By Carol Sandford


Chapter 02


Will drank in Deanna's features, not quite believing that she was back within his arms again, when only an hour ago she had been within Worf's, seemingly quite happy, and quite settled. Funny how all it took was one song to change things. The walk back to her quarters was purposely slow as Will knew within his heart that, once they had reached her door, he was going no further with her.

Will pulled Deanna back into the circle of his arms, soaking up her warmth, not quite believing that they were here, at this point, once more. He sighed with happiness and Deanna felt the smile upon her head as he snuggled even closer. Deanna slipped her arms around the back of Will's neck pulling his mouth to hers. Will groaned as her tongue intertwined with his, the action forcing his hands lower and lifting her petite form against his raging heat.

But seconds later he felt bereft as Deanna breathlessly pulled away from him. Will held on fast, not wanting to let her go. Fear licked at his senses but he tried valiantly to ignore it, instead he asked the painfully obvious,

"You're not going to let me come in tonight, are you, Deanna?" Will couldn't help the question even though he'd already half expected what her response was going to be, because he knew that she was going to see Worf. He was not happy about that, but was aware that it was necessary. Their working relationship was too closely connected to leave things as they were.

Deanna kissed him lightly on the lips again, loathe to leave him, but desperate to attend the needs of her friend who's anger radiated through her senses even from this distance. "I'm sorry, Will, you know I can't. Please, trust me. "

Will sighed with knowing defeat, "I trust you, Deanna, and I know you're going to go to him, but, do me a favour. Come to my quarters when your done talking to Worf, okay?"

"But, Will..."

"No, that's not what I mean, Deanna. I know you, and I know how much this conversation is going to hurt. I just want to be there for you and I need to know your okay. Please?"

Deanna studied him intently for a moment before moving away from his arms, nodding lightly, her eyes unable to look into his any longer. Will watched her enter her quarters with a distinct feeling of unease. His sigh was lost with the feint whoosh of the doors closing, but it was several seconds before he could force his legs to turn away.

Deanna stood inside her quarters, stopping so close to the doors that she felt the feint breeze as they closed behind her. She knew the moment that Will had walked away by the enormous feeling of loss and betrayal that swept through her, leaving her trembling. It was several minutes before she could coherently speak to the invisible computer.

"Computer, location of Lieutenant Worf."

"Computer, tell me which programme is currently running in Holodeck One."

Deanna took a deep restoring breath before quickly entering her bedroom, only to emerge a few minutes later wearing something a little more suitable for a session on the Holo-deck. She was grateful when she stepped into the corridor to find it completely devoid of people, including Will. If he'd known where she was going, Deanna knew she wouldn't have gotten more than ten feet.


Deanna heard the ferocious roars as she approached the huge, steel grey holo-deck doors. But it was roars of triumph she heard. The roar of a victorious Klingon warrior. Without a shadow of a doubt, Deanna knew it was Worf's cry of conquest, and heard the challenge within that roar for the next suitor to approach.

Worf heard the heavy doors hiss as they closed and braced himself for the sight of the woman that had tortured his mind and his movements against the adversary that now lay at his feet; a bloody tangle of limbs and torso's, some indistinguishable as to what belonged to who. He had entered the programme as a madman, and now his blade had struck the last man down so his rage had dissipated somewhat, too.

He heard her soft footfall approach him from behind and Deanna saw his giant form stiffen with the prospered confrontation about to happen. But instead, nothing but shock filled his mind and body as Deanna crisply spoke, her voice echoing slightly in the cavernous room, "Computer, replay Battle of Makir, safety protocols off."

Even before Worf could countermand her instructions, the unmistakable roar of several Klingon warriors thundered towards their position. Instinct alone urged Worf to raise his Bat'leth to begin defending his body. But now he had an extra reason for saving his hide; the woman that had begun to swing her own bat'leth beside him, her high pitched verbal grunts and curses rising above the constant clash of steel upon steel.

She was out to prove a point, and for the love of Kahless, he hadn't a clue why, or why she had come to him. For the hour that he had already battled, and with each man that he had slain, another piece of his bitterness had dropped away. Now he was only left with humiliation, and humiliation was a harder battle to win, especially when he had to lose it in front of the woman who had created that humiliation.

Deanna half watched Worf through the corner of her eye as she wrestled with the hefty Klingon intent on seeing her fall to the ground with her body split wide open from his Bat'leth. She felt Worf's inner turmoil, but was relieved to find it not quite as venomous as it once was.

Seeing a chance, Deanna suddenly swung her weapon low, catching the warrior by surprise with her nimble agility as she dived to his feet, slicing at his legs in one, swift and sure movement, then watching in morbid fascination as the giant men fell to his knees, his cry echoing around the battleground before his ugly face hit the dirt.

But before she could get to her feet winded from the exertion of swinging the enormous weapon with all her tiny dynamic weight, Worf's warning roar filled the air. Deanna instinctively rolled to one side as his Bat'leth swung towards her, embedding itself in the man that had come within an inch of stabbing her with his own weapon.

As he fell the room went deathly silent. The last man had fallen leaving just Deanna and Worf basking in their glory. Or so she thought. Barely a fraction later, Deanna found herself being dragged up by her upper arms and dangled unceremoniously in front of Worf's face, his rage burning in his eyes, his mouth hard and snarling as he roughly shook her,

"What in Kahless' name do you think you are doing, Counselor!? Are you trying to get yourself killed? Do you really want to add your death to my shoulders? Is that my punishment? Is that how little you think of me, Counselor!?"

Shocked into silence, Deanna could only stare at Worf's face as he continued to shake her as she hung limply before him, unable to anything more than bare the brunt of his barely constrained anger. And then as suddenly as it had begun, it ended.

Finally realising what he was doing, Worf's features snapped back, horrified at what he'd done and what he was doing. Slowly he lowered Deanna to her feet and released her shoulders as though she had suddenly become a ball of fire.

"I'm sorry," he growled through clenched teeth as he tried to reign in his emotions and turning away from her, his eyes staring unseeing at the carnage at his feet, "That was unforgivable behaviour from a senior officer. I expect a reprimand as it is no less than I deserve."

Carefully stepping over the body at her own feet, Deanna suddenly realised what she was doing and, exasperated, she spoke to thin air, "Computer, stop programme." Within seconds the battle ground became a yellowed checked room devoid of everything except the two living, breathing and tension-filled people that stood in its centre facing one another.

Worf made to turn away, but Deanna reached out her hand to him, letting it rest on his arm, her eyes searching, pleading with him to stay, "Worf, please. You have every right to be angry with me. I have betrayed not only you, but your son, too. It is I that should be apologising, not you. It is I that is the wrong-doer here, not you. Can you ever forgive me, Worf?"

His hardened heart softened as he allowed his eyes to rest on her, allowing himself the pleasure of being this close to her for the last time, remembering when she had been in his arms and had enjoyed being there. He couldn't believe it was only a couple of hours ago.

Two hours. Two hours for his whole universe to fall apart around his ears. Just two hours for his son to lose his promised mother, his hoped wife, and his treasured friend. Two hours.

Deanna stepped closer, raising her face up to his. Worf drowned in her chocolate eyes, soaking up the memories that lay within them and cherishing the words that left her plum lips, "I am still your treasured friend, Worf. I always will be, no matter what."

With her words, Worf suddenly realised that was what he was waiting for. That was what he'd wanted; that he wasn't losing her, because he couldn't have bared that, not after losing K'Ehleyr. Life couldn't be that cruel.

And in that instant, his anger fell away to be left with a feeling of thankfulness, and of relief. Of being blessed with having a friend that would always be there for him and his son. With a sigh, Worf pulled Deanna into his embrace, and smiling with joy, she went willingly.

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