Challenge #3 from Imzadi List:

In this challenge you get a negative of a picture, no color, no real description, just a brief look at a scene. You have the freedom to color it in as you
wish, just use the scene somewhere in the story.

The negative is this: Deanna Troi is sitting in front of a fire reading something she is holding in her hands. She is crying.

Let your imaginations soar and your fingers fly!


Title:  The Letter
Author: Copper -
Feedback: Please

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything… I give the
actors kudos for making the characters what they are.
So please don't sue.
Spoilers: Only that R/T are getting married.
Rating: G, PG?
Timeline: Two nights before the wedding.
Synopsis: An unexpected gift.
Distribution: Imzadi Everlasting... anyone else, just ask.
Notes: Inspired by challenge #3 by Just Imagine. Yes,
I'm slow but my personal computer died over three
weeks ago and now I have almost no time or opportunity
to write. ::sigh:: Not beta-ed, any mistakes are mine.


The fire blazed brightly in the old brick hearth. Its
reds, oranges and yellows giving a soft glow to the
comfortable room with its sturdy oak furniture,
burgundy overstuffed sofa and chairs and thick rug.
The only other light was a small brass lamp standing
on an end table beside the couch and the glow of the
moon through the window.

Sitting with her feet tucked under her, a blanket over
her lap and a cup of steaming hot chocolate in her
hands, Deanna Troi gave a sigh of contentment.

Two nights before her wedding and for the first time
in days she was able to just sit and relax and enjoy
the peace of an empty house.

Will had gone out with some of their friends from the
Enterprise, for 'the best crab in Alaska' but she'd
begged off with a smile and a lingering kiss.

Before he'd left, Will had set up the logs, knowing
she enjoyed its comfort and beauty and now that she'd
eaten the meal he'd also cooked for her ('You spoil
me.' He grinned, 'I know. Get used to it.') she had
lit the fire and curled up on the ultra-comfortable

Taking a sip of the rich drink, Deanna felt it slip
down her throat, liquid velvet and delicious, then
placed it on a coaster on the table beside her.

Reaching over, she picked a envelope and a small box
off the coffee table, where she'd set them earlier.

For moments her brown eyes just stared at the objects
in her hands before placing the box in her lap and
slowly opening the flap of the envelope.

Though the writing was unfamiliar, the strength of the
pen strokes, the neat letters all touched a chord deep
within and when her eyes fell on the signature, Deanna
felt more than heard the sharp intake of her own

'Daddy? How...? What...?'

As the questions raced through her mind she was thrown
back to her childhood, to memories of laughter and
love and stories of the Wild West. A tear slipped from
the corner of one dark eye.

And she remembered that she'd waited for the quiet,
for the empty house because her mother had given her
the envelope and box, without her usual flamboyance
and pomp, her eyes slightly shiny and Deanna had known
that it was important. Precious.

And now she knew why.

Briefly she closed her eyes then began to read.

<<My dearest daughter,

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this other than
it's late and I've just read you your bedtime story
and tucked you into your bed. I can still feel your
tiny arms around me and your lips from your kiss
goodnight... your 'I love you, Daddy'...>>

Unconsciously her lips read the words, whispering them

<But as I sit here and recall the way your eyes
sparkled as I read to you of Annie Oakley or an
adventure I had travelling with Starfleet; and how
they fill with love when I come home after time away,
no matter how short; how much it means to be your

I know that someday it won't be me who makes your eyes
light up just by walking in the door; I won't be the
one you run to when you need to be held... I won't be
the man who comes first in your heart.

I wish I could grab you close and never let you grow
up but I love you too much... and someday I want you
to share a love like I have with your mother.>>

'Oh Daddy, I do, I do.'

<that he loves you and knows you're as precious and
beautiful as I do right now.>>

A sob escaped her throat as her tears blinded her. The
letter dropped from Deanna's slender fingers as she
covered her face with her hands.

She didn't hear the door open and close; didn't even
sense him until he lifted her up, blanket, box and
letter and gathered her close to his chest, one strong
hand pressing her dark head against his shoulder.

Will didn't say a word, just held her, stroking her
back and occassionally placing a kiss on the top of
her head. Though he didn't know the source of the
tears he felt enough to know she was all right, and so
silently loosened his arms when the sobs stopped and
she reached for the letter; holding her, loving her.

<<Luckily for me, that's a long time away... a long
time 'til I get to be the intimidating father and
frighten the boys away... Actually, your mother might
do that just by saying hello.>>

Deanna couldn't help the giggle that tumbled from her

<knew it was yours... not for now, but for someday when
that unknown he replaces... no takes his proper place
in your heart.

But that's still somewhere in the future and right
now, I am the one you run to when you come home, or I
do, the one who tells you stories to make you smile
and lifts you over my head to make you laugh. I didn't
think I'd ever have that but I do.

I do.

I love you, dearest Deanna.


The sobs were quieter this time and she leaned into
her soon-to-be-husband's embrace placing the letter in
his hand.

Still cradling her on his lap, Will's blue eyes read
the tear-stained words and felt the wetness well in
them. When done he lowered his head to hers and they
sat, the crackle from the logs the only sound other
than their beating hearts.

Eventually, Deanna slid off his lap and reached for
the box, opening it gently, almost reverently.

On a bed of soft down lay a large locket, an intricate
and beautiful pattern of dark gold on a heart.

With great care she lifted and opened it, amazed at
how light it was in her hands despite its size.

There were three panels, two filled but the center one

On the right, her father, handsome and young, eyes
full of laughter and love as he stared into his
bride's eyes with their joyful and proud spirit
shining; her mother, and in love.

On the left, Deanna, in a lovely flowing gown ('a
grown up dress like mother's...' 'You look so
beautiful, sweetheart.') seated in Ian's lap, Lwaxana
standing beside him, beautiful, colourful and smiling.

Will spoke quietly in her ear, "We'll put our wedding
picture in the center."

Turning in his arms, Deanna's smile was more brilliant
than the flames still blazing in the hearth. "And in
two days I'll wear it and... and Daddy will be there,
walking me to you... to us."

Placing the necklace back in its box, Deanna thanked
her mother for the gift, her father for his blessing
and whoever the great power in the universe was for
their love.

And rising, she pulled her lover too his feet, and
lead him to the thick rug by the fire, her heart
pouring into his and his to hers as they loved each
other in front of the flames.