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"I said a minimum orbital distance of five hundred kilometers. Does that look like five hundred kilometers to you?"

Deanna's sleepy voice came out of her nest of blankets. "Will, stop it."

Riker leaned forward and craned his neck to look at the storm raging on the gas giant below. Or above, relative to his current spatial orientation.

"Knowing your first officer, it's five hundred kilometers on the nose. Now relax and enjoy your day off."

"Maybe I should call up--"

Deanna threw back the blankets and propped herself up on her elbows. "How would you have felt if Picard had second guessed your ability to run the ship the first time he took a day off?"

Riker held up his hands in defeat. "You're right." He eyed the storm again, suspiciously, as though it was somehow going to do...something to hurt the ship. It didn't. It just continued swirling, a torrent of frigid gas currently being studied in great detail by the planetary sciences department. He twisted the ring that he only wore off-duty and got back into bed.

Deanna fell back against the bed and pulled the blankets up. "Cuddle me."

He laughed, and complied, pressing a kiss against her neck. "Your imperious side is out this morning."

"My imperious side?" Deanna asked, with no small amount of warning in her voice.

Riker was unrepentant. "Mmm-hmm. Daughter of the Fifth House." He kissed the spot just below her hairline on the back of her neck. "Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx." He trailed his lips across her neck. "Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed." He bit gently at her shoulder. "Imperious." He nipped at her earlobe. "One might even say aristocratic."

"One would be treading on dangerous ground if one said that," Deanna said, but there was no edge to her words.

Will put a hand on her shoulder and tried to roll her over to face him, but she resisted him. "No. No, like this."

"Like this?" He trailed a hand up her thigh.


So they made love just like that, with Will pressed against her back, Deanna's head thrown back against his shoulder. When they had finished, they laid tangled together looking up at the storm through the window above the bed. "It's beautiful," Deanna said.

"It would kill us in an instant if we tried to fly into it, but yes, it is." Will shifted so that her weight was less on his shoulder and more on his chest. "It reminds of me the storm we saw on Hypia when we took that cruise through the Betazoid solar system. Do you remember that? Six planets in six days."

"Of course. Our room had a hot tub in the middle of it, and there were kids bath toys in the room, and by the end of the third day we had an entire epic plotted."

He pulled her closer. "Swirly Head's Band of Adventurers Versus The Marauding Sea Monsters. We should have written that up and tried to pitch it to a holonovel producer."

"I don't know. The story went a little off the rails by the end." She yawned and stretched, arching against him. When she relaxed, she reached up and started rubbing his neck, scratching her nails against the spot that always made him shiver. He caught her hand, kissed it, and set it back on his chest. Deanna rolled onto her side and propped her head against her hand. "There's something on your mind."


"What about it?"

"I was so mad when I was posted there. I thought it was going to derail my career. I thought I was going to be bored out of my mind. I showed up fully expecting to hate it." The first probe launched from the Titan and into the storm. They watched it until it disappeared from view. "And now I am so grateful for the time I spent there that I can't even put it into words. Because of you, obviously, but also because it forced me to slow down for a few years and really think about what I was doing and what was important to me. I liked it there. Even as a Human who thought too loud and was constantly getting the etiquette wrong, I felt like I fit. When I finally did get back into space, I appreciated it so much more. Sometimes, a lot of times, Betazed feels more like home than Earth." He licked his lips. "I want to get citizenship. Full citizenship." He had permanent residence by virtue of his marriage to Deanna, but it wasn't the same as being a full citizen with a House affiliation.

"Oh! Mother will be thrilled." Lwaxana had been dropping increasingly insistent hints reminding them that Will wasn't properly a Son of the Fifth House yet. She could accept that she probably wasn't getting biological grandchildren out of them, but not having him in the House Records was a bridge too far. "You know you'll have to join the House, right?"

"I know." He took a deep breath. "And--" He held up a finger. "--for the purpose of House Lineage and for Betazoid social functions and only for those purposes--" He let his hand fall. "--I'll take your name."

Deanna gasped. "Will!" It had been a point of some contention before the wedding. Deanna hadn't expected any differently, and was supportive, if not entirely happy. Lwaxana had been mostly resigned, but some of the older Daughters of the Fifth House were scandalized that Will wasn't happy to take his wife's name. The example of Ian Troi née Petras had been trotted out several times, until Will had pointed out that Deanna was not marrying her father, and not all Human men thought alike.

"I'll still be Captain Riker."

She moved to straddle him. "Yes."

"Riker in most social situations."


"But on the House Lineage papers, and at official Betazoid functions--"

"William Troi."

"I still want to keep Riker in there somewhere. I'll drop the Thomas and use Riker as my middle name." He figured Tom could have exclusive use of the name, Will had never been that attached to it anyway. Assuming Tom was even still alive, given that Cardassian labor camps didn't have a great survival rate. But that wasn't what he wanted to think about right now. "William Riker Troi."

"Yes. Perfect." She kissed him, hard and long and possessive.

When she finally pulled back and gave him a chance to breathe, he said, "This is the fastest you've ever gotten this turned on."

She blushed. "It's old fashioned, and terribly matriarchal, but I like the idea of putting my name on you." She ran her fingers across his chest. "You're mine."

His looked at her, and there was not a trace of irony in his expression. "I have been since the day I met you."