Title: This Love
Author: Christal

anything between tildes ~ is a qoute from 'Second Chances.' They were all
said to Troi by either Thomas, Will, or Bev. Would kind of help had you seen
the episode but not hard to follow if you haven't.


~You're on board because of him...~

~The look in your eyes, I recognize it. You used to have it for me.~

~He's NOT Will. He is Will, but... you know what I mean.~

Everything happened too fast, much too fast.

//One minute life was normal, the next my love life was a crisis. How could
I have known? I mean, it was a freak accident. //

Once again she picked up her brush and ran it through her hair.

~If we got married...~

//Of course he WOULD have to go. He went the first time, why would now be
any different? Didn't somebody once say 'History repeats itself.'//

"He had said he wanted me to join him, he just had to give it six months."

Boy did THAT sound familiar.

//But could I have done that? Just up and leave my family, my friends... to
join him on a new ship, with new faces, new personalities, trusts to earn,
new friendships to forge... //

"Well that's over with now. I told Thomas my answer, and there's no going
back. I made the right decision," she told herself.

Deanna looked up and checked the chrono again; only an hour until her next
shift. She wanted to keep busy so she wouldn't have to think about it

//Should I have taken Beverly's advice? Will did give his consent; as long
as I'm happy he is. //

She shook her head to clear the clutter, and decided to get early start.

"Work will help take my mind off this."

~Just because things turned out the way they did between you and COMMANDER
Riker, doesn't mean you shouldn't let things between you and Lieutenant
Riker take its course.~

Getting up from her chair, Deanna contemplated whether or not she wanted to

"Tea... Hot Chocolate. Warm, disgustingly healthy, bitter tea. Or Rich,
delicious, evil hot chocolate."

She sighed over the dilemma, happy for the interruption.

"Oh decisions, decisions."

She ordered the tea, her inner child of course now pouting, and sat back
down in her chair. She glanced at her chrono, mentally noting that in five
minutes Ensign Glasce would be tardy. She had finished arranging her
appointments for the day, and decided to check her messages.

"Mother... mother... dinner for an ambassador... Chandra!... mother...

She sighed, heavily. "Riker."

"What could he possibly have to say to me?" He knew she wanted to be left
alone for the time being.

She debated wearily on whether or not she should read it or wait until
after her shift.

//Suddenly I have this urge for a mother-daughter chat. //


It was after lunch and Beverly had badgered her until she gave in and told
her about her impending situation... and then was chewed out for not
actually reading the message. She was heading towards her office again as
she remembered their conversation earlier.

Inwardly she laughed; during such hard times she could count on two people
to make her laugh: Beverly and Will.

"Well I guess that should be three now."

She realized Thomas had all the same traits Will did, and when faced with
him she found that all the feelings were the same, including that sense of
humor that always made her laugh... the same annoying humor that made sure
she could never stay mad at him for too long.

She came to the door of her office. She still had an hour before her next
appointment, and she wasn't scheduled for the bridge until later.

"No time like the present," she whispered as she prepared herself.
"That Bastard!" she screamed at her sofa.

She had finally opened the message. Having lost her nerve in the time it
took her to enter her office, turn on the computer, and look at her waiting
mail, Deanna had figured she could read it after dinner; something to think
about before she went to bed.

Now she was furious. "How could he? After everything that's happened, how
DARE he?!"

That's when she broke down. Deanna dropped to the sofa and curled up into a
fetal position and just let it all out. She cursed, she screamed, she
pounded into the cushions, and when it was all over she hugged herself as
she cried what energy she had left in her. After she was finished she
walked into the dressing area and splashed cold water on her face.

She looked into the mirror and couldn't understand how one man could evoke
so much emotion from her.

"One? Now there's TWO of them! How does a woman withstand this unique

She decided she had to read the letter again, to make sure there wasn't
anything she had missed, a hidden meaning with a choice of words... or
possibly a way out.


    I know this isn't exactly what you wanted after your decision, but I
couldn't hold back any longer. These past weeks have been hell, worse then
the years we've lost, and this last incident which brought about the
discovery on Nervala IV, well lets just say I've been doing a lot of
thinking. About you, about me... us. Seems like that's all I ever do...
think. And then the Gandhi... I know the outcome of that mission didn't
favor well with you, and well, I didn't care too much for it either. In
fact I hated it. I never would have thought you would turn down the
proposal; I thought that was what you wanted. Maybe it was a mistake... and
again maybe it was a blessing in disguise. All I know is that I have this
awful feeling in the pit of my stomach... this fear that's eating away at
me. Deanna please, I don't want to lose you... not again. Can we talk?
Perhaps work things out? You know I'm not going to take no for an answer.

                                    Let me know, please.

She had to respond, and soon. She knew if he didn't get an answer as soon
as he noticed she had opened the message he would take that as her answer,
and never speak of this again.

"But isn't that what I wanted?

She couldn't believe the words that just came out of her mouth.

"Well... isn't it? After refusing Thomas, wasn't that the message I was

//Well was it? I refused Thomas's proposal, and I haven't spoken to Will
about anything, just told him we should be friends. What does that say? Am
I finally over this man? Can I finally live without the emotional
attachment? Or am I just scared? //

Deanna decided this issue needed sorting out, and it was a job for a cup of
hot chocolate and a nice, warm bubble bath.
~If you want to be with him, you don't have to ask my permission...~

//Will only wanted for me to be happy, even though the sadness was written
in his eyes. He didn't lash out, didn't fight for me...//

~Ever since he came aboard, I've found myself thinking about the choice you
and I made.~

// Thomas... Will... Thomas... Will, is there even a difference between the
two? Thomas is just like Will, the old Will... before our years together,
before he matured. Is he mine though? Do I even want to find out either
way? //

~You're on board because of him...~

Deanna got out of the tub and dried herself off.

~I just don't want you to be hurt.~

Instead of taking the time to put on her nightgown she just slipped into
her robe.

~You're on board because of him...~

She walked into her bedroom and headed for her computer.

~You don't know how many times I thought about you, about us.~

She passed it and put away her empty mug, turned, and walked back to her

~You're On Board Because Of Him...~

She sat down.


She composed a response.

The End.

Just in case, here are the lyrics for 'This Love' as sung by Sarah
Brightman. This song didn't inspire this story, but i was listening to it as
i was rereading and betaing it and i realized it did fit, so walla! a title.

"This Love"
Sung by Sarah Brightman (not originally though)

This love, this love is a strange love
A faded kind of day love
this love

This love, I htink I'm gonna fall again
And even when you held my hand
It didn't mean a thing
This love

This love, never has to say love
Doesn't know it is love
This love

This love, it doesn't have to feel love
It doesn't need to be love
It doesn't mean a thing

This love, this love