By Carol Sandford


Chapter 16


One month later~~~~~

"Are you ready, Will?"

Deanna looked up into the handsome face as they prepared to re-board the Enterprise.

Will clasped her to him for a final, searing kiss before nodding breathlessly. "I guess. I am going to miss this though."

They both looked around the home that had now firmly become theirs, and they both felt a nostalgic pang at having to leave it. "We can always come here for our honeymoon, Will"

His arms tightened around her, Deanna lost herself in the grin that she thought at one time, she would never see again. "And I want our children to see the old souls torches." He kissed her once more before reluctantly summoning the Enterprise for beam up.

"Riker to Enterprise, three to beam up."

Chief O'Brien's puzzled voice came back to them. "Three sir, I can only detect two."

Will and Deanna chuckled knowingly, before putting him out of his quandary. "It's o.k. Chief, that was just a private joke between us, two to beam up."

Will and Deanna were expecting the entire senior crew to be waiting for them when they materialized on the transporter pad. Surprised to only find Captain Picard and Beverly Crusher, they hurriedly stepped down, and walked straight into their embraces.

"Welcome home Will, it is so good to have you back." Picard tried and failed miserably to hide the catch in his voice. His eyes sparkled as he fought back his emotions.

"Thank you, Captain, it's good to be back"

As Deanna hugged Beverly close, she grinned as she heard the tell tale bleep of the tricorder behind her back. Seconds later, Beverly stood astounded in front of her. "Deanna, you're pregnant?!"

Deanna nodded happily as Will pulled her into his arms. "We most certainly are, Beverly. This baby is going to be the most precious thing to have ever happened to us. This baby is the result of a woman that gave her very soul to keep me alive, and more, and I love her with such an intensity that I'm afraid I'm probably not going to be much use to anyone for a while, certainly not until after our honeymoon anyway."

The two comrades now both stood open-mouthed before them. Deanna stepped in with the final piece of news.

"Captain, would you do us the honor of marrying us before we leave orbit? We have a very special place and moment when we would like the ceremony performed, and we want the rest of the crew to share the experience too.

Picard nodded happily "I'd be honored to perform the ceremony, wherever, whenever. For you two, I'd even go to heaven."

As the foursome fell into gales of laughter, Will said, "Well, your not far off sir, it'll be where the torches are carried by the lost souls as they lead the newly dead to the afterlife."

And as the two friends laughter trailed off and looked on with puzzlement, the two lovers turned and made their way out of the transporter room to begin making preparations for a wedding surrounded by snow, stars, and a lot of love.

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