He'd been sleeping forever. At least, that's the way Will Riker felt as he slowly opened his eyes. Looking down at him were another pair of eyes: dark, familiar, comforting. Deanna's.
"Hello, there," she whispered.
"Hello." He smiled back at her, squinting from the light. "How long have I been asleep?"
"About four hours."
"And you've been here the whole time?"
She shook her head. "Yes and no."
Will eyed her curiously.
"I was on the bridge for a while, but my thoughts were here. Then something..." She shook her head, then rubbed her hand across his shoulder. "Something brought me back here. It's funny. I can't remember what it was... something..." She shook her head again, then smiled at him. "How do you feel?"
He was silent. A bemused look passed over his face.
"I feel... wonderful."
"You do, don't you?" Deanna gazed at him, her eyes glittering. "Your headache's gone."
Will smiled at her. "For now anyway."
"Deanna?" Beverly Crusher hurried into the room, staring intently at the clipboard in her hands. "I have the results..." She looked up and saw that Riker was awake. "Will..."
"More test results?" he asked.
"Yes. And I've checked them three times."
"Beverly?" Troi looked at her expectantly.
At that moment, the Sickbay doors slid open, and Captain Picard strode in. He crossed over to them. "Doctor?"
Crusher lifted the clipboard in her hand. "Will's test results. I can find no signs of Hamilton's Disease."
"Is that possible?" Picard started. "But I thought..." His voice trailed off.
"I ran a few more tests while Will was sleeping. All the results were negative."
"Perhaps the first tests were wrong," Troi offered.
"No. I was sure of those. Just as I'm sure of these." Crusher smiled broadly at Riker. "I can't explain it. There's no medical answer for it. But, you don't have Hamilton's Disease. At least not now."
"Oh, Will," Deanna leaned in and kissed his cheek. She straightened back up, and blushed slightly when she realized the captain was smiling at her.
"Don't worry, Counselor," Picard reassured. "When miracles take place, kisses are permitted."
Three days later, Beverly Crusher, with a firm suggestion from Picard, reluctantly released Will Riker from Sickbay. She wasn't quite ready to let him go, but she could find no reason for him to stay. Every other test she'd run had come up negative.
Now, with explicit orders to take it easy for a while, Will sat alone in his quarters. In front of him, on the desk, was an old video picture of his mother. He'd been thinking about her lately, how he wished he'd known her better. Sitting there, staring at her, he felt a closeness he'd never experienced before. It was a nice feeling.
He looked up when the door chime sounded. "Come," he called.
The door slid open. It was Deanna. She walked slowly into the room. "So, you finally got sprung."
Will grinned at her. "Finally. I was right in the middle of planning a prison break when I got a pardon from the governor."
"In other words, the captain wanted you back on the bridge."
"You got it." Will laughed. "Of course, I was ready to get back on it."
"I know." She smiled at him. "You seem to be no worse for the wear."
"I suppose not. Except I am now one of the few, lucky crew members who has to endure a complete physical every month. For the rest of my natural born days." He sighed. "Beverlyput a permanent notation in my medical file."
"Now that you're healthy again, we're going to keep you that way."
She walked over and stood behind his chair. Will looked back at the picture in front of him.
"Is that your mother?" Deanna asked.
"Yes, she is," he said quietly. "Ya' know, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I know why my father never talked about her. He watched her die for so long, it was painful for him to remember how she'd lived." He took a deep breath. "I've just been imagining what my life would have been like if some miracle had saved her."
Deanna placed her hands gently on his shoulders. "Perhaps there are things we're not supposed to know."
He leaned his head back and smiled up at here. "Apparently there are."
"Apparently so." She bent over and kissed him on the forehead. "I'm glad you're all right."
Will swiveled around in his chair and took her hands in his. "So am I."
They looked at each other for a few moments, and Will felt that bond between them that he knew would always be there. He let go of her hands. "I am really hungry," he said.
"Why am I not surprised?" Deanna sighed.
"Are you intimating that I'm always hungry?" He glared at her, but his blue eyes were laughing.
"I know you too well, Imzadi," she answered.
"Yes, you do," he smiled, "and I'm glad." He took her by the hand and led her over to the door. It opened. "You know where we're going?"
"Ten Forward. For food."
"You got it." They stepped into the corridor, and the door slid closed behind them.
There was a sound of laughter, and, in the corner of the room, a flash of light. And then, all was silent.