Expectations: Just a Moment Part 3

Series: Expectations
Adventure Thirteen: Just a Moment Part 3 of 3
Author: Aquariuslover
Pairings: Yunjae, KyuWook, WooGyu
Rating: R
Genre: Crossover, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Beta: tahoeturquoise

A/N: This story is inspired by Star Trek and the Kpop community; the story is my own.

Summary: Ancient technology on a deserted planet forces some crew members to stay within arm's reach of each other...literally. As Jaejoong's pregnancy progresses, his telepathic and emphatic abilities fade. Startling admissions are made, and something is stirring on the ship.

Prior Adventures

“How did you not know?” L asked.

SungGyu attempted to explain the situation to the pilot. “We just didn’t. It was still there when we woke up, and we didn’t imagine it would go away so easily.”

WooHyun, who was sitting next to SungGyu at the table in the mess hall, interjected, “Plus, we were in a hurry to get to the briefing.”

DongWoo, who was sitting next to L across from SungGyu and WooHyun, grinned and declared, “I think love is in the air. Are you two in love?”

“Yes,” WooHyun answered at the same time as SungGyu who declared adamantly, “No!”

WooHyun quickly added, “I am in love with this ship. This is such a nice ship. What is there not to love about this ship?”

“Well, it is too bad Hoya isn’t here to see this. He would really enjoy the two of you,” L told them, smirking at the flabbergasted look on SungGyu’s face.

“My bestie! How I miss him,” DongWoo whimpered, while remembering his old friend from the academy.

SungGyu’s face hardened. “I don’t miss him at all.”

L continued to smirk. “Just because he would give you shit for not noticing you weren’t still linked. He would have loved it.”

WooHyun, who had never heard of the Hoya person before, was very curious. “Who was he?”

SungGyu propped his arms on the table and announced, “Somebody who wishes he was half as gifted as me.”

DongWoo leaned down and whispered across the table to WooHyun, “They were rivals.”

“You know I can hear you, and we most certainly were not rivals,” SungGyu snapped.

“He thought you were,” L reminded the older ensign.

An irritated SungGyu clasped his hands together and intertwined his long, delicate fingers. “His major was in security, how big of a rival could he have been?”

“You wound me,” DongWoo said pretending to sob as he reached up and clutched his heart.

WooHyun just sat mesmerized as he tried to learn more about the three men and the dynamics of their relationships with each other.

“And you wonder why Lieutenant Lee hates you!” L said unable to hide his giggle. “No wonder he gave you a roommate.”

“He doesn’t hate me,” SungGyu barked at L and then focused on DongWoo. “Stop acting like I hurt your feelings, because we both know you knew what I meant. You always wanted to work in Starfleet security, but Hoya didn’t. He wanted to be in command, but he couldn’t pass the leadership exams. Therefore you are amazingly awesome, while he continues to suck at life.”

WooHyun turned to look at SungGyu. “You really don’t like this Hoya person.”

SungGyu looked back at WooHyun and explained, “It’s not that I don’t like him—it’s that giving me a hard time is his favorite thing to do. It gets old after awhile.”

“And you don’t dislike him?” WooHyun stated. “I think I would. I will dislike him for you.”

“WooHyun, you have to understand something about our future starship captain here, he won’t ever admit to excessive dislike of anybody. It would be admitting that something actually got to him—he has to act cool,” L told the doctor.

“It isn’t an act,” DongWoo insisted. “He doesn’t let things get to him like other people do. That’s why he is going to be Captain SungGyu and I am going to be his head of security someday.”

L rolled his eyes. “He will be a captain someday, but he lets things get to him.”

DongWoo shook his head at L. “You will never be his number one helmsman if you keep up this attitude.”

SungGyu let a small yawn. “L, when have you ever seen somebody get to me?”

WooHyun helpfully answered for L, “I’ve seen you riled up.”

“You have seen me slightly annoyed…I wasn’t riled up.”

WooHyun snorted. “You practically nagged poor Junsu to death because he fell asleep on Kanzi.”

SungGyu leaned away from WooHyun, taken back by his statement. “Excuse me? He fell asleep while watching over the critically injured captain. He jeopardized the whole mission; of course I was rightfully annoyed. It could have cost the captain his life.”

“You were nagging,” WooHyun maintained.

“He does nag,” L agreed. “A lot.”

“He was probably jealous that Ensign Junsu got to nap and he didn’t,” DongWoo wisely pointed out to the other three men.

“Oh, you are probably right!” WooHyun said with a gasp, realizing the security officer was a lot smarter than he let on.


Yunho walked into Sulli’s sickbay room with SooYoung closely at his side. He stared at the young woman in the bed, who appeared to be sleeping. “She looks as if she might awaken at any moment.”

“If only,” SooYoung responded.

Yunho turned away from the sleeping girl to look at the lieutenant he was linked to; an invisible connection created by an ancient device that still eluded their understanding. They were the last ones still linked…the others had all found their solution to the problem. They had related to each other in a way he and SooYoung had not. “I know Jaejoong has made it difficult for you, but I ask that you understand where he is coming from. It is a difficult time for him. He isn’t used to not being able to read the minds of others at will.”

“And my mind has always been closed to him…a reason to be distrustful.”

“Yes,” Yunho agreed. “He once compared his empathic abilities to hearing…one does not choose when to hear; if you have the ability it’s always there. He also compared his telepathic abilities to sight. For all of his life it has been as easy as opening his eyes to know the minds of others.”

“And his empathic abilities have always showed him the hearts of others,” SooYoung added.

Yunho smiled. “Exactly.”

SooYoung reached down and touched her cousin’s bed. “It is strange that Joongs lose their abilities when they are pregnant…when they have so much to protect.”

“It is unfortunate…they just become so enraptured with the new life inside of them they can not see…feel anything else.”

“But his bond with you remains intact?”

“Always, until our death…”

“Is it lost in death? I thought you were drawn to each other over and over in each life?”

Yunho shook his head. “Our timeless love draws us together…but our bond is only for this life.”

“Are you in love in every alternate reality?”

“No, I suppose not…the Guardian did say in some lives we meet for only a moment…but that one moment resonates with us for all of our lives.”

SooYoung reached up and wiped one stray tear from her face. “It’s so ironic that you are telling me this…when it is Sulli who always was the romantic one. The one that believed in true love…dreamed of having her own true love. I was the practical one growing up…the one that was more interested in science than romance.”

Yunho looked back down at the young woman they had rescued from such an awful fate on Belara. “I wish things could have been different for her.”

“It was her fate; it was a cruel fate…but it was hers. I think she was meant to find Changmin on that cursed planet. I think it was their fate.”

“Their fate?”

“I believe that Sulli and Changmin were bonded,” SooYoung confessed.

Yunho’s eyes widened. “Changmin believed otherwise.”

“I think Sulli is the reason he believed otherwise…she lied to him,” SooYoung explained.

“What lie did she tell?”

Before SooYoung betrayed her cousin’s secret, she asked, “Is it true Joongs take on the appearance of their mate’s ideal mate when they bond?”

Yunho frowned. “So I have been told.”

“Changmin once asked Sulli what her ideal mate resembled,” SooYoung explained.

“Yes,” Yunho stated, nodded his head. He remembered a relieved Changmin telling him the story. “And she told him about a gymnast that could not have been more different from my son.”

SooYoung sat down on the side of her cousin’s bed and said sadly, “She lied.”


“Sulli was like my little sister…she told me everything and the gymnast of Gurrin 5 was not her prince—the prince she dreamed of as a young girl...the prince that saved her in a dream,” SooYoung explained.

“A prince?”

“Yes, a tall, brilliant, aloof prince…who was cold toward others, but showed her great affection.”

“Oh God,” Yunho closed his eyes, realizing what he was being told.

“I admired your son and I was very attracted to him, although it was completely one sided…I don’t even think he acknowledged it. When I first showed his image to Sulli…I saw the recognition in her eyes, although she tried to hide it. Not until now did I realize how important that look of recognition was.”

“Why would she not tell him?”

SooYoung shrugged. “I don’t know…unless the trauma of what happened to her was too much, or maybe the sweet innocent dreams of the prince she once longed for were lost to her in the hell that was her life on Belara.”

Yunho gazed down at the sleeping girl and confessed, “He was terribly attached to her…Jaejoong and I both suspected they were bonded.”

“She probably knew…down deep inside of her, but she just couldn’t admit it. She wasn’t ready to admit it…not to herself and not to him.”

Yunho closed his eyes remembering the man…his son that he still missed. “He wasn’t ready either.”

SooYoung said wistfully, “And now she is Sleeping Beauty, lost to a love that never was.”

Yunho felt a deep pang in his heart for what his son had been denied—what time had robbed him of. Before he could respond his insignia chirped. Yunho immediately reached up and tapped it, “Captain here.”

“Sir,” Kyuhyun’s voice immediately replied. “We have encountered an anomaly that consists of the same substances as the one that transported us to this galaxy…it appears to be following us, but it is maintaining a safe distance from us at this time.”

“I’m on my way,” Yunho stated, heading toward the door, without waiting for SooYoung.

SooYoung, who followed after the captain, noticed the distance between them. “Sir, it appears the link binding us together is gone.”

“On to the next crisis then, Lieutenant,” Yunho stated as they both rushed toward the bridge.


Ryeowook walked into the captain’s quarters and proclaimed, “I better not need my thermals or I’m leaving.”

Jaejoong, who was in the kitchen, asked the doctor, “What are thermals?”

“They are under clothing made to retain body heat. My grandmother always made me wear them in the winter,” Ryeowook explained as he walked towards the kitchen.

“So this was a jest regarding my recent love for cooler temperatures?”

“Yep,” Ryeowook answered as he took a seat at the kitchen table. “I would describe them as freezing temperatures though.”

Jaejoong looked down at the pot on the stove that he was stirring. “I have moved past that phase.”

“What have you moved on to now…dare I ask?”

“Redecoration…these quarters, while nice, are not worthy of a prince of Joong and his child.”

Ryeowook looked around the quarters in question. “But you have already redecorated them…this is pretty lavish for Starfleet.”

Jaejoong stepped away from the stove. “I want it to be even better. More organized.”

“So you are in the nesting phase.”

“Nesting phase?”

“It’s a stage of pregnancy where the expectant mother—birth-parent in your case—wants to get everything ready for the baby. It usually involves extensive cleaning, but with the housekeeping bots you don’t have to worry about cleaning.”

“I will admit to manually rinsing out a glass earlier—it was startling,” Jaejoong admitted as he sat down at the table beside his friend.

“I bet.”

“But I’m willing to try anything to take my mind off the fact that my Yunho is with that woman.”

“Her name is Lieutenant SooYoung.”

“He refused to let me go with him and that woman to visit Sulli in hopes they could have a moment…” Jaejoong paused as he his eyes took on a tint of green. “A moment…a moment with that woman and without me—his bond mate.”

“That’s really creepy how your eyes do that,” Ryeowook said with a shudder.

“Do what?”

“They turned green for a second.”

Jaejoong shrugged, unbothered by Ryeowook’s observation. “Why are you here?”

“Can’t I just be here visiting a friend?”

“Don’t mess with me,” Jaejoong warned. “It is difficult enough not knowing what people are thinking; don’t take advantage of the situation. I won’t be pregnant forever.”

“No, you are at 32 weeks now, so not much longer,” Ryeowook agreed.

“It will slow,” Jaejoong snapped. “I know it hasn’t yet, but it will.”

Ryeowook looked at Jaejoong’s belly that looked like it might pop any minute. “So you keep on saying.”

“It has slowed some.”

“No, it hasn’t.”

Jaejoong pouted. “Tell me why you are here, and don’t you dare lie.”

“The whole not being able to read minds is driving you crazy isn’t it,” Ryeowook observed, unable to hide his amusement.

“I hate it,” Jaejoong admitted. “It is horrible!”

“You can’t sense anything?”

“My empathic abilities are not completely lost…yet,” Jaejoong grumbled. “I have to touch Yunho in order to communicate telepathically.”

“You do know…you have nothing to worry about,” Ryeowook soothed. “Yunho would never cheat on you.”

Jaejoong frowned. “I know Yunho would never cheat on me. I just don’t trust that woman—I just know she knows more about Changmin’s disappearance than she lets on.”

“Changmin was the smartest person I ever knew—nobody got one over on him. Changmin willingly made her his accomplice, and I personally don’t think she is hiding anything.”

“You wouldn’t…you are so good at giving people the benefit of the doubt—unless they are poor Kyuhyun.”

“Poor Kyuhyun…”a dumbfounded Ryeowook barely managed to say.

“You heard me. You treat him so badly, it’s such a crime.”

“He cheated on me,” Ryeowook sputtered, completely taken aback by Jaejoong’s words.

Jaejoong leaned back in his chair and stated, “My telepathy was working back then and he didn’t cheat on you. He wasn’t even sure he was going to.”

“Bullshit! He wanted to!”

“Just because somebody has the urge to do something doesn’t mean they do it,” Jaejoong reminded the doctor as he rubbed his tummy. “I fear I did Kyuhyun no favors when I eased his suffering after we rescued him.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Maybe if you had seen him completely terrified and traumatized you would have been more sympathetic to his plight.”’

“I was sympathetic!”

“Being raped and tortured for the second time in his short life…the poor man,” Jaejoong said, full of sympathy. “I should have just erased all his memories.”

Ryeowook folded his arms and repeated, “I was sympathetic!”

“Not enough, he needs you…and yet you shun him.”

“This is bull-crap and especially coming from you of all people! If Yunho even looked like he was interested in somebody…heck he doesn’t even have to be interested for you to throw a jealous fit!”

“I admit to being jealous, but I would never give Yunho up. I would never abandon our love so easily, and surely not for a reason as flimsy as a bruised ego. I would never push Yunho away if he were suffering. I would never do that, and especially not when he needed me the most.”

“You think…”

“Yes, I do. He’s hurt and he needs your help. You’re a doctor; show some compassion for the man that loves you—that you love. He might have faltered in your eyes, but the only perfect being on this ship is me—and you can’t have me,” Jaejoong stated matter-of-factly as he got up from the table and headed back to the stove.

“Pa…wha…you are crazy if you think I want you…there is only one man on this ship brave enough to take you on,” Ryeowook threw back at the Joong.

Jaejoong stood behind the stove and smiled at Ryeowook. “That’s true. Yunho is brave, heroic, and handsome. I love him so much.”

“Yes, everybody knows how much you love Yunho.”

“Do you even remember what is like to enjoy love…to bask in it?”

“I haven’t really had much reason to bask in it.”

Jaejoong grunted. “You could forgive him…you could try to be happy.”

“I want to be happy!”

“You cling to the miserable.”

“I do not.”

“You love Kyuhyun, yet you push him away.”

“Jaejoong, you are about to get on my last nerve!”

“The truth hurts; now tell me why you really came here.”

“He wrote me a letter,” Ryeowook blurted out. “I didn’t want to read it…I wanted to burn it…but I didn’t. I have it. I haven’t read it though…because I know it will be full of wonderful words that will make me fall in love him all over again. There, are you happy?”

Jaejoong rolled his eyes and grabbed for two bowls. “No, my mate is off emotionally connecting with some closed minded she-devil, so no I am not happy, but I am not surprised you could not throw the letter away—since you love him! You do not have to fall back in love with him…you never fell out of love with him. Did you?”

Ryeowook looked down to his lap and confessed, “No.”

“Did you bring the letter?”



“I was afraid you would make me read it.”

“You were correct,” Jaejoong said with a smile. “Want some pudding?”

“Pudding?” Ryeowook asked, looking up at the Joong startled by the abrupt change in the conversation.

“Yes,” Jaejoong answered. “Yunho told me his mother used to make him and Changmin butterscotch pudding and I am trying to master it.”


“You still have time with Kyuhyun,” Jaejoong reminded the doctor as he walked back to the table holding the two bowls. “But time is a precious gift that should not be wasted.”

Ryeowook watched as Jaejoong set the bowls on the table. “You are so strange.”

Jaejoong, who was still standing, patted Ryeowook’s head and explained, “I am just a very complex being beyond your limited understanding.”

Ryeowook shook his head as his friend sat down at the table beside him. “If moody is another word for complex, then yes, you are.”

“What kind of friend would I be if I continued to allow you to think that giving up on love was the right thing to do?”

“A bad one.”

“And I am not a bad friend.”

The doctor smiled and picked up the spoon. “No; you aren’t always gentle with the truth, but you do get your point across.”

“Yes, I do,” Jaejoong agreed as he watched Ryeowook sample the pudding. “What do you think?”

“Oh, it’s good. Changmin will love it.”

“Changmin isn’t getting any of this.”

“Huh?” Ryeowook asked. “Obviously I don’t mean as a newborn, but soon enough he will be able to eat pudding.”

Jaejoong looked at the doctor as if he were mad. “I am not feeding him.”

“You have to feed him,” Ryeowook insisted.

“No, I’m not,” Jaejoong maintained as he leaned back in the chair and looked at Ryeowook as if the doctor had grown an extra head.

“You can’t starve a baby!”

“The bond will sustain him! I’m not feeding him! If I feed him I’d have to clean—”

“Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert on Deck fourteen,” the ship’s main computer announced with alarms blaring and red lights flashing, interrupting Jaejoong.

Ryeowook quickly got up out of his seat. “I didn’t know there were beings in this part of space that were capable…” Ryeowook paused as he noticed that Jaejoong appeared to be in a trance. “Jaejoong!” Ryeowook cried out as he reached out and grabbed the Joong by the shoulders shaking him.

Jaejoong snapped out of his trance like state and stood up and told the doctor, “I could barely sense it…but I did…a bond…and now it is gone.”


“No…the birth/parent bond.”

Ryeowook looked at Jaejoong’s belly. “Changmin?”

“No,” Jaejoong answered as he headed toward the door. “There is another.”


“Admit it, your sister likes me,” Ensign Jonghyun said badgering Ensign Minho as they both walked down the Expectation’s corridor on Deck fourteen.

Ensign Minho looked down at the shorter man. “Trust me…she doesn’t.”

Jonghyun looked up at Minho confidently and vowed, “She will though…she will, especially if you put in a good word for me.”


“Dude, how can you say that? I thought we were friends?”

“We are friends,” Minho told the other man. “My sister is the only conscious girl on this ship and she has enough to deal with—without me trying to fix her up. Plus, she is busy trying not to get killed by Jaejoong right now.”

Jonghyun let out a laugh. “I bet.”

Minho grinned, shaking his head at his sister’s predicament. “Of all the places to be standing, she would—”

Jonghyun and Minho came to an abrupt stop as two boys appeared suddenly in the corridor in front of them. Instantly the ship’s alarms went off, red lights flashed, and the ship’s computer repeatedly announced, “Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert on Deck fourteen.”

The two boys who had suddenly appeared seemed to be in their early teens, and they looked very different from each other. One was androgynous in appearance with short blond hair, blue eyes, and appeared older. The younger appearing one was more masculine looking and had brown hair and eyes. They were wearing matching blue jumpsuits.

The boy with the brown hair yelled to the other one, “Close your mind!”

The blond brought his hands up to his face and chanted, “Close! Close! Close! Close! Close!”

“Oh….God…this is the Expectations!” The younger boy exclaimed as he gracefully whirled in circles familiarizing himself with his surroundings.

“Taemin, is he here?”

The boy shook his head. “I don’t feel him.”

“If it is the Expectations then that means your—”

“Hush, we shouldn’t talk. The ship records everything we say.”

The blond anxiously yelled, “Now I can’t talk either! It isn’t like it matters! Your BP is going to come here and flay my mind open and rip all my secrets from me!”

“We are most likely in another reality, like before.”

“Who are you?” demanded Ensign Minho, who had recovered from the initial shock of seeing two unfamiliar boys appearing in front of him.

“Identify yourselves!” Ensign Jonghyun, who had also collected his wits, ordered.

The boy named Taemin looked at the two ensigns and the unmistakable look of recognition showed on his face, even as he lied to them, “We are just a figment of your imagination.”

As if on command Ensigns Minho and Jonghyun appeared suddenly confused and just stared at the boys saying nothing more.

“Uh-uh…why do I ever go anywhere with you,” the blond complained.

The boy, who was staring intently at Minho and Jonghyun, yelled excitedly, “This reality is like our own…it has to be…the Custos Humanae Vitae should be here!”

“I don’t want to wear—”

“Too bad, you don’t have a choice,” Taemin told the blond, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him down the corridor in the opposite direction of the ensigns. “Jaejoong is here.”

“He’s here?” The blond asked, swallowing nervously. “If he is here…it’s already too late! Tell my parents I loved them.”

“No, it isn’t too late! I can sense him, but something is off with him—but I am not going to stick around to investigate what,” Taemin explained as he increased his pace.

“I am all for leaving this ship as quickly as possible!”

“Also, security is on their way.”

“Great,” the blond groaned as they raced down the corridor.

“How close are they?”

“Close,” Taemin answered as they promptly ran into six security officers with their phasers drawn. The racing boys slowed only long enough for Taemin to order “Sleep!”

The security officers yawned, dropped their phasers, slumped down on the floor, and fell fast asleep.


“Beam them directly to the planet,” Yunho ordered from the top level of the bridge after watching the incident play out on deck fourteen on the large screen at the front of the bridge.

SooYoung commented from the science station, “Wise decision, Captain.”

Kyuhyun walked up to the captain and asked, “They seem to know Jaejoong…were they Joong?”

“I think one of them was a Joong,” Eunhyuk offered from his post at the front of the at the navigator’s post. “His gender seemed a little iffy.”

“The other kid seemed to be in charge though,” Junsu pointed out.

“Yeah, he was in charge,” Eunhyuk agreed.

Yunho walked down to the lower level of the bridge. “At the moment I am more concerned about the anomaly we encountered before the Intruder Alert went off. It passed through our shields as if they weren’t even there.”

“Sir, it greatly resembled the anomaly that sent us here, except 10, 000 times smaller,” Lieutenant SooYoung answered. “It was made up of the same substances.”

An alarmed Yunho looked at his only female officer. “Are you feeling alright?”

“Perfectly,” SooYoung answered. “Also there are no reports of injuries at this time.”

Kyuhyun asked, “Captain, did you think our visitors caused the anomaly?”

“I don’t think so,” Yunho answered. “Not intentionally.”

“Sir, why have you come to this conclusion?” A surprised SooYoung asked as the doors to the bridge whooshed open and Jaejoong and Dr. Cho arrived.

Yunho eyed his mate, while he answered Lieutenant SooYoung’s question. “It’s because I believe they may be my children from the future.”

Jaejoong shook his head. “No, I only felt a bond with one of them. My telepathic powers are all but gone, but I felt…the birth-parent bond before I was quite effectively blocked.”

“You were blocked?” Yunho asked, surprised.

Jaejoong shrugged. “In this state…yes.”

“Which one was your kid?” Junsu asked from the front of the bridge, curiously.

“If I had to guess…it was the one named Taemin,” Yunho answered.

Junsu nodded his head. “Maybe that is why he seems so familiar.”

“What about the other one,” Kyuhyun asked, “the one that appeared to be a Joong?”

“I felt the presence of another Joong…for a moment,” Jaejoong explained. “He quickly closed his mind—not that I would have tried to read his mind even if I were at full strength; not knowing if they came from our future or a different reality.”

“The boy the captain believes to be your future child suggested that they were in another reality. He recognized the Expectations and he mentioned the Custos Humanae Vitae,” SooYoung offered.

Jaejoong sneered in instant hatred at the mention of the necklace. “Why did he mention the necklace?”

Yunho answered as we walked up the top level of the bridge to join Jaejoong. “I believe he was going to make the other one wear it.”

Jaejoong walked over to Yunho and took his hand and clasped it. “If I weren’t pregnant I could easily overtake another Joong—several in fact, but not one of our children. I would never risk breaking through their shields. The only times I ever asserted my powers over Changmin I left him muddled and confused.”

“But Changmin had no understanding of telepathy, this child did not suffer from any such disadvantage,” Yunho pointed out.

“No,” Kyuhyun agreed. “He wielded his mental powers without any hesitation. He put the security guards to sleep with ease.”

Jaejoong frowned. “And he did all of it while blocking me.”

“But like you said, you are not yourself,” Yunho reminded his mate.

“No, but to block the bond between a child and his birth-parent takes great skill and concentration,” Jaejoong explained.

“What do you expect from a child of yours?” Kyuhyun asked with a grin. “Considering Changmin was also your child.”

Ryeowook couldn’t keep from smiling. “Exactly, we are lucky he didn’t take over the ship while he was here.”

“He might be young, but he comes from very strong stock,” Junsu happily added from his position at the helm.

SooYoung, who was also smiling, reminded the others, “We still do not know why they appeared.”

“That’s what I am going to find out,” Yunho replied. “SooYoung, you and I will return to the planet and ask them that precise question. Since your brain is impenetrable to even Jaejoong, hopefully the same will hold true with our two unexpected visitors. I will wear the Custos Humanae Vitae…” Yunho paused to ask Jaejoong, “It won’t cause you distress if I wear the necklace, will it?”

“No, you won’t be wearing it, I will,” Jaejoong informed his mate.

“You!” an alarmed Yunho sent telepathically to his mate, whose hand he still held.

“I can’t risk reading their minds, but if a child of mine is jumping dimensions or traveling in time…I have to see them. I know things you do not.”

But the necklace…won’t it hurt the baby?”

“No, I will place the necklace on my own neck voluntarily and…this time I will not be alone. The baby will be with me…my bond with Changmin won’t be disturbed, and it is strong enough to sustain me.”

“I still feel like I should—”

“Yunho, if he’s from our reality it means…”

“It means we don’t die.”

Jaejoong shook his head. “Or it could just mean…Changmin wasn’t our only child.”

“But wouldn’t another child have died…without one of us?”

“I don’t know, I just don’t know…I might have sent him to my parents on Joong. I keep assigning the rules of the Joong to Changmin…but he was half human. Maybe the human half…made it possible for them to survive without us.”

Yunho nodded his head and said aloud, “Jaejoong will accompany Lieutenant SooYoung and me to the planet. Since I will not have the necklace on…Lieutenant SooYoung will need to verify all my orders.”

“Yes, Sir,” Kyuhyun replied.


“So you have decided to return to work, how nice of you.”

WooHyun groaned as he entered the exam room to find the very unpleasant Ensign SungYeol from astrophysics glaring at him in open disdain. The first task Dr. Cho had ever assigned to WooHyun was the job of dealing with the ships resident hypochondriac. “I was kinda tied up,” WooHyun said, trying to joke and lighten the atmosphere.

Ensign SungYeol did not laugh. “I believe I have Dippz Disease.”

“Dippz Disease?”

“You don’t even know what it is do you? I do not understand why Dr. Cho has insisted I see you first…you are clearly incompetent.”

“You don’t have Dippz Disease.”

SungYeol scoffed. “How can you presume to diagnose me?”

“Because there is nothing wrong with you,” WooHyun stated. “You are perfectly healthy.”

“Why we let you, a ruffian from a backwards planet, play at being doctor on th—”

SungYeol’s tirade was abruptly ended when a crash was heard outside the exam room. WooHyun quickly turned and headed toward the noise and found Heechul lying on the floor in the sickbay waiting room, convulsing.

WooHyun rushed toward him calling out, “Heechul.”

Heechul said nothing as he writhed on the floor uncontrollably.

“What’s wrong,” WooHyun called out again as he dropped to the floor beside the other man. “Can you hear me?”

Heechul’s eyes rolled back in his head as he reached out and grabbed a hold of the young doctor and let out a loud, blood curdling scream.

“Dr. Cho, you are needed in sickbay now,” WooHyun called out after hitting his insignia. “Heechul, can you hear me?”

“No, not…not me…another…help me,” Heechul yelled out frantically, while clutching the young doctor. “Not me!”

“What’s happening,” Dr. Cho hollered as he rushed into sickbay and hurried to the two men with his scanner out and ready.

“I have no idea,” WooHyun admitted as Heechul slumped in his arms, unconscious.


“I hate you so much right now,” the blond complained as he sat on the sand on the planet dubbed Desert 37 by the Expectation’s crew.

The boy named Taemin stood beside him. “I know.”

“Why would the Guardian bring us here?”

“It didn’t, we were beamed here.”


“It’s the way the Expectations transports people. My dad probably transported us here to prevent us from tampering with the ship.”

“Let’s hope in this reality your daddy isn’t the type to strand us here,” the Joong moaned. “Like I said, I really hate you.”

“I know.”

“Do I still need to keep my mind closed off?”

“Yeah, if they are anything like my parents they will have to investigate.”

“Great!” The blond snapped. “You just had to lose him.”

Taemin glared down at the complaining Joong, and reminded him, “He lost himself.”

“He was a baby.”

“Not technically a baby…he was four or five.”

The blond gave a dismissive wave of his hand. “Well, that is okay then. It’s perfectly acceptable to lose a four or five year old...in all of time and space, and don’t forget about the endless realities.”

“No need to be sarcastic.”

“No need to be stupid.”

“Maybe his memories of being older were intact,” Taemin said hopefully. “Maybe he is messing with me. He might be back home and just waiting for me to return….waiting for me to be grounded forever.”

“Or he could be mentally four…”

“I really hope not.”

“Me too.”

Taemin plopped down on the ground beside his friend. “It makes sense it would stop us on the ship though. He would try to find dad.”

“True, he’s a daddy’s boy, but what about that last stop?”

“That was the Guardian punishing me, I think,” Taemin muttered. “I think it is mad at me.”

The blond swatted him. “Then apologize already!”

Taemin stood and looked up at the sky and spoke, “Great Guardian of Time, I am so sorry! I know you are not a mere transportation device. I promise not to—”

“Promise not to do what?” Yunho asked as he materialized in front of the boys, along with SooYoung and Jaejoong.

“To ever play with the Guardian of time again…” Taemin answered, honestly, looking at the three newly arrived people.

The blond looked at Jaejoong’s belly and stated drily, “I guess now we know what was off about him.”

“Just be quiet,” Taemin warned his friend.

“No, I don’t have to be. If he is pregnant with you I think he should consider terminating the pregnancy! It would spare me a lot of grief!”

“Can you please just stop?” Taemin pleaded.

“Taemin,” Yunho said calmly using the boy’s name as he stepped forward, ignoring the bickering. “Are you in trouble?”

Taemin nodded his head, instantly at ease with Yunho. “I was with someone else…and he got turned into a little kid. He went though the Guardian without me and I can’t find him.”

“So you are looking for this person?” Yunho asked.

“Yes,” Taemin admitted.

“Have you told…have you told your parents…that sounds odd, but have you?” Yunho questioned, realizing how strange the question must seem

“No…I would just get in lots of trouble,” Taemin answered his eyes darting to Jaejoong and then back to Yunho. “We…I…I am not supposed to go near the Guardian.”

“How did you get aboard the ship,” SooYoung asked as she stepped forward to join Yunho. Jaejoong stayed strangely quiet, not moving.

“The Guardian…it transported me to the ship,” Taemin explained. “It is allowing me to travel through it, but it hasn’t allowed me to find…to find who I am searching for. It keeps randomly stopping us in places.”

SooYoung’s eyes widened. “The Guardian is transporting you? Do you not have to be near it?”

“I was originally near it…I don’t think I should say more.”

SooYoung agreed, “Perhaps not.”

“What are you thinking?” Yunho asked as he turned to look at his mate, who had not spoken. The horror-struck look on his mate’s face had Yunho yelling out, “Jaejoong!”

Jaejoong lifted a trembling arm and pointed it at Taemin. “Look at him Yunho…he’s bonded…and he’s about ten years old.”

“No, no, no,” Taemin quickly replied, waving his hands in front of him.

“Yes, you are,” Jaejoong snapped at the son he didn’t know. “I know what a bonded Joong looks like!”

“I am not bonded, I promise!”

“I felt the parent-child bond with you. I didn’t break it! You need to tell me who defiled you….” Jaejoong turned his glare on the young Joong standing with Taemin. “Was it him? I can’t kill him, but I promise to make him wish he was dead.”

The blond jumped up. “No, it wasn’t me! What are you talking about? He’s half human. Like his other sibs he took on a human appearance after a certain age. Plus, he is way older than ten…not that I am saying I am interested in him, because I’m not…but it isn’t like he is so much younger than I am. I am by no means old!”

“Other sibs…” Yunho repeated.

“Please stop talking,” Taemin pleaded aloud to his friend.

“Me? You are the one answering all of your daddy’s questions! Why don’t you just give him a history lesson and tell her everything that is—”

Both boys vanished instantly without any warning. SooYoung and Yunho both turned to face Jaejoong, who was just staring at the empty space where the boys had been.

“The Guardian took them,” Jaejoong said, answering the unasked question.

Lieutenant SooYoung asked, “Were you able to ascertain if they were from the future or from another reality?”

Jaejoong shook his head. “No.”

“Does the Guardian act like a transportation device to Joong children in this reality?” SooYoung asked.

“Not usually,” Jaejoong answered, but hesitantly added, “But it does grant some Joong unlimited access if it is feeling generous.”

Yunho looked up toward the sky and stated, “The boy was either from another reality…or we somehow avert our approaching doom.”

SooYoung asked, “Explain?”

“He was used to us…he was not raised without us,” Yunho explained. “Taemin knew us, his friend knew us…in whatever reality he came from, he had living parents….he had us.”

“Yes, he knew us,” Jaejoong agreed as he reached up and removed the necklace from his neck. “He knew me; he knew he would be in trouble for going near a Guardian.”

“I agree, he did not act like he had just encountered his dead parents,” SooYoung agreed. “He seemed very accustomed to you.”

“Jaejoong, do you think…what’s wrong?” Yunho asked as he watched an alarmed looking Jaejoong drop the necklace.

Jaejoong’s breathing increased and he whispered, “I am blocked.”

Yunho pulled Jaejoong into his arms. “Completely?”

Jaejoong buried his face in Yunho’s chest. “I don’t feel anything but Changmin…nothing but Changmin…putting on the necklace must have hastened the process…being only exposed to him.”

SooYoung looked at the embracing couple and asked, “How much longer until he is born?”

“We don’t know,” Yunho told her. “It could be days…or it could be months.”


“Welcome back aboard,” Lieutenant Donghae greeted as Yunho, Jaejoong, and SooYoung materialized in the transporter room after he beamed them back from the planet.

“Thank you,” Yunho told the Transporter Chief as he stepped off the platform, while still holding on to Jaejoong’s hand.

“Is everything okay, Sir?” Donghae asked after seeing the forlorn look on Jaejoong’s face.

Yunho pulled Jaejoong closer to him and answered, “Everything is fine. The boys have continued their search…for whoever they are searching for.”

“How can you say that?” Jaejoong asked. “How can you say everything is okay? I can’t feel you? I can’t feel anything!”

“That’s not true,” Yunho said, stepping away from Jaejoong to reach up and cup the other man’s face. “You can feel Changmin…this is your time with him. Enjoy it…this is not a punishment…this is a reward. We are still bonded, nothing can change that…we just have to act like a human couple for now.”

Jaejoong looked nauseous at the mere thought.

Yunho grinned. “All Joongs with kids go through it…not just you.”

“I hate it though,” Jaejoong whined.

Yunho’s insignia chirped and he reached up and hit it. “Captain,” Dr. Cho’s voice immediately replied. “You need to get to sickbay.”

“I’m on my way,” Yunho answered. He gave SooYoung a glance and told her, “Return to the bridge and review all the data from our encounters with the boys and the anomaly.”

“Yes, Sir,” SooYoung answered, exiting the room.

“Did Ryeowook sound worried to you?” Jaejoong asked Yunho.

“Slightly,” Yunho agreed as they headed toward sickbay.

Jaejoong let go of the Yunho’s hand. “Normally, I could tell you…but now I am worthless…useless.”

“Jaejoong, surely you don’t think everybody who isn’t telepathic or empathic is useless,” Yunho told his mate as they reached the lift.

“Not everybody,” Jaejoong conceded, “just most everybody.”

“Jaejoong, nobody on this ship is worthless, and also your abilities have been gradually declining for days now…this can’t be too big of a surprise.”

Jaejoong leaned against the lift as it carried them closer to sickbay. “I just don’t like it.”

The lift stopped and the door opened. “You knew it would happen.”

“I did, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it,” Jaejoong insisted as he stepped off the lift with Yunho. “It’s unsettling.”

“You will survive,” Yunho promised and frowned as a thought occurred to him. “You can still heal me, right?”

Jaejoong smirked. “Worried?”

“Yes—no offence, but since I met you it’s been like one traumatic accident after another.”

“I believe that started before you met me,” Jaejoong snapped as they entered Sickbay. “But don’t worry; I can still heal all your boo-boos.”

“You were the one hurt when we first met,” Yunho reminded his mate.

“I was only hurt because I had not healed myself yet.”

“You—” Yunho stopped talking abruptly as he came face to face with Commander Leeteuk, who was smiling fondly at him as he casually leaned against the wall in his uniform.

“Lieutenant Commander Jung, it’s good to see you,” Commander Leeteuk said without any of the madness that had colored all of his words since the disaster that had left him insane.

“Sir?” Yunho responded, uneasily.

Commander Leeteuk nodded his head. “Yes, my sanity has returned.”


Heechul and Dr. Cho walked into the room and Heechul answered the question, “The second anomaly the ship encountered earlier seems to have had the opposite affect as the first.”

Yunho’s eyes met Ryeowook’s.

A disbelieving Ryeowook explained, “It appears to have cured them. Heechul and Leeteuk…are back…and more are waking up.”

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