By Carol Sandford


Part 4


The Waiting Game - Chapter 5



Captain Picard finished giving his First Officer his orders as they both exited the ready room. Picard heard the turbo lift door open, and seeing who stepped from it, beckoned her to meet the latest recruit.

"Over here...I've asked the Counselor to join us in this meeting. May I introduce our new first officer, Commander William Riker...Commander Riker, this is our ships Counselor, Deanna Troi"

Will turned his gaze to the newcomer, and for an instant, barely an instant, the name did not register.

Until he felt her presence surround and embrace him.

Until his heart pumped so hard even she must have been able to hear it.

Until his feet refused to move as the shock moved in sending his body into an embarrassing statue mode. P> Until his eyes met hers.

It was her. It was his Imzadi. After all this time, he had finally come face to face with his one true love.

The other half of him.

His destiny.

Everything in the Universe came to a standstill as the two souls re-connected for a moment.

Will's startled eyes met dark, sultry, confident ones. It rapidly became obvious that Deanna had known he was commissioned to the ship, if only he'd been given the opportunity to know that she was also assigned. He would have been more prepared for this moment.

Will's heartbeat ceased as he felt her mind connect with his.

Do you remember what I taught you, Imzadi, can you still sense my thoughts?

But her mouth said, "A pleasure, Commander."

As Will's heart resumed its steady beat, he knew he had to somehow answer her, coherently, but he inwardly cringed as he replied, "Likewise Counselor"

But Picard was talking to him, he could not answer her first question. He could not ask her what he wanted to know. His mind raced through a myriad of silent questions.

I wonder if she knows how much I want to take her in my arms, right now*

*I wonder if she still loves me after all this time, after all what's happened

I wonder if we can continue where we left off

I wonder if she knows that I couldn't say goodbye

But as they entered the turbo lift, Picard was animated when he realised that they knew each other, insisting that it was excellent that his key officers knew each others abilities.

Both Will and Deanna hid the small smile as Deanna answered, "We do, sir"

Will's heart swelled as he heard her once more, I too could never say goodbye, Imzadi~*~*~*~*~*~

Maybe, just maybe she had forgiven him and let bygones be bygones, but he had a long wait until they could be alone to find out.


Working beside Deanna for the next six or seven hours had been the longest, most frustrating time of Will's life. Watching her feel the intense pain from the trapped life force and the anger from it's mate, Will wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms and fight it along with her. But with everyone around, he could do no more than offer her comforting words, comforting thoughts, and a gentle touch when ever he could.

But both were conscious that they had to talk.

They so desperately needed to talk.

The agonising wait for their respective shifts to end brought with it an intense relief when they finally arrived.


Deanna paced her floor, her arms crossed protectively in front of her as she waited. She halted as she sensed his arrival at her door. Deanna took a deep, shaky breath and spoke through the solid metal."Come in, Will."

The door hissed open, The sight that greeted Will stopped him in his tracks. Pausing on the threshold, Will simply stood, and looked. Once more, time hesitated as they faced each other again. Will's eyes swept down her body, taking in the transformation.

Gone was the starchy, unflattering uniform.

Gone were the hair restraints.

Gone was the barrier that held her traitorous emotions.

Before him stood a girl that had grown from a shy, highly intellectual teenager into possibly the most beautiful creature that he had ever set eyes on. Her hair was free, although slightly shorter than it used to be, it still cascaded past her shoulders in a ripple of never-ending ebony waves. Her dark peacock blue dress moulded her figure that had matured to delicious perfection.

But it was her eyes that captured him.

It wasn't the dark make-up that transformed them into exotic midnight pools.

It was not even the obvious pleasure of seeing him. It was more than that.

Deanna Troi had grown up.

He was now looking at a fully grown, mature woman.

A woman who knew what she wanted.

A woman who had got what she wanted.

Why did he suddenly think that he was not it.


Deanna was disappointed.

Her eyes fell from his face down his body. Will still had on his uniform, and in that instant, she realised that Will Riker was pure starfleet, through and through.

She had made a huge effort for her first private confrontation with him, and he had turned up in his uniform. But it was more than that, and she could clearly see it as her eyes rested once more upon his face.

He had not changed, at all. He still looked exactly the same as he did when he was a brash, cocky lieutenant on her home planet.

And she was disappointed.


Will hesitantly stepped into her domain and the door quietly closed behind him. He took another step closer to her. On his way to her quarters, Will had imagined Deanna running into his arms as soon as he had gotten to her room, and she would be crying with joy at their long awaited reunion. But Deanna neither ran, nor did she cry.

This wasn't going at all like he had hoped.

Will tentatively held one arm out to her, his eyes begged her to come to him, his mind pleaded. But Deanna did not move until he uttered the only word that she wanted to hear.


It was all Deanna needed to hear and she stepped into his waiting embrace with a sigh. Closing her eyes as she wrapped her arms around his waist, she let her mind empty of all the negative thoughts. She didn't want to remember her heartbreak on Risa, or the seven long years of waiting. But at that moment, the last thing she wanted to think about was her decision to not resume their intimate relationship.

Instead Deanna lost herself in the magical feelings that washed over her as Will in turn, cradled her within his own heartfelt embrace. They felt so right together, fitted so right together, perfect even, but perfection had its flaws and it was these minute flaws that filled Deanna's senses as she summoned up the strength to do what she had to do.

Things had gone too far now, they both had achieved their own personal goals. Both had worked long and hard, with their own assortment of miseries and troubles. Life had dealt them with some cruel blows, their relationship had been the cruellest of them all. But they had each come out the other end of it, older and wiser. But this was as far as they were going.

Will sensed the upheaval, her inner misery, and the finality. He had to make her see...To understand. He hugged her tighter as he whispered the agonising words that brought her back to the present and halted her breathing.

"I love you Deanna, I have never stopped loving you, not for a minute."

Deanna gasped with dismay and tried to leave the circle of his arms, but Will held on fast. It was then he knew that things were not going to go back to the way they were.

He knew.

Will knew what she was going to say, but right at this moment he did not want to hear it. He felt an urgency build up within him as he needed to make her understand how much she meant to him before the years of waiting... wanting, and aching, went flying out of the nearest porthole.

Forcing her chin up with one hand as he kept her body still with his other, Will tentatively kissed her. Relieved that she did not pull away, he kissed her again. And again, until he felt her slowly begin to melt into him.

Will deepened the kiss, circling her lips with his tongue before delving into the sweetness of her mouth. Two groans became one, as their very essences coupled once more. Time went backwards to a magical moment in the Jalara jungle, when two lost souls found each other for all eternity. A time when everything felt right to give each other the precious gift.

A bond.

A bond that bound them together. No matter what happened in their lives, or however far apart, even in death, the Imzadi bond would keep their hearts, body's and souls intertwined forever.

They would always love each other.

Deanna felt the passion begin to build in the man that had once become her entire reason for living. Until she had found another reason for living.Herself. And it was with the deepest sorrow that she broke the intimate embrace and stepped back.

Still hanging onto his arms, her legs unsteady with the fever of desire that smouldered between them. Deanna watched as Will's eyes found hers. Still suffused with his own ardour, the smoky blue wonderment settled on the velvety, rich brown gaze of hers, and Will tried once more to make her understand.

"Do you still love me, Imzadi?"

Will's heart soared and then crashed to the floor when she told him her answer,

"Yes, I do love you Will, with all my heart, but we must not let this ever happen again."

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