Summary: On their honeymoon, Will and Deanna have to make a resolution with a demon.


The room was dark and the air felt sweltering and stale around her. He can't touch you the way I do. He'll never be able to touch you the way I can.

Counselor Deanna Troi woke up shivering from a cold sweat. She was frightened and disoriented from her nightmare and the unfamiliar surroundings were no comfort until she felt the gentle rocking, and she remembered she was on a sailboat in the Opal Sea on her honeymoon, but Will wasn't there. She climbed out of bed, still shaken, and grabbed her robe to go topside for some fresh air. When she reached the hatch, she saw Will standing at the starboard railing, staring out at the water. Troi shivered again as the sea air hit her, and she tightened her robe as she walked up to her husband.

Riker heard his wife's footfalls on the deck and clenched his eyes shut, swallowing the lump in his throat. Then he felt her hand run down his spine, and his knuckles turned white as he gripped the railing, trying to hold back his fury.

Troi wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his back. "Some honeymoon, huh?"

Riker looked down at the arms folded around him and lovingly caressed them. "Why won't you let me in, Deanna?" He asked sounding dejected.

Troi cringed at the depth of loss coming from him. "I just need more time, Will."

Will stopped caressing her arm and looked back out at the water. "Time" he sighed. "I can't sit here twiddling my thumbs forever, Deanna." He turned to face his wife, and she stepped away with a gasp the moisture evident on his face. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Counselor" and Will lost the battle with his temper, "but aren't you suppose to work through things together when you're married!"

Troi was caught off balance by Will's anger. She backed further away. "Will, I…I" she stammered.

He put up his hand, halting any explanation. "You know what? I'm tired and I don't want to hear any more excuses to why you're keeping me out. I'm going to bed," and Will turned and went below deck.

Deanna stood there in shock and found herself walking up to the starboard railing, taking up her husband's vigil over the water. Gods, I was such an idiot not to realize Will was aware of my aloofness. Both she and Will were enjoying their days together. They were swimming, basking in the sun, and just plain loving newlywed bliss. The past few nights, however, Deanna had been apprehensive about letting her shields down, and although their lovemaking had been great on the physical level, she, too, missed the metaphysical part.

Deanna shook her head. He's only human; she thought in dismay. Taking in a deep breath, Deanna used the railing to push herself off in the direction of the hatch. When she entered their small bedroom, she found Will lying on the bed still awake.

"I'm sorry Will," she started, taking a seat on the bed next to him. "I didn't think you…" Deanna let out a sigh, waiting for him to acknowledge her presence or, at the very least, her apology. When none came, she screamed in her mind; You're not supposed to have a drag out fight on your honeymoon!

Riker sat up. "Since when did we ever do anything by the book?"

Troi gave him a wide-eyed stare.

Will shook his head. "When are you going to acknowledge how attuned I am to your emotions? After all, I did have an excellent teacher." He reached over and took a hold of her hand.

"Apparently, better than she realized," Troi said, looking down at their hands. "I am sorry, Will. I thought I'd be able to waylay dealing with Shinzon's attack until after our honeymoon. I didn't think you'd notice."

Riker put his hand under his wife's chin, lifting her face so their eyes met. "Not notice the wall you put up between us?"

She gave him a wan smile. "My mind keeps telling me he's dead and can't harm me anymore, and yet every night"

"I know," Will said, placing a finger to her lips to quiet her.

Troi laughed from nerves. "I had no idea you knew about my nightmares, Will. I didn't want this to interfere with…"

A tear slid down Will's cheek, once more. "Would you look at what you're doing to me?" He said as he tried to erase the moisture with the back of his hand.

Deanna placed her hand on his chest, pushing him down to lie prone on his back. Then she straddled his torso. "What can I say," she said with a smile. "You're obviously whipped, Mr. Troi."

Will reached up to caress his wife's cheek and returned her smile. "You're not going to change the subject on me, Mrs. Riker. I don't have any complaints over the physical aspects of our lovemaking. That has been more than wonderful."

Deanna bent down, kissing Will's cheek. "Why thank you, Captain," she blew in his ear.

"However," Will continued, taking a hold of his wife's face to make eye contact and to stop her foreplay. "It won't wait until after our honeymoon. I miss you, Imzadi."

As the term of endearment fell from his lips, Troi shivered. "Damn… way too good of a teacher," she acquiesced. "I miss you too, Imzadi. I just don't think I can remedy this on my own."

"And I'm saying you don't have to. For the past four days I've been twiddling my thumbs waiting for you to come forward, and I told you I'm not going to do that forever. Let me help you, Deanna."

Deanna's body trembled with laughter. Will reached up, sweeping her hair away from her face. "What's so funny?" She looked into his beautiful blue eyes, tears running down her own cheeks, now.

"Nothing," she replied with a hiccup, trying not to sob. "I say the same thing to a countless number of people on a daily basis."

Riker placed his hand behind his wife's head, pulling her close to him; he placed loving kisses on her wet cheeks. "It's okay. You just need more time."

She gave a sardonic laugh as she pushed away. "More time. There's another piece of counseling advice I dole out. 'You'll be okay, just give it some time. Everything gets better in time'." Deanna got off the bed and started pacing the small room. Will slid his legs over the side, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Why didn't anyone ever tell me how much that advice sucked?" She asked, rounding on her husband and fixing him with a fiery glare.

He looked at her and took in a deep breath before getting up and wrapping her in his arms. "Because it doesn't." Then he lifted her chin and gave her a smile. "Time may not heal all wounds, but it does help to make the pain less vivid."

Deanna released a heavy sigh and let her shoulders droop. "I'm not too sure about that either. My nightmares are still very vivid."

Riker laced his fingers through her hair. "I believe a certain Counselor would also say you have to face your demons before you can expect to feel better with time."

Troi smiled at this and reached up to caress his cheek. "You know, Captain, I think you hang around this Counselor too much."

"MmmHmmm. I probably do." Will agreed and then pulled her face up to his, kissing her passionately. When they broke apart he asked; "Do you know why we're on a sailboat in the middle of the Opal Sea?"

Deanna looked into his eyes and shook her head. "Of course I do. It's what I picked to do for our honeymoon."

"After I nixed going to Risa and the Cayman Islands," Will said with a laugh. "You know you have a very hard time not being a Counselor, and people pop up to talk with you even when you're on vacation. I figured the only way I was going to get you to myself would be to put you in the middle of an open sea."

"I've been counseling people for twenty years, Will. It's who I am. I can't stop it anymore than you could"

"Is that why you won't ask for help when you need it. You're so good you can counsel yourself?" Will questioned as he put his finger to her lips.

She took hold of his hand and brought it down to their side. "Alright. You've made your point, Will." She demurred and smiled. "I should have told you about my nightmares, and we should be working through this together."

"I'm glad you see this my way," Will said and gave the tip of her nose a small peck. "Because, quite frankly, I think I am whipped, and you get your way far too often, Counselor."

This caused Deanna to give a good, hearty laugh. "Oh you think so," she said and swept her arm around Will's back, spinning him towards the bed and then she pushed him down and climbed on top.

In an instant, Riker rolled over, pinning Troi beneath him. He blew in her ear and then started nibbling down her neck. "I was just repeating a previous observation."

His wife squirmed, trying to gain the upper hand again. "Mmmm, yes. The diversion tactic that didn't work." Riker moved his attention down to her breasts, and Deanna took in a sharp breath. "I get the distinct feeling you only act hen pecked when it suits your purpose."

Riker pulled his wife's arms above her head and held them fast. Then he lifted his head. "You're good, Counselor," he said giving her his trademark grin. "But talking nonstop isn't going to work either."

She looked him straight in the eyes. "No, I think you may have an issue with women in authority we need to discuss."

Will rolled over again, placing Deanna on top. "I can't believe you even tried to shyster me." He reached up, caressing her face. "If you don't want to"
"I'm scared, Will," she said and her lip quivered. "The last time I reached for your mind I was accosted by Shinzon's carnal lust."

He pulled her down, hugging her tight. "He's dead; he can't"

Deanna sat up and looked at Will's face. "No he's not! He's still very much alive in my dreams, and he haunts my thoughts every time I close my eyes."

"It's not going to happen this time," He said reaching up.

"How can you…"

Riker nuzzled into the crook of her neck, kissing her lightly. Trust Me; she heard his voice in her mind, and he gently drew her forward, placing butterfly kisses down her neck. When he moved to her mouth, Deanna tried pulling away, and as he coaxed her lips open, they began to play a mental tug-of-war. Slowly her trepidation melted away under Will's loving administrations, and as he reached under her nightgown, discarding the panties in his way, they acquired a synchronized entrance.

Oh gods, Will; he heard her sweet voice ring in his mind as they fell into a compatible rhythm, moving with deliberation, at first, quickening their pace as their desires demanded, until…

Will felt Deanna start to go over the edge. It was the most intoxicating feeling he had ever known. He called out to her, Imzadi! She drew back, and he felt her hesitation. He lifted her face caressing her cheek and saw the despair in her eyes. "It's okay."

She stared back at him blankly.

"Let go, Deanna. It's okay," he coaxed softly.

"No," she whispered as a tear slid down her cheek.

Will gave her a loving smile, and Troi saw him mouth; trust me. Then she caught the sparkle in his eyes. There was no malice or lust there only love and concern for her well being.

Mrs. Riker returned his smile and soon she felt herself go over the edge followed closely by her husband. Afterwards, she nestled safely in his arms and fell asleep.

The room was dark and the air was sweltering and stale around her. He can't touch you the way I do. He'll never be able to touch you the way I can. Then she felt a waft of fresh air, and she looked her assailant straight in the eye. You're right. He has greater finesse.

Counselor Deanna Troi woke up with a jerk and felt his arm embrace her tightly.

"Are you alright?"

She took in a deep breath, releasing it slowly and twirled one of his chest hairs around her finger. She closed her eyes once more. "I'm wonderful."

The End