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

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Dantana Skywalker, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I hope the problems will be solved.
    Does the planet have some more food to harvest?
     
  2. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    I wouldn't call them problems, really.

    Anthea brought fast-growing wheat, which takes about half the time to grow as normal ones, specifically developed for colonies just starting out, but it still takes time to grow, and they just harvested. I forgot to mention this detail when I was writing. It's too late in the season for them to plant now, with the weather turning cold.


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

    --Chapter Eight--

    When plans were finalised, Khan went to Anthea to inform her of them. Kati had finally left, likely to visit Yves at the medbay, and his wife was in Nolan's room, playing with their son.

    He lowered himself to the floor and picked up Spot, amusing himself by playing keep-away with Nolan for a moment.

    "You and I will go, and take Nolan," he told her. "We're the most familiar with everything modern, besides Marla. And we might as well bring her along, with Barton. Yves and Kati will also come, because I want our doctor with us, for you, and it would be cruel to separate the two of them at this stage."

    "Dada!" Nolan protested. "Spot mine!"

    "So Kati told you Yves finally made a move?" Anthea asked with a smile. "Khan, give Nolan the tribble."

    "She's over the moon about it," he said, as he handed the ball of fur to his son. "We'll leave in the morning. Otto and Chin are in charge, as usual."

    He climbed to his feet, pausing to ruffle Nolan's mop of black hair. "Pack a variety of things, I'm not certain where we're going or what the climate will be. Oh, and take something nice, as well."

    Anthea arched a brow. "Something nice?" she repeated. "What are you planning?"

    Khan smirked. "That, my dear, you will have to wait to see."

    ----------

    Nolan wandered in, Spot in his arms, while Anthea was packing. Part of packing to leave Earth had had her using her personal luggage to wardrobe storage, which made packing for this trip a lot easier, with no crate to lug around.

    "What doing?" her son asked, peering into the suitcase.

    "Mummy's packing for a trip we're going on."

    Nolan's blue eyes were wide. "Twip?"

    "Yes, we're going to take the ship and go visit another planet, to get things we need. Like shopping. You're too little to remember, but Mummy and Grandma would take you shopping with us when she came to visit."

    He scrunched his little face up for a moment, then said, "Gamma! 'Membew Gamma. Miss Gamma!"

    "I miss Grandma, too," Anthea said softly.

    Sometimes, she missed her mother so much that it was a physical ache. But she couldn't contact Martha Mackintosh, not with Starfleet looking for her and Khan.

    She forced those melancholy thoughts aside and finished packing clothes for herself and Khan, a variety of layering things for weather ranging from sunny to snowy. She did the same for Nolan; his small clothes took up only a tiny part of the suitcase.

    "And Daddy will need to lift that," she told Nolan, "because Mummy couldn't possibly. It's too heavy."

    "I help!" her son declared, and tugged at the handle.

    Predictably, it didn't move. Anthea smothered a grin and ruffled his hair. "You are a big help, sweetie. Thank you."

    Inside her, the baby moved, and Anthea rubbed a hand over her belly as she sat on the edge of the bed. Sarina's movements still weren't strong enough for anyone else to feel them, but she could.

    "Mama?" Nolan put Spot down on the floor and reached up to pat Anthea's stomach. "Tummy!"

    "Yes, that's Mummy's tummy. Do you know what's inside Mummy's tummy?"

    He shook his head, dark hair falling in his eyes.

    Anthea swept it off his forehead, running her fingers down his cheek. She loved her little boy so much, there were times she could barely contain the emotion. "Mummy and Daddy are having a baby. You're going to have a sister in a few months."

    "Pandu izza baby!"

    "That's right! Pandu is your cousin. Auntie Kati adopted him. He wasn't born to her, like you were to me, but he's your cousin."

    Nolan pulled himself up on the bed and leaned against her, his short legs sticking straight off the edge of the mattress. "Whas 'dopted?"

    "Pandu's mummy and daddy couldn't take care of him anymore, so Khan, your daddy, brought him to live here, so Kati could have a baby and raise him. He's still little right now, not as big as you, but soon, you'll be able to play together."

    He considered this, then reached over and patted her stomach again. "Baby in hewe?"

    "Mm-hmm. She's just little right now, but soon, you'll be able to feel her moving."

    Nolan's brow furrowed. "You eat her?"

    Anthea laughed. "No, sweetie, I didn't eat her. I'll tell you when you're older how we make babies."

    "Better you than me," Khan said from the doorway, with a wry grin.

    "Mmm, I think I'll let you handle the talk with Nolan, and I'll deal with Sarina," his wife said. "Unless you want to tell her about girl troubles."

    He made a face. "No, I don't want to. Fine. I'll handle the boys, you handle the girls."

    She kissed the top of Nolan's head, then stood. "You're assuming we're having more than two."

    Khan went to her, pulling her flush against him. "I want as many as we're able to stand without wanting to kill them."

    Anthea snickered. "At least wait 'til Sarina's born before making judgements like that. You may change your mind when she's screaming in the middle of the night."

    "Never," he said, and kissed her.

    Nolan jumped off the bed and threw himself at Khan's leg, latching on with arms and legs. His parents broke apart with mutual laughs, and Khan picked up his son. Setting the boy against his side, he asked Anthea, "Are you done packing?"

    She nodded. "I think I'm going to nap, now. I've had an exhausting day."

    "Alright. But we're leaving in two hours. I want to get out, get this done, and get back as quickly as we can. Come on, Nolan, you can help me get the ship through preflight and warmup, and I'll show you the warp drive Daddy designed."

    Anthea stretched out on the bed as they left, smiling broadly at the retreating backs of her boys.

    ----------

    That evening, the departing party boarded the Reliance. Anthea settled into the navigator's seat on the small bridge, pulling up a list of nearby systems. Nolan sat on Khan's lap, where he occupied the captain/pilot seat.

    "Just like old times, hmm?" Khan murmured to Anthea as he controlled the lift of the ship from the ground.

    "Not quite," his wife said, with a glance at their toddler. "We didn't have him with us on the trip to Betazed."

    "That is very true. We should go back there sometime. As for this expedition, where are we going?"

    Kati came onto the bridge, seating herself at the unused communications station. "I want to see everything," she said to no one in particular. "I was asleep already when we left Earth."

    Anthea turned to her sister-in-law. "Does Yves want to see this, too? Wait 'til we get out of the atmosphere and you can see the nebula."

    "Yves doesn't like flying," Khan put in. "He should be fine once we're actually out in space, but he can't stand seeing the ground so far beneath him."

    "Really? That's . . . kind of charming, actually. I'm so used to men who are fine with flying around."

    "It is his fear of heights," Kati told her. "He gets vertigo."

    "Which is something that you can't really plan for in genetics," Khan remarked. "Genetics studies in the twentieth century managed to create us, but they weren't good enough to locate that one, tiny bit of chromosome that controls inner ear problems."

    Anthea raised an eyebrow. "I'm sure we'd be able to fix that now."

    Khan shook his head. "He won't let me."

    The ship reached the edges of the atmosphere, the blue of the sky gradually giving way to a vast expanse of stars. Kati gasped at the sight of the rainbow nebula, vast enough that it served as a vibrant backdrop for the majority of the small system.

    "Ohh," she said. "It is amazing!"

    Khan triggered a channel to the medbay. "Yves, get up here. We've left the atmosphere."

    In a few moments, the doctor joined them on the bridge. He was stunned speechless by the view, wordlessly moving to stand behind Kati's chair.

    "This is one of the reasons I chose this system," Anthea said aloud. "It's far enough away that the radiation won't affect us on the planet, and the ship's shielding protects us here, but it's such a lovely visual."

    "You chose well," Khan told her. "Even if Kirk managed to locate us within months."

    "He operates on sheer, dumb luck," Anthea muttered. "Now, where should we go? Let's avoid the fringes of Federation space. Betazed is a little close to the edge of that for my comfort, to be honest, though I do want to go back there one day."

    Nolan was completely enraptured by the viewscreen as Khan manipulated the controls on his chair to bring up a star chart. As a prototype for the USS Vengeance, the pilot of the Reliance could manage all shipboard controls from the captain's chair if needed.

    "Nausicaa?" Anthea suggested.

    Khan scanned the data displayed. "No. Too high-profile and too close to the Federation. And given their general lack of water, they won't have the foodstuffs we're looking for."

    He continued scrolling through. Kati interrupted with, "Did that say '18 Puppies'?"

    "18 Puppis," her brother corrected. "Though I can see why you thought otherwise."

    "Elora," Anthea suggested. "Well away from Federation space, but they've had First Contact. Humanoids, Class M planet, atmosphere similar to ours. Does trade with Ferenginar, amongst others, so they'll take gold pressed latinum."

    "Everyone trades with the Ferengi," Khan muttered. "So. Elora it is."

    As he programmed a course, Anthea turned to Kati and Yves. "You'll want to sit down for this," she said.

    Yves move to sit in the only other unoccupied chair. Khan glanced over at him, to make sure he was properly seated, then pushed the lever that would take them to warp.

    The engines rumbled, space outside distorted, and then streaked into a blue tunnel.

    "Congratulations," Anthea told their companions. "You're now going more than eight times the speed of light."

    "But . . . I do not feel different," Kati said.

    Khan turned in his seat, free to converse now that they were at warp. "Gravity generators, inertial dampeners, a host of other technology. Amazing, isn't it?"

    "Yes," Yves said slowly. "And frightening beyond measure."

    "It's astonishing," Anthea said, "how often those two things coincide."
     
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  3. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    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.

    Just THIS.

    I was talking to a RL friend yesterday, trying to explain Khan, and I got a raised eyebrow in return. Apparently I spend too much time dissecting fictional characters. Especially the 'villians'. But this was just incredibly spot on, and it gives such a depth to the character that is just beautiful. I am enjoying your character study here. =D=

    I wouldn't mind reading that essay when you are done, either, if it ends up posted somewhere online. :)


    Now, for the story . . .


    Chapter Six:

    "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."

    That makes so much sense! My mind had a plesant sort of boggling moment there. :p I'm glad Yves was able to figure it out. :)

    Reading about her time with Section 31 just hurts. It's hard to imagine a section of Starfleet operating that way - but it just shows you how far gone Marcus and his followers were. :(

    "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."

    [face_laugh] Perfect!

    And speaking of! Gah! Yves and Kati! That was the most adorable get together scene ever, and I loved Anthea's proding while she was drowsy. I also really liked the paragraph of backstory from before - the deeper you go into these character's lives, the more I am enjoying this. =D=


    Chapter Seven:

    Now we are running into the more everyday problems of running a new colony here. That sucks about the grain! :( Although I liked Anthea sharing her clothes - and her comments on her new figure! Spot on and very real. :)

    But this was a very nice moment to comment on the Khan/John dynamic. I like that Anthea doesn't gloss over everything Khan did. Sure, there were reasons, and very good ones at that - but good people still died, and that stings. :(

    I loved Khan's determination for a 'date' at the end here. He is smitten! [face_love]


    Chapter Eight

    The Nolan feelings! I just absolutely adore him. His line about Anthea 'eating' the baby had me cracking up!

    And it seems like a fear of flying is a thing for doctors! [face_laugh] Yves was adorable here, as was Kati's wide eyed wonder with space for the first time. I could only imagine!


    These were a wonderful few updates, and I can't wait for more!
     
  4. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    So their trip to get replenishments starts off with the wonders of space revealed to Yves and Kati who get to see it for the first time.
     
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nice chapter with Nolan going on the trip and Yves and Kati too. I love that couple
     
  6. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    I'm actually not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the essay when I'm done with it. I'm still in the brainstorming/note-making stage. But if it gets posted, I'll let you know. I may just send you a copy.


    Sad thing is, I didn't make any of their methods up, really. It's implied in "Enterprise" and a few other later shows (DS9 primarily?) that they do this "loyalty testing" on all their 31 recruits.

    I went into writing that scene with no plan whatsoever. I hadn't thought up, "This is what he'll say, and he'll be suave and romantic" or any of that. I just put them in a room together and wrote down what came out. [face_laugh] Khan chattered away in my head for days before I got to the scene with him proposing to Anthea, planning everything out. He's a very meticulous muse. Yves is a little more flaily and disorganised when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

    When I was writing that, I realised, "I've never actually said what Yves's last name is or any of his backstory . . ." I know it in my head, but sometimes I forget to put things down in words for my readers.


    She and Khan are actually going to have a conversation about that coming up in a few chapters. I've got it written, I just need to type it up.

    He totally is. He tried to deny it at first, but now he's like, "Ah, screw it. I'm in love with her and I don't care who knows." Now that Marcus is out of the way, anyway.


    Well, by toddler logic, the way things get in tummies is through the mouth. Ergo . . .

    I actually forgot McCoy had a fear of flying when I was writing this. It just made sense for Yves to have an extreme dislike of it, no matter how "safe" the ship is in Khan's hands. I myself get vertigo when looking down long distances, or, say, looking up at skyscrapers. I've got an inner ear and balance problem, anyway, so craning my neck that far makes me dizzy. I can't go near the windows in tall buildings, even though I know I'm not about to fall out the window.


    I can only imagine what space travel is actually like. Space is amazing enough from the ground, can you imagine what it's like to be there?


    I do, too! I've got lots planned for them. :D
     
  7. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    --Chapter Nine--

    Elora was a full day's journey from Sitara. Everyone quickly grew bored of the view at warp, and returned to doing other things. Anthea put Nolan to bed, and slept herself. She wasn't able to stay up all night, piloting the ship like Khan could, especially now that she was pregnant, and still sick. Everything wore her out.

    When she rejoined him in the morning, she pressed a kiss to his temple. "Did you sleep at all? You know Barton could have spelled you for a bit, if necessary."

    "No," he murmured. "We'll get a room at a nice hotel tonight, if there are any, and I'll sleep then."

    She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Just don't make yourself exhausted." Anthea sat down at the navigator's station and pulled up the file on their destination.

    "And how did you sleep?" he inquired.

    "As well as I could with indigestion, a leg that wouldn't stop twitching, and Nolan kicking me in the back."

    He chuckled. "You could have put him in the cabin across the hall, like before."

    "And leave him unsupervised? Hardly. I'm not an idiot. Anyway, he's in with Kati now, 'helping' her with Pandu. He's full of questions about babies, now that I've told him about my pregnancy, and I figured I'd let her field some of them for a while."

    "I thought you liked Kati," Khan said, feigning shock.

    She stuck her tongue out at him and returned to what she was doing.

    "You know, I was thinking last night, lying in bed without you, that your Starfleet file said you were born to Richard and Sara Harrison in Dover," Anthea commented, as she reviewed the information on Elora, "and that you were on Tarsus IV."

    "Sara was close to Sarina," he said, after a long moment. "And obviously, I was never anywhere near Tarsus IV."

    "I'd noted it in your file, but given what I've heard about what happened there, I didn't want to bring it up," she told him. It was then that she looked up, to study him. "Asking about surviving a starving colony that resorted to cannibalism? I did not want to know."

    He grimaced, recalling times when he and his people had been in hiding, when food had been scarce. Even just thinking about how bad it could have gotten was enough to turn his stomach. "Though I wasn't there, I was thoroughly briefed as part of my cover. It's one of the reasons I'm so concerned about our people. Tarsus IV had a poisoned wheat supply. Ours is moldy. I would really rather our people not turn to eating each other."

    Anthea gagged. "I'm with you on that one, darling. Out of curiosity, if I had asked about it, what would you have said?"

    "That I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to add that to the lies I was already forced to tell you."

    She reached over to squeeze his shoulder. "You know, I assumed, when you told me about your mum dying when you were little, and being raised by others, that you ended up on Tarsus IV and that was when you lost your sister. There was nothing in the file about your supposed parents, other than their names, and no siblings listed, so . . ."

    "Obviously, now, you know that isn't true. But that would have been what I would have said, if pressed. It's a very good cover, really, to keep people from asking questions. No one wants to talk to a survivor of Tarsus IV about what they saw, after all." He shook his head, impatiently brushed at the hair that fell in his face.

    Anthea ran her fingers through his hair. "You could use a trim. Maybe find a barber while we're on Elora. But don't cut it all off. I love it the way you had it when you were John."

    He turned those multi-hued blue eyes her way. "I overheard what you said to Kati. About missing John Harrison."

    "Oh. I . . . can explain."

    "You do not need to. I understand." He reached up to put his hand over hers, where it rested on his shoulder. "You didn't marry me. I know that I am the same man, essentially, but I courted you as John Harrison, and I married you as John Harrison. I didn't do those things as myself, and you've had to live with me, a man you don't know. Our life on Sitara is so different from the one we had on Earth, and there was no transition for us. Not a proper one."

    Anthea turned her hand in his, weaving her fingers with his, her ring catching and turning to her palm as she did. Unconsciously, he turned it back around. "It has been jarring," she admitted. "But I love you."

    "I know you do. I still feel that I need to . . . make more of an effort. You didn't come into our marriage expecting to be the queen of a civilization, no matter how small."

    "I didn't, no. I've been unprepared for most of this, and . . . I do sometimes feel as if I don't really know you. There's so much of you, as Khan, that I don't know. You're right. I love you, I can't help but love you and I always will, hopelessly, but I married John Harrison, and sometimes that life seems so far away."

    He lifted her hand, pressed his lips to her knuckles. "When I was John, I was . . . free to do things I had never really been before. First I was a soldier, then I was a prince, a king, and . . . I didn't do things like go to nightclubs and make love to my wife in private lounges on New Year's. And while I was enslaved by Starfleet, I was still . . . free of the constraints of being me. I cannot really afford to be like that on Sitara, and I'm afraid you have paid the price."

    "Oh, sweetheart. No." She moved from the navigator's station to sit, somewhat awkwardly, across his lap. "Khan, it's selfish of me to want things I can't have, like that. I knew this would be difficult when I left Earth. And, yes, I do miss dragging you dancing, and lying together on the roof, watching what few stars we could see. I miss going for Chinese and laughing at the stupid fortunes in the cookies, adding silly phrases to the end. I miss us piling into that chair by the fire in our study, you reading Dickens to me on Christmas Eve. But because of Marcus, this was our only choice, and I'm okay with that."

    Khan cupped her face in his hands, ran his thumb over her cheek. "That man is still within me," he whispered. "But I don't know how to be him, and to be Khan Noonien Singh, at the same time."

    Anthea shifted to rest her head on his shoulder, her face against his neck. "Just be you. Don't worry about how your people see you. They know you after this long. You don't need to rule them by making them fear you. But if you need to keep parts back, just for me and our children, that's okay, too. Just be with me, be yourself with me. I think that's what . . . I think that's what you were with me, as John. You were you. Not the ruler, the brother, the protector. You were just the man I love."

    "One forced to design weapons for a madman."

    "I wish I could go back in time and get a few punches in before you squished him," she said, and he laughed.

    She rose from his lap, and he caught her hand before she left.

    "We'll make that a tradition," he told her.

    "What?"

    "Dickens on Christmas Eve. Even if it's the middle of summer on Sitara, and our lunar year is longer than the Federation's stardate year. We'll read Dickens to our children."

    Anthea leaned over and kissed the top of his head. "I'd like that. Now, I'm going to go rescue Kati. How soon 'til we arrive?"

    He checked the readouts. "A few hours."

    "Mm. Maybe I'll leave Nolan where he is for a bit. Take a break from this, now that Barton is awake."

    His thumb found her palm, rubbing in a circle. "Did you have anything particular in mind?"

    "What do you think, genius?"

    ----------

    Kati came in briefly, wanting to see what the exit from warp looked like, but soon retreated to join Yves where he was hiding in the Medbay. Anthea didn't really have anything to do as co-pilot, but she was there just in case Khan had to split his attention and she would be needed.

    "Kati says she and Yves are moving in together," she told Khan as he piloted the ship down into the atmosphere of Elora.

    "Yes, he asked me for permission to move into the larger cabin that Yosef vacated when he moved in with Iliyana, since it's significantly larger than Kati's."

    "I was a little alarmed at the speed they're moving, but then again, they've known each other how long?"

    "Years," her husband confirmed. "And we married after seven weeks of involvement."

    "I note you didn't say 'dating'," she said wryly.

    "I wouldn't call that a proper courtship," he returned, cutting his eyes over to her briefly.

    "Yes, that was definitely more of a siege-and-conquer," Anthea murmured.

    His deceptively mild retort was, "Veni, vidi, vici."

    Anthea pretended to slug him in the arm. "You owe me, then."

    "Which is why I had you bring something nice." He grabbed her hand, giving it a brief squeeze before letting go. "There are a lot of things I owe you, and a proper date is one of them. After all, how long has it been since just the two of us did something together, that didn't have to do with Starfleet duties?"

    "Earlier, in our cabin," she said sweetly.

    Khan narrowed his eyes.

    "Yes, yes, I know. I think it's been . . . Valentine's, 2259, really." She shook her head. "That was a while ago."

    "Precisely."

    She eyed him speculatively, wondering just what he had in mind.
     
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  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nice chapter with the discussion about her life with John/Khan
     
  9. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Khan shares more things he would like to do for Anthea to make up for the monster that Starfleet made him become.
     
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Sad thing is, I didn't make any of their methods up, really. It's implied in "Enterprise" and a few other later shows (DS9 primarily?) that they do this "loyalty testing" on all their 31 recruits.

    Ack! :( I still have yet to watch Enterprise, and my DS9 memory is fuzzy . . . That just makes it all the worse. :(

    I went into writing that scene with no plan whatsoever. I hadn't thought up, "This is what he'll say, and he'll be suave and romantic" or any of that. I just put them in a room together and wrote down what came out. [face_laugh] Khan chattered away in my head for days before I got to the scene with him proposing to Anthea, planning everything out. He's a very meticulous muse. Yves is a little more flaily and disorganised when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

    The best scenes are often the ones that just roll out from your fingertips. :D

    Although I can totally imagine Khan being more of a pain. Meticulous, indeed! [face_laugh][face_love]

    I actually forgot McCoy had a fear of flying when I was writing this. It just made sense for Yves to have an extreme dislike of it, no matter how "safe" the ship is in Khan's hands. I myself get vertigo when looking down long distances, or, say, looking up at skyscrapers. I've got an inner ear and balance problem, anyway, so craning my neck that far makes me dizzy. I can't go near the windows in tall buildings, even though I know I'm not about to fall out the window.

    I have sympathy for that! I have a family member I have to take over driving for any time we drive near skyscrapers or over a bridge because their vertigo gets so bad. Rollercoasters and the like are always a no-go. It's not a fun condition to live with. :(

    I just empathize with the fear of heights! Yikes! We were meant to stay on the ground, is all I'm saying. :p


    Now, for chapter nine . . .

    First off, I am so glad Khan and Anthea had this talk.

    It was really good for both of them - while they would do, and have done, anything for each other, they are still so very far from where they started, and the transition is bound to be jarring at times. But both are handling it really, really well. I loved Khan showing a weakness like this - showing regret, and while not doubting himself, wishing that he could give Anthea more is just beautiful to see. Your Khan is a person here, and I am loving all of the dimensions you are giving his character.

    "Just be you. Don't worry about how your people see you. They know you after this long. You don't need to rule them by making them fear you. But if you need to keep parts back, just for me and our children, that's okay, too. Just be with me, be yourself with me. I think that's what . . . I think that's what you were with me, as John. You were you. Not the ruler, the brother, the protector. You were just the man I love."

    Perfectly said. [face_love] It doesn't get any better than that. =D=

    "And we married after seven weeks of involvement."

    "I note you didn't say 'dating'," she said wryly.

    [face_laugh] A great way to lighten up the chapter.

    His deceptively mild retort was, "Veni, vidi, vici."

    All hail Caesar. [face_laugh] That was perfect. :p

    Again, this was a wonderful update, and I can't wait for more. =D=
     
  11. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Sorry it's taken me so long to get to replies. I've been really, really sick. Still am, actually.

    Thanks!


    He only regrets the things he was forced to do when it comes to how it impacted Anthea and Nolan.

    Same here, on both counts! I get most of my info from Memory Alpha, tbh.

    He's such a control freak!

    I actually love flying. But I hate roller coasters, save for the Aerosmith one at Disney World.

    Thank you! To me, he's never been a one-dimensional villain. First time I saw STID, I just totally fell in love with him.

    I didn't set out to make his perfect match in a 'fic. I just had to write down what came to me in that dream. I never expected all this to come from it.

    They really never "dated". Screwed like bunnies, yes. Dated? Not so much.

    This was the chapter that someone went, "Is that from Doctor Who?" in response to, and I went, ". . . Julius Caesar?"
     
  12. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Last chapter for a little while; I'm scrambling like mad to finish my novel. Soon as that's done and it's with my "beta" for edits, I'll be working on this again. Stupid muses are only functioning one and a time right now, apparently, and I don't want to lose the one for the book for another four months.

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

    --Chapter Ten--

    The Eloran people were humanoid, slightly shorter on average than Anthea, with bat-like ears, genuinely pink skin, and beady, dark eyes. Other than Commander Spock of the USS Enterprise, and Kati's adopted son Pandu, neither Kati or Yves had seen an "alien" before, and they were fascinated. Barton, who had fought Klingons, and Khan were less impressed.

    Khan and Yves left the women with Barton to shop while they secured the more boring purchases, such as bedframes, mattresses, small power generators, and the most important of all: proper toilets with recycler units for waste disposal, so much better than the outhouses they'd been using. All of the essentials would fill the hold by the time they finished purchasing food and anything else Khan could get his hands on. Anthea knew that anything she bought would go in the empty crew cabins, as they'd be smaller.

    They wandered the market for a few hours. Marla found some art supplies in a nearby shop, mostly paints and canvas she would stretch herself. Barton was happy to carry the bulky purchases for his girlfriend. Anthea was relieved to see that the attraction between them seemed genuine.

    While the Eloran people had large cities, much like Earth did, and indoor shopping centres, the party from Sitara had arrived during a massive street fair. Everywhere they looked, there were booths and stalls selling everything from food to clothing.

    "Oh!" Kati stopped by a stall hawking dyes and paints for the face and body. "This is like mehndi, back home!"

    Anthea looked blank.

    "Henna," Marla supplied. To Kati, she said, "My first dormmate at the Academy was from India. She was Punjabi, I think? Anyway, she showed me how to do henna one night, it's really neat."

    "If I got these, would you help me apply them sometime?" Kati asked, eyes bright.

    "Sure."

    The men rejoined them after a few hours. After a while of listening to Marla and Kati chat like old friends, Anthea was ready to scream. Khan's reappearance at her side came just in time to properly distract her.

    "Hi!" she said enthusiastically, pleased beyond belief to see him. "Did you get everything?"

    "Most. Some of the furniture items need to be collected from a warehouse in the next city over, and will be here tomorrow. And some of our food supplies, as well." Khan slid his arm around her waist and kissed her forehead. "You look as if you're about to murder someone," he whispered.

    She laughed. "Kati and Marla have made me realised just how much girl talk I don't understand anymore. I had that with Lindy once, but . . . Starfleet sort of beat it out of me."

    Anthea paused by a stall. Khan stopped to see what had caught her eye. The table held an array of hand-spun and dyed yarns in colours ranging from soft to bold. His wife picked up a soft, nubbly yarn in ivory, with little bits of blue and purple shot through it.

    "That suits you," he said.

    "It's gorgeous, isn't it? Unfortunately, I don't know how to make anything with it."

    Marla, just around the table's corner with a cream and brown yarn in her hands, said, "I can teach you how to crochet."

    Anthea arched a brow. "Crochet?"

    "Yeah, it's where you use this hook and make loops with the yarn in certain ways to make fabric." Delighted to have a one-up on Anthea for once, Marla picked up a tool off the table and held it up. "I'm sure they call it something else here, but this is the hook you use. They come in different sizes for different types of yarns. My grandmother taught me how, though it's kind of a lost art on Earth."

    Anthea blinked grey eyes at the other woman, then shrugged. "Why not? It will definitely give me something to do in the coming months."

    Marla helped her pick out a stash of yarns and some hooks, and a loom for knitting. "This is easier for some people," she said. "Than the needles, I mean. You just go around in a circle, or back and forth, instead of fiddling with the needles."

    "Thank you," Anthea said sincerely. "Maybe . . . I can make scarves for everyone."

    "You'll need a lot of yarn for that," the redhead said with amusement.

    Khan, watching the exchange in silence, said, "We can do it."

    To the vendor, he said, "How much for what we have here?"

    When the woman named a rather low price, he said, "We'll take it all. All of your wares."

    She, his wife, his sister, and Marla all stared at him.

    "All of it?" Anthea repeated.

    Khan looked amused. "When will we be back for more?"

    ". . . You have a point. Alright."

    He reached into the inner pocket of his coat, pulled out a locking case, and opened it to remove four strips of gold pressed latinum. After a moment, he pulled out a fifth and handed it over. "To support you while you restock," he told the vendor.

    She babbled thanks at him and stuffed the strips down her shirt, before quickly gathering everything and stuffing it into boxes. It took all of them, save for Anthea who carried Pandu with Nolan tagging along at her side, to carry their purchases away.

    "That was generous of you," Anthea told her husband.

    "She priced her goods far too low," he said. "For her skill, she should be charging double her asking price. I don't balk from paying fair value for things."

    Since their haul was rather bulky, it was easiest to take it all back to the ship before continuing. Kati offered to stay behind with the children, to make the rest of the shopping easier, but Anthea pointed out that she wouldn't benefit from the ability to choose things herself.

    Kati was entranced by the fabric sellers, with their bolts of fabric, spools of thread, and other goods. "Oooh!"

    Anthea interlaced her fingers with Khan's. "How long has she been into sewing?"

    "Always," he said. "She wasn't trained as a soldier, though I taught her to defend herself. Her epilepsy made her a liability in battle. I know now that when our mother died, the people who . . . raised us considered . . . terminating her, but they didn't."

    His sister turned to them, eyes bright. "Can we, Khan? I would love more to work with!"

    He gestured with a smile, telling her to go ahead.

    "You're feeling indulgent today," his wife remarked.

    "I've thought twice now that I lost her. For so long, she's been the only one who really mattered. Until I met you, of course. I've taken care of her our whole lives. I think a little indulgence, especially now, is called for."

    Kati ended up buying six full bolts of fabric, dozens of spools of thread, and so many beads and gems that Anthea couldn't keep track of it all.

    "And what are you planning on making?" Anthea asked. She and Kati had stopped at a baked goods vendor for snacks, while the men took the purchases back to the ship.

    Kati picked at her sweet roll, popping an iced piece into her mouth. "I am thinking, with the blue and green, a wedding dress. For when I marry Yves."

    "Has he asked yet?" Marla inquired.

    "No, but he will."

    The redhead frowned. "How can you know?"

    Kati shrugged. "Because we are in love, and we have already discussed it."

    Anthea picked up Nolan, using a wipe from her crossbody bag to clean off his face and hands. "I should not have given you sugar," she muttered. "Khan and I got married really soon after we got together. We were actually discussing that on the way here. We eloped to Betazed so Marcus couldn't interfere."

    "Would you do it over again?" Kati asked.

    "Definitely. But sometimes, I wish we'd gone for the full thing. I barely had a wedding dress, let alone a cake and presents."

    "We should have a proper wedding for you," her sister-in-law pronounced. "So that you can marry Khan, not this John Harrison person. And, I think, it will help our people see you as our queen."

    Marla shook her head. "I don't understand this king and queen business. I know Khan was this important ruler back in the twentieth century, but . . ."

    Kati's dark eyes were serious. "Our people have been through much. They look to Khan as their saviour and protector. Too, they view Anthea in a similar way, because we all know how she rescued us. But we were not here for your marriage, and so it feels a bit unreal."

    Anthea shrugged and patted her stomach, now definitely a bump. "Maybe after this baby is born."

    Kati nodded. "It will take me time to make you a dress, anyway."

    "I'm not going to get out of this, am I?" Anthea asked.

    "No," Kati said with a grin.

    Marla snorted.

    The men rejoined them then, to escort them to the Reliance, to get their luggage and find a hotel. They were a block from the shipyard when two men jumped out of an alley, armed with knives. Apparently, they had seen Khan's stash of money, and wanted it.

    Khan reacted without hesitation, driving a fist straight between the first man's eyes. He dropped like a rock. The second man went for Anthea.

    Adrenaline shoved her into overdrive, all of her long-forgotten hand-to-hand combat training surging up from the depths, along with the strength and speed Khan's blood had dubiously gifted to her. She dropped Nolan's leash, grabbed the man's arm as he swung the blade at her, and snapped it backwards at the elbow. As he screamed, she hooked a leg behind his, tripped him, and used her weight to bear him to the ground.

    She had the second mugger pinned by the time Khan turned her way, the man's knife in her hand and at his throat.
    "You picked the wrong tourists to mug," she snarled.

    Khan snickered. "Let him up, my love. The authorities seem to be on their way."

    Anthea realised she was kneeling on the mugger's chest, and dropped the knife. She nearly fell when getting to her feet. Khan caught her around the waist, pulling her against him.

    "You're trembling," he told her. "Are you alright?"

    "No, I don't feel . . . at all well," she whispered. "I think I'm . . . going to-"

    She slumped in his arms as the local police force finally got there. Khan dragged Anthea off to one side, Barton and Marla taking over explaining what had happened while Yves pulled out his medkit and tricorder.

    "Her adrenaline levels are off the readings," the doctor murmured. "Blood pressure and heart rate, as well. I think we have found a trigger for her . . . changes."

    "A trial by fire I would rather she not endure," Khan muttered to the doctor. "Will she be alright?"

    Before Yves could answer, one of the Eloran constables came over to speak to him.

    "Is she hurt?" the man asked, looking with concern at the prone woman on the ground.

    "She's pregnant," Khan told him. "And the shock of it all . . . Well, she fainted. I'm sure she'll be alright. She wasn't injured."

    They insisted on having their own medic check her out. She was coming to by the time that woman arrived.

    "Can you tell me your name?" the medic asked, as she shined a light in Anthea's eyes.

    "Thea," she croaked. "Thea Singh."

    Khan exchanged a look with his sister. Even groggy from passing out, Anthea's survival instinct kept her identity veiled. After all, Starfleet was looking for Anthea Mackintosh.

    He picked up his frightened son, gently patting Nolan's back. "Mummy's fine," he whispered to the toddler. "She's just resting."

    "Mama!" Nolan wailed.

    Anthea sat up, pushing away the medic. "Hand him here," she said.

    Khan wanted to protest, but he recognised the look on his wife's face. He set Nolan down and the boy threw himself at his mother, crawling into her lap. Anthea wrapped her arms around Nolan and kissed the top of his head. "It's alright, sweetie. Mummy's fine."

    The constable asked if they were interested in pressing charges. Wryly, Khan said, "No, I believe that they've learned their lesson. Don't mug people, they might be skilled in martial arts."

    Yves and the medic finished checking Anthea's vitals, and the medic said she should rest but otherwise seemed to be fine. Khan helped Anthea to her feet.

    "I suppose we'll get that hotel now," he said, and asked for recommendations.

    "I want to lie down," Anthea told her husband, as the police left with their prisoners.

    "Soon," Khan assured her. "Let's go get rooms, and get you a soak in a tub, hmm?"

    "I haven't had a proper bath since San Francisco," she told him. She still looked a little woozy. "I'm sick of showers."

    "I know, my love." He tightened his arm around her waist. "And maybe, I'll buy you a hot tub."

    Anthea leaned into him, Nolan's small hands tight in her hair. "Not too hot, because of the baby. But I'd like that."

    Khan exchanged a look with Yves, then swept Anthea and Nolan into his arms. With the others close behind, he made for the hotel.
     
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  13. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    So I guess every time that Anthea gets riled up then she will collapse from the surge of adrenaline that she uses in that fight or flight moment.
     
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A nice chapter and I hope you will return soon with more. They have to return to their planet

    Success with your novel[face_dancing]
     
  15. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    First off, good luck with your book! That is such exciting news. :D We will be here when you are. :p

    Now, for the chapter . . .

    As always, there were so many things to pick out and enjoy. I loved the alien planet and the marketplace - all of those things you take for granted, like toilets and tubs, you've really thought through here. And I loved Khan buying all of the wool from the vendor. His line about paying a value's worth fit him perfectly. I liked the bonding between the girls too; Kati's love of sewing was adorable. And I liked Marla having something she can contribute. While they won't be friends, I am glad they are settling into their truce nicely. :p

    But ack! Anthea's show of strength right there was frightening. And worrying. :( I loved that she thought to protect her family with her name, even after what had just happened. Maybe a good leftover from Section 31? o_O

    As always, I look forward to more. You definitely have me hooked, and curious as to the outcome. =D=
     
  16. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    We'll have to see!

    Thank you! A lot more is gonna happen before they get to go home.

    Alllllmost done! Things took a bit of a break when I had to start physical therapy for my neck, but I only have 6k words to go. That's about 3 chapters of this 'fic, so . . .

    Marla's sort of . . . shoved herself into the middle of things. I was never planning to have her be more than a passing mention, an in-joke in "Scars". I have no idea now what her future holds.

    Sometimes I feel my brain fixates too much on the minutae of the colony. I find myself lying awake at night trying to figure out how they get running water, insulation, shingles on the roof, how they're going to stay warm when it starts snowing, how they're going to keep any kids in clothes as they grow. How will they repair the ships if something happens? How are they going to come up with something to sell/trade if the funds Anthea squirrelled away run out? How many toilets would the colony need? There's 75 people on the colony, about to be 76 when Sarina is born. How do they fit that many toilets in the cargo hold? What are they doing for sewage? (Hence the recycler unit toilets; that was me going, ". . . I don't wanna figure out how they deal with pollution right now.") How do they fit that many beds into the ship? It's not a huge ship, after all. Do they just buy the bedframes, and make mattresses out of . . . rushes? I spend way too much time thinking about this stuff.

    Her training with Section 31 was pretty intensive. It took a lot for her to break out of her conditioning to tell her mother what she really did with Starfleet. She can talk about it with Khan, with Lindy, and the more she talks about it and breaks that conditioning, the more she finds she can divulge information, but I'm sure that a lot of her training runs very deep, and part of her will always, subconsciously, be ready to offer falsehoods to protect her identity or those of her associates.

    I haven't really explored a lot of what she gained from Section 31, mostly just what they took from her, and some of that is going to come into play in this 'fic. . . . When I get back to it, of course.

    I've got a Khan & Nolan ficlet I'm writing, even though I should be working on my novel, because the idea came to me and I can't let it go. It takes place after this one (I know, that spoils any suspense about Khan, Anthea, and Nolan's survival, but like I'm actually going to kill any of them!) and it's so cute, it makes my teeth hurt. I think after "Space", I'm going to do a series of shorter stories. Anthea's going to be pregnant and then taking care of a newborn for a while, so it isn't feasible to have her running off and doing adventurous things. (Plus, I'm sort of stuck for a grand adventure idea, and don't think anyone wants an epic-length 'fic about "Oh, look, it's snowing again. And so-and-so's house slid off its foundation, we'll have to put it back. Person A is pregnant, Persons B & C want to get married. Time to plant wheat now that the sun's back!")

    Last thing to share for the moment: I made a craptastic photo manip of Anthea, Khan, and Nolan this morning. Anthea's "face" is Alejandra Alonso, and Nolan is ickle!Asa Butterfield.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Lovely pic and I would love to see Nolan as an adult having adventures;)
     
  18. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo

    CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 1, 2000
    Could always make an adventure about the ruins and lost civilization of that planet you mentioned earlier. *Someone* amongst that crew has got to be curious about what happened to them. I know I would :p If I were Khan, I'd look into it just in case it might happen to them.
     
  19. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Thanks! I'm probably not gonna write adult!Nolan anytime soon. I'm having too much fun with him as a toddler.

    Oh, I have plans for that, no worries!

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


    --Chapter Eleven--

    Khan secured the penthouse suite at the hotel, which had enough bedrooms for everyone. Once inside, he took Anthea and Nolan into their bedroom and shut the door.

    Marla turned to Yves. "So what's wrong with her?"

    "She is pregnant," the doctor said.

    "Yeah, I know that. I also know that she had a brain hemorrhage after she hit me, and nearly died. I thought you guys fixed that."

    Yves sank down on the lush sofa in the middle of the living area and ran his hands through his shaggy blonde hair. He, too, needed a haircut. "We did, but the cure . . . had side effects."

    Marla raised an auburn brow. "What 'side effects'?"

    "Marla," Barton began.

    "No, I think I need to know!"

    It was Kati who finally said, "Our people are genetically engineered. Khan's blood has healing properties far beyond those of normal humans. But Anthea is . . . having a strange reaction to it for some reason. Ordinarily, when administered, the blood cures the illness and that is that. But it is not so with Anthea. It keeps doing things, and we do not know why."

    The only normal human in the room frowned. "I'm not a scientist, but, shouldn't this have stopped by now?"

    "Oui," Yves said. "But we gave her a serum developed for Kati, not for Anthea. We were so short on time . . ."

    "A serum, or Khan's blood?" Marla asked.

    "Both," Yves replied.

    "What did the serum do?"

    Yves explained the process, why it had been developed, and what its results had been so far. Marla looked skeptical.

    "Um. Okay, maybe I'm wrong, but if it changed her and then you gave her Khan's blood, and she adapted to that, doesn't it make sense that it's not the serum anymore, it's her new DNA that's constantly trying to fix things? Like, maybe her new DNA and her old DNA fighting for dominance?"

    The doctor blinked at Marla, mouth agape. "That had not occurred to me," he admitted.

    Marla shrugged. "You said you've never changed an adult this way before, so you don't know what's going on. It looks to me, with everything you've told me just now, that she's got Khan's healing properties, but it doesn't know whether to do old Anthea or new Anthea and is confused. Make it choose one or the other and stop switching."

    Yves looked at Kati, hazel eyes wide. "I . . . Yes. I will discuss this with Khan."

    "Good. I don't think she and I will ever be 'besties', but I don't like seeing people suffer." Marla picked up her bag and went into the room she was sharing with Barton, firmly closing the door.

    ----------

    In their bedroom, Anthea flopped back on the bed. "I hate fainting," she said.

    "You recovered much more quickly from this one," Khan pointed out.

    "Yes, but it still leaves a very disgusting feeling afterwards. I know I stopped that mugger, but I don't really recall doing it."

    "I didn't see it, my back was turned." Khan disappeared into the bathroom to draw her a bath. "Define 'too hot'."

    Anthea rose on her elbows. "Anything that would be too much for Nolan. Just a little more than warm is good. You remembered to get the regular wheat, right?"

    Khan stuck his head out of the bathroom. "And the faster wheat, and potatoes, and a variety of other things. Yes. I also received a lot of tips on when to plant things and when to harvest. I know the fast wheat is fairly idiot-proof, but we didn't plant much of it to begin with, did we?"

    "Didn't want to waste all of it if it wouldn't grow. We might cultivate some farmland a little ways out, see if we can find soil where the onions will grow." Anthea sat up all the way and pried off her boots. "I really like our harvester, does all the hard work for us, but we've only got the one."

    "Two," her husband corrected. "I just bought a new one. Our hold is going to be so full of new things, it will take days to unload it all."

    "Good. There was only so much I could cram in there with all of our people taking up so much space."

    It pleased him immeasurably to hear her refer to them as "our people". Khan sat beside her on the bed and checked her for injuries. "Are you sure you're alright?"

    Anthea rubbed a hand over her belly, a reflexive action more than anything. "Actually . . . for the first time in a while, I feel pretty good."

    "Hmm. Take your bath, and we'll have Yves examine you now that we're in private. But if you're feeling alright, my plans are still in effect."

    "What are you planning?" Curiosity was driving her nuts. "Does it involve a strip-tease?"

    Khan snorted. "Maybe. If you're good."

    Nolan had gotten a bit smudged himself during their disruptive day, so Anthea gently woke him and took the toddler into the bathroom with her. She didn't have any of his bath toys with them, but Nolan didn't mind. He grinned when she lowered him into the water.

    "You bathe with him?" Khan asked from the door.

    "Sometimes. I haven't done it much lately, especially since we've had a shower but no proper tub, and I've had to bathe him in the one for babies," she said. "I found, when he was very small, it was easiest to do."

    She wet Nolan's hair, then applied some shampoo. When she shaped his hair into horns, he giggled and tipped his head back as far as he could, to look at her upside down.

    "Mama!" he chirped.

    Khan moved from the door to sit on the floor beside them, enchanted by the moment. It wasn't often, of late, they'd had happy, simple times like these.

    Anthea finished carefully rinsing the soap from her son's hair, then she turned him around in her lap. Then she held up her hand and gasped.

    "Oh, no!" she cried. "What's this? My hand!"

    Khan had a moment of concern, before he realised she was playing with the baby.

    "It's- It's changing!" she continued. "It's- Oh, no! It's a tickle monster!"

    She proceeded to tickle Nolan, who shrieked with glee, laughter filling the bathroom. Khan grinned.

    "Uh-oh," he said. "I think it's contagious!"

    Reaching over the side of the tub, he joined in tickling their toddler.

    ----------

    When Anthea had finished bathing Nolan, Khan dried him off and got him dressed while she finished her own ablutions. Leaving her to dress for dinner, Khan hauled Nolan out into the living area of the suite.

    "Khan, I wished to discuss some things with you," Yves told him. "I have been thinking about this afternoon's events, and something that Mademoiselle McGivers said . . ."

    Khan put Nolan down so he could go pester Kati. "Yes?"

    Yves brought him up to speed on Marla's theory, and on his own thoughts regarding Anthea's adrenaline levels. "My new theory is that adrenaline is the trigger to her . . . changes, and perhaps the answer to completing her transformation."

    Khan lowered himself to the sofa and narrowly eyed the redhaired woman. It was interesting that she had come up with the idea. Perhaps she wasn't as slow-witted as he'd assumed.

    "So what's your idea, Yves?" he asked the doctor. "Force her into an adrenaline rush? Inject her with it?"

    Yves shrugged. "It is a theory."

    Khan rubbed a hand over his face. "She seems stronger now than she did earlier," he told his friend. "She's recovered more quickly, as well. Is it possible that she would complete the change on her own?"

    The Frenchman rolled his shoulders once more. "Eh. I do not know, Khan. It is all theory and speculation. We have never transitioned a regular human before."

    "Too much adrenaline can be toxic, though, can't it?" Marla asked. She'd wandered over from where she'd been flirting with Barton, and she perched primly on a chair.

    "Oui." Yves nodded, his blonde hair falling in his eyes. He didn't seem to notice. "However . . . if it is speeding her metabolism somehow, or . . .?"

    Nolan toddled over to Khan and latched onto his father's leg. "Wass 'dwelin?"

    Marla arched an auburn brow. "He's very precocious, isn't he?"

    "Rather," Khan said dryly. To his son, he said, "Adrenaline is a chemical the body produces. It gives you lots of energy and makes you react quickly, but can also make you sick."

    The child's small face scrunched. "Mama sick fwom 'dwelin?"

    "In a way."

    Nolan's head swivelled as the bedroom door opened, and his eyes went large. "Mama!" he said with obvious awe. "You pwetty!"

    Khan turned, and stared.

    The past few months had been about practicality for Anthea, especially with her pregnancy, and she hadn't dressed in anything fancy since she'd left San Francisco.

    Tonight, she wore a drapey, fluid dress of some silver material that shifted with hints of blue and pink, her feet in silver flats. The folds of the fabric managed to mask her stomach without being frumpy, and it brought out the lighter silver in her grey eyes. Shiny brown hair fell around her shoulders, held back a little on one side by a silver clip with blue stones in it.

    Khan rose from the sofa. "You look . . . lovely," he told her.

    She smiled. "Thank you. I bought it on a whim last time 'round, but quickly grew out of it. Still . . ."

    "It's perfect."

    Nolan wrapped himself around her lower leg. "Soft," he said, of the material as he rubbed his face against her knee.

    Anthea bent to ruffle his hair. "Mummy and Daddy are going out for a bit. You get to stay and play with Auntie and Pandu, and we'll be back later."

    The boy looked inclined to argue, but took one look at his father and said, "'Kay, Mama."

    Khan offered his wife his arm. "Shall we?"

    "We'll be back in a few hours," Anthea told her sister-in-law.

    "Have fun!" Kati said, with a grin. "But not too much."

    Her brother snorted and hauled his wife out the door.

    Marla stared after them. "I could never manage to look that . . . dignified in that dress, especially when pregnant."

    "Nor could I," Kati sighed. "Ah, well. Come, Nolan, let us find some toys to play with!"
     
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  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I hope the adrenaline will cure her. Lovely moments with Nolan and Khan
     
  21. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Yay, it's back!! [face_dancing] :D

    We have some great developments here. Marla's idea sounded spot on, and I hope that they are now one step closer to curing her. :) Even better than that were the family moments here, I loved the bathtime scene and Nolan fumbling over 'adrenaline' - obviously he's a bright kid, but seeing so sometimes is just heartwarming. It's fun watching him grow. [face_love] And I am glad Anthea and Khan are having a date night - your descriptions for her were just lovely, and it was beautiful to see a more 'normal' moment for these two in the face of everything else. [face_love]

    Another fantastic chapter, and I can't wait for more. =D=
     
  22. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    We'll see! I love writing scenes with Khan and Nolan. XD

    That bit with Marla just sorta came out of nowhere, and I was like, ". . . That's it!" So we'll see how that develops.

    I love writing Nolan. I especially love writing scenes between Khan and Nolan. I've got a piece I'm writing that takes place after this, just a vignette that's basically Khan laid up in bed with an injury (broke his leg falling off the roof) and Nolan takes it upon himself to entertain Daddy.
     
  23. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    So at least Marla is kind enough to help Anthea and hopefully the adrenaline kick will help her as well.
     
  24. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2002
    I really don't know how Marla ended up as a character in this. She was just supposed to be a cameo, an in-joke. Ah, well.


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

    --Chapter Twelve--

    Anthea held Khan's hand as they strolled to the restaurant he'd chosen earlier. It was early evening, stars just barely appearing in the lavender sky; neither of the planet's two moons had risen yet.

    "This is nice," she said. "The two of us, nothing to deal with or worry about. Nolan being taken care of by someone else for a few hours."

    He murmured an agreement. "We're very lucky that Kati is so willing to watch him on short notice."

    Anthea let go of his hand and switched to hugging his arm, leaning into him as they walked. "I didn't need a sitter 'til I went back to work, and even then, it was always at a daycare facility there on base or in the building."

    Khan looked down at her, admiring the silky waves of her hair. She was letting it grow out again, the way he liked it, though he hadn't said anything about her cutting it. That was rather self-explanatory, with how hands-on Nolan was with everything.

    "I'm sorry I wasn't there," he said quietly. "I tried."

    "I know you did. I'm not angry anymore. I know what happened and why."

    He stopped and pulled her into his arms. "Thea. I will be here for you and our family from now on. After what happened with the Klingons . . . You and Nolan, and our unborn child, are my first priority. Even above our people."

    Anthea stood on her toes to kiss him. "I know," she said against his mouth. "And I know that if something does happen, you'll move heaven and earth to get back to us."

    Khan kissed her forehead. "I never told you enough before. I never really let myself admit it until shortly before we were separated. But I love you."

    She grinned. "I know. You needn't say it all the time for me to know."

    They resumed walking, and in a short distance had reached the restaurant. There were other humans there, even a Betazoid or two, mixed in with the native Elorans. They were escorted to a table towards the back, which Khan preferred because he could see the whole restaurant from his seat.

    "You never lose that instinct, do you?" she asked, as she placed her napkin on her lap. What she could of it, at least. Her belly, increasing in size by the day, seemed to take up more and more of her free space.

    "What instinct?"

    "The one to watch for adversaries."

    His aqua eyes regarded her, bluer in this light than normal. "No," Khan admitted. "I've spent too long on guard to ever lose it."

    The waiter approached and inquired if they were interested in wines. Both turned it down; Khan didn't trust anything at the moment, and Anthea's pregnancy prevented her from imbibing.

    After they'd ordered, Khan reached across the table to take his wife's hand. He toyed with the ruby ring he'd given her.

    "This reminds me of . . . old times," Anthea told him. "London, before everything went to hell."

    "Somewhat. Except we're not hiding anything now."

    "That's true. It's nice to not worry about Marcus. Still, we haven't done anything like this in too long. Dinner, adult conversation, just the two of us."

    "No strange stains from Nolan throwing food," Khan put in.

    She laughed. "That, too. I'm afraid we'll have double that when the baby's born."

    "I look forward to it."

    Khan took a sip of his water, eyes scanning the restaurant. They weren't in Federation space, but the recent presence of the Federation in their area still had him on edge. If one ship had been near, who was to say another couldn't be?

    "You're worried," Anthea stated.

    "A bit," he admitted. "I'm tired of constant fighting, one battle after another. I was created to be a soldier, and a leader. I can't shake that training, as much as I try. But I want peace."

    She nodded and tucked a lock of brown hair behind her ear. "Before this, with you, I always . . . I didn't mind what I did for Starfleet. I liked my work. I didn't like . . . my training. But the work I did? I enjoyed it. I always wanted more, though I never could put into words what it was I was looking for. I got a taste of it when you and I worked together. But after Nolan was born, everything changed. A lot of that shift had to do with losing you, with knowing what Starfleet did to you."

    Khan traced a pattern on the back of her hand with his finger. "Sudden disillusionment will do that."

    Anthea snorted softly. "Yes. Anyway. I feel like I was meant for more, but I don't know what that is. Being a gopher at the archive was a waste of my training. What Intelligence training me for, at least. I've used my Academy training plenty, both there and with our colony. I do . . . regret that I haven't been of much help lately."

    "You've been sick," Khan told her quietly. "I'm hoping that we'll solve that soon. Yves has a few new ideas, and we'll explore them when we get home."

    She sighed. "Is it silly, though, to feel like I'm wasting my training by being happy to be a wife and mother?"

    Her husband smirked. "Thea. There's little use for a sharpshooter on Sitara."

    She blinked. "You know about that?"

    "I was your commanding officer. Of course I had a good look through your file. Why they had you working at the archive, I don't really know."

    "Just because I'm good at killing people doesn't mean I like it."

    "Something I know all too well."

    Anthea rolled her shoulders and rubbed her arm to fight a sudden chill, though the restaurant was comfortable and there were no drafts. "I know we never really talked about what Section 31 did to me. I . . . I've talked to Yves about it, but when I try to talk to you about it, it's difficult."

    Khan turned her arm over, the one he'd been stroking, and ran his fingers down the scars there, invisible except to touch. "They tortured you. They put you through physical and mental torture, and then they put you through 'testing' to make sure you wouldn't break under enemy interrogation. The butcher who did this to you is dead, by the way. I hunted him down after we were married and cut his head off."

    Anthea's grey eyes widened. "You did?"

    "I did."

    "Damn. I wanted to do that."

    He laughed. "Anthea, I adore you, but you couldn't have done it. Not that coldly."

    "I've . . . done things."

    "With the exception of the two Klingons, my love, who've you killed in hand-to-hand combat?"

    ". . . None," she said grudgingly.

    "And that is why you were at the archive. You have drive, and passion, but your skills, despite the quirk of you being an excellent shot with a phaser rifle, are not in killing." Khan laced his fingers through hers. "You're an organiser and a mother hen, Anthea. You've a brilliant mind for directing others, but while you can take a life when necessary, it's not your calling."

    She huffed in mock indignation, then laughed softly. "So what is my calling, then?"

    "Being my wife and the mother of my children. And I do not say that lightly, or . . . to imply that you are property. You and I are perfectly matched, and there is no one else in this universe that I would trust to be at my side or raise my children. You know what I am, the things I've done, and you love me anyway. You stepped in to care for our people when I couldn't. You have everything I always looked for in a consort to lead by my side. And I know that you will defend our family to the death if need be."

    "You're right. I would. Anyone lays a hand on my children and I will remove that hand with a rusty spoon if necessary."

    "Exactly."

    Their food arrived, and they turned their attention to eating. Anthea was grateful that her morning sickness seemed to have finally left. She felt a little ravenous, and Khan watched with amusement as she seemingly inhaled her food.

    "Need seconds?" he asked wryly.

    She looked at her empty plate, realised he was only halfway through his meal, and laughed. "Oh. No, I'm good. I'm not sure I even tasted that, but I'm full now."

    "It's nice to see you're feeling better. You've lost weight during your illness."

    Anthea's mouth twisted a little. "Bit difficult to keep weight on when you're either throwing up or passing out. I've tried to eat for the baby, but it's been hard."

    "I know."

    Khan finished his meal. They declined dessert, paid, and left.

    As they walked back to the restaurant, Anthea was uncharacteristically quiet. Khan knew she was stewing over something, also knew she'd voice it when she was ready.

    They were almost back to the hotel when she asked, "Why did you choose Tom Harewood?"

    "Hmm?"

    "Tom Harewood, for the attack on the London facility? Why him? I liked him."

    Khan shrugged. "It wasn't an easy decision, but he was the one that had the most reason to do it. If I could have found another way, I would have. He was willing to do anything for his daughter. And when I told him what Marcus was doing-"

    "He told Marcus you made him do it."

    "I know. I told him to, because I wanted Marcus to know I was coming for him."

    Anthea frowned. "So he willingly killed himself and forty-one other people?"

    "I didn't threaten him into it, if that's what you're asking. I told him I could heal his daughter, and that I needed the facility destroyed in exchange, because Marcus was going to start a war. We both knew there was no way for that to happen without sacrifice, because there would be no time to get anyone out. He said he was willing to give his life for his daughter."

    Khan studied his wife in the light of the streetlight they'd stopped under. It was full dark now, but only one of the moons was up yet. "I know this might come as an unpleasant shock, but I do not regret it."

    Anthea shook her head. "I do! He trusted me, and I handed him right to you!"

    Horrified at her outburst, Anthea clapped a hand over her mouth. "I didn't mean that," she mumbled. "I'm sorry. I . . ."

    Khan's mouth turned up at the corners. "And yet, you had no difficulty helping me design the torpedoes."

    "That's different."

    "Is it? When does it become different? When it becomes personal? Can you tell me you wouldn't give *your* life for our children?"

    She threw her hands in the air. "You know I would! For you, for Nolan."

    "As would I," he said simply. "War takes sacrifice, Anthea, and I am not the type to change and soften just because an action I might take could have collateral damage to those outside our people. We and ours will always come first. I refuse to risk harm to them just because you're fond of someone."

    "But you made sure Lindy wasn't there that day. I know you jammed the lock on her door so she was late."

    Khan's expression went perfectly blank. He was silent for several moments, just staring at her. Finally, he said, "I didn't like her, but was family to you. That made her mine despite my personal feelings. Of course I saved her."

    "But not Tom Harewood."

    "He wasn't ours. And he agreed to do it, for his daughter."

    ". . . I don't know what to say."

    He looked amused, which didn't surprise her. Of course he wasn't that broken up about lives lost. He'd seen war, even lead the armies. "'Thank you' will suffice," he told her. "I knew you would be angry with me. I did not expect even half the forgiveness and acceptance you've shown me."

    Anthea looked up at the bright satellite in the sky, the moon glowing faintly blue. "I don't like being angry with you," she admitted. "Especially not now. I spent so long hurt and angry and confused. Then I got you back, and I don't want to feel any of that anymore."

    Khan ran his hand down her bare arm to catch her hand. "You're a passionate woman, Thea. It's one of the things that drew me to you in the first place. You feel things deeply. I'm a practical man, my love. I don't begrudge you your anger. I just want you to understand."

    "That's just it. I do understand why you did it, and that just makes it harder. I'm not really angry at you, Khan, I'm more . . . I guess I'm just . . . I feel culpable. And I'm angry at myself. It . . . was easier, I think, when I knew that you were gone. It didn't make me feel so guilty. I ran into Rima Harewood, and for a time, we'd both lost our husbands. Thing is, I got you back, and I feel like my family came at the cost of hers."

    "And at the cost of Carol Marcus's family," he pointed out.

    "Carol was hardly an innocent bystander," his wife said. "If she'd kept her nose out of things . . ."

    "Yes, if only. But Marcus may have started his war, which would have affected us anyway."

    "Ugh." Anthea sighed. Then she turned those silver eyes to him. "You said you didn't expect my forgiveness?"

    His face was unreadable in the dark, his back to the light. "Not particularly. I'd hoped, but I'm realistic. I knew the odds were that, if I did get back to you, you . . . wouldn't want me."

    Her eyes widened. "You thought I'd leave you?"

    Silently, Khan nodded.

    "No." She shook her head vehemently. "No. I was bloody furious and confused and hurt beyond words, but all I wanted was to have you back. Especially after I got hold of your file and found out what Marcus had done to you. I was angry, and I felt lied to, yes, but . . ."

    She rose on tip-toe and looped her arms around his neck. "Khan, I love you more than anything in this universe, save our son."

    He wrapped his arms tight around her, though he couldn't quite pull her as close as he would have liked. "Thea."

    "I could never leave you," she whispered. "Never. No matter what you do."

    "Unless I were to, say, cheat on you?"

    "You wouldn't," she said, absolutely certain of it.

    "Never," he agreed.

    She pressed her mouth to his, tugged at his bottom lip with her teeth. "Let's go in. I believe you owe me a strip tease."

    Khan chuckled. "I'm not doing that."

    "Oh, you're no fun."

    "I can be a lot of fun," he assured her. "But I draw the line at that."

    "Spoilsport."
     
    RX_Sith likes this.
  25. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Seems like Anthea regrets that Harewood had to die for Khan's plans to work and yet she loves him deeply and would if needed do the same.