Little Miss Troi
***** Part 1/7 ******
"Captain, we are at the correct coordinates." Data
checked the navigation controls once again.
"Maybe the shuttle has been delayed." Commander Riker
stood from his seated position and walked to Data's
Riker looked worried and Data could tell his mind was
searching for ideas faster than his own positronic
brain, Data recognised the First Officer had come up
with an idea as he cocked his head up.
"Data, what was the last reported position of the
shuttlecraft?", Data quickly tapped in the information
and relayed his findings.
Will decided, "Let's go in that direction."
The helm marked the correct coordinates and the
Enterprise headed to the last known position of the
shuttlecraft that carried four crewmembers back from a
conference, among them, Counselor Deanna Troi.
Captain Picard stopped pacing around the bridge when
he heard the helm gasp. The entire bridge staff was
watching the main screen with worry. Picard jumped
back when he saw the shuttlecraft drifting aimlessly
in space, half way between the last reported position
and the rendezvous point.
"Hail them." Picard ordered and waited. When there was
no response, he met Riker's eyes.
"Life signs." Riker asked, turning his eyes away from
the viewscreen and concentrating on the carpet design.
"Only two." The Klingon could not understand the
readings from the shuttlecraft.
"What Mr. Worf?" Riker barked loosing his temper.
"Two children Sir!" Worf watched the First Officer and
the Captain turning to him as they wondered if what he
said was correct.
Picard cleared his throat and tugged his uniform
jacket before stepping down to where Commander Riker
"This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS
Enterprise..." Picard hesitated as he contemplated
what to say to the children. Finally he asked, "Can
anybody hear me?"
After what seemed like an eternity, a child's voice
came through, he sounded scared "Captain, please help
us, we're lost."
"Alright son, we will help you, what's your name?"
"Very well Tommy, is there an adult with you?"
"No sir, just me and a little girl that's crying cause
she wants her mummy." Picard, already inwardly
grimacing for something to say, stepped back to let
his First Officer handle the situation, dealing with
small children was just not his field of expertise.
"OK... Tommy stay calm, this is Commander Riker
speaking, we'll get you out of there, but we need your
help, do you know how to activate the main screen?"
"Yeah! I've seen my dad doing it all the time."
"Good!" Riker answered and nodded.
Within a few moments and with Riker's help, Tommy
activated the shuttle's viewer. Everyone on the bridge
saw a red headed nine year old scared boy, wearing the
yellow shirt of the Starfleet uniform, it was more
than evident that the shirt was not his size.
Riker smiled at the child, despite the shock, "Hi
"What happened to the other Starfleet officers?"
"I don't know."
"Where's Counselor Deanna Troi?"
Everyone gasped when a small and delicate four-year
old girl appeared on screen, she sniffed and with the
softest voice said, "I'm Deanna."
"Counselor?" Picard was beyond shock, not to mention
"Where's my mummy?" the small girl begun to pout.
***** 2/7 *****
"OK kids, we're going to get you out of there, stay
calm." Riker's voice cracked from the emotion and he
took a deep breath before continuing, "Tommy, we need
to lower the shields down, it's very simple. You see
the three blue buttons?"
Tommy was not doing bad at all, but he was having
trouble finding the "large yellow rectangle at the
corner." Suddenly, he jumped back holding his head
between his arms and curling into a tight ball at the
"Stop it! How did you do that, stop it!"
"What's going on there!" Picard jumped off his chair,
he saw the girl turning towards him, she was
"I didn't do anything!" as she began sobbing, "I want
"Deanna, Deanna dear...Little one!" Will finally got
the girl's attention. "It's OK everything's fine", he
smiled warmly making her stop crying. "You're going to
help me OK?" he smiled at her when she nodded.
"Good, you know where the yellow rectangle is don't
you?" Deanna nodded pointing at the correct button
"Exactly that's the one, now just lay your hand over
it and slide it upwards."
Little Deanna did as she was told and the shields went
down making everyone on the Enterprise burst into
cheers "Excellent! That's my girl!" said Will smiling
broadly to Deanna, he was rewarded with a genuine
smile from the small girl that reminded everyone so
much of their beloved Counselor.
"Ok now hold still, we're going to beam you over
here", said Riker to the two children and waited for
Picard to give the beaming order.
"Transporter room, beam them directly to sickbay, Mr.
Data, you have the bridge", and together with Will
Riker, he entered the turbolift for a Priority One
ride to deck 17.
On entering the main sickbay area, Picard and Riker
found chaos. Dr. Crusher was was comforting Tommy
while Deanna was hiding behind one of the biobeds
crying in silence.
"Captain, she's trying to communicate with us in the
normal Betazoid way and it's really disturbing if
you're not used to it." Explained Dr. Crusher at
seeing her Captain's statement.
"Hello Deanna, do you remember me?" Will approached
the little girl who at first stepped back from him,
Will sat on his knees to be at her level, leaning
forward to talk to her.
[Where's my mummy?]
"She's not here right now but she told me to stay with
you meanwhile, I'm a friend of hers." Will Riker felt
weird saying that and wiped the tears away from
Deanna's face and stroked her hair to make her feel
better. "You want some chocolate?"
[No, I want my mummy]
"I told you, she had to leave for a while, but she'll
be back soon...Here, have some chocolate." Little
Deanna shook her head when Will offered her the
chocolate bar that Beverly had handed him. Everyone in
sickbay was impressed by the easiness Riker and the
girl used to communicate.
"I want it!" Tommy reached out his hand to take the
bar but Deanna saw him.
[No! It's mine] She took the chocolate bar making
Tommy jump and hide behind the Captain's legs.
"Deanna, let's do something, let's speak out loud
instead of sending OK?" Riker smiled trying not to
upset the small girl any further.
[But mummy says it's not polike to speak] She answered
making Will laugh.
"You mean polite. I know your mummy says that, but I
think it's Ok, especially if the others cannot send
their thoughts back to you." Will tapped the tip of
her nose with his finger, making her giggle.
[That's what daddy says the whole time].
"Ok, so we talk?"
"Ok." She felt weird hearing her own voice and brought
her hands to her mouth to hide her laughter.
"Good" Will finished looking into her smiling black
eyes and took her in his arms and placed her onto the
"Now, Dr. Crusher here", Will introduced Deanna to a
very smiling red headed doctor that was waving hello
to her from behind the tall Commander, "wants to run
some scans on you, ok?"
"It won't hurt sweetheart, I promise", Beverly leaned
down to speak to little Deanna who looked from the
doctor to her friend, they both had smiles on their
faces, but she was still hesitating. Will moved closer
"I'll stay here with you" Will whispered into her ear.
"Ok." Deanna allowed Beverly to help her lay on the
biobed and run the scans, but she never lost eye
contact with Will, even when Beverly was standing in
the way, she moved her head to one side just to be
sure he was still there.
"This is unbelievable!" Beverly went to check Tommy's
scans as well.
"What?" one of the things that irritated Picard the
most was not knowing what was happening.
"They have the exact DNA matching of Deanna and Thomas
Sanders from Engineering, only that they are younger,
it's as if they've gone back in time!"
"Like when I was changed into a boy", Picard
remembered well that fateful day.
"Apparently not, you only suffered from physical
change, Tom and Deanna's memories have also been
"You mean they've really gone back in time and are
little children again!"
"That's why they keep asking for their mothers!"
At that moment, Susan Sanders entered sickbay, "Oh my
god Tom!" Dr. Crusher tried to calm her and explain to
her and the two children what had happened to them,
although she was not sure any of the them understood,
especially Deanna who kept asking for her mother.
"So I'm not nine, I'm forty-six? I'm an old person!
How can that be possible? And you're my wife?" asked
Tommy blushing a little.
"We don't know what happened Tommy but we'll find a
cure for this, I promise, meanwhile, you can stay with
Susan if you want to, what do you think?", Susan
smiled at the boy's shy answer.
"Oh Tom, it's Ok, everything will be fine", Susan
reassured him making him somehow feel at ease.
"Can we call my parents?"
"Sure we can!" Susan told him as they walked out
sickbay, Beverly was watching them walk towards the
turbolift when she heard Deanna's soft sob and went to
"What's wrong sweetie?" She sat on a chair next to the
biobed where Deanna was seated.
"No one came to pick me up", Beverly smiled sadly.
"You can stay with me if you like." She tenderly
stroked the little girl's hair still not believing it
was her good friend Deanna Troi sitting there crying.
"It's Ok Bev, I can take care of her", said Will
leaning to match Deanna's height.
"What do you say, want to come with uncle Will?"
Deanna studied him for a while before answering.
"You'll let me talk with mummy?"
"Ok, we'll talk with her, but first how about changing
into a nice dress so mummy sees you looking pretty?"
Her cheerful smile lit the room, "Ok, auntie Beverly
will take you to get changed, go with her!"
Will watched his two friends walking to another room
holding hands, Deanna's blue uniform shirt fitted her
like a dress. Once they had entered the room, he went
into Beverly's office to contact Lwaxana so he could
speak to her first.
"Oh no! What's wrong with my Little One, where is
she?" Lwaxana knew from the moment she saw Will Riker,
and not her daughter on screen, something was wrong.
"Deanna is fine, don't worry, but", he looked for the
best way to give the news. "There's been an
"Ok Little One, be a good girl and stay with Uncle
Will until I come back. Mother loves you."
"And I love you, and daddy too."
"So, I guess it's about time to have lunch!" Will
lifted Deanna and straddled her up on his shoulders.
With a big grin to Beverly he waved good bye. "We'll
be in Ten Forward", and left sickbay being careful
enough to lean down when passing through the doors.
Everyone in Ten Forward stopped eating or talking to
see their First Officer putting Deanna down on the
floor. Will squeezed her nose to comfort her when she
held his hand tight, afraid of all the strangers
staring at her.
"It's ok, they're just watching you, cause you're the
most beautiful girl they've ever seen."
That made Deanna smile.
The big windows caught her attention and she ran in
their direction. Will spotted Geordi at the back table
and went to join him.
"Word travels fast huh?" He said at seeing the people
at the lounge talking without taking their eyes away
"Well Commander, you can't blame them, it is weird,
and amazing," said Geordi as Will gave the waiter his
"Tell me about it! A while ago we talked with Lwaxana,
Deanna began to cry but fortunately Lwaxana convinced
her to stay with us."
"Who is she staying with?"
"I'm taking care of her. I'll have to move some things
into her quarters and sleep on her couch", Will smiled
at the beautiful girl at the window watching amazed at
the passing stars.
"There's no need to do that, I'll send a couple of men
to change one of the bulkheads on your quarters and
put an adjoining door."
"That'll be great Geordi, thanks."
The waiter brought their meals "Deanna, lunch is
served", he called to the her, and she came skipping
to the table.
"What is it?" Riker watched Deanna staring at her meal
"I don't like the green stuff!"
"It's not green stuff, it's called broccoli."
"Then I don't like the broccoli, it looks like small
trees." Geordi laughed at Deanna's response.
"It's not small trees, they're veggies and you'll love
it, try it! It's good for your health", but the girl
would not eat it "Just eat it, we'll have chocolate
pudding for dessert."
Will watched amused at Deanna's hopeless statement and
when she tried it, her face shouted yuck, but she made
the effort to finish it. Poor Deanna, it was no joke
when she had said before that she had always hated
They begun eating whilst talking about what had
happened that morning and what Data had been able to
detect, when Riker was distracted by an ensign asking
for permission to change his shift for the coming
week. Geordi had to bite his lip as he tried not to
laugh. Deanna took the opportunity to get rid of the
remaining broccoli by putting it in Riker's salad.
When the ensign was gone, Will continued eating. Only
after seeing Will swallow the last piece of broccoli,
did Deanna feel relief, and together with her new
friend Geordi, tried not to laugh too much. After
lunch, they left to go to the day care centre where
Deanna would stay until Will's shift was over.
In the conference room, the entire Senior Staff with
the exception of the Counselor, had gathered to
discuss what had happened. So far they knew that the
shuttle had entered a time distortion area which they
had already charted and in where the occupants of the
shuttle had suffered a reverse on the time line, but a
further analysis of the phenomenon was still needed in
order to establish a way to correct what had happened.
"What about the other two officers on board the
shuttle?" asked the Captain.
"Ensigns Field and Harris were around 23 years old,
the time distortion made everyone inside the
shuttlecraft go more than 30 years back in the time"
"You mean they've just ceased existing?" Beverly tried
not to show much emotion for her two young and
"We can not determine that Doctor, however, it is
possible", Data answered.
"We shall remain in this sector for the necessary
time, I will inform Starfleet Command. Dismissed."
Will exited the conference room and hurried to the day
care centre, it was getting late for picking up Deanna
and he did not want to upset her after all she had
been through. When entering the day care he found a
group of kids making fun of Deanna.
"Yeah sure! If Commander Riker is picking you up then
Picard is my father!", a big chubby and freckled
twelve year old looking girl was making everyone laugh
at Deanna making her feel very uncomfortable.
"Hi little one", Will knelt in front of Deanna and
kissed her forehead, "ready to go home?"
Deanna just threw herself at him and kissed him as
Will stood up and began walking out of the room, never
seeing Deanna smiling over his shoulder and sticking
out her tongue to the chubby girl. "We have to go to
the bridge for a while, I forgot to tell the Captain
Deanna saw something that frightened her and hurried
to hide behind Will's legs trying to get them both
back into the turbolift and off the bridge. Will
smiled at her reaction and leaned down to her size.
"It's Ok, honey, he's a friend, his name is Worf, say
hello to Mr. Worf." Will scooped the little girl in
his arms and walked to the Klingon, Deanna was really
"No! he's a monster!", she hid her face in Will's
"Deanna, that's not nice, he's a friend of mine and
he's a very nice person. "Would you please say hi to
Will turned to let Deanna see Worf, she reluctantly
turned to face the Klingon and whispered "hi", never
loosing grip of Will's neck.
"Would you like to stay with him while I talk with the
"No, I want to stay with you", she rested her head on
Will's shoulder in the same way she did with her
father whenever she was afraid and needed comfortor
just wanted to make him do what she asked.
"Commander, I can stay with her if she wants to",
Geordi offered thinking how funny all of this would
had been the previous year, during the time Deanna and
Worf were dating.
"Thanks Geordi, I can imagine Picard's face if I got
into the ready room with a four year old kid."
"Come with me munchkin, I'll show you where Commander
Riker sits!", he grabbed her little hand and both
walked to the centre of the bridge.
"I'm not a munchkin! I'm a girl!" Deanna laughed at
her friend's mad way of calling her.
"I'll be right back", Will entered the ready room
knowing Deanna would be fine.
***** 4/7 *****
Will had finally got Deanna to fall asleep when the
door chimed. In a low voice he instructed the computer
to let the Captain and Dr. Crusher in. The two
visitors followed Riker's voice into his bedroom and
to the door that linked his quarters with Deanna's
"Very charming Number One", Picard whispered from the
doorway smiling at seeing Deanna sound sleep with her
thumb tucked in her mouth and cuddling against Will.
She had fallen asleep while listening to a nice
"I also had to check for monsters under the bed... she
had a tough day." Will carefully got out of bed and
tucked Deanna in before going with the others to the
living area inside his quarters.
Will was very worried about the whole situation.
"And what if we can't find a way to fix what happened?
Lwaxana says she'll come by the end of the week to
take Deanna back to Betazed. But she feels she's too
old for raising a little girl. Deanna doesn't
understand what's going on, she even thinks her father
is still alive."
"Will, calm down, I'm sure Geordi and Data will find a
way outof all of this."
"I don't know Beverly, I told Lwaxana I can adopt
Deanna if she doesn't feel capable of raising her."
Will rested his back on the couch and closed his eyes
breaking into a sad laughter. "I always thought I will
someday raise Deanna's children, but I never in my
wildest dreams imagined it was going to be in this
Once Beverly and the Captain had gone, Will returned
to Deanna's bedroom to watch her sleep. He remembered
their encounter with Lt. Parker at the entrance of the
day care centre that afternoon. She had served on
board the Enterprise during the first 2 years but had
left to continue her career elsewhere and had recently
returned to the ship when her husband had been
promoted and assigned to the Enterprise. Parker
stopped at seeing Riker's "little girl."
"You are a very beautiful girl...what's your name?"
"You look just like your mother," she caressed
Deanna's cheek and then turned to Riker. "I always
knew you two would end up marring and having lovely
children, Commander," and left smiling.
A fizzing sound awakened Will. He had not been really
sleeping, he had not been able to sleep thinking in
all what had hapenned . Will stretched in his bed and
opened his eyes to find Deanna standing at the door
between the two bedrooms. Her soft curls were a mess
and she was crying, afraid of being alone in a strange
place and asked him to stay with her. Will got out of
bed and knelt in front of her to fix her hair and
clean her tears, "I know what will help us sleep", he
tapped the tip of her nose and scooped her small body
in his arms. Walking to the replicator, Will gave
Deanna a mug of hot chocolate, and took her back to
her bed where he started singing to her "Down the
Valley" until she fell asleep once again. Will stroked
her head smiling at the way she had made herself sure
he would not leave the bedroom again. Deanna was
holding his arm tightly and resting her head over his
shoulder, Will laid on his back, mentally preparing
himself to spend the remainder of the night laying on
top of the covers of a four year old Betazoid precious
***** 5/7 *****
"Look I made you a picture!" Deanna stood up, leaving
her crayons on the coffee table and jumped onto Will's
lap to show him a picture of a very hairy blue eyed
man dressed in what appeared to be a red Starfleet
uniform, there where also some stars in the
background. Will kissed her cheek.
"Thank you, it's very beautiful", he held the painting
next to himself "It's the best picture of me anyone
has ever done!" Deanna laughed at Will, "Let's clean
up the mess before our friends come!"
"OK", Deanna hopped off Will's lap and started
gathering all the drawings she had just shown to her
mother as they talked via the communicator. "I'll give
this one to Data!" She held up a picture of Data and
her playing with Spot, "And this other one to Aunt
Beverly", he showed Will the portrait of a red headed
woman literally smiling from ear to ear and wearing
too much make-up to Will's likening.
"I'm sure aunt Beverly will love it honey!" Will was
glad that Deanna was adapting to all these new people
she had met during the three days on board the
Enterprise since that first morning. "Ok, let's put
these things in your room while I prepare some snacks
for our guests", he gave Deanna the crayon box and
watched her running into his bedroom to go to her
Beverly watched amused as Deanna stared with huge
black eyes at Worf sitting next to Will at the poker
"What?" Worf turned to speak to Deanna startling her
and making her move backwards and hide behind Will's
arm. She remained silent for a moment, keeping an eye
on Worf the whole time.
"Are you a Ferengi?" she asked innocently making
everyone at the table supress their laughter.
"No. I'm a Klingon", Worf's voice made it evident to
the grown ups he was not happy.
"Oh!" she kept watching both curious and timid and
after some seconds.
"Does it hurt?"
"The things coming out of your head", Deanna pointed
to her own forehead, indicating the Klingon's bone
structure. Beverly, Picard and Geordi had to hold
their laughter so not to offend their good friend.
"Deanna, that was not nice. Remember what we talked
about, the differences between species?"
Will took her onto his lap, "You didn't like the kids
being mean to you at school did you?" Deanna shook her
head remembering Tommy telling the other kids at
school that she did not speak out loud because she was
not human, and rested her little head on Will's chest.
"Now, tell Mr. Worf you're sorry."
"I'm sorry Mr. Worf."
"Apologies accepted" Worf said, then he smiled making
Deanna feel at ease and returned his smile.
They carried on with the game, while Deanna began
playing with Will's chips, piling them by colour, just
as the Captain's chips where accommodated.
"How many chips do we use little one?"
"Use these, and these and these" she grabbed all the
chips her small hands allowed her and handed them to
That said, Beverly, Worf and Geordi threw their cards
on the table. Victory came too fast for the Captain's
likening, but he could not help smiling at Deanna's
cheerful way to celebrate and enlighten the evening.
Bedtime however was announced by a long yawn.
"Ok say goodnight to our friends, I'll come and tuck
you in shortly."
Deanna kissed Will's cheek and then her beloved Aunt
Beverly and her two friends Data and Geordi.
Picard felt strangely touched by the child's kiss, and
then Worf found himself wishing Deanna sweet dreams as
a cordial response to her kissing him despite her
apprehensions. Will watched her walk barefoot and
wearing some soft pink and ruffled at the behind, one
piece pyjamas. She went to his bedroom, but when she
reached the door she stopped and turned back.
"Would you read a story for me tonight?
"Of course I will. Go ahead and choose the story",
Deanna jumped in sheer enthusiasm and entered the room
hopping in the direction of Will's nightstand where
she knew Will had left the bedtime story books they
had both picked from the library earlier in the
Some minutes later, Will saw her standing at the door
of his room holding something in her hands, she looked
"Is she your wife?" Deanna held out a picture of the
two of them wearing civilian clothes fishing together
at Lake El'Nar. She walked back to the table
scratching the side of her nose.
"Sort of", helped Beverly at seeing Will blush and not
knowing how to respond.
"She's pretty isn't she?" Beverly saw Will pulling
Deanna close to him and watch the picture together.
"Yep, she's very pretty, when I grow up I wanna be as
pretty as her."
That said, Will felt his heart beginning to take his
carefully controlled emotions away, making his eyes
water, he laughed to ease the moment.
"I'm sure you'll be just as pretty as her my Little
One", he said kissing gently her head and was rewarded
with a warm smile. "Now, it's time to go to bed", Will
put Deanna over his shoulder as if she were a heavy
sack, with her legs and arms stretched, she pretended
to be flying while Will walked out of the living area.
Deanna waved bye-bye to her friends from above Will's
shoulders flying backwards and disappearing into the
Beverly saw them enter the bedroom and closed her eyes
trying to find a reason as to why life could sometimes
be so unfair, specially with the most kind ones.
"Poor Will, we've all forgotten all what he's going
"Doctor, Data and I are making great advances on our
research, we only need to run some tests to be sure
everything will work out right."
"Geordi is right Doctor, according to our research,
there is a pattern in the time distortion, we are very
optimistic that in less than 36 hours we can be ready
to proceed with our plan to make the Counselor and Lt.
Comm. Sanders return to their proper time", Data
finished explaining and dealt out a new hand.
"All clear, you can sleep easy now".
Will said from his position at the floor checking for
hidden monsters under Deanna's bed.
"You haven't checked on that other side", said Deanna
standing on a chair in the corner of the room.
"There aren't any monsters on this side as well
only...wait what's this?" Deanna's eyes widened at
Will diving under her bed, she leaned forward for
seeing better and then gasped when seeing Will
appearing wearing his best monster face, "It's the big
tickler monster!", he announced as he walked towards a
very nervous Deanna that did not know where to jump,
she flew out her room and up to Will's bed already
laughing hysterically. Will stood at the end of the
bed and gave her enough time to make her escapade back
into her room before going after her and catching her
on her bed and started tickling her.
"Let go please, let go uncle Will", Deanna could
hardly speak through her laughter, it reminded Will so
much about his Imzadi that he could not help but to
feel miserable and released her.
"Is she your girlfriend?" Deanna took the picture
again once she finished laughing noticing that Will
looked at it tenderly.
"No, she's my friend, but I wish she could be my
girlfriend, yes." He got her inside the bed and then
sat close to her. "And I also wish she could someday
be my wife and we could have a little girl just as
beautiful as you". Deanna smiled happily.
"What is she called?"
"She's called Deanna, just like you", Will tapped the
tip of her nose and smiled at her amazed statement.
"Where is she?"
"She's on a long trip."
"You miss her?"
"Yes, I miss her a lot."
"When is she coming back?"
"I don't know. Now, you had better get some sleep
cause tomorrow I have the complete day off duty and I
have a big surprise for you!"
"What is it?"
"If I tell you, it won't be a surprise any more!"
When Will leaned to kiss her forehead Deanna wrapped
her little arms tightly around his neck.
"I love you Uncle Will... when mummy comes for me,
will you come and visit me?"
"Always, I promise. I love you too, now get some
sleep," he kissed her again and returned to the living
The next morning Will and Deanna got up very early and
after having breakfast and spent some time playing
together on the holodeck, they both went to the
arboretum where a special Children's carnival had been
prepared. There, they played, rode the ponies on the
merry-go-round, watched the clowns and the Risan
acrobatic dogs, and took part in the father and
child's competitions. Deanna got her face painted by
an Aelian artist, and drank all the chocolate
milkshakes Will could imagine possible, and they
danced together. By the afternoon, they were so tired
that they took a long nap before calling Lwaxana,
Deanna wanted her mother to see her face all painted
with stars and moons. Later they both began preparing
the meal and then Will got Deanna ready for bed.
"I don't wanna go to sleep yet, can I go with you to
your party?" Deanna jumped up and down on the bed in
her underwear not letting Will finish getting her
ready for bed.
"You're gonna get bored in there. It's a grown ups
party. Now stand still". Deanna stopped jumping and
Will pulled over her the sleeping gown.
"No! I won't get bored, please!"
"Deanna it's too late and you've got school tomorrow,
besides, I've already changed you into your pyjamas
and Alice is arriving any time soon for baby sitting,"
he finished to dry her hair off with the towel and
began combing her hair.
When the baby sitter arrived, Will went to his own
bedroom to get dressed for Data's violin concert and
once ready, he went to kiss Deanna good-night but
found her already dressed up in a lovely pink
baby-doll dress with a small dark-pink tulip pattern,
it had a big white collar and Alice was finishing
wrapping a pink ribbon around her pony-tail.
"I'm so sorry Commander, she insisted so much!" Will
smiled at Alice's shameful face and Deanna's devilish
"OK, let's get going, thanks anyway Alice."
"Yeah!" Deanna jumped possessed by pure joy.
At entering the small theatre room, Deanna saw Beverly
and ran to sit on the Doctor's lap and began
recounting her day to her friend. She told her all
about the beach at the holodeck and the sandcastles
and about the children's carnival and the tea party
she and Will had had later on the evening.
"We ate cookies that I replicated myself", Deanna
proudly told Beverly making the doctor laugh imagining
Will Riker crouched at the small tea table she had
seen in Will's quarters, playing tea party with a four
year old girl. But it was not difficult to imagine how
Deanna could have managed to get Will to play such a
girlie game, Deanna was an adorable little girl.
"Maybe tomorrow you can invite the Captain and Mr.
Worf to have tea with us!" Beverly imagined the scene
At that moment the concert begun and the captain took
Deanna's empty seat between Beverly and Will Riker, so
she remained with Beverly admiring Data's performance,
once the first theme was over, she returned to Will's
"Are you enjoying the concert?" Will stroked her head.
"Yes, can we invite the Captain to have tea tomorrow?
Aunt Beverly is also coming."
Will saw Beverly laughing, "You can bring Mr. Worf
too!" Deanna added.
"Deanna, the Captain has many things to do..."
"It's ok Number One, I'll be there at 1700 hours."
Will was sure Picard had no idea what kind of tea was
Deanna talking about, but they had to remain silent,
Data had started his second theme.
Everyone was gathered around Data, congratulating him.
Will was holding a sleeping Deanna in arms, she had
her arms lazily wrapped around his neck and her head
resting on his shoulder. After some talk, Will left
for his quarters, even Data and Worf were touched at
seeing their First Officer parting so early from this
kind of social gathering and taking a small girl in
arms. That picture certainly suited him. Will was
comforted by his conversation with Data and Geordi,
they had been successful, and in 11 more hours, when
the time distortion changed again, they would be able
to bring Deanna and Sanders back to normal. He entered
his quarters, changed Deanna into her sleeping gown
and stayed with her watching her sleep.
***** 7/7 *****
"You're not staying with me?" Deanna studied the
shuttlecraft as she went inside holding Will's hand
"No Little One, I can't. But it's OK, I'll be on the
viewer the whole time". Will helped her get onto one
of the seats and buckled her up. "Now it's going to be
a little scary, but I promise everything will be
fine", Deanna began pouting.
"I don't wanna stay here!" she tried to unfasten the
safety belt but Will moved her hands away.
"I know baby, but it's the only way out... I know
you're a brave girl!" he caressed her face tenderly
and cleaned her tears.
"It's ok Deanna, I'll be here with you", said Tommy
entering the shuttle. "I'm sorry I called you names at
"I'm sorry I scared you."
"Can you stay with Tommy?"
"I want to stay with you," she began crying and
reached her arms out trying to grab Will.
"Come on darling", Will hugged her and kissed her
head. "It will only take ten minutes or so, then we
can forget about this". Deanna calmed down and cleaned
"OK", her voice was still cracked, "I love you,
Imzadi" as soon as the words came out her mouth, she
brought her hands to it and gasped at what she had
just said. She had heard her elder cousins talking
"It's alright Deanna", Will held her tightly and then
gave her the white stuffed rabbit he had given her the
very first day and that she had kept with her during
the whole week. "Mr. Bunny will take care of you."
Deanna held Mr. Bunny close to her as she watched Will
leave, the doors of the shuttle closing behind him.
Then the viewer was activated and the shuttle began
"I'm scared Tommy."
"Me too, take my hand."
As the shuttle entered the time distortion zone,
communication began failing, on the bridge they could
only hear the shuttle rattling, Tommy's voice sounded
scared, as he tried to comfort Deanna who was sobbing
loudly. Will's heart missed a beat when he heard the
two kids screaming and then, there was complete
"Mr. Worf," Picard prompted.
"I'm reading two lifesigns, sir."
"Mr. Data, take that shuttle out of that area."
"According to our calculations, they still need to
remain inside the time distortion area for...12.04
more seconds, sir."
"Right," Picard saw Riker leave his chair and begin to
pace around the bridge, until moments later...
"Time completed, sir. I am proceeding to retrieve the
shuttle from the time distortion area".
"Mr. Worf," Riker walked over to Data's console.
"Everything is in order, sir, I am receiving two
"Lock on to them and prepare to beam as soon as the
shuttle is clear from the area," said Picard. Once the
shuttle was out of the time distortion area.
"Mr. Worf now!"
"Riker to sickbay."
"Sickbay here, everything is under control, Crusher
Deanna opened her eyes and found herself in sickbay,
Will was standing next to her, smiling and stroking
"Welcome back... how are you feeling?"
"A little disoriented, but fine."
Once Beverly had checked her over, Will walked Deanna
to her quarters. As they both sat on her couch, Deanna
rested her head back.
"What do you remember?" Will asked in a soft voice
looking straight into her eyes, Deanna lowered her
eyes and caressed the stuffed bunny.
"Everything," she looked back at him, "but as if it
was all a dream."
Will nodded understanding, "I remember feeling scared
but protected and safe by your presence...I remember
feeling lonely but comforted by your company... I
remember crying at night and you singing to me and
holding me tight... What do you remember?"
"I remember the most beautiful and adorable little
girl that turned me inside out with her smile... no
wonder she grew up to be the most amazing woman I've
ever met, and no wonder how I fell in love so deeply
with her." Deanna smiled back at Will.
"Thank you for taking good care of me," she leaned to
kiss his lips in a friendly way but he took her in his
arms and prolonged the kiss. [I love you too, Imzadi]
They broke apart and smiled at each other, Deanna
nestled herself within Will's embrace, both radiating
happiness for her safe return and thankful for
everyone else for forgetting about the adjoining door
between the two rooms.
Pau pau :)