Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, nor is the secondary poem,
everything else though is. So please keep my name attached to it.

Review: Oh Very very very much please! and that is so a wrong
sentence but I don't care!


Rating: PG

Setting: Post-Insurrection, Pre-Nemesis

~Times long past~

Quiet breezes played joyfully in her hair, lifting and twirling the
dark strands with tender touches. Tiny raindrops joined them,
burying themselves in the softness and coating her skin with a warm
blanket. With a blink of her eyes she caused the drops of liquid
that had gathered on her eyelashes to fall down and join their
companions on silken skin.

But none of the teasing and playing the breezes and the raindrops
did, registered to the woman standing on the porch of the immense
house. Her eyes were turned upwards to the sky, searching for the
stars that were for the moment hidden behind clouds two shades
lighter than the night. It was as if the fragile swirls of clouds
tried to cloak her thoughts from her.

It was unable to prevent that, as star after star peeked through the
blanket of condensed air and the woman`s thoughts began to lead a
life of their own.

***Thinking of times long past***
***I allow myself to feel the remnants of emotions***
***Of feelings so sweet and strong***

It was amazing how well she remembered him after so many years. How
well she could recall the stars sparkling in his blue eyes and that
one curl of brown hair that ever did his bidding. She had fallen in
love with him quicker than she thought possible and she had been
kicking and screaming all the way.

This hairy starman wasn't someone she had imagined herself marrying;
he was too confident, too arrogant and definitely not the kind of
man to settle down so early in his life. His mind was too rough and
undisciplined and his body…his entire body was covered in –hair-.

Not something she had thought attractive.

***A love transcended by worlds***
***Formed in mind, thought and soul***
***A love binding me to him***
***And making both of us whole***

And then…then she had come to know him, then she had sensed his
feelings change from bodily desire into the beginnings of the
strongest love she'd ever felt and when she could fight him no
longer she had fallen into him arms. Willfully.

Like the clouds above her, that now mixed with the night until they
disappeared, so had they intertwined their souls together until they
had become one. Neither of them fully realizing what was happening
until their destiny had been sealed.

And now she wondered if she would have fought harder to resist him,
had someone told her of the heartbreak that was to follow.

***Thinking of times long past***
***I recognize my past decisions***
***Resulting in outcomes both right and wrong***

Looking in hindsight she was sure her life wouldn't have been nearly
as fulfilling, had the two of them gotten married on Risa, as their
plan was. She would have missed much of her current life; her
independence, her career and perhaps even her friends.

There were however, still times when she wished that she could erase
that period of her life. The period of her life in which he proposed
to her, then left and never returned again.

Only she knew that the friendship they had built onboard the
starship called Enterprise wouldn't have been the same without that
period. She doubted it would ever have become as deep and trusting,
had they not known each other before.

On the other hand, she couldn't help but wonder how she would have
behaved herself, had she not had the knowledge that she couldn't
trust him with her heart. Would they have thrown their own advice in
the wind? Would he still have broken her heart, but at a later point
in their lives?

***A friendship struggling for existence***
***Growing stronger with each day***
***But never past that single line***
***Because neither of us wanted it that way***

There were so many unknown's, so many what if's that it was
impossible to answer her own questions. All she could do was
speculate and all that did was make her more and more melancholic.

She jumped slightly when two strong arms circled around her from
behind, drawing her back against a broad and warm chest, then
relaxed as she realized to whom those arms belonged. A shudder ran
up her spine as she remembered how she had to fight to even be able
to be in the same room with him, when he'd first come onboard the

Whenever their eyes locked she had to fight not to scream or break
out in tears and the first times they'd touched it had taken her all
her strength not to allow him to see the anger and hurt burning
inside her. But with time those feelings had lessened and she
started to enjoy his company more and more.

"I could feel you all the way up the Bridge." He whispered into her
ear, his hot breath caressing the shell and sending shivers down her
spine. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing…just thinking."


She considered his question for a moment, trying to put into words
what she hadn't been able to put into thoughts. When she failed, she
settled for a simple explanation, convinced he would know what she
meant. He always did. "Just thinking of times long past."

***Thinking of times long past***
***I remember how it felt***
***Not perfect, but always right***

The guilt that flooded his mind, cascaded into her own reminding her
of all the instances she had felt it during the years. It was the
remnant of a memory both had tried hard to forget, or at least tuck
away deeply in their mind, but neither had ever quite succeeded. All
it took to bring it back to the surface was a touch or a word, or
sometimes just a meeting of the eyes.

"I know" she said before he could apologize…again. "I have always

"But that didn't ease the hurt." He reminded her with a voice full
of self-incrimination.

"No, no, it didn't."

***A memory buried beneath all others***
***To keep the pain under control***
***But always failing when he looked at me***
***When he saw right into my soul***

With small steps, he guided his lover backwards until the back of
his knees hit the swing. Careful not to make her fall down, he sat
down and pulled Deanna onto his lap, tightening his embrace around

"It wouldn't have worked" she said suddenly in answer to his
unspoken thoughts "there were too many differences, too many things
both of us still had to do. We weren't compatible enough." She
finished with a laughing edge to her tone.

"Perhaps not, but when I look at the journey it took us to get here
I wish it wouldn't have taken me so long."

"It isn't the destination that matters, it's how we get there that
does." Deanna quoted wisely and allowed him the time to realize the
truth in that statement. To herself she silently thanked him, for
his questions had answered her own. They hadn't been compatible
enough, back on Betazed.

Him a Starfleet Officer, with a single goal in life; to climb the
stairs of command as fast as he could. And herself a psychology
student, still not sure just what she wanted to do with her life.

Of course, looking in hindsight was easier, but that didn't
compromise the fact that it was the truth. And even being stood up
by Riker on Risa taught her a valuable lesson; love alone wasn't

***Thinking of times long past***
***I recall the cards we were dealt***
***The odds against us impossible to fight***

Imzadi alone wasn't enough.

Throughout the trails and tribulations of her life, Will Riker's
presence had been a constant since adolescence; whether in her
thoughts or physically. The Imzadi bond the two shared had never
been broken and for years on end had been hidden in a dark corner of
her mind. Lying low until the time was right for it to emerge again.

And after the Briar Patch, it did so with a vengeance.

For years it had absorbed every tendril of love floating through her
mind or Will's, nursing it until finally they stopped running from
the truth and admitted their love for each other.

Then had the bond, neglected for so many years, opened and
blossomed, wiping away every chance of ever denying it again.

***A bond long ignored***
***Nearly starved to death
***But not once forgotten***
***Although of love, always bereft***

They had thought they were as close as they could be before, but now…
now they were as close as only a true and devoted Imzadi-couple
could become. Thoughts often drifted from one mind into another
without the slightest obstacle in their way.

So unlike before. No training was needed, no long hours of learning
how to focus and concentrate. Telepathic communication had become as
easy as talking and for the very first time in her life, Deanna was
grateful that she and Will hadn't shared such a strong connection
when he left her.

For him to have seen her after Risa would have been more humiliating
than she could've born. The long nights of crying herself to sleep,
of doing nothing but gazing up the stars and thinking about him, no
matter how much she hated him at that point in her life.

Of course he knew that now, for she had to bear her soul to him in
preparation of tomorrow and he had seen everything. Every tear that
had fallen, every curse she had spoken and every vase she had
broken. He had been making it up to her for days, as if her pain was
as strong as it had been.

He had held her then; when she cried of pain inflicted so long
again, and for the happiness he brought her in the present.

***Thinking of times long past***
***Tears fall down my cheeks***
***Silently trailing their tortured way***

The next day, as tradition required it, it was him who bared his
soul and allowed her to see into the deepest corners of his heart.
His pain when his mother died, the anger and resentment towards his
father…and the fear. Always the fear that if he dared to love
someone unconditionally they would leave.

She now knew the cause behind the gratitude she had felt from him
during their relationship on her home planet, and later onboard the
Enterprise. He had loved her with all his heart and soul and she
hadn't left.

He had.

And no longer did she feel the pain or the longing, or the anger.
All she felt was acceptance. It didn't matter that he left before,
for he was with her now; once again making her soul feel whole.
Knowing that this he wouldn't run made it only so much sweeter and
stronger, so much so that she couldn't hold back any longer.

***A soul made whole again***
***By the question he asked me***
***By the answer I gave him***
***And the wedding that will be***

With a sure movement, Troi turned herself around on her lover's lap
and fastened her mouth on her fiancé's. Teasingly she trailed the
tip of her tong along his lower lip, eliciting a needy groan from
the man beneath her which increased when she bit down on his
sensitive skin. She then slipped her tongue in and was welcomed by
his. Underneath her she could him harden, but kept herself firmly in
check in order to obey the traditions she was to follow.

Making love tonight, was out of the question, no matter how badly
she wanted it and so she broken the kiss, stopping him from
complaining by pressing a singly finger across his moistened lips.
~Not tonight Imzadi~ she ordered him reluctantly and rested her head
against his shoulder.

He wanted it as much as she did, she could tell and to comfort
himself and her, he dragged her into a swirl of memories from their
recent love making sessions. Some furious and passionate, others
slow and tender and all of them resulting in an ever closer union of
bodies and souls.

"Will" she protested weakly, already on the verge of giving in. In
return he simply smiled beneath his beard and lifted a hand to
caress a sensitive breast.

***Thinking of times long past***
***I reflect upon the weeks***
***That led us to this day***

"I don't think so Mister." With renewed strength she pushed him
backwards and quickly climbed off his lap. "You wanted a mix of both
our cultures and that's exactly what you got." Grinning broadly,
Troi leant forward to deliver another kiss, intimately cupping the
noticeable bulge between his legs as she did so. Then straightened
and called for the exit. ~I'll see you in twenty-four hours Imzadi~
Without looking back she darted into the corridors of the ship and
disappeared from his sight.

Running a quick relaxation-technique through her mind, Deanna
quelled the passion he'd fired within her and headed for Crusher's
quarters, where she would spend the night.

Her heart was beating furiously in her chest no that tomorrow was
suddenly very close by. The mood she had thought herself into on the
holodeck had almost completely lifted and she could hardly wait for
night to come. Because when she would wake up, the day of
their `official' union would have begun.

***A bright light shining in the distance***
***Flanked by our best of friends***
***A gateway leading to our marriage***
***And to the bonding of two loose ends***

There was no doubt in her mind that this was right, that –they- were
right. Together forever, through sickness and through health, for
better and for worse.

A black box on the table caught her eye and she recognized it as her
own. Knowing what she would find inside she carefully lifted the box
and took out the two pieces of paper. One was a poem he had written
to her on Betazed, the other was a Betazoid poem he'd given to her
when he proposed. In translation it read:

"One ring to show our love,
one ring to bind us,
one ring to seal our love
and forever to intertwine us."

She remember how surprised she'd been, that he had actually delved
into her ancestor's history to find the ancient poem and even more
surprised had she been when he told her that he knew about the Fifth
House's special role in any Betazoid marriage. The history of the
Rings of Betazed was ancient and hardly any Betazoids still knew
about it and yet Riker had found out about it and wanted to honor it.

And thus tomorrow would the Rings be used for the purpose they had
meant to fulfill, a tradition held only by the Daughters of the
Fifth House and one she was proud to observe.

Both herself and Will would be standing in a Ring for the duration
of the ceremony, until the last stage, in the Rings would be put on
top of each other, creating the Betazoid symbol of marriage and
which she and her Imzadi would stand as the bond between them was
completed and sealed.

***Thinking of times long past***
***I know that I am where I should be***
***Together at last with the one I call ~Imzadi~***

When Beverly got home later that day, she found Deanna sleeping on
the couch with a tender smile curled around her lips. Carefully she
took the piece of paper the Betazoid was holding and placed it on
the table. She covered Troi's slim body with a blanket and smoothed
a curl away from her peaceful features.

Before Crusher placed the paper in the box and closed it, she
allowed herself to read the new and final lines Deanna had added,

***Thinking of times long past***
***Is no longer important***
***Our future is shining brightly***
***And together we're going forward.***