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Title: Parting at the Crossroads
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Author: vegawriters
Rating: PG. Fluff. Pure fluff. Girl needs to write some smut.
Pairing: Riker/Troi but with a nod to Troi/Worf
Timeframe: Post Nemesis
A/N: This is the first TNG fic I've written in probably 15 years. No joke. But it wouldn't leave me alone so here you go. It feels really good to just write it.
For: All of the TNG peeps that came out of the woodwork when I posted about Riker and Troi. ;)

Summary: They were no longer young, but not yet old enough to fall into the reverie of nostalgia.



It hadn’t been the view from Ten Forward, the slanted portals in crew quarters, or even the observation deck that had been Deanna’s chosen place to gaze at the eternity outside the Enterprise. No, it had always been the corner window in the arboretum. It was as close as she’d been able to come to the peace she’d felt on Betazed. She could open her psychology books and lose herself in the intricacies of the human mind or the Fregeni psyche or the quiet stillness of the honor codes of Klingons and with the stars flying by outside and the plants around her, she was at home.

The Titan did not yet have a full arboretum, but her husband, the captain, had made some inquiries to the botany team; they were now excitedly beaming plants and samples aboard. A cargo bay had already been converted. The plant life was still sparse, but Deanna had found her spot. On a bench Will had replicated, matching the one outside the family home on Betazed, tucked into the corner by the portal. Her view today was dry dock while final upgrades were made, but still, she had a view. Will was on board the Enterprise, saying goodbye and as much as she wanted one final word with her old Captain, she just hadn’t been able to go back. She’d lost friends in battle before; she knew the risks of what it meant to be a Starfleet officer. It was one reason she’d been so fearful to fall for Will again, to open her heart to something that had never truly been closed off. The idea of him not being paired to her mind, of the light of their connection dimming, it terrified her. But to step foot on the Enterprise now, when she could still hear Data’s voice in her mind, it was impossible. Her heart was still too heavy with grief for the friend whose seemingly emotions had always been the most complex and pure of all.

She pressed her fingers to her head, rubbing away not just the headache of loss but the lingering pulses that had been there since the violation of Shinzon’s viceroy. She could still feel his psychic echo on the edges of her consciousness, tugging and twisting at her mind. The problem with telepathy was the lingering effect of any psychic attack. It wasn’t just the post-traumatic stress of the situation that haunted her, but the taste and feel of the assault into all of her senses. Telepaths were more than mind readers, they walked in shadows of the mind that only they could touch. The few plants and trees around her helped. Candles, a bath, and time alone with Will would help more. She wondered if the replicators here could match the Enterprise’s hot chocolate.

Sensing the presence of the man before she even heard his footfall, Deanna looked up and through the plants to see Worf approaching. Good. She’d hoped to see him one last time before their ships parted ways. She smiled and moved so he could sit next to her. He bowed his head before sitting.

“Congratulations,” he said to her, his voice low. “You and Captain Riker are a good match.”

She chuckled, low and smooth. “Technically, it’s Captain Troi now. Betazed is a matriarchal society and he’s married into the Fifth House. It’s an honor to take my name.” When Worf snorted, she shook her head. And then he surprised her.

“It would be an honor to take your name, Deanna.”

Raising her head, she looked at him. They were no longer young, but not yet old enough to fall into the reverie of nostalgia. Still, she had to ask herself, if it was the loss of friends and family and not age that tipped the scales into that worldview. Worf’s eyes were deeper than usual, full of the love and loss he’d seen over the course of his years. “Thank you, Worf,” she said. He nodded, his way of taking the response.

“Captain Picard has asked that I stay aboard the Enterprise.”

“Will mentioned he wasn’t going to get to keep you,” Deanna responded. She put her hand on his arm. “The Captain needs you. Now, more than ever.”

“Thank you.”

They were silent for a while before Deanna spoke again. “Why did you come back from the Empire? You were with your people. In a place of power. The Federation needs ambassadors like you.”

Worf chuckled. “My people wear this uniform, Deanna. It is something I needed to leave behind to realize though.”

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Yes.” His hand rested on hers. She took in the ridges on his forehead, the light on the sash on his uniform. “I was sorry to hear about Jadzia.” She'd given her respects before, but it felt important to say with the loss of Data hanging over them. To absent friends, Jean-Luc had said.

“She …” his face fell. “She was a formidable woman. You would have liked her.”

“I appreciate that compliment.”

“As well you should.” He looked at her and a small smile crossed his features.

“What?” Deanna asked.

“I find myself wondering what could have been between us is all.”

Rather than laugh, she let the question percolate in her mind and weave down, through her soul, into the part of her heart she’d always held for him. Worf. A man of honor and integrity, whose tenderness was rarely seen by any other than those close enough to call family. Yet she had seen it, had felt it in his hands, in the way his lips touched hers. The relationship had begun with Alexander, but there had been more. So much more. But it was a more that she couldn’t put her finger on and that to her meant everything. Because it was a more much like the one she shared with Will. One that told her, reminded her, that there was more to the concept of a soul mate than what the romances told through the ages. That sometimes, auras simply clicked, and love was too vast an idea to be confined simply to two people.

“I think that too sometimes,” Deanna finally replied. “But I know things turned out as they should have.” And then she kicked herself because things hadn’t turned out as they should have for Worf. Not with Jadzia. But Worf’s emotional state didn’t change. Instead, she felt a sense of peace wash over him and when she looked at him again, that same smile rested on his lips. “What?”

“Thank you,” was Worf’s reply.

A footfall caught their attention and Deanna looked over to see her husband walking across the arboretum. He looked tired. Already the task force a weight on his shoulders. But he still gave her the smile he’d been giving her for the past twenty years: the soft glint in his eyes, the slight tilt of his lips, the half-tuck of his head.

She loved him. She always had. And while she knew she loved Worf, her soul had been bonded a lifetime ago to a man who was playful where she was studious, light where she was serious. The weight of the rings on her finger meant everything to her and her only regret was that it had taken fifteen years for them to reach this point.

They rose as the Captain of the Titan approached and when Will held his hand out, Deanna took it and moved to lean against him. “I’m going to miss you, Commander,” Will said to Worf. “I could use you here.”

“Perhaps in the future, Captain,” Worf replied.

“I hope so.”

Despite the shortness of the words, the exchange was genuine. At one point there might have been some jealousy between the two men, but that had faded long ago. Now, they were as they had always been, colleagues. Officers. Veterans of wars. And now, the leaders of a new generation. Deanna moved off of Will’s arm to kiss Worf on the cheek and the Klingon bowed his head and moved on, out of the refurbished cargo bay, and onto his continuing assignment.

Deanna looked at her husband, brushed a lock of hair from his forehead. “Are you okay?” She asked.

“Yeah,” he said. And she could feel he was, could feel the connection of their minds. “You?”

“Yes,” she said quietly. Yes, the edges of her nerves were still frayed but here, right now, as he leaned down to kiss her, she was fine.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
nuwriters
Jun. 30th, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
SQUEE
vegawriters
Jul. 1st, 2014 01:31 am (UTC)
It felt SO good to write it.
lyryk
Jul. 1st, 2014 07:09 am (UTC)
Captain Troi, hee! This is lovely. :-)
vegawriters
Jul. 1st, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I had so much fun writing it.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 2nd, 2014 01:44 am (UTC)
Yipeeeeee!
Finally a fic that I don' have to go watch a whole new series for. TNG has been one of my fav's for a very long time!

I gotta say - you still have the MOST amazing ability to reach into the characters, stay true to who they are, and allow the reader to go along on your new adventures. I am constantly awed by your talent as it seems to be limitless and able to cross genders, sexual orientations, and now ...galaxies!

I hope that you continue to dabble in this genre and would absolutely SQUEE over a more "mature" storyline as I already know from your previous works that this is an area in which you are PARTICULARLY talented! (I still meander over to the SVU series from time to time)

Again, thank you SO much for sharing your talents with us!
vegawriters
Jul. 2nd, 2014 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: Yipeeeeee!
Awww thank you! :D Stuff like this makes me so happy. I don't write a lot of fic while I'm working on original stuff, but I am definitely interested in continuing.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 26th, 2014 04:23 am (UTC)
Love
Thank you for writing about riker troi! Loved it
vegawriters
Mar. 20th, 2017 10:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Love
Wow this is a deadly old comment and I am so sorry.

Thanks you.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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