By Carol Sandford


Chapter 39


Later, after giving his somewhat lengthy and totally bizarre report to his superiors, Will made his way back to his quarters, took a very long and theraputive shower, donned his favourite navy pants and a comfortable, soft sky-blue sweat-top, acutely aware that the colour matched his eyes, which were alive with excitement. He was going to see Deanna.

Winding his way to the Troi mansion with a noticeable bounce in his step, he arrived barely fifteen minutes later and hopped up onto the porch step with a lightness that came with the taste of freedom and, he realized, much more, but when he came to a stop before the massive door he found himself overcome with a sense of deja vu again and he felt the sunlight fade from his dreams.

How many more times was he going to find himself here - right here, feeling foolish, nervous and extremely wary? Feelings he?d experienced because of Deanna?s mother. He couldn?t even describe how he felt about seeing Deanna?s face once more. The nearest he?d gotten to verbalising it with a word, was love. He loved her face. Her body. Her voice, and the weirdest of all was her mind.

How could he love a mind? he wondered, the amusing thought created a chuckle and catapulted him back up into the sunlight again, the goofy smile reappearing upon his face once more, the movement managing to chase away the doubts that clouded his mind. As he raised his knuckle and knocked he decided he didn?t care anymore. He was past caring. He loved Deanna, and she loved him.

He stepped back and waited. Slipping his nervous hands behind his back, his fingers linking to hide the tremors, Will suddenly became overcome with something that he didn?t want to feel. It hit him so quickly that he staggered backwards, the force moving his feet down onto a lower step. Negativity swamped his senses as an avalanche of fear swept through his befuddled mind and gasping for breath, Will struggled up through the invading darkness to keep himself focused. To keep Deanna with him.

He wasn?t going to lose her, not now. Not after all that had happened. Not after his goofy moment of mushiness. He needed it back. He needed his soul in happy mode to get him through the coming hours, because he now had a hunch, a trickling down his spine that even though he wanted to howl from the rooftops with happiness, the woman the other side of the door was not going to be in the same frame of mind.

And as soon as the sour thought invaded his head, Will felt it again. Fear. Deep, mind-blowing fear and Will didn?t know why the emotion saturated his entire being from head right through to his soul. At last he heard footsteps approaching on the other side of the solid door. A moment later, the handle turned and he found himself staring up into Lwaxana?s face. He tried to gauge her mood, and failed. As much as she was a master of negotiating, she was also a dab hand at hiding her feelings from those she didn?t wish to reveal them to, and Will knew, that he was one of them.

"Hello, William. Please, come in." she said, her voice level, without a hint of welcoming.

But Will stayed where he was, his feet refusing to take the step that would bring him closer to news that he didn?t want to hear. He?d rather hear it there, on the doorstep, so that he could turn and walk away without too much fuss.

His heart began to pound in his chest and he felt himself begin to go cold with dread. But even so, he managed to keep his voice even as he spoke, his eyes holding hers as he reached out for truth. "Deanna doesn?t want to see me, does she?"

It was then that Lwaxana sighed and let her true feelings show, just in the one tiny movement of her eyes, the even tinier shake of her head. "I?m sorry, she doesn?t want to see anyone right now." she said quietly and apologetically.

But Will didn?t buy it, not for a minute. "No, Mrs. Troi." he muttered with clenched teeth. "Deanna doesn?t want to see me. and I?d like to know why, please." anxiety slipping into sizzling annoyance.

"I can?t tell you that, William. Maybe it would be best if you left her alone, just for today. She has had a very traumatic time." The excuse sounded lame even to Lwaxana?s ears, but to Will, it sounded pathetic, and he wasn?t accepting it. He figured it was time to make a stand. He had reached the end of his very tight tether, and only one person could defuse the ticking time-bomb inside of him. Will desperately needed to be close to the one person that would make him feel human again. Whole. Wanted.

Before he?d even taken a step to enter the door, Lwaxana had second guessed his motive and moved to stand in his way, her dainty palm raising to stop his entrance. "Now, William, you cannot come in here and upset my daughter further. I know you, and I know what you are capable of." But even as she said it with as much bravado that she could muster, she realized that the man before her was coming in, one way or the other.

And he did. His eyes turned glassy blue as he boldly stepped up to the hand that still sat suspended in mid air in a futile attempt to halt the giant man?s approach, Will moved close enough to allow it to rest lightly upon his massive chest, and then, with a determined grin inching across his face he simply raised his hands to her arms, plunked one very sound kiss upon her startled lips and gently moved her aside, and there wasn?t an ounce of resistance from the stunned woman.

Stepping around her and releasing her arms, he said with artificial amusement, "Excuse me, Mrs. Troi. Today I went into space more than ready to give my life to save your your daughter. Now, I?m going upstairs to see Deanna, whether she likes it or not, and whether you like it or not." He hesitated, turning his head back towards her, a wicked grin erupting upon his handsome face. "I may be some time." he added, daring her to deny him.

A spark of pride lit up her eyes as she watched him continue up the stairs. Now that?s a man she mused to herself, and then sighed, amusement replacing the longing. Sheesh, how can I be so jealous of my own daughter! It?s definitely time I got myself married again!

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