More Than Infatuation
Based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- - - - -
Beverly sat in her office alone. There was a lot going on in the main bay of the infirmary, but all she heard was a deafening silence. She had just run a post-mortem on several of the recently deceased crewman. There were more and more every day, and the civilians were beginning to join their numbers.
The constant attacks were whittling their numbers down and the civilians started with filling in for the enlisted, but she had a nagging feeling the officers would be next. The overcrowding on the ship since the evacuation seemed to be fixing itself without anyones assistance.
Anyone but The Borg.
She took a deep breath and shook her head as a few tears dripped from her eyes. They had lost several people in the last few months, but nothing had prepared her for today, not even the death of Jean-Luc when it all started.
Deanna had died that morning. She had taken the CONN after the panel had overloaded and severely burned the officer there. No one had expected it to overload twice. She died of severe plasma burns to the face and neck. There was nothing Beverly could have done.
That wasnt even the worst of it. She could hardly believe it. She didnt know how it was possible. She could barely think it even.
She had called down Will, the Captain, to tell him what had happened. He already knew that Deanna was dead, but he didnt know the rest. When he arrived, she stood and clasped her hands in front of her, not knowing what to do with them.
Will, I dont know what can be done now, but I think you should know. Maybe you know who we should inform . . . but . . . It wont do any good now.
Will ran his fingers through his hair. Beverly could tell he was tired. He was tired from the strain of being captain. He was tired from loss of Jean-Luc. He was tired from all the attacks. He was tired from the grief of losing everything he knew and all those he loved.
But, werent they all tired?
Beverly, what do you mean? he asked in a scratchy voice, one tired of giving orders and wanting to be quiet for a while.
Will . . . Deanna was pregnant.
Will gripped the chair in front of him to steady himself on suddenly uncertain feet. His other hand covered his mouth and his breathing deepened and slowed. His eyes raced back and forth as if searching his mind for something hed forgotten.
Beverly had felt similar when she had found out. She was Deanna physician and Deanna had never told her. More importantly, she was Deannas friend. Beverly had been hurt by the exclusion for a moment, but it vanished the second she realized her friend and that friends baby were dead.
She wasnt very far along; not far enough for anyone to notice . . . but she probably knew. She must have known, she explained in a quiet voice, just barely above a whisper.
Will fell into the chair. His breathing slowed even further.
Beverly knew he would take this hard, but it was worse than she had expected. She knew that Will and Deanna had always been close, but there was something between them in their past that had held them apart while on the Enterprise.
Will, the father needs to know. I know you and Deanna were friends, do you know who . . . she couldnt even finish the sentence. It hurt too much. She was going to have to tell someone that their baby had died. That was the hardest thing a Doctor had to do, and she knew, being a mother.
Will was silent and stared off to the side of Beverlys office.
Will? Beverly rounded her desk and sat on the edge of it. Will, do you know who the father is?
He took a deep breath and met her gaze. His eyes seemed lost within themselves and were full of tears. I was, he replied in a whisper almost silent to the human ear.
- - - - -
- - - -
Five Months Earlier
Will stared out the window in his Ready Room. It hadnt been his ready room for very long, Captain Picard had only died the week previous. That was, if you could call whatever died in the science lab Jean-Luc Picard. Will wasnt so sure he could. Locutus had died a week ago. Captain Picard died when The Borg assimilated him.
The door chimed and he called for whoever was there to enter. He could tell it was Deanna; a small alarm in his mind always went off when she was near. He always knew it was her. He could sense her presence. He could also tell that she was tired and scared, but that had nothing to do with their bond.
How many are left? she asked, skipping any and all preamble.
Will let out a sharp exhale as he turned towards her. No where near as many as there used to be. Most of the moon was evacuated; all of the Mars Colonies were saved.
How did they move so many people?
They loaded up every space worthy ship at Utopia Plenisha. They tractored out every frame and started vessel to finish en route and make use of. Everything is packed to the bilges and crewed by cadets, academy instructors, retirees and everyone with any kind of experience.
Well be getting 1400 new passengers when we meet up with the rest of the fleet. And were going to trade a third of our crew for cadets.
The war has really started, hasnt it? she asked quietly.
Will nodded and turned back to face the window. He sighed. Yeah, it has.
Deanna took a few steps closer to him. Will, she said quietly, if you have taken the Melbourne, youd be dead right now.
I know, Deanna, he took a deep breath. He had been aware of that fact for some time. He thought it every time he saw Commander Shelby. He thought it every time he walked into this Ready Room. He thought it every time he took a breath. I . . . realize that everything I knew could be over now, and all the people affected by the death of the crew of the Melbourne, the Tolstoy, and the Kyushu . . . thirty-nine starships, and eleven thousand people. He released his breath and met her gaze with glassy eyes. I would have been one of them.
For a second his vision cleared and he noticed that she seemed to be more disturbed than he was. Are you alright? he asked, taking a step towards her.
Her chin quivered as tears formed in her eyes. I . . . she began, but her words were caught in her throat as she began to cry. Her chest heaved in sobs.
Will wrapped his arms around her. I didnt die, he whispered.
But eleven thousand people did, she replied. And Captain Picard was one of them. And there are thousands more of people who feel exactly like I do right now. And no one can do anything about it.
I know it was hard for you, its hard for me too. The entire ship feels the same way, and all we can do is be there for each other, he kissed her forehead lightly.
We dont know who is going to be here tomorrow, or the next day, or who is leaving, she said somewhat angrily. She buried her face in his chest and wept. My mother liked him so, she finally whispered.
Lwaxana Troi was the one person in the galaxy who could scare Jean-Luc Picard. Will smiled and felt Deanna hiccup with a laugh against him. Itll be alright, Deanna. Well be alright.
Im glad that youre still here, she whispered. Im glad that we can be together on the Enterprise.
Im glad that I stayed. I didnt just stay because I didnt want the Melbourne or I wanted the Enterprise. I stayed because of the people here. I stayed because of you.
Deanna relaxed in Wills arms. Will closed his eyes and for the first time since this whole thing started, he felt calm. He felt at ease with himself. For the first time since he became Captain there was no weight on his shoulders.
There was only Deanna. There was only his Imzadi.
With no notice klaxons started to blare. Red Alert! Shelbys voice came over the COMM. Captain to the Bridge.
Will looked down at Deanna and she too looked scared. He was tired, but felt better since they had talked and he felt more revived than any amount of sleep could have left him.
He released her and took a step back. She nodded to the unasked question and he followed her onto the Bridge.
Report, he ordered as the door closed behind him.
- - -
Four Weeks Later (Four Months Before Deannas Death)
Will entered his quarters and collapsed onto the couch. He pressed his fingers to his closed eyes in an attempt to remove some of the images he saw inside his closed eyelids. He saw the two destroyed colonies. He saw the Borg Cubes. He saw the dead members of his crew. He saw Locutus. He saw the graveyard that Wolf 359 had become.
He knew that he would be seeing these images for a long time.
His doorbell rang. What now? he groaned softly to himself. Come in, he called.
Deanna walked into his quarters. Are you alright? she asked, upon seeing his worn face.
He knew he looked tired, and that was because he was. He hadnt slept well in weeks. Yeah, he said sitting upright. Im just tired.
She flopped down next to him and leaned her head on his shoulder. Im sorry about Caplin and Parker.
Its bad that out of twenty-seven dead, I only know two of them.
Deanna shook her head. No, its not. They others werent around long enough for you to know them.
He sighed angrily. Maybe thats the problem, Deanna! He looked at her, she looked scared. He knew she wasnt scared of him, but he knew he shouldnt have yelled at her. Im sorry, Deanna. Are you alright?
Yes, its just overwhelming to feel so many peoples fear at once.
I know, he said, not knowing what else to say. He closed his eyes and relaxed in her presence. But you dont have to be afraid around me.
She huddled against him and found the support she needed in his mind.
- - -
Will woke from a deep, comfortable sleep around zero-six-thirty. He was lying on his side on his couch holding Deanna close to him. From her breathing, Will knew she was still asleep. He stroked the side of her face and smiled at how peaceful she looked. She looked calmer now than she had in a long time.
He realized that he felt calmer now than he had in a long time.
Deanna, he whispered. Deanna.
She moaned softly and woke. She smiled at first, realizing she was in Wills arms. Then she went stiff and stood. Im sorry, Will. I didnt mean to stay here all night. Will could tell she was embarrassed and now nervous.
Its alright, Deanna. I dont mind. In fact, that was the best night sleep Ive had in a long time.
She returned his smile. Me too.
- - -
Two Weeks Later (Three and a Half Months Before Deannas Death)
Will sat at the desk in his quarters. He was looking at numerous PADDS. Some were damage reports, others were casualty reports, and several were status reports from other vessels. The Archer and the Chicago had been destroyed but the Farragut, the Gettysburg and several others had escaped with heavy damage.
Geordi had been injured that day, but he was expected to make a full recovery. Will had been so relieved.
Wills door chimed. Come, he called and looked up from the PADD with damage reports on it.
Deanna walked in. She looked terrible. It was obvious that she hadnt slept in days and her empathy was out of control. He stood up and she rushed into his arms. He held her tight as she cried.
I am so scared, she sobbed into his chest.
Were all, Deanna, he said in a faraway voice. But, I am going to make sure that we survive The Borg. If I have to fight them off single-handedly, they are not going to take my ship. I promise you that. Will couldnt tell if she had heard what he had said, but she nodded none-the-less.
I feel safe when Im you, she whispered after a moment of silence between them.
He lifted her chin with his finger gently and smiled softly. Then stay, he whispered back. He kissed her lips softly. Then stay.
- - -
The Following Day - 1000
Will was walking down one of the many corridors on the Enterprise, heading towards Sickbay. Doctor Crusher had called him down. Whatever it was, it sounded important, and he was willing to go to her since she was constantly swamped with casualties now.
He wondered if it was about converting yet another science lab into a tertiary infirmary. They had already converted two: what was a third? or a fourth?
He took the next left, absent-mindedly, and entered Sickbay. Things looked unusually orderly. It looked like Beverly had had a little time to catch up on the casualty list left by the last attack. Maybe this wasnt about more space then . . .
He couldnt imagine what it was about if it wasnt about more space. Unless, she thought he was too stressed or something else ridiculous.
Ah, Captain, she nodded when she saw him. I need to talk to you about Deanna.
Deanna? He hoped she was alright. He knew that she was having an especially difficult time right now. She was grieving and had trouble controlling her empathy, which was having a snowball effect on her conscious mind.
Alright, he replied, not knowing what else to say.
Will followed Beverly into her office and took a seat in front of the desk as Beverly sat in her own chair. Beverly took a deep breath. Im going to be blunt. She doesnt look good. She looks tired, and worn out. I know that were all tired and worn out, but Deannas condition is becoming more and more obvious to me. Shes beginning to lose weight and Im getting very worried about her.
Will nodded. I know. Shes having trouble with her mental blocks and her empathy is almost completely out of control. Ive been giving her more time to meditate, but it doesnt seem to be helping at all.
Maybe you should try to help her. Perhaps your telepathic bond may help her. She paused and evaluated his expression. I wouldnt be asking if I didnt think it was extremely important.
Will nodded. I understand, and I think youre right. Ill do what I can.
- - -
Later That Evening 2030
Will sat on the floor of his quarters on a small mat. There were a few candles around. In front of him sat a small shallow bowl full of water with a lily floating in it. Deanna said she would be there in a few minutes.
He hoped he would be able to help her. Beverly was right. Deanna was affected more than the rest of them. He thought there was more that she wasnt telling him. Something that was upsetting her greatly. Something terribly frightening.
He knew she was coming before she reached his door. He wondered if it was because he was calm and searching, or if she wanted him to.
Hi, she said walking in. He told her she had no need to use the chime, so she didnt. He hoped it would make her feel a little more comfortable.
Hi, he smiled up at her from the floor.
Whats this? she asked.
Beverly suggested I help you meditate.
She looked at him incredulously. What is this, really?
I know something is bothering you. Something you havent told me yet. Deanna I want to help you. He held his hands out for her to take.
She looked at them for a moment. She seemed afraid. He knew she was. He knew that she was afraid to come to terms with whatever was inside her.
After a moment of apprehension, she took his hands and sat in front of him, opposite the water lily. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Will followed suit and waited for Deanna to take the reins.
For a moment he felt no different, but then Deanna started projecting. At first he felt nothing but a blur of emotion, most of them sad, angry, or scared. Then the emotions started to organize and Will began to make sense of the chaos. He felt what she felt all the time and it was overwhelming, but he knew this was not what was bothering her so much she could not sleep.
He opened his eyes. What else? he asked.
She shook her head, too scared to continue.
He squeezed his hands. Deanna, what else? There is more. What arent you showing me?
She shook her head again and closed her eyes tighter.
He leaned forward and smiled. Its alright, Imzadi. Im here. Tell me what happened. Show me what youre so afraid of. Let me help you. He wasnt sure if he said the last few words aloud or sent them straight to her mind, but it didnt matter either way.
Tears trickled from Deannas eyes and she took a gasping breath as Wills mind was flooded with new images.
Images of The Borg.
He saw Locutus, and other Borg. He also heard some kind of . . . noise. He didnt know how to describe it. Bugs? A high pitched tone? Dark Chimes? Whatever it was, he knew it was The Borg.
He knew it was The Borg. He knew they were inside his head. He knew this was what Deanna was hiding. He knew this was what was tearing her apart on the inside.
Then they spoke. They spoke in the terrible singular voice of more than a thousand people as one with Jean-Luc Picard at the point of the voice. You will be assimilated. They were talking to him. They werent just delivering an open threat to everyone in earshot; they were talking to him.
He was there. He was inside the cube. They were all around him. He was going to be assimilated. He was next. He knew it. They wanted him. They had Captain Picard, and he was next.
Then it was gone.
Will was sitting on the floor in his quarters, across from Deanna. Tears were in her eyes.
This is what youve been seeing? It wasnt exactly a question, because he already knew it was true. It was true and now he understood why she had been so troubled.
She nodded as tears streamed down her face and she started to shake. Will pulled her to him and held her.
I understand, he whispered. He didnt know if it mattered, but he understood.
- - -
The Next Morning 0930
Will watched the officers leave the Observation Lounge. Beverly stayed behind. When the officers left and the door closed he turned his attention to Beverly.
I just wanted you to know, she told him, that Deanna looks a lot better this morning. It looks like she had better luck with her meditation.
Will nodded. Yes, he agreed, we made a lot of progress last night.
Beverly smiled. You should try to continue, at least several nights a week.
Will nodded and watched her leave. He didnt really think it was the meditation that helped. Deanna had just let her Imzadi see; see and understand.
But he did plan to continue helping her. He had made her feel safe, for at least a short time. He was going to continue making her feel safe. He was going to make her safe.
- - -
Two Weeks Later (Three Months Before Deannas Death)
When Will got to his quarters that night, Deanna wasnt there. She had been waiting for him for the past two weeks, but today she wasnt there. He was a little worried about her.
She had seemed more comfortable during the day and she had been better able to control her telepathy. She seemed better, but Will felt like there was something more. She was not the person she once was. She was quiet, reserved. She spent more time in her quarters or his than she did doing anything else.
When she didnt stay with him, he knew she slept poorly; it showed on her face the next day. He could tell there was something missing inside her, but he couldnt tell what it was.
Deanna? he called out. He was worried about her and was feeling more and more personally responsible for her all the time.
Here, she quietly called back.
Will followed her voice into his bedroom. She sat on his bed with the covers pulled up to her chest. She looked pale, scared, and small.
Are you alright? he asked.
Will? she asked in a very quiet voice. Do you love me?
He sat down on the side of his bed and took her hand. He nodded slowly and smiled. Deanna, Ive always loved you, and I always will, he whispered.
Deanna met his gaze and he knew what was missing in her. She felt had felt so much of other peoples pain that it had taken control of her entire mind. There was no room for the one thing that all Betazoids thrived on: love.
Thats what she needed, and thats why she felt better with him.
Could you make love to me? she asked quietly. I need . . .
Something other than fear and pain, he finished for her. Will kissed her hand before removing his boots and climbing into the bed next to her. I would do anything for you, Imzadi. I will do whatever you asked. He cupped her face in his hand and kissed her gently. I love you, Imzadi.
- - - - -
- - -
Two and a Half Months Later (Two Weeks Before Deannas Death)
Deanna lay in Wills arms on his bed. She loved the way he held her close, as if she was going to fall. She loved the way he held her, like he was never going to let her go, like he loved her more than life itself.
He gently kissed her bare shoulder, and she smiled. Deanna leaned her head back slightly, just providing a little more contact between them.
It was late. How late, she didnt know, and didnt really care. She just wanted to remain in his arms like this forever. She knew that they would have to get up eventually and face the harsh reality that was their lives now. Everyone on the run from The Borg, trying to simply survive: to exist.
Im sorry, Deanna, he said quietly, as if reading her exact thoughts, which she knew was highly unlikely. Im sorry life had to be this way.
She turned to him and smiled. The last two weeks had been some of the best of her life. She felt like she was young again and she knew that it was Will who was causing the change. She loved him not only for helping her to be herself again, but for being her Imzadi, and for giving her a wonderful gift that she could barely wait to share with him when the time was right.
Dont pretend like this is your fault, Will. Its not, you know. No one is blaming you for this.
He sighed angrily. Maybe they should be. He cast his eyes up, away from her. What if I could have stopped this?
Deanna kissed his cheek softly. Then this wouldnt be happening and things would be different. No one can change the past.
Just one thing, Deanna. Thats all it would take.
She tucked her head to his bare chest and sighed in the comfort. He adjusted his grip on her and pulled her closer. And so many things would be changed. This wouldnt be happening, and you cant make me believe that you dont want this to happen.
He kissed her head. I love you, Deanna.
I love you, Imzadi. She leaned back and looked into his eyes; they were still but warm with love. A lot of bad things happened, but some good came from this. And no matter what else happens, no matter if it is horrible or wonderful, no matter how unexpected or complicated, we will get through it together. We will be alright.
He kissed her lips. Im glad youre here with me, Deanna. You make me believe that we can get through this. You make me believe that we can survive.
Deanna closed her eyes and relaxed in his arms, waiting for sleep. Survive, she thought to the little voice growing inside of her. Thats our job. We just have to survive. Well survive for Daddy.
- - -
Two Weeks Later
The Bridge shook, and Deanna knew that the Enterprise couldnt take much more of this. See watched the CONN panel overload and the officer fall to the ground with severe burns. She rushed over to take his place and tried to move the Enterprise out of The Borgs fire. Her console told her that the Crazy Horse and the Hathaway had just arrived, but the Gandhi and the Potemkin had just been destroyed.
So much for changing the status quo in their favor.
Shields have failed! Worf shouted over the klaxons and commotion.
Deanna, get us out of here! Will shouted, getting up from his seat. Data, contact the fleet, tell them we must withdraw.
There was a lot of confusion outside the ship and Deanna trouble avoiding The Borgs weapons. They were hit and there were a few explosions behind her. Then her console overloaded.
A thousand things happened at once. She saw her father, her mother, Captain Picard, then Will. He smiled at her. Then she saw their baby. Their baby who she knew would die in a split second when the explosion would hit her. She heard Will scream her name, but it was too late.
She smiled at their baby. Then there was darkness, followed by a vast nothingness and she was lost in the void.
- - - - -
- - - - -
Now (Hours After Deannas Death)
You were? Beverly breathed. Will . . . I uh . . . Im sorry, I didnt know.
I didnt know, he whispered. I didnt know that she was . . . he couldnt even finish the sentence. Pregnant, she had been pregnant with their baby.
Will could tell Beverly was shocked, but that didnt really matter right now. Nothing seemed to matter to him right at that moment. His baby was gone. The baby he didnt even know existed.
His baby. Deannas baby. Their baby.
Will felt tears form in his eyes.
Had I known, Beverly said.
There was nothing you could have done, you said so yourself, he said quietly. It seemed that his entire life would be quiet from now on.
Will, I . . . dont know what to say, but that I understand.
He shook his head. I dont think you do.
No, really. You loved her. This was more than . . . an infatuation. I understand what it is like to lose someone you loved.
He wanted to tell her that she knew nothing about it. She had never lost an Imzadi. She had never lost a child she didnt even know about.
But he didnt. She was grieving as well, and he just didnt have it in him to yell. Besides, it wasnt any fault of hers. . .
Dont pretend like this is your fault, Will. Its not, you know. No one is blaming you for this.
Maybe they should be. . . . What if I could have stopped this?
Then this wouldnt be happening and things would be different. No one can change the past.
Just one thing, Deanna. Thats all it would take.
Just one thing, he whispered so quietly he didnt even know if he had said anything at all.
What? Beverly asked, hearing him.
Will got up and met her gaze. Thats all it would take. Just one thing. He walked out of her office. He glanced to the bio-bed on his way out, the one with the blanket up over the occupants face.
Beverlys words stuck in his mind. More than an infatuation, she had said. It was true. They were more than an infatuation, they were his entire life.
Deanna and their baby.
He continued walking, not knowing where he was going. But he walked out of Sickbay, leaving his entire life behind.
- - - - / - - - -