6 year old Will Riker loved everything about Alaska. He loved walking in the snow and making snowmen taller than he was. His mother, Elizabeth threw a snowball at his back. Freezing for a fraction of a minute, his wide blue eyes grew rounder.
“Mama, that’s cold!”
Elizabeth wasn’t a very tall woman, she was less than two meters tall, had long flowing black hair and brown eyes. She was a member of the Inuit tribe. She taught her son everything her mother and father taught her, and her grandmother. He knew the language of her people, Inuktitut along with English. Despite being heavily pregnant with his little sister Emily, his mother could move pretty well in the snow.
“You were supposed to duck my little soaring eagle. Snowball fight!”
Will began to laugh and pelted his mother’s arm with a snowball. Missing her completely, his snowball hit a little girl with dark brown hair and eyes as black as night just a few meters behind his mother.
“Hey! Watch where you’re throwing those snowballs!”
Will managed to hit his mother in the shoulder this time, but she shielded her face from anymore impacts.
“Wait Will! Let me help this girl up before we continue
our snowball fight.”
Will stopped midstep with his almost perfect snowball in hand. He noticed she was cold. But it was his mother that offered a place to warm up.
“I haven’t seen you around here before. You new in town? Why don’t we go inside and warm up with a nice hot chocolate?”
The little girl with dark brown hair and eyes as black as night stayed where she was for a moment.
“I’m on vacation with my family. My mother must be looking for me. My daddy was chopping wood out front just over there.”
Elizabeth nodded her head and took the little girls hand and they walked together towards the cabin she’d indicated her parents were.
Will trailed behind, dragging a stick he’d found in the snow, making lazy wavy lines. Will’s mother introduced herself to the little girl and smiled once more.
“My name is Elizabeth. This is my son Will. He’s 6. What’s your name?”
The little girl fidgeted for a moment and then looked up seriously.
“My name’s Deanna. I’m 6 and a half. I’m visiting from Betazed. I’ve never seen snow before, this is my first time. Mother doesn’t like the snow. She says it’s too cold. It’s very hot where I come from. We have jungles and waterfalls. Come on, let’s go see if my daddy is still outside.”
Elizabeth smiled down at Deanna, she was a beautiful child, and she opened up like a beautiful white lily in spring once you got to know her. A cabin was now in view only a meter ahead of them. A man with brown hair and brown eyes was vigorously chopping wood. He put the ax down into the stump when he saw Deanna running towards him.
Catching her, they both landed in the snow, laughing together.
“Oh, who’s your new friend honey?”
Deanna smiled as he daddy put her down on the snow covered ground.
“That’s Elizabeth and her son Will. They live over there daddy. Can they come in for some hot chocolate?”
Elizabeth stuck her hand out and shook Ian Andrew’s hand.
“Ian Andrew Troi. I see you’ve already met my Deanna. Why don’t the two of you come inside and meet my wife Lwaxana? I must warn you, she’s a bit of a talker my wife.”
Will took his mother’s hand and followed Ian Andrew and Deanna towards the cabin door. Both stomping their boots to get the snow off, they slowly entered the warm cabin. As soon as the door shut, Deanna ran to her mother.
“Mother! Look! I have a new friend!”
Lwaxana stayed seated on the couch and smiled at Will and Elizabeth. Deanna’s father smiled at her and introduced them.
“Lwaxana dear, this is Elizabeth and Will. They live just next door to us. For the next week that is. I hope it’s alright if we let them stay over for a while.”
Lwaxana waved her hand in agreement.
“Of course my dear. The more the merrier I always say. Deanna dear, why don’t you change out of those soaking wet clothes and have a nice hot bath. Mr. Homn, please bring everyone a cup of hot chocolate. So Elizabeth dear, do you have family living near here?”
Elizabeth nodded and politely took her seat next to Lwaxana. Will sat next to his mother awkwardly looking around the room.
“My family all live within 20 meters of here. Centuries ago, my people, the Inuit’s, we travelled the land. We moved in winter to where the food was plentiful, and in spring we’d move again to drier places. It may not look like it now, but there are places here in Alaska that you can get a nice tan in, in summer. What do you do Mrs. Troi?”
Lwaxana smiled at Elizabeth and leaned back into the sofa.
“I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but I’m an Ambassador for Betazed. I am Lwaxana Troi, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Riix. What about your family dear? What do you do?”
Elizabeth smoothed out her dress and shifted, slightly uncomfortable at the angle in which the couch was making her sit. Putting a pillow under her, she sighed, it took the pressure off her back.
“I work at the Inuit tribal community hospital about 2 kilometers from here. Elizabeth yellow lily Riker. I’m a medicine woman among my people, in the hospital, I guess you could say I’m a doctor, but I use mainly herbs for healing.”
Lwaxana put a hand on Elizabeth’s and smiled a sympathetic smile.
“Dear, why don’t you let Mr. Homn make you a bath with herbs so you can soak your feet? Your feet must be terribly tired from all the walking.”
Elizabeth shook her head and smiled.
“I’m alright. Sometimes my daughter thinks that it’s time to be awake when I’m trying to sleep. I carried my son Will on my back until he was 3. Putting a pillow behind my back helps with the discomfort.”
Watching her son and Deanna playing with some shape holograms by the fire on the floor, she smiled. Elizabeth had been wanting her son to spend more time with more children. There weren’t a lot of children around.
Her sister and her brother didn’t have any children, so Will spent most of his time playing outside the house and making his own games. That or he played with the dog. Making friends with Deanna was good for him. Now he had someone to play with. At least for a little while.
To Be Continued…
This is a very different kind of AU.