|model_pilot (model_pilot) wrote in kobols_legacies,|
@ 2007-12-30 12:10:00
|Current location:||Family Quarters - Avalon|
|Entry tags:||(c) rhys gaither|
"Home sweet home," Dani murmured, dropping on the floor the duffel bag she'd insisted on carrying herself to the new quarters she and Rhys would now share together. The cabin wasn't large, space was at a premium on a Battlestar, but it was all theirs. She could have wished for an actual house or apartment for them to start this new phase of their lives together, but it was better than nothing.
The young woman put her hands at the small of her back and stretched, trying not to show her nervousness at this step they were taking. She loved Rhys, she'd known him for more than two years and been in a relationship for almost half that, but she'd never, ever, lived with a guy before in a 'just the two of us' sense.
Carrying his duffel bag over his shoulder, Rhys had to duck down a little to pass through the door before dropping the object carelessly near his left foot. Okay, so they didn't have much space, but they also didn't have a lot of stuff to fill it up with. What was the word his mother used to use? 'Cozy'. He could live with cozy.
"How's your back?" he asked Dani, placing his large hand near the base of her spine, the fingers starting a careful rub. He'd always been solicitous of her physical state, having first met her while she was recovering from injuries sustained in a Viper crash. And since she'd agreed to come live with him in family quarters, that protective urge had gotten even stronger.
The first woman he'd ever lived with one-on-one. Wow. He had played it pretty low-key thus far, but he knew what a big deal it was. If he regretted anything, it was that his folks weren't here to see this. But this was a new start, just for him and Dani. A whole new life.
"A little sore," she craned her neck to look up at him and smiled wryly, "but I think that's going to get worse before it gets better. My cargo isn't scheduled for unloading for a few months yet and their father happens to be a giant, no telling how large they'll get before they come out."
She appreciated the rub and closed her eyes in satisfaction. "Mmm...that feels good, I'm glad I picked a guy who knows how to use his hands for more than turning wrenches." Rhys was very good with his hands, it was one of the reasons she was in her current state to begin with.
It was good to have Rhys near, he'd been busy lately and then she'd been busy as the entire staff frantically combed through records to make certain classified material hadn't been leaked. Not that there was a lot of classified information stored in the Air Laison Office, but it had been an all hands evolution.
And on top of all that she still had to figure out what she was going to do about Brooke.
The mechanic snickered quietly, his fingers splaying out to cover as much of Dani's back as they could, and he hooked a chair with his foot to pull it closer. "Here, take a load off," he suggested. "I can stow our stuff away. I don't want you putting any strain on yourself if you don't have to."
Maybe they'd have some time to themselves before needing to go to the mess hall. They'd both been really busy lately, and while he'd managed to get notes to her during the day it wasn't the same thing. He grabbed his duffel by the strap and picked it up, glancing at the small closet spaces they'd been allotted. Not exactly ideal, maybe, but as long as they had their own space, anything was bearable.
"So what's new on the paperwork side of things lately? I feel like I haven't spoken to you in days."
"I'm not an invalid Rhys, just pregnant," Dani protested even as she gratefully sat down in the offered chair. Sometimes she found herself protesting just for the sake of making it clear she could still do things on her own, not that she had any real desire to do them. Carrying her duffel from the Black Hydras bunkroom all the way down to the family quarters section had been one way of declaring that she was still in charge of herself, even if it hadn't been the smartest thing to do. She was carrying enough weight around already.
It felt good to get off her feet, and the doctor did tell her to take it easy and watch her blood pressure.
"It's been a rough week," Dani told her betrothed as she watched him put things away. The storage was larger than they had in the bunkrooms but it still wasn't much to write home about. It would be a tight fit for two adults and two infants to share the space, hopefully they'd find a world they could start over on before the twins were old enough to crawl around.
"I told you about Lt. Bell, right? That was a shock, I'm still not sure what I should do there. Then there was an uproar in Ops over a classified document turning up missing, and everything had to be triple checked. I don't know what it was and I don't want to know, but the scuttlebutt is that Colonel Mackenzie was so mad he almost threw Major Simmons in the brig." Dani hadn't had a chance to talk with Jill herself yet and find out what really happened, if the other woman would even tell her.
Rhys had heard something about paperwork going missing, but administrative matters were hardly his purview. Some days he was really glad he only had to deal with the work crews and requisition officers, not the brass. As for the other thing...
"Maybe you shouldn't do anything for right now. I haven't met the woman, although I probably will eventually, so I can't speak to what she's like, but if you need time to deal with it then you should take as much of it as you need. I would like to not have you upset about anything right now."
He was still putting things away while he talked, his movements unhurried, but there was a thread of steel underneath his casual tone. He was a great bear of a man, slow-moving and almost plodding. Deliberate. Glacially slow to anger. But he loved Dani and she was the mother of his children, and that took precedence over some stranger's possible desire for a family connection. He would hold off any judgment until he and Lt. Bell had actually met. But he wasn't going to allow his fiancee to be pressured.
He looked at the brunette over his shoulder, offered her a half-smile. "I'll be happy to meet her when you're up for it, though. Just let me know."
"I will," Dani assured him with a warm smile. He really was a big softie, at least as far as she was concerned. When she or someone he cared about was threatened though she'd seen that side of him transform into an unyielding firmness that wouldn't be denied.
"Cait agrees with you, by the way, so that makes it unanimous." Lt. Caitlin Kerrigan had been Dani's wingman since they'd both reported to the Black Hydras shortly before the attacks. If Dani had a closer friend she wasn't sure who it could be. Rhys didn't qualify, he was in a category all by himself.
She stood up from the chair and slipped out of her uniform jacket, leaving her upper half clothed just in a set of the regulation double tanktops stretched over her growing midsection. Dani stretched again, this time bringing her hands up over her head as high as they could go, exposing a stretch of skin between the top and her trousers. "Oooh...the next four months can't go by fast enough." She complained good naturedly. There wasn't much she could do about being pregnant, and she wanted the babies to 'bake' as long as possible before they came out to make sure they were healthy and strong when they decided to be born.
The grounded pilot moved over to the bed and laid down on her side, watching her fiancee continue to put things away. "So how are things down on the deck? I can see some of it from the causeway but its just not the same thing. You still getting teased by the deck crews about me?"
"Eh, a little bit," the noncom answered with a shrug. He finished emptying the second duffel, then closed it up and tucked it out of sight into the closet with its companion. "Somebody asked me if I was planning to go out for officer's training. I think they're just jealous, though. I was the only one brave and hard-headed enough to actually talk to you. Some of those guys, they see a uniform and nothing else."
He shrugged the remark off a second later, hanging up a dark-gray coverall before closing the closet door. There was a second chair nearby, and it made a slight scraping noise as he pulled it closer before taking a seat for himself. Maybe with a few more personal touches here and there it'd be better.
"Got some new kid in just the other day, actually," he told the brunette. "She was part of the selectee program, they picked her up out of some fairly isolated area. Got a real gift for engines, though. She told me they have voices, of all things."
Dani laughed affectionately as she executed a roll over so she could look at him. It wasn't as easy for her as it had been a few months ago, but she hadn't grown so large yet that it was impossible.
"They do have voices Rhys," she insisted, "at least I think they do. You can tell how an engine is doing by the sounds they make, its something a pilot is always aware of in the back of her mind even if she's not conscious of it. The sound comes up through the engine compartment up into the cockpit, otherwise we wouldn't be able to hear it at all in space."
"So what's the kid like? Quiet or does she take no prisoners?" Dani was curious, there were few new faces on a Battlestar these days and this sounded interesting. The comment about the girl having a 'real gift for engines' was high praise in Rhys' book and she knew it.
"Little of both, I think," Rhys replied thoughtfully. "The first couple of days she was here she hardly said a word to anyone, and I'm pretty sure she ate her lunch by herself in the hangar. But she can apparently be pretty prickly when she feels like it. One of the deck crew 'accidentally' misplaced her tool belt before her shift. I think he might have been trying to flirt with her, just wanting to see how she'd react if she had to talk to him about something. But he got a little too cute with her, so she chewed him out. Quietly, but still. He gave her the belt back like she'd threatened to bite him."
He smiled a little when he said it, but the expression was a bit puzzled. Being such a good-natured fellow himself he wasn't sure what drove people to be quick-tempered. He supposed it would smooth out eventually, though. In a closed environment like this, in-fighting was something to be avoided.
"Prickly or not, she knows her stuff. Given time, she could probably fly the things herself. I'm not sure what her schooling was like, though. The officers' program might not take her."
"Maybe I could help?" Dani offered, watching him. "I know some of the more...rural...parts of the Colonies have a bad opinion of Virgonese, but I'm an experienced pilot with three years war experience under my belt." She wasn't sure what part of the Colonies the girl came from, but if she was from the selectee program then there must have been something that made her special enough to be evacuated. If she wasn't from some back of beyond part of Geminon then maybe Dani could work with her.
"Lords know I'm going to be forced on maternity leave soon anyway, I'll want to find something to occupy my time."
A peculiar look crossed her face and she reached out with one hand to take hold of his and place it on her swollen abdomen. "One of your children decided to wake up," she told him, amused. They'd been fairly quiet today, seemingly content to let their mother run around preparing for the move to shared quarters.
Rhys immediately flattened his work-roughened palm on Dani's stomach, his expression shifting from puzzled to pleased. He waited for the kick, and when he felt it he counted the beats of his own heart until he felt the next. When it happened, his mouth relaxed into a soft smile of wonder.
"If one of them's a girl, can we name her Laurel?" he asked a little shyly. When Dani told him that she was pregnant, he had made up his mind that a girl child would heal something in him. That his daughter would live where his sister had not. Laurel had been fifteen when he'd left Aerilon to join the Fleet, and her biggest concern was that he wouldn't be home in time if she decided to get married. The Colonies had been reduced to ashes while he was away, and he never saw her or any of his other family again. His wife and his children were going to live in a different world. A better one.
"You can pick whatever name you'd like best for the other, but I...I want to remember them, y'know? Now that its stopped hurting, its better to remember than to forget. Reminds me of what I'm doing here."
Dani's hand had been splayed on top of his, helping guide it to track the movement of their unborn child as s/he kicked and wiggled within her womb. She'd made a conscious choice not to find out the gender of the babies, wanting it to be a surprise when they were born.
Now that she was obviously pregnant to anyone who gave her a casual glance, there were days where she felt fat and ugly. When Rhys looked at her with such an expression of awe and wonder on his face though, it made everything seem a little more bearable. How could she refuse him when he looked at her like that?
"Laurel sounds like a great name for a girl," she said softly, picking up his hand and kissing it. "You won't be disappointed if they both turn out to be boys, will you? Call it woman's intuition." Dani worried slightly that he would be, having a girl seemed so important to him.
She winced slightly, and brought the hand back down to her stomach, her expression a mixture of amusement and ruefulness. "Great, now they're both up. Probably keep me up all night."
"I can rub your back later if it gets too bad," Rhys offered. His watch said it was getting to be close to chow time, which meant a walk back to the mess hall anyway. Maybe he should see about being able to get food brought here. Dani was ungainly enough that a lot of walking put strain on her back and her legs, and he wanted her to take it easy. He'd check, see what could be done.
"If you'd like, you can come down to the hangar tomorrow and meet Alice," he added. "Good luck in getting her to say more than five words on the first try, but maybe it'll be different with a female officer. We don't get many uniforms down where we work unless its inspection time, she hasn't run across many of the higher ups. If she smiles, let me know. There's a betting pool on whether or not she knows how."
He looked down at his intendeds pregnant belly, cracked a grin of his own. "And you know you don't have anything to worry about. I couldn't be disappointed in you for....anything the Lords could think of. I think I'm still shaking my head over my own good luck. Besides..."
He leaned closer to her, kissed her lightly on the mouth, then a second time, more seriously. "We have time. All the time we want. I promise."