My Other Side, Part IV
My Other Side
She was sitting in her motel room on the couch reading a book on Interplanetary Psychology when she heard the door chime.
She smiled immediately sensing whom it was. "Come."
The door slid open and she noticed how his head peeped through the door…as if he were sneaking into her room. "Got a minute?"
"For you? Sure." She said laying the padd down besides her, giving him a heart-warming smile.
He walked into her motel room slowly as if he were nervous about something.
"Sit down beside me." She urged, patting the side of the couch with her hand. He nervously sat down and clasped both hands in front of him as he rested his elbows on his knees and then he leaned forward, staring down at the floor.
"Thomas?" she asked now with more concern to her voice, sensing that something was wrong. But unable to put her finger on it or sense his true turmoil.
He suddenly flinched at the sound of her voice. "What!" he answered as if he had just been scared to death by the sound of her voice.
"What is it?" she asked placing a reassuring hand on his knee.
He quickly looked down at her hand and then at her and then back at his own hands clasping them together tighter. He swallowed hard and began. "It’s just…it’s just…" he stammered nervously.
"What?" she asked. Now he was beginning to scare her, she attempted to probe his mind.
"It’s just that…." He began. "I was wondering if you would like to join me for dinner."
"Oh you scoundrel." she snapped. Deanna picked up the small decorative pillow that was on the couch and threw it at him.
He batted at the pillow before it could hit him in the face and began to laugh out loud and she realized that his laughter was the same as Will’s and it sounded so alive. It rang like music to her ears.
"I told you, you had to keep those abilities of yours sharpened." He teased between his laughter.
"My empathic abilities are fine." She huffed at him, and then she came up with her reason for not being able to sense that he was joking. "I can’t read you at times that’s all." She shrugged.
"Why?" He gave her a mischievous grin, knowing he had just gotten the best of her. For an instant she froze and her mind flashed towards Will and the conversation that the two of them had years ago.
"Why Deanna? Why can’t you read me?" he asked again, but his voice sounded like a distant echo. Her mind was light years away, caught up in the memories of Will.
She slowly turned her head and stared blankly at the throw pillow that was now lying on the floor. "Because…. I don’t…think…" She began as if she had no control of her voice, she tried, but the words wouldn’t come out; her eyes had targeted the throw pillow purposely avoiding his face. Afraid of him and the emotion that he was stirring up in her.
He remembered the words. "Because, I don’t think too clearly when I’m around you." He stated in an even tone as if he were reciting her own words back to her. He stood up and walked over to her, gently cradling her face in his hands he bent his head down. "Actually I don’t think at all." These were the same words she had spoken to him in the jungle after they made love. His lips slowly came near hers. She knew he was going to kiss her yet she couldn’t stop him. She didn’t want to stop him.
It was a soft kiss and his lips were so familiar, the kiss was familiar. Relieved that she wasn’t resisting or stiffening up on him, he slowly broke the kiss. He looked into her eyes recognizing the passion in them instantly. "You are so beautiful." He whispered into her lips, then he kissed her again this time wrapping both of his arms around her as he deepened the kiss, and she sensed his own passion. She felt her knees buckle as her body slowly melted. She felt the fierce love that he had for her. A love that was so overpoweringly familiar, so warm, and yet so gentle…she allowed it to totally envelop her senses as it surrounded her mind and her heart. A love she had long ago forgotten, one she had only experienced in her dreams. The kind of love she thought had been buried along with Will.
She suddenly snapped her head away from him, abruptly breaking the kiss and pushing him away. She took two steps back and her eyes locked with his.
"Deanna…." He began to apologize. She knew he was going to apologize for being too forward, for making her feel uneasy.
"Oh my god…" she gasped, cupping her hands over her mouth.
"Deanna please…you don’t understand." He stated beginning his confession. He didn’t move, afraid that if he took one step closer to her she would run away.
"You’re in love with me…." She whispered, wishing that this wasn’t happening. Wishing secretly that he was Will.
"Deanna…. I couldn’t’ tell you. Not in the shape that you were in…you’re still in love with Will, we both know that…and if I would have confessed my love for you that day at the gravesite or at anytime, you would have resisted and run away from me."
Deanna sensed that his heart was beginning to open, as he confessed his love for her. Thomas Riker the exact duplicate of Will Riker was hurting, just as she was.
"I’m sorry…. But." He inhaled deeply searching for the right words. "You’ve never said that you’re love for me was over…And maybe…. Hell…I don’t know if I could ever allow myself to believe that, if you did."
His eyes glanced down at the floor and then back up at her. "My feelings for you haven’t changed. All the time when I was on that planet and in that damn prison, I never stopped loving you…that love was my driving force, Deanna…it was the only vehicle I used to make it through."
"I never gave up on us, somewhere in the back of my head or maybe in the bottom of my heart…I dreamed of us being together…. And I honestly believed that if I hoped long enough it would come true. I never gave up and I never stopped loving you. I prayed that I could someday win you back, and that I could heal the hurt that’s been done to you. I can’t take Will’s place, nor would I ever want to try…but I can love you." He inhaled and exhaled and then added. "I do love you, Deanna Troi."
A moment of silence passed between the two.
"You can call it pride of the dominating human male species or call it ignorance in it’s finest hour. But," he added, "please don’t call it false hope."
She looked at him and her heart began to melt, as the tears cascaded down her face. He had been sincere in his words and he had just poured out his heart to her, something Riker men weren’t known for. Yet she was paralyzed unable to move towards him.
He stood there waiting for a response and after receiving none, he began to feel like an idiot for pouring all of this out at her. He wanted to lift the tension that was as thick as a cloud between them. But yet he didn’t know how. So he stood wordlessly…Wanting desperately to say something but not knowing what.
This was that same young man that she had fallen in love with back on Betazed, the same young lieutenant that she had left standing in the museum, he too searched for the correct words to say. Yet not knowing what they were.
She could leave right now, and he would let her go, she was certain of that…. Just as he had done before… Putting her needs ahead of his. He left her on the Enterprise putting her profession and her job ahead of his desires for marriage, willing to wait for her.
Or she could stay here with Thomas and continue on.
"Please Deanna…Continue on." The last words of Will suddenly echoed though her mind, and then she saw his face. The look in his eyes bore through to her soul, penetrating every pore in her body.
This had been what he had begged her to do… continue on.
"It isn’t false hope, Thomas." She answered almost in a whisper, deciding to lead the conversation.
She slowly walked towards him and wrapped her arms around his neck and gently kissed him. "In this lifetime anything’s possible."
Thomas looked down at her with true desire and want. And gently taking his hand she led him into the bedroom and stood at the foot of the bed.
He said nothing; he bent down and gave her a tender kiss. His eyes full of patience and she knew he would do nothing to make her feel awkward. She took the lead and began to remove her clothes. She stood there naked in front of him, his eyes transformed immediately to one of adoration…. She felt as if he were worshipping the beauty and the magnificence of her naked body.
Thomas kissed her again and then gracefully he scooped her up in his arms, laying her gently on the bed.
She had taken the initiative and undressed in front of him. But it would be for the last time …for once he had laid her down on the bed, it was Thomas who soon reclaimed position of the leader, and that he did. He led her into worlds that both of them had long ago forgotten, they reached for the stars and touched them…and when they could go no further, their bodies released…. And in unison they heard a word.
A word of promise.
A word of healing…and a new hope for the future.
A word that will forever