Lessons Realized


Title: Lessons Realized
Writer: Jayna
What: ST-TNG, R/T
Warning: Shamelessly Positive (lol!)

Rumors were running rampant about the torrid "new" love affair between
Commander Riker and Commander Trio. Deanna smiled to herself as her ears
picked up on whisperings with her name and Will's. This was proof that rumors
were often a lot more interesting than the truth.

What was the truth? Yes, she and Will resumed their romantic relationship
after too many years. Yes, the sex was great. She was older and closer to her
age-50 "peak." Will was even more considerate and showed no sign of stopping.
Men, too, were like wine and grew better with age. She smiled at the thought
of Will's laugh lines. Her life was definitely more satisfying with the
resumption of their relationship.

Deanna heard the rumors that she dated Worf only to make Will jealous. She
heard that she pined away in a life without Will Riker in her life. This rumor
made Deanna a little indignant. For one, she was not the type to helplessly
spend her life in hopeless sorrow. Second, since she and Will had met, Deanna
was never without her Imzadi. They had a very special bond of friendship,
love, and trust. She always felt him in her soul and knew the comfort of not
being alone in the universe. They knew that they shared a great love that
distance and circumstance could not diminish. They had been the first to touch
each other's soul, and in their souls, they knew with time things would work

Things would work out? Why did they have to wait? When they were younger,
they fell in love with the passion of the young. Their love was real, but so
was their need to grow and explore the universe with the same passion. For
Deanna, that meant stepping beyond her mother's shadow and leaving the shelter
of Betazed. She had so much to learn and experience on her own. If she had
left her mother to live with Will, she would have traded one type of dependence
for another. For Will, that meant learning that being a good man was about
more than breaking career records. He had to learn to let in the pain of
others as well as to live for his own goals. When they met all those years
ago, they started on the true path to their destinies. Their lives were changed
and events were set it motion by their higher powers to provide the lessons
they needed to fully realize their purposes and promises of their Imzadi bond.

As Imzadi, Will and Deanna had an enduring bond of love. It was the lessons
they learned that would help their relationship to grow in respect, friendship,
and strength. While never doubting their importance to each other, they
explored other sides of themselves and their emotions. In Worf, Deanna found a
true friend and brave soul her shared her sense of being a product of two
cultures. While their romance had not been serious, they both enjoyed the
companionship and the feelings of being attractive to one another. When Will
grew to love Soren, he learned to look beyond the ideals of feminine beauty.
Deanna grieved with him when Soren returned to her own people, and Deanna
helped Will to realize his feelings for Soren were born of compassion, respect,
and openness to vulnerability. In time he realized his feelings for Soren were
as much a badge of honor as a battle scar or medal.

As the years went by, Will and Deanna continued to lean on each other and enjoy
each other's growth. Deanna finally learned how to be silly, and enjoyed it
immensely. She was even learning how to play jokes on Will, which provided
him with a wonderful partner in crime, as well as "victim." At last count,
Deanna short-sheeted his bed (thanks to Data for helping her with those old
academy prank files) and Will returned the favor by hanging one of her teddy
bears by a string from the ceiling. As she learned to be silly, Will
unfortunately learned to feel old. His eyes still had a twinkle, and his smile
was still broad, but he grew too comfortable. Deanna knew he dreamed of her,
as she did of him. The rumors also continued to swirl about "Randy Riker," but
if people examined carefully, any relations more than flirting were reserved
for non-crew members. With his Imzadi Will enjoyed the comforts of sharing
affection and support with his Dearest. He just felt to old to try!
for more
, and thought he was as happy as he was going to get. He resigned himself to
thinking there would be no more intense joy for him because he had missed his
chances. Deanna knew these feelings were a psychological response to the
intensity of his work and the constant threat of the Dominion. It frustrated
Deanna to know that Will was in a self-protective numbness, and knew that in
time he would venture out emotionally, or else she would have to intervene.
She just didn't know that the Briar Patch would do it for her.

So what changed? Deanna was flirting that day in the library. She felt light,
confidant and yes, like blowing off a little steam before concentrating on the
contact with the Baku. What affected Will? Was it the effect of the Briar
Patch (although they were too far to feel its effects) or did for once he
forget to feel old while he enjoyed the flirtation? Did he finally remember
that they were both young in the modern age? They could both live to be a
healthy one hundred ten years or more, comfortably raise children into their
60's, and forestall retirement until their 70's. Deanna would be able to bear
children into her 50's, thanks to her Betazed phase and physiology. Maybe he
wasn't so old.

Maybe it was the flirtation, or the magic of metaphysic radiation that prompted
Will to step back and look at Deanna with new eyes. He realized how Deanna
could comfort his soul, make him feel like no other, and make him laugh. In a
few moments, the lessons they had been learning in their lives came together,
and the Imzadi couple invited a mutual passion back into their lives. With
delight they realized how wonderful, and much better, the physical side of
intimacy was with their maturity and deepened bond of friendship and respect.
Will felt deep joy and again knew a giddy excitement for the future. Deanna
and Will never let go of one other, but now they were ready to realize all of
what they could be together.

No, thought Deanna. No need to feel sorry for time wasted. Time was spent
unfolding and teaching. She always had her Imzadi. They just had to grow up
enough for sex, she thought with a giggle. With a little skip she trotted to
the chapel, where in a very private ceremony Captain Picard would perform the
ceremony uniting Will and Deanna in marriage. If they should feel sorry for
anyone, Deanna thought to herself, they should feel sorry for their proper
captain who would be appearing nude in the formal marriage ceremony to be
performed on Betazed in two months.