Author: Deanna K
Disclaimer: The characters, ship, and jargon belong to Paramount. Delaney and the story belong to me.
Author's Note: This is the fourth story in a series which starts with "Make Way For Ducklings," and takes place shortly (maybe days, maybe hours) after "Love Is Complicated." If you have not read the previous stories in the series some of the references might not make sense.
The quarters were silent as both officers sat in front of the same computer, simply staring it seemed.
"Why can't we put Smith in this shift?" asked Commander Riker, pointing at the screen.
"Because," began Counselor Troi, "She has a three year old and would like to spend some time with him while he is still awake."
"Well," she said, pausing a bit, "Alvarez might actually work in that spot. I'm sure the night shift can function with one gap for several weeks."
"Ok, that takes care of Ferguson, anyone else?"
"No, that's it," said Deanna with relief.
Commander Riker got up from his seat, relieved to finally be done, and went to lie on her couch. He put his hands under his head and placed the foot from his inner leg flat on the couch, resting his knee against the couch's backing, looking up at the ceiling.
"How is it that there are four pregnant ensigns, all with due dates within days of each other?"
"Since I have not spoken to any of them, I can only guess based on what we know."
"Like Beverly once told me, after being woken up at 0200 to help two ensigns with a rather peculiar and embarrassing problem," she cleared her voice and began imitating Dr. Crusher's tone and body language, "Worf needs to bring down the stress level of his security officers and give them some new toys because I will never be able to handle a phaser again."
She burst out laughing and Will quickly sat up and gave her a look of confusion.
"I am hoping I did not understand you correctly, but what does security have to do with our pregnant ensigns? None of them are security officers."
"They aren't, but the respective fathers of each one's unborn baby are," she explained as she stood from the desk and sat on the couch next to Will. He then laid back down, resting his head on her lap. She didn't react to his actions, as if it was completely normal to have the ship's first officer use her lap as a pillow.
"What did Beverly have to do medically which involved a phaser?" he asked casually.
"She had to explain some things to them, and then show them what she was talking about," she answered, keeping a neutral expression but using a rather playful tone.
"I see," he said, matching her tone and expression.
"Yes," she continued, "we had a rather informative discussion about it. Now I know for future reference. Not that I would ever want to use a phaser for such things. Too dangerous in my opinion."
"Really? Why don't you tell me what you two talked about?" he asked, raising his eyebrows in amusement.
"Well," she said as she began casually combing her fingers through his hair and unable to suppress a grin. "She informed me that there are different cavities in our bodies, and that each one is different. Therefore, it should be treated as such. What is good for the goose is not good for the gander."
"So," he began with a big grin, his expression one of curiosity, but still keeping his tone only a bit playful. "What did she need to teach them regarding these cavities?"
Deanna brought her other hand to his face, gently caressing the hair on it. "She told them what kind of substances to replicate in order to keep things from getting stuck in these cavities. Just because it went in easily doesn't mean it will come out as easily."
Riker flinched slightly, not at anything she had done, but what she had said. "Ouch, really ouch. Now I'm curious about these 'substances.' And she's right; I will never be able to handle a phaser again. At least not without thoroughly washing my hands afterwards."
They both laughed and she nodded in agreement. After their laughter subsided they were silent for a while, Will enjoying Deanna's casual caresses to his face and hair.
"You have the most wonderful hands in this universe," he told her, sincerity in his voice.
"No," she corrected with a smile, "you do."
They smiled at each other, both asking the same silent question and neither one wanting to answer. Will pulled himself up, turning to face her as he did. He sat with one leg bent under him, the other hanging off the sofa with his foot on the floor. He buried both his hands in her hair as he brought her towards him. She did not protest, did not resist. She simply looked into his blue eyes, lost in them once again. Lost just as they had been all those years ago, back on Clairmont Academy. He held her head mere inches away from his and said, "We're friends."
"Just friends," she whispered.
"Just friendly friends," he whispered back.
"Very friendly friends."
Even though it was Will who asked the question, it was her eyes that looked desperately into his for an answer. She brought her hands up between them and placed both of them against his chest. She gently pushed him away from her and he loosened his grip on her head, understanding in his eyes. Not this time. But he did not understand, and Deanna clarified by gently pressing her lips against his as she shifted her weight and pushed him down onto the couch, never allowing the kiss to go beyond pressed lips. She laid on him, her face over his, and smiled.
"So friendly, there isn't a word in this language that can describe it."
He smiled further in understanding. "Not in this language."
She brought her lips close to his again, only brushing them against his. They gave each other those light, feathery kisses several times as all their barriers were brought down, all the formalities, ranks, responsibilities, and everything else that justified why they should not be doing what they were doing. Finally, they were able to open up enough to allow their bond to begin strengthening again. The familiar feelings of having each other's emotions amalgamated with their own flooded in suddenly and rapidly.
"Imzadi," they both gasped in unison. Deanna pressed her lips against Will's, finally allowing the kiss to grow and become more intimate, more intense.
They kissed for what seemed like eternity. Separating their lips to gasp for air only to reunite them once more. Moans and sighs filled the room as the universe around them seemed to stop and at that moment nothing else mattered. They each knew how the other felt, what the other wanted, words not being needed due to their unbreakable bond. Finally, in unison, they separated their lips long enough to get up off the couch and reclaimed each other as soon as they were standing.
"You're still curious about those substances, aren't you?" Deanna asked breathlessly.
"Very," he said with his mischievous smile as he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the bedroom.
"The replicator is this way," she told him, tugging slightly at the opposite direction.
"We've never needed the replicated variety," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "I've always been able to get you to make more than enough of the natural variety," he informed her as he led her to her bed.
"Why is it that this only happens in my quarters?" she asked as she sat on her bed and began taking off her shoes.
"Because I have a teenager in mine," he reminded her as he began undressing. "But I want to know why we waited so long to let this happen?"
"I guess we let ourselves forget. Having Delaney around reminds us of how it all began," she answered pulling him onto her bed and claiming his lips once again.
After several moments they separated enough to gasp for more air and Will said,
"How I love that kid."