Missing You



There were nights when the wind was so cold
That my body froze I bed
If I just listened to it
Right outside the window

There were days when the sun was so cruel
That all the tears turned to dust
And I just knew my eyes were
Drying up forever

I finished crying in the instant that you left
And I can’t remember where or when or how
And I banished every memory you and I had ever made. . .

---From “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”
    written by Jim Steinman

“Come on people, this is Will.  We owe him, we owe him the best!!!!”  Beverly Crusher yelled out as
two medics helped get the commander onto a biobed.  Will Riker was a mess.  In the 10 years that they had
served together, the officer had graced her Sickbay many, many times, but this was definitely the worst she
had ever seen him.  It helped Beverly to push this man’s identity to the back of her mind.  She attempted to
forget his encouraging smile, the poker games, the friendship that spanned more than a decade and the love
he held for her best friend.  She had known that the small reminder of who he was would prompt her crew to
fight that much harder, but she chose to think of him as a stranger and for the moment forget that it had been
almost three years since she’s seen his face.

Deanna Troi entered sickbay, the chaos taking her back a bit.  She had been on her way to pick up
her daughter from the nursery when the captain had contacted her.  “I think it would be good for you to go to
sickbay, Counselor” he had told her.  She had immediately changed course, quickly making her way through
the corridors of the great ship.  Troi sighed as she headed into the Enterprise’s medical facility.  It really
didn’t look like anyone had time to give her any answers.  She took a few steps more past the arc that led to
the main treatment room. She peered around the nurses and other medical officers, trying to find Beverly.
She started to speak, but then she caught a glimpse of the figure on the biobed.  Deanna’s knees buckled,
betraying her and she collapsed onto the floor.  “Counselor,” exclaimed a nurse who saw her fall from the
corner of her eye.  But Deanna waved her off, “Hh. . .h. . .how?  How long has he been here, she managed
to breath out.  The counselor barely heard the reply as she pushed herself off the floor of sickbay, and
walked further into the room, closer toward the man she had once called imzadi.  

“*#$!,” Beverly exclaimed as she labored to bring the commander’s vitals back up to
normal, and they fell once again and also, as she saw Deanna Troi out of the corner of her eye.
The doctor would have liked to have spared her friend a reunion of this kind, but she knew that
there wasn’t any way the counselor would leave now that she had seen the face of the man she
had given up for loss.  “There,” she said more to herself than to anyone else.  She had stopped the
internal bleeding that had been fighting her attempts to remedy the effects it was having on Riker’s
weakened body.  She took a deep breath, turning to confirm the information on the wall behind her,
while her med. staff attended to the outer lacerations to the commander’s body.  His vitals began
returning to normal and as his eyes fluttered open, the first words that were heard from those lips,
as quietly as they were spoken,“Deanna . . .please . . .help me, imzadi.”

The counselor had wanted to run when she had seen William T. Riker lying on the biobed
in front of her.  She had wanted to get as far away from sickbay as possible.  Not only had her
body betrayed the plea from her mind, but her heart would never have let her have it that way
either.  So many questions were raging through her, and then they were all silenced as she heard
him calling to her, calling out to her very soul.  Her soul--the one part of her being that would
always hear him.  She hurried over to biobed, looking down into the face that she had thought she
would never see again.  His eyes were barely open, as she spoke to him in a low whisper, “I’m
here, Will.  You’re going to be fine.  I won’t let anything happen to you.”  He looked into her dark
eyes acknowledging the words that she had spoken to him, and closed his own eyes once again
as the weakness of his body overtook him.  She lay her cheek against his forehead, tears
streaming down her lovely face onto his.  “I missed you, Imzadi,” she said, although she knew he
was now in a deep sleep.  The words had been more for herself than for him.

“Picard to Crusher,” said the captain as Dr. Crusher entered her office.  “Yes, Jean-Luc?”

She asked, her nerves on edge.  “How’s Will?”  He asked.  “He’s stable, Capt,” Beverly told her
CO.  “He’s very weak, though.  We’re going to have to wait and see how things go.”  “I know you’ll
do everything you can, doctor,” Picard replied, “How is Deanna?”  The captain asked although
Crusher attention was directed toward the person that had just entered her office, and fell into a
chair, drowning Jean-Luc’s inquiry with sobs of anguish.  Beverly ended the transmission knowing
Picard would understand, and hurried over to her friend wrapping her arms around her.  “Shhhh,
Dee.  It’s alright.  Just let it out,” she told the counselor tears falling down her own face as Deanna
began to cry harder.  “I thought he was dead,” the counselor finally told Crusher.  “I know, we all
did.”  She said to her.  “How . . .what?”  Deanna said, uanble to put any of her jumbled thoughts
and emotions into coherent statements.  Beverly handed her friend a tissue and took one for
herself.  “I don’t know all the details, Deanna, it seems he was on some sort of undercover mission
gone haywire.  The captain would like to talk to you as soon, well, as soon as you’re ready to leave
here.”  Troi nodded slowly, and then suddenly the realization hit her.  “Stella,” she said, her eyes
wide.  “Is fine,” Beverly finished for her.  “Alyssa arranged for your nanny to go and pick her up
from the nursery.  She is going to stay with her until Garrett comes off duty.”  “Thank you, Beverly,”
“What’s a godmother for,” she said, with a small smile.  “Is he going to be okay, Bev?”  Deanna
asked, and the doctor knew she wasn’t referring to her husband spending a night alone with the
counselor’s 15 month old daughter.  “I’m not going to sugarcoat things, Dee.  It doesn’t look good,
but all we can do right now is wait.”  

The counselor went out into Sickbay, and into the ICU unit where the commander was
lying on a biobed.  She wanted to see him one more time before she headed to the Bridge where
the captain would have answers for her.  Answers Will would have given her if he weren’t lying
unconscious on a biobed in Sickbay.  His breathing was low and labored, his face pale.  She knew
he was fighting.  He was fighting for her.  Deanna Troi knew how scared he had been when they’d
beamed him aboard.  Will Riker had called out to her the one person who could have given him
any sort of security in that situation, the only one he would have wanted to be there, holding his
hand when he died.  She wiped a stray tear from her face that had fallen, placing her hand on
Will’s forehead, and kissing him there lightly as she turned to go.  It hurt so much for her to be
there, but not as much as it was hurting to leave him when he needed her.


“Come in,” said Picard, turning off his computer terminal and rising to greet the woman he
knew was standing behind those doors.  The doors parted and Counselor Deanna Troi stepped
through them.  Jean-Luc motioned for her to have a seat on the couch, and he turned a chair,
sitting across from her.  “Where do I start,” he said looking up from his hands clasped before him,
into the tear-stained face of his counselor and friend.  “First, can I get you anything to drink?”  She
knew he was trying to protect her from the inevitable pain of whatever the truth may be, but that
didn’t change the fact that she was having trouble keeping her eyes open, “Valerian Root tea,” she
told him.  He nodded, getting up, “I think I’ll have some of that myself.  The captain knew his
counselor was on to his method of procrastination and continued speaking as the mugs of tea
materialized.  “The Federation really messed things up this time, Deanna,” he began.  “They owe
Will one heck of an apology.”

“ . . . So when Will arrived at the rendezvous point he was met by a couple of
braindamaged Starfleet officials and some Cardassian head honchos.  He did fly shuttles it seems,
but not souped up Federation vessels to be tested for further use for Starfleet missions and
weapons for future wars.  Through some secret conspiracy between a few of us and a few of them
the commander was made to fly these Cardassion shuttles, if you can even call them that, to test
for their wars and raids on the Marquis.  He was basically kept at force to do their dirty work.  The
Starfleet admirals that were involved are under heavy investigation, and our treaty with the
Cardassians is now on shaky grounds.”  The captain looked to the counselor who had been
listening to the Federation’s explanation for the events surrounding the commander’s “death” and
reappearance.  He had thought that it would all be too much for her, the reappearance of the man
who she had finally given up for loss and had finally begun to live again.  “Deanna,”  he said softly,
“Are you sure you’re up to hearing all this tonight?  You must be tired, and I’m sure there’s a little
cherie who  can’t wait to see you in your cabin.”  She smiled slightly, thankful for his concern.  He
and always been so good to Will and herself.  She and Will . . ., Deanna shook her head.  “I’m fine,”
she lied, “And hopefully Garrett has Stella tucked in bed and asleep by now.  Now, how did Will get
here?”  He sighed, continuing the story, “A couple of nights ago he was able to escape, after two
years of imprisonment by these people.  He headed toward Federation space in one of the
Cardassian crafts, and he was attacked by a vessel which was believed to carry either Marquis or
people supporting this conspiracy that didn’t want any information leaked.”  “So that’s when he was
injured?”  She asked.  “Yes,” he said, “The U.S.S. Hood was in range and intercepted immediately.
The attacking shuttle was destroyed, and they were able to transport Will onboard before his on
shuttle exploded.  We me the Hood as soon as possible, and, well, you know the rest.”  She
nodded, and he could see her eyes begin to water.”  The captain went to sit next to her.  “But we
don’t know the rest do we?”  She asked so quietly that he could barely hear her.  “He’ll pull through
Deanna.  He has too much to live for.”  She smiled slightly, wiping a tear that had fallen from her
eye.  “Thank you sir,” she said wondering how true that really was anymore.

The cabin was dark and consolingly quiet as Deanna entered.  The counselor slipped into
the bedroom she shared with her husband.  He was sleeping peacefully, taking full advantage of
the extra space in their bed.  She smiled, leaning over to kiss him lightly on the forehead, pushing
sandy brown hair from his face.  She hadn’t meant to wake him, but there were those emerald
eyes staring back at her.  He brought a hand to her cheek, rubbing his thumb over her jaw.  “You
look exhausted, sweetheart.”  She nodded.  “I’m fine,” she said casting those onyx eyes
downward.  Before he could protest he was interrupted by the small cries of the little girl in the
room next door.  He was halfway out of bed when Deanna stopped him.  “No.”  She said, placing
her small hand on his arm.  “Please let me get her.”  Garrett nodded finally, watching his wife leave
their bedroom.


Deanna walked into the nursery, rubbing eyes that were threatening to close.  She headed over to
her daughter who was standing up holding onto the side of the crib, tears rolling down her cherub
cheeks that were pink.  The counselor gathered the tiny toddler into her arms, hugging her tightly.
“Shhh . . .Stella.  Mommy’s here.”  She said softly, bouncing her gently as she sat down in the
wooden rocker that was placed in front of the window.  “It’s alright angel,”  she said rocking back
and forth, rubbing her back, and humming a quiet lullaby.  “Dee, let me take her,” said Garrett as
he stood in the doorway, watching the scene before him.  Their little girl was asleep in his wife’s
arms.  She was dressed in PJ’s with little ducks on them, a yellow pacifier in her bow shaped
mouth, and a little lavendar blanket that she never went far without, gripped in her hand.  Her head
moving up and down with each breath her mother took.  Deanna’s head meanwhile was falling
lower and lower with sleep.  His voice startled her.  “I didn’t mean to scare you, sweetheart.”  He
told her coming closer to them.  He bent down next to the rocking chair, one hand on Stella’s back,
and the other on Deanna’s cheek.  “She can sleep with us.  I’ll go lay her down, and you can take a
warm bath.”  He said, trying to persuade the Betazoid.  “No,” she said locking her hand with his,
“She’s fine.  I just want to hold her a little bit longer.”  He smiled in understanding.  “I’m going back
to bed, you’ll come soon?”  She nodded, kissing him.  “I love you,” she whispered as he turned to
go.  “I love you too, Dee. I love you too.”  
“You’re very quiet this morning,” said Jean-Luc Picard, who was sitting across from his
fiance enjoying their customary breakfast.  “I was just thinking about Will and Deanna.”  She told
him, picking off a piece of croissant.  “You too?”  He replied.  She smiled, but the smile was quickly
replaced by a look of pain on her face.  “What’s going to happen when he wakes up and finds out .
. .”  She let her voice trail off and Picard nodded.  “And Deanna . . .I can only imagine how she
must be feeling.”  “Have you talked with her this morning,”  The captain asked Crusher.  She shook
her head. “No.”  She replied, looking down at her plate.  Beverly, what’s going to happen to her if
she loses him again?”  Her eyes pierced his.  “I won’t let that happen.”

As Garett Richards sat on the Bridge of the Flagship of the Federation, he couldn’t help but
thinking of his wife.  Garrett had been married to Deanna for 11 months, and it had been the
happiest time of his life.  He loved her more than he had ever loved anyone, and that little girl with
those rose-colored cheeks and the curly brown hair and that smile.  She was the most beautiful
child he had ever layed eyes on.  Now things were about to change.  The force that would start the
change into motion was the reappearance of the man whose place he had taken in more ways
than one.  He knew Dee had to be hurting, to be scared.  Was she happy to have him back in her
life?  Would she regret the choices she had made?  He shook his head, trying to clear it.  He would
not allow himself to doubt their love for one another.  He would be there for her, when she was
ready to let him be.  Until that time he would wait and he would continue to love, hoping that love
would be the life perseverer to keep them afloat as they treaded the rough waves that were soon to
crash into them.