True felt grimy, covered in filth as she made her way away from the workstation she’d been attempting to repair. Food first, then solving the circuit board problem, she told herself. She paused as she turned a corner and found Uly standing there. She blinked, not quite believing her eyes. There he was, standing in a corridor so much like the one where they’d first met, only now he was grown, healthy and hers.
Still the sight of him surrounded by metal, similar to the sterile environment of the ships, the stations, but this time a moon about G886 was enough to make her breath catch. Since he had been healed Uly had been a creature of the earth, made for being surrounded by nature, wind and the sun. The sight of him made her heart feel as though it too was paused and not just because she’d been longing to see him, but because he didn’t belong here, he wasn’t made to be surrounded by metal. As much as it was her world, a world she knew how to manipulate and understood clearly, it wasn’t his.
She wet her lips, wanting to vault into his arms, wanting to drag him to the nearest transport, forget the work she had to finish and get him back planetside. What was he doing here?
He just stared and she became hyperaware of the grease on her face, in her hair and the stains on her clothes. Her hands were blackened with hints of her flesh peaking out. She was a mess!
“Please don’t stare at me,” she told him, echoing the first words he’d spoken to her.
“I’m not,” he echoed back, moving towards her, “Just can’t help taking in the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”
She wanted to protest that they’d know each other since childhood and therefore he was bias and that she was covered in filth, but she knew how to read Uly and she could tell that he was speaking the truth. Besides all protested died away as he reached her and she pulled him close.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, “I got a pass for this weekend.”
“This weekend isn’t our anniversary, today is,” he explained, “Besides our families are making plans and will likely have the both of us busy all weekend.”
“I think we can sneak away from our parents,” she laughed.
Uly smiled before he told her, “Not just them.”
True gave him a look that demanded he start explaining.
“All of the original expedition,” he told her, “Well everyone that’s still alive. Baines is even flying in.”
True wasn’t sure if she was touched by the show of love or horrified.
“We’ll never get any alone time!” she hissed at him.
“That’s why I arranged for you to get the rest of the day off and to come up here,” Uly laughed.
“You and your schemes,” True glared, “I have a circ…”
“And it’s taken care of,” Uly reassured, “I’m a little scared that they felt it would take three people just to get the amount of work done that you’d do, but I think that just proves how amazing you are. Besides I brought a present.”
He just knew how to distract her and before she could tease him about it he had brought a canister out of his bag. Her eyes widened.
“Uly, horses don’t belong on the moon,” she told him seriously.
“It’s not a horse, promise.”
She took the device from him, curiosity winning her over as she turned it on. They went to drop it off in her room and she showed him the best place to eat dinner. Her animal wasn’t ready when they returned, but the small size of the artificial womb reassured her that the animal inside wouldn’t take up too much space. She gave him his present. He turned on the holo-picture book and flipped through several photos before he realized that she’d gathered pictures from their first few years on the planet. He slowed and sat next to her as they remembered some of their crazier childhood antics.
A soft meowing noise drew her out of the memories and she moved to help the small animal out of the womb and into her arms. She stared at the tiny creature, the black fur. It bumped her with its noise, opening its eyes to look at her. It had the most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen.
“Took me awhile to decide on a Bombay,” Uly told her.
“Well actually it’s a kitten and now that it’s born it should grow at the regular rate.”
“It’s so, it’s…” True trailed off as she cuddled the small creature.
Uly joined her on the floor, scratched the kitten behind the ear, “I know you have to finish getting the colony set up here, but I hate the idea of you being by yourself. I know you have friends here, but I wanted you to be able to come home to something since I’m pretty much stuck…”
“You’re not stuck,” True told him, “The Terrians need you down there. They need a voice.”
“I know,” Uly smiled, “I just miss you. I didn’t think our first year of marriage would have us so far apart all the time.”
She took his hand and squeezed it, “It should only be another six months.”
“I’m counting down the days.”
“Happy Anniversary True.”
She whispered the words back to him, held the kitten carefully to her and drew him into their first anniversary kiss.