The Last Night Of The World

By: Amanda


“In a world that’s moving too fast,

In a world where nothing can last,

I will hold you.”

He hadn’t been sure that she would come. He knew her. He knew that the minute she was out from under the spell of the briar patch that things could change again. He knew that her first inclination would be to take several steps back from the step they had just taken. She would want to slow down, to analyze things. She would be the same Deanna who had spent the better part of their association begging him not to love her.

But he did love her. He had always loved her; a fact that was not lost on those who knew them intimately. This place had, how had Worf put it, brought his feelings out for a bit of fresh air- that was all. He knew that it was going to be a monumental task convincing Deanna to go with it. That was why he had decided to have her commit to spending the evening together on the holodeck before the Enterprise had so much as left orbit. He knew that she would say yes then.

What he didn’t know, was how quickly the affects of the briar patch would wear off. He was afraid she would change her mind. It had, after all, been several hours since they had left the briar patch. So when the holodeck doors swished open, right on time, to reveal her smiling, he couldn’t have been more relieved. He couldn’t have been happier.

It was that happiness that Deanna sensed most profoundly as she stepped through the arch and allowed the doors to close behind her. She found herself standing on a street, in the midst of a warm, steamy night. The sounds of music and of gaiety escaped from behind the many doors and through the open windows of night clubs and dance halls that lined the street on either side. Neon lights flashed garishly to the rhythm of some phantom drumming. The signs of life were everywhere, but on the street- it was just the two of them. Deanna could only guess that this was New Orleans. She knew Will had a special affection for that city. She allowed herself a moment to take in the sights and sounds of this imaginary reality that Will had created before moving quickly to where he was standing.

She was wearing a dress that he had never seen. It was an amazing plum color and showed more than a generous amount of cleavage. It was not at all her usual style. At least he didn’t think it was her usual style. He did have to admit that it had been some time since the two of them had spent any time together when uniforms had been neither convenient or mandatory. And she had shown up at three a.m. the other night in those leather pants. Will could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he remembered the vision of her, just ahead of him as they prepared to storm the Captain’s yacht. He had hardly been able to concentrate. He found himself in similar trim now as he watched her coming toward him. She stopped just inches from where he stood, having never broken his gaze for a second as she came to him. She smiled up at him, blissfully. And then, Deanna Troi did the one thing Will Riker could never have expected.

She kissed him. Not one of her usual, friendly, ‘hi, good to see you’ kind of kisses. This was more of a ‘why are you still wearing your clothes’ kind of a kiss. Will was having a hard time catching his breath. Not that it bothered him. But he certainly was surprised; a fact which he wore all over his still clean-shaven face when she finally broke the kiss.

“Deanna?” was all he could manage to say . His heart was still pounding in his ears, an odd occurrence to Will Riker, who had become thoroughly convinced that all of the blood had gone entirely from his upper body. Had he been thinking clearly, he would have noticed that her eyes were wide...unsure. As it was she had to summon the courage to ask,

“Something wrong?” Will, finally becoming aware of her discomfort, smiled at her and assured her,

“No.” She relaxed a little. “No,” he reiterated, “nothing is wrong- I was just surprised.” She nodded. He pulled her to him and kissed her again. His kiss was less passionate than it was tender. It was as though he knew exactly where her soul lay, and he was kissing her just that deeply. She didn’t ever want him to stop.

Of course, he did stop... eventually. He let her go with one final, soft brush of his lips against hers. But he didn’t back away. he spoke to her with his lips barely inches from hers.

“I’m glad you came,” he whispered to her.

“You thought I wouldn’t,” she replied, more an observation than a question, really. He nodded slightly,

“I was afraid you might change your mind,” he admitted. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.

“I’ve spent years trying to make up my mind,” she whispered back to him, her voice becoming unsteady, “but that doesn’t matter anymore, “ she continued, “because I’ve finally made up my heart.” He put his arms around her and held her to him, sincerely wishing for this feeling to last forever. He had felt like this before, he knew he had- he remembered. Could it have been half a lifetime ago when he had held her for the first time? His whole body remembered the first time she had let him put his arms around her. Both the memory of that day and the intensity of this moment caused him to begin to tremble.

As they held to one another, an unexpected sound met their ears. A lone saxophone player had rounded the imaginary corner and had begun to play a mournful, yet beautiful melody. Will and Deanna found themselves swaying slowly to the tune of the music.

“You know, all of this could still vanish tomorrow,” he told her.

“I don’t care,” she answered. “I’ve spent how many years running away from happiness for fear of what was going to happen tomorrow. I just want to be here with you tonight. We’ll let tomorrow take care of itself.”

“Imzadi,” was all he said back to her. It was all she needed to hear.

“Our lives will change when tomorrow comes,

Tonight our hearts drown the distant drums.

And we have music alright,

tearing the night.

A song played on a solo saxophone;

a crazy sound,

a lonely sound,

a cry

that tells us love goes on and on-

played on a solo saxophone.

It’s telling me to hold you tight-

and dance,

like it’s the last night of the world.”