Title: Hopes and Fears.
Summary: Fast decisions sometimes save great pain.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything about Star Trek but this story so post it if you want but let me know and give me the credit I deserve (if any).
"It has been pretty busy after the crash with the meetings to study our procedure during the incident, the new ship, the new programs, the new crew members, that must be it."
Will spoke never looking straight at her, playing with his hands.
"Oh come on Riker! I have always been proud of being a smart woman, don't try to underestimate me with that fake explanation."
Beverly looked straight at his eyes and when he met hers she laughed.
"Well, if you are so clever why do you think the captain dismissed me till the return of the entire crew in three weeks?"
"That's easy. He did it because you were driving him crazy with your _everything most be perfect_ attitude and he decided you needed to rest and start thinking about the things you have been avoiding." Beverly answered simply.
"And what 'things' I have been avoiding to think about?"
Will smiled sarcastically and Beverly matched his smile.
"Deanna." She said simply.
Will went seriously instantly after she said HER name.
"Come on, you of all people should know we didn't parted in nice terms."
Beverly shook her head and rolled her eyes.
"Well, let me think she says she loves you, you say thank you as an answer. She leaves to this seminars and you don't even go to say goodbye to her you're right, you didn't parted in nice terms."
Will went backward on his chair and let out a sight he didn't even noticed.
"Well, you resumed it pretty fine but now the question is, what am I going to do about it?"
"Honestly Will, sometimes the fact that you are second in command of this ship scares me."
Will just threw a cold glance and smile.
"This is what happens now Riker. You use your sore leave and go find her down earth. She sent a message and she is at Starfleet Mexico and her next seminar is in a week from now. Beach, sun, sea, I don't know if you would need anything else to win her back but I hope that is enough time for you to work your charm on her and fix things."
Will smiled widely and moved around her desk to held her close.
"Crusher, it seems as if you gave it a lot of thinking about my hard situation and I think your solution is perfect."
Beverly smiled and sighed holding his hand when they parted.
"When it comes to other people feelings and love relationships, I'm an excellent counselor. It is too bad that it doesn't apply to me."
Will smiled and kissed her hand gently and left her office.
It has been the longest time for Will to arrive earth. It was true, he loved to travel through space but he preferred the surprisingly quiet Warp speed of the Enterprise than the one of the tiny transport he took and an uncomfortable bed for a day and a half was too much for him.
When he arrived it was early afternoon and he went straight to the place Beverly indicated as the temporary home of Deanna Troi.
He was amazed for the beauty of the place. He had heard of Can Cun before but the new Starfleet buildings were amazingly adequate to the surroundings. Turquoise water and a weather Risa would envy it was the perfect place for the new Psychology Center.
He finally reached the tiny walkway that should lead to Deanna's bungalow and he finally saw it from the distance and approached to it as fast as he could.
He knocked the door once, twice, three times and there was no answer and he noticed then that the door was slightly opened.
He opened it and entered, the light was fading as the sunset approached and he looked cautiously around the living room, the kitchen, the hall and finally made it to what he thought was Deanna's room and he called her name, but there was no answer. Finally he saw a light coming from a room where he saw light and then he heard her scream.
He ran as fast as he could through her room and once he was just about to get inside he called her name and she turned to see him, but he didn't expected the image that greeted him.
"What are you doing here?"
Deanna moved away from her partner in the bathtub in what will knew was a disengage movement and grabbed a towel that was near her.
"I heard you scream and I thought you were in danger, obviously I was wrong."
The look in his eyes was one she had never seen before and she felt sorry for it, because she knew she was the cause. She went out of the bathtub and enveloped herself in the towel.
Will went out and she followed.
He stopped but he didn't turned around to see her.
"I'm sorry." She said simply.
He turned around and faced her. She saw a tear forming in his eyes and felt her heart broke and his.
And he left.
The last two weeks and a half were the worst in his life. He returned to Utopia Planitia to keep working in the ship, he worked during duty hours and then went inside his quarters and never got out till his next shift. Talking to nobody and barely eating.
And the day when the crew arrived came.
"What happened?" Beverly rushed Deanna to answer her.
"He saw mi with somebody else." Deanna said embarrassed and sadly.
"You kissed somebody else down there? Deanna, I can't believe it."
Beverly shook her head in disapproval and when Deanna lowered her gaze and said something else she couldn't hear it.
"What did you said?"
"I had sex with another guy." Deanna said softly again.
"I had sex with another man Beverly!!!"
Deanna looked around and saw a pair of ensigns who heard her sentence and blushed.
"You did what?! Are you mad?! That explains perfectly why he returned three days after he left!"
"You can't blame me!" Deanna raised her hands in defense. "I told him I love him and he said nothing about it, he just left me there."
"Because you took him by surprise!! Honestly Deanna, for an empath, you suck at reading his feelings."
Deanna just looked away.
"Let's go, the meeting is about to start." Beverly said coldly and lead the way to the Meeting quarters.
"I'm glad to see you all back here. I fought hard to keep my senior staff together and I'm glad I still have some saying in Starfleet." Picard smiled and his senior staff returned his mile, everyone except Will.
"Do you know what's going to be our first mission sir?" Geordi asked anxiously and Picard smiled back at him.
"Well, as you all know, this is a brand new ship so we are going to take a look around the quarter to prove her and then they will let us know."
"So, we are going to travel our own quarter just using a brand new ship. Sound perfect to me." Beverly smiled and Jean-Luc returned her smile warmly.
"Well, that would be all for now. I just wanted to say welcome to you all and if there is nothing else to say, you are dismissed." Picard was about to rose up when Will spoke.
"Actually Captain, there is something I would like to say."
Everybody turned to face him but it was Deanna's turn to look at the table.
"I received a comm four days ago. Admiral Callahan offered me a promotion as Captain of the Titan."
Everybody went serious and Deanna now faced him as soon as he finished his sentence.
"He did, huh?" Picard said seriously waiting for Will to continue.
"Yes, he did. And I've decided to accept the promotion so I will have to stay here waiting for my new ship to arrive, sir."
Will, waited seriously for his Captain's reaction and he got it fastly.
"Well, Captain Riker, I can't think of a better man to command that ship." Picard smiled and Will smiled back shyly.
After everybody congratulated him they left. Deanna never got up from her seat and when Will was about to leave, she spoke.
"This has nothing to do with what happened on Earth, right?"
He froze on his way to the door and he turned to face her, walked towards the table and sat in front of her.
"I'm not going to lie to you. It has everything to do with what happened on Earth, Deanna." Will looked at her sadly.
"But you love this ship, well, the Enterprise. And you love serving with the captain and the rest of the crew."
"Yes, I do. But part of what I loved to be here for was your friendship and now that I don't have it, there is no reason for me to stay here. I have always wanted my own ship, you know that. I have always wanted you but I have lost you already, I will try to accomplish my second desire."
Deanna lowered her gaze and remained silent for a minute and then she spoke.
"I don't want you to go."
Will smiled tenderly at her and grabbed her hand.
"You know, I have never thought that everything I would love and everything I would hate would be inside a person. All my hopes and fears are within you Deanna, hope to find love, friendship, happiness, and fear of being brokenhearted, deceived, abandoned. I don't want to suffer this again and I don't want to hurt you. If I stay here I will ignore you forever, I will see you and want to talk to you but I will never do it. I can't live that way."
"Will, I said I love you and you said nothing." Deanna said with a tear rolling her check and another forming in his eye.
"Yes, I acted like a stupid man, but you took my by surprise. My feelings for you have never changed or diminished, you know that because you feel it. And even when I said nothing at first I traveled to say that to you and I found you "
they were silent for a moment and Will released her hand.
"You will always be in my heart Deanna, no matter that I am not here with you, you'll live in me forever."
He rose up and walked towards the door.
"Will, I love you." Deanna said with a broken voice.
He turned and smiled at her.
"I love you too Deanna."
Once he left, she cried out loud pouring all her pain on the table.
"I will miss your help and your friendship dearly Will."
Picard said from his seat on his ready room and saw will in front of him.
"And I will miss you too, sir. May I speak freely?"
"Serve yourself Will, you are a Captain now, see that extra pipe there?"
Picard pointed to his neck. Will smiled.
"Thank you, sir. I have always loved working with you because you are the best Captain in Starfleet, I don't care what others may think."
"But among all, I will miss you because you have been a friend to me, and a father, and that I can't pay with anything."
Picard's eyes filled with tears and he walked around his desk to hold Will in a tight embrace.
"And you are a son to me, William."
They held each other for a few seconds and then parted.
"Now get the hell out of here! And if I heard you say to someone you made cry the Captain of the Enterprise you will pay it dearly Riker." Jean-Luc jocked.
"I would never do that." Will smiled and then left.
"Everything ready, sir."
A young ensign at the transport room indicated to Picard.
"Very well, ensign. Will, best of lucks."
"Thank you Captain."
He shacked hands to him and then to Worf who mysteriously decided to appear at his farewell, then to Geordi who said he will miss him just for his poker games, data who as always said something polite and funny and then he went to Beverly.
"I hate you for leaving Riker!" She said holding him hard.
"I know, I have heard about the temper of a red head." He joked.
She released him with tears in her eyes and when he turned to his right he saw Deanna standing at the doorway, crying.
He walked towards her and smiled.
"I never wanted it for this to happen Will." She said wit shaking voice.
"I know Dee, I know."
When he held her she felt home. When she felt his breath on her neck she shivered and when he released her, she died.
"Take care, Imzadi." Will cleaned her cheeks from the tears on them and then walked to the platform.
"Energize" Picard ordered.
And he faded away.