Pretend there is a disclaimer here. Really, there is one. It is just in a very small font and also in invisible type.
June 30, 2003
He could tell something was wrong. He could sense it, feel it, see it. He longed for the meeting to be over so that he could take her in his arms and comfort her. But in the meantime, as the Captain's voice continued, he would just have to watch her. Her full bottom lip was trembling slightly. To the others in the room, it would be barely perceptible, but he knew her inside and out and noticed everything about her. Her dark eyes stared uncomprehendingly at the standing form of the Captain. It seemed as though she was somewhere else. Her arms were crossed in their usual fashion over her chest as if in protection from a possible attack.
She knew he was watching her. From the corner of her eye, she could see his concerned filled blue eyes fixed on her. There was no way that she could hide it from him. She wasn't able to hide anything from him and that frustrated her at times. She wanted this meeting to be over so that she could escape to the security of her quarters. She knew that he would follow her though. He always did in moments like this. She blinked a couple of times to bring the image of the Captain back into focus. She didn't even know what he was talking about and was praying that he wouldn't suddenly ask for her opinion, but unfortunately, he did.
"Counselor, what are your feelings on this? Do you sense anything?"
Maybe she could fake it and hopefully give him a satisfying answer. One came to her and she voiced it out loud. The Captain's face grew serious. Oh, oh. Maybe that wasn't what he expected. Her heart began to race a little bit. But then, a slight smile turned up the corners of his mouth.
"Very well, Counselor. That is fine." He called an end to the meeting.
She sighed a huge sigh of relief and jumped up from her chair. She was hoping that she would make it out the door before him, but a large hand on her elbow told her that it wasn't to be.
"Deanna, wait up." She slowed her step so that he could keep up with her, but she did not look at him. She kept her focus on getting to her quarters. While inside the turbolift, she took a few steps away from him, wanting to keep some distance. He moved over to her and put a hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it off and stepped away again. She always played this game with him and it always ended up the same way. She was sure it was going to have the same results this time too.
The ride was completed in silence and when the doors slid open, she bolted through them and practically ran to her cabin. She punched in the security code and dashed inside when the door opened. He caught it just before it came to a complete close. He watched her start to pace the room, her arms still crossed protectively over her chest. Long, dark curls bouncing agitatedly on her shoulders. He stepped in front of her, halting her steps. Without a word, he held out his arms, knowing that she would eventually step into them without a fight. Her bottom lip was trembling even more so than in the meeting. A sheen of unshed tears glistened in the endless depths of large obsidian eyes that stared up at him.
Her arms uncrossed and went to her sides. Her hands clenching and unclenching as she struggled with her emotions, fighting to keep them from overwhelming her.
"Let it go, Deanna." His voice took away any chances of her winning the battle. Her face crumpled and tears formed on thick bottom lashes. She stepped into his embrace just as they began to fall and buried her face against his chest.
He wrapped his arms tightly around her, feeling her small body trembling with suppressed sobs. He buried his face in her hair, breathing in the floral scent of it, luxuriating in the softness of it. His hands ran up and down her back as she wept, the heart wrenching sobs becoming louder, bringing tears to his own eyes.
He wasn't going to ask her what this was all about. He already knew. He continued to hold her even after the storm had calmed down to a case of the hiccups. He placed a hand beneath her chin and raised her tear-streaked face, making her look at him with sad, red-rimmed eyes. "I am so sorry, Dee." She drew in her breath when he used his nickname for her. He hadn't called her that in a long time, not since they were more than friends. "I had to accept. The Captain wants me to lead the away team on this mission." Tears began to form again. He swallowed over the lump that developed in his throat. It always hurt him when she cried. "I know I will be risking my life, but that is part of being a Starfleet officer. You know that." He brushed at the tears with his thumbs and kissed the tip of her nose. "Please don't cry anymore, Deanna."
Something bad was going to happen. She had been having dreams of it every night since the Captain had made the announcement about the mission. She would always wake up trembling, her face wet with tears. All she would see was darkness and feel the intense coldness emanating from it. She wouldn't have any sense of him at all. Their bond was broken.
She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. "I don't know what I would do without you, Will!"
He scooped her up into his arms and carried her over to the sofa. He sat down and cuddled her on his lap, pressing her head against his chest as another bout of weeping overtook her. He whispered words of comfort in her ear and kept planting kisses on top of her head until that storm past also and gave way to sniffles and quiet whimpers. He had never seen her this upset before. Even when she had lost her empathic abilities she hadn't carried on quite like this.
She felt embarrassed to be behaving this way. Usually she was pretty much in control of her feelings and emotions, only losing it when others' feelings and emotions would come at her all at once, hitting her in every direction, making her feel as if she would go crazy. She had to tell him how she felt, still felt about him, had always felt about him. Taking a deep breath, she began to focus inward to center herself. When she found her center, she looked up into his blue eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. She felt herself being drawn into them, lost inside the depth of them. She never wanted to find her way out.
"I have a confession to make, Will."
He placed a kiss on her forehead. "I have a confession to make too, Imzadi."
Her eyes widened. "You already know what I am going to say, don't you?" She wasn't surprised when he nodded his head in reply.
"I still love you too, Deanna. I have never stopped loving you and I never will." His eyes grew dark and serious. "I could never love anyone else as I love you. You are my best friend, my lover, my soulmate. You are my sunshine on a rainy day, my silver lining, my right arm, my life. You are my everything."
He pressed his lips to hers, tasting the saltiness of her tears, deepening the kiss when he felt her responding. He felt it deep within that she believed him.
The kiss grew into something much more, something that hadn't happened in quite a long time, years to be in fact. They awoke in each others arms in the morning, their bodies tangled in the bedclothes.
He began to trace her exquisite features with a forefinger. She was so beautiful to him, so sweet, so gentle, so perfect. He wanted to make her his. He never ever wanted to lose her again. He would ask her to marry him when he returned. She looked at him with those lovely ebony eyes. He always got lost in the depths of those eyes, could feel himself drowning in them. He never wanted to find his way out. He lost his heart even more when she smiled. It lit up her angel face.
"Goodmorning, Imzadi." He stroked the long, thick curls that were fanned out across her pillow. "I would love to be able to stay like this all day long."
"I would love to be able to stay this way forever," she said, a note of sadness in her voice. She placed a kiss on his neck, then his cheek.
He was about to kiss her when his COMM chirped. <<Picard to Commander Riker>>
Both of them sighed simultaneously. He answered, "Riker here, sir."
<<Number One, please assemble the away team right away.>>
"Aye, sir. Riker out." He glanced at her. He could see she was trying to keep her emotions in line. "I am going to make it back in one piece. I promise." It was said to reassure her, but it didn't work. He reached out to catch the tears that began to slip from the corners of her eyes.
Worf, Data and Geordi stood waiting as he kissed her goodbye. They noticed how she clung to him as if she would never see him again. He bent down to whisper in her ear, "I promise I will be back, Imzadi. I love you." He disentangled himself from her hold and joined his team on the transporter. The last image he saw before the transport beam took hold was that of his beloved collapsing to her knees, weeping uncontrollably.
It would be the only image he would ever have of her again.