Catch Me----Deanna's POV

  There are two parts.  Deanna's POV and Will's POV, sort of a "He said, she said" thing.  So, here it is.
Feedback is always welcome.
Disclaimer:  As always, Copyright infringment is intended. (Ha, there I go again)

Personal Log---Deanna Troi, Ship’s Counselor Stardate xxxx.x:

"Will asked me to marry him tonight. I should be ecstatically happy. I should be down in Ten-Forward celebrating our engagement with our closest friends. At the very least, I should be having a private celebration with my beloved.

If I had answered differently-if I had answered at all-I would be. Instead, I am sitting here in my quarters alone, bewildered and uncertain. My Imzadi is alone in his: angry, hurt and confused.

I’m still not entirely sure what happened. We were in Ten-Forward, enjoying a surprisingly romantic dinner. I should have known then that something was amiss. We often dine in Ten-Forward, usually with friends. However, tonight was different. For one thing, although our friends were in the establishment, none of them approached our table. For another, there was a rose on the table and a bottle of Chateau Picard chilling in a bucket.

Will seemed quieter than usual, as though he had something important on his mind. I should have known. ME, of all people, could not tell what someone was feeling. Even more amazing considering the person in question was Will Riker, whose mind is usually as crystal clear to me as my own. I suppose my own mind was too clouded with other things.

It was a beautiful evening. Roses, fine wine, exquisite meal-a perfect romantic setting with all the trappings. Trappings. What a telling word. That is exactly how I felt.

Not at first of course. At first, I was simply enjoying the evening with the man I love. Will was attentive and romantic. He knew just what to say to make me feel good. He knew just what I needed. He made me feel so cherished, so loved. It was truly the perfect end to a rather trying day.

I, Deanna Troi, the ship’s empathic counselor, completely clueless.

Dinner was over and we were lingering over dessert-chocolate, naturally. The next thing I know, Will is pulling something from his pocket and dropping to his knees. That is when poor, oblivious me wakes up. Suddenly I noticed the peculiar glimmer in his blue eyes. Then I noticed our co-workers-our friends-standing by the bar, grinning knowingly and trying not to stare.

I sat there, stunned. I heard the words. I saw the expectant, hopeful, and self-assured look on his face.

I opened my mouth to speak, to say yes. To my surprise, and his too apparently-if the look on his face was any indication-nothing came out. I wanted to answer, I wanted to say ‘yes’, but something stopped me.

Maybe it was his self-assured-cocky-expression. The one that said he did not doubt for an instant what my answer would be. Maybe it was all the people around, waiting to congratulate. Maybe it was that flash of memory that entered my mind. A bitter memory of those exact words, spoken a lifetime ago. Memories of an ecstatic and completely in love Psychology student. Memories of tears, memories of betrayal. Memories of standing alone on Risa, my heart ripping in two.

All this flashes through my mind as I sit there, my friends close by, the man I love on his knees at my feet.

I know all of this is showing clearly on my face. I know that Will can see it in my eyes. I see the pain that fills his eyes as his face begins to fall.

I opened my mouth to speak again, and can scarcely believe my own ears as I hear myself stammer, ‘I-I c-can’t’

I bolted from the room, not looking at Will again, not wanting to see the devastation that I could feel.

So now here I sit, alone and numb.

I know that Will does not understand what I can barely understand myself.

I love Will Riker. I have loved him practically my entire adult life. I thought the happiest day of my life was the day he walked into my office and requested ‘counseling’.

After all those long years of being ‘just friends’ we finally realized that we wanted-needed-to be so much more.

Over two years have passed since that day. Two years of bliss. Two years of falling deeper and deeper in love with him. He is my rock. He is the other half of my soul. I cannot imagine my future without him.

OK, so if I am perfectly honest with myself, and I always try to be, the past two years have not been a fairy tale. There were a lot of obstacles to overcome. My career, his career. Reconciling our personal relationship with the necessity of a command structure. His natural tendency to be pig-headed. My natural tendency to be aristocratic. But we learned to live with the difficulties, and found an extraordinary happiness.

So, why did I hesitate? Why did I not follow my heart and say ‘yes’? Because when Will Riker is involved, my heart cannot be trusted. Because my mind, my inner voice, cannot get over the events of the past. How can I agree to marry him, and set myself up for heartbreak? I’m scared. I’m overwhelmingly afraid that he will hurt me again. I know that it would kill me if I have to go through being ‘left at the alter’ a second time. So I ran.

In my heart, I know that this time will be different. We are both older, more mature. I have already given him my heart, but can I trust him with my future? Can I trust myself?

Sitting here now, contemplating the events of the evening as well as the past, I realize something important. Call it an epiphany. Trust is not a certainty; it’s not a measuring stick to hold up. It’s a leap of faith. There are no guarantees in life. It is unfair to both of us and a discounting of our love to base our future on mistakes of the past, on decisions made by who we were instead of who we are. So now what? I am standing on the edge of a cliff, staring down at my future. Can I do this? Can I step over the edge and trust that he will be there to catch me?"

"Computer end log"

Deanna tapped the badge on her chest. "Troi to Riker." Her voice shook.

"Riker here. What is it, Deanna?"

His is voice was so cold, so remote that Deanna hesitated, the words she needed to say catching in her throat. She took a deep breath and stepped over the edge. "Yes."

Silence on the other end. She sat and waited. Minutes pass, excruciatingly slow. Her door chimed. Deanna knew Will was on the other side, she felt him approaching with every fiber of her being.

She crept toward the door, her legs unsteady. The door slid open.

Will stood on the threshold. Deanna could feel his hesitation, the last remnants of anger and pain, but she also can see in his eyes all the love he feels for her, and the understanding. She had made the leap and he had caught her.

Deanna knew the silence would not last long. Before the night was over, there would be a lot of words between them. They had a lot to discuss, some past ghosts to lay to rest. For now, though, the love in his eyes was enough. She took a step forward, and he did the same. Then she was in his arms, right where she belonged.

For now, for eternity.


[The end]