The challenge:

Most of you have probably watched an episode of the show and thought that you could have written it better. Or you wish the writers had put a scene in there that seems to be missing. Well, here's your chance to make it so.

Choose an episode of the show that you could improve on in some way. If you're really ambitious, you could rewrite the whole thing as a novelette and do it your own way (sticking with cannon or veering away from it - either way is fine).

By: Amanda


This piece is a scene from the show with dialog courtesy of
Antoa's script archive. Let me know what you think. I didn't have video to
go on for this one, though, so it may stray from the TV series a bit- sorry
if it does. The next bit will be an inserted scene- one of my very own
creation- heehee. Happy reading and PLEASE SEND FEEDBACK- even if it's

Disclaimer: The characters, settings, and dialog contained herein are the
sole intellectual and fiduciary property of Paramount and not of my own
creation. I have received no financial compensation for this work nor do I
intend to seek such consideration in the future. No infrinfement is
intended by the author upon the property of Paramount, its subsidiaries, or
licensees. No BS.

Second Chances:

Geordi was talking, of that she could be reasonably sure. But everything
else in the Universe at this moment was, to Deanna Troi, a complete mystery.
He was facing Commander Riker, trying to explain to all present in the
observation lounge exactly what had transpired eight years earlier on
Nervala IV. “... Apparently there was a massive energy surge in the
distortion field around the planet just at the moment you tried to beam out.
The Transporter Chief tried to compensate by initiating a second
containment beam”
It might as well have come out “blah blah blah” as far as Deanna was
concerned. What he was saying was simply that there were TWO. There really
were two honest-to-gods William T. Rikers and they were both on board the
Enterprise. Deanna’s head was spinning. Data chimed in with commentary,
“An interesting approach. He must have been planning to reintegrate the two
patterns in the transport buffer”
“Turns out he didn’t have to,” Geordi answered. Commander Riker's pattern
maintained its integrity with just the one containment beam – he made it
back to the ship just fine.” Beverly looked back and forth from Geordi to
Data, her mouth agape.
“What happened to the second beam?” She asked. Good question. Deanna was
still fighting to wrap her mind around what was being said. A million
questions had sprung to mind, but she hadn’t managed to gain control of
herself long enough for any of them to find their way to her lips.
The Transporter Chief shut it down,” Geordi answered her, “But somehow...
it was reflected back to the surface.” Everyone was nodding, but no one
really appeared to have a handle on the discussion. It was just too
“And another Will Riker materialized there,” Picard surmised. Geordi
nodded. Will, who did not look at all pleased, piped up with a question.
“How could the second pattern have maintained its integrity?” Another good
question. Deanna was feeling more and more like she needed a drink, or an
ice cream sundae, or a frontal lobotomy. This was absolutely too much for
her to handle. Not only was the knowledge of a second Will Riker unsettling
to her, but it was doubly unsettling to be sitting so close to the Will
Riker she knew and loved and sense all of the confusion and difficulty he
was feeling at this moment. She thought more than once of trying to clear
her mind and send to him- something; some reassurance, some word of
encouragement, something to sound in his head and remind him he was not
alone in his tribulations. But she dared not. Her mind was in too much
mayhem and there was no real way of telling him what she wanted to send,
anyhow. So she sat stark still as Geordi, in a tone that indicated he was
clearly making a guess, tried to answer Will’s question.
“The containment beam must have had the exact same phase differential as
the distortion field.” Will nodded at that. But still, he had to know.
Deanna could sense his building anxiety as he asked,
“Which one of us is... real?” Deanna had to actively resist the urge to
take his hand as they awaited the answer. Fortunately, they didn’t have to
wait long.
“Both,” Geordi informed him. “You were both re-materialized from a
pattern.” Will was obviously having trouble assimilating this information.
Beverly turned to him and added,
“Up to that moment, you were the same person.” Will was frowning. Deanna
could tell he was unhappy with this news. Will had always been such the
individual; now knowing that there was a copy of him walking around free was
making him very agitated. Picard was trying his hardest to come up with
something to say. He knew as well as they all did how difficult this must
be for his first officer.
“But over the last eight years,” he began, facing Will, “You
and...Lieutenant Riker have lived very different lives. You're different
people now.” The Captain turned to address the entire room. “For us, it's
a little like meeting a close friend's twin. You can't help feeling that you
know them... but of course you don't. No matter how strange it may seem to
us... there are now two Will Rikers aboard this vessel. Getting used to the
idea may take a while... especially for you, Will.” He turned back to Riker
with his last comment. Will nodded.
“I'll be all right, sir.” Will imparted to the Captain. His head looked to
Deanna as though it was about to explode. Her own head felt strangely
similar at this moment.
It was as though part of her wildest fantasy had just come to pass. And
yet it was like a strange dream that she could awaken from at any minute.
Could there really be another Will Riker? A Will Riker unaware of the
events of the past eight years? A Will Riker who, after spending so much
time alone on Nervala IV, could need her as much as she was sensing he
needed her?
Or was it even him that she was sensing? The need for consolation may not
have been coming from the Will Riker eight decks away. It may have been
coming from the man seated next to her. She couldn’t be certain. Of
anything. Although the sensations she was getting from one or the other
Will Riker was enough to convince her that she wasn’t dreaming; that this
was, in fact, really happening. She had to get a handle on herself. She
had to figure out what to do next.
She wanted to talk to him…er…them…er… both of them, each of them. She
needed to know how Will was feeling. She needed to know how SHE was
feeling. And she needed to see the other Will Riker. She had been kept
from seeing him either by chance or by design (Deanna suspected the latter)
but she felt an unyielding need to see to him. Her head was spinning as
Picard continued to talk,
“Lieutenant Riker will be here for a few days at least. We should do
everything we can to make him feel comfortable and welcome.” Everyone
nodded in consensus. Then Will, obviously anxious to get off the subject
of his doppelganger, turned the conversation back to the mission.
“That still leaves us with the problem of how to retrieve the database,” he
reminded them. “The station's computer is only partially operational.”
“Many of its components have been removed,” Data added. “Apparently
Lieutenant Riker used them to keep the station's radiation shield
“Can we repair it? “ asked the Captain, “At least enough to access the
database?” Deanna was stewing in her seat. She couldn’t have given half a
damn about the station or its computer st this moment. But this track of
conversation did seem more comfortable to Will. He was frowning slightly
less when he offered,
“Without knowing what he did, it'll be tough.” Beverly, always full of
bright ideas, piped up and suggested,
“Maybe he could help?” Will’s frown became more and more pronounced as the
Captain took a moment to consider the Doctor’s suggestion.
“He was alone down there a long time. I'm hesitant to send him back until
he's been evaluated,” Picard admitted. Deanna finally had something to say.
The conversation had now, at last, reached a point where her head could
clear just enough to get words out. Four words, to be exact; four words she
had been reaching for all day. Softly but definitely she told Picard and
the others,
“I'll talk to him.” Will’s head shot sideways to look at her. She was
doing her best to appear at peace as the Captain turned to her.
“Thank you, Counselor,” he said, pushing his chair back from the table.
The Captain stood, signaling the end of the meeting.


---------------------Second Glances...

It was all Deanna could do not to bolt for the nearest turbolift and run
as fast as she could to see him. It wasn’t like she had any clue what she
would say to him when she got there, but the thought of seeing him, of
sensing him, was enough at this moment to make her react wildly.
She darted into the turbolift. Much to her potential dismay, Will was right
on her heels. He snagged her elbow and shot a look to the others waiting
for the lift that clearly said it might best behoove them to wait for the
next one. It worked. When the doors swished shut, the two of them were
alone inside. ”Deck eight,” Deanna ordered the lift. With a soft hum, the
turbolift began to move.
“You’re going to talk to him,” Will exhorted. Deanna couldn’t tell if the
remark was meant as a question. She nodded in response. He shook his head.
“Computer, halt turbolift,” he ordered, turning to face her. He looked down
at her, placing one hand on either of his shoulders. His face was a mass of
confused emotions as he asked her simply, “Why?”
“Why?” she reiterated. Her eyes grew wider as she looked at him and
answered, “Isn’t it pretty obvious?” He still had his eyes locked with hers
as she continued. “We need his help.” Will frowned at her.
“Uh-uh, Deanna, I don’t buy it,” he told her. She stepped backward,
dislodging his hands from her shoulders.
“It’s the truth,” she informed him.
“Not the whole truth,” he countered. “I can see it on your face. It’s as
plain as day, Deanna. You’re anxious, you’re fidgety; there’s something
else to this.” She grimaced,
“I am NOT fidgety!” she insisted, an assertion that almost made him laugh.
In a less serious situation he undoubtedly would have laughed. As it was,
he crossed his arms and glowered at her. She put her hands on her hips.
“And what if I am anxious, Will? Is that not okay with you? Can you not
see WHY I might be a little excitable in this situation?”
“Deanna,” he began, his expression softening a little, “I can see- I DO
see…maybe better than you do. I saw a universe of possibilities; eight
years of history being rewritten behind your eyes while Geordi was talking
in there. You want to know what he’s like…how much of him is like I was the
day I beamed of Nervala IV. Don’t tell me you’re not thinking about that.”
“Well, you’re thinking about it,” she surmised. “I’ll admit those thoughts
had crossed my mind. But I’ve also thought about him, Will. Have you
stopped to consider how he might be feeling right now? He’s probably having
the same difficulty adjusting to the idea of two of you as YOU are. Have
you thought about that? And you know you have me to talk to, and you know
you have friends here who will be supportive of you- who would do anything
for you. He doesn’t have that. He doesn’t even know that I’m on board. He
deserves to have someone to talk to, Will.”
“I know,” Will responded, letting out a slow breath of air. “I keep trying
to imagine… I think of what I was like eight years ago; of who I was, what I
wanted, what was important, how I might have reacted to this situation…. It
all comes back to one thing, Deanna,” he paused and looked her in the eye,
sadness filling his features.
“And what’s that?” she asked, stepping closer to him and dropping her hands
to her sides. He shook his head slowly as a half-smile crossed his face.
“You.” Her eyes fluttered wider as she met his gaze. “Know what I was
thinking about while we were trying to evacuate Nervala IV?” He looked at
her, deadpan. “You,” he answered himself. “I was thinking about you. I
was thinking about how much I wished you were back on the ship waiting for
me. I was thinking about how much I wanted you there for the rest of my
life. That’s what I was thinking about. That’s all I could think about,
Deanna. I got back to the ship and that was still all I could think about.”
Deanna shuddered as he continued. “And if that’s all I was thinking about
when I came back, that’s most likely what he was thinking about when he
found himself still down there. And he may still be thinking about it.”
“You’re afraid he’s still in love with me?” she asked him in the most
non-accusatory tone she could summon. He nodded.
“Yes, I am,” he admitted. “But more than that, Deanna; I’m afraid that
you’re going to get caught up in that. I’m afraid that you’ll take one
glance at a version of me for which the last eight years of our history
never happened and I’m afraid of what comes next.”
“I’ll admit I’ve entertained the thought of what it might be like…” she
began. “…What it might be like to try and erase parts of our history… what
it might be like to see where things could lead- starting over from that
day, eight years ago. But Will,” she reached out her hand and touched his
arm. “It’s not like he’s been in suspended animation for the last eight
years. He’s had a life of his own. Who knows the person he’s become in
that time? I just know that he needs a familiar face, that he needs a
sympathetic ear, that he needs to know someone gives a damn about how he
feels in all this. And I feel very strongly that that person had ought to
be me.” He took her hand from his sleeve and squeezed it.
“Computer, resume,” he called. The turbolift obliged and resumed its
course. He looked at her, still not letting go of her hand, “We’ll talk more
later?” he asked quietly. She nodded, smiling at him.
“Of course,” she answered. In no more than a moment, the turbolift stopped
again and the doors swished open to reveal deck eight. Will let Deanna’s
hand go as she began to step from the lift. She turned to him. “Walk me
there?” she asked. He shook his head and smiled at the gesture.
“No, thanks,” he answered. “I have some work to do with Geordi. I’ll see
you later.” She managed to smile back at him as the lift doors hissed and
closed between them. She turned back around to face the hallway. Squaring
her shoulders, she walked decisively the short distance to Lt. Riker’s
quarters. She took a deep breath and centered herself, then reached out and
rang the chime.

“Come in,” Riker’s voice called. Her voice caught in her throat when she
heard him. She had barely a moment to collect herself before the doors slid
open. He was sitting at his table, an empty dish to his side and a PADD in
his hand. He looked up at her. She stood still as the violent wash of his
emotions overcame her. She could sense the tumult of feelings inside him as
he allowed himself to realize it was really her. He had fallen into a
momentary stupor and she could feel it. They could have stayed there in the
pregnant silence between them for hours. But she was there for a reason.
She was there on behalf of the Captain. If she kept reminding herself of
that, she reckoned, she could avoid falling into the abyss she felt herself
teetering on in the presence of such intense emotion. She had to break the
silence- she had to end the moment. She took a ragged breath and managed to
“Hello Will.” Her voice was enough to break the dreamlike haze of the
moment. Her voice had brought him fully and wholly back to reality. He
stood from his chair, never breaking her gaze.
“Imzadi…” he whispered in a shaky voice as he crossed to her. He closed
the distance between them in a flash, and before she knew it he had taken
her into his arms and he was kissing her. Boy- was he ever kissing her.
She felt, when his mouth met hers, all of the intensity, the passion, the
yearning of a man who has been away far to long from the woman he loves. It
was a kiss as amazing and as heated as she had imagined it would be the next
time she kissed Will Riker. But this was not Will Riker; well, it WAS, but
it wasn’t. Will Riker was with Geordi. Will Riker was in Engineering.
She had to remind herself of that. She had to remember that this man; this
man who was kissing her with the perfect combination of sensations of
passion and familiarity, this man was not the man she knew. He was not the
man she felt like he was. She broke the kiss and pulled away.
“Will…” she addressed him with the only whole word her startled and
impassioned tongue could assemble. He hadn’t noticed her hesitation, she
could sense his happiness- his elation at seeing her, at holding her. She
could tell his joy was clouding his perception.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” he told her. He moved to embrace her
once more. She couldn’t let that happen. There was so much that needed to
be said, worked on, worked out- before that could happen. She pulled away
from his embrace and told him as gently as she could,
“We need to talk.” His face went through a dozen or so emotions before
settling on an expression that looked as though he’d just had the wind
knocked out of him.
“You’re here…” he began, his voice shaky, “on this ship…” he was struggling
to get the words out, “because of him,” he finished. He looked devastated.
He felt devastated; she could sense it all over him.
“No,” she told him. He looked up at her sharply. “Commander Riker and I
are friends,” she continued, “close friends; nothing more.” His expression
changed. It was as though she had lifted a world of weight from his
shoulders. He moved toward her, she could sense he was about to take her in
his arms again. She could feel herself about to let him. She couldn’t.
She stepped away, halting his advance. “Will,” she said to him softly,
“Why don’t we sit down?” She could feel his uncertainty as he gestured to
the couch and they moved to sit.
Once they were seated, she began again. “Do you remember the last time we
saw each other?” She asked. He nodded, smiling.
“Like yesterday,” he answered her. She could feel the love in his happy
memories as he continued; “We spent the day at Janaran falls, on Betazed.”
It was a happy memory. Deanna couldn’t help but feel pangs of both joy and
sadness at the memory.
“It was the day before you started your tour on the Potemkin,” she added.
Smiling, he reminded her,
“We were going to meet six weeks later, on Risa.” She cast her eyes
downward as she informed him,
“We never did.”
“I know,” he commented with a half-laugh. She corrected herself. She
understood what he had meant by his bemused response and she wanted to make
herself clear. “What I mean is…” she looked at him, her eyes beginning to
moisten, “Commander Riker and I never did.” He sucked in a shaky breath as
he looked up at her. She could feel the conflict within him as he came to
fully realize what she was telling him. “You see…” she continued, “He
earned a promotion very quickly….”
“I know,” Will interjected, his voice dripping with irony. “For
exceptional valor during the evacuation of the research station on Nervala
Four.” She was confused. How could he know all of this? “I looked over
his service record,” he added for clarification. She nodded in
“He chose to make his career a priority,” she said, her voice
introspective, and her eyes downcast. She continued with her story, her face
and demeanor becoming visibly sadder with each word. “There wasn’t time for
much of anything else.” Her tone remained even as she continued; even…
practiced. She hoped sincerely that she could keep her voice under control
even as her emotions were running wild just under the surface. She hadn’t
mentioned these things to anyone… hadn’t spoken of them in years. But she
felt compelled to tell the whole story now. It didn’t feel odd or
frightening to share these events with this man; this man who felt like Will
Riker. He had, although not in any definable way, been somehow party to all
of this. “We kept in touch,” she explained to him, “But we didn’t see each
other again until we were both posted to the Enterprise two years later.”
She could feel his reaction to those words. She could feel the reality of
what she was saying sinking in as she continued, “By then, our feelings for
each other had change. We’ve served together for six years now….” She could
feel her own sadness creeping up to try and take her over as she finished,
“things never went back to the way they used to be.”
He took a deep breath; he wasn’t sure what he could say to her. After a
moment, he set his jaw. “I had a lot of time on my hands down there,” he
told her, softly, resisting the urge to reach over and touch her. “There
were days I felt so alone I thought I might lose my mind.” He looked up at
her. “Do you know what got me through?” he asked. She had a guess. She
knew what he was about to say, she was almost certain. She acknowledged him
silently and tried to control the trembling of her upper lip as he told her;
“Thinking that if I could hang on, one more day, maybe I’d be rescued… and
I’d see you again.” She nodded slowly, the depth of his emotion almost
overwhelming her. “ I guess things don’t always turn out quite the way you
expect them to,” he finished, with a half smile indicative of how hard he,
too, was fighting to keep his own composure. She wanted more than anything
to find the right words. She wanted to comfort him. She wished for the
perfect thing to say. It wasn’t coming. But she had to say something.
“I know this isn’t what you were hoping for,” she consoled him, “but that
doesn’t mean you can’t make a future for yourself.”
“For now,” he responded, “I think I’ll just take things one day at a time.”
She nodded. She had no idea what else to say- what else she could say.
She had the distinct feeling that changing the subject would be a good idea.
“Captain Picard wanted me to find out if you’d be willing to help us
retrieve the station’s database,” she said. She had had a purpose for this
visit, after all. Might as well use it to get out from under an
uncomfortable situation. Riker’s face tightened into a bemused grin and he
tilted his head.
“I reconfigured that computer system so many times they probably can’t make
heads or tails of it,” he surmised. He looked up at Deanna and told her,
“I’d be happy to help”
“Do you feel up to it?” she asked, sincerely. He smiled at her, his real
smile, his true smile; she’d know the depth and sincerity of that smile
“Absolutely,” he answered. He was still smiling. She could not – would
not- allow herself to sit there and melt. She could still feel the love,
hope, longing, confusion; all of his naked and raw emotions were swimming
around her. She had to get out of there. She had to get out of there
immediately. She smiled back at him as best she could as she stood from her
“I’ll tell the Captain,” she said, moving away from him. “Well…” she
turned to him, as composed as she could hope to have been. “I have to go.”
He nodded in acknowledgement and swallowed hard as she began toward the
door. She could feel him fighting the urge to speak; she could feel herself
fighting the urge to stay.
“Deanna,” he called out as she reached the door. “I know it’s been a long
time since we were together,” he told her, “I know your feelings have
changed. But…” He almost couldn’t continue. She sensed the struggle inside
him. And she felt it the moment he decided to just admit, “Mine haven’t. I
can’t just give up and accept that it’s over…I want to be with you again.”
Deanna felt suddenly like she couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t decide to run
like hell or collapse into a heap on the floor where she stood. His
feelings were positively overwhelming. She had to get out of there, to gain
distance, to figure out for herself what she should do. She inhaled a shaky
breath and met his eyes.
“Good night, Will,” she managed to say. His doors swished open to allow
her egress. Their eyes stayed locked for a moment before Deanna could force
herself to look away and walk out the door.


Part 2

Deanna sat alone in her quarters. She had intended to meditate. She had
intended to clear her mind, to figure out what came next. She hadn’t
managed to. The lights in her cabin had turned themselves back on and the
music she’d been playing had long since ended, but Deanna couldn’t for the
life of her figure out how long she had been sitting there. She couldn’t
relax; she couldn’t think clearly, she couldn’t think of anything but HIM.
And she wasn’t sure how she should feel about that.
She had made up her mind that she wanted him. She had thought her heart
was on board with her decision. But she hadn’t been prepared for the
reality of what she had just thrown herself into. Hours ago, they had made
love. She had pinned him to the floor of the workout room and taken him
then and there like some sort of hormonal teenager. And she had enjoyed it.
This man WAS the same Will Riker she had fallen for all those years ago.
He felt the same. His kisses were as hot and as thrilling as she remembered
and his body had lost none of its splendor in her mind. It had been
But then came the rest of the day. Then came the inevitable questioning,
the analyzing, the what-ifs and that damned conversation with Will. It was
Had he wanted to spoil this for her? Or had he sincerely meant what he
said? It wasn’t like him to try and hurt her. She figured that he was
truly trying to protect her from a future he could see right in to. He
would certainly be the one to know his own mind. And even though Lt. Riker
wasn’t any more the self same person as Commander Riker, his thoughts on the
possibilities that lay before her had placed a heavy load on her mind.
What of the future? What could happen if this Will Riker took the same
path the other had? Could she handle the thought of his choosing his career
over their relationship again? What a mess. What a damnable, awful, and now
unavoidable mess. She found herself pacing, going over things in her mind as
evenly and as rationally as she oculd. But she had no way of knowing, no
way to tell. She knew that the feelings Lt. Riker had for her were real, and
strong, and pure. But she also knew that they were really no different from
the way Commander Riker had felt for her the day the two of them became
separate people. And she knew where that had wound up. And as much as she
cherished the friendship she had built with him over the years, she couldn’t
fathom herself able to handle a repeat performance of the way things had
gone for the two of them.
The door chime rang. It startled her. She hadn’t even been aware of how
closed off she’d become in her introspective state. She jumped slightly as
the sound of the chime yanked her out of her questions and into the moment.
“Come in,” she called. The door opened to reveal Lt. Riker. She smiled
distantly at him.
“I’m sorry to just drop by like this,” he apologized. “But there’s
something important I need to talk to you about.” She gestured for him to
come in. As he stepped through the door he continued, “Captain Picard made
some inquiries...” there was pause. A tiny, infinitesimal pause, but she
could feel what was coming next. She tried to brace herself mentally as he
told her, “He helped me find a posting on the Gandhi.” She could tell that
he was thrilled. It would have been obvious even to a non-empath that he
could barely contain his enthusiasm. She shook slightly as she took in the
news. She wasn’t sure if she could even be happy for him. Will had warned
her of things that she was now certain were about to happen. She tried to
stay her nerves as he added, “Considering how long I’ve been out of
commission, it’s an amazing opportunity.” She took a deep but ragged
breath. Trying to maintain the most even tone possible in her state of
mind, she asked him,
“When would you leave?”
“About a week,” he answered her.
“I see,” she replied. She wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. But she
sensed he needed her support right now. She wanted him to have that. She
wanted to be what he needed her to be. She tried her best not to let the
tumult in her mind show on her face. However, this was Will Riker she was
dealing with, and she hadn’t been able to fool him. She could see on his
face that he knew where her mind had gone.
“Deanna...” he said softly, moving toward her. He took her into his arms.
She wanted to just melt into him there, to hold on to him, to occupy his
mouth in ways preferable to the talk they were about to be forced to have.
But he kept on talking. “After I’ve served on the ship for six months, I’ll
be eligible to bring family aboard.” Her face went white. She could only
be thankful that he was holding her so close there was no way he could see
her reaction. “If we got married,” he began. She froze in his arms. Her
face screwed itself in and out of a frown as she pulled away from his
embrace. She looked him in the eye.
“You said those exact words to me once before,” she reminded him, trying
very hard to keep the tremors she was feeling from coming out in her voice.
“When you first went to serve on the Potemkin.”
“I remember,” he told her, flashing a smile. Trying to keep things as
light and cheerful as he could, he added, “I got held up for a while.” She
tried her best to smile back at him, but she couldn’t help but bring up what
was un deniably the next piece of business.
“But if you hadn’t...” she asked, “ What would have happened between us?”
He looked at her, his expression sincere and saddened. He knew what she was
“I wouldn’t have made the mistake of letting you go,” he assured her. “ I
know that much.”
“I don’t know if I can believe that,” she countered. She took a deep
breath and began to explain, “It took me a long time to get over what
happened between Commander Riker and me. I don’t know if I want to put
myself in that position again.” He moved toward her again and spoke, his
voice was reassuring, tender, warm,
“I would never hurt you, Deanna,” he said to her. She knew that he was
telling the truth. She knew that he honestly loved her and that he meant
everything he had just said. But hadn’t he also meant it eight years ago?
Hadn’t he promised her just that before he took the assignment on the
“It’s not just that,” she admitted, “I’ve worked hard to make a life for
myself on the Enterprise. I’m happy here.” She was standing there, looking
at him, her face betraying her inner turmoil. She was caught between
wanting to hold on to the life she loved and wanting to chase after the love
of her life. He could see how torn she was. HE wanted to offer comfort...
“If the situation were different,” he offered, “I’d stay here. But I
can’t... not while he’s aboard.” She nodded. She understood.
“I know,” she told him. He looked away from her. She could tell he was
pained by the thought that, after all that had just happened, he might lose
her again. She could feel it in the deepest parts of herself. He was
scared and hurt, and unsure.
“Are you saying it’s over?” he asked her in the steadiest voice he could
“No,” she answered him quickly. It seemed as if a load of bricks had just
bee lifted off his shoulders. She moved toward his and placed her hand on
his face. He looked down at her, hope for their future springing across his
features. “I just don’t know if I’m ready to give up my life here. Maybe
we both need time to think.”
He nodded. She looked into his eyes. Those same beautiful blue eyes that
had captured her heart so many years ago. His eyes were different, but she
could still see in them all of the hope and possibility of a lifetime ago.
They looked at each other for a long moment. Finally, he turned from her
and walked the few paces to the door.
“Good night,” he said as the doors opened. She nodded back at him as he
left the room. The doors closed between them and it gave her an unusual
start. She darted to the door of her quarters and quickly into the hallway.
Lt. Riker, who hadn’t made it more than a few feet away from her door,
turned around to look at her. He reversed course and closed the distance
between them. “Deanna?” he whispered. She looked up at him as the
strangest expression crossed her face. She backed up slowly just far enough
for the two of them to once again be inside her quarters. “Deanna, what is
it?” he asked, his concern obvious. Her answer came in the form of her hand
on the back of his head, pulling him into a heated and urgent kiss. When the
kiss finally broke she looked at him and implored,
“Don’t leave.” His eyes were questioning, but he refused to even lessen the
hold he had of her as she continued. “Not tonight. Whatever is going to
happen is going to happen, Will. And we’ll figure that out. We’ll just
have to see. But right now there is no reason for the two of us not to be
where we want to be. When it’s this easy to be together, there is no
logical reason I can think of not to be.” He smiled; a broad, true,
disarming smile that she had just enough time to glimpse before his lips
were on hers again.


---------------To Be Continued...?