UNEXPECTED
A "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Fan-Fiction Story - by Vicky

AUTHOR'S NOTE: "Unexpected" was written in response to a challenge posted by Gwen on the Imazadi All mailing list.

TIMELINE: "Unexpected" takes places sometime during Insurrection.

"Excuse me sir, but are you going into the meeting?"

The tall man in front of him jumped suddenly. "What? ... Oh, Data, yes. Yes, of course, I'm going in," he said. He continued to stand immobile.

"If you do not mind me saying, sir ..." Data trailed off as Riker nailed him with a sharp look. "You look a little stunned," he finished.

"Stunned," Will commented slowly, as if testing the word. "Yes, Data, I think that just about covers it."

He shook his head with a wry smile and motioned for Data to precede him into the lounge. As he entered, he couldn't help but catch Deanna's eye. He wasn't sure he liked the look she was giving him ... especially considering the corridor just then.

He glanced away for a moment to take note of the other members of the senior staff taking their places. He could tell her gaze never wavered, however. When he looked back, he was sure of it. She was looking at him like ... well, like he was a piece of meat.

TEN MINUTES EARLIER

Will Riker walked through the Enterprise heading for the observation lounge. Intently studying the data PADD in his hand, he barely noticed Deanna Troi in an adjacent corridor. She caught up with his long strides and casually looped her arm through his, trying her best to keep his swift pace.

"It's times like these I wished I had longer legs," she joked.

Riker looked at the brunette next to him. "Where'd you come from?" he asked with an air of confusion.

She tried to stifle a small laugh, but part of it escaped her lips. "Glad to know I mean so much to you." Tightening her grip on her companion's upper arm, Deanna successfully brought the two of them to a standstill, moving them into a nearby alcove.

"There's a senior staff meeting in five minutes," Will told her, "and I'd like to discuss some of this information with Data before I present it to the other officers." He held up the data PADD for her see. He started to take a step back, "So, if you'll excuse me ..."

She reached forward and grabbed his hand to halt his retreat. "You need to relax, Will. You're too tense." The counselor seductively traced a finger down the commander's chest, starting at his collarbone and ending at his waist.

"Deanna ..." Riker's voice trailed off as the dark-haired woman moved her hand back and forth across his mid-section. That particular area, just above the waistband of his uniform pants, was extra-sensitive for him and he knew that the woman before him was acutely aware of that fact. It took all of his mental strength to stop her advances but he successfully caught her hand in his and moved it aside. "Now is definitely not the time for ... for this." He paused, "Whatever this is."

Troi gave Riker a seductive smile as her eyes twinkled with mischief. "Don't tell me you're opposed to this," she tilted her head to the side, giving him a look of disbelief.

"No, I didn't say that," Will held up a hand in protest. Taking another step into the main hallway, he turned and continued on his way to the observation lounge. He didn't see Deanna in his peripheral vision but he could hear her footsteps behind him. "We have a meeting," he added, talking over his shoulder, "This ... discussion will have to wait until later."

The diminutive Betazoid once again grabbed the taller human by the arm. This time she spun him around to face her. Before Riker knew what hit him, Troi had engaged him in a kiss that embodied every aspect of the word "passion." It was heated and hungry; it was loving and tender. He unconsciously gave himself to her and found himself kissing her back with the same emotion and expression.

After what seemed like hours but was merely a few short minutes, or perhaps a few long seconds, Deanna pulled back and entered the observation lounge at the end of the hallway. Will's face conveyed a mystified look as he inspected the hallway to see if any other officers had witnessed the event that had just transpired between the Enterprise's executive officer and counselor. Luckily, Data was just rounding the corner and had missed the kiss the two senior staff members had shared.

AFTER THE MEETING

His better judgment was telling him he shouldn't be walking down the hallway to her quarters, but his long-suppressed sexual desire for her urged him on. He reached the door to her cabin. He paused to take a deep breath, as well as to attempt to talk himself out of what he was about to do.

Will didn't even have to ring the door chime to announce his presence – the door suddenly slid open and Deanna greeted him with a smile that could only be considered shy and demure.

"We need to talk."

"Come on in," she said quietly, gesturing toward her living room.

He brushed past her with a noticeable amount of hesitation. Once inside the cabin, he began to walk about the room in search of something.

Watching his actions, Deanna folded her arms across her chest. "Can I help you find something," she questioned, taking a few steps toward him.

"Maybe," he answered as he turned to face her. Riker moved his head up and down, casting a quizzical expression in her direction. "I'm looking for Deanna Troi. Have you seen her around here in the last hour or so?"

She tried to stop a laugh she could feel building inside her and succeeded by only showing a small smile. "About that ..." she began. She dropped her hands to her sides and idly fussed with the cuffs of her uniform. "I have no idea what came over me, Will. What I did seemed right at the time, but in hindsight ..."

"Hindsight," he nodded, "If someone could discover a way to turn that into foresight, the galaxy would be a better place." The officers shared a small chuckle at the comment.

The first officer took a tentative step forward. When the counselor didn't object to his advances, he took another step. "It's not that I was against our encounter prior to the staff meeting, it's just that it caught me a little off-guard." His eyes twinkled with merriment. "And I found the environment a bit off as well. I mean, I like variety and adventure, but I didn't know it was your style."

Deanna playfully hit Will on the shoulder and gave him a warm smile. "They do say that variety is the spice of life." She walked into the middle of the room and sat on the arm of a nearby chair, her expression growing more serious. "Where do we go from here? Are there really new feelings developing between us or can all of this be attributed to the Briar Patch's radiation?"

Riker ran a hand through his hair and released an audible sigh. "I don't know, Dea. I'll admit that I like the feelings I've been experiencing as of late." He leaned against the bulkhead behind him. "Honestly, I've never truly lost those feelings. They may have been buried inside of me but they never left. I love you Deanna. I've always loved you ... from the moment I met you."

A smile crossed her lips and she self-consciously lowered her head, staring at her hands that were resting in her lap. "I feel the same way," she admitted to him.

Meeting his gaze, the pair held eye contact for several silent minutes. . Her black eyes met his blue and unspoken words passed between them. Without words Deanna rose from her seat on the chair and walked across the room to her companion. She wrapped her arms around his neck and placed a tender kiss on his lips. He placed his hands around her small waist and kissed her back.

Even though the kiss ended after a handful of seconds, they remained in each other's embrace, relishing in the warmth and comfort exuded between them. Neither of them wanted the moment to end because it was what both of them needed at that moment. They needed the support, the friendship, the love and affection both Will Riker and Deanna Troi were capable of sharing with the other.

The silence was finally broken by Deanna, whose voice was barely above a whisper, "I miss this."

"Me too," he replied, holding her a little tighter.

Troi stepped back and studied Riker's features. "Do you forgive me for the hallway incident earlier today?"

He laughed. "What's there to forgive, Imzadi ? Maybe my memory's beginning to fail, but I don't remember apologizing for anything."

She returned his laugh and smile. "In that case ..." Deanna's lips once again brushed over Will's as the Enterprise hovered in the Briar Patch. Neither of them knew if the metaphasic radiation was responsible for their actions or not but, at that particular moment, neither of them really cared.

– End of Story –

All "known" characters (c) Paramount, Star Trek: The Next Generation and all other relevant parties. This story was written for the enjoyment of other TNG fans and is not meant to infringe upon the copyrights of any of the aforementioned individuals.