WE HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE
Deanna Troi sat as she examined her temporary quarters. The Enterprise crew was still in the process of being reassigned after the incident with Dr. Soren and the destruction of the Enterprise D. For now, those waiting assignment were being quartered here at Starbase 15.
Chimes sounded outside her door. She stood up. “Enter.”
Worf walked into the room. He appeared to be uncomfortable. “Deanna,” he said, “I need to speak with you.”
He seemed to be having difficulty expressing himself. This was not uncommon. Worf, of course, was Klingon - dealing with certain areas of life by talking about them was not always their way. But Deanna could sense the turmoil in him.
“What is the matter?” she asked, concerned.
Worf struggled for a minute. “Deanna...I have been giving a great amount of thought to our...relationship.” He practically dragged the word “relationship” out of himself.
Deanna felt a stir of unease. In fact, she too had been giving thought to their relationship - thoughts that were not always pleasant. “And...?”
“Deanna,” he continued, “You know I will always be grateful to you for what you have done for me, and I will always care for you. But...when the Enterprise crashed, for a moment, I was somewhere else.”
“The Nexus,” Deanna said softly.
“Yes. I-I believe that is what occurred. I saw my life there - a life I realized I wanted. And....”
“And I was not there,” Deanna sadly finished for him.
Worf looked at her and reluctantly nodded. “We...are very different, you and I. And though I know you care for me, you could never understand what it means for me to be Klingon.”
“I know,” Deanna sighed.
“But, there is more,” Worf said gruffly.
“I have dishonored myself,” Worf confessed.
Deanna was surprised. Honor was something Worf took very seriously. “Dishonored? How -”
Worf interrupted her. “I have never sought permission from Commander Riker to pursue my relationship with you.” At Deanna’s look of surprise, he hastened to add, “It is the Klingon way.”
“And you did not, because...?” Deanna sensed the answer, but she wanted him to say it.
“Because I was afraid of how he would answer,” Worf admitted reluctantly. “I have seen how he looks at you, Deanna. He may not say it in words, but he still cares for you very much.” Staring deeply into her eyes, he added, “As you care for him.”
“Yes,” Deanna said, softly, sadly. “Worf, you will always be a dear friend to me. I care for you very much -“
”Deanna,” Worf cut her off. “I am leaving the Enterprise.”
Deanna was confused. “Worf, we will all be reassigned until the new ship - “
”I will not be on the new ship,” Worf interrupted. “There is a need for me on Deep Space Nine. Captain Sisko has requested me personally. I am going.”
Deanna look at him, troubled. “Worf, you do not have to - “
”I DO have to,” Worf replied. “Perhaps, in time, we can work together again, but now, it would be too...” he struggled to finish the sentence, “...painful.”
That was a telling admission from him, a sign that their relationship had changed him somewhat.
Deanna nodded. “I understand,” she said. She touched his arm, not wanting to hurt him, but wanting him to know he would always have a special place in her heart.
Worf nodded. “I knew you would.”
Three days later, they were in a transporter room on Starbase 15. Worf was there, with his few remaining belongings waiting to be beamed aboard the ship that would carry him to Deep Space Nine. Deanna was there. So was Will Riker. Deanna had told Will what had happened between her and Worf, and he had insisted on being there to say goodbye.
Worf had already said his goodbyes to his other crewmates. Will walked up to him and clasped his hand. “You are a man of honor, Mr. Worf,” he said, “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Worf looked at Riker, a deep respect in his eyes. “Thank you, Commander.” His gaze traveled to Deanna. “It is my wish that you see that Deanna does not come to harm.”
Will nodded, understanding. “I will make that my primary duty,” he said gallantly.
Worf acknowledged Riker, then turned to Deanna. “Deanna...I wish you well.”
“As I do you,”she replied. Then, with nary a slip, she spoke a Klingon phrase of leave-taking. She had studied the pronunciation for the last two days to insure she said it correctly. Worf looked surprised and pleased. Gently, almost hesitantly, he kissed her on the top of her head. “Farewell.”
“Farewell, Worf,” she told him. “BE well.”
Worf stepped on the transporter platform. A minute later, he was gone.
Will looked at Deanna, and saw she was struggling to keep her composure. “Deanna?”
She looked up at him. “Will, you know I did care for him. I would not have - “
”I know.” he said compassionately.
“But...” she continued softly, now looking up at Riker, “..he was not...Imzadi.”
“I understand,” Will said gently. Then he held her in his arms while she grieved for a relationship lost, not asking anything from her but that she let him give her the comfort she needed.
Then, sensing she was regaining control of herself, he asked, “Deanna, would you - “
Her head snapped up, alarm and anticipation warring on her face.
Riker raised an eyebrow and finished his question, “ - like a chocolate sundae?”
She looked at him, confused, as if he had suddenly started speaking Ferengi. Then, as the question sank in, she chuckled, and giving him an affectionate squeeze, she answered, “That would be great...for now.”
“Super!” He smiled, his arm comfortably around her shoulders as they left the transporter room. “I know just the place.”