Endless Love - (A sequel to Timeless Love)
“Deanna . . .Deanna. . . Deanna.”
A very pregnant Deanna Troi paled as the whisper of a voice reverberated through her head. Beverly Crusher, who had been sitting across from Deanna chatting constantly about Jean-Luc’s birthday stopped mid-sentence and curiously stared at her friend’s change of color.
“Deanna. . .Deanna. . . Deanna,” the voice whispered again, a mixture of pain and loneliness inflicted with each syllable of her name.
“Dee, is something wrong with the baby?” Beverly Crusher asked, outwardly confused by her friends sudden withdraw from their conversation.
Deanna shook her head no, as her hand instinctively went to her stomach at the mention of her unborn child. Tenderly she began rubbing a circular pattern atop her swelled abdomen, “Its happening again.” She whispered, her eyes darting around the room, assuring herself no eavesdroppers were intently listening to them.
Beverly eyes darkened with concern, “The voices again?”
Deanna nodded, her brown hair bobbing with each shake of her head, “Beverly, I know we have been over this a thousand time, but you must understand my dilemma. There is no doubt in my mind that it is Will’s voice I am hearing, and yet he stares at me straight in the face everyday and tells me I am wrong. I don’t understand it.”
Beverly face frowned, and she reached across the table to take Deanna’s free hand and give it a reassuring squeeze, “Deanna, have you given any more thought about letting me do another in depth brain scan. I mean when the Enterprise crashed, both you and Will experienced a couple hard blows to the head. This could be results of a closed head injury.”
Deanna sighed and rolled her eyes, “Beverly I know you mean well, but four brain scans haven’t turned up anything, I highly doubt a fifth scan will.”
“It won’t, Beverly I’m a counselor, and have helped numerous patients in my day with a closed head injury. This isn’t anything like that, this something completely different.” She halfheartedly picked up the spoon in her untouched hot chocolate and aimlessly began to stir, lost in thought..
“Deanna, you can’t be sure.” Beverly pushed.
“I . . .” Deanna lifted her gaze, looked up at her friend, and dropped her voice into a conspirator-low tone “I know it’s not an injury because this isn’t just any voice, it’s Will’s voice, and it isn’t just randomly popping in my head, it’s coming from a certain area?”
“A certain area?” Beverly leaned closer, intrigued.
“Beverly, your not going to believe me when I tell you this, but it’s coming from the area I always hear and sense Will.”
Beverly bit her lip, and sat back in the booth the two shared, “Oh . . .”
“I told you wouldn’t believe me, only someone who has experience telepathy would.” Deanna picked up her spoon again, and resumed aimlessly playing with her hot chocolate, “there is certain area of the brain where my mother talks to me, certain area where I pick up Chandra, my childhoon friend sends me, and certain areas that solely belong to Will, and that is where the voice, his voice, is calling out to me.” Deanna’s face turned red and she angrily threw down her spoon in frustration. “This voice is in pain, and it needs help, it needs me.”
“Dee.” Beverly jumped back in surprise, “calm down, you have to think about the baby.”
“You think I’m nuts, don’t you. You and Will both think I’ve gone off my rocker.”
“No, honey we are just worried your nerves are compromising your health. Is it possible you could be picking up on Thomas Riker’s thoughts. Last I heard from the rumor mill, is he is in another refugee camp. Maybe he’s there and he is dreaming of you, again. He’s never given up his feelings for you” Beverly nodded her head as she spoke, hoping the scenario would convince Deanna, “Essentially he is Will, so wouldn’t those thoughts be the same.”
“No. Well,” Deanna sighed, “Maybe.” She finally picked up her now cold mug of hot chocolate and brought it to her lips to drink.
Beverly smiled, proud of getting Deanna’s mind off the subject, “Well fine, we have made a reasonable scenario that has calmed out sprits, let’s change the subject back to Jean-Luc.”
“How about we go off the subject of Jean-Luc and onto the subject of when my baby is going to be born.” Boomed a voice coming from behind Deanna.
Beverly playfully groaned and mockingly turned her face into one of horror, “Again Will Riker, I swear that is all you want to discuss.”
Deanna smiled, relieved his voice didn’t sound nearly as pain driven as the one she heard in her head, and slowly maneuvered herself around in the booth to face him. “Hi . . .” her eyes widened as she got a good look at him, “My god Will, what have you done with your hair.”
Will’s hand immediately went to his head, “Brushed it.” He made his way to the booth where the two girls were sitting and sat down, “Is it sticking up?”
Deanna hesitantly let her hand go to his hair, “It’s the color that confuses me?”
“The color?” Will turned his questioning baby blue eyes on Beverly, who just shrugged.
Deanna didn’t notice the exchange, to engrossed on running her fingers through his hair, “Will, I know it’s hard to go gray, but dying it? I thought you were above such frivolous behavior.”
“Dying it?” Will gently removed her hand from his head, placed it on her lap, and turned in the booth to face her. “Deanna I did no such thing.”
“You must of, it was so much grayer. I liked it, it made you look distinguished.” Her hand went up to his hair again, unaware of the utter confusion she was throwing him and Beverly in, “This color is so . . .unnatural. I think you should go back gray.”
“Deanna, I’ve always had this color .” Will looked again at Beverly, “Has something happened to her that I should be aware of?”
Beverly stood up wanting to avoid controversy, “I have to go.”
“Beverly,” Will stared up at her from the booth he and Deanna sat, “Beverly is there something I should know. Beverly she is talking nonsense again.”
“Will I’m sitting right next to you, please don’t talk to me like I’m not in the room.” Piped up Deanna.
Will turned to her, “Deanna,” he snapped intending to give her a piece of his mind about her tirades and their possible negative effect on their baby, but stopped short, noticing the tears forming in her eyes, “Darling, what’s wrong.”
“Your dying Will, god your in so much physical pain you can hardly stand it.”
“I’m fine.” he said exasperated, “Ask Beverly.”
“No your not,” she sniffed back the impending flood of tears, “It’s overwhelming. You’re in pain and your so alone, Will you need me.”
“Deanna I’m sitting right here, next to the woman of my dreams, you, whose carrying the most precious cargo ever in her womb, baby, on a ship filled with my best friends.” He lifted his hand and tilted her chin to meet his gaze, “As god is my witness, I swear to you Imzadi that it’s not me your feeling. Please let this whole thing drop, for me, for you,” he dropped his hand on top of hers, which was on top of her belly, “for the baby.”
“I came off to her as an insensitive jerk, didn’t I.” Will sighed looking blankly at the walls of Beverly’s office.
Beverly not knowing how to answer, buried her head in the terminal in from of her. Personally she though he did come off a little harsh towards Deanna in the Ten-Forward earlier, but she didn’t have the heart to tell him, “Will, I’m sure she understands.”
“No she doesn’t, but damn it she doesn’t understand anything lately. . .the color of my hair, why I’m not dying.” he sat up in his chair, and let his warn face fall into his hands, “Beverly I’m so scared, and like a macho idiot I’m taking it out on her.”
“Will she understands.” Beverly repeated.
“No she doesn’t.” Will repeated back, lowering his head lower into his hands, so that he could hopefully massage away an impending headache, “Beverly I want my confident Deanna back, not this shy, scared, confused one. Damn it she hasn’t been right since the accident. “
“Will she is still Deanna.”
He shook his head no, and then yes. “Yes sometimes she is, and no other times she isn’t. Espically at night. . .Everynight she calls out in her sleep for me, telling me she doesn’t want to leave, telling me I’m her completed Imzadi.”
“Completed?” Bevery repeated questionly.
“Your guess is as good as mine.” Will said with a shrug, standing up from the chair and crossing over to the side of Beverly’s office where a framed picture of the senior staff sat on a small desk. He picked it up, and gingerly placed his hand on the image of Deanna, “At first I used to wake her up from her sleep,” He let out a low exasperated breath, “however I soon learned waking up in our bed was not viewed as a good thing by her, it was a disappointment. I don’t even think she knows why she is disappointed, but it is apparent to both of us that she is.” He set the picture back down on Bevery’s desk.
“Oh Will, you must be mistaken. Deanna is crazy about you.”
“Was crazy about me.” Will corrected, reluctently walking back over to the chair and sitting down, “Now I’m nothing compared to her dream lover, her seceret voice, her gray-haired Riker
Beverly sighed and spun back in her chair, facing out towards the bio-bed where Dr. Selar was examining Deanna. “Will, she doesn’t love this voice, she’s worried about it. Although she hasn’t admitted it, I think she worried she is having a premention about you.”
“Beverly I’m not looking to be fully gray for another five or so years, so isn’t she jumping the gun a bit.” Will shot out angrily, and then bit his lip, “There I go again, shooting off at the mouth because I don’t know what else I can do.” His forever fidgiting hands shot up to his hair, and he aimlessly began running his fingers through the brown mass.
Beverly turned her chair back around to face him, “This brainscan could turn up an easy fix Will.”
“It won’t. Face it, you are a brilliant doctor Beverly, if there was something there, you would have found it in the first scan, or second,” he leaned his head to the side, “or third, or fourth.”
“I’m not that brilliant.” Beverly countered non-convincingly, “I am human, I can error.”
Will nodded, his eyes also traveling through the glass wall to where Deanna sat. Deanna head had lifted, sensing his stare, their eyes locked and Will sadly noted the disappointed, almost let down stare she unconsciously sent in his direction, to his image. “Just this once Beverly, can I hope you have errored.” He whispered.
“Yes, please. I will gladly give up my position as CMO, if it means a magic fix, and happiness for the two . . .almost three of you.” She whispered back, silently beginging to pray for the same.
“Will?” Deanna turned around and around in confusion, all around her was a disorienting thick blackness and although she could sense Will’s imminent presence near her, she could not visually see him anywhere.
“Imzadi.” Whispered a voice from the shadows.
“Will?” Deanna called out again, finding herself growing increasingly uncomfortable, “Will where are you.”
“I’m close.” The voice whispered back, “and in a few short minutes I will be there.”
“What? Where?” Deanna extended her arms into the blackness and towards to voice, knowing that if she could only touch him, she would feel better. If she could touch him, maybe she wouldn’t feel like she was going insane “Will please come out and talk to me. Please.”
“I will call you to the holodeck when I arrive.”
“But you are already here. . .aren’t you.” She began turning in circles again, her heart racing at record shattering speed. “Aren’t you.” She felt her voice become shrill, as doubts of her own sanity creeped into her head.
“Soon my love, soon.”
“WILL,” Deanna bolted upright in bed and shouted out his name.
“Computer lights, one quarter.”
The lights of her room dimmed to life and Deanna looked over to her left, hoping to find Will there for comfort. To her dismay, the bed was empty
“Computer, location of Commander Riker.” Deanna asked panicky, wringing her hands nervously. She couldn’t shake a feeling that maybe her thoughts had been right, and he was in trouble.
“Commander Riker is on the Bridge.”
Deanna closed her eyes, “the midnight shift.” She breathed a sigh of relief and started to sink back into the protective warmth of her sheets.
Suddenly the computer beeped back to life “Commander Riker is on the holodeck.”
Deanna froze in her decent, “That’s impossible.” she thought to herself, “He can’t be in two places at once.” She sat further up in bed. “Computer location of Commander Riker.” She repeated again.
“Commander Riker is on the Bridge. . .Commander Riker is on the holodeck.”
Suddenly Deanna sensed the voice the voice, his voice, in her thoughts again. “Deanna, I’m here and I can’t come see you, please, please come see me.”
William Riker sat lazily in the Captain’s chair on the bridge, recklessly letting his head fall into his hands and his heavy eyelids fall closed. He knew it was inappropriate bridge behavior, but he physically couldn’t seem to stay awake. To many nights of worrying about Deanna had finally began to take it’s toll
He groaned, “Yes Ensign Matthews.”
“Commander are you ill? Should I be calling relief.”
“No,” Will shook his head and forced himself back upright in his seat, “No I am not ill, I’m just not one for the midnight shift.” He forced a smile, causing the girl to blush, “I’ll be fine.”
The girl nodded quickly and turned back to her counsel.
The turbo-lift doors opened, “Will.”
His eyes widened at the sound of the voice and he jumped out of his chair, “Deanna, Deanna what are you doing in here.” He felt his body tense when he faced her, and saw that she was still in her nightgown,” Deanna, is something wrong?.” Silently, he wondered how many times lately he had said that to her.
“Yes there is something wrong.” She replied simply, “Computer, location of Commander Riker.”
There was a murmur of confusion as everyone on the bridge turned questioning eyes on her, which made Will squirm in embarrassment.
“Commander Riker is on the bridge.”
“Deanna.” Will tried to grab her arm and possibly move her to a more private location, but she stepped back, “Wait.”
After a few moments, Will stepped forward, “Deanna, what is this all about.”
She dropped her head, feeling immediately ashamed that she had jumped to conclusions again, “I’m sorry, I guess it was another dream.” She whispered, unable to meet his eye, already sensing his frustration and worry.
“Don’t be sorry,” he whispered back, his heart growing heavy at the feeling of her slowly closing him out of her mind, “Deanna, do you want to sit up here for awhile, I get off in a couple of hours and I am sure the Captain wouldn’t mind.”
“No, I’ve made enough of a scene today, I’m sorry.” She turned on her heels and walked out.
Will sighed and leaned forward, so that his head touched against the wall and away from the gossip eager eyes of his bridge crew. Never before had he felt more distant from her, then at this very moment. Never before had he felt more lost then right now.
Deanna halfheartedly began walking to her room to her room, unable to get excited about the eerie silence that promised her arrival. The silence, that usually encouraged that wretched voice and the overwhelming, obviously false feeling that her imzadi was in trouble. The voice that caused all of Will’s troubled thoughts and the voice that constantly made her question her very sanity.
She couldn’t make herself go back to that room. She wouldn’t.
So instead she walked past the turbo-lift that would take her to her room, ignoring the obvious surprised looks of passing crewmember, looking twice at her and her ensemble. She walked with her head held high, shoulder back, because her mother always said a good walk had the ability to clear the mind and cleanse the soul. And because the harder she concentrated on keeping her pace, the less she concentrated on her life.
She walked, she turned, she walked she turned, and without consciously realizing where she was going, she walked right to the holodeck.
“Deanna,” the voice in her head beckoned, “Open the door, please.”
Her eyes widened as she realized where she was. She quickly shifted her eyes to the left and then the right, wondering if anybody was watching her suspeciously.
She closed her eyes and quietly began a rythmatic chant under her breath, “Will is not talking to me, Will is on the bridge, Will is not talking to me, Will is on the bridge.”
“Please Deanna, I need to see you.”
She softly moaned to herself, finding it impossible to come up with a fathomable reason on why going into those doors would be a good idea, yet not finding the strength to leave.
“Deanna please.” The voice pleaded.
Deanna continued to stare blankly at the door.
“Deanna I don’t have much time.”
Suddenly her stomach lurched, as the baby gave a forceful kick to the inner wall of her right abdomen, and out of shock, she fell forward onto the door. As her forearm graced the metal exterior, an empatic wave went shot through her whole body.
“Will,” She whispered, shaken by the intensity of emotion that reverberated through her body, touching her very soul. Never before had she recalled a time, before this moment, that anybody or anything had caused such a breathtaking reaction.
Regaining her balance, her hand shot to the right and she began punching in the numeric access code.
a.. * * * * * * * The doors slid open and cautiously she entered.
“Hello?” Deanna called out meekly as she stepped in, and the doors of the holodeck slid closed behind her. “Whose in here.”
“Don’t you know?” called out the unmistakable voice of William Riker, and Deanna felt Goosebumps rise on her arm.
Cautiously she stepped further into the holodeck, noticing for the first time the lush jungle surroundings and the fresh Betazed air penetrating her nostrils.
“This isn’t funny who ever you are, so I suggest you show yourself immediately.” She called out, furious that somehow someone had accessed her personal holodeck files, “This is a private program only to be accessed by either I or Commander Riker.”
“You don’t remember anything Imzadi?” the voice asked from somewhere within the depths of the forest, and again Deanna shuddered at how this voice silently screamed Will to her senses.
“Barclay, is this your doing?”
“Deanna, do you really think Barclay could have meantally drawn you here?”
Turning to the right, Deanna proceeded to walk towards what she felt to be the origin of the voice. Strangely not frightened, just confused and a little disturbed, “Are you the same voice that has been haunting me for months?” She asked impulsively, only as an afterthought thinking how crazy the question sounded.
“I never meant to harm you or hound you. It’s just ever since you left, I haven’t been able to just carry on life. I needed to know if you were okay, I needed to know if the baby was okay.”
Deanna stopped walking, “I don’t understand?” She rested her back against a tree breathless from the walk, “Nothing has happened on the ship that would constitute a visitor from an alternate universe. This must be a trick.” She reasoned to herself, nodding her head in agreement, “Yes a trick, because I know how Imzadi works and I couldn’t have a bond with anybody but the Will on the bridge. My Will. This is just a figment of my imagination, it has to be.”
She heard a rustle of crunching leaves in the distance, “Deanna, if I’m not you Imzadi, how have we been carrying on this conversation? You haven’t opened your mouth.”
She swallowed heavily, touching her hands to her closed lips. Had she been telepathically speaking since coming onto the holodeck? She couldn’t recall.
“Deanna I’m not here to ruin your life, I’m just here for a favor.”
She sensed Will’s presence nearing, it was absolute feeling, and because she couldn’t logically reason why or how, it finally became frightening to her.
“Deanna all I want is an hour.”
Her dropped head picked up on a men’s pair of warn boots coming to her right, so she instinctively turned to the left. Closing her eyes she began to chant again, “Will is on the bridge, Will is on the bridge, Will is.”
She felt a hand on her shoulder, a light touch, “Deanna he is on the bridge, your imzadi, your Will. I am, well you could call me another version of the same man, somewhere else in another time, another place.”
She shivered, “I’ve never met you.”
“We have met, and we have loved.”
She turned, feeling drawn to the man’s words that rang so familiar, even though she could not see possibly how. “Why are you here?”
“To make sure you are okay and . . .” his face turned suddenly away from her.
“And . . .” Deanna promted, finding herself in awe of the full beauty of the mature Will in front of her.
“To possibly see our baby born.”
“Our baby?” Deanna asked doubtfully.
“Yes to see our baby and to say good-bye.”
>CHAPTER 6 > > >
”This is unbelievable.” ”What?” Deanna sighed, “This whole conversation, I am having with a hologram. It’s ludicrous, even for me the open minded one,to fathom.” She struggled to stand back up on her feet, “I think I should go back to be quarters, lay down, forget this whole incident ever happened.” ”Imzadi.” ”Damn it.” Deanna hissed, clutching both sides of her head with her hands. ”Talk to me normally, with your mouth, with your voice.” ”I’m sorry,” Will said verbally, clearing his throat for emphasis, “It’s just so much easier for me to talk to you like this. It also seems so much more natural, so much more right.” Deanna jaw dropped slightly at that comment and she watched him in silence for a moment, curiously noting the apologetic look only Will Riker could pull of successfully form on this hologram’s face, a look that always seemed to tug on her heartstrings. “Don’t apologize.” She whispered and for the first time she opened her mind up to him fully, foresaking her nagging doubts that this was a program built to drive her insane. Will gasped and his holograhc image fadded slightly, “Deanna.”.
Deanna, who had been standing defiantly beside Will, began to waver slightly as she struggled for breath. Opening her mind as she had, all of Will’s memories entered her mind and knocked all the wind from her chest. For the first time since she had returned to the Enterprise, thanks to this Will, she remembered everything from her time travel experience; the fall, Wesley, meeting Will at the Enterprise, the kiss, his need, her desires, Beverly, her needs, Will’s needs, the baby, the decision, the completion, the leaving. ”You came back for me.” Deanna asked when finally regaining her composure, her eyes glassing over as the realization of this Will’s presence sunk in, ”You traveled through time and everything to come back to me. Right?” Will’s face contorted into a sad look, as Deanna’s pain and apparent anticipation fell on his mind,”Darling, I would travel through heaven and hell for you, if I knew I could bring us together, but that isn’t possible. You aren’t mine and I am not yours. I’m sorry I did not come here to bring you to me. I’m not even here in person.” “Will I just sensed it, you want me, you need me. I can feel it, you are scared of losing me. You don’t have to lose me, I’m right here and I am your completed Imzadi.” Deanna blurted all at once, a fresh track of tears making her way down her face. “I remember you needed me, and I loved you. . .I love you now.” ”Oh god Deanna we shouldn’t be completed. We defied everything that holds time and space together. “ He ran his fingers through his silver hair, ”Deanna it took me awhile after you left to fully understand that, but it’s true. Your not mine, your . . “ he stopped suddenly, and Deanna watched the hint of color on the holograms face drain.. ”What is Will.” She asked concerned, remembering that this Will was in fragil health Will lifted his hand and pointed his finger, “You are his.”
* * * * * * The young Will Riker, who had gotten off of bridge duty over forty five minutes ago and had since been frantically looking for his wife, emerged from the shadows of the trees. His heart growing increasingly heavy as he had watched Deanna converse with what he guessed was a hologram aberration created in the image of her voice and her dreams. ”Will?” she turned around and faced him guility The modern Will Riker said nothing, but walked to the hologram and stood silently.
“Will, it’s not what you think.”
He still said nothing, the pain in this heart almost to much to bear. The hologram Will said nothing, only stared back afraid of provoking the situation.
The modern Will Riker cleared his throat, his eyes unable to be torn of the face in front of him, his face. “Why?” he finally whispeed.
“Why?” Deanna repeated, stalling. She didn’t know how to face the situation. Truthfully she wasn’t even sure what the situation was.
“Is this who you dream about?” Will turned to her, his voice and body speaking the language of a man teetering on the edge of breakdown. Tired, worn, and without hope.
“Yes,” Deanna responded, wishing she had learned to lie to him. Wishing she could have lied to him.
“Would you love me again if I turned into this man?” Will asked his eyes going back to the holograms face, “Because if it meant I could win you back from your dream I would.
“Will, I do love you.”
“Then why did you create this.”
“You did, it’s our program, except you programed a different me.” Will began to walk deeper into the forest, “I don’t understand.”
The hologram Will cleared his throat, “Will it is not what you think. She didn’t create me.”
“You’ve programed it with it’s own defense system? Deanna, what have I done to drive you away?”
Deanna stiffened, “Will I would appreciate it if you did not insult Will. I can’t understand it, but this is no usual hologram and has feelings and can think for itself. It a vision of a man that saved my life, fathered my child, and it’s my imzadi.”
”What?” Will looked at her if disbelief, “Deanna, why don’t we go home.”
”Will Riker I would like to introduce you to Will Riker. The man who rescued me and saved my life.”
”Deanna don’t.” the gray Will hissed, “he isn’t suppose to know about me. That is not why I came here.”
Suddenly the Enterprise shook and both Deanna and the young Will were thrown off their feet. A blinding flash appeared and then . . .
************************************************* ”Data what have you done.” Beverly Crusher blanched. ”Oh no . . .” Will Riker moaned from the bed that he layed, “tell me this isn t happening.” Data cocked his head to the side and stared puzzled, “I believe it is safe to assume they were standing in direct proximity to the hologram projecter when I initiated the process to transport it back. It can be presumed that they must have fallen through the hole that is created during the flux and in turn. ”you brought them here.” Will whispered. Deanna Troi and Will Riker, from the present day Enterprise, stood in the middle of the room. Will a look of shock and confusion on his face, Deanna with a look of horror. ”Where are we.” Will asked, to no one in particular.
Will Riker stared at his surroundings in a state of mass confusion, and proceeded to close his eyes and quickly shake his head to the left and right, a trick he had learned to snap himself out of a dream, if he was sleeping.
He hesitently opened his eyes, looked around and groaned, this was no dream.
“Deanna?” He looked over to his left hoping to see the same shock and disassociation he was feeling mirrored on his wife’s face, but to his horror she seemed perfectly relaxed, almost happy. “Deanna where are we?” he whispered in her left ear, dropping his voice so that the other inhabitants in the room could not hear him. In his gut, he somehow had a feeling she knew.
Deanna didn’t answer back, her eyes were transfixed on a pair of blues eyes that stared at her from across the room.
“Deanna, these people. . .they look like Beverly, and Data, and . . .” he continued, his curiousity at the familiar faces tuning his oblivious to Deanna.
Deanna only nodded her brown hair.
“Dea . . . “ his trailed off as his eyes fell to the man Deanna had immediately relaxed and seemed at ease with. His body stiffened, and his confusion transformed into silent rage.
>From over in the corner, Beverly Crusher watched the scene with apprehension. “Data” she hissed stepping up next to the android and leaning her head over to his ear “watch him.” She motion with a nod of the head towards the younger of the two Wills. She felt a growing uneasiness between the two men that you didn’t have to be a telepathic to pick up on.
The younger Will ignored the obvious warning for his behalf and stepped forward. “Do you have something over my wife?”.His eyes locked with the man across the room, and although his voice remained neutral, the fire behind his eyes told a tale of an anger and betrayal, more fierce and more passionate then anything.
“Nothing, Will.” The older Will sat up farther in his bed, uncomfortable by cold stare he was getting, knowing all to well the potential fire burning in the background “I have nothing over her.”
“Don’t lie.” Deanna piped up from the background, and both sets of Riker eyes turned curiously on her.
“Deanna I hold nothing over you.” The older Will shook his head, “We were nothing more then two starships that passed in the night. You coming back here is nothing more then a mistake.” He looked imploringly at Beverly and Data, who were quick to nod their heads in agreement.
“A big mistake Deanna,” Beverly piped up, “but we can get you back, the both of you,and forget this whole thing ever happened.” Her eyes fell directly on the younger Will’s and softened slightly, “This must be most confusing for you, but as god as my witness I promise we wonít ruin your life. Deanna helped us, by at least giving us a piece of mind and a shred of hope during a troubled time, the least we can do is return the favor by returning the two of you.”
“Your right I am confused and I donít understand.” Will muttered although completely drawn in by the familiarity of Beverly even if it wasn’t exactly her and gave a forced smile, so not to disappoint her.
“Your not suppose to understand, because you shouldnít be here.” Beverly said soothingly, as if reading his thoughts and doubts, “You should be in a more happier time, on an uncrashed Enterprise, getting ready for the birth of your unborn child. You being sucked here is a foolish mistake on mine and Data’s part, we should have never let Will convince us to send that projector back.” >*******************************************************************************
Deanna who had wandered past Will and Beverly, made her way to the side of the older Will’s bed, subconsciously pulled once again by his overwhelming pain and need, and gently sat beside him.
“How are you?” she telepathically whispered, her eyes tearing over at the sight of the dying man in front of her. Remembering the man he was when she left, she could hardly fathom the lightweight man in front of her now was one in the same.
Her thoughts so focused, she became unaware that the younger Will had been sent her message also and had turned his attention away from Beverly and towards her.
“Okay, haven’t been running lapse or anything, but i am surviving okay.” the older Will whispered back in her mind, grabbing her hand and giving it a gentle and adoring squeeze.
Deanna smiled, immediately feeling the warming presence of this Will in her mind, an attentive presence unlike anything she had ever experienced before in her life from anyone else but him. “Will you came back for me, didn’t you.” she asked her eyes widening, “because we made a mistake by separating. We should have never let ourselves become separated. Right?”
Will opened his mouth to answer, but then shut it. Unable to voice his opinion over the emotional knot forming in his throat, brought on by her presence.
“You don’t have to lie again, no one can hear us.” she encouraged.
He looked away.
“Will, I’ve been feeling this overwhelming emptiness since you’ve been out of my >life,” Deanna continued, foresaking his wandering gaze as nothing more >then physical weakness, “and although I hadn’t remembered until today why, >I knew I wasn’t where I should be. I knew that although I love the man >behind me, he wasn’t truly the one who completed me.”
Both Wills, separated by mere feet, gasped in identical surprise at her comment.
Deanna still overcome by one Will’s needs to focus on the other Will’s increasing emotional turmoil, continued, “I know the baby deserves a father and I know you wanted it to be Will because he was younger and stronger, but I don’t think that’s fair. It’s only fair that the baby have the man that most deserves to be it’s father. . .is you.”
Young Will Riker, unable to block the last sentence from repeating through his head,over and over in an eerie repetition, let go of the last piece of sanity that had been holding his traumatic life in place since Deanna’s first vision, and literally let his body shut down. He stood rooted in his place wishing he had a phaser so he could have end his life right there.
The older Will looked cautiously at the younger Will’s ashen face, and knew immediately that he had been able to pick up on his an Deanna’s conversation.
He held his finger to Deanna’s lips and motioned with his head for her to turn around. Curious, she did, and paled immediately when she saw the look of utter dispair facing back at her.
He held his hand up to her, wanting her to remain quiet, needing her to remain quiet. “Deanna,” his voice croaked and he swallowed hard, trying to quell the rising lump in his throat, “I don’t understand one thing that has happened since we’ve gotten here, except your obvious love for this man.” A lone tear ran down his cheek and in vain he quickly raised his hand to his face to swipe in off. “Can I have at least an explanation on how my wife knows this place and why she loves this man?”
“Deanna,” the older Will let go of her hand, “He needs some answers.”
She smiled weakly, knowing he was right, but embarrassed and unsure how to pursue the topic of falling in love with another man, who is essentially the same man. She sighed heavily and looked to this older Will for the support she needed. He smiled back at her, and out of habit she reached her hand to his forehead and brushed a stray hair gently away.
She regretted the action immediately when the guttural moan of her Will cut through the air. She dropped her hand and looked apologetically at him. He just shook his head, turned on is heels and walked out the door.
“I didn’t mean that.” Deanna whispered to no one in particular, “Maybe he wants to be alone.” She nodded her head trying to convince herself of the fact as well as anyone else who was listening. She wasn’t used to the nagging feeling of a guilty conscious and she didn’t particularly care for it.
Beverly who had remained quiet cleared her throat, letting her focus go directly to the remaining Will “Tell her before we botch up things any more then we already have.”
Will, who laid helplessly on his bed clutching at Deanna’s hand, blushed slightly and looked away
“TELL HER,” Beverly commanded, but Will continually ignored her plea, and rather just concentrated on the alive woman sitting on the bed next to him that felt so good.
“Tell me what?” Deanna also turned her attention to Will.
He remained silent.
Beverly snorted in disgust, “The man spoke from his heart, unlike you two stuffed shirts. That man is getting the shaft, because of both of you decided to mess around in the laws of the universe. You two decided a romp in the bushes was more important then him or . . .or her Will. Have you thought about her, or has all that slipped your mind at the first touch from this warm blooded production of your real thing?” Her green eyes narrowed with the first crazy glare in her eye.
“Beverly shut up,” Will hissed.
“NO.” Beverly pointed a finger accusing in the man’s face, “the only reason Data and I agreed to this hair brain plan of yours was because you gave us that song and dance about making the peace with your Deanna, through this one. Was that just a lie?”
BY RACHEL OLIN
“Shut-up Beverly,” his eyes narrowed, and Deanna swore she saw a glint of embarrassment flare in his blue eyes.
“Why Will, why should I shut-up as you so eloquently put it.” Beverly asked, her hands on her hips challenging him. “Why Why Why should I shut up. I’m not the facing my death with a big black mark on my record. That is. . .”
“No, Will Riker, I will not shut up. You are not my commander anymore.” Beverly smile widened to madding grotesque grin, “Deanna, why don’t you ask him why you are here. It’s not because he couldn’t live with out you.”
“It is too.” Will shot back
“No Will it isn’t, it really really isn’t, and you need to come to that realization.” Beverly looked first at Will, imploringly, then at Deanna, sadly. “I don’t hate you, you are my hero, you saved our ship and my Jean-Luc. I swear that is why I am doing this.”
“Doing what?” Deanna threw up her arms, “I’m suddenly feeling like I’m being left out of the loop here, and considering I’m the one with the empathic abilities I’m finding it rather disconcerting. Will?” She leaned over and carefully placed her hands on his withering chest, careful not to obstruct his already labored breathing “What is she talking about, let me in, let me help.”
“Yes Will let her help.” Beverly chimed in repeatedly, “Let her help.”
“Beverly you are cruel.”
“No Will, you are cruel because you are breaking apart the only chance of happiness she has . . .”
* * * * * * **
Will Riker, unsure yet of where exactly he was, or how exactly his life escalated to such horrific levels, walked aimlessly through the woods. He had no idea how long he had been walking, or what exact path he had taken to get where he was either. All he knew was that one minute he was Will Riker husband of the most perfect creature that had ever crossed his path, and now he was Will Riker alone.”
He sighed dramatically, turned to the left as if drawn by some unknown force, and continued his path. . .his eyes not really seeing the lush greenery around him, but rather his mind had ultimately focused on the light that he had witnessed first hand in Deanna’s eyes, the rosy glow that had filled her cheeks, that had magnified her beauty ten fold, and the soft musical tone of voice she had used when coming in contact with this man. This dying man, who looked like him, sounded like him, but ultimately was not him.
Aimlessly he brushed pine tree branches that clouded his path, unable to let his mind fully grasp and understand why she had looked that way. Why had she looked as beautiful as the miraculous day they had consummated their relationship on Betazed all those years ago, fully alive and fully devoted to the man in front of her, body, mind, and soul.
Coming to a clearing, Will inwardly groaned, and sat himself down on a piece of metal protruding unaturally from the ground, never really looking at what is was.
Why had she never, since their reuniting on Enterprise, ever looked at him like she had looked at . . .him. He pulled his legs up to his chest, remembering of all the times he had fooled himself into believing her looks were genuine for him, and now knowing the looks he had received had been looks of endearment but not the true imzadi looks of love he had assumed they were. Only once had she ever opened herself up fully to him as she had their, with the other him.
Never feeling so confused and alone before, he layed his head to the side, unable to lift his head anymore. The weight of everything becoming overbearing to him.
“Deanna, Deanna, Deanna,” he repeated, remarking how wonderfully perfect the name rolled off his tongue, as if his sole purpose in life was only to say that name, and how meaningless his life would be if he didn’t have a reason to say that name at least thirty times every day.
Slowly, he let his head drop to the ground and he aimlessly let his eyes roll back and forth surveying the ground at his feet. He knew as a Starfleet officer his first objective should be finding out exactly where he was, and how to get back, but right now it just didn’t seem to matter. . . .nothing seemed to matter.”
Off to the right a glitter protruding from the dirt caught his eye, and he stood himself up and forced himself over to where it was, thankful for the diverson. He stood above the object, and from first glance it looked like just a piece of broken glass.
He shook his head sadly and started to walk away, realizing how foolish it was to be analyzing a piece of glass when he had no idea where he was.
He shivered slightly and turned around to the sound of the voice, but around him was nothing.
“Will Riker it’s the trees in the wind.” He muttered to himself, and kicked the pebble by his shoe.
“Will.” The voice, no more then a whisper called out again, and again Will whipped his head up and did a double take of his surroundings.
“Deanna,” he whispered instinctively, knowing it was ludicrous assumption, but unable deny that he knew that voice.
Suddenly, before him a small illumination appeared, just above the glass that had caught his attention just moments before. A barely visible illumination, of a woman with flowing tresses and eyes that seemed to reach down to his very soul.
Dumbstruck, he fell to his knees, and began to chant an ancient religious earth pray that he had heard his mother receipt before she had died. He had no idea if it was an appropriate prayer, but to him at this moment it felt eerily right.
He stopped when he thought he heard the “ghost” chuckle.
“Deanna?” he questioned.
The illumination flashed brightly for a moment, and he shivered when he got the full glimpse of her. . . definitely Deanna.
“I’m sorry Will,” he heard her whisper, barely audible through the rustle of the leaves blowing in the wind.
He just shook his head, confused.
“Seems we’ve got our Imzadi crossed.” She whispered in response to his confusion, “they are two lost souls who have wrongfully attached. . .and I’m sorry that you’ve had to bear the brunt alone.”
Will nodded, “Tell me about it.”
She smiled, and he faintly heard that chuckle again. That wonderfully poetic chuckle, that rose the hairs on the back of his neck. He could faintly remember his Deanna releasing such emotion on occasion, and how it always seemed to brighten his next week.
“You must do something that will be hard, and may seem callous to others at first, but to ultimately save our loves it is what must be done.” He heard her whisper, and again her apprearnce briefly flashed to life and he saw her beautiful features briefly. “Can you be strong William, can you be strong enough to save our bonds.”
“Of course,” no hesitation in his voice, he would travel the ends of the galaxy to recapture what he lost.
“Are you sure.”
“Yes, what do I need to do?”
He heard her sigh, “You need to dig me up from my crash imposed grave sight. You need to exhume my body, so that my Will may put be to rest physically and mentally so that in turn he will not draw so heavily on this forged relationship he has created with your Deanna, and your Deanna may focus with . . .more of a clear head.
Will paled, he would have fought every single Borg with his bear hands, or became Borg. . .but unbury a dead Deanna? He suddenly became aware of his surroundings, and looked upon the metal he was leaning against in horror. . .it was the Enterprise.
“Will?” she asked concern evident her in angelic voice.
He only shook his head to himself, as tears began to fall in a helpless flood down his face.
His hands flew to his face and covered his eyes, the sight before him burned at his retinas with another threat of impending tears. His mind reeled as it tried to comprehend the sight of the crashed Enterprise and everything that it possibly entailed, everything it meant.
“Will?” this Deanna asked cautiously, “Are you okay.”
“What that man must be going through.” Will muttered, shaking his head, “Is more then I can imagine. No wonder he is grasping on to her, think of everything he has gone through alone, maybe he needs her. . .maybe she needs him.”
“Will you have to fight for her.” this Deanna whispered.
“How can I fight a man whose survived hell? How can I fight a man who so obviously means so much to her. I just want her to be happy, and if makes. . .”he stopped and slumped down on his knees.”
“Will, he only thinks he needs her because he is scared and lonely, and she only feels compelled to stay with him because I . . .she thrives on the thought of being needed by you . . .I mean the man I . . I mean she loves.” This Deanna’s presence flickered slightly and Will could sense some immediate internal conflict.
Intrigued, he sat up and took his hands away from his eyes, “I need her.” The words flowed confidently out of his mouth, no thought needed before he said them. “I need her.”
This Deanna seemed surprised, and drifted slightly away from his, her faint image flickering and he could see a look of shock played across her face.
“I’ve always needed her.” he said again, standing up and walking towards the aberration. All thoughts of how this Deanna could possibly be here was pushed out of his mind as the inexplicable bond between them seemed to streghten.
“You didn’t.” the voice shot out, faintly, softly, and obviously unconvinced. “You’ve loved me, I know that, but you never needed me..”
“No, untrue.” Will defended, and turned up to gaze in this ghost eyes. He was shocked to discover that this Deanna looked sad and the vibrancy in her eyes that had been previously there, was now gone. “Deanna these last couple of years, all I ever needed was you.”
“She is a batty old woman.” Will Riker said lightly, tipping his head in Beverly’s direction.
Deanna’s eyes narrowed suspiciously, “Don’t hide something from me William Riker. You can tell me anything . I will love you regardless what you have to say. You are my completed Imzadi, you are . . . “
He swollowed and looked away, “a shmuck.”
“Don’t you know that? Everything I’ve done has been soley for you.”
Deanna’s image got lighter, and Will noticed her hand went to her flat stomach and began to gently rub it, in light circular motions. She was gazing off into the distance, and from what Will could tell, silently crying her soft iridescent ghost tears.
She turned to him, and forced a lopsided grin in his direction.
“Did I say something wrong? Did I offend you?” he asked quickly, fighting the urge to run up and throw her into his arms and hug her. He had to keep reminding himself that a) she wasn’t real and b) this wasn’t his Deanna and to keep from complicating the current situation any worse, he would have to stay emotionally unattached from her.
“No you said everything right,” she said reassuringly as her eyes searched his face, for what he wasn’t sure, “now please find me, and take me home. The sooner I may be reunited with my imzadi the better, for all of us.
He nodded, bit back anything else he wanted to asked her and walked over to where he had seen that original shiny piece of glass that had caught his eye just moments before she had appeared. He looked back at her, wondering if he was on the right track, but she was no where to be seen.
“I should have known,” he called out to the empty air around him, sorry to see this Deanna, his only stability in this crazy backwords world, disappear. “I should have known,” he repeated, spying the shinning fleck out of the corner of his eye and slowly lowering himself onto the ground to dig up what he knew in his gut to be the only clue he was going to get to her whereabouts.
“A shmuck, oh Will you are truly a funny guy.” Deanna said lightly, the sparkle coming back to her previously worried eyes, “Darling you . . .”
She stopped when he held his hands up to her lips, ceasing the flow of words dead in her mouth, and causing the air around them to become silent.
“I” he began cautiously breaking the silence between them, “am not the man you are in love with and as beautiful and perfect as you are, you are not the woman I am in love with.”
As he spoke those fateful words, that he knew he would not be able to turn back on, Deanna’s luminous black eyes began to well with heartbreaking tears, which rolled in fat drops down her pale white cheeks. Yet, as his heart broke with her emotional display, he still firmly kept his hands over her lips determined to keep her silent until he had his peace.
“I was once again selfish with my intentions of contacting you, and I just assumed you wouldn’t care. I assumed you would be willing to help me.” he plead.
Deanna’s dark brow furrowed, and Beverly who had been sitting quietly in the background, cleared her throat, “Your not being to clear Will, I don’t think she understands.”
Will looked at Deanna questioningly and she nodded her head in agreement with Beverly.
“Okay, let me start again, my original intentions was to bring you back to hear my confession before I passed away. I was a horribly mate to my Imzadi and ,” he hiccuped and coughed loudly in obvious attempt to hide the sadness welling up inside of him, and he then continued before his emotions got the best of him. “I’m so afraid she won’t be waiting for me when I die, I’m so afraid she has found someone else. I failed her. . .all these years I tried and I failed.”
ENDLESS LOVE CHAPTER 11
For a long moment Deanna sat silently at the bedside of the man who she thought loved her unconditionally, and tried to comprehend everything he had just said to her. His honest, from the heart revelation in regards to his reasons for contacting her again pulled at her in two different directions. She knew she should be devastated because this was her completed Imzadi and the father of her child, and yet, surprisingly she was only laden with guilt because she was not as heartsick as she felt she should be.
“Deanna please don’t hate me.” this Will pleaded, and Deanna broke out of her thoughts and looked at Will. Immediately she sensed that he had assumed she was heartbroken beyond comprehension, and that is why she was so quiet. She also sensed his wavering health pulsing through her.
“Don’t worry about me Will, I’m strong.” She smiled and loving ran her hands through his hair. Under the circumstance she wasn’t going to disagree with anything he said. There was really no point; he was going to die. Her responsibility now would be to help him do the quickest most peaceful way possible.
He nodded, his eyes becoming increasingly unfocused, “You are strong, but Deanna you shouldn’t be alone. He needs you, your Will, and I know in time that you will realize you need him too. I know you probably don’t think he appreciates you, but trust me he does. I always did,”
She sighed, more concerned about his health and widening mental disconnection to reality then by what he was saying. “William,” she whispered leaning forward so that he wouldn’t have to speak so loud, “Do you trust me.”
“What? Of course.” He whispered
“Then I think we need to talk about what you said.”
Hesitantly he nodded, “Deanna. . .I . . . “
She shook her head no, and reversing roles she placed her hand over his mouth, silencing him much the same way as he had her earlier. “Will, you don’t need to say anything, you spoke from the heart, you spoke the truth, and as a counselor and a friend, I will help you anyway I possibly can.”
He smiled beneath her hand, and the corners of his eyes crinkled in common Will Riker fashion. She knew it wasn’t a mocking smile, or a smug smile, just a grateful relieved smile.
Deanna smiled back, internally gripping herself for what she expected to be probably the hardest “session” of her life. Slowly she lowered down her hand, and he began.
Will Riker sat back on his butt with a thud and wiped three hours of sweat from his brow. It had been a long time since he had done such manual labor and to his discomfort it showed.
“Deanna, Deanna Deanna. . .where are you hiding.” He chided lightly to himself, trying to push out of his mind a small nagging that had been plaguing him since she had disappeared, what kind of shape is this Deanna going to be in if or when he finds her. Bones, is the best scenario he could possibly think of, which didn’t please him. Then, of course, there was the possibility of her being still partially skinned, bloated, blue, rotting, and only her dark charcoal eyes staring blankly, her smile . . .
“No,” he reasoned shakily, sitting back up on his knees and whipping his head back and forth in hopes of loosing the picture he had so perfectly etched in his mind, “she wouldn’t have want me to bring her to him if she was grotesque. She couldn’t . . .god please.” He dug his hands back into the dirt. She wouldn’t do that to him. He was strong, but not that strong, and if anybody knew his breaking point it was her. Even if it wasn’t his Deanna he’d eventually find, it was a Deanna.
Meticulously he dug his hands further into the black earth, and he forced his mind to drift to his Deanna, his beautiful pregnant wife, and he speculated how she would react to him bringing this Deanna to the man she had professed her love to. Would she be angry with him, or would she understand. He only wanted to make her happy and even if she didn’t agree with what he was going to do immediately, he had a gut feeling she would learn to appreciate what he did later. T
Abruptly his hand sunk rapidly into the dirt, surprising him, and causing him to loose any further train of thought on the subject
“Shit,” he groaned, pulling back his hand out from the hole where it had disappeared. “Yuck,” was the word that came to his mind next as he analyzed what appeared to be greenish yellow slime sticking to his hand and oozing from the hole in the ground it had come from
“Great, this is great.” He stood up in disgust. “I must be the luckiest man in this whole damn planet. He began to pull the chunks off his fingers. One particularly large clump at his wrist annoyed him the most and with his forefinger and thumb he plucked it off.
“Good-bye filth,” he flicked his finger and the chunk flew through the air and hit a nearby rock with a clank.
Curiously Will turned and walked over to where he had thrown the slime. He knew there was no reason for something of plasma form to come into contact with a rock and make that sound.
Easily he picked the contrasting green of the black dirt, picked up the chunk, and rubbed the plasma piece on his pant leg.
“Deanna. . .” he whispered melodramatically as her comm badge appeared beneath the green.
Shocked, he let the comm badge fall from his fingers before he ran full force back to the hole and threw all his energy into digging.
ENDLESS LOVE CHAPTER 12
“Deanna I loved you so much.” Will began, and Deanna gulped heavily when she realized that he was no longer looking at her, but through her. His mind was slipping, slipping fast.
Heavy with child, Deanna managed to lean forward and lay her head down lightly on his chest. She wasn’t sure if she was doing it to comfort him or herself.
Will smiled, his eyes still transfixed on the spot above her head. “You were my stars and my moon, by home, and I wanted to give you the world. . .because you gave me everything, your love gave me everything.”
“I love you too.” she whispered.
“But I was a bad fiancée I cheated, I cheated and spent long nights away. I promised you an exciting life, empty promises. I only gave you empty promises” he continued, and Deanna, stunned lifted her head in shock. This suddenly was a new revelation and she wasn’t so sure she wanted to hear it anymore.
“I didn’t love, but I cheated because it was exciting and because I thought, no I didn’t think, I didn’t think, I cheated because I had this impression that I was better then everybody. I had my perfect life and nothing was going to bring it down.”
Deanna feeling her sanity starting to crumble, and yet knowing she could neither run away from these life shattering words, or beg him to stop, remained quiet and slowly began to rock herself back and forth in her seat, and rub her swollen stomach.
“And then our drifting began, our drifting apart. I don’t know when exactly, or how, just one minute we were together every spare second and the next minutes we were nothing more then roommates, passing through our lives with a nod or a quick peck on the cheek. I wanted to stop the drift and I couldn’t. I wanted to grasp you and hold on to you, and tell you I wanted to get off the ship, and get a real home and make a life somewhere, anywhere else. But I couldn’t. She got in the way. My mistress, my seductress, calling me all hours of the night and demanding my presence. Demanding more and more of my time, minutes turning to hours, hours turning to days on end. She was overwhelming me and I was helpless. I see now I was a prawn to her, but then, then I was blind.”
Deanna’s face got whiter, and her rocking increased. She looked over to where Beverly was seated for a friendly smile, moral support, something to distract her, but noticed with dismay Beverly was no where to be seen and she was now alone. Alone with a man, who was telling her secrets about her life that she frankly didn’t want to know.
“And then the crash, and I sent my beautiful future wife, my treasure, my bright spot off with Worf. Pleading with him to be gentle, pleading with him to take her away. I never did anything so hard in my life. I was almost selfish and let her stay, but I couldn’t. She deserved better, and I had to stay with the Captain. The captain and her.” Will’s blue eyes clouded over and he began to shake his head back and forth, his body began to buck wildly in his bed and his blue eyes rolled into the back of his head.
“Will, Will.” Within an instant Deanna jumped from her seat and held him down. His pupils were gone, and she was sure he was seizuring.
“Beverly.” she screamed, a panic welling in her chest. “He couldn’t die, not yet. His confession left so many unanswered questions.
Beverly, who had been sitting outside on the porch, eavesdropping, ran into the room knocking over books and chairs in her way. She took one look at Will and pushed Deanna out of the way.
Helplessly Deanna fell backwards into the wall and became an unwilling spectator to Will’s fight for his life.
Will Riker pulled Deanna Troi’s lifeless body out from underneath the plasma river he found, dumbfounded and a little shocked. This body, which he had no doubt in his mind was this world’s Deanna Troi, hadn’t aged a day in the twenty-one years. She was perfect, flawless, not a scratch or tear anywhere.
“Deanna how in the hell did you get in there?” And what in the hell is it?” he asked outloud, not really expecting an answer.
Carefully he carried her from within the river and gently placed her on some nearby grass.
“A sleeping beauty.” He smiled to himself as his eyes began to systematically take inventory of her. Once satisfied that she was in one piece, he slowly bent down, and with the tenderness of a lover began to clean her up. He knew bringing her back in any condition would probably be looked on favorable, but he was motivated to not just bring her back but to bring her back beautiful. She deserved that.
ENDLESS LOVE. Chapter 13
“God Will, snap out of it.” Beverly did her best to hold down Will Riker’s broad shoulders as he continuously bucked beneath her. She had done this countless times before during his sickness, but she had to admit to herself that this was definitely the worse, and that in all likely hood he may not make it back to normal. He may not make it back at all.
“Can’t we call someone, anyone to help?” Deanna whispered from behind her, and Beverly bit her lip. How could she explain to this woman from another time that it was pointless and that if anybody knew Will was alive with this disease he and everyone around him would be exterminated. People regressed since the dissolution of Starfleet; people now killed what they didn’t understand, this was a different time and a much different place.
“No.” was Beverly’s only response.
Deanna, who had pressed herself against a nearby wall, conflicted; alone, nodded numbly and loving patted her stomach. Ever since the pregnancy, that was her posture when she was scared or frightened. One hand on belly, soothing, protecting, and trying to comfort her baby and at the same time draw comfort from her baby.
“Any-one here?” called a voice faintly from outside.
Deanna cringed; it was Will, her Will, her cheating husband back to reclaim his knocked up wife and unborn child. The uncharacteristic thought rushed through her head and she found herself embarrassed. A man was dying and here she was letting her hormonal thoughts work in overdrive. She had to be logical. She just didn’t know if the confession had been real or a product of delusions. She felt it was real with every empathic sense in her small frame, but she just didn’t know.
“Deana, get him. We must hold down Will. Until this episode is over” Beverly screamed, knocking Deanna out of her self-indulgent thoughts.
“What . . .Okay.” she quickly muttered, and ran for the screen door.
***************************** Will Riker had cleaned up this Deanna at a near by river bed, and as he looked down at her perfect features, he couldn’t help but find himself feeling so incredibly sad. How could this Will have lived all these years without this woman, this light.
He sighed, and with much hesitation realized he could be very well living without his woman, his light, if and when they returned to the Enterprise.
“Damn it Riker, you took her for granted when you had no competition for her time, and now you’ve paid the ultimate price.” He cursed aloud, and his thoughts went back to a time he and Picard had spent an all nighter in the Captain’s ready-room preparing tactical maneuvering session that they had planned to run the crew throughout the following day.
Picard had sat back in his chair at some point, gazing blindly through Will, and had proclaimed his wife had claimed him for another evening. Will, who had buried himself in old flight records, had lifted his head up, thoroughly perplexed, and had asked the Captain if he and the pretty Beverly Crusher had done more on the last shore leave then archeological digs. No the Captain had responded, to Will it seemed with almost a little sadness, but had replied that he had dubbed the Enterprise his wife because she always seemed to nag, whine, and demand his attention at all the most inopportune times. He had said she was never happy with his performance, and always demanded more, more, more until the point of exhaustion.
Will Riker smiled to himself, when he remembered the thoughts running through his head that night. Mainly thoughts that the Captain needed a woman now more then ever and how sad it was that the man never married and now was referring to his job as his wife.
“But I was a naïve fool. Never brighter words were spoken.” He realized sadly. He had put his life on the ship, with Deanna, on hold to many times for the Enterprise . . .his mistress.
“Will come quick . . .please.” a voice wavered through the air and towards his ear.
Will Riker looked up and to the house about forty feet in the distance. Deanna was outside, calling him, and waving her hands wildly.
“The baby?” he assumed out loud, before gripping the body in his hands tighter and breaking into a dead run.
************************************** Horribly out of breath will staggered up the front porch, his eyes searching through the screen for his Deanna and signs she was okay.
“Will I need you help.” Beverly screamed, sensing his presence, and Will finally saw the body beneath the older woman’s hands unnaturally lunging up and down beneath her hands.
He quickly grasped the handle and jerked the door open.
“My lord?” Will said quickly, eyeing the bare furnishings warily and trying to find somewhere to put this Deanna, fast..
Curious at what was taking so long Beverly who stood by the older Will’s bed, and Deanna who had been trying to avoid her husband and took residence the farthest from the door possible, turned and looked at him and the woman in his arms.
“My god. . . “ Beverly let Will go, and her arms involuntarily dropped to her side. She wasn’t sure if she was about to laugh or cry.
Deanna just turned pale as she saw her husband; covered head to toe in dirt, holding this lifeless her like it was the most precious cargo in all the world. She knew by the mere exhaustion etched in his face that he had probably killed himself physically and mentally in order to bring this woman here, to this man that she had hurt him so bad with. He, like always, had put his own feeling aside for someone else. Her brown eyes searched to lock with his blue ones.
Deanna wiped tears coming down her face, as she realized with the utmost clarity that even if this man had been ignoring her lately, and even if he did have a mistress, her place was beside him now more then ever. He was still her lifeline; her soul mate and they could work through whatever has happened. She still wanted him, needed him and they had been through too much to give up their relationship without a fight.
And the older Will miraculously stopped his seiurzing in mid-air, as if an unknown invisible presence had suddenly given him a medical cure and was now supporting him in an upright seated position. His blue eyes were now rolled completely forward and they were so tenderly focused on the body that even the younger Will Riker felt tears threatening their decent down his face.
Young Will’s blue eyes searched out Deanna’s brown ones, and when they finally locked, the impending tears began to flow in a steady stream down Will’s face.
“You can put her on the bed next to me . . . please.” The older Will whispered, “Please.”
Will looked imploringly at Deanna when he had heard his older versions request. He didn’t want to cause her pain by setting this lifeless form next to the man she loved, and so he searched her eyes her face for what she wanted him to do.
“Go ahead.” Deanna whispered.
Will then looked at Beverly, “Is that okay with you Doc?”
Beverly smiled sadly, it had been too many years since someone had called her Doc, “He’s the boss,” she said quietly tilting her head towards the man on the bed, “by all logic he should be dead, so I’m going to step back and let him take over his own treatment from now on. He seems to be doing a better job then me.”
Will nodded and finally met eye contact with the older Will, who had since managed to sit up. “Please.” His voice was now reduced to a horse whisper, but the utter need was still evident.
Will nodded and sat gently placed her down on the bed next to the older Will, who looked down at his beloved fiancée with a mixture of awe and utter contentment.
“She is still beautiful.” He silently mouth, only audible to the younger Will given his close physical proximity.
Will sighed as his eyes wandered to his Deanna who was still was pushed against the wall, watching the unfolding turn of events around her in disbelief, “Yes, yes she is still as beautiful as the time when I first saw her.
“On Betazed.” The older Will finished, finally extending his shaky hand to his Deanna’s face.
“Yes, on Betazed.” Will smiled, and his eyes now not only gazed at Deanna but virtually held her in an impendrable stare.
“Do you think she has forgiven me.”
Will finally broke his gaze with his wife to look at the elderly man before him, “I know she has, because believe it or not she appeared to me in the woods. Asking me to find her, so that the two of you may finally be reunited.” He put his hand on the man’s back, “She is still crazy about you.”
The older man chuckled, “I forgot how full of myself I was at your age.” His eyes however did seem considerably happier by Will’s revelation. “She said she was waiting for me then. Then she has forgiven me . . .for. . .her?”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Deanna, who had been idly watching, felt her breath get caught in her chest. Now the truth was going to be given, now, once and for all she was going to find out if her husband has had the affair yet, and if so, with who.
“Yes, I think she is more understanding then both you and I, or well I and I give her credit for.” Will said mildly, flinching slightly when he felt Deanna’s horror surfacing to the depths that he could pick up on. She was jumping to conclusion, which he found both surprising and a little flattering. It was kind of nice to know she still cared about him enough to feel the sparks of jealously ignite. Maybe she did still hold feeling for this verion of Will Riker as well.
“But all those hours, all those nights, missed dinners, missed dates . . “ the older Will continued, “I wasn’t a good mate, I let my Imzadi down..”
“I know we have been dumb.” the younger Will sighed, nodding his head up and down empathetically “The Enterprise was an unfair wedge into any relationship, and could often be the mistress, but I’m sure she knew. . . I can’t be for certain, but I’m sure she knew that we always always loved her and only her.” He looked at Deanna then searching for her eyes before he continued.
“We,” he motioned his hand between him and the older self, “have spent countless nights wondering if you truly understand that although we often get pulled away from home life for duty, and that we often get last minutes orders that screw up days worth of events, that we never ever want that to come between us. We often have lost our direct path down the road of eternal bliss and we will probably find ourselves on detours again before this marriage is over, but we always always find our way back to you and we hope you always understand that although we are passionate about our job, our friends, and other family members, that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing is as important as you.”
Will looked at Deanna self consciously at the end of his speech, and was relieved when he met with the glistening eyes of his beloved Imzadi, who cautiously made her way over to the bed.
“Imzadi,” she whispered, “I’m sorry I doubted you.”
He stood up and opened his arms to her, “I’m so sorry I took you for granted. Please, let’s not dwell on the past, and mistakes, just don’t doubt me, love me, accept my faults and I promise to love you forever.
Over on the other bed, the older Will felt another seizure coming on, and bit his lip. He silently grabbed his beloved Deanna’s hand, and lowered himself down onto the bed. Somehow he knew she, his wonderful fiancée, had heard the wonderful pleas of his counterpart, and now he was determined to join her and once and for all be at peace. He closed his eyes, and he waited. . . .