This story is for fun, not for profit.
Part 3 of the Three’s Company saga.
By KT1972 and K2p2
The results were in. I wrapped the baby a little more snugly, my hands wanting the secure touch of the soft fabric more for reassurance than for the comfort of our child. I watched as Ken opened the envelope, not believing I had any reason to be concerned, until, that was, he visibly paled and dropped onto the nearest seat.
“Everything OK, Ken?” I asked, wondering what could have caused such a reaction from him.
“What happened Jun?” His voice was hard, something I only heard reserved for Galactor captains, Katse himself even.
“Not this again,” I groaned “I’ve told you, nothing happened.” He was talking about my capture a few months back by Galactor’s goons. He was paranoid I’d been gang raped by them all or something. As if I’d let any of them touch me with a bargepole.
He’d seemed to have forgotten that I’m quite capable of defending myself. The downside to this was that he wouldn’t lay a hand on me, romantically speaking, for a long while afterwards. When we discovered I was pregnant a few weeks later, it only seemed to confirm his suspicions. The DNA test was an effort to put his mind at rest.
It was Joe that showed me any comfort and support during the journey home. My mouth went dry as I remembered this, and my hands itched to hold anything, yo-yo, a gun, anything that I could use to defend myself as the results of our actions suddenly became crystal clear.
“I told you, I was bait. I reported it all in the debrief.”
“I know what you said, but this letter here,” he scrunched it up in his hand as he held it towards me, “tells me you’re lying!” He rolled the sheet into a ball and threw it in my direction. He hadn’t aimed it directly at me, if he had, he wouldn’t have missed. The missile bounced pathetically, and casually rolled until stopping just short of the back wall. “How about you tell me again, but this time make it believable!”
Ken glared at it, then turned on his heels.
“Where are you going?”
“To find out whose child she” he jabbed a finger in the direction of the crib, “actually is.” He marched off, the door slamming in his wake. The bang startled the tiny child, and she cried out in distress.
She was barely a week old, not even properly named, and her presence was already causing friction between us. I scooped up the paper, before holding my daughter, cradling her with one arm and willing her to shush, while trying to open out the sheet of paper with the other hand.
I didn’t want to believe it myself, but right before my eyes was the accusation and confirmation of my unfaithfulness.
Ken wasn’t her father!
I don’t know how long I sat there sobbing with little Sarah held against my chest, it was only my bracelet chiming that finally snapped me out of it.
“Ken?” I spoke into it hopefully.
“Jun.” Ryu’s voice. “You need to get down here, Ken’s beat Joe up pretty badly.”
What had I done? Thinking back a year ago, the three of us on a camping trip and a private party where we had, for one night, included Joe in our lovemaking. I’d honestly believed Ken was OK with it, he had explicitly stated how secure he was with our relationship. But then when Joe challenged him, Ken had to back up his words.
And so it began. Once the line had been crossed there was no going back, and, despite knowing how Joe felt about me, we agreed between us that I would relieve some of Joe’s sexual tension after missions. Except, returning after my capture and subsequent rescue, Ken wouldn’t touch me, I was to be disciplined for disobeying orders, so when Joe came to check up on me, I came on to him pretty heavily, he couldn’t help but respond.
Despite this, it’s Ken that I loved – still love, and to discover that our baby isn’t Ken’s is as devastating to me as it is to him. By the sounds of it, Ken has figured out what had gone on, and is dealing with it in his own way.
Ryu and Jinpei were outside Joe’s room when we arrived. I glanced through the window. Joe lay there heavily bandaged and under sedation.
“What makes you so sure Ken did this?” I asked the pair of them.
“Who else can get the better of Joe like that?”
“Not this badly, Jun, it’s almost like Joe LET Ken beat him half to death” Ryu answered. “Besides, I’m here, so is Jinpei and you now, so where is our noble commander?”
I sank into the nearest chair, head in my hands, praying that all this was nothing more than a horrible dream.
I hadn’t heard Hakase arrive until he spoke. “Ryu, babysitting duties,” His voice filled the silence that had fallen among us, “Jinpei, watch Joe, any change in his condition let me know, Jun, come with me.” I followed the Doctor to his office, and sat without waiting to be told. He shut the door behind us, took the space next to mine on the sofa, then dropped the stern demeanour and became my father.
He held me like he used to, when I was a child frightened by nightmares, and allowed me to cry it all out, not speaking until I was ready and even then he gave me time to compose myself. After all these years at war, I had forgotten this side of him existed.
“I know what has happened.” He said at last, taking my hand in his. “What I don’t understand is how it all came about. You will have to fill in the details.” I must have looked horrified, because he smiled then, “Relax, I know how babies are created; what I need to know is how Joe came to be your daughter’s father.”
So the whole sorry story came out, the camping trip, the med bay of the God Phoenix, and our arrangement. He just sat, impassively while I poured it all out. When I’d done, I sat staring at a worn patch in the carpet. He removed his glasses, polished the lenses and replaced them.
“Officially, I should put all three of you on charges for gross misconduct, Ken, at least should be court martialled.”
“No!” I cried out before I could stop myself and he put his hands up in a gesture of surrender.
“I’m not going to, I’ve been aware of you and Ken for a while now, and while I can’t approve of Joe’s inclusion into your... personal activities, it happened and can’t be changed now. But the three of you are punishing yourselves and each other much more effectively than anything I could come up with.” He moved into his own chair behind his desk. “What do you want Jun?”
“My family all together. Ken, Sarah and me.” I told him sadly, “I can’t see it happening now though. I can’t see Ken ever being able to forgive me for this.” Another tear spilled down my cheek. I wiped it away with the back of my hand, angrily. I caused all this mess, I only had myself to blame now it had all gone wrong. “I don’t suppose you know where he went do you?”
“That was going to be my next question,” Nambu sighed, “He’s turned off his communicator and intends to keep his head down as far as I can tell. What I’m really concerned about is how this business will affect your performance as a team. Do you think you will still be able to function as a unit as professionally as you did before?”
“I’m sorry Hakase, I don’t know...I can only promise to try not to let any of this affect my performance, and I’m sure Ken could do the same. You know how he managed to put aside his feelings for me for all those years we were training and fighting.”
We were interrupted by a knock on the door, and Jinpei poked his head around.
“You wanted to know, Joe’s come round, but Sarah’s gone to sleep.” He said simply then vanished again.
“Was there anything else, Hakase?” The doctor shook his head.
“Just let me know if Ken gets in touch,” he said dismissing me.
“Yes, Hakase, and thank you.”
“Hi, Joe, are you up to having visitors?” I could see his face, what was visible of it under the dressings, light up when I entered with Sarah.
“She’s called Sarah.”
“Who chose that?” I just shrugged, “Never mind, can I hold her?” I handed her over, a moment of resentment entering my heart as I did so. “Can I be her dad then?”
Seeing them together like that, I could see her future with surprising clarity. She would be adored. He would dote on her and she would want for nothing, for as long as he could provide for her. I couldn’t stay and watch. I mumbled an excuse and slipped out into the mercifully empty corridor to wallow in self pity without being disturbed. Finding a plastic chair I sat, pulling my knees to my chest, hoping a soft rocking motion would bring some comfort. I had never felt this alone before. Even trapped or captured by Galactor, I knew the team would find me... I could have dozens of goons pointing loaded rifles at point blank range, I would still be confident that Ken would move heaven and earth to get me out before a single shot was fired.
And now he was gone.
Good lord, does the crying ever stop? I sat there for ages, wondering where Ken had gone, how long would he stay away for, and if there was any chance we could work things out between us before we were needed for our next mission.
Splashing my face with cold water in the handbasin against the wall, I returned to Joe’s bedside.
“I’m serious,” he said as soon as he saw me. “Anything she needs, just let me know, and that goes for you, too.”
“Thanks, I’ll bear it in mind.” The chair I had used earlier was still in position; I sat back down into it.
“Hey, I know you and Ken barely scrape a living together, it’s going to be tough with an extra mouth to feed.” He was looking at me earnestly while holding our daughter protectively, possessively. He winced as he leaned towards me, to cup my face in his hand. “Jun, you know how I feel about you, and I couldn’t be happier to be a father to Sarah, even if I regret the circumstances it came about, and I understand that you don’t love me.”
“I’m sorry too Joe,” I had to turn away, even more tears stung my eyes “I love Ken; I only want to be with him from now on.” I fished for another tissue, “I wish the test had been wrong, or that we hadn’t done anything, but it’s far too late for that, there’s nothing I can do to change it now.”
“So how are things between you two?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well he stormed out this morning, after reading the DNA results, the next thing I hear , he’d beaten you up and now he’s gone off somewhere and not answering his communicator.”
“He’ll have gone flying, give him time to cool off, he’ll forgive you.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“He will, he loves you.”
“He trusted us, and we betrayed him.”
“He was part of it all too, he needs time to get his head around it and will be back when he’s ready, you’ll see,” Joe stroked my face, “and if he doesn’t, I’m here.”
I took Sarah and prepared to leave. I’d secured her into the pram, and as I turned to say bye, I saw he had pulled himself into a sitting position. It must have been agonising for him, but he had never been one to let a little bit of pain stop him from doing whatever he thought he had to.
“Jun,” he said through gritted teeth, “You will bring her back again, won’t you?”
“Sure Joe.” I smiled, seemingly for the first time that day. He pulled me towards him once again, bringing a hand up behind my head he drew me in to brush my lips with his own. The kiss was not entirely unpleasant, yet it lacked that.... something.... I could only feel with Ken.
“This has to stop, Joe, you understand that?” I told him, feeling guilty as the words left my lips. That Joe cared about me, was obvious, he had just taken a beating for something I was as much to blame for as he was, and here I was telling him it was all for nothing.
“We’d better go. I don’t want our being here to hamper your recovery.” As I left the room, I prayed to anyone who might be listening that Ken would return soon, and he would find it in his heart to forgive me.