By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


Counselor Deanna Troi strolled along the corridor to the turbolift, with a smile upon her face. Life was good at the minute. She had settled well on board the greatest ship ever to hit the skies, and better still, she was close to her Imzadi.

She had been disappointed that things didn't quite go the way she had planned; that they hadn't become the lovers that they'd once been. But when she finally came face to face with William T Riker once more, he had changed, and she had changed along with him.

Gone was the youthful passion that had taken them to dizzying heights of passion, and instead came something better; The tranquillity, and closeness that had rivalled any long standing happy marriage. A closeness that meant they were always there for each other, no matter what. And an understanding that they both knew that when they needed physical love, were mature enough not to get in the way of each others happiness, whatever the outcome of any other relationships. They knew they always had each other, and that had come to mean more more to them.

Deanna felt the first stirrings that something was amiss as she went to step into the turbolift. Her foot paused on the threshold as her senses told her that she was being followed. She looked along either side of the corridor, but saw nothing. She shook her head in puzzlement and stepped into the lift, quickly dismissing the notion and headed up to the bridge.

Phew, that was close.

The ensign shook nervously behind the column he had dived behind until he heard the turbolift doors close and the gentle hum that indicated that she had left the floor. He stepped out from his hiding place and cautiously headed towards Deanna's quarters. His voice squeaked out the override code to admit him and he stepped into her domain.

Stepping inside, and for sometime, he simply stood and looked around, taking in all that he saw. He wanted to learn everything he could about Deanna Troi so that when he talked to her, he had some common ground to engage a conversation with the women that he intended to pursue.

He tentively approached her bedroom, and drank in everything he saw. Her sense of colour, and the flowers that threw a riot of colour and scent around the room. Moving further in, his eyes rested on the photo beside her bed. He picked it up and studied it. It was of her and William Riker, taken some time ago. They looked happy. His arms were wrapped around her shoulders as he stood directly behind her. He didn't have a beard then, and he looked kinda geeky. The ensign smirked at the nasty thought that ran through his mind, One day Deanna, I'm gonna be doing that to you.

He set the photo back on the side and purposely headed back to the lounge reaching into his pocket as he did so and pulled out a small box that held a small cherub brooch. He had looked up old Earth love customs and symbolic artefacts and he had liked what the cherub symboled, and had had it replicated, taking care to eliminate all traces of use so he couldn't be rumbled. He placed it upon her small table with the small note slipped under one corner of it, simply saying, 'From an admirer'. Grinning to himself, he hurriedly left her quarters to resume his own shift.


Deanna sighed as she stepped through her own doors, and started to strip off her uniform. The thought of the long hot shower had been her uppermost thought for the last hour, and by the time she had reached her bathroom, she was naked.

She usually had a sonic shower, but today she wanted to feel to sensation of the steaming water on her body. She stood, unmoving for ten whole minutes and let the water wash the days troubles down the drain where they all belonged. She felt better for that thought alone as she stepped out and wrapped the huge fluffy purple towel around her slender body.

As Deanna wandered into her lounge area, she spoke out loud, 'Computer, music, soft jazz, 20th century.' She continued rubbing at her hair with one corner of the towel and began humming along to the soothing music. She stopped as she spotted the cherub and bent to pick it up along with the note. Only one image of it's giver flicked throew her mind and she grinned, Will

As she prepared to dress for the weekly poker game in Will's quarters, she felt her spirits soar. Perhaps he's had a change of heart, she mused, silently. Perhaps he want's us to try again, at long last She pinned the cherub on the shoulder of her dress, and caressing it's shape lightly, loving it's feel, and more so, loving the thought behind it. She left her quarters a lot happier than when she entered it an hour earlier.


Beverly met her as they both approached Will's door together, her eyes immediately going to the delicate little brooch, "Oh, Dee, that's pretty, is it new?" Beverly asked.

Deanna nodded happily, "Yes it is. Will gave it to me. Wasn't that sweet of him?"

The door opened and they looked around the faces, quickly noting that once again, they were late. Worf almost snarled his disapproval, and Data merely looked on curiously. Will over-brightly grinned, stood slightly and mock-bowed to the two ladies. "So good of you two join us...eventually."

Deanna and Beverly looked at each and rose tolerant eyebrows as the same thought running through their minds, 'Big deal!', giggling as they resumed their seats. Deanna as usual sat beside Will, and as he watched Data pass around the cards, Deanna lightly touched his arm. He turned to look at her, and she silently sent to him, her face alight with love, Thank you, I love it

Her smile was enough to melt chocolate.

His returning smile was with puzzlement. Unable to take her comment further as Worf's voice boomed around the table, they broke the eye contact and picked up their cards. Will turned to glance at Deanna several times over the course of the game, but she had obviously decided to save her explanation for later. But he did catch the sparkle of the brooch pinned close to her breast and wondered who had given it to her.

Atmosphere at the poker table was on a high, and everyone was in good spirits by the time the game wound up about 11.30pm. Data stood and spoke directly to Beverly, 'doctor, may I escort you to your quarters?'

She smiled and nodded her acknowledgement, and made her way to the door. Data stiffly stuck out his arm for her to take and she threw a grin at the others who were watching Data's effort at being courteous with their usual degree of po-faced humour. "G'night everyone, see you in the morning."

There was an awkward moment after, when Worf realised that Deanna was hanging back, obviously wanting to stay behind. Worf hurriedly growled his farewells and all but stormed out of the door. Both Will and Deanna watched him go with some surprise, and Will teased, "Looks like Worf's a little jealous Deanna, did you know you had a secret admirer on board?"

She laughed outright at his suggestion. "Worf!? I don't think so Will, I don't think my nails and teeth are sharp enough for his kind of foreplay."

Will roared at her outrageous comment. "Dee, as I recall, you left more than a few marks on me back in that jungle on Betazed."

She blushed at the memory, but then she surprised him and turned inher seat and stroked his face. Time stood still as they silently devoured each others features, drinking in each other eyes, remembering the love that they had discovered at Janaran Falls.

Will's arms came around her body and completely enclosed her within them, and as she kissed the hollow of his neck, he kissed the top of her head. He then lightly kissed her temple, and then her eyes, forcing them to close. Then he touched the tip of her nose, and as his hands came up to hold her jawline captive, he finally settled his mouth upon hers.

When Will didn't get any resistance, he persuaded her to open her mouth and delved inside, the action bring a deep, longing groan from each of them, both at the same time, remembering how good it had been. Both realising that they had been kidding themselves into believing that they could only ever be best friends.

Deanna felt herself gently being picked up and being carried over to his bed. He laid her down, and stretched himself along beside her body and pulled her up against him. His large hand caressed her small behind and he continued to kiss until, eventually, she broke away gasping for air. Her ragged breaths gave away her true desire, and Will's own desire pressed into her stomach. "Deanna, we shouldn't be doing this, but God help me, I need you." Suddenly, he seemed to realize what was happening between them, and he found himself asking her, "What made you change your mind, Imzadi?"

She pushed herself up on to her elbow and looked at him with confusion. "What do you mean? I thought you had changed your mind."

He watched her hand come up and stroke the brooch that he had noticed earlier, and asked, "Didn't you give me this brooch, and the note?"

He frowned, answering her with regret."'No, I'm sorry, I didn't. What did the note say?" He asked, curiously.

She sat up, realizing with embarrassment, that she had put them in a very awkward position. "Nothing really, just that it was from an admirer. I assumed it was you, as it tends to be the sort of thing I'd expect you to do."

He smiled at her and said gently, "Believe me, if I wanted a lady to notice me, I would sure as hell make sure they knew it was from me!"

"So..." she asked perturbed, "Who is it from then, and more importantly, what are they doing in my quarters?"


Next morning Deanna woke with a heavy heart. She knew it was for the best that she and Will had chosen to stay, 'just good friends', but why did she feel like this? From the moment she had left his quarters last night, she felt lost.

Deanna threw herself on her sofa and stared out unseeing at the passing stars. She remembered the time when she was on her home planet, waiting for Will to come back to her. She used to stare up at the stars then, knowing that he was out there, somewhere, and that one day she would see him again, of that she was certain. And now she had found him, she was prepared to wait. Even it took them past their lifetime, she would wait.


Will sat in Ten Forward with a rapidly cooling cup of coffee sitting beside him on the table. Leaning his head on his hand, he woo stared out at the passing stars.

He couldn't believe that he'd blown his one chance to kick-start the romance between himself and Deanna. He'd forgotten just how good it had been between them as he felt his loins stir just thinking about her, and physically squirmed in his seat. His stomach knotted as his thoughts carried him back to a time when she lay beneath him, revealing her heart, her body, and her soul to him. He could still remember her sighs, and the way she begged for more, and for as long as he lived, and beyond, he would never forget the moment he became,Imzadi

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