Deanna Troi had never been so scared in all her life. The Enterprise was spinning out of control towards Earth, despite the heroic attempts of both Captain Jean-Luc Picard and William Riker to regain command of the vessel, and was within seconds of turning into a fiery ball. Jean-Luc Picard stood tall on the bridge of the ship. He hadn’t let his
eyes go anywhere except the viewscreen in front of him. He was having a hard time comprehending that he was about to lose his ship again. “Captain,” Will Riker cleared his throat, he to was frightened by this whole fiasco. One minute they were celebrating there missions near completion and the next minute a cloaked Romulan Warbird fired on their ship, damaging the hull, the steering mechanism, and the capabilities of successfully separating their ship. “Number One, I want you to initiate the evacuation alert,” Picard ordered,
his voice cracking with emotion. “Captain, are you sure we can’t pull this out?”
“Now Number One!”
Will nodded and began to punch madly at his counsel. Deanna noticed a slight shake of his hand as he went. **Will?** she selfishly telepathically called, wanting him to look up at her and tell her everything was going to be okay, and once this was over they would get married, like planned. He briefly looked up and met her gaze, but the words she had so desired from his lips never came. Only a look of terror met her eyes, a look that sent a chill down her spine. Seconds later a computer programmed announcement blared over the ship, instructing crewmembers and their families to calmly make their way to the evacuation pods immediately. At once Deanna grabbed her head in agony, the emotions on the ship and just been throw into overdrive. Picard turned briefly away from his view screen to address his crew, “I am riding this out till the end, all those who want to leave may leave, all those who want to stay may stay.” Deanna felt her head swim at those uttered words, words of a man about to face death head on. Will stood up from his seat, “I will stay too.”
“No,” Deanna mouthed, she tried to get up from her seat, but all her strength had left her body. A gray smoke started to fill the Captain, causing many of the bridge crew to panic and make a dead run for the turbo-lift. Deanna stood up, never letting her eyes leave Will, “I’ll stay too.”
“NO.” Will shot out, he blindly made his way over to her chair, roughly grabbing her by the arms and yanking her up, “GET OFF THE BRIDGE.” Chaos erupting all around her, she felt her mouth drop and her world stop,
and she was taken aback, she had never expected that to fly out of his mouth, “Will, if you are staying, I’m staying too.” Will dragged her up the stairs of the bridge, gasping and choking on the smoke, and over to Worf. “Worf, as an officer under my rank and as a personal favor, please escort the Counselor into an escape pod and off the ship.” Worf looked at Will in shock, “I can stay Commander, you go with her.”
Will shook his head, “I have to stay next to my Captain, if I can save that stubborn man’s life in anyway I have to. Please Worf, there isn’t much time, please.” Deanna, who had been fighting Will’s grasp since he had pulled her out of her chair, became perfectly still. She was slipping into a meditative state, trying to reason with Will mind to mind, imzadi to imzadi. **Will, don’t do this, we belong together, always.” Will turned from Worf to face Deanna, his face streaked with soot from the smoke. The only clean spots on his face being where the tears had made their path down, “I have to.” “NO.” she screamed, Worf walked behind her, briskly grabbed her around the
waist, and hoisted her small frame over his should. She began to hysterically fight him, biting, kicking and screaming profanities. “Run Worf.” Will ordered, before retreating to his spot on the bridge next to the Captain. He didn’t dare turn around and see her retreat. He wasn’t sure if he’d be able to refrain himself from running after her.
~~~~~~~ “Worf I demand you let go of me.!” Deanna screamed, pounding her tiny fist on the massive Klingon back. “I can’t, I’m following Commander’s orders.”
“You’ve never been prone to following them before.”
“They’ve never made this much sense before,” he growled, signifying the end of discussion. The Klingon was having problems of his own, trying to find a free escape pod for the two of them, and didn’t feel like listening to her whining about not being allowed to die with Riker. It was degrading to her to stoop to such levels and it was degrading to him to be forced to listen to it. “Worf?” Deanna yelled again, but given the current noise level and panic on the ship, her cries were lost amist the sea of voices. “Worf?” she yelled again.
The sound of ripping metal drowned out this cry, as the ship ripped in
half. Worf’s sure footing failed him and he fell to the ground, hitting his head. His release on her faltered, and she went tumbling to the ground in a heap. “Worf?” She crawled on the ground to check on him, but the ship split
again, and she helplessly slid through a crack in the floor, she tried to grab something, a stranded wire, broken cable, protruding pieces of the ship, but her attempts were all in vain, she fell helpless out of the ship. **Imzadi** her mind screamed. A ripping sounded again, her world went black.
On the bridge, impact seconds upon them, William Riker looked at Jean-Luc Picard, who sat calmly in his seat. “Captain, don’t you think we should brace ourselves or something.” The Captain, surprisingly calm, smiled back at his first officer, “You can if you would like, you have Deanna. This ship is my life and I will not go down cowering. I will go down with my head held high, dignified.” Will looked at him in amazement, he truly admired this man. He then forcefully knocked him out of his chair and onto the floor, laying protectively over the top of him. He admired this man to much to let him die. The ship hit earth, William Riker’s world went black.
Deanna felt a drop of cold water touch down on her face, and she casually brushed it away, never opening her eyes. Within seconds another one fell onto her face. “Will, please stop.” She muttered.
Thunder struck and her eyes immediately opened. She wasn’t in her room and that wasn’t Will playing a practical joke on her. She sat up in the bed of green grass she had landed in, grabbing her head
in agony as she did. She wasn’t sure where she was, she didn’t remember the specifics of how she got here. She remembered her tearful goodbye to Will, and Worf’s kidnapping to the escape pod, but beyond that was a total blank. She casually looked down and gasped at her right leg, which laid grotesquely at her side, in an unnatural position. Instinct had her reach for her badge, “Troi to Enterprise.”
She closed her eyes and coached herself not to panic. It didn’t necessarily mean Will was dead. The computer could have been knocked out in the crash. “Troi to anybody.” She called again on a more open frequency. Right now Barclay would be a comfort. Once again her attempts were met with silence.
She closed her eyes, panic was just bubbling under her skin, she didn’t sense Will, at least not strong enough to assure that he was alive, and the usual presence of her mother was no where. Tears sprang to the corner of her eyes, she was alone she was all alone. Far off in the distance, the sound of laughter, perked her spirits. It was children’s laughter. Slowly she tried to stand up on her good leg, she made it up to a sitting position, before she screamed out in pain. She needed help, and she needed it fast. “Help!” she called out, trying to scream. The childrens’ laughter died down, she closed her eyes, mustered her strength, and yelled for help again, the pain was creeping up her leg and into her thighs and she wasn’t sure if she was going to pass out before help arrived. “Lady?” a little girl’s voice rang in Deanna’s ears, and she slowly opened her eyes to be face to face with a young girl, no older then five or six, with orange ringlets and bright green eyes. Deanna tried her best smile, not wanting to intimidate the girl, “Hi there,
what’s your name.” “Frita,” the girl responded, eyeing Deanna’s badge with curiosity.
“Frita, are you here with anybody else.” Deanna questioned.
“My brother. . .can I have that metal thing pinned to you.”
The pain in Deanna’s leg pulsed throughout her whole body and she desperately fought a wave of nausea washing through her. If Beverly were with her, she would prescribe shock in a heartbeat. However Beverly was not with her, nobody was with her. “Lady, can I have the pin or not.”
Deanna opened her eyes and once again tried to focus the question at hand,
“My pin, maybe, can you get your brother for me.” “Yeah, hold on.” The girl bounded back to the distance and emerged five minutes later with a boy, no older then fifteen or sixteen. He looked at Deanna, eyed her pin greedily, and then looked at her leg. “Lady your in trouble.” “Tell me about it.” Deanna replied sarcastically, getting increasingly frustrated with the idle chit chat she was being forced to participate in, “Listen, I need help. I’m not sure where I am and I need to get to the closest Starfleet base immediately. Will you help me.” The boy snickered, “Lady are you a few short of a full deck?”
“Listen, I can get you to a doctor, but that’s the best I can do, Starfleet bases haven’t been around for a good twenty years.” Deanna paled, “Where am I?”
“Earth?” the boy said, shooting a look to his sister implying Deanna was indeed a little crazy. Deanna shook her head again, she wasn’t going to worry about a few uneducated children not knowing about Starfleet. If she could just get to a doctor, an educated doctor, he could help her, she was almost sure of it. “Fine, forget I said anything about Starfleet, will you please get me to a doctor.” “It will cost you.”
“If you give us your pin, we will get you to a doctor. Assuming we can
stop by our collector and he can say if it is real or not.” “And if I don’t,” Deanna asked, not believing the heartless calculating words coming from these two children that had lifted her spirits earlier. “We leave.” The boy answered.
Deanna nodded and looked pleadingly at the little girl. The little girl looked at her brother, and then at Deanna, “We leave.” Helpless, hopeless Deanna nodded, “Get me to a doctor, and you can have my damn pin.” The two smiled, and walked over to Deanna. Each got on one side of her, and helped lift her to her feet. She smiled, gritting her teeth at the pain this movement was causing her bad leg. She took one small step, her head spinning uncontrollably the whole time. Frita, the little red head with the frizzy hair, stared up at Deanna in alarm, as the woman’s face drained of all color. “Lady are you okay.” “No,” she whispered, before falling into blackness once again.
“Are you sure we should have brought her here and not right to the emergency room?” Frita asked her brother, looking over her shoulder at Deanna, who her brother was dragging through the woods by her boots. “I’m not getting involved this any crazy person, unless that pin is as genuine as it looks. I mean if that’s the one Crazy W is looking for, it could mean big, no huge dollars.” Her brother answered, “And anyway, she’s not totally bad looking, maybe her and W can hook-up, they both seem infatuated with the whole Starfleet thing.” “But she is sick.”
Her brother stopped out side a white picket fence, “You stay here with her, I’ll go get the big guy.” Frita nodded, “Tell him to hurry, I would feel really bad if she died or something.” Her brother rolled his eyes, and headed up the broken cement walkway to the small one room house. He knocked on the door, “Crazy W, we hit the jack pot.” He yelled. “It’s to early in the morning Jake,” called a man’s voice from inside the
house. “CW it’s kind of urgent, we kind of have a woman bleeding to death out here and if you could just tell us if her pin is a genuine Starfleet thing, we will be on our way to get her to a doctor.” Frita’s brother said nervously, starting to wonder if maybe he should have brought the strange lady to the doctor first.” He didn’t have long to dwell because the door flew open and the burly, dark-haired man they referred to as Crazy W came barreling out. “What the hell have you kids got me into now. What’s with bringing me a lady on her death bed.” “CW she was hurt before we found her, and she’s got one of those pins you collect.” Frita stated quickly, her hyper five year old personality coming out, “She’s got the pin you were looking for.” CW, highly doubting that this woman could have the pin he had been searching for, roughly opened his fence. He looked down at the pale unconscious woman in the grass, and his heart stopped in his chest, “My god.” “Do you know her CW?’ Frita asked, wanting to believe that this woman was CW princess, she liked love stories like that. The big man bent down and stared at the woman, he couldn’t believe it, it was impossible, the woman in front of him was to young to be Deanna Troi of the Enterprise. “She’s as crazy as you are CW. She wanted us to bring her to a Starfleet base, funny huh?” Jake continued. The man, not really paying attention to the children, gently fingered the clasp of the woman’s pin making the thin object fall into his hands. He flipped the object around and stared at the back, engraved were the words, Commander Deanna Troi, along with the woman’s identity number. He looked back down at the women in her regulation Starfleet uniform. He had no idea what to do. “Payoff CW? We should get this woman to a doctor.”
The man looked up at the two children, “You will get paid, but this woman isn’t going to a doctor.” With ease, he lifted Deanna up from the ground and made his way into his house. The curious children looked at each other, shrugged, and followed him in. “She’s got to go to the doctor CW, she’s sick.” The man looked at his two faithful workers, who had scoured these woods looking for remnants of the fallen Enterprise, and decided they could be trusted. They had kept his existence a secret for longer then he could remember, “If she is who I think she is, she is not from earth and therefore no Earth doctor can help her.” Little Frita gasped, “An alien?” Neither child had been alive during the existence of Starfleet, therefore the thought of life from another planet baffled them. The man nodded, laying the woman on the bed and began to check her vital signs. To his relief she was still alive, to his horror she was barely alive. He rolled his sleeves up, he was going to have to do a little home operation.
“Is she going to be okay CW?” Frita asked, she was sitting the rugged man’s lap in a rocking chair.
“I don’t know kid, but I hope so, I really hope so. That woman’s has got to have the most amazing story to tell.”
Frita’s brother, who had fallen asleep in the corner, stirred awake, “What time is it?”
“Shoot, we’ve got to get home before Dad.” He shot up and grabbed his sister’s hand. The man they referred to as crazy W also got up, reached into his back pocket, and pulled out his wallet. He opened the black wallet up, and pulled out two crisp twenty dollar bills. The kids, wide eyed and greedy, eargerly held out their hands. He smiled and held the two bills just out of their reach.
The kids groaned, and held up their right hands, “We swear not to tell a living soul what takes place here in the woods.”
The man nodded approvingly and handed each child a bill, “Come back tomorrow, if she lives through the night, I will have more work for you.”
The children nodded and left, CW went back to his rocking chair to wait.
Around four in the morning, Deanna began to cry out hysterically. CW awoke and ran to her.
“Deanna your safe.”
“Will is it you, oh god Will I had the most awful dream.” her hands waved wildly to the air and grasped for the man in the shadows.
CW got up from his chair and went to her, he sat on the bed, and grabbed her hands which were hot and sweaty. “Deanna darling you are running an extraordinary fever. Please try to calm yourself down.”
“Hold me Will, that dream scared me more then you could ever believe. Hold me please.” her voice begging, sounded no more adult or mature then young Frita.
CW lifted her head slightly , slipped underneath, and laid her head back down gently on his lap.
“Will why won’t you hold me.” she sobbed.
“Deanna please sleep, we will discuss all your questions in the morning.” He laid a reassuring hand in her hair and gently began to run his fingers though it. Never in a million years did he see himself in this predicament.
Deanna awoke first, and without opening her eyes, ran her hands along the man’s torso. It was only a dream after all and she was safe, aboard the ship, with Will. She opened her eyes, and stared at the large burly man beside her. He wasn’t Will, she screamed.
CW awoke with a start, “Deanna.” He jumped up from the bed so not to alarm her further.
She sat up, “Who are you?” she looked madly around the room for a large blunt object to throw at the man, he was obviously some pervert preying on helpless wounded females.
“Deanna where have you been?”
“Where have I been is not important, where am I now on the other hand is? And who are you?” she made her way over to the side of the bed farthest from CW and closest to a large dictionary sitting on a book table. It was the only thing that looked like it would hurt, if the need arose for her to throw it at a man’s head. A large, burly strange man’s head.
“Deanna, my name is Wesley and some kids brought you to my house in hopes that I would be able to help you. I have no intentions to harming you, but I am curious to know where you’ve been.”
Deanna looked at the man oddly, “Do I know you? You are talking like we’ve met before, but I’m very good with a face and I know I don’t know your face.”
“Deanna, my name is Wesley Crusher and yes I believe you know me quite well.”
Deanna’s face flushed, as she became increasingly alarmed. This man was not only perverted but he was nuts as well. She swung one leg over the bed.
“Deanna, I wouldn’t do that.”
She ignored him, fearing that any adult male who tried to pass himself off as a twenty-year boy was not only nuts and perverted, but also dangerous. She stood up, the make shift cast buckled, and she fell to the floor in a heap.
“Stubborn as usual, I can see why the Commander always complained.” CW said with a laugh. He came around to the side of the bed and offered his hand.
Deanna looked at it with fear, “Are you going to hurt me?”
“What? No way. I mean I may be a grown man now, but my mother still strikes fear in my heart. I would never harm a hair on her best friend’s head.”
Deanna reluctantly took the man’s hand. He may be off his rocker, fancy sick thoughts, and be harmful to her well being but he obviously knew more about her then she did about him or this area, and therefore she was going to have to be compliant and nice. “I’ve been on the Enterprise. We were crashing, I fell through a crack in the ship, and bamn next thing I know I’m waking up in a woods.”
“Nothing in between the crash and when the kids found you?” Wesley probed, waiting for Deanna to give some logical explanation to where she had been.
“Deanna the crash happened twenty one years ago.”
“That’s impossible, the crash happed today . . . yesterday. She looked down at her leg, “This obviously isn’t a leg broken twenty-one years ago.”
Wesley rolled up his right pant leg to expose a prosthetic leg, “Yes, but this is a prosthesis that resulted in a crash that happened twenty-one years ago. Deanna I saw you fall out of the ship.”
Deanna didn’t believe a word this man was saying, it didn’t make sense. Wesley could tell this and impulsively grabbed her hand.
“Don’t hurt me, please.”
“Deanna I’m not going to hurt you. Close your eyes, relax, and sense me out with your empathic abilities. Tell me if you think I’m lying. Tell me.”
“I’m to nervous.”
Hesitantly she closed her eyes, did a few deep breaths, and opened her mind. She reached out to this strange man and probed. Overwhelmingly she sensed worry aimed towards her well being, excitement, anticipation, mixed in with a hint of arousal. In her mind a clear conscious picture entered her head of who this man was.
She opened her eyes, hardly believing what she was seeing. But after placing Wesley Crusher’s image foremost in her mind, she could see without a shadow of a doubt that the boy she knew and the man in front of her were one in the same.
“Wesley, it is you.” she whispered.
The man gave her a grin, “You always told me you could pick me out of a crowd by my unique mixture of emotions running rampant through my body, I never believed you until now.”
Deanna smiled and closed her eyes again. Something else had opened up when she awoke her empathic senses. Something special, that warmed her whole body from the insdie out and brough the first true Deanna smile to her face in days. She felt Will, and he was alive.
Across the country from Deanna and Wesley, William Riker stood in front of class full of high schoolers getting ready to administer a history final - exam. He had been a high school history teacher for almost eighteen years, and today he was administering the last exam of his career. It was exhilarating to him that he was finally going to be free from the hassles of 8:00 a.m. class hours and yet sad that he was finally giving in to retirement. He just could not accept the fact he was old enough to retire, he hardly felt he had lived a full enough life in all his wasted years.
He looked sadly at the calendar sitting on his desk, it was just a grim reminder of today’s date. The date he had foolishly sent Deanna away, thinking he was saving her life, but instead only ending it faster. If he knew then what he knew now, he would have kept her directly at his side during the crash.”
Will broke out of his daze and stared at the girl in front of him. His eyes widened, it wasn’t a student it was Deanna.
“Will I need you.”
His mouth went dry, “Excuse me?”
“Imzadi, I’m alive.”
Will bolted from his desk, and grabbed the girl roughly around the shoulders. “Deanna,”
“Mr. Riker, my name is Julie.” the frighten girl stuttered.
Will closed his eyes tightly and opened them back up. Indeed the face he had mistaken for Deanna, was in fact only a student, a short blond pudgy student. Embarrassed, he cleared his throat, “I’m sorry Julie, I guess you caught the old guy sleeping with his eyes open.”
The girl gave a nervous laugh, “The test?”
“Right the test, let me gather my wits and I will pass out the test.” He gave her his most earnest smile, causing Julie to blush and run back to her seat. It amazed his that after all these years and all these wrinkles he could still make a girl weak in the knees.
“Imzadi.” Deanna’s voice rang through his heart again, causing goosebumps to form on the back of his neck. He shuddered at how his mind had made her presence so realistic. He could almost believe that she was truly alive and well, reaching out to him. Almost.
Will jumped and looked up, “Principal Stevens, what a pleasant surprise.” He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, feeling like a kid caught with his hand in a cookie jar, “Is there something I can help you with?”
“Haven’t you started you exam, yet?” the short fat ugly woman asked.
“I was just about to.” Will said quickly, jumping up from his chair, “I was giving the students a few more minutes to cram . . .you know how it is.”
“No, I don’t.” the woman answered in her monotone voice, a voice that Will had learned to despise over his many years teaching under her dictatorship. “I will be administering the exam, you have an emergency phone call in the lounge.”
“Emergency?” Will asked blankly, he didn’t have any family per se and he had very few friends. “Who?”
Will ran his fingers through his hair in frustration, Tom was really the last thing he wanted to deal with today. “Tom?”
“No, your other brother Wesley . . .Crusher, half brother I assume?”
“Wesley,” he felt a slight jump start of his heart, “I’ve got to get that.” He bolted from the room.
“Will, I had to tell them I was your brother, they wouldn’t let me on otherwise.” Wesley Crusher blurted the moment Will Riker picked up the phone.
“It’s okay Wesley, what’s wrong.”
Will laid his head against the wall he was standing near, he didn’t ever think he would be prepared for this call, “You found her body.”
“Yes, isn’t it great.”
Will closed his eyes, fighting back the tears threatening to make their way down. Finding Deanna’s body proved once and for all she was dead, and it killed what little glimmer of hope he had. He didn’t think this moment was great, he thought it was awful. A cruel twist of fate was causing him to relive her death all over again.
“Wesley I will board the next plane, we can arrange a proper burial when I get there.”
“What, why, who died.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Will choked out before hanging up the phone.
Deanna looked anxiously at Wesley, “What did he say? Is he coming?”
Wesley hung up the phone, and turned to Deanna “Yeah, he coming.”
Deanna sat inside Wesley Crusher’s small bare one room house, in his only chair, and flipped through the boxes of his collected Enterprise memorabile. It was impossible for her to imagin her beloved Enterprise being nothing more then pages in history books. One ship, one disaster, a lifetime of people’s dedication flushed down the toilet.
The sound of Wesley’s snoring brought a hint of humor to her face, because it reminded her that amongst this world of chaos and upheval, things also stayed the same. Case in point Wesley Crusher and his raging hormones. She shook her head in disbelief only minutes before, when she had heard the boy mutter, “Deanna wear the purple pantsuit, I like the way it fits.” The boy hadn’t seen her in twenty one years, and yet his dreams immediately reverted back to his adolencent fond memories of the infamous purple pantsuit.
The weight of the box depressed her, she didn’t like the idea of ten years of fond memories fitting into a box no heavier then five pounds, so she set it down on the floor and closed her eyes. It had been the longest 48 hours of her life.
Will Riker sat on his seat, in a packed 747, and aimlessly flipped through a magazine he hadn’t laid his eyes on yet. In his mind he couldn’t come with terms with the idea of Deanna being dead. To him, she didn’t feel dead and he had always assumed if she was dead he would know. He knew he was being a foolish old man, but he also knew he was a foolish old man and was therefore allowed the pleasure to acting like such.
He closed his eyes, it seemed that this plane ride was the longest plane ride of his life.
“Please Wesley, take me to the crash sight.” Deanna begged, “I need to see it.”
“Deanna, Will will be here anytime. Why don’t we wait for him and he can take you there.”
“Wesley, I have to see it now. I can’t explain the urges that I’m feeling other then they are persistent and they are strong. Wesley,” she grabbed his hand, which she knew was a sneaky low down play on his emotions, but she also knew that was where Will was going to make his first stop and she wanted to be there with him, for him, like she should have been that day on the ship.
Wesley stared at their intertwined hands, and felt his knees go weak. Never in his wildest dreams did he’d ever imagine reaching 1/4 base with the lovely Counselor Troi. “Okay, but you are going to have to let me carry you, those woods can be tricky, and your not even fit to walk.
Deanna nodded, she would let him carry her there. Right now she would let him carry her anywhere. She wanted to be at that spot before Will.
Will Riker pulled out a few twenties and handed them to the cab driver on his way out. He stepped compleatly out of the backseat, the cab pulled away, and he was left alone at the base of the massive woods that ate the Enterprise. He could hardly bring himself to make the first step into this forest, knowing it would bring him back to that night, it always did.
Deanna closed her eyes tighter the closer her and Wesley came to the sight. She began to hear voices in her head. Screaming, crying voices of her friends and fellow crewmembers. Bone curdling cries of mother’s looking for children that flew to their death through window and walls. Husbands searching for wives that laid decapitated in hallways and hung grosequely from ceiling rafters.
“Deanna,” Wesley saw tears of pain flowing from under her eyelids and it alarmed him.
She couldn’t hear Wesley worried pleas, not over the vivid memory of his mother’s heart wrenching wailing for the loss of Jean-Luc Picard. These were not her memories that haunted her, they were Will’s memories, and they were coming closer, they were coming to her.
“He’s here Wesley.” she mumured.
“That’s good, right?” he asked, unsure by her outburst.
“Yes,” she murmured unconviningly. She was to overcome by Will’s grief to answer any further. Her Imzadi was emotionally scard, a shell of the dynamic man he once was. He was a man carrying the weight of twenty years of hell on his shoulders.
“Wesley set me down, then leave.” she demaned, opening her eyes to face the boy/man head-on.
“You heard me, set me down and leave. I have to see him alone.”
The sight was twenty feet ahead of him, and Will begrugingly forged his path through the woods towards it. At the begining to his decent into the forest, he had been burdened by his memories. His dark memories of his last moments and stopped every few feet to catch his breath and wipe the tears out of his eyes. Now, as close as he was, he was surprised to find his journey easier almost hopeful.
**Imzadi come through the trees and face it** mumured her voice through his head, and unlike before he didn’t turn away from it, from her. He embraced the voice, her voice. It seemed to wash over him and layer him with an invisible field of protection.
“What am I facing Deanna?” he wondered outloud, batting through pine tree brush. He had been to this site before, but never once had she talked to him prior to today. He wondered why today was so special. Was it because her body was found and she was finally going to be put to rest.”
He came to the clearing, the ship made clearing, and stared at the metal remenats scattered about. His ship. He wasn’t so sure if he could be confident anymore.
“You can Will.” came her voice and he turned sharply to the left.
“Deanna,” he saw her, sitting on what used to be the saucer part of the ship, her hair and clothes exactly the same as they were twenty-one years ago. The day of the crash. “Are you haunting me now, after all these years?”
Deanna gave him a genuine smile, soaking in the mental picture this mature Will painted. Greying hair, crows feet around his eyes, his same beautiful blue eyes that always brought the comfort she needed, he was more handsome now then she had ever could have imagined. “Will I’m as confused as you are, but I promise you I’m not a ghost.”
He smiled back, he liked this hallucination much better then any of the other’s he had experienced in the past. She was more Deanna then any of the others, she had a spark, a genuine spark. “Why are you confused, Deanna Ghost?”
Deanna knew he didn’t believe she was real, she knew his condensding ‘I don’t believe you’ voice, but she didn’t want to scare him to quickly and decided to play his game. She would ease him into this, into the idea of her. “Will, it’s a long story, and I don’t want to get into the technacalities right now. I want you to come here.”
Will nodded and walked towards her. He knew this would be where his hallucination cut out and he would be left in the woods alone. He knew how this worked, and he was genuinly sorry to see this end.
About two feet in front of her he stopped. He was surprised to still see her here.
“Touch me Will.”
“No.” he shook his head, “I haven’t been this close to a vision like you in a long time Imzadi. I can’t risk making you leave, not yet.”
She saw the genuine fear in his eyes, and it touched her very center. She leaned forward and held her hand out to grace his cheek, “I will touch you then.”
Will’s eye widened, and he tilted his head to lay harder on her hand. “Am I dead.”
“No” her soft pink lips mouthed, and she let her other hand go to his other cheek, “I’m back.”
Verbally in shock, Will lifted his aged hands and touched her cheek, first softly as if fearing she would break and then more firmly as he became assured she wouldn’t.
“Deanna how?” was all he could manage to ask, as he lifted her from the saucer dish Wesley had set her on and placed her on the ground. His strong arms holding her tightly in his embrace, crushing her body to his chest.
“Will I have no answers.” she whispered in his ear, “But I don’t plan to leave you again.”
His heart began to race and he pulled away from her far enough for his lips to meet her hair, her forehead, her cheeks, her nose, and finally her lips. He had never felt so alive. He was crying and he was laughing all at once. He wanted to devour her and he wanted to savor her. He wanted to hold her and he wanted to admire her from afar. He wanted to close his eyes and experience her sounds, her scents and yet he never wanted to close his eyes again.
Deanna, overwelmed, turned herself over to his needs. To her, he would always be Will, no matter how old he was, he would always be her Imzadi her soul mate.
“Are you okay Will?”
He didn’t answer right away, he was to enthralled watching the rising moonlight play off her bare skin. The thin layer of perspiration that had formed on her body during their love-making, was now reflecting the light of the night sky, and causing an almost heavenly glow around her.
He raised his finger to her lips to quiet her. Words were not necessary, he had never been so intune with her thoughts and feelings before in his life.
Reading his mind Deanna nodded, the telepathic link the two shared was a gift they often had taken for granted on the Enterprise. If he wanted to use it now, she would happily oblige. **What are you thinking about Imzadi**
**You.** he replied simply. No wordy explanation of his feelings were needed. For he wasn’t dwelling on their lost past, or relishing in their future, he was only thinking of her here, and now, beautiful and alive.
She leaned over and kissed him again. **We should think about getting back to Wesley.**
**We should, but . . .** he grabbed her arms playfully and pulled her to him, **that doesn’t mean we have too**
She went to him, and sat herself down between his legs, resting her back on his chest. The two found their eyes simultaneously drawn to the shattered pieces of the Enterprise, and their thoughts and conversation stopped. This was still a tomb to many of their friends. **Will, is Worf dead?**
She felt him take a sharp intake of breath, and she closed her eyes. Images, vivid and full of color pounded through her brain within seconds. Visions of Will finding Worf in shock at the place where she had disappeared. Will asking Worf where she was, shaking the Klingon roughly and demanding an explanation why she wasn’t there. Worf looking back at Will with haunted eyes uttering the words “I’m sorry” over and over like a broken record. Will going into denial, beating the chest of the Klingnon. Worf drawing his phaser, turning it to his own chest and . . .
Deanna opened her eyes in hopes of escaping the scene.
Will squeezed tightly to her hands, “A Klingon honor is all he has. If it is scarred in any way . ..” his voice trailed off, knowing she got the idea.
She did and nodded her head, “he is better off dead.” her voice cracked and Will dropped her hands so he could draw her into an embrace. It was poor judgment on his part to let her relive such a graphic scene.
“And Beverly, is she alive? I didn’t have the heart to ask Wesley.”
Will sighed and buried his face into her hair, the answer to that question was a heart wrenching story of it’s own.
' 'Chapter 8 '
'”Will?” ' 'He stood up, brushed himself off, and began to gather his clothes that they had thrown on the ground in the heat of passion. He was trying to avoid her gaze, in hopes of avoiding the need to answer her question. ' 'Deanna sensed his evasion,instinctively she pulled herself up to a standing position, grabbed his hand, and drew him to her. “Will I hope you know you can share anything with me. The good or the bad. Remember, we are not only lovers we are friends, best friends.” ' These words brought a smile to Will’s face. Leave it to Deanna to be dropped out of a crashing spaceship, transported forward twenty years, break a leg, and still be putting his needs in front of hers. ' 'He wrapped his arms around her, “Deanna Troi, do you know that I love you.” ' 'This brought a pleasurable blush to her cheeks that even the moonlight made apparent. “I love you to Will.” ' '”Good,” he tightend his embrace around her, “then trust me when I tell you the story of Beverly and everything else will come in good time. I really feel right now both of us has experienced our capacity of emotional ups and downs.” ' '”Really Counselor Riker?” she asked teasingly. ' ' He picked her up into his arms, “Why yes Counselor Troi.” He stared down at her not completly convinced she wasn’t a figment of his mind that was going to disappear from his arms at any moment. ' 'She wrapped her arms around his neck. She knew he was scared, and she also knew she wasn’t going to be able to cure twenty one years of pent of anxiety in one night, so she just snuggled close to him. In time he would learn that fate had once again brought them together, and they were going to be together. It was how it was meant to be. '
' 'Will made his way up the walkway of Wesley Crusher’s small house, and quietly tapped on the door. ' 'Wesley opened the door in seconds, his face falling slightly at the sight of Will with a sleeping Deanna in his arms. “There you guys are, I was starting to get worried.” ' 'Will confidently walked in, having been to his cabin many times over the years, and gently laid Deanna on the small twin bed. “We had a lot of catching up to do.” ' '”Oh.” Wesley eyes began to dart around the room nervously. ' 'This didn’t escape Will’s attention, having years of Starfleet training behind him, and his guard went up, “Is there something wrong Wesley?” ' '”No Commander.” The large man blurted, then shifted uncomfortably when he realized how guilty that sounded. ' '”Are you sure.” Will questioned, never recalling a time where Wesley seemed so out of sync. ' '”Yes, sir.” ' 'Will took a deep breath. Maybe he was being overly cautious. “Okay Wesley, but please don’t call me Commander. That was another lifetime ago. ' '”Yes sir Comm . . .Mr. Riker.” ' '”Will, Wesley, call me Will.” ' 'The man nodded, but continually darted his eyes around the room, focusing his longest stares at his door. ' 'Will getting increasing disturbed, turned his attention to Deanna, deciding it did his heart a lot better to watch her sleep then watch this man’s nervous twitches. ' 'A knock came to the door, causing both Wesley and Will to jump. ' 'Will immediately stood to his feet, “What’s going on?” he demanded. ' '”I had to call her. She has a right to know.” Wesley stated nervously, finding it hard to confront his idle after all these years. “She’s been waiting for a chance like this.” ' '”What?” Will backed protectively beside the bed. ' 'Wesley didn’t answer, he just walked to the door and opened it. ' 'A wild-eyed Beverly Crusher barrelled her way in, and without saying a word, walked directly to the bed where Deanna layed. ' '”Don’t even think about it Beverly.” Will said instintively, “What ever your thinking, don’t. I’ve finally got her back and I’m NOT going to lose her.” ' 'Beverly ignored him, “Wesley do you still have all Data’s parts?” ' '”Yes.” ' '”Good, let’s see if we can put all that engineering training you had with Geordi to good use then.” ' '”Beverly?” Will stepped in front of the woman, forcing her to look up at him, “what is going on in that head of yours?”
“Whatever do you mean Will.” Beverly asked innocently.
“Beverly, why are you having Wesley reasemble Data.” Will questioned suspeciously.
Beverly looked a the floor to duck his gaze, a tactic Will had tried on Deanna earlier in avoidance. However, unlike Deanna, Will wasn’t about to be deterred. “Beverly.”
“Will, she’s tired, can we have this discussion outside and let the poor dear sleep.”
Will looked at Deanna, who began to stir from her slumber, “Yes.”
Beverly smiled and began to walk out the door. Will followed, only stopping long enough to give Wesley a cold untrusting stare.
“Will I wish you wouldn’t intimidate my son. He’s a grown man now, and does not have to follow your direct or indirect commands.” Beverly announced, sitting down on the broken front step and patting the spot next to her for Will.
Reluctently he sat down to, only cringing slightly at his flaring arthritis, “That may be true, but I don’t appreciate him sneaking around my back to get a hold of you. I would have appreciated . . .”
“Warning?” Beverly asked sarcastically.
“Yes, but not how you are implying. I simply would have liked an evening alone with her before . . .”
“alerting the nuthouse?”
Embarrased, Will cleared his throat. “Beverly, I hope you know I still consider you one of my closest friends.”
“You commited me to a looney bin, excuse me if I don’t share the sentiment.” She looked up at the stary night sky. “Do you miss it?”
Will followed her gaze up, and a wry smile appeared on his face, “The stars, the sky, every moment.”
“Me to.” she wistfully sighed, her eyes glazing over slightly as images of a happier times pranced through her head.
Will watched this, and it panged him to see her so detached. He was hoping she had been cured, but given her current line of questioning, he doubted it. “Bev, why is Wesley reassembling Data.”
“So he can fix a wrong?” her eyes still gazing at the sky above her, “so he can get us back up there.” she pointed, but to Will it didn’t seem anywhere particular. Just up.
“Bev, how is Data going to get us back up there?”
Beverly broke her gaze and turned to him, her face a distorted mask of pain and determination, “We’ve been given another chance William.”
Will grabbed her wrist, and gave them a fierce yank. He had to focus her, “Bev, listen to me. Why is Wesley reassembling Data.”
“To send her back, to stop the crash, to save Jean-Luc.” She said confidently, she wasn’t asking Will if this could happen, she was infoming him it had already been decided.
Will’s hand went tighter around her wrist, and he forcefully pulled her to a standing possession. “Beverly, I want you to go back in there and stop Wesley and then I want you to leave.” He too wasn’t asking, he too was ordering.
“Will, let me go.”
Will couldn’t let her go. He was feeling a panic, and although he knew he could over take both Beverly and Wesley if the matter arose that he had to, he still felt an immediate threat. “No.” He had so much more to say to her, but he couldn’t get his lips to form the words. His systems had went on their own Red Alert and now all his energy went towards physically deterring her.
“Will be reasonable, we can send her back and save all those lives.” Beverly pleaded, trying to wiggle her way out of his painful grasp.
“No.” he said again, shaking his head to emphaize his point. Life had just begun for him tonight, he had finally been reunited with his missing half.
“Yes,” Beverly countered, having an equally fierce passion flamming her. Twenty-one years ago she had sat on the Enterprise floor, admist burning flames, with a dying Jean-Luc Picard propped on her lap. She had held his hand, helpless without her precious medical gear, as his breath became tortured and his wounds had bled dry. She had sympathetically listened to his confessions, when he had mistaken her for an angel of god, and she had closed his eyes when he had finally surrendered to the greater unknown. Her pain was just as real and just as fierce as Will’s, and unlike him, she did not have a second chance of happiness fall from the sky.
Beverly Crusher had set her mind, Deanna would go back or at least die trying.
“Is this strictly a party for two, or can I join you?”
Will immediately let go of Beverly’s wrist, “Deanna come on down.”
She grinned, “Don’t mind if I do.” She turned and locked eyes with Beverly, “If you don’t mind.”
Beverly was dumbstruck, she wasn’t prepared for walking talking memory. “Please.” her voice thick with emotion.
Deanna sensed this turmoil and brought the older graying Beverly into a reassuring embrace, “Beverly please don’t cry, your going to make me cry.”
“I can’t help it.” She said through a stream of falling tears and she couldn’t, Deanna’s mere presence reawakened some feelings long buried inside her.
“Beverly, do you want to go somewhere, just the two of us, and talk?”
“NO.” Will brought his arms protectively around Deanna.
“Will don’t be ridicolus, she’s my best friend and she needs me.” Deanna shrunk out of his arms, “Were not going to get into any trouble, were just going to talk. Why don’t you go catch some sleep, your exhausted.”
Sleep was the farthest thing from his mind, and she knew it. “Deanna.”
“Will, we won’t be gone long.” she leaned into him and kissed his lips, “I promise, please try to sleep.”
“Beverly how are you?” Deanna started, as the two made there way through the woods at a slow speed,due to Deanna’s leg.
“Fine.” Beverly replied off handly, she was trying to hold Deanna at a distance, and it was proving to be more difficult then she had expected. Deep down she wanted to stop where they were, fall into her friends arms and cry. However, she knew she didn’t dare if she wanted to continue with her plan.”
“Bev, please tell me if I’m overstepping my boundries, but I know your far from fine.” Deanna stopped and sat down on a log, her was leg causing her imense pain and discomfort. ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________
Will reluctently let his head fall against the old wood frame of Wesley house, seeing Beverly again had stirred many memories in him. Mainly memories of what had happened the seconds before the ship had impacted and the seconds after that had permanetly stuck a wedge in any friendship he had with her.
He had been ontop of the Captain, bracing for impact beneath Data’s counsel, seconds before impact. Picard had been struggling heavily beneath him, but Will had size on his side, and the Captain was pinned. They were okay.
Then, by a cruel twist of fate, the ship had taken a drastic spin to the left before hitting the ground, throwing Will headfirst into a chair frame. He had been momentarily stunned, and lost his grip on Picard. Picard, considerably lighter then Will, had been thrown clearly across the ship, onto the side wall with a sickening crack.
Will had tried to make his way to the Captain, but then the doors of the bridge had opened and Beverly had made her way in. She hadn’t left the ship either, not wanting to leave Jean-Luc.
Will cringed, remembering the blood curdling scream that had escaped her lips when she had spotted Jean-Luc laying limply on the floor. She had run to him, foresaking her own painful injuries for his. She had ignored the flames sprouting up around him, she had walked right through them disregarding the threat of injury or death for the chance of saving him.
Will had watched this for a moment, and then had crawled his way over to help.
Beverly had sensed his movement and had torn her eyes from the dying Captain only briefly to meet his gaze, and although she didn’t utter a word, the thoughts running through her head were quite apparent. He could tell she had blamed him, for he was the only one left on the bridge to save Picard and he didn’t.
Beverly sat down next to Deanna, “Your right I’m not.”
Deanna took her arm and wrapped it around her friend’s shoulder, “I can’t pretend I know what your going through, but I am so sorry about the loss of Jean-Luc. Believe me, if there was anything I could do to stop your pain I would in a heartbeat. Your my best friend.”
Beverly gasped, feeling the window of opportunity open widely by this last comment, and yet suddenly, she wasn’t sure if she could ask her friend to make such a sacrifice. Suddenly, what she was so sure of earlier, she was hardly sure of anymore.
“Deanna I love you. No one has ever come close to being such a true friend as you.”
Deanna smiled “Beverly I love you too, and I want you to know I meant what I said. If there was something I could do to help you I would.”
Beverly picked up her friends hand, “There is something Dee, I just don’t know if it’s fair to me to ask.”
Deanna leaned forward and gently turned Beverly’s head, causing the their two gazes to lock. “Beverly I’m not quite sure what you are getting at, but if there is anything you needed me to do, I will.”
“I know.” Beverly nodded, and in her heart she did know Deanna wouldn’t hesitate sacrificing herself for her friends. “Deanna, why do you think you are here?”
“Because I fell out of the Enterprise and this is where I landed.”
Beverly knew when she was being teased, and playfully gave her friend a punch of the shoulder, “You know what I mean.”
Deanna nodded, “I know what you mean, I just don’t have an answer. In my heart I would like to think it’s the work of a greater power, giving me a second chance with Will. However my brain logically deduces it’s probably something a lot less romantic and a lot more technical.” Her features took on a dreamy look, “Either way, I’m here and I’m going to make the most of it.”
Beverly watched her friend with envy, wishing she a fraction of the optimism Deanna always had. “Has the thought ever crossed you mind that you could go back?”
“Go back?” Deanna broke out of her dreamy gaze, “Go back where?”
Beverly began to pace, nervous that she may not be doing the right thing by imposing on Deanna, “Go back to the Enterprise, go back to the time period you orginated from.”
“No,” Deanna said slowly, letting Beverly’s words sink in, “is that possible.”
Beverly quit pacing, and bent down to her friend’s eye level, “Deanna, you don’t belong here, Will and I do. Wesley has the parts, and I believe the ability to reconstructe Data. Once we have Data, and all the knowledge he possed, I believe we could correct the wrongs.”
“Beverly your rushing, I’m not following, what are you getting at.”
“A time machine, something that could send you back to the ship before the crash. You could alert Jean-Luc of the attack before it happens. You could stop the crash, saving the lives of Worf, Jean-Luc, and the countless others aboard the ship, ultimately saving Starfleet, and the possibility of a real future for you and Will.”
“A time machine?”
“Deanna I know it’s risky and I’m not saying you have to do this but it’s such an opportunity. You could single handly save Starfleet, Worf, Jean-Luc, and make possible a bright and long future for you and Will.
Deanna laid down on the log, her head swarming with the ramifications of Beverly’s proposal. She felt faint.
“Dee, are you okay.”
“Yes,” Deanna whispered, not quite sure if she was. She suddenly felt the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“Dee? Did I scare you?”
“No.” she said, not to convincing.
“Can I do anything for you?”
“Could you leave me alone?,” Deanna said apologetically, closing her eyes. She suddenly felt very overwelmed.
Will lifted his head, catching a slight movement from the corner of his eye. “Deanna?”
“No, just me.” Beverly said, coming out of the woods, “She wants to be alone.”
Will nodded standing up, she may want to be alone but he wasn’t going to let her be alone. Not now, not ever.
“Will, your disobeying her wishes and going to her, aren’t you?”
“Yes Beverly, unlike you I don’t dump her with a huge load of emotional baggage and then leave.”
Beverly paled, and then walked over and slapped him.
Will recoiled, rubbing his hand over the sore red welt forming on his cheek, “What the hell is that for.”
“I don’t appreciate your hidden accusations. Deanna is my friend, I would never purposley harm her.” Beverly’s eyes flared, and in her anger her face became as red as her hair, “However, as a Starfleet Officer, I think she needs to be informed of her options.”
“Last time I checked, there was no Starfleet.”
“For me and you, no. However for her, yes.”
Will felt his pulse increase, “Beverly, I think you offering advice is against Doctors orders, isn’t it.
Beverly’s hand shot up towards Will’s cheek again, but he sucessfully blocked it, clamping his hand forfully around her wrist bringing it to a halt.
“I’m sorry Bev, that was a cheap shot.”
“Very cheap Riker. I’ve got a clean bill of mental health now, and my son has forgiven me.”
“I know,” Will let go of the tight hold on her arm, and drew her into a friendly embrace, “I know,” he repeated.
Beverly let her head rest on his chest, “Will I know you love her, and I know seeing her alive is probably the most exhilirating thing that has happen to either one of us since the crash, but you have to get past thinking of you. Her staying here promises you two a good five to ten years before the age difference becomes noticable. Not to mention harboring someone from another planet is punishable by death, for both you and her.”
Will groaned, “Beverly how did you become so damn smart.”
“Years of being on my own. Lot’s of time thinking during my extended stay at the fabulous county mental ward. Will, she could change things.”
He knew Beverly was right, but coming to terms with such a cruel reality was weighing heavy on his heart. He brought his arms tighter around Beverly, he could use some of her strenght right now.
Will stood back behind a tree, watching Deanna sit on the log and gaze at the rising sun. He always loved celebrating the rise of a new day with her, because as the sun made it’s decent upwards, her spirt also made a decent upwards. She enjoyed life to it’s fullest, more then anybody he knew.
“Will I know your there.”
“Caught me.” he held his hand up in mock surrender and walked over to her. “Mind if I join you.”
She shook her head no, her eyes red-rimmed pools. It broke his heart, so instead of sitting down he took her hand and pulled her up into his arms.
“What is it you told Beverly, don’t cry or I’m going to cry?”
“Oh Will,” she buried her head in the crook of his chest, “I wish I would have died in the crash.”
“What,” he took his hand, lifted her chin up, and gently began to wipe the tears off her face that had began to fall, “Don’t say that, please.”
“I don’t want to leave you Will, but how can I stay and lead a normal life, knowing I could change a grim future. I can’t leave, I can’t stay.”
He didn’t know if he could say what he needed, that she could leave guilt free, so instead he bent down and kissed her. A Riker tactic of deterence.
Responding to his kiss willingly, almost eagerly, Deanna wrapped her arms 'around his neck, tangling her fingers into the masses of gray hair on his head. '' ''This pushed Will’s panic button, he immediately broke the kiss, and 'stepped back. This was going to far, he wasn’t sure if he could go back once the two started down this path. '' ''”What, did I do something wrong?” Deanna asked apologetically, she stepped 'closer to him and he took another step back. '' ''”Deanna, don’t. We need to talk.” He tried in his best authoritative commanding tone, it came off pleading. He wasn’t a commander anymore, he was just plain old Will. '' ''”No, I’ve talked enough tonight to last a lifetime. I don’t want to talk 'anymore.” she took another step closer to him, suddenly terrified that she had upset him and now he wanted her away “Please don’t abandon me Will.” Her eyes silently mirrored her misery, she was a woman who was ruled by her emotions, suddenly torn by her emotions. '' He looked at her, and his stomach took a downward plunge, he wasn’t making her life easier by forging an “I don’t care” attitude, he was making it harder “Deanna, I’m not deserting you.” he reached out and touched her face, the face of his angel, “Maybe my attempts to keep you away are misguided. You need to realize that you are 'my world, and it would take nothing short then a fleet of Romulan Warbirds to keep me from you.” He brought her to him, never breaking the gaze he had so preciously locked with her, “I just can’t keep you here because I want you here. It’s selfish, and cruel. I’m a man pushing sixty, and you barely pushing thirty. I’m warped by twenty one years of being alone, I’m not an imparshal judge nor am I husband material”''
''To her, as true as his words sounded, they seemed unsure. “Yes you are Will Riker. Just tell me you want me to stay, and I will stay.” She said reassuringly. She wanted him to make her decision, and so she laid her hand directly on his heart, “What 'does your heart tell you Will.” '' He looked down at her face, her hopeful face, and realized she was trying to relinquish her duty and turn the decision power on him “It tells me a decision as important as this I can’t make for you.” He 'placed his hand over her heart, “What does your heart tell you?” '' ''”Nothing,” she said disillusioned. This situation was blackening her perspectives. How could she choose between the man she loved and her ship.
“I think it does Deanna,” he said, the commanding voice coming released from the hidden recess of his mind, “Close your eyes.”
She obliged, letting her eyelids fall slowly down. Will took a deep breath, not beliving how completely sexy such a small non-important move could be, “Deanna, you have to do introspection.”
“Will, this is stupid.” she said, although seceretly quite impressed by his correct usage of psychology concepts.
“No it’s not.” he brought her two hands into his own. “Deanna how do you see yourself happy.”
“With you.” she spoke
''He nodded, he knew that was coming. Well at least he was hoping that was coming.
“Where do you see us happy.”
He squeezed her hand, noting her creased forehead, a sign she often exhibited during extreme concentration. She was keeping something blocked from him, he was almost sure of it. “I think you see us somewhere a little more specific then anywhere.”
Her eyelids fluttered open. “Will I said anywhere.”
“You said anywhere, you blocked Enterprise.”
Her jaw dropped, “You can read me, even when I’m blocking.”
“No. But I can tell a poor poker face when I see one.” he brought her hand to his lips and softly kissed it, wanting to commit her fragrance to mind for the nights in his his not so distance future that he would lay in bed alone “Deanna I can’t hate you for wanting me to be younger, wanting to be on the Enterprise, wanting to be with friends. I want those things for you too, except I want them with me, instead of . . .with me. Foolish?”
“No,” she shook her head, letting her hair swing freely across her shoulders, “we’ve been over this argument before Will, with the introduction of Tom. Everytime I come head first into this controversy I find myself loving each incarnation of you I’ve ever run across. Naive, strong, young, or old.” She let her hand fall from the grip she had taken around his neck, to his chest. “However, I do feel I belong with you on the Enterprise though, I want the chance to give you a family, and I want to see you become a Captain. Foolish?”
“No. It’s almost comforting thinking of a young me and you eventually having everything we have ever wanted.”
She smiled and playfully tugged on his beard in attempt to lighten the mood. He took the bait and began to tickle her sides.
“Will,” she gasped, forgetting how incredibly ticklish his and only his touch was. She began to wiggle, he continued. She took a step back, falling against the log she had been sitting on earlier, and fell to the ground. Will, so wrapped up in the moments, found himself falling right on top of her.
She landed on her back. He stuck his arms out in attempt to break his fall and managed to land face to face just mere centimeters from her.
“Well that was fun.” he teased, subconciously taking in her beauty in the rise of the morning sun. Her hair was faned out beneath her, her cheeks were a rosey glow from her fit of giggles, she was the symbolism of life at this very moment.
“I will miss you Will, you here like this.” she said breathlessly, loving the attention this Will seemed so willing to shower on her without worry. She impulsively wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Deanna.” he moaned, finding his arousal almost iminent by her close proximity. “You’ve made your decesion.”
“I need to know if I made the right one.” she whispered, pulling on his neck. He lowered his lips to her and she and she began to aggressively pursue him. At one point of her life she had thought the hardest decision she had ever faced was chosing between Tom and Will, she now knew she was wrong, this was her hardest decision, chosing between “career driven” Will,with the mind set, “we will settle down eventually”, and “life-experienced” Will,with the mind set, “we can’t settle down soon enough. She couldn’t be so sure she had made a choice at all, she just couldn’t be sure of anything but this need to be with this Will, right now. '' ''Will, sensing a sudden release of unbridiled desire from Deanna, became passive. He felt a sudden need radiating from her to become the dominate over him, to take control of what was about to happen, to test him for something beyond what she could fully understand, and so he obliged, only touching her when he knew she wanted it. There was something beyond a physical joining taking place at this moment, and although he wasn’t privy to what, he did know when to step back and enjoy the ride. '' Deanna’s hands quickly grasped the edges of his button down flannel shirt, and 'ripped, sending buttons flying in every direction. Simutaneously, she began 'to probe certain areas of his mind, sending the most erotic shivers down his 'spine. '' ''”Imzadi,” she whispered in his ear, 'before pulling her torn tunic over her head. ''
' '”I’m not leaving.” ' 'Will turned his head in surprise, he couldn’t believe after such an 'incredible act her mind had ultimately reverted back to the business at 'hand. While he layed helplessly on the ground, unable to sit up at this 'point without his head spinning. “Deanna, what just happened here.” ' '”We made love.” she said matter-of-factly. ' '”That wasn’t making love Deanna, that was something on a completly different 'level then making love. Never before has every inch of my body seemed so 'alive with thoughts and feelings, and all around me I felt you.” he closed 'his eyes, trying to formulate the words to explain this experience. “When 'we became Imzadi, I had never before felt such intensity, but that was just 'a drop in the hat compared with . with . . .Deanna what just happened here?” ' 'She smiled, thrilled that he had enjoyed himself, thrilled that she hadn’t 'been wrong about her gut-feeling , “Did I knock your socks off?” ' '”Knock my socks off? Hell you’ve just compeltely thrown me off my feet.” ' 'She rolled on her side, and proped her head up on her hand, “Will, I was 'wrong to say the Enterprise. Will, it’s you, the one right now, I 'have given you my heart.” ' '”Deanna I love you too.” ' '”That’s sweet Will, but that’s not what I mean.” she let her free hand go to 'his chest, and she began to run her fingers through his curly chest hair. '”We’ve just completed our imzadi bond.” ' '”Completed it?” his eyes looked up, “What do mean completed it? There are 'levels?” ' 'She nodded her eyes sparkling with a new light, “We’ve just completed it. 'We are now officially one.” ' 'He laid his hand over hers, gently stopping her constant combing on his 'chest, he couldn’t afford the distraction. His mind was still in a haze, 'and he was desperatly trying to clear it and make sense of her words. '”Deanna, I didn’t know about levels, or completion?” ' “I know you didn’t and I’m sorry. I’ve wanted to tell you for years, but I didn’t want to become more of a nuisance to your career then I already was. But when I looked at you here, I didn’t have that worry hindering me, and all that pent up desire just exploded.” she looked at him expectantly. “You not mad are you, you still love me don’t you.” 'The pleading look in her eyes struck right to his heart, “Of course I do.” He brushed the few strands of stray hair that had blown into her eyes, “But I also know that earlier you had placed the Enterprise as the number one place you would be happy. Imzadi, I want you where you will be happy.” ' '”Will, I want to go back to the Enterprise because I know that is what I should do, and is what Beverly and Wesley want me to do. But . . .” she fluttered her eyes, “A wise man once told me I have to stop trying to please other people and start pleasing myself.” ' 'He chuckled, “A wise man, huh?” ' 'She nodded, “A wise wonderful man.” ' '”A wise, wonderful, OLD man.” ' '”Will,” she groaned, “you are wise, wonderful man aged to perfection. Old is a state of mind, not a physical state.” ' 'He felt his stomach flutter, never in his wildest dreams did he ever think she would be willing to stay. He wanted to pinch himself and make sure he wasn’t dreaming. It was almost to good to be true. “Beverly?” he wondered outloud. ' '”She will be upset, and angry, but eventually I would like to think that she will come to understand why I made this choice.” ' 'Will frowned, he knew Beverly wasn’t going to be able to learn to live with this choice. He nervously cleared his throat, “Dee.” ' '”Yes darling.” ' 'Will wet his lips, almost afraid that the revelation he was about to unfold was going to change her decision, “I think there is something you should know about this Beverly.” ' '
' '”What is it?” Deanna shuddered at the sudden pain Will was feeling, this newer stronger Imzadi completion the two shared intensified her ability to pick up on his emotions. The good and the bad. ' '”Beverly had a real hard time after we buried the Captain.” Will began, carefully choosing his words so not to unnecessarily alarm her. ' 'Deanna nodded, “I would imagine she did, I always sensed the feelings she kept bottled up for the Captain were strong and losing him before she had ever acted on her feelings, that was probably a double blow when he died.” ' '”Deanna . . .” he grabbed her hand. ' '”There over here.” Came a voice from the woods. ' ' Deanna and Will looked at each other in surprise and began to scramble for their clothes, the discussion regarding Beverly was going to have to wait. ' '”Hello Commander,” the brushes of the forest parted, and Data walked out. ' 'Will grinned, “Data.” He walked over and slapped the android’s back, “God’s it’s good to see you.” ' '”Thank You Commander. It’s good to be seen.” ' 'Beverly and Wesley joined the group. ' '”Wesley, you did it.” Deanna hugged the man, causing a blush to rise to his cheeks. “He looks great. Its hard to believe he was nothing but pieces in a box yesterday . Geordi would be so proud of you.” ' 'Wesley grinned, praise was always good to hear, praise from his boyhood crush was even better. ' '”Deanna I’ve filled Data in on your situation, and he thinks he can get you back.” Beverly smiled, “Isn’t that wonderful, by this time tomorrow you can be on your way back to save the Enterprise.” ' 'Deanna’s face fell and she glanced longingly back at Will, looking for some sort of emotional support. ' 'Will gave her a slight nod, and turned his attention to Beverly, “Beverly, Deanna’s not going back.” ' '”Yes she is.” Beverly replied forcefully, her grin taking on a crazed look, “She has to go back, that’s why she is here, so we can alert her of the crash and consequences, and she then can go back and save the day.” Beverly stomped her foot, resembling a toddler in the first stages of a temper tantrum. ' 'Deanna walked up, and placed her arms around Beverly’s shoulder, “Beverly, please don’t be upset. I admit it’s probably going to viewed selfish by you, but I have to be honest with myself, I have fallen deeper in love with Will since I’ve been here. We’ve grown closer these past two days then ever before, we’ve completed our imzadi bond, and I’m almost sure I’ve become pregnant in the process.” Her eyes locked with Will’s and she felt this sudden surge of shock and excitement on his part. ' 'Beverly however was not sharing in the loving mood. She forcefully brushed Deanna’s arms off her shoulder, “Excuse me I don’t share in your excitement Deanna, but I can hardly see how one good lay is grounds for you to throw away all those years we shared on the ship. Can you honestly disregard the lives of all those people, so you can be with Will for a good four or fives years.” She angrily pointed at Will, “You didn’t even tell her that you have been diagnosed with Cytocrasm and you are going to die?. You impregnated her, convinced her to stay, and you didn’t even let her know she will be eventually left alone.” ' 'Will paled, he had been having such a wonderful time these past two days since Deanna had been back, he had successfully blocked any thoughts of the terminal disease that had been slowly overtaking his body for the past ten years. Before she had returned, he hadn’t cared thinking the death would be a blessing, taking him away from his life of loneliness. Now, as he looked into her grief stricken face, he realized he didn’t want to die. ' 'Wesley, closest to Deanna, apologetically walked over to her and gave her a hug. He felt so terrible about his mother’s outburst, “Deanna, please don’t hate her. She’s never been right since the accident, she isn’t the same person who was your best friend.” There was no hint of nervousness or apprehension in his voice, just guilt. ' 'Beverly, smug at the reaction she had caused, sure that it would result in Deanna leaving, motioned Data and the two disappeared from the woods, in the direction of Wesley’s cabin. ' '”Was she lying Wesley?” Deanna muffled voice asked, from where she had buried herself if Wesley’s chest. She was afraid to lift her head and look at Will, afraid because deep down she already knew the answer. ' 'Wesley turned his head over his shoulder, and looked imploringly at Will. He had always wanted Deanna in his arms, but never under these circumstances and was silently pleading Will to come to the rescue. ' 'Will understood the man’s discomfort, and stepped up next to Wesley. He wrapped his arms around Deanna and slowly lifted her from Wesley’s chest to his own. “Beverly has developed quite a mean streak since the crash but I’m afraid she doesn’t lie.” ' 'Overwelmed by grief, Deanna collapsed. '
'Ch 16 ' '
”Come on Dee, please snap out of it.” Wll looked down at the unconscious 'Deanna, who he had laid on the old bed they had pulled out of the Enterprise 'wreckage. It wasn’t in good condition, to say the least, but either he or 'Wesley thought bringing Deanna back into Beverly’s presence in either 'woman’s current mindset could do more harm then good. ' '”Do you think she is okay?” ' '”Yes.” Will responded, without looking up at Wesley. He could feel she was 'physically okay, but the turmoil raging within her was reaping havoc of her 'mentally. However, the pale look on Wesley’s face made Will keep that latter fact to himself. ' 'Wesley stood beside the bed, nervously shuffling from his left to his right 'foot, he felt like he was intruding by staying with them and yet he felt it 'was his duty, as a Crusher, to somehow right his mother’s wrong. “I’m 'really sorry about this Commander. I probably should have warned her about my mom.” ' 'Will looked up at Wesley, into the caring eyes identical to the ones his 'mother used to have, and gave him a sympathetic smile. The poor boy had 'been forced to take on the responsibility of his mother’s illness and grow 'up fast, turning the promising young boy into an overly emotional man who lived in the woods by 'himself in hopes of being shielded from the cruel world around him. '”Wesley, we all should have seen Beverly as a ticking time bomb. You can’t blame yourself.” ' 'Wesley nodded, and looked down at his prosthetic leg, “Yeah, but I’m the one 'with a living reminder of her sickness and I still looked the other way.” ' 'Will also looked at the prosthetic leg, shivering at the memory of Wesley 'trying to pull his mother away from the Captain’s lifeless form, and her 'response of grabbing a phaser and making a clean cut. ' '”She has to go back Commander.” Wesley said sadly, his solemn voice pulling Will out of his memories, “You can’t protect your family from the grave.” ' 'Surprised by Wesley’s frankness, Will also turned his attention back to 'Deanna, his beautiful Deanna. “You wouldn’t protect her and the baby once 'I’m gone.” ' '”Sir, out of respect for you and . . .love for Deanna, I would protect both 'of them with every breath in my body. However, my mother is not a force to 'be reckoned with. She may hold back when you are here, but on the event of 'your death, I shudder to think the sheer hell she would bring down around 'both mother and child.” ' 'Will said nothing, hating to admit to Wesley that he was probably right. “What if she doesn’t make it, 'I would never forgive myself.” ' '”Sir, one can beat himself up on the what if’s and what not’s, but the fact 'remains where do you want your baby to grow up, where is the best chance for 'Deanna to be happy.” Wesley reasoned, speaking with such honesty and 'integrity, Will couldn’t find it in himself to contradict the man. ' “Sir?”
“Wesley, it’s hard to face the truth when the truth is something you don’t want to hear.” Will shot back, no vemnon in his voice, just the sound of hard, cold fact.
Deanna moaned, her eyes fluttering open.
She looked around in confusion for a moment.
Will reached his hand to caress her face, but she grabbed it and placed it on her stomach.
**Shut up and close your eyes.** her voice rang out in his head, commanding.
**Will do you hear it?** her voice asked.
**What?** he responded, confused. He didn’t hear anything besides her.
**Will, please. Open up your mind for a moment Will, you should be able to feel more then me.** her voice rang out.
Silence . . . then faintly he heard a small, cry. A cry that sang of confusion, and promise. A cry that to him felt like Deanna, and to Deanna felt like Will.
**Dee** he asked in wonderment, his hand subconsciously rubbing her belly, soothing the baby that was nothing more then a tiny egg, smaller then a pin head. **Is that?**
**Yes** she responded, her voice cracking with emotion. **Will this baby should be with you.**
He didn’t respond, content for the moment to listen to the tiny pleadings of the voice. It soothed him in a way nothing before ever had. After all these years he was suddenly feeling a peace unlike anything he had ever experienced before.
**Dee, you right when you said this baby should be with it’s me, and that’s why I’m sending you back.**
**What??** shocked, he felt her go rigid under his hand.
' 'Ch 17 ' '
”Go back,” Will repeated outloud, sadly. He opened his eyes and drew his 'hand away from her stomach. “You have to go back. Please don’t fight me on this, it’s what is best for the baby and the baby is what should come first.” ' 'Deanna too opened her eyes, trying to forge her best smile although completely shocked by this Will’s decesion “I always seem 'to fall harder in love with you at the wrongest times, don’t I.” She 'brushed away her hair and sat up from the bed, “Why can’t we ever get it 'right?” There was no anger in her voice, just a hint of sadness. ' 'Will turned and looked at Wesley, who had backed himself up twenty or thirty 'feet from them, trying to give them the privacy they needed, “Wesley, could 'you.. .” ' '”I’ll get Data, and we will start A.S.A.P.” He quickly turned and escaped 'down the path. ' '”Will, what if I can’t stop the crash.” she asked fearfully, already trying to make excuses on why she couldn’t leave. ' 'He turned his full attention on heragain and drew her into his arms, “Deanna you 'can do it. I have my fullest faith that you will arrive on the ship safely, the very competent First Officer 'will listen to you, avoid the crash, and you and him will get married, save 'Starfleet, buy a house and raise a family.” The last part he kind of choked 'out, realizing to his dismay that there was going to be his baby 'floating around somewhere, and he was never going to have the knowledge of 'knowing what it looked like, if it was a boy or a girl, when it took it’s 'first step. ' '”We will see, I don’t know if the marriage will go through once you find out 'your wife-to-be is pregnant by another you.” She said lightly trying her 'hardest to supress the yearning to bring this Will into one final passionate 'embrace. Her mind and body ached to feel that magic of the completed 'Imzadi bond one last time, but she didn’t dare. She could sense he was 'trying his hardest to break the ties from her. She knew, like he knew, for 'the sake of this baby she was going back. ' '”Well I admit I will probably be shocked, but I truly believe like all 'things we have encoutered in the past, I will get over it.” he pulled away 'from the embrace and found his face hovering just inches above hers. He 'took a deep breath, trying his hardest to pull away. He knew right now that 'if he could manage to stand up, and lead her back to Wesley’s cabin she 'would ultimately leave. If he leaned those few precious inches forward, and 'kissed her, she would never leave. ' '”Will?” she whispered, she could taste the impeding kiss and she wet her 'lips in anticipation. ' '”The baby.” he whispered back, and stood up. “We have to stay focused on 'this miracle. The baby deserves a full time daddy, and if we get you back 'to the Enterprise, he or she will have one.” ' 'Deanna nodded, his words bringing her back to reality, “I hope there is a 'willing daddy waiting for him.” ' '”Deanna, I would have been a daddy to Ian, and we knew from the start he was 'part alien. I know that if you present the me on the Enterprise with a 'child that IS mine, no matter which one of me impregnated you, I will be 'it’s father. That’s not a guess, that is just fact.”
' '”Data, can you get her safely back.” Will asked, griping the androids shoulder he gave Data’s a long hard stare, “She has to get back safely.” ' 'Data, ambiguous to Will’s panic, only nodded his head to Will’s question, “Yes.” ' '”How?” ' '”Wesley said the counselor heard a loud ripping sound before she fell, therefore it is logical to assume the crashing of the Enterprise caused a rift. Which means, all we must do to return her is recreate the same subspace frequency, which will re-open the same time rift.” Data responded with his characteristic self assurance and ease, immediately calming Will’s frazzled nerves down. ' '”and how will you do that?” ' '”Wesley and I will first reconstruct the transporter into working order, and then reconfigure the subspace signals on the transporter. A high enough frequency emmulating from the transporter, should be exact to the frequency the falling ship caused, thereby re-opening the rift. Is this an acceptable plan, Commander?” ' 'Will groaned, his heart hated to admit it, but it was the best damn plan he had ever heard. ' '”Very acceptable Data.” Will responded, fighting back the tears of regret in his eyes. Secretly he had been hoping that sending her back would be virtually impossible, but he knew he should have known better then to doubt Data. “When can this be done by?” ' '”It depends on the extent of the damages. If the transporter is in as good of shape as Wesley claims, two-three hours tops. If not, the longest it would take is twenty-four hours.” ' 'Will felt his heart virtually stop in his chest. He knew what kind of shape the transporter was in, and he was looking at two-three hours left with his Imzadi before she once again disappeared out of his life forever. Closing his eyes, he took several deep breaths in hopes of regaining his composure. Just a few precious hours left. ' '”Sir?” ' '”Get right on it Data, the sooner the better.” ' '* * * * ' '”Beverly? Where is she?” ' ' Beverly, who had been relaxing on the porch and playing with Wesley’s puppy, looked up at Will, her eyes narrowing, “Around.” ' '”Damn it Beverly, I’ve only got a few hours left.” ' '”Precisely, and neither one of you need to be clouding your decision by your sappy love talk. It’s better you two stay apart now. All has been said, all has been done, your staying she leaving.” Beverly smiled smugly and returned her attention to the puppy. ' 'Will let his hands fall to his side, and he began to clench them. He really hated this Beverly with a passion, and suppressing his anger around her was becoming more and more difficult, “Beverly, I want to make sure she is okay. Don’t you even have one nice bone left in your body that would be willing to help me?” ' '”Flattery will get you no where Will.” ' 'He felt his blood pressure go up and he crouched down next to her. “Beverly?” ' **Drop it Will ** he heard softly in his mind. ' 'He looked up, and spotted Deanna stood about thirty feet away, the gentle breeze lifting her hair gently off her shoulders. Once again she appeared almost dream-like. He got up from his spot. ' '**** ' 'He went to her, wanting to soak her presence in one last time. “We don’t have much time.” he lifted his hand, purely on instinct to touch her face. Reluctantly she pulled back out of his grasp. ' '”Will, I don’t think we should go there. It would be to hard for us to even attempt to give each other a proper good-bye. Our relationship has to be friends, nothing more.
'He nodded, and lowered his hand, ashamed that she could be so much stronger then him at this moment. “Friends.” ' '”And as my friend, will you please go for a walk with me. I would like to pick your tactical brain.” She started away from him, knowing that he would follow, and he did. The two walked to the crash site. ' '”What do you need to know?” ' '”If I get back to the ship, and I am unable to convince you and the Captain of the potential danger in time, what can I do to stop,” she spread her hands open to the pieces of the Enterprise, “this.” ' 'He nodded and sat down on the ship saucer. She sat next to him, and the two discussed strategies. Both trying desperately to put the inevitable departure out of their minds, and relate how they had all those years ago, as colleagues and as friends. '
' 'Chapter 19 ' '
”Counselor!” Data’s voice echoed through the woods, landing at the two unwilling sets of ears. ' '”Over here Data.” Deanna called, letting her guard down for a split second, the true regret she was feeling leaking out into her voice. She let her eyes wander to Will, who’s face masked the exact pain she was feeling. ' '”I think we know why he’s here.” Will responded, standing up and slowly began to brush the dirt off his pants. He was stalling, and both he and she knew it. ' 'The brush parted to their right, and Data strode through, “Counselor, Commander, the transporter is ready.” ' 'Deanna nodded, “We will be there it a minute.” ' 'Data nodded, and disappeared back through the brush he had emerged from. ' '”Will?” she lifted her eyebrows up, “I believe I have a date with destiny.” ' 'He nodded, and then, without thinking grabbed her and pulled her into his arms, pressing her body forcefully into him. ' '”Will,” ' '”One more kiss Deanna,” he whispered, pleadingly. ' 'The hairs on the back of her neck rose by the sound of his need, and her breath became shortened. She was excited by him, the energy running between them was overwhelming, raising the tiny hairs on her neck and arm. “What’s the hurt in one more kiss,” she said weakly, fearing she would fall right over in anticipation. ' 'Will gave her one of his genuine grins, leaned over, and kissed her. The kiss, started off light and slowly built in agressiveness. She felt her heart beat quicken the longer and more demanding his kiss got. ' 'Then, as fast at it came, it peaked causing her head to spin, before slowly making it’s decent down. She felt her hands grasp his neck, not wanting this moment to end. However Will was determined to end it right, and he pulled away from her hold. ' '”Are you ready to change history?” ' 'Deanna nodded, gasping for breath, her eyes widening in amazement. ' 'Will, who had always thrived on being one step up on her just grinned innocently. He was glad he could make her blush one last time, he always found her most beautiful when she had the glow of love in her cheeks. “Good, let’s go.” ' '* * * * * ' 'Deanna looked anxiously around at the small group of Enterprise survivors. She first hugged Wesley, amused at how he stiffend nervously at her touch. ' 'Then she went to Beverly and held out her hand to shake. Beverly stared at it oddly for a moment, and then pulled her into an embrace. ' '”Deanna, please don’t hate me here. I just couldn’t handle things, but I promise you the Beverly you will run into back there can. Just promise me you won’t let Jean-Luc die.” Beverly’s eyes watered, and her true madness sparkled like an unpredictible flame in her eyes. ' 'Deanna, sensing this Beverly wanted reassurance, gave her a hug. “I will personally throw myself on top of the Captain if it will help.” ' 'This calmed Beverly, and she returned a stronger hug back. “Thank you.” ' 'Deanna broke away and looked finally at Will who just nodded his head in her direction. Both of them had a silent understanding that all that had to be said, was said back in the woods with that kiss, and saying anything now would take away from that phenomenal moment.
She turned to Data, and gave a deep breath, “I’m ready Data.” ' 'She closed her eyes tightly. A high pitched ripping sound erupted all around her, and then, almost instantenously she heard the familiar sound of the Enterprise Computer. ' '”Red Alert, Red Alert.”
Timeless Love Ch 20
“Deanna!” Worf’s voice, a mixture of relief and anxiousness rang out, causing Deanna to quickly open her eyes. “Worf,” she exclaimed happily, giddy that she had made it through alive. Worf quickly began pushing his way through the chaotic crowd to be at her side, “I thought you fell off the ship.” Deanna’s eyes widened, “I’ve already fallen off the ship?” She felt her stomach knot up, knowing that placed the ship a mere four or five minutes to impact. Worf looked at her oddly, “Did you hit your head? I don’t have time for this now, I’ve got to get you to an escape pod.” He started to reach out for her. She shrunk back against the wall, “I can’t go.” Worf growled, apparently not happy with her reply. His attempts to grab her began more furious, pushing people out of his way left and right. Deanna crouched down, assessing she didn’t have very many choices of escape, and inserted herself in the middle of a passing by group of teenagers. She began to make her way to the bridge, unsure if she had successfully lost Worf or not, but not daring to look behind her and waste the few precious seconds it would take. Taking a few deep breaths, she broke away from the group she had camouflaged herself in, and made a quick turn to the right. Twenty feet away was the bridge to the door. She broke into a run. “Deanna!” Worf voice boomed behind her. She didn’t look back. * * * * * “GET OFF OF ME COMMANDER, I WISH TO GO DOWN WITH DIGNITY.” Picard yelled, his voice coming out more muffled underneath the weight of Will on top of him. “No sir, it’s my duty to protect you.” The door of the bridge slid open, “Cut the engines.” Will gasped, horrified by that voice, the voice that should have been off the Enterprise and safely on Earth “Deanna, what the hell are you doing here.” “Cut the DAMN ENGINES Will. I don’t know how exactly to do it from here and we really don’t have time for me to figure it out.” she ran in, bracing her hands against the walls for support. “If we cut the engines we will level off and hopefully glide into a field. IF we don’t we are going to driving ourselves headfirst into the ground.” “DEANNA!” Worf ran in next, angrily glaring at Deanna, and began to make his way towards her. **Imzadi, you have to trust me. We only have about two or three minutes left. Think about it tactically, I know if your head was free from fear you would think of this yourself.** Deanna silently pleaded, Worf had come behind her and was preparing to drag her off the bridge. **Our child’s life hangs in the balance.** There was nothing else she could say or do, it was up to Will.” Will, shocked, looked at Deanna, “Child?” he mouthed. She didn’t answer, but he really didn’t need her to. He rose to his feet, made his way to Data’s control panel and systematically began punching in numbers to manually cut the engines. “Worf, let go of Deanna.” Will ordered, his eyes never leaving his computer screen or the task at hand. “Sir.” “Worf!” The engines silenced. Will turned and looked at Deanna, he sensed she had more instructions for him. “We have to go to the left.” she replied. Will nodded never doubting her for an instant. There was something in her voice that insinuated confidence and extreme urgency. “Worf, take the Captain to the left wall and get him to stay put.” The ship began to level off slowly. Will ran to Deanna, Deanna layed down sideways, facing the wall, and Will laid on his side next to her. “I’ve got a couple questions. . .” he murmured in her ear, he placed one hand against the wall in hopes of stopping either him or her from going head first into it, and placed his other arm underneath her, resting his hand on her stomach. The ship began to shake, as the belly was beginning to brush against the top of the trees. “Will I’m a little fuzzy on the details myself, but I just know this what we have to do.” she murmured back, having read his mind. She snuggled closer to him. The ship made a sharp left. “I love you Deanna.” Will whispered, he was suddenly very frightened that he was going to die. **Will, we will be fine, I promise.** The ship started to skid across the ground, Will tightened his grip around her. The counsel above them began to shake violently, the hinges coming loose from the ground The sounds of screaming voices erupted. Deanna squeezed her eyes shut. Will tucked his head into Deanna’s body, convinced that he couldn’t be close enough to her The ship continued to skid. Beside them the counsel ripped from the floor. Deanna opened her eyes to the noise and looked up. The counsel was falling on top of them. She screamed. For the two, all became black.
Timeless Love Ch 21
Deanna groaned, her body hurt, her head hurt, and darkness was all around her.
“Beverly, she waking up.” Deanna heard Will call out and she tried to look at him, but she was having the worse time getting her eyes to open. His voices seemed so distant, so far away compared to the eminent pain and darkness that faced her head on.
“Beverly, why is she so cold.” Will voice had asked next, the sheer terror in his voice brought tears to Deanna closed eyelids, but yet she just couldn’t find the strength to open her eyes, they acted like there were ten pound weights latched to each eye lid.
“Were losing her, I’ve got to get to sickbay, I can’t operate without my equipment.” Beverly Crusher had cried out urgently, but to Deanna it came across only a mere whisper. The blackness that enveloped Deanna seemed to be soundproofing her from the outside world.
* * * * *
Across the scientific beliefs of time and space, and older, grayer, sadder Will Riker was hit hard by this overwhelming pain. It brought him to his knees, and he closed his eyes in hopes of escaping the tortures throbbing he was feeling throughout his whole body.
The closing of his eyes brought him into a darkness. A darkness where he was not alone.
* * * *
Then, in the blackness around her, Deanna sensed another presence.
“William.” She breathed.
“Darling,” came the surprised voice of her older Will. “Why are you in so much pain?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know anything, everything is fuzzy except for this blackness around me. I hear you and Beverly but you seem so distant.” She babbled.
Will became alarmed, he didn’t understand what was going on, but he sensed her lack of will, and it frightend him “You hear Beverly? Then you are alive.”
“I’m tired Will, so tired. Please stay with me until I sleep.” She asked, the blackness that had blanketed her seemed so comforting and she had decided it was better to go with it then to fight it.
The older Will then sensed the impending presence of another visitor, one the younger Will also felt but refused to see. A presence of impending death, prowling around Deanna like an animal ready to pounce on its prey. “NO. Don’t do this, you’ve come to far to give it to death. Please get up, please. You must get up” His voice begged, coaxing her and keeping her from her from an everlasting sleep. “Your baby needs you.”
“Will I hurt.”
“Deanna, I feel your hurt, but please get past the physical ailment, reach inside of you mentally. I need you there and alive, I need you to open your eyes.” And he did, from that vast alternative universe he resided he desperately needed to know that somewhere, in sometime, the two had made it through everything and finally became one. He needed to know not every Will, everywhere, was stupid enough to let a precious jewl like Deanna Troi slip through their fingers.
“I love you Will, everywhere, always.” She whispered, and despite this aura of death, she followed her instructions and let her mind take over where her body failed. This Will had expressed so much need, she desperately wanted to please him.
“I love you too Deanna, everywhere, always. . . “ he whispered back. He sensed her internal battle, and slowly backed away, back to consciousness, back to his own world. He had done all he could, and would have to turn her over to the capable hands of. . . himself.
* * * * Deanna eyes fluttered open, “Will?” she whispered, and grabbed clumsily for his hand.
Will Riker, who had laid his head on her chest in desperation, not believing Beverly grim forecast of a moment ago, lifted his head and looked at Deanna. His tear-streaked face broke into a smile immediately, “Deanna.” He wanted to say more, but he suddenly felt a loss for words, his chest moments away from breaking down in sobs of relief.
She smiled up at him, “It’s okay Will, I know.” She squeezed his hand.
“Darling, the baby?”
Will nodded and lifted her hand that she had placed in his, to his lips, and gently kissed it. “Should I get Beverly?”
“In a minute.” She answered weakly, knowing that once Beverly got a hold of her, she and Will would probably forgo the right to privacy until her health was 100% and right now she felt the best medicine was looking into those wonderful blue eyes.
“Deanna, how did you know to cut the engines, that was brilliant.” Will asked, intently placing small kisses on her hand.
Deanna looked at him blankly. “What are you talking about?”
* * * * * Across time, in an alternative universe.
“Will, are you okay?” Wesley asked, wandering over to where Will had fallen to his knees moments before.
Will Riker broke his absent gaze and smiled at the man, “Yeah, I think I am. I just wonder how she is, if she is safe.”
Wesley nodded his head, remembering happier times on the Enterprise, “Sir, I can safely say if she is within twenty feet of you, she is in the safest possible place she can be.”
The older Will smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling, “Wesley, you are so right. Thank you.”
“Any time Commander, any-time.”