This story takes place after the events of First Contact. The story is fairly loosely based on a several page portion of Tim LaHaye’s and Jerry Jenkins’ Tribulation Force. Some of the characters are Paramount’s, some are mine although some of them have the same names as characters in the Left Behind book series (Irene Steele and the reference to Ray Steele) that’s were the similarity ends.
Deanna Troi was arriving at Will Riker’s home in Valdez. During the three months since the Enterprise E had returned to Earth following the incident with the Borg and Zephram Cochrane, she and Will had been making plans for when the Enterprise E would be repaired. She had missed him terribly during that time. She had gone to Betazed to help her mother out. During that time, Will had tried to talk her into coming to Valdez for a visit. She hadn’t been too interested in visiting during the winter and early spring, but it was summer now and she knew the weather would have been much better.
Nothing could have prepared her for the sight of an attractive young lady coming out of the house carrying a box to a transport in the driveway. Deanna couldn’t help but notice a diamond ring on her left ring finger when the sun glinted off it. The young lady noticed Deanna and smiled.
“Hi, I’m helping Will move some of his things to the Enterprise E and then we’re getting together in San Francisco.” She put the box in the transport and extended her hand to Deanna. “I’m Julie Steele.”
Deanna took the extended hand. “I’m Deanna Troi, Enterprise Ship’s Counselor”
“Nice to meet you, I’ve heard quite a bit about you lately.”
“Funny, Will never mentioned you to me.” She knew she sounded jealous.
“Figures.” She started back into the house. “I have one more box to get and then we can go to San Francisco and meet Will.”
By the time, Julie came back out of the house, Deanna was gone. Deanna went to the apartment in San Francisco she was sharing with Beverly Crusher. By the time she arrived, she was angry. She told Beverly what had happened in Valdez and about Julie.
“You’ve got to be mistaken about who Julie is. Maybe she’s a friend or a relative.”
“Beverly, she had a huge diamond engagement ring. She was coming out of Will’s house with boxes. He has no family in Valdez so she has to be his fiancée.”
“I think you should ask Will about it. You know he wouldn’t lie to you.”
“He should have told me about Julie.” She was on the verge of tears.
“Deanna, there has to be some mistake. He would tell you if he were dating someone. Besides he has been spending most of his time here. Both of us missed you terribly.”
Deanna started to cry. “But he didn’t.” The doorbell rang. “It’s Will. Get rid of him.” At Beverly’s look. “Please? I’m afraid of what I might say.”
Beverly shook her head and went to the door as Deanna went into her bedroom. Sure enough, it was Will. “Hi, Bev. I understand Deanna’s back.”
Beverly looked toward Deanna’s bedroom and indicated to Will to keep his voice down. She had an idea but it would only work if Deanna thought Will was leaving. He was a bit confused but nodded.
“Hi. Deanna’s here but she’s lying down. She’s a bit tired due to the long trip.”
He nodded. “Why don’t you come by tomorrow?” She mouthed <<in 10 minutes>>
“OK.” He became slightly concerned. “Is she OK?”
“Yes.” Beverly answered in the affirmative and shook her head ‘no’.
He whispered. “What is it?” Louder. “Tell her I’ll see her tomorrow.”
Beverly whispered. “She’s upset about something.” Louder. “Sounds good. See you tomorrow.”
She closed the door. “You know Dee, I really don’t like deceiving him like this.”
“He deceived me.”
“I’m going to get changed and go out to dinner. Do you want to come?”
Beverly went into her bedroom and started to get some clothes together for dinner. As soon as she heard the doorbell, she turned the water on in the shower, but didn’t get in.
Sure enough. “Beverly, it’s Will. Can you get rid of him?”
“I’m in the shower.” She called.
“Please Beverly.” Beverly didn’t answer.
Deanna came out of the room and went to the door. She tapped the intercom. “Will, please come back tomorrow. I’m not feeling up to company tonight.”
“I need to talk to you.”
“Now. I’m not leaving until I talk to you. Deanna, it’s been three months since we saw each other. I really want to see you.”
“So what’s one more day?” She went to Beverly’s bedroom door. “Bev, could you get rid of Will. He says he won’t leave.”
“I’m in the shower. Besides, he wants to see you, not me. If you don’t want to see him, you send him away.”
Will stood in the hall waiting to see if Deanna would let him stand in the hall all night. He hoped no one walked by and wondered what he was doing in the hall outside the apartment and called the police. He heard the door open behind him, but decided to ignore it.
“Are you coming in or are you waiting for an invitation?”
Will jumped at the sound of her voice. She actually sounded angry. He had no idea why she was angry at him. They had kept in contact during the last three months. Maybe he could find out. He turned around and went in. Deanna had already sat down on the sofa. He sat down on the coffee table in front of her.
He decided to come straight to the point. “What’s wrong?”
“How long have you known Julie?”
Will was a bit surprised. “All my life. Why?”
“When were you going to tell me about her?”
Now he was confused. “What do you mean? Who am I supposed to tell you about?”
“Julie. I couldn’t help but notice the huge diamond she was wearing”
“Julie and I’ve been friends since we were very young. Her father and my mother were killed in the same shuttle accident.”
“When’s the wedding?”
“In two weeks.”
They were both quiet a few minutes. Suddenly, realization dawned on Will. Deanna was jealous of Julie. She thought Julie was more than just a friend. He smiled.
“Deanna, Julie and I are just friends. As I said we we’ve known each other since we were very young. I’m giving her away at her wedding.”
Deanna, who had been looking down at her hands, looked up. She had tears in her eyes. She felt terrible thinking that Will was engaged to someone else. He moved from the coffee table to the sofa beside Deanna and put his arm around her. She leaned against him. He smiled. “I guess I told her so much about you but never told you about her. I’m truly sorry about that.”
“She said she had heard quite a bit about me.” She looked up at Will. “I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions.”
In her bedroom, Beverly smiled. She was glad her two friends were communicating.
Deanna suddenly remembered Beverly. She whispered to Will. “I’m willing to bet Beverly is listening to this entire conversation.” He nodded. He tapped his head indicating that they should communicate telepathically.
<<Now she won’t hear what we’re saying.>>
<<That will frustrate her. Every time I talked to her she begged me to come back here. She said that you missed me.>>
<<I did. If I hadn’t been busy overseeing repairs, I would have come to Betazed.>>
Beverly realized her friends weren’t talking at least not audibly. “Okay you two I can take a hint. I’m really going to take a shower now.”
“OK, Bev.” Deanna called. “Thanks. I jumped to conclusions.”
“I figured that.”
Beverly came out of the bedroom. “So are we invited to Julie’s wedding?”
“Deanna is. I’m sure I can get Julie to invite you too.” He smiled mischievously. “Of course, you’ll need a date. Perhaps Captain Picard?” He suggested.
Beverly grinned equally mischievously. “Is Julie going to fix it so Deanna catches the bouquet and you catch the garter?”
“She didn’t say”
“Maybe I’ll suggest it to her and her fiancé when I meet them.”
“Beverly!!” Will and Deanna said together.
Two weeks later
Julie was getting all the single women together before tossing her bouquet. In the two weeks since they met under less than harmonious circumstances, Deanna and Julie had become good friends. So much so that Julie asked Deanna to be a bridesmaid at the last minute which gave her one more attendant than Nick, her husband. Julie suggested that Will could be her escort and Will’s father could be her mother’s.
“OK, is everyone ready?” Julie said. Just before turning around she glanced at Beverly and smiled mischievously. She tossed the bouquet over her shoulder and it practically landed in Deanna’s hands. No one else had even tried to catch it. Deanna shook her head and smiled.
Nick went over to prepare to toss the garter. “I don’t know why I’m doing this. I might as well hand the garter to Will.” Instead he just tossed to garter to Will who caught it with a smile. “You know, Will, I wanted to do this fair and square.”
“Unfortunately, Beverly and Julie didn’t.” Will responded.
“Right.” Nick answered. He called for everyone’s attention. “I have an announcement that only five people here know about. Deanna have a seat.” She sat in the chair that Julie had sat in when Nick took the garter from her leg. Deanna smiled. She loved the way this who thing was coming together. “This took some planning over the last couple of days. It took a suggestion from Kyle Riker and some help from my mother-in-law, Irene.” He glanced at Will who moved toward Deanna. Will nodded to Nick and knelt in front of Deanna. After pushing the skirt of her dress up a little, he started to put the garter on her leg.
The others in the room were calling for him to push the garter up her leg more. When Will got the garter part way up her leg he united the bow and opened a small cloth envelope on the front of the garter. When he pulled the contents out, he nodded to Nick who winked at Will and Deanna.
“My announcement is that you all know the tradition of the one who catches the bouquet will the next one to be married. Well in this case it is true. Will and Deanna are engaged!” As he said that Will slipped the diamond engagement ring on Deanna’s finger and kissed her as everyone applauded.
Julie and Beverly went over to Nick, Will, and Deanna. “OK, you three, how come Nick knew and you didn’t tell us.” Julie asked.
“And who are the other two who knew about this?” Beverly asked.
Before anyone could answer, Kyle Riker and Irene Steele came over to the group. “We are.” Kyle answered. He smiled knowing what they wanted to know. “The other night, at Nick’s bachelor party, Will mentioned that he and Deanna were engaged and that no one else knew yet except Nick and me. I, knowing that Julie was just like her mother asked if Julie was plotting to throw the bouquet directly to Deanna and the garter to Will. Nick said ‘yes’. So, I told them what Liz, Ray, and I had done to Irene when she and Ray got married for the exact same reasons. Irene had been plotting to throw the bouquet directly to Liz and have Ray throw the garter directly to me.”
“Honey, you know the garter I gave you to wear?” Irene asked. Julie nodded. “That was the same one I wore that Kyle hid Liz’s engagement ring in which happens to be the same ring Deanna is now wearing.”
“I don’t believe this!” Julie said. She hugged Will and then Deanna.
Beverly did the same. “You know, I’m not happy not to be the first to know you two were engaged.”
“It’s your own fault, Bev. You helped Julie plot this whole thing.” Deanna said.
“But Deanna. Who was it who plotted with Will to get you to talk to him when you jumped to conclusions with regard to Julie?”
“You got me there.” Deanna said with a shrug.
“I’d say this calls for a special dance. Mr. Riker and mom, Will and Deanna, and Julie and I.” Nick said. He signaled the orchestra to play and the two happy couples along with Kyle Riker and Irene Steele danced knowing that they would all probably be dancing again at Will and Deanna’s wedding in the not too distant future.