Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine and I'm not making any money so please don't come looking for me.
Summary: Alec helps a friend.
A/N : Let me know if it's any good - Please!
Making Plans for a Friend
He held her, still stroking her hair as she slept, quiet now the tears had stopped. He watched her. She was no more than a child. Manticore hadn't prepared any of them for a real life outside. He was one of the lucky ones, he'd had some training to prepare him for his solo missions but he knew the majority of the transgenics were trained for roles in warfare and nothing else. They were never meant to cope away from a military setting.
He was glad he'd popped round tonight and wondered what sort of fate had driven him there at just the right time. He would make sure he came round more often in future to check that Gem was okay. She'd always seemed so self-reliant and resilient but tonight bringing up a baby on her own had gotten to her. She was exhausted.
He realised that in the world outside, people would have been horrified to see her barely more than a child herself, on her own with a child and yet the transgenics had never questioned it. Out there, she would have had support from friends but the transgenics knew nothing about bringing up real babies and she and the others like her who were pregnant when Manticore burnt down had been left to find out for themselves what you did with babies. Back in Manticore, the babies would have been taken away from the mothers and they would have been sent back out to training if anyone had got that far but in reality the breeding programme hadn't been going that long, they probably hadn't had that many babies to deal with.
Gem had done an amazing job, she'd made a home for herself and her baby but then tonight after too few nights' sleep and a crying baby, she had needed a friend. And that is when Alec had knocked on the door. He took the baby in one arm and held Gem with the other, both of them crying. Both of them now asleep, all was quiet.
He thought of the time he spent involved in the organisation of Terminal City, maybe it was time to organise something for these forgotten members of their fledgling society. All their time had been spent organising work details, foraging, security and in creating a medical facility. He knew the outside world had mother and toddler groups; maybe they needed something like that. Sooner or later, the children would need more things to play with and places to play, they had no money to buy things but these children more than ordinary children were going to need the stimulation of things to do. They were going to have to organise crèche, schooling and some sort of physical training – were they going to raise their children to be warriors? Did they need to given the situation between Terminal City and the rest of Seattle? The children were going to have to burn off energy and aggression that much would be for sure with the gene mixes involved in their make-up (or cocktail as Joshua would say). Maybe some of the transgenics who were creative could come up with toys for the children; Joshua could paint up a room as a crèche. He'd talk to Max in the morning – she'd probably wonder what sort of brainstorm had overcome him overnight.
The baby began to cry and Gem woke up instantly. She was on her feet and through to the baby without speaking to Alec. She came back a few minutes later carrying her and started sorting out a feed for her. She didn't look at Alec; in fact she seemed to be pointedly ignoring him.
The kettle boiled and she poured water into a jug and put the bottle into warm up. Then she turned and fixed him with her big eyes, 'Alec, listen. I'm sorry… I didn't mean…'
'Hey! Stop that! I'm sorry! I didn't know this was such hard work. We're friends and friends are there for one another.'
'But I shouldn't have…'
'What shouldn't you have done? Got tired? Cried? Told me what was the matter?'
'Yeah, all of those. I'm a soldier. Soldiers don't show weakness.'
'Not anymore. None of us are really soldiers anymore Gem. Oh we'll never lose all the training but now we're coping in a terrain and situation with no training – we're learning as we go. We should be there to help one another and we haven't been here for you. We've expected you to work and work out how to bring up a baby and not one of us has checked on you – for commanding officers that's bad.'
'It's not been that bad'
'No? You know why? Because you are so strong, you've done an amazing job. Me I'd have been a disaster.'
'I'm not so sure. Do you want to feed her?'
'Sure. What do I do?' and with that he began to learn what it takes to look after a baby. When the baby went down to sleep, he packed Gem off to bed and let himself out to walk back to his digs promising himself he'd keep a closer eye on his friends from now on.