Not Really Goodbye

Disclaimer: I don’t own TNG, oh well.

Not Really Goodbye
Spaceman 41
Based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation
Pre "Second Chance"
- - - - -
"Deanna, I have to leave!" He didn't hadn't meant mean to raise his voice, but he had.
She forced a cynical laugh. "Convenient, don't you think?"
"I didn't ask for this to happen! I didn't ask to come to this planet and fall in love with someone. But I did! Now I have to go."
She laughed again.
"I do love you, Imzadi."
She shook her head sharply. "Don't say that word. You lost that right."
"Don't say that," he lowered his voice. She was the only person who could make him beg.
"I guess I was wrong about you," she said, quietly, but sharply.
"Deanna . . ." he pleaded.
"Get out," she whispered, pointing towards the door. He opened his mouth to speak again, but she cut him off, "Just get out."
He walked towards the door. "Goodbye, Imzadi," he whispered back before taking his leave of the most perfect woman he would ever meet.
- - -
Will couldn't sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Deanna's face. Her beautiful, sad, face. He didn't like how things had ended between them. She had said they were Imzadi. She had said that Imzadi was forever. But as soon as he told her he was leaving . . .
Things couldn't end this way. He couldn't let things end this way. He wouldn't let things end this way.
He rolled out of bed, put some casual clothes on, and made his way to the transporter room.
He entered a set of coordinates into the system. "Energize," he said to the crewman on duty.
"Sir," she said, "I don't have any authorization to let anyone off the ship. We leave in eight hours."
"I am aware of that, Crewman," he said. "Beam me down anyway."
"I'm going to have to get some authorization for this, Sir. I'm sorry." She tapped her COMM badge. "Weston to Bridge. Lieutenant Riker is requesting to leave the ship."
"Riker?" the second officer repeated. "Riker, what are you doing?"
Will took a deep breath. "There's one last thing I forgot to do."
"You do realize that the ship's on gamma shift and we leave in eight hours?"
Will nodded, even though his superior could not see him. "It's night where I'm going, and I will be back before we leave."
"If you aren't, you'll have gone UA."
"Yes, Sir. I recognize that. Eight hours will be more than enough time."
The second officer sighed. "Alright, Riker. I'm going to put my self on the line here for you, so you owe me one."
"Yes, Sir, I do."
"Alright, Crewman Weston, beam him down."
Will smiled and mouthed a 'thank you' to Weston. In half a second, no longer, and he was on the surface of Betazed. He looked around, getting his bearings, and headed towards the formidably elegant Fifth House Manor.
Before he could knock on the door, Lwaxana's creepy valet, Xelo, opened it. "You have been expected, Lieutenant Riker," he said.
Will smiled and followed him into the parlor, where Lwaxana was stretched out on a love seat. "You've returned, William," she said in an unreadable tone.
He stood up straighter. "I have."
"Why?" she asked, tilting her head.
"I think you know the answer to that," he replied.
"I would like to hear it from you," a voice from behind him said.
He turned to see Deanna. She was wearing a beautifully gauzy robe over what appeared to be sleeping attire. He had forgotten momentarily that it was extremely late. "Deanna," he breathed.
"I thought we had said our goodbyes."
"We did, but not really. It wasn't good enough."
He was barely aware of Lwaxana standing behind him and heading towards the main door of the manor. She must have gotten wind of what he was thinking. "Deanna, darling, the Third House is having a little get together this evening and I was planning on attending. You know the Third House, their parties tend to last into the small hours, I may not return this evening."
Deanna didn't break eye contact with Will. "Okay, Mother."
Will knew there was more going on than what was being said. He wasn't entirely convinced it was telepathic, but, simply, a mother-daughter understanding. He stared at Deanna as Lwaxana left.
"I couldn't leave things like that. I could leave you like that," he said at length.
"Yesterday you seemed just fine with leaving me forever."
It was obvious she was angry, but he tried to ignore it. "You said Imzadi was forever."
Her anger dissolved and left her unprotected. Tears came to her eyes. "I said a lot of things."
He took a step towards her. "I don't think you ever lied to me. Up until you said you wanted me to go. I didn't believe you."
She stepped back, trying to regain the distance between them.
"I have to leave, but I want you to come with me. In six months, I'll be able to bring family onto the Potemkin. If we get married . . ."
Her breath caught in her throat. "Do you really mean that?"
He smiled softly. "You know that I can't lie to you."
She stepped into his arms, cupping his face with her hands and bringing his lips down to hers. "Imzadi."
- - -
"Will," Deanna whispered his name. "Will," she repeated, shifting her position to lean on his chest. She placed a deep kiss on his lips and he pulled her tight to him.
He smiled up at her. "Imzadi," he said quietly.
"You have to go."
He shook his head. "I know."
"We'll get married. It's going to be wonderful."
He leaned up into her and kissed her sweetly. "I'm glad you're sure."
She got up off of him, and found her robe. He followed her after getting dressed, and they walked down the grand staircase together. "It's not really goodbye this time," she said as he swept her into his arms.
He kissed her. "I'll contact you as soon as I can and we can make some plans." He released her and walked out the door, pausing halfway down the walk.
"You're right," he said as he turned back to her, "it's not really goodbye this time."
- - -
William Thomas Riker blinked as he regained consciousness. For a moment there, he had been somewhere else. He had been on Betazed. With Deanna. Not marooned on Nervala IV.
He looked down at his arm. It looked like it was set properly. Now he had to splint it. He would splint it. Then continue his repairs to the power systems. He would continue to work and continue to survive until a Federation vessel returned. Until he was rescued and he could prove to his Imzadi that it wasn't really goodbye.