The Heat of the Moment

This is a fan-fiction. I don't own Star Ocean, and this is for amusement.

The time is after the end of The Last Hope, when the Eldarians are on Lemuris. Faize and Arumat decided to stay on the Calnus, as did Lymle.

To say he was bothered was an understatement. Edge had been wondering for a while now as to why Arumat and Faize were both acting strangely. It was unlike either of them to be snippy. Well, Arumat was always snippy, but not like this.

Reimi was trying to avoid them, but Lymle, she was curious. She had a crush on Faize, everyone could see that, and it worried her that her sweetheart was bothered by something. So she went to ask.

Lymle found Faize sitting on the couch, looking worriedly at his data pad.

"Faize."

He looked over. "Yes, Lymle?" He knew his attitude of late wasn't her fault. In fact, he'd only just discovered what was wrong with himself.

"What's wrong? You and Mattie are so grumpy lately."

Faize sighed. "Lymle, do you know where Edge and Reimi are?"

Lymle nodded. "Their room." she said.

And Arumat?" he added.

"Behind you."

Faize looked up. "Hi."

Arumat snorted. "You find anything yet?"

"Yes and no." Faize replied. "Yes in that I found the answer, no in that it's not supposed to happen to artificially grown Eldarians."

"Well, until now, I've never even read the manual." said Arumat. "So what is it that I've got?"

"We'd like to know, too." said Edge as he and Reimi came down the stairs.

Faize sighed. "It's . . . our mating cycle."

"What?" Arumat asked. "Only normal Eldarians have those."

Faize nodded. "I know, I was startled too." He put down the data pad. "But apparently that's what we're suffering through."

"How do I fix this?" Arumat growled.

"The first question is what generation of tank-bred you are. First and seconds were mostly mono-gendered. Third generations were almost all bi-gendered." He looked sick.

"First generation." Arumat replied. "I looked up my file. I'm a bi-gender, mostly male. And I'd like to keep it that way."

"What about Faize?" Lymle asked.

"I'm third generation, bi-gendered. One of the 'perfect' ones."

"You're one of the ones that was capable of going either way?" Arumat asked. "Oh, this is rich."

"It gets worse." said Faize.

"How can it get worse?" asked Reimi.

"Well, Arumat needs a mate. Almost anyone will do, as long as he mates he'll be fine for another few years."

"And you?" asked Edge.

Faize tried not to be sick. "Likewise, but I can do either. In fact, my symptoms almost demand both actions."

"Meaning?" Reimi asked.

"I can both mate and be Arumat's mate."

Lymle looked at Faize. "Would Faize be having babies, then?"

Faize looked at Lymle, his precious little sweetheart. "Yes." he replied. "It's a flaw. We emit a certain hormone that causes us to require a mate. And we can't stop mating until there is a result."

"But what if one of you is sterile?"

"Sterile Eldarians don't go through this." Arumat said. "And tank-bred Eldarians were supposed to be able to mate at any time, without the hormones."

"But who will be Faize's 'mate'?" Reimi asked.

"Me." said Lymle. "I don't mind if it's Faize, 'kay?"

"You do realize this may be rough on you." said Faize.

"That's fine." Lymle wrapped her arms around Faize's waist. "I waited two years for you to come back, Faize. All that time, I wanted only you. So I don't mind if Faize makes me have a baby. Cause it'll be special."

Faize leaned his head on top of hers. "Alright, Lymle. You win."

Despite her consent, it still took Faize and Lymle time before they got anywhere. But when they did, it took them almost no time to get close. Like a hungry animal, Faize kissed her and loved her, over and over, until they were both exhausted. And even after they were done, and sure that Lymle was indeed going to be pregnant, Faize held her close.

"Faize?"

"Yes, Lymle?"

"You have to do this with Mattie, too, right?"

"Yes. There's no one on the ship that Arumat can be with except me."

"So we'll both be having babies, right?"

"Yes."

"Can I wait for you when you're with Mattie?" Lymle looked up at him through her loose brown hair.

"Yes, but not near the door. Arumat may not like that."

"I'll be making cookies for you with Reimi." Lymle said. "That way there will be something for you to eat after."

"What makes you think I'll be hungry?" Faize didn't have to wait for an answer. His stomach gurgled.

"That. Your stomach is grumbling, and so is mine, 'kay."

"Thank you, Lymle." Faize smiled. The two dressed and headed to the kitchen.

But Faize didn't get a chance to eat. Arumat was waiting for him, like a hungry animal. Without a word, he grabbed the younger and dragged him off to the room where Arumat stayed.

"You two took forever." Arumat growled. He stripped Faize of his clothes, then shed his own, locking the door as he did. "I need to get this done."

Faize looked fearfully at Arumat, but knew what had to be done. Still, the tears fell as Arumat pounced. The act which had seemed so sweet with Lymle now tortured Faize's body. Over and over, he heard Arumat grunting, licking his neck and chest like a hungry beast. Faize lay there, enduring it, knowing he had to for the sake of his comrade's sanity. But he still fainted before it was over.

Arumat paused to try and catch his breath. What had come over him? He'd never done anything like this before, and he was surprised by his own savage behavior. He could smell the change in Faize. The younger had been successfully mated, and would bear offspring. But Arumat couldn't help but feel guilty about driving the poor creature into unconsciousness. Dressing quickly, he stepped out and grabbed Reimi from the hallway.

"What is it?" Reimi asked.

"Faize." Arumat said, half-panting still. "Is he alright?"

Reimi noted the red marks gracing Faize's body from where Arumat had held him. She touched the pale face and checked his breathing. Asside from archery, she was also good at field-medicine. Carefully, she checked for broken bones. That was when she noticed Faize's hips. They were of a womanly shape. At least birth was going to be easier for him. He also seemed to have all the proper organs for the job, too, if not uniquely placed.

"He seems fine. Just exhausted. Could you move him to his room? I'll get something for him to eat when he wakes."

Arumat nodded, wrapped Faize carefully in the blanket, and carried him across the hall to his and Lymle's room.

Faize woke a day later, exhausted and hungry. He knew the only reason Arumat would have stopped would be a successful mating. It still didn't make things easier. Sitting up, he noticed Lymle watching from her bed.

"Are you alright, Faize? You slept a long time."

Faize nodded. "I got tired." he said softly. He noticed the plate filled with cookies sitting on the nightstand. "You know I can't eat all of these by myself."

Lymle came over and sat beside him. "Then why don't we both eat some." she smiled.

A month later, Faize and Lymle confirmed the fact that they were both pregnant. To help them through this, Edge and Reimi picked up an Eldarian doctor that worked on the moon base.

Faize looked nervous the first time he met her.

"And you are . . ?" asked the doctor.

"Faize Sheifa Beleth." he replied. He was grateful Lymle was with him for these appointments. He didn't know how he'd survive having to be alone with the doctor.

"And the girl?"

"Lymle Lemuri Phi." she replied. Lymle naturally stood at about Faize's armpit, but looked shorter when she was sitting. Also given the fact that she still wore pigtails, and she sometimes gave the impression of not knowing what was going on.

"I'm Dr. March, and I'll be taking care of both of you through your pregnancies."

Lymle noticed Faize looked nervous. "Can you check me first?" she asked. "I think Faize needs to see what's going to happen."

Dr. March smiled. "Alright. These first few appointments are just going to be your general health. I need to see if you're healthy, and to let you know of any adjustments you might need to make to your diets or lifestyles so your babies will grow healthy."

Faize nodded and watched as Lymle was checked for her reflexes, her ears were checked, and her vision. He still was a bit nervous, but knowing what was going to happen helped him calm down some.

"Your heart rate is a little off, Faize." said the doctor.

"Nervous." he replied. "I usually am around doctors."

Dr. March put down her stethoscope and looked at him. "It's alright, you know. I'm not going to hurt you."

Faize nodded. "I know that, it's just . . ."

"Did something happen?"

Faize nodded. He didn't look like he wanted to talk about it, so Dr. March didn't press the subject.

"Well, if it'll help any, you can bring Lymle any time I need to see you, alright? You're both due about the same time, so the check-ups will be the same for both of you."

"Thank you."

At around the fourth month, Faize began to notice his clothes didn't fit properly. In fact, he'd already had to go up three sizes for his pants. But now his shirt didn't fit, either. With a pout, he pulled over a somewhat larger shirt and made his way down to the lounge room.

Lymle looked over, a big grin on her face. She was wearing a handmade maternity dress that Reimi had sewn for her. It was pink, a color that Lymle liked a lot, and was in a similar style to what she normally wore.

"Faize, you look upset." she said, walking over. "What's wrong?"

"My clothes don't fit right." Faize replied. He pulled at the t-shirt he was forced into wearing. "And this isn't exactly comfortable."

"My clothes don't fit either." Lymle said. "And Dr. March said that dresses will make things easier when you're bigger." She saw the sad look on Faize's face. "Isn't there a uniform for pregnant Eldarians?"

"No." Faize replied. "Once you get pregnant, you're generally dismissed from duty until after the birth."

"Oh." Lymle thought a moment. "Why don't we make one, then? You gave me an Eldarian uniform for my birthday. We can model it after that, so it'll still be like your uniform."

Faize smiled. "Alright. And if the doctor says a dress will make things easier, I really can't argue. Just, can we make it look like a jacket over?"

"Sure."

Arumat raised an eyebrow as he watched the two of them work at the 'maternity uniform'. Faize had given him an ultrasound picture of their children, but it still hadn't really sunk in to Arumat that he was going to be a father. A father? The idea made him shudder. Arumat had never pictured himself as one to have a family.

Edge and Reimi looked over as Lymle finished cutting the material. "What are you up to, Lym?" they asked.

"Faize needs new clothes, the ones he has are stretchy and don't fit right." she replied matter-of-factly. "Besides, I was bored and needed something to do."

Faize was slightly embarrassed with the dress, but true to what she'd said, it did fit comfortably, had room for the babies to grow. And it did feel like the dress uniform, complete with the over-jacket to help with the illusion. Lymle had also taken the time to make some softer, stretchy pants and shirts for him that also fit the style he was used to.

In return, Faize had painstakingly, and with a lot of pokes to his fingers, tried to make another dress for Lymle. He'd modeled it after an Earth-style dress, and while it looked ridiculous when she wasn't in it, the loose peasant-style gown was actually a nice compliment to Lymle's current shape.

It was during another check-up with Dr. March when they were six months along that they found out Lymle was also carrying twins.

"You hide it quite well, young lady." she smiled. "Faize, on the other hand, seems to carry a little more forward."

Faize pouted, but still let the doctor check him over. Her only complaint was that he always seemed nervous, especially whenever she had to touch his abdomen. It looked almost like he expected her to hurt him.

"Faize, what's wrong?" asked Lymle. By now, both were looking like they'd swallowed beach balls, and Faize was finding it hard to lie in bed comfortably.

"Hmm? What do you mean, Lymle?" he asked. He looked at the picture he had on his nightstand. It was a double picture, with the current ultrasound pictures of the children he and Lymle were carrying.

"You always look like Dr. March is going to hurt you." she answered. "Did something bad happen to you?"

Faize sighed. He and Lymle were to be married after the babies were born, so there was no point hiding the truth from her. "Yes, Lymle. Something bad did happen. A doctor hurt me, once."

"What happened?"

"I was only about twelve, and the doctor had been seeing me since I'd been taken from the tank where I was born. I didn't think anything strange from him, but I was wrong. He . . ." Faize shuddered, holding himself. "I was hurt very badly. My caretaker didn't notice something was wrong until I fell over, bleeding. I thought for sure I was going to die."

Lymle sat beside him and leaned on him. "I'm sorry."

"I'm so scared about the babies."

"Why?"

Faize sighed and looked at her. "I've done this before."

"So the doctor mated you?"

Faize nodded. "It hurt so badly. They knocked me out when the baby came, and I never got to see the child."

"How old were you?"

"Thirteen when the baby arrived. I'd fought and struggled to make my caretaker let me at least go through the pregnancy, but the child was taken away, because I was too young." Tears ran down his face. "I'm worried that they'll do the same thing."

Lymle took Faize's hand. "I'll stay with you, 'kay? So I'll be able to tell them you want to see the babies."

Faize smiled at her. "Thank you."

"So, where are you two planning on being when the children are born?" asked Reimi. Eight months had already passed.

"I thought that was up to Dr. March." said Faize.

The doctor shook her head. "No, actually it's up to you two. I'd prefer if it was at the moon base, where there's a proper medical facility, but . . ."

"The Calnus." said Faize rather suddenly.

"What?" asked Edge. "But Faize, what if something . . ."

"The Calnus." Faize said clearly. "Nowhere else."

"Are you sure?" Arumat asked. "This isn't exactly a ship that could handle a medical emergency."

"I'm sure." Faize replied. "I'm not losing these two." He placed a hand on his stomach.

"What do you mean?" asked Dr. March. "Wait a minute? You're not . . . oh, god. I'm sorry I didn't notice it in the files."

"What?" asked Edge.

Faize got up and walked out of the room. Lymle sat there and watched him go.

"What's his problem?" Edge asked.

"Faize has a baby he never saw because they took it away." said Lymle. She placed a hand on her own stomach, where her babies were wiggling around. "It scares him that it might happen again, so he wants to be somewhere he feels safe."

"Well, if he feels safe here, then it'll be on the Calnus." said Edge. "But we'll be docked at the moon base, just in case of an emergency."

"Me, too." said Lymle. "I want to be where Faize feels safe, 'kay?"

Dr. March nodded. "Alright, we'll make the necessary preparations for when you and Faize have your babies."

It was two weeks later, at thirty-eight weeks, that Lymle got the first feelings of labor.

"Lymle?" Faize asked. It was late at night, but he could hear her crying.

"Faize, my tummy hurts. I think the babies want out." She tried to get up, but a harsh contraction kept her seated.

"Come on, I'll walk you to Dr. March." Faize helped her up, and the pair waddled down to the small clinic area where the doctor stayed.

"Yes?"

"It's Lymle." said Faize.

The doctor did a quick assessment. "You're ready to birth, dear. When you feel the urge, push."

Lymle looked at Faize. She was frightened, and rightfully so. A hard, crushing pain ripped through her, and Lymle pushed, just as she was coached to do. It took only a few minutes before the first child was starting to appear.

"Lymle, it's alright." said Faize, trying to calm her.

"She's not getting enough oxygen." said Dr. March. She fit a mask to Lymle's face. "Just breathe, and let your body take care of this."

Lymle gasped for air and pushed again. The baby's head was showing.

"Relax, it'll be over in a moment." said Dr. March. She helped ease the baby out, then wrapped the child in a receiving blanket. "There we go. And again, darling."

Again, Lymle struggled, but the second baby came easier than the first. She lay there, panting and exhausted, but glad it was over.

"Can Faize see them?" she asked.

Dr. March nodded and made Faize sit down. "Here, the firstborn."

Faize looked at the tiny baby lain in his arms, and tears came to his eyes. "She's beautiful." he said, trying not to choke on his words. He looked over as the second baby was handed to Lymle. "They both are."

"A son and a daughter." Dr. March said. "The girl came first."

"What do you think, Faize?" Lymle asked.

"The names you chose. They would suit best."

"Mable and Seth." Lymle said with a smile. "They're so small." She rubbed her nose against Seth's. "Are you ok, Faize?"

He nodded, despite the tears.

"Why are you crying?"

But Faize couldn't answer. He just smiled despite the tears. "She's just so pretty, like her mother."

"I think he's happy." said Dr. March. She gently took the baby and gave her to Lymle. "I should check to see that your children are alright, Faize. This has been a lot of excitement, and I want to be sure you're alright."

"But I feel fine." Faize replied. Still, he let Dr. March check him and the children.

"You seem alright. Would you rather sleep in here for the night, just to be safe?"

Faize nodded.

He was alone. The lounge had been vacant, save for Faize, who was reading up on labor and birth, when it started. He knew the pain that tore through him. He tried to get up, but a second contraction raked over his belly, and he remained seated, gasping. Again, he tried to get up, but a third contraction kept him where he was. The fourth made him cry out, and his water broke.

Lymle had been let out of the clinic and had walked into the room when Faize cried out again. The green-haired youth couldn't even sit properly, and was lying on the couch. "Faize?" Lymle hurried over.

"Help." Faize gasped. His face twisted in pain. "It's coming."

Lymle looked around. There was no way to page the doctor, and Faize looked too scared to leave alone. Still, she had to do something. "I'll be back."

Faize shrieked again, his hand tearing the cloth that covered the couch. He looked down at his large stomach, then reached a hand down to where the babies were coming from. Oh, how it hurt!

He barely felt Lymle place a hand on his sweating forehead. All he felt was the pain as the first baby made its way into the world.

"He needs help." said Dr. March. "Like you, he's hyperventilating."

Faize shrieked, arching slightly, as the second began to make its way out. More liquid poured from him, and he felt the pressure of the oxygen mask on his face. Sadly, this made him panic more.

"Faize, stop." said Lymle. "You need air."

Her voice was soothing, and helped him calm down as the second baby slipped from his body. Gasping for air still, Faize tried to look past the mask at the children. Shakily, he reached a hand for the baby.

"Shh, it's alright." said Lymle. She looked at Dr. March. "He needs to see them."

"Prop him a little more on the couch." Dr. March instructed.

Faize felt them shift him slightly, and then a small weight on his chest as the oxygen mask was removed. He looked down, and his heart nearly jumped in his throat. He was holding his baby.

The tears fell, and he couldn't stop them, nor did he want to. This tiny little creature had lived inside him for nine months, and was now looking up at him with wide-eyed wonder. The second baby was laid in his other arm, and Faize sighed, content.

"Well?" asked Lymle. "Boys or girls?"

"Boys." said Dr. March. "We should move them to the clinic, all three of them. Faize looks pretty tired."

Faize whimpered when the babies were taken from him, but he had no strength to fight back. He was relieved when he saw Lymle holding them, even as he was carried to the clinic. Exhaustion hit him like a wave, and he passed out.

Arumat paused by the door. "Well?" he asked.

"Sons." said Dr. March. "You were the father, I believe?"

Arumat nodded. "I still don't feel much like one, and I don't think I ever will. Let them stay with Faize. He needs them." He looked at the two children. His children. He still didn't feel very much like a parent, despite the fact that Faize had tried to include him. Let the children think Faize and Lymle were their parents. It would be better for them, anyways. Without a word, he left the clinic.

It was only an hour later that Faize woke again. "Hmm?"

"Morning." smiled Lymle. "So, what are you calling them?"

"Has Arumat seen them?"

Lymle nodded. "He said they can stay with us, he doesn't feel like a parent. And he said we'd do better, anyway."

Faize nodded. "Which one was first?"

"The green one." Lymle said, pointing to the baby that lay there sucking his thumb. "The grey one was second."

"Sheifa." Faize said, choosing the name he'd originally thought of for his and Lymle's baby. "Sheifa and Caleb."