"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
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
"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
"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
"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
Crusher smiled to herself. Aloud she said,
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."
"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
"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
<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
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
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
* * *
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
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,
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
"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.
" Hey, it's a two-way street 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.
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
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
"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.
* * *
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,