my response to QD's Father's Day challenge! :)
T, LT, IT, KT
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything in the known universe, including Trek
TNG and its characters. :)
Deanna stood outside the doors of the mausoleum, her hand resting gently on
the veined marble. Another year had passed, and another Father's Day was
upon them, bringing her home to Betazed for her annual visit. It had been
many decades since Ian Troi had passed away, but every time she stood at
these doors, contemplating the body of her beloved father, the grief hit her
anew. It didn't seem to matter how long he'd been gone-it still felt as if
she'd learned the news of his death only that morning, and she was reduced to
being a seven-year-old child all over again.
Sighing softly, she pressed open the doors and walked in, feeling the cool
air of the room chill her through her long lavendar dress. She moved slowly,
prolonging the moment when she would see his face again, torn as always,
between the desire to to behold him and the desire to flee the terrible
reality of his death.
Finally, her booted feet moved forward, taking her into the chamber that held
his body. The light glittered above the glass coffin, illuminating his
forever-young features, startling her all over again with the knowledge that
no matter how long he lie there, he would always look young, healthy, and
Swallowing the first prick of tears, she cleared her throat and stood in
front of him, gently laying her hand against the glass, wishing that somehow
she could really touch him. When she was younger, the urge to open the
coffin was strong, the desire to touch his face and plant a kiss on his cheek
a strong ache within her. But she knew that it was impossible. Opening the
coffin after so many decades, his body would fall naturally to dust before
her eyes, leaving her nothing; not even a body to visit. Still, she mused,
it would be wonderful to touch him one more time, even if he could not feel
it. "Hello Daddy," she murmured, staring at his familiar features.
He could not respond, obviously, and yet some part of her mind seemed to
whisper to her in his voice, Hello Little One. She smiled tremulously, as
though he had really spoken the words, and wondered if he would always live
on in her mind this way. Of course I will. What you're looking at is only a
shell, sweetheart. I am no longer there. But I am still very much
alive...and will be, for as long as you remember me.
The tears came in earnest now, and she knelt on the cold marble floor,
allowing them to spill out just as fast and furiously as they had when he'd
"Oh Daddy...I miss you. I miss you so much."
I know. I miss you too. And your Mother. Kestra and I both miss you
Kestra.....the name was a sudden ache in her chest, a reminder of the sister
that she'd lived so long without knowing. Her gaze moved over her shoulder
to stare at the small child across the room, the sight of her small body
bringing more tears to the surface. "I wish I'd known her, Daddy."
So do I. But she's not alone, Deanna. We are together now, and are keeping
each other company until you and your Mother can join us.
Deanna lifted her eyes to her father's face, almost expecting him to smile.
If she didn't know better she'd think that he was really speaking to her from
beyond the grave; in fact, the sound of his voice was so real she would not
have been surprised to see his mouth suddenly move behind the glass.
Gods. He looked so young. And so handsome. He still wore his StarFleet
uniform, a concession that Lwaxana made in lieu of wrapping his naked body in
swathes of white cloth. She'd known how much the Fleet had meant to him, and
buried him according to his wishes. Looking at him now, Deanna was glad she
had done so. He looked ready to go off to battle, ready to give his life for
his beloved Star Fleet. And he had. Although she was certain that he never
wanted to leave them, she knew deep down that Ian Troi was proud of the way
that he had died. She was too, if the truth be told. And yet, for years
she'd resented Star Fleet, blaming them for his untimely death. It took
meeting Will Riker many years later to show her that Star Fleet was not the
monstrous organization that killed her father, but instead, a wonderful unit
of like-minded, brave individuals who cared deeply for the galaxy and the
beings living within it.
She smiled gently, remembering how she'd taken off, tearing off to Star Fleet
academy once she'd broken free of Lwaxana's reins. Her father would have been
proud. I certainly was! I'd never seen you stand up to Lwaxana that way,
Little One. You were really something else. I just wish that I were there
to see you now...I'll bet Jean-Luc is happy to have you among his crew.
"Daddy...are you really there or am I imagining things?" Her gaze locked
onto his, wondering if somehow, he was indeed communicating with her.
I'm really here, sweetheart. Do you know what today is?
"I...of course I do. That's why I'm here. It's Father's Day and I always come
see you on Father's Day."
Well, what you don't know is that I always come to see you as well. You see,
I'm allowed one day a year when I can communicate with my family from the
other side, and today is that day. I can't tell you how I long for this day,
Deanna. It's the one time that I can truly speak with you and see you.
Stunned, Deanna feel onto her backside, looking up in awe at her father,
feeling a curious mixture of excitement and shock. "Gods, Daddy. I had no
idea. I mean, I've been here so many times, and every time we "talked", I
felt that I was making up the conversation in my head; telling myself what I
would have wanted you to say. But now...." she broke off, her emotions rising
to the surface, overwhelming her with love and grief and gratitude.
You don't have to say any more, my Little One. I'm here and you're
here...words aren't the most important thing. The important thing is that you
now know that I'm not truly gone. I may live quite a distance away now, but
I'll always be here, watching over you and waiting for the day when I can
scoop you up into my arms again.
"Oh Daddy.....I love you."
And I love you, Deanna. Always.
Basking in the sound of his voice and the relief of being close to him again,
Deanna broke down completely, sobbing with equal parts joy and sadness. She
didn't hear the footsteps until they reached her position.
"Little One. Are you all right?" Lwaxana knelt down and took her daughter in
her arms, rocking her gently to and fro.
"M...Mother. I...I don't know how to tell you this. It's Daddy. We've
been...oh Gods....we've been talking. I can hear him, Mother. I can really
"I know, Deanna. I've been coming here to talk to your Father ever since he
first passed away. I've always known....."
"But, why didn't you tell me?"
"Well, to be honest, everytime you came home to visit him you always left
here with such a smile on your face and peace in your heart. I assumed that
you'd been talking to him yourself all of this time."
Deanna didn't know what to say. There was so much to take in.
You don't have to say anything, remember? All that matters is that we are
together. Right, my love?
"Ian....darling. It's wonderful to hear your voice again. How are things on
the other side?"
Getting better and better. You should see Kestra....she's become quite a
little spiritual guide. I'm so proud of her.
Lwaxana's eyes teared briefly, as she thought of her first child, and then a
smile broke out through the tears. "Ian dear, do you think...."
Say no more, my love. I'll be right back.
There was a rush of empty silence, and Deanna looked striken. "Is he..gone?"
Lwaxana shook her head."Oh no. He'll be back. He's just gone to bring a
suprise for you."
Deanna's eyes widened, and she could feel her Mother's thoughts fill with
Kestra's image. She swallowed hard and jumped slightly when a tiny voice
crept into her mind. Deanna? Is that you?
Yes, it's me, baby sister. I'm here. How are you?
"I don't know." The truth was, she was shocked and stunned---it was too
much to take in all at once. Suddenly her dead Father was speaking to her,
and then on top of that the sister who had died when she was a baby was
communicating with her as well. If it weren't for Lwaxana's strong grasp on
her shoulders, she would have fallen to the floor in a dead faint.
Amusement flaired in the girl's mind and she whispered, Don't faint, Deanna.
Mommy has enough trouble staying on her own feet as it is.
"How...how is this possible?"
You always did take after Daddy...always looking for answers. But all I can
tell you is that you will discover them one day. Until then, just believe
that we are here and we love you. You know, when I died you were just a tiny
baby...now, look at you. You've grown up into a beautiful woman. You look
just like Mom you know.....
"Thank-you. And you....are you still a child, Kestra or do you age over there
We do age physically, but only until the age of 30. So all of us look about
the same. It's really quite wonderful.
"I wish I could see you. I'll bet you look just like Daddy."
I do. It's actually scary how much alike we look.
Deanna grinned, wishing that she could see these two beloved people one last
time and take them into her arms. Hearing their voices was more than she'd
ever hoped for, and yet, it left her aching to actually see them.
"Kestra, are you...happy? Is Daddy happy?"
Oh yes! The only thing we both regret is that we can't be with you and Mom.
The four of us would have had such wonderful times together. But, Daddy came
over not too many years after I died, so I didn't have to miss him for too
long. It's been nice being together this way.
"Will you....will you tell him Happy Father's Day for me and give him a hug?"
She's doing it right now, Deanna. And thanks, my beautiful girl. It's not
every father who gets to be with both of his children on Father's Day this
Overcome once more, Deanna burst into a fresh round of tears, grabbing onto
her Mother for support. Lwaxana rocked her again, feeling completely
overwhelmed by what was happening. "It's all right, darling. Mother's here."
"I just, I can't believe this is happening. It's too much."
"No, it's never too much. You will accept this in time, and just think what
you'll have to look forward to next year."
Deanna smiled through her tears, imaginging a lifetime of yearly visits with
her father and sister. It was such a blessing, and so unexpected. Suddenly,
the years of painful grief and loss seemed to fall away as she sat snuggled
in her Mother's embrace. She could feel Ian and Kestra so tangibly it was as
though they were right there in the room with them, and for the first time
since her father's death, she felt true peace.
"Happy Father's Day, Daddy," she murmured.
Thank-you, Little One. You've certainly made it a special one. I love you,
don't ever forget that okay?
And Lwaxana, I want you to know that not a day goes by that I don't think of
you....I love you. Always.
Lwaxana's eyes overflowed then, feeling all of the love for her late husband
rise inside of her, washing through the grief. "And I will always love you,
The four of them connected, and Deanna could not only feel her Mother's
thoughts, but those of Kestra and her father as well. It was as though they'd
undergone a four-way mind-meld, and for the first time ever, Deanna had a
sense of what their family had once been like. It was beautiful.
Darlings, we must go now, but this has been the best Father's Day imaginable.
Thank-you for coming to see me, to see us. You've never forgotten in all of
these years and that means more to me than I can say....
"I never will forget, Daddy. I promise. And I will be here next year and the
year after that."
I'll look forward to it, Little One. Lwaxana, you take good care of my
little girl until then, all right?
"Of course. I...I love you, Ian."
And I you, my beauty. Good-bye, my girls....
I have to go too, Deanna, Mom, but I love you both. I'm so glad you came.
Lwaxana began to cry again, the small voice of her late daughter reaching
into her heart as it always did, tugging at the strings that still bound them
to one another.
"Mommy loves you too, honey."
Deanna and Lwaxana felt the girl smile and then in an instant, both she and
Ian were gone.
They held onto one another for dear life, crying, and laughing as though
they'd fallen into hysterics. But unlike all of the other times before when
they'd come here together to share their grief, this time, they were sharing
It was the best Father's Day they'd ever had.