Author: Laura Schiller
Email: Rostockgirl AT aol.com
Summary: Deanna learns the Klingon word for "imzadi".
Disclaimers: Everything Star Trek, including Worf and Deanna Troi, belong to Paramount Pictures. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
There were few places on the Enterprise more comfortable, thought Deanna, as her sofa – or more specifically, sitting with Worf's arm around her on the sofa. They had reading reports, or at least pretending to; it was becoming increasingly obvious that neither of them had their minds on their padds. Deanna uncurled her feet from under and snuggled up a little closer to her lover.
That was when she saw what he was reading. It was not a security report.
"I have been researching Betazoid culture," he admitted sheepishly, on catching sight of her raised eyebrows. "Including its literary tradition."
Moved by the gesture, she kissed him on the cheek. "Aww... not too many glorious war ballads, I'm afraid."
Betazed had been a peaceful planet for almost as long as its recorded history; there had been several disputes, quarrels and 'cold wars', but nothing like the long tales of bloodshed and strife that made up the history of Qronos. Being a society of telepaths where one's every thought was open to scrutiny, Betazoids had been pretty much forced to get along. Hence, no war ballads. Deanna sensed a glimmer of disappointment from Worf (he did, after all, enjoy them), but not very much.
"The contemporary love poetry from your family's native region is quite... ah... "
"Stimulating?" Deanna finished, with a glint in her eye, remembering their memorable holodeck date when she had teased him about his use of that word.
"Beautiful," he amended, looking embarrassed, as he rarely said such things aloud. Although, with Deanna around, sentimental remarks had been coming out of his mouth more and more often, to his chagrin and her delight.
The corners of his mouth pulled down as he saw the title of the nect poem. In the Arms of My Imzadi.
"I have heard... that word... before," he said slowly, either not knowing how to pronounce imzadi, or unwilling to try. "You and Commander Riker... have referred to your relationship by that term." He took his arm away from her shoulders and held the padd away from him with both hands. She felt suddenly cold.
"It is a term of endearment, yes? For one's lover."
She nodded slowly, searching for the words to explain. Worf turned to look at her, his dark eyes piercing; she dropped her eyes.
"You have never used that word with me."
Worf's voice was a low rumble, the calm before the storm. He was jealous – and underneath that, deeply hurt.
Deanna held up her chin and looked him in the eye. How to get him to understand?
"I am not in love with William Riker," she told him. "At least, not anymore. Imzadi is a term of endearment, true. It means 'first love'. A Betazoid's first love does create a sort of telepathic bond, but when Will dumped me, it pretty much faded away. The only time I can send thoughts to him anymore is in an emergency. Worf, listen."
She caught his chin, turning his head to look at her.
My first love was not my only one, she projected, and was rewarded by the astonishment in his eyes. And I want you, Worf, to be my last.
He closed his eyes and, with a great effort (since the exercise was new to him) sent a thought of his own back along the channel she had formed.
"That is what you are to me," said Worf. "In my language, it means 'beloved'. It is a word of... passion, and also of enduring loyalty and respect. It means you are my mate, and I would slaughter armies for one glance from your fiery eyes."
He kissed her eyelids, and then her lips, and no more words were needed. Deanna's last coherent thought was that there was, after all, one place more comfortable than the sofa – and that was her bed.