1: Luna Havoc
Luna Havoc sat cross legged on the floor in front of her father Jean, playing with her little cat Mochi. Her father was always looking at old photos, and he was doing so now, flipping slowly through page after page of old photographs. She was only five years old, but she already recognized that sad and wistful look in his blue eyes, that half frown that meant he was looking at pictures of her mother.
"Are you missing Mommy again, Daddy?" she asked, and he jumped slightly from the couch. He looked at her, embarrassed, and patted the couch next to him. "Yeah... I was looking at pictures ofyour mom again..." She got up from the floor and sat next to him, burying her face happily into his blue uniform. She loved her father, he always smelled like smoke, but not too much, and he wore the cologne that she had bought him for his birthday. His uniform always smelled nice and clean, like it had just come from the cleaners, unless he had come back straight from a mission, and then it would be earthy smelling... still nice.
She could smell gunpowder too, and something else, something a bit like roses. His bedroom smelled like roses, he said that her mother had liked it that way, and that he had too. So even though she was gone, he kept it that way, he had kept it that way for five years and Luna knew no other smell than that one. He laid the album down in his lap so Luna could see, and she pushed her blonde hair out of her eyes. A lot of people said she looked like her father, and she guessed that that was true. She had the same blonde hair, the same beautiful blue eyes, the same mouth, and a longish nose, sure. Jean always hoped, however, that she would turn out to look a bit more like her mother.
Luna traced the edges of a photograph, a photo of her father and her mother with their arms around each other, her mother's belly swollen. "Is that me?" she asked, pointing to the photo. He nodded and tucked her hair behind her ears. "Yep, that's you... You were in Mommy's tummy then, you can't remember it."
"How did Mommy walk around with a big tummy?"
He laughed and tickled her until she giggled and fell onto her back. "I don't know, I wasn't the one with a big tummy!" he said, lifting her up again. She giggled some more and sat on his lap, tilting back her head so she was looking into his eyes. "You have a big everything Daddy! Why are you so big?" Jean raised one eyebrow, amused. "Why am I so big? I don't know, maybe because my dad was a big man too."
"So why was he big?"
"There are some things that can't be explained, Luna."
"Can you... explain why Mommy isn't here anymore?" He frowned again, and she regretted her question. She liked it much better when he smiled, when he was being his big, lazy, procrastinating self. She thought that maybe her mother liked him like that too. "I... don't think I can explain why she isn't here anymore Luna. Not right now." She nodded and leaned back into his chest. "Can I come with you to work, Daddy?" He looked surprised at her request, both eyebrows and the corner of his mouth raised, like he usually did when he was surprised, moving his cigarette to the corner of his mouth. He wasn't smoking right now, and had apparently forgotten that he wasn't, but the corner of his mouth moved up all the same. She giggled and poked the corner of his mouth, and the other corner raised to make it a smile. "Now why would you want to come to work with me?"
She gave him her best begging face and he laughed, picking her up and standing. "All right, all right, you got me. Just let me call your grandma and tell her not to come to babysit." He picked up the phone and dialed a number quickly, and Luna watched as his fingers masterfully punched in the buttons. She wondered how he could push such tiny buttons when his hands and fingers were so large, and then wondered if her hands would be like that too. He settled the reciever in the crook of his neck and Luna seized his hand, placing her small hand against his firmly. Her hand wasn't even the size of his palm, and she moved it up so that her fingers were on level with his. Even his fingers were bigger! She put her hands on his shoulders, careful to avoid the phone, and looked straight into his face.
"Yes Ma, you don't need to come today. Yes yes... Luna's coming to work with me, and I'll take good care of her, yes... yes... heheh..." Jean tried to keep a straight face as Luna made faces at him and poked his cheeks. He found that he couldn't and burst into laughter, dropping the phone and causing Luna to sway unsteadily. He tightened his grip on her so she wouldn't fall and, still chuckling, bent down to pick up the phone again.
"No, I'm fine Ma, Luna was just making faces and I couldn't help but laugh... yes okay... Love you too Ma. Luna, say bye to Grandma."
Luna put her face near the reciever and said good-bye, and he put it into the holder. He swung her around and stopped, picking the car keys off the ring near the door. He opened the door and stepped into the garage, opened the car door and put Luna in. Luna squirmed in the back seat. "I wanted to ride the other one today! You said we could!" Jean thought for a minute then nodded in defeat. "I did, didn't I?" he picked up a small helmet and gave it to her, went back inside, and got another set of keys. Luna buckled on the helmet and scrambled up onto the back of the motorcycle, waiting for Jean to come back. He came back down the stairs, buckling a helmet on his head and throwing a bag over his shoulder. Hepicked Luna off the seat, got on, and sat her down in front of him. He put the keys in the ignition, turned them, and rode out the door to Eastern Command.