Is It Worth It?



“Commander, I have to insist that you sit down. This process can go a whole lot faster with your cooperation.”

“I don’t feel very cooperative, in fact I feel quit insulted and uncooperative.” Commander William Riker sneered, his blue eyes flamed in anger “I was under some misguided impression that once the Enterprise docked on Earth, we would get a welcome home party, not a military escort.”

The man behind the desk nodded, and wrote some notes on the padd in front of him, “So you are feeling anger.”

Will shot the man a dirty look, “No I’m quite pleased to be ripped away from by crewmembers. Time for some questions of my own, like why am I here? And where are the others?” Will mind drifted to thoughts of Deanna and he wondered if she had figured out anything regarding this impromptu interrogation.

“and confusion, you are experiencing confusion, right?” The man asked writing more down on the padd in front of him.

Feeling increasingly tired, and frustrated, Will felt the feeble grasp he held on his temper weaken. Angry, he walked over to the desk and leaned over, placing his face just inches from the man’s, “I’m not going to say another word till I get some answers.”

The dwarfish looking man behind the desk nodded in apparent forged sympathy, and thoughtfully took off his glasses, “Is it safe to say that you are feeling shafted by Starfleet then.”

Will opened his mouth to answer, but remembering he vowed not to talk, he quickly shut it.

The man smiled, “It was worth a shot.” He placed his glasses on the desk, “Commander, it is standard practice for any ships crew, that comes in from an extended voyage, to be immediately evaluated so that we may assure no psychological problems have resulted from the time away from their home and also so that we may asses the best suited re-assignments for each crew member before they all dispersed on their leave.”

This seemed reasonable to Will, and he felt his guard go down, slightly, “Sir, that seems fair, however I can positively state that no crewmember that was aboard the Enterprise will be suffering from any psychological problems, we had one of the best counselors in Starfleet’s history.”

The man smiled, “And are you telling me this opinion as First Officer of the Enterprise, or as lover to Counselor Troi.”

Stunned, Will Riker felt his jaw literally drop open, “Excuse me.”

“Come now Commander, things like a love affair between two senior officers do not go unnoticed.”

Will’s thoughts immediately went to Captain Picard, and he suddenly felt betrayed. For years he had gone to the Captain as a father figure for advice with his on-again, off-again relationship with Deanna, never once thinking it could jeopardize his or her career. He could hardly believe the Captain had done this to him, but considering he was the only person above him, he couldn’t think of anyone else who would dare.

“Commander, I’m waiting.”

“I’m speaking only on a professional level. Deanna Troi is one of the best counselor’s in Starfleet history, and anything that may have happened between us personally are strictly non-starfleet business. We have never let our personal feeling affect our professional relationship.”

“So your informal request to make her First Officer when you become Captain of the Enterprise is strictly professional request?” The man questioned, his voice dripped with sarcasm

“Of course,” Will snapped back, his guard going up full force at once.

“And Commander Data, why should she beat out over him?”

“Because as qualified as Data is, he still lacks the compassionate requirements needed of a First Officer.” Will angrily spat, as he began to clench his fist, hardly believing the gull this guy had, “A first officer’s duty is not all tactical, a first officer also needs to be personable and needs to be able to relate to a crew on a one-on-one level. In time I believe Data can achieve this, but not yet. Deanna could.”

The man sighed, continually writing things down on the padd in front of him. “Very nice speech commander, I hope it didn’t take much prep time.”

“No prep time, this is hardly something I expected.” Will got up and began to pace the room again, he didn’t like where this meeting was going, and walking seemed like the best way to release the increasing anxiety he was feeling.

“Touché Commander, but I think it’s in your best interest to remember that I am not the enemy.” The man smiled.

That smile gave Will goosebumps, and never before in his life had he recalled ever experiencing such a passion to punch a superior officer as much as he did now. “I don’t consider you the enemy.”

“Good, because if you want this appointment as Captain, as much as you have officially and unofficially documented, I think you need to realize that this evaluation and assesment has only begun.”

Will swallowed hard, and sat back down.

The man cleared his throat.

Suddenly, Will felt a painful shock vibrate throughout his whole body. He opened his eyes wide, he had not been expecting that.

“Commander, are you okay.”

Dazed Will closed his eyes, and to his horror felt his thoughts go immediately to Deanna, he wasn’t being shocked, she was.

“Commander, how are you feeling. Are your thoughts clear?”

Will opened his eyes, and lunged full force over the desk that separated him from his assessor, “What the hell is the meaning of this.”

“She is fine Commander, we are only testing your reactions to your requested First Officer being in danger. We are trying to asses if you would be able to keep a level head.”

Will paled, “Oh no.” Suddenly his whole Starfleet career came flashing before his eyes.

“Oh yes Commander, and that reaction is not very promising.”


Deanna rubbed her wrist, after being released from the shock chair. She was furious, never in her life had she ever expected to be treated in such manner by Starfleet.

“I can’t believe this is standard protocol.” she muttered under her breath.

“Commander Troi, are these words of defeat.” asked the Admiral in the room with her, doing much of same things Will’s assesor was, experimenting then documenting all reactions.

“No.” Deanna said, quickly repeating some Betazoid meditative chants in her head, hoping to distract herself from the after-shock feeling of 10 volts going through your body via two metal patches taped to the wrist , “I do not plan to give up.”

She closed her eyes, and reflected on a recent conversation she had with Will. It was roughly a week before their scheduled docking, and he had taken her aside to tell her that Captain Picard had accepted an Admiral position and that he was going to be promoted as Captain of the Enterprise. The sparkle in his eye showed his sheer joy at finally obtaining his dream, and she had immediately felt his excitement, as if she was experiencing the promotion herself. Then, out of the blue, he had took her face into his hands and told her he wanted, and was going to make every attempt, to get her as his First Officer, because no one knew his needs and could finish his thoughts like she could, and together they could be unstoppable.

“Counselor,” the female Admiral cleared her throat, “Are you sure your fine.”

Deanna nodded letting her thoughts drift back to reality, while trying not to show the immense throbbing pain she was still experiencing from the earlier incident, “Never been better. Are we done?” The female admiral snickered, “No, I’m afraid there is more.”

Deanna nodded, “ Fine by me, what’s next.”

The admiral sat Deanna down on a chair, “First I’d like to talk off the record, we have a few minutes before our next round, and its not often I have royalty in my presence, Daughter of The Fifth House”

Immediately, Deanna felt her face flush, she was not used Starfleet bringing up her heritage, and she wasn’t sure by the tone of this woman’s voice if she was being nice or condescending “I’m hardly royalty.”

The woman laughed, “Even rarer do I meet modest royalty, Commander Riker was right when he said you were one in a million.” She leaned over and gave Deanna’s hand a squeeze, “It nothing to be ashamed of.”

Deanna’s face flushed deeper, this woman had a way of making her feel relaxed and tense all at once, “Will’s been telling stories, huh?”

“Oh I wouldn’t call them stories, I’d call them more tributes. He really loves you.”

Deanna felt her heart leap into her chest with those words, she knew things were progressing since the briar patch incident, but love? It was something, she thought, she didn’t dare dream so soon.

“Love?” she whispered, hardly able to form the words without falling over in shock. Just the thought of Will and her, referring to their relationship as love, caused a shiver of anticipation run down her spine.

The woman smiled, “I take it smooth moves Riker hasn’t exactly been as forthcoming with you as he has been with everyone else.”

Deanna face got even redder, embarrassed that the woman was digging deeper into this topic, a topic that she and Will hadn’t even had the time to sit down and talk about one on one. It was again becoming uncomfortable, only mentally this time rather then physically.

“Did we have more to do.” Deanna asked hopefully

The blondhaired Admiral waved her hand in the air, “Eventually, Will’s got more of an evaluation then you do, Captain position up for grabs and all, so we’ve got time to discuss a little more.”

“Great.” Deanna forged her best smile. She was trying to give this woman the benefit of the doubt, her emotions seemed sincere, and in all likely hood Deanna assumed she was nothing more then a harmless gossip digging for a little juicy tidbit.

The woman leaned over, “Deanna I’ve just got to know how you’ve managed to catch a hunk like Will Riker, without his career getting in your way. How did you get him to place your relationship above his promotion?”

“Excuse me,” Deanna looked at the woman in utter confusion.

“Deanna, these test are just a formality, to put in the records that you were tested and the results found you two to be incompatible command wise, but honey, just between you and me Starfleet has never had intentions of ever putting you two back on a ship together again. Especially not as Captain and First Officer.”

“Why?” Deanna asked, her voice teetering on anger.

“Your bond, its a threat to a ship, and it’s crew. If you were in trouble, he would be rendered useless, and vise versa.”

“This is discrimination.” Deanna felt her long installed Betazed loyalty blaze in anger. She was furious, and she was sure if her mother ever found out, she would be three times as mad. “I’ve proved myself and I should not be passed by this promotion based on the fact I’m Betazed and I happen to share a special relationship with the man in line for Captain”

“Yes you have proved yourself, and we are not passing you by for ever becoming a First Officer, in fact, if you want First Officer of any other ship, it’s yours. But not with Commander Riker. Deanna, he has officially stated that he will take Captain of the Enterprise only on the condition you become his First Officer. Starfleet can’t give him the Enterprise under those conditions.”

Deanna shrunk in her seat, once so hopeful, she began to shrivel up inside, as the woman’s words sank in. “You want me to give up my bid.”

The woman nodded, her blue eyes filled with forged concern, and if Deanna wasn’t so upset could have possibly picked up on the woman’s incencerity, “Deanna, I know what it is like to be in love, and I know you would do anything for him. He wants the Enterprise, we want to give him the Enterprise, the only barrier is,” the woman turned her index finger on Deanna, “you.”


Chapter 3

“You know what, I think we will postpone the rest of this until tomorrow, you probably have a lot on your mind right now.” The woman got up from her seat, “Do you want me to have them send Commander Riker over to pick you up? We have arranged for the two of you to stay right here on headquarters until the,” she paused, as if searching for the right words, “evaluation is complete.”

“That’s fine.” Deanna said absently, her mind unable to get passed the woman’s earlier accusation, or more importantly how she came to these accusations. She knew in her heart that her and Will had never done anything wrong or unprofessional to draw any evidence to support these claims. Their bond had always taken a backseat to their jobs, and their desires, except for a few indiscretions, had been suppressed. Even when one of them had faced imminent danger, the other had held back their imzadi desires, and had stood their post.

“Deanna, are you okay? Do you want a few moments to compose yourself before I send Commander Riker over?”

Deanna sighed heavily, she just didn’t understand why they were doing this to them. During their commission had their relationship never caused danger to any of the crew. She wouldn’t have let it, and neither would Will. “Admiral I don’t think you could ever possibly give me enough time to get over this.”

The woman nodded, and turned to her back to Deanna and towards her comm, Deanna slightly relieved to be out of the woman’s scrutiny, found herself leaning back in the office chair she was seated in closing her eyes. This was all a shock to her, and she desperately needed some time to think things out. It was so hard for her to believe that she had mentally stayed detached from Will all these years, so that the two could remain in physical proximity, and it was all in vain. Starfleet wanted them emotionally, as well as physically separated, and if she wanted Will to achieve his dream of Captain, she would have to agree with it.

* * * * *

“Dee, your awfully quiet?” Will Riker stared down at the woman he considered his best friend in concern. He had picked her up nearly twenty minutes ago, and yet not a word had passed between them, which normally would seem pleasant to him, but today felt eerily disturbing. Something in the way she was carrying herself suggested to him that Deanna was bothered by something, something heavy

Deanna looked up from the ground she had let her eyes fall blankly on, immediately sensed his thoughts and concerns, and quickly flashed a smile, “Nerves I guess, I’ve never been through an evaluation like that before.” She smiled weakly, internally detesting the fact that she had just lied to him.

Will threw his arm around her shoulder reassuringly, he was oblivious to her lie, and felt instantaneously relieved that it was only a case of nerves that had her on the edge. In fact, it felt almost comforting to him that Deanna was as shaken up as he was. “I’m sure you did fine, I mean it, your a charmer. Knowing you as well as I do, I can safely guess you probably had your evaluator drooling from the corners of his mouth.”

Deanna felt a panic arise in her when he placed his arm around her shoulder, and she nervously shrunk away. She knew he would be confused by her standoffish behavior, but she couldn’t get over the feeling that everything her and Will did for the next couple of days would be under intense supervision by Starfleet, as they attempted to build their case against her. She could feel the probing eyes of people in the hallways around them, and she had a gut feeling that some, if not all, were spies. Spies, for Starfleet, with a sole purpose of watching them for any sign of improper affection, so to put damaging blackmarks on their records.

“Will she was hardly drooling. I really don’t think we should get our hopes up regarding commission together.” She looked away, shocked by the intensity of his immediate disappointment with that statement, and she quickly walked ahead of him, trying to distance herself from his feelings.

“Dee?” As she expected, he ran after her, “What happened in there?” He grabbed her around the arm, and turned her around, forcing her to face him, “I thought this is what we wanted?”

“THIS IS WHAT I WANT. I WANT TO BE YOUR FIRST OFFICER. I WANT TO BE WITH YOU BUT STARFLEET WON’T LET ME.” her mind screamed, but physically she kept her customary calmness, and only nodded, “Yes, of course I want to be your first officer, but the logical counselor side of me says that we have to be honest with ourselves. Data is more qualified to be First Officer then I am.”

Will listened intently, his face growing more serious the more she spoke, and when she finished her speech, he pulled her to him, her struggling no obstacle for his desire to set her straight, “Deanna, I don’t want Data, or anybody else to be my First Officer. I told you I could not be a competent Captain without you as my right hand. I know, and you must have also realized that not only have we grown-up on the Enterprise but we have grown closer on the Enterprise, and we can’t ignore the fact that you and I are an intricate parts of each others life. At least I’d like to think that I was an intricate part of your life.”

Deanna bit her lip, afraid of what he was stating. The ramifications of such words, held power that she wasn’t so sure he fully understood. She wondered if that statement would change, if he knew all that she knew.

“Deanna, I won’t deny that I want to be the Captain of the Enterprise more now then ever, but I have also realized that life in not just your job, or your title.” He kissed the top of her head. “We are a team, you and I, and through the years I’ve becoming dependent on you. Please don’t leave the team Dee, please don’t retire on us.”

Deanna swallowed heavily, a lump forming in her throat. His words, after all these years, still provoked emotions beyond her ability to fully control. And although, secretly she had wanted a marriage proposal at the end of their commission on the Enterprise, far more then a promotion proposal, his sentiment was not lost to her. She knew now that this was his own way of assuring they would be together. The way he looked hopefully down into her eyes, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Will Riker loved her, and he was not only asking her to stay with the team soley for the sake of Starfleet, he was also asking her to stay for him.

“Will.” she laid her head on his chest more confused now then ever before.

He smiled down at her, , “Deanna are you probing my mind?.”

She felt a girlish giggle bubble up from inside her and escape out her lips, she hadn’t even realized that she had been doing it until he asked.

“Deanna Troi you are incorrigible. Reading a superior officers mind, I am truly ashamed. What do you have to say for yourself.”

Taking a deep breath, she leaned forward on her tiptoes and kissed his scruffy bearded cheek, “I love you too, please remember that no matter what.”




“Admiral Kremlin, what was your perception of Commander Riker?”

The mousy man shook his head in awe, “He is good, Picard did a wonderful job preparing him. He’s organized, dedicated, and passionate. Truthfully, he should have had his own ship a long time ago, and in my not so humble opinion, he almost overqualified for the position of Captain.”

“Any weakness?”

The man hesitated, hating to tarnish the record of the first officer ever to walk into his office and impress the hell out of him within the first five minutes.

“Kremlin, were there any weakness?”

The woman across from his at the large meeting table narrowed her eyes, “It was Troi wasn’t it. Come on Duke, you don’t have to lie. Tell us, did shocking Troi throw off your little wonder boy?”

The man sighed, “He may have had a slight adverse reaction.”

The woman eyes narrowed further, “Slight? I doubt that, I’ve seen Imzadi’s before and when one is hurt the other is anything but rational. She is a hindrance, correct.”

“Why are you so bitter Kately?” the man shot back.

“I am not bitter, I am truthful. I, unlike you, do not become attached to my subjects. They, are merely subjects, and those two are a danger. However, I do not think we have to worry. I have taken matters into my own hands.”

All ten Admirals turned their attention on her, “I hope you haven’t done anything unprofessional.”

Kately smiled, her blue eyes turning cold, “Unprofessional, I don’t think so. I just appealed to Ms. Troi, woman to woman.”


“Hello Mother.”

“Hello little one,” Lwaxana Troi’s image on the comm screen smiled at her daughter, “how was your fist day of boot camp?”

“Fine.” Deanna said flatly.

Lwaxana Troi’s eyes narrowed, and Deanna felt the immediate presence of her mother foremost in her mind “Liar. Little one please don’t try to hide something from me, you can’t and you know it. Why don’t you come clean.”

Deanna took a look into her mother’s all knowing eyes and knew it was hopeless to even try to hide her angst, “Oh god mother, it was awful. I don’t know what to do.” Deanna sighed heavily and a lone tear of frustration escaped her left eye and cascade down her pale cheek, “Mother I had an admiral confide in me that they have no plan of giving me a promotion with Will and if I pursue this matter they will pass Will up. “

“Why that propostrous, you are my daughter, and heir t...”

“Stop, please. I know my heritage.”

“Darling, they can not do this to you. Do you want mother to make some phone calls.”

“NO. Mother, I don’t want strings pulled. I just called...” she let her hand travel to the computer screen, “I just called because. . .” she stopped unsure at this point exactly what she wanted.

Lwaxana face softened reading her daughters mixed up, chaotic thoughts, “You wanted some kind words of advice on whether or not you should run away or go forward. Little one, what does your heart want you to do.”

“It wants me to pursue this promotion but only on the grounds that Will’s promotion is not affected.” Deanna said firmly.



“Darling, that is not reasoning.” Lwaxana teased, her eyes locking firmly with her daughter, “Let’s break it down, why are you pursuing this promotion.”

“Mother?” Deanna eyes diverted down to the floor.

“Darling, it’s taking me a great deal of restraint not to probe your mind, so the least you could do is not keep me in suspense. Why are you bothering with this promotion, when you know you can always come home to mother.” Lwaxana battered her eyes endearingly at the last part, causing Deanna to giggle.

“Because Will and I are a team and together I really feel we could be unstoppable.”

“Professionally little one, or personally? Think before you answer.”

Deanna opened her mouth to answer then hesitated unsure.

Lwaxana smiled, pleased that Deanna understood the severity of the question. “Little one, if you want this promotion professionally, then you have to come to the realization that you can become an adequate team member with anybody, because Starfleet officers have a common goal. If you want this promotion personally, then you have to realize that not being first officer to Will, would have greater perks then being his first officer, like being able to carry out a full fledged relationship, free from the worry of what is proper Starfleet protocol.”

Deanna nodded, understanding her mother’s words, “But, what if I want both.”

“Little one, what is the old earth saying, you can’t have cake and eat it too.”

Deanna opened her mouth, but Lwaxana waved her hand to stop her. “Darling, please don’t give me that half cocked response floating in your head. I’m don’t need convincing, frankly I’m trying to learn to butt-out of my daughters business. Deanna, be true to yourself.”

Deanna’s face flushed, “I thought you weren’t reading my thoughts.”

“Please, darling, I’m your mother, you should know I am hopeless in that area. Darling, why are you so passionate about having to be with William, in the capacity of first officer.”

“Because I love him and I want to be with him...”

“and. . ..” Lwaxana probed.

“and I know that apart we could be good officers, but I know mother, deep down in my heart I know together we could be unstoppable.” Deanna looked at her mother hopeful, feeling she had just confided her deepest darkest secret to her.

“so?” Lwaxana responded “Darling, I’ve never seen you so damn worked over by a potential promotion that would pull you away from counseling, which you love, and put you on the bridge, which I thought you hated. Darling, there is something beyond Will that is driving you to this. . . what is it?”

Deanna had no idea what her mother was driving at, “Mother, there is nothing else, I swear.”

“Darling, open you eyes, why is it so damn important. What is it about becoming first officer?”

“I think it would be exciting.” Deanna blurted, finding her mother’s line of questioning suddenly growing old.

“What exactly would be exciting?”

“Mother, I have to go.”

“Little one, do not touch that screen. You want my advice, this is how I administer it, by leading you through enough questions where you can do what you subconsciously want to do.”

Exasperated, Deanna threw herself back in the recliner she was sitting in, “I know, but I still hate it.”

“I know. . .are you going to answer?”

Deanna sighed and closed her eyes, trying to do the introspection her mother wanted her to do. She slowly began to run through her head everything that had happen from the time Will had proclaimed his desire to have her as a first officer, to today when the admiral had blurted out that she would not get her promotion.


“No.” Deanna said sadly, “I really don’t think there is anything besides Will.”


<<Knock Knock>>

Will Riker shook his head out of his half sleep and got off of the bed he was laying on, and sleepily made his way to his door. Assuming Deanna had decided it was cozier to play bedmates, he happily opened the door, not even worring about the fact that he was in nothing more then a pair of plaid boxers.


“Commander Riker, is this a bad time?” the blond woman on the other side of the door asked teasingly.

Will paled, “Umm . . .do I know you?”

“Admiral Kately Marris, I’m assessing your suggested First Officer, Dee Trout.”

Will quickly brushed his right hand through his hair it attempts of looking more presentable, “Deanna Troi, I think you mean, sir. . .I mean ma’m.

Kately Marris rolled her ice cold blue eyes, “Troi, right, how could I forget. Anyways, are you available for a little one on one conversation. I would just like to get to know her through your eyes, just to make sure I’m seeing what you are seeing.”

“What time is it?”

“0300 hours Commander, is this an inconvenience? I mean I would really like to have this conversation before tomorrow’s evaluation.”

“You mean today’s evaluation.” Will chided sleepily, his mind reeling on why this woman would possibly want to conduct official business this early in the morning, “I guess, I mean you’re the boss, right?”

The woman smiled, “I like the way you think Commander.” She arrogantly put her hand on his bare chest, and lightly pushed him back, “Mind if I come in.”

“What? I mean sure. I’ll um . .go get something on a little more suitable, and then we can begin.”

“Don’t bother, we are professionals, right?”

“Uh . . .I guess. If it doesn’t bother you then it doesn’t bother me.”


* * * * * * ** *

Deanna laid awake in her bed, she couldn’t get out of her head the conversation she had earlier with her mother and now she could not get to sleep. She was convinced her mother had picked her brain and knew something that she didn’t even know yet, and she really hated that. On top of that she had the whole issue of whether she even wanted to stay or whether she should just tell Will he was better off without her.

Begrudgingly she sat up in bed, “Deanna, this is ridiciouslus.” She muttered to herself, “I am being foolish. I am a competent Starfleet Officer, daughter of famed Starfleet officer Ian Andrew Troi. I want First Officer of the Enterprise, I should get First Officer of the Enterprise. . .but my mother’s right, why do I want this position so damn bad.” She threw herself backwards onto the bed, “I love Will, that’s why I want it.” She rationalized, and sat herself back up, “but I could have more then likely retained my position as Counselor and not have gone through this mess.” She fell backwards again. “But I don’t want counselor. . .I want First Officer.”

She groaned and closed her eyes, “I’m a mess, and I’m never a mess.” She thought angrily “I need to find stability, I need Will.” Without a second thought, she hopped out of bed and ran for the door.

* * * * *

“I thought you were here to talk about Deanna?” Will said uncomfortably, shrinking towards the empty end of the couch and farther away from Kately, who had position herself mere inches away from Riker, and contiually moved forward.

“What, Deanna? Right, if you think we must.” She smilled seductively and casually placed her hand on his bear knee, “What’s the deal between you two? And please spare me the imzadi tale.”

“Imzadi is no tale, it’s real, very real and very special. It’s what we are.” Will said seriously, casually picking up her hand from his knee and placing it at her side, “She is my world.”

“Please, men and their pick-up lines,” Kately groaned with a dismiss of her hand, “You and I know that is a bunch of bull. If she was truly your world, you would have made her bare foot and pregnant. Please Commander, be frank, I need to know your relationship, what it is, where it stands.”

Will took a deep breath, trying to focus and not totally loose control and shout at this woman to get the hell out of his room, “Admiral, if you do not believe in Imzadi, then I truly can’t express to you the extent of our relationship.”

Kately inched closer, “Let me put it in simple terms for you. Are you lovers?”

Anxious and irritated, Will jumped up, “I really don’t think it is any of Starfleet’s business, but if you must know, physically we sometimes come together, nothing consistent, just when we both feel the need for companionship. Mentally, we have been lovers since we joined almost twenty years ago and it’s only been getting stronger and better as time progresses. Satisfied.”

“No.” Kately jumped up and got up into Will’s face, her lips centimeters from his own, her hot breath invading down on his cold bare chest, “No I am not satisfied at all. I think you are sick of her and this whole damn Deanna imposed relationship that you had really no say in. I think you were looking for a way out, and I think you purposely set her up for thinking she could be First Officer so she would fail, and you could be free to pursue . . .adventures of a blonder nature.” She leaned forward, “I dare you to tell me I’m wrong.”

“Your wrong.” Will said sickently, “You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.”

“Kiss me,” she whispered.


“Please, just one kiss.”

“No, I’m spoken for.” Will shot back, “and I think it’s obvious you aren’t here to talk about Deanna, so please leave.”

Kately let her right hand travel to the bun on top of her head, and she slowly pulled out off the band holding it in place. “I don’t think you want me to leave. Especially if you truly want Deanna on your ship.” She shook her head, letting her long blond hair tumble erotically down her shoulders.

Will, never blind to a beautiful woman, let out a low whistle, “Honey, don’t get me wrong, you’re a catch. . .but really my heart is not up for grabs, it already belongs to someone else.”

Kately threw back her head and let out a low, almost sensual chuckle, “Silly, it’s not your heart I’m interested in.” She let her right hand slide from the top of his chest, slowly down to his groin, “Love is to emotional for me, I’m skip it for physical joys instead..”

Across the room, the door of his suite slid open.

“Will?” Deanna’e eyes widened

Will looked over to the voice and painfully watched Deanna’s face crumple. “Deanna, it’s not what you think..”

Rooted to her place, Deanna only nodded quickly.

Kately, with a satisfied grin watched the painful exchange in bliss. Things were progressing . . .exactly as she had planned.


Will tore his eyes away from Deannas grief stricken face, and focused his raw energy on Kately, “I dont care who you are, or what rank you hold over me, GET OUT.”

“But Will,” Kately purred, batting her eyes catty at him, “we haven’t even started our discussion on Deanna yet, with all this mindless chit chat.”

Will face flushed, and he clenched his teeth, “GET O. .”

“STOP IT WILL.” Deanna command from the door, and both people turned their attention to her. She took a brave step forward, “Will, she is still our boss so I suggest you refer to her with respect, especially considering why we are here.”

Will’s jaw dropped, “Deanna you can’t know what you are saying.”

She shot him a look causing his excuse to freeze in his mouth, “Will I didn’t ask for rebuttle.” She turned next to Kately, “Admiral, I hope you will excuse the Commander for his less then hospitable treatment. I’m afraid we both have had a long day.” She matched Kately eye to eye, “I wonder if it would be an imposition to carry on with this interview in the morning.”

Kately’s eyes narrowed, “I suppose,”

“Good, I appreciate that and I am sure Commander Riker does as well.” Deanna stepped away from the door, “Can I show you out Admiral.”

Kately’s smile faltered, “No, I know the way out.”

“Very well then, we will see you tomorrow Admiral.” Deanna stepped farther into the room, letting the Admiral have a clear shot to the door.

Kately turned abruptly on her heels and stormed out the door.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The two watched the woman go out the door in silence. Once her footfalls could be heard far down the hall, Deanna’s confident stance fell, and she slowly walked to the door to close it.

“Deanna I swear I did nothing to provoke that, I swear.” Wills immediately began, his eyes brimming with sincerity, “I wouldn’t do that to you.”

Deanna nodded, “I know that Will.” She made her way over to him, head hung low, hair over her miserable face.

He watched her curiously, “Deanna if you believe me, why are you acting like this.”

“Because I have just realized something.” she whispered sadly, “Something I couldn’t see until I saw you with her.”

“I didn’t do anything.” Will reaffirmed, shaking her slightly to enforce his point.

Deanna moved even closer to him, and leaned her body into his chest, he wrapped his arms around her, feeling increasingly afraid by her mysterious actions, “Dee, why are you acting like this.”

“Will I want you to get Captain of the Enterprise.” she whispered hoarsly “I want that for you so bad Will. You deserve it.”

“I will get it Deanna.”

“You will get it.” Deanna lifted her head up and smiled, a sad distant smile, “but not with me.”

“What?” Will pulled her back, so he could see into her eyes, “What are you talking about? We are a team.”

“Will I need my space. I didn’t realize that until I saw you with her, and . . . I felt relived.” she met his eye squarely and lied.

Will Riker, whose usually rosey cheeks paled to a ghostly white, as his whole world began moving in slow motion, stretching those agonizing words out into one unbelieveable lengthy tortures sentance, “Relieved, you felt relieved. My god Deanna you don’t mean that. . .you can’t mean that. . .” he tightened his grip around her shoulders, “take it back.”

Deanna, who felt her heart litterally shattering into a thousand pieces, shook her head no, trying her damndest to keep this charade believable, “Will if I take first officer with you I will be hindering my own career, much like you did all those years with Captain Picard. You never left the ship on all those numerous promotion offers because you didn’t want to leave him.”

“I didn’t leave the ship because of him, I never left the ship because of you. What happened, did she say something to you to make you think this way? This does not sound like you.”

“Will, I want my own ship and I can’t have it if we carry on like this. I’m sorry, it’s best for both of our careers if we end it tonight. . .as friends.”

“FRIENDS? No. I won’t take this.”

“What that I’m leaving you for my career?” Deanna’s face crumpled slightly, but she took a couple short deep breaths to maintain her composure, “William, consider it payback for leaving me and our wedding high and dry on Risa, except right now I’m kind enough to give you forewarning.” She turned her back to him, letting silent tears of misery fall from her swollen eyes.

“Deanna, nothing happened with her. . .”

Deanna, never turning back, walked out him bedroom door, and took her first steps out of his life.

Chapter 8

“Hello Grandmother Troi,” Little Deanna Troi, no more then five years old, stood confidently beside her grandmother’s hospital bed and held the elderly woman’s hand.

“Deanna. . .” the woman whispered, barely audible over the sounds of the numerous medical equipment running full power to keep her alive, “Deanna . . .will you do something for grandmother. . .”

“Of course grandmother,” Deanna nodded, her ponytail bobbing up and down in her youthful exuberant fashion.

“Promise grandma you won’t be like you mother . . .” the woman whispered, coughing uncontroably between each and every word.

“I like my mommy.”

“I know sweety. . .but she killed your father . . .she made him give up his dream. . .without Starfleet he had no will to live.”

“I don’t understand Grandmother.”

“You will someday. . .just promise me before I go . . .promise me you will be like your daddy and not like your wretched mother. . .promise me you will never stand between a man and his dream . . .promise me.”

“I don’t understand Grandmother, but I promise.” Deanna whispered into her ear, while her little hand calmly stroked her grandmother’s forehead, “Clear your consicous. I promise.” * * * *

Deanna awoke immediately and sat upright in bed, shaking uncontrolabley, “I won’t stand between his dream, as much as it hurt me I won’t. . .I promised.”


“I want on the Enterprise and away from this planet immediately.” Will leaned over the desk of his evaluator, “I don’t care who the hell my first officer is, just get me out of here.”

“Commander, sit down please.” The small nervous man fidgeted in his seat, “I think you should cool off and maybe give Ms. Troi a little breathing room to change her mind”.

“No, she’s got her mind made up.” Will closed his eyes painfully, “I don’t want to hinder her career any longer.”

* * * *

“I’m really glad you’ve come around Deanna, it’s for the best.” Kately smiled sarcastically, “so do you have any preference to where you want to be.”

“No,” Deanna sighed and slumped back into her chair, “preferably going the opposite direction of the Enterprise, but truly I just don’t care.” Her eyes wandered to the window outside, and she found herself trying to pick up on Will’s thoughts. Old habits die hard..



“It’s really best for everybody that you do this, it’s really best for everybody that you don’t make the mistake your father made.”

“My father?” Deanna attention snapped momentarily away from Will, “What are you talking about? How do you know my father”

“You don’t know . . .never mind,” Kately said, looking at Deanna peculiarly, “Maybe I can get you a First Officer position on Worf’s small expedition vessel.”

Deanna watched this woman, overwhelmed by her raging emotions of hostility and hurt, “Admiral, what mistake did my father make.”

Kately ignored Deanna, and grabbed for her comm, instinctively Deanna jumped up from her seat and grabbed the woman’s hand before it reached the on button of the counsel, “Admiral, I’ve done what you asked, I think you owe me the respect of telling me whatever has prejudiced you against me.”

“I suggest you take your hand off of me, and never accuse me, a higher officer, of such offense as prejudice.” Kately said, shaking Deanna’s hand away.

“I can sense it.” Deanna said evenly.

Kately eyes narrowed, “Empathic witch.” She pulled herself up and out of her chair, “You really don’t know what I’m talking about?” Kately shook her head, “How can you not know.”

Deanna sat back down in her chair, “Admiral I can’t answer the question until you fill in some of the blanks.”

Kately looked at Deanna in disbelief, and began pacing, “Your father, and that wretched Imzadi bond he shared with you mother, ruined my life.”

Shocked, Deanna felt her jaw drop, “How?”

“He was piloting a small routine one-day mission, an easy one day mission may I add, the day your sister died. Sound familiar?” Kately asked suspiciously.

“No, but I really don’t know a lot about that time period. My mot”

“Your mother’s grief, incapacitated your father,” Kately cut in angrily, not letting Deanna get a word in, “Your mother’s grief caused a routine one-day mission go extremely wrong. Your mother’s grief caused your father to crash the ship he was flying. Your mother’s grief cost the lives of everyone on that ship, everyone but your father’s life.” Kately turned an accusatory finger on Deanna, “ My mother was on that ship, my pregnant mother was on that ship”

“I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” Deanna said quickly.

“I don’t care whether he intended to kill all those innocent people or not, that wretched Betazed imzadi bond ruined my life. That bond has to business in Starfleet.” Kately took a deep breath, “I made a vow to myself that I won’t let that mistake happen again.”

“But that was an extreme incident. My father gave up Starfleet soon after.”

“Gave up Starfleet? Your father was honorably discharged from Starfleet, because we couldn’t trust him anymore. Your mother’s grief lasted years and your father never recovered his full ability to command. You father couldn’t separate his thoughts from your mother’s thoughts. Can’t you see how dangerous the two of you could be together.”

Deanna stood up, while her mind systematically put all the facts together. Something about what Kately Marris said, didn’t click.

“You understand, don’t you?”

Deanna looked up and let her eyes fall on the woman, “No I don’t understand. My father and mother’s incident happened because they were apart from each other and couldn’t physically comfort each other. Will and I were asking to be together. Therefore, I would think it would make more sense, based on my parents scenario, that Starfleet would want to keep us together, instead of throwing us galaxies apart. In charge of two sets of crews instead of one.

Chapter 10

“Actually if anything, I see how wrong I’ve been.” Deanna said, standing up out of her chair, “Thank you.”

“WHAT?” Kately Marris bolted over her desk, and grabbed Deanna’s shoulder, “I don’t think you understand.”

Deanna looked distastefully at the hand gripping her shoulder ferociously, “Admiral, I don’t think YOU understand. That incident with my mother and father only happened because they were apart. I can’t let the same thing happen to me and Will and I would think you wouldn’t want me to let that happen.”

“I won’t let them give you first officer, you’ll lose your rank the second you walk out that door.” Kately hissed as her heartless eyes shot daggers at Deanna.

“Rank means nothing if I’m seperated from Will.” Deanna replied calmly, only fully coming to the realization herself as the words flew out of her mouth “I only wanted the position to be with Will, but I know now that I may not need the position to be with him.

“NO YOU DON’T, I vowed to keep Imzadi out of Starfleet, and I will, I will have him kicked off the ship.” Kately said hysterically

Deanna hesitated “If you want to keep Imzadi out of Starfleet, then I am now giving you my verbal resignation effective immediately. Right now I don’t need a job, I just need Will.” Deanna ripped Kately’s hand from her shoulder, only flinching from the pain slightly, “And further, may I suggest from one profesional to another, that you go see a counselor about all this anguish your having regarding your mother’s death, it’s not healthy your carrying around this much baggage these many years later.”

“Witch, I won’t have this.”

Deanna shrugged “Admiral, I really hate to see someone in so much pain, like yourself, be under this much stress. However, it obvious that we have too big of a conflict of interest for me to help. . .so now, if you will excuse me. I have to go catch my Imzadi before I let the best thing in my life slip through my fingers.”

* * * *

Deanna ran out the door of Kately Marris’ Office and full speed to Will’s room. She truthfully had no idea if he would be there or not, but she had no other option. Will had blocked her from his mind.

Deanna reached the hallway of his room, “Will, please open up, please.” She began to uncharacteristically yell down the hallway before her. She couldn’t feel his presence, and for the first time since this incident started, she felt a slight panic creep up into her chest, “Will open up.” She reached the end of the hallway, and began to bang on the door, “William Riker please let me in, please let me try to explain my irrational attitude.”


“Will where are you.” she pounded on the door again.


Feeling her panic deepening , she cleared her throat, “Computer, location of Commander Riker, William.”

“Access Denied.”

“Access denied. . .access denied.” Deanna eyes widened, confused, “What do you mean access denied.”

“Unauthorized voice.” The computer responded mechanically.

Deanna took a deep breath to try to compose herself, but ended up sinking to the floor suddenly unsure of her next move. “She took me off the records already.” She moaned her realization quietly, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Excuse me, Deanna Troi.”

Deanna lifted her head to meet the eyes of a friendly looking man who had walked up beside her, “I suppose your here to escort me out of the building.”

The man shook his head no, and held out his hand to help her up, “Actually I’m here to bend the rules a bit.”

“Excuse me?”

“Captain Riker is on Landing Padd 6, he will be taking off with the Enterprise in fifteen minutes.”

Deanna’s eyes widened, “Who are you?”

“A friend, now I can’t beam you because she has you locked out of the system so I suggest you run.”

* * * * * * ** *

Deanna looked at the man a split second longer before, she bolted to the right and took off down the hallway again. Truthfully she had run her emotions so high that her empathic ability was useless on the man, however something in his eyes had awarded her immediate trust.

“Hold the turbo lift,” Deanna yelled out ahead of her, and to her relief the doors seemed to stay open.

Running blindly, she enterted the Turbo Lift, “Ground Floor - Please hurry.”

Behind her, an diabolical female voice began to laugh uncontrollably, “I don’t think so Ms. Troi - Turbo-Lift halt.” CHAPTER 11

“I think we will stay right here, for twenty-twenty-five minutes, what do you think? Have a little girl time.”

Deanna closed her eyes, hardly believing her bad luck. “Please, please let me go.”

“No. I don’t want to.” Kately, began to hum a happy little tune.

“Please,” Deanna repeated, “Isn’t there one compassionate bone I can appeal to. I can’t lose him.”

“For Ian Troi daughter, my mother’s murderer, I grant no compassion. In fact, maybe the two of us will sit here for an hour, assuring the Enterprise is out of beaming distance.”

Deanna began to pace the small confinements of the turbo lift, analyzing the structure.

“Deanna, I’m not letting you go, so you might as well sit back and relax.” Kately smiled sweetly.

“I can’t and I’m sorry.” Deanna said apologetically, turning to face her captor, “You must understand that I’m usually a very rational person.”

“What are you sorry for?”

“This,” Deanna balled up her right first, pulled back, and swung it full force onto the side of Kately’s jaw with a sickening crack. Kately head hurled back, and thudded against the side of the turbo-lift. She slid to a lifeless puddle onto the floor..

Deanna eyes widened surprised by the force she had done that, “I’m sorry, you gave me no choice. Computer- Turbo Lift down.”


“Damn it.” Deanna let out a frustrated breath through her clenched teeth. She didn’t know if she wanted to laugh or cry at this point. “Computer.”

“Access Denied, unauthorized voice.”

Deanna nodded as if expecting it, calmly walked to the opposite side of where Kately laid, and out of no where began uncontrollably began kicking the wall of the Turbo-lift. She had never felt like everything was against her more then she did at this very moment. Tears of heartbreak and anger began to flow down her face, as her kicking increased, she had no idea what else to do, Will was likely launched, and on his way to a new exciting life, a life without her.”

In her fit, Deanna became oblivious to her surroundings. She was unaware when minutes later the turbo-lift hummed back to life, starting its downward decent.

The turbo-lift doors slid open, Deanna continued to kick.


She still kicked, her fury made her deaf to her surrounds.

“Imzadi,” William Riker walked into the opened doors of the Turbo-lift and walked up behind her. Gently, he reached out, grasped her waist, and began to pull her away from the wall and towards him. “Imzadi, what is going on.”


“Will,” Deanna whispered, almost afraid to speak his name out loud for fear it was a delusion.

Will Riker gently spun Deanna around to face him, “No delusion, I’m real, I’m here, and I am fully confused. What happened to her?”

“It’s not important,” Deanna raised her hand to Will’s cheek, but he stiffened slightly at her touch and stepped back.

“Do you hate me?” she asked worriedly, never recalling a time before when he almost seemed to resent her touch.

“Deanna I stopped my take off because I had a premonition that you were in trouble. Was that some fluke, because if so I’d like to get back to my career and let you get back to yours.”

Deanna flinched at his harsh words, although knowing she rightly deserved each one for keeping him in the dark on everything., “Imzadi, I just lost my career . . .please don’t tell me I lost my best friend too.” She reached out her shaking hand, closing the distance between them that he had created. “Will, please take my hand and tell me you forgive me for shutting you out. I was threatened, I was bound by a promise and most of all I didn’t want to come between you and your dream as Captain.”

Will stared at her outstretched hand in silence.

“Will, I love you.”


He sighed dramatically, stepping closer to her but leaving her outstretched hand empty, “God Deanna you really hurt me when you told me your career was the only thing you cared about. I thought . . .I was under the impression . . .” He sighed again, unable to finish his sentence as effectively as he wanted

Deanna sensed his immediate apprehension and quickly picked up where he had left off. “You weren’t wrong, I was only taking the position for you. But she,” Deanna nodded her head backwards, “had it in for us before she even met us. She had a bad experience in her past with my father and mother, and was taking her revenge on us. I only did what I did because I was told that if I didn’t give up my bid to be with you she was going to make sure you lost the position.”

Will eyes widened in disbelief, and he started to raise his hand to meet hers, hesitating just inches away, “Deanna, why didn’t you come to me when you found this out. I would have figured out something a little more rational then cutting ties from each other.”

Deanna focused her eyes on his hand, and the precious space that she so desperately wanted him to close in. “When I was barely five years old, my dying Grandmother Troi made me promise never to come between a man and his dreams, and I didn’t want to break that promise. “ She hung her head, realizing that must sound horribly petty.

“You were only five and she asked you to make a promise like that?” Will shook his head again in disbelief. He then stepped forward, closing the gap, and took her hand in his, “My beautiful sweet Deanna, why do you insist on having that leak proof memory and that heart of gold? They always seem to be getting you into trouble.”

“Then you don’t hate me Will.” She asked hopefully.

“Darling, I tried, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to hate you.” He smiled down at her ruefully, “But I think it’s impossible. I love you too much.”

Deanna grinned, loving the way his hand effectively clasped completely around hers, loving the way his eyes crinkled when he had said he loved her.

“Will, today I realized that I didn’t want first officer without you, and that I’d be just as content being in non-active duty on your ship, then being in active duty far away. “ She tore her eyes away from their hands, confident she wasn’t going to cry, and looked up into his eyes. To her surprise, his baby blue eyes shinned with a threat of impending tears. “Will, are you crying.”

“Deanna, first rule of making this a healthy relationship is never accuse me of crying,” he quipped, quickly rubbing his eyes with the back of his hands, “I’ll let it slide this time though, because I have to fess up to something too.” He grabbed her other hand, and two turned and faced each other, “I didn’t want you as my first officer. The thought of sending you on away missions killed me.”

“But you said”

“What I needed to say, because the thought of being away from you killed me more, and truthfully I didn’t have the guts to ask you to tear yourself away from Starfleet and your career. I didn’t think I would be a fair trade with your career and couldn’t bring myself to ask you to give it up just to become a measly Captain’s wife. I didn’t think you were ready or willing to be Ms. Riker.” He quickly released on of her hands, so he could wipe his eyes again.”

“Oh Will, you should of asked.” She threw her arm around him, “Because that’s the only position I’ve wanted with you. That is all I’ve ever wanted.”

He brought his head down to her, she brought her head up, and the two met lips at the middle, and kissed. A long slow kiss, that rose the small hairs up on the back of Will’s neck, and caused Deanna to shiver in delight.

{{Will I love you}} Deanna telepathically whispered in his mind, unable to pull her lips away to say it verbally.

{{Darling, I love you too, }} he telepathically whispered back, bringing his arms around her waist, and lifting her above off the ground, and to his eye level, {{But I have to ask, what did you do to Admiral Marris?}}

Deanna broke away from the kiss, and smiled secretively, “She ran cheek first into my fist, it was the strangest thing.”

He looked at her oddly, but she shrugged her shoulders, leaned forward, and kissed him again, deciding it may be best for Will not to know the extent of her anger when another woman tried to step between them. She wasn’t looking to scare him away to soon, after all she just got him back.

THE END (maybe)