**The next afternoon**
"Dr. Crusher, I must protest this. You are not ready to be released yet."
Beverly flashed angry blue eyes at the tall Vulcan woman. "Have you ever had a miscarriage, Selar?" She received the expected negative response. "I have. And I know my body rather well, thank you very much. I am fine, and I am going home. I have a daughter and a husband to take care of." And with that, she stormed out of Sickbay, off to her own quarters.
Selar stared after her for a brief moment, blinked once, twice, then tapped her communicator. "Selar to Troi. Counselor, may I see you in Sickbay?"
"Of course, Doctor. I'm on my way. Troi out."
A few moments later, Selar watched the Betazoid enter Sickbay. She motioned the counselor toward the isolation room that had been Beverly's. Once inside, she closed and locked the door, then began pacing, something very uncharacteristic of her proud Vulcan heritage. "I am not sure how to say this, but I thought you should know...."
"Know what?" Deanna asked softly. "And where is Beverly? Did you move her to a different room?"
Selar shook her head. "No. Dr. Crusher just checked herself out of Sickbay, stating she was fine and needed to look after her family. I tried to tell her that she wasn't ready yet, but she said that she knew her own body and left."
"Beverly isn't well enough to leave, is she?"
"Physically, she is still a bit weak, but not to the point of detriment. Emotionally...that is not my area of expertise, but I have come to know the doctor very well over the years. Something is not right with her. She has recovered from the loss of her child very quickly, too quickly in fact, considering...." And she stopped then, realizing that she'd nearly broken a medical confidence.
"Considering what, Selar?"
"It is a matter I cannot discuss without violating the doctor-patient protocols."
"If this has to do with Beverly's emotional state, it is my business to know. Tell me what you know, Selar."
The Vulcan gazed impassively at her for a long moment, then took a deep breath. "When Dr. Crusher came to me for verification of her pregnancy, it was revealed that this would be her last pregnancy. She can have no other children. She shouldn't have undergone this pregnancy either. I told her this, but she said she was willing to take the risks to give Captain Picard another child."
Deanna sank onto the edge of the biobed, shocked. "She never told me."
"I was sworn to secrecy. The captain does not know either. The only reason I have broken that vow of secrecy is because I think that Dr. Crusher is not allowing herself to deal with the implications of both the miscarriage and this information."
Distractedly, Deanna stood up. "Thank you, Dr. Selar, for sharing this with me. I won't say a word of your broken vow." The Vulcan nodded, but Deanna could feel the relief underneath the calm exterior. She tried to smile, but left Sickbay, deciding to pay her best friend a visit. After a moment, she was allowed entrance into the Picard quarters. "Beverly?"
"Allo, Danni," Morgan said softly, hugging her legs.
Deanna picked the girl up into her arms. "Where's your mother, love?"
"Mamman's sleeping. She said I could play, but not to disturb her, that Papa would be home soon to make me lunch. Danni, j'ai faim."
"You haven't eaten yet?" The little girl shook her head. "Go to the replicator, Morgan, get what you want. I'll carry it to the table for you." She watched the little girl order her food, sensing the very adult-like worry emanating from her. *Morgan knows something is wrong, but doesn't know what to do about it,* she thought to herself. *Neither do I.* As the food appeared, she carried the tray to the table and kissed Morgan's forehead. "Eat your lunch, little love, then maybe we will go to the nursery to see the new kittens."
Deanna didn't hear her, walking toward the bedroom. She could sense that Beverly was awake, but didn't sense the pain and anguish that should be there. In fact, she didn't sense much of anything from the woman, and that scared her. Slowly she walked into the room and found Bev curled up in a ball on the bed. "Beverly?" No reply. "Beverly, I know you're awake." Still no reply. "I just came to see how you were doing."
"I'm fine, Deanna. A little sore, but fine." But she wouldn't turn to face her friend.
"Are you sure? I mean, you just lost--"
Bev whirled around to face Deanna, angry. "I lost my son. Yes, I lost my son. Is that what you want me to say? I had a miscarriage. So we wait a few months and try again, and if the Goddess wills it, we'll have another child. It happened, and I've dealt with it. I'm fine now. End of story."
Deanna watched as the fire blazed in the narrowed blue eyes. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me."
"What right do you have to say something like that?"
"The right of your best friend, and the right of Ship's Counselor."
"I'm fine, Deanna. I've suffered a miscarriage before. I know what will happen to me. I'll be fine. Just leave it at that."
"You'll be fine? When will that be, Beverly? You're not fine now."
"Yes, I am, but I'm getting rather angry with my supposed best friend right now."
Deanna moved to stand directly in front of the redhead. Leaning down, she spoke in a low, clear voice. "You are not fine. Your daughter is out there, eating a meal *I* had to get for her because you were too busy wallowing in here. She is four years old, Beverly, she cannot be left unattended, even for a few hours until her father returns. And your instant anger with me shouts out that you're not fine." She softened her voice a bit, noting the tears in Bev's eyes. "Beverly, give yourself some time to grieve your son's death. If you want, I'll take Morgan with me for a few days. Just let your feelings out, deal with your grief." She paused again, then continued. "I know about your inability to have any more children, Beverly. If nothing else, grieve that."
Beverly flashed an angry look at her, then looked away. "There's no grief left. I cried it all out last night." Deanna sensed the blatant lie, said nothing. But when she looked back at Deanna, Bev could see the knowledge in the black eyes. Taking a deep breath, she tried to smile. "I would appreciate it if you would take Morgan for a few days. There are some things Jean-Luc and I need to discuss."
Deanna smiled compassionately. "Take the time to grieve and heal, Beverly. If you need me, I am always here to listen. It's my job to make sure everyone on this ship is emotionally well, and it is my desire to see my best friend better. You sometimes forget that I know you very well, know your coping abilities. Let me help, let all of us help, okay? That's all we ask."