Having reassured ourselves that all fic was safe from prying pilot eyes, Ili and I dusted ourselves off, and tried to casually make our way back to the others. On the grounds that a bad story was better than none at all, I went over to try and convince Hobbie that we'd been performing some kind of native welcoming ritual... I don't think he quite believed me, so I left him with Ili and some others, and went to find the Kats and Mish... clingy, me? Naw... and where was Izzy, anyway? Seemed like a ton of WAASers had turned up on unplanned and unexplained vacations, so... I shrugged. All things in time, I guess.
Just then, I heard Anti ring the cowbell. Metaphorically speaking. Actually, she just yelled that food was up, which in my books is a perfectly valid form of yelling. Either way, I was all in favour of a snack... and chatting over dinner to all the luscious bits of manbo- er, I mean very nice people who just happened to be pilots and lust objec- Ooh, bad brain... talk about one track. Must stop thinking like that, I told myself. Well... I will in a minute, I qualified, sneaking a peek at Face as he followed the others into the house.... mmm, Wraith me, baby!
I caught up to our esteemed leader on the stairs, she was looking just a tad bewildered.
"Anti!! Dude!! Isn't this wild?? What're the odds, huh?"
"Odds of what?" She still looked confused.
I gave her the 'duh' look.
"Oh!" She replied cheerfully. "Isn't it cool that all the guys dressed up? Who told them to?"
"Anti...." I looked at her... could she have missed all the drama outside? Heh, since we'd turned her into chief cook and bottlewasher for the day, maybe she had. Oooh, this was gonna be fun. I love suprising people.
I grabbed her arm and tugged her into the room where the pilots and assorted WAASers were decimating the tables of food that had been set up. "Anti... look at that guy... now, who do you think that is?"
"Um...he makes a passable Face..."
"No scar, though," she added as an afterthought.
I shook my head. "Take one word out of that sentence, hon." I was practically bouncing with excitement.
Anti shot me a curious look. "Imagination much?"
"Nuh uh!! I shit you not, Anti, it's them."
She still didn't seem convinced... I decided it was time to enlist a little help.
I pointed. Anti looked. Double taked.
"Oh my great flipping goddess..."
I saw a couple of people brace themselves in case they were needed for Possible Fainting WAASer Number Three.
Anti was still in monosyllable land. "Tha... tha... tha.... erk."
She grabbed my arm again and sat down in one of the nearby chairs. I sat down next to her quite happily, as fate or chance, or, lets face it, a carefully planned entrance, meant we were near most of the Wraiths. I grabbed some food, and sat back, enjoying the view - WAASers, pilots, all chatting with varying degrees of ease, most people looking happy.
I shifted in my chair again, wanting to be doing something. I was, oh, just a tad hyper. "So," I said loudly, most of the table turning as I spoke. "Anyone got any idea how y'all got here?"
Shrugs all round. We'd gone over most of this in front of the house, really.
"My bet's on the parallel universe thing." Ignoring my complete lack of actual physics knowledge, I expanded on the theory. "Like, you know, every thing ever is possible, so I guess you guys came through some portal thing from the SW universe and ended up here."
Katrin had obviously had some sort of Stargate thought at the mention of 'portals', and she piped up then with a "Yeah! that would explain how the novels tie in - you're from the canon universe!"
The pilots looked confused. The WAASers grinned.
A thought struck me.
"Not necessarily..." Stupidly, I kept talking as the thought developed. "If everything is possible, we only know they're canon up to the end of SoA, and hell, that could also mean any AUs that split off after that are possible too... like Much Abides!"
Silence was broken by the quiet slide as several WAASers discreetly moved away from four pilots. And a few others, who shall remain nameless, scooted closer.
Anti spoke up again at that point
"Probly not, Claire."
I agreed with her, and decided I'd probly be better off eating than embarrassing myself further. I jiggled my foot and fidgeted as I grabbed a few more helpings of chips, and some tomato ketchup. I was just a tad hyper.
Katrie looked down at that point, and asked something I'd wondered about.
"What've we got hot food for? Its a tropical island!"
Ooh. Thought. I love being a pest.
"So you can do this!" I knocked peas off Kat's plate by the simple expedient of picking up her hand - and the attached fork, and scooping them off.
"You pea'd on the table!!" I said gleefully.
"Payback!" Cried Kat and flicked mashed spud at me.
I ducked, and the spud missile landed on the tablecloth just in front of Wedge. I blushed. She blushed. There was obviously only one way to go from here. Brazen it out.
"Sorry. I don't think we've been introduced. I'm Claire. Someone once told me I'm a female Wes Janson. But I like to think I'm much more immature."
Oh, yeah. Definitely time to go hide under a rock for the rest of the holiday. Me and my big mouth...
I decided on something of a strategic withdrawl, and with everyone's conversations growing in momentum - and volume - once more, I wandered over to the bar. I could so murder a drink now. I snagged a bottle of Rum and added a generous helping to some coke, and headed back to the table. I saw Face look at me, then look at Anti - who, by this stage, had been nominally established as 'in charge' - and ask "You're letting her drink? Drink that much?" I shot him a dirty look.
"Excuse me, I can hold my liquor, thank you very much."
"In both hands, even." I continued, with a grin.
Face and Anti both laughed. I grinned more. Pointed to myself. Did the cave man voice.
"Blood of engineers runs in veins. Drink like Corellian."
I put my drink down on the table, swung my feet up next to it. Life was good.
Something caught my eye. I looked at the table.
"Um... Anti... was there, by any chance, some sort of hallucinogenic in the food?"
Blank looks all round.
I pointed at the table. At the drink which could be seen to be sloshing gently from side to side. Three guesses what my immediate thought was...
Continued in 32