Back on the Andromeda the rest of the crew was congratulating themselves on getting the couple off the ship.

"That was a very good way to get them out of here," Beka said as she, Dylan and Tyr entered the Command Deck.

"Yes, it was. You are to be congratulated on your deception," Tyr told Dylan.

"Thank you Tyr, but I can't take all the credit for it. Beka really does need the parts for the Maru. So it wasn't a total lie, just the part where we're going to do repairs," Dylan told them with a grin.

"I'm surprised that Harper didn't realize that Andromeda is in perfect shape, and doesn't need any repairs right now," Beka said with a laugh. "I guess he and Trance were too 'involved' with each other for him to realize that."

"Probably, so Dylan, where should we go?" Rommie asked as her hologram fizzled into existence.

"Let's see, they went to Alacar Drift, so we should go to an even closer one. We need to find them some nice gifts for the baby shower. I don't know of a drift where we can find anything like that," Dylan admitted.

"I do, don't worry, and it's close too," Beka said as she moved to the Slipstream Console and entered the coordinates for the drift.


Andromeda came out of Slipstream in the vicinity of Cupid's Drift, known throughout the universe as the one stop shop for anything having to do with romance or parenting. How Beka knew the coordinates to the Drift, Dylan didn't want to know, but he was glad that she did.

"So, this is the famed Cupid's Drift? It was the best place to find anything having to do with parenting or romance in my time," Dylan said as they received permission to dock the Andromeda.

"Luckily for us, it still is," Beka said as she expertly docked the huge warship. "Well, then. Lets go find some gifts." She jumped out of the Slipstream chair and exited Command.

"You heard the lady, let's go," Dylan said with a laugh as he and the others followed Beka out.


The Drift was nothing but shops, once they got away from the Docking Bays.

"Ok, so where should we start?" Dylan asked as he looked around him.

"I think that we should each go shopping on our own, that way we can cover more ground," Beka suggested.

"My lady, I believe that that is an excellent idea," Tyr complimented her.

"Thank you Tyr, what do you think Dylan?" She said, in mild shock, surprised by Tyr's un-Tyr like compliment, she'd ask him about it later.

"Works for me. We'll split up and meet back here in 3 hours. Radio in if you need more time," Dylan said as the others dispersed among the various shops.


Back at Alacar Drift, Trance and Harper were making good head way on their parts list. They had been on the Drift for only 8 hours and they had almost half the list purchased.

"Wow, this is easier than I thought," Trance said as they stopped for a quick bite to eat.

"Yeah, and that's what bugs me. I've never been on a parts run where I didn't have to haggle for half an hour. Our luck is going to change," Harper said as he ate.

"Pessimist," was all that Trance would say. Harper only grinned at her.

"Well, call it what you want to Trance. I just call it like I see it," he said as he finished eating.

"Shall we get back to work?" he asked as he offered her his hand.

"Sure, the sooner we finish, the sooner we go home."


Dylan was in a book store looking for books for new parents. He wasn't having much luck.

"Excuse me," he said to the first employee he saw, but she ignored him and kept walking. This was the same pattern each time he asked. He finally gave up and started looking on his own.

Beka had gone with Tyr to look for gifts. They were having considerably more luck than Dylan was. They were looking for little trinkets, baby toys, mobiles, and the like.

"See, Tyr, this isn't so bad. We'll be finished shopping in next to no time," she sad as she paid for the purchases. They had finally found a small toy toolkit, and a gardening set, perfect for Trance and Harper's child. They also got a mobile with ships of the Commonwealth on it.

Rommie wasn't even bothering to go shopping, she just accessed the nearest computer console and ordered the gifts from there. Rommie was to get them diapers and other baby products. Finding the items she wanted and paying for them, she had them delivered straight to Andromeda.


"Tyr, can I ask you a question?" Beka asked as they stopped at what must have been the fifth shop that day.

"Of course," he replied while looking at a stuffed Perseid doll with disgust.

"Back when we were deciding what we'd do, why'd you compliment me on my suggestion? You have to admit that that was very unlike you."

He sighed in resignation, deciding that she wouldn't drop the matter, he began to explain himself.

"Both the Alien and the Little Professor are vital to the survival of both myself and this crew, if they are unhappy about the fact that their relationship is opposed by everyone else, then even when the child is born, our chances of survival will drop. Therefore, I see that if they are given gifts for the child, then they will forget about the opposition to their relationship and continue to enhance the chances of my... our, survival." He explained as he and Beka left the store and continued to browse.

"Really? Is that the only reason? Then why did you compliment my idea?" Beka asked, still a little confused by that part.

"That, is easier to explain. But I must make myself perfectly clear, this will never get back to anyone else, not the Ship, not the Boy, not the Alien, and not Dylan. Am I making myself clear?" He asked.

"Perfectly clear," she replied.

"Good, over the years I have come to consider you as... friends. I will do anything to ensure your survival. If you survive, then my chances of survival increase daily."

"Ok, got it, completely understand now."

"Do you really?" He asked, amused by her answer.

"No, not really, but I know what you mean. Well, this shop looks promising." She said as they stopped in front of a toy shop.

"Indeed it does, shall we?" He asked, taking the initiative and changing the topic away from the more personal issues.

"Yes, let's," she said as she entered the shop ahead of Tyr.


Three hours later, they all met back up at the appointed spot.

"So, how did you guys do?" Dylan asked as he passed the heavy bag of books from one hand to the other.

"Quite well. I can see that you did well yourself." Tyr said as he carried the packages that he and Beka had bought.

"I never knew that there were so many books about raising a child and being a new parent," he said switching the bag from hand to hand in mid-sentence. If he left the bag in one hand for too long, he lost blood to that hand.

"Where are your packages Rommie?" Dylan asked when he saw her empty-handed.

"Already aboard, I had them delivered," she said with a smile as the men struggled with their burdens.

"Well then, shall we return to the ship and put these away?" Dylan asked as he led the way through the Docking Bays.

"Who got the clothes?" Dylan asked as the airlock cycled open in front of them.

"I thought you were getting them," Rommie said as she entered the airlock.

"No, I thought you were," Dylan said as he followed.

"Relax you two, Tyr and I got 'em," Beka said holding up the bag of clothing.

"Good, that's a relief," Dylan said as he passed his bag to a waiting Droid. Beka and Tyr were doing the same thing.

"Rommie, please have these put away," Dylan said as he and the others left the Airlock.

"Of course Dylan. I'll meet you in the Mess Hall when it's done," she said and then left the group to organize the storage.

"Shall we head to the Mess Hall for a drink?" Dylan asked, gesturing for the other two to proceed him.

"Yes, let's," was Tyr's reply.

"After you," Beka said and followed Dylan and Tyr.


Rommie joined them a few minutes later, after having the items safely stowed away.

"Would you like to head to the rendezvous point now?" Rommie asked as she sat down at the table.

"Yes, set your course ahead full impulse, I want to take my time. Trance and Harper won't be there for another 2 days. I want to arrive a little before them," Dylan told Rommie, who nodded her understanding.

"Aye sir." She then got up and left the Mess Hall to see to it herself.

"So Dylan, what's the plan?" Beka asked as she and Tyr sat side by side, shoulders almost touching.

"Plan?" Dylan asked, not quite following her question.

"When are we going to give this stuff to Harper and Trance?" she asked, making it clear what she meant.

"Well, I thought that we'd let them settle back in after the trip. Then, once their settled, we'll have Andromeda call them, tell them it's an emergency or something, then surprise!" he said with a flourish of his hands.

"Devious, I like it," Beka said with a grin.

"So long as they don't get suspicious, it'll all be fine," Dylan said.

"Dylan, I know that I've never been ..." Tyr paused to think of the word he wanted, "friends with them, but I believe I may have the perfect deception."

"Really? Then do tell," Dylan said as he and Beka leaned in to listen to Tyr's plan.


"Well Trance, my love, we set a new record. We only had to haggle once, and that was only 'cause he was closing. We got all the parts in twelve hours, not bad my golden goddess," Harper said as he gave his wife a hug.

Trance and Harper had put all the parts they'd bought into storage, and were now getting their personal packages stowed.

"Hey Trance, where's that game we bought?" he asked as he dug around in a bag.

"I've got it," she told him, holding up the box marked "Chess."

"Good, as soon as we leave you can set it up. It won't take us long to reach the Slip portal, but once we get to the rendezvous point, we'll have some time on our hands," Harper said as he strapped into the Maru's pilot chair and requested permission to leave.

"This is Eureka Maru to Alacar Control. Requesting permission to undock," Harper said over the Comm.

"Alacar Control to Eureka Maru, permission granted, have a safe journey, Alacar out." With that the connection was cut and the docking clamps were released.

Harper piloted the Maru towards the slip portal and activated the Slipstream.

"Transiting to Slip, hold on, Trance," Harper called as the silver tendrils snaked out and grabbed the Maru, pulling her in.

Once they entered Slipstream, it was a relatively short journey to the exit they wanted. The ship shook with the usual force as they exited Slipstream.

Harper then locked in the autopilot and went to join Trance in the galley.

"So, have you ever played chess before?" he asked her.

"Nope, have you?"

"I've never even heard of it until today," he said.

"Well, let's read the instructions," Trance said as she removed the flexi containing the instructions.

"Ok, it gives a visual of how the board should look," she said as she set up the board.

"Ok, that's how the board should look," she told him, having successfully set up the board.

"Cool," he said.

"Here's the part on how to play," she said as she handed him the flexi, having already read it.

"Seems simple enough," he said as he scanned the flexi. "Let's play," he said as he put down the flexi and looked at her.

"Ok, I move first," she said as she moved a pawn.


They spent the next hour and a half learning how to play chess. At the end they were both ok at it.

"Well, time for one of us to get some sleep," Harper said as he won the last game of the night. "You need your sleep if you're going to be healthy," he said, pulling her to her feet and kissing her gently.

"Yeah, I'll relieve you in a few hours," she said with a yawn.

"Good night, love," he said as she turned down the corridor and started walking towards the bunks.

"Good night, Harper," she said as she disappeared into the back.

Harper returned to the pilot's chair and made himself comfortable; it was going to be a long night.


When the Maru arrived at the rendezvous point Harper turned off the engines and just sat there, waiting for Andromeda to show up.

Eight hours after Trance went to bed, she rejoined Harper in the cockpit.

"Morning," she said, giving him a kiss.

"Morning," he replied.

"So how long do we have to wait?" she asked.

"About a day," Harper said, looking over at her.

"So, what do you want to do?" she asked as he got up and walked to where she sat.

"I'm gonna go to bed. If you have nothing better to do you can join me, or stay here and count the space dust."

Harper then walked to the cockpit door and looked back at Trance. She remained where she was, but looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back and went to the bunks to get some sleep.


Some time during the night, Trance decided to join him in bed. The first thing he noticed as he awakened slightly was her warm body pressed up against his. He tiredly pulled the blankets over them both as they fell asleep once again.


Later, after Harper had been asleep for several hours, he awoke to the sound of the Comm system chirping. Trance was still asleep beside him. Knowing that it might be Andromeda, he struggled from the blankets and made his way to the cockpit.

When he arrived he activated the Comm system.

"Yeah?" he said, still half asleep. He was now sitting in the pilot's chair, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"Is that any way to address a commanding officer?" came the reply.

"Oh, morning boss," he said as his eyes focused on Dylan's face on the view screen. "I just woke up," he yawned.

"I can see that, are you ready to dock?" the Captain asked.

"Yeah, ready when you are," Harper replied as he strapped into the chair.

"Good, we'll be waiting for you in the Hanger Bay," Dylan said as his image blinked off.


Harper landed the Maru as gently as he could, knowing that Beka would kill him if he scratched her.

He then un-strapped and went back to wake Trance.

"Trance, time to wake up, sleepy head," Harper said as he gently shook her awake.

"Are we there yet?" she asked, stretching her arms above her head.

"Yeah, we're there, come on, you need to wake up. We've got to go meet the others," he said as he helped her sit up.

She responded by throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him.

"You're too good to me, Harper," she said as she stood up and moved slowly towards the airlock.

"Yeah, I know, but you deserve it, you are my Golden Goddess after all," he replied with a smirk.

As the ramp lowered, Harper and Trance saw their friends waiting for them; with ill-concealed grins on their faces.

"So, what's up guys?" Harper asked as he led Trance down the ramp. The Maria bots were already beginning to unload the hold.

"Nothing, why would anything be up?" Beka asked, the picture of innocence.

"Well, beside the fact that you all have stupid grins on your faces?" Harper asked as he crossed his arms over his chest. Trance glared at them from behind him, trying to prevent the smile creeping to her lips.

"Ok, ok, you win, we bought you guys gifts," Beka said as Rommie brought the wrapped package forward.

"What is it?" Harper asked suspiciously, that being in his nature having grown up on Earth.

"If we told you that, it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it?" Tyr asked from his position at the back.

"They have a point, Harper," Trance said as she took the gift.

"Yeah, well, let's open it," Harper said, curiosity getting the better of him.

Grinning at her husband's antics, Trance removed the present from the wrapping. Inside was a box. Opening the box, Trance discovered a photo album with photos spanning the time they've been aboard Andromeda. There were photos of the entire crew: Rev, Rommie, Beka, Tyr, Dylan, Harper and Trance. They were from Rommie's security cameras and sensors. The other had really put some time and effort into this gift.

"Thank you, it's so nice, what a lovely gift," Trance said as the tears formed behind her eyes; her friends were so thoughtful.

"Yeah guys, thanks," Harper said, unusually quiet, the thoughtfulness of the others having gotten through even his tough exterior.

"Well, now that we've got that out of the way, let's go talk about your trip," Dylan said as he led the crew out of the Hanger Bay.


A week later, the rest of the crew sprung the baby shower on the young couple.

"I wonder who that could be," Harper said as he went to answer the door. Trance just shrugged and went back to tending her plants.

"If you're offering the Watchtower, we don't want any," Harper yelled through the door.

"Harper, it's me, open the door," came Beka's voice.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming, boss, hold your horses," Harper said as he opened the door. In the corridor was not just Beka, but Tyr, Dylan and Rommie, all wearing stupid grins. "Hey guys, what's up?"

The four filed into the couple's quarters and just stood there; grinning.

"Ok, this is weird, what's going on?" Harper asked as he backed up to stand next to Trance.

"We're here to take you to the party," Dylan said as he moved to the couple and began herding them out.

"Party? What party, why wasn't I told there was a party?" Harper asked.

"You'll see when we get there," Rommie told him.

"Hush, Harper, we'll see when we get there," Trance said as he began to protest. To show she wasn't mad, she held his hand as they walked.


Arriving on the Observation Deck, Harper and Trance were shocked to see a table full of wrapped gifts for them.

"What is this?" Trance asked.

"It's a baby shower, Trance. I know we're a little early but we figured that'd give you time to learn how to raise a child," Dylan answered.

"Wow, you guys are the best," Trance said, tears once again in her eyes.

"Oh, hey, Trance don't cry, I know you're surprised, but don't cry," Harper said as he gathered her in his arms.

"It's just that I'm so happy to have friends that care about me, in the other future there was no one that cared about me. I'm just happy, that's all," she told them.

"What about Beka? Didn't you have her?" Harper asked as her pulled away from her to look at her face.

"After everyone else died, she got so, distant, it was the same as if I had been alone." She explained as she buried her head in Harper's shoulder.

"Well, then shouldn't we see what your friends got you?" Rommie asked as she and Harper led Trance to the table and a chair.

"That's a good idea, come on, Trance, which gift first?" Harper asked.

"Ummm, that one," she said pointing to Dylan's wrapped gift.

"Ok, the tag says it's from Dylan," Harper told her as he passed the heavy box to his wife.

Opening it Trance found several, real, paper books on the subject of raising a child and being a new parent. She had a feeling that these would come in handy.

"Thank you Dylan, I know that these books will get a lot of use, won't they Harper?"

"Huh, what, oh... yeah they will." They all laughed at his blank expression, he'd been trying to read the introduction of one of the books and was looking totally confused.

Still laughing, Rommie handed Trance another gift, this was from Beka and Tyr.

Opening the metallic paper, Trance found a small toy toolkit, a gardening set, and a mobile with ships of the Commonwealth on it.

"These are the perfect gifts, thanks you guys. Look Rommie, here's you," Trance said as she pointed to the Glorious Heritage class vessel on the mobile.

"We're glad you like it," Beka said from where she stood.

Nodding as she was handed another group of gifts, Trance was soon busy opening the gifts from Rommie. She had gotten all the essential baby stuff, diapers, bottles, baby wipes, you know, the usual.

"Rommie, thank you, now we can learn how to change the baby before it's here," Trance said with a laugh. "Did you get any big enough for Harper?"

At this they all laughed, with the exception of Harper, who didn't think it was funny.

"Ha, ha, ha, I get it, childishness equals baby. Very funny, Trance," he said as he folded his arms over his chest.

"Ok, you have one final gift, Beka, Tyr?" Dylan gestured towards Harper and Trance.

"Well, now that you have all this baby stuff, you need something to make the kid look good, so Tyr and I got you guys some baby clothes. They're neutral colors so you can put the kid in them, you know boy or girl," Beka explained as she handed over the bag of clothes.

"Thank you Beka, I know what you mean, don't worry," Trance said with a little laugh.

"Well, that's it for the gifts, so let's have some cake," Dylan said as Rommie brought out the marbled cake.

As Dylan cut the cake and passed out the slices, Harper grabbed Trance and kissed her.

"This was a nice surprise, wasn't it?" he asked.

"Yes, it was, it was very nice of them to think of it."

"Yeah, but now I want some cake. Come on," Harper said as he pulled her over to Dylan to get their pieces.


Six months later, Harper was awakened from a sound sleep by a cold breeze. Trance was halfway to the bathroom when Harper woke enough to know what was happening.

At the onset of the sixth month, Trance had developed morning sickness, and neither she nor Harper had a full nights sleep since. Whenever she ran to the bathroom, Harper was waiting for her with a glass of water and a towel.

"Morning Trance," he said with a yawn.

"Morning Harper," she replied as she took the glass and the towel, and sat on the bed beside him.

"Well, just think of it like this, in another 3 months our child will be born," Harper said as he rubbed her neck and back. These massages had become a normal part of the day, a pleasant follow up to the morning sickness.

"Yeah, and I'm counting every day," she said as she relaxed into the message.

Harper smiled and kissed her neck as he tried to make her as comfortable as he could. He hoped that they'd eventually be able to get some sleep.

As he continued to rub her shoulders, Harper's mind began to wonder.

'Ok, so this is the sixth month and Trance only has morning sickness, shouldn't she be having mood swings too?' his mind asked. Truthfully he didn't know.

"Trance?" he said, "Are you going to get mood swings?"

"No, I'm not. That's a Human characteristic and I'm not human, as you know," she replied with a grin, which he returned.

"Yeah, I've never seen a purple human with a tail that turned into a golden goddess."

"And you won't either."

"Well, shall we go for our walk?" Harper asked as he finished his massage.

"Yeah, let me get dressed first," she said as she moved to the closet to find something to wear.

Since she started to show, Trance was unable to wear her normal cat-suit armor-like clothing. She'd had to go shopping for clothes that would fit her, and that she'd wear.

Returning from the closet, she laid the purple Trance style clothes on the bed. They were a two-piece set of pants and matching shirt. But most of all, they had a few sparkles here and there, giving the golden colored clothe a hint of the former purple pixie's sparkly-ness.

Needless to say, Harper enjoyed having her dress more like her old self; he felt it was a way to both keep the past alive and to maintain the present, without giving up either.

Having dressed in her outfit of choice, Trance went to where Harper was sitting.

"Are you ready to go, or are you going to sit all day?" she asked with a grin.

"Yeah, I'm ready. Do you want to stop by the Mess Hall for some breakfast, or do you want to walk about a bit first?" he asked as he offered her his arm and led the way into the corridor.

"Um, let's walk about first, then we'll go eat," Trance replied.

At Harper's nod of consent, they began their rounds. They normally walked from their quarters to Hydroponics, to Harper's Machine Shop, to Med Bay, then to the Mess Hall. This was their daily routine after Trance woke up with morning sickness. Harper gave her the water, towel, and the massage, then they'd walk about for an hour or so, then they'd eat.


After Trance and Harper had their walk and had gotten something to eat, they gave each other a kiss for the day and went to work in their various areas. Today Trance went to Hydroponics and Harper went to Command.

"Mr. Harper, how is Trance?" Dylan asked, not looking up from his console as Harper entered Command.

"Good, if you don't count the not sleeping and the morning sickness, aside from that she's doing very good," Harper said as he set to work at the Engineering console.

"And how are you doing?" Dylan asked, finally looking up.

"Me? I'm great, my wife is six months pregnant, she wakes up in the morning and throws up, she doesn't feel well, which makes me not feel well, so all in all she and I are perfectly paired right now," Harper said sarcastically.

"Well, that's good to hear, at least we know that you and Trance do belong together," Dylan said as he looked back down at his console.

"Now what's that supposed to mean?" Harper asked, moving around in front of the console he was working on.

Sighing, Dylan tuned his head to look at Harper.

"Harper, I'm sure you've noticed by now that Beka, Rommie, Tyr, and myself; all disapprove of your relationship with Trance. We tried to prevent it as much as possible when she was purple, and the same when she changed. We never sent you on missions together because we didn't want you two to get close. You're a player Harper, the first petty girl you meet and you'll leave Trance," Dylan said with some heat.

"I would NEVER do that, she's my wife, the mother of my unborn child, the love of my freakin' life." By now Harper was yelling, trying to keep his anger in check. "Why are you bringing this up again?"

"So? And that means anything? You've played around before Harper, you'll do it to Trance too. Once a player, always a player." Harper and Dylan were now eye to eye. "Why did I bring this up again? Because you aren't good enough for her, she deserves better than a street punk from Earth who'll leave her at the first pretty face."

"What do you know?" Harper yelled in Dylan's face. "You've never met the love of your life, the one girl in the entire universe that completes your soul. The one person that, once you meet her you can never live without her. It's like a chemical and physical bond, once it's there it can never be broken. So, try all you like, Dylan, but you will never break apart the relationship that Trance and I share."

"Get off my bridge," was the only reply Dylan could muster. Harper was glad to obey, his anger nearly bursting forth.


Hours later, Trance found Harper in what was left of his Machine Shop. By the looks of things, he'd been at it for hours, and he was still going.

"... of all the stupid, idiotic, things that a person can do, this takes the Sparky," he was yelling as Trance entered, trying to avoid the flying pieces of various machines, or what used to be machines.

"Harper," she yelled over the smashing. He didn't hear her, so she had to physically grab him in mid-throw.

"Trance? What are you doing here?" he asked, dropping what was left of a medical scanner to the floor.

"It's time to call it a day, I came to get you for dinner," she said as some of the stress and fury left his body.

"Boy, Trance, did I have a day today," he said as he continued to relax. He sat on the edge of his workbench.

"Do you wanna tell me about it?" she pressed, knowing that he should talk it out.

"Yeah, I do, but later, first let's go get something to eat," he said as he jumped down from his seat, grabbed her hand, and lead the way out the door.

"So, do you want to eat in the Mess Hall, or in our quarters?" she asked as he slowed enough to allow her to walk beside him.

"Let's eat in our quarters, I'll tell you what happened there," Harper said with a sigh.

"Ok" was her only reply.


"So he actually confronted you with his objections to our relationship?" Trance asked, shock evident on her face.

"Yup, just came right out and said it, Rommie recorded the entire thing." Harper said as he finished his water. The table before him held the remains of the simple dinner they had shared.

"Really? I'd like to see that, I want to know what he said," Trance said as her expression darkened slightly.

"Rommie, would you please play the footage of my 'conversation' with Dylan?" Harper called to the AI, her hologram appeared in the middle of the room.

"Of course, it'd be my pleasure," she said with an evil grin as she flashed out.

The crackling of the room's monitor signaled the start of the video.

"Mr. Harper, how is Trance?" Dylan asked, not looking up from his console, as Harper entered Command.

"Good, if you don't count the not sleeping and the morning sickness, aside from that she's doing very good." Harper said as he set to work at the Engineering console.

"And how are you doing?" Dylan asked, finally looking up.

"Me? I'm great, my wife is six months pregnant, she wakes up in the morning and throws up, she doesn't feel well, which makes me not feel well, so all in all she and I are perfectly paired right now." Harper said sarcastically.

"Well, that's good to hear, at least we know that you and Trance bdo/b belong together." Dylan said as he looked back down at his console.

"Now what's that supposed to mean?" Harper asked, moving around in front of the console he was working on.

Sighing, Dylan tuned his head to look at Harper.

"Harper, I'm sure you've noticed by now that Beka, Rommie, Tyr, and myself, all disapprove of your relationship with Trance. We tried to prevent it as much as possible when she was purple, and the same when she changed. We never sent you on missions together because we didn't want you two to get close. You're a player Harper, the first petty girl you meet and you'll leave Trance." Dylan said with some heat.

"I would NEVER do that, she's my wife, the mother of my unborn child, the love of my freakin' life." By now Harper was yelling, trying to keep his anger in check.

"So? And that means anything? You've played around before Harper, you'll do it to Trance too. Once a player, always a player." Harper and Dylan were now eye to eye.

"What do you know?" Harper yelled in Dylan's face. "You've never met the love of your life, the one girl in the entire universe that completes your soul. The one person that, once you meet her you can never live without her. It's like a chemical and physical bond, once it's there it can never be broken. So, try all you like, Dylan, but you will never break apart the relationship that Trance and I share."

"Get off my bridge." Was the only reply Dylan could muster, Harper was glad to obey, his anger nearly bursting forth.

Trance watched in shock as the previous incident played before her eyes, her ears catching every one of Dylan's words.

As the video finished, Rommie flashed back in.

"I really don't like how he grouped me with himself, Beka, and Tyr. All three of my personas approve of your pairing," Rommie said a bit defensively.

"We know that Rom-doll, really we do," Harper said as he moved to clear the table of the dishes.

"Would you like to know the real reason that Dylan went shopping for your baby shower?" Rommie asked with a conspiratorial look.

"Yeah, that would be nice to know," Trance said as she made herself comfortable on the couch, Harper settling in beside her.

"Let's just say that cold showers and mis-ordered meals have a tendency to make a person consider ideas."

"Rommie, that's evil," Trance said as she broke out laughing.

"You know Rom-doll, I knew there was a reason I loved you," Harper said as he too began laughing.

"You mean it wasn't for my beautiful looks?" Rommie teased.

"You guys know what, even though Beka doesn't approve of your relationship, she's still your friend, that's why she went shopping. As for Tyr, well Beka had to threaten him to get him to go with her."

"Thanks Rommie, that makes me feel a lot better," Harper said with a sigh. "Still, I wish Dylan wasn't so against this."

"It's late, time to turn in, Trance needs her sleep," Harper to the hologram when he noticed his wife was almost asleep.

"Ok, see you in the morning. Good night Harper," Rommie said as she vanished.

"Night Rommie," Harper said as he picked up Trance and carried her to the bed. He pulled off her boots and removed her sparkly outfit. He gently dressed her in a nightgown, trying not to wake her; she needed all the sleep she could get.

Having seen to his wife, Harper prepared himself for bed. As usual he wore a tank top and shorts, his favorite pajamas.

Carefully sliding into bed, Harper managed not to wake Trance. He moved to gently kiss her forehead. Pulling away and settling down on his pillow, Harper watched as a small smile graced her lips.

"Night Trance," he softly said.

"Night Harper," she murmured in her sleep. Smiling to himself, Harper fell into a pleasant sleep, free from any nightmares.


Three Months Later ...

Harper awoke with a start, sweat beading on his forehead. His fight or flight survival streak taking over for a moment. Looking around the room, Harper found nothing out of the ordinary, yet for some reason he was awakened by an external source.

Slowly relaxing his body, he tried to fall back into a dreamless sleep. Since Trance had reached the 2nd trimester, Harper hadn't had a single bad dream; it was starting to worry him. Three months without a nightmare was enough to make him question his sanity; and his good fortune.

Still trying to fall asleep, Harper heard a soft noise, a small whimper coming from the area next to him.

Trance was whimpering softly in her sleep.

"Trance, Trance wake up, you're having a bad dream," Harper said as he gently shook her, trying to wake her from whatever dream plagued her.

"Trance, come on wake up," Harper said as he continued to shake her. She gave no response.

"Harper to Rommie, please report to my quarters, medical emergency, it's Trance!!" Harper yelled as the comm system relayed his message.

"Understood, I'll be there shortly," came the avatar's reply.

Moments later, Rommie was standing in Harper's quarters examining Trance.

"Well, she appears fine, but we should move her to Medical for observation," Rommie said as two Maria bots entered with a stretcher.

Trance continued to whimper as they placed her on the liter and left for Medical.


In Medical, Rommie moved to prepare a bed for Trance, Harper lifted her from the liter and gently placed her on the bed. As he pulled away, her arms tightened about his neck, keeping him from moving.

"Uh... Rommie, a little help here," Harper said as he gently tried to remove Trance's arms from his neck.

Sighing, Rommie moved to rescue Harper, but found it difficult to remove Trance's grip even with her android strength. After not being able to remove her, Rommie gave up and turned to Harper.

"I'm sorry, Harper, it appears as though she won't let go. My advice would be to just sit on the bed and stay with her until she wakes."

"Thanks Rommie, a big help that is," Harper replied as he moved onto the bed with his ill wife.

As he made himself comfortable on the bed, he leaned over and whispered to Trance, "What's wrong Trance? Why are you doing this to me? I need you, don't you dare die on me, I love you."

Trance just continued to whimper.

As Rommie began to run her tests on Trance, Harper fell asleep with her arms still around his neck.


As Harper slept next to her, Trance was aware of everything going on around her, even Harper's plea to her. She wanted to answer him, to calm his fears that she would die, to tell him that she would never leave him in this life or the next, to tell him that their souls were intertwined forever. She wanted to do all this, yet she couldn't even control her own body. She knew what was happening, -- she'd seen it happen to countless numbers of her people -- but in all her life she had never expected it to happen to her.

Among her people, she was an outcast, an exile, a being that had no home and no family. A being like that had no chance of falling in love and getting married, or even having children. Among her people the exiles were considered to be the walking dead, yet here she was, married to a Human, pregnant with his child and deeply in love with him. She had achieved all the things she had lost when she was exiled. Not that she wanted to marry any of her people, they were too content to just sit back and let the chosen few take care of the timelines. She had not been one of those chosen, nor had she been a person to sit back and let others do all the good deeds, most of which were done from duty and not a genuine desire to do good. That's why she was exiled -- because she had manipulated the timelines, against the code of her people, for the good of the individuals involved.

As she felt Harper sleeping next to her, she realized that her life had turned out exactly how she wanted it to. She was married to a wonderful man that she loved with all her heart, she was about to bear his child, and all she could see in the future was a happy place where the child would grow up safe, happy, and loved.

As the contractions grew closer and closer together and Trance's whimpering grew in intensity, Rommie began to worry.

"I'm worried," she confided to Dylan when he joined her. Harper and Trance were both still asleep.

"Why?" he asked as he watched the couple sleeping on the Med bed. Trance continued to whimper , even in her sleep; Harper cuddled closer to her, trying even in his sleep to comfort her.

"I can find no signs of any ailment. The only thing I can possibly come up with is that she has gone into labor," she replied as Dylan turned to face her.

"What, you mean that this coma is her species way of giving birth?" Dylan asked, shock written across his face.

"I can't be sure, but that's how it appears. I'm not even sure if she will wake up for the birth."

"I hope she does," came a tired voice from behind them.

"Mr. Harper, I was wondering when you'd wake up," Dylan said as he moved to the young man's side.

"I just bet you were. What do you need me to fix now, the Slipstream, the AP tanks, Rommie's avatar?" Harper asked in a condescending manner. "What ever it is, I ain't gonna do it, there is no way that you will get me to leave Trance's side."

"I would never dream of pulling you away from Trance at this time, but I do need you to go get some coffee or a Sparky. We'll need you to be fully awake when she starts giving birth," Dylan appeased him as he placed his hand on Harper's shoulder. Harper looked at the hand as though it was a bug and Dylan quickly removed it; obviously Harper was still upset by what he'd said earlier.

"Yeah, well I could use a Sparky right now, I'll be right back. Don't do anything to Trance while I'm gone," Harper said as he literally ran from the room.

"I shouldn't have said what I did earlier," Dylan said with a sigh as the doors closed behind Harper.

"No, you shouldn't have, I have no problem with their relationship, nor do Tyr or Beka. You are the only one that's been against it since the wedding. You've just been including us because you didn't want to be the only one against it. Now, I'll admit that at first Tyr, Beka and myself were all worried about them having a relationship, but we weren't as openly against it as you were."

"Do you mean to tell me that I'm the only one that's been against their marriage from the start?"

"More or less, after they were married, Beka, Tyr, and myself, all saw how much they loved each other. We realized that we had no right to get in the way of their relationship, and we tried to get you to realize that as well."

"I had no idea."

"Why would you? Dylan, you were so bent on breaking them up that you never stopped to realize that maybe they belonged together," Beka said as she moved to stand beside Dylan, Tyr beside her.

"While Nietzscheans may not believe in love as you normal humans do, even I can see that that young man would happily give his life to protect her," Tyr said with a gesture at Trance.

"I ... I don't know what to say. How can I apologize to Harper and Trance for what I've done to them?" he asked as he sank to his knees in realization of his actions.

"The first thing would be to say 'I'm sorry'," Tyr gently said as he helped pick Dylan from the floor.

They were all somewhat startled by the doors opening to admit Harper.

"Hey guys," he said taking a sip of his Sparky, "I miss anything?"

"No, you didn't miss a thing," Tyr said as he left the Med Deck with Beka.

Harper just stood, watching as the door closed behind Beka and Tyr. Turning with a bewildered look on his face, he looked straight at Dylan.

"Mr. Harper, I'd like to talk to you about your relationship with Trance."

"Not this again," Harper said, anger rising as Dylan began to question him about his relationship on the very day his child would be born. "Why can't you leave Trance and me alone? Why do you have to go butting your head into our relationship? I love her, she's my wife, end of friggin' story."

Harper turned to leave Medical when Rommie grabbed his arm.

"Harper, I think you should listen to him, just this once," she gently said, releasing his arm as he turned back to Dylan.

Folding his arms across his chest, Harper made it clear to Dylan that it would be a long road to recovery.

"Harper, it has just recently been brought to my attention that I've been the only one against your relationship with Trance. I just found out that the others have all accepted it and are in fact supportive of it. I have no idea how I can apologize for the hell that I put you through, but for now all I can do is tell you I am sorry."

"Hmmm, that's it? You're sorry? Am I supposed to forget all those things you said earlier? What about the fact that you admitted to doing all that you could to sabotage our relationship?"

"Harper..." Rommie tried to intervene.

"No, Rommie, he needs to hear about what he's put us through for the last few months." Harper then turned his back on the avatar and faced Dylan alone.

"You want to know what you've put Trance and me through? Stress and uncountable emotional damage. Do you know what it's like to think that people you considered to be your friends are against your relationship? That your family is trying to destroy the only good thing that has ever happened in your life? No, I don't think you do Dylan. You see, when you grew 300 years ago, things were different. Now, Earth is a slave planet and the galaxy is in chaos. You know what parts of my life was like on Earth, Trance makes all that happened to me there seem as though it never happened." Harper paused to gauge Dylan's reaction, on the other man's face Harper saw the true realization of what Dylan had done strike him like a physical blow. "That, Dylan, is what you wanted to take from Trance and me."

Finishing his speech to Dylan, Harper left him and moved beside Trance and just sat holding her hand.

Watching the young man go, Dylan let out a sigh at the Herculean task of making amends to Harper and Trance.

"Don't worry Dylan, all you have to do is give him a little time, he'll come around," Rommie said as she placed her hand on his shoulder.

"I hope so, I really hope so," Dylan replied, with one last look at Harper and Trance, he left Medical.

Sighing, Rommie went over to monitor Trance.


Several hours later, Harper awoke to find his head resting on Trance's bed. Looking around, Harper found Rommie preparing the supplies she'd need when Trance started giving birth.

"Hey Rom Doll," Harper said as he got up to stretch.

"Good morning Harper, no change in Trance's condition since you fell asleep, but I'm not worried. Different species have different birth conditions," she explained as Harper stretched, his back popping from the effort.

"Well, if you're not worried, then I'm not worried," he replied with a grin.

As he was stretching, a small groan came from Trance.

"Harper, I think she's waking up," Rommie said as she checked the scanners.

"Trance, Trance my love, can you hear me?" Harper asked as he grabbed her hand.

"Harper?" she said weakly.

"Yeah, I'm here, don't worry," he said as he stroked her face.

"Don't worry Harper, everything will be fine, our child will be fine," she said weakly.

"I know, I know that Trance, I'm only worried about you right now."

"Me, I'll be fine once the child is born, until then I need to sleep. All I need is sleep," she said as she passed out again.

"Rommie?" Harper called over his shoulder.

"It's ok, Harper, she just fell back asleep," she reassured the young man.

"That's good, I was getting worried that I may have lost her."

"There's no way that that would ever happen, Harper. She's too strong to die..." The beeping of the scanners cut her off. "Harper! She's going into labor, she's giving birth!"

"What? What can I do to help?" Harper asked, wanting to do anything to help his wife.

"There's nothing you can do, Harper, I will need you to stay out of my way. You don't need to leave, but just stay back," Rommie told him as she moved her supplies next to Trance.

As she was scrubbing her hands down, two Maria bots came in and took up positions as midwives.

"Ummm, Rom Doll, are they qualified to be mid-wives?" Harper asked, somewhat anxiously.

"Of course, Harper, they're being controlled by my central intelligence, they know what to do."

"Ok, if you say so." He didn't seem convinced, but Rommie just smiled; she could understand his trepidation.

"Stand back Harper, you're in the way," Rommie said as she set to work preparing Trance for delivery. Harper moved to stand by Trance's head. He picked up her hand and held it.


Half an hour later, a weary Harper emerged from Medical to find the rest of the crew waiting for him.

Beka was holding a cup of coffee for him, while Dylan paced the hallway. Tyr just leaned against the wall in his usual aloof manner, but Harper could tell he was worried about Trance and the child.

"Here, this is for you," Beka said as she handed Harper the coffee.

"Thanks Boss," he said in reply, then took a big gulp of the scalding hot coffee causing Beka to cringe.

"So, Mr. Harper, how is Trance?" Dylan asked when Harper had finished the coffee.

"She's fine, so is the kid. She was unconscious the entire time, Rommie and I think that's how her species give birth, it's less traumatic on the mother."

"Well, can we see it?" Beka said then paused in thought. "Harper, what sex is the child?"

"Ummm, funny you should mention that Boss, there's a funny story behind that," Harper said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"And that would be, what?" she asked, crossing her arms over her chest, indicating that Harper had better spill it.

"Well, you know how Trance's last name in Gemini, right? In mythology the Gemini are twins, and that's where the trouble lies. Trance and I are now the proud parents of a little girl and boy."

"Twins? You have twins, that's amazing," Beka said as she grabbed Harper in a crushing hug."

"Yeah, ain't it?" he asked as he struggled for breath.

"Beka, you'd better let him go or those children will grow up with out a father," Dylan told her.

"Oh, right, sorry, Harper," she said, releasing him.

"No problem, Boss, happens all the time."

"How is Trance?" Dylan asked when Harper recovered his breath.

"She's awake now," Harper replied, moving to block the door to Medical, "but Rommie said she needs to rest."

"We can't just say hello?" Beka asked.

"No, you can't. She needs to regain her strength," Andromeda's hologram said as she fizzled into the conversation. "Harper, you're needed back inside."

"Thanks, Rom Doll," he said before disappearing inside, the doors locking behind him.

"You can't open the doors, nor can you override me. This has a priority over all commands. You can meet the children when Trance wakes up again." With that she disappeared from view.

"Well, I guess that tells us, doesn't it?" Beka asked the two men standing with her. Tyr just turned and walked away.

"Tyr, where are you going?" she asked.

"They'll call us when she awakes, there is no sense in waiting here in the hall. I'm going to get something to eat, would you two care to join me?"

"Why Tyr, that sounds like an excellent idea," Dylan said with a grin. "You coming Beka?"

Beka stood there in thought as the two men began walking down the hall, talking about what they would name the babies. Beka hurried to catch up.


"Trance, how ya doing?" Harper asked as he rejoined his wife.

"I'm fine Harper, so are the children," she said with a tired smile.

"Trance, why didn't you tell me that your species has twins?"

"Well, I figured that since you're not my species our child wouldn't be a twin. I guess I was wrong."

"I guess you were," he said with a laugh and a kiss on her forehead. "I hope you're wrong more often."

"Me too," she replied with a grin.

"Trance, Harper, here are your children," Rommie said as she placed a child in each parent's arms.

"What shall we name them?" Trance asked.

"Well, I have an idea, but let's not decide until the others come back," Harper said with a twinkle in his eye. He then leaned over and whispered in her ear; she smiled and nodded in agreement.


Half an hour after that, Rommie decided that it was okay to let the others 'visit'. So, having her hologram summon them from the Mess Hall, Rommie went over the scans of the children; they were in perfect health. When the others arrived, Rommie had Trance sitting up, holding a baby, while Harper held the other.

"Dylan, Beka, Tyr, I'd like you to meet our children," Harper said as the three named came forward.

"What are their names?" Tyr asked.

"That, Tyr, is the question of the century," Harper said with a look at Trance. "A question that can now be answered."

Stepping forward with his bundle, Harper pulled the blanket away from the tiny form to reveal a light blue skin with spiky blonde hair like his father. Trance, doing the same to her bundle, revealed a child with lavender skin and pink, blue, purple, blonde hair.

Harper's bundle had eyes the same shade of brown as his mother's, while Trance's had blue eye's like her father.

"Guys, this is Jonathan Gemini Harper, our son," he said as the others stared in awe at the little bundle.

"And this is McKenzie Gemini Harper, our daughter," Trance said as the others gathered around the new mother. Harper moved to stand next to Trance and gave her their son.

"Now you can't see it, but McKenzie has a tail, as does Jonathan," Harper said as Trance cradled the babies to her.

"Can we hold them?" Beka asked.

"Sure, Beka, here take McKenzie," Trance said as she handed her daughter to Beka.

Taking Jonathan, Harper moved to stand next to Dylan.

"Would you like to hold John, Uncle Dylan?" he said with a grin.

"Of course, Harper," Dylan said, gently taking the infant from his father and moving to stand next to Beka.

Tyr came up behind Harper and placed his hand on the young man's shoulder.

"I'm proud of you, Boy," was all that he said.

"Thanks Tyr, that really means a lot," Harper replied.

"Mr. Harper, I must say that I'm proud of you too," Dylan said as he coochie-cooed Jonathan.

"Thanks Dylan, I really appreciate it," Harper said.

"I must tell you both," Dylan began as he looked into the blue face of the child he held. "That I am proud of you both, and I know that you two belong together, no matter what."

Harper was at a loss for words, so he moved to Trance's side and placed his hand on her shoulder in pride.

"Thank you, Dylan, you will never truly know how much that means to us," Trance said with tears in her eyes.

"Well, all I can say is that I expect good things from these two," he said, indicating Jonathan and McKenzie.

"Well, you never know," Trance said with a strange smile. "The future is a hard thing to see."

The others just looked at her; she just smiled and held Harper's hand.

And thus were Jonathan and McKenzie Harper born into this world. What would their future hold, what secrets lay in the cryptic words of their mother?

Who's to say what the future holds, no matter the species, no matter the ability, no mater the concept of omnipotence, no mortal being can see the entire future.


Fin