A CHRISTMAS WISH
A Starblazers Fan Fiction
By Margaret Noel-Whitten
The Wildstar Residence
December 19, 2201
Pulling into the driveway of the white two story house, Captain Derek Wildstar sat in his aircar for a moment admiring the twinkling lights in the windows. The sight made him smile as he thought of putting up the Christmas decorations with Nova. It was their first Christmas together as husband and wife. When he had asked Nova to marry him Derek was not sure they would even make it back to Earth. As members of the Star Force they had been through so much together; the journey to Iscandar, battling the Gamilons and the battle with the Comet Empire. They had enough shared memories of danger, heartache and loss to last a lifetime. He had promised her that as soon as the war with the Comet Empire was over they would spend the rest of their lives together. He had kept that promise; they had been married for nine days. He was looking forward to building new and special memories in their new home.
Getting out of the vehicle Derek ignored the main entrance and instead walked up the steps leading to the deck on the side of the house. Before the wedding they had briefly toyed with the idea of going on a honeymoon. In the end Nova had admitted all she really wanted was to get settled into their new home and get ready for Christmas. She had also pointed out that the hospital needed her. There were so many sick and injured, a lot them children, she just couldn’t leave. Her compassion and sense of duty were just two of the many things he loved about her. Opening the door he stepped into the kitchen. Looking across the breakfast bar that separated the living room from the kitchen, he could see Nova seated on the couch. The only lights in the room were coming from the fireplace and the Christmas tree. She was curled up in the corner, her feet tucked under her, a glass of wine in her hand
Staring into the flames, Nova was so lost in thought; she did not hear Derek when he entered the room. Taking a seat beside her, he placed a hand on her arm, making her jump. “Sorry,” he quickly apologized, “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” When she looked at him Derek was dismayed to see her eyes were filled with tears. Crawling onto his lap Nova threw her arms around his neck and sobbed into his shoulder. For a minute he just held her as she cried, murmuring soft words of comfort. Finally he asked, “What’s wrong? Did something happen at the hospital?”
Nova took a shuddering breath before responding, “You remember Tanisha, the little girl I was caring for in the cancer ward?” Looking to where the need was greatest when she had returned to work at the hospital, Nova had volunteered for a rotation in the Pediatric Oncology ward. A lasting effect from the Gamilon planet bombs and the resulting radiation was a higher than normal occurrence of cancer in children. She had come to care for all the children in the ward but Tanisha had really captured her heart. Suffering from an inoperable brain tumor that had robbed her of the ability to walk and caused her to suffer horrible seizures, she never lost her smile or her spirit. Even when her rotation had come to an end knowing Tanisha had no family to visit her, being one of the many orphans the wars had left behind, Nova had continued to check on her progress, visiting her every day. One afternoon when he had come to pick up her at the hospital Nova had brought Derek to meet the little girl. She had been thrilled to meet the Captain of the Star Force and whispered to Nova, between giggles, that she thought he was handsome
Derek nodded a smile on his face, “I remember her.”
“She died this morning.” Her voice broke as she said the words.
His smile faded. “Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry,” he said, hugging her tighter. Seeing Nova so upset made his heart ache, “What happened? I thought she was doing better.”
“She was, but she developed an infection and with her compromised immune system her body couldn’t fight it. This morning she spiked a fever of 103 degrees. It caused a grand mal seizure. I was with her when it happened.” Nova explained sadly, her voice little more than a whisper. “Oh Derek, I never felt so helpless in my life. There was nothing I could do. Her heart stopped and we couldn’t revive her.”
Clinging to him, Nova sobbed her heart out. Not knowing what to say to comfort his wife, Derek just held her, rocking her as she cried. How long they sat there he couldn’t say; it didn’t matter she needed him and he was not going anywhere.
When she spoke again her voice was barely audible, “There are so many sick children; a lot of them are orphans. They don’t have anyone to take care of them… to love them… Most of them don’t laugh or smile. They have had so little chance to be children. It breaks my heart.”
Given the brief time they had been married they were still adjusting to their new life together. For Derek the biggest adjustment was the fact he was no longer alone. It was an adjustment he was happy to make. Having lost his parents in the planet bombings, he had been orphaned himself. He had lived in St. Anselm’s orphanage until he was old enough to join the Earth Defense Forces. He understood all too well what those children were going through. It was easier to build walls and keep people at arms-length then to let anyone get close. Before meeting Nova, he believed he would always be on his own. She had worked her way past his guard; she had refused to let him shut her out. One thing he was certain of, given her capacity to love, one day his own children would be truly blessed to have Nova as their mother.
As if reading his thoughts she said, “We are so fortunate. We have each other and our beautiful home and maybe someday a family of our own. I just wish…” She fell silent again, staring at the Christmas lights, a tear rolling down her cheek.
“You just wish what?” he prompted, gently wiping the tear from her cheek. She looked so beautiful in the soft glow of the fire light he could not resist the urge, leaning in he kissed her, softly brushing her lips with his.
Responding to his kiss Nova pulled him closer, wrapping her arms around his neck, before answering “I wish there was something we could do for them, to make them smile, even for a little while.” She said nothing else as Derek’s mouth claimed her’s once more. Desire flared.
Knowing how upset she was, he didn’t want her to feel taken advantage of. “Are you sure you want to do this right now?”
“I need you,” she whispered.
Getting to his feet, with Nova still in his arms Derek carried her across the living room, through the hallway and up the stairs to their bedroom. Laying her on the bed he quickly stripped off his uniform. Lying beside her he pulled her into his arms, nipping, kissing, caressing and teasing as he removed her clothing. They were quickly lost in the joy of being together in the most intimate act of love.
Rolling on to his side, next to her, Derek watched Nova as she slept. He could hardly believe she was finally his wife. He smiled to himself as he thought back to their wedding night. Because they had decided against a honeymoon, Nova’s mother had insisted on booking a penthouse suite at the Grand Megalopolis Hotel; one of the few hotels in the city that had survived. Nova wanted no part of it but not wanting to argue with her mother she just politely said thank you.
Leaving their wedding reception, they got into their aircar. “It was nice of your mother to book the hotel for us,” he said as he pulled into traffic heading toward the hotel.
For a moment she was silent. Finally she said, “Derek please stop the car.”
Pulling on to a side street he parked the aircar. “What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.
“I don’t want to go to the hotel,” she replied, a slight catch in her voice.
Not really sure what the issue was, she had confided to him earlier that she was nervous about their wedding night, but not wanting to upset her he said, “Nova, I know you’re nervous about tonight. We don’t have to do anything; not until you’re ready.”
“Oh Derek, that is really sweet, but that’s not what I meant; more than anything I want to be with you.” She had blushed scarlet as she explained what she wanted. “If it’s not going to happen on a tropical beach, then I want the first time we make love to be in our new house, in our bedroom, in our bed.”
He readily agreed. Hugging her he said, “I can’t think of a better first memory to make in our home.”
Arriving at their house Derek had scooped her into his arms and carried her not just over the thresh hold but all the way to their bedroom.
The young woman asleep beside him had saved his life, both literally and figuratively and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Reaching out he brushed a strand of hair from her face. “God you are beautiful,” he whispered. To see her so upset earlier had been torn him apart, he wanted nothing more than to make her smile. As he thought about what she had said about wanting to do something for the children at the hospital an idea began to form.
December 20, 2201
Arriving at EDF Headquarters Derek headed directly to the office that had been assigned for his use. He had laid awake the previous night thinking about how to make Nova’s wish come true. He had come up with a plan but he was going to need a lot of help to make it happen. Sitting at his desk he picked up the phone and called his father-in-Law. Karl Forrester picked up on the third ring. He was mildly surprised to see his son-in-law on the video screen.
“Good morning Derek, this is a surprise.”
Seeing the questioning look on Karl Forrester’s face he said, “Sir, I need your help.” Derek briefly explained what had happened the evening before. “I want to make her wish come true.” For the next twenty minutes the two men discussed Derek’s plan and would have to be done to pull it together and specifically Karl Forrester’s role. Derek was concerned that it was too much to ask of Nova’s father.
“Mr. Forrester if this is too much to ask or too difficult, I completely understand. I know this is really short notice.”
“Don’t worry son, I will make this happen,” he replied. He chuckled as he added, “It seems to me you have the difficult task. Do you really think you’re going to convince members of your crew to dress up like elves?”
Derek laughed, “Well I am not one to back down from a challenge, besides ranks does have its privileges.”
Karl smiled, “Well I believe if anyone can make it happen it’s you. I’d better get on this. I have some phone calls to make and favours to pull in. I’ll be in touch.” With that the screen went black.
Picking up the phone again, Derek’s next call was to Dr. Sane’s office. When the little doctor appeared on the screen Derek once more explained what he was attempting to do. As had Nova’s father, Dr. Sane assured him he would make it happen. Preparing to hang up Derek quickly added, “Remember Doc this is a surprise, Nova can’t find out about it.” With the Doctor’s promise she would not find out Derek hung up.
Leaving his office, Derek went in search of members of his crew. Knowing the refit work had started o the Argo, he headed to the shipyard, assuming that’s where he would find many of the crew. Half an hour later his assumption proved correct. Getting Sandor, Eager, Homer, Hardy and Dash together on the first bridge he once again explained what he was planning to do. When he told them what he needed them to do the assembled group looked at him as if he had lost his mind.
Sandor recovered first, “Wildstar you do realize that I am six foot three don’t you?”
Derek nodded, “Yes, I know.”
“And you want me to dress up as an elf?”
“Absolutely,” he replied with a grin.
“Wildstar are you ordering us to do this?” Homer asked a slight frown on his face.
“Do I need too?”
“Lighten up Homer,” Eager said, “It’s for Nova, of course we’re going to do it.”
“Homer if it makes you feel any better I am going to be dressed up as well,” Derek said, “But seriously, I really want to thank you for agreeing to do this. You guys are the best.”
Heading back to headquarters Derek was feeling really good about how things had come together. He had one final thing he needed to arrange… the band. He knew one of the cadets in his flight training class played drums. He and Nova had seen him perform with two other cadets at the academy bar. His name was Deke Wakefield. Returning to his office Derek called the administration office to have the cadet sent to see him.
A few minutes later there was a knock on his office door. A very nervous Deke Wakefield saluted his superior officer. “You wanted to see me sir?”
“At ease Cadet. I called you here on a personal matter. I need your help.” As he had been doing all day, he once more explained what he was planning.”
Wakefield breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Sir when I was called in here I was sure I was in some kind of trouble but for the life of me I could not figure out what I had done wrong.”
Wildstar smiled at the young man before him, “So I can count on your help? And you are okay with my special requests?”
“Yes sir, on all counts.”
The rest of the day passed quickly as the pieces of Derek’s plan gradually fell into place. He could hardly wait for Christmas Eve.
December 24, 2201
When Nova Wildstar arrived for her shift that day it had started like any other but as the morning had gone on she could not shake the feeling something was going on that she did not know about. On several occasions she had caught other staff members giving her strange looks and some had abruptly ended their conversations when she entered the room. Shaking her head she muttered to herself, “Get a grip Wildstar, you’re starting to lose it.”
A few minutes later Dr. Sane came up to her, “Nova I need you to come with me. I need your help to move some of our pediatric patients.”
“Move them? Where?” she asked, instantly concerned. “Is something wrong?”
“Are you going to help me or are you just going to stand there asking me questions?” He grinned, “It will all become clear in a few minutes, but for now just move!”
When they arrived at the pediatric wing, Nova was surprised to see many of the beds were empty and the few remaining patients were being moved into the elevators with other staff members. There was no one left for her to help. Turning her gaze on the little Doctor she placed her hands on her hips, “Dr. Sane, if you want my help, you are going to tell me right now what is going on.”
“All right, you win but before I do I need you to get changed,” he answered.
Nova’s eyes narrowed in suspicion at the unusual request, “Changed? For what? Into what”
“Into this,” he replied holding up a red velvet Santa hat and matching mini dress, both trimmed with white fur. “Please don’t ask me any more questions, because I cannot tell you anything else. The faster you get dressed the faster you will find out what’s going on.”
Nova grudgingly agreed. Several minutes later she entered the elevator with Dr. Sane. “So are you going to tell me now?”
“No but I can show you,” he said pushing the button to take them to the atrium.
As the doors to the elevator opened Nova could hardly believe her eyes. It had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland complete with garland, twinkle lights and the biggest tree she had ever seen. Tables filled with all manner of treats lined the walls. The room was filled with the magical sound of children’s laughter. For a moment she was at a loss for words, her eyes filled with tears. “This was not here when I left the hospital yesterday. Dr. Sane, how… who did this? I recognize our patients and some of the other children but who are all these people?”
“Some of them are the orphans from St. Anselms,” Karl Forrester answered as he approached his daughter.
“Daddy what are you doing here? Did you do this?” Nova’s was smiling in spite of the tears in her eyes.
“I helped but I cannot take the credit. The person who made this happen did it in answer to a wish. I believe someone wanted to make the children smile, even for a little while.”
Karl Forrester got no further with his explanation as a band of Santa’s started to play an instrumental medley of Christmas carols. As they played the doors at the other end of the atrium opened. Another Santa and a group of elves entered the room. Nova stood there in open mouthed shock; Derek was Santa. When she realized who was dressed up as elves, she started to laugh. The surprises did not end there. Derek walked up the steps to the stage, joining the band. Taking a seat at the piano he began to play. Nova could not believe it when he started to sing, “Oh Christmas Tree.”
When the song ended Derek stood up to thunderous applause. “Welcome to the First Annual Central Hospital/St. Anselms Children’s Christmas Party.” Looking directly at Nova he said, “Or as I like to call it Operation Smile. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other. Please mingle, enjoy the food and the music.”
Much to her shock Derek said to the crowd, “Maybe with your help I can convince my wife to come up here and sing with me. She has a beautiful voice not to mention she plays a mean guitar. Besides she is dressed like the band, she’ll fit right in.”
The crowd began to clap and cheer. The chant, “Nova! Nova! Nova!” filled the air.
Blushing to the roots of her hair, but knowing she couldn’t refuse Nova joined her husband on the stage. For the next hour they entertained the crowd. They finished the performance singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
When Derek and the “elves” began to hand out gifts to the children Nova rejoined her father. Karl hugged his daughter, “You were amazing honey.”
She returned the hug, “Thanks Daddy but in this case I think Derek is the one who is amazing. He did this didn’t he?”
He nodded, “That young man you married loves you an awful lot. He called me four days ago to ask for my help knowing that I am on the board of the orphanage and part of the selection committee for potential adoptive couples.”
“Adoptive couples,” she said, giving her father a questioning look. “I don’t understand.”
“Nova this is more than just a Christmas party. You asked Dr. Sane earlier who all these people were: many of them are potential adoptive parents. Derek had the idea to give those people a chance to meet the children. This gathering could find permanent homes for some of these children. The boards of the orphanage and the hospital are so impressed with his idea that they have decided it is going to be annual event.” Karl Forrester smiled at his daughter, “So now you know.”
“Now you know what?” Derek asked, coming up to them.
“Just how wonderful you are,” Nova answered, hugging him. “I can’t believe you did all this.”
“You made a wish, its Christmas time, I wanted to make your wish come true.” Glancing at his father-in-law, Derek noticed he was pointing at something hanging from the ceiling. They were standing under the mistletoe. Pulling her close, he kissed her.
“Merry Christmas Nova, I love you.”
“Merry Christmas Derek, I love you too.”