Time Will Tell Part 2
Rated PG (Mild language)
Summary: How did Will and Deanna react to their first encounter on the Enterprise together?
Authors Note: This is set immediately after the episode "Encounter at Farpoint", the first episode of TNG in which Will and Deanna were brought back together again for the first time in two years. It is a further installment in the "From Bill to Will" series.
The Farpoint Encounter
"Damn Bill Riker to hell".
Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi, praised in ships logs by Captain Picard for her help in the solution of the Farpoint mystery, was feeling anything but pleased with her performance on the mission. Of course Bill, sorry, Commander Riker, would tell her to not watch out for him, as she had as he readied himself to plunge off into the old Bandi city whilst under attack. What had she been thinking?
"If you should be hurt!"
Did she really say that? In front of Yar and LaForge and Data? Where had it come from? She had spent two long years telling herself to get on with her life. Was she really so weak that as soon as she saw Bill she fell to pieces? Was that the reason he had not come for her on Risa? Had he been afraid that she would hold him back with her concerns for his safety? Stop him from being the man he was destined to be?
It was all so hard. Scenes from the past twenty-four hours of her life kept replaying over and over in her mind. Even her best meditations practised since childhood were not enough to keep them from surfacing. A hurt that she had long thought healed was ripped open and bleeding freely.
Deanna had packed her bags and made some sort of peace with her mother. She would meet Bill on Risa where they would plan the wedding that would make them "family". Married she would join him on his Starship use her Academy training as a mission specialist or as an assistant to the medical staff. Something could be arranged. Their love was so strong. It could conquer anything.
Conquer anything but themselves
Had she been surprised? No his message had been filled with such hope.
I have wonderful news.
You know how we talked about the Potemkin together? Well I have been promoted to First Officer of the Hood. Its what Ive wanted since I was a young boy First Officer is almost so close to Captain I can almost feel those four pips on my shoulder!
The only disappointment is that our plans for Risa will have to be delayed. The Hood is setting off for a long tour of duty and Im not sure when I will be back. When I am Ill head straight to you and well pick up where we left off at the Janaran Falls.
I love you
If only things had been so simple. His messages had become further and further apart not just in time but in distance between them as well. Deanna had at first been able to excuse him to herself "Its his new duties. Once hell settle in there will be a better letter." But the next "better" letter never came. Sensing his withdrawal her letters had also become colder. Certainty was replaced with uncertainty. Each letter was inspected and re-inspected for signs of their cooling relationship. Gradually it became clear that, imzadi or not, Bill had moved on and would not be coming back. It was time to stop waiting and start living for herself.
Deanna launched herself into her life trying new things and looking for focus. No longer was she going to be Lwaxana Trois available daughter. She was not going to be Bill Rikers jilted almost -fiancée. Deanna Troi looked for, and found, a strength within herself to be herself and relished her new-found life.
She now looked at her career in Starfleet. Yes, she had joined Starfleet as a way to get out from her mothers suffocating influence. Lwaxana could hardly reasonably argue Deanna following in her fathers footsteps (unreasonably, though, had taken many hours of telepathic shouting and pouting on both sides). Deanna had not originally thought much of what she would do once she had finished at the Academy. Her graduate studies on Betazed had led her to qualifications as a practicing psychologist, however the fathers love of exploration had been passed through to the daughter. Deanna wanted to explore the galaxy.
Hence her involvement in the development of the role of Ships Counsellor and her subsequent posting to the Enterprise-D. Hence her current predicament.
"Troi. He never called me Troi in my life. Is that what I am now? Just Troi?"
"Oh why did I project to him? What did I expect? That he would fall apart with guilt right in front of me? Break down on the Bridge?"
"He hasnt changed his eyes are still blue, still so expressive."
"The bastard dumps me and then acts like nothing happened. Was that all we were together? Nothing?"
"Why couldnt I have listened to mother and stayed at home?"
That thought, out of the thousand a second that were crossing her mind, brought the tirade of self-recrimination to an abrupt halt.
"Stayed at home? No, Deanna! You will not let anyone do this to you! Youre better than that! After all youve worked for, after all youve achieved you would even think of running home to mother to have her marry you off and start breeding? You deserve better than that. If he wants to play it cool, fine. Youve tried. His feelings have obviously changed. So have yours, really. You are both going to be working on the same ship. Youd better get used to it."
So resolved, having cried almost as many tears as the night she realised Bill was not coming back to her, Deanna lapsed into a sound sleep.
William T. Riker sat in his quarters listening to some soft blues, sipping on syntheholic whiskey that seemed to burn just the right amount cause just that edge of pain that matched his mood.
It had been a good start on the Enterprise, all in all. He had handled the manual docking, almost as much to his surprise as anyone elses. The Farpoint anomalies had turned out well. He and the Captain seemed to have a promising relationship.
So why did he feel so lousy?
"Dont lie to yourself Will, you know why."
It was Deanna. For two long years he had told himself he was over her. After all, it had only lasted a while, got a bit intense towards the end. Hell, it had been so intense it had frightened him. Yes he knew he still occasionally dreamt of her her voice, her touch, her ability to be with him as no woman had been before or since. Yes, sometimes he wondered what would have happened if he could have made it to Risa all that time ago. Yes, he could still hear her voice in his head, the two of them one with joy and purpose
"Shut up Will. Youve changed. "
"No-one calls you Bill any more? Noticed that? When did the ladies stop calling you Bill? Thats right..she was the last one. So long ago. Just a graduate student then now shes made Lieutenant Commander almost faster than you did. She hold you back? It might have been the other way around "
"But maybe she still cares?"
"Think about what that would have done to your career. The moment you were in danger she went to pieces trying to hold you back. You never would have left the Potemkin if shed made it aboard."
"Shes not used to this, this working together... did you see how well she relates to the others on the bridge? Guess what, youre not used to it either, are you, buddy boy? Look how the Captain used her abilities to figure things out. Did you? Could you have done the same? And what did you do the moment she felt that creatures pain? Did you stay where you were and stick to your resolve of two teams? Trust LaForge and Yar to look after her? No you were by her side as soon as you heard her suffering. Couldnt stay away, could you?"
"By the way buddy, that Troi thing neat maneouvre, last name basis only make sure she knew you were keeping the distance. Telepathic links or not"
"You can still hear her. Wasnt it great to hear her? Her voice is so beautiful "
"She called me Imzadi."
Will picked up another synthehol and downed it quickly, relishing the harshness. He became more mellow as it took on its desired effect, quieting the conversation between the warring parts of his subconscious. Only one thought remained
(Not the End but finished for now What do you think?)