Author - Jaclyn Riker

E-mail address -

Rating - PG13

Category - Romance, Angst

Spoilers - None

Keywords - R/T J, a bit o’ P/C

Disclaimer: Not mine. Never were mine. Never gonna be mine. Cause if they were mine the end of many an episode would’ve been written differently (cough Attached cough). Nuff said. Hope you don’t sue me.

Summary - Takes place about a year after A Child’s Lead (You should read that before this one). All is not well in Imzadi Paradise leading to an event that shocks everyone.

Note: This is in response to a request a couple people on the list made about having some angst. Hope you enjoy…please give feedback.

“Illusions of Grandeur”

By Jaclyn Riker


“Kalila Marie Riker, show yourself this instant!” Counselor Deanna Troi-Riker called out into the dark room. Stepping into the ship’s Ten-Forward, she and Beverly Picard exchanged a look. “Your turn.”

“Felisa Yvette Picard, don’t make me call your father!” Beverly threatened and a soft giggle floated out from behind the bar area followed by a shushing noise. Deanna and Beverly exchanged another look and Beverly pointed for Deanna to go one way while she went the other. Deanna nodded and on the count of three they pounced.

“Got you!” Beverly yelled as they jumped around the bar, but were completely stumped when they found none back there.

“Damn. Where did could they have gone?” Deanna asked placing her hands on her hips.

“I have no idea, but if anyone knows this ship inside and out it is our daughters.” Beverly said and Deanna reluctantly agreed.

“I'm gonna kill him.” Deanna said moments later and Beverly raised her eyebrow at the other woman’s statement. Deanna frowned and said, “My husband. I'm going to kill him.”

“This was his idea?” Beverly asked and Deanna shrugged.

“Not directly, but close enough. And I quote: ‘The conference is taking place on the Enterprise anyway. It will be good for you and Lily to see all your old friends. How much trouble could she get into in five days?’ End quote.” Deanna said and bit back a grin at Beverly small laugh.

“Well let’s see. So far, Lissa and Lily have made the warp engine trail be three different colors: purple, green, and Jean-Luc’s favorite, hot pink. Then they somehow made all the replicators put Klingon hot spices in each food that was replicated.”

“I still don’t know how they thought that they could put into chocolate fudge cake and not get caught.” Deanna said shaking her head.

“Especially with you on board.” Beverly said and pretended to ignore the glare that Deanna shot her way. “Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, there was somehow changing every code to the senior officer’s quarters, then there was the gathering of the children on the holodeck and locking out all command voices but theirs.”

“Lily’s to be exact.” Deanna interrupted once more and Beverly acquiesced to that one.

“And now they have managed to sneak out of their rooms at 0100 in the morning and play hide and seek on the ship.” Beverly finished.

“Our daughters have been very busy for only being together for three and a half days.” Deanna said and sighing sank down into one of the bar stools.

“So how have you been? It’s been so long. There was your wedding to Will and then the Betazoid ceremony and then came Christmas. That was almost 7 months ago. I haven’t seen you since then. Not in person anyway.” Beverly said, her voice slightly accusing. She too sat down on a bar stool, both women deciding to rest for a bit.

“I know, Beverly and I'm sorry.” Deanna apologized softly placing her hand over top Beverly’s hand. “It took a while to get used to being on the Legacy and then we were in different sectors of the galaxy.”

“I understand. Really, I do. Just don’t make it so long in between visits next time.” Beverly told her and squeezing Deanna’s hand. Releasing it, she brushed her loose auburn hair behind her ear and smiled warmly at the woman she thought of as her sister. “So how has marriage and motherhood been treating you?”

“Marriage is wonderful. Will is so attentive and honestly cares about everything I say. We are so in tune with each other it scares me sometimes. The bond between us was always strong, but now...” Deanna trailed off, her eyes shining and her voice happy.

“I know.” Beverly said and Deanna focused again on her friend’s face.

“Yes, I believe you do. If anyone out there understands what Will and I have it’s you and Jean-Luc.” Deanna said and after giving her a smile, Beverly frowned.

“Deanna, you didn’t answer the other part of my question. How’s motherhood?” Deanna was quiet and bit her lip, carefully thinking out her answer. Beverly leaned forward and called her name softly. Deanna looked up and Beverly saw the conflict in her eyes. “Deanna what’s wrong?”

“Oh Beverly, everything was so perfect in the beginning. The three of us were so close and Lily seemed so happy. About a month ago, Will and I began to discuss special schooling for her. You know that she is highly intelligent, to the point of being gifted. She can learn a concept almost as fast as you teach it to her and what’s more, loves to learn.”

“Yes, I remember how advanced she was in school here during the months that Will...when he was gone.” Beverly said and Deanna nodded, brushing aside Beverly’s slip when alluding to when he had “died”.

“Data ended up giving her private lessons on his spare time. She ahs a million questions in her head and once you answer one, another pops out.” Deanna’s voice held the tone of an extremely proud parent and Beverly smiled inside. Deanna eyes turned painful and took on a sheen of tears. Beverly knew it must be serious to drive her friend to cry. “Anyway, I heard about this amazing school on Thoreta 2 for young children like her. I told Will about it and he liked the idea. So, without telling her we sent a communication to the school for more information and they sent us back a program about a small trial stay. Will and I agreed that we should check it out, especially with this difficult three-week mission ahead of us. While we are gone, she could go to the school and if she liked it, she would stay. But until we were sure about our decision, we decided not to mention it to her. Only about a week ago...”

“She found out, didn’t she?” Beverly asked and Deanna nodded slowly.

“I have never seen or felt so much hurt from her before. It was as if we had betrayed her in some way. We tried to explain to her that it was only temporary, but she was so angry.” Deanna said, shaking her head.

“Is she still angry?” Beverly asked and Deanna nodded.

“It’s not obvious to others, because she is never disrespectful and still shows some affection. At least, towards Will.”

“It’s you she mad at? Why?” Beverly asked, sliding down from the stool. Deanna followed her and shrugged.

“I don’t know. She won’t tell me and she is blocking me from her mind. She is very good at that. As if she had Betazoid blood in her.” Deanna told her and Beverly motioned for them to take one last look around the room. Deanna nodded and silently they wandered in between tables and chairs. Suddenly Beverly stopped and motioned Deanna over to where she stood about 3 feet away. Sure enough, underneath one of the tables, lay Lissa and Lily. They were both sleeping soundly, with Lissa laying half on top on Lily. Beverly bent down and carefully shifted them so they fell apart and she hefted Lissa into her arms. Deanna bent down and did the same to Lily, then the two women left Ten-Forward.

At Jean-Luc and Beverly’s quarters, Deanna stopped to say goodnight. Deanna shifted so Lily was closer to her, but by doing this Lily woke abruptly. Her head flew up from Deanna’s shoulder and with wide eyes she looked around at her surroundings. Beverly watched closely as Deanna talked softly to Lily.

“Hey, Little One. Don’t you think you should sleep in your own bed?” Deanna said softly and Lily’s eyes met hers. The child smiled warmly at her for a moment and Deanna’s heart expanded at the feel of love coming from her. Suddenly, a cloud formed in Lily’s eyes and the feeling disappeared, leaving an empty ache inside of the empath.

“I can walk, thank you.” Lily said and slid out of Deanna’s arms, landing on the ground before she could say a word. The newly turned six year old looked up at Beverly and smiled at her with the love that she had seconds ago shown Deanna so freely.

“We didn’t mean to upset you. Liss and I wanted to see the stars pass while in complete darkness and this was the only time we could.” Lily told her, placing her hand on Beverly’s leg. “I’m sorry. Do you forgive me?”

“Yes, but next time, please tell us when you want to do something like this again. Maybe we can all see it together. Why don’t you ask your mom?” Beverly said, hoping to somehow draw Lily’s attention to Deanna.

At the mention of Deanna, the child frowned and said coolly, “That won’t be necessary. We have all ready seen it now.”

Lily yawned slightly and Beverly didn’t say anything although it was pretty obvious that it was faked. The child looked into Beverly’s eyes and smiled.

“I am very tired, Aunt Beverly. I am going to go to bed now. Goodnight. I love you.”

“I love you too.” Beverly echoed and Lily blew her a kiss, and then headed to the end of the hallway where their guest quarters where located. It was pretty obvious, now, how Lily didn’t even seem to acknowledge Deanna’s presence. The child spoke the door command and disappeared into the room, without a glance back or waiting for Deanna.

“I see what you mean.” Beverly said and Deanna lowered her gaze to the ground, tears threatening to fall. “Deanna, I think you should talk to her. Make her tell you what is wrong.”

“I know. I’ll do it tomorrow.” Deanna said, knowing inside that she wouldn’t be able to put it off any longer. “Goodnight Beverly.”

“Goodnight, Deanna.” Beverly said and they kissed cheeks. Deanna walked down the hall, her flowing pink silk pajamas making a soft swish as she moved. Beverly watched Deanna brush a tear from her cheek before entering her quarters and she heard the door close behind her hurting friend. Frowning, Beverly finally entered her own quarters and settled Lissa into her bed.

What could make a child who loved her mother as much as Lily loved Deanna, suddenly go so cold? Brushing a kiss onto Lissa’s head, Beverly prayed that she wouldn’t ever find out. She wasn’t an empath but even she could see the soul-tearing effect it was happening to her best friend.


Title – Illusions of Grandeur Chapter 2
Author – Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating – PG13
Category – Romance, Angst
Spoilers – None
Keywords – R/T with a bit o’ P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
Note: This is in response to a request a couple people on the list made about having some angst. Hope you enjoy…please give feedback.

“Illusions of Grandeur”
    By Jaclyn Riker
     Deanna awoke to the sound of Lily laughing and her husband’s deep voice. She smiled and stretched, grabbing the robe from the edge of the bed. Wrapping it around her, she crept quietly to the doorway and smiled at the sight before her.

     Lily, already dressed in a dark blue play jumper, sat on the floor playing with a device that would project a 3D image of what she was thinking about. Will sat across from her, still in his pajamas, trying to guess what they were. Of course, in typical Will fashion, he was coming up with the silliest things he could think of. Seeing them together like this always made Deanna’s heart skip a beat. Lily was tiny for her age, looking no more than 4 and ½ years old, but she had the heart of a lion. And could be stubborn as a mule if it ever came down to it. Deanna smirked, knowing that it was a trait she had inherited inarguably from her father.

    “A pig wearing a captain’s uniform flying a shuttlecraft?” Will guessed, frowning in mock frustration at the image before him.

    “No, Daddy!” Lily giggled and pointed to the image that was obviously a horse. “It’s Sugar!”

    “The pony Uncle Jean-Luc gave you for your birthday?” Will asked and at Lily’s nod, he peered at it in concentration. A grin lit up his face and he nodded too. “Oh yeah. I see it now.”

    “Daddy, you knew all the time!” Lily said and laughingly, gave him a light push on the shoulder. Will threw himself backwards slightly and gave her a wide-eyed stare.

    “Watch it, Princess! You’ll hurt your old man.” Will said, but Lily knew he was just playing around and laughed at him. Then, looking at the image, she sighed.

    “I wish Sugar could live at home with us.” Lily said softly and Will caressed her face lovingly.

    “I know you do, Princess, but you know that she is happy in Uncle Jean-Luc’s stable. ” He told her and she gave him a small smile. “Okay, Princess, how bout we play again?”

    “Okay.” Lily said, her smile growing bigger. She closed her eyes and began to imagine her next picture.

    “Good morning, Early Birds.” Deanna said, stepping into the room and walking over to where they sat. She leaned down to kiss the top of Will’s head and straightening again she looked at Lily. The child’s eyes had snapped open at the sound of Deanna’s voice and she now stared at her icily. Deanna shuddered at the anger that radiated towards her from the girl, feeling it wash over her along with a deeper sense of betrayal.

    “What are you playing?” Deanna asked, kneeling down by Will and trying to ignore the glare she was receiving. Deanna felt Will wrap a supportive arm around her shoulder and she leaned into his embrace gratefully. However, Lily ignored her question and her completely, closing the device and standing.

    “Daddy, I ate breakfast. Can I go see what Lissa is doing?” Lily asked and noticeably edged towards the door. Will, through the bond he now shared with his wife, could feel the hurt and confusion from Deanna. He decided to put an end to all of this once and for all. He rose off the floor, helping Deanna up at the same time.

    “Lily, sit down. It’s time we had a talk.” Will told her and Deanna sighed inwardly. She knew what was coming and was grateful he had initiated it.

    “I don’t want to talk. I want to go see Lissa.” Lily said frowning and once more headed for the doors.

    “Kalila Marie, if you take another step towards that door you are going to be one sorry little girl!” Will’s voice boomed out and Lily froze. She stood shock still for a moment before whirling around. Tears of anger and frustration were running down her face.

    “You yelled at me! You never yelled at me before she came.” Lily said, pointing at Deanna, her eyes shooting daggers and her voice shaking.

    “Whoa, young lady! This is all you. Don’t you blame your mother!” Will said, putting his arm around Deanna’s shoulders.

    “She wants to send me away! You said we would never be apart after you came back. You would never do that to me unless SHE told you too! How could you let her send me away?” Lily said vehemently, tears falling fast down her slightly rounded cheeks.

    “Oh, Lily, no. It would only be temporary. Only a couple of weeks. You wouldn’t stay if you didn’t want to.” Deanna tried to explain, but Lily would hear none of it. It hit Deanna suddenly, that the girl had built up so strong a wall in the lie embedded in her heart and brain that she didn’t want to hear the truth.

    “No! You don’t want me here. You only said you loved me to marry Daddy. It’s him you love, not me.” Lily cried, hugging herself.

    “Oh, Lily, my Little One. How could you ever think that I don’t love you?” Deanna asked, gasping at the girl’s words. She took a small step backward, but Lily backed up too.

    “Don’t call me that. I'm not your ‘Little One’.” Lily yelled at her, eyes flashing in pain. “I wish you were the one who went away.”

    “Lily, don’t talk to your mother that way.” Will said trying to protect Deanna, but Lily turned her glare on him.

    “She’s not my mother. My real mother is dead, but if she were alive she would be a million times better than her!” Lily pointed once more in the direction of Deanna. Of all the words spoken in the past moments, those hurt the worst. Deanna sat down hard onto the couch behind her and just stared at the angry child.

    “That’s it! No more. You are to go to your room for the rest of our stay. You are not allowed out unless it is to eat dinner or use the bathroom. No talking or seeing Lissa or any of your other friends. This will extend for two more weeks when we get home.” Will said angrily, walking over and taking Lily’s upper arm. He didn’t grab her hard enough to hurt her, but he thought he had a tight grip. It was a surprise to him when Lily wrenched her arm away, surprisingly strong for her age.

    “I hate you.” Lily said softly, but with the emotion in her voice rang true to her words. Lily looked over at Deanna and then back to Will. “I hate you both.”

    Turning on her heel, she ran into her room sobbing. Will followed, but found that his “gifted” daughter had locked out all voice commands but her own.

Title - Illusions of Grandeur
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
Note: This is in response to a request a couple people on the list made about
having some angst. Hope you enjoy…please give feedback.

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker
Will and Deanna arrived on the bridge a few hours later. Lily had refused to
come out of her room, ignoring all attempts to talk to her. Will had called
Geordi to try and open the door, but even he was at a loss as how to get it
open. So they had decided to just let her vent in her room, until she was
ready to come out and apologize. After talking briefly to Jean-Luc and
Beverly who was on the bridge as well, Will and Deanna decided to sit.

    "Sir, would you like to sit in your old seat?" Lt. Commander Teri Newman
asked, motioning to the first officer's chair.

    "That's all right, Teri. It's your post now." Will told her, smiling at
the young woman. Suddenly a voice rang to through the bridge.

    "Oh how sweet of you Commander Riker. Only, wait, it is Captain Riker
isn't it? I guess I will have to call you Mon Capitaine now."

    A flash of bright light and the Enterprise's number one nemesis appeared
on the left ramp dressed in an Admiral's uniform.

    "Q!" Jean-Luc exclaimed and glared at the being. As the words left his
mouth, the link of Qs appeared in front of the ship and the mighty vessel
stopped in its tracks. Jean-Luc glared harder and stood from his chair.

    "What do you want, Q?" Will asked heatedly, eyeing him as well.

    "As the ancient humans used to say 'don't get your uniform in a knot',
Mon Capitaine." Q said giving Will a look. "I am actually here to talk to
Commander Newman."

    "Well, she has nothing to say to you." Teri replied. "I have heard all
about you and what you have done to this ship. So you can go right back to
hell where you came from."

    "You're feisty. That's good." Q said, seemingly unaffected by her words.

    "What do you want with her, Q?" Jean-Luc asked and with a shrug, Q looked
at him.

    "I have no reason to lie. The Q counsel has just lost one of its members.
Don't ask me how. It isn't a pretty story. Anyway, we are looking for a
replacement. Commander Newman reminds us very much of Captain Riker many
years ago. We want to offer her the chance of a lifetime that he once
foolishly turned down."

    "Well, I don't want it. Will you leave now?" Teri spat at him and Q's
face turned into a mask of anger.

    "You ungrateful, human. You don't even know what you are giving up. You
don't know anything." Q said to her and whirled around to glare at Jean-Luc
and Will. "This is your fault. You have taken away a chance of a lifetime for
her by filling her head with your lies."

    "They aren't lies." Deanna said, moving to stand next to her husband, but
Q ignored her.

    "Maybe I should send your ship into Borg territory as punishment." Q said
thoughtfully, an evil smile on his face. A person needn't be an empath to
sense the fear just the mention of that species brought out on the people of
the bridge. Before anyone could respond, the turbo lift doors opened and a
young lieutenant appeared. In his grip was a struggling Lily.

    "Sir, I..." the young man began, but stopped at the sight of Q.

    "What is this, Lt.?' Jean-Luc asked, looking at his goddaughter in

    "I caught her trying to start a shuttlecraft, sir."

    "You what?" Will exclaimed and Lily lifted her head higher at his tone in
defiance. She didn't say a word, but didn't meet his gaze either.

    "Who is this?" Q asked, fascinated by the bold child. All eyes turned to
him again, as if they were just remembering he was here.

    "I am Kalila Marie Riker. Who the heck are you?" Lily asked boldly
staring at him. Q's eyes widened at her words and utter audacity.

    "The captain is your father." Q said, more than asked, but Lily nodded
anyway. His eyes flickered over to where Will and Deanna stood together.
Lily's eyes followed his and she frowned, looking away quickly. But it wasn't
quick enough for Q caught the scowl on her lips when she saw her parents. A
gleam appeared in his eyes and he smiled slyly.

    "Why were you trying to start a shuttlecraft, Kalila?" Q asked, crouching
down to where she could look into his eyes.

    "I like the name Lily and I was trying to leave. I don't want to be here
with them anymore."


    "They won't let me do the things I wanna do. My way is almost always
right, but they won't listen to me cause I am a kid. Besides, she wants me to
go away and I won't go!" Lily said and looked at Will and Deanna. "I won't!"

    "You are a very brave little girl." Q said and Lily looked back at him
then shrugged. "Have you ever heard of the Q?"

    "No," Lily said shaking her head. "Is that what you are?"

    "Uh-huh. We have special powers. Kind of like magic. Would you like to
see?" Q asked her and with a small wave of his hand, a floating chocolate
sundae appeared. Lily's eyes widened and she cautiously reached out to touch
it. Upon feeling the cold ice cream she put her finger in her mouth, and then
pulled it out to stare at Q in awe.

    "It's real! How did you do that? Can you do it again?" Lily exclaimed and
the smile on Q's face grew.

    "How about you do it?" Q said and Will stepped forward.

    "Q, leave her alone." He demanded, but Q just held up his index finger
and shook his head.

    "Uh-uh, Mon Capitaine. The Borg." Was all Q said and Will quietly stood
there fuming. Deanna put her hand on her husband's arm, not only to hold him
back, but to support him too.

    "I don't know how." Lily responded to Q's question and frowned.

    "All you have to do is think of something you really want and then wave
your hand, like I did." Q told her and the child closed her eyes in
concentration. No one noticed the small flick of Q's wrist towards Lily for
they were all concentrating on the girl. After a moment she opened them again
and gracefully waved her hand. A flash and then a loud sound caught
everyone's attention.

    "Sugar!" Lily cried and ran over to hug the pony she had left behind on

    "Get this horse off my bridge." Jean-Luc ordered, but Q just shrugged.

    "I didn't do it."

    "But you can undo it." Will told him and Q frowned.

    "Very well. If you don't mind taking the smile off of your daughter's
face." With a wav of his hand the horse disappeared. Only Lily hardly seemed
to notice as she whirled around, her eyes shining excitedly.

    "More. I want to do more," she said, breathlessly.

    "I was hoping you'd say that." Q told her and flashed over to where she
stood. Deanna realized what he was about to do as she watched him take Lily's
hand in his own.

    "Q..." She said let out in a warning tone, but he just smiled at her.

    "It turns out I have what I came for after all." He said and suddenly
Lily's eyes widened. She had gotten a sense of what he was going to do and it
was no longer fun and games. Fear replaced her excitement and she looked over
at Deanna.

    <Mommy! > Lily's voice echoed in Deanna's head as Q waved goodbye and
disappeared off the ship, taking the girl with him.

    "Noooooooooooooooo!" Deanna let out a heartbreaking cry, stepping forward
at the same instant. She dropped to her knees as she realized they were
already gone. "Oh Gods, no! Q! Q, bring her back. Please, Q, bring her back!"

    Will stood in shock staring at the space where his daughter had just
stood, but quickly shook himself out of it. He went to his wife's side and
wordlessly gathered her up into his arms as she called out for their daughter
and the being that had taken her. As he did so, the Q link became a sphere
and zoomed away through space.

    "I can't feel her, Will. They took her so far away that I can't feel
her!" Deanna cried hysterically into his embrace. Will felt hot tears slide
down his own face and through a sort of fog, he saw Beverly step forward with
a hypo spray. She injected the sedative into Deanna's bloodstream. Deanna
fell silent moments later with her body still shaking as Will lifted her up
into his arms. Jean-Luc gave command of the silent bridge over to Teri then
followed his friends to sickbay.

    Will laid Dee down on a bio bed, then seemed to lose all strength in his
legs. Jean-Luc helped him into Beverly's office and into a chair. Will buried
his face into his hands and his shoulder began to shake. Though no sound was
heard Jean-Luc knew that his friend was crying. He placed his hand on Will's
shoulder; not saying a word, then out of respect left the man to deal with
his pain in solitude.

    Jean-Luc went into the sick bay area where he saw Beverly lean over and
brush a sisterly hand over Deanna's hair. He knew how close the two women
were and could see that as a mother herself, Beverly was hurting for her. His
wife looked up and at the sight of him, almost ran into his arms.

    "Jean-Luc, how could he do this?" Beverly asked, her voice anguished.
"She's just a child. What could he possibly want with their little girl?"

    "The Q needs a new counsel member. Instead of trying to make a new own
out a fully-grown adult who all ready has opinions of its own, what better
opportunity than to take a child. One who is bright, bold, highly creative,
and at that particular moment, angry at her parents."

    "And he calls us the savage race." Beverly said angrily.

    "We'll get her back." Jean-Luc said, but they both knew the chances were
slim to none. One did not find beings like the Q. They found you and even
then it was only if they wanted to.

Title - Illusions of Grandeur
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
Note: This is in response to a request a couple people on the list made about
having some angst. Hope you enjoy…please give feedback.

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker
    A week passed by slowly for the people onboard the Enterprise. Jean-Luc
had insisted that Will and Deanna stay on board and neither had been in any
condition to object. Will had gotten past the grief and moved into the stage
of anger and determination. He drove himself harder than ever before, trying
to come up with a way to find Lily. Jean-Luc and Beverly were worried about
him, but the one who worried them all was Deanna.

    She had withdrawn into herself as soon as she had awoken from the
sedative, calling out for Lily. Will had tried to explain what had happened,
but she had just kept on calling out for her "Little One". After finally
getting through to her, she had stopped speaking all together. She wouldn't
talk to anyone, not even to Will through their telepathic bond. Deanna barely
ate and even then it had to be forced by either Will or Beverly. She was
already starting to lose weight and that worried be a lot. The worst part was
that Deanna would lie in the bedroom with the lights at 50%, holding Lily's
teddy bear to her chest. Her eyes would be open, but unseeing. They forever
seemed to have the shine of unshed tears in them although she never cried.
Not after that first day had she shown any emotion whatsoever.

    It was a week to the day that Q had taken Lily away when Beverly decided
that she couldn't take it anymore. Late in the afternoon, after enlisting the
help of Will and her own husband, she strode into the dim room and stood
directly in front of Deanna.

    "Computer, lights to 100%." She ordered loudly. Deanna cringed and closed
her eyes as the machine obeyed. Beverly placed her hands on her hips and
stared down at her listless friend. Throwing a glance at her the men behind
her she motioned for them to help.

    "Time to get up, Counselor." Jean-Luc said cheerfully and then after a
moment's thought spoke again. "I'll tell you what I'll do. I'm going to go
replicate us all some hot chocolate and some of my grandmother's croissants."

    Beverly gave him a loving smile and he put his hand on her arm as he
walked out into the living room. Will knew it was his turn and gazed down at
the broken woman on the bed.

    "Dee, honey, you have to get up." Will told her, brushing a lock of hair
away from her pale face. He tried to probe her mind, but she resisted him
even in her weakened state.

    "Why?" Came her voice, raw and scratchy from not being in use, but full
of pain. Beverly and Will exchanged a glance with each other and then one
with Jean-Luc, who had come to stand in the doorway again.

    "Because you aren't helping Lily by just laying there." Beverly said,
hoping to get a reaction by mentioning the child's name. And did she ever get
one. Deanna's eyes shot open to pin her friend down with an angry glare. She
sat up slowly in the bed, her eyes becoming focused for the first time in a

    "Leave me alone, Beverly." Deanna said in a low voice that was easily
interpreted as "back off". It was that was rarely heard from the calm and
patient woman before them. Beverly's eyes widened at the tone, but raised her
chin and shook her head.

    "I can't do that, Deanna. I'm your friend and that's what friends do."
Beverly told her, smiling softly. "I feel your pain, Deanna, and I know
you're hurting. We all are, but..."

    "You don't know anything." Deanna interrupted her, causing all of their
eyes to widen.

    "Deanna..." Will said, but she rose from the bed, ignoring him completely.

    "Where is your daughter, Doctor?" Deanna asked, advancing on her slowly
like a predator with its prey. Beverly backed up slightly at the look in her
eyes. Deanna reiterated her question, just as much force in her voice. "Where
is she, Beverly?"

    "She..." Beverly started, her voice soft, but then it firmed. "She is in
the schoolroom."

    "I see." Deanna whispered, nodding her head and then said, "Do you know
where my daughter is, Beverly?"

    "Deanna, please don't do this." Will said to her, touching her shoulder,
but she angrily shook him off.

    "No, of course you don't. No one does." Deanna answered her own question.
"Your daughter is safe and sound, not more than 100 meters from your touch at
this very moment. My daughter is out there somewhere quite possibly 100
million years from mine."

    Deanna swung her arm out in the general vicinity of the window, never
taking her eyes off of Beverly's stunned face.

    "I have no idea whether she is ever coming back to us or if she even
thinks about us anymore. Does she even remember what home looks like? Does
she cry because she isn't with us? These are things I may never know the
answers to, Beverly. While you can watch your daughter grow up, I may never
see mine again." Deanna said harshly, advancing towards Beverly with each

    She had backed her out of the bedroom and into the living room with
Jean-Luc and Will watching and following her closely. Finally Will grabbed a
hold of her arm so that she didn't back Beverly up into the sharp corner of
the dining table.

    "So don't you tell me that you feel my pain. Gods forbid that you ever
have to experience what I feel." Deanna finished and Beverly couldn't meet
her eyes. Deanna ripped her arm out of Will's grip and stalked away to stand
in front of the view hole.

    "I think we'd better go." Jean-Luc told Will, who nodded in agreement.
Jean-Luc wrapped his arm around Beverly's shoulder and started to lead her

    "Beverly, I'm sorry." Will said and she squeezed his arm as she passed.
The doors shut with a soft "swish" sound and Will turned to where Deanna was
still fuming by the window.

    "Deanna, how could you say those things to Beverly? She was just trying
to help." Will asked her, walking to stand close to her.

    "I don't want or need her help. Or her pity." Deanna retorted hotly,
refusing to look at him.

    "It isn't pity. She cares about you very much." Will tried to argue, but
she cut him off.

    "Do you think I can't feel it, Will? I thought that you should be able to
feel it too. Or are you too busy enjoying the sympathy you are getting from
people to notice the other things?" Deanna threw at him and that was the
straw that broke the camel's back. He grabbed her roughly by the shoulders
and spun her around to look at him.

    "Deanna, I was raised never to hit a woman, especially one's wife, but if
you were a man you wouldn't be standing at the moment." Will seethed, angrier
than he had even been with her. "Don't ever tell me that I am enjoying having
my daughter stolen from me! I would die a thousand deaths to have our
daughter back in her own bed, where she belongs, but I can't do that. All I
can do is to try and figure out a way to find her, which is more than you've
been doing."

    The slap that Deanna gave him across his face sounded through the room
followed by a gasp of realization of what she had just said and done.

    "Oh, Gods, Will." Deanna whispered, her body shaking and tears beginning
to fall down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

    She reached up and gently caressed the red handprint that was now
appearing on his cheek. Suddenly her knees buckled and Will's anger quickly
evaporated as he helped her down to the ground. Gut wrenching sobs came from
her mouth and the instant he wrapped his arms around her body, she tried to
bury herself into his chest. He just held her as she cried and sent her all
of the love and strength he could, knowing he could do no more than that. All
of the pain and anger that had been kept inside her this past week, now
escaped her body in the from of never-ending tears. Deanna's small frame
shook without the force of her cries, Lily's name rolling of her tongue in a
language only a heartbroken parent could understand.

    It was a very long time before Will heard no noise coming from his wife.
He looked down at her and smiled softly when he saw that she had worn herself
out from crying. He could feel the occasional shudder still run through her
body as he lifted her up into his arms to carry her into the bedroom. Will
placed her down gently onto the mattress and he knew that things would not be
like they were when she woke up. Kissing her on the lips softly, he stripped
down and took a quick shower. Then he climbed into bed and pulled her back to
spoon into him, which she did instinctively. Seconds later he was in as deep
of a slumber as Deanna.
    Morning came and they talked about what had happened the night before.
Deanna decided that she needed to go back to work to help take her mind off
of Lily. Will agreed wholeheartedly and after a nice breakfast together, he
headed for the bridge, while she called Ensign Tenorre. The young woman had
just recently acquired a fear of heights, but the reason was unknown. Deanna
scheduled her as her first appointment and within the hour, her day had been
booked. However before any of that happened, there was one person in
particular that Deanna needed to see.

    Walking into sickbay, Deanna looked around for Beverly. Alyssa saw her
and pointed towards the office without a word. Deanna nodded her thanks and
taking a deep breath headed for the door. She knocked on the frame of the
door and Beverly looked up from her computer, visibly surprised by the sight
of Deanna. The auburn haired doctor rose, coming around the desk to stand in
front of it, but moved no further. Beverly watched her with cautious eyes and
Deanna flinched, knowing she had put the doubt there.

    "Beverly, I..." Deanna began, her voice soft and guilt ridden. "I don't
know if I can ever say or do anything to make up for the things I said to you
yesterday. Just know that I am truly sorry and that I hope you can forgive

    Deanna had turned to go when she heard her name called softly. She turned
back around and saw Beverly shake her head.

    "There's nothing to forgive." Beverly said and held out her arms. Deanna
gave her a waterlogged smile and fell into them, holding tightly to the woman
she considered her sister.

Title - Illusions of Grandeur: Part 5
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
Author's Note: The italicized part is a flashback, but I'm sure you guys
would have figured that out anyway. Just thought I'd mention it beforehand.
Okay, enjoy!

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker

    Another week went by, faster than the first one, but in some ways worse.
Hope was fading fast and no one was any closer to figuring out a way to find
Lily and the Q.

    That is until Deanna came running onto the bridge and breathlessly said,
"My mother."

    "Excuse me?" Jean-Luc said incredulously and Will came to stand by Deanna.

    "Honey, what about her?" Will asked, but she just shook her head.

    "No, not just her. You. Me. Chandra and her family, all of my friends on
Betazed and their familes, my family…everyone we can bring aboard!" Deanna
cried and they stared at her until understanding dawned on Will's face.

    "A kind of mind meld, you mean? If we all join our telepathic minds,
maybe we can reach out as one being and find her." Will said, excitement
gaining in him quickly.

    "Sort of. It's called arbani. It is an ancient ritual that I have heard
about, but never seen. However, it supposedly very strong and just might
work." Deanna explained, as excited about the idea as her husband.

    "Wait a minute," Jean-Luc said and frowned. " I hate to remind you of
this, but the Q could be a million light years away. Maybe more. Can it reach
that far?"

    "It's worth a try, Sir." Deanna said and after a moment's thought he
nodded in agreement.

    Deanna thanked him and went quickly to their quarters to video call her
mother. Lwaxana Troi answered on the first ring.

    "Little One, I knew it was you. What is it?" Lwaxana asked her eyes
burning into Deanna's soul. Deanna explained her idea and Lwaxana nodded

    "Oh, Darling, I agree that it's worth a shot. I am so glad to be doing
something. I have been going nearly insane over here with worry. But I know
that everything will be okay. You'll get her back."

    "Thank you Mother. I hope so." Deanna said, grateful for her mother's
strong presence in her life even if she could be trying at times. She watched
Lwaxana close her eyes and after a minute opened them up again.

    "Little One, it is all set. Chandra and her family are coming, as are
members from each royal house. So are old family friends, some of the
strongest family members, and me, of course. In total we should have about
150 to 200 people. However, doing this on that enormous ship of yours will
never do. Brianna, daughter of the Second House of Rituals, said that we may
use the ancient mediation rock on their property. It has been used throughout
the generations for strong ceremonies such as this and this is no
expectation." Lwaxana said all of this in one long breath that set Deanna to
laughing. Some out of amusement, but mostly out of pure joy.

    "Thank them all for us, Mother." Deanna said, truly smiling for the first
time since Lily had been taken. After communicating with Jean-Luc, they set a
rendezvous time for two days. Deanna said good-bye to her mother and then
flopped face down onto the bed. Lifting her happy face from the mattress, she
caught sight of the picture on the nightstand. Will, looking handsome as ever
in his dress uniform and Deanna, a true vision of beauty in her wedding gown.

    Then there was Lily.

    She looked like a fairy princess in her flower girl dress smiling down at
her new mother from the safe perch of her father's arms. Deanna traced the
girl's face lovingly and the memory of her wedding came rushing back to her.
In fact, she could almost hear the music and laughter in her head along with
the most memorable thing said to her that night, besides Will's vows. Closing
her eyes she let the warm memory play in her heart and mind.

    Lily ran over to her, the blue eyes that were so much like the man Deanna
had just married were twinkling like stars. The girl grabbed her hand and
pulled her towards the dance floor.

    "Come on, Mommy. Dance with me." Lily pleaded and laughing Deanna nodded,
giving an apology to the people she had been talking with. They danced to the
song laughing joyfully until, all of a sudden, Lily stood still. Deanna
stopped too, bending down to place her face level with her daughter's sweet

    "What is it, Lily?" Deanna asked quietly and Lily bit her lip.

    "Mommy, you belong to us now, right? We'll always be together?" Lily
asked her, the child's voice soft and apprehensive.

    "Oh Lily, I'll be with you always. Do you know how much I love you?"
Deanna questioned the girl and Lily nodded confidently.

    "Yes. Forever times infinity." Lily told her seriously.

    "How do you know that?" Deanna asked, in mock surprise. Lily giggled and
wrapped her arms round Deanna's neck, giving her a tight hug.

    "Because that's how much I love you, Mommy." Lily whispered into Deanna's
ear and she held the child closer to her, closing her eyes to keep the tears
at bay. They repeated the almost sacred words in unison before releasing each
other to dance again.

    "Forever times infinity..."

<Mommy? I can feel you, Mommy! Where are you? >

Deanna's eyes opened at the sound of her daughter's voice. It wasn't part of
the memory, which meant…

    Deanna concentrated and opened her mind, wider. There! It was faint, but
there was a presence down in her soul and her heart leapt as she recognized
it as Lily.

<Lily? Lily, is that you? > Deanna thought, her mind's voice hopeful.

<Help me, Mommy> Lily's voice sounded so far away and so frightened.

<I'm trying, Little One. Hold on a little longer> Tears began to fall down
Deanna's face as she talked with her missing child.

<Hurry, Mommy. I miss you…> Lily's voice grew farther and father away. 

    Deanna had to reach as far so she could hear the last words.

<I'm sorry…I'm so sorry, Mommy. Tell Daddy…>

    Then the small voice was no longer there and neither was the presence
that she had felt.

    "Lily! No, Lily don't go!" Deanna cried aloud, starting forward
physically before realizing that it was useless. She was gone again. At that
exact moment, Will burst through the door. Without calling out for her he ran
straight into the bedroom, knowing that was where he would find her.

    "Deanna, what happened? I could have sworn I heard…" He said, his voice
confused, but one look in her shining eyes and he knew. "You talked to her,
didn't you? It wasn't my imagination."

    "No, Imzadi. I talked to her. She wants to come home as much as we want
her here. She said she was sorry and…that she misses me. She misses us."
Deanna said and began to cry as Will dropped down onto the bed beside her.
She leaned into him and he held her, sharing the mixture of joy and pain at
hearing their daughter again.

    "It's going to work, Dee. I can feel it. It has to work." Will said,
hugging her closer to him and kissed the top of her dark head. A few tears
shined in his too blue eyes as he rocked her as much for her comfort as his.
"It has to."

Title - Illusions of Grandeur: Part 6
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
Author's Note: End is near guys, I promise! Okay, enjoy. :)

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker
    The two-day journey to Betazed went by agonizingly slow for Will and
Deanna. The only thing that kept them sane was the growing feeling inside of
Deanna that this ritual was going to work. She hadn't had any contact with
Lily after that day, but at least now they knew that she was all right. Upon
arrival to Betazed, Beverly, Jean-Luc, and Lissa accompanied Deanna and Will
to the transporter room.

    "This is going to work, you know?" Beverly whispered to Deanna as she
enveloped her in a hug.

    "I know." Deanna said back, hugging her tightly and drawing on the
comfort she felt. Beverly pulled back and kissed Deanna's cheek, then brushed
off the trace off lipstick like an older sister or mother would. Deanna just
rolled her eyes and smiled. After receiving a hug from Jean-Luc, who then
began discussing the ceremony with Will, she crouched down to accept one from

    "Good-bye, Sweetie. Be good for your mom and dad." Deanna said, squeezing
the child.

    "Aunt Deanna, Lily's gonna come home now, right?" Lissa asked, her face
one of child innocence.

    "We hope so, Lissa." Deanna told her truthfully and Lissa frowned.

    "Can I help in the ceremony too?" She questioned.

    "Lissa, honey..." Beverly started to say, but Deanna shook her head
cutting her off.

    "That would be great, Lissa. All you need to do is think about Lily and
about how much you miss her and love her." Deanna said and Lily smiled.

    "That's easy. I do that anyway." Lissa said and Deanna couldn't help but
gather the child into her arms again. Beverly gave Deanna a sympathetic smile
as she released Lissa and the girl stepped back to take her mother's hand.
Will called Deanna over to the pad and with a wave they were transported to
the surface.

    <Little One> Deanna heard her mother's voice in her and smiled at the

    "Mother." Deanna said a loud and for once she didn't hear her mother
condescend her for not using telepathy. Instead she found herself wrapped in
Lwaxana Troi's arms and being squeezed in a huge hug. Deanna buried her face
into her mother's neck, as a child would do if frightened.

    "Mother, I talked her. I talked to my Little One." Deanna whispered
tearfully to Lwaxana, who as a result held her tighter and sent messages of
love. After another moment or two, she let go only to embrace Will. He and
Lwaxana had never really been that close, but in that moment he had never
been happier to be in her presence. Pulling back, he kissed her hello, and
then took Deanna's hand in his.

    "What do you say to getting this party started and getting our daughter
    Introductions to people went fast and both Will and Deanna weren't sure
that they could even remember three people out of the entire group, but one
person they both knew.

    "Chandra!" Deanna cried, tears in her eyes, and rushed to embrace her
Betazoid best friend. The blonde-haired woman with eyes as dark as night,
began to cry softly too and they clutched at each other for long moments. It
was hard for them to see each toehr after so lone. Chandra hadn't been able
to make the wedding on the Enterprise, due to her father being suddenly ill.
However, he recovered in enough time for her to be Deanna's maid of honor for
the Betazed ceremony.  They only contact they had with each other for the
past several months had been video calls. So it was understandable when they
occasionally would let go, but once eye contact was made the tears flowed
again as did the hugging.

    "Okay, okay, enough of this. It's time to get my granddaughter home. You
can do that later!" Lwaxana said making Will stifle a laugh at the looks both
women gave her. However, they knew she was right so Deanna and Chandra
composed themselves. Taking Will and Chandra's hands in her own, Deanna
followed Lwaxana out into the ritual garden. A clear crystal rock was placed
in the middle of the enormous green garden. It was flat and almost as big as
a table. Lwaxana positioned everyone accordingly and soon it was all set up.

    Will and Deanna sat upon the rock facing each other, their eyes closed
and hands held. Chandra, Lwaxana, and the four strongest members of Lwaxana's
family formed a circle around them and the rock, holding hands as well. It
continued like this until all of the 212 people formed separate rings around
the rock, each bigger than the previous one and all holding hands. Deanna and
Will had memorized the chant that they were to start while on board the
Enterprise and when Lwaxana gave the signal Deanna closed her eyes and began,
Will joining in.

    "Unisci li nostri menti e faccia i nostri pensieri uni. Cuori cuori ed
animi ad animi, spediami insiemi il nostri messaggi. Lascisti essi sia reci
nella paci e nel cuori del reci sia accolti favorivolti. "

    One by one the people began to recite the chant along with the two beings
on the rock until it sounded like one big voice.

    Aboard the Enterprise, which was waiting above the planet, the entire
ship was watching some way or another. People's cabins and the working areas
on the ship all had small screen that had the ceremony displayed on it. The
bridge watched on the big view screen, Beverly was seated next to Jean-Luc in
Deanna's old chair with Lissa on her lap. It the little girl who first saw
the amazing effect that was happening while they chanted.

    "Mommy! Daddy, look!" Lissa cried, jumping up off of Beverly's lap and
pointing to the large screen.

    "Oh my God." Beverly said, both of them rising as well. "Jean-Luc, do you
see what I see? What is it?"

    "I see it, but I don't know what it is." Jean-Luc told her, eyes riveted
to the screen like everyone else's on the ship.

    A strange blue light was emanating from the group of people, seeming to
grow brighter every time they began the chant again. Soon it became so bright
that they all had to turn away from the screen. With a great whoosh of wind,
the blue light seemed to jump out of all their bodies and form a great sphere
of light above Deanna and Will. Their eyes snapped open and they both looked
up directly into it, not seeming to mind the brightness at all. No words were
spoken, but the ball of light seemed to be listening and waiting. Then as
suddenly and as forcefully as it appeared it zoomed off the screen and into
the dark sky.

    "What in the hell was that?" Teri asked, her voice puzzled.

    "Some sort of energy being?" Lt. Fallow, who was heading Opts. They all
turned to their admiral and his wife, who if one didn't know the answer the
other usually did. Beverly and Jean-Luc exchanged a glance, not knowing what
to say. However, Lissa knew exactly what to voice.

    "A message of love for Lily." She said and that was the end of that.

    Back on the planet, Deanna and Will were talking to Lwaxana about maybe
staying for a few days until they heard back from the Q or Lily. Will was
about to hit his comm. badge to contact Jean-Luc and tell him, when his voice
floated out first.

    "Picard to Riker."

    "Yes, sir."

    "Cap...Will, you'd better beam back aboard."

    "Have they already given Lily back?" Deanna cut in.

    "Transporters are standing by." Jean-Luc said, not answering Deanna. She
exchanged a worried and confused glance with Will before he nodded.

    "Two to beam up." Will commanded and Deanna felt her mother squeeze her
hand before the shimmer of the transporter beam enveloped her.

Author's Note (again): The saying above is in Italian, but sort of
Betazized...get it? Well, anyway here is the english translation:

    Joins our minds and makes our thoughts one. Heart to heart and soul to
soul, we send our message. Let it be received in peace and in the heart of
the receiver given mercy.

Title - Illusions of Grandeur: Part 7
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker
    The instant they were on aboard the Enterprise, Deanna led the way to the
ready room. Arriving, the doors opened automatically to reveal Jean-Luc and
Beverly, sitting at the table along with Lt. Hawk, Data, Geordi, Teri, and a
stunning brunette.

    "What's going on? Where's Lily?" Deanna demanded and the brunette rose as
if on cue. She was dressed in a long white robe-like dress, tied around the
waist with a dark blue sash so that it showed off the womanly curves of her
body. Her hair was thick and light brown, flowing to her waist like a
waterfall. She wore white sandals made of a leather-like material on her tiny
feet and she had silver rings on her toes. The lady looked to be no more than
30 years old, with wise silver colored eyes that seemed to take in everything.

    "You are Deanna Riker, am I correct?" She asked, stepping around the
table and coming forward.

    "Yes. Who are you?" Deanna asked cautiously.

    "Oh, that's right. I forgot that your species label each other. Oh, well.
You may call me...Iyana." The woman said and Deanna frowned.

    "You're a Q, aren't you?" Deanna asked, her eyes widening, and Iyana

    "As a matter of fact I am. I am also the compliment of the individual
being you call Q. In humanoid language this term is most often translated
into the word 'wife'." Iyana told them, many eyes widening at the statement.

    "Someone actually married him?" Beverly muttered under her breath, making
Jean-Luc shush her. She did as he asked, but still glared at the brunette.

    "Then you have been with our daughter for the past 2 weeks." Will
accused, but Iyana shook her head.

    "No, I have been away from the Q for quite sometime on a special mission
for the counsel. I am one of its head members and I am often needed to go.
Anyway, I just arrived home." Iyana told them and suddenly her eyes softened
from the know-it-all expression she had been wearing. "Your daughter is a
wonderful person. You have raised her well."

    "Please, can we at least see her?" Deanna pleaded and Iyana frowned.

    "I'm not sure you want to do that..." Iyana started, but Will interrupted

    "Why? What have you done to her?" Will demanded and Deanna gripped his
arm as fear rose in both of them. Iyana sighed greatly, as if expecting more
from them.

    "I can see why amused by you. I can also see that you
are not going to listen to reason. Very well, but remember that you were the
ones who wanted to see her." Iyana cautioned and then gently waved her hand.
A flash of light appeared to her and then a being replaced it.

    A young girl, almost a woman since she looked to be about 17, stood next
to Iyana. Long brown hair, with a hint of a red undertone, streamed down her
back stopping just above her waist. Like Iyana she wore a shimmering white
robe-type dress with a light blue sash tying it shut, to symbolize that she
was still a young girl and not yet married. The sash was the same color as
her crystal blue eyes, which almost looked clear in the light.

    Lily's eyes.

    "Oh, God!" Beverly gasped, her hand shooting up to cover her mouth as
realization dawned on them all.

    "Lily?" Will whispered, his heart in his throat.

    "Daddy?" The girl replied, her voice just as shaky. Her blue eyes flew to
Deanna and they filled with tears. "Mommy?"

    Deanna's mind screamed that it was impossible, but her heart and soul
told her the truth.

    "Oh, Gods. Lily? My Little One, what have they done to you?" Tears filled
her own eyes and Deanna held out her arms. Lily ran into them as if she were
still the six-year-old child that had been taken away two long weeks ago.
Will wrapped his arms around them both and held them as close as possible.

    "Time is different in our world than in yours. About three quarters of a
day in your world is equivalent to one year in ours. We are not affected, but
a human is. Lily had not yet decided to become a full Q and therefore the
aging process still affected her." Iyana explained, calmly.

    "Can you change her back?" Will asked quietly, brushing his hand over
Lily's long silken hair. Iyana's eyes flashed and a smug came across her lips.

    "I knew it. Q was right. You are such a savage race, so full of primitive
ideas that you can't even accept your own child based on looks. I should just
take her back with me now and forget about you all." Iyana said and Will felt
Deanna tear out the three-way hug. Just in time he realized what was about to
happen. Wrapping one arm around Lily to pull her to the side, his other hand
shot out to grab Deanna by the arm. The dark eyes of his wife glittered with
more anger than he had ever seen before.

    "I dare you to say that again. I can promise you that you won't be able
to utter the first syllable." Deanna growled menacingly and every person in
the room knew that she meant business.

    "You're saying you don't care that she is now 16 and a half years old and
just barely still a girl? Look at her!" Iyana demanded, pointing to Lily. The
young girl shrank back into Will's side and he held her closer.

    "She is our child! Yes, I am sad that I was not be able to see her grow
and shape from a child into the beautiful woman that she is obviously
becoming. But that doesn't make one damn bit of difference in the way that we
love and accept her. It doesn't matter if she is 6, 16, or 60; you are not
getting her back. Ever!" Deanna stated, her tone leaving no room for
argument. Iyana studied her hard and then waved her hand in the air. Lily
disappeared from the shelter of her father's arms and reappeared next to
Iyana. They all blinked in surprise, but Lily just frowned and sighed.

    "I hate it when you do that." She said, folding her arms haughtily and
glaring at Iyana.

    "I know. That's why I do it." Iyana said, playfully. It was obvious that
the lovable child that was Lily had gotten to even the members of the Q.

    "Please..." Deanna began, her voice having lost all its animosity. The
fear that she was going to lose Lily again had taken over every fiber of her
being. Iyana held up her hand for Deanna to be quiet and Will pulled her back
to him.

    "I am going to give you a choice, Lily. Do you wish to stay in this
world, beginning life all over again in this form or do you wish to return to
the Q world? You have seen what we can offer you and if you return and choose
to be a Q, you won't have to worry about being accepted. We already think of
you as one of us." Iyana told her and Lily bit her lip. Deanna sucked in her
breath at the familiar gesture that their daughter made when she was nervous,
scared, or concentrating very hard. Lily's eyes flew over the officers in the
room, resting briefly on Jean-Luc and Beverly, before finally landing on Will
and Deanna.

    "If I stayed like this, could you still love me?" Lily asked softly, her
old insecurities obviously just buried and not forgotten.

    "Forever times infinity." Deanna told her without hesitation and Lily's
eyes widened. A small smile graced her lips and the old gleam in her eyes,
that they thought was gone, sparkled again. She waved her hand and a Betazoid
Chameleon Rose appeared in it. Taking a brief sniff and smiling when it
turned a deep blue, then into dark purple, ending finally in a deep pink
color, she handed it to Iyana.

    "I want to stay here with my family." Lily said softly. "I don't care
what I look like or how old you make me. I want to come home."

    "Lily, many humans would not be able to live in such a way with such a
change being thrust upon them nor would they give up the power you have been
given the chance to receive. Illusions of grandeur can sometimes blind, if
one is not careful. You are indeed a very special girl. Never change...on the
inside." Iyana said, cupping Lily's beautiful teenage face and then there was
another bright flash. Iyana looked down into the still beautiful face of a
tiny 6-year-old Lily. The child's eyes widened and she looked down at her
self, then back up to Iyana.

    "Thank you! Oh thank you so much." Lily cried and turned to a stunned
Will and Deanna. "Mommy! Daddy! I'm home!"

    With a deep soulful cry, Deanna dropped to her knees as Lily launched her
small frame into her arms. Will dropped to the ground too, gathering them up
again and this time refusing to let go. They were both crying as Deanna
rocked Lily in her arms, the child letting loose her own tears.

    "Take care of her and always take care of each other." Iyana told them,
smiling at the scene. "I'll explain to the Q what happened. It won't take
them long to see things my way and they wouldn't dare argue with me."

    A flash and she was gone only to reappear a second later, floating
cross-legged in the air.

    "I forgot to mention that if you see my husband, try not to judge him to
harshly. He was he one who wanted to give her back after that first day when
she cried her eyes out and pleaded to go home. It was quite amusing actually
from what I understand. He was putty in her hands, so much so that the
counsel needed to change guardians for her. It was them who kept her in our
world. Not Q. Now he's asking about when we are going to have children of our
own." Iyana gave a laugh and with it ringing in the air, left for the final

    "Q having children? There goes the future of their civilization." Beverly
muttered, but her comment turned into a squeal of surprise when Jean-Luc
picked her up and swung her around in a circle.

    Jumping to his feet, Will lifted Lily high into the air and spun around
in a circle much like his best friend. Deanna laughed at hearing Lily's
silver bell laugh once again, the tracks of her joyful tears still on her
face. Teri, Geordi, and Lt. Hawk were all cheering and shouting their
congratulations. Even Data was grinning from ear to ear as he watched the
happy scene. Will settled Lily onto his hip and pulled Deanna to him again,
kissing her passionately. Lily made a face before laughing and wrapping her
own arm around Deanna's neck. Suddenly, Jean-Luc made everyone quiet down and
hit his comm. Badge to address the entire ship.

    "Ladies and gentlemen of the Enterprise. We have news regarding Captain
and Counselor Riker's daughter." Jean-Luc grinned and nodded to Lily. She
grinned back and raised a triumphant fist in the air.

   "I'm home!"
    It was late when Deanna and Will finally decided to let Lily out of their
sight and arms long enough to let her go change for bed. She would sleep with
them in their bed tonight, just to make sure that it wasn't all a dream.

    After the enormous cheer of entire ship died down when Lily announced she
was back, Beverly insisted on throwing a party. Jean-Luc and everyone agreed
emphatically and it was great chance to celebrate the miracle they had been
given. Besides Will, Deanna, Jean-Luc, and Beverly, the one person who
wouldn't be dragged away from Lily was an ecstatic Lissa. The reunion between
the two girls was quite a scene and many had to hold back tears. But now it
was way past everyone's bedtime and everyone was where they belonged.

    Deanna snuggled into Will's side, where they lay on the bed waiting for
their daughter to change. Will kissed her softly on the lips, then caressed
her face his hand.

    "I love you so much it hurts." Will said and she gave him a smile.

    "I love you too, Imzadi." Deanna echoed and kissed him again. Lily chose
that moment to bounce in onto the bed, dressed in her pajamas and carrying
her teddy bear.

    "Goodnight, Daddy. Goodnight, Mommy." Lily said, giving each a kiss
respectively. Then she surprised them both, by leaning down and kissing
Deanna's stomach. "Goodnight, Ky."

    "Ky?" Will asked her and Lily nodded.

    "It's short for Kyle. My baby brother." Lily said and snuggled down into
the pillow.

    "Your what?" Deanna exclaimed, her astonished eyes meeting the similar
gaze of Will. Lily just giggled and closed her eyes.

    "You'll see..." Lily whispered softly and that was all they got out of
her for she had already fallen fast asleep.

THE END…Epilogue to follow 


Title - Illusions of Grandeur Epilogue
Author - Jaclyn Riker
E-mail address -
Rating - PG13
Category - Romance, Angst
Spoilers - None
Keywords - R/T J with a bit o' P/C
Disclaimer: See part 1
SEE Author's Note at end when finished.

"Illusions of Grandeur"
    By Jaclyn Riker
One year later
U.S.S Legacy (aka Will's Ship)
    It wasn't Deanna's empathic sense that woke her up, but her maternal one.
It was time to eat yet there was no noise or little voice calling for her.
Rising from the bed, she smiled and rolled her eyes when Will made a noise,
reaching out for her.

    <I'll be right back, Imzadi> She told him through their bond and he
smiled in his half-sleep.

    <Make sure of that> Came his voice's echo in her head. She leaned down
and kissed him gently. Straightening again, she wrapped her robe around her
body and crept to the bedroom door. As it noiselessly slid open, Deanna
stopped short at the sound of Lily's voice.

    "I know you're hungry. I'm hurrying as fast as I can, you silly goose."
Lily scolded gently, walking over to the food replicator. Little 5-month-old
Kyle Jean-Luc Riker cooed at his 7 year old sister, making her smile back at

    "I love you too, Ky, but you're going to wake Mommy and Daddy if you
don't shush." Lily told him in a hushed tone and blew the baby a kiss. After
getting his bottle ready, warm not hot; she walked over to where he sat in a
highchair-like device. Pushing a button it lowered to the floor and like an
expert, she lifted him out of it and into her arms.

    "Come on, My-Ky." Lily whispered to him lovingly and he laid his head
down on her shoulder. She skillfully carried him over to the sofa and began
to feed him. Rocking him gently and singing softly under her breath, she
leaned back against the cushions. Ky watched her with dark and love filled
eyes, so much like their mother's own gaze. His tiny, yet chubby infant hands
lay on top of hers as she fed him the bottle. Lily leaned down to kiss his
soft forehead, making Kyle grin up at her around the bottle nipple.

    Deanna, who had been watching from the doorframe, smiled at the bond
between her children. She smiled even wider when she felt Will's strong arms
slide around her waist and his bearded chin rest on her shoulder. Deanna
leaned her face against his and sighed. Together they watched the interaction
in the living room.

    Ky's eyes were slowly closing and his hands were going lax. His belly was
full and he knew he was in his sister's loving arms. Lily watched him and
gave him a sweet smile, when his eyes finally shut in slumber. Very
carefully, she got up and placed him into the bassinet she had pulled from
the corner to stand in between the couch and coffee table. Brushing a soft
kiss on his cheek, she curled up on the sofa and listened to his deep
breathing, her own eyes beginning to droop.

    "Do you know how much I love you, Ky?" Lily asked, her voice low and
sleepy. The baby didn't least not verbally. But a smile appeared
on Lily's lips and she giggled softly. "That's right My-Ky. Forever times

    The little girl's eyes closed and with a deep sigh of contentment she too
fell asleep. Deanna and Will shook their heads simultaneously. After all this
time they were still amazed over the bond that the two children shared. Kyle
could babble extremely well for a child of his age, saying "Ma" and "Da" and
"Li", for Lily, but it also seemed that Kyle could speak telepathically to
his sister. Although both Will and Deanna could feel his emotions and each
had brief moments were they thought they heard him talk to them, that was all
for now. Lwaxana had assured them that it was normal. All parents formed a
different bond with their children and it would only grow stronger in time.

    Will raised his head from Deanna's shoulder and kissed her hair. Taking
her hand in his, he tugged her back towards the bed. Giving him a knowing
look she followed, throwing a glance back at the two sleeping children. After
mentally kissing them both, she focused on her husband and the love that
would keep their family together.

    Forever times infinity.

THE END…but…

Author's Note: The family I invented in my mind and finally put down on paper
will still not let me rest. This has turned into a series of some sort and
there will be one more story involving this family. Please stay tuned and
stay patient with me. J Thanks for reading this far.

Family Ties That Bind Series:
·   A Child's Lead
·   Illusions of Grandeur
·   Family Secrets…Coming Soon