The Conversation
Rated: PG:13
(This little piece is all in dialogue, no description or exposition.)
Disclaimer: All ST TNG characters and their universe belong to Paramount

"Why did  you bring me here?"
"I think you know the answer to that."
"No, Deanna, I don't.  I've been on Betazed for two weeks now and this is the
first time you've deigned to see me.  Why here?  Why now?"
"I...I suppose because it was the last place we saw one another before you
left...I wanted to go back to that moment.  To recapture it."
"Twenty years later?  That's a long time to hold onto a memory.  And long
past time to change what might have been."
"I know.  I realize that nothing can be changed, that we cannot go back in
time.  But after living on Betazed for this past year without you...well,
once I knew you were coming, I knew that we needed to come here, together."
"To stare at this same old painting?  I'm sorry, Deanna, but it still looks
like goopy paint swirls to me.  And besides, if you knew I was coming, why
have you been hiding from me for two weeks?  My shuttle leaves for the
Enterprise in five days...why wouldn't you see me until today?"
"Because I wasn't sure that I was ready to tell you..."
"Tell me what?"
"That I made a mistake.  Coming home to Betazed has been wonderful in many
ways. I've been able to renew my relationship with my little brother, to
spend a great deal of time with my Mother, and to get to know my people
again. I love it here Will, but as wonderful as this time has been, something
has been lacking..."
"And what would that be?"
"You, Imzadi.  I've missed you.  Much more than I ever dreamed possible.  I
have everything I could ever want or need and yet I feel empty, lonely.  I
need you in my life, Will and I want us to have a relationship again."
"You have a funny way of showing it. I noticed you didn't exactly come
running to my shuttle when I landed-in fact you've avoided me like the
plague.  Do you have any idea how that feels, Deanna?"
"Yes, I believe I do.  And I'm sorry, Will. I'm very sorry.  I just...needed
time.  Time to process how I was feeling, time to gather the courage to speak
to you..."
"Courage?  Since when have you  needed courage to talk to me?  Whatever else
has gone on between us, we have always been friends.  You can talk to me,  
Imzadi.  About anything."
"Not least, not until today."
"Must be important for you to bring me here, to this place.  Is everything
all right?  Is your Mother ill?  Are you? Please tell me what's going on."
"All right.  But you'd better sit down."
"Okay, I'm sitting."
"Will, when I came home to Betazed, I wasn't alone."
"What? You mean you had a "companion"?  Geez, Deanna you couldn't wait five
minutes to find someone else?  We had just said goodbye for God's sake!"
"No, it isn't like that.  You misunderstand me.  I said I wasn't alone, but
that doesn't mean that a man was with me. In fact, my companion was female."
"Great.  Have you started having relationships with other women now?  Is that
what you're telling me?"
"In a way..."
"I never thought that you felt that way about other women, Deanna.  I'm
"Oh, I don't.  Only this one in particular.  You see, she has the most
beautiful brown curly hair and dazzlingly blue eyes...I just fell in love
with her on sight."
"Great. You leave me and end up shaking up with someone else. On top of it,
it's not even another man, but a woman.  I'm stunned, Deanna, I don't even
know what to say."
"There's more..."
"Oh God..."
"Will, her name is Jashara Neilani.  I want you to meet her as soon as
"Why?  Why would you think I'd want to meet your new lover?"
"Oh Will...she's not my lover.  But I do love her...more than anything else
in the world."
"What are you telling me, Deanna?"
"I'm telling you that you have a daughter, Will Riker.  A beautiful, healthy,
perfect little girl."
"What?  Oh my God....why didn't you tell me?  Send me a communique,
"Because I wasn't sure that you would want to know.  When I left, we ended
our romantic relationship, and I assumed that after being apart you would've
found someone else.  A baby would not have fit into the picture."
"But I had a right to know!"
"Yes, you did. And I apologize for not telling you, Will. I wanted
badly I can't even tell you...going through the pregnancy alone, missing you,
loving you, and then having this precious little one to remind me of you each's been so difficult.  I'm sorry, I should've told you as soon as I
discovered that I was pregnant."
"Yes, you should have.  When did you find out?"
"About a month after I arrived here.  I started feeling queasy in the
mornings, and I thought it was just the adjustment to being planet side
combined with Betazoid food. I never was very fond of it, you know.  When my
monthly cycle came around, I assumed that I would have my usual period, but
it never came.  I saw Dr. Romni and she confirmed my suspicions..."
"Deanna....God, Deanna, I'm sorry you had to go through this alone. If I had
known I swear I would've taken leave and come her as fast as possible.  No
matter what had happened between us, I would've wanted to be here for the
birth of our child."
"Oh Will, I wish you had been. Seeing her for the first was the
most amazing moment of my life. She really  takes after her father, you know."
"I've missed so old is she now?"
"Two months."
"I don't know what to say...I'm just blown away. Can I see her."
"Why don't you turn around, Imzadi. I'm sure you're tired of looking at this
old painting anyway."
"There she is.  Mother, please bring her over, will you?"
"Of course.  It's about time my grandaughter's father came to see her."
"I would've been here had I  known, Lwaxana.  In a heartbeat."
"I know that, William.  My daughter was too stubborn to contact you.  But
you're here now and that's what matters. Now, look at this little one---what
do you think?"
"I...I think she's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen.  My God, she has
my Mother's eyes....Deanna, let me hold her."
"Of course, Will.  There you are. I think she likes being in your arms."
"I think I like having her there.  I guess I'm destined to fall in love with
Troi women...can't seem to help myself."
"Well, I think I'll leave the three of you alone.  I do have an important
appointment to attend to.  Come to the house when you're ready, Mr. Homm is
making us an extraordinary dinner this evening.  I think a celebration is in
order, don't you?"
"Oh yes."
"Deanna....I've missed you so much. I came here for that stupid diplomatic
function and I hoped that we would see each other. I hoped that I could talk
you into coming back to me..."
"Oh life is here now.  I've begun teaching at the University as
well as counseling on the side.  I've resumed my friendships and gotten close
to my family again. I really don't want to leave them again..."
"Deanna, I want you back. I don't care what it takes.  I'll even take a
civillian position here, on Betazed, if you'll have me...this past year has
been hell without you, Imzadi.  I need you in my life.  Please say you'll
consider it...."
"I don't want you to give up your career for me, Will. I know how much it
means to you.  Besides, what would you do here?  I can't see you sitting
behind a desk all day. You'd go crazy and you know it."
"Probably.  But if it meant us getting back together, if it meant getting to
know this little girl of mine, I'd do it.  No questions asked."
"I love you so much Will. I'm sorry for everything, for leaving, for not
telling you about Jashara..."
"'s all right.  I'm to blame too. I never should've let you go.  
Never.  I feel like the world's biggest jerk, Deanna.  When I think of you
here, alone, with the baby, it kills me."
"I know.  But you're here now, Will, and that's what matters."
"Deanna, I have to ask you something.  If I were to stay, to resign my
commission and ask you to marry me, would you?"
"Oh Gods...yes, Will. Yes I would marry you."
"Then Ms. Troi, I'm going to ask you here and now, will you do me the honor
of being my wife?"
"Yes!  Yes, Will, yes yes yes!"
"The baby seems pretty happy about it herself. Look at those eyes light up!  
And she looks like she's trying to giggle..."
"Betazoid babies progress much faster than human ones. I guess having half of
my genes has made her a real prodigy."
"And the most beautiful girl in the world.  Deanna, thank-you for bringing me
here today."
"And here I thought you hated Betazoid art."
"I do, but I love you. And I love this little girl..."
"I'm so glad that you came, Will."
"And so am I. You've really thrown me for a loop, Deanna, but you've also
made me the happiest guy in the world."
"And you've done the same for me, Imzadi.  I love you..."
"Then why don't we get out of here and go tell your mother the good news?"
"I would love to but she has that appointment this afternoon...I don't know
when she'll be back."
"Then why don't we take the baby back, get her settled in, and make use of
the time alone?"
"Why Will Riker!  Are you propositioning me?"
"Absolutely.  Do you mind?"
"Not in the least.  Come on, let's go before Mother gets back.  I don't want
her walking in on an intimate moment."
"Intimate moment, huh?  Mmm, is that what we're going to have?"
"Only if you behave yourself until we get there, Imzadi."
"Scout's honor.  And Deanna...?"
"For what, Will?"
"For this beautiful baby, for agreeing to be my wife, and...for loving me
after all we've been through."
"You don't ever have to thank me for those things.  We are Imzadi, Will. We
always will be."