Let Him Go (PG)
by Carol Sandford


Set: After The Host

She found her staring out of the porthole and knew without seeing her
eyes that she wasn't watching the stars whizz by. The aura that
surrounded her weighted her down; made her unapproachable. Made her
lonely. But Deanna had to talk to her, she simply had to. They were
supposed to be friends - the best of friends.

But that was before Beverly Crusher had slept with William Riker.

It didn't matter that it had been for an unusual cause, and it didn't
matter that she had given them both her blessing to do the
unthinkable. But could she forgive her?

She had to or else she was going to lose them both.

She saw Beverly's shoulders tense as she became aware that she was no
longer alone and Deanna spoke before Beverly could tell her to go. "I
love you, Beverly, don't send me away. Let me help. Please."

Beverly's mane of copper hair fell forward and Deanna heard the
shudder of breath leave her lungs. Quickly and quietly taking the few
final steps towards her, she reached out and gently squeezed her
shoulder. "Beverly?"

Her response was whispered, tortured. "I can't face you right now,
Deanna. Please don't make me talk about this. I just can't, it...it
hurts too much."

Deanna reached out her other hand and lightly shook both shoulders,
determination tinging her words. "We must, Beverly. You're in pain and
I can help."

Beverly spun on the spot and for the first time in days, Deanna saw
true grief close at hand. She had sensed it and she had felt it, and
rode along with it, too. But to see it so close made Deanna silently
gasp. "How can you help, Dee! I've lost Odan! I've lost the only other
man that I have loved since Jack died. My heart is broken and no one
can mend it for me. Not this time." She cried passionately.

Deanna's eyes squarely met the red-heads. "That's a lie, Beverly. I
know that this isn't about Odan, anymore. This is about Will. You've
fallen in love with him, but you know you have to let him go and you
don't want to."

Beverly shook her head and the tears that had welled in her eyes from
being caught out broke free and trickled down her pale face. She
opened her mouth to deny the accusation but Deanna stopped her. "He's
not Odan, Beverly. He's Commander William Riker and he cannot love you
back. You are his friend. He did it for you, and he did it for Odan
and the mission. What you want now you cannot have. Do you understand
me, Beverly? Will cannot love you."

Beverly's face crumpled with pain and Deanna felt no resistance as she
pulled the taller woman into her embrace and hugged her close, "Let
him go, Beverly. Let me have him back."

Beverly went still in her arms for the longest moment until eventually
she pulled far enough away to look into her friends face and saw a
pain that mirrored her own.


"He's mine, Beverly. I love him, too."

And without Deanna saying it, Beverly realized the other side of
admission and whispered, "And Will loves you, doesn't he?"

Tears shimmered in her dark eyes as Deanna nodded, a watery smile
lighting up her features at revealing a secret that had been hidden
for more years than she could remember.

"Let me have my Imzadi back, Beverly. Please."

And pulling the tiny Betazoid back against her for a fierce hug, she
said, "He's yours, Deanna. Thank you for lending him to me for a short
while. Somewhere, out there, there's another big, blue-eyed hunk
waiting for me."

Chuckling, Deanna pulled away and slipped her arm through Beverly's
and tugged her towards the door. "Actually, I might know just the
right man..."