h Katara-Trilogy

Author: D. Destiny
Summary: Imzadi is forever....or is it? First story of the h Katara Trilogy
Paring: T/R, R/f
Timeframe: Post Insurrection. No notion taken from Nemesis spoilers.
Author's Note: I know, I know...but I *had* to write at least one story like this.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to me...oh wait, to Paramount. The story *doesn't* belong to Paramount; THANK THE DEITIES. And if they ever adapt a story line anything close to this I *will* kill the writers personally :o

WARNING: If you're a happy-endings-person do NOT read this...although :rolleyes:

And feedback is of course very much appreciated :)

The End

On her way to his quarters she thought of what to say to him, how to make up for last night, how to control her own anger and hurt. For tomorrow they would have to have resolved all their problems, for tomorrow would be their wedding.


They had a fight yesterday. A heated one at that and the truth to be told she was still hurt and angry. He had been mean, meaner than she had ever known him to be. 'Goddamn it Deanna! For once step out that superior Betazoid philosophy and act like a damn human!' His words sliced through her mind and heart like a newly sharpened knife and they had, as they still did now, hurt beyond expression. 

Will was one of the few privy to her lifetime feeling of inferiority opposed to other Betazoids, telepathic Betazoids. He had always accepted her for who she was and not for who she was supposed to be. But yesterday... 'Shut down that damn empathy of yours Miss the Empathic Betazoid!' Closing her eyes she willed her memories to stay away from her conscious for she could not risk loosing her temper again. 

The things he had said were hurtful, but she too had said hurtful things in return. And whether or not he liked it, they were going to talk *now*. Captain Picard had given them, as well as Data and Beverly the day off to prepare for the wedding. Yesterday she had been on the verge of calling the wedding off, but she hadn't. When she had awoken late that night she had realized that she already missed him. 

Arrived at his doors she took a deep breath and quickly steadied herself before 'ringing the bell' as he loved to call it. She rang once, twice and a third time when there was every lack of response. 'Maybe he's still asleep.' Carefully she lowered her empathic blocks, trying to figure out if he *was* still asleep. 

He wasn't. His emotions poured into her before she could reinstall her blocks. William Riker was definitely *not* asleep. Her breath caught in her throat, her heart rate quickened until she was sure her heart would jump out her chest and hop through the corridors of the Enterprise. Her entire body tensed and her hands clenched into fists. Tears welled up in her eyes but she did not allow them to fall. With an unsteady, trembling voice she gave the computer his access code and almost immediately the doors slid open. 

It was silent, extremely silent. Slowly she entered his quarters and couldn't help but feel like an intruder. As soon as she had cleared the doors they closed behind her. His quarters were dark, the stars outside provided the little light there was. "Computer: quarter lights." Complying with her order the computer dimly illuminated the quarters. 

Slowly Deanna looked around her, still perfectly aware of his emotional state for he was making no attempt at all to hide it. What she saw confirmed her suspicion, but still she couldn't bring herself to believe what she already knew. 

His shoes lay next to the couch, one on its side the other in the middle between the table and couch. On a nearby chair lay a black heap of what she knew to be his trousers. On the table...her breath staggered in her throat...on the table lay a bra. One that definitely was not hers. Tears rolled down her cheeks. 'He wouldn't...would he?' Wasn't there an old Earth saying about history repeating itself? The phrase sounded through her psyche in perfect clarity. 

Wiping her tears away she advanced towards his bedroom door. It was closed. Will never closed that door. Unless... Shaking the thought out her mind she raised her hand to the panel. Even though there was barely enough light to see she could see her fingers trembling as she reached for the panel. 

Scared to death for what she might find behind those doors, part of her wanted to turn away and run, yet the rest of her decided against it. She had to know, had to be sure. Shaking Deanna Troi pushed the key to his bedroom door and mere instances later the orange door slid aside. But Will didn't notice it. 

She eyed him, lying naked on his bed. On top of him was a woman she had never seen before, also naked. Deanna just stood there, frozen, numb, her mind trapped in her body, the dimmed lights shining behind her, creating a mysterious glow around her. 'What should I do? Should I walk away and just not show up tomorrow? Should I stand him up as he stood me up on Risa?' Although that scenario sounded appealing she decided against it. She would not treat him like he had treated her.

Neither of the two occupants of the bedroom had noticed her, both to busy with each other. The usually vibrant twinkle in the empath's large black eyes faded away and eventually disappeared. Her facial expression turned from surprise to anger to a mere state of shock. And still the other two persons didn't notice her presence. 

Strong white blocks slammed around her mind, protecting her. And bit by bit her heart cooled until eventually it froze. The tears that had been brimming in her eyes disappeared and her eyes dimmed. But she couldn't look away and frozen, watched the couple in front of her finish what they obviously had started a while ago. Not even when the unknown woman rolled to his side did they notice her. Softly she coughed. Immediately the woman's head snapped up.

"Oh hello." How she did not know but Deanna managed to smile back.

"Hello." The blonde made an attempt to get up but Troi quickly gestured her to stay where she was. By now Will had broke through the daze he was in and realized that his fiancée was standing in front of him...and a naked woman.

"Deanna...I, I can explain."

"It's alright." He frowned. Alright? He just cheated on her, two days before their *wedding* and she had said in a perfect sweet and polite voice that it was alright?! But Deanna continued with an icy voice. 

"Please," she gestured at the woman, "You can stay in bed if you like, for the rest of the day if you want. Tonight wouldn't be a problem either. And tomorrow morning you two love birds can sleep late." Will was too confused to say anything. Deanna slowly pulled her engagement ring off her finger. "You see, he originally had a wedding to attend tomorrow, but considering the current stage of affairs, that won't be necessary." 

Gently she laid the ring on his chest and gave the two a bittersweet smile before she spun around and exited the room. For a moment Will didn't know what to do. Deanna had sound so…polite, yet empty. Sweet, yet sarcastic. Calm and unhurt.

"She was kind. Who is she?" 

"My fiancée." Was all he could reply.


In some kind of shock Deanna walked through the corridors of the ship. Not knowing where to go or what to do. Her vision was blurry and vague, as if she was dreaming. Blank minded she wandered from deck to deck, occasionally bumping into other crewmembers. Her mind spinning with questions and memories. Her heart cold and insensitive. She could not allow herself to feel the same pain as she had felt nearly twenty years ago. She could not allow herself to stand still or to go to her quarters. Until she bumped into Beverly Crusher who was just on her way to Deanna’s quarters to ask her advice.

“Ah Deanna. Just the lucky lady I was looking for. Come with me, I need your opinion on the flowers.” Before she could utter as much as a sound Beverly grabbed her sleeve and pulled her along to the Holodeck. The doors opened and revealed probably the most beautiful scenery she had ever seen. 

In the middle of the lush green landscape there was a white chapel…a replica of the chapel on Betazed where she had met Will a lifetime ago. Thousands of razor-sharp knives cut through her heart, almost sending her down to her knees. Tears threatened to spring to her eyes and her throat knotted. But she showed none of it, keeping her posture perfectly serene, as she kept her face.

“Don’t bother Beverly. Delete the program and enjoy your day off.” And with those, strangely enough normal sounding words Deanna spun around on her heels and walked out the Holodeck. 

Open mouthed Beverly watched her leave. She knew Deanna had had her doubts about the wedding, about trusting Will with her heart again. But Beverly was sure that if there were two people in this universe destined to be together, it was Will and Deanna. After a while Deanna has seen that too and accepted his proposal. 

The empath had teased that the Doctor was even happier than herself. And somewhere Beverly agreed with her friend. ‘Did she just *cancel* the wedding?!…She did, didn’t she?’ Dropping the PADD she had been holding Beverly went after her friend.


Will lay frozen in his bed, the haze of alcohol still clouded around his vision and mind. Deanna had just left and he still wasn't sure whether it had been a dream or not, until Trylk turned around and seized him quizzically.

"Shouldn't you go after her?" Confused he looked up before he softly stammered that he probably should. With a heavy heart he climbed out his bed and began to collect his clothes that lay scattered throughout the room, ignoring the headache caused by his hangover. With his mind he reached out to her but strong empathic blocks held him away.


The End (2/4)



She found the Betazoid in the Arboretum, sitting beneath a huge willow with her arms wrapped around her knees, her face shielded by black, silky curls. Beverly sat down beside her and tried to wrap her arms around Deanna’s body, but she jerked away from her touch.


“Dea, I know you’re scared and uncertain. But that will all be over tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life, believe me I’ve been there.” But instead of agreeing to her words as she had expected Deanna looked up, tears brimming in her huge eyes.


“Have you ever heard of the Earth saying ‘History is designed to repeat itself’?” Cautiously Beverly seized her up.


“Yes I have.”


“Well, I never believed it…until an hour ago.” They locked gazes. A link Beverly Crusher used to get an answer to her unvoiced question.


“Oh no…Deanna no.” Pulling the empath closer Beverly hugged her fiercely.


“I--I walked in on them…they were in the bedroom…” Sobs interfered with her words and finally her tears began to fall. "How...How could he?! How cou--could he do this to me?!" Beverly 's heart went out to the younger woman sitting next to her. All she could think of was to pull Deanna even closer against her, while she silently cursed Will.


Deanna was shaking vigorously, loud agonized cries racked through her small body and Beverly was sure that those cries could be heard throughout the ship. And all she could do as holding her tight and sussing gently. "It hurts Beverly ...It hurts *so* much!!!" Stroking Deanna's dark hair she responded with the only answer she had.


"I know Dea, I know." And she did. She had lost her husband a long time ago. But still she knew that Deanna's pain was sharper and greater than her own had been. "But it'll fade. I can promise you that much." Slowly Deanna nodded, then lifted her head up and wiped her tears away with the palms of her hands. She stood up and watched her red-haired friend getting up as well. As soon as she stood Beverly grabbed Deanna's small hands with her own and squeezed them gently.


"You'll get over this Dea, you're strong enough." Smiling weakly the Betazoid confirmed her words.


" Beverly , could you please send all the guests my regrets? I'll inform the Captain myself." Without saying a word the Doctor agreed, she was about to say something when Deanna suddenly diverted her gaze. Following the direction the empath was looking at she found herself standing eye in eye with Will Riker.




"It's alright Bev. Please send the messages." Slightly inclining her head to answer Deanna's request she turned around and headed to the exit door. Throwing Will a disdainful glance as she passed him by.



Calmly Deanna lowered herself to the ground, patiently looking up at him. Will didn't know if he should sit down as well or remain standing, towering above her. He decided to remain standing. Studying her face he could easily see she'd been crying. He also noticed that the vibrant sparkle that usually dominated her black eyes had disappeared.


"Deanna, I'm *so* sorry."


"I know." She replied calmly. "I am too." Suspiciously he looked at her. Why didn't she get angry? Why wasn't she yelling at him? There wasn't even a trace of sarcasm in her voice. Just hurt, defeat and sadness. And that worried him more than anything else.


"Deanna, what I did last night was wrong."


"It was." Her statement didn't hold any acquisition or anger, only defeat. He knew Deanna Troi, he knew that even though she could control her fury and anger very well, she too had her limits. His experience told him she was well past those limits. And he realized that maybe he was too far past them.


"Deanna if I could go back in time and change last night I would do so without hesitation. There's nothing, *nothing* I regret more than what I did last night." 'Except me catching you.' Her comment she held to herself, not willing to voice it. Will Riker was normally a patient man in private matters but her lack of anger annoyed him and he lost his composure.


"Damn it Deanna! Talk to me! Yell, kick, curse, ANYTHING!!!" Eying him silently she rose to her feet.


"You want me to talk? Fine, I'll talk." Will clenched his teeth together, unwilling to show her how much her calm attitude infuriated him. "When you told me that I didn't have the guts to marry you, not because of our careers, but because I didn't trust you anymore as a lover you were right. Part of me never left that hotel on Risa where I waited for you. And I didn't trust you not to walk out on me again. But after a week analysing my feelings, your feelings and Beverly 's speeches I decided to take the chance." She slowly turned around and faced him. "I jumped Will. I jumped and fell flat on my face." Her voice was still calm and cold, but her eyes were showing tears again.


"Deanna, we can still..." Dropping her head she sadly shook it as she cut him off.


"No we can't Will. *I* can't." Despite her every effort to hold back her tears they dropped, one by one rolling down as tiny diamonds.


"But last night meant *nothing*, I had too much alcohol, I wasn’t thinking straight! I made myself believe that it was all right, that I could get away with it. And you told me that Betazoids don't value sex as humans do. That married Betazoids can allow each other to have other sex partners." For a brief moment her eyes flashed with fury.


"Maybe, just *maybe* that would count for me Will, but you *are* human. And no matter *what* the Betazoids belief of sex, *you* *were* wrong."


"And I won't deny that. But..." Deanna closed her eyes and threw her head backwards.


"You don't get it do you? You're forgetting the very same point you tried so hard to make me see last night. I *am* a halfling. I *am* half human and I *am* hurt by your actions last night. More deeply hurt than you'll ever know, more than I'll ever be able to articulate. And even *if* I could hide behind Betazoid beliefs how would I know you won't use that very same belief against me in the future?" He took one step towards her, but the look in her eyes warned him not to take another one in the same direction.


"Deanna, I would never intentionally hurt you." Deanna began to laugh, softly, inwardly at first, but soon her laughing became louder, hysterical and devilish.


"William, even *Data* would not be able to count how many times you've told me that. And yet...somehow you hurt me over and *over* again." He'd almost sighed in relief now that the sarcasm and anger could be heard in her voice. "Now if you'll excuse me. I have a wedding to cancel." Open mouthed he watched her as she wiped the tears off her pretty face and walked to the doors to, mere second later, disappear behind them.



Uncertain what to say he quietly observed her for a few moments. The minute she had entered his Ready Room he had noticed that the usual spark that made her eyes twinkle was missing and in the conversation that followed he realized that Deanna Troi was using every ounce of willpower not to break down in front of him. She was definitely hurting and he couldn’t think of a thing that could’ve happened which would cause her so much distress.


“Deanna, are you sure?” Troi lowered her eyes to the floor but almost instantly raised them to meet his.


“Yes.” She hadn’t offered him any explanation for the cancellation of her wedding. That in itself was very unusual. Deanna Troi always offered an explanation for anything she was doing, unless explaining caused her a great deal of anguish. With pain in his heart he agreed with her wishes. Relieved, she thanked him and returned to her quarters.



Looking in her mirror she wondered how she could’ve let it come this far. For the second time in her life she had allowed Will Riker to enter her heart and soul, opened up to him. And for the second time he had hurt her, had crushed her heart until it fell into a thousand pieces.


Her reflection didn’t offer her much comfort, it never had. Washing her face with cold water she wondered how she could, should go on. Could she stay on the Enterprise ? The ship she had called her home for nearly two decades. The ship which carried so many memories of friends, of missions, of losses and of him.


Will would leave the Enterprise , he had been offered captaincy of the U.S.S. Titan, a newly built  Galaxy-class Starship. The original plan was that she’d accompany him, as his wife as well as Ship’s Counselor, but now…She couldn’t join him on the Titan that much was sure.


Looking around her quarters she saw flashes of herself and Will. Sitting on her couch together, leaning against the bulkheads watching out to the stars, lying on the floor, in her bed. Every item carried a memory and every memory lead back to him one way or the other.


Walking into her bedroom her eyes fell on her wedding dress. The long white dress had fit her perfectly, clung around her body like a second skin. In order to satisfy her mother as much as possible the bodice was extremely low-cut and the back was left open until just above her hips. An extremely sexy dress, she and Beverly had agreed, one that would knock Will off his feet without a doubt.


Deanna picked up the hairband that was lying on the table and fingered it absently. Pictures of herself and Will in the Jalara jungle flashed through her psyche. In a moment of pure fury and hurt she tore the fragile gauze hairband to shreds. Dumbly looking at what was left of the attire she had made she realized that she couldn’t stay on the Enterprise . Too many memories, too many that reminded her of him.



After ten minutes he still stood at the very same spot in the Arboretum as where he had been standing when she walked out. He realized that he could never make up for the hurt he had caused her. Images of her flashed through his mind.


Her beautiful face when she woke up after being assaulted by Jev, the look in her eyes when Thomas had come on board. Deanna lying in Sickbay, on the verge of dying. An unfamiliar, yet familiar Romulan face that greeted the Captain. He remembered finding Deanna unconscious and bleeding in the Turbolift after Data had attacked her. He saw her as she grieved for her lost son and when she verbally fought her mother. Their very first meeting played in his mind, Deanna naked in the chapel at Chandra Xerx’s wedding. He heard the words she spoke to him when they met each other onboard the Enterprise-D. He felt his jealousy when she was seeing Devinoni Ral, or Rick, or Aaron Conner, or that sneaky little fellow whose name he had forgotten, or Thomas, or Worf.


With his eyes fixed on the spot where she had been standing he saw himself proposing to her, he saw her tears of doubt when she told him she had to think and he saw her tears of joy when she accepted, one week later. He didn’t know how long he had been standing, or how long he would be, at that instant all he knew was that he had lost her, forever. And tears fell down, burning into his skin.


The End (3/4)



The alarming sound of an incoming message pulled Deanna out the trance-like state she’d been in. ‘Mother’ The thought to simply ignore the message crossed her mind and she took it under serious consideration. Reluctantly hitting the ‘accept’ button on the screen she made her choice.


>Dea? What happened?< Blinking Deanna studied the screen.


“Chandra?” The face, hair and voice were definitely Chandra’s but she had been so sure it was Lwaxana that she couldn’t quite believe it was Chandra instead.


>That’s my guess. Why? Who were you expecting?< The empathy smiled at her friends quick-witted response.


“Well, Mother for one.”


>Ah, well don’t worry about her.< Frowning Deanna waited for her friend to continue. >I told Beverly I’d convey the message to Lwaxana.< Sighing she relaxed, at least she had some more time to prepare facing her mother now. >Now, why did you cancel the wedding? Beverly refused to tell me. < Rolling her eyes Deanna took a deep breath. She was glad Beverly hadn’t informed Chandra, though she had to admit that she wouldn’t have minded it either.


>Look Deanna, if you did it because you’re scared I can assure that that is perfectly normal. I was scared too and I’m sure Beverly told you that she was scared as well.<


“She did.” Self satisfied Chandra locked her eyes on Deanna’s. The two friends studied each other for a while when suddenly Chandra’s face became serious and she leaned forward. >Dea? What happened?< The tone of the blonde woman’s voice made it clear that she wouldn’t give up until she had a full explanation. Deanna also knew that Chandra knew her well enough to tell when she was lying or hiding something or was hurting without empathy or telepathy.


“We had a fight last night.”


>Sounds normal to me. < Chandra replied smiling.


“He said some *very* hurtful things. I went to see him early this morning to make up…”


>Wait a minute, the fight was so bad that you didn’t spend the night together?!< Deanna knew why *that* particular question was raised. She had never shied away from making up a fight with Will instantly before.


“Yes, the fight was that bad.” The eyes of the woman at the other end of the link widened at her admission. “I went to see him this morning, and walked in on him and some woman…they-they were together and they…” But she couldn’t bring herself to say the words, especially not to her childhood friend who knew exactly how much she loved him and how much she depended on him.


Being who she was, the blonde Betazoid realized what happened; Chandra’s mouth fell open and for a while she didn’t know what to say. Deanna laughed and teased her. “My, my, the great Chandra Xerx doesn’t know what to say! This should be officially recorded.” In response the woman rolled her eyes and tried very hard not laugh…but she did. Yet she did not forget her question.


>I’m so sorry for you.<


“Everyone is. But that doesn’t ease the pain.” What was it with tears? They always came when you could use them the least.


>No, it doesn’t.< Somehow, in the silence that followed both women found some solace. >Have you decided what to do now?< Deanna shook her head, her dark curls danced on the movements.


“No, not really. I can’t go with Will to the Titan but I can’t stay here either.”


>You know that you’re always welcome here right?<


“Yes I do. Shlarka Dzi Chandra.“ The Betazoid greeting said so much more than the old English one. The difference between the languages was something she still was made aware of every day. The Betazoid language could convey so much more with words than the language that the Federation used. Perhaps it was because Betazoids were telepathic, or more spiritual than humans, but the fact remained that the difference was great. At times, she had found, too great.


>Ara Tzi Deanna.< Giving her an assuring and comforting smile Chandra closed the commlink and the screen turned black. For about two minutes Deanna simply stared at the screen, not thinking about anyone or anything.



“Doctor, I need your advice.” With raised eyebrows Doctor Crusher turned around.


“Why am I not surprised?” Guilty he looked away. He knew perfectly well that the anger and sarcasm in her voice were justified.


“I don’t want to loose her Beverly .”


“You have an awkward way of showing that Commander.” Bowing his head he nodded, knowing full well that that was an understatement.


“How can I make it up to her? I’ll do *anything*, *everything* to win her back.”


“I don’t think you can Will.” Startled he looked up. The minute their eyes met Beverly started talking. “You know very well *why* it took Deanna so long to accept your proposal. And although neither of us knows how much she was hurt when you left her on Risa we both know that it must’ve hurt a great deal. You’ve seen her reaction when she caught you with another woman the first time. And now you have, in her eyes, made the very same mistake *again*.”


Having no defense against her words he patiently listened to them. “Deanna is the most gentle, caring and *trusting* person I know. She has a big heart and the gift to see something good in *everyone*. In addition she is...naive in her own way. That naiveness and trust caused her a great deal of pain before and it took a lot of courage and selflessness to put her fears aside and trust you again. She has learned her lesson Will."


"But I *love* her."


"And she knows that, but at this point the hurt is fiercer and stronger than the love. There's only so much hurt one can take and I think that Deanna is well past her limits." Beverly 's words only confirmed what he already feared. And although he didn't intend to let his Imzadi go like this, he now realized that if he didn't he would only cause her more pain.


That she wouldn't join him on the Titan was logical, and he wouldn't ask her to. Right now Deanna would need all her strength to rebuild her life. He was willing to acknowledge and accept that he wouldn't be part of it in order to keep himself from hurting her more.


On his turn he would use his transfer to the U.S.S. Titan as a new start for himself. After all, he too was hurting. Only his hurt was overshadowed by feelings of self-loathing, guilt and remorse, for now. One day that hurt would be all that was left, because he knew for a fact that the hurt would never go away.



>Picard to Riker.< Will's head shot up and his eyes quickly scanned the air above him as if expecting to see the Captain's face floating somewhere above him.


"Riker here."


>Commander could you report to my Ready Room, now?< Riker shut his eyes and responded.


"I'll be there in a minute Captain." Tapping his Badge, out he walked to the nearest Turbolift.



Funny how the suitcase her mother had given her when she left for Starfleet Academy had seemed so much larger then than it did now. No matter what she tried she couldn't close it. Eventually she gave up and replicated a second one. Filling that one as well with clothes, books and some personal sculptures and others things. After one and a half hours of packing she was finally ready.


Captain Picard had told her she could use a shuttle rather than having to wait for a transport ship to cross their route. She had just received word from Starfleet Academy on Earth that she could start in two weeks. Years ago they had offered her a standing invitation to teach psychology and now that seemed a perfect solution.


The Captain had reluctantly agreed to let her go, but fortunately he understood her reasons and didn't object. Jean-Luc had assured her that she could return to the Enterprise anytime she wished and knowing that offered some kind of comfort. With her suitcases packed she was ready to go, all that remained was saying goodbye to her longtime friends.



"She *WHAT*?!" Commander William T. Riker literally jumped out his chair, his movements so brusque and sudden that they may have caused a Klingon to back away. But Jean-Luc Picard didn't move a muscle, seemingly oblivious to his First Officer's outburst.


"She asked for transfer Number One."


"Yes, I had expected that much but to *Earth*? Why doesn't she stay here?" For several moments he regarded the pacing commander in silence, until he saw that Will was just as upset as Deanna.


"Too many memories she said. I've given her one of the shuttles. She seemed bent on leaving as soon as possible."


"I can't blame her." Muttering the words Riker sagged back in the chair. "Did she say anything else?"


"No, just that the wedding was off and that she would leave for Earth."


"I see." The bearded man rose to his feet, looking more aged than Picard had ever seen.


"Will." Riker turned around, facing the older man behind the desk. "I'm sorry for the way things have ended up." Managing a weak smile he replied while exiting the Ready Room.


"Not half as sorry as I am." Picard remained seated behind his desk, wondering what the hell could've cause so much hurt to both his officers and friends.

The End (4/4)



She sensed him long before she heard the chimes of doors. She knew his thoughts and emotions perhaps even before he knew them himself. The bond was strong, very strong. She remembered the reactions of other Betazoids when they had visited the planet several months ago. They had been totally awe struck and she had to admit, it felt great.


Ever since it became clear that she wasn't a telepath, but 'just' an empath she had felt inferior to other Betazoids. But the bond that had formed between her and Will had made them celebrities on her planet.


But now...perhaps the fear of rejection, humiliation was what prevented her to return to her home world now. Pulling herself back to reality she ordered the doors open. The uncertainty of what to do or say reflected in his face, as did the guilt, sadness and hurt. But she couldn't allow herself to feel pity for him.


"Deanna? I--uh, I..." With a tolerant and knowing look she motioned him to sit down and seated herself on the couch across the room. "I talked to Captain Picard. And I--I understand that you aren't coming with me to the Titan. But you don't have to leave." He didn't say what he had planned to, in fact he said pretty much the opposite. But as always, Deanna knew.


She stood up with the elegance of a swan and walked to a window. He wanted desperately to go to her and wrap her in his arms, smell the sweet scent of her hair. As if she knew his thought she locked her dark, luminous eyes on his. Conveying her desire and love to him. In her eyes he also saw her pain and distrust.


"I do." Her voice was barely a whisper, a faint reminder of her usually bright and cheery voice. "Everything here is a reminder to what was and could've been. On the couch you used to massage my feet after long days. The windows remind me of the long conversations we used to have about our future. You used to watch me sleeping from the chair in the bedroom."


He could hear her swallow and although she had turned her face away he knew that silent tears were falling. "And sometimes we'd fall asleep in each others arm in that chair. No matter where I go on this ship, there'll always be a memory of us, either a good one or a bad one." He replied the only way he knew and realized that he really did understand.


"RaBeem." Deanna smiled and repeated the word, knowing that he meant it. Will got up from his chair and walked towards her.


"When...are you leaving?" He tried to hide the quiver in his voice, but she noticed it and was glad to hear it, for when she spoke her voice too quivered.


"Tomorrow morning." Barely inches separated from her small body he could hardly control the urge to slide his arms around her thin waist.


"Deanna, I know I can't make up for what I've done and I've accepted that, but please let me hold you one last time." She sensed his hope, compassion, hurt, ache but most of all his love and realized that she too ached for him to wrap his arms around her and to make her forget the hurt she was feeling. Quietly she agreed and waited for him to reach out.


Cautiously he came to stand behind her, afraid she might pull away at the last minute. Slowly he slid his arms around he waist and when his hands reached each other he pulled her back against his chest. Deanna closed her eyes and emptied her mind. Will rested his chin on her head and savored the moment without thinking or rationalizing.


They stood that way for almost an hour, forgetting the hurt they were feeling or the fact that they wouldn't see each other for a long time after tomorrow. Deanna slowly turned around, making sure that she would not make him release her from his strong embrace. She was reluctant to move, miraculous enough the time spend in his arms *had* made her forget of the hurt she was feeling. But she had to.


When she looked up into his sapphire eyes a gamut of emotions overwhelmed her; two of them were very present, perhaps more than she would've liked, but as she soon realized, more than she could resist. Love and desire swept mercilessly through he when he cupped her face with his large hand.


She was still furious, sad and hurt, but right now desire overwhelmed those feelings. Knowing with absolute certainty in her heart that there would be nothing between them when she'd leave the next day she relented.


Seeing her eyes surrender themselves he slowly lowered his head to hers. He dived into the endless blackness of her eyes and gently brushed his mouth over hers. He too knew that this would be the very last time he'd be allowed to touch her like this. Delving deeper into the velvet of her mouth, his arms slid around her once again, securing her in his embrace. Softly sighing Deanna allowed him full access to her mouth and later her body and even her mind, but her heart she kept completely closed.


Her heart would be closed forever for him...and for everyone else who could hurt her like he did.



She awoke in his arms and for a moment didn't remember the events that lead to her position as it was. She had awoken so many times the past year like this; curled up against her Imzadi, his arms around her waist holding her close to him. But she did remember and she felt the urge to get away from him.


Deanna didn't regret that she allowed him to make love to her last night. Perhaps it was for the better they had. There had been no reason for her surrender; it had simply felt as the ‘right’ way to finalize their break up. Gently she extracted herself from his embrace, moving slowly taking care not to wake him up. She gathered her clothes, brushed her hair and picked up her suitcases. Standing in the doorpost of her bedroom she watched him sleeping for a few moments before turning to leave, silent tears rolling down her cheeks.



When Riker awoke he didn't know where he was. The place looked definitely familiar, it looked a lot like Deanna's bedroom, only her personal stuff was missing...Bolting up right he suddenly remembered the nights before.


Defeated he allowed his body to fall back on the bed. They had made love last night, more than once. Each time a little different than the time before, but he had missed something, something he hadn't been able to put his finger on until after she had fallen a sleep: Deanna had kept her heart closed. That realization had been as a stab in his heart last night and he recalled how Deanna had stirred.


Fortunately she'd been too exhausted to wake up fully. She'd probably be gone by now, or would be about to. He knew he couldn't stop her, he knew he shouldn't. Crawling out he wandered across her quarters, picking up a piece of clothing every here and there until...Until his gaze fell on a piece of paper on her table. Carefully he picked it up, almost afraid it would turn into ash at his touch.


The black letters were perfect and seemed drawn instead of written. In fact if the note hadn't been Deanna's he would've sworn that the writer had spend his or her entire life just to write those two words so perfectly. Yet he knew that Deanna had written it in a matter of seconds rather than years.


"Trahyikai Imzadi." A Betazoid farewell. He knew the word had two meanings, which meaning she had meant was deliberately left in the blue. Mostly used as a greeting and farewell to loved ones that would be away for a long time. If that were the case it could be translated as 'Be safe and happy on your journey Beloved'.


The other meaning was darker, more definite. The other meaning was a farewell for loved ones that had crossed the line of life and death. How the word should be interpreted was usually made clear by the use of a tiny symbol below the 'h'. Deanna had deliberately not used either of the symbols, letting him draw his own conclusions. Quickly he dressed and left for his quarters, taking the note with him.



Teary eyed the two women stood across each other, both biting their lower lip to keep themselves from crying.


"Be safe and strong Deanna."


"You too Bev." Taking the final step they hugged each other fiercely. When they parted both dried their eyes.


"Oh damn it! I promised myself not to cry." Half laughing and half crying Beverly rolled her eyes in annoyance.


"As did I." Replied Deanna in much the same way. They hugged each other again before Deanna took a few steps towards the shuttle.


"Take care of each other will you?"


"Of course we will Counselor. Take care of yourself Deanna." She smiled gratefully at her Captain and looked at each of her friends for one last time before turning and stepping into the shuttle.


"I expect a message on my terminal first thing tomorrow morning Miss Troi!"


"Yes Ma'am!" Smiling she shook her head and tapped the key next to the door. Slowly it slid in place and sealed her off from the ship she had called her home for so long. Sadly and still crying she sat down at the helm and waited.


"Commander Troi," The voice of Lieutenant Trlekth sounded through the air. "You're cleared for take off." Deanna smiled at the man's preference for ancient terms. "The crew wishes you a safe trip Deanna." Fresh tears sprung in her eyes and she barely was able to response. The good bye meant a lot to her, but it also remembered that she didn't really want to leave. If only...


"Tell them not to tear the ship apart until the new counselor has arrived."


"Yes Ma'am!" Hitting the ignition button she watched as the door of Shuttle Bay 1 opened, revealing an infinity of stars. Swallowing her tears she begin to maneuver her shuttle out the bay. The sadness was tangible all around her, apart from some crew members who didn't really care about her departure, most of the crew was sad to see her leave, a few relieved. She chuckled quietly through her tears.


When she had moved the shuttle about a thousand meters away from the Enterprise she made it turn 180 degrees. The Enterprise turned as well, making both vessels 'facing' each other. "That must be a strange sight from out there."



"It is." Sadly the star closest to the two vessels mumbled the words. Flashing into a human form Q watched the scene before them and even he couldn't help but to quickly wipe away a single tear in the corner of his eye. For a moment he thought about reverse the time and interject, but destiny must run its course. And even the Q had no power over that.



From a point of view out in space the sight was indeed, as Q stated, strange. The elegant, powerful and huge looking Enterprise faced the tiny, box-like shuttle craft. Until both ships fired up their engines, creating two long lines of blue light and two much smaller ones.


What happened next startled the empath. The engines of the Enterprise seemed to blow themselves up! The blue stripes grew and bulged. Within seconds they suddenly shut down and fired up again. There seemed to be no damage and her empathy told her that the crew was all right, as if they hadn't even noticed it...or had expected it. Realizing that the 'overload' was intentional and meant as a farewell sign she smiled again.


"Geordi if you think I'm stupid enough to try that as well...you're wrong." Her technical knowledge wasn't by far good enough to duplicate the sign and thus she made the shuttle spin around instead before flying away.



Through the viewport in Ten-Forward Will watched the shuttle that carried his Imzadi turn and spin. He smiled when he admitted to himself that he couldn't have executed that maneuver better himself. Deanna Troi sure was someone special.


No one had ever expected her to take the step towards becoming a Bridge Officer. Although she made very valuable and useful suggestions frequently no one ever expected her to 'get the hang of things', she simply wasn't a technical minded person.


No one blamed her either, god knew he hated to have to 'upgrade' his knowledge about warp engines and plasma fields every once in a while. But eventually Deanna had taken the step and despite not being a technical person, even now, she made an excellent commander. With pride, love, sadness and guilt in his heart he watched her shuttle move away from him, he watched until the red lights at the back of its warp engines were no longer visible.


Things would never return to the way they once were between them, but some day, somewhere they'd see each other again. And he'd be waiting for that day.


~The End~


~I can make through the rain~

~I can stand up once again~

~On my own~

~And I know~

~That I’m strong enough to make it~

~And every time I feel afraid~

~I hold tight on to my faith~

~And I live~

~One more day~

~And I make it through the rain~