“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.” - Pauline R. Kezer
The first day Spencer woke up feeling a little nauseous he groaned into his pillow, knowing it was a harbinger of an oncoming migraine. His lover of eight years and his husband of three stretched out in the bed beside him, still mostly asleep but responding to the sound of mild distress by shaping his body to the curve of the pale man’s.
“Morning, honey.” Derek murmured.
“Morning.” Reid smiled, and relaxed back into the dark man’s heat. He knew when the migraine inevitably came the man would do everything he could to make it pass, such as massaging the muscles in his neck, which had proved effective on more than one occasion.
It was a Sunday, which meant they’d been able to sleep in late. There was no guarantee they wouldn’t be called into work, but there were many reasons that attributed to serial criminals being least active on Sundays. Reid was thankful for that, because Derek was kissing along his shoulder and up his neck, and little seemed better than intimacy in the warm June sunlight with the man he loved.
By the fourth consecutive day of Reid feeling a little ill in the morning, without any sickness actually occurring but also no migraine materialising, he was a little confused. If he was coming down with an out-of-season illness, it would have happened by now. Nausea was a symptom of a lot of conditions and problems, and Reid’s brain scrolled through them like a rolodex. He reached one, and his brain skipped like a needle on a record, and the heavy book he was holding tumbled out of his grasp onto his foot. He let out a yelp of pain and grabbed at his foot.
“Spencer?” Derek sounded, putting his head around the kitchen door. “You okay?” he took in the sight of the book splayed out on the floor and his lover clutching at his foot. “Oh.” He gave a teasing laugh. “Careful, sweets.”
Reid just smiled at him, shaking his head a little at the lack of sympathy for his pain.
“Love you.” Morgan offered as Reid picked the book back up.
“Love you too.” he returned, feeling a ripple of happiness flow through him, the same way it always did when the man told him he loved him.
For once Reid wasn’t secretly jealous that Morgan had old cop friends that occasionally stole him away for drinks of an evening. He had been avoiding looking at the small rectangular box he’d brought from the drug store earlier in the day and placed on the coffee table when Derek left, for about an hour and a half. He knew that the box was just cardboard, and it had no sentience, but he couldn’t shake the sense that the thing was staring at him. Finally he relented, snatching up the box and heading down the hall towards the downstairs bathroom.
He was reading the instructions on the box for the twenty fourth time – it only took him a few seconds each read-through – when he heard the bathroom door being pushed open. Before he could stop him Clooney had pushed his way in, and started walking in excited circles around his owner, looking up at him expectantly.
“This is not a toy.” Reid told the dog, who reacted to his voice by sitting still and gazing up, tongue pulled into his mouth in an obedient manner. Reid relented and reached down to fuss over the canine, rubbing along his head and behind his ears. He knew it was quite useless to attempt to extract the dog from the room; he was never aggressive to those introduced to him as friends, but he was huge and strong and if he didn’t want to leave, Reid wouldn’t be able to make him on his own. Clooney wasn’t quite as obedient to Reid’s commands as he was to Morgan’s, and the dog seemed to abuse this when the older agent wasn’t at home.
It would have felt weird urinating on a pregnancy test while the dog watched if Clooney didn’t have the habit of bothering people while they were on the toilet, or in the bath or the shower anyway, but Reid still gently shoved the dog’s snout away when he sniffed at the white stick balancing on the edge on the bath while Reid sat beside it, waiting.
If the nausea he was experiencing was NVP, or morning sickness, he had to be at least four weeks pregnant. Onset of NVP between four and six weeks was the most common, and Reid had no reason to believe his condition would be abnormal. As he ignored the pregnancy test resting beside him he wondered if it was a good idea to have took the test at all. He could wait a few more weeks to see, even if he was pregnant, whether the zygote was viable. Around a quarter of pregnancies ended naturally even before most people realised they were pregnant, and for confirmed pregnancies one in seven ended prematurely in natural abortion – miscarriage – before twenty four weeks.
His nausea could be completely unrelated to reproduction. It could be gastroenteritis, or food poisoning, or even something like diabetic ketoacidosis, meningitis, appendicitis, or cholecystitis. Some of those options were worse than pregnancy, but pregnancy wasn’t an easy condition; it involved a parasitic growth relying on the host for up to forty weeks, taking nutrition and changing the host’s body. Not to mention the risks involved; a pregnancy carried to term was statistically almost twenty times more dangerous than a medical abortion. He might not even pregnant.
Spencer picked up the test without looking at it, and Clooney’s ears pricked and he shuffled expectantly. He held the piece of white plastic and fiddled with the cap over the testing end, mentally preparing himself to look down. It was extremely unlikely that he’d be pregnant, considering he and Derek were on birth control and –
Two blue lines. Pregnant.
Reid checked the box again even though he’s memorised the text after reading it once, and it confirmed what two blue lines meant. Positive. Pregnant.
He might not be pregnant; he didn’t feel pregnant. He wasn’t sure what pregnancy was meant to feel like, but he didn’t feel anything, except for the nausea in the morning. A pregnancy test returning a false-positive wasn’t impossible; it could be caused by germ cell tumors, enterocystoplasties, and even gestational trophoblastic neoplasms. All of those were much less likely than the obvious, though.
It was entirely probable that he was pregnant.
Reid rubbed a hand over his face, and Clooney whined. He offered the hand and stroked the canine as he stared at the positive pregnancy test in his hand, wonderful just how much two little blue lines could change everything.
“Every beginning is a consequence - every beginning ends something.” - Paul Valery