"Did You Think-?"
Written by: Anonymous
Disclaimer: Paramount stinks. We do much better with them. Come guys,
put them up for sale, I'll buy them. Until then, I guess we owe
homage to the yahoos at Paramount/Viacom.

Episode Edition to: Second Chances, between Will saving Tom in the
cavern and Deanna saying goodbye to Tom


Deanna Troi finished reading the mission report displayed on the
screen before her. Raising her fingers to her forehead, she gently
attempted to massage away the massive headache building between her

Staring at the screen again she sighed deeply. `It almost happened
again.' She thought. `I almost lost him.'

Then her mind reeled. `Not him… them. No, him…' No wonder she had a

Commander Riker and Lieutenant Riker had both survived the mission to
Nervala IV. Now Deanna was forced to make a decision, almost the same
one she'd struggled with over a decade before.

It was no longer a struggle with her feelings for Will. The entire
time they'd been on the Enterprise Deanna had perfected the art of
turning her emotions on and off. While she and Will were alone, she
could let go. They would flirt mercilessly, always heading for a
destination they both knew would never be reached.

Years ago on Betazed a little flirting would lead them endless hours
of ecstasy. Betazed's sun could have gone supernova above their heads
and they never would have noticed. There was nothing but them… their
bodies and minds passionately melted together in the heat of the

Once their short lived time together was over, weeks apart had turned
to years. Deanna was sure she'd never see Lieutenant William T. Riker
again. Even when they'd been reunited on the Enterprise, Deanna
quickly realized that she was indeed correct. Lieutenant William
Riker was now gone. He'd matured into a responsible, caring man whom
no longer but his needs above everyone else's.

He'd thrown Deanna off balance. The moment she saw his name on the
crew manifest she'd expected him to charge after her, immediately
wanting to begin their affair again. At that point, she wasn't sure
herself how she would have responded. Would she forget all the pain
and regrets? Would she be able to forget all the nights she'd spent
crying, the humiliation she felt as she sat alone in her room on Risa
reading his message of regret that he couldn't get away from the
Potemkin to meet her?

She thought it would be easy. Pain and humiliation have a way of
overriding good judgment. Her original plan was to blow him off just
as he had her on Risa two years before.

That was until she saw him. The moment he walked from Captain
Picard's ready room all logical rationale flew completely out of her
mind. For a moment, it was just the two of them- back on Betazed and
head over heels in love, until she allowed her mind to touch his.

Recoiling in surprise, she did the only thing she could. She tested
him. `Do you remember what I taught you Imzadi?' His expression told
her that he did. He'd no idea that she would be on the Enterprise.
That was partially her fault. She'd never told him that she attended
Starfleet Academy before beginning her classes at the University of
Betazed. While Will talked in Starfleet terms, Deanna acted
oblivious, pretending to not know a thing of what he was saying.

Why did she do that? Partially, it was to push him away. He was
immediately attracted to her, at first physically, and after a while
emotionally. He saw a future for them where Deanna saw uncertainty.
Her Mother had been right, despite the fact that Deanna had gone to
the Academy, she never saw herself being cooped up on a Starship for
weeks on end. Will would never understand that because it was what he
craved the most.

If he'd known she was a Starfleet officer on educational leave back
then, he would have wanted her to transfer to the Hood with him. And
after their time together in the Jalara, she would have gone without

It would have been their downfall. She would have given up all the
work she'd done in school, all the work she'd put into the Counselor
Test Program for Starfleet, and run off with William Riker. She would
have been miserable and it would have become a vicious circle. Her
misery would affect her relationship with Will. They would have been
torn apart with no hopes of another chance.

And she would be out in the cold. All her dreams would have been
dashed and she would be alone. So, her fear of `what was to come'
stopped her from telling Will. Years later at that very moment on the
bridge of the new starship Enterprise, she was positive that she'd
made the right decision.

Oddly enough, Will didn't seem particularly affected by that… or her.
His initial shock had worn off quickly and she became no more than a
co-worker to him, at least on the exterior. Whatever internal
struggles he was experiencing, he chose to not share it with her.

Even when Wyatt Miller came and tried to whisk her away to marital
bliss on Betazed, Will closed himself to her. They'd almost had `the
talk', the one they needed to have back when their engagement had
been broken, but Wyatt interrupted. `The talk' never came and they
continued to dance around each other… and their emotions.

On those occasions when their more… basic instincts took over their
time together, they'd awaken still wrapped around one another and go
back to being Commander Riker and Counselor Troi. They'd never speak
the words, `it never happened', but their actions spoke volumes. Most
mornings, she would leave his quarters before he had even woken or
vice versa. An hour or two later, they'd see each other at the
morning briefing and pretend… well that it never happened. Until the
next time, and with them there would always be a next time.

Now after six years of their incessant dance around each other, it
suddenly had become different… very much different. Deanna was face
to face with the demons of her past and the demons of her future. She
hadn't seen Commander Riker since the night in Ten Forward with
Lieutenant Riker, and Deanna couldn't help but relish the feelings
that her time with the Lieutenant had awaken in her.

She'd fled to the gym with Beverly, hoping her friend could offer
counsel. Instead, Beverly had done nothing but encourage her.
Deanna's mind was still reeling when he'd come in wearing his workout
clothes. Beverly not so eloquently fled the scene leaving her alone
with him.

Why after all these years did he find the need to test her? Or was he
testing himself? Why the façade, why not just be honest?

Her mind continued to reel with dozens of questions. Why, why, why.
Finally, she had to know.

"Computer, locate William Riker."

The computer spoke instantly. "Commander William T. Riker is in his
quarters, Deck 8, Section 11. Lieutenant William T. Riker is in his
quarters, Deck 14, Section 4."

Deanna ignored the throb of pain in her head as she jumped to her
feet and walked straight to the closest turbolift. She walked as
briskly as her small legs would allow her to.

Finally at her destination, she rang the chime and waited for Will to
answer. He was surprised to find her outside his door, and extremely

"Deanna-" He stopped when he saw her expression.

"Can I come in?" She barely mumbled her question but Will didn't
hesitate. He stood to the side and let her enter.

"Want something to drink?" Deanna noticed that he was fidgeting when
he asked the question.

She simply shook her head. "Will, I have to ask you…"

Will sat down next to her on his sofa. He watched her intently as if
he was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Deanna finally took a deep breath. `Just say it you coward.' She
urged herself.

"Did you think I wouldn't know?"

Will guiltily looked down at the floor. Before answering, he reached
to his collar and removed his three command pips signifying his rank
of Commander.

He gently placed them in Deanna's hand. "These are yours." He
replied, thoroughly throwing Deanna into a state of confusion.

She looked down at the three gold pins in her hand. "I don't
understand." She replied.

He smiled gently before explaining. "Those are the most important
things in the world to him." He said softly.

Deanna knew instantly what Will meant. Lieutenant Riker wanted
nothing but to further his career. It was his top priority once, it
would be again.

"And you?" She prompted.

He thought for a moment. "It was for me once too… until I came on the
Enterprise. There's something I never told you six years ago."

She waited for him to gather his thoughts. "When I accepted the First
Officer's position here, I'd been offered the Captaincy of another

Deanna smiled. "I know that Will. Your friend Paul Rice ended up
taking that command. You said that you thought your career path would
be better suited here on the Enterprise."

Will nodded. Turning to Deanna, he looked deep into her eyes
thoroughly penetrating her soul. "That's not the only reason I took
this assignment. I knew you'd be here."

Deanna let out the breath she didn't know she had been holding. "Why
Will? We hadn't spoken for over two years."

Will shrugged. "There was so much left unsaid… and I thought so much
more for us to experience… together. I actually thought I could come
and whisk you off you feet, Starfleet would offer me my own command,
and we would leave here together."

Deanna's mind was awhirl. Will had never spoken of this to her, nor
had she ever had any indication.

"What changed that?" She asked quietly.

Will ran his hand through his hair. "You did, without even trying. I
was so sure of myself until I saw you on the Bridge at Farpoint
Station. You were even more beautiful than I remembered, so confident
and content with your position. You were surer of yourself than I
certainly was. I got scared and backed away."

"Why didn't you ever tell me this?"

He shrugged uncertainly. "Why have we never sat and talked about any
of it? Because there was plenty of time? Because we were terrified of
actually laying our feelings out in the open?"

Turning to Deanna he gently took her by the shoulders. "I couldn't
open my heart to you again just to go through that pain of finding
out how much you'd changed in the two years since I'd seen you.
Pulling myself away from you was the hardest thing I've ever done in
my life. I tried so hard to change, to not be the same man I was on

Deanna placed her left hand on Will's. "You succeeded. You're not the
same man that left on the Hood. You're not the same man who beamed
from the Potemkin down to Nervala IV."

He didn't seem convinced, and then it dawned on her. "My Gods, that's
why isn't it?"

He guiltily turned away from her. "I had to know." He said after a
long pause.

"Did you think I wouldn't be able to tell the two of you apart Will?
I knew the instant you walked into the gym."

Will looked unconvinced. "You didn't say anything."

Deanna sighed. "When you came in the room, you we so anxious and
unsure of something, I decided to play along. That's why I slammed
you down to the floor the way I did. I had every intent to find out
why you were pretending to be Lieutenant Riker."

"Why didn't you?"

Her face blushed. Finally she admitted, "I got too caught up in you.
Once my body was pressed against yours I lost myself to you."

"But why Deanna? Was it because of this link we share? Is it because
somewhere, somehow, in some time, there's still a chance for us? Or
was it because you were caught up in the memories of what we used to

Deanna tried to formulate an answer but couldn't. Instead she
asked, "Is that why you gave me `permission' to be with him? You
think I was reliving our past?"

"I don't know. I felt guilty for tricking you… even though I now know
that I didn't. I just want you to be happy. I don't want to be
responsible for hurting you again."

Deanna slid closer to him taking his hands in hers. "Don't think that
way Will. You and Lieutenant Riker are two totally different people.
He wants us to be together… but I'm not sure it's what I want." She
sat quietly for a moment fidgeting with his hands.

Will smiled wanly. "He's not going to stay onboard the Enterprise.
It's ironic isn't it? Now you're the one with the choice to make,
your career or the person you love."

Deanna sat silently now having come to the realization that he was
right, the tables were turned. However, not only did she have that
choice to make, but yet another.

Which Deanna was she? Was she still that young woman shyly testing
the waters of love and emotion on Betazed? Had she grown and changed
so much in the passing years that she could never be that young girl
again? Should she take this opportunity to try and recapture what
she'd lost once or stay here and wait for the possibility of
something that may never come?

Will pulled his hands from Deanna's and moved to the other side of
the room. "He's leaving soon. You should talk to him before he goes."

Will sat at his desk and began reading a data PADD that was sitting
there. Deanna couldn't help but feel as if she'd been dismissed.

She stood slowly silently begging Will to say something. Nothing more
was forthcoming so she left in silence, more uncertain than ever.

In his quarters, Will threw down the PADD the moment the door slid
shut behind Deanna. He was glad that the lights in his quarters were
muted so she couldn't see the tears that were streaming down his

Angrily wiping his tears away he immersed himself in the work at
hand. After a while his thoughts again turned to Deanna. He had to
know… he needed to know if she went to him.

Holding his breath he called, "Computer, locate Counselor Troi."

His mine screamed with joy when the computer announced. "Counselor
Troi is in her quarters, Deck 8, Section 12."

She didn't go to him. Maybe… just maybe there was a chance for them
after all.

He spent a bit of time finishing up the report he'd been working on.
Realizing the time, he grabbed the gift he intended to give his
duplicate and headed to the turbolift.

His heart fell when he saw Deanna in his quarters. They'd obviously
been talking and Will was unsure of what their conversation could
have been about.

When `Tom' was about to leave he told Will, "Take care of her." That
was confirmation for Will that Deanna had indeed chosen the road
untaken, instead of the uncertainty of the path already traveled.

Taking her hand as they left Will wondered what the road ahead held
for the two of them.

One thing was certain; there was plenty of time to find out.

The End