#RedrockAgency – October 7, 2016

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Vasquez furrows her eyebrows at the... colorful choice of words, but nods. "Yeah... we will." she agrees. After a moment's silence she stands up, walking over to the dresser and starting to remove her gray uniform pants. "Not much time left until the wedding now... I was hoping we'd have more of the planning done." she says with a sigh.

Jason leans back on the bed, propping himself up with his hands as he lets out a guilty sigh. "That makes two of us." he admits, "I'm sorry, Linda... I know this whole ordeal put us a little behind schedule, but we'll figure that out, too." After a moment he lets out a frustrated groan, "I should've been on top of things out there... I let that fucker slip away with the truck and-...." he trails off, giving a shake of his head.

He went right for Namira and he knows deep down he shouldn't feel guilty about that. After all, helping people is why he does what he does. "...We'll get everything taken care of, Linda." he nods.

Vasquez pulls her pants off and folds them on top of the dresser. "Jason... I may not have been there to see it, but I'm pretty sure you did everything you could." she says while removing her hairband, letting her ponytail free. "Because you always do." she adds as she looks over at him, smiling slightly. "And the wedding..." she nods faintly as her smile fades. "Yeah, we'll figure that out. We still have some time."

She starts heading towards the bathroom door but stops halfway, eyebrows furrowing as she looks back at him again. "When is your uncle coming?"

Jason furrows his brow as he thinks on it for a moment. Nearly a week on that planet knocked his whole calender out of whack. "Should be here in about a week." he says before suddenly realizing something, "Oh! I told him he could stay here while he's on Aite. Hope that's alright. I know it's been a little... 'crowded' around here lately. I mean, knowing him he'll probably just end up getting a room down at the Respite or something

anyway but-... yeah. Probably should've mentioned it sooner..."

Vasquez smirks slightly. "Yeah, of course." she confirms as she heads off to the bathroom, starting to brush her teeth. "Mfhn... any other house guethfs I should know about?" she calls out.

Jason lays all the way back, legs dangling off the bed as he's reminded how nice it is to lay in a real bed rather than a ship bunk. Or a hard, tunnel floor. "House guests? Probably not... But I've got a few friends willing to make the trip." he calls out. "They haven't said anything about needing a place to stay so-.... What about you? Have you put your invites out yet?"

Vasquez ' response isn't immediate. "Well... you know, I sent out some invites but... Sol to Typhon is a long trip. Aren't a lot of people willing to come all the way out here I guess." she says as she emerges from the bathroom, heading back towards the bed. She does her best to hide the faint hint of disappointment, but in her eyes it makes itself known. "Might be one or two coming from Mars." she says with a small shrug,

sitting down on her side of the bed with the pillow as a backrest.

Jason glances over at Vasquez, giving an apologetic tilt of his head. "....We could always put it off for another week or two if you think that would-... I don't know, make them reconsider? Tell them we'll pay for travel..." he suggests. He shrugs his shoulders as he sits up at the edge of the bed, deciding he should probably start getting ready for some sleep as well. "Sorry, Linda... I want this day to be special for you." he

says as he starts towards the bathroom door, "Anything we can do to get the people here that are important to you, do it. Spare no expenses. We've been through some hard times financially over the past few years, but we're finally at a relatively safe place in that regard. Let's take advantage of it."

Vasquez grabs her omni-tool, which she definitely put on the nightstand earlier when taking off her pants, and activates it, but looks after Jason as he heads off. "You'll be there. Markus will be there, my squad will be there. I'll be fine." she says, but her gaze falls down to her knees. She brings up the omni-tool screen, but her eyes don't really move across the lines of text.

Jason disappears through the door and a few moments later the water comes on as he preps to brush his teeth. "Fine is good." he says with a nod, "But how about we shoot for a little better than 'fine'?" He falls silent for a moment as he begins brushing his teeth. "Mragical!?" he mutters loudly, "Strupendoush?!" He pauses as he spits and rinses his mouth out before reappearing in the doorway. "I just want you to be happy." he says

through a big grin as he leans against the doorframe. "I know this kind of shit is important to people."

Vasquez looks over at Jason with a small shake of her head. "Seriously. I'm good. It... won't be what I imagined as a kid, no." she says with a small smirk, but it doesn't quite make it to the eyes. "But that's not important. What's important... is We. Are Getting. Married, and I couldn't be happier about it." A softer smile, more genuine, but her tone sounds more of reassurance than joy.

Jason wrestles with his Redrock shirt for a moment before slipping it up and over his head. Unlike Vasquez' method of neatly folding her clothing, he simply gives the shirt one good swing over his head then tosses it. At Vasquez. "Crazy, isn't it? Seems like it was just yesterday that I was in your office getting elbowed in the jaw..." he teases as he moves on to tugging off his boots.

Vasquez lets out a grunt as the shirt is thrown in her face, she scrambles to get it off and throws it back at Jason while he's distracted with his boots. "...and you're just as insufferable now as you were back then." she adds, rolling her eyes and shooting him a look before turning her focus to her omni-tool.

Jason tosses his boots aside as his shirt lands on his head, covering his face. "Uh huh." he says as he pulls the shirt off his head, crumples it up and discards it on the floor beside the bed, "And that's why you love me so much." he teases. As he approaches the bed, he takes off his pants, kicking them to the side before climbing into bed in his shorts. He shuffles about for a moment before laying back against his pillow and

looking to Vasquez with a sincere- though exhausted- smile. "I missed you." he says plainly.

Vasquez eyes Jason in silence as he undresses and walks over. Once he's in bed she then crawls under the covers and scoots closer to him, moving his synthetic arm out of the way. "Good to have you back." she says with a small smile, letting her head rest against his chest and running her left hand across his abdomen with a faint sigh. "I can never sleep well when you're gone."

Jason wraps his arm around Vasquez' once she gets settled in, hand resting on her shoulder as his other hand moves behind his head. "Never thought I'd see the day..." he muses aloud as he stares up at the ceiling, "Weddings. Missing me. I think you're starting to get soft on me!" he teases, smirk still tugging at the corner of his lips. After a moment, a sigh escapes him. "But it's good to be back." he adds, giving her a quick

squeeze. It was hard for him to even imagine his life without her at this point. He lived a lifetime before her, but they were just memories now and- no matter what tragedies had happened to get him to this point- he couldn't help but admit to himself how happy he was. Regardless of what that said about him. "I'm not going anywhere any time soon. I can promise you that much. Putting in my personal days to get some vacation

time." He leans over, eyes still on the ceiling as he lowers his voice to a whisper, "Luckily, I think the boss has a thing for me. So it shouldn't be too much of a problem."

Vasquez can't help, even now, but flinch almost impercepibly as Jason places his hand on her shoulder, but she quickly relaxes again. Her smile widens as she listens to him, looking out across the room. She snickers quietly at the last comment, lifting her head briefly to give him a soft kiss and say "Mmm... she does." before letting her head rest against him again. She runs her thumb back and forth over his bellybutton

idly, content to lie in silence for a while, but after a moment she closes her eyes, and says in almost a whisper, her voice breaking slightly: "They never got to meet you..."

Jason remains silent as she speaks. It's pretty apparent what she's referencing, but he's not in a much different boat, so what could he possibly say to make it any better? "You think they'd like me?" he finally asks, figuring allowing her an avenue to talk about her parents is probably better than hollow sympathy from someone who didn't even know them. "Would they approve of this? Of us?" he adds, smile remaining in an attempt at

keeping the conversation from going dark.

Vasquez supresses a sniffle and gains a faint, sad smile as she opens her eyes, looking out across the room again. "My dad would've. You'd have gotten along great." she says. "His sense of humor was just as bad as yours..." she adds, hugging Jason with her left arm as she blinks, a tear falling on his chest. "He'd be right there on the couch with you, pretending to know how asajura works..."

Jason snickers softly, though a small frown crosses his face as she finishes. "Hey! My sense of hu-... Wait! I know how asajura works!" he declares lightheartedly before adding much more quietly: "Mostly-.... I mean-... I get the jist of it, alright!?" His gaze remains on the ceiling, "Wish I would have had the chance to meet him." he says sincerely. "How about your mom? Think we'd get along?"

Vasquez hesitates for a moment, coiling her fingers as she considers her answer. "She was-... I don't know. I hope so. She was always working. She was very passionate about her job, took it very seriously, and the city is pretty far from the ruins. She was... away a lot, I guess." She lets out a snort. "She was so mad when I joined the marines. She wanted me to stay in school. I guess she was hoping at least one of us

would follow in her footsteps. Dad used to say she was just worried about us. She... she came around to it though. Said she was proud we were out there, defending humanity."

Jason listens quietly, giving a short nod by the end. "Sounds like she cared a lot about you. It's hard to watch the people you care about put themselves in danger..." He gives a humorless snort, "I mean, we live it and it still doesn't get any easier, you know?" He falls silent as he wonders how his own mother would've reacted to him joining the Alliance. His father. Would they be proud? He blinks the questions out of his mind.

"Were you close with her?"

Vasquez ponders the question for a moment before answering. "When I was younger I was. We... butted heads a lot when I got older. My dad used to say we were too much alike." she says with a brief, quiet chuckle, which ends in a faint sniffle. "We argued so much when I was a teenager. And-..." she takes a deep breath. "After I joined the Alliance, I-... we never talked in person after that. She... she died a couple of days

after the call where we made up. Where... she told me those things."

Jason winces slightly, squeezing Vasquez' shoulder gently. "At least you got the chance to make amends before she passed, though. Right...?" he says. "Sometimes people just-... you know. Grow apart. Things come between them. Life comes between them... Can't beat yourself up over that." he offers, finding difficulty speaking about the subject given his own circumstances. He barely even had a chance to 'grow apart' from his


Vasquez goes back to silence for a while, a small smile crossing her face as she listens to Jason's heartbeat. After a little while she hugs him tightly with the arm that was resting on him, and says: "It will be good to see your uncle. I wasn't at my best back then." she says. She doesn't like to talk about their time on Earth much, and a lot of it is just a miserable blur to her. "He must still think of me like that... a

burden to you, the way he saw me last." she considers. "I don't want that to be his only impression."

Jason cocks an eyebrow and snorts loudly. "Hardly. He thinks you're a 'good soldier who got hurt in the line of duty.' " he says, miming his uncle's monotone lack of enthusiasm. "Meanwhile, I'm 'a selfish ass who threw away his career'. His words, not mine. Hypocrite much?" He lets out a long, drawn out sigh. He understood, it's always easier to pick at the shortcomings of those you're close to, and his uncle just wanted the best

for him, but it still annoyed the shit out of him. "He means well... And he has eased up on all of that lately, so I should probably cut him some slack. But yeah, I don't think you have any reason to worry that he thinks you're a burden on me..."

Vasquez frowns, propping herself up on her right arm and looking at him. "I'm sorry, Jason... we both know that's bullshit, though." she says, offering a faint smirk and leaning in closer to him as she studies his eyes. "You're the least selfish person I know..." she says softly before giving a small shrug with one shoulder, creating some distance again. "...and last I checked your career was pretty solid." She furrows her

eyebrows and adds: "I guess we can agree on the ass part."

Jason deadpans her and gives a humorless, 'Hah. Hah. Hah.' "You're a comedian now, huh?" he mutters before shrugging briefly, "He just-... I told you how it is in my family, you know? Was..." he quickly corrects, "...I guess there isn't really enough of them left anymore for there to be any 'is'... Military family, through-and-through. There wasn't a question as to 'if' I would join the Alliance. Just whether or not I'd fuck it

up... So when I-... when I left-..." he sighs and gives a shake of his head, "...I don't know. I guess my uncle just sort of saw that as giving up on the future my old man had always wanted for me..." He glances off to the side momentarily and lets out a short chuckle, "Dad would've been pissed. Probably would rise from his grave just to whip my ass if he knew I quit..."

Vasquez sighs, lowering her gaze for a moment before looking back up at him. She moves her hand up to his chest. She hadn't wanted to bring up his parents, but since he did... "Jason, I-... you served, you put in your time. And then you chose your own path. And... I'm very glad you did." She hesitates for a moment, not wanting to claim knowledge of a dead man's thoughts, but unable to keep quiet: "Don't you think he

would've wanted you to be happy?" she asks tenatively, studying his face.

Jason nods slowly, allowing a somewhat sad smile to cross his lips. "I do." he says, "And I think he would be pissed as all hell that what makes me happy isn't what he wanted for me." he adds with a chuckle. It's obvious that there's a bit of sadness behind it, but it seems like maybe the wounds of losing his father have healed for the most part. Just a little bit of cynical scar tissue remaining. "But he would've accepted it..."

He cocks his head to better look at Vasquez, "You know, me and him were never close. He was a-... distant guy, you know? Reserved. You never knew quite what he was thinking unless he wanted you to know. And you definitely didn't want him to want you to know. I swear, him and my uncle are cut from the same block of wood... But when he passed I just-..." he shakes his head, "...I couldn't shake the feeling that I had to

do right by him, you know? I had to-... to make him proud." He trails off, glancing to the side and biting his lower lip for a moment before he looks back to Vasquez, "I tried."

Vasquez lifts her hand up to Jason's cheek, brushing her thumb across it as she looks at him. She seems like she's about to say something, but instead lowers her gaze as words fail her. When she meets his gaze again she leans in for a soft, slow kiss, nestling her left leg between his so that she can lean in.

Jason leans up from his pillow to return the kiss, his hand gently caressing Vasquez' shoulder. As he settles back against his pillow, his lopsided smirk returns. "For what it's worth, he would've liked you a lot." he says. "He probably never would've told you so, but..." he nods his head a couple of times before his gaze moves back to the ceiling.

Vasquez remains as she for a little while, just looking at Jason with a smile, but soon she lies back down, remaining more closely pressed to him now. The comfort of having him there had grown more important than ever to her lately, and his body offers the closeness his arms no longer do. She lets out a sigh, but it's far from heavy. She's right where she wants to be.

Jason certainly has no intention of moving. The closeness and the comfort have been much needed after the week he has had. Finally. He's back in his own bed, in his own building, on a planet that has become home, laying beside the woman that was soon going to be his wife. Yeah, maybe his father wouldn't have been too happy with his career choice.... but- despite all of the difficulties and setbacks- Jason has built a life of his

own. He's happy. What possibly could've made his father more proud? He sucks in a deep breath as he shuts his eyes, tired smile still plastered across his face.

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Jason Wolfe
Linda Vasquez

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