Challenge #3 from Imzadi List:

In this challenge you get a negative of a picture, no color, no real description, just a brief look at a scene. You have the freedom to color it in as you
wish, just use the scene somewhere in the story.

The negative is this: Deanna Troi is sitting in front of a fire reading something she is holding in her hands. She is crying.

Let your imaginations soar and your fingers fly!



Author: Pia Pedersen


Note: This is my response to Challenge #3 … and it's sad. You have been warned. :)


Disclaimers – yep, they still apply




She had been walking around in a daze all day, and it had taken all her strength to keep up the appearances that she wasn’t falling apart. She knew that she hadn’t fooled anyone. They all knew why this day carried such significance for her, and everyone had basically been walking on egg shells around her – something that didn’t make Deanna feel any better. So she had retreated to her quarters and could not wait for the day to over. She just wanted it to be over.


It was supposed to have been a happy day. The happiest day of their lives, but then … then it had all ended. Deanna felt the tears coming again, and she gave up trying to hold them back. She needed to cry, needed to scream and let out her pain.


She needed him. She needed him so much. Will. Her Imzadi. But he wasn’t here, and he hadn’t been in a long time. Deanna went to her desk and opened a drawer, carefully reaching inside to pull out a piece of paper. It was one of the letters he had written to her her over the years. She smiled through the tears as she read the words, but she couldn’t finish it, it was too hard. The feelings, so evident in what he had written, overwhelmed her and coupled with her own emotions they made her physically ill.


“Will,” she whispered. “Come back to me, Will!” The silence was mocking her, highlighting her solitude, and she couldn’t take it. She had to get out before the walls stated to close in on her. Deanna left her cabin and headed for the Captain’s Ready Room.




Deanna wasn’t the only one battling grief on this day. Jean-Luc Picard had felt the guilt wash over him at the sight of Troi’s pain, and it had only grown in intensity throughout the day. He should have done something, he should have … Picard sighed. Intellectually he knew that everything had been done to find Will in time, but that didn’t ease the pain, not at all.


“Come,” he said, quickly steadying himself as the chime sounded, and the doors parted to reveal the Counselor’s tear stained face. “Deanna.” Picard rose from behind his desk, and in a uncharacteristic move, he brought her into his arms, trying to offer her some comfort. “I’m sorry.”  


“I know,” she managed. “I know.” She stepped back from him and turned away from the sorrow in his eyes. She couldn’t bear it.


“He loved you deeply,” Jean-Luc said, and Deanna turned to face her superior officer again. Sometimes Picard surprised her, and because his emotional moments was rare, his compassion and support meant all the more to her.


“Thank you,” she said, smiling faintly. “Sir,” she continued, and Picard waited. “I would like to request a few days of leave.”


“Certainly,” he allowed. “Take all the time you need.”   


Deanna left, and Picard waited until she was gone before heading for Sickbay to ask Dr. Crusher to keep an eye on Troi, because it was obvious that she was close to the edge, and he would do anything to prevent her from falling. He had failed to save Will, and it would haunt him forever. He wasn’t about to let it happen again. Will had asked him to make sure that she would pull through, and Picard would honor that request.




Deanna had just assured Beverly that she would be able to get through the night on her own, but when she climbed into the cold, empty bed suddenly she wasn’t so sure. This was wrong, so wrong. She wasn’t supposed to be sleeping alone on tonight of all nights. He was supposed to be here beside her, kissing her, loving her. They had promised each other that this day, their wedding day, would be a new start. Instead, it would forever be a day of mourning for Deanna. Six months ago she had been by his side as had pledged his love for her one last time before surrendering to the pain edged in his still handsome features. She would never be able to forget the feeling of unspeakable loss when she had held his hand and felt the force of life leave him … and she had cried silently when she had heard the echo of his voice in her mind during those last seconds. He would always love her, he had said, she would always carry his soul with her, just as he would always have a part of hers. Deanna felt so cold, and she closed her eyes to block out the thoughts of the wedding she would never have, the children she would never give birth to, and the love that she would never again experience.


Finally she managed to fall asleep, and she was lost in a dream that she had had so often in the last months. It was always the same. She would be sitting by a fireplace, Will’s letter in her hand and tears running down her cheeks as she came to terms with her loss. But then, by  some miracle, she would hear the doors slide open, and he would be there, smiling, his arms open, and his lips soothing … he would be with her again, alive and well, and she would spend the night in his arms, knowing that it would only be the first of many.


But she would always wake up to find herself alone and cold, realizing that it had all been a dream, only a dream. Tonight she expected it to be all the same, and it was … except …


“Will?” she spoke his name out loud, knowing that she would get no answer. Still, something was different. He was here, she could feel it.


~ I love you, Imzadi, and I will always be here. Always. ~  


~ I feel so alone. Will, please … ~


Then, incredibly, she felt his arms around her, the brush of his lips against hers, and she cried. She cried, because she was happy, because she was sad, and because she knew that even if she was only imagining his touch, it was true.


He would always be with her, and she would be all right.