Challenge on Imzadi List:

Write around the recent Nemesis wedding picture. Use only your reactions to the picture to work from, not movie spoilers.

At Last
Disclaimer: Paramount owns TNG and its characters.  Duh.  lol

She looked lovely.  Pink was definitely her color.  But it was more
than the dress that made my Imzadi so beautiful.  It was the light
dancing in her eyes, the way she smiled at me, the sun-lit twist of
her hair.  She was gorgeous. 

We kissed after the ceremony was over, sharing glasses of champagne
together, and I remember thinking, "It really happened. It's finally
here.  Deanna is truly my wife."  God. It gave me shivers just
thinking about it.  Still does.

I smelled her perfume, lost myself in her lips, and drowned for the
thousandth time in her beautiful dark eyes.  And I thought, not for
the first time, 'why the hell didn't we do this 20 years ago?'

That Deanna Troi and that Will Riker were long gone, but I can
remember the heat of their passion as though it were yesterday. 
Deanna was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen, and I had been
her very first lover.  Why hadn't I taken her with me on the
Potemkin?  Why hadn't I fell to my knees and begged her to marry me?
I'd been afraid.  I knew that now.  Afraid of her Mother, afraid of
the feelings Deanna inspired in me, afraid of commitment...always
afraid of commitment.  And so, I left her world without so much as a
backward glance, and spent the next decade or more living with a
hole in my heart. 

Oh sure, I had her in my life; we were friends, and damned good
ones.  But I couldn't touch her. I couldn't look into those
bottomless eyes and tell her the secrets of my heart. I couldn't
take her in my arms and make love to that beautiful body, or connect
with that incredible mind.  She was no longer mine. I no longer had
the right.  And so, I pushed away any thoughts of love or lust when
it came to Deanna.  Well, as often as I was able to.  It wasn't
easy.  How could it be when the very sight of her caused my heart
and soul to open up and spill out the most incredible wave of
feelings for her?

Regret tasted bitter in the back of my mouth.  But then I opened my
eyes and looked at my new wife. My wife.  We had finally done it.  I
couldn't get over it.  And I could feel her in my mind at that
moment, knowing my every thought, sharing my every regret. 

<<It's alright, Will. Let it go.  We made mistakes but the past is
gone. Let's enjoy each other right now, right this moment, and make
sure that our future is better than our past.>>

She knew me so well. It was exactly what I needed to hear to get my
head and heart in the right place.  Now was our time.  Only now. 
And I was going to enjoy it for all it was worth.

<<So, Mrs. Riker, would you like to leave the reception and sneak
away?>>  I'd said it teasingly, but meant it with all my heart. I
knew that if I didn't get her alone soon I'd explode.

<<Well, you'd have to make it worth my while.>> She'd teased back,
stirring my emotions, among other things, and soon we were in her
old bedroom, tearing our wedding finery off and tossing it to the

We'd made love like two teenagers, in fact, that time was almost
exactly as our very first time had been. Filled with newness,
passion, exploration, and the thrilling combination of first love
and intense desire. 

When it was over, we snuggled for ages, each unwilling to let the
other go. And then, we heard a cough and a quiet knock on the door.

"Darling, if you must seduce your new husband so soon, I won't
object, but you could have waited until after the reception. 
Captain Picard is looking all over for the two of you. He wants to
give you a toast..."

Deanna sighed and gave me a smile. "We're on our way, Mother."

We'd jumped into our clothes again, and Deanna touched up her hair
and makeup.  Nothing gave away our secret except for the rumpled

Running down the stairs hand in hand, we felt like those two young
kids who had discovered one another too soon...and it was like
having a second chance to be in past again.  It was wonderful.

We flew outside and took our seats again, quickly lifting our
glasses towards the Captain who stood regally in the middle of
Lwaxanna's prized rosebushes.  "I would like to take this moment to
make a toast.  To my favorite First Officer and Starfleet's best
ship's counselor.  You two have taken a great deal of time to get to
this moment.  No two people in my aquaintance have been better
suited than you.  Your friendship has finally circled back to your
past, into love, and I think it's the loveliest thing to happen to
this crew in a long time.  Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Riker.  May
your journey be blessed with hope, joy, and much happiness. 

He raised his glass to us and then drank deeply, as did we. 

Looking into each another's eyes, we finished off the champagne and
set our glasses on the table.  Then, to the delight of the
surrounding crowd, we kissed...deeply and passionately.

It was without a doubt the best day of my life. 

My Imzadi was my wife, at last.