Author: Cendari

Disclaimer: I own nothing except for anything you don't recognize from canon.

Summary: A series of vignettes showing "moments-in-time" in the lives of the Rikers.

The Joining (1/1)

As Captain Jean-Luc Picard finished his speech to the newlyweds, Mikayla Samantha and Madison Sophia Troi-Riker née Mackenzie-O'Brien stood sentinel off to one side, Samantha providing silent crowd control. They watched as the people sitting stood almost as one to see the strikingly handsome human groom and the petite, beautiful Betazoid bride whirl across the dance floor for the traditional first dance, each contrasting and complementing the other.

Sam's gaze lit proudly on Wesley Crusher as he chatted with his mother and Jean-Luc, but she knew the instant his mind left the Titan and focused on her standing just beyond them on the fringes. He was resplendent in his new Starfleet uniform and the two golden pips on his collar gleamed in the sunlight. The white and gray of their uniforms melded for a moment as he bent to give her a proper greeting.

Maddie, surprised to feel envious of her own sister, looked away quickly, only to spy Will dashing onto the stage that had been set up to join the playing, and Beverly dragging a definitely suffering Worf onto the dance floor.

By the end of the song and those that followed, Wesley and Sam were in their own little world, so Maddie was alone in her gasp when a rather tall young man with hair that shimmered with a pale golden light in the sunshine stepped up to the microphone. She would have dismissed it as a coincidence if it hadn't been for his eyes: a shade so blue she might have thought she was staring at the ocean. Those two characteristics as well as his other facial features, such as a slightly pouting, very mobile mouth, might have been brushed aside as a mere, admittedly very strange coincidence.

And then he opened his mouth to deliver the first note. The chorus of angels wouldn't have been more welcome to her ears than the ballad this man delivered. It was an ancient tune, one from Maddie and Sam's era, so it was one they knew well, having been sung by the man this one looked so remarkably like.

"Nicky," she whispered, unwilling to believe her eyes and ears. Could it be? Her Nick? Had Wesley done a hat trick?

No, Mad, it's not him, the gentle voice of her sister broke into her thoughts.

But who, then, if not her Nick?

Wesley spoke then, "His name is Matthew St. John. Commonly known as Matt. Or Apollo." He smirked at this, and continued, "He is a reincarnation of the man you knew. He's spent the last three hundred years trying to find you. You are soulmates, rather like the bride and groom over there. He doesn't hold Nick's memories, but he doesn't know why he's so attached to his music when he would have done every bit as well as Commander Riker in Starfleet. Matt doesn't even know why he likes the 20th century's music so well, either. You could show him, Mad; help him remember."


"You and Nick had a secret handshake of sorts, did you not? You'd touch your palms together and let all your pent-up emotions go?"


"When their set's done, I'll bring him over here, and Sam and I will make ourselves scarce. And you can reconnect."


Sure enough, when their set was over, Wesley wandered on up to the stage as Matthew jumped down and walked to meet him. They shook hands, chatted a little, and started walking back to where Maddie and Sam were waiting. Matthew drew near and his mouth dropped, eyes widening.

"Madeleine Pendragon!" he breathed. "I've seen all your movies," he admitted, clasping both of her hands in both of his.

"Apollo, this is Madison, we call her Maddie," Wesley said with a grin. "And, yes, her screen name was Madeleine Pendragon. You remember Sam?"

Matt spared a glance for Sam, who smiled, liking him even more now than when they first met.

"Mad, meet Matt." With that, Wesley and Sam, true to their word, vanished, presumably to mingle.

By the way, Wes says Matt is a descendant of Angela, Sam added. Maddie didn't bother looking around for her, she was too distracted by the overwhelming sense of completeness that had come over her the moment Matt had touched her.

Slowly, Maddie brought her right hand up, Matt's left hand still holding it. She gently disengaged and hesitated momentarily before bringing their hands together, palm to palm. She stared at their hands, hers dainty and petite, his large, long-fingered, and strong, and finally couldn't contain her curiosity any longer and looked up into his eyes.

There, looking down at her, with the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen gracing his lips, was her Nick. He reverently entwined their fingers and brought their joined hands to his mouth, first kissing the back of her hand, then the palm, and whispered her name.

And then, Nick was gone, only a trace of him left in Matt's eyes, but it was enough. Maddie kissed him then, softly at first, then more ravenously as her starved soul sought the peace that only he could bring her.

And, deep down, her soul reconnected with his, and all past heartaches and breaks were forgotten, as they reunited for the first time in over 300 years.

Far away, from curious eyes, and suspicious questions, the mischievous deity known only as Q stood with his wife and son by his side, and smiled down at the wedding party gently, all possible mischief and torments wiped from his list of things to do, as he witnessed the last time his favorite humans and other species were together and whole and happy for the last time.

And if the sunset was particularly spectacular that evening, and the night breeze rather warm, Q was going to admit to nothing.


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