'Have a good vacation all.' Picard said finishing the senior officers meeting.
Will Riker stood to leave as did everyone else. They all filed out of the meeting
room. Will headed to the turbolift, following closely behind was Geordi, Beverly
and Deanna. Deanna smiled at him, that beautiful mischievous smile. Will smiled
back at her and winked. The turbolift started and the lights whisked by as the
senior officers started discussing where they would be going while the Enterprise
E was undertaking repairs.
'Well it must be nice to go on a vacation for a month!' Geordi said.
'Hey, you could take a month off too you know!' Beverly replied.
'Geordi I really think you should take at least a week off.'
'Of course counselor.' Geordi said half mockingly.
'So where will you be going Will?' Beverly said eyeing Deanna. 'Earth perhaps?'
'Oh I don't know if I'm up to a visit with my father just yet. Besides I was thinking of somewhere with better weather.'
'Deanna isn't Betazed lovely this time of year?' Beverly asked innocently.
Deanna just smiled.
Beverly got off first heading to sickbay to say goodbye to Alyssa Ogawa. Geordi then left to go to engineering, of course. The doors hissed shut and Will and Deanna were alone. Only the humming of the lift was heard. Will was the first to drop the guise of just friends and slowly reached for Deanna's hand. She did not remove it. Will glanced at her to gauge her reaction. She was looking straight ahead with a smile on her face, knowing that he was looking at her.
'Deanna' Will started, but got cut off as the doors slid open.
'My stop.' Deanna said removing her hand from his. Will followed.
'What I was going to say was,' Again he was cut off.
'Will, let's discuss this in my quarters, shall we?' She said in an easygoing matter. How can she be so calm? Will thought to himself. Of course she was always calm, well almost always. Recent memories sprang to mind and brought a roguish smile to his lips. They entered her dark quarters. 'Lights' she commanded.
'Now' she motioned to the couch where she sat. 'What did you want to talk about?'
'You, me, us.' Will stammered. Deanna smiled. She's probably amused at my nervousness. 'Deanna you know how I feel about you right?'
'How is that?' She was going to make him say it. Riker smiled to himself.
'I love you imzadi.' He almost whispered. Deanna was no longer amused. Her expression became that of seriousness.
'For how long Will? a week? a month? a year? until the next beautiful woman enters the room?'
Will was shocked. 'Deanna! You know me better than that.'
'Yes I do know you. And I know you are sincere in your feelings now but what about later? I just don't think we should rush into anything.'
'Rush?' Will exclaimed. 'Deanna, how long have we known each other?'
'I just think that it would be better,'
Will stood and grabbed Deanna's shoulders. He pulled her off the couch and to her feet. He then kissed her passionately. She didn't resist but Will stopped anyway.
'Deanna I love you and that is not going to change ever.'
Deanna's face was flushed and her eyes were wide. Will left her quarters quickly not giving her time to respond. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He packed quickly and requested use of a shuttle from Captain Picard. He was off the station in under an hour. He knew Deanna was going to Betazed to visit her mother and old friends. He set course.
Deep Space Nine came into view and he asked for clearance. It was granted and he docked. The round door slid open and he was greeted by Major Kira Nerys.
'Commander, welcome to Deep Space Nine. If you would have told us you were coming we could have made certain preparations. How long will you be staying?'
'Not long Major, that is one of the reasons I didn't contact you earlier.'
'The other?' she inquired.'
'I need to surprise a certain Ferengi.'
Nerys smiled deviously. 'I'll make sure to keep your arrival very quiet Commander.'
'Call me Will, I have a feeling we'll be good friends.'
'Alright, then call me Nerys.'
'Thank you Nerys.'
The two walked off talking and laughing.
'Quark!' Riker said loudly. The little Ferengi looked over quickly. His momentary shock faded as he saw the Commander and he automatically lapsed into his false platitudes of greeting. 'Commander, what a surprise! How nice to see you, can I offer you a drink?'
Quarks bar was a bustle of activity. There were some Ferengi's playing at the Dabo table, three Klingon warriors getting drunk on bloodwine and many others just there for a bit of socializing.
'No I'm interested in a more sizable purchase.'
'Really.' Now Quark was all lobes.
'I'm looking for a ring.'
'I may have something in the back. They are quite expensive though.. how much are you willing to pay?'
'Wouldn't you love to know. Put it this way Quark, you remember when I won triple dop dabo here last time?' Riker smiled. 'I wasn't even trying.'
'Commander, for you, I'll offer a special price.'
'Just let me see the rings Quark.'
Quark returned shortly after with a square black box. When he opened the box he knew right away which one Deanna would want.
'That one.' Riker said pointing.
'Are you sure because this one here..'
Quark sighed, knowing he wasn't going to be on the winning side of this particular deal.
Riker admired the ring he had chosen. The band was simple enough. It was made of gold pressed latinum and in the center there was some kind of rock, which had caught Riker's eye. It looked like there was a sky within the depths of the rock. He could see clouds moving through the rock in all the different colours and shades. It was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, except for Deanna, and he'd seen much. He'd thanked Nerys and was now on his way to Betazed to prove to Deanna he could not be so easily deterred from his ultimate goal. He smiled to himself imagining the look on her face when she saw the ring he'd chosen for her.
Deanna sat on a lawn chair in her childhood backyard. The landscape was wonderful, the weather perfect, but Deanna was preoccupied.
~What troubles you Little one?' Lwaxana asked inside her mind.
~Will and I had a dissagreement and'
~Oh you had a fight'
~No it was just'
~Well what was the fight about?'
~Well Will said he loved me'
~That's wonderful! It took him long enough.'
~Mother! If you won't let me finish a thought I can't tell you about the argument now can I?'
~You are right, I'm sorry but if he said he loves you what's the problem? You love him, that's obvious, you have for years.'
'I just can't talk to you!' Deanna said aloud and went inside.
Deanna sat in her old room looking at all her old possessions. She wasn't really looking at them, more past them than anything. Why had Will left so soon after the argument? Why didn't he say good-bye? Maybe he realized he didn't love me? I should have told him I loved him, no no if he can't stand this small test of our love than we shouldn't really be together. A tear began to form at the corner of Deanna's eye.
The chimes made a musical sound and he touched them lightly, they were also louder than he remembered them. The towering Mr. Homn opened the door.
'Would you please tell Deanna I'm here to see her?' Will asked politely.
Silently Mr. Homn nodded and the door closed in Will's face.
No more than a minute later Deanna opened the door. She looked apprehensive.
'Deanna.' He breathed.
'Why did you leave the Enterprise so quickly?'
'I'm sorry about that, I had something very important to attend to.'
'More important than us?'
'Nothing is more important than us.'
'Then?' Deanna said as simultaneously probing Will's mind. He was very happy and full of anticipation.
'Would you come for a walk with me please? I promise to explain.'
Will knew Deanna felt unsure but he wanted to propose in a certain spot.
'Where are we going?' Deanna asked.
'No where.' Will said innocently.
Wills feelings were effecting Deanna and she began to feel them herself.
Will stopped in front of a large tree.
'Do you remember this place Deanna?'
'Of course.' Deanna smiled looking to the top of the tree.
'This is where you tried to teach me to use higher reasoning.'
'Try is the operative word.'
'Do you think you made any progress with my hu-man mind?' Will said, pronouncing it as Quark would.
'Maybe a little.' She smiled.
Deanna then walked out into the tall grass away from the tree. She wore a pearl coloured robe like outfit that was long and flowing. The neck was cut very low as most betazed clothes are. Will stood under the tree and watched her. She impulsively threw her arms into the air and looked into the sky. Almost as if on cue the clouds rolled and rain came falling down. Deanna stood, unperturbed, eyes closed face turned towards the heavens. Will's breath caught in his chest at the sight of the woman he loved. Her long brown hair was now plastered on her cheeks and dripping. Will as if in a trance walked up behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waste and rested his hands on her stomach and his head on her shoulder. She jumped slightly at his first touch, then she brought her hands to rest atop his. He kissed her neck. Riker was now soaked and water fell down his face. He let go of her and turned her around to face him. Only then she opened her eyes. Will sunk to his knees in the wispy grass. He pulled the small black box out of his pocked and reached up with it. She took it and opened it. Her whole face transformed when she saw the ring. Her eyes lit up her cheeks grew pink. A hand went to her mouth. She was shaking. Riker could barely speak but he choked out.
'Will you marry me Deanna? Imzadi?' She tore her eyes away from the ring to look at Will. Nothing else mattered, no one else in the world existed. His bright blue eyes never looked so sincere or full of love.
'Yes.' Was all she could say, and as if a great weight was lifted from him Will jumped and picked Deanna up by the waist and swung her around. The bottom of her dress flowing out into a circle. Then they kissed, both mutually giving and taking wrapped so close in each other's arms one could barely determine where she began and he ended. Will then slowly pulled away and took the ring from her and slid it onto her slender finger slowly. With new love and hope in their hearts they walked away from the field to return home.
The Enterprise crew was now back and fully assembled. They were ready to resume active duty. Will and Deanna arrived together and decided they would go to Ten Forward hoping to see some of their friends there. They had not told anyone except Captain Picard of their relationship and had asked him not to tell anyone else. The only reason they had told the Captain is because they both wanted him to perform the ceremony. He was a bit wary because a traditional Betazoid wedding meant that everyone was to attend naked but in the end his friendship for them outweighed his discomfort he knew he would feel during the ceremony. Besides, they had said, everyone would be naked. They entered Ten-forward and saw Beverly Crusher sitting alone with a hot drink staring out into the stars.
'Beverly!' Deanna called.
Beverly smiled and the two women embraced fondly. As they parted Beverly motioned to Will and Deanna to sit down.
'I didn't hear from you two much the past month.' Beverly stated.
'I'm sorry but I was really busy.' Deanna said, feeling genuinely sorry.
'It's alright I was a little preoccupied myself.'
Beverly being a doctor was very perceptive with people and she noticed something about Will and Deanna's body language right away. Something between them was different. Beverly squinted as she looked at Deanna more closely and smiled to herself.
'So when is the wedding?' Beverly asked calmly, secretly delighting in the way Will's eyebrows shot up in surprise.
'I would have known I couldn't keep this from you Bev, are u sure you aren't empathic too?'
'Nope just good old woman's intuition.' She replied taking another sip of her honey tea.
'Beverly, you're my best friend, would you be my made of honour?' Beverly hadn't been expecting that for some reason. She put down her tea and smiled tears coming to her eyes. 'I'd love to Deanna. I'd be honoured.'
Now Riker had the task of finding a best man. He decided he couldn't chose between Data and Geordi so he asked them both.
Since the only thing that Deanna would be wearing to her wedding was a tiara of some sort in her hair it became her main source of concern. Lwaxana wasn't helping. She was so excited that Deanna was finally getting married she had something to say about everything. Beverly, being the maid of honour had to mediate between mother and daughter constantly, and found the task more difficult than performing major surgery. Finally the time came for the ceremony.
It was a small wedding, only close friends. There was Picard, who stood at the front of the red carpet preparing for his part in the ceremony, Riker who stood diagonal of Picard, behind him was Data, and Geordi. Worf, Miles and Keiko O'Brien had arrived the day before from DS9. Beverly, Lwaxana, and Chandra (Deanna's friend from home) and Deanna stood waiting for the music to start. There were only five people at the whole wedding that were unconcerned about their apparent nudity, Deanna, Lwaxana, Chandra, Data and Mr. Homn. The ever-silent Mr. Homn stood at the back of the room. The traditional wedding march began playing, for Deanna was, after all half human and Will was fully so it seemed appropriate that they should have a mixed type of ceremony. Chandra went out first, her stride was steady and confident. Then followed by her was Beverly, she looked almost as if she was daring herself to blush. Then Lwaxana escorted Deanna to the appointed place beside Will. The ceremony then started and soon everyone forgot about being nude and concentrated all their attention on the couple being bonded together. Deanna and Will finally married, and now kissed to seal their mutual commitment. Then everyone stood and clapped vehemently for the newlyweds. After that everyone dressed, some hurriedly, like Miles O'Brien, others more slowly, like Beverly and Jean-Luc Picard. They both dressed at a leisurely pace talking to each other at the same time. Mostly small talk about how wonderful the ceremony was. But both had other things on their mind. Deanna looked at them and smiled like the cat that ate the canary.
'What?' Will said looking at the doctor and captain but not really seeing.
'Wow I think that's the first time you've ever called me anything other than Will and Imzadi.'
'I think I like it...darling.'
Worf stood not that far away talking to Miles.
He scowled. 'Are they going to be like that from now on?'
'Oh that? No that should last for a few months a year at the most.'
Deanna and Will also heard the conversation and broke out laughing as Worf and Miles moved away unknowingly.
Deanna and Will lie in their bed in their quarters. Both awake but neither moving.
'Well this has been an eventful year. I'm looking forward to life getting a little calmer.' Will kissed Deanna's shoulder.
'Are you really looking forward to it?' Deanna looked to her husband.
'No, not really, why do u ask Mrs. Riker?'
'Just because life won't be getting much more calmer than this for a long while.'
'Why do you say that?'
'Well when you have a baby things tend to be hectic.'
Will sat up in bed. 'Excuse me?'
'A baby Will, I'm pregnant.' She said putting her hand to her stomach.
A look of awe came over Will's face. 'A baby.' Was all he could say.