Dreams Differed

With the loss of Deanna's child, Will must find a way to give hope to her again...and determine where his dreams lie, as well.
Deanna Troi had endured many losses in her life. The death of her father and the near-death of her mother. And at the start of her career as ship‹s counselor on the Enterprise, there was the loss of her ›son" Ian, and the temporary loss of her empathic ability. Still none of those could add up to the amount of pain that the death of her child-a real creation of her own flesh and blood-had left her in. Deanna had suffered both emotional and physical damage since the miscarriage. Both her body and her emotional state had been put through hell, and then some. There were many days when she would experience erratic emotional mood swings, and others when she felt so fatigued, and exhausted-she dreaded even having to face the day. The worst part was that Deanna was slowly going into depression. She believed there was no one-absolutely no one-in the world that could understand what she had been through.
Beverly Crusher had given her sympathies for what it was worth, but it had not done much for her. Other members of the crew had attempted to be supportive and helpful through the counselor‹s time of grief, but nothing brought Deanna any closure. Even though the tragedy had happened almost two weeks ago, it was still fresh in her mind, as if were only yesterday. She still didn‹t feel...at rest with the matter. Deanna still felt that loneliness, the emptiness that comes with losing something so precious. And above all that, the one person that Deanna had been avoiding the most since then was the one person that had wanted to comfort her the most-her own Imzadi, Will Riker.
These days, the first officer of the Enterprise carried around a significant amount of sorrow in his heart. It wouldn‹t be obvious to anyone of course, other than the ship‹s counselor. He didn‹t make it a habit of letting everyone on the ship aware of his personal conflicts. Will thought that maybe he wouldn‹t feel so bad if he knew that somehow, Deanna was coping with the death of her baby. He‹d seen her throughout the day in the past few months, and she never looked...at peace, like she was constantly struggling to stay alive everyday. You could tell Deanna was still grieving, still mourning. Will understood, though. Maybe more than she even realized.
His life had been hard enough, trying to get through the past few years, standing back and watching Deanna leading the life he so desperately-but only secretly-wanted. After their mission with Chochran and the Phoenix, she had gone to further her study with psychology on Betazed for about two months. In that time-to his amazement-Deanna had met a professor at the university, gotten to know him quite well, and somewhere through the course of events that had happen while she was there, the two had become engaged to be married.
Will remembered the day she told him she was getting engaged. He had to force himself not to crack in disappointment while he listened to her describe the man who would soon be her husband. On the outside, he appeared absolutely thrilled and happy for her, but on the inside-and maybe she knew, who knows-he was miserable and heart-broken. Deanna was absolutely ecstatic. But there was no way Will was going to destroy her chance at the life she had always wanted by telling her how he really felt. It would have done nothing but complicate her life. Will had simply smiled and gave his blessing-not that Deanna had to ask, but because he was her best friend, if nothing else. And only three months ago that she had come to him once again, but this time to tell him-even before her finace-that she was pregnant.
Surprisingly though, it hadn‹t bothered him. Not like her wedding announcement. This was different. Will was truly, genuinely happy for Deanna and her upcoming arrival. In fact, he was thrilled. Will had hugged her, and held her tightly, expressing his joy for her and her future arrival. He brought his hands to her waist, and put his head to the side, against her stomach, as if listening for the child. Deanna had put her hands to Will‹s head as he did so, and the two had stood there for a few minutes, sharing a tender moment. Will looked up at her, and distinctly felt like kissing her, and even cry, he was so happy...as if she was his wife, carrying his baby. Except...he wasn‹t the father-to-be. She‹s chosen someone else for this role, remember? he had told himself. Will knew his feelings at that moment, and the way he had touched Deanna had been wrong. It wasn‹t his place. Not like he had always hoped it would be.
Deanna had sensed something wasn‹t right as he backed away from her. "Will?" she had said as she put her hand to his face.
Will put his own to hers, sighed, and smiled, "Deanna, you don't know how happy I am for you." He kissed her on the cheek, looked her over one last time, and then left.
Deanna sat back down on her bed. She remained there for a few moments thinking about what had just happened. Why had Will seemed so uncomfortable after touching her? Why was he in such a hurry to leave? It wasn't as if he was not happy for her...His emotions had made it very clear to her that he was. There was even a feeling of anticipation...something she had never felt from him before... Deanna's phychological intuition immediately told her, This is what he always wanted. A child of his own.
Will's mother had died when he was very young, even younger than Deanna was when she lost her father. And he had never really had much of a relationship with his father. His own chance at fatherhood would fill that empty space that was inside him, and in doing so, it would give him the opportunity to give someone else the love he had to wait a lifetime to receive. And even after all these years, Deanna knew in her heart that Will had always wanted to have a family with her. She put a hand to her belly, caressing it softly. Deanna exhaled and then sent to Will, I'm so sorry, Imzadi, and cried, the pent up guilt she had dispersed from her heart all those years ago returning in full force over her.
After about a week, Deanna began to go over all of the posible reasons for why she had really lost her baby. The physical, physiological evidence was reason enough for Dr. Crusher, who was used to accepting logic. But that just wasn‹t enough for someone like Deanna who dealt with things beyond logic for most of her life. It was never enough. Maybe it was too soon, she mused. They had-after all-only been married for a short while, not even a year. She had wanted to wait...
The continuous contemplation was useless. After each reason, she knew something else was hiding behind it. Deanna knew the answer was reflected in her eyes each time she stared in the mirror. Her loss was the result of avoiding the true interests of her heart...in other words, she had not conceived the child the one she truly loved...or so Lwaxana Troi believed. Her mother had warned her about a possible miscarriage because Deanna had chose not to marry her Imzadi, but she had not accepted it. As if it was supposed to be some sort of sign... Her loss could in no way, determine who she was supposed to be with! It was obvious that it hadn‹t. It had only made her hurt more and more.
But then again...could it? Once Deanna had lost her child, everything from there had gone downhill. Her 'husband‹ had asked for an annulement from the Betazed Council since he had believed in Lwaxana‹s preminition from the start. And since the miscarriage had come true, it was obvious to him where there marriage was headed. The whole affair had left Deana crushed, and not to mention humiliated. Everyone was amazed at the strength she had shown through it all. But not everyone was convinced by her tough exterior. Will Riker knew she was falling apart at the seams on the inside. And just the other day Beverly had warned her about falling into depression... Yes indeed, Deanna was beginning to feel very alone.
"Just fall into my arms, I'll take the pain away. Take my hand, and together we'll pick up the pieces and build a new future of love and hope..."
That night, Will paid a visit to Deanna's quarters. He found her sitting on the couch, with her knees hugged against her chest. "I would like to alone, please."
Ignoring her comment, he walked over to her and said, "Deanna, I know you're still empty inside. I can feel that, you know," putting a hand to his heart. Taking her hand in his own, Will said, "I want to help you fill that emptiness...if you let me. You need to heal, not hurt, Imzadi."
All the emotion she had withheld burst suddenly, over-taking her completely, "But I can't! I can't stop this...pain. It's still here, inside me!" Deanna gestured towards her abdomen, "I can still feel...my baby...inside, Will, even though it's left my body." She got off the sofa and wrapped her arms around herself.
Trying to collect her thoughts, she said, "You don't know how much it hurts to know that. To have to live with that emptiness..." she sniffed, "...to have to live knowing you can never have the one thing you desire most."
Will knew Deanna was also talking about her previous miscarriage with Ian. It pained even him to reall the memory. "The worst part..." she said interrupting his thoughts, "the worst part was that Mother said it could actually happen. I never even considered her advice. And then, I became so attached with something-someone-that now...I'll never know." Will, too, had tears in his eyes. Her pain was his, all due to their bond. He could literally feel what she was feeling. And it hurt, more than words could describe.
He only wanted to comfort her-take away all her grief and do anything in his power to let his beloved see happier days. As he enveloped her in a secure embrace, he whispered, "Whether you realize it or not, you're not alone, Imzadi. I could never give you the love you shared with your unborn child... And it saddens me to know that I'm not capable of possessing that..."
Deanna brought her tear-stained eyes to his and returned, "This isn't your fault, Imzadi." His gaze left hers for a moment as he bowed his head in regret. Then, Will said, "I just feel like I should've done more for you..." And without even considering his words, continued "I...could've given you...so much more." He looked up at her once again, and blue eyes locked with her dark depths.
She remained motionless, unable to say or do anything. her mind was in turmoil as she considered his words. What does he mean? There was more to it that just an expression of guilt. An offer, perhaps? "Will."
"Yes," came his quiet reply.
As if searching his soul, as she spoke she said, "Would you still...do that for me...if I asked?"
"I'll do anything if it means seeing you smile again, Deanna."
"Well then..." she hesitated, "I'm asking you now. I need a future...one where I can wake up in the morning and feel joy in my life, without any regrets, without this...sadness...in my heart. I know this is a lot to think about..." "Shh..." Will silenced her, "you don't have to say anymore. "Deanna, you don't know how much I've wanted to give you that future...to give you the future, and perhaps one day, the child you always wanted. I promise to do whatever it takes to give you all that and more, you have my word."
She looked at him, and saw the truth. He sealed his promise with a kiss, and so the future as Deanna Troi knew it, was reborn. Imzadi would endure.