Post Insurrection and even past Voyager's Inside Man due to the R/T relationship implications in that episode. Also note that while the effects of the Ba'ku Homeworld did influence their behavior - they were acting 'frisky' prior to that encounter in the movie. IMHO, it only enhanced those feelings already at the surface.

TITLE: Defining Moment
CODES: R/T (Imzadi)
DISCLAIMER: Characters are the property of Paramount, etc.. No infringement is intended other than the enjoyment of its readers.
FEEDBACK: Encouraged and welcomed.

"Defining Moment"

The horizon glowed brilliantly outside the small structure. Awash with purples, reds, oranges and yellows; colors danced against a clear blue sky.

Inside, the atmosphere was one of anxious perfection. Friends, family and colleagues had gathered together to bear witness to a union long in the making. The scene had been set and it was finally time.

As they stood across from each other, looking deeply into one another's eyes - their lives passed before them. Realizing that today was the culmination of what their souls had acknowledged long ago. For this moment, theirs was a joining of hearts and minds. Even their bodies knew what it was to be one.

So, as they took centerstage, neither noticed the passage of time nor the rituals taking place to which they responded. All their energy and the very essence of who they were was being passed to one another on a higher plane. Almost as if they were outside their bodies while the formal ceremony took place.

For it was their souls that had been bound for so many years and those very souls were laid wide open for the other to see, experience, feel all that they were on this glorious day.

Lost in his gaze, she saw the little boy who grieved for his mother, who lost part of his innocence and his heart on that day, for life was not easy for him after that. She came to further understand why it had been so hard for him to give himself totally to her. Somewhere, hidden within a man who commanded armies was the spirit of a child; full of insecurity. Forever fearful that if he gave his heart and love to another, they would also leave him. He had become so driven in his pursuit of the perfect officer, that there was little time for anything else. It allowed him to keep the demons at bay.

It broke her heart to see these images through the window to his soul. And yet, every one of those experiences, disappointments, successes...everything, both good and bad, made him the man he was. The confident, self assured person he had become due to the hardships and the triumphs left him in complete control of his destiny.

Feeling honored he had finally let her in to share his life completely, she thanked all the deities who would listen. For they had spent *years* playing tug-of-war, while their hearts and minds were constantly at battle. Ironically, until recently, many times they weren't even on the same field. So many regrets through the passage of time as one would reach out while the other withdrew. Much like a game of chess. Winner takes all.

It took the words of a wise warrior to knock some truth into him, making him realize just how much time had been lost. That his feelings for her had never changed in all these years.

Drowning in liquid pools of ebony, he absorbed all of her hopes and dreams along with the pain and fear from those years long ago. The ambition to follow her heart which led them both to the Enterprise. The fates had them in checkmate; knowing it was only a matter of time before they realized it themselves. For fate knew no boundaries.

A feeling of peace washed over him, like nothing he had ever known in all his existence. Never being able to express the depth of his sincerest gratitude, he looked up and also thanked the deities for keeping her in his life all these years. For giving their souls the time they needed; for showing them the stubbornness of hearts and minds that would never be complete without their other half.

It was a true joining unlike any other on this day ... for they were Imzadi. In all eternity. In body, mind, heart and soul.