"What is it?" an astonished Beverly Crusher asked, standing in the
bedroom of Deanna Troi.
"I have no idea, " she answered as they both circled the large crate that seemed set to take up permanent residence in her bedroom; it was taller then the CMO and much taller then the petite counselor.
"But it arrived yesterday, " she said suppressing a giggle at the uproar it had caused in the cargo bay when it had been discovered that the crate was under strict orders not to be transported, but instead had to be carried to her quarters. *Men...* she thought, shaking her head. They had used an anti-grav cart, it had not been that much of an inconvenience; although she did shudder at the embarrassment she had felt when the Captain had questioned why a gift addressed to her was causing such a commotion.
"Well, I say we open it, " Beverly said, a gleam in her eye as her finger poised above the button on the control panel that would release whatever it was from the crate.
"I just don't understand who could have sent it," Deanna wondered aloud as she sat down on the bed in front of the present.
"Maybe there's a note inside. It was scanned so at least we know nothing dangerous is going to jump out and get us!" she said laughing. "Let's open it!"
"O.k.! You can do the honors since it's killing you to find out what it is, " she said laughing at her best friends eagerness.
As the crate hissed open, Deanna stood up , moving closer. "It's beautiful, " she said breathlessly.
Nestled within the crate stood an ornately carved full-length mirror.
"Oh, Deanna, it is beautiful...and very old 200 or 300 years, I'd guess. But, I still don't see any note. I guess you've still got a mystery on your hands, " Beverly said. "Where are you going to put it? "
"I don't know, but how are we going to get it out; it must weigh a ton?" she said inspecting it closely.
"Maybe Data can help...Oh damn, I didn't realize how late it was; I've got a meeting in ten minutes, but I'll come by later to help you, " the CMO said as Deanna walked her to the door. "Maybe Will knows something about this, " she said as she walked out with Beverly.
"You think Will sent it?!" Beverly asked curiously. Was there something Deanna had "forgotten" to mention?
"No, not really I guess, but maybe he can help shed some light on this little mystery, " she said as they entered the turbo lift.
"So you have no idea who sent it? " Will Riker asked Deanna as they sat enjoying a late dinner in Ten-Forward. He wasn't sure, but he thought he didn't like the idea of someone sending his Imzadi such an elaborate gift...and anonymously at that.
"No, but you can come see it if you'd like, " she said smiling and placing her hand on his upper arm.
"You know, I'm not empathic, but I sense an ulterior motive with getting me to your cabin, " he said smiling mischievously at her.
"Oh, you!" she said swatting his arm playfully, " O.k. you caught me. I need some help getting the mirror out of it's crate."
A little disappointed, he nodded. "And here I just thought you liked my company, " he said pulling her chair out for her as she got up.
"You know I do, " she smiled at him as she took the arm he offered her. "It's the crate in the middle of my bedroom I could do without, " she said as they left Ten-Forward.
"I don't understand it, " Deanna said as they stood in front of the mirror which was now minus the crate and standing in the corner of her bedroom facing the bed. "Computer, has anyone been in my quarters since Dr. Crusher and I left earlier this evening?"
"Negative, " was the computer's response.
"Well it didn't just walk out on it's own, " she said as Will ran his hand over the elaborate carvings of the mirror. "Maybe Beverly did ask Data to remove it, " she reasoned, coming to stand next to Will.
"But that doesn't explain why the computer doesn't have a record of anyone being here...and I don't think Data would come into your quarters without finding you first, " he said letting his arm encircle her waist.
Looking down at his hand resting gently on her hip, she moved away. "Maybe he was here and something's wrong with the computer records or....maybe whoever sent it is on-board and they removed it and then covered their tracks so I wouldn't know who they were, " she laughed at his surprised expression. "Maybe I have a secret admirer."
"Maybe...I'll have a diagnostic run on the records, if you'd like, " he reassured her, knowing he definitely didn't like the idea of anyone being in Deanna's cabin without her knowledge, no matter how helpful they were.
"I don't think that's necessary just yet, besides....if it is a secret admirer, I don't want to ruin it by finding out who it is before they're ready to tell me, " she said watching him expectedly. When he didn't offer any more, she asked him, "So your telling me you had nothing to do with this gift? " Still expecting him to "come clean" , she waited for his confession as she got them some wine from the replicator.
"Nothing what-so-ever. Maybe it's from your mother, " he said taking the glass and suppressing a shudder at the thought that this might be some kind of calling card from Lwaxana Troi, but at the same time hoping it was, since he didn't want to entertain the idea of Deanna having a secret admirer on-board.
"I bet your right, " she said sitting down next to him on the couch. It was a little early for a birthday present...nevertheless, she could have sent it, but why no note of explanation, Deanna wondered.
Will put his arm around her and laying her head on his shoulder, she settled in to enjoy the evening and ponder her life's newest mysteries.
"Goodnight, " she said standing with Will at the door.
"Goodnight, Deanna, " he whispered, bending down and letting his lips brush against hers in the softest of kisses.
"What was that for? " she asked breathlessly.
"Just because, " he told her as the doors hissed shut. She brought her fingers to her lips as she turned and walked to the bedroom and catching her reflection in the mirror, walked over to stand in front of it. She could feel Will's emotions had taken on a decidedly more romantic tone recently...maybe, even a little jealous at the thought of a secret admirer, she mused.
"Maybe he's ready, " she spoke to the mirror. "But am I? " she whispered.
She ran her fingers over the smooth surface of the mirror. "Maybe I am, " she smiled, before turning and going to bed.
In the darkness of her room, Deanna tossed and turned, her sleep troubled by the new emotions she sensed from her Imzadi. Frustrated, she got up, deciding that maybe some hot chocolate would help her sleep. As she passed the mirror, she stopped and admired it's beauty once again.
"Where did you come from? " she asked it quietly...and to her astonishment it answered, "From your deepest desires. "
The voice reverberated in her mind as a ripple appeared in the smooth surface. Amazed, she reached out tentatively to touch the glass and found herself in a void of nothingness. Turning, she saw her bedroom on the other side of the mirror.
"You're wasting your time, you know," she heard whispered from behind her into her ear. Spinning around she could see and sense no one. "What? Who's there?"
Now in the other ear, "I said, your wasting your time. He's not ready."
"Where are you?! " she screamed, "Show yourself. "
"You had but to ask m'lady, " and with that, he appeared, dressed in tight black breeches and a flowing white shirt, he circled her. "I can guarantee he's not ready. "
"He is; I know he is, " she said, loosing her conviction at the sound of his.
"What makes you think he's ready to settle down now, of all times? " he asked her, closing the circle and taking her in his arms. His long black hair was pulled back, held by a silver clasp, and his clear green eyes penetrated her very soul with the truth of his words, " I am Lucien. And if he were ready, you'd be with him now and not me. "
Starting to doubt herself, she struggled out of his grasp. "Things have changed, " she managed weakly.
"No, they haven't; see for yourself, " and another mirror appeared before them. Dumbfounded, she looked into the reflection, but instead of herself, she saw Will, holding someone else in a passionate embrace.
"See, right now as you try to defend him, he proves what I'm saying is true. "
"No...it's not true, " she said turning away from the image, tears forming in her eyes.
"It's all right, lovely Deanna. I've come to spare you all this, " he said gesturing to the mirror. "To spare you the years of indecision, of pain...of loneliness, " and taking her hand, enveloped her in a bright light. When the light subsided she found herself dressed not in her nightgown, but in a long, flowing gown of white and gold.
"Come dance with me, lovely Deanna. Leave your pain behind. " As he took her into his arms once more, they began dancing in a ballroom that moments before had been the black void. Confused and hurt from what she had seen in the mirror, she melted into him, holding his hand tightly in desperation. "I'm loosing my mind, " she whispered.
"No, Deanna, your loosing your pain. And fear; fear of what has happened and what will happen, " he reassured her.
"My... fear? " she questioned. "Yes, my fear!" she said pulling away from him and running toward the mirror. "It's my fear that's reflected, not what's really happening. " And picking up a vase from a nearby pedestal, she smashed the mirror, revealing it's true reflection: she was the woman in Will's arms.
Sitting upright in her bed and breathing heavily, she looked around her room.
"Troi to Riker," she said, her voice cracking.
A few moments passed and then, "Deanna? What's wrong? "
"I'm fine, but...could you come to my quarters, " she asked, embarrassed to have woken him and even more embarrassed of what she was asking.
"I'll be there in a few minutes, " was the response.
He found her siting on the couch, her knees tucked up under her chin. "Deanna, are you o.k.? " he asked and sat down beside her.
Throwing her arms around his neck, she pulled him into a fevered kiss. After a few moments she broke the kiss, and looking up into his eyes, she took a deep breath.
"Will, I love you. I have always loved you and will always love you. I want to be with you; to fall asleep in your arms and to wake-up the same way. I want to have your children and I want to grow old with you. Please Will, Imzadi, tell me if you feel the same way. "
After years of side-stepping around their feelings, he was elated and a little shocked that she had broken the cycle this way. "Deanna, I do feel the same way, I have for a very long time. " Taking her into his arms and holding her tightly, "And, just for future reference, you can wake me up in the middle of the night anytime you want, " he said, wiping away her tears of happiness and resuming the kiss
"So how did you like my present, Little One? " Lwaxana Troi said as Deanna played the message.
"I had it sent all the way from Zenallii III. The first thing I thought when I saw it was 'What a wonderful wedding gift this would make.' But, of course knowing you, I decided to send it anyway...."
As the message played on, Will stood behind Deanna, his hands coming to rest on her shoulders and massaging them gently. "When are you going to let her know? " he asked. "Oh, I don't see any need to rush things, " she said, placing her hand on top of his, the reflection of the diamond ring on her finger, glittering softly in the mirror beside them.
Taking her hand and pulling her up and around into his arms, he kissed her tenderly, "Your not going to tell her it did turn out to be a wonderful wedding gift? "
"Not just yet, " she said, smiling and pulling him towards the bed. "I've got more important things to do right now. "