Part 5 - What's In A Name?

"Beverly, she's beautiful," he said with awe.

"You keep saying that."

"Because it's true. Besides, she looks just like you. How could she be anything but beautiful?"

Jean-Luc Picard gazed down at the tiny creature, sound asleep tucked in the crook of her mother's arm. She was barely an hour old and already he was having trouble remembering life before her arrival. It was the same as trying to remember his life before Beverly. Everything began with Beverly, and here it was, happening again.

There was just one thing.

He sat on the edge of the bed in the private Sickbay room and took his wife's free hand in both of his. "I've been thinking."

"About what?" she asked. Her smile was a bit tired - she'd been working quite hard up until very recently.

"Actually," he hesitated, certain he would sound foolish, "about her name. I know that we talked about it for weeks, but somehow she... she just doesn't -"

"Look like an Yvette?" Beverly finished for him then laughed at his look of surprise. "It's all right. That's why Wesley isn't named Richard. Okay, so we start over. What name does she look like?"

"I still like the idea of a family name," Jean-Luc began, "but the reasons we eliminated all the other ones still stand."

Beverly bit her lip, wondering if she should mention the idea she had. He had rejected the name before, but then that was when they were discussing it for a boy. Maybe he wouldn't feel the same if it was for a girl.

He watched her silent, internal struggle. Finally, he said, "Out with it, Beverly. I know you've got something on your mind. What name do you want that you think I won't like?"

"I know you like the name well enough, even though you didn't want to use it. Besides, that was for a boy. It could be different for a girl. We'd still have the family connection but not so much of the implied expectations you didn't want." She knew she was babbling a bit but couldn't help it.

"Well, I admit I had never thought about 'Angus' for a girl, but if it means so much to you..." he joined her laughter as she tugged sharply at his hand.

"Not Angus, silly man. I was thinking about... well, I'd like to call her Renee. You know, the feminine form with two E's on the end. We could still use Elizabeth as a middle name like we had planned." She bit her lip again as she waited for his reaction.

He thought it over for a moment. "No, I don't think so," he said slowly. Her heart sank until she caught the twinkle in his eyes. "I think if she's going to have the red hair - and more than likely, the temper to go with it - she ought to have the name as well. What do you think of Renee Howard Picard?"

"Renee Howard Picard, huh? Well, that's certainly a family name!" Beverly teased, as she handed him the baby. "And you get to explain all those 'implied expectations'. Remember, the ones we were trying to avoid?"

"Maybe I'll just concentrate on explaining why she has Angus for a nickname." Jean-Luc handled the baby easily. "What do you think, little lady? Ready to represent both sides of the family?" The infant merely yawned and snuggled deeper into sleep. "Well, I hope that means she likes it."

"How could she not like it?" Beverly asked sleepily. "It's a lovely name." Her eyes drifted closed as exhaustion overtook her.

Looking at the two women in his life, Jean-Luc smiled as his heart found yet another new level of joy.

oxo

Later

Beverly and Renee Picard held court with Jean-Luc hovering in attendance.

The medical staff had paid their respects, now the senior officers were gathered for a very special meeting. The newest life in their universe, a mirror image of her mother, accepted all the attention as her due, never making a sound as she was passed from hand to hand before making her way back to her father.

Jean-Luc heard little of the conversation going on around him. As far as he was concerned, there were only two people in the room - his beloved Beverly and their daughter.

His daughter.

Cradling the tiny, perfect form, he wondered how any man could ever be disappointed by the arrival of a daughter.

The End