Deliberation – 10. Lost and Found

“Dani? Dani?”

Dani opened her eyes and found that she could breathe again. The scene that surrounded her was no longer that of massacred children or of Will cradling her in his arms or of her cradling her dead daughter in her arms. She was, once again, in Indiana, in her bedroom, crouched on her bedroom floor.

Q lounged in the chair across the room. “You tell me, cousin – were you and Commander Riker destined to be?”

Dani looked up at Q, tears in her eyes and streaking down her face. “Why are you showing me this? What are you trying to tell me, Q? Am I supposed to be alone for the rest of my life while I somehow do humanity some great service?”

“I’m not saying that at all,” Q insisted in a frustratingly calm voice.

Dani stood and walked over to him, pleading. “What am I supposed to do?”

“You will find someone. In fact, you’ve already found him,” Q informed her. “Or rather, he’s already found you.”

Dani regarded him quizzically. She hoped Q wasn’t saying what she thought he was saying. Fortunately, he made it clear that he wasn’t. “I’m not talking about me,” Q said.

“Who, then?” Dani asked.

Q stood and took a few steps away from her. “You know I can’t tell you that,” he said. Then he turned to face her again. “That would take all the fun out of it, wouldn’t it?” Q disappeared, but his voice lingered. “You’ll know him when the time is right. He’s your … what’s that word those Betazoids use? Imzadi? All you have to do is make sure you stay in Starfleet, and he’ll find you – again.”

“But how will I know? How do I know that staying with Starfleet is the right thing for me to do?” Dani asked of the air around her.

“Trust me – you’ll know.”

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