Story [Star Trek Into Darkness] The Life To My Soul (Khan/OFC) Completed 12 September!

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Dantana Skywalker, Jul 27, 2013.

Moderators: Mira_Jade, NYCitygurl
  1. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I am, of course, far behind--but very much enjoying it! I loved the prologue, and I'm glad to see Anthea and Khan happy and getting settled :)
  2. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Glad you're liking it!


    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Nineteen--
    In the light of day, the sunlight filtering through the chinks in the walls and ceiling, their "accommodations" didn't improve any. Breakfast was delivered shortly after dawn, and Anthea woke Nolan. There was enough food for two, had been since she'd informed them she was pregnant, but motherly instinct had her waiting for her son to have his fill-even if he wasn't happy about the selection-before eating her own portion.

    She leaned against the wall, grateful that at least it wasn't splintery. Her skin full of slivers-or worse, Nolan's-wasn't something she could deal with right now.

    Anthea found herself pressing the fingers of her right hand against the tender, softer flesh of her inner arm, and her breathing quickened. She thought she'd managed to break herself of that habit, after this long. It must have been being trapped in the dark like this that brought it back.

    The summer between her third and fourth years at the Starfleet Academy, she'd been approached about joining Starfleet Intelligence, specifically Section 31. It was top-secret, and they watched candidates for at least two years before making an approach. They wanted to be absolutely certain they chose the right cadet or officer, because if they declined, that person had a tendency to disappear, or have a tragic accident.

    Of course, at the time, Anthea had known none of this. She'd been approached, and she'd been very flattered. They had a position in mind for her, one they thought she'd be perfect for. Their London facility needed a handler, and they thought she was just the person for the job.

    She'd stupidly said yes.

    They'd put her through two intense weeks of training and indoctrination.

    And after the two weeks, they'd given her to him.

    Anthea had never found out who he was; she'd been blindfolded and tied to a chair for three days, with minimal water to keep her alive, no sleep and no chance to relieve herself. And during those three days, he had tested her. If she gave the wrong answer, he cut her. If she gave the right answer, he cut her.

    Somehow, she'd survived. For the first few weeks of her final school year, she'd sported livid, ugly scars on her forearms, some extending up past her elbow. She'd been grateful for the hideous cadet uniforms, because they'd hidden the deep, dark red weals.

    Eventually, she'd had the surface of her skin treated, so there was no little to no outward sign of them, save for a small bump in the crease of her left elbow. That spot had been so knotted with scar tissue that nothing save the most intrusive treatments could make it go away. But under the skin, long, hard lines of scar tissue ran the length of both forearms.

    She knew Khan had noticed them, had felt his fingertips brushing over them when he thought she was asleep. But he'd never asked, and she'd never offered. They were as honest with each other as they could be, but that was one subject she just couldn't broach, and he knew the darker parts of the world well enough to let her have that.

    Anthea forced herself to let go of her arm and let out a slow breath. She had, over the years, managed to forget most of what they had done to her. Still, she hoped the man who had hurt her had died when Khan arrange for the London facility's bombing. Not as satisfying as doing it herself, but it would be satisfactory nonetheless.

    Actually, she hoped he killed everyone who got between them.

    Especially these Klingons. She'd always been interested in other species and cultures, and liked diversity. But to Anthea, the Klingons needed to die horribly. And they were going to.

    She flattened her hand over the small swell of her stomach. They wanted Khan for something, had taken her and Nolan to draw him out, likely to draw him here.

    She snorted. Stupidest thing they could have ever done.

    ----------

    Contrary to expectation, Khan hadn't rended Kalim limb from limb. He'd been tempted, so tempted, but had managed to refrain from it. They might need more information out of the Klingon.

    Rodriguez, however . . . His anger at the betrayal made him seek out the punching bag in the gym at last, and while his punches were controlled, they were swift and hard, fists thumping into the leather and sand over and over.
    Perhaps he had been too quick in his punishment of Rodriguez. Khan certainly would have loved to have him here, in place of this bag, something to beat his fists against that he didn't have to worry about breaking. Something he could have enjoyed breaking, over and over.

    What was done, however, was done.

    "Excuse me."

    Khan caught the bag, bare hands braced on its sides to stop it swinging. Unlike the normal humans, he had no need for protective gloves. He turned to face his visitor.

    To his surprise, it was the ship's pilot.

    "Ah. Hikaru Sulu," he said. "Finally we meet. I must say, I quite enjoyed your threat on Qo'noS. Just the right balance between authoritative and deadly."

    The human didn't look impressed with his snark. "I don't like you," Sulu said flatly. "You do horrible things to people, and you nearly killed everyone on this ship."

    Khan arched a brow. "You came all the way down here to tell me that?"

    "No."

    The younger man pulled a long, thin object from behind his back, and offered it.

    "I don't like you," he repeated. "But I've seen what Klingons can do, and if I can help you get your wife and son back from them, I will. She probably doesn't remember me, but I met her once when I was in the Academy. She helped me find my way to a class when I was first starting out. That's why I'm loaning you this."

    Khan took the oblong thing in his hands. "What is it?"

    "It's a katana."

    Blue eyes met black. "A katana."

    "Push that button right there. But don't point it at me."

    Bemused, Khan did as instructed. To his surprise-and, admittedly, delight-a long, wickedly-sharp blade unfolded from the handle. He hefted the katana, testing its weight and balance.

    "This is fascinating," he told Sulu. "And you carry this with you?"

    Sulu shrugged. "Not usually. I keep it in my cabin. My hobby is fencing."

    Khan had to laugh at that. "Fencing with a katana. How delightful."

    "You scare me." Sulu shook his head. "You can use that, but I want it back when you're done."

    Inclining his head in thanks, Khan said, "Of course. Thank you for the use of it."

    Sulu shook his head again and quickly left.

    ----------

    "Your brain is keeping me awake."

    Kirk rolled to his left side, finding Carol watching him with concern. "Sorry."

    She reached over and ran her fingers through his short, blonde hair. "Don't be. What is it that's got you so restless, Jim?"

    He sighed and snaked an arm around her waist, her bare skin warm against the cool air of his cabin. "Just . . . thinking. Anthea said some things, after Khan tried to concave my face, and they've been rolling around in my head ever since. And . . . I can't imagine what he's going through, Carol. I hate the guy, but . . . His wife and kid are missing, and I can't promise we'll find them alive."

    The beautiful blonde he held pressed close, sliding her fingers delicately over his chest. "You can't let it eat at you. It wasn't your fault that the Klingons took her, it was his."

    "Yeah, 'cause I asked him to help me."

    "No. It's because he made himself their target when he went to Qo'noS," she said. "This is the consequence of that."

    Jim shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, yeah, I can see that, but . . . When he took out the patrol? That was to save me, Spock, and Uhura. He helped us. I kept seeing him as just this murderer, but he keeps . . . doing things that make me see him differently.

    She pulled out of his arms and sat up. "Are you telling me that you . . . sympathise with him?!"

    "Not . . . exactly."

    Carol threw back the covers and jumped out of bed, hunting for the clothes she'd discarded earlier. "I don't believe this. That man murdered my father, Jim!"

    Kirk, too, left the bed. "Carol, I'm not about to become best friends with the guy."

    She shook her head, blonde bob flying. "It's her, isn't it? Anthea Mackintosh. I knew her once, you know. At the London facility. I had to work with her a few times. She was a cold witch."

    Kirk frowned, dark blonde brows drawing together. "When was this?"

    "Oh, two years ago or so? When I was trying to find answers about the torpedoes."

    He snorted. "Carol, of course she was distant and . . ." He was reluctant to call Anthea any names, for any number of reasons. "You do realise that she was working on a project she wasn't allowed to tell you anything about, and that she was trying to hide her marriage to Harrison from your father?"

    Carol huffed out a frustrated breath and tossed the blue uniform dress she'd just retrieved back on the floor. "I still can't believe you slept with her!"

    He caught her around the waist, pulling her to him. She resisted, a little, then melted into him, resting her head against his shoulder. "Carol. You know the kind of guy I was before you. You teased me about it a lot."

    "Don't remind me," she grumbled. "I want to be angry and selfish, Jim. But I can't, can I?"

    "No, I don't think you can right now. Sorry."

    Carol wrapped her arms around his waist. "She tried to be nice to me, actually. She was nice, until, oh, October or so of that year? I suppose I was annoying, and pulling her away from her work."

    It was so strange to reconcile the knowledge that Anthea was married to Khan, with the proper Starfleet Intelligence agent who had pretty much been running the London facility at that point. Not in an official capacity, of course, but everyone had known that if they wanted or needed something, Agent Mackintosh was the one to get it for you. Her involvement with John Harrison at the time explained an awful lot about the sudden shift in her behaviour.

    "After . . . everything," she told Jim quietly, "I went to the base where they transferred the survivors of the London facility. Anthea was there. She was working as the assistant to Admiral Brody. She was, oh, about five months pregnant at the time, and I remember, she looked so miserable. I didn't even think to ask her why."

    He pressed a kiss to the top of Carol's head, but didn't speak.

    "I feel so bad now." Carol tipped her head back and looked up at him. "She's pregnant again, isn't she? That is what you and Khan were discussing?"

    Jim nodded. "She is, yeah."

    "Part of me . . . wants to hate that she's got her little family, at the expense of mine. But . . . Jim, did my need to know about the torpedoes- Did I cause it? Did I make Dad . . .?"

    "No!" he said quickly, perhaps a little too quickly. "No, of course not. Admiral Marcus was gonna find out what Khan was doing anyway."

    But in the back of his mind, Kirk knew that if Marcus hadn't discovered Khan's plot when he did, Khan wouldn't have fled, wouldn't have attacked Starfleet. Marcus would be alive, and Anthea wouldn't have spent two years without her husband.

    And the admiral would have begun a war that could potentially have killed them all.

    Things as they transpired had been horrible. But how much worse would it have been otherwise?

    The thought sent a shiver down Jim Kirk's back, and he hugged Carol closer.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  3. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    Chapter Sixteen - I liked learning more of Otto's backstory here. Getting to know Khan's crew as individual members over sleeping soldiers really helped to cement the family-feel to this. I especially liked Otto's thoughts on Khan - I can only imagine what losing Anthea and Nolan would do to Khan at this point, and I like that his people are noticing that change as well. [face_love] I also liked the fleshing out of Khan's backstory here with his dictator days. I can definitely see what you mean with things heating up between Khan and Spock, too. There are short tempers all around - and it's hard to blame any of them. Everyone has valid reasons for feeling the way they do. :oops:

    Chapter Seventeen - The tiger comparison here was great. But instead of sharpening his claws, Khan is just pacing like a caged one. I could practically feel him just simmering in this chapter - I held my breath through reading most of it! Again, I really like the characterization you are giving Otto, and it was very interesting to see the tension between Khan and Spock go up a notch. McGivers was a nice touch here, as well! Veeery interesting to see how the reboot changed that. :p [face_mischief]

    And then, I loved the 'fairytale' Anthea told Nolan. A perfect way to tell their story. [face_love]

    Chapter Eighteen - Whew! Again, it was heartbreaking watching Anthea and Nolan endure (the Klingons as dragons - perfect! [face_love]), but Khan getting his information from Kalim in this part reeeally packed a punch. It was a great outlet for Khan to get some of that bloodlust out of his system until he can fight the people who are even more responsible. I loved the determination in him in the final parts of the chapter - and Spock's worry in the last line. You had a few great one-liners here to help balance out the drama (McCoy's cousin Jeb, and Kirk being 'worried' about Spock's application of the rules [face_laugh]), and it made for a great read. =D=

    Chapter Nineteen - I was wondering if Sulu would break out the katana - it was positively delightful just how joyous Khan was for the weapon! And then, very interesting was Carol's reaction to the events that have transpired so far - it was thought provoking, wondering just how worse it could been if she hadn't told her father about the torpedoes. I'm glad that she was able to reason herself out of her anger quickly. Because, in this case, it was misplaced - even with as much as it must have hurt to have lost her father, even after everything he did. Interesting too was learning more about Anthea's backstory with Section 31. Yikes, but that was not in the recruiting brochures, I bet! :(

    These were a couple of great chapters! Now, I can't wait to see the rescue scene go down. =D=
  4. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I have a feeling I'm gonna get totally Jossed when the Khan comic comes out in October, but I don't care much.

    I had one reader on ff.net call this chapter "Khan slowly losing his s***." Which was pretty accurate. He was created to be a killing machine; he's tried to be more than that, but he can't escape the conditioning, especially when his nerves are so frayed. And we're not done with McGivers.

    I'm not completely sure where that little story came from, really. It wasn't what I was going to have Anthea tell him. I don't remember what the original idea was, but this is what came out.

    McCoy writes himself! Spock does to a degree, in that I have to put a little effort into phrasing things the way he would, but McCoy just pops out these one-liners and funny comments left and right when I'm writing him.

    I totally believe that if Carol had kept her nose out of it, Khan would have gotten away with his people. So in a way, she's indirectly responsible for Khan's rampage. Ultimately, Khan is responsible for that, and perhaps Marcus even more (c'mon, you don't enslave a warrior who used to rule 1/4 of the planet and expect him to behave forever). But Carol was, essentially, the catalyst for what happened. And I think she's just realised that.

    I don't actually like Carol. I don't 'ship her and Kirk. It just sort of . . . happened.
  5. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Carol and Kirk. In ST 2 and 3 they weren't a real 'couple' either.
    Like to see more about Sulu and Anthea.
    When is the rescue?
  6. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I've seen Wrath of Khan (hated it), haven't seen Search for Spock yet.

    I'm not planning more with Sulu and Anthea, it's just something Sulu remembers, that one-time encounter.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Twenty--

    At long last, the USS Enterprise dropped out of warp near an unnamed system, where they found a veritable fleet of Klingon ships orbiting the primary planet.

    "Captain, if we attack the Klingons, it could be considered an act of war," Spock cautioned.

    "And their kidnapping a Federation citizen, not to mention a Starfleet officer?" Kirk asked.

    "Technically speaking, Anthea Harrison is no longer either."

    "Yeah, but they don't know that, do they?" Kirk sighed. "I wasn't expecting this many ships."

    Khan stood silently, listening to the discussion between captain and first officer, though his gaze remained fixed on the six Birds of Prey on the magnified viewscreen. It seems to keep piling on, he thought. How long will this continue?

    "Khan?"

    He turned at the sound of Kirk's voice. "You want my advice, Captain?"

    "How likely is it, if we fire on those ships, we'll start a war?"

    Khan's smile was mirthless. "Captain, you know as well as I do that at this point, any action we take to retrieve my family will be taken as an act of aggression by the Klingons. Our options are to attempt to sneak onto the planet and extract Anthea and my son . . . or to leave no survivors this time."

    Kirk was troubled. He glanced to Spock. "There's no guarantee that we'll be able to get them out unnoticed."

    "The chances of that are approximately nine-point-three percent," the science officer said.

    "But to start a war . . .?"

    Khan cleared his throat. "If I may be so bold, Kirk, as to suggest an alternative plan?"

    "And what's that?" the captain inquired.

    "Beam me and four of my men to the closest Bird of Prey. We'll handle the ships from there."

    Spock tipped his head. "You mean to take the ship from the inside, as you did with the Vengeance, and then use it against the others?"

    "Precisely, Mr. Spock. My estimation of your intelligence stands." Mentally, Khan laughed, because he'd been sarcastic when he'd called the Vulcan smart, that time Spock had accused him of betraying them.

    Kirk let out an explosive sigh. "Fine. Do it."

    ----------

    Neither Khan nor his people needed armour, which left plenty for those from the Enterprise who were going down to the surface. That excursion would wait until Khan and his strike team had taken out the orbiting ships; Khan himself would land the Bird of Prey on the surface to rescue Anthea.

    Khan selected his fiercest warriors to accompany him. They made their way to the transporter room.

    "I'm not sure I can beam through their shields," the transporter tech said.

    Khan leaned past him and keyed in some commands on the console, and it beeped in acceptance.

    "How did you- You can get by the Klingons' shielding?" Kirk demanded.

    Khan gave him a level look. "I designed the transporter system of the Vengeance, Captain. You remember, the one that could beam individuals off this ship through its shields? The Klingons' shielding isn't anywhere near as advanced, Kirk."

    He stepped up to the pad, where his men joined him. Armed with phasers, machetes, and the katana Sulu had loaned Khan, they looked almost as barbaric as the beings they were going after.

    Khan nodded to the transporter tech, and he activated the teleportation sequence. White light surrounded the group, and then they were gone.

    Kirk looked over at Spock. "I really hope this doesn't come back to bite us."

    "I cannot say whether it will, Jim, but the chances are highly likely. If I were you, I would prepare a very good lie to tell Command if it does."

    Eyeing the Vulcan, Kirk said, "You're really becoming devious, you know that?"

    "I have had plenty of instruction," was his first officer's only reply.

    ----------

    Upon the closest Bird of Prey, Khan and his men stepped off the transporter pad they'd beamed to. Otto shook his head, then his whole body.

    "I would rather not do that again, Kaiser," he confessed to Khan.

    "Hopefully, you won't need to. Let's make this quick."

    Khan led the way, katana in hand, his phaser rifle slung across his body, ready to be used at a moment's notice. "No prisoners," he tersely directed. "No survivors. None."

    The Klingons had noticed a security breach and they poured into the room, disruptors and other weapons at the ready. At least, they thought they were ready. Khan jumped into the fray, sword swinging, and removed two heads with one powerful blow. Then he was past, as his men went after the remaining in the transporter room.

    Khan mowed down any Klingon he saw. Most barely had time to register he was even there before they were dead. With his men behind him, branching out to clear the ship, they had every Klingon except those on the bridge dealt with in less than three minutes.

    Striding onto the bridge, Khan lifted the rifle in one hand and shot all but the captain in a flurry of phaser fire.

    "Your name," he demanded of the captain. "What is your name?"

    "Koloth," the Klingon snarled. "And you are John Harrison."

    "I'm really not," Khan said. "Are you the one who took my wife?"

    "The human woman? She is not here any longer. She is on the surface. Good luck finding her!"

    Khan let the rifle drop, falling to rest at his hip, and he lifted the katana. "I will find her," he promised.

    Then he swung the blade, faster than Koloth could react, and beheaded the Klingon.

    His men, who had stood watching, now turned to him.

    "Ling," Khan snapped, "get that thing out of my sight. You two, Barton and Stark, man the weapons systems, at that station and that one. They're not that different from MIGs. I trust you remember?"

    "Aye, Khan," the men said in unison, and hurried to do his bidding.

    "What should I do, Kaiser?" Otto inquired.

    Khan gestured to the captain's chair, as he took a seat in the pilot's. "Take a load off, Otto. It's likely the only time you'll be able to sit there."

    Otto laughed. "Ja, Khan."

    His leader was already seated, scanning for lifeforms on the planet's surface. There were a lot of Klingons down there, and- There! Two human lifeforms, if their slightly different readings were any indication.

    He smiled darkly. The fools had no idea what was about to hit them.

    ----------

    Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk and his crew waited anxiously, as far out of range of the Klingons as they could manage, for Khan to make his move. Minutes ticked by, and each one made the captain more anxious.

    "Captain, the Bird of Prey we beamed Khan to is moving," Sulu said suddenly.

    "Scan it," Kirk barked.

    "Yes, sir." Sulu tapped a few controls. "Five lifesigns aboard, all appear to be human."

    "I'll be damned," Bones muttered. "How many Klingons do they have on those?"

    "Reports say at least thirty Klingons per ship," Spock told him. "Given how quickly Khan himself eliminated the patrol on Qo'noS, I would say the majority of the delay has been his instructing his men on how to operate a starship."

    The Bird of Prey wheeled about, its pilot apparently getting used to the controls, and then it rocketed off, weapons firing at the other Klingon ships in a flurry of laser fire.

    "Whoever's flying that has a lot of skill," Sulu commented, as the enemy ship executed a tight spiral, ducked beneath one of the others, and then flew over it, upside down, strafing all of its life-support systems and nearly splitting the Bird of Prey in half.

    "Khan," Kirk said. "It's Khan flying."

    "How do you know?" McCoy asked him.

    Kirk had a flashback to standing in a conference room at Headquarters, a jumpship dancing outside the window, raining death on those within. "Because I've seen him do it before."

    In barely minutes, the other Klingon ships floated dead in space. The hulls of some had ruptured under the "friendly fire" and dead Klingons drifted by the Enterprise's viewport as Sulu eased the Federation starship closer to the planet.

    "Incoming transmission," Uhura said. "From the Klingon ship."

    "On-screen," Kirk directed.

    Khan appeared on the viewscreen. "Captain Kirk. I believe we are now clear to commence Phase Two. I will meet you on the surface."

    He ended the transmission.

    Kirk turned to his first officer. "Spock, you have the con. Bones, we'll need you in medbay. I'm pretty sure Khan is going to make off with that Klingon ship, but he'll be bringing Anthea here, first."

    Bones nodded and left for the medical bay. Kirk gave himself a shake, nodded to Spock, and headed to round up the crew he was taking to the surface.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  7. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    Whew! It's good to see that progress is being made. I liked how they dealt with the Kilingons so far - Khan and his crew are definitely proving their mettle right now. (And Stark and Barton, was that an Avenger reference? I enjoyed it as such anyway. :p)

    "Reports say at least thirty Klingons per ship," Spock told him. "Given how quickly Khan himself eliminated the patrol on Qo'noS, I would say the majority of the delay has been his instructing his men on how to operate a starship."

    I loved that line. [face_laugh] Again, I am enjoying most of Spock's dialogue from you, but I am kind of biased. ;)

    Oh, but It is on now. I can't wait for Khan and his crew to make it to the surface. [face_devil]

    Excellent update, again. =D=
  8. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thank you!

    Yes, that was an Avengers reference. :D

    I think only two or three people, out of the dozens of readers I've had across three sites, picked up on Smith-Tennant Airbase. Everyone missed the Marla McGivers reference in the first 'fic.

    The next chapter is just as action-packed, maybe more. Lots of dead Klingons.
  9. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great action and now they have a bird of prey to take home;)
    Now Khan, rescue your love and child.
  10. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Yes, definitely agree with the taking of the Bird of Prey by Khan and then his quick execution of the Klingons both there and on the other ships.
  11. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Ha ha, I thought people would like the "Ooh, another ship! Score!" part of this.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Twenty-One--

    None of the ships in orbit had been able to get a message to the Klingons on the planet about the impending attack. Even if they had, they wouldn't have been able to do much about it.

    Khan landed the ship on the outskirts of the horrendous settlement the enemy had set up. He had waited until the Enterprise's shuttles, containing the rest of his people, arrived some distance away before he'd set down. Now, he and his strike team left the ship.

    "I like this ship," Otto told Khan.

    "Then it's yours," Khan said. "You should have no trouble flying it, you watched me."

    "Ja." Otto grinned. "Two ships will be nice to have."

    Khan waited until his people were gathered, all of them armed to the teeth. He ignored Kirk and the Starfleet men for the moment.

    "There are approximately three hundred Klingons here," he told them. "They are holding Anthea and Nolan near the base of those cliffs, over there, if the scans I conducted are accurate. Scorched earth procedure applies. Take what weapons and equipment you like. If you find Anthea or Nolan-or any other humans held captive, though I do not think there are any-bring them to safety and alert me."

    "Ja, Khan," Otto said. Then he thumped his hand against his chest and shouted, "Khan Vishal Ki Jai!"

    The rest of his army repeated the war cry, and again. It sent shivers down Kirk's spine, though he didn't know what it meant. He could understand, in that moment, why the Augments had been condemned. Why Khan had been the man to rule so much of the Earth before the normal humans fought back.

    Khan turned, sword raised, and screamed, "Hama mauta lānā!"

    Well, Kirk thought as the army began its charge, if they didn't know we were coming, they do now.

    ----------

    The Klingons had been waiting for Khan to come. That was, after all, the purpose of taking his family and putting them under guard. The enemy had planned to capture him and use him, make him pay for the deaths of those in the patrol that had died at his hand.

    They hadn't, however, expected for Death to come for them.

    Leading the wave of warriors, Khan was a thing possessed. He didn't care about how many Klingons were between him and Anthea. Their number didn't matter. He would get there, and he would take her out of this place.

    He dispassionately noted, as he pulled the gore-slicked blade out of a Klingon's chest, that they were living in squalor. Their buildings were wrecks, and the place reeked of excrement and rotting meat. It was disgusting, and for a race that had achieved so much--whether Khan liked them or not, they were an advanced species--it was a very sad commentary on what the loss of Praxis was doing to their people.

    A Klingon charged him, bat'leth raised, yelling in its language. He couldn't tell if his attacker was male or female, nor did he care. Khan ducked, slicing the alien's legs off right at the knee with the katana. The blade could cut through a sapling nearly the size of his wrist. Bone and cartilage weren't a problem in the slightest.

    When the Klingon dropped, shrieking, to the ground, Khan whipped the katana around and silenced the scream permanently.

    "Khan!" Otto shouted. "More come from the north!"

    "Deal with them," Khan growled. "Anthea is my priority."

    "Ja, Kaiser!" Otto saluted and gestured to several of the men, who followed him towards the reinforcements.

    Khan looked around at all the ramshackle huts, grouped in clusters amidst rocks and trees. It was, he noted with an annoyed sigh, going to be aggravating having to search them all for his wife and son.

    ----------

    The problem with being confined to a hut with a toddler was that firstly, the toddler got bored, and secondly, he wasn't completely potty trained. He managed well enough, but he was also only seventeen months old, very nearly eighteen--Anthea wasn't sure how long she'd been here, or what day it was, so it could have easily passed the six-month mark--and accidents happened.

    Such had been the case that morning. Anthea had had to bathe Nolan as a result and wash his clothes. Her son hadn't appreciated that one bit, crying hysterically when she doused him with the icy water. But his clothes were mostly dry now, so she struggled to get him dressed again.

    He wasn't having any of it, grouchy and irritable, pushing at her with his little hands when she tried to put his shirt on him. "No!"

    "Nolan!" Anthea let out a frustrated sigh. "I am not letting you run around naked around Klingons."

    Not that Nolan understood that. She tossed his shirt down on the pallet and sat, pulling at her hair. At least she'd got his pants on him.

    Where was Khan? Surely he'd come searching for her. But . . . it was a large galaxy, and she didn't know if the Klingons had, say, left a ransom note. She'd been a bit unconscious at the time.

    She could only hope and pray that he came soon. And when he did, she knew that the destruction he'd level on the Klingons would make what he'd done to Starfleet look like a child's prank.

    "Please, Nolan, let's put your shirt on," she said with a sigh. She felt tears well in her eyes; she was tired of everything, and Nolan's grumpiness was more than she could take right then.

    When he realised he was making his mother cry, Nolan cuddled up to her leg. "Mama!" He grabbed the shirt and held it up. "No get dwessed!"

    Anthea made a very small amused sound and pulled him into her lap. He relented and let her put the shirt on him, even holding his little arms in the air for the sleeves.

    She was pulling the second sleeve into place, his little hand not through the wrist hem yet, when he suddenly twisted, eyes going big.

    "Dada?" he chirped. "Dada come?"

    "Soon, baby," she murmured.

    Anthea got his hand pulled through the sleeve and his shirt tugged into place over his small belly. He giggled when she tickled him lightly.

    Then he rolled out of her lap and dashed for the door, patting it with his small hands. When Anthea scooped him up, she realised there was a lot of commotion going on outside. There were shouts in Klingon, and the sounds of phaser fire. The cavalry, she guessed, had arrived.

    She looked at her son and said, "I think you're right, Nolan. Daddy's here."

    Quickly, she crossed the small room and set him on the pallet. "Stay right here, sweetheart," she whispered. "Don't move."

    There was a loud scream outside, and Nolan's chin trembled. "Mama? Mama!"

    "It's alright, baby. Mummy's just going to the door. Remember, don't move!"

    For once, Nolan obeyed completely. He sat down, pressing his hands to his face, over his eyes. Anthea crept over to the door. It wasn't locked, because it was guarded, and where was she to go? She inched it open, seeing that her guards were still there, but their focus was directed towards the battle. Neither paid her any attention.

    The door was now open enough for her to get an arm out. She crouched, noting the one on the left wore a blade on his right calf. Anthea gingerly reached out and drew it out of its sheath. When enough of it was clear, she wrapped her fingers around the handle, yanked upwards, flipping it in her grip as she did.

    She drove the blade up, between the guard's legs, driving it into the space where thigh met groin. The blade was big and curved, and it severed the femoral artery. Blood gushed over her hand, making her grip on the knife slippery.

    The Klingon fell with a groan, and the guard on the right turned. Anthea lashed out as he did, catching him across the back of the knee and severing his hamstring, or whatever the equivalent tendon was in a Klingon. She jumped to her feet and he stumbled against the door, shoving it open as Anthea backpedaled.

    She narrowly missed the fist he swung at her head. Throwing herself back into the hut, she braced for him to charge her.

    He roared and came after her, as expected.

    Two steps in, he went "Urk!", stiffened, and fell face-first to the dirt. There was an identical knife to the one she held embedded in the back of his skull.

    Anthea looked up from the very dead Klingon to see Khan standing in the doorway. He was covered in blood spatter, a katana in one hand, the phaser rifle at his side.

    She let go of the bloody dagger. It hit the ground with a faint thud.

    "You're late," she said, and burst into tears.

    ----------

    Khan dropped the katana and launched himself across the space between them, gathering Anthea into his arms. Ignoring their mutually gore-covered state, he kissed her with everything in him. All other concerns were utterly eclipsed by the bone-deep need to hold her.

    She clung tightly to him, holding him as close as she could. Then she wrenched away, gasping, "Nolan!"

    "Of course." Khan slipped by her to retrieve their son, who was frightened beyond belief and crying at the top of his lungs.

    The toddler reached for Anthea. "Mama! Mama!"

    Khan passed him over and she took her little boy, heedless of the blood covering her, hugging him as tight as she dared. Still, her eyes were only for Khan as he picked up Sulu's katana.

    "See, baby?" she said to Nolan. "I told you Daddy would come get us."

    Khan took her by the elbow, flashing a brief smirk. "Hurry. Let's beam up to the ship and get you into the medbay."

    "You brought the Reliance?" she asked, though she knew it was a stupid question.

    "No."

    "Then what did you bring to-"

    "I brought the Enterprise," her husband said, as Kirk appeared.

    The relief on the younger man's face was immense. "Good, you found them. C'mon. Scotty can't get a lock on anyone in this area. Too much iron in the cliffs, he says."

    Anthea followed, murmuring soothing things to Nolan as they nearly ran, to find an open area to beam up from. Her hand was in Khan's, their fingers laced together. He kept looking back, as if checking that she was really there.

    There were no words for how she felt right then. He really had come for them, just as she'd known he would. And, going from the sheer number of dead Klingons, he'd been just as angry as she'd believed he'd be.

    "Khan!" Otto was suddenly there. "Some have escaped. Should we hunt them?"

    "Yes. You know how to fly the ship. The coordinates are plotted. All you need do once you're free of the atmosphere is set the computer to autopilot, as I showed you."

    Otto nodded. "Yes. We will meet you back home."

    Kirk pulled out his communicator. "Scotty, we got her! Can you beam up two at once?"

    "You mean the kid, too?" Scotty's voice responded. "Och, that's easy . . . But not three."

    Reluctantly, Khan let go of his wife's hand.

    "Okay, Mr. Scott, beam us up!" Kirk ordered.

    The white light of the transporter surrounded them. Nolan wailed in fright and buried his face against Anthea's shoulder.

    When the light faded, they were gone. Otto shook his head at the wonder of it and turned his attention to hunting the remaining Klingons.
    RX_Sith and earlybird-obi-wan like this.
  12. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Great rescue scene! Glad that Khan and the rest of his people dealt with the Klingons swiftly and permanently.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great update. Action and a rescue and now home and live a nice life.
  14. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    . . . . I just got accused of ripping off Twilight with this series . . . o_O [face_dunno]:mad:[face_laugh]

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Twenty-Two--

    Anthea hadn't used a transporter since her Academy days, and she wasn't fond of the sensation. Too much like ants crawling under and on her skin. After his initial fright, Nolan didn't seem too bothered by it, and Khan, naturally, barely noticed. Of course, her husband developed a portable transwarp beaming device and used it to jump from Earth to Qo'noS, so she wasn't the least surprised. He'd had to have tested it many times.

    Kirk stepped off the platform first, pulling out his communicator. "Bones, we're on board. I'm sending Khan and his wife to you." To his "visitors", he said, "I need to get to the bridge, but I'll come down to Medbay in a few minutes to see how you're doing."

    Anthea could only nod.

    ----------

    At the medbay, Anthea was offered something to change into, to get the grime-and-blood-caked clothes off, and so McCoy could examine her injuries. Nolan began screaming the moment the nurse took Nolan from her, so Khan held him, trying to soothe his son. The nurse resorted to fetching the tribble and handing it to the distraught little boy. Nolan wrapped his small arms around it, hugging the purring creature tight. Gradually, Nolan's cries turned to whimpers, then sniffles, and he nodded off in Khan's arms. As soon as he was out, Khan extracted the tribble from his arms and handed it back to the nurse.

    It was a little awkward to stand in the nude before the doctor as he scanned her. Fortunately, it was only cursory. He scanned her head, then the bruises on her arms. When he found the scars, he raised an eyebrow.

    "Section 31 initiation," she told him quietly. "One of the reasons I had little problem with it getting blown up, or with Marcus dying."

    Anthea looked to Khan, and he gave her a faint smile.

    She dressed in some borrowed scrubs and sat for the rest of the exam. Then she took Nolan from Khan so that McCoy could examine the toddler.

    "You'll want to keep from hittin' your head anytime soon," McCoy told Anthea. "Or doing anything too stressful. You've had a pretty bad concussion, and you've got some bruising of your left temporal lobe that concerns me. Unfortunately, I can't really fix that here. It should go away on its own, eventually."

    She reached up and touched the yellow, green, and purple lump on her forehead. "If I do hit my head?"

    "Brain injuries are hard to predict. Some of the facilities back on Earth have the equipment to heal it right up for you, but we don't have one on board. You need to watch for dizziness, nausea- yeah, I know, you're pregnant and have that anyway, but I'm talkin' really bad and sudden. You need to rest as much as possible. You could have microscopic injuries that aren't showin' up on the scan, and they could get worse. Aneurysms and subdural hematomas can develop if you aren't careful, 'cause you could tear all sorts of stuff in there if you do somethin' wrong."

    Khan reached out, brushing his fingers over the bump on his wife's head. "If that does happen, what do we do?"

    McCoy shrugged. "Drill a hole in her head an' drain it? You got a medical android, right? It should be equipped with the procedure, if Yves doesn't know how."

    Khan narrowed his eyes at the doctor. "I am not drilling a hole in my wife's head."

    "Look, Khan. For all the advanced medical treatments we got? The brain's still the one thing we can't completely fix with lasers and scanners."

    Khan rested his hand on Anthea's shoulder, near where Nolan's head rested, and nodded in resignation.

    "But other than that?" she asked. "Am I alright?"

    "Yeah, you got some scrapes and bruises, and I think you sprained your wrist a little, but it seems to be on the mend already."

    "And the baby?"

    McCoy smiled. "Your little one is just fine. You're eleven weeks pregnant, accordin' to my computer. You'll be due, oh, around the same time Nolan here was born. The fetus doesn't show any signs of anything wrong from your ordeal, but I suspect a good lotta that's due to Dad here."

    Khan gave McCoy a tight nod. "Speaking of my son?"

    "Same thing, bumps and scrapes, but he's recovering faster."

    "Naturally."

    "Do . . ." Anthea licked her lips. "Do we- Can we tell what it is yet?"

    McCoy shrugged. "If we did some invasive testing, we could check DNA, but that runs the risk of causing a miscarriage. I'd recommend waiting a few more weeks, until you're sixteen weeks or so, and have Yves do an ultrasound."

    "Alright." Anthea kissed the top of Nolan's head, then looked at her husband. "I want a bath and to sleep."

    "You can go," the doctor said. "Nurse Abrams will escort you back to your quarters."

    "I believe we'll be fine on our own," Khan told him. "I know the way."

    Anthea slid off the bed, Nolan still clutched to her chest, and pressed tight against his side. He wrapped an arm around her and guided her out of the medbay and down one level to the quarters he'd been assigned but had barely used.

    It was designed for two single crew members, with beds on opposite sides of the room. Khan dragged one of the beds over to join the other, then led Anthea to it.

    She sniffled, trying to hold it together, but her control was slipping. Khan saw it clearly, and he took Nolan from her, the exhausted child giving no sign he was aware of anything going on around him as he slept. Placing Nolan nearest the wall, he motioned for Anthea to join him on the bed.

    She crawled up, into her husband's arms, and then she broke, sobbing with her face pressed against his chest. Silently, Khan held her, his fingers stroking her hair, until her tears subsided.

    "Don't leave me," she whispered.

    "I won't. I promise."

    "Bad things happen when you leave me."

    "Never again," he promised. He kissed the top of her head. "Never, ever again. Even if God himself were to come and ask it of me, I will not leave you again."

    Anthea raised her head, looked at him with red-rimmed grey eyes. "Tell me you killed them."

    "Every last one."

    "Good. I know it's bloodthirsty of me, but . . . I was so scared, Khan. I knew you'd come for us, but I didn't know what they wanted, or if . . . you'd find us in time."

    "I was terrified that I would not find you," he admitted in a whisper. "Or that I would be too late, and I would lose you and Nolan. Finding you gone, when I got home . . . That was the worst feeling I have experienced in my life, Thea."

    "I fought," she said. "I tried, but I couldn't get away."

    "I saw the Klingon," he told her. "That was an excellently placed thrust."

    "Hard to miss with a target that big."

    He sat up. "Let's get you and Nolan that bath. You're both filthy."

    Anthea wrinkled her nose. "And a bit ripe. Thanks for not pointing that out, by the way."

    Khan snorted a laugh. "Come. I'll start the water for you."

    ----------

    Anthea sat on the floor of the shower stall, Nolan in her lap, and gently washed the days of grime from his skin. He had bruises from where the Klingons had held him too tightly, and from when he'd fallen. Khan could take almost any beating, but her little boy was only half his blood, and he was still so young.

    She kissed the bruise on his shoulder and felt tears prick her eyes. Sniffling, she gathered him close, kissing the top of his small head.

    "I'm so sorry they hurt you, baby," she murmured. "Mummy didn't do a very good job of protecting you, did she?"

    Khan, sitting outside the stall, made an impatient sound. "You did better than you think," he told her. "After all, you're both still alive, and there's two less of them, at your hands."

    "I know. But I should have . . . I don't know, found a way to keep their hands off him."

    "At what cost?" Khan shifted to sit on his haunches, head tipped as he studied her. "You protected him, first and foremost. If you had gone on the offense, they would have killed you and taken him, and then he would have been truly alone and defenseless."

    "I know, I know! I can't help feeling like this, though."

    Nolan reached up and patted her face. "Mama."

    She took his little hand and kissed his palm. "Mummy's just a little sad, No. It's alright."

    Once she had the toddler cleaned up, Khan carted him back into the bedroom and put him down to sleep. When he returned to the bathroom, he found her with her face pressed to her knees, crying.

    He stripped off his dirty clothes and stepped into the shower, bending to lift her from the floor. "Anthea."

    "I don't know why I'm crying!" she told him brokenly, her tears mixing with the water.

    "Because you've been through a trauma, and you're pregnant," he pointed out. "I'd be surprised if you weren't crying."

    Khan turned her so that the water ran over her hair. With an astonishing amount of patience, he combed his fingers through the dark tangles, working all the knots out with a gentle touch. Then he massaged shampoo through the strands, doing what she, at that moment, could not.

    "I'm not an invalid," she whispered.

    "Hush. Let me do this." He pushed her wet hair aside and dropped a kiss on her shoulder. "I vowed to take care of you, remember? In sickness and in health?"

    Khan helped her rinse the soap from her hair, turning his attention to the rest of her. Seeing the scrapes and bruises, the livid mottling across her face where Rodriguez had hit her, made his blood boil anew. He forced it back, kissing her temple the way she'd kissed Nolan's hurts.

    "He's dead," he told her.

    "Who?"

    "Rodriguez."

    She took a moment to process that. She hadn't even considered him, with everything else going on. "Did . . . the Klingons kill him?"

    "No." Khan ran the wash cloth over her collar bone. "I did."

    "You? But-"

    "He hurt you and he betrayed us. He knew what I would do, and he did it anyway." Khan tipped her head up, running the pad of his thumb over her lips. "Did I want to? No. But he gave me no choice."

    "I hate to say it, but I'm glad he's dead. I don't care that he hit me, but he let the Klingons take Nolan, and for that-"

    "Oh, he deserved to die, no doubt. Hush, now."

    Putting himself between her and the water, Khan backed her against the wall, tipping her head back to kiss her. He slanted his mouth over hers.

    "Mmm," she murmured against his lips.

    He cupped the back of her head through the wet tangle of her hair, kissing her hungrily. She sighed into his mouth, her tongue finding his.

    Anthea flattened her hands on his upper abdomen, fingers curling against his muscles as desire flared to life. After so long afraid and in the dark, she needed his touch on her skin to assure her that she was safe.

    She pulled back a little. "Khan," she began.

    He heard the tremour in her voice. "Shh. I know, my love. Let me . . . let me do this."

    Later, she sagged weakly against him, her face against his shoulder. "Maybe," she mumbled against his shoulder, "that wasn't the best idea. But I needed it so badly."

    He trailed his fingers down her spine. "I thought it was an excellent idea."

    She lifted her head, wincing as she did. "But now I've a headache."

    Instantly concerned, Khan cupped her face in his hands. "How bad is it?"

    "Not bad, just a little achey. I think I need sleep."

    He kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry, I sometimes forget you don't recover the way we do. Of course you need sleep."

    They left the shower and he helped her dry off. They dressed in the clothes they'd been given--the others long-since burned as hazardous waste due to all the blood--and he carried her to bed.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice scenes between Anthea and Khan.
    Now she should recover and be headed home.
  16. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    Chapter 21: Great action!! I am so glad to see Anthea finally rescued here - for everyone's sakes. The 'you're late' was perfect. [face_love]

    Chapter 22: Before I write my thoughts for this chapter . . . Twilight??? How??? I do not understand that. o_O

    Now, this chapter! I loved the aftermath of everything that happened - it was perfectly written. Everything Anthea was going through was completely natural - pregnancy or no, and I am glad to see she had such a rock in Khan to lean on. It was beautiful to see. [face_love] I also liked the conversation with McCoy. Everything he said about the brain made perfect sense - even for the 23rd century. =D=

    I can't wait to see what comes next. :D

    =D=
  17. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks. :)

    Thanks! I liked that bit, too.

    Because she's an ordinary girl who marries a superhuman, has a superbaby, there's a focus on romance, "everything revolves around her", etc. And some stuff that happens in the next couple chapters.

    Thank you! I've recently had a couple people call Anthea immature and whiny for some things that happen in the aftermath of this, but . . . she just went through something really traumatic, y'know? Urgh.

    I always love scenes with McCoy.
  18. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Great interaction between Anthea and Khan as they hopefully will now have time to settle down without any more entanglements occurring.
  19. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, wait. You're serious.

    Mwahahahahaha! That's better. :p
  20. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Twenty-Three--

    Anthea moaned a little in her sleep, curling in on herself. Khan gathered her close, her back to his chest, and brushed his lips against her hair.

    "Hush, darling," he whispered. "You're safe."

    A seemingly endless number of times during his servitude to Marcus, the stress and fear had given him nightmares. He'd lost count of them during that hellish year, but Anthea had comforted him so many nights those last few months, soothing him with a soft word and a touch, calming the storms of his mind.

    It was his turn to drive away hers, and he held her tight, murmuring words of reassurance; though she didn't wake, not fully, Anthea relaxed slowly, melting into him, and her pulse ceased to race.

    He slid his hand lower, resting it on the small bump of her abdomen, where their child grew. There were no words for how relieved and grateful he was to have all of them safe again.

    She wasn't far enough along for either of them to feel the baby move. It pained him that he had missed the first one, when she carried Nolan. Until Anthea, children had never been on his radar much. Now, he longed to feel the life within her, to feel it kick, and to be there for his child's birth. To know she had suffered that without him was always a blow right to his solar plexus.

    Nolan woke and wiggled until he sat up. He rubbed sleepy eyes with his little hands. When he looked up and saw Khan, he cried, "Dada!"

    "Shh," Khan murmured. He shifted so he could lift Nolan over Anthea's still-sleeping form. She was so exhausted, nothing bothered her. She was still breathing, something he found himself unconsciously checking for. "Let's not wake Mummy."

    It reminded him of the night of their reunion, just five months before, when Nolan had woken in the middle of the night and demanded his attention.

    Nolan patted his chest, then plunked his head against Khan's shoulder.

    "Dwagons, Dada," Nolan told him, in a serious whisper. "Bad dwagons!"

    "Dragons?"

    His son nodded, looking up at him with wide blue eyes. He hadn't lost the chubby face yet, but when Khan rubbed his thumb over Nolan's cheek, he could feel the underlying structure, and knew that his son would be the spitting image of him one day.

    Khan assumed that "dragons" meant "Klingons". It was an apt description, and must have come from Anthea.

    "Thank you for looking after Mummy," Khan murmured. "You are a brave boy."

    "Dada come," Nolan said firmly. "Mama say!"

    "I will always come for you. I promise."

    The child sighed and nuzzled against him. "Dada make dwagons go 'way?"

    "Always, my boy. Always."

    ----------

    Khan left early, before Anthea woke, to speak to Kirk about something. When she rose, she noted that she still had a bit of a headache, but she suspected that was to be a problem for a while.

    She fed Nolan from the replicator, amused that it was programmed for tater tots and chicken nuggets. Not a proper breakfast food, she knew, but he needed more than the slop the Klingons had fed them for a week and a half.

    She had just worked the tangles out of her hair with a borrowed hairbrush when the door buzzed. She crossed the room on bare feet to answer it. Anthea wasn't surprised to see Leonard McCoy there. What surprised her was the tribble.

    "Oh. Hello," she said.

    "Good morning. I didn't want to call you all the way down to Medbay, so I figured I make a house call, see you you're doin'."

    She stepped back to let him in. "I'm alright, I suppose. I've a nagging headache, though."

    "Not unexpected with a head injury, but a little troublesome since you didn't have one yesterday. Are you experiencing anything else? Nausea, fatigue- I just realised how stupid that is to ask a pregnant woman."

    Anthea laughed. "Nothing out of the ordinary. I haven't had any nausea this morning, but that should be reaching its end, shouldn't it?"

    "Theoretically," the doctor said. "I've known women who've had morning sickness beyond giving birth, 'til about six weeks after."

    She pulled a face at the thought. "Oh. I hope that doesn't happen to me."

    "Did it last time?"

    "No, I only had occasional bouts 'til about sixteen, seventeen weeks. I was a little queasy the few days before I had Nolan, though."

    Of course, that had been right after discovering that her beloved and missing husband, John Harrison, was really Khan Noonien Singh and enemy of Starfleet.

    "I'd expect about the same this time around. You mind if I check you out a little, though, see how your vitals are and all that?"

    "Go right ahead." She eyed the tribble. "You'll probably need to put that down, though. What is it for?"

    McCoy cleared his throat. "Uh. I was thinking . . . I don't really have much of a use for the little furball here, and Nolan really seemed to like it, so . . ."

    He held out the purring ball of fur.

    "Are you giving us the tribble?" Anthea asked, as she took it.

    "Kid could use a pet, right? Might . . . help with . . . everything." The doctor looked awkwardly at the primitive animal. "Kids sometimes need pets to get them through when they get scared."

    Anthea smiled. "How old is your child?"

    He shouldn't have been surprised, really, that she knew. "Uh. She's twelve. Her name's Joanna."

    "And how long has it been since you've seen her?"

    McCoy sighed. "Too damn long. Uh . . . three years? My ex-wife's got custody."

    Nolan padded over, hands held out for the tribble. "Mine?" he asked.

    Anthea laughed. "He's in the 'everything is mine' phase," she told McCoy. To her son, she said, "But, yes, this is yours. It's a gift from Doctor McCoy."

    The tribble was nearly as big as her son, but when Anthea passed it down to him, he held on fiercely, chubby hands buried in its fur. The animal didn't complain, just made a little trilling sound and went back to purring.

    "What do we say, Nolan?" she asked.

    "Mine!"

    McCoy laughed. Anthea rolled her eyes.

    "No, sweetheart, we say 'thank you'."

    Nolan blinked up at her with big blue eyes, brows scrunched in confusion. "Why?"

    McCoy covered his mouth with his hand. "Yeah, there's no doubt that's Khan's kid."

    "Mine!" Nolan laughed. "Mine mine!"

    "Thank you," his mother said. "I'll have to have the gratitude lesson when he's not ecstatic about purring fur. He's a hardy little boy and not much fazes him, but I still . . . worry."

    Nolan sat on the floor, the tribble in his lap, and patted it somewhat randomly. "Mama? Name?"

    "We'll think of a name, sweetheart."

    The door slid open and Khan stepped in. His gaze flicked from McCoy, to Anthea, then to Nolan with the tribble. The tribble he distinctly remembered giving back to the nurse the previous evening.

    ". . . Please tell me you've surrendered possession of that to my son," he said to McCoy. "Otherwise, we'll have to deal with an inordinate amount of screaming."

    McCoy snorted. "Nah. I gave it to the little guy. They eat grains, mostly, fruits and vegetables. It's been neutered, so you won't be overrun with tribbles."

    Khan watching as Nolan snuggled the ball of fur. "They're also useful as a warning system."

    "Yeah."

    The two men exchanged a look, one Anthea didn't catch.

    McCoy pulled his tricorder out of his doctor's bag. "I'm just doing a check-up. We're almost back to your planet. It's a lot faster once you know where you're going, isn't it? I want to see how you're doing, give you instructions for further treatment if needed."

    Anthea sat on the bed, and McCoy scanned her, with Khan hovering a little anxiously behind. He informed them that everything seemed the same as before, but her blood pressure was elevated a little.

    "Try to get that back down," he told her, as he fished something out of his bag. McCoy handed her some pain relievers. "Only take these if absolutely necessary. They aren't harmful to babies anymore, I just don't want you getting too many of 'em in your system and missing anything if it should go wrong."

    "Thank you, Doctor. About the blood pressure, how do I lower that?"

    "Relax, mostly." He pointed a finger at Khan. "No lifting, no carrying. Right now, I don't even want her carrying the kid. Max you can lift is, say, ten pounds. Take it easy, and I'm serious about this. Besides, you shouldn't have to exert yourself, with Superman here to do everything for you."

    Anthea giggled at that image. "Yes, Doctor. Thank you."

    He gave her a list of instructions, and took his leave. Khan shook his head and gently pressed his lips to the bump on her head.

    "He thinks he's so clever," he muttered.

    She laughed, turning to wrap her arms around him. "Quit being such a grouch. We're almost home!"
    RX_Sith likes this.
  21. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    More cute moments between Anthea and Nolan as he quickly learns "Mine!" [face_laugh]
  22. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    That's usually one of the first ones they learn, besides "No!"

    Did some artwork of Khan as he was before his exile.

    [IMG]

    I've also got one where he's covered in blood, but decided not to post that one.
  23. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love your new chapter and the artwork is great too
  24. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Sorry for the delay, I went to Comic Con.

    -----------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Twenty-Four--

    Kirk met them in the shuttle bay. "You sure you want to go back?" he asked Anthea, one last time, though he already knew the answer.

    She looked at Khan, and all the love she had for her husband was bare on her face. "Yes, Kirk. I appreciate the concern, but with Khan is where I need to be."

    Khan stood in the doorway of the shuttle, Nolan at his hip, and he smiled at her. It made Kirk a little jealous, seeing how much they clearly loved each other.

    "You may not agree with the things he's done," Anthea told the captain softly, "but . . . someday, I hope you are able to find what Khan and I have. He's not just my husband, Kirk, he's my lover, and the father of my children. He's my protector and my confidante, and the best friend I've ever had."

    "Yeah," Kirk said, and he smiled wryly. "I had to try, right?"

    He looked to Khan and said, "You take care of her this time."

    "Do not worry, Captain. I will not let anything in this universe harm her again."

    Anthea turned and boarded the shuttle. Kirk and Khan stared at each other for along, silent moment, and then the dark-haired man stepped back, into the shuttle, and hit the door control.

    Kirk stood there, in the shuttle bay, and watched as the small vessel left. They had all made their choices, even if he wasn't sure they were the right ones, and the only thing left to do now was to live with them.

    ----------

    Even before the Enterprise's shuttle set down, Kati was running across the clearing towards them. When the ramp lowered and Anthea stepped out, the tribble in her arms, her sister-in-law nearly tackled her, hugging her fiercely.

    "You are all right!" Kati effused. "I was so very worried!"

    "I'm alright, yes," Anthea said warmly, hugging her friend. "Tired, sore, headachey, but alright."

    Khan followed her out of the shuttle, Nolan in his arms. When the toddler saw his aunt, he yelped, "Titi!"

    "Nolan!" Kati let go of Anthea and plucked her nephew out of Khan's grasp. She showered the laughing toddler's face with kisses.

    A Bird of Prey shot by overhead. Anthea flinched and ducked.

    Khan immediately pulled her close. "Don't worry, my dear. It's only Otto. We confiscated one of the Klingon ships."

    "Oh." She let out a held breath. "I just . . ."

    He kissed her temple. "I know, my love. I know."

    She sighed, leaning against him. Anthea looked around their little village, the roots of their new home, which she'd thought at times she'd never see again. "This makes me happy. Even after what Rodriguez did. I feel safe here."

    "Good. I do not want you to fear our people."

    Otto came jogging over from where he'd landed the Klingon ship, looking very pleased. "We arrive safe, Kaiser, as you may see. We have been on the ground for an hour only. I very much like the ship, but it needs a new paint job."

    One corner of Khan's mouth lifted. "We'll find you some paint. What are you going to call it?"

    "Hmm." Otto thought for a moment. "I will need to consider this."

    Khan clapped him on the shoulder. "Make it a good one. If you will excuse me, I need to get Anthea inside and resting."

    Kati followed them into the Reliance, Nolan clinging to her like a barnacle. "What is this furry thing you have?" she asked Anthea.

    "Nolan's pet tribble." Anthea set it on the floor of her son's room. It didn't move, just sat there and chirped.

    "What is a tribble?"

    "I've no bloody idea," Anthea sighed, "but McCoy gave it to Nolan, and he adores it."

    Kati set Nolan down, and he immediately picked up the tribble, chattering away in nonsense toddler-speak to his new best friend.

    Khan stood in the doorway. "Come, my dear, you need rest."

    "Yes," Kati agreed, looking intently at Anthea, taking in the dark smudges under her eyes, the mottled bruising across her face, the scrape on her chin. "You look awful. I think, though, it is better than you were before?"

    "Much," Anthea agreed. "And yes, I'd like to sleep in my bed now."

    Khan took her hand and let her to their quarters. He helped her change into her sleep clothes, ignoring her protests that she could do it herself, and assisted her into bed.

    He kissed her forehead, then her mouth. "I must go see to the supplies Kirk is sending down."

    "Mmkay."

    Khan drew the blanket over her, and turned the light out as he left.

    ----------

    When Anthea woke, she was tucked into bed, Khan beside her, Nolan snuggled between them. Their son was asleep, but Khan was awake, reading something on his PADD.

    "Oh," she said, after a moment. "I almost thought I was imagining being home."

    Her husband immediately shut off his PADD and set it aside. He rolled to face her, shifting Nolan out of the way so he could draw her closer. Khan reached to touch her face, following the curve of her cheek with one finger.

    "No," he murmured. "You are home and safe."

    She sighed, catching his hand in hers. "I knew you'd come for me. I know I've said that before, but . . . it was what kept me going, knowing you were on your way."

    "Always," he whispered. "As important to me as our people are, Thea, you and our children are part of me."

    He threaded his fingers through her hair. "Tomorrow, I will finish our new home and set up our bed."

    "I'd like that," she whispered. "I miss our bed. Nice, big, roomy bed."

    He smiled a little, gaze fixing on her lips. "Yes. I would like to spend tomorrow night in it . . . without small children present."

    Anthea smirked. "They do tend to get in the way, don't they?"

    She hugged Nolan's small body to her, warm and soft and smelling of baby still. He stirred in his sleep, his fist closing on a handful of her nightshirt. He jammed a thumb in his mouth and wiggled to wedge himself between his parents, all without waking.

    Khan smoothed his son's hair with a gentle touch, and reached for the bedside light. "Go back to sleep," he said.

    Anthea caught his hand in the dark, lacing their fingers together, happy to fall asleep with her little family safe and together.

    ----------

    True to his word, Khan spent the morning cleaning the construction debris out of their cabin, removing the saw dust that still caked the floors, and putting the finishing touches up. While they were gone, someone--probably Kati--had scrubbed the Klingon blood off the stone floor. The cabin wasn't ready for winter yet, but they had some time to prepare, and they weren't sure how cold it would get in the first place.

    Anthea wasn't allowed to help. She sat outside, in the shade, with plenty of water, reclining on a blanket. Nolan stuck close to his mother, having been sufficiently frightened by their ordeal to not go wandering off, at least for a while.

    Kati sat beside her on the blanket, her adopted son in her lap. She had officially claimed the infant now, and lavished attention on him.

    "What are you going to name him?" Anthea asked.

    "I do not know yet. I . . . have been wondering if Yves might have any suggestions."

    "Are you two . . . together now?"

    Kati flushed. "Not yet."

    Anthea rolled her eyes. "Kati. Tell him how you feel. Don't waste time. You never know how much time you have."

    Her sister-in-law looked contemplative. "True. I will think on this."

    Khan came out of the cabin, looking sweaty, hair in his face, his shirt hiked up a little on one side to expose an inch or so of skin. Anthea thought he looked delicious, and could hardly wait 'til he had their bed set up.

    "I believe," he said, "that, decor aside, our new home is ready. I'm going to take a lunch break, then finish putting the bed together. I've got Nolan's crib moved into his room."

    "Oh, good!" Anthea was very pleased to hear this news.

    Nolan toddled up to Khan, holding a hand out, something clutched in his fist. "Dada!"

    Khan crouched. "What is it, my boy?"

    "He has something he wants to give you," Anthea told her husband. "Probably a rock."

    Holding out his own hand, Khan waited for Nolan to unclench his fingers and drop the small object in his hand. It was, indeed, a pebble. Shiny and reddish-orange, it sparkled in the sunlight from crystalline structures inside.

    "Thank you," he said to his son. "This is a very nice gift."

    Nolan beamed.

    Turning to Anthea, Khan asked, "What am I supposed to do with this?"

    She shrugged. "Keep it 'til he loses interest and wanders away? That's what I do with most of the things he brings me. He never brings me shiny rocks, though. It's usually bugs."

    Her husband chuckled and slipped the pebble into his pocket. Nolan scampered off to his aunt, to check out the baby resting in her arms.

    "He is resilient," Khan remarked to his wife.

    "He is," she agreed. "He's such a happy little boy."

    Khan stood, and pulled Anthea to her feet, wanting to hold her. He didn't care who saw anymore. She was his wife, and he would embrace her in public if he damn well wanted to.

    She leaned her head against his chest, taking comfort in the steady thump of his heart under her ear. During her captivity, she'd feared she would never have his arms around her again. Standing here, outside their new home, made her very happy.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  25. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    More beautiful and touching moments as Khan and Anthea now finally get settled.
Moderators: Mira_Jade, NYCitygurl