A Heart to Heart Conversation

Author: Leanne

Rating: PG 13, for a couple of swear words

Set: After Season 6, but before Nemesis, your decision.

Disclaimer: Some is Paramounts, some is mine.

Thanks to SJ for the motivation, or is it referred to as nagging lol.

Part 1

Moonlight reflected on the surface of the weapon aimed squarely at Will Riker’s head. The Enterprise’s first officer held his breath, his eyes wide, his heart pounding. He’d finally done it; bestowed his charm and affections on a woman that was willing to kill him for leaving her high and dry.

Will’s eyes strained as he watched the slender fingers tremble over the smooth surface of the phaser. His first instinct to backhand the threat from his vision became futile as a force from behind kicked the back of his knees and pushed him to the ground. The moisture from the mud under his knees seeped through the fabric of his pants and he felt himself sink slightly down into the earth.

‘I never thought it would come to this, William,’ his captor said shaking her head, her phaser still trained at his forehead.

‘It doesn’t have to be this way, your highness.’ Will used the title reluctantly, she’d never insisted on it until now. But things had changed.

‘You’re so eager to share yourself with any female, did you ever think that maybe it might come back to haunt you one day?’

Will closed his eyes in both disappointment and relief. He was more than aware that he may one day end up in the situation he now found himself in, and subconsciously his soul sighed in release.

‘What is it you want from me?’ he asked, prepared to accept his fate.

‘I want you to fix it,’ she lowered the hand which held the phaser, ‘I accept that the first time you made the mistake you were young and ambitious. To make the same mistake a second time would suggest that there is a deeper problem, wouldn’t you agree?’

Will reluctantly nodded.

‘It’s a possibility, Mrs Troi.’

‘More than that, my dear.’

The Betazoid woman nodded at the mysterious figure behind Will and before Riker could turn his head to find out who it was, a solid object connected with the back of his head and he fell to the floor, unconscious.


As his body slowly began to wake, Will immediately felt the throb that radiated from the back of his skull circulate through his entire body. Weak hands lifted to cover the site of infliction to try and dull the pain. Moving one hand away he inspected it through blurry eyes for signs of blood or any other substance that had previously been attached to him. Rolling from his face-down position onto his side, his stomach muscles lurched and he dry retched, choking on saliva.

When the spasms in his belly ceased, Will relaxed his clenched muscles and slowly rolled onto his back. He blinked his eyes several times in the dimness, the cement roofing becoming clearer the more his iris’ widened in response. He was surrounded by dull grey concrete, the cold surface permeating through his skin and flesh right into his bones.

Straining to sit up, his movements were interrupted by bindings around his waist and ankles. Fumbling fingers sought out the restraints and found a thick leather belt tied over his hips, held together with a locking device at the middle. Similar leather was individually fastened around each ankle, joined by a smaller lock between his feet. All the bindings were joined between his knees, allowing him only the slightest of movements.

The small amount of light that entered the confining cell through two round holes in the wall, all of a sudden intensified as Will heard the creaking of a door open. He was dragged on his back along the dirty uneven floor by the collar of his uniform and thrown against the wall.

‘You don’t look so good, Riker.’

Even though his temples pounded, Will recognised the voice and his heart plummeted. ‘Soren?’

Riker knew she, or at least he still acknowledged Soren as a “she”, hadn’t been the one to drag him from the small cubicle, that had been left to the burly male who stood blocking the doorway, wearing a hood.

‘Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten who I am,’ the genderless J’naii queried.

‘A hit to the back of the head will do that to a guy, but then I guess that’s what you had in mind when you did it right?’

‘I was required to cause you pain but not kill you.’

Will almost laughed at that, ‘it’s a throbber alright.’

He stared at her, not sure if he was having hallucinations. He wanted to know where he was and what she was doing here.

‘Are we still on Betazed?’ he asked.

Soren ignored his question, her silence annoying him more than the fact that he was being held hostage. The hooded stranger approached Riker’s slumped form and lifted him to a standing position, the shackles keeping his legs close together. He wondered why only his legs had been restrained, because given the opportunity he was more than willing to crawl to make his escape.

‘What’s this about and where’s Lwaxana?’

Approaching the prisoner, Soren took a firm hold of Will’s wrist and before the Starfleet officer could react, his wrists were surrounded by metal rings leaving him totally immobile. The masked man reached up above Will and pulled down a wire cord, fixing it onto the cuffs. The cord refracted back into the roofing and the second it was released Riker’s arms jolted up with the sharp movement. His feet remained touching the ground but the rest of him hung on the weight of his arms.

‘Is this really necessary?’ he clenched his teeth as the new source of pain tightened the muscles of his upper body. His belief that maybe this was Lwaxana’s idea of payback for hurting her daughter were diminishing by the second, and all but vanished when Soren grabbed hold of his uniform top and ripped it in two.

‘I hear you have a twin,’ Soren stated, her eyes fixated on the contours of his muscle clenching chest.

‘That’s right.’

‘An identical twin, which you are exactly the same as genetically and in appearance, but you are different because of your life experiences…’ the J’naii trailed off, waiting for Will to agree or intervene in some way but when he looked the other way she continued. ‘What I’m getting at is that even though you look the same you are quite different men. Although he has most of your good qualities, he seems to be free of certain flaws that make up your personality.’ One of her hands ran over the curves of his chest, completely removing the torn clothing and draping it over his shoulder to fully expose his upper torso.

Will stared open-mouthed at her statement, all the while trying to ignore the patterns her fingers were making as they weaved through the hair on his chest. ‘Thomas Riker is not as perfect as you may believe, trust me, he’s left his fair share of broken hearts throughout the universe.’

‘That may be brother,’ Will heard the silent onlooker say from beside him as he removed his disguise, ‘but now we’re going to make sure that you and I are never mistaken for each other again.’


Part 2

‘Thomas! What the hell are you doing here? Wherever here is,’ Will attempted to spin his body around to face his duplicate but only ended up swaying awkwardly against his restraints.

‘How big a cut do you think I can make down your chest before you’ll die from blood loss?’ Thomas smirked, waving a battered knife through the air.

Will was amazed by the way the pair was behaving towards him. He’d never believed there was even the slightest bit of hatred in Soren towards him. After all, he’d been prepared to give up his career to save her from the treatment which had returned her to the genderless normality of her race. He risked a court marshal and his life; now she was going to torture him, perhaps even kill him.

Thomas moved into Will's line of vision, Will saw his own face staring back at him.

‘This may hurt a little, but don't worry I'm sure you'll pass out when the pain gets too much,’ Thomas said taking the knife and piercing the tip through the skin at the centre of Will's ribcage.

Will screamed and wriggled against the bounds that held him, the ragged breaths he took coming out as strangled groans. A stream of blood flowed down over his stomach leaving a trail down to a growing pool at his feet.

When Tom removed the blade and moved away so Soren could have the first officer's attention, Will's military instinct went into overdrive. He needed to get out of here. The assumption that this was Lwaxana's idea of how to get her revenge on him after hurting Deanna on more than one occasion was seeming more unlikely with every passing second.

‘Tell me what you want,’ Will questioned, ‘surely this isn't all just for your enjoyment.’

‘You'd be surprised what I get enjoyment from William,’ Soren said, cuddling up to Thomas and wrapping her arms around him. ‘Your brother was able to return me to the way I was before the treatment. I was ever so grateful that I wanted to repay the favour.’

‘And the favour was to torture me?’ Will asked, an eyebrow raised.

‘No, the favour was to make you different. You see when Thomas found me I had already started to revert back to the way I was when you and I were together.’

‘But I thought that was impossible.’ Will tried to ignore the embrace the couple were sharing. How could Soren betray him like this?

‘One could say the same about two Will Riker's,’ she challenged him.

Will sighed before trying to heft his body higher and relieve some of the tension that was cramping his muscles. The wire that held his weight groaned under the pressure and Will tugged it again, testing its strength. He hoped it would break under the strain. If their violence towards him got worse or he got angry it was possible he could sever it himself; providing of course that he didn’t break an arm in the process and had enough energy to subdue Tom and Soren once he was free. That was too many uncertainties to take a chance on when he wasn’t yet sure what they had planned for him, he needed answers first.

‘This is all very interesting,’ Will snapped, ‘but what does any of this have to do with making Thomas and I different.’

‘It's simple really,’ Thomas stated, ‘we're going to take your heart out.’

Will's jaw dropped. ‘What?’

‘You don't seem to need it,’ Soren said matter-of-factly.

He was floored, where had this come from? ‘I loved you. I was willing to give everything up for you, how can you say that?’

‘But you never truly gave me your heart, nor would you ever be able to. It belongs to another. So Thomas and I thought we might as well take it out and give it to her on a platter. Her mother was very accommodating in helping us to get you here, the least we could do is spare Deanna any pain you may cause her in the future.’

‘I thought you cared about Deanna,’ Will pleaded to Tom, ‘You asked her to leave the Enterprise with you. You can't seriously think this will make her happy.’

Thomas walked away from Soren to stand in front of Will. Reaching up he took a hold of the straining wire and lowered Will's arms. His weakened, blood-drained arms refuse to bend at the elbows and he fought the urge to moan in pain with Thomas standing so close.

‘And I thought she was your Imzadi, yet you continue to hurt her.’

‘I'd never hurt her,’ Will yelled, attempting to punch Thomas, his hand unable to form a fist and instead swiping at empty air.

‘You and I both know that's not true...we've both hurt her. Ask yourself this Commander, why do you think she keeps coming back for more? more disappointment, more heartache and more tears.’

Will thought about the statement for a moment. Why did he and Deanna get back together after both he and Thomas had put their careers above her? She was an intelligent woman and although she was guided by her feelings and emotions when it came to her work, was it these same instincts that had led her heart astray on more than one occasion? Or was it simply that she loved him and was willing to risk feeling the pain of losing him just to be with him?

‘We can't be apart,’ he finally answered and could see Tom was startled by his response. ‘We've been together for so long, as friends...as more.’

Thomas rolled his eyes and released the hold he had on Will's restraints. ‘That's all very touching, but Lwaxana wants your heart. She seems to think it's the one organ you can still function without. I, personally would've liked to take the one you tend to favour above all else,’ he said, dropping the knife to Will's groin and tearing a hole through the fabric of his pants between his legs.

Will eyed off the knife as Thomas raised it to the previous wound he had left in his chest.

‘You're not going to survive this one Will. You betrayed Deanna's trust and took another woman to bed and now her mother wants you dead. Wendy Roper was a stupid, drunken mistake, but this...this was unthinkable. Not only was it one of her patients that you had sex with, but you did it in the bed you share with Deanna.’

Will shook his head, ‘Apart from Wendy, I have never cheated on Deanna. I don't know what you're talking about.’

‘She found the underwear Will! It wasn't hers, so you know what she did?’ Tom asked, but didn't give Will the opportunity to answer. ‘She had Beverly check for DNA traces, which led to the mystery woman. Why do you think Deanna came home to Betazed and hasn't spoken to you in over a week?’

‘I want to talk to Deanna, this is bullshit!’


Part 3

‘Well talk away, because she's watching you right now,’ Tom said pointing up to the corner of the roof at a visual transmitting device.

Doing a double-take of the small camera, Will's eyes stared down the lens of it. For all he knew it could've been turned off. There was no indication that the thing was even working.

‘Not good enough. I want to see her in person. I don't believe for a second that she would stand by and watch you cut my heart out, no matter what I did or didn't do.’

‘You're not in any position to be making demands Will… for once you're not in control.’

His snide grin sent a shiver up Will’s spine and his mind went back to the confrontation they’d had on the Enterprise just after Thomas had been discovered. Will imagined he’d looked then like Thomas did now, when he’d basically told the other man he would be lucky to have achieved what he had. He’d regretted it after he’d said it, but now, it was like looking at himself in a mirror, and it scared him.

‘If she is watching, like you say she is,’ Will said, returning to the present and turning to face Thomas again, ‘then she'll want to know the truth. She'll want to know how the underwear got there.’

Thomas burst out laughing, using his hand to prop him up against the wall and stop him falling to his knees. ‘She’s no longer the naive young girl from Betazed, Will. I think she can take a stab in the dark as to how they got there-‘

‘I just don't want to hear your excuses,’ a soft female voice cut in.

‘Deanna?’ Both Riker men gasped at the same time.

Walking over to the two men, she kept her eyes trained at Thomas rather than Will. A point the Enterprise officer didn't particularly like. The last thing he wanted was for her to use his insecurities about her relationship with Thomas against him. Deanna wasn't spiteful; it just wasn't in her nature. But the man she loved and thought she could trust had betrayed her, and her territory had been tainted by another woman. If Will Riker knew as much as he thought he did about women, he was about to feel the wrath of something far worse than the borg.

‘I'd like a few moments alone with him,’ Troi ordered the two make-shift guards.

‘Are you sure that's a good idea?’ Thomas asked, circling around Will's unmoving form.

‘He's not going anywhere for now...please.’

Tom nodded and took hold of Soren's hand, leading her to the door.

‘Mother is waiting outside, she'll take care of whatever you need.’

The couple left the room, the steel door slamming behind them and echoing throughout the room.

‘Deanna, I can explain everything,’ Will pleaded the instant the ringing stopped. ‘I'll admit the underwear did end up in our quarters because of me, but I didn't sleep with their owner, I swear.’

‘You're not helping yourself Will.’

The closer she got to him, the more he could feel her emotions through their link. Even though he could always feel them; her initial pain and disappointment, the anger and resentment of the last few days, none of that compared to the nausea that rose from the pit of her stomach when she looked at his naked chest and envisioned him giving his body to someone else.

Will let out a restrained sob at the thought of causing her pain. ‘Deanna, please don't do this. You're imagining things that didn't happen...that will never happen.’

‘I shouldn't have let you go to that buck's party. The combination of men, alcohol and strippers is only going to cause heartbreak, I just never thought it would be me,’ she said solemnly.

Will wanted to speak, to say anything that was going to get him out of the trouble he had found himself in once again, but Deanna's emotions were so intense that he needed to remind himself to breath let alone talk.

‘Our quarters, our bedroom, were meant to be a place just for us. Away from the crew and our jobs, where we could be together and not have to worry about anything, or anyone else.’

Riker struggled against the weight that he held up with his arms, his head dropping in disappointment. He knew he was innocent of what he was being accused of, but the fact that he had lost the trust they had rebuilt more or less meant he was guilty.

He looked up to find Deanna standing directly in front of him and for the first time he noticed her tear-stained, darkened eyes and the paleness of her skin. It was if the life had been drained from her and taken all that he loved about her in the process.

‘I'll admit there was a stripper there, and yes it was Ensign Marlow-’

‘Or Candy as she is now known,’ Troi interjected. ‘Tell me Will, does she taste good?’

Will scoffed at her, shocked at her outburst. ‘Deanna, that's uncalled for. She was a patient of yours.’

‘I remember, I also remember how she used to chase men, you included.’

‘I wasn't interested then and I'm not now. You know how her underwear found its way into our quarters?’ He struggled against the restraints and tried to rid himself of the need to reach out and touch her, waiting for her to say something. When she didn't he continued, ‘my so-called friends thought our relationship was too perfect and they wanted to throw a spanner into the works. I wasn't interested in the women that were there and they wanted to know why.’

‘They're your friends Will, they know we're together,’ Deanna spat back.

‘Some of them do yeah, but they don't know about Imzadi.’

He saw the look of dismay on her face at the possibility that he'd shared some of the most intimate details of their union with his mates in his drunken ramblings.

‘No it wasn't like that,’ he said hurriedly as she walked away from him, ‘I explained that you are the carer of my soul, the keeper of my heart and the nurturer of my body.’

Deanna turned back to him, her eyes searching his. He could see her uncertainty in whether to believe him or not and so he went on.

‘It kinda put a dampener on the party I guess. They were there to get drunk and get the strippers into bed. I'll admit I was drunk but I had enough of my bearings to know I wanted to leave there alone. The more drunk I got, the more I talked about you, or as the guys said, the more I pined for you.’ He groaned as he tried to move his arms and stop them from locking at the elbows. ‘Don't think I'll ever live it down.’

To his relief, Deanna walked back over to him and released the cuffs from his wrists. Will collapsed to the floor, struggling to bend his arms.

‘And the underwear?’ Deanna prompted, standing over him.

Part 4

‘The guys somehow stowed them away in amongst my clothes and I took them with me to the Enterprise. I found them when I was getting undressed and getting into bed. I was too tired to do anything about it and I didn't think you'd see them as you were on bridge duty the whole time I'd be sleeping.’

Will flexed his arms slightly, trying to get the blood moving through them again. Each time he bent them, they went a bit further and eventually he regained normal movement. Sighing with relief, he looked up to Deanna. If he could foretell the future he would've gotten rid of the underwear the second he'd found them. But the combination of alcohol and talk about his Imzadi had left him yearning for a soft place to fall and their bed had been just what he was looking for. Seconds later he was asleep, wrapped in the warmth of the covers and immersed in the scent and images of Deanna Troi.

‘I wouldn't lie to you Deanna. If I did what everyone seems to think I've done, then I wouldn't need Thomas to torture me because the outcome of my actions would inflict more than enough pain.’

Deanna crouched down to be eye level with him. Her hand hesitantly sought out the wound in the centre of his chest. Avoiding the puncture wound her fingers traced a circle around it, leaving a trail of blood as they moved over his skin. The red liquid trickled down from what now looked like a round target on his chest and she placed her hand over his heart. Will instantly felt it start to beat faster, his breath quickened and his eyes drifted shut as he let Deanna into his mind. She was like a drug to him. A high that encompassed him whole and left him feeling empty when she was gone. When she was in his mind, he couldn't help but give himself up to the artificial reality that they had created. All he knew at that moment, in that place, was Imzadi.

‘Why do you do this to me Will?’ Deanna said, breaking Will out of the trance he was in. ‘Trouble has a way of finding you, no matter where you go.’

‘That's why you love me,’ Will grinned and shuffled closer to her. He could smell the floral soap she washed with and groaned at the thought of her naked and lathered in soap.

Testing her re-found sense of trust in him, he leaned towards her and pressed his lips to her cheek. Working his mouth teasingly over her soft skin towards her ear he paused when he reached his goal to speak softly, ‘No-one even comes close to you Deanna Troi.’

He watched as tiny bumps spread across her flesh and the small hairs that covered her arms stood on end. She'd told him on more than one occasion that the feel of his breath against her and the huskiness of his voice was enough to leave her a salivating mess.

His eager fingers sought out her face, turning it to face him. He saw the forgiveness in her eyes and her need in the slight curl of her lips. It was something she would never admit to, of course. To want him as badly as she did, for Will to be able to see it so clearly, did not fit the demure and sane nature of a counsellor and daughter of the fifth house of Betazed. Using this to his advantage, Will lingered his lips against hers. There was no pressure from either of them to pursue the gentle caress, nor did they pull away.

‘It's okay to need this Deanna, to want it, to want me...we're Imzadi, do we have a choice?’ His voice was a whisper.

His lips rubbed gently against hers as he spoke, forcing her to reach for him with her mouth and complete the kiss. It deepened as Deanna crawled to sit on his lap and entwine him within her arms. She pressed against him and Will held onto her waist, their motions stopping as Deanna temporarily forgot about his wound and pushed herself against his chest.

She bent her head to kiss just above the affected area before moving backwards on his legs to allow them both room to regain some composure.

‘Don't think you're completely out of the woods just because you know how to bring a lady to her knees in a dark, damp cell, mister.’

Will shifted his weight underneath her, his legs still held together by the leather bindings.

‘You going to free me from the rest of these shackles and help me break out of here?’

Deanna shook her head and smiled coyly at him, ‘I think I prefer you bound. That way I can keep you out of trouble.’

‘Speaking of trouble what are Soren and Thomas doing here...and they're together!’

‘Does that upset you?’ Deanna asked, in perfect counsellor mode.

It did upset him a little. He loved Deanna and could no longer see himself with Soren, but to see her with Thomas did make him feel uneasy, jealous even. More than anything, he was troubled by her new vengeance towards him. He'd only ever wanted her to be happy. Apparently there was something in the Riker gene that she had taken a liking too, she just wanted a more rebellious version of him. Thomas had unleashed a fire that lay in waiting inside the now openly female J'naii, how could Will not be upset that he hadn't been the one to help her become so passionate.

‘We bring out different personalities in different people,’ Deanna said, interrupting his thoughts. ‘I can't imagine that the bridge crew have ever seen the tender, caring man who sleeps with me in his arms. The same man who waits three hours for an overworked counsellor to turn up late for dinner then turns around and cooks the meal again so it's hot.’

Will smiled at the recollection, placing a quick kiss upon her lips. ‘I guess you just bring out the best in me. Unless of course your other boyfriend does those things for you too,’ he winked.

‘One of you is more than enough, thank you very much.’ She dropped her arms from around him and moved to stand, before Will took hold of her arm.

‘I'm not upset,’ he told her, ‘just shocked I guess.’

Deanna smiled at him, her hand tracing the outline of his bearded cheek.

‘I don't love her Deanna...not anymore.’

‘I know.’

He knew he was over Soren. Looking into Deanna's eyes as she stood above him, he'd never been more certain of anything before. The love, and lust, he'd felt for any other woman he'd ever been with was gone. All but Deanna. There was nothing but her. The years of waiting for each other, of watching one another take a lover that weakened the bonds of Imzadi, had finally come to an end. Will was ready to give her what she wanted, to put his comfortable way of life on the line for her. Starfleet be damned.


Part 5

‘Enough games,’ he said taking her trembling in hands in his. ‘I'll do it.’

‘Do what?’ Deanna asked, eyebrow raised.



‘I'm here for a reason right? I'm bound with leather straps, been stripped of half my clothes, had my body ogled at and fondled by women, there-’

‘It could've been worse William,’ offered a voice from outside the cell, ‘imagine having Thomas doing those things to you.’

Will scanned the room looking for the owner of the voice.

‘Lwaxana, where are you?’

‘Computer, end program.’

In an instant the surroundings disappeared, leaving Will sitting in the centre of the floor, Deanna's hands still linked with his, while Lwaxana stood motionless in the corner of the holodeck. Will looked down at himself, the knife's puncture wound remained, as did his restraints.

‘The safety protocols were turned off. I wanted to make it as real as possible.’

‘Make what as real as possible?’

He wanted to get to his feet, to stand up to her. But apart from not being able to move his legs, he was suddenly confused as to what was real. Had he gone to the buck’s party? Were Thomas and Soren really here? Had Lwaxana been watching the entire time and was she behind it?

‘The answer to the last two questions is yes,’ the older Betazoid answered his thoughts. ‘And you did go to the party, but your brother and former lover were not real.’

She smiled slyly at him and Will felt the blood drain from his head.

‘I don't understand,’ he said to Deanna.

‘It's quite simple really,’ Lwaxana answered for her daughter. ‘I had to be sure you had my daughters interests placed above all else. I refuse to let you both make the same mistake you made the first time. The woman you know as Ensign Marlow was planted to tempt you into sleeping with her. Despite her persistent efforts you refused her advances and remained loyal to Deanna and your bond.’

As relieved as Will was that he had disproved Lwaxana's doubts regarding his feelings for Deanna, he was fuming that she had the gall to believe she had the right to put them through this.

‘And what about Tom and Soren, what do they have to do with any of this?’ He asked, fiddling with the lock at his ankles.

‘I wanted you to be subject to torture from someone you thought you could trust, someone outside the Enterprise crew that could betray that trust and use it against you to hurt you.’

Will sighed. Would these two women ever forgive him for a mistake he had made in his youth? His leaving Deanna on Betazed had obviously left deeper scars than he'd realised. Given the chance again, he would've taken her with him. Or at least met her on Risa and married her. Not to prevent what had just happened, but to spare them all the pain and anguish. Hindsight was apparently a wonderful thing, but to know what he knew now. To know the woman that Deanna would become and the man he was now, to know their being together would not stop him from having a career, and being apart would effectively put that same career on hold.

Hindsight was a bitch who had come back to kick his arse.

‘I don't know what I have to do to prove myself to either of you,’ Will said shaking his head and dragging his body away from Deanna. ‘What do you want from me?’ he shouted at Lwaxana. ‘Do you want me to say I made a mistake when I left Deanna? I did. Do you want me to tell you I've regretted leaving her from the second I stepped off Betazed? I do.’

He stopped for a moment, unsure whether he should continue with his confessions. The two women stared at him and Will knew they hadn't expected such an outburst from him. But he'd had enough. What right did they have to punish him when he'd spent years doing it to himself?

‘Can I tell you that I would never willingly or knowing hurt Deanna? With complete confidence...Did I ever believe I would share with anyone what I share with my Imzadi? Not even for a second.’ He stopped and took a deep breath, his eyes resting on Deanna. ‘Do I love her more than I have ever loved any one?’ he trailed off, his gaze returning to the older Troi.

‘I've paid for my sins, now I'd really appreciate it if you'd get off my back...your highness.’

With his pent up anger he ripped through his restraints, the material cutting open the skin on his hands and dripping onto his pants. Deanna bent over to inspect his hands. Picking the remains of his shirt up off the floor she tore it in two and bandaged both his hands. When satisfied they were securely wrapped for the moment she turned to her mother.

‘No more.’

Lwaxana nodded her head in agreement. ‘I only wanted what was best for you little one.’

‘That makes two of us,’ Will grumbled under his breath.

To him, the Betazoid's statement was an excuse to explain her behaviour. If it put the issue to rest then he would let it be anything she wanted it to be.

‘I suggest you go and see Doctor Crusher, William. The last thing I want is for my son-in-law to contract an infection because he was too stubborn to get a simple wound seen to.’

Will mouthed the word 'simple' to Deanna in disbelief. The tear in the skin near his heart was anything but simple, a thin line of blood still trailing its way down through his chest hair. Some areas had crusted over with the red liquid, but the wound itself remained fresh and sticky.

‘Maybe I should keep the scar,’ he said to Deanna as she helped him stand.


‘As a reminder of what I'd have to face if I ever hurt you.’

‘Don't worry,’ Deanna smiled and helped him walk towards the door. ‘I'm taking these with me just in case.’

She held up the shredded mess that had been fastened around his ankles and waist by his captors a short while ago. ‘They'll look great above the bed.’

Lwaxana remained silent as the couple left the room, a weary first officer being guided by Troi's daughter, who would no doubt nurse him back to health. If, of course, she didn't leave him with more injuries after catching up on what they had missed during their enforced separation.

‘Finally I can sleep knowing my little one has found what she deserves,’ she said to the empty holodeck, ‘and finally I can begin making wedding arrangements.’

She turned and made her way to the exit. Walking through the doors the only thing left behind was the familiar yellow grid pattern. No-one would never know that two people had just sealed their fate here, a fate that could not always be controlled by Lwaxana Troi.

The End