Scarlett's Revenge


Deanna paced back and forth across the cool, hardwood floor in the living room of the Troi mansion.  She held her three year-old daughter in her arms, gently stroking the child's back.  The counselor had thought that Destiny might have been developing a cold or had been worn out from the move.  After all, they had only taken residence of the mansion a few days earlier, during which time they'd had the honor of Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher staying over with them to help the family unpack.  All of this occurring because of Lwaxana Troi's reluctant insistece of retirement from active duties as Daughter of the Fifth House, and Deanna's agreement to take over the responsibilities while counseling at the university part-time.  Lwaxana had moved to a house the family had owned for many years near the west coast of the main continent, giving the Fifth House Estate to her daughter.  The same daughter who had been awakened by the cries of her beloved grandaughter who had been fraught with fever.  Deanna Troi-Riker slowed in her pacing long enough to read the thermometer that she'd just scanned over her daughter for what seemed like the tenth time.  She readjusted the frightfully hot child against her, speaking comforting words to her as she thought of what to do next.  A 103  fever was bad enough in itself, without the fact that Destiny Alexa Riker had take ill to a strong strain of feverish disease, much resembling Scarlett Fever, and it was becoming more and more evident to the counselor that the toddler might be having a relapse.  It had been almost fifteen minutes since Destiny had woke from her sleep, and she just lye in her mother's arms eerily silent and quite still.

"Shh," Deanna said quietly, "You're going to be fine."  She told the small child, pushing the hair from her face.

"Daddy," said Destiny, "Where's daddy?"  The little girl asked barely above a whisper.

"Daddy's sleeping, baby.  He has a big day ahead of him tomorrow."  Deanna told the toddler.  The truth was Will was asleep in the guest room on the main floor where the couple had opted to sleep since the night before Destiny had complained of a sore throat and had a small case of the sniffles, now it was just the fever.  She was silently hoping her husband would wake up soon.  Troi  looked back down at the child cradled in her arms.  She was still quietly mouthing the word "daddy" as her heavy eyelids threatened to enclose those dark eyes once again.  Deanna took the cool wash cloth she had been holding on Destiny's forehead off her face and gently lay her cheek against that of her daughter's.  It hadn't helped much at all.

"Is it her throat again?"  She heard as Will walked up behind her.

"No," Deanna told him, "It's fever."  She said as she placed his hand on Destiny Alexa's head.  Will looked at his wife in shock.

"How long has she been awake?"  He inquired as he took his tiny daughter from her mother's arms, hearing her soft voice calling to him.  He gently pulled the small gown she was wearing over her head of curls, hoping it might help cool her.

"Fifteen minutes," she said, patting Destiny's back softly.  A severe look of concern was still gracing her face.  "Imzadi," are you sure your up to this.  You were up last night, and you have that meeting tomorrow."  Will shook it off.

"I'm fine," he said, bouncing Destiny in his arms slightly and smiling down at her.

"I've been putting cool water on her face and arms," she told him, "It hasn't seemed to help."  He nodded in agreement.  "Let's see if we can get in touch with Beverly.  The captain said that they were going to spend a few days on a planet in the next sector, after checking in with the Enterprise, I believe."  The counselor nodded, kissing Destiny lightly, and hurrying into the study to contact the woman she and Will had always trusted in any medical situation.

Seeing Beverly's face on the screen before her afforded Deanna a small amount of relief, although, the counselor's troubled expression had given the doctor a worried and apprehensive feeling, and Crusher knew immediately something was wrong.

"Deanna, are you okay?"  She asked her friend.  The counselor shook her head.

"No.  Destiny's sick again.  She has a very high fever."  Deanna told her, trying to hold back the emotions that were threatening to overcome her.  "Beverly, it's worse this time.  She's not talking, she's barely moving, she's burning up, and I can't fix it, Bev.  I can't make her better!"

"Hey," she said, "Calm down.  I am not going to let anything happen to her."  She watched as Deanna took a deep breath to calm herself and nodded slowly.  

"Okay, now has she had any other symptoms?"  The doctor asked.

"No," she began, "Well, she was complaining of a soar throat last night and she had a little case of the sniffles."  Beverly nodded remembering how Destiny had refused to eat anything but icecram the night before, ad of course with those big dough eyes not even one of the adults could resist her plea.

"No vomiting, though? No seizures? Nothing like that?"  Bev inquired.

Deanna started to tell the doctor no when Will came into view.

"We had a little accident," he said as she met his eyes, "Dest, got a little sick, but don't worry I caught it all on my shirt."  Deaa and Beverly both smiled slightly despite the seriousness of the situation.  As the counselor took the child from her father's arms, Destiny reached out a tiny had to him.  "Daddy will be right back, precious.  I'm just going to change my shirt."  He watched a small tear slide down her cheek.

"Beverly," Deanna said, trying to keep her lightly accented voice steady, "She's trembling."