When You Come Back to Me Again
By: tayryn and Mônica
Disclaimer: I don’t own them. I just play with them and make them happy.
Notes: This story is based on my sister, Mônica’s story, “Until I reach our Promised Land” Again, if by some chance you have yet to read this wonderful story, I highly urge you to do so, before reading mine. If you have read it, then by all means, continue.
It is with the utmost love and affection that this story is undoubtedly dedicated to my sister, Mônica.
eu te adoro, minha irmã!
mais do que palavras possam dizer!!
abraços e beijos de sua pequenina
Now… onto the story!! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Helena Russell looked up from the report she held in her hands, a shocked, disbelieving expression on her face.
“There has to be some kind of mistake, Bob.” She said, shaking her head. “A mix up in the lab…”
“Those are the correct results.” Bob Mathias told her. “I had the lab run them through twice and performed a third run myself just to be certain.”
“Are you worried about what the Commander will say?” Bob asked, slightly confused at her reaction.
“Then what?” He asked. “I thought with all the work you’ve done on the Life Support Systems…” It suddenly dawned on him. “You weren’t expecting this, were you?”
Her voice trailed off as she looked back at the papers, taking another deep breath.
“Hey, Chief.” Mathias said softly. “Why don’t you take the rest of the afternoon off?”
“I can’t, Bob.” She said, shaking her head. “I’ve got too much work…”
“Which you won’t be able to concentrate on.” Bob interrupted her, watching as she rose and walked slowly over to her desk. “It’s not busy right now, so it’s the perfect time for you to take some time for yourself to fully process the news.”
Mathias regarded his boss and friend and shook his head, knowing he’d lost yet another ‘fight’ to get her to relax a little. “You’d think after all these years, I’d know better then to even suggest you taking some time off.”
Bob moved towards the door. “But if you change your mind…”
“I won’t.” She said, glancing down at her calendar. “But thank you.”
Mathias nodded once and just as he was about to leave her office, she called to him, stopping him. He turned to see her switching her computer back off.
“I think…” she said as she stood, a small smile on her face. “I think maybe you’re right. I am going to take the rest of my shift off.”
Bob just stared at her as she came out from behind her desk and moved towards him. She pointed at her desk.
“Would you see that those results are put into my file?”
Mathias simply nodded as she left the office, humming quietly to herself. He shook his head disbelievingly.
“I actually won a round.”
He said as he stepped over to her desk and picked up
“Today’s date.” He said, noticing also what was written on it. He shook his head again, this time chuckling to himself as he left her office.
“Won a round indeed.” He thought.
** ** **
She really had intended on staying in her office and working on those reports, despite the surprising news of her test results, but when she’d seen her calendar and the date on it, she changed her mind.
“I can’t believe I almost forgot.” She thought to herself as she mentally went over the events of the morning, realizing that the thought of her physical that day had pushed all other thoughts out of her head. “And John didn’t mention anything either. I wonder if he’s remembered what today is?”
A huge smile grew on her face. “And boy do I have a surprise for him.”
“Doc.” He said again,
laughing and smiling as he pulled his hand out of his mother’s grip and ambled
“Will.” She laughed as she scooped the youngster up in her arms as soon as he was within reach. She hugged the little boy and then smiled at his mother. “Hello, Annie.”
“Doctor Russell. How are you?” Annette asked.
“Doc!” William Fraser
said again, placing his pudgy hands on
“Doc!” He squealed
with laughter as
“I see you were listening to your Uncle John after
“I was wondering where he picked that up.” Annette said with a smile. “He’s been saying it for the last two days.”
“John worked on him all night…”
Annette smiled, laughing lightly and held her hands out to her son, who happily transferred over to his mother. “Well, we should get going. It’s almost time for someone’s dinner.”
“Say good bye to Doctor Russell, Will.” Annette said to her son.
“Bye… Doc!” He said, waving his hand.
The women laughed and then
Ten minutes later, Helena keyed in the code to the quarters she shared with John Koenig, her mind on the ideas she’d come up with while riding the travel tube, on how to surprise John and make this evening a special one.
The door slid open and she stepped through it. John looked up from what he was doing with
surprise to see
“What are you…?”
They stopped and smiled at each other as they spoke at the same time.
“I see we had the same idea.” She said after the kiss, looking around the room to where he’d placed various candles.
John’s arms tightened around her waist. “You didn’t think I’d forget our anniversary
“Let’s just say the thought crossed my mind.” She admitted, omitting the fact that it’d slipped her mind. She squeezed him gently. “Are you finished… setting the mood? Or do you still need a little time?”
John returned the squeeze. “I could use a few more minutes.”
John watched her with a smile as she moved to the closet, then turned back to begin lighting the various candles.
“I’ll be out in fifteen minutes, John.” She called over to him.
“Take your time… I’m still waiting for dinner to be delivered.”
She flashed him a smile then allowed the bathroom door to close.
John watched the door cut her off from view, and continued his preparations. About ten minutes later he turned as the door buzzer sounded. He walked over, opened the door, bent down to pick up the tray of food, and then retreated back into the room, once again locking the door.
He heard the shower stop as he carried the tray over to the
table and couldn’t help but smile as an image of
After placing the brush back on the counter,
Shaking herself out of her inner musings,
John looked up when he heard the bathroom door open and inhaled sharply when he saw her. It didn’t matter how many years he and Helena had been together, the sight of her always took his breath away and now she stood, barefoot, wearing his favourite black negligee, in the bathroom doorway; the light behind her illuminating her curvaceous figure, causing John to consider forgetting about dinner and move straight on to dessert.
“You look stunning,
John ran his fingers up along her arms and over her throat, slipping them into her still damp hair, his smile growing as she shivered slightly in response to his faint touch. He simply nodded, pulling her closer.
John ended the kiss and smiled down at his lady. He caressed her cheek with his fingers and
when he spoke, it was in a soft voice.
“Happy Anniversary, John.” She replied softly, returning his smile.
John moved his hands down her arms and encircled her waist, pulling her back against him as he began to move them to the soft strains of music floating around them. She slipped her arms under his and wrapped them around his back as she laid her head on his shoulder, allowing her body to relax against John’s as they swayed slowly.
Neither one said a word as they simply enjoyed this all too rare moment alone; wrapped tightly in each other’s arms, losing themselves in their love for each other, the world outside the closed door of their quarters disappearing.
John’s arms tightened around her as he turned his head
slightly, brushing a soft kiss against her forehead before resting his cheek
against her hair.
Resting her head back on John’s shoulder,
A small while later, after having danced through three or four songs and sharing long, tender kisses, Helena lifted her head from his shoulder and smiled lovingly at him. John returned her smile as he leaned in to kiss her yet again.
“Mmm. This is wonderful, John.” She told him and then her lips curved into a bemused smile as she tilted her head slightly to one side. “You did say something about dinner earlier though, didn’t you?”
John chuckled and nodded as he began to leisurely dance them over to the table. “Good idea, Doc. The sooner we eat…” he paused and ran his hands up her sides, his thumbs brushing the sides of her breasts. “The sooner we get to… dessert.”
John could see what she was thinking; reading the growing desire in her eyes and smiled. He brushed another kiss across her lips and then pulled himself from her arms. “Let’s eat. We have all night for dessert.”
John held up his glass, tilting his head to the side for a moment as he gazed at her. A tender smile came his lips as he began to speak. “To you, Helena. You who are more than my friend, more than my lover... you’re my partner, my soul mate… my life. You’re my reason for waking in the morning, my reason for making it through each day, the reason I’m able to endure all that this life throws at me. Without your presence in my life… I would have no life.” He paused and reached across the table to clasp her hand. “I love you, Helena. With all my heart and all that I am… I love you.” He brought his glass to hers. “Happy Anniversary, my love.”
They brought their glasses together again. After taking a sip each, they simply sat and gazed at each other. John smiled then as he stood slightly and leaned towards her, bringing her hand to his lips, pressing a kiss to her knuckles.
As he sat back down, he gave her a lopsided grin. “Shall we eat now?”
She blinked and looked up at him. “Hmm? What? Oh, John I’m sorry. I got lost in my own thoughts.”
“I can see that.” He
said with a slight smile that was touched with concern. He’d noticed that
When she didn’t look at him right away, John reached up with his free hand and turned her face so he could look in her eyes. He grew even more concerned when he saw a single tear slip down her cheek.
“You remember that I had my physical this morning?” She asked.
John nodded, smiling ruefully. He remembered. She wouldn’t let him make love to her last night because of it. She’d also complained bitterly about it all night and this morning, sounding as bad he got when it was time for his physical.
“I… the results were… not what I expected.” She told him shakily.
John felt a momentary sense of panic seize his heart;
fearing the results indicated something wrong, something that would take
“What was so unexpected?” He asked quietly.
“I love you so much.” She said quietly, a loving smile gracing her lips. “You’ve given me so much over the years. Your friendship, your patience… your love. I don’t know how I would have made it all these years out here in space without you.”
John felt the panic slowly beginning to return. She was beginning to scare him. “
She shook her head slightly, her smile growing. “And now… now you’ve given me the most wonderful gift you could have ever given me…” she faltered; choking on the tears she refused to let fall.
John looked at her, still concerned but also confused. He couldn’t figure out what it was that was
making her so nervous that she was having a hard time telling him. If there was one thing he knew, it was that
“It’s a gift I’ve wanted so long to give you… one I hope you’ll be happy about…” she took a deep breath, her hand moving on his cheek again in a soft caress. When she finally spoke again it was in a whisper. “…I’m pregnant, John.”
John’s eyes grew wide and his mouth fell open as he fell back on his heels, stunned. This was not the news he was expecting.
The word echoed in John’s ears. His eyes fell immediately to rest on her abdomen as he tried to absorb what she’d just told him. Pregnant. A torrent of emotions rushed through him. Shock, disbelief, pride, shock again.
John moved back onto his knees and took her face in his hands, bringing his lips to hers for a passionate kiss, which left her breathless when it finally ended. He rested his forehead against hers, the tears coursing down his cheeks.
“Pregnant?” He whispered, pulling his head back to look at her. “Helena… a baby?”
“A baby.” He
repeated, a huge grin spreading across his face and making his sapphire eyes
light up. He quickly got to his feet,
Even before he finished twirling her around, their lips met in a loving kiss, which lingered long after he stopped spinning. The kiss slowly ended and they smiled at each other.
“And here I thought I was the one with a big surprise for tonight.” He said, still grinning.
She looked at him curiously as he stepped away from her, his hand reaching into the pocket on his pants. Before she realized what was happening, John knelt before her and reached for her left hand.
“I had the whole night planned… a romantic dinner for two, soft music, making love to you by candlelight… and at the right moment, I was planning on asking you to marry me.” He paused as she gasped and smiled as he held up the ring for her to see. “I even had a special poem memorized… but your news has me so completely floored, all I know… is that… is if you’ll marry me… I’ll be the happiest man on Alpha.”
“Oh… John…” she whispered, tears streaming down her cheeks again. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
John smiled and slipped the ring onto her finger, pressing a kiss against it before standing and taking her into his arms again for a long, tender kiss. As they kissed, John stooped slightly, lifting her effortlessly into his strong arms and carried her across the room to their bed.
Still kissing, John knelt on the bed and slowly lowered them down, covering her body with his. He broke off the kiss and raised himself slightly to gaze down at her, smiling as he reached up to gently wipe away the lingering tears in her eyes. He traced his fingers lightly over her lips, along her jaw and down her throat, resting his hand just above the swell of her breasts. He leaned in and kissed her again, murmuring his love for her against her lips as his hand slipped under the bodice of her negligee to cup her breast.
Helena moaned softly into his mouth as his fingers moved slowly over her breast in ever-smaller growing circles until they brushed over her taut nipple then moved to do the same to her other breast. She arched into his hand, her hands sliding down his back and over his sides.
John broke off the kiss and, giving
As he suckled at her breasts, John little by little, managed to peel away more of her negligee, pushing it down until it bunched at her hips. His mouth left her breasts and he kissed and licked a trail down her body, pausing to dart his tongue in her navel.
John inched lower on the bed, and
He moved back onto the bed, leaning over to capture her lips in an ardent kiss and then once again kissed his way down her body, stopping only when he came to the blonde curls between her thighs. John shifted on the bed and then pressed his mouth against her.
John continued loving her with his mouth until her writhing body, coupled with her moans and gasps of pleasure were too much for him to handle and he knew he had to be inside her. With one last loving kiss to her sensitive flesh, John slowly moved up and covered her body with his, capturing her mouth in a searing kiss.
With a deliberate slowness that belied the urgency he was feeling, John pressed his length inside her. He heard her gasp and looked down in time to see her eyes close and her head fall back as he completely filled her. He held still, waiting for her to open her eyes and look at him before beginning to move.
The feel of John as he first joined their bodies, was a feeling Helena always loved; always longed for; feeling him stretching and filling her so completely always took her breath away; the sensations it caused, streaming through her, creating an intense and burning fire throughout her body. A fire John started. A fire only John could extinguish.
She moaned softly, her eyes closing, savouring the joining of their bodies. When she slowly opened her eyes moments later, she found John gazing down at her, a knowing and loving smile on his face. She returned his smile and lifted her head to brush a soft kiss against his lips.
Slowly, with measured, controlled movements, John began to
move inside her; withdrawing almost completely before pressing his entire
length back inside her, moving deeper inside her with each thrust.
John bent slightly; kissing her fervently as his thrusts became less controlled and more erratic with his approaching release. He broke off the kiss and looked into her shimmering, green eyes as he felt her body begin to tremble beneath his; her release approaching fast as well and he began to thrust into her quicker.
“JOHN!” She cried out as her body tightened and then thrashed wildly beneath him.
Her passionate cry of his name was John’s undoing and with a final, deep thrust, John gave himself over to his release; calling out her name as he exploded inside her, his body quaking with the force of his orgasm.
His energy sapped, John collapsed on top of her; Helena’s arms tightened around him as their bodies continued to shudder against each other, the waves of pleasure still washing over them, carrying them farther and farther; their hearts and souls joining once again in blissful oblivion.
** ** **
“Mmm… this is heavenly.”
“Anytime I can hold you in my arms is heavenly.” John said against her hair, running his hands down along her arms.
They’d soaked and talked on and off in the bubble-filled tub for over an hour when John brushed his lips against her temple and sat them up to reach out and grab the soap.
He washed her arms and back and then lathering his hands
again, he reached them around her and began to soap her chest.
John smiled when he felt her respond to his touch, her nipples hardening under his palms; he bent his head and placed a kiss on her shoulder, moving his lips up her throat to whisper words of love in her ear as his hands slid down to caress her belly.
“Have I told you yet tonight, just how very much I love you, Helena?” He asked quietly.
“Mmhmm.” She murmured, becoming lost in his caress, which was slowly beginning to move lower. “But… mmm… you can tell me again.”
John smiled. “I love you, Helena.” He breathed against her ear, catching her earlobe between his teeth as his one hand moved to stroke her inner thigh. “Let me show you how much…”
She replied with a soft moan, her legs opening a little
wider as his hand covered her; stroking her lightly.
John felt her body quiver slightly as he slipped first one finger inside her, then another, moving them slowly in and out of her, his thumb continuing to stroke her tender flesh. His other hand moved up her body and cupped her breast, holding her tight against him as the hand between her thighs continued its exquisite torture.
Still whispering in her ear, all the things he wanted to do
to her and for her, John felt the tension in
“Mmm… I do so love you, John Koenig.” She told him when the kiss ended. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” He smiled.
John’s smile turned into a grin as he nodded.
They quickly climbed out of the tub and toweled each other
** ** **
When his eyes came to her belly, his smile grew. Pregnant.
After years of talking about children, they were going to have a
baby. John felt a sense of pride shoot
through him even as the love he felt for
John shifted lower in the bed, careful not to wake
“Hello, little one.” He spoke in a quiet voice. “Do you know how long your mommy and I have been waiting for you?”
His hand caressed her smooth skin again as he continued to speak to the life growing inside the woman he loved.
“You have no idea how lucky you are, little one. How lucky we both are… to have your
mommy.” He paused and
“And I have just one little favour to ask of you…” John continued and chuckled softly. “As you grow inside your mother… try not to kick her too much at night. She works too hard and will no doubt insist on working right up until she’s ready to deliver you… so no kicking at night. Let Mommy get her sleep.”
He pressed another kiss against her abdomen and then slowly,
with feather-light kisses, John worked his way up her body, his fingers
caressing soft lines up along her sides.
When his lips finally met hers,
“Good morning, Beautiful.” He smiled at her after finishing the kiss.
“Mmm… good morning.” She ran her hands up along his sides and over his shoulders, pulling him back for another kiss. “How long have you been awake?”
“Oh… about an hour.” John replied, settling back against the pillows. “I was watching you sleep and having a conversation with our child.”
“So I heard.” She said as she cuddled up against him, slipping her arms around him and resting her head on his shoulder as her legs moved against and entwined with his.
“And just how much did you hear?” He asked, rubbing her back.
“Enough.” She replied, pressing a kiss to his chest. “I just hope he or she listens to their daddy and doesn’t kick too much at night.”
John chuckled and pressed a kiss to her forehead before
pulling back slightly to gaze at her. He
brushed a stray lock of hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear. A small smile lit his eyes as he noticed the
happy glow that shone from
“I still can’t believe we’re going to be parents.”
“I hope you’re right.” He said. “I’m sure as hell going to try.”
“So… how far along are we?”
“Well… we... are only seven weeks along.” She answered with a smile and soft chuckle, shifting so that she could look into his face.
“How long before you begin to show?” He asked, rubbing his hand over her, trying to imagine how it would feel when the baby started to show.
“Well, generally not until the second trimester.”
“You won’t be fat. You’ll be pregnant.” He said, his hand moving from her belly to stroke her hip, his voice growing husky. “And you’ll still be the sexiest woman I know.”
“I’m going to hold you to that, John Koenig.” She laughed.
“I’m just planning on holding you… soon to be Helena Koenig.” He said with a grin, drawing her closer. “And speaking of… when would you like to do that?”
John chuckled. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
She chuckled softly herself and snuggled closer to him, closing her eyes as she stifled a yawn.
“Well… how about next week then?” He asked. “It’s not like there’s all that much to plan.”
“Mmm… that sounds good.” She replied in a sleepy voice.
“Then next week it is.” John confirmed. “Now… what about the honeymoon?”
Her only response was an un-intelligible mumble, followed by a quick yawn. John glanced down and saw that she’d fallen back asleep. He shook his head softly, smiling as he remembered that she hadn’t eaten much last night and that they had been quite active during the night. He reached over her, grabbed the blanket, and drew it over them.
John reached out to his nightstand and grabbed his commlock. After
placing a few quick calls, he placed the commlock back
on the table and settled back against the pillows, drawing
** ** **
Pulling her robe on, she quietly slipped into the
bathroom. She reached for her toothbrush
and paused momentarily as she heard a sound coming from the shower. She tilted her head to listen closely and her
lips curved into an amused smile. John
was humming to himself. She chuckled and
began to brush her teeth as she suddenly recognized the tune, an oldie from the
seventies. By the time she finished
brushing her teeth,
She heard the shower stop and her gaze caught John’s in the mirror when he opened the door to reach for a towel.
“Good morning.” She smiled at him.
John quickly dried himself off and secured the towel around his waist then stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Good morning.” He replied, bending his head to nuzzle her neck. “How long you been up?”
John laughed and tightened his arms around her. “Well… it just sort of popped in there, seemed appropriate somehow. And I thought I heard some humming other than my own.”
“Having my baby, what a lovely way of saying how much you
He sang a couple more lines of the song, grinned at her, and
then pressed a kiss into her hair, as
“I’m so happy you’re happy about the baby… even if you are singing cheesy old songs...” She chuckled, her smile telling him that she loved his little serenade. He chuckled and nodded.
“The shower’s all yours.” He spoke against her ear, his hands slipping into her robe, moving slowly up her stomach to cup her breasts, smiling at her in the mirror when he heard her soft moan. “And… I’ll be more than happy to… wash your back for you.”
John smiled and his eyes sparkled mischievously.
“For food, John.” She laughed, seeing the look in his eyes.
John chuckled and placed a soft kiss against her lips. “Take your shower, I’ll go order breakfast.”
John smiled, returned her embrace, and then left the
Twenty minutes later, John looked up from the table to see
“Much.” She said, walking towards him. “And I’ll feel even better once I get something in…” she paused mid-sentence as she glanced at the clock. Her eyes grew wide. “Oh God, John… the time! We’re going to be late!”
“No we’re…” John began as she turned sharply to head for her
closet. John watched as she stopped and
swayed. He jumped up and out of his
chair and was by her side in an instant, catching her in his arms. “
She placed her hand on his chest and shook her head gently. “Just a little dizzy… I turned too quickly.” She told him and then smiled when she felt her equilibrium return. She moved to leave his arms, but he wouldn’t let her go, instead he scooped her up into his arms and began to carry her to the bed. She looked at him. “John, we don’t have time…”
Her protest was cut off as his mouth covered hers.
John silenced her protest with another kiss, laying her on
the bed as he did. This time, he broke
off the kiss and looked at her. “
John grinned and leaned in to kiss her. “I plan on pampering my bride-to-be, the mother of my child, all day long.”
“Mmm. That sounds nice.”
“And to start…” he said, standing up. “I think a little breakfast in bed is in order.”
“Breakfast is served, milady.”
** ** **
“I’m glad you’re back.” He said sleepily against her ear. “Everything okay?”
“Mmhmm.” She replied, snuggling back against him. “Sandra is in the first stages of labour, but since she still has a ways to go yet, Bob kicked me out of Medical.”
John chuckled softly against her shoulder. “How’s Alan?”
“Typical first-time father.”
“I can sympathize.” John said, placing his hand over her protruding belly. He smiled into his wife’s hair as he felt movement under his hand. “I’m nervous about it myself and we still have a couple months to go yet.”
Helena laced her fingers with John’s as they rested on her belly and turned her head slightly to look at him a soft smile on her face. “You’ll do fine, John. I have every confidence in you.”
John returned her soft smile and leaned in to brush a gentle kiss on her lips. He settled back on the pillow, burying his face in her hair. “Remind me…” he yawned and pulled her closer. “To put a note of commendation in Bob’s file in the morning for sending you home. Now I can go back to sleep.”
She lifted her left hand and smiled at the sight of the plain gold band; identical to the one John wore, resting there.
They’d married a week after John had asked her to become his wife, in a simple ceremony attended by anyone on Alpha who wished to attend. Victor had proudly walked her down the aisle to John as Alan and Sandra stood up for them as their best man and matron of honour respectively. Tony had officiated and a small reception had followed.
A month later, they discovered to their utter surprise, that
not only were they pregnant, but that they were pregnant with twins.
** ** **
John looked up from the computer again when he heard another
soft moan come from the bed. He watched,
his eyes furrowing with concern as
“Oh… this is pointless!!”
John looked up to see
“I give up!” She said, throwing her arms up in despair as she walked into the living area of their quarters, her nightgown billowing about her legs and began to pace. “I can’t get comfortable to save my life.”
“Anything I can do to help?” He asked after watching her pace for a few moments.
“I think you’ve done quite enough already, thank you very
“Don’t give me that look.” John replied evenly, hitting the button that would save his work, knowing he wouldn’t be getting anymore of it finished tonight. “You’re as responsible for your condition as I am. It takes two to tango.”
“I know…” she whispered through her hands. “I’m sorry, John… I… I don’t know what’s the matter with me.”
John allowed the corners of his mouth to turn up slightly in a bemused smile as he stood and made his way over to her. He reached out and pulled her hands away from her face; seeing the tears he knew would be in her eyes and on her cheeks.
“You’re being emotional… and that’s allowed, Honey.” John told her, gathering
John felt her hands clutch the front of his shirt and her shoulders begin to shake as she started to cry harder. He tightened his hold on her.
“There’s something else bothering you too, what is it,
“I’m tired of being pregnant… my hands are swollen… my ankles are swollen and I can’t see my feet anymore… my back hurts… I’m scared I won’t be a good mother… and… and you haven’t made love to me in weeks…”
It came pouring out of her as she sobbed into his shoulder and all John could do was smile tenderly into her hair before slowly leading her over to the couch. He pulled her into his lap as he sat down and slipped his fingers under her chin, preventing her from burying her face back into his shoulder and made her look at him.
“First, I know you’re tired of being pregnant and tired of the swollen hands, ankles and sore back and if I could switch places with you, I would. But the twins will be here soon and that will all be over with. You’ve said so yourself. Second, you’re going to be a wonderful mother.” He paused, placing his fingers over her mouth to silence her protest. “Seeing you with the all the children that have been born here is testament to that… and I know you. I know with all my heart that you’re going to be an exceptional mother.”
John moved his hand up her cheek and brushed away her tears.
“As for not making love to you… it’s not cause I haven’t wanted to or from lack of trying.” He smiled affectionately at her. “But you won’t let me because you have this idea in your mind that you’re unattractive and undesirable right now.”
“That’s because I am.” She said softly, looking down. “I’m bloated and fat.”
“You’re just saying…”
“I love you, Helena.” John whispered as he placed little kisses around her mouth, trailing his lips down her neck. “And I want to make love to you… in the worst way… if you’ll let me…”
“And now, Mrs. Koenig…” he said in a throaty voice as he carried her to their bed. “I’m going to show you just how desirable you still are…”
** ** **
John sat back in his chair in
John looked up into the grinning but tired face of Alan Carter and nodded.
“You could say that.”
John replied. “
“Say no more.” Alan chuckled, holding up his hand. “I read you loud and clear. Sandra was like that too just before Bobbie was born. Couldn’t get comfortable for anything… and when the wife can’t sleep…”
John chuckled as Alan’s voice trailed off and nodded his
head with the pilot’s assessment. He
stifled a yawn and glanced back at the report still on the monitor, one he’d
been staring at all morning but hadn’t gotten very far on. His mind was in a fog from lack of sleep;
having gotten up with
“Ah, just think, John.
When the kids are born… you won’t have to worry about
John chuckled and watched his friend leave. He swallowed back another yawn and determined to get through at least this one report before the end of his shift. Two hours later, he turned off the monitor, the report finally finished. He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes, releasing a deep breath.
“I thought you were going to try and take a nap?” He asked quietly, without opening his eyes as he felt a familiar hand on his shoulder.
“I was but your children had other plans.” John opened his eyes and looked up into his wife’s tired face. “So, we decided to come and see if their father was up for a late lunch.”
John smiled as he reached up to grab
The younger man turned around to look at John.
“I’m going to the cafeteria for lunch. I’ll be back in an hour.”
John nodded then turned to
“I forgot something at my desk.” He told her. “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“You’re in labour?”
“We’ll have everything ready for when you get here.”
“And that won’t be right now. At this moment, I’m going to lunch with John.” She noticed that he was about to protest and continued before he could interject. “It’s nothing to be concerned about yet. I’m not in any pain… just a little discomfort.”
“And we both know how quickly that can change…”
“And when it does, you’ll be the first person we
“Whom you obviously haven’t told yet.” Bob said, knowing that if Koenig knew Helena was in the early stages of labour, he’d not only be insisting that she be in Medical Center; he’d be carrying her there himself.
“No, I haven’t told John.” She admitted. “And I won’t until it’s necessary.”
“Bob, you and I both know it could be hours before I go into actual labour and John is nervous and worried enough as it is.” She said. “There’s no point in making him even more anxious.”
On the tiny screen,
“Fine… no point in arguing with you.” He said. “Just do me one favour?”
“Don’t wait until the last minute to get down here when it’s time.”
“I won’t.” She chuckled. “Thanks, Bob.”
“Hmmm.” Bob muttered under his breath as he closed the link.
“All set?” She asked as he came to a stop in front of her.
“Yeah.” John nodded, placing his arm about her shoulders. “Now… I believe that I have a lunch date with my beautiful wife.”
As the car started to move, John looked at her. “You should be sitting down,
John regarded her for a
moment then smiled softly at her as he leaned back against the wall, pulling
her back against him; wrapping his arms around her waist. He heard
“Can’t. Too much work.”
“I could make it a medical order.” She threatened with a small smile.
He opened one eye and gave her a slight grin as he shook his head. “You can’t. You’re on maternity leave.”
“And your point is? I’m still the C.M.O around here.”
“My point is…” John began, tightening his arms around her a little more.
His sentence remained unfinished as the Travel Tube suddenly lurched, causing them both to stumble. John held tightly to Helena as the car shook again, this time with more force, the jolt sending them both tumbling to the floor; John doing his best to hang onto Helena and keep her from impacting with the hard surface. The lights flickered as the car came to a sudden halt.
“Yes, I’m fine. Just a little shaken up.” She answered, reaching out to take his hand; returning his firm squeeze. “You?”
“I’m okay.” He answered, sitting up. He helped her to slowly sit as well, his eyes moving over her. “You’re sure you’re alright? The twins?”
“We’re all okay. John, if you hadn’t…” She swallowed hard and gave him a grateful look before glancing around. “What happened?”
“Let’s find out.” He said reaching for his commlock and punched in the code. “Tony?”
“Moonquake.” Tony replied. “Are you and Helena okay?”
“As okay as we can be, stuck in the Travel Tube.” John answered as he got to his feet; helping
“Reports are coming in now. For the most part though, it looks like only minor damage.” Tony answered. “And I’ve already sent a team out to get you and Helena out of there, however the tube has stopped in between sections… it could be a while.”
“Understood.” John said, glancing at Helena who was leaning back in the seat with her eyes closed. He looked back at Tony’s image and continued with a small grin. “Tell them to do their best. I guess this just means I get to spend some quality time alone with my wife.” He closed the channel, sank down in the seat beside her, and smiled at her. “Looks like it’s just you and me, Honey. Got any ideas on what we can do to pass the time?”
John’s eyes grew wide. “You don’t mean…?”
“Mmhmm.” She nodded. “I’m going into labour.”
“But you were fine just a moment ago…” John stood suddenly and began to pace. “It was the fall, wasn’t it? That’s what brought it on, isn’t it?”
“Calm down, John.”
“All morning!? Why didn’t you say anything?” John asked incredulously.
“Because I knew it could be a while before actual labour set it in.” She told him and inhaled sharply. “And I wasn’t expecting to be trapped in a Travel Tube.”
John knelt down before her, concern etched in his features as he reached for his commlock. “How long?”
John nodded his understanding and activated his commlock. “Tony!”
“Slight change in plans.
Tell the repair team to get a move on!
And have Bob standing by with a med-team.
“Right away, John.”
John turned back to
Her voice trailed off, both of them sharing a look, knowing exactly what she wasn’t saying.
“Well, holding you I can and will do with pleasure.” John said moving back up onto the seat and slipping his arm about her shoulders. “Come here, Mrs. Koenig.”
“Hold on, babies.
Please hold on.”
** ** **
“Tony.” Victor said, walking over to the younger man and putting his hand on his shoulder. “We have to tell them.”
“Yeah, Victor I know.” He said, hearing the concern in Victor’s voice and knowing that he thought of both John and Helena as his children. “I’m worried about them too.”
Victor patted Tony’s shoulder and gave him a small smile. “I know you are.”
Tony returned Victor’s worried smile then turned back to his desk. He moved his hand over his console, pausing with his finger over the button. This was not something he was looking forward to doing. He took a deep breath and pressed the button, aware of Victor pacing nervously behind him.
** ** **
Curled into a tight ball, half-sitting in John’s lap;
Continuing to rub her back, John reached beside him for his commlock just as it beeped.
“Tony. Tell me you have good news.”
“I’m afraid not, John.”
“Tony, we’ve been in here for an hour already and
“I just spoke with them… it appears that most of the circuits for the Travel Tube blew out when the quake hit.”
“What about the backups?” John asked and watched as Tony just shook his head. “How much longer are they expecting it to take?”
“They’re not sure, John. All I know, is that they’re attempting to bypass as much as they can, enough to get the tube moving.”
John cursed under his breath and glanced at
He didn’t wait for Tony’s response
as he tossed his commlock back onto the seat beside
him, not realizing that he hadn’t closed the channel. He turned to
“Oh… God… John!” She moaned. “They’re getting closer together.”
“No!” She repeated and then exhaled deeply as the contraction finally ended. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and when she spoke, it was in a quiet voice. “John… I don’t want our babies born here.”
“I know, Sweetheart.” He said softly, pulling her further into his embrace and pressing a kiss into her hair. “I know.” Not knowing what else to say, John simply held her, smoothing her hair as he continued to rub her back.
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”
They both looked down at the same time to see that both
John’s pants and
“Don’t worry about it.” John said as he reached for her commlock. “But I think it’s time we call Bob. I’m going to need some help, cause it looks like I’m going to be delivering our children.”
“How far apart are the contractions?” Bob replied over the screen, not needing John to explain further, he’d been waiting for the call. That and Tony had patched John’s still active commlock, through to his. So he’d been well aware of the situation.
“About ten minutes.” John answered and then felt
“Commander,” Bob continued, even though he couldn’t
see John through the commlock. “As soon as this contraction passes, I want
you to grab the emergency medical kit, remove both your jackets and then help
“UUHHN… oh, John! They’re getting worse!” She panted, gritting her teeth. “I can feel… oh God… I can feel the baby! I want… to push!”
John winced slightly as her grip on his hand tightened
fiercely. He reached out with his free
hand and grabbed her commlock, placing it on the seat
beside him so he could see Bob’s image from the corner of his eye; all the
“Bob?! She’s lying
down and you heard the rest.” John said,
glancing at the commlock as he removed his jacket,
placing it on top of
“Okay, Commander, this means the baby is no doubt in the birth-canal. I want you to look… tell me if you can see the baby’s head.”
John nodded and turned back to his wife. “It’s going to be okay,
“Very good, Commander.
Now on the next contraction,
As John listened to Bob explaining what it was he had to do,
he reached out, pulled the med-kit to the floor beside him, and opened it. He turned back to
“Okay, Honey this is it.” John said, pushing up his sleeves. He gave her an encouraging smile. “I’m going to be here with you every step of the way.”
“No! John… not here! I don’t want my babies born here!” She managed to repeat her earlier sentiments between gasps.
“I know, I know. But I’m afraid we have little choice in the matter.” John told her. “Our children appear to have decided that now is the right time to make their entrance.”
“And their mother’s too.” John thought wryly, but knew better than to voice that sentiment at this time. He felt her reach out and grab his hands as she cried out his name; followed by a scream unlike any John had ever heard from his wife’s lips as she began to push.
“All right, Commander, now you have to cut the umbilical cord and then clean out the baby’s nose and mouth.” Bob told him and then continued, explaining to John exactly what to do and how to get the baby to take his first breath.
Moments later, the car was filled with the strong cries of a new-born baby as the new parents looked at each other, both half-laughing, half-crying.
“Good work, Commander.”
Bob said. “Now wrap him in
one of your jackets.” John reached
over, pulled his jacket off the seat, and began to wrap his son up in the black
garment. “You should have a couple of
minutes before the next one, so I’d take this moment to let
“Way ahead of you, Bob.”
John called over his shoulder as he moved up beside
“I am.” John said, the pride evident in his voice as he rested his free hand on his son’s chest.
“He has your hair.” She told him softly, fingering her son’s dark locks and smiling up at John again. She placed her hand over John’s and rested her head against his shoulder as the fell into a happy silence.
John glanced down at
“Take the baby…” she murmured to him, shifting slightly. “…John…”
“I… I… something’s not… oooh.” She gasped softly.
John quickly reached around her to grab the commlock. “Bob! Something’s wrong!”
“I don’t know. One
moment she was fine and now…” he pointed the commlock
“When the tube stopped, did she fall?” Bob asked.
“Yeah… we both did. But I managed to fall between her and the floor.” John answered.
“That was smart… but even so… she could have hurt herself and not know it.” Bob said. “And is now feeling it.”
“Bob…” John began, glancing down at his son, whom he was
still holding. “What about the other
baby? Is it in any danger? And,
“There is always some danger when giving birth, Commander.” Bob answered. “I know that’s little comfort right now, but at the moment and not being there, that’s all I can tell you.”
John nodded, understanding though not liking it as he placed
the commlock back on the seat. He looked at
“John?” She called quietly, reaching her hand out for him and he could see that she was trying to focus on him. She moaned again and when she spoke, her voice held a touch of fear. “Something’s wrong… the baby…”
She didn’t finish her statement; her body doubling up as a contraction suddenly ripped through her body. She bit her lower lip and groaned loudly. She felt John slip his free arm about her shoulders, holding her tightly, offering what little comfort he could at that point and tried to give him a small smile but the pain was too great.
“Commander,” Bob’s voice came over the commlock. “I know
you want to remain at
John nodded. Bob was
right, he didn’t want to leave
She smiled weakly at him as the contraction passed.
“I love you.” He whispered to her, giving her hand and knee another gentle squeeze. “We’re going to be fine… all four of us!”
“I know…” She gasped, reaching out for his other hand as another contraction started. “I love you too.”
John held tightly to her hands, glancing quickly at their son then back at her. He gave her an encouraging smile. “Okay, Helena...”
“I’m here, Honey.” He told her as her grip on his hands lessened and she fell back slightly. He glanced down then looked back at her. “I can see the head…” He paused as he felt her grip tighten again and knew she was getting ready to bear down. “You can do this… you gotta push! I’m right here with you…”
“OOH… GOO… OOD!!”
John’s words of encouragement were drowned out by
“That’s it! Keep
“I AM PUSHING DAMMIT!!”
John shook his head, smiling lovingly at her, dismissing her
apology before it started. He glanced
“John?!” She asked, a slight tremor of fear edging her voice. “John, what is it?”
“Bob… I’ve got a problem here!” He said.
“The cord is around the baby’s neck.” John told him, trying to keep the panic he was feeling from surfacing any more than it already was; knowing it would only upset Helena more; as it was, he saw her face blanche. “What do I do?”
“Relax, Commander. This isn’t all that uncommon.” Bob told him. “This is what I want you to do.”
John took a deep breath and followed Mathias’ instructions
to remove the umbilical cord from around his baby’s neck. Only when the cord was removed did he release
the breath, looking up at
“Okay, Bob. I’ve got it. Now what?”
“Good job, Commander.” Mathias told him, the relief evident in his
voice as well. “Now… you both…” His
explanation was interrupted by a loud groan from
John glanced down and then back up at
“I love you… TOOO!”
John let go of her hands as she screamed the last word and reached down to guide their second child out of his wife’s body. He held the slippery bundle in his hands and lifted his wide blue eyes to meet hers.
“It’s a girl.” He told her quietly, his tears sliding down his cheeks.
“A girl?” Helena repeated, her eyes welling with tears as well when she heard her baby’s strong new cries and John held her up to see. “We have a daughter too?”
“Yes.” John smiled and nodded. “A beautiful baby girl.”
John nodded, handing their daughter to
When he was finished doing as instructed, John helped Helena arrange herself, pulling her skirt back down; knowing she’d want to appear in a somewhat dignified position for when they were finally joined by the med-team. John slid up to rest beside her, slipping his arm about her and placing a gentle kiss against her lips when she turned to look at him. “Good work, Mom.”
“You too, Dad.” She whispered back. She rested her forehead against his. “Thank you, John.”
John’s response was to press a kiss to her temple and move a little closer, gazing down at his children, nestled happily in their mother’s arms.
“I was hoping one of them would at least have your hair.” He said quietly, fingering his daughter’s dark hair.
“Well, maybe she’ll have my eyes.”
John returned her smile as he gazed into her eyes. He leaned closer, brushing his lips against hers. “How you feeling?”
“Sore. Tired. Glad it’s over.” She answered and then nodded softly at the look of concern in his eyes. “I’m okay, John. I must have pulled a muscle in the fall, that’s all.”
John was about to comment when they felt the Travel Tube lurch and then begin to move. They smiled at each other, John hugging her closer; feeling a small wave of relief pass over him, knowing that very shortly, Helena and his children would be in Medical Center, under medical supervision.
** ** **
“Okay, easy now,
“There’s no need to fuss, Bob.”
“Would you stop arguing and let us help you.” John said, squeezing her arm affectionately.
“I’m not arguing…”
“No… you’re just being stubborn.” John told her, smiling down at her.
“Any word on the twins yet?” She asked, glancing at Bob.
As soon as the travel tube had arrived, Bob had his staff take the twins from their parents and bring them immediately to Medical so that they could be properly checked out and cleaned up. Naturally, both parents were a little anxious.
“Ben is looking at them over now,
As they were moving down the corridor, John felt her grip on his hand loosen and glanced down at her, noting then, just how pale she was.
“She’s just sleeping, Commander.” Mathias told him, hearing the worry in Koenig’s voice and knowing exactly what he was thinking. “After all, she’s just given birth to twins, in less than normal circumstances.”
John nodded, the panic he felt starting in his chest, easing somewhat. He glanced back down at her and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
** ** **
“What did he say when you told him?”
“He was extremely relieved to hear that other than a pulled muscle and some bruising around the ribs, that you’re really okay.”
“It wasn’t easy, as he didn’t want to leave your side at all. Even Victor had a hard time getting him to co-operate.” Bob told her. “Finally I had to threaten him.”
“How?” She asked, having a pretty good idea of what the threat was.
“Either he took a shower or he wouldn’t be seeing you or the twins until tomorrow morning.” He answered and shook his head at the memory. “He grumbled a little more and then finally agreed but only to use the showers here.”
She chuckled, knowing that not being able to see her was enough of an incentive for her husband. “And the sedative? How’d you get him to take that?”
“I didn’t give him one.” Bob told her and couldn’t help the smile at the surprised look on her face. “The moment he heard you were, indeed okay and so were the twins, he passed out.”
“Well, he hasn’t had much sleep lately… and then having to deliver the twins…” she glanced once more at John, an affectionate smile gracing her lips. “It’s a wonder he held up as long as he did.”
“I think you should follow his example and get some rest yourself. Your body’s been through a lot.” Mathias said. “If you’re up to it later, I’ll see about bringing you something to eat. You’re going to need that too.”
“Bob… the twins?”
“They’re fine. You know as well as I do, that keeping them in the ICU is just a pre-cautionary measure because they were born early. Both of them are strong, healthy and doing great.” Bob answered and then proceeded to answer her next question before she asked it. “And your daughter is none the worse for her experience, thanks to her father.”
Bob shook his head. “In the morning. Right now, you need to sleep. I promise you, they’re being looked after.” He told her, holding his hand up to stop her protest. “Don’t make me sedate you.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
Mathias simply gave her a small smile as he turned and began
to head back to the main area of
“You know what I think?” She called out, catching him just as he was about to pass through the partition. He turned to look back at her with one eyebrow raised. “I think you’re having too much fun being the temporary C.M.O. Being the one to give all the orders.”
“I think you’re right.”
She turned to see that John was sitting up in his bed, the blanket tossed aside. She smiled at him.
“He is enjoying himself.” He said, standing and making his way over to her. He sat down on the edge of the bed, leaning over to give her a gentle kiss.
“I thought you were sleeping.” She said, cupping his cheek in her hand.
“You know I can’t really sleep, unless I’m holding you.” He smiled, turning to kiss her palm. “Besides, I was waiting for Bob to leave so that I could be alone with my wife.”
The sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted them. John turned and smiled.
“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” He asked, moving towards them.
“Not at all.” John said, standing to shake the offered hand of his mentor and friend.
“Of course not.”
“Congratulations, my boy.” Victor said with a smile, patting John on the shoulder as he released him. “Not only on becoming a father, but on doing such a good job delivering those two bundles of joy.”
John said as Victor moved over to
“Thank you, Victor.”
“Just came from there.” Victor nodded and smiled. “They’re beautiful.”
John and Helena beamed.
“You know…” Victor said, folding his arms in front of
him. “I have to admit… you two gave all
of us in
John glanced at
“…What with the cord around the baby’s neck and you nearly
passing out.” Victor continued, his gaze
Her voice trailed off and both she and John shivered at the thought. John pulled her slightly closer as she squeezed his hand.
“So, what are the two newest Alphans going to be named? Or have you decided yet?” Victor asked, sensing that neither of them wanted to dwell on what could have happened. “I know you didn’t want to find out the sex of the babies before hand…”
“Well, we tossed a few names back and forth these last few
months. And had narrowed it down to
four; two of each.” John answered. “But haven’t had much time these last few
hours to really decide on which ones.”
He paused as he felt
Victor chuckled softly, enjoying watching them banter lovingly. “Well, don’t keep an old man in suspense. What’s your son’s name?”
“Jonathan Martin Koenig.”
John answered with a smile and glanced at
“Aah… Jonathan for his
father.” Victor smiled and then chuckled
again, nodding his head. “And Martin for
“We were hoping to name her after her god-father…”
John and Helena exchanged a quick smile and nodded.
“Of course you.” John said. “Who else?”
“I… I’d be honoured.” Victor said softly, his eyes misting with tears. He nodded his head and smiled. “Yes. I’d be honoured to be your daughter’s god-father and have her named after me.”
“Thank you, Victor.”
“Yes thank you, Victor.”
Victor simply smiled and then glanced down at his commlock. “Well, I should be going. I promised Dr. Mathias that I wouldn’t stay long.”
John nodded and patted Victor on the shoulder. “Thanks, Victor. For stopping by and also for agreeing to be
Victor returned the gesture and then stepped over to
“Get some rest you two.” He said as he moved towards the partition. “I’ll come back in the morning to be properly introduced to my namesake and her brother.”
With that, he turned and left.
John looked back at
“I think you’re right.” She agreed as he moved back to her, sitting beside her on the bed. She yawned suddenly. “Oh my…”
“I think we should take everyone’s advice and get some sleep.” John said.
“I think you’re right.”
“I’m sure.” She told him, lifting the blanket so he could crawl in next to her. She sighed happily as his arms went about her and snuggled close to his chest. “Being in your arms is the best bed I could ever ask for.”
“For me too.” John said, kissing the top of her head. She raised her head and gave him a loving smile as he leaned in to give her a gentle kiss. “I love you, Helena.”
“I love you too, John.”
Moments later, having decided to check on his patients, Bob smiled as he leaned against the partition; both John and Helena were sound asleep. Knowing they’d rest better the way they were, he dimmed the lights and left them, locked tightly in each other’s embrace.
** ** **
John looked up suddenly, aware of her gaze on him and smiled at her. “Good morning.” He said quietly.
“Good morning.” She replied, sitting up more fully on the bed, her smile growing. “I see we have a couple of visitors.”
John nodded. “Mmhmm.”
“How long have they been here?”
“Not long.” He answered. “I woke up early and when I saw Bob, he said that they were ready to leave the ICU. So after I checked in with, Tony, I went and got them, knowing you’d want to see them as soon as you woke up.”
“You could have woken me.” She smiled.
“You needed your rest.” John said as he slowly stood. “Besides, it gave me and the twins a chance to talk.”
“Oh… different things.” John answered as he carefully placed the twins in her outstretched arms and then leaned over to give her a gentle kiss. “Mostly though, I was telling them, how happy we are that they’re here and how very much their parents love them.”
“I know I said this yesterday,” he said quietly, bringing his fingers up to gently stroke her cheek. “But good work, Mom.”
“Thanks, Dad.” She replied, leaning into him and brushing her lips against his before turning her gaze once more onto the twins. “I know all new parents say this… but they really are beautiful.”
John chuckled and nodded his head in agreement, reaching
down to take
On the other side of the partition, Alan was walking towards the new parents, about to join them when the gentle touch of his wife’s hand on his arm stopped him. He turned to look at her, a question in his eyes.
Sandra shook her head as she gestured back to John and
Helena. Alan turned back to see
“We should come back later.” Sandra said quietly. “Give them some time alone with the babies.”
“Yeah.” Alan agreed, slipping his arm about Sandra’s shoulders. “Guess you’re right.”
He glanced back through the partition in time to see John
** ** **
Hearing a sound, John slowly opened his eyes. He glanced next to him to see
He smiled and then leaned over to pick up his month old daughter, shaking his head in quiet bemusement.
“You, young lady…” he said quietly, smoothing a finger over her cheek as he moved to sit in the nearby rocking chair. “…Are supposed to be sleeping.”
“Getting hungry are we?” John asked softly, glancing over at the clock. He nodded softly as he looked back down at her. “Well, it is almost that time. But what do you say, we give mommy a little bit more time to sleep, hmmm?”
As if in agreement,
“That’s my girl.” John smiled affectionately. He began to softly hum the first song that came into his mind while gently rocking in the chair, the soft humming turning into gentle singing.
A few minutes later, he heard movement from his son’s crib. He slowly stood and took the couple steps over to stand by the crib. He looked down; blue eyes meeting blue eyes and smiled.
“So, you wanna join the party too,
huh?” John said softly, shifting
John settled back in the rocking chair, where he once again began to softly sing to them while rocking slowly. He gazed down at them both, a warm smile in his eyes. If anyone had told him when the moon was blasted out of Earth’s orbit, that he could be happy and content with his life on this runaway rock, he would have laughed. But sitting here; in the rocking chair, singing lullabies while holding both his children; children he’d created with the most beautiful woman he’d ever known, the woman he loved more than life itself; John realized that he wouldn’t easily give this up. He was happy, happier than he’d ever been before.
“Next to having you beside me in bed…” John looked up as his wife’s soft voice broke into his thoughts. “…This is the sight I like most seeing first thing in the morning.”
John smiled, his eyes lighting up at the sight of her.
“Were they fussing?”
“No.” John replied. “Not really. But I do know that, Miss Koenig here is hungry.”
“Do you want to sit in the rocker?” John asked as he watched her slip open the top of her robe so that she could nurse the baby. She shook her head. “You sure?”
“Mmhmm. I’ll go sit on the bed.” She said as she turned slowly and made her way across the room, glancing back at him with a smile. “But you can come and join us if you like.”
John looked down at his son. “What do you say, Sport? Shall we go join the women?” John chuckled as his son hiccupped slightly in response. “I’ll take that to mean yes.”
“Good morning.” He whispered against her lips.
“Good morning.” She replied with a smile. “Glad you decided to join us.”
“I wouldn’t miss this for anything.” John said as he moved closer, slipping his
arm about her shoulders, resting his head against hers. “You know I love watching you nurse the
“I want their mother too.” He said in a low voice.
“It won’t be too much longer, John.”
Her voice trailed off as John nodded and she released a soft sigh, almost a whimper as John pulled his hand out from under her robe and once again put his arm around her shoulders.
“I know, Honey.” He said, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “The next two weeks had better fly by.”
“This one’s finished.” She said and gestured to Jonathan. “Your son’s turn for breakfast.”
They switched babies and John gently patted
“You’re getting to be quite good at that, Dad.” She chuckled as he walked past the bed, heading for the bathroom.
“Thanks. I learned from the best.” John flashed her a grin as he ducked into the bathroom. Seconds later, his head popped back out with an even bigger grin on his face. “…Mom.”
** ** **
“This is it, John.” She heard Victor saying excitedly. “According to Computer, this is the planet we’ve been looking for.”
“The planet you were telling me about last night?”
“It’s more than that.” Victor said, placing the papers on the desk in front of John. He jabbed a finger to a particular spot. “Computer is also saying there is a ninety-eight percent chance that we’ll go into orbit of this planet. A far orbit by the looks of it, but an orbit nonetheless.”
“Yes, it would.” John
agreed and then looked up slowly. “I
think it’s time we take a closer look at this planet, a Phase Two probe.” He paused and turned to
“I think some fresh air is just what the Doctor ordered.” She told him.
“Alan.” John said. “What is the travel time between us and the planet?”
“At our present position, ten hours.” Carter answered.
John looked up at
“Okay then.” John said, standing. “Have Eagle one nine ready and on the launch pad in thirty minutes.”
“Right, John.” Alan acknowledged as he stood.
“And, Alan,” Carter turned back and John continued with a smile. “You better let your wife know you won’t be home tonight.”
Alan smiled and gave John a thumb’s up as he strode out of
“Victor, I want you with us, so grab whatever equipment you may need and meet us at the Eagle.” Victor nodded at him and left, whistling quietly to himself as John then turned to face Tony who’d come over. “You’re in charge, Tony.”
“Okay, John.” Tony said. “Let’s hope this is the one we’ve been waiting for.”
“You can say that again.” John said and then turned to his wife, his arm reaching out to wrap around her waist. “C’mon, let’s go say good-bye to our kids.”
** ** **
“Thank you, Sandra.” John said to the petite brunette twenty minutes later, glancing over at Helena who was hugging both babies tightly to her. “We appreciate this.”
“No problem at all, Commander.” Sandra replied. “I am happy to do it.”
John smiled at her then moved over to Helena and their kids. He reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder and she turned to look at him. John chuckled softly as he gathered all three of them into his arms, placing a kiss on each of his children’s cheeks.
“It’s time to go,
“We know you will.”
John said, stepping over to them, once again taking
“They’ll be fine,
“I know… it’s just…” she began. “John, this is the first time…”
He gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze. “I know, Honey. I know.”
** ** **
“It looks good, John. This planet could support us.”
“Yeah, it’s sure looking that way, Victor.” John nodded, glancing up into the slowly darkening sky as the four of them sat around the small campfire.
“And if the moon does go into orbit, it’ll make evacuating the base all that much easier.” Alan said, poking a stick into the flames. “Especially for those of us with kids.”
John glanced down at the time on his commlock. “Well, Computer will have had enough time to analyze the data by now.” He activated the device. “Tony.”
“What does Computer have to say?”
“Exactly what we were hoping, John.” Replied Tony. “This planet is perfect. Just what we’ve been looking for.”
“Anything else on whether or not we’re going to achieve orbit?” John asked, glancing up again into the sky, looking at the now visible moon in the distance.
“The computer has confirmed that we are indeed going into orbit.” Tony confirmed. “In fact, we’ve already begun to slow down.”
John turned to look at his companions, his smile matching theirs. He met each of their eyes, silently asking them their opinions but knowing the ultimate decision was his. He nodded slowly as glanced around at the unfamiliar landscape. He brought the commlock back up.
“Tony… begin Phase Three of Operation Exodus.” John told him. “We’ve finally come to the end of our journey.”
“With pleasure, John.” Tony’s smile filled the small screen.
“Uhm… John.” Victor said, stepping over to him.
“Hold on a moment, Tony.” John said and lowered the commlock to look at his old friend. “Yes, Victor?”
“I don’t think we should completely evacuate the base.” Victor said. “Why not leave it, at least, partially operational.”
“For what reason?”
“As an outpost.” Victor began. “And also, Alpha has always been a valuable asset in the development of scientific and technological research… it would be a waste to lose that.”
John considered this. “Well…you have a point, Victor. But I think, for the next while, all our efforts are going to focused on building and developing our homes here.”
“Of course, John.” Victor nodded. “But it makes sense to keep the base somewhat operational, would it not?”
“Yes it does.” John agreed. “And I think, in order for this to work out properly and fairly, we’ll all take turns serving on Alpha to make the necessary changes to ensure it’s continued operation.” Victor nodded his agreement and approval of John’s plan as John raised the commlock back up. “Tony, I want you to have Computer select a forth of Alpha’s population to remain on Moonbase… as we’re not going to completely evacuate her just yet. Then, I want you to have a rotation schedule drawn up utilizing all personnel. More details will follow when we return.”
“Understood, John.” Tony acknowledged, having heard the conversation. “We’ll begin right away.”
“Good, Tony.” John said and then smiled. “And I guess we’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Pleasant dreams.” Tony said and closed the channel.
John hooked his commlock back to his belt, glancing at the others. “Speaking of dreams, I think we should call it a night.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“I’ll help you.” Victor said, moving to follow her.
As Helena and Victor disappeared inside the Eagle, John and Alan gathered a little more wood for the fire.
“I can’t believe after all these years, we’ve finally found a planet to call our own.” Alan was saying as he placed the wood on the fire. He glanced around and smiled.
John simply nodded, his mind already hard at work planning and figuring out what needed to be done to establish the colony and keep Alpha partially operational. He was so into his thoughts, he didn’t notice Helena and Victor emerge from the Eagle.
“John?” He turned to look at his wife, a smile coming to his face as he watched her approach; a sleeping bag under each arm and a lantern in one hand. “Can you give me a hand with this?” He walked over to her and was about to relinquish her of her burden when she shook her head. “Grab the bag from Victor and then follow me.” She said with a smile as she brushed past him, rubbing up against him only slightly.
“She’s your wife, John.” Victor answered, holding up his hands to ward off any further questions. John frowned slightly, slung the bag over his shoulder, and began to follow after his wife, calling her name again; not hearing Victor’s soft chuckle.
Alan turned as Victor joined him, the two of them sharing knowing smiles as they watched John close the distance between him and Helena. Alan laughed softly. “He really has no idea what’s in store for him, does he?”
“Not a clue.” Victor answered with a chuckle.
“Do you trust me, John?”
“You know I do. With my life.” John answered, reaching out to take one of the sleeping bags from her as he walked beside her. “But you know we shouldn’t be leaving the camp.”
“Mmhmm. I do know that.” She answered, slipping her now free arm through his. “But I have a surprise for you… and we need a little privacy.”
A soft smile came to John’s face as he nodded slowly. “It has been some time since it’s been just the two of us, hasn’t it?”
“Not that I don’t love our twins…”
“I know, John.”
John pulled his arm away from hers and slipped it around her shoulders, drawing her closer against him. “So, where are you taking me, Mrs. Koenig?”
“A little spot I found earlier today when Alan and I were exploring.” She answered. “You’re going to love it, John. It’s beautiful.”
They walked along in silence for another ten minutes and
then John stopped suddenly as he saw where
“You’re right, it is beautiful.” He said, his gaze once more taking in the
scene before him of a small lake, half surrounded by tall, reaching trees.
“Help me spread out the sleeping bags… and then I’ll show you.” She gave him a sly smile, placing the lantern on the ground at her feet.
John removed the duffle bag from his shoulder, placing it
next to the lantern and then moved to help
“Not yet.” She smiled. “Turn on the light first, before it gets much darker.”
As he turned on the light,
“I do believe that today’s date has totally slipped your mind.” She said softly, stopping within arms reach of him, reaching out to undo and remove his belt, and tossing it over to join hers.
John gave her a quizzical look. “It’s not our anniversary. I do know that much.”
“You’re right, it’s not our anniversary. You remembered that.” She smiled, moving closer to him as she ran her hands up his chest to circle her arms about his neck. She stretched up on her toes and whispered softly against his lips. “Happy Birthday, John.”
He returned her soft kiss and then pulled back slightly. “It’s not…” A small grin grew on his lips. “I guess today is my birthday.”
John slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her tight against him. “I take it then…” his grin grew. “…That you’re my birthday present.”
“Mmhmm.” She smiled and slipped her fingers into his hair. “And I’m ready to be unwrapped.”
John ran his hands down her back as he leaned down and covered her mouth with his, kissing her deeply; hearing her moan low in her throat as his tongue fully explored her mouth. He moved one hand up her back to the zipper at her collar and began to slowly move it down her back.
He broke off the kiss as his hands reached down for the hem of her shirt and Helena raised her arms as John began to raise the material little by little, pulling it up gently over her head and away from her arms and tossing it aside. John smiled as he reached out a finger to trace the lacey pattern on her bra; his smile growing as he watched her nipples harden beneath the lace. His fingers moved to the front-closure and with a snap of his fingers, it opened. He peeled the flimsy material away from her breasts, pulling the straps off her shoulders and down her arms.
John straightened up and quickly pulled off his top, tossing
it over onto hers and then reached out and pulled
As they continued to kiss, John’s hands leisurely moved down
her sides to the waistband of her pants; his hands slipping inside to rest on
her backside between her panties and her pants, caressing her gently.
“A little anxious are we?” John chuckled, placing a kiss on the tip of her nose.
“I thought I was the one unwrapping you?” He commented, sliding his hands up and down her bare back.
“I’m just saving us a little time.” She smiled as his hands moved back down to
her waist and began to push at her pants, sliding them down her hips.
They moved back into each other’s arms, kissing hungrily as
they slowly lowered themselves down onto the sleeping bags, John’s body
covering hers as he pressed her into the soft material.
“John!” She gasped
his name as she arched slightly into him.
John smiled against her breast and kissed his way back to her lips,
smothering a second gasp as he continued to move his fingers over and inside
John raised his head and smiled down at her as he pulled his
hand from between her thighs and propped himself up on his elbows above her,
moving his body once again completely over hers and settling himself between
As they kissed, John began to move inside her, building a
slow and steady rhythm, groaning low in his throat as he felt
“Helena…” he moaned against her lips as he felt her slide her legs up along his, cradling his hips with her knees; arching against him as she clutched at his backside, pulling him closer. John ground his lips against hers, kissing her ravenously before rising on his arms above her, still moving slowly inside her.
John felt his release nearing and knew
John slowly lowered his body down to hers, meeting her lips
for a long, loving kiss as the residual tremors passed through their
bodies. When he felt he could finally
move, John slipped from her and rolled over onto his side, pulling
“Now that, is what I call a birthday present.” He murmured against her hair. “Better than a tie any day.”
“Sandra would call us. I know.” She finished with another sigh and then glanced up at him. “I’m being silly, I know.”
“No, you’re not.” John said, his hand coming up to stroke her cheek. “You’re being a mother. A mother, who for the first time in nine months, is spending a night away from her kids.” He paused and glanced up at their moon then looked back down at her. “Would it make you feel better to give Sandra a call and check on them?”
“We’ll call her first thing in the morning.” John said, pulling her closer. “How’s that?”
“It’s still my birthday.” John grinned.
“It’s still your birthday.”
** ** **
She watched his head tilt slightly to one side and his arm
come back as if winding up to pitch a ball.
His arm shot forward and
John sauntered over to her, dropping to his knees beside her and leaned over her with his arms on either side of her body. His lips covered hers for a warm, tender kiss.
“Good morning, Beautiful.” He said softly as the kiss ended.
“Not long.” He answered, reaching out to brush a lock of hair out of her eyes. “Did you sleep well?”
“Mmhmm.” She replied as she stretched. “I always do with you. We could sleep on a bed of nails and as long as I was in your arms… I’d sleep like a baby.”
John chuckled, brushed a quick kiss against her lips, and then sat up, bringing her with him. He looked around at their surroundings and spoke quietly. “I can’t believe we’ve finally found a planet.”
“Well, not all of them.” John laughed. “But yeah, I have been thinking about it.” He paused, turning to look at her, running his fingers down her bare arm. “We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us, Helena.”
“Yes we do.” She agreed. “But everything will be fine, John. You know as well as I do, that everyone on Alpha will give one hundred percent in making this work. After all, we’ve finally found our promised land, all that’s left, is to make it our home.”
John gave her another quick kiss then reached over and grabbed her uniform, handing it to her. “Come on, get dressed. I don’t know about you but not only am I anxious to begin colonizing this planet, I’m anxious to get back to Alpha and see our kids.”
** ** **
Things moved slowly but little by little, they managed to settle in on the planet they’d named Nova Canaan. A sense of permanence settled on the small community as houses were slowly built and moved into and the larger structures for housing Medical, Command, and other technical facilities were erected.
They’d been on the planet for two months when John arranged to have some time off for both him and Helena to spend with their family.
John and Helena sat at the head of the table, a twin on each of their laps; surrounded by their closest friends, they smiled as they watched Alan and Sandra slowly approach, each carrying a small cake with one burning candle in the middle.
As they got closer, everyone gathered began to sing, ‘Happy Birthday’, while the twins watched wide-eyed as the little cakes were set down before them. With their parents’ help, they blew out the candles and clapped and giggled happily with everyone else.
John glanced over and smiled at
John reached out and drew a finger down her cheek, slipping the finger in his mouth and licking the cake off. “Mmm. Good cake.” He said and then leaned towards her, kissing the cake off her lips. “Very good cake.” He murmured against her lips and grinned at her as he kissed the tip of her nose, his tongue darting out to lick the icing off.
“I don’t think so, young man.” He chuckled.
“What’s the matter, John?” Alan laughed. “Don’t think you’ll look good with chocolate cake smeared all over your face?”
John laughed. “Not as good as my wife does.”
“Dada… cake.” Jonathan said, trying to pull his hand from his father’s. “Some, Dada, some.”
“Alright, Daddy'll have some.” John said with a smile as he looked down, bringing his son’s hand closer and taking a bite of the now very squished cake. “Mmm, thank you, Jonnie. Your turn, you eat the cake now. You too, Vicky.” He looked over at his daughter. “Eat your cake.”
Both twins grinned and turned to their cakes, each of them taking handfuls and shoving them in their mouths, while their parents and everyone else looked on and laughed.
Before too long, both the twins and their parents were covered in chocolate icing.
Later, after almost everyone had left, John walked over to Helena, who was talking to Sandra and slipped his arm about her shoulders. She smiled up at him and brought her hand up to cover his.
“Look over there.” He indicated with his head, a soft smile on his lips.
“That is so sweet.” Sandra said with a smile as she too looked on.
“What’s sweet?” Alan asked as he joined them, his arm sliding about Sandra’s shoulders.
“That…” Sandra pointed across the room to where Victor was dozing in a chair; Jonathan and Victoria cradled in his arms and Bobbie nestled on his chest between the twins, all three of them sound asleep. “…Is sweet.”
The four parents smiled.
“Now that is definitely a picture worth taking.” John said with a grin.
“Right you are, John.” Alan agreed and whipped a camera out of his pocket. He grinned at them then silently made his way across the room to snap the picture. He made his way back to them. “I’ll have to make sure to make lots of copies of that one.”
“We should probably put them to bed.”
As if sensing he was being watched, Victor slowly opened his eyes and looked over at his friends. He glanced down at the three sleeping children in his arms and then smiled back up at their parents.
The four of them moved over to him.
“Looks like I’ve been designated the bed.” Victor commented softly, still smiling.
“You do look comfortable.” John said.
“Well, with three little angels in my arms, why wouldn’t I be?”
They all chuckled while Alan reached out and lifted his son from Victor’s lap.
“Thanks for watching over the little tyke.” Alan said.
“Ah, my pleasure.” Victor said as both John and Helena lifted their sleeping children into their arms as well. He stood and glanced around. “I see the party’s broken up.”
“Yeah, just a little while ago.” John said.
“Well then, I suppose I should be getting along as well.” Victor commented.
“We’ll walk with you, Professor.” Sandra said, then turned to
“Thank you, Sandra.”
“Goodnight, you two.” Alan said as they moved out the door.
John followed and locked the door behind them. He turned to
“Let’s get these two to bed and then head there ourselves.” He said.
“Are you telling me, you’re tired?”
“Did I say anything about being tired?” He grinned. “I said we should go to bed.”
Thirty minutes later, bathed in the moonlight streaming in through the window, Helena sighed as rested her head on John’s shoulder and felt him draw her closer as they swayed to the soft music floating around their bedroom.
“Mmm. This is nice.” She said softly, kissing his neck.
“Yes it is.” John said, his hands caressing her back through his shirt; one she’d slipped on after their mutual shower.
“A perfect way to end a lovely day.”
“Oh, our day ain’t over yet, Sweetheart.”
“It is.” John grinned as he pulled her closer, his hands slipping under the hem of the shirt and caressing her bare flesh. “It’s far from over.”
“I thought you had to be up early tomorrow?”
“Not that early.” John said as he lowered his lips to hers, silencing her laughter with an ardent kiss and danced them over to the bed.
** ** **
“Okay,” she thought to herself, her smile growing. “So that’s not the only reason I’m going up there today.”
John had been up on Alpha for the last week and a half, overseeing the modifications being made to the Moonbase. And even though they’d hoped he would be back on the planet early this morning, when he’d called her last night to say goodnight to her and the twins, he’d informed her that he’d most likely be there for another couple of days.
“What do you mean another couple days?”
“I know, Helena and I’m sorry.” John told her. “You know I’d rather be down there with you and the kids. Especially tomorrow.”
“I promised you we’d do something special for your birthday.” John said. “Believe me, Honey, I’d like nothing more…”
“But you’re still the Commander and you’ve got a job to
“I’ve got a better idea.”
“And what’s that?”
“Come up here tomorrow.” He told her.
“You’re not making this easy, you know.”
“I know.” He grinned at her and she couldn’t help but laugh and nod.
“All right, I’ll come up tomorrow. But just for the day.” She told him. “I can’t ask Sandra and Alan to take the twins overnight on such short notice. It’s not fair.” She watched John nod and thought she saw something flash in his eyes, but dismissed it as something in the transmission. “How early do you want me there?”
John grinned. “I want you here now. But as that’s not possible, how about calling Fraser, I know he’s scheduled to fly up here tomorrow morning with some parts that should have remained on Moonbase. Arrange to come up with him.”
“I should let you go to bed.” He sighed and
“I wish you were coming to bed with me too.” She smiled and reached out to touch the screen, running her fingers over John’s image. “Have a good sleep, John.”
“You too.” He said, reaching out as well, his fingers connecting with hers through the screen. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Thank you for flying Fraser Eagle Airlines, non-stop flight to Moonbase Alpha. We hope you enjoyed your flight and hope to see you again soon.”
“You’re right. He
likes us to say, ‘Carter Eagle Airlines’.”
Bill grinned and then headed for the hatch as it opened. “Catch you later,
“You bet, Bill.” She said, turning back to finish gathering her things. She slowly stood, turning to grab her jacket.
“You know, we shouldn’t be meeting here like this.”
“And why’s that?” He asked, nibbling on her neck.
“It’s too dangerous. My husband is the Commander here, if he were to catch us…”
“I like the danger.” He said, moving his lips up her throat to her ear. “Besides, you’re worth it.”
“Mmm… hi.” She murmured against his lips as the kiss ended.
“I’m glad you made it.” John said, not releasing her. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.”
John chuckled and pulled her closer. “Well, I guess I can let you out of my sight for a couple hours.”
“Only a couple?”
murmured. “I have plans for us to
celebrate your birthday. Speaking of
which,” he moved his mouth to hers.
“Thank you.” She cupped his cheek as the kiss ended, smiling adoringly at him.
“C’mon, I’ll walk you to Medical.” John said, reaching to grab her things off the seat and slipping his arm around her waist. “The sooner you start, the sooner we start.”
** ** **
Several hours later,
“You almost done, birthday girl?”
She smiled. “Just a couple more minutes, John.”
“You mean you’re not finished yet?”
John grinned as he pushed himself off the door and moved towards her. “Okay, so what is it you’d like me to do?”
An hour and a half later, after a quiet dinner in the cafeteria, they walked arm in arm down the corridor, enjoying a comfortable silence, which was suddenly broken by the sound of John’s commlock going off.
He reached for it, activating it as he brought it up to face level. “Koenig.”
“John,” Tony’s image
appeared on the small screen. “Fraser’s
in Eagle two one, ready to depart. Is
there anything else going down to the planet other than
“No, that’s it, Tony.”
John said, holding his hand up to stop
“Very good, John.” Tony said. “Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
“Thanks, Tony.” John said, terminating the connection and slipping his commlock back on his belt.
“John… I needed to be on that Eagle.”
“Going to watch the kids overnight as planned.” John finished for her, placing his hands on her shoulders and smiling at her. “I asked them the day before yesterday if they’d watch them for us.”
“You… planned all this?”
“Well, I didn’t plan on being up here this long but, yes. I already had this evening planned when I called you last night.” He said as his smile grew into a small grin. “You didn’t really think I was going to let you leave here tonight, did you?”
“Thank you.” She said
softly. “Can’t think of a better way to
spend my birthday, then in your arms.”
John smiled, his hands sliding down to rest against the small of her
back, as he pulled her closer. When he
bent to place a loving kiss on her mouth,
“Excellent suggestion, Mrs. Koenig.”
“I thought so.”
John chuckled, giving her another quick kiss before clasping her hand in his and leading her down the corridor.
Less than ten minutes later, they entered their
quarters. As the door slid shut,
She moaned into his mouth as he guided her backwards a couple of steps and pinned her against the wall, pressing his body against hers. His hands came up and clasped her face, his fingers threading into her hair just below her ears, his thumbs caressing her cheeks as he continued to kiss her so that all she could do was clasp his elbows in her hands and hold him to her as she returned his hungry kiss.
John pulled her with him as he took a step away from the
wall, one hand removing her belt, the other pulling the zipper of her shirt
down her back. He quickly removed both
and let them fall to the floor as he moved her back up against the wall. He reached out and unclasped her bra, his
hands immediately moving to cup her breasts, kneading them gently in his hands;
smiling as her nipples reacted to his touch and grew taught.
“…John…” she gasped as his hands caressed a soft trail up her legs, his lips following the same path; reaching out and entangling her fingers in his hair as he nibbled on her inner thighs; his fingers moving to and stroking the sensitive flesh hidden in the nest of blonde curls. He pressed a kiss against her as he continued his upward journey, pausing to once again tease her breasts with his tongue.
John clasped Helena’s hips as he straightened up fully and lifted her into the air, his hands gliding down to her thighs and pulling her legs around him as he took a step forward and pinned her, once again, against the wall. His mouth met hers as he shifted slightly and pressed himself inside her.
Their eyes met as
John moved his hands around to cup her backside and hold her
to him, as he took a small step backwards, then turned and began to walk
towards their bed.
When he reached the bed, John kneeled on the edge and slowly lowered them down onto the mattress. He smiled down at her, seeing the passion still burning bright in her green eyes and went willingly as she reached up and pulled him down for a long, soul-searing kiss.
A small whimper of protest left her lips as he broke off the kiss and she felt him withdraw from her. Her small whimper soon turned to low moans as John licked, kissed, fondled and caressed every inch of her body; from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. He leisurely worked his way back up her legs, in the same manner, pausing when he came to the juncture at her thighs.
“John!” She moaned his name loudly as he slid two fingers inside her and began moving them in and out of her, his other hand rubbing and stroking her already stimulated flesh. She arched against his hands, her own hands clutching at the blankets as she moaned his name again. “God… John…”
John felt her body tremble and her inner muscles tighten around his fingers and glanced up at her, smiling as he saw her eyes close and then resumed his previous journey; kissing his way up her body. When his lips met hers, he pulled his hands away and settled his body over hers, sliding into her slowly, moaning as he felt her muscles contract around him.
John’s lips left hers as he raised himself up on his arms and began to thrust into her with more urgency, feeling his own release to be close; knowing she was close as well and wanting to take her over the edge with him. He moaned softly as her hands trailed down his chest, over his sides and up along his back, where she clutched at his shoulders, arching her body into his.
They cried out each other’s names simultaneously as John
drove himself into her one last time and
John chuckled as he rolled off her and gathered her into his arms. “Tell you what. I’ll do my best to do both, for all your birthdays from this day forward.”
“Mmm… I was hoping you’d say that.”
They lay together in a comfortable silence, using only their
hands to communicate with each other in gentle caresses for a time until
“I was just remembering the first time we made love.”
“And it’s making you laugh?”
“I should have said, I was remembering all the times we tried to make love for the first time.” She laughed lightly. “All those romantic dinners and being so close…”
“Only to be interrupted by some emergency or other.” John smiled at the memories and shook his head. “I remember being very frustrated and wanting nothing more than to grab you and take off in an Eagle… or even hide away in one of the outer structures. Anything to be alone with you… and finally be able to make love to you.”
“I felt the same way.”
“Were incredible?” He asked with a smile. “You mean I’ve slipped over the years?”
“Oh… no! You haven’t
slipped in the least.”
John reached out and took her hand in his, lacing their fingers together as he nodded, the memory of that night still fresh in his mind. It had been during a couple of weeks when the moon had been traveling through an unremarkable region of space and both had been hoping to take some time to spend alone together and uninterrupted; but events had conspired against them and all the minor, little problems that there had never been time for had come to a head and they found themselves swamped with work.
“It’s getting late. I should be going.” John said softly against her hair as they sat cuddled together on her couch, enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet.
With their arms around each other’s waists, they made
their way towards the door. Once they
were standing before it,
“I’m glad we were able to spend this time together. Even if was for just an hour.” She said against his shoulder. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.” He said, pulling her closer and resting his cheek against her hair. “So much for that uninterrupted time alone together.”
“We’ll get that time soon, John.” Helena chuckled softly and lifted her head to smile at him, bringing her hand up to cup his cheek as she saw his controlled desire for her in his deep blue eyes. She released a soft sigh. “I’m anxious to be with you too.”
John smiled as he lowered his lips to hers for a tender kiss. “I love you.” He whispered against her lips as he kissed her again.
“I love you too.” She whispered back and moved herself further into his embrace, pressing her body against his, as the tender kiss slowly grew more passionate. Helena moaned softly and broke off the kiss to look into his face, seeing the control he had over his desire, slipping. She smiled and pulled his mouth back to hers for a hungry kiss.
John moaned deep in his throat and lifted her into his arms; his hands reaching down to pull her legs around him as he stepped closer to the wall, pinning her between him and it as they pulled at each other’s clothes.
“How long was it before we finally made it to the bed?” She asked, moving her foot against his leg, smiling softly.
“Much, much later in the evening.” John grinned up at her. “Or rather, the morning.”
“We were all over the place, weren’t we?”
“Mmhmm.” John chuckled, pulling her closer. “I don’t think there’s one spot in your old quarters that we hadn’t christened, either that night or any night thereafter. As I recall, you were quite insatiable. Still are for that matter.”
“Before you do that.” John said, feeling what she was about to do and rolled away from her, towards his nightstand. “I have something for you.”
“John?” She watched him reach into the drawer and rummage around.
“There it is.” He said as he closed the drawer and rolled back to her. He held out a small, unwrapped box. “This is for you.”
“You… I wasn’t expecting a gift.” She told him, eyeing the box he held in his hand.
“I know.” John
smiled, gesturing for her to take it and then shifted slightly so that he was
propped up on the pillows to watch her.
“Open it.” She took the box and
gave him a look, which told him he shouldn’t have. “Just open it,
He watched her intently as she slowly opened the box.
“Oh… John! It’s
John smiled and reached out to take the box from her hands, removing its contents and tossing the box over onto his nightstand. “It’s a family heirloom.” He told her, holding up the chain and letting the heart-shaped locket dangle back and forth. “My great, great grandfather on my father’s side had it made for my grandmother.”
“My grandfather had it made when my grandmother gave birth
to their first child, my great grandfather, and had both his picture and their
wedding picture placed inside.” John
explained softly as he watched
“I love it, John.” She told him as she leaned towards him and gave him a gentle kiss. She straightened up and held it gently in her hand for a moment before closing it and holding it out to him. “Would you?”
John took the locket from her hand, opening the clasp and when she turned, he slipped it around her neck and secured it. She turned back to him, glancing down to where the locket rested just above the swell of her breasts, watching as he reached a hand out and touched the locket.
“I knew it would look right on you.” John said with appreciation. “I’ve been waiting for the right moment since the twins were born, to give it to you.”
“You’re welcome.” He replied and pulled her closer. “I would have given it to you anyway.” John said quietly some minutes later, sensing her slight change in mood.
“Hmm?” She raised her head slightly to look at him.
“I said, I would have given it to you anyway.” John repeated, his hand gently rubbing her
back. “You were thinking about what I
would have done with it if we hadn’t have had the twins.” He paused and smiled, the look on her face
indicating she was thinking just that.
“I still would have given you the locket,
“Would you have told me about the tradition surrounding it, as well?”
“Yes.” He said. “I would have but only as the story is part of the tradition. No other reason. Whether or not if we’d had children… the locket is also a symbol of love.” He raised his hand and caressed her cheek with his fingers. “And Lord knows, I love you. With every fibre of my being, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
John smiled and pulled her tighter into the lock of his embrace as they talked quietly before falling into a peaceful sleep, holding each other tight.
** ** **
She sighed happily when she felt him shift slightly and press closer to her, burying his face in her hair and inhaling deeply.
“Morning.” He murmured into her hair before raising his head a little to place a gentle kiss on her shoulder.
“I wish I didn’t have to leave today.” She said a few minutes later, burrowing her head into his shoulder, under his chin. “I really hate waking up alone.”
John chuckled softly. “So do I.” He slipped his hand between them and under her chin, raising her face so he could look in her eyes. “I’ll only be up here for a couple more days and then I’ll be home.”
“I know.” She sighed with a sad smile and then rolled away from him to lie on her back. “I know I’m being selfish but we’ve both given so much to Alpha and everyone here over the years, that I just…”
“Just what?” He asked as he propped up beside her and looked down at her; already knowing what she was going to say.
“I just want some time for us, John.” She finished finally. “Us and our kids.”
“And we’ll have it,
“But you’ll still be Commander.” She pointed out. “And everyone will still look to you for guidance.”
“I know. Which is why, when the base is fully automated and everyone is down on Nova, I’m going to suggest that we elect a council… of about a dozen people from all the various departments, where we can vote on what we want to see happen on our new home.” He told her.
“And if they want you to serve on the council?”
“Then I will.” He answered. “But my point is, it won’t simply be my decision on what happens on this planet. It’ll be everyone’s. And that will free up a lot of my time… time I can spend with my family.”
“You and the twins mean more to me than anything,
“I know, John.” She said, rolling back onto her side so that they were lying face to face. She reached out and stroked his chest. “You and the twins are my life too. I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost you or…”
“Sssh…” John whispered, pulling
her closer and brushing a kiss against her forehead. “Don’t say it. In fact, don’t even think it. I’ll never leave you,
“I love you too.” He whispered back.
They held each other close for a little while longer until John glanced up at the time. He looked back down at Helena who nodded reluctantly.
“I know.” She sighed dramatically, a small smile tugging at her lips. She raised her eyebrows slightly. “Do we have time for a shower?”
John laughed as he rolled away from her and out of the bed. He kneeled back down and reached out to pull her into his arms, lifting her into the air.
“What do you think?” He asked over her amused laughter as he walked towards the bathroom.
** ** **
“Now remember you promised me. Only a couple more days.”
“I wish you were coming with me now.” She said. “I know the kids miss having their daddy at home as much as I do.”
“And I miss them too.”
John said. “I’ll be home in two
“Commander, we’re ready to lift off on your signal.”
John reached out and pressed the button on the wall of the
Eagle, never taking his eyes from
“Just give me one more minute, Bill.”
John closed the channel and then pulled her closer, covering her mouth with his, kissing her passionately.
“Give the kids a hug and a kiss each for me when you get home.” He said softly against her lips. “And tell them their daddy loves them.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
They kissed again and then slowly, with reluctance, they broke apart. John reached out and caressed her cheek.
“Two more days, Honey and then I’ll be home.” He told her. “I’ll call you every night.”
“I’ll be waiting.” She smiled.
John leaned forward and brushed another quick kiss against her lips, again whispering his love to her and then turned and left, closing the Eagle door behind him.
“Come off it,
She glanced up at the receding picture of Alpha on the view screen and took in a deep, ragged breath while trying to still her pounding heart.
“So why am I feeling so ambivalent about John remaining on Alpha?” She asked herself. “It’s not like the moon is going to breakaway again or anything.”
The thought actually made her chuckle and she shook her head. Knowing that most of what she was feeling was because they had finally found a planet and she wanted John there with her to make that planet a home. She smiled slowly and felt herself relax a little more.
John would be home in two days. Of that she was certain.
She glanced up once again at the image of the moon now on the screen and smiled, her thoughts turning to seeing her children.
** ** **
Walking side by side on their way to pick up their children
from the nursery, Sandra couldn’t help but smile as she noticed the spring in
“Would you like me to take the twins for you tonight,
Sandra chuckled as well. “What time will the Commander be arriving?”
“Well, we spoke just before I left the clinic and John said
that he should be leaving Alpha in about two hours.”
The two friends laughed and continued on their way, Sandra
continuing to chuckle as
“Watching the moon is not going to bring him home any faster.”
Her voice trailed off as the sky suddenly lit up. Seconds later, both women were thrown off their feet as the ground shifted below them.
Getting to her feet, Sandra ran over to
“Sandra, are you all right?”
She turned to see Alan at her side and nodded as he pulled her to her
feet, the both of them turning back in time to see
“Oh… God… no… JOOOHN!”
The scream tore out of
Alan and Sandra followed
“Oh my God!” Sandra gasped.
“John! Oh, please…
John strolled into
“Someone’s happy.” Tony commented with a chuckle.
John grinned and nodded. “How are things going?”
“Everything is running smoothly.” Tony answered. “So smooth in fact, that if you wanted to leave now and surprise your wife, you could.”
“Exactly what I was thinking.” John’s grin grew and he quickly glanced around. “Keep me posted.”
“Sure thing, John.” Tony said. “And give the kids a hug from their Uncle Tony for me.”
“As soon as I give them mine.” John said and with a final nod, he turned to leave.
“Commander!” Maya suddenly called him, alarm in her voice, stopping him in his tracks.
John’s question remained unfinished as he and everyone else
“Oh, God… we’re going out of orbit!” John thought as he landed hard on the floor
between the open door behind his desk. “
“John! John, can
you hear me!?” He lowered his eyes
as he heard
After what felt like an eternity, John’s hand closed around the commlock and slowly he managed to pull it from his belt, activating it as he fought to bring the device up to his chest.
“I love you, Helena.” John called to her, feeling tears form in his eyes. “I love you!”
“I’ll find my way back to you, Honey! I swear it!” John told her, the tears now streaming down the sides of his face. “Someway, somehow… I love you, Helena! I’ve always loved you… always will.”
“John… I’ll always love you too… Oh please, God no… don’t leave me!!” He could hear the tears in her voice and it broke his heart. “John!”
Suddenly the commlock went silent.
John closed his eyes against his tears, the ache in his heart already too much for him to bear; hoping like hell he would soon wake up and find that this was all a horrible nightmare… that he wasn’t being separated from his family… from Helena.
Alan took a step forward as they heard John’s voice, barely
audible, come over
“I know but not yet. Let her…” Sandra’s voice shook. “It is the last time they’ll…”
Alan wrapped his arms around his wife and pulled her tightly into his embrace as her voice trailed off, understanding what she was trying to say. Alan raised his eyes to the disappearing moon, shaking his head sorrowfully.
“I love you too…John!” She stopped dead in her tracks, the moon barely visible through her tears.
“I’ll find my way back to you, Honey! I swear it!” John vowed over the channel and she could hear the tears in his voice as well. “Someway, somehow… I love you, Helena! I’ve always loved you… always will.”
“John… I’ll always love you too… Oh please, God no… don’t
Suddenly the commlock went silent.
** ** **
Ed Spencer walked out of his office to see
He moved his hands to her shoulders and turned her around to look at him. Seeing a void, haunted expression on her face, Ed could tell that even though she was looking at him, she wasn’t really seeing him.
“C’mon, let’s get you back to bed.” He said gently, steering her back into the clinic, genuinely surprised and worried when she didn’t resist or put up a fight.
Alan, Sandra, and Victor had entered the room just as Ed had
walked over to
“I’ll stay with her.” Victor said softly as his eyes followed them. “She shouldn’t be alone when she finally comes out of her shock.”
“We’ll go get the twins and take’em home with us.” Alan said, glancing down at Sandra who nodded.
“Do you think she’ll…” Sandra began to ask and then stopped, not wanting to finish her question.
Victor reached out, placed his hand on Sandra’s arm, and
slowly nodded. “It will be extremely
hard on her at first… but she’ll be fine.
His voice trailed off as all three of them looked in the
direction Spencer had taken
** ** **
Bob Mathias walked into the office he had, for the last few months and until just several hours ago, shared with the wife of the weary looking man who was sitting on the couch, his eyes distant; his gaze directed at the ceiling.
“Commander.” Bob called to him. “Commander.”
John slowly brought his gaze down from the ceiling as a voice broke through the constant ringing of Helena’s voice in his ears; begging him not to leave her, to come back to her. He blinked once and then focused on Mathias, standing in the doorway. He shook his head and slowly got to his feet.
“We were lucky.” Mathias answered, stepping further into the office. “Mostly minor injuries, except…”
Koenig nodded sadly. “There was nothing you could do?”
“Nothing.” Bob replied sadly. “Her neck was broken. She died almost instantly.”
“How’s he?” John asked, gesturing with his head through the glass to the prone figure on the bed.
“He took it hard, as expected… I had to sedate him.” Bob said. “As for the restraints well, that’s just a precaution for when he wakes up, for us and him. He got violent when he learned… well… he’s in shock.”
“We’re all in shock, Bob.” John said flatly, glancing down at his left hand and seeing his wedding band.
Bob noticed this. “Commander, I know this is useless to even suggest but why don’t you try and get some rest.” To Bob’s surprise, John simply nodded his agreement.
“Keep me posted on his condition.”
“I will, Commander.”
Mathias said and watched as John slowly walked out of the
** ** **
Standing just inside the door of his darkened quarters, John closed his eyes and took a deep, ragged breath. He slowly opened his eyes and sighed, fighting against the tears he could feel threatening to spill down his cheeks.
He glanced around, even in the dark seeing everything in the
room, the twins’ cribs, an unfinished sculpture
He shook his ruefully as he leaned up against the wall; a small smile pulling at the corners of his mouth as he remembered making love to Helena, just the other day, against this particular wall. Closing his eyes again, John pictured her face as he moved within her… could hear her crying out his name in pleasure.
With a despairing groan, he pushed himself away from the wall and stumbled his way to the bed; collapsing face first onto the mattress, burying his face in the pillows as his tears finally began to fall.
“Oh, please, God no… don’t leave me!! John!!” He heard her voice cry in his mind in a never-ending loop.
John rolled over onto his back and reached over to grab the
copy of their wedding picture he kept on his nightstand. He ran his fingers over
“I will find my way back to you, Helena. I swear it.” He said aloud. “Someway, somehow, I will return to you and the kids… or die trying.”
He clutched the picture to his chest and closed his eyes. He was soon fast asleep as exhaustion, both physical and emotional, claimed him.
** ** **
As she slowly moved towards consciousness,
“It wasn’t just a bad dream, was it?” She asked quietly, not opening her eyes. “The nightmare is real?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“Was anyone hurt?”
Victor shook his head and
“Alan and Sandra have the twins.” Victor told her, watching as she played with her wedding band, knowing that would be her next question.
She nodded. “How long have I been here?”
“Almost twenty-four hours.”
“Has there been…”
“Sadly, no.” Victor answered and watched her close her eyes. “The last that was heard from them was…”
His voice trailed off and Helena looked up at him, her eyes bright with unshed tears as she nodded, knowing that she’d been the last one to communicate with them… with John. She took a deep breath, swung her legs over the edge of the bed, and stood.
“And where do you think you’re going?”
“What I need…”
Ed and Ben glanced at each other and then at Victor who
shrugged at them, indicating that they were on their own. He knew better than to tangle with
“Now please, move aside.”
They met Victor’s gaze again as he stood and joined them at
the door, the three of them watching
As soon as she stepped outside of the clinic,
“John.” She whispered sadly, a single tear escaping her eye and slipping down her cheek. She swiped at it and then began to make her way to the Carter’s house to pick up her children.
Less than ten minutes later,
“I’m fine, Alan.”
“Sure, come on in.” Alan said, stepping aside and gesturing for her to come inside. “The kids just got finished eating supper and are in the living room playing with Sandra and Bobbie.”
“You know it’s not a problem,
At the sound of their mother’s voice, the twins turned from the
blocks they were playing with and smiled as they clamoured to their feet and
ambled towards her.
“Mama! Mama!” They shouted in unison, throwing themselves in her arms as she knelt down before them, hugging and kissing her.
Standing off to the side, Alan and Sandra exchanged glances
as they saw the pained look flash across
“Daddy’s not here, Sweetie.”
“Bye.” The twins said simultaneously and waved.
“You sure you wouldn’t like to stay for dinner,
“Are you sure,
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“You know if you need anything…” Sandra began.
Alan slipped his arm around Sandra’s waist and pulled her
closer, reaching out to ruffle his son’s hair as they watched
An hour later, having changed the twins into their pajamas and put them in their cribs, Helena stayed and watched them until they fell asleep and then slowly made her way towards her bedroom.
She hesitated at the doorway, swallowing hard before finally entering the room.
Making her way to the window, her gaze was drawn to the moonless sky. She released a small sob as her eyes once again welled with tears. She whispered his name as she leaned her forehead against the glass.
“I’ll find my way back to you, Honey! I swear it!” She heard John’s voice in her head as she turned and moved to the bed. She crawled on top of the covers, grabbed John’s pillow and hugged it tightly to her chest as she curled up into a tight ball, her tears beginning to spill down her cheeks. “Someway, somehow… I love you, Helena! I’ve always loved you… always will.”
“I love you, John.” She cried into the pillow, holding it tighter to her. “Please… please find your way home. I need you. I need you so much.”
She continued to cry until she cried herself to sleep, clutching John’s pillow.
** ** **
“I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
John smiled as he gazed into Helena’s delighted face, her
emerald eyes sparkling with happiness as he leaned towards her for a slow,
loving kiss; the first one as his wife.
He’d always thought
As her warm lips moved gently under his, John felt completely at peace for the first time in his life.
“I love you, Helena Koenig.” He whispered against her lips.
“I love you, John Koenig.”
Something was suddenly very wrong… her reply was too faint… and he could no longer feel her lips under his. John opened his eyes to see her being pulled back down the aisle, further and further away from him, as if by some invisible force. He could see her arms reaching out for him… hear her voice calling to him…
He reached out for her.
Jolted awake by the echoes of Helena’s voice calling out for him, John bolted up in his bed, struggling in anguish for breath, her name on his lips, his heart pounding in his chest.
He slowly climbed out of bed and went into the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face. As he did, he caught his reflection in the mirror and closed his eyes against the image. He didn’t need a mirror to tell him how he looked. He knew.
He opened his eyes, the image of a weary man with sad blue eyes looked back at him, reminding him of his reality for the last couple of years. He was still the leader of a group of Alphans, albeit a smaller group, who had unbelievably, been cast away, once again.
John sighed, whispering
Knowing he wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, he decided
he might as well get dressed and head over to
** ** **
“I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
Helena smiled as she gazed into John’s smiling face, his blue eyes dancing happily as he leaned towards her for a slow, loving kiss; the first one as her husband. She’d always thought John to be a handsome man, but today he was more than that. When she’d first seen him as she approached him on Victor’s arm, her only thought was that he was drop-dead gorgeous and that she loved him more than life itself.
As his warm lips moved gently over hers,
“I love you, Helena Koenig.” She heard him whisper against her lips.
“I love you, John Koenig.”
“Mama?” Came a soft voice at the door. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Sweetie.”
“You sure, Mommy?”
“When we have bad dreams, you stay with us till we go back to sleep.” Jonathan told her as he yawned. “Would you like us to stay with you too?”
“Sure. I’d like that a lot.” She nodded as she stepped aside to let them into her room. “Come on.”
They followed her back to the bed, Jonathan crawling in
first, curling up on his father’s pillow.
“You’ll sleep better now, Mommy.” Jonathan said tiredly. “Cause me and Vicky are here to protect you from the monsters now, right?”
“Night, Mommy.” They yawned together.
First the argument with Victor, Alan and Sandra in the lab, where she knew she’d lost her temper, but she’d been concerned with her children and their memories of their father and had lashed out at her three closet friends. Not only about what they had said to the twins, but also because of what they and the other Alphans were planning.
And then, still concerned about the twin’s memories or lack thereof about their father, Helena had determined that they should and would know all about John and how much he loved them both. It had been difficult for her to sit there, hearing John’s voice and seeing John’s face and not having him there to touch and had to excuse herself at one point, while the kids sat mesmerized; their faces alive with delight and wonder.
The nightmares invoked by this would be a small price to pay if it helped to keep John’s memory alive in their children. As long as she was alive, her children would not forget their father.
“John.” She whispered sadly, turning her head to stare out the window, knowing sleep would not come back easily. Her tears slipped down her cheeks. “Oh, John.”
** ** **
Sandra looked up as
“Good morning, Sandra.”
“Sandra, I may not agree or even support what you guys are
“I know I lost my temper and for that, I do apologize.”
“I know. And we’ll respect your wishes.”
“That sounds wonderful.” Sandra nodded. “What time?”
“Right after our shifts.”
Sandra nodded. “Why don’t we get a small head start and meet for lunch too. We could meet up with Tanya and Carolyn.”
“Deal. I’ll see you
Sandra sat back in her chair thoughtfully as she watched
Sandra knew she was very lucky to still have Alan with her;
both him and their children and wished it could be the same for
It was a strange feeling but over the years, Sandra had the
distinct impression that
“Or maybe,” Sandra thought to herself. “It’s just wishful thinking on my part
that the two of them should be together or that we’re wrong and
Sandra sighed again as she straightened up in her chair and
got back to work. Either way, she felt
sorry for the pain her friend was in and wished there was someway for it to
end. But Sandra knew, the only way for
that to happen, would be for the moon to find it’s way back to Nova Canaan and
** ** **
Tony quietly entered the Observation Room, stopping just inside the door to let his eyes adjust to the darkness of the room. Walking further into the room, he wasn’t surprised to see John sitting in the far corner, staring out the window at the ever-changing, always unfamiliar stars.
He slowly made his way across the room, stopping beside the low couch to look down at his Commander and friend.
“Mind if I join you?”
John looked up at Tony. “Only if you brought some beer with you.”
John chuckled and shook his head as Tony pulled two large thermoses out from behind his back, handing one to John as he lowered himself to the couch, following John’s gaze out the domed glass. The two of them sat quietly as they sipped their beers.
“Either my taste-buds are dead… or your beer is finally tasting like beer.” John said, with just the barest trace of humour in his voice.
“Your taste-buds are dead.” Tony replied dryly.
They glanced at each other, sharing weary smiles, before turning to look back out at the stars.
“Couldn’t sleep, huh?” John took another swallow of the bitter liquid.
“Nope.” Tony replied. “You too?”
“I saw her tonight…” Tony began in a low voice a few moments later, pausing to take a sip of his drink. “When I closed my eyes to sleep… I saw her. I haven’t done that for a few years now.” He paused again and smiled softly. “She looked so beautiful… her hair loose and flowing about her shoulders, wearing that one dress of hers. You remember that dress don’t you? The one with the feathers?”
“I tried to touch her but every time I’d reach for her hand… she’d get farther and farther away.” He paused again, swallowing another swig of beer. “And then she spoke to me… told me it wasn’t quite time yet. That she was waiting for me, and that we’d be together again one day, but not yet. Then I woke up and realized that soon… it’ll be five years since she…”
His voice trailed off as he blinked back his tears.
“And obviously, I couldn’t get back to sleep.” He shook his head. “I thought I’d gotten past the hurt but obviously, I was wrong. I suppose it never really goes away, does it?”
Silence once again descended on the two friends as they continued to drink their beers and watch the stars slowly drift by; both of them lost in their own thoughts, each fighting their own demons.
Tony could hear the emotion in John’s voice but didn’t say a word.
“I’ve not only missed her birthdays… but the twins’ birthdays as well.” He paused and sipped his beer, fingering his wedding band. “Not to mention our… anniversaries.” He shook his head, slapping the arm of the couch with his hand, laughing bitterly. “We were so close. So close to having everything we’d dreamed of… a life together off this rock. Me, her, and the twins.”
He took a long drink of beer before continuing, still speaking softly.
“I sometimes think… what’s the use in waking up in the mornings? What reason is there for me to open my eyes? My reason for living was left behind on that planet. So why not simply end the suffering now? And then I hear her voice… roll over and see her picture on my nightstand… and I know the reason I continue to endure… to wake up.”
Tony looked over at John upon hearing his admission. He knew those feelings. Not only knew them but shared them as well. There’d been many mornings when he’d wondered just why it was he bothered to wake up at all.
“I swore to her, Tony. As we were breaking out of orbit and all I could hear was her voice over the commlock… hear her frantic cries begging me not to leave her, I swore to Helena that I’d find a way back to her. Someway, somehow, I’d find my way back to her.”
John turned and met Tony’s eyes.
“And I swore to myself that I’d find my back to Nova… or die trying.”
Both men fell silent again; turning back to the view of the stars and drinking their beers as neither one knew what else to say or what else could be said. Both had suffered very large, very personal losses, more so than anyone else that had been unfortunate enough to be trapped on Alpha at the time of the second breakaway.
Finishing the last of his beer, John put the lid back on the thermos and handed it Tony as he slowly stood.
“You’re right, my taste-buds are dead.” He commented.
Tony was about to comment, when the base and the moon it clung to suddenly began to shake, and a red alert sounded.
“What the hell?” John
swore as he was thrown back over the couch.
He gripped the back of the couch and pulled himself up onto his
knees. His eyes growing wide as he saw a
vortex of swirling lights outside the windows of the Observation room. He quickly got to his feet, patting Tony’s shoulder.
“C’mon, let’s get to
Both men ran out of the room, working on keeping their balance as the base continued to shake.
“Report!” John yelled
over the alarms as he ran into
“Computer indicates that we’ve entered some kind of time
John nodded at
** ** **
In a week it would be her birthday. She had tried to forget about it and hadn’t said anything to anyone, hoping her friends and family would all forget about it as well. But they hadn’t and as they had every year, they were planning a small party.
She sighed again.
She knew they meant well and were simply trying to help her forget, at least for one day, that the one person she wanted most with her, to help her celebrate, was forever lost to her. Taken away from her by some weird, sadistic twist of fate, just when it’d seemed that they’d had everything they’d ever wanted.
She reached into the opening of her robe and pulled out the locket John had given to her on the last birthday they’d celebrated together. Before he was taken from her. She ran her finger over the engraved ‘K’, until the tears welling in her eyes caused the image to be nothing more than a golden blur.
“Oh, John…” she whispered, turning her gaze once more to the window and the stars beyond it. “John… I miss you so much.”
Her tears began to roll silently down her cheeks, clutching the locket tightly in her hands as she heard his promise ring in her ears again.
“I love you, John.” She said quietly but passionately. “Wherever you are, know that I still love you. I always will.”
** ** **
From his station in
After that last time warp, three days ago, they’d found themselves entering a new planetary system and just yesterday, the long-range scanners had detected signs of what could be some form of civilization on the fourth planet.
With John holed up in his quarters, sporting some very bruised ribs from his fall over the couch, Tony had been left in charge to find out all he could about the planet and if they should even bother sending an Eagle down to look.
Turning his attention back to the present, Tony looked over to see the three of them approaching him, astonished looks on their faces.
“Must be something big.” Tony thought. He looked up as they stood in front of his desk. “What have you found out?”
The three of them glanced at each other and then Alibe stepped closer and spoke.
“We’ve been monitoring some radio transmissions from that planet… land to land transmissions… that we picked up about two hours ago.” She paused. “At first I thought I was hearing things as I listened to bits and pieces of conversations but as we’ve been moving closer… well, the similarities are too great for this to simply be a coincidence, Tony.”
“What similarities, Alibe?”
“The number and position of the planets; and the scans of
the fourth planet.” She handed him a
report. “And the voices I heard in those
conversations… they were Dr. Koenig’s and Sandra's voices. I had both Yasko
and David check it out. They’re our
people, Tony.” She glanced back at
All four heads turned at the whispered name to see John standing in the Command Center doorway, his eyes wide, and his face hopeful as he stared at the image of the planet on the big screen. A planet he thought he’d never really see again.
“Tony, let’s see that report.” John said, holding out his hand, not taking his eyes away from the screen until he felt the file in his hand. Only then did he glance down, quickly reading the findings. He looked up at the screen again and then turned his eyes onto his people. “According to Computer, not only is that planet, Nova Canaan but we appear to be once again, going into orbit.”
“Can we really trust the Computer on this one again, John?” Tony asked. “It said that five years ago too and we all know what happened.”
“You’re right, Tony.” John nodded understandingly and tapped the report with his finger as he considered all his options. “Alibe, I want you to see if you can establish a communications link with the planet. Tony, I want you and Fraser to take Eagle One and head down there. If for some reason, it’s just Computer playing tricks on us due to that last warp… we’ll recall you.”
“John…” Tony began.
“Why don’t you go? If it really
“Tony, that’s generous… but I have a responsibility to this base.”
“Yeah… and you’ve carried it out fully for the past five years.” Tony countered, seeing in John’s eyes that he really did want to go down there; only his dedication to duty was preventing him from voicing that desire.
“Tony is right, John.”
Mathias said from behind Koenig, having entered
John looked around the room at the other Alphans who had slowly stood from their stations and moved closer, meeting their eyes and seeing that they all agreed with Tony and the doctor. He had to be certain.
“Are you sure?”
Everyone nodded and smiled.
“Get going, John.” Tony said with a smile. “Get down there and see your family.”
John swallowed back the lump that had formed in his throat, as he looked at his friends in grateful defeat, nodding wordlessly as he turned towards the door.
“Oh and, John…”
John stopped and turned back.
“Don’t forget to give the twins that hug from their Uncle Tony.”
John grinned and gave Tony a thumbs-up.
** ** **
Sandra sat at her console, working hard on figuring out why the communications network they’d established hadn’t been working properly for the last few days. There was some kind of interference but she had no idea where it was coming from.
Sandra turned at the sound of Victor’s voice and shook her head.
“None. We’ve traced all the links, checked out every station in the colony and they are all in working order… but we still cannot locate the source of the interference.” She told him. “It does not make sense. But perhaps with some dinner and a good night’s…” the sudden blinking and beeping of her console interrupted her. She turned back to her station. “Professor! Someone… someone is trying to contact us. It’s an audio signal only.”
Victor stepped closer to her as she reached out and hit a button to allow the message to be heard, not realizing she’d just opened the community wide channel. His eyes grew wide at the message that came over the speakers.
“This is Moonbase Alpha calling
“Professor? Can it really be them?”
Victor looked down at her and ran his hand over his baldhead, nodding slowly. “It is possible. Let’s find out for sure…”
Sandra nodded, reaching out once again, only this time to press the button that would allow her to talk back.
“Alpha? This is
Already in her nightgown and relaxing on her couch, after
enjoying a rare day off,
On Alpha, Alibe’s smile grew as Sandra's voice came over the speakers and she didn’t have to turn around to know that everyone else was smiling as well.
“Sandra!? Yes, it’s Alibe!” She laughed. “It’s good to hear your voice.”
Sandra looked up at Victor and the two shared a smile.
“Alibe, is John there?” Victor asked, leaning closer.
“Professor Bergman? No… the Commander’s not here…” Alibe answered. “He’s in Eagle One on his way down there. Hold on, I’ll patch you through.”
Victor grinned and glanced over at Sandra.
“Sandra, I think… I think you should let
Sandra nodded and moved to open a link to
Victor looked at the console and nodded.
“John! It’s good to hear your voice.”
“Yours too, Victor.” John replied and even over the link, Victor could hear the smile in John’s voice. “Yours too.”
In a daze,
“John, what’s your E.T.A?” She heard Victor ask.
“Well, I’m pushing this bird as hard as I can… so I estimate that we should be touching down in about two hours.”
She laughed with joy and headed for the door, her commlock clutched tightly to her chest.
“I’m quite anxious to see my wife and kids, Victor.” She heard John say and grinned.
“Oh… I’m anxious to see you too, John.”
“It’s been a long five years.”
“It’s been a long five years.”
Victor glanced down at Sandra and frowned slightly. “Uhm… John… I think there’s something you should know.”
“Victor… has something happened to Helena and the twins?” John asked anxiously, his hands gripping the Eagle’s controls tighter at the sudden change in Victor’s voice.
“No… no, they’re fine. In fact, they’re all perfectly healthy and doing very well.” Victor replied and John breathed a sigh of relief. “But there is something very important you should know before you get here.”
“Well, I’m listening, Victor. What is it?”
Back in the
** ** **
“So am I.” Victor
murmured. “So am I.” He reached for his commlock,
“Perhaps she is in the shower?”
“No… she would have put her commlock on stand-by, if that were the case.” Victor shook his head as he began to pace a little. “She had today off, did she not?”
“Yes she did.” Sandra answered. “I do know that she was hoping to spend some time with Callie. Perhaps that is where she is.”
“Perhaps.” He said, keying in another code on his commlock. “Perhaps.”
** ** **
The door flew open and
“Mom! Have you heard
the news? They’re back, Mom! They’re back!”
A sound near her feet caused her to look down. She bent down and picked her mother’s commlock up off the floor. She pressed the button to answer the page.
“Finally, we’ve been trying to reach you for an hour, Hele…
“I don’t know, Uncle Victor.”
“We’re thinking she might be with Callie.”
“I find it hard to believe that your mother would not want to be here when your father’s Eagle lands. Not after all these years.”
“You and me both.”
On the tiny screen, Victor nodded before closing the
channel. Clutching her mother’s commlock tightly in her hand,
“MOM! They’re back, Mom! Daddy’s back!” She said as she moved to enter her mother’s room, a shocked expression crossing her face when she discovered the door was locked. She knocked. “Mom? Mom, are you okay?”
“Mom… The moon’s back.” She said, the excitement still in her voice. “Mom, did you hear me? The moon… it’s back. Daddy’s come home!”
“I heard you, Vicky.”
“Well come on then, Mom! What are you waiting for!?”
“You go ahead, Vicky.”
“Vicky…” she heard her mother sigh from the other side of the door. “Please… don’t ask questions. Just… just go. Go see your father. I’m sure he’s anxious to see both you and your brother.”
“He’s anxious to see you too, Mom.”
“Are you sure?”
“Okay…” she said, moving away from the door. “See you… there.”
On the other side of the door,
** ** **
Victor’s words echoed in the cockpit of the Eagle as the two men turned to look at each other, their eyes wide with shock.
“It’s been… oh my God!
My babies aren’t babies anymore, Bill.
Bill smiled at the boyish grin that was now plastered on his Commander’s face, noting that John would, despite the fact that his wife was now a number of years older, still be as madly in love with her as he was when they were last together.
“I’m never letting her go of her again.” John repeated, still grinning. “And I’m never letting her out of my sight from now on.”
John laughed and nodded.
“What do you say we push this bird a little harder and see if we can’t shave a few more minutes off our arrival time?” Fraser suggested. “Get you back in her arms a little sooner.”
“Sounds great to me.” John agreed with a grin.
** ** **
“She said she’d be along shortly.”
Jonathan regarded his twin, understanding the look she was giving him immediately. There was something else.
“What is it, sis?”
“I… I don’t know.” She answered quietly so that she wouldn’t be overheard. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d almost say that Mom wasn’t happy that Dad’s come back.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” Jonathan said. “You and I both know Mom’s always believed that Dad would find his way back here somehow.”
“I know that.”
“Well… maybe she’s just nervous. It has been a while.” He said. “Or maybe… maybe she just wants their reunion to be in private.”
** ** **
“Nice landing.” Fraser said with a smile as the Eagle touched down.
“Thanks.” John chuckled as he released his harness and pushed his seat back. He climbed out of his seat and headed towards the passenger compartment, Bill following. When he got to the outer door he paused.
“What is it, John?” Bill asked, noticing his Commander’s hesitation.
“I’m… nervous.” John admitted with a small laugh, shaking his head. “I’ve dreamed of this moment for five years… and I’m having a hard time believing it’s really here.”
Bill just nodded, saying nothing and then placed his hand on John’s shoulder. John looked at him. “They’re waiting for you. So get out there and go be with your family.”
John nodded and took a deep breath as he pressed the button that would open the door and reunite him with his wife and children.
As the door on the Eagle slowly slid open, Victor saw the twins reach for and grasp each other’s hands tightly as John stepped up into the open hatch and glance around at the gathered crowd. Victor smiled slightly and took a step forward, placing a hand on each of their shoulders.
They turned to look at him.
All three of them turned their attention back to the Eagle.
John stood in the open door, his eyes scanning the crowd,
Growing more anxious, he finally stepped out of the Eagle, followed quietly by Fraser, and began to make his way towards Victor and his kids; his eyes continuously scanning the crowd for the one person he wanted more than anything to see.
Victor patted the twins’ shoulders and moved past them as he saw John and Bill begin to make their way towards them. When he reached John, the two friends embraced.
“It’s good to have you back, m’boy.” Victor said softly.
“It’s good to be back, Victor.” John replied. He smiled at his old friend and as they pulled apart.
“Welcome home, Bill.” Victor said, turning and extending his hand to the pilot.
“Thanks, Professor.” Fraser smiled, returning the handshake.
Victor saw John glance over at his kids and then search the crowd once again. He clapped John on the shoulder. “Come on, I’ll re-introduce you to your kids.” John nodded, feeling suddenly nervous. Victor chuckled. “Ah, you’ve nothing to worry about, John. Your kids are as nervous and anxious to see you as you are to see them.”
“That’s good to hear, Victor.” John said as he followed his old friend to be
reunited with his children, his eyes still combing the crowd. “Victor, where’s
“Hi.” John said with a nervous smile, the pride he’d felt when first setting eyes on them from the Eagle returning. He wanted to reach out and pull them both into his arms but wasn’t sure how they’d react after so many years of not seeing him.
“Welcome home.” They replied together.
Standing just off to the side, Victor glanced at Bill and both men smiled; watching as both twins moved together and embraced their father. Victor saw the tears in John’s eyes as he returned his children’s embrace and nodded silently in approval.
The crowd surrounding them broke into quiet applause as they watched their former Commander reunite with his children, yet all of them very aware of the one person who was missing.
“Where’s your mother?”
John asked quietly as they parted, his eyes once again moving through
the throng of people. He saw Victor step
closer and gave him a look. “Victor, you
“She’s fine, John. Nothing has happened to her.”
“Then why isn’t she here?”
John asked, a feeling of despair beginning to wash over him, despite
Victor’s reassurances. He saw both
Victor and Jonathan glance over at his daughter. “
“She said she was coming.”
“That she wants your reunion to be in private.” Jonathan finished for his sister. “That’s the only reason we can think of for her not being here.”
John nodded slowly.
John smiled and then turned to Victor. Despite his anxiousness to see his wife, he still had a duty to the men and women up on Alpha. “Victor…”
“We can meet with the council tomorrow, John.” Victor told him, already knowing what John was thinking. “We’ll work everything out and get everyone down here as soon as possible. For now, go see your wife.”
John smiled. “Bill…”
“Don’t worry about me, John.” Fraser said. “When I return to Alpha, I’ll let Tony know what’s happening.”
“Thanks, Bill.” John said and then turned to smile at his daughter. “Well, let’s go.”
** ** **
John knocked on the bedroom door again.
“John… go away.” Came her reply through the door.
John placed his hand on the door, trying to curb the frustration
he was feeling. “Open the door,
“No.” She called out. “I don’t want to see you.” There was a pause and John could swear he heard a sob come from behind the door. “Please, John just go away. Leave me alone.”
Resting his forehead against the door, John took a deep breath and fought back the tears he could feel forming in his eyes.
He stepped away from the door, pausing to stare at the closed door that was separating him from his wife and bowed his head. Heaving a deep sigh, John slowly made his way down the stairs.
On the other side of the door,
“I love you too… John.” She whispered.
<<Then why wouldn’t you let him in?!>> her heart screamed at her. <<You’ve waited years for this moment… for him… and yet you wouldn’t open the door! Why?!>>
“John!” She whispered, her tears flowing again. “Please forgive me… I’m doing this for you.”
Victoria continued to pace back and forth; a habit, she’d recently discovered that she inherited from her father, as she waited to see her parents emerge from the house; finally reunited after all these years. She heard the front door open and looked up expectantly.
“Where’s Mom?” She asked, the surprise evident in her voice. It was then that she noticed her father’s sullen look and walked over to him. “What happened? Why isn’t Mom with you?”
“She wouldn’t let me see her. Wouldn’t even open the door.” John answered softly. He looked at his daughter. “I don’t understand… I… I thought she’d be as anxious to see me as I am to see her.”
“I don’t understand it either, Daddy.”
John smiled softly as did
“Wait here. I’ll go talk to her.”
“No.” He said, shaking his head.
“But why not? You want to see her, don’t you?”
“More than anything else.” John answered, nodding his head.
“No, Vick.” John said, shaking his head again. “Leave her be.”
“I don’t get this.”
“It’s because I love your mother that I won’t force her to do anything she’s not ready for. And that includes… seeing me.” John explained, glancing up into the darkening sky at the moon that was once again in orbit, this time, hopefully for good. He looked back down at his daughter; still not quite over the shock that she was a young woman and not a rambunctious six year old. “It’s been a lot of years for her, Vick… she’s in shock.”
“I understand that… but I also know how much Mom still loves you.”
John smiled wistfully. “We have to give her time. When she’s ready to see me… I’ll still be here.”
John reached out, squeezed his daughter’s arm, and began to step away.
“Where are you going?” She asked.
“For a walk.” He answered. “And then I’ll probably end up at Victor’s.”
John smiled and pulled her into a light embrace. “So am I, kiddo.”
He let her go and began to walk off.
With a sad shake of his head, she watched as John turned and continued to walk away, his head bowed.
“John.” She whispered, her hand coming up to rest on the window.
<<Go to him! Ease his pain! Ease yours!>> her heart screamed at her again.
“I can’t.” She whispered sadly. “I’m doing this for him… in time he’ll see that.”
She jumped slightly when she heard the front door fly open and bang on the front of the house, followed by her daughter’s angry voice.
With an air of calm she was far from feeling,
“What in the hell is the matter with you?!” She heard her daughter ask angrily as she burst into the room.
“Watch your tone young lady. I am still your mother.”
“How could you do that to him?” The anger was still in
“I did what I had to do,
“What do you mean, what you had to do?”
“You wouldn’t understand.” She said. “But I did what was best… for both of us.”
“How can not seeing Dad be the best thing for him… for
“What else am I supposed to think?”
“It’s because I love your father…”
In that moment,
“Five years… it’s only been five years.”
Suddenly it dawned on
“I understand now, Mom.”
“I’ve aged and he hasn’t.”
“When Dad stepped off the Eagle, it was obvious to everyone
that he wanted to see you. That nothing
else mattered to him but that.”
She saw her mother’s eyes widen a little and continued.
“After Uncle Victor… re-introduced Jonathan and I to Dad, I
brought him home to see you. By the time
we got to the house… it was obvious just how nervous and anxious he was to see
“He saw the picture of you and Callie.”
John stopped pacing and turned to finally head upstairs, but not before a framed photo resting on the mantle caught his attention. He moved, as if in slow motion, over to the fireplace and reached up with a shaking hand to grab the picture.
“Just a few days ago.”
John nodded, his eyes barely noticing the small blonde
“Are you all right?”
John nodded again and when he finally lifted his gaze
from the photo to look at his daughter,
“She’s still the most beautiful woman in the
universe.” He said softly, his voice
choking with emotion as his gaze drifted back to the picture in his hands. “Oh… my beautiful
“So you see, Mom… he knows.
He knows… and he doesn’t care that you’ve aged some.”
“Where are you going?”
“To see your father.”
“But how will you find him? He could be anywhere?”
“I know exactly where he is.”
Jonathan watched his mother brush past him. “Mom?”
Jonathan looked up at his twin as she joined him on the porch, both of them watching their mother’s retreating form.
“Where’s she going in such a hurry?” Jonathan asked.
“But I thought… didn’t you bring him here to see her?”
** ** **
As she neared the lake, where she knew with absolute
certainty that John would be,
She saw him; illuminated by the moonlight, his hands crammed into the pockets of his jacket, his head hung low, and his back to her. She felt her heart constrict momentarily, knowing he was hurting and that she was the cause of that hurt.
She approached quietly, feeling her heart begin to pound in her chest. As she drew closer, she saw him raise his head and tilt it to the side; he knew she was there.
When she was within arms reach of him, she stopped.
“When the moon was ripped out of orbit of Nova
He turned his head slightly so that he could just make out her shape behind him.
“Even finding out that twenty years had passed here… and finding out that the twins were no longer babies, that they were adults… still… all I wanted… was to see you. To hold you in my arms; to look into your beautiful eyes and see that you still loved me.” He paused a moment, swallowing back the tears that threatened to spill over into his voice. “And when you wouldn’t open the door… wouldn’t see me… oh God… it killed me. I knew it was because you were scared… scared because so much time had passed for you and not for me. Afraid that I couldn’t… or wouldn’t still love you.”
“John.” It came out as a whisper as she reached out her hand, placing it on his shoulder.
Suddenly, John turned and pulled
John buried his face in her hair, his tears streaming down
his cheeks into her white-blonde tresses.
“I’ve missed you too, John.” She cried, her arms tightening around him; feeling more alive in this moment; in his embrace with his scent drifting over her then she had in years. “So much.”
John pressed a kiss to her hair and then moved his hands up
along her back, over her shoulders to cup her face in his hands, lifting it
from his shoulder. As he brushed her
hair away from her face,
When she finally lifted her eyes to meet his, she began to cry softly, seeing nothing but utter love and devotion in his cerulean depths. John moved his thumbs over her cheeks, wiping away her tears, smiling softly at her.
“You are so beautiful.” He told her quietly, lovingly. “I’ve dreamed of this moment, over and over for the last five years. Of seeing you again; of looking into your eyes and seeing your love for me shining in their green depths.” He paused and threaded his fingers into her hair. He gazed into her face and when he spoke, it was with an intense passion. “It makes no difference to me about the time difference… whether it be five years, twenty years or fifty years. I love you, Helena. I’ve always loved you. Nothing can or will ever change that.”
“Don’t you know… don’t you realize, it doesn’t matter to me that you’ve aged a little.” John paused and he brought one hand from her hair to caress her cheek. “You could never be anything but beautiful to me, Helena.”
“Oh… John.” Her lower lip trembled as she stared into his eyes, seeing the truth of his words in the blue depths before her and feeling the truth in her heart and in his touch. “I love you too. I’ve never stopped loving you… could never stop loving you.”
John’s eyes filled with tears at her words and he pulled her
back into a fierce hug. He sighed, a
wave of relief washing over him. “I was
so afraid…” he whispered into her hair.
“As mine does to you.”
They stared at each other, still not quite believing that they
were together, and then slowly, John pulled
“John…” she whispered softly, her breath caressing his lips, which were so close to hers and moving closer.
John brushed his lips lightly against Helena’s; pulling away slightly to rain gentle kisses over her face; kissing away her tears, only to return each time to her lips; each kiss, just as soft as the one before it yet barely concealing the passion that was simmering below the surface, waiting to be released. He paused before kissing her again and gazed into her face.
John’s mouth covered hers and his tongue moved into her
mouth, both of them moaning softly as their tongues met.
They clung to each other; neither one wanting to be the one to end the long-desired, passionate embrace they were now sharing. Finally, in need of air, they broke apart at the same time and smiled breathlessly at each other.
John reached between them and untied her robe, slipping it
from her shoulders, but not letting it fall from his hands. He stepped away from her and
As they held each other, locked in a heated embrace, neither Helena nor John noticed their children standing at the edge of the trees, watching them.
Victoria and Jonathan looked at each other and smiled.
“Come on.” Jonathan said softly, grabbing his sister’s arm. “Let’s leave them alone.”
Continuing to kiss
He leaned back over her and gave her a tender kiss. “Oh… I’m not going anywhere, Sweetheart.” He murmured, his eyes smiling at her as he kissed her again and sat up.
Bending her arm under her head,
John knelt beside her and then leaning over her, he captured her lips with his and gave her a long, amorous kiss. Slowly he ended the kiss, leaving her breathless as he gazed down at her; his blue eyes bright with desire and longing; mirroring the desire and longing in her luminous green ones.
His gaze left her face and John turned his attentions to reacquainting himself with his wife’s body. In a feather-light caress that caused her to gasp softly, John traced his fingers over the swell of her breasts, following the line of her nightgown, and then repeated the gesture with his lips. His fingers hooked the thin straps at her shoulders and eased them down her arms, gently tugging the gown down off her breasts.
A small smile came to his lips as he reached out to finger the gold heart nestled between her breasts. She smiled in return and nodded slightly to his unvoiced question.
Helena then watched through lidded eyes as John, cupped each breast in his hands and then bent over to take first one nipple in his mouth, then the other; licking, sucking and nipping them gently, until they grew tight and hard, then moving to kiss her entire breast. She moaned softly.
John released her breasts and continued his exploration of
“You’re still as beautiful as I remember.” He told her softly in a throaty voice, choked with emotion. He let his eyes travel completely over her body, reaching out to run a line from between her breasts, to the thatch of curls between her thighs, threading his fingers in the soft hair. He murmured again in a lower voice. “So beautiful.”
John continued to stroke and stimulate his wife, a small smile forming on his lips as he watched her control begin to slip away. Seeing her body begin to quiver as the beginnings of her orgasm took hold of her sent a jolt of pleasure through John’s body; he felt himself throb in response and ached to be inside her, to join their bodies again after so many years apart.
It came out as a whispered moan as she reached her hand out to clasp his hand on her breast. John looked into her eyes, smiled, and nodded slowly, knowing what she was asking him.
Without removing his hand from her, John shifted his position and eased his body over hers, supporting his weight on one elbow. He lowered his mouth to hers for an ardent kiss. As they kissed, he pulled his finger from inside her, grasped his hard member and he slowly, and gently eased into her.
Helena’s cry of pleasure was lost in his mouth; her body trembling under his as the feel of him filling her so completely, after so long, triggered her release; sending a stream of tingling sensations shooting through her body.
John broke off the kiss and held still, watching as Helena
lost control in his arms, the sight of her, giving herself over to her release,
almost his undoing. As her body stilled,
They moved together; two bodies; one heart and one soul, in a passionate dance that both had hoped and prayed they would share again with each other, and yet had secretly feared would never happen.
John moaned as Helena moved her hands lightly along his sides and over his back, spreading her thighs a little wider as she grasped his backside, urging him to thrust deeper inside her. He gave her a searing kiss and then raised himself onto his arms as he moved inside her with long, sure strokes.
“John.” She moaned his name as wave after pleasurable wave of fire-hot sensations coursed through her body. Feeling him move in and out of her, she moaned his name again and moved her legs up around his waist; her hands moving up to grasp his shoulders as she arched into him. “Oh… John…”
She felt the change in his body; the tightening of his muscles, his loss of control as his thrusts grew faster, more erratic, and knew he was on the edge. She also knew that John would hold back as much as he could, wanting her to have her pleasure before him. Tightening her legs around him, she thrust her hips up against him, squeezing her inner muscles tighter, urging him to let go.
John and Helena clung to each other, their bodies still trembling as they soared higher and higher through the moonlit sky on the wings of blissful satisfaction; both feeling the years they were apart, falling away to nothingness.
Slowly, John lifted his head from where it was pillowed on
her breasts and gazed down at
“I love you, Helena Koenig.” He whispered softly, his voiced choked with emotion.
“I love you, John Koenig.” She whispered back, tears of happiness welling in her eyes.
John lowered his lips to hers for a long, tender kiss, before rolling off her. He reached out for her nightgown and covered her with it as he gathered her into his arms.
“Oh… my love… how I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too, Honey.” He replied, pulling her even closer.
They held each other, arms wrapped tightly around each other, afraid to let go for fear they would be torn away from each other again as they talked softly, telling each other about their lives during their forced separation.
A while later,
“What do you say we get dressed and head home?” He suggested, pressing a kiss against her hair.
Just as they were about to set off for the house, John
happened to glance down and noticed that
“Do you always run out in the middle of the night in your bare feet?” He asked her, the amusement in his voice as he watched her look at her feet. She looked up at him.
“My mind wasn’t exactly on my feet when I left the house.” She said, smiling sheepishly.
John laughed and scooped her up into his arms, placing a
firm kiss on her lips.
“Are you planning on carrying me all the way back?” She asked, still smiling; already knowing he would do just that.
“Absolutely.” He said with a grin as he began to walk, pulling her tighter against him. “So, relax and enjoy the ride.”
“Besides, I’ve finally got you back in my arms…” he turned his head slightly and brushed a kiss against her forehead. “And I don’t intend to ever let you go again.”
“Mmm.” She tightened her arms around him. “I like the sound of that.”
“Me too, Sweetheart. Me too.”
They fell into a comfortable silence as John pulled her
tighter against him, walking as quickly as he could back to the house.
“In a hurry?” She asked, laughing quietly, moving her lips to nibble on his earlobe.
John growled softly and then stopped suddenly.
John gave her another quick kiss and then smiled at her as
he resumed his hurried pace to the house.
As they neared the house,
“Tell me something…” he began quietly and she raised her head to look at him. “Are the twins… still living at home?”
“Well then, we’ve got a reception committee.” He commented with a small smile.
“It’s about time you two got home.”
“I wasn’t aware we had a curfew.” John said with a grin as he glanced at
Victoria and Jonathan smiled at each other, both of them noticing the happy, contented glow emanating from their parents; the fact that their father continued to cradle their mother in his arms and that she didn’t seem at all eager to leave his embrace.
John leaned back against the railing of the porch for a
moment to look at his children. He felt
a sense of pride wash over him as he looked from one to the other. They’d grown into fine young adults, as he’d
always hoped they would and it was clear to him, just how much they loved and
respected their mother. John smiled and
couldn’t help but remember them as he’d last seen them… rambunctious one year
olds… getting into everything where their little legs would take them. He blinked back the tears that came to his
eyes as it suddenly dawned on him, just how much he’d missed out on, both in
his children’s lives and
He turned back to his children as he straightened up and
stepped towards the front door. “Well,
if you two will excuse us. It’s been an…
eventful day.” He said. “I think we could all use some sleep.” He glanced at
“Of course, Dad.”
The twins nodded their agreement as Jonathan stood and walked over to them, stepping behind them to the door to hold it open for them.
He clasped his hand on John’s shoulder. John turned to look at his son who smiled at him. “Welcome home, Dad.”
John returned Jonathan’s smile. “Thanks, son. It’s good to be home.”
Jonathan and Victoria watched, standing in the doorway as their father moved towards the stairs. They smiled at each other as they turned to leave. They heard their father’s voice call out to them from the stairs and they stopped and turned back.
“Hey kids… make it brunch tomorrow instead of breakfast!” John called over his shoulder. “Better yet, lunch!”
They heard their mother’s amused, delighted laughter and
called out their
“Yes I am.” John said as he stopped before the door of her bedroom and looked at her. He smiled tenderly at her and leaned in to give her a quick kiss. “I am also in love.”
“And…” his smile slowly grew into a grin. “I plan on keeping you up quite late tonight.”
Their lips came together again as John slowly passed through
the doorway, kicking the door closed with his foot.
John knelt on the bed and gently laid her on top of the covers. He straightened up and gazed down at her; reaching out to caress her cheek. “…Helena… my beautiful Helena, I…” he paused, suddenly too overcome with emotion and at a loss for words.
John raised his head and his tear-filled eyes locked with hers. “It’s so good to be home.”
They shared a soft smile and then slowly, their lips came together.
** ** **
“John?” She called out, glancing around the room. Not seeing his uniform anywhere, or even a sign that he’d been in the room, her eyes began to well with tears and she felt a tightening in her chest. “Oh, God no… please…” she gasped. “Not another dream.”
At that moment, the bedroom door opened.
John’s arms immediately went around her, holding her naked
body tight as he felt her trembling.
“I thought… last night… I thought I was dreaming.” She sobbed, her tears soaking his robe. “I woke up… you were gone…”
“Oh, Honey, I’m sorry.”
He said, his arms tightening around her as he slowly maneuvered them
over to the bed and sat down, pulling
John smiled and nodded as he turned his face into her hand,
pressing a kiss into her palm. “I’m
home. I promised you last night,
She nodded against his shoulder, her arms tightening around him as well. “Neither do I.”
John settled back on the bed, resting against the pillows as
they quietly held each other, gathering strength and reassurance from their
nearness. He pressed a kiss into her
hair and pulled her closer still.
John’s hands slid up into her hair, as the kiss grew longer and deeper. Finally, in need of air, John broke off the kiss, his fingers remaining threaded in her hair. He smiled adoringly at her, part of him still not believing that he was holding her again. He brought her lips back to his for another long kiss, this one more passionate then the last.
John smiled; his eyes moving appreciatively over her naked
body and nodded as he allowed
** ** **
The front door opened and Jonathan stepped into the house, followed by his twin.
Jonathan nodded, a strange look on his face as he answered quietly. “I know.”
“How do you…” she began to ask and then stopped as Jonathan
put his finger to his lips and motioned for her to listen.
They looked at each other and in silent agreement, quickly moved out onto the porch, where as soon as the door was closed, Victoria and Jonathan dissolved into a fit of laughter. They laughed until they each had tears streaming down their cheeks and both were clutching their sides as they gasped for breath. They glanced up at each other as their laughter died down and began laughing again.
“Now I know how Bobbie and the others felt.” Jonathan said and chuckled at the memory of their friends’ reactions to unwittingly hearing or walking in on their parents having sex when they were younger. He glanced at this twin. “Just be glad we only heard them.”
“Despite how… strange that just was…” he paused and glanced at her with a small smile. “I’m happy for them. They’ve been reunited. Against incredible odds… Mom and Dad are together again.”
“Mom always said Dad was still alive… and that somehow, he’d find a way to come back to us… to her.”
Jonathan nodded and looked at his sister. She smiled and nodded before both lifted their gazes up to the moon, visible in the blue sky; the moon that had taken their father away but had also brought him back home to them and more importantly, home to their mother.
Figuring they’d given their parents enough time, the twins re-entered the house twenty minutes later to see their parents descending the staircase, arm in arm.
“Good afternoon, you two.”
“With her other grandparents.”
“I can’t wait to meet her.”
John said with a smile. “But,
right now, let’s go eat. I don’t know
about the rest of you, but I’m ravenous.”
He shook his head, smiling to himself at the amused look that passed
between the twins and began to lead
“So, Dad. What are your plans for today?” Jonathan asked as they sat around the table thirty minutes later eating their food.
“Well, I’m supposed to meet with Victor and the other
council members to talk about bringing everyone down from Alpha and what we can
do to re-integrate everyone.” John
answered, munching on a piece of toast.
“And then, I’ll be heading up to Alpha to get things under way
there.” Next to him, John felt
Seeing the look in
“I know… but… John. It’s been so long since…”
“You’ve been on either an Eagle or Alpha.” He finished and she nodded. John smiled at her. “I understand… but I’d really like it if you came with me. I do have to go up there… but I also don’t want to leave you.”
John laughed as she finished quoting him, leaned forward, and placed a loving kiss on her mouth.
“I love you.” He whispered against her lips.
“I love you too.” She whispered back.
Across the table from their parents, Jonathan and Victoria simply smiled.
** ** **
Walking arm in arm, John and Helena slowly made their way to
the center of town, when
“John?” She began to ask then stopped when she saw what he was looking at. She sighed softly.
“What is that?” He
asked, pointing to what looked like a fairly large replica of the moon and
Alpha. He led them over to it, his eyes
growing wider as he saw that it was indeed the moon. He read the inscription on the plaque
attached to the base of the monument and then turned to look at
John looked back at it and re-read the inscription. “Everyone who was on Alpha for the second Breakaway is listed here, except…”
He gave her a questioning look and she sighed.
“It’s a long story.”
John glanced around and then led
“Do you think Mommy will like it?” Helena heard Victoria ask, as she stood outside the door to Victor’s lab, about to enter.
“Will I like what?” She asked, walking into the room, a smile coming to her face as her children turned and seeing her, rushed over to hug her. She knelt down and hugged them both to her, wishing, not for the first time, that John were still here to see how much they’d grown. She kissed each one on the cheek and then asked again. “What is it that you think I’ll like?”
“A… mem… mem… ori…” Jonathan began, stumbling on the word. “A memory.”
“A memorial, Jonnie.”
“You’re right, that’s what it’s for, Vicky.” Helena told her daughter, not bothering to
correct her grammar as her gaze shifted to Victor, Alan, and Sandra, all of who
had the good sense to look uneasy and look away.
“Daddy is dead.” Jonathan said all of a sudden. “That’s why Uncle Alan and Aunt Sandra and Uncle Victor said that we can put Daddy’s name on the…” he paused and glanced at his twin. “...Mem-or-ial.” He sounded it out and smiled as he realized he got it right.
“Yes, Mommy.” They answered together and stepped outside.
“I won’t be long.”
“I don’t ever, EVER, want to hear of anyone telling my children that their father is dead!” She said in a tight voice, her green eyes flashing angrily. “Is that clear?! Never again!”
“John is still alive.” She said, her voice still tight, but filled with conviction.
“Sandra is right, Helena.” Alan said, placing a hand on his wife’s shoulder. “That’s why we’ve designed this monument. To pay respect to those lost on Alpha and honour their memories.”
Helena shook her head, her hands balling into tight fists, as she fought to control her anger. “No. John is still alive and I will not let you erect some… monument… a tribute to their deaths… they are not dead! John would not let them die!”
“Love… Victor. I LOVE John… present tense.” She said, her voice beginning to grow louder.
“NO! I will not allow you to do this!”
“It is too late,
“Construction on the monument has already begun.” Alan told her.
“You heard me, Alan.” She said, her voice growing hard. “I don’t want to see John’s name on that thing. Not even a reference to him in any way!”
“Helena, John was Commander of Alpha… people are going to wonder why…”
“Let them!” She
said in a loud voice, turning to face Victor.
“John is MY husband! And I will not
allow you to place his name on some monument meant to honour his memory… his
death… when John is NOT dead!” She
stopped and glared at each of them in turn before turning and walking to the
“Mommy! Mommy, slow down.” She heard Jonathan call up to her. “Please, Mommy. We’re sorry.”
“Yeah… we’re sorry.”
Helena knelt down and gathered Victoria and Jonathan into her arms, hugging them tightly against her as her eyes welled with tears. “Oh, babies, mommy’s the one who’s sorry.” She pulled back and looked into their concerned, confused faces. “I’m not mad at you guys.”
“You’re not?” Jonathan asked.
“No, Sweetie. I’m not.” She chuckled softly, smiling at them now.
“Then why are you mad, Mommy?”
“Is it because of the memorial, Mommy?” She asked, both she and her brother having heard their mother yelling something about the memorial back at the lab.
“A little, Honey.”
“Mommy?” Jonathan ventured quietly.
Helena turned to look at her son, noting the serious look on his face. “Yes, Jonathan?”
“Why don’t Vicky and me have a daddy?”
“We don’t have one here like Bobbie does.” Jonathan pointed out.
“That’s cause our daddy is on the moon, Jonnie. On Alpha.”
“Why did Daddy leave us then?” Jonathan asked. “Didn’t he love us?”
“Oh, Jonathan…” Helena began, placing her hand on his cheek. “Your daddy loves us very much.” She paused, thinking back to that horrible day five years ago when the moon was suddenly ripped out of orbit, tearing her world apart. “Your daddy didn’t want to leave us.”
“Is Daddy dead?
Like Uncle Victor and everyone says?”
“No, Honey. Daddy
“How do you know?” Jonathan asked.
She reached out and grabbed each of their hands, placing them over their hearts.
“If you ever start to forget that… just listen to your hearts and you will feel him and how much he loves you. Okay?”
Jonathan and Victoria both smiled and nodded, replying together. “Yes, Mommy.”
Helena smiled and slowly stood up, reaching for their hands again to resume their walk home.
“Mommy… what’s Daddy like?” Jonathan asked suddenly.
“He’s a good singer, Jonnie!” Victoria answered with a smile and Helena chuckled at her answer, surprised Vicky remembered John singing them to sleep each night. “Don’t you ‘member him singing us songs?”
Jonathan’s brow furrowed in concentration. He shook his head and looked up at
“But I wants to ‘member, Mommy.” Jonathan sniffled.
Helena looked down at her son then glanced at her daughter as well, coming to a decision. And even though she knew it would be difficult, she decided that they were old enough to see what their father was like.
“Come on.” She said gently, tugging on their hands. “Let’s go home, I’ve got a surprise for you. Something that will show you what your Daddy is like.”
The twins smiled and went eagerly with her.
“We went home and I showed them the video we took of their
John smiled and then chuckled.
“What?” She asked, giving him a quizzical look.
“I was just picturing you, laying into Victor, Alan and Sandra.” He answered.
John lifted his hand to her cheek and caressed it. He smiled tenderly at her. “And you were right…” He paused and glanced up at the moon. “…For the most part anyway.”
“Not all of us survived the Breakaway that second time.” He answered quietly, meeting her eyes.
“Who?” She asked softly, almost afraid to hear the number of casualties Alpha had sustained.
“When the moon was ripped out of orbit, she was thrown onto her console. It exploded and that, combined with the G-forces, threw her back against my desk… she hit it with her head…” he paused. “She… her neck was broken and there was nothing Bob could do.”
“As you’d expect. He was inconsolable for months.” John said, returning the pressure of her hands. “I understood the pain he was feeling… somewhat… for although we’d been separated… I at least knew you were still alive.” He paused, held her gaze, and shook his head at the question in her eyes. “There were no others. Just Maya.”
A few minutes later,
He raised her face, gazing into her eyes as he ran his thumb lightly over her lips, his other hand caressing up and down her arm and then slowly moving up over her shoulder to tangle in her hair. John smiled warmly at her as he leaned closer and brushed his lips against hers.
Despite the sad news of Maya’s death, Helena still felt too
much joy and relief at not having lost John in that way... to have him home
with her. Knowing that there would be
time later to sit and remember her old friend,
“Come on. Victor and the others are waiting.” She said and then smiled, slipping her arm around his waist. “And, I believe I have a date with my husband up on Alpha.”
John smiled and draped his arm around her shoulders. “I hope this meeting doesn’t take long.”
John gave her a quick kiss and then they resumed their walk
** ** **
“I’d forgotten how beautiful it is up here.” She told him, turning her gaze back to the window.
“It is beautiful.” He agreed. “And for the first time, in a long time… I am able to see that beauty again.”
“How long before we get to Alpha?” She asked.
John nodded and then looked at her, flashing her a big grin and winking at her. “If you like, I could always throw this thing on auto pilot… I’m sure we could find some way to pass the time.”
John joined in her laughter as he went back to his
flying. A few moments later, out of the
corner of his eye, he caught
Helena continued to simply smile at him, not saying a word; her smile growing as she watched John flip on the auto pilot and jump up out of his seat. She reached out, grabbed his hands, and led him into the passenger section of the Eagle.
Five hours later, the Eagle safely docked on Alpha, John,
“Tony!” She smiled and stepped away from John to embrace the younger man. “Oh… it’s good to see you again too.” She pulled back and looked at him, noting that he’d gotten a little grey. “How are you?”
Tony looked into her eyes and could see that John had told
her about Maya. He smiled softly and
shrugged his shoulders. “I’m doing okay,
“All grown up and doing very well.”
“That’s good to hear.”
Tony said and then turned to John.
“I know you’re probably tired from the flight back here…” he paused
momentarily, not missing the glance John and
John nodded. “I’m
sure they are.” He looked down at
“Tony…” John said. “Lead the way.”
“With pleasure.” Tony replied.
** ** **
Several hours later,
“John… ” She said softly, her eyes continuing to move about the rooms she’d shared with him so long ago. Clothes she hadn’t had a chance to pack and bring down to Nova Canaan still hung in the closet. Her sculpting tools still occupied the far corner, along with an unfinished sculpture. The twins’ toys were still strewn around the room, their clothes and their cribs still set up across the room from the bed… their bed… everything was as it was the last time she’d been here. She felt her eyes well with tears as she tilted her head back to look at him. “You didn’t…”
“I couldn’t…” John interrupted as he rested his cheek against her hair, pulling her even closer. “…I couldn’t bring myself to pack any of it up. It would have been like giving up on you; admitting that I’d lost you. You and the twins.” He paused and brushed his lips against her temple. “And it also gave me a reason to wake up each morning and work on ways to get back to you and our family.”
“Like you, I knew you were still alive... could feel it in my heart. Despite what everyone here thought… that the moon’s sudden departure from Nova had, like on Earth, disrupted the planet and…” he swallowed and shook his head as he slowly smiled. “But none of that matters now.”
“No. None of that matters now.” She echoed, rising up to brush a soft kiss against his lips.
John returned her light kiss and then pulled her close. He began to sway gently as he maneuvered them
further into the room. He paused
momentarily and reached out to flip on the CD player.
The first song ended and as the second song began,
John’s hands caressed up and down her back as the kiss ended and her dancing green eyes met his smiling blue ones. He brushed another soft kiss against her lips and drew her back against him.
John slid one hand up to rest on her shoulder, holding her tighter as he nodded gently. “Your birthday.”
Her arms tightened around his neck and she raised her head again to meet his eyes. The soft smile on her lips turned into a playful one as she caught the look in his eyes, both of them remembering that night very well.
“What are the chances of a repeat performance?” She asked in a husky voice, drawing her finger down along his jaw.
“Oh…” John replied in a low voice as his hands moved down her back to cup her rear, pulling her closer. “…I’d say the chances are pretty good.”
As they reached the foot of the bed, John’s commlock sounded. They both groaned and pulled apart. John gave her an apologetic look and reached for the device.
“Sorry to disturb you, John.” Came Tony’s voice
as his image filled the tiny screen. “But
you’re needed in
“Can’t it wait till morning, Tony?” John asked, looking at
“I’m afraid not, John.”
“All right, Tony.” John nodded. “I’ll be right there.”
John closed the channel and looked back at
“Go.” She said, putting her hands on his shoulders. “The sooner you go, the sooner you get back.”
John nodded and leaned down to give her a quick kiss. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Returning to his quarters much later than he anticipated,
John paused for a moment outside his door and released a frustrated
breath. The whole time he’d been in
Keying in his code, John opened the door and stepped in the room, allowing the door to shut behind him as he came to a stop. The lights in the room had been dimmed; the soft music they’d been dancing to earlier still playing, and a few small candles burned, creating a romantic atmosphere.
John looked around for
He soon lost track of time as he continued to feast on the vision before him, greedily taking in every nuance, almost as if he was afraid he was going to suddenly awaken and find this was all a dream. She sighed softly and rolled over towards him, her white-blonde hair falling in her face as she continued to sleep.
Not wanting to wake her, John reached out and gently brushed the hair away from her face, tucking it behind her ear. And then, unable to stop himself, he moved a little closer and with a feather-light touch, drew the back of his fingers along her cheek. He closed his eyes as he felt the tears begin to well up.
He opened his eyes at the whisper of his name to see
“What’s wrong?” She asked quietly, seeing the tears in his eyes.
He shook his head.
“Nothing’s wrong.” He answered softly, reaching out again to caress her cheek. He smiled tenderly at her. “Nothing at all. In fact, everything is wonderful.”
“Then why the tears, John?”
“It just really hit me that I’ve woken up from a very long, very horrible nightmare.” He answered. “Walking into our quarters and finding you asleep in our bed…” he smiled at her. “…Wearing that negligee…” he paused. “…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamt of this… only to awaken to find myself alone in bed.” John paused again and drew in a deep breath before continuing. “The nightmare is over… this is a dream come true. You’re really here… and in our bed.”
“It was a nightmare, for both of us, John.” She told him, reaching out to cup his cheek, her own eyes filling with tears. “I’ve dreamed of this too… so many times and every time I’ve woken up to my own sobs calling your name.” She paused, running her fingers over his lips. “And now… if I’m dreaming again… I hope I never wake up.”
“I love you, Helena.”
“I love you too, John.”
She smiled, leaning towards him as she slid her hand behind his head
into his hair, pulling him closer. John
went willingly as
The kiss slowly ended and John placed his hand on her
shoulder, gently pushing her down, so that she was once again lying on her
back. He sat back for a moment and
She smiled invitingly at him as he reached out with his hands and with just his fingers, began to trace the features of her face. She sighed softly at his light touch, his fingers following the lines of her eyebrows and moving down the shape of her nose. He brushed his fingers over her lips, trailing them back up along her jaw and down again over her high cheekbones to once again trace the shape of her lips, before leaning over and repeating all his movements with his lips.
Placing a second gentle kiss on her lips, John straightened up, his hands moving delicately over her throat, along her right shoulder and down her arm. When his fingers came to her hand, he lifted her hand in his and traced each of her fingers with his, using the same soft touch to trail back up along the inside of her arm; again, leaning over to follow the same path with his lips.
Helena watched him as he kissed each of her fingers then press a loving kiss to her palm; moving them slowly up her arm to capture her lips again, before reaching over to do the same thing to her other arm. She moaned softly, her skin tingling everywhere he touched. She reached out to pull him to her as he kissed her yet again, but he shook his head, grabbing her hands and placing them at her side.
She smiled softly and nodded, watching through lidded eyes as he reached out and cupped one of her breasts. She lifted her gaze to his face and saw the intense look on his face as he began to caress her breast through the lace of her negligee with his other hand.
John was aware of her gaze on him as he circled her breast lightly with his fingers, running his palm over her hardening nipple, but didn’t turn to meet her gaze. Instead he leaned over and pressed a kiss against her lace covered breast, then moved his hands to her other breast, caressing it as he had the first. This time when he leaned over her, he drew the taut nipple into his mouth, suckling her through the lace.
“…John…” she gasped, arching slightly at the sensations shooting through her body as his tongue moved against her through the lace.
John released her breast and raised his face to smile at her before moving up to capture her lips for a long, deep kiss. Leaving her breathless as he ended the kiss, John’s hands and lips continued their journey down her body.
She opened her eyes when she no longer felt John’s hands on her and saw him stand and quickly remove his pants. She couldn’t help the appreciative smile that graced her lips at the sight of him, naked and fully aroused.
John glanced down at her, smiling at the smile on her face and then walked to the end of the bed, kneeling on the mattress between her legs. He ran his hands up her legs, pushing her negligee up as he went. When the skirt was bunched at her waist, John placed one hand on her stomach, the other on her thigh and leaned over, pressing his mouth against her.
John smiled inwardly, continuing to love her with his mouth
When her body quieted again, John withdrew his fingers and with a last loving kiss against her, reached out for her hands and gently pulled her up so that they were now face to face. He reached for the bunched up negligee and pulled it up and off her, throwing it to the floor. He leaned forward, giving her a passionate kiss as his hands closed around her waist. He drew her closer, lifting her slightly and entering her slowly as he settled her across his thighs.
They moaned into each other’s mouths before breaking off the
kiss to gaze into each other’s eyes.
Neither one moved, both too overwhelmed by the emotions they felt and
saw in the other’s eyes. Their lips came
together again in a loving kiss as
John’s mouth left hers, trailing down to nip lightly at her throat before continuing down to take one of her nipples in his mouth.
John smiled against her breast then raised his head, the smile still on his lips as he slowly ran his hands up and down her back, causing her to shiver against him. He caught her lips in another ardent kiss as his hands moved down her back one last time to cup her bottom; guiding her movements as he lifted his hips to meet hers.
Their bodies moved together, matching in a gentle, perfect
rhythm; both content to love each other slowly.
John’s hands slid up to her hips, tightening his grip as he complied with her silent request. He thrust deeper inside her; smiling at the low moan that sounded in her throat. John pulled her closer, wanting and needing to have his lips on her body; needing to taste her.
John felt her quiver and pressed another kiss to her breasts before lifting his head to smile at her; the throaty way she moaned his name sending warm shivers through him. He moved his hands up her body, pulling and holding her tight against him, his lips seeking hers for a fervent kiss as he slowly lowered her down to the mattress; covering her body with his.
John inhaled sharply, his eyes locked on
“…Helena…” he groaned her name; the sight and feeling of her moving on his body almost his undoing; sending a wave of absolute pleasure through him.
Helena felt John’s body tremble slightly under hers and laid her hands on his chest and began to move faster on him; knowing they were both close to their release. John held tight to her waist, matching her faster rhythm, watching as her head fell back and she gasped for air.
“Mmm… John!” She panted and John could feel her inner muscles beginning to clench tightly around him. She repeated his name over and over in a breathy pant; her movements growing more erratic as the feelings that were building quickly began to explode throughout her body. Suddenly she stopped moving, crying out his name as the sensations overwhelmed her.
At her cry of his name, John thrust into her one last time, crying out her name as his world burst into a kaleidoscope of sensations. He reached up and pulled her down to him, joining his mouth to hers as their bodies trembled together.
“Ooh… my…” she kissed his neck, still trying to get her breathing under control; smiling as she felt his embrace of her tighten. She sighed happily as she lifted her head to look into his face. “That was… mmm… wonderful, John. YOU are wonderful.”
John chuckled. “You’re pretty wonderful yourself.”
John wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer; his one hand stroking her hair, the other hand caressing her exposed arm, from her shoulder to her elbow and back. He too released a happy sigh.
“I’ve been thinking.” He murmured against her hair some minutes later.
“What do you think about having the kids come up here? To see Alpha… their birthplace?”
“You going to show them the Travel Tube as well?” She asked with a touch of humour in her voice.
“Well, of course.” He chuckled. “That is after all, where they entered this world.”
“How well I remember.”
“Good. Then I’ll call them in the morning to make the necessary arrangements… the Eagle… quarters.”
“Do you think Vick will want to bring, Callie?” He asked and she could hear in his voice how anxious he was to meet his first grandchild.
“More than likely.”
“Really?” John chuckled, becoming distracted by the direction her hand was beginning to move in.
“Mmhmm.” She murmured, her hand trailing down over his abdomen. “Dada. Mama. Alpha. Gramma. Grampa. Papa. Nana. And in that order.” She finished, circling her finger around his belly button.
“Our granddaughter sounds like a smart kid.” He said and then took in a deep breath as her hand moved lower still.
“John…” she purred, lifting her head from his chest to smile seductively at him. “Do you want to keep talking about our children and grandchild? Or…”
She was cut off as John pulled her mouth down to his, at the same time, rolling them over so that she was pinned beneath him. He kissed her until she was breathless and raised his head mere inches from hers.
“Does that answer your question?”
** ** **
“Good morning.” She felt his breath caress her hair as he spoke softly.
“Mmm… good morning.” Helena replied, a slow smile coming to her lips as she snuggled further into his embrace; feeling his caress moving from her arm to run up and down her back. “Now this… this is what I’ve really missed. Waking up in your arms.”
She felt John smile, pull her closer, and nuzzle her neck; his lips slowly working up to her ear, where he whispered softly. “And I’ve missed waking up holding you in my arms.”
They parted breathlessly some moments later and John rolled
onto his back and settled against the pillows, pulling her with him.
“About a week, maybe less.” John answered, his hand stroking her hair. “And then, I’m taking a vacation.”
“Mmhmm.” John murmured, drawing her closer. “I plan to spend each and every minute of it with my wife. Making love with her, talking with her, catching up with her.” He paused and ran his hand along her arm. “Making love with her.”
“You said that already.”
“What can I say? I’m can’t get enough of her.” His smiled as his hands moved under the covers to stroke down her back. “You see... I’m addicted to her.”
“Is that so?” John asked, his eyes sparkling as he grasped her hips, shifting her so that his growing erection pressed against her soft curls.
Suddenly, John rolled them over and smoothly entered her, both of them moaning at the union.
“I’m so glad you share my addiction, wife.” John smiled, dipping his head to catch her lips in a searing kiss.
“So am I, husband.”
** ** **
“Nervous? Who’s nervous?” He said, continuing to pace.
“You are.” She chuckled; finally reaching out to grab his hand when he passed close to her, stopping his pacing. “John.”
He looked at her and released a deep breath as he reached out to grab her other hand. “Okay, so I’m a little nervous.” He admitted and she smiled. “It’s just… the kids haven’t been up here in so long… and then there’s Callie… and…” he stopped and released another deep breath. “I’m being silly, aren’t I?”
John chuckled, slipped his arms around her waist, and drew her closer. He lowered his head and just as his lips met hers, he heard the door slide open. He quickly brushed his lips against hers and straightened up, keeping his arm about her waist as he looked up to see his children walking towards them, followed by…
“Alan! Sandra!” John smiled and moved forward to greet his old friends with a hug. “I’m so glad you two came up.”
“It’s good to be here again, John.” Alan said, returning the friendly embrace.
“Sandra, you look wonderful.” John said, bending low to place a kiss on her cheek.
“Thank you, Commander.”
Sandra replied as John stepped back to
“Sandra, what have I always told you about that?” John smiled. “Call me John. Besides, we’re family now.”
Sandra smiled and nodded.
“Speaking of family.
John, you remember Robert don’t you?”
Alan said, moving over and placing his hand on the shoulder of a tall,
young man who was standing just behind
John nodded, stepping over to the young man and held out his hand. “Good to see you again, Robert.”
“Good to meet you again too, Commander.” Robert said, taking John’s hand and shaking it. “I wish I could say I remembered you from when I was little, but…”
John shook his head. “Say no more. I understand completely.”
“And this…” John’s attention was drawn to his daughter as she spoke and the small child she held in her arms. “This is your granddaughter, Callie.”
“Hello, Callie.” John said with a gentle smile, holding out his hand to her.
“Grampa!” Callie said excitedly and launched herself into John’s arms. “Grampa! Grampa! Grampa!”
“Now, this is definitely a picture worth taking.” Alan said with a smile, not quite hiding the emotion in his own voice as he reached into his pocket and snapped a picture just as Callie placed her hands on either side of John’s face and flashed him a big smile.
“Welcome home, Grampa.” Callie said, still smiling.
“Thank you, Callie. Your grandmother was right, you certainly are beautiful young lady.” John smiled at her, tickling her ribs, delighting in her laughter as she tried to tickle him back. “As beautiful as your mother and grandmother.”
At the mention of her grandmother, Callie turned suddenly in
John’s arms to look over at
“See, Gramma… I was right! I was right!”
Callie smiled as
“Yes, Honey. You were
John smiled at her as he noticed out of the corner of his
eye as Robert slipped his arm about
“That’s great, John.” Alan said. “In fact, we were kind of hoping that’s where you’d put us.” He grinned down at his wife and pulled her closer. “Give me a chance to, uh… relive, some fun memories with the wife here.”
Everyone laughed as Sandra blushed and poked him in the ribs. “Alan!”
“Tell you what, John. Why don’t you show the rest of these guys to their quarters, Sandra and I can find our way to our quarters on our own.” Alan suggested. “There’s one or two places I’d like to check out first.”
“You sure?” John asked and caught the look in Alan’s eyes. He nodded and chuckled softly. He turned to his family as he lifted Callie up onto his shoulders, causing her to giggle with delight and smiled. “Okay, then. Follow me and we’ll get you settled.”
Alan and Sandra watched their family walk away, both of them smiling as they saw John and Helena slip their arms around each other’s waists, pulling each other close as they walked.
“Honestly never thought I’d see the day the two of them would be together again.” Alan said quietly.
“Me either.” Sandra replied, watching until the small group disappeared around a corner. “She was right all along.”
“Mmhmm.” Alan agreed. “She was.”
“What are you thinking?” Sandra asked him, reaching up to stroke his cheek as he fell silent.
“Of a way to make up to
“Care to tell me about it?”
“Later. I’m still thinking on it.” Alan said as he pulled her closer, slipping both his arms about her waist. “Right now though, I think I’d like to… re-explore some of those old memories of ours.”
“And where would you like to begin?” Sandra asked with a smile, her eyes twinkling.
“Right here.” Alan said with a grin as he led her back inside the Eagle.
The hatch closed on Sandra’s delighted laughter.
** ** **
“Hope you don’t mind,” John asked, glancing at his son. “Staying in your Uncle Victor’s old quarters?”
“No… this is great, Dad.” Jonathan said, looking around the room at some of the equipment Victor had left behind.
“Good. I think Victor would approve.” John smiled. “I wish he could have come up too.”
“Well you know Uncle Victor.” Jonathan chuckled.
“Yeah… always some experiment or other going on.” They laughed and John grinned. “Some things never change.”
There was a moment of silence as Jonathan placed his bag on the bed.
“Well, why don’t I go and let you rest.” John said, heading for the door.
“Dad?” John turned back to see Jonathan take a step towards him. “Would you mind staying? There is so much… I’ve waited a long time for the chance for the two of us to sit and have…” he paused and grinned. “…A man to man talk.”
John returned his son’s grin and nodded as he walked over to him and placed his hand on Jonathan’s shoulder. “I’ve been waiting for that too, son.”
** ** **
“She’s so excited,”
“He was indeed.”
murmured as she looked around, a soft smile coming to her face as numerous
memories of times spent with John in these rooms, came to mind. She turned back to
“I was just thinking…”
“So am I, Honey.”
“I was also amazed that the two of you came up for air long enough to meet us when we got here.”
“It’s true and you know it.”
“Well… we do have…”
“Were you two like this before Breakaway? Or is this a recent development?”
“As a matter of fact, we were. Your father and I have always enjoyed a
Mother and daughter smiled at each other and suddenly broke out laughing.
“Oh… I don’t know…”
“He’s returned to a lot of unexpected changes.” She pointed out. “In your father’s eyes, you and Jonathan should only be six years old. So, he’s come back to not only find that his children are all grown up but that he’s a grandfather as well. Not to mention that his wife is also twenty years older then when he last saw her.”
“But we both know that he doesn’t care about that.”
** ** **
“And then Mom took Vicky and I home and showed us the video taken of our first birthday.”
John leaned back on the couch and regarded his son as Jonathan continued to talk. Part of him still couldn’t believe this was the same little boy who only five years ago, tried to put a handful of chocolate cake in his father’s face. John smiled and chuckled at the memory.
“That was a good day.” His grin grew, as did his laughter.
“What?” Jonathan asked, wanting to know what was so funny.
“I was remembering your mother’s face when Vick smeared the cake all over her.” John answered, still laughing.
Jonathan smiled and laughed as well. “We loved those videos, Vicky and I.”
“So, your mother has said.” John nodded. “She told me the three of you would sit and watch them together.”
“Well, it would start off that way.” Jonathan began and then his voice trailed off as he looked away from his father.
“What is it, son?”
Jonathan took a deep breath and turned to meet his father’s eyes. He sighed as he tried to find the words. “Every time we’d watch the videos, halfway through them, Mom would get up and go into the kitchen. She’d come back with snacks, so we never thought anything of it, until one time… she seemed to be taking too long. So Vicky and I decided to go see if she needed any help. When we got to the door…” his voice trailed off and he glanced down at his hands, then continued; his voice low. “She was crying, Dad.”
John reached out and put his hand on his son’s shoulder, giving him a slight squeeze as Jonathan continued.
“We’d never seen her cry before or at least, not like that and we didn’t know what we should do. Obviously, she didn’t want us to know that watching these videos was painful for her, so Vicky and I went back and sat down and never ever told Mom that we’d seen her.” Jonathan looked at his father and saw the pain in John’s eyes. “She didn’t tell you about that, did she?”
John shook his head. “But I had a feeling. I could see it in her eyes when she told me about showing you and your sister the videos.”
“And I’m guessing she didn’t mention what happened last month either.” Again John shook his head and Jonathan took a deep breath. “Well, to make a long story a little shorter; one day last month Vicky and I were in the attic looking for something when I came across a home video that we hadn’t seen. Naturally, we were curious. So we went downstairs and put it on.”
“Hey, Vicky check this out.” Jonathan called over to his sister. She moved over to him and looked at what he was holding. “A home movie we haven’t seen?”
Victoria took it from his hand and turned it over, searching for some clue as to what was on it. “There’s no label.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Jonathan said and then met her eyes. “You thinking what I’m thinking?”
Jonathan nodded and watched his sister leave. Ten minutes later, he joined her on the couch in their mother’s living room.
“Well, let’s see it.”
“It was yours and Mom’s wedding.” Jonathan told him.
John smiled softly. He remembered that day very well. He met Jonathan’s eyes. “What happened?”
Jonathan took a deep breath. “You and mom had just been pronounced husband and wife…”
** I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride. **
Jonathan and Victoria glanced at each other, smiled and turned back to video in time to see their parents share their first kiss as husband and wife; neither of them aware of the figure standing in the doorway.
Victoria and Jonathan whipped around on the couch as they heard the anguished sob, to see their mother standing behind them; her eyes wide, with tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Mom!?” Both twins
shot up and were over to
“Where… where did you find this?” Helena asked softly, choking on her tears.
“Upstairs.” Jonathan answered. “It was mixed in with all our baby-stuff.”
Helena simply nodded, her eyes on the screen, watching as John hugged her tightly, his lips moving against her ear and even though the video hadn’t picked up the words, Helena could still hear them ringing in her ears.
Jonathan reached out and shut the movie off, turning to his mother. “We’re sorry, Mom. We didn’t mean to upset you.”
“You didn’t really.”
“Makes you miss Dad even more.”
“I know what you’re thinking, Mom. So stop it now.”
“If you ever start to forget… just listen to your heart and you will feel him and how much he loves you.” Jonathan said softly with a gentle smile. “And if anyone can feel his love, despite the distance, it’s you.”
Helena looked at her son; her gaze resting the features that looked so much like his father’s it was sometimes unbearable and nodded as a small smile slowly formed on her lips. She reached out for his hand, looking over at her daughter and grabbing her hand as well. “How did you two get so smart?”
“Good genes.” They said together and grinned.
Helena laughed and then slipped her arms around her children, hugging them to her. “Well, why don’t we watch the rest of the video?”
“Mom, are you sure? If it’s too painful…”
Jonathan looked over at his father to see tears in his blue eyes. “So, we watched the rest of the movie, Mom doing her best not to cry but not succeeding.”
John sat back on the couch and released a deep breath, blinking back his tears.
“I’m sorry, Dad. It wasn’t my intention to upset you by telling you this.”
“I know, son. I know.” John said. “And you didn’t. I know it was difficult for all of you. Especially your mother.”
“And for you.” Jonathan said. “I mean… the three of us at least had each other. You… you were all alone up here. And then to finally return and find out that twenty years had passed here.”
“It was a shock to say the least.” John admitted. “But it didn’t… and still doesn’t matter. I’m home. Home with my family and that, is all that really matters.”
Jonathan smiled at his father. “I know I said this the other day, but I really am glad you found your way back here, Dad.”
John reached across the couch and pulled his son into a strong hug. “So am I, Sport. So am I.”
** ** **
“Looks like someone has finally conked out.”
John glanced down, an affectionate smile forming on his lips at the sight of his granddaughter, curled up and sound asleep in his lap. He reached out and gently stroked the fine, blonde hair that was so much like his wife’s. He lifted his head and met his wife’s smiling gaze.
“You can say that again.” John chuckled softly.
“She’s had an exciting day.
As have we all.”
John nodded, leaning over to brush a soft kiss against the top of Callie’s head before lifting and handing her to her mother.
“Good night, Vick.” John said.
“Night, Daddy. Night,
“Night, folks.” He
said, glancing at both his and
Alan glanced at his wife then back to John and Helena. “Yeah, we should be going too.” Alan said, standing and extending a hand to his wife.
“Tired are you?” Sandra asked with a soft smile as she took Alan’s hand and allowed him to help her up.
“Not really.” Alan said with a grin, causing everyone to laugh. Alan slipped his arm around Sandra’s waist as they headed for the door. “Good night all.”
“Good night you two.”
“Just be sure to follow your own advice.” Sandra called back with a laugh as they left the Koenig’s quarters, following behind Robert and Victoria.
John laughed and stood as he watched his son stand and walk over to them. He smiled as he watched Jonathan lean over and give his mother a kiss.
“Sleep well, Mom.” He said softly.
“You too, Jonathan.”
“I will.” He said and straightened up. He walked with his father to the door. “Dad?”
“Would it be okay if I took a stroll around the base?” He asked, meeting his father’s eyes. “I’m not very tired.”
“Sure, go for it.” John said, placing his hand on Jonathan’s shoulder, giving him a slight squeeze, and nodding slightly.
“Thanks, Dad.” Jonathan said and then stepped closer and gave his father a hug. “See you tomorrow.”
“Good night, son.” John replied, returning his son’s embrace and then stepped back. “Enjoy your walk.”
Jonathan smiled, nodded, and left, John locking the door behind him.
“Those are amazing kids we have.” John said as he slowly made his way over to her, smiling as he watched her put her feet up on the coffee table, crossing them at her ankles. “And as much as I enjoyed having everyone over…” his voice trailed off as he sank down onto the couch, placed his commlock on the table, turned and laid back; resting his head in her lap. “I’m glad we’re alone.”
“So am I.”
John chuckled and reached up to stroke her cheek, his fingers brushing against her hair. He smiled.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Our granddaughter.” He continued to smile. “What a bundle of energy that one is.”
“I’m happy to see someone has inherited your beautiful blonde hair.” John said, his fingers gently pulling a lock between his fingers. “I’ve always loved your hair.”
“I know.” She said with an affectionate smile, her hand on his chest beginning to move around absently.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you something all day.” John said a moment later, his eyes meeting hers. She gave him a look that told him to continue. “That comment Callie made when they first got here. Something about her being right and that I brought the moon back?”
Trying to hide away from the world for a few hours by
losing herself in her work,
Opening the laboratory door,
“It’s a good thing I was prepared for you, young lady or
we’d both be both crumpled on the floor.
You’re getting to be too big for me!”
“I’ll never get to big for hugs and kisses, Gramma. Will
I?” Callie asked as
Helena smiled fondly, smoothing Callie’s blonde hair and then leaned over and spoke quietly as if telling Callie a big secret. “Nobody ever really gets too big for hugs and kisses, Sweetie.”
Callie beamed at her as
<<John would simply be crazy about her!>> the
She shook her head and looked back at Callie. “So, what brings you here, Honey?”
“I made you a new picture, Gramma.” Callie told her, indicating the rolled up piece of paper clutched in her small hand.
“You did? That’s wonderful.”
“It’s a picture of the moon.” Callie said, beginning to unroll the paper and continuing excitedly. “With Grampa piloting Alpha in the sky.”
“Gramma, we gotta have a big birthday party.”
“Why’s that, Honey?”
“Cause, Grampa’s bringing the moon home.” Callie said matter-of-factly.
“I… I bet he would if he could, Callie.”
“He’s gonna, Gramma.” Callie insisted.
“And what makes you say that?”
“Cause he told me.” She said simply.
“He told you?”
“Yeah. I dreamed him last night.” Callie told her. “Grampa told me that he was bringing the moon back to you. That I should tell you.” She smiled. “And that’s why we need a big party.”
“Callie Rose Carter! I thought I told you not to run off.”
Helena turned around to see her daughter standing in the open door, her hands on her hips, giving her own daughter a stern look.
“Don’t, but Mommy me, young lady.”
Callie hung her head and spoke in a small voice, peaking through the hair that had fallen in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
“I know you are, Sweetie. Just don’t do it again.”
“Okay, Mommy.” Callie said, smiling at her mother.
Victoria chuckled and stood up, meeting her mother’s eyes.
“She’s your daughter.”
“Yep.” Callie said proudly. “And you like it, right, Gramma?”
“I love it, Honey.”
“Well, we should be getting home.”
Callie leaned towards
“See you later, Mom.”
Helena walked them to the door of the lab and watched them walk away for a moment, then shut the door. She walked over to the picture Callie had drawn and looked down at it, remembering her granddaughter’s words from just moments ago.
“Oh, Callie… I wish your grandfather could be here for all our birthdays too.” She said softly, tracing the picture with her finger. “I wish it so much.”
She smiled sadly, feeling the tears well in her eyes as she continued to stare at her granddaughter’s drawing of her grandfather. In the child’s drawing, John was as young as when he’d been taken from her; ripped from her life and the lives of their children by the moon’s sudden departure from Nova Canaan.
Callie’s image of her grandfather, Helena knew, was from the home movies… from when her own mother was even younger than Callie was now. The home movies that showed a young, strong, happy John; the happiest man in the universe, as evidenced by the gleam in his eyes. She was too, the happiest woman in the universe.
Back when those videos were taken.
Back when John was still a very real, very active part of their lives.
Now… now she was just…
<<Old.>> she thought. <<I’m no longer that young mother and woman who thrilled John’s heart; who made his eyes light up and his passion rise. Now… I’m just old.>>
Helena took a deep breath as she picked up and folded the picture, putting it in her pocket. She would, as she had with all of Callie’s drawings of the moon and her grandfather, put it up in a spot that would be seen by Callie and show her that her grandmother did indeed love her drawings, but also a spot where Helena would not have to see them everyday. A spot that would not be a painful reminder of what she’d lost.
“Over the years, I grew to dread those parties.” She told him, her hand still absently stroking his hair. “They were just a cruel reminder of another year spent without you. And then with Callie being born on my birthday… needless to say, the parties were now for both of us.”
John reached up and brushed the tears off
“That’s right, she was born on your birthday, wasn’t she?”
John smiled. “You delivered Callie?”
They fell into a comfortable silence, relishing simply being together.
“Did you and Jonathan have a nice talk?” She asked a few minutes later, once again running her fingers through his hair, her other hand still absently moving under his top.
“Mmhmm.” John murmured and shifted his head over slightly in her lap as he reached up and fingered the top button on her blouse.
“What did you talk about?”
“Well, to be honest, Jonathan did most of the talking. I sat and listened as he told me about learning to play baseball, his dream of becoming a doctor like his mother, his interest in girls.” John told her, smiling as he watched her nipples grow hard through the thin material. “Turns out he’s a breast man like his father.”
“It is.” John said, pulling his hand out of her top to undo a couple more buttons, pulling her blouse open and then undoing her bra.
“…John…” It came out in a soft moan as John moved closer, lifting his head to place tiny kisses on the smooth skin between her breasts.
“Yes, my love?” He murmured as his lips began to move across her left breast.
“Aren’t you going to tell me what else you and our son talked about?” She asked him softly as his lips closed around her nipple. She moaned, her hand in his hair tightening slightly. “John…”
John released her breast and raised his eyes to meet hers. “I thought my intentions were obvious.” He leaned closer and placed light, little kisses over her breasts again. “I’m planning on doing some serious making out with my wife.”
“Is that so?”
“It is.” John grinned and moved closer. Just as his lips grazed her breast, his commlock sounded. John groaned and his head fell back into her lap as he reached out to grab the offending device. “Who could that be?” He pressed the appropriate stud. “Yes?”
“Sorry to bother you, Dad…” came
John glanced up at
“Oh.” He sighed as he watched her do up the last button and then sat up as he pressed the button that would open the door.
“Yes. As a matter of fact you did.”
John grinned and glanced at his wife as she responded, seeing the amusement in her eyes. He chuckled and reached out to grasp her hand, pulling it to his lips.
“Have a good night, Mom.”
“Oh, I plan on it.”
The two women parted and smiled at each other as
“Try not to wear him out, Mom.”
The door slid shut as John laughed at the look on
John didn’t answer as he moved one of his hands from behind his
head, reached out, grabbed her hand, and pulled her down on top of him.
“Now I’m comfy.” He told her softly, bringing his other hand out from behind his head to rest about her shoulder, his fingers brushing against her hair.
They relaxed in each other’s arms, talking quietly; doing some more catching up and making some plans for when they were back on Nova Canaan, together. After a time, they fell silent and simply cuddled, savouring the feel and the comfort that they were again in each other’s arms, the reality of the situation still not completely having sunk in.
“Mmm?” She snuggled closer to him, her hand sliding up his chest to rest on his other shoulder.
John moved his head and glanced down at her, smiling as he saw that she had fallen asleep. He’d wanted to talk with her about something, but as he gazed at her relaxed, peaceful face, he decided that it could wait.
Slowly John sat them up and cradling her in his arms, he
gently stood and carried her to their bed and laid her on it. Carefully, so as not to wake her, John
removed her clothes, his own quickly following.
He crawled in beside her and drew the blankets over them, reaching out
to dim the lights. As he settled back
against his pillow,
“Good night, Love.” He whispered against her hair as his arms tightened around her.
“…Love you, John.”
John smiled as he closed his eyes.
** ** **
The following morning, sitting next to Helena with his arm draped over her shoulder, John was only half paying attention to the conversation that was drifting around the table; his attention was more focused on the woman beside him as she added her comments to the story Alan was telling about something the kids had done when they were little. And although he heard the words, they didn’t really register, and he knew it was because he was paying may more attention to the sound of her voice. Being able to hear it again and having it sound so close to his ears was making him deliriously happy.
“And the next thing you know, Alan is stomping over to pull
the kids out of the mud, slips and falls face first into it.”
John chuckled. “I bet it was.”
“Not half as priceless as when
John laughed and pulled
Everyone at the table laughed as
The conversation drifted onto other topics and at one point, John looked down to see that his cup was empty.
He leaned towards his wife. “I’m going to get another coffee. Would you like another?”
“Mmm… yes please.” She smiled at him and handed him her cup.
He gave her a quick kiss and then stood with cups in hand and made his way across the room to the coffee urn.
“I think I’ll help myself to another cup as well. You?” Alan said, looking at his wife.
Sandra shook her head. “No thanks, I’m fine.”
Alan nodded, pushed his chair back, stood, and followed
after John. As he approached, he noticed
that John had placed his and
He was not surprised to see that his friend’s gaze was locked on Helena, who was sitting across the room, still talking away with Sandra. He glanced back up at John and smiled at the look in his eyes.
“Wake up, Skipper!” Alan clapped John on the shoulder. “The way you’re mooning over her, you’d think you hadn’t seen her in years.”
“Am I that obvious?” John laughed as he tore his gaze away from his wife and looked at his friend.
“Yeah, but it’s understandable.” Alan said still smiling. “This is real, John. The two of you are really together.”
“I know.” John smiled and then leaned back against the wall, his eyes once again falling on his wife. He continued. “I can’t tell you how much I missed this, Alan. This…” he gestured to himself and Helena and looked back at Alan. “Simply being able to watch her from across the room. Just being able to do it is such a wonderful feeling.”
Alan watched as
“I was dying without her, Alan.” John said in a quiet voice a few moments
later, his eyes still on
Alan nodded silently as he met John’s gaze, knowing he would have felt the same way if he’d been ripped away from Sandra and Bobbie like that.
“It was like that for
John looked at Alan as his voice trailed off. “The memorial?”
“The memorial.” Alan
nodded. “We knew it would hurt her but
in the long run, we figured it would be better for her. Help her to come to terms with… with losing
you. To move on.” He shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry now we didn’t have her faith. Despite what everyone else thought and said,
“You did what you felt was right.” John said. “I don’t know if I would have done it any different had I been in your place.”
“Well, I’m glad she was right and we were wrong.” Alan said as both of them turned to look at
their wives again. He smiled. “I haven’t seen
Both men suddenly chuckled as they watched Callie scramble
out of her mother’s lap to slip under the table and hop up into
“Alan, I’ve been thinking about something.” John said with a smile as he watched his
granddaughter steal a piece of fruit off
“Lay it on me.”
Alan smiled. “Say no more. Just tell me what you would like me to do and consider it done.”
“Thanks, Alan.” John said. “I already have Jonathan working on few things, but he’s going to need some help.”
“No need to thank me, John. I’m happy to do it.” Alan said and thought to himself. “And this will also give me a chance to take care of that other little detail.”
John smiled and as they turned to the now finished pot of coffee, John told Alan what it was he wanted him to do and then both men returned to their family.
** ** **
“Mmm… it’s nice to be home.”
“Yes it is.” John agreed as he dipped his head and brushed his lips along her neck to her ear where he whispered softly. “But home for me, is wherever you are.”
“So tell me, Mrs. Koenig. What would you like to do, now that we’re home?” John asked her as he continued to nibble on her neck.
“Is that so?”
“You have a one track mind.” John laughed, kissing the tip of her nose.
“Is that what it is?”
John asked with a grin as
“I’d like nothing more right now, then to take you upstairs and help you release some of that sexual energy.” John told her as he slowly moved out of her arms. “But I’m afraid it will have to wait for a little while longer.”
“Because of this.” John said as he swung open the door and gestured for her to enter before him.
She reached her hand up behind her to cup his cheek as she turned her head to smile at him. She placed a loving kiss on his lips and whispered back. “Thank you.”
John smiled at her and gave her another quick kiss. “Happy Birthday, my love.”
“Happy Birthday, Gramma!” Callie said as she pulled her hand out of her mother’s and ran over to her grandmother.
“Happy Birthday to you too, Callie.”
“See, Gramma, I told you we’d have a big party and that Grampa would be here.” Callie said with a smile.
John smiled and slipped his arm about
Some time later, the party having dwindled down to just
their closest friends and family,
“Have a good time?” He asked her softly, reaching up with his other hand to brush his fingers against her cheek.
“Mmhmm.” She murmured, placing her hand on his chest and leaning closer to kiss him. When the kiss ended, she settled back against the couch and glanced at Alan, Sandra, and her kids. “Now I know why you guys left Alpha so soon.”
She shook her head as they simply grinned.
“Well, the party’s not quite over yet. There’s one more gift you haven’t opened yet.” Alan said reaching behind him on the chair he was sitting in. He brought out a large, flat, wrapped item and held it out to her. “It’s a gift from the whole community.”
“Well… it’s more than just a birthday gift.” He told her.
John leaned closer and a smile came to his face as he saw
what she held in her hands. He met
“This monument, once a reminder of those we thought lost to us in the moon’s second Breakaway, now stands as a tribute to them and their strength of will. Men and women who despite all odds, not only survived but found their way home again.”
John’s voice trailed off as he finished reading the inscription
and his eyes moved over the list of names, beginning with his own. He saw
“Does it meet your approval?”
“We were also hoping you’d be the one to take down the old plaque and put this one in it’s place.”
“I’d love to.”
Everyone in the room smiled.
“Comfy?” She asked him with a smile.
He shifted so that he could lay his head on her shoulder and replied as he reached out and clasped her hand in his, resting them in her lap. “Now I am.”
A short time later she felt John’s head slide a little off her shoulder and glanced down to see that he’d fallen asleep. She felt him shift against her and before she knew it, he’d pulled his legs up onto the couch and his head was resting in her lap. She glanced up to see everyone had a bemused smile on his or her face.
“Do you remember,”
“Radiation-hungry creatures?” Jonathan asked as he saw everyone else nodding their heads.
Alan and Tony quickly explained the ‘adventure’ to the kids.
“And your father, after having ordered everyone on Alpha to
be knocked out and complaining about having to wait for them to wake up,”
“Dad really fell asleep in his chair?”
“Oh yeah.” Tony told her, still chuckling. “He was out cold.”
“Much like now.” Alan
said with a laugh, looking over at his sleeping friend. He met
Sandra swatted her husband’s arm as
Around her, everyone exchanged smiles, enjoying seeing
The conversation was interrupted as John suddenly sat up, calling her name in an anguished whisper.
“What, Honey? I’m
John looked at her and grasped her outstretched hand, holding it tightly, willing his pounding heart to calm down. He took a deep breath and returned the gentle pressure of her hand, nodding his head slightly to let her know he was okay.
“You all right, John?”
At the sound of Victor’s voice, John turned with a slightly embarrassed smile to see that everyone was still around. He nodded.
“Yeah, Victor. I’m
fine.” John said then admitted
sheepishly as he shifted on the couch and drew
“Are you sure?”
Again he nodded and brought her fingers to his lips. “So, what did I miss?”
With a small chuckle, Alan filled him in and the conversation once again turned to the moon’s adventures of the last five years.
John slipped his arms around
“What’s that old saying,” John said softly against her ear. “Alone at last?”
“And high time too.”
“So, Mrs. Koenig… now that we’re finally alone, what would
you like to do?”
Grinning to herself,
A delighted laugh escaped her lips as John suddenly swept her up into his arms, his mouth seeking hers for a long, ardent kiss. He broke off the kiss and smiled at her as he carried her into the house.
** ** **
John glanced over his shoulder as he made his way to the
window, to see
“Now this is the birthday present I’ve been waiting all day
“Is that so?” John asked with a grin as he opened the window to allow the warm breeze into the room and then slowly made his way back to the bed.
“Mmhmm.” She murmured
as John crawled back into the bed and settled himself between her legs, leaning
back against her with his head resting back against her shoulder.
John laughed as he ran his hands over her legs, caressing from her thighs to her calves and back again. “What do you think?”
“I think… I think that I am going to die, one very satisfied
“What is it?” She asked again a few moments later when he still hadn’t spoken.
John closed his eyes, images from his dream earlier, playing across his eyelids; he shivered and squeezed her hands tighter as he slowly shook his head, willing the images away.
“John? Does this have anything to do with that dream?” He nodded slowly.
John shook his head. “I’d rather forget it.”
“More disturbing than anything else.”
“Maybe if you talk about it… it’ll help.”
John took a deep breath and pulled her arms tighter around him. “We were sitting in our chair.” He began, gesturing with his head at the large, overstuffed chair under the window. “You were curled up in my lap and we were star gazing. We weren’t talking… simply enjoying holding each other.”
He paused and
“It was nice. Just
the two of us and then… and then it changed.
You were still with me. Still in my
lap… but you…” his voice trailed off and
Pressing her body tightly against his, she pressed her lips against his shoulder. “Oh, John! Oh, Honey… no! Don’t even think that! I’m fine.”
John tilted his head sideways to rest against hers as he took in a deep breath, nodding slightly, still clutching her hands tightly, and continuing to press them to his lips.
“I know… I know you wouldn’t keep something like that from me.”
“That’s right. I wouldn’t keep something like that from you.” She stroked his cheek. “And I have no plans on leaving you any time in the near future.”
John moved his hands up along her back, pulling her closer so that their foreheads rested together and when he spoke, it was in a quiet voice. “It’s just… I’ve just gotten you back and part of me is still having a hard time believing that I’m home and that I’ve actually got you in my arms.”
“I know, John. I
know. I feel the same way.”
“The age difference that’s between us now.” She told him. “Because no matter which way you look at it… I’m now older than you.”
“And I’ve already told you, it doesn’t matter.”
“Maybe not now. But, John what about in another fifteen, twenty years?”
“What about it?”
“You’ll be my age now and I’ll still be a number of years
older than you.”
“Yes I can.” John
pulled back and met her eyes as he nodded.
“I love you too.” She said softly, still stroking his hair.
They gazed into each other’s eyes and then moved even closer together, their lips meeting in a ravenous kiss; needing to show each other with actions what they’d just shared with words.
As they continued to kiss each other feverishly, John’s
hands slowly moved down along
John moaned softly as Helena drew her nails down his chest as she slowly straightened up on him and straddled his hips; lifting herself slightly so that his fingers could continue stroking her. He smiled as her hand moved to his wrist, but didn’t stop him and then groaned as he felt her other hand reach down, encircle his hard member and begin stroking him.
They continued to stimulate each other with their hands
until John felt
“…John…” his name was a low moan on her lips as their bodies joined completely, causing a small tremor to pass up and through her body. She stretched herself out over him and gave him a long, deep kiss before straightening back up and lacing her fingers with his where they still rested on her hips.
Their eyes locked and
At the feel of her hands on his chest, John suddenly felt the need to feel more of her skin against his and sat up, wrapping his arms around her; pulling her close and covering her mouth with his for a passionate, hungry kiss. He trailed his lips down her throat, whispering his love for her as he kissed and nipped the soft skin.
Helena slid her hands up his chest, over his shoulders and into his dark hair, moaning as his lips moved down to her breast and captured her nipple in his mouth, swirling his tongue over the sensitive peak before moving to do the same to her other breast. He slowly kissed his way back up to her lips.
“I love you.” He whispered against her lips, kissing her again as he began to thrust gently into her.
John held still, watching as her release surged through her. Moments later, she looked down at him, a look of delicious rapture on her face.
“Do you have any idea how beautiful you are when you’re lost in the throes of your orgasm?” He asked her in a husky voice, smiling at her.
John held onto the headboard with her, lifting his hips in time with her thrusts, feeling his own release to be very near. He moaned her name and pulled his hands away from the headboard, one hand grasping her hip the other moving between their bodies to stroke her, wanting her to reach her release with him. He moved his hand from between them to her hip and held her to him as he thrust into her one last time.
They cried out each other’s names as they reached their releases together, their bodies shuddering against each other as the sensations overwhelmed them both and left them breathless.
“Don’t.” John rasped,
holding her tight against him. “Don’t
move … I wanna feel you close to me.” He felt
They lay together, bathed in the moonlight, simply holding
each other and not talking; enjoying the silence and the comfort of each
other’s presence. Before long, they fell
into a deep, satisfied sleep;
** ** **
With a satisfied sigh,
Her head was pillowed on his left arm as she and John lay on their sides facing each other, their legs entwined; his right arm draped over her waist protectively. Her arms were curled up between them and her hands rested against his chest. She could feel his breath on her face and could hear his gentle snoring, which was music to her ears after so many years.
She smiled again, loving the sensation of waking up and being held in John’s embrace. This, she realized with a contented sigh, she would never get tired of.
She luxuriated in his arms for a few more minutes, simply enjoying being held by him and then, with a glance over his shoulder at the clock, she decided to get up and see about starting breakfast.
Gently, so as not to wake him, she brushed a kiss against his lips and then reached out to grasp the wrist of the arm he had around her waist. She’d just begun to lift it and also untangle her legs from his, when John’s hold of her suddenly tightened and he woke up, a half-startled expression on his face.
“Wha...?” He groaned, more asleep then awake. “
“I’m just going to make breakfast.” She told him softly, continuing her effort to move out of his arms. “Go back to sleep.”
“Mmm… no… not hungry.” He murmured, closing his eyes again, his arms tightening even more, pulling her closer as he buried his face in her neck. “Stay.”
“Breakfast can wait.” She thought with a happy sigh and closed her eyes.
Within moments she’d fallen back asleep, still locked in her lover’s arms.
** ** **
John awoke early and glanced over at his wife who lay curled up on her side facing him, her one arm stretched out so that her hand lay on his chest. He smiled as he watched her and then his smile grew even more as he remembered what day it was.
And more importantly, what he had planned for today.
He gently lifted her hand from his chest and brought it to his lips, kissing her palm tenderly, then placed it on the mattress and then gently climbed out of bed. He grabbed his robe and pulled it on.
With a final glance at his sleeping beauty, he quietly left their bedroom, leaving the door slightly ajar. As John moved silently down the stairs, his thoughts turned back to the last few months.
Although he and Helena had pretty much fallen back into their lives together, it hadn’t been all sunshine and roses. They’d had to learn to live, actually live, together again and deal with the few habits each had developed during their separation. And when things would look like they were going to get out of hand, they would both suddenly remember, at the same time, the time they’d spent apart, the hell they’d had to endure apart and would pull each other into a fierce embrace; after which they would calmly discuss the matter at hand and reach an understanding.
John grinned as he set about making the coffee, admitting to
himself as he gathered up some various fruit for breakfast, that even though he
hated fighting with
He chuckled as he arranged the fruit on the tray and as the coffee finished brewing, he stepped out through the kitchen door and moved over the rose bush they’d planted together just after they’d built their house. He looked over all the blooms and selected the fullest one. He carried it back inside, carefully removed all the thorns and extra leaves, and then placed it in the vase on the tray.
John poured the coffee into the two waiting mugs and placed them on the tray. Satisfied that he had everything, he picked up the tray and headed back upstairs.
Entering their bedroom, John smiled again as he saw that she was still sleeping. She’d turned over and was now facing the door, but was still curled up in a loose ball. He placed the tray on the dresser and reached for the rose, pulling it out of the vase.
Quietly, he made his way over to her and sat gently on the edge of the bed beside her. He drew the rose softly down her bare arm, smiling softly as she shifted slightly. He did it again and watched as she rolled onto her back, the sheet that was covering her, falling so that it just covered her breasts.
With the faintest of touches, John drew the rose along the swell of her breasts, moving it slowly up her neck and over her face. He traced her cheekbones with the soft petals, noticing the soft smile tugging on the corners of her lips, but able to tell by her breathing that she was still sleeping. He moved the velvety petals over the lids of her eyes and down the bridge of her nose to softly caress her lips before resting the deep, red bloom against her lips, under her nose.
“Good morning.” He
replied just as quiet against her lips.
He smiled lovingly at her and brought his hand up to caress her
cheek. “…Happy Anniversary,
Her eyes went wide for a moment and then a big smile came to her lips and lit her eyes. “Happy Anniversary.”
Their lips came together again in another long kiss. They parted breathlessly some moments later and smiled lovingly at each other.
“I smell coffee.” She said and then gave him a coy smile. “Does this mean I’m getting breakfast in bed?”
John grinned, nodded and gave her another quick kiss and
then stood and walked over to get the tray.
When he turned back to her, tray in hands, he found
“This is wonderful, John.”
John simply smiled at her as he reached for his coffee and a piece of fruit. “So,” he asked a couple minutes later. “What anniversary is this for us?”
“I thought so.” He said with a small chuckle, reaching for another piece of fruit.
“I don’t know.”
Their conversation turned to other things as they continued
to eat. Twenty minutes later, John
placed his empty cup back on the tray and reached for the last piece of fruit
at the same time as
“Enjoy it.” John told her and lifted the tray away as she took the piece of fruit and popped it into her mouth. He slipped out of the bed and carried the tray over to the dresser. He walked back over and sat on the edge of the bed beside her, taking her left hand in his, glancing down as he fingered her wedding band.
“What are you thinking?” She asked, reaching to touch his cheek, seeing the thoughtful look on his face.
“I’m thinking…” he began and lifted his gaze to hers and smiled. “That I am married to the most beautiful woman in the universe.”
“You always were a sweet-talker.”
“I was also thinking of a way to solve our anniversary dilemma.”
“And… did you come up with a solution?”
“As a matter of fact, I did.” John smiled at her and slid off the edge of
the bed to kneel on one knee before her.
Still holding her left hand in his, he raised her knuckles to his lips
and pressed a kiss against her ring. “
“Of course, I’ll remarry you.”
“Today.” John said, covering her mouth with his, pressing her back against the pillows.
“Today?” She asked breathlessly.
“Today.” He said, kissing her again. “So, what do you say…”
His lips moved down her throat.
“You hop into the shower.”
He brushed his lips over the swell of her breasts.
“Make yourself look even more gorgeous than usual.”
He kissed her shoulders.
“If that’s even remotely possible.”
“And meet me downstairs in thirty minutes.”
John raised his head and chuckled at the look on her face. “Forty-five?”
She smiled and nodded. “Forty-five.”
John smiled and kissed her again as he sat them up. He broke off the kiss, stood and then reached for her hands and pulled her out of the bed and into his arms.
“Just what do you have planned, John Koenig?” She searched his eyes.
John simply smiled and steered her towards the bathroom. “C’mon, get going. Your time is running out.”
John chuckled and grinned to himself as he gathered the tray and left the bedroom.
Forty-five minutes later, John was standing by the
fireplace, dressed in the same dark suit he’d worn the first time he exchanged
John turned, his eyes growing wide, his breath catching in his throat as he let his eyes drift over her. She stood on the bottom step, a soft smile on her face; dressed in the white slip dress.
“I wasn’t sure this dress would still fit.”
“Oh...” John said, letting his eyes move appreciatively down
her body. “It fits. It fits beautifully.” He brought his eyes back to hers. “
John smiled at her and drew her close for a gentle, loving kiss.
“So… now what?” She asked softly.
“Now…” John said, taking her hands in his and leading towards the door. “We’re going for a little walk.”
“And where are we going?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.” John said, pulling her through the door with him. When they were on the porch, he stopped them. “But first thing’s first. Do you trust me?”
“With my life.” She gave him a look as he moved to step behind her. “Why? Just what do you have planned, John?”
“To insure that you can’t peek or otherwise guess at where I’m taking you. I’m going to blindfold you.” He slipped a soft, white scarf over her eyes and secured it gently behind her head. “That’s not too tight is it?”
“Yes it is. I know you. And I know you can’t resist peeking.”
“Well… that’s the added bonus to this little plan of
“Like you need an excuse.” She smiled and slipped her arms about his neck as he began to walk towards their destination.
Twenty minutes later, John stopped and gently lowered her to her feet and placed his hands on her shoulders, turning her gently.
“Okay… let’s get this off you.” He said as he reached behind her and carefully removed the scarf.
“You ready for your surprise?” John asked her with a soft smile on his face. She nodded and with his hands on her shoulders, he slowly turned her around.
Gathered before them, all with smiles on their faces were, not only their closest friends and family but also the entire Alphan community. Off to the side, a large canopy had been raised and there were tables and chairs set up underneath it. And just at the lake’s edge, at the end of the makeshift aisle, there was a beautiful, wooden arbor with intricately carved climbing roses on each of the four posts.
“My secret.” He whispered against her ear as he leaned closer. He kissed her cheek and then moved to stand beside her. He offered her his arm. “Shall we go get married again, Mrs. Koenig?”
“With pleasure.” He grinned at her.
Soft music began to play and everyone stood as they slowly made their way down the aisle between the rows of their friends.
“Doesn’t Gramma look pretty, Daddy?”
“You’re right, Pumpkin. Your Gramma does look real pretty today.” John said with a wink at his granddaughter. “In fact, she looks much better than pretty, don’t you think?”
Callie nodded her head enthusiastically as John chuckled and
straightened up. He smiled at his wife
and the two of them continued their journey down the aisle. He felt
“The twins…” she whispered. “You asked them to stand up with us?”
John smiled and nodded. “And I asked Victor to officiate.”
“You look fabulous, Mom.”
Jonathan shared a smile with his twin as the two of them stepped up behind their parents and moved to stand beside them.
Victor smiled, cleared his throat, and began the ceremony.
John and Helena turned to face each other, reaching for and holding each other’s hands tightly as Victor’s words faded into background noise. They lost themselves in the brightness of each other’s eyes; everything and everyone around them disappearing, leaving just the two of them alone in their own little universe as they re-affirmed their love and commitment to each other.
“Happy, Mrs. Koenig?” John whispered against her ear as they held each other close and swayed slowly to a softly playing love song.
John smiled and leaned down to give her a gentle kiss.
“So, how do you like my solution to our little dilemma?”
“I love it. It’s perfect, John.” She glanced around at all their friends, some of them dancing, others sitting at the tables and talking. She looked back up at him, reaching up to cup his cheek. “Everything is perfect.”
John smiled and pulled her close again as another slow song began.
There’s ship out
On the ocean
At the mercy of the sea
It’s been tossed about
Lost and broken
And God somehow you know
Cause there’s a lighthouse
In a harbour
Pouring it’s light out
Across the water
For this sinking soul it sees
That someone out there
On a prayer
In a song
I hear your voice
And it keeps me hanging on, on
Against the wind
I’m reaching out
Till we reach the circle’s end
“I’d say so.”
Their lips came together for a soft kiss.
There’s a moment
That we all come to
In our own time
And our own space
Where all that we’ve done
We can undo
If our heart’s in the right place
On a prayer
In a song
I hear your voice
And it keeps me hanging on, on
Against the wind
I’m reaching out
Till we reach the circle’s end
And you come back to me again
And again I see
My yesterdays in front of me
Unfolding like a mystery
You’re changing all that is
And used to be
On a prayer
In a song
I hear your voice
And it keeps me hanging on, on
Against the wind
I’m reaching out
Till we reach the circle’s end
When you come back to me again
The song ended and Helena raised her head off his shoulder and sighed happily as John’s mouth covered hers in a passionate kiss, which caused everyone around them to smile and applaud. They broke apart, smiling sheepishly.
“Come on, Mrs. Koenig. Let’s go get something to drink.” John said, slipping his arm about her waist and leading her off the makeshift dance floor as a faster song began.
They sat out the next few songs, neither one really interested in the fast ones. Just as the next slow song began, they saw Jonathan walking towards them.
“May I have this dance?” Jonathan asked his mother.
John smiled as he watched his son lead his mother out on to the dance floor. He glanced around and then stood.
“You look happy, Mom.” Jonathan told her as they glided across the floor.
“That’s because I am happy, Sweetie.”
Jonathan smiled at the happy look on his mother’s face. “Well, you always said he’d come back to you, despite the odds. And he did.”
“Yes, he did.”
“And it’s so obvious how much Dad loves you.” Jonathan said. “You can see it on his face when he looks at you.”
“You should have seen him working on that arbor. Making sure that every detail was precise and accurate.”
“You mean… your father made that?”
“Well… you know all those little emergencies we had in the
“No… you mean to tell me…”
“Yep.” Jonathan nodded. “Dad asked us to keep you occupied while he was working on it to keep you from getting suspicious.”
“We didn’t do much. Dad did everything.” Jonathan told her. “It was his idea. He made all the plans, got everything organized. All we had to do was keep you busy and show up.” He paused and smiled.
Jonathan chuckled. “Yes, ma’am.”
“I have never seen Mom look so happy.”
John smiled at his daughter as they danced and glanced over at his wife and son. “She is glowing, isn’t she?”
“Yes she is. And it’s
all because you’ve come back.”
“Your mother is an amazing woman.” John told her. “The most amazing woman I have ever known. And being back with her… is the fulfillment of all my dreams.”
“Hers too, Dad. Hers too.”
John looked back at
Jonathan saw the smile on his mother’s face grow and light up her eyes and nodded to himself when he followed her gaze to see his father dancing with his sister but gazing at his mother.
As the two couples danced closer together, Jonathan suddenly stopped dancing, turned to his father, and smiled.
“Wanna switch partners?”
“Not that I don’t like dancing with your sister,” John answered with a smile. “But I thought you’d never ask.”
All four chuckled as they switched partners.
“Come here, Mrs. Koenig.”
Oblivious to the cheers from their friends and family, John and Helena continued to kiss as they began to slowly dance to the soft music; their bodies pressed tightly together.
“You are an incredible man, John Koenig.”
“I just found out from our son, that you made that beautiful arbor.” She said, slipping her hands into his hair. “And that you’re responsible for all of this.”
John simply smiled and pulled her closer. “I wanted today to be special for you… for us.”
“Just being back in your arms makes it special.”
John moved his hands slowly up and down her back as they continued to sway to the music, resting his forehead against hers as he whispered. “Likewise.”
“I love you so much, John.”
“And I you, my love.”
Just as their lips met in another kiss,
“And what can we do for you, young lady?”
“Want to dance with yous.” Callie told them.
Helena and John smiled.
“What a wonderful idea, Pumpkin.” John said as he stepped back from
“Me and Gramma, right, Grampa?” Callie
asked with a smile as she wrapped one arm around his neck, the other moving
“Right, Pumpkin. You and Gramma.” John smiled as he once again began to move to the music; feeling happier and more content then he had in years.
“What do you say we get out of here?” John whispered into his wife’s ear much later in the evening. “I have a few other plans for this evening, that I’d like to put in motion.”
“Well,” John began; sliding his hands down sides to her hips and pulled her closer. “I’d like to take my wife home, bring her upstairs and make mad, passionate love to her for the rest of the night. That is, if she’s agreeable.”
“I’m so glad.” John grinned, gave her a long, deep kiss, and then slipped her arm around her shoulders as he led her across the dance floor. “Come on, Mrs. Koenig. Let’s blow this pop-stand.”
“Right beside you, Mr. Koenig.”
** ** **
Tending to her garden,
“Well, what do you think?”
Sitting on the bench he’d added to the arbor since their
anniversary three months earlier, John looked up from the toy he was carving
for Callie at
“Looks good.” He said.
“You really think so?”
“Mmhmm.” John said. “I especially like how you’ve got the white marigolds surrounding the rose bush.”
John watched her for a moment longer, an affectionate smile forming on his lips and then went back to his woodcarving.
A short while later, they both heard approaching footsteps and looked up.
“If it isn’t my favourite physician coming to pay a
“Hiya, Sport.” John waved at his son with a big grin.
Jonathan gave his father a small smile as he waved back and then continued over to his mother. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and then took her gloves from her hands, dropping them to the ground as he reached for and took her hands.
Jonathan pulled his mother into a protective hug, one hand going to the back of her head as he bent low to lay his head on her shoulder and met his father’s eyes; the look in his, causing his father to freeze. When he spoke, his voice was quiet and trembling but still loud enough for John to hear.
“Uncle Victor… he died last night in his sleep.”
Jonathan felt his mother suddenly begin to sob and saw his father’s eyes grow wide and then mist with tears before he hung his head, whispering his friend’s name.
Jonathan simply nodded and then watched as his mother moved over to join his father on the bench.
Their eyes locked and then suddenly they were in each other’s arms, holding each other in a fierce embrace; both of them sobbing openly.
Jonathan remained where he was, watching with some small relief; once again thankful that his father was here, that they would be able to face this together and be there for each other. He hung his head, feeling his own grief at the loss of his uncle and unofficial grandfather.
He looked up suddenly when he heard his mother call his name and then slowly walked over to them as she waved him over. He knelt down before them and began to cry in earnest as his father pulled him to them in a protective hug.
The three held each other and cried at their shared loss.
** ** **
Knowing Victor would not have wanted a long, drawn-out affair surrounding his death, his funeral was held the next day. A simple ceremony and then a gathering afterwards for everyone to share their memories of the brilliant man who’d touched all their lives.
From across the room,
She turned suddenly when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“I think given the circumstances, we’re all feeling a little
like that today.” Bob said and looked at
her a little more closely. “There’s
something else bothering you. What is
“But what?” Bob asked
as her voice trailed off. “
“I know.” She said and then turned back to him, her eyes filled with tears. “But I’m also so much older than him now, Bob.”
“He is perfectly healthy. As are you.” Bob said, reaching out to take her hand and giving it a friendly squeeze. “My advice to you is to not dwell on it. You two have been given a second chance at a life together. Enjoy it. Not many people are given the gift you and John have been given. And odds are, the both of you will live a long and happy life… together.” He paused and smiled at her. “In fact, I’d bet money on it.”
“What are friends for?” Bob replied, returning her hug. As they parted, Bob placed his hand back on her shoulder. “C’mon, what do you say about getting a cup of tea and share some memories?”
“That sounds nice.” She glanced over once again at John and Victoria and smiled at the small smile that was now on her daughter’s face as she rested her head on her father’s shoulder, his arm still hung protectively over her shoulders. She looked back at Bob and then slipped her arm through his and let him lead her to another corner of the room.
Walking through the crowded room, looking for her husband,
“How you doing, Sport?” She asked her son as she placed her hand on his shoulder.
“I’m doing okay I guess, Mom.” Jonathan answered, untangling himself from the woman with him to embrace his mother. “As okay as anyone can be at a time like this.”
“I’ll be okay, Mom.” Susan said quietly.
“I know you will.”
“How are your parents doing?”
“They’re doing okay.” Susan said. “I think Dad’s still in shock, but Mom’s with him.”
“Speaking of your folks,” Jonathan said. “I think they’re getting ready to leave. You said you wanted to talk to them.”
“That’s right, I did.”
She stepped over and embraced
“Lord, am I beat.” John said as he crawled into bed, pulling the sheet up and reaching for his wife.
“So am I.”
They lay together, the sound of their breathing mixing with the various sounds of the night that drifted through their open window.
“I still can’t believe he’s gone.”
“I guess I thought… he’d live forever. He was always so full of life. So full of energy.” He felt
“And the kids… it’s like they’ve lost their
grandfather.” John continued; growing
slightly distracted as
John looked into
“Let’s make love, John.” She murmured against his ear, running her hands down his chest, raining tender kisses over his face as she rolled onto his chest.
Feeling her warm body pressing against his and also feeling
the sudden need to embrace life, John slid his hands into his wife’s hair and
pulled her mouth to his for a passionate yet gentle kiss; their tears
intermingling as John rolled them over, pinning
He broke off the kiss to move his lips over her face, tasting her tears as he kissed them away. He heard her moan softly as his lips soon followed his hands down her body; touching and kissing her everywhere, worshipping every inch of her.
John slowly kissed his way back up her body to her
Slowly, after giving her a long, lingering kiss, John rolled over onto his back, pulling her with him and then sat up. Her legs moved to either side of him as she straddled him. She wound her arms about his shoulders and her hands moved into his hair as he dipped his head to place little kisses all along her chest and again on her neck and shoulders.
John moved his lips back to hers and gave her a passionate kiss and then locked his eyes with hers as his hands moved to clasp her hips gently in his hands, lifting her and then slowly lowering her onto his rigid member; pressing into her deeply but gently.
Neither one moved. John laid his cheek against her chest, listening to the pounding of her heart as her hands leisurely caressed his back. He pressed a tender kiss against her breast and then lifted his head to once again meet her eyes. She smiled lovingly at him as she leaned towards him and placed soft kisses on his eyelids.
“I love you.” It was whispered together as they began to move in an age-old rhythm of love, their bodies rocking together gently.
John reached up to capture her lips as he continued to slowly move inside her; keeping a slow and steady rhythm; his hands moving once again up and down her back, enjoying the feel of her warm, damp skin beneath his fingers.
John’s lips left hers to trail down her throat to her breasts, licking and kissing her already stiff nipples; smiling as they grew even harder beneath his tongue. He continued to suckle at her breasts, feeling her body begin to quiver as the beginnings of her orgasm began to take hold.
Her hands dropped to his shoulders and she leaned back, biting her lower lip as she arched her lower body against him, increasing the connection of their bodies and allowing the sensations that were growing and beginning to course throughout her body, to intensify.
As her body continued to quiver, John slid his hands up her back, over her shoulders and into her hair; bringing her lips back to his for an ardent kiss as he lay back on the bed. He pulled her with him and rolled them over, covering her body with his own.
John could feel his release nearing and began to move faster
inside her, his thrusts becoming shorter and faster. Suddenly
He stopped moving; burying himself inside her and holding himself up on his arms above her, watching her body tremble beneath his; her eyes closing as she rode out the wave of pleasure that washed over her. She opened her eyes to see John looking down at her with a tender smile on his face and gave him a breathless smile as she slid a hand from his shoulder to cup his cheek; her eyes sparkling at him.
John leaned down and gave her a hungry kiss as he began
thrusting into her again. They moaned into
each other’s mouths before John raised himself back up onto his arms to thrust
into her with more urgency. Suddenly he
cried out her name as his release exploded from deep inside him with such force
that he collapsed on top of her, his body trembling violently; his face buried
in her neck as he struggled to catch his breath. His release triggered another smaller orgasm
in her and
Some time later, pressing a kiss to her shoulder, John raised his head and they smiled at each other. He placed a long, loving kiss against her mouth and then rolled off her onto his side and gathered her into his arms.
“How you feeling?” He asked softly, his lips moving against her forehead, his hands caressing her back.
“Would you believe… happy?” John murmured, pulling her closer, entangling his legs with hers. “Happy… and very alive.”
** ** **
John slowly crossed his arms over his chest and met his
wife’s cool gaze. He spoke in a low,
warning voice. “
“Oh… no… don’t even think of using that tone with me, John
“Well, you sure as hell implied it.” She said in a low voice. “So much for the age difference not really mattering.”
“You know it doesn’t make a difference.” John told her emphatically. “I’ve told you that over and over.” He reached out to place his hands on her
shoulders, trying to lower and soften his voice, not wanting to fight with her
but still feeling some tension. “…
He was surprised when she placed her hands on his chest and shoved him away, giving him a dark look.
“What the hell’s gotten into you?” John demanded, his voice rising again, the anger returning.
And then to John’s surprise,
“Where the hell did that come from?” He said out loud to himself, his thoughts racing as he replayed the last thirty minutes in his mind. He’d come in from his run, hoping to talk her into spending a quiet afternoon by the lake and found her heading out to help out at the clinic.
“Where you going?” John asked as he stepped up behind her and slipped his arms about her waist. He nuzzled her neck. “I was hoping to talk you into spending some quiet time with your husband down by the lake.”
“Oh, John… I would love that.” Helena sighed, leaning back against him, turning her head to accept his kiss. “But, with this cold virus still going around… I can’t afford to take any time off.”
He’d not been able to finish his sentence as
“And all hell broke loose.” John said aloud, moving out onto the porch as their fight once again flashed through his mind. He shook his head again. He still had no real idea what the hell they’d been fighting about.
He sighed and then frowned as that restless, unbalanced feeling he always got when he and Helena fought, began to creep up on him. He nodded to no one as he reached out and shut the front door. He knew what he had to do and set out after his wife.
By the time she reached the clinic,
Slowly she moved to her desk and sank down into her chair, her mind on her fight with John, trying to figure out exactly what it was they’d been arguing about and why. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that John hadn’t really said or done anything wrong and that she’d flown off the handle for no reason.
That in itself wasn’t anything unusual. Since being back on Nova, John had periodically gotten up early to go for a run around the lake and she didn’t mind, as on those mornings, she would wake up a little after he left and head down for the lake for a morning swim, where, after his run, John would usually join her for the refreshing dip.
In fact, she realized, she’d woken up feeling like that for the last couple days. She sighed again and opened her eyes, the doctor in her being pushed aside as she leaned forward and buried her face in her arms on her desk and gave into her urge to cry.
John stopped and watched
He sighed and glanced around.
Deciding that he’d be better off to wait till later to work things out with her, he reached for his commlock and keyed it in for emergencies only and then turned and headed for the lake. He’d do some thinking there, the serenity of the area always helping to calm him down and clear his head.
She hated fighting with John. It always left her feeling exhausted and so…
“Lonely.” She whispered to herself as she started to cry again.
A few minutes later, she dried her tears again.
“You know what you have to do,
She keyed in John’s code and waited anxiously for his face to appear in the tiny viewer. Seconds later, instead of John’s face, she saw the words, ‘Emergencies Only’ flash across the tiny screen.
She sighed and debated on whether or not to punch in his emergency code. She shook her head; she’d just have to wait and apologize to him later. No doubt he was still upset and she wanted to give him a little more time to cool off.
She sighed again and heard a knock on her office door. She stood; then walked over to unlock and open her door to find Bob standing there.
Bob regarded her for a moment. “You okay, Helena?”
“I’m fine, Bob.”
“You sure? You’re not catching this cold are you?” He said, moving to stand before her desk, noting that her eyes were a little puffy.
“I’m not catching the cold, Bob.” She managed to smile at him. “So…”
Bob nodded, knowing she wouldn’t divulge any more information. “It’s Susan Spencer. She’s come down with the cold and it’s hit her pretty hard. Jonathan’s with her but…”
“He’s not thinking like a doctor at the moment.”
** ** **
“Hi, Vick.” John said, hoping the smile on his face didn’t appear as fake as it felt. “Okay if I come in and visit with my daughter and granddaughter?”
“Of course it is.”
“Yeah, I’m okay.” John said, pulling her into a gentle hug. “So, where is that little bundle of energy?”
“She’s in the living room but, not quite as rambunctious as
“Hey, Pumpkin.” John said, an easy smile coming to his face as he saw the tiny blonde laying on the floor, colouring on a piece of paper.
“Grampa!” Callie dropped her crayon, quickly got to her feet, and ran into John’s waiting arms.
“How’s my girl?” John asked, hugging her to his chest.
“I gots a cold, Grampa.” She told him matter-of-factly as she pulled back and looked at him with her grandmother’s green eyes. “I don’t feel so good.”
Vicky stood in the doorway with a bemused smile on her face as she watched her father slip down onto the floor to colour with Callie. She shook her head and left them alone to have their time together.
“Grampa…” Callie said softly, looking up from her picture. “Did you and Gramma have a fight?”
John looked at her with wide eyes. “Why do you ask that, Pumpkin?”
“Cause your eyes aren’t smiling, Grampa.” Callie said softly. “And you always have sad eyes whenever you and Gramma fight.”
John couldn’t help but be amazed at how insightful his four-year-old granddaughter was. “Is that so?”
“Yep.” Callie said and turned back to her colouring. “You should tell Gramma you’re sorry, Grampa. Then you won’t have sad eyes no more.”
“You’re absolutely right, Pumpkin.” John agreed, reaching out to stroke Callie’s silky blonde hair. “I should, but Gramma’s at work right now. But I tell you what… I promise to apologize to her as soon as she gets home. Okay?”
“Okay, Grampa.” She turned to look at him with a smile and then handed him a crayon. “Colour with me, Grampa. We’ll colour a picture to give to Gramma to say you’re sorry. Gramma always likes pictures.”
John chuckled and took the crayon and scooted closer to
Callie and began to colour with her; his fight with
** ** **
She was so lost in her thought of what she could do to make it up to him that she didn’t hear the door open and her daughter step out onto the porch with her.
“Oh… hi, Sweetie.”
“I’m fine, Vicky.”
“Mmhmm. Just tired,
that’s all. It was a long day and I… I’m
a little anxious to get home to your father.”
Still looking at her mother and not completely believing
that it was simply being tired that was bothering her,
“She’s in the living room.”
“Just in time for what?”
Moments later, a soft smile graced
Reclining in the chair, John was sound asleep with Callie curled up on his lap, her head on his chest as she too slept peacefully.
“How long has he been here?”
John’s eyes fluttered and slowly opened as he sensed that
his wife was nearby. He turned his head
slowly and saw her standing in the doorway talking to their daughter. He slipped his arms under Callie and slowly
stood, cradling her against him and then just as he was about to lay her down
in the chair,
“I’ll take her, Daddy.” She said softly, taking her sleeping child from John’s arms.
John remained standing where he was as he watched
“I’m sorry, Helena.” He said quietly, meeting her eyes.
“I’m the one who should apologize.”
They gazed at each other for a long moment and then John’s hands moved to her waist, drawing her closer.
He whispered against her lips as he leaned down to give her a kiss. He felt the tension leave both their bodies
“What do you say,”
John smiled and brushed a kiss against her hair. “Sounds good to me.”
John nodded and gave her another kiss before letting her go to check on their granddaughter.
** ** **
“Thanks.” He said, reaching for a tissue and blowing his nose. He sneezed again.
“You’ve got a fever, John.” She told him. “And judging by all the sneezing, I’d say you’ve caught the cold that’s going around.”
“Helena… I’m fine.” John said, dismissing her fussing. “And if I am catching that cold and I stress if, I don’t want you getting too close and catching it too.”
Doctor’s don’t catch their patients’ colds.”
“Oh no, of course not, Doctor. They just catch Viral Pneumonia and almost die.” John teased her, finally surrendering to her ministrations.
“I don’t spend all my free time with Callie. Just the time I can’t spend with you.”
“You really can’t stand not seeing her every day, can you?”
“Nope. She is after all,” John grinned at her and reached out for her hand, bringing it to his lips. “My baby version of you.”
John laughed with her.
“Come on, Sweet talker, let’s get you upstairs and into bed.”
“Mmm. I like the sound of that.” John said as he stood, pulling her into his arms and nuzzling her neck. “Tell me, Doctor. Are you going to join me… you know… for some… hands on medical treatment?”
“Upstairs to rest, John.
Sleep is the best thing to help fight this cold.”
“If you’ll be a good boy and come upstairs willingly…” she cut her eyes at him as she reached for his hands and began to lead him out of the kitchen. “I’ll consider slipping under the covers with you.”
“Best offer I’ve had all day.” John smiled and allowed her to lead him upstairs.
** ** **
John sat on the edge of the bed, reaching out to brush an errant lock of blonde hair out of her face. He couldn’t help but smile as he watched her sleeping; her face peaceful and relaxed, making her look even more beautiful. He ran his fingers softly down her cheek and spoke in a soft voice.
“Mmm… no… five more minutes.”
“Guess I should call Bob then, huh? You’re obviously not feeling well.”
John grinned as she suddenly sat up. She gave him a look as she realized what’d he’d done.
“That wasn’t very nice.” She said as she moved into his open arms and gave him a gentle kiss.
“It worked didn’t it?” He chuckled, pulling her into his lap and giving her a longer kiss. “Besides, we’re going to be late for the picnic.”
John simply shook his head and chuckled as he watched her head for the bathroom and then headed downstairs to finish gathering their picnic supplies.
** ** **
Callie looked up from her spot on the edge of the lake, a huge smile coming to her face as she saw her grandparents approaching. She dropped the tiny rocks she held and broke into a run.
“Gramma! Grampa!” She cried out happily as she threw herself into John’s arms, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. “You made it.”
“Hiya, Pumpkin.” John grinned, hugging her tightly and then
passed her over into
Callie scrambled down out of her grandmother’s arms and
scampered off as John and
A short time later, reclining back against John’s chest as
they sat on the blanket watching their granddaughter playing with her parents
and cousins in the lake,
“Something wrong?” John asked her softly, his hand absently caressing her thigh.
“I’m hot.” She answered, shifting against him again.
“I’ll say you are.” John grinned as he moved his other arm around her waist and pulled her back tighter against him.
“Don’t you two ever stop?”
They both turned to look at the amused face of their son, who was sitting with his arm draped around Susan’s shoulders.
“Not if we can help it.”
John answered and then he placed a kiss on the curve of
She turned her head slightly to grace him with a sly smile, pressing back against him, her smile growing when she heard him moan softly.
“Sounds like a wonderful idea.”
John chuckled as she stood and removed the wrap she was wearing to reveal a dark green, one-piece bathing suit. His eyes traveled over her body appreciatively, enjoying the view. He stood quickly and much to the amusement of everyone, scooped her up in his arms and headed for the water.
“You are one sexy lady, Helena Koenig.” He told her as he slowly entered the cool water.
John waded a little further in, until the water was about waist high and then looked at her with a grin. “Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?” Her eyes widened as she read his intention in his eyes. “Don’t you dare, John…”
Her threat remained unfinished as John suddenly dunked them both under the cool water. They surfaced several seconds later, their arms around each other, both of them laughing.
“I can’t get over how affectionate your folks are.” Susan commented to Jonathan as they watched
“Me either.” Jonathan laughed as he watched his father surface and take off after his mother. “Seeing it on the home movies was one thing… but to actually see it happening before my very eyes.” He paused and smiled at her. “It’s… great.”
“Yes it is.” Susan smiled, laying her head on his shoulder. “And I’m very happy for your mother. You can see how much your father adores her and she him.”
Jonathan simply nodded and smiled, settling back to watch his parents enjoy themselves.
John and Helena stayed in the water for a couple hours, playing with Callie and the other children for a time before swimming off to the far side of the lake to enjoy some time to themselves. They remained apart from the others until it was time to eat. They moved out of the water and walked hand in hand over to the blanket to grab their towels.
“Ooh… that was refreshing.”
“Yes it was.” He said as he quickly toweled himself off. He stepped up to her and wrapped his towel around her head, drying her hair for her as she continued to dry off her body. “And the best part… I was the only one with his own personal water-nymph.”
“I’m a water-nymph am I?”
“You are indeed.” He said, seeing her shiver. He pulled her into his arms and rubbed his hands slowly up and down her back to warm her.
“Come on.” She said, moving out of his arms and reaching for her wrap. She pulled it on and then reached for his hand. “We should at least be a little sociable.”
“Well, if we must.” John chuckled as she rolled her eyes and allowed her to pull him over to the group.
“Didn’t you work up an appetite with all that swimming,
“You’re not dieting are you?” Sandra asked, joining in on the conversation. “Because you most certainly don’t need to be doing that.”
“No. I’m not
“You okay?” John whispered against her ear as he leaned towards her, hearing the conversation.
“I’m fine.” She answered back, laying her hand on his thigh under the table. She smiled at him. “Really.”
John nodded and then turned back to his plate.
“Well, John’s eating enough for both of you.” Tanya commented with a laugh.
All the adults turned to look at John who had a mountain of food piled on his plate.
“What can I say? I
have an insatiable wife so I have to keep my energy up.” John grinned and then laughed as
“Mommy?” Callie turned to her mother as she shoved a forkful of potato salad into her mouth. “What’s it mean that Gramma’s in… insa... insatiabable?”
John choked as he laughed and swallowed at the same time,
seeing the look on
“It means that Gramma never gets
“Oh. Okay.” Callie said and went back to eating, satisfied with the answer.
The adults simply laughed and shook their heads.
He glanced at her and could see the concern in her eyes. He smiled and nodded. “I’m fine. Just went down the wrong hole.”
“Serves you right.” She said with a smile and then kissed his cheek.
John chuckled, kissed her back. “I love you too.”
Having said goodbye to their kids, John slipped his arm
“This has been a wonderful day.” John commented softly.
“Mmhmm. It has.”
“I like the way you think, Mrs. Koenig.”
They chuckled and continued walking. As they neared the shore, John felt
“Whoa.” She moaned softly, clutching at his shirt as another wave of dizziness passed over her and she swayed in his arms.
“Honey? You okay?” He asked her as she leaned against him, nodding her head.
“Just a little dizzy, that’s all. Must have been all the sun today.”
“You sure? You’re not catching that cold are you?”
“No, I’m not catching that cold.”
John then led her over to the bonfire, where for the rest of the evening, under the light of the full moon; they held each other tightly.
** ** **
“What are the odds of my being able to steal my wife away from here a little early; whisk her home and make mad, passionate love to her for the rest of the evening?”
“As wonderful as that sounds.” She slid her hands up his chest and around his neck. “I’m afraid the odds are a little slim.”
“And why’s that?” John asked, brushing a soft kiss against her lips.
“Because I have one of the tech guys coming over to look at a malfunctioning monitor.”
“Will it take long?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, John.” She told him. “Depends on what’s wrong with it.” She paused. “But I tell you what.”
“If you promise to wait patiently…”
“Is that a promise?” John asked with a grin, sliding his hands down to rest on the small of her back and pulling her closer.
“It’s a promise.” She said, reaching up to give him a long, loving kiss. She broke off the kiss just as a knock sounded at her office door. “That would be the technician.”
“Good. Maybe this won’t take long after all.”
“Only where you’re concerned, my love.”
“Stay here. I hopefully shouldn’t be too long.”
John nodded and then moved to lean up against the doorframe;
watching and listening as
“Good afternoon, John.”
John glanced to his left, just as the technician opened the monitor’s panel, to see Mathias standing beside him. He smiled in greeting.
“Hi, Bob.” He said
absently, his attention focusing back on
“While you’re waiting, John.” Bob began, hoping to use John’s distraction to his advantage and get him in for his physical. “What’s say we take care of your physical? Get it over and done with.”
John chuckled and turned to Mathias with a bemused expression on his face.
“I know…” Bob sighed. “Good try.”
John simply nodded and opened his mouth to say something when both he and Bob heard the anxious voice of the technician.
“Doctor Koenig, please be careful. Don’t lean too close… that’s a live wi… DOCTOR!”
John heard his wife’s yelp of pain, mixed in with the technician’s cry and turned back in time to see her face contort with pain as the wire touched her arm, sending an electrical current through her body and slamming her back against the wall.
“She’s breathing, John. She most likely just knocked the breath out of herself when she hit the wall.” Bob told him, seeing the faint rising of her chest as he checked for her pulse. “And her pulse is nice and strong.”
“Bob… will she?”
“She’ll be fine, John.” Bob told him, seeing the fear in his friend’s eyes. “It was a powerful current… but luckily she wasn’t exposed to it long enough for it to have done any permanent damage.” He watched John breath a sigh of relief and then continued. “Come on, help me move her to one of the beds. We’ll run some scans just to be sure that there’s no damage.”
John simply nodded, clinging to the words that she’d be all
right, as he gathered
** ** **
John held tightly to her hand, gazing into her pale, sleeping face. He glanced towards the door as it opened.
“Ed’s taking care of the scans now.” Bob told him softly. “But everything looks good, John.”
“How long until she wakes up?” John asked, reaching out to smooth his fingers over her forehead.
“The sedative we gave her should be wearing off in another hour or so.” John simply nodded at the news, his attention focused entirely on his wife. “I think I’ll go see if I can give Ed a hand and speed things up.”
“Bob.” John called to him as he reached the door. He met the doctor’s eyes. “Thanks.”
Bob smiled, nodded, and then left.
John turned back to his wife, bringing the hand he held up to his lips as he continued to stroke the smooth skin of her face.
** ** **
“Ed?” Bob stuck his head in the room and looked for his colleague. Spotting him standing in front of a set of scans, he moved further into the room. “Ed, come on, what’s taking you so long? You know what John’s like?”
Ed didn’t answer, but simply pointed at the scans he was staring at.
Bob glanced at the scans, noting with a small smile that whoever’s they were, they were soon going to be having an addition to the Alphan community. But at this moment, his mind was on Helena and her very worried husband.
“Ed, where are
Bob looked at Ed, clearly flabbergasted. “What?”
“They can’t be.”
“I said the same thing, Bob. But I developed them myself.” Ed told him as he looked back at the scans that showed a three-month-old fetus. He shook his head slowly. “Can you even begin to imagine how shocked they’re gonna be? I mean… if John was nervous about the twins… and we both know how nervous he was about the twins… can you imagine…” his voice trailed off at the glare Bob was shooting at him.
“For crying out loud, Ed. She’s sixty-five years old! And judging from the age of the fetus in the scan… she’ll be sixty-six when the kid’s born. That is if this pregnancy doesn’t kill her first.”
Ed took Bob by the shoulders.
“Calm down, Bob.” Ed said. “Look, I know it’s very rare for a woman her age…”
“Very rare? Very rare?! How about EXTREMELY RARE, Ed.” Bob practically shouted and under the pressure of his friend’s hands on his shoulders, he calmed down a bit. “Okay… you’ve been her doctor for the last two decades, Ed. You tell me. Can she… will her body be able to handle this? And should we even let her?”
“She’s in great shape, Bob and very healthy. I believe she could carry this child to term with little or no problems.” Ed answered and looked back at the scans. “Besides… it’s not for us to decide. It’s up to John and Helena.”
“You’re right about that. It’s up to them.” Bob said and then grinned at Ed. “And with that said, you get to tell John. I think I’d rather be behind you when you hit him with this piece of news.”
“Thanks a lot.” Ed
shook his head, a wry grin on his face.
“And who’s gonna tell
Both Bob and Ed whirled around to see John standing behind them with wide, shocked eyes.
“Would you care to repeat that last statement?” John said, looking at Ed. “My wife is pregnant?”
“Your wife is pregnant, John.” Ed confirmed. “Three months, to be exact.”
“But… I thought… she said she’s…” John exhaled a deep breath
as he looked from doctor to doctor.
“Bob… Ed… this can’t be.
“Going through menopause and having gone through menopause
are two different things, John.” Ed
murmured as he reached for and sat in a chair.
He shook his head; still trying to process the news that he and Helena
were going to be parents, again… the thought brought a smile to his face. Parents at their age! His smile faded slightly as he glanced up the
two doctors. “How will this affect her
health? Can she… can
“We can’t be certain, John.”
Ed told him. “But
“And the baby? He’ll be okay won’t he?”
“Well, we haven’t done any tests on the baby yet… but I
don’t foresee any major problems. With
“Bob?” John looked up at him, wanting his opinion as well.
“Ed’s pretty much covered everything, John. And he’s been
“You don’t mean…?”
“Just as an option, John.”
Bob said. “Nothing more. It’s something you and Helena need to
discuss. We can only offer our opinions
but in the end, it’s yours and
John nodded understandingly, already knowing exactly what his wife would say and then he slowly stood. “I should be getting back. I want to be there when she wakes up.”
Bob and Ed nodded and watched him leave.
“I’d say he took the news rather well.”
“Let’s hope his wife does too.”
** ** **
John slipped quietly back into the room, pleased to see that
“Oh, Honey… wait till you hear what I have to tell
you.” He shook his head, still not quite
believing what Bob and Ed had told him; although, it sure explained a lot of
“You wanted to feel alive… to re-affirm that life goes on.” John yawned as it suddenly occurred to him when this baby had been conceived. “We’ve certainly done that.”
She mumbled softly in her sleep and then rolled over onto her side away from him. John yawned again and then smiled as he got an idea. He stood and kicked off his shoes. He slipped into the bed behind her, spooning up against her and curling his arm about her waist; resting his hand on her abdomen. He laid his head on the pillow and buried his face in her hair, inhaling deeply as he waited for her to wake up, wondering how he was going to tell her the news.
His eyes flew open as he heard her moan and realized that he’d fallen asleep. He glanced at the clock and noted that he’d been asleep for almost an hour.
“…John…?” she moaned softly.
“I’m here, Honey.” He whispered softly against her ear.
“My head hurts.” She told him as she reached down to pull his arm tighter around her and move back against him, seeking the comfort she knew she would find in his embrace. As she did, she moaned again and mumbled in a groggy voice. “Ooh… I hurt all over too… wha… what happened, John?”
John brushed a kiss into her hair and was about to answer when she spoke again.
“The wire…” she said quietly. “The last thing I remember is the wire touching my arm… and the wall…”
“You received a pretty good jolt from that wire.” John explained softly. “It threw you back against the wall and knocked you out.”
“Am I…” She began as she slowly rolled over in his arms to face him, seeing the relief in his eyes as their eyes met.
“You’re going to be fine.” John told her as he leaned towards her and gave her a soft kiss, his hands caressing her back lightly. “Ed and Bob have checked you over, done a bunch of scans and other than some bruising and a minor burn on your arm from the wire, you’re perfectly okay.”
“There’s something else you’re not telling me.” She said softly a few moments later as he fell silent, his hands continuing to move over her back in a soothing motion
“What makes you say that?”
“Because I can read you like an open book, John Koenig and I
know when you’re keeping something from me.”
John simply nodded.
“Well? What is it? Nothing bad I hope.”
“No… it’s not bad.” John said slowly. “Just shocking and very unexpected.”
“Shocking and unexpected how?”
Deciding the easiest way was to simply come out and say it, that’s exactly what John did; after taking a deep breath.
“John, be serious.”
“I am being serious.” John said, his eyes locking with hers. “You’re pregnant, Honey.”
“…John… women my age don’t get pregnant.”
“Tell that to the child you’re carrying.”
They turned to see Ed and Bob standing in the doorway and both of them sat up on the bed.
“Are you two in on this too?”
“It’s not a joke,
“I’m pregnant. I’m really pregnant.” She said softly and then turned to meet John’s eyes as she felt him place his hand on her abdomen. “We’re really having a baby.”
“I know.” John said with a small smile, reaching out with his other hand to caress her cheek, seeing in her eyes that she too realized when the baby had been conceived.
“Ed… how did this happen?”
The others chuckled with her.
“But… I’m sixty-five years old and going through
menopause. I mean yes, I was still
getting a period every so often… but… this isn’t supposed to happen.”
“Rare, yes. Impossible… no.” Ed told her. “I checked through some medical records and back on Earth in nineteen-ninety-seven, a sixty-three years old woman not only got pregnant but gave birth to a very healthy baby.” He paused and glanced at Bob. “Now see, if we were back on Earth… we’d really have a case for the medical journals and a record for Guinness.”
“Thanks a lot.”
Bob and Ed glanced at each other. Ed nodded.
“From what we can tell so far, yes, the baby is fine.” Bob said. “We haven’t run any tests on the fetus as of yet because… well… we didn’t know until about an hour or so ago that you were pregnant.” He paused. “We’ve scheduled an ultrasound and a few other tests for the morning. Tonight I’d like you to get some rest and then tomorrow, after the tests, we can discuss all the options available and go from there.”
“Available options… Oh, Bob, please tell me you’re not suggesting…”
“No. I’m not suggesting anything.” Bob told her. “But as I told John earlier, it’s an option we might have to consider and should keep open, that’s all.”
“Oh… you’re not going anywhere.” Bob said, giving her a look that said he wasn’t even going to argue with her about it. “You’re spending the night here. I’ll make sure some dinner is brought over for you both and I won’t bother to even suggest a cot for your husband here.” He glanced at John and cracked a small smile. “I know better.”
“I’ll have one of the nurses pop in later to check on you.” Ed said as he and Bob moved towards the door. “Get some rest you two.”
“Are we predictable or do they just know us too well?”
“A little of both.” John answered with a chuckle as he turned to look at his wife. His face grew serious as he gazed at her. “How are you feeling?”
“For the most part… okay.”
“I don’t know, Honey.” John sighed as he slipped his arm about her shoulders and kissed the side of her head. “All I know is that I love you and I want whatever is going to be less harmful for you.”
“Are you suggesting…” her voice trembled. “…That we…”
John shifted and reached out with his free hand to cup her chin and tilt her head so that he could look into her eyes.
“I’m not going to lie to you and say the possibility of
terminating this pregnancy hasn’t crossed my mind; because it has.” He told her, seeing her eyes widen a
His voice trailed off and
“Ed says he can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to carry this baby to term. That you’re in excellent health and in great shape.” A slow, almost mischievous smile formed on his lips. “Then again, I could have told him that, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to knock you up in the first place.”
“But back to being serious.” John said softly. “We can discuss this until we’re blue in the face but in the end, what it all boils down to is… do you think and feel you’re able to carry this child?” He moved his lips against her hair. “Do you honestly feel, without one single doubt that you can carry this child? Because despite whatever Bob, Ed or even I say… the final decision is yours.” He paused and pulled her a little closer. “And whatever your decision, I will stand behind you and support you one hundred percent.”
“And if I should decide to terminate the pregnancy?”
“If that is the decision you make… then I will support it.” John answered without hesitation. “It’s your body, Helena.”
“But it’s our child, John. Ours. Not just mine.”
“That’s true.” John agreed. “It is our child. But as I said, it’s your body and I can’t, in all good conscience, force you to have or not have this baby.”
“Do you want this baby, John?”
“Of course I want this baby.” He reached down and laid his hand on her abdomen. “I know it must sound like I don’t… but I told you, I fell in love with him the moment I overheard Ed and Bob say that you were pregnant; just as I know you’ve fallen in love with him too.”
“Yes… I have fallen in love with him already too.”
John leaned forward and gave her a gentle kiss.
“John… there’s something else we need to discuss, something
we need to be aware of should we decide to have this baby.”
“What is it,
“Because of my age…” she began. “The risks of having, for lack of a better word, an unhealthy child are very high.”
“Unhealthy how?” John asked in a quiet voice.
“Well… genetic deformities, kidney troubles and… there is a
very real possibility he could have Down syndrome.”
John sat up and then stood, moving over to look at out the window. “Down syndrome? Kidney problems?” He said quietly, shaking his head. “The thought of the baby being anything but healthy hadn’t crossed my mind.”
“I know… even with
“I will support you wholeheartedly,
She shifted closer to him, gazing into his eyes; seeing that he meant what he said and then reached up to give him a loving kiss.
“For everything. For… trusting me to make the right decision for us and this baby... for saying what you said about loving him… for being here… for loving me.”
Her voice trailed off.
“I trust you with my life,
They cuddled together in a comfortable silence for a while
“What do you think of the name Joshua?”
“I love it.” John said as he pulled her closer and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Just promise me one thing.”
“No Travel Tubes.”
** ** **
“So far, all the tests indicate that the fetus is in excellent health, as are you.” Bob told her, watching as both parents breathed a sigh of relief. “I take it then… you’ve decided to have this child?”
“I told you…” John said. “…It’s your call. And whatever you decide, I’ll support you.”
“We both figured that would be what you’d decide.” Ed said, with a small smile. “So, we’ve come up with a strict diet and routine
we expect you to follow. Especially if
you want this pregnancy to work out.”
“Just name it, Ed.” John said, squeezing his wife’s hand. “She’ll follow it to the letter, I guarantee it.”
The two doctors nodded as they looked at each other and smiled. Both of them knew that John would make sure
“And now, we’ve saved the best for last.” Ed said as he pulled a cart over to the bed
“We’ve told you, all the tests indicate that everything is
“That sounds good.
Both the amnio and seeing the baby.”
“There he is. Our little miracle.” John whispered against her ear. “Look at him, Honey.”
“Would you like to see if we can find out the sex of the baby?” Ed asked them, not hearing John’s whispered comments to his wife.
“Thanks, Ed. But we
John’s eyes widened slightly as the image of his son on the
monitor, moved. He squeezed
“Our son just waved at us.”
John saw the looks, misinterpreting them as he straightened up and turned to them. “What? What’s with the looks?”
“Is something wrong with the baby?”
“John… no! It’s
nothing like that. In fact, just the
“That’s a relief.”
John breathed as he regarded his wife for a moment then turned to look
at the image of his son. He leaned
“Everything looks good.” He told her and then chuckled softly.
“You were right about him being a boy.” Ed said with a smile as he indicated a
certain area on the screen. He saw John
and Helena beam at each other as he moved the probe again, nodding to
himself. “It looks good,
“What about his kidneys?”
“His kidneys look good, no sign of dilation.” He paused and then moved the probe until a really good image of the baby appeared on the screen and then reached out to hit a button before removing the probe from her stomach and shut the machine off. “And I’ve just printed your son’s first picture.”
Spencer said, handing her a towel as he stood. “Now… I want you to go home and get some more
rest. And I mean rest,
“Complications?” John asked, the worry evident in his voice. “I thought you said both Helena and the baby are okay.”
“They are, John. Both
of them are fine. And I want to make
sure they stay that way.” Ed said. “My biggest concern is miscarriage.” He paused a moment when he saw the colour
leave John’s face and his grip on
Understanding that Ed was simply covering all bases and keeping the welfare of his wife and child at the forefront, John nodded. “You can bet we’ll let you know, Ed.”
Ed nodded and glanced at Bob, then turned back to John and Helena. “Well, I’ll let you head back to your room to change and while you do that, I’ll go get your son’s picture and schedule the amnio.”
“Our son’s okay, John.” She whispered against his chest as she tightened her arms around his back.
“And, thank God, so is his mother.” John thought as he nodded, resting his cheek against her hair, his arms tightening about her as well.
** ** **
Jonathan saw his twin rush through the
“I just found out myself.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m privy to everything.” Jonathan said. “I’m not the CMO. I’m just her son.”
“That’s how I found out.”
“She was mildly electrocuted.”
“Mildly electrocuted.” Jonathan repeated. “Seems she was showing one of the tech guys a faulty monitor and when he opened it to look inside, she hit a live wire with her arm.”
“If it was only mild, why’d they keep her overnight?”
“I don’t know, sis.” Jonathan said and then looked up as movement beyond her shoulder caught his attention. He gestured behind her with a nod of his head. “Why don’t we ask them?”
Victoria turned around to see her parents walking out of the private rooms, their arms wrapped around each other with big smiles on their faces as they looked down at a piece of paper held in her mother’s hands.
“Well, for two people who’ve spent the night here,”
John and Helena looked up at the sound of their daughter’s
“It seems I’m not exciting enough for your mother anymore,
so she had to go and get friendly with a live wire.” John said, glancing at
“We’re sorry, Sweetie.”
“There has to be more to it than that if you were kept here over night, Mom.”
“She was also thrown back against the wall and knocked unconscious.” John told them. “So, Ed wanted to keep her here overnight for observation.”
“Are you okay?” Jonathan stepped forward and reached a hand out to her arm.
“I’m fine, Sport.”
“What is it?”
“Sure. I wasn’t scheduled to work today anyway.” Jonathan admitted. “I… ah…”
“Lead the way.”
As they neared the doors, John stopped them.
“Wait here.” He told
“John… that’s not necessary.”
“Yes it is.” He said, bringing his finger up to her lips to stop her from talking. “Don’t argue.”
Jonathan and Victoria exchanged worried glances.
“Your father is just being over-protective, that’s all.” She told them and then smiled. “I’ve learned that once in a while it’s best to just humour him.”
“So, you’re humouring me now, is that it?”
John nuzzled her neck for a moment and then released her and offered her his arm. “C’mon, let’s get you home.”
The twins watched their parents move through the door; exchanged confused glances and then followed them.
** ** **
Their eyes grew wide as their mouths fell open as they looked from their parents to each other and back again.
“You heard me right.”
“I don’t believe this!” Jonathan said in a loud voice as he shook his head and then met his mother’s eyes. “You’re sixty-five years old for heaven’s sake! And you’re having a baby?! Please tell me this is all just a bad joke.”
“It’s not a joke, Jonathan.”
“This is crazy! How can you…? Why would you…?” Jonathan stuttered on the words. “At your age…”
“Are you guys nuts?”
John glanced down at
“Jonathan?” John called to him as he watched him pace back and forth in front of the porch. “I’m terrified too, son.”
Jonathan stopped pacing, sighed, and ran his hand through his hair to rub the back of his neck, a gesture that was entirely his father’s. He looked up and met John’s eyes; seeing his father’s fear of losing his mother clearly in the bright blue eyes.
“Then why are you letting her go through with this?” Jonathan asked quietly.
John released a deep sigh as he stepped down off the porch and walked over to his son. “If you had seen your mother’s eyes when I mentioned that I’d considered the possibility of her terminating the pregnancy… the sadness that filled her eyes. The fear.” John paused and met his son’s eyes. “I can’t do that to her.”
“But you can let her die?”
“She won’t die! I won’t let that happen!” John said with quiet determination. “Your mother is my world, Jonathan. And both she and your brother are going to be fine.”
“Brother?” Jonathan looked at his father, his eyes wide. “She’s having a boy? I’m going to have a brother?”
“Mmhmm.” John nodded. “…She’s afraid too, son. And she needs all the love and support we can give her. And your support, Jonathan, means the world to her. If you could have seen the look in her eyes when you walked out…”
Jonathan hung his head. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt or upset her. But, Dad… having a baby at her age…” he shook his head. “I just can’t… There are so many things that could go wrong…” Jonathan paused again and met his father’s gaze; giving him an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, Dad. I can’t support this decision.”
“I promise I won’t do or say anything to upset her.” He told John. “But I can’t support either of you in this. I’m sorry… but I just can’t do it.”
John nodded his head. “I understand, son. You are your own person and you have to do what you feel is right.” He paused and glanced up at the house.
“Do you think Mom will understand?” Jonathan asked quietly, following his father’s gaze.
“Yes, your mother will understand.” John told him. “She’ll be saddened about it but yes, she’ll understand.”
“I’m sorry I went off like that, Mom.”
“And you’re serious about having this baby?” She asked and saw her mother nod. “What are the risks?”
“The same as with any pregnancy…”
“That’s good to hear.”
“Thrilled beyond words.”
“Mom… now I know that you and Dad are thrilled about
this. And I can’t say that I blame you…
but let me play devil’s advocate here for a minute.”
“Yes, we talked about it.”
“And you decided to keep the baby.”
“Of course I’ll support you in this, Mom.”
“What about you, Jonathan?”
Jonathan didn’t answer as he moved to stand behind his mother. He knelt down behind her and put his arms around her as he laid his head on her shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Mom… it’s not my intention to upset you… but I can’t support you in this.” Jonathan said in a quiet voice. “Having this baby could kill you. And I know it’s selfish, but I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t lose me, Sweetheart!”
“Oh, Mom… I wish I had the faith you do. But I can’t overlook all the facts. Your age…”
“My age is only one aspect, Jonnie and I am in excellent health.”
“Nevertheless, there is so much that could go wrong.”
“I had to give to birth to the medical version of John
Koenig, didn’t I?”
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” Jonathan said as he stood and moved around the room. He turned to look at his mother with tears brimming in his blue eyes. “I don’t want to hurt you, Mom… I really don’t. But I just can’t…” he swallowed back his tears as he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see his twin standing beside him. He looked back at his mother. “I… hope you can understand, Mom.”
“I do, Jonathan.”
“Come on, Jonnie.”
Jonathan nodded and followed her quietly into the kitchen as
** ** **
“Well… that was interesting to say the least.”
“It was that.” John agreed, resting his cheek against the top of her head as he gazed out their bedroom window.
They sat quietly together in their favourite chair; their
hands laced together on her abdomen.
“Jonathan?” John asked quietly as he felt her warm breath on his skin, knowing their son’s reaction to the news was upsetting her.
“Mmhmm.” She murmured. “Truth be told, I was expecting this reaction from Vicky not Jonnie.”
“Really?” John asked, the surprise evident in his voice. “I would have thought it was the opposite.”
“Our son may look like a young clone of his father…” she reached up and caressed his cheek. “…But it’s our daughter who has his temper.”
John smiled and chuckled. “Is that so?”
“Do you think Jonathan will come around? That he’ll accept this?”
“Yes. I think he’ll come around.” John answered her, remembering his son’s reaction to learning he was going to be having a brother. “You should have seen his eyes when I told him you were having a boy.”
“He always wanted a baby brother...”
Her voice trailed off and John didn’t need to see her face to see the pain in her eyes. John leaned his cheek against her hair and tightened his arms slightly.
“And now he’s getting one.” He said softly.
“…John?” She asked a few moments later, running her fingers over his hand as it lay on her stomach. “Do you…”
“Do I what?” He prodded her.
“Do you think I made the right decision… deciding to have
“Yes, I am scared.” John admitted, nodding against her head. “I lost you once…” his voice cracked and he swallowed hard before continuing. “But I just got you back and I don’t believe the universe is that cruel to take you away from me again this soon.” He peered over her shoulder as his hand caressed her belly lovingly. “So yes. I think you made the right decision.”
John felt her relax in his arms and then shift so that she could once again gaze out at the stars and the glowing orb that had brought them together. He smiled into her hair as he brushed a kiss into the blonde strands.
“I love you, Helena.” He breathed softly.
“I love you too.”
** ** **
“Do you understand what we’ve told you, Pumpkin?”
Callie looked back and forth between her grandparents and then slowly nodded.
“I’m going to have a baby uncle.”
John and Helena chuckled.
“That’s right, Sweetie.”
Callie tilted her head slightly to one side as she regarded her grandmother. “Gramma?”
“Will your belly get big like Auntie Ryanne’s?”
“Yes it will.”
“Will you let me feel the baby kick?” Callie asked with wide, hopeful eyes.
“Anytime you want.”
“When will the baby get here, Gramma?”
“Oh, not until after our birthday.”
“That long?!” Callie
sighed deeply as she crawled up onto the couch and sat between her
grandparents. She turned to
“I’m afraid that’s not possible, Sweetie.”
“Why not, Gramma?”
“Because the baby isn’t big enough yet.”
“Just like Joey did?” Callie asked, referring to her newest cousin.
“Yes, just like Joey.”
“Okay.” Callie nodded, seemingly satisfied. She then hopped off the couch and turned to look at her grandparents. “Is it okay if I go outside and play now?”
“Sure, Pumpkin.” John smiled. “Go on.”
“Thanks, Grampa.” Callie yelled as she scampered off.
“Well, Mrs. Koenig,” John began, reaching for her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. “What do you say to spending the rest of the afternoon lying in a hammock with your husband?”
John nodded and watched her head for the kitchen with a smile on his face and then turned and headed outside.
** ** **
“Happy Birthday, Mom.”
“Thank you, Jonathan.”
Jonathan nodded and lowered himself down beside her.
“How’s married life so far?”
“Pretty good.” Jonathan answered, twisting his wedding ring. “How are things with you?”
They fell silent and
“Dad looks like he’s having fun.”
“Yes he does.”
“Mom… is that…” Jonathan began and then stopped.
“Is that why I’m having this baby?”
“Yeah.” Jonathan nodded. “Are you having it as a way of trying to make up to Dad for missing me and Vicky growing up?”
“Then why, Mom? Why are you risking your health to do this?”
“Oh, Jonathan… how can I explain this to you?”
Jonathan watched as she paused and ran her hand over her swollen stomach, a smile coming to her lips; realizing that the baby obviously kicked her. He reached out a tentative hand and then stopped, letting it fall back to his lap, hoping she hadn’t noticed.
“And yes, I know… I’m not a young woman anymore. But I’m healthy and so is this baby.” She told him. “There is no reason why I shouldn’t have him.”
“Okay… so you and th