"Simple Answers"



Disclaimer: Paramount, yadda, yadda, owns, yadda, yadda, Will and Deanna. You know the rest, right?

Synopsis: "A moment in time piece" as QD says. A short one, and a very simple one. Nothing fancy. Hope you like it. This is Post-Insurrection.

One last thing -- some heads are gonna roll at Paramount if they cut out the rare R/T moments in the movie. I know what all of them are so I'll know what they cut. That's probably a bad thing-that I know. I think they could just cut out the forever long conversations between Picard and Shinzon, or maybe some of B-9's jabbering. That'll take out 48 minutes itself. Okay, on with the story.


"What exactly are we doing here?" Will only glanced at her briefly and then returned his attention to the small computer screen in front of him.

"I am going over reports for the Captain and you are watching me go over reports for the Captain." He tapped a bright yellow button and the screen changed to another diagram.

Deanna rolled her eyes and sat up straight. Crossing her arms, she simply observed him for a few moments. "Doesn't it seem strange to you at all?"

Will tapped another button and a quiet bleep was heard. This time he gave her more than a glance before he resumed his studying. "Why are you asking me all of these questions tonight? You know I can't study and wax philosophical with you at the same time."

A smirk played on Deanna's face, but only briefly. "Who says I want to wax philosophical? I only asked a simple question."

Will let out a chuckle, not letting his eyes wander from the screen. "I learned a long time ago that when you ask simple questions, the answers always turn out to be extremely long and profound." He turned to her and took one of her hands, "Imzadi, I'm sorry, I would really love to talk but I've got to have this done by morning. I don't know about you, but I was hoping to get at least some sleep tonight."

Her look of disappointent was not lost on him, however, there truly was little he could do about it.

"You haven't even had dinner, Will. It's almost twenty-two hundred hours. Not to mention the fact that you've been at this since this afternoon. You need a break."

Will released her hand and sat back in his chair, rubbing his eyes. He at least should eat dinner. "You're right. I am a little hungry."

Deanna smiled, "Good. Now, go and sit on the couch while I get you something."

As he slowly made his way to the couch, he watched her order his dinner from the replicator and place it in front of him. "There, now eat."

Riker smiled and pulled her down beside him. He sneaked a quick kiss from her before diggng into his meal. "Thanks. I'd be in trouble if I didn't have you watching out for me."

Deanna smoothed her hand over his back and placed her head on his shoulder. "Everyone needs to have someone take care of them. Even fearless, starship commanders."

Will began to sample his food, no doubt his favorite. Deanna did know him well. Just as he stuffed his face with a mouthful of food, Deanna seized the opportunity to ask him her question again. "Doesn't this seem strange to you?"

Will, still with his mouth full, could not answer right away. Deanna took full advantage of it. "I mean, we've been together for almost two years, and not once have we talked about why, or how, or even about our past. Don't you think that it's a little stange? I mean we have so much history between us."

Will shook his head and swallowed his food, "What's stange about it? It feels as natural as ever."

"And that's not stange to you?"

Will sighed, and looking at his food, he gave up eating for the moment. "Deanna, we both know that it happened gradually. All those years we were just friends, we were really just in the beginning stages of our relationship. We got comfortable with each other and that has carried over into what we have now. To me, having this conversation is strange because it doesn't fit into what we've been doing for the last two years which is--just letting it happen. Did you see any salt while you were over there?"

Deanna smiled despite her conflicting emotions. She spotted a salt container on the table and went over to get it. "I know. I guess I'm a little worried that we haven't talked about it. But at the same time, it's good to know that we didn't have to."

Will took the container from her and sprinkled it over his food. "We still don't. We are meant to be together. There's nothing to talk about after that." He paused for a few moments and Deanna could tell that he had something left to say.

He continued, "You know how comfortable married couples are? The engagement and wedding are over. From that point it's just them and the rest of their lives together. They're just at ease, letting things happen. They don't talk about why they are together because they already know. That's the way you and I are."

Deanna was taken aback slightly and cleared her throat. "Like a married couple? But, Will, we haven't really even talked about marriage."

"Why?" It was a simple question. One that she could turn into a philosphical debate. But then, he did have to get those reports done.

She sat there, watching him eat while she contemplated her answer. "I suppose because we both assumed that us getting back together would demand a permanent committment. Otherwise, we wouldn't have done it."

Will nodded and swallowed another bite. "Exactly. We both knew that the other was ready for that committment. We knew going into this how it was going to end up. The only thing we're waiting for is the right moment to take that next step."

Releasing a breath, Denna sat back fully on the couch, touching her forehead. "Oh, wow. We're actually talking about marriage. Mother would be thrilled."

At that, Riker grinned. "I'm sure she would be. Does that scare you?"

"What?" she asked. Frankly she was surprised that he would ask such a blatant question.

"Well, you're not exactly overjoyed at the prospect. You're acting a little apprehensive. I can sort of feel it too."

She sat up again and ran her fingers through his hair. "Oh, no, Will. It's nothing like that. I want us to get married. I want it more than anything. But I still feel like we need a little more time before we're ready. Do you understand?"

Will grinned at her and kissed her. "Sure. I think we need time as well. But I can't wait for the right moment."

She smiled back at him and pulled him in for another kiss. Only this one was quite a bit longer. "I love you," she said as they pulled apart.

Will kissed her nose, "I know. I love you too." He reached out and pushed his dinner plate away, having left only a few small crums. "Unfortunately, the Captain doesn't feel the same way about me. Otherwise he wouldn't have given me these reports to do in one night."

Deanna laughed, "You better hope he doesn't feel the same way or you'd really be in trouble."

"Jealous are we?"

She hit him on the chest and let out a guff, "I can't believe you just said that. "

He laughed at her expression despite the fatigue that was quicky settling in. "I better get back to work. Thanks for dinner."

She smiled as he kissed her once more. Then he stood and walked back to his desk, picking up where he left off. She took his plate and put it into the recycle. "I hope this isn't what it's going to be like when we're married."

"Like what?" he said innocently, only seeming to pay half attention to her.

She walked over to him and leaned against his desk. "Leaving your things for me to clean up."

"Come on, Deanna. You know that's half the reason guys get married in the first place--so we don't have to clean up after ourselves."

He deserved another blow to his body, preferably the head, but she decided to let it slide. Instead she put on a face of mock disgust. "I can't believe you said THAT. Don't count on it. Marriage is fifty-fifty, mister and don't you forget it."

Will tapped a series of buttons, "Of course. I was just testing the waters to see how far I could go."

Deanna rolled her eyes for the second time that night. "Incredible. I'm going to bed. Goodnight."

She began to walk out the door but Will called to her before she could go too far. "Wait. No goodnight kiss?"

The doors slid open, Deanna turned and leaned against the opening, "You don't deserve one tonight, Mr. Riker. But, if you make me breakfast in the morning, maybe you can get a good-morning kiss."

Will smiled, "It's a date--and I promise to clean up afterwards."

Suddnely he looked incredibly adorable sitting there, with that boyish grin on his face. Not to mention the blue eyes that he flashed in her direction. It was all a ruse, she was sure of it. Nevertheless, she couldn't help it. A few seconds later she as cradling his head in her palms and giving the good-night kiss of the century.

When they separated, Will's voice was husky, "I thought I didn't deserve a kiss?"

"Everyone deserves a second chance, Imzadi," she whispered to him, knowing that he would catch the underlying meaning. Keeping physical contact with him until the very last moment, she stepped back and slowly left his quarters.

He simply sat there for what seemed like forever, contemplating the conversation they had just had. Marriage? Had he really brought that up?
Shaking his head to rid himself of the shock that was just now hitting him, he tapped another yellow button and watched the screen change.