Thanks for the input! I agree that Wil Wheaton is awesome. Jack is indeed a major player in my story, and his relationship with Picard is one of the most important elements. I initially was going to go with the mentor/mentee thing, except that the show establishes that Picard considered him to be his best friend, which implies equals. Kind of makes me wonder about the nature of friendships, especially men's. Most men I know who say they have a best friend form that basis on the fact that they have known the person for a very long time. I think a best friend isn't just someone you share interests and hobbies with, but someone with whom you are your most authentic self. Like Kirk and Spock. They didn't necessarily have much in common, but I would argue that they were best friends because they could comfortably challenge each other's notions of himself. In that sense, each was more himself around the other than he was with anyone else. They didn't always understand each other, but they didn't have to put up a face around each other either. If that makes any sense.