Riker wasn't sure why he'd let his wife come along on this survey mission with him. Beverly Crusher was with him because there were some herbs down on Veeloze 10 that were of medicinal value. She'd wanted to collect them herself.
They'd hit turbulence on the way down to the surface. The shuttle had landed, but most of its systems were non-functional and possibly couldn't be repaired, making it a total-loss. But because of the turbulence, communication with the Enterprise couldn't be established. Taking Deanna's hand, Riker lead her out of the shuttle wreckage. Crusher was right behind them.
"Will we need to find somewhere safe to ride out this storm. She really needs to be off her feet."
Nodding his head at Beverly, he started making his way through some thick brush. His tricorder out, he could barely hear it beginning to beep over the din of the storm.
"My readings show there's a series of caves up ahead, about 15 meters ahead of us!"
It seemed like forever until they reached the caves, but when they got there, it was a welcome relief. Being cautious, Riker scanned the area to make sure there were no dangerous creature inhabiting the first cave.
Getting no life signs of any other alien creature inside, he strode in, carefully leading Deanna by his side. Beverly quickly scouted out a somewhat soft spot for Troi to lie down on the dirt floor.
"This was the most comfortable spot I could find for you Deanna. I need you to lie down and rest. With any luck, we'll be out of here before I need to resort to anything drastic. My medical supplies are limited, and not well equipped for delivering a baby."
Deanna swallowed but said nothing. Will leaned down and kissed her forehead.
"You said you sensed that there was someone else down here on the planet. Are they still here?"
Deanna was quiet for a moment and then spoke.
"No, but the turbulence or this storm could be blocking my ability right now. It could be masking their life signs."
Riker saw that his wife was a little dehydrated, he knew he'd have to find her some water. He didn't know if the supplies they had would last them more than 2 weeks, and by then, their baby could very well already be there with them. All the three of them could do was wait this storm out.
Deanna was frightened. It had been hours since she’d last felt her baby kick. She didn’t hide her tears from Beverly as she came over with a cup of water.
“Deanna what’s wrong?”
More frightened than ever, Deanna grabbed for Bev’s free hand and placed it over her belly.
“Bev please tell me she’s alright! I haven’t felt Kait move in five hours!”
Bev creased her eyebrows in slight worry but gave Deanna’s belly a slight rub.
“Hey, look at me Deanna. I need you to relax. It’s not unusual to not feel a baby moving inside of you a week or two before going into labor. It just means that he or she is simply too big to move around in such a small and cramped up place. But since you are the first pregnant Betazoid I’ve had under my care, I’ll run some tests to make sure. Ok?”
She nodded her head at Beverly and saw Will come in, trying his best to keep calm. But he couldn’t keep the panic out of his voice.
“Bev, what happened?”
Deanna crumbled and tried folding herself into her husband’s arms. Their telepathic link was strongest when one of them was upset. Will could hear her every thought on what was going on.
‘Imzadi, the baby’s not moving!’
A pit began to form in Riker’s stomach, but he took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Pushing a few strands of dark hair away from her face, he did his best to comfort her.
“Shh. It’s alright Imzadi. I’m right here. We’ll get through this together. Just relax and breathe. There we go. That’s it. Just relax and let Bev check you out ok?”
Troi nodded her head once more and took a breath in and let it out. The couple watched Crusher as she pressed a few buttons on her tricorder and ran it just above Deanna’s body.
“Ok, everybody relax. Kait’s only asleep. Heartbeat’s a steady 142. Good respiratory movements. Here Deanna, I want you to drink this, it’ll help you get some sleep. Alright?”
Deanna took the cup of water and drank it down. She was so thirsty. Crusher and Riker stayed until Troi’s eyes eventually closed and her breathing evened out. Once they were sure she was asleep, they put the makeshift curtain they’d made from a blanket salvaged from the shuttle back in place. Sighing, Beverly placed herself in front of the roaring fire Will had built to keep them warm.
“Will there’s something you need to know. We really need to keep her calm. She’s dehydrated and her blood pressure is practically through the roof. It’s the stress from the shuttle crash. Try to find as much water as you can. We might need some to boil before long.”
Riker cast a weary and worried glance back at the blanket that was shielding his view of his sleeping wife.
“Then we’d better hurry Bev.”
To Be Continued…
Story Notes: I've had this idea stirring in my head for awhile. The prompt let it out for some air. As usual, I've got to add some drama and angst to this. I borrowed my original character, Riker and Troi's daughter Kait from my other story Two Centuries Old Crisis.