Author: Uhm…not me! It was my alter ego! Really *cough*

D. Destiny

Paring: ...................R/T, in a way.

Setting: Before they ever became a couple again.

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Not mine, thank the deities.

Note: Very short, not spirit-lifting, not beta-ed.

Dedicated to Scotty, who managed to spoil my very good mood.

~Always and Forever~

"DEANNA, NO!!!" Riker saw her move before she even started it, but was unable to stop her. He saw the thin green line of light coming his way when suddenly a small body blocked his sight of the beam. A loud scream pierced his eyes and settled in his mind. Seconds later the body that had blocked the beam fell against him; slammed backwards by the force of the impact of the disruptor blast as he realized.

The impact of the smaller body on his, send him down to the ground. In panic he pushed it off his own and got up to his knees. A huge dark wound covered almost her entire chest and he could smell her flesh burning. A wave of helplessness overcame him and made him forget to breath. Until he locked his eyes on hers. The dark obsidian eyes he loved so much held all the answers to his questions within them. Her eyes were pleading with him, pleading him to understand.

The look on her face could only be described as serenity, but in her eyes the regret and love was almost touchable.

"Riker to Sickbay! Bev, two to beam directly to Sickbay!" The panic in his voice was too obvious, but for the first time in his life he didn't care. He hardly felt Deanna's fingers close around his wrist, trying to comfort him. But when he looked in her eyes again he couldn't find the assurance he was looking for, the assurance that she'd be alright. A blue light enveloped them and carried them home.


With her eyes red and swollen from crying Doctor Beverly Crusher walked out the Enterprise's Sickbay. "Beverly?" Despite his better knowledge he couldn't keep the hope from his voice, but as the redhead sadly shook her head, his hope fled.

"There's nothing I can do. I'm so sorry Will." Not knowing what to say he simply nodded and walked into the room the CMO just left. There was only one bio bed, standing in the middle of the private room. The lights were dimmed to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

It almost felt as if he was entering a sanctuary, the sensation itself stopping him in the doorpost.

"Will?" Her quiet whisper drew him further past the boundaries then anything could've and step by step he moved into another time and place.

She was beautiful, more beautiful then any woman he'd ever seen and when their eyes met he could only think of how much he wanted to be able to touch her.

Deanna opened her eyes; the simple movement drained much of her strength left.

"Will, I--"

"Shh..." He placed a gentle finger on her full lips, trying to get her to save her strength, but even then she was pleading him with her eyes. Reluctantly he removed his finger.

"I'm sorry Will. I--I just could n--not live without y--you again." Riker couldn't believe his ears! She had given her life for him and she was apologizing?! Her eyes flickered shut and both were aware they didn't have much time left. With his left hand he stroke a wry strand of dark curls from her face, his fingertips reverently traced her jawbone.

"I love you Deanna Troi, I always have and always will." He spoke the words so softly that he wasn't even sure he'd spoken them at all, but as he heard her musical voice in his mind he knew he had.

~As I love you Imzadi, always and forever.~ As her eyelids again shielded the two black pools of wisdom and life he knew they would never open again. Her face was drawn into an expression of peace and acceptance. Her curls fanned out, framing her face as if it was but a beautiful painting. His lips touched hers with a kiss of forever.

That moment William T. Riker cried for the very first and very last time in his life as only one word sounded in and around him.