All Star Trek TNG characters are property of Paramount Pictures-no copyright infringement is intended (that’ll show em’!)
It was a cold, clear night on Betazed. Two full, white moons shone down, throwing shadows behind the trees. Snow clung to the branches and to the rolling hills behind Deanna Troi’s house. She walked closer to the forest, pulling the hood of her dark blue cape over her head. Usually, on a night like this she preferred a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire to keep her company. Tonight, she needed to be outdoors.
The sharp catch of breath when she’d crept outside had been enough to entice her to leave her cozy home and venture north towards the forest. Deanna loved winter on Betazed. It was bright and beautiful, so clear that every star in the galaxy seemed visible. Staring up at the glittering brightness, she sighed.
Which star was he traveling to tonight? Deanna sat down on a clear patch of grass underneath a tree and realized how alone she’d been. Chandra, still a newly-wed, hadn’t had much time for her best friend lately. Others were busy with their studies or new boyfriends. Lwaxana was off on another diplomatic mission, probably for a week at least.
She closed her eyes and finally allowed the memory of Will to come back to her. Under this very tree he’d kissed her, six months before. In the Jalara jungle, he’d done much more than that. Her cheeks flamed as she remembered the love and passion he’d awakened in her that summer. Their time together had been short and ended painfully, but she knew in her heart that she still loved him. That if he were to come back to her right now, she’d be pretty tempted to give him another chance.
Slowly, she walked the mile back to her house, staring at the sky, trying not to remember what had driven them apart. Memories of Will in Wendy Roper’s arms forced their way in, and her heart ached. She and Wendy had been friends as children, but since that horrible night, they hadn’t even spoken. Not that Wendy didn’t try. But, Deanna was furious and deeply hurt-that would never change.
She sighed, feeling more alone than ever, and looked up as she reached the mansion’s front door. Someone was standing there, on the doorstep. Someone with unusually broad shoulders, wearing a dark black coat. He turned as she came up the path and her heart nearly stopped. It was Will. As if all of the Gods of the Universe had been listening to her heart, and magically created him out of pure desire. What in the world was she going to say to him? And why was he here? Her initial reaction turned to anger. What was he doing here? How dare he presume that she’d see him!
”Deanna. I thought no one was home. I...”
She gave him a look that could slice glass. “What are you doing here?”
This was not exactly the reception he’d hoped for. His laser-blue eyes streaked over her, taking in her beauty, then met hers. “I couldn’t stay away.”
”Really? Well, Wendy must’ve been something else in bed.” Deanna crossed her arms, and tried to hide her shaking hands.
”If it was Wendy that I wanted, do you think I’d be here, at your house?”
Good point. Still. “All right, so I was wrong. What are you doing here, then, Lieutenant Riker?”
”Isn’t it obvious? I’ve come back for you.” He looked so damned sincere. Not to mention handsome. Deanna nearly gave into the urge to run into his arms. Nearly.
Winter Fire-pt.2 (This part may be PG-13, just in case a few youngsters are on the board!)
”Well that’s very interesting, Will, but I’m freezing and I’m going inside now.”
”May I join you?”
”If you feel you must.”
Boy, she was colder than ice. This wasn’t going to be easy. But nothing worthwhile ever was. He followed her inside, struck once again by how beautiful she looked. Flakes of snow clung to her black curls and her cheeks were pink from the cold. Will stared at her for so long that she finally had to break the silence.
”Sit down, Will. There’s a fire in the living area, and I’m about to make some hot chocolate. Would you like a cup?”
She watched him from the kitchen. He looked the same as the day he’d left her. Strikingly handsome, his hair long on top, short in the back. His civilian clothes were even more attractive than his Starfleet uniform-and definitely more form-fitting. She joined him a few minutes later on the rounded sofa and noticed his eyes reaching to the ceiling.
Deanna suppressed a grin-the wall-sized portrait of her Lwaxana had just been painted, and apparently it had the effect her mother had hoped for.
Will was a bit stunned. ”Deanna your mother is, well, what can I say?”
”Yes, I know. I believe you humans call it, “over-the-top”?”
He laughed. “Exactly.”
”You know, you’re nothing like her. You’re much more subtle, more classy. A woman whose portrait should be hanging in a museum next to the Mona Lisa.”
”Really? I’ve never heard of her, but if she’s anything like Mother, no thanks!”
They shared a laugh and then their eyes met. They quickly sipped their drinks, not knowing what to say. It was Deanna who broke the silence. ”Will, if you came to apologize, then you’re wasting your time. It’s over, and we are over, and there’s no reason to go over that night again. You did something that to you, felt right at the time. I was hurt by that, but I’m dealing with it. We are just two different people with two very different beliefs, and that’s all right.”
But it wasn’t. Her heart was thumping even as she endeavored to stay calm. The truth was, she was cut to her soul by Will’s indiscretion, even more by his leaving. But she’d be damned if she’d let him know that.
*Don’t play with me, Deanna. You’re hurt, you’re mad, let it out!*
Will’s thoughts drove themselves into her mind with an intensity she’d never experienced. Damn him! She’d completely forgotten that he’d learned to do that last summer. Covering her face, she let the tears gather and fall. It hurt too much. There was only so much control a person could have, and hers slipped completely at the feel of Will in her mind.
He came to her and scooped her up into his arms, cradling her like a baby. ”I love you, Deanna. I’ve missed you so badly that I nearly went AWOL to come to you. Starfleet is something I never even imagined giving up, but I would, if it meant being with you again.”
Crying softly, she whispered, “But how did you get away?”
”Family emergency. They think I’m in Alaska with my father. I don’t like to lie, but for you...”
And as he said that, Deanna understood. Yes, he’d made a mistake, one that she’d not yet forgiven, but he did love her. It was in his eyes, in his touch, and especially in the fact that he’d left his first duty aboard a starship to be with her. To see her. She couldn’t ignore that even if she wanted to.
”Will, I can’t believe you did this. Why did you do this?”
She needed to hear him say it. Needed to hear the words. He cleared his throat and looked into her eyes. “Because I couldn’t get you out of my mind. When I was in bed, late at night and couldn’t sleep, I imagined that I was in the jungle with you, sleeping in your arms just as I did before we were rescued. No one ever got inside of me like that before. I felt completely exposed when I was around you, it scared the hell out of me. But, you accepted me completely, and I think that scared me even more. When I was aboard the Potemkin, alone, I realized that I wanted that acceptance. I missed it. There are so many things you can teach me, Deanna. That I can teach you.”
He trailed off, and they stared at each other, remembering the lessons they had learned together. Remembering how Will taught Deanna that life was more than what was inside your mind, that lovemaking could be beautiful. And, how Deanna taught Will that life was more than the physical, it was emotional and spiritual as well. They had balanced each other out completely.
Deanna wiped her tears away and looked up at him. Remembering the love had eased the hurt, and she touched his face. “I’ve missed you, Imzadi.”
He said nothing, just swept her into his arms and gently kissed her. He lay her down on the soft pads of cushion and began to remove her clothing. She was magnificent. More beautiful than he’d remembered. She said nothing, but her large, dark eyes begged him to make love to her. He was gorgeous. The most breathtaking man she’d ever seen. Her first lover, her first love, her Imzadi.
As they made love, she caressed his mind with her thoughts. All of her anger, all of her pain drained away as thoughts of love and passion and forgiveness replaced them. It felt so right to be with him again. So utterly perfect, that she knew this time she would not let him leave Betazed without her.
”I love you, Deanna. I’ve never loved anyone but you.”
”I know, love, I know. I feel the same way, I...”
But the breathless rush of their love came over her, and together they cried out each other’s name . Spent and breathless, they wrapped themselves in a warm quilt, huddling close to the fire.
”Will you come with me this time, as my wife?”
His eyes were full of love, full of questions. Her own eyes danced and she couldn’t help but smile. Moments ago, he’d been the enemy, never to be spoken to again. Now, after the bliss of lovemaking, she was feeling much more friendly toward him.
“Wife? Will I haven’t even finished college yet! And you want me to go traipsing across the galaxy with you?”
”You, my love, are going to traipse anywhere that I go, because I can’t live without you. Besides, they do have colleges on other planets, not to mention classes aboard the ship. You won’t have to give up anything, just say you’ll marry me.”
She kissed him deeply, knowing what her answer would be. “Yes, Will, yes.”
He grinned his cocky, charming grin. “I knew I’d convince you to see things my way.”
”Oh really? And what if I’d said no?”
”Then I’d just have to try harder to convince you. Starting with something like this...” He kissed his way down her neck and swept a hand along her thigh.
”Gods, what am I going to do with you, you lusty human?”
”Anything you want,” he said, and proceeded to convince her right there on the rug. Moments later, the lights came on.
It was suddenly apparent to Will that there would be no wedding on Betazed. Maybe they could elope-if Lwaxana let him live that long.
Winter Fire-pt. 3 Tracy 126 December 13, 1998 All rights owned by Paramount Pictures, etc. etc. (I haven’t seen the movie yet-have been in bed with bronchitis-so I’m finishing my pre-Insurrection story!)
Deanna sat next to the window, watching the stars slip by. It was late, nearly fourteen-hundred hours, and sleep was impossible. Next week, she was going to be married. Much to Lwaxana’s chagrin. After catching Deanna naked in Will’s arms two weeks before, Lwaxana was not inclined to be happy about this marriage. To her it was a hasty mistake, one that would undoubtedly ruin her daughter’s life. After all, hadn’t Lt. William Riker broken her daughter’s heart earlier this year?
Sitting by the fire in the living room, in the large empty house, Deanna remembered their argument.
”Deanna Troi, I am talking to you!”
Lwaxana had bellowed from the kitchen. Gods, this was going to be tough. Will Riker had, quite intelligently, slipped out of the French doors and into the night, leaving Deanna to face her mother’s wrath alone. Glittering dark eyes met her own, and a red flush graced the cheeks of the older woman.
”I take it your Lt. Riker enjoyed his shore leave?”
Her arms were crossed above her chest, and she looked for all the world like an angry goddess come to life. ”Mother! I thought your conference ran until next week!”
”Obviously. No, as much as I hate to disappoint you, the conference went wonderfully, and I came home to celebrate with my little girl. I had no idea you had company.”
”It was completely unexpected. I was out for a walk and when I returned, Will was here waiting for me. And then...”
”Yes, I know what happened next, Deanna. In fact, I know a great deal more about young Riker than I ever needed to know.”
Deanna blushed, and pulled on what clothing she could find among the cushions. She headed for the kitchen in search of a hot chocolate. Or, perhaps something stronger-tonight she might need it. Together, they sat on the sofa, staring across their cups at one another, angrily daring the other to speak.
*You first, little one.*
”Mother, why can’t you speak out-loud with me?”
”Why should I? It‹s not as if you can’t hear my thoughts. Or are you thinking that it would be better for me to do so for Will’s benefit?”
”Will‹s gone now.”
”Yes, but I have a feeling that he will be back. And, just so you know, I do not intend giving up this way of communicating just because that human doesn’t have the ability to follow along!”
”You are really something, Mother. This isn’t about telepathy and you know it. You’re angry because you saw us together. Well, I don’t regret it. It was beautiful, and I love him. If you have a problem with that, then it’s exactly that-your problem.”
Lwaxana‹s pale face turned red, her dark eyes flashed like hot embers. “You will not speak to me that way, Deanna Troi. I am a Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Riix. Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. People respect me and I will tolerate nothing less than that from my own child. Do you understand me?”
All too well. She was going to forbid her to see Will again. She would drive him away and the past would repeat itself. Not if I can help it, she thought. ”Mother, there’s something you should know. Will has asked me to marry him. We’re not officially engaged, but we will be, and when he leaves on the Potemkin, I will be with him.”
For once, her mother was silent. No reply was given, just the slight shaking of her head and a further paling of her complexion. Finally, eons later, she deigned to speak. “You marry your Starfleet Lieutenant, Deanna. Do what you must. But do not expect me to be there.”
”Mr. Homm!” she called loudly, and then left the room, undoubtedly to vent her anger on her long-time servant. Deanna stared at her mother’s portrait, loving her and hating her at the same time.
Winter Fire-pt. 4 Tracy126 12-13-98 Paramount owns all rights to all characters(but not to my imagination!)
The bed was empty. Will turned over, ran a hand over his hair and sat up. Deanna had been lying next to him in his quarters; her gentle breathing had lulled him to sleep. Where was she? He remembered their lovemaking with a smile. After he’d snuck away from Casa Troi, he’d waited aboard the Potemkin. Getting his buddy Eric Rogers to take the late shift and operate the transporters had been a stroke of genius. He owed Will bigtime, and beaming Deanna aboard was the least he could’ve done. After that near-disaster on Risa two years ago.... Eric. If Deanna had left the ship, he would know.
Will checked his quarters for a note or some other clue of her whereabouts, but found nothing. Nothing except the dainty wisp of lace that she laughingly called a nightgown. Nightgown? Then she was... no, of course not. She’d probably raided his closet and borrowed some of his clothing. Yes, the blue sweater and slacks were missing-well, at least she was fully clothed.
”Lieutenant Riker to transporter room one.”
”Has our passenger left the ship?”
The voice laughed. “Yes, and I must say she did look fetching in your clothing, Riker.”
Damn the man, did he want the entire ship to know he’d snuck a lover aboard? He wasn’t exactly a commander yet, did not have those kinds of priveleges. Well, obviously she’d gone to speak to her mother again. But this time, she was going ot have back-up. He’d run out on her like a coward at the first sign of Lwaxana’s temper, and now he needed to prove himself to her. Again.
Will asked one of the ensigns to cover his morning shift, and headed for the transporter. It was going to be a long night. Dawn was breaking just as Will appeared on Betazed. If he’d thought they had a beautiful sunset, it was nothing compared to the sunrise. A bright yellow sunflower burst from behind the clouds, and the soaring blue sky made him smile. It was a good day to be alive. To be in love. Now if he could just get his future-mother-in-law to agree.
He touched the chime, and heard loud, thumping footsteps. Mr. Homm, I presume. The large man opened the door, and said nothing. Waving a large white hand, he ushered Will inside. There were no lights on, the shades were drawn and he could see the outline of a figure in the living area. The soft sound of tears reached him, and his heart twisted. Deanna.
He went to her and held her. “I’m here now, love. What is it?”
Her face was streaked with tears, her eyes red and swollen. She’d been crying for hours. “It’s, it’s...mother.”
”I know, she’s not very happy about this. But I want to marry you, Deanna. Not just have a fling every two years or so when I happen to orbit Betazed. Doesn’t she understand?”
A voice, cold as ice, broke into their conversation. “Yes, Lieutenant, I do.”
He whirled around to face Lwaxana. Damn the woman! Did she have to make everything so difficult?
”I understand that for the first time in your life, you love someone other than yourself. I realize your feelings for my daughter; I am not blind. But my daughter has responsibilities here. Do you really believe that I will allow you to marry Deanna? To take her away from her commitments here as my daughter?”
”Yes, I do.”
”You are deluding yourself, young man.”
”Oh, I don’t believe so. You see how unhappy you’ve made Deanna. Do you like breaking her heart? Will you be able to live with yourself knowing that you caused her pain?”
Lwaxana stared at him, then at her daughter. She took Deanna’s face into her hands. ”Little One, I do love you, you know that. I just don’t want to see you give everything up here, everything that you’ve worked so hard for.”
”No, Mother, you don’t want to give up using my life for your own purposes. Isn’t that really what’s going on here? You’re not concerned with whether or not I’m happy, as long as I follow your traditions in your footsteps. You’ve even gone as far as to betroth me to someone when I was a child; as if I would marry anyone that I hadn’t chosen for myself.”
”I don’t want to lose you, Little One. Please don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
”I’m not the one making it difficult. Now, Will and I are going to be married. Right here on Betazed, in the same chapel as Chandra used for her wedding. It is all arranged. Will and I hope that you will come.”
Silence. Will was shocked-apparently having him nearby made her bold; he never imagined her speaking to her mother that way.
”William T. Riker, I swear, if you hurt this daughter of mine, I will comb the galaxy for you to get my revenge!”
”Is that a “yes”, Mrs. Troi?” He grinned that sexy, cocky grin, the one to which no woman was immune-including Lwaxana.
Standing, she opened her arms, and hugged them both. “I don’t like this, Deanna. You’re still so young. But, I’m not going to lose you-I will be there.” And, with that, she flounced out of the room, and didn’t see the two shocked pairs of eyes following her.
Winter Fire-pt.5 Tracy126 12-13-98 Paramount owns all characters and copyrights, etc. etc.
It was dusk, twilight had turned the sunny day into a cool evening shaded with indigo. Tiny stars danced above, and a flock of white doves circled above the chapel. It was time for the wedding.
”Chandra, I am so nervous! Were you sick to your stomach when you married Gart?”
Her friend laughed. “Was I? I couldn’t stop getting sick once we left for our honeymoon! But, then again I was six weeks pregnant!”
She said this last with a gleam in her eyes. ”Pregnant? Oh, Gods. She and Will, they hadn’t used any sort of protection. How irresponsible could they be?”
”Deanna, you’ve got enough to worry about today without dreaming of babies. Just enjoy your wedding, and let fate take it’s course.”
”You’re right.” Deanna grinned at her friend, she’d never been so happy. As she nimbly adjusted her heavy black curls into a suitable hairstyle, her finace’ walked in the room. Will. He was breathtaking. He wore his Starfleet uniform, burgandy and black, with an appropriate suit-jacket over top. His hair was parted to the side, and feathered back, and he radiated the scent of musk. Good lord, he was gorgeous. But, she realized, why was he wearing clothing???
Chandra, sensing a special moment, snuck out of the bedroom without either of them noticing.
”Deanna. I love you. I guess I got a bit panicked at the thought of getting married in my birthday-suit. Do you mind if I wear my uniform? To be honest, I had enough cracks about my manhood at the last Betazoid wedding I attended.”
She grinned up at him. “I remember. You did cut quite a figure in your, what did you call it? Birthday suit. But, for you I’ll accept the uniform; after all I am marrying a human male, not a Betazoid one.”
”Never! But, since my husband to be is going to be clothed, perhaps I should be too.”
And, sorting through her mother’s closet, Deanna came up with the perfect wedding dress. ”You see, when my mother married my father, he didn’t exactly take to the ritual of marrying in the nude. So, mother bought wedding clothes for them both-although they never used them. “
The gown was long and slim with rows of white silk wrapping around the bodice down to the floor. It was sleeveless, and Deanna’s figure suited it perfectly. She slipped it over her head, paused to fix an errant curl, and swung around to face him. ”What do you think?”
His heart was filled to bursting. He loved her so much and now she was going to be his for the rest of his life. “I think, that you are the most wonderful woman alive and I can’t believe that you’re mine.”
They kissed, gently, deeply, and neither wanted the moment to end. Then, a knock at the door broke them apart. “It’s time, you two.”
They smiled nervously at one another, and Deanna picked up her bouquet. A waterfall of white roses wound down from the bouquet, nearly reaching her shoes. Together, they walked into the church, and Will nearly fell down laughing when he realized that they were the only two people in the room that wore any clothing. Lwaxana stood near the minister, looking lovely, if not completely happy.
”On our planet, we have a long-standing tradition of discarding our clothing for a wedding. The closeness it symbolizes, the love, the lack of secrets, is very meaningful. Deanna’s own choice to wear clothing, symbolizes her love for her human mate. Her acceptance of him and desire to make him comfortable. This is a marriage that will begin in love, and I am happy to join them together today.”
In a haze of laughter and love, the ceremony took place, and went off without a hitch. ”In an old Terran tradition, I would now like you to kiss your bride, William.”
He leaned to capture her mouth with his, and then there was loud applause.
”We did it!” she said, laughing as she wiped large tears from her eyes.
”We certainly did!” he scooped her up as though she were a small doll and carried her down the aisle. “Enjoy the reception, everyone! Deanna and I are going on our honey-moon-right now!!”
There were peals of laughter and lots of elbow nudging. Lwaxana was the only one who wasn’t smiling. Mark Roper took her elbow, and whispered, “Care to dance?”
”Well, I might as well. You know, it’s been a long time since I’ve danced with such a handsome man.”
”Has it? And I figured every man in the room would be lining up to hold the enchanting Lwaxana Troi in his arms.”
They danced around the room and from the door, Deanna watched, smiling. “She’ll be all-right, won’t she Will?”
”As long as your mother is at the center of attention, she will be just fine. Now, what do you say we begin that honey-moon?”