Title: Looking In
Author: azhosking@cox.net
Summary: Little fluff based on Keats' Ode to Psyche set just after Insurrection
Rating: PG


            Commander Riker finally finished his double shift on the bridge.  He entered his quarters and checked the chronometer; he had a little under an hour before his dinner with Counselor Troi.  He sat down on the couch, trying to muster up enough energy to go take a shower. 


Riker lifted his head off the back of the couch.  Was that the door?  He thought.

 The door chimed again.  Riker got up to answer it, and as the door slid open, Counselor Troi gave him an askance stare.

Will gave a heavy sigh, “I missed our dinner date.  Didn’t I?”

Troi moved Will aside and walked into his quarters.  “By two hours, Will.”

“God, Deanna.  I’m so sorry,” he said, raking his fingers through his hair.  “I must have fallen asleep.”

Deanna took a long hard look at Will’s disheveled appearance and smiled softly.  “You don’t have to apologize, Will.  We’ve both been busy lately.”  She went over and sat on the couch, gesturing for Will to join her.  When he did, she began to massage his neck and back.

“Mmmm.  Where did you learn to do that?”

Ancient Betazed secret, Will heard Deanna’s voice reply in his head. 

He closed his eyes, once more, thinking, I must be tired.  She went right past my barriers without me noticing.  Then he said aloud, “Keep it up and I’m going to fall asleep again.”

Not before, and Deanna placed a number of delicious activities she was planning for later inside Will’s head, causing his eyes to pop open and something else far lower to waken as well.

Counselor Troi finished her massage by giving Will’s shoulder a squeeze.  “Well I’m starving,” she announced and got up, headed for the replicator.  When her dinner appeared, Deanna picked it up and brought it to the table, sat down, and started to eat.  Then she looked up at Will, who was still sitting on the couch.  “Aren’t you going to eat?”

Riker shook his head, “You’re cruel.  You know that?”

Troi stood up and walked back over to the replicator.  “You make a girl wait over two hours for her supper; I’d say, you’re lucky you only have a lowly erection, Commander.  One bowl, pea soup,” she said turning towards the replicator. 

“Did you really wait in Ten-Forward for two hours?”

“No after half an hour I realized you weren’t showing,” Deanna said as she brought the bowl of soup over to the table.  “I’ve been in my office for the past hour and a half, catching up on paper work.”  She walked over to Will on the couch.

“No one was stopping you from eating,” he retorted.

Deanna laughed, “I know that.  But I wasn’t going to eat alone when I didn’t have to.  I figured you were waylaid with some ship’s business and would seek me out when you were finished.”  She took a hold of Will’s hand.  “Now come on.  I replicated you your favorite,” she made a face.  “Though for the life of me I can’t understand how you eat that green glop.”

Will tried to stifle an undignified yawn without success.  “I’m really not hungry,” he said, standing up.  “I think I’ll turn in.”

“Oh no you don’t,” Troi replied and took a tighter hold of his hand.  “You need to eat something first.  I don’t know how you find the energy to function with your eating habits.  AND I didn’t wait over two hours just to find myself eating alone.”

Riker gave a reluctant sigh and followed Troi to the table.  “Alright, I’ll eat some soup.”  He sat down, picked up the spoon, and started eating.  Troi sat down and stared at him.  Will looked up from his meal, “You were the one who said she was starving.”


“Then why aren’t you eating?”  Will asked, looking down at her plate and then back into Deanna’s eyes.  “What do you find so fascinating about me, anyway?”

Deanna picked up her knife and fork, absently cutting a piece of chicken and placing it in her mouth.  “Everything.”

Will swallowed the spoonful of soup he had just placed in his mouth and felt the heat rise to his face.  “Everything?”

Deanna laughed; she had forgotten how hard it was for Will to talk about feelings.  “ ‘Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane in some untrodden region of my mind… And in the midst of this wide quietness a rosy sanctuary will I dress.’”  She smiled at Will as she repeated, “Everything.”

Will returned her smile,  “Exactly how far into my mind have you gotten, Counselor?”

“Will, I was…” Deanna began in exasperation.

“Quoting Keats’ Ode to Psyche.  I know.”

“Oh good.  For a minute, I thought you had used my gift as decoration for your bookshelf.”

“No.  I’ve read it.  Why quote from it after saying, ‘Everything,’ Deanna?”

“I know we only left the Briar Patch a few days ago, Will.  But I’ve never been one to tiptoe around feelings, and you and I are very attuned to one another.  Do you think I can arouse just anyone with thoughts of abandon?”

“I’m tired, Deanna.  I just worked a double shift on the bridge, and you were being unfair, sneaking into my mind that way.  Besides any man would be aroused by what you were proposing,” Riker said and tried returning his attention to his dinner.

Troi got up and walked over to him and nuzzled him ‘til he pulled away from the table, and then she sat in his lap.  Deanna looked into his eyes and caressed his still clean-shaven cheek.  “Yes, but would any man let me alone inside his mind, Will?”  She asked, and he felt her being cross over and tingle the deep recesses of his mind.

Riker’s eyes fell shut, Deanna, please.

And there shall be for thee…A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, to let the warm Love in!  Deanna returned Will’s plea with the ending to Keats’ ode.

Commander Riker slowly opened his eyes, finally understanding the meaning to those words; though, he doubted it was the meaning Keats had intended.

Do you want me to leave?  Riker noticed Deanna was looking straight at him – in him.

God help me.  No.  He thought in reply.

Troi continued meandering through his mind, and Riker felt as if he would burst if he didn’t get some kind of physical release.  Understanding, Troi stood up and walked into the bedroom.

In no time at all, their nude bodies were pressed up against each other, offering supplication.  Will clasped both of Deanna’s hands as he felt a wave of ecstasy wash over him, and he swore he heard singing.  He opened his eyes only to see Deanna’s were shut tight.  As the final wave came over him, he thought, Imzadi; and heard, Oh gods…Will, in return.  Then Deanna opened her eyes and smiled at him.

“You may think I’m crazy, but I could have sworn I just heard singing?”  Will said, sliding off Deanna to lie next to her.

 “You still don’t understand.  Do you?”  She asked, nonpulsed.

 Riker gave her a questioning glance.

“You are the only man who has let me inside his mind.”

“You mean you haven’t?”

Deanna chortled.  “No, I haven’t.  What do you think Imzadi means, Will?”

Will reached over and brushed Deanna’s hair behind her ear.  “I don’t know.  Being an Empath, I just assumed you,” he said and found himself smiling as the realization dawned on him.  “And the singing?”

Troi shook her head.  “Certain brain waves are released when you climax, Will, which to telepaths can sound like singing.”

“Oh,” and then it hit him; “You mean?”

“Yes, you were singing, too,” Deanna assured him with a laugh.

The End (I promise, maybe)