by Kate

TYPE: PWP (plot, what plot)
DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns it all. I don't get one red cent from this.
SETTING: On board the Titan, way past 'Nemesis'

The lyrics quoted are from "Beautiful Boy," words and music by John Lennon.

It was late in the artificial night on the U.S.S. Titan. In the quarters of Will Riker, the vessel's captain, the living room was dark and uninhabited. The bedroom, however, stood in contrast. That cabin, lit by the flame of numerous candles, was bathed in a wash of muted gold. On the large bed in the center of the room lay Deanna Troi, putting their newborn son to breast. Cooing softly, Deanna drew back her nightgown to expose the treasure sought by the rooting infant. With instinctive vigor, the baby took his mother's darkened nipple into his mouth and began to nurse greedily.

As soon as the pain of her son's latching on passed, the new mother allowed the rhythmic tugging of his tiny mouth to lull her into a contented calm. While the infant nursed, Deanna took in the sweet scent of his skin and stroked his soft, dark Betazoid hair. She knew that behind those closed eyelids sat a miniature version of her own ebony eyes, but noted again that he had inherited his father's dimpled chin.

"My precious little man," the recumbent woman whispered in a loving voice, "how could we have produced something so perfect?" A serene smile spread across her face. "A perfect child from a perfect marriage." With a soft chuckle, she added, "A marriage that we took forever to get to." Her son, oblivious to his mother's words, continued to suck away and satisfy his hunger.

Deanna rested her head back on the over-stuffed pillow and draped her arm protectively over her child. Against a backdrop of the pleasant tingling her son's nursing was sending through her body, her thoughts turned to memories of her labor and delivery…

Her contractions had started in the middle of the night, tolerable spasms spaced far apart. But they didn't stay that way for long. She didn't know which part of her mixed heritage to thank for the rapid progression of her labor. At the same time, she wasn't sure which one to curse for the blinding pain of the contractions. By the time she was ready to push, Deanna was spitting out profanities in Terran Standard, Betazin, and a few alien tongues she hadn't spoken since her university days.

She grinned as she remembered poor Will trying to cope with the screaming banshee his wife had become. He had been as steadfast as a Vulcan in his support of her, rubbing her back between contractions and coaching her breathing. Still, no matter what he said to comfort her during each excruciating cramp, she hurled agonized invective at him and demanded that he leave her alone…

The dim awareness that it was time for her baby to nurse from her other breast broke through her reminiscence. Letting out a relaxed sigh, Deanna loosened the infant's oral grip on her nipple and lifted him to her other side. Lying down once again, she undraped her other breast, brought his rosebud mouth to her life-giving flesh and let him resume his feeding.

The petite Betazoid's thoughts drifted back to the moment of their son's entrance into the world. She remembered how her efforts to propel the neonate down and out of her birth canal commanded all of her attention. In those moments of supreme effort, the only awareness she had was of the vise-like pressure of her pushes and, finally, the stretching of her vagina as their son slid out into the waiting arms of the doctor.

In the next minute, the first whimpers from the newest Riker met her ears and triggered a wave of soul-filling joy. It was overlaid with a wash of profound awe radiating from Will, who had been at her side the whole time. She remembered how he leaned over in that moment and, as he had once said so long ago about her alien son, whispered, "He's beautiful…Just like his mother." And then his warm lips caressed her cheek in a gesture of love and gratefulness…

As the infant finally sated his hunger, his sucking became softer. The gentle pulses of pressure against Deanna's sensitive nipple triggered a warm tingling in her groin. In a flash, images of their son's conception flashed into her mind. With a satisfied smile, the new mother let the memories take center stage in her thoughts...

Before Will and Deanna moved to the Titan and assumed their respective duties there, they had thought they had a good feel for what their new life would be like. The reality they found was just as difficult and stressful as they had anticipated, and then some. Between their conflicting schedules, responsibilities that took precedence over their personal lives and the always unpredictable crises that cropped up at the most inopportune times, their private married life became a juggling act.

One of the personal pleasures that got juggled was the luxury of unhurried intimacy. The times where Will and Deanna could draw out and truly savor the act of making love were few and far between. Most of their encounters were hurried affairs where knowledgeable fingers and tongues went to work at bringing one another rapidly to hungry readiness and then their bodies joined, his thrusting into hers and hers clutching him closer still. Release always came quickly and then, with a kiss that spoke volumes of what such encounters were lacking in, they either dressed and returned to their duties or, if late at night, they fell asleep promptly.

But in honor of their wedding anniversary, they decided to change that pattern, even if only for one night. With that in mind, they each went out of their way to arrange for their evening schedules to be covered by other crew. This was their gift to each other: a night together, where the only claim on their time was the demands they themselves made.

After a gourmet meal that Will prepared himself, they found themselves seated on the couch together. As they sipped their wine from fluted goblets that had been given to them by Jean-Luc Picard, their former commanding officer, they gently caressed each other's inner self with gentle waves of love and calm. Little by little, the mental brushes came to be echoed by sensuous strokes of their fingers.

Without a word, Will took the glass from Deanna's fine-boned hand and put it down along side his on the side table. Locking his potent blue eyes on the dark ones of his beloved, the tall captain placed his hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her down onto the couch cushions. Saying only, "You are so beautiful, Imzadi," he locked his lips to hers and initiated a kiss that was at once searing and tender.

That kiss, lasting a seeming eternity, led the petite Betazed beneath him on the couch to work her hands down Will's torso. In short order, her fingers were at the zipper of his trousers, beginning to expose his arousal. "No, Imzadi…Not tonight." He wrapped his hand around hers, kissed her fingers and then began to nibble his way down her neck. "No rushing tonight," he breathed into her soft skin.

From that point on, their mouths and hands became actors in an intricate ballet of intimacy. As waves of love coursed back and forth across their bond, they reveled in the chance to soak in every moment of pleasure, every satisfying stroke, lick or suck. And then they joined. Thrusting and moaning in a choreography of passion, they sent one another hurtling over the crest into orgasmic delight…

They had made love on this one special night as they had so long ago in the Jalara Jungle: savoring the pleasures of the moment and without inhibitors. It was a way to revisit the birth of the bond that had brought them ultimately into willing acceptance of Imzadi and to their marriage. It would be a long time before they would make love in this way again.

It was that absence of birth control that made the creation of their child a possibility. But it was the love that suffused their passionate joining that made it so memorable. The recollection of that abiding and powerful ardor brought a grateful smile to Deanna's face.

The recumbent mother let out a tired but satisfied sigh as she gazed once more at the perfect product of that one evening of love 10 ½ months before. Relaxed by the soft lighting and the calming effects of her son's gentle nursing, Deanna's eyes drifted closed. Soon, her soft snores blended with the ever-present low thrumming of the starship's engines.

A while later, the sound of a familiar footfall drew Deanna out of the gentle hands of slumber. Opening one sleep-filled eye, she saw her beloved husband lean over and pick their son up with gentle hands. Padding over to the nearby rocking chair, Will sat down and held the child to his chest. The tall captain's eyes slid shut as he drew in a breath of the sweet and calming scent of his baby's scalp.

The aroma was a balm to Will's scattered and harried thoughts. Deanna could feel the gradual easing of her husband's tension as he rocked with their son. Gentle waves of deep contentment intermingled with paternal pride and profound love began to radiate off of the large man cradling the tiny infant on his chest. And then, as had become his habit as of late, he began to talk to their son in the quietest of voices.

"Little man," the new father whispered in a barely audible voice, "I thought I became the luckiest guy in the universe the day your mother came into my life." Will paused as he felt an up-swell of intense gratefulness constrict his throat and moisten his eyes. For a moment, he rocked in silence, wiped the threatened tears from his eyes and drew in a calming breath.

Before the tall man had a chance to resume his fatherly monologue, his son started to whimper in mewling tones. Will began to tap out a gentle rhythm of pats with the palm of his large hand on the child's miniature back. "What's wrong, little Kevin Eli?" he murmured into the semi-dark room.

Deanna watched intently, never letting on that she was awake. She did not wish to intrude on the magical scene that was unfolding before her eyes. She was happy just to lay back, watch the familial duo before her, and delight in the wonderful aura of paternal love that filled the room and washed through her inner being.

Will returned to his soliloquy as his son's soft cries faded. "It's alright, little man. You've nothing to fear." He stroked the baby's diaphanous hair. "Your daddy's here." And then, in a quiet voice, he began to sing to his son.

"Close your eyes," Will chanted as he rested his son's little head in the crook of his thick neck. "Have no fear. The monster's gone; he's on the run and your daddy's here." A lone tear born of bottomless gratitude forged a path down the father's cheek. "Beautiful, beautiful boy."

Deanna was deeply moved by her Imzadi's tender solo. She knew he did not sing often as he was self-conscious about his voice. But Will's open heart at that moment radiated waves of devotion that rolled through her mind and soul and overrode the hint of awkwardness that she sensed from him. She felt herself drawn to Will by the potency of his feelings, as a moth was drawn to the flame, and so arose from their bed.

She walked over to the chair where her giant of a husband sat, cradling their newborn son in the shelter of his sturdy arms. Placing one hand on Will's broad shoulder and the other on little Kevin's soft hair, the petite Betazoid paused to seek out the minds of both father and child. She let gentle pulses of her love course through her bonds with each of them. Then, placing a tender kiss first on the baby's head and next on Will's cheek, she whispered, "A beautiful boy." She touched her husband's face. "And a beautiful man." Kissing her husband once more, she murmured, "Rabeem."