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"Will, thank you so much again for letting me stay here. It's just my luck you know the ship is damaged in a minor excursion in the Delphi sector, and Deck 8 takes the full brunt of it. My quarters and Hallihan's, to be precise." She roller her eyes in disbelief and aggravation.
"Oh, come on Dea, it's not that bad. At least most of your stuff was salvaged. Besides, the maintenance crew said it would only take three days to fix. That's not too bad. Right?" He looked at her with a hopeful gaze and a small smile, knowing she would see it his way.
"You're right, you're right. But still. I want my bed. Not some stiff Starfleet issue couch," she huffed as she stomped her foot.
This elicited a chuckle from Will. "You know you women you're too high maintenance for me." He quickly dodged the playful jab he knew was coming, and countered. "You know, it's no big deal. You can sleep in my bed. I'll take the couch."
"Will I am not taking your bed. How rude would that be? I may be annoyed with the prospect at having to sleep on a couch for a few nights, but at least I have a friend willing to lend me his couch. I'm not going to put you out like that."
As she finished her sentence, she watched as Will strode over to the door, picked up her overnight bag , and headed toward the bedroom with it. "I insist. You're my guest. And besides, if you really don't want to put me out, we can just sleep in there together. I know how to be a prefect gentleman, despite popular belief " he tossed over his shoulder as his form retreated into the bedroom.
"Ha ha. Very funny, Will " But, she immediately stopped as she watched him begin to unpack her things and put them in an empty drawer. " Will you can't be serious."
you never wore these for me. Are these new?" Will waggled
his eyebrows as he held up a red lace bra and matching panties.
Quickly snatching them from him, and stuffing them in the drawer, she glared at him. "Will! You are absolutely incorrigible. You are the most infuriating man I have ever met."
"But that's why you love me," he countered, his most devious - and sexy - grin playing about his face. At her lack of amusement, he sobered. "Look Deanna, take my bed. It's not big deal. I'll sleep on the couch. Really, I don't mind."
She smiled softly at his sincerity and acquiesced. "Okay, okay. You win. But I am in no mood for a slumber party tonight. Now get out!"
"You said 'tonight.' 'I am in no mood for a slumber party tonight.' Does that mean there's a possibility of one tomorrow night???"
"Out Will!" She yelled as she threw the closest non-breakable item she could find, one of his bed pillows. Her aim was right on, as it caught Will square in the back of the head as he made his hasty retreat.
She laughed to herself and shook her head as she finished her unpacking. Will could be the most infuriating man sometimes. But, he was right. That's why she loved him. No other man could get under her skin like he could.
A half an hour later as she was ready to climb into bed, she decided she would first go find Will, to thank him again and wish him goodnight. She found him half hanging off the tiny couch, tossing and turning, attempting to get comfortable enough for sleep. She immediately felt bad. That couch was way too small for someone as tall as Will to sleep on comfortably.
"Will you look miserable."
"Huh? What? Oh, no. I'm fine, really."
"Will I feel bad." She paused, considering what she knew was getting ready to leave her lips. "Look, you can come sleep in the bed with me. But "
"But " he repeated.
"You have to exhibit some of that gentlemanly behavior you alluded to earlier."
"You have my word, my lady." With that he hopped up off the couch and made his way behind her into the bedroom.
As they both climbed into the bed, he leaned over and kissed her lightly on the cheek. "Goodnight, Dea.:
"Goodnight Will," she returned.
An hour or so later, as she lay there thinking how impossible it would be to fall asleep, she heard his soft snore. ~Figures. I can't sleep, but he's already snoring.~ She turned, then away from Will, trying to force the sleep that wasn't coming. How could she sleep? Her senses were drowning in Will. He was everywhere. She could hear him, feel him, and, oh, Gods, could she smell him. That smell that's what was really keeping her awake. She was surrounded by the smell that was Williams Riker. That musky, woodsy, sexy, man-smell. Her senses were completely overloaded.
Her mind could not keep from drifting into dangerous territory. Sensual erotic images fought their way, unbidden, into her mind. She couldn't stop thinking about him. ~Oh, Gods,~ she thought..~I am getting really turned on. This is crazy.~
She knew she still had feelings for him, and he for her. That was no big secret. But, being this close to him, the shear proximity of him, it was driving her insane. She hasn't felt need like this since that night, years ago, in the jungle. ~Okay, maybe I will go sleep on the couch.~ But she couldn't force herself to move. So, she lay there, trying to concentrate on anything but the man next her, and she was failing. Deanna kept envisioning him over her, kissing her, doing erotic things to her. She turned back to him and watched him sleep, noticing that he had now become somewhat restless. ~Maybe all of this sexual energy of mine is rubbing off on him.~ She smirked. She watched as he fidgeted in his sleep, letting out little grimaces and moans every once in a while. Apparently, his dreams were right in tune with her waking visions.
"Imzadi." She knew she had heard the word escape his mouth, but was he awake, or still sleeping? This was torture. He was asleep, having erotic dreams, and she now knew they were about her. And that is precisely what pushed her over the edge. She could resist touching him no longer. She ran her hand under the sheet, until she encountered his chest. Softly, gently, so as not to wake him, she let her fingers explore the warm, smooth expanse. She could not resist the urge, when she found a nipple, to circle it several times and then give it a gentle squeeze. With that, Will moaned again, and she was afraid she had awakened him. But, with his lack of action, she knew he was still sleeping.
Her hands continued their gentle, forbidden exploration of him, and she grew more bold with each passing moment. Finally, her hand reached the edge of his boxers, and she paused. She knew exactly what she wanted to do, and it was precisely what she shouldn't do. However, her hand seemed to move of its own volition as it slid softly under his boxers. She stroked him gently, luxuriating in the masculine feel of him, and again he began to moan. She slowed her movements, desperate for him not to awaken, to discover what she was doing. ~I have got to be out of my mind, but I can't stop.~ She knew what she was doing was wrong, but her conscience was quickly losing this battle. She had to have him. Slowly, she sat and moved atop him, under the sheets. And this time, she knew he was awake. His blue eyes, dark with desire opened, and stared straight into hers. He immediately sat, with her astride him, and met her mouth in an engulfing, earth-shattering kiss. The kiss consumed her, and when they parted, she said nothing, but lifted her body and tugged at his boxers. Will complied, but when she settled atop him, so close to joining, he spoke.
"Deanna. Are are you sure?" he rasped, barely able to speak.
She did not answer him with words, but with thought and action **I want you, Imzadi.** And with that, they were one. It was unlike anything Will had ever experienced. It was so much more powerful and consuming than anything he had ever experienced. Even their days on Betazed could not hold a candle to this union. He felt completely absorbed by her, drunk on her. It was such an intense connection he could not fathom anything else. He had felt orgasm before, of course, but this was like it was like an orgasm of his entire mind, body, and spirit. He knew Deanna could feel it to. He could sense her and feel her, feel everything she was feeling. It was incredible. And finally, as their encounter came to its climax, he didn't think either of them would survive, as it completely engulfed them. She then lay on top of him, both of them gasping for air.
**I love you, Imzadi. I always have.** She knew she had heard him, knew he hadn't forgotten what she had taught him so long ago. She didn't have much time to contemplate his words, though, as sleep quickly overcame them both.
When he awoke in the morning, Will slowly opened is eyes, turning to where he knew Deanna would be. What he found, instead, was an empty space. Furrowing his brow, he fought hard to remember. ~Did last night really happen?~ He felt for sure it had. He could still feel the buzzing of excitement throughout his body. He gently lifted the sheet, and realized he was not wearing anything, as he had suspected. He then peered over the side of the bed, and saw his boxers strewn on the floor. ~Okay, so it wasn't a dream. It did happen.~ But where was Deanna?
"Computer, location of Counselor Troi?"
"Counselor Troi is in her office."
At work already? It was only 0530. This was not sitting well with Will. ~Maybe she had an early appointment. That must be it.~ He had convinced himself that was the case, that she simply didn't want to wake him early as well. He got up then, and headed to the shower to get ready for bridge duty.
In her office, Deanna sat staring at nothing at all. Their night had been amazing. She had never felt anything like that before, even in making love to Will years ago. Never had it been like that. She was also embarrassed by her actions, but knew better than to feel that way with Will. She still felt the excitement, felt consumed by him, enraptured, and it scared the hell out of her. Their bond was stronger than it had ever been. She made the decision, at that moment, that she and Will Riker would never be again.
She avoided him on the bridge, barely acknowledging him. She made her escape to her office, using a heavy patient-load as her excuse. She had managed to avoid him all day, but she knew in her heart that as soon as his bridge duty was over, he would come to her. She dreaded the conversation, but wanted it over with and behind her as well. Like clockwork, her door chimed at 1530, and she knew it was Will.
"Come," she answered in response.
"Commander," she countered, avoiding his gaze.
"So, after last night I was quite disturbed to find my bed devoid of a certain amazing brunette when I awoke this morning." He walked over and sat on the corner of her desk, lifting her chin, so that she faced him. He was unprepared for what he saw there. "Deanna, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
But she couldn't answer him. She didn't know what to say.
"Deanna, please. Last night, it it was it was amazing it was..." He looked deeper into her eyes and knew exactly what she was thinking. " It was not a mistake."
"Will but it was. Don't you see that?" She could feel the hurt she had inflicted upon him instantly, but she had to be strong.
"How can you say that? Last night was the single most amazing experience of my life. Hell, I know you felt it too. God, Deanna, I meant what I said, you know. I've never stopped loving you. I never will." He was pleading with her now, hoping she would come to her senses.
"Will, we can't do this. You know that as well as I do."
"I don't understand this. I don't understand you. I mean, you are the one that well, that started the whole thing. God, I am not sorry that you did. I know you felt what I did last night. I know you felt everything I was feeling, just as I did with you. Deanna, it was beautiful. How can you say it was a mistake?" His voice was rising steadily with each word that passed his lips. He couldn't believe this.
"Will, stop. Don't make this any harder for either one of us than it has to be."
"I'm making this hard??!! You are out of your mind! I
you know what.
Forget it. You're right. I guess this wasn't meant to be." And with all
of the anger and hurt that he felt, Will stormed out of her office, mentally
slamming the door on their relationship and on Deanna.
Deanna sat, crying, unable to move. She knew how much she had just hurt him. She could feel it. But she had to do it. She had to hurt the one man she had ever truly loved, because she could never take the risk of being hurt by him. If it didn't work out with them this time, she could not possibly handle it.
Weeks went by, and the two of them carried on in much the same manner. They rarely spoke to each other, and when they did it was only out of necessity. Everyone saw what was going on between the, but no one knew why. No one knew what had happened between them. Every time Beverly had broached the subject with Deanna, she was immediately shot down. Finally, being able to stand it no more, Beverly decided to approach Will.
"Come," Will answered the chime at the door to his quarters. "Beverly, What's up?"
"Will, I came to talk to you about well, about Deanna."
"What about her?" he barked back.
"Will, what is going on with you two? What happened?" She pleaded with him. "You tow have always been so close. Hell, I know you love her. What happened?"
"Hell, Beverly, I don't know! I don't know, damn it! You'll have to ask her." He was angry and hurt, she could see that clearly. "And if you do find out, could you let me in on the little secret as well? I'd appreciate it." He practically spat the words at her, as he more or less ushered her out of his quarters. She had no choice but to leave, and she stood in the hallway, dumbfounded, and unsure what, if anything, could be done.
A few days later, Beverly and Deanna sat in the gym, nearing the completion of their workout. Deanna stood from one of the leg machines, and quickly re-seated herself.
"Dea, what's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine. Just a little nauseous, I guess. I don't know. Guess I stood up to fast." She looked at Beverly, still not feeling quite normal. "I think that's it for me today. I'm tired. I'm going to go back to my quarters and just relax. You don't mind if I pass on dinner do you?"
Beverly looked at her with concern. "No, that's fine. But why don't you come down to Sick Bay with me first? Just let me check you out really quick?" She could tell Deanna's answer already, and quickly added, "It won't take long I promise." With that, she led Deanna to Sick Bay, not leaving her any choice but to follow.
"This is silly Bev," Deanna repeated, sitting on one of the biobeds. "I'm just tired. I've been under a lot of stress lately, you know? I promise, I'll head right back to my quarters and get a decent night's sleep."
Beverly headed over to Deanna from the lab room, and gave her friend and enigmatic look.
"What? Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Deanna, you really don't know?" She questioned her friend. "I mean, I didn't believe it either, but I checked the results three times and "
"What are you talking about?" Deanna interrupted.
"Dea you're pregnant. You had no idea?" Beverly sat looking at her friend with questioning disbelief.
"I'm I'm what?" Deanna sputtered.
"You're pregnant. God, Deanna, you didn't have another encounter with that light alien did you? I mean, we need to contact the Captain, and let him know "
"No, Beverly don't. The Captain doesn't need to know about this. That's not what happened." Deanna stared blankly at her friend, still in shock, still not believing what she had been told.
For her part, Beverly didn't know what to say. That is, until, something clicked in her mind.
"Oh my God. It's Will, isn't is? He you well you two " she trailed off. "Is that what this is all about? Why you two haven't been speaking?"
Before Beverly was able to go any further, Deanna interjected. "Look, you don't know anything about this. And this " she said, gesturing to all of Sick Bay, " is not the place to discuss it. If everything is okay, I would like to return to my quarters. Now."
Beverly nodded with dismay. "Fine, Deanna, go. But, you need to talk to someone about this. I am your best friend, damn it!"
"Look, Bev, I I just need a little time. Come over Tuesday morning for breakfast. We'll talk then, okay?"
And with that, Deanna left a very shocked doctor standing in Sick Bay by herself. The shock still hadn't worn off three days later when Beverly showed up at her door. Deanna opened the door to the righteous look on her friend's face, coupled with the arched brow.
"You, my friend, have some explaining to do," she stated simply as she marched into Deanna's quarters, seating herself at he table.
"Gee, good morning to you too. Sleep well? Good, I didn't." Deanna had picked up easily on the Earth custom of sarcasm.
They busied themselves for the next few minutes with replicating theirs breakfasts, and when they were both seated at the table eating, Beverly looked at Deanna and smiled.
"What? What's that look for?"
"I just can't believe it. You're going to have a baby!" Beverly beamed.
For her part, Deanna simply nodded her head.
"Aren't you excited? At all? Deanna...okay. Spill. I want to know everything. What happened?" she beseeched her friend.
With a slow, long exhale, Deanna began. "Well, do you remember when my quarters were damaged in the Delphi sector " She began her story, her friend hanging on every word. "So, that's pretty much it. I left out some of the more intimate details, but more or less, that's it."
"So, Will is the father, then." Deanna nodded, somewhat sadly.
"Dea, I don't understand. Why, after finally confronting your feelings for each other, did you end things? Why would you do that? Especially if it was as amazing as you claim?"
"Bev, I have never before experienced something that strong. It was I don't know how to describe it to you. The bond Will and I share felt so much stronger. It scared me. It still does. I was able to endure subduing that bond before, but I could never do that now. Never. It would kill me."
Beverly stared at her incredulously. "So, you're afraid of how much you love him? You're afraid that things are going to eventually go back to how they were you two being just friends and that because your bond is so strong now, that will hurt too much?"
"Exactly. I have to protect myself. It's easier if I end it now, on my terms, than having it end later, taking me down in the process."
"Deanna, no offense. I mean, I love you, you are my best friend, but That is the single dumbest and most selfish thing I have ever heard. You are willing to throw away the love of your life, because there is a risk you might get hurt?"
Deanna stared back at her. "Beverly, you you don't understand."
"No, I think I do. Deanna, this is crazy. You love him. He loves you. Go to him. Be together. Be happy. What else are you going to do?"
"Well," she began, "I have thought about resigning Starfleet and going back to Betazed. But, I don't know if that's what I want to do. I'm also checking into transferring ships, or even back to San Francisco. I haven't made up my mind about any of it yet."
Beverly obviously had not been prepared for that. "You're leaving??!!! What does Will have to say about that?" she demanded.
"I I haven't told him yet," she admitted sheepishly.
"You're planning on leaving and taking his child, and you haven't told him?"
"Well, actually, I haven't told him about the baby either."
With that, Beverly stood up. "What? Deanna, why? You had a few days to tell him, and you haven't?" She looked closely at Deanna, noting her sorrow, but also something more. "Deanna, you are going to tell him about the baby, aren't you?"
"I I don't know. It's "
"Deanna Troi don't you even start. You have to tell him! Are you out of your mind? It's his baby! You have to tell him," she practically yelled at her.
"Look, you don't understand," Deanna began. "It's complicated.."
"Deanna, there is nothing complicated about this!" She was shouting
now, as she made her way to the door. "He is going to be a father. He deserves
to know. You owe him that. I can't believe this. The biggest crock of
out of the mouth of the most sane, reasonable person I know." She was standing
in the open doorway now, staring at Deanna. "You tell him, Deanna. If you
don't I will."
And she began to walk away.
Deanna stared after her. "You are my best friend. You couldn't do that to me!" But as the words left her mouth, she knew Beverly had meant them.
Days later, Beverly had sensed no change in Will and Deanna's relationship. She was guessing that Deanna still had not told him about the baby. So, that afternoon, she took the opportunity to talk to Will herself. He was just entering the gym as she was leaving. Grabbing his arm, she pulled him aside.
"Um, Will. Do you have a second?"
"Sure, what's up Bev?"
"Well," she started, "have you talked to Deanna? Recently?"
He grimaced. "Not this again, Bev. You know she won't talk to me. So, no, I haven't."
"Will, I know you're hurt." At his surprised look, she continued. "But trust me on this, you have to talk to her. Go to her, make her talk to you. If she won't, well just let me know. But talk to her Will. Promise me."
"Okay." The urgency in her voice had taken him aback, and so he had agreed to her request. He went into the gym, more confused than just moments before.
After his workout, Will headed back to his quarters to shower and change. Once done, he steeled himself for the task ahead. He walked just feet down the corridor and stood. At her door. After hearing the chime, there was no response.
"Computer, locate Counselor Troi."
"Counselor Troi is in her quarters."
He rang the chime again. Still no response. So, he entered the code, and proceeded into her apartment. He looked around, not seeing her anywhere. That left the bedroom, which he made his way toward. Upon entering, he still saw no sign of Deanna.
"Computer, locate Counselor Troi."
Again the response was "Counselor Troi is in her quarters."
And that's when he heard her. She was in the bathroom, and it sounded as though she were getting sick. Will gently opened the door and peered around, to find Deanna, sitting in a heap on the floor, her head over the toilet. He rushed in.
"Deanna, are you okay? What's wrong?"
In surprise, she looked up at Will, but was quickly pulled back to her task at hand. After another few heaves, she felt steady enough to stand, as Will helped her, and offered her a glass of water. She accepted it, rinsed out her mouth and brushed her teeth. The whole time he stood there watching, in silence. When she was finished, she turned to him. "What do you want, Will?"
"Well, I wanted to talk to you, but I didn't realize you were sick. I we can talk some other time." He turned to leave, but was surprised by her grasp on his arm. She led him to her couch, and they both sat.
"Are you okay? I mean, we can do this later, when you are feeling better " he trailed off as she shook her head.
"I'm fine Will, just feeling a bit under the weather. You're here, so let's talk."
"Well, I'm not really sure what we're supposed to talk about. I mean, Beverly she asked me to come." He stared into her eyes, and saw the quick flash of anger there, but it was gone just as quickly as it had come. "She said I needed to talk to you."
"Was that all she said?", she questioned.
"Yeah, that was it. So "
maybe you should go." She started to stand, but he pulled
her back down. Looking into his eyes, she could the love he still had for her,
and it almost tore her heart from her chest. She quickly looked away.
But, just as quickly, he placed his hand under her chin and turned her so that she was facing him. Their faces were centimeters apart, and she found herself being pulled to him almost magnetically. Their lips met, and it was the same feeling igniting within her as it had a few short weeks ago. When she eventually pulled back, Will took the opportunity to speak first.
"Deanna, Imzadi I love you. I've been thinking of nothing but you these past few weeks. I've been miserable without you. I don't know what to think. Maybe you're unsure of how I really feel for you. I don't know. But, I love you. I want to be with you. Hell, I I want to marry you! Does that prove to you that I love you, that I would never leave you? Is that what you've been so afraid of?" The words just streamed from his mouth, almost of their own will. He couldn't believe what he was saying, but he knew he meant every word.
Deanna stared back at him, a single tear falling down her cheek. "Will, wait. Before you say anything else there are things you should know." She paused, waiting for him to acknowledge her, and when he did, she continued. " Will, that night you're right. It was beautiful. I have never experienced anything like it before. It scared me, something so strong. Will, we had bee suppressing our feelings for each other for years. And, as strong as out bond had become, I knew I couldn't suppress it ever again. So, rather than have that happen, I chose to protect myself by walking away from you. I had hoped that would make things easier. It didn't." When she had finished, she looked again to his blue eyes for some response. When he didn't say anything, she continued. "It didn't make things any easier. In fact, things are much more complicated. More so than you know."
His hand reached out an cupped the side of her face as he spoke. "I knew you were scared. So was I, but what we have is too special too rare to let anything stand in its way. You know that as well as I do, Deanna. Why didn't you tell me all of this before? Why did we have to go through this hell?"
"Will, I don't know what I was thinking. I just Well, I really haven't been myself of late. That night shook the core of my being, Will, and that's not something I am used to, not something I am comfortable with. IT scared me, so I ran. I know it was a mistake. I should have told you."
He leaned closer to her and places his lips to hers for a sweet, short kiss. "Well, now you have told me, and now we can move on, right? I love you. I want to be with you. And, scary as it is, I meant it when I said I wanted to marry you." He smiled widely at her, watching to gauge her reaction. She smiled back, but there was still a degree of reserve there. "Will, there is something else. I should have told you. I just, I was so shocked, so scared I " He watched as she garnered the courage to continue. "Will, that night we made love we also well, we also made something else." He stared at her, completely baffled by her words. She could tell by his look that he didn't understand, so she tried again. "Will, I'm pregnant."
There was no way to classify the look on Will Riker's face at that moment. If you could wrap confusion, anger, joy, shock, love, and frustration up into one expression, that's what was written on his face. Deanna sensed all of it. "Please don't be angry with me. I was scared, Will. I -"
"How long have you known?" he asked.
"A little over a week. At first I wasn't going to tell you, Will. I was just going to leave, go home, or to another ship, and just not tell you. I realized, though, that I had to tell you, I just hadn't figured out how to do it. That's why I wanted you to stay. I wanted to talk to you, too."
He just stood there, staring at her. She was having a difficult time reading him. "Will, please say something. Anything."
"I...well. I don't know what to say." He was so confused. ~She's pregnant. With my baby. I'm going to be a father. Or am I? What does she want? Does she want to be together?~ The thoughts swirled through his mind until he finally gathered enough composure to say something coherent.
"So, what now? Do you want the baby? Are you going to keep it? Are we going to do this together? Are we going to be a family? Do you " his voice caught, "do you love me?"
Deanna sobbed openly as she answered. "Of course I am going to keep this baby. I want it. It's your baby, our baby. I love it already, Will. Just as I love you. If you will still have me, I want to be with you. As a family. All three of us. "
Tears were streaming down Will's face as well, as he moved closer and unleashed a searing kiss on her. "I love you, Dea. I still want to marry you, and now we have even more reason to do so," he joked. "We're going to have a baby "
She laughed at the shock and joy she sensed from him. " I think, Will Riker, That we are going to be fine." Their heads came together in a kiss that never seemed to end.
- - - Epilogue - - -
They both sat with tears running down their faces, staring into the tiny face before them for the first time. As Will held his son, he knew that there could be nothing more right in the galaxy.
Beverly approached them, smiling as she asked. "So, how did our little guy do? Did he eat alright?"
"Yes, he did. He seemed to know instinctively what these were for," Deanna gestured at her breasts, laughing.
"That's my boy," Will joked.
They all laughed, and Beverly finally broke off. "Hey, you two have been keeping it a secret for long enough now. What's his name?"
"We're naming him after his father," Deanna answered. "William Thomas Riker III. We're going to call him Trey."
"The third, Will I didn't realize you were a second?"
"Yeah," he answered. "I was named after my grandfather."
"Well, Trey you are a cutie even if you do look like your dad. Be good, and Auntie Beverly will come check on you in a little while." She turned and left to check on her other patients.
Will walked over to Deanna's bed and sat down next to her, still holding his son. You know, I think everything from here on out is going to be just fine."
*****For those who don't know, Trey is a nickname for anyone who is a "third" in a family. I think if comes from the latin word tre, which means three.