Title: 'Land of Makebelieve'
Author: IzzY
Rating: R
Paramount has all rights


Lyrics are courtesy of Sarah Brightman.

                                    There for me
                                    Every time I've been away
                                    Will you be there for me
                                    Thinking of me everyday
                                    Are you my destiny
                                    Words I'll never dare to say
                                     Will you be there for me

                                     Just think of you and me
                                     We could never toe the line
                                     Such a mystery
                                     Just to here you speak your mind
                                     and while you're close to me
                                     so close to me
                                     Just hold me-


He moved closer to her, just a breath away from her bosom. "I don't know any other way to say this," the words were soft and yet his enunciation never wavered. "I need you with me. Please, don't go." The man's eyes searched hers as he caressed her face with his fingers.

"I only wish you could have told me those words long ago." The woman's eyes welled with tears. "Damn you." She pulled back and walked to the other side of the room. "Why now? After all these years, why do you now decide to say this?" The anger radiated from her words.

"I've been a fool, I'll admit that. But please believe me when I say I love you. I've...always loved you. And I thought that if I finally came forth, finally told you the truth...you would stay." He walked around the couch to stand next to her again.

"Let me be. Please...just leave me alone." She placed her fingers over her mouth trying to hide the pain.

"If thats what you want." He turned for the door but stopped just before he entered the hallway. "Promise me this," he looked to see her reaction. " promise me that you will always remember me. Through all the good times and the bad, you can...you can-" he stuttered.
He covered his face with his hands. "Damn. I'm sorry, I forgot the next line." Will squinted past the bright overhead lights to look at the director seated in the chairs beyond the stage.

"That was great!" Beverly Crusher jumped from her seat. "I can't believe it Kayla, you actually cried real tears! Please tell me you can do that on cue?" Beverly gripped the young ensign by the arms. "You guys are going to reduce the audience to a bunch of blubbering fools by the time the play is over!"

"If I can get these lines down by opening night." Will said.

"Will, you are doing fine! You've only had a few days to rehearse, give yourself some credit." She gave the big man a squeeze.

Will watched Kayla leave the stage area before he flopped down onto the couch in exhaustion. "I still don't know how Deanna can call this therapy? The last thing I wanted to do was get back into another play. Especially a romance!"

"Oh please!" Beverly exclaimed. "this is just a good excuse for you to get to know that beautiful young woman." She nodded in the direction that Kayla had left. "Besides, Deanna told me she felt like you needed to face your fears...to be able to let your mind know that you are capable of discerning reality from fiction."

Will let out a deep chuckle. "Fiction? This play hits too close to home to call it fiction. She doesn't know the story line, does she?"

Beverly put a hand to her mouth. "Oh Will! I didn't realize. No wonder I thought you fit the part too well. Is this going to be a problem? I mean, Deanna would never have suggested you get back on this stage had she known. I don't want to force you into this."

Will smiled. "You know, maybe this will be good. After all, my 'acting' will be based on familiar emotions and experiences. It should be a smash! That is, if can remember all my lines."

Beverly watched his eyes narrow and his finger tips outline his beard. "What? Whats wrong?"

"You said she would never have suggested this, had she known the plot...right?" He watched her head nod. "Is there something you're not telling me?"

Beverly tried to feign indifference but the gentle tug at the corners of her lips gave it away. "I just think that someday, you two need to sit down for a long talk, thats all." She headed for the door. "Will, you know I would never betray Deanna by telling you what she has confided in me. Just trust me when I tell you what that she would not at all enjoy...what you will be practicing tomorrow." She grinned devilishly then walked out.

Will frantically scanned the PADD for the next scene. His face beamed as he read that he would be kissing the gorgeous Ensign Kayla Myers. And not just a peck on the cheek either, but a full mouthed, deep...wet...passionate kiss.
His excitement did not stem from the fact that he was getting to kiss the woman every man in engineering was after, but rather because that he undoubtly needed someone to practice his lines with. Tonight.
With more than a bounce in his step, he walked out to find Counselor Deanna Troi.



Deanna Troi sat amused at the story that was being told by her dinner companion, Lt. Samantha Inez. Before attending a recent conference together, Deanna had not had the chance to get to know the newest member of the medical team, but had been informed by Dr. Crusher that the young nurse had a rather unique personallity. The word 'candid' would even come close to doing this woman justice, she had said.

Despite a number of incidents that were slightly embarrassing to the counselor, she found Sam to be somewhat refreshing. She was a confident person who was unafraid to speak what was on her heart. Unlike most humans who feel their acceptance by others to be a main priority, Sam could care less. Deanna guessed that this confidence stemmed from her outward appearance. Somehow, she was able to get away with a lot of the things she said because no one wanted to upset the six-foot four inch atheltically built woman. And deanna couldn't agree more.
In fact, Deanna was just about to bring up the question as to why she chose nursing over security when she felt someone, or rather Will Riker, standing behind her chair. Without looking up, she gave a faint smile and asked, "Would you care to join us, Commander?"

"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

"No. Please sit. Have had a chance to meet Lt. Samantha Inez from Medical, yet?"

Will swallowed hard when the lieutenant stodd and looked him eye to eye. "Uh, no. I have not had the pleasure." He shook her hand and waited for her to sit back down before he followed. "You must have been a part of the newer crew that came on board while I was away. Nice to meet you." He gave her his most cunning smile and turned to face Deanna. "If you are free tonight, I was hoping you might help me with some of my lines for the play. After all, you were the one who suggested-"

Deannaa smiled and patted his hand. "Yes, yes Commander. I suppose I can help you. What time?"

"My quarters, around nineteen hundred hours?"

"I'll be there. Would care like to have a drink with us?"

Riker looked to Sam then back to Troi, "Another time. I have work to catch up on." He stood to leave. "It was nice to meet you Samantha."

"Likewise, sir."

Deanna watched as he left, silently rejoicing in the fact that Will did not find the nurse attractive. She figured that he, of all people, would have found her to be quite challenging.

"Nice butt."

Deanna shook her head, not quite sure she heard what she thought she heard. "What?"

"I said he has a nice butt."

"Oh." Deanna stared at her drink, hoping the subject would change.

"But of course you already knew that."

"It was so long ago, Sam. I really don't remember too much," she said, not wanting to continue this discussion.

"some of the new women, myself included, were wondering..."

Here it comes, Deanna thought.

"How is it that you can lie in your bed at night knowing that just on the other side of your wall, lies Starfleet's most gorgeous first officer. Who, I've been told, would give his life for you at the snap of a finger. And yet, you do not take advantage of it?"

"I didn't realize that my life was the main topic of conversation among the female crew members?" deanna was getting agitated.

"You do know that back at the academy, Commander Riker's legacy is something that is still discussed?" She watched the counselor fidgit in her chair. "Especially his reputation for being the most anatomically astonishing-"

"Yes!" Deanna interrupted. "I was made aware of that story long ago."

"Then how can you not anything about it? Good God! Women on this ship would kill to be in your shoes. Or so I've been."

Deanna got up to leave. "Do yourself a favor, Sam, don't get yourself wrapped up into petty discussions or other women's fantasies. You have too much going for you to waste it on such things."

Deanna left the lounge quite annoyed, wondering what other aspects of her life were becoming common knowledge among the crew.



Deanna had decided to change into a more casual attire before meeting Will. There had been a number of nights recently when after talking into the early morning hours, they would both fall asleep on the couch. Assuming this to be another one of those nights, she was going to be prepared. Sleeping in her uniform or dress made for an awkward rest.
She laughed to herself when she was reminded that she was the one to always wake up in a bed. Whereas poor Will, was made to sleep scrunched up on one of the couches. Of course he never complained. Although, she did remember Beverly mentioning the fact that he made an appoinment a few days ago for lower back pain.

Will was seated at his desk when he heard his door hiss open. Glancing up, he quickly noticed Deanna looked slightly out of sorts. He stood and offered his hand. "You look like you're ready to tear somebody apart. What's wrong?"

She waved it off. "Its just something that Sam had said earlier. I didn't realize it was still affecting me."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"No." She smiled. "I came here to help you. Now, tell me about this play?" She reached down and pulled a script from the table.

Will did not reply, but waited for her reaction while she read the plot summary. After a few minutes, her eyes grew large and she shook her head with disbelief. "Where did Beverly get this thing?"

"Believe it or not, its a few hundred years old. Scarry, huh?"

"If I didn't know better, it seems as though someone wrote this based on our lives."

"Well, you know what they say...all the worlds a stage. I didn't think it was meant to be literal though." He scratched his beard.

"There are subtle differences-"

"You mean, like the fact that I die in the end?"

Deanna felt a shiver run down her spine. "Your character dies in the end, yes." She wanted to make sure there remained that difference. "But otherwise..."

She looked at him long. The thought that this story came so close to their own, scared the hell out of her. but then to think that Will...no, the character, should die in the end made her skin crawl.
A commander in the Army, rescues a young woman from the enemy. They fall in love, then he leaves only to find that years later, she is living in the same city that he is stationed at. They find each other again and after another few years of just friendship she decides to move on. When he finally gets the courage to ask her hand in marriage, he gets pulled away to war. And the gut-wrenching story ends when he is killed in battle.

"Please tell me you have not been offered any promotions?" Will broke the eery silence as he handed her a mug of hot chocolate.

"I guess I should apologize, Will. I failed to look into the plot when I suggested you try this again." She looked him straight in the eyes, searching the ice-blue orbs for what he was feeling. "Will you be okay with this?"

She watched him move to the other side of the room and noticed for the first time that he was  wearing her secretly favorite pair of blue jeans that had holes in the most intrigueing places.
Will I be okay with this, she thought.

"I'll be fine." He picked up another PADD and asked her to turn to a certain page. The part just before the first love scene.

After a few times of rehearsing, he felt confident enough to move on and asked her flip to the next scene. Her mouth immediately dropped to the floor. "Wh...who is playing the other lead role?"

"Kayla Myers, from eng-"

"Yes. I know where she's from."

Pretending not to notice the counselor's obvious jealousy, he continued on with his lines. When it came time for him to kiss 'Elizabeth', he felt Deanna's fingers against his lips, halting any further advances.

"Hold it right there, Romeo. I don't think you need the practice at kissing. Somehow, I believe you have got it down to a fine art. Let's skip that part, shall we?" Oh dear God, did I really say that, she thought. She knew she was way too eager for him to kiss her, even if it was staged. But she could not bring her defenses down just yet. She needed to be sure that he kissed her because he wanted to, not because it was a part of the play.

Discouraged, Will backed away and began reading from the next scene.



The rest of the evening came and went, without incident. It was late and Will could tell Deanna was tired. After gently taking the script from her, he set both PADDs down on the table and gathered her legs up in his lap, massaging her feet little by little.

Had any stranger walked in on them, they would have never had believed they were not lovers, and only close friends. But this is how it had been for the last few years at least. Will had lost track at the number of oppurtunities that passed wherre the mood was right and he considered attempting to advance the relationship. Never really sure what she was feeling, he always chose the safe road and opted to not risk their friendship. Just as he had done this night.

They sat in silence for some time, enjoying the serenity of just being together. Will continued to massage her feet and calves until he was sure she was asleep. Laying his head back against the wall, he allowed his mind to drift away to a time long ago when they were together on Betazed. He began to recall the days they spent in the jungle, how he loved to watch her breasts tremble when she laughed, or how she could tickle his chest with her hair.

He looked down at the petite woman as she rose trance-like and turned to where her head was now in his lap. He swallowed hard, pleading under his breath that she would not wake up as her face was precariously close to something he did not wish for her to find. Well, not at this particular moment anyway. He tried to carefully adjust her head onto his thigh only to see her eyes pop wide open.



Unsure how to handle the situation and not thinking very clearly, Deanna bolted from the couch. She could tell her face was flushed as she placed a trembling hand to her mouth. "I think I need to be leaving," she said, unwilling to look at him.

Once again, he lost his courage to to ask her to stay and he watched her walk out the door. "Damn you, Riker," he muttered just before he slammed the back of his head against the wall.


Leaning against the bulkhead just outside Will's quarters, Deanna let out a long ragged breath as she tried to analyze what she just might have done. Wanting desperately to go back inside, she managed to come up with a dozen reasons why she shouldn't; and only one reason why she should. Why after all the other recent times of being close, would this happen now. The moments she felt 'it' against her cheek, her mind filled with his desire for her. Not having sensed such strong emotions from him for so long was frightening. So much so that it caused her to act defensively, rather than rationally. Once again, her mind outpowered her body's desires and she ran. She ran away from something that felt so perfectly right.

It became obvious after a few minutes that he was not going to rushing out, scoop her up in his strong arms and take her back inside. Hanging her head slightly, she walked back to her room angry at herself and angry at him for not trying harder.



It was the next evening and Will successfully managed to avoid Deanna thus far. Completely ashamed of allowing his feelings to get the better of him, he was not ready to face her yet. After a half-hearted effort at rehearsal, he retired to his quarters tired and dejected. He had just sat down when the door alarm beeped.


It was Beverly who entered. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Sure." He removed some clothes from the couch and motioned for her to sit.

"Its about the play. I think it was a bad idea and we should cancel it." She watched him run a hand through his hair. "I think its affecting too much-"



"No, don't cancel it."

"But it seemed like today, you had no desire to be there. And you certainly wasn't yourself. The Will Riker I know would have jumped at the chance to kiss a woman like Kayla. I just figured you were  too uncomfortable with the story."

'The story is a bit...unsettling. But that wasn't the problem today." He flashed her a grin. "I promise to be ready by tomorrow night. I have the day off and will hold true to my word. Don't worry about me, okay?"

She put a hand on his forearm. "Are you sure? I don't want to be the one responsible for causing you to go off the deep end."

He put an arm around her shoulders and walked her to the door. "Just be thankful that I know how to swim. Goodnight Doctor."



"How can I believe you again...after everything you have put me through? What...you just expect me to come running back into your arms after all the pain you caused me?" She brought her arms up between his and pushed them outward, knocking his grip from her body.

"Please, don't be angry at me for finally telling you what I have felt for so long. I would just as soon die...than to have you not near me anymore. If you want me to beg, I'll beg." He got on his hands and knees, holding her hands to his face. "I love you. Please...stay with me?"

Tears ran down her cheeks. With one loud angry scream, she grabbed his shoulders and pushed him down to the floor, passionately kissing his lips the the whole time the curtains slowly closed.


Deanna shifted in her seat, feeling every muscle in her body tense as she watched the actors portray what she had been wanting to hear and 'do' for years. She sensed a number of eyes on her now, watching to see what her reaction might be. Not about to give them anymore to gossip about, she composed herself as best she could and smiled through gritted teeth.

The play continued on to the next act. After enduring one last love scene where Cam (Will) and Elizabeth (Kayla) made love ( or so it was implied because the lights dimmed) in front of the fireplace with her acknowledging his proposal, Deanna decided the last act might even be more agonizing to sit through. Cam was called away to battle, and Deanna couldn't help but choke up again. Wearing the uniform of an army officer, Will was absolutely handsome. Not that he wasn't in his Starfleet uniform, but this late twenty-second century uniform fit him tightly and showed off his leg muscles quite well. Deanna looked innocently around at other members of the audience and saw that Samantha Inez was staring directly at her. The nurse waggled her eyebrows toward Will then looked back at Deanna with a mischievous look.

The counselor squirmed slightly and refocused her attention back to Will, who was about to be blown to pieces, thanks to Data's theatrical fireworks. Minutes later the play ended, with Elizabeth's announcement that she was pregnant with Cam's child. And all was well in the world again.

After the lights brightened, the audience stood in ovation professing their enjoyment of the play. The applause were loud and energetic, especially when Will emerged from the side of the stage. Grasping Kayla's hand, the two stars bowed numerous times. And Will, having caught site of Deanna, never once removed his eyes from the woman he loved.

And even though Deanna felt as though the whole room was watching her, she blushed and gave him a smile, hoping that he would understand that it was filled with hope and great promise of things to come.

When I'm alone
I dream of the horizon
and words fail me
There is no light
in a room where there is no sun
and there is no sun if you're not
here with me
From every window
unfurl my heart
the heart that you have won
Into me you've poured the light
the light that you found by the side of the road
   **English Translation**


Beverly Crusher eagerly searched the mass of people gathered together in Ten Forward for her star performer. Spotting the head of Will Riker standing tall amongst a group of people. she squeezed through the tight circle and wrapped her arms around the tall man and gave him a kiss.

"Will, I do believe you have missed your calling. You were absolutely brilliant!"

He smiled down at the red-head. "Well, it helps to have a good director. And a very forgiving audience."

"Do you mind if I steal you away from your admirerers for a moment? I would like to get some pictures of you and Kayla together while your still in costume."

Will offered his arm to her as they moved to less crowded side of the room, using his height advantage to scan for Deanna as he went. Beverly saw he was looking around. "Don't worry Will. I'm sure she'll be here."

Certain that she was still embarrassed from the other night, he lacked the confidence that Beverly shared.


Beverly guided Will's arm and placed it over Mora's shoulder. "Now, I want a couple of you two embracing," she said, motioning for Data to begin taking the pictures.

Will pulled Kayla tight and felt her lean into him, putting her head under his chin. The same way Deanna always held him, he thought quickly just before he turned away to sneeze. "Its the hairspray," he explained as he pulled Kayla back.

Shifting into another pose, he caught a glimpse of Deanna standing near the bar. She was wearing a very tight, strapless dress that clung to every minute curve her body had to offer. Her hair was pinned to the top of her head with few long curls outlining her face. And he quickly noticed that he was not the only one gaping at the beautiful woman; Worf was moving up along side offering to get her a drink. Worf? Will thought. He couldn't believe his eyes! The Klingon was actually flirting with Deanna!

Feeling a hand gently pulling at his chin attempting him to look back at the camera, he wiped at his beard and refocused his attention back to Kayla. After a few flashes of light, Kayla turned and planted a kiss acros his mouth. Not expecting it to have been quite so passionate, he pulled back blinking his eyes.

"One more. This time make it a good one," Beverly instructed.

Will turned into Kayla and dipped her slightly as they kissed, only this time Will felt his co-star's tongue breach the bearier and dance along side his own. After the flashes stopeed and the whistles ended, Will backed away blushing from the heat of the moment. Kayla smiled at him before she was whisked away by her friends and Will headed toward the bar.


Deanna pursed her lips together as she looked past Worf and saw the last kiss between Will and Kayla. Jealousy rocketted throughout her body once again as she strained to pay attention to what Worf was saying.

"So what is your answer?" Worf asked.

Deanna shook her head. "i'm sorry. What was the question?"

Worf let out a small growl. "I asked if you would care to join me for a walk?"

Stunned by the offer, "Worf, I-"

"Hello. Am I interrupting anything? Will stood directly behind Deanna.

Trying to cover up her sense of relief, all she could muster was, "Will, nice of you join us."

"Commander, actually we were just-"

Deanna interrupted. "We were about to have another drink. Care for one?"

"Sure." Will danced to the balls of feet.

"Counselor. Perhaps we should continue this for another time. If you will excuse me?" The Klingon gracefully backed away and walked to where Geordi and Data were standing.

Raising an inquisitive eyebrow, Will chuckled at Deanna.

"So," she began as she let her eyes wander up and down his long body. "You look pretty good for a dead man."

"Thanks." He cleared his throat and wished desperately that these trousers weren't so damn tight. "About the other night, I-"

She waved him off then squeezed his arm. "Don't apologize Will."

He took her by the shoulders and faced her. "I've been thinking a lot about...us lately.Maybe its this stupid play and the tragic ending, I don't know, but..."

She searched his eyes. Pleading for him to continue.

"Well, all I know is that I miss you." She had never seen him look so shy; it was quite endearing she thought. "I miss kissing you, holding you....making love...to you." There. He said it. It was up to her now on what to do.

Tears glimmered in her eyes as she wrapped her arms about his waist. "I've missed you as well."

He pressed his nose into her hair and breathed in deeply allowing the intoxicating scent to infilitrate every pore of his body.

"Do you mind if we leave your party?"

"I think we'd  better. Before the audience gets treated to an X-rated encore performance."

"X-rated?" she questioned.


Not wanting to let go for even an instant, Will held his arm around her as they weaved their way around the tables in Ten Forward. Passing Worf's table, WIll couldn't help himself and waggled his eyebrows at the warrior, then laughed as he heard a muffled growl when they exited.


Once outside the lounge, Deanna stood on her toes and pulled his head to hers. The kiss was long and hot and created a lot of murmurs from those who witnessed it. But Deanna didn't care this time. She wanted everyone to know the first officer of the Enterprise was taken.

They began walking down the corridor but Will stopped suddenly and watched her take a few steps without him. Deanna turned around and looked confused. "What?"

"Just thinking." He took a long stride and was standing next to her again.

"About?" Deanna was nervous now, thinking he was second guessing what was about to happen.

"About what a lucky son-of-gun I am."


"Mmhmm." He backed her up against the wall. "I get to see you in that dress...then I get to see out out of it." He leaned down for quick poke but found more than he bargained for when she devoured his mouth with great passion.

Clearly out of breath, Deanna gently pushed him away and looked down. "I think Samantha was right." She grinned.

"Samantha? Why? What did she say?"

"You do have a nice ass." Deanna patted his rear-end and shuffled her way to her quarters with Will in hot pursuit.

                                        Time to say Goodbye
                                        Places that I've never seen or
                                        experienced with you
                                        now I shall
                                        I'll sail with you
                                        upon ships across the seas
                                        seas that exist no more
                                        I'll revive them with you.

                                                       THE END