Story: Pride and Joy
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them, not I.
Special Note: This is a prequel to my stories “Cold Feet” and
Synopsis: Lwaxana Troi reflects after the announcement of her
I can’t say that I was surprised when Deanna came to me with
the news of her pending marriage. In fact, I had realized years
ago what my daughter’s fate would ultimately become… it was just
a matter of those two people finally growing up. Of two beings
from different worlds striving to differentiate their wants from
their needs while learning how to correlate the two. Of two souls,
a man and a woman, coming to understand, or at least appreciate,
the dizzying, cascading, and whirling matters of the heart, in
all its many, funny, little quirks. Of learning to trust in fate
as only two beings who had experienced life could.
For them to finally see for themselves what the rest of the universe
saw so clearly.
Deanna looked so sincere when she told me: nervous, edgy, yet
glowing. She had this look about her that only a mother and fellow
woman could categorize: happy, healthy… satisfied. This knowledge
that she had made a certain peace with herself, which then allowed
her to fully accept another heart into her own. And William,
despite his rather charming attempt to appear in the contrary,
looked even more anxious… as if he was uncertain to what my reaction
would be. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud: in joy,
in contentment, in obvious, yet what would probably be unappreciated,
I wonder what they would say if I projected to them what I’ve
read in them all along: the love, the confusion, the secret,
thinly repressed longing. Would they be amused, as I am, that
what they are telling me now has pretty much been a forgone conclusion
since the day Deanna had called to tell me that William was serving
on the same ship she had been assigned to? Or would they be frustrated,
as I have also been with them at times, that it took them so
long to wake the hell up?
I have to squelch the urge now to prevent myself from announcing
‘Finally! It’s about time. Good gods, I’d thought I’d have to
lock you two in a room together and not let either of you out
until one or both of you had taken off your blinders and let
fate take its course.’
On second thought, why should I hold that back? It would definitely
serve them right.
“Finally! I was beginning to think there was something mentally
wrong with the two of you. That or that you were both as blind
as one of those disgusting, little, Earth bat things. I was getting
tired of waiting. Good gods, I’d thought I’d have to lock you
two in a room with nothing save a bottle of Romulan ale and a
bed. All those years of repressed longing for each other had
made you both far too uptight,” I couldn’t help but proclaim,
thoroughly enjoying the stark embarrassment that crossed the
unflappable Commander Riker’s face, and the shocked, angry expression
that flashed across Deanna’s.
Perhaps it was wrong of me to speak my mind like that, after
all, William is human, and Deanna half, but frankly honesty is
the best approach to anything. And I figure it is a mother’s
duty to let her child know how ridiculous it had looked for her
to love one man for over a decade while keeping him at arms reach,
and vice versa.
Friends? I really had a good laugh the first time Deanna informed
me that all she and Will wanted to pursue on the Enterprise was
friendship. Here were two passionate, enchanting creatures trying
to resist the strong and irresistible pull they felt towards
one another, and one that they had allowed themselves to be swept
into once before, in what I considered to be an extremely futile
maneuver. After all, it was Deanna who had defied me in order
to be with William the first time.
And defied me she had, in a moment that causes me to swell with
pride when I think of it now. My daughter: angry, strong, independent;
beseeching me to believe in her right to make her own choices,
in her ability to know her own heart, and to believe in the love
she felt for the man who had stolen her heart for the first time
in her extremely disciplined, yet youthfully naive life. That
picture of Deanna: so wildly beautiful, so fearfully determined,
stayed with me awhile and danced across my mind at so many key
moments throughout the years… When William had broken her heart,
as I had warned her he could. When she joined Starfleet and left
Betazed, as I had feared she would. When she told me that she
and Will were to be no more than friends…
To their credit they did become friends… good ones. And despite
my desire to see my daughter truly happy and fulfilled, and despite
my indignance that either of them could fool each other and themselves
so easily with their mantra of ‘we’re just friends’ it didn’t
escape me that their bond, in one form or the other, was still
just as strong. However, I still reserved the right to be incredulous
over the status of their relationship. Who wouldn’t be? After
all, with the amount of repression they had forced upon themselves
while serving on that ship, it’s amazing they didn’t work their
way into therapy.
My daughter may be a psychologist, and a damn good one if I do
say so myself, and I do. But her refusal to admit to or explore
her deep feelings for the equally frustrated Enterprise first
officer was a heart wrenching sight to behold. Try as I might
I couldn’t take away the sting of past hurt from her. I couldn’t
force acceptance or growth on her, just as I couldn’t force my
will on her when she had fallen for William Riker to begin with.
Deanna had been right all those years ago when she had proclaimed
her independence, her life was hers to live and hers alone. As
her mother I could only sit back and watch as she lived it, trusting
that knowledge, wisdom, and inner peace were things achieved
through the passing of time, while life’s lessons were in the
process of being taught.
Still, that didn’t prevent me from voicing my own input here
and there, if the situation called for it. After all, life is
short, and one can only be expected to have so much in the way
of patience. I wanted my daughter happy, yes. And I wanted her
to be comfortable in her own skin, but I also had other pressing
wants as well. There was a saying Deanna’s father used to say
all the time… ‘what you think about, you bring about’, so I figured
it was my responsibility to let Deanna know I was thinking about
grandchildren… a lot. Truth be told, I wasn’t getting any younger
and neither was she.
So maybe, once in a while, I may have attempted to nudge Deanna
in one direction or another, for all the good it did me. Yet
I always knew, even then, that it would come to this; with Will
and Deanna sitting before me, flushed with mutual adoration and
renewed awareness, as only two people deeply in love could. For
a moment I wanted to cry, moved irrevocably by the journey these
two beings had traveled to reach the point they were at now.
There is so much I want to tell them, so much knowledge to share,
and well wishes to voice, but for now I could only sit back and
stare with pride: at discovery, at recognition, at joy. At the
profound knowledge that my little girl, my precious child; has
her own wisdom to boast, her own experiences to offer those traveling
the rocky path towards completion, both as people and as women.
Warmth spread through me as I watched William turn his gaze towards
Deanna, as if he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her for any given
length of time. He lifted his hand to tenderly brush a lock of
hair from her eyes as she looked at him in turn: steadily, strongly,
and with so much feeling that all my assuredness that these two
individuals were meant for each other was reaffirmed.
At that moment a memory crept into my mind of a young and precocious
woman-child of five, with far too much quiet wisdom in her dark
eyes than was normal for a girl of her age.
When Deanna had been little her father had given her a kitten:
a white, blue-eyed hairball of a creature with an attitude to
rival all of the houses of Betazed, but whom Deanna adored profusely.
Sadly, the little thing met an untimely end and Ian and I had
worried that our daughter had been far too young at the time
to understand the concept of death, separation, and the permanence
in the situation. In our ignorance we had offered to buy her
another cat, and she had looked at us, eyes wide, enormous, and
glistening with tears that didn’t quite fall and made a statement
that would stay with me for years to come…
“A new cat wouldn’t be the same, it would be different. I loved
my old one.”
Nearly two decades later Deanna stood before me, eyes wide and
enormous, with tears that didn’t quite fall glistening in her
“You’ll love again, Deanna. You’ll find someone far better suited
for you. Lieutenant Riker was a lesson for you to learn, you
can move on now.”
She was quiet for a moment, her face a mirror of the grief before
she softly proclaimed… “You don’t understand, mother. I love
Will. I will always love Will. I may meet another man, and I
may even find that I enjoy being with him, but it would be different.
I wont love the same way again.”
My daughter is anything if not stubborn. And despite the fact
that she had been so young at the time, so new to love and the
despair of a broken heart, there had been a quiet wisdom to her
words, a finality that had both awed and frightened me.
Deanna looks up and catches my gaze as the memory of her back
then flashes crystal clear in my mind, distorting to blend with
the portrait she makes sitting before me today.
She smiles at me, gently, knowingly, as if she had picked up
the direction of my thoughts on the experiences that had molded
“I was right, mother,” she says now. “I never loved that way
again. In fact, the love I feel this time is different - stronger
than it was before.”
Despite my joy at this union, and despite my acknowledgement
that it had been ordained far before either of them had realized
it, I found that Deanna’s words were exactly what I wanted to
“Good,” is all I can think to respond, my voice sounding odd
to my own ears, so choked with awe and feeling. I wonder what
Jean Luc Picard would say if he saw me here now, speechless,
for once, before my child - a woman who has taught me as much
about life as I have taught her.
I try not to laugh as William looks back and forth between the
two of us, mother and daughter, his expression portraying his
confusion over our seemingly strange exchange. But wisely he
doesn’t prod, opting instead to take Deanna’s hand in his, as
if he couldn’t go too long without touching her in one form or
another. I find myself moved yet again.
“You take good care of my daughter, William. We both know how
stubborn she is, and how she is probably thinking right now,
as I speak, that she doesn’t need to be taken care of and that
she can take care of herself, but it eases a mother’s mind to
know that her child is properly looked after,” I say, gazing
directly at my future son-in-law while motioning to Deanna that
she should halt the indignant protest I can feel radiating from
her. I swear she gets that stubborn, defiant, rebellious streak
from her father.
Will, as I knew he would, smiles at me, grasping the double meaning
to my words. He knows now that I accept him as a worthy partner
for my ‘little one’. In fact, I had long ago, despite my initial
protests all those years ago when they had both been no more
“Of course,” he says, his eyes dancing merrily, “Deanna’s happiness
is my own,” he finishes gallantly, causing his fiancé to soften
No doubt about it, this man knows my daughter well. Knows her
to the point where he can ease her troubles and calm her restlessness
without even trying. It tickles me, it really does.
“Good,” I say again, still moved though a deliciously playful
thought crept into my mind… “Now that all of that is settled,
let’s talk grandchildren. I’m not getting any younger, you know.”
And the sound of Deanna’s entirely exasperated “Mother!” is lost
to the melody of her future husband’s boisterous laughter.