Just a Dream

Based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2-3

- - -

"What do you mean she's fine? She's obviously not fine!"

Doctor Crusher threw her hands up in frustration at the Enterprise's XO. "There's nothing wrong with her physically. She's not even in a coma or trauma induced unconscious state. She's simply asleep; I just can't wake her up."

"She's asleep?" Will clarified.

"Yes. She's asleep. REM sleep, actually."

"REM sleep?" Will repeated slowly.

"Yes. Aside from slightly irregular brain chemistry, she's simply asleep."

"What do you mean slightly irregular?"

"Some of her neurotransmitter levels have spiked, namely the ones involved in telepathy." She shrugged. "This all could be evidence of psychological trauma, or even a Betazoid defense mechanism. I just don't have enough data yet."

"What do we do now?"

"We run more tests. You go get some sleep."

He sighed. "Alright." Before leaving, he squeezed her hand. "What did they do to you, Imzadi?"

- - -

What did they do to you, Imzadi?

Deanna turned to Will, looking away from the vista offered by the balcony. "What?"

"Where do you want to go today?"

She shrugged. "Oh, I don't know. I was thinking about going to the aqua gardens." She turned back to the breathtaking view.

She felt him come up behind her and wrap his arms around her. "'Cause I was thinking that we could stay in." He pulled her hair back and placed a kiss on her neck."

She turned and slung her arms around his neck. "I think I could be persuaded to stay in for a while."

He pulled her tight against him.

"Imzadi," she whispered before their lips met.

- - -

Will stopped in his tracks. He could have sworn that he had just heard Deanna's voice in his mind. He shook it off. He must have been imagining things. Maybe Doctor Crusher was right; maybe he did need to get some sleep.

As he continued on his way to his quarters and then prepared for sleep, he continuously had flashes, almost like drawn up memories, of himself and Deanna caught in a passionate embrace.

But he knew it had to be nothing. Her being in trouble just reminded him that he had given up the right to be responsible for her long ago.

He changed his mind when he fell asleep, waking up with Deanna in his arms, this was more than nothing. He looked around: he was definitely not on the Enterprise anymore.

They were on a large brass bed with a bright floral duvet cover. A pair of open doors led to a balcony which revealed a breathtaking vista which he was unfamiliar with.

He wanted to wake Deanna up. He wanted to know what was going on: this was more than a dream. The feel of her skin was too real. The scent of her hair was too real. The warmth in his heart was too real.

But he hadn't held her for so long.

For far too long he had forced himself away from her. For far too long he had made their relationship purely professional. For far too long he had denied his Imzadi.

Almost as if on cue, she opened her eyes. "Hello," she whispered.

He smiled. "Hey."

She rolled over and rested her forearms on his chest. "What about the aqua gardens?"

He pulled her a little closer to his face and placed a gentle kiss on her nose. "Whatever you want."

They got up, got dressed, and spent the day touring the aquatic gardens. He couldn't remember the last time that he had so much . . . fun.

And when they went to bed, he began to drift asleep with Deanna in his arms. When he fell asleep, he woke up in an empty bed in his empty quarters on the Enterprise.

"Computer, time?"

"0541," she answered.

Will rolled over and groaned. He might as well get up.

The entire morning, he was preoccupied by that night's dream. If felt like a life he could've had; the life he should've had.

- - -

It was almost 1045 and Will had just gotten out of the longest briefing he had ever endured. He was pretty sure he had fallen asleep at least once, but hoped it had not been too obvious.

He had shrugged it off as he headed towards Sickbay, he was going to check on Deanna. He walked in and saw her exactly as she had been when he left last night; before his dream.

"Commander! Just the person I was looking for."

Will turned to see Doctor Crusher coming from her office. She handed him the PADD she was holding. "Take a look at this. Last night, her brain activity was off the scale. These readings indicate that she was communicating with someone telepathically. Due to the limits of her abilities because of her human side, it couldn't have been anyone outside this ship.

"I checked with all the other telepathic members of the crew this morning, none of them reported anything unusual."

Will looked up from the PADD. "What does that mean?

She whipped out a tricorder and started scanning his head, which he tried to avoid like a telarian blood-sucking flee. "It means she communicating with someone else." She put the tricorder down. "Did you have a dream about Deanna last night?" she asked.

Will stared in a slightly stunned silence.

Crusher nodded. "That's what I thought. She was communicating with you, even though she may not have realized."

"What do you mean she may not have realized?"

"Because she didn't ask you to help her, did she?"

He shook his head. "No, she didn't. I see your point. What do you want to do?"

- - -

Will lay on the biobed next to Deanna, unsure of what to do with his hands. "Are you sure about this?" he asked Doctor Crusher.

She nodded. "She hasn't woken up. Maybe it's because she doesn't want to, maybe it's because she doesn't know if it's safe, and maybe it's because she can't."

"Okay." He took a deep breath. "I'm ready."

"I'm going to give a mild sedative. It'll put you to sleep, but it won't prevent you from waking up." With that, she injected him.

As his eyelids got heavy, he thought of one thing: Imzadi.

- - -

Will opened his eyes and look around. He was at a table on the patio of a small café. He wasn't sure if he had ever been here before.

"Will, are you alright?" a voice — Deanna's voice — asked.

He looked directly across the small table and smiled at the sight of her face. "Yeah, I'm alright. I was just daydreaming." Her hair was down, and the large barrel curls rested gently around her bare shoulders. She wore bright, gauzy sundress of a conservative Betazoid design.

"What are you smiling about?" she asked, taking a bite from the bowl of fruit in front of her.

"How beautiful you are."

She flushed, but tried to hide it by turning back to her fruit.

Will continued to watch her. He had to tell her. They had to wake up. "Deanna," he breathed, regretting what he had to say.

"What?"

Her smile was intoxicating. This reality she had created was perfect. What would be the harm in staying for a short while? After all, they were only asleep. He shook his head. "Never mind."

- - -

"What seems to be the problem, Doctor?" Captain Picard asked upon entering Sickbay,

"You are aware that Counselor Troi is in a state of REM sleep from which I cannot wake her. Two nights ago, her brain activity indicted that she was communicating with someone. It did not take me long to find that that person was Commander Riker. So we decided that he would go to sleep and attempt to wake Deanna up."

"What's the problem, then?"

"That was thirty hours ago. If they could have woken up, they would have by now."

- - -

Will ran his hand through Deanna's hair. He had stayed longer than he had originally planned. He had meant to tell her that this was all a fantasy before they slept together, but one thing led to another and he didn't. He kept his mouth shut and let it happen. And it was glorious.

This felt right. This felt like the way things should have been, and he didn't want to leave.

He knew that he would have to leave eventually. He would eventually have to tell her, but . . . eventually wasn't yet.

"Will, what's bothering you?" she asked.

He smiled at her and kissed her forehead. "Nothing."

She adjusted her position in his arms for a better view of his face. "Don't try to lie to me. What's wrong?"

He closed his eyes. He had to tell her. She would never believe that it was nothing, she could see right through him. And, to be honest, it wasn't fair. He wasn't being fair to her by letting her live out this fantasy without a choice in it.

"Deanna," he took a deep breath. "None of this is real."

She leaned back, perplexed. "I know that. How do you know that?"

His eyebrows vaulted. "How do I know? How do you know?"

She sat up. "I asked you first."

He sat up as well. "I know because I'm asleep, too."

"I know this isn't real because I created it. They tried to pry into my mind so I created this to protect myself. But I still don't get why you're here."

"We're on the Enterprise, Deanna. One night after we got you back, I dreamt this. Doctor Crusher realized that you had pulled me into this world. She gave me a sedative and told me to help you wake up, to tell you it was okay to wake up." He smiled weakly. "That was yesterday morning."

"How do I know you're really you?" she asked.

He smiled softly. "Because I can't lie to you, Imzadi."

She shook her head, somewhat disapprovingly. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I like it here," he admitted softly.

She cupped his face. "I like it here, too."

He laid her back down onto the bed. "Before we wake up," he whispered before kissing her.

She pulled his face to hers. "Imzadi."

- - -

"Any ideas, Doctor?" Picard asked.

"I've tried a few different stimulants, but nothing seems to work. Giving them too much of anything could be detrimental."

"Doctor," Nurse Ogawa called her over. "They're awake."

Doctor Crusher rushed over to the biobeds with tricorder in hand. Commander Riker and Counselor Troi were sitting up, looking rested. "What happened?" she asked Riker. "You fell asleep thirty hours ago."

"He had to convince me it was okay," Troi answered for him.

"Welcome back, Counselor," Captain Picard said.

She smiled. "Thank you, Sir."

Feeling superfluous and slightly out of place, Picard took his leave.

- - -

Once Nurse Ogawa and Doctor Crusher walked away after what seemed like a thousand tests, Will turned to Deanna.

"Deanna, what are we going to do about this?" he asked quietly.

"About what?" she asked coolly. "It was just a dream."

- - - Fin - - -