Sometimes when its real late and I am sure Deanna is sleeping I pull

the covers away.

And I stare.

That rounded belly amazes me more and more everyday.

The fact that a baby is inside there is lost on me. The fact that

part of me and part of her created something so magical together

overwhelms me.

The fact that in just a few short months I'm going to be a father

frightens me.

But that belly, staring at that belly puts a lot of things in


Staring at the face of the woman attached to that belly puts a lot of

things in perspective too.

Like away missions. I'm still going to go on them. Probably

will go

on them till the day I die. But I won't put caution to the wind


I'm not invincible. . . .contrary to my once belief.

I'm not as young as I used to be.

And I have responsibilities to Deanna and my baby that far outweighs

any medal Starfleet can give me.

I'm going to be a good daddy and a good husband. I made a

promise to

that belly, that baby and I intend to keep it.

* * * *

That belly has also made me think of family.

Before Deanna I had no family. Since Deanna I have made amends to

have a decent relationship with a father I hardly knew, I have

developed tolerance for a newly developed brother I resented, and I

have gained respect for a rather boisterous mother-in-law.

It's not enough.

I want my baby to have an uncle, to be able to hug its grandpa and to

call Lwaxana when ever needed.

So despite what contempt I hold from my own childhood, I will work on

my relationship with these individuals and I will make them part of

the family I hold so dear.

It is what Deanna would want if she knew of my plan.

It is what is best for that belly, my baby.

* * * *

I have also put in perspective my career.

I will, despite protest from headquarters, stay on the Enterprise,

stay as first officer under Picard.

I will not be a Captain, but I will be a father. I will not have the

thrill of war, but I will be on a ship that supports family.

I will have a close friend deliver my baby into the world


I will have a close friend to teach my child the art of self defense


I will have a close friend to teach my child the ability to

appreciate life on all levels Geordi.

I will have a close friend to teach my child the finer arts and earth

cultures Jean-Luc.

I will have a close friend who can relate to child wonderment and the

tortures of growing up Data.

I have been lucky enough to be placed on the finest ship in Starfleet

with the finest group of officers. The Enterprise has given me my

dreams - my wife and soon my child.

I owe the Enterprise my life. I will be here as long as she wants me.

* * * *

Sometimes I get carried away with that belly, sometimes I think it

calls me late at night to rub it.

Sometimes like tonight, I get washed away with all these new emotions

I am experiencing and I lay my head on her stomach straining to get

closer to that baby waiting inside.

Tonight, for the first time, I wake up Deanna.

* * * *

"I bet she knows her daddy is listening to her right now."

I feel Deanna's long finger tangle in my hair.

"I'm sorry I woke you up."

Sheepisly I try to lift my head, but Deanna won't let it budge.

She can be surprisingly strong when she wants to be.

"Don't you dare move." She sighs and her belly rises and

falls with

her sharp intake of breath, "It is not everyday a woman gets the

pleasure of waking to her husband and her baby having a moment."

I turn my head to kiss her abdomen before sitting up to kiss Deanna.

"Do you think she knows?"

It is not confirmed we are having a daughter, but surprisingly both

Deanna and I come to the same conclusion that we are before ever

discussing it.

There is a ship wide pool waging on whether we are right.

"That her daddy is already doting on her? How could she


Deanna leans up on both her elbows and cocks her head to the side,

watching me.


I already know what she is going to ask. We have grown so compatible

lately that we tend not to finish sentences.

Which is probably something we will have to break before our little

daughter begins to talk. If her speech patterns imitate her


fractured speaking, there could be a problem.

"I'm fine."

"You haven't slept good for months."

Telepathy can be a bitch sometimes.

"I'm fine, just nervous."

I look back at that belly.

"William you have nothing to be nervous about, you will make a

wonderful father."

My gaze on the baby increases.

Deanna is usually a little more subtle with the fact that she picked

through my mind.

"Will, I wouldn't let a bad person be the father of my


She sounds so wonderfully confident in me.

I love her for that.

"Deanna," exasperated I fall on my back, staring at the

ceiling. "How can you be sure? I don't exactly have a


father figure to draw on."

The bed shakes as Deanna moves herself down on the bed to lie next to


If I wasn't so shaken up, the sight of her trying to maneuver


that belly would have cracked me up.

"Will, you don't need a positive father figure to be a good


you just need to be a good person."

"And I the man you left you on Risa is a good person."

I think about that a lot.

"The boy who left me on Risa made the right decision for him.


man sitting next to me has grown stronger since the time he was that


She always manages to put my problems into perspective, shedding

light where I don't see it.

"But what if something happens like that and I chicken out


"Chicken out?"

"Sorry. . ."

I forget sometimes that she did not grow up on earth.

"What if I get scared again."

I hear her groan a little, but I am not sure if it is me or the baby

causing it.


"I'll send Worf after you."

She sounds so serious but when I look at her I see she biting her lip

to keep from laughing.


"Will your not going to run out on me, both you and I know that.

Number one, this ship is not big enough to hide in and number two you

have been talking to this baby every night since we found out about

it. Your dedication alone tells me your not going to do or be

anything but a good father, not to mention the love I know you have

for the both of us."

I sigh.

No one can be any luckier of man then I to be married to a woman like


* * * *

It doesn't take long for her to fall back asleep.

The baby wears her out.

I don't mind. . . mind that she is falling asleep on me. It

gives me

a chance to have a one on one with my daughter.

I'd die if she knew I did this. She thought the rubbing was



Scooting down belly level again I begin to whisper to her, baby

Kestra if she is indeed a girl, all about the wonderful things

awaiting her. I talk about her extended Enterprise family. I warn

her about boys and if she ever brings them home, they will be lucky

if they walk out of here alive.

But mostly I find myself talking to her about her mother.

I tell her about how the first moment I saw Deanna I knew she was the

one. How when I saw her other women in the room just faded to the


I guess other women in my life faded into background.

I like to tell her how beautiful her mother is, with her olive skin

and those dark brown. Eyes that she will learn know you better then

you know yourself, so there is no point lying to them. Eyes that

without the necessity of a word can make you feel like the strongest

man alive or guilty as hell, depending on what you rightfully deserve.

I tell her about how warm Deanna is and how she doesn't have an


bone in her body despite the challenges she is faced with everyday.

Despite the fact she is faced with the task of managing me everyday.

I know my daughter doesn't understand these things I whisper, I


it is likely she doesn't even hear me, yet talking to her like


talking frank like this makes me think I am helping put things in


I have vowed to be a good daddy.

I am learning. . .one day at a time.