|The characters of Tracy Fairgate,
Melissa Peterson and Claudia Collins belong to Karen Evans This story is a sequal of sorts
to "Ice Queens" You may want to check that out first. Special thanks to
Gabrielle Bessey and Marcia Richards
"The Lord said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh and say, Shall I indeed bear a child now that I am old? Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?"
Genesis 18. 13-14
Congresswoman Tracy Fairgate walked from afternoon session. She felt very warm, though it was air conditioned in the Capitol, so cold that most of the women in the building wore sweaters. As she walked, slowly back to her office, she felt queasy. Goddamn 21st century pills didn't agree with her 20th century body.
Behind her, Tracy heard the voices of three conservative congressmen from her state of New York. She groaned, they were probably going to ask her about her stand on affirmative action for InVitros and just why she felt so strongly about it.
"Tracy, Tracy..." it was the voice of Frank Burger.
Tracy stopped and sighed. She turned around to face the man, when the room started spinning, Tracy reached out to brace herself against the wall, and the next thing she knew, she was on the floor.
Frank Burger and Anthony Palmetti, another conservative, pulled Tracy to her feet.
"Are you alright?" Anthony said.
Tracy felt queasy, if she didn't get out of there, she'd vomit all over both men, which wouldn't be such a bad idea, but not a good political move. She nodded quickly and then bolted from the hallway, towards her office.
Claudia Collins looked up from her desk, just in time to see Tracy rush passed her, into her office. Tracy rushed into the bathroom and vomited into the toilet, with no time to spare. Tracy flushed the toilet, leaned against the wall and sank to the floor, which was where Claudia found her a few minutes later.
"Oh, my God, Tracy," she said.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," the congresswoman said.
Claudia took a washcloth, wet it and wiped Tracy's face. "Bullshit, you are not fine, you've been like this for a week."
"Two," Tracy corrected as she let the woman wipe her face.
"You need to see a doctor."
"I already have, Collins."
Claudia rose. "You have?"
Tracy looked up at her. "Yeah."
"Well, then you shouldn't be working, not if you're sick like that."
"I'm not sick Collins, I'm pregnant."
Claudia's mouth dropped open. Tracy frowned at her. "Don't look so shocked, I'm only a hundred and six." She smiled. "My insides however are 37."
"I'm not shocked at that Tracy it's....oh, my God...Colonel McQueen...he's the father..." She put her hand to her mouth.
Tracy nodded. "The awful truth, I'm pregnant by a tank, who's supposedly can't have children."
"Tracy, this is serious. People think Natural Borns who have sex with tanks are perverted."
"Better call Bellvue."
"Are you going to keep it?"
Tracy shut her eyes, then opened them again. "It's not my decision alone, Collins. This wasn't the Immaculate Conception, you know."
Claudia snapped her fingers, "I'll call the Secretary General."
Tracy laughed. "And what's she supposed to do? I mean what do I say, hey Diane sorry I fucked up?"
"She's sympathetic to InVitro rights, maybe she'll be able to help you."
"Do what? Disappear?"
Claudia didn't speak. Tracy pulled herself up, she looked into the eyes of her aide. "You know, in the 20th century, if I'dve gotten pregnant, the biggest concern would have been that I wasn't married. I guess this is supposed to be progress, huh?"
"I'll make that call," Claudia said and then left the room.
Tracy leaned her head against the bathroom wall. "Shit. Fuck you Ty. How the hell am I supposed to be a mother!"
Tracy always thought Secretary General Diane Hayden's office looked so plain, but she figured since the woman was blind, it probably didn't matter. It still freaked her out that the woman always seemed to know where she was, because of the sensor she wore on her right side and she'd stare directly at her, with those sightless eyes.
"Tracy, it's so nice of you to come," she said, extending her hand.
Tracy shook it. "Thank you Madame Secretary."
Diane Hayden shook her head, "Tracy, we know each other well enough for you to call me Diane."
"You mean I've worked with you long enough, don't you?"
She turned to Tracy and smiled. "I guess you're right." She walked over to her desk and Tracy noticed the simple rose colored pantsuit the woman wore, whoever dressed her had good taste. "Sit down Tracy." Diane Hayden sat at her desk.
Tracy sat in a chair directly in front of her desk.
"Now, what is so important that you had to see me right away? The way Claudia sounded, I would have thought that we'd lost the war."
Tracy leaned back in the chair and faced the leader of the world. "Not so drastic. I'm resigning my seat."
Diane frowned and looked sincerely surprised. "Resigning? Why? You're not in any trouble, are you?"
"No ma'am, I'm pregnant."
Diane's face lit up brightly. "Pregnant? Congratulations. You must be so thrilled. It's a blessing, like a second chance for you. I'm so happy for you, I'm almost envious, I never had children, couldn't figure out how to mix them with politics." She suddenly frowned and stared at Tracy with her sightless eyes. "But since when is being pregnant an illness? Plenty of women continue to work up until their due date. This is the 21st century, not the dark ages."
"Well, my doctor doesn't think I need any excess stress, and you know how the House can be."
Diane stared, as if she didn't believe a word Tracy just said. "I do, and I also know that you're tough enough to withstand it. You've never struck me as the sickly type, Tracy."
"So why are you resigning, really?" she said quickly.
Tracy didn't speak for awhile, and Diane continued to watch her. Finally, Tracy cleared her throat. "The stress and excess flack I'll be getting, is because the father is an InVitro."
Diane didn't flinch, instead she calmly folded her hands on the desk. "And does Colonel McQueen know?"
Tracy stared at the woman, eyes wide. Diane laughed.
"Tracy, you can't be shocked that I know. You have been on the Saratoga more times than any other member of the House, plus you did get Colonel McQueen that promotion...that he sadly turned down. I just put two and two together. Woman's intuition."
Like hell, Tracy thought. The woman had spies all over the universe. "Well, then, you understand my situation."
Diane nodded. "Yes, I do. Once it becomes common knowledge, you'll have a very hard time in the House, and you probably won't be able to get anything passed, which will make your constituents very unhappy. They'd ask you to resign in six months."
Tracy hadn't predicted that scenario, but she gathered the woman was ruthless enough to know what she was talking about. "That's why I'm resigning."
"Well, you can go away, have your baby, and then you'll return, and perhaps a larger position will be waiting for you. Many people believe just as we do Tracy, that InVitros are just like us, powerful people." She reached her hands across the table and Tracy took that as a signal to do the same. Diane gripped her hands tightly.
"You're a brave woman Tracy Fairgate. Braver than anyone I've ever known. You came back from the brink and regained your seat against terrible odds, and now you're going to have an InVitro's baby. We must have lost our guts in the 20th century."
Tracy was glad Diane couldn't see her grin. The woman was making a speech and she wasn't even running for anything. What she was doing was telling Tracy exactly what she wanted her to do with her life.
"I guess," Tracy finally said.
Diane released her hands and sat back in her chair. "Have you thought about who'll take your place? You've got a year left on your term, I think. If you don't have anyone, I can make some suggestions."
Yeah, right, Tracy thought, get one of your people in a prestigious New York City seat. Hell no.
"Well, I have thought of someone, my aide, Claudia Collins." Actually, Tracy hadn't thought of anyone, but Claudia was the first name that came to mind.
"Don't you think that might look too conspicuous?"
"No. Claudia's got her own mind, she's her own person, she's not Melissa Peterson."
Diane nodded and Tracy knew she'd won that round. The woman probably didn't have anyone in mind and didn't expect Tracy to come up with a name either.
"And how is Melissa?"
"Fine, happy, serene, what I should be."
Diane rose, signaling to Tracy that the audience was finished. She rose too.
"Am I correct in assuming that Colonel McQueen doesn't know he's going to be a father?"
That sounded so phony, Tracy had to hold back her laughter. "Yes, you're correct," she said in an equally phony sounding voice.
Diane walked in towards Tracy and sighed. "So that means you'll have to visit the Saratoga again."
Tracy blushed and was again glad the woman was blind. "I guess so."
"Well, let's see...I need to know just how much...oh say...food the Saratoga uses in...say a month. I think it's far too much. What do you think?"
"I think it's not enough," Tracy responded.
Diane smiled. "That's exactly what I thought you'd say. Well, the only way I'll find out is if you let me know." She walked back to her desk and typed something on a Braille typewriter. "You can leave tomorrow, and you've got 48 hours to give me a report. Do you think that's enough time?"
"Yes ma'am," Tracy nodded, smiling, and feeling she'd just made a pact with the devil.
Because Tracy Fairgate was the official representative of Diane Hayden, all personnel were in full dress uniform when she came aboard.
Paul Wang turned to Vanessa Damphousse. "She's here again," he whispered.
"She likes it here," Vanessa whispered back.
"Or likes someone here," Paul said.
"Shhh," Captain Shane Vansen whispered angrily.
Tracy was glad she'd donned her dark glasses, as she looked around at everyone in full dress. She didn't want to laugh out loud and embarrass anyone, she was also glad she wasn't sick to her stomach.
"Commodore Ross, I hope all of this isn't for me," Tracy said as he saluted her.
"Well Congresswoman, a representative of the Secretary General is entitled to the best of treatments." Tracy knew that Commodore Glen Ross hated politicians, and probably didn't think too much of her.
Tracy looked up and saw McQueen approaching. Damn, he looked good in full dress, she'd never seen him look so perfect, so regal, her knees nearly buckled.
"Colonel McQueen will show you to your quarters," there was a glint of something in the man's eyes for a second, then it was gone.
"Thank you Commodore," Tracy said. She turned to McQueen. "Alright Colonel, lead the way."
As they walked down the corridors of the Saratoga, Tracy allowed herself to look at him. She half wanted to grab his wrist and tell him right now, but he was in his full colonel mask and she didn't want to disturb his reserve. So, they walked in silence, until they reached the VIP section, and the quarters designated for her.
"Thank you Colonel," Tracy said, searching those blue/gray eyes, and wondering if he was going to take her in his arms and kiss her right there.
"Congresswoman. I have a book on Reconstruction, written by Booker T. Washington himself, that I think might be of interest to you."
Tracy fought the urge to laugh. "Reconstruction. Sounds good, nice to know we've gotten passed the Civil War. Your quarters?"
"I'll be there."
McQueen opened the hatch for Tracy and she walked in. Once inside, with the hatch closed, she leaned against it and sighed. Then she felt sick, so she ran to the head and vomited in the toilet until nothing more could come up. After, she lay on the floor, put her hands over her face and sobbed.
At 1900 hours, Tracy knocked on McQueen's hatch. She was dressed in gray drawstring pants and a gray tank top. She wanted to wear jeans, but they just didn't fit right. Goddamn, nine weeks pregnant and already she was turning into a goddamn blimp.
"Who's at my hatch," came the response.
Tracy sucked her teeth. "Harriet Tubman coming to lead the slaves to Canada."
Tracy pushed the door open and walked into McQueen's stark quarters. He stood in front of her in his black flight suit, Tracy cleared her throat, he looked so damn delicious, better than in full dress. McQueen took her hands, pulled her to him and covered her mouth with a kiss. Tracy returned the kiss, opening her mouth, teasing him with her tongue, as he sucked it hungrily. His hands moved down to her hips and he pulled her closer to him, her arms went around his neck, fingers probed under the turtleneck and gently rubbed his navel. He groaned, breaking the kiss and whispered in her ear.
"I've missed you."
Tracy leaned her head against his chest. McQueen's fingers probed underneath her tank top, passed her white lace bra and stroked her nipples. He moved his hips, slowly, back and forth against her, and she felt his erection against her body. Tracy's body responded immediately, she was wet, burning hot.
Then she remembered what she was doing there.
Tracy stiffened, then pushed McQueen away. He stared at her, stunned. She was willing a few seconds ago, and she never pushed him away like that before. McQueen tried to figure out what was going on, when it dawned on him. Tracy was there representing Diane Hayden; that meant she was moving up on the political ladder, and that meant liaisons with tanks were forbidden.
"I have to talk to you, Ty."
Yeah, she was going to talk to him, tell him it was over, tell him it had been fun and they could still be friends, but it just couldn't work, he just wasn't her type. McQueen glared at her, his blue eyes intense with anger. He folded his arms across his chest.
"Say what you have to say and then get out."
That wasn't the response Tracy expected. She stared at him. Goddamn, he was angry. Shit, what was he angry at her for? What the hell did she do to him? Was he angry because she pushed him away? Oh God, sometimes Tyrus Cassius McQueen acted more like a spoiled brat than a war hero. Damn, if this was what being a mother was going to be...
"What the hell is the matter with you? I'm the one who should be mad!"
"Yes, me!" She stood close to him and glared into those cold blue eyes. "What the hell is your problem. You don't have any fucking thing to be angry about!"
"Oh no, since when are you so friendly with Diane Hayden?" McQueen growled.
"So, what's that supposed to mean?"
"That there's a lot I don't know about you, Tracy!"
"Oh, right, I'm only the one who thought you couldn't have children because of that fucking war wound! I'm the one who should be mad Ty, me!"
Now McQueen was confused. He stared at Tracy, his blue eyes a lot less angry now.
"Tracy what the hell...."
"I'm pregnant, Ty! Do you hear me, I'm pregnant, and since I haven't been with anyone but you since I've been....back... it's yours."
McQueen had been prepared for an insult, a brush off, but he wasn't prepared for that. He walked away from Tracy then faced her again.
"You're pregnant..." he said stunned, shocked.
Tracy sighed. "Yes, Ty, I am." She frowned, seeing his lost, distressed expression.
"Tracy...I'm sorry...I thought you came here to...I thought Diane Hayden was grooming you for some position that didn't include a relationship with a tank."
Tracy shook her head sadly, came over to him and took his hands. "Ty, what the hell do you think I am?" She sighed. McQueen stared at her, concerned, she looked at him and smiled. "I'm resigning my seat...and Diane Hayden...well, she's always been an ally....especially since I've given her an understanding of the urban population."
"But you're resigning your seat..." his voice was filled with pain.
"Yes...um...well, it's not a perfect world Ty. Her words were, go, have your baby and then we'll see if we can't find something better for you. I trust the woman as far as I can throw her, but she's right on that one. Hell, I don't need the money, you know my investments did well while I was....asleep."
"Tracy, politics is your life."
She ran her hand through her hair and sat down on his desk. "Well, maybe it's time for a new life."
McQueen came over to her, his eyes searched hers for something, Tracy didn't know what.
"Do you want the baby?" she finally asked.
He looked down at the floor. "I've always wanted to be a father." Then he took her hands and looked at her. "But not at the cost of someone's life. I don't want you giving up your life, because of me...I...I don't know anything about being a father...about having a family..." He looked over at his wedding photograph. "I tried once, and it didn't work."
Tracy began to cry and quickly shook her head. McQueen took his fingers and brushed the tears from her face.
"Ty...I don't know the first thing about being a mother...I mean, my dad ran off when I was a kid and my mom started screwing around with men who wanted to screw me too. The closest thing I've ever had to a family was the gang. But, when the doctor told me I was pregnant...I...I don't know how I felt...I was happy and sad and scared all at the same time...I knew I'd have to give up my seat, but...right then, I didn't care...all I could think about, was there was life inside me and it was our child Ty and I wanted it..."
McQueen took Tracy in his arms and held her close. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of his heart beating. "I want it too, Tracy."
Tracy looked at him and she smiled behind her tears. "Oh God. Neither one of us knows what we're doing."
"I know, and it scares me too. I mean, I don't know what will happen in this war, if the Chigs'll win, if I'll die tomorrow, if I even want to subject a child to the...prejudice..." He patted Tracy's belly.
"I'm not afraid of the prejudice Ty, I've faced it growing up, but it's never stopped people from having children, and having faith. Goddamn, I never thought I'd ever say that word."
McQueen smiled and pulled Tracy close to him. She met his eyes and ran her fingertips over his lips. She slowly placed two fingers in his mouth and he gently sucked on them. Tracy smiled and turned her body around so she faced McQueen, she ran her other hand across his chest, feeling the muscles through his flight suit. He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the lips. Tracy opened her mouth as he opened his and their tongues met and lightly caressed each other, then Tracy's lips closed on McQueen's tongue and she sucked it.
Tracy unzipped his flight suit, while McQueen reached underneath her tank top and unhooked her bra, gently caressing her freed breasts. Tracy put her arms around his neck and once again found his navel and stroked it. McQueen groaned and pulled Tracy off his desk, taking her full into his arms. They kissed, long and gentle and easy. Their hands slipped down to hips, pulling each other closer, feeling each other's need. He pulled Tracy's tank top over her head and threw it on his desk, the bra fell on its own, to the floor. Tracy unzipped McQueen's flight suit completely and he stepped out of it and she pulled off his turtle neck, throwing it to the floor, with her clothes.
They looked at each other, breathing heavily, eyes never leaving each other's eyes. Tracy caressed McQueen's chest, fingertips tracing each and every scar there. He pulled moved them to his bunk and sat down. Tracy got on her knees before him, and slowly, caressed every inch of bare skin she found. When she got to his skivvies, she gave his erection a quick graze with her fingertips and stopped at his boots. Tracy unlaced his boots with agonizing slowness, McQueen kicked them off as soon as he could, and pulled off Tracy's sweat pants with one simple tug. McQueen lay back on the bed as Tracy pulled off his skivvies and kissed the head of his freed penis. He gasped, and whispered her name silently as she slowly licked and caressed his shaft with one hand, while she massaged his testicles with the other. Groaning, McQueen decided that Tracy was not going to get the better of him again. He managed to pull himself up so his back was against the wall, while Tracy continued to suck and caress him.
"Come here..." he breathed..."I want to look at you..."
Tracy stopped what she was doing and sat up, facing McQueen. He pulled her close to him, as he moved his penis along the edge of her vagina, probing her open with his fingers. Tracy opened her legs rested them on McQueen's waist. He gripped her buttocks and slowly pushed her into him. Their arms wrapped tightly around each other , eyes watching eyes as McQueen moved in and out of Tracy in a slow, steady rhythm. They kissed briefly, and then McQueen whispered in her ear.
She looked into his eyes and kissed the tip of his nose. "Yes...yes...you're beautiful..." she whispered as she once again caressed the scars on his chest.
Her soft voice and gentle hands caused McQueen to move slightly faster inside Tracy, though she could tell he was holding back, wanting to preserve every sensation. She wrapped her arms around him, squeezing him between her thighs.
"Ty...oh Ty..." she whispered in his ear.
The rhythm increased slightly, as McQueen gripped Tracy's waist, pushing himself deeper inside her as his need for her grew. Tracy caressed his back, hands moving lower, until she reached his buttocks and though he was seated, Tracy managed to reach underneath his buttocks until she found what she was looking for, then she began to evenly caress his scrotum.
"Don't hold back baby...it's alright...it's alright..." she whispered seductively.
McQueen groaned. He pushed Tracy back, hard on the bed and began to thrust wildly, uncontrollably into her. Tracy wrapped her legs around his waist as the bunk shook violently. She gasped, cried out, dug her nails into his buttocks as she went over the edge. McQueen smiled, as the madness overtook her, and then he shut his eyes tightly and gripped Tracy's shoulder.
"Oh God...Tracy..." He thrust once, twice and then shuddered as he spilled inside her.
McQueen nearly collapsed on top of her, but he managed to move next to her and pulled her on top of him.
"Oh God.." he groaned. "I hope I didn't....I didn't mean to be so...."
Tracy smiled and gently stroked his cheek. "It's alright Ty...I asked my doctor if I could ...you know..."
"You asked your doctor?"
"Well, that's what she's there for, Ty. And she said that it's no problem, that I'm as healthy as a...."
"Horse. You know something else, Ty, I am my doctor's oldest patient."
McQueen laughed, he'd forgotten that fact, he held Tracy closer to his heart.
For awhile, they didn't speak. They lay together in the comfort of each other's arms, thinking about the war, the future and about the child they both shared. Then, heartbeats and breathing regulated themselves once again and McQueen and Tracy grew chilled. They got under the covers, still holding each other. Tracy rested her head on McQueen's chest and lulled by his heartbeat, fell asleep.
McQueen stroked Tracy's cheek and brushed some of her hair from her face. He sighed as he watched her sleep like a baby herself. McQueen closed his eyes and continued to stroke Tracy's cheek.
"I love you, Tracy Fairgate," he whispered in a voice too soft for her to hear.
McQueen and Tracy quickly rounded the corridors of the Saratoga. They walked briskly to the transport that was to take Tracy back to Earth; McQueen was in his dress uniform, Tracy wore a light blue and white checkered suit.
"I hope you have all the information you need, Congresswoman," McQueen said, as they passed a group of Marines who saluted him.
"Yes Colonel, I believe I do."
McQueen looked around, seeing no one he moved closer to Tracy. "I don't like the idea of you being alone in your house. People might not be too happy about your...situation."
Tracy sighed. "I won't be alone Ty. I'm going to ask Melissa Peterson to move in with me."
McQueen's eyes widened, he stared at her. "Melissa? I thought she was in a nut house. I don't think she's the right person for you, not after what she almost did to me."
"That was a long time ago, Ty. Melissa's my oldest friend, literally. She's not the same person, she's calm, serene. And she's not in a nut house, it's like a rehab. She's even learned how to play the harp."
McQueen wasn't satisfied, but he didn't want to make a scene by arguing publicly with Tracy. "Well, there's one thing I do know, she'd devoted to you. If anyone tries to harm you, they'll have to deal with her."
As they approached the transport, Tracy stiffened, seeing all the military personnel in their dress uniforms. McQueen turned to Tracy and politely extended his hand.
"I hope you tell the Secretary General that we aren't wasting food."
Tracy shook it. "I will Colonel, and you'll hear from me regarding the matter we discussed."
He held himself back from grinning. "Thank you."
As Tracy boarded the transport, McQueen noticed a smile cross Commodore Glen Ross's face. He walked over to his superior officer.
"Sir, there's a matter I need to discuss with you."
Ross took one look at his friend and saw the seriousness in his eyes and the tightness in his face. He had a feeling it had something to do with Tracy Fairgate.
"Alright Colonel McQueen, my quarters, 2100 hours."
"Yes sir," McQueen said sharply.
As soon as McQueen walked into Glen Ross's quarters, the older man noticed the Colonel's face was paler than normal, and his hands were trembling. Immediately he took out a bottle of scotch and two glasses from a small cabinet, then poured the liquid into both glasses.
"You look like you need this," Ross said, sitting down.
McQueen remained standing, Ross shook his head. "Sit down Ty, that's an order."
The Colonel obeyed. His picked up his glass and drank the scotch down in one swallow.
"This must be serious," Ross said.
"Yes it is sir. Sir...Glen...I...I'm going to be a father in the spring."
Glen Ross refreshed McQueen's glass. "You? Ty, I thought you couldn't..."
"So did I sir," McQueen said, and then drank the scotch down, "but...Tracy Fairgate is pregnant."
Ross drank down his scotch down in one swallow and refreshed both their drinks.
"Tracy Fairgate. Congresswoman Tracy Fairgate," Ross sounded like he didn't believe it himself.
"Yes sir, I was pretty stunned myself."
Both men downed their drinks. Ross looked at the bottle, looked at McQueen and nodded as he poured some more scotch for both of them.
"Well, I always knew you two were close...damn, she practically lived on the Saratoga, the only politician I could stand."
Forty-Five minutes and one bottle later, Ross leaned back in his chair and realized that *he'd* drank the bulk of the liquor, he smiled and stared at McQueen's strangely sober face.
"This is like something out of the Bible, Ty. Abraham and Sarah...I think Sarah was two hundred years old or something like that when she got pregnant...but Sarah wasn't in the freezer...What I'm trying to say is...it's a miracle...congratulations."
"Thank you sir. She's resigning her seat because of...it's for the best, she says."
Ross shook his head sadly. "Nothing ever changes, a hundred years ago it was my people, Tracy's people. She knows what she's doing Ty...too bad, she was the only politician I could stand..."
"She wants the baby."
Ross's dark eyes narrowed. "And what about you son?"
McQueen looked down and nodded.
"I don't know why though. I know nothing about being a father...what you're supposed to do...how to love a child..."
Ross raised his glass to his lips, realized it was empty, then shook his head. "That Ty is bull. Your kids, the WildCards, you love them, right?"
McQueen nodded. "But..."
"But crap. It's the same damn thing Ty, only this'll be a little baby, not a Marine, well, not yet."
McQueen stared at his empty glass. "A baby," he said.
"Yes, a baby, you're going to be a father. Nothing to be ashamed of. You'll do just fine...Ah, children...there's nothing like them...nothing in the world...they give you so much joy...they can be a pain in the ass too...but if I had it to do over again, I'd have twenty of them..."
"Yeah, twenty. I think I could've handled that."
"I'm just getting used to one." McQueen knew Ross was right, there was nothing wrong with his wanting to be a father; but he'd been conditioned to believe that things like having a family, being in love, were only for Natural Borns, not for tanks. He'd tried marriage once and it didn't work because of who he was, what he was. Though he knew Tracy wasn't *her*, he couldn't help but worry that one day she'd look at him and wonder why she gave up her life for a tank.
Ross put his hand on McQueen's shoulder and patted it affectionately.
"Thank you sir," McQueen said politely.
Ross sighed and stared at the empty bottle. "I've got a bottle of one hundred year old scotch that's just begging for an occasion."
"Sir...I think we've both had..."
"Nonsense Ty. Man doesn't find out he's going to be a father every day." He got up and walked to the cabinet.
McQueen looked at his empty glass and wondered what their child would look like, who their child would be like; neither one of them had any family, if Tracy did, she never mentioned them.
Glen Ross put the bottle down hard on the table. "You know something Ty, you and Tracy Fairgate are going to be perfect parents, you know why?"
"Because neither one of you knows a goddamn thing about raising kids, never think you know it all, Ty, because you don't." Ross opened the bottle, then picked it up and looked at it lovingly. "This stuff's as old as Tracy, huh?"
That comment managed to bring a smile to McQueen's lips.
In the Tun Tavern, the next evening, the WildCards were playing their usual game of poker, and as usual, Paul Wang was winning and Cooper Hawkes was loosing.
"Damn," he threw the cards in the center of the table. "Wang, I think you're cheating."
"Coop, I'm just a better player than you, face up to it."
Cooper looked to Nathan West and Vanessa Damphousse for sympathy, but received none.
"Wang's not cheating you, Cooper, you just suck," Nathan said.
Cooper sucked his teeth, his eyes narrowed. "I do not suck!"
"He meant it affectionately," Vanessa said.
Shane Vansen looked up as their commanding officer walked into the place, she expected him to take his usual seat, at the far end of the bar, but her eyes widened as he approached them.
"Cut it out guys," Shane said.
Cooper looked up to see McQueen approaching. "Oh shit," the young man said, "what'd I do now?"
McQueen took an empty chair from a nearby table and sat down. McQueen had a strange look on his face, strange for McQueen, for a second, they thought they saw actual happiness move across his face, but seconds later it was gone.
"Good evening Sir," Nathan said.
McQueen looked at all of them and nodded. "I wanted to tell you this as soon as possible. Pretty soon it'll be common knowledge, and you all have the right to know first."
"Sir...you haven't been transferred off the Saratoga," Cooper said.
McQueen frowned. "No Hawkes. You know something I don't?" his face was serious.
"Um...no but...Congresswoman Fairgate was here and...she got you transferred, didn't she?"
McQueen smiled, remembering that time. "Yes Hawkes she did. No, I haven't been transferred." He looked at all their faces, then looked at the table. "I'm going to be a father in the spring."
Cooper frowned, Paul's mouth dropped open, Shane frowned, Vanessa blushed and Nathan extended his hand.
"Congratulations, Sir," he said.
McQueen shook the young man's hand. "Thank you Nathan."
"Who's the lucky woman?" Vanessa smiled.
Paul kicked her under the table, she frowned at him.
"It's Congresswoman Fairgate, isn't it?" Shane asked.
McQueen nodded. "Yeah."
"Wow, a baby," Cooper said, "what you going to name it?"
"Cooper," Vanessa said, blushing even more.
"Haven't thought about it yet," McQueen said. He looked at five pairs of curious eyes, he didn't want to answer any of their questions, let them speculate on his sex life, so, he stood.
"I just wanted to let you know," he said, without looking at either of them.
"Thank you sir," Nathan said, "and congratulations."
All of the 'Cards nodded and echoed Nathan's sentiment. McQueen nodded to them, turned sharply around and left the tavern as calmly as he'd entered.
The card game forgotten, the WildCards looked at each other. "Wow, can you believe it, a baby," Paul said, "it's weird thinking of the Colonel like that, I mean, I can't imagine him having sex."
"No need to get graphic, Paul, " said Shane
"Isn't she kind of old to have a baby?" Cooper said.
"Not really 'Coop, she was in the freezer for 70 years, that's why she doesn't look old."
"It's called cryonics Paul," Vanessa said impatiently.
"Yeah Paul," Nathan said, "basic bio 101. I'm really happy for him, for both of them," Nathan sipped his beer.
Shane looked at all of them, then she wiped her eyes. "You know, if it wasn't for her, Paul, Phousse and me wouldn't be here."
"That's right," Nathan said, "I heard she leaned on some pretty big heads to get that all out search."
Paul Wang looked down and nodded. For a moment all of them sat, thoughtful, then Vanessa raised her glass. "To Tracy Fairgate."
The other four 'Cards raised their glasses, echoed Vanessa's toast then drank their respective drinks down.
Cooper put his drink down hard and nodded. "That's gonna be one cool kid," he said.
Next : Part Two
Previous : Ice Queens Part One