DISCLAIMER:  Paramount owns the characters.  Warner Brothers owns the song.  No infringement is intended, no profit is made.

SETTING:  Some point after Deanna and Worf get together.

FEEDBACK:  Would be greatly appreciated.

By Shasta







            Will entered Ten-Forward, hoping to relax after working a double shift.  He scanned the room as he stepped up to the bar, and saw them sitting in a secluded table.  No turning back now, he thought, and sat down on a barstool. 


            Riker was staring off into nowhere when Guinan appeared.  "What can I get for you, Commander?" 


            His gaze turned to the barkeep, "I'll have an ale."  He turned slightly, and could see Worf and Deanna out of the corner of his eye.  They seemed to be having a good time.


            Guinan returned with his drink.  "She looks lovely this evening, doesn't she?"


            "Yeah,"  Riker answered before he realized.  He glared at her. "Who?"


            "Counselor Troi, of course,"  she answered.


            He looked at his drink, "I guess you caught me.  She always looks lovely."  Will stole another glance at the couple.


                        And I'd give up forever to touch you

                        'Cause I know that you feel me somehow

                        You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be

                        And I don't want to go home right now


            "Have you told her that?"  Guinan persisted.


            "No," he stated, and took a long drink.  "I don't want to be a third wheel.  Besides, she's happy, and that's all that matters."


            "Are you sure about that?"  she continued.


            Riker's eyes turned into ice, "Yes.  I am.  Good night, Guinan."  As he stood up, his eyes met momentarily with Deanna's. 


                        And all I could taste is this moment

                        And all I can breathe is your life

                        And sooner or later it's over

                        I just don't wanna miss you tonight


            He jerked his tunic down and quietly stormed out of the room, not knowing that Deanna watched him leave.  She had been able to block Riker's emotions, but right before he left, they escalated to the point that nothing could stop them.


                        And I don't want the world to see me

                        'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

                        When everything's made to be broken

                        I just want you to know who I am


            Will entered Holodeck 3, "Computer, begin program Riker 12."  The yellow and black grid dissolved into a thick mountain forest.  He found an old worn trail through the trees, and followed it for several minutes before finding what he was looking for.


                        And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming

                        Or the moment of truth in your lies

                        When everything feels like the movies

                        Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive


            About ten meters off the trail was a small pond.  He walked around it to a huge fir tree, and sat beneath it, occasionally skipping rocks or throwing sticks into the water.


            Will had hoped this would calm him down, but all it did was make him ask more questions.  Questions that he couldn't answer, and that frustrated him even more so.


                        And I don't want the world to see me

                        'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

                        When everything's made to be broken

                        I just want you to know who I am


            Just when he had gathered up enough courage to leave the holodeck and approach Deanna, Will heard something walking through the woods.  The program had included wildlife, so he sat still to see what was approaching.


            To his surprise, Deanna came into the small clearing.  "What are you doing here?  Don't you have some other place to be?"  he asked smartly.


            "I was worried about you," she said, "I thought I might be needed here."


            "Why are you worried about me?"  Riker turned to face her.  "I figured you had other obligations."  Turning back, he slung another rock into the pond.


            Deanna sat beside him.  "When I left Ten-Forward to check on you, Worf told me that we should part ways.  He said something about not wanting to be in the way.  I don't know.  It shocked me, so I don't remember much after that."  After several minutes of silence, she stood, and began dusting off.  "I guess I should leave." 


                        And I don't want the world to see me

                        'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

                        When everything's made to be broken

                        I just want you to know who I am


            "Wait."  Will got up beside her, lifted her chin, and looked, really looked into her eyes for the first time in many years.  He could see the moisture in her eyes, and wiped a stray tear from her cheek.  "Please stay.  I could use some company right now."  He smiled.  "Would you like to go to my quarters?  I can get some hot chocolate for you, and we could talk.  Is that okay?"


            Deanna gave him a weak smile, "That sounds good, thank you, Will."


                        I just want you to know who I am . . .