Author: Cendari

Summary: Sam and Maddie get their first introduction to the Riker twins.

One of Those

Sam and Maddie sat – for once – speechless. A tiny baby with dark hair and wise-looking silver-blue eyes lay in each of their arms and they were captivated. Deanna sat in a chair across from them, looking indulgently but protectively on; ready to interfere if either of her children didn't look happy where they lay. Gwendolyn and Gabrielle cared only that there was a soft pillow for their heads and a comforting thump to lull them to sleep.

Little eyelids started to flutter shut, and the baby Maddie was holding flung her chubby arms out as she yawned, and then relaxed completely. Sam and Deanna giggled as a rapt expression came over Maddie's face. It was one of longing and absolute adoration. Only Sam caught the stray thought that escaped her twin: I want one of these. Maddie snuggled her baby close and leaned back into the soft confines of the couch.

"They've had a long day," Deanna murmured.

"Which one am I holding again?" Sam asked, wry humor coloring her tone. Her own mother had commented often enough while she was alive that even though they each had their own distinct personalities present from an early age, Sam and Maddie had been nearly impossible to tell apart by simply looking before they were about six months old. Or so she had claimed. Sam and Maddie had never been able to pull off a switch on their mother; she could tell at a glance who was who.

Deanna seemed to possess the same trick. "Gwendolyn."

"And this one's Gabrielle," Maddie stated.


Maddie's head snapped up as the door opened and a tall, lanky, well-muscled young man with blond hair and twinkling ocean-blue eyes entered. "Knock, knock." His eyes went instantly to Maddie and never strayed, except maybe to the child in her arms. Sam knew right away that his longing for one of those matched her sister's. Only, Matthew St. John wanted one only with Maddie.

"Matt, come see," Maddie invited, her happiness at seeing her beloved clear to see.

Matt wandered over and perched on the arm of the couch and peered into Gabrielle's face. "Wow. Can I hold her? I mean, if you don't mind, Mrs. Riker."

"Not at all. Just, please, sit down properly first," Deanna requested, her nervousness barely covered.

Matt flashed her a smile that was all charm and moved over to sit beside Maddie and held out his hands for the child.

Will entered just as Matt was nestling Gabrielle next to his heart. "Ah, my girls," he said with a grin as he perched on the arm of the chair Deanna was sitting on. He watched tolerantly on, his confidence in the younger people's abilities considerably more than his wife's. Calm down, Deanna. They're not going to drop the babies on the floor.

I know they're not, Will Riker, Deanna snapped back indignantly, but the possibility.

Gwendolyn chose that moment to screw her face up and redden. Her little body didn't tense up, so Sam assumed she wasn't taking advantage of her diaper, but was going to cry. When Gwendolyn's mouth opened, ready to let forth with an ear piercing wail, Sam quickly put in a silent suggestion that crying is a bad thing.

Gwendolyn was so surprised that her eyes flew open and she stared at Sam in mute reproach. She was too young to actually think what happened through, as Sam sensed it forgotten in almost the next instant, and Gwendolyn relaxed once more. "I, uh, think she's hungry," Sam said, still looking down at Gwendolyn.

Deanna, eager for any excuse that might get one of her daughters back into her arms, immediately reached for the little one. She started undoing her blouse, and when it became apparent that she was going to breast-feed Gwendolyn without benefit of covering, the young people averted their faces politely. Even Matt, who had grown up on Earth in this sort of open society.

When curiosity proved the better of each of them, and they glanced back, they instantly wished they hadn't. For Deanna was feeding her baby, a look of deep and abiding love written all over her face, gazing down into the face of her child. Will still perched behind them, but he had wrapped his arms around his wife and baby, and had buried his face in Deanna's hair. The intimate scene was burned into the memories of Sam, Maddie, and Matt, and while they regretted intruding, they each knew that they wanted what Deanna and Will had. The only difference was, they had no intention of waiting as long as Deanna and Will had.

Matt leaned over and gently kissed Maddie's cheek, and they both looked down into Gabrielle's face, both envisioning what their own child would look like.

Sam missed the solid weight in her arms, and felt phantom arms wrap around her, felt phantom lips kiss her temple.
And perceived that, no matter what Fate and her fickle nature had in store for them, they would be all right. The six of them, Will, Deanna, Maddie, Matt, Wesley, and Sam, and all their descendants would be able to take whatever curve ball life threw them and knock it out of the park.

Sam decided that she'd been spending too much time with some baseball-loving freak, and not enough around Matt, whose favorite game was basketball.

Fin Part 5