Jean-Luc found it hard to believe that the crew was finally able to get some rest. It seemed like they always had to rush away, but finally they had reached the space dock. Right in time for Christmas. Ten Forward was decorated in the most beautiful way, along with every single quarter you walked in to. Several of the crewmembers had decided to celebrate Christmas Eve with the rest of the Starfleet, a great party that was too big for Jean-Luc. He just didn’t like it.
He lifted his head and saw Riker standing in the door. His first officer smiled.
“Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas”, he said. “I’m leaving at any minute.”
“Is Counsellor Troi coming with you?” Jean-Luc asked with a smile. To his surprise, Riker’s cheeks turned a bit red.
“Yes, Captain”, he answered.
“Well, you better be off then”, Jean-Luc continued. “Merry Christmas, both of you.”
Riker smiled back and turned to leave, but hesitated and turned towards his captain again.
“It’s only Doctor Crusher who will remain for the holidays”, he said. “The rest of the senior staff will go to Earth.”
Jean-Luc nodded. Inside him he felt his heart leap with joy.
“It will be alright, we’re old friends, as you know.”