PHD #201: And Then There Were Three
And Then There Were Three
Summary: Evandreus and Astra name Astra's newborns.
Date: 16 September 2041 AE
Related Logs: Frak-tastic Launch
Astra Evandreus 
Inside A Raptor, Port Hangar Deck, Battlestar Cerberus
Inside Evandreus' Raptor, a bit damp after rescue operations
Post-Holocaust Day: #201

The Raptor's on deck and the kids have been evacuated, Pens herding them on out to where the MPs will be helping get them situated. And now it's just the four of them on the ship, and Evan's back in the back, helmet off and crouching down onto the balls of his feet next to where Astra and the babies have been strapped down to the stretcher, the babies atop their mama. "We're here," he whispers to the lot of them, "Medical's on their way, they'll be carrying you down to Sickbay, you just hang tight," he tells her, even as he unlocks the stretcher from where it's strapped down.

Astra shivers under the blanket, drenched with rain and sweat. "I… I want to thank you," she says softly, freeing one hand from the covering and reaching out to him. It trembles; she is exhausted, and her skin is ashen. "I'm not even sure… what to call you, sir. But… I want to ask you something, if… if it would not be too, ah… presumptuous?" She shifts a little, then meets his gaze.

Evandreus rests one elbow on his knee as he crouches there, ready to stand when the medicoes need him to move, but willing to just be there by the woman's side for as long as she needs him before then. He lifts his other hand to let her take it, pulling off his flight glove and letting her skin touch his warmer skin. "Just call me Bunny. Most people do," Evan tells her, then, wrinkling up his nose in a jocular look, "And if you're looking for a babysitter for Saturday night, I've got CAP," he jokes with her, trying to make her feel at home.

"No. Not… that I know what CAP is." The woman gives a weak laugh. She takes his hand, squeezing it weakly, then shakes her head a little as tears come to her eyes. "Leto… Sorry, he was my husband… Leto didn't even know I was pregnant. I hid it from him as long as I could, because he was already so worried. We never decided on a name… much less names…" She sighs softly. "If not for you, I don't think I'd have these two here with me. I… Will you help me name them, Bunny?"

Evandreus looks a little bit less comfortable as the conversation suddenly hits him over the head with the serious stick, but he clears his throat, "Um. Sure, okay, we should, uh, probably give them something to be called besides girl one and girl two, eh? Um. Your husband, he's…" dead? Alive somewhere? Evan doesn't want to be asking this woman these things. And so for the most part he just trails off, there.

"They went for food. Ten of them. Nine of them never came back, and the tenth brought back the food, but he was raving, ill. I don't know if they ate something that sickened them, if something ate them, or if they caught some illness. We found a few bones." She closes her eyes. "I don't know, but he never came back. I think he's dead. They didn't have enough anti-rads to last them this long. I…" Astra shakes her head. "I have to accept he's gone. I wish I could at least bring his body home to Aquaria so I could give him proper burial. At least I can bring his parents their grandchildren."

"Oh, man, I'm—" Evan squeezes the hand that's in his, just a little bit, plaintively, unsure how to make anything about that any better. "I'm so sorry, Mama Astra." That's what the kids were calling her, anyhow. And the epithet now seems appropriate. "We're not going to be able to go to Aquaria," he whispers. "Aquaria got hit worse than Aerilon. Much worse."

Green eyes grow wide, fill with tears that are rapidly blinked away. Astra looks down at the infants nestled against her, then takes a deep breath. She lifts her chin. "How… how bad?" she asks softly. "Are… are there survivor lists or something?" She bites at her lip, shifting again, evidently still in some pain. "And…" Another shake of her head. "The girls. Will you help me name them? And… will you make sure… someone *good* takes care of them if I don't make it?"

Evandreus lifts his other hand, now, thumb brushing at a tear in a helpless gesture. "It's bad. Real bad. You can't stand on the surface. Not even with anti-rads. Not even in a suit. The oceans have all boiled off," he whispers, a knot in his throat as he reveals the extent of the devastation. "You're-" he tries to brighten up a little, sound more positive, "You're gonna be okay, alright? And we'll all be here to help take care of them. If you don't make it, and even if you do, we're all gonna be here for you and for them. They're gonna have family here, okay? Let's get them named. Did you have— any ideas? Do you want to name them after family members, or…?"

Astra makes a soft sound in the back of her throat, a stifled sob that she just manages to hold back. Her chest heaves a few times, and then she nods. "I… I'll be all right. I… I'm glad I asked Zander to bring my portfolio…" She bites at her lip. "It's all gone, isn't it? "We'll all be here," you said. They wiped out… almost everything… didn't they? Everywhere?" Another half-strangled sob, and then she goes still. “I hav— had family. My mother, Daphne. His mother, Ariana. But… I want to give them… names I don't know. Names that they won't see me missing my mother in them. I… I was thinking… of naming one of them… Evandra. The second one, I think. She gave you so much trouble…"

Evandreus is getting a little dewy-eyed, himself. "They did. Aerilon got off light, in the grand scheme of things." And she obviously saw what happened there. "We're going to be on this ship a while, yah," he lets her know, just staying close to her, letting her hold his hand just as she did while she was having her contractions. Who knows whether that or this is the more painful? "Oh, she… she wasn't any trouble at all," he defers quietly, going just a little red-cheeked at the idea of having a kid named for him. He's not going to tell her no, though.

"Would you… would you mind, though? If I named her after you? Because… really… the first was hard enough. I didn't think I had enough strength for two. You kept me going. You gave me hope. And I think it sounds… right, somehow." She smiles, joy and sorrow and wistful longing on her face. "What… what would you name a girl, if you had one?"

"No. No, I don't mind, I'm… honored. Really. I—" Evan comes up short, taking a deep breath, "If I had a daughter? Gods. I dunno, um," he shakes his head, as if the first answer that had come to mind had made him a little leery. "Probably something flowery. I always kind of thought if I were a girl I'd like to have been called Evanthe. It means, like… pretty flowers."

Astra's face lights with a warm smile, and she squeezes Evan's hand. "Oh, that's lovely. Evanthe and Evandra. Yes. Thank you so much." She strokes the babies' cheeks, one after the other. Evanthe. Evandra. Yes." She sighs, then whispers, "Your Uncle Bunny's given you lovely names. And when you grow up, you'll be as wonderful and kind and brave and strong as he is." She looks up, and this time she doesn't hold back the tears.

"Oh… man, look, I'm—" Evan tries his best to back out of that one. Brave and Strong have never exactly been his fortes. But he calms down, and lets it be, "I'm… sure they'll be grand," he tells the Mama Astra, standing as the medicoes start coming aboard. "I'll come see you all in the bay after I clean up a little, okay?"

"Okay." Astra gives one last squeeze of his hand, and then lets it drop, wriggling her arm back under the blanket. "I'll see you later. May the gods keep you well, Bunny." She smiles, then closes her eyes, nodding to the medicoes, answering their questions in a faded, weary voice.

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