By Carol Sandford


Chapter 05


Deanna stood in the transporter room, and her breath held as she waited for him to materialize in front of her. She badly needed to apologise to him for her outburst before he went to Risa. It was unforgivable of her, and had plagued her during her entire vacation with her mother.

She knew she had no right to judge him on his relationships, especially as she herself, had more than her fair share of, 'intimate liaisons'. But deep down, Will would always be hers, and if he had felt the need to be amongst beautiful, hot, seductive women, then so be it.

Her heart began to race when she watched Miles' hand slid up the control panel. She turned to watch the transporter pad, her smile bright and her grovelling speech ready. But seconds later, her mind screamed with horror when Will finally materialised, embracing a stunning woman who was looking lovingly up into his face, her smile radiant, until she saw Deanna.

Will heard Deanna before he saw her and his eyes locked with hers even before the transport was complete. He also knew Carleena had heard it too. Will implored Deanna to welcome the strange woman who was watching the exchange with interest.

As they both walked off the pad, Deanna forced her feet to move forward to greet them. The smile was purposely fixed in place, and her eyes and voice were over bright as she spoke, "Hello Will, it's good to have you home."

Deanna took a deep breath as she turned her attention to his companion. "Hello, I'm Counselor Deanna Troi, welcome aboard the Enterprise."

Deanna was surprised when she recognised the redheaded woman's accent, "Hi, my name is Carleena. It's nice to meet you at long last. Will has told me so much about you, although he neglected to tell me you were from Betazed."

Deanna bright, false laugh sounded high pitched as she turned her attention back to Will who remained silent. Deanna was astonished when she realised he was deliberately emptying his mind so's not to reveal the obvious. "Well, you have the advantage over me, Carleena, Will hasn't mentioned you to us, so this has come as a bit of a surprise, I'm afraid."

Will finally decided to speak up, "Hello Dee...sorry, but we've been a little...distracted."

Deanna watched as the couple shared an intimate smile and her heart sank as she realised that Will was deeply in love with this woman. And then she uneasily wondered if Carleena had attempted to make Will her Imzadi.

Carleena's head swung back to Deanna's face. Deanna realised that Carleena had read her mind, a quick glance to Will confirmed it as he looked at her with fear in his eyes. They also begged her not to say anything as Carleena asked her, "Are you empathic?"

Deanna swallowed painfully,"Yes...Yes I am. Are you?"

Carleena nodded happily, looking back up to Will's face she uttered Deanna's worst nightmare, "A little. I asked Will to be my Imzadi. Isn't that gre...?"

Carleena heard the gasp from within both Will and Deanna. She looked from one to the other, the realisation fianlly dawning. "Will, is Deanna your Imzadi? Please tell me, I think I ought to know."

Will reached out to touch her arm and he sighed when she pulled away from him. She wanted an answer. "Tell me, Will."

Will sighed, but as he went to answer her, Deanna cut in, "We were...are, but it's okay, we're no longer together, just close friends."

Once more Carleena's eyes travelled from one to the other, clearly puzzled, "But..how can that be? The Imzadi bond is eternal, no-one can love deeper than an Imzadi pairing. Don't you love each other?" she asked, bewildered.

It was Will's turn to try and explain their unique relationship, "Yes, we do. We love each other very much, but not enough to totally commit, or to have a ...proper relationship. We both have our careers and our independence. But we're there for each other whenever needed. We help to keep each other alive."

Carleena watched as Will conveyed his feelings to her, but she noticed he was watching Deanna as he did so. A new respect overcame her as she envied the obviously close, and special affinity that the two had with each other. But Will loved her, and on that thought she decided she had the better deal.

Deanna's heart did somersaults as Will churned out his innermost thoughts, and she dimly realised that she felt the same way. More than once, they had found themselves willing the other alive when either were critically injured, she was in no doubt that they would both be dead if it wasn't for their Imzadi bond.


Carleena settled into Will's quarters like she had always belonged there. Deanna had grown to like her enormously and could see why Will loved her so much. Frequently their laughter could be heard throughout various places on the ship, particularly Ten Forward. Deanna also found out Carleena was a terrific poker player, and it had become an experience to watch both Carleena and Will battling it out across the table. Both being expert bluffers, the games usually ended up just them two, long having swept the other players under the table.

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