Disclaimer; Paramount owns them
Rating: PG
Title: "Completed" A response to the first anniversary challenge.

In an instant happiness came become sadness. In an instant hope can
become hopeless. In an instant calm can become panic. In an instant
security can dissolve making way for chaos.

It was over in an instant and the only signal was when Deanna
diverted her eyes from the meeting to the door and started to shout a
warning. But it was too late, the building started to rumble and
people started to run. Panic had settled in.

It happened so quickly that Deanna was overcome by the onslaught of
emotions. Panic and fear both hers and others flooded through her.
She tried to move but she felt paralyzed, held in place by the
invisible force of emotion. She heard the first officer call to her
before the ceiling fell in around her bringing her to the ground.
Blackness wrapped around her.

Arriving amidst the panic, Will was shocked. This was supposed to be
a peaceful meeting but by the looks of the grounds something had gone
horrible wrong. In the space of moment, the time it took to transport
from the ship to the planet, the climate had changed. His mind raced
needing answers before a feeling crept over him. A feeling that
alerted his soul that something was horribly wrong with Deanna. His
heart raced faster and his vision seemed to swim out of focus with
the knowledge. He stated to run toward the building, plowing through
the escaping people with his focus on one thing only, Deanna.

Only a few officers remained in the meeting room when he arrived. All
of them gathered around a pile of rumble in the center of the room.
He knew in an instant that she was under that rumble. He tried to
remain a captain and officer but it warred with the feelings of a
husband. Will ran across the room and fell on his knees and he joined
his crew in search of his Imzadi.

Will saw the glistening of her wedding ring, a symbol of hope that
they had almost reached her. Boards and bricks where stripped away
until he sat holding her in the rumble. He held her in his arms that
were shaking from fear and fatigue and said a prayer that she would
survive. He placed his hand on her rounded stomach and fought the
tidal wave of fear that threatened to overwhelm him. The transporter
beam gripped them and carried them away.

Will stood in sickbay fighting the same battle he had fought many
times before. The battle to stay in control, the battle not to demand
answers to questions that ran through his head, the battle to stay
calm. Calm, he needed to stay calm at least for her sake. But that
was near impossible when she lay battered and bruised on a biobed. It
was near impossible when he heard her cries. It was near impossible
to remain a captain when the woman you love was in pain. It was
impossible when your wife was fighting not only for her own life but
the lives of the babies that grew in her womb.

He walked forward to her, the medicine they had given her calming her
but still he could hear her whisper. Whispered words that torn at
his heart. Her eyes met his and she gripped his hand with a strength
that surprised him. There was a look in her eyes, one that he had not
seen before. An emotion came from her that only could be described as
crushing protectiveness. An emotion connected to the tiny being that
grew within her. Although she battled to stay alert, she needed to
know that he had heard her plea. "Don't let them take them Imzadi.
Please they are not ready to be born yet. I need to hold them a
inside a little longer."

Will bent and kissed her forehead, desperately wanting to promise her
that the babies would be fine. But he couldn't. Although the twins
seemed to be fine despite the ordeal, Deanna needed surgery and they
could only hope that labor would not begin and if it did that it
could be stopped. His eyes met with the CMO and she mouthed a
wordless, "I'll try."

I'll try a promise that was by no means good enough. But the only
promise he knew could be offered.

The medical staff started to move the bed away but Will reached out
and stopped their progress. He looked down at her and his mind filled
words he should have said but didn't. He bent slightly and kissed her
desperately hoping that she could feel his emotions has they poured
out of his soul. He gently whispered words of love against the
roundness of her stomach hoping it would give the tiny lives inside
strength. Then he let them go. As the last nurse left she handed Will
Deanna's wedding ring. The ring was a reminder that he had placed on
her hand only a year before. The ring a reminder that tomorrow was
their first anniversary. The ring was a reminder that he might be
without her.

How unbearable would life be without her? How unbearable would life
be if the lives that grew inside of her ceased to exist?

Unthinkable. He couldn't face the question. He tried to focus on the
ship and on the matters at hand. After all he was the Captain and his
ship needed to him but no matter the situation he couldn't force
himself to leave. He couldn't leave her to fight alone. The need
remained to check on his crew, not only for his own comfort but also
for a promise he made to her. That no matter the situation, no matter
the problem, they would prove Starfleet wrong and rise above the
distraction that their marriage could cause and perform their duty.
Except he would do it from Sickbay while he waited.

He had talked to his first officer, his Security officer and the
leaders of the peace talks. All had confirmed what he already knew,
the explosion had only been meant as a diversion. As a symbol that
not all where pleased with the meetings taking place and Deanna had
simple been in the wrong place at the wrong time. A diversion, a
distraction, like he was using duty for right now. Except he couldn't
do that any longer for the link that connected them surged, drawing
him nearer and closer to her. He had for years felt her presence and
it only increased when they reunited. It only increased when they
married. But sadly it hadn't grown any more; it hadn't amplified like
it should have. It hasn't improved like she said it would. It wasn't
her fault; he knew that, he knew he was the soul reason why they
hadn't grown beyond what they already had. But now there was no
choice as the link itself decided it was time for him to see all that
could be offered.

His eyes fell shut and he drifted through a mist, dark and lonely
with only the whisper of her. Then her presence grew stronger until
through the veil of gray he saw her, curled around her stomach. She
was protecting their children, shielding from the pain and fear. But
no one was doing that for her. An urgent need pulled him forward and
in his mind he knelt and wrapped himself around her. She didn't feel
his presence until he touched her, her heart skip a beat and she
looked at him and smiled. Slowly she closed her eyes and the power of
their love wrapped around them. He held on to her and sent her his
strength and his love. She took it in and basked in it and drew
strength from it. Then he noticed a tiny whisper, two tiny brushes
against his mind. They were not from her but from the lives that grew
inside of her. His children, their children, and a testimony of the
love they shared. In an instant he fell truly and undoubtedly in
love. Tears stung his eyes as feelings filled his heart and soul. A
love like he had never known flooded through him, the love of a
father for his children. A love that he had doubted he was capable of.

His heart opened and all that he had keep inside and kept hidden from
her poured out. It was unstoppable and he could feel her spirit
rejoice has he done so.

He told her it had been doubt that had caused him to be less then
excited when she told him the unexpected news five months ago. He was
going to be a father. He was going to have a family. Family, the only
family that he had ever had was the close group of people on the
Enterprise. But he had never had anyone stand beside him and vow to
build a life with him. Not until last year, not until their wedding
day. It was a precious gift to him that she would do that. It was
amazing to him that she would want to have his last name attached to
hers as a sign that they where united. It was wonderful to him to see
her belly grow with life. It was almost too good. Did he really
deserve all this? And could it be taken away? After all he had failed
to protect her many times before. What if he continued to fail?

He could still see his body wrapped around hers. He could still feel
her presence. She felt so weak that it caused him to hold her tighter
and send all the love and strength he could. He knocked down the last
remaining walls and let their souls touch. He would do anything so
that she would hold on and be with him for not just one year but for

She felt his love for her and their babies. She felt his fear and
determination. She felt his resolve to let the bond grow and she
accepted it. Tossing aside her own fears she stepped through the door
with him.

Slowly she became stronger. He could feel her strength grow. He could
feel her return and she turned in his arms and smiled. He could feel
the press her rounded stomach against his body. It felt wonderful. He
stayed there locked in her gaze until he felt a hand on his shoulder
and heard the voice of his CMO calling him back to awareness.

"Deanna?" The word tumbled from his lips before his eyes opened.

Meeting the CMO gaze she answered him. "She is fine and the babies
are too. She will need bed rest for at least two weeks though. Just
to make sure everything stays that way."

He smiled and uttered his thanks just as Deanna was brought in. He
rose to his feet and looked at her, somehow falling in love just a
little more than he had been before.

She slept and he watched. He conducted what ship duties he could
while his hand rested on her stomach as he felt the little ones kick
and press against his hand. Minutes passed and then hours passed
while her eyes remained close, until the eve of their anniversary
became the day of. Her eyes opened and her gaze fell on his, while
her she searched with her mind for the tiny babies inside of her. She
sobbed with relief and joy as her hands and his fell upon her
stomach. Their hands brushed over her rounded stomach and they
touched each other. She grasped his hand, her hold weak but one the
most beautiful things that he had ever felt. Two pairs of eyes met
and both experienced the overwhelming emotions of a bond completed.

She grasped weakly at the realization and tried to calm her racing
heartbeat. Had he even realized what he had done? Did he know that
by putting aside his fear and doubt that the bond had been completed?
She had waited for this and it had come on the day when it was needed
the most.

Her throat was dry and she to weak to speak so she sent to him, `You
completed the bond.'

Her words surprised him and he was about to protest when she spoke
again. `You share as much of the bond as I do. You also have the
power to complete it. We are equal in this relationship, Captain.'

She smiled; exhaustion was clearly visible on her face and Will was
struck by her beauty. He was struck by how happy she looked. It had
never occurred to him that he had the power to complete the bond. But
just has he had the power to hold the bond back; he had the power to
complete it. She nodded slightly at him and felt his throat tighten
with emotion.

`I'm sorry,' he sent. `I'm sorry that I didn't let it happen before.'

`There is no need to apologize. It happen when it was meant to
happen.' There were no words to say for she knew his heart. He looked
from her face to her rounded stomach and touched her gently. He
placed a kiss there and turned his head so that he could see her eyes.

`Happy anniversary, Mrs. Riker.'

`Happy anniversary, Mr. Riker.'

As the sound of the twins' heartbeats echoed from the monitors he
kissed her. He whispered words of love and she slept in his arms.