"Oh Chakotay, I love you so."
"I love you too, Tom."
"You know what would make our love complete?"
"Yes, babies. I want to have your babies, Chakotay."
"I want you to have my babies, Tom."
"Let's go talk to the captain. I'm sure she'll see the wisdom in this."
"Surely she will realize that the depth of our love could only be completed with babies."
Janeway nearly dropped her coffee. "You want do to what?"
"We want to have babies together," Chakotay said, wrapping his arms around Tom.
"Yes, I want to get pregnant and have lots and lots of babies for my big man," Tom beamed.
Janeway stifled her gag reflex, then said, "Gentlemen, you do realize that Tom has no uterus."
"The Doctor can make one for me, I'm sure of it," Tom said.
"Yes, but Tom, women are meant to have babies, not men."
Chakotay puffed out his chest and said, "I didn't think you were so sexist, Captain!"
Janeway sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "It's not sexism. It's elementary biology. And that's besides the point. We're millions of light years from home in unfriendly space. Any child you have will be in constant danger."
"Life is dangerous, Captain. But we have a lot of love to give to our children," Tom said, a dopey smile on his face.
"Maybe you should focus your love on, say, a pet?" Janeway offered. "Perhaps some houseplants? Babysitting for Naomi Wildman? Which brings up another point. There's only one other child on this ship, and she's far too old to be playing with a baby. Your child won't have any friends."
"Well, we discussed that," Tom said. "I'm going to have quintuplets."
Janeway shuddered visibly. "Quintuplets?"
"Yes, we have enough love to go around for quintuplets," Chakotay said.
"Let's get back to that elementary biology I was talking about," Janeway said. "Do you have any idea how difficult it is to give birth to healthy quintuplets even if you have a uterus?"
"The Doctor will take care of that," Tom said dismissively.
Tom and Chakotay exchanged a blank stare, then Chakotay said, "The Doctor can do anything."
"Right, so if Tom successfully carries quintuplets to term, you're going to have to hire a circus midget to help Tom carry his belly through his third trimester."
"I was thinking anti-grav technology myself," Chakotay mused.
"Ooh, good idea!" Tom beamed, resting his head on his lover's shoulder adoringly.
"Look, I'm against this idea entirely," Janeway said. "However, since I have no say over the reproductive habits of the heterosexual members of my crew, I will allow you to pursue this with the Doctor. However, I would strongly advise against quintuplets. You don't have enough arms between the two of you to carry five babies. Why don't you start with just one?"
Tom's eyes filled with tears. "But I've got their names picked out already and everything!"
Janeway held her hand up. "I don't want to hear it. Just go talk to the Doctor and see what he says. And like I said, consider starting out with just one. If the Doctor can make it so you can have one baby, I'm sure he can make it so you can have more later."
"Yes, Captain," Chakotay sighed.
"No, Tom. We have to listen to the captain."
"But what about little Ian, Megan, Susie, Chakotay Jr., and Tom Jr.?"
As the doors slid shut behind the two men, Janeway reached into her desk, pulled out her bottle of Bailey's, and spiked her coffee. "He wants to have a fucking litter," she sighed before downing it all in one gulp. "God help us all."
"You want to do what?" the Holodoc gasped.
"We want to have quintuplets," Tom beamed.
"Although the captain wants us to just have one baby," Chakotay added, a frown wrinkling his tattoo.
"I'm surprised she wants you to have any babies," the Doctor spluttered.
"I want to be the pregnant one," Tom said.
"And I want a stiff drink, but we can't all get what we want," the Doctor countered as he headed into his office. "Male pregnancy. Are you insane?"
"It is possible, though. Isn't it?" Tom said. "I saw something about it in the medical files."
"Yes, it is possible, but no man has been boneheaded enough to try it!"
"But we're in love! And we have so much love to share!" Chakotay thundered.
"Have you thought about getting a pet?"
"That's what the captain suggested," Tom said, eyes filling with tears.
"Oh good. At least she's not insane too," the Doctor snorted.
Chakotay cradled Tom in his arms and said, "Look, all I need to know right now is if it's possible."
The Doctor sighed and said, "Yes, it is technically possible. But it's risky. Very risky. Especially if you want multiples."
"But we have so much love to share..." Tom said.
"I know, I heard you the first time," the Doctor said. "But if you really love your theoretical future offspring, then you shouldn't have anything more than twins. The more fetuses you carry, the more at risk they are for birth defects and other complications."
"But we're willing to take that risk!" Tom cried. "We have so much love..."
"...that you're willing to cripple your children?"
Chakotay paused, then said, "Well, when you put it that way. Okay, twins."
Tom's face brightened. "Ooh, and that way I can breast-feed."
The Doctor suppressed the gag reflex that he didn't know he had and said, "That would involve having milk ducts. It's a problem of elementary biology..."
"You can make some for me, right?" Tom asked.
"Yes, fine, I can make you a set of boobies, now just get out of my office so I can make the preparations for the procedure!" He shooed them out the door, then groaned and leaned against the wall. "I deserve danger pay for this."
A month later, Chakotay stepped into the turbolift to find Tuvok already there, glaring at him.
"Is there a problem, Mister Tuvok?"
"What you and Mister Paris have done defies all logic."
"We have love. We don't need logic," Chakotay countered.
"On the contrary. From what I have observed of Human love, logic is sorely needed by your species, especially when it comes to breeding."
"Love isn't complete without children!"
"And why, pray tell, is that?"
"Well...just because!" Chakotay thundered.
"So true love requires breeding for completion."
"What of infertile couples?"
"They're tragic and should be pitied."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow. "Indeed. And what of people who choose not to be parents."
"I'm sure they'd change their minds if they had children."
"I take it you do not see the logical flaw in your argument."
"I already told you, we have love! We don't need logic!" The turbolift doors opened, and Chakotay stormed out.
Tuvok raised his eyebrow once more and suppressed the urge to swear.
Five months later, B'Elanna and Harry sat aghast in the dining hall as Tom walked in in his maternity smock. "Harry, please tell me that you think he's insane."
"He's definitely insane. Totally off his rocker," Harry said. "Male pregnancy is just wrong."
Seven sat down next to them and added, "The Borg never assimilated any species that had attempted male pregnancy. Mister Paris is clearly an anomaly."
"You mean freak," B'Elanna said.
"I fail to see the difference."
Tom walked over with a tray heaped with food and asked, "Mind if I sit with you folks?"
"Er...sure, go ahead," Harry said.
Tom set down his tray, then sat down with a sigh. "Tom Jr. and Chakotay Jr. are really getting heavy," he said before wolfing down his food. The other three at the table found themselves turning green at the gills as they watched him tear into his jellyfish pie. He appeared to be the only one in the dining hall who'd had the guts to try it.
Once he finished, he looked up and said, "Hey, does this smock make me look fat?"
B'Elanna shook her head and said, "Nah, you look great."
"Svelte, even," Harry added.
"Yes, you look quite fat," Seven said.
Tom's eyes grew wide. "I do?"
"You are six months pregnant with twins. Your belly is swollen, you are starting to develop breast tissue and are not wearing a bra to keep it from sagging, and you have a prominent double chin. If your pregnancy continues to follow normal human patterns, this trend will only increase over the next three months. Then, after you give birth by cesarean section, you will have prominent flab around your midsection which will not go away for several months, and then only if you do rigorous exercise, which you are unlikely to have the time to do, as you will be caring for infants. Of course, as you are a male, this might not be the pattern you follow. You could very well keep the weight forever."
Tom burst into tears and fled the messhall.
Seven turned to B'Elanna and said, "You are right. He is a freak."
"And you rock," B'Elanna said, reaching out to high-five Seven.
Two months later, Chakotay and Tom sat in the corner of Sandrine's. "You don't love me anymore," Tom sulked.
"That's not true, Pumpkin."
"Then why won't you make love to me?"
"Because I don't want to hurt the babies."
"You know you can't hurt the babies by having sex with me."
"But what if I jiggle them or something?"
"My uterus isn't connected to anything. You can't jiggle them."
"It's because I'm fat, isn't it?"
"You're not fat, baby. You're carrying my love children. I just want to keep you and the babies safe."
"You don't love me because I'm fat!" Tom cried, bursting into tears.
"No snookums, that's not true!"
Janeway threw down her pool cue and yelled, "That is it! I can't take this anymore!"
Chakotay and Tom looked over at her with wide eyes. "We're having a private discussion, Captain," Chakotay said, wrapping his arms protectively around Tom.
"In a public place! Look, if you two are determined to live out every bad pregnancy stereotype, then have the decency to do it in the privacy of your own quarters."
"St...stereotype?" Tom sniffed.
"Real women don't act like that when they're pregnant," B'Elanna said.
"I concur," Seven added. "The Borg never assimilated any women who were nearly as histrionic as you have been during your pregnancy."
"Now, maybe you think this is cute, or endearing," Janeway said. "However, as a woman, I am insulted that you feel this is appropriate behavior during pregnancy. Snap out of it!"
Everyone else in Sandrine's stood up and clapped. Chakotay took Tom's hand and stormed out of the holodeck.
"I should have done that months ago," Janeway said, then turned back to the pool table. "Rack 'em up, Neelix."
"Right away, Captain!"
Chakotay rushed Tom into sickbay and lay him down on a biobed. "Practice your breathing, Tom."
"He doesn't need to do that," the Doctor said. "He's having a c-section, you moron."
"Right," Chakotay said. "Push, Tom! Push!"
The Doctor looked at the hypospray in his hand, then shrugged and pressed it against Chakotay's neck. Chakotay instantly passed out.
"Doc?" Tom asked weakly.
"Be right back. I need to reload this for you."
Janeway stepped into sickbay and asked, "So, how are the babies doing? Oh! My eyes!" She turned away from the sight of Tom happily breastfeeding his new twins.
"Breastfeeding is perfectly natural, Captain," Chakotay said. "I didn't realize you were such a prude."
"It's not natural for men to do it!" Janeway said, peering out cautiously from between her fingers then snapping them shut again. "Let me know when you're done."
"I love them already," Tom said happily. "I want more."
Janeway looked over at the Doctor with horror. "Do something!" she mouthed silently.
"Uh...gentlemen, since Mister Paris is the first Human male to actually go through with a pregnancy, I think we should study him for a few years before attempting this again. We need to make sure that his health hasn't been compromised in any way."
"Compromised?" Chakotay asked. "What do you mean?"
"Well, the Human male body wasn't built for this. For all we know, doing it twice could be lethal."
"I don't care," Tom said. "I want more. You have no idea how satisfying it is to breastfeed."
"But darling," Chakotay said, eyes filling with tears. "I couldn't stand to lose you."
"No, I won't risk you, and that's final," Chakotay said.
Janeway and the Doctor sighed in relief.
"So when can we circumcise them?" Tom asked.
"That's mutilation!" Chakotay gasped.
"But all the men in my family are circumcised!"
"I won't do that to my sons!"
Janeway rolled her eyes, slapped the Doctor's mobile holoemitter on his arm, and the two of them left the bickering couple alone in sickbay. There was only so much a reasonable Human being or hologram could take in one day.