A "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Fan-Fiction Story - by Vicky
TIMELINE: "For Granted" takes place following the fourth season episode The Loss.


"Busy?" Deanna Troi quietly knocked on the open archway of the Sickbay office, looking at the woman sitting behind the desk with an earnest expression.

Beverly Crusher glanced up from the data PADD she was studying and gave her visitor a smile. "Not any more," she replied, setting the PADD aside.

Arms folded over her chest, Deanna walked into the office and paused in front of Crusher's desk. "I don't even know where to start, Beverly," she sighed, "I've been so awful to you."

"Why don't you start by sitting down?" Beverly said. She rose from her seat and gestured to a pair of chairs on the opposite side of her desk. Both women took a seat. Sensing Deanna's slight trepidation, Beverly reached forward and placed a reassuring hand on her friend's knee. "It's okay, you know. I realize you were in uncharted territories and under a lot of stress ..."

"No!" Troi unconsciously raised her voice to cut off Crusher's sentence. Lowering her voice, she continued, "No, Bev, it's not okay. There's no excuse for the way I treated you. All you were trying to do was help me ... and I pushed you away when I needed the support of my friends the most."

The doctor gave the counselor a small smile. "I guarantee you this isn't the first time friendships have been strained during tough times and I guarantee you it won't be the last," Beverly said with determined resolve. "The true test is to move past the difficulties and work on making the friendship stronger than it was before."

Unable to sit still any longer, Deanna stood and moved about the room, her arms crossed. She paused long enough to make eye contact with her friend before pacing again. "My empathic senses are working again Beverly. I know that you're feeling hurt – as you should – but I also know that you're being sincere and supportive."

"You're making this harder than it has to be, Deanna. We can move beyond this."

"I'm not trying to," Troi stopped her wandering and leaned against a wall. "There's nothing more I want to do than put all of this behind me right now but it's simply not that easy."

A small laugh escaped from Beverly's lips. "Of course not," she teased, "Counselor's prerogative to make situations more complicated than need be."

"Hey ..."

"I'm only joking," she held up her hands in defense.

Deanna once again sat down. Leaning closer to Beverly, she reached out and covered the doctor's hands with her own. "The more I think about it, the more I wonder if losing my empathic sense was actually a gift – albeit a strange one – in disguise." Crusher gave Troi a quizzical stare, encouraging the counselor to explain her theory. "It made me realize that I can't taken anything for granted. Not my job, not my friends ... not even my Betazoid abilities that I thought were a definite given in my life." Deanna's eyes shone with unshed tears. "I don't want to lose something or someone important to me because of my aristocratic sense of self."

"'Aristocratic sense of self?'" Crusher repeated. "That's an interesting choice of words."

"You can thank Will for that." Troi gave the woman across from her a wry smile. Beverly felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth in response.

The women sat in companionable silence for a few moments before one of them spoke again. "You know, I may not be a counselor," the doctor began, "but I think what you really need is a day off to relax and refocus. In fact, make that a medical recommendation that must be complied with."

Deanna released a soft sigh. "I'll take a day off on one condition, Doctor."

"And what would that condition be, Counselor?" Beverly asked, eyebrows arched.

"That you take the day off as well," Deanna answered. "It's been quite some time since the two of us have spent a quality time together and I think we're about due, don't you?"

Crusher leaned forward, placing her elbows on her knees. "That's a great idea, Deanna! And I don't think either of us will have a problem pleading our cases to the captain."

"So you forgive me for acting like a complete witch?" Deanna's eyes were pleading and her expression was one of true friendship.

"You know that I do." Beverly pulled Deanna into a tight embrace and rested her head on the other woman's shoulder before adding with a light laugh, "Just don't do it again."

– End of Story –

All "known" characters (c) Paramount, Star Trek: The Next Generation and all other relevant parties. This story was written for the enjoyment of other TNG fans and is not meant to infringe upon the copyrights of any of the aforementioned individuals.