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“Don’t worry, the bruising will go away. How are you feeling?”

Riker had handed Deanna a small hand mirror and she was looking at the bruising with on her cheek. Touching her cheek she winced a little.

“Sore. But I’m managing. Bev looks tired. She should really be taking it easy.”

Will nodded his head and sighed, taking Troi’s hand. He’d been so worried about her while she’d been unconscious, even when the emergency team brought her in.

“I know, Eric and I and Doctor Canton have been trying to get her to slow down. She’s only got four weeks until her due date.”

But they both knew Bev, she was very stubborn. She worked down to the bone. When she wanted to get things done, she stayed until she was finished. Troi sighed and watched as her friend came towards her.

“How are you feeling Deanna? It’s good to see you’re awake.”

He checked himself mentally and watched as Bev waddled to Deanna’s bed.

“I’m fine Bev. It’s you I’m worried about. Have you eaten anything today? You look unusually pale. Will told me you collapsed in the middle of surgery yesterday. You need to take it easy. For you, and for your daughter.”

Bev only nodded her head as she checked the screen above Deanna’s head taking her vitals. Not taking any chances, Will opened up a drawer next to Deanna’s bed and pulled out a small monitor. Looking into Bev’s equally clear blue orbs, he frowned.

“Give me your hand.”

Crusher only rolled her eyes at Will and gave him her right hand. Sighing, he kept looking at her.

“I’m serious Bev. I need you to keep this monitor on for the next 48 hours. No showering. Sponge bath.”

Bev crinkled her nose and shook her head no.

“Absolutely not Will. I’m not coming to work all smelly. I’ll be fine. Besides, I’ve only got four weeks to go, and when it’s time for me to go to Labor and Delivery, Doctor Canton will do a fine job delivering my daughter.”

Crusher bit her lip when she remembered. Shaking her head as an afterthought, she groaned inwardly.

“Oh that’s right, Doctor Canton is on Sabbatical, starting today. That means I’m left with you.”

It wasn’t an accusation, it was more of a playful remark. Will had thought of Bev like another sister. She had more to add to her last sentence, she’d been taking care of herself as best as she could, but she sometimes forgot to eat.

“I have no doubts of the care you’ll give me Will. You know, you surprise me that you haven’t chosen a specialty yet. You’ve got the fine markings of an excellent OBGYN and a Pediatrician. But ultimately, it’s up to you which one you pick. Which do you feel more comfortable with? Treating children? Or helping women and their babies?”

Riker scratched his chin for a moment. Both suit me well. But I’ve got to pick one.

“I would have to pick helping women and their babies. For me there’s always been that certain joy when you
bring a child into the world, knowing that you helped bring them into the world, there just isn’t much to describe how good it makes you feel as a physician.”

Bev gave Will a warm smile and leaned against the bio bed next to the one Deanna was lying in.

“That’s what we went to medical school for Will, to help the injured and heal the sick, I would describe bringing children into the world as Euphoric.”

Will smiled once more, then turned serious. He watched the monitor on her hand blinking and shook his head.

“Don’t make me order you on bed rest Bev. I’m being serious here. Go and get something to eat. If not for yourself, at least for Carmen.”

Will hadn’t seen Bev for awhile and he knew that she was still on duty. Sometimes she’d disappear into one of the empty patient rooms and put her feet up while sitting on the bed for a while. Doctor Canton had handed off several patients to the both of them. Riker had been tasked to find Bev to look at a baby with a runny nose and a cough.

“Bev, there’s a 7 month old with a runny nose and a cough waiting in bed 3.”

The empty bed made him pause. Looking around at first, he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. His mind was on Deanna, until he went around the other side of the bed. He found Bev crumpled on the floor. His mind went into overdrive and he pressed a button on the screen above the bed. He heard her moan a little and leaned down over her.

“Bev if you can hear me, I don’t want you to move.”

Bev only moaned. Now with an extra set of hands, it would be easier to assess the situation. All professional mode, Will looked at the monitors, now flashing red and at the monitor on Bev’s right hand.

“Put her up on the bed and get some fluids into her. Make sure she’s lying on her side, and call somebody down here from OB.”

Shutting his eyes and then opening them up again when he realized he was talking about himself.

“Never mind. That would be me. I forgot I’m doing my rotation with OB. When she wakes, get her to eat some food. Draw some amniotic fluid, and keep an eye on her blood pressure.”

This was shaping out to be one of those days he wasn’t sure he understood. Once he was sure Bev was stable, he gave a tired smile to several nurses in the room and two other doctors that were fairly new to medical and he’d forgotten their names.

Walking out of the room, he blew out a breath and shook his head, he now needed to call Jack and Wesley.

“Did you find Bev Will?”

Will nodded as he pulled up a chair next to Deanna.

“I found her in one of the empty patient rooms collapsed on the floor. I had to admit her. Her blood pressure was pretty low. I’ve got her on fluids and when she wakes up, I’ll get her to eat something. And I just treated a baby in room 3 with a cold and an ear infection. What I’d like to do right now, is crawl into bed and sleep.”

Deanna motioned for him to come closer to her. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he felt her hands getting the knots out of his shoulders. Will quickly stood up as he saw Wes and Jack in the hallway.

“I’ll be right back Deanna.”

Troi nodded her head and Riker got to his feet and wandered towards the doorway.

“Where is she Doctor Riker?”

He could tell Jack was uneasy about the situation, and Wes had worry lines on his forehead.

“I’ll take you to her. She’s in room 5. I found her passed out on the floor next to the bed. We’re not sure at this point yet if she fell and hit her head, or if she just collapsed. We’re still running some tests to rule out a concussion. Her blood pressure was pretty low.

But we’ve got it back up to normal levels now, and she’s on fluids. The baby is doing fine, showing good respiratory movements and strong reflexes. She does however need to eat something if she’s awake. Maybe she’ll listen to you.”

Leading both Wesley and Jack into the room, he stood back at the door for a moment and listened to Wes speak to his mother.

“Mama? Are you alright?”

Will gave Bev and her family a moment talk while he waited and tried not to listen out in the hallway.

“Honey you’ve got to eat something. Nurse can you get her a bowl of soup please?”

One of the nurses scurried out of the room towards one of the replicators to get Bev a bowl of soup. Clearing his throat, Will walked into the room slowly.

“Glad to see your awake Bev. How are you feeling?”

Bev looked to her husband and squeezed his hand.

“A little tired. How’s Carmen?”

Will pulled up a screen on the wall and showed her a live view of the little girl growing inside her.

“Good respiratory movements, excellent reflexes. Muscle tone looks good. The amniotic fluid sample we took from you is crystal clear. There doesn’t seem to be any ruptured membranes and no sign of abruption. I need you to take it easy for the next few days. If you feel any kind of abdominal pain or experience any bleeding, you come and see me right away.”

Bev snorted at Will and leaned back into the pillow on the bed. Shaking her head she spoke.

“Already speaking as if you work for OB. I’ll be sure to recommend you for this year’s open spot.”

Riker only smiled and shook his head.

“Only doing my job Bev. I’ve got four weeks left on my rotation. My last day is your due date. Looks like you are stuck with me.”

Bev laughed and shifted in the bed and looked Will in the eye.

“Well, let’s see if you can break my record this year. You’ve delivered 95 babies. I’ve delivered almost a year’s worth. I’m ten short at 355. Let’s start a pool. If you hit let’s say 165 by Christmas, Jack here will get you a bottle of Tequila. The real stuff.”

Riker’s eyes lit up. It’d been a long time since he’d had anything remotely real. The last time he’d visited Kiev he’d had real Vodka.

Maybe he’d share it with his sister, she was going through a rough patch right now, since her husband had up and left her. But something told him, that might not be such a good idea. Banking the thought for later reflection he turned back to Bev once again.

“I may share it with my sister. You’ve got yourself a deal Bev. There is one more thing I need to do with you before I do my rounds. Just relax.”

Rolling her eyes at Will, she looked up at the screen and traced the spot where Carmen’s head was.

“Ouch. Will that’s tender right there. I don’t know how much longer my stomach is going to keep expanding. I already feel like a Hippo. Are you sure that Carmen’s alright?”

Riker nodded his head, sincerity written clearly on his face.

“I’m sorry, I know that’s sore right there. Carmen is doing fine. She may be jumping the gun a little, she’s already decided to turn and is facing head down. You know, I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news Bev, but that little fall of yours caused you to dilate to 6 centimeters.

You’ll need to be on bed rest. Now I know you know the risks of pregnancy, but a little rest should help stop the dilating. If we can’t stop it and your daughter becomes distressed we’ll have to induce, now I know you don’t want that. Now hopefully, with a week of rest, it will completely reverse the process.”

Bev’s eyes grew dark and she shook her head no. Crossing her arms over her chest she let Jack feed her the last of her soup. Swallowing, she looked Will straight in the eye.

“Oh Will, you put a damper on the party sometimes. Well I guess this means that this afternoon’s bowel resection is out then.”

Riker frowned but his eyes showed sympathy.

“Don’t worry, Doctor Carlston will take care of that resection for you. I’ve already informed him that you have something of a personal nature to take care of and you will be off duty for a week.”

“Will, you look really tired. You should get some rest.”

Riker was tired, but there was that strange ‘magnetic pull’ tugging at him. He didn’t realize that it was the same pull that was currently affecting Deanna. Before either of them knew what was happening, they found each other in the deepest kiss neither of them were willing to part with. When they finally came up for air, he saw that Deanna’s face was bright red with embarrassment. Clearing her throat, she looked down. Will shook his head and look Deanna in the eye.

“I’m sorry, we’re moving too fast. I uh, I shouldn’t have done that.”

The red flush of her face had disappeared and she took the plunge, she began kissing him again. She wasn’t resisting the pull this time, when she came up for air again, her face wasn’t red this time. A smile adorned her face.

“No, I think we’re moving at just the right speed.”

Riker smiled and a thought crossed his mind. Alright, medium speed it is.

To Be Continued…

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