Title: 'Blink of the Eye'
Disclaimer: yep, Paramount has it all . .
NOTE:This story is a twist on the book Dark Mirror by Diane Duane. This first chapter I will consider to be a 'cheater chapter' because I use some descriptions from the book along with my own. Hope it doesn't start out too confusing. Feedback is very welcome!! According to the book, this takes place during the fourth season...
It all began within the blink of the eye...
And if you would have done so, you would have missed the only indication that accompanied the Enterprise NCC 1701 D in the jump into an alternate universe. A universe consisting of mankind's darkest qualities. A universe filled with such evil and malevolence that one would have to wonder how it evolved this far.
A slight dimming of perception had occurred, and only for a split
second. Some described it as being like the moment before a sneeze,
when everything sort of fades out. That was it. No grandiose light
show, no shuddering from the ships hull. Nothing. Except the fact that now
someone from that alternate universe transported onto this Enterprise
undetected, attempting to steal information from the ship's computer core.
Luckily, the sensors picked up the computer breech and the intruder was captured quickly. But the information that was collected from him during the interrogation was overwhelming, to say the least. He was, in one universe, Ensign Mark Stewart assigned to botany and hydrponics...in another, he was just a pawn.
The ship's long range sensors confirmed what was already suspected. Out there, in the vastness of space was an alternate Enterprise very unlike their own. Ruled by fear, commanded by pure terror, this ship was one in which the only method of 'career enhancement' was to kill the person whose job you were after. Nightmarish duplicates of Picard, Riker, Troi, LaForge, Worf and others were brutally described by Stewart using such words as cold, cruel, muderer...death.
And now, much to Will Riker's horror, he had suggested that Deanna Troi be a part of the away team that was to infiltrate the other ship, take over the 'other' Troi and figure out their plans.
He was able to remain seated while the eavesdropping probe that was launched scanned the other ship. But as soon as a visual of the bridge came across the main viewscreen, and his alternate self came into view, he could sit no longer. He jumped up and watched as the scowling other Riker walk from the ready room to sit in the command 'throne' . The uniforms were quite different, he noted, especially his own. The top consisted of a black vee yoke without sleeves, leaving the muscular arms bare. The short tunic was belted at the waist with a woven gold sash, supporting a big nasty-looking phaser on one side, and a ceremonial-looking dagger on the other. The pants were black and very tight. Too tight, Will thought. Leaving little to the imagination, it appeared that modesty was not an attribute they held with high standards. Well, at least this Riker did not. It seemed as if he wanted to show off in any way he could.
It was obvious from Stewart's interrogation that the alternate Riker and alternate Troi were lovers. And probably so for other reasons than love, as sex seemed readily used as a means of soliciting favors from others. And it was as if the other Troi had found great favor in Riker. Or perhaps from the way Stewert talked, Riker had found favor with Troi. As she was the one who was feared the most of all.
What a pair, Will thought. The image of Deanna going over there, taking the place of the alternate Troi, made him sick to his stomach now. She would be there with that monster that was still on the view screen. Lord knows what would happen while she was there, and the worst part of it all was that he couldn't go to protect her. He sighed guiltily. What he wouldn't do now to take back that suggestion.
The surveillance from the other ship's bridge continued and Will continued to study the faces, the uniforms...himself. A few short seconds later, he found that his jaw had dropped to the floor when the other Troi appeared. She emerged from the turbolift and stood at Tactical, looking the bridge over. The Deanna Troi that Will Riker knew was nonthreatening, friendly, neutral. But this woman, she stood there erect and dangerous-looking, not trying in the slightest to minimize the effect. She carried herself like a banner, like a weapon. Once again the uniform was different. The harness, as there was too little of it to call it a top, or even a bodice--seemed to be made of woven gold, like the ornamental sashes. More woven metal, blue this time, bordered it, and the bordering met and gathered up at the left shoulder to support the insignia. From the gather, over the shoulder fell several folds of the blue fabric, the gold interwoven with it, down to about waist height. The right shoulder was bare, as was the midriff. Then quite low on the hips, the skirt began--that blue metallic fabric again, gracefully flowing down just past the tops of the above-the-knee boots, but cut right up to the weapons belt at the hip, leaving a handspan's space bare between its attachment to the belt front and back. A phaser was holstered there, and a dagger was sheathed on the outside of the right boot.
She walked down to the command level of the bridge and stared at Riker, who smiled slightly. The look that passed between them made Will grow hot with embarrassment as he watched with wonder and horror. Then the screen went blank.
The away team consisting of Geordi and Deanna were finishing the last minute preparations to the shuttle that would get them within transporter range. Picard was there with a few other crewmen when Will walked in. The commander's attention immediately focused on Deanna as she talked to the captain. Will felt his heart skip and his palms grow sweaty as he gazed at this new Troi. She looked identical to the image from the other Enterprise, right down to the way she carried herself. He watched with awe as she was able to completely change her demeanor. Its a good thing Beverly isn't here because she'd see this as an audition, he thought.
Will waited until Picard moved away before he moved closer. He grabbed her elbow gently and pulled her aside. "Deanna, I just wanted to apologize for getting you involved in this. I thought-"
"Commander," she began, "you knew then...and you know now that I have to go. Geordi needs my ability over there."
"Yes, but after viewing... myself over there, I don't like what you might be facing." He held her shoulders softly, his eyes unconciously roving downward.
"I'm a big girl, Commander. I can take care of myself." Deanna backed away out of his reach, slightly embarrassed.
Will smiled at her as his arms fell to his sides. "I have never doubted that. Just be careful...of me, please?" His eyes were as serious as his plea. Deanna knew what he was getting at, and she had tried to prepare herself as best she could if such an occasion would arise.
She smiled back at him knowing that it was probably the last time for awhile that she could show such an emotion. "I will. I promise. Besides, I've had plenty of practice at avoiding you thus far, haven't I?" She tried to joke and lighten the moment.
Will chuckled and shook his head. "I just hope the other guy isn't more persistent."
Deanna cocked her head as she sensed a bit of jealousy and anger from him. Deciding now was not the time to pursue this any further, she scooted past his large body, knowing that she had to get back into her character quickly.
Will reluctantly watched her go. "Number One?" Picard called.
Following the captain and other crewmen out of the dock, Will glanced back one last time to the shuttle, feeling that same sickening emotion wash over him again.
When Data told the away team that they would have no idea where their counterparts were until they materialized onto the alternate Enterprise, Deanna swore she heard Geordi gulp. Neither had much experience in espionage but at least Deanna knew how to act. Poor Geordi was virtually clueless as to how to behave. His duplicate was never seen in what little visual they were able to obtain. Deanna sensed his fear, and in combination with her own, was making her wish she had turned down this assignment. They both carried emergency transporter devices but were told to use them in only the most dire of situations, giving little comfort.
She had been hiding in a jeffries tube while Geordi began the first steps in breaking into the computer core. Watching nervously, she tried to center herself, concentrate on what needed to be done, and not the terror she was picking up from the few crew members she had seen. They had managed quite easily to take down the other LaForge and now his stunned sleeping body rested in his quarters, hidden from view. But the other Troi had not been seen yet. Sooner or later though, Deanna would have to venture out and track her down. She sighed heavily at that thought.
Meeting her evil duplicate was not something she looked forward to. She had watched the video a hundred times over and still found it difficult to think that she could behave that way. She closed her eyes for a moment then went back to watching Geordi. Sensing a distinct presence nearby, Deanna tried to get the Engineer's attention but he was too focused on getting the last bit of data stored into the isolinear chips he brought.
Deanna watched in horror as the other LaForge appeared looking extremely annoyed and surrounded by a hoard of security personnel. Geordi looked up just in time to catch a figure slithering out from the shadows from behind the group that now surrounded him. It was the counsellor.
Not wanting to give away Deanna's location, Geordi smiled at the group. "Hi," was all his brain could muster.
The other Troi whispered something to LaForge and the group closed in. Geordi fumbled for his transporter and prayed Deanna would do the same. An instant later, he was gone.
Deanna reached for her own that she had placed in the only place available, between her breasts under the harness. But it was gone. NO! her mind cried before she silenced herself, hoping Troi would not pick up on her emotions.
Luckily, she had been distracted by Geordi's disappearance and was relaying information back to the bridge. Deanna slunk further back into the tube, trying to figure out how in the hell she was going to get out of here.
Captain Picard watched his first in command pace the floor of the bridge and was growing weary of the large man's movements. "Number One, is this something you plan on doing the entire time the away team is gone?"
Will stopped and folded his arms, slightly ashamed at his obvious show of nervousness. "Sorry, sir."
Picard rose to his feet and walked towards Will. "Perhaps you should take a break. They are not due to check in for another forty-five minutes and since we have lost visual contact, there's not much more you can do for now."
"Thank you, sir. But with your permission I'd like to stay right here. And I'll promise to stop pacing." He added quickly.
Picard nodded and returned with Will, to their respective chairs. No sooner did they sit down before they were back standing again. Astonished at the appearance of Geordi Laforge.
"Did the counsellor come back?" he asked quickly.
Will's stomach churned.
"No. What happened Mr. LaForge?" Picard walked towards his ready room but stopped as he passed Geordi. "You are my chief engineer, are you not?"
"Yes, sir! I can tell you what Worf had for dinner last night, if you want proof? But we don't have a lot of time!"
"No. That won't be necessary."
"We have to get Deanna out of there! Their gonna figure out what I've done and come after us," Geordi sounded frantic. "Then who knows what will happen with...her." He almost stopped mid sentence after he looked at the anguish on Will's face.
Will stepped in, "Captain, send me over there. I can find Deanna and bring her back."
Picard pulled at his bottom lip for a second before nodding. "Quickly, Number one. If that ship tries to find us, I have no choice but to try and get us back to our universe."
"Understood." Will nearly ran off the bridge, pausing slightly as he waited for Geordi to catch up and give any details he could.
Deanna waited a few minutes after the entourage left and climbed out of the tube. Stretching out her body, she moaned softly as her limbs ached from being confined for too long.
Glancing down the hall, she exited that part of engineering and headed...where? Where should she go, she thought. 'Well, I guess I need to get to the bridge. And they only way I'm doing that is by taking her place.'
Deanna headed off to her quarters to wait for Troi to appear.
Acting quickly, O'brien set the transporter frequency to match the other Enterprise's and beamed Commander Riker to the camoflouged shuttle. Then from the shuttle, he removed his uniform and beamed himself over to the Enterprise, directly to Riker's quarters.
Once inside, Will found a uniform hanging in the closet and began to pull the pants on when he heard the door swish open. Jumping back out of sight, he heard a womans voice cursing before something shattered against the wall. Peering out, he saw the other Troi standing with her hands on her hips laughing at the mess she had just made.
She quickly turned and spotted him. Will froze. "I thought you might be here," she hissed and walked towards the bedroom. Her eyes moving down his body. "Don't bother to get dressed Riker. I need you out here now," she nearly growled.
Will dropped the pants and walked out, using the mind-blocking techniques Deanna had taught him during their time on Betazed. Troi sat lazily on the bed and grabbed his hand as he walked by. "The captain insists on a meeting in twenty minutes," she said. "But the captain can just wait." She grabbed his other hand and pulled him down on top of her. "Don't you think?"
Deanna walked down the corridors holding her head high, praying silently that no one she passed had just seen the counselor elsewhere. The overwhelming feeling of fear from the crew members that walked by her was startling. This counselor has these people so terrified that they nearly bowed in her presence. She was a murderer. That much Deanna knew for sure. What would it take for me to turn that way, she thought.
Rounding the last corner before her quarters, she nearly stumbled when she spotted Riker exiting the very door that she intended to enter. Oh God...what if she's in there?
She was too far down the hall to turn around and go the other way so she took a deep breath and continued on. Riker turned sharply like a wolf who had just smelled dinner and stared at her. He took two steps back to the door and leaned against the frame, arms folded against his broad chest.
"The captain wants my head, for letting you take charge of that trespasser. How could you let him get away?" Riker snarled.
Deanna smiled evily, just as she had seen the other Troi do and walked right up to him. Placing one hand on his cheek and one on his chest, she leaned in close and whispered, "Don't ever question my motives, Commander." She let the door to her room open and walked through. Riker followed.
"What possible motive could you have for letting an intruder escape?" He puffed up his chest as an act of intimidation and closed in on her.
"Because now, you fool, we can track the other Enterprise." She pushed him back away from her. "The computer information he retrieved had a coded tracking beacon interwoven in the data!" She hoped like hell that he would believe her lies.
Riker's lips curled upward into a smile filled with pride and lust. Deanna turned away and walked to the replicator. "Now...if we give them a few hours to process the data into their computer banks, we will be able to locate them." She shivered slightly as she felt his rough hands encircle her bare midriff.
"Imzadi..." he began to place hot kisses across her shoulder.
Imzadi? Did he just say Imzadi? Good Lord... Deanna grabbed a hold of his hands and pushed them off her. Wiggling herself out from between him and the replicator, she turned and gave him a scathing look. Opening her mouth to say something, she stopped suddenly. Now she couldn't let this man out of her sight. As much as she wished he would leave, there was no way, for if he were to come across Troi...they would surely find her out.
"Problem?" Riker asked with a look of amusement. "Rumor has it, that I'm not enough for you anymore. But it appears that you're the one pushing away."
Deanna groaned inwardly and closed her eyes as he pulled her to him. He kissed her forcefully and passionately. She tried not to tense up but that was asking the impossible. However, the longer the erotic kiss went, the tension eased and for a split second (though it felt like an eternity), she felt pleasure and found her body irrationally responding to his caress.
The aggressiveness of this Deanna Troi should not have come as any surprise to Will. But it did, and he was caught comepletely off guard. Thankfully, the urgency of the situation outweighed anything his body desired and he rolled away, wincing, as her nails left long raw trails across his shoulders and down his chest.
He eyed her painfully and stood up. "Whats the matter, Will? Not up for the rough stuff today?" She crawled to the edge of the bed and grabbed his bare thigh with her right hand, digging her nails into the hardened flesh.
Realizing that this was possibly the only chance to help Deanna, Will placed his hands on her shoulders and gazed into her dark eyes. "If thats how you want, love...then thats what you'll get."
Will saw a smirk appear on her face just before she fell over unconcious. He released the pressure points and carried her to the bathroom. He then layed her in the shower stall and bound her up using the sheets from the bed. "Sorry, " the sarcastic tone was muffled as he quickly put on Riker's uniform.
<Picard to Riker>
Riker took a step back from Deanna and watched her eyes slowly open. "Riker here."
<I need you in engineering ASAP. And leave that worthless counsellor wherever it is that you are. Picard out>
"I guess you got him a little pissed off." Riker wiped the lipstick from his mouth.
"He'll get over it. Especially after you tell him of the plan." Deanna tried to steady herself and figure out her next move.
Riker walked to the door. "Be here when I get back. I'm sure this won't take long."
She watched him leave before letting a few choice Betazoid curse words fly.
After struggling to pull the tall black boots on, Will stood and inspected himself in the mirror. He must have adjusted himself a dozen times before he was comfortable with the tight pants. It seemed that every bulge and curve stood out for the world to see. So much for protection, he thought.
The only items he was missing were the dagger and phaser; the very two he needed the most. But everything else looked identical to the image he had studied, including the perpetual facial scowl. He took one last peek into the shower stall, making sure Troi was still out cold, and headed for the door with the hope that Deanna was still somewhere in engineering.
Walking past the door that he assumed to be the entrance to Troi's quarters, he nearly jumped out of his skin tight pants when a hand grabbed a hold of his forearm and yanked him inside. It took a few seconds for his eyes to focus in the darkness, but it took his senses only a fraction of that to notice the familiarity and warmth of the lips pressing against his own.
"Good. I was hoping you hadn't left just yet," the soft voice spoke as her mouth grazed across his neck. Deanna was nervously improvising. It was by pure luck that he had not made it down to engineering yet, and she was bound to keep him here until she found a way to render him unconscious.
"Sshh. Just kiss me." Deanna wrapped her long fingers around the back of his neck and pulled him closer. His mouth complied and he kissed her; deeply, passionately and without hesitation. Will knew he had to tell her quickly before she went any farther, but for whatever reason he held off and just enjoyed the moment.
Falling down to the couch, Will yelped as the hilt of her phaser dug into his abdomen. "Sorry, Imzadi", she apologized.
Will simply nodded and silently smiled as her soft hands roamed his chest tangling with the hair, sending wave after wave of glorious pleasure throughout his body. "Deanna..." he began again.
Deanna silenced him with another kiss and removed one of her hands from their exploration. Fumbling for the vase that was on the nearby sofa table, she sat up to straddle his waist and gripped the decorative item tightly to bring it crashing down toward his head.
Will opened his eyes just in time to see a small reflection of light off whatever was slicing through the air toward his face. With lightning speed he seized her swinging forearm, sending the vase flying in the opposite direction. "Deanna!" he stressed through clenched teeth. "Its me...Will."
Deanna quickly brushed aside the terror she felt when his hand caught her arm. "Will?"
"Yes." Will grasped her other hand and held them both tightly. "Computer, lights."
Deanna opened her mind to feel the familiar warmth and love of the Will Riker she had known for years. His tenderness and affection washed over her like a warm rain, drenching her to the soul by the mere smile from this man. "How?" she gasped, totally relieved that he was not who she thought he was.
"I'll explain later. We don't have much time." Will grinned as he gently let go of her hands.
Almost as if she was not aware of it until now, Deanna looked at their awkward position and quickly removed herself from his lap. Slapping his scratched shoulder as she rose, she ignored his painful yelp and scolded him. "You could have told me sooner."
Severely annoyed as the recollection of what just happened came to the forefront, she glared at him. "Well you certainly didn't try hard enough."
"I thought you might have known." He shrugged. "Afterall, you did call me imzadi." He lied. She didn't know and he had taken advantage of the situation. Sensing her wrath that was about to spill out, he just sat back against the couch and waited.
Deanna opened her mouth to admonish him further but found that she couldn't. He had risked his own life to come and save her and she was worried about a simple little kiss. Except it wasn't simple nor was it little. It was probably the sweetest most delicious thing her mouth had experienced in years. She buried her head in her hands for a moment and when she looked up, she saw him gazing at her with eyes that were filled with such love. "I'm sorry." She shook her head. "How do we get out of here?"
"Well for starters, we need to find our way to the transport pad. I guarantee they've changed the transporter frequency and raised shields by now so that no one else can board undetected. I have your 'other half' tied up in Riker's quarters so let's do this quickly."
Deanna stepped forward and gently traced the claw marks left on his shoulder. "I see she did'nt go down willing."
"Oh, she was willing all right. Just not my type." Will said with a twinkle in his eyes.
"This must be your lucky day, Will." She purposely waited for his look of confusion before she continued. "I mean, you just have women throwing themselves at you..."
Will didn't answer. Well at least not audibily. His thoughts said it all and he didn't care if she sensed it or not. But from the reddened look on her face, he knew she had. The image of Deanna throwing herself at him had only occurred in his dreams, but when it finally happened in real life...it was only the painful result of her being disillusioned. This little episode was nothing but a tease....used to fuel the burning for her more than ever.
Deanna stretched out her hand to touch his face but stopped halfway after sensing something. She turned toward the door and whispered, "he's coming back!".
**************************Don't forget...last names denote the evil duplicates!!****************************
In one quick move, Will grabbed Deanna's phaser from it's holster and dove behind the couch while she composed herself back into character. Leaning seductively against the armrest, Deanna tried to focus on Riker's presence as it became stronger and stronger the closer he became. Anxious moments passed and Will could hear Deanna struggling for control of her breathing. But within seconds she had reached her goal and was now the wicked duplicate of herself, ready to assume the role again.
Footsteps came to a halt outside the door, but then for unknown reasons, they were heard retreating back in the direction from which they came. "He's going away." Deanna whispered.
Will crawled on his hands and knees to the edge of the sofa and looked up. His intention was to get a clear view of the door, but found that view blocked by an exposed bare thigh sticking through a slit in Deanna's skirt. Barely a centimeter away from his nose, Will gazed at the smooth skin of the slender limb and smiled admirably. His lingering gaze traveled upward slowly until his eyes met a searing stare from it's owner.
Will gave her an innocent grin and stood up. "I was looking for a better view," he said coyly.
"Did you find one?" Deanna's cryptic look sent chills down Will's back.
Will felt the heat in the room intensify tremendously and turned away, knowing she already knew the answer. He cleared his throat and asked the computer, "Computer, location of Commander Riker?"
<Commander Riker is on the Bridge>
Deanna cursed under her breath and told Will of the scheme she had concocted.
"We need to get to the transporter room, now." Will cautiously exited the room and waited for Deanna to catch up before leading the way down the hall.
Will entered the transporter room first, stunning the ensign that was posted behind the terminal. Moving the body to the side, Will began to change the transporter frequency to match the real Enterprise's and motioned for Deanna to stand on the pad. He finished entering the coordinates and took one step forward when the door to the room opened, letting in a full security team.
Phaser's drawn and pointed at their heads, Will dropped his weapon and moved to stand beside Deanna who had been forcefully removed from the platform.
The door opened once again, this time revealing Picard, Riker, and a very irate Troi. Will instinctively stepped in front of Deanna to protect her but was pushed back aside by Riker.
Glaring lasciviously at Deanna, Riker snarled and grunted before he was pushed aside himself by Troi, who then looked disapprovingly at the woman before setting her sights on Will. Raising her hand, she grabbed a lock of his hair and pulled back. "Its a damn shame I won't be here to interrogate you, Imzadi. We might have had fun." She let his head go and began to toy with his chest hair. "I just wanted to thank you for the time we had together, earlier." Troi bent her knee and kicked hard into Will's groin, sending him wailing to the floor.
Picard finally came forward and kicked Will in the back. "Just another little thanks for giving us the coordinates to your ship. I'm sure Commander Riker and Counselor Troi will blend in quite well." Picard waited for Troi and Riker to step onto the platform before he placed his palm over the control and transported them to the Enterprise.
"Take them to the detention cell and hold them there," Picard ordered before walking out.
Deanna leaned down to help Will stand but was pushed away by a guard. "Out of the way, bitch," he growled and kneed Will again as he bent down to pull him up. 'I've always wanted to do that to you, Commander." His sarcastic remark was followed by yet another kick. "That was for the discipline you dished out on my brother," he hissed and yanked Will up. "I'm sure other's will want to repay you as well."
"But this isn't the man who hurt you or your brother!" Deanna tried to reason with him.
The guard looked over his shoulder at one of his coworkers who looked like Reginald Barclay. "I think we are going to some fun with these two, don't you think Barclay?"
The thin officer smiled at his friend, "Yes. Yes I think we will."
On board the Enterprise NCC 1701 D.......
<Transporter Room to Captain Picard, Commander Riker and Counselor Troi have beamed back safely>
"Have them meet me in my ready room."
Captain Picard rose from the center command chair and walked up the ramp to the upper level of the bridge. "Mr. Data, how close are we to making that jump back to our universe?"
The android turned from the science station he had been working at and looked at the captain. "Approximately four hours, sir."
"Very well. Keep me up to date. I'll be in the ready room."
Riker and Troi stepped off the transporter pad and smiled at O'brien. "Glad to have you back," the curly haired chief let out a long sigh of relief.
"As our we." Troi gave him the largest fake grin she could.
"You are to meet the captain in the ready ro-"
"We heard." Riker interruppted coldly.
Troi gently nudged Riker out the door before turning back to Chief O'brien, "he's still a little stressed. I'm sure you understand."
O'brien smiled warmly at the counselor, "After coming from that place...I expect that!"
Troi caught up to her companion and slapped him across the back. "You must act as they do!" she admonished. "Try to smile once in a while, all right?"
Riker stopped walking and flashed her grin, all be it, a forced one. "Better?"
"Yes, my dear...just lovely." Troi looked around the hallway at the decorations. "This might be easier than we think. It appears that they are not a war ship."
Riker glanced around as well. "Yes, but after I gain command...that will all change."
"Thats my boy..." Troi patted him on his sculptured rear and they continued on to the bridge.
Will had taken another beating from the detention guard before he was thrown into the cell with Deanna. Bruised and slightly bloodied, he rolled over to his back and looked up at the ceiling, ignoring the pain that screamed from the slight movement. Deanna's concerned face quickly replaced the view as she helped him to sit up.
"Are you hurt badly?" It was obvious that he was injured so Deanna jumped to the next logical question.
"I'll be all right." Will groaned and lifted himself up to the cold metal slab that was meant to be the bed. "Is it me, or is it considerably colder in here?" He shivered as soon as the coldness seeped past the thin coverings of his pants.
"I guess this is just another pleasantry designed by my counterpart." Deanna leaned against the nearest wall and wrapped her arms around herself.
"So why is it that I'm taking all the wrath for the forms of discipline 'you' constructed?" The question was to be rhetorical, but Deanna answered anyway.
"Because 'you' are the one that dishes it out. I just get to sit back and enjoy by watching."
"I can't wait to see how you treat your patients when we get home." Will layed down against the hard surface. "Jeez this is cold..." he grumbled.
Deanna shivered and whispered, "If we ever get home..."
Will turned his head and caught a glimpse of wetness staining her cheek before she wiped it away. "Are you okay?" he spoke softly.
Deanna nodded and turned to face the forcefield barrier that was used to contain them. "I'm just tired of feeling all this anger...the hatred, aboard this place."
Will rose from the bed and stood behind Deanna, wrapping his long arms around her torso. Feeling the goosebumps on her bare arms, he held her tighter and tried to convey his love and care for her, hoping it would come close to replacing the terrible feelings she had been sensing...if only for a moment.
Deanna leaned back into his chest, seeking the comfort he was offering and held his strong arms close to her. He had rescued her many times with those arms, but now she couldn't quite shake the idea that this was the last. "How soon before the Data would be able to get them back?" Her tone and choice of words signified her understanding that the Enterprise would soon leave this universe without the real Will Riker and Deanna Troi, never knowing that there were imposters on board.
Will swallowed hard, "When I came over, he estimated around seven hours. So now, I would have to say that its somewhere between four and five. Providing nothing happens to them."
Deanna turned in his arms and hugged him tightly. "I feel so terrible." She began to cry.
"Why?" he gently wiped some tears away with his thumbs. "You are not to blame for this."
"This would never have happened had I not lost my emergency transporter device," she sobbed.
Will surprised her with a chuckle and she looked up inquisitively at his amusement. He grinned and stepped back away from her, still holding her by the shoulders. "When Beverly told me where you had hidden it," his eyes traveled downward to the halter that barely covered her breasts, "I thought to myself then that it would never stay in place."
Deanna blushed slightly and turned out of his grasp. She shrugged her shoulders then chuckled as well when she saw him still grinning. "I guess it wasn't the best of places," she admitted.
But I wouldn't mind trying it, he thought and sat back down on the metal slab, if only to cool his carnal thoughts back to reality.
Deanna sat down next to him and placed her hand on his knee. "If by some miracle we do get back, how do you think you'll react knowing there are two Will Rikers in our universe?"
Will smiled. "I think the question should be, how will you react? Afterall, you're the one who has to deal with us?" He watched her smile. Gods, she has a gorgeous smile. He leaned closer, the need to kiss her was becoming overbearing. "But I do know that I like your kisses better than hers."
"Oh?" Deanna trembled as she held her breath, waiting for his next move.
Will fought the moment as long as he could but finally gave in to his desire and seized her mouth, letting the sweet delicious taste of her lips wash over his senses. Deanna wrapped her hands behind his neck to deepen the kiss as he pulled her to his lap. They stayed that way for untold minutes before footsteps were heard outside the cell. Deanna jumped up from Will and faced their guest...Picard.
Riker and Troi walked onto the bridge and down the ramp to the ready room. Both finding it very difficult to keep their eyes focused ahead of them and not the curiosities that surrounded them.
They entered the captain's room with a look of relief on their faces. "Captain..." Riker spoke first.
Jean-Luc smiled at the person he thought was his friend and offered them to sit. "Good to have you back, Number One...Counselor." He studied the tired faces of the man and woman who had become so dear to him and his crew, but something told him he had to know for sure. "Will, I have to ask...tell me the name of Data's cat?" The captain knew there was no Data on board the other Enterprise, so this information would be privy to those who know the android.
Riker grinned "Spot." Thankful that his question was easy, he tensed up and waited for Troi's.
"Counselor...what was the purpose of your mother's last visit?" Jean-Luc carefully studied their reactions.
"That would have been the trade conference in which she attented with Reittan Grax. Afterwards, being kidnapped by-"
"Thats enough. Thank you." The captain rose to his feet. "I'm sure the two of you would like to change clothes and get some rest. Number One, we might need you when we begin the transition back to our universe so be prepared."
"Aye sir. Thank you."
Riker paused at the door and waited for Troi to exit first. The look on her face said it all. The captain had believed their answers and assumed them to be the true Commander and Counselor. Oh, this is going to be easy... he heard in his head as he followed Troi into the turbolift.
Waiting for the doors to close, Riker towered over the regal Troi and held her face in his roughened hands. "Yes, my dear...it is." He bent down and kissed her harshly, pushing her back against the wall as she dug her knife-like nails into his back.
Troi broke the kiss and looked up into the large man's face. "So do you think our counterparts are having as much fun?" She followed the question with a wicked laugh and reached up to bring Riker's mouth back to her's.
Riker flung the red Starfleet uniform jacket over the chair and grumbled something unintelligble.
"Not to your liking?" Troi picked up the piece of clothing and held it to the bare chested man who stood in front of her. "Hmmm. Not very flattering. I agree." She then dropped it to the floor and ran her long nails through the hair that covered his well-muscled torso. "I'm sure you will institute a new uniform policy once you've been put in charge."
Riker grabbed her hands and held them tightly. "You seem very eager for me to take charge here," he said suspiciously.
Troi pulled her hands back sharply. "Because once this Picard is done away with...you will need a first officer."
"Are you applying for the position? Because if you are...there's a certain function, that will be required of you."
Troi reached back and flung an open palm towards his face, but he caught her wrist before she connected. Riker's face snarled as he pushed her to the chair. "I guess you are in need of a little practice...Imzadi." With one quick jerk, he had ripped the halter from her chest and flung it to the side.
Troi sneered back but then began to laugh wickedly as she felt his mouth on one of her breasts.
Between gasps and groans of pleasure, Riker added, "I'll let you know shortly...how your interview went."
A couple of hours later, the door to Will Riker's room opened and the other Deanna Troi stepped out wearing the burgondy one-piece uniform she had collected earlier. Riker followed closely. Not realizing that there was anyone else in the hall, Riker pulled on her arm and backed her up against the door frame, kissing her fiercely before letting her go. "You got the job," he whispered.
Troi licked her lips and placed her hands against his chest. "And here I was hoping to get called back for a second interview." She began to back away as he slid into his room once again, but stopped as she sensed she was being watched. Turning sharply, Troi spotted Beverly Crusher standing in mid-stride with her mouth dropped completely open.
Troi ignored the doctor's reaction and walked the short distance to her quarters, not surprised to see Beverly had beaten her there. "You've got some explaining to do, Ms. Troi." Beverly had taken a hold of Troi's arm and ushered her inside. "What happened over there?" Beverly found it hard to contain her jubilance over her friends' rekindled relationship.
"I don't know what you are talking about." Troi pulled free of Beverly's grasp and moved to the replicator.
"THAT Kiss I saw.....was no ordinary kiss that friends just give each other. You two are back together, I know it!"
"And if we are?" Troi tried not to show her agitation and quickly gulped down a glass of water.
Beverly squeeled. "That is wonderful Dee, just wonderful. I can't believe you guys have finally come to your senses!"
Troi put her glass down. "Doctor, its been a really long day. I would like to catch up on some rest...so if you wouldn't mind..."
Beverly giggled. "Yes, I'm sure you need your rest. We'll talk later." Beverly walked to her friend and gave her a hug, not without noticing however, how frigid Deanna Troi was acting. "Bye."
Troi watched her leave before muttering under her breath, "She is just as damn annoying here as she is back home..."
Picard released the forcefield from the door and summoned Will from the cell. Reluctantly, he followed Picard's gesture and stepped outside just as the forcefield was reactivated, locking Deanna in.
Shackles were dropped from the ceiling and placed around Will's wrists, and in similar fashion to Cardassian torture techniques, he was then raised to a point where only the tips of his toes touched the floor.
"You are going to provide us with some real information regarding your ship. Not just the bullshit that Stewart was able to attain." Picard ripped the yoke from Will's upper body, leaving his vital organs completely unprotected.
"And if I don't cooperate?" Will stuttered.
Picard grunted and gave the guard the signal to raise some sort of chair from an opening in the floor. "Oh, I believe you will have no problem agreeing to give us the information we want."
Will tried to swallow but found that his mouth had gone completely dry as he studied the crude torture chair that was about to be used. The leather seat reclined back a short way allowing the prisoner to watch himself in the mirrored ceiling. A metallic neck brace containing several jagged teeth pointed inward kept the prisoner from moving his head, likewise with the clamps for the wrists and feet. From what Will could tell, the chair looked to be wired for electrical shocks as well as something else he chose to not think about...a knife-like instrument stuck up from the middle of the chair, hinged in the middle to inflict pain near the lower abdomen, probably more specifically...the groin area.
Picard grabbed Will's head and made him face the chair. "Take a good look, Commander. Doesn't look like much fun, does it?"
Will struggled with the metal digging into his wrists. Picard asked one last time, "Now, will you tell us about your ship's armament?"
Will finally found enough saliva to swallow, and he swallowed hard.
Picard sighed, "Very well. Guard, bring out the counselor."
"NO!" Will shrieked was immediately sucker-punched in the gut by another guard.
The forcefield was lowered once again and Deanna was removed from the cell and forcefully pushed into the chair. Picard laughed as the restraints were locked in place, creating shallow penetrations into her soft skin. Deanna looked to Will as he struggled to catch his breath. She tried to convey to him her strength but that ended quickly enough when the shocks began.
What began as a light tingling sensation in her feet was quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of pain as though her feet were on fire. She tried not to cry but was unable to restrain herself any longer. A blood-curdling scream echoed off the metall walls and landed squarely in Will Riker's heart. He was completely helpless as Deanna was tortured with unspeakable techniques. Picard forced him to watch and if he closed his eyes to even blink, the shockwaves increased.
Then, as if a miracle had occurred, the electricution stopped and Picard stood before Will. "She will die, Commander...if you do not give me what I want."
Will clenched his teeth together and nodded. Picard looked over his shoulder to one of the guards, taking his eyes off his prisoner, and in a split second, he picked his body up and kicked his feet around Picard's throat, pulling him into a choking leg hold. The weight of both men was enough to yank Will's hands through the shackles and they fell to the floor. The stunned guards were unable to fire their phasers for fear of hitting their captain who was wrestling against a far bigger opponent.
Will bit and kicked anything that he could. His thumbs were broken when he was pulled through the shackles so it hurt like hell trying to grab the nimble man. The three guards attempted to pull Will off the captain but in doing so, Will had removed a dagger and stabbed two of them by holding the knife between his palms. He then turned the weapon on the third guard, piercing it into the man's back.
Picard struggled to his feet and lunged at the controls for the chair, but a long flailing leg of Will's slammed into his face, tumbling him back. Will then kicked the older man in the face before finishing him off with the dagger. After a few seconds, Will looked down at the body of Picard as blood oozed from the fatal wound to his chest.
"Jesus..." Will felt sick to his stomach as he turned and saw the carnage he had left. Not even in some of Worf's simulations had he inflicted so much damage to so many before. But that thought quickly fluttered away when he heard Deanna moaning.
Staggering to the chair, Will released the vice-like clamps from her neck and limbs and wiped away some of the blood, but it continued to spew forth. Not at alarming rate, but enough that made him wish they could go to sickbay. That was not an option however.
"Deanna? Talk to me." Will used his fingers and pulled her up from the chair. "Deanna?" he tried again, this time she opened her eyes slowly. "Can you walk?"
She nodded slowly and rose to her wobbly feet. He steadied her as best he could and placed his discarded top around her neck, to help catch the blood from there at least. "If we don't get to the transporter room now...we won't ever."
He guided her out the door and down the hall to the nearest turbolift. Thankful for the considerable less number of crewmen aboard this Enterprise, they made it there without being seen. Will leaned Deanna against the wall near the door to the transport room and bum-rushed the poor ensign that was stationed there. "I hope this works better this time..." Will ran back out and led Deanna to the pad. Taking into consideration the fact that their Enterprise might not be in the same position and not wishing to be transported into the blackness of space, Will entered in the corrdinates for the disguised shuttle, praying that that still remained where they left it.
Taking a quick glance at Deanna, he gave her a false reassuring smile before the familiar shimmering of lights took them away from their worst nightmare.
"He was kissing her!"
"Doctor, I really don't think that is cause for alarm." Captain Picard sat a cup of tea infront of the red-haired doctor.
"It was more than just the kiss though. She didn't seem right. I mean, I would assume that she would be ecstatic about this, but she just blew it off. And blew me off as well."
Jean-Luc sighed and thought about his friend's concern. "Beverly, perhaps they just don't want to make a big deal out this. Afterall this time, maybe they feel a little foolish letting people know their true feelings for each other. They do have an obligation to act professionally-"
"But thats just it!" Beverly interruppted. "They weren't professional at all, in fact. Will acted totally unlike himself. He was almost beligerent in his action. I have never seen Will that forceful with a woman...especially Deanna."
Picard waved her off. "Their bedroom life is of no concern of ours."
<Captain...We are ready to attempted the jump back to our universe>
"On my way." Jean-Luc rose from his seat. "Doctor, I will give you fifteen minutes to prove me wrong. After that..." He didn't need to finish the sentence.
Beverly acknowledged with a nod and practically ran out the door.
Will helped Deanna lay down on the bench in the rear of the shuttle before he made his way to the main computer terminal. After fumbling with the controls for the sensor, he was relieved to find that their Enterprise still remained a short distance away. The shuttles camouflage shield however, burned out the communication system as well as the weapons. "Son of a-" Will cursed.
He set the coordinates for closest point for transport then walked back to Deanna. "Ten minutes and we'll be able to transport back home." He bent down and gently removed his blood stained shirt from her neck and reached for the medical kit. He injected a pain killer into her arm then placed the instrument into her trembling hand. "You can call me a coward, but I can't do it to myself."
Deanna sat up and tried to smile. "I don't think I'll ever consider you a coward." Deanna reached up and pressed the hypospray just below his jaw. "Your hands. I've never had to set bones before." She said as she picked up the bone regenerating device.
"Crooked thumbs are better than none at all. Do the best you can." Will sat down next to her and placed his hands in her lap.
Deanna cringed as she straightened the digits feeling the bones crack back into place. "I'm sorry." She looked up and saw the anguish in his face just as he closed his eyes. A few seconds later, the regenerator shut itself off and Will wiggled the reconnected appendages.
"Thanks." Will rose to his full height and leaned against the inner hull. "We have to be prepared for anything...they may have taken control already."
"Will we still be undetected when we beam back?"
Will turned around and spotted his Starfleet uniform laying on the floor then grinned back at Deanna. "I think I have a plan."
Beverly Crusher paced the small confines of the turbolift trying to come up with a plan. It was already proven that the crewmen's DNA patterns from the NCC 1701D were a perfect match to those on board the other Enterprise, so no help there, she thought. However, life experiences surely had to be different. Concluding that Captain Picard's questions must have been too vague, she decided her only course of action was to get right down personal. But she only had ten more minutes to do it in.
The computer had located Commander Riker as still being in his quarters. Beverly tightly gripped a hypospray of a sleep-inducer in one hand as she rang the door alarm with the other. A few tension filled moments later, Will Riker appeared in the doorway looking a little more than dishelved.
Beverly placed her hands on his chest and backed him into the living room area. "Commander we need to talk..."
"Doctor, this is not the time-"
"Sshhh. Listen to me for a moment."
Beverly silenced him by putting two fingers against his lips. "Do you remember anything, from a few months ago regarding us? I know we haven't any time to discuss this, but....now is as good a time as ever." The corners of her mouth curled up into a smile.
'Doctor, please...I really need to get out of here."
"Tell me, do you still remember our night together?" Beverly wrapped her long arms around the Commander's abdomen and leaned into his chest. "I need to know if you still care."
"Beverly! Whats gotten into you?" The commander removed himself from her embrace. "I told you before that I have no recollection of ever being-" he stopped as if a ton of bricks fell on his head. "Beverly...its me, Will!" He grabbed her hand and pulled her into the bedroom. "SEE!"
Will pointed down to the motionless body of the other Riker bound behind the bed. "Yes I was Odan, but I don't remember anything else until he was removed from my body." Will held her shoulders for emphasis. "I am Willliam Thomas Riker. I grew up in Alaska, I love jazz, poker...Deanna and I have have a long tumultuous past, I have a reputation for being-"
"Okay, I believe you!" Beverly placed the hypospray into her coat pocket. "Where's Deanna?"
"In your office"
"We don't have much time! Go to her, she's hurt and needs help. Have you seen the other Troi?"
Will nodded and released his grip from her shoulders. "I'll talk to the captain, but first I need to find her before she is able to bring more of her people on board."
"Good luck, Commander." Beverly called out as Will left the room in a full sprint.
Beverly glanced back down to the body on the floor and reached into her pocket, pulling out the hypospray. She kneeled down and placed it against the man's neck and hit the injector. "Just in case...." she whispered and raced to sick bay.
Mind racing, his heart thumping wildly, Will Riker ran down the corridors of the Enterprise at a pace that surprised even himself. Catching more than a few awkward glances by crewmen along the way. Every few steps he changed his plan of attack, never really coming to a conclusion as to what his first action would be when he found the other Troi. One thing was for certain though, he could not summon help. It was bad enough that Beverly knew he was here, but to alert security to the imposter being on board would put the entire ship in danger. There was no telling how far she would go to get her people here, or worse yet...get them to the universe that was awaiting the return of the real Enterprise and its crew.
The computer was absolutely no help as he had found a comm badge shattered on the floor of Troi's room, as if it had been ground down by the heel of a boot. She could be anywhere, he thought, and have authority to do Lord knows what.
A search of Engineering, the Computer Department, the transporter rooms, and even Ten Forward turned up nothing. Frustrated and scared, he felt his stomach twist into a nauseating knot when he realized that he had not checked the most obvious of all places..the bridge. Altering his course, he jumped into a turbolift and called out his destination.
"Deanna?" Beverly stepped into her office and spotted her friend slouching in the corner chair out of sight from anyone who might have passed by. She started to bend down with her tricorder but stopped and gave the woman more than a cautious look. "What did you tell me your father used to do for you?"
Deanna patted the womans hand and answered, "I told you in Ten-Forward that he used to carry me when it was muddy, scare away the monsters that hid under my bed, and sang to me each night."
Beverly gave her a warm smile and apologized for the question.
Deanna smiled back. "I understand."
Beverly finished her scan and began to patch up her friend's wounds.
Will calmed himself down as best he could and stepped from the lift onto the upper level of the bridge. A quick look from Picard came almost as a surprise. A surprise in the fact that he was still alive and not laying dead somewhere, killed by the woman that just rose from one of the command chairs on the lower level.
He took a deep breath and walked down the ramp to stand next to his captain. "I was just about to call for you. We will be making our attempt momentarily," the older man said.
Will nodded and looked to Troi who gave him a smile that sent chills screaming through his body.
"Picard to Crusher"
Will blocked his emotions and prayed like hell that Beverly would not give him away. At least not yet. There was still too much at stake. Too many chances for duplicates to have taken over top positions. Too much oppurtunity for her to cause harm and...just too many damn unanswered questions...
"We are ready for our attempt. Have you...found out anything new?"
There was a brief pause before she responded. <No, sir>
"Mr. Data, procede with the plan."
"Aye, sir." The android entered in the last few instructions and punched the final button.
Will took another look at Troi who sat there with the most wicked grin he had ever seen that face show. She slowly turned to face him as that grin faded into a horrible sadistic scowl.
"Nothing Captain. It did not work." Data reported.
Captain Picard let out the long stale breath he had been holding. "Data, please accompany me to engineering. Number One, you have the bridge."
Will waited for the two men to leave before he took the center seat next to Troi, refusing to look at her again.
"Commander...may I speak to you privately." Even her voice held the feeling that showed on that once beautiful face.
Will took a deep breath and rose from his chair. "Worf, you have the bridge." He walked slowly to the ready room and waited at the door for her to follow. She entered first and watched the door close behind him.
This is it. Either she knows or has other plans, he thought. Will balled his fist tightly as she sat provacatively on the edge of the desk.
"Where I come from...we have ways of getting what we want." Troi crossed her legs and leaned back on her outstretched arms.
"I know." Will answered curtly.
"Then you must also know what I am capable of, and how far I am willing to go to reach my goals?"
Will felt his muscles immediately tense when she got down off the desk and walked to him. "And you must know how far I will go to stop you?" He said through pursed lips and back away from her reach. She continued forward until she had him backed against the wall.
"I don't know what you did to my Riker...and I don't care. What matters now is this: I have information that you need...information that will get you back to your universe, and you have what I need."
"Which is?" Will grabbed her wandering hand from his chest.
The sound that came from her mouth was some sort of deep throaty growling laugh. "This ship...on the other side." She waved her arm to express her desire for the other universe.
Will's eyes narrowed in confusion. "But you could have given the information to the captain by now, and you would have been there."
She slithered up to him once again, grabbing hold of his face. "But I want...the command." She pulled his head down and kissed him ferociously, as if she was feeding off him.
Despite putting forth a lackluster attempt to free himself, Will decided it might be best to go along with her plan for a moment. If only to see if she would devulge any other information once she found trust in him.
Will wrapped his burly arms around her small frame and carried her to the desk. Sitting her down, he stepped between her knees, pulling her forward so that she could feel him against her. Never once breaking from her mouth.
They continued to ravish each other with hot wet kisses and roving hands. Troi had found his arousal that begged for release and massaged the area with slow tortuous movements. He had no intentions of going the full distance so he slowed down his ministrations. Finding out quickly that that was the wrong thing to do.
Troi slapped him hard across the face and pushed him back off of her. But she once again stalked him and had him against that same wall. Will swallowed hard and held his reddened cheek as she kneeled down in front of his body and unzipped his pants. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt her swollen wet lips slide over him in one quick move.
Seconds passed and he no longer held his cheek but instead had his fingers burried within the mass of dark curls of her hair. He was so close, and yet he cursed himself out loud for letting it go this far.
Surprised and very amused, Troi stopped and looked up at the contorted face partially hidden behind that dark beard. Will gasped and in complete anguish, looked at her with such a guilty desire that she laughed out loud.
"Do you want me to stop...Imzadi?"
He looked deep into her eyes. Eyes that were as dark as midnight, darker than he had ever seen and found himself shaking his head.
She went back to her ministration, continueing until he was a shaking convulsing fool.
Not wanting her friend to see the anguish she was trying to hide, Deanna Troi closed her eyes and turned away from the careful examination of Beverly Crusher. Tears welled as that anguish quickly turned to anger the moment her abilities picked up on Will's guilt.
"Deanna, what's wrong. Do you still feel pain?"
Deanna wiped her eyes free of the wetness and feigned a smile. "No. I'll be fine."
Beverly gently took her friend's shoulders and turned her back. "I can't treat you if you don't tell me what's wrong."
Deanna clinched her teeth together and studied Beverly's determined look. "I think it's time to find the captain."
"But Will said-"
"Will is preoccupied for the moment!" Deanna snapped.
Knowing that there was certainly something else hidden in the empath's statement, Beverly sat back and folded her arms across her chest. "Okay. Computer, location of Captain Picard?"
<Captain Picard is in Engineering>
Deanna rose to her feet and dashed out of the doctor's office, but retreated quickly as soon as she realized she still wore the other Troi's uniform. "Got an extra uniform handy?"
Beverly smiled briefly and squeezed her friend's hand.
Will opened his eyes slowly, hoping to God that this was all just a bad dream and he would wake up in his own bed, next to Deanna.The real Deanna Troi. But as soon as he focused on the woman who was leading him to the captain's desk in the middle of the room, he knew otherwise.
Troi used her forearm and with one swipe, sent the numerous PADDs that lay atop the surface scattering to the floor. Then turning to face him, she slid across the edge, pulling his body with her. "I certainly hope you intend to give as good as you got...Commander."
Will wrapped his fingers in the mass of curls on her head and pulled her face to his. "But first...tell me something I want to know." He let one hand free and slid it downward to her abdomen, stopping just shy of the juction of her legs.
Troi's eyes rolled back and groaned. "Not yet."
Will's eyes narrowed and he thrust his thigh to the place she wanted...needed to be touched. "Its not polite to tease, Riker," she hissed.
"Then tell me." He moved the hand back up and cradled a breast.
Troi opened her eyes slowly and met his ice cold stare head-on. "Four- two point seven is the needed frequency to make the jump. Our ship was unable to meet the energy requirement to shift completely." She smiled wickedly, "but there's something else."
Will poked a finger into her cleavage and pretended he was about ready to rip the uniform from her body. "And that would be?"
Troi growled and shook her head. "You will earn information as you go."
Will laughed and grabbed a hold of her black curls again just before Troi threw him off her. "Someone's coming."
Will straightened himself up and watched Troi do the same a second before the door opened.
The first thing Deanna saw, or rather felt, was the mirror image of herself staring daggers into her body. Troi's piercing gaze stung her to the very soul, causing her to take a deep desperate breath. Removing her eyes from her duplicate, the next thing Deanna saw was the mess of PADDs on the floor next to the normally cluttered desk.
Finally, gathering enough courage, she looked to Will who refused to meet her stare but instead seemed mesmerized by his own feet. Deanna held her arms rigid at her side as her nails dug into the soft flesh of her sweaty palms.
Beverly followed closely behind Deanna and looked to Will, wondering if this was the same man she had seen just a short while earlier. This Commander Riker looked out of sorts and slightly scared. Not at all like the confident friend she had known for years. The two women caught Troi's emerging smile and quickly turned as they sensed a body directly behind them. Certain that it was Captain Picard's who was to be meeting them here, Beverly gasped when she realized the body was that of a much taller man.
Riker stood in the doorway for a moment before stepping in. He was rubbing his reddened wrists and snarling in Will's direction. "The captain...has been detained."
Beverly, reacting on instinct moved towards the door but Riker stood his ground and prevented her from leaving. Reaching back, he programmed a security lock on the exit then took a few long strides to stand in front of Will.
The tension in the room was stifling. Both men were in a stare-down, neither wanting to be the one to back off first. Will clenched his fists, ready for whatever might happen. Riker merely continued to snarl.
"What happened to the captain?" Will asked, feeling the muscles in his shoulders grow just as tight as his hands.
Riker grinned and looked to Troi then back to Will. "His head had an unfortunate introduction to my boot."
Will felt sweat trickle down the sides of his face as he watched Troi slither up to Riker. "I guess I'm in charge, now." Riker said smiling down at the woman next to him.
"Like hell!" Will swung quickly and landed a fist into Riker's jaw, sending him flying.
Troi stepped back and watched the two men scramble for the advantage, and more than likely waiting to side with whomever was victorious.But it wasn't long before all three woman were thoroughly confused as to who was who. Deanna even had a hard time cutting through the hatred and anger both Riker's shared for each other. All they could do was watch, and hope that the right man came out on top.
Minutes passed and the fighting became more intense. Each Riker countered blow for blow, neither looked to have gained anything but cuts and bruises. Beverly tried franticly to release the door, but it wouldn't budge. The security code held and they were trapped, unable to even summon help as the communication was cut off as well.
Suddenly, voices were heard outside the door just before it slowly opened. Led by Worf, a security team charged forward and restrained the two fighters. Worf looked around and motioned for another team to hold the Trois. Deanna began to object but decided to close her mouth and wait. Time would come soon enough when she would be able to prove who she was.
"Computer, location of Cap-" Beverly stopped when she saw the staggering body of the captain enter his ready room.
"What the hell is going on?" the captain held a bandage to his head and looked at the two sets of twins. Beverly immediately pulled her tricorder from her pocket and scanned Picard. Satisfied that he would be all right, she explained what happened, beginning with her discovery of the real Will Riker.
Picard looked at the two Commanders. Their blood streaked faces made it all the more difficult to decide who was who even under the closest of scrutiny. After Beverly confirmed that the real Deanna Troi still retained a few scars from her ordeal with the torture chair, the captain motioned for the two security guards to release her.
Standing beside her captain, Deanna was unable to help him decide which one was his first officer. They were both sending out similar emotions that only clouded her judgement. Turning to face Picard, Deanna shook her head.
"Deanna?" One of the Riker's said in disbelief but Deanna chose to ignore him.
"Asking them questions would be futile. The duplicate has been on board for too long. He could easily have read the personal files," she whispered.
Her heart ached as she tried to come up with a solution. Or at least one different than the most obvious solution that she could think of. It would be too painful to ask Beverly to run a scan for semen. She did not want to know nor did she want to embarrass Will, even though he deserved it.
Letting out a long sigh, Deanna thought of something a little less distasteful for the both of them. She faced the captain, "Have them remove their uniform tops. The real Will Riker will have recent scratch marks on his right shoulder."
Will shook free of the guards hold and began to remove his jacket and tee-shirt, never once breaking his focus from Deanna. Even though she refused to acknowledge him.
Beverly quickly scanned the marks. "Consistent with scratches. Less than thirty-six hours old." She then turned to examine Riker but he had not even bothered to remove his uniform. He simply stared at Troi with a look of absolute repulsion.
Picard glanced at Deanna. She turned sharply and looked at Will for a brief second, then back to Picard, nodding her head.
"Very well." Picard said. "Mr. Worf, please take the imposters to the brig."
"Captain?" Will began. "We don't know if there are others on board."
"According to the time that Beverly had found you, the ship changed transporter frequencies shortly there after. Any one else attempting to do what they did, is now floating in space." Picard confirmed.
Will looked at Deanna, praying that what he was about to say would come across as an act of disturbed heroics, and not an act of selfishness. "I was able to get some data from her, before we were interruppted."
Picard waited in the doorway listening to Will's information. "Thank you, Number One. Good to have you back."
Deanna turned to follow the captain and Beverly out but Will called to her before she was able to escape. She stopped dead in her tracks but did not turn around.
"Can we talk about this?"
"I have nothing new to say, Will. In fact, I think I've said it all before. You should know my speech by heart." Deanna wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. She could tell he was walking up behind her.
Will held her shoulders and turned her around, despite some resistance on her part. Their eyes locked and he immediately felt like a total cretin for doing what he did. As he stared into those dark pools, he could see the hurt he had caused her yet again. His brain failed him as he tried to say something...anything. She back away from his reach as tears readily fell from her eyes.
He closed his own eyes from the pain he was witnessing, and in that split second....
In the blink of an eye...
She was gone.
Will Riker relaxed back into the sofa and lifted his long legs onto the nearby table. The interminable minutes of deafening silence that past began to eat away at him little by little until finally he ordered the computer to play the next set of jazz songs he had programmed.
Slowly, the room filled with the soft sounds of a piece he had long forgotten, 'Stolen Moments'. His sarcastic laughter accompanied the music as his mind drifted back to some hours earlier when he and Deanna were able to steal one of those 'moments'. With absolute certainty, he figured that to be the last kiss he would ever share with the only woman in the universe he had ever loved.
No matter how tight he clinched his eyelids closed or how hard he tried to concentrate on the rhythmic beat, the image of her fluttered to the forefront of every thought. She was there...smiling, holding him intimately...kissing him like no other woman had ever done.
Including the identical duplicate of herself.
That woman was nothing but a mere shell of the lady for whom he would move heaven and hell for. And if the situation ever presented itself, there was no doubt that he would sacrifice his own life to save her, without hesitation. And yet, for some godforsaken reason, he saw it necessary to betray her trust. Again.
The door alarm chimed.
Will barely opened his eyes when he told his visitor to enter. He knew immediately that it wasn't the one person he wished it to be. "Making house-calls now, Doctor?"
"Only when the patients refuse to come see me." Beverly stood in the entry way, letting her eyes focus in the darkness. "The captain wanted me to tell you that the numbers you managed to get from the other Troi worked."
"Yes. I felt the shift a little while ago. Computer, end music."
"And to tell you, that seconds before we began the change, Troi and Riker somehow activated some sort of emergency transporter and escaped back to their ship."
Will shrugged. "I guess we're better off that they stayed where they belonged."
"The captain had the same sentiment. Do you mind?" Beverly gestured for the lights.
"Sorry. Computer increase lighting by forty percent." Will moved his feet to the floor and sat up.
"So how does it feel to beat yourself up, literally?" Beverly asked as she ran the tricorder over the bruises on his upper body. "Are you in any pain?"
Will laughed, although he couldn't keep from expressing the bitterness within. "The pain helps me to take my mind off other...problems."
Beverly looked at his downcast face and sighed. "Will, I don't know what happened and I don't think I want to know...but from what I have guessed, you did what you had to do. Or rather what you thought you had to do. And I, thank you for it. I know I would not have wanted to stay there any longer than possible."
He cringed when he spotted the hypospray in her hand. "I can only hope that others are as forgiving."
"Don't get me involved, Will. But, if I were Deanna, presuming that is who we are talking about?" Will nodded. "Then I would like to believe that I would understand the circumstances. But then again, you do have a reputation for-"
"Don't say it."
Beverly bit her bottom lip and lifted his shirt up off his shoulder, healing the scratch marks. "I think I'm missing something?"
Will looked confused.
"I mean, you and she have both have been with other people before." She was hesitant to bring up the fact that she was one of them, though it was only his body that she used. "Then why would this be any different?"
"Because we shared something on the other ship that we both thought was long gone. Beverly, I do love her...more than anything. And I was fairly certain that at the time, she felt the same way." His words sounded distant. "Then I screwed it up, again."
Beverly massaged his shoulder as a reassuring gesture. "Give it some time, then go talk to her." She stood to leave.
"Thanks." He said mumbled and waited for the door to close. "Computer, resume music."
Beverly was not all that surprised to see she had a visitor when she returned to her office. Once again, sitting in the corner chair out of sight by anyone that passed by, was Deanna. "Hi."
"How is Will?" Deanna's face appeared pale and her eyes looked as if they only minutes earlier had stopped shedding tears.
Beverly flopped into her chair opposite the counselor. "He'll live." She leaned forward placing her elbows on the desk top. "How are you?"
Deanna gave her the best smile she could. "I'll live."
The doctor sighed heavily. "Deanna, tell me something. Tell me about the bond you and Will share. You hardly speak of it."
"Well, its not something that would be a part of everyday conversation." Deanna said suspiciously, wondering why of all times, would she be asking now.
Deanna thought for a moment. "Well you know how we met, and about the rescue?"
Beverly nodded and smiled. Deanna felt some color coming back to her cheeks as she recalled the five day trip through the Jalara jungle capped off with a day at Janaran Falls. She cleared her throat softly. "To be one's imzadi, means you are their soul-mate. A very rare relationship even for Betazoids. Before the first time we...made love...I had no idea that we could even share the Imzadi bond. He is human and I am only half Betazoid....it should never have happened."
"But it did." Beverly added.
Deanna agreed. "But it did. And from that point forward, we were destined to be Imzadi. Unfortunately, circumstances at the time prevented us from completing it but I knew in my heart that one day, we will come together and finish what was forged long ago."
"Then you're saying that you and Will are destined to be together no matter what, but its just a matter of time?"
Deanna shrugged as if she didn't really believe that herself.
"But you and he both have had different lovers."
"Yes. But what makes us so special is that our souls have bonded together." She entwined her fingers together tightly as an example. "Will has always had trouble separating sex from anything deeper. To him it is more of a physical gratification, not spiritual."
"Unless he is with you?"
Deanna smiled. Beverly shook her head. "So when he was host to Odan, and you gave permission for me to be with him..its because you knew that it would be nothing more than the use of his body?"
"Yes. But for Odan, I'm sure it meant more."
"Then I guess I don't see why you are upset with him now. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't give him the excuse to run around and boink every woman he meets, but..."
"Someday Beverly, it could be tomorrow or it could be ten years from now...we will come together forever. And nothing in this universe will interfere. But for now, we just wait. Who knows what will happen."
Beverly stood up and stretched her back and walked to the door. She still looked a tad confused. "Sometimes I wonder if we all take into consideration that because the life we lead...here in space...there might not be that tomorrow?"
"This coming from a woman who has never spoken her own true feelings?"
"This coming from a woman who prays every night that there will be...that tomorrow for yet another chance."
Deanna closed her eyes, not seeing that Beverly had walked out of the office, but not oblivious to what truth her last words held.
Will straightened his uniform jacket and walked out of his quarters briskly, nearly barreling over the tiny woman who had been standing in the doorway. Without speaking, he grabbed her by the arms and steadied her.
Deanna held his forearms and slowly brought her eyes up to meet his. "Sorry."
"I guess from now on I should look before I exit. Its not often I have a beautiful woman waiting for me at my doorstep." He grinned, hoping she would see that as an attempted joke.
"I...I just wanted to apologize for my behavior earlier."
Will held her hands and pulled her back through the dorrway into his livingroom. "I think that was supposed to be my line."
"Yes, well...thats all I wanted to tell you." She turned to leave but he still held her hands. She glared back at him but found that she couldn't ignore the concern in his eyes, but she could pretend she did.
"I've been thinking." He loosened his grasp and hoped she wouldn't run away. She didn't. "Well sort of wondering..."
"Yes?" She looked annoyed.
"Deanna, what I did was wrong. And I'm sorry I put myself in such a compromising situation. I didn't think it would go that far."
She watched him struggling with his words, trying to admit to something she already knew.
Will took a deep breath, his eyes tightly shutting as he fought against the images that sprang to his mind. Images of her...him...together. "I made love to her in a way that I never ever wanted to with you. It..it was barbaric, meaningless...brutal." He swallowed hard before continueing. "I looked at her, and I saw...I saw you. I saw your hair, your lips," he ran his thumb over her mouth softly, "your body. Gods Deanna, I wanted it to be you, so desperately. But deep down I knew it wasn't nor never could be."
Deanna's grinded her teeth together trying to find something...anything to say. "You could have stopped." She realized quickly that that wasn't it.
"Stopped?" he exclaimed a little more harshly than what he would have liked. "When I could have had what I have dreamed about for years. Stopped?"
"But it wasn't me, Will! You said so yourself! If that is all I am to you then we are right back at square one! I thought you matured past that a long time ago, but I guess I was wrong!" Tears began to sting in her eyes as her voice increased in volume.
He pursed his lips together trying to suppress his anger and frustration at himself. When he finally looked at her again, his eyes were filled with raw desire and passion that it scared her and made her take two steps back.
Will stalked her and had her pinned against the wall. "I was wondering..." he repeated, from his earlier thought, "if you would have been able stop... if the other Will Riker, did this?" He seized her mouth with such force that it knocked the back of her head against the wall.
Her first protest died somewhere in her throat. Will put one leg between hers, preventing any escape.
Her second protest came in the form of a moan. He continued with punishing kisses to her lips and neck, leaving her breathless. A short time later he backed away and paced a moment. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.
Will grabbed her hands, this time much more gently and pulled her to him. "And would you have stopped if this happened?"
Will unzipped her uniform back and exposed her breasts by dipping her bra down with his thumbs. Placing his face directly between her fleshy mounds, he licked his way from nipple to nipple finally placing all his focus on one as his tongue encircled the darkened area and his teeth nipped.
Deanna's breath became ragged as she tried to keep from responding to him. But he felt so good against her, she was losing touch quickly as another moan escaped. Though grateful at first that at least their clothing separated them, she now considered it an annoyance. Her whole body was alive and tingling with desire to be touched everywhere at once. And as a sign of surrendering to her need...to his touch, she melted against him and embraced all that he had to offer.
The following morning, Beverly woke early and dressed to attend the first
exercise class of the day. She stepped out of room and into the darkened
corridor but stopped dead in her tracks a few steps later. A short distance
away, her eyes focused on two bodies, the larger of which,wearing nothing but
pajama bottoms, held the other's hand as they pressed against the doorway
to Will Riker's quarters.
She moved in stealthily and snickered as she heard them whisper.
"Did I ever say how sorry I was?" Will asked, running a gentle finger along Deanna's jawline.
"MmmHmm. Quite a few times, I recall." Deanna gazed into his blue eyes that seemed to be dazzling despite the lack of light.
Will bent down and kissed her long and passionately...tenderly, making Beverly feel guilty for watching such a site. "There is so much more to you that I love, Deanna. Sure this was nice..." he nodded back into the room, "but, above everything else, Imzadi, I missed your spirit. I guess that it was that, that I really was missing. Thank you for sharing with me again."
"Let's only think of our future from now on."
"Agreed." Will kissed her one last time and watched as she walked to her room. Then, after sensing he was being watched, he turned sharply and spotted Beverly leaning against a wall looking slightly envious but extremely pleased. He smiled brightly and gave her a 'thumbs up' signal before retreating into his room once again.
Beverly chuckled and continued on her way, whispering to no one but herself, "Now thats the Will Riker I have grown to love." She then huffed at her fingernails and pretended to polish them against her chest. "Glad I didn't get involved."
The End :))