Coming of Age


Coming of Age
Disclaimer: Paramount owns it all. I’m just burrowing a bit.
Summary: How do the Riker children experience their parents?
Rating: Dunno. I guess PG-13 will do fine.


Chapter 1

It was a radiant morning in Los Angeles and for the first time in about five months Emily Troi-Riker had a little break in her classes at the Academy. She had planned to visit her brother Richard at his restaurant, not far away from the campus. He had been rather successful and he could definitely cook better than their father. And it seemed that all the high-ranking Admirals and Ambassadors of the quadrant agreed with her. The ‘Riker Inn’ was a well known restaurant for some years now and her brother made good money.
With a huge smile on her lips she walked over the pathways of the Academy toward one of the huge gates. One of the elder cadets smiled and nodded to her. She smiled back and tossed her hair a bit. She had a boyfriend, but looking wasn’t forbidden now, was it? Her mother told her always she was just like her father had been. At the thought of her parents she had to smile. She wondered where they were right now. Probably zooming around the galaxy in her father’s ship, the Zeus. She was a Tanuri-class vessel. Top of the class and the new flagship. There had been a huge discussion about naming her Enterprise, but there was still an Enterprise on commission and until this one wasn’t taken out of duty, there wasn’t going to be a new ship of the name Enterprise. She held up fine and was commandeered by her ‘uncle’ Data.
Before she knew of it, she had already reached the transit station, which would take her to her brother’s place. Some tourists looked interested at her and she smiled politely back. If they would know…Already from day one at the Academy, already before she even had asked for admittance, she had asked for the committee to keep her surname a secret. She now attended to the Academy under the name Burkett. Her brother had laughed at her, but she wanted to achieve everything for herself and not through her parent’s names. They were the most famous couple in Starfleet.
She stepped out of the transport and walked down the street toward a cosy building from the late 20th century. Her brother had bought it, as soon as he had seen it and now it was just THE place to be. He had never been embarrassed by his surname. He was very proud of it and in fact had he followed their mother to some extent in her footsteps. He had been in the Diplomatic Corps once, but he had stopped to become a cook. Something Emily couldn’t understand. Well, it was his life and she wouldn’t meddle with it. Grandmother had hoped he would take over on Betazed, but he had refused that. She had been angry with him maybe ten seconds. In this time, Richard had flashed her all the time the famous Riker smile and she just couldn’t resist her grandson. Emily looked up into the sky. It would be nice to visit Granny again. It had been a long time since she had been on Betazed the last time. She feared also, her Betazin would be a little rusty by now. She stopped in front of the entrance and looked up at the house. He’d got some new windows on the upper floors. She suspected the klingon Ambassador had had a little fun with his friends. Richard always refused, if they asked, if they could have an arrangement in the Inn, because Richard was the only one on Earth who knew how to make klingon food properly and could even speak klingonese. But then he would get a call from their ‘uncle’ Worf and he would at last agree. Until now, he had got ten times new windows and interior props from the klingon embassy. He even once got an official apology from the Ambassador himself! He was taken into the families of various klingons, at least honorary and he took it not very seriously, because these vows were often uttered under the severe consume of blood wine.
She liked her brother very much. He looked a lot like their mother. He had inherited the dark eyes, common to Betazoids and her elegance and patience. His good looks he had definitely gotten from their father. She herself was a slightly larger and sturdier version of their mother and she had the blue eyes of her father. She smiled lovingly at the remembrance of her father. He had always loved her so much and tried to be there for her every time she needed him. With a sigh she pushed the doors open and entered the building. Her father wasn’t able to help her now. She was on her own and glad for it. If he had continued spoiling her all her life, she would never experience what life was.

Richard was just checking on the bills, when he could feel his little sister approach him from behind. He smiled. She tried every time even though she should know better by now.
“You know, I thought you would know better by now. You know that I can sense you.”
He turned around to see his sister pouting disappointed. He smiled even wider. She looked even cuter, because her nose wrinkled a bit. His father said it looked just like that, when Mum did it. Although he had never seen their mother pout.
“Damn’ your ¼ betazoid part, Rich! Why can’t you just act, as if you were surprised or at least pleased to see your little sister?” He smiled even wider and crossed his arms over his broad torso, just as she had done.
“Why should I miss a little pest like you?” He asked and raised his eyebrows. She looked dumbfounded.
“Oh you!” She yelled and jumped at him over the counter. With a fit of laughter they both fell to the floor. He hugged her tightly.
“Man, did I miss you!” He rubbed her back and helped her stand up. “They keep you pretty locked up at the Academy, don’t they?”
She nodded and rubbed her eye with one of her knuckles.
“Yeah. I don’t know why I wanted to go there in the first place. They got me so full of information that I barely can remember my own name.” At that his smile withered a bit. He had never understood completely why she had not wanted to attend to Academy with their family-name.
“Well, as much as I recall, you already did that on the first day.” She rolled her eyes at him and looked at him with irritation.
“Stop it, Rich! We had this discussion a thousand times and I do not regret what I did. I am proud of my family and my heritage, but I need to establish my own…starting point! I just can’t go to the Academy and let my surname take care of it all. You should just hear all the professors. I think they all know Dad personally or have at least seen him. Or Mum. They are all so in awe of what they did for the Federation, what is great I mean. But can’t you see that they are just too famous?! And then there is you. The great diplomat Richard Riker! Son of Federation Ambassador Deanna Troi-Riker! Mediator between the…” He brought her to a stop with the lifting of his hand.
“I think I get your point. Believe me; I know it’s hard to be the son of so famous parents. Everyone awaits you to perform even better than your parents. It’s an enormous pressure. That’s part of the reasons why I left diplomatic service.”
“Yeah. And the other part was Al…”
“Don’t say her name!” He held his finger right in front of her eyes and the look in his eyes was so unfamiliar that she immediately shut up.
“Sorry.” She muttered. He dragged the palms of his hands over his face and shook his head.
“It’s alright, sis. I think I deserved it for teasing you a bit.” He smiled sadly. She took his hand and pressed it reassuringly.
“So,” He cleared his throat. “what brings you here?” He poured her a drink. She rolled the glass between her palms.
“I don’t know. I think I just wanted to see that you hadn’t blown yourself up in your kitchen.”
He smiled and polished the bar with a cloth.
“Oh, I nearly did. You don’t know how explosive French cooking can be!” They both laughed.
“French? Have Uncle Jean-Luc and Beverly been here?” He nodded.
“Yep. They celebrated their fifteenth anniversary. If you ask me, they are one of the most beautiful couples existent. He provided me with fresh wine and was able to clear some things with a couple of other admirals before he attended his dinner with Beverly. Don’t worry, I saw to it they were not disturbed.” They shared a silent Moment of peaceful memories of their ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’. The wedding, where they were supposed to throw the flowers and he had been responsible for bringing in the rings. Emily had only been three years old. He had ‘already’ been nine and felt so mature. Well, boys. That’s exactly what his mother had said.
That brought back another thing.
“Oh! By the way, Mom and Dad are coming for a visit.” He informed her and rubbed at a rather persistent peck of dirt. She nearly dropped her glass.
“You’re kidding, right? I mean…I mean…how long?” He looked amused at her.
“Don’t want to see Mom and Dad again?” She shook her head angrily.
“No, that’s not it! Are they coming to the Academy? Because if they do, I can forget everything about covering up about my true identity.” He chuckled.
“You make it sound as if you were some kind of spy or secret investigator. Calm down. Mom and Dad are going to stay with me. You can visit us if you have the time and get permission. Dad will probably be at the Academy one time or another. I mean…he is the best tactician in Starfleet and it is most likely that they want him to give some lections as long as the Zeus is in dock at McKinley Space Station.” She went pale. He couldn’t help but chuckle a little harder.
“Oh come on! It’s not like the world is coming to an end!”
“Maybe not for you!” She stated irritated and stood. “I’m sorry, but I have to get back. See ya.” Just before she could exit, Richard called after her.
“Hey! And by the way, Mom has entered her phase, so don’t be surprised if she hangs to Dad like some type of electrified clothing!” She closed her eyes and sighed miserably.
Just when you thought your life couldn’t get worse, it did. She looked up into the sky and muttered: “Oh Gods! Please help me through this!”


Chapter 2

  Emily returned to the Academy the same day and locked herself up in her room. She buried her face in her hands and breathed deeply. Her parents came for a visit! Why now? Why had it to be now? Couldn’t they have waited some two or three years more? Until then she would have been able to establish herself as Cadet or even as Ensign. But no! They had to come here and destroy everything she had tried to build.
Somebody knocked at her door.
“I’d rather be alone!” She yelled. Probably it was Kiera, her neighbour and best friend at the Academy. Right now she had no nerve to talk to her.
“Come on, Em! Open that door. It’s a beautiful day and I’ve got a picnic basket here, waiting just for you!”
With a squeal of delight she jumped up and opened the door. In front of her stood a broad grinning, good-looking guy of about 20 years. He had begun Academy with her, but had been turned down the first time. She jumped at him and kissed him full on the mouth. Surprised he staggered back a bit.
“Wow! How did I earn that Hello?” He asked whispering, while she still had her hands clasped behind his neck. Her eyes gleamed with mischief.
“Well, I had a talk with my brother and he told me, our parents were coming for a visit. So, I lay on my bed and needed something to cheer me up and then you knocked at my door.” She smiled and kissed him again. He wrapped her in his arms and returned her kiss rather passionately.
“I cheer you up every time you want.” He answered her in a husky voice. She drew lazy circles on his chest with her fingers.
“Do you think the picnic will wait?” She asked breathless.
“I believe it will.” He whispered and drew her into a deep, passionate kiss. Gasping she threw her head back and raked her hands through his hair.
“Close the door.” She ordered him. With a kick of his boot it shut with a bang. She smiled and pulled him by his shirt to her bed.

Satiated they lay in each others arms, their limbs still tangled. They were both too exhausted to move very much.
“Man, I hope your parents come a little more often for a visit, if this happens every time!” He murmured and had to laugh. She joined him and snuggled up closer to him. He helped her and drew her into an embrace. Both were silent for several minutes. Just enjoying the others presence. From time to time he would kiss her on her hair. He loved the smell of it, the way it felt, when he touched it. It curled of its own accord around his fingers, or at least he thought it did so. He saw down at her face.
“Hey. You seem to be light-years away. Please don’t say I’m that bad.” He pleaded with big puppy eyes. She had to laugh and propped herself on her arms and looked into his face.
“No Nicholas. You know perfectly well…” She hovered with her mouth mere inches above his. “That you are the best.” She kissed him long and lovingly. They parted and he had his hands at the sides of her face. For a time they just looked into each others eyes.
“Have I ever told you what beautiful eyes you have?” He whispered. It astonished him every time how much they captivated him. Shyly she averted her eyes and a red glow entered her cheeks. He smiled. Her timidity was kind of sweet. At least in his eyes. He drew her into his arms again and she snuggled close to him and lay with her head on his chest. He knew perfectly well that she liked to do that.
“What is it, baby? You know you can tell me everything.” He stroke lovingly over her hair. He knew that she was slightly empathic and tried to…send her some of his love for her. He didn’t know if it worked, but she seemed to relax a bit. She sighed and rearranged herself a bit on him.
“I told you. My parents are coming for a visit.” He smiled and thought of his own parents.
“Well that can’t be so bad. I mean, as I understood it, you don’t seem to see your parents very often now, do you?” She sighed again and shook her head.
“It isn’t that I don’t want to see them. I’m happy I get the chance to talk to them. It’s just…they can be so damn annoying and they embarrass me every time!” The last sounded like she was a child of four. Nicholas laughed and kissed her hair.
“Oh, Em! That’s parent’s privilege! How do you think I felt when my mother dragged you off to look at my baby photos? Oh God! I could have gone berserk when she did that. After I brought you back home I had her swear she would never drag out these damn things again.” She looked with an impish smile up at him.
“Oh, but Nick, you were so cute a baby! I loved the one with you on that ice bear-rug.” He threw his head back.
“Et tu, Em?! I had hoped to find an ally in you and what must I find out? That you are a conspirator with the enemy!” They both laughed and kissed again. They rolled on her bed and when they were near falling of, he stopped it for a few Moments.
“What about forgetting about the outside and just picnic in your bed?” He waggled his eyebrows. She kissed him and reached out for the basket.
“Fine with me.” They smiled and sat up. She opened it and laid the red and white blanket over her sheets. He brought forth a bottle of wine and began to pull out the cork.
“I think it is wonderful your parents are coming for a visit. I mean, you know mine, so it’s just fair that I get to see some of your baby photos, Imzadi.”


Chapter 3

The Zeus entered Earth orbit the next morning. Her Captain was not just Captain, but Admiral. Admiral William Riker stood from his chair on the bridge and looked at his home planet. A smile drew up his lips. He did not know why, but always when he looked at his home planet, he had to smile.
“Standard parking orbit, sir. McKinley Space Station is hailing us, sir.” He turned to the Trill at OPS.
“Good, Ensign. On screen.” The screen flickered once and then a huge grinning Geordi La Forge was visible. Not far from him stood his wife, Leah La Forge, former Brahms.
“Haven’t blown her to pieces I see. Must be the name. You hadn’t so much luck with the Enterprise. How much times did you blow her?” Both men smiled at each other.
“Be nice, or I will arrange a meeting between my son and your daughter.”
“Touché. Sometimes she still talks about him, but God spare me a Riker as a son-in-law!” Again both laughed and Riker walked closer up to the screen.
“Hello Leah. I hope he’s treating you good.” She beamed at him.
“Oh yes. We have been to Tanagus Prime for our anniversary.” Riker’s eyebrows flew up.
“Wow! Hey Geordi, what do they pay you? I think I might change department.”
“Oh no! A Riker in engineering? Please spare us!” She sighed theatrically.
“Hey, I’m not that bad!” Riker answered indignantly.
“Ask our chief engineer. He would have loved to throw you through the next air lock.” A melodic voice behind him remarked. Geordi’s smile widened.
“Deanna! How are you? Does the master-boaster even have enough time for you?” She stroked lovingly over Riker’s broad chest.
“Not as much as I would have liked, but I think that’s the curse of duty.” She threw them a lopsided smile and drew up close to Riker. Geordi watched them confused.
“Everything all right over there?” He asked worried. Riker grinned broadly at him. With a wave of his hand he dismissed the bridge crew. The tractor beam of McKinley Station would draw them safely into the dock.
“Dee has entered her phase.” He explained and kissed her on the neck. She shivered with delight. Geordi’s eyes were round as balls.
“Phase? You mean, like Lwaxana?” Deanna seemed to be able to rip herself from her husbands embrace.
“No, not like my mother. I’m not at all like my mother, not even in the slightest.” With a huff, she turned away from the view screen and walked to one of the turbolifts. Geordi winced.
“Soft spot, hm?” Riker only nodded.
“Yeah, but she’s taking it better every time. Last time I said that to her, she was throwing things after me.”
“I don’t hope she threw the Takalian vase we gave you to your anniversary!”
“No, don’t worry. I caught it, before it could break.” Both men laughed and Leah tapped him on the shoulder.
“See you on the station in a few minutes, Will. Until then.” With that he ended the communication.

Will braced himself before he walked into their quarters. He was awaiting something flying in his direction, but what faced him was something he hadn’t at all anticipated.
“What happened here?” He exclaimed totally puzzled. Normally Deanna held their quarters in perfect order, but now it looked like a tornado had run wild in them. Everywhere was clothing and suitcases.
“Oh good! You’re there. I just don’t know what to pack. Where exactly are we going?” She asked and searched for something. He sighed and drew the palms of his hands over his face.
“Deanna! We were going to stay with Richard in Los Angeles. I told you that already three times.” She nodded and continued her search.
“I know, but I know you Will Riker and you are going to drag me off to somewhere remote. I just wanted to know if it’s cold there. Because if it is, I need to pack a whole suitcase only with sweaters.” Obviously she had found what she was looking for, because she walked over to him and fumbled with a small black bag.
“What’s that?” He asked curious and eyed it with interest. “Something for your earrings?” Anything else would never have fitted into it, he was sure of that. She smiled at him and there was a glint in her eye that always managed to let his heart beat faster.
“No. It is the bag for my new bikini.” With wide eyes he looked from the small bag to her face and then again at the bag.
“I think we need to make a trip to Hawaii.” His voice was raw and merely a whisper. His fantasy ran rampant with images of Deanna in a bikini that small on her. “Maybe you should try it on. To be sure it fits.” He tried. She smiled and let him fidget a bit while she feigned to give it a thought.
“No, I don’t think so. I know it fits me.” She turned around and went back to pack her things, while he collapsed into a chair.
“You are so mean, Dee!” He moaned and tried to get the pictures of her out of his head.

They were only for a short time on McKinley Space Station and made arrangements with Geordi and Leah to meet on Earth for dinner some time around. Will offered to cook, but Deanna, Geordi and Leah agreed that it would be better, if Richard cooked for them. At that, Will had been a bit insulted. But Deanna had cured him of that. From McKinley they were shuttled down to Earth. With huge smiles on their faces, they walked out on the transportation pad and a huge smiling Richard Riker was approaching them.
“Mum! Dad! It’s so good to see you!” He exclaimed and drew them both into tight hugs. Will and Deanna had to laugh at their son’s enthusiasm.
“Where is your sister? Doesn’t she want to say hello to her parents?” Eager Will looked around and waited for her to jump out from her hiding place, to surprise them.
“She is sorry Dad, but she couldn’t make it. She’s totally tied up in the Academy.” It could clearly be seen that Will was disappointed, but he caught himself quickly.
“Well, that’s not so unnormal. I remember, when I was at the Academy…whew, the teachers can get you tied up really seriously.” Deanna smiled and gave him a little slap on his arm.
“Don’t pretend Imzadi. We all know you had it fairly easy at the Academy.” She drew a finger down his spine and produced a shiver from her husband. He smiled down at her.
“Well, one thing I know for sure is that for the time being I don’t get as much small sleep, as I did, when I attended Academy.” He whispered and began to kiss her on her neck and throat. She closed her eyes and let herself be caught by his charm and by his expert tongue.
Richard felt a little uncomfortable and cleared his throat.
“Mum, Dad, would you please do this where I can’t see it? You know that parents aren’t supposed to have sex.” A glint of mischief was in his eyes and Deanna immediately recognized it from her husband.
“Is that a new Starfleet regulation?” She looked up at Will and he joined gladly into their joke.
“I haven’t heard of it. But we have been out of reach for quite some time. Maybe we just didn’t catch it.” Richard snapped his fingers.
“That must be it! They broadcast it over all channels about four or five weeks ago. ‘Starfleet personnel, who have children, are no longer allowed to have sex with each other, as long as their children are aware of that. This includes especially Deanna and William Troi Riker.’ A wonder you didn’t hear about it.”
“Oh You!!” Shouted Deanna and hooked her arm around his neck, drew him down and ruffled his hair until he shouted: “I give up! I take it all back!” She released him and his hair was one big mess.
“Sheesh, Dad! I thought you had her under control!” He tried to get his hair straight again. With not much luck. Riker leaned down and kissed his wife passionately. She gladly returned the favour. They looked deeply into the others eyes.
“Oh no. I think I like her just the way she is now.” He whispered and kissed her again. Short time after, this was followed by serious groping on both sides. Richard had to smile. He was glad that his parents still were so much in love with each other, but after a time he found it to be slightly embarrassing. He snatched their suitcases and walked toward his transport-hover.
“Coming?” He shouted. With a laugh he saw the startled expression of his parents, who hadn’t even noticed that he had left them standing alone on the transportation pad. They held hands and ran laughing over to him.


Chapter 4

Emily paced back and forth in the confines of her quarters at the Academy. Richard had asked her, if she would be able to greet their parents, when they came from McKinley Space Station, but she had reclined and said that she had to attend to classes. That was not true and now she had a bad conscience.
“It’s too late to think about it now. Do something useful with your time, Em! Prepare yourself for the holo test tomorrow. That’s much more important!” She nodded to herself and sat at her desk. She was supposed to be the officer at OPS. She was training for a position in command, but thought this was a good start as any. Her father had started as a pilot and he still was a formidable pilot, but she didn’t want to do anything like her father had done. She was herself!
Okay, what ship? It was going to be an excelsior-class vessel. Quite outdated, but it was to be a routine mapping mission. She surmised that it was more of a training mission for the scientists and not for the regular bridge staff. They were supposed to map a remote part of the badlands, so she called up every relevant information about that area. The Cardassians had often shown interest in this region of space and there was the possibility of encountering one of their ships. There had been reports of Breen in this area too, but the sources were far away from reliable, but she thought it better to tell her ‘Captain’ about that too. She took a few notes on a PADD and after no time she was finished with her work and her conscience came back at her again. Frustrated she began to clean up her quarters.
“This isn’t working!” She huffed and changed into her training clothes and was off to the Academy gym. She was a master of the parallel bars and had been successful in defending her title since she began. Not that not many had challenged her, but her betazoid heritage gave her an advantage. She could twist and turn herself like no other at the Academy. She had begun it, after she had seen her mother practice once. From her she had also learned the klingon Tai Chi. What was it now again called? Mok’Bara? She couldn’t recall it. Some of the others were already at the gym and greeted her. She walked over to the parallel bars and stretched a bit. She did not need it, but it made it more normal to the other cadets.
Rave, a young andorian jogged over to her. They attended the same command classes. He wore his hair according to new fashion and she had to admit that dreadlocks were a lot better than that old pisspot haircut. She ended her outwork and massaged some magnesium into her hands.
“What’s up Rave?” She asked, as soon as he was in range. They often learned together.
“Heard it already?” He asked excited. She wrinkled her brow and shook her head.
“No. What do you mean? Something important? Anything with the holo mission tomorrow?”
“No, no! You will not believe me, when I tell you who will be in attendance tomorrow!” His eyes gleamed with excitement. She wasn’t really in the mood for guessing games and so she urged him to go on. When nothing was forthcoming, she swung herself up.
“Don’t you want to guess?” He asked a bit disappointed. She sighed and changed bar.
“I’m sorry Rave, but I’m not in a good mood today. My parents are visiting.” She explained. He only nodded and looked at her, while she graciously continued her exercises.
“Okay, I’m going to tell you. Admiral William T. Troi Riker in own high person!” He had said it, while she had wanted to change bar. She was so shocked that her father would come to her holo mission tomorrow that she missed the bar clean and landed in a rather undistinguished heap on the floor. In no time everyone in the gym was there to help. Rave helped her sit up; his face a mask of guilt.
“Oh, I’m sorry Em. I never thought you would react like this to it.” She waved her hand and massaged her neck.
“It’s alright. I’m fine.”
“You sure? Wouldn’t it be better to get you medical attention?”
“No! No, I’m fine. I have totally forgotten to prepare for tomorrow. I have to return to my quarters.” She rose again and left her worried friends behind. She hoped they still were her friends after tomorrow.

When she returned to her quarters and let herself fall into her chair at her desk, she saw that she had received a message since she had gone. She drew her palms of her hands over her face and had to sneeze mightily, because she hadn’t washed off the magnesium yet.
“Oh F***!” she muttered and keyed her personal code in. It was a message from her brother. Oh great! Another tirade about how idiotic he thought about it all.
“Hi Em! Mum and Dad are just settling in. Man you won’t believe how Mum sticks to Dad. I’m surprised he even is able to breathe! Dad wants to cook for us, but I could convince him to let me do it. So don’t worry about your stomach.” A soft smile played over his lips. “I know you are concerned Mum and Dad will destroy what you have build for yourself, but I can assure you, they only want to see their daughter again. Mum wants to go swimming with you. She and Dad have arranged a trip to Hawaii for us all. Sounds good, eh? You can bring your boyfriend. Mum asked if you had one and lying wouldn’t have done any good, so don’t chastise me, okay? Dad is especially eager to meet him. Before that uncle Geordi and Leah are coming down from McKinley to have dinner with Mum and Dad in my restaurant. You are also invited. Dad has already booked a table for seven, so I say you better bring him already then. It’s in two days. Until then, I love you crumb! And don’t overdo it!” With his famous smile on his face, he vanished from her screen. Perfect! Just perfect!


Chapter 5

Will jogged the stairs down to the living room and strolled into the big kitchen. Richard was just now preparing a meal for them. Will swung his arms in an exaggerating way. His son watched him with a smirk.
“Trying to fly?” He had finished another sandwich and put it to the others.
“Very funny. First time in years I’m again for a longer time out of uniform. I’ve got to celebrate my freedom a bit.” With a broad smile he took an olive and popped it into his mouth.
“So do I.” Both men turned and before them stood Deanna Troi Riker in a lovely summer dress. And a lovely short one at that. Her long, perfectly shaped limbs were showing and a real low neck showed of her décolleté rather freely. The red fabric was dotted with many small white flowers.
“Pinch me, I’m dreaming! Mom? Is that really you?!” Richard rubbed his eyes, shook his head and blinked a few times. His father wore an even broader smile than before. She looked deeply into his eyes and walked slowly over to him. He saw the dangerous glint in her eyes and her smile was just as tempting as her lips.
“Oh yeah! That’s her.” Will whispered and pulled her tight up to him. She ran her hands over his muscular chest and arms; appreciating her husband’s good form and body. She took a strawberry from a fruit bowl, put it partly in her mouth and then stretched her small form, to reach up to him. He bit it in half, swallowed quickly and kissed her hungrily. She was just as quick and raked with her fingers through his hair. His hands, before on the small of her back, began now to wander in two different directions. His left hand was soon burrowed in her long hair, while his other was on her bottom and pressing her hip against his. Both moaned in pleasure and delight and Richard stood very uncomfortably next to them.
“Aaah, Mom? Dad? Remember what we talked about on the transportation pad? About sex?”
“We are not having sex.” Will was able to whisper between kisses. Deanna pulled up tighter around him.
“Just wait a few minutes, then we will have.” She panted in a husky voice. Will only growled and kissed her even more passionate.
“Well, not in my kitchen!” The indignation in his voice caught at last their attention. First now they became aware of where they were and who was standing before them. Deanna untangled herself and took a step towards her son.
“Oh Richard, I’m so sorry. I promise I will try to hold it in check as long as your father and I are here, okay?” Richard huffed and nodded at last.
“Okay. Let’s sit on the veranda. It’s a lovely evening.” She nodded eagerly and went out the door. Before Richard could take a step with the tray, his father stopped him.
“Please don’t do that ever again.” He said and then followed. Richard creased his brow. Why not? It was his house after all! But then he saw how his father walked and understood perfectly why. His mother did not seem to have lost her touch. With an evil grin he followed them.


Chapter 6

Emily was nervous beyond anything before. Even when she had first applied for the Academy she hadn’t been this nervous. Would her friends see that William Riker was her father? According to her grandfather Kyle, she looked a bit like him. Especially the eyes. She only hoped and prayed that nothing would go wrong. Also because of Nicholas. When she had been in College she hadn’t altered her name. Nobody believed that her father really was William Riker. He had been stationed in San Francisco and Deanna had been an attaché for the Betazoid Embassy. When she then invited her boyfriends home and they saw her father, they immediately ended the relationship in fear of her father’s power. He was always so damn’ protective when it came to that point. She looked into her mirror and checked if her uniform was sitting.
“Don’t worry. He promised you not to give you away, when you first entered. Just ignore him. Pretend he isn’t there and everything will go just fine.” She breathed deeply and then left her quarters for the simulation.
The others were already there. She looked for her ‘Captain’. Oh no! Today was becoming shittier with every passing moment. What would come next? Cadet Frank Mathers was the worst brag of all the cadets. She was absolutely positive he knew about her fathers attendance and would pull off something stupid, only to impress him. She breathed deeply.
‘Don’t worry. Be calm, be professional. Your father isn’t here and Frank is an asshole, but your Captain.’
Rave and Tinera greeted her with a smile. The famous three they were called. They were best of friends and every simulation in which they had to work together as a team ended with the highest score. Nicholas was also a member of their group, but had only recently become so. He learned with his own friends, because he wanted to be a doctor. Emily was satisfied with that. She could be the Captain and Nicholas the CMO.
“Everyone ready?” Tinera asked. She was to be at the helm. Rave nodded and pumped up his chest. Like a gorilla he hit it and let the air slowly slip out.
“Yep. I feel great! This could be our great day, you know that? If we perform as good as ever, Admiral Riker surely will write a commendation for our records. That means for us…Zip…next stop flagship!” He smiled broadly and clapped the two girls on their shoulders. Tinera laughed and joined the others in the orientation lounge. Rave and Emily followed.
As Emily had feared Frank was, as ever, totally full of himself. His father was a high-ranking Admiral and he had never made a secret out of it. If he knew…He was always bragging that his father was the highest-ranking officer in Starfleet, who had a son at the Academy. Well; surprise, surprise! In fact was Emily’s father the highest-ranking officer, who had a daughter at the Academy.
“Welcome crew. We will today map a region of the Badlands. I trust it that you all have prepared something for the others to hear. Cadet Burkett, would you please begin?” He asked and sat at the end of the table. She ignored his patronizing voice and went to the wall screen. An illustration of the Badlands appeared and she began to illustrate the troubles they were likely to encounter. Tinera and she had talked about that and Tinera only sometimes said something about the dangers awaiting them and how she was going to avoid them.
“And last I would like to add that there have been sightings of Cardassian patrols in this area of space, but the sources who informed us of that are far away from reliable. Nevertheless I would recommend cautiousness.” Frank looked at her with a descending look in his eyes. Even pity. She had never been as good as her brother in containing her anger and right now she only wished she could wipe that smile off his face with her fist.
“To be cautious or not, will be my decision Cadet. Thank you, you may sit down.” She nodded coldly and slipped into her seat.
“Of course I have heard and read the same reports as Cadet Burkett, but I do not think there is any danger awaiting us other than the Badlands themselves. Cadet Lirken, get us underway with warp 6. Dismissed.” They rose from their seats and walked onto the ‘bridge’.
Emily boiled with rage on the inside, but on the outside she was calm and concentrated. Tinera was taking them away from DS9 and activated the warp drive and they were on their way to the Badlands. They were one of the most dangerous regions of space, but they were one of the most beautiful things Emily had ever seen. The main part of it had been charted already, so they were off to a more remote region, which meant for them little to no contact to the Federation. Rave was checking his console and smiled over to her. She looked worried around and tried to spot the place, from where her father might be watching her. He could of course not be seen, so as not to disrupt the simulation, but every cadet in the room, was aware that he was there.
“We are out of communications range, sir.” Emily reported to her ‘Captain’. His brow creased as he leaned forward in his chair.
“Why so soon?” She swivelled around in her chair, so as to be able to look at him.
“As I said in the briefing, sir, the Badlands have a disrupting effect on the communications array. The sensors are also affected, but I can compensate for this, as soon as we have reached the designated coordinates.” Mathers looked very uncomfortable and leaned back in his chair.
“I knew that. Only wanted to test you.” She sighed and turned back to her station.
“Yes, sir.” Tinera tried to suppress her smile, but without much luck. Emily looked at her controls and saw a message from Tinera blinking on one of the screens.
‘What a jerk!’ It read. Emily had to smile and only sent her a Y as an answer. They had to concentrate on the mission and couldn’t send each other messages about how stupid their Captain was.
“Approaching coordinates, sir. Slowing to impulse.” Tinera’s fingers glided elegantly over her controls. Emily had never seen anyone steer a ship or shuttle as smoothly as Tinera did. Not even her father was as experienced as her.
“Good. Program a standard sweeping course. Radius, 30 light years. We will take this slowly. We do not want to miss something now, do we?” He laughed at his own joke. Emily rolled her eyes and started boosting the sensors. She couldn’t believe that anybody could be so full of himself!

Rave breathed deeply. He hated being on missions with Mathers. He made jokes only he thought were funny and he was never satisfied with other people. On another mission he had kicked Rave out of the weapons control seat, only to fire the torpedoes himself, because he thought he could do it better than Rave. A mistake of course. He was the best marksman in his year. Word had it that one of the fourth year cadets was better than him, but he chose not to listen to that rumour. He knew that no one could lock as fast onto a target manually as him. Not even his instructor could and that made him proud. He had worked hard to achieve that goal and had gotten a commendation for it. And when Tinera flew him, they were invincible. She was the God damn best pilot he had ever met. She had taken her flight tests already in her first year, even though this was first allowed for second year students. The weirdest thing was she had never flown before she came to the Academy. Now she had a reputation for being the best pilot since Admiral William Riker himself. He looked to Em. She worked efficient and fast as ever. He saw her though from time to time look around uneasily. He had to smile. She was as nervous as all of them, because of Admiral Riker. Rave liked her very much and when she was in command of a mission everyone knew it was going to be a success. She could outthink every scenario up until now and he liked being under her command, because she trusted her people. She trusted them to be well informed and to know what to do in every situation, which could arise. She was something totally else from Mathers and he wondered why she hadn’t gotten the command of this mission. But then, Mathers father was a high standing Admiral. Surely he had pulled some strings, so Riker saw his son in action.
A warning blinked on his panel and he quickly checked it over. No, there could be no mistake.
“Sir, Breen attack cruiser approaching at high speed!” He warned Mathers. He though looked totally dumbfounded at Rave.
“Breen? Here?” He asked puzzled. Rave sighed.
“Yes, sir. Breen. They are nearly in range sir. I recommend red alert.” Mathers nodded and Rave’s finger tapped the button for red alert in the same instant.
“Hail them. Let’s see what they want out here.” Em did as said, but nothing came.
“They are not responding, sir.” Mathers looked deep in thought at the view screen.
“Tactical report, Mr. Andilos!” He ordered. Rave tapped his console a few times and Em boosted the power to the sensors, so that he would get a better reading on the Breen ship.
“Looks bad, sir. Five disruptor banks, three torpedo launch bays. Heavy shielding and hull armour plating. Looks like a remnant from the war. According to the Breen government all warships of this type were destroyed.” Tinera huffed.
“Seems to me this one somehow slipped through.” Em only nodded.
“Try to hail Star Fleet. We are not equipped to handle this situation. Miss Lirken, get us back to Deep Space Nine. Warp eight.” Rave worked his panel, while Tinera tried to get them as fast as possible out of here. Meanwhile Em tried to reach Star Fleet.
“I can’t reach Star Fleet, sir. Too much interference.”
“They are intercepting us, sir.” Tinera cut in.
“Forward disruptors are firing!” Rave called out and the whole ship shook. For several seconds there was silence on the bridge. “Shall I return fire, sir?” Rave at last asked. Mathers seemed to be jolted out of a dream and he quickly nodded.
“Yes. Yes, throw everything you’ve got at them!” Rave sighed and did as he was ordered.
“Good plan, Captain.” He muttered under his breath. Tinera did her best manoeuvring the slow, outdated star ship to dodge the disruptor fire from the Breen vessel. Still many blows hit their mark and Rave had his hands full in holding the shields up and at the same time fire at them.
“Shields down to forty-three percent, sir!” He yelled and Mathers seemed to be waking fully.
“All hands, listen up! CONN, turn around and I want you to take us on a collision course. Mr. Andilos, load all torpedo bays and phaser banks. Drop the shields at our aft section on my mark. OPS, prepare the ship for maximum acceleration.” Tinera did as ordered and rushed with full impulse toward the Breen vessel. Rave loaded all torpedo bays, even though he didn’t know, what Mathers had in mind. Em turned around. Her face was blackened from smoke and her hair was not as orderly, as it had been before. She thought she knew what Mathers wanted to do, but there was a fatal mistake in all this.
“Sir. I would advise to not carry out this plan. There is a moon rich in minerals nearby. We can hide behind it; make repairs and head out of here. We cannot win this fight!” Anger shone in Mathers eyes and he leaned close to her ear.
“I’m not going to tuck tail in front of William Riker!” Aloud he said: “I know what I’m doing Miss Burkett. Carry out my orders and we will all get home in one piece!”
“Approaching enemy, sir!” Tinera informed him and drew his attention away from Emily. Mathers looked up at the view screen.
“Good! Evasive manoeuvre Omega three Delta Gamma, now!” The whole ship was protesting at the sudden change of direction. It wouldn’t have been a problem with one of the newer ones, but this was hardly a star ship of intergalactic standard. Emily could feel the deck groan under her feet and dreaded the ship would just be torn apart. It seemed as if Tinera was thinking just the same thing, because she the whole time muttered: “Come on! You can do it!” This manoeuvre would let their ship spiral around the Breen cruiser, so they could reach every section of the ship with their weapons.
“Mr. Andilos! Fire every thing we’ve got!” Mathers yelled. Rave creased his brow in confusion.
“Shouldn’t I target a specific section of their ship?” Mathers deep red face was now looking at Rave and a vein was pulsing at his temple.
“Do as I say!” Quickly Rave did as he was told. Of course it had near to no effect on the Breen vessel.
“Engage engines!” Tinera hit the button for warp, but at the same time a full barrage hit their ship and all of them were thrown out of their seats or to the floor. The bridge was filled with smoke and Emily fought herself into her chair again. The controls were flickering and she couldn’t get a constant reading on anything. Tinera had suffered a cut into her shoulder from an exploding panel near her.
“Warp is offline, sir. Impulse engines barely responding!” Emily asked for damage report. Nobody answered.
“Nobody answers from the lower decks, sir. I get readings of several hull breaches. From deck four throughout to deck sixteen.”
“Shields are offline. Torpedoes not responding. Phasers have minimal power.” Rave reported. They looked to Mathers, who looked slack-mouthed at the view screen. Slowly the Breen cruiser approached his easy and now defenceless prey. Emily couldn’t believe it!
“Sir! We have to do something! Sir!” She stood and shook him. He looked at her non understanding. She turned around and everybody could see she took command now.
“Rave! Reroute the phaser's power to the impulse engines. Tinera, do what you can to get us out of here. Anthony!” She turned to the slim science officer, whose job it should have been to scan the Badlands. He kept up good for a science jerk. “I need you down in Engineering. You had warp systems as your main topic, before you changed, didn’t you?” He only nodded. “Good. Get down there and get that damn’ thing up and running! Whoever is down there and still alive shall help you! Captains orders.” Anthony crouched down and opened the emergency hatch and crawled out of sight. Mathers still stood with open mouth in the middle of the bridge. Emily gave him a not so friendly shove and he fell into the command chair. She sat down at OPS again, to control how they were doing.
“Breen cruiser still in pursuit. They aren’t in a hurry.” Rave reported.
“Let’s hope they are foolish enough to give us enough time to repair our warp core and get out of here. Tinera, I want you to go into warp as soon as possible. Any destination.” She got no nod from Tinera, but that wasn’t necessary. Tinera was caught up in dodging the Breen’s barrages. Sweat trickled down her creased brow and Em was surprised how…agile the ship seemed in Tinera’s hands.
“How about hiding in the Badlands?” Rave asked from behind. Em shook her head and spoke for Tinera.
“Bad idea. Without shields and with hull breaches it would finish us faster off than the Breen bastards behind us.” The ship rocked, as they were struck by the enemy fire. Em hit her badge and contacted Anthony.
“Anthony! How long down there? We need these engines and we need them fast!” She worked hard on keeping the life support systems functioning.
“Good message and bad message. Which one first?” His voice asked.
“I don’t care! Pick one for the Gods’ sake!” She growled back and tried to hold the ship together, during one of Tinera’s more demanding manoeuvres.
“Okay. Bad one first. We have a large hull breach in Engineering and the whole staff was sucked out into space.” Em shortly closed her eyes.
“Fuck! Great. Next one?”
“The good one is, we still have our warp core and it looks functional. I’m just now reattaching it to the ships energy net.” A low humming was now audible over the link. “Warp core online, sir!” Anthony exclaimed proudly.
“Get us out of here, Tinera! Give all you got!” They vanished in a blinding flash of white light.

Suddenly the normal lighting was restored and all alarm claxons stopped. Emily sighed and leaned back in her chair. She had never lost a ship in battle. A record she held dear. Not even her father had managed that. The view screen parted and two men came walking towards them. Instantly they all scrambled out of their seats and stood in a row. Anthony stepped out of the turbolift and joined them. Mathers looked a bit green in his face.
“Stand at ease, cadets!” Their instructor called out. Rave breathed deeply and looked with a smile down at Tinera. She had done a remarkable job.
“Cadets! May I introduce Admiral William T. Riker?” Emily took a sharp in breath. Her father stepped forward and looked deeply into each of their eyes. She knew that look from her childhood days. She saw how Rave and Tinera shrank under her father’s stare. Mathers though got the worst of it.
“Tell me, Cadet. Did you prepare other tactics than just those, who would have defeated a Cardassian Galore-class vessel?” He asked and his voice was low and friendly. Emily knew that Mathers was in big trouble.
“I…the Kamron manoeuvre…”
“Is appropriate if you are confronted with a normal Cardassian attack cruiser, but it is totally insufficient when you are confronted with Breen ships. They build their ships in an altogether different way! Cadet!” The last he shouted directly to Mathers and he on the other side, flinched and would most probably have wanted to vanish. Emily couldn’t take this any longer.
“Sir! It was my fault, sir. I should have made my concerns more known to Cadet Mathers.” Her father’s blue-eyed stare now rested on her.
“None of this was your fault, Cadet Burkett. You voiced your concerns, but your ‘Captain’ chose not to listen to you. None of this is your fault.” A soft smile followed these words. O-H N-O! She glared at him.
“I should have been more determined and should have done more, than just voice my concerns, sir.” Rave and Tinera looked shocked at her. She had just earned a commendation from William Riker himself and now she talked against it!!
“You couldn’t have done more, Cadet. The Captain was still at his senses full use. You can’t just take over his command, when you think he is choosing the wrong tactics. If my first officer did that, I would be out of command the entire time! There is nothing you could have done. In spite of all this, you got your ship and the most of its crew back into safety.” He clapped her on the shoulder and moved on to Rave.
Emily boiled inside. It was her fault! Had she kicked Mathers’ ass, as had been her intention, the engineering staff wouldn’t have died and they wouldn’t have suffered such damage! She had been first officer, the Gods damn it! He couldn’t just forget that! He recommended Rave for his good marksmanship and how he had handled the situation. Tirena got a huge recommendation too and he even began chatting with her about the new shuttle types. Their drill instructor interrupted him and told him, they had to visit another class. Will nodded and dismissed them.
“Cadet Burkett! Would you please wait?” Emily stood still as stone. Rave and Tinera gave her a thumbs up and walked out.
“Why don’t you go Michael and set the others to it already? I’ll be with you in a minute.” The instructor nodded and vanished behind the view screen.
As soon as he was out of sight, Will drew Emily into a bone cracking hug.
“Oh Angel! I’m so proud of you! I bet I would have lost the ship, because I would have wanted to stay and fight.” He smiled broadly at her. She tucked her uniform down and looked neutrally at him.
“I am happy that I lived up to your expectations, sir.” Will creased his brow.
“Come one, sweetie. Drop that sir-thing. We’re alone!” With a sweep of his arm he included the whole room. She sighed, tapped her foot, crossed her arms and looked angrily at him.
“That’s not it! You know, I was first officer. I should have stopped him! And you stand there and praise me! How am I supposed to keep my parentage a secret, when you so obviously favourite me?!” He lifted his forefinger in a warning gesture.
“Now wait a minute young lady! Only because you were first officer didn’t mean that it was your fault. The Captain has the ultimate responsibility and there was no legal way for you to remove this idiot Mathers from command, until he cracked. I know that and you know that.” He sighed deeply and then smiled.
“Now, let’s drop this and give your daddy a hug.” He opened his arms wide. She eyed him for a moment.
“I have a report to write. I see you at Richard’s.” With that she turned her back on him and walked out. His arms felt like lead, as they dropped to his sides.
“Crumble?” He whispered and he could feel tears stinging in his eyes. He had held word! Why was she like that to him now?


Chapter 7

Deanna sat on Richard’s veranda and was enjoying just being out in the sun, without bulkheads around her. The fresh air and the warm sun on her face was something not even the advanced holodecks of the Zeus could recreate. Will had asked her, if she wanted to join him on his trip to the Academy, but she had reclined. She would see Emily in a day, so she had taken some time, to get a perfect, all-over tan.
She heard the door and covered herself with a towel for modesty, but let it slip instantly as she recognised it to be Will. A devilish glint ignited in her eyes. Richard wouldn’t be home until late afternoon. They had the whole house for themselves. Even the kitchen!
All these thoughts were wiped out though, when she saw his face and could sense him more clearly. She sat up as he appeared in the door and took off her sunglasses.
“Imzadi. What is it? Was Emily not there?” She was worried. He had been so happy this morning! Now he was the total opposite.
“Oh no, she was there alright. It’s just...I need a shower.” He sighed deeply and ignored totally the nude state of his wife. That was, what worried Deanna the most. No reaction from him, not even a coy remark! Hurriedly she pulled his long Academy T-Shirt over her head and followed him in.
“Will, Imzadi, please talk to me.” She circled him in her arms and looked up into his sad face. “What happened between you two?” She softly caressed his face and snuggled up to him. He sighed deeply and looked at the ceiling.
“Em’s simulation ended in disaster. Her Captain was an idiot and there was no way she could have prevented any of what happened before she took command. I recommended her for bringing the ship back in one piece and not go on fighting. She though thought I was favourizing her in front of her friends. When all the others were gone I wanted to hug her and have a little chat, but she just...I mean...I held word, Deanna. I didn’t let through anything show that I knew her and that she actually is my daughter, but that seemed not enough! I wanted to hug her and say hello properly, but she just looked at me in that goddamn’ neutral way and said she had to write a report and left! I mean...what...what did I do wrong?” His pained expression and voice was more than Deanna could bear, so she drew his head to her shoulder and stroked his hair down.
“Shh. It’s alright. We will meet her at Richard’s tomorrow and then we can talk with her about it.” He looked down at her and his eyes...for the first time he really looked his age.
“I don’t think she’ll come. I’m sorry Imzadi, but I need a shower now.” He pushed her gently away from him and climbed the stairs. Worried she looked after him. His shoulders were slumped and he drew his feet heavily after him. She sighed deeply and her eyes glazed over. He had been so happy and full of anticipation and now? Now he was shattered. Her lips drew into a thin line of determination. She whirled around and stomped out onto the veranda again to collect her clothing. This young lady was in serious trouble!

Em sat at her desk and had a really, really bad conscience. Her father only had wanted to say hello and she had been more than rude to him. She sighed, drew her fingers through her hair and looked back down upon her report of the mission. She had struggled long to find nice words to describe Mathers’ actions and after three hours her report was finished. Normally it took her only about an hour.
“Oh Gods, I hate this part.” She sighed and drew the palms of her hands over her face. She stretched and yawned mightily. She looked at her watch and saw that it nearly was time for dinner. She smiled. A dinner with Nicholas was exactly what she needed now. Then she had to think about tomorrow. He had been invited also. Should she bring him? How would he take it?
“Why has my life to be so complicated?” She asked herself. Unbidden, her brother’s voice entered her mind. ‘Your life is just as complicated as you make it.’ A quote he liked very much. Next to: ‘Life is what happens to you, while you are busy planning it.’ It wasn’t from him though, but from a twentieth century musician. She threw herself onto her bed and stared at the ceiling. She had to apologise to her father. He hadn’t favoured her of course. He was too much pro for that. She sighed again and opened the drawer on her desk, which could be locked. It held the only holo of her and her family together. Smiling she drew her finger over the faces of each of them. She missed them and she missed it, silly as it may seem, to be called by her proper name.
A knock on the door shook her out of her stupor with a jolt. Quickly she shoved the holo back into the drawer and locked it again, before she rose fully and allowed whoever stood at her door to enter. A very infuriated Deanna Troi-Riker stormed into the room.
Em paled visibly. Had anyone seen her enter? What would the others think if they had? Her mother pulled her quickly back to the here and now.
“Now, young lady, I hope you have a damn good explanation for being such an asshole towards your father!” She yelled. Emily could say nothing. Never in her life had she seen her mother in such a state and never had she been yelled at from her mother.
“I...I mean...I...Mum, what are you doing here?” was all she could say. Deanna stood opposite her, her arms akimbo.
“What I am doing here? I am doing what I should have done a long time ago! When you started all this! I can understand you want to establish your own starting point, but to hurt your father in this manner is not fair towards him. He agreed to let you go to the Academy under a false name, even though it hurt him deeply.” Emily had come to terms with having her infuriated mother standing in her cadet’s quarters and got her tongue under control again.
“Why should he be hurt deeply? I explained it to him.” Deanna sighed and rolled her eyes, the angry glint never leaving her eyes.
“Well, maybe you did, but he only said he understood. You should know your father better, Emily! He feels as if you are ashamed of your name! Ashamed to be William Riker’s daughter.” Stunned Emily looked at her mother. She had never thought her father would think like that about it.
“But I’m not ashamed!” She exclaimed loudly. Deanna raised a questioning eyebrow.
“Really? Well, then you are damn’ good at pretending, because your father now sits at Richard’s and is trying to hide from me that he is crying and why. But I will not let that happen! He has suffered more than you can imagine and I think that you at least should respect him enough to show some happiness when you see him. Even more so, because we do not see each other so often!” Emily got angry now. Did her mother really think she wasn’t happy to see her father?
“Oh yeah? So, what do you expect from me? Go through the dorms and scream at the top of my lungs that I am the daughter of William T. Troi-Riker and proud of it? Is it that?” Deanna crossed her arms in front of her and shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
“It would be a start.” She only said. Emily’s eyes grew wide. She couldn’t believe this!
“ really mean that don’t you?” Deanna only nodded. Emily threw her head back, smiled and paced back and forth through her quarters, before she stopped right in front of her mother. Now she was really angry. With glinting eyes and pointing her index finger at her mother she began.
“You know what? I am proud to be a Riker. But do you know how it is, to tell people my father is William Riker? Either they do not believe you, or they do and are afraid. Or they believe you and want to be your friend only because of that. For the first time in my life I have found real friends and have a boyfriend who does not fear my father and you know why? Because they do not know who he is! If they knew, they would either be scared away, or they would stick all the more to me, because they would hope he will help them with their careers.” Deanna sighed and looked again to the ceiling.
“Oh, I forgot! It’s not easy being a Riker.” She said. Emily clenched her fists and trembled with pent up emotion. Deanna poked her index finger at Emily’s chest.
“Now I am going to tell you how it is being a Troi! You can go nowhere without people knowing you and your status. You are like some kind of celebrity. People are constantly interested in you and your personal life. A daughter of the fifth house, who married a human, just like her mother. We could go nowhere on Betazed without being watched. My mother was an ambassador to the Federation and told everyone, who wanted to listen that I would follow her in her footsteps. Never was I asked what I wanted. My life had been planned through right from my birth. Even my marriage. I was genetically bonded at the age of five to the son of friends. It would all have gone my mother’s way, if your father hadn’t shown up and shown me another way. You have freedoms I dreamed of when I was your age! How hard it must be to be a Riker!” Her tone was dripping with sarcasm. Emily’s anger had puffed out and she felt only bad now. She scratched her elbow and looked at her boots.
“Don’t bother coming tomorrow.” Her head snapped up, but her mother had already left.
“I didn’t mean it Mommy.” She whispered and tears ran down her cheeks. With a wail she threw herself onto her bed. She was sorry!


Chapter 8

Tirena wanted to celebrate with Emily and Rave, because of their good marks in their tests. Especially the holo mission. They all had gotten a recommendation from Admiral Riker, except Mathers, but that surprised no one. She rapped on Emily’s door, but no one answered. She creased her brow and knocked again. She was sure Em was at home, because she had asked the computer where she was. Again no answer. She was getting nervous now.
“Em! Are you in?” She asked loudly. Rave stopped at the door too. He had come with the same intent.
“Is Em not at home?” He asked. Tirena just shook her head.
“I don’t know. The computer said she was, but maybe she just left her communicator.” Rave looked at her unbelieving.
“Em leaving her communicator? Come on! The day has to come, when I see her do something that is out of line.” He now rapped himself at the door.
“Come on Em! Open up! Tony is waiting for us already!” No answer. Puzzled he turned to Tirena.
“Have you checked if maybe Nick was faster than us?” He asked her. At that suggestion Tirena’s eyes grew wide.
“You mean we may interrupt know...” Rave had to chuckle at this. Tirena didn’t look like it, but she was very shy.
“I take that as a no. Computer! Locate Cadet Nicholas Peters!” A small beep was audible and then: “Cadet Nicholas Peters is currently in medical lab number eight.”
“So it can’t be Nick.” Tirena stated the obvious. Rave nodded and stroked his chin.
“Do you think she would cheat on him?” He asked and Tirena immediately slapped him on his upper arm.
“Hey! Only a joke, okay?” Tirena eyed him with slight anger in her eyes.
“That was not funny. Can you open the door?” He made an ugly sound with his knuckles that always sent shivers down Tirena’s spine and waggled his eyebrows.
“No problem sweetheart. Do me a favour and stand watch.” He told her, while leaning down to the door PADD. Nervous Tirena looked up and down the corridor, but luckily no one came.
“Finished?” She asked.
“Just a moment.” A beep was heard and then the door opened. “Voile!” He proudly stepped back. She slapped his stomach and walked in.
“It is voila and now come!” She said and looked around. Em’s quarters looked normal. Perfectly clean and everything at its specific place.
“Em?” She asked warily. She didn’t like breaking into her friends’ room. Rave looked around also. His quarters looked totally different. They were one big mess.
Then they saw her. She was lying on her bed, had pressed her head into her pillow and seemed to cry, according to the heavy heaving of her back. Quickly they crossed the room and sat on her bed.
“Hey Em! What’s up?” Asked Rave concerned. Tirena stroke her back and tried to soothe her. With a sniff Emily looked up at her friends.
“I’m not in the mood for celebrating right now.” She dropped her head back onto her pillow.
“We can see that, but what has happened to you?” Tirena asked concerned.
“Is it something with the holo mission? Did you get a reprimand or did you not pass?” Emily sat up and shook her head.
“No. Everything is fine with the test. I got a recommendation.”
“But that’s great!” Said Rave. Then he saw her face. “Isn’t it?” He said unsure of himself.
“You don’t understand!” Emily said frustrated and walked over to her window.
“What is there to not understand? You’ve got recommended for bringing the ship back in one piece and kicking Mathers’ ass! What are you so all worked up about?” Tirena asked her puzzled. Rave only nodded. Em faced them shortly and then looked at her boots.
“Oh come on. You don’t have to lie to me and say you didn’t see it.” Rave now had deep creases on his brow.
“ lost me there.” He told her and sat on her bed. Tirena nodded.
“Yeah, me too.” Em threw her arms to the ceiling.
“Stop play pretending you don’t know, ‘cause you do!” She screamed.
“Hey! Stop it right there, okay? We don’t know what you’re talking about!” Rave answered her heatedly.
“Fuck, you know! Only tell me when and how you found out that Will Riker is my father!” Both sat on her bed stupefied with round eyes.
“You’re kidding, right?” Rave asked weakly. Emily could have kicked her own ass! They didn’t know and now she’d told them!
“Oh fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!” She pressed through gritted teeth. Rave began to smile and then to laugh.
“Oh man! Nobody’s going to believe me this! We are the friends of William Riker’s daughter!” He jumped and gestured wildly. Tirena’s look silenced him though.
“What is it?” He asked unsure of himself. Tirena laid an arm around Em’s shoulders.
“William Riker’s daughter has a name and that is Emily, you idiot!” He immediately realized how he must have sounded. Quickly he raised his hands in an apologizing gesture.
“That’s not how I meant it! Really! I’s just!” He smiled broadly, but it quickly faded at the defeated look in Emily’s eyes. He swallowed and let himself fall into a chair.
“I didn’t mean it the way it was coming out, Em. Today was the first time I met your father, but I now you since the day you saved my ass in Fleet Strategy. You are one of my best friends and I couldn’t care less about your father being William Riker.” He stated silently. Em sniffed, looked at him and then at Tirena.
“Do you really mean that?” She asked weakly. Both smiled softly and Tirena drew her into a tight embrace.
“Of course, Em. To Hell with who your father is. He may be famous, but we do not know him, in contrast to you. We have come to know you as a considerate and intelligent individual, who we cherish and would help at all times.” Tirena looked directly into her eyes, so that she could see that she spoke the truth. Emily looked to Rave, who had the same expectant look in his eyes. A small smile stole itself onto her lips and Tirena and Rave relaxed.
“Thank you, you are the best friends anyone could wish for.” She sobbed and drew them both into an embrace. When she again let go of them, they all wore smiles. Rave leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs, while he clasped his hands behind his head.
“So, when are you going to tell Nicholas?” He asked. Emily’s eyes grew distant. She remembered the impact it had had on her boyfriends when she told them her father was Will Riker or when she didn’t and then they actually met him. It had always ended in disaster.
“Never. I won’t tell him and you won’t do it either!” She raised a warning finger. Tirena creased her brow.
“Why not? I mean, he’s after all your boyfriend. Sooner of later he will find out.” Emily nodded sadly.
“I had it rather to be later than sooner. Please promise me not to tell him.” She looked with pleading eyes at her friends. Rave sighed deeply, threw his hands into the air and nodded. Tirena was not so easily convinced though.
“Please, Tie! I will tell him, but at a time of my choosing. This is very important to me. Please!” At last Tirena nodded.
“I will do as you ask, although I don’t think that this is a good choice.” Emily kissed her and hugged her.
“Oh thank you! You two are the best!” She hugged them again, but the dread concerning the upcoming dinner with her parents was still there.


Chapter 9

Tirena and Rave had left her alone after she had made them promise not to tell anybody. She now waited alone in her quarters for Nicholas to come from his xenobiology class, so she could talk to him. She would go to the dinner at Richard’s and she would take him with her. They were Imzadi, she knew it! Or she thought she knew...No, she knew! She was no telepath, but even though could she contact him mentally. He couldn’t, but she could sometimes feel, how he tried to reach her. Like the other day, when they had lain in bed, she had felt his attempt to send his love for her. A sweet gesture and she just loved him more for it. She sighed and began cleaning up her room – again.

“It’s so stupid!” She saw to the ceiling and released her breath with a hiss.

“What’s stupid?” Nick’s voice asked her. She flinched. She had been so caught up in her thoughts that she hadn’t heard him enter. He had her door code and could enter whenever he wanted. She quickly plastered a smile upon her face and turned around.

“The test today. Mathers...” She couldn’t really articulate what she felt about Mathers’ behaviour. She didn’t need to. Nick embraced her and gave her a kiss on her brow.

“I heard it went really bad for him, but you did a really good job in there. Tony could barely stop talking, when I met him on my way here. By the way...they are having a party, why don’t we join them?” she breathed his scent deeply and held on to him. Puzzled and concerned he looked down at her. What had disturbed her?

“What is it? Em? Talk to me.” He asked her in a soft voice. It only resulted in her holding tighter on to him.

“Just hold me Nick, okay? I don’t want to talk about it right now.” He immediately complied with her wishes. He had never told her, but he would gladly die for her. Never in his life had he felt similarly about another woman and was absolutely sure that he had found his destiny in Emily Burkett.

Will sat on Richard’s couch and drank a coffee, while he read the first reports about the refit of his ship. They were making good progress and the schedule was holding. The front door flew open and was shut with a loud bang. Puzzled and with a creased brow he rose from his position and walked to the door. Before he had made the first step, he knew Deanna was very ill-tempered.

“Imzadi?” He called. <What is the matter?> Her eyes were afire with rage.

“The matter? The matter is our daughter!”

“You didn’t visit her, did you?” He was dumbfounded.

“Of course I did! How could I not?” She paced back and forth.

“But...What if any of her friends had seen you enter her quarters?” He was shocked. He had never seen his wife so angry.

“I don’t care if any of her important friends have seen me enter her quarters! I just told her some truths about her!” Wary he looked at her.

“What did you tell her?” She seemed to cool down a bit and crossed the room, to embrace him, but he took a step backwards.

“What did you tell her?!” He demanded. A new fire ignited in her eyes. Oh damn! He had forgotten about the phase.

“I told her that she was unthankful for everything you did for her. And that she just couldn’t ignore her heritage. And that she is much better off, than I was, when I was her age.” He threw his head back and swore silently. Deanna crossed the distance between them and when he looked down at her, she had tears in her eyes and looked miserable.

“I did it for you, Imzadi. Do you hate me?” Immediately he enveloped her in his arms and drew her tightly to him.

“No! Of course I don’t hate you. I love you with all that I am.” He whispered into her ear and stroke over her back to soothe her. They stood that way for a while, just holding each other. That was how Richard found them. Puzzled he looked to his father. Will signalled his son to be silent and indicated for him to leave them alone. Without asking or hesitating Richard did as his father wished. He had read and heard from his Grandmother about the Phase and knew about the immense mood swings of his mother. Had experienced them first hand. When his father thought it was better, when he wouldn’t be present – who was he to argue with him? He walked into the kitchen and began to unpack the things he had bought on the market.

He wondered what had upset his mother. Well, who apart from his sister? He sighed. What had Em now done again? He shook his head. Well, he supposed that it was not his problem. He had warned Em as good as he could, but his sister had always been very stubborn. He hummed slightly to himself, while he put the food away. He looked up when someone entered the room. It was his father. Richard leaned against his kitchen table and crossed his arms.

“How’s Mom?”

“She’s upstairs. I could convince her to sleep a bit.” Will sounded worried.

“Penny for your thoughts.” Richard murmured. Will joined him at the table.

“Your mother doesn’t take Emily’s behaviour lightly. It’s even worse now that she has entered the phase. She is very distressed, you know. It’s all taking a high toll on her. A lot of emotional stress.” Will raked his hands through his hair.

“I’m sure everything is going to be fine. We are all going to meet tomorrow and then we can sort it out together as a family.” He lay his hand on his fathers shoulder. With a lopsided smile Will saw to his son.

“Want to take over your mothers job?”

“Take care of over anxious Starfleet officers? Never!” Both men had to laugh and Will helped Richard prepare dinner.


Chapter 10

Nervously Emily smoothed her dress down the front. It sat perfectly, but still she thought she saw creases in the smooth material. She flinched when her door signal sounded. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. How was she going to get through this evening, when she jumped at every sound? Quickly she walked over and picked up her blue gauze shawl. With a command from her the door opened. Nick looked down the corridor and hadn’t heard her open the door. Oh Gods, he looked so good in a smoking! Tears again welled up in her eyes when she looked at him and thought about all the things she was going to loose tonight.

“I love you so much, Nicholas.” She whispered and drew herself together. At this moment he turned his head and looked at her. His eyes went slightly wide.

“Wow.” He whispered appreciatively. He took her hand and with a small smile she let him turn her around. “You look absolutely stunning.” He smiled softly and kissed her on her brow. She thought she was going to loose it there. She put a smile on her face and then looked up at him.

“Shall we?” He nodded and offered her his arm.

Will stood in front of his mirror and struggled with his tie. With an annoyed sigh he saw that the slim end again was too long. Irritated he opened the knot again and threw it on the bed. Deanna came into the room in her deep red gown. It was strapless and a long slit allowed her to move freely. Will admired mostly that it set off her finely shaped limbs perfectly and rather freely. A soft smile played over her lips.

“Why do I have to wear that thing? It’s awfully outdated and I know why it is.” He gave the tie a fiendish look. At that she had to laugh. She moved over to the bed, picked it up and moved over to her irritated husband.

“You have to wear it, because I love how you look in these outdated things.” She began binding it for him. “And because this is a special evening.” She pulled it up to his chin and folded down his collar. “See, easy enough.” She smiled briefly up at him and kissed him on his nose. Puzzled he looked at his mirror image. The tie sat perfectly.

“What...How did you do that?!” She stepped into her shoes and had to laugh at his voice and his face.

“Women have to have some secrets my dear and we have a lot more patience than men. Thank the Gods.” The last she whispered and went out into the hall.

“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean.” Quickly he followed her out.

Richard would meet with them at the restaurant. Even if his parents were visiting, he still had work to do. They had called for a hover-cab, which would bring them. They had agreed to meet at nine, but Deanna wanted to be there a little earlier. She knew nearly every member of Richard’s staff and was always in one way or another involved in their lives. The cab was already waiting outside for them and they entered and flew in silence for a few minutes.

“Do you think she’ll come?” Asked Will silently. When she looked to him, he did not turn around, but continued to stare out of the window. She gave his knee a reassuring squeeze.

“Don’t worry. I said some really mean things to her and she wouldn’t pass this chance to get back at me. In public to top it all.” Both had to laugh at this and he picked her hand from his knee and gave her a kiss on it.

Emily and Nick entered the Inn and went over to the wardrobe to get rid of their cloaks and shawls. It was pretty cold outside. A waitress walked up to them when they entered the dining area.

“Hello. Can I do something for you?” Emily shook her head and smiled.

“No thank you. We are still waiting for others to join us.” The waitress smiled and was off again, swishing her tail. Nick looked around with wide eyes.

“Wow! Your parents are inviting us to the Riker Inn! They’ve got to have some connections.” Emily rearranged her dress a bit.

“Kind of.” She murmured.

“What did you say? I didn’t catch it, sorry.” She smiled up at him and hooked her arm around his.

Was this the last time she would do it?

“No problem.” They walked a bit farther in. She just hoped her brother wouldn’t be coming storming up and greeting her. Suddenly Nick came to a halt and drew her over to him.

“Oh my...You are never going to believe who’s here tonight!” He stated with excitement and looked over the crowd. He was several centimetres higher than her and so, he had no problems, but she couldn’t see anything.

“What is it?” She asked and stretched her neck.

“Admiral Riker and his wife!” Her face fell, but he didn’t see it, because he was much too focused on her parents. He freed his arm and patted her shoulder.

“Wait here a moment, I just walk over and say hi. I mean...What a chance to actually meet William Riker!” With a big smile he walked over. Emily sighed deeply and then followed him, to give him the greatest shock of his life.

Deanna had just ended her little chat with one of the waitresses, when Will took her hand.

“You know, Imzadi, I thought we were on vacation.” He whispered, while giving her tiny kisses on her hand. Goosebumps raced up her arm and she shivered with delight. She snuggled up closer to him.

“I know, but it is nice to get in touch with friends.”

“I know certain things about how to get in touch with things.” He pressed butterfly kisses on her neck. She giggled like a little girl and drew away from him slightly.

“Will! We’re in Richard’s restaurant and you know what he said about certain things.” She looked deeply into his eyes and the glint in them could not be mistaken. He smiled lopsidedly at her and put an arm around her.

“What about us two taking a swim tonight. You could show me your new bikini.” He bit gently into her earlobe. She shivered and sighed.

“Oh Will Riker! You know how to convince a woman.” She smiled at him and kissed him full on the mouth. He took full advantage of that.

When they at last parted Will looked for the waitress to bring them drinks. That was, when he saw the eager young man making his way towards them.

“Seems like we are getting company.” He said to Deanna. She looked past him and saw the young man coming towards them.

“Do you know him?” She asked Will. He shook his head.

“Nope. One of your lovers, when I can’t hold up?” He asked her with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

“Oh you!” She scolded him with a big smile and gave him a smack on his arm.

“Better watch out. You could seriously hurt me.” He warned her with a big smile.

“How about letting you sleep on the couch tonight?” She gave back. He leaned back with a pained expression.

“Ouch! That one hit home.” Both had to laugh at that. By now, the young man had reached their table but didn’t seem to know what to say. Will and Deanna looked at him. He began to turn red.

Will decided to help him.

“Hello. What can we do for you?” He asked. The man let the air slip he had been holding.

“Hi, my name is Nicholas Peters. I’m a cadet at the Academy and I’m just so thrilled to actually meet you two, I mean I have been reading about you nearly my entire life and it’s just so amazing to actually meet you two. I mean, to stand here has been a dream of mine, since I was eight years old and...” It came all in a rush and Will and Deanna had to laugh and Will raised his hands.

“Please, please stop. We knew that our services to the Federation have been acknowledged by various people, but that we were such celebrities...” He looked to Deanna. Nicholas went on.

“Oh yes! Everybody on the Academy wants to serve on the Zeus. They want to learn from the best.

Oh!” He looked behind himself and took somebody’s hand. “I would like to introduce you to my girlfriend.” Emily stepped around him. Will’s and Deanna’s face looked a bit stricken.

“This is...”

“Hi Mom, hi Dad.” She lifted her other hand in greeting. Now it was Nicholas’ turn to look stricken.

Will rose from his seat and walked over to her.

“You look absolutely wonderful crumb!” He whispered, but didn’t make any move to touch her. She took a tentative step towards her father and at last they pulled the other into a nearly desperate embrace. A tear ran over Emily’s face.

“I missed you so, Daddy.” She whispered. He pressed her a little more to him and when they parted he softly brushed away her tears.

“Come on. Sit down.” He offered her a chair. She saw to Nicholas with fear in her eyes. He had come over the shock and now anger was in his eyes.

“Why did you never tell me! I told you everything about me. I thought between us, there would be no lies!” He burst out. Emily wanted to touch his arm, but he ripped it away.

“Please Nicholas, understand. Think about the things you were just telling them. What would happen if anybody in the Academy knew who my parents were. I don’t want to have friends because of my parents, but because of who I am.” He had turned away from her.

“Nicholas, please. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how and how you would react to it.” He turned back to her and the anger had not lessened one bit.

“I would have accepted it! As I have accepted every other thing about you! And I thought you were really feeling something for me.” The last sentence he nearly spit out and then left. Emily was in tears. It was all like she had feared it would be.

“But I really do. I love you, Nicholas!” She said to his back. His shoulders tightened and she hoped he would turn around, but he just went on walking. She slumped into her chair and the floodgates opened. Immediately her mother was at her side. Will had left them and was following Nicholas through the crowd. Not an easy thing, because nearly everyone wanted to talk to him.

Nicholas was fuming. How could she do this to him? He thought they were special! He had thought that this relationship was the best that ever had happened to him, but now...He didn’t know what to think. He knew only one thing. He had to get away from here.

That was, when a man stepped into his path. He looked up and straight into deep black eyes. It was Richard Riker. Nicholas knew that he had to be several years older than Emily. Great! A fight with the elder brother was just what he needed!

“Would you please let me pass?” He asked politely. Richard shook his head.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that. You are going nowhere until you have talked to my sister again.”

“I don’t want to talk to her, okay? She lied to me! It was all a fake!” He sighed and with his breath, his anger seeped out of him. “It was all a fake.” Richard was suddenly gone, but somebody else had taken his place. A hand was placed on his shoulder and it lead him softly to a more calm and quiet spot. When Nicholas looked up, he saw that it was William Riker. Immediately he tried to escape, but the grip on his shoulder just tightened until it was like a steel clamp. At last they reached the back door and Riker lead him out there. Wonderful! Not the brother was going to beat him up, but the father! Why had the evening gone so wrong? It had all started so good.

“Look at me, young man!” Riker ordered. Nicholas, as the good officer he was, did as ordered. But Riker didn’t look angry. He looked much more compassionate.

“Please don’t leave her like that. You will regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not even tomorrow, but someday you surely will.” That he didn’t command Nicholas to go back in and talk to her didn’t even register with him.

“I don’t want to okay? We had agreed on never lying to each other and now I find out that she isn’t the woman she said she was and...OH!” He threaded his fingers in his hair and pulled at them, just to be able to feel some other pain than the one in his heart.

“She is exactly the same woman as she was before. Please talk to her! I can’t let that happen again.” At that Nicholas looked up.


“Yes. Do you think you are the first one she kept her heritage from? She has done that many times and it ended always the same. Sometimes they stayed smiled and as soon as they were out of our house or our quarters, they would end the relationship. Emily has had enough of these relationships and she wouldn’t have brought you, if she didn’t think that you would be able to cope with this situation as an adult. Besides, don’t make the mistake I made.” Nicholas creased his brow.

“Mistake? What mistake?” Will sighed and leaned to the back wall of the building.

“When Deanna and I started seeing each other we had a fight. Her mother wasn’t too happy with me becoming her Imzadi. She told Deanna to leave me and she did. I got drunk and involved with another woman and Deanna walked right in on us. Of course she was angry and yelled at me, but before I left Betazed, I was able to make amends with her. She even wanted to marry me. We agreed on meeting on Risa in two weeks time and get married. I never came.” Nicholas couldn’t believe what the famed Admiral told him.

“But why did you never go to Risa?” Riker sighed again.

“I told Deanna that I had got an unexpected promotion and she still believes it today. But between assignments I would have had more than enough time to get to Risa and marry her. I didn’t do it, because I was scared. Scared that I wouldn’t be enough for her, that I wasn’t good enough. On Betazed, Deanna is a kind of royalty. Kind of like a princess. And I felt like I was the ugly toad. I had to wait about twenty years to get another chance. Are you ready to wait that long?” With that last statement, Will left Nicholas to his thoughts.

Chapter 11

Emily was perfectly miserable when Will returned to their table. Deanna had wrapped her arms around her and mumbled soothing words into her ear. Richard was there too, touching his sisters shoulder and looking very sad. He knew the pain, had been through it himself. When Richard saw his father coming back, he stood and walked over to him.

“Could you convince him to come back?” Hope was glinting in his eyes. Will only shook his head sadly. Richard sighed and looked to Emily.

“It will break her heart. She was very much in love with him.” He mumbled.

“And he with her. I gave him something to think about and I hope he will take my advice and talk to Emily.”

“You didn’t threaten him, did you?” Richard looked at his father with big eyes.

“No, of course not!” Will seemed a bit insulted. “I would never do that, but I told him that this has happened to Emily before. I also asked him if he was prepared to regret this for the rest of his life.

Regretting just having walked away.” A sad look was in Will’s eyes, while he looked to his wife and daughter and Richard became concerned.

“Dad? Are you all right?” Will sighed and clapped him on his shoulder.

“It just reminded me of something I did a long time ago.” He silently stated and went over to Emily and Deanna. Puzzled Richard followed him.

Nicholas let himself fall onto his bed and stared at the ceiling. Emily Burkett was Emily Riker. If somebody had told him that, he would never have believed it. His sweet angel was the daughter of Admiral Riker. To love her, have a relationship with her, was no longer an option. If something went wrong and they parted on bad terms, her father would end his career in a blink. He had more than enough connections to do it. He put his hands over his eyes and closed them hard. Only an hour ago, everything had been perfectly fine! He and Emily were supposed to go out and have some fun with her parents, whom he had thought to be members of a merchant agency. Everything blown to pieces by a small change in name. He had to think about how they had met for the first time.

He had been in the Academy gym and worked out. It had been his first time. He hadn’t been good enough on one of the fitness tests and the campus physician had given him a schedule to improve his fitness. He had been well through the first half, when she had walked in. From the moment she entered the gym, she was the only thing he saw. A bomb could have exploded next to him and he wouldn’t have recognised it. Every of her movements happened in slow motion for him. He just had to get nearer and walked over to her. She was working out on the parallel bars and when she was finished and landed on the soft padding, he applauded looking at her totally mesmerised, with the most idiotic smile on his face. She looked into his eyes and for the first time in his life he knew what it meant to loose himself in somebody’s eyes. He had been in love, right from the first second and the smile she gave him robbed him of his breath. The next months had been the most wonderful of his life and now all of this lay shattered at his feet. Shattered by a lie and a lack of trust. He started to cry in spasmodic sobs. He hadn’t cried often in his life, but he just couldn’t suppress it. He had just lost the love of his life and why? Over a stupid lie!

Emily was devastated. Nick had left her, just like all the others. She had thought him to be different from the boyfriends she’d had before. Right now she was at Richard’s home with her mother and father trying to lift her spirits.

“I’m so sorry for you, angel.” Will whispered and drew her to his broad chest. She snuggled up to her father, just as she had when she had been a little girl.

“Listen, I have a fantastic idea. The next week is Federation day. Then we will go to Hawaii. All of us lying at the beach, having a good time and spending some quality time as a family. What do you think?” She sniffed and looked up at him. He smiled down at her and softly brushed away her tears.

She only nodded and buried her face again against his chest.

Deanna came out of the kitchen holding two steaming cups. The distinct smell of hot chocolate brought Emily’s head up again.

“Here sweetheart, drink that.” Deanna offered her one of the cups with a soft smile. Still sniffing, Emily took the cup and sat up. Deanna sat on Will’s other side.

“What? Nothing for me?” He asked in jest. Deanna smiled up at her husband.

“You can have some of mine, if you want.” Her eyes sparkled playfully up at him.

“Okay.” He reached for her cup, but she drew it away from him, took a sip and kissed him then. He smiled, tucked a stray curl behind her ear and smacked his lips.

“Yummy.” Both had to laugh.

Emily watched this, envy burning in the pit of her stomach. Why had everybody luck with love, but her? What was wrong with her? Why did she always choose the wrong guys? She looked up, when she felt a hand on her shoulder and saw into the dark eyes of her mother.

“Would you leave us alone for a moment, Will?” He complied immediately, clambering over the back of the sofa and going upstairs. Deanna waited until she was sure that he was really gone.

“First of all, love, there are no ‘right’ guys. Not even your father.” Emily stared at her with wide eyes.

“What do you mean? You have the most amazing relationship I have ever seen. You love each other so much, even after all these years.” Deanna sighed, smiled melancholically and her gaze was growing distant.

“Oh yes, but it hasn’t been like this always. Sometimes I feel like throwing him out the next airlock.

We had our fights and there are many things I would like to alter about your father, but they are part of him and I love him. Even though he can be annoying at times.”

“But he would never leave you, because of your name. I mean, back then.” Deanna laid her arm around her daughter and snuggled up with her.

“Names never mattered to the great Will-The Thrill-Riker. For him, I was a challenge. He had never expected to fall in love with me and believe me, I hadn’t planned on it either.” The light laughter of her mother was just contagious and Emily had to join.

“I heard Uncle Geordi’s stories about Dad being quite the ladies man, but I never heard your side of the story.”

“Be glad you haven’t. Sometimes I could have gone wild with jealousy. But that would have meant shooting every female aboard the Enterprise. He has that certain something, which enables him to charm every woman in his vicinity. And he was well aware of that, using it to the fullest. Your father was not very long alone, but he was never satisfied.”

“Because he was in love with you!” Emily said enthusiastically. Deanna had to laugh at that.

“Well, we thought it to be the only logical thing, since the both of us never were really satisfied with other partners. I even once got seriously involved with Worf.” Her daughter regarded her with huge eyes.

“You’re kidding me! You and Worf?! Mum, that’s absolutely ridiculous!” Deanna huffed.

“Why does everybody keep telling me that?”

“Because you do not fit each other! He’s your total opposite. Not that I don’t like him, but, come on Mum! You don’t have to tell me jokes to cheer me up.”

“That was no joke!” Deanna burst our exasperated. “And mind you, for the first time I thought your father was going to loose it. He was so jealous!” Emily studied her mothers expression.

“Don’t tell me you enjoyed that.”

“Oh...well...oh come on! I wanted to have fun one time too, okay?” Both sat silent for some time, just sipping their chocolate.

“I only wanted to tell you that you can’t expect men to be able to see immediately what they have with you. Give him some time to cope with you being Emily Riker and I’m sure he will come and talk to you. Maybe you will not come back together, but at least you would talk. Only hope that not the same happens to you two, what happened to your father and me. Waiting about fifteen years for one man...well, it’s a lot of time to waste.” And then she added with a twinkle in her eyes: “But the makeup for these lost years...Gods you don’t know how inventive your father is!” A sensuous smile drew her lips upward.

Emily jumped up from the couch.

“Oh Mum! Couldn’t you have kept that for yourself?” Deanna had to laugh at her reaction and after a time, Emily joined in helplessly.