Original story line by Jenni, with a smidgen of help from Carol
Rewrite of chapter one:
Will watched the couple move around the small dance floor. The man's sheer size almost filled the area originally designed for dining tables and seating. The woman clung to his arms, not his body, but his arms and Will felt the first glimmer of hope. If it had been him dancing with her, her hands would have been linked behind his head creating sensuous circles on the nape of his neck, driving him insane with her dark eyes as they teased him with promise.
But she wasn't. Deanna, his Deanna, was dancing with Worf and it was killing him to watch.
But she wasn't his, not really. Only in his wildest dreams. Only in his wildest fantasies. He knew he had her heart. Hell, he knew he had her soul, too, but right now the massive Klingon had her body and it was driving him insane.
Crew members carefully stepped around him, warily watching their commander's face as it purely radiated nasty thoughts and it was obvious where those nasty thoughts were aimed at. The Klingon dancing with the counselor.
That was until the song finished and another one started and the commander's eyes turned pained as he sought out the woman he clearly wanted to dance with.
Then that song came on and that old cliche about eyes meeting across a crowded room happened within moments. Even though Worf's back had been facing him, as soon as the first strains of that song came on, Deanna's eyes sought his from around the massive bulk of the Klingon's arm.
Will thought Deanna would make her excuses to leave the floor, but instead he felt the pull of her eyes compelling him to approach her. And he did, he found couldn't help himself. Neither of them knew what was happening, only that they felt the compulsion to be together. To dance to that song.
Before he knew it, and before Worf had known it, Deanna had extradited herself from one man's arms and into another's without missing a heartbeat and the couple melted into each other as though they had been dancing together forever.
In those few moments, something happened on that floor. Eyes met, souls touched, hearts began to beat as one.
This was, 'their song'. Nothing in this universe could have stopped them from uniting for this moment. This one special moment that was solely theirs. Around and around they slowly turned. A tiny featherlight kiss touched there, a sigh resounded here, and a caress only meant for lovers teased, completely oblivious to all those who stood by and watched, including Worf who was forced to witness it from barely a meter away.
Fury etched his already austere features. His knuckles were white with rage and for the life of him, Worf didn't know how he managed to contain himself.
The couple moved around slowly on the dance floor as the music promised much more. Slow, sensuous, throbbing, like the two heartbeats that filtered into one once again as they danced. Years disappeared as they swayed in tune, locked in their reunited embrace.
Deanna hardly noticed as Will's movements came to a halt, and it wasn't until
she almost stood on his foot that she realised that he was no longer dancing.
Looking up to face, she expected his eyes to be searching hers with that special
smile that was for her, and her alone. What she saw
instead was Will staring over her head at something, or someone behind her.
With a sense of dread, she slowly turned around within the circle of Will's arms, needing his support for what she knew was going to happen. Will held her tightly against his rigid body. A body ready for battle, for before them stood Worf with his face looking like thunder and his eyes wounded. His mouth was twisted into a bitter snarl.
The room fell to silence as the air radiated fraught tension. Heartbeats pounded as the two giant men faced each other momentarily forgetting the tiny woman between them who was captured by the intensity of the steely gaze that simultaneously flicked from worf's to Will's.
Worf stepped forward but halted with Will's low warning growl that reverberated through Deanna's body. "Lieutenant."
The big man hesitated, his stance rigid with barely suppressed anger. But it
was to her that he spoke in a voice that showed his hurt, even if he didn't
want it to appear that way. "If you wanted to be with him, then you should
have said so. You have humiliated me before all our friends, our
colleagues. Did I not deserve a little more respect than that?"
Deanna released the solid grip that Will had on her arms and Will's reaction was instant as he realised her intent. But her hushed, 'It's okay, Will." gave him enough peace to let her step away from him and come within whispering distance of the Klingon before them.
Will stayed back. This was not his moment to crow about winning his woman back, nor the way that he had done it. Nor was this the place for a fight as he threw a quick glance around the room at the many avid eyes that watched the interaction between the known rivals.
Will barely caught Deanna's hushed voice as looked up into Worf's face, her hand reaching up to lightly touch his arm, a sign that she was desperate for his understanding. "Worf, you know we only ever got close because of Alexander. He was our common ground and you asked me to be his surrogate mother, and I was happy to do so. I also found a friend in you, a good friend, and I will always treasure that, always. But now Alexander has left the ship, it's time for us to move on. My path has always been with Commander Riker and I want to be with him. But you are special to me Worf and I'm sorry if I hurt you."
Worf studied the woman before him as she lay her heart on her sleeve for all the universe to see. He had wanted a relationship with her as well as gaining a permanent mother for his son. But even he knew he was fighting against a relationship that defied all reasoning. A relationship that saw the two forming other liaisons for a short while, but always, irrefutably ended up with them back within each others arms. And he envied them.
And that's how he felt, envious. The big green monster flared within his eyes as he realised he had been taken for a fool, again. He should have known that he was just a mere toy, a toy to be discarded after the novelty had worn off. Sooner or later he would have been unceremoniously dumped for the man that watched the interaction between them with interest, and caution.
And rightly so. Even Worf could feel the tautness building within him. He needed to get out of there, now. Spinning on his heel, he clenched his fists tightly and walked out of the Ten Forward lounge. The time for revenge was later.
Deanna began to follow him as the counselor within her recognised that Worf needed to talk before he did something drastic. But Will's firm hand touching her shoulder halted her footsteps, his words making sense, "Let him be. This is not the time, Deanna."
As their closest friends closed ranks around the pair, it took Data's innocence to break the heavy silence that claimed all their tongues as they thought about how different the last few minutes could have been. "Commander, does this mean that tomorrow's poker game is cancelled?"
As Will took Deanna's hand and pulled her towards the table that housed their drinks, his glance towards the lounge's entrance spoke volumes. "We'll see what happens tomorrow, Data."
Will drank in Deanna's features still not quite believing that she was back within his arms again, when only an hour ago she had been within Worf's, seemingly quite happy, quite settled. Funny how all it took was one song to change things. The walk back to her quarters was purposely slow as Will knew within his heart that once they had reached her door, he was going no further with her.
Will pulled Deanna back into the circle of his arms soaking up her warmth, not quite believing that they were here, at this point once more. He sighed with happiness and Deanna felt the smile upon her head as she snuggled even closer. Deanna slipped her arms around the back of Will's neck pulling his mouth to hers. Will groaned as her tongue intertwined with his, the action forcing his hands lower, lifting her petite form against his raging heat.
But seconds later he felt bereft as Deanna breathlessly pulled away from him and Will held on fast, not wanting to let her go. Fear licked at his senses but he tried valiantly to ignore it, instead he asked the painfully obvious, "Your not going to let me come in tonight are you, Deanna?"
Will couldn't help the question even though he'd already half expected what her response was going to be. He knew that she was going to see Worf. He was not happy about that, but was aware that it was necessary. Their working relationship was too closely connected to leave things as they were.
Deanna kissed him lightly on the lips again, loathe to leave him but desperate to attend the needs of her friend who's anger radiated through her senses even from this distance. "I'm sorry, Will, you know I can't. Please, trust me. "
Will sighed with knowing defeat, "I trust you, Deanna, and I know you're going to go to him, but, do me a favour okay, come to my quarters when your done talking to Worf, okay?"
"No, that's not what I mean Deanna. I know you, and I know how much this conversation is going to hurt. I just want to be there for you, I need to know you're okay...Please?"
Deanna studied him intently for a moment before moving away from his arms, nodding lightly, her eyes unable to look into his any longer. Will watched her enter her quarters with a distinct feeling of unease. His sigh was lost with the feint whoosh of the doors closing, but it was several seconds before he could force his legs to turn away.
Deanna stood inside her quarters, stopping so close to the doors that she felt the feint breeze as they closed behind her. She knew the moment that Will had walked away by the enormous feeling of loss and betrayal that swept through her leaving her trembling. It was several minutes before she could coherently speak to the invisible computer.
"Computer, location of Lieutenant Worf."
<Lieutenant Worf is on Holodeck One.>
"Computer, tell me which programme is currently running in Holodeck One."
<Programme currently running is 'Battle of Makir'>
Deanna took a deep restoring breath before quickly entering her bedroom only
to emerge a few minutes later wearing something a little more suitable for a
session on the Holodeck. She was grateful when she stepped into the corridor
to find it completely devoid of people, including Will. If he'd known where
she was going, Deanna knew she wouldn't have got more than ten feet.
Deanna heard the ferocious roars as she approached the huge steel grey holodeck doors. But it was roars of triumph. The roar of a victorious Klingon warrior. Without a shadow of a doubt, Deanna knew it was Worf's cry of conquest, heard the challenge within that roar for the next suitor to approach.
Worf heard the heavy doors hiss as they closed and braced himself for the sight of the woman that had tortured his mind and his movements against the adversary that now lay at his feet; a bloody tangle of limbs and torso's, some undistinguishable as to who's was who's. He had entered the programme as a madman and now his blade had struck the last man down, so his rage had dissipated somewhat, too.
He heard her soft footfall approach him from behind and Deanna saw his giant form stiffen with the prospered confrontation about to happen. But instead, nothing but shock filled his mind and body as Deanna crisply spoke, her voice echoing slightly in the cavernous room, "Computer, replay Battle of Makir, safety protocols off."
Even before Worf could countermand her instructions, the unmistakable roar of several Klingon warriors thundered towards their position. Instinct alone urged Worf to raise his Bat'leth to begin defending his body. But now he had an extra reason for saving his hide; the woman that had begun to swing her own bat'leth beside him, her high pitched verbal grunts and curses rising above the constant clash of steel upon steel.
She was out to prove a point and for the love of Kahless, he hadn't a clue why, or why she had come to him. For the hour that he had already battled, with each man that he had slain another piece of his bitterness had dropped away. Now he was only left with humiliation, and humiliation was a harder battle to win, especially when he had to lose it in front of the woman who had created that humiliation.
Deanna half watched Worf through the corner of her eye as she wrestled with the hefty Klingon intent on seeing her fall to the ground with her body split wide from his Bat'leth. She felt his inner turmoil but was relieved to find it not quite as venomous as it once was.
Seeing a chance, Deanna suddenly swung her weapon low, catching the warrior by surprise with her nimble agility as she dived to his feet, slicing at his legs in one swift sure movement, watching in morbid fascination as the giant men fell to his knees, his cry echoing around the battleground before his face hit the dirt.
But before she could get to her feet, winded from the exertion of swinging the enormous weapon with all her tiny dynamic weight, Worf's warning roar filled the air. Deanna instinctively rolled to one side as his Bat'leth swung towards her, embedding itself in the man that had come within an inch of stabbing her with his own weapon.
As he fell, the room went deathly silent. The last man had fallen leaving just Deanna and Worf basking in their glory. Or so she thought. Barely a fraction later, Deanna found herself being dragged up by her upper arms and dangled unceremoniously in front of Worf's face, his rage burning in his eyes, his mouth hard and snarling as he roughly shook her,
"What in Kahless' name do you think you are doing, Counselor! Are you trying to get yourself killed? Do you really want to put your death onto my shoulders? Is that my punishment? Is that how little you think of me, Counselor!?"
Shocked into silence, Deanna could only stare at Worf's face as he continued to shake her as she hung limply before him, unable to do anything more than bare the brunt of his constrained anger. And then as suddenly as it had begun, it ended.
Finally realising what he was doing, Worf's features snapped back, horrified at what he'd done and what he was doing. Slowly he lowered Deanna to her feet and released her shoulders as though she had suddenly become a ball of fire.
"I'm sorry," he growled, through clenched teeth as he tried to reign in his emotions. Turning away from her, his eyes stared unseeing at the carnage at his feet, "That was unforgivable behaviour from a senior officer. I expect a reprimand. It is no less than I deserve."
Carefully stepping over the body at her own feet, Deanna suddenly realised what she was doing and exasperated, she spoke to thin air, "Computer, stop programme." Within seconds, the battle ground became a yellowed checked room, devoid of everything except the two living, breathing, tension-filled people that stood in its centre facing one another.
Worf made to turn away but Deanna reached out her hand to him, letting it rest on his arm, her eyes searching, pleading with him to stay, "Worf, please. You have every right to be angry with me, I have betrayed not only you, but your son too. It is I that should be apologising, not you. It is I that is the wrong-doer here, not you. Can you ever forgive me, Worf?"
His hardened heart softened as he allowed his eyes to rest on her, allowing himself the pleasure of being this close to her for the last time. He remembered when she had been in his arms and had enjoyed being there. He couldn't believe it was only a couple of hours ago.
Two hours. Two hours for his whole universe to fall apart around his ears. Two hours for his son to lose his promised mother, his hoped wife and his treasured friend. Two hours.
Deanna stepped closer, raising her face up to his. Worf drowned in her chocolate eyes, soaking up the memories that lay within them, cherishing the words that left her plump lips, "I am still your treasured friend, Worf. I always will be, no matter what."
With her words, Worf suddenly realised that was what he was waiting for. That was what he'd wanted; that he wasn't losing her, he couldn't have bared that, not after losing K'Ehleyr. Life couldn't be that cruel.
And in that instant, his anger fell away to be left with a feeling of thankfulness. Of relief. Of being blessed with having a friend that would always be there for him and his son, and with a sigh, Worf pulled Deanna into his embrace and smiling with joy, she went willingly.
"Are you okay?"
Will was surprised at the strength to which Deanna hugged his body. No more than five minutes ago she had stepped into his quarters looking like she had been in one helluva fight with someone - or something. Her suit was all bloodied and hair that wasn't stuck to her head with sweat or blood, stuck out at all angles.
But to him, Deanna Troi was the prettiest looking woman in the cosmos and when he'd held out his arms to her, she had gone into them and held on as though she was never going to ever let go again.
Will tried to read her but her emotions were too strong for him to separate. So he did the next best thing; he loved her. Enfolding her completely in his arms, he tenderly stroked her hair and back. He kissed the tatty hair and he murmured incoherent things into her ear.
He didn't know how long they stood like that and he didn't care. Three or four hours ago he would never had have believed that they would be here, doing something that he had only fantasized about.
He asked again when he felt her body begin to relax against him, his own beginning to respond to her nearness, "Are you okay, Deanna. Did...did Worf hurt you?" He couldn't stop himself from moving her body gently away from his so that he could see her face. See if Worf had hurt her. The dried blood didn't appear to be her own, but he couldn't be sure.
Deanna reacted slowly to Will's words, slowly looking down at herself, seeing what Will was seeing. Instinctively her hand lifted to her hair, feeling its matted state, grimacing at the image that filled her mind.
"Good Lord, what must I look like? I need a shower." But instead of walking towards the door, Will grinned as she laced her fingers with his and made her way towards his bathroom, with him very much in tow giving him the answer to his question; She was okay, and so apparently was Worf.
Moments later the room began to fill with steam and as systematically as Deanna shed one piece of clothing, so Will lost a piece of his too, until they were both standing naked beneath the steaming jets.
With her head thrown back, letting the water pound her head, she clung to Will's arms as his eyes feasted on her body. It had been a long time. Too long. He watched as the rivulet's created trails down her body, a body that now had the shape of a woman and not a girl. A body that he had only allowed himself to touch in his dreams.
Pulling her saturated body to his, he finally let the last five years worth of dreams become a reality. Her skin, slick with the soapy suds, slid against his as he angled her head and feasted on her throat, sucking at the pulse he found there, rejoicing as he felt it pound harder against his lips.
Deanna clung to Will as the water washed away a whole lot more than blood and sweat. This was it. This was where she wanted to be and all it had taken was one song. Just one song to make them remember that they were more than what they were.
That they were Imzadi.