Blue Skies by laurah2215
Summary: Next story in the “Generations” series. Beverly resigns from Starfleet after the birth of the newest member of the Picard clan.
Categories: Next Generation Characters: Crusher, Beverly, Crusher, Wesley, Picard, Jean-Luc, Riker, William, Troi, Deanna
Genre: Alternate Universe, Family, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Generations
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 2359 Read: 1025 Published: 20 Jan 2015 Updated: 20 Jan 2015

1. Chapter 1 by laurah2215

Chapter 1 by laurah2215
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to CBS, its parents and affiliates. Just taking the characters out for a jaunt around the galaxy, I warrant they will be returned in the same condition I borrowed them.


“I’m so sorry, Deanna,” sighs Beverly in exasperation, leading them down the corridor toward the turbolift.

Shrugging, Deanna follows her friend down the corridor. “It’s no problem, Beverly.”

“I’m sure everything’s fine. You don’t have to come,” Beverly tells her friend, entering the turbolift.

“It’s alright. I’ll pick up the kids if they’ve brought them to Sickbay,” volunteers Deanna, following Beverly into the lift.

As the lift doors close, Beverly frowns. “I’m sorry our afternoon at the spa got cut short.”

“I just feel terrible,” exclaims Deanna. “You never seem to get a break from the kids.”

Half-smiling, Beverly leans back against the wall behind her. “It’s hard with four, and two grand kids.”

Smiling encouragingly, Deanna straightens. “Well, we’ll go check on Rene. If everything’s okay, maybe we can leave the kids with Marta tonight and have a drink in Ten Forward?”

Smiling faintly, Beverly nods, not really believing Deanna’s notion will ever come to fruition. “Yeah. That’d be nice.”

As the lift doors open and Deanna steps out into the corridor, Beverly takes a long breath, bracing herself for a long day.

She and Deanna had made appointments at the ship’s salon to have manicures and pedicures. As Jean-Luc is off-duty and her twin nine year-old boys and five year-old girl are in school, she had left her six month-old infant in the care of her husband for a few hours while she and Deanna partook in a long over-do afternoon of indulgence. However, Jean-Luc had interrupted their serene spa day, requesting Beverly’s presence as their baby had developed a raging fever and he had taken her to Sickbay for examination. Beverly realizes she can’t be upset, but it had been so long since she had been out without the baby, and she had been looking forward to catching up with Deanna without their children’s demanding attention interfering. However, she knows that if Jean-Luc had called her, something is wrong and she has to find out what’s ailing her baby. With Rene, it’s not just a simple temperature. An elevated temperature could be fatal.

Meandering through Sickbay, Deanna leads them to the emergency ward. Stopping dead in her tracks, Beverly nearly collides with Deanna. The emergency ward is crowded with her entire medical staff, Doctor Hill, Doctor Selar, Doctor Martin, a dozen nurses and several techs. Eyes wide, Beverly begins to grow alarmed, panicked that something tragic had happened to her infant in the time her husband had called her.

Beverly’s heart races rapidly until she spots her husband walking through the doorway to the adjacent room, their six month-old door cradled securely in his arms. Behind Picard, Will, Marta and Wesley file into the room as Jean-Luc crosses the room toward Beverly, smiling broadly.

Exhaling deeply, Beverly shakes her head, thoroughly flummoxed. “What the hell is going on?”

Stepping up to Beverly, Jean-Luc grins, rhythmically bouncing his daughter in his arms. “Surprise!”

“Surprise?” Beverly laughs, covering her heart with her hand, her eyes darting around the room as her crewmates look on, smiling at her warmly.

“We wanted to throw a little party, in honour of your…retirement,” explains Jean-Luc as their friends crowd around him.

“Did you have to give me a heart attack?” teases Beverly, inhaling deeply, looking down at the perfectly content infant in her husband’s arms. “You had me worried sick.”

Smirking, Picard tosses Riker a satisfied look. “I told you.”

Exhaling in relief, Beverly reaches for her baby in Jean-Luc’s arms. “Papa changed you, Rene. What have you got on?”

“That’s from us,” Will pipes up, walking over to Deanna and slinging his arm around her shoulders.

“We couldn’t wait for her to fit into it,” gushes Deanna, watching Beverly examine the newborn-sized replica science uniform on the baby girl, a miniature version of her mother’s standard uniform, complete with three Commander pips on the tiny collar.

Pouting at the adorableness of the tiny uniform on her exceptionally pre-mature infant, Beverly peels back the pink receiving blanket to get a closer look at her daughter. “Oh, how cute is this? Did Auntie Deanna and Uncle Will get you a little uniform like Mama’s?”

“Like they did for the boys and Claire when they were born,” remarks Jean-Luc, putting his hand on the baby’s tiny head.

When the twins, Maurice and Paul, were born, Will and Deanna had two red jumpers resembling Picard’s uniform made for the boys as a small baby gift. Four years later, when Claire came along, they had had a blue uniform in the like of Beverly’s uniform made for the girl. Their friends had had every intention of repeating their traditional baby gift with Jean-Luc and Beverly’s fourth child, but fate had intervened.

Beverly had delivered Rene at twenty-seven weeks, far before her expected due date. The pre-term infant had been drastically underweight and suffered from a congenital heart defect requiring surgical alteration. Immediately after birth, the baby could not breath independently or feed. Once they corrected her heart defect and her lungs had developed, she had begun to grow and put on more weight. Eventually, she was able to learn to feed and nurse. The first eight weeks of her life, Rene spent in Sickbay, Beverly at her side, and apart from her three older siblings at home.

Before Rene’s early entrance into the universe, Jean-Luc and Beverly had tried for three years to conceive another child, unsuccessful and utterly demoralized. Beverly had suffered two miscarriages, one at fourteen weeks, and had been poised to throw in the towel. Jean-Luc, not wishing to watch his wife suffer, had asked that they cease their efforts to conceive and turn to contraception to avoid any more heart ache and physical toil. Emotionally and physically spent, Beverly had eventually agreed to halt their desperate efforts after her second tragic miscarriage. After all, they had reasoned, they had four healthy, happy children, and two grandchildren to enjoy. It was not worth the pain and physical risk of trying to conceive and deliver another child. However, they had been shocked and worried when they had discovered Beverly was pregnant with Rene. Her initial scans and tests revealed a perfectly healthy fetus, and the expectant parents had relaxed somewhat, celebrating in the joy of anticipating a new addition to the family. Beverly had named the new and final addition to the Picard family Rene, after Jean-Luc’s late nephew who had tragically perished in a house fire in his youth, far before his time.

When Rene had made her unexpected early entrance into the universe, and had presented with a host of inter-related health issues in her early weeks and months, she instantly became Beverly’s primary priority. Of course it didn’t mean she loved her four other children any less, but her baby necessarily dominated her world in the early days. Beverly had been grateful to have the support at home, among her friends and in Sickbay, because getting through the first terrifying weeks had been tortuous. Now, finally Rene is strong, healthy and happily growing as she should after months of struggling.

After the baby had been born, Beverly had gone on maternity leave, and Doctor Hill had taken her place as an acting Chief Medical Officer until her return to duty. One evening a few weeks ago, Beverly had curled up to Jean-Luc on the sofa after all the children had been put to bed, and put her head on his shoulder. She had closed her eyes and whispered simply, “I can’t go back.” He had kissed her crown and told her, “I know.” Beverly knows that it would have been different if she had had delivered full term, if Rene hadn’t suffered any issues and she hadn’t spent the first six months constantly agonizing over the infant and dividing her time between the sick baby and her other small children. Now, she’s exhausted. She can’t imagine trying to go back to duty and care for her four young children, along with helping Marta with the two grand babies. She loves her job, she adores her colleagues. She’s going to miss her service terribly. But, she made a choice over a decade ago. She wanted to have a family with Jean-Luc, a big family. Now, their family is her priority.

Glancing over at Will and Deanna, Beverly smiles graciously. “Thank you. It’s adorable.”

“We’ve got Ten Forward reserved for a little party,” Wes informs her, grinning broadly.

“We just wanted to wish you farewell, and thank you for everything,” Doctor Hill commences, stepping up to Beverly. “We couldn’t all abandon Sickbay, so we wanted to see you off before the party.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Alyssa Ogawa cries, tears gathering in her eyes.

Beverly walks over to the nurse and, shifting Rene into one arm, puts one arm around Alyssa’s shoulder. “Hey, stop it, everyone. I’m leaving Starfleet, not the Enterprise. I’m not going anywhere.”

“It won’t be the same,” confesses Doctor Martin timidly.

Smiling lightly, Beverly hugs Alyssa. “Hey, I appreciate all that every one of you have done. I couldn’t have done my job if I didn’t have your help. And, personally, I was grateful to have your skill as medical professionals, and your personal support after Rene’s birth.” Nodding to Doctor Selar, Beverly’s lips curl into a smile. “You’ve been like a family, and I couldn’t have gotten through this without you. I hope that we can continue to be friends, even if I don’t serve here.”

Doctor Hill walks up to Beverly and extends his hand. “You’re always welcomed. I expect you to bring this little angel around frequently for check-ups.”

Rolling her eyes, Beverly puts an arm around his shoulder. “Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing plenty of us. I have four children nine and under. There will be many visits to Sickbay. Maurice has co-opted Wes into teaching him to play Parrises Squares.”

Chuckling, Doctor Hill shakes his head. “That sounds like something the former Chief Medical Officer can handle at home.”

Laughing along with her replacement, Beverly shakes her head. “No way. If Maurice breaks his arm, I’m sending him to you, the Chief Medical Officer.’ Laughing, Beverly is glad to be chumming with her colleagues. Although, seeing them all gathered around to wish her farewell is bittersweet. It’s difficult to imagine never coming to work in Sickbay with her co-workers, not returning to her duty after her lifetime career with Starfleet. However, she knows she has to be available for her children.

* *
PAGE BREAK

**

Glancing up from her spot lying on the sofa nursing Rene, Beverly watches Jean-Luc cross the living area toward her. “Boys okay?”

“Out cold,” Jean-Luc relays, lowering himself onto the sofa beside Beverly, gathering her feet into his lap. “They were running all over Ten Forward, hopped up on ice cream sundaes from the party.”

Smiling, Beverly shifts Rene in her arms, adjusting to sit upright. “They had fun.”

“Why didn’t you stay? Marta offered to put the children down to bed. You could have stayed and socialized with your friends,” Jean-Luc points out, massaging her foot in his hand.

Frowning, Beverly shrugs. “I know. Deanna offered to take the kids, too. I didn’t want to give them extra hassle. They’ve got their own kids to get ready for bed. Besides, I didn’t want to be late. I wanted to feed Rene and get her to sleep at a normal time. She’s finally on a good nursing and sleeping schedule.”

Rubbing her foot between her thumb and forefinger, Jean-Luc grimaces. “I understand. But, it was your party. I wanted you to enjoy it.”

“I did,” Beverly assures him, leaning over to grasp his hand. “Thank you. I had a lot of fun.”

Raising a brow, Jean-Luc releases her foot and leans closer, studying her closely. “You seemed a little somber.”

Exhaling deeply, Beverly nods. “It’s a little…bittersweet. It’s hard to imagine…never working in Sickbay.”

Grimacing, Jean-Luc slips his arm around her back, drawing her in. “I’m sorry. Perhaps we should have thought…”

Shaking her head, Beverly takes her free hand and puts a finger to his lips. “No. I don’t regret it, Jean-Luc. I’m happy with the decision. Our children need me right now. I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I made this decision. I’ve been blessed with five beautiful beautiful babies. I’m truly blessed. I’m not complaining. I’m just….a little sad to leave my colleagues and the job I love.”

Smiling, Jean-Luc takes her finger from his mouth and kisses her knuckles. Inching forward, he kisses her slowly, their six month-old daughter in Beverly’s arm tucked between them. “I love you. You’re extraordinary.”

“I love you,” whispers Beverly against his lips. “These past six months, you’ve been phenomenal with Rene, with the twins and Claire. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Pecking her lips softly, Jean-Luc smirks. “Beverly, I’m done. I think we have our family. We can stop now, I reckon?”

Chuckling lightly, mindful not to disturb the infant in her arms who is falling asleep, Beverly shakes her head in amusement, laying her hand on Jean-Luc’s cheek. “What’s the matter, Picard? Tired, old man?”

Laughing good-naturedly, Jean-Luc shakes his head. “I’m no old man, Doctor. I’m just ready to enjoy the smooth sailing.”

“Nothing but blue skies?” Beverly jests, resting her forehead against his.

Their horizons may not entirely be clear, but Beverly could not be more elated to be traversing the skies with her captain.
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