"Computer, locate Commander Riker." Deanna Troi said, impatiently waiting for
him in her quarters to go through the latest crew evaluations.
"Commander Riker is in Holodeck two." Replied the monotonous female voice that
represented the Enterprise's computer.
"Troi to...." She said, tapping her badge, but then decided against contacting
him directly. She wanted to surprise him, see exactly which programme had made
him forget about their arrangement.
"This could be interesting." She murmured to herself, as she headed for the
nearest turbolift.
The First Officer of the Enterprise-1701-E was in heaven. Or nearly. He was so
grateful that Data was able to save some of the holodeck programmes from the
Enterprise-D's main computer. He couldn't imagine how Data would have lived
without his Sherlock Holmes programme.
"Heaven" was certainly the right word for what he was experiencing - no work,
the sound of wonderful jazz in his ears and a beautiful woman in his arms,
dancing to the music with him. He could, at times, forget that he was in a
holodeck and think he was really there and his dream woman was more than just a
hologram with a beautiful face.
His eyes were closed as he danced with Minuet. He was so absorbed in the mood of
the programme that he didn't hear the sound of the doors open at the far side of
the room.
Deanna wasn't too surprised at the music and atmosphere Riker had chosen. She
knew how much he enjoyed the traditional and much loved jazz music, but at first
she couldn't see him. She sensed him very strongly, because he was the only
person in the room who actually had feelings and emotions.
She walked between the tables at which people were sat contentedly listening to
the live music. Following her senses, she eventually found her way to the dance
It did not take her long to find him, dancing with the prettiest woman in the
room. She smiled at the contented feelings she was sensing from him, although
she was beginning to feel jealousy tearing at her heart at the sight of him
being so happy with another woman. She's not another woman, she's a hologram.
Deanna told herself sternly, sitting down at a vacant table.
But still, she couldn't help wishing that Will had asked her to go along with
him into the holodeck, but she realised that it was his fantasy, which he could
control in any way he wanted, and it obviously meant that he wanted to be there
She wondered why she was so bothered about the situation, after all, they were
just friends. Admittedly, she felt closer to him than any other man, but was
that a good enough reason to be jealous of a hologram?
As she watched the various couples dancing in the centre of the room, she
suddenly felt as if she was missing out on something, and that something was
within her grasp. She stood up and walked over to Riker and the mysterious
brunette. She wondered briefly why had she never heard about this woman before.
Riker stopped dancing the moment he felt a tap on his shoulder. He opened his
eyes to see Deanna standing beside him, her dark eyes glowing with what he
thought was either passion or jealousy, but he couldn't decide which.
"Deanna." He said, rather surprised. "What are you doing here?"
Minuet moved closer to Will, making Deanna wish insanely that she could hit the
She realised that Will had obviously forgotten their arrangement. "It's gone
1700 hours, I just wondered where you were. You're obviously busy." She said,
giving Minuet an uncharacteristic icy glare.
Will almost dropped the hologram at the realisation that Deanna was jealous.
Minuet scowled and pouted simultaneously as Will took Deanna in his arms.
"Computer, discontinue Minuet." He said. She vanished instantly.
"Now then Deanna, what was that all about? Aren't I allowed to have a little fun
in my free time?" Secretly he was pleased at her actions, and it had been a
while since he had held his Imzadi so close.
"Nothing." She murmured. "I just wanted to know where you were."
He smiled, a smile that said he knew what she had really felt, and she couldn't
hide that from him. There's one way to find out. He thought. He bent down to
kiss her in the normal friendly manner he usually did, but in a manner that was
intended to tempt her into wanting something more serious. She was tempted, for
a few moments, but it did not last any longer than that. Will remembered
numerous occasions when their good night kisses had threatened to turn into
something more passionate, but one or both had decided it had been a bad idea.
He had the courage to initiate such a kiss again, but was afraid of her
reaction. But this time it was different, somehow he could tell that she wanted
him. Whether it was simply a momentary thing that would pass or something she
had really worked out, he couldn't tell.
She was clearly in a dilemma about it all, trying to sort out her feelings. "You
and I have a job to do, and we're not going to get very far staying here." She
said distractedly.
"You're not going to get out of this by changing the subject." He said, making
her sigh.
She tried to turn away from him, wondering whether she was just having another
one of those moments when she wished she was back together with him. She
imagined that he too had times like that.
After a few seconds thought, she realised that it didn't matter. She would have
plenty of time to think about it all later. She was certain that he knew how she
felt about seeing him with Minuet, so there didn't seem to be much point in
embarrassing herself any further by confessing that to him.
She kissed him back, fervently and passionately. It totally took the First
Officer by surprise, as moments earlier she had resisted the temptation of his
friendly kiss. She felt warm and tender against him, and he wondered why, after
all the time they had been apart, they had suddenly ignored all the reasons they
shouldn't be together.
There weren't any reasons - none good enough to keep them apart now they had
crossed the thin line between friendship and love. And they had, it would be
very difficult to turn their backs on that.
As they broke apart and gazed into each other's eyes, both hoping to see that
their own feelings were returned. Deanna was the first to speak. "We always have
been in love - it just took us a long time to sort our feelings out." She said,
without the usual detached tone she tried to use in counselling sessions.
He laughed. "I can't believe you were jealous of a Hologram!!!"
She hit him playfully. "But I knew you were jealous whenever I even looked twice
at any man." She smiled with satisfaction, knowing he could try to deny it but
lying to an empath was pointless.
So the best option was to say nothing. He simply returned her grin and she knew
that she was right. Her empathy never failed her when it came to Will Riker. It
was probably because they were Imzadi, a bond which made any couple extremely
close. If both were Betazoid, it meant they could be virtually one person, one
soul, as each others thoughts and dreams were always present in the other's
mind. It didn't mean that they each lost their own identity, just that they were
very close.
But as Will was human, and Deanna only half Betazoid, it meant that they were
not affected so strongly. Nevertheless, they had always been able to rely on
their friendship even if their romantic relationship had been placed on hold for
a few years.
For some reason, both had continued to hold on to the hope that they would
eventually resume the relationship they had shared on Betazed, but neither had
been able to make a move until this point. And it had only taken these few
moments for them both to realise they had been looking for love in the wrong
places, when all the time their true love had been nearby for all the years they
had been on the Enterprise together.
"Computer, end program." Said Riker, for he had all he needed in his arms. He
smiled down at his Imzadi and they left the holodeck together, happy and
content, as if they had both found the missing piece of their lives they had
been searching for since that day Will Riker had left his Imzadi on Betazed,
thinking he was leaving for better things. Now he realised that Deanna was the
most important part of his life, and nothing would separate them again.

*** THE END ***