I do not own any of the characters in this story, they belong to the Sci-Fi Channel, and several other companies, and I'm just borrowing them for a while, and promise to return them when I'm done so that someone else can use them. No infringement of copyright is intended.

Baby on the way.

Chapter 1.

Katie Hitchcock sat in the empty mess hall eating re-hydrated rations, complete with their usual cardboard texture. She looked at her distorted reflection in the side of her mug of chocolate, at the faint bags under her eyes, and felt ready to sleep for a week.

"Excuse me, Commander, do you mind if I sit with you for a moment?"

Katie managed a warm smile for the young Lieutenant, and motioned for her to sit down. Lieutenant Mary Anne Lewis sat down quickly and stared silently into her own mug of chocolate. Katie had seen her around in engineering and spoken to her a few times on the bridge, but had never really paid that much attention to the young woman.

Mary wasn't much more than twenty years old and Hitchcock couldn't remember seeing the Lieutenant without a smile on her face, but now she looked terrified.

"Is there something you want to talk about?" Katie questioned gently, pushing her own exhaustion to the back of her mind.

"I'm sorry to bother you but I really need some advice and I didn't know who else to ask..." The words all came out in one long stream before Lieutenant Lewis took a long shaky breath.

"If," she continued, "Just supposing if you just found something out... and it was really important... and you were really sure... and it wasn't exactly planned... but you were really happy... but you didn't know if he would be... and you knew it was something you had to report... would you report it first... or is it best to tell him... I mean he has a right to know, but... Do you think I'm a coward?"

"Why don't you try again, and fill in a few of the gaps?" Katie wanted to be kind, but really didn't have enough energy to play guessing games.

Lieutenant Lewis took a deep breath and looked around the mess. She knew she had to be quick because it was already starting to fill up with the crew on their first duty break.

She though for a minute and then said "Supposing you and... Lieutenant..." Katie could see her searching for a random name "Krieg... did something truly stupid... and as a result of this... thing you did... you had to tell him something really important... something life changing. How do you think that should be done? Do you just blurt it out, or would you report it to the medical officer first, or what?"

Katie nodded distractedly at a couple of the bridge crew when they walked past and felt all the dots join together in her head.

"Assuming... just assuming of course... that I have something important to tell Lieutenant... Krieg... I think I need to be really sure that I know my own feelings on the subject before I talk to him about it." She waited for the Lieutenant to nod before continuing. "I have to think about how it effects my life, and my career. And then after I've made some decisions, when I go to tell him that I'm pregnant, I have to be ready take into account that he may not want to, or be ready to be a father." Again Lieutenant Lewis nodded.

"And I don't think I should just blurt it out at the first opportunity, this type of news needs to be broached gradually and gently over a period of time. And since it isn't compulsory to report pregnancy as a medical condition before three months I will defiantly wait until I talk to... Krieg before I tell anyone else."

Lieutenant Lewis watched as the crew returned to the bridge from their brake, and after thinking for a few moments said "Thank you Commander, I think I feel a lot better after discussing it with you. You won't tell anyone about me and... I mean you and Lieutenant Morri... I mean Krieg." By the time she finished her face was bright red and she was biting her lip.

"You're secret is perfectly safe with me." Katie smiled to herself as she watched the other woman walking away from the table and out of the mess hall. Sitting back in her chair she began to sip her luke warm hot chocolate and whether it was Lieutenant Morrison, or Lieutenant Morris who was due to get some unsuspected news in the next few weeks.

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Out side the mess hall Lieutenant J.G. Tim O'Neil leaned against the wall and watched as his friend Miguel Ortiz tried to remember how to close his jaw. He couldn't believe what he had overheard.

"I can't believe Katie's pregnant." Said the Cuban Sensor Chief.

"I can't believe Ben didn't tell us he's going to be a Dad." Replied O'Neil.

"You think he knows?"

"He must know. I thought I heard Katie say she'd told him."

"I don't know, they were talking pretty quietly, we didn't hear the whole story." admitted Miguel.

"I know one thing though, Ford's going to skin us alive if we're late back to our shift!" Tim was covering the ground at a respectable turn of speed by the end of the sentence.

***** ***** *****

Between the two of them they finally decided that only one other person on the boat would know if Krieg new. They had talked quietly between their two stations on the bridge until O'Neil came up with the obvious solution.

If anyone would know then it would be his best friend. That's why, at 0500 hours they were standing outside the door to "Mammal Engineering" each trying to convince the other to knock on the door. Lucas Wolenczak was not known for being a morning person and each would expect extra pay for hazardous duty if they had to try and wake him up before he was ready. Then again neither of them was inclined to wait either.

Finally the decision came down to "Scissors, Paper, Stone" it was the way most arguments were settled between the two friends.

O'Neil lost; somehow he always did, although he had no idea why.

He knocked gently on the door, but got no reply. Miguel Ortiz stepped around him and knocked rather more loudly before stepping once more behind Ortiz. He got a distinctly displeased look for his trouble. The door opened to reveal a very disgruntled looking teenager.

"Which one was it?" Lucas asked. "I am perfectly capable of working on my own for two minutes, without one of them sending some one to check up on me." he looked from O'Neill to Ortiz and back again before continuing "I told the captain, that I would get some rest as soon as I finished at the programme I'm working on, and I meant it. In half-an-hour, the whole programme will be ready, and then I will get a good night's sleep like a good little boy." he concluded his voice dripping sarcasm.

"Lucas, no one sent us to talk to you!" said Tim O'Neill.

"Yes, and it's a bit late to be getting a good night's sleep now, it's 5 o'clock in the morning." Miguel added. It was obvious to both of the officers that the Sea Quests resident computer programmer I had yet to make it to his bed. They knew was that he must have been wrestling with it particularly difficult programme, both could see the mixture of exhaustion and excitement in his eyes, and it was obvious that he was oblivious to the time.

"So why are you waking up at this time in the morning?" Lucas asked them ignoring the fact that he had obviously been awake.

"We need to talk to you about Ben," said Tim.

"Whatever it was, would ever he did, I was in no way involved." said Lucas defensively.

"If you let us in, we'll tell you all about it. It's not something we can discuss out here in the corridor." Miguel told him.

When they had all made their way into Mammal Engineering, and cleared enough space for the three of them to sit down, they started to tell Lucas what they had over heard in the mess hall...

***** ***** *****

"I don't know how to put a this, but are you sure that Ben is the father, because I'm certain Ben knows nothing about this. And anyway they've been divorced a lot longer than nine months. It's not even as if they get on very well together. They are at each other's throats most of the time."

"Maybe they got back together." said Tim unsurely.

"We could just ask Ben." said Miguel, "he should at least know if it's a possibility. And he'll be in the mess for breakfast soon."

"Right Miguel, that's exactly where we should tell Ben, in front of the whole crew. Very subtle."

"OK then, you are the genius, you can ask Ben, subtly of course."

Lucas thought about this for a moment. He was 16 years old, how was he supposed to tell his best friend, the bigger brother he'd never had, something like this. Somehow he knew that even he could write any soft ware to help with this problem.

"No. I think this is a case for a people person, Miguel. If it was a computer problem, I'd be more than happy to help... But people ... not my speciality at all." the teenager new he wasn't going to win this argument, but he was not the type to give up without a fight.

***** ***** *****


Katie's pregnant,




Lucas, Tim + Miguel.

Lucas looked at the computer screen, and wondered once again, just how he'd managed to convince Tim and Miguel that this was the best way tell Ben. They still looked somewhat sceptical, but since neither of them wanted to break the news in person, they couldn't blame Lucas for sending it by e- mail.

Lucas pressed the send button, and sat back in his chair to wait. He know Ben's morning timetable by heart, he'd spent almost three weeks studying it in preparation for the first in a series of practical jokes he had devised as payback for the mess Ben had landed him in on April Fool's Day.

30 seconds later Lucas glanced at his watch, turned around his chair, to face the door, and said "Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Now."

Ben burst through the door, his hair was uncombed, he was still wearing his pyjamas, and his normally amiable face was a mask of terror.

"I'm going to be a Daddy!!!" He then promptly passed out on to the collection of clothes, books and discarded computer components that carpeted the floor with out even bothering to close the door behind him.

***** ***** *****

This story should get better as it goes along, please don't be put off by the start. I intend to update regularly, and would appreciate any comments etc. which readers are inclined to make.