by Kate

TYPE: PWP (plot, what plot)
DISCLAIMER: Paramount is God. I'm just playing. No profit gained.
SETTING: Well in the future, in Alaska and on Betazed.

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: Years ago, George Harrison once said that despite an aging exterior, you remain the same young person inside that you always were. If he was right, what might this mean for a bond such as Imzadi and the couple bound by it?

The title for this story is taken from the name of a song by the Israeli singer and songwriter Shlomo Artzi. It translates to 'an old love'.


The jungle air, redolent with the scents of exotic flowers, was moist and thick with the humidity of the place. All around, tendrils of lush foliage dangled languidly in the still air, silent partners to the tropical trees from whose branches they hung. The ground was thick with the detritus of seasons past intermixed with serpentine vines. In the distance, water dripping into a pool sent out a song of muted tinkling.

Animal sounds filled the air, creating a symphony of contrapuntal tones. As had been true once long ago, the native creatures paused in their chattering to note an alien presence in their midst. In that distant moment, they had been feral witnesses to the sublime union of two human souls. And now, the wild residents would be inadvertently called upon again as observers, this time to mark the passage of time between those same two people.

This spot had inexorably drawn the couple to it. Whether it was precisely where they had first come together and joined their souls so many years before, they could not say. That did not matter though. Like the boundlessness of their bond, forged long ago, the feel of the place was all that mattered. A tentative sniff of the sweet fragrance permeating the tropical verdure triggered a myriad of unspoken, visceral memories of a long-ago time in both of the people standing in its midst, and the familiarity of those sensory memories told them this place was right enough.

A need to mark time had brought them here. Not only to celebrate 30 years of matrimony, but to acknowledge and renew 50 years of a unity of hearts and souls known by few others. They had not originally thought to consciously celebrate the entire span of their communion, but when the thought coalesced in each of their minds, such an acknowledgment seemed entirely natural and right…


Several months earlier, they had lain together in the semi-darkness of their moon-lit bedroom one evening. Outside, the inky autumnal Alaskan night sky sparkled with a skein of glittering stars. The cold moon light cast everything in shades of grays and blacks. A profound silence reigned, only broken occasionally by the haunting hoots of an owl.

But inside that room, low voices punctuated the nocturnal stillness. In quiet tones, they discussed once again the suggestion made to them earlier that evening by the eldest of their three grown children. He had spoken to them over the video-com system just after they had finished eating their dinner.

"Well, are you two going to do the same old thing you do every year for your anniversary?" he had inquired with a challenging crook to his eyebrow. "Surely for one as special as 30 years, you could be a little more original than a trip to San Francisco." He had then crossed his arms over his chest and stared pointedly at them, waiting for their answer…

"He was right, you know." A thoughtful nod was her response. A comfortable silence ensued between them. She sighed pleasantly as she rested her head on his solid, hairy chest. She did not need to look to know that he was smiling and about to run his hand through her hair, for it had always been that way with him. The warmth of his love seeped into every pore of her being, paired with that most magical of words, sent from his mind to hers: "Imzadi."

She sat up then, a far-away look filling her large onyx eyes. His normally blue eyes, now near violet in the dim light cast by the moon outside, locked onto hers with an unspoken question. He waited for her to explain.

"You said 'Imzadi"…," she murmured reverently. She stroked his beard with loving fingers, then rested her hand on his chest.

"Yes, of course I did…As I have done all the time I have known you," he smiled. Wrapping his large fingers around her smaller ones, he pulled her fine-boned fingers to his lips and placed the gentlest of kisses upon them. She beamed affectionately at him and then leaned over to graze her lips softly against his.

"Imzadi…," she breathed. "That's the answer…" His eyebrows rose in total confusion. She smiled, shook her head meaningfully, and then put her finger to his lips to silence him.

"Think with me…Let go of words now," she counseled softly. And with that, she began to let her mind wander. Thoughts and images trickled from her mind to his, across that transcendent bond that had emerged and immutably linked them some 50 years before…Him making love to her in the most exquisite way that only he was capable of... Her passionate pleasuring of his body…Flashes of places they had been together, whether on missions or for pleasure…Until finally, at the core of all those thoughts, was the memory that underlay it all: the Jalara Jungle and the beginning of their ineluctable communion.

She fixed a clear image of their passionate union in her mind, focusing on it with such intensity that in both of their minds they were transported back to that time. In that instant, they smelled again the long-forgotten sodden odor of the rotted detritus on the ground intermingled with the exotic floral scents of the surrounding plants and the musky odors of their own bodies. Suddenly remembered moans of ecstasy echoed in their minds. And once again, they recalled with utter clarity the moment of intimate communion when, from the deepest depths of their souls, filaments of connective energy joined their inner beings forever as Imzadi…

He opened his eyes and fastened his knowing gaze upon hers. "Fifty years…," he whispered fervently. "Fifty years…" His eyes filled with tears of gratefulness. She reached over to wipe his tears away with infinite tenderness.

"That's the answer…," she concluded in a voice thick with emotion. "That's where we need to be…"

"To go back and honor our true beginnings," he responded.

"As Imzadi…"


And so it was, several months later, that they found themselves standing in a spot in the Jalara Jungle on Betazed so like that first one that the differences did not matter. Hand in hand, they stood and surveyed this sylvan stage on which their sacred memories would be honored and reenacted. And like that moment so long ago, as if on cue, the animals in the surrounding bush stilled their cacophonous voices long enough to mark the transcendent event that was about to transpire.

He turned to face her. Looking down at her still-lovely face, remarkably untouched by the modeling hand of time, he cupped it and leaned over to plant the softest of kisses. Gently, reverently, he unbuttoned her tunic and unzipped her skirt. As she stepped slowly from her clothing, her hands went to unbutton his shirt and lower the zipper on his trousers. Then they stood, face to face, as they once had stood - bare of clothing, bare of any external references or definitions. Just the two of them, here, in this place of commemoration.

He wrapped his once-muscular arms around her body and pulled her to him. Her eyes slid closed in contentment as she entwined her arms around a torso thickened by 75 years of life and rested her head on his gray-haired chest. He looked down lovingly and reached to weave his large fingers in her hair, shot through with streaks of gray but still thick and luxurious as it always had been. And, as he had done so many times over the 50 years of their relationship, he placed a tender kiss on the top of her head.

She pulled back slowly from his embrace. She locked her solemn dark eyes upon the smiling blue eyes of her beloved. <<Fifty years…>> her inner voice whispered in his mind. With a slight nod, he allowed his eyes to roam the terrain of his Imzadi's 74 year-old body. A soul-filling surge of love washed through him as he noticed how time and gravity had gently sculpted her belly and her breasts into different proportions. A contented smile spread across his features, for he knew with utter certainty that he would have her look no other way.

She met his pleased expression with a grin of her own. Planting a fine-boned hand over his grizzled chest, she surveyed the physique of her Imzadi. Fully aware of the boundless affection for him that instantly filled her heart, the added thickness to his abdomen and jaw line and the peppering of his beard and hair with gray wrought by his life's journey pleased her in an indescribably elemental way. As she had so often done when confronted by his naked body, she ran a finger sensuously through his chest hair and then planted a kiss there.

Again he gathered her in his arms and pulled her to him. With an outstretched finger, he reached under her chin and tilted her face up. Then he brought his lips softly to hers. A moment later, his tongue sought entrance to her mouth. Opening her lips to welcome him in, she met him tongue to tongue. They each reveled in the soft texture of the other's tongue and delighted in the oh-so familiar taste of one another's mouths.

A lover's dance had begun, to which they lost themselves completely. A choreography that instantly opened the floodgates of their souls. In that instant, gentle pulses of shimmering energy rolled through and between them, tenderly caressing each other's inner selves and linking them inscrutably. In that moment of joining, they became aware only of their spiritual joining and of their physical pleasure.

With that focused cognizance, they were seemingly transported through time itself. For though the vicissitudes of life had aged their bodies, their souls had been left unaltered. In that moment of incorporeal communion, the years fell away and their unchanged cores were left exposed. At that instant, they were once again the hungry young couple who had once discovered untold treasures in one another in the depths of the Jalara Jungle. For the bond of Imzadi that had joined them together so long ago and sustained them had preserved their inner beings as if in a hologram. Their souls would remain forever young and their love, though old, forever new.