Disclaimer: Battlestar Galactica belongs to Ronald D. Moore and the Sci-Fi channel. Evelyn is mine. "If We Hold On Together" is by Diana Ross, from "The Land Before Time."

Chapter 35: Tapestry of life

It had been two months since the Colonial fleet reached Mars. President Mendoza had granted shore leave to Mason and her crew, along with the first two shifts of Colonials. On a sunny afternoon in March, Mason stood in her kitchen, trying to decide what to fix for dinner. Suddenly her dog barked just before someone knocked on her door. She opened it, her eyes widening in surprised to find Cottle there.

"Took me a while to figure out which cabin was yours, but your neighbors were helpful," he told her with a grin.

Don't lose your way
With each passing day

She pulled him inside and closed the door so that the cold breeze stayed outdoors. "Not all my neighbors have translating devices. How did you talk to them?"

"I just asked, 'Mason lives here?' and they pointed me in the right direction," he explained.

You've come so far
Don't throw it away

"You've resorted to learning English then?" she questioned as he took off his dark green coat and hung it on the coat rack by the door.

Live believing
Dreams are for weaving

"Call it a work in progress," he remarked.

She reached for one of his hands, glad to see him. As she touched it, she frowned though. "Honestly Major, don't they teach to you wear gloves? You'll get frostbite and then I can't show you around," she scolded.

Wonders are waiting to start
Live your story

He chuckled at her concern. "What makes you think there's anything worth seeing up here besides you?" he remarked gruffly.

Faith, hope & glory
Hold to the truth in your heart

At that moment, from behind her he saw something large and black barreling down the hallway. It charged past Mason and pounced on Cottle, pushing him to the floor as he dropped his duffle bag. Then it licked his face relentlessly. Mason laughed quietly at the dog; a cross between a few breeds gave it the appearance of an all-black sheepdog.

If we hold on together

"Some watchdog you are. He greets everyone like that. Jack, meet Rudy, number seven on our list," she explained, squatting to pet the dog, coaxing it him away from his latest victim.

I know our dreams will never die

"Are you gonna help me up, or join me down here?" Cottle grumbled.

Mason stood and extended a hand to him. As she pulled him up, his left arm found its way around her waist. A moment later his lips found hers for a passionate kiss. "Why didn't you tell me you'd be on Earth with the first shift?"

Dreams see us through to forever

They kissed again. "I was here for a lecture on some of the new medical equipment your people sent me. Seeing you was just coincidence."

Where clouds roll by
For you and I

She swatted his arm and glared at him. "You're incorrigible."

"Yeah, and these mountains of yours are number eight," he relayed.

"I'm glad you're here to see them," she replied earnestly. Then she backed away and walked toward the kitchen. "I was just going to start dinner. Interested?"

Souls in the wind
Must learn how to bend

"It's real food. As long as you don't have algae, I'll show up for dinner," he added.

She gestured toward an oak chair at her kitchen table and he took a seat. Then she opened cabinets looking for pasta. "I know they're here somewhere-" the beeping of a flat screen on the wall interrupted her. She walked over to hit and pressed a button. A woman with curly graying blonde hair that Cottle had asked directions from appeared on the screen. "Martha, how are things?"

"Just fine, Deidre. It's good to see you back. I've been feeding Rudy for you," the other woman remarked.

"Thank you," Mason responded.

"I wanted to ask you if your boyfriend got there alright, well, I think that's what he was. His English wasn't too good and I'm just making sure he didn't get lost," the woman explained.

Seek out a star
Hold on to the end

Mason cleared her throat and tried not to blush. "Yes, he's here, thank you."

Martha smiled knowingly. "I'll leave you two alone then," she stated before the screen went black.

Valley, mountain
There is a fountain

Reaching for the plastic container holding the squiggles of pasta, Mason turned back to Cottle. "Funny thing about neighbors, the happen to know everything, whether you say anything or not."

Cottle shrugged. "It's like a Battlestar, small town mentality."

Using the noodles, she cooked Fettuccini with Alfredo sauce and shrimp. As she cleaned up the dishes, she spotted his duffle bag still by the front door. "You know you're staying here tonight. Guest room's left of the bathroom," she told him, pointing over her shoulder.

He left the table to deposit his duffle bag in the guest room, then returned to her. "I'm surprised you wouldn't have some sort of auto-cleaning device for dishes."

Washes our tears all away
Words are swaying

"I like doing them by hand. It's relaxing," she retorted.

When he stepped out of her view, she figured that he was sitting down until she felt his hands on her shoulders. As she washed the silverware, his hands massaged her neck and shoulders. Then one hand let her hair down. "You're right. Doing things with your hands is relaxing," he could not resist saying.

She chuckled and turned to face him. "You, Major, are still a devious man. But I believe having you here is number nine on the list. When your people are settled on Mars, do you think you might retire?"

"That would depend on where I might be retiring to," he volleyed.

"I know of this cabin, up in the mountains. If you can put up with an enthusiastic dog and a grouchy general, you're welcome to stay," she relayed, kissing him softly.

She stepped away to put away some of what she had washed. He let the water out of the sink and wiped off the counter. Then Rudy came over and sniffed his shoes before trying to knock him over again. He pet the dog and it sat at his feet. "I know that my people are only allowed to visit, with one exception, marriage. Was that some sort of a proposal?"

Mason turned toward him and crossed her arms. "Anything's possible these days," she teased with a smirk.

Someone is praying
Please let us come home to stay

They sat together, watching the wedding of the admiral and the president. The crowd in attendance took up most of the plateau overlooking the white shore of Hawaii. A Colonial priest was residing over the ceremony. Adama wore his dress grays, still looking dashing as ever. Roslin wore a white wedding gown from Earth with a sweetheart neckline and a flowing skirt. Instead of a veil, around her head was a crow of white plumeria flowers that Dee had taught Evie how to weave together.

If we hold on together

Though both were smiling, each knew the other well enough to see the nerves. However, the priest seemed even more nervous than they were. It was the first time he had ever performed a marriage ceremony and his hands shook as he held the book. "We m-meet here t-t-today for the j-joining of two lives," he began.

"Looks like we're in for a long day, Deidre," Dr. Cottle whispered.

General Cottle smirked and nodded. "I sincerely hope he doesn't pass out."

I know our dreams will never die

Lee stood next to his father as the best man. Dee was Roslin's made of honor and Tigh was watching Evie. Lee leaned over toward the priest and whispered, "If you can calm down, I'll buy you a drink after this. Take a deep breath and be glad that this is a wedding and not a funeral."

Dreams see us through to forever

Where clouds roll by
For you and I

The priest took a deep breath and everything felt clearer. "Please join hands," he said to Roslin and Adama. "Let the bond between you never be severed. Let the Gods bless you. Do you, Admiral William Adama, take this woman to be your wife, in famine and harvest, in sickness and in health, for as long as there is breath in you, that you may share your troubles as well as your triumphs?"

When we are out there in the dark

"I will," he said, his voice gravely with emotion.

"So say we all," the priest declared.

"So say we all," everyone in attendance responded.

We'll dream about the sun

Roslin smiled back at him before the priest addressed her. "And do you, President Laura Roslin, take this man to be your husband, in famine and harvest, in sickness and in health, for as long as there is breath in you, that you may share your troubles as well as your triumphs?"

In the dark we'll feel the light

"I will," she answered.

"So say we all," the priest repeated.

The others once again added, "So say we all."

"By the power vested in me, I new pronounce you husband and wife. Mr. and Mrs. William Adama, go, cherish each other, that the days ahead of you will find prosperity," he ended.

Warm our hearts, everyone

Adama grinned, his smile almost as wide as Roslin's. In a quick move, he pulled her to him for a short, passionate kiss. "So say we all," Tigh shouted.

"So say we all," everyone echoed back.

Evie ran from her chair up to them as they were walking back down the isle. Adama scooped her up into his arms. "Papa, what happens now?" she asked.

He looked at Roslin for a moment. "First we're all going to lunch. Then you'll spend a few days with Mr. Lee and Mrs. Dee while your mother and I spend some time together, just the two of us."

"Why can't I come with?" she questioned.

Roslin picked up the conversation. "Sweetie, we'll still be on Earth. The three of us, that is, you, me, and your father, will spend a full week exploring Hawaii. When people get married, they spend a while just as the two of them with no one else. It's… tradition."

"Oh," Evie responded. She thought quietly to herself as they walked over to the banquet table, which had been set up outdoors. "Mommy, when I get married, I don't want to go far away. I might get lost."

Leaning toward her, Rosin kissed her daughter's forehead. "Sweetie, you've got a long way to go before that happens. You don't need to worry about it now."

When it was time to cut the wedding cake, they followed a tradition that Mason had told them about. Roslin shoved a piece into Adama's mouth. Evie watched, confused. "Why can't Papa eat his own cake? Why does he have to have yours?"

Everyone who could hear her little voice laughed. Adama shoved a piece into Roslin's mouth. "Because she gets to have my cake," he replied.

"Then whose cake do I get?" Evie continued, completely confused by the tradition.

The adults laughed and Roslin handed the girl a piece of cake on a plate with a fork. "You get your own cake. Only the bride and groom get each other's cake," her mother explained.

Six months after the Colonial fleet had come to the Milky Way Galaxy and settled on Mars, Adama and Roslin sat outside of the hospital room, waiting for word on Dee and their new grandchild. "But Mommy, I don't understand. Why am I an auntie?" Evie questioned.

Roslin sighed as Adama paced. "Sweetie, Mr. Lee is Bill's son. That makes him your brother, as we've told you before. Your brother's child will be your niece or nephew. That means you're an aunt."

If we hold on together

She hopped down from Roslin's lap and followed Adama as he paced. "Is this one of those 'tradition' things?"

He stopped and mussed her hair, smiling. "Something like that."

A moment later a nurse poked her head out of the door. "You can come in now."

The three entered to find Dee holding a small bundle in her arms and Lee grinning like Adama had not seen in years. The younger man looked up at the others. "Dad, Laura, Evie, this is William Zachary Adama. Meet your grandson."

I know our dreams will never die

Adama was speechless. Roslin smiled and touched Lee's forearm. "It's a good name."

"He's not my grandson. He's my nephew. I'm an auntie, Mr. Lee," Evie quickly informed him.

The admiral recovered his voice. "Yes, it is a good name. I'm proud of you," he paused and looked at Dee as well, "both of you."

Dreams see us through to forever

"And how are you feeling?" Roslin asked Dee.

"Like I road too many 'G's in a Viper. Really tired, but I'm alright," Dee responded. "Would you like to hold the baby?"

"If you don't mind," Rosin responded. She carefully accepted the infant, whom she held gently in her arms without waking him. Then she handed him to Adama.

As high as souls can fly

"He's small," Evie exclaimed. "Are all babies small?"

"For the most part," her mother remarked. Knowing the way in which her daughter asked questions, she had a suspicion about where the conversation was headed.

"Where do babies come from?" Evie inquired. She was now four and felt that she wanted to know everything about the world.

The clouds roll by

Roslin faced Adama with worry, but he responded with a calm smile. "We'll tell you when you're older," he told the girl.

"But I am older," Evie protested.

"We'll tell you when you're married," Roslin amended. Everyone in the room laughed. Evie shrugged and decided that some questions could wait until tomorrow.

For you and I

(I have enjoyed writing this story, as well as choosing the songs. I will miss these characters. Thank you to those of you who have been along since the beginning. It's been quite a journey. My thanks to Cerdiwyn2, Mariel3, max72, LilStrawbaby, and Tchitchina for reviewing :D)