By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


Challenge.Song lyrics into a story


The Klingon stood stiffly before his immediate superior officer watching the equally tall man pace thoughtfully around the spare expanse of floor before him. It had taken a lot of courage to take the proverbial bull by the horns and get the advice he sought from the man that eyed him warily.

Worf noticed that Will kept a respectable distance away, so was he afraid of him? Worf felt the silent rumble of laughter within him as he answered his own preposterous question. William Riker was afraid of no-one.

Tapping his lips with his fingers, Will continued to ponder the Lieutenants strange question. It had taken him completely by surprise, and he was totally unprepared, something that he quickly remedied before losing face.

Never in his life, did Will think that Deanna, his Deanna, would end up in a torrid relationship with Worf.

That first time that he had seen the look pass between the Klingon and the Counselor would remain etched in his memory for eternity. For a while Will was so bemused by the situation that he actually encouraged it.

Until it turned serious.

Until Worf turned up on his doorstep, tonight, asking that question.

"Sir, I know this may seem...inappropriate, but, I need some advice about Dea...Counselor Troi."

Will chuckled at Worf's obvious discomfort. Despite knowing him for a good number of years, Will still considered the huge man a bit of an enigma; bit of a dark horse. Until now.

"It's okay, Worf, you can use her name in front of me. I think I've got past the stage of bursting into tears every time I hear her name."

Worf's eyes opened wide with shock and Will watched the red hue creep up Worf's neck as he tried frantically to compose himself to apologise, until he spied the mischievousness that danced in the pale eyes watching him. Worf sighed heavily as he grumbled with a seriousness that was heard but not felt.

"That was NOT funny, Commander."

Will held up his hand in mock apology.

"Sorry, Worf, couldn't resist. Anyway, what did you want to know, what juicy little tidbits can I divulge about our beloved Counselor. Do you want to know what position she favours, or where she likes to be...?"

"Commander, Enough! I will not allow you to ridicule the sanctity of the woman that I love!"

Will circled around the warrior once more, the joking facade gone to be replaced with a burning curiosity.

"What did you come here for, Worf, to gloat, to rub my nose in it a little further, to ask for my blessing!? How could you possibly love her as much as I? Come to that, how could she possibly love you as much as she loved me?"

Worf stood his full height and even Will found himself looking up slightly and he silently found himself wondering how in hell that had happened, until Worf's angry snarl brought him back to the problem at hand.

"Are you challenging me, Commander? Do you wish to resolve this in the way of the warriors, the Klingon way, to the death?"

Will laughed in his face at the absurdity of it all, and taking Worf by surprise with his sudden change.

"Do you think killing me would make a difference, Worf? Do you think that my death would erase the love that she once felt for me, or the love that I felt for her!? Worf, that would probably be the worst thing you ever did."

Will broke the contact with Worf's eyes suddenly afraid of him seeing his carefully disguised feelings about Deanna Troi. Throwing his heavy body onto the sofa, Will wearily rubbed his hand over his handsome features.

"I'm sorry, Worf, that was unforgivable of me. Sit down and ask me your question and I promise I won't fly off into another tangent again."

Worf studied Will for several moments before cautiously sitting opposite him, his stance stiff and unyielding. It was many moments more before Worf formulated his mouth to begin.

"Sir...Commander...Will, I need to know how humans treat their women."

Will blinked in surprise as an easy grin spread across his face.

"That's it, that's the question!?"

Worf nodded abruptly before sheepishly answering,

"Yes, it is. The Klingon way is...very much different. Klingon women behave almost as wild as the warriors that they mate with. I am afraid that Deanna will not endure or, appreciate our way of courtship."

Will was astounded, because never in a million years did he expect this. It was several moments before Will could formulate a coherent response. His hand flailed helplessly midair as he tried to gesture his inner puzzlement. He knew he was grinning stupidly, but the severe Klingon did not seem to find the situation even remotely amusing.

"Worf, are you asking me about how to treat Deanna physically, or mentally?"

Worf groaned at his feeble admission.

"Both. The only thing that Deanna would endure is the Klingon love poetry, the rest would be too aggressive. What I wish to know is what she would like, what she would expect. What is expected of me, as her mate?"

Will exhaled loudly as he contemplated the task before him, and as much as he hated the idea of them together, as his friend, he really had no choice. But more importantly, he was doing it for his Deanna. No matter how many times he told himself that they were only friends, he would never ever think of her in any other way but his.

"Okay, let's try this. If Deanna needed comforting, what would you do?"

Worf squirmed in his seat.

"Well, I think I would probably talk things through with her, that's right, isn't it?"

Will smiled as he shook his head and pushed himself to a stand before speaking.

"No, no that's not what she wants. WHEN SHE NEEDS A FRIEND, she needs a personal touch. First you would silently sympathise, then I guess, YOU'd BETTER HOLD HER, because that's what she wants, that's what she needs; holding close."

Will waited for Worf to digest his meaning, watching him logging it away for future reference.

"Worf, what would you do if Deanna began crying?"

Clearly uncomfortable with the idea of a woman weak enough to be reduced to tears, Worf visibly paled at the image.

"I...I don't know, I am not accustomed to such weakness."

Will scoffed loudly as he knowingly relayed his feelings on that particular subject.

"Let me tell you, Worf, that women, nearly all women cry, sometimes for practically no reason at all, and Deanna, well Deanna in crying mode is an experience all in itself, but WHEN SHE STARTS TO CRY, then all you've gotta do is OFFER HER YOUR SHOULDER, nine times out of ten, that's all she needs."

Worf nodded, beginning to understand the fragility of the female mind, but he was a long way from accepting it. Will's voice broke in as he carried on.

"When things are going wrong AND WHEN THE WORLD COMES CRASHING DOWN around her ears, AND LEAVES HER FULL OF DOUBT, which I might add, is another female trait, just remember, all you've got to do is TAKE HER IN YOUR ARMS, and she's eternally yours. See it's easy, AND THAT's WHAT LOVES ABOUT."

Grinning, Will went and sat back down and studied the Klingon opposite him. He could feel, let alone see, the uncertainty emanating from him. So Will tried again.

"All SHE NEEDS TO KNOW is that YOU CARE. It doesn't matter what else is happening in her life, SHE NEEDS TO KNOW YOUR THERE. And if you have an argument, it has to be you that backs down, it has to be you that does the grovelling, even IF IT TAKES CRAWLING ON YOUR KNEES, you've got TO LIVE UP TO YOUR VOW to be the man that she wants you to be, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. YOU WORK IT OUT, SOMEHOW, and all you've got to remember is TO TREAT HER LIKE A LADY."

Worf grimaced, baring his teeth in that familiar toothy snarl.

"That's it, is it? THAT's WHAT LOVES ABOUT?"

Will chuckled, "Yep, that's it, and if you want her, that's what you've got to do to win her."

Worf studied Will as he languished in the seat before him, noticing that he looked a little too smug, a little too sure that he wouldn't be able to give Deanna a 'proper' relationship, a relationship that was going to mean something to both of them, one day. He also wondered if Will was trying in his own way to warn him off, maybe for his own gains.

Worf felt his insides tighten as he struggled with the knowledge that Will could probably step right in and take Deanna away from him without barely batting an eye lid. Well, he wasn't ready to give up on the fragile Betazoid just yet. He forced his anger back down and changed his posture to a less aggressive position. Will watched Worf warily as the darker man spoke with a voice that was strained with an emotion that he was barely capable of.

"I intend to do my best Commander, Deanna GAVE TO ME HER HEART and I swear with a Klingon's honour that I HOPE TO NEVER BREAK IT, no matter what happens to us in the future."

Will stopped breathing as Worf continued to speak,

"She also BARED TO ME. HER SOUL, and her innermost desires. I COULD HARDLY TAKE IT in, she is a beautiful humanoid woman, and I, a Klingon warrior, Commander, Deanna GAVE ME ALL SHE HAD, I did not understand when SHE SAID THAT SHE COULD DO WITHOUT UNTIL THE END OF TIME, Sir, what did she mean?

Worf was understandably puzzled by Deanna's statement, but Will was still to busy nursing his broken heart to answer him.

Deanna, his Imzadi, had given Worf everything that they had made theirs, and more, and he was beside himself as the shock of what he was losing. What he had lost, stared at him in the face. Deanna Troi had given her heart and soul to another, a possibility that he had been confident that would never happen. Shouldn't have ever happened.

Worf watched as Will stood and began to walk towards the door. Worf had done it. He had severed the link between his new woman and his greatest adversary and he should have felt relief, maybe even joy, so why didn't he?

But as the slumped shoulders of Commander William Riker stepped silently through the door, he answered his own question.

Because he had just shown me what love is.

Worf whispered in awe to the closed doors,




by Marty Stuart

When she needs a friend , then you'd better hold her,

When she starts to cry, then offer her your shoulder,

and when the world comes crashing down, and leaves her full of doubt,

take her in your arms,

Now that's what loves about


She needs to know, you care

She needs to know, you're there,

If it takes crawling on your knees to live up to your vow,

No matter what it takes, we'll work it out somehow,

Treat her like a lady,

Now that's what loves about.


She gave to me her heart, I hope I never break it,

She bared to me her soul, I could hardly take it,

She gave me all she had, she said she could do without,

Till the end of time,

Now that's what loves about.


She needs to know, you care,

She needs to know, your there,

If it takes crawling on your knees to live up to your vow,

No matter what it takes, we'll work it out somehow,

Treat her like a lady,

Now that's what loves about


Treat her like a lady,

Now that's what loves about.

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