“Journey to the Past” Rating: PG

Authors: Jazzy and D. Destiny

Timeline: Post Nemesis, series canon

Summary: Part 1 of a series Deanna’s reflection on events in her life.

We don’t own Star Trek of its characters only the idea of this story.

Journey through the past is copyrighted to Disney…blah blah enjoy

“Journey to the Past”

Slowly rocking her precious baby girl to sleep Deanna Troi-Riker walked over to the long window that encompassed the softly lit room with shadows of stars striking by at light speed. Singing softly to her daughter the words of a song long last forgotten…

Home, love, family there was once a time

I must have had them too

Home, love, family I will never be complete until I find you

…..hmmm mmmm…When further words eluded her she continued humming on the melody, trying to recall the lyrics. Looking down into the face of the one person -other then Will- who meant the most to her. ”I love you so much little one," she murmured and shifted the little bundle so as not to wake her, unconsciously moving her closer to her heart.

She sat down in the rocking chair given to her by Beverly and Jean-Luc, not long after she and Will had informed them of her pregnancy. Leaning her head back she allowed herself to remember where she learned the song her mind was so desperately trying to grasp.

Her father used to hold her in this same position and sing the very song….


“Okay, Little One time for bed we can’t have a daughter of the Fifth House not getting her beauty sleep now can we?” Lwaxana Troi playfully taunted her daughter.

“Mommy can’t I stay up a little longer pwease?" Turning to her mother with big black, pleading eyes the little girl begged.

"Deanna you know I already let you stay up late as it is, now if you go up stairs and get ready for bed I’ll see if Daddy will sing one of those old Earth songs that you are so fond of."

"YAY!!!" Yelled little Deanna as she raced up the stairs of the Troi mansion.

Deciding to get a head start on her father, Deanna tried to sing what part of the lyrics she could remember and when she disappeared down the hall her clear voice was still whispering through the empty hall ways of the Fifth House Mansion “One step at a time, one hope, then another…..“


“Oh I wish you could have known him little one, he was the first man I ever loved in my life.” Deanna lightly kissed the eyes of the little angel lying in her lap; she then stood up and walked over to the window again, with the baby snuggled tightly in the crock of her neck. Sometimes Deanna wondered if her father or mother would hold her like this at night instead of laying her down in her crib.


"Daddy!!! Can you sing it pwease sing it? Pweaseeeeeeee." Laying in her bed, ready to go to sleep Deanna wanted desperately for her father to sing her favorite song again. Even at the age of seven she knew the song by heart. She might not have understood the words at the time, but when she would wake up during the coming week the words would help her through a tough and turbulent time.

Picking up his loving daughter into his arms Ian Troi walked slowly to the rocking chair in the corner of the lavender colored room and sat down.

“Dea, sing with me this time?" her father asked.

“Okay daddy, but why? You never asked before.”

“Little one, one day I’m not going to be here to sing to you so I want you to remember this song in here," he pointed to her head.

“Where will you be, if you're not here?” she asked him not understanding what he meant.

“I will be where Grandma and Grandpa are.” he answered, knowing his daughter understood what had happened to her Nana and Poppa.

The girl grew silent and he lifted her chin with his fingers as he always did when she was sad and told her, ”Little One…., Deanna, I will always be in there and in here," as he pointed to her head and her heart. Ironic how the beginning of that very song began with ‘heart’, as they sang it together for the first and -sadly- also the last time.

Heart don't fail me now

Courage don't desert me

Don’t turn back now that we're here

People always say life is full of choices

No one ever mentions fear

or how the world can seem so long

or how the world can seem so vast

courage see me through

heart i'm trusting you

on this journey to the past


Remembering that time, caused long past tears of pain and sorrow to come boiling back to Deanna. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open that night, but I so desperately wanted him to stay longer for some reason, she though to herself. A tear ran down Deanna’s face as the memories of that last night with her father played in her head.


"MOMMY?!?!?!? WHY CAN’T I FEEL HIM?! WHY CAN’T I FEEL HIM MOMMY?!" Exclaimed a frustrated and scared little girl as she ran into her mother’s open arms. "Shhhhh little one, I can‘t feel him anymore either." Lwaxana said through her tears, almost choking on the words. "WHY MOMMY WHY…it’s just like..." she sniffled "it’s like when ….Nana and Poppa…." Deanna trailed off hugging her mother tighter.

"…..shhhhh little one you don’t have to say it I know." Lwaxana soothed her daughter until she was fairly sure Deanna had calmed down enough to understand her words. There was no use in keeping the truth from her and to allow little Deanna to believe her father would come home, when it was sure he wouldn't. “He’s gone little one.” She whispered eventually and watched her Little One's heart break along with her own.

"NO, he’ll be back tomorrow right mommy? Daddy is just playing a game right? He’ll be back." She said, belief in her own words rising with every second. "He has to come back." She stressed.

Hugging her child closely all Lxawana Troi could muster was a soft no.

Deanna tore away from her mother "YOU’RE LYING!" she exclaimed and ran out the front door sobbing in anger and hurt.

Lwaxana was left alone, wanting to go after her little one but knowing that right at that moment her daughter hadn't yet acknowledged reality and was hurting too much. Deanna was so fond of her father. He was really the only person on the planet who truly understood her. Her dreams and desires. Her wonder over everything around her.

Lwaxana had no way of teaching her half-human child about Earth or human customs and the one man that could have, had now died in a freak accident. The one man who could make Deanna feel better when she had been teased at school for not being a full telepath. The one who had sung her to sleep every night since her birth. Deanna's Daddy half of her family. Her husband, her Ian...the pain inside her was almost too much to bare, but she would have to. Ian Andrew Troi would expect no less from his wife.


Wiping the tears away, the half Betazoid cuddled the sleeping form of her baby, as she stirred. Her precious child must have sensed the change in her emotional state. She walked out into the hall and into the bedroom she shared with her husband as more words made themselves heard in her mind.

Somewhere down this road

I know someone's waiting

Years of dreams just can't be wrong

Arms will open wide

I'll be safe and wanted

Finally home where I belong

Deanna sat in the lounge chair in the corner of the room, settling her sleeping beauty once again against her chest. There had been many times during her childhood that she had wished she could lay in the arms of her father again. His arms comforting her, always making her feel safe and wanted, protecting her from the hurt of others

~The hurt of loosing Will.~

She would have given just about anything to have him there then; the moment she realized that Will wouldn’t be joining her on Risa was probably the worst moment in her life after loosing her father. It had been so long ago now, but the event still brought back hurt. Even though she and Will were now married and had a beautiful little daughter, that moment seventeen years ago, still played in her mind. Deanna had felt as though she had lost everything that was ever given to her; home, love and the start of her own family had been taken away before it had even happened.


When she arrived on Risa she had expected Will to be there, greeting her with his arms wide open. But he wasn’t. She waited for two days believing he was just late and that he would show up. Her Imzadi wouldn’t forget about her…would he?

"Excuse me sir, but do you know when the next shuttle from Earth is scheduled to arrive?" she asked the ensign behind the desk.

"The next shuttle from Earth won’t arrive until eight hundred hours tomorrow morning ma’am," was the plain reply.

As she walked back to the hotel she came to the realization that --as hard as it was to accept-- William Thomas Riker had forgotten about her. Entering their --her-- hotel room, that he had rented for an entire week, Deanna noticed the light blinking on the computer console: there was a message waiting for her.

Hopefully a message from Will, maybe he’s going to be on the shuttle tomorrow morning. She sat down and accessed the message. It was from Will. She smiled relieved as his face appeared on the screen. His eyes as blue as ever.

The smile on her face faded, however, as she heard what he was saying.

Hi Dea,

I have some good news and some bad news. I know your probably wondering why I’m not sitting next to you instead of on the other side of this computer screen. I have a lot to explain to you so when you get this can you contact me via subspace? I love you Deanna and I would never intentionally hurt you. Talk to you soon, Imzadi.

Love always, Will

Sitting back in her chair Deanna pondered about what he meant by 'intentionally' hurting her. “What was the good news? And what was the bad news? “ she murmured to herself.

Deanna straightened her back and sent a subspace message to Lieutenant Riker on the U.S.S. Potemkin. Concern flooded through her being when the message was rerouted to the U.S.S Hood. Strange now, why would he be on the Hood?

“Hi, Deanna I’ve been waiting to talk to you all day,” he said it like there was nothing wrong with him not being here. She noticed that on the top of her console it read 'Lieutenant Commander Riker, William T.'


“I’ve been waiting to see you all weekend Will. Why aren’t you here? Why is it that you are on the Hood and not the Potemkin.? Since when did you become a Lieutenant Commander?" The question stumbled out her mouth before she could stop them and her heart throbbed furiously while she waited for her Imzadi to answer her.

“That’s what I’ve been meaning to talk to you about Dee. I..”

“You received a promotion and you aren’t coming to meet me on Risa, am I right” Tears welled up in her eyes.

“Partly so, I had to take it Dee. Starfleet Command offered me the promotion after my last away mission, I couldn’t pass it up for anything. Honestly I’m sorry Dee, but I don’t think we should get married right now maybe in a few ye…..”

“Years?!," she couldn't believe he was actually saying that!

"So what am I suppose to do Will wait around for you until your ready? I can’t do that. We were supposed to spend the rest of lives together, but I’m not even that important enough for you to come and at least tell me face to face. Do you have any idea as to what I had to go through to make it here to Risa?" Deanna forced herself to be angry, to override the hurt she felt at his rejection. She wouldn't break down in front of him, she wouldn’t give him that pleasure.

"No, you don’t, you have NO idea. You say you care for me, but I know now that Starfleet is your 1st priority and I thought that when you asked me to marry you that was knocked down to second place, but apparently not. Now I have to go home.. back to Betazed… to my mother who will undoubtedly say 'I told you so' and all you can say is 'I’m sorry'?!” Forcing away her tears as she looked away from the screen.

“Imzadi I’m sorry,"

“OH PLEASE, if you understood the real meaning we would not be having this conversation RIGHT NOW."

“Deanna!! I know your hurting. I want to be with you, but you knew Starfleet was all I ever wanted until I found you, but even still when they presented me with the promotion I couldn’t turn it down not for anything…not even to marry you. Look we can get married later I still love you, I will always love you. Remember what you told me? That we will always be together in here," he pleaded, pointing to his head, "please don’t be angry Dee.”

“How do you know something else won’t come up in a few months or years that will prevent us from being together again? I only have three months left at the University and who knows where either one of us will be in a 'couple of years'. Will we’ve drifted apart these last six weeks. Mother was right, maybe it was just a fling and now it's over and we should get on with our lives. You have the Hood and I have psychology and maybe somewhere down the road our paths might cross again. If Starfleet makes you happy--"

“You make me happy Dea--”

“Apparently not enough….if Starfleet makes you happy then I’m happy for you.” she stated some what lovingly. Despite the hurt growing inside her she managed to give him a slight smile.

“Dea, stop trying to be the psychologist! I know you have to be hurting right now I know your angry, but don‘t ignore it for to long, I know, I’m the cause and if you don’t ever want to speak to me again then so be it. I just…I just…wish things could be different.” He finished on a sad tone.

“I wish things would have turned out differently too Will, but I could never stop talking to you, we are Imzadi remember.”

“Yes I’ll always remember, but I have to get going now Dee my shift starts in ten minutes. Can I give you a call sometimes?”

“Yes, Zysata Neta Will." She spoke to him quietly before severing the link.

Deanna released her tears finally and it took her twenty minutes to regain her composure enough to get up and move to the bedroom.

“Guess I better start packing its going to be a long ride back to Betazed." She remarked snidely.


Arriving on Betazed four days later Deanna Troi walked slowly up the path to the Troi Mansion. She didn’t sense mother near and figured Lwaxana was most likely at another one of her diplomatic meetings. Crossing the high hallway slowly Deanna notice a bouquet of flowers and a small box waiting for her on the table. The note dangling from a big blue rose read:

Little One,

Welcome home, I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to greet you. Another social event that required my present, I will return later tonight if you want to talk. Remember I will always be there for you Deanna even if we don’t agree sometimes.

Love always your mother.

Of course she would know….why wouldn’t she Deanna thought to herself.

Opening the box Deanna pulled out what seemed to be a music chip. Wondering what could possibly be on it she walked up the stairs into her room. After placing her things down she sat down on her bed and slipped the chip into the music console on her night stand.

Music slowly began to fill the huge room with a familiar rhythm. Something from her childhood, she recognized, as the words began to fill the air

Heart don't fail me now

Courage don't desert me

Don’t turn back now that we're here

People always say life is full of chooses

No one ever mentions fear

Deana lay back on the covers of her bed and held on tightly to her old stuffed elephant her father had given her for her fifth birthday. She willingly let the words fill her being and the music sooth away some of her pain.

Or how the world can seem so long

Or how the world can seem so vast

Courage see me through

Heart I'm trusting you

On this journey to the past

Somewhere down this road

I know someone's waiting

Years of dreams just can't be wrong

Arms will open wide

I'll be safe and wanted

Finally home where I belong

Well starting here, my life begins

Starting now, I'm learning fast

Courage see me through

Heart I'm trusting you

On this journey to the past

Those few lyrics changed Deanna’s whole perceptive on her life. She realized that she had to stop living her life for everyone else. She had to stop living for the needs of her mother or putting her life on hold for Will Riker. Yes she would cry a little and hurt, but the hurt would go away in time.

She would to fulfill her plan of becoming the first psychologist to serve aboard a starship. Nothing her mother or anyone else would say would change her mind. Deanna Anastazya Troi would be a different woman after this night. But first she would finish listening to the song her father use to sing to her oh so many years ago.

Well starting here my life begins

Starting now I’m learning fast

Courage see me through

Heart I'm trusting you

On this journey to the past

Later that night, Lwaxana walked into the Troi home and was almost instantly bombarded with her daughters thought and feelings. After setting her things down in her office, she took the long emotional trip up the stairs to her daughter’s room. She had to find something encouraging to say to Deanna. Although they had parted on bad terms when Deanna had left for Risa, Deanna was all Lwaxana had and the reverse was true for Deanna.

~Little One, mommy is home may I come in?~ she sent to her crying daughter on the other side of the door. She only referred to herself as 'mommy' when Deanna was emotional distraught.

After what seemed like a long moment Deanna replied to her mother with a soft ~yes~

The eldest Troi walked over to the bed and sat down at the foot-end, waiting for her daughter to look at her.

~Mother you were right go ahead and say it.~ The defeat in her daughter's voice shocked her and even though part of Lwaxana Troi relished in the fact that she had been right, she hated seeing her baby like this.

~Little One,… there comes a time when even an old aristocratic woman knows when her words are not needed.~ Pulling her daughter into her arms Lwaxana kissed the top of Deanna’s head and wiped away the fresh tears streaming endlessly down her face.

~Deanna I‘m going to tell you something promise me that you‘ll listen ok?~ a slight nod from Deanna was all the confirmation she got, but if was enough.

~Deanna I know you’re hurting right now and that’s understandable after what has happened, but you have to remember that you and Will are Imzadi and no Starfleet promotion or Starfleet vessel can break that bond. I know what you’re thinking and I understand completely...your father and I were Imzadi as well~

At this point Deanna rose to look into her mothers eyes and aloud she whispered, "how come you never told me? That’s why you haven’t remarried yet…"

~Shhhh Little One let me finish,~ Lwaxana interrupted. ~He still loves you Deanna that will never change. He has been --and will be-- going through a lot. Meeting you is only one aspect off his life. Like yourself he’s going to have to learn not to live for the expectations of others. He will have to make peace with his father and with loosing his mother at an early age. William Riker is a troubled young man. You have to stay friends with him at least. I don’t read your mind often, but I know that you still care about him. That is why you couldn’t say goodbye.~ 'Zysata Neta' Deanna knew, meant -loosely translated-, Until Next Time. ~Believe in your heart Deanna because if you are your father's daughter, like I know you are, you already have the courage to pull through. ~

Kissing the top of her forehead again Lwaxana Troi tightened her hold on her daughter and sent her love and reassurance.

~Will you sleep with me like you did when….when Daddy passed away. It made me feel safe.~

~Oh of course Little One, what are mothers for? Now I’ll go change and you get ready for bed.~

When she returned to her room Deanna was already fast asleep . So Lwaxana slipped under the covers and cradled her daughter close to hear heart. The only movement from Deanna was the content sight and an occasional sniffle. Speaking aloud Lwaxana whispered to the Gods,

“Please, watch over her, she is all I have."

The next morning Deanna awoke to find her mother still asleep next to her. Sliding quietly out of bed she walked to her bathroom. Looking in the mirror she tried to wipe away, now dry, tears that continued to fall during sleep. After jumping into the shower and putting on a simple oversized sweat suit she quietly descended down the stairs, so as not to wake her still sleeping mother.

“Good morning Miss Deanna“, Mr. Zelo her mothers current servant spoke quietly. Startled, Deanna turned quickly and then smiled and replied, “good morning”. Her emotional state had to have been affecting her senses.

“Mr. Zelo you can go back to bed, as a matter of fact take the day off. I can get whatever I need or my mother, plus mother is still asleep. I don’t think she’ll be up for a few hours.” Inclining his head slightly the almost 8 foot giant turned and walked, ironically, silently away.

Going to the replicator, but then opting to make it the “old fashion way,” Deanna prepared herself some hot chocolate.

Walking outside she sat down in the swing chair on the porch. It over looked the gardens of the Troi estate. Deanna remembered how she use to run and play with her father or she and Chandra running deeply into the woods to tell each other secrets, but most of all she remembered that’s where Will first said that he loved her. Coming back to reality Deanna through her half empty cup of hot chocolate to the ground and stood up abruptly.

“Damn YOU!!! Will Riker she screamed aloud. Going back through the house and out the front door.”

Meanwhile, upstairs Lwaxana awoke with a startle, jumping out of bed she ran downstairs. Catching a glimpse of Deanna walking angrily down the path. Most likely to Chandra’s house.

~Deanna dear, what’s the matter?, why are you so angry?~

~Leave it alone mother I’am going to Chandra’s, I’ll be back later, oh yes I gave Mr. Zelo the day off. Goodbye, Mother.~

Walking the short distance down the street to the Xerx estate, Deanna sent to Chandra hoping she wasn’t busy.

~Chandra are you home?~ Chandra replied almost intensity.

~Dea I’m here, I have been waiting for you to come. I’ll be right there with some chocolate ice cream.~

Moments later she appears out the kitchen door, Deanna had taken upon herself to sit in their usual spot under the huge “oynka” similar to Earths weeping willow tree. The oynka tree had blue green leaves and smelled of vanilla and lavender.

Slightly smiling at the sight of the ice cream Deanna leaned back again the tree‘s trunk taking her bowl in hand. After two or three spoons full. Chandra wanted to know what was seriously wrong.

~Deanna tell me what’s wrong? I sensed that you were extremely upset all last night. I’m sorry I couldn’t come to you, but I was at that stupid gathering. They wanted at least one daugther from all 12 houses there.~

A loud Chandra spoke jokingly, Don’t make me invade your privacy, so talk to me.

“Chandra, I don’t think I can stay here.” she stated dejectedly.

“Well we can go to the park or the falls, we don’t have to stay here.”

“No Chandra, I don’t mean here literary, I mean I don’t think I can stay here on Betazed. Everything reminds me of him.”

“Oh I’m sorry Deanna, well won’t you be leaving in a few months anyways? I’ m sure you can last that long.”

Chandra didn’t want her best friend to leave before it was actually time. Deanna had asked Chandra to come and join Starfleet with her, but Chandra’s mother died shortly before they graduated high school. Chandra, being the only female, had to take over as Daughter of the Third House.

“I don’t think I can Chandra, I can’t even sit on my porch. All I hear is his voice. Its like I can hear every time he spoke, whispered, or even yelled the words, I Love You. I miss him so much.”

All Chandra could do was comfort her best friend reinsuring her that everything will come out for the best at the end. After a few moments Chandra suggested that the two go for a walk in her garden being that Will had never been there.

They spoke about life and how it had changed since their childhood. Chandra would be getting married next year to her betrothed husband and Deanna would…well Deanna didn’t know where she would be. The only thing for sure was that she would be somewhere on a Starship hopefully.

After two or three hours Deanna decided it was time for her to go home.

“Thanks Chandra, I’m glad I have a best friend like you. I better get going though, I gave Mr. Zelo the day off.” laughing softly.

“Oh no and you left your poor mother there alone. That should be a funny sight.” replied Chandra picturing the all mighty Lwaxana Troi trying to turn an oven on.

“Yes, I better go to make sure she hasn’t burnt the house down.”

Giving each other kisses on both cheeks like Betazoids usually do, they both parted but only after Deanna send to Chandra, ~Come by tomorrow ok?~


Walking into the house Deanna found her mother sitting in the living room watching a holo-movie.

“Hi, mother, I’m back.”

“Deanna, Ah little one your back, come sit over here I’m watching this delightfully funny holo-movie.

Recoiling a bit from the childhood nickname her mother adopted from her father, Deanna decide to go ahead and watch the movie with her mother.

“I’m, sorry I was angry with you this morning mother, I was just frustrated and I didn’t want to bother you. I know it didn‘t come off as such, but its true.”

“Don’t worry,” touching Deanna’s nose with her finger, ”I knew, but I’m glad you at least spoke to somebody.” she replied with a smile

“So care to tell me what made you break one of my favorite mugs this morning?

“I’d rather no….’ Deanna started to oppose.

“Little One, you can tell me”

“Ok, but pleaseee stop calling me little one. I am not seven anymore.”

Getting up from the sofa Deanna started to paste the floor, gathering her thoughts.

“Mother everything reminds me of him, I can’t even go into the garden, mother, to even sit in the swing!…its just to much.” Falling on to the over size sofa in the living room Deanna began to cry again.


“Mother, I can’t even go to my sacred places, I took him to all of them. Everything is going to come back. I have to leave. I‘ve decided to just leave ”

“Leave?!? What do you mean leave, where will you go?” exclaimed Lwaxana.

“I only have two classes left to take, I can probably take them on earth. After I finish I’ll be assigned to a ship.”

“Deanna, you only have three months left why can’t you sta…” Deanna cut her off.

“NO!!…I can’t stay, it will be to hard. As much as I’m going to miss you mother I have to do this for me. Can you understand that?. She pleaded to her mother.

Deanna was expecting a huge fight from her mother, but received the total opposite.

“Little One, I understand, I probably knew it was coming,” making that last statement more to herself then to Deanna.” Taking Deanna’s hand in hers Lwaxana Troi padded it and told Deanna to try and stay happy. Hugging her daughter Lwaxana and Deanna stayed what way for the remainder of the evening.

~!~ in the present~!~

“That, Little One, was when I decided to start my live again.” I, Deanna Troi, had a lot of guts for someone of only 22 who had never left Betazed with exception to attending the academy and medical school. And of course Risa.

“Oh now your awake? Well I guess I have someone to talk to now instead of talking to myself.”

“Do you want to hear the rest? I guess that toothless smile says it all. Well you know after I left for San Francisco, I received the first of many communiqués from your father. I told him what I was doing and he said nothing. Better for him not too because I wasn’t looking for his acceptance. So getting back to what happen with your mommy all those years ago….”

~!~in the past~!~

“Ensign Deanna Troi reporting back from educational leave at the University of Betazed.”

“Ah, Miss Troi we have missed your presents in the last year and a half, its good to have you back.” Sensing her old professors/Commanding Officer’s delightful demeanor Deanna relaxed a little. She also sensed that he was confused, but delighted never the less.

“Its good to be back sir.” she replied happily.

“So, what have you been doing on Betazed, going to class I have to imagine. Most student would have taken at least another year or so, but you were always bright as a child nothing has changed.”

Deanna wanted to really tell him what she was up to, but common sense told her this wasn’t the time nor the place for such discussions.

“Yes, I do enjoy my craft.” She stated calmly.

“Well, I have some great news, remember the secret project that I was telling you about before you left for Betazed?”

“Yes, you were trying to have Counselors assigned to every starship with a crew of over 600 and all galaxy class ships with families.”

“Yes, well I’ve got some news earlier this month and StarFleet has granted me a case trial. So I will need your help, if its okay with you.”

“Oh yes, I would be honored to help.”

“Great, who knows you might be the first Counselor assigned to any ship.”

“I doubt that, sir, there are so many others, older then me, more experienced, I’m sure Fleet will consider them before me. I haven’t even severed aboard a vessel yet.

“Experience and time isn’t the only consideration, Miss Troi, talent and potential are also considered and I would bet that you are one of probably two or three people with real Counseling potential. You posses the ability to consume one’s trust in you. Not many people can say that they can do that. Just look at the work you did on Tam. Deanna, one day a lot of people will owe their life to you. Besides being a ship Counselor you will be a top notch officer. I believe that whatever Captain is granted the privilege of having you on board will entrust his or her life with you and that of his the crew.” Now we have a job to do Counselor.

“I.. I.. Really don’t know what to say sir, I’ m speechless.” she replied astonished.

“Just do one thing for me.” he asked seriously.

“Yes” she answered.

“Prove my words correct, Will you.”

“I will try my hardest. Uncle Michael.”

“Good that’s what I like to hear from my favorite niece”

Later that evening, after arriving to her one bedroom apartment that she decided to rent instead of living in a Starfleet issued dorm-type room for ensigns assigned to earth, Deanna began to unpack the rest of her belonging. Although, there wasn’t much to unpack she took care in making sure everything was placed according to her liking. Reaching into the storage container to make sure she got everything, her fingers brushed up against something soft. Grabbing a hold of it, she pulled it out. Suddenly recognizing it. It was the head-piece she use to wear as a child during her ballet recitals.

“How did this get in here” she asked herself, forgetting that she saved almost everything that was of importance to her from her childhood. Putting on the headband she began to turn and spin around the room. Still remembering how happy dancing had once made her feel. She was suddenly interrupted by a beeping on her console. Hitting the acceptation button before looking to see who it was from, she was surprised when Will’s face appeared on the screen.

“You appear to be in a happy mood today.” he replied with a smile.

Snatching the band from off her head she sat down.

“How did you find me? I didn’t leave a number with mother yet.” she said sounding annoyed.

“ You gave Starfleet’s records the number and address, all I had to do was look it up.”

“How smart of you Mr. Riker.” rolling her eyes.

“That’s Commander Riker, Ensign Troi.”

“Well since you want to be formal, “COMMANDER Riker” she emphasized on the Commander, “My formal name is “Ensign Deanna Anastazya Troi, Ph.D, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed, so when you address me in the future Commander Riker I will expect you to use it in it‘s entirety.”

Staring back at the screen she awaited his reaction. When a smile creased across his face she became even more annoyed but, laugher burst from both officers.

“Deanna if I knew that you liked being addressed with full royal entitlements I would have used them from the beginning. I’ll have to watch myself next time “Princess” with an added wink of the eye.

Will knew how to press her buttons. Knowing she hated being labeled as any kind of royalty he would poke fun on purpose. Loving the way her anger played across her delicate features. How every nuance of her features screamed rage.

“How are you Dea? I heard that you left for Earth sooner then originally planned.” he asked trying to play coy.

“Yes, I decided that I could take the last two classes here on Earth while I finish my training for Counselor.

“Dea, How are you in training for a position that doesn’t even exists as of yet. I haven’t heard any plan for Starfleet to even review it again. Don‘t you think it would be a waste of time for you to even…”

“Look, I hope you haven’t called me to give me some advice on what I should do with MY career as a Starfleet officer. For your information William, I was hired by Starfleet to head up a new research team. We will study the effects of long term exploration with large crew complements. Addition to families and other non Starfleet personal. I will be giving the finding of the research with my Uncle in about six months. If you care to come and hear it you are quit welcome.” she stated with extreme conviction.

“Look, sorry I didn’t know..” Will tried to apologize.

“Well, William I seem to know more then you do. You of all people should know that I love counseling. I want to make a career out of it. I thought you understood that.”

“Deanna I have no doubt that you won’t, I was just stating some what ifs.”

“Will, if we all lived on what ifs, we’d all be running in circles not believing in ourselves or in one another.”

“I believe that you will be a great captain one day.” she stated.

“I believe Deanna, what you will be the best Counselor Starfleet will ever have .”

Silence grew between the both of them for a few brief moments while each digested and comprehended what the other just said.

“I miss you Deanna” William said suddenly. “It’s so hard falling asleep at night. Wondering where you are or what your doing. I even think sometimes that I probably made the biggest mistake of my life. I regret it with every passing minute.”

Looking back into the eyes of the man she loves, Deanna grew speechless. She never expected him to poor his heart out. She could see it in his eyes that he was hurting and that he was truly sorry. Wanting to hold him close, Deanna final spoke the five words that that she wanted to say since they began the conversation, “I miss you too, Will”

“You do, I thought you would hate me and that we would never speak again. Deanna when you said , 'Zysata Neta', I thought it was Betazin for Goodbye or have a nice life. I felt like dirt for making you feel that way. The look in your eyes was that which scared me the most. I don’t want to loose you Dea. I can’t,.. I need you.”

He needed her? Deanna was taken aback by his last phrase. Remembering what her mother told her a few weeks back, “….You have to stay friends with him at least….”

“I love you Imzadi” he spoke to her softly.

“As I do you” she replied softer. “I’ll always love you Imzadi”

With that, all anger was forgotten. Yes hurt, fear and confusion still remained but anger, animosity, and bitterness seemed to have evaporated away.

They both spoke softly, “Rabeem.”