Story: Everything will be fine now.
Synopsis: Sometimes destiny gives us a chance to make the good things even better.
Disclaimer: Mmm, I'm not Majel Roddenberry, not a well paid executive from Paramount guess I don't own them then.
Sometimes what starts great doesn't end the same way. After the Enterprise ended their last fight against the Son'a everybody thought that the things between Deanna and Will were going to continue the same way they were on the planet, but everybody was wrong.
Deanna and Will were still friends and only that. Everybody knew that because they were friends but not as friends as before, but still friends.
When they were on the bridge in duty hours they were as polite and happy as always but they hardly were seeing together after that.
Deanna was at Ten-Forward on her usual table looking at the stars when Beverly came in and went to her.
"A penny for your thoughts?" Beverly asked her and smiled.
"Oh Beverly, please sit down. How are you?" Deanna asked politely and returned her smile.
"Well, considering that we returned from a dangerous mission on a magical planet when the love of my life fell for this woman leaving me aside I'm fine." Beverly smiled sadly at Deanna.
"Well, I see your point, but you have to be happy, we are on the Enterprise again, she's at her home planet and they are not going to see each other in a long time which gives you the opportunity to talk to him." Deanna reached out her hand and held Beverly's.
"Yes perhaps you are right but you should be grateful and happy to get the chance of being with Will once again but you are not together and if you ask me that's just stupid." Beverly said looking at her beverage that was left by Guinan a few seconds after she arrived.
"It's more complicated than that Bev. We know we love each other and that we care for each other too but at the moment we set foot on this ship it's like we had this wall between us and duty comes first all the time." Deanna said sadly looking at her chocolate.
"Well, then perhaps you should try harder and not give up so easily."
Bev squeezed Deanna's hand and smiled.
Just when Deanna was going to say something their comm badges sounded and they smiled.
"Saved by the bell." Beverly said smiling. "Crusher and Troi here."
"Your presence is needed in the transporter room two as soon as you can doctor." Data said.
"Thank you Data, we are on our way." Beverly said and looked at Deanna who was as surprised as she; it was not so common that both of them were required at the same time at the transporter room.
As soon as they got there they saw their captain smiling and Will at his side.
"Thank you both for being here so fast. We are expecting someone's visit to our ship and I hope and trust the four of you would make her time here as pleasant as it could be." Picard said smiling and they just exchanged glances.
A few minutes later a blue shine transformed into a woman they all knew but not all of them loved.
"Anij, welcome to the Enterprise." Picard said smiling and took some steps forward to help her down the platform.
"Thank you Jean-Luc." She said politely and smiled warmly at him.
Beverly and Deanna exchanged glances and Deanna immediately felt all the anger building inside her best friend.
"You remember some of my officers, Commander Riker, Doctor Crusher and Counselor Troi." Picard signaled them and they nodded as they were mentioned.
"Yes, I remember them, how could I forget the people who helped my people to be saved. We are forever in your debt." She smiled politely.
"Don't even mention it. Welcome to our ship, if you need anything you just have to ask me and I will gratefully help you." Will said smiling and holding Anij's hand.
"Thank you Commander." Was all she said.
"Nice to see you again Anij, we hope you feel comfortable here. I will show you to your quarters as soon as you are ready." Deanna said smiling.
"Thank you Counselor, I really appreciate your attentions."
"Please, call me Deanna."
"Thank you Deanna."
"Welcome aboard, we hope you feel happy here among us." Beverly said barely smiling.
"Thank you Beverly." Anij smiled grateful.
"You may call me Doctor." Beverly said faking a smile and left the place leaving a pretty shocked captain and officers.
Beverly was on a table looking at the stars when she felt a hand on her shoulder and looked to find her best friend smiling at her.
"Please Deanna, sit down." Beverly smiled and Deanna did as she was said.
"Are you okay?" Was all Deanna managed to say.
"You ask that because the way I act today at the transport room right?" Beverly faked a smile and when Deanna didn't respond she continued.
"Look, it was not easy for me to see him with her, smiling at her and just the idea of having her aboard makes me sick, he bring her here when he knows what I feel about him." Beverly finished with tears in her eyes.
Deanna was just about to say something when she saw the figure of her captain standing right behind Beverly and understood that it was time to leave.
"I'll talk to you latter." Deanna said as she left.
Beverly was just about to ask her why she was leaving when she turned around just to found the uniform of a man she knew pretty well.
"Captain, what an unexpected pleasure." She said faking a smile and turning around to face the stars again.
"Doctor." Picard said as he positioned himself in the chair right in front of her.
"Is there anything you need?" She finally looked straight to him.
"Well, actually there is something. Beverly, why you acted the way you did it today at the transporter room?" He finally asked looking at her and tenderly grabbed her hand.
"Captain," She moved her hand from his as if being burned. "I really want to say I'm sorry and don't worry, it will never going to happen again. Now if you excuse me, I have some things to do in sickbay."
"Beverly " Picard started but was interrupted before he could say more than her name.
"Captain, I can assure you that it is never going to happen again and
please say to Anij that I'm really sorry about it. Now if you excuse me."
And she left.
"Why is that everybody thinks that the first officer doesn't need to sleep or rest hmm?"
A very upset Will Riker walked to his main room at his quarters when he was supposed to be in bed sleeping right this second.
"Come." He ordered and his doors immediately hissed open revealing a smiling Deanna Troi.
"Hello, I'm sorry, I know it's late and believe me, I do think that the first officer needs to sleep but there is something very important that I want to say." Deanna smiled and Will smiled even more when he saw her outfit.
"Is good to see that you can still read my mind, oh and nice outfit by the way." He smiled mischievously.
"There was no time to change it so I suppose I'm glad you like it." She smiled walking to his sofa and making herself comfortable.
"So, what is so important that you decided to walk in your nightgown through the corridor and to my quarters?" He said now sitting right next to her.
"Will, I have been thinking about this since we left the briar patch a few months ago and I think you have been doing the same. Look, I know that we have been through a lot together and that we now I can't even say what I was going to say, some counselor I am." Deanna smiled looking now at his floor carpet.
Her name coming from his mouth was all the encouragement she needed, she loved this man and there was nothing she wouldn't do for him and she needed to tell him.
"I love you Will Riker, I always have and always will and that's all I wanted you to know. I love you." Deanna said smiling at him and when she saw there was no answer to what she said she stood up and walked to leave.
"Deanna Troi, stop right there!" Will ordered and she turned around to face him pretty surprised.
"You think you can come here to tell me you love me and then just walk away as if nothing happened?" Will walked towards her and she just looked at her hands as if she had said something wrong. "I love you too Deanna Troi and I want to spend the rest of my days with you." He finished and now she looked straight to his eyes and saw as if for the first time all the love he had for her.
"So, what are we going to do now?" She smiled holding his hands on hers.
"Well, if you think I'm going to let you go back to your quarters so that everybody on the corridor can see you wearing only that you are out of your mind." He smiled and leaned to kiss her.
* * * * *
"And that was all she said." Jean-Luc finished looking at the woman that was resting on her lap.
"Well, we do not have to worry about her; I guess it was the pressure and my unexpected arrival to the Enterprise but as far as I remember she was as nice as the rest of the crew on the planet." Anij smiled at him and he immediately nodded.
"Yes, I guess you are right. Well I have to go now, I received a communicate from the fleet and we have to go to the Albellum system, there is supposed to be a conflict at one of its planets and we have to go to see if we can help."
"Yes you are right you need to rest." Anij said standing up to release him so he could do the same. As soon as he did she held his hand forcing him to turn around.
"But you don't have to leave this place in order to do so." She smiled and looked to her room.
"I think if I go in there I'm not going to have much of a rest tonight." He smiled and used her hand to pull her to him and held her in his arms.
"Oh well, you don't need to worry, we can always make a perfect moment in time." She smiled and led him to her room.
Jean-Luc looked at Anij's sleeping form and smiled. It has been a long time since he woke up next to somebody and he liked it. He leaned to kiss her forehead and then left the room.
He was leaving her quarters when he felt his body against somebody else and almost fell to the floor.
"I'm sorry, my mistake, I wasn't looking where I was "
"You have nothing to worry about Captain."
"Beverly! What are you doing here?" Jean-Luc faked a smile and felt his face turning some shades of red.
"Ensign Stewart's son had a fever and I came to see him, they live two doors from here." She said looking at Anij's door.
"Well, I was here because I came to see if uh "
"Captain, you don't need to explain anything I'm a doctor, remember?" Beverly smiled and went to the turbolift followed by a very embarrassed Picard.
They both ordered and then came the uncomfortable silence that they both hated.
"Beverly, I wanted to remind you of our dinner tonight, I have this new book I got "
"Captain, I do not want to be rude but I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to attend to our dinner tonight and perhaps it would be the same for some weeks so I think you should see what to do with that time. Perhaps Anij would really appreciate if you spend that time with her." Beverly smiled and looked at the turbolift doors that were opening in front of her after they reached sickbay.
"Well, this is my stop Captain. Have a nice day." She said without look back at him and left.
* * * * *
News traveled at warp speed on the Enterprise and when news were good they certainly reached every corner of the ship before everybody knew it and by now every single living human on the ship knew about Will and Deanna so it didn't surprised her when all the way to sickbay everybody smiled at her and talked at each other as soon as they saw her and she was pretty happy when she finally reached her destiny only to find a very sad Beverly looking at the wall inside her office.
"Can I come in?" Deanna asked and Bev nodded.
"I've heard the news." Beverly smiled looking at her friend.
"Well, I guess you were right, we had the chance to be together and we had the chance to take it so we did." Deanna said and got a short smile from her friend. "But on the other hand you don't seem to be happy." Deanna changed subject and Beverly just confirmed what she said with a nod.
"I'm not and I guess I'll never be at least not whiles she's here."
"I knew it, I knew from the first moment Anij stood foot on this ship she will cause trouble." Deanna said pretty annoyed walking to the replicator to get two beverages from them.
"Well, I guess that it is my fault." Beverly said taking her tea from the table.
"What! Beverly you are completely insane, he's the one that is absolutely wrong about his choice and if you ask me she's just an old woman trying to have fun with a child because we have to remember she's a thousand years older than everyone here." Deanna said pretty upset at hearing her friend blame herself for her own pain.
"Perhaps, but you have to admit that he said he loved me once and I let him thought I didn't care about his feelings so that's it, he's in love with her, she with him and I just have to stay out of this for my own sake." Was her final statement.
"I don't like to see you like this, you never give up that easily." Deanna said holding Bev's hand.
"Then you should get used to it." Was Beverly's answer and then added "I don't want to be rude but I have to go to check some patients here." And she left.
* * * * *
"Captain, we arrived to the Albellum system." Data informed with his usual controlled tone.
"Are there any life signs on one of its planets?" Captain asked and Data started to move his fingers as fast as he could.
"Yes, sir. On the third planet. It is a pre-warp civilization, an M class planet." Data informed.
"Do you think this is the planet Number One?"
"It has to be, there are no other life signs on the system sir." Riker responded working at his station.
"Counselor, can you sense something?"
"Nothing Captain, there is no signs of hostility around us but then again we are too far from the planet, I could be wrong." Deanna said looking to the view screen and then at her captain.
"Thank you Counselor. I would appreciate it everybody could "
"Captain, a ship is de-cloaking." Worf interrupted and everybody turned to the view screen.
"We are being hailed." Worf informed.
"I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise." Picard started.
"My name is Angzari Min, I'm the Tunlim, leader of the Ravnis. What are you doing on our system?" Angzari asked looking straight at Picard.
"We were informed that your people had some internal difficulties and we came to see if we could assist you somehow."
"We appreciate your concern Captain, but we are in no need of your help."
"Then you wouldn't mind if an away team beamed down to your planet to see if everything is as good as you said." Picard said almost as an order to one of his crew.
"Course not Captain, I'll be transmitting our coordinates."
"Thank you. Picard out."
Jean-Luc turned to his seat and waited to receive the coordinates, it usually never took that much to receive a simple coordinate but this one did.
"We've got it Captain." Informed Data.
"Away team to transporter room." Picard ordered and was followed by Worf, Riker, Data and Troi.
As they came to a complete state they saw a woman they recognized as Angzari and two men standing next to her.
"Captain, welcome to Ravni, we hope your stay here would be as pleasant as you expected. This are my two Counselors, Clomi and Mentli."
"Thank you Tunlim, it is our pleasure to be here. This are my officers Commanders Riker, Worf, Data and Troi. We were wondering if you would let us see your planet, you have to understand that as explorers our curiosity is always awaken on a new place." Picard finished and the Tunlim smiled.
"I do understand but please, call me Angzari. Please follow us."
After a long walk trough the planet, that was extremely pleasant and comfortable they returned to the ship to instruct the rest of the crew to planet side with the authorization of Angzari.
The whole crew was down except for the ones that were left at command of the ship.
"This place is so beautiful Deanna, the ski, the water, the weather. Everything is perfect about this place." Will said leaning on the grass with Deanna resting on his chest.
"Too perfect if you ask me." Deanna said and Will looked down at her.
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, think about it. The Federation received information that something was wrong in this planet, when Angzari showed herself to us for the first time on the screen she seemed angry but when the Captain asked her to let us see for ourselves that everything was fine she changed immediately to an extremely pleasant attitude, I don't know. I just don't trust her." Deanna finished.
"You sensed something hostile coming form her?"
"No, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't feel bad things about us. For what we know she could be a telepath."
"Well, we should be careful then but at the moment we are here, on this beautiful place surrounded by mountains and nothing or nobody else around."
* * * * *
Sad. Sad, lonely and hopeless, this three words described how she felt. Even when she was on a beautiful planet with beautiful sights and beautiful sounds she couldn't enjoy them because she was not shearing them with him, Anij was the one having that pleasure and that made her feel even more sad, lonely and hopeless.
And then she saw them, smiling and walking just w few feet away from her but he was so happy and pleased with Anij that he didn't noticed her sitting pretty close, but Anij did.
"Jean-Luc there is somebody pretty sad sitting right there. I think you should talk to her." Jean-Luc turned and saw Beverly, she was looking at her feet and looked extremely sad.
"I think you are right. I'll be with you as soon as I can."
"I'll be waiting for you." Anij smiled and left.
Jean-Luc walked to where Beverly was and stand in front of her but she was so captured by her own thoughts that she didn't noticed him.
"Can I join you?" Picard asked and Beverly immediately looked at him surprised.
"Thank you but you know something, we are having fun here, you can call
me Jean-Luc, you have always called me like that, even when we are on the ship."
He smiled at her and she gave him a quick and small smile before answering.
"Yes, I have always done that but for now Captain just suits me perfect." She said and looked to a tree that was a few steps far from them.
"What's wrong Beverly, you know you can trust me." Picard said and touched her face with his thumb.
"Please, don't do that." Beverly said moving her head to her left to avoid his touch.
"Beverly, please, you know I care about you, I'm worried, I need to know."
"Captain, please, I beg you." Beverly said trying to keep her tone as if nothing happened, but she failed.
"Okay, if you don't want to talk to me as friends we are going to do it another way. Doctor, I'm ordering you to tell me what is wrong with you." Picard said now with a firm tone on his voice.
"Please, don't do that, you know that I can't " Beverly started to excuse herself.
"That's an order Doctor." Picard said now with an even stronger voice.
"Okay, you want to know fine, I'll tell you. I'm tired of seeing you with that damned woman, I'm tired of have to live on the same ship with you when I know you are sleeping right next to her, I'm tired of being so sad because of you and I'm tired of have to see how you live the life you were supposed to be living with me with her. I'm tired and I don't want to bear this anymore cause it hurts so much and that is it Captain that's all you wanted to hear and that's all I'm ever going to say to you about this again now, if you excuse me I "
And then she felt it, she felt her own heart tear apart inside her and it hurted so much that she just couldn't keep holding her tears inside, she just couldn't help herself anymore and then she died inside.
By the moment she ran and went out of sight Jean-Luc was gaining control of his emotions again, but it was late. She was gone and he knew that she was gone forever, even when he knew she was going to be right there close to him when they returned to the ship.
"What are you going to do? You can't keep them here forever, they are dangerous and they can find out our plan, specially that damned Counselor, she has empathic and telepathic abilities if they find that out they can send her or perhaps somebody will tell them if we are not careful enough."
"Mentli is right, what if we trust too much in ourselves or on the security team and they fail us." Clomi said looking straight to Angzari.
"Calm down, nobody will say anything. All the people on this planet knows that of they say something to the Federation people they will die as soon as we find out, the elders are hidden well enough and they are not going to send nothing to that woman because they have no idea they are here. Everything is going to be as good as it was in a couple of days when they realize that everything is fine here and then decide to leave the planet. We just have to be patient." She finished.
"We still have a problem though."
"And what is it Clomi?" Angzari asked desperate.
"We still have no idea of who told the Federation about the problems on the planet. That person could still gave us more trouble if we don't find out who is it."
"We will, don't worry. We will." Angzari said and left the room.
* * * * *
"Are you feeling better?" Will asked and Deanna smiled.
"Well, you don't have to worry that much for me, I'm fine. I just don't trust this people and that's all. Maybe I have no reasons to not trust them but I can't help it and "
"And?" Will urged her to continue.
"Shh!" Was all she said.
Deanna looked around and then she saw him, a tiny little boy looking straight at her and then she moved closer and closer to him till she grabbed him.
"Please, do not hurt me, I have not done anything wrong!" The boy started to cry and all she did was hold him tight and try to calm him.
"We are not going to hurt you, we just want to help. Calm down, we just want to help." Deanna said and Will looked at her and then at the little boy that seemed not to be older than 4 years.
"You promise?" The little boy said and Deanna nodded.
"What's your name kiddo?" Will asked kneeling down beside Deanna.
"Alain." He answered.
"Hello Alain, I'm Deanna and he's Will." She smiled and took of a
little piece of grass on his hair.
"Hello. I miss my mummy." He said and then he started to cry.
"Oh sweetie, I know, I can sense it. Where is she?" Deanna asked and he looked at her.
"You sense things too?" He asked and Deanna nodded. "I was playing with her and my daddy was on the grass when they came and then they "
Deanna sensed his difficulty to find the words due to his short age and she helped him, she opened her mind to link hers with his and then she saw it all, the little kid playing on the grass with his mother at his back, his fatter a few feet away and then she saw them, there was no doubt of who they were, they were Clomi and Mentli, they took him and then her before they killed them right in front of this kid, almost a baby who at the moment she saw all this was crying.
"They " Alain said and cried even harder if possible.
"I know sweetie, I know." She held him closer and then send to Will.
<They are dead. Clomi and Mentli killed them.>
Will felt as if they were next or if not, in a big risk to be on this planet.
"Riker to Enterprise."
"Enterprise here, sir."
"Beam everybody aboard including the little kid that is with us at the moment. Now!"
Before everybody knew it they were on the Enterprise, as soon as Picard knew where he was he went to the Bridge where he saw the rest of his Commanding staff.
"What happened Number One?" Picard demanded and then Will explained everything to him with Deanna's help.
Picard was just about to say something when he heard the transporters chief on the channel.
"Captain, we have a missing member."
"Who is it?"
"Doctor Crusher, sir." The chief responded.
"Are you sure?" Picard said alarmed.
Beverly kept walking, after a long time running trying to get as far as she could from Jean-Luc she decided to walk and walk she did. She was now inside a caver, a deep one and when she realized that she had no idea of how to return to the outside. She was lost.
"Crusher to Enterprise."
There was no answer.
"Crusher to Enterprise."
"Perhaps you would want to know that you are inside one of the must deep caverns in this planet, your communicator's reception is off and you would not get an answer from the enterprise in here." Angzari said from behind her.
"Oh I'm so happy to see you. Yes I supposed that the reception here was not good at all. Well now that you are here I feel safe. Can you show me please the way out of here? I'm not a fan of caverns you know." Beverly said smiling.
"Well, in fact I can't Doctor because you'll see, you are the only Federation officer on this planet and I intend to keep it that way." Angzari said pretty serious.
"What are you trying to tell me?" Beverly asked.
"What I try to say is that you better get used to this cavern because you are never going to get out of here." Angzari smiled. "Take her!"
Clomi and Mentli were right behind Beverly and before she knew it they used a hypospray to immobilize her and everything faded to black.
"Negative sir. I can't trace her on the planet's surface." Data informed looking at Picard with a puzzled expression very much similar to the rest of the senior staff.
"If this kid is saying the truth then this has to do something with Angzari." Picard affirmed.
"Captain, Alain is telling the truth, I can sense that." Deanna said looking at the sleeping child on her arms.
Normally, kids were not aloud to be on the bridge but this kid was so afraid of being alone that he would just not admit to be turned away from Deanna's sight and everybody could see that so he stay and everybody hoped that somehow he could help.
"Captain, I know this is difficult for you but perhaps we aloud wait till we know something else. We are not going to find her right now and it's a risk to go down again, I suggest we wait and get some sleep till Deanna gets something with Alain's help." Will said looking concerned at his captain.
"Sleep? How can you ask me to sleep when the woman I ! When a very important member of my staff is down there who knows where!" Picard said now standing in front of Will.
"Jean-Luc?" Anij said from the turbolift door.
Picard only turned to face her and saw the pain in her eyes. She had heard his unfinished sentence and he knew she knew the rest of it.
"I think he's right. You could use some sleep, perhaps you have to be on the planet's surface again to look for Beverly and you would be stronger and would resist more if you take a few hours to sleep now." She said faking a smile.
"All right." He said walking to the turbolift and disappearing with her.
Deanna and Will only looked at each other. They knew the ending of his sentence, too.
Inside the turbolift the things were a little uneasy and he knew he had to make things right.
"Anij, I know you heard what I said on the bridge but I also want you to know that things are not the way they sounded." He said holding her arms to make her see him.
"I know Jean-Luc, I know." Was all she said and then they arrived to their deck and that was the end of the conversation.
* * * * *
"Do you think he could help us?" Will said and when Deanna didn't responded he repeated his question.
"Mmm? Oh sorry Will, yes, I think he could help but I have to look into his mind in order to do so and I'm not so comfortable with the idea." Deanna looked at him and then returned her sight to the kid lying next to her still sleeping.
"You have that look." Will said sitting next to Alain leaving him between them.
"What look?" Deanna asked smiling.
"Well, when you had Ian you looked at him the way you looked Alain a few seconds ago." He reached out to touch her face making her close her eyes at his touch.
"I guess that it's because I think about Alain and all the pain I know he has inside and he's almost a baby, he's so young and he has lived things that he would never forget and would mark his life forever." She said removing a piece of hair on Alain's face making him stir a little.
"And that's why I love you, because you have that good heart." Will leaned to kiss her.
"Hello." They both heard and looked down at Alain who was fully awake.
"Well hello sleeping kiddo." Will said receiving as a response a sweet smile from the child.
"Are you feeling better?" Deanna asked and he nodded moving closer to her moving his tiny arms around her to hold her.
"I don't want you to go." He talked against her stomach.
"I'm not going to go anywhere, I'll be right here with you as long as you need me to." She said holding him back.
Alain now moved his face to look at her and said very softy "I don't want him to go either." But it was not soft enough for Will to not hear him.
"I will stay right here too kiddo." He said tickling him making Alain laugh.
They lined there for a while and when Deanna thought it was the right moment she said the first sentence of a painful conversation.
"Alain, I need to ask you something."
When he didn't responded and just nodded she continued.
"I need you to let me look into your mind. I need to know exactly what you know about Angzari Min." She finished.
The kid immediately walked out of the bed and into a corner of her quarters, fear and pain clearly on his gaze. He just started to cry and when he managed to say something it was not what they expected.
"No, no, no, no, no. I don't want you to look into my mind again, I'm not going to let you and now I don't like you! I hate you because you want to make me sad!"
"No sweetie, I don't want to make you sad, I really care about you and I want you to be happy but my friend is missing and we want to find her we don't want her to suffer the same thing your parents and you have." Deanna said running to him and kneeling in front of him to be at his level.
"Kiddo, we need your help, we promise we would do it just once and we are never going to do it again. Please, help us, help our friend." Will said from the bed and Alain looked at him and then at Deanna.
"Just once." Was all he said and Deanna held him.
"Thank you Little One." She said smiling.
* * * * *
"Now, let me get this straight. You can't find a four year old boy on a pretty small place even when I told you where he might be? Wow, I'm surrounded by incompetents and dumbs. Find him, you might do it within the next hour or you two are both dead!!" Angzari ordered to her counselors and dismissed them.
"I'm monitoring his vital system to assure that he would be fine through this process and if I see something irregular on him I would let you know so that you can stop in order to protect him." Ogawa said to Deanna.
"Yes, that's good. I wish that you could monitor me also just in case." Deanna said smiling and positioned herself in front of Alain. "are you ready?" She asked lovely.
Alain nodded and closed his eyes.
Deanna closed her own eyes and connected with him, among all the images she received from him she saw a cavern where Clomi and Mentli disappeared after they killed his parents, she though Alain must have followed them but then there was nothing but a forest and pain, so much pain and fear and then, she felt them.
"What are you doing here?!" She shouted to the forest but nobody answered.
"They are here." Alain said holding her left leg.
"Who?" She looked at him and then again at the forest.
"Who are you and what do you want?!" She shouted again but there was no answer so she decided to do what she had to do as fast as she could.
"Alain, that mountain over there, the one with the cavern, is it there
where your parents are?"
"No, mummy and daddy are not there. I don't know where they are. The bad guys went there, I saw them and many others." He answered pointing to the cavern's entrance and back at her.
"And that is exactly why we can't let him live."
Deanna turned and saw Clomi and Mentli, they were the ones she sensed and the bad people Alain talked about and now without a question she knew that they were telepathic also.
"You are not going to hurt this boy!" She shouted moving Alain to be behind her in order to protect him.
"Counselor, we thought that you were smarter than that. We have no need to touch him in order to destroy him. We can do it from here." Clomi said and immediately they centered their minds on Alain producing a terrible pain on his little mind that she also could feel.
"Commander, something is happening." Ogawa said calling Riker who was sitting on a chair next to the door.
"What is it?" He asked now standing next to Ogawa.
"I don't know, their bodies seem to be fine but their minds seem to be having extra work, as if something were draining information of their brains on a extremely high level, specially Alain's mind. If they continue like this they are going to die." She looked at him.
"There must be something we can do to bring them back!" He paced around their beds.
"I'm afraid not commander, if we break the connection there is no warrantee they are going to make it either." Ogawa said holding a padd on her hand taking some notes.
"Deanna?" Will asked looking at her.
"Excuse me commander?" Ogawa said looking at him and then at her but there was no change. "What is it?"
"Shh!" He closed his eyes and opened his mind as she thought him.
<Deanna? What's wrong?>
And then he was inside, even before he knew it and he saw everything, the two men threatening their lives and he took his facer out and walked slowly and quietly towards them.
"Why did you kill his parents?" Deanna asked moving to put some distance between them.
"Because they were the worst option to be in charge of the things they were assigned to and we have a greater purpose." Mentli answered walking closer to them.
"So you killed them because you thought you are better than them? That's murderer you selfish worthless being! Now let us be, let Alain live, stop hurting him, he deserves to be alive after all the things he saw you did to his parents! Look at him, he's lying on the floor just behind me because he is in pain, don't you feel remorse or compassion or something like it?!" Deanna said holding her own head that was suffering the same as Alain.
"No, we don't and that is an advantage because we are never going to feel remorse for what we did, what we are doing and what we will do."
"And that is?" Deanna asked looking at them with a gaze that would freeze hell.
"Kill you both." Clomi answered.
"I don't think so pal!" Will shouted from behind them.
Clomi didn't have time to react because he was lying dead on the floor before he could even feel the blast of the phaser on his forehead. Mentli on his side tried to fight Riker but failed, Will was faster and stronger and finally he also killed him.
By the time they were both dead Deanna felt all her pain fade away but Alain was still unconscious on the floor.
"Dee, are you alright?" Will said kneeling beside her, she was to weak as to hold her own weight herself.
"Yes I am, at least I will be, but I don't know about him." She said with tears in her eyes.
"Let's get out of here." Will said taking Alain on his arms and helping Deanna to stand up.
When they finally returned to the world Picard was already in sickbay. A few minutes later Ogawa was monitoring Alain who was still on the same way they left their mental state and checked on Deanna.
"And you think that Beverly could be on this cavern?" Picard asked.
"Yes. I saw that when Clomi and Mentli finished their job with Alain's parents they went there. Alain also told me that he saw that there were others in those caverns also, maybe she's among the others." Deanna said hopping down the bed.
"Number One, prepare an away team, we are leaving in ten minutes." Picard ordered and walked to the door.
Jean-Luc went to his quarters to retrieve some equipment that was probably going to be needed on the surface but when he entered he saw Anij bags right next to the table when she was finishing some details.
"What does this mean?" He said walking to the table looking ate her bags and then at her.
"What do you think? I'm leaving." She looked at him and smiled and then continued with her task.
"But why?" He grabbed her hand and made her look at him with his other hand.
"You know why. I can't stay here any more. I love you and I want the best for you and that's why I have to go." She said reaching out his face and giving him a soft caress.
"I love you too and I don't want you to go, I need you." He said closing his eyes at her touch.
"Yes, you probably love me, but you don't need me. You need her."
"Beverly? I tried to explain to you that we are just friends." He lied.
"You don't have to protect me. I know that you love her and you have loved her since before we met and I'm not throwing that to you, I'm just giving you a safe exit, an exit I know you want." She walked away again to retrieve her bags.
"Anij I "
"You don't need to say anything but I do want you to promise me something. If we can not be happy together I want you to be happy with her." She smiled now standing next to the door that was already opened sensing her presence.
"I promise." Jean-Luc smiled at her.
"I don't know if you are aware of the trust you can generate Jean-Luc Picard." She said remembering the first time they felt their feelings for each other. "I wish you the best." And she left.
Picard arrived five minutes late to the transport room but nobody dared to ask. Deanna gave Will the exact location of the hill but decided to stay with Alain, after all, she was not a member of the away team this time.
"Energize!" Ordered Picard and they were gone.
When the team rematerialized on the planet's surface they were standing in front of a forest and at their backs was the entrance to a cavern on the base of the hill, just as Deanna said it will be.
They carefully looked around, recognized the place and when they noticed there was nobody there they walked inside.
"I'm reading nine life signs a few meters in front of us Captain." Geordi answered.
They continued with their phaser already prepared in case they found something dangerous and finally they reached a wall.
"Now what?!" Picard exclaimed frustration obvious in his tone.
"I believe we can take this wall down, it appears to be independent of the main structure of the hill." Data said giving his captain some hope.
"The life signs come from behind this wall." Geordi added.
"Let's do it then. Fire!" Riker ordered and the four of them and two other security members fired.
The wall came down without resistance and they made their way quickly trough the recent made hole only to find seven other people tied up in different places around the small room that the cavern formed. Beverly was not among them.
"Untie them!" Picard ordered.
As soon as the people in there were untied and helped to get into comfortable positions they asked them about Beverly.
"My name is Amok Let, president of the high council. Your friend was taken away by Angzari when you tiered down the wall but they have to be near us, that part of the caver hasn't been explored, that will slow they pace." He said pointing to a small road between rocks.
"Lieutenant Castillo and Hill, place stay with them and help them. Let's go!" Picard commanded and they made it like he said.
Just as Amok said, they saw Beverly and Angzari just a few seconds after they started their way through the hill, Angzari immediately noted their presence and grabbed Beverly by the neck pointing at her with a phaser.
"So finally the fine captain decided to join us. That's convenient."
"Release her!" Picard shouted and raised his phaser and so the others did.
"I think you have no idea of what's going on here, I'm the one with the power of letting this woman die or live so I suggest you back up and let me go!" Angzari ordered.
Jean-Luc knew she was right so he obeyed. Angzari was just about smile when she felt a strong pain on her leg. Beverly kicked her making her release her and she took the chance to run. Angzari pointed her phaser to her but was Riker's phaser that shoots first. She died.
They walked back in silence till they reached the exit and the light blinded Beverly, so much time inside. But she recovered and in no time she was being taken care of on the Enterprise sickbay.
"Thank you Alisa. I'll be fine and I promise I will rest." Beverly said smiling at her disciple and friend.
"I'll be right there if you need me." She walked and on her way she crossed the captain who had a red rose on his hand. She refrained from comment.
"Feeling better?" Picard asked giving her the rose.
"Yes Captain, thank you." She received the rose, smelled it and placed it right next to her on a tiny table.
"Beverly, I wanted to talk to you about "
"I know what you want to tell me. I want to apologize for exploding like I did the other day, it was not my intention and I treated you disrespectfully when you were talking to me as a captain and not as a friend. I'm sorry."
Jean-Luc's heart ached for making her think that he was angry or mad at what she did and he had to make things right for both of them.
"You have nothing to be sorry about it was me the one that did the wrong thing by forcing you with my rank to say what you felt at that moment."
"Well Captain, I guess we are as friends as ever then. I suggest you go now to see Anij, I bet she's not having fun at all with you looking for me for two days." She tried to smile but failed.
"Anij is not aboard the ship anymore." He said smiling at her looking her uneasiness at saying Anij's name.
"Because she knew before I did that the only woman that matters in my life is a read head that is in front of me right now."
Beverly smiled but couldn't say nothing as her eyes filled up with tears.
"I know, I love you too." Picard said, smiled at her and kissed her
On another part of sickbay not far from them was lying a tiny boy, still unconscious and with his life fading.
Deanna was right nest to him, a place she occupied since he was on the biobed. Will looked at her from a corner of the bed where he was sitting and talked to her.
<Are you alright?>
She smiled just at hearing his voice on her mind.
<I don't know. Well I'm fine about health if that's what you ask, but I'm so worried for this little child.>
<I know, I can see it in your eyes. What I still can't believe is that Angzari killed his parents just because his father was the next ruler of the planet and she wanted his seat.>
<Yeah, and not just that, she kidnapped the high council just to make it. She was a bad woman.>
<And what about her servants?>
<Well, when you killed them on their minds they couldn't return to the outside, their minds died inside them, they are never going to wake up even when their bodies are still alive. Amok told me they found them on the forest and took them to a hospital, but there was nothing that could be done for them.>
<Not that they deserve better.>
Deanna just smiled.
"Come on Little One. Open your eyes, I miss you so much." Deanna said cleaning Alain's face wit a soaking towel.
"You know, I talked to Amok about Alain's condition and he told me that he has no family left on the planet, the families of both his parents died before he was born." Will moved to be behind her looking at the kid.
"He's going to have a difficult life all by himself. He had suffered so much already." She said letting her head rest on his abdomen.
"Well that's what I thought and then I got this crazy idea."
"What idea?" She now turned to look at him and he walked in front of her to make it easier for her to see him.
"Well, you know I'm not exactly what you would calla completely responsible adult, in fact, I'm much like this child here myself but you make me think about things better and when I'm about doing something stupid I just think about you and then everything is fine." He finished now smiling.
"So I'm like a control for you?" She asked almost laughing.
"No, you are just the part of myself that is missing when I'm not with you. Deanna Troi, I love you so much and I don't want to spend the rest of my life without you and I don't want this kid to suffer either because believe it or not I have found that I love him too."
Deanna looked at him straight to his eyes and knew that this was not a joke and that he was being honest and completely serious about what he was saying.
"Deanna, would you do me the honor of marry me and be the mother of this child and our kids?" He said taking a velvet box and opening it in front of her.
"Oh Will it's beautiful!" She said moving closer to the edge of her seat to look better at the ring.
"It was my grandmother's, another special woman like yourself." He said and smiled.
"Thank you, for loving me like you do." She smiled and hugged him.
"So that's a yes I do?" He asked and she returned to her original position.
"As if you didn't knew the answer. Of course I do, there is nothing in the world I wish but being your wife."
Will placed the ring on her finger and she smiled at the sight of it.
"And what about the rest?" He asked.
"Mmm?" Said Deanna still looking at her finger.
"Would you be a mother for this kid?" He said now getting her full attention.
"Do you mean that they let us keep him?" She asked smiling.
"Well, Amok said that because you being a betazoid he could develop his telepathy completely and that he trusted me enough to keep him safe as I did when I bring him to this ship and on his mind so let's hope that he awakes soon to form our family." He smiled and Deanna kissed him.
"Thank you Will, this means a lot to me. And I will gladly be a mother to him and to our own babies." She said and he smiled.
A few minutes late Will left to his shift and she stayed with Alain but a few minutes latter she was asleep with her face on the bed.
It seemed like she had sleep forever when she felt a tiny hand on her face and opened her eyes to look at Alain looking at her.
"Little One, you are awake!" She smiled and stood up to kiss him.
"Yes, I woke up but you were sleeping so I decided to be quiet." He said with a tired tiny voice.
"Thank you dear. Are you feeling better?" She asked helping him to get into a comfortable position.
"Yes. I want to eat." He said with shiny eyes.
"I bet you are. Wait, I'll be right back and "
"No! You said you wouldn't leave me! I heard you, you both said you will be with me." Alain was crying by the moment he finished,
"I'm not going to leave you sweetie, I was going to prepare you something to eat but I will stay here, see? I'm not going anywhere and yes we are going to be here for you, we want to take care of you always and protect you and love you." She said leaning beside him on the bed.
"Like mummy and daddy did?" Deanna nodded.
"You want us to be you new parents?" She asked waiting impatiently for the answer.
He thought about it for a moment and then looked at her and hugged her.
Weeks passed quickly on the Enterprise and now things were different. Alain was completely recovered and happy, he was legally now on the ship and was going to be legally Will and Deanna's son in a few weeks. Beverly and Jean-Luc were happier than ever and had a pretty relationship that was growing each day.
"So, he's a healthy boy, happy and by the tales on the ship a pretty naughty too." Beverly sipped her tea and looked at Deanna.
"Yes he is. I don't know how could he get so many ideas of how to make Will's beard turn into different colors." Deanna laughed. "The last thing he did was use the turbolift as a pet case, he put rabbits, cats and some other animals inside and when the Captain intent to use it he had to travel surrounded by what he called old McDonald's farm." She finished smiling and sipping her chocolate.
"Well, I have to go now mummy. I have to check some patients and a date latter wit Jean-Luc. Oh Deanna, it seems that things are finally going to work for all of us." She smiled and then left.
"Yes, everything is going to work now." Deanna said looking at her ring and then walked to her desk to review some files.
(Want to see the epilogue of this story? Feedback will tell.)