Author: D. Destiny
Email: DeaDestiny AT yahoo.com
Summary: Continuation of the episode's W/T scene.
Author's Note: While writing this story I assumed that a relationship between Worf and Troi had already formed, rather than what we saw in the episode being their first date.
Disclaimers: Everything Star Trek, including Worf and Deanna Troi, belong to Paramount Pictures. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
She watched the retreating back of Captain Picard for a few seconds, silently disapproving of the grey robe he wore, but then pushed her worry out off her mind. She had been waiting too long for this evening to let it be ruined by anyone, a barefooted Captain in night-clothes included. Deanna turned back to face Worf, taking in his profile as she waited for him to put his worry aside as well.
They had slowly been exploring their feelings for each other during the past months. Worf's experiences in alternate realities and hers in a hallucination triggered by an empatic echo being the catalysts for a slow dance around each other to transform into something quicker and more intimate.
They hadn't been physically intimate yet, and that was fine by her, but she had to admit that she was becoming increasingly curios. She was, through her research when guiding Alexander, aware of Klingon mating traditions and like Worf, she didn't wish to rush into marriage this early on in their relationship. That, however, did not mean they could not be intimate.
She smiled up at him when he finally turned back to her and couldn't tear her gaze away from his lips. Her heart fluttered with anticipation as she reached up to him and then stopped beating when his warm breath raked across her skin. Her eyes closed off their own accord as his face neared hers again. *Please don't let there be anymore interruptions!* she begged to whomever was listening, holding her breath and waiting.
And then she felt it, the lightest of touches across her lips. The contact was so brief that as soon as it disappeared she found herself wondering if it had been there at all. All thoughts halted when she felt his lips again, this time stronger and more heated. His passion burned hotly in her mind, fuelling her own as it raced through her veins. Then suddenly, she remembered they were still out in the corridor where anyone might see them.
Reluctantly she broke the kiss, smiling as soon as she saw Worf's puzzled glance to ease the unease he felt over the interruption. "Why don't we go inside?"
The sentence brought him back from whatever plane of existence the two of them had shared moments earlier and she felt his mind coming to attention. She bit back a sigh, realizing that for the moment his rationale would win over his instincts.
After the doors had closed behind them Deanna moved back into Worf's arms, trying to distract him before he could speak. It was to no avail, for he simply grabbed her upper arms and gently shoved her backward. "Deanna," she almost smiled at his soft tone, was it not that she was aware of what he was going to say. "We must discuss Commander Riker."
"Your honor is admirable Worf, and you're right. Why don't we sit down?" He did as she suggested and watched her curls dancing on her back. He found himself comparing her to the Deannas he had encountered when shifting through realities. The other ones, the ones that were married to his alternate self, had seemed...softer, somehow. Maybe it was because of the dresses and the lighter hair, but even so, they had seemed more relaxed and happy than the Deanna in this reality. A little voice inside him tried to tell him that had been because the others had been married to him, but he couldn't allow himself to believe that. Not yet anyway.
"Worf," Deanna opted to explain it in her own words, rather than make the Klingon Security officer ask the questions that were on his mind, "Will and I are friends. We have been for longer than that we've been lovers. He's almost like a brother to me and I'm certain I'll never love him on a romantic level again." She held his eyes with hers and allowed her feelings to show in them.
"Will is holding on to a memory. He isn't in love with me; hasn't been for a long, long time." Worf looked closer at her face when a cross between a snort and a sniffle left her throat, "Sometimes I wonder if he was ever -in- love with me. If it wasn't the challenge I provided that caused his attraction to transform into love--the love for the hunt." Troi shook her head to stop that line of thought.
He believed her and yet he felt obliged to question her further. He did not wish to dishonor her or Riker. "But you and lieutenant Riker--" He halted his words as soon as an expression of sorrow and pain settled on her face. Was it him that she loved? The night before Thomas had left he had encountered Commander Riker in Ten-Forward. He had joined his superior officer and as the evening progressed the Commander had become more and more melancholic and had already started to prepare a speech for the wedding.
"It was more like a holodeck program of the past than a rekindling of an old flame." She said with more than a hint of sadness in her voice. "I suppose that I wanted to prove to myself that it wasn't my fault that Will left me all those years ago. That it hadn't been because I wasn't good or exciting enough."
"Do not think that!" His roar shocked her out of her self-incriminating thoughts and for a moment she could only stare wide-eyed at him, then a soft smile appeared.
"I know, thank you." Surprised he opened his arms when Deanna turned around and moved backwards until she was resting against his chest. She sighed contently and rested her head in the crook of his neck. He wrapped his arms around her and inhaled her scent deeply.
Regretting the question he had left to ask. "What is Imzadi?"
In his embrace her body tensed slightly, but soon relaxed. "Imzadi is the name of a rare emotional bond that can form between lovers. Will and I shared it and we still do, in a small measure; but as our love died, so did the bond. All that remains is a tiny thread to remind us of what we once shared. It is no threat to you or to us." She finished in reaction to his sinking spirits. Since the onset of their relationship he had feared that the link she and Riker shared would bind her to him forever.
"Would we be able to forge a similar bond?"
"What?!" Troi sat up in surprise and searched his features for any hint of teasing, but all she saw was the determined set of his jaw. "I--I dont know. I suppose we could." Satisfied, Worf tried to draw her back into his arms, but instead Deanna stood up and walked to the view ports. What had he done to upset her?
Fortunately he didn't have to wait long. "Worf, don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure I want to be bonded with you." Before he could express his shock and displeasure she continued. "I know that upsets you but please, hear me out. Will Riker was my first lover and although I knew of his dedication to Starfleet and his feelings about women in general, I gave him my heart freely, somehow believing that if I loved him enough, he would stay. I was unprepared for the heartbreak that followed and the Imzadi-bond between us only made the separation and betrayal more difficult to bear."
"Even after I had recovered from the heartache, the bond would remind me of him constantly and when we met again on the Enterprise, I never felt more trapped. I refused to go to him and tell him of my feelings, but I also couldn't find the peace I sought with another man. It took a long time before the bond died and during that time Will has always held a certain power over me of which he was unaware." She faced him squarely now, daring him to object to her decision. "Until you're sure that you can commit to me for the rest of our lives, I cannot allow myself to be bonded like that again." She felt like a total cretin for having to set such a line, but she simply couldn't allow it. She loved Worf, without a doubt, but she wasn't ready to take the risk just yet.
The Klingon mulled over her words while trying to suppress the anger he felt rising within him. Had he known Riker had dishonored her so thoroughly, he would never have bothered to ask the man's permission. "Deanna," he called eventually, moving to hover just behind her shoulders, "when a Klingon mates it is for life. I would never dishonor you."
Deanna turned around and moved into his embrace again, this time choking back a sob brought on by the emotions this evening had caused. "I know. I just...please try to understand."
"I do understand. But remember;" With a single finger he coaxed her to lift her head and look at him, "I would never tie you down. You are free to leave anytime you wish." He brushed his lips softly against hers; reveling in her taste and groaned when she responded and lit the fire within him.
"I love you" she whispered against the heath of his skin after she'd once again settled against his chest.
"As I love you." He returned sincerely; pleased that they had cleared all the obstacles standing in their way. Tonight was the true beginning of their relationship.