The Gang's All Here
Location: Captain's Quarters
Caressa was in her quarters, trying to get the kids ready. “Would you guys please go brush your teeth?!” They were too excited and driving her to drink. After three dressing changes for herself, they sat impatiently on the sofa. She had finally gotten them and herself ready, and they were headed out the door.
In the Captain's quarters, Edra was just pulling the second lasagna out of the replicator and putting it on the counter. She looked at them both, and decided on one more. With the number of people coming, they would need it all. She returned to the wall unit. "Computer, one more lasagna, sausage." In a few moments it materialized and she put them all together. The other sides were already staged, and the table was set, so all there was to do was wait.
Henry exited the bedroom, the children following behind. Amazingly Karina was without a reading material of any kind. “Washed up and ready to greet our guests.”
She arrived at the Crow’s quarters, a last minute check of everyone. Faces washed, clothes neat, shoes tied. “Yes we are ready!” The twins looked at her and said in unison. “Are you ready?” She groaned. “Would you guys just stop it!” Rolling her eyes. The familiar chime sounded.
"Enter," Edra called out.
The twins rolled through the door almost in a dead sprint. Caressa just shook her head. “Hi we are here!”
Henry grinned as the twins ran through the door. “There they are. I think you’ve both grown twice your height since I saw you last.” The kids came around him to mingle and he was glad to see there seemed to be little to no shyness.
Before the door closed, one more kid ran through. This time it was Kieran, and he was looking for Marcus, followed closely by Chance and Trisha. "Oh good, we're not late," Chance said with a grin.
Caressa spun around a bit as Kieran ran past her. She laughed. “Well glad I was not the last one here!" She turned and looked at Chance and Trisha. “It’s a big family! Imagine Christmas.” She almost broke down into a rolling laugh but kept it contained.
“Dad mom changed outfits 3 times!“ Galena practically shouted to the group. Caressa just cringed.
“That’s a lot of clothes,” Henry grinned as Banks moved past him into the kitchen and placed a bottle of light colored wine on the counter.
Edra smiled, checking out the bottle. "Thank you! And thanks for coming. I'm glad y'all could make it."
“Please open that bottle!" She said laughingly, but seriously. “They have been on a huge high since they have arrived. I hope they settle down. School starts in a week so maybe that will help.”
"Well, that, and maybe getting to be around their sisters and brother too." Edra chimed in. She handed the bottle to Henry to open and pour.
“I don’t even like wine.”
Banks nodded. “I know...means more for me.”
He gave her a dry look as he opened the bottle.
"Us," Edra corrected, shooting a grin in Caressa's direction. At least three," she looked at Chance, "or four glasses?"
Chance held his hand up and shook his head. "You ladies enjoy. I'm good for now."
“Edra, dinner looks great! Your quarters look bigger. Did you guys add extra room? My new quarters feel very spacious, considering my last." She was looking around the room at the decor and arrangements taking note.
Banks took a glass from Henry and took a seat on the couch.
Caressa took the opportunity to take a glass also. Making note of the children's picture wall. Each one had a yearly picture from newborn to all of their school pictures. “I never knew you saved them.” She looked at Henry.
He nodded. “Of course. Though I may run out of wallspace at the rate this family is going.”
"I'm sure we can always make more space." She took the last glass and sipped from it. "Good choice. It's lovely" she said to Banks.
“I love it. She almost had a tear in her eye.
Edra checked the food to be sure everything was still in order. "Alright, grab your plate from anywhere on the table, and help yourself." She was letting the others go first, but she did grab a garlic knot for herself.
Caressa stood back for a moment to let the kids go first. Watching from behind but letting them make choices and learn to serve themselves. Her Uncle did a great job teaching them life skills. Each took a turn and placed food on the plates. She was proud. It was the simple things that made things great. She helped them be seated before she helped herself.
Banks swooped in when Kieran appeared to think he could get his food with bare hands. “Lemme get you taken care of. Go grab a chair next to Marcus.” She put as much as she thought he might finish and a drink before placing it in front of him. “Use your fork, not your fingers,” she smiled at him.
Chance came up behind her when she got back into the line. "Good luck with him listening to that," he said in a hushed tone with a grin. "We haven't once not had to clean him up yet."
“Why do you think I dressed him in red?”
Chance laughed. "You're smarter than you look?" He ducked.
Banks raised a brow but said nothing in reply as she got her food.
Caressa just about spurt her drink out her nose. “Oh my gosh, I did that when I was a professor at the Academy. It saves on laundry.” She liked the family atmosphere, but knew she was the odd man out. However, her children would be loved and that was worth everything. The children were eating and chatting. It was like they never were apart since the wedding.
Once everyone was seated with their food and drinks Henry raised his glass. “These moments are fleeting but we’re awfully glad to have everyone under one roof tonight.”
Edra nodded, holding up her glass. "We are thrilled," she said, with a glance in Caressa's direction as well.
Gavin held up his glass of juice. “My Uncle taught me to raise my glass, I am so glad that my sister and I are here. I am so glad mom let us come.” Caressa just about dropped her glass, pride was beaming from her. “Vivat! I love you Gavin and Galena.” Caressa just glowed.
Henry grinned at the boy. “And we’re glad you’re both finally here.”
“Thanks Dad!” The boy beamed with pride.