Author: Leanne

Rating: PG – pure fluff, so don’t expect a plot :-)

Disclaimer: Star trek belongs to Paramount… it’s debatable who owns the robe.

Thanks to Sarajayne for the help.

Chapter 1

He relives the door closing over and over again in his mind. The coldness radiating from her back, it’s the last thing he sees before she’s gone. Pain flows from her so strongly that he can’t be sure if it’s hers or his own.

Will Riker clamped his eyes shut briefly before the stinging forced him to open them again and face the cold reality of life, of what he’d said and done. It had been five days since she left for Betazed so why did it feel like five months. They’d been apart before, not since the briar patch but several times since being on the Enterprise. He knew he wasn’t the reason she had gone. She’d had it planned for weeks, time to catch up with her mother she’d said. But when he’d asked her not to go, to stay on the Enterprise with him he could only cringe with regret at how it had turned from him begging playfully for her to stay into an argument about his selfishness in their relationship. So now he sat in his quarters, his arm placed awkwardly by his side after coming off second best during a klingon battle program on the holodeck with the safety off. Every few minutes he’d ask the computer for Beverly Crusher’s whereabouts, the minute that she was gone he would head to Sickbay. He wasn’t in the mood to listen to her lecturing him on the finer points of what exactly he’d done this time to upset Deanna and to hear that his actions had proved her right. Walking over to his desk he sat down, staring into the blank computer screen in front of him. More than anything he wanted to see her, to speak to her, he couldn’t go on the way he was for much longer. Taking a deep breath and settling his arm so she wouldn’t pick up on his discomfort he set up a connection to the Troi household on Betazed. Much to his dread it was Lwaxana Troi’s face that filled the screen.

“William, how nice to see you,” she said with an enthusiastic smile, “how are you?”

“I’m fine Mrs. Troi, thank you.”

She scoffed at his response.

“Such formalities, you can call me Lwaxana you know dear, and if you play those cards you’re so fond of correctly it could be mother soon.”

Will shuffled nervously in his chair unsure if Deanna had said something or if the older woman was just baiting him.

“Is Deanna there?” he asked hastily, wanting to end the conversation before it went somewhere he didn’t want to go.

Lwaxana smiled sadly at him, sensing his emotions.

“No, I’m sorry, she went to visit some of her friends she hasn’t seen in a while. I thought the company would be good for her, she’s been so irritable and depressed since she arrived…but then I’m sure you’re aware of that.”

Will ran his fingers over his beard, there was no way of getting out of this now he thought so he might as well get it over and done with.

“She told you then?”

“Not willingly,” she admitted “but I know, if that’s what you mean and I must say I had expected better from you William.”

“You’re not the only one,” he mumbled under his breath.

The corner of Lwaxana’s mouth curved up and Will knew he was about to get grilled about his side of what had happened.

“I’m listening,” she said simply.

Will thought she sounded like a priest waiting to hear his confession, he was about to admit his sins, but to the wrong Troi.

“I’d much rather talk to Deanna if that’s ok.”

“I’m sure you would dear, but I’m not entirely sure that my daughter wants to speak to you…at least not at the moment.”

Will sighed and leaned back in his chair. This was going to be more difficult than he thought. It would be easier if Deanna would just yell at him. He had a little more control over her than her mother, or so he liked to think. He didn’t have the time or patience to talk to Lwaxana right now. The ache in his arm was gradually intensifying and he shifted his posture in an attempt to dull the pain. Lwaxana immediately saw him cringe.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Troi but I have to go, could you at least tell Deanna that I called.”

“I do not hide things from the people I love William,” she snapped.

“Thank you.”

Will didn’t wait for her response before cutting the comm. He knew that last remark was meant to be a direct stab at what he’d done. He asked the computer the location of Doctor Crusher and upon hearing its response got to his feet and made his way to Sickbay.


Chapter 2

Will Riker hated Sickbay. Not just the smell, but the knowledge of what went on here. It was impossible to leave not feeling like a freed caged animal. He stopped just inside the door, his arm clutched over his stomach, and looked around for a nurse. It was a move that he realised was a mistake as he felt a certain fiery red dragon breathing down his neck.

“Well, well, look what we have here,” the voice said from behind him.

“Beverly,” he almost stammered.

“You took your time getting here. I guess that pain threshold of yours gets bigger everyday hmm?” she suggested as she moved to stand in front of him.


“Ensign Reece saw you leaving the Holodeck nearly an hour ago,” she grinned sweetly at him.

Will sighed. He should’ve known better than to try and hide something on the Enterprise. Especially from Beverly Crusher.

“You know I’m really not too fond of the way my every move is scrutinized on this ship.”

Beverly gently placed her hand on his back and maneuvered him towards a bed.

“Why am I not surprised?” she said sarcastically while getting her tricorder.

“Don’t you start.”

Will sat on the edge of the bed. He wanted to ask Beverly for something for the headache that was now starting to brew in his temples but he was certain she would get too much enjoyment out of seeing him suffering. Crusher ran the tricorder over his arm as he sat in silence.

“You’ve dislocated your collarbone, I’m surprised it hasn’t popped back in,” she said, running her fingers lightly over the affected area.

“You can do that though can’t you?”

“I can, but it’ll hurt.”

“Surprise, surprise,” Will groaned.

Beverly took a hold of his uninjured arm and began to move it away when Will yelled out in pain. He slid off the bed clutching his arm.

“A bit of warning would’ve been nice,” he gritted his teeth in pain.

“Sorry Will, I didn’t expect that to happen.”

He looked at her unbelievingly and gasped as his mind tried to override the pain. Slowly it began to subside and oxygen again made its way to his lungs.

“Is that it?” he asked, not waiting for her answer and heading towards the door.

“Will wait, I need to make sure it’s gone back in properly and heal any swelling.”

He stopped and turned around to face her. There were only a few people in Sickbay and he didn’t want to make a scene. One wrong move and he knew Beverly could make things very uncomfortable for him.

“Fine, but can you be quick I’ve got somewhere else to be.”

He moved back to the bed and sat down, his head hanging low as he tried to ignore Beverly’s stare.

“Of course Commander,” she answered in response to his authorial tone.

Neither of them spoke as Beverly first checked around his shoulder and then began to reduce the swelling. Will felt awkward, like he should try and explain himself to her. He knew she’d listen but he’d most likely be wasting his breath. He wasn’t Beverly’s commanding officer or friend right now. He was the man that had caused her best friend pain and anxiety at a time when she should’ve been relaxing.

“Have you spoken to Deanna?” she asked quietly.

“No. You?”

“About half an hour ago.”

Will’s head shot up.

“You spoke to her half an hour ago?”

He watched as Beverly tried to hide her reaction to his surprise.

“Yes, why?”

Will sighed.

“No reason.”

He hung his head back down but remained seated even when Beverly moved away from him. Why did this have to be so hard? He’d been upset that Deanna had been able to have some time off and he hadn’t, the Captain had needed his First Officer. And now, because of a few heated words he was miles away from his Imzadi and she wouldn’t speak to him.

“I accused her of not loving me because she was leaving,” he admitted to the Doctor.

Beverly returned to his side, a gentle hand laying on his arm.

“I think that’s what hurt her more than anything. She knows you don’t believe it, but it’s just the fact that it even entered your head,” her voice was subdued to prevent any unwanted ears from picking up on their conversation.

Will got to his feet, a hand brushing over his unruly hair.

“God Beverly, what am I going to do?”

“You’re asking me for advice on your love life? This has got to be a first,” her eyebrows rose and she positively beamed at him.

The truth was he was at his ropes end as to what to do. Deanna obviously wasn’t going to speak to him until he’d made things right, but then how could he do that if he couldn’t talk to her.

“Maybe I should go to the Captain, plead my case,” he mused.

“I don’t think he’ll change his mind Will.”

“No, neither do I.”

In fact he was certain the Captain wouldn’t change his mind. He was only still here because of necessity and the last thing Will wanted to do was disappoint his commanding officer with his display of a love sick teenager. It was still over a week until Deanna came home. He thought over the idea of just letting her be, maybe it was best to give her the time to cool down, but then again it could make her even more furious with him. He walked over to Beverly and grabbed hold of her elbow, talking softly.

“You could talk to her for me.”

Beverly shook her head.

“No way, I’m not getting involved in this.”

“Since when?” he laughed “you’re already involved.”

She couldn’t deny that, since when had Beverly Crusher not got herself mixed up in her friend’s lives. Will could see her resolve flicker and he flashed her an innocent grin.

“C’mon Bev, all you have to do is get her to talk to me, I’ll do the rest.”

Crusher walked away from him and into her office, Will following closely behind. He closed the door and sat down on the chair opposite her.

“It’s ‘the rest’ part that I’m worried about,” she answered on a sigh.

“Tell you what, if you talk to her I’ll promise not to go AWOL.”

She looked at him surprised, unsure whether to believe if he would actually put his career at risk for this. Will smiled at her his resolve crumbling.

“Ok maybe not that extreme, but at least keep myself out of trouble.”

“That’ll make a change,” she laughed.

Will got to his feet and looked at her, his eyes intense.

“Just think about it…please.”

He walked away, not giving her a chance to respond and shatter the last thread of hope he had. As he swaggered through the corridors of the Enterprise he flexed his shoulder. It felt better, he could only hope that Beverly Crusher could work the same magic on Deanna.


Chapter 3

Deanna Troi sat at a desk in the Troi mansion on Betazed. In front of her was her mother’s computer terminal. She’d come home this evening to the news that Will had finally called. She wasn’t sure why it had taken him five days. If she was honest with herself she’d expected it before their first day apart had come to an end. Did she know him as well as she thought? Beverly had spoken to her about Will’s latest incident in the holodeck before she had gone out. At the time the Doctor had been awaiting Will’s imminent arrival and Beverly had since told her he had come to his senses and gone to Sickbay. Her friend had also asked that she talk to Will, if not to work things out then for the sanity of everyone on board the ship. Setting up a comm. link to the Enterprise she heard her mother crashing around in another room.

“Maybe I should go back to the Enterprise,” she said out loud to herself and rolling her eyes.

Minutes later the weary looking face of Will Riker filled her screen. There was no need to try and search for his emotions because they were clearly written over the features of his face.

“Deanna,” he said softly.

“Hello Will, you look tired.”

“It’s been busy since you left.”

It was an excuse and they both knew it. Deanna had had very little sleep herself. There was something disturbing about leaving someone you loved after a fight, and she almost wished they could’ve made up briefly before she left then continued the fight when she got back. But Will hadn’t even showed up to say goodbye, whether it was due to guilt or anger she was unsure.

“Too busy to call me sooner?” she asked.

“Yes and no…”

He stared back at her and for a moment she was certain he was going to apologize, then he glanced away.

“What did you want to talk about?” she prompted.

Will shrugged.

“Nothing in particular I just wanted to see you, hear your voice.”

Silence hung over them and Deanna thought maybe she should just end the conversation. But she too had missed his presence, as stubborn as he was.

“Things can never be easy can they?” Will asked, interrupting her thoughts.

“Should they be?”

He looked back at her with his intense blue eyes and Deanna was at a loss for what to say to him. She could make this easy, tell him she missed him and knew he didn’t mean what’d he’d said. But the truth was she was still upset, how could he accuse her of not loving him after all they’d been through. Why would he even think such a thing?

“Tell me Will, do you regret us getting back together?” she asked.

He was shocked.

“No of course not.”

He rubbed his forehead with his thumb and index finger and sighed.

“Deanna, I’m sorry about what I said, you know I didn’t mean a word of it.”

“Yes but that doesn’t change the fact that you said it, you can’t manipulate my feelings to get what you want Will,” she said with her voice slightly raised.

“That wasn’t my intention, I just wanted to spend some time together.”

He was right, even though there had been a considerable amount of down time on the Enterprise since the incident with the Baku their time together had been minimal. There was always something or someone else that needed their attention. The same could be said about the relationship Deanna had with her mother. They hadn’t seen each other in over six month apart from occasional comm. messages. Lwaxana Troi was getting older and Deanna was having difficulty dealing with the fact that one day she wouldn’t have her mother to go and visit. She’d never expressed her fears to Will of course, he’d no doubt understand, but she didn’t want to seem petty considering Will no longer had his mother. Maybe if she had of told him they wouldn’t be here now.

“I want us to spend time together too but I haven’t seen my mother in a long time.”

Will sighed in defeat and looked away.

“Maybe we should finish this when I get home,” Deanna offered.

“Nine days is a long time…longer if you can’t sleep.”

The corner of Deanna’s mouth turned up in a sympathetic smile. Maybe the time apart would make him realise just what they meant to each other. Although she was almost certain he was at that point now.

“I’ll call you tomorrow okay,” she said.

Will nodded and tried to force a smile to his lips.

“I love you,” he said.

Deanna knew she should return the words, to at least put his mind at rest.

“I know,” she answered before severing the comm. link.

On board the Enterprise Will Riker slammed his fist down on his desk as the computer screen went black. He felt like a total loser. He’d either hurt Deanna deeply or she’d been taking acting lessons from Beverly Crusher because this was something she wasn’t going to forget quickly.

<Picard to Riker.>

The sound of the Captain’s voice interrupted Will’s thoughts.

“Riker here.”

“Commander your shift started ten minutes ago.”

Will jumped to his feet and grabbed a uniform.

“Ah, sorry Captain I’m on my way.”

“Very well,” Picard answered, trying to sound unperturbed.

Will was dressed and in the turbolift in minutes. He hadn’t showered since before the Holodeck and hadn’t eaten or slept in twelve hours.

Chapter 4

The turbolift doors opened on the Enterprise’s bridge to reveal a very tired and scruffy looking First Officer. Picard watched from the entrance to his ready room as Will Riker swaggered out and walked towards his seat in the centre. He knew that Beverly Crusher, who was standing beside him, had continued talking even though he was no longer paying any attention. The Captain opened his mouth in anticipation of requesting Riker’s presence in the ready room when he was grabbed by the elbow and pulled off the bridge.

“Just what do you think you’re doing Doctor?” Picard questioned, as the door of his ready room closed and he shook his arm free of her grasp.

“I know what you’re thinking Jean-Luc and it’s not his fault.”

“And let me guess, you’re going to tell me whose fault it is,” he sighed.

The Captain moved to sit behind his desk and Beverly took the seat opposite.

“It’s no one’s fault, they’re just victims of an unwanted situation,” she offered.


“Will and Deanna.”

“I sincerely hope you’re not trying to tell me that the reason my first officer looks like he’s been in a drunken pub brawl is because he misses the ship’s counselor.”

His wide eyes stared at Crusher, almost daring her to challenge him.

“Not quite,” she replied.

“I would take that as a yes Beverly.”

She leaned forward on the chair, her hands interwoven on her lap.

“Yes, but there is a lot more to it than that…you know we wouldn’t have this problem if you would’ve just let him go to Betazed.”

“This is a Federation starship Doctor, not cupid’s cruise at sea. If Mr. Riker can’t do his job efficiently in the absence of Counselor Troi then his position on this vessel needs to be scrutinized.”

Beverly laughed at his description of the Enterprise before scoffing at his suggestion that he would dismiss Will.

“Look, this is probably going to get me into more trouble than I’m already in but the fact is that they’re having a few problems.”

Picard took a moment and straightened his uniform top. He didn’t really want to hear this. The truth was that he knew something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. As much as he cared about Riker and Troi, and knew they cared about each other, a relationship from their positions was never going to be easy. He’d left them to their own devices to work through things by themselves, never once questioning their actions. But now it was affecting Will’s work, which would impact on the functioning of the ship.

“Should I relieve him of duty?” he asked, more to himself than Beverly.

“God no, don’t do that,” she pleaded. “It’ll blow this thing completely out of proportion. He’ll be fine, just let me talk to him, see if I can take over Deanna’s counselor role for a few moments.”

Picard sighed.

“Very well, take him off my bridge…I need a first officer Beverly, if he isn’t able to give me one hundred percent I’ll have to replace him.”

Beverly got to her feet and nodded. Picard watched her leave the room and saw her approach Riker as the doors closed behind her. He felt awkward about the ultimatum he’d given the doctor. If he had to replace Will he was certain it would only be temporary, but then Starfleet would want to know why. If Riker was assigned to another ship, or even decommissioned because of his behaviour where would that leave Deanna? And the Enterprise?

With Will in tow Beverly walked through the corridors towards sickbay. He’d been more than a little reluctant to leave the bridge with her but had finally left at the request of the Captain. She’d had to steady Will on several occasions as his concentration began to waver, she knew his mind was elsewhere.

“What did you say to him Beverly?” Will snapped.

“I didn’t need to say anything, look at yourself.”

She stopped mid-stride, halting Riker at the same time.

“This needs to be sorted out Will, for everyone’s sake,” her voice was barely audible so only he could hear.

His shoulders slumped and he leaned back against the wall.

“You’re right,” he admitted.

Beverly reached down and grasped his hand with hers, pulling him along the corridor towards the turbolift they’d just left.

“Where are we going?” Will asked, agitated.

“The Captain ordered you to help me with medical records but quite frankly I think you’d be more use to everyone if you got some sleep.”

As much as Will wanted to disagree with her, she had a point. What good was he going to be if he was left by himself to deal with important medical information? The pair of them stepped into the turbolift and Will moved to the back, using the wall for support. He looked over at Beverly as she commanded the lift to the deck 9 and couldn’t help but internally scold himself for his behaviour. What kind of officer was he to let himself get into this state, and in front of his Captain?

“Do you think I should try and explain things to the Captain?” he asked.

Beverly gave him a sincere smile and motioned him through the doors as they opened.

“I think it’s best if you wait ‘til you’ve had some rest,” she offered.

Will nodded before gradually entering the code for his quarters and stumbling in. Things were still in the mess he’d left them in and Beverly immediately began to clean up.

“Sorry ‘bout the mess,” Will mumbled as he collapsed onto the couch.

“Oh no you don’t mister, you’re not getting comfortable there. In the shower,” she told him, pointing towards the bathroom.

“You never mentioned showering,” Will pouted, twisting his body so his legs were stretched out on the couch. “Only sleeping.”

“Well I would say from the smell of you, since the last time you showered you’ve had at least one workout on the holodeck, a shift on the bridge and perhaps even a nice nap on your couch here.”

Will looked up her, his eyes straining to stay open.

“They taught you how to be a sniffer dog at medical school too I see.”

Beverly smirked at him and moved to sit on the arm of the couch.

“In the shower now, or I’ll go and get a full supply of hypo’s to dose you up with.”

Will cringed and slowly began to move his body in the direction of the shower. He let out a groan as he got to his feet, dragging them along with each step.

“Damn Doctor’s,” he grumbled, as he disappeared from the room.

Beverly continued to tidy up the mess of Will’s quarters as she heard him fumbling around in the bathroom. By the looks of some of the plates and glasses spread out over the room the last time he had cleaned had been while Deanna was still on board. She cleared them away and began to sort through his clothes.

“How did he live an hour in this, let alone a days?” she asked herself.

A short time later Will stepped from the shower, his eyes drifting open and closed as his body started to relax. If he hadn’t have been standing up he would’ve fallen asleep, the warmth of the water soothing his aching and weary body. He half heartedly dried himself and reached out blindly for his robe. Wrapping it around his shoulders he wandered out of the bathroom and into his bedroom. The material of the robe felt constrictive around his shoulders and Will struggled to adjust it. There was no change to the tightening around his shoulders and chest and Will figured it was because his body was still wet. He staggered towards the bed, his body landing with a thud as he fell, completely unaware of the obscure image he presented to anyone who entered the room.

Minutes later Beverly entered. She stood open mouthed, staring at what lay before her. William Riker, First Officer of the Enterprise lay sprawled out, dressed in a pink robe which was obviously too small from him. She could tell immediately from the fluffy trimming of the robe that it was Deanna’s.

“Will?” she questioned.

There was no answer and Beverly continued to look at him. His broad hairy chest protruded from the opening of the robe. His modesty was barely protected by the small piece of clothing, his right thigh left bare, the fabric having slid down. It was tied around his waist, but did little to cover his midriff. Beverly shook her head and took in the sight of his long exposed legs. He’d get a chill if he was left like that. She looked around the room for something to cover him with, finding his blue robe. Picking it up she laid it over him, smiling at what his reaction would be when he woke.

“If only Deanna could see you now,” she laughed.


Chapter 5

Jean Luc Picard was seated in his chair on the bridge of the Enterprise when an explosion rocked the ship. They were inside a nebula near Colderous Prime, observing its strange emissions. Several vessels had been left immobile after traveling through and so the Enterprise had been sent to investigate. Due to the nature of the nebula it had left them blind to any nearby danger.

“Data, report,” Picard commanded, getting to his feet.

“Sir, damage to decks eight through to twelve,” the android reported.

“Dispatch emergency crews. Can you get a reading on where and who they are?”

Data’s hands sped over the computer console and Picard walked back over to sit in the centre chair.

“Nothing, the readings are scrambled.”

The Captain tugged down his uniform and thought over his options for a moment. They couldn’t fire off a single shot until they knew where their enemy was, but in the meantime the Enterprise was a sitting duck.

“Data, is it possible they have technology which allows them to get proper readings in this nebula?”

Picard saw the android run the idea through his sub-processors.

“It is possible,” he answered simply.

The captain nodded, they had no choice but to leave the nebula. If they left it too long, and tried to get a position on their attackers it could mean the lives of the entire crew.

“Take us out of the nebula, let’s see if we can draw our attackers out.”

“Aye,” Data responded, immediately turning the Enterprise around.

“Sir,” the Lieutenant at ops said loudly. “Reports coming in from damage crews, part of deck 9 has completely been ripped open, including crew quarters.”

Picard rubbed his forehead with his thumb and forefinger. He could only hope no lives had been lost from this, it was times like these he wished he had his first officer and counselor present on the bridge. Not only for the support they provided but also the experience they had.

“Picard to Sickbay,” as hard as he tried it still came out on a sigh.

<Sickbay here,> came the hurried voice of Beverly Crusher.

He knew she would be busy but he felt the need to alert her of the possibility that she may soon be inundated with patients.

“Doctor, sections of hull covering deck 9 have been blown apart, we are unaware – ”

<Did you say deck 9,> she interrupted, her voice panicked.

“That is correct,” he replied.

<Is Will alright?>

Picard almost jumped to his feet, Will was in his in quarters?

“I thought he was in sickbay with you,” he demanded.

There was a moment of silence and Picard felt his heart drop. He quickly tapped his comm. badge, his breath holding for the deep sound of Will Riker’s voice.

“Picard to Riker.”

Silence. Picard closed his eyes, unwilling to accept that Riker could possibly die this way. His second in command had so much ahead of him. Granted, Picard was close to strangling him the last time he’d been on the bridge but it was unacceptable that Will was meant for this fate.

“Bridge to Riker,” he repeated.

But there was still no response.

“Commander Data, you have the con, continue our current course,” the Captain ordered as he made his way to the turbolift.

The sight that greeted him as he stood outside the quarter’s of Will Riker made Picard’s stomach turn. Through the huge gapping hole that used to be a wall he could see the vastness of space. Personal items of Riker’s littered the floor, the flickering of the force field keeping them from escaping. He heard a gasp from behind him and turned to see Beverly Crusher.

“Oh my god,” she whispered. “Will.”

Picard stood motionless, he was numb, his ability to speak gone. How had this happened, an officer like Will merely sucked out into space after all the battles and mission’s he’d faced…to die like this. What was he going to tell Deanna?

“This is my fault,” Beverly admitted, tears beginning to form in her eyes.

Picard moved to put his arm around the doctor but was stopped by the appearance of a sickbay orderly.

“Doctor Crusher,” the medical officer said. “We need your help in here.”

Crusher and Picard both looked at each other as the ensign disappeared in to Deanna Troi’s quarters. They both knew Troi’s quarters were meant to be empty, but they followed him in. The sight upon entering was one Picard realized he would never forget. His First Officer, adorned in a very feminine pink bath robe, delirious and demanding to know where Deanna Troi was. Beverly kneeled beside him, relief evident on her face.

“Thank god you’re ok Will,” she said soothingly pushing the hair from his face and running a tricorder over him.

“I’m not ok,” he yelled hysterically, trying to get to his feet. “Where’s Deanna?”

“She’s on Betazed, remember Will,” Picard offered. “What’s wrong with him,” he asked Crusher.

“Most likely just a knock to the head,” she replied. “We better get him to sickbay.”

“I’m not going to sickbay,” he yelled, yanking his arm out of Beverly’s grasp.

He rolled onto his side, using his arms for leverage to help him get up. A groan of exertion escaping his mouth and leaving him slightly winded. His eyes frantically searched the room for Deanna, even though he could barely see inches in front of him.

“Deanna?” he called out as he struggled to his feet.

The floor began to fade in and out of focus, his big body beginning to sway. He felt like the whole crew was in the room, but Deanna was nowhere in sight. He pushed through them, still calling her name.

“She’s not here Will,” Beverly said calmly.

Will continued to sidestep everyone in the room but stopped dead in his tracks before reaching the door, his path halted by a burly Klingon with a scowl that made Will cease his antics, at least temporarily. He turned and looked Beverly.

“I need her, where is she?” he pleaded.

Beverly had no time to answer him as his legs gave way. Worf lunged forward, his arms catching the commander under the arms before he fell to the floor. The Klingon looked up at Crusher, questioning what he should do with his superior’s now limp body.

“Take him to sickbay Worf.”

She couldn’t help but shake her head at the vision before her as Worf hoisted the hefty form of an unconscious Will Riker in a fluffy pink robe over his shoulder and walked off down the corridor. Will’s head hanging awkwardly against Worf’s back, bobbing up and down in rhythm with the Klingon’s steps and his mouth wide open.

“Will he be alright?” the captain asked, interrupting her thoughts.

“Give him a day or two and he’ll be his normal self, it’s just tiredness and the concussion that’s making him so irrational.”

The captain nodded and let out a sigh of relief. He turned and made his way towards the turbolift leaving Beverly staring at the big gaping hole that used to be the first officer’s quarters. Thankfully, his stubbornness and love for Deanna had saved his life this time, now all she needed to do was stop these two things from competing with each other.


Chapter 6

The first thing that registered with his dazed mind was the sounds, the beeping of computers and scuffing of footsteps. Then the smells, clean and antiseptic burning their way up his nostrils. But then he picked up the gentle scent of something floral. Inhaling deeply he resisted opening his eyes, knowing not only the harshness of light would blind him but also for fear of what he was sensing wasn’t real. He hoped some of the memories he had clear recollections of hadn’t been real, but instead dreams.


The thick exotic accent proved that his senses had not been wrong. His eyes recoiled against the light upon opening them a mere sliver, but he fought against it and the crusted film of sleep that covered his eyelids. Slowly blinking them open he groaned and felt a soft hand latch onto his. He turned his head slightly to get his first glimpse of the only woman who could literally made his heart skip a beat. What could he say to her that would make up for the way he’d behaved? He didn’t even know what she was doing back on the ship.

“Finished your holiday so soon?” he mumbled.

Deanna smiled and leaned closer to him.

“Well considering you’re a danger to yourself in even in your own quarters I thought I should come back and look after you.”

Will returned her smile.

“How long have I been asleep, and how long have you been on board?”

“You’ve been asleep for about 24 hours,” she answered, turning to see if Beverly knew her patient was awake. “I’ve been on board just over an hour.”

“Deanna, I’m sorry,” he squeezed her hand, his thumb caressing the back of it.

“We’ll talk about it later Will,” she told him gently, watching as Beverly Crusher approached.

The grin on the Doctor’s face was unmissable and Will temporarily averted his eyes from Deanna to see what had Beverly so happy.

“Missing something Will?” she laughed, placing Deanna’s pink robe on his lap. “I have to admit I never thought pink would be your colour but it really does suit you, makes you look very feminine. A complete body wax might help though, the hair on your chest and legs kind of clashes with it, not to mention certain other areas,” she winked at him.

Will looked at her confused, then turned to Deanna, searching for an explanation.

“We found you asleep in Deanna’s robe, in her quarters,” Beverly explained, still smiling.

Will smiled at Beverly, convinced she was making it up. It wasn’t like she hadn’t done something like this before. The instant he woke up in sickbay she would concoct some story in effort to keep him out of her care for at least twenty four hours. But this time the doctor shook her head, his smile immediately vanishing.

“I don’t remember going to your quarters,” he said to Deanna. “I fell asleep on my own bed…and I sure as hell don’t know where this came from,” he continued, dropping her hand and picking up the pink robe in his lap, rubbing the soft material between his fingers.

Deanna halted his movements by covering his hand with hers. Will welcomed the return of the warm smoothness of her skin even though it had been only seconds since they’d separated. He’d thought he was going to have a lot of work to do to make things up to her. Obviously he was wrong. She was here now, and looked happy and relieved to see him.

“Going to my quarters saved your life Will,” Deanna acknowledged. “It doesn’t matter what made you do it.”

Will turned his hand over, causing Deanna’s smaller digits to fall in between his own.

“I think even subconsciously I knew it was the only way for me to be close to you.”

Deanna nodded and Will suddenly felt that everything that had happened over the past week now was insignificant. It didn’t matter that she had gone to see her mother even though he’d asked her to say, just as it didn’t matter that she’d called him selfish, egotistical and questioned her feelings towards him. From where he sat on the biobed Deanna seemed to radiate the qualities that had drawn him to her. Beauty, compassion, love and a serenity all of her own. If she was going to reprimand him for his behaviour, then he would take it and not say a word, just to make her happy. He realized he’d do anything to make her happy.

“Will?” Deanna questioned, breaking him away from his thoughts.

He shook his head, trying to clear the haze and save them for later, when he could tell her what he was thinking and feeling.

“Sorry, guess I knocked my head a little harder than I thought,” he smiled sheepishly.

“Well, the robe you did on purpose,” Beverly declared. “That wasn’t due to any ship damage.”

She left the room and Deanna couldn’t help but smile at the predicament Will now found himself in. There would be talk of this for weeks to come. She’d heard the rumor of Will wearing her robe almost instantly as she stepped off the transporter padd.

“Guess I was tired when I got out of the shower,” he shrugged.

“Beverly told me she had to take you off the bridge.”

Will let go off her hand and laid his head down. He just wanted to forget it had happened. As hard as it was to face Deanna, it was going to be even worse with the Enterprise’s captain. He’d placed his position as first officer at risk. Picard was a forgiving man where his crew was concerned but could he forgive such blatantly bad behaviour due to a lover’s quarrel. As if picking up on Riker’s thoughts Captain Picard walked into sickbay and approached his first officer.

“Will, Counselor,” he nodded to both of them. “How are you feeling?”

Will sat back up and looked at Picard, unsure whether to apologize or just offer his resignation.

“I’m fine, thank you sir,” he forced a smile. “Captain…”

Picard lifted his hand to stop the injured man.

“There’s no need to say anything Will, all is forgotten, I’m just glad you’re alright. But I would like to hope the instances of the past week will not happen again.”

A slight blush coloured Will’s cheeks and he fleetingly looked away from both Deanna and his captain, more than a little embarrassed. He nodded his head in agreement, there was no way he would let it happen again.

“Unfortunately,” Picard continued “you will need to spend the next several days, if not weeks in the guest’s quarters until repairs are made to yours.”

Will shared a nervous glance with Deanna, he knew under normal circumstances he probably would have stayed in her quarters. But maybe after all that had happened it was too much to ask, it wasn’t his place to ask.

“That’s fine,” he ended up saying to the captain.

“Well, Doctor Crusher informed me you’ll be fit for bridge duty tomorrow so I’ll see you then number one,” Picard said, backing out of the room and sensing the couple’s need for privacy.

“Yes sir,” Will answered, offering a genuine smile.

The captain left the room and Will went back to his previous position of lying down. Deanna leaned over his face and he could feel her breath caressing him. He closed his eyes, waiting, anticipating her next move. When after seconds nothing had happened he reopened them, only to watch as her lips descended on to his. He accepted the kiss wholeheartedly, closing his eyes again and urging her on as his arms wound around her waist.

“You can stay with me,” she whispered, her lips still touching his.

Will kissed her again, pulling her even closer.

“I thought you’d never ask,” he grinned. “Are you sure?”

Deanna nodded as her hand began to run up and down over his chest. Will shuddered as she moved her head to rest beside his, her mouth traveling over his neck.

“Besides, you’ve got a lot of making up to do.”

Will gasped as he felt her hand move lower, a little surprised by her boldness. But to his dismay she pulled back from him, holding her pink robe between them.

“Just so you know, this is mine,” she smiled sweetly at him. “Not meant for the likes of big masculine men like you, okay?”

Deanna helped him sit up and slide off the bed and Will used her shoulders to steady him. He took the robe from her hand and moved it up to his face.

“It is nice and fluffy,” he said, winking at her, “and I have so many fond memories attached to it.”

“But Imzadi, I have even fonder memories to replace it with,” she winked back. “Besides, I don’t think Worf will ever challenge you to anything on the holodeck again if he knows you wear it all the time.”

The End.