By Carol Sandford


Chapter 08


When they finally emerged from the conference, Picard was a different man. In fact, they were all different, the incident making a profound effect onto everyone on board the Enterprise, except Data.

It made everyone think of their own mortality now they had seen their future lives in full glorious colour. Deanna knew she was going to be very busy in the upcoming weeks. Picard ordered warning beacons to be placed in various locations around the wormhole to warn off any other unsuspecting ships and had already relayed a communique to Starfleet to spread the information to the relevant sectors.

Deanna sat opposite Will in the Ten Forward lounge, quietly talking over the last few day's events. Although they felt a kindred spirit about knowing how they were going to be when they eventually grew old, it raised some worrying doubts about their own deaths. Could either watch one or the other go? The very idea terrified them, but neither one admitted out loud that they wouldn't want to go without each other there.

~*~*~*~*~Later, tucked up in the huge cosy bed they were both lost in their own thoughts until Will broke the silence,

"Deanna, don't you ever want to have a family one day?"

Deanna looked up at his face, amused at the sudden question,

"Is that a proposal, Commander?"

Will chuckled at her response, surprised at her humour,

"Why Counselor, would you accept?"

Deanna hugged him close, slightly swaying him back and forth, looking around him, anywhere other than his face, as she pondered his question.

"I don't know, Will, I mean, why spoil a beautiful friendship, we have practically everything a married couple have, love, admiration, respect, careers, in fact, were even better, because were Imzadi."

Will scowled at her, his mouth turned into a pout,

"You're avoiding the question Deanna Troi, I asked you to marry me, and all you've given me is an excuse... I want an answer."

Deanna visibly squirmed. She wished she were anywhere but here right now. She hated it when he put her on the spot and groaned when he answered for her.

"Forget it Deanna, I was only teasing you. I don't want to get married any more than you do, but, I would like some children...A child, wouldn't you?"

Registering what he was asking her, she grinned,

"So, what would you like, boy or a girl...or both?" ~*~*~*~*~

Life slowly got back to normal on board the Enterprise E. Deanna continued on with her piano lessons. Data had become an excellent confidente, never getting cross at her numerous mistakes, and never getting frustrated as she failed to master even the basics. Best of all, he never revealed her secret.

One night Will sought her out. He arrived at the holodecks and was surprised to find the entrance well and truly locked. He was puzzled.

"Computer, location of Counselor Troi?"

"Counselor Troi is in Holosuite Two."

"Computer, access Holosuite Two, authorisation code Riker Beta four alpha two."

"Access denied, password required."

Now Will was intrigued. Why was Deanna hiding away to take piano lessons, and more importantly, who was teaching her?

He wandered back along the corridor determined to get to the bottom of her secrecy. He was convinced now that things weren't as they seemed. She was very evasive, not just with him, but with everyone. He wondered why she avoided him.

True, in some ways, he avoided her, but only to keep his traitorous feelings under wraps. When he was around her, she could read him like a book and he suspected she felt the same way. He had his own way of dealing with his dilemma, and it sure as hell was not learning to play the piano!

Will began to keep an eye on her times spent at the holodeck. Several times he had been flummoxed when she had gone to the holosuite, stayed for maybe half an hour, leave for a while, and then go back. He'd gathered enough information now to know her routine and the next time that she visited them, he was waiting, around the corner, out of sight.

Deanna approached the holosuite and barked out her request, furtively looking around to make sure no one was within ear shot,

"Computor, run programme Troi Delta three Omega one, plus piano, minus people."

She walked inside and Will stepped out from his hiding place, his grin breaking accross his face,

So the lady really is taking piano lessons

Will started as he heard another set of footsteps come along the corridor. Will jumped back to his hidey hole as he heard Data's voice request entrance to the holosuite, and Will all but laughed as he visualised him teaching the tone deaf Deanna Troi how to play what he considered to be one of the hardest instruments ever.

Will wandered off to ten forward mindfully keeping an eye on the time, making his way back just before Deanna predictably turned back up at the same holosuite.

"Computer, run programme Troi Alpha five Omega two, password secret."

Deanna entered her own little world and Will stood and watched her go, he had a strange feeling, but shrugged it off as silly, but determination now surged through his veins to find out just what Deanna's little 'secret' was.

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