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Ocean Dreams 1/1
By Liana
Rating PG -- For Themes
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.


         "Best kept secret on the beach," Will told his Imzadi with a smile. "I was lucky, my aunt and uncle had a room here each summer, and they liked to bring me along. Said it was a good chance to see real summer weather for a change. As a kid it was fun because we would run into the same people each year -- instant playmates. Then, when_I hit my teens I realize that the true magic of this place is that it's so small, there are times you feel like you have the beach to yourself."

 

         He was right, Deanna mused. It was like private paradise. From four stories above, the water looked like a perfect pane of glass...rippled slightly by brilliant shards of sunlight. Even as a few chairs dotted the stretch of beach, there was no one in sight, and the only sound was the gentle rise and fall of the waves. "Beautiful..."

 

         Will turned her half way so the ocean fell perfectly behind her. "Even better now!" He gave her one of his heart melting smiles. "Now, it's a perfect view Imzadi."

 

         "Will.." she smiled at him, in spite of her disapproving tone. She was still a bit uneasy about this phase of their newly revived relationship. That in itself puzzled her. She had never been one to doubt her feelings, especially in terms of Will Riker. Repress them, deny them, even ignore them, yes. But doubt has never been a part of the equation. Was that what this feeling was?

 

         Deanna felt a headache emerging. She didn't know how to describe this feeling. Ever since the days in the Briar Patch, the feelings that she had felt for him for half of her lifetime had seemed to only get stronger. She was in love with him, she knew that with certainty. But as they had grown closer, Will seemed more and more committed to the future...their future.

 

         And then it started. An uneasy flutter in the back of her mind. And it was wrong. She should be ready...she had always thought she was. So why this, why now?

 

         "Deanna? Hello...where are you?"

 

         The sound of his voice snapped Deanna back to reality, and to this seemingly perfect moment. "Heaven." She smiled wider, "Or hadn't you noticed?"

 

         Will pulled her closer before leading them both back inside. Then he kissed her, and Deanna forced all her unsettling feelings from her mind, focusing on just being here with the man she loved.

 

*  *  *

 

         The next few days were like something out of an idealic dream. They swam, sunned, soaked, and played an amazingly authentic game of house. It was something, Deanna realized, they had never had before. When they had first been together, it had begun and ended so fast...and then there was their long term friendship on the Enterprise. But this was different.

 

         This was real, and it felt...natural. It felt more right than anything that Deanna could remember feeling in a very long time. And yet, it wasn't completely comfortable. That feeling still remained.

 

*  *  *

 

         Later that night, Deanna found herself walking a seemingly deserted beach, alone. It was the first time she had been alone since they had arrived here, and it felt good to have time to think. Will had said that there was some kind of errand he needed to tend to, and then refused to say any more. She hadn't pressed him for details, opting instead to use this time to ponder what she had been feeling.

 

         It was still so hard to understand. It wasn't as if she didn't know how she felt for him, it was more like the fact that those feelings bothered her. The more she thought about spending her life with him, the harder these feelings fought to the surface. The more she feared...

 

         Fear?

 

         The very thought seemed absurd. What could she ever have to fear from Will...orspending her life with him? This was what she wanted, had always wanted. But, the feeling was there.

 

         The slivery water washed back and forth over her feet as she walked along the beach, splashing onto the legs. The warm water began soaking the bottom of her dress, but she didn't notice. The noticed nothing but the even, unbroken rhythm of the waves.

 

         How long she was there, walking and mind wandering, she didn't know. She had lost track long ago. She didn't know what to do, or if she should do anything at all. Fear and Will were two things that she hadn't connected since they had gotten back together. She had once feared that she and Will would never get back together. But now that they were, there was nothing left to fear...was there.

 

         "I thought so."

 

         The sudden sound of his voice startled her, bringing her around quickly. "Will, you scared me half to death!"

 

         "Sorry, Dea...I just saw you down here, thought I should come be sure you were OK."

 

         "Of course I am, why wouldn't I be?" The words came out too quickly and sharper than she would have liked.

 

         "OK, all right. You just seemed so alone out here, I figured since I was back, I'd come keep you company..."

 

         Guilt edged at her conscience. This was wrong, she shouldn't feel this way right now. Will was standing there, trying to make her comfortable, loving her...and all she could think about were butterflies. She reached up and drew her fingers along the side of his face. "I love you." She whispered, voicing the only certainty she had at the moment.

 

         She felt him draw her close to his chest, the rumble of his voice beneath her ear. "Oh, am I glad you said that." She felt his arms tremble slightly as he held her.

 

         She didn't move. "Will, are you all right? That shouldn't shock you..." She wondered, did he know something was off? Could he tell?

 

         "Yeah, I'm fine...or I will be."

 

         Now she drew back. "Is it your errand, did everything go all right?" Concern shadowed her eyes.

 

         He look down, not really seeing her. "Hmm? Oh, fine...fine."

 

         "That's good." Her voice was soft.

 

         "Dea, look at that..."

 

         She turned to follow his sightline. "The ocean?"

 

         "Mmmmhmm. Look way out, as far as you can. What do you see?"

 

         Deanna looked, squinting to get a better look. And still she couldn't answer his question. The silver-blue shade of the water in the distance was an almost perfect match with the color of the dusky sky. A slight mist floated through the scenic, leaving her wondering if it hung low in the air, or rose from the waves. The effect blurred the world together in an endless wash of color. "Gray, I guess."

 

         Will laughed softly. "Try again."

 

         She struggled for a moment, before she complied. "It's...endless. You can't make out where the water stops, and the sky begins." She shrugged. "It's very unusual."

 

         "One in a million."

 

         "Probably."

 

         "I know the feeling."

 

         His quiet words struck her like a sudden slap of the ocean waves -- warm and familiar. And then she understood. This scene was eerily familiar...only know it was she who had been unable to see. But this was no painting, and Will wasn't exploring some obscure theory. His meaning was as real and tangible as the world before her.

 

         And it all made sense. She and Will were like that scene. Very precious and rare...and endlessly tied to one another. They depened upon each other for happiness, just as the ocean depened upon the sky. And the thought of ever being without him scared her to death.

 

         She turned to him, intending to confront her feelings, when the sight of him stopped her cold. Her breath stilled in her chest at the sight of him, and the ring he now held in his hand.

 

         "Deanna, will you marry me?"

 

         She froze. "Will...I..."

 

         Her explanation was unnecessary, his face was instantly stricken. "I see...I should have realized. I'll just..." He moved to stand, and started to turn away.

 

         "No! Please, don't go. Please."

 

         Will shook his head absently. "Really, if it's all the same to you, I think I've had enough for today."

 

         "It's not what you think."

 

         "Deanna, don't." Will turned and walked slowly up the beach.

 

         "I'm frightened, Will."

 

         That stopped him. She moved quickly up behind him forcing him to turn to face her. "Don't you see? It's finally real...and suddenly it's too much to lose." Tears formed in her eyes as emotion strained her voice.

 

         Realization dawned on Will. He reached for her, wiping at the tears she was fighting not to shed. "You won't lose me, Deanna. Not this time, I swear."

 

         "Not on purpose, Will...but for every time the tide comes in, it goes back out again. And each time it takes more of the world with it."

 

         Will took her face in his hands. "But it always comes in again, Imzadi. Always. You can't lose me, Deanna. Not even if you want to." He shared a trademark grin.

 

         Deanna sniffed disapprovingly. "Don't joke."

 

         "I need you, Dea."

 

         She nodded, but said nothing.

 

         "Marry me." His gaze never wavered.

 

         Again she nodded.

 

         He stared, almost disbelieving. "Yes?"

 

         "YES!"

 

         Suddenly, the world was spinning. Will had swept her up, whirling her around as if they were twenty-something years old again. And then, the waves were all aroundthem. They clung to each other, locked in a kiss and oblivious to the world.

 

         It didn't matter. Wherever the tide took them, they would get there together.