This inquiry is concluded The words had barely left Admiral Joel Victors mouth when William Riker left the room and headed toward the apartment had had been living in since the Farragut arrived at Earth. When he arrived, he sat down on a chair in the spartan apartment and put his head in his hands. He knew he would be reprimanded for permitting an inexperienced helmsman at the helm during a battle, but he never dreamed his career would be taken away from him. He knew that Admiral Victor still blamed him for not having the Enterprise at Wolf 359 to assist in the battle. Admiral Victors son had been on the Melbourne when it was destroyed with all hands lost. Admiral Paul Bayer hadnt liked him since he got the Enterprise over his daughter. As far as he knew, Admiral Brett Starr had nothing against him. Admiral Nechayev had undertaken Wills defense and assured him that Admiral Bayer was not the vindictive kind. I guess she was wrong. He said aloud.
He got up stripped off his uniform for the last time and put on civilian clothes and sneakers. I guess I better get used to them. He replicated a duffel bag and put his civilian clothes in it as well as his toiletries. He left his uniforms and boots in the closet. He hadnt decorated the room so when he finished packing his bag, he walked out without a backward look. His neighbor, Lily Ray, had just stepped out her door and saw Will moving quickly down the hall and knew the worst had happened. She knew he had been worried but also knew what happened to the Enterprise was not his fault. She had been on the bridge that day and testified that Will did everything he could to keep the Enterprise
Admiral Nechayev, Captain Picard, and Admiral Starr were discussing the inquiry.
I couldnt convince them that Commander Riker wasnt at fault,
but both believed that there was more he could have done to prevent 17 people
from dying. Admiral Bayer even said that his daughter wouldnt have permitted
a ships counselor to take the helm during the course of a battle. I was
almost ready to leave our deliberations when Joel Victor said that, and I quote
Riker never seems to do enough to save lives.
We need to appeal. Nechayev said. Before the decision was
announced, Will said to me that he didnt want to appeal if the decision
went against him. Captain, can you convince him to change his mind?
Ill try. Picard replied. But you know how stubborn
Will is at times.
Tell him what Victor and Bayer said. It might convince him. Starr
I only wish Deanna hadnt left for Betazed. She could have been
a great help in convincing Will to appeal. Picard said. Beverly
Crusher should be helpful. She and Will are quite close.
In the meantime, Im going to work on the appeal. Nechayev
said with determination.
Alynna, you can appeal without Rikers permission. Starr said.
True, but even if I win the appeal, if Will doesnt want his career
back, I cant help him. So without his cooperation, an appeal just isnt
Beverly came over to the group. Picard turned to her. Beverly, we could
use your help in convincing Will to change his mind about appealing this decision.
I just sent Deanna a message letting her know the decision and asking
her to come back; that Will is going to need his best friend right now. Is there
any other way I can help?
Do you think you can talk to him? Nechayev said. Captain
Picard can fill you in on our conversation.
Come on, lets go over to his apartment and try to talk to him.
Ill get started on the appeal. Brett, would you be willing to help
Good luck. Picard said.
To all of us. Starr said.
While Crusher and Picard headed to Rikers apartment, Jean Luc filled
Beverly in on what Starr said happened during deliberations.
What I dont understand is why Deanna left Earth. She knew how concerned
Will was about this inquiry. Picard said. I know Lwaxana was driving
Starfleet Command crazy with her constant communications asking whether we returned
and then pestering Deanna to go home.
Thats part of it. I asked Deanna why she would leave when its
obvious that Will needs her. She told me that he does need her but didnt
want to talk to her. Apparently, they had a big fight shortly before she left.
From the way she talked they must have said some horrible things to each other.
So she gave in to her mother and started for home.
That could be the reason Will just gave up. He seemed fine until a couple
of days ago.
By this time, they arrived at the door to Wills former apartment. Beverly
rang the bell. As she tried a second time, Ray came down the hall.
Captain, Doctor, Commander Riker left.
Lieutenant, did he say where he was going? Picard asked.
I didnt talk to him. He was in civilian clothes and carrying a
duffel bag. I heard what happened. When you talk to him, tell him I still believe
We will. Beverly said.
Ray went into her apartment as Picard and Crusher started down the hall. I
guess we better head off to Alaska to try to talk to Will. Picard said.
Lets go to my place and get the address and directions once we get
Im going to my place to see if Deanna responded to my message.
I also want to pack a bag and stay with Will until Deanna gets there. Im
really concerned about him.
We all are. I would too but I promised Marie I would help her sort out
Roberts affairs. Ill come to your place after I get the address
and let Marie know the outcome and that Ill be there as soon as I talk
Sounds like a plan.
When Beverly reached her apartment, she found a message from Deanna stating
that she would get back to Earth as soon as the shuttle reached a star base
and she could arrange for transport back to Earth. Beverly acknowledged the
message and packed a bag. Soon Picard arrived and they left for Valdez.
When Beverly and Jean Luc arrived in Valdez, they went to Wills family home. Picard knocked on the door but there was no answer.
Maybe hes out. Beverly said but, to Picard, she didnt
May I help you? A womans voice said from behind Beverly and
Jean Luc. She was an older woman who looked like she spent quite a bit of time
out of doors.
Were looking for a friend. Beverly said.
Whos your friend? This is my brothers home.
Were looking for Will Riker.
Hes in San Francisco.
He left. We believe he may have come here.
And you are?
Im Beverly Crusher and this is Jean Luc Picard.
Wills mentioned you two. Im his Aunt Susan. She went
to the door. When they went inside, there was no sign that Will had been there.
Susan went upstairs and a few minutes later came back down. Hes
been here. Theres a duffel bag on his bed. I think I know where he might
be but please tell me what happened. She indicated that they all sit down
in the living room.
As you know, the Enterprise D crashed and 17 people were killed. An inquiry
was convened and unfortunately, Wills career was taken from him.
He must be devastated.
Thats why were so concerned. He had a fight with his closest
friend. He doesnt even want to appeal the decision despite the fact that
two of the judges were biased against him.
The friend is Deanna? Susan asked.
Yes. Youve heard about her? Beverly asked.
Yes. Will is so obviously in love with her. What happened?
Deanna was dating one of Wills friends and he didnt like
it. He didnt say anything to Deanna but she had to have known given their
past relationship. A few days ago, it escalated into a full-blown fight. She
left for Betazed and Will lost interest in the inquiry.
Susan got up from the sofa. "I think I know where he might be. Theres
a spot overlooking Prince William Sound that he always went to when he wanted
to be alone to think. She noticed Beverlys expression. Youre
worried he might do something drastic? It was not a question.
Im not sure. The look in his eyes when he left the inquiry
Her voice trailed off.
Lets go then. Its a short walk. The trio left the cabin
and started up the path toward an overlook.
When they reached the overlook, they saw a sight that concerned all three.
Will was standing near the edge of the cliff staring out over the sound.
Beverly started toward Will. Picard stopped her. You might startle him.
Will must have heard Picard. Go. I want to be alone.
Beverly slowly moved toward him. Will, please. Admiral Nechayev is going
to appeal. Victor and Bayer were biased against you. Youre career is not
I don't care about my career.
Deanna is coming back. She doesnt hate you. She cares a great deal
She loves Worf.
They split up a couple of days ago. She came to talk to you because she
wanted to tell you herself. Beverly could tell from Wills body language
that he wasnt convinced. Shell tell you when she gets here.
By this time she was within an arms reach from Will.
With or without her mother?
Without. She hasnt gotten back to Betazed yet. Shes going
to get a return shuttle from the first star base her shuttle stops at.
She reached out and took Wills hand. She doubted he would do anything
with someones holding his hand. She only hoped he didnt jerk his
hand away and fall. Susan and Jean Luc came over to assist Beverly if necessary.
Come on, lets sit down and talk.
Will turned around and moved to a rock several feet from the edge of the cliff
where he sat down and pulled his knees up to his chest. Beverly sat down next
to him and put an arm around his shoulders. I thought she was coming to
tell me that she and Worf were getting married. Who ended it?
Worf. He could tell through this whole inquiry how Deanna felt
rather feels about you.
Jean Luc and Susan came over to the rock. Jean Luc put a hand on Wills
shoulder. What should I tell Admiral Nechayev?
What did Admirals Victor and Bayer say?
Admiral Bayer said that his daughter wouldnt have let a ships
counselor take the helm in a battle and Admiral Victor said that you never seem
to do enough to save lives. Admiral Starr said he almost left the deliberations
when Victor said that.
As I told Jean Luc and Beverly on the way up here, they both sound like
a couple of jerks and if I ever get my hands on them
stopping when she saw the look on Wills face.
Will laughed for the first time. Shes always been quite outspoken.
Kind of like Lwaxana? Jean Luc said. He turned to Susan. Deannas
I hope I get to meet her some day. She said with a smile. Ill
be going home. How long will you be here?
I need to go. My brother and nephew were killed in a fire a few weeks
ago and I need to get to France to assist my sister-in-law.
Oh, Jean Luc, Im so sorry. You must go. Give my sympathies to your
Im staying until I can talk some sense into your nephew.
That could take awhile. Susan said. Well, Ill go get
the house opened up.
Dont go to any trouble for me.
The place hasnt been used since the last time Kyle was home which
was about 2 years ago. The least I could do is get some food in so you two can
Thanks, Aunt Susan. Will said. Bev, why dont you go
with Aunt Susan. I want to stay here and think some more. I promise I wont
do anything drastic.
What should I tell Admiral Nechayev? Picard asked.
Ill let you know. I dont know if I want to go back into Starfleet.
Let me know, but think long and hard about it. Youre an excellent
officer. I would hate to see Starfleet lose you because of a couple of renegade
The trio left and Will turned to look out over the sound. Was it possible his
career wasnt over? Was it possible that Deanna still loved him despite
what he said to her? He knew he had some decisions to make.
At Starbase 20, Deanna Troi was just getting off the shuttle. She headed for shuttle control to find the next shuttle heading to Earth. Based on what Beverly told her, she thought she had better hurry. She and Will had said some terrible things to each other and she regretted every word especially after seeing Wills expression after she told him she hated him and never wanted to see him again. She could sense his demeanor change from cautiously optimistic to hopeless but, at the time, she didnt care, she was angry with him. He had also said some horrible things to her but she knew he didnt mean anything except when he said that she didnt care about his feelings when she was dating Worf. She did care thats why she had gone to tell him that they had split up and why. Unfortunately, she never did get a chance to tell him. She hoped Beverly or Captain Picard told him.
She found shuttle control and was able to get a shuttle that was leaving 2
hours later. She decided to do a little shopping and perhaps find a peace offering
for Will. She also decided she better call her mother and tell her why she wasnt
coming home. She figured her mother wouldnt be happy but knew her mother
would be concerned about Will and would understand.
Mother, Im really concerned about Will. Beverly said he was despondent
after the inquiry was concluded and left immediately for Alaska.
I know but I need to know that youre alright. This whole thing
has been traumatic for you crashing a starship.
Im fine both physically and emotionally. Right now, Will is my
only concern. We had a terrible fight the day before I left. I have to go back
to Earth. I promise Ill come home as soon as I know Will is alright.
OK Lwaxana said with a sigh. Give Will my love.
After finishing with her mother, she went to find a gift for Will. After selecting
a music disk, she headed to the shuttle port. The return shuttle trip seemed
to take much longer than the trip to the starbase. During the trip, Deanna realized
that she had never stopped loving Will. It took a major fight for her to realize
it . Now, she could lose him permanently if Beverly was right about Wills
state of mind. She wanted to contact Beverly but wasnt sure how to contact
her in Alaska.
When the shuttle arrived in San Francisco the next morning, Deanna immediately
looked for passage to Valdez. The next shuttle was scheduled for an hour later
but was scheduled to go to Anchorage. The clerk at the shuttle port assured
that she could get passage to Valdez from Anchorage. She took the shuttle to
Anchorage. When she arrived there, she was able to find a local shuttle to Valdez
that was leaving in 15 minutes and would take about 30 minutes to Valdez.
Upon arriving in Valdez, she rented a shuttle and made her way to Wills
family cabin. As she got close, she started to sense Will. She didnt sense
that anything was wrong. He seemed to be pensive. She hoped he was giving some
thought to continuing his career if Admiral Nechayev was successful in the appeal.
She hoped Beverly told him that she and Worf had split up.
She saw smoke coming from the chimney which she felt was a good sign. She knocked
on the door. Beverly opened the door and pulled her into a hug. Deanna could
tell she was relieved that Deanna was there but wasnt upset.
I am so glad youre here.
I am too. Wheres Will?
Is he better?
I think a little. When Jean Luc and I arrived, his aunt took us to a
spot he likes to go to think and he was standing near the edge of the cliff.
I convinced him that his career isnt over and that you still care a great
deal about him. He hasnt decided whether he wants to appeal the decision
although there was some bias by Admirals Victor and Bayer. I think hes
waiting to see how it goes with you.
Does he know Im coming?
Yes. I told him I wasnt sure when. Have you had breakfast?
I only had a donut.
How does an omelet sound?
Wait until you meet Wills Aunt Susan. She reminds me so much of
Will must love that.
He said he didnt even notice until Jean Luc mentioned it, but he
At Curtis Creek, Will was having some fishing success catching 4 salmon so
far. He had also done some thinking. He decided he would contact Admiral Nechayev
and allow her to file the appeal if only to expose Victors and Bayers
bias against him. He hadnt decided on whether he would continue his career
if the appeal was successful and the inquirys decision was overturned.
As for his relationship with Deanna, he would have to wait until he talked to
her when she arrived.
After catching a few more salmon, he headed back to the house. He took the
fish into the kitchen to clean them. He called out to Beverly that he was back
but got no response. He figured she may have gone into town to get some vegetables
to complement his grilled salmon. After cleaning the fish, he went upstairs
to take a shower.
While he was in the shower, Beverly and Deanna returned. They took their bags into the kitchen and found the fish that Will had cleaned.
He must be back. Beverly said. Ill go for a walk and
let you two talk.
Thats not necessary.
I know but I want to give you some time alone. Youll both be more
willing to talk without me around.
Besides, we forgot to get wine for dinner.
After they finished putting the groceries away, Beverly left for town again.
Deanna was sitting in the living room reading a book she had gotten at the
star base when Will came down the stairs. He stopped at the foot of the stairs
when he saw Deanna. She looked up and smiled. He moved into the room and sat
in another chair.
When did you get in?
While you were fishing. Beverly went to get some wine for the picnic.
I hear youre grilling salmon.
There was an awkward silence between the two. Neither was sure what to say
to the other. They both knew they needed to apologize but neither was sure where
to start. Deanna decided to start where she was planning to start the day of
Worf and I split up.
I heard. Beverly said that Worf initiated the split because, during the
inquiry, he could tell how you felt about me. He left off what she added.
Yes. I was coming to your place to tell you. I didnt want you to
hear from someone else.
I thought you were coming to tell me that you and Worf were engaged.
I have my doubts our relationship would have ever progressed that far.
Deanna decided to start the apologies, but so did Will.
Im sorry both said simultaneously.
Both chuckled a bit breaking the tension..
Let me go first. I didnt give you a chance to tell me why you stopped by. I just jumped to the wrong conclusion. I didnt mean anything I said. He got up, moved to the window, and looked out. You dont need my permission or even tell when you start to date anyone. Were friends. Sure, you changed your mind about relationships while serving on the same ship but thats OK. Im going to finally admit to you and to myself that I was jealous. Deanna, I still care a great deal about you and I am so sorry for what I said. He turned around and saw that Deanna was still sitting on the chair with tears streaming down her face. He went over and knelt in front of her taking her hands.
I knew you didnt mean any of it except when you said I didnt
care about your feelings. I didnt think about you at all. Every time you
thought a relationship might turn serious, you came to tell me. I didnt
do the same. I know you want me to be happy and I was with Worf but you didnt
need to find out by seeing us together in Ten Forward. I should have told you.
I certainly didnt mean what I said either especially about never
wanting to see you again and I certainly dont hate you. Will moved
to the sofa and pulled Deanna into his arms and sat holding her as she cried.
Soon Deannas sobs quieted and she relaxed. Will smiled as he realized
she had fallen asleep. It had been awhile since she had fallen asleep in his
arms. He got up picking her up as he did and started up the stairs. He wasnt
sure which room Beverly put Deanna in but figured that it shouldnt be
too hard. He opened the door to the second guest room and saw Deannas
bag on the bed. He laid Deanna on the bed and moved her bag to the floor. He
got an afghan and covered Deanna with it. Before leaving the room, he kissed
her on the forehead. Subconsciously, Deanna sensed the kiss and smiled in her
sleep. Will smiled and left the room. He went downstairs and into the kitchen
to start preparing the vegetables for the picnic.
As he was cutting up the vegetables, Beverly came in the kitchen. He looked
up and smiled the brightest smile Beverly had seen since in several months.
I gather you two made up.
Weve started to. Both of us apologized for what we said during
the fight. We need to talk some more. Deanna broke down and fell asleep in my
Which room is she in? Beverly asked mischievously although she
was pretty sure she knew the answer.
The second guest room. He knew what Beverly was getting at.
Since I wont get the answer I want, Ill change the subject.
What were you thinking about for dessert?
Originally, I was thinking about an apple pie; but since we have another
person, Ive been thinking about a chocolate cake. It might be a good peace
offering for Deanna.
Beverly opened the second bag. I figured as much and brought all the
ingredients for a chocolate cake.
After the cake was ready, Beverly worked on cooking the vegetables while Will
went outside and worked on the salmon. Deanna came in the kitchen. You
should have wakened me to help.
Thats OK. Everything is just about ready in here. Will is outside
grilling the salmon. I heard you two only got as far as apologizing for what
Before I fell asleep.
In Wills arms from what I hear.
Yes. I gather he took me upstairs.
Deanna spotted the cake on the counter. You two made a chocolate cake.
Yep. Will thought it would be a good peace offering.
I got him one too. Ill give it to him after dinner.
Should I leave?
No. She realized what Beverly was getting at. Beverly! Were
not ready for anything like that yet.
Anything like what? Will said as he came in the kitchen.
Deanna looked at Beverly who just shrugged.
Will noticed that Deanna was hovering near the cake. Hey, no sticking
your fingers in the icing. He said with a smile.
Deanna looked at him with a guilty expression. You know me too well.
Yes I do.
Beverly smiled. This is what I like to see; you two talking and teasing.
I havent seen that in far too long.
I agree. Will said. Deanna nodded. Well, ladies, if you have the side dishes ready, the salmon is on the table.
Deanna reached for the cake but Will stopped her. That can stay in here.
You wouldnt want the icing to melt would you?
No. Deanna responded and reached for the salad.
While they were eating, Deanna noticed that Will seemed pensive. Are
I did some thinking while I was grilling the fish and came up with something,
but I would like to run it by you.
What is it? Deanna asked.
Id rather discuss it with you alone first.
Is it something you would prefer Beverly not hear?
No, in fact, if you agree, shell be involved.
Its OK with me if you want to discuss it now.
OK. Dee, how would you feel about having Beverly hold us accountable
to each other?
I would be more than willing. What would I do? Beverly said.
Make sure we communicate.
Sure, but most of the time you communicate very well.
I didnt communicate when I started dating Worf. Do you remember
the Jnaii? Beverly nodded. When Will felt that he was becoming close
to Soren, he came and told me and yet I didnt do the same when I started
dating Worf. I didnt think about Wills feelings. I could sense he
was hurt, not because I was dating Worf, but because I didnt say anything
Do you two mind if I make an observation? Both shook their heads. Deanna, I was never in favor of your relationship with Worf. I could tell how badly Will was hurting. I know now it was because you didnt say anything to him. One thing Ive also noticed over the 7 years Ive known the 2 of you is that it is so obvious to me how you truly feel about each other. Ive seen the way youve looked at each other. When I had to kill you to break Alkars hold on you, Will was scared. Will, Kate Pulaski told me that Deanna stayed in Sickbay the whole time she was trying to save your life. Its obvious to me and to the entire Enterprise senior staff, including Worf, that you two love each other. I just wish you would admit it to each other and to yourselves. She smiled as she noticed that Will and Deanna were looking at each other in precisely the way she talked about. Now that Ive given you two something to think about, lets finish eating.
After dinner, the trio cleaned up and then Beverly went into the house to watch
a holofilm while Will and Deanna sat on the porch to talk. Both had become even
more quiet after she told them what she had observed over the past 7 years.
She had a feeling they would work things out. She was tempted to eaves drop
on the conversation but decided against it.
On the porch, Will sat on one of the chairs while Deanna sat on the swing.
They purposely decided to avoid physical contact while they talked.
Do you want to start this time? Will asked Deanna. I gather
what Kate told Beverly was true?
Yes, I never left your side from when you slipped into the coma until
you woke up. I was so scared that you wouldnt make it. When you were so
near death after you were beamed up at Malcor, I could barely sense you and
I was scared. Im not sure I really meant it when I said that we shouldnt
have a relationship while serving aboard the same ship. Im not sure Worf
and I would have lasted much longer. I knew no one was in favor of our relationship
and it was hurting my friendships. I could have accepted losing all my friendships
except yours and mine. Beverly was right; I never stopped loving you.
She was right about my feelings too. When you were dead,
all I could think about was how I would feel if Beverly couldnt bring
you back. When I saw you and Worf in Ten Forward that evening, my heart just
broke. I thought I would never have you in my life again. He got up and
moved to the swing and put his arm around Deanna pulling her close. She lay
her head on his shoulder. I thought we would never sit like this again.
Deanna, I never stopped loving you. I want us to have the relationship we had
on Betazed. It doesnt have to be right away; we both need to heal after
this and I have to get my career back.
No you dont. I could resign and start my own practice here on Earth
or even stay in Starfleet and practice at Command or the Academy.
Are you sure?
Yes. She kissed him on the cheek. But I have a feeling youll
get your career back with no problem.
Thanks. I hope youre right.
I know I am.
Will kissed her on the top of her head. To Will, this felt so right. Sitting
on the porch of his childhood home with his arm around the woman he loved more
In the house, Beverly was starting to become extremely curious how her friends
were making out or <<if theyre making out>> Beverly thought
to herself with a chuckle. She decided to go to the window to see if she could
ease her curiosity.
Unfortunately, Deanna sensed Beverlys curiosity and knew it was only
a matter of time before Beverly would come to a window to see what they were
up to. Beverly is starting to become curious.
Before long, shell be at the window checking up on us.
Should we give her what she wants or the total opposite.
I dont know what she may have said to you but she asked if she
should leave so I could give you my peace offering. She gave Will the
music disk right after dinner.
She asked me which bedroom I put you in.
So we should give her the opposite of what she wants.
Sounds good to me. How about when she comes to the window, I go around
to the side of the house and you pretend to cry?
OK. Deanna sensed that Beverlys curiosity was getting the
better of her. She cant wait any longer.
Will got up and moved to the side of the house as Deanna put her head in her hands. Unfortunately, she started giggling but with her head in her hands, it looked like she was crying. Deanna was glad that Beverly wasnt empathic. Beverly came to the window and saw Deanna crying and didnt see Will. She thought something had to be wrong. She went out and pulled Deanna into her arms. What happened? Things seemed fine at dinner.
Deanna was laughing so hard that she couldnt answer.
Will decided to run around the house and come up behind Beverly. While he was
running around the house, he tripped over a rock and fell injuring his ankle.
Deanna sensed Wills pain and groaned. She looked up. Wills
She noticed that Deannas eyes were not red
like they normally would be if someone were crying. Wait a minute, you
two were teasing me.
Deanna nodded and got up and started around the house to find Will. Beverly
also started around slowly. She wasnt convinced Will was hurt despite
Deannas obvious concern. <<Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice,
shame on me.>> She thought remembering the old Earth saying. When she
got around the house, she saw Will sitting on the ground and Deanna kneeling
next to him. He really looked like he was in pain and as she got closer, she
could see that his ankle was swollen. She shook her head. She thought he was
faking but when she saw Wills ankle, her training kicked in.
Do you think you can walk into the house? Beverly asked.
With help maybe.
OK. Beverly took one of Wills arms while Deanna took the
other. With their help, he was able to get to his feet. He couldnt put
weight on his injured foot. With Beverly and Deannas help, they made it
into the house. After getting Will on to the sofa, Beverly went upstairs to
get her medical kit. After she finished scanning Wills ankle, she pressed
a hypospray to his neck. Your ankle is badly sprained. I can heal it quickly
but it will be a little tender for a day or so. Of course, after what you two
did to me, Im tempted to let you suffer.
But Beverly, if you dont heal my ankle, Ill have to sleep
down here and theres only room for one on the sofa. He winked at
Deanna who just smiled. She knew he was joking at least partially.
So if I heal your ankle, you wont be sleeping alone tonight?
Beverly! Deanna exclaimed. Weve only just made up after
a fight and come to an understanding about our relationships with other people.
Well, as your accountability partner and friend, I have a feeling neither
of you will have relationships with anyone else. Beverly said with a smile.
She proceeded to heal Wills ankle. After she finished, Will sat up. Deanna
sat down next to him. He pulled her close.
Beverly shook her head. She had a feeling her friends relationship would
become stronger and she was more than willing to help. In fact she made a promise
to herself that she would do whatever it took to make absolutely sure Will and
Deanna stayed together. After watching a romantic holofilm that Beverly hoped
would ignite a spark in her friends, they all went to bed. Much to Beverlys
chagrin, Will and Deanna slept in separate rooms. <<Oh well, tomorrow
is another day.>>
The next morning, Will got up before the ladies and made them breakfast. After breakfast Will called Admiral Nechayev and told her that he would like to appeal the decision of the Board of Inquiry. She was glad and told him that she would let him know when the hearing date was set for. He told her that he still wasnt sure if he was going to resume his career if the appeal was successful but would think about it some more. He decided to go to the overlook to think about whether he wanted to resume his career or not.
Im going to go to the overlook to think.
I know youll make the decision thats right for you.
Deanna said. Just remember, the crash was not your fault. It couldnt
have been prevented.
Just remember what Jean Luc said. Dont give up an excellent career
because of rogue Klingons. Beverly added.
I will. He left.
What do you think? Do you think hell give up his career?
Deanna shook her head. I dont think so. Right now, his confidence
is down and that bothers him more than anything. Ive never seen him so
Ive noticed too. When I first met Will, I thought he was a bit
cocky but quickly figured out that he was hiding some vulnerability behind the
OK now on to more interesting things. Where will your relationship with
Will go from here?
I dont know.
Where do you want it to go?
I love him and am more than willing to have a close relationship with
him but right now he needs to concentrate on whether he wants his career back
and then he can worry about our relationship. I plan to give him the space he
Meanwhile on the overlook, Will was thinking about his future in Starfleet.
It was obvious that Admirals Bayer and Victor were biased against him. Victors
bias didnt make sense to him because if he had been on the Melbourne,
he too would have been killed when the Melbourne was destroyed. Picard told
Will that he didnt feel Bayers daughter was ready to be First Officer
on the Federation flagship. Picard told Bayer that when he questioned Jean Luc
about his decision. Despite this, Will wasnt sure if he was ready to resume
his career. His confidence was badly shaken by the crash. Hesitating during
a battle could cause more casualties than the crash had. As he had so many times
since the crash, he reviewed everything that happened from the core breach,
to having Deanna take over the helm, to the crash. He knew he did everything
he could to prevent it. The saucer was simply too close to Veridian 3 to avoid
crashing. He smiled because he finally realized the crash was not his fault.
He still needed to build his confidence back up but at least he accepted that
there was nothing he could have done to prevent the crash. <<I know a
perfectly good counselor who could help me with my confidence problem.>>
He knew she could help with his confidence but their relationship probably wouldnt
be so easy to figure out. He loved her; that much he knew. He would love for
their relationship to go beyond friendship. He wasnt sure how she felt.
She had changed her mind about relationships while serving on the same ship
which was definitely in his favor. He decided to go back down to the cabin,
get Deanna, and bring her back up to the overlook where they could talk.
When he was halfway down the trail, he met Deanna who was on her way up. I
was just coming to get you so we can talk.
I sensed that you did.
He took her hand and they walked up the trail. When they reached the top, they
sat on the rock and Will wrapped an arm around Deanna and pulled her close.
Do you want to talk about your confidence or about us? Deanna asked.
Us. Dee, I love you. I want our relationship to be like it was on Betazed.
What we had there was special. I want that back.
So do I. I love you too. We can have a relationship while serving on
the same ship. I know that now. You didnt let my relationship with Worf
affect your work or working with Worf or me.
Will wrapped his other arm around Deanna. For several minutes they sat looking
out over Prince William Sound. Soon they turned and looked into each others
eyes. As one they moved closer and kissed. As the kiss deepened, both realized
their relationship was about to move from friendship to something more. Soon
they started back down the trail walking hand in hand. This kind of reminds
me of our walk out of the jungle after I rescued you. Will said.
I agree except we dont have to hide our relationship from Beverly.
After last evening, we better not even try. Will let go of Deannas
hand and wrapped his arm around her waist. She wrapped her arm around Wills
waist. After another kiss, they finally made it back to the cabin.
Beverly was sitting on the porch reading. She looked up and smiled when she
saw her friends walking hand in hand. Hows your ankle after your
hike up the hill?
Deanna knew what Beverlys next question was going to be and she didnt
disappoint. So what are the sleeping arrangements for tonight and should
You dont need to leave. Will said.
I gather well have an extra bedroom tonight.
Maybe. Will said.
Maybe not. Deanna said with a smile.
That evening, Beverly felt out of place watching her two friends; although they didnt even seem to notice her, but she didnt mind. During dinner, Will and Deanna sat with their chairs close to each other. After dinner, they watched a holofilm. Deanna sat very close to Will and laid her head on his shoulder. He had his arm around her. Despite her feeling a bit left out, Beverly was happy for her friends. She had a feeling they would eventually get married.
After the movie, Beverly went to her room to read before going to sleep. She
kept an ear out for Will and Deanna to see if they slept in separate rooms.
Just after she turned out the light and lay down, she heard footsteps on the
stairs, but only one set too heavy to be Deannas. She got up and opened
to the door just enough to see Will walk by the door carrying Deanna who was
not asleep. She moved out to the hall to see where Will took Deanna. He took
her into his room and closed the door. She moved quietly down the hall hoping
Deanna wouldnt come out of the room. A couple of minutes later, she heard
the bed squeak. She smiled and went back to bed happy that her friends were
definitely back together.
In Wills bedroom, Deanna and Will were snuggled on the bed. They both
knew that Beverly had been waiting to see what happened. After Beverly went
to bed, they sat on the sofa trying to decide whether to give Beverly what she
We both know that Beverly wants us to sleep together tonight but
Are we ready for that?
Exactly Deanna moved to sit on Wills lap. He didnt
stop her. He just wrapped his arms around her. You know Beverly is going
to be watching for us to go to bed and to see where we go tonight.
I know. I supposed I could carry you upstairs and we could go in my bedroom
and then play it by ear.
Sounds like a plan. She kissed him lightly. Who knows maybe
well decide we are ready.
After sitting together for a little bit longer, they decided to go to bed.
Will picked Deanna up and carried her up the stairs. Deanna could sense that
Beverly was curious. <<Shes curious.>>
<<Im sure she is.>> Will saw the door open out the corner
of his eye. <<Shes at the door to her room.>> Deanna wrapped
her arms tighter around Wills neck and snuggled her head against his neck.
After they went into Wills room, he put her down on the floor, but Deanna
didnt move her arms. Instead she kissed Will. She was starting to feel
that she was ready for more. As she kissed Will, she sensed that he was ready
also. They moved to the bed and lay snuggled up until Deanna sensed that Beverly
Beverlys asleep. Deanna said as she got up out of bed. Will
took her hand.
You dont have to leave. He really wanted her to stay. It
felt good to have her laying next to him again.
Deanna smiled. Are you sure? She asked even though she already
knew the answer.
She leaned over and kissed him. OK but Ill be right back.
She left the room and went to her room and changed into a fairly slinky negligee
which she also bought at the starbase before returning to Earth. She hoped to
use it while she was on Earth.
After she changed, she threw on her old robe and went back to Wills room.
He had changed out of the clothes he had on and into just pajama bottoms. When
she walked into the room, she smiled inwardly at Wills expression. He
looked disappointed in her robe and what he thought was under it. <<Hell
find out shortly.>> She opened her robe revealing the slinky negligee.
She smiled at Wills reaction and leaned over and kissed him. As the kiss
slowly deepened, Deanna sat down on the bed. Will put his arms around her and
pulled her against him.
Will broke the kiss first. Are you sure youre ready for this?
After everything they had been through over the last several months, he wanted
to be absolutely sure they were ready to resume a physical relationship. He
felt ready and, based on the way she was reacting, was pretty sure Deanna was
also; but he knew they both needed to say it.
You mean I havent convinced you yet? She knew what Will wanted
her to say, but she preferred showing him that she was ready.
I just want you to say that youre ready.
OK. She got up off the bed and took Wills hand and started
to pull him up. He got up and stood in front of Deanna. She held his hands.
While at the overlook, we both said we wanted what we had on Betazed and
I know we both meant it. Weve been through so much over the past few months.
Weve hurt each other but its over now. I love you. Theres
nothing I want more than to spend as much time as I can with you. She
dropped Wills hands and moved closer wrapping her arms around him. He
wrapped his arms around her and held her close. This is what I want; to
be close to you; for you to hold me close. She stood on tiptoes and kissed
him lightly. Im ready for us to be close again; to love each other
again. Im ready for us to sleep in the same bed; to sleep in each others
arms. I want for us to make love.
Will kissed the top of her head. I want the same thing. I want us to
be together. I love you more than I did on Betazed. It took losing you temporarily
to make me see it. I will try to never hurt you again. I also want us to have
what we had on Betazed. He moved his hands from Deannas back to
her shoulders and started to push the straps of her negligee off her shoulders.
She looked up at him and smiled. Im ready. She moved her
hands to the top of Wills pajama bottoms. Are you?
Will lowered his head and just before kissing her said Im ready
too. As the kiss deepened, Will removed the negligee from Deanna while
she removed his pajama bottoms. When both garments were at their feet, Will
picked Deanna up and stepped out of his pajamas. He lay down on the bed never
letting go of Deanna and never breaking the kiss.
After slowly and tenderly making love, Deanna lay in Wills arms as they both fell asleep knowing that they were together again. This time they were both determined to never let anything separate them again.