Rating PG (Im not good with ratings)
Set Between Insurrection and Nemesis
Disclaimer Paramount owns all.
Deanna stared at him across the table, he had his best poker face on but she knew beyond any doubt that he was bluffing. His crystal blue eyes watched her intently, he didnt move, didnt blink and she wasnt sure that he was even breathing. She would never use her abilities to her advantage during a game, but the signs were so obvious to her. The way when he picked up a new card, his fingers would gently play with his beard as he thought over his next move or when he was getting impatient and would ever so slightly shuffle on his chair. They were subtle signs, things that no one else would know, merely because nobody had watched him as closely as she had. Not for a tactical advantage, simply because she liked to watch him. It made no difference that people were around, she could and usually did become so entranced by him she forgot there was anyone else in the same room as them. That was the effect William Riker had on her.
The corner of his mouth turned up in the faintest of smiles, he knew she was thinking about him. Are you in or not Counselor?
Of course Commander, your fifty plus fifty more. Their eyes never left each others, never slightly wavered to any of the other players who all declared this particular game was over for them, the stakes were too high.
Beverly Crusher who sat to Deannas right was completely enthralled by the exchange between the couple, although nothing that happened between them seemed to surprise her it did provide some interesting entertainment. Data watched on intrigued as always by the behavior between the couple, storing every detail so he could ask Geordi about it later. He had found it best not to interrupt as it would bring an abrupt holt to the exchange which he had been told by Doctor Crusher was not such a good thing. Geordi meanwhile just sat at the table with a huge grin on his face while his head shook back and forth.
Ill see your cards. Will stated after looking at the small pile of poker chips in front of him. Rarely was there a night that hed suffered such terrible hands as he had tonight and as a result his dwindling stack had gotten smaller and smaller.
With what? Deanna asked laughing. You dont have enough chips.
Wills lips curved up in to a perfect smile, his eyes twinkling with mischief. Ill tell you what, if you lend me the twenty that I need Ill give you back double when I win.
Youre a bit sure of yourself dont you think? Picking up several of the chips, she began to roll them in her hand. The sound they made as rubbed against each in her hand making him break his gaze from her temporarily.
Always. Think youve got what it takes to beat me? He reached out across the table and grabbed her hand, stilling her movements.
Opening her hand underneath his grasp, she gently stroked the palm of his hand with her index finger causing the chips moving out of her hold and into his. His own finger briefly ran over her wrist before moving away, the much sort after items now held securely in his hand.
After placing them in the middle he slowly pushed his remaining chips on to the large pile in the middle. Ill see you Counselor.
She smiled at his insinuation and the way he tried to sound serious by calling her Counselor, he wasnt fooling anybody. Slowly she placed the cards down on the table, her face revealing that she too had been practicing in the mirror for such an occasion.
There was silence as they all looked at her cards. A royal flush. Will said knowing he was well and truly beat. And hearts of course. He winked at her.
Deanna shook her head at him. Uh uh, dont think you get out of it that easy. Lets see what youve got.
A pair Queens. He said throwing the cards down.
Everyone looked down at the cards then turned to him. You bet all that on a pair? Beverly asked him puzzled.
What can I say Doctor it was worth the risk.
Beverly shrugged her shoulders as she watched Data gather up all the cards to shuffle.
Wills attention returned to Deanna as she moved all the chips to join the sizable amount she already had. What are you going to play with now? She asked him, smirking at the bare space in front of him.
His eyebrows rose and he held back his initial response of exactly what he wanted to play with before smiling sweetly at her. Dont even bother. She responded, not giving him a chance to ask. I won these fair and square.
Looking around the table at his friends, his eyes came to rest on Geordi. Sorry Commander, looks like the night is over for you.
Will sighed, never had he lost so badly. It was all her fault, how was he meant to concentrate with her here. Her bottomless dark eyes, the scent of her flowing across the room and in to his senses, the way her foot stretched out under the table and caressed his leg. No wonder he had lost, it was a miracle hed gotten this far. There was however, one card he had yet to play.
Deal me in. He told Data, getting to his feet.
They looked at each other quizzically as Will disappeared in to his bedroom.
Dont think that you can raid an old stash of chips youve got hidden away in there Riker. Beverly called after him.
Moments later when all the cards had been dealt out Will returned and took
his seat. He looked decidedly nervous as he placed his closed hand out in front
of them. Lifting his eyes to Deanna he opened his hand to see her reaction when
he moved it away to reveal the small object.
Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped when she saw the gold ring, her heart began to pound in her chest, its beating echoing in her ears.
Whats this? She heard Beverly say from beside her.
A ring. Will answered turning to the Doctor.
I can see that Will. Youre going to bet that?
He nodded, his gaze returning to Deanna. And whatever promises come with it.
Everyone except Beverly remained silent. So youre telling me whoever wins gets the ring and youre going to marry them.
Again Will nodded still looking at Deanna. But what if you win Will? The Doctor asked.
A smile spread over his face. Then whoever loses to me has to ask me to marry them.
Beverly burst out laughing. What are you on?
Will turned serious, looking around the table at them all. The decision is yours, in or out.
Geordi was the first to answer, throwing his cards down on the table. Sorry Commander youre not my type.
They skipped Will who was next to look at Beverly. She glanced quickly at Deanna knowing full well she would pay later for her next remark but went ahead with it anyway. What the hell, Im sure I could put you to good use Will. She winked at him, but he was more interested in Deannas response.
Staring back at him, she saw him swallow and his chest rise and fall with every deep breath. Im in. She stated simply.
Next was Data, he looked at his cards and then down at the ring in the middle of the table. Although you are not my type either Commander, I too am in.
They all looked at him surprised by his choice to stay in the game, Will knew Beverly would merely to aggravate him. Umm Data are you sure? He stuttered.
Whats wrong Will, Beverly laughed. Dont think Data can make you happy? Im sure hed make a good husband for you.
At that everyone joined in her laughter, except Will. Lets just play. He said more than a little annoyed by the way things were going.
They threw out the cards they didnt want and Data dealt out the new ones. Beverly placed fifty chips in the middle, followed by Deanna who put in One hundred and fifty. That got an immediate reaction not only from Will but from Data who was now bearing the brunt of Deannas intense glare.
I am out. Sorry Commander.
Will laughed. Im sure Ill get over it Data.
So what are you betting this time around Will? Deanna asked halting their conversation from going further, her eyes displaying her eagerness to hear his answer.
He ran his fingers over his beard, thinking over his answer. How about a wedding where ever and when ever the winner chooses?
Both Deanna and Beverly nodded. In that case Ill see your one fifty Deanna plus another fifty of my own.
The look the Counselor returned to her friend was ice cold. Her emotions were all over the place so she was unable to sense whether Beverly was serious or just simply trying to make things difficult for her. Deanna however had twice as much chips than Beverly did so if it came down to the wire she was certain she could out bet the redhead.
Your two hundred, and another fifty.
This caused Will to smile, there was no way Deanna was going to give up and he knew it. Well? she said, breaking him out of his thoughts.
Will looked at his cards then back up to her. You get to choose where we go on the honeymoon.
Beverly watched the pair, their attentions focused solely on the other. She was certain that they had completely forgotten there was anyone else in the room, sighing she realized she couldnt drag this out anymore. I fold.
Will smiled, his blue eyes coming to life. Well Counselor it looks like its just you and me. Lets see what youve got.
Gently laying out the cards in front of them, his eyes still hadnt averted from hers and she felt her body start to tingle under his watch. At the same time Will placed his cards down but neither even bothered to look at them until Data broke the silence. Counselor it would appear that you have lost.
Looking down they both saw that Wills pair beat Deannas hand, which had included nothing of any worth. Will leaned back in his chair, a smug grin on his face. Lets see where can I choose to go on our honeymoon. Oh but wait, you have to ask me to marry you first. He laughed, stretching his hands out behind his head.
Deanna smiled innocently back at him, her hands resting on the table in front of her. You realize that if I ask you to marry me, then you have to take on my name?
Wills eyes widened. You cant be serious?
She nodded her head. Betazoid tradition.
He looked at her, questioning the truth of her statement. Im not sure if I believe that.
So is that a no?
Well that depends on what Im answering, I havent heard you ask me anything yet, have you Doctor? Will winked at Crusher who got to her feet, signaling for Data and Geordi to do the same.
This is our cue to leave, let us know when you set a date. Following
her two crewmates out in to the corridor she turned around to have final glance
in to the room before the door closed. The last thing she saw before the door
closed was Will kneeing down beside Deanna, the ring in his hand.
I thought I had to ask you. Deanna said looking down at him on his knees, her eyes glazed over.
He grinned back at her, running his hands slowly up and down her thighs. You do, but theres some things I need to say to you first.
Deanna let out an uneasy sigh, he was somehow going to try and weasel his way out of it. How could she have let herself be drawn in to the moment, he had completely caught her off guard by using the ring and all his promises as betting tools. And now here she was about to have her heart broken by him again. She got to her feet, sure of what he was about to say. I dont think I need to hear this Will.
Surprised by her reaction he reached out to lay a hand on her shoulder before she could reach the door. You dont understand Deanna.
Immediately rounding on him she shook off his hand and pointed harshly at his chest. I understand perfectly Will, you werent willing to lose a game of poker so you bet on our relationship. You may have won the game, but you lost something far more precious.
Grabbing a hold of her finger, he swiftly placed his other hand over her mouth effectively silencing her. Her eyes widened in anger at his actions making him speak quickly. Im not trying to get out of this Deanna I swear. If I move my hand will you listen to me?
She nodded once and her eyes softened, Will moved his hand away, dropping it down so he could hold hers. Leading her over to the couch he sat down beside her, their fingers still linked. This wasnt how I planned things, Ive had that ring for weeks. He said pointing over to the table. You dont know how many times I had it and was about to ask you but lost my nerve at the last second.
Deanna couldnt look at him knowing full well why he hadnt been able to ask her, he was afraid to commit himself to her. Will turned her around to face him. Im asking you now Deanna, will you marry me?
Still she wouldnt look at him, knowing that if she did there would be only one word that would leave her lips. Why couldnt you ask me Will?
It hadnt been the response he had hoped for and at first he felt like shaking her and asking if shed heard that hed just asked her to marry him. Why does it matter?
Because I need to know what has changed between then and now.
Will was confused. Nothing has changed. Deanna whats going on? Ten minutes ago you wanted to get married and now youre more or less telling me you dont.
She made the mistake of looking up and in to his eyes, causing butterflies to flutter in her stomach, even after all this time he could still make her feel this way. I love you Will, but I need to know that youre doing this for the right reasons.
He bridged the distance between them, kissing her neck and threading his fingers through her hair. My reasons Deanna are that I love you, need you and cant live without you.
And you didnt feel that way yesterday, or last week. She asked trying to ignore his closeness.
His mouth moved up to her ear, but never quite touched it. Of course I did, but I was afraid that you wouldnt be ready to take the risk on me again.
Pushing against his chest, she stopped when his face was barely touching hers, their noses softly rubbing together. As much as he tried to ignore that he had vulnerabilities she knew him better. Why dont you let me make that decision?
Sliding his hands underneath her backside, he easily lifted her off the couch to sit on his lap, her legs sitting on either side of his. Returning his earlier attention to her neck, her body felt as if it was liquefying when she wrapped her arms around him. Marry me. He whispered against her skin.
She could feel his heart beat against hers as their chests pressed firmly together, and not for the first time since they had renewed their relationship she felt that she may never be able to let him go. I cant get enough of you Will.
So am I to assume thats a yes? He questioned, his lips moving across her cheek.
Pushing him to lay against the back of the couch, she climbed further on to his body her hands holding on to his face as she leaned down to kiss him. Its a yes. She mumbled against his lips, the kiss intensifying by the second.
I still get to choose where we have the wedding and the honeymoon though. Deanna said after pulling away breathless.
But I won. Will said, whining like a child.
Double or nothing? She propositioned him, her hands fumbling to get under his shirt.
Will thought about it for a moment, struggling to think straight with her hands wandering over his body. I already won everything.
Not everything. Deanna stated seductively as she pushed up his shirt and began kissing his stomach and chest.
Groaning out loud at her teasing mouth, he lifted the both of them from the couch and walked to the table, Deannas legs clenched around his waist. Sitting down with Deanna in his lap he gathered up all the cards and shuffled them as she rested her head against his shoulder. How about we try something different? Will offered.
Like what? She asked, her hand still resting on the skin of his stomach.
Deanna laughed. If youd rather me beat you at that than poker, sure.
Will joined her laughter, holding the stack of cards ready to deal. Ready? he asked.
Hit me, Riker.
Placing the first card face up in front of them, it was an ace.
Wills was next a six.
He waited for Deannas nod before flipping her next card, a jack. Will groaned and this time it was not from pleasure.
Turning over his next card it was a five. He paused for a moment before turning over what would be the last card, a queen. They were equal.
How about Ill give you what you want if you give me what I want? Will reasoned, knowing exactly what he wanted at that moment.
I thought you said you already had what you wanted?
I did, but now I want more.
He didnt wait for her answer, standing once again with Deannas limbs still holding him tight, he walked towards his bedroom, their bodies falling haphazardly on to the bed. Shifting his weight to settle more comfortably on top of Deanna Will reached down between them and brought her hand to his face. Kissing her ring finger, he then replaced his lips with the gold wedding band. I love you. He whispered against her lips.
When the time came to make arrangements for the wedding and honeymoon, he would
do whatever she wanted, but as one by one her pieces clothing fell to the floor
the only thing he could think of was what he had wanted, her.