Title: Compromise
Author: Copper
Email: copperjade@yahoo.com, coppersinger@netscape.net
Feedback: Of course, just keep all flames to yourself.
Disclaimer: Owned by Paramount and a bunch of other people. The quote
is from 'Ed' and belongs to Worldwide Pants Inc. et al.  No copyright
infringement meant. Please don't sue.
Spoilers: 'Future Imperfect'
Rating: PG, if that
Timeline: Shortly after the events of 'Future Imperfect'.
Synopsis: Presents and a promise.
Distribution: Beloved/Imzadi, Dolphin's Cry. Everyone else, please
ask - I'm sure I'll say yes.
Author's Notes: Another post-episode vignette inspired by the quote at
the end.  It's been a while since I wrote anything and I'm the only
one who's read this so any errors are mine.


It lay on her bed; the deep red of the petals barely
open caught her breath.  As she neared she saw the
red-tipped thorns, the multi-hued green of leaves and
stem… and underneath a white envelope, her name
scrawled in his familiar script.

Deanna picked up the rose and was stunned to find it
wasn't real - glass, crystal, she didn't know what it
was made of but never had she seen anything of its
like.  But still she raised the flower to her nose;
something so exquisitely crafted would surely not lack
the scent of its original.

The fragrance was heady: desire, passion, love…
everything the last word signified - the look in his
blue eyes and she'd walked towards him earlier this


The two women walked through the doors of Ten-Forward
and several eyes took a moment to appreciate their
picture: the tall, slim redhead in a traditional
uniform of blue and the smaller, dark-haired one in
the barely regulation plum.

Will's eyes gleamed as he took in the way the latter
skimmed lush curves and inwardly he smiled, watching
as the ladies walked towards the bar, but never losing
track of the conversation he was involved in.

"Doctor Crusher, Counselor Troi."  The man behind the
counter nodded and finished what he was doing.

"Good evening, Lieutenant.  I'd like…" He nodded and
reached for the necessary ingredients for her drink
and heated up the strudel.

"And I'd like -" And was cut off as the younger man
pulled a… She didn't have the words to describe it. 

"Chocolate.  White chocolate mousse ice cream with
milk chocolate chunks, drizzled with some sort of
rich, bittersweet sauce and underneath a walnut
brownie, warm."  He had to smile at the look of bliss
on the Counselor's face.  New to the job, he'd heard
comments from other bartenders but hadn't believed it.
It was a look he associated with warm sheets and… The
lieutenant shook his head, 'not while on duty.'  "If
you'd like I can provide two spoons."

Beverly couldn't help but laugh at Deanna's look of
horror and subsequent glare before assuring the
lieutenant that she'd stick with her original request.

"You can start eating."

"If I start I might not stop and it would be rather
undignified of me, and do a disservice to this," a
slim hand gestured to the concoction, "if I don't
savour every moment of it."

"So what's the occasion?" 

Still stunned by her 'present' the brunette absently
shook her head.  "Occasion?"

"We both know who this is from and I know it's not
your birthday so…"

A sweet smile curved her lips as she looked over to
the table where three men were sitting laughing.  "I
have no idea, Beverly."

The doctor's order was placed in front of her and
picking it up she motioned, "Shall we join them?"

With reverence reserved only for the most precious of
gifts, Deanna picked up the dessert and the two women
headed for their friends


The memory of Will's eyes as he watched them on the
way to his table ran through her mind.  As always,
there was friendship and mirth, a healthy dose of
appreciation for the sight of she and her friend, and
caring but tonight there'd been more… something that
neither allowed the other to see very often.

And even now that she knew what had happened to him,
she wasn't sure she understood the cause.


"Doctor, Counselor." The men stood and waited for the
women to sit.

Geordi and Data stared at the bowl in the Betazoid's
hands and watched as she lifted the first spoonful to
her mouth, savouring the flavors before swallowing
with a contented sigh.  Will just smiled, delighted
she liked his gift.

For a few moments the five friends chatted about those
things friends chat about before the android asked,
"Will you tell us what happened, Commander?"

Though all knew bits of the story, no one had heard
the details and the others were pleased Data had asked
what their inquiring minds wanted to know.

So he explained - about the 'perfect' future that had
been created for him: the captaincy of the Enterprise
and Picard's admiralty, a dead wife but a child who
adored him and thought he was a hero.  And when Geordi
asked how he realized the truth, he told the truth. 

"I saw a picture of my wife."


"She was a hologram I'd created, my 'ideal woman' as
it were, some time before." And though the truth a
glance showed Deanna that there was something else to
the story but she just listened and ate as Riker told
about the 'boy's' attempt to convince him it was a
Romulan plot.

When he'd finished telling of the death of the alien's
family, his loneliness and his own promise to help
him, he turned to the women to ask a question of his

"How is he?"

"Physically he's fine, or at least as near as I can
determine having no experience with his species

"And otherwise?"

The note of concern added a gentle smile to the
Counselor's answer.  "Tired, lonely, sad… sorry about
what he did to you… and hopeful. He'll be okay,

The blue eyes communicated their gratitude before he
rose to get another drink and say hello to some of the
other officers. 

Deanna listened to her friends talk as she enjoyed
(relished) the last of her dessert.  Will returned and
the five talked for a while longer before she rose
with a yawn.

Turning to leave, she suddenly shook her brown curls.
"Will, I forgot."


"He asked me to tell you… that while he is sorry, he
understands now.  And that if he was to try again, you
wouldn't know that it was all an illusion, because he
knows what his mistake was… and he says you're a lucky

"That I am." Raising a strong hand, he brushed it
softly across her cheek, "Thank you, Deanna. Sweet


Now, she raised her hand to touch her cheek feeling
the pads of his fingers as though they stilled touched

Placing the rose gently on the bed, Deanna picked up
the envelope and pulled out the single sheet of paper.

A tear trickled down her cheek, then another.  For a
moment after finishing, she closed her eyes before
picking up the red rose, and setting it and the note
on her table.  With one last look, her index finger
ran over the words on the sheet and she went to
prepare for bed.



There's an old saying I heard once, and I didn't
understand it at the time.  Even when we knew each
other the first time, I still didn't get it.  I was
too young, too cocky… But now, I'm older, and though
it isn't time yet, I understand. 

Minuet was the ideal I thought I wanted, but she
wasn't real and life doesn't take place on a holodeck.
And she may have been the proof that the perfect
future he created was imperfect… but it wasn't his

'You can compromise on a new suit, on the dream house,
maybe, but never compromise on the girl.'

Whatever life has in store for us, my heart knows what
'perfect' is, Imzadi… and I won't compromise.


The End.