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         The next morning, Deanna sat nervously awaiting her appointment with Beverly. She hadn't told Will what Beverly had said last night. She didn't dare. Because in spite of all of the doctors reassurances, it worried her. She knew that she was probably overreacting, but she didn't want to worry Will right now. Heaven knew the last thing he needed in the face of all of his own problems was to worry about the health of the baby.

 

         And that was a problem. Understandably, Will wanted to be there with her today, and she had promised him that she would try to make it happen. And, she wanted him to be there, to share this with him. But what if something were wrong? She didn't want him to find out that way, this was too important to him -- to both of them. Well, there always was the possibility that Beverly would veto the idea because of Will's own health. In any event she had promised to try, and so she had little choice but to ask.

 

         She sighed and tapped her commbadge. "Troi to Crusher."

 

         *Crusher here,* the doctor's voice came through the open channel. *Is everything all right, Deanna?*

 

         "Yes, we're all fine here right now. I just had a bit of a favor to ask of you. It's about my appointment for this morning, actually."

 

         *You aren't getting out of this, if that is what you are thinking. So don't even ask.* Beverly teased.

 

         Deanna couldn't help laughing at that. "No, I wouldn't dream of it. Actually, it's about Will. He would really like to be there for this, if that is at all possible. I know that it's difficult, and we don't want to do anything that might create a problem, or put him in any kind of jeopardy, but I guess it's just one of those moments, and well...it seems to be very important to him. But if you think that we shouldn't attempt it, I'm sure that he'd understand under the circumstances." Deanna's words came out in far more of a tangled rush than she had intended, leaving her slightly breathless. She prayed that her friend hadn't noticed her case of nerves.

 

         Crusher's response was almost immediate. *Think nothing of it, I think we can handle that. After all, it will be the first picture of the baby! Of course you want to be together for this, who could blame you. I'll get someone started on the necessary arrangements right away, so we'll be ready when you're due to come in. Actually, I solum have considered this myself.*

 

         Deanna swallowed hard. She had been afraid of this. Not wanting the doctor to hear the resignation in her voice, she forced herself to sound relieved. Or so she hoped. "That's wonderful, Beverly. Thank you so much, Will is going to be very happy about this, I'm sure."

 

         *Well, tell him for me that he is more than welcome. I wouldn't want him to miss this for the world! Oh, and Deanna?*

 

         "Yes?"

 

         *Stop WORRYING! Everything is fine, I'm sure of it, all right?*

 

         Deanna groaned audibly over the channel. "Since when did you become the empath in this relationship?"

 

         Crusher's voice held barely restrained laughter. *Oh, well...you see, I have this friend."

 

         "Beverly!"

 

         *Can I help it if you're starting to rub off on me?*

 

         "Good-bye, Beverly..."

 

         *We'll see you both in a about an hour* The other woman's voice was amused. *Crusher out.*

 

         Deanna sat back in her seat, defeated. Well, that was that. Whatever happened, they would find out together. She just hoped that Beverly was right...

 

         Meanwhile in Sickbay, Beverly Crusher reviewed the readings she had taken of Deanna Troi the evening before. She wouldn't be sure until they had done the full scan, but if she was right...they were all in for quite the little surprise!

 

*  *  *

 

         An hour later, They had transported Will to sickbay, rearranging the system that monitored his system, and found a way to get him situated upright in a seat by Deanna's exam bed.

 

         "Will, are you OK sitting up this long?" Deanna asked, trying to refocus her nerves.

 

         "I'm fine, Dea. Would you relax, just a little? I think you're supposed to enjoy this part!" He grinned at her, his blue eyes betraying his excitement.

 

         "He's right, you know." Crusher's voice preceded her into the exam room. "You SHOULD relax and enjoy this. And as far as Will is concerned, it is good for him to be up, and besides, he'll have a much better view of the scan on the screen from there." She offered them both a smile, and gave Deanna's hand a squeeze of reassurance. "Now, shall we get this show on the road you too?"

 

         Deanna made herself as comfortable as she could on the exam bed, while Beverly readied the scanner. Nothing could have quite prepared her for the feeling she had when the screen came on. She'd been through this once before, years ago...but somehow, this was different. "Ooooh...Will, look!"

 

         "Pretty cute, if you asked me!" He said softly, amazement clear in his voice.

 

         Beverly couldn't help but grin at them. She loved this part, almost as much as the parents, if the truth be told. "So, I guess this means you are ready to hear what's going on in there too?" She asked innocently. The only response she heard from them was silence as they stared at her blankly in amazement. "I'll just go ahead and take that as a yes," she commented as she activated the audio monitor.

 

         That did it. Deanna burst into predictable tears. "Oh, my..." She looked to Will, who wasn't in much different shape himself, and reached for his hand. "It's incredible."

 

         Beverly cut in quietly. "Sounds great from here. Babies have a much higher heart rate than the rest of us..." Her voice trailed off suddenly, as though she were distracted, listening for something."

 

         Will caught it too. "Is it always supposed to have an echo like that?" Will asked quizzically. He was curious, not concerned, But Deanna's hand tightened it's grip on his.

 

         Beverly shook her head. "Not typically, no...but I can't seem to...Alyssa, come here a moment. I think I need to know I'm not losing my mind."

 

         The fear returned to Deanna's eyes. "What's going on? Is everything ok?"

 

         "Fine, Deanna...fine." Crusher hurried to reassure her friend and patient. She really couldn't relax with this.... The doctor considered telling her about her suspicions, but she didn't want to say anything until she could be sure. "I just want to confirm the source of that 'feedback' is all."

 

         Crusher's head nurse made her way to where the doctor stood. "What can I do for you, Doctor."

 

         "Listen to that, and tell me what it sounds like to you," the older woman prompted.

 

         The nurse did as she was instructed, listening for a moment. Then she traded a knowing -- and excited -- look with Crusher. "Doctor, you think....?????" She asked, sounding like a little girl at christmas.

 

         "I do, but I can't seem to get it on the screen...ahhh....there we are!"

 

         "What?" Will asked the question after seeing Deanna's worried expression, oddly inconsistent with the response of the medical staff.

 

         Beverly drew a deep breath. "Well, you can see the baby, here." She pointed out various visible "parts" on the screen. "That's all fine...but then...look, right there, you see?"

 

         "What is that?" Deanna asked, her curiosity finally beginning to edge out her worries, now that she had seen the baby herself."

 

         "It would appear to be a foot." Beverly quipped.

 

         "But I thought you said the baby's feet were over there?"

 

         "She did." Alyssa offered helpfully.

 

         "Then..."

 

         "Well...it seems to be the same thing that we were hearing earlier..." Beverly watched their faces, knowing she couldn't hold it off any longer. "Congratulations, kids...it appears that you are having twins!"