AUTHOR:  Deb Gramlich
RATING:    PG-13 (For Now)
CODES:     R/T-Imzadi
SETTING  Several Hours after Insurrection

Most of the following characters belong to Paramount/Viacom.  Any characters you don't recognize belong to me and my twisted little world. Feel free to archive anywhere, as long as the original story and characters remain intact.

This is the first fanfic I have written in several years, so please take it easy.

I've changed the time line around from what Peter David originally set it to be.  In my world, Will invited Deanna to meet him on Risa 6 weeks after he left Betazed. He of course, didn't show, and the two never met again until 5 years later on The Enterprise.


Chapter One


"Thank the deities that's over."

With that one simple statement, Deanna Troi ended one of the most miserable days she could remember.

The Enterprise was only hours out of The Briar Patch, but Deanna knew that the affects of what had happened on the Bak'u homeworld would have a long lasting effect on the whole crew.

Deanna's day had started with a simple, weekly appointment with Lieutenant Barclay.  A little coaxing and cajoling, and Barclay would be fine until the next crisis hit, approximately 3 days.

But after Barclay, the appointments seemed endless.  People worried about growing old, their careers, their relationships, etc.  After 11 hours of counseling people on how to get their lives in order, Deanna was ready to live hers for a little while.

Walking briskly towards her quarters, she dreamt of all the wonderful chocolate confections she could order from her replicator.  Hot chocolate, hot fudge sundaes, chocolate peanut butter cups....... her mouth was already awash at the sensations. Add a nice hot bubble bath to the mix, and Counselor Troi had a pretty exciting evening ahead of her.

Her cheeks flushed a bit, remembering the last bubble bath she had taken.  Of course, she had shared that bubble bath with Will Riker... Commander Riker... the ship's first officer....her Imzadi.

All the confusion of the last few days slid back into her mind.  She remembered the seemingly harmless flirting which had taken place in the library.  That wasn't anything new for her and Will, they'd done that a million times over.  She smiled at the memory of the emotions she invoked in Will as she flirted with him over a hot fudge sundae in Ten-Forward a few years back.

But in the library it was different. Something was definitely different.  The Briar Patch.  It had made everyone feel like reckless young people again.

Deanna threw herself onto the sofa as soon as she entered her quarters, lost in the doubt in her own mind. What if once the affects wear off, Will decided that he wanted things the way they were before?  Could she accept that? Could they still work together?  Did she want to stay just friends with Will?

With all that had happened, she hadn't had a chance to sit and talk to Will. Actually, she hadn't really seen him much after they beamed back up to the ship from the Bak'u planet. Was he avoiding her?  Or, were they both subconsciously avoiding each other?

Exasperated, she ordered a hot chocolate from the replicator. Sitting again on the sofa, she lost herself in the moment of taking the first sip of pure chocolate heaven.  Taking a deep, centering breath, she forced herself to speak.

"Computer, dispatches."

"You have 2 personal communiques from Betazed."

"Computer, list personal communiques."

Looking at her computer terminal, Deanna sighed. Sure enough, the very first one was from her mother, Lwaxana.  Well, at least there wasn't 4 or 5 from her mother waiting. Lwaxana had finally seemed resigned to the fact that Deanna would forever remain single, and didn't try to meddle into her life as much as she used to.

Of course, a lot of that probably had to due with the fact that Deanna's baby brother was keeping Lwaxana busy.  Deanna felt a moment of sympathy for her brother. The poor little guy didn't know what he had coming.

Deanna skipped her mother's message. Checking the next one, she smiled. Her childhood friend Chandra was the other message.

"That's something I can handle today" Deanna said to herself. Chandra was always capable of bringing a smile to her face.

Chandra and Deanna were best friends for almost their whole life.  It was at Chandra's wedding that Deanna had first met Will. Well, not met him... noticed him would be a more accurate term.  But, that was many many years before.

Through all the heartbreak Will put her through, being by each other's side when Patrick and Alisha were born, the joy of the being a Godmother to Chandra's twins..... all of these were just some of the things the two had shared together.

It was Chandra who had originally asked Deanna what she was thinking when she got involved with Worf.  No one else had the nerve to ask her. Will didn't seem to care.  But, Chandra had practically leaped out of the viewscreen when Deanna told her that she and Worf were dating.

Deanna grinned and shook her head when she remembered Chandra's response to the news and she and Worf had broken it off. "Thank God".  That seemed to be all that needed to be said.

Deanna knew that Chandra was responding to the communique she had sent earlier in the morning about her and Will. Deanna trusted Chandra with her life, and she could really use her advice at the moment.

Chandra had only sent a written reply. Deanna sipped her hot chocolate as the computer opened the letter.



I really don't know what to say to you at the moment.  I understand the muddled feelings and confusion you must be experiencing right now.

I feel happy that you and Will have finally come to some kind of an understanding, but at the same time, I can't help but feel trepidation.  Dee, before the two of you go any farther, you're going to have to consider telling him.

You know that this is something that's going to impact not only you, but everyone around you as well.  But Dee, it's been 16 years, don't you think that it's long enough?

Dee, you know Teb and I would lay down our lives for you, but we're getting asked questions, and we're running out of answers.  It's only fair that the truth come out

I don't mean to lay all of this on you now, just when it seems that you and Will are finally getting over this hurdle you two created for yourselves. But, before you proceed any farther, I think he really needs to know.

I've put a lot on you, I know,  Just, think about it.  I'll be here when you need me.

Love Always, Chandra


Deanna leaned back, her heart suddenly felt as if it was in her feet. ' after all this time could I possible tell Will the truth?' she thought.

'If I tell him the truth now, I could loose him forever.'  But, at the same time, she had always known it was an eventuality.

"Computer, locate Captain Picard".

"Captain Picard is in his ready room".

First things first.... arrangements had to be made.

To Be Continued.........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 2

Disclaimers from Chapter One still apply


Chapter Two


Deanna returned to her quarters after her short, unannounced meeting with Captain Picard. He had granted permission for Chandra and her family to come aboard the Enterprise.

Captain Picard had been a bit puzzled at her request, but he trusted that there was a reason Deanna had requested to shorten her duty shifts for the next few days.

Sighing as she entered her quarters, she immediately sent a response to Chandra, inviting her, Teb, and the twins onboard.  Deanna knew that Alisha and Patrick had always wanted to see the Enterprise, so they would jump at the opportunity.

Once the commmunique was sent, Deanna noticed a rose left on her sofa.  Walking up to it, she also noticed a PADD containing a message laying next to it.  The message was simple:


We've both been working hard since we left the Briar Patch, now is our time. My quarters


The note wasn't signed, it didn't need to be. Deanna knew it was from Will. He easily guessed the access code to her quarters.

Deanna sighed thinking about the task laying ahead of her. Will wasn't going to accept this news easily.  The decision which seemed so right 16 years ago now didn't seem right, somehow.  She would have to make him try to understand. She could never expect him to forgive her, but she would have the burden of a long kept secret lifted from her shoulders.

She needed to talk to Will first, to find out exactly where their relationship was at the moment.  'Yeah, let me figure out where it is so I can shoot it out the closest air shaft'.

She sighed.  But, not tonight. Tonight, she would enjoy Will's company, no matter what lay ahead.

Deanna quickly changed her clothes. Looking in her closet, she choose a white sundress which showed off her figure.  It was a  birthday gift from Alisha and Patrick last year.

Taking a deep breath, she headed into the unknown.


Will glanced around his quarters one more time and grinned.  Perfect.

He had spent the past couple of hours making his quarters look less like a bachelor lived there, and more like a place Deanna would want to spend A LOT of time in.

Will was on top of the galaxy, and it never felt more wonderful.  Feeling Deanna's lips against his in her office just a few days ago opened a floodgate of emotions he thought were lost in the Jalara Jungle on Betazed.

When Captain Picard had asked Deanna to accompany him to the Bak'u homeworld while Will commanded the Enterprise, Riker had to do all he could to bite his tongue.  He couldn't let his feelings for Deanna get in the way of their careers.

Wasn't that one of the excuses they used during the many years of being 'just friends'? Add that one to the list of 'not while we're serving together on the same ship', 'we're comfortable the way things are now' and the other excuses which they had thought of in the past 11 years, and you had a couple in need of some real therapy.

Will shook his head, as if he were trying to shake the thoughts out of it.  No, not anymore.. there's just going to be us.  Nothing could come in the way of their happiness now.

The door chime startled him out of his reverie.  He hurried to the table where he'd placed the candles he had gotten from ship stores earlier.  Lighting them and taking a deep breath, he called for the door to open.

He couldn't help but take another deep breath when he saw Deanna.  She looked more beautiful then he'd ever remembered her.  Her long hair was pulled back in a large barrette, her dress hung seductively off her shoulders.

But, her face was troubled. He quickly took her hands and lead her into the room.

"Deanna, what's wrong?"

She looked into his eyes for split second, quickly averting her gaze.  A quick brush of Will's emotions told her that he wanted to spend a quiet evening together. Normally, she would be more than ready for that, but now.....

"Deanna?" Will repeated.

"I'm sorry, I just had a really long day." she said smiling.

"Ah, well I thought that we could spend the evening together... there's.... there's a lot we need to talk about."

Deanna felt a moment of panic. 'He's looking for a way to end to end this already.'

Her eyes must have betrayed her thoughts. Will took her hands very quickly. "No, no Deanna, it's not like that. Okay, this isn't starting off like I wanted it to."

"And, exactly what did you want Commander?" She said, her eyes twinkling.

Will smiled.  "I've been remembering the time I spent on Betazed, all the things you taught me...."

"We taught each other quite a bit if I remember correctly Will."

"Maybe, but I also can't help but feel that if we had just sat and talked to one another after we returned from the jungle, that both our lives would have been a lot different."

Deanna knew that Will was preparing to bare his soul to her. She allowed her mind to reach out and embrace his, to give him the extra strength he needed. Whatever it was he wanted to tell her, it was something that Will needed to share with her. So, she could be patient.

Taking hold of Will's hands, she smiled at him. Telepathically, she said:

(It's okay Will)

He smiled at the sensation... the slight tingling, like a cool breeze in which her words floated.

"I'm a bit out of practice" he joked.  "I don't want us to end up like we did the first time around. Deanna... this is getting awkward as hell."

She still remained quiet. Looking at him expectantly, she offered another reassuring smile.

Will took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and let it spill. "Deanna, through all we've been through the past 16 years, all the joy and pain, all the other relationships we've both been involved in.... have you noticed that it's always just ended up the two of us together?"

She regarded him. Half jokingly, she said, "Maybe we're just doomed to live our miserable lives together?"

He looked rather serious for a moment. Finally, he said. "I think it's fate that allowed us to meet all those years ago. And, it must be fate that keeps throwing us together like this."

She had waited so long for him to open his soul to her like this.  Usually when Will spoke to her about a serious manner, his emotions were a jumble.  He always had to maintain a semblance of being 'the Commander' before he could just be Will.

But, right now, 'the Commander' was no where to be seen. It was Will, speaking to her, not only from his heart, but from deep within his soul.

She was at a loss for words.  Will was doing his best to share with her everything that was on his mind, and in his heart.  And she was keeping a secret so big from him that it could destroy many people's lives.

The walls felt as if they started closing in on her.  Her stomach began churning, her mind a complete whirl.

Will was undeterred by the strange look on Deanna's face.  "I guess, Deanna.... I just wanted you to know that I love you.  I love you with all my heart and soul.  I don't want us to turn back this time.  We can't keep living in the past.  We're not those two young people anymore.  The past had to stay exactly that.... the past."

Deanna's head jerked up and she looked Will in the face. She now knew that without a doubt, Chandra was right.  The truth had to come out. And when it did, she would loose Will forever.

Panic started to overtake her.  Sweat beaded down her forehead. Will's voice broke her train of thought.

"Deanna, are you okay?"

"I- Will, I have to go. I'm sorry, we'll talk again soon."  After stammering out those two    sentences, Deanna rushed from Will's quarters to the sanctuary of her own.

A very confused Will Riker stood and blew the long candles out which had been left burning on the table.   He opened up the antique velvet box which he had placed on Deanna's dinner plate.

He had doubts about proposing marriage to Deanna so soon after they had found their way back to one another.  But, he was tired of wasting the time. They'd wasted 16 years that they could have spent together. He didn't want to waste another day of it.  He was ready to go full steam ahead and make Deanna his wife.

Thinking of Deanna's reaction to his heartfelt confession, doubt started to cloud his thoughts.  What if she wasn't ready to get married?  What if she didn't want to get married at all?  What if everything that had happened in the Briar Patch was just a reliving of an old emotion, and not the start of a life they could have together?

Sighing, Will placed the velvet box into his storage closet.  He had bought the ring for Deanna 16 years ago, with all the intention in the world of giving it to her on Risa.  Of course, that never happened.  And the way it looked now..... it never would.

To Be Continued..........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 3


Chapter Three


"Will, are you sure about this?"


"You would do this for me?"

"I'll do whatever is takes to have you back in my life again."

Deanna awoke with the dream still tangled around her mind. Not a dream entirely.. a memory. The remembrance of a few short days ago when Will had asked her to shave his beard.

She tried unsuccessfully to push the sleep induced haze from her mind. Today was going to be a big day. She needed her mind to be as alert as possible.

Chandra was due to arrive at 1300 hours. She would arrive first, with Teb and the twins arriving the day after tomorrow. Alisha and Patrick were in just finishing up exams. Deanna also knew that it would probably be better to have some alone time with Chandra before they arrived.

Rising from her bed, Deanna quickly shed the nightgown she was wearing and headed for the sonic shower. After, she quickly donned a light blouse and matching pants. Checking her computer for messages, she found none.

She hadn't spoken to Will privately since that night in his quarters. She had been avoiding him, trying to figure out exactly how to tell him. People had begun to notice her awkward behavior. Beverly had even mentioned it after a staff meeting. Deanna had just shook it off, using the same old excuse of being tired.

Will on his part, didn't seem to notice her odd behavior. He didn't ask what was wrong, didn't try to contact her, nothing. 'Maybe I really scared him off this time' she thought.

Sighing, Deanna sent a private message to Will's quarters. Today, it had to be today.

Once the message was sent, Deanna went about her morning ablutions, preparing herself for the inevitable task that lie ahead. Lost again in thought, she was startled by the chirp of her commbadge.

"Commander Riker to Counselor Troi."

Taking a deep breath, she tried to keep the momentary panic out of her voice. "Go ahead Commander."

"I'll gladly meet you on holodeck 3 at 1200 Deanna...."

She waited a moment, sensing that there was more that he wanted to say. When it wasn't forthcoming, she finally answered.

"I'm looking forward to it Will, there's a lot we need to discuss. Troi out."

Looking forward to it? Yeah, just like I'm looking forward to having a hole shot in my head. She sighed again. She couldn't help but do that a lot these days.


Will walked towards the holodeck, lost in thought. Finally... she finally wanted to talk.

She had been avoiding him for the past few days, he knew that. She had fled from him that night in his quarters, and since then had kept her distance from him. He had given her the space she had seemed to want so much.

Now, it seemed that she was going to give him some sort of an explanation. Will deepest fear was that she had sensed he was going to propose, and maybe she wasn't ready for that. He could accept that.... he could accept anything except the silence.

Rounding the corner, he reached the door to the holodeck. It was programmed for a coded entrance, Will entered the code as he knew it would be, and walked into the Betazed art museum.

Will knew the museum well. He had spent a little time there years ago when he and Deanna had first met. Over the years, he made it a point to visit the museum everytime he was on Betazed.

He walked to 'the painting'. He knew she would be there. Sure enough, she was seated on the bench in front of it facing the wall. As he walked near her, she inclined her head a bit.

"Hello Will." she said without turning around.

"Deanna-" His voice trailed off. She had turned to him and he was shocked at the look on her face.

She obviously had been crying, as evidenced by her appearance. Will rushed to her side and sat next to her on the bench.

Not knowing what was wrong, Will did the first thing that came to his mind. He reached out and pulled Deanna into his arms.

She melted into his embrace, wrapping her arms tightly around him. She took solace in the strength his embrace gave her, the warmth of him which permeated every pore of her body.

She pulled back after a few minutes, and opened herself to Will. She could feel his confusion, and his concern for her.

She managed an awkward grin on her face. He reached up and wiped the tears from her face. She gently took his hand, kissing in gently. Holding on to it for strength, she started.

"Will, we really need to talk...."

"Deanna, whatever it is, you know you can tell me. We can get deal with it together."

Deanna shook her head gently. "No, Will. I'm afraid this time you're not going to want..... want to even speak to me when I tell you."

Will focused closely on her face. Whatever it was Deanna had to tell him was big enough to cause her immense pain. And she was sure that it meant the end of their just born again relationship.

"Dee- please, talk to me."

Deanna looked into his eyes. She had always thought of Will's eyes as the windows to his soul. She could easily be lost in those depths of love and compassion she found there.

"There...there's something I have to tell you." Will began to interrupt her again, but she put a finger to his mouth. "No, please... let me do this. If I don't do it now I won't ever have the nerve to try again."

Will was beginning to feel fear rising in his mind. Concentrating the best he could, he forced all of his feelings down and pushed as much encouragement and support to Deanna as he could.

Deanna felt it immediately. The tears began to flow even more, she was powerless to stop it. "Oh Gods Will, I do love you... please just remember that above all else."

Will started to speak again, but immediately remembered himself and stopped. He squeezed Deanna's hand which still clutched his, but said nothing.

"Back on Betazed, the night I had caught you with Wendy Roper, I said something to you... do you remember what it was?"

Will thought back to that fateful night. The confrontation in the hallway at the Embassy hasn't been pleasant. A lot of pain and anger had flowed between the two of them that night.

"Deanna..... that was over 16 years ago. And I wasn't entirely in control of my faculties if you'll remember correctly." He forced a grin to try to lighten the situation a bit..... Deanna's grave expression never wavered.

"Will, I made a comment to you that slipped out of my mind for some reason. Looking back, I never quite understood where it came from.... but I figured it didn't matter at the time.I said 'there are a lot of changes going on inside of me right now'. Do you remember that?"

Will thought for a moment. "Yeah, actually I do. I figured that you meant your views on your life had changed, that you were going to allow yourself to experience all there is in life, not just the confines of you position in society."

Deanna nodded. "Little did I know how true that was." She took another deep breath.

"I was so excited when I received your message a few weeks after you left Betazed. You wanted to try again..... you wanted me to be part of your life. There was so much I had to tell you."

Her voice began to break again. Will squeezed her hand, and finished part of the story. "I invited you, but I never came."

Deanna nodded. "I made the trip all the way from Betazed to Risa alone. I'd never left Betazed before, but I was willing to do it for you. I waited there for days Will, and you never came. Finally, you sent a message telling me that you wouldn't be able to make it. I left on the next available transport. I couldn't bear to be there alone."

Waves of pain and guilt flashed through Will's mind. "Deanna, I know how disappointed you must have been. Hell, I was disappointed in myself. I loved you then, I really did."

Deanna swallowed hard, but continued. "I left there so angry.... angry at you, angry at Starfleet, angry at anything I could blame at the time. I did something so horrible, I never thought I'd be able to bring myself to tell you about it."

"Deanna, whatever happened in the past is just that, in the past. I can't imagine you doing anything to horrible to evoke these emotions. You're one of the kindest, gentlest people I know."

"I- I had every intention of telling you on Risa. I had to tell you face to face, I couldn't do it over a comm channel. It would- wouldn't have been right." She paused, gathering all of her strength, she finally just said it.

"Will, after you left Betazed, I found out I was pregnant."

To Be Continued..........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 4


Chapter Four


Blackness......pain in his chest.... gotta breath gotta breath

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the holodeck image of the art museum swam back into focus. Deanna still sat across from him, clutching his hand tightly, tears streaming down her face.

"Whe-wh-hh-" another deep breath. "Deanna, y-you're not making any sense here. We-"

Her head snapped into what he always liked to call her 'aristocratic' position. Looking right into his eyes, she interrupted.

"We what Will? We were careful? Maybe you were, but I wasn't. I had absolutely no intention of getting involved with you like that, especially not in the middle of the jungle."

Will didn't think he could manage another word. Finally, he just shook his head 'no'.

"We talked several times after we were suppose to meet on Risa, you never said anything to me-"

"I know. I had every intention of telling you, really I did. After Risa, I was hurting so badly, and it just never seemed like the right time. News about a baby shouldn't be shared over a letter or a commlink. Something that joyous should be celebrated together, not light years apart."

Will thought back to the conversation. Suddenly, the thought struck him.

"Deanna, you said you did something horrible. D-Did you get an abortion?"

Deanna, in turn, just shook her head. "No Will, I couldn't do that. No matter what my situation, she was created out of our love and deserved to have that much love reciprocated to her."

"Her? Her? It was a girl?" Pictures flashed a million times through Riker's mind. Her, a girl...his daughter.

"Deanna, there's still more you're not telling me. What happened to her?"

Deanna tried once again to center herself before starting again. Will still held her hand tightly, which was a good sign. Maybe he'll be more understanding than I originally thought.

"Chandra found out she was pregnant only days before I did. She was telling me how she was feeling, what her symptoms were, etc. When her pregnancy was confirmed by the doctor, I started to panic. I went and was tested, and sure enough I was expecting to."

Will nodded. He squeezed Deanna's hand in comfort, willing her to continue.

"My relationship with my mother was never the same after you left. Chandra and Teb moved out of town 2 months after you left. I waited a couple more weeks. Things with mother never got better, and I needed someone to support me so I moved in with Chandra. I never told mother I was pregnant. She, to this day doesn't know."

'Needed someone to support me' Riker knew damn well that someone should have been him, but he was too tied up with... what? His career? It all seemed so petty and mundane now. She was the one person in the universe that he had shared everything with, his heart, his body, his soul..... and he'd left her to fend for herself while he took care of 'ship's business'.

"Everything with our pregnancies was going well. Chandra and I were having the best time shopping for baby clothes, decorating the nurseries in the house. We had each other to groan to about our swollen ankles, morning sickness, and all those other horribly wonderful things that happen to you when you're pregnant. Chandra found out she was having twins, due just five weeks after our daughter."

'Our daughter' Riker inexplicably felt pride welling up in his heart. Our daughter, they're daughter. A beautiful little baby born out of the intense love and sharing he and Deanna found in the jungle.

He wanted to interrupt her, he wanted her to cut to the chase and tell him what happened. But, he knew deep down that if he interrupted Deanna again, she might not be able to begin again.

"Towards the end of our last trimester, things started to go wrong for Chandra. The babies were growing so fast. The doctors thought they were going to have to induce her early, because there simply wasn't enough room for them to develop. Me on the other hand, everything was wonderful. My morning sickness had been minimal, the baby was developing fine. I'd always heard how horrible pregnancy was, but all I knew was that it was wonderful to me."

Will's heart began to ache. He should have been there with her. He should have been able to experience all of these things with Deanna. It should have been him there supporting Deanna, rubbing her back, holding her hand in the delivery room. His emotions began to betray him. 'If only I'd have known.'

"One day Chandra wasn't feeling well. Thanks the four deities that Teb was home. I only had a week to go before I was due, I don't think I would have been much help to her. We heard Chandra yell, Teb rushed in and found her covered in blood. Chandra and the babies were in trouble."

Deanna took another pause to compose herself. Will knew that Chandra had twins that were right around the proper age, so her part of this story must have turned out okay, now if only Deanna would get to her part.

"W-we got her to the hospital. Something had gone terribly wrong, they had to deliver the twins right away. The boy was born okay, he was strong and healthy. But the girl was caught up in the umbilical cord and wedged sideways. Before they were even able to start the Cesarean, part of Chandra's uterus collapsed in on itself. They made me and Teb leave the room. The took us up to the Neonatal ICU to be with Patrick while he was checked out. A while later, Teb was able to hold Patrick for the first time. The doctors came in and told us that Chandra was going to be alright, but that there was considerable damage. She wouldn't be able to successfully carry a pregnancy again. The baby girl on the other hand didn't make it."

"But-Patrick has a twin sister, I don't undersss-My God Deanna, what did you do?" Will dropped Deanna's hand like it had been burning his flesh. She tried to gently touch his mind, but was greeted by a stone cold door which slammed, locking her out.

"Will, p-please try to understand! I went into labor a few hours later. Teb was there again, right at my side. My delivery was going so easy that they wheeled Chandra into the room on a gurney so she could be there too. She was still groggy from her delivery and medications, but she tried her damnedest to be supportive. I was only in labor for a little over 2 hours. The baby was strong and healthy. She let out a cry even before the doctors had a chance to clean her up. The doctors made the comment that this little one was 'mad as hell at the world'."

Will stood up and walked towards the wall, his back to her. Leaning forward, placing his hands on the wall, he tried again to calm himself. It was getting harder and harder.....

"We were able to go home a few days later. Teb and Chandra were wonderful with Patrick. I on the other hand felt like a bumbling fool. She cried all night. As soon as I would lay down to sleep before I had to awaken for my correspondence courses with school she'd wake up again, need to be changed, need to be fed, whatever. I was averaging about 4 broken hours of sleep a day. The few classes I took were weighing me down. My grades started to drop. I wanted to apply to Starfleet Academy when I graduated, but with my grades and the baby, I knew there was no way I could. By the time Alisha was 3 months old, Chandra and Teb had stepped in. They got up with Alisha during the night. They got Alisha on a schedule so that as soon as Patrick was done eating, Alisha would be ready to eat. The two babies at the same time had begun to grow and develop together. They'd sleep in the same crib. They'd play together, laugh together. It was the most amazing thing Will, they would lay there and stare at each other for the longest time, and then they would just laugh, kicking their feet. It was the sweetest thing."

"I should have been allowed to see it." He responded quietly. Deanna lowered her gaze to the floor once again.


'Perhaps'? Did she just say perhaps? Anger began flowing through Riker's veins. He had to run, had to fight, had to lash out, had to do something!

"So, just when were you planning on sharing this news with me Deanna?! When we were married and expecting one of our own?!"

Deanna ignored the question. She couldn't bring herself to make eye contact with him. "Alisha was 8 months old when I left for Earth to take my entrance exams to the academy. If I was accepted, Chandra and Teb were going to move to Earth until I finished. They would watch the baby for me while I took my academy classes. With their help, my life really started to be put into perspective. I was able to bring my grades up, and I had finally started feeling like a mother to Alisha and not an awkward baby-sitter. While I was on Earth, I talked to Chandra and Teb everyday. Patrick had said his first word, he said "mom". I longed for the day I could hear Alisha say that to me."

Deanna stopped again. "I was gone for about four weeks. I came home and they had put together a welcome home party for me. Alisha was wearing a little party dress and hat, Patrick had on a little tuxedo and top hat, it was the cutest thing. Patrick was crawling around saying 'mom mom mom' over and over. He lost his balance and fell. Chandra of course picked him up to make sure he was okay. Alisha didn't like the attention and crawled over to Chandra. She took her pantleg and said 'mom'. It was like a stab in the heart. I knew she was just mimicking Patrick, but it made me see a lot of things. And in a way, Alisha was right, Chandra was more of a mother to her than I was."

Deanna started to cry harder. "Chandra and Teb immediately began to try to teach her that I was 'mom', but Alisha just followed Patrick's lead. I heard back from the academy a few days later. I'd been accepted into the next class, which began in 3 weeks if I was interested. At the same time, Teb was offered a teaching position at the University in the capital city. He was going to turn it down, so they could move to San Francisco with the kids. I- I couldn't let him do that."

Will turned around and looked at Deanna. She was in immense emotional pain. He couldn't bear to see her like that, but at the same time, he was powerless to stop it. She should suffer like he had suffered over the years, not having the opportunity to know his daughter.

"So, I came up with the proposal to let Alisha stay on Betazed with Chandra and Teb. I would sign custody over to them, in case something happened while I was gone. They offered again to move to Earth, but I couldn't let them sacrifice anymore of their lives for me than they already had. The d- the day I left for the academy, Alisha stood up and took her first steps to me. She gave me a big hug goodbye. I think that's the most I'd ever connected with her when she was young."

"After a few months at the academy, Chandra brought the kids for a visit. Mother also came totally unexpected to me. She saw Chandra pushing the double stroller, stopped her and asked remarked at how beautiful the twins were. No one knew that Alisha was my daughter but us, the doctors and Chandra's dad. Gart apparently realized what was happening and never told anyone trying to protect me. Mother and I was able to somewhat reconcile during that visit. I had also come to a decision. For Chandra and Teb's second wedding anniversary, I wanted to allow them the opportunity to officially adopt Alisha. She was happy with them. She had a mother and father who adored her, a brother she could grow up with. It was so much more than what I could give her."

Will interrupted her. "So that's what you did. You gave away our child because they were giving her so much more than what you could give her. Well, what about what I could give her Deanna?! Why wasn't I given that chance?!!" During his outburst, Will had grabbed Deanna's shoulders and hauled her up off the bench. She pulled away from him, stepping back several steps.

"At that point in my life Will, there was no you! You weren't even writing to me anymore. In order for the adoption to go through, we had to try to make every legal effort to contact you on the Potemkin. We tried and tried, but the Potemkin was on a deep space mission and wouldn't return for several months. Alisha deserved a family and I gave it to her! It was my decision, just like every moment of her life up to that point had been MY decision!"

"So because it was YOUR decision, you let Chandra parade around with my daughter all these years pretending she was her own?!! Chandra's daughter died Deanna!"

Anger flashed on Deanna's face. Calmly, she said, "Chandra's daughter may have died Will, but she had another one born just a few hours later. Chandra is Alisha's mother now, there's nothing we can do to change that."

"We'll see about that."

Riker started to walk from the holodeck. Deanna ran and grabbed his arm, spinning him around. "What are you going to do Will? Ruin all of these lives just so you can have your revenge against me?"

"No Deanna, I'm going to get to know that daughter I never knew existed."

"And your willing to sacrifice all these lives-"

Angrily, he cut her off. "If that's what it takes."

Deanna's commbadge chirped as Will made his hasty exit. "Oh gods, not now."

"Picard to Counselor Troi"

"Y-yes Captain?"

"Is everything alright Counselor?"

"Fine Captain."

"Okay, we're rendezvousing with the shuttle carrying Chandra Xerx, daughter of the Third House of Betazed. We're preparing to beam her aboard, I thought you would want to be there."

"Yes, I would very much Captain, thank you."

"I'll see you in transporter room 2 Counselor. Picard out."


Deanna walked to the transporter room avoiding eye contact with everyone in the hallways. She didn't care how she looked, or what she looked like, she just needed Chandra.

Picard was awaiting her arrival, dressed in full dress uniform. His mouth practically dropped at Deanna's tear stained appearance.


She simply held a hand up, silently asking him not to try to comfort her. Picard, nonplused, order the transport.

"Energize Ensign."

A few sparkles later, Chandra and a man standing behind her appeared. She took one look at Deanna and stepped down, holding her arms out. Deanna let herself be lost in her best friend's embrace.

~Oh Dee, you should have waiting for me-~

~No, it was something I should have done a long long time ago.~

Deanna finally pulled back. Chandra turned to Captain Picard.

"Captain, I'm grateful for your permission to visit the Enterprise. I've always been fascinated by the stories of this great ship. I'm truly honored."

"It is we who are honored by the presence of such a dignitary from Betazed-"

Chandra grinned. "Oh please Captain, Deanna's mother may expect to be treated that way, but not me. Please, just call me Chandra. And there's no need to dress in those silly dress uniforms in my presence."

Chandra's bright smile brought a smile to Picard's face as well. 'Thank God all Betazoids aren't like Lwaxana Troi' he thought.

Chandra smiled again. "If that were the case, very few of us would be invited off the planet."

Picard couldn't help but laugh, even though she'd read his thoughts.

Chandra wrapped an arm around Deanna's shoulders and turned to the man still standing on the transporter platform. "This is Mr Story, my valet. He'll be assisting myself and my family during this journey."

Picard looked at the man, who looked so much like Mr Homm it was remarkable. "Mr Story, welcome to the Enterprise."

The man said nothing, simply nodded once.

Chandra grinned again. "And before you ask, yes, that is his real name. Funny isn't it? I get asked that so many times."

Picard laughed again. He liked Chandra, she reminded him a lot of Deanna. No wonder they were such close friends.

"Well, Chandra, I'll escort you to your quarters. I understand your husband and children will be arriving in a few days."

"Yes, they had some exams to finish at college before they could leave for the journey here."

"College? Aren't your children only 16?"

Chandra laughed again. "Well Captain, I raised two smart children. They both skipped several grades during Intermediary school. They're now College Freshmen at the ripe old age of 16."


Chandra smiled, squeezing Deanna a little tighter. "It must be in their genes."

Deanna couldn't help but smile. Walking out of the turbolift, they rounded a corner where Commander Riker was waiting for them.

The look on Riker's face was incensed, his anger practically filled the hallway.

Picard looked at Will and back at the shocked look on Deanna and Chandra's faces. Will decided to say the first word.

"Chandra, where the hell is my daughter?!"

To Be Continued..........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 5

imers from Chapter One still apply


Chapter Five

Captain Picard immediately stepped in between Will and the two women.

"Commander, I don't know what the devil this is about but I-"

"She's not here Will." Chandra cut in.  "She won't be here for a few more days."
Captain Picard turned a curious eye to Chandra. She stood bravely against an irate Commander Riker.  Picard knew he had to diffuse the situation right away.

"Commander-Will, whatever this situation is, this isn't the time or the place. Now, I'm going to escort Chandra to her quarters. I want to see you in my ready room in twenty minutes."

Chandra led Deanna away by the hand. Will stood coldly watching the two women walking down towards the guest quarters with the Captain.

Deanna couldn't even bring herself to look back at Will.


After explaining to Picard exactly what the situation was, Will decided not to argue when Picard placed both he and Deanna on personal leave for at least 1 week.

He paced his quarters like a caged animal.

He was furious. He couldn't believe that after all these years, Deanna had kept something this important from him.

He was excited.  A daughter... he had a daughter. He was a father. He had always thought that when the day came for his child to be born, he would be right there. His face would be one of the first the baby would see. He would be the one to hold her, feel her soft skin, to look into her perfect little baby eyes and get lost in.

He was scared. He truthfully didn't know what to do.  He could approach Alisha and say "Hi kid, you don't know me but I'm your father."  That wouldn't work. He wasn't even aware if Alisha knew she was adopted or not.  So many secrets, and so much to sort through.

He paced around his quarters some more.  After ordering a cup of coffee, he sat down and tried to sort his thoughts out.  After a few seconds, he jumped up and started to pace again.

'Dammit Deanna, why didn't you tell me. Why couldn't you have told me this years ago?'

~~Because she was afraid Will.~~

Chandra's voice floated into his mind. Will jumped for a moment. He had never experienced telepathic communication with anyone except Deanna, so the feeling was something new.

His door chimed.  He knew it was Chandra. After signaling for her to come in he threw himself down into a chair.

Chandra walked in, stopped and look apologetically to Will.  "I'm sorry Will, I didn't mean to intrude on your thoughts like that."

"I know, I'm used to it from being with Deanna for so long. You just wanted to know what you were getting into."

Chandra nodded again. There was an awkward pause, finally she sat on the couch. "Well, since I wasn't invited, I guess I'll just sit here." She said awkwardly.

Will said nothing. He just stared at her like ice.

Taking a deep breath, Chandra broke the silence again.  "Will, do I need the probe your thoughts again or are you going to talk to me.  You've taken your anger out on Deanna, so now I guess it's my turn."

Will looked at her. He tried to speak, but his voice left him again. He just shook his head.

"Chandra, I probably should be just as angry with you as I am Deanna. But right now I'm like stone, I can't feel any emotions.  I can't cry... I can't shout... anything.  I don't know....I don't know anything right now."

Chandra looked down at the floor. "You're in shock Will, it's understandable.  I don't know how I would handle news like this."

"You've never had to handle it Chandra.  Someone dropping a bombshell like this is doesn't happen everyday."

Chandra grinned. "No, I guess not."

Silence filled the air again.  Will couldn't sort anything out. All of his thoughts, feeling and emotions seemed like one jumble, banging around in his brain, unwilling to unravel.

"Will... she's a wonderful girl." Chandra said.

Will looked at her so intently that Chandra first thought it was a mistake to speak of Alisha.  Probing his mind a little, she found his anger subsiding a bit.  Well, not subsiding... just being pushed aside for the moment.

"Wh-What's she like?" He asked.

Chandra smiled. "She's beautiful, brilliant, funny, talented. Everything I'd expect for yours and Deanna's daughter."

Finally they came. Building.... building... then finally spilling gently down his face.

Chandra let him cry in silence for a few moments. "Will talk to me please."

Will finally smiled. Chandra's Betazoid heritage was shining through.  "I'm disappointed."

"Disappointed... that's understandable. Will,  Deanna did what she felt was best for Alisha at the time. After that it-"

"No, no Chandra, not just in Deanna or you, but in myself."

Chandra looked a bit confused. "Why?"

Will stood and began to pace again. "Do you realize that if I didn't let my career get in the way, or didn't loose my nerve-  If I'd have gone to Risa then we would have been married, and Alisha would have been raised by both of her natural parents.  But instead-"

Chandra sat quietly and listened.  "But instead what Will?"

"Instead, my daughter is 16 years old, and I haven't even laid eyes on her. Instead, she doesn't know me from any other Starfleet officer zooming around the galaxy."

"Will, I know that this is the last thing that you need to think about, but I need to know."

He sat back down again, looking curiously at Chandra.

"Will, Alisha is going to arrive day after tomorrow with my husband and son. I need to know what you are planning on doing about all of this."

Will looked sadly at her.  "I don't know Chandra.... I just don't know."

Chandra nodded and stood to leave.  "I understand Will.  I'm available for you to talk to anytime. But please, don't judge Deanna too harshly. She loves you so much."

Chandra left the room as briskly as she came in.

Will walked into his bedroom and threw himself down on the bed.  Before drifting off into a restless sleep his mind began to relax and wander.

That's when he felt it.  Deanna's mind..... her soul in pain and crying out.  Will slammed the door to his mind and drifted off.


The next days passed without incident.  Will stayed in his quarters, not receiving any guests but the Captain.

He tried several times to venture out and talk to Chandra. But, he couldn't even do that. He's felt like a cement statue, trapped in one spot.... not able to move, not able to think.

Will walked to the viewport in his quarters.  He saw a ship approaching. Realizing what day it was, he realized who was on that transport.

He rushed to his computer and checked to see what transporter room the guests from Betazed would be arriving in. Getting the information he seeked, he rushed from his quarters to transporter room 2.


Deanna stood next to Chandra, still holding her hand. She felt like a child, but she didn't care.

Chandra had always been so strong. She never backed down in the face of a challenge. Deanna needed to draw strength from her today.

Captain Picard noticed the close bond between the two women. He also noticed that they were communicating at length telepathically. Deanna looked a bit distraught, but a few seconds later she relaxed.

He turned to the transporter chief. "Energize."

Just as the order was given Will breathlessly rushed into the room.

Deanna, Chandra and Will all turned to him, surprised by his entrance.  Will stopped straight in his tracks when he saw the three guests standing on the transporter pad.

There she was...... Alisha had arrived.

To Be Continued...........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 6

Disclaimers from Chapter One still apply


Chapter Six

Will's breath caught in his throat as the three guests materialized.

Alisha stood proud and tall. Her dark brown hair spun in waves down her back. Her eyes proudly showed her Betazoid heritage.

Her beautiful face quickly broke into a smile when she saw Deanna. "Aunt Dee!" she exclaimed hopping off the transporter pad.

Deanna smiled and quickly pulled her into an embrace. Alisha's brother quickly followed suit, capturing Deanna in a big bear hug.

Pain slowly started to creep into Will's chest.  He then realized that he was still holding his breath. He released it with an audible 'whew'.

Chandra had turned her head towards him.  Smiling, she cast to him ~~She looks like Lwaxana doesn't she?~~

Will laughed. He had to. The situation was so unbelievable that it was the only thing he knew to do.

Deanna had broken off into a conversation with Teb and Captain Picard.  Alisha and Patrick both turned from Deanna and directly to Will.

Alisha stepped forward, grabbing Will's hand.  "So, I finally get to meet the legendary William T. Riker, huh?  It's about time!"

She was smiling the whole time, and Will quickly found himself lost in her face. Her smile...... it was almost the exact smile Deanna had given him way back at Chandra's wedding.

Will felt tears welling into his eyes again.  Alisha looked momentarily confused and Patrick stepped forward.

"Are you okay Commander?" He asked.  Patrick himself was very tall and muscularly built. At sixteen years of age, he stood eye to eye with Will.

"Y-yes, I'm sorry. I'm fine, it's just been a stressful day."  Will didn't exactly lie, didn't exactly tell the truth.

"Stressful?  Maybe you should work it out with the Counselor, I hear she's wonderful." Patrick looked right into Will's eyes when he said, without a trace of amusement. But, then a twinkle developed, just as Alisha burst out laughing, punching Patrick in the arm.

Alisha quickly walked back over to Deanna.  Looking at the Captain, she simply said "Thank you very much for having us onboard sir. We don't get to see Aunt Dee very often." Her smile quickly had Picard wrapped around her finger.

"Well, you're very welcome young lady."  Picard knew of the current situation going on between the Counselor and Riker.  Looking at Alisha, he could see both of them in her face and eyes.  Absolutely amazing.

Alisha finally spun on Deanna, taking her hand. "So, how much of this ship can you show us in the 3 days we're going to be here?"

Chandra interjected. "Perhaps Commander Riker would like to show you around a bit as well?"

Alisha threw a look at Patrick. Patrick in turn nodded a bit and smiled.  Will realized that they were communicating telepathically.

Patrick turned back to Will.  "Well, if the Commander has time to do that it would be wonderful."

"I've got all the time in the world.  I'll catch up to the two of you later."  He quickly dismissed himself from the transporter room.

He didn't know why, but he had to get out of there.  The walls had just started closing in on him until he couldn't breath again.

Rushing into his quarters, he simply dropped to his knees, threw his head back, and filled his body with the precious air it had so lacked just moments ago.


Several hours later, Will was in Ten Forward.  He had finally felt well enough to go out in public again.

His mind couldn't process any details, any information, anything.  He felt as if someone had tied in brain into a big knot and it was just getting tighter and tighter.

Sitting alone at a table, he could see the door. And of course, Deanna chose that moment to walk in with Patrick and Alisha.  Seeing him, the two teens immediately bounced over to his table and plopped themselves down.

Seeing her hesitation, Alisha turned to Deanna. "Well, are you coming?"

Patrick jumped right in. "I'm sure the Commander won't bite... well, unless you want him to."

"Pat!" Alisha busted out laughing again.  Will couldn't help but smile.  The twins' personalities were so infectious, it was hard not to.

Deanna sat between the two kids.  Their topics of conversation were very blunt, very casual. The twins actually had most of the conversation with Will, Deanna only muttered little bits and pieces here and there.

Finally, she stood. "Well guys, as much fun as this has been, I really need to get to my quarters. Can you two find your way back?"

"Sure can. Night Aunt Dee."  They both said in unison. That prompted a round of laughter from around the table.

~~Is it me, or is Aunt Dee acting really really weird?~~ Patrick thougthcast to Alisha.

~~Something strange is going on.. we'll talk later.~~ She answered.

"So Commander, why don't you tell us about yourself?" Pat asked.

"Well, you two seem to know a lot about me." He said with a smile.  He found it increasingly hard to keep his mind shielded against their probes.  He knew they were doing it, and knowing that Pat was a full telepath made him extremely uncomfortable.

"No, all we know is heresay. Mom and Dad told us some things, Aunt Dee and Mrs Troi told us some things.... our grandfather and Mark Roper told us a lot." Alisha again broke out into her 'Deanna-smile' as Will had begun to think of it.

"Well, I don't know what you heard---"

Patrick broke in, "Something about Wendy Roper Berq and a bottle of Scotch?" He broke into a sly smile again.

"Oh boy, you guys have heard about one of the worse nights in my life, huh?"

"Mmmm-hmmm.... we've also heard about yours and Deanna's Imzadi bond, how you were together for such a short time, and then never saw each other until here on the Enterprise. Well, on the other Enterprise." Pat said.

Alisha picked up the story. "And you two never reaffirmed your bond, you stayed just the closest of friends for so long. But, no matter what happened in your 'romantic' lives, it always just came down to the two of you."

Will looked to Alisha.  "You have a romantic heart don't you."

She smiled. "I write songs. I hear about something, or see something, and I create music about it. Romance is a habit of mine."

Will found himself being lost in her again.  "Well---"  He stopped.

"Oh come on Will, spill it! Set our curious minds to rest!" Pat said.

Alisha put her hand over Will's.  The sensation was palpable, cold and warmth ran up his arm at the same time. It was the most amazing feeling.

"Perhaps Will is a little hesitant because he thinks we're mind readers?  Well, let me help you with that.  Neither one of us are."

Will looked a little surprised at her candor.

"Oh no, we're not Commander. We're sorry, we rarely get to be around people other than Betazoids, and they know. But, I'm not a mind reader. I'm a full blooded Betazoid, but I had a twin so my mental powers are muted a bit. I can communicate telepathically, and can sense emotions, but I can't read minds."  Pat stated.

"And I'm only part Betazoid. My parents adopted me when I was a baby. I'm not even Pat's biological sister, even though we're as close as if we were."

Will's mind released a little. "Doesn't it bother you, not knowing who your parents were?"

~~'Lish, how did he know that you don't--  ~~

Alisha shook her head at Pat's thought.

"I know who my parents are.  You know them as well."

Will's heart leaped into his throat, he just stared at her, unmoving, unfeeling....

"Chandra and Teb.... they're my parents.  They're the ones whose raised me, they're the ones who supported me. They're the ones I call Mom and Dad."

Sudden realization struck Will.  He loved her.  .

Back in the Jalara Jungle was the most incredible experience in his life.  The feelings, the sensations, was something that he savored for years after.  He often laid in bed at night and could still feel Deanna's mind touching his... or literally feel her hands running slowly over his body, only to open his eyes and find himself alone.

And now, here it was. A miracle..... a physical manifestation of an experience he had always deemed as the best in his life.  This miracle was a beautiful, living, breathing testament to that.

"You"- he cleared his throat. "You're close to your parents then?" He asked her.

"Definitely. They're my best friends, my support. I always want to be close to them, no matter what. Biology doesn't make a family."

Will nodded his head.  He could understand that.

"But you never wonder about your biological family?" Will asked.

"Oh sure, sometimes. I know that they're alive, and that I always have the option of finding them.  I was put up for adoption for the simple fact that they loved me so much, and they couldn't provide what they thought I needed.  Perhaps someday, I'll seek them out. But for now, I'm happy with who I am."

Will just stared at her some more. She was absolutely amazing. He felt some pride edging it's way into his mind. 'Look at this amazing creature mine and Deanna's love created.'

Pat smiled. "Ah yes, the universe according to Alisha."  The twins laughed again.

"Hey, it works for me, so it HAS to work for everyone else. I mean, my real parents must be amazing." She said.

"Why?" Pat asked.

With merriment in her eyes, she answered, "Well, look at the amazing person they created!" She said, holding her arms out wide.

All three busted out laughing around the table.  They continued to talk for hours after. What they talked about was pointless.  Will just enjoyed being in their company, sharing some of his experiences for them.

The three of them finally retired around 0200 hours. When Will climbed between his sheets that night, he knew exactly what he had to do.

To Be Continued...........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 7

Disclaimers from Chapter One still apply


Chapter Seven

A few hours later, Deanna was pulled from a restless sleep by the sound of her door chimes.

'It's Will!' was her first thought.  She rushed from her bedroom to the door, only to be disappointed by seeing Chandra and Teb there.

"Sorry Deanna, it's just us." Teb said.

"I'm sorry, please come on in. Let me get my robe."  Deanna haphazardly walked back into her bedroom to make herself a little more presentable.

When she came back out, Chandra and Teb had breakfast set up for the three of them.  Deanna smiled. "You two are still taking care of me, huh?"

Chandra snickered.  "Well, someone needs to. It'll either be us or your Mother, take your pick."

Deanna grinned at her. "Umm.... no! That's okay. You two will due just fine."
All three smiled and began their meal.

Sipping his coffee, Teb asked, "Still haven't heard from Will?"

Deanna sadly shook her head.  "No, I really don't expect to now either. I kept this secret from him for sixteen years, that's not a very forgivable thing. Before I even thought about getting involved romantically with him again, I should have told him."

Chandra looked sadly at Deanna. It was happening all over again.

"Deanna, Teb and I were there to pick up the pieces back then. We're going to be here to help you pick them up now. Just give us a chance."

Deanna took a bite of food and thought for a moment. "You know what Chandra? There's not any pieces to pick up.  I mean, it's over, and I can accept that."

Surprised, Teb said "Wait a minute. There's absolutely no way you just 'got over it' just like that." He snapped his fingers for emphasis.

"No, what I mean is-" She was interrupted by the door chime.

"Come" she called.

All three occupants were surprised to see Will standing there.  "I'm sorry, is this a bad time?"

Teb and Chandra immediately rose. "No" Chandra said. "We'll leave."

"No, please stay. This is the reason I came here, to catch all three of you together."

Will sat in the empty chair left at the table.

"Do you want something to eat Will?" Deanna asked. Will never answered, never broke his gaze off of Chandra and Teb.

"I spent quite a bit of time with Alisha and Patrick last night. They're both extraordinary kids."  Will smiled, along with Chandra and Teb.

"The three of us sort of had a heart to heart, which is completely strange to me since I just met them both yesterday.  But, I've decided not to tell Alisha the truth."

Chandra and Teb looked a bit relieved, nodding their head.

Will continued. "Alisha doesn't want to know who her parents are yet, and to tell you the truth, I don't think I'm ready to be a Father to a sixteen year old girl who I just met. You two raised her. You're the ones she has bonded to as Mom and Dad, and I won't interfere in that."

Chandra's eyes filled with tears. She reached over the table and hugged Will tentatively. "Thank you."

"No, thank you, thank both of you. The two of you stepped up to the plate and took a responsibility that should have been mine."  Will threw an icy glare over in Deanna's direction.

She saw it, tears welled up into her eyes.  She dropped her head down like a naughty little child who had her hand caught in the cookie jar.

Will continued talking to Teb and Chandra. "But, I will ask a couple of favors.  If Alisha ever wants to know who her parents are, please tell her the truth. Every child deserves to know the truth about their family, when they're ready for it."

Teb spoke up. "Alisha has always had the option of knowing who her birth parents are. We told her when she was 12 that she was adopted, and when she was ready to know she could. She's never asked, and we've never volunteered."

Will nodded.  "I would like to remain friends with her. To keep in contact with you two. When something happens in her life, let me know. I don't want to be cut out of her life now that I've found her."

Chandra nodded. "Of course Will."  Sensing how Deanna seemed to have disappeared out of the present conversation Chandra added, "We've always kept Deanna updated."

"Yeah, well lucky her."  Will stood and began to leave.

Deanna slammed her hands down on the table. "Will wait, I want to talk to you."

Will continued to head towards the door.

Deanna ran from behind the table and blocked his path.  "No Will, not this time. I sat and listened to you, now you're going to listen to me."

"Deanna, get out of my way."  Stepping around her, he continued to leave.

"No, Computer, engage lock on the door, do not release without my voice authorization, access code Delta0402."

"Acknowledged" came the mechanical reply.

"Deanna, this is ridi-"

"Ridiculous? Yes, you're right, it is ridiculous. I've listened to you plenty is the last few days, so now it's your turn to listen to me."

Will icily glared at her, but Deanna would not be deterred.

"You better find a way to get past this Commander, because I will be damned if I'll sit around and continue to be belittled and treated as if I'm invisible. You and I will have to continue to live and serve together on this ship. I will NOT run and hide, because you have trouble accepting decisions we made years ago!"

"No Deanna! If you'll remember correctly, I wasn't part of this decision! This is one you made all on your own!" He yelled.

"Yeah, you're right Will, I made it all on my own. And you know why?! Because you weren't there!  Within 3 months of leaving Betazed you got to the point where you wouldn't even answer my letters! So, when you BLAME me for making the decision on my own, you're right! And I'm damn proud of it!  Alisha has grown up happy and healthy, with a family who loves her, so in my mind, I made the right decision.  If you can't handle that, then I'm sorry."

Will had never seen Deanna so incensed.  He couldn't even contemplate interrupting her now.

"Perhaps Will, your main problem here is the fact that you can't live up to the choices YOU made.  YOU wanted us to meet on Risa. YOU'RE the one who didn't show up. YOU'RE the one who choose your career over what we could have had years ago! Maybe you should go look in a mirror before you sling blame my way again."

Chandra and Teb just sat at the table, unmoving. There was no way they were going to get into the middle of this discussion. This was something that Deanna and Will should have talked about ages ago.

Deanna stopped her tirade. Taking a deep breath, she centered herself. "So, if you will all excuse me, I promised the kids I'd take them to the holodeck today. Computer, release the door."

Deanna turned and walked simply towards her bedroom. Will stood unmoving in shock for a moment, and walked out. Chandra and Teb quickly looked at one another and followed his lead.


Several hours later, Will decided to walk around the arboretum. He ran into Chandra's valet, Mr. Story.

The manservant told Will that the twins went back to the holodeck after speeding several hours with Deanna.

Will entered, only to have his breath catch in his throat.  His program of Janaran Falls was running.

Walking along the pathway set by the rocks, he heard Alisha and Pat talking.

"Do you really think so?"

"Yeah 'lish, I really do."

"Wow-" she stopped when a twig Will had walked on snapped.

"Hey guys" he said.

"Uh, hi Commander. I hope you don't mind us using your program here."

"No, not at all Pat."

Alisha smiled.  "We're a bit homesick. Funny isn't it? When your home, all you want to do is go away, and when you've been away for a few days, you're dying to get home."

Will joined her smile. "Betazed is such a beautiful place, it's tough to leave it."

"But you left it. I mean, back when you were stationed there, you left." Pat pointed out.

"Yes I did, but my life was much different than it is now."

Alisha put her hand on Will's arm. "Tell us, please."

"Why are you so interested?" Will asked.

Alisha shrugged. "I've heard everyone's version of what happened except yours, so now I'm curious. I really need to know."

Will was a bit confused for a moment. Pat laughed. "One of Alisha's big dreams has been to write the ultimate song, describing yours and Aunt Dee's relationship. She can't do it until she gets your side of it."

Alisha blushed a little, as Will laughed. "Oh, I bet Deanna would love having that sordid story memorialized in song."

"Well, tell us." Alisha prompted.

Will began talking. Starting with his goodbye party on the Fortuna and ending with the two of them meeting again on the Enterprise. He was completely honest and candid with the two of them.

They later had dinner, and then joined Chandra and Teb for a swim in the ship's pool.

The family was leaving the next day, much to Will's disappointment. Will was going to miss the twin's company, but knew that he would be spending a lot more time on Betazed.


The following morning, Will met everyone in the transporter room to say goodbye. Beverly had told Will that Deanna was leaving on a three week shore leave.

She would accompany her friends to Betazed to stay for a week, leave and head to Risa for a little R&R.  Will thought it completely ironic that she would go to Risa alone now.

Deanna didn't say anything to anyone, she simply got on the transporter and waited for the others.

Will hugged Chandra and Teb goodbye, thanking them for everything. Patrick heartily shook his hand and thanked him for the fun time.  That only left Alisha.

She was holding a PADD in her hand.  She walked up to Will and handed it to him.

"What's this?" he asked.

"The song I promised you." She smiled.

As she handed him the PADD, their hands brushed against each other. Alisha took her hands and put them up on Will's cheeks.  She left them for a moment, and then placed them on her own cheeks.

Climbing onto the transporter pad next to her brother, she nodded to the transporter chief.

As he began to work the controls, she once again looked at Will. "How funny Commander, we have the same hands."  She then disappeared into the tingling glow of the transporter.

Will stood there stunned for several moments. Exactly what did that mean?

He finally wandered back to his quarters, his mind whirling again.

Sitting down on his couch, he looked at the PADD Alisha had given him.

It read:


It was funny to Patrick and myself how you told us everything that happened on Betazed between you and Aunt Dee, but left out something important.

I wish I knew what that was. All I know is what Pat and I have sensed.  I also know that you and Deanna belong together. Your relationship is something to be treasured, even if you seem to be on the outs right now.

Thank you again for the wonderful few days we had on the Enterprise.  And here is the song I wrote for you. I never break a promise.

Will and Deanna's Song
By Alisha and Patrick

You're the bravest of hearts, you're the strongest of souls
You're my light in the dark, you're the place I call home
You can say it's all right, but I know that you're breaking up inside
I see it in your eyes
Even you face the night afraid and alone
That's why I'll be there
When the storm rises up, when the shadows descend
Ev'ry beat of my heart, ev'ry day without end
Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make
Baby, that's what I'll give, if that's what it takes
If that's what it takes

You can sleep in my arms, you don't have to explain
When your heart's crying out, baby, whisper my name
'Cause I've reached out for you when the thunder is crashing up above
You've given me your love
When your smile like the sun that shines through the pain
That's why I'll be there
When the storm rises up, when the shadows descend
Ev'ry beat of my heart, ev'ry day without end
I will stand like a rock, I will bend till I break
Till there's no more to give, if that's what it takes
I will risk everything, I will fight, I will bleed
I will lay down my life, if that's what you need
Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make
Baby, that's what I'll give, if that's what it takes
Through the wind and the rain, through the smoke and the fire
When the fear rises up, when the wave's ever higher
I will lay down my heart, my body, my soul
I will hold on all night and never let go
Ev'ry second I live, that's the promise I make
Baby, that's what I'll give, if that's what it takes
If that's what it takes
Every day
If that's what it takes
Every day

To Be Continued..........

If That's What It Takes Chapter 8

Disclaimers from Chapter One still apply


Chapter Eight

Ten days after leaving the Enterprise, Deanna was finally able to sit and relax.

After leaving Betazed, she had rented a private cottage on Risa. Being away from everyone proved to be just what she needed.

Laying on her private beach, she let the sun and cool breeze wash all of her troubles away. There was just her and the ocean.

She knew that returning to the Enterprise was going to be a challenge. There was a lot of hurt and mistrust between she and Will. And, they were going to have to work closely together, just as they have for the past few years.

'Here we go again.' she thought. 'Platonic and professional' were two words that should be etched forever into her 'Will Riker' vocabulary.

Collecting her belongings, she headed up the path to her cottage.

The evening was setting, so very little sunlight lit the room. Closing the door behind her, she immediately got a sense of someone being in the room, waiting in the shadows.

She threw the closest light switch, and was shocked to see Will sitting in the reclining chair.

"Wh- Will, what-" she stammered. Her heart was still pounding.

He didn't say anything. He stood, and walked over to her. He took her hand and put it on his cheek.

She felt the warm tears sliding down his face. Her own eyes welled up and was overtaken by the emotions emanating from him.

They stood that way for several moment. Finally, Will spoke.

"I wasn't here sixteen years ago, but I'm here now Imzadi."


*****The song "If That's What It Takes" is performed by The Goddess of song herself, CÈline Dion, on her 'Falling Into You' Album.
Written By: Phil Galdston
Produced By: Jean-Jacques Goldman and Humberto Gatica
Music By: Jean-Jacques Goldman
Published By: 1996 Les Editions JRG/CRB Music Publishing