G....how often does that happen:-)

Short and so sweet it's disgusting.......Liana this is for you...first person, Deanna POV no less......And this will be the last time i write something where Riker is dormant....I personally can't stand a dormant Riker;-)

WARNING: don't read this if you've already had dessert.


<I Love you,> Three tiny words.....three tiny words when strung together create a direct and uncanny sensation that penetrates the heart, and reigns havoc on the mind.

"He's going to be fine Deanna, just stand back." Beverly Crusher's assurance came with a gentle, but insistent tug on my arm. I step back as ordered, watching him, so still, lying on the biobed, his face placid, a hint of smile on his slightly parted lips.

"He's stabilized, he just needs rest...his superficial injuries can wait."

I smile and nod to the doctor before settling in the seat at the side of the bed and studying his well being for myself. His cheeks are ruddy, scratched above his beard, his thick lashes dust over the shading under his eyes, one hand, with reddened knuckles lays across his chest, the other reaching towards me, palm up, as if he's asking for me to touch him.

I slip my hand in his, almost cautiously, then draw it away.

Why did you say it Riker....why....why now? I'm not willing to try this again, overlook your drive, your unbridled ambition, your unencumbered love affair with the stars.

Perhaps he thought one of us wasn't going to get off the planet, and his final ambition in life was to finally accept his feelings.....or voice them.

I press back in my chair and study him, recounting the complex matrix of feelings I seem to have for him. He's strong, sometimes harshly so, but I've relied on it, I draw on it, and depend on it. He's arrogant, uncompromising, with a drawn out plan for his life that will never yield. But then his flaws, his idiosyncrasies, mold him, shape him, not only into the man who once loved me, but the man he is now.......His imperfections, those things that hurt me once, are now part of his perfection......I have to ask myself what that means, if the things that once kept us apart have muted, diluted into something that transcends rational thought.

His hand still seems to reach out to me, I try again, slipping my hand into his, this time it closes unconsciously around mine.

We've been here so many times in our lives, in this place where time and mortality make themselves known...Why don't we ever remember this feeling once the crisis has past....why can't we remember that it's always smoldering just below the surface, tiny embers, damp ashes ready to ignite with a single breath.

I shake my head at the irony, stand up, and brush a light kiss across his forehead, the familiar and comforting scent of him inspires me to hold it longer then I planed.

His eyes open, the vibrant blue shaded by the glassy, drug induced tint.

"Hi," He says, wetting his lips, offering a crooked smile.

"Hi" I repeat.

The dormant hand on his chest raises slowly and rests on his forehead, "Did I tell you that I love you?" He asks.

"It's OK Will.....I understand." I try to keep my voice light, rid it of the deep, almost disturbing thoughts I've been having.

"Mmm," He says, his eyes rolling back in his head, "I meant it," He adds as his lids close over his struggling eyes.

I have to smile, not only at the simple, uninhabited feeling he just shared, but at my own revelation ......My revelation that his imperfections, the elements of his personality that I thought were keeping me from him, are in fact his perfection's.

I offer him one more kiss, this one without thought, without second guessing the man that he is, or the man that I want.

"Hey," he says as I draw away, fighting his own body to respond, "Can you do that again when I can follow up on it?"

"I'll try to remember,"

He smiles as best he can before his eyes close and his tired mind sequesters his body's desires.

I stop in the door, turn back to look upon him, this man I've spent a lifetime trying to forget.....

"Perfect," I whisper before leaving, "perfect."