Pixie was working her Ubiq specs left handed when Sarge dropped heavily into the bench next to her. The cafeteria was mostly empty midday, which made it one of her favorite places to sit in some sunshine when in the enclave, between jobs over the fence. She usually mollified the annoyed staff by making sure to assist in resetting the room between meals and keep out of their way without complaint, but they had been indignant at her helping while her shoulder was still in a sling. Not that working her specs with one hand was really any easier than pushing in chairs and benches would be.
Pixie pushed the specs up off her eyes and turned to Sarge; they weren't powerful enough to do the data work inherent to tragedy tracking anyway. Not that they could afford a laptop or ‘pad.
“How was pit clearing?”
“Not so good,” Sarge said, rolling and massaging his shoulder. “Big enough crowd that the slingers needed to step in, but light on cards.” Sarge looked around. “Where’re the kids, shouldn't school be in session?”
“Gardening practicum today.”
“Ah. Spike tried to pin me down at the pit. Told him we weren't even thinking about it until you were in better shape.”
Pixie snorted. “We need to let Goma know one way or the other, too. Been talking to Janice, between classes. Kid is surprisingly good at turning up strangely useful leads on LifeLines.”
“She is not coming into the field!”
“Doesn't want to, wants 5 years of experience before she joins Black Math. You know, when she’s 18. Also a cut of bounty.”
Sarge leaned on the table and pinched his nose. “God I don't want to still be doing this in five years.”
Pixie squeezed his hand. “Me neither. Spike would make sense if we're sourcing jobs from Janice though. He's really good against casualties with that pig-sticker of his.”
“No. I'm willing to focus on the closure and extermination jobs Janice’ll send our way. But Spike just up and abandoned his post at the hint of a job with us. Don't trust him to have your back if something shiny catches his eye.”
“Fair enough.” She paused in thought a moment. “But there isn't anyone else in the enclave looking to start hopping the fence.”
“Surely someone is looking to immigrate,” Sarge said with a tilt towards her specs.
“Oh, well sure, I'm sure I can find somebody, but then we’ve got to get the council to let them in…”
“If they can take our old room, the council can’t object on space issues.”
“So… That's a vote for moving in with Goma and Janice, then. I'll let them know.”
“Yeah, let's hang on to the apartment until you vet the new additions though.”
“If we're going casualty extermination, I'd prefer bringing on two folks. And take over handling the clients… I'm just, you know, never been all that useful with the physical stuff.”
“Physical stuff is a dime a dozen; you patching people up in the field has saved all our asses more times than I can count.”
“Thanks.” Pixie leaned her head on his shoulder. “Sarge?”
“I think I'm pregnant.”
Sarge tensed up. “Oh, um…”
“It's alright if you wanna cuss, that's how I feel about it too.”
“Yes, that is how we got into this.”
Sarge flushed and (carefully) put an arm around her shoulders. “How far along you think you are?”
“Missed my second period last week. Been hoping I'm just late, but, yeah…”
“What do you want to do?”
“Too late for Plan B, even if any were still good. Misoprostol have gone off by now too. Clinic around here isn't equipped for a DandC either.”
“Can the doc handle a birth?”
“Probably not, but the new lady, NaiNai, she's a midwife. So, I wouldn't be flying completely blind…”
Pixie squeezed his hand again. “I'm still going to hope for a miscarriage though.”
“Any possibility this is… not what we're afraid of?”
Pixie shrugged. “If I'm lots underweight, maybe I'm just missing periods. But we've been doing okay there for a while.”
“Yeah.” Sarge dropped his arm from her shoulder to ribs and gave her a hug. “We're… reasonably close to being able to sneak into the Recession.”
“Not within seven month we aren't, not without taking stupidly big risks. Before even talking about fucking Mr. JOLS.”
“Okay. Okay… Just have to… figure out a new retirement plan then.”
“Yeah. Let's cross that bridge in two or three months.”
Sarge nodded and buried his nose in her hair.
Both of them looked up as Spike came through the doorway.
“Why the long faces?”