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Sudden deployments can be hard. (ending)

Posted on 31 Dec 2017 @ 2:57pm by Lieutenant Marion Kent

Mission: New Beginings
Location: Star Base 80
Timeline: Backpost (Prior Rio Lobo)

OLD

 
He took the ring out of the case and showed it to her so she could touch it. "Rings and proposals are an Earth Tradition right?"

NEW

The ring was real; she wasn't seeing things.  The gold was smooth and cool under her fingers and she gasped a little.  She had hoped- oh she had wanted this so much, but she hadn't dared to really hope-  it was only as she saw and touched this physical symbol of them that she felt just how desperately she had wanted to hear him say those words.
 
She leaned forward and kissed him, a tear sliding free.  "Yes," she whispered against his lips.  "Yes."
 
One more kiss and then he backed away slightly and placed the ring on her finger as it was sized to her perfectly; he was not going to tell her that he had used his knowledge of bolt fittings to get the right sizing as a finger is roughly the same shape in theory and he took a calculated chance on the sizing.
 
"That was lucky I got the ring right." He was at an emotional point he could not be more happy so he tried to make her laugh.
 
She smiled at him.  "It's beautiful.  I love it.  And I love you.  I want to be with you for the rest of our lives.  I've never wanted anything more, and I've never been so certain that this is what I want to do and be."  She took his hands with both of hers and looked down at them, seeing for the first time how large and strong his were compared to hers, and watching the way the light caught the facets of the diamonds that now sparkled on her left hand.  Him holding her, together forever; this was what she wanted.  The fact that he wanted it too soothed the distress she'd felt just two minutes ago.  As long as this was at the end, she could stand a short separation.  With this at the end, she could stand a lot.
 
"I loved since that first moment that you had the altitude control problem." Kent relayed as he brought her close him to feel her heart fluttering as they embrace. "I never saw anyone who sparkled like that and my way... I was done." He did not seem to realize the reference to a time prior to his accident and not the acquaintance moment just three years ago.
 
Jillian smiled reflexively.  "I told you there was a problem with the altitude set function," she murmured before she stopped and blinked at him.  The first time they had met, she had reported a problem with a shuttle's altitude set function while she was flying a survey pattern.  The system had been checked just a week prior, and Lieutenant Kent had come down to the shuttle bay to tell her that she was obviously mistaken and she shouldn't file frivolous maintenance requests and waste anyone's time with this kind of nonsense.  She'd actually had to take him down to the planet to demonstrate the problem before he would believe her.
 
The only thing was, that really was the FIRST time he had met her.  Before his accident.  Before he'd forgotten everything.  Before he'd forgotten her.
 
"That's when you started loving me?" she asked hesitantly.
 
"That whole first sight thing." He admitted. "I seem to recall looking into certain eyes and fell for their spell right off."
 
She laughed very lightly at him.  "I had no idea I made that good a first impression.  I thought it took longer that that- you sure played it cool, Duke.  Laying your groundwork, setting your battle plans in place, and then pursuing your goal.  By the time you finally asked me on an actual date, I had about given up that you'd ever be interested in anything other than my maintenance requests."  She ran a hand along the side of his neck, caressing softly.  "And now this-  Oh, Russ, I thought you'd never ask."  She rested her forehead against his and closed her eyes.
 
"You never put in a repair request." HE joked. "I suddenly realized if I left it would be forever and I could not see forever without you." He chuckled. "That scared me the instant it hit me and I could not really be without you, you keep me happy."
 
"You never have to worry about that again.  You'll never be without me," she promised and hugged him close.
 
He hugged her back for a long moment then had to pull away. 
 
"I have a Runabout waiting." He chuckled. "Leave it to me to always do things last minute." He kissed her again. "I will push my end to get you there with me Love." He promised. "And could you bring the rest of our stuff with you, I do not trust OPS that much." He winked. "I am going to miss you, just get engaged and then I am running off.  Sorry for the timing and all."
 
"I'll miss you, too," she said, her smile mixing joy and sadness into a bittersweet blend.  She started to walk out the shuttle with him and touched his upper arm.  "Russ... you didn't just decide to ask because of your transfer... did you?" she asked.
 
"Does that look like a replicated ring, Love." He winked. "Just pushed my hesitation aside."
 
She sighed a little in relief.  She wanted to marry him, but she didn't want him to only have asked her out of some kind of desperation.  "What made you hesitate?"
 
"There was a chance you might think it too soon?" He said honestly. "I am more whimsical and Marriage is never done on a whim if Done right. I wanted to do it right the first time."
 
Jillian stepped in front of him and broke her own rule about public displays, kissing him deeply and slowly, savoring every second, every nuance, writing this kiss on her memory- and his.  Somehow, he'd doubted how she felt about him, doubted that she meant it when she'd said she always had and always would love him.  She needed to put any of that doubt to rest now.  "I've been waiting for years for you to ask me," she whispered, and held him close once more before she had to let him go- for who knew how long.  "I promise, Russ, I'll never let you be so unsure of my feelings for you again."
 
"I know Love." He said with a smile. "Call it learning process, I am more of the action guy, planning is good but not my best suit, I will work on it, maybe start making contingencies?" HE had to look into her eyes one more time. "I love you more than you know." He started to back away but left his hand to linger a moment. 
 
She held his hand that extra second, squeezing lightly as his fingers slid free finally.  “I love you, too.  I’ll write to you,” she promised.  Jillian wrote letters to those she cared about most, her dearest friends and family, handwritten letters on her personalized stationary.  It was hard to get things like that delivered nowadays, but it was worth the effort for those she loved.  And of course Russ topped that list by a wide margin. 
 
Smiling and with a final nod he walked out to the doors; hesitated to take a long look and wink before having to walk out. Once the doors closed he bolted unceremoniously to the other Hangar Deck.
 
Jillian smiled bravely for him until the doors slid closed, then let a few tears fall.  As happy as she was to be engaged to him, it was tinged with sorrow of parting.  And right now there was nothing sweet about it, despite what The Bard said.  She only had a few moments herself to wrestle with her feelings before they were yelling at her that she was going to be late on her next run if she didn’t get a move on and she wiped the tears from her cheeks as she slid into the pilot’s seat.  Tonight, she’d sit down and have a good cry.  Until then, as the old Japanese proverb said, Duty knows no family.  And no fiancé either.

OFF

Lt. Marion Russell Kent
Chief Engineer.

 

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