Paramount owns all Star Trek characters. I make no profit from this story.
first try to write a bit longer story. I know that to most this still is "a
short story" but not to me. Big thanks go to Jeannette Low for checking my
story and to Carol Sandford for her encouraging words, comments and support. :)
The girls also suggested titles for the story and after hours of
consideration I ended up choosing Jeannette's idea. Thanks both! Your help is
much appreciated! All feedback is welcome and hoped for but please be gentle.
by Sunstar 7/2001
Beverly Crusher sat by the bar in Ten-Forward and stared at the couple
in the corner. They were having fun. That much was obvious. They were talking
and laughing and sometimes it looked like one of them had spoken but no words
were heard. At first Beverly had thought it odd but now, after observing them
for several days, she had realized that they must be using telepathy.
While Beverly was still watching, the girl got up and came to the bar to
get new drinks.
"Hi Bev! What's up?"
"Hi Dee. Nothing much, just trying to hide from the Bolian doctor.
I think he has a crush on me and he's SO NOT my type!"
"Sorry to hear that." Deanna said smiling. "Why don't you
join me and David. I was just telling him all about last night's poker
"Oh, I don't know...I don't want to bother you..."
"Don't be silly! You won't bother us. I'm sure David would love to
hear another doctor's opinion about the new medicines he's tried to make. So,
will you join us?"
"I think I'll..."
Just then the blue-skinned Bolian walked through the doors.
"...I'd love to! Come on!"
At the same time on the planet Quadra Sigma III.
"Commander, the cave is going to collapse! Another earthquake is
going to hit in two minutes!"
"Yes, yes... If I could just do this one more thing..."
"No Commander. We don't have the time. We must go NOW!"
"Oh dammit! Fine, I'm coming!"
--- --- ---
"Two rescued, sir, both seriously wounded. The third one we got out
just died. He had lost too much blood."
"Damn!" Riker sighed heavily and buried his head in his hands.
"There are still seven more down there... ... ... We have to get them out
"Sir, I believe there is another way we can try. It was actually
Counselor Troi who suggested it."
"I know Data, I know. I've come to the same conclusion myself. We
have to do this the way she said it... Why didn't I listen to her..."
8 DAYS EARLIER
"Stop yelling at me!"
"I'm not yelling!"
"Yes, you are!"
"Well...I can yell when ever I want to and to who ever I
"Aaargh! I don't want to continue this anymore. Why don't you just
admit you're wrong?!"
"Because I'm not wrong! It can't be done!"
"Yes, it can! You don't even want to hear me out! I talked to Data
"I have been a commander a lot longer than you have. So don't you
think I have more experience?!"
"Yes, you do but you can still be wrong. Why don't you let me
finish and then tell me what you think."
"You don't have to finish! The whole idea is crazy! If we did what
you're suggesting it would only end in disaster!"
"You don't know that! You just can't admit that you might be wrong!
Or that there might be another solution?! The great Will Riker is never wrong!
Will... everybody makes mistakes sometimes. You don't have to be
"Oh, shut up! I hate you when you do that! You just have to change
every conversation into a counselling session! I don't need a shrink! It can't
be done and that's that! Now get out of my sight!"
"Will... you're upset and tired..."
"Don't you think I know that! I don't need you to tell me how I
feel or don't feel! I know my own mind! You know you think you're something
special, that you have the upper hand, that you're always right because you know
what goes on in other people's minds! But you're wrong! And I don't have to
agree with you just because you think you're right! It doesn't help you either
to have a mother who is daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the blaa blaa
blaa, Heir to the blaa blaa blaa because you're wrong!!!"
"Oh, get lost! This conversation is over!"
Counselor Deanna Troi walked out of Commander Riker's quarters her eyes
blazing with fury. Her face was red from yelling and her throat hurt. She tried
to take a few calming breaths with little effect.
They had just had a serious disagreement about a plan of action on their
upcoming away mission. They would have to rescue ten people from an underground
reserch facility which had been badly damaged after it had been attacked.
Will was sure there was only one way of getting the people out of there
but Deanna did not agree. She thought Will's plan was risky and she had another
idea that might work but telling that to Will had been a big mistake.
Will had been under a lot of stress and had not had the time to relax in
weeks. When Deanna showed up on his quarters and questioned his decisions it was
more than enough to blow him up. He vented all his anger and frustrations on
her. He did not even want to listen. He had had enough!
"Fine!" She snorted on her way out. "If that's the way he
feels, fine! I won't get in the way of his success! No one can even fit into the
same room with his big ego!"
--- --- ---
A few hours later in the observation lounge.
"As you all know, we are on our way to the Sigma III Solar System
to rescue the people from the destroyed reserch facility. That will be a very
difficult task and I was hoping we could focus solely on that but no such
luck... Starfleet has given us more orders."
Surprised, everyone stared at Captain Picard as he continued.
"A group of delegates will be boarding the Enterprise in 48 hours
and our orders are to entertain them and transport them to Starbase G-6."
"What?! What kind of delegates? We don't have time for this."
"I was just coming to that Number One. I agree that we don't have
much time but as you know, we have to do what the Admiral tells us to do.
As for the delegates, I don't know any names but the group consists of
doctors, psychologists, scientists, botanists etc. They have requested to meet
with Doctor Crusher and Counselor Troi. This all means that we have to change
our plans. The new plan is this. We will arrive to our destination in 24 hours.
Will, you'll assemble an away team. Take Data, Worf, Doctor Selar and any others
who you need, except for Troi and Crusher. You'll take your team to the planet
and help the people as best as you can. In the meantime, we will meet the
delegates and take them to Starbase G-6. After that, we'll come back for you.
No one said a word.
"Fine then. Number One, go prepare your team. Doctor Crusher, help
Selar with the medical arrangements and after the team has left you and Troi can
make plans concerning the delegates. Dismissed."
--- --- ---
"All the away team shuttles have cleared the Enterprise, sir."
"Good. Take us out of orbit ensign. Set a course to intercept the
vessel that is carrying the delegates."
BACK TO THE PRESENT
"Captain, I would like to ask a permission for shore leave."
Picard asked a small smile lightning his face. "Now that's a
"I know this is a bit sudden, sir."
"When would you like to have this leave? Where would you go?"
"When we reach starbase G-6, sir. I would like to go to Betazed
with Dr. David Thompson. He's an old friend of mine. I was hoping we could take
a shuttle from the starbase since the away team is using all of ours."
"When were you thinking of returning?"
"Well, the Enterprise
should be back in this sector after 3-4 weeks, right? So, I was thinking I could
rendezvous with you then."
"Sounds like you got it all planned. I have no reason to deny your
request. We shouldn't be needing your skills for a while... We're just
transporting people from one place to another..."
"That's what I thought, sir."
"Well then, permission granted Counselor! You may go to Betazed.
We'll contact you when we're heading back."
"Thank you, sir."
"You're welcome. And Deanna...!"
With a big smile on her face, Deanna Troi walked out of the Captain's
--- --- ---
"I still can't believe you're going!" Beverly complained.
"Oh, Deanna, how can you leave me here! I won't have anyone to talk to...
It'll be so boring here."
"Sorry Bev!" Deanna laughed. "David and I have so much
catching up to do. I'm thrilled I can go! Besides I haven't had a vacation in
"I'm happy for you. We could all use some relaxation. Maybe we'll
have a chance later, when you come back. I should talk to the Captain......
"You do that. We have to go now. I'll miss you."
The two women hugged and then Beverly watched Deanna and David shimmer
away. They were the last to leave. Now the Enterprise would go back to get the
"Welcome back, Number one!" Picard said a broad smile on his
face. "You look tired. How was the mission? I assume you got the job
done." He continued, his expression turning into concern.
"Almost, sir. We lost one but the other nine should be fine."
"Good. I expect a full report but you won't have to give that until
tomorrow. Now I think you could all use dinner and a good night's sleep. I'll
see you tomorrow. You can go."
"Thank you, sir."
--- --- ---
Will Riker thought it strange that Deanna had not been in the briefing
that morning but assumed she had some other business to take care of.
Now he wanted to find her. He had some serious apologizing to do.
He pressed the door chime on her office door but no one answered.
"Computer, locate Counselor Troi."
"Counselor Troi is not abord the Enterprise." Came the
computer's monotone response.
"What?!!! ... ... Then where is she?"
"Counselor Troi was beamed to Starbase G-6 seven days ago. Her
current location is unknown."
Will was shocked. He stared at the wall for a while but then headed to
the only place from where he knew he could get some answers, sickbay.
--- --- ---
"Beverly why didn't you tell me Deanna was not aboard?!" Will
asked, impatient to know where Deanna was.
"You didn't ask. I didn't think it mattered." She answered
shrugging. "Besides I've been busy."
Will could not believe what he was hearing. Beverly's tone was so casual
and dismissive, like she did not know how much Will cared for Deanna. Sighing
heavily he continued.
"Where is she now?"
"Betazed? What's she doing there?"
"She took shore leave. Is that so amazing?"
"Shore leave? Just like that?"
"Will, she hasn't had a vacation in a long time. Besides she wanted
to spent more time with her old friend."
"Yes, he was one of the doctors that came onboard after you
"Yes, David Thompson." Said Alyssa Ogawa as she came to stand
next to Beverly giving her a datapadd. "Oh, how I wish he were my doctor...
" She continued, her eyes looking up to heavens then quickly turning her
head to the Doctor. "No offense Beverly but I wouldn't mind being examined
by him... ... He's gorgeous! ...
And those black eyes....ohhh... He could give me physical any time... Don't you
"Uh-huh." Beverly mumbled her expression dreamy.
Will looked at the women his eyes wide. Then he grabbed Beverly by the
arms and dragged her into her office.
"Beverly, you don't understand. You have to tell me more. Who is
this guy? What kind of mood was Deanna in when she left?"
"What are you doing Will? Why do you want to know?"
"Because I'm in big trouble Beverly!"
"What do you mean?" Beverly asked knitting her brows.
"What have you done this time?"
The redheaded Doctor stared Riker in the eyes and got worried when she
saw his normally so bright blue eyes now dark with worry. He lowered his head
and took a deep breath.
"Before I left for the mission Deanna and I had a fight, a big
fight! She hasn't talked to me since... I'm afraid I might have ruined our
friendship and possible the chances of ever being more then just friends... ...
... Beverly, I'm desperate, you've got to help me!"
"Of course Will." Beverly said her tone now low and soothing.
"Sit down and tell me everything..."
Will could not believe it. Deanna had gone on a shore leave without
talking to him first. It was not like her at all to leave things unsettled.
Usually she was the first one to come and work things out but not this time.
"She must be really mad at me. I must have hurt her too much."
Will thought desperately.
He was pacing his quarters feeling really bad. He had said some
terrible, unforgivable things to her and he wished he could take them back. He
had even said he hated her!
"Oh God! Why?! Why did I tell her that?! I hope she knows I didn't
mean it! I could never hate her!"
While on the planet, Will had had some time to think. Time to think
about what he had said and done, about his life and what he wanted from it. When
one of the researchers had died he had watched how his wife had cried. Cried for
hours and hours and after she finally quieted down she looked like her life had
been taken as well.
Will could not help thinking how he would feel if he lost Deanna. Even
though she was not his wife she was his best friend, his soulmate, his imzadi,
his whole world.
Will had made a decision. When he got back abord the Enterprise he would
beg for Deanna's forgiveness and if he got that, ask her out on a date.
He wanted to start over with her. He wanted her back in his life and he
wanted her to stay in his life too, hopefully forever.
"But how can I tell her I'm sorry if she's not here?! She's gone.
Gone with some good looking friend. I must tell her how I feel before it's too
late, before I lose her to someone else."
--- --- ---
"Captain, I need shore leave."
"How come all my officers suddenly want shore leave?" Picard
said raising an amused eyebrow. "First Deanna, then Beverly came begging
for leave after this mission is over and now you. When and where would you like
to go, if I may ask?"
"I would like to go immediately, sir. There is something very
important, personal issues, I need to take care of and it can't wait."
"I see..." Picard said taking in Riker's stiff posture and his
desperate sounding voice. "Normally I wouldn't allow leave on such a short
notice but since you really seem to be needing it, I'll grant your wish. You can
have leave for 8 weeks. After that we'll meet you on Earth. You can take one of
"Thank you, sir. Thank you so much."
"You're welcome. Now go, where ever you're going I can see you want
to get there fast, so go. Have a good trip Will."
For days now, Will had traveled alone in a shuttle, headed to Betazed.
He was pushing the shuttles engines to the limit wanting to go faster and
faster. Isolation was not good for a person when he was scared. Scared to death
that the woman he loved would fall in love with someone else and stop loving
him. His mind had created many scenes of what would happen when he got to her.
He tried to think that everything would be okay but his subconsciousness kept
nagging that it was too late.
According to Beverly Deanna's old friend was a doctor. A gorgeous
Betazoid doctor and a very strong telepath. Deanna had spent almost every minute
with him. Laughing and having fun. Going to the holodeck and arboretum. Beverly
even said they had been using telepathy in public. Something Deanna usually did
not want to do because it was impolite since other people could not hear them.
"This guy must be something special since Deanna is giving him so
much time and attention." Will thought jealous. "I'll have to give her
all I got and more if I want to win her back... ... ... More than anything I
want Deanna to be happy and if she thinks she'll be happy with someone else...
then I just have to accept that and let her go... ... no matter how much it
hurts... ... I owe her at least that."
--- --- ---
After safely arriving on Betazed the first thing Will did, was to locate
Deanna. Luckily that was not hard because Deanna had her communicator with her
so the Enterprise could contact her. According to the readouts, Deanna was near
the ocean. Riker guessed she was staying at the Troi family beach house, so he
took the nearest ground transport that would take him there.
--- --- ---
Meanwhile in the beach house, Deanna was spending a quiet evening with
"Is something wrong Dee?" He asked telepathically after
emerging from the kitchen and seeing Deanna looking out at the sea lost in
thought. David set the two very big cups of hot chocolate he was carrying on the
table and moved to sit next to Deanna.
"I was just thinking about Will and the fight I told you
"Oh, Dee. You know he didn't mean what he said. He was just too
tired and stressed."
"I know but still... it hurts. No matter how tired or angry he was
he still shouldn't have said those things. I was just trying to help him... and
instead of being grateful he mocked me and everything I believe in... He said he
"Honey, I'm sure he's feeling miserable right now."
"He should! ... ... I don't even know if he got back alright. What
if something has happened to him?" Deanna asked alarmed her black eyes
shining with fear and unshed tears.
"You would have been notified. And you would have felt it. Don't
worry everything is okay." David said putting his hand on her shoulder.
"I know, I know. You're right of course. I just... I don't know how
I should feel right now. I'm mad at him, I worry about him, I miss him.... he
was my best friend you know. Now I don't know what he is anymore."
"He'll always be your friend... and your Imzadi. I'm sure he
worries about you just as much as you worry about him. After all you left
without telling him, or leaving a note, right?"
"Right. I didn't know what to say. I needed some time to
"You still love him, don't you?"
"Yes, I do... ..."
One teardrop slowly made it's way from her eye to her cheek.
David pulled her into his arms.
"Shh, everything is going to fine. Trust me."
Will was standing behind the window, watching them. He was trying to
build walls around his mind so that they would not sense he was there. He saw
them sitting on the couch facing each other, drinking something that looked like
cocoa. A fire was burning in the fireplace and they looked quite comfortable
though their faces were serious. David said something and smiled. For a while
Deanna seemed to think what he had said but then she smiled back and nodded her
head. She moved to him, hugged him, gave him a big kiss on the cheek and
whispered something in his ear. Whatever she said made him smile more. He kissed
the top of her head and wrapped an arm around her shoulder and squeezed her to
Will was crushed. Deanna was obviously involved with David. Why else
would they be hugging, kissing and cuddling like that. It was over between them.
Will would never again be able to hold her in his arms and stroke her beautiful
hair. He would never hear her thoughts or kiss her lips. She would not need him
comforting her when she was sad because she had David. He would never be her
husband or the father of her children. She was not his anymore.
Quietly Will moved away and headed back to the spacedock.
--- --- ---
The next morning Deanna saw a message light blink on her computer. She
activated the terminal and accessed the message. It was marked personal, it was
from Will. Deanna tapped a button and soon his face appeared on the screen.
"Hi Deanna. I really don't know from where to begin. I guess the
beginning would be the best idea...
When I came back from the away mission I was shocked to hear that you
were gone. I had so many things I wanted to say to you. I wanted to apologize
for all the things I said to you but I couldn't. I could have send you a message
sooner but I didn't want to. I felt like I had to apologize face to face. So
after Beverly told me where you were, I asked for a leave, got it, took a
shuttle and came to Betazed.
I had such a big plans, I was supposed to beg for your forgiveness and
if I got that, you know what I was going to do? I was going to ask you out. Yes,
out on a date.
While on the away mission I realized how short life can be and how
people shouldn't waste their lives living the kind of life to which they aren't
satisfied. I thought about my life and something was missing. Do you know what
that was? Love. Oh, I was in love, had been for a long time but I had been
afraid to show it, to give it, to give myself to someone, so completely. Afraid
of being rejected and left alone with a broken heart.
I always thought that someday things would work out on their own. That
one day I would be married to the woman who stole my heart. We would have
children, be a family and live happily ever after.
I guess that only happens in fairy tales. Real life isn't so simple.
Things don't change if I don't change them and now I've waited too long. Now
it's too late. Someone wasn't afraid to make a move and now I don't have a
You're probably wondering what I mean. ... ... I saw you. I came to the
beach house. I watched you from outside. It's obvious that you're in love with
David and I don't blame you. He's a good man I'm sure. Doctor and a Betazoid,
not living on a starship, wanting to be a Captain. What more could you want. I'm
sure your mother is happy too. By the way, I'm sorry for what I said about your
mother. You know she can sometimes push my buttons and make me very angry but
still I respect her very much. She's a remarkable woman. As are you. I hope
you'll be happy with David.
I don't really know why I'm telling you all this. Probably because you
have always been the one who I've talked to when I have troubles. That's what
you get for being the ship's counselor... ...
Seriously, you're my friend, my confidant, at least I hope you still
are. I have no one else I can tell
this. True Bev helped me to clear my head but still...I can't tell her all this.
She wouldn't understand.
Okay, enough with this rambling. I just want to tell you I'm sorry. I'm
so sorry for what I said. I hope you know I didn't mean any of it. I was just so
frustrated and angry and... ... I know I know, it doesn't justify for what I
did... I should have held my tongue. I
feel so bad right now and I deserve it, deserve every bit of it.
I'm not sure where I'm going now. I need some solitude so I can get
myself together again. I will meet the Enterprise when I am scheduled to. That
hasn't changed. I hope you'll be aboard then too.
Bye for now.
And Deanna... ... please remember, I could never hate you."
Deanna closed the computer with trembling hands. Tears were streaming
down her face and she had trouble breathing. Her mind was reeling.
"What in the world had Will seen? Why did he think she was in love
with David? What was he going to do? Where was he going? I have to tell him the
truth. I love him not David."
"I told you I wasn't imagining things, I did sense Will last night.
He must have been blocking his thoughts because the feeling was so vague. ...
... David could you do me a favor and check when the next shuttle out of Betazed
is scheduled to leave? I must get to the Enterprise as soon as possible."
Deanna said running from place to place packing her things.
"Sure. I hope you find him. You two deserve to be happy. I'm sorry
if I've caused problems." David replied walking over to the computer
"It's not your fault. You haven't done anything. Will and I are
masters of creation problems into our relationship."
David did not quite understand what Deanna meant but decided it was
better not to ask.
"Okay...let's see. Next shuttle leaves.... after an hour."
"Great. I have just enough time. Thanks for everything David. I'm
really sorry we couldn't spent more time together."
"It's okay. Your happiness is on the line, go now."
--- --- ---
Deanna sat in the shuttle thinking about Will's message. He had looked
so heartbroken. His eyes were blurry and his voice hoarse. He seemed to be
fighting tears. Deanna had wanted to reach out and touch his face but that of
course had not been possible since they were light years away.
He had not mentioned her name but she knew he was talking about her. How
he loved her and wanted to be her husband, to have children with her.
She wanted all those things too. She had loved him almost all her life
and was terrified by the thought of losing him now.
"No, that cannot happen! I won't let it! I'll find Will, tell him
the truth and prove him wrong. We can and we will live happily ever after."
--- --- ---
"Deanna! What are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming back
untill next week!" Beverly Crusher cried out amazed.
"Yeah well, things changed. Have you heard from Will?"
"No, not since he left. Why, has something happened? I thought he
would be with you."
"Yes..." Deanna muttered her eyes thoughtful.
"So, he found you and you had a chance to talk?"
"Yes and no."
"Deanna, you're not making any sense." Beverly sighed
Deanna took a deep breath trying to collect her wandering thoughts. Then she lifted her head up and fixed her eyes on Beverly.
"Will found me alright but I didn't talk to him. He had seen me and
David through a window and misinterpreted something he saw. He now thinks that
I'm in love with David. He left Betazed in a hurry and only sent me a message
wishing me a happy life."
"Oh no, poor Will! He was so miserable when he left. He must be
absolutely devastated now."
"He is. You should have seen his message. That's why it's important
that I find him soon. Do you have any ideas where he could be? He said he needed
solitude. Where would he go to get that?" Deanna asked her mind now
completely clear and focused on finding Will.
"I don't know..." Beverly said lost in thought. "...but I
do know that he should meet us on Earth after about six weeks."
"Earth? Hmm... Does he still have his house in Alaska? If he does,
that's were he is. I'm sure of it. Home is were people usually go when they have
"You're right. And I know he still has his house. He was telling me
about it just before the latest mission." Beverly said getting excited.
"Good, then all I need to do is ask for more leave and find a way
to get to Earth.."
"You don't need to do either." Beverly chirped happily.
"The whole ship and crew is going to be on vacation starting next week and
we are going to dock in McKinley Station."
"McKinley Station? That's great!" Deanna smiled. "Then
all I can do now is wait, I guess." She said slumping against the corridor
wall, a little bit of worry climbing back to her eyes.
The Enterprise was docked to Earth's station McKinley. Deanna Troi was
standing in line waiting for her turn to beam down. During the week that it had
took from the Enterprise to get to Earth Deanna's moods had been shifting from
extremely happy to extremely scared. She could not wait to find Will and tell
him the truth. She was ecstatic that he still loved her and wanted her. She
loved him too, so much that it hurt. But she was also worried, worried that she
would not find him or he had changed his mind or that something had happened to
him during his long journey alone. What if he did not believe her? What if he
was too heartbroken to even want to listen?
"No, no. Stop thinking like this! I will make him listen, make him
understand. Everything will be alright." Deanna thought to herself.
"Just believe and everything will be fine."
After beaming down to Valdez, Alaska, Deanna was hit by a chilly breeze.
It was not even winter yet but still she felt like she was standing in a
refrigerator. She put her arms around herself and shivered.
"How can anyone live in this weather year after year?!" She
muttered to herself and wished she had brought her jacket with her instead of
only her long-sleeved shirt.
She did not know where Will lived so she went to the nearest infocenter
and asked the location of William T. Riker's house. After she got that, she
rented a groundtransport and punched in the right cordinates.
--- --- ---
Will's house was not in the center of Valdez. It was located in a small
village just outside the big city. Deanna did not want to drive right up to the
front door so she parked the transport about 300 meters from her goal. She
stepped out to the cold air and started walking. She climbed up a small hill and
from there she could see what she was looking for. It was fairly big, two-story
log house with large windows and a massive porch. The yard around the house was
well-tended, not a weed in sight. The trees that lined the driveway looked
stunning because the cold autumn air had turned the green leaves red and yellow.
On one side of the house Deanna saw huge berry bushes, the other side was full
of apple trees. She could not really believe what she was seeing. She had not
expected Will's house to be so big and beautiful and full life. She had imagined
a small "boyish" hideaway in the middle of nowhere but when she
thought about it, it seemed only natural that Will would have apple trees etc.
on his land since he loved cooking.
Just when Deanna was about to walk down the other side of the hill,
someone moving near the house made her stop. She crouched behind a tree and
watched. What she saw made her heart skip a beat. It was Will! He really was
here! She had found him! Although Deanna's senses had already picked up his
presence it was still a relief to see him with her eyes. But the reason why
Deanna did not run straight to his arms was the fact that Will had not come out
of the house alone. Deanna's view was partly blocked by a tree but when she
moved a bit closer she saw that the other person was a woman. A very beautiful
blond-haired woman. The woman said something to Will and then she hugged him.
Will smiled and hugged her back.
Deanna's mind went numb and her heart almost stopped beating. Images of
Wendy Roper and feelings of déjà vu were flooding her mind.
"No, no, not again....he couldn't have.... I know that's not Wendy
but the situation is the same. He thinks our relationship is over and what does
he do? .... ... No, no, I can't believe this!"
Deanna started backing away. Her vision was blurred by tears but still
somehow she managed to get down the hill, back to where she had come from. She
switched to running but she did not run to the transport since she did not know
where she would go, instead she opted just running and walking blindly forward.
--- --- ---
After a few hours she found herself in the center of the village. There
were some shops and an open market place where fresh fuits and fish were sold.
Deanna was an emonational wreckage, hungry and freezing so she went to get
something to eat. Rubbing her cold arms she walked between the tables and
finally came to a stop in front of one fruit stand.
"I'd like to have an apple, please." She said to the woman
behind the table.
The woman had been talking to her friend and turned around when she
heard Deanna's voice.
"Certainly, here you go."
Deanna had not seen the woman's face before she turned but when she did,
Deanna recognized her to be the same woman who had been talking to Will.
Deanna was shocked to see her but managed a quiet "Thank
"Would you like anything else?" The woman asked smiling.
"No, thank you."
"Are you alright? You look a little pale."
"Yes, I'm fine but thank you for asking." Deanna said trying
to leave but the woman continued talking.
"I know this isn't any of my business but I really think you're not
okay. You're pale and you have a haunted look in your eyes. You've been crying
too, haven't you?"
Deanna felt like the woman was twisting a knife in her heart but she
could not leave without being rude. Besides it was not the woman's fault. So she
stayed quiet and let the woman say what she wanted to say.
"You know this is the second time today that I've seen that kind of
look. A friend of mine, my neighbor actually, had the same kind of look in his
eyes. That's the kind of look you get when someone has broken your heart. He
didn't tell me that but I could see it, felt it somehow. He's a Commander in
Starfleet. What a rough, lonely life that must be. He just came home for a short
vacation. I've been taking care of his house while he's gone. The poor guy
looked so miserable, probably hadn't eaten in days. So I just had to make him
some food. After he'd eaten he felt a little better. He even smiled and hugged
me when he said thank you.... ... ...
So, are you sure you don't want anything else? A little more food might
make you feel better too."
Deanna had been listening only with half an ear untill the woman had
said the words "Commander in Starfleet", after that she had been all
"No, I don't need more food but I would like to know one
"Is your neighbor's name by any chance William Riker?" Deanna
asked holding her breath.
"Why yes!" The woman said surprised. "Do you know
A smile was slowly spreading on Deanna's face.
"Yes, yes I do. Thank you so much! I have to go now! It was nice
talking to you. Maybe we'll see again later. Bye!"
Deanna was already halfway gone before she had finished talking leaving
a very bewildered woman behind her.
"Wow, her mood changed quickly. I don't know what I did but
obviously something good. Well, I'm glad I could help." The woman said
shrugging in confusion.
The sun was setting while Deanna walked back towards Will's house. The
temperature was falling with the sun so Deanna tried to keep her steps rapid
without running. She laughed to herself thinking how stupid she had been.
"I, if anyone, should know that things are not always what they
seem to be. Will saw me with David and thought we were involved. I saw him with
his neighbor and thought they were involved. What a fool I was." Deanna
told herself shaking her head. "I should always find out the truth and not
just believe what I see especially if I haven't seen things very clearly the
When Deanna this time approached Will's house, she did not stop at the
top of the hill but continued forward. Will was sitting on the porch staring up
at the sky. Deanna felt her insecureties rising up again but she pushed them
back, determined to do what she had come here to do. Will did not hear her
coming until she was right in front of him.
"Hello Will." She said her voice trembling a little.
"Deanna! Hi. What are you doing here?" He asked getting up, a
surprised and hesitant look in his eyes.
Deanna could sense he was happy to see her but at the same time he was
sad and wished she would go away.
"I'm here because we need to talk."
"Deanna please, I know what you're going to say. It's okay, I
understand. You have a right to be happy, don't worry about me. Go be with him.
I would just like to be alone. I have nothing more to say to you. ... ... Oh,
except that I'm sorry for what I said the last time we talked. Though we weren't
exactly talking... Anyway, I'm sorry. You were right, I should have listened to
you. I hope you forgive me and we can still be friends."
"Oh Will, of course I forgive you. But that's not why I came. I
have to tell you something and it's important. It's about me, you, and
Will was about to interrupt again but Deanna raised her hand up and
"No Will, listen! I don't know what you saw on Betazed but I'm NOT
involved with David. He's just an old friend who I hadn't seen in a long
"But you kissed him and cuddled on the couch! Is that what you do
with "old friends"?" Will asked getting defensive.
"Will, he was comforting me! I told him about our fight. I was very
upset by what you had said. I was crying my eyes out! He was just trying to make
me feel better!"
Will did not say anything, he was busy examining his shoes.
"I - am - NOT - in - love - with - him! He's just a friend. There's
only one person in this universe that I'm in love with and that person is not
David." Deanna said quietly. She seemed to have found something interesting
on the ground too.
Finally, after a long silence Deanna spoke again.
"Will... did you really mean all the things you said on your
"Yes." He answered lifting his gaze and for the first time
really looking at her. What he saw shocked him.
Her eyes were wide and filled with tears. She was shivering and her lips
were blue. She looked miserable and exhausted.
"Deanna! My god, you're freezing!"
He stepped closer to her and instinctively pulled her in his arms so she
would get warm. She fell against him like a ragdoll and clung to his jacket with
her last strength. The whole day had been emotionally very rough and she had not
eaten anything except that one small apple. She let go of her mental barriers.
Tears fell freely over her cheeks and after managing a weak "I've missed
you.", she passed out.
--- --- ---
When Deanna woke up the first thing she saw was Will's blue eyes staring
down at her.
"Hey there sleeping beauty. How are you feeling? You got me
worried." He said softly.
Deanna noticed that Will had carried her inside of his house and now she
was lying on his couch.
"I'm okay. Just feeling a bit weak. Haven't eaten much today."
She gave him a small smile.
"I thought so. Here, drink this. I put lots of sugar in it."
She sat up slowly and took a sip from the hot chocolate Will had given
"Umm... This is so good...."
Deanna looked around her. The room was wonderful, spacious, lightly
furnished and cozy. A huge fireplace dominated one corner. Deanna loved to watch
the fire, it was so beautiful yet dangerous.
"This place is gorgeous Will." She said amazed.
"Thank you, glad you like it. Feeling better?"
"Good. ... ... ... Deanna, if you don't love David then who do you
"Will..." Deanna said placing her hand on his cheek. "You
know the answer...."
"I hope I do..... but I want to hear it from you."
"William Riker... ... I - love - you!"
"Yes, I'm sure."
Will blinked and a big tear escaped his eye.
"Will? Is something wrong?" Deanna asked alarmed, searching
his eyes and mind.
"No, no.... It's just ... .... You don't know how much I've wished
to hear those words. ... ... .... When
I saw you with David I was sure I had lost you forever. I guess I just can't
believe that you're really here." He said gazing deep into her black eyes.
"I love you so much!"
Deanna pressed her forehead to his.
"I know. I can feel it. ... ...
.... So, where do we go from here?"
Will pulled back a little.
"If I remember correctly I was going to ask you out, Miss
"So, will you go out with me?"
"Now. We could have the date right here. What do you say?"
"It's a deal, BUT only if you cook! I'm starving!"
Will had to laugh at that.
"Of course, dear. I want the love of my life to be strong and full
of energy. ... ... You know your lips still look a little blue. I think we
should find a way to warm you up some more."
"Yes... I agree. Any suggestions?"
"Yes. May I demonstrate?"
"Be my guest."