By Carol Sandford


Chapter 04


Deanna was going crazy! And worse still, she had absolutely nobody to talk to. Will wouldn't understand. Beverly would kill her, and the captain...well, she could just imagine his face. That alone was enough for her not to tell him.

Later, unable to settle in her own quarters, she found herself sitting in the Ten Forward lounge, sipping a hot chocolate. But even that didn't weave it's usual magic.

"It can't be that bad."

Deanna looked up into the rich chocolate eyes of Guinan, the bar-tender and smiled sadly. Deanna had often thought that the two of them were very much alike as Guinan probably solved as many counselling cases as Deanna did, in her own unique way. It never annoyed her, in fact, sometimes it was a blessing in disguise. Sometimes she didn't want everyones emotional baggage, Oh, she loved her job, but even Counselor's got a little depressed, now and then, like now, and somehow Guinan always filled that gap that she purposely left.

"Oh believe me, it is." she scoffed, derisively.

Guinan's eyebrows lifted, "Really! Anything I can help you with?"

Deanna laughed quietly, "Well, I'm actually too embarrassed to say, but I must say, it's nice to be able to say that to you."

Guinan pondered over the strange conversation for a moment, before adding seriously, aware that Deanna's plight was more serious than she was letting on. "Y'now, you should really tell some-one you completely trust. It wouldn't matter if it disgusted them, or angered them. In the end they would get past all that, and eventually, they would there to help you."

Deanna stared into her drink, realising once again that the uncanny woman was right, and she looked up to tell her so. But as usual, Guinan had wandered off, leaving Deanna to pluck up the courage to go and see the only person she trusted her whole life with. The one person who would listen, and do his best to help her; Will Riker.


By the time Deanna had reached Will's quarters, she was shaking in her shoes, but she knew that she needed to unload this weight off her chest, otherwise she was going to explode.

It was some time before he answered her hail and was surprised to see her standing at his door. "Deanna! come in, I was just about to eat. Care to join me?" He asked casually.

She shook her head, her stomach roiling with the prospect of putting food inside her. "No, thanks. I'm sorry, I can come back later..."She said, turning away from him.

She began to walk, but Will sensed that she needed to talk, so he gently grabbed her arm and pulled her further into the room and motioned for her to sit. But within seconds, he felt the anxiety begin to rise within him and he realized that something was seriously upsetting Deanna.

He touched her lightly on the arm, urging her to open up to him. "Dee, what's wrong? Come on, talk to me. You can tell me anything."

Will started when he saw the tears spring to her eyes at his last remark, and he felt his heart race with fear. Reaching out for her, he pulled her into his arms. "Imzadi, please."

Her voice broke on a sob. "Oh, Will, I don't know what to do! I've got myself into an impossible situation."

"It can't be that bad can it?" He asked carefully, his mouth against her soft hair.

Deanna nodded rapidly against his chest and his mind raced through so many terrible reasons that he was almost to frightened to ask. "What? Tell me."

She pulled back from him and bravely looked into his face. "Someone has fallen in love with me."

Will laughed outright, relieved it was nothing so bad. "Is that it?"

She nodded again.

Will was bemused, "So what's wrong with that?"

"I think I have some feelings for him too."

"Yes, so what's wrong with that?"

"He's very young."

"Yes," he laughed again, "so what's wrong with that?"

"He's only seventeen."

"Oh, well, I guess there's nothing wrong with that really?" he added, reassuring her, until she dropped her bombshell.

"It's...Wesley Crusher, Will."

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