Will returned from his long bridge shift to the captain's quarters that he shared with Deanna. He found her sitting in bed, reading a paper book - she was one of the few people he knew who still did that. He sat down on the bed beside her. She put down the book and smiled at him.
"I know that smile," he said. "You know something you're not telling me."
"I do," she said coyly.
Will rolled his eyes and laughed. There were times he wished he was an empath - it felt unfair that she could hide things from him but he couldn't hide things from her. Not that there was anything he wanted to hide from her, but it didn't seem right for her to be able pry into his mind without him even knowing it.
"Oh, come on, Will," she said. "You don't have to be an empath to figure this one out."
Dammit. She did it again.
He sighed. "How am I supposed to guess?" he asked. "It could be literally anyth-"
Suddenly his eyes fell on the cover of her book. He read the title, even though it was upside down: What to Expect When You're Expecting.
His eyes widened. "You're - "
She nodded. "M-hm." She gestured to the book. "I know it's a 400-year-old book, and there are several differences between human and Betazoid pregnancies, but - "
"H-how long have you known?" he asked.
"Since this morning. I went to Dr. Ogawa and she confirmed it. She also told me the sex. Would you like to know?"
"You know the answer to that."
"I don't want to call our baby 'it'," Will said.
"Neither do I," Deanna said. "He is a boy."
"A boy," Will repeated, grinning. "We have a son! What are we going to name him?" They stared at each other, realizing they both knew the answer to that question.
"Jean-Luc," they said in unison.
"I never told you this," Will said. "But when I brought that alien boy, Barash, onto the Enterprise - he had created a simulation to keep me with him forever. He pretended to be my son. And his name was Jean-Luc. He saw inside my mind and knew that that was what I would name my son. Even before I knew it."
"The Enterprise is going to rendezvous with us in a few days," Deanna said. "We can tell Jean-Luc the good news then. And ask him to be godfather."
"Sounds great," Will said. "I can't wait to see the look on his face."
Will and Deanna were waiting in the main transporter room for Picard to beam over. As soon as he did, all three of them grinned. Picard went in for a hug, which he had never done before. Now that there was no chain of command between them, they were free to express their feelings more openly.
"Will," he said. "Deanna. It's so good to see you again."
"Likewise," Deanna said.
"I have some shore leave saved up," Picard said as they left the room. "But when I saw that the Titan was in the neighborhood, so to speak, I thought I'd stop by and get a tour of the ship. I hear the new Luna class is lovely. I've seen pictures, but I'm sure it will be much more spectacular in person."
"It is," Will said. "It's no Enterprise, but I think you'll find it to your satisfaction."
"I'm sure I will."
Will and Deanna showed Picard to his quarters and let him drop off his baggage. Then they showed him around the ship: the bridge, main engineering, stellar cartography, Nine Forward, and the observation lounge. Everyone was very excited to meet the great Jean-Luc Picard. Finally, they brought Picard back to his quarters to have dinner with him.
"Well, I must say, your ship did not disappoint," Picard said.
"Glad to hear it," Will said.
Picard poured some wine for himself, then offered it to Will and Deanna. Deanna held up her hand, indicating that she didn't want any.
"Deanna," Picard said, raising his eyebrows. "Are you - "
Deanna nodded, blushing. "We were planning to tell you." She looked at Will and took his hand. "It's a boy. And we want you to be godfather."
"I'm honored," Picard said. "And I will gladly accept, on one condition: you do not name him after me."
Will and Deanna stared at him in shock. "Why the hell not?" Will asked, breaking the silence.
"Because the name 'Jean-Luc' would be quite a burden for the poor boy, would it not?" Picard said. "There are already monuments to me, buildings named after me, children celebrating Captain Picard Day. I am in no danger of being forgotten."
"All right," Deanna said. "What do you suggest we name him?"
"I cannot answer that," Picard said. "The only advice I can give is that you name him after one of your ancestors. I am now the last Picard, and it is my duty to keep the memories of my brother and nephew alive. You must do the same for your families. I am sure one of you has a relative worthy of the honor."
Will and Deanna looked at each other. "Fine," Will said. "We won't name him after you. Now will you be his godfather?"
Picard smiled. "Of course."
The next day, Picard hugged Will and Deanna one more time before he beamed back to the Enterprise. Will and Deanna returned to their quarters.
"So," Will said. "Jean-Luc doesn't want us naming our son after him. We have to go back to the drawing board."
"So it would seem."
"We could name him Ian after your father," Will suggested.
Deanna shook her head. "I already had a son named after my father. I feel like giving him that name would be tempting fate."
Will nodded solemnly, remembering the alien who had impregnated Deanna all those years ago on the Enterprise in order to experience life as a humanoid, then disappeared just as suddenly to save the ship. He could understand why she didn't want to be reminded of that experience.
"What about you?" she asked. "Do you have any relatives you'd like to commemorate?"
"Well, there's my mother, Betty," Will said. "But I think we'll have to save that name for a girl. And my father… well, you know how he was."
"How about more distant ancestors?"
Will smiled. "Thaddeus Riker," he said. "Fought in the American Civil War - for the North, of course. I don't know how many 'great's he'd be. He's the only male ancestor I know about that I can really be proud of."
"Thaddeus," Deanna repeated. "That's an awfully old-fashioned name."
"We can call him Thad for short," Will said.
"Okay," Deanna said. "Thad it is."
Seven months later
Deanna had been in the birthing chair in Sickbay for several hours now. This birth was much harder than her last one had been - both because of her age and because the baby wasn't a rapidly-aging alien. Will and Dr. Ogawa had been by her side the entire time, holding her hands and comforting her.
"You're almost there," Dr. Ogawa said. "He's crowning. Just one more push should do it."
Deanna took a deep breath and pushed with all her remaining strength. She let out a cry, and as she did, she heard another one coming from below her. She sighed with relief and sat back in the chair, knowing the ordeal was behind her.
Dr. Ogawa caught the baby, cut the umbilical cord, and handed him to a nurse to clean him off. Will wiped Deanna's brow. When the baby was clean, Dr. Ogawa placed him in Deanna's arms.
"Congratulations," she said. "He's perfectly healthy."
"He's beautiful," Deanna whispered. She turned to Will. "He has your eyes."
"Most white babies have blue eyes when they're born," Dr. Ogawa said.
"Not Betazoid babies," Deanna said.
"Well, your baby is only a quarter Betazoid," Dr. Ogawa said.
"I guess he won't be an empath then," Will said. "I can lie to him all I want."
"Well, Devinoni Ral was one-quarter Betazoid and an empath," Deanna said. "And he had blue eyes. So it's possible."
"Can I hold him?" Will asked. Deanna handed the baby to her husband, and he sat down beside her to bounce the baby in his lap.
"What are you going to name him?" Dr. Ogawa asked.
"Thaddeus," Will said, staring into his son's eyes. "Thaddeus Riker-Troi."
"Troi-Riker," Deanna corrected him.
"Thaddeus Jean-Luc Troi-Riker," Will said. Deanna stared at him. "What? We just won't tell him Thad has a middle name."
"Thad," Deanna said, reaching out to stroke her son's head. "Welcome aboard."