Set During Nemesis just after Will returns to the Bridge following the fight scene with Shinzons Viceroy.
Disclaimer It all belongs to Paramount, and dont we all know it ;-)
The door to the turbolift slowly closed and Will Riker stared at the grey paneling, forcefully expelling the air he had been holding in his lungs. From beside him he felt Deanna snuggle into him and take his hand with hers. When hed walked on the bridge to find half of it missing his stomach had literally dropped, his eyes immediately finding Deanna and thanking every force in the universe that she hadnt been sucked out in to space.
But then there was Data he was gone, and Will felt his loss just as he would feel the loss of a close family member. He didnt fully understand what had happened yet, Picard had disappeared in to his ready room leaving Riker in charge to handle repairs to the ship. Deanna had since informed him the Romulans were on their way over to help with both medical assistance and repairs so he left Laforge in command while he went to sickbay to get the cut on his arm seen to.
Everything was such a blur, even though the battle was over both the Enterprise and his mind was a flurry of activity. The knock he had taken to his head when fighting with Shinzons Viceroy only helped to hinder his efforts to try and think straight. Thoughts ran through his mind at a hectic pace that he struggled to keep up with, questions that he had to ask but was scared as to what the answer might be.
Will? Deanna asked softly, sensing his apprehension.
What happened while I was down there Deanna?
Data saved the Captains life. She said sadly, her eyes still wet from the tears she had shed earlier on the Bridge.
Will leaned some of his weight on Deanna, lowering his head to rest on top of hers. His body ached from his earlier tussle in the Jefferies Tube, physically he was in good condition but there was nothing to stop the effects of getting older.
The turbolift came to a stop and Will groaned, not only from the effort but because the closeness with Deanna would be broken. She walked off the lift in front of him, still keeping her hold on his hand as they walked towards Sickbay.
Will knew she would have questions just as he did, hed been gone a long time and he could see the worry in her face each time she looked at him. The truth was he had been lucky to come away alive, the Viceroy had been more than an even match for Riker and had he not been able to quickly grab on to the railing he too would have suffered the same fate as the Reman. He swallowed at the thought and felt Deanna come to a halt beside him. Did you kill him Will? Her voice so low he barely heard the question.
He stopped to look at her, she looked like shed been to hell and back. Her hair frazzled, her dark eyes rimmed with blackness and tears. He longed to see her smile, just as he had on their wedding day, to see the love and happiness radiate from her. Feelings and emotions that were now replaced with pain and worry.
Reaching out he touched the outline of her face with his fingertips. Yes He said trying to sound unemotional.
And youre okay with this? Shed gone in to Counselor mode, and seemed to have forgotten they were in the corridor.
Will watched as two Ensigns walked past, waiting until they were out of hearing distance until he spoke. He leaned in closer to her, resting his forehead against hers, placing both of his hands on her waist. Deanna, we should talk about this later.
Just answer this one question Will.
Will sighed. Yes, Im okay with this.
For now Deanna accepted his answer, they would talk about it later in the privacy of their quarters but there were emotions she felt from him she was unsure of. As much as she knew he was trying to save her extra pain it was very early in their marriage for him to start keeping things from her.
They continued on to Sickbay without any further conversation, as they were about to enter Sickbay Worf walked out and Will thought he saw a hint of a smile on the Klingons lips. Walking in Will dodged a number of injured crew members and medical staff looking for somewhere to sit and wait his turn. Before he could find a seat or bed he felt Beverly grip his arm from behind. Come with me Will, she said leading him and Deanna to her office.
Once they were all inside Crusher closed the door and moved to inspect Wills bloodied arm. Why am I not in the least bit surprised that you somehow managed to get injured William Riker? She asked in her motherly tone.
Guess Im just at the right place at the right time. He smirked, then caught Deannas glare. He sat in one of the vacant chairs while Deanna leaned against Beverlys desk, as if overseeing the whole procedure.
Snapping her tricorder shut Beverly began to run the dermal regenerator over Wills arm, healing the affected area. Well youre lucky this time. The Doctor said, looking over Rikers head to glimpse at Deanna. She found the Betazoid staring back at her, something had happened.
Deanna? Crusher questioned, once again running the tricorder over the Commander to make sure his wound was completely healed.
Troi reached out to take the Doctors hand, Data didnt come back from the Scimitar Beverly.
Unsure what to say Beverly merely stood there, her mouth agape. What, how?
Deanna found herself holding back tears once again and she bit down on her bottom lip trying to regain some control. The Captain beamed over to destroy the thalaron matrix, but just after the hed been transported the transporter panel exploded, there was no way to get him back.
She paused a moment so both Beverly and Will could take in what she was saying, she recognized the look in Wills eyes instantly. He was immediately trying to blame himself because it was his job to look after the Captains safety and even though he had stopped the Reman envoy Picards life had been put at risk.
Deanna wanted to tell him it wasnt his fault, he couldnt control everything, even though he liked to try but she decided this was something else that they would also talk about in private.
Data literally jumped out of the Enterprise and floated through space and on to the Scimitar. I dont know what happened over there but only one of them could come back using Datas emergency transport unit Her breath caught and the fresh tears she had been holding in overflowed down her cheeks. He gave up his life for the Captains for all of us.
Will and Deanna returned to their quarters after leaving Sickbay so Will could change in to a clean uniform. Deanna knew Will was more than capable of doing so by himself but they needed to talk about what had happened and she wasnt prepared to wait.
Once in the privacy of their cabin Will retreated immediately in to their bedroom, Deanna followed and sat down on the corner of the bed while Will began to undress. I was scared Will, you were gone a long time.
He was facing away from her and she saw his shoulders slump as he let out a sigh. Deanna, can we talk about this later?
Walking over to him she laid her hand on his bare back. I need to talk about it now, and so do you.
Bending down he took his pants off, standing with his back to her dressed in only his underwear. I dont even know where to start. My mind is in a spin.
She walked away from him picking up one of his spare uniforms from the chair on the other side of the room. I can feel that, and I can also sense some of the things you are feeling. Talk to me Will. He finally turned around to look at her and she passed him his uniform.
There was a moment of silence before Will spoke. I nearly died down there Deanna. His stare at her was intense and she returned it. Do you know what got me through? You, and my anger at what Shinzon and his Viceroy did to you.
Breaking his gaze at her he pulled on his pants and waited for her to say something, when she didnt he continued. Ive never felt such hatred towards anyone Deanna. When I was down in the access tunnel hanging on for my life and that Reman had a hold of my leg I saw his face. He momentarily struggled to continue swallowing hard as he fought to find the right words. I cant begin to image the terror you felt when he violated your mind. It makes me feel sick to my stomach that you thought that thing was me. All I see when I close my eyes is you screaming and the tears in your eyes.
Deanna took hold of his hand and led him to sit on the bed with her. Dont do this to yourself Will. Its over with, theyre both gone and now we can get on with our lives, with our marriage.
Will leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tightly to him. This isnt the way Id planned our new life together would start, we should be on Betazed.
Unfortunately not even you William Riker can control everything, as much as you try. She whispered against the side of his face, her warm breath caressing his skin. And those words although she had meant no malice by them, merely to try and lighten his mood, only made him think of how little he had been able to control since leaving Earth.
Deanna picked up the shift in his emotions immediately. Excluding Thomas do you think you can be at two places at once?
Drawing back from her embrace, he knew what she was getting at. He should never have gone over there Deanna.
And then what? You wouldve been stranded there instead of the Captain and theres no way Data would have left you there either. She ran her hand up and down his arm hoping he would listen to her.
I know youre right, but that doesnt make it any easier. Datas absence in their lives would be deeply felt. Even though they were headed to the Titan and would not see him every day as they had for over ten years at least they wouldve been able to talk to him and see him when they had missed him. Now all they had was memories. In just a short time all the androids closest friends would come together, as the Captain had asked, to remember and pay their respects to him.
Knowing Geordi would have everything under control on the Bridge Will collapsed backwards on to the bed his aching back causing him to let out a long groan. Hed not mentioned it to Beverly and was now wishing he had, he had been in a hurry to leave Sickbay and insisted the only thing that needed seeing to was his arm.
Deanna stretched out beside him her hand reaching over to rest on his bare stomach, making her way up his chest and finally pushing back the hair that fell over the bruise on his forehead. Wills hands joined behind her back and he twisted his body to face her, he couldnt help but notice the way her attention was solely focused on his forehead.
Deanna, Im fine. He spoke softly.
She looked down and in to his eyes, she didnt see the arrogant cold eyes of Shinzon or the evil vacant ones of his Viceroy but rather the endless loving pools of blue of her Imzadi. Pressing her lips ever so gently to his, they barely touched before she drew back. Will sighed contently and laid his head next to hers, the slightest of space separating them. I think we should go on our honeymoon as soon as we reach the spacedock. He knew she wanted to get married on Betazed but the last thing they needed was to worry about another ceremony and Lwaxanas constant antics.
She nodded her agreement. We should go, theyll be waiting.
The couple got to their feet and Will finished dressing, before leaving their quarters to be with the only people who truly understood what it was like to be friends with Data.