Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV program "SPACE: Above and Beyond" are the creations of Glen Morgan and James Wong, Fox Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. Dylan Mackenzie belongs to me.

Once again - MANY THANKS to Karen, she's the Bestest beta ever, and Vasalysa - who keeps the cheese to a minimum, and offers endless advice and help. What would I do without the two of you?

Comments are always welcome at Geek





Chapter 1.

Dill Mackenzie was worried - seriously worried. She paced the floor in her small kitchen, trying to work out what she was going to do. It was two months since Colonel TC McQueen had brought her home, after their eventful week spent at Commodore Glen Ross's beach house on the Alabama coast. Two months since he had asked her to marry him. Now he was God knew where, doing God knew what. What she needed right now was to have him hold her close and tell her everything was going to be all right. If she closed her eyes she could almost imagine it… the feel of him… the way he smelt. She breathed deeply and opened her eyes. It helped a bit, but not enough. She resolved that next time she saw him a piece of his clothing was coming home with her.

She'd known something was wrong, but had put it down to a stomach bug. Only it was every morning, and she was late, something she'd never been before. According to the test before her on the counter, she now knew why. Dill sighed and, filling the kettle, set about making herself some tea. She'd have preferred something stronger, but in her condition… She stopped dead, a look of horror on her face.

"Oh, my God!" she thought. "…in my condition. How the hell am I going to tell mother?"

Dill shook her head, trying to clear the images of her mother, purple with rage, that were forming in her mind. It was not an easy thing to do, having recently seen her just that way. She'd put away the ring McQueen had given her; afraid to wear it in case her mother spotted it. After a month, and an optical disc from him, she'd been so happy that it had found its way back onto her finger. She was damned if she was going to let her mother intimidate her any longer. It had taken less than a day before her mother noticed it. The row that ensued had been a particularly bitter one, with Dill forced to defend McQueen time and time again against her mother's furious tirade. It had ended badly, with her mother telling her that she would no longer be speaking to her until she came to her senses. Dill agreed that that was perfectly acceptable to her, as her senses were exactly where she wanted them, 'thank you very much'. And, in fact, not speaking was just fine with her too! Realising the kettle was overflowing, she emptied the excess into the sink, and set it on to boil.

And then there was Ty… He thought he couldn't have children. It was the 'official' reason his ex-wife had given for their divorce, and it had been the cause of a rather awkward and slightly embarrassing talk between them on his first visit to Scotland. Dill had reached for the drawer of her bedside table and had handed him a condom. The mood had changed instantly, and instead of the joyous passion she'd been expecting, they'd lain in bed talking about his inability to father children due to a 'war wound'. It had been obvious to Dill that this was something that affected him deeply. Hell, it was one of the reasons for his awful nightmares. But she hadn't pushed, hoping that eventually he'd tell her the whole story. She'd seen the scars; she knew his war record, so she could make an informed guess. Of course the fact that they'd not seen each other in 10 months meant that all such thoughts were soon pushed to the back of their minds as their desire and need for each other took over. She could have laughed, for according to the test in front of her, Dill knew Ty was fully functional, no matter what the doctors had told him.

Feeling her stomach start to quiver, all thoughts except one, to make it to the bathroom on time, fled from her mind as she ran through the house, hand firmly clamped over her mouth.

After losing her breakfast, she sat propped against the bath, praying fervently that wherever he was, she hoped he was suffering sympathy pains. How dare he tell her he couldn't father children and then damn well get her pregnant! Even as she thought it, she could feel her stomach rising again. Damn him to hell and back!

Once the fit of vomiting had passed, she slowly made her way back to the kitchen. The kettle had boiled and she made herself a mug of black tea, finding that the very idea of milk made her gag.

Again she paced, thinking, trying to decide what to do. If she told her mother… well, Ty would see the explosion, wherever he was in the galaxy. Dill smiled. He'd probably hear it too! But she wasn't talking to her mother, was she? So what was she going to do? Her mother was a doctor, true, and she'd need to get checked out health wise… but by her own mother? No, that could wait. Being sick was normal, and it would pass eventually. Besides, a tiny voice whispered, did she really want to get into a fight with her mother again? And after all, what she doesn't know won't hurt her, will it?

It was telling Ty that had her worried. How would he react? Would he be pleased? Of course he would… wouldn't he? But what if he reacted badly? What then? Well, that'd just make her mother's day, wouldn't it? What if he wanted nothing to do with her, or the baby? Dill stopped pacing, her hand pressed to her stomach. He wouldn't do that... surely? Fear gripped her. What if her mother was right? He'd run out on her once, at a time when she needed him. What if he did it again? But he wouldn't, would he? She was sure of it… wasn't she? Well, there was no real hurry after all, she had plenty of time to work out exactly how to tell him, and he'd be pleased. He would be pleased. She was positive about it. He would be pleased… wouldn't he?

Damn! Dill put her tea down and raced for the bathroom. Wiping her mouth with a damp face cloth afterwards, she half lay on the floor propped against the bath. Hell, she was far too exhausted, felt far too ill, to even consider speaking to anyone right now. She'd wait until she felt better… maybe next week.

She crawled on her hands and knees into her bedroom, climbed onto her bed, and slept soundly.

Her whole body ached and she was going to be sick yet again. Sometimes it seemed to Dill as if she had been sick her entire life, even though she knew that in reality it had only been several months. After a mad dash to the bathroom, and a hot shower, she stood and looked at herself in the mirror. It was no good; she simply couldn't hide it anymore. Even a baggy jumper wasn't going to hide her bump now - at about 5months pregnant she looked huge. She was going to have to tell her mother before too long. Avoiding her had taken some doing, but it couldn't be done forever. Not for the first time did she wish she wasn't so small. Then maybe she'd have been able to hide it a bit longer. Sighing, she went to get dressed, stopping to let the nausea pass. Why did they call it morning sickness when it went on all day? And shouldn't it have stopped by now?

It was while getting dressed that she first noticed she was bleeding.

It threw her into a panic. Something was wrong, but what? She finished dressing and headed out, making for the small cottage hospital that the Community ran. All the while her mind raced - what if she lost the baby? She still hadn't told Ty yet! That would be a conversation she never wanted to have. She could just imagine it. 'Hello Ty, I'm just letting you know I miscarried our baby. Oh, sorry, didn't I tell you I was expecting? It must have slipped my mind! 'She would have laughed, but she was far too worried. She hurried along the path, both hands clutching her stomach. At least she wasn't in pain, she told herself. That's a good sign, right?

She hoped her mother wasn't on duty. It would be hard to avoid her if she was. She had originally trained as a general surgeon, but after founding the Community, had veered off to specialise in obstetrics. Of course, being the only doctor for quite a while, she'd had to keep up to date in most fields of medicine. Arriving at the small hospital, she pushed the doors open and, taking a deep breath, walked in. She looked around. There was no one about, and then she heard from behind her, "Well, if it isn't Monster Mackenzie!" Turning, she saw a tall slim red head walking towards her, wearing a face splitting grin.

Iona'd named her Monster when they were children. Dill had fallen into Loch Ness and had believed her friend, who'd told her she could see the monster coming to eat her. It had been a trip that had cost them both dearly. On seeing her soaked clothing and realising they had climbed the walls to the outside world, Dill's mother had grounded them for 2 months.

She grinned back. "Iona Campbell! I didn't know you were back!" Dill looked about her. "Mother?" she asked nervously.

Her friend shook her head. "No, I'm working tonight. Not that there's anything to do except count beds, but hey, it's what I spent all those years training for!" She gave her friend a closer inspection. "You look awful, Dylan, and you've added a few pounds since I saw you last." She grabbed her arm and pulled her over to a seat. "So tell me about this handsome Marine my mother has been telling me all about. You have been the object of so much gossip, it's marvellous!" she laughed. "Good old Dylan, always in trouble with Mummy Dearest!"

Dill stopped her. "It's more than that, Iona." She glanced around. "We need to talk, somewhere private."

Iona looked at her thoughtfully and nodded. "OK, in here." she said, standing and pulling Dill into a small side room. She waited as Dill sat up on the bed. "So how far along are you?" she asked.

Dill nearly cried with relief. "About 5 months, "she whispered. "Well, that's how long it's been since I saw him. How did you know? I've managed to keep it hidden, but now I'm bleeding, and I'm so scared. I don't want to lose this baby, Iona."

"Hidden? Are you telling me that no one else knows?" Iona let her shock sound in her voice.

Dill nodded. "I couldn't tell mother, we're not talking."

"She's your mother, Dylan! She'll be delighted." Iona shook her head. She'd never figure out Dill and her mother, not if she lived to be a hundred!

"She'll be furious. If you know about Ty, then you must know he's an invitro. Mother hates him. That's why we're not talking."She whispered, "When she found out he'd asked me to marry him, she went ballistic."

"Dylan Mackenzie, you were born to be in trouble. You always were when we were kids, and now this. Lie down and let me look at you. You've had no check ups then, I suppose, have you?" she asked while rolling up the sleeve of Dill's jumper to take her blood pressure. At the shake of Dill's head, she sighed. "Trust you - you always were a fool."

"Iona," Dill said in a small voice,"please don't let me lose this baby."

Seeing the lost look on her friend's face, Iona smiled. "Dylan, I spent 5 years training as a nurse and a midwife. I'm going to do the best I can. Now be quiet and let me examine you."

Half an hour later Iona looked grim. "For 5 months, Dylan you're huge. I want to do an ultrasound, so you'd better come with me. We'll see just how big this baby of yours is, and maybe find out why you're bleeding." Seeing the frightened look on Dylan's face, she reassured her. "It's OK. It's not too bad. I just want to make sure the placenta is where it's supposed to be, if it's not, then bed rest for you, madam!"

They headed down the hallway and into another room. "Hop up there and undo those trousers." Iona said absently, as she busied herself turning on the equipment and gathering together what she needed. Turning, she applied the gel to Dylan's stomach. "Sorry this'll be cold, but we'll be able to see better."

Together they stared at the screen in front of them. Finally Dill broke the silence. "Um… Iona, why does my baby appear to have two heads?"

"Because, Dylan Mackenzie, you were always one to never do anything in half measures, and this is no exception. You're having twins!"

"… twins?"

"Are you deaf now, too? Yes, twins. Want to know the sex?"

"Twins? Holy mother of god! Now I'll have to tell him." She lay on the bed staring at the ceiling.

Iona stared at her. "Dylan, are you telling me he doesn't know?"

Dill nodded. "I was worried about his reaction."

Iona laughed out loud. "Well, you better make sure he's sitting down when you tell him, or he'll pass right out!"

"What am I going to do, Iona?" Dill whispered.

"Oh no, don't expect me to bail you out! Not this time! Anyway, everything else looks fine, but I want you to stay here for a couple of days so I can keep an eye on you."

"But my mother will find out!" Dill wailed.

"You think you could have kept twins hidden?" Iona laughed. "She's not blind, Dylan."

Dill shook her head. "I don't know if I can deal with her at the moment. But… you said something about telling the sex?"

"Yes, I can tell you if you want. Luckily for you, I know what I'm looking at!" she laughed.

"So tell me… am I looking at two Duncan's or two Morag's?"

"Morag? No way, Dylan. You can't call a baby Morag. It's not right. So anyway, what's daddy's name? "Iona was busily moving the scanner around as she asked it.

"Ty. Tyrus. Tyrus McQueen." Dill whispered.

"Well, it looks like daddy McQueen has himself two little Tyrus juniors. Tyrus…where the hell did he get that name from?" she laughed.

"Boys? He'll be delighted… I hope." Dill sighed. "I told you, Iona, he's an invitro. It was given to him. Tyrus Cassius McQueen. Fair rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?" she laughed.

"Well, at least it's a nice Scots name, McQueen. "

"Iona! As if that matters!"

"Well, as I recall, you were going to call your sons Cameron, Duncan and Malcolm." Iona laughed.

"And you were going to call yours Macbeth and Hamish!" Dill giggled. "I might steal Hamish." she laughed. "Want to swap for Duncan?"

After settling her into a room of her own, and attaching her to several large and annoying machines that bleeped, Iona told her to get some rest. Looking around her, it occurred to Dill that for such a small community, they had some pretty impressive equipment. How did they afford it? She knew her mother's family had money, but how much, she wondered? It didn't take her long to fall asleep, aided by the fact that whatever Iona had given her for the nausea was helping. She was concerned that at this stage Dill was still unable to keep much down when she ate.

She woke to the sound of someone moving around next to her. Opening her eyes, Dill saw her mother checking the machines. "Mother?" she asked quietly.

Turning, her mother looked at her from cold hard eyes. "How can you have been so foolish?"

Dill felt very small and vulnerable in the bed. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen."

"You didn't mean to get yourself pregnant by this tank? Or you didn't mean for me to find out?" She stared at Dill. "So where is he? This marvellous tank of yours, the tank that is so much better than any other tank ever decanted. Did he run when you told him? Tell you he wasn't ready for the responsibility? I warned you, Dylan. I told you this would happen… that they're all the same." She shook her head. "But you wouldn't listen, would you? Oh no! Not you. You knew better, and where has it got you? Tell me that!"

Dill let her finish, hearing the same tirade she'd heard so many times before. "He's not here, mother, because he doesn't know. I haven't told him yet. And anyway he's fighting a war. He can't just drop everything and come running!"

"You haven't told him!" For just a second, Moira looked astonished. Then the old bitterness closed in. "Worried about how he'll react? I'm telling you, Dylan, you won't see him for dust. Tanks are all the same. Your father transferred off station the very next day - his feet didn't touch the ground! Just you wait and see. A letter will come telling you he can't do this - the time isn't right, or some such BS. He'll drop you like a hot brick. What will you have then, Dylan? Nothing, that's what, you'll discover the hard way why we started this place!"

Dill sat up, yelling. "That's not what'll happen! Ty will be pleased. He'd like to have children! I know he would! If I'd told him, he would have tried to come and see me. I know he would have! Stop comparing him to my father. He's not him! Don't blame him because you fell for someone who couldn't love you back! It's not his fault my father was afraid of you!" She fell silent, hearing her own words.

Her mother glared at her. "Afraid of me… is that what you think? He wasn't afraid of me, Dylan, he was afraid of YOU! Of what you represented. He couldn't handle it and ran away! He was a damned coward! Tanks are cowards. Face it...yours is too!" She turned and fairly stomped out of the room, leaving Dill to collapse back onto the bed exhausted.

Iona was through the door in seconds. "Dylan, are you all right?" she asked. "Well, you and your mother haven't changed much, have you?" she grinned. "She sure does hate him though, doesn't she?"

Dill sighed. "Iona, you don't know the half of it."

Pulling up a chair, she answered. "So tell me."

After having sat with Dill for an hour, listening to her talk, Iona had an idea. But first she had to talk to her own mother. "Dylan, there's paperwork I need to do. I'll be back later, OK? Try and get some more rest, and eat, please."

"OK" Dill whispered wearily, settling herself back down to sleep.

Later that evening Iona was back, arriving as Dill ate her supper. Sitting herself down in the chair, she waited until Dill had finished eating before she spoke. "Dylan, have you ever wondered about your father?"

Dill looked at her, surprised. "Well of course! We always used to pretend that one day our fathers would swoop in here and take us away from here remember?"

Iona smiled. "Yes, I remember. What do you know about him?"

Dill thought for a moment. "Well, his name was Dylan. I know he had brown curly hair." At Iona's raised eyebrow, she laughed. "Well, I sure didn't get this unruly mop from my mother! What else do I know? Um… his batch number? That's what the old cow put on my birth certificate, his batch number! Can you believe that?" Seeing Iona's grin, she asked, "What? What is it?"

"I know more than you do, Dylan. Our mothers started this place together, remember? Well, they talked about all sorts of things, including our fathers. I spoke to my mother today. Would you like the chance to find him? He won't be the person he was 27 years ago. He might be proud to know he's going to be a grandfather, and that his daughter is engaged to an invitro legend."

Dill stared at her. "Are you telling me you know where he is?"

Shaking her head, Iona smiled. "No, but I know his name. They laughed about it when your mother told mine. I know where they met… what he was doing."

"Tell me!" Dill demanded. To think that she might actually be able to find him… to finally meet this man who her mother had made sound so bad, ever since she'd challenged her with the knowledge that he was an invitro.

"His name - if he's still alive. And Dylan, you must accept that he may not be. It's Dylan Thomas."

They stared at each other. "The poor soul! "Whispered Dill, before they both began to laugh.

"He worked in the kitchen of the military hospital your mother did her training at. My mother doesn't know its name, but I'm sure with a little digging we could find out easily enough. He was only a year out of the tank, Dylan. No wonder he ran away. He was probably frightened of what might happen to him. He was still serving his indenture."

"Ever since I met Ty, she's been filling me full of stories of how he was a coward who ran away… couldn't face up to his responsibilities… didn't know what love was. Well, it's not bloody surprising, is it? If he was only a year old, he'd have had no idea at all, would he? God, I hate her! She's been trying to drive a wedge between Ty and me right from the start. It ends now." She looked Iona in the eye. "I'm going to find my father. I am. If he's alive, I'll find him."

Iona grinned. "Good. He was indentured to the military, to the catering corps, I understand. So he should be easy to trace, unless he's left the military all together."

"Right. Let's do it! Am I fit enough to leave here?" Dill asked, worried. "Am I up to going to see Ty? To the travelling?"

"Yes, you are." Iona nodded. "All the tests have come back clear, the bleeding has stopped, and anyway, you'll have your own private nurse travelling with you."

"Iona?" Dill grinned happily. "You're going to come with me?"

"Would I let my best friend and chief trouble maker travel the universe alone in her condition? Not bloody likely!"

"Hoo Ya!" Dill shouted. She laughed at Iona's face. "Sorry, I picked that up from Cooper, one of Ty's kids. Well, not his kids, because he can't actually have children… " She saw Iona's glance at her bulging belly. "Well, he thinks he can't. I can't wait to see his face!" she laughed.

"Wait till I'm behind him, to catch him when he faints." Iona chuckled.

They sat and hatched their plan well into the night.

Next : Chapter Two
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