Who Counsels The Counselor?
Summary: Response to Gwen's challenge on the Imzadi-All List to finish the opening she provided.
Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine. Not making any profit. Yadda yadda yadda
"Excuse me sir, but are you going into the meeting?"
The tall man in front of him jumped suddenly.
"What....? Oh Data. Yes, yes, of course I'm going in," he said. He continued to stand immobile.
"If you don't mind me saying sir..." Data trailed off as Riker nailed him with a sharp look.
"You look a little stunned sir." he finished.
"Stunned," will commented slowly as if testing the word. "Yes, Data, I think that just about covers it."
He shook his head with a wry smile and motioned for Data to proceed him into the lounge. As he entered he couldn't help but catch Deanna's eye.
He wasn't sure he liked the look she was giving him. Especially considering the corridor just then.
He glanced away for a moment to take note of the other members of the senior staff taking their places. He could tell her gaze never wavered, however. When he looked back he was sure of it. She was looking at him like... well like he was a piece of meat.
Not that Will minded being looked at like that. Wouldn't be the first time a female looked at him like he was a piece of prime-cut USDA looking for some tenderizing. But coming from Deanna... it was a bit disconcerting. She had never pinned him with a gaze like that before. Even when they were young lovers stuck in a hot steamy jungle on Betazed, she managed to keep her cool... on the outside at least.
While Data and Geordi took a few moments to run through some technical hypotheses only they could understand, Will thought back to what had occurred in Ten Foreward, just before the impromptu meeting had been called.
He sat alone at a small table in the corner, nursing a bright green drink and observing others in the dim room. In particular, a perky little blue-eyed blonde who had assets in all the right places. He knew she was a Lieutenant from Engineering. Brainy, competent, great personality, and beautiful. She had everything going for her.
But no matter how much sexuality she was unconsciously oozing, the only thing going through Will's mind while staring at her was how far she could go in her career.
Will sighed dejectedly and looked away. 'What the hell is wrong with me?' he wondered. He hadn't felt anything for the opposite sex in months. Hadn't actually felt anyone from the opposite sex in months!
'No,' he admitted to himself sadly, 'I do feel for one. But she's not exactly available. And even if she was, she would never feel for me what I feel for her.'
It was at that moment he suddenly felt a tingling in his head. A flutter of butterfly wings breaking free from a long ensconced cocoon. "Imzadi" he felt, more than heard. Sucking in a breath, his eyes shot to the other side of the room where he knew she was... with him.
Will's blue eyes showed confusion and surprise when Worf stood up, faced him, and gave Will the Klingon salute. Fist to chest, then arm flung outward to the side. The Klingon's eyes did not show anger, but respect shown to a fellow warrior who proved victorious. Worf then walked proudly upright out of Ten Foreward.
Will felt her dark eyes burning into him. He stared back. The tingling in his mind this time was accompanied by a teasing smile from her. "I have felt what's behind your thoughts, Will. I have noticed."
Not even daring to let his hopes up at what the implications could mean, Will felt himself rising from his chair and slowly starting towards her; drawn like a moth to flaming light. Deanna kept his gaze as she stood also and waited for him, her bosom rising with each bated breath.
"All senior officers report to the lounge for briefing," the captain's distinct voice cut through the electrically-charged air like a buzz saw.
Will almost staggered as the spell was broken. He could only watch as Deanna's eyes lowered and her posture seemed to waver also. Without looking up at him again, she quickly fled the room.
"Damn!" Will cursed quietly. Still not quite knowing what had just happened, Will shook his head and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. He had to refrain himself from kicking a chair over on his way out.
It was what happened in the corridor outside the lounge that had left Will even more stunned. Before he was close enough to trigger the door opening, Deanna suddenly stepped out from around the corner of an adjoining corridor. Her eyes pinned him with a fiery look that left no question as to what her intent was.
"Will, I need......" Her breath caught. She had to clench her hands to her side to keep from running them across his muscled chest. Her look was feverish as she let out a shuddered breath. Deanna's face then shown with the ferocity of a bloodthirsty animal. "I....need....." her husky voice continued. "I need.... to meet with you.... privately." Her hooded eyes raked him up and down. "As soon as humanly possible."
With that she turned and stepped into the lounge as the doors opened, leaving Will standing speechless outside. Data found him like this only a moment later.
Will tried to force his mind back to the meeting. He wondered if anyone else noticed Deanna's strange behavior. The only one who gave any indication was Worf whose mouth upturned slightly at the corners whenever Will shifted impatiently in his seat.
After what seemed like an eternity the meeting finally ended and the others went their own way. Will had to remain a few moments to go over a few things with the Captain before he was free to search for the stranger who'd invaded Deanna's body.
The ship's computer told him she was in Holodeck One. He swallowed nervously as the door clanged closed behind him.
Will recognized the jungle immediately; humid and heavily scented with the flora that made the landscape so inviting. He followed the path he remembered would take him to the waterfalls. His mind went back ten years as he walked. It was all the same. At least the scenery was. But how different he and Deanna were now from the lovers they were then. Why had she brought him here? Why was she behaving so strangely? Could it be what he desperately hoped the signs showed it to be?
He brushed the last branch of leaves aside and saw her. She sat poetically at the edge of the river on grass so soft it was like a thick green blanket. She wore a short, thin, silver gown which barely concealed what lay beneath. Her dark hair flowed freely in the breeze, adorned by a circlet of pink and white flowers.
Will's heart ached and tears stung his eyes at the perfection of the picture. He wished he could capture it for all time.
She turned away from watching the falls and gazed towards him. Gone was the look of a preying hunter, replaced with a look of hopeful yearning. She lifted her hand in invitation and he joined her on the grass, grasping her small hand in his large one.
"Deanna, tell me what's going on." Will's eyes begged her to tell him what he wanted to hear.
Deanna sensed his hope and smiled. "I've been a fool, Will. All these years I've been looking for something that's been there all along. I've been afraid to commit, because I let myself get stuck in the past. When I think of the times I've almost lost the one person who means the most to me," she shuddered and looked down, ashamed. "because I keep pushing his love away, forcing you to find it elsewhere, I......"
Will heard her quiet sob and lifted her chin. Her shining, wet eyes dug into his soul. "You're talking about us," he easily surmised. "What are you trying to say?" His heart went into his throat in anticipation.
"I've always felt how much you love me. And I also felt how hurt you were every time you saw me with someone else. Especially Worf." Her voice grew stronger as she thought of the man who could be more gentle than anyone would ever give him credit for.
"What about you and Worf?" Will wondered where things stood with them now.
"He is a loving, caring man behind all that Klingon gruffness," she stated with fondness. Then wiping her eyes, she told Will everything. "He could see fairly early on that we were not meant to be, but he tried. It took him a while to realize he couldn't compete with ghosts from my past. He was very considerate and understanding of my feelings. He only wanted to bring me happiness. And he knew the only thing that would make me happy was to be with you." She smiled in wonderment. "He taught me how to forgive and forget. He made me realize the only thing holding me back from happiness was myself. And he taught me how to pursue what I wanted. As aggressively as I wanted."
She rolled her eyes and pursed her lips before laughing out loud. It was a joyous sound to Will's ears. "I don't think I mastered that quite well. I must have looked like a crazed nympho earlier. When I sensed your feelings in Ten Foreward, I thought then was a good time to try the new me out."
"I have to admit, you did leave me a bit surprised." Will gave her a rakish grin, and pulled her closer. His dreams of holding her as a lover again were finally coming true. "And I have Worf to thank for this?"
"Hmm-hmm," Deanna murmured against him, snuggling in happily.
Will shook his head in amazement. "Better watch it. He'll be taking over your job as ship's counselor."
Deanna sighed her contentment. "As long as we can stay like this, he can have the job."
"This feels wonderful." Will lifted her face to look in her eyes. "I love you, Imzadi."
"I know." She truly did. "And I love you. I won't be afraid of it anymore."
The sounds of love mixed with the sounds of rushing water, singing birds and humming insects to create a beautiful harmony that would remain with them forever.