~~I of course bow to the almighty powers that be. The great God Paramount
owns them all. But my real appreciation goes to Jonathan Frakes, and Marina
Sirtis for breathing life into Will and Deanna....and creating the toys I
love to play with.~~

This story is very silly, and very light...and as close to a sci-fi fairy
tale as I will ever get:-)

"Wake up Deanna." She grumbled something under her breath, and pulled the
animal hides over her.

"Come on. It's a beautiful day!" She turned her head, her sleepy eyes
meeting with Will Riker's ardent ones. He had had that same boyish glint in
his eyes since the day they arrived, he seemed to be thriving on this
freezing cold planet, she was finding it very hard to share his enthusiasm.

"I'll bet it's snowing...right?" She scrunched up her nose, covering her
head with the animal skins. He pulled the covers from her face. "No, the sun
is shining. Come on, you haven't seen anything until you've seen the sun
paint rainbows over the snow." She pulled the covers out of his hand.
"Ahh...Snow! I'm tired of being cold Will." He sat down on the ground beside
her. "Deanna, your acting like a brat. Come on...come play with me." He
coaxed. Deanna only smiled coyly. "Can't we play here?" He shook his head,
doing his best to ignore the rising and falling of her breasts, enticingly
concealed under the furs... "No, we have work to do. Besides I'm not sure if
it's me you want....or if your just using me for my body heat." She laughed
softly, pulling off the blankets. The cold caressed her skin with a spiteful
vengeance. She threw her clothes on as quickly as she could, and headed
outside to meet him. She stood in the doorway of the small hut they had been
calling home for two weeks, and watched him. Aside from his red cheeks
flushed by the cold, and the pair of blue eyes that shown from below his
cap, the rest of him was buried beneath the layers of clothes he was
wearing. He flashed her a grin when he noticed she was there, placing a few
pebbles into the structure he seemed to be building. He worked painstakingly
on this snow creature, carving out what Deanna surmised to be breast .

"What are you doing?" He turned proudly to face her. "It's you....What do
you think?" Deanna did her best to hide her smile, not wanting to encourage
anymore of his boyish antics. "I think your a very strange man. Now come
on." She gestured. "Time to walk two miles in the snow, so we can eat raw
meat and mingle with the natives." He followed behind her.

."Hey Deanna!" She spun to face him, the snowball he threw whistling past
her cheek. She raised her finger in warning. "Throw another one...and I
guarantee you, I won't even crave your body heat." He slumped his shoulders
in defeat. "OK, OK, I give up....your a fart." She walked closer to him, the
anger she was feeling in response to his lack of concern for her misery,
warming her from the inside out. "I'm a what?" She demanded.

"It's an adolescent earth saying." He said sheepishly.

"Well that figures, and what does it mean?" She persisted. He looked at her
for a moment with the eyes of a scolded child.. "It's it''s hard to
explain. And it's not important." She narrowed her blue eyes, something Will
was still finding hard to get used to. "Well, it's important to me.. if I am
one." He pondered the question for a moment. "It's a delicate flower that
grows on earth....the slightest whisper of cold and it closes it's dainty
petals to the world." His face broke into an arrogant grin. "Yep, that's
it...that's why your a fart." She eyed him skeptically, his grin lapsing
into a vanquished frown, as she studied him. "And you are a marni." She
retorted, huffing down the path that led to the village. He stood for a
moment, searching his memory of Betazoid language for the insult she had
just thrown. Minutes later he shot to her side, and panted. "Hey. I know
what that means. That wasn't very nice. I called you a flower, and you
referred to me as something in the lower part of the human anatomy." She
looked up at him. "I know, I'm sorry....but when I get cold I get mean." He
sighed in agreement. "Remind me to keep you warm." He said, waggling an
eyebrow suggestively. She returned a provocative smile, admitting to
herself, though the days were cold, he had done his best to heat up quite a
few of their nights. He rested his thickly gloved hands on her shoulders,
massaging them firmly. " Ya know if you relax your shoulders and think warm
thoughts, they say it will warm you up." She threw up her hands "Don't start
that again. That is probably about as realistic as this sasquitch, you keep
telling me about."

"Sasquatch...Deanna. Big foot, comes in the night, and feeds on
beautiful young, blue eyed betazoids" He let out a wicked growl. Her
laughter in turn seemed to dance over the white peaks that surrounded them.

"Sounds like a first officer I know." She smirked, heading further down the
path. He watched her for a moment, knowing how difficult this mission was
for her...and if he were honest with himself, this was more cold then even
he would like to have endured.

"Hurry up Will, they could be having marinated sobora claws. Yummy" She
patted her belly, before resuming her trek down the path. He chuckled at her
remark. They only had two more weeks before the enterprise could pick them
up from this planet of ice...they had made friends with the natives and
worked their way into their society.....but in two days the lights would
begin. The lights that had been slowly destroying this primitive culture's
atmosphere, and turning their once beautiful planet into a dessert of ice.

Deanna slowed at the base of the statue that led to the entrance to the
village....The God Salthitha stood ominously over them, arms reaching out
towards the platform that held the sacrifices of the Rorrim. She waited
patently as Will did his daily scan of the area around the statue. The snow
around her feet was stained with the blood of the sacrifices, she did her
best to overt her eyes from the platform that held the mutilated remains of
Salthitha's victims. Will looked up from the tricorder and shook his head.
"Nothing." He said, letting out a heavy sigh of frustration. She started to
offer him some words of encouragement, her attempt interrupted by the
excited voice behind them. Deanna wrapped her arms around the women they had
come to know as Misted Falls. Her jet black hair fell far down her back, her
face weathered by the elements made her look far older then her age. He
tried to understand as she spoke to Deanna in her native tongue, but his
attempts to learn the language had been hopeless....On Deanna's advice he
had taken to only grunting responses, and nodding his head. He narrowed his
eyes, watching closely as Misted Falls placed a necklace over Deanna's head
and pointed towards the village. Deanna smiled at her, and moved closer to
Will. "It seems Stray Wind would like to join you as my husband." Will
frowned, sending a quick look to the young boy that stood at the entrance to
the village. He had been fully aware of the lack of monogamous beliefs this
culture carried, but at this moment he was not willing to share something he
had waited years to get back. He grabbed Deanna roughly by the shoulders,
and pulled her tightly to his chest. "My Woman." He grunted, sending a
possessive growl to Stray Wind. He could feel Deanna's shoulder's shaking
with silent laughter as he held her protectively against him. She looked up
at him out of the corner of her eyes, shaking her head before speaking. "Do
you mind if I handle this? Or are you feeling a primal need to pound your
chest, and drag me off by my hair?"


Chapter 2


"Actually Deanna, under the circumstances I'd be more then willing to pound
my chest and mark my territory." He frowned down on Deanna as she struggled
from his insistent grasp.

"Your territory?" She scoffed. "Will Riker, I believe you've been spending
far too much time with the men of the village. You knew this was a distinct
possibility from the beginning." His unyielding eyes met with hers. "Just
because I was warned about it, doesn't mean I'm ready to deal with it.
Besides he's just a kid...Your old enough be his mother Deanna." As soon as
the statement left his lips, he wished he could take it back.

"I hardly think I could be his mother! And ya know if your trying to
dissuade me, your failing miserably." He only stammered, realizing there was
no way to dig himself out of the hole he had just dug for himself. Deanna on
the other hand was enjoying herself, there were very few times she had seen
the unflappable Will Riker so plagued about anything. "Besides, even if I go
along with the custom there wouldn't be time to consummate the marriage."
Will's blue eyes deepened. "How do you figure that Deanna!? We've only been
here two weeks, and I believe we've *consummated* over a dozen times." She
bit her bottom lip to hide the smile she was feeling. "The courtship ritual
takes days. Besides, if I refuse him, you'll have to kill him." Will
narrowed his eyes, sending a contemptuous look to Stray Wind.

"I can do that!" He announced. She slapped his chest.

"You could not. He's an adolescent boy Will, I'm sure he's harmless."

"The words harmless, and adolescent shouldn't even be used in the same
sentence Deanna. If he's anything like I was at that age, Sex, is probably
the force that drives him." She cupped his face in her hands. "It seems to
me you haven't changed that much." Reaching up to kiss him she added.
"Thankfully." He grinned at the remark, pulling her tightly against him.
"All right Deanna. If your sure you can put him off, and not let him lay a
hand on you." Pulling back from his caress, she look ruefully into his eyes.
"I put you off for years, didn't I ?"

He was speechless, not a common occurrence for him, but as soon as a retort
came to him she was already heading toward the village. "Fart" He whispered
under his breath, before following her to the village.

He stood very close to Deanna and Stray wind, wishing he could understand
what they were saying to each other. Stray wind had his hands on Deanna's
shoulders, and was far to close to her face for Will's comfort. He edged
closer to them, Stray Wind looking smugly to Will every few minutes. Will
watched scrupulously, a spark of jealousy, he wasn't proud of churned inside
him as Stray wind brushed his lips over Deanna's cheek.

<OK, that's close enough, stud boy.> He thought, clearing his throat as
loudly as he could. Both Deanna and Stray Wind turned at the sound, Deanna's
reprimanding eyes met with his triumphant ones. Stray Wind on the other hand
flashed Will a wide smile, and reached inside his heavy over clothing. Will
stiffened a little as Stray Wind Pulled a very large machete type knife from
under his coat, and handed it to Deanna. Deanna accepted it and walked
closer to Will. He could see the blade was stained with blood, and by the
way Deanna was carrying it it was extremely heavy. With two hands Deanna
handed the knife to Will, he accepted it before he spoke quietly to her.

"Do I get to kill him now?" He asked, an antagonistic lilt in his voice.

"No Will. You must kill the white deer if you are to remain my number one."
He looked momentarily over Deanna's head, Stray Wind still wearing an
infuriatingly glib smile. He snarled slightly before pulling Deanna a little
closer. 'Deanna." He whispered. "I don't have time to go hunting for white
deer. We have a mission remember?" Deanna looked warily[1][1] up at him.

"Oh now we have a mission. How is it this morning when you were building
snow women, and tormenting me with snowballs 'the mission' didn't seem all
that important. Besides Will, Stray Wind says there are at least thirty five
white deer on the planet, should be easy for a big strong resourceful
starfleet officer like you." His mouth twisted into a look of disgust. "Ya
know Counselor, maybe being your number one isn't that important. Perhaps
stud boy is better suited after all." Deanna reached up and unfastened his
coat, she had just about enough of the insults the two had been throwing
back and forth. "What are you doing?" Will demanded, pulling his coat from
her hands.

"Exposing your chest. If you refuse to hunt the white deer, then you must
put the blade to your heart and spill your blood into the snow." Will looked
around, a crowd of villagers had gathered close by, obviously waiting for
his decision. He rolled his eyes in beaten disgust. "Fine, I'll kill the
damn deer." He relented "This better be worth it." He added with a wink,
before grumbling his way out of the village.

He trudged for hours over the white tundra, the wind kicking up, causing his
chest to sting with each breath. At first he had used memories from his
evening with Deanna the night before to keep warm. But the wind that lashed
over him, soon muted the sensual images his mind was painting for him. His
heart was starting to feel as dark as the storm clouds that loomed
threateningly over the mountains. He was cold, he was hungry, he was tired,
and he was starting to question his sanity in letting himself get talked
into this.

<So I have to spill some of my blood. Big deal. Maybe I could just kill
stray wind> His later thought bringing a satisfied smile to his face. <Maybe
the portable replicator?> His eyes sparkled at the idea. The loud crack
behind him pulled him from his thoughts. Turning around, whatever had made
the sound seemed to be dissipating into the air. Sparkles of ruby red
lights, faded to pale pink flickers and then they were gone. Will pulled his
tricordeor from his pocket, the readings widening his eyes. <Gamma
radiation...aurora emissions.> He pulled his glove off his hand with his
teeth, punching his suspicions into the tricordor. < I know these reading.>
He thought to himself, his heart increasing slightly in response to his
realization. He studied his findings a little longer before heading back
towards the village to get Deanna. He stopped short. "Shit! I can't go back
there without a white deer." He tucked his tricorder in his pocket and hoped
he could reconfigure the replicator to create something as large as a deer.


Chapter 3


Deanna looked away from the tedious task she had been assigned, Scrubbing
and grinding the fruit that grew amidst the hot springs. She found it hard
to believe anything could grow in a climate such as this, but with all she'd
encountered in her travels she had learned most anything were possible.
Except what met her eyes, and was the cause of the commotion that sounded
around her. Will Riker, a grin of conquest on his face, dragging behind him
the carcass of a white deer.

<Gods!> She thought, fighting through the crowd of natives, that one by one
fell in reverence to their knees. Will looked confused as he threw the
carcass at Deanna's feet.

"What's the matter with them?" He asked, gesturing to the sea of natives,
faces turned towards the ground.

"Where did you get that?"

"I replicated it." He replied arrogantly. Deanna slumped her shoulders. "The
replicator, it didn't even occur to me."

"I guess that's why I'm the first officer." His glib smile dissolved from
his face, Deanna's discriminating eyes delving into him.

"They think your a God. No one has ever actually *killed* the white deer
before." He grabbed her firmly by the arm, and pulled her away from the
crowd. "And you didn't think this was something you should have shared with

"I knew if I told you the truth about the hollow challenge of the white deer
you'd do something heroic, like draw your own blood." He eyed her for a
moment. "You do realize that none of my extremities will ever function
normally again. And I mean none of them! Do you understand that?" She looked
up to him, feeling smaller then she normally did when he stood beside her.
"Will, I'm sure you will heal." She patted his chest with her free hand, he
still held firmly to the other.

"Well, you'll never find out." He pledged, turning his eyes to the faceless
natives that bowed in front of him. Their monotone chanting was grating on
his nerves, as was this little blue eyed Betazoid.

"Just tell them it was a lucky shot, Deanna."

"It's not your hunting ability their worshipping Will. In killing the white
deer it's spirit became one with yours." He hung his head, remembering what
Deanna had told him about the beliefs of these people. Before killing or
sacrificing any life, the Rorrim inhaled it's last breath, in doing so
releasing the spirit of the fated creature and allowing it's spirit to
continue to live as one with the hunter. "Deanna, I really don't have time
to be a god. We need to get out of here, so I can show you what I found on
my little vision quest." His voice still retained a shadow of venom, and she
understood his feelings. But she still would rather see him freezing cold,
then bleeding profusely in the snow. She raised on her toes and whispered in
his ear.

"What does that mean?"

"Accept my bounty...and accept my spirit as part of your own." She answered
his question, tilting her head towards the awe struck villagers. Will
swelled his chest, gripping the machete tightly in his hands he knelt in
front of the deer. With one swift swipe he removed the head of deer, with a
slight amount of reservation he picked it up, ignoring his stomachs response
to what he was doing. And in what he deemed a god like voice he recited the
words Deanna had told him, offering the head to Stray Wind. He tried to hide
his relief as Stray Wind took the bloodied head from his hands and turned
toward the villagers that were slowly raising their faces to him. Stray Wind
uttered some words Will didn't understand, the villagers responding by
dragging the caress towards the village.

Will turned back to Deanna, the look of uncertainty on her face not sitting
well with him. "What did I just do?"

"The only thing I could think of." She replied. "Offered yourself as the
next sacrifice to Salthitha" Will's eyes widened in shock. "What?! That was
the only thing you could think of?!" He folded his arms, and awaited a
response. Deanna seemed distracted as though she were searching her memory
for an answer. "The next sacrifice will not happen until the two moons
simultaneously wan. We'll be long gone by then." She nodded her head,
absolutely no conviction in her face. "Pretty sure." She added.

He rolled his eyes, deciding he would cross that bridge when and if he came
to it.

"Have I done something to offend you Deanna?" He asked sarcastically as he
pulled her into the woods.

"It's warm in here." She commented as Will lit the torch that illuminated
the cave he had brought her to. She removed her top layer of clothing, her
eyes surveying the unimaginable surrounding. A thick layer of deep lavender
moss covered the floor of the cave like a dense carpet. Four small
waterfalls trickled over pale pink stones. and fell into a steaming pool of
blue in the center of the cave. By the time she had acclimated herself to
her new environment Will had already stripped off his clothes and was
sliding his body into the bubbling spring.

She felt something stir inside her in response to the deep moan he released
as he relaxed into the hot water. She had found her desires for him had
increased since they'd beamed to this planet. Something so sexy about his
tousled hair, his unkempt beard, his almost primal desire for her. She
wasn't sure what had intensified their sexual encounters, nor was she sure
she cared. All she knew is, right now she wanted him, her body craving him
like a drug. She slid her eyes over his tanned arms, lingering a little
longer then she should have on the beads of sweat that had formed on his
chest. She straightened suddenly as her eyes met with the large grin on his
face. "Something I can do for you Deanna?" He waggled a sinister eyebrow.
She felt her cheeks flush slightly at being caught in her own fantasies.

"I'm sure there is. But first tell me what you found." The seductive sparkle
in his eyes, quickly replaced by the serious flicker of Commander Will

"I want you to look at these tricorder readings, and tell me what you see."
Deanna walked to the pile of clothes he had shed, and dug through them for
the tricorder. She sat down beside the steaming pool, removing another layer
of clothing before studying the read outs. She tried to ignore the groans of
pleasure he was releasing, the needs she had felt earlier, she had every
intention of fulfilling once this little task was done.

"How could this be. There must be some other explanation for these
readings." She said, keeping her eyes fixed on the readouts.

"Another explanation?! Deanna, the trace pattern of anti protons matches
exactly. And look at the levels of Betrium Filiment....Precisiely the same
quantity as the residue left by the entity." Deanna listened to his
convincing voice. She knew he had made up his mind, and was waiting for her
to do her job by offering an argument against it.

"The Crystalline entity feeds on energy and matter Will. We've found no
evidence of any of the devastation we know it to cause." He nodded in
response to her argument, an argument she was having a hard time presenting.
The gamma radiation, and the levels of Betrium matched to perfectly to those
on Omicron Theta, and Melona four to be coincidence.

"Doctor Marr destroyed the entity before we were able to learn anything
about it. We know nothing about it's life cycle, or where its origin" Will
offered more reasons for Deanna to relent to his theory.

"I guarantee you the Crystalline entity has something to do with the
unexplained lights, and the steady decline in this planets atmosphere."

"It'd me nice if we could contact the enterprise." She sighed, Will wiping a
bead of perspiration from above her lips. He nodded in agreement, but it was
obvious by his darkening eyes his thoughts had moved to something else.

"Now, if you'd like to act on those naughty thoughts you were having
earlier. I'd be more then happy to oblige." He looked at her optimistically
as she slipped off the remainder of her clothes.

"I thought your extremities were permanently damaged." She asked, slipping
her foot into the heat of the water. Will turned his eyes to the lower half
of his body that was hidden beneath the churning water. As she settled in
beside him, he answered her concerns. "Nope." He grinned promisingly. "I
seem to be functioning within normal perimeters."


Chapter 4

Will leaned back against the cave wall, the lush moss that grew over the
floor of the cave also crawled up the stone walls, offering a soft cushion.
They had spent the night and the better part of the next day basking in the
warmth of the cave, in only six hours the festival that marked the onset of
the mystical lights would begin. He sent an envious look to Deanna, wishing
he could fall into a immersed slumber as she had. He smiled as he watched
her, snuggled like a child under his thick fur lined overcoat, she hadn't
bothered to put her clothes back on after their last heated encounter, she
had merely released a gratified sigh, pulled the dark brown fur over her,
and fallen into a deep relaxed slumber. He wished he had been able to...the
tricorder readings crept into his dreams, interfering with his ability to
relinquish consciousness. The crystalline entity, an unexplained being that
had ravaged and destroyed culture after culture had always been a thorn that
had remained fixed in his paw. He knew what Doctor Marr had done in
destroying the unknown had been wrong, but somewhere deep in his core, he
had felt an almost vengeful satisfaction as the creature shattered in
response to the intense graviton pulse. After loosing many a night sleep
over his vehement guilt, he had shared his deep rooted feelings with Deanna.
She made him understand and accept the reaction he had had no control over,
and explained that deep in the primal quintessence of most life forms the
silent need for retribution on anyone, or any thing that kills those we
love, is perfectly normal. That was the moment he had realized that nothing
he could ever share with her would cause her to think less of him. The
complete unconditional thread that held them together could never cut, no
matter what the other ever choose to do, it would be welcomed openly by the
other. <Amazing, really> He thought, shaking his head and keying in yet
another projection. He had just about given up hope of finding anything that
would help him understand the relationship between the lights and the
readings he had attained while hunting the white deer.

He watched the calculations project over the screen, stopping on one element
that he hadn't seen in his previous study. The readings were almost
minuscule, but breaking down the components, sugar, seemed to be present in
every element.

"Thinking about Carmen?" Deanna's voice, still laced with sleep disrupted
his thoughts.

"A little." He smiled. "Mostly just trying to understand these findings."
Deanna slipped out from under the fur that covered her, Will's eyes sliding
appreciatively over her nude form. No matter how tired or how distracted he
was, there would never come a time when he tired of looking at her. She
stretched, Will picking up the powder blue silk teddy that laid beside him.
"Don't forget this." He said, tossing it to her. She had once told him, no
matter what she wore on the outside she would always wear silk against her
skin. He had been a lieutenant on Betazed then, but the information had
always stayed in his mind. On more then one occasion he had found himself,
sometimes at the oddest moments, picturing what he knew was under her
clothes. One time in particular stood out in his mind. It was shortly after
leaving Farpoint station, the captain had ordered a meeting with the senior
staff on the findings of a terra forming mission by the Athens. It was
boring and tedious information, and he had found himself painting many
mental pictures of what was hidden behind her uniform. While his mind was
swirling with pictures of pink, or beige, or lavender, or silk or satin
Captain Picard had asked his opinion on the Athens findings. Without
thinking he had answered <strapless>. Beverly and Deanna had both stifled
their giggles in response to the Captains non amusement. It was one of the
few times he remembered himself blushing, and he had been certain for weeks
afterwards he would be posted to another starship.

"Did you find anything new?" Deanna asked, slipping on layer one, of the
eight layers of clothing she had taken to wearing since arriving on this

"No." He shrugged, deciding his sugar findings didn't warrant sharing.
"Maybe tonight, during the festival."

"Don't you find it odd that a culture who is suppose to fear something has a
party to honor it?" Deanna asked, gathering up the provisions that they had
strewn about. Will joined her in her task.

"Not really. Many primitive tribes revel in the unexplained. I think it's a
way to shield themselves from the actual fear it instills. Embracing it,
gives them at least a small amount of dominance over something that is
actually completely out of their control." Deanna looked up from the bag she
was packing, eyebrows raised in amazement. "Very Impressive Commander." She

"Thanks. Human Behavior 101." He replied, nodding towards the exit to the
cave. "Ready?" Deanna turned up her nose at the prospect, but followed him
towards the opening.

The daylight was fading quickly as Will and Deanna headed down the snow
carpeted path that led to the village. The sky in the distance was thick
with storm clouds, distorted shades of gray and black seemed to almost reach
to the ground, threatening to cover the white snow with it's eerie mist.
Will could smell the intermingled odors of meat roasting and Balmic wood
burning, before he could see the bonfires that blazed in the village.

"Well, at least they cook their meat on special occasions." Deanna said,
stopping just short of the statue of Salthitha. The sky behind them had
fallen under the spell of darkness, but the light of the fires illuminated
the small village. They both turned towards the gentle creaking beside
them..The Maran of the village stole out from the inside of the statue. Will
sent an unspoken concern to Deanna, neither had been aware that there was a
hidden access to the statue, and both knew what lie inside could be
important. The Maran stilled for a moment when he realized they had seen
him, almost like a stalked animal he stood partially hidden in the shadows,
hoping his predators would give up their quest. Before Will could formulate
a plan, the women of the village gathered around Deanna, laughing, talking
and sending several sideways glances towards him. He shifted uncomfortably.
<How is it?> He thought. <No matter how advanced ,or how primitive a culture
is, when women get together they always send the same condescending looks
towards any man in the vicinity.> He watched as the entire female element of
the village pulled Deanna further into town. He followed reluctantly,
deciding the question he had just ask himself, he would never be able to
answer, and his chances of finding his way unnoticed into the shrine would
increase during the celebration.


Chapter 5

By the time he reached the village Deanna was nowhere to be found, in fact,
all of the women had disappeared, leaving him alone with the men of the
village. Men, who for fun impaled themselves with large thorns that grew in
the hot springs. He had managed to avoid the ritual so far, and was hoping
quite adamantly to avoid it again. He tried to look at home among the men,
he had fallen prey to the seeds that they threw intermittently into the fire
on the second day they had arrived. Some form of drug apparently, he
remembered feeling very good and lapsing into an extremely deep sleep. He
woke up hours later, partially dressed in one of the small huts, totally
confused. He had no memory of what he had done, and whenever he asked Deanna
about it, she would only snicker and remind him not to breath around the
pachin seeds. That's what he was trying to do now, hold his breath, or
inhale through the cloth of his gloves. It wasn't working, there were too
many fires, and the air hung heavy with fumes. He watched the natives around
him, all laughing and chanting, seemingly oblivious to the five inch long
thorns they plunged into their skin. His eyelids felt like someone was
pulling them closed from below him, his mind was becoming foggy, the fires
that burned around him seemed to be mutating into one....He backed out of
the village, no way was he going to experience whatever it was he couldn't
remember. Not being in control was something he had learned long ago he
could not, and would not deal with if he had a choice. Gulping several
breaths of clean air, he looked back at the village, the natives drowning in
their intoxicated haven, it was time to attempt access to the statue.
Tucking his bag under his arm he moved discreetly into the shadows to the
spot where they had seen the Maran leave. Two doors were barely visible in
the base of the statue, three dials were placed challengingly above them.
The faces of the ten Gods that each represented a month in the Rorrim
calendar were over the first dial, the second, a somewhat confusing array of
numbers, and the third contained pictures of the elements the Rorrim used to
identify there seven rotations.

"Shit." he swore under his breath, not only did he not understand the
calendar system, how was he suppose to know what date. The two doors also
troubled him, did they both lead into the same chamber, or was it the
proverbial lady and the tiger. He looked up to the god that seemed to be
taunting him, his eyes drifting to the platform that held the remains of the

<Deanna had said, when the two moons simultaneously wan. When do the two
moons wan?> He brushed his hands in frustration over his beard. <Where the
hell is she?> With that thought an unsteady feeling pulsed through his
stomach, what sounded like the distant rumble of thunder echoed around him.
He turned toward the village, electrical currents snapped through the

"The lights." He needed to get to Deanna before they began, neither had any
idea what occurred when the lights began, and he was not about to leave her
alone among a bunch of drunken natives. He gave up his task, flinging his
pack over his shoulder he ran towards the village. The atmosphere sputtered
and sparked as though a wire had been short circuited somewhere between
space and time. He stopped short at the entrance, the soft breeze that
seemed to be emanating from nowhere, increased steadily, pulling the snow up
into a steep spiral. The whirlpool of wind and snow became stronger,
blocking his admittance to the village, and threatening to pull him into its
wake. He fell forward a few steps, the suction of the tornado of wind and
snow knocking him to the ground. And then with a loud whoosh, as though a
door had been closed on it, it disappeared into the ground, taking all that
had fallen prey to it's force with it. Riker sat in the cold snow, silence
like he had never experienced enveloped the land, and the lights began. He
looked toward the sky, the lights not at all what he had anticipated. Gentle
hues of pastel colors hung like a sheer curtain in front of the village. It
seemed to have a beginning and an end, more like a giant prism then a
display such as the northern lights he was expecting. He could see the
natives behind the lights, slightly distorted, but seemingly oblivious to
the awe inspiring sight. The lights played a silent melody as the colors
shifted in rhythmic patterns.....He watched as the colors danced to the
silent tune, an intensely sweet scent filled the air making him feel
slightly lightheaded.

<It's almost hypnotic.> He thought wistfully, his entire state changing
quickly at the scene that met his eyes behind the lights.

<What the hell is she doing?> Deanna, running towards him, waving, smiling,
moving toward him as though unaware of what he was seeing.

"Deanna...Stop!" His warning either unheard, or ignored. The lights wrapped
her in a web of shear colors and she was gone. For one insane moment he was
sure his heart had stopped and his brain had cut out. For one insane moment
he had been sure he was dead. Walking forward a few steps he understood why,
not only did the eerie silence surround his body, but it had entered his
mind as well. She wasn't there, there was no trace of her.....the eternal
thread that held them together no matter what, had been cut. He had to do
something, he had no idea how long the lights would last, or when they began
again, would they lead to the same place....If there was a place...It didn't
matter, wherever she was, he had to go there...even if it was death....It
wasn't rational, in fact, it was probably the stupidest decision he'd ever
made, but it was what he was going to do. Taking a deep breath as if it were
his last, he picked up his pack and entered the lights.

He blinked his eyes twice to convince himself what he was seeing was in fact
not part of an illusion. A world like nothing he'd ever seen. The sky rich
with colors, blues, and greens meshing together, melting into a turquoise
horizon. Everything was large, and everything was vibrant, the flowers that
hung heavy on the thick tree lined coast, were as big as he was. He walked
closer to the water that lapped soothingly over the jagged shore, the water
dotted with lavender sparkles created by the glittering flickers of light
that flew like diamonds through the sky. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief, so
dumbfounded, he was unaware of the woman behind him.

"Will." At last a familiar, something he knew he could believe.

"Deanna." He turned to her, gathering her in his arms, filling himself with
the only reality that really mattered right now.. He held her for a long
time, keeping his eyes closed and hoping when he opened them this bizarre
world would be gone.

"What is this place, Will?" Deanna asking a question she knew he couldn't
answer. He pulled her away from him, and shook his head.

"I don't know." He smiled, fixing his eyes on her instead of the dreamscape
that enveloped them. "But if you see a white rabbit, or a bottle that says
drink me...ignore it."

Chapter 6

Deanna, and Will turned and watched the last crackle to the atmosphere, the
gateway closing, sealing them in this fairy land.

"Well, guess this is home for awhile." Will shrugged, shedding most of his
clothes to accommodate the tropical climate. Deanna followed suit., Will
watched studiously.

"What are you doing?"

"I like watching you's exciting to me." She had to laugh at the
simple honesty in his words.

"Shouldn't you be scanning something?" She remarked, pulling off her socks
and wiggling her toes in the sand.

"Yea, your right. Your no fun anymore. Six months and the thrill is gone."
He joked, pulling the tricorder from the jumble of clothes he had left on
the ground.

At first he continued to sneak peeks at Deanna, but the peculiar readings on
the tricorder soon pulled his thoughts to other things. Deanna sensed his
intensity. "What is it Will?"

He shook his head without looking away from the tricorder. "Probably
nothing. Just more intense reading of beatrium filament." He sat down in the
sand, Deanna knelt behind him wrapping her arms around his neck, she also
looked at the tricorder screen. "What's this one?" She ask, her hair
tickling against Riker's cheek.

"It's the same elements I scanned while hunting for that stupid deer." He
turned to face her, rolling his eyes at the memory. "The base reading is

"Sugar?" Will shrugged, not able to help her understand what he couldn't
figure out. Deanna picked up one of the pink stones that were strewn over
the sand. she massaged it's smooth surface, then threw it into the
water...the lavender water rippled in response.

"Beautiful isn't it?"

"You throw like a girl." Will answered distractedly.

"And just exactly how does a girl throw?" She asked, playing at being

"Like that" He smirked, tilting his head towards the still rippling water.
He watched her as she knelt in front of him, her gentle laugher warmed his
heart. There was a pacifying air about this place, something that touched on
all his senses causing him to relax, when by all accounts he should be
worried about how they were going to get out of here. Wrapping one hand
behind her neck he pulled her to him, kissing her with a little more passion
then he had intended. She greeted his kiss hungrily, pushing him to the
ground and falling prey to the pleasures his hands and tongue were offering.
The soft sounds and sweets scent of this wonderland, mixed with the
intoxicating taste of him played a scrumptious game of torture with every
nerve in her body. He teased her unmercifully, running his tongue to the
base of her stomach, kissing the inside of her thighs coming so close, but
always veering away from that which ached to be touched. Bringing his face
to hers, she looked into his eyes, eyes so dark with passion she was sure
the look in them could almost cause her release. She pleaded with her eyes,
a sly smile of satisfaction crossing his face, he accommodated her need. Her
body spiraled into the deepest pleasure she had ever felt. The sounds, the
scents, the breeze that blew over their entwined bodies, all became a part
of them, A part of this haven, a haven run only by their passion.

Will laid on the ground looking up at the night sky overhead, the twin moons
above him shined their milky glow over the water, causing it to glisten like
a sheet of ice.

<Ice> The thought floated into his mind. <If this sea were ice it would be
identical to the one on the other side of the lights.> Pushing Deanna as
gently as he could off his chest, he rested her head on his jacket, and
pulled on his pants. Now that he was aware of it, almost everything seemed
identical to the other world. He was sure if the snow had not covered the
landscape of the other environment, every element would be the same.

"Will?" He turned towards her voice, either he hadn't been as gentle as he
should have, or she had sensed the shift in his emotions.

"Deanna, does this rock look familiar to you?" He ran his hand over the
surface of the pale blue boulder. Deanna's response was almost
instantaneous. "It's the rock that looks like a bear." She understood
immediately what he was thinking, he watched her silently as she surveyed
the all too familiar surroundings. "Even the constellations are the same."
She noted. "What does that mean?" The warm breeze kicked up, tickling over
her bare shoulders, causing her to shiver. Will pulled her against him.
Resting his chin on her head, he spoke. "I'm not sure, but it would explain
my earlier tricorder readings. I thought maybe it was only a malfunction.
There were no differences between the two locations, the tricorder seemed
unaware that we were in a tropical climate instead of a frigid one." He felt
her tighten her hold on him. "So, who's, or the
tricorder?" He couldn't answer the question, and found no need to try,
something more important was gnawing at him. Pulling away from her, he
looked at her delicate features, enjoying how the moonlight painted shadows
over her skin.

"Deanna....Do you care. I mean about our predicament?" She watched his eyes,
the sparkling blue, dimming to a smoky gray of concern. She knew what he
meant, it had kept her awake for quite sometime after their vigorous
lovemaking. She didn't care, and she couldn't understand why.... worrying
about not worrying had seemed silly, but now that she knew he shared the
feeling. She sighed and pulled herself back into his embrace. "No, I don't
care. If I were perfectly honest, I'd have to say I've never been happier."

"Me too." He agreed, running his fingers gently over her back. It was
obvious to both of them, Commander Riker, and Counselor Troi were being
overthrown by Will and Deanna. Two people who had spent over a decade of
their lives fighting their feelings for one another, now felt an
overwhelming desire to surrender, not only to each other, but to this place.
A place where there were no orders, no meetings, no protocol, only them...
blanketed with hopes, and dreams, and an eternity to explore them.