Title:  Free

Author: Alanna Lionne

Summary: True love, true passion...complicated by a spitfire of a daughter.

Pairing: T/R...who else?

Timeframe: About 2378, or "Insurrection"

Author's Note: This is the first Imzadi story I wrote. Please make your feedback kind, and please make sure if you send any that it's titled clearly!

Disclaimer: All the characters belong to me...I made them up and Gene Roddenberry just stole them from me in a feeble attempt to make $! (Or not) "Free" belongs to Sarah Brightman, who is my idol. Thank you for the great song, Sarah! 

Rating: PG-13, ‘cause I feel like it.

Author’s Note: If you find this a little unrealistic or something, that’s too bad for you. I write how I write, not like anyone else.



                                                                           And do you still touch her like you do

                                                                           Kiss her all over in the way I kissed with you

                                                                           And when you sleep with her do you sometimes

                                                                           Think of me

                                                                           Not if you love her the way I see



                         Deanna felt the cool air of spring sweep in through the glass double doors. She didn't bother to close them. She didn't feel like it.

                         What did he mean, he had other duties? What duties? To Starfleet? To his father? Her fawn eyes narrowed. To Wendy Roper?

                         Wendy Roper is a little weasel, she decided, reaching for her box of "True Love" momentos. Opening the little gold latch, she sat up on the bed and looked into the box.

                         There was a picture of Frederik, the human boy she had given a chocolate rose to in second grade. Tucked against the side, she found a little gold coin Awen Tazx of the Seventh House had given her when they were in tenth grade. He had been her real first love.

                         And lastly, there was a picture of Will. Well, Chandra was in it, too, but she kept it merely because of Will. He was wearing a cream colored shirt, a brown leather vest, and loose brown pants. His hair was mussed from the wind blowing off of Lake Cataria.

                         Deanna, on the other hand, remembered that she had been standing in front of the camera. They were laughing so hard, and as a joke Chandra had jumped in front of the camera. The only part of Deanna that was visible was her arm, waving to Chandra to stop.

                         She smiled at the memory, and frowned at Will. Why had he left her?


                                                                           I had to be free,

                                                                           Had to be free,

                                                                           It's all that I wanted

                                                                           I wanted to see

                                                                           Wanted to be

                                                                           Alone if I needed

                                                                           I had to be free

                                                                           Had to be free

                                                                           From feelings that haunted

                                                                           I wanted to see

                                                                           Wanted to be


                         "Deanna! Deanna, come downstairs!" Deanna sighed at her mother's voice. *Deanna!* came the telepathical shout. The younger Daughter of the Fifth House tried to put up a mental barrier, all the while repeating, *Stop it, Mother. I am not in the mood.*

                         *It's been two years. You've got to get over it. You haven't been out of the house since he left you. You have an obligation to the Fifth House, to your dreams, to me, and most of all to Maddie. Now, get downstairs. Your daughter is crying.*

                         Deanna rolled her eyes and consented. Upon seeing her daughter, Lwaxana Troi passed the crying toddler off to Mr. Homn and embraced Deanna. "I'm proud of you, Deanna," she whispered in her ear. "I know it's hard, but..."

                         "Whatever, Mother." Deanna pulled away and took a seat on one of the kitchen's hardwood stools. "Mr. Homn, my daughter?" The valet settled the now-happy Betazoid one-year-old into Deanna's arms.

                         As she rocked the toddler, Deanna said, "Mother...I've been thinking. I've wanted to be a counselor in Starfleet my whole life, and I think I will go back to the Academy. But only when Maddie is a little older."

                         Lwaxana cast her eyes heavenward, and thought, *Will that child ever grow fast enough?*


                                                  And then in the evening when the bars of freedom fall

                                                  I watch the two of you in the shadows on the wall

                                                  And when the darkness steals some of the choices

                                                  From my hand

                                                  Then I will begin to understand




Fifteen Years Later

"Come back here, you jerk!" the black-haired young woman, or girl, as she preferred, yelled, clenching her hands into fists and pursuing the boy down the hall. He looked over his shoulder and kept running. The girl pursued, her feet a blur of motion. "You're going to regret you were ever born, freak!" she called again.

                         The boy ran into a turbolift and called for it to go. The girl was able to dive in before the doors closed, and she cornered him. "Give it back," she demanded. The boy shook his head. "Give it back," she ordered again, her voice escalating. When he refused, she leaped on top of him and began to pound him. His head hit the floor many times before the turbolift reached its final destination.

                         The doors opened on the bridge. The boy had reasoned that going to the bridge might stall his attacker, but no such luck. The girl continued to slap his face and punch his nose.

                         The commotion made the two Betazoids and the captain turn. Deanna gasped. "Madonna Eva Troi! You stop that right now!" Madonna looked up and smiled at her mother. "Stop what?"

                         Lwaxana marched over and took her granddaughter by the hair. "Listen up, girlie. You may have just ruined Betazed's image with this Federation! You're supposed to be the Lady de Lis. Now, knock it off! Do you hear me?"

                         "Yes, Granmama." Telepathically, she argued, *But he stole my lis circlet! How am I supposed to be the Lady de Lis without the circlet! And he took my favorite book, too! Check his shirt; he's probably hiding them there.*

                         *Madonna, be reasonable. You probably just lost them. Your room is always a mess.* That was Deanna. She was glaring at her daughter. "Excuse me, Captain Picard," she told the Starfleet officer watching them, a frown knitted across his brow. "Sometimes Madonna gets a little bit out of hand. She sometimes jumps to conclusions and--"

                         A gold circlet fell out of the boy's shirt and clinked onto the floor. Madonna picked it up and rubbed it clean on her shirt. Lilies were etched into the sides, and a small diamond lily sat on the top. "See?" Madonna exclaimed, handing the circlet to her grandmother. "It was in his shirt all along! He has Gone With the Wind on my holo-padd, too. I know he does!"

                         Lwaxana looked from Madonna to the boy and examined the circlet. "This is the Lily Circlet," she told Deanna. "See the inscription? On the inside, it says, 'This circlet belongs to the Lady de Lis, a woman with courage, hope and beauty.'"

                         "It was in my quarters," Madonna explained. "The door rang, and I opened it, and all of a sudden this boy darts in and grabs it from the table. I was just going to put it on and go and find you, and he stole it."

                         Captain Picard looked at the boy. "There is to be no stealing of items from other quarters," he said sternly. "Do you know who these women are? This is Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. She is the ambassador. Her daughter is Deanna Troi-Arx, an honored diplomat and a Daughter of the Fifth and Sixteenth Houses. Finally, Madonna Eva Troi, Lady de Lis, one of the highest honors of Betazed, Daughter of the Fifth House, like her mother and grandmother."

                         "Christian?" An engineer got off the turbolift. "What are you doing up on the bridge?" she asked of the boy.

                         The boy burst into tears. "She was beating me up, Mom! All I did was take her dumb circlet and her book and her kitten and she started beating me up!" He ran toward his mother and buried his face in her uniform, sobbing, "Don't let her hurt me! Please, just don't let her hurt me!"
                         The engineer gave a datapadd to the chief engineer, who was on the bridge at the science station, explaining that it was the data he had requested. Then, she took Christian by the ear and marched him into the turbolift. "Deck 15!" she ordered, and disappeared.

                         "We will continue our discussions later, Captain," Deanna said to Captain Picard, and guided Madonna towards the other turbolift. "Over drinks, perhaps?" She entered the turbolift, and left with her mother and daughter.


"Madonna Eva Troi, you may have been right this time about that theft, but this...this incident could have seriously endangered our reputation!" Madonna, or Maddie as she was called, sat on the couch in their quarters, drumming her fingers on the arm. "Yeah, whatever, Mom. I'm just sixteen. Who cares about me?"

                         "Maybe they wouldn't care about a sixteen-year-old, but they'd care about the Lady-de-Lis!" Deanna began pacing. "You can't forget who you are and who you represent--and what you represent. You are showing the captain and his crew a sample of what Betazed is like--what we're like. Just now is the Federation thinking of letting Betazed join the 'Elite Planets Group,' and we're the only examples they have! With that sort of experience, we might be ruined!"

                         Maddie was furious. "You don't like me just because I'm not a little 'angel' like your children with Fahed!" she yelled. "You like them better than you like me, because they weren't born out of wedlock!"

                         "Madonna!" Deanna cried.

                         "Little one!" Lwaxana exclaimed.

                         "Maddie?" Jaspreet Arx asked, sucking her thumb and clutching a teddy bear. Her light blue eyes were questioning and frightened, and her shiny golden hair was full of static from her nap.

                         Maddie swore at her, pushed her out of the way, and stormed out of her quarters. Jassy fell onto her behind and burst into tears. "She hurt me!" she screamed, and while Lwaxana rushed to comfort her, Deanna went after Maddie.


Maddie entered Ten-Forward and sat down at one of the stools. "Martini, cold," she snapped at the yeoman server. In a flash the drink was made up, and Maddie downed it in one sip. A blue-eyed man watched as she set it down on the counter and ordered something else. "Excuse me," he said, smiling. She turned. "Do you play anbo-jyutsu?"

                         "Yeah. Why do you ask?"

                         "You have a large scar up your arm that looks like it was made by being struck by an anbo-jyutsu weapon, and your fingers are calloused in only the way holding a anbo-jyutsu weapon could make."

                         Maddie took a sip of the Bloody Mary the yeoman had made, and replied, "I like anbo-jyutsu. It's challenging, but I'm pretty good." Her eyes, which the man noticed were a deep violet, narrowed. "I bet I could beat you in a game."

                         "A challenge!" He leaned back in his chair and grinned. "I take that challenge. Fifteen hundred hours in the gym."
                         "All right. And who might I be challenging?"

                         "William Riker. Will, to my friends."

                         "Madonna--" Something made her pause briefly, and say, "Madonna Arx. But please call me Maddie."
                         "Maddie." He shook her hand. "It's nice to meet you."


Maddie managed to avoid Deanna until 14:30 hours, when she went to the gym to practice and to suit up. She beat a simulated player three times before Will Riker showed up. She turned and him, her purple eyes smiling. "Are you ready to lose?"

                         He smiled a dazzling smile. "Are you?"

                         Joining each other on the mat, Will in the red suit, Maddie in the blue, they began. Maddie circled Will, her weapon raised. "I think I might know you from somewhere."

                         "Not I," Will said, striking a blow. Maddie, sensing it coming, thanks to her Betazoid empathic and telepathic abilities (inherited from her grandmother, unlike her mother) dodged. Will's arm groped at empty air.

                         "No, really," Maddie continued, coming up behind Will and leaping to strike. "We're connected somehow. Just call it intuition."

                         "Sounds like Betazoid intuition to me."

                         "It is. I am Betazoid. Only a quarter, though."

                         "Oh." Will struck, Maddie struck back. This time her weapon tapped Will, and the computer said, "Point to blue."

                         The doors opened, and a voice said, "Madonna, I thought I'd find you here."

                         Will knew that voice. He ripped his helmet of his head. He swore. "Deanna?"

                         "Will?" she asked, stepping into the room. Seeing Maddie, who had taken her helmet off, she said, "I see you've met my daughter, Madonna Eva Troi." She paused as Maddie waved. "Our daughter."


Will swore again. "Great gods, Deanna, you could have at least told me."

                         "Told you? How?" Deanna argued back. They were in Will's quarters, yelling at each other. "I didn't even know where you went, or why. I was furious with you, Will Riker, and I still am. You left me to alone with a child, a child that I had to raise alone. How could I have told you?"

                         "I don't know, a communiqué, a messenger, somehow! You could have searched for me in the Starfleet records and found out where I was posted."

                         Deanna was silent. "I don't know why I didn't, Will. I really don't know. I was heartbroken, angry, and alone. I stayed in my room for two years and barely saw any sunlight. I couldn't bear the thought of you with...with that weasel Wendy Roper."

                         Will raised an eyebrow. "Wendy Roper has been dead for thirteen years, Deanna. We were together briefly, and our son, Ewan Andrew, is at boarding school on Earth. He is sixteen. Quite mischievous, I'm told, a real troublemaker."

                         "Sounds like better company than the Arxes," Maddie muttered. She was sitting on the couch, watching her parents argue. "All they do all day is sit around, sew, look pretty, and ask, 'Now, how does this experience make you feel?' They're just little--"

                         "That's enough, Madonna!" Deanna said. Maddie slumped down further on the sofa and crossed her arms. Deanna told Will quietly, "She reminds me so much of you, a spitfire, outspoken."

                         "Who are the Arxes?" Will inquired.

                         "Fahed Arx was my husband," Deanna admitted, twisting her wedding ring and looking at the ground. "He died a few months ago of Iverson's disease. He had three children named Raushanara, Aurangzeb, and Jaspreet. Most of them are grown and live on Betazed now, but Jaspreet is only five years old and lives with Mother and I."

                         "Don't like any of them," Maddie growled. Her violet eyes were menacing.

                                "Madonna, be quiet!" Will and Deanna exclaimed at once, and looked at each other. *I knew she was going to say that,* Will thought. *But how? Do we still have the bond?* He looked deeply into Deanna's eyes. *Can you still hear my thoughts...Imzadi?*

                         *Can you?* Deanna was perfectly silent as she whispered the thoughts in her head, like so many years ago. Maddie watched them with mock fascination. *Isn't this fun?* she said to both of them. *We can all have a telepathic nuts conference.*

                         *Madonna, leave.* Deanna furrowed her brow. *Leave right now.* Maddie shrugged and left, yelling, "I'm going to the holodeck!" over her shoulder. Once she was gone, Will smiled feebly. "Well, this should be easier now." Deanna laughed, feeling giddy and light-headed like a schoolgirl. "Much easier."


Maddie was waiting, sitting on the couch and reading Gone With the Wind. Scarlett O'Hara was just ripping down the curtains to make a dress to visit Rhett Butler in jail. Nothing could draw her away from the book, not even Jaspreet singing, "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family..." She was in bed, drifting off to sleep. The chronometer read 1:14 a.m., and Jaspreet hadn't gone to bed until 23:50 hours. Maddie had no idea where her mother was, and why on the Chalice of Betazed she had been gone so long.

                         Finally, the door opened and Maddie looked up. Will and Deanna were standing in the doorway. The living room was dark, and they didn't know Maddie was watching their every move, or listening to their every word.

                         "That was a wonderful evening," Will said, stroking Deanna's long, roan hair. She giggled. "Amazing. Just like..." She stopped, and whispered, "On Betazed," so quietly that Maddie had to strain to hear.

                         "Do you think we're rushing back into a relationship prematurely?" Will inquired, leaning over to kiss Deanna's cheek.

                         "Imzadi, I've loved you for eighteen years, sixteen of which we've been apart. I've tried to deny my love for you, but..."

                         "But?" Maddie burst out, and clapped a hand over her mouth. Deanna jumped and looked right into Maddie's glistening violet eyes. "Madonna--Maddie, why aren't you in bed?"

                         "Someone had to wait up and make sure that you came home before curfew."

                         "I'm an adult, Maddie. I can take care of myself."

                         "Maybe you can't," Maddie said. "It's past one in the morning, Granmama's gone to bed, and so has Jaspreet. I've heard ensigns walking by in the hall who are on the night shift--Gamma Shift, I believe. You've never been so irresponsible for your family, so I took it upon myself to make sure we were all right."

                         Deanna was silent. "All right. Thanks." There were several minutes of pregnant silence. "You can go to bed," Deanna prompted.

                         Maddie shrugged. "Thought I'd stay up and watch Air Force One. You can go to bed, though. It's past your bedtime."

                         *Since when did you turn into Mother Hubbard?* Deanna wondered.

                         *Since you've fallen in love with Will Riker, that's when. I have to be there for my sister. Jassy.*

                         "So Jaspreet is your sister now?" Deanna asked aloud.

                         Maddie was silent. "Yeah. Yeah, she is."

                         There was more silence. Finally, Deanna said quietly, "Good night, Maddie."

                         "Good night, Mother."



"Hello, William Riker, Will to my friends," Maddie sang out the next morning when she saw Will in Ten-Forward the next morning. "Do they serve breakfast here?"
                         "No, but you can get food from the replicator," he replied. "Why do you ask?"
                         "I'm tired of replicated food," Maddie proclaimed. "Back on Betazed, the kitchen is always open, and Mr. Homn serves whatever I want."

                         "I'm sorry to say this isn't Betazed."

                         "So am I." She ordered a glass of water from a yeoman. "But I do like the way the view is always changing, never the same. It must be an exciting life."
                         "Oh, it is." Silence. "You can get into Starfleet Academy. You are old enough."

                         "Really?" Maddie replied. "I think I'll try."






                         More silence.

                         You'd think these people had no vocal chords.

                         "Will Riker, did you know I was your daughter?" Maddie asked.

                         "No. Did you know I was your father?"

                         "No. How could I? Mother keeps things really hush-hush."



                         "Do you like jazz?"

                         "Does the sun shine? Of course!" Maddie replied excitedly. "I like action holo-films too, like Air Force One and The Fugitive. Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors, but Mother doesn't like him. She likes boring holo-films like The African Queen and On Golden Pond."

                         "I've seen Air Force One twenty times," Will told her.

                         "Thirty-three," she admitted. "I've only seen The Fugitive a few times, but--"

                         The doors to Ten-Forward opened, and in walked Deanna and Lwaxana. "Father-daughter bonding?" Lwaxana asked, a mischievous glint in her dark eyes.

                         "We were just talking," Will said. He shook her hand. "You don't look any older."

                         "I'm sorry to say that I can't say the same," Lwaxana told him.

                         *Mother!* Deanna cried, embarrassed.

                         "I can see who Maddie takes after," Will shot back.

                         "At least she--"

                         Maddie left.


"Excuse me, can you tell me if there's an Ewan Alan Riker there?" Maddie asked the gaunt woman halfway across the galaxy via a video screen. "I don't know if he's there--I just know that he's on Earth--but if he is, I want to talk to him."

                         "Students of the Academy for Boys cannot receive personal transmissions," the woman replied.

                         "It's an emergency," Maddie lied. "I really need to speak with him."

                         *Yeah, right,* the woman thought. "And who can I say is calling?"

                         "His half-sister."


"At least she doesn't like to surround herself with women," Lwaxana argued.

                         "Really Lwaxana, she is a young woman," Will cried.

                         "Did anyone notice that Maddie isn't even here?" Deanna put in.

                         Lwaxana and Will looked around dazedly, but sure enough, Maddie was gone. Will sighed. "Truce?" He extended a hand.

                         "Temporarily," Lwaxana agreed, shaking his hand.


"Mr. Riker, there's a videophone for you." Ewan stood up from his desk in history class. The other boys booed, and one said, "You're in bigggggggg trouble."

                         "Shut your trap," Ewan said, swatting him away.

                         "Mr. Riker, mind your language!" the teacher cried.

                         The gaunt woman principal guided him out of the room and closed the door. As they walked down the long, somber hall, Ewan asked, "Who's calling?"

                         "Your 'half-sister,'" the principal replied.

                         "I don't have a half-sister!" Ewan exclaimed.

                         "Don't talk back!" snapped the principal, opening her office door and letting him in. "Try to make it quick." The door slammed, and the diplomas and pictures on the walls trembled precariously.

                         Ewan sat down at the desk chair and pressed the "receive" button. A young woman appeared on the screen, and Ewan sucked in a breath. She had almost hypnotic violet eyes, and long black curls. "Ewan?" she inquired.

                         "Yes. Are you the person who claims to be my half-sister?"

                         "Yeah. My name's Madonna Eva Troi, but call me Maddie. I need your help."

                         "I need to know who you are."

                         Maddie leaned back in her own chair. "It's a long story."


"Does Maddie always run off like this?" Will demanded to know.

                         Deanna fixed her eyes straight ahead. "Not usually. Occasionally, she's disappeared for quite a while, but we've found her after a few days. Once, she was about to board a transport ship."


                         "She was halfway to the Klingon homeworld before we'd discovered where she'd gone. That was when she was eleven." Deanna's voice was worried. "She could be anywhere, especially with a ship like this. With so many people, no one would notice she was gone..."

                         *Don't worry, Imzadi,* Will whispered in her mind. *We'll find her. It'll be all right.*


Maddie stared at the screen, waiting for Ewan's reply. "So...I'm your half-brother...and this Deanna Troi, my father's Im...Imzadi is your mother."
                         "That's right."

                         "And they were in love eighteen years."


                         "And they would have gotten married had my mother Wendy not told my father she was pregnant before your mother did?"

                         "Bull's eye."

                         Ewan was puzzled. "But why didn't she tell him?"

                         Maddie sighed. "Why would anyone hold it back? Maybe because she was frightened, or nervous, or worried that Will--Father--wouldn't love her anymore." Ewan nodded. He now understood. "But what did you want my help with?"


Deanna sighed. "We'll never find her."

                         "Why don't we just ask the computer?" Will asked quietly. He cleared his throat, and said, "Computer, where is Lady de Lis Madonna Eva Troi?"

                         "Madonna Troi is not aboard the Enterprise."


"Captain," Data said, turning in his chair. "There is an unauthorized launch of the shuttlecraft Cochrane. One life sign is present aboard."

                         "Lock onto it with a tractor beam and attempt to pull it in," Picard ordered. Data's fingers flew over his comm screen, but it just screeched at him. "Unable to comply," the android replied.

                         "Open a channel." A click indicated that a channel had been opened. "This is Captain Picard to the occupant of the shuttle Cochrane. Identify yourself."

                         With a click, the channel was opened. "Hi, Jean-Luc...can I call you Jean-Luc?" Maddie asked with a smile.

                         "Lady Troi..."

                         "Maddie, please. As long as I'm calling you Jean-Luc you might as well--"

                         "Maddie," Captain Picard interrupted, "why did you take our shuttlecraft?"

                         "I had to get my mother and my father back together. They've been apart for--" she did some quick figures in her head "--eighteen years, four months, and seventeen days. And the only way to get them back together by force. That's why I'm calling in the reserves."

                         "That has nothing to do with Starfleet. That's personal matters. What we need is the shuttlecraft. You will return it to us now."

                         Maddie let out a deep sigh. "I'm sorry, Captain, but sometimes you have to use drastic measures." With this, her tanned fingers flew over the panel, and Data reported, "Shuttle is going into warp."

                         "Stop it!" Captain Picard yelled, jumping to his feet. Too late. The shuttle disappeared in a blaze of blue warp light.


"Mrs. Arx, would you please come to the bridge?" asked Captain Picard's voice over the comm system. Deanna grimaced. *What has Maddie done now?*

                         *Don't worry, Little One,* Lwaxana assuaged her. *He probably just wants to speak with you about...diplomatic matters.*

                         *Pigs have wings, Mother,* Deanna muttered.



"Ewan? Ewan, are you still there?" Maddie yelled into the comm channel.

                         "Yes. Where are you?"

                         "I just left the Enterprise. I need directions, 'cause I think I'm heading toward the Delta Quadrant."


"What has she done?" Deanna demanded, flying onto the bridge. Captain Picard frowned. "Nothing, except for stealing a shuttlecraft and destroying my ship!" He slammed a fist on a comm panel.

                         Jean-Luc Picard was usually an even-tempered man, but this Troi girl had driven him over the edge. He never wanted to see her face again, unless it was attached to his shuttlecraft, or plastered to the Enterprise's warp nacelles.

                         "Calm down, Captain," Lwaxana said. "Surely she hasn't destroyed...much of your ship."

                         Picard wiped away the foam from his mouth and stared into space. "She went into warp with our shuttle Cochrane. We couldn't catch her."

                         *I bet not.*

                         *Mother!* Deanna was glaring at Lwaxana.

                         "This just keeps getting more complicated," Will said quietly to Deanna.

                         "That's what happens when you have a spitfire for a daughter."

                         "Can we cut the family conversation?" Picard asked. "I want that shuttlecraft back..."