Mother, will you please settle somewhere so we may talk?
Of course, Little One!
The complaint and the reply had been exchanged no less than three times since Deanna had come to visit, even if Lwaxana would not admit to knowing what was buzzing in her daughter's mind. It was actually disturbing, that Lwaxana had opted to wait for the revelation to come out directly instead of being a know-it-all about the matter.
This time, though, Lwaxana did finally come and sit down on the settee, calm and collected as she faced her daughter. The previous two times, she'd sat down, then rose and bustled off on one pretext or another.
Deanna was certain she'd done it strictly to provoke her.
I'd never, Lwaxana began in response to that thought.
Oh fine. I might be. She smiled and reached out for her daughter's hands, taking them and holding on. "You are happy?" she asked her daughter with a firm searching, both mental and physical.
"Of course, I am, mother. Will and I both are." Deanna smiled. "I am not looking forward to planning the wedding."
"Oh pish-tosh on that nonsense, Little One!" Lwaxana looked scandalized. "You'll sit back and let me handle it all!"
For a slim moment in time, Deanna honestly wished she had eloped and presented her mother with an accomplished fact. She and Will had enough stress on their minds without the rigors of a traditional Betazed wedding. Not when so many of her friends were not even Betazoids.
I can hear all that, you know, Lwaxana said, a touch sourly, in Deanna's private thoughts.
"It's not like I don't know you well enough to know just what you were thinking without even snooping," Lwaxana said. "Little One...I have tried very hard to see you as the child of two worlds that you are, but in this, in joining your life to another's, can you not see through to showing some form of pride in my half of your heritage?"
"Mother it is not about my..." Deanna cut herself off at the look of honest hurt in her mother's eyes. "You don't think me that small and petty, do you?" she asked, her eyes gone soft and worried in response.
With a grand motion of her entire body, Lwaxana came up off the settee. "I don't always know what to think with you, Little One. You are so much your father's child, spirit and all, yet....I keep hoping to see some spark of me in you, even now, after all the years you've lived."
"Oh mother!" Deanna quickly got up and went to the older woman, coming up behind her to rest her head on Lwaxana's back, arms around her waist. "I am sorry." She used the full extent of her own gifts to throw the full weight of how much she hated hurting her mother into the psionic air between them.
Lwaxana patted those hands around her, then turned, a little slow and without her usual air of pomp and circumstance. "I miss your father, I do. And in you, I have some of him. I should be thankful for that alone."
"There is more to life than having 'just' what is available," Deanna said, echoing sentiments that were very familiar in this house. Her words had their desired effect, as Lwaxana brightened.
"See? I knew I was in there somewhere!" she said with a too-bright, too-fast smile. Deanna didn't trust this mood switch, but she'd take it for now.
"Will," Deanna began one more time.
"You do realize how many different cultures make up the ranks of those officers we are going to have to invite?"
That was it. Deanna had seen the logic in her mother's emotional conundrum and it was her own wedding and if William Thomas Riker thought he was going to keep her from being a good daughter, this one time, he was going to have another think on the matter.
"I will send you the itinerary once it is finalized. Mother, who has an excellent ability to select the correct dignitaries to socialize with, will see to it all. If you wish to marry me, you will be here. After all, I am following you to your command, when I was perfectly well-suited to stay aboard Enterprise." She surprised herself at the amount of firm discipline she used in making her decree, but at the same time, she was so tired of arguing with him. Too many communications with him that had always boiled up more and more excuses had taken their toll on her nerves.
"If that's how you're going to be..." Will blustered.
Deanna stabbed the control to turn off the viewscreen. She wasn't doing this anymore.
Do sit down with me, Little One. The tone was firm yet entreating, and Deanna could scarcely ignore her mother's wishes, when trying to please her was what had led to this state of simmering resentment anyway. How dare Will... Enough, Deanna.
The use of her actual proper name and not an affectionate nickname still the empath's anger and made her attentive.
"Perhaps I was overbearing in my wishes. He should be allowed a say in his wedding as well."Lwaxana sighed heavily. "You came here so happy, and then with a few phrases, look at what I set in motion? Some ambassador I am, when I cannot even negotiate my daughter's moods properly."
"But you were right, Mother. And I am following him to his position. Shouldn't he give way to me from time to time?"
Lwaxana shook her head sadly. "That does depend, doesn't it? On if the issue is worth being miserable with each other over for the lack of concessions." The elder woman patted her daughter's hand. "Sometimes, you have to choose when the issue is important enough. I had to let your father go... though I truly never wanted to. And now, if getting married in the human style is what will preserve the peace, I offer the grounds here and will learn the customs to make him at home."
"No buts. You go contact him, offering this compromise, and go back to buzzing with your happy energy," Lwaxana said in an affectionate scold. "Who knows? Maybe the offer of a compromise will lead to concessions on its own."
Deanna stared at her mother for a very long moment, then leaned in and hugged her tightly. Lwaxana held her there, memories cascading of other hugs, making this one part of that treasure trove.
After all, her baby was grown up and ready to start her own family.