by Kate

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

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a companion piece to "Destined," written in response to a suggestion from Mriana. Like "Destined," this story revolves around a lovely Yiddish word, "Beshert." The word means "destined," and is often used in connection with two people who are meant to be together. Alternatively, it is used to suggest that something was fated to happen. With out giving away the story in "Destined," I spun out the first meaning of "Beshert" by having Deanna examine the nature of her relationship with Will. This time, it's Will's turn.


Last night, I made love to the most incredible woman I have ever met. Incredible in every way I can think of… The way her body molded itself perfectly to mine. The way her mind reached into mine and stimulated it so deliciously. The way she caressed and pleasured every erotic inch of my hungry body. The way she smelled and tasted. The way her soft, warm skin felt against my hands, my body and my lips…

Deanna Troi… Even the mere thought of her name pulls me back into the universe of passion we crafted together last night. I know I have duties to attend to today, but I have no desire to be anywhere else but with her, in her welcoming arms. Carrying out my responsibilities today has been tough, because I just can't keep my mind on my work. In fact, I've been so distracted that Captain Picard has criticized my inattention more than once today. And it happens this way after every time I've been with her. Definitely not my usual style!

Now, I've known more than my share of women over the years. Hell, it isn't for nothing that I've been nick-named "Will-the-Thrill" Riker. You name it, I've probably done it. So I know how great it can feel with a good lover. But what I'm sharing with Deanna is not remotely like anything I've had with any other woman. The passion I feel when I'm with her is off the Richter scale.

I know the Briar Patch has nothing to do with it. At least, not any more… At first, Deanna and I just assumed that we were spinning out of control like everyone else aboard the Enterprise because of the effect of that sector of space. But then we left the Briar Patch. And my passion and hunger for her didn't.

It feels so right when I am with her. It's not just that she's the consummate lover - which she is and always has been. Hell, all those years ago on Betazed, I never would have known she'd never been with a guy if she hadn't told me…

It's more than all that. She fills me with a feeling of completion deep in my soul. I feel whole when I'm with her and pretty near half-baked when I'm not. And I love the sound of her voice… her low, melodic voice. And her laughter… It warms my heart to hear her laughter…

And even that's not all of it. Because I know we are Imzadi, and that connects us in ways unlike anyone else. But this is more than just being each other's "first," each other's "beloved," each other's soul mates. No, it's more that there is this feeling I have when I am with her that she is a haven to which I've been drawn over the years, like a moth is drawn to the flame.

And it began all those years ago at Chandra Xerx's wedding on Betazed. I remember attending that wedding with Wendy Roper, a nice enough and available gal. It wasn't like I had to go looking anywhere for an attractive woman. I mean, Wendy wasn't lacking in that way either, a fact I could hardly miss since we were all naked. Still, when Deanna came out, my heart nearly stopped. And then she turned her head towards me… It wasn't just her eyes on me that I felt. It was her mind calling out to me. Almost as if she was beckoning me in some way to join her…

As she's moved through her life since then, she's lured me in some ineffable way to follow her. I mean, just look at the facts. Was it just happenstance that I was the one who found her in the Jalara Jungle after she was kidnapped by that Sindareen? Was it a fluke that I was chosen to be posted on the same ship that she already served on? That she was there waiting as I stepped out of the turbolift, a newly minted member of the Enterprise crew? Or that she was the one who was there as Dr. Pulaski brought me back from the brink of death? Always, she was there… there waiting, standing as a beacon beckoning me safely homeward.

All those years, we fought -- I fought -- the inevitable. Whenever my need to draw closer to her would break through the wall of our deliberate denial, she would tell me, "Not while we're serving on the same ship." And I would tell myself yet again to ignore the gut feeling I had of being a piece of metal attracted by a magnet. I'd tell myself that it was all in my mind, that I was just having another surge of hormones and that I should just get over it.

It was never hormones. It was never just in my mind. And I should never have ignored it. All these years of restlessness. So many nights of finding that any port in the storm that I sought out left me dissatisfied and still hungry. All the while missing what my soul really needed. No wonder it never felt like I had enough!

I'm no philosopher. And I'm certainly no psychologist. But these last few weeks have shown me a truth I never admitted to myself before: there are forces in the universe more mysterious than those uncovered by all the scientists. Forces that operate beyond our understanding. One of these is the magnetic attraction one person uses to pull another to him or her through time and space, over many years and over expansive distances. I'm certain this is true, although only my heart can verify it. Deanna has drawn me to her from when we first met on Betazed until this very moment.

After all these years, I know I've finally found the safe harbor my heart was attracted to. It's a feeling that reminds me of a few lines from an ancient Terran poem I learned in grade school. It said something like, "Here he lies where he longed to be, home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill." And now that I'm finally home, I never want to leave.

Riker out.