Title: Shadowboxer

Author: Lexis

Rating: G

Summary: A man reflects on what he has. Title comes from the Fiona
Apple song of the same name. Download it, it fits very well with this


Once my lover
Now my friend
What a cruel thing
To pretend

Fiona Apple, Shadowboxer


The room is full of people, both friends and family but I only have
eyes for the small bundle in my arms, wrapped in a light pink

She's gorgeous, with the wild dark hair both her parents share and
the gentle expression of her mother. She seems oblivious to all the
fuss surrounding her and totally at ease with everything and everyone.

When Data pronounced her aesthetically pleasing yet a puzzle to him,
she gurgled and waved her hand at him. He seemed quite taken with her

When Beverly made Wesley pose with her for a picture, he look
distinctly uncomfortable, so to break the ice, she grabbed his nose
with her chubby little fingers. That'll be one for the family album.

When Deanna first told me she was pregnant, I swear all the blood
drained from my face. My Deanna, a mother? I suppose I shouldn't have
been surprised. But boy was I.

I watched as she flitted around, making preparations and her
excitement growing more each day. I don't think I've ever seen her so

I was on the bridge during her labour, trying to get the Enterprise
as far away from the danger we faced as I could. When I entered
sickbay and saw the beautiful child in her arms and how happy she
was, my heart ached.

They were perfect.

Deanna comes to sit next to me, her eyes wide and adoring of her

I don't blame her. Everyone seems spellbound by this tiny being.

I want to put my arms around them both and wish them mine but I don't.

I sit at an appropriate distance and smile at Worf when he comes

"I really should be going." I say, trying to keep the fixed smile on
my face.

My cheeks ache from holding it most of the afternoon. To the Captain,
to Beverly, to Deanna, to Worf. I have to pretend to be delighted for
them, ecstatic that they're so happy and content even when just being
in this room, a bat'leth on the wall and a beautiful statue of
Deanna's taste on the coffee table, is tearing me up inside.

I kiss the baby's slightly ridged forehead and hand her to him, my
heart breaking with the realisation that he has everything I want.

I want to scream and shout at myself for putting my career ahead of
her and the future we could have had.

But I don't. I watch Worf with his happy family and his career and I

"You're a lucky man Mr Worf."

He nods and moves off towards Geordi, who's been itching to be
introduced to the newest member of the Enterprise family.

"I'll walk you to the door."

I see Beverly's pitying look as Deanna and I pass her by.

I want to tell her not to feel sorry for me. I brought this all on

But I don't. I just carry on walking, sparing a smile to her and a
nod to the Captain who pretends to be oblivious to how I feel.

We get to the door and she opens it.

I look back at my friends in the living room. They're all smiling and
happy, welcoming a child to the world. None of them feel the gut
wrenching sense of loss I do.

Fleetingly, I wonder how things would have been different if I had
only met her on Risa when I was supposed to. If I hadn't been so
determined to be the youngest Captain in Starfleet.

I want to ask her if she still loves me, if she would still die for

But I don't. I just lean closer and kiss her cheek, breathing in her
perfume one last time.

And I know it'll be the last time. She's a married woman with a
child. I can never call her Imzadi or kiss her or let her know how
much I love her ever again.

It's the price I have to pay for my past mistakes.

I pull back and step over the threshold, swallowing the lump that
seems to have formed in my throat.

"Bye Will."

She smiles and I know it's a true, from the heart smile.

The burning at the back of my throat intensifies.

She's happy.

"Goodbye Deanna."

Too bad I never will be again.