Story [Star Trek Into Darkness] The Space Between (Khan/OFC) Chapter 17 up 8 June! Complete!

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  1. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Title: The Space Between
    Author: Dantana Skywalker
    Timeframe: Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness
    Characters: Khan Noonien Singh, Anthea Harrison (OFC), other OCs
    Genre: romance, suspense, action
    Summary: Anthea Harrison was saved from death by her husband’s blood, but it has changed something within her, and not necessarily for the better. As she struggles to adjust to--and survive--the transition, Khan Noonien Singh fights to provide for his people in a primitive environment amongst dwindling supplies, and winter is setting in. When they embark on what should be just a routine supply run, Khan and Anthea learn that when it comes to change, sometimes resistance is futile.
    Notes: I only own Anthea Harrison, Nolan Harrison, and other OCs.

    [IMG]



    --Prologue--

    Sitara
    The Beta Quadrant
    2261.105

    Anthea Harrison leaned against the sink as her vision swam. Her husband ran his fingers over her back, cupping her shoulder in one of his large hands.

    "Are you alright?" he asked.

    "This- What's happening to me?" Anthea met his gaze in the mirror over the sink. "Sometimes I'm fine, and sometimes I feel like I'm about to explode."

    Khan Noonien Singh drew her back against him, arms strong around her. "This has never happened before," he told her in a soft voice. "The rest of us were all created at conception. I do not know what changes it's causing in you."

    Anthea hung her head, then turned in his arms, burying her face against his chest. "How did you know I would be stronger?"

    Khan pressed his lips to the top of her head. "You broke Yves's finger when he was checking your unconscious response to stimuli, while you were in the coma."

    She snorted a surprised laugh. "Really?"

    "Really."

    "Then why do I feel weak today?"

    It had been three days since Anthea had awoken from her coma, after she'd stupidly aggravated a brain injury acquired two weeks before when one of Khan's men had struck her in the head. That man was now dead, as dead as Anthea had nearly been. Khan had killed him for his betrayal.

    She'd been warned not to do anything to raise her blood pressure, because it might tear the injured blood vessels and tissue inside her head. She hadn't been thinking when she'd gone after Marla McGivers for trying to seduce Khan; she'd just been enraged.

    Anthea had nearly paid for that mistake with her life. Only a serum that Khan and Yves had created, with the help of Leonard McCoy, had saved her life. And just barely. She'd hung on the verge of death for days, her body not sure what to do with the DNA-altering serum.

    The changes it had wrought in her came and went in sporadic waves, as her body adjusted. What the final result would be, they didn't know. It wasn't turning her into a super soldier like Khan and his men, at any rate. Her reflexes varied between fast and sluggish, no in between. Sometimes she was strong enough to bend metal, others she could barely lift her eighteen-month-old son.

    "I want it to stop, Khan," she whispered. "I don't like what it's doing."

    "I know, my love, and I wish I had answers for you." Privately, Khan was still afraid that there was a chance she could outright reject the change. He'd been so optimistic when she'd awoken healed and alert and strong. But that had lasted such a short time.

    "Even if I go back to normal," his wife mumbled into his chest, "I'd be okay with that. I just want it to pick something and stick with it."

    Khan ran his fingers through her hair. "I know," he repeated. "I wish there was something I could do, but I'm at a loss."

    Anthea pulled away and wandered into their quarters aboard the Reliance. They'd been planning to move out of the ship and into their completed cabin, but with everything Anthea was going through at present, having her close to the medbay and their doctor seemed the best option.

    The two living spaces were lightyears apart, in terms of technology. The plumbing in their house was turn of the century. Turn of the twentieth century, that was. There was a well out back, and a small cistern atop the cabin to create water pressure for the interior. The cistern was part of a dismantled cryotube from the twentieth century, one of the ones Khan and his people had slept in for nearly three centuries.

    Inside the starship, however . . . First of all, it was a warp-capable starship, a small-scale prototype of the now-defunct USS Vengeance. The Reliance could reach warp twelve in bursts, and fire its weapons while at warp. More importantly, it had sonic showers, air conditioning, and replicators, all of which were things that Anthea, at twelve weeks pregnant, greatly appreciated.

    "I need to lie down," she said, as she swayed in a somewhat drunken fashion towards the bed.

    Khan caught her arm and guided her to it. "I take it one of your legs isn't working as well as the other one?" he asked wryly.

    "That and I have morning sickness," she reminded him.

    "Ah, yes." He helped tuck her into bed. Sitting on the edge, he said, "Part of me wants to scream at you for doing precisely what Doctor McCoy and Yves both told you not to do. But I think you know very well how close you came to dying."

    "Didn't you tell me I technically did die?"

    "Your heart was stopped for two minutes. That's not precisely dead."

    "Close enough."

    "Too close," he agreed. "Your anger at McGivers nearly cost your life, and that of our child. Please do not do that again."

    Anthea flung an arm over her eyes. The lights were too much suddenly. "My brain is healed."

    "I meant, do not risk our child's life. Or yours. I will not hesitate to chain you to the bed if you insist on doing stupid things."

    "Good luck finding a chain," she retorted.

    "Anthea."

    She sighed and lifted her arm to slit one grey eye at him. "I know, I know. Don't do stupid things. I've got it."

    Khan bent and kissed her forehead. "Would you like me to bring Nolan in, to nap with you?"

    "No," she said after a moment. "If I need to run to the loo and puke, I don't want him in the way."

    "He misses you."

    Behind her arm, Anthea felt tears well in her eyes. "I know. And I miss him. Maybe . . . maybe after I sleep, you can bring him in to see me?"

    "That I will definitely do. Rest, my love."

    Khan shut out the light, to let her sleep. He stepped out into the corridor, where he was met by his sister.

    "How is she?" Kati whispered.

    "The same," he responded in kind, and sighed. "I wonder if it would have been more merciful- I do not know what would have been worse, Kati. We saved her from imminent death . . . But it seems that the cure is slowly killing her."
    Last edited by Dantana Skywalker, Jun 8, 2014
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  2. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    yes the beginning.

    love how Khan cares for Anthea.
    What is happening to her?
  3. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I love protective!Khan. I'd steal him from Anthea, but she might knife me in my sleep!



    And now, chapter 1. The chapters in my previous 'fics averaged around 1500 words, and these are averaging 1900-2100. This is probably going to be a lot longer than the previous ones, too, but I dunno.

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

    --Chapter One--

    2261.112

    Khan made Anthea wait until she'd managed to go a week without keeling over dead, figuring that was long enough to decrease the chances of it happening, until he let her rejoin society.

    Kati, Khan's younger sister, had been visiting for hours at a time, teaching her sister-in-law how to hand-stitch things. It was fairly easy to do and gave her something to concentrate on in the times she felt like doing something with her hands. So Anthea gathered her small container of sewing things, and the baby dress she was working on, and went out to join the other women in the shade, where Kati held a sewing circle. Not all the women were into sewing, but a small group of five or so were.

    They greeted her with smiles all around, save for Marla McGivers, the normal human woman who had left the Enterprise's crew to join their colony. Anthea had slapped her on her first day on Sitara. The other women didn't much like Marla, seeing her as the reason Anthea had nearly died.

    Petty as it was, Anthea didn't feel like disabusing them of the idea.

    She settled into one of the rudimentary chairs Joachim had made. The eighteen-year-old, the youngest of Khan's people, had taken up carpentry as a hobby before they'd been exiled from Earth, and liked to practise it here, on their new planet. He had carved the mantlepiece in their new home, which was still unoccupied.

    "When are you and Khan moving into the cabin?" Kati asked, as Anthea sat down. "It seems such a shame to have it ready and unused."

    "As soon as I'm feeling better, I suppose, though I'd really like to move in now." Anthea pulled out the dress she was making. It was simple, but would go on a baby easily. She didn't know why she was making a dress; they didn't know yet what the gender was of the child she was expecting.

    Secretly, though, she was hoping for a girl.

    The women chatted for a bit, as Anthea concentrated with trembling hands on placing one stitch, then another.

    "What ever happened to that guy you were dating, Anthea?"

    Marla's voice broke through her reverie, and she tried not to grimace.

    "What guy?" Anthea asked.

    The group of women had fallen quiet around them, everyone waiting in tense silence to see what would happen. They all knew Anthea didn't like Marla, and as Khan's wife and their saviour, of the two adversaries, Anthea had their allegiance.

    Marla continued, oblivious to the changed mood. "That Kipling guy?"

    Anthea looked down at the dress she was currently hemming. It was a long and tedious process, but making the clothes that her future-someday-daughter would wear was completely worth the sore hands and jabbed fingers.

    "Commander Dunn was never officially someone I 'dated'," Anthea said finally. "He was a friend I occasionally shagged. And he died on the USS Farragut, as you well know, McGivers."

    Marla shrugged. "I just thought you'd be more broken up about him, is all."

    "I was never in love with Kip. I am in love with Khan." The difficulties with her change, along with Marla's continued obnoxiousness, brought Anthea's cruel streak to the surface. "Of course, you know that Khan infiltrated Starfleet as John Harrison, yes?"

    Marla's big, brown eyes blinked. "What?"

    "Mmm. Yes. The man who blew up the Kelvin Archive, attacked Starfleet Headquarters, destroyed San Francisco? Our wonderful leader."

    "That was- That-" For once, Marla was completely speechless.

    "You really had no idea, did you?" Anthea asked. "You had no idea what you were getting into when you came to join us. You romanticised Khan and his people and thought it would be a grand adventure, didn't you?"

    Marla was still shocked into silence.

    "I think you broke her," Kati put in.

    The redhead floundered like a fish for a moment, then blurted, "But why would he do that? Starfleet is-"

    "An organisation that took an entire civilisation captive and forced their leader to work in slavery for a year to design weapons for them, continually threatening him and his people, and then put him back into cryosleep when they were done with him, after he tried to get away and to free his people," Anthea interrupted harshly. "Everything Khan did to Starfleet? Admiral Alexander Marcus brought that on them himself."

    "But . . . Admiral Marcus died in the crash of that ship, trying to save the city . . ."

    Anthea laughed. "You are so incredibly gullible, McGivers. Khan killed Admiral Marcus."

    Several of the women smirked at Marla's naivety.

    Leaning forward, holding the little bundle of fabric so she didn't drop it, Anthea said, "Look. I'm telling you all of this because, as you're now a citizen of our colony, you really should know the truth. Admiral Marcus was designing weapons and ships in an attempt to start a war with the Klingons. He was using Khan to design those weapons. Khan managed to escape and Marcus sent the Enterprise after him, on an unsanctioned assassination mission. Kirk opted to capture my husband rather than kill him outright, and Marcus tried to destroy the Enterprise in revenge and to cover up what he'd done. Khan and Kirk manage to take the Vengeance from Marcus and Khan killed the admiral, which prevented a war. Starfleet then captured Khan again and put him in cryosleep without a trial, for twenty months, during which I had to give birth to and raise a child on my own."

    Anthea felt her insides burble, then realised the little flutter was actually her baby moving. She completely forgot about Marla and pressed a hand over her belly, all her attention riveted on the tiny life inside her.

    Marla had lost her attitude and openly stared at Anthea. "But how are they, we, here?"

    It took her a long moment to drag her attention away from her small miracle. When she did, it was to glare at the other woman. "I was Starfleet Intelligence and I worked on the weapons project. I was Khan's assistant, actually. That's how we met. When he disappeared, after Starfleet imprisoned him, I spent over a year trying to locate him and his people. After I found them, I freed them and brought everyone here. And if it were up to me, you wouldn't be here."

    Marla's nose pinched. She stood, tossing the blanket she'd been hemming on her chair, and stomped away.

    Kati reached over and touched Anthea's arm. "Are you alright? Do I need to get Khan?"

    "No, I'm fine. I was . . . It's nothing. I think I'll go find him myself, though."

    She packed her things in the tote Kati had made her, and went to find Khan where he was having a conference with Otto, Chin, and Inigo.

    "Kaiserin!" Otto greeted her warmly, with a one-armed hug around her shoulders. "How are you today? I have not seen you since you woke!"

    "I'm as well as I can be, Otto," she said. "Mind if I steal Khan for just a moment?"

    One brow lifted in curiosity, Khan followed Anthea a few paces away. It was still within earshot for his men's heightened hearing, but he knew that they'd tune out whatever it was Anthea wanted to tell him.

    "What is it?" he asked.

    She grinned. "I know it's silly, but I wanted to share it. I felt the baby move!"

    A broad smile spread across his usually sombre face. "You did? That is wonderful news, Thea."

    "I know you can't feel it yet, but . . . I've been worried, with everything. Yves has been checking its vitals every day, yes, but it's not the same as being able to feel the baby."

    "I can hardly wait until I can feel our child," he told her. "But I look forward most to when I can hold him or her. Does that make me . . . unmanly?"

    She stood on her toes to kiss him. "Not at all. Real men have a hand in caring for their children."

    "I take that to mean you aren't letting me out of diaper changes this time around."

    Anthea snickered. "Not on your life. I had to do thirteen months of those all by myself. The least you can do is pick up some of the slack and change the baby while I'm trying to sleep."

    Khan cupped her face in his hands, fingers tangling in the brown strands. "When I first realised you were changed," he whispered, "I thought, 'She can survive this for certain, having this child in this wilderness.' But with what you're struggling with now, I am even more afraid than before."

    "Don't be! Women have had babies for thousands of years and been fine. I've already had one."

    "Under the best care available," he pointed out. "Yves is good, but our facilities are somewhat lacking."

    "Why are you so afraid?" she asked him quietly.

    Khan pulled her close, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "Growing up in India . . . The health care at that time was appalling, especially for women. They caught infections and died, or they bled to death in childbirth, or the doctors would overlook something while the mother was pregnant and it would kill her and child. And this was the country that created me, that could manipulate genetics to bring about a race of superior beings. And yet, mothers died every day, whether giving birth at home or in a hospital."

    Anthea wasn't sure how to respond to that, so she hugged him hard. "I'm not going to die, Khan. I won't. I refuse to."

    "I nearly lost you once, Thea."

    "But you didn't. You saved me. And I trust you'll do it again if you have to."

    Khan ducked his head and kissed her, quick but tender. "You're pale again," he murmured. "Go back inside and lie down."

    "I'm going to lie down in the house," she told him. "Our bed is just sitting there, unused, and I haven't lain in it in months."

    He chuckled. "Do that, then. You have the monitor with you?"

    She held it up. It had originally been a communicator, modified into a baby monitor, currently pressed into walkie-talkie service so Khan could keep an eye on his wife and she could reach him at any time.

    Anthea went and found Nolan in the playpen near where Kati had been watching him. Her little boy brightened when he saw her, his smile rivalling the sun, and he chirped, "Mama!"

    "You look tired, No. Let's go take a nap."

    She reached down to pick him up, but her left arm failed her and she nearly dropped him. His little but heavy body slipped through her grasp. Heart pounding, she put extra effort into the stronger arm and hauled him up, clutching him close.

    Only Kati had seen. Her sister-in-law asked, "Are you alright?"

    "Fine," Anthea replied tightly. "No worries."

    Nolan patted her face. "Mama?"

    "Mummy's fine, No. Come on. Let's have a lie down, shall we? Mummy will tell you a story."

    Blue eyes crinkled, Nolan beamed at her. "Pwince Noony!"

    The previous month, Anthea had told her son a fairy tale version of her romance with Khan, casting him as a prince who was captured by a dragon, and herself as the princess who rescued him. Ever since, "Prince Noonien" had been Nolan's favourite character and he begged constantly for tales of his exploits. She was running out of tales to adapt from Khan's past-what he'd told her of it-and would soon have to resort to making things up entirely.

    She sighed. "Okay, I'll tell you a story about Prince Noonien."
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  4. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    A really nice chapter with all the details.
    I like Kati and her care for Anthea
  5. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks!


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

    --Chapter Two--

    Given that Anthea had begun to feel fetal movement, Yves wanted to do an ultrasound. Khan was there for it, had dropped everything he'd been doing when Anthea had told him.

    The advancements in ultrasound technology astounded him. He had needed one back in the 1990s to locate a bullet fragment in his left shoulder, but that hadn't been anywhere near the same as what he saw now. The wall monitor clearly showed, in three dimensions, their thirteen-week fetus. It was curled up, thumb hovering near its mouth. Stubby little legs kicked lazily.

    Khan stared in wonder. A rapid clicking emerged through a device on Anthea's belly, just above where Yves used the ultrasound wand. "Is that sound the heartbeat?" the father asked.

    Yves nodded. "Oui. That is your bébé's tiny heart. You see, it is nine centimetres from here to here, or about three and a half inches."

    Khan looked at his hands for reference, realised how huge they were. Anthea leaned over and held thumb and forefinger roughly three inches apart across his palm.

    "That big," she said.

    He blinked at her. "That's so small!"

    "It will get bigger," she assured him. "Nolan was rather large and he was five weeks early."

    Yves looked at her sharply. "You delivered the boy early?"

    Anthea glanced up, nodding. "He was fine, though. Better than fine, actually. If I hadn't known I got pregnant when I did--and early ultrasounds confirmed that conception date--we all would have thought I'd conceived him at New Year's."

    Khan looked at the image of their new child, but he smirked a bit. That New Year's Eve was still very vivid in his memory, entirely because it had involved a very illicit tryst with his wife as the ball dropped. From the way Anthea blushed, in response to his smirk, she remembered it just as well as he.

    Yves was oblivious to the exchange, his attention split between the ultrasound wand and the readout. "Would you like to know the gender?" he asked the expectant parents.

    Anthea looked to Khan. "We can tell this early?"

    "This is a much better visual than they used to be, so yes," Yves assured her. "Thirteen weeks is adequate. And it is obvious to my eye."

    Khan looked at the image. "Why not?"

    Anthea shrugged. "I waited to know with Nolan, but sure, I'd like to know now."

    Yves pointed to the relevant area. "See here? You are plainly having a girl."

    She couldn't help but grin. "A girl? You're sure?"

    "Oh, yes. Unmistakable. An, ahh, 'innie', not an 'outie'."

    Khan snorted at the doctor's choice of phrasing, and lifted Anthea's hand to his mouth, kissing the back of it. "Sarina," he said.

    His wife grinned up at him. "Our Sarina. Sarina Elizabeth?"

    "I like that," Khan said with a nod. "The question is, Sarina Harrison, or Sarina Singh?"

    "Singh," she said without hesitation. "And Nolan can use that, too, if he wants. I'm a bit used to and attached to Harrison for sentimental reasons."

    Yves printed off a picture of the baby. "You do not want your husband's name?"

    "I have my husband's name," Anthea said. "Legally, I'm married to John Nathaniel Harrison, not Khan Noonien Singh."

    "Living in sin," Khan snickered. "Cheating on poor John with another man."

    "Oh, shush."

    ----------

    Anthea sat on the big, king-sized bed from their home on Earth, with Nolan in her lap, teaching him how to count on his fingers, while Khan laboured moving things around in their bedroom. At the moment, he was in the process of dragging a chest of drawers. While he could bench press nearly a ton, it didn't mean he did it easily. The problem was more that the chest was awkward and unwieldy.

    "How," he asked, pausing to gauge the space he was planning to put it in, "did you get this aboard the ship?"

    She shrugged, absorbed in playing with Nolan's tiny fingers. "I had the robot move everything. I left most of the furniture in London, only brought the essentials to San Francisco, and then packed all that up when I made off with you. Nolan and I camped out on the floor for the last two days of our stay on Earth, didn't we, sweetie?"

    Khan arched an ebony brow. "You slept on the floor?"

    "Oh, I had a bed of sofa cushions, don't worry. It wasn't the floor-floor. You are bringing the sofa in, yes? Because I don't want to spend most of this pregnancy sitting on wooden furniture with no padding between my bum and the seat."

    He just gave her a look and went back to moving furniture.

    "The weather's cooling finally," Anthea said. "It's been raining fairly regularly. I think we should start preparing for winter, just in case."

    "Yes, I was thinking that myself. We seem to be in a climate that does experience varied seasons, though I can't say how varied. I want to prepare for blizzards and be pleasantly surprised."

    "Bizzad?" Nolan repeated. "Wassa bizzad?"

    "Blizzard," Anthea corrected. It amazed her how advanced her son was. With Augment genetics, especially with Khan as his father, Nolan was, at least mentally, far more developed than his eighteen months would normally grant. He could grasp concepts a three-year-old could, and spoke nearly like one, too, aside from a lisp on his Rs. His body hadn't quite reached the same point, though he was also large for his age.

    Khan assured her this was normal for their kind, and that they all developed swiftly but in different ways. Anthea had realised early on that no parenting book was going to be of much use here, and was relying mostly on instinct and Khan's knowledge of their people.

    Her right hand spasmed in the middle of an impromptu gave of Patty-Cake, Anthea clutched it to her stomach.

    "Mama?" Nolan yelped. "Mama huwt?"

    Instantly, Khan was across the room, kneeling on the edge of the bed. "What's wrong?"

    Annoyed, Anthea waved him off. "My hand spasmed for a moment. It hurt, but I'm alright now."

    Ignoring her irritation, Khan took her hand. "Squeeze my finger," he instructed.

    She did.

    "Squeeze it!"

    "I am!" she cried. "That's as tight as my fingers will go."

    Frustrated tears spilled out and down her cheeks. Khan heaved a sigh and moved off the bed. Without a word, he moved back to the dresser, gave it a final shove to push it into place, and stormed out.

    Nolan's little head swivelled around. "Mama? Dada mad?"

    "Not at me," she told him gently. "Not at you. Mummy is . . . not feeling well, and he can't help."

    There was a knock at the door, and Anthea looked up to see Kati there, with her adopted--and still unnamed--son in her arms. Since the infant was only a few months old, a name didn't totally matter at the moment.

    "I saw Khan leaving," her sister-in-law said. "Did you fight?"

    "No." Anthea shook her head. "I had a . . . small attack and he's angry because he can't do anything. You know Khan. He has to be in control and able to fix everything."

    Kati nodded before Anthea even finished speaking. "Yes, I know him well. For longer than you have. Do you have a minute to speak?"

    "I've nothing but time," Anthea pointed out dryly. "What's up?"

    "Let me get Nolan settled in his room," Kati said, and that instantly made Anthea suspicious. "Would you watch Pandu for me?"

    "Pandu?"

    Kati shrugged. "It's what I have been calling him for lack of a name. It is Hindi for 'pale'."

    "I can't hold him. My arm isn't working very well today."

    "He may lie here, that is fine." Kati put the baby down, picked up Nolan, and carried him out.

    Anthea studied the baby, her adopted nephew. He was pale enough to be albino, with big, lavender eyes, and little webbed hands and feet, which he flailed when he noticed her looking at him. He grinned, a big, toothless smile Anthea couldn't help but return.

    She didn't notice Kati come back, or that she closed the door, until she spoke.

    "You are being unnecessarily cruel to Marla."

    "What?" Anthea looked up, frowning, as Kati joined her to sit on the bed. "Kati, she tried to sed-"

    Kati held up a hand, cutting her off. "No. She tried once, before she knew Khan is married. She has made no other overtures towards him. In fact, she seems to be developing affections for Barton. I know you are angry over what has happened to you, and what is happening to you, but you should not take it out on Marla. That is also why Khan is angry."

    Anthea looked down at her hands, at the ruby ring Khan had given her when they'd married. Funny, she thought, how Kati had never mentioned it, even though it had been her mother's. She swallowed, suddenly feeling ashamed. Kati was right. She had been mean to Marla, had even known while doing it that she was.

    "So why is Khan mad?" she asked in a whisper.

    Kati lifted Pandu up, placing the baby against her shoulder. "He feels you attack her because you cannot attack him, that you blame him for what has happened."

    Stricken, Anthea shook her head. "No, no! I don't, not at all!"

    Her sister-in-law arched a brow. "Do you truly not?"

    She had to think about it for a moment. Did she blame Khan for this? She'd once been so angry at him for leaving her, for lying to her, not knowing that he'd been protecting her from Marcus and that he'd been imprisoned, essentially entombed in a cryotube with the rest of his people. She had forgiven him fairly quickly. But was she angry at him again?

    No, she decided, slowly shaking her head again. "No, I'm not mad at him for this. The universe, maybe, but not Khan. He couldn't know what this would do to me. He was just trying to save me."

    "Hmm. Then why are you angry at Marla for something so much less significant?"

    "Because she tried to take what's mine!" Anthea exploded. "Khan is all I have, and he was coming to get me and Nolan, and she tried to- I lost him once, Kati, I can't bear the thought of losing him again!"

    "Has it occurred to you, Anthea, all that Khan did to get you back?"

    Anthea fisted her hands in her lap, but her left one didn't cooperate well. Why was the universe and everyone in it being so harsh with her? "Yes," she whispered.

    "Good." Kati leaned over, pressed the back of one hand to Anthea's forehead. "You are nearly as pale as Pandu, and you are chilled. Rest. I will tend Nolan."
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  6. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    sweet begin of the chapter with her seeing the little girl and a great discussion between Anthea and Kati
  7. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    This story. I am enjoying this 'verse the more and more I read of it. You are taking these characters on a wonderful journey, and I have loved following every word of this. =D=

    Alright, so far . . .

    The Prologue: Oh, what a frustrating situation to be in! After everything these two have been through, my heart is just breaking for them. And to have to deal with a pregnancy on top of it! Ack. :( Great job setting things up here . . .

    Chapter One: Marla sure is bearing the brunt of Anthea's pent up frustration! Although, I can't particularly fault Anthea for that. She is going to be overly protective of what is hers, and she will give Marla hell as long as she can. :p I did like her breaking through the rose colored glasses though. Admiral Marcus did some horrible thing. Khan was as much a victim as he was a villain in those events. :(

    Chapter Two: It's a girl!!! [face_love] There is something special about dads and their daughters - and I can't wait to see Khan deal with his. :D I love seeing him be able to be apart of the early years this time. The quip about the diapers had me grinning like a silly person. Although. beneath the joy, you can really feel his pent up anger and frustration. He is used to complete control, and since awakening, so much as been taken away from his control . . . He is one of the strongest beings alive, but he can't 'fix' his wife. And it is his blood that is doing this to her, to top it off. I can completely understand his feelings here! :(

    Anthea's conversation with Kati was perfect. First off, the little one is too cute! Pandu, I love it! Kati's observations were spot on - she's good for both Khan, and Anthea as a voice of reason that they will both listen to.

    I am greatly, greatly looking forward to where this is going!

    (And, reading your note at the end of the last story, I have to agree with you - write what you want to write. It's fanfiction, it's fun. It's for you. And Anthea is no way Bella Swan, as a side note.

    Just . . .eww. No. o_O)

    [:D]
  8. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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

    Thanks!

    I had one "reviewer" tell me that Anthea was being an immature brat at this part. *eye roll*

    I was always determined that they'd have a girl second. Not consciously mimicking Khan and Kati, but when Anthea got pregnant the second time, I just knew it would be a girl. I can't wait to write Khan playing with his daughter and spoiling her rotten. That's a ways off, though.

    Yeah, Khan is trying really hard here to be nice to Anthea, while working through his own fears and frustrations. In STID, he was able to take it all out on Marcus and Starfleet. In "Life", he took it out on the Klingons. Here, he has no target and no idea what to do, and for someone as driven and focused as he is, it's really difficult.

    Thanks. :D Kati sort of put herself in that role. IDK why or how, it just sorta happened.

    When you're dealing with the dynamic of "superhuman" and regular girl, you're always going to have a limited set of choices on where to take it. I've always seen this more as Superman and Lois Lane rather than Edward and Bella. And under the circumstances, for the serum + Khan's blood combo to not change her is completely unrealistic. Whether she ends up stronger/faster/etc or how much remains to be seen, but it's not going to leave her the way she was. It can't. It's not going to turn her into an all-powerful sparkle vamp who can defeat all comers. For one, she's starting out as an ordinary human. There's only so much it can change in the first place. There's no way it can change her to be as strong and "super" as Khan. But give her an advantage over normal humans, especially when she's going to be the mother of advanced children? Why not?
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  9. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

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    star 5
    Great start on Khan and Anthea's life now that she is semi-well enough to do things. But, she needs to be careful in her disdain for Marla since it might make her worse again. I wonder if Marla is doing it on purpose just to get another chance at Khan especially if Anthea worsens.

    Hopefully not, as they are great together and now that they will soon have a daughter, they will be able to enjoy their children together.
  10. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I don't think Marla is that stupid.

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


    --Chapter Three--

    Anthea was lying on her left side, with her knees drawn up, when Khan came back. He paused in the door and watched her for a long moment, before crossing to the bed and stretching out beside her, on his side to face her.

    "What's wrong?" he asked.

    "Are you angry with me?" she asked.

    "Why on earth would I be angry with you?"

    She sniffled and reached out to run a finger along his collar. "Kati . . . said some things."

    He threaded his fingers through her hair. "What did she say?"

    "That I'm being unfair to Marla. That you think I'm mad at you. That you blame yourself for what's happening to me."

    Khan released her hair and caught her hand, interlacing his fingers with hers. "Kati is . . . sometimes self-righteous. She didn't see what I rescued you from. She doesn't know what you went through, and she doesn't know what you are going through. She had seizures, and I'm sure she thinks that is equivalent. She can't understand your anger. I can, because I have . . . been in a similar situation."

    They didn't have to say the man's name. Both knew of whom he spoke.

    "But, she has a point, to a degree. Marla is not a threat to us, Thea. I have no interest in the woman, and I never will. And while I personally find your antagonism towards her amusing and gratifying to my ego, the truth is that you are essentially my queen, and we cannot let you seem to be partial to some and hostile towards others."

    Anthea sighed. "I know. I just have this . . . fear and anger, and I don't know where to direct them."

    He tugged her close and kissed her forehead. "Thea, my Thea. You can speak of it to me. Anything at all."

    "I'm scared," she told him. "I don't know what's happening to me, if or when it will stop, what it might do to the baby . . . I feel useless. I can barely hold my own child because I might drop him. And you've barely touched me in weeks."

    "I'm holding you right now."

    "That isn't what I meant, Khan. We haven't made love since we were on the Enterprise. I know why. You're afraid to hurt me."

    "You're right. I don't want to hurt you. I could never forgive myself if I did."

    She shook her head. "I can't guarantee that you won't, but Khan, I can't stand this."

    He rolled away and sat up, elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. "Anthea, if I lost control and hurt you-"

    Anthea rose on her knees and wrapped her arms around him. With her chin on his shoulder, she asked, "So you plan to not touch me until I'm better? What if I'm never better? What if this is how I'll be for the rest of my life?"

    Khan put his hand on her arm, fingers curling around her wrist. He stroked her forearm with his thumb. "I should have found another way to save you."

    "What other way? You know how long it takes to extract enough of your platelets to do any good. I could have died in that time. Hell, I did die in that time. But you brought me back."

    "Not as you were."

    Anthea pressed her cheek to his. "I may not like what's happening to me, but I would take this over death every time. Because I'm here."

    Khan twisted, dragging her into his lap, and rolled her to the bed. Her breath caught as his weight settled against her.
    He grabbed her arms and raised them over her head. "You can tell me to stop at any time."

    She laughed wickedly. "As if that will happen."

    There was a loud knock at the bedroom door, and through it, Kati called, "If you are going to be occupied, I will babysit Nolan at my house."

    Anthea blushed. Khan only laughed, and shouted back, "Very occupied! Go away!"

    "Khan!" his wife protested.

    "We have a child and another on the way," he pointed out with amusement. "Sometimes, I am surprised that you can still be so . . . very . . . British . . ."

    And he kissed her.

    ----------

    Anthea didn't want to apologise to Marla, though she knew she should. She knew Marla hadn't been aware Khan was her husband, but it still made her angry. She felt as if the universe were constantly trying to separate them.

    With Nolan in tow, she ventured out into the village, to seek out Kati. A cool wind blew through the village. Anthea pulled her sweater closer and cast a dark look at the sky. Otto, come to speak to Khan, greeted her.

    "Rain," she said glumly. "Within maybe half an hour."

    "How can you do that?" Otto asked, as he, too, looked up.

    "I grew up in England," she explained. "I'm very good at predicting wet weather."

    "Ahh." The big man nodded. "Should you not be inside, Kaiserin?"

    Anthea shrugged. "Maybe. I feel restless, though. I've been inside and resting too long."

    "Khan will not like it if you have a spell out here."

    She snorted. "He won't like it if I have one inside, either."

    Otto nodded. "That is true. Still, I would not want him angry with me for allowing you to be hurt."

    "I'm fine. I'm just going to see Kati."

    Her sister-in-law didn't live too far from her own cabin, just down the slight hill. Kati looked relieved to see her as she opened the door.

    "Oh, good! You are here. I was going to find you," Kati exclaimed.

    "What's up?"

    "I cannot get Pandu to stop crying."

    Passing Nolan off to Kati, Anthea swept into the two-room cabin and followed the sound of a crying baby to where Pandu lay on Kati's cot-like bed. She made a mental note to ensure everyone got bed upgrades when they made a supply run.

    Conscious of her weak arm, Anthea lifted Pandu with the stronger limb, cradling the infant against her chest to take some of his weight. "Hush, sweetheart. What's wrong?"

    Rapidly, she checked for fever or signs of colic, things she had learned during her first pregnancy but hadn't had to deal with when Nolan had been born. Pandu didn't seem to be ill, but he was red-faced and screaming, jaw working as he blubbered.

    "Ahh," she said, and she popped her thumb into his mouth.

    He made a surprised sound, lavender eyes blinking tearfully, hiccuped, and began gnawing on her thumb with his toothless gums. Immediately, the colour began to recede from his little face, and he grunted around her digit.

    Kati looked baffled. "What did you do?"

    Anthea gave her a distracted smile. "Apparently, he's teething. Sooner than I expected, but I don't know much about Brinthi biology. I've got a box of baby things, including a teething ring or two. Let's go get him one."

    She carried Pandu carefully over the short distance to her own home, the baby happily gumming her thumb, while Kati brought Nolan along. Anthea set Pandu on her own bed, and the baby shrieked in protest.

    "Kati, let him chew on your thumb while I hunt for that teething toy."

    Her sister-in-law did as instructed, bemused by the action. "I thought it would hurt."

    "No, the only one hurting right now is Pandu," Anthea replied, from the open door to the nursery. "He needs pressure against his gums so his teeth can come through faster and stop hurting him. Aha!"

    She came back with a box full of small baby items. "Here we are. Let's see . . . I've three of these, Pandu can definitely have one."

    "Do you not need these things for your child?"

    Anthea shook her head. "No, I've plenty. Nolan was picky about his, but you really only need one." She plucked one from the box and handed it to Kati. "Try this."

    Kati took the blue plastic ring and replaced her thumb with it in Pandu's mouth. Wordlessly, Anthea handed a burp cloth over.

    "He'll drool," she warned.

    It took the baby a few minutes to figure out the chew toy, but soon he was happily drooling all over his hand, the toy, and the burp cloth, his head leaned against his mother's shoulder.

    "You are a miracle worker," Kati said with a sigh.

    "Not really, just a mum who's been there." Anthea cast a wry look at Nolan, who tottered into the room with his pet tribble.

    Khan had, apparently, named the tribble while Anthea had been in her coma. The chosen appellation? Spot. Nolan was too young to get the joke, unfortunately.

    "Let's sit in the living room," Anthea suggested. "The sofa's better for visiting."

    "I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you getting my son to quiet down," Kati murmured, as they settled on the sofa. "He has slept only a little all day, and was up most of the night."

    "You're very welcome. I know exactly how it is when they first start teething." Anthea watched as Nolan plopped his small rump in the middle of the rug and set in on petting Spot. She didn't know much about tribbles, to be honest, but Spot didn't seem to mind Nolan carting it around. She'd never once heard the tribble protest any rough treatment, though she knew they could do so.

    Kati patted Pandu's back. The baby, just four months old, seemed blissful now, eyes half-closed as he gnawed on the plastic. "I was afraid you were angry with me," she admitted.

    Anthea sighed. "I was for a little while. But I talked with Khan about it. You're right. But I don't like Marla. I don't want her to be here. And I don't know how to . . . get past my anger at her for sneaking into my husband's room in the middle of the night to throw herself at him."

    Kati's dark eyes widened. "She did that?"

    "Yes. It wasn't just making a pass at him. That I could ignore. She invaded his privacy to . . . offer herself to him." Anthea grimaced.

    "I see." The darker woman shook her head. "I was not aware of that. I am not saying you do not have a right to be angry, but . . . it was a mistake she has not repeated, yes?"

    "No, she's kept her hands to herself."

    "Then forgive the mistake, but do not forget. She is terrified of you, Anthea. I doubt she has seen any violence in her life, until you struck her. I am not saying she did not need to be put in her place, for she did. Khan is our raja, you are our rani. And she needs to defer to you."

    "But I can't be cruel to her individually, I know. Khan told me that." Massaging her left arm with her right hand, Anthea shifted on the sofa to draw her knees up. "I'm just so angry and scared all the time."

    "It will get better, I am sure. Sometimes I forget that you are not a warrior like the rest of us." Kati reached out with the arm not holding Pandu, and patted Anthea's knee. "If you need to talk, I am here to listen."

    "Thanks, Kati. That means a lot."
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  11. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

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    Great conversation between Anthea and Kati regarding Marla and also Anthea helping Kati out with Pandu.
  12. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice chapter with the baby things. Khan is nice too for Anthea
  13. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks!

    It isn't all going to be baby things, I promise. [face_laugh]

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


    --Chapter Four--

    It had been some time since Anthea had written in her log, the one she kept addressed to her parents that she doubted they'd ever see. She'd made a difficult choice in leaving them behind on Earth, and she missed them daily, wondering how they were doing, what they had been told by Starfleet about her defection.

    Khan had set up her computer terminal in their bedroom, by the window with a view over the lake, and she sat there after Kati left, Nolan's nonsense babble to his pet a soundtrack for her thoughts.

    Mum and Dad,

    I haven't written in a while. Some things happened and I
    wasn't really up to doing it. Remember how I mentioned
    that Rodriguez fellow? He betrayed us, and when we were
    attacked by Klingons, he gave me and Nolan over to them.
    He hit me, and- I woke up in captivity, injured and sick,
    with Nolan to protect. I was so scared. I didn't know where
    I was, or who had me, and when I found it was the Klingons,
    I could have died of fright. I had to stay strong for Nolan,
    though. My precious little boy.

    Khan found us and brought us home. I don't want to think
    about what he did to the Klingons. He says they're all dead,
    and that's good enough for me. He could have wiped out
    their entire species, and I would be fine with that. I just don't
    want to picture it.

    There's a woman here, Marla McGivers. I'm having personal
    issues with her. She attempted to seduce Khan while the
    Klingons held me prisoner, and I am having such a hard
    time getting over it. Nothing happened; he kicked her out
    of his room, but . . . still, he let her come to live with us, and
    even if it isn't very logical, it makes me anxious and angry.
    I don't doubt his love for me and his loyalty. But I live in fear
    that she'll try again.

    I nearly died. I was injured, in my brain, and I nearly bled to
    death inside my head. Khan saved me, in a manner of
    speaking. I'm alive, yes, and that injury is healed, but he
    used the cure for Kati to do it, and it's done things to me. I
    have moments where I am so strong, I'm afraid I'll hurt
    Nolan by accident. Sometimes I can see things so clearly.
    My reactions at times are faster than I've ever experienced.
    But most of the time, I'm weak, weaker than I was before
    this. My left arm doesn't work very well most of the time,
    and my legs sometimes don't want to behave properly. I
    can never predict when these things will happen. I would
    give anything to go back to normal. I don't care about being
    strong, or anything. I just want to be able to function again.

    I'm scared that this will never stop, or that it will kill me.
    Khan and Yves don't know what's happening to me. Yves
    scans me every day, to track the changes. He says he
    can't find a pattern. I know he and Khan blame themselves,
    but I don't blame them. I'm alive, aren't I? Still, I don't like
    that it's happening to me, that it's make it difficult to hold Nolan,
    or Pandu, for fear of dropping one of them. I don't know what
    will happen when Sarina is born.

    I'm having a girl, by the way. We've just found out. We've
    decided to call her Sarina, after Khan's mother. Sarina Elizabeth
    Singh. Elizabeth being Mum's middle name, you know. I hope
    that I'm . . . better by the time she's born. I want to be able to
    hold her without fear that I'll hurt her.

    With a sigh, Anthea saved and closed the file. She rose from the desk, taking a moment to regain her balance. She longed to nap, but she knew that would be wallowing.

    Nolan's bright laughter reached her, from where he played in his room. Her little boy was ever her light in the dark.
    Forcing a smile that she hoped would soon be a real one, Anthea went to play with her son.

    ----------

    It rained non-stop for the next four days. The sky was dark with angry storm clouds, and the lightning and thunder frightened Nolan. Khan and Anthea spent those nights with not only a toddler in their bed, but a tribble as well.

    "Really?" Khan whispered to his wife, when Nolan crawled into their bed and passed out with the ball of fur in his arms. "The tribble, too?"

    "You know how he is about Spot." Anthea smoothed Nolan's hair. The boy's head was tucked under her chin, the purring tribble wedged between his small body and her chest. "Spot's his security blanket."

    Outside, thunder rumbled. Nolan flinched in sleep.

    "It's alright, baby," Anthea murmured to him. "You're safe."

    He opened bleary blue eyes. "Dwagons," he mumbled.

    "No dragons here, sweetheart. Daddy made them all go away."

    "'Kay." And with that, he dropped back into sleep.

    Khan huffed a silent laugh and kissed the back of Nolan's head. "Have you told him about the baby yet?"

    "Not as such, but we've discussed it in front of him. I didn't know if he was old enough to understand."

    "Mmm. Tell me about his birth."

    Anthea shifted a little, so that Nolan's weight wasn't cutting off her circulation to her arm. "Tell you what about it?"

    "Anything. I hate that I wasn't there."

    "And I didn't get anything of it recorded. It happened rather quickly, as far as births go. I was told to expect ten to twelve hours, perhaps more, but it was over in five. They tried several times to stop labour, but nothing worked. Every time they gave me something, it just got worse."

    Khan trailed his fingers along her arm. "Why did they try to stop it?"

    "Because I was only thirty-five weeks along. I had five weeks 'til my due date, and he was considered premature. I was at work, taking dictation from Admiral Brody, and I very suddenly went into labour. I suppose I should have noticed that I'd been nauseated, and that he'd been very quiet the past day, but I didn't. I'd only just learned your real name and history, and I was . . . in a strange place."

    Nolan squirmed between them, rolling over and nearly squishing his tribble. Spot squeaked in protest. Khan plucked the tribble out of the tangle and rolled over briefly, putting the animal on the floor.

    Anthea continued when he'd settled back down. "Mum barely made it down from Edinburgh. Dad wasn't there, he came down later in the day. Lindy was with me nearly the whole time. I had him at the hospital there on base. It was . . . the most exhausting and painful thing I've ever been through, but so utterly worth it."

    "Even worse than your 'testing' for Section 31?" he asked quietly.

    She thought for a long moment, then nodded. "What they did to me there? That was horrible. But it pales in comparison to having to expel a child. And the pain medications kept wearing off. I suppose it's because I had his DNA in my blood or something. The exchange between mother and child. I never got a cold or anything while I was pregnant with him."

    "Really? That's fascinating."

    "Haven't been sick this time, either. Not . . . from a virus or anything like that."

    Khan reached over Nolan and slid his hand around the back of her neck, threading his fingers into her hair. "Yves is trying, my darling, to find answers."

    "I know."

    She wrapped her good arm around Nolan, hugging him close. Khan kissed her forehead.

    Outside, the storm raged.

    ----------

    When the storm finally subsided, everyone emerged to the sodden outer world to assess the damage. A few roofs were leaking, but not badly. The "command centre" in the village square was a wreck, the tarpaulin roof torn, the beams leaning to and fro, one snapped in half.

    "Well," Khan said, after eyeing it, "I was planning on building a town hall or something. I suppose we'll hold meetings in our cabin until spring, depending on how fast we can get something else built."

    "It's big enough," Anthea said, but not enthusiastically.

    "I'm not thinking of everyone in the village crowding in, just my council. And only as needed. I know you need your rest."

    She grimaced.

    "Yes, I know how you feel about that. You will rest, however."

    "We need better beds for everyone," Anthea told her husband, changing the subject. "And a crib for Pandu. A proper one. Winter clothes for everyone. Food we can store for when we can't hunt."

    "Yes. I've been keeping a list." Khan held up his PADD. "Still, these conditions are better than those we lived under during our year of hiding."

    Anthea shuddered. "I can't imagine that. How awful that must have been."

    "It was certainly a rude awakening to many of us," he told her dryly. "Going from sleeping on silk sheets to dirt floors? Cots are virtually a luxury."

    "That may be, but I want better for our people. I feel guilty for having more things than everyone else."

    He looked up, his dark hair falling over his face, and brushed the stray fringe out of his eyes. "You have done more for our people this year than I have managed, Thea."

    She frowned, rubbing her belly absent-mindedly. "I still get the feeling I'm not . . . I mean, it's not like Rodriguez, but I know that some of them only accept me because they're afraid of what you'll do if they don't. They accept me because they're obligated, not because they want to."

    "It will take time," he assured her. "They need to get to know you. Those you spend time with daily like you. Branch out, get to know everyone personally. And don't expect everyone to automatically love you. Some of them don't like me very much."

    She feigned shock, a hand to her heart. "You? Surely not!"

    Khan snorted. "You can earn their respect, but some are incapable of affection. Some of us are too . . . broken by our training."

    Anthea leaned over to kiss his cheek. "The ones who don't love you just haven't seen you play peek-a-boo with Nolan."

    He caught her around the waist, pulling her close. "And it's going to stay that way," he said.

    "Yes, yes. My lips are sealed. You know, I'm told Genghis Khan played with his children and no one thought him any less scary for it."

    Khan growled and nibbled the side of her neck. She laughed.

    "I have an idea," she said, when he released her. "What if I went around to everyone and asked them what they need? Want, too. Things they don't have that would make life better here."

    "That is a very good idea," he said, with a pleased nod. "Not things like food or bedding. We'll take care of that anyway. Things they want. Make certain they know we can't guarantee everything. It depends on what we can find. Perhaps, get a list of their top three wants?"

    "Okay. And I'll take Nolan along. And apologise to Marla while I'm out and about."

    He arched a brow.

    "I don't like her, but I need to do it."

    "Leaders often do things they find distasteful," he reminded her.

    Anthea nodded and sighed. "I am all-too-aware of that, unfortunately."

    If Khan could suffer a year in slavery for his people, she could reign in her pride and apologise to Marla. Even if it made her want to vomit.

    Of course, that could have been the morning sickness talking.
  14. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

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    star 5
    Another great conversation between Anthea and Khan as they become more aware of issues surrounding her pregnancy and Marla.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great chapter with her diary and telling about her first birth experience.
    Excellent idea to ask for what they want
  16. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks. :) It's all really talky right now, isn't it?

    She's trying to get back to who she was before all this. She was very efficient at Section 31, and with everything she's going through, she's temporarily lost that part of herself.


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


    --Chapter Five--

    With Nolan in tow, and armed with her PADD, Anthea set out to meet with every citizen of their colony. She also made note, as she visited, of which of their people had begun to pair off. Some of the living quarters needed rearranging; a few who had been bunking with friends could now move into others as their previous occupants moved in with a new lover.

    Kati joined her not long after she started, Pandu in a sling across her chest. "I think, come spring, we will be having weddings," she commented, as they took a breather around midday.

    "I think that's likely, though Khan and I were married in the autumn. September twenty-eighth, actually." Anthea handed Nolan a carrot stick, which he happily chewed on. Carrots, they'd found, grew well in the soil here, as did tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and potatoes. Onions, however, did not, and they weren't sure why.

    Her sister-in-law tipped her head. "And when is your birthday?"

    "June twenty-ninth. Nolan's is October sixth. I . . ." Anthea paused. "It just occurred to me, I know when John Harrison observed his birthday, but I don't know what Khan's is."

    "November fifteenth, 1970," Kati told her. "Or, as he's told me, 2222."

    She breathed a sigh of relief. "Good. Then it's the same. Blast, I missed waking him up by two days for it."

    Kati laughed. "I am sure he does not mind. He has never been much of one for celebrating it. Our people thought it was odd that his birthday was not a national holiday."

    "As I understand it, your mum died around that time, so it probably brings bad memories. When is your birthday, by the way?"

    The other woman shifted Pandu in her arms; the infant drank greedily from a bottle, his webbed fingers tight around it. "May tenth, of 1972. You know . . . I am two years younger than Khan, and we are centuries older than you, but when we went into our sleep? Khan was twenty-eight, and I was twenty-six. In my mind, I am still twenty-six. I have thought about it, and the time we spent sleeping aside, Khan is only a year older than you, and I am a year younger."

    Anthea blinked. "I . . . hadn't even thought about that. I keep thinking he's in his late thirties, because that's the age John would be. I'm turning thirty-one this year, and John was eight years older than me, according to Starfleet records."

    "I think," her sister-in-law said wryly, "you may have more difficulty adjusting to our being out of time than we do."

    "Maybe. I was . . . twenty-seven, nearly twenty-eight when Khan and I met. I thought he was thirty-six, not two hundred and eighty-eight. I generally try not to think about the math because it makes my head hurt."

    A flock of birds went by overhead, making their way south as the weather cooled. Nolan watched them fly past, craning his neck and nearly toppling out of his seat backwards. Anthea caught him just in time, tipping him back into place with a hand at his back.

    "Biwds!" he said gleefully.

    "Yes, sweetie, those are birds. Finish your lunch, please."

    "I done!"

    Anthea sighed. "No, you're not. One more carrot, then you're done."

    "No!" He wiggled off the bench, under the table, and sat in the mud.

    "Oh, for the love of- Nolan John Harrison, you get out from under there right this instant!"

    Nolan rolled to hands and knees and crawled in the opposite direction, giggling as he did. Anthea had to rise from the bench, work her way out from between it and table, and circumvent the furniture before she could get to him, and by then, he was halfway across the square.

    "Kati," she said, "I'm going to need another leash."

    "I'll have one for you this afternoon."

    Careful not to slip in the mud, Anthea took off after her son. He ducked between two cabins, squealing in delight, and disappeared.

    "Nolan!" she yelled. "Get back here!"

    "Noooo!" came his distant, laughing reply.

    "Problems?"

    She glanced over at the speaker, seeing with internal dismay that it was Marla McGivers, just stepped out of her door. "My son just ran behind your cabin. I . . . Do you mind helping me locate him?"

    Marla had paint on her hands and a canvas apron on over her clothes. She wiped her hands on a rag and pulled the apron off as she said, "Of course."

    Something Anthea had learned quickly is that toddlers are fast, and an Augment one was quick and slippery. She'd previously kept Nolan on a leash, but Klingons had torn that. Her son had been sufficiently scared by the experience to stick by her side, but that was evidently no longer the case.

    "Which way did he go?" Marla asked, as she came over.

    Anthea pointed. "That way."

    "Does he do this often?" the redhead asked as they headed down the "alley".

    Sighing, Anthea said, "More often than I'm comfortable with."

    It didn't take long for the two women to locate and corral the wayward toddler. He was muddy and covered in leaves by the time Anthea caught him. She lifted him with her good arm, holding him tight despite his protests. He might have been an Augment, but for the moment, she was still stronger.

    "Thanks for the help," she said to Marla, as they stopped by the woman's front door. "And . . . I'm sorry about the way I've been treating you. I've been unfair to you, and I shouldn't have been."

    Marla's dark eyes studied her. "It cost you a lot to say that, didn't it? Look. I'm not after your husband. I was interested before I found out he's married, and before he threatened to kill me. Believe me, I'm not interested any longer. The reason I'm here is because Starfleet was getting too . . ."

    Anthea nodded. She wasn't surprised Khan had threatened the woman. With the stress he'd been under at the time, she wouldn't have been surprised if he had killed the other woman. "Believe me, I completely understand everything Starfleet is too much of. Still, I'm sorry."

    "Apology accepted," Marla said after a moment. "You should go get him cleaned up, he's a mess."

    "Yes, I will definitely do that." Anthea hesitated. "We're going on a supply run soon. Is there anything that you want or need?"

    "Art supplies," came the reply. "I always need more art supplies. Actually . . . I don't want to impose, but would it be possible, when you go on this supply run, for me to go with? I like to pick out my own canvases and things, and I know there's room on that ship. I'd try to stay out of your way."

    Nolan started to squirm, and Anthea shifted him to her hip. "I'll talk to Khan about it. He has final say in everything."

    Marla nodded, and without a word, went inside.

    ----------

    Given Nolan's general state, and her own by the time she'd wrangled him into submission, Anthea hauled him aboard the Reliance to take advantage of the showers there.

    Khan located her there, in the captain's cabin, as she redressed the stubborn toddler. "I hear you had an adventure."

    "Yes, Nolan decided to go exploring," his wife said wryly. "Marla helped me look for him."

    "And how did that go?"

    "Fine. I apologised. I wouldn't say we've made up, per se, but . . . She asked if she could come along when we go on the supply run. I know you're planning on taking some of the men, so if you took Barton, it'd make sense to bring his girlfriend."

    Khan's brow furrowed, eyes narrowing.

    "What?"

    "Who are you, and what have you done with Anthea?"

    She snorted. "You and Kati are the ones who pushed me to apologise. I'm not making friends with her. She asked, I said I'd run it by you."

    "Hmm." He nodded his head towards the doorway. "I was digging out some of the things you brought from Earth, and I found a crate marked 'junk'. I thought you might wish to deal with it."

    "Oh, that. Yes." Anthea finished dressing Nolan, and passed him off to her husband. "Is it still aboard, or in the house?"

    "House."

    They headed back out, Khan lending Anthea a supportive arm. Inside the cabin, she located the crate he'd brought in.

    "I'm guessing you got your things for your workspace?" she asked him.

    "Yes, that's how I found this one. Nice of you to label it 'John's Office', by the way." His expression was sardonic.

    She shrugged as she sat on the floor. "That's what it was, anyway. All of John Harrison's things. It took me a long while to be able to even go in the study, let alone pack everything up."

    Khan set Nolan down, and the little boy scampered off to locate Spot. His father lowered himself to join his wife on the living room rug. "I tried to reach you," he told her. "When I was on Qo'noS. The calls wouldn't go through. I've a theory that Marcus was monitoring or blocking calls to your communicator."

    "That's likely. I know I called you dozens of times, but I never got an answer. And then I got . . . your text. I'm assuming it was you, at any rate."

    "The ship was crashing. I didn't have time for anything elaborate, and I didn't know if it would be a wasted effort, anyway. If Marcus had killed you . . ."

    "He didn't. I don't think I registered much on his radar." Anthea unsealed the crate and Khan lifted the top off for her. "This is mostly just what it says on the tin," she told him. "Junk from my office in London, junk from my office in San Francisco. Oh, and that."

    He lifted out a large ship model, done in black and dark grey. The USS Vengeance, nearly two feet in length, but still vastly miniature compared to the original. "This was in Marcus's office," he said. "How did you get it?"

    Anthea took the model from him. "When they cleaned out his office, after his, ah, 'tragic sacrifice', Admiral Brody gave this to me. Since I'd worked on the project, and it was . . . strangely, something of you. She's an odd woman. I couldn't display it anywhere, obviously, so I put it away in this box."

    She set the model aside. "I've a model of Reliance in here, as well. I thought perhaps Nolan might like them as toys when he's older."

    Khan once again picked up the model of the Vengeance. "Why not?" he said aloud. "After all, he was conceived aboard the Vengeance."

    She blushed. "We're assuming he was."

    His blue eyes glinted. "I've done the math."

    Anthea cleared her throat. "It could have been the Reliance, or at home," she pointed out. "We were . . . busy that week."

    Khan grinned. "I like to think it was the captain's chair, though."

    Her face flamed scarlet. "You would."

    Finally, he put the model back in the crate. "It's the only good memory I have of that ship, Thea, I'd like to keep it."

    She reached out, caught his hand, and brought his fingers to her lips. "It's a very good memory," she told him. "I love you."

    He shook off the sudden melancholy and pulled her into his lap. "As I love you. Now . . . do you think Nolan is sufficiently occupied . . .?"

    "Not in the least. Drop him off with Kati so she can make that new leash she mentioned, hmm?"

    "Have I ever mentioned how nice it is to have a sister willing to watch him at the drop of a hat?" he commented as he got to his feet.

    "Is is, isn't it? Take Spot, too."
  17. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    Chapter Three:
    "But, she has a point, to a degree. Marla is not a threat to us, Thea. I have no interest in the woman, and I never will. And while I personally find your antagonism towards her amusing and gratifying to my ego, the truth is that you are essentially my queen, and we cannot let you seem to be partial to some and hostile towards others."

    Anthea sighed. "I know. I just have this . . . fear and anger, and I don't know where to direct them."

    Bingo! Perfectly said, both from him and from her. =D= I can only imagine what Anthea - and Khan, by extension, is going through, and now that she recognizes this, it can help her move forward. :)

    The British line had me snickering. Perfect moment of humor to lighten the situation! :)

    I loved seeing Anthea in mom-mode with Kati and Pandu. The little one is just so adorable!! [face_love] And the conversation about Marla came full circle here. Great job. =D=


    Chapter Four:
    And speaking of adorable little ones, Nolan is just stealing my heart here. I loved him equating the 'dragons' with the thunder. And his tribble! I had quite a few 'aww' moments here. :)

    I liked that she was writing to her parents again. I know it is a long shot, but I home that somehow - some way, her parents are able to read her log someday. If not, it is a great way for Anthea to get her emotions out and into words. :)

    Very interesting too is how Anthea's DNA was already bonding with her children's. I look forward to see if there is something of an answer for her there. :)

    "Yes, yes. My lips are sealed. You know, I'm told Genghis Khan played with his children and no one thought him any less scary for it."

    [face_laugh]

    Oooh, a wise person would know that a man is only more dangerous for love of family. [face_mischief]

    But it is good to watch their camp as it builds - and it was very interesting what Khan said, about some of his people being broken by their training. It makes perfect sense, but it is something I have never thought of before. I look forward to watching Anthea branch out with Khan's people. :)


    Chapter Five:
    It was good to see Marla and Anthea make up here. Well . . . take the first steps, that is. Helping with Nolan there was a good buffer between them, and I appreciated that Marla acknowledged how much that apology hurt to say. I look forward to seeing where their relationship goes. :)

    The math about ages hurt my head there. :oops: But the math about Nolan had me cracking up. The Captain's chair indeed! [face_laugh] Because of course. :p


    Once again, I am enjoying this fic immensely. Thank-you for sharing. =D=
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Sep 22, 2013
  18. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    More insights into Anthea and Khan's life together
  19. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I have spent SO MUCH TIME around babies and toddlers the last couple of years, they just sort of come naturally now, I guess. I know I didn't do much with Nolan's early infancy, largely because it didn't work with the flow of the story or with where Anthea's headspace was at the time. I've got a couple vignettes planned for that time, like his first steps.

    I adore Nolan. I want one just like him. Even if he is a little pill sometimes!

    I'm considering things for the future, ideas and such. We may see her parents again. Somehow.

    Apparently, you can test for gender before however many weeks by doing a blood test on the mother, but only if it's a boy. And it only works the first time, because the DNA of all children the mother has stays in her blood. I read about it a few years ago.

    And Khan is the most dangerous of them all!

    I'm writing an essay on Khan, his psychology and motives, etc. and I was discussing with a friend of mine on Tumblr how Khan and his people were created to be a slave class, and they were raised that way. Their whole purpose was to be soldiers. And they rebelled against that. What horrors did they see in that time? What were they forced to do? Khan himself was a ruthless ruler, but his people also didn't want for anything, there was no crime, and his was the only kingdom to not commit genocide against others. It explicitly states that in "Space Seed". What did he and his people see that made him take that tactic in his rule? So I can only imagine that others, who aren't as strong or strong-willed as Khan, have suffered horrible things. There's a reason he's so protective of them.

    I don't think they'll ever be friends, largely because their personalities clash. They knew each other before the whole thing with Khan, and weren't friends, and I don't see that changing much.

    There's a great promo still of Khan sitting in that chair, sprawled lazily and looking really hot *cough* and we on Tumblr refer to that as the "Chair of Sex". It was only natural I follow that through to its inevitable conclusion. :p

    Yep!


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

    This chapter might make a few of you very happy. :D



    --Chapter Six--

    "All is well," Yves pronounced, as he put away his equipment. "You are perfectly on schedule for fourteen weeks."

    Anthea tugged her top back into place. "That's good to know. And everything's fine with the baby?"

    "Oui." The doctor smiled.

    Anthea wondered to herself what had driven the Frenchman to pursue medicine, but she'd never felt it her place to ask. He was as strong as the other Augments, but he wasn't inclined in the slightest towards fighting. It felt rude to inquire about their histories. Khan still kept things back from her; she didn't want gory details, really, she just wanted him to share with her, the way she shared with him.

    "I have been considering your difficulties," Yves continued, gesturing to her arm, the one she unconsciously cradled against her abdomen. "May I examine your arm?"

    She extended it, and he ran the tricorder over it.

    "You have nerve damage," he said. "Extensive damage here, by your elbow."

    "Yes," she said softly. "When I joined Section 31, they tortured me. Loyalty testing, they called it, but it was torture."

    Yves looked up with hazel eyes, blonde hair falling across his forehead. "What did they do?"

    "You can feel the scars, under my skin," Anthea told him. "I had them treated, but by the time I got the courage up to have it done, they could only regenerate the surface. They're still there underneath."

    The doctor ran his fingers over her arm, probing for the deep striations of scar tissue. "I see. What did this?"

    "A knife. They tied me to a chair and . . . interrogated me for three days. No sleep, no food, just enough water to keep me alive. I was a mess for the first six weeks after they decided I'd passed. I don't like thinking about it."

    He prodded the lump of scar tissue at her elbow, and her hand jumped, fingers twitching, of its own accord. "Aha!" he exclaimed. "I think maybe your problem is that Khan's DNA, it is trying to fix this damage in your arm, but it does not know how. There is much scar tissue in the way."

    "My superiors weren't particularly concerned, since I was never going to be a field operative," she said flatly. "They glued me back together, but that was about it."

    "Shameful." Yves shook his head. "My theory is this: the serum, and Khan's DNA, they fix problems, oui? Mend what is broken. It fixed your head. But it also . . . aggravates how things are at present, because you are pregnant. It would like to fix the illness from the child, and does not know how because your body keeps changing from your pregnancy. It fixes, you change. It fixes, you change. So it thinks, maybe, that sick is the way you are supposed to be."

    Anthea's nose wrinkled as she made a face. "That's incredibly stupid of it."

    He shrugged. "It is a serum, it is not sentient. I think, perhaps, I can fix your arm, though."

    She arched a brow. "And how do you propose to do that?"

    Yves hesitated, then crossed to his desk and picked up a tool. He came back and held up the scalpel. "I put you under, I open your arm and cut out the scar tissue, we give you another transfusion, and let it heal properly."

    She blinked, speechless with horror.

    There was a knock at the door, and Khan stepped in. "Let what heal properly?" he asked.

    "Madam's arm," Yves said, and quickly caught Khan up on his theory and proposed treatment.

    Khan looked to his wife with a skepticism she couldn't help but mirror. "And how likely is it to work?" he asked the doctor.

    "Eh, sixty percent? I do not even know how extensive the scarring is, but I suspect she will be better for it anyway. The scar tissue is pressing on her nerves, especially this, the radial nerve." He ran a finger down her arm to illustrate. "I can guarantee nothing."

    Anthea looked at her arm. "What are the chances that it'll get worse?"

    Yves stepped to his desk and did a few calculations on his computer console. "Approximately twelve percent chance that it will increase your difficulties. Eighty-eight percent chance it will improve your condition."

    She heaved a sigh, looked at Khan. He shrugged.

    "I'll try it," she said. "On one condition."

    "And what is that?" Yves asked.

    "You finally tell Kati how you feel. The two of you are driving me up the wall."

    The doctor flushed, and Khan burst out laughing.

    ----------

    The thought of another surgery didn't bother Anthea. It was the unknown effect it might have on her unborn child that concerned her. Yves assured her, however, that the baby would be fine.

    "These modern anesthetics," he told her, "are a marvel. They are not harmful to the child at all. Remember, we had you in a coma with them and the child is fine. I believe, too, that it being an Augment increases its hardiness in your womb."

    She flattened her hand over her belly. "I just don't want anything to happen to her."

    Khan rubbed the back of her neck. "The child will be fine," he told her softly. "Just relax, lie back, and we'll have this over with soon."

    Anthea sighed and did as instructed. Yves put the hypo to her arm.

    "Relax," Khan murmured. "I'm right here. I'll be here the whole time."

    She blinked, closed her eyes-

    -and opened them to one of the worst groggy sensations she'd ever had. "Ohh," she groaned, and gulped.

    "Bucket," Khan said from somewhere near her.

    Hands rolled her to her side, and she threw up. That same tender touch eased her back against the pillows and brushed her hair out of her face. She blinked up at her husband's concerned face as he swam into view.

    "Feeling better?" he asked.

    "Unngh."

    "I'll take that as a no. We think the surgery went well. The readings indicate there isn't as much damage to your nerves as there was previously, and impulses go through from your shoulder to your fingers more smoothly. My blood healed you, so there's no scarring, but you might be sick from the anesthetic for a little while. You've been under for close to eight hours."

    She mumbled something incoherent in response.

    "Go back to sleep, my love. I'll be right beside you."

    ----------

    The second time Anthea woke, she was much more coherent, and not nauseated.

    "I am," she said after a long moment, "sick of this medbay."

    Khan helped her sit up and gave her some water. "How are you feeling?"

    "Tired. But that's nothing new."

    Yves came over to examine her arm yet again. He ran her through some exercises, and she found that her hand didn't shake like it had before. The strength in it was improved, as well.

    "It should continue to get better," the doctor told her. "But for the next two or three days, I would like you to rest and try not to use it more than necessary."

    She flexed her arm, noting the newly-healed pink skin. "My arm is so much more flexible. I hadn't even noticed how much movement I'd lost. Thank you, Yves!"

    "You are welcome," the doctor said with a smile.

    Anthea slid off the bed. Khan held her steady when she swayed.

    "We fixed your arm, not the rest of you," he reminded her.

    She waved him off and pointed at Yves. "Don't forget your end of the bargain, Yves. I get tired just watching the two of you dance around and stammer and behave like lovestruck teenagers. Shag her, you'll both feel better."

    Khan clapped a hand over her mouth, though he was clearly struggling not to laugh. "That would be the anesthetic talking. Ignore her."

    Leaving Yves flushed and, indeed, stammering, Khan hauled his wife out and back to their cabin.

    ----------

    After Khan and Anthea left, Yves occupied himself with tidying his already immaculate medbay. Khan said it was the anesthetic talking, but he knew Anthea, and knew she wouldn't forget, and she would badger him until he did as he'd said he would.

    With a sigh, the blonde Frenchman went to his quarters and changed out of his scrubs and into his "civilian" clothes. As he did, he reflected that he had fought in battles, had roamed the war-torn streets of Paris with no weapons and just a first-aid kit to seek out the injured, had served as royal doctor to Khan Noonien Singh, and nothing had terrified him as much as the thought of going to Kati Kaur and confessing his love for her.

    Well, almost nothing. Khan's wife scared the hell out of him, if he was honest, and he wasn't completely sure why. Yes, he was very fond of her, like a sister, but she was also the scariest person he'd ever met. And he was best friends with Khan, so that said something.

    "You can do this, Yves Guillame," he murmured to himself, in his native French. So sad that his mother tongue was considered a dead language in this modern time.

    He left the ship and made his way past Khan and Anthea's cabin. The sound of their son's laughter reached him, and he had to smile. What he wouldn't give for a child like that!

    At Kati's door, he hesitated. His enhanced hearing picked up Kati talking to Pandu in what he assumed was Hindi. He only knew a few words here and there, mostly ones he'd picked up from Khan and a good lot of them unrepeatable in polite company. He smirked a bit at that.

    Taking a deep breath, he raised his hand and knocked.

    She answered the door after only a moment, dressed in an olive-green skirt, a blue top, and a tie-dyed sari she'd fashioned. Yves thought she was breathtaking, with her dark hair loose around her shoulders, her brown eyes wide and welcoming, full mouth curving up in a smile.

    "Yves!" she said. "Come in! Tell me, how did Anthea's surgery go?"

    "It went well," he said, as he stepped inside the small cabin. "She's recovering at home."

    "That is good to hear! I am sorry, please, have a seat. I just brewed some tea, would you like some?"

    He gulped. Now or never, he told himself. "Actually, there was . . . something I wanted to discuss with you. I am not good with words . . ."

    "You seem fine to me," she put in. "Tell me, friend, what is bothering you?"

    Friend! Dreaded word! He cherished being her friend, but it was not what he wanted. Anthea seemed to think Kati returned his feelings, but was she certain? Was she right?

    "I do not want to be your friend," he blurted.

    A flicker of hurt passed over her features, and he swore under his breath. That had not come out right at all!

    "Have I done something?" she asked, in a small voice.

    "No, I-" Swearing again, he did the only thing that made sense.

    Yves crossed the short space between them, caught her by the shoulders, and kissed her.

    Several stunned seconds passed, and he pulled away. His heart was in his throat, face flushed. Yves couldn't have spoken to save his life, so great was his mortification that he had done it.

    She blinked dark eyes, utterly surprised. Then she said, "Oh."

    "'Oh'?" he repeated incredulously. "That is all you can say? 'Oh'?"

    Kati smiled, and it lit up the room. No, it lit up his world. "Do be quiet, priyatama, and do not ruin this moment," she said, and she stood on her toes to kiss him again.
  20. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Lovely chapters.
    Anthea has the use of her arm and Yves.[face_dancing] I love him to be with Kati
  21. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I'd love to write something just focusing on Yves and Kati, but it's easier for me to keep them as secondary characters. That scene at the end of this was a little odd for me.
  22. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Glad that Yves finally decided to kiss Kati and that the surgery for Anthea went well.
  23. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks. :D
  24. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Seven--

    The next morning, Anthea and Khan were dragged out of a sound sleep by a loud pounding on their front door. Khan pulled on a pair of trousers and went to answer the door, hair still mussed from sleep. Anthea was slower in rising, settling for pulling on a Betazoid dressing gown.

    "You're certain?" Khan was asking Otto, as they stood just inside the door. It was raining again, and Otto was dripping.

    "Ja, Kaiser," Otto rumbled. "All save yours."

    "What's going on?"

    Both men turned to look at her. Khan said, "Otto just informed me that Chin found the wheat supplies are ruined. They got wet during the storm and the containers are full of mold."

    Anthea pressed a hand to her heart. "Oh, no. That means all we have left-"

    "Is our portion, yes."

    She went to the kitchen, leading the men. Khan lifted the cellar door and went down the short flight of steps. The flat stones tiling the kitchen floor were cold under Anthea's bare toes.

    Khan heaved the two containers out of the hole. It wasn't much; they'd only cultivated so much of the surrounding area as farm land, and they only had one small, automated harvester.

    Anthea nudged one of the containers with her foot. "They seem alright. Seals don't seem to be broken."

    "No, our cellar is dry," her husband said. "It looks like we need to make that supply run sooner than later."

    "I have some flour, enough to last a day or two," Anthea told him. "We should distribute this, or have someone make enough bread to keep everyone going while we're gone."

    "We are low on the powdered eggs, as well," Otto said. "Iliyana made a list of things we are running out of."

    "Have her get it to me," Khan directed. "Quickly. Anthea, get dressed, go get Kati. Take the perishables to Iliyana, as well as anything we don't need immediately. She'll distribute them as needed while we're gone."

    Anthea nodded and dashed off to the bedroom, where she quickly changed into a dark grey metallic sweater, brown suede leggings, a desert-coloured cardigan she'd picked up in San Francisco, and a pair of rugged, brown leather boots. The cardigan wasn't her usual kind of thing, but she'd found the tan, red, grey, blue, and olive green mix appealing.

    It was still raining, so she pulled on a hood out of Khan's seemingly endless collection of them, and carefully made her way down the slight hill to Kati's cabin. She found her sister-in-law still sleeping, as normal people were wont to be doing at the crack of dawn.

    "What is wrong?" Kati asked, when she answered the door.

    "The wheat's been ruined. Khan and I are apparently going to go on that supply run we've been talking about, and he wants you and I to redistribute our perishables while we're gone."

    Kati nodded. "That is a good idea. But who will watch the children while we do this?"

    Anthea shrugged. "Khan's holding a council, apparently, so as far as I'm concerned, he can keep an eye on them while we take care of this. It shouldn't take long. Bring Pandu up to the house."

    Kati ducked into her bedroom and brought out the baby, throwing a blanket over him to keep the rain off.

    "You need a proper coat," Anthea told her. "Let's get you one out of my wardrobe. I brought all of my clothes from Earth, and I really don't need that much. I was . . . a clotheshorse."

    Inigo and Chin had joined Otto and Khan by this time. Anthea greeted them, then asked her husband, "Will you watch Nolan and Pandu while we take care of the food? It shouldn't take long. We can put the baby in Nolan's crib."

    "Yes, that's fine," Khan said with a short nod.

    Nolan was awake, so Anthea got him out of his crib and let him play with Spot while they put Pandu in his crib.

    "We need to get you a proper bed for him," Anthea said to her sister-in-law, as the two women went into the master bedroom. "And maybe a bigger house. You can't raise a child in that small thing."

    She dragged out a box from the closet Khan had built her, amused that he'd thought to do so. His and hers closets. Their cabin wasn't a ramshackle pioneer affair, but a sprawling house that just happened to be made of logs. It wasn't her brownstone in London, with so many fond memories, but she loved it all the same.

    "It works for now," Kati said. "I think Yves and I will build a larger home in the spring."

    Anthea froze with the lid half off the crate. "Pardon?"

    Her sister-in-law grinned. "Yves and I . . . he came to me last night and told me he loves me."

    With an answering grin, Anthea got to her feet and hugged Kati. "I'm so happy for you! And it's about time, too!"

    She turned her attention back to the clothes. "We'll go through the rest of this later, perhaps give some of it out to the other women, if they'll fit them. There are a few things I've hung on to that will never fit me again, not after two babies. For now . . ."

    She pulled out a calf-length, navy blue trench coat with hidden buttons. "This should fit you. Try it on."

    Kati took the coat and slipped into it. She was two inches taller than Anthea, but the coat still fit well. "Yes, this will work."

    "Then it's yours." Anthea closed the box. "Let's get that food to Iliyana."

    Together, the two women gathered up the reconstituted foods in the "refrigerator"--one of the cryotubes, reconfigured and repurposed as cold storage--and carried them across the village to Iliyana's cabin. The Ukrainian woman was the most skilled cook and had rapidly become the one in charge of rations and food preparation.

    "Thank you for this," the woman said stiffly, as she took the food. It was obvious that she was worried. She'd never been particularly friendly, and the stress made her short with her visitors.

    "Khan is bringing our wheat down," Anthea told her. "We're going on a supply run as soon as we have this situation . . . calmed down. I want these things to be spread out as much as you can."

    Iliyana blinked green eyes at her, mouth open. "I . . . Yes, I will, my lady."

    "Please, call me Anthea. Oh, and Otto said you have a list of things we need?"

    "Yes, I . . . Here."

    Iliyana fetched it from her table and handed it over. "This is just an idea of things we could use."

    "I'll do what I can to get them," Anthea assured her.

    It wasn't until they were headed back up the hill that Kati remarked, "You are doing well with your arm."

    Anthea stopped on the path and looked at her arm. The rain had turned, for the moment, to a drizzle. "I hadn't even noticed. It's been the bane of my existence the past few days, and I . . ."

    "Yves does good work," Kati said.

    "Yes, he does." Then Anthea smirked. "And if he's good at anything else, I don't want to know."

    Kati flushed, and Anthea laughed. "Come on, let's get dry."

    ----------

    Anthea dug through her box of older clothing and pulled out a few things she thought would fit Kati. Their styles were very different, she reflected as she set aside a few blouses and a skirt that didn't fit her rounder frame.

    "I used to be skinnier," she commented. "Smaller busted, too. Khan never complained, but I can tell he likes the new girls better."

    Kati snorted. "Men."

    "These should work for you. I haven't any extra shoes, my feet are a size smaller than yours. I'm just glad I got enough shoes in enough sizes to fit everyone."

    Her sister-in-law nodded as she held up a dark blue blouse with silver embroidery at neck and cuff. "This is lovely."

    "I thought so, too, but I never wore it much. And now, well . . ." Anthea shrugged.

    Kati poked through the box, noting a brilliant turquoise fabric with silver beading and little mirrors. She pulled it out. "Oh, this is beautiful!"

    Anthea found herself reaching for the kaftan before Kati even had it out of the crate. She forced herself not to snatch it away. "My mum gave that to me. Funnily enough, she and Dad picked it up on a trip to India. Mumbai, I think. I was wearing that the day I bought my wedding dress."

    "So it is special, then." Kati carefully folded it and handed it over. "You must miss them. Your parents."

    Feeling tears pricking at her eyes, Anthea blinked them away rapidly. "Yes. Very much. But I couldn't- It was a choice between staying with them, or going with Khan, and . . . My choice will always be Khan."

    Kati reached over and patted her arm. "As his sister, I am pleased to hear that. But as your friend . . . I wish there was some way we could . . . bring them here."

    Anthea smiled. "Yes, I would love to see them again. It's just so complicated. You know that I betrayed the Federation when I stole you from Starfleet and came here? I can't go back to Federation space without risking a court martial or worse. I lied a little when I told James Kirk he has no authority here. If he'd wanted to, he could very well have hauled me back to Earth to stand trial."

    "Stand trial for rescuing your husband from an unjust imprisonment?"

    She nodded. "In their eyes, it wasn't unjust. Khan . . . orchestrated a terrorist attack on the USS Kelvin Memorial Archive, convinced a man named Thomas Harewood to blow the place up. Forty-two men and women, Harewood included, died. I liked Harewood . . . And he attacked Starfleet Headquarters, killed a captain and an admiral, killed Admiral Marcus, and crashed the Vengeance into San Francisco. He killed a lot of people, even if I completely understand why and even agree with him to an extent."

    Kati tipped her head and studied Anthea. "I see. Does it bother you that he did these things?"

    Anthea was quiet for a long moment, running her fingers over the silk of the kaftan. "Sometimes," she admitted. "Not Admiral Marcus. If I could, I would kill him myself. And I recognise that crashing into San Francisco was an accident, so to speak. He was aiming for Headquarters, at the edge of the city, and the ship didn't make it that far. He never intended for all those civilians to die. But Christopher Pike and Thomas Harewood? Their deaths bother me sometimes. I like Admiral Pike, from the few occasions we met. And Tom . . . I worked with him directly for a time. I knew him. I'm the one that told him about Lucille, his daughter. The one Khan healed."

    "And you feel responsible?"

    "Not . . . entirely, no. It's more complicated than that. For a long time, I had no idea why Khan- You see, at the time, I knew him as John Harrison. I was married to John Harrison, and in private, I was Anthea Harrison. It was nearly a year after he disappeared that I found out who he really was, that John had never existed. I had a year of not knowing why, only that for some reason, my husband had gone crazy and killed over twelve thousand people. And when I learned what Marcus had done, and who Khan really was . . . It took time to reconcile it all in my head. Sometimes I still have difficulty. I love Khan as he is, but . . ."

    She put the kaftan back in the box, to save for warmer weather. "Sometimes, every once in a while, I can't help but miss John."

    ----------

    In the hallway outside the bedroom, Khan paused with his hand raised to push the door open. He let it fall to his side as his wife's words reached him.

    Why had it not occurred to him that she still mourned John Harrison? She'd accepted him so readily when he'd awoken from his imprisonment, it hadn't even crossed his mind that she might, in some small way, see him and his alias as two separate men.

    Khan wasn't angered or hurt by her words, just a little saddened. They'd done things together when he was John that he couldn't do with her as Khan. While he knew he was the same man, he could see how she would perceive a difference.

    When they went on this trip, he would do something nice for her, something like he had done as John Harrison. A proper . . . date.

    He smiled to himself at the thought, at the silliness of it, and knew he'd do it anyway. For her, he'd do anything.
    Deciding not to interrupt, he went back to where his men waited, to finalise his plans.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  25. RX_Sith C&G Game Host and SFTC Winner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    More problems surface as Anthea misses her times with John as Khan overhears her laments.
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