Down In The Valley
Alright, I couldn't wait to finish this piece and it may be a little rushed
and in need of
revision-and proofreading, but I wanted to post it tonight. I've been watching a lot of my
7th season recorded episodes on VHS. Including, Dark Page and Phantasms. Now I know
I'm not the only one who would love to ask why Will wasn't more present in Dark Page and
I love the fics I've read about it, but I've thought it would be amazing if Will was in the
scene where Deanna is sorting through her mother's things and not the Capt. Here is the
result...PS I also would have loved more Imzadi in Phantasms after will finds Deanna in
the Turbolift after Data stabs her. I think it would have been good for Down In The Valley
"Down In The Valley"
With each item of her mother's personal belongings Deanna pulled from the crate
on her table, she fought back one more fear. If she couldn't find the cause of her mother's
sudden illness, she was afraid she would be forced into a similar position only the fear
that kept wrapping its hands around her summoned strength and reverie was of having to
pack up her mother's things and send them away. It was hard for her to ignore the
trembling of her hands as she pushed aside a piece of clothing and uncovered a
photograph of her father. Deanna looked down and into his dark eyes only a few shades
softer than her own. The sight of his compassionate face had often had a calming effect
on her, such precious memories, but was hard for the counselor to forget the last time
she had looked into her father's eyes and had been forced to walk away. Deanna jumped
as the doors to her quarters slid open, such a slight noise palpably pulling her away from
the thought – their would be time to deal with her own feelings later.
She looked up at Will Riker who was standing just inside her door. He smiled a small
smile, turning his head in a questioning way as if he could convey the words with a breath
of silence. She looked for the special smile he kept for her. It reached into his eyes and
she could read the emotions there like handwriting on paper, even without her empathic
"Uh, oh," she said hardly above a whisper, her hand still resting gently on the photograph
of her father.
"Uh, oh what?" He asked taking a few steps nearer to where she stood by the table. He
could see the glassy look in her eyes, tears he new she had forced to stay put for days
now. It was almost as if he could feel the tiredness in her spirit, despite the distance
"Couldn't be good news," she said somewhat coyly, toying with a scarf that was spilling
over the package of her mother's things. "They sent you."
He grinned but he knew her defenses were up and he wanted to reassure her, but he
knew she could sense the sympathy and concern he felt over what she was going through
with her mother. Deanna misinterpreted the conflict between the feelings he was
conveying and the facade he was showing her on the outside. She received it as
confirmation that the doctor and the captain had sent him in to tell her something that
they thought would be difficult for her to hear – something negative about her mother's
medical condition. They believed she would take better from Will. He was the person who
knew her better than anyone else on the ship, her close friend, and the man she had
loved and trusted for the majority of her life.
Deanna turned her body from him slightly, she felt as if she couldn't be there with him,
not now and yet, she there was a place inside of her begging for him not to leave. Will for
his part remained silent, his eyes glancing down the length of her arm down to her lovely
hand. She may have turned her body, but she wouldn't remove her palm from its
"Your father? You know I always hear people say how much you look like Lwaxana, but I
have always loved the glimpses of your father I see in you."
She slowly came back to face him, realizing her fingers had not been hiding her father's
face from him.
"What?" she whispered curiously, he had never mentioned anything like that to her before.
"You have his smile," he said. "And his hands." He continued, picking up her hand and
holding it in his.
"I remember when he died. My mother had to go through all his things and pack them
away. I was seven. I remember thinking how mad he would be when he came back and
saw what she'd done. I didn't understand, he was never coming home." Her eyes welled
with tears and once again she relied on a deep breath to push them away.
"De-anna," he exhaled out her name, in way that made chill bumps creep up her spine.
"Lwaxana, will pull out of this."
"Will, if we can't figure out what's wrong with her … I don't know what else there is to do."
She squeezed his hand tightly and then pulled it away from the safety of it lent, going to
sit down at her desk. The computer screen was filled with text and from what Beverly had
told him earlier, he gathered that they were Lwaxana's journals that had been transferred
from the Troi home on Betazed. He knew Deanna and he knew she had been sitting there
for hours reading, analyzing each word, picking apart every sentence. He came up behind
her placing his strong hands on her shoulders, massaging the tension out of them a bit
before letting them still. She wouldn't allow herself to relax. Her gaze was forward and he
could see her reflection in the computer screen.
"What did you find?" He asked, seriousness creeping into his voice. He had known
Lwaxana for a long time and he wanted nothing more than to see her well - trespassing
into his mind, flirting with the captain, and chiding Deanna for not being married yet.
"More questions. If something traumatic happened to my mother the evidence isn't in
these files, but there is something strange. She deleted some entries that start right after
she married my father and the gap ends a few months after I was born." He knew she was
frustrated and she heard the way she paused at her own mentioned of her father as if she
was stumbling over an emotion she was ready to name. But she didn't give him time to
comment. Her voice was deadpan and curt as she said, "Will, where have you been?"
"I had bridge duty and when I got off I went to sickbay because I thought that you would
be with your mother. The captain and Beverly were in her office talking and they
suggested I try here." He replied.
She continued as if she hadn't heard him. I haven't seen you since the day my mother
collapsed. "Where have you been?" She repeated to him, in a way that seem to accuse and
convey defeat all in the same breath. Riker knelt down next to her and turned the chair
she was sitting in reaching up with his hand and gently making her look at him.
"Imzadi," he started. She shook her head in protest, her lips mouthing a "no" without
projecting a sound. Not that word. She wouldn't be able to fight back the tears much
longer. "Imzadi," he continued. "You know where I've been. I took over seeing to the
needs of the Cairn while your mother has been ill, I've been taking some of the Captain's
shifts so that he could help with the investigation, I brought the crate of your mother's
things here myself so that you wouldn't have to do this alone and you weren't here to
meet me like we planned." He said gently, placing his hand on her leg as she stood. But
she walked past him to the viewport. "You've been avoiding me," he said as he stood
himself, leaning against the desk. She was shaking and he could see it from there.
"I knew if I was around you, I wouldn't be able to hold it together. I had to do this … I had
to be strong for my mother." He could tell she was crying quietly even before she reached
up to wipe away the tears. She turned back to face him. He thought about going to her
but he knew that the physical proximity would be too much, he knew she would want to
get the words out.
"Dee, do you think she would want you doing this all alone? Why … why do you always
force your self to be in control when there are so many people on this ship that love and
support you?" She reached out her hand, she just couldn't answer – she couldn't say
anymore. He walked over and took it kissing her fingers and then he led her over to the
couch. She wouldn't let go of his hand as they sat next to each other a slight space in
"How do I help you? Where do we go from here?" He said, his other hand reaching up to
wipe a few stray tears that were streaming down her face.
"I need to go back into my mother's mind. It's the only thing," she cleared her throat. "It's
the only way I know how to find the answer to what is hurting her." He locked gazes with
her, trying to see past what she was saying. She didn't understand why he kept staring.
Why didn't he speak? "Will? Go with me in the morning to talk to the Captain? I need him
to let me establish another link to my mother."
"You're angry." He said simply and unaccusing. It was as if he had been searching and
wandered upon what he had been looking for. That was all it took. Her shoulders began
to shake and he slipped his arm around her. She turned in to him and he wrapped her in a
tight embrace, Deanna hid her face in his neck. She began to cry harder and her ran his
hand calmingly up and down her back. placing soft kisses on her cheek and her forehead.
"You're okay, Imzadi. I'm here now." She clutched on to him, interlacing her fingers in the
fingers of the hand she still had not let go of … "It's alright, Deanna. However you feel …
let it out." She allowed herself the release of all she had been holding in, all that had been
confusing her … what she had been fighting. And when she had calmed herself enough to
talk with him, she sat up.
"I feel so guilty. I'm just so mad … so mad at my mother. I know it wasn't really her, that
her mind was defending itself..." she said as her voice caught a bit. "But it hurt so much."
He understood and he knew he should have come to her sooner no matter how much she
had wanted him to stay away. Deanna had been through much more than any of them
truly realized and she would never allow herself to deal with the pain she was feeling
when her mother was going through such a trauma.
"What did you see? What happened when you were connected to your mother's mind?" He
asked, at that moment only concerned for her.
"Daddy. I saw my father." She told him, not hiding the pain in her voice.
"Oh, god...Dee." He couldn't even imagine what she had gone through in the recesses of
her mother's mind. He understood what it was like to lose a parent at an early age, but to
be brought face to face with that person again was unreal.
"Everything in my mother's mind was a barrier or some sort of defense to keep me away
from whatever she is hiding. The captain was there ordering me to break the link and
then I turned a corner and there was a wolf. Growling and bearing its teeth. I was so
scared and I just started to run as fast as I could, ducking into the first doorway I could
find and as the doors shut behind me I looked up to see my father." Deanna looked down,
not quite sure she wanted to relive it again.
"Imzadi, are you okay?" He asked when she fell silent, she nodded slowly locking eyes with
him. "Take your time." He told her softly.
"He looked just like the last time I saw him when I was a little girl. He had on his Starfleet
uniform and he told me that the when I was a baby we lived in a house near Lake Elnar
on Betazed." She smiled. "He shared with me about what a beautiful woman he thought
I'd become. I knew it was a distraction, that there was part of my mother that was trying to
keep me from finding something. But I just don't understand what is so important that
she could do that … " Deanna took a breath, tears once again on her cheeks. "He sang to
me … this, this lullaby that I could never fall asleep without hearing when I was little.
There were times when I was growing up when I tried so hard to hear his voice singing it
again to me. It always made me feel so safe."
"Just like you needed him to help you feel safe now, when you were afraid of losing your
mother," he commented, bringing her hand to his lips.
"He, he asked me not to go. He said we might never have this chance again and that he
had missed so much and … and I had to walk away." Will pulled her into a hug as he
heard muffled into his chest, "It was as if my heart were breaking all over again." He just
sat there holding her for what seemed like hours, reveling over the feel of her in his arms
and thankful he could finally be there to comfort her. He assumed she had fallen asleep.
It had been awhile since she had said anything. She just cuddled close to his chest, her
arms wrapped tightly around his waste. But we he went to move Riker saw those deep
onyx eyes staring up at him.
"Deanna, when's the last time you really slept?"
"A few days maybe," she said, finding it heard to remember exactly. "I've been spending
most of my nights in sickbay and well, since I linked with my mother's mind … I have to
admit I've been scared to dream. I just can't close me eyes right now and see my father."
He helped her up off the couch and led her into the bedroom.
He kissed her lips tenderly and turned her around, unzipping her uniform. He reached
into her dresser drawer, finding his own bit of satisfaction that he still new where she
kept her nightgowns. He pulled out a nightdress, it was made of a soft material –
soothing. He pulled it over her head, fastening the buttons. She stood still looking into
his strong blue eyes as he unpinned her hair letting it fall to her shoulders. "Climb in," he
said patting her bottom playfully and nudging her toward the bed.
"Imzadi, will you st-"
"I'm not going anywhere." He turned down the covers and pulled the blankets up over the
two of them, easing Deanna's head down onto his chest. He lye there with his eyes open
until her breathing evened out and he knew she was close to sleep.
"Yes, love?" He asked giving her a short squeeze.
"Do you really think I have my Daddy's hands?" He grinned, laying his much larger hand
"Yes, Imzadi," he said placing a kiss in her hair. "I do." She sighed.
"Thank you." She said her voice filled with sleep, he knew she was already fast asleep.
"Sweet Dreams, Deanna. Everything is fine now … it's all going to be okay."