Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything but good old fashioned imagination.
**This is a post-Insurrection story**
Only night will ever know
Why the heavens never show
All the dreams there are to know
Paint the sky with stars
Night has brought to those who sleep
Only dreams they cannot keep
I have legends in the deep
Paint the sky with stars
Starbase 751 rested outside one of the most spectaular nebula's ever to have been discovered by man. The brilliant hues from the ethereal gases wove their way around each other, forever changing to create tapestries artists could not even imagine.
This particular base was to be a temporary home for the USS Enterprise 1701-E. After leaving the Ba'ku home world and departing through the Briar Patch, the Sovereign-class starship was in need of a drastic overhaul. Captain Picard was generous in granting shorleave to everyone, minus a few engineers and technicians, to take advantage of the wonderous site and many attributes this base had to offer.
In the smallest of the eleven observation lounges, Will Riker stood alone gazing out into the gaseous heavenly body. He heard the door to the deck open but did not turn around for the reflection in the glass told him who it was.
"Why Will Riker...I would never have guessed you to be alone right now." The tall red-head moved up behind the first officer and wrapped a friendly arm around his waist.
He smiled warmly, still choosing to look at the reflection rather than make eye contact with the doctor.
"You're not having any regrets now...are you?" She asked, referring to the renewed intimate relationship he and the counselor were sharing.
Will chuckled. "I should have known it wouldn't take long before the gossip made it's rounds."
"Well, its not like anybody can ignore the way you two look at each other. And, well...the hand holding kind of gave it away."
"The hand holding, hmm?" he knew Deanna could never have kept such a secret from her best friend.
Beverly flopped down into the nearest chair and stared up at the tall man. "And...the fact that you are minus one very proudly worn beard."
"She told you about that?" He felt his cheeks grow warm in embarrassment as he recalled laying in Deanna's arms amidst a bathtub full of bubbles as she tenderly shaved his face.
"Sure. Things like that don't stay quiet between girls. You should know that by now."
Will sat down opposite his friend, finally looking at her. "So, what else did she tell you?"
"What? And get me in trouble? No way!" She relaxed back into the chair. "But I do see she is letting you grown it back."
"I guess she decided she liked it afterall." He rubbed his scruffy cheeks and watched a mischiveous grin grow on Beverly's face. "What?"
"Nothing." She tried to hide her smirk but it became too much and she began to chuckle.
"Beverly?" Will leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees.
"Well, " she sighed, not wanting to continue. But by the look in Riker's eyes, he wasn't about to let the subject drop. "While we were hiking on the mountain side to find the protective caves, she told me the story about the Jalara Jungle. And how after five days of stubble, she really...enjoyed it. Thought it was sexy."
Will shook his head in disbelief. "Is nothing sacred?"
"Not among friends." She and Will shared a short laugh before silence returned to the lounge. Moments later, Beverly inquired again. "So, do you? Do you have any regrets?"
And much to Crusher's dismay, Will solemnly nodded. "One, a big one."
"Jeez Will! If you hurt her again, I'm gonna-" Beverly growled.
"No! I love Deanna more than you could ever know. And I have every intention of making her happy...no matter what." Will stood and paced the small room. "My only regret is what happened twenty years ago. The day I betrayed her trust. If there was one thing in this damn universe I could go back and change...it would be that." He replayed in his head the earlier conversation he and Deanna had in her office when he asked if they could go back in time, and fix a mistake they had made, and she answered that on the Enterprise, anything was possible. But they weren't on the Enterprise, they were on this damn starbase for the next who knows how many days.
Beverly walked to Will and put her arm around him once again. "You know Will, I just learned that if you look out there," she pointed into the nebula, "and see a bolt of lightning, you are granted one wish."
Will's chest rumbled with another chuckle. "Somehow I don't think that will work."
Beverly gently squeezed his arm before turning to leave "Hey, stranger things have happened."
Her last statement echoed off the dark walls before landing squarely on the mind of Will Riker as he stared off into that nebula, silently praying that a lightning bolt would soon reveal itself.
Deanna Troi gracefully walked down the lower deck corridors of the starbase in search of Will. They had originally made plans for lunch at an eloquent restaurant nestled at the belly of the base, but he had left a message to meet him inside one of the oversized holodecks instead.
Anxious and excited, she forced herself to slow her pace down as she rounded the halls looking for the holosweet reserved for them. Finally, the last door revealed a sign stating:
'RESERVED FOR MS.DEANNA TROI and LT. WILLIAM T. RIKER'
"Lieutenant?" she said to herself. Surely to God, Thomas wouldn't be so stupid to have come here. Would he? she thought.
Deanna walked cautiously through the archway and into dense green foliage. Once the door closed and the arch disappeared, she could hear the sound of rushing water beating against what she presumed to be rocks. Following that sound, she made her way through the exotic plants and flowers, dodging the occasional drooping vine until she came to an area she recognized immediately, the Janaran Falls on her homeworld of Betazed. "Will?" she called out, still not sure if it would be him or his twin that would greet her. But as soon as she saw his body and sensed his mind, she knew, without a doubt, that it was her beloved.
He stood along the waterfront of a small lake, framed by the beautiful water falls, looking exactly as he had twenty years ago. Wearing an old Starfleet uniform, complete with the utility jacket and supply belt strapped around his middle, he waved sheepishly before making his way to her.
"Hello beautiful." Will took her hands and led her down to the small beach overlooking the falls.
"Will, what is all of this?" Deanna looked around in amazement. Every detail was exactly how she remembered, right down to his scruffy cheeks.
"I thought...well, I mean...oh Hell! I just wanted to make everything perfect from the beginning. You know, go back in time...fix that mistake."
"Will, you didn't have-"
"Sshhh. Just let me do this...please?" His voice was saturated with so much sincerity, there was no way she could have refused him, so she nodded.
Will released one hand and gestured around the surroundings. "So here we are, the fifth day of our journey. The day we spent, here, at the falls." He faced her and rubbed her open palm against his cheek. "A little bird told me you liked this."
Deanna smiled. "That little bird wouldn't happen to be red, now would it?"
"My lips are sealed." And they were...with Deanna's mouth. She stood on her tip-toes to reach him and sealed his lips with her own.
It wasn't long before they both were undressed and swimming in the warm waters just below the falls. Deanna stood in the chest high water watching Will swim in circles around her like a shark encircling its prey. He dove below the surface and gently nipped at her rear before surfacing directly in front of her, smiling.
"I think there's a lot more back there for you to bite than there used to be," she laughed.
"I think there's a lot more of me...too." He waggled his eyebrows and pulled her to him, letting her feel just what he was talking about.
Deanna lost every ounce of control she had left when she felt his strong body against her, his growing hardness throbbing into her stomach. Groaning excitedly, she felt his hands grasp her bottom and lift her to where they were now looking directly into each others eyes. She saw in those wonderfully blue eyes, even before he leaned forward, that what was to happen next was going to be nothing less than perfect.
He took his time, lazily, brushing his lips across hers, teasing her to oblivion until she gave in and opened her mouth wide. Giving him no choice but to do the same, Will's tongue met hers halfway and they duelled for position.
Deanna wrapped her legs around his torso and in slow tantilizing circles,
began to move against him.
She couldn't imagine anything else in the universe feeling so right as this. There was no doubt that their time had finally come to complete the bond that had started so many years ago. And if this was what Will needed to be able to put his regrets behind them, then she would allow it. She was ready to give her life over to him just as she knew he was ready to give his. They were Imzadi... and there was nothing that could stop them now.
Will was slightly disgruntled at his lack of self-control when he found he couldn't hold back any longer. He waded through the water with Deanna still encircling his waist, and layed her down in the soft sand. She pushed him over to his back and straddled him, letting his fullness enter her in one slick thrust. It wasn't but a minute later that he was gripping her with such intensity when heard Deanna finish with a screeching wail, followed closely by his own song of fulfillment.
Quiet moments followed as he held her against her chest.
"I guess I don't have the stamina like I used to," he apologized.
"Yes well...I'm sure you'll get back into the swing of things soon enough, my love." She played with the dark hair covering his muscular chest for a moment then slid her hand down to his stomach. Giggling when she felt him hard again against her belly. "See? I told you so."
With a satisfied grin, Deanna sat up and began her movements over him again,
guiding them both to yet another explosion of stars.
After dusting the sand from their bodies, Will signaled for the next scene. The computer provided fresh clothes just before the surroundings changed to her mother's mansion. That fateful evening when Lwaxana scolded him for taking advantage of her daughter, and for threatening to remove her from her rightful place in the Betazed hierarchy. Only this time, the computer played the parts of Will and Deanna.
The actual couple stood holding hands off to the side, watching with a bit of discomfort as the scene played out ending with the front door being slammed in the face of Lt. Riker. Deanna had pulled her hand out of Will's to wipe away the tears. She hated the fact that this ever happened in the first place, and to have to witness this again was almost unbearable. She knew what was coming next but she couldn't, or rather wouldn't stop it as she also knew that it was the part of their history that haunted Will the most.
Deanna waved her hand in the air, trying to find Will's again but he had disappeared just as the door slammed. Looking around the new scenery, she recognized it as being the embassy that housed all the Starfleet personnel on Betazed. Assuming that she was to now play her part herself, she walked past the guard and up the stairs to Lt. Riker's quarters.
She was lifting her hand to ring the alarm when she noticed it was trembling.
After further inspection, she realized her whole body trembled and her breath
was extremely shallow. She was too scared to knock so she just stood there for a
moment, waiting. Waiting for what? She wasn't too sure. But then, as if magical,
a calmness sweeped over her body and she heard in her head:
Its okay....come in Imzadi...
Deanna waited a moment after the door opened before she stepped forward. Inhaling deeply, she looked around the darkened room expecting to see Will wrapped around the nude body of Wendy Roper. Instead, what she saw caught her equally off guard as that night she found he and Wendy together.
Will was dressed in a modern day Starfleet dress uniform standing infront of an oversized computer screen. Sillouetted behind Will on the screen, was her mother's smiling face. Will moved to the side as soon as Deanna regained her composure and stepped forward.
"Deanna darling...I am so happy for you." Lwaxana was beaming.
"Mother. I don't understand...whats going on?" Deanna looked to Will and then back to Lwaxana.
"Little One...William has just asked permission for your hand in marriage."
Deanna's mouth dropped and she felt the tears begin to fall again as she looked to Will, who was now kneeling. She walked up to him and he took her hands in his.
"Deanna Troi....I know I have done many things to hurt you in the past, and I am asking for your forgiveness." He had to choke back his own tears. "If you can find room in your heart for a big oaf like me, please....I would very much like it if you would consider being my wife?" He held a small gold band in his palm and waited for her to release her nervous clenched fist before he slid it onto her slender finger.
Deanna fell into his arms as he rose to stand in front of her. He held her as tight as he could without causing pain and kissed the top of her head. In the background, Lwaxana was wiping tears from her own eyes.
"Is that a yes?" Her mother sobbed.
Deanna sniffled and gazed into Will's beautiful blue eyes. "Yes." He lowered his head and kissed her deeply and they heard in the background, "You have my blessing" just before the screen went blank.
Will pulled back slightly to a point where his lips brushed aginst her mouth and whispered, "I'm yours...forever."
Deanna leaned into him, finding that comfort spot just below his head where she had rested her head so many times in the past and just hugged him, letting the moment sink in. "Will, I didn't think I could ever love someone, as much as I love you." She looked back into his eyes, "I am yours...as well...forever."
Will sealed the moment with a kiss that went on for untold minutes before he pushed her back gently. "Thanks."
Deanna's brow furrowed. "For what?"
"Loving me again."
"Oh Will, I never stopped loving you. It just took a little bit of time before we both came to our senses." She placed both hands on his scrappy face. "Can we go somewhere a little...less memorable though to celebrate?" She looked around the meekly decorated room.
"Computer...run Riker program Alpha-two-seven..heaven."
The scene changed one last time and now they found themselves amidst the very nebula that lay outside the window. The three-dimensional hologram made it look like they were free-floating in space. There was nothing below thier feet but the same flowing colorful gases that stretched far above their heads.
Deanna looked back at him with a sly gleam in her eye. "So tell me Riker, what do you see?"
He glanced around then stepped back away from her so that she was framed by the blazing gases. He smiled broadly, "I see the most beautiful creature in the universe surrounded by... big goopy swirls."
"Will!" she exclaimed and crossed her arms against her chest.
In three quick steps, he was standing next to her, nibbling away at her ear lobe. "Some things never change," she said then giggled when his whiskers tickled her chest.
Deanna reached behind his muscular back and unzipped the jacket, letting it fall at his feet. He promptly kicked it away and she rested her hands along the waistband of his trousers. She caught the fire in his eyes as she slid her fingers down that zipper and gently massaged the growing bulge within.
Will stood motionless, unable to breath. Her touch was exquisite and perfect. She remembered exactly how he liked to be caressed as if they had never spent anytime apart. Deanna then proceded to kiss every inch of his chest and abdomen with delicate, butterfly-like kisses, causing his muscles to flinch and tighten every so often.
The gentleness was killing him and if she didn't move on quickly, he going to have to take control. Which would probably mean he wouldn't last much longer. In one tantalizing lick, she moved back up to his mouth and forced her tongue deep within. Will took that as his cue and he removed her dress quickly and layed her back against the colorful floor. The couple jerked when a bolt of lightning crackled nearby. "I heard you get one wish if you witness a flash of lightning," Will stammered between kisses.
Deanna stopped her assault of his mouth and looked around, her gaze coming to
rest on his eyes.
"Everything I have ever wished for...has just come true...Imzadi."