With a heavy heart, Veronique made her way to where she knew the mass grave was. In her hands she carried a bouquet of flowers. She had sneaked out of the house in the dead of night, when she had known that her parents would be sound asleep. Her mother would have been very angry if she had known where Veronique was going.

Tears fell from the young girl's face as she continued on her sorrowful journey. She remembered the last time Francois had kissed her, the thrill of his lips touching hers. It broke her heart to know that never again would she hold his hand or kiss him, that they would never have the opportunity to marry and consummate their love.

Finally reaching her destination, she knelt and placed the flowers on top of the dirt. "Au revoir, Francois. Je t'aime," she said softly.

"Veronique." She heard her name called aloud and froze in fear. Automatically she turned her head and got the shock of her life.

There stood Francois, alive and in one piece. Veronique ran to him, and they embraced one another as if they would never let go. When they finally parted slightly, Veronique saw that Francois was accompanied by a man who was almost completely bald and a woman with long red hair. They were both dressed very strangely, but Veronique hardly noticed that, as her attention was riveted on what they were holding: a headless body and its unattached head. Veronique gasped in horror as she realized that the body and head were those of the man who had been executed in place of Francois the previous day.

"May I introduce Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher of the U.S.S. Enterprise," Francois said with a smile. Veronique continued to stare and gape, seeming not to have even heard him.

"Come, Veronique, we must hurry," Francois continued, grasping Veronique's arm. "There's no time to lose."

The next instant, Veronique found herself in the same large room with the bizarre-looking equipment that Francois had found himself in when he had first awakened outside the prison. She clung to Francois for dear life as she looked around herself in fear.

"There's no need to be afraid," Francois soothed, comforting her. "These people are from the future, the twenty-fourth century, to be exact. The man you saw executed was actually an android, a very life-like robot or automaton. He'll be fine just as soon as his head is re-attached."

"But...how can such a thing be possible?"

"I truly don't understand. It just is."

"Oh, Francois." Overwhelmed, Veronique buried her face in Francois' neck.

"There, there." Francois patted her back soothingly.

"It doesn't matter. All I want is to be with you, somewhere safe," Veronique murmured.

"I want the same thing, Veronique," Francois told her. "Please, let's get married as soon as possible." He felt her nod her assent.

"As a Starship Captain, I can marry you two as soon as you want," Jean-Luc volunteered with a smile.

"I see no reason for delay," Francois replied.

"But where shall we go? We obviously can't remain in Paris," Veronique said.

"I know of a nice little place that would be perfect for you two to make a fresh start." Jean-Luc's eyes twinkled.

Francois and Veronique were married right there and then. The Enterprise transported them to the quaint little village of La Barre, where they saw a cozy little cottage surrounded by a vineyard.

"I wish you both the best. I know you'll be happy here," Jean-Luc told them as the Enterprise prepared to depart.

"I can't believe we're really free, and all this is ours!" Veronique cried happily, throwing her arms back and laughing toward the sky.

With a devilish grin, Francois picked her up in his arms and carried her into the cottage. He carried her to the bedroom, laid her on the bed, and began to kiss her passionately, at the same time rubbing her breasts through the material of her dress until he felt her nipples become hard round knobs. Suddenly Veronique was desperate to feel Francois' lips and tongue on them. As if reading her mind, Francois swiftly and deftly dispensed with first her dress, then her bra. He took one rosy nipple into his mouth while his fingers played with the other. Veronique began to moan deep in the back of her throat. Suddenly she felt a wetness and a throbbing between her legs, which both frightened and excited her. Francois' mouth moved to trail soft kisses down her belly, around her navel, to the top of her panties. Veronique began to squirm and buck.

"Patience, ma cherie," Francois said with a low chuckle. Finally he removed her sodden panties and buried his face in the area between her legs, using his tongue to probe her intimate folds and caress her most sensitive spot. Almost immediately, Veronique was slammed with an intense orgasm, the first one she had ever had.

"Oh, Francois!" she gasped, running her fingers through his luxurious hair. Quick as a flash he was kissing her mouth once again, and she felt his hardness straining against her maidenhead. She gasped as he broke through and pushed all the way into her and began to move in and out, starting out slowly to give her time to adjust and then picking up the pace.

"What an eventful couple of days!" Jean-Luc moaned, leaning forward in his chair and sighing as he covered his face with his hands.

"They seem such a sweet couple." Beverly stepped behind him and began to massage his shoulders. "I wish them all the happiness in the world."

"As do I," Jean-Luc replied tiredly. "But I do have to say that I'm more than ready to get back to the twenty-fourth century."

"I'm ever so glad it's all over with. It was a harrowing time for me, knowing that you were inside that eighteenth century prison and wondering whether I'd ever see you alive again." She hugged him from behind and kissed the top of his head. "I love you, you know."

"I love you, too." He grinned. "Especially when you do that."

A year later, Veronique gave birth to a healthy son. "Shall we name him Jean-Luc?" she asked Francois.

"I think that's a wonderful idea," Francois agreed. "Perhaps he'll be the first in a long line of Jean-Luc Picards."

Veronique smiled adoringly at her tiny son who, oblivious to the conversation, yawned and grimaced.