Title: Love Conquers All
Author: azhosking@cox.net
Summary: Takes place within Nemesis, so if you don't want a movie spoiler don't read it.
Rating: G


Counselor Deanna Troi stretches in her sleep, arousing herself as she realizes something is wrong. She sweeps her arm across the bed. Riker isn't there. The counselor opens her eyes and sees Will sitting at the desk once more. Troi climbs out of bed with a heavy sigh. Shinzon's attack must have upset Will more than she realized.

When Deanna reaches her husband, she notices he has fallen asleep studying one of the data padds. She kneels down beside Riker and brushes a hand through his hair.

"I think you'd be more comfortable in bed, Commander." She whispers, stirring Riker from his sleep.

Commander Riker opens his eyes only to be captivated by the luminous dark eyes staring at him in concern. Riker stretches. His muscles feel sore from falling asleep in the chair. "You fell into a fitful sleep," he says and gives his wife a sweet smile. "I didn't want to disturb you."

Troi stands up and puts herself in Riker's lap, wrapping her arms around him. "This wasn't the first time someone has used our feelings for one another against us, Will." She says and rests her head upon his chest. Hearing his heartbeat helps Troi reach an inner calm.

After Shinzon's attack earlier, Will wanted Deanna to go to sickbay; however, Deanna felt both mentally and physically exhausted and she convinced him she would be okay with a little sleep. Then she fell asleep wrapped in his arms not sensing the turmoil her husband was fighting.

Now, Will runs his hand down his wife's hair, resting it on the small of her back. "I know," he lets out with a heavy sigh. Only this time was different and Riker was angry at his inability to hide this fact from his wife. She shouldn't have to coddle him after what she went through this evening.

Troi lifts her head and sees the anger in her husband's eyes. She reaches over for Will's left hand and places it between them, staring down at the ring. "This makes it different?" She questions.

Riker's stare falls down to the ring. "Does it?" Troi asks with more force, bringing Riker's eyes level with hers again.


"Then why the sudden jealousy?"

Riker lets out another heavy sigh and stands up, unceremoniously removing Deanna from his lap. He walks away from her and then turns to face her. "I'm not jealous, Imzadi." He says, running his hand through his hair.

Deanna gives Will a look of defiance. "You're angry, Will. Don't you think I can sense that?"

Riker gives her a boyish shrug in reply, causing Troi's fury to grow. "Shinzon is a young, arrogant fool!" She yells. "One who has never seen a human female before and in his vanity, he believes he can win me over by showing off."

Mrs. Riker walks over to her husband, coming into contact with his body. "I don't fall for cocky young men with the propensity to show off, Will."

Deanna's physical proximity forces Will to look down at her. "If you recall, I never did." She continues.

Riker swallows hard. "You're mistaking my anger for jealousy, Deanna." He reaches up to cradle her cheek in his hand tears rising in his eyes. "I'm not jealous. I'm frustrated because there isn't a thing I can do to prevent Shinzon and his viceroy from attacking you again."

Riker releases Deanna and walks over to the viewport. "I feel so helpless," he says and hangs his head.

Troi walks up behind her husband, wrapping him in a tight embrace. "You're not helpless, Will. I need you." She turns Will to face her and sees a tear rolling down his cheek. She gives him a smile as she reaches up to brush it away. "If I couldn't draw on your love and strength, Imzadi, there is no way I could have fought of Shinzon's attack in the first place."

Riker returns Troi's smile and then brushes her lips lightly in a kiss. "You're spectacular, Imzadi," he says in awe. "Shinzon violates your mental barriers and somehow you make me feel better." Will lets out another sigh as he walks away from Deanna. "I feel like a miserable failure." He confesses.

Deanna lets out a soft chuckle and shakes her head. "That could never happen, Will."

Riker turns to face his wife. "Are you sure you're okay?"

Deanna walks up to Will and reaches up on her tiptoes, kissing him full on the mouth. "I will be," she says after breaking away. Then she runs her hand through Riker's hair. "I believe we still have wedding vows to consummate, Commander." She says in a seductive voice.

Will bends down. "I believe you're right." His warm breath tickles Troi's lips before he seals the words in a kiss.

The End