By Carol Sandford


Chapter 06


Deanna paused to make sure that they were following her drift. She continued "Technically, your relationship has not run its course. It needs to end like any other, but it cannot because the Odan you love is not here, so Will is the natural choice. I think you two should continue to see each other until you, Beverly, can get over Odan, and you Will, can exorcise the legacy that Odan has left behind."

As the shuttle touched down Deanna eagerly rose out of her seat and waited for the hatch to open. It felt good to be back, she had so much to tell everyone. She was on a high and it showed in the smile that had lit up her face the last few miles back to her beloved Enterprise.

The first person she spied as she stepped onto the ramp was Will, complete with a huge grin. Hastening her step, she stepped into his embrace and hugged him tight.

"Hello, Will, I am so glad to see you, I've missed you."

"Hi, Deanna, welcome home."

Deanna looked around his shoulder, her disappointment evident as she pouted, "I was hoping Beverly would be here. I have got some news from a professor that she knows."

Deanna didn't feel Will's body stiffen at the mention of Beverly's name, or see the flare of worry in his eyes, and nor she did sense the betrayal that flitted through his body either.

Turning about, she linked her arm through his and set off towards her cabin as Will feebly explained that Beverly was tied up in sickbay.

Deanna grinned and added cheekily, "I am glad to see I was not the only one working. What have you been up to, anything exciting?"

And it was then that Deanna picked up on his discomfort, compounded more so when he told her, "Oh, nothing. You know, usual stuff."

She pulled him to a halt in the middle of the corridor and faced him head on. One look into his eyes told her everything, "Will, what's wrong?"

Will sighed as he tried to worm his way out of the intense scrutiny. "Nothing, I'm just a little tired. I have been pulling a few double shifts, that's all."

He was lying and Deanna knew he was lying, and he knew that she knew. Will apologised softly. "I'm sorry, Deanna, can we talk about this later?"

She nodded sadly and watched him walk away from her, effectively severing any further conversation.


Deanna sighed with relief when she finally entered her quarters still completely little shaken by the sudden change in Will. He was hurting, she could sense that, but that was all he would allow her to see. Effectively he blocked out any other probing from her, and that bothered Deanna greatly. Normally Will was an open book to her. They shared almost everything together.

Something had happened while she'd been away and she was worried.

Replicating herself a drink, Deanna sat and picked up the following day's appointments padd, relieved to get some order of normality underway. But of all things, the last person she expected to see on her agenda was Beverly Crushers name.


Nothing could have prepared Deanna for the sight that greeted her when she stepped into her office the following morning. She had been so engrossed in the information on her padd that she missed the wave of misery that was being played out on her sofa, hitting Deanna head on, stopping her feet suddenly at the doorway as she surveyed the scene before her.

Beverly was sitting on the sofa's edge clearly upset and Will was sitting opposite her, perched on the edge of the small coffee table. He was gently holding Beverly's hands trying to comfort her, and Deanna could hear his low, soothing voice as he tried futily to calm her.

It was now that the full impact of their grief slammed home and as the tidal wave of emotion assaulted her senses, Deanna gasped out loud.

It was enough to bring the couple out from their private moment. But when Deanna saw the pain in his eyes, she was shocked. Rooted to the spot, her troubled eyes drifted to Beverly's. What she saw made her heart ache, but what it did to Beverly was to want to make her flee. She was not ready for the confrontation.

Flying to her feet, Will leapt up with Beverly and captured her within his arms to stop her from leaving. By now she was crying and her pitiful wails ripped at Deanna's soul. Stepping forward, Deanna reached out to touch her. Help her.

But she stopped short when she looked into Will's face again. His bright blue gaze begged her, pleaded with her to understand what was happening. And it was then when realisation dawned; when Deanna knew, that her two closest friends had become lovers again.

As Beverly's cries raged on around them, the rest of the universe came to a standstill as Deanna came to grips with her new found knowledge. Eventually above Beverly's sobs, Will whispered brokenly to her. "Help us, Imzadi."


It was several minutes before the traumatic moment passed and they could all sit down. Beverly would not even look at her friend and Deanna sensed her shame and guilt, and her intense embarrassment.

Deanna tried to hold onto Beverly's hand just to let her know that she wanted to help, but Beverly only cried harder. She tried to pull away, but Deanna would not let go.

"Talk to me, Bev. I want to help. Please let me help."

Beverly shook her head and Deanna looked to Will for an answer.

"Dee...Beverly has placed her love for Odan onto me. It seems to be the only way we can cope with the situation right now."

Deanna blinked a few times as she let the information sink in, but her heart began to pump painfully and she had to know. "Beverly loves you!?"

Will could only nod.

It went very quiet as Deanna asked the next painfully obvious question. "Will, do you love Beverly?"

Will turned and looked deeply into Beverly's eyes before turning his face back to hers and Deanna died a little as he slowly answered. "I think so. I mean...I know I have deep feelings for her, but I know it is not the same kind of love that we have, and I know it can never work between us. But at this moment, it feels right and I want to be here for her."

Suddenly Deanna understood what he was trying to say to her and she smiled gently at him, inwardly sighing with relief. Reaching out to touch his arm, her eyes relayed her understanding. "Will, I understand, but I think Beverly needs to understand also what this relationship is."

Both sets of blue eyes turned their full attention to her intrigued. Deanna smiled, pleased that Beverly was finally listening.

"Beverly, what you had with Odan was exceptionally special and his loss was like no other that you have experienced, not even Jacks, because Will was here to step into Odan's shoes, as it were. So he was, and still is, very much alive to you."

Deanna watched as they both looked at each other and finally understood just what she was saying, and just what she was implying. "You don't mind me seeing Will!?" Beverly asked, hopefully.

Deanna smiled. Having put every ounce of trust onto her two friends she had no doubts that things would sort themselves out, and then Will would come back to her, where he belonged. And Beverly, well Beverly would probably find another love, in time.

"Of course not." she replied. "I know that you need him, Beverly, and in his own way, Will needs you. Use each other to get through this."

As they all came to a stand Will pulled the two women into his arms. Deanna felt the change within them both, relieved that she had managed to make things reasonably right for them both.

As they went to leave, Will briefly stopped and touched her face with his hand. His gratitude and love shone from his eyes and Deanna could do no more than offer him a watery smile in return.

Turning away he put his arms around Beverly's shoulders and left the office. Deanna watched them go and for a long time she stood and stared at the closed door.

It was not until she felt a salty teardrop touch her lip that she realised she had begun crying, suddenly realizing what she had just done. "Oh, Imzadi."

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