Title: In Your Arms Again
By Nine
Rating: PG
Summary: Deanna looks out over the ocean, remembering moments she and Will had shared.
Disclaimer: No infringement intended.

I really wanna see you. I really wanna touch you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again I really wanna reach you, forever to be with you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again -----------------------------------------------------

Deanna stood there, looking over the edge of the railing and into the star lit waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It had been ten years since she had seen the others, her friends...family, from the Enterprise. She missed those days when she was back there, on the ship she loved most with the people she loved. With the man she loved. Well, tonight she would be with her family again. They had scheduled this little oceanic cruise on earth as a reunion. She smiled, sensing the anticipation in everyone else. Geordi was already talking with Data, Beverly in her quarters, Worf staring into the waters on the other side of the ship thinking of his beloved Jadzia. Even Guinan had come. Deanna could sense her making merriment in the dining hall of the ship, listening and offering her age old advice. It seemed empty without Captain Picard. He had died a few years ago, leaving Beverly and their son to mourn. Lucien, the sixteen year old boy's name was. He was in many ways as Deanna had envisioned what a younger Jean-Luc would have been like. Well, Captain Picard would certainly carry on the family line as he had so wanted. Deanna sighed sadly and yet at peace, touching the wooden rail as she stared into the blue-black waters. The water reminded her of Will's eyes. She smiled, remembering...

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It was written in the stars on the pages of my heart. Oh, that someday I would find the love I feel for you tonight. On the ocean of our dreams, Like a prayer you came to me. And the longing that had been, found it's ending in your eyes and I am missing you tonight... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

"Damnit, Deanna, I love you," he said playfully out of the blue, having just entered her quarters.

She laughed. "I love you too," she answered, hands on her hips. "Now what is it that you came here for?"

He laughed and flopped onto her couch. "Do I need a reason to see you?"

She smiled at his playful demeanor. She loved him like this. Leaning against the wall she crossed her arms and said, "Will Riker always has reasons for what he does. Even if they are stupid reasons."

Will characteristically grinned and went to her, pinning her to the wall. "Stupid ones, huh?" he said, kissing her lips. "See, no beard."

His eyes had the ability to speak volumes to her. For a moment all she could do was stand there and gaze, lost in their infinite blue. "Well," she said softly after a moment. "It's definitely a step up."

His eyes went wider as his grin increased. "Ok, Counselor." He dove in for another kiss, this time longer. After a moment he pulled back. "And that?"

She made a show of thinking about it. "Better," she answered, ever so slightly reluctant.

He laughed and kissed her a third time, throwing all of his feelings and passion into it. He knew she would sense his every emotion. When he pulled back this time she was speechless, dark eyes wide as she gazed. "That?"

"Will," she breathed. "I had no idea...I didn't think you still felt that way."

He nodded impatiently. "The kiss, Deanna."

Her shocked expression melted into a smile. "Definitely an expert kiss."

He grinned and pulled her to him again, this time not letting her go...

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I really wanna see you. I really wanna touch you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again I really wanna reach you, forever to be with you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

"I don't understand," Will said softly.

Deanna took a breath and placed her dress into the case. "I just need a change, Will. I've been on the Enterprise doing the same thing day in and day out for the past twelve years of my life."

Will flopped down on the couch and ran a hand through his hair. "Aren't you happy on the Enterprise?" he asked softly.

Deanna sighed. This was not going to be easy. Sure she had been very happy on the Enterprise, and when she and Will had gotten back together things were that much brighter. But things were never going to change. He would always be content to be Commander Riker, but she couldn't live with being Counselor Troi anymore. At least not here. And there were people on Betazed that needed her...and more than he did. She stopped and regarded him. She could sense his sadness and anger at her leaving, but he didn't need her to stay. She was like an old comfortable piece of furniture that one could live without, but didn't want to give up. Well, she was not content to live like that. "I'm happy, Will, but I am not going anywhere. Nothing changes. I can't live my life never knowing if..." She paused. If he didn't want to marry her she wouldn't push the issue. "I just can't live my life doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life. Being on the Enterprise has been one of the happiest periods of my life, but I need change, Will. Things would be different if...but that's not going to change."

Will blinked. "Have I done something to hurt you, Deanna?"

Deanna sighed and leaned into him. The last thing she wanted was to give him grief over things that were her troubles. "It's nothing you've done, Imzadi. I just need a change of pace for a while. If things change then I'll return."

Will frowned and hugged her close. "If things don't change then I'll never see you again."

She touched his face. "You'll see me again, Imzadi. I promise." He sighed and kissed her lips gently, then left. Deanna sat down on the edge of her bed and wiped the tears that were already falling fro her eyes. Why didn't you ask me to stay, Imzadi? she thought, hurt and feeling more alone than she ever had. Why didn't you want me to stay?

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Across the waves, across the sea, separating you from me. Here's a promise and it's mine. I will love you for all time. I'm wishing you were here tonight... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

They had seen each other a little under a year later at Bev and Jean-Luc's wedding. She had been very nervous to see Will again, wondering if he would be angry with her, or hurt. Wondering if he had moved on. And then she saw him. He was talking with Worf, but what drew her attention was the short little blonde woman attached to his arm. Deanna could recall the feeling of her skin heating and her pulse racing. But that was silly. Of course he would have moved on by now. Even if she hadn't. So she had grit her teeth and went to them, smiling and linking her arm into Worf's. "It's been too long," she had said to Will and Worf. "I've missed you both so much. I don't believe I know you." She smiled as politely as she could muster.

The blonde looked considerably uncomfortable. "I'm Rebecca Hansen. And you?"

Deanna smiled. "Deanna Troi. I used to know Will and Worf a time ago when I was stationed on the Enterprise. Are you good friends with them?"

Rebecca blinked and looked at Will uncertainly. "Well, I've known Will for about seven months now. He and I are quite close. I've only just met Mr. Worf."

Deanna pet Will on the shoulder. "I'm glad to see you've taken a romantic interest."

Will sighed and said, "What about you, Deanna?"

Deanna shook her head. "No one at the time, but that's not for lack of trying." She smiled up at Worf, then slid her gaze back to Will.

Will inhaled. "Could I speak with you a moment, Deanna?" he said firmly.

Deanna unlinked with Worf and said, "I don't see why not. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Remona." She waved sweetly as Will led her away.

"What's the meaning of all that?" Will asked angrily when they were alone.

"What are you talking about?" Deanna said, tossing back her hair and blinking.

"All that," he said, waving his hand. "Acting like that with Rebecca."

Deanna rolled her eyes. "Oh calm down, Will. I didn't mean anything by it. I was just playing."

Will exhaled an angry breath. "Are you having some sort of weird Betazoid hormone imbalance? You're not acting like the Deanna I knew. You're acting like a child!"

"Maybe I'm not the Deanna you know," she flared. "How dare you say that?" She could feel his anger and was shocked by it. Sure, she expected he would be a little upset, but this?

Will stepped back. "How dare I?" He was really furious. "You leave me for a year with very little communication and then you have to nerve to act like that when you find out that I actually moved on with my life. Well, I'm sorry I didn't crumble and die after you left."

Deanna turned her back on him and covered her eyes. She heard him sigh and his hand fell to her shoulder. "Don't touch me," she said through gritted teeth. And then he left.

When she'd finally regained her composure and walked out Worf was still standing there. "Are you all right, Deanna?" he asked in his deep tone.

"No," she said, starting to cry again. Why couldn't she control herself? "What have I done?" she whimpered as he encircled her in his strong arms.

For the rest of the festivities she avoided him. She even closed her mind to him, not wanting to even know what he was feeling. Instead she laughed with Data, talked girl talk with Beverly and left with a heavy heart.

Some few weeks later she got a text only communiqué from the Enterprise.


I'm sorry for the way I acted. I didn't mean to hurt you. Please, say you can forgive me.


She had replied that he had been forgiven and after that they had stopped speaking...

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I really wanna see you. I really wanna touch you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again I really wanna reach you, forever to be with you. I really wanna hold you in my arms again ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

Deanna stared out over the railing and sighed. She missed Will so much and wanted to touch him again. Just once. "Lovely night," said a deep voice.

She turned and smiled at Worf. "Yes, it is. How have you been, Worf?"

He took a deep breath and stared out over the ocean waters. "There are still some nights that I can feel her beside me in bed. Time when I hear her laughter and turn. I see her eyes all the time. But I am happy."

She turned back to the ocean. His words echoed what she felt. "I know what you mean," she murmured, fingering the rail.

Worf placed a hand on her back. "Do you see his eyes in the water?" he asked. It was strange to hear Worf talk like this.

She nodded. "Do you see hers?"

He inhaled and closed his eyes. "Yes," he said softly.

Deanna sighed. "I wish I had made things right between he and I before..." she tried to say, then paused to wipe her tears. "I miss him," she whispered finally.

Worf turned her to him. "I came to give you something, Deanna. Before he left for that mission he told me to give you this in case something happened to him if I ever saw you again. I was going to send it to you last month, but I thought it might mean more in person and since we were going to meet here..." He pressed a holo-camera into her hands.

Deanna nodded. "Thank you, Worf. It does mean more."

He smiled and retreated to leave her with the camera. Deanna fingered it for a moment then pressed the play button. Will's beautiful face entered the screen and she almost sobbed right then. "Hey, Deanna," he said softly. "I don't know exactly where to start or what to say. But before I go on this dangerous mission I have to tell you all the things that I wanted you to know. First, that I never married Rebecca. Shortly after the Captain's wedding I broke things off with her. Because I knew that I was still in love with you. I said some pretty hurtful things to you and you'll never know how much I regret that. When I told you that I didn't crumble when you left, that was a lie. I did crumble. It hurt me so much when you left. I had been trying to muster up the courage all week to ask you to marry me. Well, I guess it's a good thing I didn't. I don't know what I would have done if I had had to actually hear you say no. So in a way your leaving was fortunate. It saved me that hurt. But I'm sorry for the way I treated you. Seeing you again re-opened that wound and I guess I couldn't control my hurt. Second, you don't have to worry about my having any hurt feelings towards you. I know you love me, Imzadi. I know the way you were acting was because you were hurting. Worf had a pretty good talk with me later that night. Well, if you are seeing this, then I must have been killed. But I don't want you to be sad, Imzadi, because I will be with you forever. I love you so much, Deanna and in so many boundless ways that I cannot believe it could ever end like this, with my death. No, Deanna. Death will not separate us. When the winds blow, feel my touch and when you see the waters of the ocean, know that I am watching you and loving you with everything in my soul, Imzadi. Well, I have to leave now, Imzadi. My heart goes with you where ever you are, Love. I leave you with these parting lyrics from an ancient song from Earth. 'Cast your eyes on the ocean. Cast your soul to the sea. When the dark night seems endless, please remember me.'"

Deanna ran her fingers over the screen and smiled. Gazing out, she noted that the wind felt a little warmer and the moon shone ten times as brightly as before. And then her gaze fell into the depths of the water. She could almost feel her eyes on her, his smile and love. I'm here...
Startled, she whipped around to see who'd said that. But no one was there. Taking a breath she turned back to the waters and placed her hand over her heart, calming herself. Her lips quivered a little as she smiled and whispered, "I know you're here. And I love you, Imzadi." She closed her eyes as the breeze picked up a little and let the peace of nature surround her as she remembered Will, and loved him.