Well, I know it was a little underhanded, but I'd like you to stick with me at least until the end of the author's note, okay? This story is (of course) slash. What I (intentionally) failed to mention in the story summary is that it is also mpreg. Now, before you walk away, please note that the story is sci-fi, and it will all be explained eventually. It isn't a human-man-gets-pregnant-without-an-explanation kind of thing, I swear. I just wanted the opportunity to say that before any of you who don't like mpreg walked away because you think it's ridiculous. In all actuality… I'm not quite sure if this story can actually be classified as mpreg… maybe? That probably just confuses you. Oh well.
Also, the content and writing in this story are questionable as seventy five percent of it was written at three thirty in the morning when I was dead tired but still couldn't fall asleep.
I'd also like to make a couple disclaimers. First, I'm not obsessed with sci-fi and aliens and stuff, and the only time I really get into it is when I'm with my best friend or my father. And neither of them was around when I wrote this, so I have no idea where the hell it came from. As a result, I'm not promising anything great from this… Disclaimer number two: It has been six years since I wrote an alien story. Enough said.
Italics indicate that the language spoken is Triman, because I am too lazy to write another language, as I am still struggling to figure Hokshi out. Any dialogue not in italics is, of course, English.
So thanks for sticking with me through the author's note; I would be much obliged if you would suffer through it. I know it's weird, but I had fun writing it, so… onward? If you don't feel like reading it after reading all my notes, I won't be offended if you leave. And if you read part of it and change your mind, that's okay too. FINALLY, you've been given warning. It's slash and mpreg (there actually isn't much swearing in this one. Who knew?). I do not appreciate flames when I've given ample warnings about content—Kiyoshi'sGirl64 and Kiyoshi
Lieutenant Weston Ambers stepped onto the alien planet after nearly three months in the space shuttle. It had been a long, boring trip. But it was his job; he had been deployed and there wasn't much he could do about it. He was thankful it was to Trima that he had been deployed, however; the situation there was far less tense than the situations on some of the other planets, and he and his men were there mainly to make sure it stayed that way. They even came unarmed, but for their combat training.
When they stepped out of the shuttle, they were met with the leaders of the government.
They all shook hands with Weston, and greeted him kindly. Even though he had known it was coming, seeing the other life forms for the first times was a bit unnerving; they looked perfectly human, with the sole exception that they had an extra set of arms. Then there was the fact that their hair and eye colors varied far more than they did in humans, but not so much so that it couldn't have been achieved with dyes and contacts. It would have been less creepy if they had been green with antennae sprouting from their heads. They looked too normal to have extra arms.
"Welcome," their leader—a tall man with dark grey hair and medium green eyes—greeted, "I trust your trip went smoothly?"
Weston nodded. "Yes, thank you. We spent most of it brushing up on our Triman, but we're still not very efficient, so we'd appreciate it if you'd bear with us in the language department."
The alien let out a deep laugh. "You're Triman seems fine, Lieutenant. Pronunciation and sentence structure."
Weston only looked embarrassed at this. The government knew little about the Triman people, beyond the fact that they were peaceful, polite and very private. He had two anthropologists on his team to study the culture.
He was invited into the king's lavish home, offered food and wine, which he ate more hesitantly than he would have liked to admit. It wasn't that he feared intentional poisoning; it was that he was uncertain as to how various foods on the planet might affect him in ways no one was expecting. Might affect all of them.
Similar meals happened for several nights following, at the houses of various people important to the Triman government.
And then about halfway through one of these meals, Weston got distracted from the diplomatic talk.
There was a man at the far end of the table. Weston had no guess on his age, as he had no idea how age was measured on this planet, but if he were human, he looked to be about eighteen. At thirty two, it made Weston uncomfortable how much he was attracted to the other man, as he had always avoided getting involved with anyone more than ten years younger or ten years older than himself. His parents had been fourteen years apart, and he didn't want any relationship he had to go the way theirs had.
Not that it could, since he was gay.
All the same, he couldn't stop looking at the young man. Vivid purple hair spiked in all directions and matching violet eyes, sparkling with amusement. Lean build. Strong arms—all four of them. And Weston had always had a thing for nice arms; it didn't help that he had two extra to ogle in this case.
Eventually the host stood and stated, "I've not been feeling my best of late. Make yourselves at home. You will be shown to your chambers and such as you request to leave. I am taking my leave now, and I will see you in the morning."
Weston chatted with the others around him for several minutes before he stood and made his way down the length of the table to sit next to the boy. "Hello," he greeted.
"Hello," the younger man answered with a smile, "You're Lieutenant Weston Ambers."
Weston smiled. "Yes. Care to tell me your name?"
The boy grinned. "Tika."
Weston began talking with him and eventually reached out and touched the boy's hand, which was resting on the table. Tika jerked his hand away, eyes wide. Weston frowned; he had been getting distinct gay vibes from the alien. But then the boy said, "Mr. Ambers, we cannot do such a thing here."
Weston frowned. He was lost. He hadn't been trying anything. Not yet. "Do what kind of thing?"
Tika blinked and whispered, "Intercourse." Weston was confused beyond belief; he hadn't thought he was being that obvious. Tika evidently understood that, and explained under his breath, "Touching the lower left hand is an initiation, Mr. Ambers." Weston's eyes went wide, which elicited a giggle from the other. "Come. We can go somewhere else. Where it's appropriate."
Due to his job, Weston Ambers had never had much time to build strong relationships, not to mention the fact that homosexuality was looked down upon in the military. So most of his sexual encounters had been just that: encounters. Encounters that ended the next morning. And he was okay with that.
Some part of his brain recognized that sleeping with the young man was not appropriate and would only cause problems; but the majority of it—the horny part that was being encouraged by the wine he'd been drinking all evening—allowed the boy to lead him from the table.
When they entered a bedroom decorated in pale greens and intense blacks, Weston paused. "How old are you?" he asked.
The alien cocked his head slightly to the side and said, "Almost sixty four moons, Lieutenant Weston Ambers. How old are you?"
Weston was confused; he had no idea how to answer that, as he had no idea how long a moon was on Trima. So he answered, "Thirty two… um, years. We measure age differently, so… you know what? Never mind. Come here." He pulled the man—the boy—the beautiful, alien creature to him and kissed him fiercely.
That, at least, seemed to be something that was recognized by both men. It was a very short time before they were divested of their clothing and Weston once again paused. "Protection?" he asked, breathing heavily.
"Protection?" Tika asked. "What do you mean?"
"To prevent diseases," Weston explained carefully, placing more kisses on Tika's throat.
Tika turned to give him yet another odd look. "Lieutenant Weston Ambers—"
Tika nodded. "Weston, diseases simply are. They cannot be prevented or spread. If you have a disease, you are born with it."
Weston blinked in surprise. Then he kissed Tika and murmured, "Not on Earth. But I'm clean, so I guess we don't need anything."
He proceeded to stretch the other man and push in deep. Weston was unsurprised to find that the sounds of sex broke past all language barriers. Afterwards, Tika smiled and cuddled up to Weston. "Thank you," he said, "for making me a man."
Weston startled and pulled away. "Excuse me?"
Tika smiled brighter. "You made me a man. And it was wonderful."
Weston stared at him. "Are you saying you were a… a… damn it, I don't know how to say virgin. Are you saying that was your first time, Tika?" The other man nodded, snuggling closer to Weston. "With anyone? Not just your first time with a human?" Another nod. Weston closed his eyes and then decided he had to know. "Um… Tika? What does that mean? That I was the first person?"
Tika was quiet for a long time. Then he answered, "I don't understand the question."
Weston thought for a while, trying to figure out how to answer. Finally he settled for, "Well, on Earth, for a long time, people were expected to have their first person be the person they stayed with forever."
Tika paused and then said, "Sometimes that is true here. But usually not. You find your mate, and you stay with them. Forever."
"How do you know who this mate is?" Weston asked carefully.
Tika shook his head. "You don't need to worry. I am attracted to men. I will never have a mate. A mate is the person who, despite any precautions you take, you end up with babies."
"Oh." Weston couldn't keep the relief out of his voice. It was his turn to move closer to Tika as he said, "Well… it's a relief to know I didn't make some life-altering decision because I was… um… drunk."
Tika didn't hear him though; he had fallen asleep.
Two Months Later (Earth Time)
Weston was at another dinner, and Tika was there again. Except this time, Tika was introduced. As the son of the host. Who was the king's brother. Weston cursed himself. He had slept with the king's nephew. It was a political scandal waiting to happen.
After dinner, Tika came up to him. "Weston, I—"
Weston shook his head. "Tika, we can't do this. I didn't realize… you have to understand what would happen. My people… they don't look kindly on two men sleeping together. Especially not when they're people like me sleeping with people like you." He could see the offense building on Tika's face and he explained quickly and quietly, "Tika, it has nothing to do with you has a person. It has to do with my role as the Lieutenant and leader of the team here. And it has to do with your station as the king's nephew. Do you understand?"
"Can we at least talk?" It was a pleading whisper, one Weston couldn't deny, especially when Tika added, "Somewhere private?"
Weston reluctantly nodded and followed him. "What do you need to talk about so desperately, Tika?"
Tika bit his lip, looking as though he was going to cry. His pretty purple eyes were indeed filled with tears as he said, "You said you were a man."
That was the last thing Weston was expecting. "I am," he said slowly. "Was… was my anatomy not hint enough?"
"I don't know," Tika answered, still holding back tears. "Your anatomy is a man's, but… but… you're a woman."
Weston was utterly bewildered by the things Tika was saying. "No, I'm a man…"
"Then how are my eggs fertilized?" Tika asked.
Weston stared and then said, "Okay, back up. Fertilized eggs?"
Tika nodded furiously, finally bursting into tears. He jumped forward and began beating on Weston's chest. "You did something to me. What did you do to me?"
Weston could precisely follow what was going on. "Tika? Could you please state the obvious for me? Because I think I might be missing something that's evident to you but not to me."
Tika nodded and sniffled, "I'm pregnant. And it has to be your fault, since I haven't been with anyone else."
Weston gaped. Finally he managed to say, "You're pregnant." A nod. "But you're a man."
Tika said, "Of course. I couldn't be pregnant if I wasn't."
Weston shook his head and said, "Tika… on Earth… women get pregnant. And I don't know what you mean by I did something to you."
Tika wiped away his tears and said, "You… you made my eggs… work, but I never penetrated you."
Weston was having trouble processing this. Finally he requested, "Tika, could you please explain to me reproduction? Because I think it is completely different for humans and Triman."
Tika blinked in surprise but then said, "For a couple to have a child, the male penetrates the female, and the woman's seed is taken into his penis, where it travels up to fertilize an egg. Sometimes. The male carries the eggs for a little more than a moon, and then the egg or eggs are laid, and then another three moons or so pass before they hatch."
Weston had no idea what he should think. Finally he said, "Tika, on Earth, the man… penetrates the woman. The man releases seed. The woman has the unfertilized eggs. The woman carries the child. I… am really confused. Okay, in terms of this planet… I have the seed, not the egg… Damn," Weston cursed. "Here, biologically, I'm a woman." He received a blank stare from Tika and then he said, "Tika, I am so sorry. I didn't know. Our races look so similar, excluding the arms, that I assumed reproduction was the same. On Earth, males carry the seed half. Do you understand? I couldn't have given you seed the… er… normal way, even if I had wanted to." Which he didn't.
But Tika's eyes lit up. "You mean you put your seed into me directly?"
"Um, yes," Weston answered awkwardly. "I think."
Tika looked delighted. "Perfect! It all makes sense now! We must go tell Father, so that he can arrange for the wedding. Of course, you are a very nontraditional mother, but still—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Weston said, digging his heels into the ground as Tika tried to drag him from the room. "Wedding? Mother?"
Tika nodded. "I'm carrying your babies. That means you're their mother. And since I'm with child by you, that means we are mates." Tika smiled. "Forever."
Weston shook his head. "No, Tika, that's not how it works. I—I'm a man. Women are mothers. And I go back home in two months. I can't stay. I can't marry you."
Tika's eyes filled with pain, and tears began to fall. Weston reached out to wipe them away, but Tika shoved him off, shouting, "No! Don't touch me!" And then he ran from the room.
Weston didn't know what to think; either Tika was playing a very well-thought out joke, Tika was crazy, or Tika was telling the truth and Weston had somehow managed to get another man pregnant. He wished desperately it was the first, but he knew that wasn't the case. And the likelihood that Tika was insane was very low.
Weston took a deep breath and left the room, returning to the festivities. He wasn't nearly so enthusiastic as before.
Two Months Later (Earth Time)
News was slipping through the higher class homes that the king's nephew was pregnant. And that he was refusing to say who the mother was. The king and Tika's father were very unhappy with him, but he kept his mouth shut. Weston couldn't help but feel a bit guilty. But it was time for him to return home. His tour of duty was over.
He'd seen Tika a couple times since their last argument, but the one time he'd tried to approach the boy, he had turned and walked away, a slightly uneven step emerging, likely due to the awkwardness of the quickly swelling belly.
Then, a week before their flight left for Earth, news whipped through the city: Tika had laid his eggs. Three of them.
That made Weston feel slightly sick. He was leaving this kid to deal with three half-human, half-Triman babies because of one stupid, drunken mistake.
It was only a day later that Tika showed up at the door to Weston's quarters. "Weston," he said, "Please. You have to stay. Please."
He was pleading and it was killing Weston. But he'd never had any desire for children; he certainly didn't want children with an alien who seemed to be basically a child himself. "No, Tika, I can't. We've been over this."
"Then at least take one of them with you."
This appeal took Weston by surprise. He stared at Tika until the alien whispered, "I won't be able to take care of all three, Weston, not by myself. And… unmarried… they won't be very willing to help me." He looked down, ashamed. "Because they'll say I brought it on myself. Please, Weston?" he begged.
Weston was very tempted to say yes, but instead he said, "Tika, I can't. I would, but we both know what happens when a Triman goes to Earth."
Tika's eyes went wide at the reference to the disastrous attempt to bring Triman back to Earth. The seven Triman that went died within days of landing, and no one was sure why, especially considering humans didn't seem to suffer from being on Trima. Then Weston said, "Those babies are half Triman, Tika. The same thing could happen to them."
Tika nodded and whispered, "Well… well… if you… if you ever come back, I'll be waiting for you."
He turned to leave but Weston caught his arm. "Why? You can find someone else. I won't be coming back. It won't bother me."
Tika's eyes filled with tears. "You don't understand, Weston! You're my mate now, forever! It's not something I can change! No one would want me even if I wanted to find another lover. Because I already belong to someone, don't you get it?"
He didn't wait for a response, storming from the room, leaving a shocked Weston behind.
The week flew by quickly, and Weston tried to rid himself of the guilt he was already feeling. And then they were shaking hands with the king and other leaders and climbing onto the shuttle. As he glanced over the crowd that was there to see them off, he spied Tika, standing alone, an egg the size of a small cantaloupe in each upper arm, and one in his lower right arm. He watched Weston and nobody else.
And Weston caught the arm of his second-in-command. "Daniels," he said.
"You're in charge. I have to stay," Weston replied.
"Sir, you can't!" the other man objected.
Weston turned and said, "Leave without me. That's an order."
Daniels blinked in surprise. "Sir, what should I tell them?"
"Tell them not to send any more gay men up here or they'll have people deserting all over the place," Weston muttered. But then he stepped closer to the other man and murmured in his ear, "Tell him I've stupidly created a political scandal and that the only way for me to keep it under control is to stay."
"Political scandal, sir?"
Weston rolled his eyes and muttered, "The king's nephew Tika. Pregnant, refuses to reveal the mother. Because… I'm the mother. Figuratively. Second father. Whatever. Those kids are mine. If it got out that a human got the king's nephew pregnant and then left… I'm thinking that even the Triman wouldn't be too peaceful about that."
Daniels nodded. "I understand, sir. Now may I ask you something and risk insubordination?"
"Yes, Daniels, get on with it. You need to leave soon."
"Are you staying to control the scandal or are you staying because you want to? Sir?"
Weston thought for a moment, but then when he glanced across the crowd and saw Tika's sad eyes staring at him, he knew the answer and replied, "Both. But mostly just the second."
Daniels smiled. "I hope it's worth your career, Lieutenant."
Weston nodded. "It is."
He stepped off the landing and walked back down through the crowd of people surrounding them. A lot of nervous mutterings were going on. He approached Tika, who said sadly, "What are you doing, Weston?"
Weston smiled. "I decided I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to my mate and kids."
Tika looked away. "Well you should have just left. This is just hurting me more."
Weston reached out and grabbed Tika's chin, turning the man's head to look at him. Green met purple and Weston said, "I'm not saying goodbye right now."
Tika gave him a blank look, and then Daniels yelled across the crowd, "Thank you for having us!" And without further ado, Daniels and the other men stepped into the space shuttle sealing the door behind them.
Tika stared at the shuttle, then at Weston. And then as the shuttle began the low rumble signaling liftoff was close, a fire of understanding burst through his eyes. He shoved the three eggs into the arms of a woman standing close by and he jumped on Weston, wrapping his legs around the other man and all four arms around his neck.
It wasn't long before only half of the attention was on the departing shuttle; the remaining half was on the scene Tika and Weston were making. "Now about the wedding…" Weston whispered in Tika's ear. Tika, who still had his lithe frame draped around Weston's rough, built form.
Tika let out a shrill giggle of excitement and then dropped down—to Weston's disappointment—to retrieve their eggs. He handed each of them to Weston in turn. The first was sea foam green, the surface bumpy, but not jagged. The second was a rich, midnight blue, entirely smooth. The last was a vibrant purple, the exact shade of Tika's hair, with small ridges all across it.
Weston nearly dropped the blue one when whatever was inside it wiggled slightly. His eyes were wide as Tika laughed. But then Tika cuddled up to Weston, looking up at the taller man. They had the three eggs sandwiched between them, and they could each feel the slight movements of the babies growing inside. Tika sighed in contentment and said, "Whichever hatches first will be king someday. Or queen."
Weston drew back. "Excuse me?"
Tika smiled. "One of them will rule someday."
"Whenever I die, they'll be next in line," Tika answered. "My uncle doesn't have any kids, so he named me his successor."
Weston groaned. "Does anyone else here find it disturbing that I managed to get the crown prince of an entire planet pregnant?" No one answered, most likely because they hadn't understood a word he'd said. Weston just shook his head and then whispered in Tika's ear, "You have got to quit springing stuff like this on me. One of these days my heart is going to fail me."
Tika just replied, "That's why you have an extra, Weston. If your first heart stops working, your second starts." Weston didn't bother to correct him.
It was a very short time later that the king personally joined Weston and Tika. When they went to Tika's bedroom that night, Tika smiled and said, "Should we see if I can get you pregnant?"
Their wedding night was spent having sex in every position they could think of, making sure Weston was covered when he was inside Tika.
After that, they went about their daily lives as before. Or rather, Tika went about his daily life as before; Weston tried to figure out what he should do with himself, now that he was out of a job and stranded on a foreign planet. No one else seemed too concerned with that, however.
And the two of them spent a lot of time with the eggs. Weston would have thought they would get boring quickly, but they didn't. He could only imagine what it would be like once they hatched. He never tired of cradling them, cleaning them, warming or cooling them to the appropriate temperature. Tika had noticed this and found it amusing, to say the least. Here his partner had been unwilling to stay, and he was being far more attentive than most mothers Tika had ever seen.
The eggs were growing, and Weston learned that, when they hatched, they would be the size of a small watermelon. That made him nervous, but he didn't say anything about it.
Eight Months Later (Earth Time)
The two of them were snuggled up together in bed, a tangle of six arms and four legs, when a quiet crack broke through the room. Then another and another. After about five seconds, Weston was wide awake and dragging Tika across the room, flipping the lights on.
They sat and watched in amazement as the purple egg cracked open further and further, at last revealing a baby with tousled blonde hair, identical in color to Weston's. Weston wanted to help, but when he tried, Tika swatted his hands away, insisting, "He must do it himself. You can coddle him the moment he's free."
Weston jumped at that; the moment the egg completely fell away, he grabbed the slimy newborn and began cleaning him off, cooing all the while. In the recesses of his mind, he knew he looked undignified and completely ridiculous, but he couldn't quite bring himself to care. Particularly since Tika was the only one present, and his behavior was making the other man smile.
Once the baby was clean—and Weston's pajama shirt was completely soiled—he held the now-giggling child away from him to get a better look. The baby had Weston's honey-blonde hair and Tika's bright, violet eyes. And four arms. He had obviously inherited more from Tika than from Weston, but Weston preferred it that way. He would be worried if his children had only two arms; he couldn't be sure that Triman children weren't like human children, ridiculing anyone who was different. It would be bad enough that their father—mother?—was human. They didn't need to look entirely human as well.
"He's beautiful," Weston murmured.
Tika nuzzled his face into his mate's neck. Then he asked the question he'd been worried about for moons. "Are you glad you stayed?"
"No," Weston replied, gently placing the half-human, half-Triman child in the crib so that he could sit on the bed and pull his worried lover into his lap. "I'm not glad. Glad is too mild a word for how I feel." He showered Tika's face with light kisses. "I have never been happier."
A loud gurgling followed by a wailing suddenly erupted from the crib, making both parents jump. Weston was the first to react, scrambling out from beneath Tika before the boy even registered what was happening. Weston was soon cradling the hatchling, hushing it, finally asking Tika desperately, "What do babies eat?"
"Food," Tika answered simply, evidently bewildered by the question.
But his answer made Weston pause. "Solid food."
"Of course. Why?"
Weston shook his head. "Human babies can only take liquids at first. So maybe semi-solids? Like… applesauce?"
"Um," Weston said, suddenly remembering that apples didn't grow on Trima. "Smashed fruit."
"Oh," Tika answered, "Yes, good idea. I'll get some."
He returned soon after with a pulpy mush made from the fruit he knew Weston liked best. Weston smiled and dipped his fingers in it, offering it to the baby. The baby suckled the fruit off his fingers greedily, then grabbed for the dish itself. Weston reluctantly allowed the infant the bowl; as he suspected, he ended up covered in fruit mush, as did the child, but he couldn't stop laughing through the whole thing.
The process was repeated three days later with the smooth blue egg, although their second child possessed hair the color of his eggshell—the dark, midnight blue—and pale, greenish eyes. But he enjoyed the fruit pudding as much as his brother.
And then again two days later. This time a girl, with silvery eyes and silvery hair.
Weston was relieved when all three were born with four arms. Finally, he felt the need to ask Tika, "What do we name them?"
Tika smiled. "Anything we want."
Weston nodded, relieved that there didn't seem to be any sort of naming rules. So he asked, "What names do you think?"
"Yuna, Iphan and Keru," Tika answered instantly.
Weston regarded the younger man thoughtfully. "You've thought about this a lot, haven't you?" Tika nodded sheepishly, and Weston smiled and kissed his purple hair. "Very well. Yuna, Iphan and Keru. Just… which is which? I haven't gotten the hang of Triman names."
Tika smiled and answered, "The one that looks like you is Yuna. The one with dark hair is Iphan. The girl is Keru."
Weston nodded then asked thoughtfully, "Do you think my name is weird?"
Tika giggled and nodded. "Yes. Is my name weird to you?"
Weston pretended to examine Tika and then replied, "Every last thing about you is weird to me." And without delay, he picked the smaller man up and tossed him on the bed. He stripped away Tika's tunic and licked, kissed, nipped, bit up and down his lover's chest. "But I like weird. I like weird a lot." That earned him another giggle, and then a groan as he proceeded to start giving Tika head, jerking himself off in the process, since he knew they didn't have time for a real round of sex. The mewling noises Tika made were just as adorable as ever, and something inside Weston swelled happily at the thought that he was the only person Tika had ever been with and that he was the only person Tika ever would be with.
When they had finished, Tika whispered, "We need to take them to meet everyone. And the cooks are getting kind of suspicious that all we want to eat is mushy fruit."
Weston laughed and tied off his pants; ever since his team had left he had taken to wearing more native clothing: baggy pants that tied rather than buttoned (which he had long ago discovered was very convenient when sex with Tika was involved, as Tika never tied the pants very tight) and a loose garment with a few simple folds, reminiscent of a tunic, but ending at the hips, rather than falling farther towards the knees.
He then pulled Tika up and tied his pants up. "One child for each pair of arms?" Weston suggested, drawing Yuna from the crib. Tika had retrieved blankets the night before to wrap the three of them in, once the last egg hatched.
When they arrived in the dining hall for the first time in more than a week, Tika's mother screeched in delight and darted forward to snatch both Iphan and Keru from Tika. Tika's father ambled over at a much calmer pace and graciously accepted Yuna.
"I'm very happy about this, Tika," he said, his voice a low rumble. "Better to have your mate here to raise the children. Even if you somehow managed to mate with a male."
"Unbelievable," Weston muttered, "I'm on a completely different planet and people are still homophobic."
Tika and his parents gave him a confused look, as they always did when he spoke English. Tika had attempted to learn, but it had quickly become apparent that languages were not his strong point. Although it had come to Weston's attention that, when given time alone, where he could sneak off, Tika did one of two things: he spent it with Weston and the eggs, or he hid away in a corner of the house and drew. He just didn't realize that Weston knew about it.
Weston on the other hand had begun to realize what it meant, that Tika was his mate. He had been unfamiliar with the house, but when he had needed to find Tika, he had just turned random corners and quickly been brought to the other man. He couldn't say it bothered him that he could find his partner so easily; he knew that the Triman were peaceful people, but he was still distrustful. He liked that he could find Tika easily if the need arose.
But when Tika and his parents gave him an odd look, Weston just apologized, "Sorry. I just… I was angry at myself for almost leaving."
They all nodded in agreement, everyone having noticed how Weston only left the eggs when retrieving a book from the library or when Tika forced him downstairs to eat. But later, back in their room, with the three hatchlings, curled up together in the now shell-free crib, Tika asked, "What did you really say?"
Weston frowned and then said, "On Earth, many people don't like… people like us, Tika. Men who like men, or women who like women. The people who don't like us, we call them homophobic. And the way your father commented on the fact that you mated with me rather than with a woman… it felt very homophobic to me."
"Oh," Tika replied, "He didn't mean it that way. My uncle has always had more of a problem with me liking men than my father has. My father doesn't care. My uncle only cares because he knows how irritating it is to need an heir when you don't have your own children. So he was happy, very happy that you came. He wanted me to be happy, but he did want someone to succeed me. So… managing both is the best thing that could have happened."
"You're happy?" Weston asked.
Tika nodded his head against Weston's bare chest. "Aren't you?"
"Very. Just, sometimes, I can't tell with you, Tika," Weston explained. Then he admitted something he hadn't even admitted to himself, "Sometimes I worry you regret being my mate."
Tika pulled Weston closer and said, "Never, never, never."
One Month Later (Earth Time)
Weston approached the scribe Tika had said was most knowledgeable about humans. "Um… Can I ask you a question?"
The woman smiled, her dark pink hair fluttering around her high cheek bones. "Of course."
"Do you know English?" From her face, Weston could tell that was nowhere near whatever she had been expecting him to ask. But she nodded slowly. So he asked, "So you know what a year is?"
She nodded. "It's the time it takes your planet to travel around star seven hundred and fifty two. It's the way you measure time. The year is divided into twelve months, each equaling approximately one cycle of your moon. The year is further divided into days, regarding the passage of light due to the rotation of your planet."
Weston had learned that the concept of night and day was foreign to the Triman; their planet rotated so slowly that one rotation was exactly equal to one revolution, meaning what he would call years and days were exactly the same. So they judged time based solely on the travel of their moon. He had wondered how it didn't get too hot, with the same side of the planet always facing the sun, but one scientist had explained to him that the planet was the right distance away from the sun to keep the bright side of Trima at a consistent seventy three degrees or so. The dark side was another story, and no Triman ever ventured far into it, fearing the wild beasts that roamed the area and the cold that they couldn't combat, no matter how bundled they were.
But Weston couldn't argue with the scribe's analysis of the year, the month and a day. "Yes," he agreed. "I just… often Tika seems very… young. He says he's sixty eight moons, since that's how you measure time, but… how many Earth years would that be? And if I got here four and a half moons ago, how long have I been here?"
"One moment." She quickly found a book, looked something up, and said, "There are four Triman moon cycles to each Earth year. You have been here a bit more than one Earth year. About one Earth year and one and a half Earth months. Tika is slightly more than sixty eight moons, or seventeen Earth years, although just barely. How many Earth years are you?"
"Thirty three," Weston replied vaguely. "Thirty four in half a moon or so."
"So you are 135.5 moons," she replied with a smile. "Does that answer all of your questions?"
"Yeah," Weston muttered. "But it makes me feel like a real pedo."
"Pedo?" the scribe asked.
Weston nodded. "Pedo, slang for pedophile. It's like… it's an adult who takes advantage of children for sex and such."
The scribe frowned. "How does being 135.5 moons make you a pedophile?"
Weston shook his head. "It's my age in relation to Tika's that makes the difference. He's… oh god. He was sixteen when I… no, he said he was almost sixty four moons meaning he was fifteen when we… oh good god. On Earth, at least in the country I come from, if you are much more than eighteen years, you aren't allowed to have sex with someone less than eighteen years. And if you do, you can go to jail."
The scribe blinked in surprise. "On your planet you could go to jail for having sex with Tika?"
Weston nodded. "Easily."
"Because… because where I come from," Weston tried to explain, "Tika was—is—a child."
"But he's not," the scribe objected. "He ceased being a child when you slept with him. He became a man then. Most boys become men at fewer moons than Tika did."
Weston shook his head. "That's not how they view it where I live. I mean lived. It's just…" He put his head in his hands. "I've been here more than a year and I'm still going through culture shock. God help me."
And without another word, he left the scribe, who was still confused as to how Tika could be considered a child now that he had had sex. Not to mention the fact that he was already mated, something rare for someone with less than eighty moons.
Weston still didn't know how to handle it. Societal norms obviously differed here, and he still lusted after Tika. But he didn't know if he could sleep with the boy after learning he wasn't even eighteen.
Tika crawled onto him that night, kissing up his chest, and it was obvious what he wanted. "Tika, stop," Weston commanded.
Tika frowned and sat back, obviously offended. "Why?"
Weston took a breath. "We can't do this for a while. Not until you're… seventy two moons."
Tika looked like he was going to cry. "Why?"
"On Earth… for a man with more than seventy two moons to sleep with a man who has less than seventy two… that's illegal, Tika. And I'm… I'm not sure if I can break away from that thinking. I know it's different here, but… Tika, please don't think it's because I don't want you. I do. Badly. But… morally, according to my society… I'm not allowed."
"That's nearly four moons away," Tika pouted.
"I know," Weston sighed. "Seems like a pretty damn long time to me too." He pulled the boy close to him—for he now knew for sure that that's what Tika was; a boy. Weston was almost twice his age. "When you are seventy two moons, Tika, I promise. Anything you want."
"But we've done it before. Why is it different now?" Tika complained.
"Tika, I thought you were older than you were, older than you are. Oh god. This is freaking ridiculous. I knocked up the fifteen year old, male heir to the throne of an alien planet. Could my life get any weirder? Wait, I don't want whatever god is out there to take that question seriously. I'd probably end up pregnant." With a heavy sigh he added, "Four moons from now."
One And A Half Moons Later
Having Tika snuggle up to him every night, particularly since they had moved the cradle to the adjoining room, was doing nothing to keep Weston's hands off of his child bride—husband?—and Tika seemed resigned to waiting out the four moons Weston had demanded. The seventeen year old evidently had far more patience than Weston. And Tika's hands on Weston's broad chest only served to elicit hormonal reactions Weston was having serious trouble not acting on.
It didn't help that the rest of the community was okay with it. Weston wouldn't have been able to forgive himself if he slept with Tika—and did more than sleep—now that he knew Tika wasn't as old as he looked.
It all tested his resolve, but he forced himself to keep sex with Tika a fantasy he had in the shower.
But then a few days later—as well as Weston could measure days based on the sleeping patterns he and Tika kept—a huge celebration was thrown. One Weston was in no way prepared for. He had seen others similar to it, but on a much smaller scale, and no one he knew personally. So when he learned that it was for Tika, he wasn't sure what to think. "Uh, Tika, what's going on?" he asked.
Tika smiled at him. "It's my seventieth moon."
"Is there something significant about the seventieth one?" Weston asked him.
Tika shook his head, still looking content and happy as he settled into his chair at the table. "We celebrate each tenth moon. You say you are a hundred and thirty seven moons?" Weston nodded, and Tika continued, "Then in three moons there will be one for you. For your hundred and fortieth moon." And then Tika settled into enjoying the celebration and helping Weston feed their lively children. Weston had soon come to regret his relief at their four arms; as far as he was concerned by this point, children less than ten moons didn't need arms, period, let alone four of them.
But Tika found it all delightful, and watching his partner, Weston found he couldn't dredge up even a single morsel of regret, even if it meant his children had to have purple eyes and four arms. Weston mentally shook himself, reminding himself that he hadn't wanted children in the first place, forget eye color and arm number completely. And what scared him was that Tika was only seventeen and a half, and absolutely adored his children.
It was clear to Weston that saying three is quite enough would not be an option.
So as he felt the time growing late, he leaned in and kissed Tika's cheek, saying, "I'm going to put them to bed, Tika." Tika went to get up and help, but Weston shook his head. "I'll make two trips. Just stay here and enjoy your party."
It took a while, but soon the three were snuggled in their individual beds, and Weston returned to the party. He found Tika talking with a woman—who was obviously flirting with him. And Tika was so gay, he didn't even realize it, and he didn't realize that every word he spoke was encouraging her. So Weston allowed his jealous side to take over and he came up behind Tika, scooping his mate into his arms. Tika looked surprised but just laughed his quiet, musical giggle and kissed Weston's cheek, saying, "This is Weston, my mate. Weston, this is… Bessa."
Weston smiled. "Pleasure, miss. I think I'm going to steal my Tika here." Weston got a strange sort of vindictive pleasure from being allowed to call Tika his.
Tika just clung to him as he whisked the birthday boy up the stairs and back to their chambers. He place him gently on their bed as Tika asked, "Weston, what are you doing?"
"First I want to talk to you about something important," Weston stated. Tika nodded, and Weston continued, "I never had any desire to be a father or a mother or whatever it is I am." Tika was immediately worried; Weston knew Tika was fearful Weston would suddenly begin regretting staying, that he would regret getting Tika pregnant in the first place, that he would resent Tika and the three children for it. Weston knew he had given Tika reason enough to fear that, which is what kept him patient when assuaging Tika's fears. "Tika, calm down, it's not like that. I love being a parent and I love being with you, okay? I just… I can't handle being a father of more than three—"
At this, Tika interrupted, something he only rarely did, "But Weston! For mating couples, three is such a very low number! And I want more! Please? At least a couple more?"
Weston knew several things right then. First, he knew that if he put his foot down and said no, Tika would have given in and never mentioned having more kids again; second he knew that if he really had intended to say no more kids, he would have given into Tika's pleas for at least a couple more right then. But he was perfectly fine with more kids, just… "Tika, Tika, calm down, okay? I know you want more kids, and I want you to be happy, okay? But I want to be happy too. And I think, if you'll let me finish, you'll be okay with it, fair enough?" Tika reluctantly nodded, obviously unhappy with the conversation. Weston felt a bit guilty for doing this to him on his birthday—or whatever this was for Tika—but if he was going to go all the way through with what he had in mind, he had to get this conversation out of the way first. So he continued, "I can't handle being the father of more than three for a little while longer, okay? I want you to be at least… eighty four moons before we try for more, okay?"
"But that's fourteen moons away!" Tika objected. "Two moons ago you said four moons!"
Weston laughed and kissed Tika's nose. "Tika, I'm talking kids, not sex. We'll have to be careful for fourteen moons, okay?"
Tika blinked. "So… you want more kids, just later?" Weston nodded. "But you're not saying you want to wait that long just because you don't want to be with me?"
"God no," Weston replied instantly, "That's the other thing I wanted to talk to you about."
Tika was confused, obviously. "What?"
Weston smiled. "I'm going crazy not touching you, Tika. So I've decided I no longer care if you're seventy two moons or not. We're married, and human laws don't matter here." He leaned in and kissed the spot just below Tika's ear, which always made him squirm, especially when Weston made the decision to follow the kiss with some gentle sucking. "And where I come from… if two people are married like we are… often one will give the other what we call birthday sex."
Weston chuckled slightly as Tika's pupils dilated as he began to understand what Weston was getting at. "Weston," he gasped as Weston's hand slid into his pants. "Wes-weston!"
"Shhh," Weston hushed him. "I've decided that seventy moons is plenty enough for me. And if you want it, I'll give you what I've been so cruelly denying both of us these last couple moons."
Weston felt two hands struggling with his shirt and two with his pants, and he happily set to work, preparing Tika to be filled as he hadn't been in what Weston suddenly realized had been six months. His mouth worked Tika's cock, his fingers worked his ass, and then he had the condom—or whatever the Triman called the pregnancy prevention—on, and was slipping into his mewling mate. Tika had never said it—he was far too worried about making sure Weston was happy and willing to stay with him—but Weston knew that Tika preferred it to have Weston inside him rather than the other way around. Weston didn't care either way, but he did desperately want Tika to enjoy it.
When they collapsed together on the bed, Tika was whimpering. "Tika, are you okay?" Weston asked.
Tika was nodding against Weston's chest as he sobbed, "I thought you didn't want me, Weston. I thought you didn't want me. But you do. I could feel how much you want me. Do you promise you won't leave?"
"Oh, Tika," Weston breathed into the purple hair, pulling his alien closer. "I promise. I will never leave you."
"Never ever, Tika," Weston swore.
Five Moons Later
Tika was called up to the palace and returned home a few hours later with the words, "Weston… we're moving."
Weston stared at him dumbfounded as he stopped struggling to get all four of Iphan's arms into the individual armholes of the tunic. The boy wasn't cooperating, not that Weston had really expected him to; Yuna was calm and laid-back, while Iphan had quickly revealed himself to be the rebellious one of the three. But in Weston's opinion, it was Keru they needed to watch out for, as the silver-haired girl had already developed a mischievous streak, that had her causing trouble only when her parents weren't looking.
But that didn't matter as Tika's words echoed in his mind. Finally he asked, "Why?"
Tika looked upset. "My uncle died. I guess… I guess his primary heart died a quite a few moons ago, but only his person physician knew that. And now… his secondary heart quit as well. So I have to… I have to move to the palace. I'm… king." And with no more prompting, Tika burst into tears. "I'm not ready to be king, Weston! I've never been a leader, and now I'm expected to lead all of Trima? Was Uncle crazy?"
Weston stood and wrapped his strong arms around Tika, soothing him. "You'll be fine, Tika. You know what is right. And if you really need help, I'll be there, for what it's worth. As will your sisters and brother." Weston had learned that Tika had seven siblings, six girls and one boy. And Tika was the oldest. It had taken Weston quite a while to figure out that all of the small children running around the large house were Tika's siblings. With the exception of the three who were Tika's children.
Weston felt Tika take a deep breath and then he said, "You're right. I'm just… surprised. I wasn't expecting… I'm scared."
Weston didn't know what to say to that, so he settled for holding the younger man until they were disrupted by a crash and the sound of shattering glass. Followed shortly by Iphan's loud wailing. "Come on," Weston encouraged him, "If you can put up with the three little hellions we call our children, running a planet should be no problem." Tika chuckled wetly, wiping his eyes, and they went to see how badly Iphan had hurt himself this time around.
Nine Moons Later
Tika pounced on Weston, who was 151 moons—almost thirty eight years—old. But he somehow managed to keep up with the young king who had reached his eighty fourth moon, his twenty first birthday. "You said we could have more kids when I held eighty four moons!" Tika exclaimed happily in response to Weston's surprise. Weston was simply surprised because Tika never initiated anything; he made it clear when he wanted something from Weston, but Weston had to start it. So to have Tika jumping on him and sucking his neck, licking his ear, tugging at his shirt, was entirely unexpected. And also an incredible turn-on. But Weston couldn't help but laugh at Tika's reasoning for why he wanted sex this time around. Tika was hardly more than a child himself, they already had three kids who were hardly sixteen moons old, and he wanted more children.
But he flipped his mate over and nipped his ear, whispering, "So I did."
It took them almost two moons before they effectively fertilized Tika. And when Tika realized they had been successful, he got far more excited than Weston felt the situation warranted, but joy bubbled up inside him as he watched his mate fly around the castle, telling everyone.
The single moon until Tika was ready to lay the eggs passed in a blur. Weston couldn't really remember most of it. This time Weston was there, helping Tika deliver the slightly-larger-than-a-grapefruit eggs. Tika was crying by the end of it, in pain from the process. Weston kissed his sweaty forehead and, while thankful he wasn't the one to go through that, no matter how selfish that was, he was already on pins and needles, desperate for the eggs to grow quickly, desperate for the three moons or so to pass so that the two babies—one encased in a slippery, pale pink shell, the other in a black shell, rough like an unworn stone—could hatch.
The three moons passed like molasses, driving Weston crazy. If he didn't have three other children to attend to, he would have lost his mind. But finally the pink egg began rattling. When the egg actually began hatching, Weston wasn't in the room. But when he came back to check on them—as he did every fifteen minutes—the screech he let out at the sight of the slight cracks in the shell nearly shattered the windows and brought Tika running. Everyone else went about their business, all of them knowing that only one thing could send the king's mate into such a frenzy: their children.
They watched as a baby girl forced her way free, almost immediately gurgling for the smashed fruit Tika had snatched on the way up the stairs. She ate it sloppily, getting it all in her emerald green hair and wailing when some got stuck in one of the green eyes that was identical to Weston's. Tika carefully wiped it away and snuggled her happily, and Weston was struck by the thought that this was a twenty two year old kid acting like this. He couldn't imagine any twenty two year old on Earth this excited to be the father of twins—especially not when he was already the father of five year old triplets. But before Weston could voice this opinion, the second egg snapped open in one sharp crack, revealing their third son. Weston picked him up, cleaned him off and gave him some 'applesauce,' as Tika insisted on calling it, even though Weston had explained that applesauce was made from apples. Which didn't grow on Trima.
This boy had purple hair, although it was several shades darker than Tika's, and reddish-gold eyes. Weston was still trying to get used to some of the color combinations Triman infants were born with. But he just sighed happily and held the boy close, pulling Tika to him as well, laughing when Yuna, Iphan and Keru all ran in and began tugging on their shirts, begging for attention. Weston felt he was buried in a pile of arms and hands. Between the seven of them, they had twenty six arms, more than Weston felt any one family needed. "Names?" he asked Tika, as Tika liked picking names and Weston liked watching Tika's face light up when he was given the privilege of choosing a name.
"Mynae and Laska," he replied. "Okay?"
Three Moons Later
Weston and Tika met the shuttle team from Earth. Tika had agreed to let an unarmed team of soldiers come, along with some scientists. But when the scientists disembarked from the ship, Weston choked. "Shirak?" he gasped, using the Triman word for 'mother.'
Everyone stared at him before he finally said, "Hello, Mom."
The woman—graying hair and wide blue eyes—walked quickly to Weston, we she hugged him, hard. "Oh, it's so good to see you, Wes. It's been too long, baby. It's been…" She did a quick tally in her head, which ended with, "I haven't seen you in more than seven years, Wes."
Weston thought about it, adding it all up in his head and he realized that he had been on Trima for nearly thirty moons. Thirty moons with Tika. Who jealously wrapped his four arms around Weston, protecting him from the advances of the woman he was obviously glad to see. Weston turned a surprised gaze on Tika; Tika had never gotten jealous before. Weston had, but never Tika. Weston leaned over and kissed him. "Oh, Tika. That's my mother. You have nothing to worry your pretty little head about. She's one of the scientists. I think." He turned and asked his mother, "Are you the biologist?"
"You bet," she answered with a wink. "It was unbelievably hard to get them to allow me to be the botanist—apparently sixty two is too old to be traveling this far. Well screw them. But you would not believe the training they put me through!"
"Actually I would," Weston laughed, pulling Tika close, sensing he was still upset about be excluded from the conversation. "I was a ripped lieutenant in the military, Mom, and it was still tough." He grinned at Tika and said, "No longer a ripped military man. Just a ripped stay at home dad." Tika grinned widely.
"Well," Weston's mother said, "I take it this is the lovely… father—mother—um—yes. Your… how do you deal with this?"
Weston smiled. "It took a while. But yes, this is Tika, my mate."
"Your mate," she stated, "Okay. Wait. Tika, Tika… I know that name… did Daniels mention it, years ago? No…"
"Tika is king, Mom. The government needed his permission to even send you here."
"But he's so young!"
"You have no idea," Weston muttered. "How much Triman do you know? He doesn't like feeling left out and we gave up on teaching him English years ago."
She laughed and said, "I know enough to try." She offered a hand to Tika, saying, "It's good to finally meet you." She turned an expectant eye on her son and her son-in-law. "Now you sure as hell better let me meet my grandbabies."
Weston was sure she spent more of the first two moons of the trip playing with her grandchildren than she did studying the native plants and animals. The children soon tired of the camera.
And then came the surprise. "Weston, I think I'm pregnant," Tika said over dinner one evening.
Weston's jaw dropped as he sputtered, "But—precautions—we… do you know how many yet?"
Tika hesitated. "Three?" he finally offered, "Maybe…"
"Maybe what, Tika?" Weston asked, not really sure if he wanted to know.
Weston stared. "How often does four happen, Tika?"
Tika shrugged. "Not often. It would just mean we're very compatible. Which… since it took only one coupling to create three children, I suppose we already knew."
Weston smiled. "Okay, okay, you can quit acting like your disappointed, Tika. I'll just thank god you're royalty or we'd never be able to keep track of them all."
Sure enough, Tika's face split into a wide grin. Then Weston thought about his words; keeping track of them all… he was suddenly very grateful. He loved all of his children to Earth and back a hundred times over, but if he had to work to help support them, there was no way they would have gotten the attention they deserved. He couldn't even begin to understand how Tika balanced his job with his kids and still found time for Weston.
"What's going on?" Weston's mother finally asked.
Weston smiled. "Tika is pregnant."
"Another baby!" his mother squealed.
"Mom," he said slowly, "Triman aren't like humans, you know that, right?"
"Of course," she answered, "The men carry the children."
Weston sighed. "Mom, they aren't… well… Tika doesn't carry them full-term. He lays an egg for each child."
His mother blinked. "I didn't know that."
Weston nodded. "The other thing… not another baby. It is very rare for Triman to have single births. And with compatible mates… well… you know how Yuna, Iphan and Keru are triplets? And how Mynae and Laska are twins?" She nodded and Weston said, "Well… Tika knows his body, knows how it feels to have the eggs inside him. And he says that this time around it's either another set of triplets or… quadruplets."
The piercing squeal that rang through the room nearly deafened them all.
One Moon Later
Weston hated to watch Tika go through the pain of laying first an egg of mingled blues and greens, followed by an egg the green of the grass back on Earth, and then an egg the color of autumn leaves. And then finally an egg the color of fresh-fallen snow. He fell back on his pillow, tears streaming down his face as the nurse took the last egg and cleaned it carefully.
"Oh, Tika, I wish I could do this part for you," Weston said, kissing his knuckles. "I hate to see you in pain. It hurts me to see you hurt. I love you so much. So much. You know that, right?" Weston had never been one to state his emotions and feeling and put them on the line so clearly as that; it was the first time he had told Tika he loved him in the eight and a half years they'd been together. He would have felt guilty for keeping the words back, but Tika hadn't said it either.
Suddenly Tika's arms were around his neck and the younger man was saying, "I've been waiting for you to say that for so long, Weston. It hurt… it hurt so much, thinking my mate might not love me."
Weston pushed Tika away. "How could you possibly think I didn't love you?"
Tika shrugged. "I have trouble reading your emotions. And then you'll mumble to yourself in English and I worry that you're complaining to yourself about me and our kids and my planet."
"Our planet," Weston corrected gently, which made Tika smile.
But then he said, "I knew you wanted my body, but that's not the same as loving me. And I didn't want to say it to you because I didn't want you to say it just because I had said it."
"Oh, Tika, Tika, baby," Weston said, kissing his mate, his lover, his husband, his best friend. "Why didn't you say something? I've never been good with directly addressing my emotions. If I had known it was bothering you this much, I would have told you how much I love you thirty moons ago." After a pause, Weston changed his mind, "No, I would have told you thirty moons ago how much I loved you then. I love you much more now."
Tika blinked back tears as Weston pulled him close once again whispering, "Tika, I love you. So much."
Okay, there it is. Sort of lame, but that's what you get from me writing seventy five percent of a story because I wake up at three thirty in the morning and can't fall back to sleep. And I had fun writing it, so whatever…