Reality Fading
By Nicole

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the ship, I just tell it where to go.

Author's Note: the title doesn't fit the story, but I thought of the
title, and just had to use it. <g> This is a response to a challenge
issued by QDestinyy something like 2 or 3 years ago.

I don't think he was expecting this. Granted, I wasn't
expecting it, either. Of course, he and I have gone back to "just
friends," so I shouldn't feel bad. But, on the other hand, I love him
and he loves me. I shouldn't have let myself lose control like that.
But it did feel really good. And, of course, I feel bad now, because
of it! I've completely gone 'round to bend.'
I heard a sigh and didn't realize it came from within me.
"Hey." I felt a pair of strong arms encircle me. "What's wrong?" The
voice was male, and incredibly sexy. I have to smile.
"Nothing. Just… over-thinking things." The arms tighten and I
turn to face him.
"Well, maybe you should do something…" That smile, oh gods,
"that doesn't require thinking."
I smile up at him. "Maybe, you're right." I whisper. He grins
and pulls me closer. I stare into his deep, black eyes, anticipating
the feel of his lips upon my own. The door chimes. {{{Ignore it.}}} I
whisper into his mind. His lips brush against mine and I part them to
allow him access. The door chimes again. I can feel him, hard against
my stomach. {{{They'll go away}}} He pulls me ever closer, brushing
his hand against the side of my breast. The door chimes a third time.
I sigh and start to move away, stopped by his arms. He won't let me
go. I smile, seductively, and thought-cast, {{{Let's go to the
bedroom.}}} His eyes widen. We've been together for a week and only on
the first day have we gone to bed together. Again, the door chimes.
My, the person is insistent. I open my mind and feel the blood drain
from my face as I realize who it is.
{{{Is it him? The Commander?}}} He whispers into my mind. I
nod, not trusting my voice. As he lets me go and I pull from his
embrace, I feel a twinge of regret. He felt it, too. {{{Later.}}}
I straighten my uniform and run a hand over my hair. "Come." I
call out. The doors opened, and, true to my senses, it was Will.
"Hello, Will." I might as well be civil, despite the urge to tell him
to go screw himself. Will looks at me doubtfully, as if he can tell
that I want him to leave. Well, he probably can. After all, I didn't
answer for a long time, and I am standing in front of my lover, who,
by the way, Will doesn't know is my lover, so that he could "calm
down" before having to face the universe.
"Deanna. Doctor. I was just wondering if you were coming to
the poker game tonight, Dee."
I almost glared at Will. How dare he bring up the game and not
invite my companion. I feel him squeeze my shoulder, a sign that I
need to calm down. I take a deep breath before answering. "No. Doctor
Marai and I have other plans." I can feel the hate from Will toward my
lover. Hell, I can see the hate.
"I bet." Will muttered the comment, but not very quiet. I
decide to ignore it. "Well, if you change your mind it's on at 2100."
I try to smile politely. "That's not very likely, but thanks
anyway." By 2100 I expect to be in the middle of at least my fifth
orgasm. I feel a wave of desire hit me. 'Damned telepaths.' I think
"Um, well, I guess I'd better be going. Bye." Will ducks out
of the room and the doors shut behind him.
I turn back to my lover. "Yes?"
"Don't you think we should… stay apart? Physically, I mean."
I feel a sinking in my stomach. "What do you mean?"
"Deanna, I think we both know what I mean. If it hadn't been
"Shayne, this is what I want. I know you want it, too. Just
because our first time together was… less than ideal, doesn't mean we
can't do this."
"But, Deanna, we only got to the Enterprise yesterday. Riker
will think-"
"I don't give a damn what Will thinks. If he thinks we spent
the last week at the conference fucking each other to Kingdom Come,
that's his choice. But we know that we didn't. We know that when we
were together it had been a mistake. But we are attracted to each
other, and had that night not happened, we would be in bed right now."
"Shayne, we'll be arriving at Vulcan in a week. You'll go to
your scientific meeting and we'll probably never see each other again.
I want to be with you."
Shayne shakes his head, amused. I suddenly realize how
desperate I sound. You'd think I haven't had sex in years! "My mother
always said that my never being able to say no to a beautiful woman
would get me in trouble."
I smile and reach up to kiss him. As I do, he picks me up and
carries me to the bedroom.


"Come in." I look up as the door opened, silently dreading
this confrontation. "Hello, Will. Come in."
I sense Will's hesitance as he looks into my office. "Do you
really want me to?"
I'm a little surprised at Will's question. "I… yes, I do."
Will steps in to room. "I think we need to talk."
I mentally brace myself. "Talk? What about?"
"You know damned well what!" I almost cringe at the anger in
Will's voice.
"Yes, I suppose we do need to talk."
I look at Will questioningly. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, how did you come to sleep with one of the four
greatest scientific minds in the quadrant? Not to mention that he is
the only young man of the four and the only Betazoid. Is that why?
Because he is Betazoid?"
I'm completely floored at Will's statement. How shallow does
he think I am? "No, that is not why. We met at a party, and… well…"
"You thought it might be nice to have some action?"
I glare at Will. "No. You know that I handle my alcohol
poorly. So does Shayne."
"At least that's what he told you."
"What does that mean?"
"Deanna, I know how the male mind works. I've even used that
excuse myself! He was probably completely sober."
"Did you use that excuse when you told me about how you and
Wendy Roper ended up in the same bed? Will, Shayne did not lie to me.
He did not use me. Now if you would please go, I have work to do."
"Goodbye, Will." By now I'm really annoyed with Will. He just
doesn't seem to get it that he's not the only person I want to sleep


"He just makes me so angry!"
"Deanna, you're wearing down your carpet." I look down and,
upon seeing no difference in the carpet, look back up and glare at
Shayne. "Deanna, come over here. Sit down."
I comply and then stare pointedly at my lover, wanting an
"Deanna, he couldn't make you angry if you didn't have
feelings for him." I open my mouth to protest, but Shayne shushes me
by putting his hand up. "Just listen, okay?" I nod. "Deanna, you're
Imzadi with him. We both know what that means, even if he doesn't.
It's a bond. And it's strong. 'Stronger than strength, More beautiful
than beauty, More loved than love, More cherished than family.'
Right?" I nod again. "You love him, Deanna. You see the beauty in the
bond. In him. You see the strength. Why can't you see the love?"
I shake my head, unable to speak. {{{He doesn't want it.}}}
"Deanna, he's been dying inside ever since we transported up.
Even since he saw us locked in an embrace."
I am crying now, unable to hold the tears back any longer.
{{{I don't want it.}}}
"I don't believe that. You hold him very dear to you, Deanna.
You give him what you never gave me. You give him your soul. You gave
me your heart, but you gave him your soul."
{{{And he gave it back.}}}
Shayne shakes his head. "No." He says softly. "No, Deanna, you
took it back. You didn't trust him not to hurt you again." I shake my
head, trying in vain to deny his words. "Give it back to him, Deanna.
Trust him. Take your heart and your soul and give them to the man who
needs them. And let him give you his."
I look up at Shayne, this man I thought I loved who is trying
to make me realize my love for Will. "Thank you." I whisper. Shayne
smiles and I put my arms around him, drawing him into my embrace. He
understands that I only need his body right now. That I can't go to
Will just yet.


I stare out at the stars, through the window in Ten-Forward. I
can feel his eyes on me, blazing a hole through my back with his
sky-blue stare. But I can't look at him. The false sympathy, secret
gladness, secret hatred. It has been six days since I got back from
the Starfleet Psychology Corps training meeting. Tomorrow we arrive in
orbit around Vulcan. Tomorrow my lover will leave. Tomorrow I will be
alone again.
I feel Will's presence beside me, but I do not turn.
"You'll never be alone, Deanna." That said, Will turns to
I turn to him now, incredulous. "Will, wait." He turns back to
me and raises an eyebrow.
"How did you know…?"
~~~I can hear you, Imzadi.~~~ My eyes widen. It has been so
long since Will has called me that. Imzadi. Beloved. Soulmate. I love