They don't belong to me, though i do believe it's time i got custody of
Will Riker:-)But again i must say they belong to Paramount and the brillant
mind of Gene Roddenberry.

The earth's sun shone brightly against Deanna Riker's face as she stared out
the portal of her cabin. Seven other star ships also hung in limbo beside
the enterprise, the sun that loomed above them cradled them in light. She
turned her attention to her own reflection in the mirror behind her, a
certain glow also shining from inside her. She stroked her belly and spoke
softly to the little girl inside her, that would soon join them on the

"Two more weeks little one." She picked up the brush on the vanity, pulling
it through her hair she tried to shield her anxiety from her baby. Life had
been perfect for she and Will...his promotion to Captain of the enterprise,
and his promotion to expectant father had come within moment s of each
other. But the enterprises sudden recall to Earth by Admiral Picard had come
as a shock to both of them.....the shock heightened when they found seven
other star ships had also been recalled. She was finding it more and more
difficult to pretend all would be well, the timing of the Admiral's call
finding them two weeks from Earth at warp seven. She knew of the plight the
federation was facing, the problems weighing heavy on Will's mind for
years...he had told her once the fall was imminent, the losses sustained
over the last ten years, depleting the federation of most of it's finest
officers. If it was another war, another threat, the federation would
undoubtedly end....the thought made her shiver. She laid the brush on the
table centering her thoughts on the life inside her. <Don't worry, you will
always be safe>. She laid down and closed her eyes, hoping when her husband
returned he would not again be readying the enterprise for battle.

Will Rikers optimism was fading quickly, the seven star ships overhead and
the twenty eight senior officers that sat behind the glass in the secure
area waiting room, personified his fear. He entered the security chamber,
hesitating slightly before speaking.

"Identify Riker William T. access code Theta alpha two, seven three seven
blue." He waited only seconds for the doors to open in response to the top
level code he'd been assigned as Captain. He tried to hide his uneasiness
from the other officers, he nodded acknowledgments to all of them....a huge
grin spreading over his face as his eyes met with one of the other Captains.

"Karen." He wrapped her in a hug, which she returned willing. "It's great to
see you. Captain Ellis." He emphasized her rank, his eyes sparkling with
playful delight. "And you said you'd never make it through your first year
at the academy."

"Believe me Will, no one is more surprised then I am." She pulled from his
embrace, her deep green eyes radiating her pride.

"I'm not surprised. You were always full of fire, you just needed to learn
to let it breath." He held her hand as he spoke, wistful memories playing in
his mind. It had been such a simple time..his life was planned, the
federation was secure, he had no fears, only inextinguishable hopes and

"Hows your wife?" Will raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

"And how do you know I have a wife?"

"Commander Riker was one of the most eligible officers in the federation.
You don't think you disappointed ninety percent of the females in star fleet
when you married this Deanna Troi we had heard about." He rolled his eyes,
and chuckled softly.

"Well *Captain* Riker has a wife, a baby on the way....and more then his
share of gray in his beard." She brushed her auburn bangs from her eyes,
surprise and delight mingling on her face.

"Congratulations. Now there's a role I never quite pictured you in." He
nodded, sighing heavily.

"Yea, been quite a year. Husband, Captain and father to be...I'll admit this
wasn't in my original plans. But you know what they say about the best laid

"No, but I know what they say about love....and it certainly seems to agree
with you. You seem so much more at ease with yourself....and what's the
word....Seasoned." He grimaced at the expression. "I hate that word. Makes
me sound like a piece of meat that needed tenderizer to make it palatable."
She giggled at his response, he joined her in her laughter. Admiral Picards
voice stifling both of them instantly.

"Captain Riker. Good to see you." He offered his hand, the hint of a smile
that had played at his mouth vanishing quickly. "Please come this way." Will
followed the admiral, sending a quick smile over his shoulder to Karen.


Captain Picard sat behind his desk, his solemn expression, suggesting to
Will that perhaps he should sit too.

"How is Deanna, and the baby?" He offered the pleasantry, but Will knew him
well enough to recognize the stall.

"There both fine Sir. But I believe we covered all this in our earlier
communiqué. Is there another threat to the federation?" Picard folded his
hands, resting them lightly on the desk.

"Not yet." Will watched the Admiral, the sharp blue eyes that he had once
looked to, now a smoldering gray.

*"If there is a new threat to the federation, it will be an internal
conflict. Something has recently come to our attention that we were unaware
of....if word were to spread to the population I shutter to think of the
results." Will shifted in his chair.

"So the threat of war isn't why you called us here?" Admiral Picard stood
up, and walked to the front of his desk. "If a war were to result from this
it would be waged by the officers of Star fleet."

"Sir?" Will's total confusion evident in his inquiring eyes.

"I'm sure your aware of the extended losses to the federation...the first
attack by the borg alone destroying several star ship, and thousands of fine
officers." Will tried to hide his lack of patience Picard talking in
circles, and tiptoeing around the facts causing his stomach to churn.

"With all due respect Sir....What the hell is going on. Just tell me."
Picard released a long breath of air, pacing the room he continued.
"Apparently there were those among us who believed Star fleet needed a hand
in replacing the officers it had lost." He paused for a moment, Will
offering him a skeptical look. "Those among us?"

"They are being punished for their crime....though I do not believe there is
a punishment fit for their crime." The Admiral rested his hand firmly on
Will's shoulder. "Will, you've been violated has Deanna." Will shot to
his feet, whatever the Captain was talking about he could have handled, but
if it could hurt Deanna, the entire pictured changed. Picard tapped a small
button on the wall, a red curtain fell aside revealing a small window.
Picard tilted his head towards the glass, encouraging Will to look into it.
Fighting back his apprehension he peered through the small opening.

"It's a little girl." He spun to face the Admiral.

"Your little girl." The admiral's consoling eyes, doing nothing for the
anger that Will felt sure he would drown in. "Like hell it is!" The words
shot from his mouth, the Captain's words spinning through his mind. "She is
only one of twenty five children we've recovered. Her DNA is consistent with
yours and Counselor Rikers. Apparently these men thought the best way to
better the growth of the federation was to create children by the finest
officers in the fleet." Will slammed his fist into the wall. "This is
bullshit! What kind of bastard could do something like this!? What your
suggesting is Deanna and I have had a child for.." He glanced at the little
girl behind the window. "ten years at least....and you want us do what
Admiral?! Keep it quiet, make sure no one finds out star fleet has been
playing God with the very people that serve them?"


Chapter 2


The warmth of Admiral Picard's hand on his shoulder, a sensation that had
always offered him an almost grounded feeling, instead escalated his anger
and personified the betrayal he was feeling. Deep in his heart he knew the
admiral was not responsible for the feelings that seemed to be consuming
him, but his rage at what was happening to his life caused all rationale to
smolder into ashes, extinguishing any compassion he should have felt for the
man who had been his friend for years. He jerked out of the admiral's grasp,
his words fading into muted sounds he longed not to hear.

"Will...You must discuss this with Deanna. I understand your resentment and
anger with the federation...." Will cut him off, dropping any and all
respect he had for the rank the Admiral carried.

"I'll be damned if I'll discuss this with Deanna! And if you know what's
good for won't either." He slammed his fist on the desk. clenching
his teeth, his eyes burned into Picards. " How long have you known?" The
Admiral kept his steady gaze focused on Will, denying his body's desire to
overt the fire that had suffused the deep blue eyes.

"I personally was only made aware six months ago."

"How long have they known?!" Will lowered his voice, pressing his forehead
against the window, where the child sat unaware of what was transpiring.

"Four years Will. They were just unsure of how to handle the situation. They
hoped you of all people would understand." His first instinct to again lunge
out at the admiral silenced, as thoughts of Deanna, and the tiny child that
would soon become a part of their lives moved to the front of his mind. He
pressed his forehead tighter against the window, his breath distorting the
glass and the image of the little girl that sat behind it.

"Why would they expect me to understand?" He mumbled the response.

"Your loyalty to starfleet has always been exemplary, Will. They'd hoped
your acceptance of this crime would pave the way for the others that need to
be told." He pulled his gaze away from the window, the wealth of emotions he
was feeling, slowing his reaction to the Admiral's statement.

He looked inside himself, searching for an answer, only one played in
repetition through his mind....."I have no loyalty to Starfleet." He
responded. Pulling the pips from his tunic, and tossing his communicator to
the floor he exited the Admiral's officer, ignoring his body's desire to
send one last glance to the window.

He left StarFleet head quarters, averting Karen's eyes as he walked through
the lobby. His heart went out to her for the bomb that would soon destroy
her life, just as it had just destroyed his. He inhaled the stale air of the
city, setting his eyes on the mountains that stood guard around it. That's
where he needed to be...alone...away from the stars, and back in the arms of
the mountains that had befriended him as a child, and could offer him solace
once again. He shot a quick glance to the sky, thinking of Deanna, the one
whose solace he really coveted. He shook his head and sighed, knowing his
emotional state right now would overwhelm her...he needed to find a way to
protect her, and the life she carried.

His timing was perfect, the perpetual game of tag his emotions had been
playing finally appointing grief the winner. He sat on the ground, the cold
air that encircled him, unnoticed as he allowed the tears he had ordered
silenced to be heard. He cried for himself, he cried for the travesty of a
career he had thrown to the wind, but mostly he cried for Deanna and the
devastation she would feel when she was faced with the concept of the
injustice that had been done to her. How could he tell could he
tell her someone else had made the decision they had struggled years to
make. How could he tell her those she trusted and had chosen to serve had
violated her body and stolen something so precious. He pulled his knees to
his chest wrapping his arms tightly around them, the darkness that was
falling swaddling him in a blanket of despondency.

Deanna sat bolt upright in bed, the nightmare of emotions that had invaded
her sleep, slapped like angry waves over the recesses of her mind. She
raised a shield over her mind, exploring the storm of emotions one by one.
Anger and despair, interlaced with a self destructive guilt seemed to be at
the crest of the waves that lapped over her mind. Never in all the years she
had shared Will Riker's feelings had she ever experienced them so strongly,
never had she thought he was capable of feeling such unmitigated anger. She
looked at the chronometer on the night stand, and spoke to the ship's

"Computer. Locate Captain Riker."

"Captain Riker is not on board the enterprise." It was the response she had
expected, with a slight struggle she got up from the bed, and sat at the
communication terminal. She stared momentarily at the blank screen,
questioning her judgment before activating the screen. After more then her
share of bureaucratic run arounds Admiral Picards face appeared on her
screen. The smile she attempted, suppressed by the unsettled emotions that
radiated from the Admiral. A man normally so focused she had to probe him
for hours to taste even a small essence of his feelings, was filling her
senses with turmoil.

"How's Will, Deanna?" The Admiral's simple question all Deanna needed to
hear to magnify her concerns.

"He hasn't come home, Sir." She whispered. "What happened?" Picard seemed to
be battling with himself, unsure of the answer he should give.

"I believe we should talk Counselor.....There are some things you need to
know." She nodded in agreement. "I'll ask to be beamed on board
momentarily." The screen faded to black. An eerie shadow of affections
looming over her, telling her her life was about to change forever.


Chapter 3


Will turned suddenly, pulled from the cocoon of anger he had spun for
himself. The full moon that stood guard above him illuminating the little
girl that stood in front of him. He tried to sequester the anger he was
feeling, knowing she too was only a pawn in this game of the gods.

"What are you doing out here?" He asked. The little girl studied him
intently, her large blue eyes seeming to probe his soul.

"They showed me your image. Are you really my dad?" Will's initial response
of denying his role in her life, over ruled by a whisper of paternal

"I'm not sure. How did you get out here? You were in a top level security
sector." She looked up at him, a smile of pride breaking over her delicate

"It's easy...if you know what buttons to push." She beamed. He returned her
smile, his own sense of pride filling him.

"What's your name." He spoke. She stood perfectly still, and closed her eyes

<Tamara> The name bounced off the interior of his mind, his eyes widening in
response to the sensation. "Your a telapath?"

She shook her head. "No, but people I can trust can hear me in their head.
That's how I know if your good or bad. Now you tell me my name." He could
tell by the mistrusting look in her eyes most people didn't pass her little
tests. He sat down on the grass and looked at her. "Sit with
me........Tamara." He could almost feel the relief and happiness that washed
over her as she took a seat beside him. "Can you talk to people with your
thoughts?" She whispered. He thought for a moment, the anger and bitterness
he had felt earlier hushed by a little girl with tangled hair, and dimples
in her cheeks.

"Special people." He smiled. "But right now I'm more interested in how and
why your out here."

She frowned at the question. "I already told you how."

"It takes more then pushing buttons to escape Starfleet." He raised an
inquiring eyebrow. She leaned closer to him. "It helps if you liberate the
access code. I'm pretty clever."

"I guess you are... and humble too." He winked, the little girl closing in
on the gateway to his heart.

"Humility is a concept I don't put a lot of stock in." She folded her arms
across her chest. "I mean when your good, your good. Why shield it from
others." She grinned, Will returned the smile....that little attitude
something that sounded vaguely familiar to him.

"Agreed....Now why are you out here?"

"I love the cold air." With her next words the door to his heart swung open,
and she stepped inside. "And I love night fishing." Will flashed her grin.
"Me too. When I was a little boy I use to sneak out of my room, so I could
fish by the light of the stars. I caught some whoppers too...only problem
was I could never tell anyone, or they'd find out about my secret escape."
She nodded in understanding, getting to her feet and pulling Will to his.
Within moments she had pulled her fishing equipment out of some brush and
was instructing Will on the best areas to catch the big ones.

The two sat side by side and fished, Will listening attentively as she
explained how her life had been among the select ones. At three years old
she had started her training in Starfleet operations, after hearing of the
battery of tests she had undertaken he wondered if she might be able to run
circles around Data. She stood up suddenly as the moon melted into the

"I gotta go." She announced. It was obvious she had done this many times and
knew exactly how much time it would take her to get back to her prison.

"I'll see you tomorrow?" she whispered. But instead of turning to leave she
stared down at him.

"What is it?" She seemed to be struggling to say what was on her mind, Will
finding it odd from such a straight forward little lady.

"Can I have a hug?" She asked "I've never had a hug before." Will stared in
amazement at the question....the little girl who only hours earlier had been
the source of his anger, slammed the door to his heart and walked away with
the key. He wrapped her securely in his arms, and held on tightly, memories
of his own childhood, and the times he had longed to be pulled into the
safety of his own father's embrace encircled his mind.

<They're not telling you everything.> her voice floated into his mind.
Pulling back he looked her squarely in the eyes. "What?"

"Come back tomorrow I'll show you everything." She promised, heading into
the dense brush she was gone. He stood alone for a moment torn between
whether to follow her, or contact Deanna...He was sure by now she had sensed
his incredible mood swing, and knew he was all right. But he still had to
tell her, he sighed and headed back towards the city....his journey cut
short by the all too familiar voice that sounded behind him.

"Chip off the old block, huh?" He spun around to meet with the one who had eyes identical to his own shown back at him.

"Running with the big boys again I see." Will glared, nodding towards the
two Romulan guards flanking both sides of him. "I should have known I'd find
you in the middle of this twisted little plot." Thomas met Will's steely
gaze and smiled a spiteful smile.

"How's Deanna? I hear you married her....she just can't get enough of the
Riker boys can she?" Will clenched his fists at his side. "Tell me Will,
when your making love does she still like it when you......." The disrupters
pointed at his chest had little affect on his reaction, his already clenched
fist met squarely with Tom's jaw......Tom went down with the impact the two
Romulans quickly wrestling Will to the ground. Tom struggled to his feet,
and looked down on Will as he fought to free himself.

"Hope that felt good, probably the last thing you'll ever feel." Tom
mumbled, stroking his hand over his swollen jaw.

"Dam right it did. You son of a bitch, I ...." Tom laughed at Will's words

"Stick and stones." He chanted. "Don't worry Captain.....I'll take good care
of your life. I'm sure I'll make a hell of a Daddy." Tom's words, and the
sting of his boot slamming into his head the last sensation's Will felt
before his world went black.


Chapter 4


"I'm sorry Deanna, I would like to respect Will's wishes on this issue and
allow him to speak with you himself." Deanna sat rigidly on the couch, the
ever changing coil of emotions that twisted inside her, denying her the
privilege of relaxing her guard.

"I understand Sir. But for him to run away, instead of to me...whatever you
shared with him must have been devastating." She focused herself on the
Admiral's steady eyes, the more passive shift of Will's emotions wrapping
around her. Admiral Picard leaned forward on his knees, the smile he offered
doing nothing to calm Deanna's worry.

"I believe anything that would threaten you or the child inside you is
something Will would consider devastating ....I'm sure he only needed time
to sort out his feelings before discussing the situation with you. Perhaps
in your present condition the emotions you think your feeling from Will, are
in fact being clouded by your own." She relented to the possibility, ever
since her pregnancy began she had been having a difficult time focusing on
anyone but the little one inside her.

"Well my mother always says never allow a pregnant Betazoid to mediate a
diplomatic conference. A perfectly peaceful society could end up in a great
civil war." She returned the Admiral's smile.

"I'm not so sure......" The Admiral stopping his next thought in response to
the counselors shutter.

"What is it Deanna."

"I'm not sure Sir...But it's all right now." She shifted uncomfortably, in
her heart she was sure...she had lost her link with had been
completely severed and restored all in an instant.

"Are you sure Counselor?" She opened her mouth to convince him, that she was
in fact positive she was fine, her words halted by the beeping of her comm

"Captain Riker to Counselor Riker....are you there Deanna?" She breathed a
sigh of relief, the relief quickly stomped out by the anger she was feeling
towards him.

"Where are you. Are you all right?"

"I'm on my way home...I'm sorry if I worried you."

"Please hurry Will." She whispered.

"I will. Riker out."

Admiral Picard frowned at the conversation, tapping his pocket where Captain
Riker's communicator, and pips were being stowed.

"I should leave you both alone, Counselor." Admiral Picard stood up, patting
Deanna's shoulder.

"If either of you needs anything please let me know." Deanna eyed the
Admiral cautiously, ever since the incoming communiqué from Will the
Admiral's emotions had shifted from suspicion.

"Is something wrong Sir?"

"No, not all Deanna....I just think it best that I not be here when Captain
Riker returns." Deanna accepted the explantion....her empathic awareness in
such a state of flux it could have been possible she had read his feelings

"Thank you for staying with me." She smiled warmly....Picard nodding and
exiting her quarters.

Tom Riker took his time walking down the corridor to his quarters,
attempting the shield Deanna had been so kind to teach him. She was the only
obstacle he had left to face before the Romulan's elaborate plan could be
implemented. He knew he was still capable of establishing a link with her,
after all, by all counts he was also her imzadi...Will establishing the bond
with her before he had come into existence. So by all counts all they had
seen, heard, felt or touched up until Nervala 4 was exactly the same. He
stood outside the doors for a moment, working himself into the agitated
state he needed to represent to Deanna. The doors slid open before he
accessed them, Deanna wrapping her arms around him in relief.

"I was so worried." Before he had time to respond she pulled away, eyes
blackened with anger. "Where the hell were you!?" He held up a hand to
silence her outburst.

"It's a long story Deanna. You better come in and sit down." He studied her
closely for any indication that she wasn't accepting his show, he was
relived when she nodded and led him to the couch. He held her tiny hand in
his, pressing it to his lips he felt his emotions stir inside him. Behind
the shield he had built for himself, he felt his love for her resurface, the
sensation magnifying his hatred towards Will. He didn't have to pretend he
was angry anymore, he was. Brick, by brick the pieces of his life that he
had had stolen from him built a sturdy wall around his heart, leaving him
free to use Deanna, just as he would anyone else that got in his way.

He hid his pleasure well as he watched Deanna's emotional confusion increase
with each word of the story he was weaving. Outwardly he was the picture of
an understanding and sympathetic husband, inside the tears that fell down
Deanna's cheeks did nothing to stimulate compassion towards this woman who
had once been his imzadi. The hard shell he had placed around himself,
sometimes almost frightened him.

"Imzadi." He pulled her head against his chest, stroking her belly gently.
"We can deal with this later....I wish there had been some way for me to
spare you the pain."

"I had to know's not your fault. I want to meet her." Her words
broken by her sobs.

"Anything you want Deanna. But right now I think we need each other." She
looked up to him with vulnerable eyes, bringing her lips to his she melted
against him. Relying on the tender love of this man to protect her, and
carry them over the hurdles they were about to encounter.

If not for the fact he could feel the blinking of his eyes, Will Riker
wouldn't have known if his eyes were opened or closed. The darkness that
encased him blacker then any he had ever known. When he had first awakened
he thought for sure he was dead, but the intense pain that permeated the
side of his head told him otherwise. The warmth of the blood that still
flowed freely from the open wound dripped into the damp mud beneath
him.......The intermingled flavors of blood and dirt in his mouth causing
him to gag. He struggled to move, but he was strapped tightly to the cold
ground, the strap across his chest fitted so securely, he could only take in
small quantities of air, the constant need to inhale causing his head to
spin. He tried to focus his thoughts elsewhere, pull out of this icy hell he
was being held in. He couldn't do it, he felt his body start to tremble, his
heart rate slowing, his extremities falling prey to the icy cold beneath
him.....He knew he was going into shock, and without help he would most
certainly die.

"I'll kill you Thomas Riker." he choked ...... Hoping he could carry out his
promise before his body fell victim to his own threat..

chpt 5


Tom Riker could feel the tension as he exited his quarters, he smiled to
himself, the officers of starfleet reacting just as he knew they would. If
all went as planed, headquarters would be so busy handling inquiries on
their betrayals he'd have more then enough time to load the enterprise and
make his delivery. But first things first, there was another thorn in his
side that he needed to remove.....and after accessing Will's personal logs,
it should be a piece of cake. Entering the turbo lift he tapped his comm
badge. "Captain Riker to Commander Data."

"Data here Sir." Came the almost instantaneous response.

"Data I could use your help, meet me in transporter room three."

"On my way Sir."

<Well that was easy> he thought as the doors to the turbo lift opened. <I
could get use to this captain thing.>

After excusing the transporter chief, Tom laid in the coordinates he needed.

"You needed my help Sir.?" Tom nodded to the android, eyeing is neck

"Is something wrong Sir."

"Did you dress in a hurry this morning Mister Data?" Data tilted his head in
query. Tom's face broke into a grin. "It's just your collar let me
fix it." Data, having no reason to suspect his commanding officer allowed
Tom to adjust his collar. With only an instant to send a look of realization
to Tom, he fell to the floor in response to his off switch.

"Be nice if they all had an off switch." Tom grumbled, dragging the android
to the transporter pad.

He returned to the controls, sending Mister Data into the unknown.

"Computer, disengage transport buffers in transporter room three. Eliminate
internal scans for nuclopyroxene." The chiming of the computer's response
came immediately.

"Unable to comply... disengagement of internal scans requires alpha code
clearance. Please state access code or yellow alert will be sounded."

"Shit." He scolded himself for getting sloppy.

"Recognize Riker. Willaim T....access code theda alpha two, seven three
seven blue."

"Recognized. Initiating shut down of internal scans for
nuclopyroxene........Shut down complete, transport buffers disabled."

Tom relaxed his shoulders, accessing the transport controls, he retrieved
his cargo and sent it to cargo bay six.

"Computer initiate lock on Cargo bay six, open only in response to voice
pattern recognition of Captain William Riker."


Tom waved his fist triumphantly in the air. Now all he had to do was fool
Deanna for another five hours, and he could deliver his cargo. He chuckled
to himself. <the federation thinks it's got problems now.> If all went
according to plan, there would soon be no federation...all of it would be
held firmly under the thumb of Romulus.

Will jolted out of the blackness he had fallen into, in response to the hypo
spray that penetrated his neck.

"Hey." He turned towards Tamara, her large blue eyes sparkling in the glow
of her lantern.

"Shut up." She whispered.

"Shut up?" he responded, the eyebrow he raised, quickly lowered in response
to the pain it caused.

"Is that any way to talk to your C.O.?"

"Correction." She replied, digging into her med kit. "Starfleet regulation
421..If the Commanding officer is unavailable or unable to perform his
duties the second in Command assumes the role...That's shut up!"

"Aye, Sir" Will groaned. The amusement on his face vanishing quickly in
response to the tissue rejuvenator in Tamara's hand.

"Hey, do you know what your doing?"

"Pretty sure." She smirked.

"Pretty sure?" She set her eyes on him.

"Just suck it up, and be a man. Oh yea, and try not to move." She ignited
the torch, and waited for him to turn his head.

"Suck it up?......Be a man? Who trained you, the Tal Shiar?" He turned his
head and closed his eyes. He held his breath until he was sure she had
finished the process.

"There." She grinned. "Perfect."

He let out a long breath of relief. "Now what are you doing?"

"Recreating the wound. They'll be back to make sure you haven't regained
consciousness. I suggest you play dead, or you will be."

"Aren't we leaving this place." Will moaned in response to the pressure she
was putting on his wound.

"Not yet. Your too weak. Give the hypo spray time to work and I'll come back
for you." She hesitated while she put her equipment back in her bag. "We
have four hours to stop your brother from making his delivery." Will watched
her closely , so many questions spun in his mind, he surprised himself when
he responded. "He's not my brother. He's a fluke."

"Like me?" He could see the battle she had waged to stop the tears that
glistened in her eyes.

"No, nothing like you." He closed his eyes, and with all he had, and all
Deanna had ever taught him, allowed his feelings for her to flow into her.
He felt her soft lips lightly touch his beard, the pain it caused completely
silenced by the emotions it stirred inside him.

"Your my daughter." he whispered, opening his eyes and meeting with her
sparkling smile. She leaned closer to him, and kissed him gently on his
other cheek. "Tickley." She said, itching her nose.

"Tickley is better then yuck....I guess." He whispered. She scrunched up her
nose in confusion.

"Nothing. Just a word someone once used to describe kissing me." His mind
drifted for a moment, she watched him studiously. Will could tell whatever
she was about to say was something she was unsure of.

"Go head spit it out. You can tell me anything."

"Your mother." Will's breath caught in his throat. "Go on." He

"Don't let her feel you. If she threatens him in anyway....he'll kill her."
Will shook his head in denial, trying to convince himself that Tom hadn't
fallen that far.

"I know he will....please, I'd like to meet her." Her hopeful eyes burned
into his heart.

"You will." He promised. His thoughts interrupted by the muffled voices
coming towards the cavern. Tamara stood up, raising a finger of warning to

"Remember what I said....lay low, and play dead. Don't be a hero....that's
an order."

"Aye Commander." He winked reassuring before she disappeared into the

Will closed his eyes as the lights the two Romulans carried became visible
in the cavern.

"Riker has successfully beamed the nuclopyroxene on board the enterprise."
Will strained to hear the voices as they approached.

"Good, I don't know how many more years I could have spent on this planet.
Maybe if we're lucky this will be the first planet we annihilate." The two
Romulans laughed, Will had no trouble hearing there conversation as they
entered his prison.

"What about this one?" Will tried to remain still, as the Romulan probed him
with the tip of his boot.

"Some sort of vendetta...between this one and Riker. SubCommander N'Kal was
quite explicit in her directions. Keep him unconscious, but don't kill him."

Will's heart almost jumped from his chest, tears of pain fell down his
cheeks in response to the Romulan's boot penetrating his freshly healed
wound. "Well, he's still out. Let's inform the Zarnara." The voices slowly
dissipated into the darkness, Will released the breath he was holding, and
groaned[1][1][1] in agony.

As the pain subsided Will tried to piece together the parcels of the
conversation he had heard. He knew the Zarnara was a Warbird, and if
clocked, it was quite conceivable that she could be hiding anywhere. That
would also explain why he wasn't beamed on cloaking would be too
risky. But Romulans on the planet for years, he found that hard to
believe...where the hell am I? He thought. He was pretty sure he had heard
the word nuclopyroxene. Right now he wished he had Data's mind...he knew the
compound to be a residual effect of twenty century nuclear testing. But that
was all he knew, that and the fact, that if the Romulans wanted it, it had
to be dangerous.


Chpt 6


Deanna threw on her robe, scolding herself for sleeping the entire day away.
She sensed the waves of tension and confusion that seemed to be inundating
the enterprise, she sat down in response. Deleting the sensations one by one
she finally came to the one she sought. <Imzadi> She sent. She held her head
in response to the profound pain that blanketed her mind, but as suddenly as
it started, it was silenced by a victorious calm.

<I'll be right there Deanna.> She heard the voice in her head as always, but
instead of swaddling her in warmth as it usually did, it caused her to

"I have to stop this little one." She stroked her stomach, answered by an
enthusiastic kick.

"I guess that means you agree your mother is losing her mind." She spoke
softly to the unborn child inside her. She stood up and looked out the
portal of her cabin, all the emotions that she felt understandable, all but
one. Somewhere in the shadows of her mind, hidden behind the screams of
betrayal, a semblance of unconditional trust and love had made itself at
home. Each time she got close to the source, it was swept away like a petal
in the wind.

"Ouch." She massaged her back in response to the intermittent pain that
pulsed through her muscles.

"Are you all right Deanna." Tom doing his best to look concerned as he
entered their quarters. He helped her to the couch, while she insisted she
was fine.

"It's the additional weight....I should have kept up on the back
strengthening exercises Beverly gave me." Tom massaged her back. "Well, you
can relax. Admiral Picard has his hands full at Starfleet, he asked if we
could wait until tomorrow to meet the child." He pulled her head to his
chest, doing his best to send her a barrage of mixed emotions. He was
pleased when she raised her hand to her head in response. "I'm sorry Deanna.
I can't seem to control my feelings right now."

"It's all right Will. It's not your fault." She relaxed into him, trying to
suppress the nagging suspicion that something was very wrong.

The mentaphysic stimulator Tamara had administered to Will was working it's
magic on his body. He could feel himself getting stronger, his need to get
out of there mounting.

<Where is she?> He thought to himself. He jumped slightly when her response

<I'll be right there. Remember a starfleet officer values patience above all
else.> He rolled his eyes at her thought, wondering if he'd ever get used to
two women in his head. He heard her small footfalls approaching, and
breathed a sigh of relief at being able to get out of there, and back to
Deanna. He knew he had let his guard down earlier, losing his battle against
the drugs that were healing him....he had slammed the door on his pain
quickly, he hoped it had been in time.

"Are you ready?" The feisty little whisper, and the release of the straps
that held him, came simultaneously.

"You bet." He got up slowly, having a hard time beating his stiffened
muscles, and the pounding in his head. She watched him massage his legs, and
arms, trying to convince them they hadn't been laying in a pool of mud for
over twenty four hours.

"Do you think we really have time for this?" She folded her arms, and rocked
impatiently back and forth. He looked into her blue eyes, eyes that retained
the same sparkle of adventure as his own. "No, I guess not. I should just
suck it up." He smiled...she slapped her hand over her mouth to stifle the
giggle that threatened her. "Come on." She cocked her head forward and led
the way.

As soon as he felt they were far enough away from the cavern he spoke.

"I really think it would be best if you filled me in on what's going on.
Starfleet rule number 5436, only a fool or a Ferengi walks into a situation
with his eyes closed." She turned to face him, and continued walking
backwards. "No such rule....but I agree. I'll explain in the air shafts, no
one will hear us..too....Shit...." Will jumped forward to where she had
tripped, ignoring his instinct to correct her grammar. He shined his light
towards her.

"You Ok?" She got up quickly, sending a glare towards whatever had caused
her to fall. Will shined his light over the area, a wide grin breaking over
his dirt ridden face.

"Looks like the Gods are smiling on us." Tamara knelt beside Will...Will
sliding his hand behind the neck of the android that had caused her fall.

"Who's that?" Data sat up as she asked her question, his yellow eyes
surveying the Captain mistrustfully. "It's really me Data." Data tilted his
head, never wavering his suspicious eyes.

"You have a cat named spot, you love the violin write poetry, you."
Data stopped him.

"All of your references could have been easily acquired from my starfleet
records." Will gave a sideways glance at a very confused Tamara, and racked
his brain for a convincing statement. The lines of concentration on Will's
face were soon replaced with a that of a large grin.

"I know about your roll in the hay with Tasha Yarr...and that technique
number eleven was the one that caused her to sur...."

"Very well Sir..I am convinced." Data silenced his Captain, sitting quietly
for a moment before standing.

"Everything check out." Will ask.

"Yes Sir, I am functioning within normal parameters." Data replied, setting
his eyes on Tamara.

"And you are?" Will took over the introductions.

"Tamara...this is Commander Data, he's my first officer. And I'm not sure,
but it's possible he knows more then you." Tamara sent Will a doubtful look,
and offered her hand to the android. The pleasantries were short lived, the
three heading further into the darkness. Will listened intently as Data
explained of the turmoil Tom was causing among the crews of the starships.
Tom apparently sending ship wide announcements of Starfleet's betrayals, and
the children they had sought to exploit. Will shook his head, understanding
a little better how Data must feel when Lore reared his ugly head. Data was
also successful in explaining the history, and also the possible future of
nuclopyroxene. The nuclear residue of the twentieth century weapons causing
a chemical reaction when it mixed with the pyroxene found in most
sedimentary rock. The result being a highly combustible, and extremely toxic
alloy. According to Data, Starfleet thought it had completely eradicated the
substance in the late twenty second century in fear that someone would
choose such a substance as a weapon. Will let out a frustrated sigh, with
what he had heard from the two Romulans and what he had just learned from
Commander Data, Starfleet had failed and the Romulans had possession of this
stuff. He stepped up his pace in response to the urgency that welled inside
him....the feeling dispersing slightly as Tamara slowed in front of a
lighted shaft.

"We have to go through here." She pointed to the opening...Data stating
Will's concerns before he was able to.

"I do not believe the shaft is sufficient for us to enter." Tamara rolled
her eyes at Data.

"Yes it is. I've already calibrated the circumference of the entrance in
correlation with the mass of Captain Riker. He'll be able to enter with one
sixteenth of an inch to spare." She planted her hands indignantly on her
hips. "Your smaller then he, suck it up and get inside." Data looked
cautiously at Will, Will unable to stop the chuckle that threatened him.
"Better do as she says Data. Suck it up." Data sending both father and
daughter a perplexed expression before squeezing into the shaft.

Chpt 7


"I suggest we contact Commander Laforge before attempting to beam on board
the enterprise." Will grunted a response to Data, his already sore muscles
struggling to pull him through the heat and tight space of the air duct. His
sweat dripped in his eyes causing them to burn and his vision to blur. "How
much further, Tamara?" His chest constricted by the tight quarters, his
voice was strained.

"Right over here." She answered him, maneuvering through the shafts with the
agility of a snake. He watched her muted image exit the shaft, and quickly
followed her.

"Let's get on board." Riker ordered, wiping his dried blood and sweat with
his sleeve. Tamara placed her hand on his arm. "You better make sure this
Laforge is alone before you contact him." Tamara lowered her voice. "Lower
your shield and ask your wife to keep Tom busy." Will narrowed his eyes had
the suggestion.

"No...I won't risk it. Mister Data contact Commander LaForge." Data
hesitated. "I believe Tamara's suggestion to be the more prudent one...If
Mister Riker is alerted to our presence he will warn the Romulans." Will
stroked his hand over his beard, every fiber of his being warning him
against releasing his barrier.

"One hour Captain." Tamara's insistent little voice sounded beside him.

"Fine." Will nodded, sliding his exhausted body down the wall, and opening
his mind to Deanna. <Imzadi.....Don't react, just listen> He felt her all
around him, he had been without the feeling for so long, it was all he could
do not to allow himself to drown in the pleasure of it. It was apparent from
her acceptance of his calls, she had had reservation about Tom all
along.....but he had to fight through the barrage of emotions Tom had
wrapped her in. <I love you> His final thought as he nodded to Tamara and

"Now Mister Data."

Data acknowledge the order, and in minutes they were all standing in
transporter room four.

"Mister LaForge, ready the enterprise for battle...check all cargo bays for
nuclopyroxene." Geordi, though slightly confused followed his captains

"O.K This otta confuse the hell out of the computer." Will grinned at
Tamara. "Computer, locate Captain Riker." The sound of the computer went on
longer then normal.

"Please restate request." Will winked at Tamara.

"Other then transporter room four...where is Captain Riker?"

"Captain Riker is in his quarters." Will took Tamara's hand, and pulled her
behind him. "Mister Data ready the bridge."

Will's hands flew over the transport controls. "Ya ready?" He asked Tamara,
pulling a phaser from the vault behind him. She nodded, her eyes had the
fire of a Klingon readying for battle.

"Let's get the son of a bitch." Will raised a hand to her. "Word of
warning....Don't talk like that in front of your mother." She crinkled up
her nose, Will shrugged. "Hey, if I can't, you can't." He accessed the
transporter for intership transport as he spoke.

Tom made a futile dive for the phaser on the desk in response to the sound
of the transporter.

"Don't even think about it." Will ordered, aiming his phaser at Tom. Deanna
stood perfectly still, being in the same room with both of them always a
difficult thing for her. But now it was worse the hatred, and fierce
resentment between the two, literally overwhelming her. She gasped out loud,
her body threatening to give way.

"Deanna!" Will took his eyes off Tom for only a second, all it took for Tom
to kick the phaser from Will's grasps.

"Sentimental bastard." Tom grimaced, accessing an unseen comm badge he
shimmered out of existence.

Will was at Deanna's side before the last traces of the transport beam had
evaporated from the room. "Are you all right?" She only nodded, leaning
against Will for support, and darting her eyes between him and Tamara.
Before he had lowered Deanna to the couch, the red alert sounded around

"Captain Riker to the bridge." Will's conflicting emotions washed over her,
she offered him an understanding nod. "Go!" She ordered.

She could still sense his torture over having to leave her, but he kissed
quickly and headed out of their quarters, Tamara on his heels. As soon as
the doors swished shut behind them she allowed her body to double over in
pain. With a trembling hand she tapped her comm badge. "Riker to Doctor

Will stopped short as he ran onto the bridge. "Worf, What are you doing

"I was just visiting Sir." Will slapped him on the back. "Not anymore your
not...Man tactical."

Data, was soon by his captain's side. "Two Romulan Warbirds have decloaked."

"On screen." He ordered, walking closer to the view screen. "Why are they
just sitting there?" He didn't wait for an answer, but accessed his comm
badge. "Mister Laforge."

"LaForge here." Came the swift response. "Geordi, what's the word on our

"Internal scans for nuclopyroxene have been disabled. But cargo bay 6 is
packed to the hilt with an unknown."

"Well now we know why there just sitting there." Riker paced the bridge.
"Pretty bold, considering we are seven, and they are two." Data stopped the
Captain's pacing. "All seven starships have been incapacitated ....ground to
air weapons on the planet not responding."

Will propped his foot on the stand beside the con, staring momentarily at
the view screen.

"Engage warp engines....get as far away from earth as you can." He leaned
closer to the screen. "You want what we've got, you'll have to catch us to
get it."

"Sir, the warbirds have initiated pursuit." Worf growled the warning.

"Good." Will's face was gleaming with vengeance. "They can't fire on us
without destroying themselves." Will shot a quick look at Tamara, only ten
years old but the spark in her eyes mirrored his own. The enterprise jerked,
Will catching Tamara before she hit the floor.

"What the hell was that?"

"They are attempting to drain the shields. Sir...gain access to the cargo
bay." Will ignored the klingon, focusing his eyes on Tamara as she moved
closer to the view screen.

"Maybe we should let them have it." Will looked to his number one. "We could
destroy them with one photon torpedo." Data nodded in agreement. "And the
enterprise as well sir." Will sighed in agreement, stroking his beard in
thought. "We need a place to hide." Tamara stumbled across the bridge.
"Saturn. The density of the planet isn't much, but it would shield us from
the blast." Will rested his hand on her shoulder, before he could speak he
was stopped by his first officer. "She is correct sir. None of the gases
that make up the atmosphere are flammable is approximately ten miles
through the rings, the layers of helium would in fact protect the enterprise
from a blast of this magnitude and would give us thirty six minutes before
the hull responds to the pressure." Will smiled proudly at Tamara. "Now all
we need is a time delayed torpedo. Mister LaForge, are you monitoring?"

"Yes Sir, We're already working on it. Suggest all stop. The best I can give
you is a forty five second delay. I'll need some time" Geordi's always
enthusiastic voice sounded over the bridge.

"Understood Geordi...Stand by. Mister Whise, all stop." Will escorted Tamara
to Deanna's chair. "If this works, it could be the Tamara maneuver." She
smiled proudly, and sat down. Will turned to Data. "If it doesn't work, we
could all become part of the rings of Saturn." Data nodded, settling into
his chair to wait.

"Crusher to Captain Riker." Will stopped his pacing to answer the doctor.

"Yes Doctor...go ahead."

"Captain, it's Deanna. She's in the final stages of labor." Will felt his
heart jump to his throat, and rolled his eyes to the klingon. Worf grumbled
a response. "I have learned from experience that woman do not time these
things well." Will sent an agreeable nod to Worf. "I'll be there as soon as
I can. Doctor. Is she all right?"

"She's just fine Captain." Will breathed a sigh of relief, tapping his comm
badge. "Mister LaForge...the time element has become *very* important!"

chpt 8


Helm, turn her around..747 mach 5." Riker snapped the order and turned to
Worf. "Mister Worf. Fluctuate shield variables ...Let's make our friends
think their succeeding in their attempts." Worf grumbled something sounding
vaguely like a curse, and set his hands to work over the controls in front
of him. Riker was finding it more and more difficult to focus on the task at
hand, as hard as he tried he couldn't seem to shield himself from her

"Captain....we're ready down here!" Geordi's voice causing his adrenaline to
pump faster. Will stood up from the chair he had just settled into. "All
right People. You all know your jobs...I want the enterprise to look as
helpless as a klingon in a room full of tribbles." Worf sneered at the
sarcasm, Tamara stifling a giggle. Will walked between the two young
officers that sat at con and opps, burying Deanna's pain as deeply as he
could. His vibrant eyes flickered with fire. "Let's tuck our tail between
our legs, and run like hell."

The enterprise set it's course for nowhere, the unknowing warbirds followed.

"The shield harmonics are fluctuating...inertial dampers down by thirty
percent." Riker nodded approvingly to the words of the klingon....biting
back his need to chuckle at the situation. If any of his Professors at the
academy could have seen him nodding with acceptance at Worf's warnings, he
smiled inwardly, picturing their reaction. Will rested his hand on Mister
Whise shoulder. "OK Mister Whise, bring her around...the rabbits got to be
close to the hole before it teases the fox." Mister whise seemed almost
overwhelmed by the confidence that his Captain personified as he followed
the order. Will strode back to the Captain's chair, and tapped his combadge.
"Mister Laforge...Inable quantumphase inhibitors!" He pulled the screen
beside him into view.

"Sir." Will looked away from the panel, recognizing the apprehensive tone in
the chief engineer.

"I'll need to reroute all surplus power into shield nutration in order to
install the quantumphase inhibitor!"

"I don't care how the hell you do it Geordi....but you've got sixty three
seconds." The power fluxed over the bridge as Geordi performed another of
his miracles.

Riker squinted at the screen in front of him, on the outside he was the
epitome of calm and confidence, but on the inside silent prayers swirled
through his mind. He did *not* want to go down in history as the man who
destroyed two ships named enterprise. Looking to his first officer he sent a
silent order, Data passing it to Worf without breaching the silence. The
gentle hum of the shields struggling to hold sounded over the bridge.

"Sir. They have safely accessed the cargo bay."

Will stood to face Worf. "Don't make it too easy." Riker warned. "Remember
as helpless as....."

Worf' cut into the Captain's thought. "A Starfleet Captain in a room full of
angry Klingons." Will flashed him a defeated grin, and walked halfway up the
ramp. As soon as he knew the enterprise was safe, he planned on making a
beeline for sickbay.....and with the turbo lifts off line, he knew he was
going to have to climb through the jefferies tubes to get there.

A cloud of anticipation blanketed the bridge, all awaiting the cue from the
klingon...The entire operation would have to be launched in one flawlessly
timed instant, giving the Warbirds little time to react.

"Transfer Complete!" Worf's words alerting the ships compliment to act on
their orders. The still anticipation that had hung over the bridge, replaced
immediately by the hustling voices of the crew. Riker gripped the railing
beside him, and sent a protective wink to Tamara who was also preparing for
the penetration of the rings. The ship rocked as the shields reacted to the
barrage of ice covered rocks.....Will rolled with the movement of the ship,
after years aboard he had learned to move with the ship as much as possible.

"We have safely passed through the d-ring Captain. Shields holding...three
seconds till torpedo impact." Will shot an unsteady nod to the first
officer, hiding the thoughts that flashed through his mind. "Let us just
hope the planet thinks we are small enough, or we will end up permanent
residents." Riker frowned at Data as the android shared the fear that Will
had tried to protect them from. He edged his way further up the ramp, if the
ship didn't blow up, it's penetration into the atmosphere would be his cue
to leave. The ship lurched, Will's weakened muscles were no match for the
blast...he flew like a limp fish into the turbo lift doors. He groaned as
his shoulders bounced off of it, the grimace on his face replaced by a smile
as the enterprise steadied out. "Report, Mister Data.." Riker said,
struggling to his feet.

"Shield nutration holding. Rear deflectors off line. Hull integrity
sustained." Data nodded approvingly. "I believe we can bring her out of here
Sir. Perhaps you should head to sickbay." Will agreed with the android,
stopping just short of the jefferies tube. "Tamara, stay with Data. That's
an order" Tamara protested, her wide blue eyes pulling at Will's heart. "Oh
fine...Come on." Will relented. ..Both disappearing down the ladder to

Worf met Data's perplexed expression. "It is unusual for Captain Riker to
rescind an order so quickly." Data noted. Worf almost smiled. "I believe
captain Riker has met his match Commander."

Beverly's eyes moved from the birthing chair as Will and Tamara shot through
the doors. She was speechless for a moment....the two so much alike,
matching eyes, matching grins, and matching dirt that they both seemed to be
leaving a trail of. "You." She pointed to Tamara. "Stay out there. You...
don't touch anything." It was against her better judgment to allow such
filth into her sickbay, but as she watched Deanna relax for the first time
in hours, she permitted Will to enter. Will's eyes never wavered, he rushed
to Deanna, gripping her hand tightly in his.

"You all right?" He panted, dusting a kiss over her damp forehead.

"I am now." She smiled through her pain, relief that he was there shined in
her misted eyes.

"OK Deanna, this could be it. Ready." Beverly's soft but stern voice,
brought both their eyes to her. Deanna turned back to Will. "Don't believe
her Will. She's been saying that for over an hour!" She sent a vengeful look
to the Doctor, before sur coming to her body's need to push.

Will felt tears burn in his eyes, he was unsure of the source....Her pain
ridden face pulled on his love for her, her nails dug unmercifully into his
hand. He ignored the sensation, sending soothing thoughts over mind.

"Here she comes!" Beverly announced, Will's emotions spiraling in confusion.
He wanted to hold Deanna, protect her from the unbearable pain in any way he
could, but he wanted so much to watch his daughter enter the world.

"Will, come on...You don't want to miss this." Beverly making his decision
for him. He found it hard to focus his eyes through his tears, looking from
Deanna to the small life that was struggling to become a part of theirs. It
was almost dreamlike as the bably slid into the Doctor's awaiting arms,
Deanna's sighs of relief laced with sobs of joy. He moved closer to Deanna,
offering a kiss of happiness, love, gratitude ....and the hundred other
emotions that flooded him. The man with the heart of steal, who had stood on
the bridge only moments ago holding the fate of hundreds in his hands,
completely melted at the scene. Beverly brought the baby to Deanna. "Meet
your beautiful mommy." She whispered, placing the baby in Deanna's waiting
arms. "And that smell that's polluting my your father." She
added, winking to Will. Will ignored the jab, in his present state of
emotional flux a retort was out of the question.

"I love you imzadi." He whispered, stroking a finger lightly over her cheek.
The smile Deanna started to offer him smothered by a grimace of pain. Will
felt his stomach churn, the nurse pulling the baby from Deanna's arm.

"What is it!?" He said, voice marked with panic. Beverly ignored him, moving
quickly to Deanna.

"OK Deanna. Just like before." She ordered, sending an almost evil grin to

"Surprise Captain."


Chpt 9


"I would like the enterprise to remain in orbit for a few weeks until this
fiasco can be settled. Although we have determined that the Romulans were
not directly responsible for the children, they did use it to their
advantage, in order to....." Will shifted in his chair, he was too excited
to listen to the Admiral's accountings of the present situation at
Starfleet. He was a father...In fact in the last forty eight hours he had
become a father three times over. All he really wanted to do was return to
sickbay, and be with his new family. He leaned back in his chair,
remembering what someone had once told him. {no ship named enterprise had
ever had a man with a family at the helm}. Well he was going to prove them
all wrong, and set a new precedent for future captains...he hoped no one
would ever have to deny themselves what he had now for their career
aspirations, as he had done for so long.

"Will? Will." The Admirals voice pulled him from his euphoria.

"I'm sorry Sir." Will straighten in his chair. Admiral Picard's face was lit
up with one of his rare smiles. "It's all right Captain. Under the
circumstances, I believe it's understandable. please send my warmest regards
to Deanna." He hesitated momentarily, sharing emotions not his strong suit.
"And give my god children Sarah, and Kevin a kiss." Riker smiled warmly,
Admiral Picard had never seen a prouder smile on anyone.

"Thank you Sir. I will." Will started to terminate the communication, the
Admiral's now sullen voice stopped him.

"Will, I believe there is something you should know." Will leaned forward,
seeing Picards concern. "It's Tom. Starfleet detected an emergency beamout
from the enterprise. Will, Tom did not beam onto the the warbirds, and our
attempts to track his signal have been fruitless." He only nodded, releasing
a long breath of air, he would deal with Thomas Riker when and if their
paths crossed again..

He pushed himself out of his chair, shaking any thoughts of Tom Riker. The
grin that had been his constant companion sine the twins were born faded
with the look on Tamara's face. The effervescent blue eyes he had grown to
love over the last several days, had dulled to the shadow of hopelessness he
had seen through the muted glass at starfleet head quarters. He knew
immediately what she was thinking. "Hey. Come here." He maneuvered her to
the couch, and then sat down beside her. As he arranged his thoughts, he
found himself amazed at how much he loved this little girl. It seemed just
as Deanna had done, she had made her feelings far more important to him then
his own. "Listen to me." He could see fear in her eyes, fear of abandonment,
fear of having to return to those who couldn't hear her voice in their mind.
"Deanna, Your mother, is the kindest most understanding woman I've ever
known. Let's just give her some time to rest." Tamara smiled at his
reassurance, seemingly accepting his explanation. "I'll be back in a couple
hours, I'll show you my fishing program on the holodeck." He promised
responding to the door chimes. "Data will take of you, or you can take care
of him. Whichever you prefer." He winked as he left his quarters. Though
Tamara seemed to have passed over her fears he couldn't help feeling like a
heel for leaving her.

He crept quietly into Deanna's suite, Sarah, Kevin and Deanna all slept
soundly. There was something in this room, the feeling, the sound, even the
scent stirred emotions in him he didn't even know he had. Every nuance of
his new life swirled around his heart and wrapped it in warmth. He was a
father, he had without a doubt the most beautiful wife in the world, and he
was Captain of the enterprise, he should have been feeling guilty for all
the blessing that had been given him, but instead he wallowed in it.

"Will." Deanna's gentle voice joined the other sensations that swirled
perpetually around his soul.

"Imzadi." He sat next to her on the bed, kissing her flushed cheek, and wish
ing he could put into words how he was feeling right now.

"I love you." The words were inadequate. He cradled his arm under her
shoulders, and rested his head on her hair. He felt the same emotions he was
feeling emanating from Deanna, feelings so incredible they could never be
shared with anyone else. The tiny infants stirred in their isolates, Deanna
nodded to Will. His hands seemed so large as he reached into the bassinet to
pick up his most precious gift. Deanna had never seen a broader smile then
the one Will was wearing, his tears of joy sliding uncompelled from his
eyes. He brushed his bearded face softly against the baby, inhaling deeply,
sealing this moment in his heart forever..

Deanna watched him closely, allowing all the emotions that suffused him to
intensify hers. All but one entered her thoughts and settled peacefully into
her soul. She focused on the one that seemed lost among the others, one so
important to Will, but unable to find it's home. She felt the gaze of the
blue eyes that had set themselves on her, turning to face them, they
disappeared into the shadows of the corridor.

"This is a a holo image moment if I've ever seen one." Beverly Crusher swept
into the room, failing in her attempt to hide the sentiments that hid behind
her misted eyes.

"The perfect family." She added, preparing the imager.

Deanna smiled up to Will, still cradling Kevin gently in his arms. "Not yet
Beverly." She whispered, sending an unspoken thought to Will.

Will walked to the door, and motioned an unsure Tamara inside....He walked
with her to Deanna's bed, one hand reassuringly on Tamara's shoulder, the
other still holding on to the new life in his arms. Deanna's deep brown
eyes, met with the glistening blue of Tamara's. One gentle word stroked
lovingly over her mind. <Mom?>

<Mom> Deanna send back, Tears gliding from Tamara's eyes as Deanna's voice
sounded soothingly through her mind. Deanna moved uncomfortablely over in
the bed holding on tightly to Sarah, Tamara slid in beside her, Will and
Kevin rounded out the picture.

"Now, we're the perfect family." Deanna said, smiling an understanding to
Will. The unsettled emotion that had been spiraling over Will and Deanna's
hearts, reaching out to them, crying for a home, peacefully joined the
others in the cradle of their souls.

the end.