"A Bride's Wish - Maybe?"


Deanna threw down her wedding dress in utter disgust. She had really done it.
For weeks now she had doubts about the entire thing. Question after question
kept popping up in her mind and she became less and less convinced that she
was doing the right thing.

Sure, he was extremely handsome, had an incredible brain, a wit that could
match the best of the best, and a romantic heart to die for. But as she spent
more and more time with him, however, she realized that he didn't have those
blue eyes, that certain smile, good-natured humor, or that adorable cleft in
his chin.

She didn't know what was worse, calling off the wedding the night before, or
discovering that she still had feelings for Will Riker. God knows he couldn't
find that out. It would make her look desperate and a little weak....like she
couldn't make up her mind.

Beverly Crusher, her best friend, was sprawled out on the couch amidst the
leftover wedding decor...and dress. She blew a small gust of air out of her
mouth, causing her bangs to rise for a brief moment. "I can't believe that
you did this. I mean I thought you had committed your entire life to this
guy. Suddenly, bang, and it's all over. What has gotten into you lately,
Deanna? You've not been acting the least bit like yourself. I bet Christopher
is furious. What did he say to you?"

Deanna slumped her shoulders and sat in a nearby chair. He took it about
like I expected him to. First he was shocked into silence, then he started
yelling, then he tried to talk me into going through with it saying that I
was just getting cold feet. I told him that I just couldn't do it and I
really couldn't explain why. I still don't think I can. Anyway, we finally
said good-bye and he's putting in for a transfer.

Beverly closed her eyes and flopped her arm over her head, "Why could you not
do it?"

Deanna knew that question was coming and frankly, she didn't feel like
answering. "I don't know. I guess the thought of spending the rest of my
life with him gave me an uncomfortable feeling. I know that I loved him and
had feelings for him, but everything didn't feel right. I always thought that
if you were going to marry somebody, you should have no doubts about it. Be a
little nervous maybe, but not having doubts."

Beverly sat up and clapped her hands together, trying to remain patient.
"Deanna, I had doubts about Jack and I. There are very few couples who
don't. I had no idea how our marriage would turn out, or how well we would
get along, or if I would regret it later. But in the back of my mind, I knew
that everything would turn out all right. And it did until he died. Now I
have no doubt that if he hadn't died, we would still be happily married with
three or four kids by now."

Deanna rose and went to figure her dress again in deep thought. Beverly
didn't miss the gesture. "That's the thing, Bev. I didn't or don't have
that feeling in the back of my mind. My instincts tell me that I will make a
mistake if I marry Chris. I don't have the kind of peace with him as I had
with...." she trailed off, stopping herself.

"Will?" Beverly finished for her.

Deanna pouted and nodded in agreement. "I felt like the whole universe was at
peace when I was with him. I felt comfortable around him, I know without the
shadow of any doubt that he would even give his life for me."

"You mean, you know that he loves you," the doctor stated.

Deanna stared at Beverly for a moment, comprehending what she had just said.
"Yes...I guess that's it."

Beverly threw her hands up, "Chris loved you, Deanna! Surely you knew that?"

Deanna crossed her arms, trying to concentrate. "I know, but," she paused
for a minute trying to figure out what to say. "You remember what it felt
like with Jack...like he was your soulmate, the only other person in the
universe that knew you inside and out. He was the one you felt the most
comfortable around. That's what it's like for Will and I."

Beverly sighed loudly and spread her hands questionably, "So...when are you
going to tell Will?"

Deanna looked at Beverly incredulously, "Beverly, I can't tell, Will. You
of all people should know that."

Beverly stood and headed for the door. "I of all people know that you two
have been in love with each other since the Farpoint mission and I also know
that you are going to drive me crazy if you don't talk to each other about
this whole love thing. I'm leaving, goodnight."

As soon as the doors parted, she almost ran into Will and then smiled, "Ah,
just on time. Deanna," she said turning back to her friend, "Look who came
to see you. I know you two have a lot to talk about. Bye."

Deanna shot darts at Beverly as she left and her expression didn't lighten
too much as Will walked into her quarters. "Is this a bad time? Because I can
always come back if - "

Deanna waved her hand in the air to silence him, "No, come in, Will. I'm
sorry, I guess I'm not in a great mood right now, having called off the
wedding and all. Chris isn't too happy about it, but he accepted it. I just
don't know what to do with this dress now."

Will looked at the impossibly huge dress lying over her dining table,
"Wow....I bet you look absolutely gorgeous in that thing. I say keep it. You
never know when you'll meet Mr. Right."

Will went to the replicator and ordered himself a drink, oblivious to the
look she was giving him. It was a look that said "I wish you could understand
how I feel, But I can't tell you."

Will sat down on the couch and laid his head back, "I am so glad this day is
over. I was about to kill any ensign that walked by me today. So....you told
me how Chris was, but I'm concerned about you."

Deanna sat next to him, she couldn't let him on to what was going through her
head. The entire time she watched him, she kept asking herself if she could
see Will as her husband one day, if she could have a family with him, if she
could grow old with him. The answer to all of those questions was, yes.

"I feel like I did the right thing. The more I thought about spending my life
with him, the more the doubts grew. I can't really explain it other than I
had a bad feeling about the wedding. I had feelings for him, but I think that
I convinced myself into thinking that I wanted to marry him. Now...I don't
know what to think."

Will smiled softly and wrapped his arm around her. "Well, I don't really
know what to say other than I trust you and what you feel. That's all the
answer you have to give me. I'm just sorry that you haven't found that
certain man yet."

Deanna's insides were rolling. She could hardly stand to here him talk like
that. "Yeah...it's too bad, was all she managed to say. "Do you want
to do something tonight?"

Will raised his eyebrows, "Like what?"

Deanna shrugged, "I don't know. I just feel like doing something with you.
It's been a while, with Chris having been here and all."

Will smiled and hugged her tighter, "Sure...anything. How about we take a
trip on the holodeck? Geordi let me borrow this great program from the early
21st century. He said that I had to try it."

Deanna frowned slightly, "This isn't one of those really macho programs is

Will laughed, "I promise you that it will be the opposite. All I know is that
he wanted me to try a brand new Mustang. He said that if I like flying
shuttles, I'd love this car."

"Car? What is a car?"

Will stood and returned his cup to the replicator, "It was a popular way of
traveling back then. Lets just say it's like a small transport on wheels.
Don't worry...I always show my ladies a good time," he added with a smile.


The wind whipped through their hair as Will drove the golden convertible down
a narrow one way road. It was getting dark and it looked like they were in
the middle of nowhere. To Deanna, it was a much needed quiet time with, who
she considered anyway, to be her future husband. She had to feel sorry for
him because he had no clue of what he was getting into.

Will began to slow down as they approached a large, open field. Here they
were just the two of them with trees on one side and a crop field on the
other. "We are definitely in the country. Looks like a corn field over
there," Will pointed to the source.

Deanna took a deep breath of fresh, clean air and closed her eyes. Well, she
had planned to work on him tonight and now was probably the best time to do
it. The car came to a halt as they overlooked a small valley with the stars
shining brightly above them.

Deanna smiled then turned her head to look at her companion. "Will? Do you
ever have the feeling when your with someone that you were destined to be
together...no matter how much you want to fight that feeling, you can't
ignore it?"

Will looked at her strangely, then turned back to the view. "Yeah....like
right now." He looked at her then smiled sheepishly, "I can't believe I
just said that."

Deanna took his right hand and turned it over in hers, beginning to trace an
invisible pattern on his palm. Will knew that it was just a small gesture,
but he felt that warm feeling creep up inside him. All he wanted to do was
stay close to her and never let go of this moment. He just watched in silence
as she played with his hand.

"I know that you didn't really want Chris and I to get married. I can't
tell you how much it meant to me that you supported it one-hundred percent and
that you wanted me to be happy above all else. I don't know if you just
don't have feelings for me anymore, or if you were hiding those feelings."

Will closed his palm on her fingers and pulled her over to him, "I don't
think I could love anyone else as much as I love you. That's why I put your
happiness above all else. That's why I will support you through any decision
that you make."

"Really?" Deanna asked, looking up at him.

Will smiled and nodded, "Yes, really. No matter what, I'll always be there
for you."

Deanna pulled back from him and looked him in the eye, "In that case, I have
made a decision, Will. I've been thinking about this for years actually, and
now I'm ready. The fact is, I've already met Mr. Right and I'm looking at
him now. I know it's a little sudden for you, but....I want you to be my

Will's face froze and his muscles tensed. Deanna almost regretted what she
had said as she felt his grip tighten in response. "What?" Will asked, not
believing what he had just heard.

Deanna let go of his hand and swept her hair back nervously. "I've just
been thinking a lot lately. The reason....or one of the reasons I didn't go
through it with Chris was because of you. I didn't realize that until today
really. I know it must sound crazy, me just popping the idea on you the day
before the wedding."

Will held up his hands like an Indian, "Whoa, wait....you want us to get
married, and you want us to get married tomorrow? Deanna, do you know how
soon that is? That's like less than twenty-four hours," he said

Deanna turned away from him and slumped back in her seat, resting her elbow
on the door. "Forget it. Forget I even mentioned it. You're right, it is
too soon. You may not even want to marry me." She fought the tears that
threatened her eyes, but she would not give into them. She would not cry in
front of Will if she could at all help it. "Maybe we should just call it a
night, Will."

Will had his head resting back on the top of his seat. Somehow she had gotten
the wrong message. He hated it when women did that. Now he had to come up
with a way to make her understand without making her cry or hate him for the
next couple of days. "Okay....listen to me. It's not that I don't want to
marry you. God knows it would be a lie if I said I didn't," he spoke slowly
and deliberately, "You have a tendency to jump to conclusions when you're
going through something tough emotionally. I just want you to think logically
through this before you decide anything. You can't think objectively right
now because you just broke up with the man you were going to marry and now
you've jumped to me without even two hours between Chris and me. Do you

Deanna's jaw was set in the way Will hated with all his gut. She was mad.
"What happened to the Will Riker who taught me to follow my heart and to stop
listening to my head all of the time? What happened to 'I trust you and what
you feel and that's all the answer I'll need from you'?"

Will sighed. He was frustrated but struggled to keep his feelings in check.
"I said that about Chris and you're decision not to marry him. That's
fine, I don't have a problem with that. But I think that you need some more time
and space before you decide that you want to marry me."

"I've thought about it for what has it been...fifteen, sixteen years now?
When I fell in love with you, I knew, Will. I've always known, I just
didn't admit it to myself. That's why I went to Chris looking for what you could
have given me all along. But I couldn't replace you with him. I think that I
realized that and I decided to try for the real thing instead. Why do you
think that whole thing with Worf, happened?"

Will stopped her before she could say anything further, "Just drop, Worf....I
don't even want to get into that. I understand what you are saying. I just
don't know if we're ready. I mean, we haven't even been out on a real
date in years it seems."

Deanna smiled, sensing his mood lighten a little. "I know...it has been a
long time. To be honest, I've missed it dearly. It's just that, for me,
when I'm around you, especially like this, I feel like we're already married.
That's how comfortable it is. I just want that feeling and that comfort to go
on forever. When I think about having you as my husband and having children
with you, it all seems so natural. It's like it's already happened and I
can see it clearly in my mind's eye. Like I said, I know that it's sudden, but
the wedding date is already set and they're already decorating the lounge. I
just thought that it would be convenient and all. The truth is, I love you
and I'm ready. I'm just waiting on you."

Will held her gaze for an instant longer and then looked back at the
landscape before them. It was a good five minutes that he remained quiet.
Deanna was getting a little nervous but she knew that he was thinking about
what she had said. She was also aware that she was asking him to turn his
entire life upside down in the matter of just a few hours. She couldn't blame
him if he turned her down....at least for right now.

Will rubbed his hands through his hair and gripped the steering wheel until
his knuckles were white. He was hiding his emotions from her so she couldn't
tell if he was angry or nervous or both. "What you're asking me to
do.....is something that I'm not really prepared for. I do love you. But it wouldn't
be fair to you because I'd be going into this marriage a little unstable.
You've had time to think all of this through and motivate yourself to these
feelings. I'm not blaming you for anything," he said quickly, noting the
expression on her face, "It's just that I love you enough to give you a
fair and honest chance at this marriage, and I don't think I can do that right

Deanna nodded and patted him on his shoulder tenderly, "I understand, Will. I
can't say that I blame you. But is their any chance you'd be ready by
tomorrow morning?"

Will laughed at her vain attempt of persuasion. Deanna smile sheepishly at
him and returned her hands to her lap. Will calmed his laughter and said to
her, "I don't know. We could always stay here tonight and you could try to
talk me into it."

Deanna's smile broadened so big, Will thought her cheeks would crack. Stay
there and talked they did, and at 10:00 the next morning, they were married.