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The Battle 1/1
By Liana
Rating PG13 -- For Language, etc.
Disclaimer: Paramount has all the rights, I just do this as a creative outlet. I'm a poor student with bills. Don't sue, it's not worth it.


Author's Note: The perspective on this story is different, and may not be what some readers are used to in an "Imzadi" story. I consider it such, because it speaks to some of the reasons why there relationship was so influenced in the early stages, and brings us up to the present with their wedding on the horizon, thereby meeting the challenge. It also give a while new perspective of Lwaxana Troi. With that in mine, I ask that you give this story a shot, and that you enjoy it. And so, I give you....





The Battle





         I can still hear my daughter's angry voice ringing in my ears. It has been years since I have seen her this upset. Not since the last time that we...well, I don't like to think of such things if I can help it. In any event, all I was trying to do was do what I thought was best for Deanna. If that is a mistake, then I'm sorry...but I'm her mother! What other choice do I have?


         As I enter my room for the evening, I find myself stopping at the mirror. Just when did I become so OLD? It seems like just yesterday I was getting married myself. I shudder involuntarily at the thought. OK, I've been married a few times. But strangely, when I think of being married, there is only one time that comes to mind. The day that I married my own Imzadi is the only day that will ever truly be my wedding day. Yet even the thought of that day brings guilt to my mind.


         I can't do this to myself...I can't go back there. Perhaps that makes me a coward, but I am more than ready by the time I am able to escape to sleep.


         Something has brought me out of sleep. Like the echo of a sound that has come and gone, it haunts me without ever really being there. I sit up and look around the room. Nothing. So, what has raised the hair on the back of my neck?


         "Oh, you know. Nothing but the usual."


         That voice...his voice.! It's impossible, it has to be...doesn't it? "Ian?" I know my own voice has just said his name, as if he were just standing there in front of me, and yet it sounds so strange to my ears.


         "What's the matter, 'Ana? It's not the first time we've met this way, you know." He's suddenly standing in front of me.


         "You aren't real." Again, I hear my voice, and again it sounds all wrong. As though it were hanging in the air of a dark tunnel.


         "Real is a relative term, my dear. And from where I stand, neither are you."


         His voice is clearer than it has been, with a hard edge. I find myself bending to the surreal feel of the moment, and slip out of bed to face the only man who truly has the power to get under my skin. "You're angry."


         A smirk further darkens his features. "We all know you can state the obvious, darling. Shall we try for something a bit more constructive? Like, just what the hell that little show of yours was all about tonight!"


         "I was trying to help OUR daughter!" He doesn't understand.


         "Help her? Can't you see you're hurting her this way? It's HER life 'Ana, and her decision to make. All of this about what's right and who's who...It doesn't matter, no more than it ever did. Can't you see that?"


         "In the first place, I wasn't her only person in that little "show" AND this IS what she wants...she just doesn't know that yet. And that Will Riker has his own ideas isn't helping..."


         "Listen to you! My god, do you even hear yourself? What would you have said in Deanna's place? What did you want? I'm not talking about things. How the hell do you think you know what she wants, when you don't even acknowledge what she's feeling. Damn it 'Ana, think!"


         "What do you want me to do? You think I don't know what she wants? The hell with you, I do! She wants him!"


         "Yes! And that kills you, doesn't it? Why?"


         "I don't know what you're talking about!"


         "You do! Stop avoiding it and just say it!"


         My head is splitting. I don't want to do what he is asking, I can't! The churning in my stomach refuses to stop and his voice is echoing in my mind, over and over...mixing with Deanna's angry words. It builds until I explode. "All right! I can't do it, I can't sit by and watch it all happen again! I just can't..." I'm crying now, but he doesn't even seem to notice, and that's the way he wants it.


         "Good, so what do you plan to do? Shut down and shove it aside like it never even happened? Like WE never even happened? Of course, I never should have expected anything less should's just your style, isn't it?"


         It's the coldest emotional slap he could throw at me, and I struggle not to gag in response to the blow. It takes me a minute to register that I am doubled over. At least until I feel his hands holding me up. That's new. We've talked before, but never touched. I try to speak, but I can't...and then he's holding me, and I can't breathe.


         "Don't you see, you have to try. You have to let go of the safety net and jump, for once. It isn't just Will that Deanna wants...she wants you too."


         I feel him pull back, and it's almost more loss than I can handle. "She needs YOU...not this." He's gesturing to more than just my outfit, and it makes me smile, just a little. "Face the truth, 'Ana..before it's too late."


         I wake with a start. It was a dream...well, not all of it. I feel the smile on my lips, and that only seemed to make it widen. "Thank you, my darling...I do understand. Until we meet again, Imzadi." I get myself up, put in an emergency call to Betazed...and head off to replicate some new clothes.


         It took two days for my package to arrive. I checked it over carefully...myself. This was after all very precious cargo. Satisfied, I headed for the quarters that my daughter now called her home. She let me in, though I must admit in her place even I would have thought twice about this action, given the circumstances. They are together, which is as it should be, of course. On closer inspection, their hands are clasped's a tough call on who is leading who support.


         Deanna looks a bit shocked. Maybe it's the dress?


         "Deanna, darling. I need to apologize...this is your time, your day. I know that, and I can't think of anything you deserve more than the most special day of memories you can imagine. And so, I won't interfere with the choices you make, but I would like to be a part of them. To that end, I had a little something sent from Betazed. A little something I had in storage."


         "Mother --" I've made her nervous, so I put up a hand to keep her still.


         "All I ask is that you look, and if you don't approve I'll go, and you will hear nothing more about it." With that, I pull the case around and place it in her lap. As I watch her open it, butterflies of anxiety take flight in my stomach, hoping that my misguided words of the past aren't about to destroy this moment.


         "It's a dress."


         "It is."


         "A wedding dress."


         "Mine, actually." There, I've said it.


         Deanna looks as if she's seen a ghost. I know the feeling.


         "Deanna, I think we need to talk." I settle in for the hardest battle of my life, wishing Will Riker were still my opponent. God knows it would be easier.