Johana took pictures for Neek while he took notes and talked to people about the Shah-e-Cheragh. Since they really didn’t have anything tieing them down they spent very little time in their home. They planned to spend most their lives traveling around until they were ready for children and Johana had been the guide. Once they were done in one place she was finding somewhere else magnificent for him to study and tell his people about for their history books. They didn’t always take pictures but the Shah-e-Cheragh was so beautiful Neek had insisted his people needed pictures. It was the first thing he had seen on earth that he thought his people would actually make themselves.
“did you get a picture of that sweetheart?” Neek asked as he pointed. “Yep”
“good, I can’t wait to see the response once I turn this in”
“I’m sure they’ll love it” he tucked away his notebook, walking over to hug her “I think I have everything I need here. Lets go back to our ship so I can finish writing this up. I want to talk to you about something” she blushed, wondering if it was kids yet. She wasn’t sure what it was but she had had a small case of baby fever lately. She only hadn’t said anything because they had only been together two years and his people seemed to have a weird policy about kids. She didn’t know if it still applied with him living on earth but in any case she felt weird bringing it up so soon in the relationship.
They walked out and made the long journey to where their ship was. Once inside she needed to know what he wanted to talk about “whats up Neek?”
“by my peoples calculations a new planet is going to be born soon and I wondered if you’d like to see it with me. I’ve seen hundreds of planets start their life but it’s not something you’ve experienced so when I realized it would be happening soon I wanted to offer to take you.” she lit up which warmed his heart. It wasn’t what she hoped but still incredibly. “You are the coolest boyfriend Neek” she said as she tightly hugged him. She couldn’t believe she was actually going to get to see a planet form. “I will hurry and finish getting this ready to send home so we can start our journey” he said happily.
Johanna decided to read while he finished his work, but her mind kept drifting between what a world looked like when it was being born, if it was a bunch of swirling bits or if it was simply just suddenly there, and having children of her own. She glanced at Neek, wondering if she should bring it up or just wait for him to ask her. She didn’t want to sound pushy or make him upset. She looked back at her book and felt embarrassed when she realized she had been reading the same paragraph for the last ten minutes. “Alright, I’m finished, just let me send this off.” Neek suddenly said as he got up.
“Is everything alright?”
“Yes, just wondering if I could pilot once we’re on course.”
“You can help with takeoff if you like. I’d have to help you, you can sit in my lap.”
“Sounds good.” He turned away to send the information and she inwardly groaned at how she couldn’t even utter the word baby. Neek wasn’t even scary, in fact he was the sweetest, most sincere person she knew.
He sent off his work then shifted back to what he really looked like. He was growing to accept the way he really looked and he knew Johana loved him even in his true form. She smiled at him as he lifted her into his arms then settled himself in the pilot seat. He talked through what he was doing and held her hands on certain controls so she could learn the motions to use to get his ship in the air. He was glad she had asked, any excuse for her to be this close he jumped on. She was still absolutely intoxicating to Neek and he felt like the luckiest man in all the galaxies to have her.
She drove easily until Neek could put it in auto pilot and they were able to slip out of their seat. “what should we do with our time? This wont be a quick trip my love” They should talk, she knew they should talk but she still couldn’t. “There’s still one more game I brought on the ship you havent learned to play yet” he smiled “then I’d love to learn” he morphed back into a human. It was simply too hard to play human board and card games with how large he truly was. Neek needed his human hands and arms so he wouldn’t knock everything over.
Neek never had more fun than when he was with Johana. His life had been about exploration, different worlds and species had been his main focus, but now he had Johana and he got to share every moment with her. He couldn’t imagine being out here without her, it saddened him and gave him an empty feeling, something else he had never experienced until her. As usual he learned the game fast and after a few rounds he began to beat Johana. She smiled, making his heart skip a beat. He had learned that some people on Earth reacted badly to losing, but Johana never did. She could be competitive, but she never became angry.
“I’m going to have to buy more games.” Johana said when Neek won again.
“Do as you wish, I would love to learn more.”
“You’re so sweet.”
“You’re sweeter.” She blushed and he gave a pleased smile.
“I can’t help it.”
She laughed and as always with this rampant baby fever she was having, Johana couldn’t help but think how much fun it would be to play these games with their kids. “what’re you thinking about my love?” Neek asked, as observant as ever. She decided to be honest “In that moment I was just thinking what a sweet father you’d be” He looked surprised and then a bigger smile spread on his face. “Was that just a one time thought or have you been thinking about it”
“Does it matter? You said you guys don’t just have kids. You only have them when someone dies”
“I’ll do whatever makes you happy. What’s my leader going to do? Tell me I can’t come home? My family could come see me still and it wouldn’t change our life a bit if he was like that about it though I doubt he’d be that ridiculous anyway. If you’d like a child we will have one and he can feel however he’ll feel about it”
“You mean that? We’ve only been together two years”
“and we’re going to be together forever. I love you, there’s no other for me. Having a kid together is a lifetime commitment yes but my heart already belongs to you forever. If the thought of you leaving my side even skids across my mind for a mere moment it breaks my heart.” He got up so he could move closer to her and pulled Johana into his arms “It would actually make me incredibly happy to hear you say you wanted a child with me” his voice was softer and she blushed again at both the closeness and how amazingly sweet he was being. “I really want kids but I think it’s important to atleast talk to your leader first.”
“Okay but I want you to know we’re having kids no matter what his answer is” He stood up and put her down just before reaching into his mouth. She was confused and about to ask what he was doing but just that quick his mouth was bleeding and he had pulled something out of it “Neek?!” now she was more alarmed than confused. He chuckled “Baby, I’m fine, Have you not wondered how we only have planned children? Ours is far better being an accident has never happened since we created them but I just pulled out your equivalent to birth control.”
“I’ve kissed you hundreds of times and I’ve never felt anything in your mouth”
“Thats why I’m bleeding, I’ll request the proper materials to show you where i just pulled that from.I just want that healing so I didn’t feel like waiting to remove it”
“You could have done that in a better way couldn’t you?”
“Yes but we’re going to be having kids and beyond being impatient to get healing over with I want you to see how serious I am. What my leader says means nothing and I don’t need anybody else to take that out. It wont take very long to heal, I promise”
“You didn’t have to hurt yourself. I feel bad now” He pulled her back into his arms “Don’t feel bad, I’m incredibly happy right now. We’ll go to my planet right after you see the birth of this planet”
“Still, should we get some ice or something?”
“You’re an incredible woman, Johana, thank you for loving me.”
She blushed, her heart dancing. “W…well of course, I’ll always love you.” She touched the side of his face where he had pulled the birth control out. “You’re sure it’s okay?”
“Let’s at least wipe the blood off.”
He picked her up and carried her to the bathroom where she got a rag and wet it then wiped away the little bit of blood he had on his lips. “Better?” He asked.
“Yeah, are you happy now? I didn’t upset you?”
“I think I was more startled.” She said with a warm smile. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone rip something out of their mouth or rip anything off of anywhere.”
“I won’t have to do it again, so don’t worry.”
“well…while I would have never asked you to do that it’s incredibly sweet you just ripped that out and are so committed to having a baby with me…just know though. If your ruler does get really mad and threatens you for going against how things are done I wont blame you for changing your mind. I want children but I want you to be happy more than I want children. I never want you to look back and regret giving up whatever he might ask you to to do this” He gently rubbed her cheek with his knuckles “It didn’t cross your mind that you might have stirred a desire to have kids in me too? You make me feel all sorts of things my people don’t often feel. Nobody has ever cared, to my knowledge anyway about how we handle having children but I love you and I want to have a family with you. I was looking and waiting for you to say something to indicate you wanted it”
She kissed his cheek and he smiled, taking her face in his hands “you can still kiss me you silly, incredible woman” he pulled her into a gentle kiss then took her into his arms to carry Johana back to the controls of his ship. He let her drive again, simply directing her on where to go. He wanted just to be with her but there were only so many spots in the galaxy auto was safe and with her on board no risk was worth it. He took over when he needed to start slowing the ship and when it came to a stop he said “We need to stay in this room to make sure we don’t miss it. I wish these could be timed more precisely but you can’t rush a creation and they are wildly unpredictable”
“This is so exciting”
“I will take you to these until they’re as common place to you as they are me” she hugged him, unable to help herself and he happily sighed.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of this place.” Johana said as she stood with her hand pressed against the window.
“Of the ship?”
“Of space and yes the ship too.” She said, giving a small chuckle. “To be able to see this…there are so many astronomers who would give anything for this.”
Neek wrapped his arms around her from behind and she leaned into him. “I’m happy that I get to share it with you, it makes every moment I spend researching more fun than it has ever been.”
“You’re so sweet.” She turned her head and pressed a kiss to his cheek, making his heart skip a beat. “It’s a little chilly, would you shift for me?”
“Of course.” She gave a little sigh when she felt the warmth of his other form envelope her and found herself wanting to snuggle as close as she could get. “Better?”
“Yes, thank you.”
Neek was slowly coming to accept his body thanks to Johana. There were many things she had shown him were useful or were simply things she enjoyed when he shed the human form and went back to what he really was. She had rapidly made him feel completely comfortable in either form and he now wished the rest of his people weren’t so ashamed. The thought just now hit him that he needed to write his people and let them know he was bringing her. When a visitor was coming the entire planet preferred to have warning so they could shift into whatever creature wanted to visit since they were a particularly bad looking species and had so many bad reactions before. He decided to do it tonight after she was resting. Neek wasn’t going to miss seeing Johana’s face when she witnessed the beauty of a planet coming to life.
“Since we have to wait anyways Neek is there anything as far as manners I need to know when it comes to visiting your planet? I don’t want to offend anybody, especially your family or friends”
“It’s the same as on your planet really but one courtesy they really like is advance notice when someone not of their species is coming so they can change forms. I know you would love them all for who they are but don’t ask them to shift back into their true forms. It would be like you going up to a stranger on earth and asking to see them naked.”
“when were you planning on telling them I’m coming?”
“Tonight when you’re resting. I swear you really did inherit your Fregs mind reading abilities and just don’t realize it. I was just thinking about having to write them”
“well, could you add in your warning it’s really okay. What kind of assholes visited your planet before that made everyone so scared”
“My beautiful little warrior of self love it’s okay, I wish they would feel as comfortable with themselves as you’ve made me feel with myself but I can’t just tell them hey feel better and have them feel better about themselves. I will add that you have seen me and are comfortable with our race and hopefully at least some will just be them for your visit. I planned on writing my family personally instead of just letting them hear the announcement so I will make extra sure to explain incredibly well just how comfortable you are with my species”
“You could show them by just being you while we’re there.”
“That’s a wonderful idea Johana.”
She snuggled back up him and watched out the window. The ship warned them that there was an increase in debris and Neek let her go long enough to press a button. “What does that do?”
“It creates a buffer between us and the debris. Small pieces are fine, but bigger pieces could damage the hull.”
“I don’t see anything.”
“It’s not like in the movies you watch. You wouldn’t notice it unless you ran into it.” He wrapped his arms back around her.
“And why the increase in debris?”
“That means it’s getting ready.”
Excitement had her pulse rising and soon even she could tell something amazing was happening. It was beautiful, more beautiful than she could have ever imagined the birth of a planet could be. Johana was absolutely captivated and even gasped a little when it all fully came together “That was so cool Neek”
“do you know if there will be any life there?”
“Only time will tell. If you’d like I can bring you back to check on its progress from time to time”
“Thank you” it wasn’t just a thank you for this but a thank you for everything. These past two years had been the greatest of her life and it was all because of him. He had shown and explained so much to her, had given her experiences Johana didn’t even realize she desperately wanted to experience. “lets get a good rest in before I take you to my planet beautiful” Johana glanced back at the window one last time before they left the room then followed Neek to bed.
“I can’t believe I’m finally going to see your world. I’m so excited, I don’t think I could possibly sleep.”
“Of course you can.” He pulled Johana close to him and he smiled when she settled into him. She rubbed her cheek against his chest and sighed. “See? You’re already halfway there.”
“It’s your fault, you’re so warm and comfy, it’s not fair.”
“Sleep beautiful.” She closed her eyes and he allowed his fingers to sweep through her hair, lulling her into sleep. He gave the top of her head a kiss then slowly slipped out of bed, pulling the blankets up to her chin. He needed to write to his family and leader before he got too comfortable to get up. He wrote his family first, explaining everything and letting them know they had no worries when it came to her accepting them. He sent it off then started one for his leader so he would have time to let everyone know. Once it was sent off, he went back to bed, sliding in next to Johana and having to stop himself from chuckling when she instantly moved closer.
Neek realized he had been the one saying they needed to rest, however he couldn’t help but stay awake awhile and enjoy the closeness with Johana. Neek knew his family was going to be excited to meet her and if his leader didn’t boot him off the planet there wasn’t any way his family was letting them off the planet any time soon. He only had the trip there to be alone with her if things went well and he hoped they did. He wasn’t going to be told he couldn’t give Johana children but he didn’t want to have to leave his planet and never look back if worst case scenario came up. When he did finally fall asleep his mind was on happy thoughts of little moments he imagined he might have with Johana if they had little ones running around his ship and their home on earth.
Johana enjoyed the trip to his home world, her eyes riveted to each new moon or planet they passed from the moment she woke. She knew that she would never be able to see all of it even if she tried. “We’re close.” Neek said as he took his place at the head of the ship and took it off autopilot.
“I’m kind of nervous.” Johana replied as she moved to stand next to him.
“Don’t be my love, no one here will hurt you.”
“Hurt isn’t what I’m worried about.”
He pulled her onto his lap and kissed her cheek. “You are so perfect, Johana, and if anyone makes you feel less than perfect I won’t hesitate to knock them out.”
“What if they kick you off the planet because of me?”
“It will hurt, but as long as I have you, I’ll be happy.”
“I can’t help but worry about it, no matter how much you tell me it’ll be fine”
“He’s never been an unreasonable man. I just don’t know how he’s going to react. There is no record of anybody desiring to have children. For generations my people have only tried when one died and as soon as a pregnancy was announced nobody peeped a word about children until another death occurred. For all I know he could take it perfectly well and just tell everyone to do what they want. If I knew of any instance our leader was fought on something I’d have a better idea but we’ve been set in our ways since his father before him”
“really? Nobody has ever been unhappy about any rule?”
“Truly we don’t have many. We are all born with a deep, almost all consuming need for knowledge. We live our lives to learn and when you only care about learning there isn’t much to get worked up over”
Johana rested her head against his chest as the ship entered his home world’s atmosphere. He guided it down, slowing as they broke through clouds and she sat up, wanting to see everything. He slowed even more, letting her enjoy the view from above and smiling at the look of awe on her face. “Wow, it’s beautiful.”
“You really like it?”
“Of course I do, look at those buildings.”
“I told you, my people are a bit extravagant.”
“I can’t wait to see everything. I’m going to have to take pictures for my dad, he’s going to love this.”
As they drew near the ground Johana smiled, happy to see so many people there and so many looking as they really did. She was glad they felt comfortable being themselves in front of her. “That’s my family you know” Neek informed her and she looked at him “everyone here?”
“Yep, I guess they wanted to greet you. This is always where I land when I come home which is how they knew where to be” Neek took her hand once they were on the ground and proudly walked out with her. “Hello!” a woman said excitedly “Hi, I’m Johana”
“Oh I know, my son has told me so much about you. You are such a beautiful human, inside and out. You know you have made Neek the first one of our kind to ever be with someone outside of our species”
“he told me but thats really stupid. Neek has a really big heart as I’m sure a lot of you do.”
“well now that you’ve seen me as a human I’ll be myself. I just wanted you to recognize me if I can ever drag his father to earth” she shifted and Johana felt happy that had been the only reason she wasn’t herself when she got off the aircraft. Johana spent a good hour meeting everyone that came out to greet them but she happily stood there talking. She was eager to see Neeks home but it felt incredible they were all so interested in her and seemingly happy about hers and Neeks relationship. “Neek, are you taking her with you to talk to our leader? If not she can hangout with us”
“would you like to spend time with my family while I talk to him? He might feel better talking about the subject just between us. He might feel put on the spot anyway if you’re standing with me.”
“Your family seems wonderful so if you think it might go better if you talk to him by yourself I’d love to hangout with them” he kissed her head “then I will go ahead and go. Please show her around a bit, I know she wants to see everything” he asked his parents and they nodded. Johana followed his family away while Neek went off in a different direction. When Neek arrived at their leaders home he was seen right away “welcome back Neek, you have been amazing at collecting information for us. I will admit I was a bit worried about Johana hindering your research but you’ve turned out to be one of our best studiers”
“she helps me and gives me ideas on what to study next”
“why is she not with you? I wanted to meet her”
“I wanted to talk to you about something that might upset you so I had her go off with my family
“what is it Neek?”
“I took out my birth control because we want a baby. I know nobody has died and this isn’t the way we do things but sir it’s not like I even live here and even if I did it’s not as if our world is jam packed with beings. There is plenty of room for babies. I hope you understand and if you don’t understand don’t feel like me breaking rules and taking out my birth control is her fault. She didn’t ask me to do it and on top of that I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. She insisted I come home and talk to you before we started trying” His leader paused a few moments before saying “You are right Neek, you know it wasn’t I who made that rule anyway. That has been in place for many generations. You have my blessing and I intend to change that rule”
“Just like that?”
“we are too logical sometimes Neek. I’m going to step down soon so maybe this is a good way to end my leadership before I pass things on to my son which is another thing that is long over due” Neek smiled “I am happy you are accepting of this”
“I could tell you were ready to fight me over it”
“I love her and will give her anything that makes her happy. She wants children, even if I didn’t want children rules be damned she’d have them. I know how lucky I am to have her and I wont lose her”
“Now that thats over with may I meet her?”
“Bring her here for dinner, your family is invited aswell” Neek walked out to be respectful but the second he was out the doors he ran all the way home, excited to tell Johana the good news.
The moment he saw her, he couldn’t keep himself from scooping her up and her happy laughter made him feel even lighter. “That was fast.” Johana said as he hugged her to him.
“He gave us his blessing.”
“Really?” Her eyes shone with her joy.
“Yes, we can get started whenever you wish.” She blushed and he pressed a kiss to her lips, too happy to worry about embarrassment.
“Blessing for what?” His mother asked.
“To have children. He’s even having the law abolished so anyone can have children when they wish.” He lowered Johana to her feet. “I hope that pleases you.”
“Of course it does dear.”
“If you all don’t mind I want to take Johana to meet my best friend and then tonight we are having dinner with Jean. He wants to meet her and he says you are welcome as well”
“we will see you two at dinner then”
“I plan for us to stay awhile so you can get to know her so don’t worry” his mom laughed “I know, I also know you’re eager to show her off to everyone. Go on, I’ll see you later” Neek lifted Johana into his arms again and took her to Oluwa’s home. He also greeted her looking like himself “Neek! Johana! Come in” He seemed eager and excited but he hadn’t seen his best friend in two years so him seeming to burst from them seams with joy was understandable. About an hour into catching up Oluwa said “well damn Neek, who knew you grow up to change so much and have so many firsts and on top of thatg actually change something around here. Nothing changes or at least hasn’t in a long time” he chuckled again “you better bring your children back to meet me”
“any more firsts you plan on adding to the list or do you have your sights on any other rules you want to change?” he asked teasingly and Neek answered “Not really but give it time” Johana laughed with them and the three continued talking until they needed to leave for dinner with Jean. “I imagine tomorrow I’ll take her around to get pictures of my home for her father. Do you want to join us Oluwa?”
“I’d be delighted, she’s fun, I see why she caught your eye” Neek smiled proudly then left with Johana in his arms. She kissed his cheek and said “you’re adorable”
“and you’re amazing Johana, perfect and absolutely amazing”
“Do you think your parents will really come to earth eventually?”
“Oh yes, especially since Freg has found such a good area where we dont have to worry so much about humans”
“Maybe after you’ve completed your study of the earth we can try to open my species mind to the fact there really is more out there. If we wait until you’re done learning about the earth then we can just get in your ship and fly away before anybody has time to hurt you if that goes really badly”
“I’m good with that. I can simply bring you back here until I’m assigned a new place to study” The two stayed until everyone Neek was close to had gotten some time with Johana and Johana had gotten plenty of pictures for her father. They had been trying every night on Krawnum but four months later and she still wasn’t with child. Neek knew it could take time but he was impatient, probably for the first time in his life. Now that they were returning to earth and would be alone all they wanted again he planned to start trying a lot harder to impregnate her.
~ The End