By Carol Sandford


Chapter 05


After unsuccessfully carrying on the conversation, Will made it clear that he was tired and wanted to go to sleep. Sitting up abruptly, Deanna recognized his need to be alone. She was unhappy that things had progressed to this point but nothing concrete had been settled.

Deanna sighed and stood to leave. Turning sad eyes onto the man that now almost cowered into the corner of his couch, she asked him gently, "Will, do you need your sleep medication, do you want me to call Beverly?"

Dull blue eyes briefly glanced up to her before darting around the room at everything and everything but her, he jerkily shook his head, folding his arms and protectively hugged himself.

Deanna bent slightly at the waist to get more to his eye level; she needed him to understand the seriousness of his refusal.

"Will, you know that the bad dreams will come if you don't, don't you?" Deanna's heart lurched at the fear that lit up his eyes, and if possible, he shrunk into the couch even more. He nodded slowly.

Deanna tried again. "Will you promise me you'll call her before you go to sleep?"

He nodded resignedly and spoke his last word of the day, "Promise."

Deanna reached out to caress his face. She needed to touch him, to comfort him, to show him how much she loved him, but the hand fell to her side as he almost climbed over the back of the couch to avoid her touch. Broken hearted, Deanna stepped back and turned away before he could see her tears. As she waited for the door to open, she whispered "Good night, Imzadi" and hurried through it as soon as there was enough space to squeeze her tiny body through it.

As soon as the door had closed, she let the tears fall. Covering her face with shaking hands, she strove to keep herself from crying out loud. She felt so useless, so alone. Nobody, nobody could know how she felt at this moment. Her whole universe was sitting on the other side of the wall, but with every ounce of life sucked from his soul so that all that was left was a frightened little boy that had locked every emotion away. Will Riker, First officer of the Starship Enterprise.

The proudest man in Starfleet.

Her Imzadi, had gone.

Deanna had lost everything, and nobody understood. Without him she was dead inside too. Her life had no purpose, except to be here to try and bring the tortured soul of her Imzadi back from the brink of death, and at this moment, she was losing.

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