Disclaimer: Blah, Blah, Blah, you know the drill. Paramount owns
them not me


Setting: I know I said that the story I did a few weeks ago
called `My Beloved Wife' was done, but you should never believe
anything I say. This little snippet just poked its head out and I
decided to give it a platform from which to speak. So this is set in
the same time frame, after Deanna's funeral.

(A continuation of `My Beloved Wife')

The house was finally quite, everyone else had gone home to
their loved ones, home to live their own lives. Will walked the
empty halls and rooms examining each piece of art, touching each
knick-knack as if it were a relic from another life. His head
swirled with memories and snippets of imagery. He knew he should go
to bed, knew he should stop torturing himself but he felt the
overwhelming need to touch everything she had touched, to walk
everywhere she had walked.

The house was filled with her essence, her perfume, and, if
Will listened hard enough, her voice. They had moved into the Troi
mansion after their retirement, but only with the agreement that they
split their time between Earth and Betazed. However as they got
older and the chill of Alaska settled uncomfortably in their bones,
they ended up spending more of their time at the Troi mansion.
Deanna had taken a lot of care in making the house comfortable for
Will. She had done away with the glittering ostentatious décor that
Lwaxana preferred, and lovingly picked out colors and art that fit
their taste more.

Now he walked among their possessions, and smiled at the
memories each brought back. There was the marble sculpture they had
bought on Earth the last time they were there, the grandfather clock
Jean-Luc and Beverly had given them shortly before his death, and the
leather bound books that Deanna began collecting while still serving
aboard the Enterprise.

He had already inspected the rooms on the lower floor and now
there was only one more place to go, their bedroom. It was not a
room he wanted to be in, it was there that his memories of lazy
Sunday mornings and nights with her wrapped in his arms lived. It
was there that she spent her last weeks of life, and there that she
gave up the fight.

As Will walked slowly up the grand staircase to the second
floor he felt a sense of dread grow in his chest. He did not want to
see the empty room, didn't want to slip into a cold lonely bed. She
used to read in bed, waiting for him to get in beside her. She told
him once it was hard to get to sleep without him ; he had laughed at
the time and promised she would never sleep alone again if he could
help it. Now he felt a flash of anger, how could she leave him ?
How could she just give up and leave him to face his life alone?

The anger carried him the rest of the way up the stairs, but
quickly evaporated when he reached the closed door that led to their
bedroom. He paused outside of it, trying to muster the courage to go
in. `Stop it you old fool', he chastised himself, `it's not like
she's haunting the place.' Nevertheless, she was, she was haunting
his mind, and there was no running from that. He straightened his
age-bent back as much a possible and quickly touched the control
panel, causing the door to swish open. The lights snapped on, Will
took a deep breath, and stepped in.

The room had been cleaned and aired since her death and Will
silently thanked whoever had done it. The window was open, and the
smell of the hyacinth Deanna had planted last spring wafted into the

Will went to Deanna's vanity and scanned the bottles of
perfume, opened her jewelry box but shut it quickly when he saw all
the little trinkets he had ever given her staring back at him. He
opened the closet doors only to be hit by her exotic scent that still
clung to her clothing. He picked up an ancient book that rested on
Deanna's nightstand, the collected works of Lord Byron; he had given
it to her for her birthday over nine years ago.

He sat on the edge of the bed and flipped through the book
quickly. He wanted to cry, but there were no more tears left, only a
hollow kind of pain, a numbness that weighed his limbs and rested
heavily on his chest. He was suddenly weary his eyes began to feel
dry and heavy, and he propped himself up in the bed, clutched the
book to his chest and closed his eyes.

During the years of their marriage Will had gotten into the
habit of opening his mind to Deanna and giving her what amounted to a
mental `good-night kiss'. Now out of sheer habit he opened his mind
and reached out for her, even as he did he knew there would be no
answer in return there would never be an answer again, but he did it

`Good-night Imzadi, I miss you, I wish I could hold you
again.' His mind let go and he slowly began to drift into the grey
area that marks the line between sleep and wakefulness. Suddenly, as
if from a distance vaster than man can measure, he heard a response.
It was one word, but it was enough.


The End-and this time I mean it (or do I).