By Carol Sandford


Part 1


Mending Memories - Chapter 6



Will sat on a huge boulder that sat like a sentinel on the lake's shoreline. Opening his ration's pack, he selected some dried fruits, shuffled his body down until he was comfortable, and began to chew quietly. As he watched the light play on the cascading water, his troubled mind was unable to appreciate the true beauty of his surroundings.

Will was torn in two. How could he have his starfleet career AND Deanna Troi? He knew he loved her too much to let her go, but he had waited his whole life to become a Starfleet officer. And now... now he'd blown it by falling in love with most beautiful, the most frustrating, and the most incredible woman that had ever walked.

Will smiled as he remembered her newly discovered antics in the jungle. It seemed a life time away, when in fact it had been very few days. Had he barely known her a few measly weeks? Will had never felt so comfortable, so alive, and so captivated with anyone in his life. He was not going to let her go, ever.

He had heard that the Federation was building a new flagship, and his goal was if not Captain for a while, certainly its first officer. But Will needed to make the grade. He needed to get a few more brownie points under his belt first, and he knew he was not going to be able to do that with distractions. Will just needed a little more time.


Deanna became thoughtful as they began to make their way into the jungle. Until now, Tang had kept quiet, afraid of letting anything slip about the secrecy of this mission. Within moments of their decision to allow him to escort her, the two women had all but barrelled him out of the door, kitted him up and headed out. He had not got a chance to warn Will that they were coming.

"Sergeant..." Deanna's voice broke him out of his quandary,

" me Tang ma'am"

Deanna smiled softly at him, and Tang instantly saw what had captivated the young lieutenant's attentions. She was exceptionally pretty, but then most Betazoid's were, but Deanna Troi had an air about her, that was solely hers. One could quite easily lose themselves in the onyx eyes, that sparkled with merriment when she smiled.

Before they had started out, Deanna's eyes had been almost matt in colour, now they were shining brightly as she neared her destination. Her voice brought him out of his reverie again.

"Tang, do you know Will very well?"

Pushing back the bushes and stepping to one side so that she could pass by without the spiky branch whacking her in the face, Tang smiled at her.

"Well ma'am, I know that the lieutenant is an honourable man in his heart, and I know that he is very fond of you. No man behaves like he is without being in love..."

Deanna stopped him in his tracks as she halted in front of him to look into his face as she thought about his comment. The seemingly ever-present tears sprung to her eyes.

"Then why did he sleep with Wendy Roper Tang...Why?" Her voice broke on her final why, and she turned her head away, embarrassed at revealing her true feelings to a near stranger. But she turned to face him again, and as Tang watched the tears spill down her face, Deanna asked once more, "Why, Tang?"

Tang sighed heavily, he was no expert at this and chose his words carefully, "Sometimes, ma'am, when your hurting badly, you reach out to clutch at anything that will give you comfort. Wendy unfortunately 'happened' to be there, she got to be his comfort."

He watched her face as she digested the information, Deanna did not get angry like he expected, so he tried again. "Believe me, ma'am, if the lieutenant could turn back the clock, he would, but he can't, and that's hurting him more than anything. Y'know, he's prepared to give up his career for you ma'am."

Deanna was stunned. That information alone shocked more than anything else she'd had to endure. "But Tang, I don't want him to do that for me! I know how important his career is to him, it was what he was born to do, I can't let him do that. For me."

A spark of hope flared within Tang. This was what he wanted to hear. There was hope for these two after all. Swinging her around, he clasped her by the arm and with a new spring in his step, and new hope in his heart, they continued their journey.

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