Based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation

Well, I find myself writing another "how they broke up" story. I know they can't all be true, and - in fact - none of them are, but . . . just roll with it.

- . - /.\ - . -

"Do you understand what I'm saying, Deanna? You can come with me. We can be together."

Yes, she had understood him. Deanna brought her gaze back to him. She had let her eyes go out of focus to the wall behind him as they sat on the settee in her mother's home. She had understood him completely.

He was leaving anyway.

She really thought that she had become more to him. Maybe, just maybe, he had thought that too - or at least told himself that he did. But, it wasn't true. He was still leaving and making no attempt to stay with her.

Yes, she understood that his promotion on the Potemkin meant a lot to him and that he really did deserve it. His career would sky rocket because of this. But, still . . . They were Imzadi.

"Yes, I heard you, Will."

He considered her for a few short seconds. "You don't sound excited," his voice flattened a little.

She forced a small smile. "I'm not, because I'm not going with you."

"What?" He grabbed her hand - which lay on her knee between them - somewhat strongly. He loosened his grip as soon as he realized he had touched her forcefully. "Why?" Pain flooded his eyes. "Don't you want to be with me?"

She smiled a soft, sad smile again. "More than anything, Will."

"Then what's the problem?" he asked, a nervous laugh in his tone. "Why won't you come with me?"

"Because," she took a deep breath and broke eye contact. "If I'm not enough to make you stay, you're not enough to make me leave."

"What?" he asked, anger creeping into the question. "What the hell does that mean?"

"You're leaving, Will. You were called away and you made absolutely no effort to stay with me."

"This is my job, Deanna. I worked hard for this promotion. I wasn't just going to throw it away."

She stood, turning her back to him and took several steps away. "Exactly, Will. And you are a good enough officer to earn another."

"You want me to give up this chance for you."

She spun back in a rush of emotion. "No." He thought she was simply being vindictive, she knew. "I want you to be able to consider it. I want you to be able to consider allowing your career to fall second." She wiped the tears from her eyes.

"If you would have offered - sincerely offered - to give up your promotion and stay here, I would have followed you in a heart beat. I would have packed up my things before a synapse could fire. But, you didn't even consider it, Will.

"I'll not be second seat all your life. I will not be a secondary character in your story."

He got up and took her arms. "It's not my story, it's ours."

She shook her head. "You say that, but you and I both know you don't believe it." She stepped out of his arms.

He watched her for what seemed like an eternity. "If it was our story, I guess this would be the end."

"I guess so," she forced through the tears.

He held his hands out, as if offering her something. "I don't know what else to say." He walked past her to the door.

She wrapped her arms around herself. "Don't say anything, Imzadi. Dramatic ending dialogue went out before the warp engine."

"I'm sorry I couldn't be enough for you, Imzadi."

Tears cascaded down her face as he slammed the door behind him. She felt him storm away, his heart breaking in time with her own.

As the distance grew, she felt a final sarcastically angry thought drifting from his mind to hers: What an ending.

- . - / FIN \ - . -