**************** Willy Billy Boo ****************


›Ohh, Dee," he moaned and Deanna stiffened.
›Dee?" she asked, trying her hardest to maintain a neutral tone. She knew that Will was her Imzadi, and that gave their love an incomparable specialness, but she was still so new at this that she couldn‹t quell the insecurity that constantly threatened. She wanted to trust him and, as he would say, 'go with it,‹ but at the same time, she had to know. Will *was* experienced, and it was entirely possible he‹d unwittingly called out the name of a former lover. And if that were true, she didn‹t know if she could bear it. But she had to know.
›Yeah," he said, true confusion at her response emanating so strongly that she was immediately reassured. ›Dee. As in short for Deanna. As in a nickname. What‹s wrong?" It didn‹t take him long to switch from confused defense to the offensive. Great, now he‹d even gotten her thinking in militaristic terms.
›Nothing," she said lightly and leaned back in to kiss him again. She could sense his inner struggle " let it go and enjoy the passion of the moment? Or force the issue and make her tell what bothered her? Even before he pulled back, she knew which side had won. It was nice to know that she was influencing him even as he was influencing her.
›Deanna, I‹m serious, what‹s wrong?"
She sighed. ›It‹s stupid."
He raised his eyebrows but said nothing.
›All right, I got insecure when you said 'Dee.‹"
Once again, he was confused. His brow furrowed as he tried to see why that would bother her, and then understanding struck. ›You thought I was thinking about someone else?" She didn‹t need to be an empath to see his anger.
›I‹m sorry! I couldn‹t help it. Nobody‹s ever called me Dee before."
›But still...! Deanna, I may not understand this exactly, but what we have here, even though it‹s new, is special. It doesn‹t compare to *any*thing I‹ve ever known before. How could you even *think* that I was thinking of somebody else?!"
›I said I‹m sorry!" Things had been so perfect and then her insecurity had to go and ruin it. ›I‹m an empath and I study psychology, so I understand emotions, Will, but that doesn‹t mean I have utter control over my own! Yes, this is incredibly special to me, but then again, it‹s my first time. I said we‹re Imzadi, but until now I had doubts as to whether the whole thing was a myth! And maybe it is! Maybe the only reason I thought this was Imzadi was because I have nothing to compare it to! And then it would be entirely possible for you to be thinking of someone else!" Her voice rose as she spoke until she was practically shouting at him, but at the same time, tears flowed down her cheeks.
›Oh, Deanna, I‹m sorry." He wrapped his arms around her and drew her in to comfort her. And himself. ›I will tell you now, and I will tell you as often as you need to hear it, Imzadi is real, and we are Imzadi. Believe me, this is special and wonderful and beautiful and unique. And there is no one I‹d even want to think about but you."
›I love you."
He smiled at her words and kissed her. ›Ditto." He kissed her again. ›So, Dee..."
She grimaced and he laughed. ›What, you don‹t like it, Dee?" he taunted her.
›Not exactly," she admitted.
›What‹s wrong with it, Dee? It‹s not so bad."
›I know." She bit her lip. ›But I don‹t like it."
›Aw, Dee, c‹mon. It‹s just a name."
›Stop it." She was tiring of this game. She knew that it would only encourage him to show her dislike, but couldn‹t let it go. They may have succeeded in squashing her insecurity for now, but that name just made her cringe. ›Names mean something, Will. And I don‹t like what that name means." She couldn‹t even bring herself to pronounce it.
He surrendered. ›Okay," he said, but she could hear the amused undertones and knew she hadn‹t heard the last of it.
The blissful mood gone, they got up and began their long trek in the jungle once again. Every now and then, Will would glance her way like a little boy with a snake and whisper, ›Dee." She had to force herself not to react, not realizing that her aloof calmness only served to further egg him on.
Finally she had enough. Her mind began forming a plan, and with a goal in mind, she was able to tolerate his teasing until they stopped again. They set up camp for the night, got some food and then turned their attention to more important matters.
He was trailing kisses on her neck when she remembered her plan. He gently nipped her ear and she let out a contented sigh. ›Oh, Bill, that‹s just perfect."
He jerked back. ›What did you say?"
She opened her eyes to look her most innocent. ›Why, I gave you a nickname, Bill. What‹s the matter, don‹t you like it?" She echoed his earlier words. ›It‹s just a name, Bill."
›Aw, Deanna, that‹s not fair."
›What‹s not fair? I don‹t see any problem with it, Bill."
His jaw clenched and she hid a smile. Turnabout was fun.
›Do you really hate it that much, Bill?" she cooed. ›I can stop it if you want. Just say the word."
He didn‹t want to say it, because then he‹d have to quit his teasing of her, and admit that he couldn‹t take what he dished out.
After watching him squirm for a few moments, Deanna took pity. ›Tell you what, I won‹t call you Bill if you don‹t call me Dee. No more teasing with the names, okay?"
›Sure. Fine."
They each showed remarkable restraint on the rest of the journey, but when they finally arrived at their destination, about to be bombarded with the real world filled with other people, Deanna got the last shot in before she darted over to the ship. ›Well, we made it, didn‹t we, Bill?"
She could hear his low growl as he ran after her, but knew that there was nothing he could do now. She smiled at him impishly and then laughed at the mock glare she received. It didn‹t matter; they were Imzadi, and the Universe was theirs.

The End...or the beginning. ;)