The Admiral's Ball


Rating G

Disclaimer: Paramount owns them

"Will you marry me ?" he uttered the word in silence  and laughed at
how many times  he had asked her.  In silence.  Never finding the
time when his courage out weighed his fear. 
Not knowing whether her fear would fall away and allow her to
accept.  Praying that someday he would find out. 

Deanna studied him from across the table.  She felt his nervousness
and fear.  But she also felt a growing courage.  It sparked a glimmer
of hope in her.  She didn't know why. But it was there never the
less.  She resisted the urge to probe his mind.  To get the answers
she sought.  Deanna gave a small secret smile, maybe someday he would
find the courage to ask.  Then again maybe someday, she would find it
in herself to ask him.

Their eyes locked and their spirits soared and she felt him relax. 
Sitting at a table surround by friends, there was only them.  They
were alone as they gazed into each others eyes.  Despite the officers
in dress uniforms and women in stunning gowns. Among all the laughing
and dancing, there was only the two of them.  He reached out and
sought her presence, sensing no fear, only acceptance.  She smiled as
she felt his courage grow. 

At the table where they sat,  Admiral Packer rose from his chair.  He
proclaimed the ball a success and thank the Starfleet officers for a
successful year. But the Commander and the Counselor were oblivious
to his words, they were lost in on another.   The Admiral speech
continued and neither was aware as the Admiral ask the  officers
seated with him to say a few words.  Beginning of course , with

"Commander Riker would you like to say something?" The Admiral
questioned.  His words broke into Will's thoughts, into his private
dance with the Counselor.  Before he could stop himself, the question
that had haunted him for months, no years, fell from his
lips. "Deanna, will you marry me?"

The room grew silent and a sweet tension filled the room.  The senior
staff of the Enterprise looked from one to another and the Captain
raised his eyebrows. The Admiral smiled and reminded himself never to
ask Riker to speak first again. The moment lingered and the silence

Deanna looked at Will, as her dreams became reality.  She stood on
the threshold of the future and all she had to do was walk in.  But
the only word that would form in her mind and the only word that
filled the air was, "What?"  It was whispered so low, it was barely

He chuckled and stood from his chair to kneel in front of her.  She
was shocked and in truth so was he.  He didn't intend for it to
happen like this, but it had.  So tonight after years of waiting and
dreaming an old story would come to an end and with an answer a new
one would begin.

He retrieved a small box from his pocket and opened it for her to
see.  A box he had carried for months, waiting for the right time.The
diamond caught the light and it beacon her to answer.  To accept. 
She heard his question again, and this time her answer came before he
could finish. 

"Yes, I will marry you. Yes." She said as tears fell down her face.

Will's smile grew and he felt his heart race. Joy filled his being
and he picked her up in his arms .  She clung to him and he clung to
her, as they realized this was the beginning of something new.

The ball had ended hours ago.  Many of the dancers and party goers
had fallen into a deep slumber.  But for them,  the dance still
lingered, even though they stood apart.
He watched her from across the room, as she stood by the viewport. 
The stars looked like tiny ribbons as the starship raced forward. 
Forward toward new adventures, new dreams. Including the one he had
proposed tonight.  The starlight caught the glimmer in her long
sequined gown and she seemed all aglow.  The tear that ran down her
face was a contrast to the mood that coursed between them and he
prayed his feeling did not deceive him.  He prayed it was a tear of
happiness, not sadness.  He felt his voice tremble, still full of
emotion from the nights events as he spoke for the first time sense
returning to their quarters.  "Deanna", he said closing the distance
between them, " are you ok?"

She looked in his eyes and seen the love there.  She smiled at him,
as more tears fell and a cascade of emotions from the past and
present threaten to over take her.  Her eyes fell from his eyes to
her hand, where rested the object of her dreams, the symbol of their
future.  He cupped her chin and her eyes met his again. "Deanna?" he
whispered. She answered him not with words, but with her mind.  As
she  tried to hold back the overflow of emotions  the look in his
eyes, caused a already weaken damn to burst.  The feeling flowed from
her to him and he gasped and brought her body close to his.  He felt
her pain of his betrayal, he felt the years of longing for them to be
together and it was all overshadowed but the joy of their reunion. 
The events of tonight played in his mind and felt her excitement and
her disbelief.  The disbelief that he had the courage to ask and she
had the courage to accept.  He felt her say good-bye to past pains
and take his hand and stand of the blink of destiny.  Their destiny.