It has been six years since he left and she could still sense him, maybe not as much as she used to, but still. She was now on her home planet, Admiral Picard thought that it was time for her to have a break, after the incident in which Coridan dilithium mines exploded and she had to take care of the mental healing of the survivors.
She was now in one of her favorite places and even when she saw Lake Cataria every time she wanted to on the holodeck it was not the same as being there.
She had spent time with the people she loved, her friend Chandra, her husband and their little child Kayme have been with her almost every day. Her mother introduced her to the most wanted singles in the planet, which was something that really didn't surprised Deanna.
She has been at dinner parties, weddings, at the museum she loved, but even when she was in the places she loved, she was not happy and she knew why.
After two weeks on her planet, Deanna decided to return to the Enterprise, she could have stayed for four weeks more, but she really didn't wanted to, all the times she have been on her planet since she joined Starfleet he had been with her and now he wasn't and she really didn't wanted to be there either... not without him.
"Deanna, do you really have to go, I thought that you could stay here for eight weeks and you only have been here for two, is something wrong that you're not telling me Little One?" asked Lwaxana holding one of Deanna's blouses while she put the others in one of her bags.
"Mother, you know that if something were wrong I would have told you... or you would have read my mind. I'm fine, is just that I need to go back to the ship to finish some things, I'm okay, really." And she took the blouse her mother was holding.
"Fine, if that's what you want then I guess that I can't stop you, can I?" Lwaxana said sadly.
"No mother, you can't stop me. Well, I'm ready, I promise I call you as soon as I get there" Deanna kissed her forehead and leave.
<We both know you're not going to call> Lwaxana spoke to her mind.
<Love you mother>
<Love you too, Little One>
Deanna arrived to the transporter room and smiled at Ensign Lee with one of those davishing smiles he adored and make his crush on her even bigger.
She walked to her quarters saying hello to all the people she saw on her way and once in her quarters she changed to her uniform and arranged all her things, send a quick message to her mother and leave to the bridge.
But something happened, she felt something she hasn't felt in a long, long time and all the sadness in her heart disappeared as soon as she heard his voice.
"Counselor, what are you doing here, I think I have said eight weeks, not two." Asked Admiral Picard walking towards her.
"You did sir, but I needed to come back to work, but don't worry, I did rest and now I'm better than ever, believe me" She said smiling to the captain but looking around trying to find him, but she didn't.
Deanna sat down on her chair and said to herself.
<Calm down Deanna Troi, he's not here, you didn't saw him, you just fooled yourself, calm down.>
She almost jumped when he heard him, she wasn't fooling herself, he really was here, but why didn't she saw him a few minutes ago, where have he been, he couldn't have been there, she was sure she looked around all the place and...
She woke up once he heard him again.
"Captain, what are you doing here?" she asked nervously
"Come on Deanna, we know each other from years now, don't call me Captain or then I'll have to call you Lt. Commander" He said smiling
"You're right, Will" she answered him smiling too.
"So, you were on Betazed a couple of weeks for what I've just heard"
"That's right, but I couldn't be there any longer it's not the same without..." she interrupted when she realized ho was she talking to.
"Without?" He asked and she was almost sure he knew the rest of the phrase.
"Without... Guinan, I promised her that my next time on Betazed she will be there"
Will looked at here surprised, almost smiling and she knew herself that what she just said was stupid.
"Well, anyway, I'm glad you're here because I came here to gave you this" and he gave her a envelop, a nice, white one.
She didn't want to accept what was on her hand but she knew pretty well what it was.
"Thank you Will" was all she could say.
"Thank you? That's all you're going to say, come on Deanna, you're my best friend and that's all you have to say, aren't you going to give me a hug?"
"Course, you're right. Congratulations Will, I wish you and..." she interrupted.
"Hallie" He helped her.
"That's right, I wish you and Hallie the best" She finally said.
"Thank you, now if you excuse me, I have to go to see Geordi to gave him his."
And he left.
Deanna was at Ten Forward when she saw her, she have been looking for her all over the ship and now she knew she had done the right thing.
"Are you okay?" Asked Beverly Picard.
"Bev, I just want to..." Was all Deanna could say.
"Let's go to your quarters" she said tenderly reaching out to help
her stand up.
Deanna said yes with her head and once they were in her room she sat down and Beverly in front of her.
"Are you okay Deanna?"
"Course I'm okay, what makes you think that I'm not?" Deanna asked faking a secure voice that Beverly recognized.
"Well, I though that maybe the news about Will's wedding could have caused you to feel not so good"
"Well, not at all, I'm happy for him, he deserves a nice and intelligent woman at his side to help him to reach out his"
And she stopped, her silence was brutal and Beverly knew that she had to be at her side now more than ever so she walked to the sofa where Deanna was and hold her.
"Why Beverly? Why? I love him and I will always love him, he should know that, he should!? Said Deanna crying.
"I'm sure he does, but now he found somebody ho loves him back and he's ready to get married. I know that it hurts you but you have to be strong and keep going."
"But how? I don't have a reason to keep going, I don't want to, all I have ever loved, all I have ever hoped was him and now I've lost him forever."
"I know Deanna, I know" Said Beverly tenderly.
Deanna fall asleep in Beverly's arms and once she make sure she was fine in the sofa she left.
Next morning Deanna didn't show up on the bridge, or at her office, nobody has seen her and finally at night she showed up at Ten Forward and then she saw him, with her.
"Deanna!" Will said from his table once he saw her.
She smiled at him and waved her hand to say hello but she was definitely not going to be with them, that was not going to happen.
"Come over here to join us!" He said.
Deanna thought that if she didn't it was going to be really obvious that she didn't wanted to be with them and everybody will notice it so she just walked to their table and sat down.
"Thank you Will; I suppose that you are Hallie, nice to meet you." She said with the biggest smile she could.
"Nice to meet you too Deanna, Will has told me so much about you, I just couldn't wait to meet you." Hallie said holding her hand.
"I imagine that" Was all she said.
"So tell me, where have you been today, I have been looking all day for you until I saw you here" Said Will to Deanna ho was receiving her drink from Guinan.
"Oh, I have some things to do in my quarters so I just did them today, but time flies, don't you think Hallie?"
Hallie really didn't understand her question, but she just answered politely with a yes from her head.
"For your happiness" Said Deanna holding her drink in front of her.
Will knew by now that she was not happy, he knew her too much like not to notice it so he just continued the tradition without saying anything else.
"Well, I have to get going, tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Nice to meet you again and good night." Deanna walked out without looking back.
"So, what do you think of her?" Will asked his fiancé.
"She's... strange" Was Hallie's answer.
"Yes, she is".
Deanna was just putting a robe when the door chime rang, she was surprised, it was 2300 hours and nobody used to visit her at this hour.
She was having a sip of her hot chocolate when she turned to see ho it was, she almost dropped her chocolate when she saw Will standing with the already closed door behind him.
"Will, what are you doing here? Do you know what time is it?" Said Deanna living her chocolate on the table.
"I know what time is it but I don't know why are you acting so strange, can you explain yourself?" He said with his arms folded on his chest.
"Explain myself? Why? I don't think I have anything to explain to anybody and less to you" She said walking to her living room.
"No I don't, now if you excuse me it's late and"
Will interrupted her by holding her strongly on his arms. Deanna looked to the floor as soon as he have done that and he reached out his hand to make her face him.
"What's happening Deanna?"
"Don't you know?" She said looking at his eyes.
"I think I do, but I want you to tell me"
"Because I love her" Said him looking straight to her eyes.
"Then do it" She said moving away.
"Deanna..." He started but couldn't finish.
"And why you came here?"
"Because I wanted to tell you that I'm worried about you, I know that maybe I just could have send the invitations to all of you, but you're my friends, you are my friend and I loved you too much like to simply send you something that I knew would hurt you."
"Then you did it like this because you thought that it was not going to hurt me seeing you giving me your wedding invitation, seeing you with her all over the ship, seeing you kiss her and hold her when I know that I could have been the one in your arms? Well, let me tell you that you're wrong, because it hurts more."
"Deanna, please, don't say that, you know that I don't want to hurt you, that's the last thing I want."
"Well, then I'm sorry to inform you that you have, but don't worry, I know that I'm going to make it, I'll be fine and you should be happy for that don't you" She smiled at him.
"Yes, I should"
"Well then, leave now, I'll be fine, don't worry, you have a wedding in three months and I bet you're nervous, go have some sleep and I'll see you tomorrow." She gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Will started to walk to the door when he heard her.
"What's wrong?" He said but she was running to her room.
She walked back with the invitation on her hand.
"Deanna don't" He said with a sad expression on his face.
"Will, please, take it, maybe you have somebody else to invite and this one can help. I can't be there, please, understand me, you want me to be fine don't you?"
"You know I do but"
"Then take it" She said with the envelope on her hand.
Will took it and then he went.
Next morning Will came into the bridge only to find her chair empty and looked for her all over the place but he didn't saw her. He went to Ten Forward and she wasn't there either, to her office and she wasn't there. Finally he asked:
"Computer, where is Counselor Deanna Troi?"
"Counselor Troi is not aboard the ship" was the computer response.
He couldn't believe it, he walked to see Admiral Picard to find out an explanation but he was not available for the moment when he saw Beverly.
"Doctor, where's Deanna?"
"Will, I don't think that I'm the right person to tell you, why don't you wait for Jean-Luc to tell you, he will explain it to you, I'm sure" Was all she said looking at him.
"Beverly, I'm talking to you as a friend, please, I need to know."
He looked desperate and she surrender when she saw him like that.
"She's gone, she's at Earth Station McKinley, she'll be there for training and to see what she can achieve there and..."
"To be far away from me" He interrupted.
"I guess that I understand, but"
"But nothing Will, she has made a decision, so you did, maybe this is the better for you and for her." She finally said.
"Maybe you're right, maybe you are."
To Be Continued...
Two years have passed since Will got married, her wife died a year ago leaving him alone again. He heard some things about Deanna, she have been working really hard, she was a Commander now and her emphatic and telepathic abilities have been a wonderful help for the fleet in several occasions so that she was now recognized as a really important member of the fleet.
Deanna on her side was really proud of what she had achieved in these past two years, her feelings were now calmed and she really felt better, she heard about Hallie's death and even when her first reaction was to run to comfort Will she only send a message to him trough Beverly Picard.
She also applied for a job aboard the Enterprise, with her new rank and with her abilities powerful than ever she thought that she would be helpful there, she was only waiting for Admiral's Sipherd answer.
Finally the answer came, she had the job, she was really happy, she was now going to be the First Officer of the Enterprise and she was really happy about it, she was going to be with all her friends again and she will have the opportunity of being with Beverly's baby, Jacob. He was a year old now and she has only saw him once when he was born.
The weeks passed quickly and now she was only a few hours of being on the Enterprise.
At 1400 hours a blue beam on the transporter room let everybody know that she was here again, soon her figure was now present and she walked to say hello to Admiral Picard and his wife.
"Admiral." Said Deanna with respect and really happy about seeing him again.
"Commander, welcome aboard." He said.
"Permission to speak freely, sir."
"Granted." Picard said at the same time he hold her. "It's so good to have you back"
"Thank you, I've missed you too."
"But let me look at you, you're a Commander now, you're so grown up, I remember the first time I saw you, so young and so afraid, even when you didn't want to show it, I knew you were afraid."
"That's because you're the must smart man I have ever know." She said while he released her.
"Okay, that's it; don't you have a friend here waiting to receive a hug to?" Said Beverly faking a frown face.
"Beverly, Oh, it's so good to see you" I've missed you so much!" Said Deanna holding her friend and almost crying.
"I missed you too, but now you're here and where complete again, welcome back."
"Welcome back Counselor" someone said.
"Data! Oh Data, It's so good to see you, I've missed you to" Deanna said placing her arms around his neck.
Data was surprised, he still didn't understand the necessity of humans of holding each other, but he returned the hug.
"Well, I think that you need to rest so let me lead you to your quarters, said Beverly."
"No way! Yes, you're right, I'm a little bit tired, but I have to see my "nephew" first of all." She said smiling at the proud mother Beverly was now.
"Course, then follow me."
And they left.
Weeks passed really fast, Deanna was now really used to her new job and to her new duties, besides being the first officer she was now Counselor too after all the crew members asked Admiral Picard to let her do that job, he agreed immediately. Everything was perfect, she was happy, specially with her "nephew" as she called him, Jake, as everybody called him was an adorable little boy ho despites his age was smart and make her feel really happy, she just assumed that it was because her maternal instincts make her feel that way.
That was something she regretted, she didn't have kids, sure there has been one, Ian Andrew, but he was gone without having too much time with her. But it was no time to sadness; this was her new life, her new improved life.
"All senior officers report to my ready room immediately" she heard on the speakers and she almost ran to Admiral's room to see what was the problem.
"Sir, what's the matter" Deanna said, she was there before anybody so he could speak freely.
"Good to see you Number One, we received a call from..." She interrupted.
"I know, Betazed."
Short after that all the senior officers were at the room, CMO Beverly Picard, Lt. Commander Data, Lt. Commander Worf and Lt. Commander LaForge.
"We have a situation of high risk here, there has been an attack in a Federation planet, to be precise on Betazed." Said Admiral Picard to his officers.
At that all faces turned to see Deanna, ho to their surprise looked extremely calmed.
"There has been an attack, we don't know what happened or ho made it, but we have received orders from Starfleet to go there and help, people is hurted and some of their must important people is missed, we don't know ho either." Continued Admiral Picard.
"We're going to be working with the help of the Hood; we're going to meet them in an hour so we ask you to prepare all the necessary things to make this an efficient mission. We trust in you and we want you to give you're best." Said Deanna to the crew with a so secure voice that everybody felt that everything was going to be fine, they knew in that moment that all her abilities were stronger as everybody said.
"All hands, battle stations!" Said Admiral Picard through the speaker to all the crew aboard the ship. "If there are no questions you're dismissed." Everybody was out except Beverly and Jean-Luc.
"She has changed" Said Beverly amused.
"Yes, she has, she's stronger, but I'm worried" He said.
"Why is that? She asked worried.
"Well, she's stronger, her abilities are better, she's a Commander now, an excellent one and she has left everything for the fleet."
"Well, I'm afraid he heart has changed too"
"What do you mean?" Said Beverly now really worried.
"It's hard, it's hard."
She looked at him and then at the door in which she had disappeared a few minutes ago.
An hour after the Hood was in front of them, everything was ready to the expedition and they were four and a half hours from Betazed.
"Sir, they're hailing us" Worf said.
And then his face was on the screen, she hasn't seen that face in two years and now once again she saw it.
"Admiral Picard, we're ready to... Deanna?" Will said surprised of seeing her.
"Captain, I see you still know my name, it's a pleasure to see you too." Said Deanna with a little bit of despite in her voice.
"I couldn't help but notice that you're in my chair" He said smiling.
"Oh, you didn't hear? I'm Commander of the Enterprise now, and about your chair, I think you've lot it eight years ago when you decided to leave this ship, but I think that we have more important things to do than to talk about this chair so, what were you saying?" Deanna finally said.
"Sure, Commander. Admiral, as I was saying we're ready to receive instructions." Will manage to say.
He was surprised of seeing her, and now in his place with that attitude. He was almost scared but at the same time amused.
"Well, we will meet you here in ten minutes with your personnel, just bring those ho you think would be the best ones for this mission, remember, we are going to be there searching for traces to lead us to the people ho have done this and then we're going to rescue the people they took so we don't know how much we're going to be together, get ready for that."
"We are sir."
"See you soon then, Picard out."
Picard turned to see Deanna ho noticed it immediately.
"Is there something wrong Admiral?" She asked honestly.
"Nothing Number One. Let's go." Was all he said.
In the transporter room everybody was ready. Adm. Picard was waiting to receive the crew of the U.S.S Hood with his Captain, counselor Troi was at his side as his wife Dr. Picard.
Soon after that, several blue beams materialized as members of the Hood, and the first one in the front was Will.
"Admiral, nice to see you after all this time, wish it were under different circumstances." Said will in front of Picard.
"I know what you mean Captain, I certainly do." He smiled politely.
"Beverly, nice to see you to." Riker smiled and made a polite head movement to her.
"Nice to see you too Captain. Admiral, I have to be back at sickbay, if you don't need anything else then I'll go now" She smiled at William and then turned to face her husband.
"Nothing at the moment Dr. you're free to go."
And finally, Will turned to face Deanna. She could sense his feelings, he was nervous and... afraid.
"Captain." Was all she said and smiled politely at him.
"Commander, it's a ple..." He was saying but couldn't finish.
"Please follow me, I'll show you your quarters now." She said and then turned and started walking.
He couldn't do anything but follow her so he did. She said nothing until she arrived to his quarters door.
"Well, here we are. Please, make yourself comfortable. See you later." She moved now to start walking again but he reached out her hand to stop her.
"Deanna, please. Are you going to be like this all the time?" He asked sincerely.
"Well, I can't be any other way, I'm like this now, I have changed, that's all. You can trust me as the Commander of the Enterprise and maybe as your friend, but nothing else." She said taking back her hand.
"But I still love you." He moved and said softly on her ear.
She couldn't believe it, after all this time and after all she had changed he could still make her feel like the first time, she couldn't fool herself, she still loved him, but she can fool him so she was not going to give up.
"Well, then you have to change that Captain, just as I learned to change it." And with that she left.
To Be Continued...
A few hours latter they were at Betazed; Lwaxana received them with some other betazoids and started the story.
"Well, we don't know exactly where they are, but we know they are still in our quadrant, which is really good." She smiled in relieve and then continued. "We could talk to one of the man ho they kidnapped, ho told us that they were Satarrans, that's all we know." She finished.
"What else do you have, some clues or could you tell us if you remember anything else of your mind conversation with this man" Asked Captain Riker.
"No Captain, I don't, he just told me that he heard them say that this was the beginning of their payback to the Federation." She responded looking at Deanna.
"I suppose that it's because they never could get the Enterprise when they wanted." Deanna said looking at Adm. Picard.
"Yes, I think that too." Picard affirmed.
"But where are they heading to?" Asked Riker.
"I think that's obvious Captain." Said Deanna.
"You think so?" Will asked Deanna trying to make her fail. "So, where do you think they went?"
"Well, I thing they're heading to Sothis III, their home planet. If they get there they are going to have tactical advantage and a whole planet to fight against us. They know their planet, if they want, they can lead us into a trap and we're finished. I suggest we find them before they get there." She said.
Will was surprised, she had tactical knowledge now, and she was good at it. He couldn't say anything so he waited for Picard's answer.
"Correct Number One, we have to get going now. Lwaxana, we need you to go with us, if you can contact your people that would be very helpful." Picard ordered.
A few minutes ago they were back in the ship, Lwaxana was with them now and Deanna was now on her old chair while Will was on hers. That was something she didn't like, but after all he was a Captain.
They traveled along the quadrant looking for them, they couldn't find them, they seemed to have a perfect cloak that keeps them safe.
Three days have passed and the things between Riker and Troi were worst each day. Besides the uncertainty of not knowing where this people were. They finally decided to go straight to Sothis III.
Deanna decided to have some free time before they arrived to the planet so she went to Ten Forward to have a drink. She found Beverly there on a table in the corner, just in front of a window and she walked her way.
"Hello, Doctor, may I join you?" Deanna asked smiling.
"Sure Deanna. I wanted to talk to you but with all this mess I haven't had time." Beverly said sipping her tea.
"I know what you mean. I have had so much work to do, I actually came here to have a few minutes free, I think I need them." Deanna said when Guinan came with her chocolate. "Thank you Guinan." She smiled at her.
"You're welcome." And she left.
"So, what is that you wanted to talk to me about?" Deanna asked Beverly.
"Well, two things actually, first, how are things going between you and Will?"
"That's something I really don't want to talk about Bev." Deanna said looking at the window.
"Deanna, if you don't talk to me about it, who are you going to?" Bev said holding her friends hand.
"Okay, bad, things are really bad. Every time I see him I remember the pain of these couple of years. I know he's suffered too, but I just can't help it."
"You should try, Jean-Luc and I are worried because of you, you have changed, you're better in some things, but you are not as gentle as you used to be. Sometimes you just do the things without thinking on the people's feelings. That's not good at all."
"I'm just like he used to be right?" She now looked at her.
"Kind of." Beverly answered.
"I will try to change that, I promise. And I will try to make things work with Will."
"And what's the other thing you were going to tell me." Deanna said sipping her chocolate.
"Oh, yes. I told Jean-Luc already and I wanted you to know it before anybody else."
"Is there something wrong?" Deanna asked worried looking straight at her friend's eyes.
"No, nothing wrong at all." She said smiling.
"I'm wrong or I'm sensing happiness and loads of joy in you?" Deanna asked.
"I'm pregnant." Beverly said.
"Oh my God! Beverly, that's great, I'm so happy for you!" By the time she said the last word Deanna was already holding Beverly really happy.
"And that's not everything." Beverly said now changing her voice.
"What's the matter?" Deanna said now back in her seat.
"Well, Jean-Luc and I want you to be the baby's godmother."
"Oh my God, I'm so honored, really, that's great!"
"Yes, you're my best friend, course I want you to. But that's not all."
"There's more?" She smiled and leaned forward on the table.
"Jean-Luc want's Will to be the godfather." Beverly said really serious.
"Oh, my God." Was all she said.
Deanna was at her office in deck eight reviewing some things and trying to sense some feeling from the people in the Satarran ship, but there was nothing. She walked to her couch and sat down heavily, still thinking about her people and the best way to help them, when her door chime rang.
"Come in." She said with her usual exotic accent.
After she said that, her office doors opened to reveal Captain Riker, without his Starfleet uniform, wearing casual clothes.
"What can I do for you Captain?" She asked smiling politely at him.
"Hi, I'm just here to see if you have any advances on the current case." That was Will's lame excuse.
"Captain Riker..." She said looking at him with pity in her eyes. "I know you better than that. Why are you here? Really." She walked from her couch to her desk indicating him to sit down.
"Yes, you do."
They were silent for some minutes and then he started again.
"I'm here because I want to talk to you. Things haven't been easy these days with the Satarrans and all the damage they caused in your planet, the people they took and as if that were not enough our situation is not the best one. I need to talk with you, but I want to talk to my friend, no to the cold Commander of the Enterprise." He said looking at her straight to the eyes.
"Will, what you are asking me it's not simple." Deanna said and after a few seconds of hesitation she continued. "You left me and after that you came back to tell me you were going to get married. What you expected from me? To stay around and wait until you came back to me? I knew that was not going to happen, that's why I left and it was really painful for me to be there while you look so happy about getting married." She said now looking at a tricorder on her desk.
"Deanna, you're right, I left and got married, but you know why. I asked you to come with me and all you said was a simple no. I love the people in this ship as much as you do, but I have a work to do and at that time I could help much more people by leaving this ship than by staying here." He said holding her hand.
Deanna looked at their hands and then at his eyes and continued.
"That I understand Will, but if you loved me as much as you said you did, why did you got married?" She finally asked him.
"Because I fall in love."
Deanna looked at him and after he said that she got her hand back.
"I suppose Admiral Picard told you about the baby he and Beverly are going to have." She asked looking at her hand.
"Yes, he did. He want me to be the baby's godfather and he told me that Beverly asked you to be the grandmother." He looked at her.
"Yes, she did." She stopped talking and continued after taking a deep breath. "Will, I think that as you said our relation it's not good at all and that can't help the mission and it's certainly not going to help the baby. I suggest that we treat us cordially and that way we can deal with both things better."
Will was confused. Does that mean that she was going to be the way she used to be before he left or that she was just going to be good at him. He wanted to have her back as much more than just friends, but he was not sure about it now. he had two options, ask her if there was still a possibility or if everything was over between them. Even when he was not sure about what was going to happen, he chose his first option.
"Deanna, is there a chance for us to be together again?" He asked looking at her with that look that make her go week at the knees.
"No." She answered him.
She could sense his sadness and his surprise at her answer almost as if those where her feelings, but even when she felt deeply her answer, she was not going to change it.
"Why?" He asked in shock.
"Because I have changed and I can tell you right now that you are not going to love the person I changed into. I still care about you and I believe I can trust you as much as you can trust me, but that's it, there's nothing else to give." She said giving him a light sad smile.
"Does that mean that we are not Imzadi anymore?" He asked almost crying.
"You are always going to be my Imzadi, that can't change and I will always love you for that, but we can't be together anymore. Don't you understand Will? I love you, but it hurts so much to be with you and it hurts the same to be without you, but I have learned to control the last one better than the first one and it's better like this." She said with tears inside her eyes.
"And don't you think you can learn again to be with me? We don't have to be apart, we can be together now, there's nothing between us, just let me be the one to love you." He said holding her chin with his right hand and touching her face with the left one.
"Captain, I think you should leave now." Was all she said not even looking at his eyes.
"Please, I need to be alone for a while." She said standing up and walking to the door to make it open.
There was nothing he could say now so he just stand up and left. Once he was gone and the doors were closed Deanna went down to the floor crying.
She didn't knew how she made it, but she went to her quarters and fall asleep quickly, but she wake up really fast when she heard Almirant Picard's voice on her room's comm.
"Commander Troi?" Asked Picard for the second time.
"Aye sir." She answered him at the same time she went out of the bed.
"We need you here at the bridge as fast as you can Commander." He said firmly.
"Aye sir. Troi out." She said and started get dressed.
She arrived to the bridge a few minutes after and she saw something she didn't expect.
"That's the ship sir?" She asked.
"That's correct. We reached it a few minutes ago and Mr. Data and Geordie are running some tests on it, we're waiting for their inform in just a few..."
"LaForge to Picard."
"Tell me Geordie, what have you got?"
"Data is going to be there in a second to explain you, but sir, it's not good news."
"Thank you Geordie, Picard out." Picard finished the communication and looked at his number one. "I need you to ask your mother to come here immediately, we need her to..."
"There is nobody there Admiral." Deanna interrupted him.
"What do you mean?" He asked her.
"What she means is that there is nobody aboard that ship, we have been fooled." Lwaxana said from the turbolift door.
"She's right Admiral." Said Data arriving shortly after Lwaxana. "We have been following an empty ship, there is nobody there and Lt. Comm. LaForge and I have the idea that there is a program running it so that we came here following it."
"But it's near their planet. We are just three hours far of it. They are supposed to come here." Said Riker to Picard.
"Data, do you think is possible for them to have a cloak so powerful like to let them travel near us without being noticed?" Deanna asked Data.
"That Commander is a logical thing to think. For what we know their technology is capable of that, but we have never seen a Satarran ship with such a powerful cloak." Said Data.
<You can feel them don't you Little One>
<Yes mother, they are close, I can feel them come>
<As I do. Wait! Argji is talking to me>
<What is he saying mother?>
When Jean-Luc saw Deanna's and Lwaxana's eyes closed he got scared a little and talked to them.
"Number One, are you all right? Lwaxana, what's the matter?" He said
with frustrated voice.
"Admiral." Said Riker.
"What is it Captain?" Picard asked.
"They're just talking." He said trying to calm him down.
After some minutes of silence Deanna finally spoke.
"They're coming Admiral. Just as I thought they are in a cloaked ship. My mother could talk just now with Argji, one of the men in the ship. He told her that they are going to Sothis III were the Satarrans are going to try to exchange them for a ship."
"And I suppose that ship will be the Enterprise." Said Will at Deanna.
"That's Correct." She answered him.
"Lwaxana, do you think you can talk to Argji again to see if he can give us the coordinates of the ship. Maybe we can break their cloak somehow and transport them aboard the ship. Do you think that would work Data?"
"It's probable sir. If they gave us the correct coordinates we can hit them and in the moment they start to readjust their shields we can bring them aboard." Data answered.
"You can make it Lwaxana?" Asked Picard.
"Course I can make it, ho do you think you are talking to? A third class telepath?" She said with an offended tone.
At that Riker and Troi had to laugh, but when they did Lwaxana looked at them and they stop immediately.
Lwaxana sat down on the Admiral's chair and closed her eyes and hold her daughter's hand so that if she can talk to Argji Deanna could sense her thoughts to tell Worf the correct coordinates.
After minutes that seemed an eternity Deanna finally spoke.
"1... 7...3...8... point 2."
That was all Worf needed. He immediately prepare everything so that he was just waiting for the admiral's order."
That was all Picard needed to say. Immediately Worf released the torpedoes and the Satarran ship appeared almost in front of them and in that moment Worf talked again.
"Ready to transport sir"
"Engage!" Picard said again with a secure voice.
"Captain, Commander, come with me to the transporter room immediately." Ordered Picard.
When the three of them were inside of the Turbo lift and just before the doors closed Picard spoke.
"Thank you Lwaxana." And gave her a smile.
"My pleasure Admiral." She said once the doors were closed.
In the transporter room all the kidnapped betazoids were smiling and holding each other and as soon as they saw Picard, Riker and Troi walking inside the room they smiled at them and specially ate Deanna, ho many of them knew since she was a child.
After a long travel to Betazed and a dinner over the planet, the Enterprise was again in their way to the Hood.
Two days after that, they reached the Hood and that was the day Deanna feared so much.
"So, this is goodbye finally." Will said to Deanna.
"No, it's not. We have to meet again in a few months when Beverly's baby is born. Have you forgotten that?" She said smiling at him.
"No, I haven't. Is just that I'm going to miss you." He said holding her hand and kissing it.
"I'm going to miss you too Captain. You are a great friend." She said smiling at his gesture.
"Just a great friend?" Will asked as if wanting for a different answer.
"Yes Will, just great friends."
Deanna kissed him on the cheek and left.
"Great friends." She said looking at the transporter and then left the room.
It has been the craziest 6 months ever. Beverly hasn't been that well and Deanna,
as her best friend, stood by her side all the time. They decorated the baby's
room and prepared everything for the birth, that wasn't until 2 months more,
but Beverly have been so worried about it that she just decided to have everything
prepared so that she should just wait until her baby came to the world, or space,
as you wish to call it.
Jean-Luc on his side was completely crazy about his baby, he was so afraid of not having children, that when he found out that he was going to be a father his duties changed to only one thing, spoil his wife.
He was so happy that everybody in the ship was happy, if someone needed a few days or if someone needed anything no matter what the word out of his mouth was always "granted".
So that Deanna had to be working for two, for her as always and for her Admiral, giving him advices and trying to control the mass of permissions granted to the crew.
Finally, the day was over, Deanna was at her quarters and she could feel that she was pregnant too. Beverly have not been well at all and today was one of the worst days, she told Deanna that it was maybe because she was not a young woman and that having this baby was going to be more difficult than what she thought and she had to admit than her friend was probably right.
But the day was over and all she needed was to sleep. And she almost made it when suddenly her comm. beeped.
"Troi here." She managed to say sleepily.
"Counselor, something's wrong with Beverly, she's at sickbay already and I just called you to let you know." Was Jean-Luc worried message to her.
"I'll be right there Admiral." She said going out of bed.
She just grabbed her robe and left the room. In the way she could see some ensigns staring at her and she was happy that they still considered her "Their fantasy", but anyway, this was not the time to think about that.
She made it to sickbay really quickly and what she saw in there make her feel really scared.
Admiral Picard was in a test bed because he fainted as soon as he saw his wife going into labor and that was something she didn't expected from the brave Admiral of the Enterprise.
So all she did was going to gave support to her friend.
"Beverly, I came as soon as I could. How are you doing dear?"
"I'm going fine than you, but I'm worried, the baby is still 28 weeks and I don't know how is this going to go and..."
She couldn't finish because another contraction came to her and all she did was holding her friend's hand.
A nurse came and told them that she was fully dilated and that it was time to push.
It all happened so fast that they didn't even notice it, when they noticed they were on the last contraction.
"Come on Bev, you can do it, it's almost here!"
"I'm tired, I'm so tired."
"Doctor, just one more push and we are going to see the baby!" Said the nurse to her.
"Come on Bev, you can do it, you can!"
"Okay, here I go."
And few minutes after that Ives Picard was born.
"Oh, my God, he's so beautiful Bev!" Said Deanna with tears in her eyes.
"He is isn't it? Oh Deanna, I'm so happy!" Beverly said kissing his son before the nurse took him away to put him in the incubator to administrate him some medicines to help his growth.
"By the way, where's Jean-Luc?" Asked Beverly searching the room to find her husband.
Deanna moved to reveal a still unconscious Picard in the next bed.
"Well, he can deal with first contacts, aliens, wars and the new frontiers we discover but he can't watch his son's birth." Bev said smiling at Deanna.
"You can't expect him to be perfect." Was Deanna response and then they both looked at him smiling.
After a few hours Jan-Luc was conscious again and his boy was better, the drugs worked perfect on his little body and his vital signs were as normal as a 9 month would be.
"Congratulations Admiral, you are a father now." Said Deanna looking at Picard ho was holding his new born son.
"Yes, you better than anybody know how much I wanted this and now I can't still believe he's here." He responded Deanna but didn't move his gaze from his son.
"I'm glad you are happy Admiral, you deserved it."
"But I couldn't have made it without my perfect match." He said looking
lovingly at Beverly.
"Well, I'm glad you still remember me." She said faking a frown face.
"I could never forget you, you are my soul mate." Picard answered and walked to kiss his wife.
When Deanna heard the words 'soul mate' she couldn't do anything but remember Will. She still loved him and all this months without knowing anything from him were killing her but she didn't want to admit it.
"Well, I'm going to go now, I bet you want to be alone and you need to inform the crew that your son has been born Admiral." Deanna Smiled and was just about to leave the room when she heard her friend's voice.
"Thank you Dee." Said Beverly.
"It was my pleasure." She said and left the room.
Soon after she arrived to her quarters she heard her Admiral's voice on the comm.
"All hands, I'm glad to inform you all that my son Ives Picard was born today at 2300 hours, my thanks goes to everybody involved in his birth specially to Counselor Troi. Picard out."
She was so moved that the only thing she could do was cry and she fall asleep.
Two weeks passed quickly and Ives was better and was a strong boy, he had her
mother's hair and eyes but the rest was totally Picard. Deanna loved him, she
spend every single free moment with him.
She was just leaving Beverly's quarters and she was so distracted thinking about Ives that before she knew it she was on the floor.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't see you come can I help you..." She couldn't finish and after a few seconds she managed to. "Will?"
"Hi Deanna, nice to see you." He said still on the floor looking at her.
"What are you doing here?" Said Deanna helping him to stand up.
"Well, there's a ceremony in two days and as far as I remember I'm going to be the godfather of a child in that ceremony. But maybe I just got in the wrong ship." Will answered her looking her as if saying 'and you ask me?'
"Oh, yes. Right. Have you seen the baby already?" She asked now with Will in front of her.
"No, I was going to Beverly's quarters to see him when suddenly I was on the floor." He said smiling and after that he embraced her strongly before she moved away.
At first Deanna stiffed a little but then she surrounded him strongly as they used to do in the old times.
"Come on, you better see him right now, I think he must be awake but if he eats something and gets sleep you are not going to meet him by today." She said smiling.
"Okay, let's better hurry."
Beverly was just about to put Ives on his cradle when she heard her door chime rang.
"Hi again." Said Deanna walking inside the room.
"I thought you said you have things to do. Honestly Deanna, I think you spend more time with my son that at work." Beverly say smiling.
"Well, you probably are right, but I'm here because I found somebody on the hallway and he wants to see the baby. Is he still awake?" Deanna asked looking towards the nursery.
"Yes, I placed him into his cradle, I have to do some paperwork and he is calmed now so I thought it was the best moment, but ho wants to meet him. I thought everybody in this ship already has." Asked Beverly holding a padd.
"Just an old friend ho couldn't be here before but it's now." She said and opened the door and after she did Will came in and saw Beverly.
"William T. Riker, I thought you have forgotten us!" Said Beverly walking towards him.
"Course not! How could I do that. Is just that we have so much work to do over the past weeks and then I found out that the baby came earlier and I came as fast as I could, believe me." He said to her smiling.
"Does Jan-Luc know you're here?" She asked him.
"Course he does, you know nothing can pass him by!" He said laughing.
"You say that because you don't know how 'brave' he was when Ives was born right Dee... Dee?" Beverly noticed her friend was not on the living room anymore.
"Where is she?" Asked Will to Beverly.
"I bet she's with Ives." She said with resingment on her voice. "Come this way."
They walked to the nursery and when Will came in she realized how beautiful the room was. It had baby blue walls with colored clouds on it and it had holographic projections of animals that lightened the room but the image he liked the most was one in the corner and it was of a woman he loved more than life holding a new born baby with so much love that he wished he could stay like this forever, just watching her.
"Isn't he lovely Will?" Deanna asked at the same time she stand up to walk to him.
"Yes, he is. Well it's kind of obvious isn't it? He couldn't be awful having those parents and of course his godparents are a good inspiration for him to follow." He said and Deanna and Beverly just looked at him as if saying 'so typical of you'.
"Yes, he is adorable, I just can't stay away from him for more than two hours, I came here all the time to see him and I love every second I spent with him." Deanna said looking at the baby.
"Ives is so used to see here that if she takes him out of bed when he's asleep he doesn't even stirred in protest but if somebody else do that he cries out loud a lot." Said Beverly as if trying to surprise Will.
"I know she causes that trust effect." He said looking at her.
"Do you want to hold him?" Asked Deanna.
Will took him tenderly in his arms and Deanna felt his feelings, all the love he had to give to a little person that was going to be like his son.
"Well, I'm going to take the opportunity of having you two here and I'm going to sickbay. Can you watch him for a while?" Beverly asked to both of them.
They both said yes only with the heads not looking at her but to the baby.
When Beverly left Will removed his gaze from the baby to Deanna.
"Deanna." Said will softly in order to not wake up the baby who was asleep on Deanna's arms.
"Mjm?" She said still looking at the baby.
"I love you."
That was all he said and all she needed to hear to give him her attention.
"What?" She asked confused.
"I love you, I always did and I'll always will." He said honestly.
"Will, I thought I made it clear when I said that we are only going to remain on friends." Deanna said looking at the table in front of them and trying to fake an offended attitude.
"Come on Deanna, you can't fool me. I know you better than anyone else and I know what that missed look means. You love me as much as I do and you can't change that, because we're Imzadi."
Deanna remained silent for a few moments and then turned to face him, she saw all the love he had to give and was then when she couldn't stop herself. She lined forward to kiss him tenderly and Will didn't hesitated on accept her kiss. It was brief but it was all what they needed and when it was over everything have changed.
"I have always been surprised of the changes that a baby can make in the lifes of the ones around him but this is fantastic." Will said looking at Deanna.
Al Deanna do was hold Ives tighter and smiled at Will.
Before everybody knew it a whole year passed. Ives was a year old now and another baby was going to come to the Picard family, Deanna and Will got married in the must beautiful ceremony ever a few months ago.
"So tell me Dee, is your life better now?" Asked Beverly ho was on her quarters looking at Ives ho was playing with a teddy.
"Yes, I am, I don't know why it took me all those years to realize that I was never going to be happy with anybody but Will." She smiled at her and then looked at Ives ho in order to reach his teddy went straight to the floor and started to cry.
"Oh dear! Come here love. Shh, everything is okay, mummy is here and nothing is going to happen to you, shh." Beverly said now from the floor holding his baby trying to calm him.
Deanna looked at them and felt how easily Ives's sadness and fear for the fall started to disappear in his mothers arms. She was feeling
<I love you.>
Deanna looked around to see if Will was in the room now but he wasn't so all she could do was send him a thought to see if he was the one ho called her.
<Did you call me dear?>
Will asked to the Starfleet permission to remain on the Enterprise for a year in order to organize his life and the feet agreed so he was on duty on the bridge at the moment when he heard her.
<No, I didn't, is something wrong?>
<No, I just thought that you did, never mind, keep working. I love you.>
<And I love you.>
Deanna looked at Beverly ho was now sited in front of her with Ives on her arms and looked at her bigger tummy.
"So, how's it going with the new baby?" Deanna asked at Ives who was with his thumb on his mouth, thing that he used to do since he was a new born and continued now.
"Well, the baby is great but the one that has been mad at it is Ives, he's jealous!" Beverly said looking at her son ho was now falling asleep.
"He is? Oh that's so cute, how do you know?"
"Well, last week I saw him looking at me and the started to cry as if I "
And again she heard it.
<I love you.>
"Ho is it!" Deanna shouted.
"What's wrong Deanna?" Beverly looked at her worried.
"I don't know, I heard the same, well, I didn't hear it, I felt it but I think I heard it to I don't know how to explain it Bev, but a few minutes ago when I arrived here I heard somebody said 'I love you' and I though it was will so I asked him but he wasn't and now I heard it again or felt it or both of them, I don't know." Deanna finished her story now looking pale.
"What do you think about us going down to sickbay and I run some testes on you, just wait here while I go to put Ives on his cradle." Beverly said and Deanna agreed with the head and she left the room to her son's nursery.
A few minutes after that Deanna was on sickbay with a scanner running over her.
"Well, there's nothing wrong with your mind or your body, but there's something new here that I haven't seen before." Beverly looked seriously at Deanna.
"What is it Beverly, tell me, don't keep it from me. If there is something wrong I have to know." Deanna said looking at her friend and got surprised when her serious face turned into a big smile.
"You have something new, that's correct, I think he's like 8 weeks old and growing. You're pregnant." Beverly finished smiling.
Deanna couldn't believe it he didn't knew it, well she thought she could be but she never
"Then that's why." Was all she said.
"That's why what." Beverly said at her.
"Well, sometimes, betazoids women can feel their baby's feelings or thoughts, so what I heard this morning were my baby's feelings."
"Oh, that's great, you are so lucky, I would love to feel my baby's feelings too."
"Yes, I am. Well, I have to go to tell Will about our baby. Thank you so much Bev." Deanna smiled at her and then left.
She went straight to the bridge and he was not there, she went at Ten-forward and he was not there either so she do what she can.
"Computer, localize Captain Riker."
"Captain Riker it's at his quarters."
Deanna moved to her quarters and she found him there reading on their bed.
"Hi, I came here and didn't saw you, where were you." Will said standing up and moved to kiss his wife.
"I went with Beverly at sickbay." She smiled and responded his kiss.
"Are you sick? It's something wrong?" Will worried tone was noticeable.
"No, nothing is wrong, come here." Deanna grabbed his hands and lead him towards the bed.
"What are you doing" Will asked her confused.
Deanna closed her eyes and talked to herself.
<Hi> Deanna thought.
<I love you too, and your daddy wants to hear you love him.>
Deanna opened her eyes and looked at Will with so much love in her eyes as he have never seen, she grabbed his hands and smiled.
"Will, I need you to concentrate, you must hear something."
Will didn't say anything but closed his eyes and did as his wife asked. Deanna closed her eyes too and talked to herself again.
<Okay, he's listening.> Deanna said.
<I love you daddy.>
Will let go her hands and opened her eyes as fast as he could and Deanna smiled at him.
"Ho?" Was all he managed to articulate.
"It's our baby, I'm pregnant Will." Deanna smiled at him.
"Oh Deanna, thank you so much, I'm the happiest man on earth!" He embraced her and kissed her.
"I found out this morning, I'm 8 weeks now."
"I love you Imzadi."
"And I you."
Five months passed and Pierre Picard was born, Beverly wanted a girl but when she saw him she didn't care all she knew was that she loved him as much as she could. Ives was still jealous but he managed to kiss his little brother and be near him all the times he could.
Two months latter, Dezanna Riker was born, she had crystal blue eyes that obviously came from her father but the rest was totally Deanna's.
Lwaxana was completely happy with her new born granddaughter and she send presents almost every day.
One night after a busy day Deanna was in the nursery holding Dezz, as everybody called her, and Will came in.
"I remember the first time I saw you holding a baby." He looked at her peacefully.
"Yes, when I was holding Ives, I remember too. But this is completely different; I'm holding our daughter, OUR daughter." She looked at him with tearful eyes.
"Yes, she's our daughter. I still remember the times when we didn't even looked at each other. That was awful."
"I remember that too, but don't mention it, I'm still ashamed of the way I treated you and the way I changed, that was awful." She turned her face into a light red he adored.
"Yes, that was horrible from you to do, but I have to admit that I always knew it."
"What?" Deanna looked at him surprised of hearing him say that.
Will walked and went to his knees in front of her to kiss his daughter and then looked at her straight to the eyes.
"That I was going to have your soul back to me."