Part 26

Joshua sat on his bed hugging his knees to his chest. He had spent the past half hour being prodded and poked and was now waiting wide eyed for the doctor to give his verdict. Trystum sat beside his son, his arm draped supportively around his shoulder. Joshua lifted his hand to his mouth and began to chew absentmindedly on the skin that surrounded his thumb. His eyes burned into the ancient medics face as he tested a strip of treated paper in a beaker of his urine.

“Don’t worry,” Trystum whispered reassuringly. “What ever the results are you won't be alone.”

The doctor grunted and placed the strip of paper into a bag. He came over to where Joshua was nervously waiting and taking Joshua's face in his hands he tilted his head back and pulled each eye down in turn, checking the colour of the teen’s eyes.

“Well young fella,” he said kindly. “We need to get you on an iron supplement and folic acid. You’re pregnant,” he added when Joshua gazed at him blankly.

The teenager was stunned. Yes he knew he could be impregnated but he hadn’t really believed it …until now.

“Doctor my son has never had a bleed. Are you sure that he is with child?” Trystum asked.

The doctor smiled and tussled Joshua's curls affectionately. “There is no mistake. Joshua is going to have a baby. At a rough guess I would say he is about six weeks into his gestation period but I’d like him to have a scan so we can confirm it.”

“What’s a scan?” Joshua asked worriedly.

The doctor smiled again realising that both southerners were ignorant of what exactly a scan was. He sat down next to Joshua and took his hands into his effectively stopping him from chewing off his thumb. “A scan is something we do to check that the baby is progressing alright. What happens is you lay on a bed and the technician squirts some gel on your belly. Then using a probe that he will rub over your abdomen he will be able to see a picture of your baby on a screen and from that we can tell how old the baby is and if it is alright.”

Joshua and Trystum gasped in amazement. “You mean we can see the baby before he is born?” Trystum asked.

“The doctor couldn’t hide his grin at the pair’s naivety. “I can even give you a photograph if you want.”

“I want,” Joshua blurted out, and then blushed as he remembered his manners. “Please,” he added in an embarrassed whisper.

The doctor laughed and ruffled Joshua's hair again. “I want you to stay in bed for the next month. It’s important that you rest. Breeders are genetically altered to carry children and although the alterations are inherited and passed on there is still a high risk of miscarriage during the first few months.” Addressing Trystum the doctor continued. “Once a day he can take a little light exercise. A walk around the garden that sort of thing, nothing too strenuous. Give him Arrowmint for the sickness and peppermint tea that will help with indigestion too.” The doctor readdressed Joshua as he stood up to leave. “And I will see you at my clinic in four weeks for your scan.”

It was much later in the day when Lance poked his head around the bedroom door. “Hi sweetheart I hear congratulations are in order.”

Joshua blushed and ducked his face into his pillow. “Thank you. I’m a bit scared, I wish Justin was here.”

“Well I can understand that.” Lance said sympathetically.

“Will I ever see him again Lance?” Joshua asked his eyes beginning to brim.

“Justin will come here as soon as he can. If he isn’t already at ST Charles then he is en-route. The C.O will pass on your letter so Justin will know where to find you.”

Joshua shrugged and leaned back the pillow still twisting between his hands. It was just taking so long. He didn’t like to admit it but he had become reliant on the tall northern soldier. He felt safe when he was around and missed the extreme closeness they shared. Justin was the first man to touch him, really touch him using more than just his finger tips.

“I know you must miss him Josh. He’s the first man you have ever known other than your father and guards.”

“I knew you,” Joshua said shyly. “You took me to the fair, and let me go on the rides even though father said that I couldn’t.”

“And bought you cotton candy.” Lance prodded Joshua gently grinning as the memory of the young breeders face flashed in his memory.

“I’d never had it before. I’ll never forget the taste.”

Lance didn’t have to be a mind reader to know what Joshua was thinking. “There’s a place just on the corner that sells it. How about I run down and get you some?”

A slow smile spread across Joshua's face. “I don’t suppose I could come with you could I? I’ve been in this house forever. Daddy almost screams every time I set foot off the bed. He tried to get me to pee in a pot earlier so that I didn’t have to walk to the bathroom.”

Lance chuckled. “He doesn’t mean any harm. He’s worried about you that’s all; we all are.” Lance patted Joshua's leg. “You can come with me next time sweetie, but for now the doc says stay in bed. So be a good boy.” He ruffled Joshua's hair and as he stood up the distinct sound of a baby crying sounded from his back pocket. “Sounds like your brother is awake and hungry.” He kissed Joshua's forehead and left.

The teenage breeder sighed and wriggled down into the blankets and lay staring at the ceiling. His hand inched down to his belly, covering it protectively. “I’m going to be a daddy,” he whispered to himself and he couldn’t help but grin.


Justin bounced with nervous energy as he paced up and down waiting for Chris to finish loading the jeep. The last three days had dragged painfully for him and now the time of departure was finally here and he was stuck waiting for Christopher Kirkpatrick to get his ass into gear so they could get on their way. He groaned and rolled his eyes before swearing angrily as Chris disappeared once more into the barracks that they had been staying in.

“For Christ’s sake CK, how much stuff can you possibly have?”

The dark eyes soldier ignored his friend and carried on loading his gear into the back. Justin had been driving him mad for the past few days and now the prospect of spending the next 6 hours stuck in a jeep with him didn’t fill him full of joy. He wrapped a scarf around his neck, winding it around and around then tying it in a knot. He climbed into the jeep.

“Well?” he asked.

Justin glared at him for a split second then vaulted into the passenger seat, his knee bouncing nervously as he waited for Chris to start the engine.

“Before we leave JT lets get one thing straight. My jeep and we stop when I say.”

Justin opened his mouth to make a snide reply then thought better of it snapping his mouth shut and nodding complacently.

“Well I’m glad we got that clear.” Chris said as he pulled away.

The closer they got to Madison the more fidgety Justin became. He had got through a full pack of cigarettes and not actually taken more than two drags from each one. By the time they hit the I-90 he had started on his nails.

“For gods sake calm down,” Chris snapped unable to take Justin's jitteriness any longer.

“I jut have this bad feeling that he’s not going to be there,” Justin said with a pathetic whine.

“For the love of god JT, he’s there. I spoke to James Fatone myself not 4 hours ago.”

“You did! You never said you had his number.” Justin fished around in his jacket pocket for his newly bought cell phone. “Give it to me.”

Chris shook his head. “Can’t pal, James is a double agent. I never knew the number myself it was dialled for me by security.”

Justin cussed and tossed his cell into the back seat in temper.

Chris chuckled. “Foiled at every turn eh JT?”

“Something like that,” Justin sulked.

Chris turned off the interstate. “Well hold on to your hat because we are practically there.”