stood he
could see the tangles in the mass of dark curls. Her face was bruised and
covered bleeding cuts.
streams of blood were running from a corner of her mouth and a cut on her
temple. Her lips were swollen and blue. The V-neck of the black coat she wore
allowed him to see the bruised and cut skin underneath. His eyes traced her body
until they had reached her bare and bleeding feet. 'She looks terrible!' Their
eyes met and for a minute he thought she -knew- what he had thought. But just as
quickly he dismissed that assumption.
it's good to have you back with us." He was surprised when she didn't
reply. He looked at his wife, eyes full of unvoiced questions. 'Thank god she's
all right. I would never have forgiven myself if anything had happened to her.'
would I Captain." Startled he looked at Troi. 'What?--How?!--" But
when his eyes met Beverly's he knew it was no use to ask and left it alone...for
now. He held out his hand to Deanna and looked at Beverly in confusion when she
shrank away from his touch.
doesn't want to be touched." He shifted his gaze between the two women and
nodded. Suddenly Deanna reached into her pocket and drew out a little black box.
She held up the palm of her hand with the box on it and focussed.
confused, amazed, scared and impressed Jean-Luc and Beverly looked from the box
to each other to Deanna and back to the box. It left Deanna's hand, flying up
until it floated about five inches above her hand. From there it moved to
Captain Picard until it was only five inches away. He too held out his hand and
slowly the box lowered and eventually landed on his hand.
Without uttering another word Deanna headed towards the doors, carefully
avoiding physical contact. The others were stunned as they watched her, unable
to make a sound or move a muscle. When Deanna strode through the doorway
rational thought kicked in and they followed her, still wearing an amazed and
confused expression on their faces.
it was ship’s night so they only ran into two crewmembers. Troi seemed
oblivious to her surroundings but lead the way to Sickbay without hesitation.
When they entered Sickbay she held still and quietly observed her surroundings,
and after a few minutes Beverly stepped in front of her.
way Deanna.” She pointed to the private room and waited for Deanna to proceed.
Empathically and telepathically the Betazoid checked the persons around her for
any malevolent or ill will. When she found no sign of either she obeyed the
Doctor and walked into the room. Soon after Beverly followed, carrying a
hypospray to sedate her patient.
the same second that she entered she tried to inject the sedative in her wrist
Deanna neglected to warn her not to touch her. Deanna turned around too late to
avoid physical contact. The moment Crusher’s hand touched Deanna she felt a
wave of emotion invade her mind. Her hands flew up to her temples and her mouth
fell open, screaming silently. The Doctor dropped to her knees and closed her
the window Jean-Luc was watching them and when he realized his wife was in pain
he ran to the doors to help her. The doors hissed open and he entered…but he
was barely a step through the doors before he was thrown back by an invisible
force field. By the time he stood up and made his way back to the door Beverly
had also gotten up and no longer seemed to be in pain.
warned you not to touch me.” The soft voice was trembling and could barely be
“Yes, you did. But I have to sedate you Deanna.” The Counselor seemed to think about what the tall woman had said when her eyes focussed on the hypospray on Beverly’s palm. While Deanna climbed onto the biobed and laid herself down she pulled the hypo towards her with her telekinetic powers. She grabbed the device and