It was the most unusual military base he’d ever seen – because it consisted of a block of upscale but neglected, empty houses that had been converted into barracks. He’d missed the conversion, being in the hospital with Heather, but he’d been kept up to date on its progress. Heather had been interested in the progress reports, too, since it had been her suggestion, and he had encouraged the distraction.
The house with the biggest kitchen had the new mess hall; the house with the built-in generator housed the CIC. There was talk of making the yards into crop-bearing fields – most every home had revived the ‘victory garden’ concept, and these houses had a lot of acreage. One of the more off-the-wall suggestions had been to convert the pools into fish farms.
They walked into their new quarters. They were the only ‘private’ quarters in the newly christened Military quad. It was the master bedroom, of course, but the reason that they’d picked this master bedroom was that this bathroom was wheelchair accessible. There was also a small sitting area/table, so that Beck could work, even hold small meetings without leaving Heather alone.
“So, what do you think?” Edward asked, leaning over Heather’s chair.
“It’s big.” She said quietly.
“True.” He said. “What would you like to try first, the bed or the sofa? I’m told they’re both quite comfy.”
“Let’s try the sofa. I’m not that sleepy right now.”
“Alright.” He wheeled her over, and helped her stand and pivot onto the couch. She winced anyway; the cuts on her feet were still pretty raw. He waited for her to settle into a comfortable position.
“What’s that?” she asked, pointing at an object on the table covered with a cloth and a bow.
“What’s what?” he looked. “Hmm, dunno. They must have left it here for us. Wanna see what it is?”
He pulled off the cloth with a flourish.
“Oh my God.”
It was a Scrabble game. And not just any Scrabble game; a deluxe turntable edition with raised edges. Heather had been looking for a new board, since hers was nearly split down the middle. She hadn’t found anyone willing to give theirs up. Prying loose any board game was nearly impossible anymore. This was – well, amazing especially since they had ceased production of the turntable edition since before the bombs had gone off.
“How in the hell did they find this?”
Edward murmured something and went to the door. He found most of the office staff there, looks of anticipation on their face.
“How’d she like it?”
“She’s impressed. So am I. How did you get it?”
“Bargained for it.”
He looked at them disapprovingly. He knew how much that must have cost.
“Before you object, sir, you should know – well, we have a bit of a confession to make.”
Lt. Goodman stepped up.
“We, uh, started a small betting pool about a month ago.”
“A betting pool?”
“On when you two would get together.”
After a moment of shock, Edward felt his lips twitch, giving way to a chuckle.
“Obviously, nobody won. So…we got you this.”
“Then thank you. Thank you very much.”