As Zephram Cochran kicked the jukebox back into reluctant life, loudly, Deanna looked over at Will with a pained look on her face. Will opened his mouth to speak to her when all of a sudden she dropped her head to the table and lay there. Speechless, Will looked at his Imzadi. If there was one thing he had never expected from Deanna Troi, and there weren't many things she wouldn't try once, it was to see her passed out drunk in a seedy bar. He nudged her gently, called her name and then shook her shoulder harder; she wasn't surfacing, despite his urging. Finally Cochran noticed that there was something wrong and he came barrelling over with his drink in one hand and the bottle in the other.
"What she needs is a good stiff drink to keep her senses alert. Deena, Deena, wake up and have a tequila," he drawled at her. Will bristled.
"Her name is Deanna and another of your drinks is the last thing she needs. Look, I know you don't know who we are but you'll just have to believe me that it's important that we talk with you. Obviously tonight is not appropriate, however - I need to get Deanna out of here. Where can I find you tomorrow morning?"
Will left the bar with instructions of where he could find Cochran again in his mind, and an unconscious Deanna Troi in his arms. He murmured to her softly as he walked away from the buildings in the ramshackle excuse for a town.
"Well De, I never thought this would be how we would spend First Contact Eve. Where can we go? Come on, De. Wake up, huh?" However, his talk did little to rouse the inebriated councillor that he carried. He walked towards a building that seemed empty and peered around the door. Greeted by what appeared to be an abandoned house, he stepped through the doorway and into the main room. Laying Deanna on a sofa, the only piece of furniture in the room, he took himself on a quick tour. Two rooms; one of them a bathroom, the other a living-room come kitchen.
Touching his communicator, now that he was away from the prying eyes of the locals who would have been baffled by his comm. badge, Will attempted to contact the Enterprise. Having no luck rousing the bridge, he attempted to call various parts of the ship and then each member of the senior staff in turn. Receiving no replies, Will began to worry as to what he should do but then he perched on the sofa beside Deanna and thought logically. If he was unable to contact the ship then he was unable to call for a beam-out, in which case it made more sense for him to take care of Deanna and then attempt to continue his mission to interview Zephram Cochran. With his instructions, the latter should not present too many problems - Deanna was going to be the complicated one. What exactly do you do to help an intoxicated Betazoid?
Deciding to simply leave her to sleep off the effects of the. whatever it was she had drunk, Will shifted Deanna gently and slid so that he was sitting on the sofa with her head in his lap. The position was strange to him. Strange in its alienness and also in its familiarity. It could have been just yesterday that they lay this way in the Jalara Jungle. Of course, Deanna was awake then and they were talking. Talking about anything and everything as they got to know each other, got to learn that they were Imzadi - forever special as the first to touch each other's souls. Will didn't know how long his reminiscing went on before he dropped into a deep sleep on the sofa.
When Deanna awoke she was disorientated, unsure of where she was or how she got there. She tried to sit up in a rush but was stopped and forced to lie back down by the spinning and pounding of her head and the nausea that assaulted her at her first movement. It was when she lay back down that she realised that she had been lying with her head in someone's lap. Turning her head slowly and carefully, she looked to see who she was with, a little nervous of who she might find. She let out a gentle sigh of relief when she saw the face of Will Riker, his eyes opening slowly as her movement brought him out of his slumber. She wanted nothing more than to go to sleep again, or possibly to go to sickbay and ask Beverly for an analgesic, but she also needed to know where she was so she made the supreme effort to ask Will what had happened the night before. The fact that they were both fully clothed assuaged any fears of what she might have done with him, but the fact that they obviously weren't on the Enterprise led her to wonder what was wrong and what exactly she had been doing the night before to allow herself to get into the state she was in.
Dropping her head back down to Will's lap, she spoke.
"Will, what happened last night? I mean, what did I do, and why aren't we on the Enterprise?"
As Will explained to her exactly what had happened, as well as he knew from finding her with Cochran and listening to her intoxicated explanation, Deanna decided to get up and have a look around. She swung her legs round and off the sofa and went to stand up. As she rose to her feet, the room spun and the ground seemed to undulate beneath her feet. The alcohol, so rarely consumed on the Enterprise now that they were into the days of synthehol, seemed to have effects of which Deanna had been unaware. Will jumped to his feet and caught her before she fell. He eased her back into a sitting position on the sofa and knelt before her.
"Deanna, are you alright?"
Suddenly Deanna knew she was going to be sick. She felt her stomach jump and twist and something must have shown on her face, because Will looked at her for a moment and then pulled her into a standing position by her forearms. He led her rapidly through to the room that he had earlier discovered to be a bathroom and held her hair away from her face while she vomited into the toilet. Sweat had broken out on her brow and her hair was sticking to her face in curly tendrils. Her skin was porcelain white and her eyes watered until it looked as though she was crying. When she had stopped heaving and her stomach felt more settled Deanna was happy to find that she actually felt better for her sickness. Will helped her to stand and led her back to the sofa where she sat beside him and curled her legs beneath her, leaning against him for support and closing her eyes. As he stroked her hair back from her face and rocked her gently to lull her towards sleep the last thing that Deanna remembered thinking was how nice it was to be taken care of in that way. It wasn't long until they would have to go and meet up with Cochran again, but until then she would enjoy letting Will take care of her. Who knew, maybe if she enjoyed it enough she would let him do it more often.