1. Chapter 1 by Queenix
“Nerys? Are you alright?”
Kira looked toward Odo from her biobed, and broke into a wide grin. “I'm fine, Odo.”
Odo's whole body sagged with relief. He jogged quickly to her side, and picked up her hand, locking his finger with hers. "Dr. Bashir called and said that you needed me. He made it sound urgent.”
“I asked Julian to call you here. I have something...important to tell you. About me.”
Odo looked to Bashir, who had been standing on the other side of Kira's bed the whole time, watching their exchange. Bashir gave him a small nod, a knowing smirk turning up the corners of his mouth.
"Constable," he greeted.
“Doctor," Odo returned, suspicious of that smirk. "Could you give us a moment?”
“No, Doctor, wait,” Kira said as Julian started to turn away. She grabbed his arm and pulled him back towards the bed. Turning to Odo, she said, “I want Julian to stay. Just in case.”
“In case of what?”
“In case you don't react so well to what I have to tell you.”
“Nerys, I'm not reacting so well to what you're not telling me. What is going on?”
“Julian, can we just show him?”
“Certainly, Major. Computer, display intrauterine bioscan of Kira Nerys.”
The Computer complied, and a freestanding monitor to the right of Kira's bed flipped on. All three of them turned their attention to the display.
On it was a three-dimensional view of a soft-but-strange pink landscape. At the center of the cloudy mass floated a bundle of tissue, about the size of a fist on the display, vaguely resembling a humanoid lifeform. There were tiny dots that looked like eyes set in a roundish head, a little slit that looked like a half-formed mouth, and webbed digits that seemed to belong more to something aquatic than land-dwelling.
As Odo tried to make out whether the thing had a tail or not, it twitched, a quick flash of movement that he nearly missed. It was alive, whatever it was. Odo looked harder at the monitor, dread filling him. Was it a parasite? A symbiant? An alien entity? Given DS9's history, it could be anything, but apparently whatever it was, it had invaded Kira.
Fear tightened the back of Odo's neck. “Doctor, what am I looking at?”
“That, Odo, is a very healthy, seven-week-old, Bajoran-Human fetus.”
Odo swung back to Kira, confused. “Nerys?”
“Odo, I'm pregnant.”
“Pregnant...” Odo looked back at the monitor, disbelief and shock widening his eyes, and blanching his smooth features. He swung to the doctor. “How did this happen?”
“Based on the answers provided by the Major on her medical questionnaire, Constable, I'd say you're well versed in the how. But if you'd like to hear the biological process from the beginning, I'd be happy to explain it.”
Odo raised warning brow at the Doctor. “That's not what I mean. I thought you said this could take up to a year. Nerys just had her implant removed three months ago.”
“If you recall, Odo, I did say in some patients fertility is restored much quicker. Apparently, the Major fell into that category. And the amount of...how...a couple has affects the time table, especially for a Bajoran.”
Odo had a few choice words for the Doctor, and his time table, and was about to spit them out, when the room started spinning. A wave on nausea rolled through him, and Odo groaned, squeezing his eyes shut as he gripped the edge of Kira's bed for support.
“Odo," Kira asked, sitting up, "what is it?”
"I'm a little dizzy.”
Kira looked pointedly at the doctor. "Told ya." She slid off the bed just in time for Odo to fall on it.
The Doctor went quickly to Odo, helping him roll onto his back. Julian looked up, monitoring the bioscanner above them, brow drawn as he analyzed the readouts.
“You're fine, Odo. Just an anxiety attack. Breathe for me, nice and easy....Deep breaths, that's it...Heart rate's stabilizing...Breathe, Odo...There, much better.”
Kira watched as some of the color returned to Odo's face, and the readouts on the bioscanner returned to normal. He seemed to be alright, so she decided it was time to talk to Odo alone.
"Thanks, Julian. Can you leave us now?”
“Of course, Nerys," the doctor replied, squeezing her shoulder. "I'll be in the next room if you need anything.”
Kira watched Julian go. As soon as the door closed behind him, she turned back to Odo. "I knew you'd be surprised, but...you're really not okay with this, are you?”
“No, Nerys, I'm not,” Odo said, covering his eyes with one hand. “A baby...What in the world were we thinking?”
Kira's eyes prickled with tears. Her hand flew instinctively to her lower stomach, and she took a step back from the biobed. "We talked about this, months ago. We both agreed to this. Why are you so upset?”
“I just didn't expect it so soon. I thought the idea would grow on me.”
“What do you mean, 'grow on me?'”
"I meant grow on me, Nerys. When you said you wanted a child, it didn't surprise me, but when you said you wanted to have a child with me, I was shocked. The only reason I agreed to any of this is because Bashir said that since you didn't want the injections, it would take a while for you to get pregnant. I thought we had plenty of time, that I would...adjust to the idea." He rolled up from biobed, sitting on the edge, and looked at Kira. "Nerys, not one part of me is ready for this."
"Well, you should have told me that three months ago!" Kira spat. She paused, her face scrunching, and sneezed rapidly three times in a row. She scrubbed angrily at her itching nose. "It's too late now!"
"And what was I supposed to say? The truth? That not ever, in a million years, could I see Odo'Ital being a father? That I find the idea insane, seeing as how I've been humanoid for about ten seconds longer than what's growing inside of you? That I am petrified that something the Founders did in their own human-making process could hurt the child? How do you know it will survive? That it won't be affected by what they did to me? Neither Dr. Bashir or Dr. Mora have any idea how the Founders did what they did. I shouldn't be a viable being, much less be able to reproduce."
"Yet it seems you can, and you did. If this is how you felt, why did you ever say yes?"
Odo took a deep breath and sighed it out. He couldn't meet Kira's eyes, and his glance skated to the side of her. "Because at the time, I was confused, lost, and deathly afraid if I didn't, you wouldn't want to be with me."
Kira didn't reply. Odo still didn't want to look at her directly, but her continued silence forced him to. He watched with growing alarm as Kira's face went white, then red, then white again, and she raised a shaking finger at him.
"You," she hissed. "Oh, you...You!" She spun away from him, drawing a deep breath, and swung back around, fists clenched at her sides. "You told me what I wanted to hear? Please tell me you didn't do that, Odo. Not on this. We never do that to each other!"
"And we never place such heady demands on the other, either, but what was I supposed to do, when your reasoning was so sound? You had advice from the future that this was the time. How many people can say that? Who am I, to deny you what may be a one-time chance? I couldn't tell you no, not with that kind of foreshadowing laid out for us."
"But I also said that it was up to you, and that I wasn't going to push this on you! You should ha-"
Kira cut off, her mouth hanging open. Her eyes went wide as she sucked in a pain-filled gasp. She turned away from Odo, doubling over. "Uhhh, Prophets!" she cried.
Odo flew off the bed, laying a hand on her back. "Nerys? What is it?"
"Odo, something's wrong," she sobbed, holding her stomach. "Get Julian. Please!"
Odo ran for the door. "Doctor!" he yelled, and ran straight back to Kira. He scooped her up and put her back on the bed, just as Bashir came rushing in, a nurse trailing quickly behind him. Odo backed away from the bed to let them work.
"J-Julian," Kira stammered, reaching for him, tears rolling from the corners of her eyes and onto the pillow. "It hurts. Something's wrong, the baby-"
The Doctor took her hand, and smoothed the hair from her brow. "Alright, Nerys, alright. Stay calm, now." He looked at the bioscanner above her head, and his expression darkened. "Her blood pressure's through the roof... Nurse, ten cc's of sangriprosine, now."
Odo watched as the nurse quickly prepared the hypo. She gave it to the doctor. Bashir shot it into Kira's neck, and raised his eyes back to the bioscanner, chewing his lip anxiously as he continued to hold Kira's hand. After what seemed like a small eternity, the doctor's face finally relaxed.
"There. Back to normal. Excellent. Computer, display fetal monitor, with heart rate on audio."
They all looked back to the monitor once again. The now-familiar image floated up on the screen, accompanied by a rapid, watery whoosh-whoosh sound. A living sound. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the hummingbird rhythm of a fetal heartbeat filled the room.
Odo wiped a hand over his face, the room starting to spin again. He bent over, resting his hands on his knees until it stopped. He straightened, blinking back tears as he stood. Nerys was alright, the baby was fine, he could hear the heartbeat, everything would be...
And then it clicked with Odo just what had nearly happened. And whose fault it would have been if it had.
Congratulations, Odo, he thought, watching as Kira wiped her tears, nodding at something the nurse was telling her. You may have finally earned your reputation as the quadrant's biggest jerk.
As if he'd read Odo's mind, Bashir grabbed his arm, dragging him away from Kira's earshot.
"Look," the doctor said, his voice low but angry, "it's not my business what goes on between you two, but whatever happened in here nearly caused the Major to loose her child. Bajoran mothers have a carefully balanced vascular connection with their developing fetuses, and in early pregnancy, high blood pressure can cause miscarriage. Stress causes high blood pressure. Now, I could hear you two through the door, so I know you were arguing, and I'm telling you as her physician, you cannot upset her like that. Whatever you said, Constable, whatever you did, don't do it again."
A still angry with himself Odo, and a still bristling Bashir moved back to Kira. Odo took her hand, and managed a weak smile. Kira returned it, hers not much more convincing.
The doctor cleared his throat. "Major, any more pain?"
"No, I'm alright now," Kira replied, her eyes tearing up again as she looked between Odo and the doctor. "I'm so sorry, to both of you. I should never have let myself get that upset. I know better. "
"Well, just make sure you remember that next time," Julian smiled. He raised a brow at Odo. "Both of you, I'm sure, will remember...Now, Major, you and the baby are doing fine, but you'll need to stay in the infirmary for an hour or so. We need to monitor your blood pressure, to be sure the medication is working."
"That's alright. I don't feel like getting up just yet anyway...No offense, Julian, but can you go away again?"
"You're sure?" he asked. Kira nodded. "Come, Nurse Thompson," he quipped. "We know when we're not wanted." He smiled at Kira, softening his tone. "You know where I'll be. And I'll leave the monitor on for you...Computer, discontinue audio, maintain visual display." Kira smiled greatfully at him, and Julian headed out of the room.
Odo turned to Kira. "Nerys, I-"
"Odo wait. Before you say anything, I want you to know something. If you don't want to do this with me, if you want out, it's fine. I can do it on my own, and I won't hold it against you. What you said...I didn't consider your feelings well enough before asking this of you. I'm sorry, and I-"
"Nerys, don't you dare. Don't you dare apologize to me. You've done nothing wrong. I am the one who is sorry, I've behaved like a total ass." He leaned down and kissed her brow. "I'm so sorry, love. And I'm not going anywhere."
"Then...you're okay? With the baby?"
"I'm more than okay."
"Really. Everything I said earlier, Nerys...It was just fear talking. You were right. I did agree to this three months ago, and I would never have said yes if I really hated the idea that much. I'm happy for you. And for me."
Kira's smile was true this time. She sat up, and scooted forward on the biobed, making room. "Sit with me? I don't want to be in here by myself for an hour."
After some careful finagling, Odo managed to climb behind Kira, arranging his long legs to either side of her. Kira made herself comfortable inside his protective circle, and leaned back against his chest, tucking her head under his chin.
Odo wrapped his arms around her. “We're doing this backwards, you know. We should have gotten married first."
“We don't have to, Odo. I don't need it.”
“I don't either, but the last thing I want is anyone questioning who this child's father is. Look at what I went through fixing that Tavnian mess for Lwaxana. Luckily, Bajoran law isn't anywhere near that convoluted, but this child does need married parents. For legal reasons.”
“Boy, that's romantic. Do you ever do anything that isn't for a practical reason?”
“Yes,” Odo replied, squeezing her a little tighter. “There is not one practical reason behind why I love you. But I do it all the time.”
Kira smiled, and titled her head to look at him. “Then I guess I can be practical, and agree with you." She kissed the underside of his chin. "I'll talk to the Vedek tomorrow.”
They both looked back to the monitor, content and silent for a time, watching their little bean float lazily on the screen. "Julian couldn't tell me what we're having yet," Kira said. "He said it was too soon...What do you think it is, Odo? A boy, or a girl?”
Odo watched his growing child on the monitor, safe, snug, and happily thriving inside the womb of the woman he loved, and his heart filled with an emotion too big for words, so big it felt as if it would expand out of his chest, and spread out to fill the whole room.
“I don't know,” he replied. He placed a hand over the almost imperceptible bump on Kira's belly, a slight rise only he would have noticed, and kissed her cheek. “And I don't care. It's an us. And that's all that matters.”