”Turning Back Time”

Author: Pia Pedersen

Summary: Deanna has a very special birthday wish


Rating: PG-13 for brief sexual content


Note: Poetry belongs to Danish poet Piet Hein.


Disclaimer: It’s Paramount’s. Period.



“Good night, Will.”


Deanna Troi eased her hand out from under Will Riker’s arm as they stopped outside her quarters.


He leaned in to kiss her cheek, smiling as he stepped back from her.


“Happy birthday, Deanna,” he said.


She smiled at that.


“It isn’t my birthday until tomorrow.”


“Computer, time,” Will required.


“The time is 00.01 AM,” came the unemotional reply. 


“As I was saying,” he joked, smiling. “Happy birthday, Counselor.”


“Why, thank you, Commander.”


She stepped forward a little and reached up to touch his face.


Will found himself closing his eyes to savor the feeling.


“Do I get a wish?”


He smiled, opening his bright blue eyes and gazed into her onyx ones.


“Someone read up on Earth customs, I take it.”


He reached out to tuck a stray of curly hair behind her ear, thinking how long it had been since they had last acted like this with each other.


Here, onboard the Enterprise, they had become close friends, they were each other’s pillars of strength, but whatever romantic feelings they had once harboured for one another, they had long since been buried.


Or so they kept telling themselves.


“Well, I like some of your customs,” she answered somewhat defensively.


Will bit back a chuckle, remembering their discussions on the different customs of their respective cultures. She hadn’t minced words in her disapproval of certain traditions. On the other hand she seemed to approve of Christmas traditions, such as the mistletoe … and then there were birthdays, and the tradition of making a wish when you blew out the candles on the cake. She had been quite enthusiastic about that prospect.


“How convenient,” he winked at her, and she smiled.


He hadn’t seen her smile that way in quite a while. It had been a tough couple of months, and the mission that they had just completed had been very challenging for the crew, which meant that for obvious reasons it had also been hard on her.


He had worried about her and to see her smile like she did right now was more important to him than anything else.


“Will,” she said, placing a hand on his chest. It rested there for a minute until she removed it quickly, her cheeks lightly flushed.


“Yes,” he said, wordlessly taking her hand and held it in his against his chest.


Deanna looked down for an instant doing her best to conceal the emotions coursing through her body before she met his gaze once again.


“I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me.”


“I know.”


He nodded, but still brought her closer to him, letting her find comfort and security in his protective embrace.


“But I do, Deanna. I always will.”


“Me too.”


There was a silence, one that had become still more frequent between them.


It was a silence loaded with words unsaid, packed with the feelings and desires that they each struggled to keep hidden from the other.


It was Deanna who ultimately broke it, releasing herself from the embrace that she wanted to stay wrapped in forever.


“You never answered me.”


Will looked at her.


She was serious.


“One,” he told her, wishing he was the one with the empathic abilities for once. “The rule is you get one wish.”


He realized that he was holding his breath and let it out, just as Beverly approached them to offer her congratulations to Deanna.




“Will …”


He had been heading towards his own quarters wanting to leave the two women alone.


Now he turned around, nodding.


Beverly was no longer anywhere to be seen.


“I’m ready to make my wish now.”


He walked back to her, slowly – uncertain of what to expect.


“You are?”


She unlocked the door and stepped inside her cabin.


He stayed outside, and she turned to face him.


He waited for her to continue.


“I wish that we could turn back time, Will …”




The emotion in her eyes and the hope, with which she uttered her wish, left him unwilling and unable to deny her, no matter how difficult her request was to fulfil.


Time could not be turned back; what had once been could not easily be recaptured or rekindled.


He knew that.


They both knew that.


But it wasn’t important.


He wanted to give it to her – he wanted nothing more than to fulfil her wish.


He needed to do it, for her sake and his own.


She smiled, but he saw the sadness; it darkened her eyes.


“Good night, Will.”


He kissed her again, letting his lips caress her cheek affectionately.


She was so precious to him. 


“Good night,” he whispered softly, vowing to himself that tonight was the last night he would turn away from her.


Whatever the cost he would make her wish come true.


One way or another, he would turn back the time. 




 Deanna watched Will from across the room.


Her birthday celebration was full under way.


Beverly had outdone herself this year, and Deanna was grateful for her friend’s hard work.


But she found that she was unable to get in the spirit of the evening.


All she could think of was her conversation with Will the previous night.


She had asked him to do the impossible.


‘I wish we could turn back time.’


She closed her eyes at the memory.


It was true – she couldn’t deny it anymore. She wanted him; wanted to be in his arms, in his heart and his mind again. But as soon as she had spoken the words out loud, she had wished she hadn’t said them. Suddenly, she was afraid. Because what did it mean? What did it mean for them? Did it hold a blessing or a curse? Deanna didn’t know, and it scared her more than she was willing to admit.


She rose from the table and decided that she needed to get out of there. She needed to be alone.




Troi stopped dead in her tracks. He never called her that anymore.


“Will,” she said without turning. “I’d like to be a alone, if you don’t mind.”


“I don’t,” he answered, and she felt his hands on her shoulders. It took her a few seconds to realize that her heart had stopped beating.


When it started up again, it pounded away in her chest. How was it that he could make such a difference in her life? Even now.


“But I’d like to talk to you, when you’re ready. I think we should talk, Deanna.” He continued, whispering in her ear. “Don’t you?”


She turned around to face him.


He stepped back to give her room. Deanna found herself wishing that he hadn’t and at the same time she was grateful that he had.


He had a way of making her absolutely confused. With him she abandoned reason for emotion in the blink of eye, even if it didn’t seem like it to the outside world, or even to him.


“Yes,” she agreed. “I think we should.”


He smiled at her and felt her warmth penetrate his skin as she kissed him gently on the cheek. She was something else.


“I’ll be here,” he said, knowing that she would be sure to catch the double meaning of the words he chose. “When you’re ready.”




He nodded and saw her blush slightly. For some reason that worried him. She wasn’t one to blush easily.


“I … what I said last night ---“


“We’ll talk later,” he said. “It’s okay.”


They held each other’s gaze for the briefest of moments before he left, walking in the direction of his quarters instead of going back to the party like Deanna had thought he would.


She stayed in the corridor alone for a few minutes before deciding to head for the holodecks.


There were things she needed to do; decisions that needed to be made.




In the solitude of his cabin Will lay on the bed, hands behind his head and eyes closed. His conversation with Deanna the previous night as well as the few words they had just exchanged played in his mind.


He knew some part of her wanted them to go back and rekindle the love they had once shared. Riker smiled at that. There was nothing to rekindle. Rekindling implied that the feelings had faded to begin with …


His certainly hadn’t, even if his actions could sometimes be interpreted to the contrary.


Will opened his eyes and got up from his bed, already halfway down the corridor when he finished his thought.

No, his feelings had not faded in the least. But they had changed.


Will let himself into the holodeck while an idea formed in his mind.


He was suddenly aware of a way to fulfil Deanna’s wish.


“And mine as well,” he thought as he watched the scenario he was creating.




 “Computer, location of Commander Riker?” Deanna requested, as she let herself out of the holodeck, ready to talk to Will.


“Commander Riker is in holosuite II.”


Deanna was surprised by the answer, but figured that he had gone there for the same reason she had – to think.


She debated with herself on whether to wait for him here or go back to her cabin. Not knowing when he’d come out, or what mood he would be in, Troi decided to head back to her quarters, and wait.



Will had finished creating his scenario and swallowed hard as he saw his and Deanna’s younger selves in Jalara where it had all begun.


There wasn’t anything he wanted more than to go back and undo the mistakes they’d made, and the pain he had caused her.


“Computer, save program ‘Wishes’”


With that Riker left the holodecks, tapping his communicator once he was back in the corridor.


“Troi here,” she said, and he could hear the smile in her voice.


“There’s something I’d like to show you, Deanna.”


He paused briefly.


“If you’re ready?”


There was a silence, and Will waited for her response.


“I am. When ---?”


“I’ll be right there.”


In her quarters, Deanna smiled and wondered what it was Will wanted her to see.





 “Will, come on! What are you ---?“




Will laughed softly, as he guided the only woman he ever truly loved into a turbo lift, and then into the holodeck.

Once they were there he gently removed her blindfold, and she gasped when she saw the scenario playing itself out before her eyes. Watching herself like this seemed strange, surreal, but she leaned against Will as he brought her closer to his chest.


“Was this what you wanted me to see?”


Troi couldn’t hide her surprise and turned in Riker’s embrace, waiting for his answer.


He looked at her seriously.


“I know you want us to turn back time,” Will started to explain while letting a hand caress her face.


Deanna didn’t object to his touch.


It felt too good.


“I love you, Will.”


He had not expected her to say that, not at all – but his heart sang at the sound of those wonderful words.


She had finally said it, and he couldn’t keep from kissing her.


“And I you,” he whispered. “I love you.”


Deanna clung to his shoulders, her emotions fuelled by the scenario still being played out next to them.


When they came up for air, she gently wiped a stray lock of hair away from his forehead.


“Do I get my wish?”


They both watched Will’s holoimages, as he brought her hand to his lips, catching her attention again.


“I can’t do it, Dee. I can’t turn back time.”


The shock on her face was devastating to Will, and he wished that he could just tell her what he was thinking.


But he couldn’t, not yet.




Deanna looked at him, not believing that she’d actually let him do this to her again.


She had opened her heart to him just to have him crush it all over again.


‘I guess that’s my answer,’ she thought, as she turned to leave. ‘Loving Will Riker is hardly a blessing.’




He called out to her, and she stopped. It was against her better judgement, but then again, when it came to the two of them, her entire judgement could be put into question.


“I don’t think we have more to talk about,” she told him as she turned to face him again. “But I do have one last question.”


He waited.

“Why would you say that you love me, if you don’t want us to be together?”


The vulnerability in her voice tugged at Will’s heart.


In that moment she might as well have been the young woman he’d met on Betazed all those years ago.


The years in between then and now seemed to simply vanish, and he looked to the side.


The young lovers were lost to everyone and anything beside each other.


“I do want to be with you,” he said. “Hell, that’s all I ever wanted. I just didn’t know it back then. I was young when we met, Deanna, we were both very young.”


She didn’t answer, didn’t seem to even move a muscle, and Will continued. He was afraid that if he stopped now, he’d never get to say it.


The moment would be lost, and he didn’t want that to happen.


He didn’t want to lose this chance with her, because he knew that if he did, there would be no more.


This was his last chance, and he had to make it count.


“I was driven by ambition then, and I still am. You and I both know that ---“


“Yes, I do know that,” she related, the words dripping with sarcasm. “Now I also know that there will never be room for me in your life, in any way that goes beyond friendship. Thank you for clearing that up, Will. I appreciate all the trouble you went through to get that point across.”


“Let me finish,” he asked. “I know this wasn’t at all what you expected of tonight, and I’m sorry. But I have to say this, Deanna.”


She wanted to just leave, but something in his voice made her stay.


“Then say it.”


Will looked at her, silently hoping that she would understand why he’d gone about this the way he had.


“What I was about to say was that even if I am still ambitious, those ambitions have changed over the years. I have changed. We both have – and we both know it.”


She only nodded, and he went on.


“I want nothing more than to make your wish come true,” he said, gesturing to the holographic images. “Because it’s not only your wish, it’s mine as well.”


He closed the gap between them, and Deanna let him hold her.


“But we’re not the young lovers we once were, and what happened in the Jalara Jungle is something that we can never have back. It’s a memory; it’s the past.”


“I know that, Will. Of course I know that. When I asked you to turn back time for us, I didn’t meant that I wanted things exactly the way there were – I’m not naïve, I know that can’t be done. I just want you to love me the way you used to.”


He nodded.


“I can’t do that,” he said, holding her close so that she wouldn’t bolt out of there before he had finished. “Because even though I do still love you, I don’t love you in the same way anymore.”


“I don’t think I want to hear anymore of this,” she told him and released herself from his embrace. “How can you do this to me, Will? How can you do this to me again?”


“I love you more,” he whispered, before she had a chance to run away.


“What?” What did you say?”


“I said that I love you more,” he repeated and continued. “Deanna, when we first met I was a cocky twenty-something with a one-tracked mind ---“


He smiled, cocking an eyebrow at her.


“What? No objections?”




“Very well,” he said. “The point is that I’m no longer that man. I have matured, and so have my feelings for you.”


Deanna had begun to relax in his arms, and now a slight smile was curling her lips.


Will felt an incredible relief at the sight of it.


“I don’t know if I like that, Will,” she said. “I mean back then you were so passionate, and now you say that your feelings have matured … “


She looked up at him.


“What if that’s the same as  boring?”




He looked at her, incredulous.


“That’s what I said.”


“It is not!”


Safe in the knowledge that he still loved her - even more than he did when they first met – Deanna had the strength to pick up the banter that they had made a trademark of their relationship.


“Now, how am I supposed to know that?” she teased.


“Don’t tempt me,” Will whispered, and she smiled.


Then they both sobered, and Will looked at Deanna seriously.


“I might not be able to turn back time for us, Dee. But if you will let me I will show you that the past we had is nothing compared to the future we can share.”


She was silent for a long time, and Will worried that she would say no – that she would turn him down.


Then he realized that she was mesmerized by the holographic images, and he called out softly.


“Computer, close program. Replace with ’Imzadi.’”




Deanna looked at him as the scenarios changed - the image of Jalara vanishing and being replaced by one of an intimate dinner setting.


There was a table, beautifully set for two with candles and flowers – and the roaring fire in the background topped it all off perfectly.


“Yes,” he said, gently guiding her to the table and helped her to sit down.


“Will, what is this? We had dinner already.”


“I know,” he smiled, kissing her cheek before sitting down across from her. “But you didn’t have dessert, and we still haven’t toasted to your birthday.”


He looked into her eyes.


“Deanna? Are you okay?”


She nodded, realizing that he was in fact insecure, and that he wasn’t really asking how she was.


“Yes, Will. We’re okay.” 




He smiled, thanking all the gods in the Universe for being on his side tonight.


It would all work out for them.


It had to.




“Good night, Will.”


For a minute the two of them stood outside Deanna’s cabin, like they had done the previous night and so many evenings before that.


It was like deja vú to Deanna as she felt Will’s soft peck on the cheek.


“Good night.”


He was smiling, and so was she.


This evening might not have started out the way she had expected it to, but it had turned out very wonderful in the end, and Troi found herself reluctant to let it end.




He brought her into his arms and kissed her gently.


It wasn’t like he wouldn’t love to follow her inside and show her exactly how much he loved her.


In fact, Riker couldn’t believe what he was about to say.


“I don’t want to rush it.”


She looked up at him, a teasing smile on her lips.


“Well, well, Commander. We certainly have matured.”

“Somewhat,” he agreed. “It’s just --- I want us to get it right this time, Deanna. I want it to last.”  


She didn’t respond; Will didn’t give her the chance as he captured her lips in a searing kiss that left Deanna breathless and thankful that they were alone in the corridor.


The kiss went on and on as they both held on tight, not wanting it to end.


Ultimately, though, Will did break the embrace and took a step back from her.


She smiled as she saw the familiar grin spreading across his lips.


“Boring, huh?” he smirked, and Deanna shook her head lightly.


“Well, I really can’t decide with that little to go on,” she shot back, and Will laughed out softly.


“What would convince you, Counselor?” he inquired.


Deanna met his gaze head on.


“Another kiss might help me decide,” she said, and Will was quick to comply.


When they let go of each other again, Riker was seconds away from lifting her up in his arms and carrying her inside. No other woman had ever moved him like she did.


“I love you,” he whispered against her gently parted lips, before he watched her slip inside and walked to his own quarters.




“Computer,” Will asked after what seemed an endless period of tossing and turning. “Location of Counselor Troi?”


“Counselor Troi is in Ten Forward.”


Will got up and dressed quickly before heading to the Lounge, knowing that he wasn’t likely to get any sleep tonight.




She smiled to herself as he called out to her.


The woman in her rejoiced at the fact that he was here, that he wanted her as much as he did.


Deanna felt it even before he put his hands on her shoulders, turning her around to face him, and she welcomed his passionate assault on her senses before returning it fully.


They were locked in an intimate embrace for a long time, lips and bodies touching in an imitation of what they wanted, needed ...  


“Will,” she said when they finally ended the kiss.


He only nodded, lifted her up in his arms and carried her to his cabin.


They couldn’t go back, but they could go forward, and Will had a feeling that tonight they would take the first step.




Deanna felt herself let go of everything but her feeling of Will and the sensations his touch and kisses created.


It was incredible.

“Deanna …”


Will felt himself react to the featherlike caresses of her lips and hands; he felt like time had been suspended and they were the only two people in the entire Universe.


“Please,” she whispered. “Please …”


He was driving her over the edge, past the point of reason to a place where only the thought of his lovemaking existed.


She had never felt so good to him, never this alive – and he was fast losing the battle for control as he heard her pleas for him to end the sweet torture and bring her the release she craved.


Deanna cried out softly when it finally happened and she held on to him as they rode the wave of sheer ecstasy together, hearts beating as one, as two souls re-emerged and the two friends turned lovers once again.


“I love you, Imzadi,” she said.




He kissed her deeply, and they each silently treasured the uniqueness of the loved they shared.


Deanna locked eyes with him, smiling as she spoke.


“You proved your point.”


For a moment he was quiet, and she saw a hint of uncertainty in his eyes.


“What point is that?” he asked, ridiculously afraid that for some reason she had changed her mind about them.


“That mature doesn’t necessarily equal boring,” she replied, her eyes twinkling.


“Well,” he said, relieved. “That’s good to hear.”


He kissed her again, deciding that it could do no harm to stress his point a little.


Deanna agreed wholeheartedly.




When Deanna woke, she found that Will had left his place beside her.


She was just about to call out for him, when he entered carrying a tray.


“I realized I didn’t give you a present, so I thought I’d get you breakfast.”


He put down the tray and handed her a single rose as he climbed back into bed.


“Good morning,” she smiled, returning his kiss before picking up the PADD that was also on the tray. “What’s this, Will?”


“It’s nothing,” he said. “Just something to help you realize and remember how important you are to me.”


Deanna tried to hide her surprise, but quickly found that she could not.


Sometimes he did the most unexpected things …


She felt a lump form in her throat as she read the words he had written.


“It’s beautiful, Imzadi,” she said, transporting them back in time with her choice of words.


For a moment they remembered the past.


Then they smiled and silently agreed to look to the future.


Deanna gave into the kiss for a little while before withdrawing herself from Will’s embrace.


“Thank you, Will.”


“For what?” he asked, drawing her close to him again.


“You made my wish come true.”


Will only smiled, and before they shared another passionate kiss, Deanna stole a glance at the words on the PADD:


“Two words –

Two words express

my love galore:

Nevertheless, always the more.”


The road they had travelled to get here hadn’t been an easy one, but it had made them the people that they were in this moment. They were both stronger and more aware of what their wants, ambitions and priorities were.


This time both Deanna and Will were confident that they would make it, this time it would last forever.