by Kate

DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns everything but my imagination. No infringement
SETTING: Post-Insurrection; Deanna's POV

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There is a wonderful word in Yiddish, "Beshert." It has the meaning of "intended" or "destined." While it is often used to describe two people who seemed destined to come together, it also is used to refer to a string of events that are meant to happen. I think that the concept of "Imzadi" carries, beyond its meanings as set out by Peter David, also both meanings of "beshert."


We've been out of the Briar Patch, that notorious corner of a quadrant in space, for nearly two months now. That region of space proved the reason for its reputation: a lot of emotions and passions were unleashed among the crew once we entered the Patch. Fortunately, virtually all the crew was affected favorably. Especially, I must add, two officers with whom I am intimately familiar: Will and myself.

Will Riker…He entered my office nearly two months ago saying he "needed some counseling" and then ended up kissing me in a way he hadn't since our time together on Betazed. Although when he first came in I sensed his affectionate feelings were closer to the surface than normal, the passion that flowed from his lips took me totally by surprise. So much so that I was nearly speechless; all I could come up with was "Yuck, I've never kissed you with a beard before." I cannot believe I've ever said something so lame to anyone!

I had assumed that soon after we left the Briar Patch, his passion -and mine, for that matter- would cool. Neither has happened. He steals a kiss in the corridor when no one is looking. I deliberately run my leg against his under the table during staff meetings. We sit in the darkest, most remote corner of Ten Forward, shoulders rubbing and hands intertwined. The tickle of his mind in mine is incredibly erotic. Not only can we not keep our hands and minds off of each other, neither of us even want to.

We have even resumed a more intimate relationship, although very discreetly. And, after we have made love, I often find myself thinking how we could have deluded ourselves into thinking we should continue to keep our innermost true feelings for each other neatly put away in the interest of being able to serve on the same ship. I not only don't want that any more, I can't do it any more. The joy of his being fills me, whether I am in his arms as we make love or sitting on the Bridge carrying out my duties. I don't want to live without that wonderful completeness he gives me any more.

And yet, as I think over the whole course of our relationship, beginning with our meeting at Chandra Xerx's wedding, it amazes me. Who would have thought so many years ago that we would end up together, not only bonded as Imzadi but together as lovers and professional colleagues? Was it just a collection of fortuitous random events, or something more?

I firmly believe that nothing that happened from the time Will left Betazed until now was an accident. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Perhaps there is an inexorable, if not immediately knowable, course of events that flow from becoming Imzadi. My path from then to now surely seems to prove it.

I remember when I was at university. I loved my studies in psychology. That field has always had a natural fit for me. But the jump from university major to Starfleet Academy cadet…was that just my rebellion against my mother and her obsessions with the Houses of Betazed and her relics, the Sacred Chalice of Riix and the Rings of Betazed? There's no question that I felt strangled by what I saw as empty traditions and that I wanted my own path. And, as it turns out, my mother rebelled against her own mother by marrying my father. The negative energy one generation directs to the one before it certainly seems inherent in every parent-child relationship.

But was this all it was? An attempt to forge my own path? As I look back on it now, I don't think so. There were many ways I could have pursued a career in psychology, some of them without even leaving Betazed. And, even had I determined that the only way to travel such a road was by studying on Earth, certainly there were other ways to do it instead of entering the Academy.

I insisted to myself at the time that it was based on my desire to explore beyond the stars of Betazed and those of my father's home planet. But I surely could have traveled the galaxies as a civilian psychologist. Many civilians space-travel all the time. Entry into Starfleet was not necessary to achieve either goal.

No, the real reason had nothing to do with those stated goals. Though I did not know it then, it had to do with him - with my Imzadi. It wasn't career goals or a yearning for star travel that brought me to the Academy. It was, instead, the unspoken draw of destiny, the destiny that demands the completion and realization of the Imzadi bond. Entering the Academy was the first of many steps of fate forged by my bond with Will so long ago in the Jalaran Jungle.

And consider my posting to the Enterprise after I graduated from the Academy. If I hadn't been posted to this ship, I would not have met up with Will again. And when Starfleet was considering implementing the idea of a Ship's Counselor, the Enterprise was not the only ship that was contemplated for the pilot effort. And yet, the Enterprise was chosen - and me for posting on it.

I came on board before Will took up his post here. I knew that Captain Picard picked Will, sight unseen, out of a list of 50 highly qualified candidates. Was the fact that Will was chosen for posting to the Enterprise purely a result of Captain Picard's rational analysis of Will's service record? Or was Captain Picard acting unknowingly under the control of a fate he didn't even know existed?

That one thing or the other could have happened randomly, independent of the force of destiny - this I could accept readily. That both things happened without rhyme or reason, and yet brought Will and me back together after several years of silent separation - this I do not believe. This confluence of events was, I see now, no accident.

In one of my courses at the Academy, I read about the Terran physicist Albert Einstein. He was once quoted as saying, "God doesn't play dice with the universe." Since I wasn't really raised with Terran religious beliefs, I can't attest to that. But I do believe in a variation on that statement: "Fate doesn't play dice with the universe." At least when it is fate stemming from the bond of Imzadi.

Every step I have taken from leaving Betazed to resurrecting my intimate relationship with Will has had a seemingly inscrutable necessity to it. The necessity is no longer hidden. Each step has just been a piece falling into place as the bond of Imzadi has gradually drawn Will and me to its inevitable union of souls and bodies.

No, what happened recently was not the Briar Patch. This wonderful, delirious and delicious reunion of my soul with his was the destiny set out for us all those years ago when we first made love on Betazed and merged not only our bodies, but our souls as well. It is the destiny of Imzadi.

I do not know where the next step on the road will take us in our relationship. But I feel no anxiety about it. I know that our bond will take us where we need to be, if we but open ourselves to following its imperatives.

Troi out.