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         Crusher entered the room with the distinct feeling that she was interrupting something. "Hello, you two. How is everyone doing today?"

 

         Deanna grinned at her best friend. "We all seem to be doing better than I thought at the moment, thank you Beverly." She struggled not to laugh in front of the curious doctor.

 

         "Ah...I see." The merriment in the redhead's eyes was very clear. "Well, as good as that is to hear, I'd like to see Mr. Star Patient  for a few minutes if that's all right. She traded a teasing look with Riker. "Alone."

 

         Will feigned a worried look with Deanna. "Now, wait a second, Doc. I'm not sure I like being alone with you for any length of time." They all laughed for a moment, and then he sobered slightly. "That is, of course, unless you know something you don't want to say in front of Deanna?" He was only half joking, and everyone in the room was painfully aware of it.

 

         Beverly straightened, flipping a piece of hair behind her in an almost defensive gesture. "Not even a possibility my friend. As far as I know from my last exam, you are doing so well, that frankly it has shocked even me. Not, the same, true, but FAR better than you were for sure. And even if I did have something to tell you that was less than positive, I would never try to hide it from Deanna. I know better, and frankly, I value my life too much." She gave the speech in a deadpan that made both of her friends smile. "No, the truth is, I just get a rush out of torturing you in private, that's all."

 

         "Well, if that's all..." Deanna rose with a tell-tale grin. "I'll be in the next room if she tries anything, Will." Then she turned to Beverly. "Ditto."

 

         "Got it! Oh, and Deanna...when I'm done with Will, I'll want to give you and the baby a once over before your exam and scan tomorrow morning...just to satisfy my paranoia, ok?"

 

         "Sure thing, Beverly...no such thing as too cautious with this baby, as far as I'm concerned."

 

         "Good." Crusher nodded in satisfaction as she watched her friend go. She hadn't seen Deanna want something this badly in all the years that she had known the younger woman. It was a stroke of luck that even her scientific mind had to call miraculous. The chances of the timing just before this accident was perfect, and in reality, likely the only chance for a family of their own. And she couldn't be happier for them.

 

         Turning back to Riker, she got down to the business at hand. "OK, Mister! Lets see how you're really doing today, shall we?"

 

*  *  *

 

         Twenty minutes later, Deanna looked up as the doctor entered the main room of their quarters, leaving her patient in the bedroom. She smiled up from her seat on the couch. "How did it go?"

 

         "Pretty well, actually. He barely squirmed on me today."

 

         Both women laughed. "Well, I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not, knowing Will!"

 

         Crusher grinned. "Good point."

 

         Deanna sobered, worry showing in her eyes. "Honestly, how does it look?"

 

         "As I said earlier, it looks much better than I had expected for this stage in the game. Admittedly, there is more lung damage than I would like to see, but overall, he is doing wonderfully under the circumstances." She looked at Deanna's still uneasy expression. "Hey, I promise, Deanna. I'd never lie about a patient's condition, much less to my best friend, OK?"

 

         Deanna looked down at her hands, ashamed. "Oh, Beverly...I know. It's just very hard right now." She smiled apologetically.

 

         "I know Deanna, and I understand. Right now, your biggest concerns with Will are making sure he uses the oxygenation unit regularly. It still seems to be giving him a slight improvement in the damaged tissue. I'm not sure WHY that's happening yet, but the fact that it is happening at all is more than enough for me at this point. Beyond that, it's the weakness and the inability to do much for himself right now that are your biggest challenges."

 

         "Well, I can handle that, for now. And we'll deal with later...later. So, have you come any closer to finding the cause of the damage?"

 

         Beverly sighed. "Not yet. But, Data and I are working on this every free moment. And Deanna, I swear to you, Starfleet be damned, we are not going to give up until we find some answers to this. If nothing else, I can promise you that."

 

         Deanna closed her eyes, and nodded. "I know, thank you for that."

 

         Crusher smiled, squeezing her friend's hand come on, I want a quick scan of the rest of the family before I go, all right?"

 

         "Of course." Deanna smiled as the doctor pulled out her med scanner and ran it over her and her baby.

 

         "Well," she announced, "Aside from the obvious signs that you are still way over stressed, you are doing wonderfully. And the baby...well, other than a little bit of feedback this scanner is giving me, everything seems to be fine there too. We'll get more detail tomorrow, OK?"

 

         "Feedback?" Deanna's voice was worried.

 

         "Nothing to worry about, I'm sure. There are few causes for such things, none of them too serious for concern at this point, ok? Just try to relax, and get some sleep. We'll get all the info we need tomorrow."

 

         "All right Beverly, I'll try. I'll see you in the morning."

 

         The two women hugged briefly, then the doctor left, leaving Deanna to head to bed, and Will, while trying to put her worries of the next day behind her. Tomorrow would take care of itself later.