I Was Young Once


Based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation

I just thought I’d write a little in order to get back into the funk.

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With an aching back and sore knees, retired Admiral William T. Riker swung his knees around his bed and stood up slowly. He never felt as old as he did when he tried to get out of bed. His back was always stiff, and it took him several minutes to stand to his full height. His knees always ached, even though they were both fake.

The Doctors told him he was imagining the stiffness, he told them they needed to try one for a few days.

He had an insistent crick in his neck, for which he was always rolling his neck back and forth, trying to relieve the pressure.

The Doctors told him it was psychosomatic. He told them they needed to try on his neck for days.

Deanna, on the other hand, leapt out of bed by comparison to her husband. She circled the bed spryly and stood on her toes to kiss him.

He was sure she was just as old and stiff as him, but hid it better to make him feel like the old man he swore he would never become.

She rubbed his neck with one hand and ran her fingers through his white hair with the other. They had been together for more years than the average person could remember, so they had fallen into the rut of being an old married couple.

A loud, argumentative, annoying, bossy, perfect for each other, old married couple, as their children and grandchildren continuously reminded them.

They had three children, all of various ages did not really matter when it came down to it. They had eight and a half grandchildren, a twenty-four year old, twenty year old, a seventeen year old, two fourteen year olds, a ten year old, a six year old, a two year old, and a neonate due in four months. Will could remember all their names, but sometimes had trouble putting the right name with the right child, though he always got his own children’s and their spouses’ names correct.

Deanna kissed him again and walked away to the bathroom to get ready for the day. Will walked to the window and stared out at the Betazoid landscape outside their window.

They lived in the Fifth House Manor on Betazed, where Deanna taught at the college she had gone to when they had met, what seemed like centuries ago. He had worked at the Starfleet base for a long time until he finally decided he was too old to be an important admiral anymore. He kept busy, found hobbies like cooking, playing his trombone, and visiting and taking care of grandkids; he had tried writing but decided to leave that to the professionals.

Deanna claimed that he was getting to grumpy to do anything anymore; he told her she should try on his body for a few days. She said she didn’t know if she could handle the extra six inches of height.

He made his way to the kitchen and got out some eggs and a pan. He was cooking up some scrambled eggs when Deanna came in, dressed, prepped and ready to go. “Smells good,” she said.

Will merely mumbled a reply. He sensed her coming up behind him, and his suspicions were confirmed when her hands rested on his shoulders.

“We certainly are grumpy this morning,” she said in a very chipper voice.

He harrumphed. “We are certainly having a difference of opinion. I am grumpy, you are extremely cheerful.”

“I feel young this morning,” she replied with a smile.

He turned to face her and took her hands in his. “I was young once.”

She raised her eyebrow with a smirk. “The only reason you are old now is because you let yourself get old.” She kissed him once on the cheek. “I, on the other hand, have held onto my youth, Imzadi. Held on for dear life.”

He smiled a little for the first time that morning. “You kept me young for a very long time.” He chuckled to himself and pulled her a little closer.

She smiled and let out a soft giggle. “Now you are holding onto your youth, Imzadi. Maybe you can overcome some of that stiffness.” He smiled boyishly and she frowned. “IN YOUR KNEES!” she hit him gently across the chest. “Now make me some breakfast, I have an early class this morning.”

Will could not wipe the grin off his face. “As long as you promise me dessert.”

Deanna continued to frown. “Breakfast, Grandpa, and if you’re not napping when I get home I’ll think about it.”

Will turned back to the burner and began to whistle himself. For the first time in a long time, he felt young.

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