"Entanglements" R/T (R)




        I bow to the holy gods of Paramount, who own just about

everyone and everything involved.


Special acknowledgment for G.G. the greatest goddess in all of

Greek Mythology


Note: This story contains adult subject matter. If you are too

young to be reading this, or do not wish to read a story about

consenting adults please erase this story or put it away until

you are old enough. Thank You.






1800 Counselor Troi's quarters


        "Happy birthday, Deanna." Beverly said walking in to

Counselor Troi's quarters. "Are you ready to go?" The two had made

plans earlier in the week to have dinner at Ten-Forward Lounge, but

Deanna was sitting on her couch looking at a PADD.

        "Don't remind me. Mother has managed to do that already.

'Another year older, another year unmarried'." She sighed, and closed

her eyes.

        "Well you have to admit, that is kind of humorous." Beverly

smiled, her blue eyes twinkling.


        "Seriously Deanna, you'd think by now your mother would have

given up. After all you are an adult. Especially at this advanced age

of yours." Beverly smiled again, than grabbed Deanna's hand and

pulled her up off the couch. "I know it gets harder to stand up

as you age."

        "You know Mother. As she so gently pointed out last time she

came to visit, I'll always be her 'Little One'." With that, Deanna

let go of Beverly's hand and brushed a black curl back over her

shoulder. The two of them left and walked to the turbo lift.


*  *  *


        When they arrived at Ten-Forward, Deanna was surrounded by

many of her friends and co-workers.  A table loaded with gifts was

off in the corner and Deanna found herself sitting at a table with

Guinan and Beverly next to her, across from Commander Will Riker.

Deanna secretly preferred sitting across from Will, rather than next

to him, because this way every time she would look up, she'd see his

blue eyes smiling back at her.


        "Counselor some more packages just arrived. I took the

liberty of bringing them to you." Data said, placing two wrapped

packages and a rather large basket in front of the counselor.

        "Thank you, Data."

        "Open them now, Deanna." Beverly said pushing the basket

closer to her. She couldn't wait to see what gifts her friend had

received. She had bought Deanna a pair of pajamas the last time she

was on Caldos, and was anxious to see the look on Deanna's face when

she opened it. Not to mention the reaction of Riker. And she was

very anxious to see what Will had gotten Deanna for her birthday.

She had asked him on numerous occasions, but he just smiled back at

her and winked suggestively.

        Deanna, laughing, started pulling the paper of the basket to

reveal a stunning bouquet of wild flowers. She sat there gazing at

them in awe and reached for the card, which was tucked behind the

petals of one particularly beautiful purple rose.  She read it

silently, put it down and reached for the next.

        "Well, who are they from?" Beverly demanded, trying to grab

the card. Deanna picked it up again, and held it tightly in her hand.

        "They're from Tom." She said rather reluctantly,

surreptitiously watching Will.  She hadn't wanted to mention who the

flowers were from; she knew he still grew uncomfortable when his

transporter double was mentioned.

        Will lost his smile for a moment then gestured to the still

high pile of gifts that separated them. "Deanna," he said, "If you

open everything this slowly we'll be here until your next birthday."

        "Very funny, Will." <I'm sorry> she thought, and opened the

next present.

        "Betazoid wind chimes, from Chandra." She quickly reached

for the next package.  Slowly the pile of presents dwindled until

there were only three left. The crowd in Ten-Forward had also thinned

out, until the only people left were Beverly, Will and Deanna. She

unwrapped the larger of the three packages and started blushing

furiously after lifting the lid of the plain white box. Quickly she

closed it again.

        "Let's move on to the next one," Troi said, trying to change

the subject.

        "No, wait," Beverly said, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

There is more underneath. "

        "Underneath what?" Will asked. "I couldn't see anything from

over here. What is it?"

        "Yes, Deanna, look a little bit closer. There is something

else under the tissue paper."

        Glaring fiercely at Beverly, Deanna opened the box again,

and lifted up a pair of pajamas. They were white and made out of

Egyptian linen. And, as she discovered while lifting them out of the

box, virtually transparent. Underneath the pajamas, Deanna

discovered, was a matching robe. That too, was obviously not meant

to be used as a cover. In fact it was so sheer that Troi found

herself looking right through them at and right at Will Riker.

        Across the table, one of Riker's eyebrows lifted practically

into his hairline. His gaze flicked through the pajamas to Troi,

imagining from memory how she would appear in them. The effect was

unbelievably breathtaking.

        Crusher smiled to herself. Aloud she said,

        "Enjoy them."

         But she was not looking at Deanna as she said that. Her

comment had been directed at Riker.

        Troi continued blushing while she folded them carefully and

placed the garments back in the box. Then she reached for the next

package. As she opened it, Deanna gasped both aloud and

mentally.<It's exquisite> was her first thought. She turned her

head away from the object laying atop a bed of tissue paper and

gazed into Will's normally smiling eyes. He wasn't smiling, yet he

appeared to be concentrating very hard on something.

        <I hope you like it, Imzadi> Suddenly Will's face broke into

a grin as he saw the stunned expression on Deanna's beautiful face.

They sat there staring across the table at each other until finally

the silence was broken by Beverly.

        "May I see it, Deanna?" she queried. Deanna nodded silently

but didn't take her eyes from Will's as Beverly examined the present.

It was a life size crystal replica of a purple orchid, native to

Betazed. Or that's how it would appear to Beverly.  What she didn't

know was that it was an exact replica of the flower Will had placed

behind Deanna's ear after the first time they made love in the Jalara

Jungle almost a lifetime ago.

        <It's beautiful...Imzadi> She thought back to him, with

tears in her eyes. Deanna's heart started racing. <But, what does

this mean>, she kept to herself.

        "I'm glad you like it, Deanna. Now, if you'll excuse me, I

have to go. I promised the captain that I would meet with him before

the staff meeting tomorrow morning."

        "Okay." She answered, still not able to speak, "Thank you."

        As Will got up to leave, he leaned over the table and kissed

Deanna gently on the forehead. He let his lips linger on her hair for

a moment, and walked to the door of Ten-Forward.

        "Wait, Deanna, you forgot to open this one. Will, come back

here a second. She missed one." Will walked back over to the table

and took the empty chair on Deanna's right. It was very late, Guinan

had vacated it hours ago.

        Beverly dug a small box wrapped in silver paper out of the

pile of discarded wrappings and handed it to Deanna.

        "Funny, this one doesn't seem to have a card attached, "she


        Deanna frowned slightly, then proceeded to unwrap the final

gift. Underneath the layer of ribbon was a small gray jewelry box.

She opened it slowly, and her eyes widened as she looked at the

contents of the box.

        "That's okay Beverly, there didn't need to be a card. I know

who sent this."

        "What is it?" Beverly asked, peering over Deanna's shoulder

to have a better look.  Laying on gray velvet was a the most exquisite

pair of earrings she had ever seen. They were made out of latinum,

with an overlay of green and purple gemstones, fashioned into the

shape of dragonflies.

        "So who sent them?" Beverly asked. She looked at Will, but

it was clear that he, too, had no idea as to the origin of this


        "An old friend of mine from Betazed. Jake." Deanna's lips

curved into a smile at the memory.

        "Jake?" Beverly questioned, "You never mentioned him to me

before. She looked at Will again.

        "Don't look at me." He said putting his hands in the air.

        "Jake and I grew up together, but I haven't seen him in

about... umm... three or four years. But he definitely sent them."

        "That's rather interesting. You haven't seen him in six

years and he doesn't bother to send a card along with the present."

Will said looking at the earrings and the at Deanna.  <Pretty damn

expensive gift, for someone you haven't seen in years> he thought.

        "No, you don't understand. The gift doesn't need a card. I

know that they are from Jake. Nobody else would send Dragonflies.

It's kind of like a symbol of something that goes back a long time."

She paused a  moment and said,  "I'm not explaining this very well.

It's a long story and it's getting late. I'll tell you about it

another time. Will, didn't you say you needed to see the Captain

tonight?" She asked changing the subject.

        "What? Oh... yes, yes I did. Well, good night. He kissed

Deanna again, this time on the cheek, nodded to Beverly, and left,

thoughts of another symbolic present drifting through his mind. <Why

didn't she ever mention this guy before?> He thought as he strode

toward the turbo lift.

        "So Deanna, tell me more about this Jake." Beverly asked,

gathering up a pile of boxes.

        "I met Jake when I was five and he was eight. His parents

were stationed to Betazed, as Scientific Researchers, and he moved

next door to me. From that day until he left we were virtually


         She was standing over the pile of garbage, getting ready to

send it to the recycler.  At the last moment she added Tom's card to

be discarded and laughed as Beverly tried to balance the flowers on

top of the boxes. Under one arm Deanna held the box containing

Will's present, the other hand grasped the jewelry box.

        "Do you have a picture?" Beverly asked, as they headed to

the turbo lift a short while later.

        "Yes, I do," Deanna answered. "Deck eight," she said as the

door closed behind them. They stepped out of the turbo lift and

proceeded to Deanna's quarters for the second time that night. Deanna

went into her bedroom, and came back with a photo PADD, while Beverly

stacked the presents on a nearby table.

        "Here he is. This was taken the last time we saw each other.

I'm afraid I don't have anything more recent to show you." She took

out a picture of herself and a young man with black hair and bright

green eyes, both smiling as they both tried to balance

themselves on top of each other sitting on  a table.

        "Deanna, he's gorgeous." Beverly exclaimed, her jaw falling


        "Gorgeous?" I'll have to tell him you said so. When we were

growing up he was quite the lady killer. I assume he has probably

kept that reputation in tact." She took the picture back and put it

away again. It had been a long time since she thought of Jake as

anything other than the little boy she remembered growing up with on

Betazed. Still there had been a time...  Quickly Troi turned her

thoughts back to the present.

        "Good night Beverly. We still have a meeting tomorrow

morning at 0700 hours."

        "Goodnight Deanna, happy birthday."

        "Thank you for everything." With that Beverly left, and

Deanna was left alone. She hung her present from Beverly in the

closet, next to another of the scandalous nightgowns her mother had

sent, and placed the earrings in her jewelry box, looking at them

once more before closing the lid gently. Finally she cleared off the

glass shelf above her dresser, and placed the crystal orchid upon it.

It glittered as though it was a star and looked perfect as the

centerpiece of the room. Giving the flower a last look, and a final

thought to Will Riker, Deanna fell into bed exhausted.


*       *       *

Six months later.... The Observation Lounge


         "For the next ten days the Enterprise will be venturing into

a relatively unknown section of space. It appears that the Cordelian

sector has become host to an anomaly which has recently been spotted

in several other areas before this." Captain Picard surveyed his

senior staff, who were all scattered around the table in the

conference room.  "We will be rendezvousing with the Starship Zane in

order to pick up an expert on this anomaly."

        "Captain, our sensors have shown that the wormhole is

changing course every 197 hours. That makes it one of the fastest

moving ever encountered." Geordi stated.

        "Precisely, Mr. LaForge. That is one of the main reasons why

StarFleet is so interesting in studying it. At this rate the anomaly

can cover more ground in two years than the Enterprise has since its

premier commission. However, it has appeared to slow down recently,

and the scientists wish to know why."

        "There are many possible explanations for the shifting

nature of the anomaly." Data said. His head cocked to one side and

his eyes started scanning back and forth rapidly as he retrieved

information. "For example, the anomaly may be slowing to avoid

debris from the last meteor shower in the Cordelian sector, or it

may be adjusting to the electrical fields of nearby planets, or..."

        "Thank you Mr. Data. Are there any questions?"

        "What are the potential ramifications to the Enterprise if

the anomaly changes course and encounters the ship?" Riker asked,

slouching back in his chair.

        "Very little, Number One. This as yet unnamed anomaly

appears to pass through many solid objects with little or no injury.

Therefore if we do come in the path of it, we shall remain unharmed.

Now, if there are any other questions..."

        "Captain, what is the name of the 'expert' coming aboard?"

Deanna asked, with a questioning look on her face.

        "Let's see," Captain Picard looked down at the PADD in front

him, "I believe the scientist is a Dr. Jakob Thornton."

        "Wait a second. Dr. Jakob Thornton? Wasn't he the scientist

who charted the DragonFly anomaly about 8 years ago?" Geordi asked.

"That discovery was phenomenal." He turned towards the rest of the

crew. "This man has been considered a genius in terms of theory. His

observations after previous interactions have also lend more

credence to the cause of these wormholes' appearance in space."

        "Yes, Captain, Dr. Thornton has had much success in

predicting where wormholes will appear, and has been testing the

probabilities in which they will end up at the same destination."

Data added.

        "Extraordinary." Picard said, looking back over towards

Deanna. "Counselor is there anything else?"

        "Yes, Captain," Deanna said smiling, "Requesting permission

to be in the transporter room to greet Dr. Thornton."

        "Permission granted. Commander Riker and I will accompany

you. A colleague of yours?"

        "Something like that." Riker turned and looked at her

sharply. Troi sat there smiling enigmatically.

        "Very well, Counselor. Number One?" Riker turned back

towards Picard. 

        "Yes Captain?"

        "Our estimated time of arrival for Dr. Thornton is at 1500

hours." With that Picard adjourned the meeting. As he was walking out

he said "I had no idea we are to have such a celebrity amongst us."

 *       *       *

         Something about this whole situation was not sitting well

with Will Riker. Perhaps it had been the expression on Deanna's face

when she was smiling. Perhaps it was the fact that he felt like a

complete fool for not renewing his relationship with her.  Her.

Counselor Troi. Deanna. Imzadi. No matter how he thought of her it

didn't seem to matter. He still thought about her. At the beginning

of the meeting he had to struggle in the conference room not to stare

at her sitting next to him. He couldn't help it though.  Every time he

was in a room with Deanna he couldn't help but be aware of her. The

way were her luminous onyx eyes would gaze into his.  The way her

figure elicited memories that were better off left in the past. The

brush of her mind against his, and the way her voice used to chime

inside his head.

        Angrily he shook these thoughts away. <But she doesn't love

you anymore, you fool. Maybe if she did you'd be a hell of a lot

happier and not spend the greater part of your time moping around and

dreaming of her.>

        This wasn't all that was bothering him though. Lately Riker

had hoped to restart his relationship with Deanna. There had been

many moments since her birthday when he thought that maybe she had

wanted that too. Yet, every time he went to take the initiative

something would get in the way. First there was the night he asked

her to have dinner with him. It was a few evenings after the party,

and they had barely sat down when they were called to the Bridge

because Q decided to show up again. <Q. If he were really omnipotent

he'd bring the two of us back together and all would be right in the


        Then there was Worf. Ever since Captain Picard gave them Q's

version of the future, Riker had been torn between wanting Deanna

and the Klingon to be happy, or throwing his friend out of the

airlock for pursuing a relationship with his Imzadi. Then Worf was

transferred to Deep Space Nine, and Riker was secretly glad. He

could never look at the Klingon in quite the same way again.

        Riker kept pacing back and forth in his quarters. Finally he

came up with an idea.  <I know. We are going to bring the Enterprise

in to Starbase 379 for a system wide diagnosis in a couple of weeks.

I'll ask her to join me for shore leave on Betazed. It's only about

an hour away by shuttle.> Riker smiled to himself and left his

quarters to go the Bridge.


A little while later...


        Deanna Troi was also pacing, this time with excitement.  She

couldn't believe he was actually coming to the Enterprise. She

hadn't seen Jake in almost four years and couldn't wait. He had met

her for a two week shoreleave, the first she had been able to get

since serving aboard the Enterprise. It was during that time that

they had come to the mutual decisions to stay friends, rather than

remain as lovers. They still kept in touch, however. But, it had been

four months since she had heard from him last. He was always jetting

off to some sector of the galaxy in search of the unexplainable.

That was his forte.  <And he always excelled at the impossible> she

remembered thinking about the times she had been the impossible one.

        It had been about three months after her relationship with

Will Riker had ended.  Jake had left Betazed shortly before Will had

arrived, in search of the anomaly which had captivated him throughout

his studies at the University. Suddenly he was the expert. She still

couldn't believe he named it DragonFly. That infernal nickname he

stuck on her as a child and would not get rid of.  She smiled then,

remembering the way he cheered her up so many times in the past.

        Over the years, Jake had always been the one constant in her

life, albeit a silent one. She never mentioned her best friend to

anyone, preferring not to have to answer any questions about her

relationship with him. She had been putting up with her mother's

inquiries for far too long as it was. The two of them had been

friends since she was five; his parents had known her father for

years. From the moment they met they had developed a strong

friendship, being two of the few children on Betazed without

telepathic powers.  And since their parents were close they had been

thrown together at numerous functions while the adults were

entertaining ambassadors and other heads of state or StarFleet.

There was a time that neither one of them would have ever been

without the other. Then he left Betazed for parts unknown. And when

he came back almost a year later...

        <I was really a mess then.> Following her relationship with

Will, Deanna kept to herself and shied away from personal

involvement with everyone, including her friends.  Then Jake came back

and refused to let her spend all of her time studying.  Eventually

he forced her back out of her shell and made her talk to him. She

remembered recounting everything that had been kept locked inside her

one night at her family's house on Lake Cataria. They had sat there

on the floor talking from until the sun went down until it rose up

high again. It was then that Jake told her of the people he met

while he traveled and convinced her to go with him when he left the

next month.

        <Mother, certainly wasn't pleased about that, either.>

Deanna thought. <Not that she was happy with my relationship with

Will, either.> The only man she had ever really loved. Her Imzadi.

The only person who ever understood her feelings for Will had been

Jake, and even then his knowledge was limited to what Deanna had

told him. She had spoken in generalities when discussing Will, she

couldn't bring herself to talk about what it felt like to feel his

arms around her, or the way she would melt when his lips pressed

against hers. She could never have been able to describe with words

the look inside of those blue eyes burning into her soul when they

made love.

        Deanna sighed, stopped pacing at headed over to the

replicator. She didn't have any more appointments today, and had

about 20 minutes until she had to be in the transporter room. "Hot

chocolate," she ordered, sitting down on her couch. She desperately

wanted to be with Will, however she hadn't forgotten the hurt she

felt the last time they had broken up and was afraid to lose the

friendship they now had.  Yet, there were so many nights she lay

awake, remembering and fantasizing about her time with Will.  How many

times had she woken up thinking she'd find him beside her and was

always alone.

        She took another sip from her glass. Then there was Tom. <

The more time I spent with him, the more I wished he was Will.> It

had been following her brief relationship with Tom that Deanna had

finally come to a realization. She was no longer in love with the

dashing lieutenant who had swept her off her feet all those years

ago; she had been too busy falling in love with the Commander he'd

become. <If only.... oh Imzadi> She checked her chronometer, put her

glass in the recycling beam and left her quarters for Transporter

Room 3.


*       *       *


        "Captain, I am receiving the coordinates from the Zane."

Chief O'Brien said.

        "Lock onto those coordinates, Mr. O'Brien." Captain Picard said.

        "Aye Captain." With those words and a few motions by

O'Brien the transporter beam shimmered, and Dr. Jakob Thornton

materialized there. Captain Picard stepped forward from his

position between Riker and Troi and reached to shake his hand.

        "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Dr. I am Captain

Jean-Luc Picard and this is my First Officer, Commander William

Riker.  You already know Counselor Troi."

        "Indeed I do. Captain." Dr. Thornton answered smiling. He

stepped off the transporter pad and shook Riker's hand after

releasing Picard's.

        "A pleasure Commander." He turned to Troi, and offered

her his arm. <You and I have a lot to talk about, Dragonfly.> He

sent to her. She looked up at him startled and took his arm. He

was a good eight inches taller than she and always joked that she

flitted around under his head like a butterfly. Then after being

on the receiving end of her wrath on more than one occasion he

had remarked,  'with a sting like that you must be a dragonfly,

just as beautiful, but with a personal stinger you're not afraid

to wield.'

        Aloud, he said, "Well, Deanna long time no see."

        Captain Picard gestured to the door. "Shall we Doctor? I

imagine you would like to get settled before you start your

observations. Our ship is at your disposal."

        "Thank you Captain. That sounds wonderful. I'm sure

Counselor Troi would be happy to give me a tour." He looked at

Deanna who nodded in return and proceeded to walk out of the

transporter room still on his arm. Riker walked behind them and

wondered just how well acquainted Dr. Thornton was with his


        "On the way to the turbo lift the Captain excused

himself, saying he had some things to take care of on the Bridge.

The three of them remained on their path. Dr. Thornton had been

assigned to guests quarters on deck six, so that was their next

stop. After showing him to his quarters, Commander Riker departed

saying, "There is a weekly poker game in my quarters at 2000

hours tomorrow evening. We can always use another person. Do you


        "Yes, Commander. That sounds like an interesting way to

spend an evening. I do play, although I'm nowhere as good as the

Dragonfly here."

        "Jake." Deanna admonished.

        "Still it sounds intriguing. I'll be there."

        "Good. Will you coming, Deanna?" <Jake? This guy is Jake.

Oh no.> Riker thought. <Wait a second. Did he call her Dragonfly?

Wasn't that the name of the anamoly Geordi was talking about. He

named it after Deanna? And the earrings he gave her were

Dragonflies as well. Forget it Riker, you just lost.> Riker

somehow managed to keep all those thoughts from Deanna as he

asked her whether or not she would be attending the game as well.

        "I wouldn't miss it for the world. See you later,

Commander." Riker felt almost as if he was being dismissed. It

was quite obvious to him that Deanna had no intention of leaving

Dr. Thornton's quarters anytime soon.



        "So, do you want to talk about it?" Jake asked plopping

himself on the couch next to Deanna.

        "Isn't that supposed to be my line?" She responded, smiling 


        "Sorry Counselor, changing the subject won't help. I know

you too well for that." He ran his fingers through his  black

hair. It was no longer short, the way it had been when they were

growing up, now it was slicked back into a ponytail. "Seriously

Dragonfly, you're still not over this guy, are you?"

        "It's not as simple as that Jake." She said, sitting down

next to him and looking into his green eyes.

        "Of course not; it never is. However complicated it may

be, you love him and he obviously worships the ground you walk


        "You always did speak in clichés. And you were able to

determine this in the ten or fifteen minutes you may have spent

with him?"

        "I've always been a quick study. Besides you know you're

irresistible." <At least to me.>

        "Very funny, Thorny. You're right." She finally conceded.

        "When did you fall in love with him again? I thought that

after the whole twin thing you would have finally gotten him out

of your system and given some other innocent bystander a chance."

        "It's not a question of falling in love with him again.

It's more like I never really stopped."

        "Yeah. I kind of figured that by now. Has anything

changed since we spoke last?"

        "No. As far as Will Riker's concerned it's been over

between us for a long time." she said, holding back tears. Jake

put an arm around her and she put her head on his shoulder. <How

incredibly foolish must he be? There is no one more incredible

than Deanna.>

        Jake did not voice these thoughts. He didn't have to. And

so, they sat there for a long while in silence. They never needed

many words to communicate with each other. When Deanna had first

discovered her slight telepathic powers, Jake was the first

person she could ever send to. And since he was so attuned to

living on Betazed, after a while he learned how to send in

return. Deanna, however was the only one he could communicate

with telepathically.  He often seemed to read her mind as he was

doing now. They had known each other for over twenty years, first

as friends, then as lovers, and finally as friends again. During

all of that time their understanding of each other had never

changed. Jake knew that Deanna had never stopped wanting to be

with her Imzadi. It was about time she allowed herself to realize



2200 hours Ten -Forward Lounge


        After an evening filled with reverie, Deanna and Jake

went to out for a change of scenery. They sat at a table in the

back of the lounge, a gigantic chocolate sundae and two spoons

between them. It was late and there were very few people still in

the lounge. Guinan was once again polishing the top of the bar,

watching the Counselor with Doctor Thornton. They sat in silence,

but were smiling broadly and appeared to be having a very

animated discussion without saying a word.

        It was at this moment that Will Riker wandered in, having

just come off his shift on the Bridge. He sat down at the bar but

did not order anything. He glanced over at Troi's table, narrowed

his eyes and resolutely brought his eyes back to the bar. <You

know you should let go of her> he thought as Guinan walked over

to him. She had followed his train of vision and silently placed

a glass in front of him.

        "They look rather cozy." She said, picking up her towel again.

        "Tell me about it." He looked their way again and

realized that they weren't talking to each other. "Are they

communicating, or just sitting there?"

        "Oh, I don't know. Besides, it's not nice to eavesdrop."

The Hostess said, wiping at yet another invisible spot. "You

know, sometimes, it's not what is said that is important, it is

the action that matters." Guinan turned and went over to another

patron, leaving Will to wonder as to what the El- Aurian had



Entanglements R/T (R) 2/2

0515 hours


        Deanna Troi was exhausted. She had spent the remainder of

the evening reviewing the path of the anomaly with Jake. She had

an appointment scheduled at 0800 hours and was hoping to get some

sleep before that. She could barely keep her eyes open. They

hadn't realized what time it was because they were so caught up

in trying to discover the cause of the changing pattern. The

wormhole kept changing direction, yet almost appeared steady in

its fluctuations. It had been just like old times. And just like

old times, they both passed out on the floor. She rubbed her

neck. <That is definitely going to hurt later.>

         On the way to her quarters on Deck 8, Deanna almost

slammed into Will, who was on his way to the Bridge. He took one

look at her bedraggled condition and rumpled clothing and came to

one conclusion, <My God, she spent the night with him.> Deanna

was too tired to sense any adverse emotions from Will, so she

smiled and walked past him.<Damn, why did he have to see me

looking like this> she thought, aware how disheveled she must


        Troi entered her quarters and immediately collapsed on

the bed. The last thing she saw before she closed her eyes was

Will's crystal orchid twinkling at her in the darkness and

sparkling like his eyes. She was much too tired to realize that

just then his eyes hadn't been sparkling.


*       *       *


2230 Commander Riker's quarters


         "Counselor? How many cards do you want?" Troi looked down

at the hand that Data had dealt her. She saw two jacks, an ace, a

nine and a four. She put down those three cards and asked for

three more. The game was five card draw and she had been losing

steadily for the past two hours. So had Geordi and Data. The only

people who seemed to be actually profiting from the game this

evening were Will and Jake. They had managed to systematically

wipe out everyone but themselves.

        Troi noticed that the hand she now held was no better

than the one she had before.

        "I fold," she said. Once again, Data and Geordi followed suit.

        Riker glanced across the table at Thornton, who was

sitting next to Deanna. He looked the Doctor up and down, almost

to see how he would measure up as an opponent. At that same

instant, Jake looked up as well. For a split second, Riker's blue

eyes met his from across the table and locked. Unwilling to back

down, he replied,

        "I'll call."

        Riker showed his hand. A full house, tens over threes.

Jake sighed, a look of defeat in his glinting green eyes. Then he

nonchalantly placed his cards on the table.

        "Well, Commander it looks as though I'm about to separate

you from some more of your chips." On the table lay four deuces

and an eight. Leaning over to collect the pot he said, smiling,

"I do believe that is it for me. Thank you for the game."

        Everyone at the table stood. As they were walking to the

door Riker said, "I thought you said that you weren't that good."

        "I'm not. But everyone has a lucky night now and then, as

I'm sure you well know." This was said for Riker's ears only.

        Deanna turned around and looked at the two men

quizzically. She couldn't understand the emotions that were

radiating from them. She knew that Jake was somewhat smug over

his victory, but Will seemed angry and even... jealous? Before

she could say anything, though, Jake wrapped and arm around her

waist and started walking out of the room, forcing her to move

with him.

        "Goodnight, Will," she said. Jake gestured her forward

towards her quarters next door.

        "Goodnight Deanna." He said, leaning out into the

corridor. His eyes flickered to the arm around Deanna briefly,

and looked away. As he re-entered his quarters, Riker heard the

distinctive hiss of the door close behind Troi and Thornton. Will

resigned himself to the fact that there was nothing else he could

do, <At least for tonight,> and went into his bedroom. Throwing

himself on the bed, he was unable to sleep, picturing the two of

them together, and wishing he was the one who had followed Deanna

into her quarters. When he finally fell asleep, almost three

hours later Jake and Deanna were still in her quarters, curled up

on the couch and contemplating the joys and sorrows of love.


*       *       *


Five days later....



        "Are you sure you won't consider coming with me?"  Jake

asked as Deanna walked him back to the Transporter Room. The

anomaly was now headed for the uncharted Centurion Sector and he

was hitching a ride on a freighter near that area of space.

        "I don't think so Thorny." Deanna smiled.

        "Neither did I. Oh well. Besides, you've got something a

lot stronger than an anomaly to hold you here. Take my advice for

once, Dragonfly. Don't wait any longer for him to come to you. Go

to him." He lifted her chin in his hands and kissed her on the

cheek. She nodded back at him.

        "Thank you."

        " Hey, it's a two-way street remember."

        "I remember."

        "Good. Now go. Be happy."

        "I will. Take care of yourself, Thorny."

        "You too, Dragonfly."


        "Don't be a stranger." He stepped on the transporter pad

and shimmered out of sight. Deanna left the room and after the

doors hissed behind her, she once again found herself walking

straight into Will. He raised his hand to avoid her, and somehow

managed to get it tangled in her hair. Gently, he pulled his

fingers free from the midnight silk.

        "Maybe I should be used as part of the training programs

obstacle course." He said, grinning.

        "Or maybe I should watch where I'm going."

        "You've been busy. It's been a hectic couple of days..

        "Still that's no excuse." She remembered what Jake said

about not waiting for him to come to her and asked, "Would you

like to have dinner tonight?" She sensed that he was surprised,

and she also sensed something more. Just a glimmer and then it

was gone. She waited for him to answer her, but he just stood

there gazing into her eyes. Deanna felt a chill run up her spine

and her eyes locked with his. Finally she heard,

        <I would love to... Imzadi.>

Now it was her turn to be surprised.

        "Good," she said aloud. "My quarters, 1730 hours?"

        "I'll be there." He leaned over as if to kiss her on the

cheek, but Deanna turned her head and he wound up kissing her

lips instead. It started as a simple kiss, but quickly turned

into something more. They stood there, kissing passionately in

the doorway of Transporter Room 3. When they finally broke apart,

Will thought the heat sensors in the hallway must have melted.

And each of them knew instantly that tonight would be the

beginning of forever. With that one kiss their, hearts, minds and

souls were open to each other again.

        "Wow. What was that for?" He asked, more than a little dazed.

        "No special reason..." she smiled impishly, "Imzadi." <As

if you didn't know.> His smile grew wider and he kissed her again

before returning to the Bridge. Deanna leaned against the wall,

sighed and closed her eyes. "Thanks Jake." she said.



        1725 hours


        Deanna was rushing around her quarters like a crazy

woman. She wanted to make sure everything she had planned was

perfect. Dressed in a  sleeveless deep purple gown that clung

like second skin and was slit all the way from ankle to hip on

one side, she poured two glasses of champagne, and set them on

the table. The dress was satin , with a plunging neckline.  It

was backless and was held together by a clasp at the nape of her

neck . Her hair was up in a twist, with the exception of a few

stray curls, accenting the dragonflies which hung from her ears.

She glanced in the mirror quickly and spritzed herself with

perfume. At that moment the door chime sounded. She picked up one

of the glasses again, and said "Come in." Obediently the door

slid open.

        Will was standing there. He was dressed in a casual blue

sweater and khaki pants Just the sight of him made Deanna aware

of the ever-present void in her soul where her Imzadi used to

dwell.  He walked into her quarters and the door hissed shut

behind him. He looked her up and down, and she smiled at the

mental equivalent of his jaw dropping. She handed him the glass

of champagne and gestured for him to sit down on the couch. Then

she picked up her own glass and took a sip.

        <Come to me, Imzadi> she heard in her mind. She sat down

next to him and he took the glass out of her hand and on the

floor near the couch. He moved a strand of her hair away from her

eyes, then caressed her cheek. She looked at him quizzically

sensing that something was wrong.

        "What?" She asked, "Will, is everything all right."

        "No, Deanna, everything is not all right. I've spent most

of the past few months, hell even the past few years hoping we

might have a chance together and all of the sudden here we are,

no explanation or reason. Why do this now, Deanna?" He took his

hand away from her face and suddenly she realized what she had

sensed in him the week before. Love yes, desire, yes, but

something else as well.

        Troi felt tears well up in her eyes, but found herself

unable to speak. So she sat there in silence, looking up at him,

but he would not meet her gaze.

        Will stood up and walked over to the other side of the

room. He stopped near the wall and gazed at a picture hanging on

the wall. It was the carving of Janaran Falls which Tom had made

for Deanna while trapped on Nervala IV. Even after all these

months she still kept that picture. It made him feel ... he

didn't know exactly how he felt about it.

        Finally Deanna spoke.

        "I took some advice from a good friend. I probably

should've taken it a long time ago."

        "How good of a friend, Deanna?" He questioned. She

finally figured out what it was.

        "You, you are jealous of Jake?" She asked incredulously. "Why."

        "Why? Deanna, when he was here you spent every waking

moment with him, and most of the sleeping ones as well."

        "Wait a second, Will. You think that Jake and I... that

we?" She trailed off.

        "Is that so hard to believe, Deanna? The two of you have

been joined at the hip since he arrived."

        "Yes, but that is just because we haven't seen each other

in years. It was a combination of that and putting the past

behind both of us."

        "Oh. Thank God for that."

        "Will, most of the time Jake was here we were talking

about you." She got up off the couch and stood next to him.

        "Me?" He asked.

        "Yes, Imzadi." She put her hand on his shoulder. " Jake

and I have been friends since we were children. He helped me to

realize... that I've never stopped... being in love with you."

        "Deanna." He tried to silence her but she continued.

        "And even when I was with Tom, I couldn't help but wish

that he was you. The you that you had become, not the man that

you used to be."  She removed her hand from Will's shoulder and

started walking away from him. "You know, there was a time that I

wouldn't have to be the one to initiate something between us. But

I guess things have changed." She responded sadly.

        Suddenly, she felt Will right behind her. He caught her

around the waist with one arm and spun her around to face him.

Then she was in his arms. Will stood there stunned; he had never

thought about that. If anything he thought that Deanna was angry

with him because he wasn't Tom. He never dreamed the real reason

she had avoided him after Tom left was because she was still in

love with him. He thought she was angry because she was on the

Enterprise with him instead of Tom.

        Deanna abruptly pulled away from him. She looked almost afraid.


        "Deanna, look at me." He grasped her shoulders and wiped

the tears away from her eyes, and looked her in the eyes. "I love

you, Imzadi. I always have, and I always will. The past year has

been like a nightmare for me. I honestly thought you wanted

nothing more to do with me romantically. Especially after Tom

left. If anything, I've realized that you are still a part of me.

The best part. I don't want to go another day, wondering how you

feel or whether or not I should tell you that I love you. I'm

telling you know. And I'll tell you forever. I love you, Imzadi.

Always you, and only you. Forever."

        "Will." She looked into his eyes, which had never looked

bluer or more sincere to her. His gaze was liquid fire and it

burned down into the very core of her being, and into her soul.

He drew her head level to him and started kissing the tears away

from her eyes. He kissed his way down her cheeks and reached her

lips after what seemed a lifetime. The moment their lips met

their minds opened to each other and they were both swept away in

a tide of love and desire. Deanna reached up and wrapped her arms

around Will's neck as if to draw him even closer to her. Will

slid his arms from her shoulders and down her bare back. One of

his arms curled around her waist with his hand resting on small

of her back, as he bent down and easily swept her off the ground

with the other. He swung her around once, taking care not to

break the all-consuming, kiss. Then he carried her to the


        The doors hissed open then shut behind them. There were

no lights on but the room was illuminated by glowing statues

placed around it, and the ever present lights of the stars

shooting by outside the window.

        Will placed her down at the foot of the bed and she

kicked her shoes off. Without wanting to, they both let go of

each other's lips. Will touched her face gently then put his

hands in her hair, carefully pulling out the pins which had kept

it off of her face. He threw them on the nearby table and leaned

in to kiss Deanna again. Smiling seductively, she teasingly

pulled away from him.

        Will looked back at her confused, thinking <Maybe she

isn't ready for this after all.>

        As if sensing his thoughts, if not his emotions, Deanna

moved closer to him again. Unexpectedly, she grabbed the bottom

of his sweater and pulled it up and over his head. Then she

placed her hand on his chest and pushed him down onto the bed.

His legs, dangling off the bed, flexed and sent his loafers

flying across the room.. Deanna eased him back towards the

pillows and stretched out on top of him, the satiny fabric of her

gown slithering down his bare chest, and letting him know without

a doubt that she was not wearing anything underneath. This

knowledge nearly drove out of his mind, while his lips sought

hers again. Her mouth opened and eagerly accepted his tongue as

if it were her own. It quickly became a battle of wills with both

of them ending up the victor.

        Will kissed her again deeply, as he pushed them both to a

sitting position and reached into her hair for the clasp that was

hidden behind it. After fumbling around blindly for a few

agonizing moments he managed to open it, and slid the dress down

to her waist. While he was doing this, Deanna ran her hands down

his sides and slowly unfastened his pants and pushed them off his

legs until they were cast aside.

        Will caressed her breasts for a few moments, making her

softly moan and nip at his neck. She brought her hands back up

from his thighs and ran them up the hair on his chest and into

his beard, lightly stroking  his face. He reached around her

waist once more and managed to remove the rest of the dress,

until it lay in a puddle next to his pants. Underneath Deanna

wore a minuscule pair of black silk panties. Riker's eyes widened

in appreciation and maneuvered his body so that he flipped her

over beneath him. In one fluid motion he removed his briefs so

that they joined the rest of their clothing on the floor.

        He placed his hands on her hips and whispered, "I hope

you haven't grown too attached to these because they are about to

become unsalvageable," breathing heavily into her ear, then

softly biting her earlobe.

        She felt him grabbing hold of the sides of her panties

and groaned slightly.

        "Actually, I don't  wear them very often."

        This drove him over the edge. He remembered all of the

times in the past seven and a half years that she had brushed

past him on the Bridge or in a Turbo lift and wondered if she was

telling the truth. Quickly, he ripped them off of her and threw

the scraps onto the floor. For moments he just gazed down at her

in awe.

        "My God Deanna, as beautiful as you were twelve years

ago, you are even more exquisite now." He managed to say.

        Deanna chose to say nothing, replying instead with a

smile that spoke volumes to Riker's body and soul. She moved her

legs up and wrapped them around his waist, pulling him into her

so completely it was as if they became one person. Deanna buried

her face in his shoulder, crying out senselessly as he bent down

to kiss her breasts.

        Their hearts raced against each other, beating in the

same rhythm. They started to move together; slow and first and

then faster and faster until felt as though they were flying off

the bed. As Will placed one fiery kiss after another on her lips,

Deanna broke into sobs, raking her nails down his back and

buttocks as her body started vibrating in ecstasy. Will gasped,

tremors of pleasure coursing through his blood. They were kissing

so heatedly  that it was impossible to believe that they hadn't

set the bed aflame with their passion.

        Kissing her yet again, he whispered into her mind,

<Imzadi,>  putting all his love and desire behind it so that she

was overwhelmed. She returned, <Imzadi,> in the same manner; this

time it was he who was enveloped by her emotions. In that single

moment, their bodies and spirits fused together and they became


        Whether it was minutes, hours, or days later, they could

not be sure of, but finally they collapsed with their legs

entwined and their arms wrapped around each other. Riker tried to

move so that he would not be crushing her with his weight, but

Deanna's arms quickly pulled him back and cradled his face in her


        They lay there in silence, hands held together tightly.

Finally, Deanna allowed Will to move off her and she lay her head

upon his shoulder, his other arm moving lazily up her hip to her

breast, then slowly back down again. Slowly, they drifted off to

sleep, unable to do anything other than listen to their shallow

breathing and rapid heartbeats return to normal.


*       *       *


0500 hours


         Will awoke suddenly, his internal alarm clock warning him

that he had to be on the Bridge in an hour. For a moment he was

confused as to where he was, then he looked down and saw Deanna

sleeping. She was curled against him, her head and hand resting

on his chest. The sheet and his arm were tangled around her

waist,  and she looked positively angelic laying there. Riker

felt an immense rush of love for her flood his body, and tears

started to well up in his eyes as he gently moved a lock of hair

off her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open and gazed into his. She

took his hand and kissed it, bringing to her lips and allowing

them to linger there.

        She breathed raggedly, "Thank Gods, it's not another

dream..." She trailed off as he moved to gather her in his arms

and kissed her deeply.

        "Did that feel like a dream to you?" He replied, smiling

at her tenderly as he released her.

        She stretched and reached for him again. "I'm not sure,

you might have to convince me further, Imzadi."

        "Gladly." He ran his hands over her body, bringing back

the memory of the previous night, as well as promising even more

in store for the future. Deanna responded by arching against his

hand and gazing deep into his piercing blue eyes. The look in

them was filled with love and utterly erotic. She brought his

face so close to his that their visions began to blur.

        They continued as if it was the night before, and sleep

was a necessary but unwanted interruption, heedless of the fact

that they had a shift in approximately 45 minutes. None of that

mattered. There was nothing more important in the galaxy but each

other, and there never would be again. They were joined together,

forever... Imzadi.



 The End.