What Had To Be Done
Coda to Season 3 episode "The Vengeance Factor". Will tries to
deal with the aftermath of his actions toward the end of the episode,
and Deanna tries to help him
October 6, 2009
"What Had to Be Done"
by Bryce Newall
Will tries to deal with the events that took place during the negotiations between the Acamarians and the Gatherers. Takes place immediately after the episode "The Vengeance Factor". This episode followed "The Price", to which there are some references made.
Disclaimer: Insert standard "Paramount owns all" disclaimer here. Thanks for allowing me to borrow the characters.
"Yuta..." He shook his head at her, his phaser pointed at her and set to kill. "Don't do this."
Staggering from the two lesser-powered phaser hits, the last surviving member of the Tralesta clan looked up at Riker, eyes pleading for him to understand. There was no understanding to be found in his piercing blue eyes; only determination to stop her from committing murder as she stood less than a meter from Chorgan. Chorgan was the last of the Lornak clan, the same Lornak clan that had massacred the Tralesta clan over a century ago, wiping them out completely... or so Chorgan had believed, until this moment.
Yuta suddenly lunged for Chorgan. Riker reacted without hesitation and fired, vaporizing Yuta in mid-motion.
Will Riker bolted upright. A thin sheen of sweat lined his forehead, and his breathing was rapid and shallow. Gathering his wits, he slowly stood up from his bed and walked into the bathroom. His breathing was beginning to return to normal, and he leaned over the sink and splashed some water on his face. For the past two days, he'd been agonizing over his actions. His sense of duty told him he had done the right thing, but he couldn't stop the overwhelming feeling of guilt over having to kill a beautiful young woman. 'Young...' he thought to himself, a mirthless laugh escaping his lips. She was, in reality, over 70 years old, but didn't look a day over 25.
Riker decided it was time to talk to someone. But not just anyone. "Computer," he called out, "locate Counselor Troi."
He got half of the answer he expected to hear. [[Counselor Troi is outside her quarters.]]
'Outside?' He was about to tap his combadge, when the doors to his quarters slid open and Deanna Troi stood in his doorway. It had taken only a few seconds for her to reach his quarters, since hers were right nextdoor. She had obviously used the code he had given her some time back to gain entry. "May I come in?"
"Yes, please." He looked her over. It was apparent that she had been asleep; she was wearing the robe he had given her a year ago for her birthday, and her ebony trusses fell loosely along her face and neck. No matter what she wore or how her hair was done (or not done, in this case), he realized, she looked beautiful. He also realized he was staring at her.
She gazed at him as she entered his quarters, concern etched on her delicate features. The doors slid shut behind her. "Will, I could feel your dream... it was very intense. It woke me up. Are you all right?"
"Deanna... gods, I'm sorry it woke you. I don't think I've ever had such an intense dream before. It was like I was reliving the whole thing."
Troi regarded him and thought about less than a year earlier, when Riker had been fighting for his life in sickbay and Dr. Pulaski had essentially been forcing him to dream. Those had been even more intense, and she almost reminded him of that, but thought better of it. Instead, she simply moved close to him and took his hand, whispering softly, "It's all right, Imzadi. It's a perfectly normal reaction to a traumatic event. Why don't you tell me about it?"
Riker smiled down at her, kissed her softly on the cheek, then released his hand from hers. He gestured toward the couch in his living area, and proceeded to his replicator while she sat. He ordered up two hot chocolates, brought them over to the couch, and sat down next to her.
"I don't know where to begin, Deanna. It happened so quickly... she didn't *have* to do it. It was senseless! An age-old feud, practically forgotten until now!"
Troi sensed and saw his anger rising. She placed a comforting hand on his arm. He looked at her hand, and immediately felt a little calmer. It was amazing, the effect her touch had on him. And her voice... gods, her voice. He was suddenly aware that she was speaking to him. "...and you felt close to her, Will. That made it that much more difficult for you. But you did the right thing. If you hadn't stopped her, she would have killed Chorgan, and that would have not only been the end of the negotiations between Marouk and the Gatherers, but the beginning of more blood feuding between clans. You did what had to be done, and no one can fault you for that."
"I know, Deanna, but... I had to *kill* her. I tried to reason with her, tried to stun her... I guess the alterations she underwent increased her resistance to phaser stuns. She was so young, and vibrant... her whole life was ahead of her."
"Will, she was over 70 years old... she'd had a lot of life already."
"Well... ok, you're right. It just seemed like such a wasted life, living only for revenge. But before I knew all of that, though, she came across as someone who needed to experience a life other than one of servitude. I thought maybe I could help her to see that." He looked down.
"The two of you were... close," Troi observed.
"Nothing happened between us, Deanna." He looked up at her again. "Well, she kissed me, thinking that I wanted her to give me... " he cleared his throat, "...pleasure."
Troi almost laughed at that, and for a brief moment, she was jealous. But then her mind immediately wandered to her short but intense affair with Devinoni Ral, and she promptly dismissed any feelings of jealousy she may have held. Besides, *she* was the one who decided to leave Will and Yuta in Ten Forward, wasn't she?
She just smiled at him and said, "Well, I'm sure you exercised control over the situation before matters got out of hand."
He looked down again, taking her hand in his. "I'll never forget the look in Yuta's eyes, before she tried to get to Chorgan. She wanted me to understand why she was about to do it, why it was so important to her to complete her... mission. But I couldn't let her kill him, Deanna... I couldn't--" his voice cracked. His eyes glistened, and Deanna pulled him close to her, hugging him tightly.
"It's all right, Will, it's okay," she whispered softly as silent tears fell down his cheeks. She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen Will cry. Starfleet officers were prepared to die in the line of duty, but no amount of training could adequately prepare someone to have to take another's life. Not even men like William T. Riker.
As quickly as they began, Riker's tears stopped. "Thanks, Imzadi, I needed that," he remarked dryly.
Troi exhaled a short laugh. "That's why I'm here. Now, why don't we try and get some sleep?"
He glanced up at her, a mischievous glint in his eye. "We?"
"You know what I mean," she laughed, swatting his arm lightly.
He captured her hand, his expression turning serious. "Deanna, would you stay? I could use the company."
A million thoughts ran through her head at once. They had never spent a night together before since being assigned to the Enterprise. Deanna didn't feel that this was the right time to move their relationship beyond friendship. Will saw her look of hesitation.
"I'm sorry, Deanna, I shouldn't have asked--"
Deanna saw from his expression that he wasn't asking for anything more than companionship. "No, Will, it's fine, I want to stay." She stood and guided him into his bedroom, and removed her robe, revealing her sheer nightgown.
Turning down the covers, Will looked at her appraisingly and smiled. 'Some things never change,' Deanna thought to herself. They climbed into bed and he pulled the covers over both of them.
"Computer, lights out," he called. The computer beeped in compliance, and the lights went out, leaving only the stars outside shedding soft light into the room. Will leaned over and kissed Deanna lightly on the lips. "Good night, Imzadi."
"Good night, Will." They both looked up at the ceiling, and as Deanna took Will's hand and laced her fingers with this, they both drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
== The End ==