Disclaimer: um..I know I am supposed to do thisÖnow
how did that go, OK oh yeah, I remember.. I think.   
"Not mine, never was, never will be."  Oh yeah.  No. .
I Haven't given up my day job, it pays this donít.

Setting:  3rd Season..


The Dance Partner

p_co07@yahoo.com



Part I

       Walking  down the corridor, Will Riker found
just the per-son he had been searching for. 
      "Hey, Geordi." He called,  "Wait up." Increasing
his pace, he soon caught up with his friend. 
     "Could you possibly meet me in my quarters
tonight?   I need to talk to you."
     "Sure thing commander.   Is something wrong?" 
    "No,   I just need  to ask you a couple of
things."
    "Yeah, no problem."
   "Perfect."  He smiled as he hit  Geordi on the
back.
   "Iím on my way to the bridge now.  We can talk
later this
evening.  Then  Riker  headed off merrily down the
corridor,
   "Just what  have I  gotten myself into?  This does
not look good ." Geordi said shaking his head, as he
went on towards Engineering.


Bridge duty was routine,  although Riker  could not
keep the  smile off his face.   Deanna watched him,
as he laughed, and even told jokes  to the other
members of the crew.  He was in one of the best moods
she had seen him exhibit , in quite some time.
Even the captain,  was suspicious of his actions.
Looking over to his right he inquired   "Something
wrong Number One?" 
"Sir?"
" You seem to have us at a disadvantage.  It would
seem,  that you understand the punch line and we are
somewhat deluded."
"Just having a good day, Captain.  No special
reason."  He smiled and  quickly added  "Sir."
Captain Picard  took a moment to study his First
Officer,  as if he didnít believe what he  was saying.
Finally he simply  nodded his head.   "Carry on ."  He
said,  feeling it was best to just leave it alone.

Deanna studied him intently.  She most certainly did
not trust his  smile. He was portraying a prankster,
who was definitely,  up to something.
She had been around him long enough, and she could
read every expression on his face.   From a raised
eyebrow.   To a  certain cock of the head. The way he
rubbed  his eyes, even the way he would stroke his
beard, every action was a language all by itself.
A language that only she could understand.
He  was also,  well trained at  blocking  her from
probing his mind.   She had taught him, mental
discipline while they were on Betazed together, and he
had been a keen student.   Today, she realized that
she had taught him all too well.  He was blocking her
now.  He  realized immediately  when she attempted to
probe him.  Instantly, he raised up all shields, and
refused her access to his mind.
Will  looked over towards Deanna.   She  was sitting
in the chair  on the left side of the Captain.  He
knew what she was trying to do, and he also knew that
he had just  halted  her  probing. 
He simply gestured with  the  lifting of  his
eyebrows, and  offered  her  a rather covert  smile.



When day shift was over,  Deanna and Will, exited the
bridge and stepped into  the  turbo lift.
  He was still smiling.
"Are you going to tell me?"
"What?"  he asked.
"The reason why youíre in such a jovial mood.  What
are you
planning.
"Deanna, just because Iím in a good mood,  you assume
Iím
planning something."
"Well, you are planning something.  Something
atrocious."
"Atrocious?"  His face fell as he mocked a surprised
look.
"Yes."
"Why donít you tell me, what I am planning.?"
"You know very well that I  cannot read you when you
block me."
"Thatís right."  He stated ,  he snapped his fingers;
as if he had just gotten a huge revelation.  "You
canít , can you?" He smiled a boyish grin, looking
down at her.
A moment of silence past between them.  They were
standing side by side in the turbo lift.
Will had both hands behind him, and  was rocking on
his feet  by now  Deanna watched him noticing that he
could  start whistling  at anytime. 

"William."  She said looking straight ahead.
"Deanna." He stated in the same manner. He stopped
rocking.
"Are you going to tell me what you are up to?"
"Would that make you happy if I did?"
"Yes."
" All I have ever wanted to do was make you happy."
There was another moment of silence. They were still
standing side by side.
"Are you going to tell me?" She inquired.
"Deanna." He said, in the most serious voice he could
muster.  He turned  to face her.  It took all the
control he had  to  avoid her eyes; he then placed
both of his hands on her shoulders.  He looked up and
exhaled,  as if he were going to reveal a secret.
"What I am up to is.."
"Yes." Deanna said looking up  into  his  eyes. "Go
on."
Just then the turbo doors opened, and he quickly
bounced out of the lift sideways.  As the doors of the
turbo lift  were closing he cocked his head to the
side  and  said  "Aaaa -- bout  six foot four." 
Then he was gone.
Left alone in the turbo lift, Deanna Troi  stomped her
foot, and screamed  "Ugghh!!!!" She was furious. 
Mostly she was angry at herself.  How could she be
such a simpleton?
The infamous William T. Riker had fooled her; and she
had fallen for itÖ.again. 
She was going to get  a ladder.  She was going to
climb it .
Then she was going to strangle a certain  six foot
four, too smart for his own good commander.



Inside Willís quarters Geordi, shook his head, "Gee, I
donít know Commander, you think we can pull it off?"
"I know  we can."
"But why me?"
"Geordi, you spent a majority of the time with these
aliens. You are the most suitable.
"Yeah, timeÖ,  I would like to forget."
"All we are going to get is maybe, one dance.  Itís
going to take her a couple of minutes to figure out
just who you are. 
Itís just  that reaction of the one dance that I want
to see.   I would do it, believe me, but I canít.
Sheís too clever for me to try this alone. 
Physically, we both know , Iím too tall .  Another
thing is. . .  she would immediately  discern who I
was.. . .  sheís going to be on the defense. . .  and
when she gets like that. . . sheís  going to be
searching  for me.   I can  block her normally, but I
donít think I can if she. . . . . ."  He trailed off.
"Youíre talking about  that   Imzadi bond  you and the
Counselor have arenít you ?" Geordi said quickly
cutting in.
" Sure makes pulling a  prank hard as hell."
Attempting to hide his
uneasiness,  the Commander nervously smiled. 
Geordi knew that was his  cue, to drop it.  Anytime
the Commander  made a joke about the bond.  It was
very clear to everyone.   This  was the  time to
change the subject. 
     Will  did not like to reveal too much about  the
Imzadi  bond.   He felt that was only between himself
and Deanna.  It was something special that he
cherished, respected, and  most of the time spent  in
awe of.  He,  for some reason felt  that if he talked
about it too much he would be disrespecting it, he was
afraid that he might mess it up somehow.  He was still
learning.  It had only been three years since, that
fateful day.  That day.  When he first saw Deanna get
off the turbo lift.  He had heard her voice in his
head.  A voice he was certain,  that was gone forever.
He sure as hell,  was not going to do anything, to
put his relationship with his Imzadi,  in jeopardy
again.
   "And Data said he would help ?"   No doubt he just
wants to
analyze  the  human reaction to this little payback
scenario  you have up your sleeve.  Whoa. . . 
Beverly?  Itís rather hard to believe that the doctor
is involved.  She and the counselor are best friends."
" Call it whatever you want, Geordi. . . . .  There
was one day in Ten Forward.   I honestly believe. . .
Beverly . . . actually  felt some sort of pity  for
me.  All this time. . .  I was under the impression
that she was a red-haired, green eyed, test running
barracuda."
"Hey, I heard about that !!  You honestly had no clue
what you were voting on?" Geordi laughed.
    "No clue."  He made some sort of coughing noise
and continued, "I was. . .  thinking. . .  at the
time."  He tried to sound convincing.
"Thatís what the  counselor said."
"Deanna told you about that?"   He said, rather
unbelieving.
"Yeah, wasnít she supposed to?  You look as though
some-one let the cat out of the bag."
"Well. . I going to put that cat back in the bag."
"Commander, now you have  totally lost me."



   "What about my visor?"  "Wonít that be a problem?"
   "Thatís where Beverly comes in.  Sheíll devise
something.  Sheíll be handling all the cosmetic
aspects of this thing . .  Data is going to escort her
to Ten Forward. . . .  Our little Betazoid,  cannot
probe him." 
"Will you do it Geordi?"  Will asked again.
" Okay.   What the hell. . .  Itís a lot  better than
being beaten at poker by you. . .  Who knows maybe I
can save some chips this way." Geordi said with a
chuckle.
Will rewarded him with a huge grin.
"All you have to do now . . . is learn the language."
" Damn, thatís easy enough."  Geordi laughed. 
"Well, I guess I should go practice. . so we can get
this production in motion."
Both men stood up, and walked towards the door. . . 
Geordi who was now standing outside the commanderís
quarters. . .  slowly turned around.

"I have just one more question , Commander?"
Will nodded his head.  "Sure what is it?"
"What were you * thinking *  about that day in the
ready room?
"Puss-n-Boots."  Riker answered   with a sly smile.
The  very  confused  engineer just stood there, as
the door  hissed shut in his face. . .  He thought
about buzzing the door again. . .  
Instead he  headed for his own quarters.


Part II


"The Dance Partner"


"I know he is up to something.  I sense it" .  Deanna
said, as she took her spoon and stabbed her chocolate
ice-cream. " He isnít the only one. . .there are
others involved."

"Deanna. . Do you realize how paranoid that sounds?"
Beverly asked.

"Yes I do, we are referring to Will Riker, remember?
Beverly. . . he hasnít spoken to me in two days. On
the bridge he only speaks to me out of. .
professional courtesy. . .   Then at the end of shift,
he literally leaps into the turbo lift to avoid me."
Deanna attempted to justify  her reasoning.

"Is He still upset with you over the Ďvotingí
incident?"

No, he isnít. . . the other day, he was in such a
jovial mood, it was . .  ghostly. . .  Iíve  tried to
buzz his quarters and he calls out, "Iím busy right
now."

"Perhaps he is busy."  Beverly reasoned.

"The only time Will Riker is *busy *,  is when he is
detained per say by female companionship or when he is
up to something.  He isnít with a woman. . . so. . ."

"How do you know. . .  heís not with a lady friend?

"Because. .  I intervene in those. . . type of
relationships. .   and  they never really . .  amount
to anything . ." Deanna stated rather mischievously.

"And just how do you intervene?"  Beverly asked
suspiciously.

"Well, I simply tell his female interest . . " Iíve
seen him naked, you can HAVE him."  Deanna answered
displaying a wide grin on her face.

"Deanna!!  Please tell me you donít do that!"

"Of course I donít. . . . Beverly,  I was joking."

"Listen Deanna, Iíve got to run." Patting her friend
on top of the hand, she added,   "Stop being so
paranoid."

"Perhaps your right, I am being paranoid."

"Weíll talk later." Beverly stated as she got up from
the table.

"Thank you for listening, I must have sounded
dreadful."

"No, not at all thatís what friends are for.  Deanna
watched as her friend exited through the sliding
doors.  She returned her gaze  to her now half melted
ice cream, playing with it, with her spoon.

"May I?" Deanna heard a masculine voice, and she knew
immediately who it was. Looking up, she simply smiled.
He dropped himself into the chair beside her..
Placing his hands together, he proceeded to put his
elbows on his knees.  Looking up, he continued.
"Sorry. . .  Iíve been kind of  busy."

"Yes, you told me that.  Youíre also still blocking
me."

"Deanna, have I ever let you down in any way?" he
asked.

Deanna simply looked at him, and tilted her head
slightly. .
"Let me rephrase that, okay. . . he amended.  "
Deanna, have I ever let you down since weíve been
aboard the enterprise?"

" No, you havenít." she smiled at him.

The attendant came and brought Will a drink, and
placed  it on the table. Will raised  his head,
silently thanking him..
"Well, I just want you to know that Iím not letting
you down now." He stated as he sat up in the chair.
"As a matter of fact, we are having a small get
together tonight in Ten Forward. Only a few of us, you
know, usual stuff, music, dancing,. . . .and I was
wondering?

"Why, Will Riker are you asking me to be your date?"
She asked  as she placed her hand on top of his,
batting her long eyelashes.

Pulling his hand away,  he flashed her a grin  "Stop
that, Deanna."
" It isnít that type of affair."  He took a sip of his
drink  and continued speaking  "But. . .  a friend of
mine is going to be there and I was wondering. . .
well. . . I told him you would. . . he  began to
stammer.

"What? What!   Oh Great Gods!!  Youíre  setting me up,
with one of your friends!  Will Riker how could you?"
on the threshold of anger, her voice became louder.

"HeyÖ hey. . hold on, Deanna. . .  Deanna"  Trying to
gain control of the conversation,  he reached for  her
hands.  "Let me explain, Okay? ."   Pulling his chair
up to the table, and leaning forward towards her, he
spoke in a hushed voice.  "I didnít set you up with
anyone.  Iím not a moron, Deanna."  He then scanned
the room ; looking  at the other patrons of Ten
Forward,  being relieved that no one witnessed her
slight outburst.

"And just what, by the Betazed Gods does that mean?"
leaning forward, she responded sarcastically  in the
same hushed voice.
 
Rolling his eyes, deciding  not to open that can of
worms.  "Listen, okayÖjust listen.  All I told my
friend was that you would dance the first dance with
him. Nothing more."

"The first dance? Why?"

"Because heís shy. . .  All right. . .  And I thought,
that if you danced with him, it would help him
overcome his backwardness."

"Is he shy? . . . Or just ugly? Which one Will?"  She
asked, knowing,  but yet. . . not being able to
pinpoint just what it was. . .  that there was
something more to this than what the First Officer was
saying
     
"Deanna Troi. . .  Iím shocked." He responded as his
eyes widened.   "This doesnít sound like you."

"It sounds like me perfectly.   What are you up to,
Will Riker?"

"Okay. . . fair play. . . you owe me one, counselor."

"I beg your. . .  pardon?" She blinked.

"Remember FerSashia.???"  He asked, raising his
eyebrows, tilting his head slightly.

"I never promised her, that you would do anything. . .
  And you know it.. .  You have no right to bring that
up."  She responded defensively.

"No you didnít. . .  but you asked me to dance with
her, because you felt some sort of insane compassion
for her."

"You didnít have to dance with her. . . That was your
choice to do so, Will Riker."

"Deanna. . .  you practically  begged me.  What else
could I do?   We both know,  I canít say No to you,
and because of that simple fact,  you took advantage
of the situation. . . .  Didnít you?"

"Yes. . .  maybe I did. . . but. .  there was nothing
wrong with FerSasha."
"Nothing wrong?? He stated with a slight chuckle.  "
Counselor allow me to refresh your memory. . .  She
was at least eight feet tall and I know weighed as
much as the Enterprise. . . And. .   If that doesnít
bring back   *fond*  memories. . .  After we danced,
she somehow got the impression that I was ALL  hers
for the evening."

"Well. . . I did feel sorry  for her. . ." Deanna
admitted

" Will. . . she was sitting there all alone. . . she
looked so withdrawn and isolated. . . . no one would
dance with her."  She said, compassion showing in her
eyes as she remembered the poor girl sitting alone at
the dance.

"I sure as hell can understand why. . . .  She almost
broke two of my ribs. . . .
"
Swatting his nearest knee, she laughed.   "Oh you .
. . stop."

Riker took another sip of his drink. . . "Deanna,
Okay. . .  Iíll admit my friend isnít all that
handsome. . .  and he is shy.  One dance,  Deanna that
will be the only thing required of you."

"Well. . . I suppose I do owe you one."
 
"Great!"    He stated,  slapping his hands on the
table.   "Data will pick you up at 20:00 hours."

"Why Data?" she asked confused.

"Because, Iíll be busy. . .  organizing this thing."
 
Youíll be there the whole time?"  she asked with some
concern in her voice. Not really sure of what she had
gotten herself into.

"Of course. .  I would never let any harm come to you.
.   You believe that donít you?"
 
She nodded her head.. . and then smiled. . .  "Yes."

"Okay, Itís set.!"  Quickly downing the remainder of
his drink, he slammed the glass on the table.  He
stood up. . . looking down at her he continued, "And
Deanna. . . He may get the first dance, but save the
last one  for me." Bending down, he quickly  kissed
her on the cheek.

Just as the doors of Ten Forward opened for him to
exit.  He glanced at her one last time and flashed one
of his smiles.  The doors closed behind him and he was
gone.



"Wow. . Beverly you did a great job. Geordi you look,
exactly like one of them.  Will exclaimed, "Are we
almost ready?"
"Yeah, Data went to pick up the Counselor." Geordi
stated.
"Okay Geordi. . .  you know where to stand?"  Will
asked.
Geordi nodded. . .



Data was walking along side  Deanna, escorting her by
the elbow.

"Tell me Data, do you dance?"  Deanna asked looking up
to him.

"No Counselor,  I do not." Data replied

"You should learn.  You may find that you enjoy it. "
"I am afraid I do not * learn* counselor.  I am
designed to receive and actuate a series of complex
data, and vas quantities of variable programs."

"Well, you should run some variables of dance
programs."

"Yes, Counselor.  If that is what you wish."

"No, Data. . .   If that is what  *you* wish."

"Iím afraid that I do not know what I wish counselor.
. I am incapable of issuing that specific program.
Deanna simply nodded. 
They continued the remainder  of the walk in silence.
   

Standing outside of the doorway of the holo-deck. . .
Data  punched the key pad.
" Program Riker 13 in progress."  The Computer
immediately responded. The doors slid open.

"After you, Counselor."  Data stated in the most
gentlemanly manner.

"Thank you, Data." Deanna responded, entering ahead of
the android.





"What do you think?" Will asked as he  walked  over to
greet the two officers, Deanna noticed that he was
extremely excited over this particular choice of
scenery... . .
"Itís  one of my favorites . . ."Chicago, early
twentieth century."

"It appears to be quite appropriate, sir.."  Data
responded, as he was  scanning everything around him.

"Your table awaits."  Riker bowed his head, and then
held out his arm for Deanna to take.

 

Will escorted Deanna to her chair. . as she sat down,
looking around at her surroundings.
After receiving her drink. . . She looked at Will who
was sitting across the table from her.

"Where is your friend?"  She asked.

"Heís on his way over to our table now."  Turning his
head in the direction of his friend.

Deanna turned her head too.
She  immediately dropped her drink. . .  the handle on
her mug of  hot chocolate broke.
Riker quickly glanced at  the look on her
faceÖ.successfully hiding his smile

Deannaís entire face was in absolute  bogglement.
  She froze  . .  her black eyes were as large as
basins.
What she saw coming toward their table was a  Pakled.
. . a slothful, almost on the verge of lethargic,
droopy-eyed, humdrum, oafish talking, dunce sounding,
species of the  humanoid race.
And. . .  he was coming over to dance with the her. 
She watched, in disbelief as  the figure dawdled  his
feet, and sauntered  across the room.


After. . . finally. . .  making it to their table. He
smiled at the counselor.


" Iíd like to introduce to you Reginod." Riker stated,
as he stood to make the proper introductions.
Reginod,  this is our shipís counselor, Deanna Troi."

"Uh-hunhhh"  Geordi said is his best dunce, droopy
voice, sounding exactly like a Pakled.

Reginod  noticed the broken glass on the floor.  It
took him a while and then he slowly pointed toward the
broken mug.
. . . "It..  is. .  broken." Reginod stated, in a
Ďdead from the neck upí  voice..

Troi was totally stunned, looking first at Will and
then to Reginod.

"yeah. .  we can get that cleaned up." Riker told him,
quickly adverting his eyes from Deanna.

"Uh-hunhhh"  Came the stoogeís reply

" I believe . . . Miss Troi  has promised you the
first dance. . . ." Riker stated, behind his smile.
"Music." He called loudly out into the room,  to no
one in particular.

The music began.  It was a nice slow jazzy  ballad.

Troi, being totally speechless,  stood up. . . slowly.
. . and as if her body had a mind of itís own.  She
offered him her hand. .  He stared at it. . . and then
he stared at her. . the dullard, was at a loss as to
what he was suppose to do.
Taking the lead, Deanna proceeded to walk towards  the
dance floor.  He followed.
Deanna stopped in  the middle of the dance floor... .
.she turned to face him. . . and they began to dance.
If that is what you could call it, Deanna placed a
hand on his shoulder. . . and  proceeded to place a
hand  around on his waist line. . taking the normal
posture for dancing. . . not actually wanting to get
too close. . .  and he just stood there. . . with his
hands on his side. .. as if he were frozen. . . he
simply just stood.

Making no effort to move.. . he stood. . and stood. .
.
They stood.

The music played on.
.

  
  Then it decided to speak.
"We. . are. . far. . from. .  home."  The dunderhead
stated.

"Yes. You are."  Deanna replied with a smile.  She was
attempting to be pleasant. She had agreed to this
after all. She could at least be cordial.

"We. .  look . . for. .  things."

"I see." Deanna replied. As she just stood there
frozen with her dance partner.

"We. .  look. .  for. .  things."  The Pakled bonehead
repeated.

"Yes. . . you said that."  She replied

"Things. .  that. .  are. .   pur-dy."

Deanna nodded her head and smiled.

~~~ "Wow, Two syllable wordsÖIím impressed." ~~~ She
cast her thoughts to Will, who never took his eyes off
of the two. . and who was, . . .  also grinning from
ear to ear.


There was a moment of silence, between the two dance
partners.

Then the  half-wit  decided to talk again. . . "You. .
are. .  Pur-dy"

"Thank you."   Deanna smiled,  waiting for the music
to stop playing so, she wouldnít have to just stand in
the middle of the dance floor.   She was beginning to
feel as much of an imbecile as her dance partner
actually was.

"We. .  need. .  you."  Reginod  the Bovine stated.

Deannaís  stiffened. . . and then it hit her. . .
sudden fear . .  If this Block-head thinks that he is
going to abduct me. . .the way he did Geordi. . .her
emotions went from fear to anger.

She instantly  removed her hand from the stoogeís
shoulder, and took a step away from him. . .

"Will. .  I REFUSE  to dance with this IDIOT any
longer . .. ." she protested as she half- walked;
half- stomped  towards his table. .,

Riker had lost all self control and  was now bubbling
with laughter..

And then that hit her too. . .  Reality. . .The
realization that this was nothing more than a
practical  joke. . .  and it was on her. . . .   She
turned, and studied the Padlak. . .  who was still
oafishly  standing in the middle of the dance floor.

  "Oh my Gods!  Thatís Geordi.!"   She exclaimed as
she pointed  towards  Reginod.

"Of all the asinine. . ."    Pinpointing the First
Officer with an icy stare.

"Counselor.."  Geordi interrupted, as he walked
towards her.   "You canít blame. .  only him."  He
stated attempting suppress the giggles  himself. . .
she rewarded Geordi with the same icy stare. .
.
"Geordi is correct, Counselor."  Data stepped forth 
"Commander Riker was not the only conspirator.  We
orchestrated this particular  form of witticism"

"I think we did a pretty  darn good job."  Now it was
Beverly who stepped forth.
 
"All of you were in on this.??. .  You planned this?.
.  How could I not sense it?"   Deanna asked as she
looked from one to the other.

"Maybe. . .  you were . . . day dreaming when we. . .
VOTED!"    Riker said though his attempt to compose
himself. . . taking his fingers wiping  away the
moisture of his tears from laughing.

Deanna walked towards Will. . .  he braced  himself
for  the hit he was going to receive. . .  on the arm.
.  on the leg. . or in the stomach.  . . .He began to
read her eyes, and he thought. . " Yeah.. .   this is
definitely going to be a gut punch.

Standing up from the table,   his eyes twinkled, and
he raised both  his eyebrows. .  he knew he had
something he could gloat over for a long. . long. .
time. .

As she approached him, all he could verbalize was. .
"I. . did. . good. . ."   in the native tongue of  the
Pakled.



The End!


Hope you enjoyed this.