By Carol Sandford


Chapter 04


Although she sat on the same couch as him, Deanna might as well have been sitting a million miles away. Will... her Will was locked away in his own mental torment for what, at this moment, seemed to be forever. But occasionally, when he was quiet, and they were alone, and his mind was in relative peace, did her Will come to the surface. Even if it was only for a minute or so, at least he was still there.

And it was these moments that gave her faith. Within her heart, Deanna never lost the hope that her Imzadi was coming back. Life would go on. They would go on. But until then, they were still in the black tunnel that had claimed him, and the light was barely a speck in the distance. But it was there.

"Do you want to talk about what happened, Will?" She was rewarded with a shrug. A good start that looked promising. Will looked everywhere around the room but at her. She tried again.

"Did Captain Picard say something to upset you, Will?" Will nodded sheepishly. It pushed her on. "Can you forgive him for saying something bad, for upsetting you?" Once more, he nodded, quicker this time. She caught his eye, he had made contact, Deanna's heart soared.

"Will, would you like me to make you feel good?" Deanna watched his face as the various emotions flitted across it, until he finally made up his mind and nodded.

"Okay, come here." She patted her lap and the big man slowly swung his body around and put his head upon her lap. His long legs draped over the couch's arm and began to gently swing like a pendulum. Shifting slightly, Deanna made herself more comfortable then began to caress his forehead until his eyes began to drift shut. Gradually her fingers traced their way around his entire face. She lovingly took in the features that she knew intimately. She lightly stroked his beard, noticing that it needed a trim, but he was a long way from facing the barbers yet. She felt his mind relax and carried on for several minutes until she could almost feel his trance-like state. It was at that point that Deanna tried to reach him again.

"I love you, Will, you do know that don't you?" The tiny positive movement gave her answer.

"Imzadi, do you trust me?" She got the same response.

Everyday her sessions with Will started the same way. Deanna knew that he needed to feel secure and safe, and the one thing guaranteed to certify that was the love and trust between them. If it went wrong, he still knew that she loved him, unconditionally.

"Tell me what happened, Will"

It was several moments before Will had formed the words in his mind in order to get them out in one go. "I want to go home, Deanna. I want to leave Starfleet."

Deanna's heart stopped but she managed to keep the steady stroke upon his face going. "Why, Will?"

She felt Will's sigh, seconds passed before he spoke again. "Had enough."

Deanna frowned; her mind struggled to keep neutral "Do you think that it will help, leaving Starfleet - leaving the Enterprise?"

Will nodded and whispered one word "Yes."

Deanna felt an odd sensation, like she was falling, and her heart began to sink. This was serious. After everything that had happened, on this mission and all the others before, Will had never, ever wanted to leave the Enterprise, this was his home. This was where all his friends were and this was where she was, the only woman who he truly loved, adored and worshipped. She was here, with him, on board. And now he was planning on leaving it all behind.

He was planning on leaving her behind.

As her rampaging thoughts threatened to consume her, she struggled to collect herself.

Trying to keep her voice even, she ploughed on needing to get as much information from him before he closed up. "Where will you go?"

Deanna felt a pain in her heart as he relayed his plans. "Earth...Alaska...Home, I want to go home. I must go home." Her hand stopped in mid stroke as she held her breath for his next answer. "When Will?"

"Soon.Now, I must go now."

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