I know you, Riker said returning her smile.
The woman inched closer to him and opened her mouth to say something.
No wait, don't tell me, Riker said, placing a finger to her lips. His blue eyes twinkled. Ships Counselor, right?
The petite women gave a small laugh before snuggling herself into his arms. Have you heard the scuttlebutt going around ship?
Captain Riker ran his fingers through her hair, inhaling her sweet scent. Theres so much of it, to which are you referring?
I heard the ships Counselor is having a tryst with the Captain.
Will let out a soft chuckle this time. You cant believe everything you hear, especially scuttlebutt.
The Counselor let out an exhausted sigh. It would be nice though; wouldnt it?
It would definitely have its perks, the Captain admitted hugging her close. Too bad Im too tired.
I remember that something with two people
Counselor Troi lifted her head up to look into his eyes and smiled. Lots of kissing and cuddling.
Riker smiled back, Sounds familiar. Did we do that once?
A long time ago then we started using the bed for sleep instead.
Will let out a yawn, I forgot there was more than one use for this thing.
Troi shook her head and kissed his cheek. Go to bed, Captain you need your sleep. Will was asleep before she had her head back down on his chest.
# # #
The next morning Counselor Troi was in her office.
Commander Sousseman to Counselor Troi.
Troi hit her commbadge, Troi here.
You have a communiqué coming in from Betazed, Sir.
Thank you. You can put it through to my office. Deanna closed her commbadge and activated her view screen. Hello, Mother, she said placing a smile on her face.
Oh Little One, Im glad to see youre alright.
Why wouldnt I be?
Well its hard to know these things when you dont call your mother.
We talk by subspace at least once a week, Mother.
Yes, because I call you Little One. Would it really do any harm for you to call your mother once in a while?
Im very busy, settling onto a new ship and getting to know her crew doesnt happen over night.
Maybe not. But youve been on the Titan for almost a year now and have you forgotten what tomorrow is? I thought you and Will could get away for a couple days. Come for a visit.
Deanna let out an exasperated breath.
Is everything alright, Little One? They do give Captains holidays, dont they?
Yes, Mother. But now isnt a good time.
Not a good time! Mrs. Troi screamed. Tomorrows your anniversary. If Starfleet cant see fit to give you two some time alone
It has nothing to do with Starfleet, Mother.
Mrs. Troi gave her daughter a quizzical stare. Children. You know if youre having difficulties, having a child
Its NOT a good time, MOTHER!
Nonsense! You know, Little One I told you, you have to work on a marriage everyday to keep the spark alive.
Well thats a little hard when you fall asleep before your head hits the pillow each night.
Now I know theyre working you too hard. Im going to have a talk with someone at headquarters. How they can expect a daughter of the fifth
Its not Starfleet, Mother. Both Will and I have plenty of vacation time. Its just not a good time to take it.
But tomorrows your
Anniversary. Yes, Mother I know. I really have a lot of work to do right now. Ill talk to you later. And with that Deanna closed the subspace channel and left her office. She walked down the corridor into the turbolift, Bridge, as the lift began to move Troi leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. What I wouldnt give not to have such a nosey mother.
The lift stopped before reaching the Bridge, and Troi stood up straight as Commander Sousseman walked in. She offered the first officer a smile.
Id like to make a request, Commander.
Sousseman shrugged her shoulders. There was nothing she could do to stop the Counselor from making it, so she had no idea why she wouldnt just come out and say it. The Titan was her first position as First Officer, and she was thrilled to get it until she found out the Captain and ships Counselor were married too much personal baggage to carry onto the bridge, in her opinion. But so far it hadnt impeded her position, and in another year or so shed like to be on a different ship. After all, the Titan was just a stepping-stone in her career.
Could you make sure the Captain leaves the Bridge as soon as his duty shift is over tomorrow?
Sousseman didnt answer.
The Commander shook her head, Im sorry, but making sure the Captain adheres to his duty schedule isnt my job, Sir?
Troi shook her head, as well. Youre right it isnt; however the welfare of this crew is, and the Captain is a part of this crew. Troi erected herself up to her full height and walked up to Commander Sousseman. There are some people on this ship who would like to make the Titan their home, Commander, and it IS your job to make sure this happens. AND in case you havent noticed, the Captain is headed towards a burn out, because hes picking up where youre lacking.
At that moment the turbolift stopped and opened onto the bridge. Troi stepped out and looked for Will. He wasnt there, so she walked to his chair at the center.
Could I have everyones attention, please.
Commander Sousseman walked out of the lift dumbfounded. What in the worlds did the Counselor think she was doing?
Tomorrow is the Captain and my wedding anniversary.
The bridge crew started to offer congratulations.
Thank you. But I just want to make sure Captain Riker gets home at a decent hour tomorrow. So whoever is on this bridge at the end of Alpha shift tomorrow, should deposit the Captain into that turbolift, Troi continued, turning to the lift she just exited and catching the look on Soussemans face. She would disapprove of this, wouldnt she?
And for good measure Deanna added, You may have to tell the lift where to go. The Captain is in his quarters so infrequently, Im not even sure he knows where they are.
Counselor Troi got a good hearty laugh from everyone, except Sousseman, on the last remark and she couldnt help smiling. His juvenile commanding techniques are rubbing off on me, she thought. Walking past the Commander, Troi got back on the turbolift to go back to her office.
# # #
The next day at exactly 1500 hours, Captain Riker exited his ready room to observe the shift change on the bridge and almost collided with Lieutenant Chen.
Riker offered him a smile, Staying to work a double shift, Lieutenant?
No, sir. I was waiting for you.
What can I do for you?
Lieutenant Chen looked around at the bustle common to shift changes. Could we talk somewhere less chaotic, Sir? He asked.
Riker was about to suggest his ready room; however the Lieutenant was heading for the turbolift. Riker shrugged and followed the lieutenant.
When the lift doors closed, Chen announced to destinations. Officers quarters deck eight. Ten-Forward.
The Captain gave his officer a questioning glance. You dont need anything from me, do you?
Well then, if youll excuse me. Computer, return to the
I think you should really go to your quarters, Sir.
Lieutenant, have you been ordered to get me to my quarters?
Chen shrugged. I really cant say Sir.
Riker shook his head. How did I know you were going to say that. Its only 1500 hours, Lieutenant. It is too early for dinner, and I have a lot of work to do to prepare for our meeting with the Frogolians next week. So if you could tell Counselor Troi Ill see her later. Computer,
Id rather not do that Sir.
The Captain let out an exasperated breath just as the lift doors opened onto deck eight.
Youre already here. You could tell the Counselor yourself.
Riker shook his head. Alright, Lieutenant I will tell Troi myself. And as the Captain left the turbolift, Lieutenant Chen let out a sigh of relief.
When Riker entered his quarters. The room was aglow with candlelight, the table was set for a romantic dinner, and there was soft jazz music playing. Its too early for dinner, Riker thought once more.
On cue, Counselor Troi came out of the bedroom. It isnt when you happened to skip lunch, she said.
Captain Riker noticed Counselor Troi had taken off her uniform for something more comfortable. Though where that saying came from he had no idea, because her looks were to die for and definitely not anymore comfortable than, Oh my
Happy Anniversary, Captain, Troi said, walking up to him and placing an inviting kiss on his lips.
Oh, Deanna. Im sorry. I cant believe I forgot.
Troi offered him a smile. I can or I wouldnt have had you ambushed at the end of shift.
Speaking of which, Lieutenant Chen looked a little uncomfortable about that.
Lieutenant Chen? Troi asked. Commander Sousseman didnt say anything to you?
Will reached up and caressed Deannas check, No, he said leaning down to kiss his wife. You look stunning, he complimented before places his lips over hers.
Deanna melted into his embrace, returning his kiss. Then she pushed him away. Were going to eat before the dinner gets cold, she said and walked over to the table.
Riker reluctantly followed her to the table and sat down. This is really good, he said after taking a few mouthfuls.
Just shows how hungry you are, Captain. Its only replicated steak. Im not the cook in this family. If someone could have gotten his head out of his work long enough to remember what today was, then maybe.
I guess its a good thing I can make it up to you in six days. You know technically we have another anniversary coming up then.
Deanna picked up her wine glass and took a sip. Youre not going to get away with that technicality. Im considering this entire week our anniversary. Quite frankly you could use the break, Captain.
Im sorry Deanna. I know this hasnt really been a year filled with newlywed bliss. But getting a starship up and running and her crew working seamlessly isnt that easy.
Counselor Troi stood up and walked over to Riker. She pulled his chair out and sat in his lap. I know it isnt, Will. But its also not something you have to do by yourself. Youve been Captain for almost a year; its time you learned what a senior staff is for. Then Deanna leaned in and kissed him full on the mouth.
After she pulled away, Riker let out a contented sigh, At least I know why I have a ships counselor.
Troi stood up, Not funny, Will.
Riker stood up and pulled Troi into his arms. What? Youre very good at calming my anxieties.
The way you were contemplating my ability wasnt exactly professional, Captain.
I know. Every Captain should be so lucky.
Deanna tried wriggling her way out of Wills embrace, but he held fast. Will, Im trying to be serious here.
I know, and Im sorry I forgot about our anniversary. I never thought there would be a good thing to having two ceremonies, Will said and then kissed Deanna passionately.
Well maybe if Commander Sousseman would show a little more concern for this ship instead of focusing on her career, Troi said, breaking away from her husband.
Riker let out a laugh. I see where this is going. I should have listened to Picard when he advised me to pick a male first officer.
This is not about two women jockeying for your attention, Will. Sousseman is a stubborn, headstrong officer who cares more about her record appearing spotless than she does about the welfare of any crew under her command.
You know all you see are spotless records when youre looking for a first officer. Its the only way an officer advances that high. In fact, Captain Picard said the only reason my application drew his attention is because of the reprimand DeSoto put on it when I wouldnt allow him to go on an away mission. Riker shook his head. A candidate with a blemish.
Will walked up to Deanna and caressed her cheek. Sousseman has a good work ethic. Shes just in need of a bit of seasoning, Deanna.
Counselor Troi offered Will a big smile. The great Will Riker actually admitted to seasoning being a good thing?
Well if the ships counselor is going to force it out of me, Riker said leaning down to kiss her.
And how is Sousseman going to get any seasoning when the Captain is taking care of his job and hers at the same time?
Will offered her his trademark grin. I was a first officer for fifteen years. Its a little hard to he hesitated for the right word.
Delegate. Thats it. See I told you I know how indispensable a ships counselor is. Then Will stopped the counselor from protesting this by kissing her full on the mouth again. And before she could bring up any other ships business, he carried her off into the bedroom.
# # #
Captain and Mrs. Riker were lying on the bed, basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking.
Youre right, they both sighed at the same time.
Troi lifted her head, sliding her leg up along the Captains. What was I right about? she asked with a smile.
Sex is an excellent perk to a tryst. Deanna tilted her head back and laughed, causing Wills body to tingle. He lifted his hand and placed it behind her head, bringing her gaze back down to his. And what was I right about? He asked finding her laughter contagious.
Every Captain should be so lucky.
I think you were luckier.
Troi ran her fingers through Rikers hair and bent down to whisper in his ear. Thats a male fault, Im afraid I cant fix.
Rikers smile grew and he grabbed both Trois wrists, pulling her arms above their heads, as he rolled her beneath him. Are you sure? Maybe you havent tried hard enough, he said with a twinkle in his eyes and then renewed their lovemaking.
Captain Riker zipped up his boot and stood up to leave when Counselor Troi came out from the bathroom.
No staying out until midnight or one in the morning, tonight, she said and placed the toothbrush back in her mouth.
Will flashed her a smile. Yes, Sir. You made your point perfectly clear last night. He walked up to her and wrapped her in his arms. What I dont understand is why it took you a year to tell me.
Deanna shrugged and turned to go back into the bathroom. She spit the toothpaste into the sink. You think youre the only one dealing with new boundaries, Captain?
Will shrugged, The crew members may be different, but youre job is still the same.
Deanna shook her head and laughed. Only I never worried if Captain Picard went to bed angry with me, Will. She sidestepped him, standing in the doorway, and sat down to put on her boots.
I didnt realize our personal lives would have such a huge affect on our working together.
Troi pulled the zipper up on her second boot and looked up at Riker, giving him a smile. She stood up and wrapped her arms around him. We may not have had a year of newlywed bliss, Captain, but were figuring things out. She walked him over to the door, and it slid open; then she reached up on her tippytoes and kissed him goodbye.
When the doors to their quarters slid shut again, Captain Riker found himself standing alone in the corridor and knew he would be home promptly at the end of Alpha shift.
# # #
Counselor Troi caught up on some paperwork, after she finished with her patient schedule. It was past 1800 hours, and she contemplated a trip to the bridge to see if Captain Riker was still there. Having skipped lunch, however, she decided it would be better to return home and get something to eat first. She didnt want to argue with Will on an empty stomach. As she entered her quarters, her jaw dropped in surprise.
Are you sure youre in the right quarters, Captain?
Will looked up from the data padd he was reading. Actually since the Counselor rebuked me for being late all the time this morning, I did have some doubts when I saw she wasnt here.
Deanna gave Will a smile. I must have made some good impression for you to be home in time for dinner.
Will walked over to her and kissed her on the cheek. You should have seen Soussemans face when I left the bridge shortly after Beta shift started. We just started a training exercise, and I told her to write up the crew assessment when it was finished.
You left the first officer in charge of a training exercise, how shocking, Troi replied in a mock tone.
Riker gave her a playful smack. It wasnt exactly routine bridge duty.
Troi shook her head and laughed, Are you really going to trust your first officers assessment on crew performance? She walked away from Will over to the replicator, before he could smack her again. She looked at Will with a huge grin, No wait, isnt that her job? Troi turned to the replicator, Hot Chocolate.
Very funny, Counselor. Im not sure I can trust your perspective anymore, he said wrapping his arms around her.
Deanna took a sip of her drink, And why is that?
For someone who claims she doesnt see the Captain very often, Will said, turning her to face him. You certainly seem to have his sense of humor down pat.
Deanna looked up into his eyes, offering him a genuine smile this time. I love you.
Will ran his fingers through her hair, and then supported her upturned head. Do you always know the right thing to say?
Thats my job; isnt it? She replied before he placed his lips over hers. Deanna returned his kiss, before pulling away. To tell you the truth, though, I think my hunger is making me sarcastic. Im starving.
Riker gave her a smile. Me, too. Why dont you go change, and Ill make us some dinner.
"Sounds good to me, and she disappeared into the bedroom while Will
set the table and ordered some food from the replicator.