I’ll Stand by You


Part 2


By Margaret Noel


Featuring artwork by Holly Bennett


Tale © 2014 by Margaret Noel-Whitten

Artwork © 2014 by Holly Bennett


All Rights Reserved.




Artwork: “Nova” © 2014 by Holly Bennett



Nova was rapidly beginning to panic as she was struck with wave after wave of anguish and despair.  Derek’s heart wrenching cry and the sound of shattering glass drove her to action. Running to the bathroom hatch she yanked on the handle. She was dismayed to discover it was locked.


Derek,” she called, banging on the hatch. “Please open the door!”


Receiving no response Nova closed her eyes and focused on the lock, breaking it. As she yanked open the door the scene she beheld would haunt her dreams for weeks to come. Derek was seated on the floor with his back against the wall; his knees drawn up to his chest, his head resting on his arms, sobbing uncontrollably. The floor was splattered with blood and littered with shards of broken glass.


Not wanting to startle him as she knelt before him she softly spoke his name, “Derek.” He did not respond.


She gently shook him, “Derek, you’re bleeding, some of those cuts look deep, they may need stitches.” Again he did not respond.


Nova reached out through their bond. “Please sweetheart, don’t shut me out, let me help you.”


Suddenly aware he was no longer alone, Derek raised his head. Seeing her he pulled her into his arms. He clung to her, sobbing and shaking. “I’m so sorry,” he sent her, the words echoing over and over in Nova’s head.


Through their bond Derek’s feelings of anguish, pain and shame were so intense they threatened to overwhelm her. Sitting on the bathroom floor she rocked him whispering words of comfort. It frightened her that he still had not spoken. Noting the wounds on his arms were still oozing blood Nova managed to reach the towel he had dropped on the floor. She gently wrapped it around his arm. “Derek please; I have to clean these for you.”


Nodding he got unsteadily to his feet and allowed Nova to lead him back into their quarters. Once she had him seated in the chair at his desk she quickly pulled a medical kit from her locker. Emotionally rattled she was unwilling to attempt using her abilities to heal his wounds; fearing she would do more harm than good. Removing slivers of glass from the wounds on his hands and arms she cleaned and stitched up the deepest lacerations wrapping them in gauze. His continued silence was unnerving. Once more she reached out to him through their bond. “Talk to me,” she pleaded.


This time she seemed to reach him, the fog lifted from his eyes. Derek slid to his knees before her, resting his forehead against the slight rounding of her abdomen. “I’m so sorry” he whispered to the babies within. He looked up into her face running his bandaged hand over the bruises on her arms. “Please forgive me.”


The words were said so softly that at first she was not sure he had spoken. Derek was the picture of abject misery. Nova’s heart ached; she had never seen him look so lost and vulnerable. Placing her hand under his chin, she raised Derek’s head so he was looking directly at her. She leaned in and kissed him. Placing her hand under his elbow, avoiding his injured hands she pulled him to his feet.


A single tear slid down her cheek. As he brushed it away his touch triggered a flash of insight from the matrix; understanding dawned and she knew instinctively what she had to do to help her husband. Her hands went to the buttons on his pajama pants. She quickly undid them pulling them down over his thighs, leaving them in a puddle around his ankles. She pulled off her nightshirt, dropping it to the floor and removed her bikini panties, leaving her equally naked in front of her husband.


“Nova, I…” Derek began.


She placed a finger over his lips, silencing him. “Sshhh, trust me,” she whispered.


Taking his hand she led him to their bunk. Pulling back the covers she turned to him. “Get in.”


He was about to protest; the look on her face told him it would be pointless. Seeing no alternative but to comply Derek slid between the cool sheets. Nova quickly climbed in beside him.  They needed the physical connection to open a link through the matrix, to share emotional as well as physical healing, deepening their bond. Curling herself in his arms, her body pressed against his, skin to skin, Nova sent him all the love she felt for him. She immediately felt him relax.


“Talk to me, tell me what’s wrong,” she whispered. As tears slid down her cheeks she added, “You really scared me.” Through the matrix she had gained some insight into what was troubling him but to help him deal with it and move on she had to get him to talk about it; to give voice to his greatest fear.


Derek took a deep shuddering breath and pulled Nova more tightly against him taking comfort in the warmth of her body pressed against his. “I am so sorry,” he whispered kissing the top of her head. “The last thing I would ever want to do is cause you more pain, not after everything you have been through recently.”


She shook her head. “It’s not me Derek, it’s we; everything we’ve been through,” she corrected him. “We’re in this together remember.”


A ghost of a smile flickered across his features as he nodded. He grew serious again as he slipped his hand beneath the covers placing it protectively over the slight bump in Nova’s abdomen. “I never wanted any of you placed in harms way. This was supposed to be a simple trip. If I had known any of this was going to happen, I would never have agreed to let you or our children leave earth.”


Nova could feel his guilt and anger at his inability to protect his family. “Derek you can’t blame yourself. None of us had any idea…”


His cut her off. “If not me Nova then who... I am the commander of this vessel. I am responsible for all souls on board. They all look to me and lately I have not exactly been doing a stellar job. In just the last two battles 10 dead and 32 wounded.” He dashed away the angry tears that had formed in his eyes. “I understand the nature of war and I know there will always be causalities. Battles with ships and fighters I understand but that’s not all we are dealing with now is it?”


Nova looked sadly into her husbands face. She wished she could disagree with him. “No, it isn’t,” she answered.


“Tell me, how I can protect my family and my crew from forces with powers and abilities that I don’t even understand,” he sobbed. “Tell me how I can protect them when I couldn’t even protect myself.”


In spite of the warmth of his arms around her Nova shivered.  Feelings of anger and shame radiated from Derek in waves. Until that moment he had done a really good job in shielding her from his feelings of shame.


“Derek none of us, not Astrena or Starsha, had any idea that Aliscea was capable of such vile acts. I knew she was unhappy at having to train me to use these new abilities I am developing. I knew she was jealous of my relationship with her mother, I knew she was not pleased that I have been welcomed into the Blue Council but I never dreamed  she was angry enough to hurt you.”


Taking her hand in his Derek rubbed the gold band he had placed on her finger the day they were married.  “When she attacked me, she stole my honour. When she attacked you she shamed me; I failed keep you safe.”


His words made Nova’s heart ache. By joining her body with his in an act of love she had been able to heal the physical wounds he had suffered when Aliscea had raped him. It was clear the emotional scars would take longer to heal.


Sensing her distress, in an attempt to comfort her Derek sent to her “Astrena was right.”


Nova rolled on to her side so she was facing him on the pillow. Keeping their physical connection her legs entwined with his, her hand resting on his waist, his on the soft curve of her hip. “About what?” she asked.


“You saved my life... by loving me as much as you do. If you had rejected me, after what happened, I really think I would have died.”


The look of absolute shock on Nova’s face told Derek that thought had never crossed her mind. “Reject you… NO! I could never… no matter what… I love you,” she cried.


Derek gathered her back into his arms as she sobbed against his chest, overwhelmed by the memories of everything else that had occurred that night. He felt her shudder as she rubbed her hand over her baby bump. “You’re thinking about the child she stole from us that night. You’re thinking about Abraham.”


Taking her hand in his he placed it once again on her abdomen. “I think she really believed her actions would drive us apart. I don’t believe she ever thought what she had stolen would make its way back to us.” Speech eluded her. Nova could only nod.


As he held her, Derek gently ran his fingers up and down her arm. Nova felt another wave of anguish pass over him as his hand paused on the finger print shaped bruises clearly visible on her upper arms. “I am so sorry I couldn’t stop this that I wasn’t there.”


“The ship was under attack. As you said yourself, you are the commanding officer of this vessel.  What else could you do?” she asked. “I knew the risks when I went down to New Pellias.”


Derek could not get the images from her nightmares out of his head He knew he had to tell her what she had unknowingly shared with him. “Nova, when you were brought back to the Argo, how much do you remember?”


“I remember waking up in the dispensary on the Cosmo Hound. You were holding my hand. I remember the Doctor telling us the babies were okay,” Nova blushed deeply, “And I remember you making me feel whole and human and loved again. I remember you carrying me out to your seat. I must have fallen asleep. I don’t remember the trip back to the Argo. I remember waking up in sick bay and Dr. Sain refusing to let me leave until he did more tests.”


“Do you remember the nightmares?” he asked softly.


Her eyes widened as she pulled back so she could see his face, “How do you know about those?”


“I’ve seen them,” he admitted. “I don’t how it happened but you have been sharing them with me.”


Nova was mortified. Shaking her head, she started to cry. “You saw what they did.”


“I wanted to murder them all!” he replied tears running down his cheeks.


In the circle of each-other’s arms, the young couple cried out their shared grief; the healing power of the matrix soothing the shared emotional damage, strengthening their bond.




Aboard the Gamilstadt, Desslok entered his chamber to find Astrena nursing their infant daughter, a knowing smile on her face.


As he leaned down to kiss his spouse Desslok asked, “May I enquire as to what has you looking so very pleased with yourself?”


Astrena gave her husband a radiant smile, “Nova and Wildstar, the healing has begun and it is beautiful.”


Desslok returned his wife’s smile. “That is truly wonderful news.”




Emotionally drained and lying in the security of Nova’s arms, Derek had fallen asleep, his head resting in the curve of her shoulder. Gently brushing his hair back from his face, she gazed lovingly at her husband’s sleeping profile. She was struck at that moment by how young and vulnerable he looked. It was the side of him the crew never saw. To them he was the Commodore, their commanding officer, the man they would willingly follow into hell. For the first time Nova felt she truly understood the responsibility Derek felt for his crew and the pressure he put on himself. It was at that moment the matrix, gave her an even deeper insight into the man she had married; the fear that drove him, and had shaped him into the person he was. Nova stepped into his nightmares.


Thick black smoke filled the air. She found herself on a street; houses burning all around.  The area had clearly been hit by a Gamilon planet bomb; bodies of victims lay where they had fallen. Standing in the street was a young boy, crying as he called to his parents. There was no reply. The scene shifted to the same boy, this time in a cemetery, standing over two graves. Standing beside him, with his arm around the boy’s shoulders, was a young EDF Officer in his dress blues and pea coat. The next thing Nova saw was the boy standing alone in the doorway of an orphanage watching the same young EDF Officer walk away. In his sleep Derek began to shake as the scene shifted again. It was again in the cemetery, but this time the boy was a young man in an EDF uniform himself. He was standing alone over the empty grave of his brother.


As the scene changed once more Nova found herself on Hero’s Hill. The crew of the Star Force were attending Captain Avatar’s funeral. This time as the scene changed Nova began to shake. Derek was on Iscandar kneeling at the grave of their son Abraham. He was completely alone, tears streaming down his face, as he begged his infant son to forgive him. “I am so sorry I could not protect you.”


The last image Nova saw was of her Super Starfighter being blown to pieces. It was at this point that Derek awoke, sitting bolt up right he screamed, “NOVA! NO…”


“Derek its okay, I’m here.” It took a moment for the nightmare to pass.  Wrapping her arms around him she pulled him back against the pillows with her. “It’s okay, you’re safe, I’m here,” she murmured, gently rubbing his back, in an attempt to comfort him. “I promise you I’m not going anywhere. I will always be here for you.”


When he finally spoke his voice was barley audible. “I want to believe that Nova, I really do, but everyone I have ever loved has been taken from me and I am so afraid I am going to lose you too.”


Realization dawned; this was the heart of Derek’s greatest fear. Not knowing how to respond, she let him talk. “My parents were killed, Alex was in the EDF and because I had no other family I was left in an orphanage, then everyone thought Alex was dead and I was really alone. Even when we found him on Iscandar, he stayed with Starsha and I was alone again. Captain Avatar had been like a father to me, he was willing to take a chance on an angry young man. I guess he saw something in me that I never saw in myself. And he’s gone too. Even Abraham, our poor little boy, was taken from us.”


For a moment he paused, debating what to say next.  “And then there’s you.”

Gazing at his wife he continued, “You have been the keeper of my heart since our first journey to Iscandar but I couldn’t tell you. I was afraid to love you. I was afraid if I did you would be taken from me too.”


Nova’s heart shattered as she looked into her husband’s grief stricken face. Tear’s filled her eyes. “Derek you will never be alone again, you have me and Alex and Ariel and Jonathan.” Placing his hand again on the babies she was carrying she said, “In a few months from now you will also have these little ones.” As if sensing their father’s touch, and his need for reassurance, the babies kicked in response.


Even though he knew everything Nova was saying was true, Derek could not get past his fear that her new found abilities, and the expectations of others for her to use them, would ultimately take her from him. “Astrena and Starsha have warned us, in your new roles as Matrix-Bearer and High Queen that you will face challenges and trials; that you will pass through fire and death.” He choked on the last word.


Nova pulled out of his embrace and knelt on their bunk so she was facing him. “All these changes, all these new responsibilities, their belief I am the one who will destroy the dark lord, I never wanted any of this.”


As he had done earlier, Nova took Derek’s hand, rubbing her finger over his wedding band. “All I want is to be your wife, to raise our children and someday finish medical school.”


Since the mission had started, Nova realized this was the first time they were alone together and had the opportunity to discuss everything that had occurred without fear of being interrupted. “You know for such a large ship it can certainly feel crowed at times.”


 “Tell me about it,” Derek chuckled.


“You know I never asked you how you feel about all this,” Nova said, staring into her husband’s face.


For a moment Derek was quiet. “I am terrified,’ he answered honestly. “I am so afraid all these new influences in your life are going to pull you away from us and I am absolutely terrified they are going to get you killed.” The truth of his statement was clearly written on his face. “I am a very strong person and I can endure almost anything if I have to but losing you would destroy me. Last week, when your starfighter blew up in front of me and I thought I had lost you, I couldn’t breath. It felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.”


As Nova reached out to wipe away the tears that slid down his cheek Derek pulled her against his chest, planting his lips on hers in a deep searching kiss. Passions flared as Nova wrapped her arms around his neck and responded to the kiss. Feeling his desire for her swelling against her thigh, she shifted her position, straddling her husband’s thighs. Derek trailed kisses down her neck to her breasts. Nova let out a sharp intake of breath as he took one swollen nipple into his mouth and suckled it. At the same time he slipped his fingers between her thighs and gently teased her until she thought she would burst with wanting.


“Please Derek, I need you inside me now,” Nova gasped.


Shifting his position slightly he gently eased his wife onto his erect member. Nova took control, creating a rhythm that left them both gasping. Moments later Nova cried out as she exploded with pleasure. Her climax quickly drove Derek to his. The spent lovers collapsed against the pillows.


As their breathing returned to normal, Derek gathered Nova against his chest, his arms protectively around her. “I love you my angel,” he whispered, kissing her hair. “Thank you for listening to my fears and understanding.”


“I love you too” she replied. “You can tell me anything.”


Through their bond Derek could sense Nova was still troubled by something. “I know you’re still worried about something. Want to talk about it?” he asked giving her the opportunity to voice her concerns.


“You know that you and our children are more important to me than anything else. I will never let anything or anyone come between us. My family comes first.” At Derek’s nod she continued, “All of this, it scares me. There is a part of me that wants to tell the Blue Council, I can’t do this. Oh hell… I don’t even know if I can do this.” Even as she spoke the words they both knew it was impossible. Destiny had set their feet upon a path they had no choice but to follow. 


As he hugged her Derek said. “I don’t know where this crazy journey is going to take us but I promise you I will beside you every step of the way.” He felt it was vital for everyone else to know that as well. Struck with inspiration, he knew exactly how to tell them but he also knew he would need to keep Nova occupied long enough to get things organized.


Throwing back the covers he tugged on Nova’s hand. “Come on we better get up. I’m sure it won’t be long before someone comes looking for us.” Derek looked around their cabin.  “We have some cleaning up to do around here. I don’t want to have to explain about the mirror in the bathroom,” he added with a sheepish grin.




An hour later the captain’s quarters had been returned to some semblance of order. Nova had even used her ability to heal the wounds on his hands. Thanks to Derek’s efforts the only sign that anything had occurred in the bathroom was the empty space on the wall where the mirror had once been allowing Nova to take a bath and giving him the time alone to set his plan in motion. Calling Sasha, he explained to her what he wanted to do, enlisting her help to get everyone and everything in place.


He had just put down the phone when Nova came out of the bathroom. “Who was that?’ she asked.


“Sasha” he replied. “She was going to bring the twins back but I suggested she meet us in the mess hall in half an hour. I thought you might be hungry.”


“Famished,” she replied pulling her uniform from her locker. She gave her husband a quizzical glance as she felt his excitement. “Derek, what’s going on? You seem awfully pleased about something and somehow I don’t think it’s dinner in the mess hall.”


Derek grinned at his wife, “Mrs. Wildstar I have no idea what you are talking about.”


“Fine, keep your secrets. You know I will find out eventually.” Dropping her towel to the floor she quickly got dressed.



Entering the mess hall a short time later Nova was surprised and a little confused to see that her band’s equipment was set up. She was more than shocked to see not only her parents seated at the Captain’s table but Desslok and Astrena as well.


She turned to Derek “What’s going on?” He just grinned at her.


“It’s a surprise for you Auntie,” Sasha answered as she walked up taking Nova by the arm. Winking at her Uncle, Sasha gave him a thumbs up as she lead Nova away.


Taking the seat Sasha had pulled out for her Nova looked at the people seated around her. “Can someone please tell me what’s going on?”


Astrena gave her a knowing smile. “All will be revealed in good time.”


“I have no idea. We were told to be here, Captain’s orders.” Teri Forrester huffed.


Nova gave her mother a withering look, “Don’t start Mother. I want to talk to you later about what you did to my husband’s lip.” She got no further with her questions as Derek approached, microphone in hand.


Addressing the assembled group Derek said, “I am sure some of you are wondering why I wanted you all here, especially on such short notice. You will get your answer shortly but first I have to thank my co-conspirators, Sasha and Deke Wakefield and Paul Rosstowski for helping me pull this together; I could not have done it without you.”


Stopping before Nova he got down on one knee. Taking her hand he brought it to his lips. “I love you. You are my reason for being. You are the keeper of my heart. We have been through so much together, especially recently, and I know it scares you. It scares me too.”


Getting to his feet he continued, “I am making a vow to you, in front of all these witnesses, no matter where your new responsibilities may take you, I will always be there I’ll stand by you.”


Rosstowski and Wakefield took up their places on guitar and drums respectively. “Sometimes, when you don’t know how to say what you want to say, you can find inspiration in the most unlikely places. I found my inspiration in the lyrics of a song. This song is my vow to you my beautiful angel.” Walking over to the keyboard Derek sat down; playing the opening notes he began to sing:


I’ll Stand by You

The Pretenders


Oh, why you look so sad?

Tears are in your eyes

Come on and come to me now

Don’t be ashamed to cry

Let me see you through

‘Cause I’ve seen the dark side too

When the night falls on you

You don’t know what to do

Nothing you confess

Could make me love you less


I’ll stand by you

I’ll stand by you

Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you


So if you’re mad, get mad

Don’t hold it all inside

Come on and talk to me now

Hey, what you got to hide?

I get angry too

Well I’m a lot like you

When your standing at the crossroads

And don’t know which way to choose

Let me come along

‘Cause even if your wrong


I’ll stand by you

I’ll stand by you

Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you

Take me in, into your darkest hour

And I’ll never desert you

I’ll stand by you


And when…

And when the night falls on you, baby

You’re feeling all alone

You won’t be on your own


I’ll stand by you

I’ll stand by you

Won’t let nobody hurt you


I’ll stand by you

Take me in, into your darkest hour

And I’ll never desert you

I’ll stand by you

I’ll stand by you

Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you

Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you


As the song ended Derek did not have to wonder what Nova thought, their bond told him everything he needed to know as wave after wave of her love washed over him. Getting up from the keyboard he walked over to his wife; kissing her, the assembled crowd applauded.


“The Dark Lord will be angry,” said Astrena to Desslok. He raised an eyebrow, waiting for her to elaborate. “The vow Derek has made to Nova, by doing it publicly; he has strengthened their bond even more. United they will be virtually unstoppable.”




In the darkness of the cosmos, Ekogaru screamed.



To be continued in the upcoming story Imprint



 Above is the link to I’ll Stand by You as performed by Cory Monteith on Glee, it is what I think the song would sound like when Derek performed it for Nova.