Title: Good for the Soul
Author: Copper
Email: coppersinger@yahoo.com
Feedback: This is my first Imzadi fic so please let me
know what you think… but keep all flames to yourself,
I'm very nervous.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything… and the writers
own the tiny bit of dialogue that I've taken for the
fic.  I give the actors kudos for making the
characters what they are. So please don't sue.
Spoilers: "The Face of the Enemy"
Rating: R/NC-17 for sensual situations
Timeline: Right after 'Face of the Enemy' ends.
Synopsis: The hardest confessions bring the most joy.
Distribution: If you want to archive it, I'd be
honoured - but please ask first and send me a link.
"I am Major Rakal..."
He could only stare.
Short, black hair, ears and ridges showing her to be
Romulan, on top of the shapeless, bulky uniform and
sashes of their secret service... yet it was her chin,
softly pointed... her voice - clear and strong... and
the deep brown eyes he'd loved from the moment he met
her. How...? Why...? and God, let her be all right.
Yet, none of this registered on his face.
Only when the link was broken did he stride down the
ramp and ask, "What is she doing aboard that ship?"
The least important question, but the only one he
could ask under the circumstances, knowing that to let
his fear and worry overcome could increase the danger
she was in.
So, Riker followed orders and waited... knowing that
until Deanna was back he wouldn't be able to draw a
proper breath.
And when Laforge transmitted the unnecessary message
to the bridge that she was safely back and on her way
sickbay, the vice he hadn't acknowledged loosened
around his heart.
Troi was still sitting, staring, where the captain had
left her; so deep in thought that she didn't feel the
pull and was surprised when a deep, laughing voice
interrupted her thoughts.
"Hey, gorgeous. I come bearing gifts."
A small grin played on her lips as she looked into her
friend's blue eyes.  "Yes, hospital gowns, dull hair
and a lack of make-up make a woman feel beautiful."
"On you…" The rest of the comeback was lost as he
pulled her to him, but it was rewarded with a small
Briefly he pressed his lips to her hair before pulling
back and picking up the bundle he'd placed beside her.
"Maybe these will help."
For a moment, she just looked at the clothes.
"Deanna?" he asked quietly.
Flushing slightly, the Counselor hopped down and
hurried to get changed, leaving the Commander standing
concerned by the bed.
"Will?" As Beverly tapped him on the shoulder, he
started.  "Waiting for Deanna?"
The dark head nodded.  "How is she?"
"Physically she's fine.  We were able to reverse the
surgical alterations, including returning her skin to
its normal pale colour, and there should be no
lingering effects from them. However… emotionally
she's been through a very trying time and…" The
doctor's slender shoulders lifted but the man
The Betazoid was a strong woman, willing to listen and
help others in any way possible - but when it came to
herself, she was inclined to hold things in.
With a squeeze, he thanked the redhead for the
information and her concern, reassuring her that he'd
watch over the other woman.
Riker leaned against the bed, watching as Troi
returned wearing one of her loose dresses.  He admired
the way it followed her lush curves, giving away
nothing but a glimpse of cleavage. He noticed she'd
brushed out her hair and applied light make up of some
sort emphasizing her eyes.
Patiently he waited, as she gave the gown to a nurse
and exchanged a few words with Crusher before joining
Their eyes met, held, and his large hand enclosed her
slim one, fingers entwining as they exited sickbay.
He followed her into her quarters, motioning her to
sit and get comfortable.  Once assured she was
settled, he walked to the replicator.
"Computer, hot cocoa… with marshmallows."
Riker watched an absently bemused smile pass over his
friend's features.
"They're absolutely essential," he nodded solemnly,
carrying the hot drink to her, before sitting down on
the chair across from her.
Silently Will watched the Betazoid take a careful sip,
curling her tongue around a slightly melted white
puff, grinning at her small sigh of pleasure.  He
loved how she savoured each mouthful of the chocolate
- Gods, how often had he wished to be that mouthful,
to be the one being savoured?
But tonight such thoughts were easily pushed away.
Her normal concentration disappearing, replaced by
pensiveness and… he wasn't sure what only that it made
him want to yell at her to talk to him and to clasp
her to him at the same time.
Shifting his large body, he let his eyes trail over
her… once again reassuring himself that she was there
and as Beverly had said, completely fine physically.
So intent was his inspection that he didn't see her
look up and cringe slightly before placing the empty
mug on the table.
"So, see anything you like?"  Deanna laughed a
slightly strained sound but laughter nonetheless, as
he almost jumped from his seat.
Lips curved wryly.  "Just making sure you're all
there.  Wouldn't want any of my favourite girl to be
"If I wasn't so tired," she made a pretense of
yawning, "I'd call you on that, Commander, but for
Will leaned forward.  "Deanna…" Her forced attempt
innocence provoked a glare.  "I'm not going anywhere."
"Will, I'm fine.  Tired but fine.  Beverly did a good
job and now all I want is to have a nice relaxing bath
and sleep."
"Damn it, Deanna, don't lie to me.  You're wound
tighter than a watch spring.  If I leave the last
thing you're going to do is sleep."  Standing up, the
dark-haired man came around the table to grasp her
hands, preventing her interruption.  "Hell, if you
won't do it for yourself, talk for my sake.  When I
saw you on that ship…"
"What do you want me to say?  That I was scared?  Of
course I was, anyone would have been."
"We're not talking about *everyone*, just you!"
Momentarily his eyelids hid the flashing blue eyes, as
he took deep breaths to calm himself.  He could tell
she was hanging on by a thread and her determination
to be strong both angered him and inspired him.  But
he knew her and there was no way he was going to allow
her to bear this alone, anymore than she would have
let him had their positions been reversed.
Sighing he pulled her close, content for the moment to
just hold her, pleased beyond measure that she was
allowing even that minor comfort.  Leaning back on the
sofa, one large hand splayed across her back while
running the fingers of the other through the wild,
dark curls he loved.
"Where am…? What happened…No… no…"
Will was awakened by the struggling, crying beauty in
his arms.
"Deanna… Deanna!  It's all right. You're on the
Enterprise… It's over. You're safe." The struggling
stopped but the crying… he forced himself not to hold
her too tightly. "Go ahead, let it out… I'm here.  I
won't let anything happen to you."  And when she
started gasping for breath, "Shhh… I've got you… safe
in my arms… I won't let you go."
After what seemed like hours to him, the sobs and
shaking stopped.  Raising her chin, he placed a kiss
on her brow before setting her back long enough to get
up and get a warm damp cloth, which he used to gently
wipe her face.
Placing the cloth on the table, heedless of the mess,
he enfolded her hands with his own after brushing the
hair off her face.  Her expression was drawn but the
tension and fear from a few hours earlier was
lessened.  Silently he waited for her to tell her
"I woke up and I didn't know where I was, but then
remembered the psychology conference…  I got up but
felt… heavy.  I asked for the lights but nothing
happened… It was so dark." Her voice dropped to a
"It's all right… I'm here."
"I stumbled around 'til I found a sink and eventually
light… or maybe it came on by itself, I'm not sure.  I
splashed water on my face but… it felt wrong… like it
wasn't my face anymore… and when I looked up…" A huge
shudder wracked the small body.
"Oh, Deanna…" For a moment Will crushed her to him
again reassuring both that she was really there.
"I wanted to scream but couldn't… and then N'Vek came
in.  He said I'd been kidnapped for a purpose and if I
wanted to live I'd have to trust him…" Her laugh
almost hysterical as she flung her arms out in
disbelief, narrowly missing Riker's cheek.
"I did it… everything he asked… I gave orders to a
Romulan captain who trusted me less than we trust Q…
or… or the Ferengi."  She'd risen and started pacing,
but blue eyes followed her every move, waiting
patiently. "Toreth questioned me… tested me… And when
I sensed the duplicity planned by those we were to
meet… I had to make things up… Me!
"I'm a ship's counselor - not a military strategist.
And I could feel… so much distrust and anger aimed
at…me."  Will started to rise, to gather her close
again but she waved him off.  "But it was nothing
compared to knowing that N'Vek died to save me and the
mission… and to know that if I didn't do something
they would destroy the Enterprise… destroy…"
Was there an unspoken 'you' echoing in his head… or
was he selfishly hoping?  Either way, this time he
ignored her wish.  His only thought was to hold her
until it was all out, because he couldn't just sit not
holding her - for his sake as well as hers.  Placing
his strong hands on her shoulders he halted her
mid-stride, but she was too intent on letting it out
to care.
"I didn't want to die… I thought I'd die and never see
Betazed again and hear Mother ask about my love life.
Or beat O'Brien at poker… eat chocolate with Beverly…
marvel at the beauty of the skies… Never help another
person… I was so scared…"
As the tears poured down her face, Will picked her up
and cradled her against his chest, walking back to the
Minutes later, Troi opened her eyes and staring into
his gave her last 'confession'.  "I love you."  At his
somewhat stunned look she continued.  "My biggest fear
was that if I died I'd never get to tell you that I
loved you.  All these years… I always thought that
someday…" Her slight shoulders lifted. "And then it
seemed someday was never going to come… I'd die and
never have the chance to tell you I loved you, that
I'd never stopped."
Turning her head, she brushed her lips against the
palm that had begun to caress her face, letting them
linger in the center.
Letting out a groan, Will's thumb wiped a lone tear
from the corner of her eye before saying, "Oh,
Imzadi…"  I love you, he thought.
Before her dark eyes registered her surprise that he
still remembered, his dark head lowered and he let his
mind and lips talk for him, somehow knowing that she
would understand.
The kiss was gentle, like butterfly wings, deepening
so slowly, yet neither was in any hurry.  Years had
passed and a few more moments… or hours wouldn't
matter.  All they wanted to do was explore every inch
of the other, to relearn what was the same and what
had changed.
She loved the way his beard rasped gently on her skin,
the way his lips were gentle and forceful at the same
time, the way his hands were just holding her as hers
were him.
Her tongue licked just inside his upper lip and he
thought he'd explode, the feelings from that tiny act
were so intense… but instead he filed it away, to
tease her later as she teased him.
Only when their tongues finally entwined, mimicking
the dance to be shared, did hands, small and large,
begin to explore as their lips had done, slow,
tantalizing strokes, her nails digging into his arms
when his mouth descended to her throat, his beard
"Will…" For a moment their gazes locked - dark blue
and almost black, then without words the clothes came
off, until shy and confident they stood before the
other, naked body and soul.
Her hips were a bit wider, her breasts slightly fuller
and perhaps less firm but still proud in their
arousal, and her eyes were older but they still shone
as bright and as open to him as before and her skin
was still luminescent… And he knew her heart and mind
far better than he had all those years ago.  The woman
she'd become more amazing than his fantasies could
have imagined.
Deanna noticed the laugh lines around his eyes that
endeared him to her all the more.  There was a little
extra flesh at his middle but his arms were stronger,
his thighs corded… the hair on his chest as thick and
she felt the same urge to run her fingers through it
as she had the first time he'd taken off his shirt.
He'd grown, matured making good the promise she'd seen
eight years before - his confidence, still cocky and
sweet, his knowledge of himself, his deep affection
for the ship and its crew, but at that moment… The
empath sighed.  His arousal was strong and he was as
comfortable with it as ever… and knowing that she was
the cause, all traces of her fear flew.
They stepped together at the same time, her nipples
hardening more as their chests met.  Hands caressed,
nails pinched only to be soothed with mouths that
kissed, licked, nipped, suckled, and all the while
'Imzadi' echoed in their spirits.
Man joined woman in the truest sense of the word and
when climax hit, blue and almost black again met as
one, the bond reopened, renewed and reborn.
The End