Like I Love You
by Nicole

Disclaimer: Paramount didn't, so I did.

#Why do lovers drift apart
#And how does love fade away
#When do pieces of a broken heart mend again

Deanna laid down on her bed. 'Gods, even seeing him, after all
this time, it hurts. Will it ever stop hurting?' The door chime rang
and Deanna got up, straightened her dress, and walked into the main
room. "Come in." The doors opened and Will Riker stood at them. "Will,
you can come in."
Will stepped in and the doors closed. "Thanks." Deanna sat
down and motioned for Will to sit, too. "Deanna... what to say?"
"Say what you feel."
Will took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Seeing you
again... after so long... gods, Deanna I missed you."
"You didn't meet me on Risa."
Will glanced down. "I know." he said quietly. "And you don't
know how much I beat myself up over it. I still beat myself up over
it. What I did was unforgivable. And really stupid. I'm sorry, Deanna.
But... I still love you."
Deanna's mouth opened as if she was going to say something.
Nothing came out. "I... Will... I'm... I... This is too much for me to
"I know. I'm sorry. I'll leave, now." Will got up and walked
to the door. Just as they opened, he turned back to Deanna. "Never
forget that, Deanna. I love you. That will never change." That said,
he turned back and left the room.
Once Will was gone, Deanna's eyes filled with tears. She laid
back down on her bed and cried.

#You've been crying in the dark
#And you've been feeling alone
#Don't be scared of what you'll find
#When you turn the light on

"Tasha, I don't know what to do!" Deanna wailed to her new
"I don't get it. What's so great about Will Riker that you
have to do something? I mean, sure, he's really good looking, but
that's no big deal."
Deanna shook her head. "It's not that. Before he was stationed
on the Potemkin, Will was stationed on Betazed to wait for it. We met
and he pursued me, but I basically shrugged him off. Finally I granted
him one date. We went out, no big deal. Then I was captured by
Sindareen Raiders. Their ship crashed in the Jalara Jungle and Will
and a bunch of other officers came looking for me. Only one Sindareen
and I survived. Will killed him and I realized that I loved him. A
little while later we made love, and let's just say that a three day
trip took five days. We realized that we are Imzadi." At Tasha's
puzzled look Deanna explained. "Imzadi is a Betazoid word that
literally means 'beloved,' but it is also a bond. In that sense Imzadi
means 'the first.' The first to touch each other's souls. After Will
and I got back, we had planned to meet and marry on Risa. I went, but
Will never showed up. He was on assignment at the time."
"I see what you mean. I guess the only thing you can do is
sort out your feelings and confront him."
"That's not all. Will told me yesterday that he still loves
"Gods. Wow. Do you love him?"
Deanna slowly nodded. "Yes. I think so."
"'Think'? Only think so?"
"All right, I love him."
"So tell him. Listen, I'd love to stay and chat more, but I
have duty."
Deanna nodded absently and Tasha left her quarters. Deanna
thought about Tasha's words. So tell him. Those three words had the
power to change her life. If she did what they told her to.
The door chime ringing interrupted Deanna's thoughts. "Come
in." The doors opened, but nobody was there. Deanna got up and walked
to the doors. She looked down and noticed an isolinear chip on the
floor. She picked it up and walked to the player, inserting it. Deanna
listened as Will's voice spoke to her.
"Deanna, I was looking through some songs in the computer, and
I found one that fit my feelings. Just ignore the fact that it's sung
by a woman. I love you. Will."
The music took over Deanna's very soul as she listened to the
beautiful voice of Amy Grant.

#Ain't nobody gonna say good-bye
#No, ain't nobody gonna walk away
#This time, baby, I'm learning how to love you, love you
#Ain't nobody gonna make you cry
#No, ain't nobody ever really tried to love you
#Like I love you

As the music faded, Deanna suddenly had an attack of anxiety.
'I can't love him. It's been too long. We've both changed. We're
working together, it wouldn't work. He's trying too hard. He just
wants sex.' Then she realized what was happening. 'Gods, I sound like
a complete moron. I'm making up excuses not to be with him, when being
with him is exactly what I want. My mind is blown. Completely blown
out of orbit.'

#What sad memory of yesterday
#What terrible scar
#Keeps you gathering the pieces of
#Your shattered heart
#There was once upon a time
#When hope was living within
#I know there will come a time
#When you can believe again

'Gods, how long has it been? How long has it been since I've
not felt bad about this? About Will and what didn't happen? Too long.'
Deanna got up off her bed and walked out of her quarters, to Will's,
next door.

#How long have you been feeling lonely
#How long have you been feeling sad and blue

"Deanna! Come in." Deanna walked in to Will's quarters and sat
down on the couch. "What's wrong?"
Deanna stared at the floor. "Will... I do love you." Deanna
said this so quietly that Will almost didn't hear it.
Deanna looked up at Will. "Please tell me you were kidding. I
don't think I'll be able to say it again."
Will suddenly let out a whoop of joy and picked Deanna up,
swinging her around. Still holding Deanna in his arms, Will kissed her
softly on the lips, not wanting to scare her away.
"Will," Deanna said as Will pulled away. "Please tell me that
was just a practice. Or do I have to re-teach you what I like?"
Will shook his head. "You don't have to re-teach me. I
remember." Will kissed her again, letting his tongue outline her lips,
sucking on her lower lip, then upper before taking her whole mouth
with his. Will let his tongue brush lightly against Deanna's before
pulling away.
"You're improving." Will raised an eyebrow. "I won't say that
you're perfect yet. But, practice makes perfect." Deanna grinned at
him and Will grinned back. Suddenly Deanna sobered. "I love you,
"I love you, too, Deanna."

#This time, baby, I'm learning how to love you, love you
#Ain't nobody gonna make you cry
#No, ain't nobody ever really tried to love you
#Like I love you