Disclaimer: Paramount owns all Star Trek characters. I make no profit from this story.

Author's note: Takes place after Generations.

Big thanks go to Carol for helping me. She has done so much! Her constant encouragement and praise has kept me writing this story even though I sometimes felt I couldn't get anything out of my head. It's so annoying to know what you want to write but you just can't find the right words. Little part of this story has actually been written by Carol. I told her what I wanted and she wrote it for me because my head just refused to cooperate with me. :) Due to some email problems I couldn't send this to my normal beta reader (sorry Jeannette, I tried) so I asked Carol if she could do it and she said yes. So, thank you for everything Carol! :)

This story is a challenge response. The challenge scenario was this: Will and Deanna spent time on Betazed during a traditional Betazoid holiday. Lwaxana is her usual self, and insists upon all possible and impossible traditions. Describe the holiday, Lwaxana's excentricies and how Deanna and Will cope.

All feedback is welcome and hoped for but please be gentle.

Rating: PG-13 (I think)

The Union

by Sunstar 12/2001

Deanna Troi was sitting in her office deep in thought when the door chime

"Come in." She called absent mindedly staring into nothingness.

"Hey, am I bothering you?" A male voice asked.

She did not answer.

"Deanna?" He moved closer.


Still no answer. She looked like she was in a trance.

He touched her shoulder. "Deanna?"

"Huh, what?" Deanna asked, startled out of her thoughts.

"Are you okay? You looked like you were a million light years away." He
asked, looking concerned.

She smiled at him.

"Yes Will, I'm fine. I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"About my shoreleave. I really do need it. It will be good for me to get
among people whose minds don't cause me any stress. I will be able to

"So you have decided to go to Betazed?" He asked.

"Yes. I really love being on Betazed! Besides my mother wants me to visit
her, I see her so rarely. Though I don't think I'll be staying at her house.
I don't want to be with her ALL of my holiday. So I think I'm going to get a
room at a hotel." She told him looking thoughtful.

"I see..."

"It's too bad you have to go to Starfleet Headquarters, otherwise you could
have joined me."

"Actually, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. I don't have to go,
they cancelled it."

"They did?" Deanna asked surprised.

"Yes, they did." He said grinning. "So, can I come along with you. Would
you like to spend your holiday with me?"

"Of course you can come! What would be better than to spend my holiday with
my best friend?!" She replied hugging him and giving him a light kiss on the

"But now, mister." She continued. "You'd better get packing. We'll be
leaving tomorrow morning at 06.00 hours."

"Yes, ma'am."


When Will's and Deanna's transport hit the ground in front of the Troi
mansion the door to the house was flung open and Lwaxana Troi ran out.

"Deanna darling, what a wonderful surprise!" She said hugging her daughter
tight. "And William it's very nice to see you too." She said turning to him
and touching his arm. "What brings you by?"

"We have a few weeks of shore leave and we decided to spend it here on
Betazed." Deanna said smiling to her mother.

She had not felt so happy and relaxed in a long time. She took a deep breath
and closed her eyes enjoying the warm weather and the intoxicating smell
of flowers that flowed from the garden. She opened her mind and let the
feel of general calmness wash over her. On the Enterprise she had to
keep her shields up almost always, but here it was different. The
Betazoid minds were so well controlled and disiplined that she did not
need to shield her mind all the time if she did not want to.

"Well, come on in, come on in. I want to know all you've been doing lately!"
Lwaxana said, stopping Deanna's dreaming. Taking her elbow she dragged
her and Will inside.

"Mr. Homn!!! Deanna and Will came for a visit! Bring some drinks to us!"

A minute later the servant came with the glasses.

Thank you, Mr. Homn. Now you could go and prepaire a wonderful dinner for
us! My daughter visits me so rarely that this is a time to celebrate!"
Lwaxana told Homn and walked to the living room, the hem of her dress
trailing behind her.

Deanna rolled her eyes and shook her head. Will gave her a smile and guided
her to the couch.


The next morning Deanna woke up in her hotel room still feeling stuffed. She
had eaten A LOT the night before! Mr. Homn had prepared a six course dinner
including chocolate mousse for dessert! Deanna had felt like she was in
heaven. Now though, she could not even think about eating anything! She
got out of bed and went to the bathroom. At the same time there was a
soft knock to her door.

"Come in!" Deanna called sensing it was Will. "I'm in the bathroom! I'll be
right out!"

Will sat down on a chair, but got up when Deanna walked into the room.
She was wearing the same kind of dress she had worn when Daimon Tog had
kidnapped them years ago. Her hair was loose and wild and still a bit
tousled from sleep. Will thought she looked absolutely beautiful.

"Will, could you give me a hand? I can't get the zipper up." She said trying
unsuccesfully to reach the zipper behind her back.

"Sure." Will said taking her shoulders and turning her around. He moved her
silky hair away and let his eyes linger on her creamy back before pulling up
the zipper.

"So, what have you planned for us today?" He asked turning her around again
and gazing into her eyes.

"Well, I was thinking maybe we could..."

A loud knock at the door stopped her.

"Mother..." She sighed and walked to open the door.

"Good morning Deanna, Will! Isn't it a gorgeous day!" Lwaxana exclaimed
marching into the room bursting with energy. "Oh, what a small place."
She said looking around. "I still can't understand why you want to stay
here instead of your own home!"

"Mother, we talked about this yesterday. I don't want to start arguing about
it again. Will and I are staying at this hotel, period."

"Oh, fine. Do what ever you want. Anyway, that's not why I came. I see
you're going out. Well then I won't keep you long. I just came to remind you
that you won't forget the celebration tonight! You must be there
precisely at 8!"

"Be where...What celebration?" Will and Deanna asked at the same time.

"Deanna! Don't tell me you don't remember what week this is!" Lwaxana said
sounding almost shocked. "My god, one of the most sacred Betazoid rituals is
being celebrated today and you don't remember!!!"

"I'm sorry mother. I've had a lot on my mind lately, I really can't
remember..." Deanna sighed apologetically really trying to remember what was
it that had gotten her mother so upset suddenly.

"Oh darling, you're a daughter of the fifth house! You must remember! What
is being celebrated every second year, midsummer, under the starlight and
full moon!?"

"Mother, I really can't...." Deanna began but suddenly quieted down.
"... the Soul Union..." She whispered.

"That's right! Thank heavens you remembered. Now remember to be there on
time and put on the dress that will be delivered to you soon. I'll see you two tonight."

"Mother wait!" Deanna cried out before her mother could leave. "We are not
going to attend that party."

"What? Of course you are! Don't be ridiculous!" Lwaxana said waving her
hand dismissively.

"I have never participated before! Why should I now?" Deanna insisted
placing her hands on her hips.

"Deanna, you were not old enough before and when you were, you weren't
otherwise able to attend. Now you are here, and Will is here, and you WILL come to it!"

"Mother I, we, can't!"

"And why not?!"

"Because...because..." Deanna glanced at Will and felt her face changing
color. She switched to telepathic communication. "Because it's a soul
union celebration! Will and I aren't together! We're just friends!"

'Yeah right' Lwaxana thought but did not say the thought aloud or send it to

"Deanna...you're Imzadi! It doesn't matter whether you're together or not.
Your souls will always remain with each other. You have to come to this
party. As a daughter of the fifth house you have some responsebilities! If
you don't come, it will be considered an insult!"

"Mother, I don't know...."

"It's just a party Deanna!"

Will had been quiet for a long time, just looking from one woman to the
other. He had no idea what this "Soul Union" that Deanna had mentioned
was, but he was interested to find out, especially when he noticed that
the subject got Deanna feeling uncomfortable and made her switch to
nonverbal speech which was rare for her.
He did not want to do anything that would make Deanna feel stressed on their
holiday, so he was about to back Deanna up when he noticed she was
starting to agree with her mother. He made his decicion and opened his

"Ladies, I have no idea what kind of party you're talking about, but
since it seems to be very important to Lwaxana that Deanna and I
attend, then why don't we do just that Deanna?" Will said walking next
to Deanna and putting his hands on her shoulders as to reassure her
that everything would be fine.

"Will! You don't know what you're getting yourself into...!"

"That's true, but I'm not afraid, so why don't we compromise. If we go
to the party tonight and do what your mother asks, we can do what ever
we want the rest of our holiday. Is that agreeable?"

"It is to me!" Lwaxana chirped. "I promise I won't bother you again if you
just come tonight, please Deanna!"

Deanna looked from her mother to Will, and from Will to her mother.

"Oh, alright!" She finally sighed and slumped to sit on the couch.

"Great! I'll see you at eight!" And faster than lightning, Lwaxana was
out the door.


"So, tell me. What kind of party is it?"

"It's called "Soul Union". It's a very sacred, old tradition. Only soul
mates and Imzadi couples are allowed to participate. I don't know much about
what goes on during the celebration because it's a secret. Only the ones who
participate know. I have heard that there is some ritual involved but I have
no clue as to what it might be, only that it's very sacred and that you
should be deeply honoured if you are allowed to join."

"If it's such a big honour, why didn't you want to go?" Will asked puzzled.

"I don't know...I just have this feeling.... and, well... even though we
technically ARE an Imzadi couple...well..."

"We aren't because we're not "together"." Will finished for her.

"Right." Deanna said looking at her toes.

"Well, don't worry. What ever happens we can deal with it, I'll behave
myself, I promise." Will said with his best "Riker grin".

Deanna looked at Will.

"I wish I had your confidence...but I just can't shake the feeling that
something drastic is going to happen..."


Later that day Deanna and Will were getting ready for the party. Lwaxana
had sent Deanna a stunning violet gown. It was made of pure silk which had
been treated with some unknown substance. The surface reflected light and
glimmered like tiny stars in the night sky whenever Deanna moved. The dress
was long and strapless. The top clung to her skin like a glove and left
little to imagination, but from the waist down... Deanna thought there
had to be at least 10 meters of fabric flowing freely around her legs
supported by invisible tulle and underskirts, all perfectly layered, no
wrinkles in sight. Deanna curled her hair into corkscrew curls and then
pulled up the whole mass. She let only a few ringlets hang down around
her face. After finishing her outfit with a tiara (which her mother had
also sent to her), diamond necklace, earrings and high heels, Deanna
twirled in front of the mirror to see how she looked. She had never
felt more beautiful. She looked like a princess.

Will chose that moment to come into Deanna's room. When he saw her his mouth
opened but no words came out. He just stared at her wide-eyed unable to
speak. Deanna looked so gorgeous Will felt his knees weakening and his heart
rate picking up. He had to lean against the wall so he would not fall

"Will? Is something wrong?" Deanna asked amused feeling extremely happy and
flattered by the feelings she was sensing from him.

"Uh, no. Deanna, my god! You look absolutely stunning! So beautiful!"

"Why thank you. You don't look so bad yourself." Deanna said appraising
Will's tuxedo. He looked as handsome as ever.

"So Miss Troi, you ready to go?"

Deanna nodded and took the arm he offered.

"As ready as I ever will be."


After entering the banquet hall Deanna and Will were greeted with dead
silence. The room was full of people, but only soft gasps and sounds
caused by movement were heard. Everyone was staring at them and there
were many reasons why they were doing so. Deanna and Will made such a
handsome couple that it looked like the king and queen had arrived. The
other guests knew that Deanna was Lwaxana's daughter but only a few had
heard of Will. They could feel that Will was Deanna's Imzadi but
still... It was the first time ever that a human had come to the party!
The Betazoids also were not sure how they should act since Will was not
able to hear their thoughts and Deanna could receive thoughts only from
the very strong telepaths. That problem however was solved soon when
Lwaxana pushed through the crowd.

"Deanna darling, so glad you could come!" She said running to Deanna's side.

"Everyone! My daughter Deanna and William Riker, first officer of the
starship Enterprise!
Please honour our guests by speaking out loud for the rest of the evening!"

The Betazoids nodded their heads greeting them and a few came to talk to
them. Others continued to do what they had been doing before Will's and
Deanna's entrance only this time they were talking out loud.


The evening was progressing nicely. Will and Deanna were enjoying the party
immensely. The dining room was full of all sorts of foods. Will had never
tasted any of them before but they were delicious! Deanna too had her mouth
full of something that tasted like chocolate. She did not know the names of
the dishes but she knew they all were some sort of "love" foods. Her mother
had told her about them when she was a child. They made her feel relaxed and
a bit giddy. She also suspected they had some aphrodisiactic effects.

When the time was approaching midnight Deanna and Will were in the middle of
the dancefloor swaying to the slow, sensuous music. Deanna's arms were
wrapped around Will's waist and her head rested on his chest. She inhaled
the scent of Will's cologne and closed her eyes thinking how perfect the
moment was.

Suddenly a loud gong sounded.

Deanna and Will were startled out of their peaceful thoughts. Everyone
turned to look at the old woman who had sounded the gong.

"It is time." She announced.

All the people started moving outside to the big garden.

"What's going on?" Will whispered to Deanna.

"I don't know but we better follow them." She answered quietly shrugging her

When they got out Deanna gasped. The whole garden was lit with moonlight and
hundreds of candles. Nothing outside of the garden could be seen, it was
midnight so it was pitch black.

"Wow!" Will uttered.

"My God! So beautiful!" Deanna breathed amazed.

"Everyone! Please form a circle and hold hands!" The old woman continued.
"All who wish their souls to touch tonight, please come forward."

A young couple stepped out of the circle and walked to the woman. She smiled
at them and took their hands in hers. Then she looked deep into their eyes.

"Your souls are pure. Your love is true. Your spirits may be allowed to
connect tonight."

After saying the words the woman joined the couple's hands and tied them
loosely together with a silk scarf. She closed her eyes and lowered her

"God of the stars, God of the moons,
Holder of the hearts, Keeper of the souls,
Two who are separate wish to be one,
Souls they want to link, hearts they want to bind,
With the power of the moon and the power of the sun,
With the force that comes from within us,
Hear us now and make our plea come true,
Attach these hearts,
Unite these souls,
Let them be one ."

As the woman finished Deanna felt her body tingle, like a small electric
shock had just past through her body. She swallowed as she realized that
it was the power of the souls, power of the minds that was flowing
through her and the whole circle. She wanted to release her grip but
could not, the power was too strong and the feeling was too intense.
Deanna looked at Will and could see he was feeling it too.

Just as suddenly as the sensation had come it was gone. Deanna shook her
head and blinked her eyes. It had all happened so fast that she was not
really sure WHAT had happened. Before Deanna had time to think about it it
was all happening again. The woman had asked another couple to come in front
of her and an instant later she was chanting again.

After a few more couples the woman asked "Anyone else?".

"Yes! Here is one more pair!" Deanna heard her mother say and to her horror
Lwaxana was pushing her and Will into the middle of the circle.

"No, mother! I don't want to!" Deanna sent to her mother feeling a panic

"It'll be alright Little One, trust me. Besides, you promised!"
Lwaxana whined.

"I promised to come to the party, not to join the rituals!!!"

The old woman interrupted.

"Don't be afraid my child. Please, come here."

Slowly Deanna turned to look at the woman. She was gesturing with her hand
for her to come closer. Everyone was staring at them. Deanna looked at the
woman and then at Will. He looked a bit dazed but otherwise okay. He had no
idea what was going on but still he smiled. He smiled at Deanna in a way
that melted her heart. He nodded at her and gently took her hand taking a
step forward. After only a second's hesitation Deanna moved forward too and
soon they were standing in front of the old woman.

"I'm glad you decided to come." She said taking their hands.

After checking the purity of their hearts and souls she secured their hands
with the scarf. Deanna felt a shiver run down her spine when the woman
started to chant. The feeling of electricity that she had felt in the circle
was nothing compared to what she was feeling now. Powerful forces were
swirling all around them and a feeling of great warmth filled her whole
being. Her mind was so overwhelmed with sensation she thought she was going
to faint. The woman continued chanting but Deanna could not hear it anymore.
It was only a mild buzzing in the backround. She tried to concentrate on her
own feelings but it was impossible. Her mind seemed to be filled with
something or someone so powerful that it blocked out everything else. She
could not even see. When she opened her eyes all she saw was fog, like she
was standing in the middle of clouds.

After what seemed like eternity the fog cleared. In reality only a minute or
so had passed. Deanna was still standing in the middle of the circle facing

"Now you are one." The woman said in a calm voice and gestured that they may

Deanna swayed a little and looked like she was going to fall, so Will
grabbed her arm.

"You okay?" He asked concerned.

"Yes, I'm okay. Let's go." She said taking Will's hand and guiding him
back among the other people.


After the rituals ended, Deanna and Will went back to the dancefloor.
Deanna had wanted to leave but her mother did not allow her to do so.
She had insisted they had to stay until the end of the party. They
danced in silence for a few minutes until Will spoke.

"What exactly happened out there?"

"I don't really know..."

"Whatever it was it was pretty intense. I felt this strong emotion take hold
of me but then it was gone... Now it feels like it never happened. Was it
suppose to be so short? I mean, what I understood I thought we would
experience some sort of mind meld or something..."

"I thought so too.... Maybe it didn't work with us. I mean because I'm only
half Betazoid and you're not a Betazoid at all.... Still...the feeling
was very...interesting. I've never felt anything like it."


It was 2 am before Deanna and Will were able to leave the party. Because the
night was very warm and the hotel was not too far away Deanna and Will
decided to walk back. They strolled through the center of the town holding
each others hands. They listened to the sounds of the sleeping city and
tried to see moths flying in the darkness of the night. Suddenly Will
pointed up to the sky.

"Look! A shooting star! Quick, make a wish!"

Deanna obliged, squeezing her eyes shut. When she opened them Will was
gazing at her looking thoughtful.

"What?" She asked.

"Nothing, nothing. Ready to move on?"

"Yup!" Deanna nodded.

When they got back to the hotel they both were exhausted and wanted to go to
bed as soon as possible. Will walked Deanna to her door and stopped. He
looked her deep in the eyes and smiled.

"I had a great time tonight. I'm really glad we went to the party."

"Yes, me too." Deanna admitted.

"Well, I guess we better get some sleep now. Good night, Dee." Will said
placing a light kiss on her lips.

"Night Will." She replied kissing him back.

Will turned to go to his own room and Deanna was about to enter her room
when all of a sudden she felt really dizzy.


She clutched the wall for support and turned her head trying to see Will.
What she saw surprised her. Will was leaning on the wall too looking sick.



They moved back towards each other to check if the other was okay.

"Deanna, are you okay?" Will asked, the nauseating feeling disappearing.

"I could ask you the same question." Deanna said, also feeling better.

"I don't know. One minute I was fine, the next I was feeling really dizzy
and nauseous." Will answered scratching his head.

"Me too."

"Hmm...maybe we're just tired."

"You're probably right. Anyway, I'm feeling fine now so I'm going to sleep.
Good night Will."

Deanna turned to leave again only to be stopped by the sudden dizzyness

"Wow! This is weird!"

Will moved to Deanna's side.

"I think we better call a doctor." He muttered clutching his stomach.

"No Will, wait!" Deanna exclaimed. "The feeling's gone again. I'm fine. It
stopped the second you came near me."

Suddenly the realization hit. Deanna's eyes grew large and her mouth fell

"Oh my god! It can't be! ... ... Or can it...?"

"What? What can't be?" Will asked totally confused.

"Will, think about it! We were feeling just fine when we got here, right?"


"We felt sick and dizzy when we moved away from each other, right?"


"We felt fine again when we got closer to each other, right?"


"Then we moved away again, felt sick. Moved back, felt fine. Right?"

Will knitted his brows.

"Right. ... ... So what has this got to do with... ... Oh my god!"

"That's right! Oh my god! ... ... ... I think the ritual worked after all...
... we're one." Deanna uttered disbelief evident in her voice.


A few minutes later in Deanna's room, Will and Deanna where sitting on
the couch pondering their situation.

"Okay... so, we can't move more than a meter from each other without feeling
sick and you think this is because of the ritual?" Will asked still
unwilling to believe this was really happening.

"Yes. The ritual somehow forced our minds and spirits together. We are,
literally, one. Our souls are united." Deanna sighed. She was so tired she
could hardly keep her eyes open.

"So, what are we going to do? We can't exactly live like this. We have to
reverse this 'Soul Union'!"

"I know! But I'm not sure it can be reversed..."


"Look, Will. I don't know whether this condition can be reversed or not,
but it definitely can't be reversed tonight! So, could we please talk
about this in the morning? I'm tired." Deanna said getting up.

"Sure." Will said softly when he realized just how tired Deanna really was.
"I can sleep here on the couch."

Deanna turned her head back to Will and could not help the small smile
forming on her face.

"No you can't Will. Already forgot?"

"But then where...?"

"Come on silly. I have a double bed so I'm sure we'll both fit in. Just
remember to behave yourself!" Deanna warned, pointing a finger at him.

"I will." Will said as he followed her to the bedroom.

He replicated pyjama bottoms for himself and after a few awkward glances
Will turned his back to Deanna and changed his clothes. Deanna undressed too
and pulled her silky nightgown over her head. Together they climbed under
the covers.


When Deanna woke up the following morning, the first thing she was aware of
was the fact that she needed to go to the bathroom. She started to get up
and almost stepped on Will before she noticed and remembered he was there.
Her eyes flew completely open and her expression turned into one of
shock. She stopped dead, careful not to wake him and considered her next

"Ooo-kay...I don't want to wake him but what choice do I have? I can't leave
the bed unless he leaves it too..."

She thought about it for a moment and was left with only one solution. She
sighed and shook his shoulder.

"Will?... Will!"

"What?" He turned to face her and looked at her with sleepy eyes.

"I...I need to go to the bathroom." Deanna informed him feeling more than a
little embarrassed.

Will looked totally confused. He was obviously still too drowsy to remember
the previous night's events.

"So go." He said dropping his head back on to the pillows wanting to
continue his sleep.

"Will! I can't go without you!"

Will lifted his head back up.

"Wha...What?" He asked dumbfounded.

"Dammit Will, wake up!" Deanna exclaimed hitting him with her pillow. "Get
up so I can go! Or do you want me to make us both feel sick the first thing
in the morning??!!"

Slowly a comprehension dawned on Will's face.

"Ooh...right. I'm sorry Dee. I'll get up..." Will said yawning and rubbing
his eyes.

Deanna thanked all the gods and hotel designers that the toilet had been
positioned right next to the bathroom door so Will could wait on the other
side while she did what she needed to do. She would have liked to take a
shower too, but the shower was on the other side of the room and there
was no shower curtain of any kind so showering was out of the question.
In her mind Deanna could very well picture what Will's reaction would
be if she suggested that they took a shower together. He would wiggle
his brows and grin like only he could.

Deanna shook her head, a small smile creeping to her face. The whole
situation was so absurd that she had to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Will inquired from the other side of the door.

"Nothing, nothing." Deanna said stepping out of the bathroom and gesturing
Will to go in. "Your turn."

Will looked at her suspiciously.

"Then why are you having so much trouble keeping a straight face?"

"I'm not." Deanna said putting on a very serious face.

After Will had closed the door behind him she burst into hysterical giggles.

Inside the bathroom Will just rolled his eyes.

All the other morning routines were performed with the same kind of
uneasyness and comicalness. They bumped into each other where ever they went
and whatever they did. They were always in each others way. They dressed
side by side. They walked side by side. They ordered breakfast side by side
and they sat side by side while eating the breakfast.

They tested their boundaries by moving around the room and came to the
conclusion that they should not go farther than half a meter from each other
otherwise the not so nice side effects would begin to show themselves. The
best feeling they had was when they were physically touching. Then they
were not feeling bad at all. Actually they noticed that they were
feeling better than fine if they were holding each others hands or
touching in some other way.


Later that morning...

"So, any thoughts about how we are going to reverse this link between us?"
Will asked with a questioning and a bit curious look on his face.

"Yes. We're going to see my mother. I'm sure she knew about this." Deanna
said with a humph and stood up so fast that Will had to take a giant leap to
catch up with her.

"Hey! Not so fast, remember?"


"I think I better hold on to you so you won't be able to get away from me. "
He said smiling and took her hand.

Deanna looked down at their joined hands and then up to Will's eyes. She
felt a sense of great warmth wash over her.

"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere without you." She whispered and wrapped
her arms around his waist hugging him tight.

"Hey, you okay?" Will asked lifting her chin up. He was surprised by the
sudden change in her mood.

"Yes, I'm okay. ... I'm sorry. Last night and this morning have just
been pretty rough for me, emotionally I mean."

"It's okay, I understand." He said holding her gently and stroking her back,
calming her down.

After a while she pulled back and tugged his hand.

"Come on, let's go."


"Mother! I know you're in here somewhere! You can't hide from me!"

Deanna opened her senses fully trying to locate Lwaxana.

"Mother! Come here right now, we need to talk!"

"Alright, alright, I'm coming. Stop yelling Little One, it's so vulgar. Use
your mind."

Lwana rounded the corner shaking her head in disapproval.

"What's the matter dear? I thought you weren't going to see me again on
your holiday?"

"You know damn well what's the matter! Stop playing innocent!"

"But sweetheart, what's wrong? I thought you would be thrilled to share this
union with William, to see how it could really be for the two of you."

Deanna was incensed. Will was stunned as the hurtful words spilled from her

"But it's not what I want mother, it's not what WE want! Don't you

Lwaxana could only stare open mouthed from her daughter to Will as she tried
to comprehend what Deanna was telling her. Her callous words clearly hurt
Will, judging by the way he was watching her, and the way he was feeling.
But Deanna was too angry to feel it herself. But Lwaxana was not giving in
so easily. It was obvious Will wanted more, Deanna just needed to be shown
how much.

"The effects of the union will wear off in their own time darling, you've
just got to...wait a little longer"

"How much longer Mother? We do have plans you know, we do like to go to the
bathroom seperately occasionally. How long?"

Lwaxana did not have the heart to tell her that the stronger the Imzadi bond
between a couple, the longer it took. The bond was intense between them, one
of the strongest she had ever seen. It would be at least a week before it
wore off. She did not like the waves of fury that radiated from the woman
that stood before her. Or the quiet urgency that she could feel from the man
with her. But it was not an urgency to be released from her daughter, it was
how much longer before he lost her for good. William T. Riker was deeply in
love with Deanna Troi, but Deanna seemed to be the one that was determined
to keep them apart...for good. Would the Soul Union work?

Will put his hand on Deanna's shoulder.

"Calm down Dee. Yelling at your mother won't help. Maybe we should go back
to the hotel and think about this." He said quietly looking at the floor.

When Deanna did not move, Will took her hand and tugged it gently. "Come
on, let's go."

Deanna glared at her mother one last time before turning and letting Will
guide her out.


Instead of going to the hotel, Deanna had wanted to go to the beach. The
ocean had always had a soothing effect on her, so now she was hoping it
would clear her rage filled mind.

They were standing side by side on the white sand staring at the waves.
Neither of them had said a word after leaving the Troi mansion. Deanna
closed her eyes and tried to center herself. She breathed in the scent of
the salty water and felt her muscles relax a little. She stretched her neck
and rolled her head from shoulder to shoulder but the tension she was
feeling refused to go away.

Will watched her movements and knew she was in pain. He knew how desperately
she needed to find balance in her emotions and how badly she wanted
composure. He pushed his own feelings aside and moved to stand behind her.
Deanna jumped when he placed his hands on her shoulders and tried to move
away from his touch but Will did not let her go. He started massaging her
shoulders with slow movements. After a while he felt her relaxing a bit.

"Sit down." He whispered in her ear and pushed her down to sit on the sand.
Will sat himself behind her, his legs on either side of her and
continued to massage her. His hands moved up and down her arms, back
and shoulders rubbing every inch of her. He did not stop until Deanna
was completely relaxed and almost purring with contentment.

She lifted her head up and looked deep into his blue eyes.

"Thank you, Will. I really needed that." She said smiling tenderly and
resting her head against his chest.

Will smiled back and smoothed her hair wrapping his arms around her tightly.

"We're going to get through this, I promise."


Deanna felt like she was in heaven. She had never felt better. She closed
her eyes and wished the moment would go on forever. Will's arms felt so good
around her. She was warm and secure, safe in his embrace. And his touch, his
touch caused goosebumps to rise all over her body and her heart raced,
making her mind swirl with the feelings of joy and happiness. She
pushed herself even closer to him, wanting to feel his whole body
against her. His breath tickled her skin and the gentle kiss he placed
on her hair made her realize just how much she wanted him. And she did
not just want him. She needed him and missed him.

She wanted him to kiss her breathless and make passionate love to her
under the stars and moonlight. She wanted to feel his emotions merge
with hers and their heartbeats to be one. She wanted them to be one in
the true meaning of the word, not this ridiculous way that did not
allow them even to move. Deanna was just about to turn around and kiss
him when a splash of water hit her legs. She yelped in surprise and
jumped up. Both of them had been so deep in thought that they had not
noticed the water getting higher.

The cool water on her heated skin and losing the physical contact with Will
brought Deanna quickly back to her senses.

'Oh my god! What was I thinking!?' She thought to herself. 'I can't let
myself think this way. When I touch him the union makes every emotion, every
touch stronger! Don't touch him! Don't make this any more difficult for
you as it already is! He doesn't want a relationship. He doesn't want
to settle down and have a family. He's only interested in casual
affairs, you're only a good friend, nothing more. Stop deluding
yourself! It's over between you. Stop dreaming and face the reality!'

Will was disappointed when Deanna got up. He had been feeling so good that
he did not want to lose that feeling, not now, not ever. While they had been
sitting Will had been thinking about his life and their situation right now.
He was not sure whether she had really meant what she had said at Lwaxana's
house or had she only been so angry that she said the first thing that came
to mind. Which ever the answer, Will was determined to make Deanna see
things differently. He did want a relationship with her and only hoped he
could make her want it too.


The sun had already set by the time Will and Deanna got back to the hotel.
Once inside their room Deanna threw her shoes to one corner and was about to
pull her dress over her head when she remembered Will. He was standing next
to her watching curiously what she was doing. Deanna tilted her head and put
her hands on her hips.

"I don't know how we are going to handle this but I want to go to the
shower. I NEED a shower. I feel so sweaty and filthy."

"So, what's the problem? Go take a shower."

"Ha ha, you know very well what's the problem.You! And the fact that there
is no shower curtain of any kind!"

"Oooh, so you're afraid I can't take my eyes of your naked body!" Will said
with a big grin.

Deanna rolled her eyes.

"Seriously Deanna," Will continued "it's nothing I haven't seen before.
Since when did you become so modest. I thought Betazoids were comfortable
with nudity."

"We are. This just is a bit different and you know it!"

"Okay, fine, whatever. We can either stay here all night fighting about this
or you can go to the shower. I'll behave myself, I promise."

Deanna looked at Will suspiciously but then turned and walked to the
bathroom. She took her clothes off and turned the water on all the while
keeping an eye on Will making sure he was standing his back to her. She
stepped under the streaming hot water and sighed with pleasure. She closed
her eyes and felt all the dirt and dust of the day flowing away from her
skin. She placed her head under the water soaking her hair and face. When
Deanna was about to soap herself she reached out but instead of finding the
soap she found a hand, Will's hand to be precise. She screamed and turned
around so fast she almost slipped on the wet floor. What she saw after
turning around left her speechless for a moment. In front of her stood Will,
totally naked, wearing only his smile.

"Wi.. Will? What the hell do you think you're doing?" Deanna asked

"What does it look like? Taking a shower of course." Will said

"Oh, I see. You couldn't wait for your turn?"

"I was going to, but then after you turned on the shower I noticed that
I was going to get totally wet standing so close so I thought I'd save
a little time by taking the shower together with you."

Deanna's heart raced. She did not know what to say or do when Will's
gorgeous nude body was standing so close to her.

"Will... I don't think this is such a good idea..."

"Relax. I promised to behave myself. I won't do anything you don't like.
It'll be just like the night by the lake and your new "therapy technique",
remember that?"

"Yes... of course I remember that." Deanna said softly. "but... "

"Shh... Don't be afraid. Trust me. I won't hurt you."

Deanna could not fight the feelings anymore. She relented and let Will do
what he wanted. Deep in her heart she wished Will was right and she would
not get hurt.

Will reached for the shower gel and poured some on his hand. After rubbing
his palms together he placed his hands on Deanna's waist. She had turned
around so her back was towards him. Will moved his hands slowly up her sides
and then to her back. He drew big soapy circles, gently washing every inch
of her.

Deanna shivered as Will's big hands glided on her body. He washed her whole
body and hair, all of the time standing behind her. Deanna would have liked
to turn around and return the favor but Will would not let her. After he was
finished he quickly showered himself and then reached for the towels. The
first one was for her hair, the second he put around his waist and the third
he wrapped around Deanna and gently rubbed her dry. After her body was dry
he removed the towel from her hair and picked up the hair dryer and a big
brush. He loved playing with her hair. He let his fingers slide through the
black curls, gently untangling them. After drying them he brushed the
silky mass and let it flow freely on her back.

Deanna had stared at the mirror the whole time looking at Will and his face.
She felt her heart aching with so much emotions she was afraid it would
break. Her own feelings were so strong that she could not really tell what
Will was feeling.

Will traced a hand down the side of Deanna's head.

"So beautiful..." He said softly and carefully picked her up in his arms and
carried her to the bedroom.

After laying her down on the bed he crawled in next to her and snuggled up
close. Moving her hair away from her face he placed a light kiss on her

"Sweet dreams, my angel." He whispered and wrapped his arms tightly around


A few minutes later Will was shaken from his light slumber. Deanna was
trembling and sobbing quietly.

"Deanna, what's the matter?" Will asked concerned.

"Why... Why are you doing this to me?" She asked tears flowing down her

"What am I doing? I don't understand Dee."

"Why do you do this? Why are you teasing me? You know you'll only break my


"Will I can't do this! Please stop before it's too late!"

"Stop what? Dee, I still don't understand."

"Stop acting like this! You know I don't want this! To you this is probably
just another casual affair but you should know that I don't want that! I
don't want to be any onenight stand!"

"But Dee, that's not how I feel!"

"Will please...!"

"Deanna, listen to me! The last thing I want to do is hurt you!"

"Then why..."

"Shh... let me explain." Will said trying to calm Deanna down.

"Do you know how incredible happy I was when I found out I could come here
with you instead of going to Starfleet headquarters? I was ecstatic! Three
whole weeks with you! What could be better!?
Deanna... for a long time now I've been thinking about what I want from
life. Almost all of my life I've wanted to be a star ship captain, that
dream has always been behind my actions. Everything I've done has been
aiming me towards my target, to have my own ship. To be in control, to have
command. That has always been my goal. ... Or so I thought.
During the past few years I've been offered several ships, I've had many
chances of becoming a captain but I've turned them all down. Why? ... ... At
first I didn't know but now I do. I turned down all the promotions because
of you. I don't want to leave you. I still want to be a captain but that's
not my first priority anymore. My first priority is YOU and being with you!
You have been part of my life for so long that I can't live without you
anymore! I want to hold and touch you every day. I want to wake up with you
beside me every morning and I want to show you every day and night how much
you mean to me... how much I love you.
Every moment without you is pure torture. My heart is filled with so much
repressed love, I'm afraid it's going to explode if I can't share it with you.
What you said at your mother's house hurt me deeply and I really hope you
didn't mean it because I DO want a relationship with you. You're NOT just a
one night stand Deanna! I want to share the rest of my life with you! I
want to marry you and have children with you! .... Most of all I want
to love you .... if you only let me.... ... "

Deanna had been crying quietly the whole time Will was speaking, but now
she turned around to face him. She wiped her eyes with the back of her
hand and struggled hard not to cry more. She looked deep into Will's
eyes trying to believe and understand what he had just said. She had
heard every word and knew that he was telling the truth, but still she
was not sure. Could it be possible that her dream had finally come
true? Did Will really love her enough to commit himself to her and have
a family with her? Happiness and hope were beginning to tug her heart
but she just could not give in to the feeling...

"Will... if you really love me, you have to prove it." She said slowly and

"How? How do you want me to prove it? I'll do anything!"

"I once heard this old song from Earth. The lyrics were about how to recognize real love."

"Really?" Will said raising his brows wondering what she was going to say

"Yes. 'If you want to know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss'. That's
what the singer was singing and I believe it's true."

"It's in his kiss?"

"That's right. So... if you really love me as much as you say you do, all
you have to do is show it to me. Words alone are not enough. I need to feel
it deep in my heart and soul." Deanna said placing a hand above her heart to
emphasize her words.

For a moment Will just looked at her, lightly tracing the contours of
her face with his finger. Then he cupped her face and ever so slowly
pulled her towards him. When their faces were mere centimeters apart he
at first kissed her forehead and then both of her eyes gently closing
them. A few seconds later he kissed her. As softly as a feather, he
moved his lips on hers, kissing her so lightly it could hardly be felt.
Little by little he added pressure, but the kiss was still gentle. He
opened his mind to her and let all his love flow from his lips to her
soul, hiding nothing. Will teased Deanna's lips with his tongue and
without resistance, she opened her mouth and let their tongues touch. It
was like strong electric currents had gone through their bodies and
Will felt Deanna shudder. They had not kissed like this ever before.
Even though they were both naked and the kiss was getting deeper and
more passionate with every passing moment, there was nothing sexual or
erotic about it. It was just an act of love. The proof of love. A way of
saying 'I love you' without words.

When an eternity later their lips finally parted, Will pressed his
forehead to hers and rubbed their noses together. Then he pulled back
and opened his eyes to look at her. She was breathing rapidly and when
she opened her eyes she could not stop the tears from flowing again.
But this time they were tears of happiness. She looked into his blue
eyes for a few seconds before wrapping her arms tightly around his neck
and burying her face into his shoulder. Between sobs she managed to
whisper "I love you too" in his ear.

A wide smile broke on to Will's face and even though Deanna was squeezing
him so tight he could hardly breathe, he felt like for the first time in
months he could really breathe freely and without the fear of losing the
one he loved more than anything.

Suddenly Deanna pulled back.

"It came true!" She said looking amazed at Will.

"What did?"

"My wish! When we saw the shooting star, I wished we could be together

Will smiled at her.

"I wished the same thing."


The next morning Will woke to the feeling of someone trailing kisses down
his chest and stomach. He grinned and opened his eyes to see a mass a black
curly hair dissappearing under the covers.

"Well, this certainly is a nice way to wake up!" He said chuckling.

The mass of curly hair came back up and soon Will could see a pair of black
eyes staring at him. With seductive movements Deanna climbed on Will and
straddled his waist. She bent down and kissed his lips.

"Good morning." She purred.

"Umm...very good morning to you too!" Will said kissing her deeply and
stroking her sides. "What have I done to deserve a wake-up call like this?"

"Oh just being here is enough for me. Umm... Will? Yesterday you said you
want to have children with me. Do you still want that?"

"Yes, of course Dee! I want to have lots of babies with you!"

"Good ... because I was just thinking that it's not always easy to get
pregnant... so maybe we should start practicing that immediately..." Deanna
said nuzzling Will's neck.

"Oh... right... Yes, I agree. We should definitely start now." Will said his
hands roaming Deanna's body.

"You know... these past few days... I've almost been going out of my mind
because of this Soul Union. Remember all the foods at the party?"

"Yes, what about them?"

"Well, I knew that they all had some aphrodisiactic effects, but when my
mother told me about the Union, she obviously 'forgot' to tell me that
the whole Union is a one big aphrodisiac! Every touch, every sense is
heightened! Every time you touch me I feel I'm on fire! I can't stand it

"Me neither!"

"Well then, if we can't get rid of the Union, let's enjoy the effects as
long as we can!" Deanna said and pulled the covers over both of them.

The End