Pretend there is a disclaimer here. Really, there is one. It is just in a very small font and also in invisible type.
It had been a stupid argument. A senseless, uncalled for fight and he was regretting it more and more as the time slipped by. How was he ever going to ask for her forgiveness? Was she ever going to forgive him for the mean, angry, hateful words that had flown from his mouth, striking her across the face, leaving a red mark on her delicate cheek? He had felt remorseful when her hand flew up to touch the bruise that he had caused, her large dark eyes welling with tears. He had tried to apologize, but she had turned and fled from the room. He wished he could take it all back, go back in time so that it would never have happened.
Her anger, pain hit him full force and nearly sent him reeling off balance. He put his hand on the edge of the table to keep from falling over. He wasn't surprised by it. He had been expecting it. He could imagine her storming around her quarters, swearing half-Betazoid, half-Terran words under her breath, picking up any object in her path and hurling it full force at a wall. A headache began to pound behind his temples and soon took over his whole head. He ordered the computer to put on some twentieth century earth jazz and grabbed a bottle of scotch, taking a big swig from it, the amber liquid burning a trail down his throat to his stomach. He welcomed that sensation and continued to drown himself in self-pity.
She finally came under control when she realized she had nothing left to throw. Looking around her now ruined quarters, she heaved a heavy sigh, her shoulders slouching in defeat. It was going to take awhile to clean the mess up, but she could care less at this point. How could she ever forgive him? Mean, angry, hateful words had cut her heart in two and had struck her across the face, shocking her with their force. He had never hit her before, never! What was to guarantee that he would never do such a thing again? She had said some angry words as well and had felt the intense pain they had caused him, but she was only striking back at him for hurting her. She vowed she would never forgive him.
She went to the replicator and ordered a Ktarian chocolate puff and some hot chocolate, hoping that they would have a calming effect on her as they usually did, but this time they only helped in upsetting her stomach. She ran to the restroom and just reached the lavatory as her stomach rebelled. After the retching subsided, she sat on the floor for awhile, pressing her hands to her sweaty brow. Gods, she hated him for putting her through this. Slowly rising to her feet, she caught her reflection in the mirror and winced at the sight of the angry mark on her cheek. Her hand went up to touch it. The image began to blur as tears filled her eyes for the umpteenth time that evening and she ran to her room, throwing herself facedown onto the bed as sobs overtook her petite frame, shaking it with their intensity.
He tossed and turned in his nightmare. The words he had said to her resounding in his head over and over again, only adding to the ache of his hangover, the relentless ache in his heart. He had called her aristocratic again and he knew how much she hated to be called that. She had called him an arrogant, self-centered, pompous ass and that she couldn't understand how he could be her Imzadi. He had said that he had wished he wasn't tied to her because he believed her to be full of herself and that she really did not love him or had ever loved him. She said that she had been in love with him, that it was a mistake that she had ever allowed it to happen and that she had been a stupid, young, naïve girl to let him be her first. He said he believed it to be a mistake too and that he wished he had never taken their relationship to that level. He had wanted this nasty fight to stop right then, but the words just kept coming out after that. She had said that she hated him and never wanted to set eyes on him ever again and that he was too much of a coward, an imbecile to ever be the captain of his own ship, that he would always be the underdog. That is when he had struck out. He had never ever hit her before. He couldn't remember a time when he was this angry with her to provoke such an awful reaction. He woke up with a jolt and sat up, running his hands over his face to wipe it all away. He felt the sting of tears begin to build up at the backs of his eyes and he blinked to keep them from rushing forward, but it didn't work. They felt hot against his skin as they trickled down his face, soaking his beard. He let them fall.
She knew he was crying. Feelings of regret and deep pain, mixed with despair hit her full-force, making her cry even harder. His tears became her tears, running in endless streams from the corners of her eyes, dampening long dark curls that spilled over the pillow beneath her head. Gods, she wished that she could sever the tie that bonded them together forever. She didn't want to feel him anymore. She wanted him to leave her alone, to just go away! And then she heard something, barely over the sound of her weeping. What was it? She brought her sobs under control and strained to listen for it, hoping that it would come again. It was him. He was whispering to her, begging her to listen to him, to forgive him, saying he couldn't live without her, that life meant nothing to him if she wasn't in it. She felt him reaching for her, trying to touch her, but she pulled away. The words "I will always love you" began to echo over and over again like a broken record inside her head, his voice raising from a whisper to a deafening roar with each refrain. She sat up and put her hands over her ears to block it out, but it only grew louder. It was becoming so painful she began to cry out for it to stop.
Suddenly it did stop. She removed her hands and was assaulted by the silence that shrouded her in its cold darkness. She reached into that silence, but could not hear him. She reached into the darkness, but could not feel him. Panic began to seize her as she jumped up off the bed and rushed out of her cabin to the cabin next door. Sobs of fear escaped her throat as she tried to get him to respond to her calls, but they went unanswered. She overrode his security code and stepped into his quarters, her foot hitting an object made of glass. She bent and picked it up, discovering that it was an empty bottle that once contained liquor she learned when the alcoholic fumes hit her nostrils, causing her nose to wrinkle up in disdain. She placed it aside as she called out his name and made her way into the bedroom to find him lying face down on the bed.
She lunged herself at him, struggling to keep her emotions in check as she tried to find a pulse, some sign that he was still alive, that he hadn't left her, but her hands were shaking too much for her to find such an indication that he was okay. She buried her face against his shoulder as tears threatened to overtake her.
"Please don't leave me, Will Riker," she wept. "I love you and
I don't know what I would do without you."
A hand reached up and touched her hair, causing her to gasp in startlement. Large dark eyes widened as they met pools of the most beautiful blue she had thought she would never see again. They didn't need to say they were sorry. They could see it in the other, they could feel it.
Will turned over and sat up, pulling Deanna close to him. He cupped her beautiful face in the palms of his hands, gently kissing the cheek that he had injured and then kissing her full, sensuous lips, deepening it when he felt her responding. When they finally parted, he looked into her ebony eyes and saw tears glistening within their endless depths. He cradled her against his large chest as she began to weep and started rocking her back and forth, planting kisses on the top of her soft, dark head. He held her for a long time, his tears falling with hers.
"I could never leave you," he whispered into her hair. "We are forever, Imzadi."
Stand By Your Side
Celine Dion (2003)
I cry and you comfort me
I'm lost and you hear my scream
So it's hard to watch you falling
When you run so deep in me
You live in me
Gonna stand by your side now
Let me kiss all your tears away
You can stay in my arms now
And I know I can make you believe again
So when you're feeling like you can't go on
Don't you know
You never walk alone no
And you live in me
I'm gonna stand, stand by your side
Kiss all your tears away tonight
I'm gonna stand, stand by your side