PHD #237: EVENT - It's Raining!
It's Raining!
Summary: Babies! Babies everywhere! Quinn and Astra finally have their baby shower.
Date: 21 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Astra Bran Cidra Damon Leyla Lunair Quinn NPC 
Unused Storage - Deck Eight
Once an unused storage room, now baby shower party central.
Post-Holocaust Day: #237

Uh oh. A part of the storage deck has been hijacked! By … frilly decor made from napkins, ribbons and improvised cloth bits. There's a few presents, a punchbowl and some finger foods set out on a table. A few civilians and Cerberus' crew mingle. The mood is a peaceful happiness, with a few women chattering and laughing. "How old? Oh that's precious!" "Mine had to be taught not to swear. Her dad thought it was funny…" Stories are being swapped and Lunair herself is here, pinning up the last of the ribbons. She rubs the back of her head. "I hope this is right…" She's not really up on this Baby thing, but hey. It's a good start right?

Wearing his off-duty dress and carrying two terribly-wrapped presents is Damon, looking more like he's walking into a minefield than a baby shower. He peeks in, brows furrowed, and looks about; even when the decor confirms that this is the location he wants, he only takes one step in. One present he carries is rectangular-shaped, about eight inches long by six inches wide by five inches deep; the other looks crumpled and more or less spherical. He just stands there, holding a present under each arm, listening to the chatter.

Better late than never, even if she's supposedly one of the ladies of honour. Maggie hasn't been moving too fast these days, but at least she's out of the med bay and looking a bit more sane, if pale… and big as a house. She's not near ready to pop, but she's nearly forty and hasn't quite gotten the prescribed exercise she should, so she's definitely put on the pounds. She moves past the hatch, slightly waddling in her maternity sundress which was a gift from Trask and Evan.

Leyla might have found something girly, maybe even something off-duty, in her trips down to Aerilon, but she's certainly not wearing anything of the sort. Instead, she comes in with a single square box, dressed in her blues. To her benefit, she does look as though she ironed them beforehand, however. The box itself, is wrapped in newspaper, standard newsprint, black and grey and papery and all, with a bright red box to add some accent colour.

Lunair finishes with the last of the ribbons and smiles. She's managed to scrounge up a lavender t-shirt and jeans. It's strange to see her out of uniform really. "Hey!" She beams and waves at Quinn, glad to see the redhead of doom. Damon gets a smile and a wave too. At least Lunair seems to be adept at playing Hostess. "Welcome both of you," She greets them warmly. "There's some refreshments and chairs if you like." There's even a place to set presents too. A few of the others are milling, chattering and sharing parenting war stories. One woman's son peed on a potted house plant - oh Lords! Laughter.

Gifts and presents, that's what Sam Bran enters the scene with as some sort of peace offering. The man is looking rather orderly in spite of his usual of stacked flight duties and he wears a casual smile to boot. "I wasn't expecting this many people, for some reason," he trails and looks aside, to Leyla, who he's walking with. His box is just as plain as hers, although taller. Quietly, he murmurs with restraint, "Babies - ooer."

Refreshments? Chairs? "Oh, er," Damon says, coming to his senses. "Right. Thanks." The presents get dropped off at the table and he takes a seat, still looking nervous just being there. Leyla gets a greeting in the form of raised eyebrows and a chin-tilt, but he doesn't seem too familiar with anybody else present. Quinn, of course, gets a smile when she enters, though he can't hide the look of surprise at her appearance. Astra and her brood make his eyes widen just for the sheer number of them.

Quinn remains near the side of the room, quiet, almost a bit shy. She doesn't have the fiddle out tonight and she really hasn't seen most of these people before her slightly involuntary stay in sickbay. So, being out, she looks half nervous and shamed just to be looking people in the eye, much less at a party partially in her honour. She remains back, leaning slightly against the wall, one hand against her sore, stretched side. Damon gets a slight smile in return and a small nod of her head, the Captain polite, at least.

Astra stands where she has stopped for a few moments, unsure of herself. Finally she goes to the pile of presents, and she settles her offering with the rest of them. She nods, waves to those she knows, and then shoos her children towards one of the chairs. They sit down on the floor in a ring around the chair, and Astra takes her seat. Another wave, this one to Quinn, and she takes the babies out of the carrier and rests them against her shoulders.

"Considering how many women there are down in the hangar deck…" Leyla allows that thought, exactly, to trail off, following up instead with, "I'm surprised it's only for two people. She does drop off her present though, before she makes her way towards Quinn, first, since she's closest, "It's good to see you looking so well, Captain. The dress is quite lovely on you." Look, she's doing the best she can here, okay? She does spare a glance for Damon, sending him a look.

"Babies," is mentioned by Bran, again, before he shifts his gift-box-thing fully into his left hand and underneath that arm in order to lift his right hand up and politely clear his throat into a fist. He shifts awkwardly from one foot to the other, almost as if to waddle, before moving the box back into both his hands and giving a look around. Some folk he knows, some are in a not-so-much category. Either way, he does the charming and personable thing to do and offers a stiff nod and warm smile to the lot of them as he moves with Leyla. The box is dropped off in passing. "I got you something, Sir." That's said to Quinn, since he's standing there and now jabbing a thumb over his shoulder in the general direction of the gifts.

Lunair smiles at Damon. "No problem." She pauses, sensing Quinn's hesitation and moves over. There's a gentle pat on the shoulder. "Hey… it's alright. We're here for you. I can bring you some punch now if you like," She offers. She's gentle and trying, but Lun is still a Marine, with some rough edges. She moves over to greet Astra in turn. "Hello there! How're you?" She asks softly. There's a smile and a wave to Leyla and Bran too. "I'm glad to see you all coming out. Thank you. There's refreshments, seats too." And a chance to mingle.

Quinn isn't ready to fall apart at a moment's notice. She seems pretty damn well put together, all things considered, she's just not certain how to handle this all. A military hosted baby shower never really made her colonial fleet etiquette books. She gives Astra a half warm smile, green eyes flickering over the babies warmly, "They…they seem to be doing quite well, good…" And then up to Leyla. She nods curtly, professionally, "Good to be seen." Bran's comment gets an arched red brown, "Yes, babies… plenty of them, and some still cooking…it means humanity might actually survive, you know." She deadpans warmly, but then smiles. "And…thank you. Shall I open it now?" Finally, to Lunair, she reaches up and squeezes the woman's hand gently. "No, I'm fine… ah… pretty much everything in the world gives me heartburn right now, so I'll refrain for the moment." Burping punch in everyones' faces doesn't sound like a party to her.

Damon looks bewildered when Leyla fires him a look - he blinks, squints at her, and shrugs sheepishly. He lingers in his seat for another minute of two of unbearable awkwardness before getting back on his feet. He doesn't really know Astra at all, and to be honest, he's a bit wary of her Child Army, so he crosses to Quinn instead. "Congratulations, er, on your… baby… shower," he offers, looking more confused with every word. He clears his throat and tries again. "On your baby. To come. Congrats."

"I'm well, thanks. You?" Astra smiles, nodding to Lunair. Then she tilts her head, glancing at Quinn, and her eyes warm. "They are doing quite well, and growing. Would you like to hold one of them?" They are awake, and their eyes, once blue-grey, are now deepening to a summer-sky blue. She lifts her head, looks over at Damon, and smiles. "They mostly don't bite."

"We both did," Leyla offers to Bran, even going so far as to nudge him in the side. "He just wrapped the box." The pair, usually at each other's throats almost seem down right brother and sisterly. "I wrapped Astra's. I know not many of us made it down here yet, but we're all thinking of you, Jugs, and we're here if you need us. And I think it'd be a great idea if you opened it now." Leyla steps back, "I'll just go and grab Astra's. You two could open them together."

Quinn smiles a bit more, slowly getting into the swing of the party. She can do this. She huskily chuckles between Leyla and Bran, though Astra is given a bit of a look, "Maybe later? Apparently, we have presents to open." And with that, she begins to waddle in the direction of the presents table, really trying NOT to walk like she's as pregnant as she feels, doing her best to retain some dignity, but she's getting to the point that most dignity is out the door. She winks at Damon gently, "Thanks… uh, you can relax…I don't bite either, yanno? Only thing in danger from me is a punching bag, apparently." The rumor that she destroyed one a few weeks ago isn't entirely hidden.

Lunair smiles at the gentle hand squeeze and returns it. "Open them when you like," She beams. "I'm happy for all of you," She admits. Lunair smiles at Damon. "Thank you for coming out," She pours him some punch and offers the cup over. No booze here. There's a small cake, some finger foods and even a few sprigs of mint to nibble. She looks amused by Leyla and Bran. A few parents are eyeing them. The kids are oblivious and peering at the newcomers. "I'm alright, glad to see you all." She looks around. She goes quiet to tend to a few things.

"After sitting in a bus for a fraklon-," Bran cuts himself off in responding to Lunair and looks to his sides before leaning back and quietly apologizing for the language, "Long time as I'm wont to do, I won't sit just yet. But, I'm glad to be here, I hope." Briefly his smile wanes and fades but then sparks back up before naturally relaxing. He nods to the marine and then returns his attention to the small, would-be circle of air wingers. It's probably because of the nudging, which leads to his rubbing of his side. "After having water break on my feet, I'm still scarred. Guess I'll take one for the team when it comes to humanity surviving." He reaches up to wrap an arm around Leyla's shoulders and turn, to the presents, because he's oh so great at piloting too.

"It's the 'mostly' being in that sentence that frightens me," Damon chuckles to Astra, though he does smile and wave to the kids. From a distance. To Quinn, he says, "Well, some of the other deckhands've been talking about trying to turn me into a punching bag, but since that hasn't happened yet, I suppose I can drop my guard a bit." He politely declines Lunair's offer of punch. "Thanks, El-Tee, but I'm just stopping in to drop off those presents." He's on his way back out again, though he stops for a moment beside Leyla to give her a sort of smothered grin before leaving.

Now it's Bran that gets the look, but Leyla allows him to pilot her over towards the gifts table, where she picks up the present she only just dropped off, allowing Bran to manage his own, before she slips out from under his arm and makes her way over towards Astra and The Pack. "Astra, you're looking better than ever."

"Presents, Mama, you're getting presents!" cries one of Astra's children, Missy, and she claps her hands together. Astra rises, awkward, her right foot still wrapped, and she limps to a seat closer to the gifts. Petra gets up, skipping over to Damon, and she snaps her teeth and growls at him, and hooks her fingers into claws. "Rawr," she cackles.

Astra shakes her head slowly, laughing, then settles the babies so that she can keep her arms free. She smiles at Leyla, her eyes brightening. "I feel much better, thanks. It's been… like waking up again. Or maybe falling asleep."

Lunair looks amused by Bran and nods. "It's alright, glad to have you." She smiles back and wanders, making sure nothing is getting broken or spilled. "Sounds good. Be well," She waves to Damon, passing the punch to a little kid. Daw. She smiles at the reaction to Astra getting presents. The gathering is growing slowly, a few parents still chattering and sharing stories. Kids are ogling presents, quietly tossing a doll and chattering in turn. Lunair is a little awkward, but trying.

Quinn scoops up the gifts, both of them, so Astra doesn't have to leave the kids to retrieve them. She hands Astra's in her direction and stands near with her own, smiling a bit still. "Alright…I guess open on…Three? One, two…Three." She begins tugging at the wrapping, careful to keep one hand under the package since she's not sitting or near a table. She doesn't really savour getting up and down these days, so she just doesn't do it unless necessary.

"Don't look at me like that," but it's not as if Bran really is going to stop Leyla from giving him the look. He's a pushover like that. He also doesn't bother with removing his arm from around her up until glancing around, then to her, and then down to the presents. Since Quinn is going for the gifts herself, he doesn't push in retrieving his for her but now that he has both of his hands back he does help in the general delivery process of other gifts to the pregnant ones and their countdown.

Astra hands the twins over to the oldest children, Zander and Nestor, and then takes the box. "Thanks. And I think they out to create a seat that hovers at our rumps and then lowers once we're on it." She nods to the countdown, then also begins to open the present on three. She's one of those perverse people who try to save the paper.

Astra's present seems to contain mostly presents for…well, the babies, even though they're already baked, and not still baking. Little booties and other such things, socks, t-shirts, most all the same things they already have, but in slightly larger sizes. But there is a small collection of hat and glove sets. The two that seem to stand out the most are white and each sport a pair of bunny ears. Since neither of the Evans are ever going to look anything like their pseudo-father, Evandreus, some adjustments were required to be made. There's also a set that look like little cow complete with black and white fabric and fuzz.

The CAG has not been a precisely social creature lately. And she makes her way into this gathering with some reluctance. But in Cidra comes. Bearing gifts. Her arms are filled with three plush stuffed sheep that look like they originated at an Aerilon gift shop. Balanced amongst them is a smaller, rectangular thing wrapped in soft paper, roughly the shape of a book.

Quinn continues unwrapping her own gift, though she flickers a look over her shoulder to see Cidra, a hint of a surprised smile on her features. She's standing near the biggest middle gathering, apparently not having decided to lower herself into a seat considering the danger of not getting up again for the whole party. She finishes peeling off the paper, careful with it also, mainly because who knows how much wrapping paper is left in the world.

Lunair is a good audience, watching happily. She grins at poor Bran, then to Leyla. She smiles even more seeing the CAG. Then a wave. "Hello there," She greets Cidra warmly. Astra's gift gets a 'daw' reaction. That is cute. Too cute! A few of the other parents coo too, one lady even grinning. The kids are doing their thing. She pours punch for a couple of other folks. "Those are wonderful." There's curiosity at Quinn's gift too.

Astra gives a soft squeal of delight, especially at the bunny and cow hats. "Oh! Bunny! Cow!" she cries, perhaps not caring how silly that sounds. She glances over at Leyla and Bran. "Thank you. Thank you." She runs her fingers along them, then hands one of the hats to Missy. She slips it over Evanthe's head, then holds her up to her mother. Astra takes her, then puts the gloves on. She holds the child up to model her.

Since Bran and Leyla came to this shindig together, their packages are pretty much similar in shape and design, it's not too much of a stretch for most of anyone when it comes to their presents being similar. It's an easy assumption to make. Cute and adorable, and made to make a baby or two extremely comfortable, he's gotten Quinn the same. However, the set is black and grey for a sheep and green and off-yellow for a frog. "Quite welcome," he then lifts up another for someone to open from some bloke in the background.

Quinn smiles wide at her gift, melting just a bit, "These are…too damn cute.." She laughs softly, running her fingertips across the fabric. "I'm going to have the best dressed daughter next to Astra's kiddos." And she only has one, so the girl now has -two- outfits. Quinn then waddles over to Bran and Leyla and, if either of them permit, she actually will lean in for an awkward, pregnant hug!

Cidra offers a "Hello" all around. Taking her gifts to the general area in which gifts are being given. "The sheep are courtesy of Miss Sawyer Averies," she says, offering a pair of them to Astra. She holds onto one for Quinn. "She was organizing some civilian matter and unable to attend, but she does send her good wishes."

Lunair daws softly again at their gift to Quinn. She pours more and sets aside things to watch now. She lets the pilots handle the present doling out then, pleased to see everyone. She beams at Cidra. "That's very kind of her, thank you both." She is content to watch it seems, purple eyes bright.

"Oh, sheep!" Astra smiles, and settles the baby back in Missy's arms. She takes the sheep, then, stroking the plushiness. Zander starts to make baa-aa-ing noises, followed by the rest of her children, until they sound like a small flock of deranged lambs. Astra gently thwhaps Zander on the head with one of the sheep, then makes sure they're nestled next to the babies. Piers runs to get the carrier to lay the girls down, and Thera is happily writing down the presents and the names. Tomas gets up at a soft word from Astra, and the woman looks over at Cidra. "Thank you for bringing them. It was kind of you, and of her, too." She takes the bundle that Tomas has retrieved for her, and she takes it and holds it out to Quinn.

Bran catches wind of Cidra's arrival and tosses a look over his shoulder to her, offering a bit of a grin: more sheep. Then, he's being attacked - or at least hugged - but it catches him slightly off-guard and he takes to the awkward positioning in stride. In fact, there's a boisterous chuckle as he returns the hug in turn, "Congratulations." He then turns to Astra and offers the same, repeating himself with a warm, "Congratulations," and just in time to mention it after the bleating.

"She looks like a spitting image of her other-father." That would be Bunny, naturally. "Though he's more of…sort of an all-over brown, really. But no matter." Yes, definitely humour there, before Quinn's present is opened and the hug is returned. "Sam wanted to get the horse, but the hooves looked a bit unsettling once we tried them on." No, you don't want to imagine two fully grown people trying on baby hats and gloves. Or maybe you do. Finger puppets, anyone? "So we thought we'd go with a frog instead." And to Astra, "At least you'll be able to tell them apart, if you switch them up a bit." Though, like any mother, it's likely that Astra is probably the one person who can tell the twins apart. But Astra too receives a hug, before she steps back to make room for Cidra.

Quinn accepts the sheep also, her arms now almost full, though it's a lot to smile about. "They're too cute… I'll have to tell her thank you. And thanks for being the courier, sir." She murmurs respectfully towards Cidra. She smiles as Bran actually returns the hug warmly, patting his back a moment before she gives him freedom. Leyla's hug lingers a bit longer, but eventually she lets go. And then Tomas is bringing her something. Maggie's eyes go a bit wide as she realizes it's from Astra. She didn't have time to find a gift. She didn't even really think about it. "Oh….Gods, Astra… I didn't even think…You didn't have to…" Maggie finds a table, so she can put down some things and accept the gift, shamefully blushing.

Daw. Stuffed sheep! Lunair grins at that. There's a look of approval. She's brought a couple of gifts too. "This one is from Quinn and myself," She offers. "She was the inspiration at least." And one is set near the pile too. She watches the gathering happy, refilling one of the kids' punch cups and giving him a cookie. There you go! "This is fantastic," She seems most pleased.

"Oh, they're precious," breathes Astra. "And it's wonderful. I can tell them apart, but it will help their sitters. And sometimes it gets cold in the bay, so now they'll be so warm." She gets up to return the hugs, smiling, blushing, teary-eyed. "I never expected… than you all so much. For making me so welcome…" A gentle sigh. Then she looks up at Quinn. "I have been given so much by so many. I didn't have to, but I wanted to."

"Whoa. Hey now, in my defense, horses are excellent animals. The Gods did right with their creation. And it was a cute, so a win-win." Bran tries his best in covering up his and Leyla's gift-searching and then promptly stops. He could be incriminating himself and so then eases back after all the hugging and happy-times in order to watch the incoming exchanges.

Cidra settles her other packages in one hand after she's divested herself of the sheep. The pair of book-like things. "And this for you as well, from me," she says, handing one of the paper-wrapped volumes to Astra. "I had it when I was a girl and always kept a copy. Goddess stories. I do not know if you are a woman of the faiths, as such, but I always did much enjoy the tales. Particularly of Athena and Artemis and Aurora."

The gift from Astra that Tomas hands to Quinn is wrapped in paper hand-colored, paper apparently hand-made, containing shreds of recycled pulp. Unwrapped, it is a baby-sized quilt, hand-stitched out of scraps and patches of multi-colored fabric, mostly blue. There are little bits of embroidery here and there, and the overall effect is of an underwater reef, abstract, with fish-shaped patches here and there. The quilting is light, soft fluff between the layers. It seems to have been made piecemeal from odds and ends of scraps of clothing, larger blankets, and the like.

Quinn still looks a bit awkward, gently beginning to open the package, careful about it also. She folds the paper into the slowly growing reusable paper pile before looking down to the gift. She does curiously peer at Lunair, almost as curious about the gift…"Hmm…Inspiration? And…alright, Astra, you're still too kind."

"Oh, goddess stories!" Astra gives a little nod, delighted, and her older girls chirp happily. Petra even perks a little, withdrawn since her brave rendition of a beast of prey. She puts one hand tentatively on the book, and her mother hands it to her. "I used to have one too. I am a woman of faith. We'll share these, hrmm?" She glances at the boys. "I'll show you something later." Then she turns her beaming smile to Cidra. "Thank you. Thank you so much. They mean a lot. I had my own at home…" A little hiccup, and then she looks over between Lunair and Quinn. Curious, she takes the gift.

Lunair grins at the conversation. She is quiet, but her eyes are bright and she gathers her own cup of punch. "Ooh…" A book! Good times. "That's a beautiful book," She nods at Cidra. Quinn's gift is two things: A small metal pale with a tiny bag of dirt and seeds. Flowers. Little bitty roses. Pink and red. The other part is a small pillow, of silk and down. Very cool and comfortable and child sized. With some blue wool socks. It's a neutral dark blue color. To Astra, is a pair of the tiny pillows in purple and silver. She likely took apart a silken dress. No scratchy itchy pillows! As well as some soft socks. Good times.

Quinn looks down to the quilt in her hands first, her fingertips brushing across the stitching, studying every little scrap of fabric that makes up the soft, all to lovingly made quilt. That's enough to actually bring some moisture to Maggie's eyes. "Oh…Astra…this is…. it's… Thank you…" She murmurs throatily, her voice suddenly husky. She knows now much work went into it. She then looks up towards Lunair, getting herself together as she accepts the next gift and blinks, a hint surprised…"Oh…Raine… you're… Thank you…" Maggie is really losing the ability for words.

Leyla remains quietly at the background, though she does look terribly interested in the gifts being given out, "Flowers." That's not said with anything approaching disdain, more…curiosity. Tauron being the flowerless colony. Seeing them so abundant still makes the weird o-meter go off for the small pilot. "I think they'll be plenty of room for them to grow." Yes, the freighter will be flower capable. "This is why my mother said I should learn to sew. I told her Id rather have all my fingers. beautiful gifts, both of you."

Cidra exchanges an almost warm, if somewhat awkward, smile with Astra. Then she moves on. Turning back to Quinn, offering her other little paper-wrapped, obviously-book package. "Not fables, but I do hope you shall enjoy them. Some are not appropriate for children, but there are some you can read to yours as they do grow."

"It's supposed to be a reef on Aquaria. It's a… special place. I started making it when I found out I was pregnant. But… there's only one. And when I saw you… and how much Evan cared about you, I just knew who had to have it." Astra wipes at her eyes, then takes the pillows from Lunair. "Oh, these are wonderful! So soft!" She runs her fingers over them, sighing happily. "You're all so kind to me… and you hardly even know me."

Raine smiles. "Thank you, too. You are welcome, though the pleasure is mine." Lunair has to hesitate, she's not used to her first name anymore. She looks to Leyla and nods. It's also a little time killer. She looks to Astra too and smiles. "I am glad you like them," She admits. "The folks on this ship are a good sort," She notes happily. She's tremendously pleased, sipping her punch. Lun is growing a punch-stache. She does pass a few cookies and snacks to those too short to reach them. "I hope they serve you well," As far as the pillows go. After that, she goes quiet for now.

Quinn smiles to Cidra, accepting the book and gently opening it as she curiously looks across the pages. She grins, "Oh…I'm certain… and not appropriate for children means good reading material for me… or Boots, maybe… Thank you, sir. I feel like I've read everything on this ship already. It's very appreciated." She smiles wide, giving Cidra a one armed hug, but she's careful not to get too touchy feely with the CAG. She knows Cidra doesn't -do- that stuff. She chuckles a hint to Leyla's reaction to the flowers, "They're gorgeous, aren't they?" Maggie then looks back to Astra, blinking against those tears she's trying not to drop…"Astra…I…I've got a few more months…why don't you keep it then.. hand it down when I pop? It'll mean more for both of us, that way…have more memories?"

"This is not quite Boots' speed. I hope." Cidra says, returning Quinn's hug. And hugging her back. With both arms. Rather tightly. It is, indeed, not the sort of thing Cidra usually does. But she's doing it. "Best wishes for you and your children, Maggie,"

Bran returns to the merriment with a cup of punch, just in time to catch wind of flowers. The Taurian wrinkles the bridge of his nose and tightens his expression, briefly, but since the squinting look doesn't last everything is pretty a-okay. He ends up aiming a nudge at Leyla's side before offering one of the cups. Underneath the cup is a not-quite-concealed cookie. "Pretty endearing, all of this. I almost take back what I said about babies."

Astra shakes her head gently. "No, ma'am…" she murmurs, not sure what to call Maggie. She lifts up her left hand, and she is still wearing on it a simple ring, silver, set with pearls. "The picture is where he proposed to me. I still have this for remembering. That blanket is full of love. Love of my husband. Of the life inside me. Love of the first leaves, when we weren't sure there would be a spring. Love of the shining stars, the northern lights. Love of all these children that came to me. Love of every scrap of soft warm anything I could get my hands on. It's the kind of love that can't be kept; it has to be shared. I can't hoard it to myself. I've held it long enough. So I want you to have it."

"Wait till you have a few of your own," Leyla says, managing to actually speak without spitting out the crumbs from the cookie she snarfed down once Bran offered it. She even manages a silent 'fank you' before she unglues her mouth with punch. The small pilot does love her cookies. "A whole squadron trooping along in your wake." Taurian babies…they're like potato chips. You can't have just one. Give her a minute, she'll be all decorum again in a few.

Quinn isn't going to cry. Dammit, she isn't going to cry! She keeps mentally muttering that to herself, over and over, trying to breath through the sting in her eyes as Cidra hugs her like that and Astra tells the story of the blanket. But she's pregnant, and emotions do run high, so she can't stop at least one tear from trickling down her freckled cheek. She nods towards both of the women, throat tight, hugging book and blanket against her chest. "A-alright…. Astra… thank you… I…I will remember that." Cidra's given a glassy eyed, surprised smile.

Lunair smiles and tilts her head. She seems amused by reactions to the flowers. And Bran's comment. She watches Astra too. "That's very sweet," Lunair comments softly. She tries to hide her smile at Bran and Leyla too. Daw. Quinn's tears touch Lunair too, and a small handkerchief is offered over. "Fortunately, there won't be any Raine-drops for awhile."

Astra smiles gently. "You're welcome, she says quietly. She shakes herself, then draws Petra into her lap. The little girl cuddles close, and Astra strokes her hair. "On Aquaria, well, Skerry Province, anyway, we have a two-week long festival starting at the solstice. We celebrate light and life when everything is at its darkest, growing coldest. It's supposed to honor our faith in the gods, our trust in the returning sunlight, our trust the cycle of the year will start again. There's a lot of babies born autumn." She chuckles softly, looking at her twins.

"Wait until you have a few," and by a few, Bran means at least four. He's witty like that. After nodding in welcoming her thanks, the ECO politely distracts himself from the banter in order to eat his cookie and with it disappearing in about two or so bites he takes to his punch. He looks after the womenfolk and then around at his surroundings before down at himself. The sensing and feeling part of him makes him smile, stupidly so. The emotions running around are contagious. "Yeah, eventually, I'll have an entire squadron's worth of them. Eventually." He focuses and lowers his cup, "Wait, I mean-"

It takes the woman a few minutes to unglue her mouth, the cookie Bran brought her one of those shortbread with the fruit topping that's like dental glue, but oh so good, "That's only because your husband's always hanging out with me. Aren't you an MP? Throw him in the brig for a while or something." Not that Leyla wants to see her ECO brought up on false charges or anything, but she seems to take his personal happiness, and that most clearly includes time with his wife, seriously. Leyla steps away, to grab herself a few more cookies, setting them out on a plate and all, so she can share. "You should probably find someone to get started with soon, Sam. You're already eight years past your prime," is not so quietly whispered to the ECO. You know, him being already 26 and all.

Quinn keeps her arms, containing the book and blanket, against her. She arches a brow in Leyla and Bran's direction, catching onto some of their conversation and suddenly looking at Bran a bit deeper. Wait… no. She should NOT be looking. Even if she's very much untaken. Suddenly, Maggie's blushing a touch deeper and she forces her eyes away, clearing her throat quietly…"Yes, well…hopefully things will calm enough, and with the new freighter… we'll have enough children coming to keep passing things down, keep taking care of everyone…One big extended family."

Cidra sniffles a bit herself as she pulls back from Quinn, blinking rapidly. She may be a bit misty, though she does offer Quinn the faintest of smiles in return. "Lovely little party," she says to Lunair simply.

Lunair has been quiet, overwhelmed. But she smiles at Cidra. "Thanks, I had a lot of help and advice," She admits. Lunair grins at Bran and the others again. The party is winding down a little. Everything is happy for now. Then a soft laugh at Leyla then her eyes go what, "What does that mean?" Is he running away? Hmmm. She snorts softly at the prime comment. "I see Marko when he isn't busy," She admits. So she values the time.

Astra ducks her head a little as the conversation turns towards the inevitable. Her expression is somewhere between relief and disappointment, and so she shakes herself. She lifts up her twins again, cuddling them close.

"No, my point is, you don't see him enough, because I see him too much." Which while not strictly accurate, as being a flight pair, they pretty much have to do everything together, is still sort of sensible. "He needs more down time, away from the berthings, and the sims…and the hangar deck." Cookies are temporarily put away, as Leyla looks back at the table, "We need more presents."

"No, I mean, well, I am not past my prime." Bran briefly stammers all of that out but at least he's not completely flustered given his moment of confusion and then responding. "Don't be such an ass," is murmured under his breath to the pilot. He goes to take one of Leyla's cookies out of idle revenge, too. As he holds up the cookie, his gaze lifts and he spots something from Quinn. The man opens his mouth further and then purses his lips together, looking back in turn and with an ounce of being oblivious, but then the cookie is eaten before he forgets about it. "I think…"

Quinn should definitely be going, before her brain gets Ideas. Ideas are dangerous, especially for handsome, tattooed Taurians and hormonal pregnant women. Maggie drags in a deep breath, shaking off the thoughts, still blushing a hint. She clears her throat. "I…I should probably start towards retiring. They sprung me from sick bay but…I still feel like shite. Something about twenty five extra pounds and all that…" She mutters, trying to be casual about it.

"I wish I could help, ah… Maggie," murmurs Astra. "Give some advice on how to make your pregnancy more comfortable. But I…" She chuckles. "I can give you ideas of what not to do. Don't dig a garden. Don't collect semi-edible plants. Don't carry twenty-pound buckets. Don't harvest from same garden. Don't climb rockslides. Don't fall down rockslides. Don't try to use a flamethrower. Oh. And yeah, don't give birth in a Raptor. That's really uncomfortable."

Leyla would totally have a response, probably a 'bray' or something, but she can't talk just now. Dental glue for the ftf. Chew, chew chew, before she's free again. "If you're feeling tired, Jugs, you shouldn't walk back alone." There goes that elbow again, right in Bran's little riblets. "Walk the LSO back to the berthing." She can't help but laugh, at Astra's advice for Quinn, pulled from her own pregnancy experience, "Wait till you see what I got you for your birthday, Astra." Not that Leyla knows when precisely Astra's birthday is, but that's not the point.

Lunair looks to Astra. "I wish … I could encourage him to take more downtime," She admits. "But he is given lots of projects," She admits. A sad resignation. Lunair shakes her head. She quirks her brows at the others. "I am sure he will find a lovely lady just for him," She offers. The party is winding down now. A smile at Quinn. "I'm sorry. Thank you for coming out. Do you want punch and cookies for later?" She offers. She seems glad that Quinn already has help back. She looks to Astra too. "Oh, now I feel bad …" She just gave Quinn plants. She smiles. "Please feel free to take refreshments with you guys. They get stolen in cabinets," A handwave.

Bran trails off with whatever he had been planning on saying and finds himself with another cookie. He likes food. He also gets another elbow buried into the side and his attention shifts from trying to spy on Quinn and eat and pay attention to everyone while looking aloof and manly-like to, well, just looking aside towards Leyla. He pointedly asks in turn, "What?" The man opens his mouth to protest but ends up clearing his throat, swallowing, and then swiveling back to said LSO. Escorting, he can do that. He takes to walking over and holds up his right arm. "Aydin says I should play nice. I don't mind playing nice. You definitely deserve it. I don't have any advice like the others though, but I do know how to walk well enough with others."

Quinn chuckles quietly towards Astra and Lunair, "Oh, don't worry, I will sure as hell command or pout at someone to plant these for me. I can barely get my shoes on in the morning. I have no -clue- how I'm supposed to cook almost three more months." Maggie admits with a touch of a groan. She is big for just over six months, but every woman is different. It's probably going to be Bran's saving grace, really. Maggie then stares back at Bran and Leyla, a bit wide eyed as she begins to gather all her gifts. She really doesn't have enough arms for them, "Uh…no…No..that's not…Not necessary. I don't want to… to bother him…" Oh gods, she's blushing all the way to the tips of her ears. "I'm certain he's got other people to … I mean things…to do.."

"Oh, a potted plant won't be bad. I'm talking more like… real crops. With a pick because there was no hoe. And then pulling up root vegetables on hands and knees while the belly's scraping the ground. That's the sort of gardening you just don't want to do," answers Astra. She leans back in her chair, relaxing a little bit. She gives a somewhat puzzled glance towards Quinn, but she flushes at Leyla's words. "My… my birthday?" She thinks a moment, then grins. "A new flamethrower?" Her eyes glint, and she grins ferally at Nestor, who shudders.

"No, he doesn't have anything else to do, that I know of. Next CAP isn't until the morning." As a pilot, it's sort of her job to keep tabs on which ECOs are going to be in the pipeline when, "Plus, you can't carry all of that yourself. It's just sensible." If there's one thing the Aydin can be, its sensible. Leyla does pointedly look away, all innocent-like, at Astra, "Well, it's not new, but it is all polished up and ready to go."

"If it's of any consolation, I don't think I have other people to do." Bran doesn't miss that slip of Quinn's for a second; besides, for the most part, it's a nice little ego boost of sorts. He turns to rubbing his hands together before holding them out while Leyla speaks up. "See," he adds, "It's sensible. Trust me, it won't be bothering me at all. Mainly because I'd like to help." He makes a light gesture with his upturned hands, willing to take a couple of pounds of baby-things no matter how pink or otherwise they may be.

Quinn looks like she's not getting out of this one, especially since there is no way in hell that she's going to be able to carry this all herself. So she puts the sheep and the pillows in Bran's arms, then gathers the rest herself nodding through her blush. "Ah…alright. Thank you again, everyone…and Raine, for hosting… thank you. Truly, hopefully we'll do this for you before too long… and everyone for coming…Thank you. Good night.." Maggie gives one last smile towards the room before moving for the hatch.

Lunair looks amused. "Ah, fair enough. And is your birthday coming up soon?" She tilts her head at Astra. "Oh. I think he's working on his projects then. Maybe I'll catch him soon," Lunair seems hopeful at any rate. "I'll be glad to help carry things, though I'll also be defrilling storage," She looks around. "Do help yourself to the last of the snacks."

Lunair smiles and waves to Quinn. "Good night, be well."

Bran gets a sheep and company which turns to him casting his gaze thoughtfully down at it all. "I thought all of this would be heavier." It's said while he tests the weight with a light grin to brighten his expression. A short pivot has him facing the others and the grin sharpens before he speaks up, "Go figure, it was rather excellent," all things considered, and after nodding he moves to pick up his pace and follow after Quinn. He'll walk alongside when they're not maneuvering through hatchways.

"My birthday's April 22, so, a bit a ways away," answers Astra. She bites at her lip for a moment, then smiles, though her lips tremble a little. She shifts the babies in her arms. "That…. oh gods, Leyla, that's… wow. Thanks." She gives a soft chuckle. then looks about. "And thank you, Raine… thanks for inviting me. For everything."

A pause. Lunair does forget her first name sometimes and smiles back. "Think nothing of it. Thank you for coming," She nods. She'll hand out the leftovers and work on taking down the improvised decorations. She smiles at folks and waves as they go. "Please, be well all of you."

Leyla seems happy enough to fill up on some more cookies, "Take back to Bunny and Wade." She doesn't take all of them though. She's not greedy. She just likes cookies. "Well, I thought it seemed like a perfect souvenir of the planet. Sort of encapsulated everything that happened there and what you did to keep everyone alive." Still, with things getting quiet, Leyla will soon take her leave as well.

"I look forward to seeing it." Astra smiles again, then rises from her chair. "I'll get out of your hair… I can come back and help clean up once the children are settled. Go on, get some of the treats." She divvies up the gifts as best she can so that she is carrying the bulk, with the older children helping. She gathers her brood together, and with another murmur of thanks, she turns to go.

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