By Carol Sandford


Part 1


Mending Memories - Chapter 7



Will began to climb. Needing the physical exertion, he had decided to climb the biggest tree within a few kilometre's of the falls. Rapidly growing disappointed at the lack of communication from Tang, he was certain that Tang would have had some form of contact with Deanna, especially once he'd been reported missing.

The thought was sobering. Maybe after all, he was not that important to her. The more Will pondered on the thought, the more agitated he became. Feeling the need to vent some of the frustration within him, he had climbed. The tree was huge, and it was a while before he reached strong enough branches to hold his weight.

He went higher.

Reaching a point where he could go no further, he settle back against the trunk to catch his breath. His eyes took in the view, the silence, the peace. Time stood still as he took in the sight that spread out before him.

Autumn colors of every hue lay before him like a carpet, as far, and further, as the eye could see. Will felt humbled, he was certain that no-one would have seen this sight, and more than anything, he wished Deanna was here to witness it with him. Her image brought him back to where he had started. Deanna Troi, future wife of William T. Riker, future mother of his children, sacred holder of his heart. His Imzadi.


Dusk was rapidly approaching, made nearer by the natural canopy of the over head trees. Unconsciously Tang hastened his pace, dragging an exhausted Deanna behind him. They did not have much further to go, and he wanted to be able to pass her into safe hands before heading back alone.

"Slow down, Tang, please"

Tang halted his pace, turned and apologised to her. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we're nearly there. I want to make it before nightfall, but we can go slower now, it's only around the corner."

Only around the corner.Deanna felt her pulse quicken. Soon she will come face to face with Will. Trepidation surged through her veins. She knew she was going to apologise to him, but was it too late? Deanna prayed that it was not.

Lost in her thoughts of what she was going to say to him, Deanna was surprised when they finally reached the clearing. The gentle sound of the waterfall became an instant reminder of her last visit. Her eyes scanned the grassy banks, certain that their imprints would still be found in the soft soil. They were not.

The disappointment washed over her. Tang made his way over to Will's make shift camp, but there was no sign of the big man. Deanna joined him. Tang looked dismayed "He's not here. I can't leave you on your own."

Deanna took a deep breath, and plastered a brave smile across her face. "I'm sure he's not far, he'll be back any minute. Will wouldn't have left his things here would he? I know you want to get home Tang, and I insist that you go. I will be perfectly alright. Please, Tang...Go."

Tang studied her face for several moments before resignedly asking her "Are you sure, ma'am? I would hate for anything to happen to you, especially now."

Deanna nodded, "I'm sure. Now please, go, before it get's any darker."

Tang hesitated a moment more, before pressing a communicator in her hand and making Deanna promise to call him if he did not show within half an hour. She agreed, and with a final hug, he turned and followed the same path out of the clearing.

Deanna made her way over to Will's belongings. Aware that she was intruding on what could be a huge mistake. Doubts began to creep into her mind now that she was here and about to face him once more. About to probably change her life once more, one way or the other.

Tang's words made her feel a little easier. Maybe Will did truly love her. Maybe he loved his career more, maybe he really did not want to see her right now, and maybe this really was a huge mistake.

She pulled out his sleeping bag, spreading it wide so that she could sit on it and wait. Deanna had no intentions of calling Tang back. If Will did not turn up tonight, she would simply sleep in the bag and return home in the morning, after all she knew the way like the back of her hand. And besides, her mother would have sent a search party out if she hadn't returned by tomorrow night if nothing was heard from her.

Deanna chuckled as she tried to envisage Chandra telling her mother what was going on, but, chances are, Lwaxana already knew, but Deanna had finally grown up and knew what she wanted, and if it was William Riker, then so be it. But did Will still want her?


Lost in his thoughts, time slipped gradually away. Will finally acknowledged that he was rapidly losing light. The journey down the tree was going to perilous, but even he knew it was going to be worse in the dark. He inched his way back down, his mind already plotting on how to get Deanna to climb up and share the experience, one day.

Reaching the bottom branches, Will swung himself down the last few feet, the soft mossy ground masking his landing. His stomach growled with hunger and as he sauntered back to his camp, he tried to make his mind up on his choice of supper. The dried stew, with dried dumplings, or the dried curry, with dried rice. Will approached his belongings tossing the choices about in his head Stew or curry. Curry or stew...

Coming to a halt, Will spotted the humped figure that seemed to have made itself comfortable in his sleeping bag. Tiptoeing closer, he squatted down, half expecting it to be Tang. It would not have surprised him to see him here, checking up on him like a father figure. Will chuckled, but when he spotted the mass of black curls, he gasped, "Deanna!"

Deeply asleep, Will realised that she must have been exhausted. Will crept quietly away and taking himself out of earshot, he called Tang on his communicator. "Tang, Tang, answer me dammit!"

Seconds later Tang replied slightly breathless, "Tang here, sir, glad to hear your voice. I gather you've found your surprise."

Will exploded, "Surprise! that's an understatement. You were supposed to warn me, Tang."

"I didn't get the chance. Sorry."

Will sighed, "O.k. Tang, Thanks for bringing her. I expect we'll be home sometime tomorrow. Wish me luck. Riker out."

Cautiously making his way back, he came to a stand in front of her. How long Will stood watching the sleeping form, he did not know, but while he did so, a myriad of thoughts and emotions played through his head. Finally he sighed, assessing the situation, and his surroundings, and muttered to himself "Now, where am I going to sleep?"

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