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         Neither spoke for some time after the doctor had left. Deanna stayed where she had been, never taking her eyes from his face. Finally, it was she who broke the silence. "Imzadi, tell me. I know you're thinking about this, we both are. Talk to me, please."

 

         Will looked up at her with an uneasy smile. "It's nothng, sweetheart. I just....don't ever want to leave you. Even though I probably should, becuase heaven knows even if things go as planned, you deserve so much more of a life than this. But still, the thought of tomorrow, of what all this will lead to, one way or the other...Deanna, it scares the hell out of me."

 

         Deanna closed her eyes, trying to bring the emotions which swirled through the room, and through them, under control. She squeezed the hand she held in her own. "I know, Imzadi, I know. I'm scared too. But, Will, there is so much...more than you know...to fight for in this. So, you have to, Will -- we have to. Whatever comes tomorrow and in the days that follow, we will face them together, I promise you that." Tears shimmered in her eyes as she looked down at him, a determined smile on her face.

 

         Will met her eyes and shared in her smile. But he pinned her with his look in a way that made her certain he did not share her thoughts on the matter. His voice confirmed it. "It isn't too late, you know."

 

         Her smile never faultered as she looked down at him still, shaking her head in refusal. "Oh, but it is, my Imzadi. It is far too late for me to be anywhere but where I am right now. It's been that way from the day that we first met, whether we were aware of it or not. And now --"

 

         "And now, Deanna, you insist on throwing away all that you have done and all that you can do. And for what? For me? Dammit, Deanna, you have a life to live! Your career, your future, your chance for a family. Why? Deanna, I love you with more of myself than I even knew I posessed...I can't let you do this!" The outburst shook him, stealing his breath once more. He lay back, gasping slightly, never allowing the edge to leave his expression.

 

         Deanna reacted instintly, leaving the bed and returing momentarily with the oxygenation unit, her look daring him to fight her as she slid the device in place as gently as she could. Once it was in place and she was certian that he was alright, she returned to her previous possion, prepared to meet the challenge of a more or less captive audience.

 

         "Alright. Now in the first place, I want you to calm down. I wont have you sending youself into shock over this. We have enough battles to win without you waging your own. Now for godsake Will, for the last time, I have made my choices on my own, and I stand by them. I asked you before, and I ask you again -- if our positions were reversed, what would you be doing right now? Dammit, Will! If it were me in that bed, I couldn't be rid of you if I tried. You know that, and I thank heaven everyday that I know that. And so, here we are. I am not going anywhere. We have a fight on our hands, and we are going to win -- Together. Is that understood?"

 

         Will looked at her through narrowed eyes. God he wanted to fight her on this. But arguing with her was a bit like a solitary man staring down a small milliary craft. And there was that other small, traitorious part of him that wanted nothing more than to give in, to lean on this amazing and gentle woman, and take all that she offered to him. Tears filled his eyes, and he looked away. ~ It's too much, Dea, please...I can't take so much from you...I have nothing left to give you in return. ~

 

         It was all that Deanna could do not to laugh out loud. For all that he wasn't saying, Will's meaning was abundently clear. His biggest worry, in all that he was facing was that he woud deprive her of a family. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, she found herself doing both at once as she spoke. "Oh, Will...don't you see, you haven't taken anything away from me. And, you have given me so much more than you even realize."

 

         Will looked up at her, confusion clear in his eyes. ~ How is it that you act as if nothing will change? ~

 

         Deanna's smile brightened as she found the opening that she had been searching for. Now, he would know...and understand. "Of course things will change Will...It wouldn't be life if nothing ever changed. But the imporant things, they won't change, not in the way you mean. Details may be different, but what is important still exsists. We will get through tomorrow, we will go on. Wherever that may be, we will build the life we have always planned for...have our family, and each other. That's all that matters, Will."

 

         ~ Family? ~ Will's expression was pained. ~ Deanna, right now, there is no way I can give you a child...and chances are, I never will. Don't you see? ~

 

         Tears welled again in her eyes, as she ran her hand across his face. More than anything, she wanted to take that look from his eyes. "We'll have our family, Imzadi. We already do. Will...I'm pregnant. We're going to have a baby, our baby."

 

         Will's eyes widened. Struggling, he pulled the oxygenation unit off. "How?" It was a question than needed to be asked aloud, difficult as it was.

 

         "Just before the accident. The night before you left, I'd bet. It has to be...Beverly says that I'm at about two and a half months. Figure in the mission, and the time since the accident, and.... I really should have realized sooner. I know that, but things got so crazy after everthing. I guess I wasn't paying attention."  Tears finally fell from her eyes. "We're going to have our baby, Will. No matter what happens, we're in this together...the three of us."

 

         Will looked away then back at her. "Oh...god. Dea...how long have you known?"

 

         "Just today, the checkup Beverly gave me in Sickbay. She ran the test more than once Will. We are definitly having a baby. And we need you, I need you. This baby needs a Daddy. We are counting on you, both of us."

 

         Will reached up and fingered her dark curls. His face held more connviction and strength than Deanna had seen in weeks. "I swear to you Deanna...I will fight for all it's worth tomorrow. For you, for us, for our family. As long as I have anything to say about it, I'm not going anywhere."

 

         Deanna leaned down as close as she could without touching him. "And neither am I." She kissed him, slowly and gently. When the kissed ended she pulled back, tears still dampening her cheeks. "And now that we're on the same page," She held up the oxygenation unit he had removed, "I want you to put this back on and get some rest. We have one heck of a day ahead of us."

 

         He did as she asked, then pulled her arm, attepting to bring her down beside him. She follwed his less than subtue cue and lay down beside her Imzadi. He put his arms around her, holding her as best he could. He didn't let go all night long. For now, they were together, and the world was theirs.

 

         Tomorrow was a lifetime away.