The sky was clear, the moon was dark.
Sanctuary was quiet save for the whir of the turrets and a lone radio. And Aubrey was awake, lying on her back, staring at the stars, with only the crickets as company.
Without the streetlights and lights from the city, she could actually see the stars. So many of them, gleaming and twinkling and so far away, so far removed from her.
"How many of you have life?" She whispered. "How many of you have children of your own to watch over?"
Of course, no response came to her.
Only a memory.
"How many do you think have life around them?" Nate asked, readjusting his glasses from where he rested his head on her stomach.
Aubrey shrugged, the grass tickling the back of her neck. "Statistically speaking, probably a lot."
"Think they'll ever come to visit?"
"Maybe. I just hope they aren't the Borg."
Nate snorted. "Yeah, I don't think any of us want that."
Aubrey smiled as they lapsed back into silence. "You know… speaking of life…"
"We're going to have more in our lives, fairly soon, I think."
Nate pushed himself up onto his elbows. "What do you mean? Wait, don't tell me: You've decided to adopt one of the kittens from down the street."
Aubrey pressed her lips into a line. "Although I would love to have a kitten, I was thinking of something a bit… smarter. Maybe a bit more… human?"
Nate's brow furrowed and Aubrey could see the gears turning in his head as he processed her words. She sat up, resting her hand on her stomach as she waited for him.
Nate blinked a few times, with only confusion coloring his features until he saw her hand, then there was only light. "You're pregnant?"
Aubrey bit her lip as she smiled. "Found out last Friday, doctor confirmed it yesterday."
"For real? This isn't a joke?"
"It's not a joke."
Nate paused for just a moment, taking the time to read her face before beaming a smile that could've lit the entire city as he surged forward, wrapping her in a hug and pressing a kiss to her lips. "My God…" He gasped as he pulled away. "We're going to be parents…"
Aubrey nodded. "We are." She laughed as Nate stood, bringing her to her feet as well, then squeaked as he picked her up, twirling her around. "Nate! Your knee!"
"Worth it." Nate smiled as he set her down. "So worth it. Beyond worth it." He cooed, pressing his forehead to hers, offering her another soft kiss. "I don't think I could be happier. For you, for us. Nothing will take this child from us."
Aubrey nodded. "I love you."
"I love you more. Forever." Nate answered, pulling her as close as he could, letting her head rest against his shoulder. "Huh."
"What? What is it?"
"I'll have to find some other place to put my head when we stargaze." He smirked down at her. "What with my thick skull and all…"
Aubrey barked out a laugh, clinging to him as they soaked in the moonlight. "I'm sure you'll think of something."
Aubrey felt the corners of her lips turn upwards, even as tears welled in her eyes. She sat up, wiping at her face and brushing off the dirt on her shoulders and back.
"You alright?" Nick's drawl sounded from where he leaned on the wall. "Heard you out here mumbling, thought you might've drifted off."
Aubrey swallowed. "No, no, I'm fine. Just… thinking."
"A dangerous pastime."
Aubrey huffed out the ghost of a laugh. "I know."
"Good thoughts, I hope?" Nick prompted, pulling out a cigarette, offering her the box.
Aubrey shook her head at the offer. "Just… old memories of happier times."
"Ah." Nick nodded as he lit his and took a drag, smoke leaking from the holes in his neck. "Sorry to disturb you, then."
"Don't be." Aubrey sighed. "I needed to get up, get some rest anyway, since tomorrow we head out for South Boston."
Nick nodded, with only patience and concern in his glowing eyes. "Fair enough. Rest well."
"Same to you." Aubrey replied on instinct, heading inside through the side door. She shucked off the Brotherhood jacket she wore and tossed it over her dresser with the rest of her uniform before sinking down into her bed, pulling the salvaged Vault-Tec blanket up over her.
The sky was clear, the moon was dark. Sanctuary was quiet save for the whir of the turrets and a lone radio. And Aubrey was awake, lying on her back, staring at the ceiling, with only the crickets as company.