Mouth agape, Beverly stares guiltily at Jean-Luc, mentally contemplating how to react.
Softening, Jean-Luc reaches for Beverly’s hand, pulling her closer to the edge of the bed. “Talk to me, Beverly.”
Lowering herself onto the side of the bed beside him, Beverly swallows hard. “I’m so sorry, Jean-Luc. I just don’t want to overwhelm you while you’re recovering. I thought if you suddenly had your entire life story thrown at you, you might feel obligations and expectations that you couldn't fulfill when your memory is impaired.”
Furrowing his brow, Jean-Luc rubs her hand between his fingers. “I want to recall my life. I’m not overwhelmed.”
Pursing her lips, Beverly appraises him tentatively. “I was just worried.”
Letting out a long breath, Jean-Luc nods his understanding. “ So, tell me. We’re married. How long? How did we meet?”
Smiling cheekily, Beverly glances down at their conjoined hands. “That’s a rather long and complicated story. We’ve been married nine years.”
Smirking, Jean-Luc gazes into her eyes. “I’d like to hear the whole story.”
Chuckling softly, Beverly bobs her head. “Alright. I suppose we have all night.”
Inhaling deeply, Jean-Luc smiles contentedly. He briefly looks down at her hand in his. “I reckon I’m a very lucky man. You’re a very a smart woman, and incredibly beautiful. What did I ever do to deserve you?”
Gazing back at him earnestly, Beverly’s heart palpitates furiously and butterflies stir in her belly. Jean-Luc’s personality is returning, and it renews her optimism. “You waited an exceptionally long time.”
Grinning, Jean-Luc leans forward on the bed, cupping the side of her face. “I’ve no doubt you were worth every second.”
Trembling, Beverly lays her other hand on his shoulder, thrilled that her Jean-Luc appears to be resurfacing.
Jean-Luc closes the gap between their lips, kisses her softly, tentatively.
Closing her eyes, Beverly smiles against his lips, massaging his shoulder.
Tracing her jawline, Jean-Luc grins. “Indeed. You’re most definitely worth the wait.”
“Jean-Luc,” whispers Beverly hesitantly. “I think we should slow down…”
“Tell me more,” encourages Jean-Luc, cupping her neck. “Do we have any children?”
Eyes wide, Beverly draws back, tentative. More than anything she wants to embrace him, but she knows he’s not entirely whole, he’s still not entirely the man she knows and loves. “Yes.”
Raising a brow expectantly, Jean-Luc strokes her neck. “Tell me.”
Unable to resist his encouragement and enthusiasm, Beverly smiles. “We have twin eight year-old boys and a four year-old girl. I had a son from my previous marriage, he’s grown now with a family of his own. We have a baby granddaughter and another on the way.”
Beaming, Jean-Luc squeezes Bevery’s hand in his. “Four children. Grandchildren. That’s marvellous. Tell me their names. What are they like?”
Exhaling deeply, Beverly smiles lightly, her pride taking over. “Wesley’s my son, he recently transferred to the Enterprise and he’s an engineer. Marta, his girlfriend, is a nurse. Our granddaughter is Cheryl, and you absolutely dote on her.”
Chuckling lightly, Jean-Luc appreciates the way Beverly’s eyes seem to illuminate as she talks about the children and grandchildren.
“You like being a grandfather because you don’t worry about discipline and behaviour and you just get to spoil your granddaughter,” continues Beverly teasingly.
Laughing, Jean-Luc bobs his head. “What about our children, the little ones?”
Taking a long breath, Beverly nods. “They’re your world. You used to think you’d never have children of your own, and now…now you couldn’t imagine your life without them. Our…relationship was…a very long time in coming.”
Studying her carefully, Jean-Luc tries to infer the backstory from her words, the expression in her eyes.
Smiling painfully, Beverly squeezes his hand. “When we finally got together, you wanted children more than anything. You’re…a fantastic father.”
Watching tears well in her eyes, Jean-Luc brings the hand resting on her neck up to cheek, his thumb grazing under her eye. “Beverly….”
A part of her feels as if she is describing this to a stranger, and the other part feels as if Jean-Luc is right here with her. “You’re hard on the boys, but most of the time they deserve it. Maurice, he’s your carbon copy. He’s a little bugger half the time, always pushing the boundaries. But, he’s crazy smart, and all he wants to do is make you proud.”
Smiling to herself, Beverly sniffles. “Paul, he’s my little guy. He’s so calm and unassuming. He just goes wherever Maurice goes. Claire, she’s our baby. She has you wrapped around her little finger. You command this ship, but you have a hard time telling that little girl ‘no’.”
Laughing, Jean-Luc wraps an arm around Beverly’s back, enveloping her close. “They sound wonderful. I’d like to see them.”
Tilting her neck to look him in the eyes, Beverly smiles remorsefully. “Let’s just take our time. You’ve had a long day, and it’s very late. The kids are sleeping. I suggest you do the same.”
Exhaling in defeat, Jean-Luc drops a kiss to her hair. “Very well. Thank you, Beverly.”
Lingering in his arms for a moment, Beverly savours the familiar feel. After a minute, she releases his hand. “I’d better go, let you get some rest. I’ll be in my office if you need anything.”
Catching her hand as she stands up, Jean-Luc smiles. “ Beverly, I may not recall everything, but I…know how you….feel, somehow. I have to remember. You can help me, I know you can. I never want to forget.”
Breath catching in her throat, Beverly squeezes his hand in affirmation. “I won’t let you forget. We’ll remember…together.”
Opening the door to her cabin, Beverly mentally braces herself, silently wondering what state she would find her husband in. As she peers into the living area, she finds Jean-Luc on the sofa, dozens of holophotos scattered on the table. Inhaling sharply, she tentatively crosses the room.
Beverly had emerged from the operating room, washed up and went into the emergency ward to check on Jean-Luc to discover he was missing. When she had inquired, she was advised he had been checked out. A nurse told her that Captain Picard had said that Doctor Picard had released him as he had no physical ailments necessitating his further stay in Sickbay. Fuming, Beverly had demanded his whereabouts from the computer, which had promptly advised her that Captain Picards was in his quarters. With a heavy sigh, Beverly had nodded, knowing she should have realized Jean-Luc would have escaped to their cabin. He had been desperate to learn of his life, their life together, to regain his memory. Forcing herself not to become overly angry or emotional,she had headed to their cabin to intervene, to hopefully explain and provide context.
“Jean-Luc? ” Beverly pauses next to the table.
Looking up at her, Jean-Luc’s cheeks are stained with tear tracks. “My God, Beverly…”