A few minutes of silence passed, Aden wasn’t looking at me anymore, just staring off at the little graves with a look of shock and confusion. I suddenly felt very small, and just looked down at my hands. I couldn’t face him if he was going to leave. “Of course—the situations changed now. I mean, I don’t expect you to be involved if you don’t want to. You’re right, your name did revert when you were declared dead so you’re not technically my husband anymore and since it’s DNA two you can claim it’s not technically yours and I don’t want you to think—“
He kissed me. It was the first time he’d kissed me since he’d woken up from statis. For him, it would have been only a few weeks—since I kissed him goodbye as he went off on his little mission. For me—It’s had been the better part of three years, and still in that moment it felt like we’d never been apart. Like he might have kissed me that morning before he went off to work. It was amazing. I melted into his arms like I did every time he kissed me with that kind of force. For the first time, it felt like it wasn’t a dream anymore. He was really here, back, properly here, sitting in front of me, alive and well, in my arms. We’d be okay again.
He pulled away, just slightly, not enough that we broke the embrace, but so that he could talk to me. “We’re going to have a family?” When I gave a breathless affirmative, he rested his forehead against mine and let out a happy sigh.
“You’re okay with this? Really?” It was almost too perfect—something had to be wrong here, didn’t it?
“Yeah. More than. I mean—I always thought…We’d always talk ourselves out of it, and these things would get complicated–so it’s not ideal, but then again maybe if I hadn’t been in statis, if you hadn’t thought I was dead then maybe we never would have gotten around to actually having a baby. We over think, you and me Brennan. But we’re going to have a baby. We’re going to start a family. It’s more than I could have ever hoped for.”
“I’m so glad,” I shut my eyes and let myself finally properly relax. I hadn’t realized how heavy this had been weighing on my shoulders. “I’m so glad to hear you say that, Aden.”
“I just have one question–if I may be so forward to ask it,” Aden whispered in my ear, and I tried not to tense again. I knew it was too perfect. “If it’s okay with you, do you think we could go back to your rooms and let me pretend like we conceived it the normal way-if a little late?” Aden whispered as seductively as he could ever manage. I might have laughed, if the idea didn’t seem really appealing to me right then.
“Yes. Yes, let’s go back to the rooms. We’ll deal with fixing your name and the marriage logistics tomorrow.” I’m not even ashamed of how quickly I jumped up and started to pull him along the walkway.
“Tomorrow?” He asked, regaining his balance and matching my step?
“Yes,” I smiled, “You’ve got three months of birthdays and holidays to make up for, and you were the one who said that you were younger than you should be. We’ve got our work cut out for us tonight.”
The moan that Aden let out at that was inappropriate for a public space, and I had to take a quick look around to make sure that no one was around to over hear us just then. “Come on, Mr. Maxis,” I laughed, linking my arm with his, “Let’s go be scandalous before I make an honest man out of you.”