By Carol Sandford


Chapter 10


Beverly was hiding in her office in sick-bay when Will and Deanna finally found her. She was sitting in her chair, waiting for them. She knew that would come, they had to, they were too good a friend to leave things as they were.

And although she was angry, Beverly also knew that this was not the normal behaviour of Deanna Troi, and she had begun to wonder if there was a medical reason for her actions. What she didn't know was that Will had come to the same conclusion..

Deanna hesitated at her door and Will gently tugged at her arm, pulling her inside. Beverly smiled sadly at her, "Come in, Deanna. I'm sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for all..." She struggled to find the right word, finally settling with, "this."

Deanna looked to Will for assurance, his smile giving her the necessary nudge that she needed. Will clutched her hand as they sat down and waited expectantly. Beverly smiled at the gesture, not quite meeting Deanna's eyes. "If you were ten years younger, Deanna, I would have been happy for you and Wesley to have been an item. However, the fact that you two seem to be unusually drawn to each other makes me come to the conclusion that something is not quite right. So, I want to run a few tests just to make sure, okay?"

Deanna nodded slowly and dared to ask, "Where is Wesley now?"

Beverly took on a stern motherly look and told her, "At this very moment, he is in Captain Picard's quarters getting a very stiff fatherly lecture about who you can, and cannot fall in love with."

Will grinned with surprise. "The Captain! I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation, he's not exactly endeared to children."

Beverly muttered stiffly, "Yes, well, he was my only choice as he couldn't very well talk to you, could he?"

Will looked down at his hand, "No, I know, I'm sorry about that."

An awkward, silent moment followed until Beverly abruptly stood up. "Well, Will, if you'd care to leave us for a while whilst I run these few tests on Deanna, I'll give you a call when we're done."

She hurriedly ushered Will out of the door and Deanna followed her into the sick-bay area and gingerly slid up on to the bio-bed. Beverly instructed her to lay down and pulled her ever-present tricorder out and began to run it above Deanna's nervous body.

After tapping at it a few times, Beverly put it to one side and turned to the consul beside her. Deanna watched the various coloured waves cross the screen, her eyes flitting to Beverly every once in a while to see if anything registered, but Beverly was seemingly concentrating hard on the screen before her.

But Deanna knew her friend better than that, and eventually, still absorbed with the screen before her, Beverly spoke. "So...did you get very far with my son?"

Deanna's eyes studied her as she considered her question before asking gently, "Are you asking me if I made love to him?"

Unable to look at her, Deanna watched Beverly nervously swallow, her head nodding quickly. Looking tenderly up at her, Deanna touched her arm, imploring her to face her. Beverly quickly glanced at her and saw the genuine look of friendship in her eyes, and finally, boldly answered her, head on. "Beverly, I did not sleep with Wesley."

The breath that Beverly held came out shakily and Deanna sensed her relief. Smiling encouragingly at her, Deanna's fingers squeezed her arm. Embarrassed, Beverly turned back to the screen, her attention now fully focused to the matter at hand.

Noticing the slight, very slight, change in the wave pattern to a previous routine check, Beverly spoke aloud, "I think I have found something. The Neural Imaging scanner is picking up a slight variation. Tell me," she asked excitedly, "what had happened when you first found an attraction to Wesley?"

Deanna thought back for a moment, then slowly replied. "He left a brooch in my quarters and I assumed it was from Will. And then he left me a poem, which reminded me of something Will had given to me when he was on Betazed. But it really started when he held me..."

Feeling Beverly's tension escalte again, she quickly looked at her to see how she was handling the intimate discussion about her son, but Beverly merely whispered, "Go on."

"I have a photo of Will and I in my bedroom that is very, very special to me. One day, Wesley held me that very same way and it took me back to that moment. All I kept seeing was Wesley as Will."

Beverly frowned, "But why? He looks nothing like Will!"

Deanna smiled to herself as the familiar thought run through her mind, I've had this conversation before "It was Wesley's build mostly," she continued. "the way he kissed me, and held me. Will said Wesley was bringing out a deep traumatic feeling of loss that I'd esxperienced when he left me behind on Risa. He...Wesley, brought it all back to me."

Beverly stared at her friend for a long moment, then shook herself out of her reverie, "Well, the good news is that I can help suppress these thoughts with a Neural neutralizer. It will hopefully cure the problem. But," she added, "I suggest you have a long chat with Will and get things totally out in the open. It sounds like you've both got a lot of forgiving to do."

As Beverly wandered over to her work station to prepare the hypospray needed to suppress Deanna's thoughts, Deanna nodded her understanding. Although they had already started to talk about the past, there was still along way to go. Deanna suddenly remembered the rest of Beverly's annalysis. "And the bad news?" she asked.

Beverly returned to her side and pushed the hypospray into her neck. "The bad news is," she grinned, "is, how are we going to cure young Wesley of his infatation?"

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