History is destined to repeat itself - or is it?
to a Lyrics Challenge posted to the Imzadi_Pro List in November 2001.
It’s all Paramount’s. I own none of it.
included: "What I Really Want to Say" by Steven Curtis Chapman
(c) 1999 Sparrow Song
you, Peter David, for writing the ‘Imzadi’ novel.
She felt his presence even before turning around. Deanna gasped
inaudibly. He looked tormented. As he stood there, her Will looked like a shadow
of the man he was, and it was her fault. She had done this to him.
She turned around, forcing back the tears. It was Beverly.
“How long are you going to go on like this?” Dr. Crusher sat down
across the table from her friend.
Deanna feigned ignorance. He’d reached the bar by now. She felt his
eyes on her.
“Don’t,” Beverly warned, whispering. “Deanna, you don’t even
talk anymore. Not since --- “
Deanna cut off her friend with a look unlike any Beverly had ever seen
from the Counselor. It was almost pleading.
“What happened, Dee?” Beverly decided to try another approach.
“What happened to Imzadi?”
The mix of shock and pain on Deanna’s face and in her eyes took Beverly
by surprise. She didn’t pretend to understand the depths of the bond her
friends shared, but she did know that it was powerful.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Please. I …” Deanna got up
quickly. “I have some reports to finish.”
Beverly nodded. She knew when to stop pushing, and she had a feeling that
she had touched on a subject far more sensitive than she had realized.
“Talk to him.” She held Troi’s gaze with hers. “Will you promise
me that much?”
“I will talk to Will,” Deanna answered. “When I’m ready.” She
smiled a little. “Good night, Doctor.”
“Counselor.” Beverly smiled, as she watched the beautiful Betazoid
leave Ten Forward. Seconds later Will Riker was heading out as well.
“Let them work through this,” Beverly prayed silently, before she
went to the bar and gratefully took the drink offered to her by Guinan.
Will stopped outside
Deanna’s office, his hands clenched at his sides. He couldn’t believe he was
here, all over again. It was life’s painful irony.
He tapped his communicator.
“Riker to Troi.”
His heart was pounding; it
was actually pounding. He felt like he was a young lieutenant once again - and
she didn’t answer. He half expected her mother to materialize in front of him.
“Come in,” she offered, and he stepped forward, as the doors opened
Once he was inside, she looked at him seriously.
“I’m working, Will, and I really don’t want to have this
conversation right now.”
He laughed humorlessly.
“Believe me, I’m aware of that, Deanna. But I have one question, and
you’re going to answer me.”
“Is that an order, Commander?”
She emphasized his rank, and Will cringed.
“Of course not. Look, I’m sorry, I’m just frustrated. I thought
that --- “
He tried to lock eyes with her. She looked away.
“I thought that after what we shared the other night, we had found each
other again. Finally.”
Deanna didn’t speak, she couldn’t. There was so much she wanted to
say to him, she ached to say it. But she didn’t have the words.
“Did you have a question, Will?”
This was not how he had expected her to react. It took him a few seconds
She saw his jaw clench, noticed the pain in his eyes, and he’d turned
even paler than before. Then, they hit her. His thoughts. He was sending to her
again. Their recent union had strengthened their bond, opening up their minds to
one another again.
Why are you doing this? ~
His thoughts reflected the pain she felt from him; it flooded her senses.
“Do you love me?”
“Will, that’s not fair. Please, don’t do this.”
She reached out to him and relaxed as he took her in his arms. She
sighed, and he kissed her hair.
“I need to hear you say it,” he said. “I’m not trying to … “
He trailed off, as he felt her shiver.
She saw his eyes cloud over with concern and withdrew from his embrace
feeling the loss of his warmth immediately.
“Is something wrong?”
“I’m scared,” she said.
She was. It was evident from the look in her eyes. He didn’t know why,
but he had to ask, he had to know.
“Of me? Are you scared of me?”
She didn’t answer him. She only nodded.
And Will felt his heart break, as his world shattered into a million
Deanna didn’t go after him when he left her office. She couldn’t even
look at him. She hid her face in her hands, calling out his name softly.
“Will, please understand.”
Once he was back in his cabin, Will let his frustration and pain flow
free, and, for the first time in a very long time, he cried.
How could he have been so wrong? He took in a deep breath and went to the
bathroom. Looking at himself in the mirror, Riker didn’t see the accomplished
officer he had become, he saw the man he once was - the man who had hurt Deanna
more deeply that he had even imagined. Until tonight, until she had said the
words he had hoped and prayed he would never hear from her. She was afraid of
him. Fear. The thought gripped his heart and didn’t let go.
Will exited the bathroom and sat down on his bed.
The piece of paper on the floor caught his attention and although he knew
the words by heart, he still picked it up.
She had brought it with her that evening, and he had joked about how she
had kept it for all those years. But she had just looked at him, saying that she
had carried it in her heart always, keeping it as a memory of the love they had
Will felt like he wanted to hit something - hard.
Had, she’d said - past tense. Damn it.
It wasn’t true - he knew it. In his heart he knew she still loved him.
She wouldn’t have let him … it wouldn’t have been that strong … if she
didn’t love him. But she couldn’t say it, he remembered, not that night, and
She was scared.
The words cut like knives in his heart, but he did understand.
Even if she knew that he would give his life for hers, she couldn’t
give herself to him. She didn’t trust that he would stay. With all the years
passed, all their time spent together as friends here on the Enterprise, she
still didn’t trust him completely, and the way he wished she would.
Just as she had carried the memory of his love with her, the devastation
of his betrayal had never left her, either.
“I have to go.”
The words were spoken to no one in particular, but Will knew it was the
only thing he could do now. Staying here, having to see her everyday and not be
able to touch her, it would be too painful.
He reached for a PADD and reached into the depths of his heart and soul,
like he had done before so long ago, as he wrote his message to Deanna, his
Imzadi - the first and only woman to ever touch his soul.
The door to her office was unlocked, and Will entered to find her asleep
at her desk.
He stood there for a minute just watching her, before gently placing the
PADD in front of her. His kiss fell lightly on her hair, and although she
stirred, Deanna didn’t wake up.
She didn’t see the tears in his eyes or hear the soft words he spoke as
“I love you, Imzadi.”
She knew something was wrong even before she opened her eyes.
Something - someone
- was missing.
Deanna sat up with a start, not even noticing the PADD lying in front of
“Computer, location of Commander Riker?”
She whispered, not wanting to acknowledge that she already knew the
answer, her heart knew.
“Commander Riker is not on board the Enterprise,” came the reply.
She had been awakened by the sense of his absence - physically and
mentally - but it still didn’t prepare her for the feeling of loss that washed
over her, once it was established as a fact.
“Will ... “
His name fell from her lips almost like a prayer, as Deanna tried to
reach him with her mind.
“Please, Will, don’t ... “
Deanna knew he would never harm her, but she wasn’t sure that he would
feel the same way about himself, not with the way they had left things last
She had felt his heart break and watched the lights in his eyes fade out
... and she had let him go.
He was gone.
Her tears were warm on her cheeks, and she held back a scream as
Picard’s voice was heard through her communicator. She couldn’t afford to
break down now.
“Troi here,” she acknowledged, already on her feet. “I will be
right with you, Captain.”
Deanna couldn’t remember ever having heard nor sensed Picard so
serious. Sadness overwhelmed her, but she was unable to determine if it was
Picard’s or her own. She also didn’t care.
All she cared about was finding Will.
Will Riker had left in one of the Enterprise’s shuttles and was now
home in Alaska.
After walking around for hours that felt more like days, he had resigned
to the solitude and peace of the graveyard.
He didn’t know why he’d ended up here or even how.
It seemed like some force within him, a feeling that somehow this was
where his heart would finally be able to find some answers and begin to mend,
had driven him.
Not that he really cared - if Deanna wasn’t in his life, he couldn’t
see what good it would do him to go on. She was
his life, without her it had no meaning.
Life without Deanna.
The loss he felt was greater than anything Will had ever felt before -
the pain was physical. He had to reach out to steady himself and was startled by
the coolness of the stone he touched. Something
compelled him to look down, and when he did his tears fell without warning.
This was his mother’s grave. Riker smiled despite himself. Of all the
places he could have ended up, he was here … by the last resting place of the
woman who had given him life. Deanna had taught him to believe in fate. Here was
Will kneeled down, briefly touching the letters carved into the stone.
He closed his eyes and felt a sudden calm invade his body, and along with
it came a feeling he hadn’t ever expected to experience again.
Everything would be all right. Somehow, it would be all right. Because
just as it had been fate leading him here, letting him feel his mother’s
spirit in one of the darkest hours of his life, it had also been fate who had
brought Deanna into his life - and it would bring them back together again. It
He just had to believe, and he did, now. Again.
He smiled slightly as he called out a word he hadn’t spoken since he
was a boy; a word that held the promise of love, warmth and security, even if he
had only known her for a short while.
Back on the Enterprise calm was the last feeling anyone experienced,
especially the ship’s Counselor.
“We will find him, Dee.”
Beverly did her best to console her friend, but her own doubts were
apparent in her voice. The truth was that Will had left no trace of himself,
save the shuttle that had been found missing. Their only hope was Deanna and the
bond the two of them shared - and right now it didn’t look good.
Deanna was falling apart before her eyes, and from what she had
understood, Will had closed his mind so effectively that Deanna couldn’t even
sense him. Apparently, he didn’t want to be found.
“But what if ... what if he’s hurt?”
Deanna was sobbing, her words muffled into the Doctor’s shoulder.
“What if he’s...?”
She couldn’t say it, didn’t even want to think it. Thinking it made
it possible, and it couldn't be. Will was okay. He had to be. If he wasn’t,
the last words he would have heard from her would be ...
Deanna took a couple of steps back and sat down.
So did Beverly.
The two women were alone in the Doctor's office.
“I told him that I was scared of him, Beverly.”
Crusher had had a suspicion that Will’s decision had something to do
with his relationship with Deanna, but she hadn't expected this.
Deanna had to give the Doctor credit for not asking all the obvious
“why?” and “how?” questions. But then again, Beverly Crusher had never
been one to make the obvious choices. Besides, she probably knew she would get
only half answers, and there was no time for that now.
“As an officer I would trust him with my life,” Deanna answered.
“But when it comes to my relationship with him, I ... I’m afraid to risk
“I don’t know what happened between you and Will back then,
Deanna,” she said. “But I know that he isn’t the man he was when I first
met him. He has matured and seems content with his life as it is. Except for one
Deanna looked down, thereby offering her silent consent to the Doctor’s
analysis. She knew it was true.
“I know that, and I know he loves me. I love him too. I've never
stopped loving him, but ... I can't go through that kind of pain again, I just
can't. He broke my heart.”
“And last night you broke his,” Beverly said softly and without any
Deanna nodded, tears shimmering in her eyes.
Beverly offered a comforting smile before turning to leave Deanna alone
with her thoughts. She heard Deanna's plea and prayed that somehow, wherever he
was, Will would hear it, too.
“I need you, Will. Come back to me.”
The sweet tones of Deanna's voice came to Will in his sleep, and he
opened his eyes, hoping she would be there with him. But she wasn't, of course
she wasn't. He was alone in the room he had rented the previous night.
Was it a dream, or was she trying to reach him? He wasn't sure.
There she was again, in his mind.
He closed his eyes and cleared his mind like she had taught him. It
wasn't hard like it had been then. Although he was out of practice it wasn't
long until he felt her thoughts mix with his own
The pain that coursed through him left him breathless.
I'll be okay. ~
Will felt the sting of his own heartache subside within seconds as he
focused all his energy on sending to her. Right now he wanted nothing else but
to reassure her.
He sensed her pain subside instantly and be partly replaced by a feeling
of relief that was almost as tangible as the pain had been.
Where are you? Will, we need you here - the Captain ... ~
He picked up on the change in her emotions immediately.
I need you. ~
He felt his heart beat faster as her feelings filled his mind.
I can't. ~
He had felt the mixed blessing of their bond before, but never as
strongly as he did at this moment.
She was falling apart, and he knew he was the one causing her pain. It
seemed he was always hurting her, even if that was the absolute last thing he
wanted to do. He just wanted to love her - if she would only let him.
I do love you. ~
Her voice in his head was suddenly overwhelming to Will. It was too much.
Deanna ... ~
Where are you, Will? ~
He knew she wouldn't let him go if he didn't tell her, and he needed to
get the hell out of this room. The walls were beginning to close in on him.
I'm home. ~
Deanna ran out of Beverly's office and down the corridor to the next
Once inside, she tapped her communicator.
“Picard here, go ahead Counselor,” came the Captain's voice.
Deanna was hit by the resignation in his voice. She felt terrible. She
had been so caught up in her own pain that she had neglected her duties as
She knew Picard loved Will Riker. The two men were more than just Captain
and First Officer. Picard had become like the father Will had never really
known, and Will was one of the few people on the Enterprise, who Picard trusted
“He's on Earth, Captain.”
Deanna hoped that her enthusiasm would lift Picard's spirits.
“Will is in Alaska.”
The turbo lift came to a stop.
Deanna stepped outside and waited.
“Acknowledged. Join me in my Ready Room, Counselor.”
Deanna smiled, as she sensed the Captain's relief.
“I'm on my way. Troi out.”
Without hesitation Picard changed his ship's course.
The Enterprise was now headed for Planet Earth.
Later, Deanna was back in her office resting. She was trying to sort out
her thoughts and feelings before her meeting with Will when the Enterprise would
reach North America.
For the first time she noticed the PADD Will had left on her desk.
She felt her hands shaking as she opened it.
She breathed his name as she read his message to her. Her Imzadi - the
only man to ever touch her soul.
--- Deanna, my love,
When you read this, I'll be gone. Please know that I never meant to hurt
you, and I promise that you will never have to be afraid again.
I wish I could stay, I wish I could go back to being just a friend to
you, but I can't. It's too hard, and although I wish you all the happiness in
the Universe, staying on board to watch you find it with someone else would be
I always hoped that someday we would get there, but I guess it was not
meant to be, and I won't stand in your way. You deserve much more than I can
give you. You deserve someone who you will be able to trust with your heart,
knowing that he will never let you down.
I love you, Imzadi - with everything I am. I wouldn't be half the man I
am, without you. I wish I could find the words to let you know how completely
lost I will be without you here to light up my life, but I can't. I never could.
A long time ago I put my feelings for you into words. They have never
been more true than at this moment in time. I can't remember a time where you
weren't a part of my life, and I have never really believed or even imagined
that you wouldn't be a part of my future.' ~ Will. ---
Tears had started to run
down her cheeks when she had begun reading, and they hadn't stopped, but Deanna
She cried for the years passed and for the future they had almost lost.
Almost. She still had a chance to let him know, to make him understand that he
was the only one who could take her fears away - she needed him.
She was just about to close the PADD when she saw it, below his letter.
say I love you, I say I need you
I try so many ways to say how my heart beats for you
I say I'm always thinking about you
There's no way I could face this life without you
And even though these words come from deep inside me
There's so much more I don't have the words to say
'Cause what I really want to say
Is what the sun would say to the sky
For giving it a place to come alive
But my words get in the way
Of what I really want to say
Oh, what I really what to say
know that sometimes my words can be as hard as stone
And sometimes my words have left you feeling so alone
So please forgive me and hear the words I'm saying now
I will spend my whole life looking for a way somehow
To let you know just how precious you are to me
I'll use the best words I know but I still won't say it all'
Deanna couldn't believe it.
The feeling of deja-vú was unshakeable. But there was a difference ...
and the realization of it brought back the pain ten-fold.
The poem he had written to her in Jalara had marked what he had thought
was a beginning for the two of them.
This one, as beautiful as it was, marked Will Riker's good-bye to her.
It captured, Deanna knew instinctually, the essence of Will's frustration
but also the essence of his love for her. With these lines, these words, he had
bared his soul for her once again, one last time.
Deanna dropped the PADD, watching it fall down on her desk.
And she called out his name in her mind, called it out with a force like
never before in a mix of hope and desperation ...
Far away, Will stopped dead
in his tracks as he was hit by the powerful blast of Deanna's thoughts.
It sent him reeling, and he leaned against the nearest tree, completely
out of breath.
In an act of utter instinct he tapped his communicator fiercely, thanking
the gods that he hadn't changed out of his uniform in his hurry to leave the
He knew they would be on the way here.
Deanna would have told the Captain immediately, and Will had no doubts
that Picard had set course for Alaska instantly.
He would demand an explanation, in the very least. Riker didn't think
that his superior officer would have him reported, but he wasn't at all sure.
And right now it wasn't important. He had to know what had caused such a
powerful reaction from Deanna; he had to know if she was all right. All he could
think of was her, and he just hoped that the Enterprise was close enough for him
to be able to establish contact.
Later, he would take on whatever consequences he had to.
“Riker to Enterprise.”
The sound of the First Officer’s voice startled the crew on the Bridge
of the Enterprise.
They looked at each other, both happy to hear that the Commander appeared
to be unharmed and anxious as to what the Captain's response would be.
Beverly, who had been on the Bridge since Picard had ordered Deanna to
get some rest, placed a hand on his shoulder - wordlessly asking him to resist
letting his temper flare.
Picard nodded in agreement.
Beverly smiled, letting her hand rest on his shoulder.
“Yes, Number One?”
The crew let out a collective sigh of relief.
Picard turned to look at them, and then he looked at Beverly.
“Sir, I know I have a great deal to answer for, and I will explain
everything, but I have to know if --- “
Everyone present noted the sudden strain in Riker's voice.
“Captain, is Deanna all right?”
Will knew his question might be surprising and not what anyone expected,
but he also knew that his and Deanna's relationship - be it friendly or beyond -
was the worst kept secret on the entire ship.
“I believe she is,” Picard answered, adding, “under the
The Captain rose from his seat and gestured for his acting First Officer
to take charge.
Beverly followed him off the Bridge and walked in the direction of the
Picard entered his Ready Room and sat down before speaking again.
“Commander,” he now said. “We will be reaching Alaska shortly. I
expect to be fully briefed as to the reasons for your actions, and I want an
account regarding your plans where your future on the Enterprise is concerned.
Is that understood?”
It wasn't like Will was left with any choice.
“Yes, Captain,” he obliged.
“Good. And for future reference ---“ Picard continued, still serious.
“ --- No one leaves my ship without my approval. Not even you.”
“No, sir. I understand, and I will accept any restrictions as a result
of my actions,” Will replied, equally serious.
Will smiled a little. Picard was not giving away anything.
Will couldn't help but feel relieved. He felt fairly certain that if
Picard would address him in this informal way he wasn't preparing to report him
“Are you injured?”
“No, sir, I'm not.”
Will noted the concern in his Captain's voice and was reminded of why he
respected him so much - as a commanding officer and a friend.
“Within a few minutes I will let the Doctor Crusher and Counselor Troi
beam down to the surface,” Picard now let Will know.
Will took in a breath. He wasn't ready to see Deanna, not yet.
“Sir, I --- “
“The Doctor will see to your medical needs, should there be any,”
Picard cut him off. “And I expect you to resolve any other problems with the
help of the Counselor ... “
No protest, in fact, Riker didn’t answer him at all.
“Will, you need to work it out,” he said. “It can't go on like this
“Yes, sir,” came the tired reply, before Riker ended the
Picard contacted both the Doctor and the Counselor with a request that
they both meet him right away.
“Captain, we are ready for Commander Riker's coordinates, sir.”
It was the voice of Officer O'Brien.
Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher entered and sat down on Picard's silent
“Stand by to beam Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher down to the
surface,” he ordered before turning his attention to the women in front of
Troi looked terrible, he noted.
Her eyes were red from crying. But that wasn't what caught Picard's eye.
It was the resignation in her features that struck him.
“I have to see him.”
Deanna only whispered.
He nodded in agreement, hurting for her as he was for Riker.
The two of them was not only two of his most accomplished officers - they
were also his friends.
More importantly, they belonged together.
“I understand,” he acknowledged. “Mr. O'Brien is standing by in
Transporter Room 2.”
Troi nodded, as did Beverly.
They both stood.
“Deanna,” Picard said, getting her attention by his use of her name
instead of her professional title.
She smiled slightly, nodding her thanks before leaving with Beverly.
Will Riker was pacing. He told himself it was to keep from freezing, but
he also knew that at best this was only half the truth.
She would be here, soon.
He buried his hands in the pocket of his ski jacket and rested against
one of the trees, waiting. It was all he could do.
He turned around and stared into space, trying to make sense of his
thoughts and hold on to the last bits of control he had.
He took pride in his ability to remain in control, and he’d always been
pretty good at it, too.
Except with Deanna Troi.
She had turned his Universe upside down when they’d met all those years
ago on Betazed.
And now, today, she was his Universe – everything in his life
that had any value was connected to her.
He loved her deeply, at times almost desperately, and all he wanted right
now was to tell her.
He had to make her understand that he needed her, that he was nothing
“Are you okay, Dee?”
Beverly looked at Deanna’s pale expression, unable to hide her worry.
“I have to make him understand,” she whispered, turning to Beverly as
she continued. “I have to,
“He will,” Beverly answered, hoping that she would be right.
So did Deanna.
And then, she saw him.
Will was right there, standing just a few feet away from her.
He stared into space, seemingly lost in thought.
It was Beverly, who spoke. She had walked the last few steps up to him
while Deanna stayed behind.
Will turned around with a half-smile.
Then he frowned.
“My God, Beverly, what are you --- you must be freezing!”
His eyes flew to Deanna. She wasn’t wearing a coat, either.
“The weather wasn’t exactly the first thing on her mind, Will,”
said Beverly. “Mine either, for that matter.”
She looked at him, closer.
“I told the Captain I was fine,” Will explained, as he took off his
jacket and handed it to Beverly. “Put this on, will you? I don’t need
‘jeopardizing the health of the CMO’ added to my lists of offences.”
Crusher had to smile at that.
But Will didn’t see it. He’d hurried to where Deanna stood, embracing
herself to keep warm.
He took off the sweater he’d worn under the jacket and offered it to
her, although what he really wanted to do was offer her the warmth and comfort
of his arms.
“Will, it’s not necessary, really,” she protested. He cocked an
eyebrow at her, and she took the sweater. “What about you?”
“I’ll be fine,” he said.
He turned to Beverly.
She nodded, acknowledging that he was indeed fine – at least
psychically. Whatever wounds and scars Will Riker was hiding they were not hers
to heal or mend. Deanna was the only one who could do that.
“Crusher to Enterprise. One to beam up.”
Deanna watched Beverly shimmer away before turning slowly to face Will
One word. The only word she could think of at this moment where the cool
air cracked with the tension between them.
“I had to.”
He didn’t say anymore, and they walked in silence until they reached
Will let her inside his room.
He reached for the extra jacket and gave it to her.
“Put this on. There’s mittens on the table.”
“I’ll be right back.”
He reached for the
door, opening it.
Her hand on his arm
stopped him. He closed his eyes.
“Talk to me.”
He let go of the door
handle, closed the door and turned to look at the woman who had the power to
move him, merely by being present.
“Will, please let
me explain,” she asked.
distraught, like he’d never seen her before, and he couldn’t bear to look at
“I’ve done it
again,” he realized, not caring that he voiced his thoughts. “When I left,
it confirmed everything about me that you don’t trust.”
Will tore his gaze
away from hers.
He felt sick, and he
couldn’t stay in here another minute.
She was honest, he
knew, and he didn’t want any other way.
But it still hurt
“Well, isn’t that
His voice was filled
Deanna was clearly
taken back with the force of his words.
So was he. He
hadn’t meant to say this; he was just so incredibly frustrated with himself
and this whole situation. Why couldn’t he just say what he really wanted to,
what was on his mind and in his heart?
~ I’m scared,
The minute he’d
thought it, he knew that she knew.
He saw it in her
eyes, the surprise.
~ Scared of what,
He found himself
moving away from the door and to the bed where he sat down next to her.
He reached out and
touched her cheek ever so lightly; as if he was afraid she would break.
Deanna felt her
breath catch as his love for her tumbled into her mind in a flood of uncensored
emotions of warmth, longing and desire.
we’ll never work this out. I’m scared that you will never trust me again.”
Will had finally
found the courage to let Deanna know everything.
This was his chance,
probably his last one, and he couldn’t let it slip away.
He couldn’t let her
Will leaned in and
tucked a lock of curly hair behind her ear, resisting the urge to kiss her.
It wasn’t the time.
“Dee, please just
tell me one thing,” he asked. “I need to know.”
“It’s not too
late,” she said, reveling in the hope and relief so apparent in his eyes.
“I love you, Will.”
She loved to see him
“I have something
I’d like to show you. Will you come with me?”
She took his hand and
let him help her to her feet.
The air between them
cracked with electricity, as she let her guard down and let him bring her into
~ I need you so
much, Will. Please don’t leave me again. ~
~ I’m sorry.
I’m so sorry. ~
He held her as close
to him as possible, opening his heart and soul to her and hoped that this would
let her know what he would never be able to express with his words.
~ You are my
everything, Dee. ~
She smiled into his
shoulder, backing away from him a little.
~ You have quite a
way with words, Riker. ~
Will looked into her
eyes, desperate to make her understand.
“Not when it really
matters, Deanna. But it’s the truth. You are everything to me.”
~ I know, Imzadi.
Of course she did.
She knew him better he knew himself, Will admitted.
“It was a beautiful
letter,” she said now. “Thank you.”
Will felt his heart
fall and took a step away from her.
She watched in
silence as she felt him battle with himself.
thank me. I should be the one --- “ he trailed off. “Let me love you, Dee.
Let me show you that I’ve changed.”
He locked eyes with
She was smiling a
little, but her eyes were still serious.
“I can’t handle
the pain, Will. If we are going to try again, this time I need to know that you
interrupted by his voice in her head.
~ I will be with
you always. I promise you. ~
She challenged him,
and Will wasn’t about to back down. The commitment she was asking of him was
one that he was more than willing to give, and he had been for a very long time.
said, continuing softly. “With you, Imzadi, it has always been forever.”
He smiled, offering
his hand to her.
“Come with me.”
“Where are we
going? It’s so cold, Will.”
He smiled and took
her hand in his, happy she didn’t resist.
“We’ll be there
soon,” he promised her, as they reached their destination. He pushed the gates
open and walked up to the place where he had found solace and peace.
Deanna removed the
snow from the headstone with her free hand, not wanting to let go of Will.
“I wanted to show
you this.“ Will kneeled down, his free hand resting on the stone. “This was
where I realized that loving you is my destiny.”
“Oh, Will …”
She didn’t say
anything else, but she squeezed his hand, and tears shone in her eyes.
But they were tears
“I wish you could
have known each other,” came Will’s whisper. “I loved her so much,
Deanna let go of him,
putting her hand comfortingly on his shoulder instead.
When he turned around
and face her, she saw that he was crying.
“I don’t want to
lose you, too, Deanna. Please.”
She had never seen
him like this, so vulnerable.
“Let’s go back,
He nodded and walked
with her, his hand in hers.
He looked back over
his shoulder once, silently saying good-bye.
This place, his
mother, was a part of his past.
Deanna was his
present and his future.
He heard her whisper
and smiled, taking in the sweet scent of her hair.
They were on the bed,
in each other’s arms, where they had been for the last few hours.
They had found the
comfort and reassurance they both needed, and they had talked, baring their
souls to one another, both knowing that this was their last chance to get it
She pulled away a
little to look at him.
There was a twinkle
in her eyes again.
caressing her cheek.
His thoughts traveled
back in time, and he knew that she was there with him, at the place where it had
all begun for them.
There were still
things to work out, still wounds that needed healing, but that was all right.
They would go through
it together, work it out together.
They had been afraid
that this was the end.
Now they knew that
instead, it would be a new beginning.
They were Imzadi.
It was their destiny.
This time, Will
didn’t offer any objections.
He kissed her, and
she kissed him back.
~ I love you. ~
The words tumbled
into Will’s and Deanna’s minds simultaneously as they let go of their fears
and gave into the love they shared.
mattered, not now and not ever.