The Dichotomy of The Heart Pt.1

The Dichotomy of The Heart Pt.1

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Having just begun his new relationship with Crusher, Picard finds he has a son he never knew about. The boy is traumatised and withdrawn.

Summary

Having just begun his new relationship with Crusher, Picard finds he has a son he never knew about. The boy is traumatised and withdrawn.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Dichotomy of The Heart Pt.1

Author Chapter Note

Having just begun his new relationship with Crusher, Picard finds he has a son he never knew about. The boy is traumatised and withdrawn.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

Reads: 509

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

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The Dichotomy Of The Heart.

 

 

 

Jean-Luc Picard sat back in the café chair, taking the time to admire his companion. As he sipped his cappuccino, his mind wandered, mulling contentedly over the events of the past two months.

It had started quiet inauspiciously. He had been ensconced in his office, intently studying the information regarding the next mission. The door chime was unwelcome. He ignored it the fist time, but when it sounded again he scowled and barked,

“Come!”

He didn’t look up at his caller; instead he kept his eyes on the monitor and growled,

“Yes, what is it?”

When there was no response, he looked up with irritation and glowered at the person who had interrupted him. His eyes caught two blue orbs and he realized just who his visitor was. Striving to quell his angst, he calmed his features and nodded.

“Doctor Crusher.”

The red headed Chief Medical Officer smiled at her Captain, her expression clearly acknowledging his efforts to be civil. She grasped the back of the chair in front of his desk and raised her eyebrows.

“May I?”

He nodded silently and sighed, then clasped his hands on the desktop. Before she could speak, he grumbled,

“I hope this won’t take long Doctor…” He gestured at the computer.

“I have a lot to do.”

Beverly kept her smile in place with an effort and concentrated on relaxing.

“I know you’re busy Captain, but what I have to say is rather important…at least it is to me.”

Jean-Luc frowned and gritted his teeth.

“Doctor I’m very…”

But then he hesitated and took a large breath, sighing again.

“It can’t wait?”

“No.”

The Captain nodded and sat back, picking up his crystal shard and devoting all his attention to his best friend.

“What is it?”

With butterflies taking flight in her stomach, Beverly resisted the urge to run from his office. She took a large breath, swallowed to wet her dry mouth and began.

“Jean-Luc you and I have been best friends for many years now and I know you have wanted to take our relationship further…to a more intimate level.”

Jean-Luc nodded, his dark hazel eyes glittering.

“Well it has slowly dawned on me that I feel the same way.”

The Captain sat up, his body frozen. His voice when he spoke was a hushed whisper.

“What are you saying?”

Reaching forward, Beverly gripped the edge of the desk and stared into his eyes.

“I love you and I want to take our relationship to the next level.”

Jean-Luc’s mouth opened and shut twice before any sound came out. He briefly closed his eyes and laid the shard carefully on the desk, the action giving him time to think. When he again found Beverly’s eyes, he wasn’t surprised to see tears in them.

“Are you sure?”

As she nodded, two fat tears slipped free and slid down her cheeks. Her voice trembled when she spoke.

“Oh yes. For the past few months I have been growing closer to you. I think of you all day and dream of you at night. I’m in love with you Jean-Luc and I want to spend all my time with you…if you’ll have me.”

In silence the Captain slowly stood and came around to the front of his desk. He offered his hands and took Beverly’s, drawing her to her feet. He bowed his head, staring at their joined hands and sighing deeply.

“Beverly mon coeur, I have loved you for thirty years. Today, with simple words, you have liberated my poor heart and set me free. I love you Beverly, to the depths of my soul and if you will be patient with me, I’ll show you that love…every day.”

Freeing one of her hands, Beverly gently lifted his chin and gazed with wonder at her extraordinary Captain.

“Dinner tonight?”

He blinked away the welling tears and nodded, a wide smile gracing his handsome face.

“Yes.”

Beverly leaned closer and kissed him tenderly.

“Nineteen thirty in your quarters…you replicate.”

Keeping her gaze he nodded again.

“Very well.”

Beverly gently extricated her hand and turned for the door. Jean-Luc’s gentle grasp of her elbow halted her. She turned her head back to him, her eyebrow raised.

He smiled and cocked his head.

“May I have another kiss before you go?”

Turning her body, she stepped to him and slowly raised her hands, curling her arms around his head. He encircled her within his strong grasp and tilted his head, nudging under her nose. The first kiss was a mere brush of the lips, making them both sigh. The next was longer and languid. The third was deeper, Jean-Luc feathering his tongue across Beverly’s lips, seeking admittance. She opened slowly to him and he sighed into her mouth as his tongue slipped inside. The kiss slowly becoming more passionate, Beverly tapered it and opened her eyes to see Jean-Luc’s still closed. Slowly his eyes opened and he smiled.

“I can’t wait until tonight.”

Beverly returned his smile.

“Me either. Will you be able to work now?”

The smile turned wry.

“Probably not.”

Beverly’s look of contrition was unconvincing.

“Sorry.”

Jean-Luc growled softly and nuzzled her neck, his voice a deep rumble.

“You are not.”

Beverly’s chuckle made him raise his head.

“You’re right, I’m not.”

Taking a deep breath, the Captain stepped back and released the woman in his arms.

“We have to be strong.”

The Doctor nodded, although her look was mischievous.

“But tonight..?”

With a rare full grin, Jean-Luc’s eyes twinkled.

“Yes…tonight.”

Beverly backed to the door.

“You’ll wear something casual?”

He nodded.

“And you?”

“Uh huh…I’ve something in mind.”

His eyes darkened.

“Will you leave your hair down?”

With a show of sultry seductiveness, Beverly raised her hands and ran her fingers through her vibrant red locks.

“If you like.”

The Captain growled.

“I like.”

The Doctor stopped just shy of the door sensor and grinned coyly.

“You like my hair?”

The Captain nodded, folding his arms across his chest.

“Yes.”

“You’d like to entangle your fingers in it?”

Jean-Luc’s voice deepened.

“Yes.”

“When?”

His gaze becoming intense, Jean-Luc’s voice became a rough whisper.

“When we make love…when you come.”

Her gasp was soft in the otherwise silent room.

“You’ve thought about it?”

“Often.”

Beverly sighed, a small smile appearing.

“Me too.”

They stood, silently regarding each other until Beverly broke the spell.

“Well I must be going. I’ll see you tonight.”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Tonight.”

She left then and the Captain closed his eyes, striving to put her from his mind so he could concentrate on his work.

It was as a futile effort.

 

 

 

Dinner that night was delightful. Resisting the urge to be overly romantic, Jean-Luc settled on a simple table setting and a straightforward meal, choosing Beverly’s favourite dishes and saving the menu while he went to shower and shave. He was in the living area, opening a bottle of his family’s red when the door chimed. He frowned as he had given Beverly permission to alter her com badge to allow her admittance to his quarters without needing to use the chime some time ago. That she should choose to use the chime now confused him.

With a shake of his head, he walked to his door and pressed the release. As soon as his eyes settled on the Doctor, it was all he could do not to gape. She wore a sheer peach blouse, the sleeves gathered at her elbows and the neckline plunging. Tiny buttons went from her ample breasts to her midriff where the blouse ended in a ruche of gauzy material. His eyes took in her navel as they went lower, to the silky sapphire skirt that fell in sensuous folds around her long dancer’s legs. His eyebrows rose at seeing her bare feet. Dragging his eyes up to her face, he cleared his throat and found his voice.

“You look lovely Beverly…would you like to come in?”

Beverly grinned knowingly and stepped past her Captain, the scent of her perfume tantalising the man. She made her way confidently to the sofa and sat, crossing her legs and placing one arm along the back of the chair. As Jean-Luc crossed the room to join her, he felt her eyes roving over him. He had taken care with his appearance, selecting clothing he knew she liked. A soft emerald green shirt, open down the front in a deep vee, paired with dark blue slacks and black leather shoes completed his outfit and it obviously met with Beverly’s approval. He picked up the wine bottle and two glasses and joined her on the sofa. As he poured he asked softly,

“How was your day?”

Beverly’s chuckle made him look up with curiosity.

“The part before I went to your Ready Room was awful. I was so nervous! Then afterwards time seemed to drag. All I wanted to do was be with you. Work was the furthest thing from my mind.”

Jean-Luc smiled wryly.

“Me too. Up until you came to me I was totally absorbed in work, but later I found I couldn’t concentrate at all. My mind was filled with thoughts of you.”

They both chuckled and looked deeply into each other’s eyes. Breaking the spell, Jean-Luc lifted his glass and presented Beverly with hers.

“To beginnings. May we be happy for ever.”

They clinked glasses and sipped, Beverly closing her eyes in appreciation.

“This is superb Jean-Luc.”

The Captain swallowed slowly and nodded.

“Yes it is. The manager Marie engaged has been experimenting with new blends. This is his blended merlot.”

The Doctor grinned.

“So the Picard vineyards are in good hands?”

Jean-Luc nodded, his face serious.

“Yes. I’m very pleased the wine produced seems to be of high standard. If our name is going to be on it, I want it to be as good as it’s always been.”

They sat together and drank two glasses each before moving to the dining table. Throughout the meal, they were quiet, each feeling the slowly rising tension, their hearts beating rapidly, their skin flushing. After dessert, Jean-Luc asked the computer to play some music then surprised Beverly by asking her to dance. She rose to him and he took her in his arms, closing his eyes as his body took up the rhythm. They danced slowly, their bodies pressed closely together, Beverly resting her cheek against his.

With his subtle aftershave teasing her senses, Beverly gently nuzzled his neck making his feet still their movement. She lifted her head and licked her lips at seeing the desire swirling deep within his hazel gaze. Their lips met in a protracted kiss, the passion building quickly. Parting breathlessly, Jean-Luc’s husky baritone made Beverly shiver.

“I want to make love to you Beverly.”

All she could do was nod…words failed her. He took her hand and led her to his bedroom, his eyes never leaving hers.

They made love three times that first night. Initially they couldn’t control their passion, the act urgent and heated. The second time was playful and joyous and, after sleep, the third time, in the small hours of morning, was languid and slow, each taking the time to learn and please the other.

Over the next three weeks they spent every free moment together eventually agreeing that Beverly should move into Jean-Luc’s quarters. This was a wise move. Not only was it more expedient with their new relationship, but, as they couldn’t seem to keep their hands off each other, it was hoped it would facilitate matters concerning getting to work on time. Twice they had almost been late for duty because breakfast became a little heated, on one occasion they had made love on the dining table, necessitating a run through the corridors to get to their stations on time.

Since Beverly had settled into his quarters, Jean-Luc had been immeasurably happy. He had everything he ever wanted. Life, he thought, simply couldn’t get any better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly looked over the rim of her cup and smiled at seeing the hazy hooded stare coming from her lover. She reached across the table and touched his hand.

“Jean-Luc…you’re staring.”

Snapping back to the present, the Captain sat up and cleared his throat.

“Sorry…I was wool gathering.”

Beverly smiled and inclined her head, immediately forgiving his lapse, however her curiosity was piqued.

“About what?”

Allowing a rueful grin, Jean-Luc shrugged.

“The last two months.”

The Doctor’s smile widened and she sighed.

“It’s been wonderful, hasn’t it.”

The Captain nodded.

“Indeed.”

Breaking off some of her blueberry muffin, Beverly chewed thoughtfully then asked,

“So what are we going to do with this afternoon?”

Jean-Luc lifted a hand and swept it wide.

“As I understand it, this Star base has a whole deck of holosuites. We could go on a picnic, or a hike, or a swim, or…”

Beverly held up her hands.

“Okay I get the idea. What about the arboretum? I hear it’s a beaut.”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes it is and…”

He was interrupted by a call from the ship.

“Enterprise to Captain Picard.”

Jean-Luc smiled his apology and answered the hail.

“Picard here.”

“Sir we have a small craft approaching, two life forms aboard. They are hailing us and requesting you personally.”

Jean-Luc frowned.

“What is the registry?”

“It’s a private craft Captain…from Earth.”

Jean-Luc and Beverly shared a look and the Captain sighed.

“Very well Enterprise. Allow it to enter the shuttle bay and I’ll come aboard. Picard out.”

Beverly finished her coffee and stood.

“Will we have time to collect our parcels?”

Jean-Luc smiled.

“Oh I think so…this doesn’t seem to be urgent.”

“Good. I’ll come back to the ship with you; I’d like to change into something else.”

Jean-Luc’s eyebrow rose dramatically.

“You’ve decided what you want to do?”

Beverly grinned.

“Uh huh and I think you look great in shorts.”

The Captain grunted and shook his head.

“The beach.”

“Yes and I want you to wear those black speedos I replicated.”

Jean-Luc sighed theatrically.

“But…”

She nudged him in the ribs, causing him to softly yelp.

“If you want me to wear the two piece you like so much, the least you can do is wear the speedos.”

He tried to glower but it was pointless. He couldn’t deny her anything. With a sigh of capitulation, he gave in.

“Oh very well…but I insist on the privacy lock being engaged.”

Beverly’s grin was triumphant.

“Of course.”

Twenty minutes later they were back on the Enterprise.

 

 

 

 

 

There was a member of security outside the observation room. Jean-Luc nodded cordially to the young Ensign as he entered, the slight smile on his face turning to a frown as he saw the people seated at the table. With a nod to the Lieutenant on duty, the Captain rounded the table and took his seat. Facing him was a middle aged man, with intense green eyes and a sandy-haired young boy, whose face was down turned.  The man stood and offered his hand, bringing Jean-Luc to his feet.

“Captain Picard I presume?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes, I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard. And you are?”

The tall man smiled.

“Graham Rutherford. I am a solicitor with Rutherford and Flintoff.”

Jean-Luc smiled and gestured to the seat. Once both men were again seated, the Captain said,

“And what can I do for you? My staff tells me you asked for me specifically.”

Taking a moment to lift a brief case onto the table, Rutherford opened it and produced three isolinear chips and two PADDs. He set the devices before him and gathered his thoughts.

“Captain Picard what I have to say will come as a shock. This young boy,” he gestured to the lad seated beside him, “Is your son.”

To his credit, Jean-Luc kept his command façade in place. There was a momentary silence before the Captain asked.

“Would you care to explain yourself?”

The solicitor sighed and nodded.

“Of course. I ask you to cast your mind back ten years Captain, to the time you spent on Earth, at the Academy, whilst awaiting the commission of the Enterprise D.”

Jean-Luc nodded once, curtly.

“I remember.”

“During your tenure at the Academy, you were assigned an Adjutant…one Eve DesLandes, a countrywoman of yours I believe.”

Jean-Luc remained silent, giving his permission to continue with a slow nod.

“You had a relationship with her.”

A deep frown appeared as the Captain shook his head.

“I think at this juncture it would helpful if the boy were to leave the room until we have finished discussing this matter.”

Rutherford nodded, sitting back and gently squeezing the boy’s thin shoulder.

“Go with the Lieutenant.”

Jean-Luc looked up and ordered,

“Take him outside Lieutenant..?”

“Reynolds Sir.”

“Thank you Lieutenant.”

Once alone with the solicitor, Jean-Luc stood and pushed his hands into his pockets.

“Mr.Rutherford it was my understanding that Ms.DesLandes was using an implant.”

The solicitor agreed.

“That she was Captain, but do you remember she was quite ill with what turned out to be Azzinin ‘flu?”

Jean-Luc rubbed his lip and nodded.

“Yes.”

“Well, one of the side effects of that particular bug is a massive disruption of the immune system, effectively negating any implants. Medical only isolated the effect recently.”

The Captain sighed.

“So after she recovered from the ‘flu, she was fertile.”

“Yes.”

“And what of Ms.DesLandes? Is she no longer able to raise the boy?”

Rutherford’s face took on a look of sympathy.

“I’m sorry Captain, she died three weeks ago.”

Jean-Luc sat back down and clasped his hands on the tabletop. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I see. I take it there is no chance the boy isn’t mine?”

A look of distaste crossed the solicitor’s face but he hid it well.

“None Captain.”

“You must realise Mr.Rutherford, that as I am Captain of this vessel, it is almost impossible for him to stay here. Perhaps it would be better if he went to another relative, at least until he’s older?”

The solicitor shook his head.

“I’m sorry Captain; you are his only living relative. We have, of course, done an extensive search of both sides of the boy’s parentage to find a suitable home, but I’m afraid you were the one and only choice.”

Jean-Luc closed his eyes and lowered his head into his hands, taking a moment to gather his thoughts. When he lifted his head it was plain to see he had come to a decision.

“Very well Mr.Rutherford. Does the boy know who I am? That is does he know I’m his father?”

The solicitor nodded.

“Yes but he only found out yesterday. Apparently his mother only told him his father served in Starfleet, nothing more.
The Captain sighed.

“And how did Ms.DesLandes die?”

Sadness crossed Rutherford’s face.

“Ultimately it was the Azzinin ‘flu. Four months ago Ms.DesLandes was on a first contact mission in the Hegamon system. Whilst on the planet she contracted an unknown virus that activated dormant cells in her body left over from the ‘flu. She was brought back to Medical as fast as possible but it was already too late. The virus attacked the cell structure throughout her body and she died a very painful death. In all, it took just on three months for her to die.”

The solicitor picked up an isolinear chip and handed it to the Captain.

“She recorded this for you Captain. These others are her last will and testament and a message for her son. These,” he gestured to the PADDs,

“Contain everything you need to know about the boy. His medical history, school records and images of his life.”

Jean-Luc stared at the chip in his hand, nodding absently. As almost an afterthought he asked softly,

“What is his name?”

“Tobias DesLandes. And Captain there are some things you should know. Ms.Deslandes’ death was very traumatic for all involved, especially her son. In fact the boy was so traumatised he has been silent ever since her death. He does not speak…at all. We’ve been trying therapy, but so far…nothing.”

Jean-Luc rubbed his forehead and sighed.

“How old is he?”

“Nine…actually he turns ten in eleven days.”

Rutherford stood and picked up his brief case.

“All Tobias’ possessions are on my runabout. What shall I do with them?”

Jean-Luc gathered his ravelled thoughts.

“Ah…I’ll have them put in a cargo bay. You’re leaving now?”

The solicitor smiled gently.

“Yes Captain my job ceased with the safe delivery of the boy. All the legal paperwork has been done, although there are several documents you must sign. I’ll leave them with you, I’m sure you’ll want your own legal representatives to see them first.”

The Captain nodded.

“Yes of course.”

He tapped his com badge.

“Ensign will you step inside please?”

The young woman entered and Jean-Luc ordered,

“Please escort my guest to his runabout and make sure all the cargo he has on board is safely loaded in cargo bay two.”

The Ensign nodded respectfully.

“Aye Captain.”

The men shook hands and Rutherford peered into Jean-Luc’s eyes.

“You’ll be fine Captain, just be patient.”

Once the solicitor left Jean-Luc tapped his badge again.

“Picard to Lieutenant Reynolds.”

“Reynolds here Sir.”

“Please escort your charge to my quarters, I’ll meet you there.”

“Aye Captain.”
Tapping his com badge one final time he called,

“Picard to Troi.”

Counsellor Deanna Troi answered the call immediately, although Jean-Luc could hear the query in her voice.

“Troi here Captain.”

“Deanna I know you’re off duty and enjoying some down time on the Star base, but I need you to report to my quarters immediately.”

“On my way Captain. Troi out.”

The obsidian eyed beauty looked at her lover, a frown marring her classical beauty. Will Riker, the Enterprise’s First Officer shook his head.

“What do you think that’s about?”

Deanna shrugged, her eyes clouding as she extended her empathic senses. With a sigh she closed her eyes.

“I don’t know, but the Captain is very tense. He’s got his shields up…but the tension is leaking through.”

The big bearded man scratched his whiskery cheek.

“Do you want me to go with you?”

Deanna shook her head.

“No.”

“Okay but keep in touch.”

She kissed his cheek and stepped away from him.

“I will. Enterprise, one to beam to the Captain’s quarters.”

Will sighed as he watched his lover disappear.

“Now what?”

As Jean-Luc rounded the bend near his quarters he saw Lieutenant Reynolds and Tobias standing outside his cabin. With a nod to the officer and a curt,

“Wait here.”

He entered his home and immediately called for his lover.

“Beverly? Are you here?”

Hearing the terseness in his voice, Beverly emerged from the bedroom, a frown on her face.

“Of course I’m here…where else would I be? We’re both off duty.”

With quick steps, Jean-Luc covered the distance between them and took the Doctor’s hands in his.

“Beverly my love…something has happened. We need to talk.”

Noting his urgency, Beverly swallowed her anxiety and nodded.

“Okay.”

Jean-Luc lead her to the sofa and encouraged her to sit with him.

“I have just seen the person who requested my presence. It was a solicitor from Earth. He has brought aboard my…son.”

Beverly blinked and shook her head.

“Your what?”

The Captain sighed and briefly closed his eyes.

“My son…a child I never knew about. Do you remember Eve DesLandes? My Adjutant while I was teaching at the Academy?”

Beverly’s eyes clouded in thought.

“You mean the French woman…the one who told Walker he was too old for that woman he was pursuing?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes. We…we had a relationship.”

The Doctor’s voice grew hard.

“It seems you had a little more than a relationship Jean-Luc. You had a child!”

Jean-Luc squeezed Beverly’s hands and speared her with his intense gaze.

“I didn’t know! She assured me she was using an implant. The solicitor informs me that a bout of Azzinin ‘flu…”

Beverly pulled a hand free and covered her mouth.

“Oh God…the immune system suppression! She wouldn’t have known.”

Jean-Luc snorted,

“Exactly. Not long after she recovered I took command of the Enterprise D and we parted. Happily I might add.”

Beverly stood and pulled her hair back.

“And she never told you she was pregnant?”

The Captain shook his head vehemently.

“No! We corresponded sporadically over the years but she never mentioned it.”

Beverly shook her head.

“But your mutual friends…no one said anything?”

Jean-Luc sighed.

“No. Not long after I left she took a position with the Diplomatic Corps. She went off world and was gone for years.”

Beverly fisted her hands.

“And there’s no doubt about your being the father?”

Jean-Luc shrugged.

“Apparently not.”

The Doctor snorted.

“Well I want to do a DNA test.”

Jean-Luc stood and gently gripped her elbow.

“Granted but in the meantime the boy is waiting outside the door. Deanna should be here soon; unfortunately the boy has some psychological problems relating to his mother’s death.”

Beverly grimaced.

“Like what?”

The Captain’s eyes darkened.

“He’s mute. He’s not said a word to anyone since Eve’s death.”

Beverly muttered,

“Oh that’s just great!”

Causing Jean-Luc to scowl.

“Beverly I need your help! I haven’t a clue what to do.”

The Doctor took pity on her lover.

“Okay Jean-Luc…sorry. Let’s bring him in.”

Still feeling very unsure, Jean-Luc went and opened the door. He wasn’t surprised to see Deanna kneeling in front of the boy, gently talking to him. At seeing her CO, she rose to her feet and greeted him.

“Captain.”

He nodded and gestured with his hand.

“Tobias, Deanna, will you come in please?”

Once inside, Jean-Luc spoke directly to his son.

“Tobias I wish to speak privately with Counsellor Troi. Would you sit with Doctor Crusher over there?”

He pointed to the sofa and Beverly smiled warmly, holding out her hand. In silence the lad made his way across the room, ignored Beverly’s hand, took his seat and never once made eye contact with anyone.

In hushed tones, Jean-Luc explained what was going on. Deanna wisely kept her questions to herself, this wasn’t the time. When he was finished, the Captain and the Counsellor joined Beverly and Tobias under the view ports. Taking a seat in his favourite chair, Jean-Luc softly cleared his throat. Despite Deanna’s presence, the Captain took Beverly’s hand.

“Tobias you know who I am. This is Doctor Beverly Crusher. She is my…partner. This other officer is Counsellor Deanna Troi. I know you have been having problems recently and I want you to know that Counsellor Troi can help you.”

The lad kept his eyes trained on his hands, his head bowed and silent.

Beverly reached out and took one of his hands, eliciting no response.

“We can make room for you here in these quarters Tobias. Would you like that?”

The boy remained mute.

Beverly smiled with false bravado and turned to her lover.

“Captain why don’t you call Geordi and ask him to design a new bedroom for Tobias? I’m sure the alterations can be done in no time.”

Jean-Luc nodded but his eyes showed his distress. He hadn’t given thought as to where the boy would stay. It was now patently obvious. He would stay with his father. Swallowing his discomfort, Jean-Luc kept his voice soft and friendly.

“Yes, that’s a good idea. Once it’s finished we can put all your things here too.”

When there was no response, Deanna stood and surreptitiously gestured for Beverly to join her across the room. Once out of earshot, Deanna sighed.

“Beverly we need to know more about the boy. Can you access his mother’s medical file? I want to know more about her death and how it affected Tobias.”

Beverly nodded.

“I agree. I’ll put in a request right away.”

Rejoining father and son, Beverly said,

“Captain I’m going to Sick bay with Troi. Why don’t you call Geordi now?”

Jean-Luc successfully suppressed the panic he felt, instead nodding solemnly.

“All right Doctor. Will we see you soon?”

Beverly smiled her encouragement and nodded.

“Yes, I’ll be back soon.”

Jean-Luc’s smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.

“Very well.”

As the women left, Jean-Luc tapped his com badge.

“Picard to LaForge.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geordi took no time in designing the new addition to Jean-Luc’s quarters. Of course both Geordi and the Captain would have appreciated input from Tobias but the boy continued his silence not even looking at the Chief Engineer when Geordi asked for his opinions. With the schematics displayed on a PADD, the dark man assured his CO the work would be completed within three days. After Geordi left, Jean-Luc went to the replicator and ordered himself an Earl Grey tea. Turning to his son he asked,

“Are you hungry Tobias? Would you like anything?”

Receiving no reply, Jean-Luc obtained a cheese sandwich and a glass of milk for the boy. He placed the light meal on the low table and sank into his favourite chair, sipping his tea while he contemplated the situation.

Tobias took half of the sandwich and ate it, then drank some of the milk, but maintained his silence and refused to look at his father. Eventually tiring of the oppressive quiet, Jean-Luc finished his tea and addressed his son.

“This must be very hard for you Tobias…I’m sorry these last weeks have been so difficult for you.”

The boy kept his gaze affixed to his knees, his hands fisted in his lap. Swallowing his impatience with the lad, Jean-Luc tried again.

“I suppose you’ve been on many Starships. Have you ever been on a Sovereign class before?”

Silence. Refusing to admit defeat, the Captain kept his gentle voice going.

“If you look out the viewports you can see Star base 8. If you like I can take you there; they have holosuites, many shops and a huge arboretum.”

The lad picked up the remainder of his sandwich and ate it, then finished off his milk. Jean-Luc watched with growing frustration. He sighed and tried again.

“Tobias I’m very sorry about your mother. She was a lovely person.”

Tobias’ head slowly lifted and Jean-Luc was riveted by the anger and pain in the boy’s eyes as he glared at his father. Not a word was spoken as their eyes stayed locked, but Jean-Luc got the distinct impression his son hated him…hated him to the bone. Summoning his voice Jean-Luc said softly,

“I’m so sorry Tobias.”

As soon as he spoke, the boy’s eyes slid down to once again gaze at his knees. Jean-Luc’s head bowed and his eyes closed.

“Oh God…what the hell do I do now?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly closed her eyes and shook her head, causing Deanna to come to her side.

“What is it?”

The Doctor gestured to the monitor.

“It’s Eve DesLandes’ medical file. My God Dee…it’s a nightmare!”

Deanna went to the replicator and ordered two hot drinks, a hot chocolate for her and a chamomile tea for Beverly. Taking the seat in front of the Doctor’s desk, Deanna made sure the office door was closed before she spoke.

“Tell me.”

With a deep sigh, Beverly’s cerulean eyes glittered in sadness.

“She died a horrible death Deanna. Her body slowly lost its molecular cohesion, system after system collapsing under the onslaught of the mutant cells.”

As the waves of sympathy and sadness washed over the Counsellor, she stiffened her mental barriers and centred herself.

“What could be done for her?”

Beverly shrugged in savage exasperation.

“Bloody nothing! The wretched woman died an agonising, protracted death…not even palliative measures gave any relief. When death finally occurred it was due to massive systemic failure and believe me, it was the kindest thing to happen to her. My God…how she must have suffered.”

Deanna sat back and took a steadying breath.

“I’ve been reading Tobias’ school records. Throughout his entire life, he lived aboard various ships, never staying long in any one place. Formal schooling was a rarity, he was taught mostly by tutors but he is a gifted child…in the top ten percent for his age. Interestingly though…and very telling, the psyche reports all agree that he is a loner, on almost every occasion preferring his own company. Also, although he is fluent and literate in Standard, he prefers to communicate in French. Apparently it was the language of choice between he and his mother, who I might add, was the single most important person in his life. There were no lasting friendships with his peers and it would seem he had no use for role models…there is no evidence of him ever bonding with a male of any age.”

Beverly snapped off the monitor and sat back, drawing up one leg and resting her chin on her knee.

“While it’s not unusual for kids in his position to be especially close to their only parent, I can see how losing that parent would be particularly devastating…and when you consider the manner of his mother’s death…well you can easily see how the trauma of it would push him into a mental box.”

Deanna nodded thoughtfully.

“Indeed. Inside that box he feels safe. There’s no pain, he doesn’t have to face the reality of what’s happened.”

“And,” Beverly sighed,

“He doesn’t have to acknowledge his newly found father.”

The Counsellor sipped her drink and grimaced.

“I doubt he will do so willingly anyway. To do so would be to admit that his mother’s gone and at the moment that’s simply too painful. Staying the way he is, he can remember her as she was…before the illness that killed her.”

Beverly snorted and rubbed the bridge of her nose.

“So how the hell does the Captain handle this? In a way he’s suffering too.”

Deanna nodded.

“Yes and it’ll get worse for both of them before it gets better. I’m afraid they’re both in for significant pain in the near future and it’s going to take a lot of patience…and love…to get through.”

Both women sat in quiet contemplation, each occupied with their thoughts. Eventually it was Deanna’s soft lyrical voice that intruded into Beverly’s mind.

“What about you?”

The Doctor looked up and frowned.

“What about me.”

Deanna sighed at Beverly’s attempt to deflect her.

“Beverly you know damned well what I mean. The Captain made it quite clear to his son…in front of me…that you two are in a relationship and that’s good, but surely you realise the stress this is going to put on both of you?”

Beverly considered angrily denying her best friend’s observations, but just as quickly squashed her angst. With a sigh and a rueful smile, the Doctor bowed her head.

“You know…I think we have the absolute worst timing in the known universe. Do you know how long we’ve been a couple?”

Deanna shook her head.

“Not exactly, but if I had to guess I’d say not that long. I’ve sensed contentment and joy in you recently and, although our Captain is inordinately proficient at blocking me, I’ve still sensed his underlying happiness.”

Pointing her finger in confirmation, Beverly grinned.

“Spot on! Two months Dee. For the last two months we’ve been in seventh heaven.”

She sighed and the smile disappeared.

“Now this. Jesus can’t we ever just have a normal relationship?”

Deanna’s quietly insistent voice made Beverly wince.

“There’s more.”

Absently picking up a stylus from the desktop, Beverly fiddled with it before throwing it down in disgust.

“Damn it Dee…I don’t want to share him!”

She briefly covered her eyes then sighed.

“Look I feel sorry for the boy…God who wouldn’t? But he’s not ours. He’s Jean-Luc’s son. If we were to have a child of our own that would be different…but this way I have to share my lover with a stranger, a boy who will sneak into Jean-Luc’s heart…leaving less room for me.”

Placing her elbows on the desk, Beverly cradled her head in her hands.

“Oh Christ listen to me…how selfish can you get?”

She lifted her head and scowled.

“It’s just that our relationship is so new…we’re still learning so much about each other.”

Deanna stood and rounded the desk, taking the Doctor’s hands.

“Beverly the Captain loves you…unreservedly. Yes, in time he will come to love his son, but he has loved you for most of his life. Have faith that his love for you…and yours for him, will weather this storm. Be patient and wait. In time he will come to terms with what’s happened and when he does you will see there is ample room in his heart for both of you…and any children you might have.”

Beverly freed one hand and wiped at the suspicious moisture in her eyes. With a watery smile she sighed.

“Thank you dear friend. Now we’d better get back to the Captain…he must be panicking by now.”

Encouraged by Beverly’s strength, Deanna returned the smile, nodding.

“Agreed.”

They left Sick bay holding hands.

 

 

 

When the women returned to Jean-Luc’s quarters, they felt the tension the moment the doors opened. Stepping through, Beverly spied her lover, standing at the viewport, his back to the room, his hands pushed deep into his pockets. By the rigidity of his spine and the set of his shoulders, the Doctor knew he was very tense. Casting her colleague a sidelong glance, Beverly silently asked for help. Seeing the look and giving a surreptitious nod, Deanna softly cleared her throat and spoke.

“Captain perhaps it might be helpful if I took Tobias on a tour of the ship?”

Jean-Luc turned, his lips pursed in thought. After giving the suggestion appropriate thought, he nodded once, curtly.

“Yes Counsellor, that would be acceptable.”

Deanna went to the seated boy and held out her hand.

“Will you come with me Tobias?”

Ignoring the hand, the lad stood, his head bowed and his eyes on his feet. Deanna gave her Captain an encouraging smile and left his quarters, Tobias in tow. Jean-Luc watched them go then grunted and turned back to the viewport. Beverly had to concentrate on staying calm, her irritation at her lover’s attempts to isolate himself nibbling at her resolve. Taking a deep breath, she sidled up to him and gently wound her arms around his waist. They stood together in silence, each trying to find their equilibrium.

Eventually Jean-Luc sighed heavily and turned within Beverly’s arms. Their lips met in a tender kiss and when they parted Beverly took his hands and led him to the sofa. Once seated she said quietly,

“Tell me about her.”

There was silence before Jean-Luc grunted.

“I take it you mean Eve?”

“Uh huh.”

The Captain shrugged but his tone was defensive.

“What do you want to know?”

Keeping her rising temper under control, Beverly managed a smile.

“Oh I don’t know. How about...what sort of woman was she?”

A frown developed on the Captain’s brow and he sighed, letting his head fall back on the cushions.

“What sort of woman was Eve? She was warm, intelligent, independent…French.”

Beverly snuggled in under his arm and nodded.

“She was French? Was that important?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Indeed, in fact it was attracted me to her in the first place.”

He stretched out his legs and Beverly felt his body relax.

“As you know, she was my Adjutant. She was aware of my record before we worked together so she knew I was French. From our first day together, whenever we were alone, she conversed solely in French. It had been so long since I’d spoken my native language…it was nice…and it became a familiarity between us.”

Beverly snorted and placed her feet on the low table, smiling when Jean-Luc did the same.

“So you started an affair based on a mutual language?”

It was Jean-Luc’s turn to snort.

“Of course not! It was a catalyst…something we shared exclusively between us.”

He sighed and turned his head to his lover, his eyes glittering with sincerity.

“I didn’t love her Beverly. I cared…quite a bit, but I didn’t love her. We gave each other something we both needed. I think at the heart of it all…we were both lonely.”

There was silence as Beverly digested the information. Her next question made Jean-Luc frown.

“How old was she?”

“At the time she was thirty-eight.”

More silence descended until Jean-Luc sighed heavily.

“My son hates me Beverly.”

Beverly wrapped her free arm around her lover and shook her head against his shoulder.

“No he doesn’t Jean-Luc. Right now he’s very troubled and very frightened. He’ll come around; we just have to be patient.”

The Captain sat up, dislodging his lover. He propped his elbows on his knees and lowered his head into his hands.

“No you’re wrong. Just before you came in, I had tried to apologise to the boy and he finally made eye contact with me. All I saw was pain, anger and…”

He sighed again, his voice dropping to a whisper.

“And hatred.”

Before Beverly could say anything, the Captain rose to his feet and went back to the viewport. He rubbed his face with his hands, his voicer deep and ragged.

“What the hell do I do now? I have absolutely no idea how to handle this!”

The Doctor stood slowly and went to her lover, resting her hands on his hips.

“We take it one day at a time my love…one day at a time.”

Jean-Luc’s shoulders slumped and he shook his head.

“Beverly there’s no need for you to be involved in this. I understand how you must be feeling…I don’t want to hurt you as well.”

Tightening her grip, the Doctor leaned forward until her mouth was near his ear.

“Jean-Luc Picard I love you…period! We will weather this and come out of it stronger…I swear.”

The Captain turned and ignored the tears that tracked down his cheeks.

“I love you mon coeur…with all that I am.”

Beverly tilted her head and nudged under his nose to kiss him with tender passion. When they parted they were slightly panting.

“We’ll get through this my love, trust me.”

All Jean-Luc could do was nod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the third time, Deanna gently asked the boy the same question.

“Would you like something to drink Tobias?”

They were seated in the forward lounge, the view of the Star base close before them through the large clear aluminium windows. Tobias kept his eyes trained on the tabletop, ignoring his escort. Deanna momentarily closed her eyes, centring herself and concentrating on the boy’s emotions. Anger, fear and pain washed over her in waves. In a sympathetic reflex, Deanna reached for the lad’s hands. He quickly withdrew his hands, sliding them under the table and resting them on his thighs. Deanna was about to attempt further conversation when someone else came to their table. The Counsellor frowned and looked up, her displeasure quickly melting away as she smiled. To Tobias she said,

“This is Guinan, Tobias.”

Predictably, the boy ignored the Counsellor, keeping both his eyes and head lowered.

The dark enigmatic El Aurian smiled down at the petite woman and gestured to an empty seat.

“May I?”

Deanna nodded.

“Yes of course.”

Once seated, her flowing gown settled around her, Guinan tilted her head, her large elliptical hat teetering alarmingly.

“You don’t say much.”

Tobias ignored her. The bar tender looked at Deanna, her non-existent brow raised.

Understanding the question, Deanna sighed.

“This is Tobias DesLandes. He is Captain Picard’s son.”

If the dark woman was surprised, she didn’t show it. Instead she addressed the boy.

“Your father is a good man.”

When there was no response, Guinan stood and said one final thing.

“I will bring you an Actarian fizz. You’ll like it.”

When she had gone, Deanna summoned a smile.

“Perhaps later we can go to the Star base, there’re lots of things to do there. This ship hasn’t got the things the previous Enterprise had. No arboretum, no animal nursery. We do have a school however. Why don’t we go there later? I can introduce you to some of the other kids we have on board at the moment.”

She didn’t expect a reply and she got none. Guinan returned and placed two drinks in front of her customers. Before Deanna could offer her thanks, the mysterious woman glided away with her usual grace.

As Deanna sipped her drink, Tobias tried his. He tested it slowly before drinking the entire amount. His burp was loud, making Deanna giggle. From the boy there was nothing. No eye contact, no other response. With a sigh Deanna rose to her feet.

“Come on I’ll show you the school.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc and Beverly’s quiet time was interrupted by the door chime. With a heavy sigh, Jean-Luc called,

“Come.”

Geordi, in company with three of his staff entered, their arms full of PADDs and tricorders. Offering an apologetic grin, the Chief Engineer gestured to the wall.

“Might as well get started Captain.”

Sighing resignedly, Jean-Luc rose and offered Beverly his hand. He helped her to her feet and rubbed his brow.

“Now what?”

One look into her warm, sparkling blue eyes eased the tension he felt. The Doctor’s amused voice made him smile.

“Well if we’re getting kicked out of here, why don’t we find Deanna and Tobias and go down to the Star Base?”

The Captain shrugged, his smile rueful.

“Oh hell…why not? Computer location of Counsellor Troi?”

“Counsellor Troi is on deck twelve, section nineteen B.”

The couple looked at each other and Jean-Luc shrugged again.

“I haven’t a clue.”

Beverly grinned and took his arm.

“That’s the temporary school.”

The Captain’s eyebrows rose in comprehension.

“Ah! Yes I remember now. As long as we have those scientists on board, we have to educate their children. Do you think Deanna is enrolling Tobias?”

Beverly shook her head.

“Probably not…I think he needs some time to settle in before he’s expected to go to school.”

She lowered her head and frowned, causing her lover to grip her hand.

“What?”

Beverly sighed and looked into his dark hazel eyes.

“Jean-Luc this could be very difficult for your son.”

“How so?”

“Well he’s not used to formal schooling; he’s had mostly tutors and…”

When she hesitated Jean-Luc sighed.

“Beverly whatever it is…just say it!”

“Okay. It could be really hard for him to be known as the Captain’s son. You are the most senior officer on this ship my love and that carries a hell of a lot of weight. Imagine how it would be…trying to find your feet in a new and unsettling situation and carrying the burden and expectation of being your son.”

The Captain lowered his head and briefly closed his eyes.

“Damn. Do you think perhaps we should keep his identity a secret?”

Beverly shook her head.

“No. If he’s going to come to terms with you being his father, then he has to learn the pit falls that come with it. Hopefully the benefits will outweigh the problems.”

When Jean-Luc remained silent, Beverly bent her head to see under his lowering brow.

“Talk to me.”

Taking a large breath and holding it before slowly expelling it, Jean-Luc shook his head.

“God what a mess. I have absolutely no idea what to do for him Beverly. How do I ease his pain? How do I replace the only person he’s ever felt connected to? The only person he’s ever loved?”

Beverly squeezed his hand.

“The simple answer is you don’t. What you have to do is forge a brand new relationship with him. Don’t try to replace his mother…you can’t, but you can become the father he’s never known, the male role model in his life to guide and shape him on his journey.”

In silence they left Jean-Luc’s quarters and proceeded down the corridor to the turbolift. While they waited for a car, Jean-Luc sighed, his voice a deep whisper.

“If he’ll let me.”

Beverly trailed a finger down his face and smiled.

“He will…with time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As it was late in the afternoon, the few students enrolled in the school were just leaving for the day. Deanna placed a gentle hand on Tobias’ shoulder and guided him into the anteroom. As one student went by, the Counsellor softly called his name.

“Graeme?”

The eleven year old stopped and offered a wide smile.

“Hello Counsellor. Why are you here?”

Deanna smiled with open affection and gestured to the sullen boy at her side.

“This is Tobias, Graeme. He’ll be starting school soon.”

“Cool!”

The youngster grinned at the silent boy and offered his hand. When Tobias ignored it, Graeme shrugged and shifted his feet restlessly.

“I have to go Counsellor; my Dad want’s me to tidy my room. Tell him…”
He pointed to Tobias,

“That I’ve got the latest version of death star downloaded on my computer. He can come by and play it with me of he wants.”

Before Deanna could say anything, the lad was out the door and gone. She sighed and turned to her charge.

“Wasn’t that nice? Do you play computer games?”

The lack of any response was beginning to wear at the Counsellor’s empathic senses. She was about to suggest they go elsewhere when she heard the distinctive baritone of her Captain.

“Counsellor Troi.”

She turned and nodded.

“Hello Captain. I’ve just been introducing Tobias to Graeme Hanafford, professor Hanafford’s son. When Tobias joins the school, he will be in Graeme’s class.”

Dressed in civilian clothing, Jean-Luc resisted the urge to put his hands in his pockets. Concentrating on staying relaxed, he addressed his son.

“What do you think of the school Tobias?”

The boy shuffled his feet and took a step away from Deanna. The Counsellor gave the Captain a look then surreptitiously gestured to the door. Beverly caught the by-play and smiled.

“Why don’t I introduce Tobias to the teacher?”

Jean-Luc and Deanna both smiled their gratefulness. Once Beverly had guided Tobias into the classroom, Deanna led Jean-Luc out into the corridor. The Captain folded his arms and adopted his command visage.

“Yes Counsellor?”

She smiled up at the tense man and sighed.

“Captain for the foreseeable future, whenever you talk to Tobias it might be very helpful if you did so in French.”

Jean-Luc’s eyebrows rose and he raised a hand to rub his lower lip pensively.

“Because that’s what he did with his mother?”

“Partly Sir. The thing is, it’s his language of choice. He is fluent and literate in Standard but he prefers French. It might make him feel more…comfortable.”

The Captain grimaced and ran a hand over his bald pate.

“I’m not sure Beverly will be very happy with that. Her French is…spotty at best.”

Deanna shrugged.

“Well in your quarters the translator can tell her what’s been said. As for other situations…perhaps you could teach her?”

With a rueful grin, Jean-Luc allowed a rare glimpse into his private life.

“That was always my intention.”

The Counsellor sighed as warmth flowed over her, surprising her with its intensity. She centred herself with an effort and asked what was on her mind.

“What are your immediate plans Sir?”

Jean-Luc sobered and his mental barriers went back up.

“Oh…the Doctor and I thought we might take Tobias down to the Star Base.”

Deanna smiled and nodded.

“Excellent idea Captain. If I may Sir…later tonight I want to talk with you and Beverly further about the boy, perhaps once he’s asleep?”

Jean-Luc nodded his acquiescence.

“I call you when we’re ready.”

Deanna could see Beverly and Tobias coming out of the classroom so she took her leave.

“Thank you Captain.”

Once Beverly and the boy joined the Captain, he took Beverly’s arm and said,

“Shall we?”

His voice was deep and strong, but inside he cringed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Riker huffed when his lover finally entered their quarters. He made a show of asking the computer the time then folded his arms across his broad chest, his eyebrows raised as he awaited an explanation.

Deanna, with great forbearance, stood before the First officer, adopting the same confrontational stance.

“What Will?”

The tall bearded man rolled his eyes.

“I waited for you down on the base and when our reservation went unused I came back up to the ship. Every time I asked the computer where you were, it gave me a different location. And who the hell is Tobias DesLandes?”

With a soft chuckle, Deanna left the affronted man and wandered to the replicator. Will stood his ground as his lover retrieved two hot drinks, walked to the sofa and sat, placing the mugs on the low table. Fixing the Commander with a patient gaze, The Counsellor waited, suppressing a triumphant smile when Will capitulated and joined her.

Before he picked up his mug, Deanna took his hands.

“I’m sorry I took so long and I’m sorry I didn’t contact you, but I found myself in a very delicate situati


© Copyright 2018 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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