Codes: (trilogy, R/T, f, xover NF)
Archive: ASC, yes. Other upon request
Disclaimer: Paramount reigns SUPREME, I just come to play.
Summary: Commitments is part three of the Micaela trilogy that
began with BETRAYALS Past and Present and continued with DECISIONS Here
and Now. Deanna and her sister Micaela have returned to Earth in
order to come to terms with their relationships with each other and the
men they are involved with.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Forever and Always
Part three of the Micaela trilogy
It had been very difficult for Deanna Troi to leave the Enterprise and Will Riker for an Earth based post, but she knew that the time away had become necessary. On the eve of their wedding on Betazed the human guests had contracted little known Betazed flu like virus which gave Betazoids the sniffles but affected Terrans with paranoid emotional swings. During the course of the outbreak it wrecked havoc on many relationships before Data and Dr. Crusher could diffuse it. In spite of being Imzadi, she and Will had said things to each other that now made them doubt their commitment to one another. She needed some time away to sort it all out and her San Francisco Starfleet Medical assignment would give it to her.
Micaela Leon, Deanna's newly discovered half sister was also on medical leave from the Excalibur. The virus, too, had adversely affected her. While ill, Micaela's feelings for the Excalibur's captain MacKenzie Calhoun, coupled with a latent insecurity and self-doubt had driven her to attempt suicide. Even though she now knew the virus was to blame, Micaela realized that she, like Deanna, needed help coming to terms with her internal turmoil. While Deanna was working, she would be going to therapy over several months with another counselor that Deanna knew and trusted.
Deanna and Micaela were getting settled into the new apartment they would share in San Francisco. Deanna had finally accepted an open offer to Starfleet Medical for six months to teach an advanced course in shipboard counseling much to the delight of Professor Layton Rossi, Starfleet's School of Psychodynamics Chairman.
"Oh, Deanna! Look at the view! I never knew that earth was
so beautiful. I was commissioned out of the
Academy branch on Regulus IV and spent most of my life before and after on one starship or another. Now I see what I have missed."
Deanna came to the window of the senior staff residence tower where her sister was standing and looked out over the bay. Wind driven hydro skimmers played on the water underneath the New Golden Gate. She looked down and saw the ancient Coit tower. The tower, cable cars and the great park were probably the only remnants of the original San Francisco. Starfleet had slowly taken over much of the city.
Deanna wrapped her arms around her sister hugging her tightly. "The water is lovely. It reminds me of home. There are many lakes and oceans on Betazed. "
Micaela could feel Deanna's sadness and she turned in her arms to embrace her.
"Oh, Dee. I am so happy that you are going to be here with me so that we will get to spend some time together. Sis, I know you care but I’m still am not sure about why you are here. I mean you and Will need to be working things out. I KNOW how much you love each other."
Deanna smiled wistfully and kissed her sister on the forehead.
"Micaela, there are just too many awkward memories back there just now. I know he loves me. I can feel it. You know that Will has always shied away from personal commitment.” Deanna frowned then smiled. “You know sailors, always a new love interest - a new woman in every port...."
Deanna felt a wash of pain from Micaela at that last remark and grimaced.
"Sorry, Mic. I wasn't necessarily talking about you. It’s just that I have loved him for SO long. To hold on to some kind of sanity, I had to maintain some emotional distance. I built a wall around my heart to protect it. That way it didn't hurt as much when he was with someone else rather than me."
Micaela nodded in understanding as Deanna wiped a tear from her eye and continued.
"Then, Micaela dear, you came along and helped us to see that we had only been kidding ourselves by being 'just friends'. Once we got restarted, things were so good between us that I had slowly tore the walls. I allowed myself to love him with full intensity once again. Then along came that damned virus...."
Now it was Micaela’s turn to be there for her sister as she wept softly. After a few moments, Deanna finally sniffled and wiped her eyes.
"I'm sorry, Mic. I am supposed to be the one helping you, not
the other way around."
"Dee, none of that now. We’re sisters and we’re here for each other, right?"
Deanna nodded. "Yes, I guess so. You know, I really am glad that we found each other."
"Me, too. Now enough of this.” Micaela said, unwrapping herself from Deanna. “We've got to get busy here. Grab those boxes over there and let's get unpacked. Monday will come before you know it."
Deanna's stomach growled.
"Mic, I'm starved. Let's order in while we get our junk put away. Anything you want in particular?"
"Pizza! I haven't had any decent pizza since I graduated and shipped out."
"Okay by me. I like mine loaded. You?"
As Micaela carried another box into her room she called back, "Everything except anchovies."
"Done." shouted Deanna around the bedroom door she activated the apartments
Commander Will Riker sat in a corner table of Ten-Forward nursing a drink. No one approached him for fear he would blow him or her out a torpedo chute. It had been three weeks since Deanna had left and the emptiness was about to overtake him. //How could I have let her go? How could she even doubt our love?//
Geordi La Forge entered the room, stopped and looked over to Guinan behind the bar. The exotic bartender simply shrugged. If one looked carefully you could swear that Geordi was gathering up the courage to enter the lions den as he approached Riker’s table.
"Is it safe to sit down, Commander?"
"Of course, Geordi, why would you say that? Am I scaring off all of Guinan's customers?"
"Well, No… er.. yeah, kinda. But we understand. Life without the Counselor sucks, huh?"
Riker was surprised. He had never heard Geordi talk like that.
"I guess that is one way to put it. I just don't understand why she left or why she hasn't contacted me. Hell, Geordi, it's been three weeks and not a word!"
Riker raked his hand through his hair in frustration.
"Sir, I am no counselor... uh, sorry. But I'm sure she misses
you, too. Maybe she is waiting for you to make the
"Dammit, Geordi! Don't you think I have tried? I have sent four sub-space personal messages so far. She doesn’t answer them. Micaela finally called me back last night and said that she and Deanna were fine but working hard and just really tired from the long days of her new position.” Riker paused then frowned. “I don't know, Geordi, maybe it is really over this time. Maybe I’ve had my last chance."
Will dropped his head in defeat. Geordi was a bit uncomfortable seeing his commanding officer like this. For the sake of the crew, he attempted another approach.
"Sir, maybe you need to try something else. I am no ladies' man, but..."
Riker scowled at hearing that particular phrase.
"Sorry, sir. Wrong choice of words. But my point is that you should try to think of something more out of the ordinary. Something that will catch her off guard. Think back to something you did to 'woo' her when you first met. I don't know... something romantic... something you know she can't resist."
Will leaped up from the table with a gleam shining in his blue eyes.
"Geordi, that's it! Thanks... I gotta go."
In just a few strides, Commander Will Riker was out the door and on
his way back to his quarters.
"Glad I could help!" Geordi said to no one in particular as he downed the remainder of his drink.
Will sat on the edge of his bed thinking of his Imzadi. Geordi had helped him come up with the perfect idea on how to get her attention. It had been many years since Will had tried his hand at poetry. In fact he had only written one significant poem before in his life. It was right after he and Deanna had forged their bond in the Jalara jungle. He smiled to himself as he recalled the effect his efforts had had on her. He knew that she still kept it and the many times refolded piece of paper it had been written on. He knew it was time to try it once again.
Will centered himself and opened his mind and heart and, finding a place to start, began to speak. He allowed his love for Deanna wash over him like a summer rain. The words tumbled out without effort, whispering how he missed her, crying out how empty he was without her. He was exhausted by the time he finished and lifted the PADD, which had recorded and transcribed his words. As he reread his own words the full realization of how much she and no other was part of him caused him to weep. Through exhausted and tear-stained eyes, he found and pressed the PADD’s send key.
Deanna dropped her briefcase by the table in the entry hall then aimed for the kitchen to put away the pastries that she had purchased on the way back to the apartment. Looking across the breakfast bar, she spotted Micaela at the apartment desk communicator. //Catching up on the latest news from MacKenzie Calhoun, I’ll bet.//
“I’m home!” she called out.
Deanna smiled when Micaela just waved without turning. //Captain Calhoun cares about Micaela and will be waiting for her with open arms when she returns to the Excalibur. I wonder if Will will welcome me back that enthusiastically,// she thought to herself.
"So, Mic. How is the good Captain doing? Missing you dearly I'm sure. Any juicy new Excalibur gossip?"
Micaela blushed as she related the latest events.
"Yes and yes. At least he says he misses me and is glad that my therapy is going well. Dee, He just might be the one for me, you know."
Deanna, standing behind Micaela, smiled wistfully.
"Also, he send his warmest regards to you. As to the Excalibur, it seems that things are pretty quiet right now. Just some mapping missions in Sector 221-G. He did say that Selar and Burgy's pregnancies are causing some difficulties, though."
"I can just imagine! I pity the counselor of that ship."
Micaela wrapped up the rest of the ship news.
“Sounds like they’re having fun in spite of them selves. I feel like I’ve been put through the ringer today. WHEW! I’m going to take a long hot bubble bath soak. If I fall asleep, wake me for dinner.”
Deanna was almost to her bedroom when the terminal announced another incoming message.
"Hey, Dee! It’s for you. From the Enterprise. I’ll bet it's Will again. You'd better talk to him this time! I’m running out of excuses."
Deanna shrugged as she headed back to the desk. Micaela slid out of the chair but stood behind Deanna so that she could see the screen.
"Sister, Do you mind? This is personal."
Holding up her hands in defense Mic said, "Okay okay... I get it. I just wanted to be here to make sure you didn't do something else stupid!"
Deanna shot her a look but she could tell from the mischievous grin on her face that her sister was teasing. She turned back to the screen and saw that it was just a written message - no audio or visual.
"Nevermind. It isn't a direct link, just a message."
Deanna slowly read the words on the screen. She felt her heart swell with love as Will's words invaded her soul. He had not written poetry since... well, in a long time. Tears streamed down her porcelain cheeks as she finished the poem.
Micaela came up to Deanna's chair. "Hey, is everything okay? Dee? What's wrong? You're crying."
"I can't believe he did this... I just can't believe it...."
Micaela was expecting the worst when he peered over Deanna's shoulder and read his words....
I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch your smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure
I don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
Because I would miss you
And I don't want to miss a thing
Because even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream would never do
I'd still miss you
And I don't want to miss a thing
Laying close to you
Feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you’re dreaming
Wondering if it's me that you are seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God we're together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
I don't want to miss one smile
I don't want to miss one kiss
I just want to be with you
Right here with you just like this
I just want to hold you close
And feel your heart so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment for all the rest of time *
By the time she finished reading it Micaela was crying, too.
"You HAVE to talk to him, Dee. Can't you see now how much he loves you? How much he misses you?"
"Yeah, knowing that you are right doesn’t make it any easier. Now, can you excuse me for a little while?"
"Sure, I was on my way out anyway. I have to pick up our dinner from that little Italian place and a bottle of wine. Back in a bit. Want anything else?"
"No. But thanks anyway!" Deanna said as she waved goodbye to her sister.
Will was studying the quarterly fitness reports for his section heads when his computer terminal announced an incoming subspace message. Will grinned from ear to ear. "I knew it!" he said aloud even before pressing the connection key.
His face lit up at the sight of her but she was the first to speak.
"It is beautiful, Imzadi. As beautiful as the one you wrote for me so many years ago."
Deanna could see him blush then stammer in mild embarrassment. He looked so handsome with his wide rakish grin and sultry blue eyes. At this moment she too realized how much she had missed his presence in her mind and body. Her skin tingled as he she heard his baritone voice speak to her.
"I'm glad you liked it. I had been dwelling on our last night together on Betazed before … well, before everything went wrong. My heart cried out how much I have missed you, Imzadi. I just wanted to find a way to let you know how much."
"I KNOW how much. Believe me."
"So how are things going on Earth...."
They were like new lovers again. They talked for hours of things serious and things trivial. Deanna had just severed the link when Micaela came back her arms overflowing with three bags, of which one emitted a heavenly smell of pesto and garlic that made Deanna’s mouth water.
"So when do you leave?" Micaela asked, setting the bags on the kitchen counter and pulling a bottle of wine from one.
"Leave? What do you mean Mic? I'm not going anywhere – at least not for a few more months. I made a commitment to StarFleet and to you."
Micaela shook her head in disbelief then shrugged, not believing her sister’s attitude. "Whatever. I just figured that after all that, you would be on the next transport out of here."
"No, Will and I still have a lot of things to work out, but I do feel better about our future. Anyway, I did promised to answer all of his messages and we are going to try to talk at least once a week... you know, kinda like you and Mac do."
"Speaking of Mac, look what I else got for him in the marketplace."
Deanna watched as Micaela showed her item after item pulled from the third bag. Deanna admired the collection, wondering if Micaela would ever find sufficient boxes to cart all that she was accumulating back to the Excalibur.
“Let’s eat. You can take your bubblebath later.” Said Micaela.
It was after dinner that Micaela suggested that they go out but Deanna yawned despite her best efforts not to.
"I apologize, Mic, But I am exhausted. I think I am going have that bath and turn in early tonight."
"Aw, come on, Sis. It’s the weekend and neither of us has to get up early tomorrow. Besides, I rented a new holovid while I was out. Don't you want to watch it with me? Please...."
Deanna gave in to her sister's pleading and curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and an after dinner mug of hot chocolate. By the time the movie was half over, Micaela noted that Deanna was nodding off for the third time. //That’s it. Bedtime!// She paused the vid and then helped Deanna get ready for bed, finally tucking her in. //Teaching must really be strenuous work.// she thought as she snuggled back onto the
couch and resumed the movie.
* I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, Written by Diane Warren,
as performed by Mark Chesnutt, no copyright infringement intended
As the weeks passed, Micaela became increasing concerned about Deanna. She was sleeping all the time. She had to call in sick twice because she was unable to extract herself from the bathroom after breakfast. Flu she said but Micaela was doubtful because Deanna was irritable and cranky most of the time. Micaela was worried that she was having some type of lingering effect from that virus . After all, it was Deanna who had been hardest hit by it due to her Human-Betazoid heritage. Micaela finally decided it was time to insist that she seek medical treatment.
"I am fine, Mic. Just tired. The pace of this assignment is very different than that of the Enterprise. Also, my ship duties there did not require as much standing as teaching does. There, I sat in my chair on the bridge and at my desk. There wasn't all that much physical effort involved."
"I don't buy it, Dee. You are in fine physical health and physically fit. You told me about the strenuous workouts that you and Dr. Crusher did four times a week. This is more than just a little standing around. You are always tired and you look exhausted! When you come home, all you do eat dinner and then some, then it’s off to bed! Sleep, sleep, sleep! That's all you ever do these days."
Deanna held up a hand in protest.
"I can't help it if I'm not in here to entertain you every evening. I work hard and I am tired! Besides, what do you mean by the crackabout my eating?"
"First I don’t need a evening babysitter and I didn't mean anything by the comment except that it does seem that you have been eating more than usual. I can tell by the fact that that skirt is tighter on you than it was a couple of weeks ago."
Deanna looked at Micaela incredulously and ran to her bedroom in tears slamming her bedroom door behind her.
//What the hell?// Micaela thought as she ran after her shouting apologies.
"Dee, let me in. I'm sorry. I'm only worried about you.”
Micaela pushed open the door. “Can I come in?”
“I'm afraid that virus might still be affecting you in some way. Please promise me you will see a doctor... please."
Deanna sat up on the bed and wiped her eyes. Micaela had finally gotten through to her that she was not really feeling as she should.
“Okay. Tomorrow.” She promised.
Micaela jumped on the bed and gave her sister a kiss.
Micaela was waiting anxiously in the apartment for Deanna to return from her doctor's with the results of the tests that had been run earlier. She finally heard door unlatch and open. There was no obvious expression on Deana’s face, which worried her even more.
"Okay Dee, what did the doctor say? Is it the virus? Are you going to be okay?"
Deanna was lost in her own thoughts and barely heard her sister's questionings.
"Huh? Oh, yeah... I'm all right. No, it isn't the virus. Dr. Gaston found no trace of it."
"That's great. So what's making you feel so bad?"
Deanna paused for a long moment before replying, "It seems that I’m ten weeks pregnant."
"That's wonderful, Dee!!” Was her first reaction then Micaela's mouth dropped in disbelief. “But how? I mean... I know HOW, but weren't you up to date on your inhibitor?"
"Well, yes and no. When Will and I resumed our relationship, I wasn't using inhibitors. Our first time was a surprise for both of us, so...."
"But what about Worf? You and he had just broke it off when you and Will.... well, uh, got together."
"Worf and I were never intimate. We had not gotten that far yet, so I had not used my inhibitor since... well, since Thomas was on board. Inhibitors throw my hormone levels off and affect my empath capabilities so I don’t like use them unless I have to. "
Micaela did some rough calculations in her head. "But that was more than ten weeks ago and we've been HERE for almost nine weeks."
"I know. Dr. Gaston and I discussed the possibilities because I did update the inhibitor over four months ago... right after Will and I... Anyway, he thinks that the antidote that Beverly had to use on the virus might have negated its effectiveness. I didn’t tell you before but Will and I made love just hours before the viral outbreak occurred on Betazed. I guess it makes sense. At least the timing is right and there was no one else."
Micaela took a minute to digest the information. She grabbed Deanna by the hand and pulled her to the terminal. "You have got to tell Will right away. He will be thrilled!"
"Now wait just one minute! I am not ready to tell him or anyone else. And you are not going to either, you hear me?"
"But why? Aren't you happy about this?" Micaela was puzzled.
"Yes, dear sister, I am very happy. All I have ever wanted was to have Will's children. But if he finds out about this right now, I can't be sure that he won't be marrying me out of an obligation. I have to know that it is ME that he is committed to."
Micaela just shook her head. "I do not understand you Deanna Troi. I know that I haven't been through all the things you two have, but if there was ever a man that truly loved a woman with all his heart and soul...it would be Will. And now there is a miracle of that love growing inside you. You two need to be together right now. You need him and he needs to know."
Deanna pondered her words with care.
"I know, Mic. I just want a little more time to be sure. Please promise that you will not tell anyone until I am ready. Especially my mother. GODS! Promise?"
"Okay, okay... I promise. Not a soul. Not even Mac. But I still think you are making a big mistake."
“That may be.” They embraced one another as they bonded as sisters with shared secrets.
It was nearly a month after Deanna’s ‘family way’ news and Micaela was still gently hounding her about telling Will. Deanna remained steadfast and resolute, though she had to admit, it was becoming harder and harder to keep it secret when they communicated each week.
Micaela heard Deanna finish talking during his weekly call. She saw Will’s face framed on the comm screen by the backdrop of his ready room aboard the Enterprise fade into the standard Starfleet logo.
“Have you told him yet?”
"Mic, my first class session will be over in just a couple of weeks. I haven't given them an answer as to whether or not I will return for the second half of the semester. I will make my decision between now and then about how to proceed."
Micaela laughed. "How to proceed? You sound like Commander Data...I will tell you 'how to proceed'. You get your expanding mid-section on the next transport out of here and get back on that ship and marry Will Riker!"
Deanna chuckled. "Now you remind me of Beverly. She will kill me when she finds out that I didn't tell her right off the bat. But I can't even take chance that she will let it slip." She placed her hands on her abdomen.
“Expanding? You think it shows that much?"
"Yes, I don’t think, I know. You yourself said that Lwaxana looked nearly full term at just four months. It must run in the family!!!"
"And she did! I've seen photos! Anyway, I may be forced return with my surprise in a few weeks.” She said, patting her stomach. “By the way, I spoke to your therapist and he said that you would be finishing your sessions sooner than he had anticipated. Are things are going that well?"
"They seem to be. I have just about come to terms with Mom's death. And our relationship has been a big help to me. Then of course, there is Mac ..."
Micaela and Deanna talked into the wee hours of the morning about life and love. Micaela confided that she knew she was hopelessly in love with Captain MacKenzie Calhoun, but she was unsure of her future with him.
"Deanna, I'm sure Shelby has done everything in her power to get him back while I have been gone. Robin said she had been acting like a dog in heat, but you just have to know Robin. I'm sure it isn't that bad, but they do share a bond. I don't know if he can ever be truly mine."
"I saw how he was while you were recovering after Betazed. I could sense his love for you, Mic. Give him a chance. His past history with Shelby may prove troublesome for you but I doubt that it is something you both can't get past if you really try."
"It is just going to be awkward returning to serve under her command. I mean she has never particularly cared for me, but now.... augh, I dread it. But we all have awkward situations to deal with when we decided to embark on a shipboard relationship. Just look at Worf and Will."
"Oh, please. Don't remind me. Worf was SO jealous of the time I spent with Will. He couldn't get past our friendship. And now!"
Mic laughed then took another sip of tea, "Can you blame the poor guy? Will IS your Imzadi... he should have known he didn't stand a chance!"
"I suppose so. But on the other hand, look at you and me. I got past YOUR little fling with Will, didn’t I?"
"Yeah right! Only after almost killing us both - me and Will! Remember I was there in the corridor that day. I
heard it all."
Deanna was chagrined. "I guess that I really didn’t like the idea of you at first and then Will. I really am sorry about all of that. It is just--"
Mic stopped her in mid-sentence. "No... that is all in the past and let’s leave it there. The only thing that matters now is where we are and where we’re going."
“You win. I can’t argue with that.” Deanna replied happily as she tipped the teapot to pour herself another cup. “Oops. Out, I’m going to make another pot. Do you want more too?.”
It was early the next morning. Deanna stood nude in front of the mirror and ran her hands over her stomach noting that her pregnancy was becoming self-evident. //I guess I had better tell Will soon before someone notices and mentions it in passing.// she thought to herself.
It was at that moment that the comm unit beeped in the other room signaling an incoming message. She quickly donned her robe and looked into Micaela’s room. Mic was obviously still in a deep sleep. She pulled the robe’s ties around her swelling belly and went to the desk to answer the call. It was Beverly.
Deanna was overjoyed to see her best friend. She had missed her companionship so much, but she cringed inwardly when she saw that look in Beverly's steel blue eyes.
"Just what is going on, Deanna?"
"Well, hello to you too. I don't know what you mean." Deanna put on her most innocent charade.
"You know damned well what I mean. I want to know right now what is going on with you. I got a subspace message from a Dr. Gaston at StarFleet Medical requesting your records. Especially those pertaining to Ian's birth. Now tell me just what is going on. Are you ill... having problems?"
//Damn!// She knew that she had been caught. Deanna sighed and decided to confess to her friend.
"No, Beverly I am perfectly fine. Actually I am better than fine. I am three and a half months pregnant with Will's baby."
Deanna could see the shock, joy and anger in her friend's face.
"I'll be damned. I am so happy for you and Will. I can't believe he hasn't told me.... hell, I can't believe you
haven't told me!” She paused then her eyes darkened. “DEANNA?....Will does know, right?"
Bev saw Dee shrug in regret and indecision. "Well.... no. I was waiting until--"
Beverly cut her off, "I don't even want to hear it. I am sure I know your so-called 'reasons'. I told you before you left that you were making a mistake, but you refused to listen. Now what?"
"Just hold on! You don't know my reasons, and even if you did it is my business. I don't want to fight, Bev. Just be happy for me. Besides I AM going to tell Will soon. I was planning on coming back to the Enterprise early and surprising him!"
"Well, my dear, I think it is going to be YOU that gets the surprise. Will left the ship two days ago on a transport bound for Earth. He wanted to surprise YOU with a visit.” Beverly looked at her wrist chronometer. “He should be arriving anytime now... "
At that exact moment, the doorbell rang and Deanna felt HIS presence flood her senses. She gasped in shock.
Beverly was still on line and could certainly hear door chime. She grinned and said quietly, "SURPRISE!"
Deanna was in a panic. She ran to Micaela's bedroom and shook her sister vigorously until she was awake.
"Hey quit it. I’m awake. Dee, what is it? What's wrong?'
"Mic, GET UP, hurry! Here... put on your shorts. Will is at the door!"
Wiping the sleep from her eyes, Mic was still confused.
"Will? Will Riker? What the hell is he doing here on Earth? Oh, Gods! Dee, he must know!"
"No, I was just talking to Bev and she said he was coming to surprise me. Now go answer the door, I'll be in my bedroom."
The door chimed again, more insistently and then they heard him knock as well.
Mic was on her way to the door in her nightshirt and the shorts Deanna had handed her when she turned and said, "What about... you know..." pointing to Deanna's protruding mid-section.
Deanna unconsciously wrapped her robe around her tighter and headed to the bed, "I'll worry about that. Just give me a few minutes then let him in, okay?"
Will Riker was becoming increasing concerned when no one responded to his knocking. "Deanna? Micaela?
It's me, Will. Open up!" he yelled though the door.
Micaela ran her fingers through her sleep-disheveled hair as she opened the door.
Will stood there with his azure eyes gleaming with delight. //He is still one handsome devil!// Mic thought to herself as she motioned for him to come in.
"Well Mr. Riker, This IS a surprise. If I didn't know better I would think that you chose just this time of day just so as to catch us 'au natural'."
Will hugged her. "You and Deanna would both look beautiful at any time of the day. Now where is she?&nvsp; Don't tell me I’ve come all this way and missed her."
"She’s here so just calm down, Will. We were both asleep until you decided to nearly wreck our front door.
Why don’t you go in wake her up properly." She said conspiratorially.
As he headed in the direction Mic indicated, he winked mischievously, "I plan to do just that!!!"
Micaela rolled her eyes as she headed back to her own bedroom. //This ought to be good// she thought as she plopped back down onto her bed put her hands behind her head, listening.
Deanna had had just enough time to jump under the covers and pull a pillow over her belly when Will strode into her bedroom.
"Good morning, Imzadi." He said as he leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips. A smile played across
her face as she opened her eyes to gaze upon the man she adored.
"And hello to you too, handsome. So what brings you to Earth?" Deanna grinned and sat up, careful to keep the quilt bunched around her.
"Well, you could say a heavy heart. You see I have had an empty space inside me for a while now. I had a few weeks of shore leave coming to me so I thought I would look you up and see if you might be able to help me out – with this empty space thing, I mean."
Deanna felt his love extend itself and wrap itself around her like a warm blanket. It felt so wonderful, so right to be with him again. How could she have EVER doubted it? He was now sitting on the bed facing her so she leaned over and kissed him full on the mouth. "Does that help?"
He smiled wickedly at her. "Well, It's a start but it’s an awfully deep empty space! Come here..."
Deanna began to panic. //Noooo… Not just yet!!! Calm...center// she was telling herself.
Will sensed a conflict in her but misunderstood it to be some sort of an aversion to him which caused him to pull away. He stood up.
"I guess it is a bit forward of me, at least this early in the morning. I'll give you a minute to get yourself
together. How 'bout I go make some tea?"
All Deanna could do was nod as tears began to overtake her.
As Will headed out the door and she slid out of the bed and went to the window. //How am I going to tell him? What will he think? Are we ready for this?//
She was standing with her back to the door when he returned. He didn't approach her but simply sat down at her desk and sipped his coffee. The silence lasted for what seemed to be an eternity.
Will finally began, "Dee, I didn't come here to push you. I know you have doubts about us.. well at least about me. I just wanted you to understand that I have been through hell since you left. I am empty inside. I can't sleep or eat. It is like I can't function without you near me. I've been rather hard to get along with, too. Or at least that is what the Captain and Doctor says."
Will felt Deanna's soft laughter echoed inside his mind. Her reaction confused him but he smiled at the pleasant sensation.
"...anyway. They all decided that I needed some time off. At first, I thought I might go back to Alaska for a week or so, but I just had to see you first. My feelings for you haven't changed, Dee. I love you more than ever and I want you to be my wife. I wanted you to know that I will be there waiting for you whenever you are ready. I'm not going anywhere ever again."
When he started toward her, she raised her hand pleading for him to stop. She began to speak through her tears. "Will, I know you mean it. I can feel your love. I now know what I want and what I am ready for as well. I was planning on returning to the Enterprise in a few weeks to surprise you. Now look! You’ve turned the tables on me."
Deanna was still staring out the window, but she felt his smile and relief warmed her heart. She gathered her courage and continued. "But I still have a surprise or two up my sleeve."
Will watched as she slowly let the purple satin robe slip from one creamy shoulder and then the other. He felt the excitement rise deep within him as the robe slipped to her waist, exposing her slender back. She untied the sash, letting the robe fall from her body.
Will drank in the image of her nude form. His eyes traced curve of back down to the flare of her hips. He recalled the first time her saw her like this so many years ago on Betazed and compared how differently he felt about her now. He found her even more exquisitely physically attractive today than ever. Who wouldn't? But the physical part was only a small part of this woman that he cherished so dearly. He started to move toward her when she turned around.
She smiled as a thought flooded his mind <<SURPRISE!!!>>. Her hands rested on the gentle swell of her belly.
Will Riker stopped dead in his tracks. There were few times in his life when he was rendered speechless, but this was one of those occasions. His mind radiated <<Huh?>> Deanna just stood there nude, smiling, framed by the morning sunlight.
Will again heard her in his head, <<Yes, Imzadi. I'm pregnant with OUR baby. This is what I was coming back to tell you. That and that I was ready... finally ready to make a life with you>>.
Tears trickled down his face as he finally embraced her... not only
the woman he loved but also his child.
No words were needed as he gently laid her back on the soft covers. They drank deeply of one another's presence in heart and mind. Will was filled once more with her essence and he knew that he had come home. All doubts that Deanna ever had fell away along with the wall she had built around her heart. She became completely open to him and he filled her senses.
"It won't hurt anything if we do this...” <<I mean the baby.. will it?>>
Will was unconsciously switching back and forth between voice and thought. Deanna smiled sensuously as she purred, <<The only thing that will be hurt is you Will Riker if you do not make love to me RIGHT NOW!>>
He was happy to oblige as he held her body close to his. The two that once became one were now three. It was the sweetest expression of love that either of them had ever known. Tender, gentle, loving. When the passions had came and went like the waves of the ocean, Deanna lay next to Will curled up against his body.
"So, would you like to fill me in… er… on this latest development?' He grinned at the play on words.
Deanna fingered a curl of chest hair as she recounted the events as she and Dr. Gaston had determined to be most probable.
“Well I’ll be damned.” He said then kissed her.
“Most likely.” She replied grinning.
They continued talking about recent events and where they would go from here.
A couple of hours had passed when Micaela finally knocked softly on the bedroom door.
“You guys decent?”
Deanna pulled the covers over them both. "Come on in, Mic. It's okay"
Micaela flopped down on the bed. "SO! How is the proud papa?" Will's whole face crinkled in delight upon hearing that.
“Actually not too bad.” Said Deanna.
“Ah that reminds me.” Will said, rising and pulling the coverlet around him.
“Your tush is hanging out.”
“Hush, Micaela you’ll embarrass him.”
“Ha! Will? No way.”
"Excuse my manners, ladies, but I have to return something to its rightful place."
He found his discarded pants and rummaged around in the pockets until he found what he was looking for.
When he returned, he had the velvet box that held Deanna's engagement ring. Removing it from it’s safe place he took Deanna’s left hand and slipped the diamond into place. "Now it is official once again and I never want to see that off of your finger again, deal?"
"Deal!" She had forgotten just how beautiful the piece was, especially so since it symbolized their commitment to each other.
"Well, I guess this means that you’ve got things finally worked out? I mean... it ABOUT time!!!" Mic said jokingly.
The lovers simply stared into each other’s eyes and shared a gentle kiss.
"Okay, I get the message. I know when I’m not needed. Besides, I am going to be late for my session, anyway."
Micaela leaned down to give both of them a quick hug as she headed out the door.
As Deanna drew him back into her, they heard Micaela shout, "Have fun! Don't do anything I wouldn't do!"
As the door slammed shut, Deanna broadcast <<Don't worry, Sister...I plan to do just that!>> as she rolled on top of a grinning Will and pulled the coverlet from his waist.
It was a few hours later, as they were sitting at the dining table eating lunch, when Micaela returned. She sat down and took a portion of the pasta for herself.
"I knew you would make something yummy for lunch, Will. That is if Dee let you out of bed."
"MIC!" Deanna looked at her sister in shock and embarrassment.
"Hey, I'm not complaining. But someone has to cook so we can keep up our strength!"
"You two are incorrigible!" Deanna quipped as she dumped their dishes into the recycler.
Micaela spoke between bites, "Well...I got some good news today :::chew::: , wanna hear it?"
Deanna returned to her chair. "Sure.. make my day even better!" Will squeezed her hand.
"My therapist said that I will be released at the end of the week. Just two more sessions to wrap things up."
"Oh, Mic. That is wonderful. I am so happy for you. I bet you can't wait to tell Captain Calhoun."
Deanna hugged her sister in congratulations.
"Yeah, back to the old grind soon. But I am ready. I'm going to go put a call through this evening. You guys got plans?"
Will smiled. "Actually, I am going to take Deanna shopping for baby clothes then we are going to stop by her office at the Academy and let them know that she won't be available for the next session."
Deanna agreed, "We’ve decided that I will be returning to the Enterprise with Will in a couple of weeks after I finish out the term. We have a lot to get done in the next few months." Will kissed her once again as he was filled with thought about their life together.
The following week passed quickly for the happy trio. Deanna had contacted her mother and shared the good news. Lwaxana was now busy making arrangements to join them on the Enterprise for the wedding. Micaela had completed her therapy and had been released to full active duty once more. Captain Calhoun was very pleased that his favorite crewmember would be returning to him ahead of schedule. Deanna’s course was very popular and Professor Rossi was disappointed that he wasn’t going to get another term from her but wished her well.
Will and Deanna had decided to return to the Enterprise early as they could since there was SO much to do.
Besides, with the impending arrival, they would both need to save up all of their 'off-time'.
Finally the last day came. All of the boxes had been packed and transferred to the spaceport. Their carry baggage was stacked by the door and Will was attempting to convince the ladies that it was time to go.
"Come on you two! We are going to miss our shuttles! Let's get a move on!"
When he heard no reply, he went into the bedroom and found the sisters sitting on the bed crying.
"... I knew this day would come :::sob::: Dee, but I didn't know it would be this hard... I am going to miss having you near me :::sniffle:::."
Deanna was hiccuping now. "I know, Mic. But we can stay in touch. Now that we have found each other, we aren't going to let each other go, now are we?"
"... :::hic::: No. It's just... well, I am not going to be there for the wedding... or the baby... Oh, Dee :::wail::: !"
Will chose this moment to interrupt. He put his strong arms around the two women and spoke softly.
"Come on now, this is a beginning for all of us, not an ending. We will make arrangements to have a subspace ship-to-ship transmission for the wedding. You won't miss a thing. And you will know as soon as Dee here goes into labor. I'll see to it personally, I promise."
He now wiped their tear-stained faces.
"Besides, Mic. I believe you have someone waiting on you back on the Excalibur. A MacKenzie Calhoun as I recall."
Micaela smiled through the sadness. "Yeah, it will be a new beginning for us, too."
"There, see? Sometimes I can make it all better. Practice makes perfect!!!"
He waggled his eyebrows in order to convey the joke to Dee and Mic. Their response was to hit him in the face
They left for the spaceport arm in arm - the three (four!) of them.
Their respective shuttles were departing only minutes apart, so they chose to say goodbye in the terminal.
"I love you, Sis. You remember that. And take care of the big guy here! Don't ever let him go!" Mic said to Deanna.
"I don't plan to - ever again. Contact me as soon as you get settled in. I want details!!!!"
It was Will's turn. "You take care of yourself, you hear. And be sure to tell Commander Shelby that I said 'hello'!"
Mic laughed. "Yeah right... I will be SURE to do just that! That will be at the top of my list."
They laughed together once more. One last hug and they boarded their separate shuttles to return to their new lives.
Finally back aboard the Enterprise, a small gathering was held in honor of both the Counselor's return and their impending new arrival. Beverly was the first among the well wishers to hug her best friend.
"I knew it would all work out. I just knew it!!! I am so happy for both of you. Just promise me that you will have the wedding here on the ship. I don't want to chance Betazed again!"
Deanna replied, "You don't have to worry about that, Bev. We just want a simple ceremony here in Ten-Forward with the Captain officiating. Mother will be the only visitor on board."
"That's good to hear. Have you set a date?"
Will jumped in, "Yes, next week! And the sooner the better if you ask me." He put his arm around Deanna's waist and held her tightly.
"It will NEED to be soon if I am going to fit this body of mine in a dress!"
Beverly inquired, "What? No more nudity? What happened to the feelings of openness?"
"Come off it, Bev. That may work on Betazed, but not here on the Enterprise. Besides I would just as soon keep my ever increasing waistline under wraps!"
Will grabbed her and said, "Well, I think it is BEAUTIFUL my dear. But I don't want to share!"
"Bev, will you drop by my quarters tomorrow and help me decide on a gown for a slightly pregnant Betazoid? Mind you, Will's stuff is everywhere, but we can overlook it."
Beverly raised a devious eyebrow at the comment and Deanna knew exactly what she was thinking.
"BEVERLY! He is simply STORING some things there while Geordi remodels his quarters to accommodate a family."
"Wouldn't it be easier just to move to married quarters?"
"You know Will, Bev. He LIKES where his quarters are. Besides, this way I can redo it to MY liking too!"
"By the way, what's new with Micaela? Did she make it back to the Excalibur in one piece?"
Deanna motioned for them to sit down at a nearby table. "Let's sit down and I will tell you all about it..."
Deanna recounted her earlier conversation with her sister. Upon Micaela's return, she found a few changes of her own. Firstly, Calhoun had moved her quarters so that they were now were next door to his. He informed Micaela that while he would have preferred to share quarters with her, he thought they needed to take it slow - for everyone's sake. When she opened the door it was filled with purple roses and white lilies. She said she nearly smothered him with kisses. Also he had left a special gift waiting on her bed.
"Oooh, Dee. That is so romantic! From what I have heard about Captain Calhoun, it doesn't sound much like him."
"Well, we Troi women have a way with men. What can I say?" Deanna teased.
"Go on! What was the gift? I'm dying to hear!" Beverly pleaded.
"Well, It was a ring... no, not an engagement ring. At least not yet. But Mac had a gem stone called Xenite from his homeworld set into a band of latinum. Mic said that is was a deep violet color. To quote her, 'it matches his eyes'."
"It sounds beautiful. I wonder what Shelby thought of that."
"Now that was the biggest surprise of all. Commander Shelby is no longer on the Excalibur. She just transferred to the USS San Marco as CAPTAIN! Micaela said that Soleta is acting First Officer until Calhoun makes a final decision as to her replacement."
"Well, I'll be damned.” Beverly was astounded. “She always did want her own command. Good for her. She is a fine officer even if her personality sucks!"
Deanna giggled. "Now now Dr. Crusher. We must be nice. I think that it had a lot to do with Micaela and the Captain. I don't think she ever got over him completely. It is hard to let go of your first love. I kinda feel sorry for her."
Beverly sighed, "Yeah, I suppose you are right. I'll bet that Micaela didn't shed any tears over it though."
"No, she seemed rather happy with the way things were working out. I have a feeling that there might be another wedding before long. I know that she loves him deeply and I could sense that he cared a great deal as well. You never know!"
"You said it! You never know. If you and Will can make it back to each other after everything, maybe there is still hope for Jean-Luc and me!!!"
Deanna leaned in close as if to share secrets as she whispered, "Oh
yeah? Fill me in. I've been gone way too long...."
This time the wedding went off without a hitch. Deanna was radiant in a simple ivory gown. She wore a floral headpiece and carried her mother's antique handkerchief. Will was elegant and dapper in his dress uniform . Tears welled in his sapphire eyes as he slid the narrow band onto his Imzadi's finger. Deanna was almost overcome by the emotions of the moment as the smallest Riker gave his/her first kick in approval.
Beverly wiped the moisture from her eyes and smiled at Jean-Luc as Will took Deanna's face in his hands for the kiss that sealed their union.
After a resplendent reception, Will carried his bride back to their quarters. The bedroom was adorned with the soft light from crystal candles and the bed was strewn with pale pink rose petals.
"Imzadi, this is breathtaking..." Deanna whispered breathlessly.
"I just wanted everything to be perfect for Mrs. Riker."
"As long as I am with you, my life is perfect."
At that he laid her gently across the sweetly scented bed and slowly unclothed her body. Deanna was in ecstasy by the time her lacy underwear was removed. The warm sensations of her husband's hands, lips and breath on her skin made her even more responsive. She wriggled with pure pleasure as their bodies joined as one.
Will kept his eyes open and focused on her face the whole time. He did not want to miss one single nuance of his wife's expressions of passion and love. He watched her eyelids flutter with desire and her lips part as she moaned softly. He could not believe that he could love someone with this much intensity. This woman beneath him continually amazed him. When he could hold on no longer and their joined release came about, he was completely filled with her essence. They were once more one entity - never to be separate again.
Will lay there beside Deanna and watched her sleep. Her hair lay in dark ringlets against the white cotton pillowslip. He gently traced the outline of her mouth and lovingly caressed her cheek. He then moved his hand to her swollen belly and was greeted with a gentle kick. He smiled at the idea of being a father. As far as he was concerned, life could be no more perfect for William Riker. He was whole and complete. Thanks to the beautiful woman that lay beside him and the blessing of their love that she carried within her.
Deanna awoke the next morning to find Will's side of the bed empty. She opened her senses and knew he was near. She found a rose and a piece of parchment paper lying on his pillow. As she gently unrolled the paper, Deanna discovered yet another expression of her husband's love and his commitment to her. It read...
Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby, when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I have never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams
I do not know how you do what you do
I am so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I am AMAZED by you
The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby, you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh, it feels like the first time every time
I want to spend the whole night in your eyes
Every little thing that you do
I am so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I am AMAZED by you *
She had just finished reading when Will entered the room with a breakfast tray. He heard deep within his soul <<you are becoming quite the poet Mr. Riker>>.
He returned the thought <<it is easy with you as the inspiration>>.
"You know that I stayed awake the whole night just watching you sleep. I can't seem to get enough of you. I wanted to try and find a way to express how I feel about you and how much you continue to amaze me each and every day. I love you Deanna Troi Riker. I hope you know how much."
"Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea." Deanna whispered as she pulled him back down onto the bed to love her once more.
Her breakfast was long since cold before she ever even missed it.
"Okay, now Dee. Just one more push and she will be here... one, two PUSH!"
Dr. Crusher's words were barely registering in Deanna's exhausted mind. But her soul was revived upon hearing her daughter's first wails.
"She is beautiful, baby. Just beautiful. I'm so proud of you!" Will gasped through the tears as he kissed his wife's flushed face.
Beverly lay the baby girl across Deanna's chest as she heard her say, "Welcome to the world, Brittleigh Micaela Riker. Your mommy loves you...."
* AMAZED was written by Green/Mayo/Lindsey and was recorded by LoneStar - no copyright infringement intended