Life with Beverly

CHAPTER 5: Life's Little Vicissitudes

He harrumphed. She tried very hard not to laugh. They passed each other like two starships in the night. One lover going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The other lover returning from the bathroom and going back to bed in the middle of the night.

Jean-Luc Picard was not a happy man at this moment.

=/\= =/\= =/\=

Beverly eyed the mound of chocolate ice cream covered with a river of not one but three different types of fudge sauces, smothered in whipped cream and topped with several red maraschino cherries on the various peaks to this chocolate mountain. There was a hand full of toasted almonds thrown on top for good measure.

Her mouth watered as she approached the small dining table in their breakfast room.

Jean-Luc Picard picked up his silver, long handled spoon, smiled at his wife, understood her intent and warned, "Beverly, go get your own."

=/\= =/\= =/\=

Mildred puttered about the superintendent's office. Jean-Luc Picard had been sworn in as the head of Starfleet Academy two weeks ago. And life was slowly establishing itself into a somewhat normal routine. Mildred had decided to stay at the estate office though, and not take over the running of the superintendent's office. She was just helping out at the moment until one of Admiral Brand's former personal assistants returned from leave. This assistant, Michael Murphy, had been a fixture in the superintendent's office for decades. Mildred was grateful that the man had decided to stay and serve Jean-Luc Picard since Murphy was definitely a man who knew where all the bodies were buried. And if not, he had enough of a detective's instinct in him to ferret out the solutions to any problems that might arise.

Mildred was satisfied with the way things were set at the moment. She wasn't quite sure which path she would follow when the time came. For much as Jean-Luc needed her here at the Academy, Beverly's new job would require equally skillful handling. Throw in the upcoming blessed event, and Mildred knew that she would have too much to do in the near future. And Starfleet Medical wouldn't countenance her being cloned. They kept repeatedly denying that request. She had to find more help that would live up to her high standards. She considered poaching Lieutenant Commander S'Rock back from Winston Holt Wiley…

The sound of the door sliding open captured her attention.

"Mrs. Krebs." Jean-Luc nodded at the lady as he sat down behind the crystalline desk in his ultra-modern superintendent's office. He didn't like the desk. In fact, after becoming accustomed to the wood and leather of his home office - not to mention the fact that he shared it with his wife - Admiral Picard found the gleaming surfaces and metals of his new, silver and Federation Blue office to be wanting. Perhaps one day, he would change the décor of the office. But that was not of importance at the moment.

Mildred eyed the empty cookie plate on the crystalline credenza. Then she studied her boss. And she uttered the words that she'd been secretly dieing to say to him for years. "Johnny, are you putting on weight?"

=/\= =/\= =/\=

He was putting on weight, the admiral ruefully admitted to himself as he studied his naked body in the dressing room mirror. Not much, but still, it was unacceptable to him.

His equally naked bride walked by, eyed his body, slapped his derriere, and announced, "We're going walking in the morning." She then grabbed a red nightgown and went into their bedroom.

He trailed after her. "I rather think that I need some more dance lessons."

She donned her nightgown, turned to face her husband and thought for a moment. "Well, obviously I can no longer teach you in the morning. With my schedule and yours… We no longer have the time. And trying to get together for a quick lesson during lunch isn't that practical since thirty minutes is not that much time…"

"We're admirals, Beverly. We can take as long as we wish for lunch."

"True. But with our senses of duty and having so much to do, neither one of us would actually do it."

"On a regular basis, that is true. But every once in a while? When we feel like dancing…" He put his arms about his bride's slightly expanding waistline and pulled her close to him.

"Hmmm... You're in the mood tonight, my darling?"

"Mon coeur, whenever you are feeling amorous, so am I."

Beverly showed Jean-Luc that this was true.

=/\= =/\= =/\=

Without saying a word, Beverly pulled the hypospray out of her night stand drawer and gave her husband as well as herself, doses of the anti-nausea medicine that Dr. Bolt had prescribed.

"Thank you, mon coeur." He sighed with relief as his stomach settled down. He was not a man who cared for the indignity of nausea and its aftermath.

She sat up, and disengaged herself from her husband's arms. "Time to go for a walk."

"I can think of a more pleasurable exercise," was his response as he tried to persuade her with his touch to lie back down. His hand massaged the small of her back.

Beverly looked out the window and noted that dawn was barely breaking. It looked really chilly outside. She glanced down at her husband, considered the warmth of their bed, and came to a more reasonable decision.

"Computer, reset the alarm for ninety minutes from now…"

=/\= =/\= =/\=

"Marie wants us to come for Christmas."

Jean-Luc sipped a little of his burgundy before he responded to his wife's words. "That's several months away."

Beverly sipped some of her burgundy. Her wine, however, was the synthehol kind. And then she shifted a bit, pressing herself more intimately against Jean-Luc's chest. They were reclining together on the chesterfield burgundy leather upholstered couch in front of the fireplace in their library. A real log fire resting on some ancient French bronze chenets, was crackling and popping. For a change, the busy admirals were spending a quiet evening at home. Alone.

There was a tap on the door. "Computer, permit entry," Jean-Luc called out. The burled walnut library door swung open.

Ludvig nodded as he entered the room. "Admiral Beverly. Admiral Picard. Just a light snack." On the table by the couch, he placed a silver tray, and lifted the domed cover. "Baked brie with hazelnuts, cream cheese with Jezebel sauce, and my special hors d'ouevre crackers." With a flourish he produced two linen napkins and canapé knives from the pocket of his apron. "Naturally, if you wish anything else, my refrigerator has more than a few items to tempt you - including my special chocolate bombes. And there is a wonderful fruit salad that I am planning on serving for breakfast. But I made more than enough for you, Admiral Beverly, to have some tonight if you wish."

"Thank you, Ludvig." Beverly was amused by the chef's attentiveness. Ever since her pregnancy had become common knowledge, Ludvig was trying to fulfill her every possible craving.

The somewhat short, not-quite-portly dark-haired chef announced, "If there is nothing else…" Jean-Luc shook his head. "…then I shall say good night. I am attending a concert this evening." With that he bowed, left the room and secured the door shut.

"You'd think this house didn't have a replicator," Jean-Luc observed as he sat up, fixed a cracker with the melted brie and handed it to his bride. Beverly sat up as well, taking the cracker.

"Replicated food is not as healthy for pregnant women as real, prepared food is - according to Mildred," Beverly added. "Actually, I think that Mildred is just trying to give Ludvig something to do. She doesn't want to lose one of the best chefs in Starfleet."

"That certainly is true," Jean-Luc amiably agreed. He was in a mellow, relaxed mood tonight. All was well with the world. And with his love.

"Rumor has it that Ludvig is smitten with someone."

"What else did Mildred tell you, Beverly?"

Beverly grinned between bites of brie. "It was Wesley who told me."

Watching his wife eat, Jean-Luc merely shook his head. They'd had dinner less than two hours earlier. But far be it for him to utter any words of comment. He was not that suicidal.

Settling back into his former position, Jean-Luc drank some more wine. "You were saying something about Marie… And Christmas?"

"Our respective calendars are filling up swiftly. Marie wants to get a commitment out of you before you could come up with a perfectly valid excuse not to go home."

Jean-Luc put down his Baccarat red wine goblet on the table flanking the couch. "I suppose I could put up with Robert for a few days." His voice softened. "The last time I actually went home for Christmas was when I was a sophomore cadet…" He closed his eyes as he remembered. "There's this wondrous 18th century village church that managed to survive the Revolution as well as all the other subsequent wars and occupations. Mama would insist that all of us - even Father - go to midnight mass." He chuckled. "Insisting that Father go to midnight mass was one of the few instances where Mama won out over Father's intransigence when it came to formalized religion."

"And you? Did you need persuading?" Beverly wiped her fingers on her napkin and placed it on the coffee table.

"Not exactly. The church of Ste. Magdalena had a superb organist. I'd go early just to hear his Christmas concert before mass. Once I went to the Academy, I stopped attending services. I didn't have the time between my studies and my duties." He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering. "Or rather, that is what I told myself. The truth is I gave up on formalized religion. I've always looked for God in my stars..."

Beverly put down her glass, and curled up some more into Jean-Luc's chest. She stroked the soft silk of his shirt and then stroked his cheek. "Neither one of us have really subscribed to an organized religion. Still…"

"When one is having a child, it is something to think about."

She nodded into his chest. "Jack was Catholic. So Wesley was baptized…"

Jean-Luc nodded into his wife's head. "Yes. I can recall more than a few spirited debates with Jack about religion."

"After Jack died, Wesley and I moved around so much that I never really found the time to teach Wesley…"

He kissed the top of his wife's head. "Considering how well Wesley has turned out, you must have done many things right." He hugged her. "We don't have to make any decisions right now."

"No." Beverly lifted her head so that she could place a soft kiss on his lips. Then she snuggled even more into his arms. "We don't have to, right now…"

He moved a bit so that his left hand came to rest on her abdomen. He reverently rubbed her stomach for a minute or so. He was quiet for a while, perfectly content to just hold his love and listen to the beat of her heart against his own.

"I wish it could stay like this," Beverly contentedly sighed.

He stroked her hair for a moment, then contentedly sighed himself. "Mon coeur… we're expecting a baby…," he whispered, filled with the wonder of it.

"Now that truly is a miracle, my love," she agreed.

The End - For Now

A.N. There will be more stories to come. Of course the story of the impending birth of the Picard baby - or babies - will be coming soon. Along with Wesley's struggles at the Academy, Deanna going huntin' for bear, and Beverly starting her new job.

For all of you who have left such kind reviews and suggestions, I do thank you. Live long and prosper. Mab