“Laura, we need to go,” Bill calls from his seat on the couch in the living room. He had been waiting for five minutes, continuously calling for his wife to hurry up. “People are going to want to talk to us before the party starts!”
“Just give me another minute, Bill! I’m almost done!” Laura calls from their bedroom, a hint of annoyance in her voice. They are celebrating Colonial Day down at the main camp and Saul had come by the other day to let them know they were invited and expected to be there. They were of course the former admiral and president. This is really the first time Laura will be seen out and about since being cured and she is worried about what people will think. Looking at her reflection in the mirror, she hates that she still doesn’t look perfectly healthy. Her hair has grown, but not much, maybe a little over half an inch. Her healthy glow has still not quite returned.
As she is looking in the mirror, Bill walks back into the bedroom and notices that Laura is criticizing her appearance. Walking up behind her, he wraps his arms around her waist and softly says, “Laura, what are you thinking?”
Moving her eyes away from her own reflection and towards Bill, she says with a sigh, “I’m not what I used to be.”
“Laura, you are perfect just the way you are. Remember what Cottle said about just needing time. Your body will recover; you just need to give it time. But Laura, I love you the way you are, and you look beautiful. Give your body some slack; it’s been through a lot.”
“Thank you, Bill. I’m just worried about what people are going to think.” Nestling into Bill’s trusting arms, she turns her eyes away from the mirror and towards his face. “I don’t have the presidential mask anymore that they’re used to seeing.”
“Laura, think about the last time they all saw you. You didn’t have your presidential mask then either. You were sick and they could see that. But you look much better now, and they will all be able to see that too. You need to stop judging yourself so harshly; people are just going to be happy that you’re here to celebrate Colonial Day with them. If it makes you feel better though, wear your wig. I know you hate it, but if it allows you to feel less self-conscious about yourself, then wear it.”
Laura sighs at the truth in Bill’s statement. “You’re right. I just want to look normal. I want to look like I used to.”
“You do look normal, better than normal. And it won’t be much longer until you have your fiery red hair again. You’ll see.” As he says this, he puts the wig on Laura’s head and places his hands on her upper arms, turning her around slowly to face him. “Beautiful,” he murmurs and then places a kiss on her lips.
After Laura slips her feet into her sandals, Bill tightly takes hold of her hand and leads her out of the cabin. As they start to head in the direction of the main camp, Laura says, “How many people do you think are going to be there? Do you know how many people stayed near the main camp after we got here?”
“Well, when Saul came up to invite us to the celebration he said there were quite a few people that decided to stay near the main camp. I suppose they just weren’t ready to leave the comfort of our people yet. Or maybe they just wanted to stay near civilization. He said that Lee and Ishay might be there. He had gotten word from them a couple days before he came up to visit us which said that they would be near the main camp today so they might stop by. Starbuck still hasn’t left for her travels so she’ll be there.”
“I’m glad to here that Colonial Day won’t be forgotten even though we’re on a new planet. We may be somewhere different where we’ll have to assimilate, but we’ll also want to keep some of our own culture. I can understand why some people would want to stay near civilization, especially in a new place. I’m glad we’re going to be able to talk to our kids tonight and see how they’re doing. So, how much talking do you think we’re going to do tonight?”
Bill chuckles at this and smiles at her use of the words ‘our kids.’ He then replies, “I agree, I’m glad it won’t be forgotten. Honestly, I think we’re going to be talked out by the end of the night.”
When they finally arrive at the main camp, it reminds both of them of the Groundbreaking Ceremony on New Caprica. There’s a dance floor not in use yet and there are people drinking. A small breeze follows them into the crowd of people. As soon as everyone starts to notice Bill and Laura, they also notice and are shocked to see them holding hands and showing so much outward affection. They had never done that before in front of such a large group of people.
Bill and Laura are surprised when the first few people to come and talk to them are Sharon, Helo, and Hera. They both say hello and then Laura is the first to really speak. Nodding towards Sharon’s rounder midsection, she says, “I never got the chance to properly say thank you for saving me a second time. In fact, I never took an opportunity to say thank you for saving me the first time. I know you had no choice on that matter the first time, and I know I did a horrible thing to you after you saved me, and for that I am truly sorry. But I want to thank you for saving me both times, and I also want to thank you for forgiving me for what I did and giving me the opportunity to be saved again. It was a wonderful thing you did for both of us and I will forever be grateful to you. So thank you.”
“You’re welcome. In these past years, I’ve learned that being human means being able to forgive and move past mistakes. So, how are you two getting on? We’ve heard that you two have a cabin just north of here,” Sharon says.
Bill is the first to answer. “Yes, we do. We had a lot of help building it. It’s small and comfortable, just what we wanted. You three should come up and visit us some time. We have a guest bedroom and we’re near the lake. Hera could come up and you two could teach her how to swim.”
“That sounds lovely. We might have to come up at some point.”
Laura then says, “That would be great! So, how are you? How are you feeling?”
“I’m actually feeling very well. Thank you for asking. We went to Cottle a couple days ago and found out we’re having a boy. We’ve been throwing around ideas for names but we haven’t really narrowed it down yet. Everything’s going well though. It’s been nice here at the main camp. Everyone’s getting along, human and cylon. I think everyone is just happy to finally have a planet called home. Anyway, we best be off, Hera needs a nap before the festivities begin tonight.”
“I’m glad everything is going well. We hope to see you later. It was good seeing you,” Laura says. She waves goodbye to Hera, who shyly waves back, and then takes Bill’s hand in hers once again. As they move on, she says, “I’m glad they’re doing well.”
As they walk in front of the medical tent, none other than Lee and Ishay come walking out. They must have been talking with Cottle because they both smell slightly of smoke. It’s not too surprising that they are together, but what’s surprising is that they’re holding hands. Bill hugs his son as Laura hugs Ishay. Laura is surprised when Ishay doesn’t let go right away, but then she realizes why. The last time Ishay had seen her was when they were rescuing Hera and that was only mere hours before she was supposed to be dead. Once she realizes this, she squeezes her arms a little tighter around Ishay in reassurance that she is really alive. She had gotten close to Ishay when she was taking care of her, and she knew that the thought of her death took a toll on her. Feeling her lightly rest her head into the crook of her neck, Laura allows herself to give the comfort of a mother to her daughter.
As Ishay backs away in mild embarrassment, she says, “Hi, Laura. It’s wonderful to see you. Lee told me what happened, but seeing you is much different than just being told.”
“Hi, Layne. I understand, and it’s great seeing you too. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed having a friend to talk to. How have you been?”
“Thanks. Me too. I’ve actually been great. It’s been nice to explore with Lee and to see what this world has to offer. Everyone that we’ve seen is doing great here. No serious injuries yet,” Layne chuckles and then continues. “Lee told me that you two got married. Is that true?”
Laura raises her left hand up for Ishay to see. “Yes, it’s true. We haven’t had an official wedding yet, but in all sense of the word, yes, we’re married. Bill actually gave me the ring back on Galactica, right after we found Earth. I gave up on the idea of marriage a long time ago, but somehow Bill brought it back to me. And I’m certainly glad he did. It’s been wonderful.”
“I’m happy for you two. You both look so happy when you’re with each other. I’m glad the admiral finally got it in himself to ask you. I always admired you two when he would come to read to you in sickbay. I knew from the moment that I became your nurse that you two loved each other. I’m just glad you got the chance to be together here.”
“Thank you. I really do love him. Speaking of love, what’s up with you and Lee?”
“Actually, we have some news.” Ishay takes Lee’s hand in hers; altering his attention away from the conversation he was having with his father. “We actually came back to the main camp because I’m pregnant.”
“Really?” Laura asks in shock and excitement. “When did that happen?”
“Well, we’ve been exploring together for a while now and since it’s just the two of us we’ve gotten to know each other a lot more. We never had the chance back on Galactica, but now that we’ve gotten to spend time with each other…”
“I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!” Laura says and then gives Layne a tight hug.
“You’re going to be a great father, Lee. Congratulations,” Bill says and then gives his son a tight squeeze on the arm.
“And you’re going to be a wonderful grandfather, Dad,” Lee says. “I hope you and Laura plan on staying around here for a long time.”
“Oh, we do,” Laura says.
“And don’t think we forgot about you, Laura. You are going to be the best grandmother any child could have,” Layne says with a smile on her face.
Tears fill Laura’s eyes because she never thought she would get to play this role in her life. She never thought she would be able to be a grandma. “Thank you, Layne. I’m just blessed to be given the opportunity.” She hugs her once more and then they head off in separate ways, promising to visit each other soon.
Once the party dies down, Bill and Laura head back to their cabin.
“I can’t believe we’re going to be grandparents,” Laura says wistfully.
“I know,” Bill replies, thinking of all the wonderful things that he and Laura are going to do with their grandchild. He never thought retirement would be this wonderful. As he thinks this, he stops suddenly, pulling Laura to a stop as well. Facing her, he places a soft kiss on her lips.
“What was that for?” Laura asks when they pull away.
“Just for being you,” Bill says with a smile. Wrapping his arm back around her, he lets her lean against him as they finish their walk back to the cabin.
Here's the next chapter. Hope you all enjoy it!
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