Disclaimer: Paramount is big, I'm little--pick on some one your own
As I lay here dying, writing this letter to you, you are only two. But
one day you will know the truth of my words.
I watch you playing on the floor. You are fascinated by the train that
circles the Christmas tree, and the sparkling lights seem to hold you
mesmerized, in their world of wonder and possibility. And you are
blissfully unaware of my condition.
And so I write to you. Knowing that I will soon be gone and you will
want a part of me to carry with you. My point in this letter is
something you won't understand until you have lost a love. Something I
profoundly wish will never happen, but I know is inevitable. My only
real regret is that I won't be there to comfort you when you realize
the truth of my words. I also wish many other things. To see you grow
up. Fall in love. Marry. Have children. I wish I could be there, Will.
I really do. But, like I said, my most profound wish is that I could
be there to comfort you when you hurt.
Also, like I said earlier, my point is something you won't understand
until you've lost a love. I'm not talking about your first boyhood
crush or girlfriend. Or even first lover, though that may be the case.
I'm talking about the first person you really, truly love. The person
you would give anything for. The person you would even give up if she
so wished it. I do not know who she will be, but I do know that she
will be beautiful. And she will be yours. I don't mean in ownership,
but in heart. She will hold your heart, and you will hold hers.
Will, I want you to listen carefully as I make my point. My point is
simply this: cherish every moment, because before you know it, it will
be ripped away. You may not believe me. In fact, you probably won't
until it will be ripped away from you. So I ask you this, as my final
request as your mother. Live life to it's fullest. Once you find that
one, special woman, your soulmate, do not let her go. For anything.
You probably will not understand nor heed my words, but know this:
they carry truth.
As spasms wrack my body and I feel myself dying a little more, you
look over at me. You swim in and out of my vision until I can focus on
your big, blue eyes. You get up and walk over to me. You climb onto my
lap and hug me. 'I love you, Mama.' It is your first sentence. And the
last I will ever hear. You speak again, but I can not make it out. The
roaring in my ears is too much. I hug you close to me, as I finish
writing my words. I will die holding my baby.
I love you, Will.
"Cruel woman. That's what you are, you know that? A cruel woman."
Deanna laughed as she and her best friend, Will Riker, walked down the
hallway from Ten-Forward to the turbolift that would take them to
Will continued to grumble and Deanna could make out a few words like,
"Humiliated Nightbird dumb song cruel woman " Deanna grinned.
It took Will a few minutes to realize that his best friend was no
longer walking beside him. He stopped and turned around to see Deanna
leaning against the wall, one arm wrapped around her stomach while the
other clutched her head.
"Deanna? Deanna, what's wrong?" Deanna didn't answer and Will decided
to call Sickbay. "Riker to Sickbay."
"Beverly, I think Deanna's sick. She's standing against the wall
clutching her head and stomach."
"Can she walk?"
Will looked at Deanna, who nodded. "She says yes."
"Then bring her in."
"Right. Riker out."
Deanna took a step away from the wall and collapsed into Will's arms.
"Maybe I can't walk." She muttered.
"I'll carry you." Will offered. Deanna nodded and Will picked her up.
Having Deanna in his arms like this, with her head resting on his
shoulder, almost nuzzling his neck, was very trying. He loved her, he
couldn't deny that or that he loved having her in his arms.
By the time Will got to Sickbay with Deanna, Beverly was pacing the
main room with erratic steps.
"Beverly." Will said as he laid Deanna down on a biobed.
Beverly immediately ran her tricorder over her semiconscious friend.
Frowning, Beverly started a series of more elaborate tests.
About fifteen minutes later, Beverly turned back to Deanna. "Deanna."
Deanna's head rolled to the side and she regarded her friend with half
lidded eyes. "Deanna, you have Varashe Syndrome."
"Varashe Syndrome? What's that? How will Deanna be?"
"Varashe Syndrome is a rare disease that strikes about ten percent of
Betazoid/Human people. Deanna will be fine-"
"Fine, that's great!" Will interrupted.
Beverly continued as if Will hadn't spoken, "for about a month."
"Huh? What happens in a month?"
"Will." Deanna said weakly. Will looked down at her.
"Varashe is fatal."
Will was at a loss. "But but what about " he trailed off, gesturing
to the Sickbay equipment.
Beverly shook her head. "I'm sorry, Will, there's nothing I can do.
Deanna has four weeks to live."
Will couldn't believe it. His beloved Deanna, his Imzadi, was going to
die in four weeks.
"You can take her to her quarters, Will. There's nothing I can do and
she'd be more comfortable there." Beverly said as she turned to her
office, tears welling up and streaming down her face.
Will looked down at Deanna, the sorrow rising in his throat, making it
impossible to swallow. "Do you want me to carry you to your quarters
now?" Will asked in a choked sounding voice.
"Please." Deanna said quietly.
By the time Will got Deanna to her quarters, she was feeling a lot
"Deanna." Will watched Deanna hurry around her quarters, preparing for
dinner. "Deanna, Beverly told you to rest."
Deanna stopped and turned to face Will. "No, she didn't." Will was
about to argue when Deanna continued, turning back to her work. "She
just told you to take me to my quarters, because there was nothing she
could do in Sickbay and I'd be more comfortable here." Will sighed.
"Join me for dinner?"
It was then that Will noticed that Deanna had set the table for two.
His eyes welled up. "Yeah." He rasped.
Will walked into his quarters and hit the wall between his bedroom and
main room. It felt good, so he did it again. Will continued to hit and
punch the wall until his knuckles bled. "She can't die!" He yelled in
desolation, sinking to the floor. "She can't." he whispered. "Not now.
Not yet. Not ever."
Will's head jerked up as he heard Deanna's voice in his head. ~A part
of me will live on, Imzadi. Forever.~
Will couldn't help it, he started to cry. And he didn't care if all
the universe could see him. His Imzadi was going to die in a month.
And nothing that would ever happen to him would be worse than that.
Will jumped when he felt soft arms encircle him, but he gave in to the
embrace and cried into Deanna's hair.
"Shhh. It's okay, Will. I'm here. I'll never leave you." Deanna
started softly crooning a song-a lullaby-and Will felt himself relax
and slowly stop crying.
Will pulled away and Deanna smiled, gently pulling a few strands of
her hair from Will's face.
"I love you, Deanna." Deanna froze. "I don't want you to leave."
Deanna's eyes welled up. "Gods, Will, why did it take the news that
I'm dying for you to say that? I love you, too, Will. With all my
heart. All my being."
Will leaned over and kissed Deanna softly on the lips. As he drew
away, Deanna's hands went to the back of his neck and she brought him
back to her. They kissed again, this time, passionately, ruthlessly.
"Will," Deanna mumbled against his lips. "make love to me."
Will gently pulled away. "Are you sure?"
Deanna nodded. "Yes. Show me how much you love me."
In an instant, their clothing was gone and they reveled on the feeling
of their bare flesh against each other.
One week later
"Will, this is beautiful. The moons of Betazed, but not Betazed."
Deanna commented as she gazed around the holodeck. They were standing
in a meadow with a small lake off to one side. Leading away from the
lake was a stream, which widened in the distance and fell off a sharp
cliff. "Janaran Falls."
Will grinned. "I knew you'd remember."
"How could I forget?" Deanna laughed. Her voice then softened. "It was
wonderful. It still is."
"Deanna," Will started to look nervous. Deanna turned to him, sensing
the emotional change. "I brought you here for a specific reason. This
place is a mixture of our heritages. And I want to mix them even
Deanna's eyes widened. "Deanna, Imzadi, will you marry me?" Will
brought a ring out of his pocket and held it up to her, offering it to
"Gods." Deanna squeaked. ~Yes, Will. I will marry you.~
Will grinned and slipped the ring on Deanna's finger.
Another week later
"All right, let's head off to Ten-Forward. We have a reception to go
to." Beverly grinned.
Deanna laughed. "Beverly, let us get some clothes on before we parade
around the ship! Although I'm sure some of the junior officers would
like the senior officers to become exhibitionists."
Beverly looked down at her own nude form and mumbled, "Oh, yeah, I'm
nude." Everybody laughed at this and Beverly looked back up at Deanna.
"Ya know," she started with a grin, "I think you're right!"
Deanna looked at her friend, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "About
what, the clothing part or the exhibitionist part?" she asked
Beverly blushed again and mumbled, "The clothes part."
"You know, Bev, considering how you reacted to Lwaxana attending her
own wedding nude, I never would have thought you'd attend Deanna's and
my wedding nude." Will commented as he wrapped his arms around his
beautiful new wife.
Beverly grinned. "I did it for Jean-Luc!" she said in a breathy,
over-dramatic voice as she leaned against the nude captain. Deanna hid
"Why, Jean-Luc, such thoughts!" Lwaxana exclaimed. That did it.
Everybody started laughing and Jean-Luc turned bright red, from his
hairline to his chest. "Oh well, at least they're not about me. This
"Mother." Deanna warned good-naturedly.
"Oh, Little One, I'm only kidding!"
"I can't believe it." Deanna sighed. Will came up behind her and
wrapped his arms around her waist.
"We're finally married. Took ya long enough!" Deanna exclaimed,
elbowing Will in the ribs.
"Beating on me right after our wedding! I oughta call security!"
"Wouldn't that be a sight! I could just picture it. They come in here
and--" ~Mother, get out of my thoughts!~
~Little One, I'm just trying to be certain that William isn't hurting
you and is behaving himself.~
~Mother, Will would never hurt me. Besides, now that we're married,
Will doesn't have to behave himself.~ To prove her point and much to
Will's embarrassment, Deanna sent Lwaxana a mental picture from one of
Will's dreams from a few years ago. Will striding into Deanna's
quarters, tying her to the bed, and taking her as hard and fast as he
could. Both Will and Deanna felt Lwaxana's mental walls slam into
"Deanna! Did you have to show her that image? Well, at least she knows
it was just a dream."
Deanna grinned. "No, she doesn't."
"I never had the chance to show her that it never really happened. She
thinks it did."
Will groaned and dropped his head to Deanna's shoulder. "I'm dead."
Deanna immediately tensed.
Will's head shot up. "Gods, Dee, that's not what I meant!"
Deanna took a step away from Will, the mental barriers coming up.
"Dee, please, don't block me out!" Will was begging. He knew it, but
Deanna sat down on the couch. "Will, we need to talk about this."
"On our wedding night?" Will didn't really want to talk about anything
that would consist of more than gasps of passion.
"Yes." Will sat down on the couch next to Deanna.
"Will, when I comforted you two weeks ago, what I told you was true.
Is true. I'll always be here. I'll never leave. A part of me will live
on forever. I will be alive in your memory and the memories of others.
I will be alive in your heart."
"But I want you to live on in my life." Will said, close to tears
again. "I want to wake up with you beside me. Go to sleep with my arms
wrapped around you. I want you, not just a memory."
Deanna hugged Will. "I know, Imzadi. I know. I want to love, too.
Experience everything life has to offer. Pregnancy. Childbirth.
Watching our child grow every day, knowing that it was the miracle of
our love that made that possible. I want that, Imzadi. But I won't
have it. Ever. And that's hard on me, too. I want to love you for more
than just a few weeks. But I can't." By now, Deanna was crying, as
well as Will.
"I'm sorry, Imzadi, I was being selfish."
Deanna placed her hand on Will's cheek. "No. You were being what you
are. A man about to lose his wife and Imzadi."
"His only love." Will added.
"Another will come. The pain will fade. But you won't forget."
"There will never be another who will come close to you. I will never
Deanna shrugged. "Look at Mother. Her and Daddy were Imzadi. Daddy
died. Mother hurt, but she moved on. The pain did fade, but she hasn't
forgotten. It will be the same for you, too. In time."
"Deanna, I don't want to move on. I want you, forever, in my arms. I
want to be with you, forever."
"I know, Imzadi. So do I."
Will and Deanna hugged, and for a short time, cried together, for the
death of the life they would never have.
Suddenly Deanna's mood changed. Her hand, which was resting on Will's
thigh, started wandering upwards. Will pulled away, stood up and took
Deanna in his arms. They kissed as Will walked into the bedroom. The
door slid shut behind them, locking them in and the universe out. But
one person, no, Entity, continued to watch. She could not be locked
out, and wanted to watch this blessed couple.
One week later
"Beverly, I told you, I'm fine!" Deanna exclaimed as her friend ran
tricorder over her. "Just a little nauseous, but nothing really
Beverly put her tricorder down. "Deanna," she started. "I'm not sure
if you will think this is good news or not."
"Beverly, what is it?"
Deanna's mouth dropped open and she placed a hand on her stomach.
"I feel it." Deanna cut Beverly off softly. ~Will!~
On the bridge, Will's head shot up at Deanna's
Within five minutes, Will was striding into Sickbay and walked up to
Deanna, taking her hand. Beverly watched the silent communication
between her two friends, and observed Will's expression change from
concern to shocked happiness and back to concern.
"Beverly, is there anything you can do to save the baby?"
Beverly thought for a moment, then said, "If you choose a person, I
could take the foetus out of Deanna and implant it into a surrogate
Deanna and Will looked at each other again, silently agreeing and
choosing. "Beverly," Deanna said, "we want you to be the surrogate
Beverly was speechless. Of course, she hadn't really expected them to
pick anybody else, but still! "I would be honored."
Deanna smiled and hugged Beverly. "Thank you." She whispered.
The next day
"How do you feel?" Will asked softly, taking Deanna's hand.
"Like something's missing."
"I'm sorry, Dee."
"Quit apologizing. It's not your fault."
Nurse Alyssa Ogawa approached to couple. "Counselor, as soon as you
feel okay, you can go back to your quarters."
Deanna smiled. "Thank you, Alyssa. How's Bev?"
"Both her and the baby are fine. Actually, as Dr. Selar and I did the
procedure, we realised that Dr. Crusher is pregnant as well. So, I
guess, in a way, your baby will be a twin."
"That's wonderful! Bev will be so happy!" Deanna laid back on the
biobed, thinking of her friend's happiness. But Deanna's joy was
tainted by the realization that Beverly would have both of their
One week later
Will glanced nervously at Deanna. She was sitting in her normal seat
to the left of Captain Picard. Every once and a while, she would sway
dizzily, but when Will got up to help her, she would wave him back to
Will noticed that Deanna breath was shallow and she was shaking. Her
skin was pale and she was having trouble focusing her eyes.
~Imzadi?~ Will sent.
~It's happening.~ Deanna's mind whimpered. ~I'm dying.~ Deanna
suddenly went into seizures.
"Riker to transporter room two!" Will yelled as he went to Deanna.
"Medical emergency! Two to beam directly to Sickbay!" Will and Deanna
then disappeared in a shower of blue sparkles.
The spasms wracking Deanna's tiny form subsided and Will moved her to
a biobed, standing beside it, holding her hand.
"Hold me, Will." Deanna mumbled. "Let me die in your arms."
Will gently lifted Deanna up and sat on the biobed, letting her lay
across his lap, leaning against his chest.
Beverly walked over to Deanna, hypospray in hand.
"No." Deanna protested. "No drugs. Let me die naturally."
Beverly glanced at Will and he nodded. She then turned and let
Sickbay, unable to face her best friend's death.
"Promise me," Deanna's voice was getting weaker by the second. "that
you will sing 'Down in The Valley' to our child."
"Sing it to me, Imzadi. Please." By her last word, Deanna's voice was
no more than a whisper.
Will started singing. "Down in the valley. The valley so low. Hang
your head over. Hear the wind blow."
A whisper of a smile graced Deanna's face. "I love, you, Will. Imzadi
"I love you, Dee. My Imzadi. My forever." Will leaned over and gave
Deanna a light kiss. She went limp in his arms, a slight smile on her
The Entity watched as the man held his now-dead wife and cry. He cried
for his wife, he cried for the life they would never have, but most of
all, She knew, he cried for himself.
She brought a hand to her face and was surprised to feel moisture. Did
the depth of emotion in this one man run so deep as to make Her feel
his sorrow? Their love was so strong. They had truly been blessed. The
woman was right. Imzadi is forever.