Yes, Dear

By Shasta

DISCLAIMER: Part of it’s theirs, part of it’s mine. No infringement is intended, no profit gained.
SETTING: A moment in Ten-Forward after Will and Deanna get settled on the Titan.

Dedication: This is for a dear friend of mine that I lost to cancer on 11-21-04. Your friendship and unique sense of humor will never fade. Until we meet again, my friend. Yup, enough of that, let’s get on with the story now. ;)

Yes, Dear

Captain Will Riker stumbled into the Ten-Forward Lounge of the Titan, looking a bit worn-torn. He took a seat at the bar, rubbing his hands over his face.

The barkeep stepped up to greet him. "What brings you in this late, Sparky?"

Surprised, Will looked up to his friend. Sporting a bushy mustache and a long ponytail, Ray was a person that almost everyone aboard the Titan could identify. With a sarcastic smirk, Will said, "Couldn’t sleep."

He gave Will a knowing smile. "Hmm . . . She kicked you out again, didn’t she?"

"You could say that." He ran his fingers through his spiky hair. "I never thought things would be this . . . difficult . . . when I first heard the news."

"Yup. That’s the big problem with us guys," the bartender said, placing an ale in front of Will. "We don’t think most of the time." He leaned forward a bit and whispered, "At least that’s what they think."

"Yeah." Riker swirled the contents of his glass before taking a drink. "You have any kids, Ray?"

"Nope, but I sure love ‘em," he said. "They take in the universe with such innocence. You can really learn a lot about life by watching kids."

"I guess I’ll find out soon enough," he sighed.

Ray couldn‘t miss the look on Will’s face. "How much longer till they arrive?"

He set his glass down. "About four months."

"Good God, man!" The barkeep laughed, "You have a ways to go! Carpe diem! You should enjoy every moment you have with your lovely wife until then."

Will took another drink. "Yeah. Well, if I could figure out what I keep doing wrong, I would." Stroking his beard, he replied, "I don’t know how I’m going to survive this."

Ray couldn’t help but smile at that. "Just take it one day at a time, and remember two words."

"Two words?" Riker gave him a questioning gaze.

His smile got even bigger with amusement. In a nasal voice he answered, "Yes, dear."

The men’s laughter was interrupted by the chirping of Will’s badge. Tapping it, he said, "Riker here."

Deanna’s upset voice answered. "Will, please come back to our quarters. I’m having a hard time sleeping without you."

He gave Ray a mischievous grin. "Yes, dear. I’ll be there in a few minutes."

Will held out his hand to his friend. "Thanks for the advice."

"No problem," he answered, and shook Will’s hand. "You better make it fast before she cracks that whip again!"

Riker shook his head, laughing. "I know, I know. She’s always had some kind of control over me!"

"And you wouldn’t change that for anything, would you?"

He turned to leave Ten-Forward. "Nope, I sure wouldn‘t. ‘Night, Ray."

"Bye, Cap’n."